This anthology is the first devoted exclusively to On Certainty. The essays are grouped under four headings: the Framework, Transcendental, Epistemic and Therapeutic readings, and an introduction helps explain why these readings need not be seen as antagonistic. Contributions from W.H. Brenner, Alice Crary, Michael Kober, Edward Minar, Howard Mounce, Daniele Moyal-Sharrock, Thomas Morawetz, D.Z. Phillips, Duncan Pritchard, Rupert Read, Anthony Rudd, Joachim Schulte, Avrum Stroll, Michael Williams.
Joachim Schulte’s introduction provides a distinctive and masterful account of the full range of Wittgenstein’s thought. It is concise but not compressed, substantive but not overloaded with developmental or technical detail, informed by the latest scholarship but not pedantic. Beginners will find it accessible and seasoned students of Wittgenstein will appreciate it for the illuminating overview it provides.
W. H. Auden and Hannah Arendt belonged to a generation that experienced the catastrophic events of the mid-twentieth century, and they both sought to respond to the enormity of the novel phenomena they witnessed.
From the Amazon.com description: On 5–6 April 1991, there was a conference on Kant at Florida State University; this volume collects the (revised versions of the) papers presented on that occasion. The occasion was, give or take a few months, the 90th birthday of Professor (Emeritus) William H. Werkmeister. Werkie (as all his friends call him) himself gave the final paper at this conference. Hence the inclusion of a paper by Werkie in a volume honoring him. Although he is primarily (...) known for his expertise in the field of Kantian philosophy, Werkie’s published scholarship has spanned a wide range of subjects for more than fifty years: his first book, A Philosophy of Science, appeared in 1940. (shrink)
We all think that science is special. Its products—its technological spin-off—dominate our lives which are thereby sometimes enriched and sometimes impoverished but always affected. Even the most outlandish critics of science such as Feyerabend implicitly recognize its success. Feyerabend told us that science was a congame. Scientists had so successfully hood-winked us into adopting its ideology that other equally legitimate forms of activity—alchemy, witchcraft and magic—lost out. He conjured up a vision of much enriched lives if only we could free (...) ourselves from the domination of the ‘one true ideology’ of science just as our ancestors freed us from the domination of the Church. But he told us these things in Switzerland and in California happily commuting between them in that most ubiquitous product of science—the aeroplane. (shrink)
Howard Callaway's new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Society and Solitude is an invaluable contribution to both the primary and secondary literature on Emerson. Its contribution to the primary sources is its use of the original 1870 edition of Emerson's text, though with modernized spellings to facilitate the reader's understanding. Its contribution to the secondary literature consists in the scholarly apparatus of page-by-page annotations, an introduction, a chronology, a bibliography, and an index. Callaway's Society and Solitude is a worthy companion (...) to his earlier edition of Emerson's The Conduct of Life. (shrink)
Few major philosophers show evidence of having studied the works of their predecessors with special care, even in cases where they were subject to particular influences which they were ready to acknowledge. Hume knew that he was working in the tradition of ‘some late philosophers in England, who have begun to put the science of man on a new footing’—‘Mr Locke, my Lord Shaftsbury, Dr Mandeville, Mr Hutchinson, Dr Butler, &c.’ But there is not much sign in the Treatise or (...) elsewhere in Hume's writings of any close acquaintance with the works of these authors; the presumption must be that he had read them at some time and extracted the main ideas, but was not in the habit of returning to their texts. He had something more important to do, namely to work at philosophical problems of his own. Similarly Kant, though he said that the Critique of Pure Reason was not meant to be ‘a critique of books and systems, but of the faculty of reason in general’, had clearly felt the impact of the thought of some important past philosophers, but equally had never spent much time in finding out just what these philosophers had to say. Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Leibniz and Hume all get fairly frequent mention in his pages. But Kant takes his knowledge of Plato and Aristotle from J. J. Brucker's Historia critica philosophiae , a six-volume compilation which first appeared in 1742, or from doubtful sources such as Mendelssohn's doctored translation of the Phaedo , and though he doubtless knew the more recent authors at first hand clearly felt no need to study them in any depth. This was true even of writers to whom he attributed a particular importance, such as Leibniz and Hume. The references to Hume in the Critique and Prolegomena are all disappointingly general, and though the summary of Leibniz's philosophy in the section called ‘The Amphiboly of Concepts of Reflection’ has a certain force, it is not documented with references to Leibnizian texts. Kant knows that there is a difference between the views of the historical Leibniz and those which constituted the ‘Leibnizian-Wolffian system’ of his successors. But he is not very curious about the difference, or inclined to explore it. (shrink)
