The various efforts to put the idea of humanity on a secure ethical, political, and social base have not succeeded. The various post-humanist and transhumanist programs are inadequate. Our deep-seated suspicion of our deepest selves and motives is understandable in light of the barbarity of the twentieth century, but humanism is not to blame. The thought of Ernst Cassirer holds a framework for a new humanism, once it is rid of certain colonialist, triumphalist, and Eurocentric ideas that distorted Cassirer’s understanding (...) of the European role in creating the problems of civilization, especially its mistake of thinking that science was a progressive symbolic form of culture. I set out the basis of a new humanism based upon not the problem of knowledge, but the problem of genuine self-situating socialty, a personalist point of view. (shrink)
In a series of ten articles from leading American and European scholars, Pragmatist Epistemologies explores the central themes of epistemology in the pragmatist tradition through a synthesis of new and old pragmatist thought, engaging contemporary issues while exploring from a historical perspective. It opens a new avenue of research in contemporary pragmatism continuous with the main figures of pragmatist tradition and incorporating contemporary trends in philosophy. Students and scholars of American philosophy will find this book indispensable.
The collection presents a variety of promising new directions in Royce scholarship from an international group of scholars, including historical reinterpretations, explorations of Royce's ethics of loyalty and religious philosophy, and contemporary applications of his ideas in psychology, the problem of reference, neo-pragmatism, and literary aesthetics.
Eco says that which cannot be theorized must be narrated. What about that which cannot be narrated? What must we do about the limits of interpretation, especially as narration. This review essay takes a method from Giambattista Vico and applies it to the interpretation of Laurent Binet’s portrayal of Umberto Eco in his novel The Seventh Function of Language. Comparing the character of Eco with the thought of the historical Eco we find coincidences and other angles at incidence that reveal (...) some portion of Binet’s underlying interpretation of Eco, and it limits. (shrink)
Preview: Bergson noted that the cinematographic image does not really move. It is, then as now, a series of still photographs. The real motion in such images is produced by machinery, which imparts a kinesis, an energy of movement, to the succession of fixed images. Our perception then endows such images with their “life,” insofar as they can be said to possess life. It is an illusion, it is “virtual” both as space and time. The real duration, as generated by (...) the machinery or as lived by the perceiver is part of a broader system of images that includes those still photographs and their succession. Images of images of images, by the time they are processed by our bodies and appear to our mind’s eye as inhibited acts we have not enacted. (shrink)
thomas o. buford was the founder of the journal that evolved into The Pluralist. It was one of many things he “started.” Tom was a great starter of things, but also a strong continuer. This journal began as The Personalist Forum in 1984, with the first issue appearing in 1985. The reason Tom started the journal was that the two principal organs of personalist philosophy in the United States had ceased to recognize the relationship to personalism, which had provided their (...) missions. These were The Personalist, started by Borden Parker Bowne’s student Ralph Tyler Flewelling at the University of Southern California in 1920, and The Philosophical Forum, started at Boston University in 1943. The former was... (shrink)
Finally someone has saved future Peirce scholars from having to piece together for themselves the comparative points in Peirce’s development as it concerns his most widely read essays. The significance of the Popular Science Monthly articles of 1877–78 for pragmatism and for Peirce’s thought is universally known. But we have had to dig for ourselves, one by one, repeating each other’s labors, to learn how the ideas at the root of pragmatism evolved in Peirce’s own estimation.Cornelis de Waal here brings (...) together the comprehensive story of these articles and their eventual fate. He documents it in a way that anyone can grasp, and... (shrink)
The question of the import and role of Christian allusions in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit has received much historical attention, and this continues into the present. Often juxtaposed in this interpretive issue are two questions: Does Hegel think that “the ontological project was first a Greek event from which Christianity would have developed an outer graft”? Or is it more accurate to say that, “for Hegel at least, no ontology is possible before the Gospel or outside it”? In the latter (...) case, Hegel might well place the Greeks precisely where Dante had - in the First Circle of Hell. Those who would make Hegel first a philosopher in the Socratic line tend to emphasize his early work. Those who would make Hegel first a Christian tend to emphasize the later work. This question is too broad to find adequate discussion in the present essay. (shrink)
