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A tribute to one of the fathers of deconstruction as well as an extended essay on memory, death, and friendship.
Gottlob Frege's Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, or Basic Laws of Arithmetic, was intended to be his magnum opus, the book in which he would finally establish his logicist philosophy of arithmetic. But because of the disaster of Russell's Paradox, which undermined Frege's proofs, the more mathematical parts of the book have rarely been read. Richard G. Heck, Jr., aims to change that, and establish it as a neglected masterpiece that must be placed at the center of Frege's philosophy. Part I of Reading Frege's Grundgesetze develops an interpretation of the philosophy of logic that informs Grundgesetze, paying especially close attention to the difficult sections of Frege's book in which he discusses his notorious 'Basic Law V' and attempts to secure its status as a law of logic. Part II examines the mathematical basis of Frege's logicism, explaining and exploring Frege's formal arguments. Heck argues that Frege himself knew that his proofs could be reconstructed so as to avoid Russell's Paradox, and presents Frege's arguments in a way that makes them available to a wide audience. He shows, by example, that careful attention to the structure of Frege's arguments, to what he proved, to how he proved it, and even to what he tried to prove but could not, has much to teach us about Frege's philosophy.
This single-volume reference guide covers the most important authors and movements in Continental Philosophy. Each section focuses on a school of thought, bringing together articles by leading scholars which explore the key thinkers and texts. Arranged in chronological order, the volume begins with the founding texts of Classical Idealism and concludes with Post-structuralism. Sections and Section Editors: Classical Idealism - Philip Stratton-Lake Philosophy of Existence - Lewis R. Gordon Philosophies of Life and Understanding - Fiona Hughes Phenomenology - Gail Weiss Politics, Psychoanalysis and Science - Gillian Howie The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory - Simon Jarvis Structuralism - Jeremy Jennings Post-Structuralism - John Protevi
Metaphysics asks questions about existence: for example, do numbers
really exist? Metametaphysics asks questions about metaphysics: for
example, do its questions have determinate answers? If so, are
these answers deep and important, or are they merely a matter of
how we use words? What is the proper methodology for their
resolution? These questions have received a heightened degree of
attention lately with new varieties of ontological deflationism and
pluralism challenging the kind of realism that has become orthodoxy
in contemporary analytic metaphysics.
This book is the first comprehensive critical study of the work of Paul Feyerabend, one of the foremost twentieth-century philosophers of science.
The book traces the evolution of Feyerabend's thought, beginning
with his early attempt to graft insights from Wittgenstein's
conception of meaning onto Popper's falsificationist philosophy.
The key elements of Feyerabend's model of the acquisition of
knowledge are identified and critically evaluated. Feyerabend's
early work emerges as a continuation of Popper's philosophy of
science, rather than as a contribution to the historical approach
to science with which he is usually associated.
Throughout the book, Preston discusses the influence of Feyerabend's thought on contemporary philosophers and traces his stimulating but divided legacy. The book will be of interest to students of philosophy, methodology, and the social sciences.
Acquaintance with the work of Martin Heidegger is indispensable to an understanding of contemporary thought and culture. His work has had a profound influence on a number of disciplines, including theology, Sartrean existentialism, linguistics, Hellenic studies, the structuralist and hermeneutic schools of textual interpretation, literary theory, and literature itself. With characteristic lucidity and style, George Steiner makes this philosopher's immensely difficult body of work accessible to the general reader. The breadth of Steiner's learning and interests also allows him to place Heidegger in a broader Continental literary-cultural context. In a new Introduction, Steiner addresses language and philosophy and the rise of Nazism.
Alfred North Whitehead has never gone out of print, but for a time he was decidedly out of fashion in the English-speaking world. In a splendid work that serves as both introduction and erudite commentary, Isabelle Stengers one of today s leading philosophers of science goes straight to the beating heart of Whitehead s thought. The product of thirty years engagement with the mathematician-philosopher s entire canon, this volume establishes Whitehead as a daring thinker on par with Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Michel Foucault.
Reading the texts in broadly chronological order while highlighting major works, Stengers deftly unpacks Whitehead s often complicated language, explaining the seismic shifts in his thinking and showing how he called into question all that philosophers had considered settled after Descartes and Kant. She demonstrates that the implications of Whitehead s philosophical theories and specialized knowledge of the various sciences come yoked with his innovative, revisionist take on God. Whitehead s God exists within a specific epistemological realm created by a radically complex and often highly mathematical language.
To think with Whitehead today, Stengers writes, means to sign on in advance to an adventure that will leave none of the terms we normally use as they were.
