This is a collection of lectures and papers, written during the past ten years. They are all concerned with the logical properties of the Absolute and to this extent are a denial of the author's 1948 argument designed to disprove the existence of an Absolute Being. The first three lectures on Absolute-theory are a systematic account of the notion of a unique, necessary Existent and the repercussions such a notion has upon other philosophical problems such as space and time, substance (...) and causality, life and mind, value and evil, etc., and finally, the relation of logical necessity between this notion and a rational eschatology. The twelve remaining lectures cumulatively demonstrate the path toward a revisionary metaphysics which is logically founded upon Absolute-theory. Each is a complete essay in itself and the titles are largely descriptive of the contents. "The Teaching of Meaning" is an interchange between the author and other contemporary philosophers interested in the subject. "Some Reflections on Necessary Existence" concerns the propriety of affirming a categorically necessary existent and searches for a feasible ontological argument in the realm of value. "Freedom and Value" explores the relation between the two, while "Metaphysics and Affinity" explores the relation between thought and being, between the realities of our environment and our metaphysical approaches to them. "Hegel's Use of Teleology" is a thoroughgoing study of teleology in the works of Hegel. A description of our fragmentational approach to reality is contained in "The Diremptive Tendencies of Western Philosophy." The "Logic of Mysticism" is a refutation of Stace's account and a sketch of mysticism as a logical matter, i.e., as a frame of mind connected with some sort of absolute. "Essential Probabilities" is an attempt to formulate and connect the eidetic method in philosophy with modalities, especially probability, considering its role in an a priori framework. "The Logic of Ultimates" sets out the important theorems in an absolutist logic, refutes common candidates for absolute status, and finally proposes some sort of 'infinite' teleology as a viable form of absolutism. "The Systematic Unity of Value" is an analysis of the ways and means of asserting common values and of relating them to their logical keystone found in Absolute-theory. "Intentional Inexistence" establishes intentionality as categorical and defines its working mode which culminates in a picture of 'unitive logic'. The final paper, "Toward a Neo-Neo-Platonism," is the delineation of what a metaphysic ought to envisage through a unifying, living logic which embodies the absolute. All in all, this is a refreshing, meaty reconsideration of some very out-of-vogue topics.--G. M. K. (shrink)
Prior apparently left a substantially completed manuscript dealing with the objects of thought when he died in 1969. Geach and Kenny have edited this material, supplementing it with both published and unpublished other writings, including an appendix on names in lieu of Prior's intended final chapter. The result is an interesting, often non-standard, discussion of many issues central to philosophical logic. There are two major concerns treated--what is it that we think?, and what is it that we think about?. These (...) are the two principle ways in which 'thinking of' can occur as a relation for Prior. An examination of the first sense results in a defense of the view that propositions, as language-independent logical constructions, are the objects of thought. In doing so, a large number of related issues are discussed to include criticisms of extentionalist [[sic]] theses, a sympathetic version of the assertive redundancy theory of truth, and an account of non-assertoric logic. Prior also devotes chapters to paradoxes such as that of the liar, and to Tarskian and alternative semantics. Perhaps the most interesting section of the book is that devoted to discussing what sentences are about, especially when their ostensible subjects are non-existent, e.g., "The King of France is bald." It is not clear just what his positive views are, but Prior has a number of criticisms directed against current intentionalistic views of names as well as against Russellian names. His chief worry seems to concern oratio obliqua constructions in which a reporter does not believe in the existence of that of which/whom a reportee speaks. Although critical of writers influenced by either the early Brentano or the later Russell, Prior appears to be sympathetic to both schools in that he seems to view non-demonstrative sentences as never being directly about their subjects. Thus, neither "Gustavus is bald" nor "The King of Sweden is bald" would be about the King of Sweden, i.e., Gustavus. However, since Gustavus is the King of Sweden, the sentences are indirectly about him. Presumably, such a move precludes a reporter's being committed to the reportee's ontology, thereby avoiding the difficulty. An interesting but undeveloped aspect of his view is the role of background stories in our use of names. While some use is made of formal logic in the Polish notation, unfamiliarity with either is not a bar to following the text as English translations and keys are provided. It is unfortunate that we cannot look forward to further elucidation of Prior's views.--K. T. (shrink)
