This article addresses the question whether the model of social criticism as 'connected' or 'loyal' which is advanced by Richard Rorty and Michael Walzer offers an adequate picture of social criticism. Two claims are made. First, it is suggested that loyalty is an internally conflicted concept, with three components: a recognition of situatedness in a particular relationship; an affirmation of that relationship by the loyal agent; a set of values or local principles. Where the third component is prominent, (...) loyalty is more reflective and distanced; where the second component predominates, loyalty slips into unreflective commitment. Second, it is argued that Rorty and Walzer conflate the social critic's recognition of his or her situatedness in contexts of power with the affirmation of that situatedness. It is concluded that the model of loyal social criticism is mislead mg, and that the practice of the critic must be tempered by the operation of the sense of injustice. Key Words: connection • loyalty • Rorty • social criticism • Walzer. (shrink)
“Ethical criticism” is an approach to literary studies that holds that reading certain carefully selected novels can make us ethically better people, e.g., by stimulating our sympathetic imagination (Nussbaum). I try to show that this nonargumentative approach cheapens the persuasive force of novels and that its inherent bias and censorship undercuts what is perhaps the principal value and defense of the novel—that reading novels can be critical to one’s learning how to think.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction: The Rise of Philosophical Art Criticism 1 -- Chapter 1. In the Beginning Was Formalism 17 -- Chapter 2. The Structuralist Adventure 33 -- Chapter 3. The Historicist, Antiessentialist Definition of Art 55 -- Chapter 4. Resentment and Its Discontents 71 -- Chapter 5. The Deconstruction of Structuralism 87 -- Afterword: The Fate of Philosophical Art Criticism 111.
In this paper, making reference to Robert Brandom's philosophical proposal - and against the background of Brandom's debate with Jürgen Habermas - I shall endeavor, first, to define the relation between recognition and normativity and then between recognition and criticism; in the final part of the paper I shall suggest a perspective that approaches recognition in terms of capacities. On this basis I attempt to see the critical attitude as something that is founded more on individual potentials than on (...) formal criteria and that is essentially connected with a power of redescription: a dialectical anthropology of recognition is thus the most promising base to account for that which substantiates our critical powers. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is methodological. It offers a comprehensive mapping of the theoretical positions on the ethical criticism of art, correcting omissions and inadequacies in the conceptual framework adopted in the current debate. Three principles are recommended as general guidelines: ethical amenability, basic value pluralism, and relativity to ethical dimension. Hence a taxonomy distinguishing between different versions of autonomism, moralism, and immoralism is established, by reference to criteria that are different from what emerging in the current literature. (...) The mapping is then proved capable of (1) locating the various theories that have been proposed so far and clarifying such theories’ real commitments, (2) having the correct relationship with actual art making and art criticism practices, and (3) showing the real weight of the alleged counter-example to a moralist position of a work that succeeds artistically because of its immorality. (shrink)
Reply to John Lewis: Note on "The critique of the personality cult". Remark on the category "Process without a subject or goal(s)"--Elements of self-criticism: On the evolution of the young Marx.--Is it simple to be a Marxist in philosophy? "Something new".
Since the mid-1980s, Arthur C. Danto has been increasingly concerned with the implications of the demise of modernism. Out of the wake of modernist art, Danto discerns the emergence of a radically pluralistic art world. His essays illuminate this novel art world as well as the fate of criticism within it. As a result, Danto has crafted the most compelling philosophy of art criticism since Clement Greenberg. Gregg Horowitz and Tom Huhn analyze the constellation of philosophical and critical (...) elements in Danto's new- Hegelian art theory. In a provocative encounter, they employ themes from Kantian aesthetics to elucidate the continuing persistence of taste in shaping even this most sophisticated philosophy of art. (shrink)
Aesthetics: Music and ideas. Formalism. Perception, meaning, and the subject matter of art. The technical factor in art. The aesthetic function of language. The problem of belief. On defining metaphor.--Criticism: Cordelia absent. A poem by Frost and some principles of criticism. Critical communication. "Pretentious" as an aesthetic predicate. Superlatives. Some problems of interpretation.--Ethics and moral psychology: Natural pride and natural shame. Deontology and the ethics of lying. Ethical and aesthetic criticism.--Appendices (p. -316).--A. Analytical philosophy and the (...) study of art.--B. Notebooks and letters. (shrink)
Aesthetics, hermeneutics, criticism -- Social Werktreue and the subjectivization of aesthetics -- From musike to metaphysics -- Formalist aesthetics and musical hermeneutics -- Deconstructing the disciplinary divide -- The question of metaphor -- Mimesis and the hermeneutics of music -- Political critique and the politics of music criticism -- Toward a hermeneutics of music criticism.
