Theism and its cousins, atheism and agnosticism, are seldom taken to task for logical-epistemological incoherence. This paper provides a condensed proof that not only theism, but atheism and agnosticism as well, are all of them conceptually self-undermining, and for the same reason: All attempt to make use of the concept of “transcendent reality,” which here is shown not only to lack meaning, but to preclude the very possibility of meaning. In doing this, the incoherence of theism, atheism, and agnosticism is (...) secondary to the more general incoherence of any attempts to refer to so-called “transcendent realities.” A recognition of the conceptually fundamental incoherence of theism, atheism, and agnosticism compels our rational assent to a position the author names “paratheism.”. (shrink)
Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Mental Health is the first book to question the equation of psychological normality and mental health. It is also the first book to take contemporary psychiatry and clinical psychology to task for deeply flawed thinking when they accept the diagnostic system propounded by the DSM, which reifies syndromes into alleged “mental disorders.” Where Thomas Szasz argued that “mental disorders” are myths, Bartlett makes the much more (...) damaging charge that reifying mental disorders involves a provable form of fallacious thinking, producing a variety of epistemological nonsense. /// -/- -/- The author weighs the evidence, and with strict logic, compelling evidence, and careful analysis, challenges the current paradigm of mental health theorists and practitioners. Never has the case against the standard of psychological normality and against the non-scientific creation of “mental disorders” been made with such boldness, multidisciplinary knowledge, solid scholarship, and clarity of language. /// -/- -/- Normality Does Not Equal Mental HealthAlthough the need to question psychological normality as a satisfactory standard of good mental health has been staring us in the face for a long time, no one, clinical professional or scholar, has had the courage or the intellectual willingness to face with unflinching honesty the shortcomings and disappointments of psychological normality and to propose that we should look elsewhere for standards of good psychological health. /// -/- -/- Contemporary psychiatry and clinical psychology, on the contrary, base their conception of mental health on the standard of psychological normality. This supposition has come to be accepted uncritically and without question, and yet it has become fundamental to current clinical theory and practice, and forms the core of the psychiatric classification system of the DSM, which has become today’s diagnostic authority. /// -/- -/- While touting today’s scientific gold standard of “evidence-based” research, DSM’s authoritative classification of “mental disorders” is itself hardly “evidence-based,” for it is recognized, but seldom emphasized, that the majority of DSM’s “mental disorders” have no known empirical, organic basis. /// -/- -/- Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health takes DSM to task not only for its failure to adhere to today’s evidence-based standard, but for its failure to rein in its highly speculative diagnostic labeling, in accordance with the modern paradigm of rigorous science, which repudiates metaphorical reifications whose alleged validity rests only on the voting preferences of a professional membership. /// -/- -/- The book is a carefully argued critique of the dominant assumption in current psychiatry and clinical psychology that psychological normality is fundamental to mental health and therefore good. In place of this unsatisfactory presumption, Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health proposes a positive and constructive revision in our understanding of mental health and of our conception of mental disorders. (shrink)
A combined psychological-epistemological study of the blocks that stand in the way of the human recognition of the sentience and legal rights of non-human animals. Originally published in the Lewis and Clark law journal, Animal Law, and subsequently translated into German and into Portuguese.
The extreme incidence and prevalence of rage-driven aggression and destructiveness in the United States is without parallel in any other industrialized country in the world. During 2022 alone, there were 647 mass shootings in the U.S. (in each, at least four victims were killed). Unfortunately these many killings comprise only one form of widespread rage in America. This paper seeks to answer why this is happening.
The paper begins by acknowledging that weakened systematic precision in phenomenology has made its application in philosophy of science obscure and ineffective. The defining aspirations of early transcendental phenomenology are, however, believed to be important ones. A path is therefore explored that attempts to show how certain recent developments in the logic of self-reference fulfill in a clear and more rigorous fashion in the context of philosophy of science certain of the early hopes of phenomenologists. The resulting dual approach is (...) applied to several problems in the philosophy of science: on the one hand, to proposed rejections of scientific objectivity, to the doctrine of radical meaning variance, and to the Quine-Duhem thesis, and or. the other, to an analysis of hidden variable theory in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
2022 UPDATE: The approach of this monograph has been updated and developed further in Appendix II, "Epistemological Intelligence," of the author’s 2021 book _Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning_. The book is available both in a printed edition (under ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6 from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other booksellers) and an Open Access eBook edition (available through Philpapers under the book’s title and other philosophy online archives). ●●●●● -/- The monograph’s twofold purpose is to recognize epistemological intelligence (...) as a distinguishable variety of human intelligence, one that is especially important to philosophers, and to understand the challenges posed by the psychological profile of philosophers that can impede the development and cultivation of the skills associated with epistemological intelligence. (shrink)
This is a primer on Steven James Bartlett's book CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON: HORIZONS OF POSSIBILITY AND MEANING. ●●●●● -/- Some books are long and complex. The Critique of Impure Reason is such a book. It is long enough and complex enough so that it may be a service to some readers to offer a primer to introduce and partially summarize the book’s objectives and method. Here, the author of Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning provides such (...) a guide, a vade mecum to accompany a reader should he or she embark on a study of the long and complex work. ●●●●● -/- The book is available in a printed edition, ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6, from online booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and through independent bookstores. The book is also available as an eBook, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5458352, through Zenodo, PhilSci, PhilPapers, HAL, and other online archives. (shrink)
In the past few decades, peer review has come to dominate virtually all professionally respectable academic and scientific publications. However, despite its near-universal acceptance, no code of conduct has been developed to which peer reviewers and their editors are encouraged to adhere. This paper proposes such a code of conduct.
