The double issue of Synthese devoted to essays on the work of W. V. Quine has been re-issued under hard cover with an additional paper by Grice on "Vacuous Names" and a 13-page bibliography of Quine's writings. With the exception of Berry's "Logic with Platonism" and Jensen's "On The Consistency of a Slight. Modification of Quine's New Foundation," the papers are concerned with the key issues of Word and Object. Quine's responses to each of the contributors are not as helpful (...) as they might be, but are at times quite illuminating. He dispels Stenius's view in "Beginning with Ordinary Things" that Quine holds a Russellian epistemology, for example, and clarifies somewhat his account of ontic commitment in replying to Hintikka's "Behavioral Criteria of Radical Translation." Hintikka argues that "to be is to be a value of a bound variable" presupposes the principle, "to be is to be an object of search." Quine rejects this view, identifying his ontology with the range of the variables as opposed to the class of all things to which a theory is ontically committed. The introduction to chapter two of Word and Object by Harman is quite helpful, suggesting among other things that Quine's use of 'propositional attitude' is a misnomer to be better replaced by 'sentential attitude'. An interesting and provocative paper by Kaplan offers a Fregean alternative to Quine's general mode of handling referentially opaque contexts, allowing "Quantifying In" with the variable ranging over expressions. Interestingly enough, Quine's remarks are rather laudatory and sympathetic. Davidson's "On Saying That" suggests a roughly similar account of oratio obliqua discourse. Føllesdal and Sellars discuss "Quine on Modality" and "Some Problems about Belief." There is a discussion of "Quine's Philosophy of Science" by Smart, tracing a shift from instrumentalism to realism on the part of Quine. Also included are papers by Chomsky, Stroud, and Geach, as well as Strawson's familiar "Singular Terms and Predication." In spite of the imposing price and the uneven quality of the essays, the book is a desirable piece of Quineana.--K. T. (shrink)
A significant advance toward a more objective understanding of western philosophy in Soviet philosophical circles. Unlike the off-hand condemnations of western philosophers which so often fill the pages of Voprosy Filosofii, this Georgian philosopher presents a well documented historical development of twentieth century analytic philosophy from Russell's atomism, through Wittgenstein's Tractatus, logical positivism, and recent trends in English analysis. The "moral" of the story is that western thinkers are gradually coming to see the poverty of their philosophical perspective; linguistic analysis (...) must give way to the "precise vision of historical materialism."--K. R. D. (shrink)
A warm and sympathetic reconstruction, by an obvious admirer, of the life, times and work of K'ung Ch'iu, based upon the Confucian Classics and a variety of historical sources, including the works of recent scholars. A helpful bibliography is included.--V. C. C.
The notion of form is "the most important notion within the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment". The sensible form involved in aesthetic judgment stands in no clear relation to the formal elements of the Transcendental Aesthetic and Logic—neither to the a priori forms of space and time, nor to the categories. It is held to be the same "kind of form" as the intuitable, "empirical form" mentioned infrequently in the Pure Reason. The author attempts to establish only "what Kant meant" as (...) distinct from its "truth." He lays a bold preparation for "the suggestion... that aesthetic experience is a window, so to speak, into the noumenal world". In Ch. I he accepts a widely-held view that Kant is the discoverer of "philosophical aesthetics" or "the autonomy of the aesthetic realm." His concern is not with this historical question. Nonetheless it may be said that he is not sufficiently aware that the autonomy found in Kant is not in understanding aesthetics as a realm of art, but only in understanding aesthetic judgment in its concern with both art and nature. Accordingly the aesthetic form of objects of art and objects of nature is treated without differentiation. The author is little concerned with form in its relation to natural purposiveness, or with the relation of form in the Aesthetic Judgment to form in the Teleological Judgment. Since nature, at least in certain contexts, supplies a kind of norm for art—a "traditional" element in Kant—the author’s exposition of the manner in which art imitates nature is not entirely satisfactory. In Ch. II, the central issue is whether "individual colors and tones are more than mere sensations". If however each may be understood as "a play of sensations" they can be said to possess a "form" and may enter into aesthetic judgments. The assumption here is that only if the parts of a beautiful thing, e.g., the individual colors of a painting, are beautiful, "can the painting as a whole be a beautiful thing". But this atomistic view of the aesthetic part is subsequently modified. In Ch. III, the imagination is said to "function without the categories" in the synthesis of aesthetic forms. The author must then oppose the view of Kemp Smith and others "that there can be no cognitive awareness or consciousness apart from the categories". He relies especially on the "judgments of perception" of the Prolegomena which "require no pure concept of the understanding". The possibility is