A clearly written and uncomplicated text, suitable for use with elementary and high school students as well as in college classes. It presents, in thorough detail, the techniques for making deductions, testing for validity, etc., in the logic of sentences and of universal quantification. The exposition rests upon the basic notion of inference according to rules; some fourteen rules of inference are presented and explained. Truth values and truth tables are discussed as means for determining important properties of inferences, e.g., (...) testing for validity of the inference, consistency of the premisses, etc. These techniques are then applied in formulating a simple mathematical system, a set of axioms for addition. The system is then used to illustrate the deduction of theorems with universal quantification.—K. P. F. (shrink)
The history of contemporary modal logic dates back to the writings of C. S. Lewis in the early part of this century. Since then, a growing body of literature has attested to professional interest in the area, and in a number of related issues in philosophical logic which have received wide attention. The recent development of powerful formal techniques for modal system building, together with an increasing interest in modal logic as a tool for philosophical analysis, have created a need (...) for an up-to-date text to introduce students to this material. Snyder's book attempts to answer this need. Assuming an understanding of elementary propositional logic, Snyder introduces a reductive technique called cancellation for detecting the theorems of a system of logic. This technique, analogous to the construction of Smullyan trees but more compact, is extended to modal and quantified contexts. Cancellation versions of the systems M and Mn of G. H. von Wright, and S4 and S5 of Lewis are developed. Snyder uses a Hintikka type of semantics, showing how the various formal systems are differentiated at the semantic level by differing conditions which must be imposed on the model systems used as interpretations for them. These model systems, and the conditions imposed upon them, are in turn described by means of a metalanguage which is essentially first-order quantificational logic. The power of this technique stems from the fact that for every object language formula of a system, there is a corresponding formula in the metalanguage which describes the conditions an interpretation must meet in order to satisfy the original formula. The conditions that the interpretations of a given system of logic must meet are reflected in this metalanguage as "antecedent assumptions," and these in turn correspond to cancellation rules for the object language. This correspondence is constructed in such a way that the metalinguistic counterpart of each theorem of the system will be a theorem of first-order logic. Snyder's primary interest is in showing how modal logic can be used, with the help of these techniques, to build a large variety of formal systems and to "tailor" such systems to meet a variety of analytical tasks. Simple modal systems are developed for the articulation of a number of modal concepts, in addition to the classic alethic ones. Examples are taken from temporal, deontic, and epistemic logic to show how specific interpretations of the meanings of the relevant operators lead to the incorporation of appropriate conditions in the formal systems used to articulate them. An entire chapter is devoted to a discussion of the paradoxes of material and strict implication, and to an attempt to articulate the notion of entailment through the development of formal systems which include a dyadic modal operator that is free of these paradoxes. The final chapter discusses such classical issues as proper names, reference, fictional entities, definite descriptions, and existence presuppositions. Appendices deal with such matters as the equivalence of the cancellation systems to more classical axiomatic-deduction systems, and the sketch of a proof of soundness and completeness for all the modal systems presented. While designed as a text, this volume should be of interest to both logicians and those working in metaphysics and language analysis, since the primary concern of the author is to develop techniques that will facilitate the usefulness of modal logic as a tool for philosophical analysis. The instructor's manual contains many suggestions derived from the author's experience in teaching this non-standard treatment of the subject.--K. T. (shrink)
As Max Jammer has rightly said, contemporary discussion of the metrical properties of space have been dominated in recent years by the work of Adolf Grünbaum. One of Grünbaum's most important essays in this area, "Geometry, Chronometry and Empiricism" is reprinted in its entirety as the first chapter of this work. The third and final chapter is a lengthy reply to Hilary Putnam who published a critique of Grünbaum's original essay in 1963. Putnam's criticisms have not led Grünbaum to substantially (...) change his views but they have provided the means for some clarification and extension of those views, e.g., with respect to the notions of congruence and conventionality and in relation to Zeno's paradoxes, color attributes, and other topics. Between the original essay and the lengthy reply to Putnam there is a shorter chapter which deals with, among other things, the hypothesis that everything has doubled overnight, a related topic to which Grünbaum has given some attention in journal articles. It is safe to say that persons concerned with the problem of conventionalism and other philosophical problems about space will have to work their way through this important book.--R. H. K. (shrink)
