While previous studies of Dewey's work have taken either a historical or topical focus, Shook offers an innovative, organic approach to understanding Dewey and eloquently shows that Dewey's instrumentalism grew seamlessly out of his idealism. He argues that most current scholarship operates under a mistaken impression of Dewey's early philosophical positions.
People in the ancient world thought of vision as both an ethical tool and a tactile sense, akin to touch. Gazing upon someone—or oneself—was treated as a path to philosophical self-knowledge, but the question of tactility introduced an erotic element as well. In The Mirror of the Self , Shadi Bartsch asserts that these links among vision, sexuality, and self-knowledge are key to the classical understanding of the self. Weaving together literary theory, philosophy, and social history, Bartsch traces (...) this complex notion of self from Plato’s Greece to Seneca’s Rome. She starts by showing how ancient authors envisioned the mirror as both a tool for ethical self-improvement and, paradoxically, a sign of erotic self-indulgence. Her reading of the Phaedrus , for example, demonstrates that the mirroring gaze in Plato, because of its sexual possibilities, could not be adopted by Roman philosophers and their students. Bartsch goes on to examine the Roman treatment of the ethical and sexual gaze, and she traces how self-knowledge, the philosopher’s body, and the performance of virtue all played a role in shaping the Roman understanding of the nature of selfhood. Culminating in a profoundly original reading of Medea , The Mirror of the Self illustrates how Seneca, in his Stoic quest for self-knowledge, embodies the Roman view, marking a new point in human thought about self-perception. Bartsch leads readers on a journey that unveils divided selves, moral hypocrisy, and lustful Stoics—and offers fresh insights about seminal works. At once sexy and philosophical, The Mirror of the Self will be required reading for classicists, philosophers, and anthropologists alike. (shrink)
Scientific and political developments of the early twentieth century led Michael Polanyi to study the role of the scientist in research and the interaction between the individual scholar and the surrounding conditions in community and society. In his concept of “personal knowledge” he gave the theory and history of science an anthropological turn. In many instances of the history of sciences, research is driven by a commitment to beliefs and values. Society plays the role of authority and (...) communicative backdrop that presupposes individual liberty. As a system of beliefs science is rooted in community and also in history. However, as soon as fellow humans become the objects of research, their appeal transcends the researcher. Consequently, the history of human endeavor reveals a “firmament” of standards and obligations which represent an ontological reality, for which Polanyi invokes Teilhard de Chardin’s notion of noosphere. (shrink)
Having entered into the problem structuring methods, system dynamics (SD) is an approach, among systems’ methodologies, which claims to recognize the main structures of socio-economic behaviors. However, the concern for building or discovering strong philosophical underpinnings of SD, undoubtedly playing an important role in the modeling process, is a long-standing issue, in a way that there is a considerable debate about the assumptions or the philosophical foundations of it. In this paper, with a new perspective, we have explored theory (...) of knowledge in SD models and found strange similarities between classic epistemological concepts such as justification and truth, and the mechanism of obtaining knowledge in SD models. In this regard, we have discussed related theories of epistemology and based on this analysis, have suggested some implications for moderating common problems in the modeling process of SD. Furthermore, this research could be considered a reword of system dynamics modeling principles in terms of theory of knowledge. (shrink)
