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This volume has two primary aims: to trace the traditions and changes in methods, concepts, and ideas that brought forth the logical empiricists' philosophy of physics, and to present and analyze the logical empiricists' various and occasionally contrary ideas about the physical sciences and their philosophical relevance. These original essays discuss these developments in their original contexts and social and institutional environments, thus showing the various fruitful conceptions and philosophies behind the history of twentieth-century philosophy of science. Logical Empiricism and the Natural Sciences is divided into three thematic sections. Part I surveys the influences on logical empiricism's philosophy of science and physics. It features essays on Reichenbach's account of objectivity, and the impact Poincare on Neurath's early views on scientific method, Frank's exchanges with Einstein about philosophy of physics, and the forgotten role of Kurt Grelling. Part II focuses on specific physical theories, including Carnap's and Reichenbach's positions on Einstein's theory of general relativity, Reichenbach's critique of unified field theory,and the logical empiricists' reactions to quantum mechanics. The third and final group of essays widens the scope to philosophy of science and physics in general. It includes contributions, among others, on von Mises' frequentism, Frank's account of concept formation and confirmation, and the interrelations between Nagel's Feigl's, and Hempel's versions of logical empiricism. This book offers a comprehensive account of the logical empiricists' philosophy of physics. It is a valuable resource for researchers interested in the history and philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, and the history of analytic philosophy.
Richard Linklater's celebrated Before trilogy chronicles the love of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) who first meet up in Before Sunrise, later reconnect in Before Sunset and finally experience a fall-out in Before Midnight. Not only do these films present storylines and dilemmas that invite philosophical discussion, but philosophical discussion itself is at the very heart of the trilogy. This book, containing specially commissioned chapters by a roster of international contributors, explores the many philosophical themes that feature so vividly in the interactions between Celine and Jesse, including: the nature of love, romanticism and marriage the passage and experience of time the meaning of life the art of conversation the narrative self gender death Including an interview with Julie Delpy in which she discusses her involvement in the films and the importance of studying philosophy, Before Sunrise. Before Sunset. Before Midnight: A Philosophical Exploration is essential reading for anyone interested in philosophy, aesthetics, gender studies, and film studies.
Every human being knows that we are walking through life following trails, whether we are aware of them or not. Medieval poets, from the anonymous composer of Beowulf to Marie de France, Hartmann von Aue, Gottfried von Strassburg, and Guillaume de Lorris to Petrarch and Heinrich Kaufringer, predicated their works on the notion of the trail and elaborated on its epistemological function. We can grasp here an essential concept that determines much of medieval and early modern European literature and philosophy, addressing the direction which all protagonists pursue, as powerfully illustrated also by the anonymous poets of Herzog Ernst and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Dante's Divina Commedia, in fact, proves to be one of the most explicit poetic manifestations of the fundamental idea of the trail, but we find strong parallels also in powerful contemporary works such as Guillaume de Deguileville's Pelerinage de la vie humaine and in many mystical tracts.
Born in 1926 in France, Foucault is one of those rare philosophers who has become a cult figure. Over the course of his life he dabbled in drugs, politics, and the Paris SM scene, all whilst striving to understand the deep concepts of identity, knowledge, and power. From aesthetics to the penal system; from madness and civilisation to avant-garde literature, Foucault was happy to reject old models of thinking and replace them with versions that are still widely debated today. A major influence on Queer Theory and gender studies (he was openly gay and died of an AIDS-related illness in 1984), he also wrote on architecture, history, law, medicine, literature, politics, and of course philosophy. In this Very Short Introduction Gary Gutting presents a wide-ranging but non-systematic exploration of some highlights of Foucault's life and thought. Beginning with a brief biography to set the social and political stage, he then tackles Foucault's thoughts on literature, in particular the avant-garde scene; his philosophical and historical work; his treatment of knowledge and power in modern society; and his thoughts on sexuality. This new edition includes feminist criticisms of Foucault's apparently sexist treatment of the Jouy case, as well as a new chapter offering a unified overview of the College de France lectures, now a major focus of interest in Foucault. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The great existential psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger famously pointed out to Freud that therapeutic failure could "only be understood as the result of something which could be called a deficiency of spirit." Binswanger was surprised when Freud agreed, asserting, "Yes, spirit is everything." However, spirit and the spiritual realm have largely been dropped from mainstream psychoanalytic theory and practice. This book seeks to help revitalize a culturally aging psychoanalysis that is in conceptual and clinical disarray in the marketplace of ideas and is viewed as a "theory in crisis" no longer regarded as the primary therapy for those who are suffering. The author argues that psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy can be reinvigorated as a discipline if it is animated by the powerfully evocative spiritual, moral, and ethical insights of two dialogical personalist religious philosophers-Martin Buber, a Jew, and Gabriel Marcel, a Catholic-who both initiated a "Copernican revolution" in human thought. In chapters that focus on love, work, faith, suffering, and clinical practice, Paul Marcus shows how the spiritual optic of Buber and Marcel can help revive and refresh psychoanalysis, and bring it back into the light by communicating its inherent vitality, power, and relevance to the mental health community and to those who seek psychoanalytic treatment.