The founding text of modern hermeneutics. Written by the philosopher and theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher as a method for the interpretation and textual criticism of the New Testament, it develops ideas about language and the interpretation of texts that are in many respects still unsurpassed and are becoming current in the contemporary philosophy of language. Contrary to the traditional view of Schleiermacher as a theorist of empathetic interpretation, in this text he offers a view of understanding that acknowledges both the (...) structurally and historically determined aspects of language and the need to take account of the activity of the individual subject in the constitution of meaning. This volume offers the text in a new translation by Andrew Bowie, together with related writings on secular hermeneutics and on language, and an introduction that places the texts in the context of Schleiermacher's philosophy as a whole. (shrink)
This is the long-awaited publication of a set of writings by the British philosopher, historian, and archaeologist R.G. Collingwood (1889-1943) on critical, anthropological, and cultural themes only hinted at in his previously available work. At the core are six essays on folktale and magic in which Collingwood applies the principles of his philosophy of history to problems in the long-term evolution of human society and culture. The volume opens with three substantial introductory essays by the editors, authorities in their various (...) fields, who provide their explanatory and contextual notes to guide the reader through the texts. The Philosophy of Enchantment highlights the broad range of Collingwood's intellectual engagements, their integration, and their relevance to current areas of debate in the fields of philosophy, cultural studies, social and literary history, and anthropology. (shrink)
I tackle the definition of the relation between first and second nature while examining some problems with McDowell's conception. This, in the first place, will bring out the need to extend the notion of second nature to the social dimension, understanding it not just as `inner' second nature — individual mind — but also as `outer' second nature — objective spirit. In the second place the dialectical connection between these two notions of second nature will point the way to a (...) critical use of the concept itself, which will link up with a theory of reification. Furthermore, I shall endeavor to fit my reflection into the problematic constellation of critical theory : my analysis in fact rests on the question whether, within a critical theory, the philosophy of nature can be recaptured today, in such a way as to give meaning to the very notion of socio-philosophical criticism of reality. Key Words: Theodor Adorno • critical theory • dialectics • Jürgen • Habermas • G. W. F. Hegel • John McDowell • mind naturalism • nature • quietism • reification • second nature • world. (shrink)
This article calls for a critical re-evaluation of Walzer’s theory of justice. It argues that there is a deep tension between Walzer’s social criticism and his complex equality. Social criticism is based on the normative value of a connected and ‘whole’ self, and complex equality is based upon a value pluralism that threatens to fragment this sense of wholeness. Walzer therefore commissions a tacit premise, borrowing from the same ‘political philosophy’ that he explicitly repudiates, and which social (...) class='Hi'>criticism is intended to supplant. This premise is a Kantian-inspired conception of self; brought to the argument as an a priori premise and thus in violation of Walzer’s own stated commitment to ‘internalism’ and ‘interpretation’. Furthermore, this same conception of self is the moral source of Walzer’s substantive commitment to the universal value of pluralist political regimes. The article closes with a suggested reconciliation of the inherent tension within Walzer’s theory. (shrink)
