From his first publication, the Tractatus, to the posthumous publication of the Philosophical Investigations Wittgenstein draws attention to the way in which surface grammatical similarities mask underlying grammatical (or logical) diversity. In the Tractatus he writes.
Naturalism is a term that stands for a family of positions that endorse the general idea of being true to, or guided by, “nature”, an idea as old as Western thought itself (e.g. Aristotle is often called a naturalist) and as various and open-ended as interpretations of “nature”. Since the rise of the modern scientific revolution in the seventeenth century, nature has increasingly come to be identified with the-worldas-studied-by-the-sciences. Consequently, naturalism has come to mean a set of positions defined in (...) terms of the scientific image of nature or the methods of scientific inquiry. In this brief article I shall focus upon explicating three versions of scientific naturalism: 1) naturalism in the arts especially literature; 2) philosophical naturalism; and 3) naturalism in the social sciences. These different naturalisms correspond to different ways of appealing to science, whether it be adopting a scientific stance towards human and social life, or a broadly empirical approach to inquiry in general, or a scientific worldview. Naturalism in field of the arts refers to art that depicts everyday subjects in a ‘realistic’ manner, one free from stylisation, idealization or academic convention. Although the term has been used to describe a style of painting since the late seventeenth century (e.g. Caravaggio’s), it only became an important term of art criticism in the nineteenth century, Gustave Courbet being one of the leading examples. Naturalism as a literary category was first applied to a genre of French fiction exemplified by Emile Zola, which builds on the anti-romantic ‘realist’ fiction of Gustav Flaubert and Honoré de Balzac, writers who deliberately adopt a scientific – that is, detached and objective -- approach to human life. The vision of the human depicted in naturalist literature owes much to a picture of the world suggested by Darwin’s theory of evolution: a purposeless, Godless world of competitive striving where the notion of free will is treated with suspicion.. (shrink)
Wittgenstein has been likened to a Pyrrhonian sceptic, one who employs dialectical skills to avoid rather than defend doctrine, but it is his role in exposing and excavating the sands upon which modern scepticisms have been built that is the subject of this new volume of largely original essays. The first three chapters, by Crispin Wright, Akeel Bilgrami and Michael Williams find inspiration in On Certainty for singling out key moves in the initial set-up of external world scepticism; the next (...) four chapters, by James Conant, Denis McManus, Ilham Dilman and Jane Heal involve discussions of external world (Cartesian) scepticism, semantic (Kantian) scepticism, scepticism about language (linguistic idealism) and the factuality of the mental that are either commentaries on, or discussions inspired by, Wittgenstein’s writings. The last five chapters focus on Stanley Cavell’s important and under-appreciated work on other minds scepticism—a form of scepticism that, on Cavell’s reading, is never far from the surface of Philosophical Investigations. Responses to modern scepticisms can be broadly divided into two categories: (1) Problem- Accepting Responses: those that regard the sceptical problem as legitimate and seek an answer that takes the form of an appropriate justification for (what the sceptic characterizes as) our ordinary knowledge or beliefs; and (2) Problem-Rejecting Reponses: those that regard the sceptical ‘problem’ as illegitimate (and so, not requiring an answer) because of hidden and contestable theoretical commitments or because it subtly transgresses conditions of sensemaking. This is a volume devoted entirely to the second of these categories, responses that are directed to, as McManus puts it, “a layer in which our philosophical questions are constituted”(p. (shrink)
McDowell has argued that external world scepticism is a pressing problem only in so far as we accept, on the basis of the argument from illusion, the claim that perceiving that p and hallucinating that p involve a highest common factor.
The critical concern of the present volume is contemporary naturalism, both in its scientific version and as represented by newly emerging hopes for another, philosophically more liberal, naturalism.1 The papers collected here are state-of-the-art discussions that question the appeal, rational motivations, and presuppositions of scientific naturalism across a broad range of philosophical topics. As an alternative to scientific naturalism, we offer the outlines of a new non- reductive form of naturalism and a more inclusive conception of nature than any provided (...) by the natural sciences. Our authors collectively believe that holding scientific naturalism up for philosophical scrutiny and challenging its misconceptions is of the first importance both for understanding ourselves and our place in the world; and, also, for the future direction of philosophy itself. (shrink)
There has always existed in the world, and there will always continue to exist, some kind of metaphysics, and with it the dialectic that is natural to pure reason. It is therefore the first and most important task of philosophy to deprive metaphysics, once and for all, of its injurious influence, by attacking its errors at their source. - Kant CPR:B xxxi..
