While naturalism is used in positive senses by the tradition of analytical philosophy, with Ludwig Wittgenstein its best example, and by the tradition of phenomenology, with Maurice Merleau-Ponty its best exemplar, it also has an extremely negative sense on both of these fronts. Hence, both Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein in their basic thrusts adamantly reject reductionistic naturalism. Although Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology rejects the naturalism Husserl rejects, he early on found a place for the “truth of naturalism.” In a parallel way, Wittgenstein accepts (...) a certain positive sense of naturalism, while rejecting Quine’s kind of naturalism. It is the aim of this paper to investigate the common ground in the views of Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty regarding the naturalism that they each espouse and that which they each reject. (shrink)
Not only does peirce's theory of meaning as dispositional or as habit contain parallels with merleau-ponty's view of meaning in the structure of human behavior, but also both peirce and merleau-ponty alike attack reductivistic theories of perception. within this context, the present paper focuses on the use of kantian schemata in the philosophies of peirce and merleau-ponty, but to the extent that such incorporations are consistent with trends in pragmatism and phenomenology in general, it will reveal points of encounter not (...) just between peirce and merleau-ponty but between pragmatism and phenomenology in general. (shrink)
This article on mystery and hope at the boundary of reason in the postmodern situation responds to the challenge of postmodern thinking to philosophyby a recourse to the works of Gabriel Marcel and his best disciple, Paul Ricoeur. It develops along the lines of their interpretation of hope as a central phenomenon in human experience and existence, thus shedding light on the philosophical enterprise for the future. It is our purpose to dwell briefly on this postmodern challenge and then, incorporating (...) its positive contribution, to present theirs as an alternative philosophy at the boundary of reason. (shrink)
Foss's critique of van Fraassen's constructive empiricism is shown to be completely wide of the mark (Foss 1984, van Fraassen 1980). Foss misunderstands van Fraassen's use of the terms 'observable', 'phenomena', 'empirical adequacy', and 'epistemic community'. He misconstrues constructive empiricism as making knowledge, and perhaps existence, dependent on the observer. On the basis of this error, he attempts to reduce constructive empiricism to skepticism. None of his criticisms are to the point.
This paper focuses on the intertwining of philosophy and Christian faith in the concrete life of the Christian philosopher, with a view toward the compatibility of critical philosophy and a post-critical faith. Philosophy, as an enterprise of reason alone, is independent of Christian faith and theology. In accord with its definition, philosophy seeks evidence along the lines of reason independent of outside authority, and thus is autonomous from such faith. Yet, for the Christian philosopher, without jeopardizing this autonomy and independence, (...) faith and theology do enter the picture in some sense. For, unless the individual is completely dichotomized in personality, her/his concrete life and existence must involve commitments both to the Christian faith and to philosophy, even though the commitment of faith is more basic. This paper explores this paradox of the independence and mutual intertwining of these two poles; then, focuses on the philosophical pole of the tension; and finally, resolves the tension for the Christian philosopher. (shrink)
The thesis of this paper, that the contemporary Catholic philosopher needs to be critical in an expanded Kantian sense of the boundary of reason, while still maintaining a strict biblical and Christian faith, is developed in four parts. First, the nature of a Catholic philosophical pluralistic community will be explored. In keeping with this pluralism, a first sense of boundary as that between philosophical reason and Christian faith will be considered. Then, a second sense of boundary as the Kantian context (...) of critical philosophy in which reason sets the limit on the human claims to objective knowledge will be considered. A twofold expansion of this Kantian sense of the boundary-limit of reason is seen to be necessary. Finally, part four focuses on the place of Catholic faith for such a philosopher, suggests ways to overcome certain extremes, and proposes a possible path for thinking the Transcendent. (shrink)
