Abstract Contrary to most modern interpretations, in the early modern period, history was an indispensable resource for many philosophers. The different uses of history by Bacon, Gassendi, Locke, and Hume are explored to establish the role of history as a resource in early-modern philosophy.
There are a large number of disciplines that are interested in the theoretical aspects of the history of thought. Their perspectives and subjects may vary, but fundamentally they have a common research interest: the history of human thinking and its products. Despite this, they are studied in relative isolation. I argue that having different subjects as specific objects of research, such as political or scientific thinking, is not a valid justification for the separation. I propose the formation of (...) a new integrated field of study, the philosophy of the history of thought. Its most fundamental questions can be taken to be: 1) What is the basic theoretical unit in the history of thought? 2) How does change take place and how can it be described? 3) What kind of reasons are there for change? Why is there a change in a particular case? The existing confusions around the commitments and basic vocabulary used in contemporary historiography makes the establishment of this field important. Recognizing that there is such a discipline is necessary in order to enable concentration on the fundamental theoretical issues. It is likely that progress on theoretical questions and better awareness of the implicit commitments would have a positive impact on historical practice. (shrink)
From a phenomenological perspective of game-space and horizon, this paper tries to make a deconstructive reading of Hegel's "two galleries", namely, "the gallery of opinions" and "the gallery of knowledge", which are mentioned in the introduction of Hegel's Lectures on the History of Philosophy. The reading shows that the Game-space or the ab-gruendiger Grund of the Hegelian concept of philosophical history lies in an originally differencing space that is keeping in absence, which is called by Edmund Husserl (...) and Jacques Derrida "the gallery of Dresden". (shrink)
Abstract In this essay I trace the role of history in the philosophy of art from the early twentieth century to the present, beginning with the rejection of history by formalists like Clive Bell. I then attempt to show how the arguments of people like Morris Weitz and Arthur Danto led to a re-appreciation of history by philosophers of art such as Richard Wollheim, Jerrold Levinson, Robert Stecker and others.
History and philosophy complement and overlap each other in subject matter, but the two disciplines exhibit conflict over methodology. Since Hempel's challenge to historians that they should adopt the covering law model of explanation, the methodological conflict has revolved around the respective roles of the general and the particular in each discipline. In recent years, the revival of narrativism in history, coupled with the trend in philosophy of science to rely upon case studies, joins the methodological (...) conflict anew. So long as contemporary philosophy of science relies upon history's methodology to construct its case studies, it subjects itself to a paradoxical situation: the better the history, the worse the philosophy. An example of the methodological conflict is presented in the case of Antoine Lavoisier. This example also serves our ultimateconclusion, which is that distinctively philosophical methods of case-study design promise enhanced prescriptive powers for philosophy of science. (shrink)
Assume for the sake of argument that doing philosophy is intrinsically valuable, where ‘doing philosophy’ refers to the practice of forging arguments for and against the truth of theses in the domains of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, etc. The practice of the history of philosophy is devoted instead to discovering arguments for and against the truth of ‘authorial’ propositions, i.e. propositions that state the belief of some historical figure about a philosophical proposition. I explore arguments to think (...) that doing history of philosophy is valuable, specifically, valuable in such a way that its value does not reduce to the value of doing philosophy. Most such arguments proffered by historians of philosophy fail egregiously, as I show. I then offer a proposal about what makes doing history of philosophy uniquely valuable, but it is one that many historians will not find agreeable. (shrink)
Luce Irigaray's work does not present an obvious resource for projects seeking to reclaim women in the history of philosophy. Indeed, many authors introduce their reclamation project with an argument against conceptions, attributed to Irigaray or “French feminists” more generally, that the feminine is the excluded other of discourse. These authors claim that if the feminine is the excluded other of discourse, then we must conclude that even if women have written philosophy they have not given voice (...) to feminine subjectivity; therefore, reclamation is a futile project. In this essay, I argue against such conclusions. Rather, I argue, Irigaray's work requires that philosophy be transformed through the reclamation of women's writing. She gives us a method of reclamation for the most difficult cases: those in which we have no record of women's writing. Irigaray offers this method through an engagement with the character of Diotima in Plato's Symposium. The method Irigaray demonstrates is reclamation as love. (shrink)
Although history is the pre-eminent part of the gallant sciences, philosophers advise against it from fear that it might completely destroy the kingdom of darkness—that is, scholastic philosophy—which previously has been wrongly held to be a necessary instrument of theology.
