The book revives the neutral monism of Mach, James, and Russell and applies the updated view to the problem of redefining physicalism, explaining the origins of sensation, and the problem of deriving extended physical objects and systems from an ontology of events. This DRAFT has been removed now that the book is under contract.
British idealism flourished in the late 19th century and early 20th centuries. It was a movement with a lasting influence on the social and political thought of its time in particular. British idealists helped popularize the work of Immanuel Kant and G. W. F. Hegel in the Anglophone world, but they also sought to use insights from the philosophies of Kant and Hegel to help create a new idealism to address the many pressing issues of the Victorian period in Britain (...) and its aftermath. These contributions related to theories of freedom, the common good, political obligation, the state, and punishment. The British idealists also made important contributions in areas other than Hegelian scholarship and ethics, including logic, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. The movement declined by the start of World War I. This entry will highlight the most important work by British idealists themselves and by their best interpreters. Thus this entry will be grouped by individuals rather than by theme. (shrink)
A significant methodological difference between analytic and continental philosophers comes out in their differing attitudes to transcendental reasoning. It has been an object of concern to analytic philosophy since the dawn of the movement around the start of the twentieth century, and although there was briefly a mini-industry on the validity of transcendental arguments following Peter Strawson’s prominent use of them, discussion of their acceptability – usually with a negative verdict – is far more common than their positive use within (...) a philosophical system or to justify a specific claim. By contrast, in the continental traditions starting with Kant but enduring throughout the twentieth century and beyond, some form of transcendental reasoning is close to ubiquitous, notwithstanding that what one means by the transcendental is significantly reconfigured by phenomenology, and then the genealogical turn, as well as by a more constructivist understanding of philosophy. Concerns about the status of transcendental reasoning certainly exist for continental philosophers, but continued creative use persists, and there is no general agreement that transcendental argumentation is especially problematic. In fact, it is more commonly claimed, and it is certainly frequently implied, that a transcendental dimension is of the essence of philosophy. Any philosophical activity that does not reflect on its own conditions of possibility is naïve, or pre-critical, and the sometimes pilloried continental enquiries into the ‘problem of modernity’ are but one way of attempting to reflect on the conditions of contemporary philosophical discourse, subjectivity, and cultural life more generally. Much of this chapter will hence be concerned to offer both an explicit and implicit rationale for the divergent attitudes of analytic and continental philosophers vis-à-vis transcendental reasoning. We give an incomplete account of what transcendental arguments are, review the major analytic criticisms of them, gesture towards some of the recent continental appropriations of such arguments (focusing on the themes of embodiment and time), consider the extent to which analytic criticisms apply to such usages, and attempt to bring to the fore the differing explanatory norms that justify these divergent practices. (shrink)
The starting point of this paper is Sellars’s rejection of foundationalist empiricism as found in his discussion of the Myth of the Given. Sellars attacks the Myth from two main angles, corresponding to the two elements of empiricism: the idea that our beliefs are justified by the world, and the idea that our concepts are derived from experience. In correctly attacking the second, Sellars is also, incorrectly, led to attack the first. Thus, Sellars rejects the commonsensical idea that at least (...) some of our ideas can be justified by appeal to the empirical world. My purpose is to examine why Sellars is led to this point, and how the same assumptions that lead him there also operate in his followers, such as Brandom, Rorty and McDowell. I then show how a rejection of these assumptions gives us a way around this problem that does not fall back into foundationalism. (shrink)
Abstract: This article contends that the relation of early logical empiricism to Kant was more complex than is often assumed. It argues that Reichenbach's early work on Kant and Einstein, entitled The Theory of Relativity and A Priori Knowledge (1920) aimed to transform rather than to oppose Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. One the one hand, I argue that Reichenbach's conception of coordinating principles, derived from Kant's conception of synthetic a priori principles, offers a valuable way of accounting for the (...) historicity of scientific paradigms. On the other hand, I show that even Reichenbach, in line with Neo-Kantianism, associated Kant's view of synthetic a priori principles too closely with Newtonian physics and, consequently, overestimated the difference between Kant's philosophy and his own. This is even more so, I point out, in the retrospective account logical empiricism presented of its own history. Whereas contemporary reconstructions of this history, including Michael Friedman's, tend to endorse this account, I offer an interpretation of Kant's conception of a priori principles that contrasts with the one put forward by both Neo-Kantianism and logical empiricism. On this basis, I re-examine the early Reichenbach's effort to accommodate these principles to the paradigm forged by Einstein. (shrink)
This essay uses citational analyses to argue that most of the philosophers considered "postanalytic" - Wittgenstein, McDowell, Davidson, and Rorty - are not, in fact, genuine figures of rapprochement, since the particular essays cited, and/or the background literature that is cited, are not shared in common between the standard-bearing analytic and continental journals.
