A stellar group of philosophers offer new works on themes from the great philosophy of Wittgenstein, honoring one of his most eminent interpreters David Pears. This collection covers both the early and the later work of Wittgenstein, relating it to current debates in philosophy. Topics discussed include solipsism, ostension, rules, necessity, privacy, and consciousness.
In this compelling analysis David Pears examines the foundations of Hume's theory of the mind as presented in the first book of the Treatise. Past studies have tended to take one of two extreme views: that Hume relies exclusively on a theory of meaning, or that he relies exclusively on a theory of truth and evidence. Steering a middle course between these positions, Pears argues that Hume's theory of ideas serves both functions. He examines in detail its application to three (...) difficult problems: causation, personal identity, and sense perception. Hume's solutions, Pears argues, are not theories that can be given a place in standard classification of philosophical theories, but rather depend upon a subtle form of naturalism not altogether unlike Wittgenstein's naturalism. A clearly written and argued study, Hume's System will be of special interest to students and scholars of the history of philosophy. (shrink)
In this volume, Pears examines the internal organization of Wittgenstein's thought and the origins of his philosophy to provide unusually clear insight into the philosopher's ideas. Part I surveys the whole of Wittgenstein's work, while Part II details the central concepts of his early system; both reveal how the details of Wittgenstein's work fit into its general pattern.
This book is about self-deception and lack of self-control or wishful thinking and acting against one's own better judgement. Steering a course between the skepticism of philosophers, who find the conscious defiance of reason too paradoxical, and the tolerant empiricism of psychologists, it compares the two kinds of irrationality, and relates the conclusions drawn to the views of Freud, cognitive psychologists, and such philosophers as Aristotle, Anscombe, Hare and Davidson.
Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in Vienna in 1889 and died in Cambridge in 1951. He studied engineering, first in Berlin and then in Manchester, and he soon began to ask himself philosophical questions about the foundations of mathematics. What are numbers? What sort of truth does a mathematical equation possess? What is the force of proof in pure mathematics? In order to find the answers to such questions, he went to Cambridge in 1911 to work with Russell, who had just (...) produced in collaboration with Whitehead (1861-1947) Principia Mathematica (1910-1913), a monumental treatise which bases mathematics on logic. But on what is logic based? Wittgenstein's attempt to answer this question convinced Russell that he was a genius. During the 1914-8 war he served in the Austrian army and in spare moments continued the work on the foundations of logic which he had begun in 1912. His war-time journal, Notebook s 1914-16 (1961), reveals the development of his ideas more clearly that the final version, Tractatus Logico- Philosophicus, which he published in the early 1920s. (shrink)