Writing from a scientifically and philosophically informed perspective, the authors provide a critical overview of the conceptual difficulties encountered in many current neuroscientific and psychological theories.
The book "Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience" is an engaging criticism of cognitive neuroscience from the perspective of a Wittgensteinian philosophy of ordinary language. The authors' main claim is that assertions like "the brain sees" and "the left hemisphere thinks" are integral to cognitive neuroscience but that they are meaningless because they commit the mereological fallacy—ascribing to parts of humans, properties that make sense to predicate only of whole humans. The authors claim that this fallacy is at the heart of Cartesian (...) dualism, implying that current cognitive neuroscientists are Cartesian dualists. Against this claim, we argue that the fallacy cannot be committed within Cartesian dualism either, for this doctrine does not allow for an intelligible way of asserting that a soul is part of a human being. Also, the authors' Aristotelian essentialistic outlook is at odds with their Wittgensteinian stance, and we were unconvinced by their case against explanatory reductionism. Finally, although their Wittgensteinian stance is congenial with radical behaviorism, their separation between philosophy and science seems less so because it is based on a view of philosophy as a priori. The authors' emphasis on the a priori, however, does not necessarily commit them to rationalism if it is restricted to conceptual or analytical truths. (shrink)
Writing from a scientifically and philosophically informed perspective, the authors provide a critical overview of the conceptual difficulties encountered in many current neuroscientific and psychological theories.
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 fourth and final volume of the monumental commentary on Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations covers pp 428-693 of the book. Like the previous volumes, it consists of philosophical essays and exegesis.
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)
Incorporating significant editorial changes from earlier editions, the fourth edition of Ludwig Wittgenstein's _Philosophical Investigations_ is the definitive _en face_ German-English version of the most important work of 20th-century philosophy The extensively revised English translation incorporates many hundreds of changes to Anscombe’s original translation Footnoted remarks in the earlier editions have now been relocated in the text What was previously referred to as ‘Part 2’ is now republished as _Philosophy of Psychology – A Fragment_, and all the remarks in it (...) are numbered for ease of reference New detailed editorial endnotes explain decisions of translators and identify references and allusions in Wittgenstein's original text Now features new essays on the history of the _Philosophical Investigations_, and the problems of translating Wittgenstein’s text. (shrink)
Focusing on diverse aspects of Wittgenstein's philosophy, this volume not only provides a valuable introduction, but also investigates connections between the philosophy of Wittgenstein, other philosophers--in particular, Frege, Frazer, Carnap, and Strawson--and philosophical trends. It also illuminates very different aspects of Wittgenstein's thought, probing into the controversies it stimulates, as well as into its influence.
The concept of consciousness has been the source of much philosophical, cognitive scientific and neuroscientific discussion for the past two decades. Many scientists, as well as philosophers, argue that at the moment we are almost completely in the dark about the nature of consciousness. Stuart Sutherland, in a much quoted remark, wrote that.
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.
James Conant, a proponent of the ‘New American Wittgenstein’, has argued that the standard inter- pretation of Wittgenstein is wholly mistaken in respect of Wittgenstein’s critique of metaphysics and the attendant conception of nonsense. The standard interpretation, Conant holds, misascribes to Wittgenstein Carnapian views on the illegitimacy of metaphysical utterances, on logical syntax and grammar, and on the nature of nonsense. Against this account, I argue that (i) Carnap is misrepresented; (ii) the so-called standard interpretation (in so far as I (...) have contributed to it) is misrepresented; (iii) Wittgenstein’s views, early and late, are misrepresented. I clarify Wittgen- stein’s conception of logical syntax and of the nonsense that results from transgressing it. (shrink)
Since the first publication of Insight and Illusion in l972, a wealth of Wittgenstein's writings has 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 differing masterpices, 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)
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.
This paper is an examination of Donald Davidson's writings on the idea of a conceptual scheme--and idea which he famously rejects. O relevance in this is the notion of linguistic relativity and the famous Whorf-Sapir thesis.
