The aim of this essay is to consider the nature of the philosophical task and of the conditions of its possibility according to Parmenides and Plato. With these thinkers, the task of the philosopher necessitates a propaedeutic activity that makes the doing of philosophy possible; that is, both Parmenides and Plato identify the need for a philosophical education that would alleviate the obstacles that would make philosophy impossible to practise, ensuring and accounting for the possibility of philosophical practice. The impossibility (...) of philosophical practice concerns the philosopher’s claim and obligation to occupy a place (τόπος) from which to contemplate being. The problem becomes conspicuous, for the first time, in the first lines of the first fragment of the first text of pure ontology: in the proemium of Parmenides’ poem. I will argue that the proemium has a crucial philosophical function that binds it integrally to the argument of the poem. This function consists in the implementation of a philosophical propaedeutic that makes possible the articulation of the goddess’s critique. The need for a propaedeutic stems from the nature of the project that lies ahead, that is, the project of the youth’s education. Such education takes the form of the delimitation of the realm of the beings that νοῦς can concern itself with. (shrink)
The motivating question of this paper is: ‘How are our beliefs in the theorems of mathematics justified?’ This is distinguished from the question ‘How are our mathematical beliefs reliably true?’ We examine an influential answer, outlined by Russell, championed by Gödel, and developed by those searching for new axioms to settle undecidables, that our mathematical beliefs are justified by ‘intuitions’, as our scientific beliefs are justified by observations. On this view, axioms are analogous to laws of nature. They are postulated (...) to best systematize the data to be explained. We argue that there is a decisive difference between the cases. There is agreement on the data to be systematized in the scientific case that has no analog in the mathematical one. There is virtual consensus over observations, but conspicuous dispute over intuitions. In this respect, mathematics more closely resembles stereotypical philosophy. We conclude by distinguishing two ideas that have long been associated -- realism (the idea that there is an independent reality) and objectivity (the idea that in a disagreement, only one of us can be right). We argue that, while realism is true of mathematics and philosophy, these domains fail to be objective. One upshot of the discussion is that even questions of fundamental physics may fail to be objective in roughly the sense that the question, ‘Is the Parallel Postulate is true?’, understood as one of pure mathematics, fails to be. Another is a kind of pragmatism. Factual questions in mathematics, modality, logic, and evaluative areas go proxy for non-factual practical ones. -/- . (shrink)
A very basic introduction meant for Chinese lay people, who only have a background in the official historic-materialist worldview. -/- A version in Chinese is available as 基础哲学 ― 概论, philpapers rec DUR-4.
The philosopher and builder Ludwig Wittgenstein remarks that architecture is more difficult than philosophy. He suggests an exhaustion criterion for how difficult a discipline is: a field is more difficult the more exhausting it is. I make a case against this claim. There was once a demand to prevent the Greek myths from establishing themselves in the curriculum by means of “our own rival myths.” It is difficult to compete with a renowned Greek myth, but if one does produce a (...) rival, it may well not be exhausting to do so. (shrink)
This brief paper considers what to say about someone who responds to Saul Kripke’s writing by saying, “He uses ‘I’. That sounds subjective.” What to say about such an inference?! The main response I offer is that philosophy is partly about challenging, not encouraging, mistaken inferences.
Adversarial philosophy is under attack (!), but I speculate that it is useful for working out the level of a philosopher and sometimes for increasing the respect awarded to some individuals and groups. There may be no alternative to it when you have an excess of philosophers of around the same level.
Robert Nozick declares that scanning complex wholes is not easy. Presumably few people exhibited the skill before Nozick, but I propose another explanation for why few people exhibit it than difficulty. Focusing specifically on scanning for inconsistencies, papers conveying them won’t look impressive to certain evaluators.
