The debate between free will and its opposing doctrine, determinism, is one of the key issues in philosophy. Ilham Dilman brings together all the dimensions of the problem of free will with examples from literature, ethics and psychoanalysis, and draws out valuable insights from both sides of the freedom-determinism divide. The book provides a comprehensive introduction to this highly important question and examines the contributions made by sixteen of the most outstanding thinkers from the time of early Greece to modern (...) times: Homer, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Schopenhauer, Freud, Sartre, Weil, Wittgenstein, Moore. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's Copernican Revolution explores the relation between language and reality without embracing Linguistic Realism and without courting any form of Linguistic Idealism either. It argues that this is precisely what Wittgenstein does. This book also examines some well known contemporary philosophers who have been concerned with this same question.
People sometimes ask whether their lives are meaningful or not, whether or not their lives add up to anything. Sometimes they also ask whether life as such is meaningful or not. These are not unconnected questions. Still they are not questions which everyone asks himself. Nor do we always readily recognise what one who asks these questions wants to know. There are some people who will not even find such questions sensible. Some will regard them not as questions but simply (...) as symptoms of something having gone wrong somewhere. Thus in the Diary of the Student Kostya Ryabtsev we find the following words. (shrink)
This article is concerned to say something about what the study of logic meant to wittgenstein. It is concerned to bring out why the kind of questions wittgenstein raised about logic and mathematics cannot be pursued in a purely formal and abstract manner-As russell pursued them to a very large extent. It tries to understand the prominence wittgenstein gave to a study of these questions in his philosophical investigations and to appreciate the sense in which he regarded a study of (...) logic to be fundamental in philosophy. Part I is largely about the sense in which russell's study of logic is philosophical in character though it differs very considerably, In both style and conception, From wittgenstein's study of it. Part ii is concerned to indicate wittgenstein's dissatisfaction with russell's view that mathematics are indistinguishable from logic and to say something about why he thought that russell's formal proof, Even if valid, Did not establish the philosophical thesis for which he argued. Part iii is concerned to indicate wittgenstein's dissatisfaction with russell's approach to the contradictions in the foundations of mathematics and to say something about his very different treatment of this question. (shrink)
If there is an inherent connection between love and generosity, between love and creativeness, as this book argues there is, then how can love itself be selfish, destructive and tyrannical? Concerned with questions about love in its different forms, this book seeks and discusses the views of writers--Plato, Proust, Sartre, Freud, D. H. Lawrence, Erich Fromm, C. S. Lewis, Kierkegaard, Simone Weil and Kahlil Gibran--who have suggested distinctive solutions to the problems which love poses in the face of its obstacles. (...) The enquiry which the book undertakes emcompasses both the conceptual and existential experience of love. (shrink)
I begin with a brief statement of wisdom's view of the nature of religious belief, its truth and the kind of reasoning to which it is amenable. i then try to disentangle the truth and falsity which, as i see it, this view contains. i agree that the believer and non-believer differ in the way they "see" things even when they do not differ in their expectations about an afterlife. i characterize this difference as "conceptual". i then discuss what it (...) means to speak of "truth" here and consider the kind of "reasoning" it is amenable to. (shrink)
This book is a discussion of Heidegger's, Sartre's and Marcel's rejection of Cartesian epistemology, the scepticism to which it leads and its objectivist conception of human existence. It compares this rejection with Wittgenstein's rejection of these conceptions of man, his relation to the knowledge of what belongs to the world in which he lives. It concentrates on the existentialist critiques of consciousness as a substance and of the self as such a substance, of each person's body as something external to (...) which he is causally related, and of others as at best indirectly accessible to us. It discusses Sartre's positive views on these questions and the way he falls into a form of solipsism himself. It then considers Sartre's rejection of determinism and his conception of freedom as our capacity for choice. In a concluding chapter the book sketches a non-objectivist account of the self, its development, its 'bad faith', its capacity to emerge from it, and its knowledge of itself, free from the objections considered earlier. It then considers some new objections directed at its own account. Contents: Man in the World; Man's Way of Being: Existential Dualism; The Personal Dimension: Emotions and Value Judgements; Sartre and our Identity as Individuals; Mind and Body: Rejection of Cartesian Dualism; Sartre on the Self and the Other: Rejection of Cartesian Solipsism; Human Separateness and the Possibility of Communion: Marcel's Rejection of Sartrean Solipsism; Sartre: Freedom as Something to which Man is Condemned; Self, Self-Knowledge and Self-Change: A Non-Objectivist View and its Defense. (shrink)
Wisdom holds that the reference in many religious beliefs to what lies beyond the world and "transcends" the senses is misleading. religious beliefs speak and can only speak about the world we know by means of the senses. to embrace much of what christians believe means for a person to change in himself and come into contact with something "within" him. i argue, first, that there is a sense of transcendence which is immune from wisdom's criticism and, secondly, that while (...) wisdom is right in his emphasis on the "inner life" he confuses the spiritual with the psychological. (shrink)
Throughout this systematic analysis, the author questions basic assumptions on which the Quinean edifice rests. The book argues that Quine's notion of ontology is riddled with inconsistencies and singles out examples for discussion.
