In ‘Wittgenstein and Qualia’ Ned Block argues for the existence of inverted spectra and those ineffable things, qualia. The essence of his discussion is a would-be proof, presented through a series of pictures, of the possible existence of an inverted spectrum. His argument appeals to some remarks by Wittgenstein which, Block holds, commit the former to a certain ‘dangerous scenario’ wherein inverted spectra, and consequently qualia live and breath. I hold that a key premise of this proof is incoherent. Furthermore, (...) Block’s dangerous scenario does not follow from Wittgenstein’s innocent one, as Block believes it does, but rather is in conflict with it. (shrink)
This paper argues against the deductive reconstruction of scientific prediction, that is, against the view that in prediction the predicted event follows deductively from the laws and initial conditions that are the basis of the prediction. The major argument of the paper is intended to show that the deductive reconstruction is an inaccurate reconstruction of actual scientific procedure. Our reason for maintaining that it is inaccurate is that if the deductive reconstruction were an accurate reconstruction, then scientific prediction would be (...) impossible. (shrink)
A milestone in Wittgenstein scholarship, this collection of essays ranges over a wide area of the philosopher's thought, presenting divergent interpretations of his fundamental ideas. Different chapters raise many of the central controversies that surround current understanding of the Tractatus, providing an interplay that will be particularly useful to students. Taken together, the essays present a broader and more comprehensive view of Wittgenstein's intellectual interests and his impact on philosophy than may be found elsewhere.The thirteen chapters treat topics from both (...) periods of Wittgenstein's work: More than half are devoted to his early thought, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus of 1921, reflecting a growing interest today among philosophers in reexamining this seminal book, while three chapters treat the Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously in 1953. The remaining chapters discuss such "nonstandard" topics as philosophy of religion, aesthetics, and anthropology.Contents: The Early Wittgenstein and the Middle Russell, Kenneth Blackwell; Frege and Wittgenstein, Michael Dummett; Wittgenstein and the Theory of Types, Hide Ishiguro; The So-called Realism of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, Brian McGuinness; The Logical Independence of Elementary Propositions, David Pears; The Rise and Fall of the Picture Theory, Peter Hacker; The Picture Theory and Wittgenstein's Later Attitude to It, Erik Stenius; Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy of Mind, Anthony Kenny; A Theory of Language?, G. E. M. Anscombe; Im Anfang war die Tat, Peter Winch; Wittgenstein's Full Stop, D. Z. Phillips; Quote: Judgments from Our Brain, Paul Ziff; Wittgenstein and the Fire Festivals, Frank Cioffi, Index.Irving Block is Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at The University of Western Ontario. (shrink)
This book is a philosophical examination of the main stages in our journey from hominid to human. It deals with the nature and origin of language, the self, self-consciousness, and the religious ideal of a return to Eden. It approaches these topics through a philosophical anthropology derived from the later writings of Wittgenstein. The result is an account of our place in nature consistent with both a hard-headed empiricism and a this-worldy but religiously significant mysticism.
Wittgenstein's later philosophy and the doctrines of Mahayana Buddhism integral to Zen coincide in a fundamental aspect: for Wittgenstein language has, one might say, a mystical base; and this base is exactly the Buddhist ideal of acting with a mind empty of thought. My aim is to establish and explore this phenomenon. The result should be both a deeper understanding of Wittgenstein and the removal of a philosophical objection to Zen that has troubled some people.