What can we know? How should we live? What is there? Philosophers famously diverge in the answers they give to these and other philosophical questions. It is widely presumed that a lack of convergence on these questions suggests that philosophy is not progressing at all, is not progressing fast enough, or is not progressing as fast as other disciplines, such as the natural sciences. Call the view that ideal philosophical progress is marked by at least some degree of convergence on (...) the core philosophical questions the pro-convergence thesis. I will argue that there is reason to reject the pro-convergence thesis in favor of the anti-convergence thesis, the view that significant viewpoint convergence is at odds with the aims of a philosophically ideal community. The argument centers on a thought experiment about two different philosophical communities. (shrink)
Metaphors and allegories, storytelling and poetic language can serve a noble purpose in philosophy. In this vein, I focus on the role of rebellious poiesis (making), creative/imaginative works, and tactful praxis (doing) in helping the oppressed and immiserated escape from the intervening background assumptions (the episteme), the system that tacitly sets the boundaries and limitations of rational discourse in our present epoch. The claim is that we, in the West, dwell within socio-political geographies ordered by colonial and capitalist projects designed (...) to benefit bourgeois Eurodescended (racially white) men (homoeconomicus, or Man2). Aimé Césaire, Sylvia Wynter, and Katherine McKittrick seek means to challenge the episteme, to step outside the self-replicating hegemonic (racist) Euroamerican techno-industrial order of things, into “demonic grounds”—indeterminant grounds in which alternative systems of knowledge and new conceptions of “being human” can be fashioned. Ultimately, I argue that Dionysian poiesis and radical scholarly praxis (method-making) are tools and levers that can be deployed to stoke imagination, access demonic grounds, and conjure new systems of knowledge in the liberatory praxis of the oppressed. (shrink)
Toni Morrison suggests that storytelling is a highly effective way of structuring knowledge, and that the harnessing of a clever allegory, the search for well-patterned language is a constant, provocative engagement with the contemporary world. In this paper, I consider the ways poetry, imagination, and well-patterned language are utilized in the philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Rorty, and Leonard Harris. I note that there are apparent similarities between Rorty and Harris, but one should also notice that there are significant (...) differences in these two philosophical positions. I ultimately argue that Harris’s move toward poetry and well-patterned language is extremely powerful and needed if people wish move beyond a well-established set of values and norms. Harris prods us to tell thought-provoking, engaging stories; to intricately tuck knowledge into allegory and well-patterned language, but does this without being an apologist for the prevailing bourgeois liberal democratic tradition. In this manner, the harnessing of metaphor and clever allegory, the creative engagement with poetry and well-patterned language (in philosophy) is a provocative means of engaging the oppression, dispossession, and immiseration of the contemporary world. (shrink)
Exploration of the process/es and features of theorizing. Investigation of the so-called methods, techniques and tools of doing philosophy or philosophizing and illustrating that they resemble the methods of the process/es of theorizing. Showing that the some or most of the same process are implicit and underlying social theory and the development of such theory with Habermas as example.
This paper offers an explanation for why some parts of philosophy have made no progress. Philosophy has made no progress because it cannot make progress. And it cannot because of the nature of the phenomena philosophy is tasked with explaining—all of it involves consciousness. Here, it will not be argued directly that consciousness is intractable. Rather, it will be shown that a specific version of the problem of consciousness is unsolvable. This version is the Problem of the Subjective and Objective. (...) Then it is argued that the unsolvability of this latter problem is why there are other unsolvable philosophy problems. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider the difficulty of distinguishing between science fiction and philosophy. The boundary between these genres is somewhat vague. There is a “neutral zone” separating the genres. But this neutral zone is often transgressed. One key distinction considered here is that between entertainment and edification. Another crucial element is found in the importance of the author’s apparent self-consciousness of these distinctions. Philosophy seeks to edify, and philosophers are often deliberately focused on thinking about the question of the (...) borders that distinguish genres. Science fiction is more interested in entertainment, and narrative authors tend to care less about policing the border. This distinction is a pragmatic one. And canonical authors often violate the boundary. I examine key authors to make this point, including Plato, Kant, and H.G. Wells. My discussion shows that these canonical authors wandered into the neutral zone in their own work, reminding us that the boundaries we draw around genres are arbitrary and subject to transgression. (shrink)
