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Is the point of philosophy to transmit beliefs about the world, or can it sometimes have higher ambitions? In this bold study, Karen Zumhagen-Yekple makes a critical contribution to the "resolute" program of Wittgenstein scholarship, revealing his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus as a complex, mock-theoretical puzzle designed to engage readers in the therapeutic self-clarification Wittgenstein saw as the true work of philosophy. Seen in this light, Wittgenstein resembles his modernist contemporaries more than might first appear. Like the literary innovators of his time, Wittgenstein believed in the productive power of difficulty, in varieties of spiritual experience, in the importance of age-old questions about life's meaning, and in the possibility of transfigurative shifts toward the right way of seeing the world. In a series of absorbing chapters, Zumhagen-Yekple shows how Kafka, Woolf, Joyce, and Coetzee set their readers on a path toward a new way of being. Offering a new perspective on Wittgenstein as philosophical modernist, and on the lives and afterlives of his indirect teaching, A Different Order of Difficulty is a compelling addition to studies in both literature and philosophy.
In Pragmatism's Evolution, Trevor Pearce demonstrates that the philosophical tradition of pragmatism owes an enormous debt to specific biological debates in the late 1800s, especially those concerning the role of the environment in development and evolution. Many are familiar with John Dewey's 1909 assertion that evolutionary ideas overturned two thousand years of philosophy-but what exactly happened in the fifty years prior to Dewey's claim? What form did evolutionary ideas take? When and how were they received by American philosophers? Although the various thinkers associated with pragmatism-from Charles Sanders Peirce to Jane Addams and beyond-were towering figures in American intellectual life, few realize the full extent of their engagement with the life sciences. In his analysis, Pearce focuses on a series of debates in biology from 1860 to 1910-from the instincts of honeybees to the inheritance of acquired characteristics-in which the pragmatists were active participants. If we want to understand the pragmatists and their influence, Pearce argues, we need to understand the relationship between pragmatism and biology.
Roland Barthes (1915-1980) was a central figure in the thought of his time, but he was also something of an outsider. His father died in the First World War, he enjoyed his mother s unfailing love, he spent long years in the sanatorium, and he was aware of his homosexuality from an early age: all this soon gave him a sense of his own difference. He experienced the great events of contemporary history from a distance. However, his life was caught up in the violent, intense sweep of the twentieth century, a century that he helped to make intelligible. This major new biography of Barthes, based on unpublished material never before explored (archives, journals and notebooks), sheds new light on his intellectual positions, his political commitments and his ideas, beliefs and desires. It details the many themes he discussed, the authors he defended, the myths he castigated, the polemics that made him famous and his acute ear for the languages of his day. It also underscores his remarkable ability to see which way the wind was blowing D and he is still a compelling author to read in part because his path-breaking explorations uncovered themes that continue to preoccupy us today. Barthes s life story gives substance and cohesion to his career, which was guided by desire, perspicacity and an extreme sensitivity to the material from which the world is shaped D as well as a powerful refusal to accept any authoritarian discourse. By allowing thought to be based on imagination, he turned thinking into both an art and an adventure. This remarkable biography enables the reader to enter into Barthes s life and grasp the shape of his existence, and thus understand the kind of writer he became and how he turned literature into life itself.
Economic inequality is one of the most divisive issues of our time. Yet few would argue that inequality is a greater evil than poverty. The poor suffer because they don't have enough, not because others have more, and some have far too much. So why do many people appear to be more distressed by the rich than by the poor? In this provocative book, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of On Bullshit presents a compelling and unsettling response to those who believe that the goal of social justice should be economic equality or less inequality. Harry Frankfurt, one of the most influential moral philosophers in the world, argues that we are morally obligated to eliminate poverty--not achieve equality or reduce inequality. Our focus should be on making sure everyone has a sufficient amount to live a decent life. To focus instead on inequality is distracting and alienating. At the same time, Frankfurt argues that the conjunction of vast wealth and poverty is offensive. If we dedicate ourselves to making sure everyone has enough, we may reduce inequality as a side effect. But it's essential to see that the ultimate goal of justice is to end poverty, not inequality. A serious challenge to cherished beliefs on both the political left and right, On Inequality promises to have a profound impact on one of the great debates of our time.
