In reply to Gullv g (Inquiry , Vol. 18 ) it is conceded that there are limitations to a pluralistic metaphilosophy. The limits are not, however, specifiable. By increasing a philosophical system's comprehensiveness one decreases its refutability, because the system then begins to incorporate its own rules of refutation and other concepts required for assessing validity, but there are no definite limits to comprehensiveness. By increasing a system's comprehensiveness one also diminishes the possibility of comparing that system with others. There (...) is a fairly neutral but vague and imprecise way of expressing oneself metaphilosophically, but such expressions can never attain absolute neutrality. Nevertheless it might be useful to retain as a regulative idea the notion that all comprehensive systems try to embrace the same single reality. (shrink)
The article begins by outlining Naess's pluralistic theory of philosophical systems and indicating its connection with Naess's semantics, i.e. his account of interpretation, preciseness, definiteness of intention, and level of discrimination. Reference is also made to the indeterminacy relation which Naess claims holds between, on the one hand, philosophically relevant preciseness, definite-ness of intention, and level of discrimination, and, on the other, comparability and philosophical neutrality of standpoints. Naess claims philosophical neutrality for his theory of systems, on the basis of (...) its purported low level of preciseness with respect to philosophical issues. The correctness of this claim is questioned. Naess's semantics and theory of systems seem to involve commitment in relation to epistemological and ontological issues. His view of the relationship between objects (entities) and systems seems to be of a kind that might be called system-relativism. If Naess claims that he avoids such a commitment by remaining at a lower level of preciseness where a certain relevant distinction (between identification of an entity and conceptual delimitation, characterization, or description of it) is not drawn, this claim is exposed to logical problems. Hence either pluralistic metaphilosophy is not system-neutral or it is logically suspect. (shrink)
Analytic rejections of extreme traditional views, especially scepticism, as 'absurd' in some sense of violating 'rules' of discourse, arc considered. References to linguistic and pragmatic rules are discussed and found inadequate as bases for rejecting scepticism. References to logical principles alone are found to lead into scepticism. The claim that epistemology and scepticism take for granted an inadequate theory of words like 'know', or 'knowledge', as descriptive predicates, is considered. Alternatives, construing such words as appraisive or performative, are discussed, but (...) are not found to provide any real escape from the traditional epistemological issues, or from scepticism. (shrink)
Among the most outstanding discoveries of the last century is one that is not quite as momentous as the theory of relativity or cybernetics. It may even still be enigmatic. It has no one single author, it is not expressed in a single formula, conception, or invention. Nonetheless it is worth all the others combined.
Editor James Fetzer presents an analytical and historical introduction and a comprehensive bibliography together with selections of many of Carl G. Hempel's most important studies to give students and scholars an ideal opportunity to appreciate the enduring contributions of one of the most influential philosophers of science of the 20th century.
In 2005 St Andrews Studies published a volume of essays by Anscombe entitled Human Life, Action and Ethics, followed in 2008 by a second with the title Faith in a Hard Ground. Both books were highly praised. This third volume brings essays on the thought of historical philosophers in which Anscombe engages directly with their ideas and arguments. Many are published here for the first time and the collection provides further testimony to Anscombe’s insight and intellectual imagination.