In this impressive second edition of Theory of Knowledge, Keith Lehrer introduces students to the major traditional and contemporary accounts of knowing. Beginning with the traditional definition of knowledge as justified true belief, Lehrer explores the truth, belief, and justification conditions on the way to a thorough examination of foundation theories of knowledge,the work of Platinga, externalism and naturalized epistemologies, internalism and modern coherence theories, contextualism, and recent reliabilist and causal theories. Lehrer gives all views careful examination and (...) concludes that external factors must be matched by appropriate internal factors to yield knowledge. This match of internal and external factors follows from Lehrer’s new coherence theory of undefeated justification. In addition to doing justice to the living epistemological traditions, the text smoothly integrates several new lines that will interest scholars. Also, a feature of special interest is Lehrer’s concept of a justification game.This second edition of Theory of Knowledge is a thoroughly revised and updated version that contains several completely new chapters. Written by a well-known scholar and contributor to modern epistemology, this text is distinguished by clarity of structure, accessible writing, and an elegant mix of traditional material, contemporary ideas, and well-motivated innovation. (shrink)
Epistemology or the theory of knowledge is one of the cornerstones of analytic philosophy, and this book provides a clear and accessible introduction to the subject. It discusses some of the main theories of justification, including foundationalism, coherentism, reliabilism, and virtue epistemology. Other topics include the Gettier problem, internalism and externalism, skepticism, the problem of epistemic circularity, the problem of the criterion, a priori knowledge, and naturalized epistemology. Intended primarily for students taking a first class in epistemology, this lucid (...) and well-written text would also provide an excellent introduction for anyone interested in knowing more about this important area of philosophy. (shrink)
First published in 1984 as part of The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell , Theory of Knowledge represents an important addition to our knowledge of Russell's thought. In this work Russell attempts to flesh out the sketch implicit in The Problems of Philosophy . It was conceived by Russell as his next major project after Principia Mathematica and was intended to provide the epistemological foundations for his work. Russell's subsequent difficulties in presenting his theory of knowledge, brought on (...) by what he considered to be devastating criticisms of Wittgenstein, led to both his abandonment of this work and to a major transformation in his thought. Theory of Knowledge , now available for the first time in paperback, gives us a picture of one of the great minds of the twentieth century at work. It is possible to see the unsolved problems left without disguise or evasion. This second edition has retained the full scholarly introduction. The photographs of the manuscript, appendices, and notes on textual matters have been eliminated to provide a concise and accessible guide to understanding both Russell's own thought and his relationship with Wittgenstein. (shrink)
An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge guides the reader through the key issues and debates in contemporary epistemology. Lucid, comprehensive and accessible, it is an ideal textbook for students who are new to the subject and for university undergraduates. The book is divided into five parts. Part I discusses the concept of knowledge and distinguishes between different types of knowledge. Part II surveys the sources of knowledge, considering both a priori and a posteriori knowledge. Parts III and IV (...) provide an in-depth discussion of justification and scepticism. The final part of the book examines our alleged knowledge of the past, other minds, morality and God. O'Brien uses engaging examples throughout the book, taking many from literature and the cinema. He explains complex issues, such as those concerning the private language argument, non-conceptual content, and the new riddle of induction, in a clear and accessible way. This textbook is an invaluable guide to contemporary epistemology. (shrink)
Can we know anything for certain? There are those who think we can (traditionally labeled the "dogmatists") and those who think we cannot (traditionally labeled the "skeptics"). The theory of knowledge, or epistemology, is the great debate between the two. This book is an introductory and historically-based survey of the debate. It sides for the most part with the skeptics. It also develops out of skepticism a third view, fallibilism or critical rationalism, which incorporates an uncompromising realism about perception, (...) science, and the nature of truth. (shrink)
This book is an accessible introduction to contemporary epistemology, the theory of knowledge. It introduces traditional topics in epistemology within the context of contemporary debates about the definition, sources, and limits of human knowledge. Rich in examples and written in an engaging style, it explains the field while avoiding technical detail. It relates epistemology to work in cognitive science and defends a plausible version of explanationism regarding epistemological method.
