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)
This is my review of Howard B. Radest's book on Felix Adler and Ethical Culture. The book involves interesting comparisons of Adler to Emerson and to the pragmatists, and Radest is well qualified to tell the history of Adler's work and its influence.
Davidson approaches the notions of meaning and interpretation with the aim of characterizing semantic competence in the syntactically characterized natural language. The objective is to provide a truth-theory for a language, generating T-sentences expressed in the semantic metalanguage, so that each sentence of the object language receives an appropriate interpretation. Proceeding within the constraints of referential semantics, I will argue for the viability of reconstructing the notion of linguistic meaning within the Tarskian theory of reference. However, the view proposed here (...) involves a revision of Davidson’s con-ception of the object of semantic investigation. Taking (idealized) language-theories as the proper object of semantic characterization, provides solutions to outstanding problems in Davidson’s views, better approximates the practice in standard model-theoretic semantics, and incorporates the elements of semantic competence sought for in tradi¬tional theories of lexical analysis. Sources of evidence beyond those emphasized by Davidson will be invoked in order to allow for the selection of interpre¬tive T-sentences. In the final section, possible Quinean objections will be considered. (shrink)
This book collects some 75 texts from the history of American thought, starting with the colonial religious background, and arranged into 6 historically oriented chapers. Each chapter has a general introduction and ends with suggestions for further readings; and each of the texts is prefaced by a short explanatory paragraph. Overall, the book provides an historical introduction to central ethical themes of American thought.
This new edition emphasizes Emerson's philosophy and thoughts on such issues as freedom and fate; creativity and established culture; faith, experience, and evidence; the individual, God, and the world; unity and dualism; moral law, grace, and compensation; and wealth and success. Emerson's text has been fully annotated to explain difficult words and to clarify his references. The Introduction, Notes, Bibliography, Index, and Chronology of Emerson's life help the reader understand his distinctive outlook, his contributions to philosophy, and his place in (...) American culture and society. (shrink)
This book provides a concise overview, with excellent historical and systematic coverage, of the problems of the philosophy of language in the analytic tradition. HowardCallaway explains and explores the relation of language to the philosophy of mind and culture, to the theory of knowledge, and to ontology. He places the question of linguistic meaning at the center of his investigations. The teachings of authors who have become classics in the field, including Frege, Russell, Carnap, Quine, Davidson, and (...) Putnam are critically analyzed. I share completely his conviction that contemporary Anglo-American philosophy follows the spirit of the enlightenment in insisting on intellectual sincerity, clarity, and the willingness to meet scientific doubts or objections openly. --Professor Henri Lauener, Editor of Dialectica. (shrink)
Chomsky’s conception of semantics must contend with both philosophical skepticism and contrary traditions in linguistics. In “Two Dogmas” Quine argued that “...it is non-sense, and the root of much non-sense, to speak of a linguistic component and a factual component in the truth of any individual statement.” If so, it follows that language as the object of semantic investigation cannot be separated from collateral information. F. R. Palmer pursues a similar contention in his recent survey of issues in semantic theory: (...) “...it is impossible even in theory to draw a clear line between the meaning of a word or sentence and all possible relevant information about it.” In spite of such skepticism, and through a variety of theories, devotion to lexical decomposition and truth dependent on language has not abated. The purpose of this paper is to focus related criticism and briefly put forward an alternative conception of empirical semantics. (shrink)
In a series of interesting and influential papers on semantics, Hilary Putnam has developed what he calls a “post-verificationist” theory of meaning. As part of this work, and not I think the most important part, Putnam defends a limited version of the analytic-synthetic distinction. In this paper I will survey and evaluate Putnam’s defense of analyticity and explore its relationship to broader concerns in semantics. Putnam’s defense of analyticity ultimately fails, and I want to show here exactly why it fails. (...) However, I will also argue that this very failure helps open the prospect of a new optimism concerning the theory of meaning, a theory of meaning finally liberated from the dead weight of the notions of analyticity and necessary truth. Putnam’s work, in fact, makes valuable contributions to such a theory. (shrink)
A chief aim of this paper is to provide common ground for discussion of outstanding issues between defenders of classical logic and contemporary advocates of intuitionistic logic. In this spirit, I draw upon (and reconstruct) here the relationship between dialogue and evidence as emphasized in German constructivist authors. My approach depends upon developments in the methodology of empirical linguistics. As a preliminary to saying how one might decide between these two versions of logic (this issue is most closely approached in (...) Section V. discussing the constructivist approach), it is well worth the effort to look closely at how logic is (or might be) learned and at questions concerning logic in translation, i.e., the question of how we might detect the variety of logic actually employed in a given speech community. (shrink)
Reconciliation of semantic holism with interpretation of individual expressions is advanced here by means of a relativization of sentence meaning to object language theories viewed as idealizations of belief-systems. Fodor's view of the autonomy of the special sciences is emphasized and this is combined with detailed replies to his recent criticisms of meaning holism. The argument is that the need for empirical evidence requires a holistic approach to meaning. Thus, semantic realism requires semantic holism. -/- .
