In ‘Other Minds’, J.L. Austin advances a parallel between saying ‘I know’ and saying ‘I promise’: much as you are ‘prohibited’, he says, from saying ‘I promise I will, but I may fail’, you are also ‘prohibited’ from saying ‘I know it is so, but I may be wrong’. This treatment of ‘I know’ has been derided for nearly sixty years: while saying ‘I promise’ amounts to performing the act of promising, Austin seems to miss the fact that saying ‘I (...) know’ fails to constitute a performance of the act of knowing. In this paper, I advance a defense of Austin’s position. I diagnose the principal objections to Austin’s account as stemming from detractors’ failure to acknowledge: (1) that Austin never characterizes ‘I know’ as a pure performative; (2) that saying ‘I know p’, unlike simply knowing p, occurs in specific interpersonal contexts in which others rely on our knowledge claims; (3) Austin’s considered account of the felicity conditions of performative utterance; (4) Austin’s ultimate repudiation of the performative/constative distinction. I conclude that Austin’s treatment of ‘I know’ rests on a more general commitment to the intrinsically normative nature of ordinary language. (shrink)
Alice Crary has recently developed a radical reading of J. L. Austin's philosophy of language. The central contention of Crary's reading is that Austin gives convincing reasons to reject the idea that sentences have context-invariant literal meaning. While I am in sympathy with Crary about the continuing importance of Austin's work, and I think Crary's reading is deep and interesting, I do not think literal sentence meaning is one of Austin's targets, and the arguments that Crary attributes to Austin or (...) finds Austinian in spirit do not provide convincing reasons to reject literal sentence meaning. In this paper, I challenge Crary's reading of Austin and defend the idea of literal sentence meaning. (shrink)
J. L. Schellenberg’s Philosophy of Religion argues for a specific brand of sceptical religion that takes ‘Ultimism’ – the proposition that there is a metaphysically, axiologically, and soteriologically ultimate reality – to be the object to which the sceptical religionist should assent. In this article I shall argue that Ietsism – the proposition that there is merely something transcendental worth committing ourselves to religiously – is a preferable object of assent. This is for two primary reasons. First, Ietsism is far (...) more modest than Ultimism; Ietsism, in fact, is open to the truth of Ultimism, while the converse does not hold. Second, Ietsism can fulfil the same criteria that compel Schellenberg to argue for Ultimism. (shrink)
In Heidegger’s Being and Time certain concepts are discussed which are central to the ontological constitution of Dasein. This paper demonstrates the interesting manner in which some of these concepts can be used in a reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A comparative analysis is performed, explicating the relevant Heideggerian terms and then relating them to Eliot’s poem. In this way strong parallels are revealed between the two men’s respective thoughts and distinct modernist sensibilities. Prufrock, (...) the protagonist of the poem, and the world he inhabits illustrate poetically concepts such as authenticity, inauthenticity, the ‘they’, idle talk and angst, which Heidegger develops in Being and Time. (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.).
La metafísica después de ser ignorada por años ha regresado al centro de la escena en la filosofía contemporánea. Tomás de Aquino ha vivido una historia muy parecida, lo que dio nacimiento al tomismo analítico. A pesar de los trabajos desarrollados en esta línea de investigación, la metafísica del Aquinate ha sido fuertemente ignorada. Sin embargo, la metafísica de Tomás de Aquino tiene una ventaja, poco discutida entre los tomistas y tomasinos, y es la de ser una metafísica esencialista. Así, (...) en armonía con el trabajo del metafísico E. J. Lowe, quien presenta su metafísica como “esencialista seria”, se quiere mostrar que la metafísica del Aquinate tiene las mismas virtudes del “esencialismo serio”, lo que permite postularla como una posición válida y plausible para la metafísica contemporánea. (shrink)
In his new book, "The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe," Robert J. Richards argues that Charles Darwin's true evolutionary roots lie in the German Romantic biology that flourished around the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is argued that Richards is quite wrong in this claim and that Darwin's roots are in the British society within which he was born, educated, and lived.