The end of history by Fukuyama is mainly based on Hegel’s treatise of the end of history and Kojeve’s corresponding interpretation. But Hegel’s end of history is a purely philosophical question, i.e., an ontological premise that must be fulfilled to complete absolute knowledge. When Kojeve further demonstrates its universal and homogeneous state, Fukuyama extends it into a political view: The victory of the Western system of freedom and democracy marks the end of the development of human (...) class='Hi'>history and Marxist theory and practice. This is a misunderstanding of Hegel. Marx analyzes, scientifically, the historical limitation of Western capitalism and maintains, by way of a kind of revolutionary teleology, the expectation of and belief in human liberation, which is the highest historical goal. His philosophy of history is hence characterized by theoretical elements from both historical scientificalness and historical teleology. (shrink)
This article addresses the writing of the history of Russian philosophy from the first of such works—Archimandrite Gavriil’s Russian Philosophy [ Russkaja filosofija , 1840]—to philosophical histories/textbooks in the twenty-first century. In the majority of these histories, both past and present, we find a relentless insistence on the delineation of “characterizing traits” of Russian philosophy and appeals to “historiosophy,” where historiosophy is employed as being distinct from the historiographical method. In the 1990s and 2000s, the genre (...) of the history of Russian philosophy has grown increasingly conservative with regards to content, with histories from this period demonstrating an almost exclusive Orthodox focus. This conservatism, in turn, has contributed to widespread contention in recent years over the status of these philosophical textbooks—disagreements that often lead to either (1) further appeals to “historiosophical” methods; or (2) denials of the domestic philosophical tradition altogether, where the response to the query “Is there philosophy in Russia?” is emphatically negative. This article argues that the contemporary disputes over the development and preservation of the Russian philosophical canon are in many ways part of a larger debate over the roles of Orthodoxy and the history of philosophy in post-Soviet philosophical thought. (shrink)
Since antiquity well into the beginnings of the 20th century geometry was a central topic for philosophy. Since then, however, most philosophers of science, if they took notice of topology at all, considered it as an abstruse subdiscipline of mathematics lacking philosophical interest. Here it is argued that this neglect of topology by philosophy may be conceived of as the sign of a conceptual sea-change in philosophy of science that expelled geometry, and, more generally, mathematics, from the (...) central position it used to have in philosophy of science and placed logic at center stage in the 20th century philosophy of science. Only in recent decades logic has begun to loose its monopoly and geometry and topology received a new chance to find a place in philosophy of science. (shrink)
History, Philosophy and Science Teaching argues that science teaching and science teacher education can be improved if teachers know something of the history and philosophy of science and if these topics are included in the science curriculum. The history and philosophy of science have important roles in many of the theoretical issues that science educators need to address: the goals of science education; what constitutes an appropriate science curriculum for all students; how science should (...) be taught in traditional cultures; what integrated science is; how scientific literacy can be promoted; and the conflict which can occur between science curriculum and deep-seated religious or cultural values and knowledge. In part, answers to these questions hinge on views about the nature of science, views that are best informed by historical and philosophical study. Outlining the history of liberal, or contextual, approaches to the teaching of science, Michael Matthews elaborates contemporary curriculum developments that explicitly address questions about the nature and the history of science. He provides examples of classroom teaching and develops useful arguments on constructivism, multicultural science education and teacher education. The book will appeal to school and university science teachers, educators of science teachers, and historians and philosophers of science. (shrink)
This essay is a case study of the self-destruction that occurs in the work of a social-constructionist historian of science who embraces a radical philosophy of science. It focuses on Thomas Laqueur's Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud in arguing that a history of science committed to the social construction of science and to the central theses of Kuhnian, Duhemian, and Quinean philosophy of science is incoherent through self-reference. Laqueur's text is examined in (...) detail in order to make the main point; a similar phenomenon in the work of the feminist historian of science Evelyn Fox Keller is then briefly discussed. (shrink)
This paper uses analogies between Socratic and Wittgenseinian dialogues to argue that analytic philosophy of history should not be abandoned. -/- In their responses to my paper ‘In Defence of Four Socratic Doctrines’ James Warren and John Shand raised a number of important methodological objections, relating to the study of the history of philosophy. I here respond by questioning the supremacy of contextualist history of philosophy over the so-called ‘analytic’ approach. I conclude that the (...)history of ideas had better leave space for both approaches, and that it is a mistake to think of each as being in competition with the other. (shrink)
