An explicit philosophy and meta-philosophy of positivism, empiricism and popperianism is provided. Early popperianism is argued to be essentially a form of empiricism, the deviations from empiricism are traced. In contrast, the meta-philosophy and philosophy of an evolutionary naturalistic realism is developed and it is shown how the maximal conflict of this doctrine with all forms of empiricism at the meta-philosophical level both accounts for the form of its development at the philosophical level and its defense against attack (...) from nonrealist quarters. Following an earlier article on realism of similar theme (Synthese 26 (1974), 409) this paper then further explores the ramifications of a thoroughgoing realist position. (shrink)
Meta-ethical discussions commonly distinguish 'subjectivism' from 'emotivism', or 'expressivism'. But Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit have argued that plausible assumptions in the philosophy of language entail that expressivism collapses into subjectivism. Though there have been responses to their argument, I think the responses have not adequately diagnosed the real weakness in it. I suggest my own diagnosis, and defend expressivism as a viable theory distinct from subjectivism.
In this article I attempt to reconcile two seemingly conflicting theorisations of love, the one elaborated by Roy Bhaskar as part of his philosophy of meta-Reality and Anna G. Jónasdóttir’s historical materialist-radical feminist theory of love power. While Bhaskar emphasises the essentially non-dual character of love, envisioning it as a ‘no-lose situation’, Jónasdóttir stresses the antagonistic features structuring love relations by conceptualising love as a productive power that men tend to exploit women of. Rather than seeing these accounts as mutually (...) exclusive I show that they can be reconciled by aid of the general ontology elaborated by Bhaskar in his philosophy of meta-Reality. (shrink)
In his paper, “Was He Trying to Whistle It,” P. M. S. Hacker argues that the weight of what he terms the “internal” and “external” evidence shows that the kind of interpretation of the Tractatus put forth by Cora Diamond is wrong. The internal evidence is the Tractatus itself, while the external evidence consists of some of Wittgenstein’s other philosophical writings, letters, and records of his discussions about the book. This paper critically examines the way Hacker uses some ofthe external (...) evidence in building his case against Diamond and those sympathetic to her approach to the Tractatus. The main goal is not so much to defend the views that Hacker wants to attack, but to argue that given the nature of those views, the manner in which he attempts to use certain pieces of evidence against them is seriously misguided. (shrink)
The posthumous Pourquoi Philosopher? collects Jean-Fran ç ois Lyotard’s previously unpublished four-part introductory course in philosophy, delivered to students of the Sorbonne in 1964. The interest of this text is both historical (appearing at an important juncture in French thought) and meta-philosophical (answering the question "why philosophize?" in such a way that a philosophy of philosophy - or rather several - is offered for consideration). The text will be of interest to readers of various levels of philosophical sophistication.
In his recent book, A Frightening Love: Recasting the Problem of Evil, Andrew Gleeson challenges a certain conception of justification assumed in mainstream analytic philosophy and argues that analytic philosophy is ill-suited to deal with the most pressing, existential, form of the problem of evil. In this article I examine some aspects of that challenge.
We distinguish and discuss two different accounts of the subject matter of theories of reference, meta-externalism and meta-internalism. We argue that a form of the meta- internalist view, “moderate meta-internalism”, is the most plausible account of the subject matter of theories of reference. In the second part of the paper we explain how this account also helps to answer the questions of what kind of concept reference is, and what role intuitions have in the study of the reference relation.
In existential thought the thinking subject includes itself in its own thinking; this subject is not conceived as a substance that may be objectively determined, for its being lies in a making or constituting itself. Choice is thus the crucial concept of existential thought. Since choice involves awareness of the uncertainty of itspossible outcomes, anguish is inherent in it. Hence anguish in the face of our own freedom is essential to the human reality, and authenticity lies in facing anguish rather (...) than fleeing it. The term metaexistential refers, (1) to those systems that acknowledge absolute authenticity and truth to consist in going beyond existence in all its manifestations—those which are more unauthentic and less conflictive and distressful, as well as those which are less unauthentic and more conflictive and distressful—and (2) to those Paths of Awakening possessing the means for effectively going beyond existence and thus achieving absolute authenticity and truth. In fact, (1) only the Contemplation state of higher bodhisattvas and the state of Buddhahood, which are free from the subject-objectduality and thus beyond the bounds of existence and of the human reality, constitute a genuine surpassing of alienation and delusion, and hence only these conditions are true to our innermost nature; and (2) only a really effective practice of metaexistential methods such as Buddhist Paths can be conducive to these realizations. (shrink)
The idea that films can be philosophical, or in some sense 'do' philosophy, has recently found a number of prominent proponents. What is at stake here is generally more than the tepid claim that some documentaries about philosophy and related topics convey philosophically relevant content. Instead, the contention is that cinematic fictions, including popular movies such as The Matrix , make significant contributions to philosophy. Various more specific claims are linked to this basic idea. One, relatively weak, but pedagogically important (...) observation is that some films can be used to provide philosophy students with vivid and thought-provoking illustrations of philosophical issues. Film screenings stimulate discussion and may motivate renewed engagement with difficult philosophical texts. A stronger contention, however, seeks to link innovative and philosophically valuable thinking to 'the film itself' or to the 'specificity of the cinematic medium'. Such claims raise interesting questions, including questions about the status of the increasingly prevalent philosophically motivated interpretations of particular movies. Who is actually doing the philosophizing in such cases? Is it the audio-visual display, the film-maker, or the philosopher who devises an interpretation of the work? What is the role of specifically cinematic devices in the philosophical points made in such interpretations? Is there any tension between the goal of appreciating a film as a work of art and the goal of arguing that a film has significant implications for a position on a problem in philosophy? A course in the general area of cinema as philosophy can focus on issues related to the locus and status of cinematic philosophizing. It can also delve into specific films and film-makers and philosophically oriented interpretations of specific philosophical topics, such as personal identity. Issues pertaining to interpretation, meaning, and authorship can be usefully investigated in this connection, as can topics in meta-philosophy related to the very nature of philosophical insight or knowledge. Author Recommends Carroll, Noël and Jinhee Choi, eds. 2008. The Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology , Part VIII: Film and Knowledge. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 381–405. Inclues a brief introduction by Carroll followed by papers by Bruce Russell, Karen Hanson, and Lester H. Hunt. Kania, Andrew, ed. 2009. Memento . London: Routledge. A number of philosophers elucidate philosophical themes in Memento and discuss more general issues pertaining to cinema's philosophical significance. Livingston, Paisley. 2009. Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman: On Film as Philosophy . Oxford: Oxford University Press. Part 1 surveys arguments surrounding the cinema as philosophy theme, providing detailed criticisms of some of the bold theses in this area. Part 2 discusses issues related to cinematic authorship and the status of philosophically motivated interpretations of works of fiction, arguing for a partial intentionalist account of a work's meanings. Part 3 illustrates the intentionalist principles in a discussion of Ingmar Bergman's philosophical sources, providing insight into themes of motivated irrationality, inauthenticity, and self-knowledge in some of Bergman's works. Livingston, Paisley and Carl Plantinga, eds. 2009. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film , Part IV: Film as Philosophy. London: Routledge. 547–659. Offers a succinct survey by Wartenberg as well as entries on Ingmar Bergman, Terrence Malick, and Andrei Tarkovsky, discussions of film and specific philosophical topics (morality, skepticism, personal identity, and practical wisdom), and examples of philosophically motivated interpretations of three specific films: The Five Obstructions , Gattaca , and Memento . Smith, Murray and Thomas E. Wartenberg, eds. 2006. Thinking Through Cinema: Film as Philosophy . Malden, MA: Blackwell. A collection of papers that combines essays devoted to general positions on the cinema as philosophy topic as well as specific interpretations of works in different genres. Turvey, Malcolm. 2008. Doubting Vision: Film and the Revelationist Tradition . Oxford: Oxford University Press. A probing critical investigation into the assumptions underlying influential philosophical claims about the epistemic value of cinema. Wartenberg, Thomas E. 2008. Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy . London: Routledge. Ably surveys and responds to arguments against the idea that films can 'do philosophy'. It defends a conditionalist form of intentionalism in response to the 'imposition objection' according to which it is only the commentator who reads philosophical themes 'into' the movie; illustrates the favored account of film as philosophy with interpretations of specific cinematic fictions. Online Materials Film-Philosophy http://www.film-philosophy.com/ > Founded in 1996, this peer-reviewed online journal is dedicated to philosophically oriented interpretations of films and cinema studies more generally. The e-mail salon encourages discussion of related topics. Includes essays, festival reports, calls for papers, conference and job information, and book reviews. The archive includes contributions from 1997 to the present. Wartenberg, Thomas E. 'Philosophy of Film.' The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ; http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/film/ > A brief survey of a range of issues in the philosophy of cinema including a few paragraphs on the film as philosophy topic. Philosophical Films http://www.philfilms.utm.edu/2/filmlist.htm > A briefly annotated list of philosophical films grouped in rubrics such as 'The Meaning of Life' and 'Environmental Ethics'. Sample Syllabus What follows is a 4-week 'start-up module' followed by samples of optional units that focus on particular topics and cinematic examples. Introductory Module Week I: Introduction & Overview Livingston, Paisley. 'Recent Work on Cinema as Philosophy.' Philosophy Compass 3 (2008): 1–14, 20 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2008.00158.x ). Wartenberg, Thomas E. 2009. 'Film as Philosophy.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Ed. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 549–59. Russell, Bruce. 2008. 'The Philosophical Limits of Film.' The Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology . Ed. Noël Carroll and Jinhee Choi. