This paper compares the first positivist, Comte, who openly and happily depicts the present age of technologized science as never-ending, with the aspiring postmetaphysician, Heidegger, who deems precisely this "ending" our crucial problem. About science itself, the two actually share a deeply similar understanding. Both construe it historically and even make it the successful "consummation" of Western philosophy. Hence they disagree fundamentally, not about science itself, but about the question, can anything come "after" it? Whereas Comte would say, "No," for (...) Heidegger the very point of seeing science as a consummatory event is to stimulate an extra-philosophical "thinking" that voices our growing dissatisfaction with a long-dominant ontological sense of what it is for things to "be" which this event continues to foster. (shrink)
Hans Ruin and Patrick Heelan join me in celebrating the rise of post-positivist and phenomenological approaches to scientific and technological practice. Yet as they both know, I am also concerned that the very presence of all the new accounts which give voice to this trend may tempt us into concluding prematurely that the traditional understanding of science and technology has already been displaced. With especially Ruin’s encouragement, I expand my original discussion of this concern by explaining why I agree with (...) him about the ontologically mistaken suppositions that one might become post-positivistic by doing philosophy “meta-philosophically,” or become phenomenological by making “life” more basic that “nature.”. (shrink)
Gert Goeminne’s paper is primarily concerned with “the politics of sustainable technology,” but for good reasons he does not start with this topic. He knows that technology studies as he conceives it must clear a space for itself in a philosophical atmosphere that discourages its pursuit. He therefore begins with a critique of this objectivistic and technocratically defined atmosphere, before moving on to embrace a postphenomenology of technological multistabilities, and then further to introduce what he calls (in an adaptation of (...) Rudolf Boehm) the “topical measure” of technoscientific life. The problem I raise is not about Goeminne’s aims, with which I mostly agree, but with his presentation of how to achieve them. I argue that if one were actually to follow his advice—that is, start with critique, move on to postphenomenology, and end with “political” evaluation of technoscientific life, the project would be doomed to failure. For in our world, no one Understands this pluralizing vision. According to the understanding we actually live through and speak from, some of postphenomenology’s multiple disclosures already arrive in our experience with significantly greater ontological power than others, and sincerity about topical measure notwithstanding, the very identification of something as an interest or “value,” especially if it allegedly comes from a “layperson,” already condemns it to secondary status. (shrink)
Book Symposium on Don Ihde’s Expanding Hermeneutics: Visualism in Science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-22 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0060-5 Authors Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, University of Copenhagen, Nørre Farimagsgade 5 A, Room 10.0.27, 1014 Copenhagen, Denmark Larry A. Hickman, The Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA Robert Rosenberger, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, DM Smith Building, 685 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0345, USA Robert C. Scharff, University of New (...) Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3574, USA Don Ihde, Stony Brook University, Harriman Hall 221, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750, USA Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
Don Ihde: Heidegger’s technologies: Postphenomenological perspectives Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s11007-012-9215-z Authors Robert C. Scharff, Department of Philosophy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3574, USA Journal Continental Philosophy Review Online ISSN 1573-1103 Print ISSN 1387-2842.
This paper begins from the observation that in the Meditations, Descartes never achieves the 'pure', thoroughly decontextualized kind of thinking he famously promoted. Some commentators have used this observation to promote pure inquiry more diligently and to criticize Descartes for failing to achieve it. Other commentators have simply called for greater historical fairness and urged that we renew our efforts to understand how Descartes's inquiry actually does operate. This paper, although sympathetic with this second group of commentators, argues that in (...) revisiting the tensions between what Descartes actually accomplished and what he said he was trying to accomplish, we should see a contemporary lesson, not just better historical understanding. It is argued that in spite of the strong presence in his writings of the imagery of the 'Cartesian' ideal of a perfectly presuppositionless philosophical standpoint, not only does Descartes himself never become a Cartesian, but his own practice provides perhaps the best evidence against the very possibility of the Cartesian 'project of pure inquiry' to which he aspired. (shrink)
This book provides a detailed, systematic reconsideration of the neglected nineteenth-century positivist Auguste Comte. Apart from offering an accurate account of what Comte actually wrote, the book argues that Comte's positivism has never had greater contemporary relevance than now. The aim of the first part of the book is to rescue Comte from the influential misinterpretation of his work by John Stuart Mill. The second part argues that this deep historically-minded concern with the tradition of philosophy for current philosophical practice (...) places Comte in the same camp as such well-known post-positivists as Richard Rorty, Charles Taylor, and Hilary Putnam. Professor Scharff concludes that, even though he was the first positivist, Comte is also the only positivist who retains his relevance today. (shrink)