Modern skepticism can be usefully divided into two camps: the Cartesian and the Humean.1 Cartesian skepticism is a matter of a theoretical doubt that has little or no practical import in our everyday lives. Its employment concerns whether or not we can achieve a special kind of certain knowledge – something Descartes calls “scientia” 2—that is far removed from our everyday aims or standards of epistemic appraisal. Alternatively, Humean skepticism engages the ancient skeptical concern with whether we have good reason, (...) or any reason at all, for our beliefs, including the common or garden beliefs that are presupposed in our ordinary practical affairs. On this traditional conception, philosophical doubt is a projection of everyday doubt and the lessons of the study are potentially lessons for the street. In this paper I shall focus on the Humean strain of skepticism whose focus concerns whether we have adequate reasons for our beliefs. Henceforth when I speak of skepticism it is this variety of skepticism that I am primarily referring to.3 I want to relate skepticism, so understood, to two kinds of self-knowledge. I shall argue that the failure of past solutions and dissolutions of skepticism to provide a satisfying response to the skeptic can be accounted for in terms of two stances that we can take towards our own.. (shrink)
In Renewing Philosophy (1992), having surveyed a number of metaphysical programs in contemporary analytic philosophy, including Bernard Williams’ appeal to an absolute conception of the world, Ruth Millikan’s attempt to reduce intentionality to biological function, and Nelson Goodman’s irrealism, Putnam concludes as follows: I have argued that the decision of a large part of contemporary analytic philosophy to become a form of metaphysics is a mistake. Indeed, contemporary analytic metaphysics is in many ways a parody of the great metaphysics of (...) the past. As Dewey pointed out, the metaphysics of previous epochs had a vital connection to the culture of those epochs, which is why it was able to change the lives of men and women, and not always for the worse. Contemporary analytic metaphysics has no connection with anything but the “intuitions” of a handful of philosophers. It lacks what Wittgenstein called “weight”. (Putnam 1992, p. 197) If contemporary analytic metaphysics is a mistake then is the point that we should try to revive traditional metaphysical programs? Or should we perhaps renovate metaphysics so that it will, once again, have “a vital connection” to culture? Or, more radically, is the renewal of philosophy that Putnam calls for a vision of a non-metaphysical form of philosophising – what we might call philosophising without philosophical “musts”? That would certainly fit with the invocation of Wittgenstein and Dewey1 whose therapeutic aims seem to stand in stark contrast to the program of constructive metaphysics. And it is undeniable that at least part of Putnam’s vision of what philosophy ought to be involves resisting the revisionist tendencies of substantial metaphysical programs in order to do justice to our everyday life-world. Philosophy, unlike contemporary analytic metaphysics, ought never to lose contact with the question of how we ought to live or with forms of thought that have ‘weight’ in our lives. The question I want to address in this paper is whether this vision spells the end of metaphysics as such or only of a particular kind of metaphysics of which the analytic version is an example? What is the fate of metaphysics on Putnam’s conception? Various features of his position might suggest an end of metaphysics reading in something like the spirit of logical positivism.. (shrink)
William James said that sometimes detailed philosophical argument is irrelevant. Once a current of thought is really under way, trying to oppose it with argument is like planting a stick in a river to try to alter its course: “round your obstacle flows the water and ‘gets there just the same’”. He thought pragmatism was such a river. There is a contemporary river that sometimes calls itself pragmatism, although other titles are probably better. At any rate it is the denial (...) of differences, the celebration of the seamless web of language, the soothing away of distinctions, whether of primary versus secondary, fact versus value, description versus expression, or of any other significant kind. What is left is a smooth, undifferentiated view of language, sometimes a nuanced kind of anthropomorphism or “internal” realism, sometimes the view that no view is possible: minimalism, deflationism, quietism. Wittgenstein is often admired as a high priest of the movement. Planting a stick in this water is probably futile, but having done it before I shall do it again, and—who knows?—enough sticks may make a dam, and the waters of error may subside. (Blackburn, 1998a, 157). (shrink)
This paper is a critical discussion of Quine’s naturalist credos: (1) physicalism; (2) there is no first philosophy; (3) philosophy is continuous with science; and (4) the only responsible theory of the world as a whole is scientific theory. The aim is to show that Quine’s formulations admit of two readings: a strong reading (often Quine’s own) which is compatible with reductive forms of naturalism but implausible; and a mild reading which is plausible but suggestive of more liberal forms of (...) naturalism. The paper ends by claiming that naturalism is a normative doctrine that is inconsistent by its own lights. (shrink)
