Given the significant attachment of the philosopher to the climate and intellectual mood of National Socialism, it would be inappropriate to criticize or exonerate his political decision in isolation from the very principles of Heideggerian philosophy itself. It is not Heidegger, who, in opting for Hitler, "misunderstood himself"; instead, those who cannot understand why he acted this way have failed to understand him. A Swiss professor regretted that Heidegger consented to compromise himself with the "everyday," as if a philosophy that (...) explains Being from the standpoint of time and the everyday would not stand in relation to the daily historical realities that govern its origins and effects. The possibility of a Heideggerian political philosophy was not born as a result of a regrettable "miscue," but from the very conception of existence that simultaneously combats and absords the Zeitgeist. (shrink)
The Pittsburgh School, aka the Pittsburgh Hegelians or as the Pittsburgh neo-Hegelians, is often associated with Sellars, McDowell and Brandom. The views of the Pittsburgh School arise on the heels of Sellars’ rejection of the given, but differ in important ways. The difficulty, if one turns away from the given, lies in justifying objective claims to know. I argue that neither Sellars, nor Brandom, nor McDowell successfully justifies claims to know. I further question their supposed Hegelianism. Hegel is a constructivist (...) in that he follows Kant’s claim, which is central to the Copernican revolution, that we know only what we in some sense “construct.” Unlike Hegel, the Pittsburgh “Hegelians” are not constructivists in terms of the letter or even the spirit of their views. (shrink)
From Platonism to phenomenology -- Kant's epistemological shift to phenomenology -- Hegel's phenomenology as epistemology -- Husserl's phenomenological epistemology -- Heidegger's phenomenological ontology -- Kant, Merleau-Ponty's descriptive phenomenology, and the primacy of perception -- On overcoming the epistemological problem through phenomenology.
This paper concerns two themes: my personal experience of Russian philosophy and Russian philosophers on the one hand, and historicism on the other. My account of my limited experience of Russian philosophers and philosophy will be mainly autobiographical. My remarks about historicism will concern a single aspect of the philosophical consequences of the Soviet experience for Russian philosophy. When I come to Russia, I am always surprised by the degree of interest in a historical approach to knowledge, an interest that, (...) so far as I know, is unique to Russian philosophy. This difference in perspective as concerns the historical character of cognitive claims needs to be explained. It needs to be explained why contemporary Russian philosophers and contemporary Russian philosophy are so hospitable to a historical approach to knowledge, an approach which has always been rare, even unusual, elsewhere. My hypothesis, which I examine the paper, is that there is a deep link between contemporary Russian interest in a historical approach to knowledge and Soviet philosophy. In particular, there is a link to Marx, who is a historical thinker, and to pre-Soviet Russian philosophy, as distinguished from Marxism, which is basically a-historical. (shrink)
The career of J. G. Fichte, a central figure in German idealism and in the history of philosophy, divides into two distinct phases: the first period, in which he occupied the chair of critical philosophy at the University of Jena (1794-1799); and the following period, after he left Jena for Berlin. Due in part to the inaccessibility of the German texts, Fichte scholarship in the English-speaking world has tended to focus on the Jena period, neglecting the development of this major (...) thinker's mature development. The essays collected in this book begin to correct this imbalance. Concerned in a variety of ways with Fichte's post-Jena philosophy, these essays by distinguished and emerging scholars demonstrate the depth and breadth of Fichte scholarship being done in English. With an introduction that locates the essays in philosophical and historical terms, the book divides into three related categories: Fichte’s development, his view of religion, and other aspects of his "popular" (or not-so-popular) philosophy. From a wide range of perspectives, the essays show how Fichte’s later development reflects the philosophical concerns of his time, the specific debates in which he engaged, and the complex events of his philosophical career. (shrink)
New readings have recently been offered by Frederick Beiser and Robert Brandom of Hegel, a notoriously difficult writer. I believe that both Beiser and Brandom go astray in reading Hegel otherwise than how he reads others, that is, in terms of the internal development of their theories in response to philosophical problems with which they were concerned as opposed to other, external concerns. Beiser reads Hegels position in the context of German idealism in order to refute it and Brandom reads (...) it in the context of analytic philosophy to learn from it. I will be recommending an alternative reading of Hegels position in the context of German idealism in order to learn from it. I believe we cannot magically detach Hegel from idealism in order to learn from, or even to understand, his position. But I also believe we need to interpret German idealism differently in order to grasp Hegels contribution. Key Words: Frederick Beiser Robert Brandom G.W.F.Hegel idealism Immanuel Kant realism. (shrink)
This is a paper about Hegelian constructivism in relation to theory of knowledge. Constructivism, which is known at least since Greek antiquity, isunderstood in different ways. In philosophy, epistemological constructivism is often rejected, and only occasionally studied. Kantian constructivism is examinedfrom time to time under the heading of the Copernican revolution. Hegelian constructivism, which is best understood as a reaction to and revision of Kantianepistemology, seems never to have been discussed in detail. This paper will sketch the outlines of Hegelian (...) constructivism in relation to the critical philosophy. Hegelian constructivism amounts to an intrinsically historical view of epistemology as a trial and error process situated in the social context. Knowledge emerges from a trial and error process in which we construct a cognitive framework to grasp objects constructed in and through this process. I suggest that the considerableinterest of a historical, constructivist, phenomenological approach to knowledge, such as Hegel’s, lies in its largely unexplored possibilities for advancing theepistemological debate. (shrink)
In Kant’s Wake evaluates the four main trends in philosophy in the twentieth century — Marxism, Anglo-American analytic, American pragmatism, and continental philosophy — and argues that all four evolved in reaction to Kant’s fascinating and demanding philosophy. Gives a sense of the main thinkers and problems, and the nature of their debates; Provides an intriguing assessment of the accomplishments of twentieth-century philosophy.