Hasok Chang (Science & Education 20:317–341, 2011) shows how the recovery of past experimental knowledge, the physical replication of historical experiments, and the extension of recovered knowledge can increase scientific understanding. These activities can also play an important role in both science and history and philosophy of science education. In this paper I describe the implementation of an integrated learning project that I initiated, organized, and structured to complement a course in history and philosophy of the (...) life sciences (HPLS). The project focuses on the study and use of descriptions, observations, experiments, and recording techniques used by early microscopists to classify various species of water flea. The first published illustrations and descriptions of the water flea were included in the Dutch naturalist Jan Swammerdam’s, Historia Insectorum Generalis (1669) (Algemeene verhandeling van de bloedeloose dierkens. t’Utrrecht, Meinardus van Dreunen, ordinaris Drucker van d’Academie). After studying these, we first used the descriptions, techniques, and nomenclature recovered to observe, record, and classify the specimens collected from our university ponds. We then used updated recording techniques and image-based keys to observe and identify the specimens. The implementation of these newer techniques was guided in part by the observations and records that resulted from our use of the recovered historical methods of investigation. The series of HPLS labs constructed as part of this interdisciplinary project provided a space for students to consider and wrestle with the many philosophical issues that arise in the process of identifying an unknown organism and offered unique learning opportunities that engaged students’ curiosity and critical thinking skills. (shrink)
Richard Koch1 became known in the 1920s with works on basic medical theory. Among these publications, the character of medical action and its status within the theory of science was presented as the most important theme. While science is inherently driven by the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, medicine pursues the practical purpose of helping the sick. Therefore, medicine must be seen as an active relationship between a helping and a suffering person. While elucidating this relationship, Koch discusses (...) the fundamental elements of medicine found in natural philosophy and the relationship of medicine to its own history. One of his aims is to unite natural history and the history of ideas without reducing intellectual processes to biological ones. Koch considers free will as something intuitively certain. It must serve as an axiom which will capture human as well as non-human reality. Based on the fact that human free will, considered a psychic quality, evolved out of inanimate matter, Koch grants matter (proto-) psychic qualities. They are evoked through specific constellations of matter. – With regard to history, Koch rejects the notion of constant progress. The history of medicine has provided insights that cannot be surpassed but can be obscured. Historical self-contemplation serves as a means for avoiding any deviations which may prevent medicine from fulfiling its ultimate purpose. Koch connects nature and history through the concept of a unity between natural history and the historical development of medicine. Medicine is considered an especially complex development of a purposive reaction to harmful stimuli, a reaction which can already be encountered in unicellular organisms. Without intending to reduce historical and mental processes to biological ones, Koch sets for himself the aim of gathering different phenomena and presenting them in one encapsulating unity. (shrink)
This article's goal is to outline one approach to providing a principled answer to the question of what is the proper relationship between philosophy and the study of philosophy's history, a question arising, for example, in the design of a curriculum for graduate students. This approach requires empirical investigation of philosophizing past and present, and thus takes philosophy as an object of study in something like the way that contemporary (naturalistic) philosophy of science takes science (...) as an object of study. This approach also requires articulating a sense in which philosophy might make, or might have made, progress. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to consider the standard objections put against the construction of metanarratives in the philosophy of history. The author distinguishes following intelectual sources questioning the grasp of Entirety in the philosophy of history: anti-naturalistic German philosophy of science, dogmatic Marxism, liberalism and postmodernism. Analysis of the content of these stances allows for disclose of hidden methodological and theoretical premises which are responsible for misunderstanding and critique of the historiosophical discourse.
The Philosophy of R.G. Collingwood W. J. Van Der Dussen. Collingwood's conclusion is that " ... science, even at its best, always falls short of understanding the facts as they really are"88. Only history is able to realize this. It is another ...
