This book presents the remarkable correspondence between Alfred Schutz and Aron Gurwitsch, emigre philosophers influenced by Edmund Husserl, who fled Europe on the eve of World War II and ultimately became seminal figures in the establishment of phenomenology in the United States. Their deep and lasting friendship grew out of their mutual concern with the question of the connections between science and the life-world. Interwoven with philosophical exchange is the two scholars' encounter with the unfamiliar problems of American (...) academic life—what Gurwitsch called the "passology" of exile. Apart from its brilliant and moving portrait of two distinguished men, the correspondence holds rich significance for current issues in philosophy and the social sciences. (shrink)
This volume not only provides the first critical edition with an English translation of the famous correspondence of Nicholas of Autrecourt (c. 1300-1369), but also an assessment of his views and the views of those to whom the letters were ...
v. 1. 1752-76.--v. 2. 1777-80.--v. 3. January 1781 to October 1788.--v. 4. 1788-1793.--v. 5. 1794-1797.--v. 6. January 1798 to December 1801.--v. 7. January 1802 to December 1808.--v. 8. January 1809 to December 1816.--v. 9. January 1817 to June 1820.-- v. 10. July 1820 to December 1821.--v. 11. January 1822 to June 1824.--v. 12. July 1824-June 1828.
The problems which troubled people's minds during the Italian Renaissance were much the same as today. In trying to cope with them, many deep thinking people turned to Marsilio Ficino for help. Through his letters he advised, encouraged, and occasionally reproved them. Fearlessly he expressed the truth and his wisdom influenced many of the finest Western minds. He numbered statesmen, popes, artists, scientists, and philosophers amongst his circle.
A collection of letters portraying the life and times of this great medieval scholar, the devoted secretary of Archbishop Theobald, and the faithful friend and counsellor of Becket. Volume 1 of his correspondence, 'The Early Letters,' long out of print, is available on microfiche.
This work presents a version of the correspondence theory of truth based on Wittgenstein's Tractatus and Russell's theory of truth and discusses related metaphysical issues such as predication, facts and propositions. Like Russell and one prominent interpretation of the Tractatus it assumes a realist view of universals. Part of the aim is to avoid Platonic propositions, and although sympathy with facts is maintained in the early chapters, the book argues that facts as real entities are not needed. It includes (...) discussion of contemporary philosophers such as David Armstrong, William Alston and Paul Horwich, as well as those who write about propositions and facts, and a number of students of Bertrand Russell. It will interest teachers and advanced students of philosophy who are interested in the realistic conception of truth and in issues in metaphysics related to the correspondence theory of truth, and those interested in Russell and the Tractatus. (shrink)
It is argued that seemingly “merely technical” issues about the existence and uniqueness of self-adjoint extensions of symmetric operators in quantum mechanics have interesting implications for foundations problems in classical and quantum physics. For example, pursuing these technical issues reveals a sense in which quantum mechanics can cure some of the forms of indeterminism that crop up in classical mechanics; and at the same time it reveals the possibility of a form of indeterminism in quantum mechanics that is quite distinct (...) from the indeterminism of state vector collapse. More generally, the examples considered indicate that the classical–quantum correspondence is more intricate and delicate than is generally appreciated. The aim of the article is to give a series of examples that reveal why the technical issues about self-adjointness are relevant to the philosophy of science and that help to make the issues accessible to philosophers of science. (shrink)
Several philosophers of science have claimed that the correspondence principle can be generalized from quantum physics to all of (particularly physical) science and that in fact it constitutes one of the major heuristical rules for the construction of new theories. In order to evaluate these claims, first the use of the correspondence principle in (the genesis of) quantum mechanics will be examined in detail. It is concluded from this and from other examples in the history of science (...) that the principle should be qualified with respect to its nature and relativized with respect to its scope of application. At the same time this conclusion implies a qualification and a relativization of the heuristic power of the principle. Generally speaking, intertheoretical correspondence is primarily of a formal-mathematical and empirical but not of a conceptual nature. Moreover, it only applies to certain parts of the theories involved. Finally, a number of philosophical justifications of the principle are discussed and some conclusions are drawn concerning the debates on theory reduction and on the discovery-justification distinction. (shrink)
Philosophical theorizing about truth manifests a desire to conform to the ordinary or folk notion of truth. This practice often involves attempts to accommodate some form of correspondence. We discuss this accommodation project in light of two empirical projects intended to describe the content of the ordinary conception of truth. One, due to Arne Naess, claims that the ordinary conception of truth is not correspondence. Our more recent study is consistent with Naess’ result. Our findings suggest that contextual (...) factors and respondent gender affect whether the folk accept that correspondence is sufficient for truth. These findings seem to show that the project of accommodating the ordinary notion of truth is more difficult than philosophers had anticipated because it is fragmentary. (shrink)
The criticisms levelled at the notion of truth by an anti‐realist (Larry Laudan) and an entity‐realist (Rom Harré) are critically examined. The upshot of the discussion will be that whilst neither of the two anti‐truth philosophers have succeeded in establishing their cases against truth, for entity‐realists to reject the notion of truth is to throw out the baby with the bath water: entity‐realism without the notion of correspondence truth will degenerate into anti‐realism.
