The visual system is persistent, inventive, and sometimes rather perverse in building a world according to its own lights; the supplementation is deft, flexible, and often elaborate. [JL: Our eyes/consciousness could “fill in” things that are not there; they can also delete things that are there].
Of all the philosophers in the West, perhaps the best known by name and less familiar for the actual content of his ideas is the medieval Muslim philosopher, physician, princely minister and naturalist Abu Ali Ibn Sina, known since the days of the scholastics as Avicenna. In this lucidly written and witty book, L. E. Goodman a philosopher long known for his studies of Arabic thought presents a factual, pithy, and engaging account of Avicenna's philosophy. Setting the thinker (...) in the context of his often turbulent times and tracing the roots and influences of Avicenna's ideas, Goodman offers a factual and credible philosophical portrait of one of the world's greatest metaphysicians. The book details Avicenna's account of being as a synthesis between the seemingly irreconcilable extremes of Aristotelian eternalism and the creationism of monotheistic scripture. It examines Avicenna's distinctive theory of knowledge, his ideas on immortality and individuality, including the famous Floating Man argument, his contributions to logic, and his probing thoughts on rhetoric and poetics. Drawing from the very latest scholarship, Avicenna is more than a philosophical appreciation. L. E. Goodman considers the abiding value of Avicenna's contributions, assaying his thought against the responses of his contemporaries and successors but also against our current philosophical understanding. It will have wide appeal among all Arabists and Islamicists, and among students and scholars of philosophy. (shrink)
Professional philosophers have tended either to shrug off American philosophy as negligible or derivative or to date American philosophy from the work of twentieth century analytical positivists such as Quine. Russell Goodman expands on the revisionist position developed by Stanley Cavell, that the most interesting strain of American thought proceeds not from Puritan theology or from empirical science but from a peculiarly American kind of Romanticism. This insight leads Goodman, through Cavell, back to Emerson and Thoreau and thence (...) to William James and John Dewey, as they assimilated to American circumstances and intellectual habits the currents of European thought from Kant to Wittgenstein. (shrink)
Tracing the course of thought, action, and expression in the golden age of Islamic civilization, L. E. Goodman's Islamic Humanism paints a vivid panorama that departs strikingly from the all too familiar image of Islamic dogma, authoritarianism, and militancy. Among the poets and philosophers, scientists and historians, ethicists and mystics of Islam, Goodman finds a warm and vital humanism, committed to the pursuit of knowledge and to the cosmopolitan values of generosity, tolerance, and understanding. Drawing on a wide (...) range of writings, from love poetry to pietism, to satire, to history and metaphysics, and on to hunting, music and the dance, clothing, politics, and the marketplace, Goodman discloses the rich texture of classical Islamic civilization-its distinctive problematics and the space it left for the talents and creativity of the individual. His philosophic openness and easy familiarity place Islamic humanism securely in its larger context, revealing clearly what is of universa and abiding vitality and interest. In place of stereotypes, suspicions, and unease, Goodman sets out concrete and detailed expositions and explorations of Islamic thought and experience as seen through the eyes of the participants themselves. His engaged but sympathetic readings penetrate beneath the surface of the ancient texts to the humanistic values embraced by some of the greatest thinkers of Islam. As a result, Islamic Humanism does much more than remind us how much we owe to the intellectual achievements of Islamic civilization. The work is a significant contribution to Western understanding of Islam and to Islamic self-understanding of the profoundly humanistic dimensions of the Islamic tradition. (shrink)
This book explores Wittgenstein's long engagement with the work of the pragmatist William James. In contrast to previous discussions Russell Goodman argues that James exerted a distinctive and pervasive positive influence on Wittgenstein's thought. For example, the book shows that the two philosophers share commitments to anti-foundationalism, to the description of the concrete details of human experience, to the priority of practice over intellect, and to the importance of religion in understanding human life. Considering in detail what Wittgenstein learnt (...) from his reading of Principles of Psychology and Varieties of Religious Experience the author provides considerable evidence for Wittgenstein's claim that he is saying 'something that sounds like pragmatism'. This provocative account of the convergence in the thinking of two major philosophers usually considered as members of discrete traditions will be eagerly sought by students of Wittgenstein, William James, pragmatism and the history of twentieth-century philosophy. (shrink)
Russell Goodman examines the curious reemergence of pragmatism in a field dominated in the past decades by phenomenology, logic, positivism, and deconstruction. With contributions from major contemporary and classical thinkers such as Cornel West, Richard Rorty, Nancy Fraser, Charles Sanders Peirce, and Ralph Waldo Emerson Russell has gathered an impressive chorus of philosophical voices that reexamine the origins and complexities of neo-pragmatism. The contributors discuss the relationship between pragmatism and literary theory, phenomenology, existentialism, and the work of Ralph Waldo (...) Emerson. They question the meaning of pragmatics, what it is to be practical, and ask provocative questions such as: what is reading? and whether or not democracy is a precondition for the functioning of intelligence. This work places this reemergent and interesting neo-development in its proper context and will provide readers with a strong sense of the movement's foundations, history, and subtlities. (shrink)
This cogently argued and richly illustrated book rejects the dichotomy between the God of Abraham and the God of the philosophers to argue that the two are one. In God of Abraham, one of our leading philosophers of religion shows how human values can illuminate our idea of God and how the monotheistic idea of God in turn illuminates our moral, social, cultural, aesthetic, and even ritual understanding. Throughout Goodman draws on a wealth of traditional, philosophical, historical, and anthropological (...) materials, and particularly on a wide range of Jewish sources. He demonstrates how an adequate understanding of the interplay of values with monotheism dissolves many of the longstanding problems of natural theology and ethics and guides us toward a genuinely humanistic moral and social philosophy. (shrink)