This paper sought to state in a concise and comparatively informal, unsystematic, and more accessible form the more technical approach the author developed during a research fellowship in 1974-75 at the Max-Planck-Institut in Starnberg, Germany. ●●●●● The ideas presented in this paper are more fully developed in later publications by the author which are listed in the two-page addendum to this paper. ●●●●● UPDATED NOTE TO THE READER - December, 2021 ●●●●● Readers will find a more fully developed position than (...) was formulated in this 1976 paper in the author's book-length study, CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning. ●●●●● The book is available in a printed edition, ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6, from online booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and through independent bookstores. The book is also available as a freely downloadable _corrected second edition_ eBook, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5458352, through PhilSci, PhilPapers, HAL, and other online archives. ●●●●● In addition to the above-mentioned book, readers may find "A Primer on Bartlett's CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON" (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5789848) to be useful as a guide to the nearly 900-page CRITIQUE. The primer is available as a free download through PhilPapers. ●●●●●. (shrink)
For more than fifty years, taxonomists have proposed numerous alternative definitions of species while they searched for a unique, comprehensive, and persuasive definition. This monograph shows that these efforts have been unnecessary, and indeed have provably been a pursuit of a will o’ the wisp because they have failed to recognize the theoretical impossibility of what they seek to accomplish. A clear and rigorous understanding of the logic underlying species definition leads both to a recognition of the inescapable ambiguity that (...) affects the definition of species, and to a framework-relative approach to species definition that is logically compelling, i.e., cannot not be accepted without inconsistency. An appendix reflects upon the conclusions reached, applying them in an intellectually whimsical taxonomic thought experiment that conjectures the possibility of an emerging new human species. (shrink)
NOTE TO THE READER - December, 2021 ●●●●● -/- After a long period of time devoted to research in other areas, the author returned to the subject of this paper in a book-length study, CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning. In this book (Chapter 11, “The Metalogic of Meaning”), the position developed in the 1982 paper, "Referential Consistency as a Criterion of Meaning", has been substantively revised and several important corrections made. It is recommended that readers read (...) the revised and corrected version that appears in the book, CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON. ●●●●● -/- The book is available in a printed edition, ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6, from online booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and through independent bookstores. The book is also available as a freely downloadable _corrected second edition_ eBook, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5458352, through PhilSci, PhilPapers, HAL, and other online archives. ●●●●● -/- In addition to the above-mentioned book, readers may find "A Primer on Bartlett's CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON" to be useful as a guide to the nearly 900-page CRITIQUE. The primer is available as a free download through PhilPapers. ●●●●● -/- "Referential Consistency as a Criterion of Meaning" describes a logically compelling criterion of meaning — that is, a necessary condition of meaning, one which is non-arbitrary and compelling. One cannot _not_ accept the proposed criterion without self-referential inconsistency. This “metalogical” variety of self-referential inconsistency is new, opening a third category beyond semantical and pragmatical forms of self-referential inconsistency. ●●●●● -/- It is argued that such a criterion of meaning can serve as an instrument of internal criticism for any theoretical framework that permits reference to a class of objects. The paper combines the concern of the logical empiricists to formulate a rigorous meaning criterion, with the analytical interest in identifying and eliminating self-defeating statements through an analysis of the referential structure of theories. ●●●●● -/- The paper is followed by a list of other publications by the author that further develop and extend the ideas presented here. (shrink)
The Pathology of Man is the first comprehensive study of the psychology and epistemology of human evil, long urged by leading psychiatrists and psychologists, including Freud, Jung, Menninger, Fromm, and Peck. The book breaks new ground by offering a clear, empirically based, and theoretically sound understanding of human evil as a widespread, real, non-metaphorical pathology. With deliberate and thorough scholarship the author proposes a new framework-relative theory of disease and justifies the provocative thesis that human evil should be classified as (...) a pathology which is not a deviation from an accepted norm, but rather is a normal state. This break with tradition provides the necessary psychological foundation for the familiar concept of the banality of human evil, a foundation which in the past it has lacked. (shrink)
From the Editor’s Introduction: -/- THE INTERNAL LIMITATIONS OF HUMAN UNDERSTANDING -/- We carry, unavoidably, the limits of our understanding with us. We are perpetually confined within the horizons of our conceptual structure. When this structure grows or expands, the breadth of our comprehensions enlarges, but we are forever barred from the wished-for glimpse beyond its boundaries, no matter how hard we try, no matter how much credence we invest in the substance of our learning and mist of speculation. -/- (...) The limitations in view here are not due to the mere finitude of our understanding of ourselves and of the world in which we live. They are limitations that come automatically and necessarily with any form of understanding. They are, as we shall see, part and parcel of any organization or ordering of data that we call information. -/- The consequences of these limitations are varied: As a result of them, hermeneutics cannot help but be hermetic; scientific theories of necessity are circumscribed by the boundaries of the ideas that define them; formal systems must choose between consistency and comprehensiveness; philosophical study, because it includes itself within its own proper subject matter, is forced to be reflexive in its self-enclosure. The fundamental dynamic shared by all forms of understanding testifies to an internal limitative keystone. (shrink)
Pre-publication certification through peer review stands in need of philosophical examination. In this paper, philosopher-psychologist Steven James Bartlett recalls the arguments marshalled four hundred years ago by English poet John Milton against restraint of publication by the "gatekeepers of publication," AKA today's peer reviewers.