Theodor W. Adorno and Siegfried Kracauer were two of the most influential philosophers and cultural critics of the 20th century. While Adorno became the leading intellectual figure of the Frankfurt School, Kracauer's writings on film, photography, literature and the lifestyle of the middle classes opened up a new and distinctive approach to the study of culture and everyday life in modern societies. This volume brings together for the first time the long-running correspondence between these two major figures of German intellectual culture. As left-wing German Jews who were forced into exile with the rise of Nazism, Adorno and Kracauer shared much in common, but their worldviews were in many ways markedly different. These differences become clear in a correspondence that ranges over a great diversity of topics, from the nature of criticism and the meaning of utopia to the work of their contemporaries, including Bloch, Brecht and Benjamin. Where Kracauer embraced the study of new mass media, above all film, Adorno was much more sceptical. This is borne out in his sharp criticism of Kracauer's study of the composer Offenbach, which Adorno derided as musically illiterate, as well as his later criticism of Kracauer's Theory of Film. Exposing the very different ways that both men were grappling intellectually with the massive transformations of the 20th century, these letters shed fresh light on the principles shaping their work at the same time as they reveal something of the intellectual brilliance and human frailties of these two towering figures of 20th century thought. This unique volume will be of great value to anyone interested in critical theory and in 20th century intellectual and cultural history.
Ever since Bishop Stillingfleet accused John Locke of having unwittingly paved the way for the alleged heresy promulgated in John Toland's Christianity Not Mysterious, the latter two thinkers and works have been consistently joined in histories of philosophy covering the rise of natural religion in England. While scholars have generally thought that Locke got the better of the good bishop in their subsequent written exchanges initiated by the charge, they appear merely to assume that Stillingfleet correctly read Toland and that Locke accepts that reading. Perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence favouring that stance is that while Locke clearly admits 'above reason' doctrines, Toland dismisses them: Christianity is not mysterious! Through patient exposition of relevant texts and letters, deconstruction of scholarly works, and careful reasoning, Measuring the Distance between Locke and Toland shows that Toland's deviations from Locke regarding reason and faith are far more minor than anyone has concluded. Stillingfleet was correct to connect them, but was incorrect in the way that he did it.
This volume brings together new essays that consider Wittgenstein's treatment of the phenomenon of aspect perception in relation to the broader idea of conceptual novelty; that is, the acquisition or creation of new concepts, and the application of an acquired understanding in unfamiliar or novel situations. Over the last twenty years, aspect perception has received increasing philosophical attention, largely related to applying Wittgenstein's remarks on the phenomena of seeing-as, found in Part II of Philosophical Investigations (1953), to issues within philosophical aesthetics. Seeing-as, however, has come to occupy a broader conceptual category, particularly in philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology. The essays in this volume examine the exegetical issues arising within Wittgenstein studies, while also considering the broader utility and implications of the phenomenon of seeing-as in the fields of aesthetics, philosophical psychology, and philosophy of mathematics, with a thematic focus on questions of novelty and creativity. The collection constitutes a fruitful interpretative engagement with the later Wittgenstein, as well as a unique contribution to considerations of philosophical methodology.