Several important philosophical problems (including the problems of perception, free will, and scepticism) arise from antinomies that are developed through philosophical paradoxes. The critical strand of ordinary language philosophy (OLP), as practiced by J.L. Austin, provides an approach to such ‘antinomic problems’ that proceeds from an examination of ‘ordinary language’ (how people ordinarily talk about the phenomenon of interest) and ‘common sense’ (what they commonly think about it), and deploys findings to show that the problems at issue are artefacts of (...) fallacious reasoning. The approach is capable, and in need of, empirical development. Proceeding from a case-study on Austin’s paradigmatic treatment of the problem of perception, this paper identifies the key empirical assumptions informing the approach, assesses them in the light of empirical findings about default inferences, contextualisation failures, and belief fragmentation, and explores how these findings can be deployed to address the problem of perception. This facilitates a novel resolution of the problem of perception. Proceeding from this paradigm, the paper proposes ‘experimental critical OLP’ as a new research program in experimental philosophy that avoids apparent non-sequiturs of OLP, extends and transforms experimental philosophy’s ‘sources program’, and provides a promising new strategy for deploying empirical findings about how people ordinarily talk and think about phenomena, to address longstanding philosophical problems. (shrink)
This book is the first volume featuring the work of American women philosophers in the first half of the twentieth century. It provides selected papers authored by Mary Whiton Calkins, Grace Andrus de Laguna, Grace Neal Dolson, Marjorie Glicksman Grene, Marjorie Silliman Harris, Thelma Zemo Lavine, Marie Collins Swabey, Ellen Bliss Talbot, Dorothy Walsh and Margaret Floy Washburn. The book also provides the historical and philosophical background to their work. The papers focus on the nature of philosophy, knowledge, the philosophy (...) of science, the mind-matter nexus, the nature of time, and the question of freedom and the individual. The material is suitable for scholars, researchers and advanced philosophy students interested in (history of) philosophy; theories of knowledge; philosophy of science; mind, and reality. (shrink)
An introduction to the Rond worldview, which is based on ideas from science, philosophy, and spirituality and designed to help one understand the nature of existence and cope with the human condition. With regard to philosophy: the concept of rondure is applied to aesthetics, ontology, metaphysics, cosmology, scientific phenomenology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of conduct (ethics), and epistemology.
Prior research found correlations between reflection test performance and philosophical tendencies among laypeople. In two large studies (total N = 1299)—one pre-registered—many of these correlations were replicated in a sample that included both laypeople and philosophers. For example, reflection test performance predicted preferring atheism over theism and instrumental harm over harm avoidance on the trolley problem. However, most reflection-philosophy correlations were undetected when controlling for other factors such as numeracy, preferences for open-minded thinking, personality, philosophical training, age, and gender. Nonetheless, (...) some correlations between reflection and philosophical views survived this multivariate analysis and were only partially confounded with either education or self-reported reasoning preferences. Unreflective thinking still predicted believing in God whereas reflective thinking still predicted believing that (a) proper names like ‘Santa’ do not necessarily refer to entities that actually exist and (b) science does reveal the fundamental nature of the world. So some robust relationships between reflection and philosophical tendencies were detected even among philosophers, and yet there was clearly more to the link between reflection and philosophy. To this end, demographic and metaphilosophical hypotheses are considered. (shrink)
We examine the idea that there is a sub-discipline in philosophy of science, phi-losophy in science, whose researchers use philosophical tools to advance solu-tions to scientific problems. Rather, we propose that these tools are standard epistemic, cognitive, or intellectual tools at work in all rational activity, and therefore these researchers engage in scientific or metascientific research.
Les débats sur les liens qui uniraient la science à l’ontologie sont très actifs en philosophie contemporaine, et, en fait, ils ont toujours été présents. Malgré les diverses positions philosophiques sur le sujet, elles admettent toutes l’existence d’une réalité métaphysique. À l’opposé, la métascience soutient qu’une telle réalité n’existe pas. Ce second numéro de Mɛtascience présente sept articles sur douze qui ont comme fil conducteur soit l’ontologie métascientifique soit l’ontologie bungéenne.
