In recent years there has been a tendency in some quarters to see an affinity between the views of Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein on the subject of religious belief. It seems to me that this is a mistake, that Kierkegaard's views were fundamentally at odds with Wittgenstein's. That this fact is not generally recognized is, I suspect, owing to the obscurity of Kierkegaard's most fundamental assumptions. My aim here is to make those assumptions explicit and to show how they differ from (...) Wittgenstein's. (shrink)
I find myself in profound disagreement with Wittgenstein's philosophy of religion and hence in disagreement also with those philosophers who have undertaken to elaborate and defend Wittgenstein's position. My principal objection is to the idea that religion is a language-game and that because of the kind of language-game it is, religious believers are not to be thought of as necessarily harbouring beliefs about the world over and above their secular beliefs. I reject this position, not because I think that there (...) are language-games and that religion happens not to be one, but because I find the very idea of a language-game to be indefensible. Put another way, I find myself out of sympathy with the recent idea that in philosophy of religion we ought to be discussing something called ‘religious language’ or ‘the kind of language involved in religious beliefs’. (shrink)
Wittgenstein wrote ‘While thinking philosophically we see problems in places where there are none. It is for philosophy to show that there are no problems’. He meant that the ‘problems’ philosophers grapple with are of their own making. In a related remark he said: ‘This is the essence of a philosophical problem. The question itself is the result of a muddle. And when the question is removed, this is not by answering it’. Even more explicitly he said: ‘All that philosophy (...) can do is to destroy idols’. As he understood his job, it was not to produce or construct something; his job was entirely destructive. This is how Wittgenstein thought of philosophy when he thought about it in the abstract, and I share this view of philosophy. I believe that when we see how to dispose of all philosophical categories, our job is finished. For example, in epistemology our job is not to argue that it is possible to know such-and-such because so-and-so ; rather, we undermine all those ideas that make it seem as though we could not know such-and-such. Undermining philosophical ideas takes the form: When we philosophise, we are tempted to think so-and-so, but if we consider that idea, and do so while remaining free of all philosophical jargon, we find that we cannot make sense of it. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 193 - 207 Julian, in a Syriac fragment of his _Contra Galilaeos_, attacked the resurrection narratives in Matthew and Mark, because they were inconsistent with each other concerning the time of the arrival of the women to the tomb, the nature of the being they met in the tomb, and the women’s subsequent actions. Other texts in Syriac and Latin indicate the probability that Julian took over the substance of his argument from Porphyry.
John Dewey was not a philosopher of education in the now-traditional sense of a doctor of philosophy who examines educational ends, means, and controversies through the disciplinary lenses of epistemology, ethics, and political theory, or of agenda-driven schools such as existentialism, feminism, and critical theory. Rather, Dewey was both an educator and a philosopher, and he saw in each discipline reconstructive possibilities for the other, famously characterizing "philosophy . . . as the general theory of education" (1985, p. 338). (...) Dewey wanted each discipline to overcome its tendency to alienate knowledge and theory from experience and reconstruct itself as an enterprise aimed at personal and collective .. (shrink)
This book explores the writings of philosopher and educator John Dewey in order to develop an expansive vision of aesthetic education and everyday poetics of living. Robert Pirsig's best-selling book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, provides concrete examples of this compelling yet unconventional vision.
The medical career of Sir John Colbatch illuminates some of the ways in which experimental philosophy, social change, and medical entrepreneurialism together helped bring about the end of the old medical regime in England. Colbatch's career in Augustan England depended very much on a growing public culture in which the well-to-do decided matters of intellectual importance for themselves, becoming increasingly free not only from the clerics but from the physicians. In this new world, debates about the fundamental principles of (...) the new science took place increasingly in public, and in the English language, without the learned men of the university being able to enforce their authority. It gave people like Colbatch a new opportunity to make their way into the medical establishment. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's Metaphysics offers a radical new interpretation of the fundamental ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein. It takes issue with the conventional view that after 1930 Wittgenstein rejected the philosophy of the Tractatus and developed a wholly new conception of philosophy. By tracing the evolution of Wittgenstein's ideas Cook shows that they are neither as original nor as difficult as is often supposed. Wittgenstein was essentially an empiricist, and the difference between his early views (as set forth in the Tractatus) and (...) the later views (as expounded in the Philosophical Investigations) lies chiefly in the fact that after 1930 he replaced his version of reductionism with something subtler. Nevertheless, he ended where he began, as an empiricist armed with a theory of meaning. (shrink)
Wittgenstein made numerous pronouncements about philosophical method. But did he practice what he preached? Cook addresses this question by studying Wittgenstein’s treatment of the problem of other minds, tracing a line of argument that runs through his writings and lectures from the early 1930s to the 1950s. Cook finds that there is an inconsistency between Wittgenstein’s methodological advice and his actual practice. Instead of bringing words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use, he allows himself to use (...) uncritically words whose provenance is clearly metaphysical. (Published Online September 19 2006). (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Foreword (Warren Ellis).Introduction (Roy T. Cook and Aaron Meskin).PART I: The Nature and Kinds of Comics.1. Redefining Comics (John Holbo).2. The Ontology of Comics (Aaron Meskin).3. Comics and Collective Authorship (Christy Mag Uidhir).4. Comics and Genre (Catharine Abell).PART 2: Comics and Representation.5. Wordy Pictures: Theorizing the Relationship between Image and Text in Comics (Thomas E. Wartenberg).6. What's So Funny? Comic Content in Depiction (Patrick Maynard).7. The Language of Comics (Darren Hudson Hick).PART 3: Comics and (...) the Other Arts.8. Making Comics Into Film (Henry John Pratt).9. Why Comics Are Not Films: Metacomics and Medium-Specific Conventions (Roy T. Cook).10. Proust's In Search of Lost Time: The Comics Version (David Carrier). (shrink)
