This book investigates the emergence and development of early analytic philosophy and explicates the topics and concepts that were of interest to German and British philosophers. Taking into consideration a range of authors including Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Fries, Lotze, Husserl, Moore, Russell and Wittgenstein, Nikolay Milkov shows that the same puzzles and problems were of interest within both traditions. Showing that the particular problems and concepts that exercised the early analytic philosophers logically connect with, and in many cases hinge upon, (...) the thinking of German philosophers, Early Analytic Philosophy and the German Philosophical Tradition introduces the Anglophone world to key concepts and thinkers within German philosophical tradition and provides a much-needed revisionist historiography of early analytic philosophy. In doing so, this book shows that the issues that preoccupied the early analytic philosophy were familiar to the most renowned figures in the German philosophical tradition, and addressed by them in profoundly original and enduringly significant ways. (shrink)
Hermann Lotze was a key figure in the philosophy of the second half of the 19th century, influencing practically all leading philosophical schools of the late 19th and the early 20th century: (i) the neo-Kantians; (ii) Brentano and his school of descriptive psychology; (iii) the British idealists; (iv) Husserl’s phenomenology; (v) Dilthey’s philosophy of life; (vi) Frege’s new logic; (vii) the early Cambridge analytic philosophy; (viii) William James’s pragmatism. The book first presents the main ideas of Hermann Lotze’s philosophy (Part (...) I), and then traces his influence on the descriptive psychology of Franz Brentano and Carl Stumpf (Part 2) and Cambridge analytic philosophy (Part 3). In addition, the book includes Bertrand Russell’s conspectus of J. E. McTaggart’s 1898 lectures on Lotze. (shrink)
The Berlin Group was an equal partner with the Vienna Circle as a school of scientific philosophy, albeit one that pursued an itinerary of its own. But while the latter presented its defining projects in readily discernible terms and became immediately popular, the Berlin Group, whose project was at least as sig-nificant as that of its Austrian counterpart, remained largely unrecognized. The task of this chapter is to distinguish the Berliners’ work from that of the Vienna Circle and to bring (...) to light its impact in the history of scientific philosophy. (shrink)
From 1901 till, at least, 1919, Russell persistently maintained that there are two kinds of logic, between which he sharply discriminated: mathematical logic and philosophical logic. In this paper, we discuss the concept of philosophical logic, as used by Russell. This was only a tentative program that Russell did not clarify in detail, so our task will be to make it explicit. We shall show that there are three (-and-a-half) kinds of Russellian philosophical logic: (i) “pure logic”; (ii) philosophical logic (...) investigating the logical forms of propositions; (iii) philosophical logic exploring the logical forms of facts: in epistemology; and in the external world. In particular, Russell’s program or philosophical logic of the facts of the external world remained less than sketchily outlined. We shall discuss it in some detail in the hope that it can start a new life. (shrink)
Many historians of analytic philosophy consider the early philosophy of Moore, Russell and Wittgenstein as much more neo-Hegelian as once believed. At the same time, the authors who closely investigate Green, Bradley and Bosanquet find out that these have little in common with Hegel. The thesis advanced in this chapter is that what the British (ill-named) neo-Hegelians brought to the early analytic philosophers were, above all, some ideas of Lotze, not of Hegel. This is true regarding: (i) Lotze’s logical approach (...) to practically all philosophical problems; (ii) his treating of the concepts relation, structure (constructions) and order; (iii) the discussion of the concepts of states of affairs, multiple theory of judgment, general logical form; (iv) some common themes like panpsychism and contemplating the world sub specie aeternitatis. (shrink)
The paper presents a new approach to the history of analytic philosophy. Instead of exploring different kinds of analysis (Michael Beaney), or to marry analytic philosophy to the analytic / synthetic distinction (Scott Soames), we turn attention to the fact that it was rooted in two different types of logical constructing. The discrepancy between the two concepts of logical constructing produced much unclarity in our understanding of analytic philosophy.