It is widely believed that people have privileged and authoritative access to their own thoughts, and many theories have been proposed to explain this supposed fact. The Opacity of Mind challenges the consensus view and subjects the theories in question to critical scrutiny, while showing that they are not protected against the findings of cognitive science by belonging to a separate 'explanatory space'. The book argues that our access to our own thoughts is almost always interpretive, grounded in perceptual awareness (...) of our own circumstances and behavior, together with our own sensory imagery (including inner speech). In fact our access to our own thoughts is no different in principle from our access to the thoughts of other people, utilizing the conceptual and inferential resources of the same 'mindreading' faculty, and relying on many of the same sources of evidence. Peter Carruthers proposes and defends the Interpretive Sensory-Access (ISA) theory of self-knowledge. This is supported through comprehensive examination of many different types of evidence from across cognitive science, integrating a diverse set of findings into a single well-articulated theory. One outcome is that there are hardly any kinds of conscious thought. Another is that there is no such thing as conscious agency. Written with Carruthers' usual clarity and directness, this book will be essential reading for philosophers interested in self-knowledge, consciousness, and related areas of philosophy. It will also be of vital interest to cognitive scientists, since it casts the existing data in a new theoretical light. Moreover, the ISA theory makes many new predictions while also suggesting constraints and controls that should be placed on future experimental investigations of self-knowledge. (shrink)
Developed in collaboration with the International Baccalaureate Organization, Oxford's Course Companions provide extra support for students taking IB Diploma Programme courses. They present a whole-course approach with a wide range of resources, and encourage a deep understanding of each subject by making connections to wider issues and providing opportunites for critical thinking. This companion stimulates students to think about learning and knowledge from their own and from others' perspectives in a way that crosses disciplines and cultures. It encourages reflection, discussion, (...) critical thinking, and awareness or the ways in which knowledge is constructed, and will students to recognize the implications of knowledge for issues of global concern. Places students at the center of the course, with lively material providing opportunities for questioning, discussion, and interaction Invites students to add their own voices to those in the book, which include students, teachers, and professionals in various areas of knowledge Encourages students to frame their own perspectives with international awareness and recognition of the impact of knowledge on the world Contains guidance for current assessment, with support for the Theory of Knowledge essay and class presentation Written by experienced teachers, authors, and examiners, including recent deputy and chief examiners of Theory of Knowledge. (shrink)
A brief historical comment on scientific knowledge as Socratic ignorance -- Some critical comments on the text of this book, particularly on the theory of truth Exposition  -- Problem of Induction (Experience and Hypothesis) -- Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge -- Formulation of the Problem -- The problem of induction and the problem of demarcation -- Deductivtsm and Inductivism -- Comments on how the solutions are reached and preliminary presentation of the solutions -- Rationalism (...) and empiricism-deductivism and inductivism -- The possibility of a deductivist psychology of knowledge -- The Problem of Induction -- The infinite regression (Hume's argument) --The inductivist positions -- The Normal-Statement Positions -- The normal-statement positions: naive inductivism, strict positivism and apriorism -- Critique of strict positivism - twofold transcendence of natural laws -- The transcendental method - presentation of apriorism -- Critique of apriorism -- Kant and Fries -- Supplement to the critique of apriorism. (Psychologism and transcendentalism in Kant and Fries.-On the question of the empirical basis.) -- Probability Positions -- The probability positions - subjective belief in probability -- Statements about the objective probability of events -- Probability as an objective degree of validity of universal empirical statements -- One way of more closely defining the concept of the probability of a hypothesis (primary and secondary probability of hypotheses). The concept of simplicity -- The concept of the corroboration of a hypothesis - positivist, pragmatist and probabilistic interpretations of the concept of corroboration -- The infinite regression of probability statements -- Pseudo-Statement Positions -- The pseudo-statement positions: new formulation of the problem -- Natural laws as "instructions for the formation of statements" -- "True - false" or "useful - useless"? Consistent pragmatism --Difficulties of consistent pragmatism -- Tool and schema as purely pragmatic constructs -- Natural laws as propositional functions -- Conventionalism -- The pseudo-statement positions will temporarily