Popper first developed his theory of scientific method – falsificationism – in his The Logic of Scientific Discovery, then generalized it to form critical rationalism, which he subsequently applied to social and political problems in The Open Society and Its Enemies. All this can be regarded as constituting a major development of the 18th century Enlightenment programme of learning from scientific progress how to achieve social progress towards a better world. Falsificationism is, however, defective. It misrepresents the real, problematic aims (...) of science. We need a new conception of scientific method, a meta-methodology which provides a framework for the improvement of the aims and methods of science as scientific knowledge improves. This aim-oriented empiricist idea can be generalized to form a conception of rationality – aim-oriented rationality – which helps us improve problematic aims and methods whatever we may be doing. In this way, Popper’s version of the Enlightenment programme can be much improved, indeed transformed. (shrink)
An exposition of Karl Marx’s argument in the Grundrisse for the logical development of money, this essay is divided into three parts. Since Marx is concerned to distinguish himself and his method from that of the seventeenth century political economists, I begin my paper with a brief reflection on “the scientifically correct method” or the “theoretical method” (Grundrisse 101 and 102). The second part of this paper considers how Marx justifies beginning his reflection with the concept of production in (...) general. To understand the importance that Marx attributes to production, one must also appreciate the way in which distribution, exchange, and consumption belong to the sphere of production. In the remaining pages of this section of my paper, then, I attempt to reconstruct Marx’s argument for the way in which these concepts (distribution, exchange, and consumption) are to be understood in relation to the sphere of production. (shrink)
There are two motivations commonly ascribed to historical actors for taking up statistics: to reduce complicated data to a mean value (e.g., Quetelet), and to take account of diversity (e.g., Galton). Different motivations will, it is assumed, lead to different methodological decisions in the practice of the statistical sciences. Karl Pearson and W. F. R. Weldon are generally seen as following directly in Galton’s footsteps. I argue for two related theses in light of this standard interpretation, based on a (...) reading of several sources in which Weldon, independently of Pearson, reflects on his own motivations. First, while Pearson does approach statistics from this "Galtonian" perspective, he is, consistent with his positivist philosophy of science, utilizing statistics to simplify the highly variable data of biology. Weldon, on the other hand, is brought to statistics by a rich empiricism and a desire to preserve the diversity of biological data. Secondly, we have here a counterexample to the claim that divergence in motivation will lead to a corresponding separation in methodology. Pearson and Weldon, despite embracing biometry for different reasons, settled on precisely the same set of statistical tools for the investigation of evolution. (shrink)
In the book under review, Walter Reese-Schafer provides a concise Introduction to the sources, themes and conclusions of the philosophy of Karl-Otto Apel, Emeritus Professor at Frankfurt and close colleague of Jurgen Habermas. There are both Kantian and Peircean themes in Apel, with the chief focus on the concept of discourse ethics.
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause war ein bemerkenswerter Denker des Deutschen Idealismus. Seine Schriften können ohne Zweifel mit denen Hegels, Schellings und Fichtes konkurrieren. Gerade im Bereich der theoretischen Philosophie bietet das Krausesche Œuvre eine Fundgrube an Einsichten und Argumenten, die der heutigen, oftmals betont postmodernen oder atheistischen Philosophie eine dringend benötigte Kontrastfolie sein können. Sinn und Zweck der Arbeit ist es, den Panentheismus Krauses zeitgemäß darzustellen und Brückenschläge zur heutigen religionsphilosophischen Debatte aufzuzeigen.
The two principal models of design in methodological circles in architecture—analysis/synthesis and conjecture/analysis—have their roots in philosophy of science, in different conceptions of scientific method. This paper explores the philosophical origins of these models and the reasons for rejecting analysis/synthesis in favour of conjecture/analysis, the latter being derived from Karl Popper’s view of scientific method. I discuss a fundamental problem with Popper’s view, however, and indicate a framework for conjecture/analysis to avoid this problem.
Panentheism is an often-discussed alternative to Classical theism, and almost any discussion of panentheism starts by way of acknowledging Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781-1832) as the person who coined the term. However, apart from this tribute, Krause’s own panentheism is almost completely unknown. In what follows, I firstly present a brief overview of Krause’s life and correct some misconceptions of his work before I turn to the core ideas of Krause’s own panentheistic system of philosophy. In brief, Krause elaborates (...) a scientific holism that is anchored in intellectual intuition of the Absolute as the one principle of being and recognition. The task of philosophical speculation consequently is twofold: the analytic-ascending part of philosophy proceeds by way of transcendental reflection and according to Krause enables us to obtain intellectual intuition. The synthetic-descending part of philosophy starts by way of showing that science as a whole is an explication of the original union of the Absolute as apprehended in intellectual intuition. Once this is achieved, Krause argues that the emerging philosophy of science is most adequately referred to as ‘panentheism’ since everything is what it is ‘in and through’ the Absolute while the Absolute itself is not reducible to anything in particular. I end by showing how to relate Krause’s panentheism to recent philosophical discussion. (shrink)
"Capital is moved as much and as little by the degradation and final depopulation of the human race, as by the probable fall of the earth into the sun. Apres moi le deluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation" (Marx, CAPITAL Vol 1, 380-381).
In this paper, the (possible) role of model theory forstructuralism and structuralist definitions of ``reduction'' arediscussed. Whereas it is somewhat undecisive with respect tothe first point – discussing some pro's and con's ofthe model theoretic approach when compared with a syntacticand a structuralist one – it emphasizes that severalstructuralist definitions of ``reducibility'' do not providegenerally acceptable explications of ``reducibility''. This claimrests on some mathematical results proved in this paper.
This paper is an investigation into what could be a goodexplication of ``theory S is reducible to theory T''''. Ipresent an axiomatic approach to reducibility, which is developedmetamathematically and used to evaluate most of the definitionsof ``reducible'''' found in the relevant literature. Among these,relative interpretability turns out to be most convincing as ageneral reducibility concept, proof-theoreticalreducibility being its only serious competitor left. Thisrelation is analyzed in some detail, both from the point of viewof the reducibility axioms and of modal logic.
