As his subtitle indicates, Keith Graham's book is more than a reappraisal of Austin's work. It offers a general critique of ordinary language philosophy, with Austin as its representative exponent, and, as the dustjacket adds, "it will also serve as an introduction both to philosophical questions in general and to the alternative techniques available within the analytic tradition for answering them." The first fifty pages or so are devoted to staking out these broad claims, particularly a long chapter-essay entitled "Philosophy (...) of Language as a Method.". (shrink)
Eetu Pikkarainen describes the educational thinking of Johann AmosComenius (1592-1670) from a perspective of Bildung -theoretical problems. Comenius has had a remarkable influence on modern education, particularly through his language-learning and general didactical methods and principles. However, Comenius’ broader pansophic views have had somewhat more benign later effects. Comenius developed a reformation programme concerning the ‘main areas’ of reality, from theology and education to philosophy and language to social questions and world peace. This program has important connections to the modern (...) theories of Bildung. Comenius connects individual human growth with global issues such as the growth of scientific knowledge, the justice of political systems, and world peace. In his philosophy, Comenius strongly criticises the problems of the rising modern thinking such as trapping to dualisms. From that angle, Comenius appears an almost postmodern thinker with surprising similarity to the thoughts of C S Peirce. (shrink)
A. J. Ayer, who died in 1989, was acknowledged as one of Britain's most distinguished philosophers. In this memorial collection of essays leading Western philosophers reflect on Ayer's place in the history of philosophy and explore aspects of his thought and teaching. The volume also includes a posthumous essay by Ayer himself: 'A defence of empiricism'. These essays are undoubtedly a fitting tribute to a major figure, but the collection is not simply retrospective; rather it looks forward to present and (...) future developments in philosophical thought that Ayer's work has stimulated. (shrink)
This paper gives an account of the debate between F.A. Hayek and J.M. Keynes in the 1930s written for the general public. The purpose of this is twofold. First, to provide the general reader with a narrative of what happened, … More ›.
We all ‘know’ that public opinion came to prominence in the political vocabulary of the late eighteenth century. It may be that this dates its rise a bit late, but it is not relevant to argue the matter here. My concern is rather that we be equally aware of the purposes for which people made use of the concept. Here I wish to consider various possible contexts for speaking or writing of public opinion, or ‘opinion’, as it was usually called (...) prior to the mid-eighteenth century. It may be possible to define, more fully than heretofore, the work that the expression did in eighteenth-century thought. As contemporary students of public opinion have been learning, an answer to this question may not even be wholly irrelevant to the task of specifying the nature of public opinion in our own time. (shrink)
Anselm presented his ontological argument in three main forms. In Proslogion II he argued that the very concept of God implies his actual existence. In Reply to Gaunilo —the argument from aseity—he argued that the conception of God as an eternal existent rules out his conception as a merely possible existent. In Proslogion III he argued that the concept of God implies his actual existence as logically necessary. Each of these arguments has its traditional refutation. Against Proslogion II it is (...) argued that the analytic use of ‘exists’ conceptually and descriptively is logically distinct from its synthetic use as an empirical judgement. Against the argument from aseity the same point is made about ‘exists eternally’, and against the detail of his argument it is said that the second premise is not a proposition with a single implication, but a disjunction. Against Proslogion III it is argued that ‘logically necessary existence’ is a meaningless notion. This paper is designed to show that Anselm's arguments may be refuted without recourse to these traditional criticisms; that each of his arguments contains at least one further error, of equal if not more importance, which has passed unnoticed. If this appears to be bringing yet further coals to Newcastle, the revival of the argument by Hartshorne and Malcolm, and the supposed ‘ontological disproof’ by Findlay, may indicate our need of further fuel. (shrink)
Q: If necessity is the mother of invention, whence necessity? A. : The matrix of necessity in God-talk is religious experience, philosophically interpreted. The interpreters, theists and non-thesists, have indeed been inventive.
