Kierkegaard, like Plato, though using different methods and conclusions, sought to ground knowledge in the ineffability of subjectivity. For Plato, knowledge comes subjectively (internally); for Kierkegaard, it comes by God's grace through faith. Socrates becomes the facilitator for the slave in the /Meno/, as does God for the man of faith. Again, Kierkegaard is also concerned with passion. "...the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without passion; a mediocre fellow" (p. (...) 37). The paradox is necessitated by the metaphysical nature of the inquiry. Only knowledge through faith can approach the paradox since it is by definition beyond our knowledge. Passion must accompany the leap of faith, since knowledge acquisition for the man of faith is guided by God. (shrink)
Philosophers often rely on the notion of conceptual containment and apply mereological terminology when they talk about the parts or constituents of a complex concept. In this paper, I explore two historical approaches to this general notion. In particular, I reconstruct objections Bernard Bolzano puts forward against a criterion that played a prominent role in the history of philosophy and that was endorsed, among others, by Leibniz. According to this criterion, a concept that represents objects contains all and only the (...) concepts that represent properties the objects must have in order to be represented by the former concept. Bolzano offers several counterexamples and arguments against the criterion. I argue that while some of them presuppose a strongly mereological understanding of containment, which Leibniz is not committed to, one of them also succeeds without relying on demanding mereological principles. (shrink)
Brentanians defend the view that there are distinct types of object, but that this does not entail the admission of different modes of being. The most general distinction among objects is the one between realia, which are causally efficacious, and irrealia, which are causally inert. As for being, which is equated with existence, it is understood in terms of “correct acknowledgeability.” This view was defended for some time by Brentano himself and then by his student Anton Marty. Their position is (...) opposed to Bolzanian, Husserlian, and Meinongian ontologies, in which a distinction in the (higher) types of object implies a distinction in their mode of being. These Austro-German discussions anticipate much of the contemporary debate between Quineans, who accept only differences in objects, and neo-Meinongians or other ontological pluralists, who accept different modes of being. My paper first presents the Brentanian view in detail and then evaluates its philosophical significance. (shrink)
It is sometimes mentioned that Bernard Bolzano’s work on grounding anticipates many insights of the current debate on metaphysical grounding. The present paper discusses a certain part of Bolzano’s theory of grounding that has thus far not been discussed in the literature. This part does not so much anticipate what are nowadays common assumptions about grounding, but rather goes beyond them. Central to the discussion will be a thesis of Bolzano’s by which he tries to establish a connection between grounding (...) and unification. The paper spells out this thesis in detail and discusses the assumptions on which it rests. Next to this mainly historical aim, the paper also presents reasons why philosophers who are not interested in the historical Bolzano should find the thesis interesting by relating it to a certain view on unification and explanation that has been put forward by Kim. A final part of the paper provides a critical evaluation of the thesis against the background of current accounts of grounding. (shrink)
In the course of the last few decades, Bolzano has emerged as an important player in accounts of the history of philosophy. This should be no surprise. Few authors stand at a more central junction in the development of modern thought. Bolzano's contributions to logic and the theory of knowledge alone straddle three of the most important philosophical traditions of the 19th and 20th centuries: the Kantian school, the early phenomenological movement and what has come to be known as analytical (...) philosophy. This paper identifies three Bolzanian theoretical innovations that warrant his inclusion in the analytical tradition: the commitment to ‘logical realism’, the adoption of a substitutional procedure for the purpose of defining logical properties and a new theory of a priori cognition that presents itself as an alternative to Kant's. All three innovations concur to deliver what counts as the most important development of logic and its philosophy between Aristotle and Frege. In the final part of the paper, I defend Bolzano against a common objection and explain that these theoretical innovations are also supported by views on syntax, which though marginal are both workable and philosophically interesting. (shrink)
Neste artigo, tento mostrar como o Platonismo de Frege relaciona-se muito intimamente com a noção de eternidade de Bolzano. Compreendida como o domínio total de variação do tempo, a eternidade de Bolzano nos oferece um interessante instrumento para estipular o que é eterno: um objeto é eterno se é imutável em relação ao fluxo do tempo. Desta forma, a definição do zero proposta por Frege faz uso tácito de tal noção, na medida em que o zero é definido como “o (...) número que pertence a um conceito” cuja extensão é imutável em qualquer mundo possível. Por conta disto, podemos inferir que o platonismo, sob a ótica de Frege, pode assumir que os objetos abstratos não estão necessariamente fora do tempo e do espaço, mas são eternos, no sentido bolzaniano. (shrink)
Content, according to Bolzano, is intransparent: our knowledge of certain essential features of the contents of our contentful mental acts is often severely limited. In this paper, I identify various intransparency theses Bolzano is committed to and present and evaluate the defence he offers for his view. I argue that while his intransparency theses may be correct, his defence is unsuccessful. Moreover, I argue that improving on his defence would require substantially modifying his general epistemology of content.
This thesis presents a Bolzano whose genius resulted not from his freedom from powerful philosophical influences, but precisely from his response to the powerful philosophical influences of his day. Chief amongst these were the voices engaged in debate about the nature of science. It was precisely Bolzano's commanding synthesis of the views of those advocating progress through mathematical physics with the views of those advocating a classical model of a science as the study of causes that set the stage for (...) the development of Austrian and analytic philosophy in subsequent centuries. (shrink)