This paper seeks to reinterpret the life and work of J. B. S. Haldane by focusing on an illuminating but largely ignored essay he published in 1927, "The Last Judgment" -- the sequel to his better known work, "Daedalus" (1924). This astonishing essay expresses a vision of the human future over the next 40,000,000 years, one that revises and updates Wellsian futurism with the long range implications of the "new biology" for human destiny. That vision served as a kind of (...) lifelong credo, one that infused and informed his diverse scientific work, political activities, and popular writing, and that gave unity and coherence to his remarkable career. (shrink)
In contrast to many of his contemporaries, A. J. Ayer was an analytic philosopher who had sustained throughout his career some interest in developments in the work of his ‘continental’ peers. Ayer, who spoke French, held friendships with some important Parisian intellectuals, such as Camus, Bataille, Wahl and Merleau-Ponty. This paper examines the circumstances of a meeting between Ayer, Merleau-Ponty, Wahl, Ambrosino and Bataille, which took place in 1951 at some Parisian bar. The question under discussion during this meeting was (...) whether the sun existed before humans did, over which the various philosophers disagreed. This disagreement is tangled with a variety of issues, such as Ayer’s critique of Heidegger and Sartre, Ayer’s response to Merleau-Ponty’s critique of empiricism, and Bataille’s response to Sartre’s critique of his notion of ‘unknowing’, which uncannily resembles Ayer’s critique of Sartre. Amidst this tangle one finds Bataille’s statement that an ‘abyss’ separates English from French and German philosophy, the first recorded announcement of the analytic-continental divide in the twentieth century. (shrink)
Adam Smith and J-J Rousseau share some common ground when it comes to religion, namely that they were born into and educated in cultural contexts deeply shaped by Reformed Christianity. However, close consideration of their writings on religion reveal marked difference. This paper explores those differences and finds that Rousseau and Smith are radically at odds on this score. Smith has almost nothing to say about personal spirituality, and locates the significance of religion in its social role. Rousseau, on the (...) other hand, accords religion no social role whatever, and finds its value to be purely of a personal and spiritual nature. This difference is not without some contemporary relevance, since it highlights some of the issues surrounding the distinction between ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’ in modern secularized societies. (shrink)
In the same year, 1961, Peter D. Mitchell and Robert R.J.P. Williams both put forward hypotheses for the mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria and photophosphorylation in chloroplasts. Mitchell's proposal was ultimately adopted and became known as the chemiosmotic theory. Both hypotheses were based on protons and differed markedly from the then prevailing chemical theory originally proposed by E.C. Slater in 1953, which by 1961 was failing to account for a number of experimental observations. Immediately following the publication of Williams (...) 's hypothesis and before his own was published, Mitchell initiated a correspondence. Examination of the letters shows the development of a dispute based on the validity of the proposals, who should have priority and particularly whether Mitchell had drawn on Williams 's work without acknowledgement. We have concluded that Mitchell's proposals were original although it is evident that prior to the correspondence Williams had considered and rejected a proposition similar to Mitchell's theory. However, a major cause of the dispute was the difference in disciplinary backgrounds of Mitchell, a microbial biochemist and Williams, a chemist. (shrink)
Von 1925 bis 1928 wurden im Berliner J. M. Spaeth-Verlag unter der Leitung von Hans Rosenkranz eine Reihe von Werken seinerzeit eher unbekannter, in der Retrospektive jedoch signifikanter Autoren der Zwischenkriegszeit publiziert. Der Beitrag thematisiert Rosenkranz als jungen Verleger und Bewunderer Stefan Zweigs. Er entwirft auf Grundlage der Archivüberlieferung einen neuen Blick auf die Geschichte des Unternehmens und kommentiert das damit verbundene literarische Programm: Welche wichtigen verlegerischen Projekte wurden in jener kurzen Zeit unternommen? Welche Rolle hatte Stefan Zweig für das (...) Zustandekommen einiger Titel und besonders in den letzten Wochen der Verlagsexistenz? Inwiefern lässt sich Programmgestaltung und ökonomische Entwicklung von J. M. Spaeth als paradigmatisch für jüdische Verlage in der Weimarer Republik verstehen? Dazu wird erstmals das Scheitern des Unternehmens während der „Bücherkrise“ Ende der 1920er Jahre aus den Quellen rekonstruiert. (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 ›.
