Mechanism is a conception of the world according to which all can be explained by mechanics expressed by its fundamental concepts and principles. I’ll firstly show that, following Poincaré’s discussion on mechanical explanation, the very foundation of classical mechanics implicates that all just can’t be explained. Next, I’ll discuss the principles of mechanics as they are viewed by Poincaré, especially the principle of relativity that has a particularity in its form of “pseudo-universal”argument, as well as in its fundamental role for (...) experiences. It will be finally revealed that, the mechanism can be used as a convention, because, by the principle of relativity, we can have only local experiments but never on the universe, and consequently, non of our experiences would never lead us to any phenomenon irreducible to mechanics. Nevertheless, it doesn’t exclude the contrary possibility: experiences can reveal that it is not to commode as it used to be, without disapproving it. (shrink)
In this article, I firstly show that, following Poincaré, it turns out that the very foundation of classical mechanics implicates that all just can’t be explained. Next, I discuss principles of mechanics as they are viewed by Poincaré. This will reveal the particularity of the principle of relativity in its form of “pseudo-universal” argument.
Mechanism is a conception of the world according to which all can be explained by mechanics expressed by its fundamental concepts and principles. I’ll firstly show that, following Poincaré’s discussion on mechanical explanation, the very foundation of classical mechanics implicates that all can’t be explained. Next, I’lldiscuss the principles of mechanics as they are viewed by Poincaré, especially the principle of relativity. I’ll show that this principle has a particular feature by its form of “pseudo-universal” argument, as well as by (...) its fundamental role for experiences. It will be finally revealed that, mechanism can be used as a convention, because, by the principle of relativity, we can have only local experiments but these can never be extended to the universe as a whole, and consequently, none of our experiences would lead us to any phenomenon irreducible to mechanics. Nevertheless, it doesn’t exclude the contrary possibility: experiences can reveal that it is not to commode as it used to be, without disapproving it. (shrink)
Rush Rhees (1905-1989) was a philosopher, and a pupil and close friend of Ludwig Wittgenstein. While some of Rhees's own published papers became classics, most of his work remained unpublished during his lifetime. After his death, his papers were found to comprise sixteen thousand pages of manuscript on every aspect of philosophy, from philosophical logic to Simone Weil. This collection of unpublished papers, edited by D. Z. Phillips, includes Rhees's outstanding work on philosophy and religion. Written over an academic lifetime, (...) some of the papers are sympathetic to religion while others are not. It is Rhees's ability to interweave the personal and philosophical, and his integrity and intellectual honesty, which make this one of the most impressive books in twentieth-century philosophy of religion. (shrink)
In several posthumously published writings about the differences between humans and animals, Rush Rhees criticises the view that human lives are more important than (or superior to) animal lives. Rhees' views may seem to be in sympathy with more recent critiques of “speciesism.” However, the most commonly discussed anti-speciesist moral frameworks – which take the capacity of sentience as the criterion of moral considerability – are inadequate. Rhees' remark that both humans and animals can be loved points towards a different (...) way of accounting for the moral considerability of humans and animals that avoid the problems of the capacity-based approaches. (shrink)
Rush Rhees held Wittgenstein's work in high esteem but considered it in need of deepening. He was critical of Wittgenstein's idea that the builders' game might be the whole language of a tribe and that human language could be thought of as simply a range of language games. Rhees thought that Wittgenstein failed to do justice to the unity of language. The idea of the unity of language appears to have both an anthropological and an ethical aspect. The latter is (...) illustrated with the help of a Hemingway story. (shrink)
From his return to Cambridge in 1929 to his death in 1951, Wittgenstein influenced philosophy almost exclusively through teaching and discussion. These lecture notes indicate what he considered to be salient features of his thinking in this period of his life.