not considered that although the imagination may indeed function "autonomously"—without the categories—in the synthesis of aesthetic form, that same synthesis may presuppose a synthesis employing the categories, especially in certain types of aesthetic experience. Some valuable clarifications are achieved of the difficult notions of "play," the harmony of form and cognitive faculties, and the universality of aesthetic judgments. The thesis of Ch. IV is that the object of experience, or the phenomenal object, is not a second object, distinct from the thing-in-itself, but an appearance of the thing-in-itself. Ch. V is devoted to Kant’s theory of art and especially to genius as the productive faculty of aesthetic ideas. The harmony of the faculties of imagination and understanding required of the artistic genius is held to be the same as the harmony which "the work of art itself... arouses in the perceiver of that work of art", but is spontaneous and original in the former case. What would be required of the productive agency in the case of natural objects of aesthetic experience lies outside the range of subject matter chosen. Kant’s view, although not entirely lucid, is that "the standard of fine art must be sought in the supersensible substrate of the artist’s faculties and that the production of the accord of the faculties of understanding and imagination ‘is the ultimate end set by the intelligible basis of our nature'". This prepares the conclusion that "the artist, as creative genius, is he who not only produces but expresses in sensible products, forms which are windows into the supersensible substrate of being". The monograph effectively raises this possibility as a central issue in the discussion of Kant’s aesthetics.—R. K. (shrink)
This paper takes the position that interpretations of legal discourse are invariably taken in the context of socio-pragmatic realities to which a particular instance of discourse applies. What makes this process even more complicated is the fact that social realities themselves are often negotiated within the mould of one’s subjective conceptualisations of reality. Institutions and organisations, including people in power, often represent socio-political realities from an ideologically fuelled perspective, engendering many ‘illusory’ categories often a result of contested versions of reality. (...) To substantiate this view, we discuss interpretations of a number of interesting contemporary and controversial laws, including America’s Patriot Act and Hong Kong’s proposed Article 23 of the Basic Law. Both laws can be seen as illustrative of the definitional conflict that abstract concepts such as democracy and human rights are subjected to in their own specific socio-political contexts. While America crowns itself with democracy and Hong Kong struggles to achieve it in effective synthesis with its unique political arrangement, the laws produced by both contrasting political systems are unexpectedly similar, aiming for the moderation of basic rights. The actions of both governments set against their beliefs and discourses, and furthermore set against one another and other media voices, particularly those of non-governmental organisations, political activists, and other socio-political groups, demonstrate contestation of realities, giving rise to ‘discursive illusions’, which seem to be interpreted not so much on the basis of their linguistic construction but more on the basis of socio-pragmatic factors, such as trust, belief, transparency, control and power. (shrink)
The comparative analysis of the approaches to philosophy and philosophizing by the two prominent Russian thinkers of the Soviet era: Evald V. Ilyenkov and Merab K. Mamardashvili. The author discusses specific methodological and conceptual features of Ilyenkov's dialectic and Mamardashvili's phenomenology, showing their theoretical and topical affinity.
I expect every reader knows the hackneyed old joke: ‘What is matter? Never mind. What is mind? No matter.’ Antique as this joke is, it none the less points to an interesting question. For the so-called mind–body dichotomy, which has been raised to almost canonical status in post-Cartesian philosophy, is not in fact at all easy to draw or to defend. This of course means that ‘the mind–body problem’ is difficult both to describe and to solve—or rather, as I would (...) prefer, to dissolve. (shrink)
The Journal of Oriental Research was started in 1927 by Prof. S Kuppuswami Sastri, who was also the founder of the Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute. Originally an annual journal, its regularity has been disturbed due to financial difficulties. Th e present issue comprises volumes eighty-three to eighty-four and has been funded by the Dr V Raghavan Memorial Endowment.
The recent decision of the House of Lords in Stack v. Dowden appears, at first sight, to endorse a new approach to the jointly owned family home. However, upon closer inspection, this proves to be something of an illusion: the new approach is remarkably similar to the traditional resulting trust in that it attaches more weight to financial payments than to other contributions. A further problem is that the disjunction between the reasoning of the judges and the actual result makes (...) it a difficult decision to apply to future cases. This case-note will consider the legal and social issues raised by the case and will argue that it has the potential to disadvantage women who do not make an equal financial contribution to the purchase of the home. (shrink)