« Je me joignis à Hegel sans nulle difficulté, ayant coutume d'être hégélien avant lui » : Alain retrouve, admiratif, en Hegel, l'exemplaire réunion méthodologique du concept et de l'expérience, et — quant au contenu, surtout de la philosophie de l'esprit — l'application non moins exemplaire du grand principe selon lequel l'inférieur porte et règle le supérieur, qui l'éclairé et l'explique. — A tel point que, en récusant la politique de Hegel, Alain va s'employer à sauver de lui-même (...) un hégélianisme auquel il a été et reste un incomparable éveilleur. « Sehr unbedenklich schloss ich mich an Hegel darum an, weil ich sonst vor Hegel hegelisch war » : höchst bewundernd findet Alain bei Hegel die musterhafte methodologische Vereinigung des Begriffs mit der Erfahrung, und — rücksichtlich des Inhaltes, vornehmlich der Geistesphilosophie — die ebenso musterhafte Anwendung des grossen Grundsatzes, nach welchem das Untere das Obere trägt und regelt, aber durch dasselbe erläutert und erklärt wird, wieder. — So sehr, dass Alain — indem er die Hegeische Staatstheorie ablehnt — sich darum bemüht, solch einen Hegelianismus von sich selbst zu retten, zu dessen Studium er unvergleichbarerweise noch heute den Sinn erweckt. (shrink)
Die Analyse eines sozialpsychologischen Gesetzes dient zur Erläuterung gewisser Begriffe wie looseness und Überprüfbarkeit, wie sie auf statistische Quasigesetze anwendbar sind. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser Analyse wird der Standpunkt diskutiert, daß die sozialwissenschaftlichen Gesetze von anderer Art smd als die naturwissenschaftlichen. Die Untersuchung zeigt die Schwierigkeit auf, eine Theorie von der grundsätzlichen Verschiedenheit von Sozial- und Naturwissenschaften auf tatsächlich vorkommende wissenschaftliche Fraeen anzuwenden.
La philosophie hégélienne du droit proprement dit sait libérer le travail juridique, et dans son côté théorique de définition législatrice du droit, et dans son côté pratique de mise en œuvre judiciaire des lois, de tout rationalisme dogmatique, Hegel a su comprendre et décrire le travail positif des juristes — tout en fixant ses limites — dans sa dialectique la plus propre. Die Hegelsche Philosophie des eigentlichen Rechtes hat die rechtliche Arbeit, teils in deren theoretischer Seite als gesetzgeberischer Bestimmung, teils (...) in praktischer Seite als richterlicher Entscheidung, vom allen dogmatischen Rationalismus befreit. Hegel hat zwar der mannigfaltigen positiven Arbeit der Juristen ihren Grenzen gesetzt, indem er aber dieselbe in ihrer eigensten Dialektik aufgefasst und dargestellt hat. (shrink)
A focus on the relation between sensation and the perceptual object in the philosophies of G H Mead and Maurice Merleau-Ponty points toward their shared views of perception as non-reductionistic and holistic, as inextricably tied to the active role of the sensible body, and as involving a new understanding of the nature of immediacy within experience. This essay explores these shared views.
Do laypeople think that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism? Recently, philosophers and psychologists trying to answer this question have found contradictory results: while some experiments reveal people to have compatibilist intuitions, others suggest that people could in fact be incompatibilist. To account for this contradictory answers, Nichols and Knobe (2007) have advanced a ‘performance error model’ according to which people are genuine incompatibilist that are sometimes biased to give compatibilist answers by emotional reactions. To test for this hypothesis, we (...) investigated intuitions about determinism and moral responsibility in patients suffering from behavioural frontotemporal dementia. Patients suffering from bvFTD have impoverished emotional reaction. Thus, the ‘performance error model’ should predict that bvFTD patients will give less compatibilist answers. However, we found that bvFTD patients give answers quite similar to subjects in control group and were mostly compatibilist. Thus, we conclude that the ‘performance error model’ should be abandoned in favour of other available model that best fit our data. (shrink)
Neuroeconomic studies are liable to fall into the reverse inference fallacy, a form of affirmation of the consequent. More generally neuroeconomics relies on two problematic steps, namely the inference from brain activities to the engagement of cognitive processes in experimental tasks, and the presupposition that such inferred cognitive processes are relevant to economic theorizing. The first step only constitutes the reverse inference fallacy proper and ways to correct it include a better sense of the neural response selectivity of the targeted (...) brain areas and a better definition of relevant cognitive ontologies for neuroeconomics. This second way also allows increased coherence between the cognitive processes actually involved in neuroeconomics experiments and the theoretical constructs of economics. We suggest means of increasing neural response selectivity in neuroeconomic experimental paradigms. We also discuss how the choice of cognitive ontologies can both avoid implicit reductionist strategies (from economic constructs to neural patterns) and irrelevance, as cognitive processes engaged in experimental tasks may lack immediate bearing on the study of economic behavior. With these joint improvements neuroeconomics can be a progressive science. (shrink)