In his paper "Finitism" (1981), W.W. Tait maintains that the chief difficulty for everyone who wishes to understand Hilbert's conception of finitist mathematics is this: to specify the sense of the provability of general statements about the natural numbers without presupposing infinite totalities. Tait further argues that all finitist reasoning is essentially primitive recursive. In this paper, we attempt to show that his thesis "The finitist functions are precisely the primitive recursive functions" is disputable and that another, likewise defended by (...) him, is untenable. The second thesis is that the finitist theorems are precisely the universal closures of the equations that can be proved in PRA. /// En su articulo "Finitism" (1981), W.W. Tait sostiene que la dificultad principal para quien quiere comprender la concepción hilbertiana de la matemática finitista es ésta: especificar el sentido de la demostrabilidad de enunciados generales sobre los números naturales sin presuponer totalidades infinitas. Además, Tait argumenta que todo razonamiento finitista es esencialmente primitivo recursivo. En este artículo tratamos de mostrar que su tesis "Las funciones finitistas son precisamente las funciones primitivas recursivas" es discutible y que otra, también defendida por él, resulta insostenible. La segunda tesis es que los teoremas finitistas son precisamente las clausuras universales de las ecuaciones que pueden demostrarse en PRA. (shrink)
Hilbert developed his famous finitist point of view in several essays in the 1920s. In this paper, we discuss various extensions of it, with particular emphasis on those suggested by Hilbert and Bernays in Grundlagen der Mathematik (vol. I 1934, vol. II 1939). The paper is in three sections. The first deals with Hilbert's introduction of a restricted ? -rule in his 1931 paper ?Die Grundlegung der elementaren Zahlenlehre?. The main question we discuss here is whether the finitist (meta-)mathematician would (...) be entitled to accept this rule as a finitary rule of inference. In the second section, we assess the strength of finitist metamathematics in Hilbert and Bernays 1934. The third and final section is devoted to the second volume of Grundlagen der Mathematik. For preparatory reasons, we first discuss Gentzen's proposal of expanding the range of what can be admitted as finitary in his esssay ?Die Widerspruchsfreiheit der reinen Zahlentheorie? (1936). As to Hilbert and Bernays 1939, we end on a ?critical? note: however considerable the impact of this work may have been on subsequent developments in metamathematics, there can be no doubt that in it the ideals of Hilbert's original finitism have fallen victim to sheer proof-theoretic pragmatism. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to bring together two separated areas of research: classical mathematics and metamathematics on the one side, non-monotonic reasoning on the other. This is done by simulating nonmonotonic logic through antitonic theory extensions. In the first half, the specific extension procedure proposed here is motivated informally, partly in comparison with some well-known non-monotonic formalisms. Operators V and, more generally, U are obtained which have some plausibility when viewed as giving nonmonotonic theory extensions. In the second half, (...) these operators are treated from a mathematical and metamathematical point of view. Here an important role is played by U -closed theories and U -fixed points. The last section contains results on V-closed theories which are specific for V. (shrink)
From early work of N. Goodman to recent approaches by H. Field and D. Lewis, there have been attempts to combine 2nd order languages with calculi of individuals. This paper is a contribution, containing basic denitions and distinctions and some metatheorems, to the development of a general metatheory of such theories.
Since its first publication in 1981, Karl Marx has become one of the most respected books on Marx's philosophical thought. Allen Wood explains Marx's views from a philosophical standpoint and defends Marx against common misunderstandings and criticisms of his views. All the major philosophical topics in Marx's work are considered: alienation, historical materialism, morality, philosophical materialism, and the dialectical method. The second edition has been revised to include a new chapter on capitalist exploitation and new suggestions for further reading. (...) Wood has also added a substantial new preface which looks at the fall of the Soviet Union and ambivalence towards capitalism, and explores Marx's relevance and place in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
Karl Popper has been one of the few philosophers of sciences who has influenced scientists. I evaluate Popper's influence on our understanding of evolutionary theory from his earliest publications to the present. Popper concluded that three sorts of statements in evolutionary biology are not genuine laws of nature. I take him to be right on this score. Popper's later distinction between evolutionary theory as a metaphysical research program and as a scientific theory led more than one scientist to misunderstand (...) his position on evolutionary theory as a scientific theory. In his later work Popper also introduced what he took to be improvements of evolutionary theory. Thus far these improvements have had almost no influence on evolutionary biology. I conclude by examining the influence of Popper on the reception of cladistic analysis. (shrink)
Certain critics, e.g. Manfred Frank and Hans-Herbert Kögler, claim that Hans-Georg Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics reduces the individual subject to a mere instrument of history and tradition, the latter reproducing themselves through the subject. However, Gadamer also emphasizes the active role of the subject in shaping and creating history and tradition. In this article I argue that the critics mistakenly emphasize a one-sided conception of history. By incorporating both active and passive aspects of the subject, Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics provides the (...) means by which the individual may be conceived more aptly in an interdependent, dialectical relation to their corresponding historical, cultural, and social context. (shrink)
Karl Popper is the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. No other philosopher of the period has produced a body of work that is as significant. What is best in Popper's output is contained in his first four published books. These tackle fundamental problems with ferocious, exemplary integrity, clarity, simplicity and originality. They have widespread, fruitful implications, for science, for philosophy, for the social sciences, for education, for art, for politics and political philosophy. This article provides a critical survey (...) of Popper’s work. (shrink)
I argue in this article (i) that Karl Olivecrona's legal philosophy, especially the critique of the view that law has binding force, the analysis of the concept and function of a legal rule, and the idea that law is a matter of organized force, is a significant contribution to twentieth century legal philosophy. I also argue (ii) that Olivecrona fails to substantiate some of his most important empirical claims, and (iii) that the distinction espoused by Olivecrona between the truth (...) and the correctness of legal statements is problematic but not needed in Olivecrona's legal philosophy. (shrink)
The essay discusses the philosopher and sociologist Georg Simmel’s theorizing about the individual. Whereas it is typically within the context of the modern metropolis and the mature money economy that Simmel’s ideas have been discussed in the secondary literature, I render those ideas in another light by addressing the ontological and existential issues crucial to his conception of the individual. In Simmel, the individual is divided between the “what” and the “who,” between the qualities which make one something individual (...) and one’s non-repeatable and finite existence which makes one someone singular. I argue that whereas the first dimension can be understood sociologically, in terms of social relations, the latter is not accessible to sociology as such, but must be treated philosophically. Therefore, if we wish to address this duality that lies at the heart of individuality, a “philosophical turn” for sociology is called for. (shrink)
Making use of capital to develop China’s socialist market economy requires China not only to fully recognize the tendency of capital civilization but also to realize its intrinsic limitations and to seek conditions and a path for overcoming contradictions in the mode of capitalist production. Karl Marx’s theory of capital provides us with a key to understanding and dealing properly with problems of capital. At the same time we should also pay heed to Western research on, experience with, and (...) lessons from capitalist economies developed over the past four centuries summarized in the field of “business ethics”. (shrink)
This paper proposes a reconsideration of Karl Mannheim and his work from the viewpoint of the needs of sociological theory. It points out certain affinities between Mannheim and some contemporary theorists, such as Gramsci and Foucault, and then reflects on certain problems in Mannheim's work, particularly the response to "relativism" and the hope of creating new "syntheses" through the sociology of knowledge. Finally, it proposes ways to draw on the sociology of intellectuals, inspired by Mannheim, in order to advance (...) the understanding of social theory. (shrink)