Hume's explicit pronouncements about truth are few and unenlightening. In a well-known passage near the beginning of Book III of the Treatise he writes that ‘Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. Truth or falsehood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact.’ Hume's main concern in this passage, however, is not with the concept of truth, but with his thesis that moral distinctions are not derived (...) from reason: he introduces his reference to truth only with a view to showing that our ‘passions, volitions and actions … being original facts and realities, complete in themselves,’ are not susceptible of the agreement and disagreement spoken of, and therefore cannot be said to be true or false, in conformity with or contrary to reason. The account of truth given here is not elaborated, and perhaps not even thought to need elaboration. Similarly with another passage a few pages earlier in which Hume says that ‘Truth is of two kinds, consisting either in the discovery of the proportions of ideas, considered as such, or in the conformity of our ideas of objects to their real existence’ . Here again his interest is not in truth itself but in ‘curiosity, or the love of truth,’ the passion which, Hume says, ‘was the first source of all our inquiries’ . Hume seems to take it for granted that nothing more needs to be said about what it is to discover ‘the proportions of ideas, considered as such,’ or about the circumstances in which we can speak of there being ‘conformity’ or the lack of it between our ideas of objects and their real existence. So far as he is concerned the central point to grasp is the distinction between propositions which have to do with relations of ideas and those which express, or purport to express, matters of fact. Once this distinction is clear, the nature of truth is supposed to be plain. (shrink)
Quine's Immanuel Kant lectures were delivered in English at Stanford University in 1980 under the title Science and Sensibilia. The English version of the text has never been published. An Italian translation by Michele Leonelli, La Scienza e I Dati di Senso appeared in 1987. These translations fill an important gap. Wissenschaft und Empfindung strikes me as the best presentation of Quine's physicalistic program.
The paper attempts to consider the problem of W. H. Auden’s political engagement in the 1930s in the context of his famous decision to leave England and settle down in the USA. The transatlantic journey of the eponymous member of so-called “Auden generation” prompted certain critics to set up a distinct caesura between the “English” and the “American” Auden, giving primacy to the accomplishments of the former and downplaying the works of the latter. As it is argued, America was not (...) the place of the poet’s radical volte-face, but only a certain important, logical stage in his personal and poetic evolution. His entanglements with politics were often mythologized, and occasional public and semi-political verse he “committed” often tended to subvert any attempts to pigeonhole the author in terms of his ideological stance. (shrink)
W. H. Greenleaf has been widely acknowledged as a significant contributor to the gradual development of a more historically sensitive attitude to the study of political thought. J. G. A. Pocock and Quentin Skinner, two of the leading figures in the present methodological debate raging in the history of political thought, while disagreeing with some of Greenleaf’s ideas, pay tribute to his effort to change the character of the discipline. Pocock, for example, suggests that “Greenleaf’s important contribution is that he (...) compels us to regard English political thought in terms of the styles of legitimation and explanation currently available” in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Critics of Pocock and Skinner have maintained that Greenleaf’s historical perspective may prove to be the most fruitful for organizing the study of the history of political thought, and J. G. Gunnell asserts that much of what Skinner says echoes comments that Greenleaf had made as early as 1964. However, when Greenleaf is mentioned in methodological discussions he is given very little consideration. I know of only one article that devotes more than one or two paragraphs to outlining his ideas, and even its characterization proves to be inadequate because the views presented and criticized there draw only upon Greenleaf’s Order, Empiricism and Politics and neglect the subsequent development of his theoretical position. The essence of Lockyer’s criticism of Greenleaf’s articulation of the traditions of order and empiricism is that they “are static and ossified abstractions, and therefore of little use in explaining the development of ideas.” Lockyer suggests that in order to exhibit traditions as having a more fluid and dynamic content, the thoughts of Collingwood and Hegel can usefully be invoked. The irony of the criticism is that Greenleaf, after 1964, drew on a whole range of idealist thinkers, including Collingwood and Hegel, in order to present a view of traditions which captured the diversity of their content, while attempting to exhibit their unity through change. (shrink)