Philosophers have not resisted temptation to transgress against the logic of their own conceptual structures. Self-undermining position-taking is an occupational hazard. Philosophy stands in need of conceptual therapy. The author describes three conceptions of philosophy: the narcissistic, disputatious, and therapeutic. (i) Narcissistic philosophy is hermetic, believing itself to contain all evidence that can possibly be relevant to it. Philosophy undertaken in this spirit has led to defensive, monadically isolated positions. (ii) Disputatious philosophies are fundamentally question-begging, animated by assumptions that philosophical (...) adversaries reject. (iii) The intention of therapeutic philosophy is to study philosophical positions from the standpoint of their internal consistency, or lack of it. In particular, its interest is in positions that either compel assent, because they cannot be rejected without self-referential inconsistency, or self-destruct because self-referential inconsistency cannot be avoided. The article's focus is on the latter. Several examples of self-undermining positions are drawn from the history of philosophy, exemplifying two main varieties of self-referential inconsistency: pragmatical and projective. (shrink)
PLEASE NOTE: This is the corrected 2nd eBook edition, 2021. ●●●●● _Critique of Impure Reason_ has now also been published in a printed edition. To reduce the otherwise high price of this scholarly, technical book of nearly 900 pages and make it more widely available beyond university libraries to individual readers, the non-profit publisher and the author have agreed to issue the printed edition at cost. ●●●●● The printed edition was released on September 1, 2021 and is now available through (...) all booksellers, including Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and brick-and-mortar bookstores under ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6. ●●●●● -/- In light of the length of this book, readers who would like to have a more detailed description of the book's objectives and method may find it helpful to read the detailed and clearly written Wikipedia entry about this work: From the Wikipedia search page, use the search phrase "Critique of Impure Reason". At least at the time of this writing (11/29/2021), the Wikipedia entry is well-researched and accurate. ●●●●● In addition, a "Primer on Bartlett's CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON" has been made available by the author. It is available under its title through PhilPapers and other philosophy online archives. ●●●●● -/- COMMENDATIONS OF THIS WORK, from the back cover of the published edition: ●●●●● -/- “I admire its range of philosophical vision.” – Nicholas Rescher, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, author of more than 100 books. ●●●●● -/- “Bartlett’s _Critique of Impure Reason_ is an impressive, bold, and ambitious work. Careful scholarship is balanced by original analyses that lead the reader to recognize the limits of meaning, knowledge, and conceptual possibility. The work addresses a host of traditional philosophical problems, among them the nature of space, time, causality, consciousness, the self, other minds, ontology, free will and determinism, and others. The book culminates in a fascinating and profound new understanding of relativity physics and quantum theory.” – Gerhard Preyer, Professor of Philosophy, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, author of many books including _Concepts of Meaning_, _Beyond Semantics and Pragmatics_, _Intention and Practical Thought_, and _Contextualism in Philosophy_. ●●●●● -/- “[This work’s] goal is of a unique and difficult species: Dr. Bartlett seeks to develop a formal logical calculus on the basis of transcendental philosophical arguments; in fact, he hopes that this calculus will be the formal expression of the transcendental foundation of knowledge.... I consider Dr. Bartlett’s work soundly conceived and executed with great skill.” – C. F. von Weizsäcker, philosopher and physicist, former Director, Max-Planck-Institute, Starnberg, Germany. ●●●●● -/- “Bartlett has written an American “Prolegomena to All Future Metaphysics.” He aims rigorously to eliminate meaningless assertions, reach bedrock, and place philosophy on a firm foundation that will enable it, like science and mathematics, to produce lasting results that generations to come can build on. This is a great book, the fruit of a lifetime of research and reflection, and it deserves serious attention.” — Martin X. Moleski, former Professor, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, studies of scientific method, the presuppositions of thought, and the self-referential nature of epistemology. ●●●●● -/- “Bartlett has written a book on what might be called the underpinnings of philosophy. It has fascinating depth and breadth, and is all the more striking due to its unifying perspective based on the concepts of reference and self-reference.” – Don Perlis, Professor of Computer Science, University of Maryland, author of numerous publications on self-adjusting autonomous systems and philosophical issues concerning self-reference, mind, and consciousness. ●●●●● ●●●●● The _Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning_ comprises a major and important contribution to philosophy. Thanks to the generosity of its publisher, this massive 885-page volume has been published as a free open access eBook (3.75MB) as well as an open access printed edition. It inaugurates a revolutionary paradigm shift in philosophical thought by providing compelling and long-sought-for solutions to a wide range of philosophical problems. In the process, the work fundamentally transforms the way in which the concepts of reference, meaning, and possibility are understood. The book includes a Foreword by the celebrated German philosopher and physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. ●●●●● -/- In Kant’s _Critique of Pure Reason_ we find an analysis of the preconditions of experience and of knowledge. In contrast, but yet in parallel, the new _Critique_ focuses upon the ways—unfortunately very widespread and often unselfconsciously habitual—in which many of the concepts that we employ _conflict_ with the very preconditions of meaning and of knowledge. ●●●●● -/- This is a book about the boundaries of frameworks and about the unrecognized conceptual confusions in which we become entangled when we attempt to transgress beyond the limits of the possible and meaningful. We tend either not to recognize or not to accept that we all-too-often attempt to trespass beyond the boundaries of the frameworks that make knowledge possible and the world meaningful. ●●●●● -/- The _Critique of Impure Reason_ proposes a bold, ground-breaking, and startling thesis: that a great many of the major philosophical problems of the past can be solved through the recognition of a viciously deceptive form of thinking to which philosophers as well as non-philosophers commonly fall victim. For the first time, the book advances and justifies the criticism that a substantial number of the questions that have occupied philosophers fall into the category of “impure reason,” violating the very conditions of their possible meaningfulness. ●●●●● -/- The purpose of the study is twofold: first, to enable us to recognize the boundaries of what is referentially forbidden—the limits beyond which reference becomes meaningless—and second, to avoid falling victims to a certain broad class of conceptual confusions that lie at the heart of many major philosophical problems. As a consequence, the boundaries of _possible meaning_ are determined. ●●●●● -/- Bartlett, the author or editor of more than 20 books, is responsible for identifying this widespread and delusion-inducing variety of error, _metalogical projection_. It is a previously unrecognized and insidious form of erroneous thinking that undermines its own possibility of meaning. It comes about as a result of the pervasive human compulsion to seek to transcend the limits of possible reference and meaning. ●●●●● -/- Based on original research and rigorous analysis combined with extensive scholarship, the _Critique of Impure Reason_ develops a self-validating method that makes it possible to recognize, correct, and eliminate this major and pervasive form of fallacious thinking. In so doing, the book provides at last provable and constructive solutions to a wide range of major philosophical problems. ●●●●● -/- CONTENTS AT A GLANCE ▪▪▪▪▪ Preface ▪▪▪▪▪ Foreword by Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker ▪▪▪▪▪ Acknowledgments ▪▪▪▪▪ Avant-propos: A philosopher’s rallying call ▪▪▪▪▪ Introduction ▪▪▪▪▪ A note to the reader ▪▪▪▪▪ A note on conventions ▪▪▪▪▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ PART I ▪▪▪▪▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ WHY PHILOSOPHY HAS MADE NO PROGRESS AND HOW IT CAN ▪▪▪▪▪ 1 Philosophical-psychological prelude ▪▪▪▪▪ 2 Putting belief in its place: Its psychology and a needed polemic ▪▪▪▪▪ 3 Turning away from the linguistic turn: From theory of reference to metalogic of reference ▪▪▪▪▪ 4 The stepladder to maximum theoretical generality ▪▪▪▪▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ PART II ▪▪▪▪▪ THE METALOGIC OF REFERENCE ▪▪▪▪▪ A New Approach to Deductive, Transcendental Philosophy ▪▪▪▪▪ 5 Reference, identity, and identification ▪▪▪▪▪ 6 Self-referential argument and the metalogic of reference ▪▪▪▪▪ 7 Possibility theory ▪▪▪▪▪ 8 Presupposition logic, reference, and identification ▪▪▪▪▪ 9 Transcendental argumentation and the metalogic of reference ▪▪▪▪▪ 10 Framework relativity ▪▪▪▪▪ 11 The metalogic of meaning ▪▪▪▪▪ 12 The problem of putative meaning and the logic of meaninglessness ▪▪▪▪▪ 13 Projection ▪▪▪▪▪ 14 Horizons ▪▪▪▪▪ 15 De-projection ▪▪▪▪▪ 16 Self-validation ▪▪▪▪▪ 17 Rationality: Rules of admissibility ▪▪▪▪▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ PART III ▪▪▪▪▪ PHILOSOPHICAL APPLICATIONS OF THE METALOGIC OF REFERENCE ▪▪▪▪▪ Major Problems and Questions of Philosophy and the Philosophy of Science ▪▪▪▪▪ 18 Ontology and the metalogic of reference ▪▪▪▪▪ 19 Discovery or invention in general problem-solving, mathematics, and physics ▪▪▪▪▪ 20 The conceptually unreachable: “The far side” ▪▪▪▪▪ 21 The projections of the external world, things-in-themselves, other minds, realism, and idealism ▪▪▪▪▪ 22 The projections of time, space, and space-time ▪▪▪▪▪ 23 The projections of causality, determinism, and free will ▪▪▪▪▪ 24 Projections of the self and of solipsism ▪▪▪▪▪ 25 Non-relational, agentless reference and referential fields ▪▪▪▪▪ 26 Relativity physics as seen through the lens of the metalogic of reference ▪▪▪▪▪ 27 Quantum theory as seen through the lens of the metalogic of reference ▪▪▪▪▪ 28 Epistemological lessons learned from and applicable to relativity physics and quantum theory ▪▪▪▪▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ PART IV ▪▪▪▪▪ HORIZONS ▪▪▪▪▪ 29 Beyond belief ▪▪▪▪▪ 30 _Critique of Impure Reason_: Its results in retrospect ▪▪▪▪▪ ▪▪▪▪▪ SUPPLEMENT ▪▪▪▪▪ The Formal Structure of the Metalogic of Reference ▪▪▪▪▪ APPENDIX I ▪▪▪▪▪ The Concept of Horizon in the Work of Other Philosophers ▪▪▪▪▪ APPENDIX II ▪▪▪▪▪ Epistemological Intelligence ▪▪▪▪▪ References ▪▪▪▪▪ Index ▪▪▪▪▪ About the author . 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A short paper presented before the Fellows of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions during the academic year 1969-70, with an Introductory Note written nearly 50 years later. The paper describes the author's enduring personal philosophical precept; it is also an implicit encomium to individuals whose psychology establishes a dependable bridge between their rational convictions and their conduct.
