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)
I examine what I shall call meta-philosophy: a philosophical examination into what philosophy is, can be, should be, something of what it has been, what the point (if any) of it is and what, if anything, it can contribute to our understanding of and the making sense of our lives, including our lives individually and together, and of the social order in which we live.
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)
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 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 this paper, I present a sample spiritual exercise—a contemporary form of the written practice that ancient philosophers used to shape their characters. The exercise, which develops the ancient practice of the examination of conscience, is on the sixth mass extinction and seeks to understand why the extinction appears as a moral wrong. It concludes by finding a vice in the moral character of the author and the author’s society. From a methodological standpoint, the purpose of spiritual exercises is to (...) create a habit of thoughtfulness in the writer, and by way of teaching, to suggest one to the reader. Such a habit is important, at least, because virtue is a habit. In other words, there can be no learning of virtue itself without habituation into it. Accordingly, I frame the sample spiritual exercise with a deliberately controversial objection to contemporary academic virtue ethics and with a justification for why the spiritual exercise is important for taking virtue ethically. And I end the paper with some further remarks explaining the form of the exercise and its relevance to doing philosophy. In this way, the paper makes and illustrates a methodological point about virtue ethics based on a meta-ethical assumption about virtue as a habit, and it does this by focusing on a pressing environmental problem in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
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.
This study tries to put the foundations of a theory of reasoning on the ground of philosophy as philosophy: what are the presupposed terms of the philosophical research, and what they are meaning. It intends to separate words from their “evident” meaning and to receive them as “symbolic items”. Symbolization is the most important way of proceeding in philosophy. Philosophers are usually not aware of this symbolical process. Thus, the structure of “knowing” in philosophy is presented as a way of (...) symbolizing. This perspective is open in referring to the traditional problems. (shrink)
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.
Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) developed from the work of clinical epidemiologists at McMaster University and Oxford University in the 1970s and 1980s and self-consciously presented itself as a "new paradigm" called "evidence-based medicine" in the early 1990s. The techniques of the randomized controlled trial, systematic review and meta-analysis have produced an extensive and powerful body of research. They have also generated a critical literature that raises general concerns about its methods. This paper is a systematic review of the critical literature. It (...) finds the description of EBM as a Kuhnian paradigm helpful and worth taking further. Three kinds of criticism are evaluated in detail: criticisms of procedural aspects of EBM (especially from Cartwright, Worrall and Howick), data showing the greater than expected fallibility of EBM (Ioaanidis and others), and concerns that EBM is incomplete as a philosophy of science (Ashcroft and others). The paper recommends a more instrumental or pragmatic approach to EBM, in which any ranking of evidence is done by reference to the actual, rather than the theoretically expected, reliability of results. Emphasis on EBM has eclipsed other necessary research methods in medicine. With the recent emphasis on translational medicine, we are seeing a restoration of the recognition that clinical research requires an engagement with basic theory (e.g. physiological, genetic, biochemical) and a range of empirical techniques such as bedside observation, laboratory and animal studies. EBM works best when used in this context. (shrink)
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)
En la primera parte de este artículo se discute el punto de vista del filósofo de las ciencias Arthur Fine, sobre el realismo y el antirealismo. Se establecen algunas relaciones semánticas y pragmáticas con D. Davidson y R. Brandon, sin dejar de insistir en que el lenguaje ya no puede seguir s..
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)
Rorty se debe estudiar, no especialmente por la fidelidad de sus narraciones de la historiografía filosófica, o por la corrección de sus lecturas, sino principalmente porque, como los grandes pensadores de la filosofía occidental, él nos ha ofrecido una gran meta-narrativa. Rorty fue un meta-filósof..