Quine's aim in this slim book is to "update, sum up and clarify variously intersecting views on cognitive meaning, objective referencce, and the grounds of knowledge." Only nine pages had previously appeared as the book came to print. It is based largely on unpublished lectures and informal discussions of the past ten years back to the Immanuel Kant Lectures given at Stanford in 1980. It does not, then duplicate Leonelli's Italian translation of the Kant lectures, La Scienza E I Datti (...) di Senso, which appeared in 1987. (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary American society. -/- (...) A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to defend a famous quotation from Martin Luther King, stating that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The quotation is inscribed on the King Memorial in Washington, D.C. and President Obama had it woven into a rug for the Oval Office in the White House. The quotation has become something of a contemporary proverb, and is certainly worthy of our close attention. In order to evaluate the dictum, (...) questions concerning its meaning will first be addressed and clarified, and various possible misinterpretations will be set aside. It will be argued that the appeal, and an effective defense of this moral claim, depend upon the pre-existing values of the people to whom the claim is addressed. The dictum is clearly intended to support hopes of social change and to encourage support for ideals of racial equality, but we want to know whether it is true or false and exactly what it means. King’s dictum can easily be taken as involving a doctrine of “divine Providence” or “historical inevitability.” But many are skeptical of these ideas and hold that we cannot be sure that the future will eventuate in desired moral outcomes. But, if so, what would it possibly mean to claim that the “moral universe” or the human world “bends toward justice”? On the other hand, holding that the moral universe “bends toward justice” claims more than saying that we can now act or organize to support justice; instead, it tells us that there is some pre-existing support for our related activities. What, then, is this pre-existing bend of the moral universe? (shrink)
In Memories and Portraits: Explorations in American Thought, H. G. Callaway embeds his distinctive contextualism and philosophical pluralism within strands of history and autobiography, spanning three continents. Starting in Philadelphia, and reflecting on the meaning of home in American thought, he offers a philosophically inspired narrative of travel and explorations, in Europe and Africa, illuminating central elements of American thought—partly out of diverse foreign and domestic reactions and fascinating cultural contrasts. -/- This book is of interest for the contemporary (...) interplay of analytic philosophy with American pragmatism and for those focused on the interaction of European and Anglo-American thought and society. In this book, the formalism of analytic philosophy encounters a logically articulate version of the contextualism implicit in the pragmatist tradition; and a deep and abiding interest in natural science is augmented by a more literary account of the social and cultural contexts of inquiry—encountered in many years of travel and life abroad. The final chapter, employing a methodological naturalism, brings the perspectives and lessons, from near and far, back home for renewed reflection. (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary American society. A (...) Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. (shrink)
The modus operandi of this book is contextual—throughout he demonstrates how ideas emerge from or are inspired by particular environments. And the need to put philosophical ideas in their larger historical and cultural context so as to fully understand them is, as will be illustrated below, a facet of his philosophical method. Another of its facets is fallibilism, a deep commitment to subjecting all theories and concepts (in any field) to incessant scrutiny, testing, correction, and clarification. This suggests that a (...) totality of knowledge of the world or the absolute truth about things is a pair of ideals impossible of realization and approachable at best asymptotically. If his method is contextualist and fallilbilist, then his metaphysics is pluralistic. In his view reality is not reducible to just one single substance or principle but instead is constituted irreducibly of many different kinds of thing or principles. He is thus implacably opposed to any form of ontological monism—what James designates a “block-universe”—and Hegelian absolutism. Callaway conceives of the world as a Jamesian multiverse. Contextualism, fallibilism, and pluralism, then, are the themes brought to the fore in his book and which emerge from his travels at home and abroad. (shrink)
HowardCallaway'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)