There has been a general failure among mental health theorists and social psychologists to understand the etiology of work-engendered depression. Yet the condition is increasingly prevalent in highly industrialized societies, where an exclusionary focus upon work, money, and the things that money can buy has displaced values that traditionally exerted a liberating and humanizing influence. Social critics have called the result an impoverishment of the spirit, a state of cultural bankruptcy, and an incapacity for genuine leisure. From a clinical perspective, (...) the condition has been diagnosed as widespread narcissism and obsessive work. -/- Acedia, a concept developed by the Scholastics, throws clarifying light on the origin of this form of depression. (shrink)
This is one of several papers by the author that seek to throw light on the psychology of philosophers. In this paper, certain of the defining properties of clinical narcissism are discussed in their application to the ideological position-taking character of many philosophers and the philosophies they propound. ●●●●● -/- 2022 UPDATE: The approach of this paper has been updated and developed further in Chapters 1 and 2 of the author’s 2021 book _Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and (...) Meaning_. The book is available both in a printed edition (under ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6 from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other booksellers) and an Open Access eBook edition (available under the book's title through Philpapers and other philosophy archives). (shrink)
This is the introduction to Self-reference: Reflections on Reflexivity, edited by Steven James Bartlett and Peter Suber. The introduction identifies and describes a wide range of varieties of self-reference, some which have become important topics of investigation in philosophy, and others which are of significance in other disciplines. /// The anthology is the first published collection of essays to give a sense of depth and breadth of current work on this fascinating and important set of issues. The volume contains 13 (...) essays by well-known authors in this field, written on special invitation for this collection. In addition, the book includes the first general bibliography of works on self-reference, comprising more than 1,200 citations. (shrink)
The psychological-ideological roots of philosophy. -/- ●●●●● 2022 UPDATE: The approach of this paper has been updated and developed further in Chapters 1 and 2 of the author’s 2021 book _Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning_. The book is available both in a printed edition (under ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6 from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other booksellers) and an Open Access eBook edition (available through Philpapers under the book’s title and other philosophy online archives).
A study of the psychology of demoralization affecting university faculty in the liberal arts. This form of demoralization is not adequately understood in terms of the concept of career burnout. Instead, demoralization that affects university faculty in the liberal arts requires a broadened understanding of the historical and psychological situation in which these professors find themselves today.