At the turn of the twentieth century, G. E. Moore contemptuously dismissed most previous 'ethical systems' for committing the 'Naturalistic Fallacy'. This fallacy - which has been variously understood, but has almost always been seen as something to avoid - was perhaps the greatest structuring force on subsequent ethical theorising. To a large extent, to understand the Fallacy is to understand contemporary ethics. This volume aims to provide that understanding. Its thematic chapters - written by a range of distinguished contributors - introduce the history, text and philosophy behind Moore's charge of fallacy and its supporting 'open question' argument. They detail how the fallacy influenced multiple traditions in ethics (including evolutionary, religious and naturalistic approaches), its connections to supposed dichotomies between 'is'/'ought' and facts/values, and its continuing relevance to our understanding of normativity. Together, the chapters provide a historical and opinionated introduction to contemporary ethics that will be essential for students, teachers and researchers.
Human beings have always been specialists, but over the past two centuries division of labor has become deeper, ubiquitous, and much more fluid. The form it now takes brings in its wake a series of problems that are simultaneously philosophical and practical, having to do with coordinating the activities of experts in different disciplines who do not understand one another. Because these problems are unrecognized, and because we do not have solutions for them, we are on the verge of an age in which decisions that depend on understanding more than one discipline at a time will be made poorly. Since so many decisions do require multidisciplinary knowledge, these philosophical problems are urgent. Some of the puzzles that have traditionally been on philosophers' agendas have to do with intellectual devices developed to handle less extreme forms of specialization. Two of these, necessity and the practical `ought', are given extended treatment in Elijah Millgram's The Great Endarkenment. In this collection of essays, both previously published and new, Millgram pays special attention to ways a focus on cognitive function reframes familiar debates in metaethics and metaphysics. Consequences of hyperspecialization for the theory of practical rationality, for our conception of agency, and for ethics are laid out and discussed. An afterword considers whether and how philosophers can contribute to solving the very pressing problems created by contemporary division of labor. "These always interesting, often brilliant, and contentious essays focus on the question of how we need to reason practically, if we are to flourish, given Millgram's account of our human nature and of the environments that we inhabit. The originality of his thought is matched by his clarity and his wit."-Alasdair MacIntyre, University of Notre Dame "The book is a rewarding one-richly argues, whilst being a genuinely good read. The writing is clear, bolding self-assured, and often very funny." - A.B. Dickerson, Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Found in Translation: Connecting Reconceptualist Thinking with Early Childhood Education Practices highlights the relationships between reconceptualist theory and classroom practice. Each chapter in this edited collection considers a contemporary issue and explores its potential to disrupt the status quo and be meaningful in the lives of young children. The book pairs reconceptualist academics and practitioners to discuss how theories can be relevant in everyday educational contexts, working with children who are from a wide range of cultural, ethnic, gender, language, and social orientations to enable previously unimagined ways of being, thinking, and doing in contemporary times.
It can be said that western literature begins with a war story, the Iliad; and that this is true too of many non-Western literary traditions, such as the Mahabharata. And yet, though a profoundly human subject, war often appears to be by definition outside the realm of structures such as law and literature. When we speak of war, we often understand it as incapable of being rendered into rules or words. Lawyers struggle to fit the horrors of the battlefield, the torture chamber, or the makeshift hospital filled with wounded and dying civilians into the framework of legible rules and shared understandings that law assumes and demands. In the West's centuries-long effort to construct a formal law of war, the imperative has been to acknowledge the inhumanity of war while resisting the conclusion that it need therefore be without law. Writers, in contrast, seek to find the human within war-an individual story, perhaps even a moment of comprehension. Law and literature might in this way be said to share imperialist tendencies where war is concerned: toward extending their dominion to contain what might be uncontainable. Law, literature, and war are thus all profoundly connected-and it is this connection this edited volume aims to explore, assembling essays by preeminent scholars to discuss the ways in which literary works can shed light on legal thinking about war, and how a deep understanding of law can lead to interpretive insights on literary works. Some of the contributions concern the lives of soldiers; others focus on civilians living in war zones who are caught up in the conflict; still others address themselves to the home front, far from the theatre of war. By collecting such diverse perspectives, the volume aims to illuminate how literature has reflected the totalizing nature of war and the ways in which it distorts law across domains.