In this collection of essays one of the preeminent philosophers of science writing today offers a reinterpretation of the enduring significance of logical positivism, the revolutionary philosophical movement centered around the Vienna Circle in the 1920s and '30s. Michael Friedman argues that the logical positivists were radicals not by presenting a new version of empiricism (as is often thought to be the case) but rather by offering a new conception of a priori knowledge and its role in empirical knowledge. This (...) collection will be mandatory reading for any philosopher or historian of science interested in the history of logical positivism in particular or the evolution of modern philosophy in general. (shrink)
Michael Dummett famously holds that the “philosophy of thought” must proceed via the philosophy of language, since that is the only way to preserve the objectivity of thoughts while avoiding commitments to “mythological,” Platonic entities. Central to Dummett’s case is his thesis that all thought contents are linguistically expressible. In this paper, I will (a) argue that making the linguistic turn is neither necessary nor sufficient to avoid the problems of psychologism, (b) discuss Wayne Martin’s argument that not all thought-contents (...) are linguistically communicable, and (c) present another, stronger argument, derived from Husserl’s early account of fulfillment, that establishes the same conclusion. (shrink)
Epistemological realists have long struggled to explain perceptual error without introducing a tertium quid between perceivers and physical objects. Two leading realist philosophers, Thomas Reid and Everett Hall, agreed in denying that mental entities are the immediate objects of perceptions of the external world, but each relied upon strange metaphysical entities of his own in the construction of a realist philosophy of perception. Reid added ‘visible figures’ to sensory impressions and specific sorts of mental events, while Hall utilized an array (...) of ways that he maintained properties may participate in the world. This paper assesses each realist's attempt to explain perceptual relativity and illusion without contradicting either the science of his time or the structure of common sense. (shrink)
Finland is internationally known as one of the leading centers of twentieth century analytic philosophy. This volume offers for the first time an overall survey of the Finnish analytic school. The rise of this trend is illustrated by original articles of Edward Westermarck, Eino Kaila, Georg Henrik von Wright, and Jaakko Hintikka. Contributions of Finnish philosophers are then systematically discussed in the fields of logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, history of philosophy, ethics and social philosophy. Metaphilosophical reflections on (...) the nature of philosophy are highlighted by the Finnish dialogue between analytic philosophy, phenomenology, pragmatism, and critical theory. (shrink)
It is widely held, to the point of being the received interpretation, that Frank Ramsey was the ﬁrst to defend the so-called Redundancy Theory of Truth in his landmark article ‘Facts and Propositions’ (hereafter ‘FP’) of 1927.1 For instance, A.J. Ayer2 cited this article in the context of arguing that saying that p is true is simply a way of asserting p and that truth is not a real quality or relation. Other holders of the received interpretation, such as George (...) Pitcher,3 J.L. Mackie, 4 Susan Haack,5 A.C. Grayling,6 Nils-Eric Sahlin,7 Richard Kirkham,8 Donald Davidson9 and Michael Lynch10 credit Ramsey with having originated what they call ‘the Redundancy Theory.’ Even an authoritative source such as The Encyclopedia of Philosophy11 attributes this theory to him. What is more, Grover et al.,12 in defending their Prosentential Theory of Truth, claim that their theory is an improvement and development of the Redundancy Theory, which they too attribute to Ramsey.13.. (shrink)
Abstract This paper contrasts the scholastic realisms of David Armstrong and Charles Peirce. It is argued that the so-called ?problem of universals? is not a problem in pure ontology (concerning whether universals exist) as Armstrong construes it to be. Rather, it extends to issues concerning which predicates should be applied where, issues which Armstrong sets aside under the label of ?semantics?, and which from a Peircean perspective encompass even the fundamentals of scientific methodology. It is argued that Peirce's scholastic realism (...) not only presents a more nuanced ontology (distinguishing the existent from the real) but also provides more of a sense of why realism should be a position worth fighting for. (shrink)