When Wittgenstein started writing the Tractatus in June 1915, he was convinced that he was producing a theory. Accordingly, he chose a theoretical style of expressing his thought. Wittgenstein abandoned this stance only at the end of his work of composing the book. He realized that what he is producing in not a theory but a manual for improving our language and thinking. Unfortunately, it was too late to change the architecture and the style of the book: Wittgenstein simply had (...) no time to do that. This drawback makes the Tractatus notoriously difficult to understand and is apparently the major factor that caused the so called “Tractarian Wars”. (shrink)
This paper outlines the intellectual biography of Walter Dubislav. Besides being a leading member of the Berlin Group headed by Hans Reichenbach, Dubislav played a defining role as well in the Society for Empirical/Scientific Philosophy in Berlin. A student of David Hilbert, Dubislav applied the method of axiomatic to produce original work in logic and formalist philosophy of mathematics. He also introduced the elements of a formalist philosophy of science and addressed more general problems concerning the substantiation of human knowledge. (...) What set Dubislav apart from the other logical empiricists was his expertise in the history of logic and exact philosophy which enabled him to elucidate and advance the thinking in both disciplines. In the realm of logic proper, Dubislav is best known for his pioneering work in theory of definitions. What is more, he did original work on the so called ‘quasi truth-tables’ which aided Reichenbach in developing his logic of probability. Dubislav also elaborated an influe.. (shrink)
This paper introduces a novel interpretation of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, a work widely held to be one of the most intricate in the philosophical canon. We understand the Tractatus not as the development of a theory but as the advancement of a new logical symbolism (a new instrument) that enables one to “recognize the formal properties [the logic] of propositions by mere inspection of propositions themselves” (6.122). Moreover, the Tractarian conceptual notation stands to instruct us in a better way to follow (...) the logic of language, and by that token, enhances our ability to think. Upon acquiring the thinking skills that one can develop by working with this symbolism, one can “throw away [this] ladder” (6.54), as it were, and move on. (shrink)
Between April and November 1912, Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein were engaged in a joint philosophical program. Wittgenstein‘s meeting with Gottlob Frege in December 1912 led, however, to its dissolution – the joint program was abandoned. Section 2 of this paper outlines the key points of that program, identifying what Russell and Wittgenstein each contributed to it. The third section determines precisely those features of their collaborative work that Frege criticized. Finally, building upon the evidence developed in the preceding two (...) sections, section 4 recasts along previously undeveloped lines Wittgenstein‘s logical–philosophical discoveries in the two years following his encounter with Frege in 1912. The paper concludes, in section 5, with an overview of the dramatic consequences the Frege-Wittgenstein critique had for Russell‘s philosophical development. (shrink)
The received view has it that analytic philosophy emerged as a rebellion against the German Idealists (above all Hegel) and their British epigones (the British neo-Hegelians). This at least was Russell’s story: the German Idealism failed to achieve solid results in philosophy. Of course, Frege too sought after solid results. He, however, had a different story to tell. Frege never spoke against Hegel, or Fichte. Similarly to the German Idealists, his sworn enemy was the empiricism (in his case, John Stuart (...) Mill). Genealogically, this stance is not difficult to explain. Frege grew up as a philosopher in the context of the German Idealists. He was a member of Karl Snell’s “Sunday Circle” of university teachers in Jena. The group was influenced with Schelling and the German romanticists. The first Anglophone scholar to point out what Frege's thought owes to nineteenth-century Germany philosophy, Hans Sluga, argued that Frege followed the philosophical-logical tradition originating with Leibniz and Kant which Trendelenburg and Lotze developed significantly. About the same time, a philosophical historian writing in German, Gottfried Gabriel, did much to bring this tradition to light, casting Frege as neo-Kantian. Advancing beyond Sluga and Gabriel, the present paper reveals that through the mediation of Trendelenburg and especially of Lotze many elements of German idealism found their way into Frege's logic and philosophy. (shrink)