Few works of political and cultural theory have been as enduringly provocative as Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle. From its publication amid the social upheavals of the 1960s up to the present, the volatile theses of this book have decisively transformed debates on the shape of modernity, capitalism and everyday life in the late twentieth cenlury. Now finally available in a superb English translation approved by the author, Debord's text remains as crucial as ever for understanding the contemporary effects of power, which are increasingly inseparable from the new virtual worlds of our rapidly changing image/information culture.
This book addresses the 'perennial' question of the meaning of life from the point of view of a novel interpretation of Aristotle's teleology. Beginning with the premise that at the core of modernity and modern moral imagination are the entropy of meaning and the sense of meaninglessness, the author critically engages with the work of the post-war existentialists, chiefly that of Albert Camus and Martin Heidegger, to argue that their analyses are unconvincing and that the question of the meaning of being should therefore be approached using different assumptions, based on the notion of flourishing life. From this Aristotelian outlook, Existence, Meaning, Excellence employs Alasdair MacIntyre's critique of modernity, together with his conceptions of practice and the narrative unity of life and tradition to provide a novel philosophical account of existence, meaning and excellence - an account which is used to contribute to debates (between Kantian and Nietzschean perspectives) on the nature of art and genius, with Mozart's genius being used by way of illustration. A fascinating and powerfully argued engagement with existentialist thought that draws on the 'virtue' tradition to explore questions of meaning, as well as wider questions within philosophy, this book will appeal to philosophers and social theorists with interests in existentialism, moral philosophy and accounts of 'the good' based on the notions of human flourishing.
Wittgenstein's work, early and later, contains the seeds of an original and important rethinking of moral or ethical thought that has, so far, yet to be fully appreciated. The ten essays in this collection, all specially commissioned for this volume, are united in the claim that Wittgenstein's thought has much to contribute to our understanding of this fundamental area of philosophy and of our lives. They take up a variety of different perspectives on this aspect of Wittgenstein's work, and explore the significance of Wittgenstein's moral thought throughout his work, from the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, and Wittgenstein's startling claim there that there can be no ethical propositions, to the Philosophical Investigations.
This book purports to devise a pattern of the self that accounts for the role that change and identity play in self-shaping. It focuses on the process through which we discover, know and shape ourselves and wonder whether there is a core of our individuality and how we should account for it. The core is described along with its range of possible variations and its constraints. This volume provides arguments on how individual essence - far from being something monolithic - is inherently dynamic. The text delves into the link between change and identity in self-shaping, arguably the fundamental issue of personal individuality. Different theories and standpoints are addressed and scrutinized. Descriptive phenomenology will enter along with Max Scheler's stance on axiology, as well as the keystones that account for self-shaping. This book appeals to students and researchers working on the implications of phenomenology for self identification and personal individuality.
Contemporary interest in realism and naturalism, emerging under the banner of speculative or new realism, has prompted continentally-trained philosophers to consider a number of texts from the canon of analytic philosophy. The philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars, in particular, has proven remarkably able to offer a contemporary re-formulation of traditional "continental" concerns that is amenable to realist and rationalist considerations, and serves as an accessible entry point into the Anglo-American tradition for continental philosophers. With the aim of appraising this fertile theoretical convergence, this volume brings together experts of both analytic and continental philosophy to discuss the legacy of Kantianism in contemporary philosophy. The individual essays explore the ways in which Sellars can be put into dialogue with the widely influential work of Quentin Meillassoux, explaining how-even though their methods, language, and proximal influences are widely different-their philosophical stances can be compared thanks to their shared Kantian heritage and interest in the problem of realism. This book will be appeal to students and scholars who are interested in Sellars, Meillassoux, contemporary realist movements in continental philosophy, and the analytic-continental debate in contemporary philosophy.
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Regarded as the father of existentialist philosophy, he was also a political critic, moralist, playwright, novelist, and author of biographies and short stories. Thomas R. Flynn provides the first book-length account of Sartre as a philosopher of the imaginary, mapping the intellectual development of his ideas throughout his life, and building a narrative that is not only philosophical but also attentive to the political and literary dimensions of his work. Exploring Sartre's existentialism, politics, ethics, and ontology, this book illuminates the defining ideas of Sartre's oeuvre: the literary and the philosophical, the imaginary and the conceptual, his descriptive phenomenology and his phenomenological concept of intentionality, and his conjunction of ethics and politics with an 'egoless' consciousness. It will appeal to all who are interested in Sartre's philosophy and its relation to his life.
