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This volume, Grice's first book, includes the long-delayed publication of his enormously influential 1967 William James Lectures. But there is much, much more in this work. Paul Grice himself has carefully arranged and framed the sequence of essays to emphasize not a certain set of ideas but a habit of mind, a style of philosophizing.
Grice has, to be sure, provided philosophy with crucial ideas. His account of speaker-meaning is the standard that others use to define their own minor divergences or future elaborations. His discussion of conversational implicatures has given philosophers an important tool for the investigation of all sorts of problems; it has also laid the foundation for a great deal of work by other philosophers and linguists about presupposition. His metaphysical defense of absolute values is starting to be considered the beginning of a new phase in philosophy. This is a vital book for all who are interested in Anglo-American philosophy.
A Deleuzian reading of Whitehead and a Whiteheadian reading of Deleuze open the possibility of a critical aesthetics of contemporary culture. In Without Criteria, Steven Shaviro proposes and explores a philosophical fantasy: imagine a world in which Alfred North Whitehead takes the place of Martin Heidegger. What if Whitehead, instead of Heidegger, had set the agenda for postmodern thought? Heidegger asks, "Why is there something, rather than nothing?" Whitehead asks, "How is it that there is always something new?" In a world where everything from popular music to DNA is being sampled and recombined, argues Shaviro, Whitehead's question is the truly urgent one. Without Criteria is Shaviro's experiment in rethinking postmodern theory, especially the theory of aesthetics, from a point of view that hearkens back to Whitehead rather than Heidegger. In working through the ideas of Whitehead and Deleuze, Shaviro also appeals to Kant, arguing that certain aspects of Kant's thought pave the way for the philosophical "constructivism" embraced by both Whitehead and Deleuze. Kant, Whitehead, and Deleuze are not commonly grouped together, but the juxtaposition of them in Without Criteria helps to shed light on a variety of issues that are of concern to contemporary art and media practices.
This book is an accessible introduction to the central themes of contemporary metaphysics. It carefully considers accounts of causation, freedom and determinism, laws of nature, personal identity, mental states, time, material objects, and properties, while inviting students to reflect on metaphysical problems. The philosophical questions discussed include: What makes it the case that one event causes another event? What are material objects? Given that material objects exist, do such things as properties exist? What makes it the case that a person may exist at two different times? An Introduction to Metaphysics makes these tough questions tractable by presenting the features and flaws of current attempts to answer them. Intended primarily for students taking a first class in metaphysics, this lucid and well-written text would also provide an excellent introduction for anyone interested in knowing more about this important area of philosophy.
This book is an introduction to the high humanitarian ideas of the great Russian writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy. It was inspired by the portrait reproduced on the cover dustjacket. The inscription on the portrait was written, in Russian, by Alexandra Lvovna Tolstoy, youngest daughter of the world famous writer and presented to the author, Michael Levin, on the occasion of his visit to her in 1977 at her home in upstate New York. In translation, the inscription reads: My father once said: 'Believing gives soulful peace; sense of divine soul gives power'. These words of his have always helped me in life. And I am happy that you helped people - tourists - when they came to bow their heads at his grave. Thank you! Alexandra Tolstoy (92 years). 18 February 1977.
This collection of essays on Saul Kripke and his philosophy is the first and only collection of essays to examine both published and unpublished writings by Kripke. Its essays, written by distinguished philosophers in the field, present a broader picture of Kripke's life and work than has previously been available to scholars of his thought. New topics covered in these essays include vacuous names and names in fiction, Kripke on logicism and de re attitude toward numbers, Kripke on the incoherency of adopting a logic, Kripke on colour words and his criticism of the primary versus secondary quality distinction, and Kripke's critique of functionalism. These essays not only present Kripke's basic arguments but also engage with the arguments and controversies engendered by his work, providing the most comprehensive analysis of his philosophy and writings available. This collection will become a classic in contemporary analytic philosophy.