Boston Monday Lectures: Biology, a book of popular essays by the American orator Joseph Cook first published in 1879, was derived from a successful lecture series at Boston's Tremont Temple in 1878 that expertly synthesised the scientific scholarship of the day for public consumption and attempted to show that science was in harmony with religion and the Bible. Writing with clarity and conveying excitement to the lay audiences who flocked to hear him, Cook's lectures became extremely popular around (...) the world. Biology focuses on evolution, immortality and materialism. In 13 lectures, Cook discusses topics including T. H. Huxley and John Tyndall's ideas on evolution, Rudolf Hermann Lotze's thoughts on theism, and microscopy. Cook's lectures on immortality all begin with 'Does Death End All?' before probing further into a philosophical aspect of immortality. Cook interjects short essays, which he calls 'preludes', on subjects as diverse as political patronage and Daniel Webster's death. (shrink)
Belief polarization is said to occur when two people respond to the same evidence by updating their beliefs in opposite directions. This response is considered to be “irrational” because it involves contrary updating, a form of belief updating that appears to violate normatively optimal responding, as for example dictated by Bayes' theorem. In light of much evidence that people are capable of normatively optimal behavior, belief polarization presents a puzzling exception. We show that Bayesian networks, or Bayes nets, can simulate (...) rational belief updating. When fit to experimental data, Bayes nets can help identify the factors that contribute to polarization. We present a study into belief updating concerning the reality of climate change in response to information about the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming. The study used representative samples of Australian and U.S. participants. Among Australians, consensus information partially neutralized the influence of worldview, with free-market supporters showing a greater increase in acceptance of human-caused global warming relative to free-market opponents. In contrast, while consensus information overall had a positive effect on perceived consensus among U.S. participants, there was a reduction in perceived consensus and acceptance of human-caused global warming for strong supporters of unregulated free markets. Fitting a Bayes net model to the data indicated that under a Bayesian framework, free-market support is a significant driver of beliefs about climate change and trust in climate scientists. Further, active distrust of climate scientists among a small number of U.S. conservatives drives contrary updating in response to consensus information among this particular group. (shrink)
In his recent collection of essays, Language, Truth and History (2005), Donald Davidson appears to endorse a philosophy of language which gives primary importance to the notion of the speaker’s communicative intentions, a perspective on language not too dissimilar from that of Paul Grice. If that is right, then this would mark a major shift from the formal semanticist approach articulated and defended by Davidson in his Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (1984). In this paper, I argue that although there (...) are many similarities between these two thinkers, Davidson has not abandoned his earlier views on language. (shrink)
Practitioners and advocates of community food security (CFS) envision food systems that are decentralized, environmentally-sound over a long time-frame, supportive of collective rather than only individual needs, effective in assuring equitable food access, and created by democratic decision-making. These themes are loosely connected in literature about CFS, with no logical linkages among them. Clear articulation in a theoretical framework is needed for CFS to be effective as a guide for policy and action. CFS theory should delimit the level of analysis (...) (i.e., what are the boundaries of “community”); show how CFS relates to individual, household, and national food security and explain emergent properties, which are important at the community level of analysis; point to the best indicators of CFS or its lack; clarify the determinants of CFS; and clarify the stages of movement toward CFS. This theoretical base would allow researchers to develop valid and reliable measures, and allow practitioners to weigh alternative options to create strategic plans. A theoretical base also would help establish common ground with potential partners by making the connections to anti-hunger work, sustainable agriculture, and community development clear. (shrink)
Wittgenstein wrote ‘While thinking philosophically we see problems in places where there are none. It is for philosophy to show that there are no problems’. He meant that the ‘problems’ philosophers grapple with are of their own making. In a related remark he said: ‘This is the essence of a philosophical problem. The question itself is the result of a muddle. And when the question is removed, this is not by answering it’. Even more explicitly he said: ‘All that philosophy (...) can do is to destroy idols’. As he understood his job, it was not to produce or construct something; his job was entirely destructive. This is how Wittgenstein thought of philosophy when he thought about it in the abstract, and I share this view of philosophy. I believe that when we see how to dispose of all philosophical categories, our job is finished. For example, in epistemology our job is not to argue that it is possible to know such-and-such because so-and-so ; rather, we undermine all those ideas that make it seem as though we could not know such-and-such. Undermining philosophical ideas takes the form: When we philosophise, we are tempted to think so-and-so, but if we consider that idea, and do so while remaining free of all philosophical jargon , we find that we cannot make sense of it. (shrink)
Doris Olin's Paradox is a very helpful book for those who want to be introduced to the philosophical treatment of paradoxes, or for those who already have knowledge of the general area and would like to have a helpful resource book.
Language, Truth, and History is an excellent volume of essays coming from one of the most important philosophers in the last fifty years. It would be of interest to anyone interested in the ways Davidson's philosophy evolved after the publication of the first two volumes, and it is essential reading for anyone working in philosophy of language or philosophy of mind.