This book is no less than a guide to the whole of Western philosophy-the ideas that have undergirded our civilization for two-and-a-half thousand years. Anthony Kenny tells the story of philosophy from ancient Greece through the Middle Ages and the Enlightenment into the modern world. He introduces us to the great thinkers and their ideas, starting with Plato, Aristotle, and the other founders of Western thought. In the second part of the book he takes us through a thousand years of medieval philosophy, and shows us the rich intellectual legacy of Christian thinkers like Augustine, Aquinas, and Ockham. Moving into the early modern period, we explore the great works of Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Leibniz, Spinoza, Hume, and Kant, which remain essential reading today. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Hegel, Mill, Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein again transformed the way we see the world. Running though the book are certain themes which have been constant concerns of philosophy since its early beginnings: the fundamental questions of what exists and how we can know about it; the nature of humanity, the mind, truth, and meaning; the place of God in the universe; how we should live and how society should be ordered. Anthony Kenny traces the development of these themes through the centuries: we see how the questions asked and answers offered by the great philosophers of the past remain vividly alive today. Anyone interested in ideas and their history will find this a fascinating and stimulating read.
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 translationFootnoted remarks in the earlier editions have now been relocated in the textWhat 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 referenceNew detailed editorial endnotes explain decisions of translators and identify references and allusions in Wittgenstein's original textNow features new essays on the history of the "Philosophical Investigations," and the problems of translating Wittgenstein's text
Martin Heidegger, considered by some to be the greatest charlatan ever to claim the title of 'philosopher', by some as an apologist for Nazism, and by others as an acknowledged leader in continental philosophy, is probably the most divisive thinker of the twentieth century. In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Michael Inwood focuses on Heidegger's most important work, Being and Time, to explore its major themes of existence in the world, inauthenticity, guilt, destiny, truth, and the nature of time. These themes are then reassessed in the light of Heidegger's multifaceted later thought, and how, despite its diversity, it hangs together as a single, coherent project. Finally, Inwood turns to Heidegger's Nazism and anti-semitism, to reveal its deep connection with his personality and overall view of philosophy. This is an invaluable guide to the complex and voluminous thought of one of the twentieth century's greatest yet most enigmatic philosophers. 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.
Paul Feyerabend is one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century and his book Against Method is an international bestseller. In this new book he masterfully weaves together the main elements of his mature philosophy into a gripping tale: the story of the rise of rationalism in Ancient Greece that eventually led to the entrenchment of a mythical scientific worldview'. In this wide-ranging and accessible book Feyerabend challenges some modern myths about science, including the myth that science is successful'. He argues that some very basic assumptions about science are simply false and that substantial parts of scientific ideology were created on the basis of superficial generalizations that led to absurd misconceptions about the nature of human life. Far from solving the pressing problems of our age, such as war and poverty, scientific theorizing glorifies ephemeral generalities, at the cost of confronting the real particulars that make life meaningful. Objectivity and generality are based on abstraction, and as such, they come at a high price. For abstraction drives a wedge between our thoughts and our experience, resulting in the degeneration of both. Theoreticians, as opposed to practitioners, tend to impose a tyranny on the concepts they use, abstracting away from the subjective experience that makes life meaningful. Feyerabend concludes by arguing that practical experience is a better guide to reality than any theory, by itself, ever could be, and he stresses that there is no tyranny that cannot be resisted, even if it is exerted with the best possible intentions. Provocative and iconoclastic, The Tyranny of Science is one of Feyerabend's last books and one of his best. It will be widely read by everyone interested in the role that science has played, and continues to play, in the shaping of the modern world.
Theodor Adorno's reputation as a cultural critic has been well- established for some time, but his status as a philosopher remains unclear. In Adorno and the Ends of Philosophy Andrew Bowie seeks to establish what Adorno can contribute to philosophy today. Adorno's published texts are notably difficult and have tended to hinder his reception by a broad philosophical audience. His main influence as a philosopher when he was alive was, though, often based on his very lucid public lectures. Drawing on these lectures, both published and unpublished, Bowie argues that important recent interpretations of Hegel, and related developments in pragmatism, echo key ideas in Adorno's thought. At the same time, Adorno's insistence that philosophy should make the Holocaust central to the assessment of modern rationality suggests ways in which these approaches should be complemented by his preparedness to confront some of the most disturbing aspects of modern history. What emerges is a remarkably clear and engaging re-interpretation of Adorno's thought, as well as an illuminating and original review of the state of contemporary philosophy. Adorno and the Ends of Philosophy will be indispensable to students of Adorno's work at all levels. This compelling book is also set to ignite debate surrounding the reception of Adorno's philosophy and bring him into the mainstream of philosophical debate at a time when the divisions between analytical and European philosophy are increasingly breaking down.
