Sport builds character. If this is true, why is there a consistent stream of news detailing the bad behavior of athletes? We are bombarded with accounts of elite athletes using banned performance-enhancing substances, putting individual glory ahead of the excellence of the team, engaging in disrespectful and even violent behavior towards opponents, and seeking victory above all else. We are also given a steady diet of more salacious stories that include various embarrassing, immoral, and illegal behaviors in the private lives (...) of elite athletes. Elite sport is not alone in this; youth sport has its own set of moral problems. Parents assault officials, undermine coaches, encourage a win-at-all costs mentality, and in many cases ruin sport for their children. (shrink)
Moral theories which, like those of Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas, give a central place to the virtues, tend to assume that as traits of character the virtues are mutually compatible so that it is possible for one and the same person to possess them all. This assumption—let us call it the compatibility thesis—does not deny the existence of painful moral dilemmas: it allows that the virtues may conflict in particular situations when considerations associated with different virtues favour incompatible courses of (...) action, but holds that these conflicts occur only at the level of individual actions. Thus while it may not always be possible to do both what would be just and what would be kind or to act both loyally and honestly, it is possible to be both a kind and a just person and to have both the virtue of loyalty and the virtue of honesty. (shrink)
The great Falsification Debate about the logical status of religious beliefs seems fairly quiescent at present. Most philosophers of religion have opted for one or the other of two opposite responses to the falsificationists' challenge.
This book is the one to put into the hands of those who have been over-impressed by Austin 's critics....[Warnock's] brilliant editing puts everybody who is concerned with philosophical problems in his debt.
Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia (1962) generates wildly different reactions among philosophers. Interpreting Austin on perception starts with a reading of this text, and this in turn requires reading into the lectures key ideas from Austin’s work on natural language and the theory of knowledge. The lectures paint a methodological agenda, and a sketch of some first-order philosophy, done the way Austin thinks it should be done. Crucially, Austin calls for philosophers to bring a deeper understanding (...) of natural language meaning to bear as they do their tasks. In consequence Austin’s lectures provide a fascinating start—but only a start—on a number of key questions in the philosophy of perception. (shrink)
What role does ‘ordinary language philosophy’ play in the defense of common sense beliefs? J.L. Austin and Ludwig Wittgenstein each give central place to ordinary language in their responses to skeptical challenges to common sense beliefs. But Austin and Wittgenstein do not always respond to such challenges in the same way, and their working methods are different. In this paper, I compare Austin’s and Wittgenstein’s metaphilosophical positions, and show that they share many metaphilosophical commitments. I then examine (...)Austin and Wittgenstein’s respective takes on the problem of other minds and the problem of our knowledge of the external world. Interestingly, we find Wittgenstein employing methods more frequently associated Austin and vice versa. Moreover, we find that a variety of defenses of common sense beliefs are compatible with ‘ordinary language philosophy.’. (shrink)
Alice Crary has recently developed a radical reading of J. L. Austin's philosophy of language. The central contention of Crary's reading is that Austin gives convincing reasons to reject the idea that sentences have context-invariant literal meaning. While I am in sympathy with Crary about the continuing importance of Austin's work, and I think Crary's reading is deep and interesting, I do not think literal sentence meaning is one of Austin's targets, and the arguments that Crary (...) attributes to Austin or finds Austinian in spirit do not provide convincing reasons to reject literal sentence meaning. In this paper, I challenge Crary's reading of Austin and defend the idea of literal sentence meaning. (shrink)
Many philosophers have assumed, without argument, that Wittgenstein influenced Austin. More often, however, this is vehemently denied, especially by those who knew Austin personally. We compile and assess the currently available evidence for Wittgenstein’s influence on Austin’s philosophy of language. Surprisingly, this has not been done before in any detail. On the basis of both textual and circumstantial evidence we show that Austin’s work demonstrates substantial engagement with Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. In particular, Austin’s 1940 paper, (...) ‘The Meaning of a Word’, should be construed as a direct response to and development of ideas he encountered in Wittgenstein’s Blue Book. Moreover, we argue that Austin’s mature speech-act theory in How to Do Things with Words was also significantly influenced by Wittgenstein. (shrink)