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 387–390. Week II: The Bold Thesis on Film as Philosophy Reading: Livingston, Paisley, 'Theses on Cinema as Philosophy.' Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman, Chapter One. 11–38. Screening: October (dir. Sergei Eisenstein 1928). Week III: Debating the Bold Thesis: The Case of October Carroll, Noël. 1998. 'For God and Country.' Interpreting the Moving Image . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 80–91. Smuts, Aaron. 2009. 'Film as Philosophy: In Defense of a Bold Thesis.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism , 67:4: 409–20. Week IV: Cinema as Philosophy: Objections and Replies Livingston, Paisley. 2009. 'Arguing over Cinema as Philosophy.' Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman, Chapter Two. 39–59. Additional Optional Units Depending on the instructor's areas of interest and expertise, any of the following units could be added (and in some cases, easily expanded into longer segments). The Case of Ingmar Bergman Livingston, Paisley. 2009. 'Ingmar Bergman.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 560–568. Screening(s): Wild Strawberries (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1957), or The Seventh Seal (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1957), or Persona (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1966). Skepticism Fumerton, Richard. 2009. 'Skepticism.' In The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 601–10. Screening: The Matrix (dir. Andy and Larry Wachowski 1999) or Total Recall (dir. Paul Verhoeven 1990). Ethics Kupfer, Joseph. 1999. Visions of Virtue in Popular Film . Boulder, CO: Westview. 35–60. Falzon, Chris. 2009. 'Why be Moral?' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 591–599. Screening: Groundhog Day (dir. <span class='Hi'>Harold</span> Ramis 1993), or Crimes and Misdemeanors (dir. Woody Allen 1989), or Hollow Man (dir. Paul Verhoeven 2000). Personal Identity Knight, Deborah. 2009. 'Personal Identity.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 611–619. Hanley, Richard. 2009. ' Memento and Personal Identity: Are We Getting it Backwards?' Memento . Ed. Andrew Kania. London: Routledge. 107–126. Martin, Raymond. 2009. 'The Value of Memory: Reflections on Memento. ' Memento . Ed. Andrew Kania. London: Routledge. 87–106. Screening: Memento (dir. Christopher Nolan 2000). Freedom and (Genetic) Determinism Sesardic, Neven. 2009. 'Gattaca.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 641–649. Screening: Gattaca (dir. Andrew Niccol 1997). Focus Questions • Is there anything special about the experience of fiction films that is especially well suited to the stimulation of worthwhile philosophical reflection? • Have any novel and philosophically significant ideas found their first expression in a cinematic work? • Under what circumstances can the film medium be used as an expression of a cinematic author's views? • What sort of background knowledge has to be in place for a film to be interpreted as articulating reasonably precise philosophical theses and arguments? • Does the goal of spelling out a film's philosophical meaning sometimes conflict with the goal of appreciating its value as a work of art? (shrink)
My topic is two-fold: a reductive account of expertise as an epistemic phenomenon, and applying the reductive account to the question of whether or not philosophers enjoy expertise. I conclude, on the basis of the reductive account, that even though philosophers enjoy something akin to second-order expertise (i.e. they are often experts on the positions of other philosophers, current trends in the philosophical literature, the history of philosophy, conceptual analysis and so on), they nevertheless lack first-order philosophical expertise (i.e. expertise (...) on philosophical positions themselves such as the nature of mind, causality, normativity and so forth). Throughout the paper, I respond to potential objections. (shrink)
I explore the idea of language reaching its limits by distinguishing two kinds of limits language may have: The first are “Boundaries” which lie on the edges of language, and distinguish what makes sense from what does not. These, I claim, are suitable in making theoretical generalizations. The second are “Contours,” which lie within language, and allow for contrasting and comparing meanings and shades of meanings that we capture in language. These are more suitable for characterizations of particulars, and for (...) literary use. I claim that failure to draw this distinction is responsible for confusions in Sabina Lovibond’s and Richard Rorty’s views of moral thought and language. (shrink)
On the question of precisely what role common sense (or related datum like folk psychology, trust in pre-theoretic/intuitive judgments, etc.) should have in reigning in the possible excesses of our philosophical methods, the so-called ‘continental’ answer to this question, for the vast majority, would be “as little as possible”, whereas the analytic answer for the vast majority would be “a reasonably central one”. While this difference at the level of both rhetoric and meta-philosophy is sometimes – perhaps often – (...) problematised by the actual philosophical practices of representative philosophers of either tradition, I will argue that this norm (and its absence) nonetheless continues to play an important justificatory role in relation to the use of some rather different methodological practices. In particular, many analytic philosophers not only explicitly invoke the value of common sense, but they also implicitly value it via techniques like conceptual analysis that want to explicate folk psychology and/or lay bare what is already embedded in the linguistic norms of a given culture, the widespread use of thought experiments and the way they function as ‘intuition pumps’, as well as the general aim to achieve ‘reflective equilibrium’ between our intuitions and reflective judgments in epistemology and political philosophy. Such methods, I will argue, enshrine a conservative, or, more positively, a modest understanding of the philosophical project in that it is invested in cohering with both a given body of knowledge and common sense. These methods are notably less perspicuous in continental philosophy. To bring some of the reasons why this might be so to the fore, this paper considers Deleuze’s sustained attack on both good and common sense, which he argues are fundamental to the prevalence of a dogmatic image of thought. If Deleuze is right about this, and if the analytic tradition distils and perfects certain methods that are closely associated with this image of thought, then we have here a rather stark methodological contrast that calls for elaboration and evaluation. (shrink)
History and Objectives SPPIS is working on independent pages since 2008 but formally it came into existence from July 10, 2010. And it has already started several pages to promote its workings. And with the help of Milestone Education Society, Pehowa it set up a Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CSPPIS), Pehowa (Kurukshetra) . -/- OBJECTIVES OF THE SOCIETY -/- In accordance with the above considerations a new Society for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies indicated areas of priority (...) in research, such as Meta-Philosophy, Indian Psychology, Indian Logic, Applied Ethics, Indian Cultural Values and their relevance to a national reconstruction has been conceived. (shrink)
Philogagging: an introduction -- Metaphysics -- Logic -- Epistemology -- Ethics -- Philosophy of religion -- Existentialism -- Philosophy of language -- Social and political philosophy -- Relativity -- Meta-philosophy -- Summa time : a conclusion -- Final exam -- Great moments in the history of philosophy.
This book draws upon the phenomenological tradition of Husserl and Heidegger to provide an alternative elaboration of John McDowell’s thesis that in order to understand how self-conscious subjectivity relates to the world, perception must be understood as a genuine unity of spontaneity (‘concept’) and receptivity (‘intuition’). Thereby it clarifies McDowell’s critique of Donald Davidson and develops an alternative conception of perceptual experience which gives sense to McDowell’s claim that self-conscious subjectivity is so inherently in touch with its world that scepticism (...) about the latter must be incoherent. It also develops a more accurate, historically oriented critique of the metaphysics constraining one to construe perceptual experience in ways which misrepresent how self-conscious subjectivity bears upon the world. It shows that many of McDowell’s meta-philosophical views are implicitly Husserlian and that had McDowell developed them further, he would have avoided the paradoxical meta-philosophy he adopts from Wittgenstein. In conclusion, it intimates the central weakness in Husserl’s position which takes one from Husserl to Heidegger. The book is written in terms accessible to analytic philosophers and will thus enable them to see the central differences between analytic and phenomenological approaches to intentionality and self-consciousness. (shrink)
In contrast to many of his contemporaries, A. J. Ayer was an analytic philosopher who had sustained throughout his career some interest in developments in the work of his ‘continental’ peers. Ayer, who spoke French, held friendships with some important Parisian intellectuals, such as Camus, Bataille, Wahl and Merleau-Ponty. This paper examines the circumstances of a meeting between Ayer, Merleau-Ponty, Wahl, Ambrosino and Bataille, which took place in 1951 at some Parisian bar. The question under discussion during this meeting was (...) whether the sun existed before humans did, over which the various philosophers disagreed. This disagreement is tangled with a variety of issues, such as Ayer’s critique of Heidegger and Sartre (inherited from Carnap), Ayer’s response to Merleau-Ponty’s critique of empiricism, and Bataille’s response to Sartre’s critique of his notion of ‘unknowing’, which uncannily resembles Ayer’s critique of Sartre. 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London, The Open Court Company, 1925. J. Wahl. Vers le Concret. Paris, Vrin, 1932. J. Wahl. Nietzsche et la mort de dieu: note a propos du “Nietzsche” de Jaspers. Acéphale, 2:22-24, 1937. I. Waldberg & Patrick Waldberg. Un Amour Acéphale, Correspondence 1940-49. Paris, Editions de la Différence, 1992. M. Warnock. The Philosophy of Sartre. London, Hutchinson, 1965. D. Wiggins. Truth, Invention, and the Meaning of Life. In G. Sayre-McCord, editor, Essays on Moral Realism, pages 127-65. Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1988. C. Wilson. The Outsider. London, Gollancz, 1956. D. Zahavi. Phenomenology and Metaphysics. In D. Zahavi, S. Heinämaa, & H. Ruin, editors, Metaphysics, Facticity, Interpretation: Phenomenology in the Nordic Countries, pages 3-22. Dordrecht, Kluwer, 2003. (shrink)
It sometimes happens that advances in one area of philosophy can be applied to a quite different area of philosophy, and that the result is an unexpected significant advance. I think that this is true of the philosophy of time and meta-ethics. Developments in the philosophy of time have led to a new understanding of the relation between semantics and metaphysics. Applying these insights to the field of meta-ethics, I will argue, can suggest a new position with respect to moral (...) discourse and moral reality. This new position retains the advantages of theories like moral realism and naturalism, yet is immune to many of their difficulties. (shrink)
Dans cet article, nous proposons de montrer expérimentalement que le "sens commun" n'est en matière moral ni complètement objectiviste ni complètement relativiste, mais qu'un même individu peut être tantôt objectiviste tantôt relativiste. De même, nous montrons que les jugements de goût portant sur le prédicat "dégoûtant" ne sont pas toujours relativiste mais peuvent varier selon le contexte entre objectivisme et relativisme.