It is sometimes said that a human being has a soul, whereas animals and lifeless things do not. The distinction made is of significance probably for most religions. Although it sets man apart and places him in a unique category, it should not be taken to imply that there is no difference between what is alive and has sentience, apart from man, and what is lifeless and unconscious. This was Descartes' error. For he ran together several distinctions and equated the (...) soul with consciousness. (shrink)
The question about ‘identity’ under consideration in this paper is different from the one discussed in some of the other papers—for instance by Geoffrey Madell and Lars Herzberg. That question arises from the fact that human beings change in appearance and behaviour in the course of their life. By and large we have no trouble in recognizing them but we may wonder what it is that remains the same in them or about them so that we recognize them, address them (...) by the same name, respond to them as to someone we know. What is it for a person to be the same person through these changes? By virtue of what do we call them by the same name? (shrink)
Some people do not find much sense in talk about meaning in life. Some people think that such talk cannot have or express any sense, that those who find sense in it must be under an illusion. Some others think that if one is inclined to think that such talk cannot have any sense that is because one misconstrues its logic. So they set off to show us how it is to be construed if what is said here is to (...) make sense. However, there may not really be anything wrong with what they thus set themselves the task of putting right. Their idea that the logic of discourse on meaning in life has been misconstrued may itself come from limitations in their view of logic and its relation to language, from ‘misunderstandings about the logic of our language’. Therefore, as Professor Hepburn rightly points out, such philosophers, in their attempt to ‘prune and rationalise and redefine the vocabulary’ in question, will merely succeed in misleading themselves in their appreciation of its logic and, worse still, in their understanding of life. In his article Hepburn opposes such simplifications and distortions of logic which may confine our understanding of life. I am in sympathy with his programme, with his desire to fight superficiality, his caution in rejecting brashness. What I want to do is to remark on some of its limitations and to open up some new questions—though it is not my intention here to pursue any of them. (shrink)
John Wisdom studied ‘moral sciences’ in Cambridge under G. E. Moore and C. D. Broad. His first post as a teacher of philosophy was at St Andrew's University under F. G. Stout . His early books Interpretation and Analysis and Problems of Mind and Matter and a series of articles on ‘Logical Constructions’ in Mind 1931-33, later published as a book , belong to this time.
This is a reply to nielsen's discussion in "philosophical investigations" (vol. 3, No. 4, Fall 1980) of my two papers 'wisdom's philosophy of religion' ("c. J. P." dec. 1975). In it I attempt to correct some misunderstandings and reply to some criticisms regarding what I said in my papers about 'religious transcendence', 'the relation between religion and life', 'religious truth', 'religion and myth', 'experience of god', And 'philosophy and religious belief'.
Fulke Greville speaks of the will as inevitably divided between reason and passion. Shakespeare takes such a division seriously but, through Hamlet, he recognizes the possibility of reason and passion being united in a man's will and purpose.