Spinoza's Ethics, and its project of proving ethical truths through the geometric method, have attracted and challenged readers for more than three hundred years. In Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination, Eugene Garver uses the imagination as a guiding thread to this work. Other readers have looked at the imagination to account for Spinoza's understanding of politics and religion, but this is the first inquiry to see it as central to the Ethics as a whole--imagination as a quality to be cultivated, and not simply overcome. Spinoza initially presents imagination as an inadequate and confused way of thinking, always inferior to ideas that adequately represent things as they are. It would seem to follow that one ought to purge the mind of imaginative ideas and replace them with rational ideas as soon as possible, but as Garver shows, the Ethics don't allow for this ultimate ethical act until one has cultivated a powerful imagination. This is, for Garver, "the cunning of imagination." The simple plot of progress becomes, because of the imagination, a complex journey full of reversals and discoveries. For Garver, the "cunning" of the imagination resides in our ability to use imagination to rise above it.
"The heart of history, for Heidegger, is not a sequence of occurrences but the eruption of significance at critical junctures that bring us into our own by making all being, including our being, into an urgent issue. In emergency, being emerges." from The Emergency of Being
The esoteric Contributions to Philosophy, often considered Martin Heidegger's second main work after Being and Time, is crucial to any interpretation of his thought. Here Heidegger proposes that being takes place as "appropriation." Richard Polt's independent-minded account of the Contributions interprets appropriation as an event of emergency that demands to be thought in a "future-subjunctive" mode. Polt explores the roots of appropriation in Heidegger's earlier philosophy; Heidegger's search for a way of thinking suited to appropriation; and the implications of appropriation for time, space, human existence, and beings as a whole. In his concluding chapter, Polt reflects critically on the difficulties of the radically antirationalist and antimodern thought of the Contributions.
Polt's original reading neither reduces this challenging text to familiar concepts nor refutes it, but engages it in a confrontation an encounter that respects a way of thinking by struggling with it. He describes this most private work of Heidegger's philosophy as "a dissonant symphony that imperfectly weaves together its moments into a vast fugue, under the leitmotif of appropriation. This fugue is seeded with possibilities that are waiting for us, its listeners, to develop them. Some are dead ends viruses that can lead only to a monolithic, monotonous misunderstanding of history. Others are embryonic insights that promise to deepen our thought, and perhaps our lives, if we find the right way to make them our own.""
The aim of this volume is to critically assess the philosophical importance of phenomenology as a method for studying the normativity of meaning and its transcendental conditions. Using the pioneering work of Steven Crowell as a springboard, phenomenologists from all over the world examine the promise of phenomenology for illuminating long-standing problems in epistemology, the philosophy of mind, action theory, the philosophy of religion, and moral psychology. The essays are unique in that they engage with the phenomenological tradition not as a collection of authorities to whom we must defer, or a set of historical artifacts we must preserve, but rather as a community of interlocutors with views that bear on important issues in contemporary philosophy. The book is divided into three thematic sections, each examining different clusters of issues aimed at moving the phenomenological project forward. The first section explores the connection between normativity and meaning, and asks us to rethink the relation between the factual realm and the categories of validity in terms of which things can show up as what they are. The second section examines the nature of the self that is capable of experiencing meaning. It includes essays on intentionality, agency, consciousness, naturalism, and moral normativity. The third section addresses questions of philosophical methodology, examining if and why phenomenology should have priority in the analysis of meaning. Finally, the book concludes with an afterword written by Steven Crowell. Normativity, Meaning, and the Promise of Phenomenology will be a key resource for students and scholars interested in the phenomenological tradition, the transcendental tradition from Kant to Davidson, and existentialism. Additionally, its forward-looking focus yields crucial insights into pressing philosophical problems that will appeal to scholars working across all areas of the discipline.
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.