The first authoritative and comprehensive survey of the origins and current state of transhumanist thinking
The rapid pace of emerging technologies is playing an increasingly important role in overcoming fundamental human limitations. Featuring core writings by seminal thinkers in the speculative possibilities of the posthuman condition, essays address key philosophical arguments for and against human enhancement, explore the inevitability of life extension, and consider possible solutions to the growing issues of social and ethical implications and concerns. Edited by the internationally acclaimed founders of the philosophy and social movement of transhumanism, "The Transhumanist Reader" is an indispensable guide to our current state of knowledge of the quest to expand the frontiers of human nature.
Modernism has long been understood as a radical repudiation of the past. Reading against the narrative of modernism-as-break, Pragmatic Modernism traces an alternative strain of modernist thought that grows out of pragmatist philosophy and is characterized by its commitment to gradualism, continuity, and recontextualization. It rediscovers a distinctive response to the social, intellectual, and artistic transformations of modernity in the work of Henry James, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Dewey, and William James. These thinkers share an institutionally-grounded approach to change which emphasizes habits, continuities, and daily life over spectacular events, heroic opposition, and radical rupture. They developed an active, dialectical attitude that was critical of complacency while refusing to romanticize moments of shock or conflict. Through its analysis of pragmatist keywords, including "habit," "institution," "prediction," and "bigness," Pragmatic Modernism offers new readings of works by James, Proust, Stein, and Andre Breton, among others. It shows, for instance, how Stein's characteristic literary innovation-her repetitions-aesthetically materialize the problem of habit; and how institutions-businesses, museums, newspapers, the law, and even the state itself-help to construct the subtlest of personal observations and private gestures in James's novels. This study reconstructs an overlooked strain of modernism. In so doing, it helps to re-imagine the stark choice between political quietism and total revolution that has been handed down as modernism's legacy.
Philosophy Bites Back is the second book to come out of the hugely successful podcast Philosophy Bites. It presents a selection of lively interviews with leading philosophers of our time, who discuss the ideas and works of some of the most important thinkers in history. From the ancient classics of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, to the groundbreaking modern thought of Wittgenstein, Rawls, and Derrida, this volume spans over two and a half millennia of western philosophy and illuminates its most fascinating ideas. Philosophy Bites was set up in 2007 by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton. It has had over 12 million downloads, and is listened to all over the world.
Martin Heidegger is one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century philosophy but his reputation was tainted by his associations with Nazism. The posthumous publication of the Black Notebooks, which reveal the shocking extent of Heidegger's anti-Semitism, has only cast further doubt on his work. Now more than ever, a new introduction to Heidegger is needed to reassess his work and legacy. This book by the world-leading Heidegger scholar Peter Trawny is the first introduction to take into account the new material made available by the explosive publication of the Black Notebooks. Seeking neither to condemn nor excuse Heidegger's views, Trawny directly confronts and elucidates the most problematic aspects of his thought. At the same time, he provides a comprehensive survey of Heidegger's development, from his early writings on phenomenology and his magnum opus, Being and Time, to his later writings on poetry and technology. Trawny captures the extraordinary significance and breadth of fifty years of philosophical production, all against the backdrop of the tumultuous events of the twentieth century. This concise introduction will be required reading for the many students and scholars in philosophy and critical theory who study Heidegger, and it will be of great interest to general readers who want to know more about one of the major figures of contemporary philosophy.
Theodor W. Adorno and Jurgen Habermas both champion the goal of a rational society. However, they differ significantly about what this society should look like and how best to achieve it. Exploring the premises shared by both critical theorists, along with their profound disagreements about social conditions today, this book defends Adorno against Habermas' influential criticisms of his account of Western society and prospects for achieving reasonable conditions of human life. The book begins with an overview of these critical theories of Western society. Both Adorno and Habermas follow Georg Lukacs when they argue that domination consists in the reifying extension of a calculating, rationalizing form of thought to all areas of human life. Their views about reification are discussed in the second chapter. In chapter three the author explores their conflicting accounts of the historical emergence and development of the type of rationality now prevalent in the West. Since Adorno and Habermas claim to have a critical purchase on reified social life, the critical leverage of their theories is assessed in chapter four. The final chapter deals with their opposing views about what a rational society would look like, as well as their claims about the prospects for establishing such a society. Adorno, Habermas and the Search for a Rational Society will be essential reading for students and researchers of critical theory, political theory and the work of Adorno and Habermas.