I respond to six objections, raised by Selim Berker and Karl Schafer, against the theory offered in my Empiricism and Experience : (1) that the theory needs a problematic notion of subjective character of experience; (2) that the transition from the hypothetical to the categorical fails because of a logical difficulty; (3) that the constraints imposed on admissible views are too weak; (4) that the theory does not deserve the label ‘empiricism’; (5) that the motivations provided for the Reliability (...) constraint are insufficient; and (6) that convergence is bound to fail since epistemic entitlements are permissions. (shrink)
Little is known of Edmund Husserl's direct encounter with Georg Cantor's ideas on Platonic idealism and the abstraction of number concepts during the late 19th century, when Husserl's philosophical orientation changed considerably and definitely. Closely analyzing and comparing the two men's writings during that important time in their intellectual careers, I describe the crucial shift in Husserl's views on psychologism and metaphysical idealism as it relates to Cantor's philosophy of arithmetic. I thus establish connections between their ideas which have (...) been until now been virtually unsuspected and contribute to a better understanding of the development of Husserl's thought and of the philosophical and metaphysical ideas within which Cantor chose to frame his theories. (shrink)
Karl R. Popper is “the outstanding philosopher of the twentieth century” (Bryan Magee), even “the greatest thinker of the [twentieth] century” (Gellner). He felt affinity with thinkers of the Age of Reason and developed a new version of rationalism: critical rationalism. As a champion of science and of democracy he was the most influential philosopher of the post-WWII era. He was a close follower of Bertrand Russell and of Albert Einstein in that all three advocated problem-oriented fallibilism (during the (...) peak of the influence of Ludwig Wittgenstein who did not), valued commonsense, taking its theories to be approximations to the scientific truths of the day, and considered scientific truths as series of approximations to the absolute truth [Agassi, 1981, 112-16]. In particular, all three viewed science as the bold flight of the imagination checked and tempered by experience [Russell, 1931, 102]; [Einstein, 1949, 680]. Insofar as Russell adumbrated Popper’s philosophy, it may be fair to consider the latter a streamlined version of the former (the way both Berkeley and Hume deemed their philosophies streamlined versions of Locke’s [Hattiangadi, 1985]; [Wettersten, l985]. Russell raised the level of rational discourse in philosophy while remaining within the empiricist tradition; Popper continued and consolidated Russell’s achievements, adding a broad modification of the rationalist tradition [Popper, 1945, Ch. 24], thus forging new ways of philosophizing [Lakatos, 1978, 10]. Many sought a via media between rationalism and irrationalism, between individualism and collectivism, as well as between radicalism and traditionalism. Many sought a via media between empiricism and intellectualism. Popper’s philosophy is the only viable comprehensive rationalist suggestion in these directions (although it is open to modifications, of course), being thoroughly fallibilist and reformist, thus achieving a new and intensified commonsense philosophy, the only one that is integrated.. (shrink)
The paper approaches the topic of what a general philosophy of science could mean today from the perspective of a historical epistemology. Consequently, in a first step, the paper looks at the notion of generality in the sciences, and how it evolved over time, on the example of the life sciences. In the second part of the paper, the urgency of a general philosophy of science is located in the history of philosophy of science. Two attempts at the beginning of (...) the twentieth century are particularly highlighted: that of Karl Popper and that of Martin Heidegger. Both of them concentrate, albeit in widely different form, on the phenomenon of research as an open-ended process. This trend is even more pronounced in Gaston Bachelard’s version of a historical epistemology, whose work is taken as a point of reference for a general historical epistemology of research. The paper concludes with a plea to look, with Georges Canguilhem, at the history of the sciences as a laboratory for epistemology. (shrink)
William Booth's 'On the Idea of the Moral Economy' (1994) is a scathing critique of the economic historians labelled as 'moral economists', chief among them Karl Polanyi, whose The Great Transformation is the groundwork for much of the later theorizing on the subject. The most devastating of Booth's criticisms is the allegation that Polanyi's normative prescriptions have anti-democratic, Aristotelian and aristocratic undertones for being guided by a preconceived notion of 'the good'. This article presents an attempt to rescue Polanyi (...) from this charge by reinterpreting his view of the relationship between the economic and the political, while elucidating the practical meaning of a moral economy. (shrink)
One of the most original thinkers of the century, Karl Popper's work has inspired generations of philosophers, historians, and politicians. This collection of papers, specially written for this volume, offers fresh philosophical examination of key themes in Popper's philosophy, including philosophy of knowledge, science and political philosophy. Drawing from some of Popper's most important works, contributors address Popper's solution to the problem of induction, his views on conventionalism and criticism in an open society and explore his unique position in (...) twentieth century philosophy. Contributors also examine the current relevance of Popper to understanding liberal democracy, his critique of tribalism and offer new evaluations on Popper's relationship with analytic philosophy in general, and with Wittgenstein in particular as well as drawing on the studies of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein to assess Popper's conception of science. This volume offers new insights on key topics from some of Popper's most important work and is essential reading for students of Popper and anyone interested in political philosophy and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
It is commonly held that Karl Barth emphatically rejected the usefulness of philosophy for theology. In this essay I explore the implications of Barth's theological epistemology for the relationship and proper boundaries between philosophy and theology, given its origin in Barth's theology of revelation. I seek to clarify Barth's position with respect to philosophy by distinguishing the contingency of its offence from any necessary incompatibility. Barth does not reject philosophy per se, but the way in which philosophy is typically (...) conducted. This is made explicit through an analysis of Barth's censure of the uncritical acceptance in theology of modernist philosophical presuppositions. I nuance Barth's response to a collection of philosophical assumptions that are rarely distinguished in theological literature. Finally, I highlight a representative instance of Barth's reflections on philosophy in relationship to theology, to demonstrate that the criterion for evaluating the usefulness of philosophical assumptions and methods in the service of theology is the same criterion by which theology is itself evaluated. (shrink)
Karl Marx (1818-1883) is best known not as a philosopher but as a revolutionary communist, whose works inspired the foundation of many communist regimes in the twentieth century. It is hard to think of many who have had as much influence in the creation of the modern world. Trained as a philosopher, Marx turned away from philosophy in his mid-twenties, towards economics and politics. However, in addition to his overtly philosophical early work, his later writings have many points of (...) contact with contemporary philosophical debates, especially in the philosophy of history and the social sciences, and in moral and political philosophy. Historical materialism — Marx's theory of history — is centered around the idea that forms of society rise and fall as they further and then impede the development of human productive power. Marx sees the historical process as proceeding through a necessary series of modes of production, culminating in communism. Marx's economic analysis of capitalism is based on his version of the labour theory of value, and includes the analysis of capitalist profit as the extraction of surplus value from the exploited proletariat. The analysis of history and economics come together in Marx's prediction of the inevitable economic breakdown of capitalism, to be replaced by communism. However Marx refused to speculate in detail about the nature of communism, arguing that it would arise through historical processes, and was not the realisation of a pre-determined moral ideal. (shrink)
Few have entertained the idea that Georg Cantor, the creator of set theory, might have influenced Edmund Husserl, the founder of the phenomenological movement. Yet an exchange of ideas took place between them when Cantor was at the height of his creative powers and Husserl in the throes of an intellectual struggle during which his ideas were particularly malleable and changed considerably and definitively. Here their writings are examined to show how Husserl's and Cantor's ideas overlapped and crisscrossed in (...) the areas of philosophy and mathematics, arithmetization, abstraction, consciousness and pure logic, psychologism, metaphysical idealism, new numbers, and sets and manifolds. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive introduction to the philosophical and political thought of Karl Popper, now available in English. It is divided into three parts, dealing with his biographical data, his works and recurrent themes, and finally his critics. It was approved of by Popper himself as a sympathetic and comprehensive study, and will be ideal to meet the increasing demand for a summary introduction to his work.
