The transcendental phenomenological reduction is described as the transition from thinking to reflection, Which involves a change of attitude. Schmitt elaborates what it means to "bracket the objective world" and to suspend judgement. The traditional distinction between thinking and reflection, Based on the distinction between what is inside and what is outside the mind, Is shown to be inadequate. Reflection really involves critical detachment, A neutral attitude and disinterestedness; it must describe the new facts rather than explain them. Hence, The (...) reduction is the transition from a nonreflective to a reflective attitude. (staff). (shrink)
This book examines in great detail the different aspects of dominant individualistic ideas about persons. It tries to argue that an alternative conception of persons, favored by many feminist thinkers, is more complicated than is often thought but can be shown to be a reasonable and plausible conception.
This paper examines the merits of the Socratic maxim that the unexamined life is not worth living. First, the maxim is considered in its purely subjective sense, viz., that a particular individual’s life is not worth living due to factors like intense pain or illness. Second, two objective interpretations of the maxim are considered: a “strongly objective sense” where failure to examine one’s life means that one is wasting it and a “moderately objective sense” where it is reasonable to recommend (...) that examining one’s life goals comes will come with a greater understanding of appreciation of said goals . After delineating the different senses in which the maxim can be understood, the author distinguishes two different varieties of self-examination and considers in what sense the Socratic maxim rings true and in what sense it exaggerates. (shrink)
This article extends Moleski’s discussion (in “Polanyi vs. Kuhn: Worlds Apart”) of the worldviews of Kuhn and Polanyi in two ways: by considering an evolutionary view of science as proposed by Kuhn, and byevaluating Kuhn’s notion of “paradigm change” compared to Polanyi’s work on scientific practice.
Recent writers on economics have conceded that capitalism suffers from serious shortcomings. But they argue that, in spite of that, preference should be given to capitalism over alternative systems, because it alone gives free rein to the universal, human desire for private gain and is therefore best adapted to human nature. I argue against this psychological defense of capitalism that the desire for private gain is not a universal trait of human beings. On the contrary, it is a defining trait (...) of capitalist society that in it persons are first and foremost motivated by that desire. My argument rests on reflections about the way in which we identify motives. We identify motives not by introspection but by reference to lists of actions that persons, who act from a given motive, may be expected to perform in suitable circumstances. To function in a capitalist society I must perform the sorts of actions by reference to which we identify the desire for private gain as a active. (shrink)
The theme is socialist solidarity. Schmitt notes that efforts towards solidarity fail because we do not know how to put our ideals in practice. The example is taken from the early kibbutzim. The founders were clear about their socialist principles but did not know how to put those in practice in such simple situations as the distribution of clothing. Schmitt concludes from that example that efforts to build socialist solidarity are often impeded by our ignorance of concrete techniques and arrangements (...) needed for a solidary socialist society. (shrink)
Sein und Zeit published by Martin Heidegger in 1929, conceals a number of important and interesting thoughts behind cryptic style and many neologisms. My book extracts some key theses from this hermetic text and provides arguments for them. (Heidegger does not argue.) It shows that a good philosopher hides behind this often perplexing text.
The author argues that merleau-Ponty's conception of his task as a philosopher changed between "the structure of behavior" (1942) and "the phenomenology of perception" (1945) and that the latter is accordingly written in a nonscientific style susceptible of misinterpretation. Focusing first on the earlier work, He examines terminological confusions and logical difficulties in merleau-Ponty's critique of realism, And argues that the central concept of form is scientifically useless and philosophically unnecessary. He then discusses merleau-Ponty's later views on language before considering (...) his rejection of objectivism and formulating the significant philosophical issues raised by his work. (staff). (shrink)
Heidegger's writings are by many thought to be irretrievably obscure. This is not true of Sein und Zeit. In order to show this, I explain what Heidegger means by ?ontology?, ?preontological knowledge? and ?preontological mistake?. These explanations show that there is nothing in Heidegger's conception of his enterprise which makes it impossible that Sein und Zeit should be clear. Since the explanations require discussion of specific theses, I also show that Sein und Zeit is, at least in part, clear as (...) actually written. (shrink)
Many socialists agree that socialism must be democratic, in the political as well as in the economic arena. But socialist democracy is very different from democracy in a capitalist country. Socialist democracy, it is widely believed, will be participatory: everyone will be a full participant in all decisions affecting his or her life. In this paper I argue that this conception of socialist democracy needs a lot more work. Not all decisions can be made by everybody affected by a decision. (...) Many decisions that affect large numbers of persons must be made by representatives. But representation is subject to several serious weaknesses which are not products of capitalism. They will be obstacles to democracy also under socialism. Today we do not know what a socialist democracy would look like. (shrink)
Socialism is meant to be democratic. Socialist democracy demands solidarity but it remains unclear what solidarity consists of. Theorists provide a range of different characterizations of solidarity which are adequate in their contexts but will not suffice as the basis for socialist democracy. This paper shows how we should not understand that needed solidarity; it is not merely a solidarity based on commonalities that overlooks difference. On the contrary, it needs to be a kind of solidarity that establishes close but (...) complex relations between various groups through their commitment to taking their differences seriously. There are many different ways of taking differences seriously. At the end, this paper makes some suggestions for further research to clarify the concept of solidarity in spite of difference. (shrink)
Alienation is the name of the deformations of human personality produced by capitalism and, specifically, by wage labor. The alienated are powerless. That inhibits their self-esteem, and takes from them the direction of their own lives and the choice of their life values. They become passive bystanders to existence, distrustful of their fellows and motivated by the desire for gain. The alienated tend to be timid, morally indifferent, and ready to support great evil. Appearances are all that matters to them. (...) They are resentful, conservative. Alienation itself becomes invisible. It unfits those who work for a wage from being active in the movements for social change from capitalism to socialism. The transition to socialism appears to become well-nigh impossible. The force of this argument ismoderated by the fact that the conditions of wage labor are not uniform and alienation, and therefore are more severe for some workers than for others. (shrink)
To be religious in the sense which Kierkegaard calls ?religiousness A? involves one, according to him, in a paradox. If we take the terms in which he describes this paradox in ordinary senses, it is not clear what this paradox consists of. If we take the terms in a technical sense, the description of being religious involves a paradox. But the paradox is of such a nature that it is now logically impossible that anyone should be religious. If we attach (...) a slightly different meaning to Kierkegaard's terms, being religious is possible but does not involve a paradox. Also on this interpretation, religious conduct becomes indistinguishable from non?religious conduct. (shrink)
Written for the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Paul Edwards, this article provides a survey of Phenomenology, beginning with the work of Edmund Husserl and going on to discuss the very different approaches to phenomenology of Heidegger in the period of Sein und Zeit and the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
The socialist project is burdened by a history of brutal failures. The authors of the papers collected in this volume are convinced that a democratic and humane socialism is both desirable and possible. They lay out their view of different aspects of this new socialism in this book. Anatole Anton and Richard Schmitt are both the editors and contributors to this book. -/- Select chapters translated into Spanish have appeared in a volume in Barcelona, Spain.
Toward a New Socialism offers a critical analysis of capitalism's failings and the imminent need for socialism as an alternative form of government. Dr. Richard Schmitt joins with Dr. Anatole Anton to compile a volume of essays exploring the benefits and consequences of a socialist system as an avenue of increased human solidarity and ethical principle.