This paper takes up the challenge which Carnap poses in his Aufbau: to make of it a basis for continued epistemological research. I try to close some gaps in Carnap’s original presentation and to make at least the first few steps of his constructional outline more accessible to the modern reader. Particularly emphasized is Carnap’s implicit recognition that, to be effective, “structural” models of epistemology (using logical symbols) must be complemented with “procedural” models (his “fictitious operations”). The paper shows how (...) a procedural model, a computer program,can “bypass” Nelson Goodman’s counter example to Carnap’s logical construction of “similarity circles”. (shrink)
This work is based on the prestigious Gifford Lectures, which Lenn Goodman was invited to deliver in 2005. Goodman was asked to speak about the commandment to 'love thy neighbour as thyself' from the standpoint of Judaism.
In this important addition to the field of Jewish ethics, Goodman argues forcefully that the Jewish tradition has a significant contribution to make to the general discourse on ethical issues. After refuting the notion that "human rights" is a purely modern notion, Goodman traces the idea of such rights to its key biblical sources. He goes on to consider the works of medieval thinkers like Saadiah Goan and Moses Maimonides and then applies these and other foundational texts to (...) such contemporary social and political issues as capital punishment, suicide, welfare, pornography, abortion, and nationalism. (shrink)
These two short essays are a hebrew translation of an exchange that followed the publication of "verisimilitude, conventions and beliefs" by menachem brinker which contained a criticism of nelson goodman's theory of representation and realism in "languages of art" (1969). (edited).
The Ikhwan al-Safa (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safa (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, (...) natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables. The Rasa'il constitutes a paradigmatic legacy in the canonization of philosophy and the sciences in mediaeval Islamic civilization, as well as having shown a permeating influence in Western culture. The present volume is the first of this definitive series consisting of the very first critical edition of the Rasa' il in its original Arabic, with a complete, fully annotated English translation. This epistle, The Case of the Animals versus Man Before the King of the Jinn (Epistle 22), prepared by Professors Lenn E. Goodman and Richard McGregor, is arguably the best known, on account of its prominent ecological fable which casts the exploited and oppressed animals pursuing a case against mankind. Perhaps yet more relevant in modern times, the Ikhwan demonstrate the arrogance of man's claim to superiority, in contrast to the animals' pious understanding of their respective roles within nature. The fable complements and expands upon the short exposition on zoology featured at the beginning of the epistle. (shrink)
This is a new English translation of a classic of medieval Islamic learning, which illuminates the intellectual debates of its age and speaks vividly to the concerns of our own. It is the most famous work of the Brethren of Purity, a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad. In this rich allegorical fable the exploited and oppressed animals pursue a case against humanity. They are granted the gift of speech and presented as subjects with views and interests of (...) their own. Over the course of the hearing they rebuke and criticise human weakness, deny man's superiority, and make powerful demands for greater justice and respect for animals. This sophisticated moral allegory combines elements of satire with a thought-provoking thesis on animal welfare. Goodman and McGregor accompany their translation with an introduction and annotations that explore the rich historical and cultural context to the work. (shrink)
Creationism is the view that fictional individuals such as Sherlock Holmes are contingently existing abstracta that come about due to the intentional activities of authors. Author-essentialism is the stronger thesis that the author responsible for bringing a fictional individual into existence at a time is essential to the existence of that individual. Takashi Yagisawa has recently attacked this view on the following grounds: author-essentialists rely on an ontological parallelism between fictional individuals and whole works of fiction, but this parallelism fails (...) to obtain. I here argue that Yagisawa’s grounds are weak. (shrink)
: What kinds of comparisons can legitimately be made between Mahāyāna Buddhism and Western ethical theories? Mahāyānists aspire to alleviate the suffering, promote the happiness, and advance the moral perfection of all sentient beings. This aspiration is best understood as expressing a form of universalist consequentialism. Many Indian Mahāyāna texts seem committed to claims about agent-neutrality that imply consequentialism and are not compatible with virtue ethics. Within the Mahāyāna tradition, there is some diversity of views: Asaṅga seems to hold a (...) complex and interesting version of rule consequentialism, whereas Śāntideva is closer to act consequentialism. (shrink)
Three claims wittgenstein makes in the tractatus are explicated via schopenhauer's idealism: 1) ethical reward and punishment lie in the action itself, 2) the good or bad exercise of the will alter the world's limits, So that it waxes or wanes, 3) eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Schopenhauer's theory fills out some of wittgenstein's statements. For example, The happy man's world waxes to the degree that he frees himself from the false perspective of the "principium (...) individuationis". However, The link between schopenhauer's metaphysics and his ethics is tighter than the analogous link in wittgenstein. (shrink)
: This project draws on scholarship of feminist and womanist scholars, and on results of interviews with scientists currently involved in molecular genetics. With reference to Margaret Urban Walker's "practices of moral responsibility," the social practices of molecular geneticists are explored, and strategies identified through which scientists negotiate their moral responsibilities. The implications of this work for scientists and for feminists are discussed.