This paper interprets Karl Polanyi through dialectical critical realism. The paper maintains that this interpretation offers Polanyi methodological coherence and philosophical support. It further provides dialectical critical realism with an exemplar of explanatory critique. It is argued that the social theory of Polanyi aims at the demystification of market-systems as they are theoretically constructed by both orthodox and heterodox accounts of capitalism. Dialectical critical realism is best capable of situating the theoretical accomplishment of Polanyi’s historical and dialectical critiques of (...) social being. (shrink)
No one would dispute that it is impossible to understand the intellectual and political history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries without taking Karl Marx (1818-83) into account. Most believe, however, that Marx‘s legacy was buried once and for all in the rubble of the Berlin Wall. This consensus is mistaken. It would be foolish to assert that Marx anticipated the correct answer to every significant question facing us today. But it would be no less foolish to deny that (...) Marx‘s work presents a powerful challenge to contemporary political philosophy. (shrink)
Karl Ameriks has recently devoted an entire volume to defending what he calls "orthodox" Kantianism against what he judges to be the "errors" of such post-Kantian idealists as K. L. Reinhold and J. G. Fichte and to exposing what he claims is the frequently unnoticed but always deleterious influence of post-Kantianism upon certain prominent strands of contemporary philosophy. In response, this paper challenges Ameriks' interpretation of Kantianism itself and of the "post-Kantian project", as well as his construal of transcendental (...) idealism. This is followed by some remarks concerning Reinhold's and Fichte's actual "arguments" for transcendental idealism and a rejection of Ameriks' characterizations of the same. Ameriks' interpretation of "the primacy of the practical" within Fichte's philosophy is also analyzed and criticized, as are his unsubstantiated claims concerning the powerful "indirect" influence of the writings of Reinhold and Fichte upon contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
Bryan Magee's clear little introduction to the thought of Karl Popper opens with the remark that Popper's name is not yet a household word among educated people. The remainder of the book is an attempt to remedy this allegedly undeserved neglect.
Popper's Open Society After Fifty Years presents a coherent survey of the reception and influence of Karl Popper's masterpiece The Open Society and its Enemies over the fifty years since its publication in 1945, as well as applying some of its principles to the context of modern Eastern Europe. This unique volume contains papers by many of Popper's contemporaries and friends, including such luminaries as Ernst Gombrich, in his paper "The Open Society and its Enemies: Remembering its Publication Fifty (...) Years Ago.". (shrink)
To honour the memory of Sir Karl Popper, I put forward six elements of his philosophy which might be of particular interest to biologists and to philosophers of biology and which I think Popper would like them not to ignore, even if they disagree with him. They are: the primacy of problems; the criticizability of metaphysics (and thus the dubiousness of materialism); how downward causation might be real; how norms should matter to scientists; why dogmatism should be avoided; how (...) genuine science is recognizable. I preface these six things with a brief discussion of Popper's early (but later recanted) mistakes concerning biology. (shrink)
In recent years Sir Karl Popper has been turning his attention more and more towards philosophical problems arising from biology, particularly evolutionary biology. Popper suggests that perhaps neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory is better categorized as a metaphysical research program than as a scientific theory. In this paper it is argued that Popper can draw his conclusions only because he is abysmally ignorant of the current status of biological thought and that Popper's criticisms of biology are without force and his suggestions (...) for its improvement are without need. Also it is suggested that Popper's desire to see scientific theory growth as being in some sense evolutionary may have led him astray about biology. And conversely it is suggested that since his claims about biology are not well taken his analysis of theory growth may well bear reexamination. (shrink)
The Young Karl Marx is an innovative and important new study of Marx’s early writings. These writings provide the fascinating spectacle of a powerful and imaginative intellect wrestling with complex and significant issues, but they also present formidable interpretative obstacles to modern readers. David Leopold shows how an understanding of their intellectual and cultural context can illuminate the political dimension of these works. An erudite yet accessible discussion of Marx’s influences and targets frames the author’s critical engagement with Marx’s (...) account of the emergence, character, and (future) replacement of the modern state. This combination of historical and analytical approaches results in a sympathetic, but not uncritical, exploration of such fundamental themes as alienation, citizenship, community, antisemitism, and utopianism. The Young Karl Marx is a scholarly and original work which provides a radical and persuasive reinterpretation of Marx’s complex and often misunderstood views of German philosophy, modern politics, and human flourishing. (shrink)
For Weberian Marxists, the social theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx are complementary contributions to the analysis of modern capitalist society. Combining Weber's theory of rationalization with Marx's critique of commodity fetishism to develop his own critique of reification, Georg Lukacs contended that the combination of Marx's and Weber's social theories is essential to envisioning socially transformative modes of praxis in advanced capitalist society. By comparing Lukacs's theory of reification with Habermas's theory of communicative action as two (...) theories in the tradition of Weberian Marxism, I show how the prevailing mode of "doing theory" has shifted from Marx's critique of economic determinism to Weber's idea of the inner logic of social value spheres. Today, Weberian Marxism can make an important contribution to theoretical sociology by reconstituting itself as a framework for critically examining prevailing societal definitions of the rationalization imperatives specific to purposive-rational social value spheres (the economy, the administrative state, etc.). In a second step, Weberian Marxists would explore how these value spheres relate to each other and to value spheres that are open to the type of communicative rationalization characteristic of the lifeworld level of social organization. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Historical Context - Gödel's Contributions and Accomplishments: 1. The impact of Gödel's incompleteness theorems on mathematics Angus Macintyre; 2. Logical hygiene, foundations, and abstractions: diversity among aspects and options Georg Kreisel; 3. The reception of Gödel's 1931 incompletabilty theorems by mathematicians, and some logicians, to the early 1960s Ivor Grattan-Guinness; 4. 