Over a period of several decades spanning the origin of the Vienna Circle, Schlick repeatedly attacked Husserl''s phenomenological method for its reliance on the ability to intuitively grasp or see essences. Aside from its significance for phenomenologists, the attack illuminates significant and little-explored tensions in the history of analytic philosophy as well. For after coming under the influence of Wittgenstein, Schlick proposed to replace Husserl''s account of the epistemology of propositions describing the overall structure of experience with his own account (...) based on the structure of language rather than on the intuition of essences. I discuss both philosophers'' accounts of the epistemology of propositions describing the structure of experience. For both philosophers, this epistemology was closely related to the general epistemology of logic; nevertheless, neither philosopher had a completely coherent account of it. Comparison of the two approaches shows that perennial and severe theoretical obstacles stand in the way of giving an epistemology of the structure of experience, a central requirement for both philosophers'' theories. Consideration of these obstacles sheds a new light on the reasons for the historically decisive split between the continental and the analytic traditions, as well as on the subsequent development of the analytic tradition away from the structural description of experience. (shrink)
Proponents of linguistic philosophy hold that all non-empirical philosophical problems can be solved by either analyzing ordinary language or developing an ideal one. I review the debates on linguistic philosophy and between ordinary and ideal language philosophy. Using arguments from these debates, I argue that the results of experimental philosophy on intuitions support linguistic philosophy. Within linguistic philosophy, these experimental results support and complement ideal language philosophy. I argue further that some of the critiques of experimental philosophy are in fact (...) defenses of ideal language philosophy. Finally, I show how much of the current debate about experimental philosophy is anticipated in the debates about and within linguistic philosophy. Specifically, arguments by ideal language philosophers support experimental philosophy. (shrink)
The paper is devoted to the interpretation of one of the most important passages in modern Anglophon philosophy: III.1.3 of Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume. The author considers the problem of its meaning at an angle of the standard interpretation, which can be summed up in a dictum: ‘no ought from is’ (so called “Hume’s Guillotine”). The author outlines four possible approaches to this putative meaning of the Treatise passage and weighs arguments for them. The investigation, based mainly (...) on the strategies by Arthur Prior, Charles Pigden and John Searle, allows to defend two approaches regarding Hume’s putative proposal of is/ought gap: /1/ the idea of logical autonomy of moral discourse, making strong rationality of deduction from is to (non-trivial) ought invalid, together with /2/ the possibility of weak rational (justified) inference from is to ought. However, the comparison of these two accounts with the guts of Humean philosophy as such (critical skepticism, fallibilism, ethical noncognitivism) makes the author prone to give a priority to the latter. (shrink)
The proper task of philosophy is to keep alive awareness of what our most fundamental, important, urgent problems are, what our best attempts are at solving them and, if possible, what needs to be done to improve these attempts. Unfortunately, academic philosophy fails disastrously even to conceive of the task in these terms. It makes no attempt to ensure that universities tackle global problems - global intellectually, and global in the sense of concerning the future of the earth and humanity. (...) Universities do not give sustained attention to global problems (due to specialization and giving priority to the pursuit of knowledge) and as a result violate three of the four most elementary rules of rational problem solving conceivable. Judged from the standpoint of helping humanity tackle global problems, universities as at present constituted betray reason and, as a result, betray humanity. Bereft of institutions of learning rationally designed to help us make progress towards as good and wise a world as possible, not surprisingly we fail to learn how to do it. This is the key crisis of our times. And it is, at root, a failure of philosophy. It is the failure of philosophy to keep alive rational exploration of global problems in universities, and in the public domain - a failure that can be traced back to the origins of modern philosophy in the 17th century. We urgently need a revolution in philosophy so that academic philosophers take up their proper task of promoting rational exploration of our fundamental, global problems. (shrink)
