One of the ways of dividing all philosophers into two kinds is by saying of each whether he is an ordinary man's philosopher or a philosophers' philosopher. Thus Plato is a philosophers' philosopher and Aristotle an ordinary man's philosopher. This does not depend on being easy to understand: a lot of Aristotle's Metaphysics is immensely difficult. Nor does being a philosophers' philosopher imply that an ordinary man cannot enjoy the writings, or many of them. Plato invented and exhausted a form: (...) no one else has written such dialogues. So someone with no philosophical bent, or who has left his philosophical curiosity far behind may still enjoy reading some of them. (shrink)
The author presents and defends three theses: (1) "the first is that it is not profitable for us at present to do moral philosophy; that should be laid aside at any rate until we have an adequate philosophy of psychology." (2) "the second is that the concepts of obligation, And duty... And of what is morally right and wrong, And of the moral sense of 'ought', Ought to be jettisoned if this is psychologically possible...." (3) "the third thesis is that (...) the differences between the well-Known english writers on moral philosophy from sidgwick to the present day are of little importance." (staff). (shrink)
The usual way for new cells to come into being is by division of old cells. So the zygote, which is a—new—single cell formed from two, the sperm and ovum, is an exception. Textbooks of human genetics usually say that this new cell is beginning of a new human individual. What this indicates is that they suddenly forget about identical twins.
Purely by questioning Socrates has elicited from an uninstructed slave the conclusion that the square on the diagonal of a square is twice the original square in area. Then comes a part of the dialogue which I translate: Socrates . This knowledge, then, that he has now, he either got some time, or always had? Meno . Yes.
Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in 1889, son of parents of Jewish extraction but not Jewish religion. Asked how his family came by the name ‘Wittgenstein’ Ludwig said they had been court Jews to the princely family and so had taken the name when Jews were required by law to have European-style names. The father, Karl, was a Protestant, the mother a Catholic. The Jewish blood was sufficient to bring the family later on into danger under Hitler's Nuremberg Laws. They did (...) not think of themselves as Jews or belong to the Jewish community in Vienna. The children were brought up sort-of Catholic though so far as I know only the eldest, Hermine, towards the end of her life, took this seriously and made a profession of faith before friends and household. At 9 years of age Ludwig and Paul, a year or two older than Ludwig, talked together and decided that their religion was all nonsense. Paul became a pianist of some fame, but soon after his debut in Vienna he became a wounded prisoner on the Russian front and his arm was lopped off by a surgeon who did not know he was a pianist. (shrink)
Philosophers of action and perception have reached a consensus: the term ‘intentionality’ has significantly different senses in their respective fields. But Anscombe argues that these distinct senses are analogically united in such a way that one cannot understand the concept if one focuses exclusively on its use in one’s preferred philosophical sub-discipline. She highlights three salient points of analogy: (i) intentional objects are given by expressions that employ a “description under which;” (ii) intentional descriptions are typically vague and indeterminate; (...) and (iii) intentional descriptions may be false. I explore these three features as they apply to both perception and action and defend Anscombe’s view that the analogical concept of intentionality is a grammatical concept. That is, there are two distinctive linguistic/social practices that involve, respectively, a special sense of the question ‘Why?’ and a special sense of the question ‘What?’ To competently ask and answer the questions that constitute these practices not only reflects, but also conveys a grammatical understanding of intentionality’s basic, formal structure. (shrink)
The intentionality of sensation -- The first person -- Substance -- The subjectivity of sensation -- Events in the mind -- Comments on Professor R.L. Gregory's paper on perception -- On sensations of position -- Intention -- Pretending -- On the grammar of "Enjoy" -- The reality of the past -- Memory, "experience," and causation -- Causality and determination -- Times, beginnings, and causes -- Soft determinism -- Causality and extensionality -- Before and after -- Subjunctive conditionals -- "Under a (...) description" -- Analysis competition--tenth problem -- A reply to Mr. C.S. Lewis's argument that "naturalism" is self-refuting. (shrink)
Two attitudes are possible: one, that the world is an absolute jungle and that the exercise of coercive power by rulers is only a manifestation of this; and the other, that it is both necessary and right that there should be this exercise of power, that through it the world is much less of a jungle than it could possibly be without it, so that one should in principle be glad of the existence of such power, and only take exception (...) to its unjust exercise. (shrink)