'Dozent Gödel will not lecture' Karl Sigmund; 5. Gödel's thesis: an appreciation Juliette C. Kennedy; 6. Lieber Herr Bernays!, Lieber Herr Gödel! (...) Gödel on finitism, constructivity, and Hilbert's program Solomon Feferman; 7. Computation and intractability: echoes of Kurt Gödel Christos H. Papadimitriou; 8. From the entscheidungsproblem to the personal computer - and beyond B. Jack Copeland; 9. Gödel, Einstein, Mach, Gamow, and Lanczos: Gödel's remarkable excursion into cosmology Wolfgang Rindler; 10. Physical unknowables Karl Svozil; Part II. A Wider Vision - The Interdisciplinary, Philosophical, And Theological Implications of Gödel's Work: 11. Gödel and physics John D. Barrow; 12. Gödel, Thomas Aquinas, and the unknowability of God Denys A. Turner; 13. Gödel's mathematics of philosophy Piergiorgio Odifreddi; 14. Gödel's ontological proof and its variants Petr Hájek; 15. The Gödel theorem and human nature Hilary Putnam; 16. Gödel, the mind, and the laws of physics Roger Penrose; Part III. New Frontiers - Beyond Gödel's Work in Mathematics and Symbolic Logic: 17. Gödel's functional interpretation and its use in current mathematics Ulrich Kohlenbach; 18. My forty years on his shoulders Harvey M. Friedman; 19. My interaction with Kurt Gödel: the man and his work Paul J. Cohen; 20. The transfinite universe W. Hugh Woodin; 21. The Gödel phenomena in mathematics: a modern view Avi Wigderson. (shrink)
This book offers a fresh and up-to-date account of the ethical thought of Karl Barth, one of the twentieth century's greatest theologians. In it, the author seeks to recover Barth's ethics from some widespread misunderstandings, and also presents a picture of it as a whole. Drawing on recently published sources, Biggar construes the ethics of the Church Dogmatics as it might have been had Barth lived to complete it. However, The Hastening that Waits is more than apology and description. (...) For it recommends to contemporary Christian ethics the theological rigor with which Barth expounds the good life in terms of the living presence of God-in-Christ to his creatures; his conception of right human action as that which is able to hasten in the service of humanity precisely by waiting prayerfully upon God; and his discriminate openness to moral wisdom outside the Christian church. Among particular topics treated are: the concepts of human freedom and of created moral order; moral norms and their relation to individual vocation; the relative ethical roles of the Bible, the Church, philosophy, and empirical science; moral character and its formation; and the problem of war. (shrink)
Donald T. Campbell outlines an epistemological theory that attempts to be faithful to evolution through natural selection. He takes his position to be consistent with that of Karl R. Popper, whom he credits as the primary advocate of his day for natural selection epistemology. Campbell writes that neither he nor Popper want to give up the goal of objectivity or objective truth, in spite of their evolutionary epistemology. In discussing the conflict between an epistemology based on natural selection and (...) objective truth, Campbell cites an article by the German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel entitled 'On a Connection of Selection Theory to Epistemology', as presenting the issue in a notably forthright manner.The present essay summarizes Simmel's article, with the purpose of clarifying, in terms that Campbell apparently finds satisfactory, the conflict that Campbell acknowledges between an evolutionary epistemology and ultimate truth; the essay then examines the responses of Campbell and Popper to Simmel's position. While Campbell and Popper acknowledge the work of Simmel, their responses suggest something less than a full consideration of Simmel's position. (shrink)
Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies , Marcel Mauss describes an archaic mode of human relations, the gift, whose analysis allows us to specify the reasons for our daily exchanges. Georg Simmel considers the same demands from the starting-point of Wechselwirkung (effects of reciprocity), which contains the properties of all human relations. Their research is based on the following question: Is society possible? The authors examine this question based on notions of sacrifice, reciprocity, and duration, which allow (...) them to isolate three conditions necessary for the existence of human relations: the personalization of, the commitment to, and the duration of this bond. Although it does not qualify as a response to the question asked above, the human relation appears as the inevitable question of sociological reasoning, able to stimulate and open new research perspectives. Key Words: anthropology duration exchange theory human relations Marcel Mauss philosophy reciprocity sacrifice Georg Simmel sociology. (shrink)
The Scandinavian Realist Karl Olivecrona did not pay much attention to questions of legal reasoning in his many works. He did, however, argue that courts necessarily create law when deciding a case. The reason, he explained, is that judges must evaluate issues of fact or law in order to decide a case, and that evaluations are not objective. Olivecrona's line of argument is problematic, however. The problem is that Olivecrona uses the term "evaluation" in a sense that is broad (...) enough to cover not only evaluations, including moral evaluations, but also considerations that are not evaluations at all, and therefore his claim that judges must evaluate issues of law or fact in order to decide whether a case is false. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the influence that the set theory of Georg Cantor (1845?1918) bore upon the mathematical logic of Bertrand Russell (1872?1970). In some respects the influence is positive, and stems directly from Cantor's writings or through intermediary figures such as Peano; but in various ways negative influence is evident, for Russell adopted alternative views about the form and foundations of set theory. After an opening biographical section, six sections compare and contrast their views on matters of (...) common interest; irrational numbers, infinitesimals, cardinal and ordinal numbers, the axiom of infinity, the paradoxes, and the axioms of choice. Two further sections compare the two men over more general questions: the role of logic and the philosophy of mathematics. In a final section I draw some conclusions. (shrink)
On September 17, 1994, Karl Popper died at the age of 92.He was described as the official opposition of the “ Vienna Circle”, the philosophical club which in the inter-war period was glamorous and which espoused the then popular doctrine of logical positivism, so-called. His relations with that club were friendly-hostile, to use the term with which he liked to characterize the relations between scientific researchers. He is the last of that generation (unless it is Carl G. Hempel, who, (...) however, sees himself as too young to belong there). The public aspect of Popper’s friendly-hostile relations with his Viennese peers was unfortunately more hostile than friendly. Somehow, philosophers have managed to keep the accounts open for too long. The end of the era is the time to close accounts so as to be able to go on with the job at hand, since the intermingling of personal affairs with objective knowledge is unhealthy. Yet most of the leading heirs of the “ Vienna Circle” still coast around the issues raised by Popper, and so they can neither overlook him nor quote him correctly. If past evidence is reliable here, then this will alter just about now. Is it? (shrink)
Eva Buddeberg: Verantwortung im Diskurs: Grundlinien einer rekonstruktiv-hermeneutischen Konzeption moralischer Verantwortung im Anschluss an Hans Jonas, Karl-Otto Apel und Emmanuel Lévinas Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9366-3 Authors Norbert Anwander, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Philosophie, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