1. Naturalism Naturalism, it has been said, is the distinctive development in philosophy over the last thirty years. There has been a naturalistic turn away from the a priori methods of traditional philosophy to a conception of philosophy as continuous with natural science. The doctrine has been extensively discussed and has won considerable following in the USA. This is, on the whole, not true of Britain and continental Europe, where the pragmatist tradition never took root, and the temptations of scientism (...) in philosophy were less alluring. Contemporary American naturalism originates in the writings of Quine, the metaphysician of twentieth-century science. With extraordinary panache, he painted a largescale picture of human nature, of language and of the web of belief. I believe that in almost every major respect, it is, like the picture painted by Descartes, the great metaphysician of seventeenth-century science, mistaken. But it evidently appeals to the spirit of the times. So it is worthy of critical examination and careful refutation. I shall argue that the naturalistic turn is a cul-de-sac – a turn that is to be passed by if we are to keep to the highroad of good sense. Naturalism, like so many of Quine’s doctrines, was propounded in response to Carnap. As Quine understood matters, Carnap had been persuaded by Russell’s Our Knowledge of the External World that it is the task of philosophy to demonstrate that our knowledge of the external world is a logical construction out of, and hence can be reduced to, elementary experiences. Quine rejected the reductionism of Carnap’s Logischer Aufbau, and found the idealist basis uncongenial to his own dogmatic realist behaviourism, inspired by Watson and later reinforced by Skinner. The rejection of reductionism and ‘unregenerate realism’, Quine averred, were the sources of his naturalism (FME 72). What exactly was this? We can distinguish in Quine between three different but inter-related programmes for future philosophy: epistemological, ontological and philosophical naturalism. Naturalized epistemology is to displace traditional epistemology, transforming the investigation into ‘an enterprise within natural science’ (NNK 68) – a psychological enterprise of investigating how the ‘input’ of radiation, etc., impinging on the nerve endings of human beings can ‘ultimately’ result in an ‘output’ of our theoretical descriptions of the external world.. (shrink)
This fourth and final volume of the monumental commentary on Wittgenstein's _Philosophical Investigations_ covers pp 428-693 of the book. Like the previous volumes, it consists of philosophical essays and exegesis.
This is a new edition of the first volume of G.P.Baker and P.M.S. Hacker’s definitive reference work on Wittgenstein’s _Philosophical Investigations_. New edition of the first volume of the monumental four-volume _Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations._ Takes into account much material that was unavailable when the first edition was written. Following Baker’s death in 2002, P.M.S. Hacker has thoroughly revised the first volume, rewriting many essays and sections of exegesis completely. Part One - the Essays - now includes two (...) completely new essays: 'Meaning and Use' and 'The Recantation of a Metaphysician'. Part Two - Exegesis §§1-184 - has been thoroughly revised in the light of the electronic publication of Wittgenstein’s _Nachlass_, and includes many new interpretations of the remarks, a history of the composition of the book, and an overview of its structure. The revisions will ensure that this remains the definitive reference work on Wittgenstein’s masterpiece for the foreseeable future. (shrink)
This essential introduction to the philosopher and his thought, combines passages from Wittgenstein with detailed interpretation. Hacker leads us into a world of philosophical investigation in which "to smell a rat is ever so much easier than to trap it". Wittgenstein defined humans as language-using creatures. The role of philosophy is to ask questions which reveal the limits and nature of language. Taking the expression, description and observation of pain as examples, Hacker explores the ingenuity with which Wittgenstein identified the (...) rules and set the limits of language. (shrink)
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)
In ‘Wittgenstein on Language and Rules’, Professor N. Malcolm took us to task for misinterpreting Wittgenstein's arguments on the relationship between the concept of following a rule and the concept of community agreement on what counts as following a given rule. Not that we denied that there are any grammatical connections between these concepts. On the contrary, we emphasized that a rule and an act in accord with it make contact in language. Moreover we argued that agreement in judgments and (...) in definitions is indeed necessary for a shared language. But we denied that the concept of a language is so tightly interwoven with the concept of a community of speakers as to preclude its applicabilty to someone whose use of signs is not shared by others. Malcolm holds that ‘This is an unwitting reduction of Wittgenstein's originality. That human agreement is necessary for “shared” language is not so striking a thought as that it is essential for language simpliciter .’ Though less striking, we believe that it has the merit of being a true thought. We shall once more try to show both that it is correct, and that it is a correct account of Wittgenstein's arguments. (shrink)
