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Profile: Alan Schwerin
  1. Alan Schwerin (2015). Can the Self Be a Brain? Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 19 (2): 235 - 246.
    Philosophical materialists suggest that a person can be identified with their brain. My paper is a critical investigation of this provocative thesis and an analysis of some of the prominent arguments to support this view. My overall argument is that there is more to this issue than some philosophers appear to acknowledge.
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  2. Alan Schwerin (2015). Language and Hume's Search for a Theory of the Self. Metaphysica: Internationale Fachzeitschrift Für Ontologie Und Metaphysik (Issue 2):139 - 158.
    In his Treatise Hume makes a profound suggestion: philosophical problems, especially problems in metaphysics, are verbal. This view is most vigorously articulated and defended in the course of his investigation of the problem of the self, in the section “Of personal identity.” My paper is a critical exploration of Hume's arguments for this influential thesis and an analysis of the context that informs this 1739 version of the nature of philosophical problems that anticipates the linguistic turn in philosophy. -/- .
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  3. Alan Schwerin (2015). On Hume's Defense of Berkeley. Open Journal of Philosophy 5 (6):327 - 337.
    In 1739 Hume bequeathed a bold view of the self to the philosophical community that would prove highly influential, but equally controversial. His bundle theory of the self elicited substantial opposition soon after its appearance in the Treatise of Human Nature. Yet Hume makes it clear to his readers that his views on the self rest on respectable foundations: namely, the views of the highly regarded Irish philosopher, George Berkeley. As the author of the Treatise sees it, his account of (...)
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  4. Alan Schwerin (1999). A Lady, Her Philosopher And A Contradiction. Russell 19 (1).
    Nineteen eleven was a tumultuous year for Bertrand Russell, both personally and academically. The intense scholarly activity of 1911 that resulted in an impressive set of diverse academic publications and manuscripts was accompanied by a number of personal entanglements that were equally intense for Russell. Two of these relationships would prove to be especially strained. Late Wednesday afternoon, 18 October 1911, Russell met Ludwig Wittgenstein for the first time. As we know from the numerous accounts available on their relationship, the (...)
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  5.  40
    Alan Schwerin (2013). Russell on Hume's Account of the Self. Russell 33 (1):31 - 47.
    The History of Western Philosophy enhanced Russell’s broad reputation among members of the public and helped secure his finances. But the academic community was less enthusiastic about the text and tended to treat it with contempt. My paper is a critical investigation of one of the central chapters of Russell’s History: namely, Russell’s rendition of David Hume’s views on the self. My argument is that Russell’s concise treat­ment of le bon David’s provocative views on the self must be read with (...)
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  6.  16
    Alan Schwerin (2014). "Is Hume's Account of the Soul Contradictory?". International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 2 (4):61 - 68.
    In his Treatise of Human Nature Hume argues for a provocative account of the soul; the soul - or self, as he prefers to call it - is nothing but a bundle of perceptions. But this bold thesis, concedes Hume, gives rise to a predicament concerning two incompatible propositions, or principles as he calls them: one on the nature of perceptions, the other on the capabilities of the mind: "In short, there are two principles, which I cannot render consistent; nor (...)
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  7.  91
    Alan Schwerin (2012). Hume's Labyrinth. Annales Philosophici 5:69 - 84.
    In the appendix to his Treatise Hume admits that his philosophy of mind is defective. Reluctantly he asserts that his thought has ensnared him in a labyrinth. Referring specifically to the section in the Treatise on personal identity and the self, the young Scot admits that he is “involv’d in such a labyrinth, that, I must confess, I neither know how to correct my former opinions, nor how to render them consistent.” (Treatise 633) My paper is a critical investigation of (...)
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  8.  4
    Alan Schwerin (2002). Our Statements Are Likely to Be Wrong: On Russell's Big Thesis. In Bertrand Russell on Nuclear War, Peace and Language: Critical and Historical Essays. Praeger 91 - 115.
    What is the relationship between Russell's conception of philosophy and that of the author of the Tractatus, Ludwig Wittgenstein? My paper is an attempt to show that Russell and the early Wittgenstein do not share the same conception of philosophy and that the fault lines of their divergent views can be located in The Problems of Philosophy i,e, before the traditionally cited Theory of Knowledge manuscript.