Gottlob Frege’s conception of works of art has received scant notice in the literature. This is a pity since, as this paper undertakes to reveal, his innovative philosophy of language motivated a theoretically and historically consequential, yet unaccountably marginalized Wittgenstinian line of inquiry in the domain of aesthetics. The element of Frege’s approach that most clearly inspired this development is the idea that only complete sentences articulate thoughts and that what sentences in works of drama and literary art express are (...) ‘mock thoughts’ (Schiengedanken). The early Wittgenstein closely followed Frege’s lead on this theme. One sees this, for example, in the Tractatus, where Wittgenstein announces that only sentential propositions model (‘picture’) states of affairs whereas works of art are objects we perceive sub specie aeternitatis (1961, 83). By the 1930s, however, Wittgenstein began to revise his view beyond his initial Frege-inspired standpoint. He came to insist that works of art can convey thoughts as well, but that thoughts do not model (picture) the world of facts and hence do not convey information about measurable objects and events. Rather, his contention was that aesthetically configured thoughts that artworks communicate impart information about our perspective on reality and reconfigure our view of life. To be more explicit, successful (gelungene) or ‘good’ works of art (ibid.), in Wittgenstein’s view, can supply aesthetically instructive ‘gestures’ that open to living experience promising new ways of being. It is in this respect, he held, that artists ‘have something to teach’ (1980, 36). (shrink)
Walter Dubislav (1895–1937) was a leading member of the Berlin Group for scientific philosophy. This “sister group” of the more famous Vienna Circle emerged around Hans Reichenbach’s seminars at the University of Berlin in 1927 and 1928. Dubislav was to collaborate with Reichenbach, an association that eventuated in their conjointly conducting university colloquia. Dubislav produced original work in philosophy of mathematics, logic, and science, consequently following David Hilbert’s axiomatic method. This brought him to defend formalism in these disciplines as well (...) as to explore the problems of substantiating (Begründung) human knowledge. Dubislav also developed elements of general philosophy of science. Sadly, the political changes in Germany in 1933 proved ruinous to Dubislav. He published scarcely anything after Hitler came to power and in 1937 committed suicide under tragic circumstances. The intent here is to pass in review Dubislav’s philosophy of logic, mathematics, and science and so to shed light on some seminal yet hitherto largely neglected currents in the history of philosophy of science. (shrink)
Recently, Michael Friedman has claimed that virtually all the seeds of Hempel’s philosophical development trace back to his early encounter with the Vienna Circle (Friedman 2003, 94). As opposed, however, to Friedman’s view of the principal early influences on Hempel, we shall see that those formative influences originated rather with the Berlin Group. Hempel, it is true, spent the fall term of 1929 as a student at the University of Vienna, and, thanks to a letter of recommendation from Hans Reichenbach, (...) he even attended some sessions of the Vienna Circle. But he spent much less time in Vienna than in Berlin, where he studied under Reichenbach from 1926 till 1933 and wrote a dissertation on probability, Reichenbach’s specialty. Hempel also attended seminars conducted by Walter Dubislav, another member of the Berlin Group. (shrink)
Historians of philosophy commonly regard as antipodal Bertrand Russell and Edmund Husserl, the founding fathers of analytic philosophy and phenomenology. This paper, however, establishes that during a formative phase in both of their careers Russell and Husserl shared a range of seminal ideas. In particular, the essay adduces clear cases of family resemblance between Husserl’s and Russell’s philosophy during their middle period, which spanned the years 1905 through 1918. The paper thus challenges the received view of Husserl’s relation to early (...) analytic philosophy and this by pursuing two strategies of exposition. One involves comparing Husserl with Russell, and not, as has been the usual practice, with Frege. The other, which follows the first, foregrounds Husserl’s thinking vis-à-vis Russell’s from 1905 onward, a move that constitutes a break with what has become the standard approach of emphasising the relatedness of Husserl of the Logical Investigations (1900/1) to analytic philosophy. Moreover, this approach discloses two chief grounds of relatedness between the middle Husserl and the middle Russell. One is their shared interest in exploring philosophical “fundamentals”. The second consists of common elements shared by their epistemologies and philosophies of mind. (shrink)
This investigation is a historical review of twentieth-century analytical philosophy in England. In seven chapters, the intellectual development of its most prominent representatives - Moore, Russell, Wittgenstein, Ryle, Austin, Strawson, Dummett - is traced. The book does not however aim to tell a story. Instead, it offers synopses of the main philosophical texts of these seven philosophers. The chief reason for adopting this approach was the wish to first of all cover as many of the problems discussed by them as (...) possible, and secondly to view these problems in juxtaposition. The study was thus conceived as a comprehensive and most objective review of the history of analytical philosophy as practised in England. The hope is that it will serve as a reference book covering all the central problems discussed by these seven authors. (shrink)