[This is the complete issue of the second issue of Mɛtascience] -/- This second issue of the journal Mεtascience continues the char acterization of this new branch of knowledge that is metasci ence. If it is new, it is not in a radical sense since Mario Bunge practiced it in an exemplary way, since logical positivists were accused of practicing only a mere metascience, since scientists have always practiced it implicitly, and since some philosophers no longer practice philosophy but rather (...) metascience, but without characterizing it or theorizing it, that is, without realizing that they have abandoned one general discourse for another. The novelty therefore lies in this aware ness that a general discourse without philosophy is possible: a scien tific general discourse. The twelve contributions gathered in this volume illustrate the metascientific approach to knowledge of the world as well as to knowledge of knowledge of the world, that is, science. And like Bunge’s project, they are neither part of the analytical movement nor the continental movement in philosophy. We will read here studies about the Bungean system, some applications of Bungean thought, some metascientific contributions, and some reflections around meta science. Among metascientific disciplines, ontology occupies a prominent place in this issue of Mεtascience. Metascience differs from philoso phy in its rejection of the fundamental philosophical distinction be tween appearance and reality. Metascientific ontology therefore does not postulate the existence of any metaphysical reality. But metasci entific ontology, no more than philosophical ontology, is a factual sci ence. The first, because it studies scientific constructs and not concrete objects, the second, because it is interested in transcendent or meta physical objects. (shrink)
Debates about the links between science and ontology are very active in contemporary philosophy, and, in fact, they have always been present. Despite the various philosophical positions on the subject, they all admit the existence of a metaphysical reality. In contrast, metascience holds that such a reality does not exist. This second issue of Mɛtascience presents seven out of twelve articles that have as a common thread either the metascientific ontology or the Bungean ontology.
Nous examinons l’idée selon laquelle il existerait une sous-discipline en phi-losophie des sciences, la philosophie dans les sciences, dont les chercheurs utili-seraient des outils philosophiques pour avancer des solutions à des problèmes scientifiques. Nous proposons plutôt l’idée que ces outils sont des outils épisté-miques, cognitifs ou intellectuels standards, à l’œuvre dans toute activité ration-nelle, et, par conséquent, ces chercheurs se consacrent à la recherche scienti-fique ou métascientifique.
Recently there has been an increasing interest in metaphilosphy. The aim of philosophy has been examined. The development of philosophy has also been scrutinised. With the development of new approaches and methods, new problems arise. This collection revisits some of the metaphilosophical issues, including philosophical progress and the aim of philosophy. It sheds new light on some old approaches, such as naturalism and ordinary language philosophy. It also explores new philosophical methods (e.g., digital philosophy of science, conceptual engineering, and the (...) practice-based approach to logic) and their prospects. (shrink)
In some domains experts perform better than novices, and in other domains experts do not generally perform better than novices. According to empirical studies of expert performance, this is because the former but not the latter domains make available to training practitioners a direct form of learning feedback. Several philosophers resource this empirical literature to cast doubt on the quality of philosophical expertise. They claim that philosophy is like the dubious domains in that it does not make available the good, (...) direct kind of learning feedback, and thus there are empirical grounds for doubting the epistemic quality of philosophical expertise. I examine the empirical studies that are purportedly bad news for professional philosophers. On the basis of that examination, I provide three reasons why the empirical study of non-philosophical expertise does not undermine the status of philosophical expertise. First, the non-philosophical task-types from which the critics generalize are unrepresentative of relevant philosophical task-types. Second, empirical critiques of non-philosophical experts are often made relative to the performance of linear models—a comparison that is inapt in a philosophical context. Third, the critics fail to discuss findings from the empirical study of non-philosophical expertise that have more favorable implications for the epistemic status of philosophical expertise. In addition to discussing implications for philosophical expertise, this article makes progress in the philosophical analysis of the science of expertise and expert development. (shrink)