This book provides both an introduction to the philosophy of scientific modeling and a contribution to the discussion and clarification of two recent philosophical conceptions of models: artifactualism and fictionalism. These can be viewed as different stances concerning the standard representationalist account of scientific models. By better understanding these two alternative views, readers will gain a deeper insight into what a model is as well as how models function in different sciences. Fictionalism has been a traditional epistemological stance related to antirealist construals of laws and theories, such as instrumentalism and inferentialism. By contrast, the more recent fictional view of models holds that scientific models must be conceived of as the same kind of entities as literary characters and places. This approach is essentially an answer to the ontological question concerning the nature of models, which in principle is not incompatible with a representationalist account of the function of models. The artifactual view of models is an approach according to which scientific models are epistemic artifacts, whose main function is not to represent the phenomena but rather to provide epistemic access to them. It can be conceived of as a non-representationalist and pragmatic account of modeling, which does not intend to focus on the ontology of models but rather on the ways they are built and used for different purposes. The different essays address questions such as the artifactual view of idealization, the use of information theory to elucidate the concepts of abstraction and idealization, the deidealization of models, the nature of scientific fictions, the structural account of representation and the ontological status of structures, the role of surrogative reasoning with models, and the use of models for explaining and predicting physical phenomena.
Francois Laruelle's non-philosophy or non-standard philosophy represents a bold attempt to rethink how philosophy is practiced in relation to other domains of knowledge. There is a growing interest in Laruelle's work in the English-speaking world, but his work is often misunderstood as a wholesale critique of philosophy. In this book Anthony Paul Smith dispels this misunderstanding and shows how Laruelle's critique of philosophy is guided by the positive aim of understanding philosophy's structure so that it can be creatively recast with other discourses and domains of human knowledge, from politics and ethics to science and religion. This book provides a synthetic introduction to the whole of Laruelle's work. It begins by discussing the major concepts and methods that have framed non-philosophy for thirty years. Smith then goes on to show how those concepts and method enter into traditional philosophical domains and disempower the authoritarian framework that philosophy imposes upon them. Instead of offering a philosophy of politics or a philosophy of science, Laruelle aims at fostering a democracy of thought where philosophy is thought together and equal to the object of its inquiry. This book will be essential reading for students and scholars interested in contemporary French philosophy, and anyone who wants to discover more about one of its foremost practitioners.
This book offers a philosophical defence of nihilism. The authors argue that the concept of nihilism has been employed pejoratively by almost all philosophers and religious leaders to indicate a widespread cultural crisis of truth, meaning, or morals. Many religious believers think atheism leads to moral chaos (because it leads to nihilism), and atheists typically insist that we can make life meaningful through our own actions (thereby avoiding nihilism). In this way, both sides conflate the cosmic sense of meaning at stake with a social sense of meaning. This book charts a third course between extremist and alarmist views of nihilism. It casts doubt on the assumption that nihilism is something to fear, or a problem which human culture should overcome by way of seeking, discovering, or making meaning. In this way, the authors believe that a revised understanding of nihilism can help remove a significant barrier of misunderstanding between religious believers and atheists. A Defence of Nihilism will be of interest to scholars and students in philosophy, religion, and other disciplines who are interested in questions surrounding the meaning of life.
This Companion provides a systematic introductory overview of Richard Rorty's philosophy. With chapters from an interdisciplinary group of leading scholars, the volume addresses virtually every aspect of Rorty's thought, from his philosophical views on truth and representation and his youthful obsession with wild orchids to his ruminations on the contemporary American Left and his prescient warning about the election of Donald Trump. Other topics covered include his various assessments of classical American pragmatism, feminism, liberalism, religion, literature, and philosophy itself. Sympathetic in some cases, in others sharply critical, the essays will provide readers with a deep and illuminating portrait of Rorty's exciting brand of neopragmatism.
