In a reconstruction of the theories of Freud and Klein, Sebastian Gardner asks: what causes irrationality, what must the mind be like for it to be irrational, to what extent does irrationality involve self-awareness, and what is the point of irrationality? Arguing that psychoanalytic theory provides the most penetrating answers to these questions, he rejects the widespread view of the unconscious as a 'second mind', in favour of a view of it as a source of inherently irrational desires seeking expression (...) through wish-fulfilment and phantasy. He meets scepticism about psychoanalytic explanation by exhibiting its continuity with everyday psychology. (shrink)
This chapter argues that Merleau-Ponty’s account of perception should be understood, not as a theory of perception in the usual sense, but as belonging squarely to transcendental philosophy. Contra the interpretation of Phenomenology of Perception as essentially a work in the philosophy of psychology, and the associated naturalistic construal of his ideas, it is suggested that Merleau-Ponty must be seen in the light of the history of transcendental philosophy and that an original form of idealism lies at the heart of (...) his philosophical project. The transcendental turn is presupposed by Merleau-Ponty’s claims regarding perception, and his key notion of ambiguity is a transcendental descendant of Kant’s strategy of establishing idealism by way of antinomy. (shrink)
Recognizing the potential hidden artistic contributions of persons with dementia opens new opportunities for interpretation and potential communication. This visual essay explores the authors’ responses to the fragile objects of art produced by a person with severe dementia and examines what may be learned from them.
Kant's _Critique of Pure Reason_ is arguably the single most important work in western philosophy. The book introduces and assesses: * Kant's life and background of the _Critique of Pure Reason_ * the ideas and text of the _Critique of Pure Reason_ * the continuing relevance of Kant's work to contemporary philosophy. Ideal for anyone coming to Kant's thought for the first time. This guide will be vital reading for all students of Kant in philosophy.
Patients have received experimental pharmaceuticals outside of clinical trials for decades. There are no industry-wide best practices, and many companies that have granted compassionate use, or ‘preapproval’, access to their investigational products have done so without fanfare and without divulging the process or grounds on which decisions were made. The number of compassionate use requests has increased over time. Driving the demand are new treatments for serious unmet medical needs; patient advocacy groups pressing for access to emerging treatments; internet platforms (...) enabling broad awareness of compelling cases or novel drugs and a lack of trust among some that the pharmaceutical industry and/or the FDA have patients’ best interests in mind. High-profile cases in the media have highlighted the gap between patient expectations for compassionate use and company utilisation of fair processes to adjudicate requests. With many pharmaceutical manufacturers, patient groups, healthcare providers and policy analysts unhappy with the inequities of the status quo, fairer and more ethical management of compassionate use requests was needed. This paper reports on a novel collaboration between a pharmaceutical company and an academic medical ethics department that led to the formation of the Compassionate Use Advisory Committee. Comprising medical experts, bioethicists and patient representatives, CompAC established an ethical framework for the allocation of a scarce investigational oncology agent to single patients requesting non-trial access. This is the first account of how the committee was formed and how it built an ethical framework and put it into practice. (shrink)
The advent of formal definitions of the simplicity of a theory has important implications for model selection. But what is the best way to define simplicity? Forster and Sober () advocate the use of Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC), a non-Bayesian formalisation of the notion of simplicity. This forms an important part of their wider attack on Bayesianism in the philosophy of science. We defend a Bayesian alternative: the simplicity of a theory is to be characterised in terms of Wallace's Minimum (...) Message Length (MML). We show that AIC is inadequate for many statistical problems where MML performs well. Whereas MML is always defined, AIC can be undefined. Whereas MML is not known ever to be statistically inconsistent, AIC can be. Even when defined and consistent, AIC performs worse than MML on small sample sizes. MML is statistically invariant under 1-to-1 re-parametrisation, thus avoiding a common criticism of Bayesian approaches. We also show that MML provides answers to many of Forster's objections to Bayesianism. Hence an important part of the attack on Bayesianism fails. (shrink)
Schelling’s 1809 Freiheitsschrift, perhaps his most widely read work, presents considerable difficulties of understanding. In this paper, I offer an interpretation of the work in relation to Kant. My focus is on the relation in each case of their theory of human freedom to their general metaphysics, a relation which both regard as essential. The argument of the paper is in sum that Schelling may be viewed as addressing and resolving a problem which faces Kant’s theory of freedom and transcendental (...) idealism, deriving from the challenge posed by Spinozism. One major innovation in Schelling’s theory of human freedom is his claim that it presupposes the reality of evil. I argue that Schelling’s thesis concerning evil also provides a key to the new and highly original metaphysics of the Freiheitsschrift. The relation of Schelling’s theory of freedom to his general metaphysics is therefore complex, for it goes in two directions: the metaphysics are not simply presupposed by the theory of freedom but are also in part derived from it. These new metaphysics also, I argue, allow Schelling to resolve a problem which his own earlier Spinozistic system had left unresolved. (shrink)