A philosophical examination of the treatment of logic and God in Lacan's later psychoanalytic theory. In The Not-Two, Lorenzo Chiesa examines the treatment of logic and God in Lacan's later work. Chiesa draws for the most part from Lacan's Seminars of the early 1970s, as they revolve around the axiom "There is no sexual relationship." Chiesa provides both a close reading of Lacan's effort to formalize sexual difference as incompleteness and an assessment of its broader implications for philosophical realism and materialism. Chiesa argues that "There is no sexual relationship" is for Lacan empirically and historically circumscribed by psychoanalysis, yet self-evident in our everyday lives. Lacan believed that we have sex because we love, and that love is a desire to be One in face of the absence of the sexual relationship. Love presupposes a real "not-two." The not-two condenses the idea that our love and sex lives are dictated by the impossibility of fusing man's contradictory being with the heteros of woman as a fundamentally uncountable Other. Sexual liaisons are sustained by a transcendental logic, the so-called phallic function that attempts to overcome this impossibility. Chiesa also focuses on Lacan's critical dialogue with modern science and formal logic, as well as his dismantling of sexuality as considered by mainstream biological discourse. Developing a new logic of sexuation based on incompleteness requires the relinquishing of any alleged logos of life and any teleological evolution. For Lacan, the truth of incompleteness as approached psychoanalytically through sexuality would allow us to go further in debunking traditional onto-theology and replace it with a "para-ontology" yet to be developed. Given the truth of incompleteness, Chiesa asks, can we think such a truth in itself without turning incompleteness into another truth about truth, that is, into yet another figure of God as absolute being?
Present day neuroscience places the brain at the centre of study. But what if researchers viewed the brain not as the foundation of life, rather as a mediating organ? Ecology of the Brain addresses this very question. It considers the human body as a collective, a living being which uses the brain to mediate interactions. Those interactions may be both within the human body and between the human body and its environment. Within this framework, the mind is seen not as a product of the brain but as an activity of the living being; an activity which integrates the brain within the everyday functions of the human body. Going further, Fuchs reformulates the traditional mind-brain problem, presenting it as a dual aspect of the living being: the lived body and the subjective body - the living body and the objective body. The processes of living and experiencing life, Fuchs argues, are in fact inextricably linked; it is not the brain, but the human being who feels, thinks and acts. For students and academics, Ecology of the Brain will be of interest to those studying or researching theory of mind, social and cultural interaction, psychiatry, and psychotherapy.
Over the course of his career, Gianni Vattimo has assumed a number of public and private identities and has pursued multiple intellectual paths. He seems to embody several contradictions, at once defending and questioning religion and critiquing and serving the state. Yet the diversity of his life and thought form the very essence of, as he sees it, the vocation and responsibility of the philosopher. In a world that desires quantifiable results and ideological expediency, the philosopher becomes the vital interpreter of the endlessly complex.
As he outlines his ideas about the philosopher's role, Vattimo builds an important companion to his life's work. He confronts questions of science, religion, logic, literature, and truth, and passionately defends the power of hermeneutics to engage with life's conundrums. Vattimo conjures a clear vision of philosophy as something separate from the sciences and the humanities but also intimately connected to their processes, and he explicates a conception of truth that emphasizes fidelity and participation through dialogue.
Arguing that the importance of painting and other visual art for Benjamin's epistemology has yet to be appreciated, Weigel undertakes the first systematic analysis of their significance to his thought. She does so by exploring Benjamin's dialectics of secularization, an approach that allows Benjamin to explore the simultaneous distance from and orientation towards revelation and to deal with the difference and tensions between religious and profane ideas. In the process, Weigel identifies the double reference of 'life' to both nature and to a 'supernatural' sphere as a guiding concept of Benjamin's writings. Sensitive to the notorious difficulty of translating his language, she underscores just how much is lost in translation, particularly with regard to religious connotations. The book thus positions Benjamin with respect to the other European thinkers at the heart of current discussions of sovereignty and martyrdom, of holy and creaturely life. It corrects misreadings, including Agamben's staging of an affinity between Benjamin and Schmitt, and argues for the closeness of Benjamin's work to that of Aby Warburg, with whom Benjamin unsuccessfully attempted an intellectual exchange.