The argument from illusion/hallucination have been proposed many times as supporting the strong conclusion that we are always perceiving directly sense-data. In Sense & Sensibilia, Austin argues that this argument is based on a “mass of seductive (mainly verbal) fallacies”. In this paper, I argue that Austin's argumentative moves to deconstruct the argument from illusion is better understood if they are seen as due to his implicit commitment to some disjunctivist conception of perception. His considerations should be taken (...) as a depth discussion about how to conceive perception. If we conceive the perceptual capacity disjunctively, even the weaker conclusion that we sometimes perceive sense-data does not hold. In response to Austin, Ayer claimed that the strong conclusion of the argument from illusion could be sustained by the method of the possibility of error. I argue that this method alone does not sustain that conclusion and the controversy turns back to the conflict between different conceptions of perception. The argument from illusion is philosophically interesting by putting in evidence the problem of how the perceptual capacity should be articulated and conceived. Although matters of fact are relevant to this question, they alone do not decide it. (shrink)
Is ruling out the possibility that one is dreaming a requirement for a knowledge claim? In “Philosophical Scepticism and Everyday Life” (1984), Barry Stroud defends that it is. In “Others Minds” (1970), John Austin says it is not. In his defense, Stroud appeals to a conception of objectivity deeply rooted in us and with which our concept of knowledge is intertwined. Austin appeals to a detailed account of our scientific and everyday practices of knowledge attribution. Stroud responds that (...) what Austin says about those practices is correct in relation to the appropriateness of making knowledge claims, but that the skeptic is interested in the truth of those claims. In this paper, we argue that Stroud’s defense of the alleged requirement smuggles in a commitment to a kind of internalism, which asserts that the perceptual justification available to us can be characterized independently of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. In our reading of Austin, especially of Sense & Sensibilia, he rejects that kind of internalism by an implicit commitment to what is called today a “disjunctive” view of perception. Austin says that objectivity is an aspect of knowledge, and his disjunctivism is part of an explanation of why the alleged requirement is not necessary for a knowledge claim. Since both Stroud and Austin are committed to the objectivity of knowledge, Stroud may ask which view of perceptual knowledge is correct, whether the internalist or the disjunctive. We argue that by paying closer attention to what Austin says about our practices of knowledge attribution, one can see more clearly that it is grounded not only on a conception of objectivity, but also on a conception of ourselves as information agents, a conception that is as deeply rooted as that of the objectivity of knowledge. This gives us moral and practical reasons to favor the disjunctive view of perception. (shrink)
The American novelist Walker Percy (1916-90) considered himself a "thief of Peirce", because he found in the views of C.S. Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, an alternative approach to prevailing reductionist theories in order to understand what we human beings are and what the peculiar nature of our linguistic activity is. -/- This paper describes, quoting widely from Percy, how abduction is the spontaneous activity of our reason by which we couple meanings and experience in our linguistic expressions. This (...) coupling of personal creativity and cultural tradition makes it possible to bridge the gaps between persons and cultures. (shrink)
The \\)-Robertson–Walker spacetime is under investigation. With the derived Hamilton operator, we are solving the Wheeler–De Witt Equation and its Schrödinger-like extension, for physically important forms of the effective potential. The closed form solutions, expressed in terms of Heun’s functions, allow us to comment on the occurrence of Universe from highly probable quantum states.
In this paper I will try to defend a quasi-naturalistic interpretation of J.L. Austin’s work. I will rely on P. Kitcher’s 1992 paper “The Naturalists Return” to compile four general criteria by which a philosopher can be called a naturalist. Then I will turn to Austin’s work and examine whether he meets these criteria. I will try to claim that versions of such naturalistic elements can be found in his work.