Bernard Bolzano's philosophy of mind is closely related to his metaphysical conceptions of substance, adherence and force. Questions as to how the mind is working are treated in terms of efficient (causal) faculties producing simple and complex representations, conclusive and non-conclusive judgments, and meta-representational attitudes such as believing and knowing. My paper outlines the proximity of Bolzano's account of "mental forces" to contemporary accounts of faculty psychology such as Modularity Theory and Simple Heuristics. While the modularist notions of domain specificity (...) and encapsulated mental faculties align with Bolzano's allotment of domain specific tasks to correspondingly specified psychological forces (e.g. judging to "judgmental force", inferring to "inferential force" etc.), the emphasis of Simple Heuristics on accurate "fast and frugal" processes aligns with Bolzano's views regarding cognitive resources and the importance of epistemic economy. The paper attempts to show how Bolzano's metaphysics of mind supposes a conception of bound rationality that determines his epistemology. Combining the rationalist concern for epistemic agent responsibility in the pursuit of knowledge with a strong confidence in the reliability of causal processes to generate the right beliefs, his epistemology shows close affinities with contemporary Virtue Epistemology. According to Virtue Epistemology, knowledge requires that true beliefs be generated by reliable processes typical of a virtuous character. The thesis that Bolzano anticipates virtue epistemological considerations is corroborated by his discussion of heuristic principles that set the norms for the acquisition of knowledge. The paper explores possible relations between such principles and the presumed low-level heuristics of cognitive processes. (shrink)
The late 20th century saw a remarkable flourishing of philosophy in France. The work of French philosophers is wide ranging, historically informed, often reaching out beyond the boundaries of philosophy; they are public intellectuals, taken seriously as contributors to debates outside the academy. Gary Gutting tells the story of the development of a distinctively French philosophy in the last four decades of the 20th century. His aim is to arrive at an account of what it was to 'do philosophy' in (...) France, what this sort of philosophizing was able to achieve, and how it differs from the analytic philosophy dominant in Anglophone countries. -/- His initial focus is on the three most important philosophers who came to prominence in the 1960s: Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Derrida. He sets out the educational and cultural context of their work, as a basis for a detailed treatment of how they formulated and began to carry out their philosophical projects in the 1960s and 1970s. He gives a fresh assessment of their responses to the key influences of Hegel and Heidegger, and the fraught relationship of the new generation to their father-figure Sartre. He concludes that Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze can all be seen as developing their fundamental philosophical stances out of distinctive readings of Nietzsche. The second part of the book considers topics and philosophers that became prominent in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the revival of ethics in Levinas, Derrida, and Foucault, the return to phenomenology and its use to revive religious experience as a philosophical topic, and Alain Badiou's new ontology of the event. Finally Gutting brings to the fore the meta-philosophical theme of the book, that French philosophy since the 1960s has been primarily concerned with thinking the impossible. (shrink)
abstract Part 1 of this essay argues that one of the most important contributions of philosophers to sound public policy may be to combat the influence of bad Philosophy (which includes, but is not limited to, bad Philosophy produced by accredited academic philosophers). Part 2 argues that the conventional conception of Practical Ethics (CPE) that philosophers bring to issues of public policy is defective because it fails to take seriously the phenomenon of the subversion of morality, the role of false (...) factual beliefs in this subversion, and the vulnerability to the exploitation of our moral powers that our social-epistemic dependency entails. Given the serious risks of the subversion of morality through the propagation of false factual beliefs, CPE's near exclusive emphasis on identifying sound moral principles greatly constrains its potential contribution to the Negative Task of Practical Ethics, the endeavour to reduce the incidence of the most grievously wrong behaviour. Practical ethicists should focus more on the ethics of believing, and develop a more sophisticated conception of the moral and epistemic virtues of individuals and of institutions, one that includes protective meta-virtues, whose function it is to guard us against the more frequent and predictable subversions of morality, including those subversions that are facilitated by the processes of belief-formation that our social institutions and practices foster. (shrink)
The claim that contemporary analytic philosophers rely extensively on intuitions as evidence is almost universally accepted in current meta-philosophical debates and it figures prominently in our self-understanding as analytic philosophers. No matter what area you happen to work in and what views you happen to hold in those areas, you are likely to think that philosophizing requires constructing cases and making intuitive judgments about those cases. This assumption also underlines the entire experimental philosophy movement: only if philosophers rely on intuitions (...) as evidence are data about non-philosophers' intuitions of any interest to us. Our alleged reliance on the intuitive makes many philosophers who don't work on meta-philosophy concerned about their own discipline: they are unsure what intuitions are and whether they can carry the evidential weight we allegedly assign to them. The goal of this book is to argue that this concern is unwarranted since the claim is false: it is not true that philosophers rely extensively (or even a little bit) on intuitions as evidence. At worst, analytic philosophers are guilty of engaging in somewhat irresponsible use of 'intuition'-vocabulary. While this irresponsibility has had little effect on first order philosophy, it has fundamentally misled meta-philosophers: it has encouraged meta-philosophical pseudo-problems and misleading pictures of what philosophy is. (shrink)
This article compares the differences between Kant’s and Husserl’s conceptions of the “transcendental.” It argues that, for Kant, the term “transcendental” stands for what is otherwise called “metaphysical,” i.e. non-empirical knowledge. As opposed to his predecessors, who had believed that such non-empirical knowledge was possible for meta-physical, i.e. transcendent objects, Kant’s contribution was to show how there can be non-empirical (a priori) knowledge not about transcendent objects, but about the necessary conditions for the experience of natural, non-transcendent objects. Hence the (...) transcendental for Kant ends up connoting a philosophy that claims to show how subjective forms of intuition and thinking have objective validity for all objects as appearances. By contrast, Husserl’s phenomenological philosophy takes a different set of problems for its starting point. His quest is to avoid the uncertainty of empirical knowledge about all kinds of objects that present themselves to us as something other than, something transcendent to, consciousness. Transcendental or reliable knowledge is made possible through the phenomenological reduction that focuses strictly on consciousness as immediately self-given to itself—reflection upon “pure” consciousness. The contents of such consciousness are not the same for everyone and at every time, so they are not necessary and invariant in the way that Kant’s pure forms of subjectivity are. Since Husserl however also claims that the all objects, as intentional objects, are constituted in and for consciousness, an investigation into the structures of pure subjectivity can also be called “transcendental” in a further sense of showing the genesis of our knowledge of objects that are transcendent to consciousness. Moreover, since Husserl’s philosophical interest is precisely upon the structures of that consciousness, he also concentrates on necessary conditions for the constitution of these objects in his philosophical work. Hence, there ends up being a great deal of overlap between his own transcendental project and Kant’s in spite of the differences in what each of them means by the term “transcendental.”. (shrink)
A work of music is repeatable in the following sense: it can be multiply performed or played in different places at the same time, and each such datable, locatable performance or playing is an occurrence of it: an item in which the work itself is somehow present, and which thereby makes the work manifest to an audience. As I see it, the central challenge in the ontology of musical works is to come up with an ontological proposal (i.e. an account (...) of what sort of thing a work of music is) which enables us to explain what such repeatability consists in, whilst doing maximal justice to the way in which we conceive of musical works in our reflective critical and appreciative practice. To this end, many have found it tempting to defend some version or other of the type-token theory : the thesis that a work is a type and its occurrences are its tokens. Much of the early debate prompted by the publication of Jerrold Levinson's seminal 'What a Musical Work Is' in 1980 has taken the type-token theory for granted, choosing to focus on how musical works, qua types, are individuated. (A key question here has been whether we should hold, with the sonicist , that works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike; or whether we should agree with Levinson's contextualist thesis that exact sound-alikes are distinct, if composed in distinct musico-historical contexts.) More recently, however, the type-token theory itself has been put under pressure, and alternatives have been suggested. So, e.g. Gregory Currie and David Davies have held versions of the thesis that musical works (and artworks generally) are acts of composition, whilst Guy Rohrbaugh has recommended that we think more innovatively about our metaphysical categories, and treat musical works (along with all repeatable artworks) as historical individuals . Historical individuals, like particular substances, come into and go out of existence, could have been somewhat different than they are, and can change through time; but such items, unlike particular substances, are nonetheless capable of having occurrences. In the last few years, ontologists of music have also stepped back to consider the very nature of their enterprise. In particular, a debate has ensued concerning the cogency of ontological proposals (such as those of Nelson Goodman, Nicholas Wolterstorff and Julian Dodd) that are substantially revisionary of our folk concept of a work of music. Amie Thomasson, David Davies and Andrew Kania occupy, to a greater or lesser degree, the descriptivist standpoint, according to which such revisionary ontologies are misconceived. The debate between revisionists and descriptivists in the ontology of music – if prosecuted against the backdrop of an awareness of developments in meta-ontology more generally – is a particularly fertile area in the philosophy of music at present. Author Recommends Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects . 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980. This seminal study nicely introduces and motivates the type-token theory, and in the course of doing so, helpfully, although perhaps contentiously, distinguishes types from both sets and properties. Wollheim's treatment was to a large part responsible for stimulating the subsequent debate as to the ontological nature of musical works. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is.' Journal of Philosophy 77 (1980); reprinted in his Music, Art and Metaphysics , 63–88. This paper has, perhaps, been the most influential account of the nature of musical works, post-Wollheim. Presuming the type-token theory to be correct, Levinson elaborates it by claiming musical works to be, not sound structures (i.e. structured patterns of sound-types), but a species of types he calls indicated structures . According to Levinson, a work of music is not to be identified with its sound structure, S ; it is, in fact, a compound of S and a performance-means structure, PM , as indicated (typically, via a score) by its composer on a certain occasion : something that we can represent as S/PM -as-indicated-by- X -at- t . Such indicated structures, Levinson argues, fit the bill for being what works of music are, because they come into being with their indication (i.e. their composition), are individuated in terms of the musico-historical context in which they were composed, and have their specified performance-means (i.e. their instrumentation) essentially. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. Part I of this book sees Wolterstorff defend a Platonistic version of the type-token theory (although Wolterstorff calls them 'kinds' rather than 'types'). According to Wolterstorff, considerations about the existence conditions of types commit us to the thesis that works of music, qua types, are entities that cannot come into or go out of existence. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. In this article, Kivy ingeniously (and wittily) defends a variety of Platonism about works of music against the animadversions of Levinson. Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Here Currie introduces and defends the thesis that works of music (and, indeed, all artworks) are compositional action-types. The book also contains some well-aimed criticisms of Levinson's account. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. In this book, Dodd defends the type-token theory, but argues that no version of it can escape the Platonisic consequence that musical works exist at all times (and hence, are discovered, rather than created, by their composers). Dodd also defends another controversial thesis, this time concerning musical works' individuation. According to Dodd, and pace Levinson and others, sonicism is correct: works that sound exactly alike are identical. Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals.' European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2003): 177–205. In this essay, Rohrbaugh makes some pointed criticisms of the type-token theory of repeatable artworks in the course of arguing that such works should be viewed, not as types, but as historical individuals (see above). Rohrbaugh suggests that treating musical works as historical individuals best captures our intuitions about such works' temporal and modal characteristics, and, in the course of elaborating his position, he makes some meta-ontological claims that see him endorsing a non-revisionary, descriptivist approach to the ontology of art. As Rohrbaugh sees it, ontologies of art are 'beholden to our artistic practices' (179), and 'aesthetics should not be beholden to the metaphysics on offer, but rather should drive new work in metaphysics' (197). Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology,' Journal of Philosophy 100 (2003): 203–220. This paper sees Ridley outlining a sceptical attitude towards the project of formulating ontological proposals. In his view, a 'serious philosophical engagement with music is orthogonal to, and may well in fact be impeded by, the pursuit of ontological issues' (203). Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics.' JAAC 63 (2005:221–9). Thomasson defends descriptivism in the ontology of art by arguing that such a position is a consequence of the only defensible solution to a problem in the theory of reference: the so-called 'qua' problem concerning how the reference of a term can be fixed. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Davies' position is characterised by two theses: one methodological, the other ontological. The methodological claim is that the ontology of art faces a pragmatic constraint : roughly speaking, the ontology of art is answerable to the epistemology of art. The ontological claim is that the rigorous enforcement of the pragmatic constraint commits us to the thesis that all artworks are compositional action-tokens. Online Materials http://www.blackwell-compass.com/subject/philosophy/article_view?article_id=phco_articles_bpL173 Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–34. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557784/abstract Thomasson, Amie. 'Debates about the Ontology of Art: What are We Doing Here?' Philosophy Compass 1/3 (2006): 245–55. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122517227/abstract Davies, David. 'Works and Performances in the Performing Arts.' forthcoming in Philosophy Compass . doi: [DOI link] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/music/ Kania, Andrew. 'The Philosophy of Music.' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Sample Mini-Syllabus Week 1: The Type/Token Theory Introduced Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects , §§4–8, 21–3, 35–7. Kivy, Peter. Introduction to a Philosophy of Music , chapter 11. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 1. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Week 2: The Type/Token Theory and Platonism in Music Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapters 2–5. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: Another Kind of Defence.' American Philosophical Quarterly 24 (1987): 245–52. Predelli, Stefano. 'Against Musical Platonism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 35 (1995): 338–50. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Can a Musical Work be Created?' British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (2004): 113–34. Week 3: Musical Works as Indicated Structures Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is, Again', in his Music, Art and Metaphysics . Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1990. 215–63. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works as Eternal Types.' British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (2000). Davies, Stephen. Musical Works and Performances: A Philosophical Account , chapter 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Howell, Robert. 'Types, Indicated and Initiated.' British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002): 105–27. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Fine Individuation.' British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2007): 113–37. Week 4: Musical Work as Historical Individuals Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 6. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending Musical Perdurantism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2006): 59–69. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending "Defending Musical Perdurantism".' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 331–37. Week 5: Musical Works as Compositional Actions Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 7. Week 6: Meta-ontology of Music: What are we Doing When we do the Ontology of Music? Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology'. Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics'. Thomasson, Amie. Ordinary Objects , chapter 11. OUP, 2007. Davies, David. 'The Primacy of Practice in the Ontology of Art.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (2009): 159–72. Kania, Andrew. 'Piece for the End of Time: In Defence of Musical Ontology,' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 65–79. Kania, Andrew. 'The Methodology of Musical Ontology: Descriptivism and its Implications.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 426–44. Cameron, Ross. 'There are No Things That are Musical Works.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 295–314. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–1134. doi: [DOI link] Focus Questions 1. Are musical works literally created by their composers? 2. Critically examine Levinson's thesis that musical works are 'indicated structures'. 3. What, if anything, is wrong with the thesis that musical works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike? 4. Should we immediately be sceptical of ontological proposals for works of music that are substantially revisionary of the way in which we ordinarily think of them? (shrink)
This paper considers three package deals combining views in Philosophy of Mind, Meta-Philosophy, and Experimental Philosophy. The most familiar of these packages gives center-stage to pumping intuitions about fanciful cases, but that package involves problematic commitments both to a controversial descriptivist theory of reference and to intuitions that ‘negative’ experimental philosophers have shown to be suspiciously variable and context-sensitive. In light of these difficulties, it would be good for future-minded experimental philosophers to align themselves with a different package deal. (...) This paper suggests two alternatives. Experimentalists might help fans of “Naturalized” approaches discover what natural kinds have been playing an appropriate role in causing us to use concepts as we do. Or—better still—experimentalists might instead help pragmatists and teleo-semanticists discover how our concept usage regularly yields beneficial outcomes, so that we can then craft philosophical analyses that will enable us to yield such beneficial outcomes more consistently. Using free will and explanation as instructive examples, this paper offers concrete guidance and suggestions for how experimental philosophers can pursue new positive projects that will be both pragmatically and philosophically useful. (shrink)
Despite the widespread use of key concepts of the Neyman–Pearson (N–P) statistical paradigm—type I and II errors, significance levels, power, confidence levels—they have been the subject of philosophical controversy and debate for over 60 years. Both current and long-standing problems of N–P tests stem from unclarity and confusion, even among N–P adherents, as to how a test's (pre-data) error probabilities are to be used for (post-data) inductive inference as opposed to inductive behavior. We argue that the relevance of error probabilities (...) is to ensure that only statistical hypotheses that have passed severe or probative tests are inferred from the data. The severity criterion supplies a meta-statistical principle for evaluating proposed statistical inferences, avoiding classic fallacies from tests that are overly sensitive, as well as those not sensitive enough to particular errors and discrepancies. Introduction and overview 1.1 Behavioristic and inferential rationales for Neyman–Pearson (N–P) tests 1.2 Severity rationale: induction as severe testing 1.3 Severity as a meta-statistical concept: three required restrictions on the N–P paradigm Error statistical tests from the severity perspective 2.1 N–P test T(): type I, II error probabilities and power 2.2 Specifying test T() using p-values Neyman's post-data use of power 3.1 Neyman: does failure to reject H warrant confirming H? Severe testing as a basic concept for an adequate post-data inference 4.1 The severity interpretation of acceptance (SIA) for test T() 4.2 The fallacy of acceptance (i.e., an insignificant difference): Ms Rosy 4.3 Severity and power Fallacy of rejection: statistical vs. substantive significance 5.1 Taking a rejection of H0 as evidence for a substantive claim or theory 5.2 A statistically significant difference from H0 may fail to indicate a substantively important magnitude 5.3 Principle for the severity interpretation of a rejection (SIR) 5.4 Comparing significant results with different sample sizes in T(): large n problem 5.5 General testing rules for T(), using the severe testing concept The severe testing concept and confidence intervals 6.1 Dualities between one and two-sided intervals and tests 6.2 Avoiding shortcomings of confidence intervals Beyond the N–P paradigm: pure significance, and misspecification tests Concluding comments: have we shown severity to be a basic concept in a N–P philosophy of induction? (shrink)