Four years after the publication of Wittgenstein's Investigations, Rush Rhees began writing critical reflections on the masterpiece he had helped to edit. In this edited collection of his previously unpublished writings, Rhees argues, contra Wittgenstein, that although language lacks the unity of a calculus it is not simply a family of language games. The unity of language is found in its dialogical character. It is in this context that we say something, and grow in understanding: notions not captured in Wittgenstein's (...) emphasis on language games, following rules, and using language. Rhees develops Wittgenstein's notion that to imagine a language is to image a form of life, without suggesting that we are all engaged in an all-inclusive conversation. The result is not only a major contribution to Wittgenstein scholarship, but an original discussion of central philosophical questions concerning the possibility of discourse. (shrink)
Rush Rhees questions the viability of moral theories and the general claims they make in ethics. He shows how one can both be concerned with knowing what one ought to do while recognizing that one's answer is a personal one. These insights, arrived at in a distinctive style, characteristic of Rhees, are then applied to issues of life and death, human sexuality, and our relations to animals. To recognize why philosophy cannot answer such questions for us is an affirmation, not (...) a denial, of their importance. (shrink)
In 1938 Wittgenstein delivered a short course of lectures on aesthetics to a small group of students at Cambridge. The present volume has been compiled from notes taken down at the time by three of the students: Rush Rhees, Yorick Smythies, and James Taylor. They have been supplemented by notes of conversations on Freud (to whom reference was made in the course on aesthetics) between Wittgenstein and Rush Rhees, and by notes of some lectures on religious belief. As very little (...) is known of Wittgenstein's views on these subjects from his published works, these notes should be of considerable interest to students of contemporary philosophy. Further, their fresh and informal style should recommend Wittgenstein to those who find his Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations a little formidable. (shrink)
The paper argues that an internal debate within Wittgensteinian philosophy leads to issues associated rather with the later philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Rush Rhees's identification of the limitations of the notion of a “language game” to illuminate the relation between language and reality leads to his discussion of what is involved in the “reality” of language: “anything that is said has sense-if living has sense, not otherwise.” But what is it for living to have sense? Peter Winch provides an interpretation (...) and application of Rhees's argument in his discussion of the “reality” of Zande witchcraft and magic in “Understanding a Primitive Society”. There he argues that such sense is provided by a language game concerned with the ineradicable contingency of human life, such as (he claims) Zande witchcraft to be. I argue, however, that Winch's account fails to answer the question why Zande witchcraft can find no application within our lives. I suggest that answering this requires us to raise the question of why Zande witchcraft “fits” with their other practices but cannot with ours, a question of “sense” which cannot be answered by reference to another language game. I use Joseph Epes Brown's account of Native American cultures (in Epes Brown 2001) as an exemplification of a form of coherence that constitutes what we may call a “world”. I then discuss what is involved in this, relating this coherence to a relation to the temporal, which provides an internal connection between the senses of the “real” embodied in the different linguistic practices of these cultures. I relate this to the later Heidegger's account of the “History of Being”, of the historical worlds of Western culture and increasingly of the planet. I conclude with an indication of concerns and issues this approach raises, ones characteristic of “Continental” rather than Wittgensteinian philosophy. (shrink)
This paper takes issue with remarks by Brian Clack on the manner in which Wittgensteinian philosophers have interpreted religion. Clack attributes an expressivist interpretation of religion to Wittgensteinians. By reference to my own writings, and to those of Rush Rhees, I show how wide of the mark is this gloss on the Wittgensteinian tradition's approach to religion. In particular, the view that magico-religious rituals are cathartic is demonstrated to be one that Wittgensteinians have been keen to attack, rather than defend. (...) The conclusion of the paper emphasizes the point that Wittgenstein and Wittgensteinians have been concerned with denying the appropriateness of producing a general theory of religion or magic. Hence, they have no need of an expressive theory. (shrink)
pain' and ┌I think that p┐ express the pain and the thought that p, themselves. The book is most impressive. It is packed with careful argument, and addresses a remarkable range of important issues about the mind. I have very much enjoyed studying it.
One phenomenon pertains roughly to being awake. A person or other creature is conscious when it's awake and mentally responsive to sensory input; otherwise it's unconscious. This kind of consciousness figures most often in everyday discourse.
Richard Stanley Peters appreciates the centrality of concepts for everyday life, however, he fails to recognize their pedagogical dimension. He distinguishes concepts employed at the first-order (our ordinary language-use) from second-order conceptual clarification (conducted exclusively by academically trained philosophers). This distinction serves to elevate the discipline of philosophy at the expense of our ordinary language-use. I revisit this distinction and argue that our first-order use of concepts encompasses second-order concern. Individuals learn and teach concepts as they use them. Conceptual understanding (...) is an obligation that all individuals, and not just academically trained philosophers, must fulfil. I conclude that the role of philosophy in education is to provide a conversational context for the pedagogical dimension of concepts. I draw upon the philosophies of Cora Diamond, Stephen Mulhall, Iris Murdoch and Rush Rhees. (shrink)
Exploring Rhees's analogy between everyday conversation and literature, the paper suggests a conception of form that encourages us to see literary works as contributions to conversation in virtue of their concern. How we might read for the concern of a literary work is exemplified by readings of Ibsen's Ghosts and The Wild Duck. These readings suggest that Rhees's analogy not only throws light on the communicative powers of literature: viewing everyday talk in the light of works of literature also gives (...) us a better grasp of what goes on in conversation. (shrink)
Introductory essay: the privacy of physiological phenomena, by H. Morick.--Meditations I, II, and VI, by R. Descartes.--Descartes' myth, by G. Ryle.--I think, therefore I am, by A. J. Ayer.--Of personal identity, by D. Hume.--Hume on personal identity, by T. Penelhum.--Paralogisms of pure reason, by I. Kant.--Self, mind, and body, by P. F. Strawson.--Soul, by P. F. Strawson.--The distinction between mental and physical phenomena, by F. Brentano.--Brentano on descriptive psychology and the intentional, by R. Chisholm.--Note on the text, by R. Rhees.--Notes (...) for lectures on "Private experience" and "Sense data," by L. Wittgenstein.--Consciousness and self, by J.-P. Sartre.--Self knowledge, by G. Ryle.--Wittgenstein's philosophical investigations, by N. Malcolm.--Is consciousness a brain process? By U. T. Place.--Persons, by P. F. Strawson.--Further readings (p. 309-311). (shrink)