What Happened in and to Moral Philosophy in the Twentieth Century? is a volume of essays originally presented at University College Dublin in 2009 to celebrate the eightieth birthday of Alasdair MacIntyre-a protagonist at the centre of that very question. What marks this collection is the unusual range of approaches and perspectives, representing divergent and even contradictory positions. Such variety reflects MacIntyre's own intellectual trajectory, which led him to engage successively with various schools of thought: analytic, Marxist, Christian, atheist, Aristotelian, Augustinian, and Thomist. This collection presents a unique profile of twentieth-century moral philosophy and is itself an original contribution to ongoing debate. The volume begins with Alasdair MacIntyre's fascinating philosophical self-portrait, "On Having Survived the Academic Moral Philosophy of the Twentieth Century", which charts his own intellectual development. The first group of essays considers MacIntyre's revolutionary contribution to twentieth-century moral philosophy: its value in understanding and guiding human action, its latent philosophical anthropology, its impetus in the renewal of the Aristotelian tradition, and its application to contemporary interests. The next group of essays considers the complementary and competing traditions of emotivism, Marxism, Thomism, and phenomenology. A third set of essays presents thematic analyses of such topics as evolutionary ethics, accomplishment and just desert, relativism, evil, and the inescapability of ethics. MacIntyre responds with a final essay, "What Next?" which addresses questions raised by contributors to the volume.
The work of Giorgio Agamben, one of Italy's most important and
original philosophers, has been based on an uncommon erudition in
classical traditions of philosophy and rhetoric, the grammarians of
late antiquity, Christian theology, and modern philosophy.
Recently, Agamben has begun to direct his thinking to the
constitution of the social and to some concrete, ethico-political
conclusions concerning the state of society today, and the place of
the individual within it.
This book examines the many faces of philosophy of time, including the metaphysical aspects, natural science issues, and the consciousness of time. It brings together the different methodologies of investigating the philosophy of time. It does so to counter the growing fragmentation of the field with regard to discussions, and the existing cleavage between analytic and continental traditions in philosophy. The book's multidirectional approach to the notion of time contributes to a better understanding of time's metaphysical, physical and phenomenological aspects. It helps clarify the presuppositions underpinning the analytic and continental traditions in the philosophy of time and offers ways in which the differences between them can be bridged.
In this book William G. Lycan offers an epistemology of philosophy itself, a partial method for philosophical inquiry. The epistemology features three ultimate sources of justified philosophical belief. First, common sense, in a carefully restricted sense of the term-the sorts of contingent propositions Moore defended against idealists and skeptics. Second, the deliverances of well confirmed science. Third and more fundamentally, intuitions about cases in a carefully specified sense of that term. The first half of On Evidence in Philosophy expounds a version of Moore's method and applies it to each of several issues. This version is shown to resist all the standard objections to Moore; most of them do not even apply. It is argued, in Chapters 5 and 6, that philosophical method is far less powerful than most have taken it to be. In particular, deductive argument can accomplish very little, and hardly ever is an opposing position refuted except by common sense or by science. The final two chapters defend the evidential status of intuitions and the Goodmanian method of reflective equilibrium; it is argued that philosophy always and everywhere depends on them. The method is then set within a more general explanatory-coherentist epistemology, which is shown to resist standard forms of skepticism. In sum, William G. Lycan advocates a picture of philosophy as a very wide explanatory reflective equilibrium incorporating common sense, science, and our firmest intuitions on any topic-and nothing more, not ever.
Widely regarded as one of the most profound critics of our time, Rene Girard has pursued a powerful line of inquiry across the fields of the humanities and the social sciences. His theories, which the French press has termed "l'hypothese girardienne," have sparked interdisciplinary, even international, controversy. In The Scapegoat, Girard applies his approach to "texts of persecution," documents that recount phenomena of collective violence from the standpoint of the persecutor-documents such as the medieval poet Guillaume de Machaut's Judgement of the King of Navarre, which blames the Jews for the Black Death and describes their mass murder. Girard compares persecution texts with myths, most notably with the myth of Oedipus, and finds strikingly similar themes and structures. Could myths regularly conceal texts of persecution? Girard's answers lies in a study of the Christian Passion, which represents the same central event, the same collective violence, found in all mythology, but which is read from the point of view of the innocent victim. The Passion text provides the model interpretation that has enabled Western culture to demystify its own violence-a demystification Girard now extends to mythology. Underlying Girard's daring textual hypothesis is a powerful theory of history and culture. Christ's rejection of all guilt breaks the mythic cycle of violence and the sacred. The scapegoat becomes the Lamb of God; "the foolish genesis of blood-stained idols and the false gods of superstition, politics, and ideologies" are revealed.
