This provocative study exposes the ways in which Wittgenstein's philosophical views have been misunderstood, including the failure to recognize the reductionist character of Wittgenstein's work. Author JohnCook provides well-documented proof that Wittgenstein did not hold views commonly attributed to him, arguing that Wittgenstein's later work was mistakenly seen as a development of G. E. Moore's philosophy--which Wittgenstein in fact vigorously attacked. He also points to an underestimation of Russell's influence on Wittgenstein's thinking. Cook goes on to (...) show how these misunderstandings have had grave consequences for philosophy at large, and proposes that a more subtle appreciation of linguistic philosophy can yield valuable results. (shrink)
The scholars who defend or dispute moral relativism, the idea that a moral principle cannot be applied to people whose culture does not accept it, have concerned themselves with either the philosophical or anthropological aspects of relativism. This study, shows that in order to arrive at a definitive appraisal of moral relativism, it is necessary to understand and investigate both its anthropological and philosophical aspects. Carefully examining the arguments for and against moral relativism, Cook exposes not only that anthropologists (...) have failed in their attempt to support relativism with evidence of cultural differences, but that moral absolutists have been equally unsuccessful in their attempts to refute it. He argues that these conflicting positions are both guilty of an artificial and unrealistic view of morality and proposes a more subtle and complex account of morality. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's Metaphysics offers a radical new interpretation of the fundamental ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein. It takes issue with the conventional view that after 1930 Wittgenstein rejected the philosophy of the Tractatus and developed a wholly new conception of philosophy. By tracing the evolution of Wittgenstein's ideas Cook shows that they are neither as original nor as difficult as is often supposed. Wittgenstein was essentially an empiricist, and the difference between his early views (as set forth in the Tractatus) and (...) the later views (as expounded in the Philosophical Investigations) lies chiefly in the fact that after 1930 he replaced his version of reductionism with something subtler. Nevertheless, he ended where he began, as an empiricist armed with a theory of meaning. (shrink)
Wittgenstein made numerous pronouncements about philosophical method. But did he practice what he preached? Cook addresses this question by studying Wittgenstein’s treatment of the problem of other minds, tracing a line of argument that runs through his writings and lectures from the early 1930s to the 1950s. Cook finds that there is an inconsistency between Wittgenstein’s methodological advice and his actual practice. Instead of bringing words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use, he allows himself to use (...) uncritically words whose provenance is clearly metaphysical. (Published Online September 19 2006). (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Foreword (Warren Ellis).Introduction (Roy T. Cook and Aaron Meskin).PART I: The Nature and Kinds of Comics.1. Redefining Comics (John Holbo).2. The Ontology of Comics (Aaron Meskin).3. Comics and Collective Authorship (Christy Mag Uidhir).4. Comics and Genre (Catharine Abell).PART 2: Comics and Representation.5. Wordy Pictures: Theorizing the Relationship between Image and Text in Comics (Thomas E. Wartenberg).6. What's So Funny? Comic Content in Depiction (Patrick Maynard).7. The Language of Comics (Darren Hudson Hick).PART 3: Comics and (...) the Other Arts.8. Making Comics Into Film (Henry John Pratt).9. Why Comics Are Not Films: Metacomics and Medium-Specific Conventions (Roy T. Cook).10. Proust's In Search of Lost Time: The Comics Version (David Carrier). (shrink)
This book explores the writings of philosopher and educator John Dewey in order to develop an expansive vision of aesthetic education and everyday poetics of living. Robert Pirsig's best-selling book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, provides concrete examples of this compelling yet unconventional vision.