Ever since the works of Alfred Tarski and Frank Ramsey, two views on truth have seemed very attractive to many people. On the one hand, the correspondence theory of truth seemed to be quite promising, mostly, perhaps, for its ability to accomodate a realistic attitude towards truth. On the other hand, a minimalist conception seemed appropriate since it made things so simple and unmysterious. So even though there are many more theories of truth around - the identity theory, the (...) prosentential theory, etc. -, it is fair to say that these two views have acquired the status of the main contenders in the field. Most recently, John Searle and David Lewis have taken sides on the issue. Searle defends a new version of the correspondence theory which takes facts to be the correspondents of true statements, whereas Lewis wants to hold on to a minimalist conception of truth - allowing for an appendix of purely ontological claims that he extracts from the correspondence theory. What is new is that both have tried to see the correspondence theory not as a rival to the minimalist conception, but rather as essentially compatible with it. Still, in the end, Searle arrives at his version of the correspondence theory, and Lewis votes for minimalism. Both philosophers have sympathy with the spirit of the correspondence theory, to say the least. So one wonders why it is that they come to so different conclusions. Both start from the spirit of the correspondence theory, and both see it as essentially compatible with the heart of the minimalist conceptions, and still is there no agreement on what theory is to be accepted in the end. (shrink)
The nature of the connection between theory and observation has been a major source of difficulty for philosophers of science. It is most vexing for those who would reduce the terms of a theory to those of an observation language, e.g. Carnap, Braithwaite, and Nagel. Carnap's work, particularly his treatment of physical theories as partially interpreted formalisms, forms the point of focus of this paper. Carnap attempted to make the connection between theory and observation through correspondence postulates. It (...) is pointed out that such postulates depend in critical ways upon theoretical truths. This particular type of theoretical dependence produces serious trouble for Carnap's approach. For reasons given it may make it untenable. Furthermore, this problem when generalized creates difficulty for any similar reductionist program. Not only is this kind of theoretical dependence pointed out, but more important, the logical conditions which produce it are revealed. In this way light is shed upon the formal characteristics of the notion of theory dependence, especially upon the way in which observation terms depend upon theories for their meaning. (shrink)
Historians and philosophers of science commonly ignore the epistemological disagreement about the theoretical limits of rationality that underlies the disputes over the absoluteness or relationality of time and the true nature of divine freedom in the Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence. Accordingly, I explore both the logical interconnectedness and the deeper philosophical roots of these disputes, with a view to evaluating the contrast in Leibniz’s and Clarke’s underlying notions of the limits of rationality. In tracing this contrast, I attempt to show (...) first that Clarke’s position can be used to demonstrate successfully that Leibniz’s concept of divine freedom, and his use of the Principle of Sufficient Reason to justify it, involves a contradiction. Second, I attempt to demonstrate that the concept of the limits of rationality underlying Clarke’s conception of divine freedom can be successfully defended against Leibniz’s attacks. (shrink)
Rudolf Carnap and W. V. Quine, two of the twentieth century's most important philosophers, corresponded at length—and over a long period of time—on matters personal, professional, and philosophical. Their friendship encompassed issues and disagreements that go to the heart of contemporary philosophic discussions. Carnap was a founder and leader of the logical positivist school. The younger Quine began as his staunch admirer but diverged from him increasingly over questions in the analysis of meaning and the justification of belief. That (...) they remained close, relishing their differences through years of correspondence, shows their stature both as thinkers and as friends. The letters are presented here, in full, for the first time. The substantial introduction by Richard Creath offers a lively overview of Carnap's and Quine's careers and backgrounds, allowing the nonspecialist to see their writings in historical and intellectual perspective. Creath also provides a judicious analysis of the philosophical divide between them, showing how deep the issues cut into the discipline, and how to a large extent they remain unresolved. (shrink)
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–80) and Rene; Descartes (1596–1650) exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind and body, (...) as well as his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, was an Irish philosopher and divine who pursued a number of grand causes, contributing to the fields of economics, mathematics, political theory and theology. He pioneered the theory of 'immaterialism', and his work ranges over many philosophical issues that remain of interest today. This volume offers a complete and accurate edition of Berkeley's extant correspondence, including letters written both by him and to him, supplemented by extensive explanatory and critical notes. Alexander Pope famously said (...) 'To Berkeley every virtue under heaven', and a careful reading of the letters reveals a figure worthy of admiration, sheds new light on his personal and intellectual life, and provides insight into the broad historical and philosophical currents of his time. The volume will be an invaluable resource for philosophers, modern historians and those interested in Anglo-Irish culture. (shrink)
The criticisms levelled at the notion of truth by an anti-realist and an entity-realist are critically examined. The upshot of the discussion will be that whilst neither of the two anti-truth philosophers have succeeded in establishing their cases against truth, for entity-realists to reject the notion of truth is to throw out the baby with the bath water: entity-realism without the notion of correspondence truth will degenerate into anti-realism.