This paper proceeds from an analysis (Callaway 1992, pp. 239-240) of a role of conflict in the origin of value commitments, a pervasive sociological pattern in the development of unifying group values which transforms personal conflicts, or differences, into large-scale collective conflicts. I have urged that these forces are capable of distorting even the cognitive processes of science and that they are a chief reason why value claims are regarded as incapable of objective evaluation. The thesis of the present (...) paper is that romantic collectivism (uncritical attachment to an identification group) renders members passive with respect to the ideals or content embodied in collective identity and that this is often exploited to convert groups into instruments of personal power. The issue is examined by reference to Reinhold Niebuhr's 1932 thesis of the inevitability of group egoism and inter-group conflicts and an opposing pragmatist conception of moral development, self-identity, and the individual's relationship to reference communities. (shrink)
In set theory without the Axiom of Choice, we investigate the set-theoretic strength of the principle NDS which states that there is no function f on the set ω of natural numbers such that for everyn ∈ ω, f ≺ f, where for sets x and y, x ≺ y means that there is a one-to-one map g : x → y, but no one-to-one map h : y → x. It is a long standing open problem whether NDS implies (...) AC. In this paper, among other results, we show that NDS is a strong axiom by establishing that ACLO ↛ NDS in ZFA set theory. The latter result provides a strongly negative answer to the question of whether “every Dedekind-finite set is finite” implies NDS addressed in G. H. Moore “Zermelo’s Axiom of Choice. Its Origins, Development, and Influence” and in P. Howard–J. E. Rubin “Consequences of the Axiom of Choice”. We also prove that ACWO ↛ NDS in ZF and that “for all infinite cardinals m, m + m = m” ↛ NDS in ZFA. (shrink)
Meaning without Analyticity draws upon the author’s essays and articles, over a period of 20 years, focused on language, logic and meaning. The book explores the prospect of a non-behavioristic theory of cognitive meaning which rejects the analytic-synthetic distinction, Quinean behaviorism, and the logical and social-intellectual excesses of extreme holism. Cast in clear, perspicuous language and oriented to scientific discussions, this book takes up the challenges of philosophical communication and evaluation implicit in the recent revival of the pragmatist tradition—especially those (...) arising from its relation to prior American analytic thought. This volume continues the work of Callaway’s 1993 book, Context for Meaning and Analysis, building on the “turn toward pragmatism.” . (shrink)
Throughout his career, Derek Parfit made the bold suggestion, at various times under the heading of the "Normativity Objection," that anyone in possession of normative concepts is in a position to know, on the basis of their competence with such concepts alone, that reductive realism in ethics is not even possible. Despite the prominent role that the Normativity Objection plays in Parfit's non-reductive account of the nature of normativity, when the objection hasn't been ignored, it's been criticized and even derided. (...) We argue that the exclusively negative attention that the objection has received has been a mistake. On our reading, Parfit's Normativity Objection poses a serious threat to reductivism, as it exposes the uneasy relationship between our a priori knowledge of a range of distinctly normative truths and the typical package of semantic commitments that reductivists have embraced since the Kripkean revolution. (shrink)
A liberalism which scorns all individualism is fundamentally misguided. This is the chief thesis of this paper. To argue for it, I look closely at some key concepts. The concepts of morislity and individualism are crucial. I emphasize Dewey on the "individuality of the mind" and a Deweyan discussion of language, communication, and community. The thesis links individualism and liberalism, and since appeals to liberalism have broader appeal in the present context of discussions, I start with consideration of liberalism. The (...) aim is to dispute overly restrictive conceptions and explore a broader perspective. To bring the argument to a close, attention turns first to Dewey on value inquiry, to Dewey's "democratic individualism" (cf. Dewey 1939, 179), and to the concept of moral community. Disputing the acquisitiveness of utilitarian influences in classical liberalism, a Deweyan argument from the nature of moral community supports re-emphasis on individualism in contemporary liberal thought. (shrink)
HowardCallaway’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)
SummaryThis paper argues that the influence of language on science, philosophy and other field is mediated by communicative practices. Where communications is more restrictive, established linguistic structures exercise a tighter control over innovations and scientifically motivated reforms of language. The viewpoint here centers on the thesis that argumentation is crucial in the understanding and evaluation of proposed reforms and that social practices which limit argumentation serve to erode scientific objectivity. Thus, a plea is made for a sociology of scientific belief (...) designed to understand and insure social‐institutional conditions of the possibility of knowledge and its growth. A chief argument draws on work of Axelrod concerning the evolution of cooperation. (shrink)