In recent years, several philosophers have offered reasons for thinking that if theism is true, the actual world (likely) includes multiple universes. Some have further argued that a multiverse model can help theists respond to arguments from evil. The latter move has been criticized in various ways. In a forthcoming paper in THIS JOURNAL, Jason Megill offers a novel and ambitious meta-argument: he claims that the bare epistemic possibility of multiple universes defeats all arguments from evil. If Megill’s argument were (...) sound, this would be an enormously important result in the philosophy of religion. The problem of evil, after all, is widely thought to be one of the most serious objections to theism. It has been discussed throughout the history of philosophy, and has generated an enormous and very technical contemporary literature. But can the bare epistemic possibility of multiple universes really defeat all arguments from evil, both past and present, as Megill maintains? In what follows, I contend that Megill fails to establish premise a crucial premise in his argument. I conclude with a rival account of the effect of multiverse models of theism on the debate about evil. (shrink)
?Are the reasons for acting also the causes of action?? When this question was asked in the early 1960s it received by and large a negative reply: ?No, reasons are not causes?. Yet, when the same question ?Are the reasons for acting the causes of action?? is posed some twenty years later, the predominant answer is ?Yes, reasons are causes?. How could one and the same question receive such diverging answers in the space of only a couple of decades? This (...) paper argues that the shift from an anti-causalist to a causalist consensus is not fully accounted for by the results of first-order debates in the philosophy of action and is owing instead to a change in second-order meta-philosophical assumptions concerning the role and character of philosophical analysis. (shrink)
This article suggests a ‘best alternative' justification of induction (in the sense of Reichenbach) which is based on meta-induction . The meta-inductivist applies the principle of induction to all competing prediction methods which are accessible to her. It is demonstrated, and illustrated by computer simulations, that there exist meta-inductivistic prediction strategies whose success is approximately optimal among all accessible prediction methods in arbitrary possible worlds, and which dominate the success of every noninductive prediction strategy. The proposed justification of meta-induction is (...) mathematically analytical. It implies, however, an a posteriori justification of object-induction based on the experiences in our world. *Received November 2005; revised March 2008. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Duesseldorf, Universitaetsstrasse 1, Geb. 23.21, Duesseldorf, Germany D-40225; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a revival of the debate about the relation between history and philosophy of science. This article seeks to contribute to the discussion by approaching the issue from a new angle. To rethink the relation between the two domains of study, I apply an important insight about scientific practice to the practice of integrating the history and philosophy of science: the insight that the scientific paper does not give a faithful account of the actual research (...) pursued in the laboratory or in the field. Arguably, the scholarly article about science is also not a transparent window to the activity of producing such an article. But if it is not, we need to redirect our attention. If we want to understand the nature and merits of integrating the history and philosophy of science, we need to examine both the actual activity of integrating and the scholarly paper produced by it. To consider what one can learn from such an inquiry, I reflect on my own activity of studying scientific justification through the combination of historical and philosophical analysis. Probing a concrete historical episode, micro-anatomical research on the retina in the 19th century, I pursue two related questions, the first-order question, 'What exactly is scientific justification in the given case?' and the meta-question, 'How do I go about analysing justificatory practices?' I then characterise the nature of my analysis and consider what can be learned from the study of the practice of integrating the history and philosophy of science. (shrink)
Steve Coutinho's Zhuangzi and Early Chinese Philosophy: Vagueness, Transformation and Paradox, is a comparative philosophy project masterfully carried out on two levels, the methodological and the interpretive. Coutinho provides a translation of the Zhuangzi that is both contextually rooted and philosophically rich. Whether or not one agrees with Coutinho's interpretation, there is much to be gleaned from his book. The first few chapters create a meta-philosophical structure that the rest of the book puts to use. Given the lucid movement from (...) development to application, there is something here for both the newcomer to comparative philosophy and those well versed in Warring States Chinese philosophy. To readers in .. (shrink)
In this article I argue that African-American philosophy emerges from a socio-existential context where persons of African descent have been faced with the absurd in the form of white racism. The concept of struggle, given the above, functions as both descriptive and heuristic vis-à-vis the meaning of African-American philosophy. Expanding upon Charles Mills’ concept of non-Cartesian sums, I demonstrate the inextricable link between Black lived experience, struggle, and the morphology of meta-philosophical assumptions and philosophical problems specific to African-American philosophy. Then, (...) I provide a sketch of two early African-American philosophers whose philosophical work is, though neglected, indispensable to African-American philosophical legitimating practices and whose work is informed by the defining motif of struggle. Lastly, I demonstrate the efforts of Africana philosophers at creating philosophical sites that nurture a sense of shared struggle and community. (shrink)
Contribution to a book symposium on David Velleman's THE POSSIBILITY OF PRACTICAL REASON. In this book, Velleman argues that agency is compatible with a causal conception of the world, since the role of the agent can be played in this conception by an aim of self-knowledge instantiated in the mechanisms governing mental states. This article argues (i) that he must show what at the causal level plays the role of the agent's awareness of the normative guise of reasons and (ii) (...) that any attempt to provide the needed metaethical account of the normative property of being a reason will either be implausible or require serious changes in his "story of motivation". (shrink)
Lateral gene transfer (LGT), the exchange of genetic information between (primarily prokaryotic) lineages, not only makes construction of a universal Tree of Life (TOL) difficult to achieve, but calls into question the utility and meaning of any result. Here I review the science of prokaryotic LGT, the philosophy of the TOL as it figured in Darwin’s formulation of the Theory of Evolution, and the politics of the current debate within the discipline over how threats to the TOL should be represented (...) outside it. We could encourage a more realistic and supportive public understanding of evolution by admitting that what we believe in is not a unified meta-theory but a versatile and well-stocked explanatory toolkit. (shrink)
: It is claimed that Comparative Philosophy of Religion (CPR) mistakenly builds on the dogmas of comparative religion (or history of religions) and philosophy of religion. Thus, the belief that there are things common and therefore comparable between two or more traditions and that these objects of comparison are of philosophical or theological significance are questions that continue to trouble the field. Just what does one compare, how does one choose what to compare or why, through what methodological and epistemic (...) tools, and who is it that carries out the tasks? But what has remained unasked and unanalyzed are the larger meta-questions concerning the motivation, civilizational presuppositions, cultural parochialism, or legacies of orientalism, modernity, and (post-)colonialism that together affect the boundedness of certain key categories and thematic issues in the comparative enterprise such as God or the Transcendent, Creation, the Problem of Evil, the Afterlife, Sin, Redemption, Purpose, and the End. Is difference with respect to alterity and altarity permissible? If so, what a postcolonial, differently gendered, cross-cultural critique would look like and what is left of CPR are two such questions explored here. (shrink)
In the philosophy of mathematics, as in its a meta-domain, we find that the words as: consequentialism, implicativity, operationalism, creativism, fertility, … grasp at most of mathematical essence and that the questions of truthfulness, of common sense, or of possible models for (otherwise abstract) mathematical creations,i.e. of ontological status of mathematical entities etc. - of second order. Truthfulness of (necessary) succession of consequences from causes in the science of nature is violated yet with Hume, so that some traditional footings of (...) logico-mathematical conclusions should equally be falled under suspicion in the last century. We have in mind, say, strict-material implication which led the emergence of relevance logics, or the law of excluded middle that denied intuitionists i.e. paraconsistent logical systems where the contradiction is allowed, as well as the quantum logic which doesn't know, say, the definition of implication etc. Kant's beliefs miscarried hereafter that number (arithmetic) and form (geometry) would bring a (finite) truth on space and time, when they revealed relative and curvated, just as it is contradictory essentially understanding of basic phenomena in the nature: of light as an unity of wave – particle, or that both "exist" and "don't exist" numbers as powers of sets between 0א and c (the independence of continuum hypothesis) etc. Mathematical truths are ''truths of possible worlds'', in which we have only to believe that they will meet once recognizable models in reality. At last, we argue in favour of thesis that a possible representing "in relief" of mathematical entities and relations in the "noetic matter" (Aristotle) would be of a striking heuristic character for this science. (shrink)
Children are surrounded by a lot of problems here and there, and they often show any tendency to answer them promptly. In this paper, I argue that helping children understand their problems properly before answering them is one of the good ways of meta-thinking teaching in philosophy for children, and then I suggest how teachers help them do so.