The construction and analysis of arguments supposedly are a philosopher's main business, the demonstration of truth or refutation of falsehood his principal aim. In Sense and Sensibilia, J.L. Austin does something entirely different: He discusses the sense-datum doctrine of perception, with the aim not of refuting it but of 'dissolving' the 'philosophical worry' it induces in its champions. To this end, he 'exposes' their 'concealed motives', without addressing their stated reasons. The paper explains where and why this at first (...) sight outrageous aim and approach are perfectly sensible, how exactly Austin proceeds, and how his approach can be taken further. This shows Austin to be a pioneer of the currently much discussed notion of philosophy as therapy, reveals a subtle and unfamiliar use of linguistic analysis that is not open to the standard objections to ordinary language philosophy, and yields a novel and forceful treatment of the sense-datum doctrine. (shrink)
W epistemologii aż do XX wieku, najbardziej rozpowszechniony pogląd dotyczący wiedzy głosił, że musi ona posiadać niepodważalne podstawy, w przeciwnym wypadku w jej uzasadnianiu popadlibyśmy w regres w nieskończoność. Takie stanowisko zostało nazwane fundamentalizmem i spotkało się z szeroką krytyką. W latach siedemdziesiątych w teorii poznania powstał nowy kierunek – eksternalizm. Jego twórcy odeszli od tradycyjnego rozumienia wiedzy i odrzucili podstawowe założenia przyjmowane przez fundamentalistów jak i niektórych z ich krytyków. Ciekawą krytykę fundamentalizmu zaprezentował John Langshaw Austin, który dominował (...) na filozoficznej scenie Oxfordu w latach pięćdziesiatych ubiegłego wieku. Z uwagi na to, że większość swojego krótkiego życia poświęcił nauczaniu, opublikował tylko kilka artykułów. Tekst Zmysły i przedmioty zmysłowe, na którym, w sporej mierze, opieram interpretację poglądów Austina, został opublikowany po jego śmierci i jest rekonstrukcją notatek filozofa do prowadzonych przez niego wykładów. Austin znany jest w Polsce przede wszystkim jako filozof języka, twórca teorii aktów mowy. Poruszał on jednak także niektóre z kluczowych zagadnień teorii poznania, o czym często się zapomina. W niniejszej pracy rekonstruuję poglądy Austina, przedstawiając je jako pewną wersję antyfundamentalizmu oraz wskazuję na niektóre wspólne cechy jego koncepcji i teorii eksternalizmu epistemologicznego. (shrink)
Firth argues that austin's criticisms of the argument from illusion do not destroy the argument. We can reformulate it in two ways so that it succeeds as a method of ostensibly defining terms denoting the sensory constituent of perceptual experience. One way maintains the act-Object distinction of the cartesian tradition and the other uses the language of "looks." (staff).
It is Austin's view that there is no single answer to the question of what we are doing when we are perceiving. In some cases of perceiving, such as hearing, Austin thinks that it is legitimate to speak of ourselves as making inferences based on evidence and, therefore, as possibly making mistakes. In other cases of perceiving, however, such ways of speaking would be illegitimate. When we can be said to see something right in front of our noses, (...) it is meaningless to ask for our evidence, or to speak of ourselves as making inferences, or to think that we might be making mistakes. As Austin puts it, "But how absurd it is, really, to suggest that I am giving a verdict when I say what is going on under my nose!" To speak in such a manner would be, according to this view, to admit that "there is no such thing as being an eyewitness of what goes on in the 'material world'....". (shrink)
A principal challenge for a deflationary theory is to explain the value of truth: why we aim for true beliefs, abhor dishonesty, and so on. The problem arises because deflationism sees truth as a mere logical property and the truth predicate as serving primarily as a device of generalization. Paul Horwich, attempts to show how deflationism can account for the value of truth. Drawing on the work of J. L. Austin, I argue that his account, which focuses on belief, (...) cannot adequately accommodate the complex role that truth plays in the norms governing assertion and similar speech acts. (shrink)
J. L. Austin was one of the more influential British philosophers of his time, due to his rigorous thought, extraordinary personality, and innovative philosophical method. According to John Searle, he was both passionately loved and hated by his contemporaries. Like Socrates, he seemed to destroy all philosophical orthodoxy without presenting an alternative, equally comforting, orthodoxy. -/- Austin is best known for two major contributions to contemporary philosophy: first, his ‘linguistic phenomenology’, a peculiar method of philosophical analysis of the (...) concepts and ways of expression of everyday language; and second, speech act theory, the idea that every use of language carries a performative dimension (in the well-known slogan, “to say something is to do something”). Speech act theory has had consequences and import in research fields as diverse as philosophy of language, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law, linguistics, artificial intelligence and feminist philosophy. -/- This article describes Austin’s linguistic method and his speech act theory, and it describes the original contributions he made to epistemology and philosophy of action. It closes by focusing on two main developments of speech act theory─the dispute between conventionalism and intentionalism, and the debate on free speech, pornography, and censorship. (shrink)
Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE In _The Reveries of a Solitary Walker_, Rousseau keeps a record of the thoughts, ideas, and reveries that freely run through his mind during his solitary walks. He finds that it is only when he is alone and not being disturbed that he is able to exist just for himself, and can “truly claim to be what nature willed”. Rousseau goes on these solitary walks in the countryside on the outskirts of Paris. (...) But if solitude is what he requires, why travel all the way to the countryside, which he says is very far from his residence in the middle of Paris? Put another way, why does he feel the need to be amidst nature in order to engage in these reveries? What do his reveries tell us about the role that nature has played in his life? This article will examine the role of nature in Rousseau’s solitary walks, as well as its presence in his life as revealed through his reveries. In particular, we will see that nature has played a central role in shaping Rousseau’s soul both during his adolescence and his adulthood. It is an essential ingredient to helping Rousseau realize his project of examining and ordering his soul, and in his attempt to understand what kind of man he is, given his deracination from mainstream society. Throughout his life nature has served as his mirror for self-examination; it acts as a trigger for various memories, it provides a harmonious setting for delving into the more painful of these memories, and allows him to extract insights that enable him to face his mortality. (shrink)
Some of Austin's general statements about the doctrines of sense-datum philosophy are reviewed. It is concluded that Austin thought that in these doctrines "directly see" is given a new but inadequately explained and defined use. Were this so, the philosophical use of "directly see" would lack a definite sense and this would correspondingly affect the doctrines. They would lack definite truth-value. Against this, it is argued that the philosopher's use of "directly see" does not support Austin's general (...) thesis that the sense-datum doctrines lack truth-value. (shrink)
‘After it, the philosophy of perception cannot be discussed in ways it usually was discussed before.’ This is said about Sense and Sensibilia by Mr Bernard Williams in an article, ‘J. L. Austin's philosophy’, published in the Oxford Magazine of 6 December 1962. It is not quite clear what Mr Williams means by the remark. It might be understood as an endorsement of Austin's insistence that philosophers have lapsed into crudity and error through their neglect of distinctions marked (...) by the rich variety of linguistic expressions in ordinary use. But Mr Williams himself in his article makes some effective criticisms of Austin's opinion that ordinary language is a reservoir of philosophically significant distinctions, and points out also that Austin's own practice in these lectures did not exhibit any close connection between his survey of the variety of the uses of such words as ‘look’, ‘seem’, ‘appear’, and his criticism of theories of perception. (shrink)
This second part of a two-part essay discusses recent developments in the Brussels-Austin Group after the mid 1980s. The fundamental concerns are the same as in their similarity transformation approach (see Part I), but the contemporary approach utilizes rigged Hilbert space (whereas the older approach used Hilbert space). While the emphasis on nonequilibrium statistical mechanics remains the same, the use of similarity transformations shifts to the background. In its place arose an interest in the physical features of large Poincaré (...) systems, nonlinear dynamics and the mathematical tools necessary to analyze them. (shrink)
The fundamental problem on which Ilya Prigogine and the Brussels-Austin Group have focused can be stated briefly as follows. Our observations indicate that there is an arrow of time in our experience of the world (e.g., decay of unstable radioactive atoms like Uranium, or the mixing of cream in coffee). Most of the fundamental equations of physics are time reversible, however, presenting an apparent conflict between our theoretical descriptions and experimental observations. Many have thought that the observed arrow of (...) time was either an artifact of our observations or due to very special initial conditions. An alternative approach, followed by the Brussels-Austin Group, is to consider the observed direction of time to be a basic physical phenomenon and to develop a mathematical formalism that can describe this direction as being due to the dynamics of physical systems. In part I of this essay, I review and assess an attempt to carry out an approach that received much of their attention from the early 1970s to the mid 1980s. In part II, I will discuss their more recent approach using rigged Hilbert spaces. (shrink)
On the one hand, Austin appreciates truth as the aim not only of science, but also of philosophy. On the other hand, truth in his works is demythized, contextualized, or even relativized. I analyze this ambivalence by considering some aspects of Austin’s thought which may appear close to pragmatism: his claims that the bearer of truth is assertion as a speech act, that speech acts are to be assessed as felicitous and infelicitous before being assessed as true or (...) false, and that the truth/falsity judgment is concerned with assertions in their contexts, including the participants’ goals and knowledge. These claims are, however, argued for in full coherence with a corrispondentist conception of truth. At a closer examination, Austin’s conception of truth appears to be an independent, “heretic” development of that of Frege. In taking distance from Frege, albeit on a Fregean basis, Austin went some length in the direction in which pragmatists too had gone, without actually sharing any properly pragmatist assumption. (shrink)