9/11 represents less a tear in the fabric of history, or a break with the past, than an inflection in ongoing historical processes, such as the continued expansion of capitalism that at some recent time has supposedly attained a level of globalization. This paper considers the relation of war and politics with respect to three instances arising in the wake of 9/11, including the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, and finally the global war on terror (GWT). I argue (...) that these wars are superficially dissimilar, but that on a deeper level they all relate to a single ideological position that is an important motivation in current US foreign policy, and that this position is further related to capitalism. (shrink)
For Martin Heidegger the "fall" of philosophy into metaphysics begins with Plato. Thus, the relationship between the two philosophers is crucial to an understanding of Heidegger--and, perhaps, even to the whole plausibility of postmodern critiques of metaphysics. It is also, as the essays in this volume attest, highly complex, and possibly founded on a questionable understanding of Plato. As editors Catalin Partenie and Tom Rockmore remark, a simple way to describe Heidegger's reading of Plato might be to say that what (...) began as an attempt to appropriate Plato (and through him a large portion of Western philosophy) finally ended in an estrangement from both Plato and Western philosophy. The authors of this volume consider Heidegger's thought in relation to Plato before and after the " Kehre " or turn. In doing so, they take up various central issues in Heidegger's Being and Time (1927) and thereafter, and the questions of hermeneutics, truth, and language. The result is a subtle and multifaceted reinterpretation of Heidegger's position in the tradition of philosophy, and of Plato's role in determining that position. (shrink)
The aim of this informal paper is to direct (or redirect) attention to the importance of Croce’s historicism. Though he is sometimes described as the best known Italian intellectual since Galileo, and though his influence remains strong in Italy, his impact outside Italy is not as important as it should be. Other than through Collingwood, his only well known English-language disciple, Croce has had very little influence on those writing in English. His theories, including his historicism, on which I will (...) be focusing here, are only infrequently discussed in English, especially by philosophers.Historicism is a doctrine which receives almost no attention in English-speaking lands but looms very large in Italian thought.For purposes of this paper, I will treat Croce’s historicism as arising out of his readings of three very different thinkers, different from himself and from each other, who are committed to varying forms of epistemological historicism, and who are important for the development of his own position, Vico, Hegel and Marx. Croce studies these thinkers early in his very long career in inverse chronological order, beginning with Marx (1900), turning next to Hegel (1907), and then concerning himself later with Vico (1911). In considering Croce’s interpretation of three other historicists, it will be useful to keep in mind that, as an original thinker, he is never only an interpreter of other theories, always in the process of thinking for himself with and against whatever ideas he is interpreting. In each case, he made important contributions to our understanding of these thinkers while continuing to work out his own view. (shrink)
In this book-the first large-scale survey of the complex relationship between Hegel's idealism and Anglo-American analytic philosophy-Tom Rockmore argues that analytic philosophy has consistently misread and misappropriated Hegel. According to Rockmore, the first generation of British analytic philosophers to engage Hegel possessed a limited understanding of his philosophy and of idealism. Succeeding generations continued to misinterpret him, and recent analytic thinkers have turned Hegel into a pragmatist by ignoring his idealism. Rockmore explains why this has happened, defends Hegel's idealism, and (...) points out the ways that Hegel is a key figure for analytic concerns, focusing in particular on the fact that he and analytic philosophers both share an interest in the problem of knowledge. (shrink)
It makes sense to ask from time to time where we are in the philosophical discussion. This article reviews the debate in the twentieth century. Michael Friedman has recently argued that the split between Continental and analytic philosophy is due to the inability, because of war, to carry forward a genuine debate begun by Heidegger and Carnap around the time of Heidegger's public controversy with Cassirer at Davos in 1929. I, however, argue that there was not even the beginning of (...) a genuine debate between Heidegger and Carnap. I argue further that the split between analytic and Continental philosophy originated earlier, in the analytic attack on idealism at the beginning of the century. And finally, I argue that the differences among analytic philosophy, Continental philosophy, and pragmatism, the third main current of twentieth-century philosophy, can be traced to differing reactions to Kant. (shrink)
In the course of developing a semantics with epistemological intent, Brandom claims that his inferentialism is Hegelian. This paper argues that, even on a charitable reading, Brandom is an anti-Hegelian.