John Dewey was not a philosopher of education in the now-traditional sense of a doctor of philosophy who examines educational ends, means, and controversies through the disciplinary lenses of epistemology, ethics, and political theory, or of agenda-driven schools such as existentialism, feminism, and critical theory. Rather, Dewey was both an educator and a philosopher, and he saw in each discipline reconstructive possibilities for the other, famously characterizing "philosophy . . . as the general theory of education" (1985, p. 338). (...) Dewey wanted each discipline to overcome its tendency to alienate knowledge and theory from experience and reconstruct itself as an enterprise aimed at personal and collective .. (shrink)
In his recent collection of essays, Language, Truth and History (2005), Donald Davidson appears to endorse a philosophy of language which gives primary importance to the notion of the speaker’s communicative intentions, a perspective on language not too dissimilar from that of Paul Grice. If that is right, then this would mark a major shift from the formal semanticist approach articulated and defended by Davidson in his Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (1984). In this paper, I argue that although there (...) are many similarities between these two thinkers, Davidson has not abandoned his earlier views on language. (shrink)
This paper reviews some of the arguments put forward by some psychologists in which they come to the conclusion that autistic individuals suffer from mindblindness, and also looks at one particular implication these sorts of individuals pose for Donald Davidson’s theory of radical interpretation. It has been claimed that a particular manifestation of mindblindness in autistic people serves as a counter example to claims Davidson has made about the relation between belief and intention in linguistic competence.
It is argued that Wittgenstein was a greatly misunderstood philosopher, both as regards his own philosophical views and his ideas about philosophical method. O. K. Bouwsma's interpretation of Wittgenstein is used to illustrate the most common misunderstandings.
Doris Olin's Paradox is a very helpful book for those who want to be introduced to the philosophical treatment of paradoxes, or for those who already have knowledge of the general area and would like to have a helpful resource book.
Language, Truth, and History is an excellent volume of essays coming from one of the most important philosophers in the last fifty years. It would be of interest to anyone interested in the ways Davidson's philosophy evolved after the publication of the first two volumes, and it is essential reading for anyone working in philosophy of language or philosophy of mind.
Who was Wittgenstein? -- Wittgenstein, neutral monism, and privacy -- Common sense, skepticism, and reductionism -- An ordinary language philosopher? -- Meaning and verification -- Investigating Wittgenstein's practice -- On being fair to Wittgenstein -- Wittgenstein and conceptual relativism -- Language-games -- The wages of empiricism -- Are there objective scientific truths? -- Belief, superstition, and religion -- Wittgenstein on primitive practices -- Religious belief and reductionism -- Are there religious language-games? -- A failed defense of Wittgenstein -- Preconceptions and (...) philosophical descriptions. (shrink)
Certain discussions about “relativism” in the philosophy of Zhuangzi turn on the question of the morality of his dao 道. Some commentators, most notably Robert Eno, maintain that there is no ethical value whatsoever to Zhuangzi’s dao as presented in the Cook Ding episode and other “knack passages.” In this essay, it is argued that there is indeed a moral dimension to Cook Ding’s dao. One way to recognize it is to explore the similarity between that dao and (...)John Dewey’s notion of educational method. There are moral traits that Dewey can appeal to in recommending his method. It is argued here that these traits represent the moral features of Cook Ding’s dao as well. (shrink)
JohnCook Wilson (1849–1915) was Wykeham Professor of Logic at New College, Oxford and the founder of ‘Oxford Realism’, a philosophical movement that flourished at Oxford during the first decades of the 20th century. Although trained as a classicist and a mathematician, his most important contribution was to the theory of knowledge, where he argued that knowledge is factive and not definable in terms of belief, and he criticized ‘hybrid’ and ‘externalist’ accounts. He also argued for direct realism (...) in perception, criticizing both empiricism and idealism, and argued for a moderate nominalist view of universals as being in rebus and only ‘apprehended’ by their particulars. His influence helped swaying Oxford away from idealism and, through figures such as H. A. Prichard, Gilbert Ryle, or J. L. Austin, his ideas were also to some extent at the origin of ‘moral intuitionism’ and ‘ordinary language philosophy’ which defined much of Oxford philosophy until the second half of the twentieth-century. Nevertheless, his name and legacy were all but forgotten for generations after World War II. Still, his views on knowledge are with us today, being in part at work in the writings of philosophers as diverse as John McDowell, Charles Travis, and Timothy Williamson. (shrink)