The Berlin Group for scientific philosophy was active between 1928 and 1933 and was closely related to the Vienna Circle. In 1930, the leaders of the two Groups, Hans Reichenbach and Rudolf Carnap, launched the journal Erkenntnis. However, between the Berlin Group and the Vienna Circle, there was not only close relatedness but also significant difference. Above all, while the Berlin Group explored philosophical problems of the actual practice of science, the Vienna Circle, closely following Wittgenstein, was more interested in (...) problems of the language of science. The book includes first discussion ever (in three chapters) on Walter Dubislav’s logic and philosophy. Two chapters are devoted to another author scarcely explored in English, Kurt Grelling, and another one to Paul Oppenheim who became an important figure in the philosophy of science in the USA in the 1940s–1960s. Finally, the book discusses the precursor of the Nord-German tradition of scientific philosophy, Jacob Friedrich Fries. Mehr anzeigen Weniger anzeigen . (shrink)
Resumo: Franz Brentano não foi uma figura solitária que propôs sua filosofia isolada de outros filósofos contemporâneos na Alemanha, tal como alguns neo-brentanianos reivindicaram nos últimos anos. O objetivo deste artigo é corrigir tais concepções equivocadas estabelecendo que Brentano desenvolveu sua psicologia filosófica engajado ativamente no rico contexto histórico-intelectual e acadêmico de seu tempo - em particular, sob a influência de Hermann Lotze. Especificamente, Brentano: (i) adota de Lotze a ideia de que juízo não é apenas uma associação de ideias, (...) mas uma asserção do conteúdo; (ii) também adota a ideia de Lotze de que o conteúdo da percepção é algo dado; (iii) a noção brentaniana de intencionalidade também foi herdada de Lotze, (iv) bem como o método da psicologia descritiva; (v) finalmente, Lozte e Brentano concordaram ao admitir que percepção e conhecimento estão intrinsicamente conectados às emoções. Ao mesmo tempo, há ao menos dois pontos nos quais Brentano discorda de Lotze: (i) ele critica a teoria da percepção do signo local, bem como o atomismo de Lotze. Estas eram claramente teorias construtivistas inspiradas por Kant. (ii) Brentano também critica o princípio do teleomecanismo de Lotze, influenciado pelos idealistas alemães. (shrink)
State of affairs (Sachverhalt) is one of the few terms in philosophy, which only came into use for the first time in the twentieth century, mainly via the works of Husserl and Wittgenstein. This makes the task of finding out who introduced this concept into philosophy, and in exactly what sense, of considerable interest. Our thesis is that Lotze introduced the term in 1874 in the sense of the objective content of judgments, which is ipso facto the minimal structured ontological (...) unit. We would argue against authors such as Michael Dummett and Barry Smith, who have tried to prove that Lotze's theory of judgment, and so of states of affairs, was ad-vanced in the wake of psychologism. (shrink)
Karl Popper has often been cast as one of the most solitary figures of twentieth-century philosophy. The received image is of a thinker who developed his scientific philosophy virtually alone and in opposition to a crowd of brilliant members of the Vienna Circle. This paper challenges the received view and undertakes to correctly situate on the map of the history of philosophy Popper’s contribution, in particular, his renowned fallibilist theory of knowledge. The motive for doing so is the conviction that (...) the mainstream perspective on Popper’s philosophy makes him more difficult to understand than might otherwise be the case. The thinker who figures most significantly in the account of Popper developed in these pages is Leonard Nelson. Both a neo-Friesian and neo-Kantian, this philosopher deeply influenced Popper through his student Julius Kraft, who met with Popper on numerous occasions in the mid 1920s. It is in the light of this influence that we understand Popper’s recollection that when he criticized the Vienna Circle in the early 1930s, he looked upon himself “as an unorthodox Kantian”. (shrink)
Hermanns Lotze (1817–1881) hat nachweislich einige der bedeutendsten Philosophen des fin de siècle beeinflusst: (i) die britischen „Neo-Hegelianer“; (ii) Husserls Phänomenologie; (iii) Diltheys Philosophie des Lebens; (iv) die Neukantianer; (v) die frühere analytische Philosophie. Das angegebene Ziel seines dreibändigen Mikrokosmos (1856–1864) war „die Reflexion über den Sinn unseres menschlichen Daseins“. Die Aktualität dieser Aufgabe war eine Folge der wissenschaftlichen und industriellen Revolution Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Sie veränderte die Art, wie sich die Menschen das Universum vorstellten. Lotze sah Gefahr in (...) den zahlreichen Versuchen seitens einiger philosophisch interessierter Wissenschaftler in Deutschland, zu beweisen, dass das menschliche Sein nur mechanisch und materialistisch zu verstehen ist. Er machte es sich zur Aufgabe, den Menschen das Gefühl von Heimat in dieser stark veränderten Welt zurückzugeben. Dies erklärt auch, wieso Lotze seine Untersuchung in „völlig populärer Form“ darstellte. Lotzes Mikrokosmos war jedoch nicht nur ein Werk der populären Philosophie. Sie fußt auf fundierten theoretischen Überlegungen. Man kann Lotzes Werk als einen gewagten Versuch betrachten, die sich abzeichnende Spaltung zwischen akademischer und populärer Philosophie zu überwinden. (shrink)