The classificatory concept of analytic philosophy cannot fruitfully be given an analytic definition, nor is it a family-resemblance concept. Dummett's contention that it is 'the philosophy of thought' whose main tenet is that an account of thought is to be attained through an account of language is rejected for historical and analytic reasons. Analytic philosophy is most helpfully understood as a historical category earmarking a leading trend in twentieth-century philosophy originating in Cambridge. Its first three phases, viz. Cambridge Platonist pluralism, (...) logical atomism, and logical positivism are adumbrated and their interrelations explained. Wittgenstein is argued to have originated the 'linguistic turn' that characterizes the latter two. (shrink)
Two different conceptions of language dominate philosophical reflection on the nature of human language and of human linguistic powers. The first is the conception of language as a calculus of meaning, and of understanding as computational interpretation. This conception is rooted in the exigencies of function-theoretic logic. The notions pivotal to this conception are truth, truth-condition, sense and force, naming and describing (representation), and theory of meaning for natural languages. The alternative conception is an anthropological one, which conceives of language (...) above all as a form of human communicative behaviour, constituted by human practices and manifest in human action. The notions pivotal to this conception are practice, language-game, use and rule of use as given by explanations of meaning, understanding and criteria of understanding. The fundamental principles that inform each of these conceptions are explained. The radical flaws of calculus conceptions of language are laid bare. (shrink)
The experimental study of the emotions as pursued by LeDoux and Damasio is argued to be flawed as a consequence of the inadequate conceptual framework inherited from the work of William James. This paper clarifes the conceptual structures necessary for any discussion of the emotions. Emotions are distinguished from appetites and other non-emotional feelings, as well as from agitations and moods. Emotional perturbations are distinguished from emotional attitudes and motives. The causes of an emotion are differentiated from the objects of (...) an emotion, and the objects of an emotion are distinguished into formal and material ones. The links between emotions and reasons for the emotion, for associated beliefs and for action are explored, as well as the connection between emotion and care or concern, and between emotion and fantasy. The behavioural criteria for the ascription of an emotion are clarified. In the light of this conceptual network, Damasio’s theory of the emotions is subjected to critical scrutiny and found wanting. (shrink)
Davidson’s explanation of first‐person authority in utterance of sentences of the form ‘I V that p’ derives first‐person authority from the requirements of interpretation of speech. His account is committed to the view that utterance sentences are truth‐bearers, that believing that p is a matter of holding true an utterance sentence, and that a speaker’s knowledge of what he means gives him knowledge of what belief he expresses by his utterance. These claims are here faulted. His explanation of first‐person authority (...) by reference to the requirements of interpretability is committed to the view that all understanding involves interpretation. This is argued to be a misconception of understanding and of speaker’s meaning. Davidson’s account involves acceptance of the cognitive assumption that normally when a person Vs that p, he knows that he does. This assumption is challenged. Throughout, Davidson’s conception is compared and contrasted with Wittgenstein’s. (shrink)
Gordon Baker and I had been colleagues at St John’s for almost ten years when we resolved, in 1976, to undertake the task of writing a commentary on Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations. We had been talking about Wittgenstein since 1969, and when we cooperated in writing a long critical notice on the Philosophical Grammar in 1975, we found that working together was mutually instructive, intellectually stimulating and great fun. We thought that we still had much to say about Wittgenstein’s philosophy, and (...) it seemed to us that misinterpretations of passages in the Investigations were so extensive that it would be worth trying to write a detailed analytical commentary. It is difficult to recapture the excitement of those early days in being among the first to work on the microfilms and, subsequently, on the photocopies of Wittgenstein’s Nachlass. We spent many hundreds of hours poring over the typescripts and the often only semi-legible manuscripts, fascinated and privileged to be able to try to follow the development of the thoughts of a great philosophical genius. We talked endlessly about what we had found in Wittgenstein’s manuscripts and typescripts, and debated how it should be understood. The first fruit of our labours was Wittgenstein – Understanding and Meaning. Its guiding idea was to draw attention to the manner in which Wittgenstein linked the concepts of meaning, understanding and explanation, and so to bypass the connections between meaning, truth and truth-conditions that so fascinated philosophers of the 1970s, and to abandon the red-herring of assertion-conditions and anti-realism. After a hiatus of four years, during which time we wrote a controversial book entitled Frege – Logical Excavations and a polemical book on contemporary philosophy of language – Language, Sense. (shrink)
The logical positivists’ critical attitude towards metaphysics is sketched. Strawson’s conception of descriptive and revisionary metaphysics is described. Revisionary metaphysics is argued to be chimerical, and descriptive metaphysics is argued not to be a form of metaphysics at all. Strawson’s failure to account for the status of propositions of descriptive metaphysics is held to be remediable by reference to Wittgenstein’s conception of grammatical propositions that express norms of representation.