Modality and Anti-Metaphysics critically examines the most prominent approaches to modality among analytic philosophers in the twentieth century, including essentialism. Defending both the project of metaphysics and the essentialist position that metaphysical modality is conceptually and ontologically primitive, Stephen McLeod argues that the logical positivists did not succeed in banishing metaphysical modality from their own theoretical apparatus and he offers an original defence of metaphysics against their advocacy of its elimination. -/- Seeking to assuage the sceptical worries which underlie modal (...) anti-realism, McLeod provides an original contribution to essentialist epistemology, engaging with current debates about modality and suggesting that standard essentialist approaches to some issues in the philosophies of logic and language require revision. -/- This book offers valuable insights to professional philosophers, postgraduates and advanced undergraduates interested in metaphysics, philosophy of logic or the history of twentieth-century analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Between April and November 1912, Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein were engaged in a joint philosophical program. Wittgenstein‘s meeting with Gottlob Frege in December 1912 led, however, to its dissolution – the joint program was abandoned. Section 2 of this paper outlines the key points of that program, identifying what Russell and Wittgenstein each contributed to it. The third section determines precisely those features of their collaborative work that Frege criticized. Finally, building upon the evidence developed in the preceding two (...) sections, section 4 recasts along previously undeveloped lines Wittgenstein‘s logical–philosophical discoveries in the two years following his encounter with Frege in 1912. The paper concludes, in section 5, with an overview of the dramatic consequences the Frege-Wittgenstein critique had for Russell‘s philosophical development. (shrink)
Karl Popper has often been cast as one of the most solitary figures of twentieth-century philosophy. The received image is of a thinker who developed his scientific philosophy virtually alone and in opposition to a crowd of brilliant members of the Vienna Circle. This paper challenges the received view and undertakes to correctly situate on the map of the history of philosophy Popper’s contribution, in particular, his renowned fallibilist theory of knowledge. The motive for doing so is the conviction that (...) the mainstream perspective on Popper’s philosophy makes him more difficult to understand than might otherwise be the case. The thinker who figures most significantly in the account of Popper developed in these pages is Leonard Nelson. Both a neo-Friesian and neo-Kantian, this philosopher deeply influenced Popper through his student Julius Kraft, who met with Popper on numerous occasions in the mid 1920s. It is in the light of this influence that we understand Popper’s recollection that when he criticized the Vienna Circle in the early 1930s, he looked upon himself “as an unorthodox Kantian”. (shrink)
The paper presents a new approach to the history of analytic philosophy. Instead of exploring different kinds of analysis (Michael Beaney), or to marry analytic philosophy to the analytic / synthetic distinction (Scott Soames), we turn attention to the fact that it was rooted in two different types of logical constructing. The discrepancy between the two concepts of logical constructing produced much unclarity in our understanding of analytic philosophy.
One of the leading member of logical positivism, he was born in Orianenburg, Germany, in 1905. Between March 17 and 24, 1982, Hempel gave an interview to Richard Nolan; the text of that interview was published for the first time in 1988 in Italian translation (Hempel, 'Autobiografia intellettuale' in Oltre il positivismo logico , Armando : Rome, Italy : 1988). This interview is the main source of the following biographical notes.