Shortly before G. E. Moore wrote down the formative for the early analytic philosophy lectures on Some Main Problems of Philosophy (1910–1911), he had become acquainted with two books which influenced his thought: (1) a book by Husserl's pupil August Messer and (2) a book by the Greifswald objectivist Dimitri Michaltschew. Central to Michaltschew's book was the concept of the given. In Part I, I argue that Moore elaborated his concept of sense-data in the wake of the Greifswald concept. Carnap (...) did the same when he wrote his Aufbau, the only difference being that he spoke not of sense-data but of Erlebnisse. This means, I argue, that both Moore's sense-data and Carnap'sErlebnisse have little to do with either British empiricists or the neo-Kantians. In Part II, I try to ascertain what made early analytic philosophy different from all those philosophical groups and movements that either exercised influence on it, or were closely related to it: phenomenologists, Greifswald objectivists, Brentanists. For this purpose, I identify the sine qua non practices of the early analytic philosophers: exactness; acceptance of the propositional turn; descriptivism; objectivism. If one of these practices was not explored by a given philosophical school or group, in all probability, it was not truly analytic. (shrink)
Russell preserved notes he took on McTaggart’s course on Lotze’s major works in 1898. They are published here for the first time. Russell’s abbreviations are expanded and deletions noted. N. Milkov introduces the notes and provides Russell’s biographical and philosophical background. The course on Lotze, on whose philosophy of geometry Russell had already written, was influential in his development away from monism.
Two concepts of utmost importance for the analytic philosophy of the twentieth century, “sense-data” and “knowledge by acquaintance”, were introduced by Bertrand Russell under the influence of two idealist philosophers: F. H. Bradley and Alexius Meinong. This paper traces the exact history of their introduction. We shall see that between 1896 and 1898, Russell had a fully-elaborated theory of “sense-data”, which he abandoned after his analytic turn of the summer of 1898. Furthermore, following a subsequent turn of August 1900—-after he (...) became acquainted with the works of Peano and later of Frege—-Russell gradually developed another theory of sense-data. With the collaboration of G. E. Moore, Russell reintroduced the term “sense-data” in 1911. Concomitantly with this move, Russell introduced the epistemological term “knowledge by acquaintance”, which came to designate the grasping of sense-data and universals. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s interpreters are undivided that the method plays a central role in his philosophy. This would be no surprise if we have in mind the Tractarian dictum: “philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity” (4.112). After 1929, Wittgenstein’s method evolved further. In its final form, articulated in Philosophical Investigations, it was formulated as different kinds of therapies of specific philosophical problems that torment our life (§§ 133, 255, 593). In this paper we follow the changes in Wittgenstein’s (...) thinking in four subsequent phases and in three dimensions: (i) in logic and ontology; (ii) in method proper; (iii) in style. (shrink)
Susan Stebbing’s paper “Logical Positivism and Analysis” (March 1933) was unusually critical of Wittgenstein. It put up a sharp opposition between Cambridge analytic philosophy of Moore and Russell and the positivist philosophy of the Vienna Circle to which she included Wittgenstein from 1929–32. Above all, positivists were interested in analyzing language, analytic philosophers in analyzing facts. Moreover, whereas analytic philosophers were engaged in directional analysis which seeks to illuminate the multiplicity of the analyzed facts, positivists aimed at final analysis which (...) “proves” that there are simples. Stebbing’s paper urged Wittgenstein to recast his philosophy and 1933 abandon those components of it that linked him to the Vienna Circle. (shrink)
The present paper discusses the radical changes witnessed in the political landscape of the world today. After 25 years of post-Cold World hopes for triumph of liberal democracy, the years between 2014 and 2016 shattered the Western World. The annexation of Crimea by Putin’s Russia came first in March 2014, then in June 2016, the Berxit of Boris Johnson followed and finally in November 1916, came the stunning victory of Donald Trump at the US presidential elections. These developments can be (...) called the illiberal turn in politics and ideology. (shrink)
Engelmann’s short book is clearly written and presents the central arguments of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus in good form. I recommend it for all those who try to understand this most intricate but also most influential philosophical work published in the last hundred years. My critical remarks only try to further clarify his interpretation.