The short cover-description of the present book tells that "Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775-1854) was one of the formative philosophers of German idealism, whose great service was in the areas of the philosophy of nature, art, and religion." Those having some familiarity with Schelling, and his influence on American philosophy, indirectly via Coleridge and Carlyle and more directly via Emerson and C. S. Peirce, will perhaps not be surprised to learn that German idealism itself looks somewhat different, understanding Schelling's differences (...) with Kant, Fichte, and Hegel; and while the work under review shows no awareness of the distant American influence of Schelling, or American developments in general (except perhaps in some citations of Arthur Lovejoy's The Great Chain of Being), I will take the present opportunity to emphasize connections and possible connections to American philosophy, as allowed by the author's account of Schelling and some further citations. (shrink)
This book focuses on issues in epistemology, semantics and logic with Quine’s views always setting the themes, even if Quine does not always remain quite at center stage. Gochet, Professor at Liège and Secretary to the Editorial Board of Logique et Analyse is a prominent of Quine’s views in Europe. The author does not aim to take up the whole of Quine’s philosophy here. Rather, the aim is to “focus on a few central themes...and to treat them thoroughly.” Continental Europe (...) not only recognizes Quine’s importance, then, but it is prepared to talk back: a point which has become increasingly evident in the wake of several recent works on Quine by W.K. Essler (1975), J. Largeault (1980) and Henri Lauener (1982). Gochet has made an earlier contribution to this in the form of his Quine en Perspective (1978) and its German translation (1984). But the present volume is not a further translation of the earlier work. Rather, the author “tried to avoid overlap.”. (shrink)
In his new book, IDENTITY, THE DEMAND FOR DIGNITY AND THE POLITICS OF RESENTMENT, Stanford University political scientist Francis Fukuyama addresses themes which might more properly be considered matters of political and legal philosophy. In particular, though he affirms the importance of the concepts of human dignity and identity, more or less as these are commonly understood in contemporary political debates and judicial decisions, he also sets himself against the contemporary phenomenon of identity politics which he views as a danger (...) to liberal democracy. “The rise of identity politics in modern liberal democracies,” writes Fukuyama, “is one of the chief threats that they face;” and moreover, “unless we can work our way back to more universal understandings of human dignity, we will doom ourselves to continuing conflict” (p. xvi). Readers learn in the Preface that “This book would not have been written had Donald J. Trump not been elected president in November 2016” (p. ix). Fukuyama warns of “political decay,” though he holds it had set in well before the shocks of Brexit and Trump in 2016, “as the state was progressively captured by powerful interest groups” viz. vetocracy, “a rigid structure that was unable to reform itself” (p. ix). In the Preface, Fukuyama also draws lines to his earlier works, including his essay “The End of History?” (1989), his related book, THE END OF HISTORY AND THE LAST MAN (1992) and his impressive recent volumes, THE ORIGINS OF POLITICAL ORDER (2011) and POLITICAL ORDER AND POLITICAL DECAY (2014). (shrink)
This paper explores the scientific viability of the concept of causality—by questioning a central element of the distinction between “fundamental” and non-fundamental physics. It will be argued that the prevalent emphasis on fundamental physics involves formalistic and idealized partial models of physical regularities abstracting from and idealizing the causal evolution of physical systems. The accepted roles of partial models and of the special sciences in the growth of knowledge help demonstrate proper limitations of the concept of fundamental physics. We expect (...) that a cause precedes its effect. But in some tension with this point, fundamental physical law is often held to be symmetrical and all-encompassing. Physical time, however, has not only measurable extension, as with spatial dimensions, it also has a direction—from the past through the present into the future. This preferred direction is time’s arrow. In spite of this standard contrast of time with space, if all the fundamental laws of physics are symmetrical, they are indifferent to time’s arrow. In consequence, excessive emphasis on the ideal of symmetrical, fundamental laws of physics generates skepticism regarding the common-sense and scientific uses of the concept of causality. The expectation has been that all physical phenomena are capable of explanation and prediction by reference to fundamental physicals laws—so that the laws and phenomena of statistical thermodynam- ics —and of the special sciences—must be derivative and/or secondary. The most important and oft repeated explanation of time’s arrow, however, is provided by the second law of thermodynamics. This paper explores the prospects for time’s arrow based on the second law. The concept of causality employed here is empirically based, though acknowledging practical scientific interests, and is linked to time’s arrow and to the thesis that there can be no causal change, in any domain of inquiry, without physical interaction. (shrink)