Though sometimes maligned, “trolleyology” offers an effective means of opening and framing, not only classes in ethics, but indeed any introductory philosophy course taking a broadly “puzzle-based” approach. When properly sequenced, a subset of the thought experiments that are trolleyology’s stock-in-trade can generate a series of puzzles illustrating the shortcomings of our untutored moral intuitions, and which thus motivate the very enterprise of moral theorizing. Students can be engaged in the attempt to resolve said puzzles, inasmuch as they’re accessible and (...) compelling, and their resolutions generally easy to achieve. Once thus engaged, students can be directed to the fact that they had already rolled up their sleeves and begun “doing philosophy.” In this way, engagement with trolleyological puzzles can serve as a “microcosm” for philosophy more broadly, illustrating the processes of critical thinking that are likewise the stock-in-trade of philosophers across many different domains of inquiry. (shrink)
This is a primer on Steven James Bartlett's book CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON: HORIZONS OF POSSIBILITY AND MEANING. ●●●●● -/- Some books are long and complex. The Critique of Impure Reason is such a book. It is long enough and complex enough so that it may be a service to some readers to offer a primer to introduce and partially summarize the book’s objectives and method. Here, the author of Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning provides such (...) a guide, a vade mecum to accompany a reader should he or she embark on a study of the long and complex work. ●●●●● -/- The book is available in a printed edition, ISBN 978-0-578-88646-6, from online booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and through independent bookstores. The book is also available as an eBook, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5458352, through Zenodo, PhilSci, PhilPapers, HAL, and other online archives. (shrink)
The structure "home - world - ideals" is presented as the structure of "philosophical striving" (F. Marković). It could be formally described as a model consisting of a domain, relations and a valuation. On that basis, the identity, openness, and the significance of Croatian philosophy is investigated. The programme of the renewal of Croatian philosophy (as proposed 1882 by Franjo Marković) is re-examined, and some unsolved historical-cultural discontinuities within the programme are described. The written beginnings of Croatian philosophical thought are (...) detected in the Charter of Duke Trpimir (852). (shrink)
Philosophy is often divided into two traditions: analytic and continental philosophy. Characterizing the analytic-continental divide, however, is no easy task. Some philosophers explain the divide in terms of the place of argument in these traditions. This raises the following questions: Is analytic philosophy rife with arguments while continental philosophy is devoid of arguments? Or can different types of arguments be found in analytic and continental philosophy? This paper presents the results of an empirical study of a large corpus of philosophical (...) texts mined from the JSTOR database (n = 53,260) designed to find patterns of argumentation by type. Overall, the results suggest that there are no significant differences between the types of arguments advanced in analytic and continental philosophy journal articles. The findings, therefore, provide no empirical support to the hypothesis that the divide between analytic and continental philosophy has to do with the place of argument in these traditions. (shrink)
Do psychological traits predict philosophical views? We administered the PhilPapers Survey, created by David Bourget and David Chalmers, which consists of 30 views on central philosophical topics (e.g., epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language) to a sample of professional philosophers (N = 314). We extended the PhilPapers survey to measure a number of psychological traits, such as personality, numeracy, well-being, lifestyle, and life experiences. We also included non-technical ‘translations’ of these views for eventual use in other (...) populations. We found limited to no support for the notion that personality or demographics predict philosophical views. We did, however, find that some psychological traits were predictive of philosophical views, even after strict correction for multiple comparisons. Findings include: higher interest in numeracy predicted physicalism, naturalism, and consequentialism; lower levels of well-being and higher levels of mental illness predicted hard determinism; using substances such as psychedelics and marijuana predicted non-realist and subjectivist views of morality and aesthetics; having had a transformative or self-transcendent experience predicted theism and idealism. We discuss whether or not these empirical results have philosophical implications, while noting that 68% of our sample of professional philosophers indicated that such findings would indeed have philosophical value. (shrink)