The organizations and institutions that, in a traditional civilization and society, would have allowed an individual to realize himself completely, to defend the principal values he recognizes as his own, and to structure his life in a clear and unambiguous way, no longer exist in the contemporary world. Everything that has come to predominate in the modern world is the direct antithesis of the world of Tradition, in which a society is ruled by principles that transcend the merely human and transitory. Ride the Tigerpresents an implacable criticism of the idols, structures, theories, and illusions of our dissolute age examined in the light of the inner teachings of indestructible Tradition. Evola identifies the type of human capable of "riding the tiger," who may transform destructive processes into inner liberation. He offers hope for those who wish to reembrace Tradition.
Incorporating significant editorial changes from earlier editions, the fourth edition of Ludwig Wittgenstein's "Philosophical Investigations" is the definitive "en face" German-English version of the most important work of 20th-century philosophy
The extensively revised English translation incorporates many hundreds of changes to Anscombe's original translation Footnoted remarks in the earlier editions have now been relocated in the text What was previously referred to as 'Part 2' is now republished as "Philosophy of Psychology - A Fragment," and all the remarks in it are numbered for ease of reference New detailed editorial endnotes explain decisions of translators and identify references and allusions in Wittgenstein's original text Now features new essays on the history of the "Philosophical Investigations," and the problems of translating Wittgenstein's text
This book is about Gottlob Frege. The guiding thought is that Frege left philosophy a legacy which has been largely ignored, not least of all by his admirers. In order of logical priority, Frege's first concern was to locate the law-like behaviour of truths and falsehoods merely by virtue of their being such (in his terms, the structure of Wahrsein). The just-mentioned legacy lies in his first step towards that goal. It consists in winnowing the 'logical' from the 'psychological', the business of being true as such from that of holding, or holding forth as true-and to keep these separate. A first lesson: what belongs to what is thus abstracted cannot be read directly back into what it was abstracted from. This is what is most widely ignored. The book is divided in three parts. The first presents Frege's general picture of the business of being true-of what belongs to the abstraction. The second is primarily concerned with steps Frege takes (in print) between 1891 and 1895, to pave the way for what became, after logic itself, his central project, that whose attempted carrying out is contained in Grundgesetze I. The third part concerns views of logic, truth, the inexorableness of logic, which Frege eventually came to hold, and what it might be to study 'The Mind' as opposed to minds.
This volume of collected papers, with the accompanying essays by the editors, is the definitive source book for the work of this important experimental psychologist. Originally published in 1991, it offered previously inaccessible essays by Albert Michotte on phenomenal causality, phenomenal permanence, phenomenal reality, and perception and cognition. Within these four sections are the most significant and representative of the Belgian psychologist's research in the area of experimental phenomenology. Extremely insightful introductions by the editors are included that place the essays in context. Michotte's ideas have played an important role in much research on the development of perception, and his work on social perception continues to be influential in social psychology. The book also includes some lesser-known aspects of his work that are equally important; for example, a remarkable set of articles on pictorial analysis.
Over a career spanning nearly seven decades, Jurgen Habermas - one of the most important European philosophers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries - has produced a prodigious and influential body of work. In this Lexicon, authored by an international team of scholars, over 200 entries define and explain the key concepts, categories, philosophemes, themes, debates, and names associated with the entire constellation of Habermas's thought. The entries explore the historical, philosophical and social-theoretic roots of these terms and concepts, as well as their intellectual and disciplinary contexts, to build a broad but detailed picture of the development and trajectory of Habermas as a thinker. The volume will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of Habermas, as well as for other readers in political philosophy, political science, sociology, international relations, cultural studies, and law.
These interviews with H?l?ne Cixous offer invaluable insight into her philosophy and criticism. Culled from newspapers, journals, and books, "White Ink" collects the best of these conversations, which address the major concerns of Cixous's critical work and features two dialogues with twentieth-century intellectuals Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida.