The notion of form is "the most important notion within the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment". The sensible form involved in aesthetic judgment stands in no clear relation to the formal elements of the Transcendental Aesthetic and Logic—neither to the a priori forms of space and time, nor to the categories. It is held to be the same "kind of form" as the intuitable, "empirical form" mentioned infrequently in the Pure Reason. The author attempts to establish only "what Kant meant" as (...) distinct from its "truth." He lays a bold preparation for "the suggestion... that aesthetic experience is a window, so to speak, into the noumenal world". In Ch. I he accepts a widely-held view that Kant is the discoverer of "philosophical aesthetics" or "the autonomy of the aesthetic realm." His concern is not with this historical question. Nonetheless it may be said that he is not sufficiently aware that the autonomy found in Kant is not in understanding aesthetics as a realm of art, but only in understanding aesthetic judgment in its concern with both art and nature. Accordingly the aesthetic form of objects of art and objects of nature is treated without differentiation. The author is little concerned with form in its relation to natural purposiveness, or with the relation of form in the Aesthetic Judgment to form in the Teleological Judgment. Since nature, at least in certain contexts, supplies a kind of norm for art—a "traditional" element in Kant—the author’s exposition of the manner in which art imitates nature is not entirely satisfactory. In Ch. II, the central issue is whether "individual colors and tones are more than mere sensations". If however each may be understood as "a play of sensations" they can be said to possess a "form" and may enter into aesthetic judgments. The assumption here is that only if the parts of a beautiful thing, e.g., the individual colors of a painting, are beautiful, "can the painting as a whole be a beautiful thing". But this atomistic view of the aesthetic part is subsequently modified. In Ch. III, the imagination is said to "function without the categories" in the synthesis of aesthetic forms. The author must then oppose the view of Kemp Smith and others "that there can be no cognitive awareness or consciousness apart from the categories". He relies especially on the "judgments of perception" of the Prolegomena which "require no pure concept of the understanding". The possibility is not considered that although the imagination may indeed function "autonomously"—without the categories—in the synthesis of aesthetic form, that same synthesis may presuppose a synthesis employing the categories, especially in certain types of aesthetic experience. Some valuable clarifications are achieved of the difficult notions of "play," the harmony of form and cognitive faculties, and the universality of aesthetic judgments. The thesis of Ch. IV is that the object of experience, or the phenomenal object, is not a second object, distinct from the thing-in-itself, but an appearance of the thing-in-itself. Ch. V is devoted to Kant’s theory of art and especially to genius as the productive faculty of aesthetic ideas. The harmony of the faculties of imagination and understanding required of the artistic genius is held to be the same as the harmony which "the work of art itself... arouses in the perceiver of that work of art", but is spontaneous and original in the former case. What would be required of the productive agency in the case of natural objects of aesthetic experience lies outside the range of subject matter chosen. Kant’s view, although not entirely lucid, is that "the standard of fine art must be sought in the supersensible substrate of the artist’s faculties and that the production of the accord of the faculties of understanding and imagination ‘is the ultimate end set by the intelligible basis of our nature'". This prepares the conclusion that "the artist, as creative genius, is he who not only produces but expresses in sensible products, forms which are windows into the supersensible substrate of being". The monograph effectively raises this possibility as a central issue in the discussion of Kant’s aesthetics.—R. K. (shrink)
A collection of articles in English, German and French by fourteen Hungarian authors. Of particular interest and value is "Über die erkenntnistheoretischen Ansichten des jungen Marx" by György Markus. Although the footnotes are full of criticisms of the "revisionists", the early Marx is taken seriously as a philosophical thinker in his own right, and an effort is made to lay out what might be a theory of knowledge for this early Marx. Other articles of interest are by Edit Rózsahegyi, "The (...) Place and Role of Purpose in the Process of Cognition" and a criticism of Heisenberg by A. Szabó. On the whole, the articles are genuinely philosophical and deserve attention, although long, boring and dogmatic pieces such as "Objective Contradiction" by G. Tamás, and "Communism and Conditions for the Development of Personality" by A. Wirth are also present.--K. A. M. (shrink)
In this phenomenological approach to meaning, the author defines his task as one of taking account of the kinds of relations the logical order can have to the preconceptual order. This preconceptual order is represented by a pre-logical activity which is called "experiencing." There is experiencing of meaning as well as of things. This "experienced or felt meaning" is said to be as important a dimension of meaning as the traditional modes distinguished by philosophers, e.g., denotation, connotation. Apparent throughout is (...) the author's concern as a psychotherapist to find theoretical foundations for clinical methods.--R. H. K. (shrink)