In this article I pursue two main lines of argument. First, I seek to delineate two distinctive modes of justifying imperialism found in nineteenth-century political thought (and beyond). The 'liberal civilizational'li model, articulated most prominently by John Stuart Mill, justified empire primarily in terms of the benefits that it brought to subject populations. Its proponents sought to 'civilize'lthe 'barbarian'. An alternative `republican' model focused instead on the benefits - glory, honour and power above all - that accrued to the imperial (...) state. Less concerned with spreading civilization, its proponents concentrated on fortifying the imperial polity. Second, I offer a 'republican' interpretation of the writings of the historian and public moralist J.A. Froude (1818-94), arguing that he both diagnosed the problems of modern Britain and prescribed imperial solutions to those problems, based on his reading of the fate of the Roman republic. (shrink)
SummaryThe purpose of this article is to critically undermine two commonly held and closely related contentions regarding the British idealist tradition. The first is that the British idealist tradition went into rapid and terminal decline shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. The second is that J. A. Smith was largely responsible for it. These aims are achieved through a diachronic analysis of Smith's conception of human imperfection as well as an assessment of Smith's intellectual legacy. As this (...) article will show, contrary to the received view, Smith was a philosophical innovator who instigated an intellectual evolution within the British idealist. In particular, this article shows that Smith substituted aspects of his early Greenian philosophy with elements of Italian idealism. As a result, Smith was instrumental in moving British idealism away from its traditional underpinnings and towards more a Croce–Gentilian foundation. It is this neglected philosophical innovation which has given scholars the false impression of the tradition's collapse. By establishing Smith's intellectual innovation this article intends to show that Smith made a much more significant intellectual contribution to the philosophical tradition to which he belongs than has so far been recognised. (shrink)
Relations between J. A. C. Chaptal, pioneer of heavy chemical industry in France, and A. L. Lavoisier, reformer of chemical theory, are examined in the light of unpublished correspondence they exchanged in the period 1784–1790. The letters, together with Chaptal's early publications, allow a reconstruction of his conversion to Lavoisier's antiphlogistic chemistry. They also reveal a series of petitions that Chaptal made to Lavoisier, in the latter's official capacity as a director of the Régie des poudres et salpêtres, for relief (...) from the controlled price of saltpetre for his acid works in Languedoc. Finally, the relationship is explored as a window on the interplay between chemical theory and industrial practice during the period of the Industrial Revolution. (shrink)
Hume's doctrine of natural belief allows that certain beliefs are justifiably held by all men without regard to the quality of the evidence which may be produced in their favour. Examples are belief in an external world and belief in the veracity of our senses. According to R. J. Butler, Hume argues in the Dialogues that belief in God is of this sort. More recently John Hick has argued that for some people it is as natural to believe in God (...) as to believe in an external world. I shall first inquire what Hume understands by reasonable belief and by natural belief. I shall then use the results of this investigation to argue, against Butler, that belief in God is not a natural belief; and against Hick, more briefly, that his thesis is not viable in as far as it depends upon Hume's doctrine of natural belief. These discussions are important to the philosophy of religion since by means of natural beliefs it could be urged that belief in God is something justifiable without reference to reason or evidence: a position which would be of immense value to the theist. (shrink)
J.A. Hobson is known for his views on economy and imperialism. He was also concerned with social psychology and especially with the phenomenon of crowds, which was much discussed at the beginning of the twentieth century. As crowd behaviour was both collective and apparently irrational, it could undermine liberalism. However, Hobson uses crowd phenomena to bolster his own brand of social-democratic liberalism. He perceives mass behaviour as a constituent of the social dialogue favoured by liberals since J. S. Mill, and (...) argues that alterity and festivity are themselves human traits that merit political and legal recognition. This expanded view of human nature grounds a perception of rights which includes entitlements to leisure and structureless sociability: the welfare measures which guarantee such entitlements are thus made constituents of a revised liberalism. His interpretation of the crowd also serves Hobson as a warning to social theory itself, which, he argues, should acknowledge its distance from the world it attempts to analyse. This perception of theory further acts to strengthen liberalism, as it points to the contingent, open-ended character of any view of society and hence favours dialogue and open expression of varying opinions. (shrink)
J. A. Hobson was one of the most influential social, economic and political theorists of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain. In this volume, first published in 1990, eight scholars reassess the importance and relevance of his work today and affirm him as a major British thinker. These original studies place Hobson in context by explaining his intellectual antecedents: Cobden, Ruskin, nineteenth-century social and psychological theories and economic thought. The book provides an overview of the novelty and incisiveness of Hobson's (...) contribution to British liberal theory and radical practice. Historians, economists, social and political theorists and students of international affairs will find this an important book for a fuller understanding of early twentieth-century British progressive thought. (shrink)
The determination of “who is a J” within a society is treated as an aggregation of the views of the members of the society regarding this question. Methods, similar to those used in Social Choice theory are applied to axiomatize three criteria for determining who is a J: 1) a J is whoever defines oneself to be a J. 2) a J is whoever a “dictator” determines is a J. 3) a J is whoever an “oligarchy” of individuals agrees is (...) a J. (shrink)
This paper explores the relationships between Christianity, Englishness, and ideas about the southern English landscape in the writings of the 1930s and 1940s rural commentator, H.J. Massingham. The paper begins by looking in general terms at the conjunction of religious and national identities in the context of national landscapes before moving on to consider in more detail one particular instance of this in the writing of H.J. Massingham. Massingham's understanding of a divine natural order, his construction of a kind of (...) 'divine Englishness' and the way in which he relates this to particular English landscapes is explored. In particular, the paper investigates the natural, social and political power relationships which are embedded in Massingham's work, and suggests that his writing provides an interesting example of one way in which theological reasoning can reflect and reinforce concepts of a naturally ordered national identity. (shrink)
This paper is a detailed examination of some parts of J. P. Moreland's book on "the argument from consciousness". (There is a companion article that discusses the parts of the book not taken up in this critical notice.).
Arnold J. Toynbee was not only a controversial historian, but also a beguiling internationalist. This article analyses Toynbee as an observer of international politics. In particular, it examines both his understanding of contemporary foreign politics and his constant search of a stable world order. From the idealism of his youth to the utopianism of religious origin that marked his final years, passing through his partial and temporary disenchantment with regard to his youthful expectations, this essay will follow Toynbee’s path in (...) the study of the international affairs of the Twentieth century. (shrink)
A review of Vasiliu's book, Du Diaphane. Aristotle's theory of the transparent is his riposte to the doctrine expressed in Plato's Timaeus that the manifestation of sensible qualities should be explained in terms of the receptacle's participation in the realm of Forms.