Phenomenology, understood as a philosophy of immanence, has had an ambiguous, uneasy relationship with transcendence, with the wholly other, with the numinous. If phenomenology restricts its evidence to givenness and to what has phenomenality, what becomes of that which is withheld or cannot in principle come to givenness? In this paper I examine attempts to acknowledge the transcendent in the writings of two phenomenologists, Edmund Husserl and Edith Stein (who attempted to fuse phenomenology with Neo-Thomism), and also consider the influence (...) of the existentialist Karl Jaspers, who made transcendence an explicit theme of his writing. I argue that Husserl does recognize the essential experience of transcendence within immanence; even the idea of a physical thinghas “dimensions of infinity” included within it. Similarly, he asserts profoundly that every “outside” is what it is only as understood from the inside. Jaspers toomakes the experience of transcendence central to human existence; it is the very measure of my own depth. For Edith Stein, everything temporal points towardthe timeless structural ground which makes it what it is. Transcendence is an intrinsic part of being itself. Furthermore, the very lack of self-sufficiency of my own self shows that the self requires a ground outside itself, in the transcendent. There is strong convergence between the three thinkers studied on the concept of transcendence, which is indeed a central, if largely unacknowledged, concept in phenomenology both in Husserl and his followers (Stein), but also, throughJaspers, in Heidegger. (shrink)
The first part of this paper presents the mystery of Eucharist as the symbol or sacrament of, and hence as identical with, the central mystery of Christian faith: the paschal mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It also situates Rahner’s theology of Eucharist within the larger context of his theology as a whole, particularly his Christology. The humanity of Jesus as the real symbol or sacrament of the Logos provides the prime analogate for understanding Eucharist as sacrament, (...) and the two-fold movement of Christology as both descending and ascending provides the basic structure of sacramental activity as embodying both the divine offer of grace and human response to it. The second part considers Rahner’s contribution to specific problems in Eucharistic theology: real presence, the idea of transubstantiation, sacramental causality and institution by Jesus.The third and final part looks to the still unfinished agenda of Karl Rahner’s theology of Eucharist. He describes the task facing theology in the future as that of transposing theoretical beliefs into practical imperatives, “so that the theological as such becomes a principle of action.” For the Eucharist this means seeing Eucharist primarily in the context of the reign of God that was the center of the preaching and ministry of Jesus rather than only in the context of the church. More specifically, this means seeing the church’s Eucharist in the world within the larger context of the liturgy of the world. The liturgy of the world celebrates the ongoing transformation of the secular realm by the power of the Spirit in its movement towards its consummation in the final coming of God’s reign. (shrink)
Plato said that as long as wisdom and power, or philosophy and politics, are separated, “there can be no rest from troubles.”1 In The Republic, he sought to forge such a union. For over two millennia, from Plato through John Rawls, philosophers have put forward models for the just state.2 Despite these ongoing efforts, W. B. Gallie contends, “No political philosopher has ever dreamed of looking for the criteria of a good state viz-à-viz [sic] other states.”3 I will argue that (...) as long as wisdom and power are separated in international relations, we will continue to have problems. We need to forge a normative framework capable of addressing global issues. I further maintain that, in order to advance a global normative framework, achieving peace, or at least the “outlawry of war” championed by John Dewey, may well be the precondition for success in addressing the myriad global problems facing humanity.4 I agree with Ronald Glossop that among all the global issues we need to address, war is “humanity’s most pressing problem.”5 How can we adequately protect everyone’s human rights, secure economic well-being for all persons, preserve this planet’s rich biological diversity, and attend to other serious global concerns if we fail to end war? The structure of my argument is as follows: I will begin by reviewing the parochial and warist implications of the focus on national sovereignty within Enlightenment political philosophy from Thomas Hobbes through Immanuel Kant. Then, after indicating how Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx point beyond the modern state in a way that would allow for the global application of normative principles, I will note that the Hegelian and Marxian traditions have not made this normative prospect focal. Finally, in order to develop a global normative framework, I will connect the efforts within twentieth-century philosophy to develop arenas of applied ethics to recent efforts in political science to develop a model of a humane world community.. (shrink)
The present paper is an attempt to explore the impact of Karl Popper's ideas on the views of a number of intellectual groups in post-revolutionary Iran. Throughout the text, we have tried to make use of original sources and our own personal experiences. The upshot of the arguments of the paper is that the Viennese philosopher has made a long-lasting impression on the intellectual scene of present-day Iran in that even those socio-political groups which are not in favour of (...) his ideas, especially his model of critical rationalism, have felt the urgent need to make themselves familiar with them. Moreover, many of Popper's ideas have directly or indirectly influenced the thinking of the decision-makers in Iran since 1978. (shrink)
Surprising as it may appear, the philosophical writings of political economist Karl Marx (1818–1883), and those of philosopher, educator Maria Montessori(1870–1952), show thematic resemblances that invite further exploration. These resemblances reflect both keen awareness of the historical period they shared, but also important common threads in their philosophical anthropology, ethical and political values, and goals. In this paper, I examine one central thread which both take as fundamental, namely, the centrality of work in achieving the harmonious development of humankind. (...) I critique Marx’s description of the dynamic process leading to his classless society, because he fails to supply the proximate, efficient cause or middle term that effects this goal. My thesis is that Montessori supplies this missing causal link through her scientific demonstration of the work and function of the child and her holistic understanding of the human person in its full historical dimension, and human and cosmic telos. (shrink)
Abstract Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation has had enormous influence since its publication in 1944. In form, this influence has been salutary: Polanyi targets one of the main weaknesses of modern economics. But in substance, Polanyi's influence has been baneful. Mirroring the methodological blindness he criticizes, Polanyi insists on the all?or?nothing existence/ nonexistence of laissez faire?and on its all?or?nothing goodness/badness.