One sort of usage of the phrase ‘talking past one another’ that is quite prevalent in the philosophical literature suggests the following account of a particular phenomenon of miscommunication: Agent A and agent B talk past one another during a philosophical discussion if and only if A has in mind one meaning or conception of a crucial expression P that is distinct from some meaning or conception of P had in mind by B. In this paper, however, I argue that (...) this account – given the sort of phenomenon it is intended to be an account of – misses the mark. I then present and critically examine various alternative accounts of this phenomenon often labeled ‘talking past one another,’ finally presenting what I think provides the basis for a correct account. (shrink)
: Scholars have proposed several different interpretations of the doctrine of no-self found in the Buddhist Abhidharma literature. It is argued here that two of these, Constitutive Reductionism and Eliminativism, are ruled out by textual evidence. A third, the Eliminative Reductionism of Siderits, is much closer to the intent of the texts.We can refine it further by attending to the role of metaphor in Vaibhāsika accounts of the no-self doctrine. If we update this view by drawing on analytic philosophy, the (...) result is a variety of metaphoricalism that portrays statements about composite, persisting objects as literally false but practically useful and approximately true. This theory could be relevant to contemporary discussions of reductionism in personal identity. (shrink)
An incorrect interpretation of Goodman’s theory of counterfactuals is persistently being offered in the literature. I find that strange. Even more so since the incorrectness is rather obvious. In this paper I try to figure out why is that happening. First I try to explain what Goodman did say, which of his claims are ignored, and what he did not say but is sometimes ascribed to him. I emphasize one of the bad features of the interpretation: it gives (...) counterfactuals some formal properties that neither Goodman nor (usually) the interpreter would accept. The usual interpretation (UI), which I claim should not be ascribed to Goodman, considers a counterfactual A>C true iff A, together with natural laws and all contingent truths cotenable with it, entails C. (UI) makes valid the law of conditional excluded middle, which Goodman clearly rejected. Among possible reasons for which the interpreters might find (UI) adequate is that (UI), as I argue, smuggles in the idea of minimal change, which is otherwise attractive, natural to many, but not to be found anywhere in Goodman’s paper. At the end I stress the significance of Goodman’s theory by arguing that we still need some of his notions to test the adequacy of our modern theories. (shrink)
For the last several decades, philosophers have wrestled with the proper place of religion in liberal societies. Usually, the debates among these philosophers have started with the articulation of various conceptions of liberalism and then proceeded to locate religion in the context of these conceptions. In the process, however, too little attention has been paid to the way religion is conceived. Drawing on the work of Robert Audi and Nicholas Wolterstorff, two scholars who are often read as holding opposing (...) views on these issues, I argue that, for the purposes of their argument about liberalism, both have implicitly accepted a concept of religion that has come under severe attack in recent work on the subject. Namely, they have accepted a concept of religion that identifies religion primarily with belief, ritual practice, and ecclesial institutions. Following recent scholarship, I suggest that religion is better conceived as a kind of culture. To conclude the essay, I gesture toward what the beginnings of a re-visioned debate about religion and liberal society might look like if one started from this revised conception of religion. (shrink)
Nelson Goodman’s attempt to analyse the expressiveness of artworks in semantic terms has been widely criticised. In this paper I try to show how the use of an adapted version of his concept of exemplification, as proposed by Mark Textor, can help to alleviate the worst problems with his theory of expression. More particularly I argue that the recognition of an intention, which is central to Textor’s account of exemplification, is also fundamental to our understanding of expressiveness in art. (...) Moreover I propose that the recognition of this intention depends on our interpretation of the artwork – an insight Goodman tried to capture with his assertion that our attributions of expressive properties to artworks function metaphorically. The realisation of the context-dependence of our expressive judgements about art and, hence, of the central role interpretation plays in these judgements, I contend, counts in favour of theories of expression like Goodman’s that focus on semantic concerns. (shrink)
