Zhuangzi and Henry David Thoreau share a critical interest in the relations between wandering, nature, and experience. Their attitudes toward nature provide a basis for their views of human well-being, which in turn inform their attitudes toward language, society, and politics. Both celebrate nature as a source of constant novelty, change, and nourishing life. These values clash against social conformity and political homogeneity. For both Zhuangzi and Thoreau, how we experience life is already constitutive of human well-being. Wandering thus provides (...) a unique vision of freedom, one that binds experience, nature, and social-political criticism. (shrink)
“It has been our fate as a nation not to have ideologies,” Richard Hofstadter famously wrote, “but to be one.” Defining that “American ideology” or “American creed” obsessed scholars of the consensus era, who celebrated Americans’ allegiance to a limited liberal vocabulary of rights, freedoms, and markets. The cultural transformations begun in the 1960s seemed to question the very idea of a unitary culture or creed, but some historians responded by exploring alternative ideological founding myths to the liberal consensus. Over (...) the ensuing decades scholars mounted formidable efforts to support republicanism or millennial Christianity as challengers, but liberalism proved a resilient foe. And it seemed to have contemporary history on its side: during the Reagan revolution of the century's final decades the classic liberal combination of scaled-down government and free markets carried the day as Americans’ ideal if not their reality. The Lockean liberal tradition that Louis Hartz described a half-century earlier still appeared the only game in town, although scholars continued to argue over its terms, history, and boundaries. (shrink)
The Battle for the American Mind brings together religion, politics, economics, science, and literature to present a compelling history of the American people. In this brief and entertaining book, noted historian Carl J. Richard argues that there have been three worldviews that have dominated American thought—theism, humanism, and skepticism. By clearly explaining what Americans believed, exploring why they did so, and showing how that impacted the nation's development, Richard presents a unique portrait of the United States—past and present.
L. E. J. Brouwer, the founder of mathematical intuitionism, believed that mathematics and its objects must be humanly graspable. He initiated a program rebuilding modern mathematics according to that principle. This book introduces the reader to the mathematical core of intuitionism – from elementary number theory through to Brouwer's uniform continuity theorem – and to the two central topics of 'formalized intuitionism': formal intuitionistic logic, and formal systems for intuitionistic analysis. Building on that, the book proposes a systematic, philosophical foundation (...) for intuitionism that weaves together doctrines about human grasp, mathematical objects and mathematical truth. (shrink)
Carl J. Friedrich (1901?1984) defined constitutionalism as something more than can be expressed by the dominant behavioralist paradigm of modern political science and the typical academic focus on law and courts. A leading but now neglected post-WWII authority on constitutionalism, Friedrich argued that it should be understood as an institutionally-based, interactive system for deliberating the meaning and legal application of the norms of a political community. His approach shares much with the contemporary ?historical institutionalist? call to situate law and (...) courts within a broader, more normative, and more interactive conception of constitutionalism. Accordingly, a reconsideration of Friedrich's work may help current efforts to better articulate the full richness and complexity of constitutionalism as a distinctive way of ordering political life. (shrink)
It is argued that the tensed theory of the creative subject provides a natural formulation of the logic underlying Brouwer's notion of unextendable order and explains the link between that notion and virtual order. The tensed theory of the creative subject is also shown to be a useful tool for interpreting recent evidence about the stages of Brouwer's thinking concerning these two notions of order.
Though my title speaks of Kant’s mathematical realism, I want in this essay to explore Kant’s relation to a famous mathematical anti-realist. Specifically, I want to discuss Kant’s influence on L. E. J. Brouwer, the 20th-century Dutch mathematician who built a contemporary philosophy of mathematics on constructivist themes which were quite explicitly Kantian. Brouwer’s theory is perhaps most notable for its belief that constructivism requires us to abandon the traditional logic of mathematical reasoning in favor of different canon of reasoning, (...) called intuitionistic logic. Brouwer thought that classical logic is intrinsically bound up with a nonconstructive view of mathematics. This means that, according to Brouwer, when we do mathematics we must give up bivalence, we must no longer use such familiar logical laws as excluded middle, and we must sometimes forebear from the classic method of reductio ad absurdum. All of these are intuitionistically invalid classical principles. (shrink)