In his Philosophical Investigations , Wittgenstein introduces the notion of a ‘family resemblance’ to deal with certain problems. Talking of games and what they seem to have in common, he points out that there are no common features in virtue of which we call all games ‘games’. Instead there are, he claims, many different similarities and relationships; he says ‘we see a complicated network of similarities overlapping and criss-crossing: sometimes overall similarities, sometimes similarities of detail’. He then goes on to (...) add: ‘I can think of no better expression to characterise these similarities than “family resemblances”; for the various resemblances between members of a family: build, features, colour of eyes, gait, temperament, etc. etc. overlap and criss-cross in the same way,—And I shall say: “games form a family”.’ Wittgenstein also instances numbers as forming a ‘family’ in the same manner. This notion of a ‘family resemblance’ has come to be used by many philosophers to deal with a range of situations where there appears to be a difficulty in finding a single definite common property and yet there exists a desire to call some set of things by the same name. I myself have succumbed to this temptation. Perhaps the widest claim for the use of this device is that made by Mr Bambrough in an article entitled ‘Universals and Family Resemblances’ . This begins with the words ‘I believe that Wittgenstein solved what is known as “the problem of universals”’. (shrink)
This collection of specially written papers on F. H. Bradley's philosophy makes accessible the writings of one of England's greatest philosophers. The contributors, finding in Bradley's writings arguments that extend topics currently at the forefront of philosophical thought, aim to show the relevance of Bradley's work to contemporary issues in logic, metaphysics, and moral and political philosophy.
A draft copy of this article, dated 13th February 1988, was given by Tony Manser in 1989 to Stewart Candlish, who has edited it for publication in Bradley Studies in the hope that the finished result will not only be of value to students of Bradley and Russell but also stand as a worthy memorial to a valued colleague and friend. Editing has been confined to a minimum, such as correcting errors in punctuation, quotation, referencing and typography; no attempt has (...) been made to alter the substance of any of the original version. The article is published with the kind permission of Jutta Manser. (shrink)
Rousseau seldom gets a mention as a philosopher in the conventional histories; if he appears at all it is in connection with that strange and rather suspect discipline ‘political philosophy’. Even then there is a tendency to look upon him as an unsystematic thinker, as a ‘ philosophy ’ rather than as a genuine philosopher. His ideas are held to be interesting, but the connections between them are thought to be emotional rather than logical. Again, Émile is read by students (...) of education, but not by those studying philosophy. This is both because the ‘philosophy of education’ is thought not to be of great importance and again because of Rousseau's lack of logical rigour. Now it is true that Rousseau himself was an emotional figure, and from reading his Confessions it is easy to get the idea that there is no point in looking for interesting philosophical points in his works. (shrink)