Works of fiction are often criticized for their historical inaccuracies. But this practice poses a problem: why would we criticize a work of fiction for its historical inaccuracy given that it is a work of fiction? There is an intuition that historical inaccuracies in works of fiction diminish their value as works of fiction; and yet, given that they are works of fiction, there is also an intuition that such works should be free from the constraints of historical truth. The (...) puzzle of historical criticism is that these intuitions are obviously in conflict, and yet we wish to give up neither. In this essay, I address the shortcomings of two seemingly intuitive strategies for solving the puzzle: the puzzle cannot be solved by appealing to historical constraints of a work’s genre, nor can it be explained as an instance of imaginative resistance. Given the failure of these two strategies, I suggest that there is no easy way to account for our conflicting intuitions and that the puzzle is deserving of greater attention. (shrink)
As a great synthesist for the School of Principles of the Northern and Southern Song dynasties, Zhu Xi’s influence over the School of Principles was demonstrated not only through his positive theoretical creation, but also through his choice and critical awareness. Zhu’s relationship with Confucianism and Buddhism is a typical case; and his activities, ranging from his research of Buddhism (the Chan School) in his early days to his farewell to the Chan School as a student of Li Dong from (...) Yanping and then to his critical awareness of the Chan School, developed in his association with Wang Yingchen, set the entire course of his relationship with Confucianism and Buddhism. It fostered his antagonistic attitude towards the Chan School, which lasted his entire life. Zhu approached the Chan School mainly as an objective social and cultural phenomenon; his discrimination between Confucianism and Buddhism was from an epistemological point of view; and his refutation of the Chan School was mainly from the point of view of language and methodology, an antagonistic attitude of how to face learning. Therefore, his opposition to the Chan School not only directly fostered an awareness of the Confucians of the Ming dynasty against Buddhism, who simply viewed the latter as an external and objective existence, but to a certain extent resulted in the disappearance of the transcendence of the School of Principles, and caused a total change in academic direction during the Ming and Qing dynasties and the formation of the Qianjia Hanxue . What is more, such an opposition to Buddhism continues to influence people’s understanding of the School of Principles. (shrink)
William Walker's original analysis of John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding offers a challenging and provocative assessment of Locke's importance as a thinker, bridging the gap between philosophical and literary-critical discussion of his work. He presents Locke as a foundational figure who defines the epistemological and ontological ground on which eighteenth-century and Romantic literature operate and eventually diverge. He is revealed as a crucial figure for emerging modernity, less the familiar empiricist innovator and more the proto-Nietzschean thinker whose text (...) fosters hitherto unsuspected instabilities and promotes a new kind of rhetorical force to counterbalance them. Walker's reading of Locke is at once finely attentive to the text and engagingly resourceful in placing the Essay in its broadest philosophical and historical context. (shrink)
It is often argued that Michael Walzer’s theory of social criticism, which underpins his theory of justice, is not much of a theory at all, but rather an impressionistic collection of historical anecdotes. Contrary to this perception, I argue that Walzer’s method can be accurately described as a version of John Rawls’ well-known method of wide reflective equilibrium. Through a systematic comparison it can be shown that the two methods are strikingly similar. This implies that, far from the critics’ (...) claim, Walzer’s method can be described as a philosophically sophisticated method. This also adds credibility to Walzer’s views on politics and justice. (shrink)
Dilemma one, Between the theoretical concepts and authorial intention -- Dilemma two, Good manners and eristic -- Dilemma three, Between strangeness and familiarity -- Dilemma four, Between scholarly research and faith.
The "only pretension, of which I am tenacious," wrote Hazlitt, "is that of being a metaphysician"; but his metaphysics, and particularly what this book identifies as his power principle, has until now been neglected. This exciting book studies Hazlitt's development of the power principle as a counter to the pleasure principle of the Utilitarians, and examines the revelation of power in his philosophy of discourse, his account of imaginative structure, his theory of genius, and his moral theory.
