Hobbes's manuscript refutation of Thomas White bears no title. Some modern scholars have proposed, on the basis of references to it by Mersenne, that the work was entitled 'De motu, loco et tempore', and the abbreviated version of this, 'De motu', has become current in modern scholarship. This research note analyses Mersenne's references, and concludes that this apparent title was a descriptive phrase introduced by Mersenne himself. The full description included the term 'philosophia' (thus: Hobbes's 'philosophy concerning motion, place and (...) time'); this suggests a double focus, not only on the manuscript text, but also on Hobbes's 'body' of natural philosophy more generally. (shrink)
Acclaimed writer and historian Noel Malcolm presents his sensational discovery of a new work by Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679): a propaganda pamphlet on behalf of the Habsburg side in the Thirty Years' War, translated by Hobbes from a Latin original. Malcolm's book explores a fascinating episode in seventeenth-century history, illuminating both the practice of early modern propaganda and the theory of "reason of state".
The mathematician John Pell was a member of that golden generation of scientists Boyle, Wren, Hooke, and others which came together in the early Royal Society. Although he left a huge body of manuscript materials, he has remained an extraordinarily neglected figure, whose papers have never been properly explored. This book, the first ever full-length study of Pell, presents an in-depth account of his life and mathematical thinking, based on a detailed study of his manuscripts. It not only restores to (...) his proper place in history a figure who was one of the leading mathematicians of his day; it also brings to life a strange, appealing, but awkward character, whose failure to publish his discoveries was caused by powerful scruples. In addition, this book shows that the range of Pell's interests extended far beyond mathematics. He was a key member of the circle of the 'intelligencer' Samuel Hartlib; he prepared translations of works by Descartes and Comenius; in the 1650s he served as Cromwell's envoy to Switzerland; and in the last part of his life he was an active member of the Royal Society, interested in the whole range of its activities. The study of Pell's life and thought thus illuminates many different aspects of 17th-century intellectual life. The book is in three parts. The first is a detailed biography of Pell; the second is an extended essay on his mathematical work; the third is a richly annotated edition of his correspondence with Sir Charles Cavendish. This correspondence, which has often been cited by scholars but has never been published in full, is concerned not only with mathematics but also with optics, philosophy, and many other subjects; conducted mainly while Pell was in the Netherlands and Cavendish was also on the Continent, it is an unusually fascinating example of the correspondence that flourished in the 17th-century 'Republic of letters'. This book will be an essential resource not only for historians of mathematics, science, and philosophy, but also for intellectual and cultural historians of early modern Europe. (shrink)
These essays are the fruit of many years' research by one of the world's leading Hobbes scholars. Noel Malcolm offers not only succinct introductions to Hobbes's life and thought, but also path-breaking studies of many different aspects of his political philosophy, his scientific and religious theories, his relations with his contemporaries, the sources of his ideas, the printing history of his works, and his influence on European thought.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, who died in Cambridge in 1951, is one of the most powerful influences on contemporary philosophy, yet he shunned publicity and was essentially a private man. His friend Norman Malcolm (himself an eminent philosopher) wrote this remarkably vivid personal memoir of Wittgenstein, which was published in 1958 and was immediately recognized as a moving and truthful portrait of this gifted, difficult man. -/- This edition includes also the complete text of the fifty-seven letters which Wittgenstein wrote to Malcolm (...) over a period of eleven years. Apart from the quotations in the Memoir these letters are previously unpublished. They reveal how much friendships mattered to Wittgenstein, and how concerned he was for the health and well-being of his friends. His human qualities become evident; he advises, warns, jokes. and is grateful and affectionate. -/- The volume also features a concise biographical sketch by another leading philosopher who was a friend of Wittgenstein, Georg Henrik von Wright. -/- Much has been published about Wittgenstein since his death, but nothing brings us closer to the man himself than this modest classic of philosophical biography. -/- . (shrink)
The claim that isomorphism in perceptual behaviour allows for differences in inner experience holds only if experience is taken to be an entity quite distinct from perceptual behaviour and only accidentally related to it. But this is not so. The two are internally related; experience as conceptualised being inherent to perception as a species of normative behaviour.
Colours are not the sorts of thing that are amendable to traditional forms of scientific explanation. To think otherwise is to mistake their ontology and ignore their normativity. The acquisition and use of colour categories is constrained by the logic of colour grammars.
An attempt is made to answer the question why wittgenstein might have found the analogy between speaking and playing games philosophically exciting. It is argued that on the face of it the two are strikingly disanalogous, But that on reflecting further one can find various features of games (9 are distinguished in all) which are also features of some speech episodes, And the awareness of which could be philosophically significant.
This paper compares Wittgenstein's conception of ?objective certainty? with Descartes's ?metaphysical certainty?. According to both conceptions if you are certain of something in these senses, then it is inconceivable that you are mistaken. But a striking difference is that for Descartes, if you are metaphysically certain of something it follows both that the something is so and that you know it is so; whereas on Wittgenstein's conception neither thing follows. I try to show that there is a form of ?scepticism? (...) in Wittgenstein's outlook on the concept of certainty, although it is not the familiar Philosophical Scepticism. The Appendix takes issue with a recent essay by John Cook which argues that the ?hinge propositions? of On Certainty are based on ?the metaphysics of phenomenalism? (shrink)
Descartes' proof that his essence is thinking.--Thoughtless brutes.--Descartes' proof that he is essentially a non-material thing.--Behaviorism as a philosophy of psychology.--The privacy of experience.--Wittgenstein on the nature of mind.--The myth of cognitive processes and structures.--Moore and Wittgenstein on the sense of "I know."--The groundlessness of belief.