be put away: conventionalism -- The three interpretations of axiomatic systems. (The circle of problems surrounding conventionalism) -- Conventionalist implicit and explicit definitions Propositional function and propositional equation -- Conventionalist propositional equations as tautological general implications -- Can axiomatic-deductive systems also be understood as consequence classes of pure propositional functions (of pseudo-statements)? -- The coordinative definitions of empiricism: synthetic general implications -- Conventionalist and empiricist interpretations, illustrated by the example of applied geometry -- Strictly Universal Statements and Singular Statements -- Implication and general implication -- General implication and the distinction between strictly universal and singular statements -- Universal concept and individual concept-class and element -- Strictly universal statements-the problem of induction and the problem of universals -- Comments on the problem of universals -- Back to the Pseudo-Statement Positions -- Return to the discussion of the pseudo-statement positions -- Symmetry or asymmetry in the evaluation of natural laws? -- The negative evaluation of universal statements. Critique of the strictly symmetrical interpretation of pseudo-statements -- An infinite regression of pseudo-statements -- An apriorist pseudo-statement position -- Interpretation of the critique up to this point; comments on the unity of theory and practice -- A last chance for the pseudo-statement positions -- Pseudo-Statement Positions and the Concept of Meaning -- The concept of meaning and logical positivism -- The concept of meaning and the demarcation problem-the fundamental thesis of inductivism -- Critique of the inductivist dogma of meaning -- Fully decidable and partially decidable empirical statements-the antinomy of the knowability of the world. (Conclusion of the critique of the pseudo-statement positions.) -- The dialectical and the transcendental corroboration of the solution -- Is the problem of induction solved? (shrink)
This comprehensive and accessible book is designed for use by students following the Theory of Knowledge course in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. The book is also useful for students following other critical thinking courses. The fundamental question in Theory of Knowledge is 'How do you know? In exploring this question, the author encourages critical thinking across a range of subject areas and helps students to ask relevant questions, use language with care and precision, support ideas with (...) evidence, argue coherently and make sound judgements. All chapters include the following features: - preliminary quotations to prompt critical thinking - questions and exercises to encourage students to actively engage with the material - reading resources to explore some of the topics in greater depth - illustrations to support the text Richard van de Lagemaat has more than 20 years' experience in international education. (shrink)
The pace of change in the world is accelerating, yet educational institutions have not kept pace. Indeed, schools have historically been the most static of social institutions, uncritically passing down from generation to generation outmoded didactic, lecture-and-drill-based, models of instruction. Predictable results follow. Students, on the whole, do not learn how to work by, or think for, themselves. They do not learn how to gather, analyze, synthesize and assess information. They do not learn how to analyze the diverse logic of (...) the questions and problems they face and hence how to adjust their thinking to those problems. They do not learn how to enter sympathetically into the thinking of others, nor how to deal rationally with conflicting points of view. They do not learn to become critical readers, writers, speakers and listeners. They do not learn how to use their native languages clearly, precisely, or persuasively. They do not, therefore, become ‘literate’, in the proper sense of the word. Neither do they gain much in the way of genuine knowledge since, for the most part, they could not explain the basis for what they believe. They would be hard pressed to explain, for example, which of their beliefs were based on rational assent and which on simple conformity to what they have been told. They have little sense as to how they might critically analyze their own experience, or identify national or group bias in their own thinking. They are much more apt to learn on the basis of irrational than rational modes of thought. They lack the traits of mind of a genuinely educated person: intellectual humility, courage, integrity, perseverance, and faith in reason.Happily, there is a movement in education today striving to address these problems in a global way, with strategies and materials for the modification of instruction at all levels of education. At its foundation is an emerging new theory of knowledge, learning, and literacy, one which recognizes the centrality of independent critical thinking to all substantial learning, one which recognizes that higher-order, multilogical thinking is as important to childhood as to adult learning, and as important to foundational learning in monological as in multilogical disciplines. This educational reform movement is not proposing an educational miracle cure, for its leading proponents recognize that many social and historical forces must come together before the ideals of the critical thinking movement will become a full academic reality. Schools do not exist in a social vacuum. To the extent that the broader society is uncritical so, on the whole, will be society's schools. Nevertheless, the social conditions necessary for fundamental changes in schooling are increasingly apparent. The pressure for fundamental change is growing. Whether and to what extent these needed basic changes will be delayed or side-tracked, thus requiring new periodic resurgences of this movement, with new, more elaborate articulations of its ideals, goals, and methods — only time will tell. (shrink)