Karl Popper has often been cast as one of the most solitary figures of twentieth-century philosophy. The received image is of a thinker who developed his scientific philosophy virtually alone and in opposition to a crowd of brilliant members of the Vienna Circle. This paper challenges the received view and undertakes to correctly situate on the map of the history of philosophy Popper’s contribution, in particular, his renowned fallibilist theory of knowledge. The motive for doing so is the conviction (...) that the mainstream perspective on Popper’s philosophy makes him more difficult to understand than might otherwise be the case. The thinker who figures most significantly in the account of Popper developed in these pages is Leonard Nelson. Both a neo-Friesian and neo-Kantian, this philosopher deeply influenced Popper through his student Julius Kraft, who met with Popper on numerous occasions in the mid 1920s. It is in the light of this influence that we understand Popper’s recollection that when he criticized the Vienna Circle in the early 1930s, he looked upon himself “as an unorthodox Kantian”. (shrink)
The most important philosopher of science since Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Sir Karl Popper finally solved the puzzle of scientific method, which in practice had never seemed to conform to the principles or logic described by Bacon -- see The Great Devonian Controversy , by Martin J. S. Rudwick, for a case study of Baconian rhetoric and expectations being contradicted by actual practice and results. Instead of scientific knowledge being discovered and verified by way of inductive generalizations, leaping from (...) perceptual data into blank minds, in terms that go back to.. (shrink)
My objective in the following study is to present and analyze the objections to the ?classical argument? in the sociology of knowledge raised by Leo Strauss and Karl Popper. Building on this expository account, I will attempt to demonstrate (1) that the opposition of Strauss and Popper is more apparent and polemical than real, (2) that the position taken by Strauss and Popper on the viability of a sociology of knowledge is essentially no different from that taken by the (...) discipline's founders: Max Scheler, Karl Mannheim, and Georg Lukács, (3) that whatever the merits of Strauss and Popper's contentions, they become relevant only in the context of a radicalized version of the sociology of knowledge which developed subsequent to their formulation, and (4) that the sociology of knowledge has needlessly and deplorably become the battleground for meta?theoretical disputes that are irrelevant to its practice. (shrink)
When Western Marxist sociologists, such as Jean Buadrillard, constructed their critical theory of consumer society, they took the consumer society as an objective fact and methodologically restricted themselves to the non-historical method of sociology, making them unable to grasp the correct meaning of Karl Marx's historical materialist methodology. Thus, they were unable to adequately critique and transcend consumer society. After spending the early 1850s building a theoretical foundation, Marx pointed out in 1857–1858 Economical Manuscript and 1861–1863 Economical Manuscript that (...) the governing model of capital was so complicated that it made consumption very important to the socio-economic form. Moreover, he explained the way of surpassing the conscious form of fetishism developed in consumer society from the perspective of the development of capitalist production. (shrink)
During the first months of 1887, while completing the drafts of his Mitteilungen zur Lehre vom Transfiniten, Georg Cantor maintained a continuous correspondence with Benno Kerry. Their exchange essentially concerned two main topics in the philosophy of mathematics, namely, (a) the concept of natural number and (b) the infinitesimals. Cantor's and Kerry's positions turned out to be irreconcilable, mostly because of Kerry's irremediably psychologistic outlook, according to Cantor at least. In this study, I will examine and reconstruct the main (...) points in the discussion around (a) and (b) and stress some interesting aspects of the philosophical and mathematical thought of Benno Kerry. (shrink)
The Frankfurt School refers to the work of members of the Institut für Sozialforschung, which was established in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1923 as the first Marxist-oriented research centre affiliated with a major German university. Under its director, Carl Grunberg, the institute’s work in the 1920s tended to be empirical, historical and oriented towards problems of the European workingclass movement, although theoretical works by Karl Korsch, Georg Lukács and others were also published in its journal, Archiv für die Geschichte (...) des Sozialismus und der Arbeiterbewegung. (shrink)
A well-known Hungarian philosopher, politician, literary and art theorist Georg Lukacs was a notable figure of philosophical thought in XX century. Although he was interested in many problems philosophical-aesthetical matter is the main one in all his works. The problem of human alienation from social forms is outlined in his numerous literary, philosophical, aesthetical works of pre- and post- Marxian periods. The concept of philosophical-aesthetical grounds for overcoming human alienation has been developed in his art from romantic feeling of (...) existential tragedy through the utopian expectancy of “aesthetic ideal” realization to the reliance on being conscious of individual blood nature through dialectic penetration of subjectivity and objectivity in the process of aesthetical perception. Thus he has the unaltered point of view that the art is a particular opposed to alien human nature sphere of being which allows taking away the dual principle of alien forms of human being and its essence. (shrink)
This article argues that the problem of modernity concerns the circumstances of existence and human destiny in modern times. To understand the nature of this problem and find the corresponding solution, we need to reinterpret the thought of Karl Marx regarding the contradictions of human existence and its historical dimensions. Following Marx’s line of thinking, this article reviews his critical sequence, creative transformation, and development of duality of thought on man and the world in Western history, focusing on the (...) following four issues: (1) how Marx, on the basis of man’s sensuous objective activities, observes the duality of man and the world as well as the relationship between man’s internal and external activities; (2) how Marx discloses the true connotation and real significance of man’s historical existence, history, and historicity; (3) how Marx reveals the inherent contradictions of modern capitalist society and the destiny of modern man based on historic thought concerning man’s existence; and (4) by praising Marx’s views on material production and the eternal significance of ancient Greek culture, the article reveals another dimension of Marx’s thought, a dimension that tends to be ignored. This article holds that in this era of globalization, it is extremely important and urgent to have an in-depth understanding of Marx’s historical thoughts regarding human existence and of the feasibility of his theory. Moreover, it is imperative to further develop this understanding to create a clearer picture of our own path of development and our outlook on humanity. (shrink)
Literary critic and essayist Karl Heinz Bohrer offers a Eurosceptic perspective on the German commitment to a united Europe. This article is a reconstruction of Bohrer's argument. It identifies two distinct critiques. The first is a somewhat prosaic observation that the differences between the national traditions of Europe are simply too great for a united Europe to be viable. The other is a more complex reflection on ?European decadence?: Europeans lack the will that is required to project power, and (...) power is a precondition for cultural achievements. Protestantism?the ?Protestant mind??plays a central role in this second critique. The two critiques are connected through Bohrer's conception of the nation-state as an entity that integrates in an agonistic way legal and cultural power. (shrink)