This anthology, part of a three-volume series of which the other two volumes are already available, charts the emergence of aesthetics in Germany in the latter half of the eighteenth century as a distinct discipline emancipated from French domination. The unifying theme of the volume is classicism: Winckelmann's neo-classicism was based on a profound knowledge of the visual art of Greece and Rome; Lessing's Laocoon extended Winckelmann's principles to literature; Herder and Schiller, by contrast, went on to define and defend (...) modern post-classical works of art as distinct but equally justified cultural achievements, while Hamann's attack on rational poetics together with the young Herder's pre-Romanticism anticipated central doctrines of the Romantic movement proper; the final essay is Goethe's study of Winckelmann. (shrink)
The prevalence of colourful metaphors and figurative language in critics’ descriptions of artworks has long attracted attention. Talk of ‘liquid melodies’, ‘purple prose’, ‘soaring arches’, and the use of still more elaborate figurative descriptions, is not uncommon. My aim in this paper is to explain why metaphor is so prevalent in critical description. Many have taken the prevalence of art-critical metaphors to reveal something important about aesthetic experience and aesthetic properties. My focus is different. I attempt to determine what metaphor (...) enables critics to achieve and why it is so well suited to helping them achieve it. I begin by outlining my account of what metaphors communicate and defend it against objections to the effect that it does not apply to art-critical metaphors. I then distinguish between two kinds of art-critical metaphor. This distinction is not normally drawn, but drawing it is essential to understanding why critics use metaphor. I then explain why each kind of metaphor is so common in criticism. (shrink)
What exactly do we do when we try to make sense of other people e.g. by ascribing mental states like beliefs and desires to them? After a short criticism of Theory-Theory, Interaction Theory and the Narrative Theory of understanding others as well as an extended criticism of the Simulation Theory in Goldman's recent version (2006), we suggest an alternative approach: the Person Model Theory . Person models are the basis for our ability to register and evaluate persons having (...) mental as well as physical properties. We argue that there are two kinds of person models, nonconceptual person schemata and conceptual person images , and both types of models can be developed for individuals as well as for groups. (shrink)
Karl Popper famously opposed Marxism in general and its philosophical core – the Marxist dialectic – in particular. As a progressive thinker, Popper saw in dialectic a source of dogmatism damaging to philosophy and political theory. Popper had summarized his views on dialectic in an article that was first delivered in 1937 and subsequently republished as a chapter of his book (2002, pp. 419-451), where he accuses Marxist dialecticians of not tolerating criticism. Ironically, Popper’s view that all Marxist dialecticians (...) dogmatically dismiss any criticism of dialectic by claiming that their opponents do not understand dialectic makes his position no less dogmatic. Indeed, any attempt to criticise Popper’s views on dialectics would be seen only as an additional example of responses by “dogmatic dialecticians”, making his theory essentially immune. This completely prevents dialecticians from being able to criticise Popper’s views. This is exactly the opposite of what the great philosopher wanted. Therefore, for the sake of “anti-dogmatic science” it is desirable and even necessary to defend dialectic. In this work I address several central points about Popper’s criticism of Marxist (materialist) dialectic. In particular, I (a) analyse Popper’s definition of dialectic as the dialectic triad (thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis) and contrast it with a notion of dialectic as a much more complex concept which occurs in dialectical materialism today, where the triad represents only one of the aspects; (b) compare dialectic with the trial and error method; (c) discuss the place of dialectic amongst valid scientific methods: Does dialectic accept logical contradictions; (e) discuss lessons dialecticians should learn from Popper’s criticism. I will test my arguments as to their constructiveness and will demonstrate explicitly the nature of my disagreement with Popper - thereby trying to avoid the “dogmatic dialecticians” response as much as possible. (shrink)
In this paper, I try to uncover the role played by Wittgenstein's context principle in his criticism of Russell's theory of types. There is evidence in Wittgenstein's writings that a syntactical version of the context principle in connection with the theory of symbolism functions as a good reason for his dispensing with the theory of types.
