In recent years philosophers have given much attention to the ‘ontological problem’ of events. Donald Davidson puts the matter thus: ‘the assumption, ontological and metaphysical, that there are events is one without which we cannot make sense of much of our common talk; or so, at any rate, I have been arguing. I do not know of any better, or further, way of showing what there is’. It might be thought bizarre to assign to philosophers the task of ‘showing what (...) there is’. They have not distinguished themselves by the discovery of new elements, new species or new continents, nor even of new categories, although there has often been more dreamt of in their philosophies than can be found in heaven or earth. It might appear even stranger to think that one can show what there actually is by arguing that the existence of something needs to be assumed in order for certain sentences to make sense. More than anything, the sober reader will doubtlessly be amazed that we need to assume , after lengthy argument, ‘that there are events’. (shrink)
Throughout its history philosophy has been thought to be a member of a community of intellectual disciplines united by their common pursuit of knowledge. It has sometimes been thought to be the queen of the sciences, at other times merely their under-labourer. But irrespective of its social status, it was held to be a participant in the quest for knowledge – a cognitive discipline.
Originally conceived as a forty-page conclusion to Hacker’s twenty years of work on the monumental four-volume Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations, this book “rapidly assumed a life of its own”. A major contribution to the history of analytic philosophy, this substantial volume delivers even more than the title promises. The eight chapters are best approached as a six-chapter book, itself some 220 pages long, on Wittgenstein’s contribution to twentieth-century philosophy, followed by a two-chapter, 120-page epilogue about how and why (...) his influence has waned. The first six chapters provide an encyclopedic summary of the fruits of Hacker’s research on Wittgenstein’s writing, an immensely learned account of British philosophy from the turn of the century to the 1970s, and a detailed account of Wittgenstein’s reception by Oxford, Cambridge, and the Vienna Circle. The book’s closing chapters, “Post-positivism in the United States and Quine’s Apostasy” and “The Decline of Analytic Philosophy,” polemically argue that Quine’s philosophy, and the post-Quinean naturalism prevalent in Anglo-American philosophy today, amount to such a decisive break with the analytic tradition, as Hacker conceives of it, that they should not be counted as “analytic.”. (shrink)
Since the first publication of Insight and Illusion in l972, a wealth of Wittgenstein's writings have become accessible. Accordingly, in this edition Professor Hacker has rewritten six of his eleven original chapters and revised the others to incorporate the new abundant material. Insight and Illusion now fully clarifies the historical backgrounds of Wittgenstein's highly different masterpieces, the Tractatus and the Investigations, and traces the evolution of Wittgenstein's thought. Hacker explains all of Wittgenstein's writings in detail, focusing on his critique of (...) metaphysics, his famous "private language argument," and his account of self-consciousness. (shrink)
This major new study by one of the most penetrating and persistent critics of philosophical and scientific orthodoxy, returns to Aristotle in order to examine the salient categories in terms of which we think about ourselves and our nature, and the distinctive forms of explanation we invoke to render ourselves intelligible to ourselves. The culmination of 40 years of thought on the philosophy of mind and the nature of the mankind Written by one of the world’s leading philosophers, the co-author (...) of the monumental 4 volume _Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations_ Uses broad categories, such as substance, causation, agency and power to examine how we think about ourselves and our nature Platonic and Aristotelian conceptions of human nature are sketched and contrasted Individual chapters clarify and provide an historical overview of a specific concept, then link the concept to ideas contained in other chapters. (shrink)
This volume collects P. M. S. Hacker's papers on Wittgenstein and related themes written over the last decade. Hacker provides comparative studies of a range of topics--including Wittgenstein's philosophy of psychology, conception of grammar, and treatment of intentionality--and defends his own Wittgensteinian conception of philosophy.