The interviews in "White Ink" span more than three decades and include a new conversation with Susan Sellers, the book's editor and a leading Cixous scholar and translator. Cixous discusses her work and writing process. She shares her views on literature, feminism, theater, autobiography, philosophy, politics, aesthetics, religion, ethics, and human relations, and she reflects on her roles as poet, playwright, professor, woman, Jew, and, her most famous, "French feminist theorist." Sellers organizes "White Ink" in such a way that readers can grasp the development of Cixous's commentary on a series of vital questions. Taken together, the revealing performances in "White Ink" provide an excellent introduction this thinker's brave and vital work--each one an event in language and thought that epitomizes Cixous's intellectual and poetic force.
Professor Grossman's introduction to the revolutionary work of Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre studies the ideas of their predecessors too, explaining in detail Descartes's conception of the mind, Brentano's theory of intentionality, and Kierkegaard's emphasis on dread, while tracing the debate over existence and essence as far back as Aquinas and Aristotle. For a full understanding of the existentialists and phenomenologists, we must also understand the problems that they were trying to solve. This book, originally published in 1984, presents clearly how the main concerns of phenomenology and existentialism grew out of tradition.
In an enlightening dialogue with Descartes, Kant, Husserl and Gadamer, Professor Seifert argues that the original inspiration of phenomenology was nothing other than the primordial insight of philosophy itself, the foundation of philosophia perennis. His radical rethinking of the phenomenological method results in a universal, objectivist philosophy in direct continuity with Plato, Aristotle and Augustine. In order to validate the classical claim to know autonomous being, the author defends Husserl's methodological principle "Back to things themselves" from empiricist and idealist critics, including the later Husserl, and replies to the arguments of Kant which attempt to discredit the knowability of things in themselves. Originally published in 1982, this book culminates in a phenomenological and critical unfolding of the Augustinian cogito, as giving access to immutable truth about necessary essences and the real existence of personal being.
This volume contains a translation of four early manuscripts by Alfred Schutz, unpublished at the time, written between 1924 and 1928. The publication of these four essays adds much to our knowledge and appreciation of the wide range of Schutz's phenomenological and sociological interests. Originally published in 1987. The essays consist of: a challenging presentation of a phenomenology of cognition and a treatment of Bergson's conceptions of images, duration, space time and memory; a discussion of the meanings connected with the grammatical forms of language in general; a consideration of the relation between meaning-contents and literary forms in poetry, literary prose narration and dramatic presentation; and an examination of resemblances and differences in the inner forms and characteristics of the major theatrical art forms.
Originally published in English in 1984, this collection of essays documents a dialogue between phenomenology and Marxism, with the contributors representing a cross-section from the two traditions. The theoretical and historical presuppositions of the phenomenology inaugurated by Husserl are very different from those of the much older Marxist tradition, yet, as these essays show, there are definite points of contact, communication and exchange between the two traditions.
A "wildly entertaining" and "masterly" memoir (Times Literary Supplement) now in paperback In The Lives of Michel Foucault, David Macey quotes the iconic French philosopher as speaking "nostalgically...of 'an unforgettable evening on LSD, in carefully prepared doses, in the desert night, with delicious music, [and] nice people.'" This came to pass in 1975, when Foucault spent Memorial Day weekend in Southern California at the invitation of Simeon Wade-ostensibly to guest-lecture at the Claremont Graduate School where Wade was an assistant professor, but in truth to explore what he called the Valley of Death. Led by Wade and Wade's partner Michael Stoneman, Foucault experimented with psychotropic drugs for the first time; by morning he was crying and proclaiming that he knew Truth. Foucault in California is Wade's firsthand account of that long weekend. Felicitous and often humorous prose vaults readers headlong into the erudite and subversive circles of the Claremont intelligentsia: parties in Wade's bungalow, intensive dialogues between Foucault and his disciples at a Taoist utopia in the Angeles Forest (whose denizens call Foucault "Country Joe"); and, of course, the fabled synesthetic acid trip on the multihued slopes of the Artist's Palette at Death Valley, set to the strains of Bach and Stockhausen. Part search for higher consciousness, part bacchanal, this book chronicles a young man's burgeoning friendship with one of the twentieth century's greatest thinkers.
