The National Library of Finland and the Von Wright and Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Helsinki keep the collected correspondence of Georg Henrik von Wright, Wittgenstein’s friend and successor at Cambridge and one of the three literary executors of Wittgenstein’s Nachlass. Among von Wright’s correspondence partners, Elizabeth Anscombe and Rush Rhees are of special interest to Wittgenstein scholars as the two other trustees of the Wittgenstein papers. Thus, von Wright’s collections held in Finland promise to shed light on the (...) context of decades of editorial work that made Wittgenstein’s later philosophy available to all interested readers. In this text, we present the letters which von Wright received from Anscombe and Rhees during the first nine months after Wittgenstein’s death. This correspondence provides a vivid picture of the literary executors as persons and of their developing relationships. The presented letters are beautiful examples of what the correspondence as a whole has to offer; it depicts – besides facts of editing – the story of three philosophers, whose conversing voices unfold the human aspects of inheriting Wittgenstein’s Nachlass. Their story does not only deal with editing the papers of an eminent philosopher, but with the attempt to do justice to the man they knew, to his philosophy and to his wishes for publication. (shrink)
The shift in focus has changed the nature of the Project in a way which we hadn't expected and didn't really notice until this revision. Back in the late 1980s, we started the project as a "work around" for a situation that we found personally frustrating. We believed that widely-held beliefs about Mead's ideas were misinterpretations. But his published statements were often difficult to obtain. It was easier for scholars to rely from the secondary literature about Mead than to consult (...) primary sources. As a result, those frustrating misinterpretations persisted. Our solution: republish as much of Mead as possible in machine-readable form to make distribution, familiarity, and study easier. When the Web was established, we abandon plans for a CD and prepared the documents for the new medium. George's Page was born. (shrink)
During the British socialist revival of the 1880s competing theories of evolution were central to disagreements about strategy for social change. In News from Nowhere (1891), William Morris had portrayed socialism as the result of Lamarckian processes, and imagined a non-Malthusian future. H.G. Wells, an enthusiastic admirer of Morris in the early days of the movement, became disillusioned as a result of the Malthusianism he learnt from Huxley and his subsequent rejection of Lamarckism in light of Weismann's experiments on mice. (...) This brought him into conflict with his fellow Fabian, George Bernard Shaw, who rejected neo-Darwinism in favour of a Lamarckian conception of change he called "creative evolution.". (shrink)
In several works on modality, G. H. von Wright presents tree structures to explain possible worlds. Worlds that might have developed from an earlier world are possible relative to it. Actually possible worlds are possible relative to the world as it actually was at some point. Many logically consistent worlds are not actually possible. Transitions from node to node in a tree structure are probabilistic. Probabilities are often more useful than similarities between worlds in treating counterfactual conditionals.
G. H. Mead developed an alternative "metaphysics" of selfhood and agency that underlies, but is seldom made explicit in discussions of, his social developmental psychology. This is an alternative metaphysics that rejects any pregiven, fixed foundations for being and knowing. It assumes the emergence of social psychological phenomena such as mind, self, and deliberative agency through the activity of human actors and interactors within their biophysical and sociocultural world. Of central importance to the emergence of self-consciousness and deliberative forms of (...) human agency is the ability of developing individuals to take the perspectives of others within their own conduct. However, precisely what is involved in this process, and whether or not it assumes the preexistence of exactly those forms of selfhood and agency, the emergence of which it seeks to explain, have been much disputed. In this essay, recent reinterpretations of Mead's "metaphysics" are used to argue that his overall theoretical program contains resources necessary to overcome charges of ontological and epistemological circularity. In particular, once his interactionism, perspectivism, emergentism, and compatibilism are explicated, it is possible to see that Mead's "taking the perspective of the other" is not primarily a process of internalization that requires a preexisting "internalizer," but a process of participation with others within conventionalized sequences of interactivity. This participatory process enables the development of prereflective forms of perspective taking and self-other differentiation that serve as necessary conditions for the further emergence of more reflective forms of perspective taking, self-consciousness, and deliberative agency. Compatibilist interpretations of deliberative agency, thus understood, also are discussed. (shrink)
We find before us an excellent edition of the book which the influential American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-82) published in December of 1860, four months before the outbreak of the American Civil War. The central question which Emerson poses in this volume concerns the conduct of life, that is, of how to live. The titles of the nine essays, which compose the book, illustrate the themes tackled: “Fate,” “Power,” “Wealth”, “Culture,” “Behavior,” “Worship”, “Considerations by the Way,” “Beauty” and “Illusions.” (...) As Callaway suggests, Emerson’s is not a philosophy in the sense of contemporary technicalities, “the basic tendency of his thought is a metaphysical idealism in which the soul and intuition or inspiration are central.” (p. xvi). As an essentially religious thinker, profoundly preoccupied with the human soul and with the development of human potentialities, he has always firmly opposed to slavery: one cannot refuse to others human beings the development of their distinctively human potentialities (p. xxvii). (shrink)