Philosophy and Politics at the Precipice maintains that political philosopher Alexandre Kojeve (1901-68) has been both famously misunderstood and famous for being misunderstood. Kojeve was famously understood by interpreters for seeing an "end of history" (an end that would display universal free democracies and even freer markets) as critical to his thought. He became famously misunderstood when interpreters, at the end of the twentieth century, placed such an end at the center of his thought. This book reads Kojeve again - as a thinker of time, not its end. It presents Kojeve as a philosopher and precisely as a time phenomenologist, rather than as a New Age guru. The book shows how Kojeve's time is inherently political, and indeed tyrannical, for being about his understanding of human relation. However, Kojeve's views on time and tyranny prove his undoing for making rule impossible because of what the book terms the "time-tyrant problem." Kojeve's entire political corpus is best understood as an attempt to rectify this problem. So understood, Philosophy and Politics at the Precipice provides fresh perspective on the true nature of Kojevian irony, Kojeve's aims in the Strauss-Kojeve exchange, and how Kojeve at his best captures a philosophical, phenomenological time, one that marks some of the most dynamic and unique events of the twentieth century. Headlines have largely erased the notion that history has ended. Philosophy and Politics at the Precipice, on the other hand, provides the philosophical justification for arguing that the end of the last millennium was not an end and that, for his view of time, Kojeve remains a thinker for the times ahead.
Contemporary French philosophy perhaps reached a high point during the 1970s with the likes of Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. Since that time, thinkers such as Francois Laruelle, Bernard Stiegler, Quentin Meillassoux and Catherine Malabou have continued on in this strong tradition, while deepening and rethinking many of the parameters that have made contemporary French philosophy so powerful and useful for understanding the contemporary condition. For example, new French thought has reengaged with the relationships between thought, science and universal commercial interests, and has investigated purposefully the possibilities of post-capitalist theorising. This book, while not exhaustive, takes the most pertinent aspects of new French thought, and applies them to the philosophy of education. In contemporary philosophies of education, the repetitions of evidence-based and neoliberal theories abound. This book serves as an antidote to the levelling off, and exhaustion in thought, that a capitalist takeover implies, while keeping sight of the crucial relationships between science, the arts and metaphysical speculation. Furthermore, this book represents a thoroughgoing thinking through of philosophy of education's relationships with neuroscience, new scientific paradigms, feminist materialisms, anti-correlationism, technology and the socius, and as such constitutes a new philosophy of education. This book was originally published as a special issue of Educational Philosophy and Theory.
There are many who believe Moses parted the Red Sea and Jesus came back from the dead. Others are certain that exorcisms occur, ghosts haunt attics, and the blessed can cure the terminally ill. Though miracles are immensely improbable, people have embraced them for millennia, seeing in them proof of a supernatural world that resists scientific explanation. Helping us to think more critically about our belief in the improbable, The Miracle Myth casts a skeptical eye on attempts to justify belief in the supernatural, laying bare the fallacies that such attempts commit. Through arguments and accessible analysis, Larry Shapiro sharpens our critical faculties so we become less susceptible to tales of myths and miracles and learn how, ultimately, to evaluate claims regarding vastly improbable events on our own. Shapiro acknowledges that belief in miracles could be harmless, but cautions against allowing such beliefs to guide how we live our lives. His investigation reminds us of the importance of evidence and rational thinking as we explore the unknown.
At the dawn of the modern era, philosophers reinterpreted their subject as the study of consciousness, pushing the body to the margins of philosophy. With the arrival of Husserlian thought in the late nineteenth century, the body was once again understood to be part of the transcendental field. And yet, despite the enormous influence of Husserl's phenomenology, the role of "embodiment" in the broader philosophical landscape remains largely unresolved. In his ambitious debut book, "Phenomenology and Embodiment, " Joona Taipale tackles the Husserlian concept--also engaging the thought of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Michel Henry--with a comprehensive and systematic phenomenological investigation into the role of embodiment in the constitution of self-awareness, intersubjectivity, and objective reality. In doing so, he contributes a detailed clarification of the fundamental constitutive role of embodiment in the basic relations of subjectivity.
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