The concept of philosophy as a philosophical problem.--Critical idealism as a philosophy of culture.--Descartes, Leibniz, and Vico.--Hegel's theory of the State.--The philosophy of history.--Language and art I.--Language and art II.--The educational value of art.--Philosophy and politics.--Judaism and the modern political myths.--The technique of our modern political myths.--Reflections on the concept of group and the theory of perception.
The article investigates Cassirer's developing interest in the cultural sciences to display how his Philosophy of Symbolic Forms constitutes a philosophy of culture. The core concept in such a philosophy of culture is the symbolic formation that both possesses a structured-structuring dimension and appears as an historical process in which culture shows itself as a temporal creation. The philosophy of culture displays 'life in meaning', that is reality as it exhibits human reality manifested in and through the medium of linguistic, (...) artistic, religious, scientific "and so on" action and behaviour. This reality, therefore, is mediation between culture and nature through human spirit. Cassirer's philosophy of culture connects back to Kant's transcendental idealism by emphasizing that any concept of reality establishes itself through a modalization of reality, e.g. that reality constitutes itself in the mode of interpretation. This makes the basis for Cassirer's characteristic understanding of hermeneutics where cultural development is regarded as drama. (shrink)
Ernst Troeltsch's essay on socialism presents a summary account of his views on the prospects for a socialist economic order within the Weimar Republic. Troeltsch attempts to formulate a compromise that incorporates the proposals of both social conservatism and communism. Such a compromise, he insists, is possible on the basis of a realistic assessment of socialism supported by "an act of faith in the future" based upon explicitly religious resources. This essay is significant not only in relation to the (...) "religious socialism" then discussed in Germany, but also for the development of "political theology" today. (shrink)
on ethics provides an opportunity to go beyond some of the controversies generated by his work of the 1970s. It was thought, for example, that Foucault had overstated the extent to which individuals could be subjected to the influence of power, leaving them little room to resist. This paper will consider the politics of self-creation. We shall attempt to establish to what extent Foucaults later notion of self-formation does in fact succeed in countering an over determination by power. In the (...) end, though, it would appear as if Foucaults turn to ethics amounts to a substitution of ethics, understood as an individualized task, for the political task of collective social transformation. What is at stake is whether or not Foucaults insistence on individual acts of resistance amounts to more than an empty claim that ethics still somehow has political implications whilst having in fact effectively given up on politics. It will be argued that the subject of the later Foucaults ethics, the individual, can only be understood as political subjectivity, i.e. that the political potential of individual action is not only added on as an adjunct, but that individual action is intrinsically invested with political purport. Key Words: care of the self ethics politics power power/knowledge. (shrink)
This collection of revised and new essays argues that biology is an autonomous science rather than a branch of the physical sciences. Ernst Mayr, widely considered the most eminent evolutionary biologist of the 20th century, offers insights on the history of evolutionary thought, critiques the conditions of philosophy to the science of biology, and comments on several of the major developments in evolutionary theory. Notably, Mayr explains that Darwin's theory of evolution is actually five separate theories, each with its (...) own history, trajectory and impact. Ernst Mayr, commonly referred to as the "Darwin of the 20th century" and listed as one of the top 100 scientists of all-time, is Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. What Makes Biology Unique is the 25th book he has written during his long and prolific career. His recent books include This is Biology: The Science of the Living World (Belknap Press, 1997) and What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2002). (shrink)
The paper provides a thorough account of the relationship between Ernst Mach’s thought and that of an apparently more intellectually distant near-contemporary, Friedrich Nietzsche. The consistency of their views is in fact substantial, as I try to show within the paper. Despite their interests being different, both Mach and Nietzsche were concerned with the same issues about our intellectual relationship with the external world, dealing with the same questions and pursuing a common aim of eliminating worn-out philosophical conceptions. Moreover, (...) it can be argued that both Mach and Nietzsche converged on what we now know as the problem of realism versus anti-realism in the philosophy of science, and that they both rejected ‘representational’ (realist) conceptions of science in favour of a certain sort of pragmatic anti-realism, whose focus was on the role science plays as a means of orientation. (shrink)