The following analysis demonstrates that G.H. Mead's understanding of human speech is remarkably consistent with today's interdisciplinary field that studies speech as a natural behavior with an evolutionary history. Mead seems to have captured major empirical and theoretical insights more than half a century before the contemporary field began to take shape. In that field the framework known as “Tinbergen's Four Questions,” developed in ecology to study naturally occurring behavior in nonhuman animals, has been an effective organizing framework for research (...) on human speech. It is used in this paper to organize the comparison of Mead with contemporary scholars. The analysis concludes that Mead was, in a sense, “beyond” the Four Questions by recognizing the limitations of reductionist methods in understanding the nature of conscious phenomena, especially language. Mead's socially situated model of the nature of human speech makes him relevant to today's field where some see an undervaluation of the treatment of language as a social process. (shrink)
G.H. Mead and A.N. Whitehead agree that all causation occurs in a present, that the self is social, and that philosophical description of the new physics of relativity and quantum mechanics is a complicated task. I explore this complexity in relation to the knowledge of events unable to be observed here and now, especially past historical events. The integration of the two philosophers’ views is shown in reference to Whitehead’s criteria of respect for facts and coherence. By reference to the (...) work of Palmyre Oomen I show the inconsistency of Whitehead’s treatment of the prehensibility of God’s consequent nature with his claim thatGod is not an exception to the metaphysical principles. The integration of Mead’s and Whitehead’s views permits plausible talk about past, present, and futureconsisent with our scientific knowledge. (shrink)
This article offers an original, intellectual portrait of G. H. Mead. My reassessment of Mead’s thinking is founded, in methodological terms, upon a historically minded yet theoretically oriented strategy. Mead’s system of thought is submitted to a historical reconstruction in order to grasp the evolution of his ideas over time, and to a thematic reconstruction organized around three major research areas or pillars: science, social psychology and politics. If one re-examines the entirety of Mead’s published and unpublished writings from the (...) point of view of contemporary social and political theory, one can see that his contributions transcend the field of social psychology. Mead’s innovative insights on the communicative aspects of social life and individual conscience are yet to be fully explored by current social and political theorists. This is partly due to the fact that his was a system in a state of flux, ever escaping the final written form. (shrink)
Howard Callaway's new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Society and Solitude is an invaluable contribution to both the primary and secondary literature on Emerson. Its contribution to the primary sources is its use of the original 1870 edition of Emerson's text, though with modernized spellings to facilitate the reader's understanding. Its contribution to the secondary literature consists in the scholarly apparatus of page-by-page annotations, an introduction, a chronology, a bibliography, and an index. Callaway's Society and Solitude is a worthy companion (...) to his earlier edition of Emerson's The Conduct of Life. (shrink)
ABSTRACTDual systems theories play an important role in the conceptual foundations of behavioural economics, such as distinguishing between ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ responses to stimuli. After critically reflecting their empirical validity in the light of recent research in psychology and the neurosciences, I argue that their major flaw is the inadequate treatment of reflection. I introduce the distinction between ‘reflectivity’ and ‘reflexivity’, showing that human action involves complex brain connectivities that integrate the two systems, as understood traditionally. G. H. Mead’s distinction (...) between ‘I’ and ‘me’ as modes of the self is a promising alternative to existing dualities, which combines with a selectionist model of action generation. Whereas all standard approaches in behavioural economics and neuroeconomics remain internalist, Mead’s theory establishes a paradigm for behavioural economics that centres on the pivotal role of language and symbolic systems in mediating human action, and which can inte... (shrink)
Context is mainly a critical history of one of the central strands – arguably, the central strand – of the analytic tradition in philosophy, namely, the philosophy of language. Key ﬁgures that put in an appearance include Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Ayer, Hempel, Tarski, Quine, Davidson, Putnam, and Dewey, the last being a somewhat odd ﬁgure, given the general tenor of Callaway’s cavalcade of stars. Meaning and analysis are the focus of attention, and true to his title, Callaway doesn’t hesitate (...) to criticize various positions as he makes his way – the book is organized more or less chronologically – from Frege to Davidson and Putnam. More than that, though, he doesn’t content himself with merely negative criticism. Original positions on various issues are argued for and integrated into an approach that’s largely inspired by Quine, but also pays a large tribute to Davidson and Dewey. (shrink)