This article discusses the question whether or not Cassirer’s philosophical critique of technological use of myth in The Myth of the State implies a revision of his earlier conception and theory of myth as provided by The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms . In the first part, Cassirer’s early theory of myth is compared with other approaches of his time. It is claimed that Cassirer’s early approach to myth has to be understood in terms of a transcendental philosophical approach. In consequence, (...) myth is conceived as a form of cultural consciousness which is constituted by specific symbolic processes. In the second part, the theoretical assumptions underlying Cassirer’s criticism of myth are discussed and compared with his earlier theory. It is argued that there is a strong conceptual and theoretical continuity between Cassirer’s early views on myth as a symbolic form and his later critique of technological use of myth. (shrink)
There is a class of critics who are dissatisfied with the academic status of literary criticism and who want to re-establish for literary criticism the status it possessed in the early and mid nineteenth century as simultaneously cultural and social criticism. This is an impossible task. The 'cultural critics' of the nineteenth century possessed their authority because they were without competition and because they could command the attention and respect of the whole of the literate audience. However, (...) at the end of the nineteenth century intellectual authority came to be based in specialised academic disciplines and individual authority was undermined and ultimately disappeared. At the same time, the arrival of universal literacy in Britain fragmented and ultimately destroyed the generally educated audience to which the cultural critics addressed themselves. Consequently there is today no role for the cultural critic. Literary critics cannot speak with authority about social, political, or cultural questions. They can, however, speak with authority about literature. Whether or not this criticism can be grounded in disciplinary knowledge, it serves a necessary function for an audience that no longer possesses the skill of reading literary works and lacks the background knowledge that is necessary to make sense of literature. (shrink)
The article discusses two puzzles about Plato''s account of the democratic person: (1) unlike his account of the democratic city, his characterization of a democratic person is markedly incorrect. (2) His criticism of a person so characterized is criticism of a straw man. The article argues that the first puzzle is resolved if we see it as a result of Plato''s assumption that a democratic person is a person whose soul is isomorphic to a democratic constitution. Such a (...) person has a desire satisfaction theory of good and adopts liberty and equality of desires as a basis for action. The article then argues that Plato''s criticism brings up two problems endemic to desire satisfaction theories of good, the problem of bad desires and the problem of conflicts of desires. The criticism is that the democratic person''s way of dealing with these problems, by applying the social principles of liberty and equality to his desires, is irrational. (shrink)
Taking as a test case biblical texts in which the God of Israel commands the destruction other nations, the present paper defends the legitimacy and the necessity of ethical criticism of the Bible. It takes issue with the suggestions of several contemporary Christian philosophers who have recently defended the view that (in Israel’s early history) God had good and morally sufficient reasons for commanding genocide.
The purpose of this article is to examine Gadamer's criticism of Collingwood's re-enactment. A parallel concern is the evaluation of Collingwood's hermeneutics of history. Given that Collingwood can be read as a hermeneutic thinker, what is the impact of Gadamer's critique of re-enactment? My response to this question focuses on the dual significance of completeness for hermeneutics. The fore-conception of completeness, on the one hand, presupposes meaningfulness. The incompleteness of meaning, on the other hand, shows that the finite human (...) can never arrive at a perfect explanation. The fusion of horizons is created by the tension that exists between completeness and incompleteness. According to Gadamer, the lack of a clear distinction between the two notions of completeness leads Collingwood to a historicist position exemplified by re-enactment. I review Collingwood's books to demonstrate that, pace Gadamer, both notions of completeness are central to Collingwood's philosophy, guaranteeing the hermeneutical stance of his thought. However, what substantiates Gadamer's dissatisfaction with re-enactment is Collingwood's insufficient grasp of the difference between human historicity and the practice of professional history. I argue that while Collingwood is correct to indicate the inferential procedure of the writing of a political history, he nevertheless forgets that the historian is still a finite human being conditioned by historical situatedness. (shrink)
