The article interprets Kierkegaard’s thesis that “truth is subjectivity,” unfolding four possible meanings:1. the deepest kinds of knowledge can only come from lived experience;2. self-knowledge is essential for metanoia or change;3. if the “how” is right, then the “what” or the truth will also be given; and4. the deepest importance of truth lies in living it.These reflections are then related to personalist themes: the incarnate person as responsible, as inviolable, and as averse to coercion; the incarnate person as having a (...) mysterious interiority, an infinite abyss of existence, and as never reducible to a mere part of a whole nor simply determined from within or without; this interiority is not isolating but opens up toward others; and freedom is not arbitrary but implies universal moral and particular religious calls.Finally, I ask whether Kierkegaard’s personalism is too individualistic and does not do full justice to some of the themes here. (shrink)
In this paper I shall be examining the following claims: that ‘God’ has no meaning, in the sense of ‘sense’; that it is a proper name analogous to a Russellian proper name in that it has reference only. More crudely, that we cannot describe God in any way but only name Him and refer to Him by name; that ‘God’ has no meaning, in the sense of ‘sense’ in that the nature of God is fundamentally inexpressible. That God is, as (...) some have said, ‘wholly other’ or even ‘the wholly other’. (shrink)
We argue that thoughts are structures of concepts, and that concepts should be individuated by their origins, rather than in terms of their semantic or epistemic properties. Many features of cognition turn on the vehicles of content, thoughts, rather than on the nature of the contents they express. Originalism makes concepts available to explain, with no threat of circularity, puzzling cases concerning thought. In this paper, we mention Hesperus/Phosphorus puzzles, the Evans-Perry example of the ship seen through different windows, and (...) Mates cases, and we believe that there are many additional applications. (shrink)
Two claims the present author has made about Frege's philosophy are defended against Michael Dummett's criticisms (The Interpretation of Frege's Philosophy and ?Objectivity and Reality in Lotze and Frege?, this journal, 1982). The claim that Frege was concerned primarily with epistemological problems rather than with the theory of meaning, and the claim (this journal, 1978) that the ascription of Wirklichkeit to Thoughts is evidence of Frege's realism, are clarified and defended. Dummett's own characterization of Frege's realism is considered and (...) rejected. (shrink)
Michael Ignatieff is well known as a journalist and broadcaster of a distinctly intellectual kind. He has written movingly on the trauma of modern warfare and Europe following the Cold War. His CV also boasts of studies on the Scottish Enlightenment and nineteenth century penal policy. Additionally, his Booker short listed novel Scar Tissue is one of the most interesting studies of medicine and the human consequences of disease of the last decade.
. Several contemporary writers have found certain correlations between Taoism and modern philosophy of science to be particularly noteworthy because of their usefulness for interpreting world views, implicit or explicit, in each. However, the recent project in science and epistemology–the work of Michael Polanyi–which is probably most fruitfully resonant with Taoism has not yet been explored in that connection. The purpose of the present article is to begin that exploration. The essay provides a preliminary sketch of certain key moments (...) in Polanyi's thought and then turns attention to the Taoist themes of Tao, wu‐wei, and tz'u as these illuminate and are illuminated by the Polanyian post‐critical epistemology. (shrink)