Criticisms of analytic philosophy have increased in intensity in the last decade, denouncing specifically its closing in on itself, which results in barrenness and ignorance of real human problems. The thought of C. S. Peirce is proposed as a fruitful way of renewing the analytic tradition and obviating these criticisms. While this paper is largely a reflection on Hilary Putnam’s study of the historical development of analytic philosophy, not only can some of its main roots be traced (...) back to Peirce, but also the recent resurgence of pragmatism can be regarded as a pragmatist renovation of the analytic tradition. Further, Peirce’s thought offers suggestions for tackling some of the most stubborn problems in contemporary philosophy, thereby enabling us to shoulder once more the philosophical responsibility which has been abdicated by much of twentieth-century philosophy. The most accurate understanding of Peirce is to see him as a traditional and systematic philosopher, but one dealing with the modern problems of science truth, and knowledge from a valuable personal experience as a logician and an experimental researcher in the bosom of an interdisciplinary community of scientists and thinkers. (shrink)
This paper criticizes the assumptions behind Robert Brandom’s reading of Hegel’s Phenomenology, contending that Hegel’s concern with the rational structure of experience, his valorization of reflection over ordinary experience and his idea of the necessit y of progress in knowledge cannot be accommodated within the framework of semantic pragmatism. The central contentions are that Brandom’s pragmatism never comes to terms with Hegel’s idea of truth as a result, leading to a historicist distortion, and also that Brandom’s failure to deal with (...) Hegel’s distinction between natural consciousness and the phenomenological observer collapses Hegel’s phenomenology into a philosophy restricted to the level of natural consciousness. (shrink)
For Ordinary Language philosophy, at issue is the use of the expressions of language, not expressions in and of themselves. So, at issue is not, for example, ordinary versus (say) technical words; nor is it a distinction based on the language used in various areas of discourse, for example academic, technical, scientific, or lay, slang or street discourses – ordinary uses of language occur in all discourses. It is sometimes the case that an expression has distinct uses within distinct discourses, (...) for example, the expression ‘empty space’. This may have both a lay and a scientific use, and both uses may count as ordinary; as long as it is quite clear which discourse is in play, and thus which of the distinct uses of the expression is in play. Though connected, the difference in use of the expression in different discourses signals a difference in the sense with which it is used, on the Ordinary Language view. One use, say the use in physics, in which it refers to a vacuum, is distinct from its lay use, in which it refers rather more flexibly to, say, a room with no objects in it, or an expanse of land with no buildings or trees. However, on this view, one sense of the expression, though more precise than the other, would not do as a replacement of the other term; for the lay use of the term is perfectly adequate for the uses it is put to, and the meaning of the term in physics would not allow speakers to express what they mean in these other contexts. (shrink)
This overview proceeds by outlining, albeit very briefly, something of the historical growth of Thomism, turning then to a brief account of how analytic philosophy in the twentieth century can be viewed in relation to that history, before finally turning to a further consideration of what the phrase “Analytical Thomism,” can be taken to mean in light of this brief historical account.
Given W.V. Quine’s and Donald Davidson’s extensive agreement about much of the philosophy of language and mind, and the obvious methodological parallels between Quine’s radical translation and Davidson’s radical interpretation, many—including Quine and Davidson—are puzzled by their occasional disagreements. I argue for the importance of attending to these disagreements, not just because doing so deepens our understanding of these influential thinkers, but because they are in fact the shadows thrown from two distinct conceptions of philosophical inquiry: Quine’s “naturalism” and what (...) I call Davidson’s “humanism.” The clash between Quine and Davidson thus provides valuable insight into the history of analytic naturalism and its malcontents. (shrink)
Our paper proposes to analyze from a semiotic perspective the process of communication, as conceived within the Palo Alto Group. We will firstly show that, as a result of the Group‟s critiques and revisions of the linear or mechanistic theories of communication, new perspectives are brought about for the essential axes of transformation within communication: we do not communicate as from a distinct atom to another, through an isolated channel, but through parts which are equal to the whole, the whole (...) itself being equal to the parts. This approach has been characterized as “organicist”, studying and understanding communication as a dynamic process where the relationship between the elements is of prime importance. Reciprocal inclusion replaces the discursive aspects of communication and expression replaces representation. The reference point is thus situated beyond the mechanical parts of a whole ready to be dis- and reassembled. We conclude that through this perspective on communication, the notion of interaction between partners and between codes becomes a capital one and that, in this point, semiotics intersects with disciplines such as conversational analysis and the ethnography of communication. (shrink)
Historically, the Vienna Circle and the Dessau Bauhaus were related, with members of each group familiar with the ideas of the other. Peter Galison argues that their projects are related as well, through shared political views and methodological approach. The two main figures that connect the Vienna Circle to the Bauhaus—and the figures upon which Galison focuses—are Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath. Yet the connections that Galison develops do not properly capture the common themes between the Bauhaus and Neurath’s philosophical (...) projects. We demonstrate this by considering Neurath’s philosophical commitments. We suggest different connections between Neurath’s projects and the Bauhaus, connections that are both substantive and philosophically interesting. (shrink)