G.H. von Wright, G.E. Moore's and Wittgenstein's successor, and John Wisdom's predecessor as a Professor of Philosophy in Cambridge, wrote in 1993: «The history of the "analytical" movement has not yet been written in full. With its increased diversification, it becomes pertinent to try to identify its most essential features and distinguish them from later additions which are alien to its origins.» In the same year A.J. Ayer's successor as a Wykeham Professor of Logic in Oxford, M. Dummett noted: «I (...) hope that such a history will be written: it would be fascinating.» The task of this book is to fulfill these hopes. (shrink)
Russell’s initial project in philosophy (1898) was to make mathematics rigorous reducing it to logic. Before August 1900, however, Russell’s logic was nothing but mereology. First, his acquaintance with Peano’s ideas in August 1900 led him to discard the part-whole logic and accept a kind of intensional predicate logic instead. Among other things, the predicate logic helped Russell embrace a technique of treating the paradox of infinite numbers with the help of a singular concept, which he called ‘denoting phrase’. Unfortunately, (...) a new paradox emerged soon: that of classes. The main contention of this paper is that Russell’s new conception only transferred the paradox of infinity from the realm of infinite numbers to that of class-inclusion. Russell’s long-elaborated solution to his paradox developed between 1905 and 1908 was nothing but to set aside of some of the ideas he adopted with his turn of August 1900: (i) With the Theory of Descriptions, he reintroduced the complexes we are acquainted with in logic. In this way, he partly restored the pre-August 1900 mereology of complexes and simples. (ii) The elimination of classes, with the help of the ‘substitutional theory’, and of propositions, by means of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgment, completed this process. (shrink)
Hermann Lotze was a key figure in the philosophy of the second half of the nineteenth century, influencing practically all the leading philosophical schools of the late nineteenth and the coming twentieth century, including (i) the neo-Kantians; (ii) Brentano and his school; (iii) The British idealists; (iv) William James’s pragmatism; (v) Husserl’s phenomenology; (vi) Dilthey’s philosophy of life; (vii) Frege’s new logic; (viii) the early Cambridge analytic philosophy.
