W. H. Auden and Hannah Arendt belonged to a generation that experienced the catastrophic events of the mid-twentieth century, and they both sought to respond to the enormity of the novel phenomena they witnessed.
Howard Callaway's new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Society and Solitude is an invaluable contribution to both the primary and secondary literature on Emerson. Its contribution to the primary sources is its use of the original 1870 edition of Emerson's text, though with modernized spellings to facilitate the reader's understanding. Its contribution to the secondary literature consists in the scholarly apparatus of page-by-page annotations, an introduction, a chronology, a bibliography, and an index. Callaway's Society and Solitude is a worthy companion (...) to his earlier edition of Emerson's The Conduct of Life. (shrink)
Quine's Immanuel Kant lectures were delivered in English at Stanford University in 1980 under the title Science and Sensibilia. The English version of the text has never been published. An Italian translation by Michele Leonelli, La Scienza e I Dati di Senso appeared in 1987. These translations fill an important gap. Wissenschaft und Empfindung strikes me as the best presentation of Quine's physicalistic program.
This book is a translation of W.V. Quine's Kant Lectures, given as a series at Stanford University in 1980. It provide a short and useful summary of Quine's philosophy. There are four lectures altogether: I. Prolegomena: Mind and its Place in Nature; II. Endolegomena: From Ostension to Quantification; III. Endolegomena loipa: The forked animal; and IV. Epilegomena: What's It all About? The Kant Lectures have been published to date only in Italian and German translation. The present book is filled out (...) with the translator's critical Introduction, "The esoteric Quine?" a bibliography based on Quine's sources, and an Index for the volume. (shrink)
From the Amazon.com description: On 5–6 April 1991, there was a conference on Kant at Florida State University; this volume collects the (revised versions of the) papers presented on that occasion. The occasion was, give or take a few months, the 90th birthday of Professor (Emeritus) William H. Werkmeister. Werkie (as all his friends call him) himself gave the final paper at this conference. Hence the inclusion of a paper by Werkie in a volume honoring him. Although he is primarily (...) known for his expertise in the field of Kantian philosophy, Werkie’s published scholarship has spanned a wide range of subjects for more than fifty years: his first book, A Philosophy of Science, appeared in 1940. (shrink)
We all think that science is special. Its products—its technological spin-off—dominate our lives which are thereby sometimes enriched and sometimes impoverished but always affected. Even the most outlandish critics of science such as Feyerabend implicitly recognize its success. Feyerabend told us that science was a congame. Scientists had so successfully hood-winked us into adopting its ideology that other equally legitimate forms of activity—alchemy, witchcraft and magic—lost out. He conjured up a vision of much enriched lives if only we could free (...) ourselves from the domination of the ‘one true ideology’ of science just as our ancestors freed us from the domination of the Church. But he told us these things in Switzerland and in California happily commuting between them in that most ubiquitous product of science—the aeroplane. (shrink)
Few major philosophers show evidence of having studied the works of their predecessors with special care, even in cases where they were subject to particular influences which they were ready to acknowledge. Hume knew that he was working in the tradition of ‘some late philosophers in England, who have begun to put the science of man on a new footing’—‘Mr Locke, my Lord Shaftsbury, Dr Mandeville, Mr Hutchinson, Dr Butler, &c.’ But there is not much sign in the Treatise or (...) elsewhere in Hume's writings of any close acquaintance with the works of these authors; the presumption must be that he had read them at some time and extracted the main ideas, but was not in the habit of returning to their texts. He had something more important to do, namely to work at philosophical problems of his own. Similarly Kant, though he said that the Critique of Pure Reason was not meant to be ‘a critique of books and systems, but of the faculty of reason in general’, had clearly felt the impact of the thought of some important past philosophers, but equally had never spent much time in finding out just what these philosophers had to say. Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Leibniz and Hume all get fairly frequent mention in his pages. But Kant takes his knowledge of Plato and Aristotle from J. J. Brucker's Historia critica philosophiae , a six-volume compilation which first appeared in 1742, or from doubtful sources such as Mendelssohn's doctored translation of the Phaedo , and though he doubtless knew the more recent authors at first hand clearly felt no need to study them in any depth. This was true even of writers to whom he attributed a particular importance, such as Leibniz and Hume. The references to Hume in the Critique and Prolegomena are all disappointingly general, and though the summary of Leibniz's philosophy in the section called ‘The Amphiboly of Concepts of Reflection’ has a certain force, it is not documented with references to Leibnizian texts. Kant knows that there is a difference between the views of the historical Leibniz and those which constituted the ‘Leibnizian-Wolffian system’ of his successors. But he is not very curious about the difference, or inclined to explore it. (shrink)
Hume's explicit pronouncements about truth are few and unenlightening. In a well-known passage near the beginning of Book III of the Treatise he writes that ‘Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. Truth or falsehood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact.’ Hume's main concern in this passage, however, is not with the concept of truth, but with his thesis that moral distinctions are not derived (...) from reason: he introduces his reference to truth only with a view to showing that our ‘passions, volitions and actions … being original facts and realities, complete in themselves,’ are not susceptible of the agreement and disagreement spoken of, and therefore cannot be said to be true or false, in conformity with or contrary to reason. The account of truth given here is not elaborated, and perhaps not even thought to need elaboration. Similarly with another passage a few pages earlier in which Hume says that ‘Truth is of two kinds, consisting either in the discovery of the proportions of ideas, considered as such, or in the conformity of our ideas of objects to their real existence’ . Here again his interest is not in truth itself but in ‘curiosity, or the love of truth,’ the passion which, Hume says, ‘was the first source of all our inquiries’ . Hume seems to take it for granted that nothing more needs to be said about what it is to discover ‘the proportions of ideas, considered as such,’ or about the circumstances in which we can speak of there being ‘conformity’ or the lack of it between our ideas of objects and their real existence. So far as he is concerned the central point to grasp is the distinction between propositions which have to do with relations of ideas and those which express, or purport to express, matters of fact. Once this distinction is clear, the nature of truth is supposed to be plain. (shrink)