Human beings employ concepts not merely to re-constitute their worlds, realities, including their selves, minds, consciousness, lives and loves but to fabricate and constitute these things. .Concepts, conceptual practices, usage and meanings are loaded and associated with predetermined -isms, presuppositions, assumptions, attitudes, beliefs, restrictions, perspectives, frames of reference, and other phenomena that will determine how they are used, their effects, results, consequences, etc. Concepts, conceptual practices, usage and meanings are loaded and associated with pre-determined -isms, pre-suppositions, assumptions, attitudes, beliefs, restrictions, (...) perspectives, frames of reference, and other phenomena that will determine how they are used, their effects, results, consequences, etc. -/- The above is earth- and anthropo-centered and restricted. The origins, nature, past, present and future is explored. This is suggested as point of reference and not the minute and irrelevant planet earth. Changes, modifications even the destruction of this planet will have little effect on and consequences for our galaxy and the universe. Against or in this universal context the nature, the functions, aims, objectives, methods, techniques, relevance, meaning and possibility of philosophy and philo- sophizing is explored. -/- Reductionistic humans are obsessed with and drawn to minimalist and generalized patterns or sets and systems of ideas as explanations and underlying foundations of complex realities and phenomena. (shrink)
Collating, for the first time, the key writings of Leonard Harris, this volume introduces readers to a leading figure in African-American and liberatory thought. -/- Harris' writings on honor, insurrectionist ethics, tradition, and his work on Alain Locke have established him as a leading figure in critical philosophy. His timely and urgent responses to structural racism and structural violence mark him out as a bold cultural commentator and a deft theoretician. -/- The wealth and depth of Harris' writings are brought (...) to the fore in this collection and the incisive introduction by Lee McBride serves to orient, contextualize, and frame an oeuvre that spans four decades. In his prolegomenon, Harris eschews the classical meaning of “philosophy,” supplanting it with an idiosyncratic conception of philosophy--philosophia nata ex conatu--that features an avowedly value-laden dimension. As well as serving as an introduction to Harris' philosophy, A Philosophy of Struggle provides new insights into how we ought conceptualize philosophy, race, tradition, and insurrection in the 21st century. (shrink)
This essay explains why there are good reasons to practice philosophy as a way of life. The argument begins with the assumption that we should live well but that our understanding of how to live well can be mistaken. Philosophical reason and reflection can help correct these mistakes. Nonetheless, the evidence suggests that philosophical reasoning often fails to change our dispositions and behavior. Drawing on the work of Pierre Hadot, the essay claims that spiritual exercises and communal engagement mitigate the (...) factors that prevent us from living in accord- ance with our conceptions of the good life. So, many of us have reasons to engage in philosophical reasoning along with behavioral, cognitive, and social strategies to alter our behavior and attitudes so that they’re in line with our philosophical commitments. In these respects, many of us should practice philosophy as a way of life. (shrink)
Carnap suggests that philosophy can be construed as being engaged solely in conceptual engineering. I argue that since many results of the sciences can be construed as stemming from conceptual engineering as well, Carnap’s account of philosophy can be methodologically naturalistic. This is also how he conceived of his account. That the sciences can be construed as relying heavily on conceptual engineering is supported by empirical investigations into scientific methodology, but also by a number of conceptual considerations. I present a (...) new conceptual consideration that generalizes Carnap’s conditions of adequacy for analytic–synthetic distinctions and thus widens the realm in which conceptual engineering can be used to choose analytic sentences. I apply these generalized conditions of adequacy to a recent analysis of scientific theories and defend the relevance of the analytic–synthetic distinction against criticisms by Quine, Demopoulos, and Papineau. (shrink)
[This is the full issue of the first issue of Mɛtascience] -/- This inaugural issue of the journal Mεtascience is also a special issue since it pays tribute to Mario Bunge (1919-2020) to high light his contribution to knowledge and our filiation with his thought. Mario Bunge's project is part of the humanist and scientific tradition of the Enlightenment. At the end of his intellectual journey, he wrote more than 150 books and 540 articles or chapters, including translations into several (...) languages. The work covers almost all branches of philosophy, from ontology to ethics, semantics, episte mology, methodology, praxeology and axiology, as well as a large number of scientific disciplines, ranging from physics to sociology, chemistry, biology and psychology. Without a doubt, Bunge's mag num opus is the Treatise on Basic Philosophy in nine volumes (1974- 1989). The six contributions gathered here come from authors from differ ent backgrounds. Like Bunge's project, they are neither part of the an alytic or continental movement in philosophy. The reader will find studies on the Bungean system, applications of Bungean thought, re flections and testimonies, and metascientific contributions. From the point of view of metascience as theorized in these pages, Bunge is the last of the philosophers and the first metascientific. He kept from philosophy the idea of a complete system that would inte grate semantics, ontology, epistemology, ethics, axiology and praxe ology, but he refused to problematize scientific knowledge in a tradi tional way. The result is surprising: even by accepting science as it is, he finds room for questioning. May Mεtascience be a place of questioning and deployment of the approach designed by Mario Bunge. (shrink)