Book description: This outstanding collection of specially commissioned chapters examines German idealism from several angles and assesses the renewed interest in the subject from a wide range of fields. Including discussions of the key representatives of German idealism such as Kant, Fichte and Hegel, it is structured in clear sections dealing with: * metaphysics * the legacy of Hegel’s philosophy * Brandom and Hegel * recognition and agency * autonomy and nature * the philosophy of German romanticism. Amongst other important (...) topics, German Idealism: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives addresses the debates surrounding the metaphysical and epistemological legacy of German idealism; its importance for understanding recent debates in moral and political thought; its appropriation in recent theories of language and the relationship between mind and world; and how German idealism affected subsequent movements such as romanticism, pragmatism, and critical theory. (shrink)
The Introduction to this volume identifies and briefly summarizes certain issues which have been of central concern to philosophers in the transcendental tradition, including: the question of its relation to metaphysics; the relation of transcendentalism to transcendental idealism; the Kantian concept of a condition of possibility; the concepts of transcendental logic and of transcendental proof or argumentation; the concept of the transcendental turn and the issue of its justification; and the standpoint of transcendental reflection.
There is a clear distinction between genuine and fraudulent reasoning. Being seduced by the latter can result in horrific consequences. This paper explores how we can arm ourselves, and others with the ability to recognize the difference between genuine and pseudo-reasoning, with the motivation to maintain an unbending commitment to follow the “impersonal” “norm-driven” rules of reason even in situations in which “non-reasonable” strategies appear to support short-term bests interests, and with the confidence that genuine reasoning is the best defense (...) against the pseudo-reasoning. It also provides a simple table of “markers” whereby genuine reasoning can be distinguished from the “fake stuff.”. (shrink)
_Art and Morality_ is a collection of groundbreaking new papers on the theme of aesthetics and ethics, and the link between the two subjects. A group of distinguished contributors tackle the important questions that arise when one thinks about the moral dimensions of art and the aesthetic dimension of moral life. The volume is a significant contribution to philosophical literature, opening up unexplored questions and shedding new light on more traditional debates in aesthetics. The topics explored include: the relation of (...) aesthetic to ethical judgement; the relation of artistic experience to moral consciousness; the moral status of fiction; the concepts of sentimentality and decadence; the moral dimension of critical practice, pictorial art and music; the moral significance of tragedy; and the connections between artistic and moral issues elaborated in the writings of central figures in modern philosophy, such as Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. The contributors share the view that progress in aesthetics requires detailed study of the practice of criticism. This volume will appeal both to the philosophical community and to researchers in areas such as literary theory, musicology and the theory of art. (shrink)
Let us suppose that we accept that humans can be correctly characterized as agents. Let us further presume that this capacity contrasts with most non-human animals. Thus, since agency is what uniquely constitutes what it is to be human, it must be of supreme importance. If these claims have any merit, it would seem to follow that, if agency can be nurtured through education, then it is an overarching moral imperative that educational initiatives be undertaken to do that. In this (...) paper, it will be argued that agency can indeed be enhanced, and that the worldwide educational initiative called Philosophy for Children, and others like it, are in a unique position to do just that, and, therefore, that P4C deserves our praise and support; while denigrations of such efforts for not being “real philosophy” ought to be thoroughly renounced. (shrink)
This paper attempts in the first instance to clarify the application of the personal/sub-personal distinction to psychoanalysis and to indicate how this issue is related to that of psychoanalysis" epistemology. It is argued that psychoanalysis may be regarded either as a form of personal psychology, or as a form of jointly personal and sub-personal psychology, but not as a form of sub-personal psychology. It is further argued that psychoanalysis indicates a problem with the personal/sub-personal distinction itself as understood by Dennett (...) A revised view of the distinction, which is argued to reflect its true metaphysical significance, is proposed. (shrink)
This paper offers a synoptic view of Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgement and its reception by the German Idealists. I begin by sketching Kant's conception of how its several parts fit together, and emphasize the way in which the specifically moral motivation of Kant's project of unification of Freedom and Nature distances it from our contemporary philosophical concerns. For the German Idealists, by contrast, the CPJ's conception of the opposition of Freedom and Nature as defining the overarching task (...) of philosophy provides a warrant and basis for bold speculative programmes. The German Idealist development therefore presupposes Kant's failure in the CPJ to resolve the problem of the relation of Freedom and Nature. What is fundamentally at issue in the argument between Kant and his successors is the question of the correct conception of philosophical systematicity and in this context I reconstruct Kant's defence of his claim to philosophical finality. (shrink)