This book arose from the author’s recent dissertation written under the Gerhard Schonrich at Munich. It focuses on Peirce’s theory of categories and his epistemology. According to Baltzer, what is distinctive in Peirce’s theory of knowledge is that he reconstrues objects as “knots in networks of relations.” The phrase may ring a bell. It suggests a structuralist interpretation of Peirce, influenced by the Munich environs. The study aims to shows how Peirce’s theory of categories supports his theory of knowledge and (...) how “question concerning a priori structures of knowledge” are transformed within this relational framework. A chief critical target is David Savan’s semiotics, specifically the idea that “the multiplicity of development of the categories” is “conditioned by nothing but the indefiniteness of the categories.”1 But in contrast with this, if there is any indefiniteness in the categories, they cannot fully direct their own application, and this is to say regarding them “that our knowledge is never absolute but always swims, as it were, in a continuum...”2 If the doctrine of continuity applies to the categories, they also have a continuum to swim in. (shrink)
The book is an “introductory” reconstruction of Davidson on interpretation —a claim to be taken with a grain of salt. Writing introductory books has become an idol of the tribe. This is a concise book and reflects much study. It has many virtues along with some flaws. Ramberg assembles themes and puzzles from Davidson into a more or less coherent viewpoint. A special virtue is the innovative treatment of incommensurability and of the relation of Davidson’s work to hermeneutic themes. The (...) weakness comes in a certain unevenness. While generally convincing and well written, the book has low points which may leave the reader confused or unconvinced. Davidson is the hero in this book, and our hero is sometimes over idealized. (shrink)
A growing literature testifies to the persistence of place as an incorrigible aspect of human experience, identity, and morality. Place is a common ground for thought and action, a community of experienced particulars that avoids solipsism and universalism. It draws us into the philosophy of the ordinary, into familiarity as a form of knowledge, into the wisdom of proximity. Each of these essays offers a philosophy of place, and reminds us that such philosophies ultimately decide how we make, use, and (...) understand places, whether as accidents, instruments, or fields of care. (shrink)
My review of Boghossian's book, Fear of Knowledge, is generally sympathetic toward his rejection of epistemic relativism and turns toward an examination of "constructivist" themes in light of an anti-nominalist perspective. In general terms, this is a fine little book, tightly argued, and well worth considerable attention--especially from the friends of relativism and those supporting versions of constructivism. (Constructivism + radical nominalism = relativism.).
Walter Reese-Schäfer, Karl-Otto Apel, Zur Einführung (with an Afterword by Jürgen Habermas), Junis Verlag GmbH, Hamburg 1990, 176pp. DM 17.80 -/- The author, presently a freelance writer published in the newspaper “Die Zeit” and the magazine “Stern,” provides in this small book a clear and concise introduction to sources, themes and conclusions in the philosophy of Karl-Otto Apel. Apel, Emeritus Professor at Frankfurt, and close colleague of Habermas, characterizes his viewpoint as a “transcendental pragmatism” in which a Kantian concern for (...) question regarding “the conditions for the possibility of something,” (p.10) mixes with deontological discourse-ethics, semeiotic themes from Peirce, an approach to fallibilism, the demand for “final justifications” (Letztbegründung) and German hermeneutics. In view of the “density and concentration” of Apel’s texts, which often have a “deterrent effect” upon those not already at home with “the philosophical language game,” it is the announced aim of this book to provide a work of translation and clarification of Apel’s specialized efforts --in effect an orientation to Apel’s work. The book divides into an Introduction, 8 chapters and a summary conclusion --with Habermas’ appreciation, “A Master Builder with Hermeneutic Feeling --The Way of Philosopher Karl-Otto Apel,” bringing up the rear. There is also a bibliography of primary and secondary sources and a short table outlining highlights of Apel’s career. The “Introduction” provides a good overview of the aims of the book and gets one started on central themes. (shrink)
This is a expository and critical review of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. 's last book, War and the American Presidency. The book collects and focuses recent writings of Arthur Schlesinger on the themes of its title. In its short Foreword and seven concise essays, the book aims to explore, in some contrast with the genre of “instant history,” the relationship between President George W. Bush’s Iraq adventure and the national past. This aim and the present work are deserving of wide attention, (...) both because of the contemporary need to deal with the extended war in Iraq and because Americans, in particular, need to attend to their own history, if we are to avoid past mistakes and make the best use of our ongoing political traditions and institutions. In order to know better where we might go in the future, we need an adequate picture of where we have been in the past. Schlesinger invites us to debate the war, the Presidency, and their relation to the American past. (shrink)