Section 1 of this essay distinguishes between four interpretations of Socratic intellectualism, which are, very roughly: (1) a version in which on any given occasion desire, and then action, is determined by what we think will turn out best for us, that being what we all, always, really desire; (2) a version in which on any given occasion action is determined by what we think will best satisfy our permanent desire for what is really best for us; (3) a version (...) formed by the assimilation of (2) to (1), labelled the ‘standard’ version’ by Thomas C. Brickhouse and Nicholas D. Smith, and treated by them as a single alternative to their own interpretation; and (4) Brickhouse and Smith’s own version. Section 2 considers, in particular, Brickhouse and Smith’s handling of the ‘appetites and passions’, which is the most distinctive feature of interpretation (4). Section 3 discusses Brickhouse and Smith’s defence of ‘Socratic studies’ in its historical context, and assesses the contribution made by their distinctive interpretation of ‘the philosophy of Socrates’. One question raised in this section, and one that is clearly fundamental to the existence of ‘Socratic studies’, is how different Brickhouse and Smith’s Socrates turns out to be from Plato himself, i.e., the Plato of the post-‘Socratic’ dialogues; to which the answer offered is that on Brickhouse and Smith’s interpretation Socratic moral psychology becomes rather less distinguishable from its ‘Platonic’ counterpart—as that is currently understood—than it is on the interpretation(s) they oppose. (shrink)
It is now more than 50 years that the Goodman paradox has been discussed, and many different solutions have been proposed. But so far no agreement has been reached about which is the correct solution to the paradox. In this paper, I present the naturalistic solutions to the paradox that were proposed in Quine (1969, 1974), Quine and Ullian (1970/1978), and Stemmer (1971). At the same time, I introduce a number of modifications and improvements that are needed for overcoming (...) shortcomings of the solutions. The discussion of this improved version suggests that the Goodman paradox actually embodies three different problems; yet, one of them is not Goodman’s but Hume’s problem. The discussion also suggests that the naturalistic approach is probably the best for basing on it a theory of confirmation. Finally, I analyze one of Hume’s insights that seems to have been largely ignored. This insight shows a surprising similarity to a central feature of the naturalistic solutions. (shrink)
In response to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Nicholas of Cusa wrote De pace fidei defending a commitment to religious tolerance on the basis of the notion that all diverse rites are but manifestations of one true religion. Drawing on a discussion of why Nicholas of Cusa is unable to square the two objectives of arguing for pluralistic tolerance and explaining the contents of the one true faith, we outline why theological pluralism is compromised by its own (...) meta-exclusivism. (shrink)
Different conceptions on reality in physics and philosophy in the 20th century have been analyzed in the article. These approaches caused the necessity to study the multitude of the worlds. The author proved that multiworld interpretation of quantum mechanics and multitude of the worlds in the Goodman's conception are opposite tendencies. Everett and his followers consider the quantum world as some universal reality whereas Goodman and his supporters do not believe in universal reality.
En este artículo intentamos crear un lazo entre el enfoque gestáltico de Paul Goodman y el desarrollo humano a través del concepto de la participación comunitaria. La crítica social de Paul Goodman se conecta con las ideas centrales de la terapia gestáltica como una forma de mostrar la importancia de la participación comunitaria en una definición posible de desarrollo humano. La concepción de John Dewey de las instituciones como herramientas de desarrollo se utiliza como un punto de contacto (...) entre las proposiciones de Goodman y el problema de la organización social. Finalmente, mostramos la importancia de considerar la educación y la responsabilidad social como una forma de evitar un punto de vista individualista del desarrollo humano. (shrink)
O artigo de Goodman “The Problem of Counterfactual Conditionals” teve um papel central no debate relativo a análise adequada dos condicionais contrafactuais. A seguir examinarei o artigo de Goodman em detalhe e discutirei algumas objeções e sugestões de Parry em seu artigo “A Reexamination of the Problem of Counterfactual Conditionals”. Restringirei minha discussão ao “problema das condições relevantes”, assim denominado por Goodman, que é o tema principal das críticas de Parry e que considero ser o problema principal (...) para a abordagem de Goodman. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5007 / 1808-1711.2011v15n3p383. (shrink)