Porphyry wrote the Contra Christianos during the time of the persecutions, and later several Christian rulers consigned it to the flames. In that work Porphyry included a penetrating critique of Christian allegory. Parts of his argument reappeared in the Protestant Reformers and subsequently in modern biblical research. Scholarship on Porphyry's text often is dominated by the historical problems that beset the fragment. Such problems can be temporarily put aside to carefully study the key terms in Porphyry's argument. The net gain (...) of such an approach is to understand the power of the argument and its structure in a clearer light. (shrink)
In this paper, I compare John Locke’s “memory theory” of personal identity and Memento (directed by Christopher Nolan). I argue that the plot of Memento is ambiguous, in that the main character (Leonard Shelby, played by Guy Pearce) seems to have two histories. As such, Memento is but a series of puzzle cases that intend to illustrate that, although our memories may not be chronologically related to one another, and may even be fused with the memories of other persons, (...) those memories still constitute personal identity. Just as Derek Parfit argues, perhaps there is no personal identity as such, since only survival (in some degree) matters to us. In Memento, Leonard Shelby is not identity to his former self, but survives to some extent. (shrink)
John Campbell argues that visual attention to objects is the means by which we can refer to objects, and that this is so because conscious visual attention enables us to retrieve information about a location. It is argued here that while Campbell is right to think that we visually attend to objects, he does not give us sufficient ground for thinking that consciousness is involved, and is wrong to assign an intermediary role to location. Campbell’s view on sortals is (...) also queried, as is his espousal of the so-called Referential View of Experience. (shrink)
Vol. 13 of John Dewey, The Later Works, brings this edition of Dewey's Collected Works to the fateful years 1938-1939. It contains three main texts Experience and Education, Freedom and Culture, and Theory of Valuation, plus essays and miscellany. The editors, Jo Ann Boydston and Barabara Levine, provide twenty-five pages of Appendices, and Steven M. Cahn has written and excellent Introduction. The hardback version includes a scholarly apparatus featured in each of the volumes of the series.
n 1909, the 50th anniversary of both the publication of Origin of the Species and his own birth, John Dewey published "The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy." This optimistic essay saw Darwin's advance not only as one of empirical or theoretical biology, but a logical and conceptual revolution that would shake every corner of philosophy. Dewey tells us less about the influence that Darwin exerted over philosophy over the past 50 years and instead prophesied the influence it would (or (...) should) take in the future. I will discuss this landmark paper and the key lessons Dewey draws from Darwinism for philosophy, and give a preliminary assessment of how well we've done so far. (Dewey would be largely disappointed.). (shrink)
In recent years, pragmatism in general and John Dewey in particular have been of increasing interest to philosophers of science. Dewey's work provides an interesting alternative package of views to those which derive from the logical empiricists and their critics, on problems of both traditional and more recent vintage. Dewey's work ought to be of special interest to recent philosophers of science committed to the program of analyzing ``science in practice.'' The core of Dewey's philosophy of science is his (...) theory of inquiry---what he called ``logic.'' There is a major lacuna in the literature on this point, however: no contemporary philosophers of science have engaged with Dewey's logical theory, and scholars of Dewey's logic have rarely made connections with philosophy of science. This paper aims to fill this gap, to correct some significant errors in the interpretation of key ideas in Dewey's logical theory, and to show how Dewey's logic provides resources for a philosophy of science. (shrink)