If Western philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato, then aesthetics is a series of footnotes to Kant. This is as true of the analytic tradition as of the Continental. But there has been an important change of emphasis in the object of inquiry of analytic aesthetics, which predominantly concerns theorising about the experience and criticism of works of art. Kant’s idea of aesthetics as primarily concerned with beauty, or heightened or intensified perceptual experiences of natural phenomena, has largely (...) been eclipsed (but not entirely: e.g., Mothersill 1984). Analytic aesthetics, once considered the neglected step-child of analytic philosophy, is beginning to gain confidence as a significant area of study with much to tell us about human experience, art, taste, expression, representation, interpretation, intention, imagination and reason. In the 1950s analytic philosophers complained of the barrenness of aesthetics, but today as analytic philosophy enters an intense period of self-searching and reassessment, it is to aesthetics that one might profitably turn to gain a better understanding of the complex Kantian origins of the discipline. The most significant Kantian legacy in the aesthetic domain has been the idea of the autonomy of the work of art and our experience of it from other theoretical, practical and sensory aspects of human life. To approach the topic of analytic aesthetics let us first ask, ‘What is analytic philosophy?’, before turning to the analytic approach to aesthetics, and the contribution of its Australasian practitioners. It is familiar that there is no dominant paradigm or practice of analysis engaged in by those who regard themselves as analytic philosophers. Analytic philosophy is closely aligned with the development and application of modern symbolic logic and with the attempt to adopt the methods of the natural sciences or to give them a certain metaphysical priority – which goes some way to explaining the lowly status aesthetics has been accorded in Anglo-American circles of philosophy for most of the twentieth century.. (shrink)
As a worldview, naturalism depends on a set of cognitive commitments from which ﬂow certain propositions about reality and human nature. These propositions in turn might have implications for how we live, for social policy, and for human ﬂourishing. But the presuppositions, basis, and implications of naturalism are not uncontested, and indeed there’s considerable debate about them among naturalists themselves.
The present paper challenges the narrow scientistic conception of Nature that underlies current projects of naturalization involving, say, evaluative or intentional discourse. It is more plausible to hold that science provides only a partial characterization of the natural world. I consider McDowell's articulation of a more liberal naturalism, one which recognizes autonomous normative facts about reasons, meanings and values, as genuine constituents of Nature on a more liberal conception of it. Several critics have claimed that this account is vitiated by (...) the threat of supernaturalism. Responsiveness to normative facts is, I argue, a phenomenological datum that we have good reason to take at face value. I trace the source of the supernaturalist objection to a misreading of McDowell's perceptual analogy with respect to value and a related failing to clearly distinguish physical and logical notions of an object. (shrink)
There are secrets but they are not the secrets of the filmmakers; the whispers remain inaudible to all: *Silencio*. The significance of _Mulholland Dr._ will be revealed indirectly, in a kind of articulate silence, like Kierkegaard's incognito Jesus.
“One should always cherish some ambition to do something in the world. They alone rise who strive.” is the great wording of Dr.Ambedkar. There are two fundamental types of human nature. Creative and possessive. Creative humans use human intellect for creative endeavors which enriches human thought; knowledge and wealth thereby contribute to the development of human heritage for the posterity. Possessive people, on the other hand do not believe in the use of human intellect for creative purpose. Gautam Buddha, Jesus (...) Christ, Guru Nanak, Kabeer, Ravidas, Tukarama, Krantiba Jotirao Phoolay, Periyar and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar they all belong to the great class of Ceative humans called as Humanists in Indian context. Here we studies Ambedkar’s views related to humanism and Buddhism. (shrink)
In October 1775, David Hume wrote to his printer William Strahan, requesting that an ‘Advertisement’ should be attached to remaining copies of the second volume of his Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. This volume contained his two Enquiries, the Dissertation on the Passions, and The Natural History of Religion, and the Advertisement states that these works should ‘alone be regarded as containing his philosophical sentiments and principles’ (E 2). In the covering letter, Hume comments that this ‘is a (...) compleat Answer to Dr Reid and to that bigotted silly Fellow, Beattie.’ (HL ii. 301). My aim here is to try to throw light on what Hume might have meant by this comment, and to assess to what extent it might have been justified. (shrink)
Combining the methods of the modern philosopher with those of the historian of ideas, Knud Haakonssen presents an interpretation of the philosophy of law which Adam Smith developed out of - and partly in response to - David Hume's theory of justice. While acknowledging that the influences on Smith were many and various, Dr Haakonssen suggests that the decisive philosophical one was Hume's analysis of justice in A Treatise of Human Nature and the second Enquiry. He therefore begins with (...) a thorough investigation of Hume, from which he goes on to show the philosophical originality of Smith's new form of natural jurisprudence. At the same time, he provides an over all reading of Smith's social and political thought, demonstrating clearly the exact links between the moral theory of The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the Lectures on Jurisprudence, and the sociohistorical theory of The Wealth of Nations. This is the first full analysis of Adam Smith's jurisprudence; it emphasizes its normative and critical function, and relates this to the psychological, sociological, and histroical aspects which hitherto have attracted most attention. Dr Haakonssen is critical of both purely descriptivist and utilitarian interpretations of Smith's moral and political philosophy, and demonstrates the implausibility of regarding Smith's view of history as pseudo-economic or 'materialist'. (shrink)
David Lewis's book 'On the Plurality of Worlds' mounts an extended defense of the thesis of modal realism, that the world we inhabit the entire cosmos of which we are a part is but one of a vast plurality of worlds, or cosmoi, all causally and spatiotemporally isolated from one another. The purpose of this article is to provide an accessible summary of the main positions and arguments in Lewis's book.