A RELATIVISTIC THEORY OF PHENOMENOLOCICAL CONSTITUTION: A SELF-REFERENTIAL, TRANSCENDENTAL APPROACH TO CONCEPTUAL PATHOLOGY. (Vol. I: French; Vol. II: English) -/- Steven James Bartlett -/- Doctoral dissertation director: Paul Ricoeur, Université de Paris Other doctoral committee members: Jean Ladrière and Alphonse de Waehlens, Université Catholique de Louvain Defended publically at the Université Catholique de Louvain, January, 1971. -/- Universite de Paris X (France), 1971. 797pp. -/- The principal objective of the work is to construct an analytically precise methodology which can serve (...) to identify, eliminate, and avoid a certain widespread _conceptual fault_ or _misconstruction_, called a "projective misconstruction" or "projection" by the author. It is argued that this variety of error in our thinking (i) infects a great number of our everyday, scientific, and philosophical concepts, claims, and theories, (ii) has largely been undetected, and (iii), when remedied, leads to a less controversial and more rigorous elucidation of the transcendental preconditions of human knowledge than has traditionally been possible. The dissertation identifies, perhaps for the first time, a _projective_ variety of self-referential inconsistency, and proposes an innovative, self-reflexive approach to transcendental argument in a logical and phenomenological context. The strength of the approach lies, it is claimed, in the fact that a rejection of the approach is possible only on pain of self-referential inconsistency. The argument is developed in the following stages: A general introduction identifies the central theme of the work, defines the scope of applicability of the results reached, and sketches the direction of the studies that follow. The preliminary discussion culminates in a recognition of the need for a _critique of impure reason_. The body of the work is divided into two parts: Section I seeks to develop a methodology, on a purely formal basis, which is, on the one hand, capable of being used to study the transcendental foundations of the special sciences, including its own proper transcendental foundation. On the other hand, the methodology proposed is intended as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool for dealing with _projective_ uses of concepts. The approach initiates an analysis of concepts from a perspective which views _knowledge as coordination_. Section I describes formal structures that possess the status of preconditions in such a coordinative account of knowledge. Special attention is given to the preconditions of _identifying reference_ to logical particulars. The first section attempts, then, to provide a self-referential, transcendental methodology which is essentially revisionary in that it is motivated by a concern for conceptual error-elimination. Phenomenology, considered in its unique capacity as a self-referential, transcendental discipline, is of special relevance to the study. Section II accordingly examines a group of concepts which come into question in connection with the central theme of _phenomenological constitution_. The "_de-projective methodology_" developed in Section I is applied to these concepts that have a foundational importance in transcendental phenomenology. A translation is, in effect, proposed from the language of consciousness to a language in which preconditions of referring are investigated. The result achieved is the elimination of self-defeating, projective concepts from a rigorous, phenomenological study of the constitutive foundations of science. The dissertation was presented in a two volume, double-language format for the convenience of French and English researchers. Each volume contains an analytical index. (shrink)
From the Editor’s Introduction: "The Internal Limitations of Human Understanding." We carry, unavoidably, the limits of our understanding with us. We are perpetually confined within the horizons of our conceptual structure. When this structure grows or expands, the breadth of our comprehensions enlarges, but we are forever barred from the wished-for glimpse beyond its boundaries, no matter how hard we try, no matter how much credence we invest in the substance of our learning and mist of speculation. -/- The limitations (...) in view here are not due to the mere finitude of our understanding of ourselves and of the world in which we live. They are limitations that come automatically and necessarily with any form of understanding. They are, as we shall see, part and parcel of any organization or ordering of data that we call information. -/- The consequences of these limitations are varied: As a result of them, hermeneutics cannot help but be hermetic; scientific theories of necessity are circumscribed by the boundaries of the ideas that define them; formal systems must choose between consistency and comprehensiveness; philosophical study, because it includes itself within its own proper subject matter, is forced to be reflexive in its self-enclosure. The fundamental dynamic shared by all forms of understanding testifies to an internal limitative keystone. (shrink)
A description of the psychological profile of the philosophical personality. ●●●●● -/- 2022 UPDATE: The approach of this paper has been updated and developed further in Chapters 1 and 2 of the author’s 2021 book _Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning_. The book is available both in a printed edition (under ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6 from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other booksellers) and an Open Access eBook edition (available through Philpapers under the book’s title and other philosophy online (...) archives). (shrink)
This paper, published in 2022 in the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective (SERRC), offers a philosopher-psychologist’s explanation of our species’ deeply rooted resistance to self-knowledge. The article focuses on limitations that come about when people do not possess a group of cognitive and psychological skills and competencies which the author has called “epistemological intelligence.” ¶¶¶¶¶ The paper develops the idea of “one-way concepts,” concepts that can appropriately and informatively be applied to the human species, but which, due to human (...) species pride and exemptionalism, people often refuse to do.¶¶¶¶¶ When people lack the necessary skills and competences, they become resistant to new ways of thinking which can help our species break free from self-limiting and often self-destructive ways patterns of thought and behavior.¶¶¶¶¶ . (shrink)
Starting with Kant’s undeveloped proposal of a “negative science,” the author describes how philosophy may be developed and strengthened by means of a systematic approach that seeks to identify and eliminate a widespread but seldom recognized form of systemic and propagating conceptual error. ¶¶¶¶¶ -/- The paper builds upon the author’s book, CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON: HORIZONS OF POSSIBILITY AND MEANING (Studies in Theory and Behavior, 2021). ¶¶¶¶¶ -/- The author’s purpose is twofold: first, to enable us to recognize the (...) boundaries of what is referentially forbidden—the limits beyond which reference becomes meaningless—and second, to avoid falling victims to a certain broad class of conceptual confusions that lie at the heart of many major philosophical problems. By realizing these objectives, the boundaries of possible meaning are determined. (shrink)