Between 1896 and 1898 Russell’s philosophy was considerably influenced by Hermann Lotze. Lotze’s influence on Russell was especially pronounced in introducing metaphysical—anthropological, in particular—assumptions in Russell’s logic and ontology. Three steps in his work reflect this influence. (i) The first such step can be discerned in the Principle of Differentiation, which Russell accepted in the Essay (finished in October 1986); according to this Principle, the objects of human cognition are segmented complexes which have diverse parts (individuals). (ii) After Russell reread (...) Lotze in June 1897, he claimed that the solution of the dilemma of pluralism or monism depends on how we see space and time: as relational or as adjectival? (iii) Russell decided for the relational conception only after he attended lectures by McTaggart on Lotze in January to February 1898. The lectures helped Russell to advance (from April to June 1898) a new theory of judgment according to which judgments relate terms (individuals) which are distinct one from another. Space and time moreover are series of moments and places with external relations between themselves. The discussions Russell had with Moore in May to June 1898 took place only after Russell developed this conception; they did not cause his philosophical turn. (shrink)
The task of this paper is to reconstruct Bertrand Russell project for religion without God and dogma. Russell made two attempts in this direction, first in the essay “Free Man’s Worship” (1903), and then, in theoretical form, in the paper “The Essence of Religion” (1912). Russell’s explorations of religious impulses run in parallel with his work on technical philosophy. According to Russell from 1903–12, religion is an important part of human pursuits. However, whereas the ordinary man believes in God, the (...) freeman embraces a religion without fear and dogma. He strives for a union with the universe achieved in contemplation made from many perspectives through “impartiality of vision”. For this reason freemen renounce the Self and the Will. Russell abandoned his project for religion without God mainly because of Wittgenstein’s criticism. In his later writings he continued to criticize the religion of the ordinary man, without to further develop a positive philosophy of religion, though. (shrink)
The conventional wisdom has it that between 1905 and 1919 Russell was critical to pragmatism. In particular, in two essays written in 1908–9, he sharply attacked the pragmatist theory of truth, emphasizing that truth is not relative to human practice. In fact, however, Russell was much more indebted to the pragmatists, in particular to William James, as usually believed. For example, he borrowed from James two key concepts of his new epistemology: sense-data, and the distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and (...) knowledge by description. Reasonable explanation of this is that, historically, Russell’s logical realism and James’s pragmatism have the same roots—the German philosopher Rudolph Hermann Lotze (1817–1881). In this paper we are going to explore the fact that in 1905, under Lotze’s influence, Russell married propositions with beliefs. A few years later this step also made Russell prone to embrace the theory of truth-making that has its roots in James. In contrast to the concept of sense-data and to the distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description, however, the understanding that we believe propositions—and not, for example, simply grasp them—was in tension with Russell’s Principle of Extensionality, according to which propositions can be logically connected with other propositions only as truth-functions. The point is that when we judge a mind-relation (for example, a relation of belief) to a proposition, the latter cannot be determined as true or false. The two most talented pupils of Russell, Wittgenstein and Ramsey, severely criticized the central place propositional attitudes play in Russell’s logic. Wittgenstein analyzed “A believes that p” to “ ‘p’ says p” (5.542). Ramsey criticized Russell’s beliefs in propositions the other way round: He stressed that belief is an ambiguous term that can be interpreted for the better in the sense of pragmatism. Prima facie surprisingly, he maintained that his “pragmatism is derived from Mr Russell.” (1927: 51). (shrink)
Die Psychologie hat sich im zweiten Viertel des 19. Jahrhunderts langsam zu einer autonomen Disziplin entwickelt. Im Unterschied zu den anderen Figuren in dieser Entwicklung, Johann Friedrich Herbart, Ernst Heinrich Weber und Gustav Theodor Fechner, hat Lotze in seiner Medicinische Psychologie (1852) von Anfang an die neue Disziplin, die Psychologie, konsequent in enger Verbindung mit der Philosophie entwickelt. Damit hat er die Hoffnung gebremst, die Psychologie völlig experimentellen Untersuchungen zu überlassen, die um diese Zeit schon viele gepflegt haben. Lotze scheute (...) sich jedoch, diese Disziplin „philosophische Psychologie“ zu benennen. Sie war für ihn nur physiologische Psychologie, herausarbeitet mit Hilfe der Philosophie. Sie stellt nur Tatsachen fest, untersucht wie Körper und Seele sich zueinander verhalten und dies nicht nur empirisch, sondern auch „metaphysisch“. (shrink)
The task of this paper is to show that Franz Brentano was not a solitary figure who advanced his philosophy in complete isolation from other contemporary philosophers in Germany, as some Neo-Brentanists have claimed over the last 30–40 years. He developed his philosophical psychology in the context of his time—in particular, under the influence of Hermann Lotze.