Kant's influence on the history of philosophy is vast and protean. The transcendental turn denotes one of its most important forms, defined by the notion that Kant's deepest insight should not be identified with any specific epistemological or metaphysical doctrine, but rather concerns the fundamental standpoint and terms of reference of philosophical enquiry. To take the transcendental turn is not to endorse any of Kant's specific teachings, but to accept that the Copernican revolution announced in the Preface of the Critique (...) of Pure Reason sets philosophy on a new footing and constitutes the proper starting point of philosophical reflection.In this volume a team of leading philosophers explore the concept of the transcendental as it developed through history, focusing on approaches to the transcendental project by Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Bernard Williams. By giving systematic shape to historical material, the volume provides a unique resource for systematic reflection on transcendental philosophy. (shrink)
Introduction: This paper has two, interrelated aims. The first is to clarify Sartre's theory of intersubjectivity. Sartre's discussion of the Other has a puzzling way of going in and out of focus, seeming at one moment to provide a remarkably original solution to the problem of other minds and at the next to wholly miss the point of the skeptical challenge. The nature of his argument is equally uncertain: at some points it looks like an attempt to mount a transcendental (...) argument, a kind of Refutation of Idealism regarding the existence of others, at others, to be a defence of direct realism; yet again, it can seem to propose a dissolution of the problem closely analogous to Wittgenstein. I will argue (Section 1) that none of these provides quite the right model for understanding Sartre, which requires one to take seriously his method of resolving epistemological issues into matters of ontology. I argue further (Section 2) that Sartre's theory becomes fully coherent only if we make explicit its implicit presupposition of a conception of intersubjectivity articulated by Fichte. My second aim is to pursue the connection opened up of Sartre with German idealism. To the extent that commentators attempt to relate Sartre systematically to German idealism, it is almost always Hegel who provides the other term of comparison.1 What I try to show (Section 3) is that the usual comparison of Sartre with Hegel, which is largely negative, is distracting, and that Sartre's closer philosophical [End Page 325] relations are to Fichte and Schelling.2 This supplies, I argue, an important correction to the tendency of anglophone discussion of Sartre to isolate his claims from historical considerations, or to restrict Sartre's historical frame of reference to Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger: Sartre's philosophy, I suggest, is viewed fruitfully in the context of philosophical debates pursued in early German idealism. Sartre's ethics, I argue (Section 4), provide supporting evidence for this view. I propose tentatively in conclusion (Section 5) a corresponding view of existential phenomenology as a whole. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a selective, systematic rather than historical account of Merleau-Ponty’s highly complex relation to classical German philosophy, focussing on issues which bear on the question of his relation to transcendentalism and naturalism. I argue that the concerns which define his project in Phenomenology of Perception are fundamentally those of transcendental philosophy, and that Merleau-Ponty’s disagreements with Kant, and the position he arrives at in The Visible and the Invisible, are helpfully viewed in light of issues which (...) Merleau-Ponty identifies as raised by Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgement, and Schelling’s conversion of Kantian idealism into a Real-Idealismus. Finally I address the question of whether, and on what basis, Merleau-Ponty’s claim to have surpassed systematic philosophy can be defended. (shrink)
Book description:* The only accessible and authoritative guide to the continental traditions in philosophy * 20 brand-new contributions by an outstanding international team * Valuable for anyone working on continental philosophy, European literature, the history of ideas, and cultural studies The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and up-to-date survey of original research in a particular subject area. Specially commissioned essays from leading figures in the discipline give critical examinations of (...) the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy is the definitive guide to the major themes of the continental Euopean tradition in philosophy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Brian Leiter and Michael Rosen have assembled a stellar group of contributors who provide a thematic treatment of continental philosophy, treating its subject matter philosophically and not simply as a series of museum pieces from the history of ideas. The scope of the volume is broad, with discussions covering a wide range of philosophical movements including German Idealism, existentialism, phenomenology, Marxism, postmodernism, and critical theory, as well as thinkers like Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, and Foucault. This Handbook will be an essential reference point for graduate students and professional academics working on continental philosophy, as well as those with an interest in European literature, the history of ideas, and cultural studies. (shrink)
James McAllister’s 2003 article, “Algorithmic randomness in empirical data” claims that empirical data sets are algorithmically random, and hence incompressible. We show that this claim is mistaken. We present theoretical arguments and empirical evidence for compressibility, and discuss the matter in the framework of Minimum Message Length (MML) inference, which shows that the theory which best compresses the data is the one with highest posterior probability, and the best explanation of the data.