There are many advantages and disadvantages to central locations. These have shown themselves in the long course of European history. In times of peace, there are important economic and cultural advantages (to illustrate: the present area of the Czech Republic was the richest country in Europe between the two World Wars). There are cross-currents of trade and culture in central Europe of great advantage. For, cultural cross-currents represent a potential benefit in comprehension and cultural growth. But under threat of large-scale (...) conflict, these locations have proved extremely dangerous. Historically, Germany and Austria may be regarded as having had two chief models of their relationships to Europe. In the Holy Roman Empire, Germany was at the center of an aspiring “universalistic” European cosmopolitanism. (In some ways similar to the present situation of the European Union.) Austria maintained a great multi¬cultural empire, until it was destroyed in the First Word War. Generally, middle-European powers have promoted the integration of European diversity, when peace and stability have been plausible objectives. But when European diversity has declined toward ethnic or national conflict, Germany has drawn away from Europe and into itself, seeking inner unity and distinctness to protect it against possible combinations of enemies. This is true of central Europe generally, in degree, but interest often centers on Germany. Generally, central Europe is a cultural pressure cooker. (shrink)
In this paper we briefly examine and evaluate Quine’s physicalism. On the supposition, in accordance with Quine’s views, that there can be no change of any sort without a physical change, we argue that this point leaves plenty of room to understand and accept a limited autonomy of the special sciences and of other domains of disciplinary and common-sense inquiry and discourse. The argument depends on distinguishing specific, detailed programs of reduction from the general Quinean strategy of reduction by explication. (...) We argue that the details of the relations of particular sciences, disciplines and domains of discourse depend on empirical evidence and empirical-theoretical developments and that the generalized approach of reduction by explication is also subject to related empirical-theoretical constraints. So understood, physicalism lacks much of the controversial force and many of the implications sometimes associated with it. (shrink)
(Also titled "A Place for Peirce's Categories?"in Meaning without Analyticity.) This book arose from the author’s recent dissertation written under the Gerhard Schönrich at Munich. It focuses on Peirce’s theory of categories and his epistemology. According to Baltzer, what is distinctive in Peirce’s theory of knowledge is that he reconstrues objects as “knots in networks of relations.” The phrase may ring a bell. It suggests a structuralist interpretation of Peirce, influenced by the Munich environs. The study aims to shows how (...) Peirce’s theory of categories supports his theory of knowledge and how “question concerning a priori structures of knowledge” are transformed within this relational framework. A chief critical target is David Savan’s semiotics, specifically the idea that “the multiplicity of development of the categories” is “conditioned by nothing but the indefiniteness of the categories.” But in contrast with this, if there is any indefiniteness in the categories, they cannot fully direct their own application, and this is to say regarding them “that our knowledge is never absolute but always swims, as it were, in a continuum...” If the doctrine of continuity applies to the categories, they also have a continuum to swim in. (shrink)
This is the Introduction to my translation of Quine's Kant Lectures. Part of my interpretation is that an "esoteric doctrine" in involved in Quine's distinctive semantic claims: his skepticism of the credulity of non-expert evaluation of discourse and theory.
Alison L. LaCroix is Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, where she specializes in legal history, federalism, constitutional law and questions of jurisdiction. She has written a fine, scholarly volume on the intellectual origins of American federalism. LaCroix holds the JD degree (Yale, 1999) and a Ph.D. in history (Harvard, 2007). According to the author, to fully understand the origins of American federalism, we must look beyond the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and range over the (...) colonial, revolutionary, and founding periods including developments in the early republic. LaCroix questions both the idea that American federalism originated, all at once, at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the idea that republican ideology (with its strong emphasis on legislative power) was the single dominant framework of eighteenth-century American political thought. Versions and elements of federalist or con-federative ideas were also long present and in a process of development. (shrink)