An introductory text describing the author’s approach to epistemology in terms of self-referential argumentation and self-validating proofs. The text emphasizes a skill-based, rather than content-based, approach to the study of epistemology. The book is a simply stated, basic text whose purpose is to introduce students to the technical approach to epistemology developed by the author in other publications. ●●●●● -/- 2022 UPDATE: The approach of this book has been updated and developed further in the author’s 2021 book _Critique of Impure (...) Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning_. The book is available both in a printed edition (under ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6 from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other booksellers) and an Open Access eBook edition (available through Philpapers under the book’s title and other philosophy online archives). (shrink)
This paper examines a largely unrecognized mental disorder that is essentially a disability of values. It is their daily contact with this pathology that leads many university liberal arts faculty to demoralization. The deeply rooted disparity between the world of the traditional liberal arts scholar and today’s college students is not simply a gulf across which communication is difficult, but rather involves a pathological impairment in the majority of students that stems from an exclusionary focus on work, money, and the (...) acquisition of things. It is argued that this state of mind constitutes a self-disabling mental illness, which for a society becomes pathological ideology, and for the individual takes the form of clinical narcissism. (shrink)
THE CASE FOR GOVERNMENT BY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. Tired of election madness? The rhetoric of politicians? Their unreliable promises? And less than good government? -/- Until recently, it hasn’t been hard for people to give up control to computers. Not very many people miss the effort and time required to do calculations by hand, to keep track of their finances, or to complete their tax returns manually. But relinquishing direct human control to self-driving cars is expected to be more of a (...) challenge, despite the predicted decrease in vehicle accidents thanks to artificial intelligence that isn’t subject to human distractions and errors of judgment. -/- If turning vehicle control over to artificial intelligence is a challenge, it is a very mild one compared with the idea that we might one day recognize and want to implement the advantages of human government by AI. But, like autonomous vehicle control, government by AI is likely to offer decided benefits. -/- In other publications, the author has studied a variety of widespread human limitations that, throughout human history, have led to much human suffering as well as ecological destruction. For the first time, these psychological and cognitive human shortcomings are taken into account in an essay that makes the case for government by artificial intelligence. (shrink)
The paper identifies defining characteristics of the principal models of problem-solving behavior which are useful in developing a general theory of problem-solving. An attempt is made both to make explicit those disagreements between theorists of different persuasions which have served as obstacles to an integrated approach, and to show that these disagreements have arisen from a number of conceptual confusions: The conflict between information processors and behavioral analysts has resulted from a common failure to understand theoretical sufficiency, and hence these (...) theorists have been at a loss to understand one another. Two directions of research in problem-solving, mechanical algorithmic problem-solving and the psychology of invention, have been thought to be divergent, but in fact complement one another once it is clear that problem-solving involves neither discovery nor invention, but rather is a matter of perceptual encoding and processing. Successful problem-solving behavior can be described as adaptive, learning behavior in which organization skills are effectively associated with situationally determined perceptual encoding processes of the individual mechanical or biological problem-solver. (shrink)
2022 UPDATE: The approach of this paper has been updated and developed further in the author’s 2021 book _Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning_. The book is available both in a printed edition (under ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6 from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other booksellers) and an Open Access eBook edition (available through Philpapers under the book’s title and other philosophy online archives). ●●●●● The author distinguishes between the “information-oriented” approach of conservative, traditional philosophy, and an approach to (...) philosophy as “conceptual therapy.” The former emphasizes scholarship, textual explication and criticism, and, in general, a knowledge of the views of traditional thinkers. Philosophy as conceptual therapy, on the other hand, seeks an improvement of intellectual skills, and fosters a therapy for concepts and, by inference, a therapy for thinkers. The major concern of the paper is to argue that the traditional information-oriented approach to philosophy does not help its students effectively to develop intellectual skills, and that a conception of philosophy as conceptual therapy can provide a valuable contribution to the teaching and to the subject-matter of philosophy. (shrink)
This is a study of the relativity of facts in relation to the frameworks of reference in terms of which those facts are established. In this early paper from 1975, intended for a less technical audience, the author proposes an understanding of facts and their associated frameworks in terms of complementarity. This understanding of facts leads to an integrated yet pluralistic concept of reality. In the Addendum, readers will find a partial listing of related publications by the author that extend (...) the research described in this paper. (shrink)
This essay revisits the topic of how we should measure the things that matter, at a time when we continue to mismeasure our lives, as we hold fast to outworn myths of usefulness, popularity, and the desire to influence others. /// Three central, unquestioned presumptions have come to govern much of contemporary society, education, and the professions. They are: the high value placed on usefulness, on the passion to achieve popularity, and on the desire to influence others. In this essay, (...) the psychologist-philosopher author makes the case against these presumptions, presumptions which lead to exclusionary commitments that stand in the way of human cultural development. (shrink)
The Introduction to the collection of papers, _Reflexivity: A Source-book in Self-reference_. The Introduction studies the limits of our understanding that we carry unavoidably with us. We are perpetually confined within the horizons of our conceptual structure. When this structure grows or expands, the breadth of our comprehensions enlarges, but we are forever barred from the wished-for glimpse beyond its boundaries, no matter how hard we try, no matter how much credence we invest in the substance of our learning and (...) mist of speculation. (shrink)
A book review of _Free Choice: A Self-referential Argument_ by J. M. Boyle, Jr., G. Grisez, and O. Tollefsen. The review concerns the pragmatical self-referential argument employed in the book, and points to the fact that the argument is itself self-referentially inconsistent, but on the level of metalogical self-reference.
Whether truth, morality, and beauty have an objective basis has been a perennial question for philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics, while for a great many relativists and skeptics it poses a problem without a solution. In this essay, the author proposes an innovative approach that shows how cognitive intelligence, moral intelligence, and aesthetic intelligence provide the basis needed for objective judgments about truth, morality, and beauty.