Both modernist and post-modern social criticism of power presuppose that agents frequently consent to power relations, which a political theorist may wish to critique. This raises the question: from what normative position can one critique power which is, as a sociological fact, legitimate in the eyes of those who reproduce it? This paper argues that "symbolic violence" is a useful metaphor for providing such a normative grounding. In order to provide an epistemological basis of critique, it is further argued (...) that social actors have multiple interpretative horizons available to them as part of their everyday social practices. Thus, they are not caught in a preconstituted web of meaning from which there is no escape, as is sometimes implicit in the over-socialized perceptions of agency associated with post-modernism. (shrink)
This study of Hegel and Nietzsche evaluates and compares their work through their common criticism of the metaphysics for operating with conceptual oppositions such as being/becoming and egoism/altruism. Dr Houlgate exposes Nietzsche's critique as employing the distinction of Life and Thought, which itself constitutes a metaphysical dualism of the kind Nietzsche attacks. By comparison Hegel is shown to provide a more profound critique of metaphysical dualism by applying his philosophy of the dialectic, which sees such alleged opposites as defining (...) components of a dynamic. In choosing to study a theme so fundamental to both philosophers' work, Houlgate has established a framework within which to evaluate the Hegel-Nietzsche debate; to make the first full study of Nietzsche's view of Hegel's work; and to compare Nietzsche's Dionysic philosophy with Hegel's dialectical philosophy by focusing on tragedy, a subject central to the philosophy of both. (shrink)
This paper examines the use of “pleasure” as the distinguishing mark of aesthetic experience in post-Kantian philosophy. It shows how the distinctive features of aesthetic experience, such as pleasure, qualify this experience as a platform for social criticism. The key argument is that the autonomy of the aesthetic experience is not “false”, rather it is paradoxical in the strong sense that the fact of its communicative efficacy, which follows from distinctive, “autonomous” aesthetic features, necessarily loads it with functions and (...) expectations that are external to the aesthetic moment. Kant takes a complicated path to qualify aesthetic judgment as disinterested in order that it may eloquently testify for morality. He thereby sets up the cogency of the modern pattern of looking to aesthetic experience as a locus of meaningful communication for ideas that are experientially poor or remote. (shrink)
In Political Theory and Feminist Social Criticism, Brooke Ackerly demonstrates the shortcomings of contemporary deliberative democratic theory, relativism and essentialism for guiding the practice of social criticism in the real, imperfect world. Drawing theoretical implications from the activism of Third World feminists who help bring to public audiences the voices of women silenced by coercion, Brooke Ackerly provides a practicable model of social criticism. She argues that feminist critics have managed to achieve in practice what other theorists (...) do only incompletely in theory. Complemented by Third World feminist social criticism, deliberative democratic theory becomes critical theory - actionable, coherent, and self-reflective. While a complement to democratic theory, Third World feminist social criticism also addresses the problem in feminist theory associated with attempts to deal with identity politics. Third World feminist social criticism thus takes feminist theory beyond the critical impasse of the tension between anti-relativist and anti-essentialist feminist theory. (shrink)
Frank Welz’s Kritik der Lebenswelt undertakes a sociology of knowledge criticism of the work of Edmund Husserl and Alfred Schutz that construes them as developing absolutist, egological systems opposed to the “processual” worldview prominent since the modern rise of natural science. Welz, though, misunderstands the work of Schutz and Husserl and neglects how their focus on consciousness and eidetic features pertains to the kind of reflection that one must undertake if one would avoid succumbing to absolutism, that uncovers the (...) presuppositions of the processual worldview itself, and that secures a domain distinctive of philosophy over against sociology. Finally, Welz’s charge that Schutz favors a Neo-Kantian social scientific methodology contradictory to his phenomenology neglects the levels of Schutz’s discourse and ignores how the Weberian ideal-typical approach can be subsumed within phenomenology. (shrink)
