This comprehensive history of German philosophy from its medieval beginnings to near the end of the eighteenth century explores the spirit of German intellectual life and its distinctiveness from that of other countries. Beck devotes whole chapters to four great philosophers -- Nicholas of Cusa, Leibniz, Lessing, and Kant -- and extensively examines many others, including Albertus Magnus, Meister Eckhart, Paracelsus, Kepler, Mendelssohn, Wolff, and Herder. Questioning explanations of philosophy by the racial or ethnic character of its exponents, Beck's conclusion (...) is that German philosophy developed as a series of diverse responses to the historical experiences of the German people. The peculiarities of German philosophy must be viewed in the light of German political problems and educational structures. In particular he stresses the importance of the connections between philosophy and Germany's intellectual, literary, religious, and political history. (shrink)
In the modern discussions about possibility of synthetic a priori propositions, the theory of definition has a fundamental importance, because the most definition’s theories hold that analytic judgments are involved by explicit definition . However, for Kant –first author who pointed out the distinction between analytic and synthetic propositions–many analytic judgments are made by analysis of concepts which need not first be established by definition. Moreover, for him not all a priori knowledge is analytic. The statement that not all analytic (...) judgment is derived from definition and possibility of synthetic a priori knowledge, indicates Kant didn’t believe, contrary to modern theories about analytic judgment, the definition is an essential ground of knowledge. (shrink)
Can a machine think? More pointedly, if I am a machine, can I think? Beck answers these questions by analyzing two clusters of metaphors -- one of which dramatizes human beings as spontaneous agents (actors), and the other sees them as observers attempting to explain causally their own behavior and that of the actor (spectators). Using a hypothetical scene with two spectators, each explaining an action, and each representing a different way of viewing the world, Beck points up the central (...) philosophical problems raised by the varieties of ways in which we explain our own actions and those of others. (shrink)
The philosophy of the history of philosophy seems to be a neglected discipline. A large number of the relatively few writings devoted to the subject begin with such a complaint. If it is correct that there has been this neglect, it is astonishing. For with all the present-day concern with the philosophy of history, the history of philosophy, and especially the reflexive interest of philosophers in the nature and functions of their own discipline, one would have expected that such a (...) domestic concern of philosophers would be flourishing. (shrink)
Hume distinguished the principle that everything has a cause from the principle of the uniformity of nature, Viz., That like causes have like effects. In the second analogy of experience kant attempts to refute what he (erroneously) believed had been hume's explanation of our acceptance of the first principle. He did not there attempt to establish the second principle, But j dodge has shown that the second analogy implicitly contains a justification of the principle of like cause-Like effect. Kant himself, (...) However, Justified the second principle only as a regulative principle of reflective judgment. (shrink)
There are a number of things which I cannot correctly say about myself but which another person can correctly say about me. For example, ‘I am now lying’, ‘I am trying to do something that cannot be done’, and ‘My action is materially wrong but it is formally right ’. By making appropriate changes from ‘I’ to ‘he’ or by changing the tense, straightforward true or false sentences result.
The central project of the Critique of Pure Reason is to answer two sets of questions: What can we know and how can we know it? and What can't we know and why can't we know it? The essays in this collection are intended to help students read the Critique of Pure Reason with a greater understanding of its central themes and arguments, and with some awareness of important lines of criticism of those themes and arguments.