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)
En este artículo se busca comprender la naturaleza de la escritura académica y comprender también por qué a veces fracasa. Para ello se utiliza la distinción de Lonergan entre la inteligencia del sentido común y la de la teoría, sus ideas acerca de la dinámica inmanente del conocimiento y su noción de autenticidad. Utilizando estas ideas de Lonergan, se concibe a la escritura académica bajo dos aspectos, como proceso de aprendizaje y como proceso de enseñanza. Con esta idea de la (...) escritura académica se refutan cinco falacias comunes acerca de la naturaleza del trabajo académico. (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 this journal theme introduction, first, I explain how comparative philosophy as explored in the journal Comparative Philosophy is understood and how it is intrinsically related to the constructive engagement strategy. Second, to characterize more clearly and accurately some related methodological points of the constructive-engagement strategy, and also to explain how constructive engagement is possible, I introduce some needed conceptual and explanatory resources and a meta-methodological framework and endeavor to identify adequacy conditions for methodological guiding principles in comparative studies. Third, (...) as a case analysis, I show how the constructive-engagement reflective practice bears on recent studies of Chinese and comparative Chinese-Western philosophy, especially in the past decade, for two purposes: to illustrate the foregoing theoretic characterization of the constructive engagement strategy, and to identify and explain some constructive morals that might have general significance for comparative studies. (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)
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)
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)
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. Amidst this tangle one finds Bataille’s statement that an ‘abyss’ separates English from French and German philosophy, the first recorded announcement of the analytic-continental divide in the twentieth century. References H. B. Acton. Philosophy in France. Philosophy, 22(82):161-166, 1947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100025365 A. J. Ayer & T. Honderich. An Interview with A. J. Ayer. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 209-226. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. A. J. Ayer. Language, Truth and Logic. London, Gollancz, 1936. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. Horizon, 12(67):12–26, & 12(68):101-110, 1945. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Albert Camus. Horizon, 13(75):155-168, 1946a. A. J. Ayer. Secret Session. Polemic, 2:60-63, 1946b. A. J. Ayer. Some Aspects of Existentialism. In F. Watts, editor, H. B. Acton. Philosophy in France. Philosophy, 22(82):161-166, 1947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100025365 A. J. Ayer & T. 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The philosophical analysis of chemistry has advanced at such a pace during the last dozen years that the existence of philosophy of chemistry as an autonomous discipline cannot be doubted any more. The present paper will attempt to analyse the experience of philosophy of chemistry at the, so to say, meta-level. Philosophers of chemistry have especially stressed that all sciences need not be similar to physics. They have tried to argue for chemistry as its own type of science and for (...) a pluralistic understanding of science in general. However, when stressing the specific character of chemistry, philosophers do not always analyse the question ‘What is science?’ theoretically. It is obvious that a ‘monistic’ understanding of science should not be based simply on physics as the epitome of science, regarding it as a historical accident that physics has obtained this status. The author’s point is that the philosophical and methodological image of science should not be chosen arbitrarily; instead, it should be theoretically elaborated as an idealization (theoretical model) substantiated on the historical practice of science. It is argued that although physics has, in a sense, justifiably obtained the status of a paradigm of science, chemistry, which is not simply a physical science, but a discipline with a dual character, is also relevant for elaborating a theoretical model of science. The theoretical model of science is a good tool for examining various issues in philosophy of chemistry as well as in philosophy of science or science studies generally. (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)
This article discusses the essence and form of various types of metatheory, paying special attention to metaphilosophy. It suggests the idea of the metatheoretical model—a completely new approach in philosophical discussion—and considers this concept with regard to the Platonic model and the Rhodian model. These models permit two different systems of metatheoretical construction. The paradigms of modern science allow the formation of metatheories that help further the development of logical, mathematical, and similar sciences. The Rhodian model allows the discovery of (...) methods that are helpful in building certain types of theory, as well as suggesting and examining theories that have special metatheoretical features and revealing their common features and differences with regard to other theories. The article discusses the complicated problem of the interrelation between philosophy and metaphilosophy and shows that metaphilosophy is also philosophy, not in the sense that metaphilosophy is a special part of philosophy but rather in the sense that metaphilosophy is a special kind of functioning of philosophy itself. (shrink)
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)
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.
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)