While Simone de Beauvoir's inaugural reflection in The Coming of Age depicting the aging experience as one of social marginalization and lament seemingly endures, a surprising source for offering hope to aging persons may be found in the theology of Karl Barth in congruence with W. H. Vanstone. This essay reconsiders the meaning of aging within a Christological interpretation that not only values the various life stages along with intergenerational relationships but also offers meaning for the embodiment of active and (...) passive agency during the aging stage of life. (shrink)
The founding of the Lowell Observatory has been neglected by historians in favour of Lowell's Martian research. Important in its own right, the founding must be understood in the scientific and cultural context of the 1890s. The cultural institutions of Boston, especially Harvard College, facilitated the collaboration between Lowell and W. H. Pickering which was necessary to launch the new observatory. While Lowell turned to Harvard and the Pickering brothers for expertise, he also struggled to protect his observatory's autonomy against (...) the imperial ambitions of the larger institution. Without Lowell's determination, the Lowell Observatory might very well have become, like Arequipa, another station in Harvard network. (shrink)
Arthur W. H. Adkins's writings have sparked debates among a wide range of scholars over the nature of ancient Greek ethics and its relevance to modern times. Demonstrating the breadth of his influence, the essays in this volume reveal how leading classicists, philosophers, legal theorists, and scholars of religion have incorporated Adkins's thought into their own diverse research. The timely subjects addressed by the contributors include the relation between literature and moral understanding, moral and nonmoral values, and the contemporary meaning (...) of ancient Greek ethics. The volume also includes an essay from the late Adkins himself illustrating his methodology in an analysis of the "Speech of Lysias" in Plato's _Phaedrus_. _The Greeks and Us_ will interest all those concerned with how ancient moral values do or do not differ from our own. Contributors include Arthur W. H. Adkins, Stephanie Nelson, Martha C. Nussbaum, Paul Schollmeier, James Boyd White, Bernard Williams, and Lee Yearley. Commentaries by Wendy Doniger, Charles M. Gray, David Grene, Robert B. Louden, Richard Posner, and Candace Vogler. (shrink)
This book is a translation of W.V. Quine's Kant Lectures, given as a series at Stanford University in 1980. It provide a short and useful summary of Quine's philosophy. There are four lectures altogether: I. Prolegomena: Mind and its Place in Nature; II. Endolegomena: From Ostension to Quantification; III. Endolegomena loipa: The forked animal; and IV. Epilegomena: What's It all About? The Kant Lectures have been published to date only in Italian and German translation. The present book is filled out (...) with the translator's critical Introduction, "The esoteric Quine?" a bibliography based on Quine's sources, and an Index for the volume. (shrink)
This paper offers a critique of sustainability reporting and, in particular, a critique of the modern disconnect between the practice of sustainability reporting and what we consider to be the urgent issue of our era: sustaining the life-supporting ecological systems on which humanity and other species depend. Tracing the history of such reporting developments, we identify and isolate the concept of the ‘triple bottom line’ (TBL) as a core and dominant idea that continues to pervade business reporting, and business engagement (...) with sustainability. Incorporating an entity’s economic, environmental and social performance indicators into its management and reporting processes, we argue, has become synonymous with corporate sustainability; in the process, concern for ecology has become sidelined. Moreover, this process has become reinforced and institutionalised through SustainAbility’s biennial benchmarking reports, KPMG’s triennial surveys of practice, initiatives by the accountancy profession and, particularly, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)’s sustainability reporting guidelines. We argue that the TBL and the GRI are insufficient conditions for organizations contributing to the sustaining of the Earth’s ecology. Paradoxically, they may reinforce business-as-usual and greater levels of un-sustainability. (shrink)