Having acknowledged the recurrent theme of education in Stanley Cavell's work, the discussion addresses the topic of scepticism, especially as this emerges in the interpretation of Wittgenstein. Questions concerning rule‐following, language and society are then turned towards political philosophy, specifically with regard to John Rawls. The discussion examines the idea of the social contract, the nature of moral reasoning and the possibility of our lives' being above reproach, as well as Rawls's criticisms of Nietzschean perfectionism. This lays the way (...) for the broaching of questions of race and America. The theme of the ordinary, which emerges variously in Cavell's reflections on Emerson, Wittgenstein and Austin, is taken up and extended into a consideration of Thoreau's ‘experiment in living’. The conversation closes with brief remarks about happiness. (shrink)
Stanley Cavell has been a brilliant, idiosyncratic, and controversial presence in American philosophy, literary criticism, and cultural studies for years. Even as he continues to produce new writing of a high standard -- an example of which is included in this collection -- his work has elicited responses from a new generation of writers in Europe and America. This collection showcases this new work, while illustrating the variety of Cavell's interests: in the "ordinary language" philosophy of Wittgenstein and Austin, (...) in film criticism and theory, in literature, psychoanalysis, and the American transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. The collection also reprints Richard Rorty's early review of Cavell's magnum opus, The Claim of Reason (1979), and it concludes with Cavell's substantial set of responses to the essays, a highlight of which is his engagement with Rorty. (shrink)
Jason Stanley presents a startling and provocative claim about knowledge: that whether or not someone knows a proposition at a given time is in part determined by his or her practical interests, i.e. by how much is at stake for that person at that time. In defending this thesis, Stanley introduces readers to a number of strategies for resolving philosophical paradox, making the book essential not just for specialists in epistemology but for all philosophers interested in philosophical methodology. (...) Since a number of his strategies appeal to linguistic evidence, it will be of great interest to linguists as well. (shrink)
Michael Winkelman, who is a senior lecturer in the department of anthropology, Arizona State University, and director of its ethnographic field school, has provided a rich overview of the neurophenomenology of shamanism in his book, Shamanism: The Neural Ecology of Consciousness. Written in the tradition of Laughlin, McManus, and d'Aquili's 1992 classic, Brain, Symbol, and Experience: Toward a Neurophenomenology of Consciousness, Winkelman considers shamanism in many of its facets. He explores shamanism's social and symbolic content, and the implications of its (...) neurological underpinnings both for shamanic practitioners and for their clients. (shrink)
Jason Stanley's "Knowledge and Practical Interests" is a brilliant book, combining insights about knowledge with a careful examination of how recent views in epistemology fit with the best of recent linguistic semantics. Although I am largely convinced by Stanley's objections to epistemic contextualism, I will try in what follows to formulate a version that might have some prospect of escaping his powerful critique.
William Wollaston, a leading British moral philosopher of the eighteenth century, has fallen into obscurity primarily, I believe, for two reasons. In the first place, it is usually supposed that Wollaston's moral theory was refuted by Hume in the opening section of the third book of the Treatise of Human Nature . Secondly, Wollaston's theory, or parts thereof, have been assigned pejorative labels such as ‘odd’ and ‘strange’, which create the impression that it is not a moral philosophy which can (...) be taken seriously. In this paper I attempt to deal with the second of these reasons by setting forth what I take to be Wollaston's meaning in certain key sections of his work, The Religion of Nature Delineated , especially in so far as they help to shed light on his theories of truth and happiness, and the relation of these to his theory of obligation. Wollaston will be found to be a moral philosopher with important things to say, and therefore to be a moral philosopher with a theory worth taking seriously. If I am correct in my interpretation of Wollaston, then it can also be established that Hume has not refuted Wollaston in the opening section of Book III of the Treatise . But here my attention will be confined entirely to Wollaston's own moral theory. (shrink)
One of the major adjustments brought on by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a change in the relationship between Mexican agricultural support institutions and the small-scale agricultural sector. Post-NAFTA restructuring programs sought to correct previous inefficiencies in this sector, but they have also had the effect of marginalizing the producers who steward and manage the country’s reserve of maize (Zea mays) genetic diversity. Framed by research suggesting that certain maize varieties in a rain-fed farming region in southern (...) Sonora are in danger of loss due chiefly to long-term drought, this article explores the ramifications of post-NAFTA agricultural policies for in situ maize diversity conservation. Qualitative methods, including semi-structured interviews with agricultural support institutions and participant observation with farmers, were used to gather data on dryland farmers’ access to research and extension, as well as possibilities for collective action. In southern Sonora, agricultural support is oriented primarily toward high-tech production, and there are structural barriers to small-scale farmers’ access to research and extension institutions. Further, collective action around agriculture is limited. These circumstances represent significant limitations to farmers’ options for accessing new techniques which might help maintain maize diversity in the context of economic and environmental change. (shrink)
Many philosophers believe that there is a fundamental distinction between knowing that something is the case and knowing how to do something. According to Gilbert Ryle, to whom the insight is credited, knowledge-how is an ability, which is in turn a complex of dispositions. Knowledge-that, on the other hand, is not an ability, or anything similar. Rather, knowledge-that is a relation between a thinker and a true proposition.