In The Elusive God: Reorienting Religious Epistemology, Paul Moser argues that Jesus’s love commands have important implications for how philosophy should be done by Christian philosophers. He calls for a reorientation of the questions that philosophers pursue, requiring that questions lead to agape-oriented ministry. Yet Moser omits discussion of an important duty of philosophers—teaching. Once the duty of teaching is considered, this essay argues that few philosophers could meet Moser’s ideal. Instead of abandoning Moser’s project to reorient philosophy, though, this (...) essay takes it one step further and argues that many, though not all, Christian philosophers should leave academia to become clergy. Examination of these meta-pedagogical issues, including that of Christian calling and vocational choice, transitions to pedagogical speculation of what Moser’s demands might require in the classroom. Moser’s obedience mode of philosophy is then compared with competing models in the advocacy-neutrality classroom debate. (shrink)
What kind of subject is philosophy? Colin McGinn takes up this perennial question, defending the view that philosophy consists of conceptual analysis, construed broadly. Conceptual analysis is understood to involve the search for de re essences, but McGinn takes up various challenges to this meta-philosophy: that some concepts are merely family resemblance concepts with no definition in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions ("game", "language"); that it is impossible to provide sufficient conditions for some philosophically important concepts without circularity (...) ("knowledge", "intentional action"); that there exists an unsolved paradox of analysis; that there is no well-defined analytic-synthetic distinction; that names have no definition; and that conceptual analysis is not properly naturalistic. Ultimately, McGinn finds none of these objections convincing: analysis emerges as both possible and fruitful. At the same time, he rejects the idea of the "linguistic turn", arguing that analysis is not directed to language as such, but at reality. Going on to distinguish several types of analysis, with an emphasis on classical decompositional analysis, he shows different philosophical traditions to be engaged in conceptual analysis when properly understood. Philosophical activity has the kind of value possessed by play, McGinn claims, which differs from the kind of value possessed by scientific activity. The book concludes with an analytic discussion of the prospects for traditional ontology and the nature of instantiation. -/- McGinn's study of the nature of philosophy shows us how philosophy can maintain its connection to the past while looking forward to a bright future. (shrink)
This article assesses undergraduate teaching students’ assertion that there are no right and wrong answers in teaching philosophy. When asked questions about their experiences of philosophy in the classroom for primary children, their unanimous declaration that teaching philosophy has ‘no right and wrong answers’ is critically examined across the three sub-disciplinary areas to which they were generally referring, namely, pedagogy, ethics, and epistemology. From a pedagogical point of view, it is argued that some teaching approaches may indeed be more effective (...) than others, and some pupils’ opinions less defensible, but pedagogically, in terms of managing the power relations in the classroom, it is counter-productive to continually insist on notions of truth and falsity at every point. From an ethical point of view, it is contended that anti-realist approaches to meta-ethics may represent a viable intellectual position, but from the point of view of normative ethics, notions of right and wrong still retain significant currency. From an epistemological point of view, it is argued using Karl Popper’s work that while it may be difficult to determine what constitutes a right answer, determining a wrong one is far more straightforward. In conclusion, it is clear that prospective teachers engaging in philosophy in the classroom, and also future teachers in general, require a far more nuanced philosophical understanding of the notions of right and wrong and truth and falsity. In view of this situation, if we wish to promote the effective teaching of philosophical thinking to children, or produce educators who can understand the conceptual limits of the claims they make and their very real and often serious practical and social consequences, it is recommended that philosophy be reinstated to a fundamental, foundational place within the pre-service teaching curriculum. (shrink)
Although Whitehead’s particular style of philosophizing--looking at traditional philosophical problems in light of recent scientific advances--was part of a trend that began with the scientific revolutions in the early 20th century and continues today, he was marginalized in 20th century philosophy because of his outspoken defense of what he was doing as “metaphysics.” Metaphysics, for Whitehead, is a cross-disciplinary hermeneutic responsible for coherently integrating the perspectives of the special sciences with one another and with everyday experience. The program of such (...) a meta-discipline is challenging to philosophical orthodoxy because it enlarges, rather than narrows, the range of empirical evidence that philosophy must acknowledge. This places Whitehead’s philosophy in a perennial tradition that seeks to resolve fundamental antinomies through synthesis and reconciliation rather than reduction or elimination. (shrink)
Except for a patina of twenty-first century modernity, in the form of logic and language, philosophy is exactly the same now as it ever was; it has made no progress whatsoever. We philosophers wrestle with the exact same problems the Pre-Socratics wrestled with. Even more outrageous than this claim, though, is the blatant denial of its obvious truth by many practicing philosophers. The No-Progress view is explored and argued for here. Its denial is diagnosed as a form of anosognosia, a (...) mental condition where the affected person denies there is any problem. The theories of two eminent philosophers supporting the No-Progress view are also examined. The final section offers an explanation for philosophy's inability to solve any philosophical problem, ever. The paper closes with some reflections on philosophy's future. (shrink)
Claims about people's intuitions have long played an important role in philosophical debates. The new field of experimental philosophy seeks to subject such claims to rigorous tests using the traditional methods of cognitive science – systematic experimentation and statistical analysis. Work in experimental philosophy thus far has investigated people's intuitions in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, and ethics. Although it is now generally agreed that experimental philosophers have made surprising discoveries about people's intuitions in each of these areas, (...) considerable disagreement remains about the philosophical significance of the key findings. Some have argued that work in experimental philosophy should be assessed by asking whether it can contribute to the kind of inquiry that is normally pursued within analytic philosophy, while others suggest that work in experimental philosophy is best understood as a contribution to a more traditional sort of philosophical inquiry that long predates the birth of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Mathematics plays an inordinate role in the work of many of famous Western philosophers, from the time of Plato, through Husserl and Wittgenstein, and even to the present. Why? This paper points to the experience of learning or making mathematics, with an emphasis on proof. It distinguishes two sources of the perennial impact of mathematics on philosophy. They are classified as Ancient and Enlightenment. Plato is emblematic of the former, and Kant of the latter. The Ancient fascination arises from the (...) sense that mathematics explores something ‘out there’. This is illustrated by recent discussions by distinguished contemporary mathematicians. The Enlightenment strand often uses Kant's argot: ‘absolute necessity’, ‘apodictic certainty’ and ‘a priori’ judgement or knowledge. The experience of being compelled by proof, the sense that something must be true, that a result is certain, generates the philosophy. It also creates the illusion that mathematics is certain. Kant's leading question, ‘How is pure mathematics possible?’, is easily misunderstood because the modern distinction between pure and applied is an artefact of the 19th century. As Russell put it, the issue is to explain ‘the apparent power of anticipating facts about things of which we have no experience’. More generally the question is, how is it that pure mathematics is so rich in applications? Some six types of application are distinguished, each of which engenders its own philosophical problems which are descendants of the Enlightenment, and which differ from those descended from the Ancient strand. (shrink)
On the political nature of the analytic - continental distinction in professional philosophy and the general tendency to discredit continental philosophy while redesignating the rubric as analytically conceived.
Traditionally transcendental logic has been set apart from formal logic. Transcendental logic had to deal with the conditions of possibility of judgements, which were presupposed by formal logic. Defined as a purely philosophical enterprise transcendental logic was considered as being a priori delivering either analytic or even synthetic a priori results. In this paper it is argued that this separation from the (empirical) cognitive sciences should be given up. Transcendental logic should be understood as focusing on specific questions. These do (...) not, as some recent analytic philosophy has it, include a refutation of scepticism. And they are not to be separated from meta-logical investigations. Transcendental logic properly understood, and redefined along these theses, should concern itself with the (formal) re-construction of the presupposed necessary conditions and rules of linguistic communication in general. It aims at universality and reflexive closure. (shrink)
Metaethics is the study of metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, insofar as they relate to the subject matter of moral or, more broadly, normative discourse – the subject matter of what is good, bad, right or wrong, just, reasonable, rational, what we must or ought to do, or otherwise. But out of these four ‘core’ areas of philosophy, it is plausibly the philosophy of language that is most central to metaethics – and not simply (...) because ‘metaethics’ was for a long time construed more narrowly as a name for the study of moral language. The philosophy of language is central to metaethics because both the advantages of and the open problems facing different metaethical theories differ sharply over the answers those theories give to central questions in the philosophy of language. In fact, among the open problems over which such theories differ, are included particularly further problems in the philosophy of language. This article briefly surveys a range of broad categories of views in metaethics and both catalogues some of the principal issues faced by each in the philosophy of language, as well as how those arise out of their answers to more basic questions in the philosophy of language. I make no claim to completeness, only to raising a variety of important issues. (shrink)
The following is a transcript of the interview I (Yasuko Kitano) conducted with Neil Levy (The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, CAPPE) on the 23rd in July 2009, while he was in Tokyo to give a series of lectures on neuroethics at The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy. I edited his words for publication with his approval.
Since antiquity well into the beginnings of the 20th century geometry was a central topic for philosophy. Since then, however, most philosophers of science, if they took notice of topology at all, considered it as an abstruse subdiscipline of mathematics lacking philosophical interest. Here it is argued that this neglect of topology by philosophy may be conceived of as the sign of a conceptual sea-change in philosophy of science that expelled geometry, and, more generally, mathematics, from the central position it (...) used to have in philosophy of science and placed logic at center stage in the 20th century philosophy of science. Only in recent decades logic has begun to loose its monopoly and geometry and topology received a new chance to find a place in philosophy of science. (shrink)
Needs, Values, Truth brings together of some of the most important and influential writings by a leading contemporary philosopher, drawn from twenty-five years of his work in the broad area of the philosophy of value. The author ranges between problems of ethics, meta-ethics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of logic and language, looking at questions relating to meaning, truth and objectivity in judgements of value. For this third edition he has added a new essay on incommensurability, in addition to making (...) minor revisions to the existing text. The volume will stand as a definitive summation of his work in this area. (shrink)
Is Bayesian decision theory a panacea for many of the problems in epistemology and the philosophy of science, or is it philosophical snake-oil? For years a debate had been waged amongst specialists regarding the import and legitimacy of this body of theory. Mark Kaplan had written the first accessible and non-technical book to address this controversy. Introducing a new variant on Bayesian decision theory the author offers a compelling case that, while no panacea, decision theory does in fact have the (...) most profound consequences for the way in which philosophers think about inquiry, criticism and rational belief. The new variant on Bayesian theory is presented in such a way that a non-specialist will be able to understand it. The book also offers new solutions to some classic paradoxes. It focuses on the intuitive motivations of the Bayesian approach to epistemology and addresses the philosophical worries to which it has given rise. (shrink)
Over the past three decades, philosophy of science has grown increasingly “local.” Concerns have switched from general features of scientific practice to concepts, issues, and puzzles specific to particular disciplines. Philosophy of neuroscience is a natural result. This emerging area was also spurred by remarkable recent growth in the neurosciences. Cognitive and computational neuroscience continues to encroach upon issues traditionally addressed within the humanities, including the nature of consciousness, action, knowledge, and normativity. Empirical discoveries about brain structure and function suggest (...) ways that “naturalistic” programs might develop in detail, beyond the abstract philosophical considerations in their favor. -/- The literature distinguishes “philosophy of neuroscience” and “neurophilosophy.” The former concerns foundational issues within the neurosciences. The latter concerns application of neuroscientific concepts to traditional philosophical questions. Exploring various concepts of representation employed in neuroscientific theories is an example of the former. Examining implications of neurological syndromes for the concept of a unified self is an example of the latter. In this entry, we will assume this distinction and discuss examples of both. (shrink)
From its inception in Kant's efforts to articulate a "religion within the limits of reason alone," the Continental tradition has maintained a strict division of labor between theological and philosophical reflection on religion. In what follows, I examine this continental legacy in the context of Jacques Derrida's recent work on the concept of responsibility. First I discuss three guiding themes (the limits of speculative analysis, the idea of nondogmatic religion, and the importance of the other) that characterize the continental tradition's (...) general orientation toward philosophy of religion, as well as Derrida's approach to the concept of responsibility. I turn next to elucidating Derrida's account of responsibility as developed in "Force of Law: The Mystical Foundations of Authority" and The Gift of Death. I conclude with a discussion of the uses and limits of this account for religious (and theological) reflection, as well as for the task of articulating a contemporary continental philosophy of religion. (shrink)
This volume of newly commissioned essays provides comprehensive coverage of African philosophy, ranging across disciplines and throughout the ages. Offers a distinctive historical treatment of African philosophy. Covers all the main branches of philosophy as addressed in the African tradition. Includes accounts of pre-colonial African philosophy and contemporary political thought.
