Belief and Meaning is a philosophical treatment of intentionality. It offers an original, logical and convincing account of intentional content which is local and contextual and which takes issues with standard theories of meaning.
Akeel Bilgrami’s paper considers the populist surges of our times in three countries: Trump’s America, Brexit Britain, and Modi’s India, distinguishing the special features of each, and philosophically and politically analyzing the relations that populism bears to both liberalism and the capitalist political economies of liberal-democratic societies.
In Self-Knowledge and Resentment, Akeel Bilgrami argues that self-knowledge of our intentional states is special among all the knowledges we have because it is not an epistemological notion in the standard sense of that term, but instead is a fallout of the radically normative nature of thought and agency. Four themes or questions are brought together into an integrated philosophical position: What makes self-knowledge different from other forms of knowledge? What makes for freedom and agency in a deterministic universe? What (...) makes intentional states of a subject irreducible to its physical and functional states? And what makes values irreducible to the states of nature as the natural sciences study them? This integration of themes into a single and systematic picture of thought, value, agency, and self-knowledge is essential to the book's aspiration and argument. Once this integrated position is fully in place, the book closes with a postscript on how one might fruitfully view the kind of self-knowledge that is pursued in psychoanalysis. (shrink)
In a rigorous exploration of how secularism and identity emerged as conflicting concepts in the modern world, Akeel Bilgrami elaborates a notion of secular enchantment with a view to finding in secular modernity a locus of meaning and value, while addressing squarely the anxiety that all such notions are exercises in nostalgia.
The paper discusses the issue whether or not value may be seen as being in the world, thus opening the dialog between analytic tradition and authors like Marx and Heidegger, and reviving some important issues prominent in the work of John McDowell. It stresses the deep connections that exist between value and agency and a certain conception of the perceptible world which we inhabit as agents. It argues that it would be no bad thing for analytic philosophers, who are engaged (...) with issues of naturalism, to allow themselves to be mobilized by broader terms that Weber and Marx deployed such as ‘disenchantment’ and ‘commodification’ and ‘alienation’ in order to undertand our unease with the narrow and “thin” variant of rationality, characteristic of science. (shrink)
This paper looks at standard arguments for freedom in the academy that go back to John Stuart Mill and Oliver Wendell Holmes and finds them to be poor arguments for their conclusion. It then elaborates what are the most subtle and the most entrenched forms of threat to freedom in the academy, and concludes with an argument for imbalance rather than balance in the extra-mural sphere.
In these seventeen essays, distinguished senior scholars discuss the conceptual issues surrounding the idea of freedom of inquiry and scrutinize a variety of obstacles to such inquiry that they have encountered in their personal and professional experience. Their discussion of threats to freedom traverses a wide disciplinary and institutional, political and economic range covering specific restrictions linked to speech codes, the interests of donors, institutional review board licensing, political pressure groups, and government policy, as well as phenomena of high generality, (...) such as intellectual orthodoxy, in which coercion is barely visible and often self-imposed. As the editors say in their introduction: "No freedom can be taken for granted, even in the most well-functioning of formal democracies. Exposing the tendencies that undermine freedom of inquiry and their hidden sources and widespread implications is in itself an exercise in and for democracy.". (shrink)
This book brings together essays that individually and as a whole present a detailed and rigorous multidisciplinary exploration of the concept of nature and its wider ethical and political implications. The essays together present a revaluation of the natural world with a view to addressing some of the fundamental concerns of our time.