Wittgenstein is often thought to have undermined the view, attributed to Descartes, that the mental is in a special sense private. In fact this idea of privacyis more plausibly attributed to the empiricists than to Descartes. Nor is Descartes’s own view one that can easily be dismissed. In particular, it can serve to correct a tendency, among Wittgenstein’s followers, to treat the mental in behavioristic terms. The point is illustrated by reference to an issue in Christian theology.
The first part of this paper deals with Mill’s influential criticism of the natural law tradition. According to Mill, this tradition is based on a mistaken conception of nature. This essay argues that Mill’s own view of nature is misconceived and that this misconception leads him to misrepresent the tradition itself. The second part deals with those modern philosophers who reject the natural law tradition but who nevertheless attempt to account for morality as being based on human nature. Certain criticisms (...) are made of their views. The chief criticism is that their views are based on an idea of nature that is no different from Mill’s. (shrink)
Naturalism refers to the naturalism of the Scottish school of "Common Sense" philosophy. Contrary to popular belief which regards Hume primarily as an empiricist, Mounce regards him as a naturalist, and shows how his philosophy combined both empiricist and naturalist tendencies. This book provides an overall perspective of Hume's work, and deals specifically with his masterpieces, The Treatise on Human Nature and The Dialogues On Natural Religion . H. O. (...) Mounce's interpretation is clear, and written in an elegant style. (shrink)
The Two Pragmatisms - From Peirce to Rorty maps the main movements within the pragmatist tradition. Two distinct forms of pragmatism are identified, that of Peirce and that of the "second" pragmatism stemming from James' interpretation of Peirce and seen in the work of Dewey and, above all, Rorty. Both the influential work of Rorty and the way in which he has transformed contemporary philosophy's understanding of pragmatism are clearly explained. The Two Pragmatisms - From Peirce to Rorty is essential (...) reading for those interested in the history of this increasingly influential movement, whether first-time philosophers or more advanced readers. (shrink)