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  9.  97
    Alan Schwerin (2012). Hume on the Self. Metaphysica 13 (1):65-85.
    In the Treatise Hume argues that a person is “nothing but a bundle of perceptions”. But what precisely is the meaning of this bundle thesis of a person? In my paper, an attempt is made to articulate two plausible interpretations of this controversial view and to identify and evaluate a number of problems for this thesis that is central to Hume’s account of the self.
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  10.  20
    Alan Schwerin (1996). The Rise of Modern Philosophy. The Leibniz Review 6:149-154.
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  11.  3
    Alan Schwerin (2002). Metaphysics, Mysticism and Russell. Contemporary Philosophy (1 & 2): 45 - 50.
    Towards the end of 1911, Russell complains that philosophy has unfortunately not produced a set of religious beliefs that he can rely on in his personal life. Early in his career philosophy had appeared very promising. But the adoption of G.E. Moores's philosophical views put paid to the "last hope of getting any creed out of philosophy". My paper is an attempt to show that Russell ought to celebrate, and not complain about the products of his philosophical endeavours. His correspondence (...)
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  12.  42
    Alan Schwerin (2007). Hume and The Self: A Critical Response. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 5 (1):15-30.
    In the discussion of personal identity, from his Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume reaches a famous, if notorious conclusion: there is no self. We are “nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions” (T 252). My argument is that Hume's thesis on the self rests on a questionable rejection of a rival view that appears to commit the fallacy of equivocation. Along the way I identify a few possible problems with Hume's overall analysis of the self. My argument (...)
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  13.  1
    Alan Schwerin (1999). Some Remarks on Russell's Account of Vagueness. Contemporary Philosophy 3: 52 - 57.
    According to Russell, the notation in Principia Mathematica has been designed to avoid the vagueness endemic to our natural language. But what does Russell think vagueness is? My argument is an attempt to show that his views on vagueness evolved and that the final conception he adopts is not coherent. Three phases of his conception of vagueness are identified, the most significant being the view that he articulates on vagueness in his 1923 address to the Jowett Society. My central thesis (...)
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  14.  14
    Alan Schwerin (1998). Some Questions About Kant's “Clear Question”. Southwest Philosophy Review 14 (2):1-15.
    Kant's correspondence with his colleague and zealous disciple, Marcus Herz, was prophetic: only a few will understand the Critique of Pure Reason. Unfortunately, the problems are intractable and the necessary conceptual scheme to deal with the problems requires a "complete change of thinking in this part of human knowledge". But eventually people will "get over the initial numbness" Kant reassures another correspondent, Christian Garve. Fortunately, he suggests, there is a central question at the foundation of his difficult thought - a (...)
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  15.  13
    Alan Schwerin (1995). Hume's Paradoxical Thesis and His Critics. Southwest Philosophy Review 11 (2):65-72.
    Hume warns his readers that his view on necessity will not be understood by his critics. As he sees it, his view is paradoxical: Necessity is "nothing but an internal impression of the mind, or a determination to carry our thought from one object to another". Recent critics find it difficult to accept Hume's view and have done their best to interpret it in their way. My paper is a critical investigation of the attempts by Pears, Baier and Stoud to (...)
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  16.  12
    Alan Schwerin (1996). Some Thoughts on Thinking and Teaching Styles. Inquiry 16 (1):48-54.
    Descartes provides us with an invaluable framework for thinking critically. And his views on personhood can serve both as a guide for critical thinking and as a means to sharpen some of the concepts central to these programs. My paper is an attempt to illustrate the effectiveness of the seventeenth century Cartesian conception of thinking for scholars today who stress critical thinking in the classroom.
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  17.  11
    Alan Schwerin (1989). Hume on Our Notion of Causality. Philosophy 64 (247):104 - 106.
    Does Hume want to weaken our notion of causality? For some he does. My paper is an attempt to refute this interpretation of Hume. My analysis of the texts is an attempt to show that Hume actually endorses the view that the idea of necessary connection, that is associated with the idea of causality, is important and that this idea does exist. Furthermore, this idea is produced by an interesting impression. This impression is unusual as it is a specific internal (...)