This book is a major contribution to the history of philosophy in the later medieval period (1250-1350). It focuses on cognitive theory, a subject of intense investigation during these years. In fact many of the issues that dominate philosophy of mind and epistemology today - intentionality, mental representation, scepticism, realism - were hotly debated in the later medieval period. The book offers a careful analysis of these debates, primarily through the work of Thomas Aquinas, John Olivi, and William (...) Ockham. Each of these figures attempts to reconceptualise cognition along direct realist lines, criticising in the process the standard Aristotelian account. Though of primary interest to medieval philosophers, the book presupposes no background knowledge of the medieval period, and will therefore interest a broader community of philosophers concerned with the origins of contemporary cognitive theory. (shrink)
Rachael Briggs and Daniel Nolan attempt to improve on Nozick’s tracking theory of knowledge by providing a modified, dispositional tracking theory. The dispositional theory, however, faces more problems than those previously noted by John Turri. First, it is not simply that satisfaction of the theory’s conditions is unnecessary for knowledge – it is insufficient as well. Second, in one important respect, the dispositional theory is a step backwards relative to the original tracking theory: the (...) original but not the dispositional theory can avoid Gettier-style counterexamples. Future attempts to improve the tracking theory would be wise to bear these problems in mind. (shrink)
This volume brings historians of science and social historians together to consider the role of "little tools"--such as tables, reports, questionnaires, dossiers, index cards--in establishing academic and bureaucratic claims to authority and objectivity. From at least the eighteenth century onward, our science and society have been planned, surveyed, examined, and judged according to particular techniques of collecting and storing knowledge. Recently, the seemingly self-evident nature of these mundane epistemic and administrative tools, as well as the prose in which they are (...) cast, has demanded historical examination. The essays gathered here, arranged in chronological order by subject from the late seventeenth to the late twentieth century, involve close readings of primary texts and analyses of academic and bureaucratic practices as parts of material culture. The first few essays, on the early modern period, largely point to the existence of a "juridico-theological" framework for establishing authority. Later essays demonstrate the eclipse of the role of authority per se in the modern period and the emergence of the notion of "objectivity." Most of the essays here concern the German cultural space as among the best exemplars of the academic and bureaucratic practices described above. The introduction to the volume, however, is framed at a general level the closing essays also extend the analyses beyond Germany to broader considerations on authority and objectivity in historical practice. The volume will interest scholars of European history and German studies as well as historians of science. Peter Becker is Professor of Central European History, European University Institute. William Clark is Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University. (shrink)
Nursing as a profession has a social mandate to contribute to the good of society through knowledge-based practice. Knowledge is built upon theories, and theories, together with their philosophical bases and disciplinary goals, are the guiding frameworks for practice. This article explores a philosophical perspective of nursing's social mandate, the disciplinary goals for the good of the individual and society, and one approach for translating knowledge into practice through the use of a middle-range theory. It is anticipated that the (...) integration of the philosophical perspective and model into nursing practice will strengthen the philosophy, disciplinary goal, theory, and practice links and expand knowledge within the discipline. With the focus on humanization, we propose that nursing knowledge for social good will embrace a synthesis of the individual and the common good. This approach converges vital and agency needs described by Hamilton and the primacy of maintaining the heritage of the good within the human species as outlined by Maritain. Further, by embedding knowledge development in a changing social and health care context, nursing focuses on the goals of clinical reasoning and action. McCubbin and Patterson's Double ABCX Model of Family Adaptation was used as an example of a theory that can guide practice at the community and global level. Using the theory-practice link as a foundation, the Double ABCX model provides practising nurses with one approach to meet the needs of individuals and society. The integration of theory into nursing practice provides a guide to achieve nursing's disciplinary goals of promoting health and preventing illness across the globe. When nursing goals are directed at the synthesis of the good of the individual and society, nursing's social and moral mandate may be achieved. (shrink)