G. K. Chesterton's fictional detectives stand in stark methodical contrast to scientific detectives such as Sherlock Holmes. While the scientific detective focuses on external reality, seeking to reconstruct the crime, Chesterton's detectives—and Father Brown in particular—are preoccupied with inner perceptions, devoting their energy to understanding other minds. While Holmes may be seen as a positivist driven by the physical sciences, Chesterton's detectives are exegetes, perceiving human beings as a unique species demanding a distinctive approach. They thus reflect Chesterton's view that (...) the modes employed to decipher physical reality are inappropriate for comprehending social reality.Chesterton's opposition... (shrink)
William K. Frankena has himself authoritatively and engagingly narrated the itinerarium of his mind from youthful cognitivism in ethics, as a beginner ‘of Calvinistic background and Hegelian sympathies’ who contrived to combine ‘naturalism about “good” with intuitionism about “ought” ’, to his mature noncognitivist rationalism as a major philosopher of sophisticated analytic technique and Calvinist sympathies. A number of his characteristic earlier opinions were elaborated in response to the writings of G. E. Moore; and this body of work as a (...) young man contains the seeds of his later development. Yet the past thirty years have radically altered the perspective from which Moore and his influence are now viewed. What changes does our altered perspective on Moore make to our understanding of Frankena? (shrink)
When Wittgenstein moved from Manchester to Cambridge he was following a path from the study of the natural sciences to the study of philosophy which was then not unusual, and has since become increasingly common. Russell had preceded him in that intellectual emigration and many more were to follow. Of the three philosophy departments I have been in, two were headed by natural scientists. Both my research supervisors in philosophy were natural scientists. Less surprising, but still significant, a considerable proportion (...) of Presidents of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science were originally trained as natural scientists. Yet it is a subject still unrecognized by the Royal Society. The editors of both the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science and the journal Analysis were both originally natural scientists. Eminent scientists seem to feel impelled to discuss there own subjects in a wider context of philosophy. Bohr, Schrodinger, Kilmister, Hoyle, Hawking and Penrose, are but a few from a long list. (shrink)
George A. Olah, Alain Goeppert and G. K. Surya Prakash (eds): Beyond oil and gas: the methanol economy, 2nd updated and enlarged edition Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9141-x Authors George B. Kauffman, Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034, USA Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
Mystery is not merely a theological or literary category for G. K. Chesterton. It is also instrumental in understanding his conception of the political. The essay demonstrates the political significance of mystery through a close reading of Chesterton's short story ‘The Noticeable Conduct of Professor Chadd’. A comparison with Heidegger's construal of the political will highlight Chesterton's originality.
In the Edwardian period, the essays, novels, and criticism of G.K. Chesterton gave voice to a unique but emblematic form of patriotic anti-imperialism. The article places his views in the context of the Liberal Little Englander reaction to the Boer War, and offers two comparative case studies. The first focuses on Chesterton's inheritance of the late-Victorian anti-imperialist rhetoric of William Morris; the second assesses his fraught relationship with internationalism, as represented in the writings of Morris's political collaborator, E.B. Bax. Chesterton's (...) radical populist patriotism, it turns out, had more in common with contemporary socialist ideologies than the currently prevailing view of its parochialism would allow. (shrink)
G. K. Chesterton's anti-Semitism has attracted much scholarly attention, but his views on Islam have largely passed without comment. This article situates Chesterton's writings in relation to historical views of Islam in Britain and the political, cultural and religious context of the early twentieth century. Chesterton's complex and contradictory opinions fail to support easy conclusions about the immutability of prejudice across time. His views of Islam are at times orientalist and at other times critical of imperialism and elitism. As well (...) as drawing on medieval Catholic ideas about the “heresy” of Islam, Chesterton also links Islam with Protestant Christianity. From another perspective, his views of Islam draw on liberal traditions of humanitarian interventionism and democratic patriotism. Finally, he also used Islam as a symbol of a corroding modernity. This study suggests the need for a historically sensitive genealogy of the evolution of anti-Muslim prejudice which is not predetermined by the politics of the early twenty-first century. (shrink)