This paper re-contextualizes Karl Popper's thought within the anti-nationalist cosmopolitan tradition of the Central European intelligentsia. It argues that, although Popper was brought up in an assimilated Jewish Viennese household, from the perspective of the Jewish Enlightenment or Haskalah tradition, he can be seen to be a modern day heterodox Maskil (scholar). Popper's ever present fear of anti-Semitism and his refusal to see Judaism as compatible with cosmopolitanism raise important questions as to the realisable limits of the cosmopolitan ideal. (...) His inability to integrate an understanding of Jewishness in his cosmopolitan political ideal resulted in his strong opposition to Zionism and the state of Israel. By comparing Popper's positions with those of Hermann Cohen, another neo-Kantian philosopher, I argue that although their solutions fall short in certain respects, their arguments have continuing purchase in recent debates on cosmopolitanism and the problem of the integration of minority groups. In addition, the arguments of the Jewish Enlightenment thinkers offer important insights for the current debates on minority integration and xenophobia. (shrink)
This paper is about the relevance of the ineffable and the singular to hermeneutics. I respond to standard criticisms of Friedrich Schleiermacher by Karl Barth and Hans-Georg Gadamer in order to clarify his understanding of language, interpretation, and religion. Schleiermacher’s “indicative hermeneutics” is developed in the context of the ethical significance of communication and the ineffable. The notion of trace is employed in order to interpret the paradox of speaking about that which cannot be spoken. The trace is (...) not a brute singularity but bears a fundamental relationship to the word—and ultimately the word of God—for Schleiermacher. (shrink)
This paper presents Karl Jaspers understanding of truth as communication as a framework for reflecting on the nature of truth-claims in Christian theology. Jaspers argues that the fact that we communicate with each other in several different modes implies that the criteria of truth in our discourse must vary in these different modes. In developing this view he distinguishes between four modes of communication: the mode of presenting and defending vital personal interests, the mode of common understanding of the (...) observable world, the mode of developing and operating with ideas of unifying spiritual wholeness, and the mode of authentic personal identity. The formation of this framework draws heavily on Kant. His discussion of the spiritual ideas for example clearly links with Kant regulative ideas of reason. Yet where Kant seems to limit thwese ideas to three: the self, the world and God, Jaspers seems to offer a more open and indefinite view. This becomes important for making a comparison between his account of truth and an account which could accommodate claims of the Christian thelogians. (shrink)
This book sets out a new reading of the much-neglected philosophy of Karl Jaspers. By questioning the common perception of Jaspers either as a proponent of irrationalist cultural philosophy or as an early, peripheral disciple of Martin Heidegger, it re-establishes him as a central figure in modern European philosophy. Giving particular consideration to his position in epistemological, metaphysical and political debate, the author argues that Jaspers's work deserves renewed consideration in a number of important discussions, particularly in hermeneutics, anthropological (...) reflections on religion, the critique of idealism, and debates on the end of metaphysics. (shrink)
: The subject of this paper is Georg Ernst Stahl's (1659-1734) reflections on epilepsy. In the German physician's work, the concept of disease is stratified: it is the morbid idea which causes dysfunctions in the animal economy, as well as irregular motion, overabundance and ultimately an alteration of the corporeal humours. In particular, epilepsy is an affection deriving from an altered functioning of the bodily motions, caused by abnormal blood flow, intestinal worms, anatomical defects, foreign bodies, and the passions (...) of the soul. While a certain medical tradition attributed a nervous origin to epilepsy, Stahl, giving it a humoural genesis, openly shows the theoretical premises on which his physiology rests. So, Stahlian physiology appears to be a non-mechanistic, teleological-inspired, hydraulicism. (shrink)
At the end of his life, Rahner pointed to the need for a fully systematic theology that brings out the inner relationship between Jesus Christ and the universe put before us by the natural sciences. In this article, it is argued that Rahner had long been pursuing this theological agenda. His various contributions on this topic arebrought together and discussed within a framework of six systematic elements that are found in his work: self-bestowal as the meaning and purpose of creation; (...) self-transcendence as the way of divine action; resurrection as the beginning of the transformation of the universe; God as Absolute Future; human action as finally significant; hope as trust in God in the midst of perplexity. This synopsis leads to some critical reflections on Rahner’s achievement. The paper was presented at the 2005 meeting of the Karl Rahner Society. (shrink)
In what was originally a lecture, the well-known German fundamental theologian Heinrich Fries looks at similarities between the general theological characteristics of Karl Rahner (a friend of Fries) and John Henry Newman (the object of Fries’s early books and lasting research). He offers first some contrasts but then notes similarities: theology as an investigation rather than a system, being a theologian concerned with the most basic aspects of faith, faith as a dynamic of subectivity rather than as a collection (...) of beliefs, a primacy of praxis over theory, theological efforts done at the time of an Ecumenical Council. To conclude there are questions addressed to Fries and Rahner (who was present at the original lecture). (shrink)
This article deals with the relationship between philosophy and science in the writings of Karl Jaspers and with its reception in the wider scholarly literature. The problem discussed is how to characterize the relationship that exists between science—defined on pure Kantian grounds as a universally valid knowledge of phenomenal objects—and philosophy—conceived by Jaspers as the transcending mode of thinking of personal Existenz rising towards the totality and unity of Being. Two solutions to that problem arise from Jaspers’s writings. The (...) oppositionist view is based in his earlier philosophy of Existenz. It describes the discrepancy between determinateness, bestowed by science to its objects, and freedom of self-determination, which is both a synonym and a condition of possibility for Existenz. The reciprocal view is based in Jaspers’s later works, where he focuses on exploration of his concept of Being (das Umgreifende). By contrast with most of Jaspers’s commentators, the present interpretation is anchored in a developmentaland contextual understanding of Jaspers’s thought. Showing the transcendental background of this topic, the proposed interpretation allows us to abstain from viewing the two solutions as incoherent or contradictory and instead to see them as constitutive of a single philosophical course. (shrink)
In teaching courses on Karl Rahner to undergraduates, I have come to appreciate the importance of finding a starting point with which students readily connect. After much thought, I begin these courses with an extended consideration of the human person. This starting point has the advantage not only of being Rahner’s but also of being one which seems attractive to students. I have found little evidence that students have to be convinced about the importance of self-concern. I am careful (...) to emphasize, however, that in Rahner’s understanding of the dynamism of conversio and reditio this starting point never allows for any form of narcissistic subjectivism. Starting with the concreteness of our lives naturally leads to other considerations which also seem attractive to students: the burden of self-responsibility, the sense of awe and wonder, the need for hope. These are among some of the concerns which I try to address when teaching Rahner. (shrink)