There is a parallel between the debate between Gottlob Frege and David Hilbert at the turn of the twentieth century and at least some aspects of the current controversy over whether category theory provides the proper framework for structuralism in the philosophy of mathematics. The main issue, I think, concerns the place and interpretation of meta-mathematics in an algebraic or structuralist approach to mathematics. Can meta-mathematics itself be understood in algebraic or structural terms? Or is it an exception to the (...) slogan that mathematics is the science of structure? (shrink)
Abstract Recently, some philosophers of psychiatry (viz., Rachel Cooper and Dominic Murphy) have analyzed the issue of psychiatric classification. This paper expands upon these analyses and seeks to demonstrate that a consideration of the history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) can provide a rich and informative philosophical perspective for critically examining the issue of psychiatric classification. This case is intended to demonstrate the importance of history for philosophy of psychiatry, and more generally, the potential benefits (...) of historically-informed approaches to philosophy of science. (shrink)
In recent years, experimental philosophers have questioned the reliance of philosophical arguments on intuitions elicited by thought experiments. These challenges seek to undermine the use of this methodology for a particular domain of theorizing, and in some cases to raise doubts about the viability of philosophical work in the domain in question. The topic of semantic reference has been an important area for discussion of these issues, one in which critics of the reliance on intuitions have made particularly strong claims (...) about the prospects for philosophical theories of reference and arguments based on claims about reference. In this article, I review the main lines of argument in this area of experimental philosophy, with particular emphasis on the relevance of empirical data about intuitions to philosophical views. I argue that although traditional philosophical theorizing about reference faces little threat from experimental data about intuitions, there is nevertheless much to be gained from collecting and analyzing such data, which holds the promise of greatly enriching our conception of the mechanisms governing judgments about semantic reference in ways that are highly relevant to philosophers. (shrink)
The ‘Ordinary Language’ philosophy of the early 20th century is widely thought to have failed. It is identified with the broader so-called ‘linguistic turn’, a common criticism of which is captured by Devitt and Sterelny (1999), who quip: “When the naturalistic philosopher points his finger at reality, the linguistic philosopher discusses the finger.” (p 280) The implication is that according to ‘linguistic’ philosophy, we are not to study reality or truth or morality etc, but the meaning of the words ‘reality’, (...) ‘truth’, ‘morality’ etc. Ordinary Language philosophy has fallen so thoroughly into disrepute because it is supposed to advocate that not only are we to study words and meanings rather than the phenomena themselves (which is apparently bad enough), but we must restrict that study to words and meanings as they occur in the language used by the ordinary speaker. A number of preposterous corollaries have been taken to follow from this view. Most seriously, perhaps, and irritatingly, is that any theory which contains ‘non-ordinary’ uses of expressions is thereby ‘meaningless’ or simply false – which is clearly absurd. In this paper I show that this is a completely inaccurate picture of Ordinary Language philosophy. My aim is to correct these persistent misinterpretations, and make possible a more sensible reassessment of the philosophy. (shrink)
Philosophy of science is seen by most as a meta-discipline – one that takes science as its subject matter, and seeks to acquire knowledge and understanding about science without in any way affecting, or contributing to, science itself. Karl Popper’s approach is very different. His first love is natural philosophy or, as he would put it, cosmology. This intermingles cosmology and the rest of natural science with epistemology, methodology and metaphysics. Paradoxically, however, one of his best known contributions, his proposed (...) solution to the problem of demarcation, helps to maintain the gulf that separates science from metaphysics, thus fragmenting cosmology into falsifiable science on the one hand, untestable philosophy on the other. This has damaging repercussions for a number of issues Popper tackles, from the problem of induction to simplicity of theory and quantum theory. But his proposed solution to the demarcation problem is untenable. Metaphysical assumptions are an integral part of scientific knowledge, inherent in the persistent acceptance of unified theories against the evidence. Once this is appreciated, it becomes obvious that natural philosophy, a synthesis of science and philosophy, is both more rigorous and of greater intellectual value than the two dissociated components we have today. What Popper sought for could come to full fruition. Problems that Popper tackled, from the problem of induction, to the problem of unity of theory, problems of quantum theory, and problems concerning the scope and limits of physics, all receive more adequate resolution within the new, fully-fledged natural philosophy. (shrink)
While there is a great diversity of treatments of other minds and inter-subjectivity within both analytic and continental philosophy, this article specifies some of the core structural differences between these treatments. Although there is no canonical account of the problem of other minds that can be baldly stated and that is exhaustive of both traditions, the problem(s) of other minds can be loosely defined in family resemblances terms. It seems to have: (1) an epistemological dimension (How do we know that (...) others exist? Can we justifiably claim to know that they do?); (2) an ontological dimension that incorporates issues having to do with personal identity (What is the structure of our world such that inter-subjectivity is possible? What are the fundamental aspects of our relations to others? How do they impact upon our self-identity?); and (3) A conceptual dimension in that it depends on one's answer to the question what is a mind (How does the mind – or the concept of 'mind'– relate to the brain, the body and the world?). While these three issues are co-imbricated, I will claim that analytic engagements with the problem of other minds focus on (1), whereas continental philosophers focus far more on (2). In addition, this article will also point to various other downstream consequences of this, including the preoccupation with embodiment and forms of expressivism that feature heavily in various forms of continental philosophy, and which generally aim to ground our relations with others in a pre-reflective manner of inhabiting the world that is said to be the condition of reflection and knowledge. (shrink)
Feminist philosophy of religion as a subject of study has developed in recent years because of the identification and exposure of explicit sexism in much of the traditional philosophical thinking about religion. This struggle with a discipline shaped almost exclusively by men has led feminist philosophers to redress the problematic biases of gender, race, class and sexual orientation of the subject. Anderson and Clack bring together new and key writings on the core topics and approaches to this growing field. Each (...) essay exhibits a distinctive theoretical approach and appropriate insights from the fields of literature, theology, philosophy, gender and cultural studies. Beginning with a general introduction, part one explores important approaches to the feminist philosophy of religion, including psychoanalytic, poststructualist, postmetaphysical, and epistemological frameworks. In part two the authors survey significant topics including questions of divinity, embodiment, autonomy and spirituality, and religious practice. Supported by explanatory prefaces and an extensive bibliography which is organized thematically, Feminist Philosophy of Religion is an important resource for this new area of study. (shrink)
This paper explores the phenomenon of meta-emotions. Meta-emotions are emotions people have about their own emotions. We analyze the intentional structure of meta-emotions and show how psychological findings support our account. Acknowledgement of meta-emotions can elucidate a number of important issues in the philosophy of mind and, more specifically, the philosophy and psychology of emotions. Among them are (allegedly) ambivalent or paradoxical emotions, emotional communication, emotional self-regulation, privileged access failure for repressed emotions, and survivor guilt.