Some argue that humans should enhance their moral capacities by adopting institutions that facilitate morally good motives and behaviour. I have defended a parallel claim: that we could permissibly use biomedical technologies to enhance our moral capacities, for example by attenuating certain counter-moral emotions. John Harris has recently responded to my argument by raising three concerns about the direct modulation of emotions as a means to moral enhancement. He argues (1) that such means will be relatively ineffective in bringing (...) about moral improvements, (2) that direct modulation of emotions would invariably come at an unacceptable cost to our freedom, and (3) that we might end up modulating emotions in ways that actually lead to moral decline. In this article I outline some counter-intuitive potential implications of Harris' claims. I then respond individually to his three concerns, arguing that they license only the very weak conclusion that moral enhancement via direct emotion modulation is sometimes impermissible. However I acknowledge that his third concern might, with further argument, be developed into a more troubling objection to such enhancements. (shrink)
John Bickle's new book on philosophy and neuroscience is aptly subtitled 'a ruthlessly reductive account'. His 'new wave metascience' is a massive attack on the relative autonomy that psychology enjoyed until recently, and goes even beyond his previous (Bickle, J. (1998). Psychoneural reduction: The new wave. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.) new wave reductionsism. Reduction of functional psychology to (cognitive) neuroscience is no longer ruthless enough; we should now look rather to cellular or molecular neuroscience at the lowest possible level (...) for explanations of memory, consciousness and attention. Bickle presents a fascinating set of experimental cases of such molecule-to-mind explanations. This book qualifies as a showcase of naturalism in the philosophy of mind. Naturally, many of the traditional conceptual approaches in the philosophy of mind are given short shrift, but - in Bickle's metascientific scheme - the role of philosophy of science also seems reduced to explicating laboratory findings. The present reviewers think that this reductionism suffers from overstretching; in particular, the idea of 'explanation in a single bound' from molecule to mind is a bit too ruthless. Still, Bickle's arguments are worth serious attention. (shrink)
This is a review of Peter Anstey's John Locke and Natural Philosophy, which is a masterful and well-argued study of Locke's philosophy of science that shall become both the standard and starting place, for scholars and students alike, for decades to come. Anstey's meticulous and thorough research, combined with his comprehensive knowledge of the history of natural philosophy, make this work a must-read for all who are interested in Locke, early modern philosophy, the history of the philosophy of science, (...) or early modern philosophy of science. His characteristically rigorous analysis and argumentation coupled with his easy and clear prose make this a highly readable and accessible work of scholarship. (shrink)
Newly re-printed, Sydney Hook’s classic (1939) work on Dewey appears with an Introduction by Richard Rorty. Hook may help us see how Dewey fit into his own time. That story is important. The new printing may also help us see how Dewey fits into our time. Rorty lauds more recent treatments of Dewey’s work, especially Robert Westbrook’s intellectual biography John Dewey and American Democracy (1991), and Steven Rockefeller’s John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (1991) gets honorable mention. (...) Specific comments focus on Alan Ryan’s John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism (1995). “It may be that Dewey and Hook witnessed, as Alan Ryan suggests, ... ‘the high tide of American liberalism,’ but if this is so, then America has lost its soul.”1 Even future-focused pragmatists need to look back to Dewey and Hook. They were “Americans” who, in the final words of the Hook volume, “still had hope for what America may yet be.”. (shrink)
"When John Dewey died in 1952, he was memorialized as America's most famous philosopher, revered by liberal educators and deplored by conservatives, but universally acknowledged as his country's intellectual voice. Many things conspired to give Dewey an extraordinary intellectual eminence: He was immensely long-lived and immensely prolific; he died in his ninety-third year, and his intellectual productivity hardly slackened until his eighties." "Professor Alan Ryan offers new insights into Dewey's many achievements, his character, and the era in which his (...) scholarship had a remarkable impact. He investigates the question of what an American audience wanted from a public philosopher - from an intellectual figure whose credentials came from his academic standing as a philosopher, but whose audience was much wider than an academic one." "Ryan argues that Dewey's "religious" outlook illuminates his politics much more vividly than it does the politics of religion as ordinarily conceived. He examines how Dewey fit into the American radical tradition, how he was and was not like his transatlantic contemporaries, why he could for so long practice a form of philosophical inquiry that became unfashionable in England after 1914 at the latest."--BOOK JACKET. (shrink)