Much of Arnold Hauser’s work on the social history of art and the philosophy of art history is informed by a concern for the cognitive dimension of art. The present paper offers a reconstruction of this aspect of Hauser’s project and identifies areas of overlap with the sociology of knowledge—where the latter is to be understood as both a separate discipline and a going intellectual concern. Following a discussion of Hauser’s personal and intellectual background, as well as of (...) the shifting political and academic setting of his work, the paper addresses one of Hauser’s central questions, viz. how best to square a thoroughgoing commitment to the social nature of art with the reality of successive artistic styles, given that the latter seem to be characterizable on purely formal grounds. This is followed by a discussion of Hauser’s conflicted views on the relation between art, science, and technology. This injects a tension into Hauser’s work, due to his initial reluctance to explain just how the aesthetic and the cognitive realms relate. The final part of the paper, through a closer examination of the analogies and disanalogies that Hauser sees between art history and the history of science, attempts to give a positive answer—“on Hauser’s behalf”, as it were—to the question of whether art may be credited with a specific cognitive dimension of its own, and if so, what its contribution to our cognitive enterprise may consist in. (shrink)
The Romans commanded the largest and most complex empire the world had ever seen, or would see until modern times. The challenges, however, were not just political, economic and military: Rome was also the hub of a vast information network, drawing in worldwide expertise and refashioning it for its own purposes. This groundbreaking collection of essays considers the dialogue between technical literature and imperial society, drawing on, developing and critiquing a range of modern cultural theories (including those of Michel Foucault (...) and Edward Said). How was knowledge shaped into textual forms, and how did those forms encode relationships between emperor and subjects, theory and practice, Roman and Greek, centre and periphery? Ordering Knowledge in the Roman Empire will be required reading for those concerned with the intellectual and cultural history of the Roman Empire, and its lasting legacy in the medieval world and beyond. (shrink)
Richard Koch1 became known in the 1920s with works on basic medical theory. Among these publications, the character of medical action and its status within the theory of science was presented as the most important theme. While science is inherently driven by the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, medicine pursues the practical purpose of helping the sick. Therefore, medicine must be seen as an active relationship between a helping and a suffering person. While elucidating this relationship, (...) Koch discusses the fundamental elements of medicine found in natural philosophy and the relationship of medicine to its own history. One of his aims is to unite natural history and the history of ideas without reducing intellectual processes to biological ones. Koch considers free will as something intuitively certain. It must serve as an axiom which will capture human as well as non-human reality. Based on the fact that human free will, considered a psychic quality, evolved out of inanimate matter, Koch grants matter (proto-) psychic qualities. They are evoked through specific constellations of matter. – With regard to history, Koch rejects the notion of constant progress. The history of medicine has provided insights that cannot be surpassed but can be obscured. Historical self-contemplation serves as a means for avoiding any deviations which may prevent medicine from fulfiling its ultimate purpose. Koch connects nature and history through the concept of a unity between natural history and the historical development of medicine. Medicine is considered an especially complex development of a purposive reaction to harmful stimuli, a reaction which can already be encountered in unicellular organisms. Without intending to reduce historical and mental processes to biological ones, Koch sets for himself the aim of gathering different phenomena and presenting them in one encapsulating unity. (shrink)
This book is a defence of a form of realism which stands closest to that upheld by the Nyãya-Vaid'sesika school in classical India. The author presents the Nyãya view and critically examines it against that of its traditional opponent, the Buddhist version of phenomenalism and idealism. His reconstruction of Nyãya arguments meets not only traditional Buddhist objections but also those of modern sense-data representationalists.