The interaction between philosophy and theater or performance has recently become an important and innovative area of inquiry. _Philosophers and Thespians_ contributes to this emerging field by looking at four direct encounters between philosophers and thespians, beginning with Socrates, Agathon, and Aristophanes in Plato's _Symposium_ and ending with a discussion between Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht about a short text by Franz Kafka. Rokem also examines in detail Hamlet's complex and tragic split identity as both philosopher and thespian, as (...) well as the intense correspondence between Friedrich Nietzsche and August Strindberg. His investigations—which move between the fictional and the historical—culminate in a comprehensive discussion of the notions of performance and performativity as derived from the discursive practices of philosophy and performance. At times competitive or mutually exclusive, these discourses also merge and engage with each other in creative ways. (shrink)
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind and body, as well (...) as his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
In the early 20th century, scepticism was common among philosophers about the very meaningfulness of the notion of truth – and of the related notions of denotation, definition etc. (i.e., what Tarski called semantical concepts). Awareness was growing of the various logical paradoxes and anomalies arising from these concepts. In addition, more philosophical reasons were being given for this aversion.1 The atmosphere changed dramatically with Alfred Tarski’s path-breaking contribution. What Tarski did was to show that, assuming that the syntax (...) of the object language is specified exactly enough, and that the metatheory has a certain amount of set theoretic power,2 one can explicitly define truth in the object language. And what can be explicitly defined can be eliminated. It follows that the defined concept cannot give rise to any inconsistencies (that is, paradoxes). This gave new respectability to the concept of truth and related notions. Nevertheless, philosophers’ judgements on the nature and philosophical relevance of Tarski’s work have varied. It is my aim here to review and evaluate some threads in this debate. (shrink)
At the beginning of the 1940s in the United States, an exchange of correspondence took place between two of the great thinkers in Sociology, Alfred Schutz and Talcott Parsons. This correspondence dealt with matters which many deemed to be “the greatest central problems in the social sciences.” The reading of these letters leads one to assume that the focus of both authors was on answering how sociology could be appropriately based on the revision of Max Weber’s classicalcontribution. However, (...) this interpretation has served as the basis to affirm that Schutz and Parsons revisited Weber’s project from opposing sides by detaching theelements from its main corpus. This leads to not only opposite but antithetical points of view. From this perspective, Schutz is labeled as a subjectivist whereas Parsons is labeled as an objectivist. Strikingly, even Schutz himself dismisses the idea of presenting both authors as antagonists. What’s more, he underlines his purpose as that of complementarity. Here arises an obvious question. If Schutz from the very beginning underlined the idea of complementarity, why then does contemporary sociological theory present Schutz and Parsons’ contributions as antithetical? Taking this question as the starting point, our enquiry allows us to expose the existence of an interpretive scheme in Sociological Th eory that introduces the dualistic dilemma in the analysis of Schutz and Parsons’ epistolary exchange. We will analyze this interpretive scheme’s main features by using the hermeneutical analysis. Then, in order to critically revisit the debate, our research unveils the prejudices involved in this interpretive tradition, highlighting the misunderstandings regarding the dualistic interpretation of Schutz’s work and his links with Parsons. By doing this it makes clear the way in which these interpretations have veiled the original sense of Schutz’s epistolary exchange with Parsons. Thus our paper, being directly opposed to the dominant reading, aims to propose that the debate shouldn’t be seen as a confrontation between subjectivism and objectivism, but as part of Schutz’s project to go beyond the dualism, starting with a phenomenological approach that recovers the life-world as the forgotten foundation of the social sciences. (shrink)
Thomas Hobbes is one of the most important figures in the history of European philosophy. Although best known for his political theory, he also wrote about theology, metaphysics, physics, optics, mathematics, psychology, and literary criticism. All of these interests are reflected in his correspondence. Some small groups of his letters have been printed in the past, but this edition is the first complete collection of his correspondence, nearly half of which has never been printed before. All the letters (...) have been transcribed from the original sources, and all materials in Latin, French, and Italian are printed together with translations in clear modern English. The letters are fully annotated, and there are long biographical entries on all of his correspondents, based on extensive original research. The whole pattern of Hobbes's intellectual life and personal friendships is set in a new light. This is one of the most significant and valuable scholarly publications of this century. (shrink)