An invited High Table Address given before the students and faculty of Raymond College, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, December 10, 1969. An impressionistic and idealistic paper from the author’s youth suggesting how his _de-projective approach to phenomenology_ could lead to an actual, lived, worldview.
An essay that weighs the main factors that lead authors of academic and scientific books to consider conventional publication of their work, with realistic and practical recommendations for these authors so they may avoid the contractual “imprisonment” of their books after the period of initial active sales has passed.
[A Polish translation of Steven James Bartlett, “Phenomenology of the Implicit,” Dialectica: Revue international de philosophie de la connaissance, Vol. 29, Nos. 2-3, 1975, pp. 173-188.] -/- This paper marks a juncture between the author’s studies in phenomenology and the transition he made to a study of what he has called a “metalogic of reference.” Published in 1974 in Polish translation, followed by its publication in English in 1975, “Phenomenology of the Implicit” describes the author’s “translation schema” that permits certain (...) of the central goals of Husserlian transcendental philosophy to be transposed to a framework that studies the preconditions of valid reference. The result of this translation was the development of the author’s “de-projective” approach to phenomenology, which he later dissociated from phenomenology in the form of a pure metalogic of reference. (shrink)
The author shares philosophical and biographical reflections, accompanied by photographs, on the lives of his well-known literary parents, poet Elizabeth Bartlett and writer/artist Paul Alexander Bartlett.
The American system of education makes important and sometimes unjustified assumptions that were questioned and criticized nearly a hundred years ago by author and educational theorist Albert Jay Nock. This essay discusses Nock’s theory of American education and finds that certain of these assumptions stand greatly in need of the support of evidence.
Two fundamentally distinct approaches to the teaching of philosophy are contrasted: On the one hand, there is the “information-oriented” approach which has dominated classrooms and which emphasizes the understanding of historically important philosophical works. On the other hand, there is the “cognitive skills” approach. The two approaches may be distinguished under the headings of ‘knowing that’ as opposed to ‘knowing how’. This paper describes and discusses four perspectives relating to the teaching of cognitive skills: (i) the discovery-oriented approach, (ii) Piagetian (...) learning cycles, (iii) protocol analysis, and (iv) conceptual therapy. The latter approach reflects the author’s interest in helping students to develop “therapeutic” skills that enable them to identify and eliminate concepts which they employ in their thinking and which are incompatible with their own presuppositional bases and are therefore self-refuting. ●●●●● -/- 2022 UPDATE: The approach of this paper has been updated and developed further in Appendix II, "Epistemological Intelligence," of the author’s 2021 book _Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning_. The book is available both in a printed edition (under ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6 from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other booksellers) and an Open Access eBook edition (available through Philpapers under the book’s title and other philosophy online archives). (shrink)
This paper, "The Ecological Pathology of Man," is an expanded excerpt from the author's book, "The Pathology of Man: A Study of Human Evil." ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ When taken as a serious and dispassionate object of study from the standpoint of the science of pathology, the human species is easily recognized as a global pathogen. Incontrovertible evidence on all sides tells us this, and yet we have steadfastly avoided an honest look in the mirror. We so often choose—willfully and with strong convictions (...) sustained by homocentric prejudice—to hide the facts from ourselves, and to proceed with untroubled ignorance to overlook the worldwide human and natural devastation for which our species is responsible. (shrink)
A combined psychological-epistemological study of the human blocks that stand in the way of the recognition of the sentience and legal rights of non-human animals. This is a German translation of the original paper, "Roots of Human Resistance to Animal Rights: Psychological and Conceptual Blocks," published by the Lewis and Clark law journal, Animal Rights, in 2002.
Hundreds of evaluative studies of psychotherapy still leave the issue of its effectiveness unsettled. The author argues that such studies have ignored the major determinant of therapeutic effectiveness, the role of a patient’s belief in the successful outcome in therapy. Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, one of the foremost critics of psychiatry, wrote of this paper: "It is one of the best, if not the best, that I have read on this subject.” It makes little sense to claim that a certain therapy (...) is effective or ineffective in itself; rather, there is a relation of mutual interaction among three terms: a patient’s ability to learn in a psychological context, a therapist’s ability to teach, and the capacity of an approach to therapy to engender in the patient the necessary belief in its effectiveness. -/- The paper is followed by a 4-page 2014 Afterword. (shrink)
This review article provides a brief descriptive overview of past efforts to use self-referential argumentation, distinguishing pragmatical from metalogical self-referential approaches. The reviewer claims that the pragmatical self-referential argument proposed in this book is itself metalogically self-referentially inconsistent, and directs the reader to other relevant published works by the reviewer.
This monograph has three purposes. It attempts first to describe in general terms methods of investigation proper to strict phenomenology and to new rhetoric. Second, it describes certain recent developments by the author that lead to a de-projective approach to phenomenology and which are of potential significance in a variety of areas of study, including new rhetoric. Finally, suggestions are made with a view to bringing portions of rigorous phenomenology into close connection with certain of the basic concerns of new (...) rhetoric. (shrink)