Marx launched a revolution in social thought that has been largely ignored. We locate this revolution in the context of two major reassessments of modern philosophy, Heidegger’s Being and Time and Donald Davidson’s new anti-subjectivism. We argue that the philosophical significance of Marx’s critique of the capitalist mode of production—his critique of the bourgeois horizon—has been overlooked. The paper exposes the bourgeois mindset that runs through political economy, “traditional” Marxism, and much of modern and postmodern philosophy. Bourgeois thinking is marked (...) by a series of “purist splits,” conceptual distinctions that are mishandled as actual separations: conceptual vs. empirical, conceptual scheme vs. thing in itself, individual vs. society, production vs. distribution, preference vs. the preferred object, and subjective vs. objective. Marx shows how capitalist social forms that produce the notion of “value added” inculcate the purist, bifurcating bourgeois horizon. (shrink)
Abstract The Marxian vulgate, which long dominated the historiography of the French Revolution, and which was broadly accepted in the social sciences, is no longer sustainable. But newer attempts to frame the issue of class in entirely linguistic terms, producing the claim that France had no bourgeoisie because few people explicitly described themselves as ?bourgeois,? are not entirely convincing. The Revolution brought into being, and helped to sustain, a new social group: the ?state bourgeoisie,? which defined itself by its education (...) and by state service, and which was socially cohesive and exclusive. Thus, the Revolution can be seen as ?bourgeois? not in the sense of having been caused by a rising bourgeoisie, but in the sense that it caused one to rise. (shrink)
The Lukács Circle in Szeged, a spontaneous, unofficial organization of young Hungarian scholars and philosophy teachers, characteristically represented Georg Lukács' influence on young Hungarian intelligentsia in the period of late socialism. In this paper, the author recalls and critically analyses the intellectual milieu and motives that led a considerable part of young Hungarian intelligentsia of that time to make a cult of Lukács' philosophy. The key to the analysis is the ambiguous character of the political feelings and philosophical orientation of (...) many young people in the period of late socialism and the paradoxical non-bourgeois bourgeois character of Lukács' philosophy. Lukács' young followers were dissatisfied with the political conditions of real socialism and with official Marxism. However, they considered themselves Marxists and were convinced by the anti-capitalist, romantic idea of democratic socialism. In the eyes of his young followers, Lukács was a genuine philosopher whose teaching was interwoven by his wide-ranging bourgeois middle-class education, promising both a real philosophical alternative to official Marxism and a high-level philosophical foundation for a non-capitalist but democratic future human history. The author argues that Lukács' philosophy did not satisfy these expectations. In his political philosophy, the philosopher could not move away from the mythological idea concerning the leading role of the communist party and therefore could not elaborate a genuine philosophical foundation for the idea of democratic socialism. Despite the superiority of his philosophy, his methodology and approach to the history of philosophy failed to provide a real philosophical alternative to the Bolshevik tradition of Marxism. (shrink)
In the fusillade he lets fly against Foss (1984), Bourgeois (1987) sometimes hits a live target. I admit that I went beyond the letter of van Fraassen's The Scientific Image (1980), making inferences and drawing conclusions which are often absurd. I maintain, however, that the absurdities must be charged to van Fraassen's account. While I cannot redress every errant shot of Bourgeois, his essay reveals the need for further discussion of the concepts of the phenomena and the observables as used (...) by van Fraassen. (shrink)