Faith and Criticism addresses a central problem in the church today--the tension between traditionalists and progressives. Traditionalists want above all to hold fast to traditional foundations in belief and ensure that nothing of value is lost, even at the risk of a clash with "modern knowledge." Progressives are concerned above all to proclaim a faith that is credible today, even at the risk of sacrificing some elements of traditional doctrine. They are often locked in uncomprehending conflict. Basil Mitchell argues (...) that, not only in theology but in any other serious intellectual pursuit, faith and criticism are interdependent. A tradition which is not open to criticism will eventually ossify; and without faith in some established tradition criticism has nothing to fasten upon. This interdependence of faith and criticism has implications for society at large. Religious education can be Christian without ceasing to be critical, and a liberal society can espouse Christian values. (shrink)
Some accounts of evidence regard it as an objective relationship holding between data and hypotheses, perhaps mediated by a testing procedure. Mayo’s error-statistical theory of evidence is an example of such an approach. Such a view leaves open the question of when an epistemic agent is justified in drawing an inference from such data to a hypothesis. Using Mayo’s account as an illustration, I propose a framework for addressing the justification question via a relativized notion, which I designate security , (...) meant to conceptualize practices aimed at the justification of inferences from evidence. I then show how the notion of security can be put to use by showing how two quite different theoretical approaches to model criticism in statistics can both be viewed as strategies for securing claims about statistical evidence. (shrink)
Hegel’s famous criticism of Laozi in his Lectures on the History of Philosophy, has been a center of controversy in comparative philosophy. It is often regarded as an example of the unfair treatment of Chinese philosophy by its Western counterpart, that the West is measuring the East according to its own standard, imposing on the latter its understanding of what philosophy should be, passing judgment on China that it has no mature philosophy, or, if it has, that it is (...) still in an unsophisticated, primitive stage. However, there has been little serious and detailed discussion about Hegel’s argument in this important and representative document in the dialogue between Western and Chinese philosophy. Most of the .. (shrink)
Introduction: Fielding Derrida -- Jacques Derrida's early writings : alongside skepticism, phenomenology -- Analytic philosophy, and literary criticism -- Deconstruction as skepticism -- Derrida, Husserl, and the commentators : a developmental approach -- A transcendental sense of death : Derrida and the philosophy of language -- Literary theory's languages : the deconstruction of sense vs. the deconstruction of reference -- Jacques Derrida and the problem of philosophical and political modernity -- Jacob Klein and Jacques Derrida : the problem of (...) modernity -- Jacob Klein and Jacques Derrida : historicism and history in two interpretations of Husserl's late writings -- Derrida's contribution to phenomenology : a problem of no species -- Foretellese : futures of Derrida and Marx. (shrink)
Popper's thesis that the growth of knowledge lies in the emergence of problems out of criticism and takes place in an autonomous world of products of the human mind (his so-called world-3) raises two questions: (1) Why does criticism lead to new problems, and (2) Why can only a limited number of tentative solutions arise at a given time? I propose the following answer: Criticism entails an overlooked evolutionary world-3 mechanism, namely, the migration of piece meal conceptual (...) schemes from one research tradition to another. Popper by passed the questions above because he relied very heavily on the selective power of criticism. (shrink)
Hegel's philosophy has often been compared to a circle of circles: an ascending spiral to its admirers, but a vortex to its critics. The metaphor reflects Hegel's claim to offer a conception of philosophical reason so comprehensive as to include all others as partial forms of itself. It is a claim which faces the writer on Hegel with peculiar difficulties. Criticism, it would appear, can always be outflanked; criticism of the system can be turned back into criticism (...) within the system. Michael Rosen discusses the philosophical issues involved in historical interpretation before presenting a novel and challenging solution to the problem of Hegel's openness to criticism. Contrary to received opinion, Hegel's philosophy does not, he argues, draw upon a universal and pre-suppositionless conception of rationality. Rather, Hegel's originality lies in founding his system upon a particular, avowedly mystical conception of philosophical experience. This experience - Hegel calls it 'pure Thought' - is fundamental. Pure Thought makes speculative reasoning intelligible and, hence, underpins the claim to rationality of the entire system. Dr Rosen's conclusion is that all attempts at rehabilitation of Hegel are based on misunderstanding. When restored to their speculative-mystical shell the irrational kernel of Hegel's concepts becomes apparent. (shrink)