Chapter 1: Ryle on Knowing How Chapter 2: Knowledge-wh Chapter 3: PRO and the Representation of First-Person Thought Chapter 4: Ways of Thinking Chapter 5: Knowledge How Chapter 6: Ascribing Knowledge How Chapter 7: The Cognitive Science of Practical Knowledge Chapter 8: Knowledge Justified Preface A fact, as I shall use the term, is a true proposition. A proposition is the sort of thing that is capable of being believed or asserted. A proposition is also something that is characteristically the (...) kind of thing that is true or false; that snow is white is a true proposition, that Barack Obama is President of the United States as I am writing these words is another. Facts in this sense are not only among the things we believe and assert; they are also the kinds of things we know. The thesis of this book is that knowing how to do something is the same as knowing a fact. It follows that learning how to do something is learning a fact. For example, when you learned how to swim, what happened is that you learned some facts about swimming. Knowledge of these facts is what gave you knowledge of how to swim. Something similar occurred with every other activity that you now know how to do, such as riding a bicycle or cooking a meal. You know how to perform activities solely in virtue of your knowledge of facts about those activities. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend the thesis that alleffects of extra-linguistic context on thetruth-conditions of an assertion are traceable toelements in the actual syntactic structure of thesentence uttered. In the first section, I develop thethesis in detail, and discuss its implications for therelation between semantics and pragmatics. The nexttwo sections are devoted to apparent counterexamples.In the second section, I argue that there are noconvincing examples of true non-sentential assertions.In the third section, I argue that there are noconvincing examples of what (...) John Perry has called`unarticulated constituents''. I conclude by drawingsome consequences of my arguments for appeals tocontext-dependence in the resolution of problems inepistemology and philosophical logic. (shrink)
Reconhecido centro de formação profissional em carreiras jurídicas, o IDC oferece Especialização, preparação para Exame de Ordem e Cursos de Extensão em mais de 20 áreas do Direito, aprofundando os conhecimentos de advogados e bacharéis. Possui também graduação em Filosofia, além de promover Cursos Preparatórios para Concursos em diversas áreas, obtendo excelentes resultados de aprovação graças à preocupação constante na qualificação e excelência de seu corpo docente e infra-estrutura.
This paper is a companion piece to my earlier paper “Fallibilism and Concessive Knowledge Attributions”. There are two intuitive charges against fallibilism. One is that it countenances the truth (and presumably acceptability) of utterances of sentences such as “I know that Bush is a Republican, though it might be that he is not a Republican”. The second is that it countenances the truth (and presumably acceptability) of utterances of sentences such as “I know that Bush is a Republican, even though (...) I’m not certain that he is”, or “I know that Bush it a Republican, even though it isn’t certain that he is.” In “Fallibilism and Concessive Knowledge Attributions”, I argue that fallibilism in epistemology does not countenance the truth of utterances of sentences such as “I know that Bush is a Republican, though it might be that he is not a Republican”. In this paper, I argue that there are independent reasons for thinking that utterances of sentences such as “I know that Bush is a Republican, though I’m not certain that he is” and “I know that Bush is a Republican, though it’s not certain that he is” are unassertible. More specifically, I argue that these are simply instances of Moore’s Paradox, such as “Dogs bark, but I don’t know that they do.” The right account of Moore’s Paradox does not involve the falsehood of the semantic content of the relevant utterances, but rather their pragmatic unacceptability. So the anti-fallibilist intuitions turn out to have pragmatic, rather than semantic import, and therefore do not tell against the truth of fallibilism. Fallibilism in epistemology is often thought to be theoretically desirable, but intuitively problematic. My purpose with these two papers is to show that fallibilism is not intuitively problematic. (shrink)
Egalitarianism, the view that equality matters, attracts a great deal of attention amongst contemporary political theorists. And yet it has turned out to be surprisingly difficult to provide a fully satisfactory egalitarian theory. The cutting-edge articles in Egalitarianism move the debate forward. They are written by some of the leading political philosophers in the field.