Paolo Mancosu presents a series of innovative studies in the history and the philosophy of logic and mathematics in the first half of the twentieth century. The Adventure of Reason is divided into five main sections: history of logic (from Russell to Tarski); foundational issues (Hilbert's program, constructivity, Wittgenstein, Goedel); mathematics and phenomenology (Weyl, Becker, Mahnke); nominalism (Quine, Tarski); semantics (Tarski, Carnap, Neurath). Mancosu exploits extensive untapped archival sources to make available a wealth of new material that deepens in significant ways our understanding of these fascinating areas of modern intellectual history. At the same time, the book is a contribution to recent philosophical debates, in particular on the prospects for a successful nominalist reconstruction of mathematics, the nature of finitist intuition, the viability of alternative definitions of logical consequence, and the extent to which phenomenology can hope to account for the exact sciences.
The intense relationship between philosopher Martin Heidegger and his cabin in the Black Forest: the first substantial account of "die Hutte" and its influence on Heidegger's life and work. "This is the most thorough architectural 'crit' of a hut ever set down, the justification for which is that the hut was the setting in which Martin Heidegger wrote phenomenological texts that became touchstones for late-twentieth-century architectural theory." -from the foreword by Simon Sadler Beginning in the summer of 1922, philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) occupied a small, three-room cabin in the Black Forest Mountains of southern Germany. He called it "die Hutte" ("the hut"). Over the years, Heidegger worked on many of his most famous writings in this cabin, from his early lectures to his last enigmatic texts. He claimed an intellectual and emotional intimacy with the building and its surroundings, and even suggested that the landscape expressed itself through him, almost without agency. In Heidegger's Hut, Adam Sharr explores this intense relationship of thought, place, and person. Heidegger's mountain hut has been an object of fascination for many, including architects interested in his writings about "dwelling" and "place." Sharr's account-the first substantive investigation of the building and Heidegger's life there-reminds us that, in approaching Heidegger's writings, it is important to consider the circumstances in which the philosopher, as he himself said, felt "transported" into the work's "own rhythm." Indeed, Heidegger's apparent abdication of agency and tendency toward romanticism seem especially significant in light of his troubling involvement with the Nazi regime in the early 1930s. Sharr draws on original research, including interviews with Heidegger's relatives, as well as on written accounts of the hut by Heidegger and his visitors. The book's evocative photographs include scenic and architectural views taken by the author and many remarkable images of a septuagenarian Heidegger in the hut taken by the photojournalist Digne Meller-Markovicz. There are many ways to interpret Heidegger's hut-as the site of heroic confrontation between philosopher and existence; as the petit bourgeois escape of a misguided romantic; as a place overshadowed by fascism; or as an entirely unremarkable little building. Heidegger's Hut does not argue for any one reading, but guides readers toward their own possible interpretations of the importance of "die Hutte."
Bernard Williams was one of the most important philosophers of the past fifty years, but he was also a distinguished critic and essayist with an elegant style and a rare ability to communicate complex ideas to a wide public. This is the first collection of Williams's popular essays and reviews. Williams writes about a broad range of subjects, from philosophy to science, the humanities, economics, feminism, and pornography. Included are reviews of major books such as John Rawls's Theory of Justice, Richard Rorty's Consequences of Pragmatism, and Martha Nussbaum's Therapy of Desire. But many of these essays extend beyond philosophy, providing an intellectual tour through the past half century, from C. S. Lewis to Noam Chomsky. No matter the subject, readers see a first-class mind grappling with landmark books in "real time," before critical consensus had formed and ossified.
In Wittgenstein on Logic as the Method of Philosophy, Oskari Kuusela examines Wittgenstein's early and late philosophies of logic, situating their philosophical significance in early and middle analytic philosophy with particular reference to Frege, Russell, Carnap, and Strawson. He argues that not only the early but also the later Wittgenstein sought to further develop the logical-philosophical approaches of his contemporaries. Throughout his career Wittgenstein's aim was to resolve problems with and address the limitations of Frege's and Russell's accounts of logic and their logical methodologies so as to achieve the philosophical progress that originally motivated the logical-philosophical approach. By re-examining the roots and development of analytic philosophy, Kuusela seeks to open up covered up paths for the further development of analytic philosophy. Offering a novel interpretation of the philosopher, he explains how Wittgenstein extends logical methodology beyond calculus-based logical methods and how his novel account of the status of logic enables one to do justice to the complexity and richness of language use and thought while retaining rigour and ideals of logic such as simplicity and exactness. In addition, this volume outlines the new kind of non-empiricist naturalism developed in Wittgenstein's later work and explaining how his account of logic can be used to dissolve the long-standing methodological dispute between the ideal and ordinary language schools of analytic philosophy. It is of interest to scholars, researchers, and advance students of philosophy interested in engaging with a number of scholarly debates.
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