This book looks at two 'revolutions' in philosophy - phenomenology and conceptual analysis which have been influential in sociology and psychology. It discusses humanistic psychiatry and sociological approaches to the specific area of mental illness, which counter the ultimately reductionist implications of Freudian psycho-analytic theory. The book, originally published in 1973, concludes by stating the broad underlying themes of the two forms of humanistic philosophy and indicating how they relate to the problems of theory and method in sociology.
It is frequently said that we are living through the end of politics, the end of social upheavals, the end of utopian folly. Consensual realism is the order of the day. But political realists, remarks Jacques Ranciere, are always several steps behind reality, and the only thing which may come to an end with their dominance is democracy. In these subtle and perceptive essays, Ranciere argues that since Plato and Aristotle politics has always constructed itself as the art of ending politics, that realism is itself utopian, and that what has succeeded the polemical forms of class struggle is not the wisdom of a new millennium but the return of old fears, criminality and chaos. Whether he is discussing the confrontation between Mitterrand and Chirac, French working-class discourse after the 1830 revolution, or the ideology of recent student mobilizations, his aim is to restore philosophy to politics and give politics back its original and necessary meaning: the organization of dissent.
This book provides new interpretations of Heidegger's philosophical method in light of 20th-century postmodernism and 21st-century speculative realism. In doing so, it raises important questions about philosophical method in the age of global warming and climate change. Vincent Blok addresses topics that have yet to be extensively discussed in Heidegger scholarship, including Heidegger's method of questioning, the religious character of Heidegger's philosophical method, and Heidegger's conceptualization of philosophical method as explorative confrontation. He is also critical of Heidegger's conceptuality and develops a post-Heideggerian concept of philosophical method, which provides a new perspective on the role of willing, poetry, and earth-interest in contemporary philosophy. This earth-interest turns out to be particularly important to consider and leads to critical reflections on Heidegger's concept of Earth, the necessity of Earth-interest in contemporary philosophy, and a post-Heideggerian concept of the Earth. Heidegger's Concept of Philosophical Method will be of interest primarily to Heidegger scholars and graduate students, but its discussion of philosophical method and environmental philosophy will also appeal to scholars in other disciplines and areas of philosophy.
This collection features eleven original essays, divided into three thematic sections, which explore the work of Wilfrid Sellars in relation to other twentieth-century thinkers. Section I analyzes Sellars's thought in light of some of his influential predecessors, specifically Ludwig Wittgenstein, Rudolf Carnap, John Cook Wilson, and Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz. The second group of essays explores from different perspectives Sellars's place within the analytic tradition, including his relation with analytic Kantianism and analytic pragmatism. The book's final section extracts some of the most significant lessons Sellars's work has to offer for contemporary philosophy. These chapters address his views on inference, his views on truth and its connection to recent discussions about truth-relativism and truth-pluralism, his conception of self-knowledge, and his theory of perceptual experience.
This volume offers critical responses to philosophical naturalism from the perspectives of four different yet fundamentally interconnected philosophical traditions: Kantian idealism, Hegelian idealism, British idealism, and American pragmatism. In bringing these rich perspectives into conversation with each other, the book illuminates the distinctive set of metaphilosophical assumptions underpinning each tradition's conception of the relationship between the human and natural sciences. The individual essays investigate the affinities and the divergences between Kant, Hegel, Collingwood, and the American pragmatists in their responses to philosophical naturalism. The ultimate aim of Responses to Naturalism is to help us understand how human beings can be committed to the idea of scientific progress without renouncing their humanistic explanations of the world. It will appeal to scholars interested in the role idealist and pragmatist perspectives play in contemporary debates about naturalism.
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