Beginning with the present number of The Pluralist, we commence an association with the well known and widely respected Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, founded in 1972. It is a pleasant circumstance that we can combine our twenty-five-year history of service to pluralistic and personalist philosophies with the admirable mission of the SAAP, which has always stood for openness and responsible philosophical growth with an eye to the lessons of the past and an orientation to a more ideal (...) future for the natural world, its inhabitants, and the role of thought in guiding and evaluating our common direction.Our journal will publish the best and most representative offerings at the annual meeting of .. (shrink)
George Holmes Howison’s 1895 essay entitled “The Limits of Evolution,” argued that there are four things evolutionary theory does not explain. In examining whether 11 decades have made a difference in these four, I argue that the arrogance of scientists over the past century in refusing to distinguish between full explanations and explanatory hypotheses is in some ways responsible for the fundamentalist backlash against evolutionary science. A scientific community that is honest and forthcoming about its limitations is to be sought. (...) The best response to Intelligent Design, Creation Science, and other current trends in pseudoscience is to be very clear about the limits of evolutionary theory and the scope of scientific explanation. (shrink)
This article investigates the interrelated roles of education, morality, and philosophy in Kant as a response to the transactional view of humanity promoted by the spirit of capitalism, known as the “capital form.” This article investigates the effect of the capital form upon educational institutions and self-cultivation, or Bildung. Kant’s views on the role of education in moral development provide a path forward in the reconstitution of Bildung within persons. I argue that education serves a moral role in Kant, helping (...) humanity achieve enlightenment – in direct contrast to the “un-enlightened” and uncultivated self created by the capital form. I turn to Kant’s views on education, focusing on the role of philosophy in moral development, and the cultivation of virtues such as modesty and appropriate self-love. Finally, I turn to contemporary pedagogical theory, providing practical examples of teaching techniques to help liberate students from their “self-imposed minority.”. (shrink)
Usually philosophers worry about the existence of mind, or consciousness, or persons, or other difficult-to-explain phenomena. Having posited matter or nature, or fields, they wonder where can person or consciousness originate? This kind of thinking is backward. Only persons ask such questions. Persons exist. I turn the tables on the traditional problem of person by asking whether anything impersonal really exists. I argue that the impersonal almost exists, using the theory of feeling of Max Scheler and supplementing it with insights (...) from Alfred North Whitehead and Josiah Royce. Even though feeling almost succeeds in divesting itself of the pre-supposed act of the person, but its concrete actuality blocks such complete self-abstraction. (shrink)
BOOK REVIEWS 3~3 reaction to them into account. The actual historical dialectic involving Moore, Mal- colm, and Wittgenstein is a good deal more complicated, and more interesting, than the story told here by Stroll. Moving on to Stroll's discussion of Wittgenstein, I should now acknowledge that, so far as I can judge, Stroll offers a largely reliable account of On Certainty. In particular, in the best chapter of the book, on "Wittgenstein's Foundationalism," he makes a convincing case for the view (...) that Wittgenstein, unlike Moore, separates propositional knowledge from the kind of "non-propositional" certainty concerning what "stands fast" for us and which is primarily evinced in our ways of acting. What is less clear to me is just what kind of response to sceptical arguments this amounts to: Stroll says that although at some points Wittgenstein is prepared to countenance, in a relativist spirit which closely adjoins scepticism, radical changes in what is thus cer- tain, by and large towards the end of On Certainty Wittgenstein advances an "absolut- ist" position which rules out such changes. But if this is so , we surely need some arguments why it has to be so. But much here depends on the broader context within which Wittgenstein's position is developed and discussed. Despite noting Wittgenstein's invocation of the conception of man as a "primitive.. (shrink)