Written over the last 18 months of his life and inspired by his interest in G. E. Moore's defence of common sense, this much discussed volume collects Wittgenstein's reflections on knowledge and certainty, on what it is to know a proposition for sure.
The paper is based upon a conception of norms as prescriptions which are neither true nor false. Two norms may be said to contradict one another when the conjunction of (the descriptions of) their contents is a logical contradiction. A norm is said to entail another norm when the first norm and the negation-norm of the second contradict one another. By the negation-norm of an obligation is understood a permission "to the contrary", and by the negation-norm of a permission an (...) obligation "to the contrary". On the basis of these definitions it can be shown that the axioms and theorems of first order standard deontic logic are "normative tautologies". Norms of higher order may be viewed as prescriptions "transmitting the will" of a higher or sovereign authority through a lower or sub-ordinate authority to the norm-subjects. Under this conception of the orders, it is provable that a "complete" system of deontic logic is S4-like. (shrink)
Throughout his active philosophical life, Nikolai Berdiaev was preoccupied with the philosophical and sociological questions stemming from the impact of technology on the life of modern man. He gave to his thoughts a condensed expression in a longish essay in the journal Put' for 1933 with the title "Man and Machine" [Chelovek i mashina]. But he had touched on the subject penetratingly already in his early work The Meaning of History [Smysl istorii], which was first published in Russian in 1923 (...) and in English translation in 1936, and he devoted a chapter to it in his last major work, the posthumously published The Realm of Spirit and the Realm of Caesar [Tsarstvo dukha i tsarstvo Kesaria], which came out in Russian in 1949 and in English translation in 1952. In the last year of his life, Berdiaev read a paper titled "L'homme dans la civilization technique" at a conference in Neuchâtel. The Russian original of the paper apparently has not been published. (shrink)