Scholars in the humanities and social sciences have turned to ethics to theorize politics in what seems to be an increasingly depoliticized age. Yet the move toward ethics has obscured the ongoing value of political responsibility and the vibrant life it represents as an effective response to power. Sounding the alarm for those who care about robust forms of civic engagement, this book fights for a new conception of political responsibility that meets the challenges of today's democratic practice. Antonio Y. Vazquez-Arroyo forcefully argues against the notion that modern predicaments of power can only be addressed ethically or philosophically through pristine concepts that operate outside of the political realm. By returning to the political, the individual is reintroduced to the binding principles of participatory democracy and the burdens of acting and thinking as a member of a collective. Vazquez-Arroyo historicizes the ethical turn to better understand its ascendence and reworks Adorno's dialectic of responsibility to reassert the political in contemporary thought and theory.
A philosopher, rabbi, religious historian, and Gnostic, Jacob Taubes was for many years a correspondent and interlocutor of Carl Schmitt (1888--1985), a German jurist, philosopher, political theorist, law professor -- and self-professed Nazi. Despite their unlikely association, Taubes and Schmitt shared an abiding interest in the fundamental problems of political theology, believing the great challenges of modern political theory were ancient in pedigree and, in many cases, anticipated the works of Judeo-Christian eschatologists.
In this collection of Taubes's writings on Schmitt, the two intellectuals work through ideas of the apocalypse and other central concepts of political theology. Taubes acknowledges Schmitt's reservations about the weakness of liberal democracy yet distances himself from his prescription to rectify it, arguing the apocalyptic worldview requires less of a rigid hierarchical social ordering than a community committed to the importance of decision making. In these writings, a sharper and more nuanced portrait of Schmitt's thought emerges, as well as a more complicated understanding of Taubes, who has shaped the work of Giorgio Agamben, Peter Sloterdijk, and other major twentieth-century theorists.
Classic introduction to objectives and methods of schools of empiricism and linguistic analysis, especially of the logical positivism derived from the Vienna Circle. Topics: elimination of metaphysics, function of philosophy, nature of philosophical analysis, the a priori, truth and probability, critique of ethics and theology, self and the common world, more. "A delightful book...I should like to have written it myself."-Bertrand Russell.
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.
This considerably revised second edition of Wittgenstein's 1914-16
notebooks contains a new appendix with photographs of
Wittgenstein's original work, a new preface by Elizabeth Anscombe,
and a useful index by E.D. Klemke. Corrections have been made
throughout the text, and notes have been added, making this the
definitive edition of the notebooks. The writings intersperse
Wittgenstein's technical logical notations with his thoughts on the
meaning of life, happiness, and death.
John McDowell has set the philosophical world alight with a
revolutionary approach to the subject, illuminating old problems
with dazzling particularity. In this welcome introduction to his
work, Maximilian de Gaynesford puts writing within comfortable
reach of non-specialists.
The guiding argument of the book is that the variety of
McDowell's interests disguises a core concern with a single basic
goal: 'giving philosophy peace'. Since the dawn of the subject,
philosophy has struggled with the question: can our experience of
the world give rational support to what we think and say; and if
so, how? McDowell claims that philosophy has itself to blame if
these questions seem problematic, and this book's animating purpose
is to see what sense can be made of this notorious claim. In
McDowell's view, the illusion that our fundamental relations with
the world are truly problematic is traceable to false views about
nature. We should give proper weight to a natural fact about the
world: that human beings are of a kind that is naturally placed
within the natural order.
De Gaynesford analyses McDowell's densely argued and meticulous work in a lucid, balanced and engaging way, that will prove invaluable for all students and scholars of McDowell and philosophy.
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