The prevailing view among contemporary analytic philosophers seems to be that, as philosophers, we primarily issue assertions. Following certain suggestions from the work of Rudolf Carnap and Sally Haslanger, I argue that the non-assertoric speech act of stipulation plays a key role in philosophical inquiry. I give a detailed account of the pragmatic structure of stipulations and argue that they are best analyzed as generating a shared inferential entitlement for speaker and audience, a license to censure those who give uptake (...) to the stipulation but do not abide by this entitlement, and as justified on the basis of the speaker and audience's shared ends. In presenting this account, I develop a novel taxonomy for making sense of criticisms of speech act performances generally and clarify the notions of successful speech act performance and uptake. To demonstrate the fruitfulness of this view of stipulation for recasting and advancing philosophical disputes, I apply my account to two case studies – the first concerns Iris Marion Young's analysis of the concept of oppression and the second involves Saul Kripke's and Hilary Putnam's accounts of the concept of reference. (shrink)
This volume of new essays presents groundbreaking interpretations of some of the most central themes of Wittgenstein's philosophy. A distinguished group of contributors demonstrates how Wittgenstein's thought can fruitfully be applied to contemporary debates in epistemology, metaphilosophy and philosophy of language. The volume combines historical and systematic approaches to Wittgensteinian methods and perspectives, with essays providing detailed analysis that will be accessible to students as well as specialists. The result is a rich and illuminating picture of a key figure in (...) twentieth-century philosophy and his continuing importance to philosophical study. (shrink)
Nothing was more important for W. E. B. Du Bois than to promote the upward mobility of African Americans. This essay revisits his “The Conversation of Races” to demonstrate its general philosophical importance. Ultimately, Du Bois’s three motivations for giving the address reveal his view of the nature of philosophical inquiry: to critique earlier phenotypic conceptions of race, to show the essentiality of history, and to promote a reflexive practice. Commentators have been unduly invested in the hermeneutic readings and as (...) a result have misunderstood it as a philosophical text. Du Bois did more than introduce the concept of race into the purview of philosophy, he provided a method for philosophical inquiry into a concept that is notoriously difficult to approach with precision. My goal here is to show why no introduction to philosophy and no discussion about the nature of philosophical inquiry is complete without consideration of “Conservation.” Certainly, it is a text about race, but it is also an important philosophical text in general. (shrink)
A number of philosophers argue that because of its history of systematic disagreement, philosophy has made little to no epistemic progress – especially in comparison to the hard sciences. One argument for this conclusion contends that the best explanation for systematic disagreement in philosophy is that at least some, potentially all, philosophers are unreliable. Since we do not know who is reliable, we have reason to conclude that we ourselves are probably unreliable. Evidence of one’s potential unreliability in a domain (...) purportedly defeats any first-order support one has for any judgments in that domain. This paper defends philosophy. First, accepting that science is rightfully treated as the benchmark of epistemic progress, I contend that a proper conception of epistemic progress highlights that philosophy and science are relevantly similar in terms of such progress. Secondly, even granting that systematic disagreement is a mark of unreliability and that it does characterize philosophy, this paper further argues that evidence of unreliability is insufficient for meta-level, domain-wide, defeat of philosophical judgments more generally. (shrink)
Williamson rejects the stereotype that there is progress in science but none in philosophy on the grounds (a) that it assumes that in science progress consists in the discovery of universal laws and (b) that this assumption is false, since in both science and philosophy progress consists at least sometimes in the development of better models. I argue that the assumption is false for a more general reason as well: that progress in both science and philosophy consists in the provision (...) of better information about dependency structures. (shrink)
Herman Cappelen investigates how language and other representational devices can go wrong, and how to fix them. We use language to understand and talk about the world, but what if our language has deficiencies that prevent it from playing that role? How can we revise our concepts, and what are the limits on revision?