The political and philosophical problems John Rawls set out to solve arise out of the identity and conflicts of interests between citizens. There is identity of interests because social cooperation makes possible for everyone a life that is much better than one outside of society. There is a conflict of interests because people all prefer a larger to a smaller share of the benefits of social cooperation, and people have ideological differences. The problem a theory of justice has to (...) solve is how, in the face of these conflicts, effective social cooperation can come about on terms that are justifiable to all. (shrink)
The project method became a famous teaching method when William Heard Kilpatrick published his article ‘Project Method’ in 1918. The key idea in Kilpatrick's project method is to try to explain how pupils learn things when they work in projects toward different common objects. The same idea of pupils learning by work or action in an environment with objects also belongs to John Dewey's problem-solving method. Are Kilpatrick's project method and Dewey's problem-solving method the same thing? The aim of (...) this article is to analyze and prove that Kilpatrick's project method differs radically from Dewey's problem-solving method. (shrink)
John R. Searle is one of the world's leading philosophers. During his long and outstanding career, he has made groundbreaking and lasting contributions to the philosophy of language, to the philosophy of mind, as well as to the nature, structure, and functioning of social reality. This volume documents the 13th Münster Lectures on Philosophy with John R. Searle. It includes not only 11 critical papers on Searle's philosophy and Searle's replies to the papers, but also an original article (...) by John R. Searle on his overall philosophical enterprise entitled "The Basic Reality and the Human Reality". -/- "I think Münster is probably unique among contemporary universities in its ability to produce such a high level of philosophical production from their philosophy students." - John R. Searle. (shrink)
This is a classic volume in the "library of Living Philosophers" and includes a collection of essays on Dewey's work by his contemporaries at the time of the volume's publication. It also includes a biographical essay on Dewey and his replies to the assembled essays.
James Campbell's Understanding John Dewey represents the latest of his series of recent books, focused on the classical pragmatist tradition. In The Community Reconstructs. Campbell capably explored the meaning and relevance of pragmatic social thought, urging that the social pragmatists combined 'the inquiring and critical spirit of Peirce' with 'issues of general and direct human concern that interested James. Dewey is 'the most important figure of this movement' and the "primary figure' for the earlier book. Campbell now engages Dewey (...) more fully. (shrink)
John Searle zählt zweifellos zu den weltweit wichtigsten und einflussreichsten Denkern der Gegenwart. Seine grundlegenden und nachhaltigen Beiträge zur Sprachphilosophie, zur Philosophie des Geistes, zur Handlungstheorie und zur Sozialphilosophie werden weit über die Grenzen des Fachs Philosophie hinaus wahrgenommen und gehören vielfach zum Standardrepertoire wissenschaftlicher Forschung und Lehre. -/- Michael Kober und Jan G. Michel bieten in diesem Buch eine übersichtliche sowie gut verständliche, aber auch kritische Einführung in das Gesamtwerk John Searles: Neben einer sehr persönlichen biographischen Notiz (...) und einem kurzen Überblick über seine Leitfragen und Positionen wird jeder der genannten Arbeitsbereiche John Searles in seinen wesentlichen Grundzügen historisch wie systematisch eingeordnet, dargestellt und diskutiert. Indem Kober und Michel dabei nicht chronologisch, sondern inhaltlich systematisch vorgehen, treten außerdem die Zusammenhänge innerhalb des Gesamtwerks John Searles deutlich hervor, so dass dieses schließlich im Lichte der heutigen Philosophie bewertet werden kann. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the requirement for the qualitative is theory-dependent, determined by the fundamental assumptions built into the ontology. John Heil’s qualitative, in its role as individuator of objects and powers, is required only by a theory that posits a world of distinct objects or powers. Does Heil’s ‘deep’ view of the world, such that there is only one powerful object (e.g. a field containing modes or properties which we perceive as manifest everyday objects) require the (...) qualitative as individuator of objects and powers? The answer depends on whether it is possible to account for the manifest objects and the ostensible spatial primacy of our perceived world without recourse to the qualitative. In this paper I outline just such an account with the intention of extending Heil’s efforts to incorporate fundamental power in the world while providing a coherent explanation for our strong intuition of spatial, as against relational, priority. (shrink)