The present education does riot yield required results mainly because it is divorced from the real social content and social goals. We as the citizens of the republic are constitutionally committed to democracy, social justice, equality of opportunity, secularism and above all to a welfare state. Educational policy and educational programmes should not merely equip an individual to adjust with society to its customs and conventions, but it should enable him to bring desirable changes in the society. Every educational institute (...) from secondary school to University College should be developed to become an agency of change, it is the dream of Dr. B.R .Ambedkar. (shrink)
My research work title is “A Philosophical Study of the Concept of Mind (with special reference to Rene Descartes, David Hume and Gilbert Ryle).” In this study we have discussed three conceptions of mind presented by Rene Descartes, David Hume and Gilbert Ryle. All the three thinkers are related to different philosophical traditions known as Rationalism, Empiricism and Analytical Philosophy respectively. Each of these various approaches can be seen as at least partly successful, each provides answers to questions (...) regarded as especially pressing, each apparently solved certain problems. Notoriously, however, each leaves unanswered and unsolved a host of distinct problems as well. (shrink)
David Phillips’s Sidgwickian Ethics is a penetrating contribution to the scholarly and philosophical understanding of Henry Sidgwick’s The Methods of Ethics. This note focuses on Phillips’s understanding of (aspects of) Sidgwick’s argument for utilitarianism and the moral epistemology to which he subscribes. In § I, I briefly outline the basic features of the argument that Sidgwick provides for utilitarianism, noting some disagreements with Phillips along the way. In § II, I raise some objections to Phillips’s account of the epistemology (...) underlying the argument. In § III, I reply to the claim that there is a puzzle at the heart of Sidgwick’s epistemology. In § IV, I respond to Phillips’s claim that Sidgwick is unfair in his argument against the (deontological) morality of common sense. (shrink)
The concept of the self is a highly contested topic. Traditionally it belonged to speculative metaphysics. Almost every philosopher, whether Western or Indian, has tried to explore the nature of self. Generally, the self is taken as a substance which has permanent existence, which is eternal and non-specio-temporal. In some traditions, like the Hindu tradition, it is believed to take rebirth as the body perishes. Many Western philosophers also think that it is immortal. The nature of the self also has (...) then ethical implications. The views of David Hume and Gautama Buddha on the self, which I have chosen to discuss here, are similar. Though both belong to different traditions, both are skeptical of any permanent existence of self. This is not to say that one has borrowed from the other. For the nature and purpose of denial of the self in both the philosophers is different. So a comprehensive and comparative study of their views is very interesting. It is the intention of this article to analyze and compare the philosophical positions of Gautama and Hume on the self—a problem which was of central concern to both and which has since exercised a continuing fascination for philosophers, both of the East and the West. (shrink)
David Lewis claims that his theory of modality successfully reduces modal items to nonmodal items. This essay will clarify this claim and argue that it is true. This is largely an exercise within ‘Ludovician Polycosmology’: I hope to show that a certain intuitive resistance to the reduction and a set of related objections misunderstand the nature of the Ludovician project. But these results are of broad interest since they show that would-be reductionists have more formidable argumentative resources than is (...) often thought. Lewis’s reduction depends on a set of methodological commitments each of which is fairly plausible or at least currently popular, and none of which is particular to modality. The choice of which of these commitments to reject I leave to the discerning antireductionist. The essay proceeds as follows: §1 discusses reduction generally and one or two relevant puzzles; §2 discusses Lewis’s reduction in particular; the longest section, §3 replies to four objections. (shrink)
Primary Works -/- Hume, David(1997) An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, from Philosophical Classics from Plato to Nietzsche, Ed. By Forrest E. Baired & Walter Kaufmann, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. -/- ___________ (1978) A Treatise of Human Nature, Edited by L.A. Selby-Bigge Oxford University Press, London. -/- :___________( 2006) The Understanding(Treatise :Book I), Ed. by Bennettt, Jonathan , The, Radical Academy, -/- Link:http;//www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdf/humebig.pdf.Citation:20-10-2006 -/- Flew, Antony(1962) Hume on Human Nature and the Understanding, Edi. ,Collier Books, New York.