As suggested in the subtitle, A New Philosophical Reading, the editor aspires in his Introduction and his notes to “facilitate a deeper understanding and a critical evaluation (...) of this crucial and difficult philosophical work” (p. ix). This was the last important book which James published during his lifetime. With it James aims at a critical evaluation of Hegelian monism and an exploration of the philosophical and theological alternatives. “Our world of some one hundred years on”—the editor says (p. ix)—“is (...) much the better for James’ contribution, and understanding William James on pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding.”. (shrink)
The Dialogical concept of consciousness in L.S. Vygotsky and G.H. Mead and its relevance for contemporary discussions on consciousness In my paper I show the relevance of cultural-activity theory for solving the puzzles of the concept of consciousness which encounter contemporary philosophy. I reconstruct the main categories of cultural-activity theory as developed by M.M. Bakhtin, L.S. Vygotsky, G.H. Mead, and J. Dewey. For the concept of consciousness the most important thing is that the phenomenon of human consciousness is consider to (...) be an effect of intersection of language, social relations, and activity. Therefore consciousness cannot be reduced to merely sensual experience but it has to be treated as a complex process in which experience is converted into language expressions which in turn are used for establishing interpersonal relationships. Consciousness thus can be accounted for by its reference to objectivity of social relationships rather than to the world of physical or biological phenomena. (shrink)
Quine's Immanuel Kant lectures were delivered in English at Stanford University in 1980 under the title Science and Sensibilia. The English version of the text has never been published. An Italian translation by Michele Leonelli, La Scienza e I Dati di Senso appeared in 1987. These translations fill an important gap. Wissenschaft und Empfindung strikes me as the best presentation of Quine's physicalistic program.
This paper is concerned with two theories of history—those of Hegel and of Marx. Its primary aim is to clarify. The writings of Hegel are notoriously obscure, and those of Marx have been variously interpreted, so there is room for a paper which tries to ensure that when the theories of history propounded by Marx and Hegel are criticized, what are criticized are views which they actually held. It is no part of this paper's thesis that, in his theory of (...) history, Marx consciously borrowed from Hegel. But it will be argued that there is more of Hegel in Marx than is sometimes supposed, and that if this fact is ignored one seriously distorts Marx. (shrink)
The concept of freedom is one which Hegel thought of very great importance; indeed, he believed that it is the central concept in human history. ‘Mind is free’, he wrote, ‘and to actualise this, its essence – to achieve this excellence – is the endeavour of the worldmind in world-history’ . Those who already have an interest in Hegel will doubtless be interested in his views on a topic which he thought so important; on the other hand, the many philosophers (...) who are either indifferent to or hostile to Hegel may point out that it does not follow that, because the subject of freedom interested Hegel, his views about this subject are of general interest. It will be the aim of this paper to show that they are of general interest; in the meantime, it may be recalled that Isaiah Berlin has argued that Hegel's concept of freedom is one of a type, called by him the concept of positive freedom, which is ‘at the heart of many of the nationalist, communist, authoritarian and totalitarian creeds of our day’. It will surely be worth while to see to what extent this is true of Hegel, and to what extent Hegel's views about freedom are true. (shrink)
Jest to wybór z pracy Gadamera "Idea dobra..." Zawiera Przedmowę, Zakres problemu, Rozdział I (Sokratejska wiedza i niewiedza) oraz Posłowie tłumacza. This is the opening part of the Polish translation of Gadamers' The idea of the good... with the Translator's afterword.
A Pluralistic Universe is America's favourite philosopher's last complete work before he died in 1910. Nevertheless, it has been somewhat neglected as a final self-reckoning. Indeed the term "pragmatism" occurs pretty rarely in it, while "experience" and "pluralism" abound. As introduced and annotated by H.G. Callaway, the Cambridge Scholars edition offers some valuable background on James and the text itself, particularly for the nonspecialist reader. Besides retaining James's notes, Callaway has also provided his own glosses on important philosophical terms, translations (...) of the foreign phrases James so often fell back on, and an expanded index and new bibliography to the text. It is, as Callaway says, a "reading and study edition" (ix). (shrink)
H. G. Wells was one of the most celebrated writers in the world during the first half of the twentieth century. Famed for his innovative fiction, he was also an influential advocate of socialism and the world-state. What is much less well known is that he was a significant contributor to debates about the nature of social science. This article argues that Wells's account of social science in general, and sociology in particular, was shaped by an idiosyncratic philosophical pragmatism. In (...) order to demonstrate how his philosophical arguments inflected his social thought, it explores his attack on prevailing theories of race, while also highlighting the limits of his analysis. The article concludes by tracing the reception of Wells's ideas among social scientists and political thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic. Although his program for utopian sociology attracted few disciples, his arguments about the dynamics of modern societies found a large audience. (shrink)