German idealism has been pictured as an unwarranted deviation from the central epistemological orientation of modern philosophy, and its close historical association with German romanticism is adduced in support of this verdict. This paper proposes an interpretation of German idealism which seeks to grant key importance to its connection with romanticism without thereby undermining its philosophical rationality. I suggest that the fundamental motivation of German idealism is axiological, and that its augment of Kant's idealism is intelligible in terms of its (...) combined aim of consolidating the transcendental turn and legitimating the kind of relation to value articulated in German romanticism. /// [Paul Franks] German idealists regard Spinozism as both the realism that outflanks Kant's idealism and the source of the conception of systematicity with which to fortify idealism. But they offer little argument for this view. To fill the gap, I reconstruct arguments that could underlie Jacobi's and Pistorius's tentative but influential suggestions that Kant is or should be a Spinozist. Kant is indeed a monist about phenomena, but, unlike Spinoza, a pluralist about noumena. Nevertheless, it is arguable that the Third Antinomy can be solved by a more thoroughgoing Spinozistic monism. The resulting Spinozism outflanks Kant by acknowledging Jacobi's charge that philosophy annihilates immediacy and individuality, whereas Kant's commitment to things in themselves can seem a half-hearted attempt to avoid the charge. However, the German idealist contention is that only a synthesis of such a Spinozism with Kantian idealism can retrieve immediacy and individuality, thus overcoming nihilism. (shrink)
There is a way of understanding “the philosophical problem of the self” that makes it unquestionably central to and ineliminable from the entire endeavor of philosophy, ancient as much as modern: if by asking about the self we mean to ask what we really, fundamentally are, then the problem of the self comprehends a great range of problems, and every philosophical position worth the name will include a theory of the self. In analytic philosophy, however, the problem of the self (...) has come to be understood differently: what it refers to in the first instance is the puzzle presented by knowledge claims regarding one’s own psychological states, a problem that is distinguished from, while enjoying some connections with, the problem of the conditions for personal identity and the mind-body problem, and that resolves itself into a set of finer problems concerning the conditions of psychological self-ascription, the reference of the first-person pronoun, the notion of immunity to error through misidentification, and so forth. (shrink)
Adrian Moore argues that Kant’s transcendental idealism is incoherent, and that its incoherence gives us an invaluable insight into the fundamental nature of metaphysics, motivating the reconception of metaphysical inquiry with which Moore concludes his story of the development of modern philosophy. My discussion has three parts. First, I focus on the treatment of Kant’s transcendental idealism in Moore’s earlier book, Points of View, and highlight ways in which Moore is, I argue, open to challenge. Second, I suggest that the (...) historical record does not bear out Moore’s criticism of Kant’s transcendental idealism. Third, I compare Moore’s response to the alleged incoherence of transcendental idealism with that of the German Romantics. (shrink)
[Sebastian Gardner] German idealism has been pictured as an unwarranted deviation from the central epistemological orientation of modern philosophy, and its close historical association with German romanticism is adduced in support of this verdict. This paper proposes an interpretation of German idealism which seeks to grant key importance to its connection with romanticism without thereby undermining its philosophical rationality. I suggest that the fundamental motivation of German idealism is axiological, and that its augment of Kant's idealism is intelligible in terms (...) of its combined aim of consolidating the transcendental turn and legitimating the kind of relation to value articulated in German romanticism. /// [Paul Franks] German idealists regard Spinozism as both the realism that outflanks Kant's idealism and the source of the conception of systematicity with which to fortify idealism. But they offer little argument for this view. To fill the gap, I reconstruct arguments that could underlie Jacobi's and Pistorius's tentative but influential suggestions that Kant is or should be a Spinozist. Kant is indeed a monist about phenomena, but, unlike Spinoza, a pluralist about noumena. Nevertheless, it is arguable that the Third Antinomy can be solved by a more thoroughgoing Spinozistic monism. The resulting Spinozism outflanks Kant by acknowledging Jacobi's charge that philosophy annihilates immediacy and individuality, whereas Kant's commitment to things in themselves can seem a half-hearted attempt to avoid the charge. However, the German idealist contention is that only a synthesis of such a Spinozism with Kantian idealism can retrieve immediacy and individuality, thus overcoming nihilism. (shrink)