Many authors believe that the manuscripts Frege wrote in 1924–1925 are not theoretically of interest. They are rather a product of his emotional despair and theoretical dead-end which he reached in the last years of his life. Such is also the judgement of Michael Dummett delivered in his seminal book Frege: Philosophy of Language. According to Dummett, “the few fragmentary writings of Frege’s final period—1919–1925—are not of high quality: they are interesting chiefly as showing that Frege did, at least at (...) the very end of his life, acknowledge the failure of the logicist programme” (Dummett 1981, p. 664). In this paper we will try to show that the widely accepted negative assessment of Frege’s latest writings is due to a lack of understanding of their true idea. In fact, the change in Fre-ge’s mind in the last two or three years of his life was result of long deliberations on a severe tension in his founding intuitions. The change itself made his logico-philosophical project more coherent and, thus, is of utmost theoretical importance. (shrink)
The paper discusses Leo Tolstoy's philosophy as developed in his works 'A Synoptic Presentation of the Four Gospels' and 'The Gospel in Brief'. Tolstoy considered Christian religion not as a belief but as an ethical doctrine about how to live, so that our life does not lose its meaning when confronted with the death. Jesus' doctrine teaches that we must lead our life following our spirit, not our flesh. This means that we must strive to understand other persons and to (...) be good to them. Then God will stay with us and we will lose our fear of the death.. (shrink)
There are prominent similarities in the writings of Leo Tolstoy and Ludwig Wittgenstein that have two main sources. On the one hand, they arise because of influences of Tolstoy on Wittgenstein; on the other hand though, they are the outcome of the fact that the two thinkers were simply closely related to one another. Since the former similarities were already discussed in the literature, in this paper I make survey mainly of the similarities between this Russian writer and Wittgenstein after (...) 1930. (shrink)
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the philosopher Hans Reichenbach led a group of like-minded colleagues in Berlin that must count as an independent point of origin of the movement of logical empiricism. Like the Vienna Circle with whom they cooperated on numerous occasions, their concern was to develop a philosophy of science adequate to the latest advances in science itself. Differences of philosophical background and interests, however, resulted in putting different accents by justifying scientific knowledge.
Carl Stumpf (1848–1937) is a key figure in the fin de siècle germanophone philosophy. Unfortunately, after the World War One, the interest towards Stumpf as a philosopher waned. One of the reasons was that already in the 1920s the attention of the mainstream philosophers shifted in direction of the rising rivalry between analytic and continental philosophy. The interest towards Carl Stumpf’s philosophy was revived only in the last twenty years or so. Great service in this provided the Neo-Brentanists. But while (...) the association of Carl Stumpf with Franz Brentano fostered Stumpf studies, it also gave rise of one-sided interpretations of Stumpf as a philosopher. In this way his importance and idiosyncrasy as philosopher remained in shadow. (shrink)
This paper advances an assessment of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason made from a bird’s eye view. Seen from this perspective, the task of Kant’s work was to ground the spontaneity of human reason, preserving at the same time the strict methods of science and mathematics. Kant accomplished this objective by reviving an old philosophical discipline: the peirastic dialectic of Plato and Aristotle. What is more, he managed to combine it with logic. From this blend, Kant’s transcendental idealism appeared as (...) a new logic that paralleled Aristotle’s syllogistic logic. The first result of this move was that philosophy became a formal study that treats even such subjects as ethics with rigour. Another outcome was that it established philosophy as a professional – school – discipline. In the twentieth century academy, this development was echoed by the emergence of analytic philosophy, in which Kant’s new logic evolved into a philosophical logic. (shrink)
It is generally acknowledged that Kant’s new “transcendental” philosophy produced a “Copernican revolution” in this discipline. Instead to philosophically explore the world, Kant investigated the possibility of cognizing the world through human reason. Unfortunately, it is not thus clear which exactly method helped Kant to produce it. The claim of the present paper is that Kant’s new approach in philosophy went together with a change of the style followed in this discipline. Instead of doing philosophical “meditations” (like Descartes) or composing (...) philosophical “essays” (like Locke and Hume), Kant introduced, what we call here, a diachronic encyclopedic approach of doing philosophy, which was brought about in the context of the highly influential in his years Encyclopédie of D’Alembert and Diderot. In contrast to the latter, however, Kant’s project prompted a logical unification of all substantial ideas introduced in philosophy so far. (shrink)