Translated by the noted classical scholar Francis M. Cornford, this edition of two masterpieces of Plato's later period features extensive ongoing commentaries by Cornford that provide helpful background information and valuable insights. The Theatetus offers a systematic treatment of the question, "What is knowledge?" with most of the dialogue taking place between Socrates and the student Theatetus. Among the answers they explore: knowledge as perception; knowledge as true belief; knowledge as true belief plus an account (i.e., a justified true belief); (...) as well as variations on each of these answers. The Sophist, a related dialogue, follows Socrates' cross-examination of a self-proclaimed true philosopher, the Stranger from Elea, on the distinction between philosophers, statesmen, and sophists. (shrink)
Twilight of the Idols has a main role in Nietzsche’s work, since it represents the opening writing of his project of Transvaluation of all values. The task of this essay is sounding out idols, i.e. to disclose their lack of content, their being hollow. The theme of eternal idols is in this work strictly related to the idea of a ‘true’ world and, consequently, a study on this latter notion can contribute to a better comprehension of what does that emptiness (...) mean and which is the way that Nietzsche wants to follow to set his thought free from any metaphysical heritage. The analysis of the notion of truth Nietzsche concerns with in Twilight of the Idols takes us back to the content of his early writings, when he gives the first sketches of his theory of knowledge. The perspective he exposed in the ‘70s is constructed on the basis of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, that Nietzsche merges with the main ideas of Lange, Spir and other neo-Kantians. The outcome of his reflections on this matter is an evolutionary epistemology, a view that leads Nietzsche to define the historical reconstruction as the only resource through which the fact that concepts are mere thoughts gradually evolved can be point out. These observations correspond in many ways to what the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach wrote in his works, and one can say that Nietzsche agrees with his “anti-metaphysical intent”, i.e. his criticizing a thought still depending on “concepts which we forgot how we’ve reached”. With my paper I’ll try to show that Nietzsche wage his war against metaphysics with the theoretical ‘weapons’ he prepared in the ‘70s, indeed that his last attack to western knowledge arises from some contents he exposed in Human, All Too Human. In this text Nietzsche reflected on the mechanisms of language and world’s representation, and connected human knowledge with the overall development of organic beings. Moreover, in his work from 1878 the philosopher presented a comparison between “metaphysische Philosophie” and “historische Philosophie”, an idea that cannot be found in the following writings, but that comes up again in the Twilight of the Idols. Indeed, in this work Nietzsche repeats his complaining philosopher’s “lack of historical sense” he dealt with in the opening pages of Human, All Too Human, and he reflects on the kind of inquiry western thinkers should adopt to set themselves free from the fixed forms of metaphysics. Thus, Nietzsche’s observation about the role of history in philosophy testifies the connection between this main works, and allow us to define the way he wants to follow to carry his critic to eternal idols out and, in doing so, to show the way forward to his last thoughts. (shrink)
While the early Platonic dialogues have often been explored and appreciated for their ethical content, this is the first book devoted solely to the epistemology of Plato's early dialogues. Author Hugh H. Benson argues that the characteristic features of these dialogues--Socrates' method of questions and answers (elenchos), his fascination with definition, his professions of ignorance, and his thesis that virtue is knowledge--are decidedly epistemological. In this thoughtful study, Benson (...) uncovers the model of knowledge that underlies these distinctively Socratic views. What emerges is unfamiliar, yet closer to a contemporary conception of scientific understanding than ordinary knowledge. (shrink)
In this paper, I will reread the history of molecular genetics from a psychoanalytical angle, analysing it as a case history. Building on the developmental theories of Freud and his followers, I will distinguish four stages, namely: (1) oedipal childhood, notably the epoch of model building (1943–1953); (2) the latency period, with a focus on the development of basic skills (1953–1989); (3) adolescence, exemplified by the Human Genome Project, with its fierce conflicts, great expectations and grandiose claims (1989–2003) (...) and (4) adulthood (2003–present) during which revolutionary research areas such as molecular biology and genomics have achieved a certain level of normalcy—have evolved into a normal science. I will indicate how a psychoanalytical assessment conducted in this manner may help us to interpret and address some of the key normative issues that have been raised with regard to molecular genetics over the years, such as ‘relevance’, ‘responsible innovation’ and ‘promise management’. (shrink)
Translated by the noted classical scholar Francis M. Cornford, this edition of two masterpieces of Plato's later period features extensive ongoing commentaries by Cornford that provide helpful background information and valuable insights.