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)
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)
Reasoning es una obra monumental de más de mil páginas editada en estrecha colaboración por el filósofo Jonathan E. Adler y el psicólogo Lance J. Rips para esclarecer el intrincado campo de investigación relacionado con los fundamentos de la inferencia y, en general, del razonamiento humano. En la actualidad, en pocos casos va unido el trabajo de compilar y editar textos científicos con el afán enciclopédico: un proyecto editorial que sobrepasa con razón los objetivos de la mayor parte de los (...) libros editados para la recopilación de artículos en torno a un mismo tema de investigación. Reasoning supone un empeño de características enciclopédicas: ha conseguido convertirse en una referencia obligada desde que saliera a la luz en 2008 para ofrecer al lector especialista artículos científicos de las más reputadas y consolidadas voces en aquellos campos de conocimiento presentes ya en los proyectos enciclopédicos europeos del siglo de las luces, a saber: el significado del racionalismo, los límites imputables a la naturaleza del conocimiento humano, las paradojas presentes en la inducción, etc. (shrink)
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)
Drawing upon Nel Noddings’ contention that, if children are to be happy in schools, their teachers should also be happy, this paper tries to explore a way in which the obviously intimate but seemingly conflicting connections between students’ and teachers’ happiness can be understood from the viewpoint of Stanley Cavell’s reading of J. S. Mill. Mill’s conceptions of desire and pleasure are examined as a means of liberating the above connection from existing prioritization: that is, teachers’ or students’ happiness comes (...) first. The pursuit of happiness for both teachers and students is discussed, in the hopes of illuminating alternative images of teacher education. (shrink)
This is a response to Wesley J. Wildman’s “Behind, Between, and Beyond Anthropomorphic Models of Ultimate Reality.” While I agree with much of what Wildman writes, I raise questions concerning standards for evaluating models of ultimate reality and the plausibility of ranking such models. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.
Artikkeli käsittelee J. V. Snellmanin (1806–81) varhaisvaiheen filosofiaa ja sen suhdetta hänen 1840-luvun alun filosofiseen pääteokseensa "Persoonallisuuden idean spekulatiivisen kehittelyn yritys" (Versuch einer speculativen Entwicklung der Idee der Persönlichkeit). Varhaisvaiheen filosofia viittaa Snellmanin julkaistuihin kirjoituksiin vuosina 1835–40 sekä luentokäsikirjoituksiin ja muihin muistiinpanoihin. -/- Artikkelin keskiössä on Snellmanin varhainen luenta G. W. F. Hegelin (1770–1831) filosofiasta. Snellmanin filosofian on yleensä katsottu seuraavan Hegelin esikuvaa uskollisesti. Tämä pitää pääasiassa paikkansa, mutta toisaalta Snellman ei missään vaiheessa uraansa epäröinyt poiketa Hegelin viitoittamalta tieltä. Hän (...) ei tosin juuri korostanut eroja itsensä ja saksalaisen esikuvansa välillä. Snellman esitti varhaisfilosofiassaan muun muassa omaperäisen tulkinnan Hegelin subjektiivisen hengen filosofiasta. Hän pyrki myös yhdistämään Hegelin kaksi logiikan pääesitystä yhdeksi kokonaisuudeksi. Snellman myös täydensi joiltain osin Hegelin systeemiä. Hegel ei esimerkiksi koskaan vastannut yksiselitteisesti kysymykseen siitä, tarvitseeko hänen systeeminsä itsenäisen johdannon. Snellman katsoi johdannon tarpeelliseksi ja esitti varhaisfilosofiassaan oman versionsa johdannosta. Snellmanin johdanto keskittyi itsetietoisuuden käsitteeseen, joka oli keskeisessä roolissa myös hänen vuonna 1841 julkaisemassaan teoksessa "Persoonallisuuden idean spekulatiivisen kehittelyn yritys". (shrink)
In this volume, leading scholars in Asian and comparative philosophy take the work of Joel J. Kupperman as a point of departure to consider new perspectives on Confucian ethics. Kupperman is one of the few eminent Western philosophers to have integrated Asian philosophical traditions into his thought, developing a character-based ethics synthesizing Western, Chinese, and Indian philosophies. With their focus on Confucian ethics, contributors respond, expand, and engage in critical dialogue with Kupperman’s views. Kupperman joins the conversation with responses and (...) comments that conclude the volume. (shrink)