This article argues that there is a great divide between semantics and metaphysics. Much of what is called metaphysics today is still stuck in the linguistic turn. This is illustrated by showing how Fraser MacBride misunderstands David Armstrong's theory of modality.
To enhance the plausibility of naturalistic moral realism, David Copp develops an argument from epistemic defeaters aiming to show that strongly a priori synthetic moral truths do not exist. In making a case for the non-naturalistic position, I locate Copp’s account within the wider literature on peer disagreement; I identify key points of divergence between Copp’s doctrine and conciliatorist doctrines; I introduce the notion of ‘minimal moral competence’; I contend that some plausible benchmarks for minimal moral competence are grounded (...) in substantive moral considerations; and I discuss two forms of spinelessness that Copp’s moral naturalism could result in. (shrink)
La obra del filósofo estadounidense David H. Finkelstein, Expression and the Inner, publicada originariamente en 2003 por Harvard University Press (2ª ed. 2008) puede ahora leerse en la versión española de Lino San Juan, editada por la ovetense KRK Ediciones con el título: La expresión y lo interno. Finkelstein propone en La expresión y lo interno un análisis expresivista del autoconocimiento. Podría parecer cuando menos sorprendente y aún más admirable que con tan sólo dos capítulos (“Detectivismo y constitutivismo” y (...) “Expresión”) y un Epílogo (“Deliberación y transparencia”), Finkelstein haya conseguido presentar en esta obra un planteamiento calificado por muchos como una auténtica renovación de la discusión analítica en torno al tema del autoconocimiento, o sea, acerca del problema de qué clase de autoridad quepa atribuir a las expresiones sobre nuestros propios estados de ánimo y/o nuestros estados mentales sin más. (shrink)
In his most recent book, National Responsibility and Global Justice, David Miller presents an account of human rights grounded on the idea of basic human needs. Miller argues that his account can overcome what he regards as a central problem for human rights theory: the need to provide a ‘non-sectarian’ justification for human rights, one that does not rely on reasons that people from non-liberal societies should find objectionable. The list of human rights that Miller’s account generates is, however, (...) minimal when compared to those found in human rights documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. This article argues that contrary to what Miller claims, his account is ‘sectarian’, since it relies on reasons that some non-liberals should find objectionable given their divergent values. It goes on to question whether ‘sectarianism’, as Miller defines it, is, in any case, a problem for human rights theory. The article concludes that Miller provides us with no reason to abandon commitment to a more extensive list of human rights. (shrink)
Various philosophers, political scientists and writers have given numerous ideas on democracy. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was a relentless champion of human rights and staunch believer in democracy, he said: “Democracy is not a form of government, but a form of social organisation.” In “Prospects of Democracy in India” he analyzed Indian Democracy and said a democracy is more than a form of government. It is primarily a mode of associated living. The roots of democracy are to be searched in the (...) social relationship, in the terms of associated life between the people who form a society. He believed that in democracy revolutionary changes in the economic and social life of the people are brought about without bloodshed. The conditions for that are (i) there should not be glaring inequalities in society, that is, privilege for one class, (ii) the existence of an opposition, (iii) equality in law and administration, (iv) observance of constitutional morality, (v) no tyranny of the majority, (vi) moral order of society, and (vii) public conscience. Addressing the Constituent Assembly, he suggested certain devices essential to maintain democracy: “(i) constitutional methods, (ii) not to lay liberties at the feet of a great man, (iii) make a political democracy a social democracy.” In this article, an attempt has been made to provide an analysis of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar’s critique of democracy in India and discuss his ideal of social democracy. -/- . (shrink)