Soumis aux conditions difficiles que lui impose l’Occupation, Julien Benda exprime dans La Grande Épreuve des démocraties une foi lucide en la démocratie, fondée sur un bilan critique du combat antifasciste. Appelant les Européens à privilégier dans leur passé les éléments d’une tradition républicaine d’inspiration libérale et sociale, il remet en cause la relative indifférence qu’il a longtemps entretenue, dans l’esprit de La trahison des clercs, à l’égard des systèmes politiques et de l’espoir de promouvoir la justice dans les (...) sociétés humaines, au profit d’un idéal élitiste soucieux de préserver la liberté d’une minorité d’intellectuels tournés vers l’éternité.Affirmant nettement la nécessité d’un ordre juridique international coercitif et chargé de veiller au respect des principes démocratiques, Julien Benda, collaborant aux publications de la Résistance, a la conviction que la démocratie doit se libérer de l’humanisme pacifiste dont elle est naturellement porteuse, et qu’elle doit, passant par un moment machiavélien, aller contre ses propres valeurs, et s’appuyer sur la force pour assurer son existence face à ses ennemis.Submitted to the difficult conditions imposed on him by the German occupation in France, Julien Benda, in La Grande Épreuve des démocraties expresses a true lucid faith in democracy, grounded on the critical appraisal of the anti-fascist fight. Urging the Europeans to privilege within their past the elements of a Republican tradition of a social and liberal inspiration, he questions the relative indifference he had for quite a while entertained, within the spirit of the Trahison des clercs, towards political systems and his hope to be able to promote justice in human societies, to the profit of an elitist ideal careful to safeguard the freedom of a minority of intellectuals turned towards eternity.Strongly stressing the necessity of a legal international order both coercive and meant to be sure democratic principles should be applied and respected, Julien Benda, by collaborating to the publications of the French Resistance, strongly believes that democracy should free itself from the pacifist humanism which it normally evidences and that it should – through a Machiavellian moment – go astride from its own values and rest on strength to grant its existence when confronted to its enemies. (shrink)
In the early 1930s, Julien Benda provided one of the most uncompromising visions for a united Europe. In line with his rationalist universalism, Benda sought a continent that was cleansed of passion and particularism, and called on European intellectuals to act as a rationalist vanguard in constructing such a Europe. However, Benda fatefully wavered between polity-building strategies of reshaping and redirection. For the most part, Benda seemed to demand nothing less than a comprehensive reshaping of the (...) moral and political psychology of European citizens. However, his universalism faltered frequently, and he conceived of Europe rather as a large nation, in which the ‘passion for reason’ would come to dominate other passions. Such ambiguities - and failures to draw a clear line between normative ideals and the pragmatics of polity-building - persist in many present debates on European unification. (shrink)
It's been 41 years since the publication of Ernst Mayr's Cause and Effect in Biology wherein Mayr most clearly develops his version of the influential distinction between ultimate and proximate causes in biology. In critically assessing Mayr's essay I uncover false statements and red-herrings about biological explanation. Nevertheless, I argue to uphold an analogue of the ultimate/proximate distinction as it refers to two different kinds of explanations, one dynamical the other statistical.
Ernst Mach zählt zu den bedeutendsten Naturwissenschaftlern und Philosophen des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. In der Physik gilt er als Wegbereiter von Einsteins Relativitätstheorie und Kontrahent von Boltzmanns Atomistik. In der Biologie, Psychologie und Physiologie wird er als Pionier einer empiristischen und gestalthaften „Analyse der Empfindungen“ betrachtet. In der Wissenschaftsphilosophie schließlich war er Vorbild des Wiener Kreises mit dem Verein Ernst Mach und Wegbereiter einer integrierten Wissenschaftsgeschichte und Wissenschaftstheorie. Der Band versammelt die deutschsprachigen Beiträge zum Symposium anlässlich des (...) 100. Todestages von Ernst Mach. Im Mittelpunkt der internationalen Konferenz im Juni 2016 an der Universität Wien und der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften standen Leben, Werk und Wirkung des Naturforschers und Philosophen. Der Band bietet eine kritische Bestandsaufnahme von Machs Lebenswerk vor dem Hintergrund der aktuellen Forschung und Historiografie. Die Autoren untersuchen unter anderem • seine Bedeutung für die Herausbildung einer naturwissenschaftlichen Psychologie • Machs historisch-kritische Methode • die Rolle der Kinematographie • die Rezeption durch Aleksander Bogdanov • das Verhältnis zu Sigmund Freuds Psychoanalyse Der Band erscheint in der Reihe „Veröffentlichungen des Instituts Wiener Kreis“ und richtet sich an Forschende auf den Gebieten der Wissenschaftsphilosophie, -geschichte und -theorie sowie der Kulturwissenschaften und der Wahrnehmungspsychologie. (shrink)
O texto compõe-se de duas partes: 1) uma introdução sobre Ernst Tugendhat, seu percurso e seu trabalho, bem como seu envolvimento com o ensino da filosofia entre nós; e 2) um depoimento do filósofo alemão sobre o ensino de filosofia na universidade, apresentando suas opiniões e sua vasta experiência a respeito. Para ele, como para o introdutor, em vez de resumir-se essencialmente ao aprendizado da história da filosofia e à leitura dos grandes filósofos, o ensino dessa disciplina – algo (...) como uma “arte” – deveria incluir, desde o começo, o exercício da argumentação sobre temas e problemas e a redação de textos curtos nessa linha. (shrink)