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  18.  4
    Alan Schwerin (1989). An Analysis of Two Accounts on the Sense of Singular Terms. Dialectica 42 (3):221-231.
    This paper is a critical investigation of Gottlob Frege's and Bertrand Russell's views on the sense or meaning of singular terms. In his famous "On denoting" Russell erects his case on objections that he raises against Frege. I suggest that Russell's criticisms of Frege are seriously misguided, due in large measure to the uneven applications of his terminology when addressing Frege's views.
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  19.  9
    Alan Schwerin (1983). Some Comments on the Begriffsschrift and Natural Language. Philosophical Papers 12 (2):32-38.
    If the begriffsschrift from Frege does represent the logical form of natural language it either lacks a logical form itself, or its logical form is different to that of natural language. But Frege insists that his notation has a logical form. So the second disjunct holds. This suggests that Frege's notation will generate consequences different to those that can be derived with natural language, with its different logical form. For anyone looking for "a means of avoiding misunderstandings", as Frege does, (...)
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  20.  6
    Alan Schwerin (1984). Semantic Holism and Observation Statements. Philosophical Papers 13 (2):19-27.
    Quine's views on semantic holism and observation statements appear to be incompatible. My paper is an attempt to alleviate this tension.
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  21.  1
    Alan Schwerin (1989). The Reluctant Revolutionary: An Essay on David Hume's Account of Necessary Connection. Peter Lang Publishing.
    Hume's contributions to discussions on causality and necessary connection are significant and influential. Yet they remain a source of ongoing debate among philosophers. The analysis in my book is an attempt to dissipate some of the perplexities that surround these issues. The arguments here support what I call a subjectivist interpretation of Hume's views on necessary connection. My central thesis is the suggestion that Hume identifies necessary connection or power with a specific psychological dispositon of the mind "to carry our (...)
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  22.  18
    Alan Schwerin (ed.) (2002). Bertrand Russell on Nuclear War, Peace, and Language: Critical and Historical Essays. Praeger.
    This edited collection of original essays by prominent Russell scholars focuses on the philosopher's positions on the key issues of nuclear war, peace, and ...
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  23.  5
    Alan Schwerin (2012). Hume's Labyrinth: A Search for the Self. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    In his magnum opus, David Hume asserts that a person is “nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement.” (Treatise 252) Hume is clearly proud of his bold thesis, as is borne out by his categorical arguments and analyses on the self. Contributions like this will, in his opinion, help establish a new science of human nature, “which will not be inferior in certainty, (...)
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  24. Alan Schwerin (1989). On Hume's Search for the Source of the Idea of Necessary Connection. South African Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):30-40.
     
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  25. Alan Schwerin (ed.) (2011). Reason and Belief: Great Issues in Philosophy. Whittier Publications.
    This is a collection of brilliant and often lucid philosophical writings that will appeal to and engage students new to philosophy. Spanning the entire history of philosophy, the collection contains material from the Upanishads, Socrates, Aquinas, the British Empiricists, the Continental Philosophers and some of the leading analytic philosophers.
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  26.  12
    Alan Schwerin (ed.) (2008). Russell Revisited: Critical Reflections on the Thought of Bertrand Russell. Cambridge Scholars Pub..
    Bertrand Russell has played a central role in the development of modern western philosophy, especially analytic philosophy. An appreciation of the main themes and arguments of the thinkers who contributed to this modern movement in philosophy must include references to and analyses of Russell’s important contributions. It would seem that many do recognize the significance of his thought and have shown this in a somewhat dramatic manner. Russell’s Google number, for instance, is about 2.35 million. If the number of entries (...)
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  27. Alan K. Schwerin (1993). The Expanding Universe an Introduction to Philosophy. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  28. Alan Schwerin (1999). Victory is Ours: Some Thoughts on Apartheid and Christianity. Janus Head 2 (1).
    In September 1982 then Bishop Desmond Tutu appeared before the Eloff Commission of Inquiry. After politely explaining the activities of the South African Council of Churches to the government appointed commission, Tutu ended on a defiant note: -/- God's purposes are certain. They [i.e. the S.A. government] may remove a Tutu; they may remove the South African Council of Churches, but God's intention to establish His Kingdom of justice, of love, of compassion, will not be thwarted. We are not scared, (...)
     
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