Language and life history can be related functionally through the study of human ontogeny, thus usefully informing our understanding of several unique aspects of the evolution of species. The operational principles outlined by Locke & Bogin (L&B) demonstrate that the present can provide a useful framework for understanding the past.
This is an intelligently designed collection of essays dealing with a variety of key issues that are in the foreground of reflection on the social and behavioral sciences. The format followed is an ideal one: a key paper, a comment by a critic, and a reply. Thus, for example, Charles Taylor explains and defends teleological explanation of behavior and engages in an exchange with Robert Borger; and Noam Chomsky reviews the problems of explanation in linguistics and is challenged by (...) Max Black. The quality of this volume is quite high and the contributors are leaders in their fields of inquiry. Not only are there explorations by philosophers but also by practicing behavioral scientists. This is therefore an excellent way of gaining an overview of some of the key issues concerning explanation in the behavioral sciences. But the volume is disappointing in breaking new ground. Many of the points and counterpoints made here can be found in other places, and frequently they are explored in greater detail in other places. The collection also reflects an Anglo-Saxon bias for there is little attempt to include any confrontations with the continental concern with the nature of explanation in the social sciences. A detailed bibliography might have helped to direct the reader to further discussion of the issues involved. But despite these limitations, this is an impressive series of confrontations.--R. J. B. (shrink)
Among moral attributes true virtue alone is sublime. … [I]t is only by means of this idea [of virtue] that any judgment as to moral worth or its opposite is possible. … Everything good that is not based on a morally good disposition … is nothing but pretence and glittering misery. 1.
Robert B. Pippin: Hegel on Self-Consciousness: Desire and Death in the Phenomenology of Spirit Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 481-487 DOI 10.1007/s10746-011-9199-4 Authors Trip Glazer, Department of Philosophy, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548 Journal Volume Volume 34 Journal Issue Volume 34, Number 4.
Each year, solutions to the problem "How can we all get along?" prove more vexing and remote. Are we stymied by cultural or economic differences? Is deliberation impoverished by the double-whammy of consumerism and its conduit, a 24/7, entertainment-oriented media system? In A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy (PPD) Robert B. Talisse rules out none of these factors while pushing a boldly original democratic theory appealing not only to pragmatists but to anyone who cares more about solving real problems than (...) protecting philosophical turf. With clarity and force, Talisse's immensely readable book briskly acquaints readers with the complex theories necessary to grappling with issues worth caring about. While meticulously attentive to pertinent scholarship, Talisse is never pedantic or jargonistic. He educates the reader by reiterating exactly the premises necessary to move his theses ahead. (shrink)
Robert Brandom's latest book, the product of his John Locke lectures in Oxford in 2006, is a return to the philosophy of language and is easily read as a continuation and development of the views defended in Making it Explicit . The text of the lectures is presented much as they were delivered, but it contains an ‘Afterword’ of more than 30 pages which responds to questions raised when he gave the lectures, and also when they were subsequently delivered (...) in Prague the following year. The published text also contains relatively technical appendices to two of the lectures.The individual lectures engage with some important and difficult issues, often ones that were explored in detail in the earlier book. However, these discussions are located within a broader meta-philosophical context, and it says something about the abstract and difficult character of these views that they provide the main subject matter of the Afterword. This framework affects how we should understand the relations between this book and Making It Explicit too. Although most of the detailed discussions happily belong within the general project of the earlier book, they are offered as illustrations of a framework that is independent of this project. Indeed, Brandom suggests that defenders of the semantic views of David Lewis, for example, could embrace his main message as well as those who favour Brandom's own form of pragmatism.Neo-pragmatist philosophers such as Brandom's teacher, Richard Rorty, often present themselves as rejecting the analytic tradition in philosophy. When Brandom describes the ‘pragmatist challenge’ to the ‘classical project of analysis’, he appeals to the criticisms found in the work of Wittgenstein and Sellars that are often appealed to by the critics of the analytic tradition. The message of the new book is that the views he has built on this …. (shrink)
The review argues that Talisse's epistemic defense of democracy in his "Democracy and Moral Conflict," albeit novel and interesting, falls prey to an epistemic analogue of the problem of reasonable moral pluralism that Rawls famously posed for moral justifications of democracy.