From the early 1840s on, Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian doctrine aroused the joint interest of Marx and Engels, who saw the English philosopher as one of the forerunners of socialism. Later, however, in the various editions (German, French, English) of Book 1 of Capital (1867/90), Bentham would be sarcastically branded by Marx as a “genius of bourgeois stupidity”. In their youth, both Engels and Marx had independently become interested in Bentham’s ideas, admiring some social-ethical themes, seen as heralding interesting developments for (...) the cause of the proletariat. On Engels’s suggestion, Marx included Bentham’s name, alongside those of the major 18th–19th century English and French exponents of protosocialism, in a planned Library of the most outstanding foreign socialist writers (1845), which however remained only a draft. From his first stay in England (1842/44), the young Engels had embraced in particular the famous utilitarian principle of “the greatest happiness of the greatest number” advocated by Bentham. Marx, on the other hand, after initially praising Bentham’s work, which he had read in a French translation during his exile in Paris (1844), harshly criticized the ambiguous implications of this principle. In fact, he believed thatbehind a misleading progressive façade, it constituted the philosophical equivalent of the later economic theory of labour productivity propounded by D. Ricardo in opposition to the theory of its mere quantitative extension put forward by A. Smith. In the London Manuscripts (1861/63) Marx will reveal the affinity betweenBentham’s principle of the happpiness of the greatest number of people, and Ricardo’s assumption of the ineliminable misery of the minority condemned to productive labour. Based on the collection of Marx’s and Engels’s texts (letters, drafts, notebooks, manuscripts, printed works), made available today thanks to the critical edition by MEGA1, this paper sets out to re-examine, im großen und ganzen, the main moments in their critique of Bentham’s Utilitarianism. (shrink)
Whether or not capitalism is compatible with ethics is a long standing dispute. We take up an approach to virtue ethics inspired by Adam Smith and consider how market competition influences the virtues most associated with modern commercial society. Up to a point, competition nurtures and supports such virtues as prudence, temperance, civility, industriousness and honesty. But there are also various mechanisms by which competition can have deleterious effects on the institutions and incentives necessary for sustaining even these most commercially (...) friendly of virtues. It is often supposed that if competitive markets are good, more competition must always be better. However, in the long run competition enhancing policies that neglect the nurturing and support of the bourgeois virtues may undermine the continued flourishing of modern commercial society. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction -- Chapter 1: Labor -- Political Ontology -- The Category Labor -- Labor1: Ontology of the Self -- Labor2: Historical Mode of Activity -- Labor3: Category of Capitalist Modernity -- Conclusion: On Work and Identity -- Chapter 2: Time -- Abstract Time as a System of Domination -- Bourgeois Temporal Norms -- Resistances to Temporal Domination -- Rebellions against Temporal Domination -- Complicity with Temporal Domination -- Conclusion: Social Class and Temporality -- Chapter 3: Property (...) -- Bourgeois Property and Ownership -- Is Water Property? -- Is Your Body Property? -- Conclusion: Does Property Help or Harm Us? -- Chapter 4: Value -- Use Value, Bourgeois Value, and The Work of Retrieval -- The Paradox of Value -- Imagining Value -- On Aristotle, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx -- Conclusion: Labor's Exchange Value -- Chapter 5: Crisis -- Political Economy -- Recurrence of Crisis -- Fall in the Rate of Profit -- The 2008 Economic Crisis and the False Desire of Home Ownership -- Conclusion: Crisis Writ Large. (shrink)
Kierkegaard recognized that the changes ushered in by the revolutions of 1848 would profoundly affect human existence in both its political and personal dimensions. At the political level he was concerned that the new forms of government would not be able to govern any more effectively than the previous forms. Loquacity would be substituted for policy. Then, too, the new forms of government encouraged confusion about the actual locus of power; the appearances and the reality of power did not conform. (...) Also, the actual state represents ?interests?, and as a result, justice is jeopardized. To be sure, compromise will be evident in such an actual state, but is governing possible in and through such conflictual arrangements? What is the relation of the press (media) to the public, and these in turn to politics? (shrink)