LOOKING through Bertrand Russell's minor writings in McMaster University's Russell Archives I came across this sentence: 'Fanaticism is primarily an intellectual defect...one to which philosophy supplies an intellectual antidote'. This fascinated me the more, as I had just written an ...
In what it will be convenient to call “the Scandinavian school”; of jurisprudence, Hagerstrom is clearly the master. But his leadership is of a somewhat special kind. For all that he wrote a large book on Roman law, Hägerström was trained as, and continued to be, a philosopher, not a jurisprudentialist or a sociologist. His essays on law and morals are ancillary to his main purpose: to destroy transcendental metaphysics. The epigraphhe chose to head his contribution to Die Philosophic der (...) Gegenwart in Selbstdarstellungen was uncompromising: “Praeterea censeo metaphysicam esse delendam.” If, in his published work, he to so considerable a degree concentrated his attention on ethics and jurisprudence, that is because he took them to be a particularly rich source of metaphysical mystery-mongering. Through a study of men's moral and legal ideas, Hägerström thought he could bring out the sources, the defects—and even, in a way, the strength—of metaphysical thinking. (shrink)
Professor Karl Popper has had a great deal to endure: “expositions” of his ideas which were mere travesties, “refutations” which he had already answered, by anticipation, or which entirely missed the point at issue. One can easily understand why, when he came to publish an English translation of his Logik der Forschung, he decided to keep to the original text; it should at last be clear exactly what he had—and had not—said in 1934. Yet his thinking had by no means (...) stood still since that time; quite naturally, too, he wished to emphasize as much. (shrink)
In a recent broadcast talk it was said that philosophers commonly base arguments and theories on garbled versions of science. Professor Passmore's article in the April number of Philosophy seems to go some way to justifying this complaint. The article discusses the objectivity of history by a series of comparisons with science under various heads representing criteria of objectivity.
“There's one thing certain,” said a historian of my acquaintance when he heard the title of this paper, “that's a problem which would never perturb a working-historian.” He was wrong: a working-historian first drew it to my attention; and in one form or another it raises its head whenever historians discuss the nature of their own inquiries. Yet in a way he was right. His mind had turned to the controversies of epistemologists, controversies about “the possibility of knowledge”; historians, he (...) rightly felt, do not trouble their-heads about such matters. (shrink)