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)
On the nature of Aristotle's Ethics, by R. A. Gauthier.--Reason, happiness, and goodness, by F. Siegler.--The nature of aims, by J. Dewey.--Thought and action in Aristotle, by G. E. M. Anscombe.--On forgetting the difference between right and wrong, by G. Ryle.--Aristotle and the punishment of psychopaths, by V. Haksar.--Suggested further readings (p. 121-123).
In twelfth-century Europe schools flourished in many centres. There were schools in monasteries and cathedrals, primarily for the education of monks and priests but often open also to laymen. In Italian towns, especially, there were lay schools teaching law and commercial skills to fee-paying students. In France, especially, also in England and other countries, there were schools for feepaying students of the liberal arts. The traditional list of the liberal arts included seven: grammar, logic and rhetoric (the "trivium"), and arithmetic, (...) geometry, astronomy and music (the "quadrivium"): most of the schools we're talking about taught the trivium, grammar, logic and rhetoric. These three disciplines in one way or other taught language skills; they were sometimes called the artes sermocinales. Students who had completed these "trivial" studies sometimes moved on to theology, or sometimes set up as teachers themselves of grammar, logic and rhetoric. Some students travelled from country to country looking for a good school, and sometimes made their living for a while by teaching before becoming students again. (shrink)
This paper argues for a Husserlian account of phenomenal intentionality. Experience is intentional insofar as it presents a mind-independent, objective world. Its doing so is a matter of the way it hangs together, its having a certain structure. But in order for the intentionality in question to be properly understood as phenomenal intentionality, this structure must inhere in experience as a phenomenal feature. Husserl’s concept of horizon designates this intentionality-bestowing experiential structure, while his concept of motivation designates the unique phenomenal (...) character of this structure as it is experientially lived through. The way experience hangs together is itself a phenomenal feature of experience. (shrink)
We take ourselves to have an inner life of thought, and we take ourselves to be capable of linguistically expressing our thoughts to others. But what is the nature of this “inner life” of thought? Is conscious thought necessarily carried out in language? This paper takes up these questions by examining Merleau-Ponty’s theory of expression. For Merleau-Ponty, language expresses thought. Thus it would seem that thought must be independent of, and in some sense prior to, the speech that expresses it. (...) He also claims, however, that thinking just is linguistic expression, and thus that language constitutes thought. The primary aim of this paper is to make sense of this constitutive claim while maintaining that, for Merleau-Ponty, there is an inner life of thought that exists independently of linguistic expression, and that this inner life rightly deserves the label “thought”. The upshot of this account is twofold. First, it explains why the mainstream view of Merleau-Ponty’s theory of expression seems plausible, but is ultimately inadequate. Second, it functions as a corrective to contemporary debates about the nature and scope of phenomenal consciousness and the sense in which conscious experience has content. (shrink)
Husserl introduces a phenomenological concept called “motivation” early in the First Investigation of his magnum opus, the Logical Investigations. The importance of this concept has been overlooked since Husserl passes over it rather quickly on his way to an analysis of the meaningful nature of expression. I argue, however, that motivation is essential to Husserl’s overall project, even if it is not essen- tial for defining expression in the First Investigation. For Husserl, motivation is a relation between mental acts whereby (...) the content of one act make some fur- ther meaningful content probable. I explicate the nature of this relation in terms of “evidentiary weight” and differentiate it from Husserl’s notion of Evidenz, often translated as “self-evidence”. I elucidate the importance of motivation in Husserl’s overall phenomenological project by focusing on his analyses of thing-perception and empathy. Through these examples, we can better understand the continuity between the Logical Investigations and Husserl’s later work. (shrink)
This paper brings together several strands of thought from both the analytic and phenomenological traditions in order to critically examine accounts of cognitive enhancement that rely on the idea of cognitive extension. First, I explain the idea of cognitive extension, the metaphysics of mind on which it depends, and how it has figured in recent discussions of cognitive enhancement. Then, I develop ideas from Husserl that emphasize the agential character of thought and the distinctive way that conscious thoughts are related (...) to one another. I argue that these considerations are necessary for understanding why forms of cognitive extension may diminish our cognitive lives in different ways. This does not lead to a categorical rejection of cognitive enhancement as unethical or bad for human flourishing, but does warrant a conservative approach to the design and implementation of cognitive artifacts. (shrink)
This paper presents an account of empathy as the form of experience directed at embodied unities of expressive movement. After outlining the key differences between simulation theory and the phenomenological approach to empathy, the paper argues that while the phenomenological approach is closer to respecting a necessary constitutional asymmetry between first-personal and second-personal senses of embodiment, it still presupposes a general concept of embodiment that ends up being problematic. A different account is proposed that is neutral on the explanatory role (...) of the first-person sense of embodiment, which leads to an emphasis on the transformative nature of empathy and a broadening of the scope of possible targets of empathic awareness. (shrink)