It is the thesis of the paper that the arts of the twentieth century have gone much further in the criticism of customary modes of thought than have both the sciences and the various critical philosophies which exist today. Moreover, they have not only developed an abstract principle of criticism, they have also studied the psychological conditions under which criticism can be expected to become effective. Some plays and the theoretical essays of Ionesco are analysed as an (...) example. It is pointed out that Ionesco resembles Bacon in that he believes in an unchangeable basis of humanity from which all ideologies proceed. An attempt is made to free Ionesco from these dogmatic elements, theoretically, as well as practically (i.e. as regards the performance of his plays) and to utilize to the full his contributions to a theatre that is free of prejudice, and fully critical. (shrink)
The attempt to connect philosophy and social hope has been one of the key distinguishing features of critical theory as a tradition of enquiry. This connection has been questioned forcefully from the perspective of a post-philosophical pragmatism, as articulated by Rorty. In this article I consider two strategies that have been adopted by critical theorists in seeking to reject Affection Rorty's suggestion that we should abandon the attempt to ground social hope in philosophical reason. We consider argumentative strategies of the (...) philosophical anthropologist and of the rational proceduralist. Once the exchanges between Rorty and these two strands of critical theory have been reconstructed and assessed, an alternative perspective emerges. It is argued that philosophical reasoning best helps to sustain social hope in a rapidly changing world when we consider it in terms of the practice of democratic criticism. (shrink)
One common method of criticizing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is to label them as “magic bullets.” However, this criticism, like many in the debate over GMOs, is not very clear. What exactly is the “magic bullet criticism”? What are its origins? What flaw is it pointing out in GM crops and agricultural biotechnology? What is the scope of the criticism? Does it apply to all GMOs, or just some? Does it point to a fatal flaw, or something (...) that can be fixed? The goal of this paper is to answer these questions and clarify the magic bullet criticism of agricultural biotechnology. It is hoped that the results of this exercise will be helpful in advancing deliberation over the role GMOs and agricultural biotechnology should play in 21st century agriculture. (shrink)
Adorno’s critical theory aims to open space for the expression of alternative futures, but its insistence on dialectical reflection encourages at the same time our sustained attentiveness to the psychic and material constraints that may prevent the very possibilities we imagine. In this article, I argue that dialectical reflection signals a location at which transcendental claims enter our thinking and that, for Adorno, such reflection provides a locus for a critically animating interplay between rhetorical figurations of darkness and redemption, or (...) material constraint and alternative possibility. Concerned less with the substance of Adorno’s criticisms than with how his dialectical mode of thinking can be said to shape critical reflection as such, I suggest that Adorno provides a model orientation for democratic engagement in our time and a sobering critical supplement to recent Derridean discourse on radical democracy. (shrink)
Aristotle's criticism of Platonic Forms in the Metaphysics has been a major source for the understanding and developments of the theory of Forms in later Antiquity. One of the cases in point is Aristotle's argument, in Metaphysics I 9, 990b22-991a2, against Forms of non-substances. In this paper, I will first provide a careful analysis of this passage. Next, I will discuss how the argument has been interpreted - and refuted - by the fifth-century Neoplatonists Syrianus and Proclus. This interpretation (...) has played an important role in the broader context of the Neoplatonic debates on the range of Plato's theory of Forms, which was one of the traditional problems discussed about the Forms in later Platonism. (shrink)
This is an extended critique of comments made by Abner Shimony and Howard Stein on Henry Stapp’s proof of the non-locality of quantum mechanics. Although I claim that ultimately Stapp’s proof does not establish its purported conclusion, yet Shimony and Stein’s criticism contains a number of weak points, which need to be clarified.