Abstract Recently, some philosophers of psychiatry (viz., Rachel Cooper and Dominic Murphy) have analyzed the issue of psychiatric classification. This paper expands upon these analyses and seeks to demonstrate that a consideration of the history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) can provide a rich and informative philosophical perspective for critically examining the issue of psychiatric classification. This case is intended to demonstrate the importance of history for philosophy of psychiatry, and more generally, (...) the potential benefits of historically-informed approaches to philosophy of science. (shrink)
Although first published in 1969, the methodological views advanced in Quentin Skinner's “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” remain relevant today. In his article Skinner suggests that it would be inappropriate to even attempt to write the history of any idea or concept. In support of this view, Skinner advances two arguments, one derived from the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein and the other from that of J. L. Austin. In this paper I focus on (...) the first of these arguments. I claim that the conclusion which Skinner draws from this particular argument does not necessarily follow and that an alternative assessment of the methodological significance of Wittgenstein's philosophy for historians of ideas is possible. On this alternative view, far from ruling out conceptual history, an appeal to the view of meaning set out in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations leads to a quite different conclusion, namely that the writing of such a history is arguably a necessary precondition for the elucidation of the meaning of a number of the core concepts in the canon of the history of political thought. Skinner's views have changed somewhat since 1969. Indeed, from the mid 1970s onwards he came to relax the strict opposition to the idea of conceptual history to which he was then committed. The paper concludes by noting that this evolution in Skinner's thinking has made him much more sympathetic than anybody reading “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” would have imagined to the research project of the Begriffgeschichte School of conceptual history. (shrink)
Historians of philosophy are increasingly likely to emphasize the extent to which their work offers a pay-off for philosophers of un-historical or anti-historical inclinations; but this defence is less familiar, and often seems less than self-evident, to intellectual historians. This article examines this tendency, arguing that such arguments for the instrumental value of historical scholarship in philosophy are often more problematic than they at first appear. Using the relatively familiar case study of René Descartes' reading of his scholastic (...) and Aristotelian contemporaries, the article attempts to problematize this notion of pay-off from an historian's perspective. (shrink)
Kant’s use of the terms ‘Nature’ and ‘Providence’ in his essays on history has long puzzled commentators. Kant personifies Nature and Providence in a curious way, by speaking of them as “deciding” to give humankind certain predispositions, “wanting” these to be developed, and “knowing” what is best for humans Moreover, he leaves the relationship between the two terms unclear. In this essay, I argue that Kant’s use of ‘Nature’ and ‘Providence’ can be clarified and explained. Moreover, I show that (...) Kant’s use of the terms is symptomatic of a much more important and not sufficiently appreciated fact about Kant’s philosophy of history, viz., that it fulfils a function in both his theoretical and his practical philosophy. (shrink)
In the course of the history of science, some concepts have forged theoretical foundations, constituting paradigms that hold sway for substantial periods of time. Research on the history of explanations of the action of one body on another is a testament to the periodic revival of one theory in particular, namely, the theory of ether. Even after the foundation of modern Physics, the notion of ether has directly and indirectly withstood the test of time. Through a spontaneous physics (...) philosophical analysis, this article will explore how certain aspects of the concept of ether have appeared in different branches of the history of science. (shrink)
The careful historical and metaphilosophical attention recently bestowed upon analytic philosophy has revealed that traditional ways of defining it are inadequate. In the face of this inadequacy, contemporary authors have proposed new definitions that detach analytic philosophy from its turn of the twentieth century origins. I argue that this contemporary trend in defining analytic philosophy is misguided, and that it diminishes the likelihood of our coming to an accurate historical and metaphilosophical understanding of it. This is especially (...) unsatisfactory since such understanding is essential to finding an adequate remedy for the widely perceived ills of contemporary analytic philosophy. I suggest that a more fruitful approach to developing such understanding might begin with treating the unity of analytic philosophy as illusory. (shrink)
The increasingly common use of inclusive language (e.g., "he or she") in representing past philosophers' views is often inappropriate. Using Immanuel Kant's work as an example, I compare his use of terms such as "human race" and "human being" with his views on women to show that his use of generic terms does not prove that he includes women. I then discuss three different approaches to this issue, found in recent Kant-literature, and show why each of them is insufficient. I (...) conclude that the tension between gender-neutral and gender-specific views in Kant's work should be made explicit, and I offer several strategies for doing so. (shrink)
There are many difficulties with the existing interpretation of Brentano’s works. The problem stems from the fact that Brentano’s works, letters, manuscripts, memoir’s, etc. remain unpublished or undiscovered. Moreover some Brentano’s scholars, namely Kastil and Mayer-Hillebrandt, were incorrect in their method in publishing the philosopher’s works. Namely, they misinterpreted his earlier works by incorporating numerous interpolations from different time periods as being the philosopher’s final thoughts. More importantly, as evidenced by Antonio Russo’s recent discovery, they also failed to realise the (...) fact that Brentano’s own theoretical views or works were mostly based on Aristotle and Thomas thoughts on metaphysics, that Brentano’s main intention was to develop a scientific demonstration on this topic, and that this issue occupied his mind until his death. It is hoped that this paper goes some way in resolving the said errors and coupled with the continue discovery of new material that the jigsaw of Brentano’s works and thinking shall someday be correctly completed. (shrink)
This article examines Gilles Deleuze's methodological approach to the history of philosophy. While Deleuze's readings of past philosophers may not stand up to the standards set by the scholarly history of philosophy, they may be approached more productively as a continuation of the approach developed by the ancient and medieval commentary tradition.