Contextualism in epistemology is the doctrine that the proposition expressed by a knowledge attribution relative to a context is determined in part by the standards of justification salient in that context. The (non-skeptical) contextualist allows that in some context c, a speaker may truly attribute knowledge at a time of a proposition p to Hannah, despite her possession of only weak inductive evidence for the truth of that proposition. Relative to another context, someone may make the very same knowledge attribution (...) to Hannah, yet be speaking falsely, because the epistemic standards in that context are higher. The reason this is possible, according to the contextualist, is that the two knowledge attributions express different propositions. (shrink)
Fictionalist approaches to ontology have been an accepted part of philosophical methodology for some time now. On a fictionalist view, engaging in discourse that involves apparent reference to a realm of problematic entities is best viewed as engaging in a pretense. Although in reality, the problematic entities do not exist, according to the pretense we engage in when using the discourse, they do exist. In the vocabulary of Burgess and Rosen (1997, p. 6), a nominalist construal of a given discourse (...) is revolutionary just in case it involves a “reconstruction or revision” of the original discourse. Revolutionary approaches are therefore prescriptive. In contrast, a nominalist construal of a given discourse is hermeneutic just in case it is a nominalist construal of a discourse that is put forth as a hypothesis about how the discourse is in fact used; that is, hermeneutic approaches are descriptive. I will adopt Burgess and Rosen’s terminology to describe the two different spirits in which a fictionalist hypothesis in ontology might be advanced. Revolutionary fictionalism would involve admitting that while the problematic discourse does in fact involve literal reference to nonexistent entities, we ought to use the discourse in such a way that the reference is simply within the pretense. The hermeneutic fictionalist, in contrast, reads fictionalism into our actual use of the problematic discourse. According to her, normal use of the problematic discourse involves a pretense. According to the pretense, and only according to the pretense, there exist the objects to which the discourse would commit its users, were no pretense involved. My purpose in this paper is to argue that hermeneutic fictionalism is not a viable strategy in ontology. My argument proceeds in two steps. First, I discuss in detail several problematic consequences of any interesting application of hermeneutic fictionalism. Of course, if there is good evidence that hermeneutic fictionalism is correct in some cases, then some of these drastic consequences would have to be accepted.. (shrink)
Lewis concludes that fallibilism is uncomfortable, though preferable to scepticism. However, he believes that contextualism about knowledge allows us to ‘dodge the choice’ between fallibilism and scepticism. For the contextualist semantics for ‘know’ can explain the oddity of fallibilism, without landing us into scepticism.