The philosophy of mind encompasses a familiar set of topics: consciousness, intentionality, mental causation, emotion, whatever topics in psychology happen to capture our interest (concepts, mindreading . . .), and so on. There is a topic deserving of addition to this list, a topic that should be receiving regular attention from philosophers of mind but is not: practical rationality. The philosophy of mind bears directly upon what can be called the ‘meta-theory’ of practical rationality, and meta-theories of rationality likewise impose (...) constraints on the philosophy of mind. Philosophers of mind who do not engage with work on practical rationality risk developing theories that are blind to important theoretical demands. They also risk allowing ethicists—who have been at work on the meta-theory of practical rationality—to unilaterally set their theoretical agendas. It is therefore time to get to work. (shrink)
The debate on structuralism in the philosophy of mathematics has brought into focus a question about the status of meta-mathematics. It has been raised by Shapiro ( 2005 ), where he compares the ongoing discussion on structuralism in category theory to the Frege-Hilbert controversy on axiomatic systems. Shapiro outlines an answer according to which meta-mathematics is understood in structural terms and one according to which it is not. He finds both options viable and does not seem to prefer one over (...) the other. The present paper reconsiders the nature of the formulae and symbols meta-mathematics is about and finds that, contrary to Charles Parsons’ influential view, meta-mathematical objects are not “quasi-concrete”. It is argued that, consequently, structuralists should extend their account of mathematics to meta-mathematics. (shrink)
For Ordinary Language philosophy, at issue is the use of the expressions of language, not expressions in and of themselves. So, at issue is not, for example, ordinary versus (say) technical words; nor is it a distinction based on the language used in various areas of discourse, for example academic, technical, scientific, or lay, slang or street discourses – ordinary uses of language occur in all discourses. It is sometimes the case that an expression has distinct uses within distinct discourses, (...) for example, the expression ‘empty space’. This may have both a lay and a scientific use, and both uses may count as ordinary; as long as it is quite clear which discourse is in play, and thus which of the distinct uses of the expression is in play. Though connected, the difference in use of the expression in different discourses signals a difference in the sense with which it is used, on the Ordinary Language view. One use, say the use in physics, in which it refers to a vacuum, is distinct from its lay use, in which it refers rather more flexibly to, say, a room with no objects in it, or an expanse of land with no buildings or trees. However, on this view, one sense of the expression, though more precise than the other, would not do as a replacement of the other term; for the lay use of the term is perfectly adequate for the uses it is put to, and the meaning of the term in physics would not allow speakers to express what they mean in these other contexts. (shrink)
The accusation that contemporary political philosophy is carried out in too ahistorical a fashion depends upon it being possible for historical facts to ground normative political principles. This they cannot do. Each of the seven ways in which it might be thought possible for them to do so fails for one or more of four reasons: (1) History yields no timeless set of universal moral values; (2) it displays no convergence upon such a set; (3) it reveals no univocal moral (...) or cultural context in the present; (4) the failure of an ethical tradition to successfully respond to criticism over a long period of time is no guarantee of its inability to do so. Because historical critiques of contemporary normative thought rely upon one or more of these things holding true, they are, as a class of arguments, to be rejected. (shrink)
Criticisms of analytic philosophy have increased in intensity in the last decade, denouncing specifically its closing in on itself, which results in barrenness and ignorance of real human problems. The thought of C. S. Peirce is proposed as a fruitful way of renewing the analytic tradition and obviating these criticisms. While this paper is largely a reflection on Hilary Putnam’s study of the historical development of analytic philosophy, not only can some of its main roots be traced (...) back to Peirce, but also the recent resurgence of pragmatism can be regarded as a pragmatist renovation of the analytic tradition. Further, Peirce’s thought offers suggestions for tackling some of the most stubborn problems in contemporary philosophy, thereby enabling us to shoulder once more the philosophical responsibility which has been abdicated by much of twentieth-century philosophy. The most accurate understanding of Peirce is to see him as a traditional and systematic philosopher, but one dealing with the modern problems of science truth, and knowledge from a valuable personal experience as a logician and an experimental researcher in the bosom of an interdisciplinary community of scientists and thinkers. (shrink)
This article examines questions connected with the two features of Locke's intellectual landscape that are most salient for understanding his philosophy of science: (1) the profound shift underway in disciplinary boundaries, in methodological approaches to understanding the natural world, and in conceptions of induction and scientific knowledge; and (2) the dominant scientific theory of his day, the corpuscular hypothesis. Following the introduction, section 2 addresses questions connected to changing conceptions of scientific knowledge. What does Locke take science (scientia) and scientific (...) knowledge to be generally, why does he think that scientia in natural philosophy is beyond the reach of human beings, and what characterizes the conception of human knowledge in natural philosophy that he develops? Section 3 addresses the question provoked by Locke's apparently conflicting treatments of the corpuscular hypothesis. Does he accept or defend the corpuscular hypothesis? If not, what is its role in his thought, and what explains its close connection to key theses of the Essay? Since a scholarly debate has arisen about the status of the corpuscular hypothesis for Locke, Section 3 reviews some main positions in that debate. Section 4 considers the relationship between Locke's thought and that of a figure instrumental to the changing conceptions of scientific knowledge, Isaac Newton. (shrink)
This monumental collection of new and recent essays from an international team of eminent scholars represents the best contemporary critical thinking relating to both literary and philosophical studies of literature. Helpfully groups essays into the field's main sub-categories, among them ‘Relations Between Philosophy and Literature’, ‘Emotional Engagement and the Experience of Reading’, ‘Literature and the Moral Life’, and ‘Literary Language’ Offers a combination of analytical precision and literary richness Represents an unparalleled work of reference for students and specialists alike, ideal (...) for course use. (shrink)
Intuitionistic meta-methodologies, which abound in recent philosophy of science, take the criterion of success for theories of scientific rationality to be whether those theories adequately explicate our intuitive judgments of rationality in exemplary cases. Garber's (1985) critique of Laudan's (1977) intuitionistic meta-methodology, correct as far as it goes, does not go far enough. Indeed, Garber himself advocates a form of intuitionistic meta-methodology; he merely denies any special role for historical (as opposed to contemporary or imaginary) test cases. What all such (...) positions lack is a base from which to inform, criticize, or restructure our core methodological intuitions. To acquiesce in this is to deny that exemplary cases can serve the sort of warranting role required for intuitionism. This point is reinforced by a series of reasons for denying the warranting role of pre-analytic judgments of rationality. These reasons point the way toward an improved approach to meta-methodology. (shrink)
This wide-ranging, multidisciplinary collection of newly commissioned articles brings together distinguished voices in the field of Africana philosophy and African-American social and political thought. Provides a comprehensive critical survey of African-American philosophical thought. Collects wide-ranging, multidisciplinary, newly commissioned articles in one authoritative volume. Serves as a benchmark work of reference for courses in philosophy, social and political thought, cultural studies, and African-American studies.
In this paper an attempt is made to draw out the contemporary relevance of philosophy in school education of India. It includes some studies done in this field and also reports on philosophy by such agencies like UNESCO & NCERT. Many European countries emphasises on the above said theme. There are lots of work and research done by many philosophers on philosophy for children. Indian values system is different from the West and more important than others. Education has become a (...) tool to achieve efficiency in all walks of human life whether social, political, religious or philosophical. Every nation started developing its own specific set of educational values. For India it is very necessary to increase philosophical thinking study and research. Philosophy could make significant contribution, particularly in relation to children’s moral development because the Indian curriculum currently neglects this aim. A teacher can play an important role in promoting this discussion because a teacher has the capacity to influence students with their thoughts and personality and engages them in these activities. Philosophy needs to be included in the curriculum and have demonstrated cognitive and social gains in children who were explored to philosophy in their schooling. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to give an analysis of a positive attitude towards philosophical problems in which we leave religious and metaphysical speculations and only consider practical problems. The motive is to achieve an intellectual detachment from all philosophical systems, and not to solve specific philosophical problems, but to become sensitively aware of what it is we do, when we philosophize. Abstraction without relevance to life and living in high sounding is nothing, but leading to darkness. The usefulness (...) of any subject lies in its lying servant of practice. Because of philosophy’s closeness to life, living should be a part of scheme of education relevant to anyone. Philosophy will provide the ways to acquire knowledge and good behavioral patterns. The present status of philosophy as a useful discipline is in doubt. This paper explained some reasons for this. Here is a basic need of such healthy and positive attitude for philosophical inquiry, which is only concerned with the problems of human life, and related to ordinary course of living. I have used the term Positive Philosophy for this. Philosophy should be creative and practical, that is the exigency of modern society. Philosophy affects Social Sciences and Humanities from hundreds of year. We should think about the implication of philosophical methods in Social Sciences and Humanities. So, we should ready to give new dimensions and do best innovations in this area which have more relevance and implications in this millennium and in future. -/- . (shrink)
The author examines, historically and theoretically, issues related to the state and current tendencies of post-Soviet Russian philosophy. The accent falls on the meta-philosophical question, what is philosophy?, or as the Russians often say, what is philosophizing?. In the Russian case, this question has presently to be handled in a cultural context ridden with a sense of discontinuity following the Soviet collapse. The author sketches some concepts intended to shed light on the nature of the relation between a philosophical culture (...) and the wider socio-cultural context in which it is embedded. The model is applied to the case of post-Soviet philosophy in order to see if and to what extent the logic of Soviet philosophizing and its place in the Soviet socio-cultural order has affected current philosophical tendencies in Russia, above all at the meta-philosophical level. The author concludes with a summary and commentary of the views of A.S. Akhiezer. (shrink)
The paper explores the question of the relationship between the practice of original philosophical inquiry and the study of the history of philosophy. It is written from my point of view as someone starting a research project in the history of philosophy that calls this issue into question, in order to review my starting positions. I argue: first, that any philosopher is sufficiently embedded in culture that her practice is necessarily historical; second, that original work is in fact in part (...) a reconstruction by reinterpretation of the past and that therefore it bears some relation to historiographic techniques for the restoration of damaged objects and texts; and third that the special oddities of the relations of present and past do not fail to ensnare the philosopher, who must restore the past but freely break from it. I describe this relationship as proleptic. Finally, I argue that this is a moral imperative in writing philosophy, derived from the imperative to be honest. (shrink)
What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and original arguments for a deeper (...) understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
There is very little study of Latin American Philosophy in the English-speaking philosophical world. This can sometimes lead to the impression that there is nothing of philosophical worth in Latin American philosophy or its history. The present article offers some reasons for thinking that this impression is mistaken, and indeed, that we ought to have more study of Latin American philosophy than currently exists in the English-speaking philosophical world. In particular, the article argues for three things: (1) an account of (...) cultural resources that is useful for illuminating the fact of cultural differences and variations in cultural complexity, (2) a framework for understanding the value of philosophy, and (3) the conclusion that there is demonstrable value to Latin American philosophy and its study. (shrink)
W.V.Quine and Philip Kitcher have both developed naturalistic approaches to the philosophy of science which are partially based on a skeptical view about the possibility of rational inquiry into certain questions of value. Nonetheless, both Quine and Kitcher do not wish to give up on the normative dimension of the philosophy of science. I argue that Kitcher's recent argument against the specification of the goal of science in terms of truth raises a problem for Quine's account of the normative dimensions (...) of the discipline. However Kitcher’s alternative suggestion, that the goal of science is to be specified in terms of an ideal democratic procedure, does not escape this problem, given Kitcher's own limited skepticism about rational inquiry into certain questions of value. (shrink)
John Dewey (1859-1952) was an American philosopher, associated with pragmatism. Over a long working life, Dewey was influential not only in philosophy, but as an educational thinker and political commentator and activis.