: Two recent articles described two ways of writing the history of philosophy, one analytic, the other historical, as if the history of philosophy cannot be both analytically sharp and contextually informed at the same time. I recommend the practice of "Philosophical History of Philosophy," which combines the advantages of the analytic and historical methods.
Among many important claims, Allen Wood in Kant's Ethical ought proposes that Kant's philosophy of history can be grasped as a "naturalist" approach, grounding human nature in biology. I suggest some reservations. First, I question Kant's conception of biology as (a still emergent) science. Second, I question Kant's extension of his notion of "natural predisposition" to reason and freedom. Third, I question the naturalism of Kant's philosophy of history by suggesting the excessive role providence must play (...) in Kant's account. The upshot is to find Kant's philosophy of history one of the less persuasive elements in his system of thought, despite Wood's energetic effort at a contemporary reconstruction. (shrink)
There are at least three ways to write the history of philosophy. Some historians of philosophy emphasize the context and development of ideas, concentrating on the intellectual, social, and personal factors that affect the way philosophers have thought about their subject. Some contextualists limit their accounts to intellectual factors. Others take account of broad social and cultural factors as well. Analytic philosophers take a critical approach, considering the logic and merit of the arguments of past philosophers almost (...) as though they are engaging in contemporary debates. Others use the ideas of historical figures to support their own philosophical agendas. I examine the merits and difficulties of developing a truly contextualized approach to the history of philosophy by using the writings of the French philosopher, Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655), as an example. (shrink)
The Study of the History of Philosophy as an independent discipline to exhibit and explicate philosophical systems as their originators meant them to be understood is less than one hundred years old. On the other hand, philosophers from Plato and Aristotle through the Middle Ages to Bertrand Russell and Richard Rorty have represented the systems of their predecessors in the light of, and as leading to, their own philosophical positions. It is not surprising then that the study of (...) the long history of the history of philosophy itself discloses a series of often greatly divergent expositions of philosophical systems throughout the ages. The purist conception of the study of the philosophical position of a .. (shrink)
The history of philosophy involves the paradox of supposing the historical invulnerability of past philosophies. The transcendental problem of its possibility is that of the possibility of such an invulnerability. Now experience reveals that, On the one hand, Philosophies remain indestructible, As works of art do, Through an internal truth and that, On the other hand, In establishing them the philosopher does not view them as ends in themselves, The way an artist would do, But through them he (...) seeks a truth of judgment, After the fashion of a scientist. The search for the conditions which make the indestructibility of philosophies in history possible is tantamount to trying to discover how, In each philosophy, The establishment of a truth of judgment makes that of an internal truth possible. Thence the concept of a "dianoematic" which, Considered as the philosophy of philosophies, Constitutes itself as a problematic of reality. (shrink)
Two recent articles described two ways of writing the history of philosophy, one analytic, the other historical, as if the history of philosophy cannot be both analytically sharp and contextually informed at the same time. I recommend the practice of "philosophical history of philosophy," which combines the advantages of the analytic and historical methods.
Abstract Naturalized metaphysics remains a default presupposition of much contemporary philosophy of physics. As metaphysics is supposed to be about the general structure of reality, so a naturalized metaphysics draws upon our best physical theories: Assuming the truth of such a theory, it attempts to answer the “foundational question par excellence “, “how could the world possibly be the way this theory says it is?“ It is argued that attention to historical detail in the development and formulation of physical (...) theories serves as an ever-relevant hygienic corrective to the “sentiment of rationality“ underlying the naturalistic impulse to read ontology off of physics. (shrink)