Although there have never been so many professional philosophers as today, most of the questions discussed by today’s philosophers are of no interest to cultured people at large. Specifically, several scientists have maintained that philosophy has become an irrelevant subject. Thus philosophy is at a crossroads: either to continue on the present line, which relegates it into irrelevance, or to analyse the reasons of the irrelevance and seek an escape. This paper is an attempt to explore the second alternative.
In recent years, increasing attention has been devoted to the underrepresentation, exclusion or outright discrimination experienced by women and members of other visible minority groups in academic philosophy. Much of this debate has focused on the state of contemporary Anglophone philosophy, which is dominated by the tradition of analytic philosophy. Moreover, there is growing interest in academia and society more generally for issues revolving around linguistic justice and linguistic discrimination (sometimes called ‘linguicism’ or ‘languagism’) (see e.g. Van Parijs 2011). Globalization (...) and the increasing adoption of English as global linguistic vehicle or lingua franca push these issues at the forefront of much of the world’s attention. The convergence of these two trends suggests the appropriateness of an analysis of the condition of non-native speakers of English in analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Both immanent and non-immanent (transcendent) factors related to philosophy, its nature, subject-matter, aims, objectives and methods are discussed from a meta-philosophical perspective, It will be noticed that original- and creative-thinkers in the socio-cultural practice of philosophy present us with their own, new and original ideas and patterns, sets or models of such ideas. Paradigms or models that are arrived at through the processes of theorizing. Processes that consist of a number of smaller steps or stages, stages that are multi-dimensional and (...) many-levelled. -/- All kinds of techniques and practices are employed in the contexts on these levels and in these dimensions. Some of these will be philosophical tools. These tools contribute to the doing of philosophy. This process of philosophizing forms one aspect, dimension or feature of the process/es of theorizing. -/- Some of the features will resemble and employ familiar, already existing and institutionalized ideas, models, tools, practices and techniques - usually from the discourse of philosophy, but also from other socio-cultural practices. -/- In the case of original/creative-thinkers these things will be ‘intuitive’ or ‘devised’ by the the individual himself while in the case of lesser original- and creative-thinkers these things (ideas, insights, tools, techniques, the ways they are arrived at or being constituted, employed to devise or express sets of new ideas or insights or models) will be obtained from the ideas, insights, statements, hypotheses and theories of other thinkers. The latter employs insights and ideas of others as ‘facts or factual ideas’ as ‘truths’ so as to argue for, establish, validate and legitimize their own derivative ideas resembling a kind of empirical research and the presentation of data in lectures and conferences and it is far removed from the approach of original thinkers. -/- . (shrink)
Philosophical expertise consists in knowledge, but it is controversial what this knowledge consists in. I focus on three issues: the extent and nature of knowledge of philosophical truths, how this philosophical knowledge is related to philosophical progress, and skeptical challenges to philosophical knowledge.
This introductory chapter reviews the history of the reception of philosophy from Asia and the Islamic World in Western philosophy and argues in favor of conceptualizing philosophy from a more globally informed point of view.