In The Grace and the Severity of the Ideal, Victor Kestenbaum swims against the current of Dewey scholarship. He declares for and gives close articulation to the importance of transcendence in the philosophy of John Dewey. The guiding thread of the book is "the proposal that Dewey never outgrew his idealistic period. His philosophical achievement is not to be located in his naturalism but in the frontiers along which the natural and the transcendental touch" (137). Kestenbaum does not argue (...) that Dewey defends a supernatural sense of transcendence; instead, he documents the modes of transcendence that, for Dewey, reveal themselves within the flow of experience. This is a learned and carefully developed book, one that will provoke pragmatists to think carefully about how growth, self-revision, and... (shrink)
James K.A. Smith argues that the ontology of participation associated with Radical Orthodoxy is incompatible with a Christian affirmation of the intrinsic being and goodness of creatures. In response, he proposes a Leibnizian view in which things are endowed with the innate dynamism of ‘force’. Creatures have a certain depth of being, and are intrinsically good, just because they each have an inner virtuality that they bring into expression. Such force is said to be a metaphysical component of the agent. (...) In this paper it is asked whether John Milbank's ontology of participation can be defended by distinguishing between two senses of being a subject. Perhaps it is possible for a creature to bring into expression what is an infused ‘alien’ gift rather than a metaphysical component – to be expressive subject, but not ontic subject, for divine power. However, while this distinction promises to make sense of the reception of an indwelling ‘other’ in grace, knowledge and love, neither proper substance nor proper existence can be received in this way. A creature must be the ontic subject for its being, after all. Still, divine being might proceed from God as radical indwelling gift, as non-ontic ground for ontic being. (shrink)
During the 2007–2008 global food crisis, the prices of primary foods, in particular, peaked. Subsequently, governments concerned about food security and investors keen to capitalize on profit-maximizing opportunities undertook large-scale land acquisitions (LASLA) in, predominantly, least developed countries (LDCs). Economically speaking, this market reaction is highly welcome, as it should (1) improve food security and lower prices through more efficient food production while (2) host countries benefit from development opportunities. However, our assessment of the debate on the issues indicates critical (...) voices in both the media and academic discourse. This article aims to provide a philosophical law and economics analysis. We draw on John Rawls’s Theory of Justice, focusing on Rawls’s background institutions for distributive justice (§43) to evaluate LASLA form an ethical angle. Approaching LASLA into Sub Saharan LDCs as a socio-economic reform redistributing land from the local population of LDCs to investors, we acknowledge that they bear a highly desirable potential. Often, though, they cannot be regarded as ethically correct in practice as the insignificant improvements for local populations and sometimes even human rights violations contradict Rawls’s principles of justice. Then investigating whether and how international law can help overcome the shortcomings, we conclude that even though respective mechanisms exist in the current state of international law, it is hardly possible that it will produce more just outcomes in the near future. (shrink)
This review of John Russon's Human Experience: Philosophy, Neurosis, and the Elements of Everyday Life focuses on Russon's position that experience is open (having a developmental, situated and dynamic, rather than fixed, structure) and figured (having a structure inseparable from forms of bodily function), and that mind is something learned in the process of working out experience as figured and open. These themes are drawn together in relation to recent scientific discussions (e.g., of bodily dynamics, mirror neurons, robotic systems (...) and thermodynamics), to show how Russon's view challenges deep philosophical assumptions in prevailing accounts of mind, body and experience. (shrink)