In this book an eminent scholar presents a rich and penetrating analysis of the _Statesman_, perhaps Plato's most challenging work. Stanley Rosen contends that the main theme of this dialogue is a definition of the art of politics and the degree to which political experience is subject either to the rule of sound judgment or to technical construction. The _Statesman_, like Plato's earlier _Sophist_, features a Stranger who tries to refute Socrates. Much of his conversation is devoted to a (...) minute analysis of the art of weaving, selected by the Stranger as a paradigm of the royal art of politics, for he conceives of the city as an artifact. But the Stranger's successive efforts to find a method for defining the art of politics are failures, because there is no fitting model or technique of measurement by which to grasp politics that includes within its scope the totality of human existence—there is, suggests Plato, no technical construction of politics. Rosen reflects on the relevance of Plato to contemporary debates about political reconstruction on the one hand and about the deeper issue of the supposed end of modernity on the other. He argues that, far from being the father of essentialism and the reification of human nature, as others have suggested, Plato elaborates a rhetoric of politics as self-defense against nature. Just as weaving produces clothing to protect the body against the elements, so the statesman must produce myths or local models to protect the soul against the body. (shrink)
Although Hegel considered _Science of Logic_ essential to his philosophy, it has received scant commentary compared with the other three books he published in his lifetime. Here philosopher Stanley Rosen rescues the _Science of Logic_ from obscurity, arguing that its neglect is responsible for contemporary philosophy’s fracture into many different and opposed schools of thought. Through deep and careful analysis, Rosen sheds new light on the precise problems that animate Hegel’s overlooked book and their tremendous significance to philosophical conceptions (...) of logic and reason. Rosen’s overarching question is how, if at all, rationalism can overcome the split between monism and dualism. Monism—which claims a singular essence for all things—ultimately leads to nihilism, while dualism, which claims multiple, irreducible essences, leads to what Rosen calls “the endless chatter of the history of philosophy.” The _Science of Logic_, he argues, is the fundamental text to offer a new conception of rationalism that might overcome this philosophical split. Leading readers through Hegel’s book from beginning to end, Rosen’s argument culminates in a masterful chapter on the Idea in Hegel. By fully appreciating the_Science of Logic_ and situating it properly within Hegel’s oeuvre, Rosen in turn provides new tools for wrangling with the conceptual puzzles that have brought so many other philosophers to disaster. (shrink)
If, relative to a context, what a sentence says is necessarily true, then what it says must be so. If, relative to a context, what a sentence says is possible, then what it says could be true. Following natural philosophical usage, it would thus seem clear that in assessing an occurrence of a sentence for possibility or necessity, one is assessing what is said by that occurrence. In this paper, I argue that natural philosophical usage misleads here. In assessing an (...) occurrence of a sentence for possibility or necessity, one is not assessing the modal status of the proposition expressed by that occurrence of the sentence. (shrink)
This book takes Stanley Cavell's much-quoted, yet enigmatic phrase as the provocation for a series of explorations into themes of education that run throughout his work - through his response to Wittgenstein, Austin and ordinary language ...
According to what I will call a contextualist solution to the sorites paradox, vague terms are context-sensitive, and one can give a convincing dissolution of the sorites paradox in terms of this context-dependency. The reason, according to the contextualist, that precise boundaries for expressions like “heap” or “tall for a basketball player” are so difficult to detect is that when two entities are sufficiently similar (or saliently similar), we tend to shift the interpretation of the vague expression so that if (...) one counts as falling in the extension of the property expressed by that expression, so does the other. As a consequence, when we look for the boundary of the extension of a vague expression in its penumbra, our very looking has the effect of changing the interpretation of the vague expression so that the boundary is not where we are looking. This accounts for the persuasive force of sorites arguments. (shrink)
These lectures by one of the most influential and original philosophers of the twentieth century constitute a sustained argument for the philosophical basis of romanticism, particularly in its American rendering. Through his examination of such authors as Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, Stanley Cavell shows that romanticism and American transcendentalism represent a serious philosophical response to the challenge of skepticism that underlies the writings of Wittgenstein and Austin on ordinary language.
Combining exemplary scholarship and analytic precision, Stanley Rosen illuminates the underpinnings of post-modernist thought, providing valuable insight as he pursues two arguments: first, that post-modernism, which regards itself as an attack upon the Enlightenment, is in fact the penultimate stage of the Enlightenment itself; and second, that the extraordinary contemporary emphasis upon hermeneutics is the latest consequence of the triumph of history over mathematics within the unstable essence of the Enlightenment. Hermeneutics is consequently at bottom a political phenomenon. In (...) developing these arguments, Rosen demonstrates the paradigmatic status of Kant for a proper understanding of post-modernism, analyzes Derrida's influential critique of Platonism as well as his defense of writing, explains the political dimension of the quarrel between the ancients and moderns by studying the hermeneutics of Leo Strauss and Alexander Kojhve, and shows how the modern notion of "theory" is intrinsically relativized by the triumph of history over mathematics into the notion of interpretation. A wide-ranging exploration into current critical thinking, Hermeneutics as Politics will generate considerable debate among scholars interested in post-modernism, the Enlightenment, hermeneutics, the relation of philosophy and politics, deconstruction, and the history of philosophy. (shrink)
Stephen Mulhall presents the first full philosophical study of the work of Stanley Cavell. Cavell, a leading contemporary American thinker, is best known for his highly influential contributions to the fields of film studies, Shakespearian literary criticism, and the confluence of psychoanalysis and literary theory; Mulhall examines the broad spectrum of his thought, elucidating its essentially philosophical roots and trajectory.