In this paper I sketch a reconstruction of the basic psychoanalytic conception of the mind in terms of two historical resources: the conception of the subject developed in post-Kantian idealism, and Spinoza's laws of the affects in Part Three of the Ethics. The former, I suggest, supplies the conceptual basis for the psychoanalytic notion of the unconscious, while the latter defines the type of psychological causality of psychoanalytic explanations. The imperfect fit between these two elements, I claim, is reflected in (...) familiar conceptual difficulties surrounding psychoanalytic theory and explanation. (shrink)
Book description: Art and Morality is a collection of groundbreaking new papers on the theme of aesthetics and ethics, and the link between the two subjects. A group of distinguished contributors tackle the important questions that arise when one thinks about the moral dimensions of art and the aesthetic dimension of moral life. The volume is a significant contribution to philosophical literature, opening up unexplored questions and shedding new light on more traditional debates in aesthetics. The topics explored include: the (...) relation of aesthetic to ethical judgement; the relation of artistic experience to moral consciousness; the moral status of fiction; the concepts of sentimentality and decadence; the moral dimension of critical practice, pictorial art and music; the moral significance of tragedy; and the connections between artistic and moral issues elaborated in the writings of central figures in modern philosophy, such as Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. The contributors share the view that progress in aesthetics requires detailed study of the practice of criticism. This volume will appeal both to the philosophical community and to researchers in areas such as literary theory, musicology and the theory of art. (shrink)
The notion of “respect for persons” is a one often closely tied to the religious edict that “we ought to love one another.” It thus appears to give rise to a command that we are obliged to nurture some kind of positive regard toward others.Taking on a slightly different hue, Kant’s notion of “respect for persons” requires that we recognize universalizing agents as autonomous, and, hence, even if fanatical (Hare), we have no grounds to condemn.In this paper, both of these (...) views will be challenged. It will be argued that we do not owe persons respect in the sense of positive regard, nor are we ethically required to give wide birth to “rational” choices. It will be argued, rather, that, although we do owe “respect to persons,” we owe respect in the sense of being prepared to hold persons “communicativelyaccountable”— of being prepared to engage in hard-nosed intersubjective communicative-interaction (Habermas) about the sort of values/ideals that ought to guide all reasonable people. Since such interaction necessitates the interchange of both positive AND negative judgements, it follows that “respect for persons” requires neither that we love them, nor that we leave them alone, but rather that we engage. (shrink)
It is well known that Sartre describes his form of existentialism as atheistic, and much of the rhetoric of Sartrean existentialism draws off the image of God's absence from the world. There are nevertheless, I argue, deep grounds for thinking that the coherence and well-groundedness of Sartre's thought requires that his phenomenological ontology take finally the form of an onto-theology: Sartre's ontology runs into difficulties concerning the origin of the for-itself and the unity of being; an onto-theology like Schelling's, which (...) avoids the ‘ontological optimism’ that Sartre objects to in Hegel, both releases Sartre's ontology from its difficulties and furthers Sartre's central philosophical purposes. (Published Online July 10 2006). (shrink)