Anyone who has ever tried to teach the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein to undergraduate students will welcome this volume as a classroom aid. Using the Tractatus and the Philosophical Investigations as their basic sources, the authors have collected textual references under eighteen general topics. A partial list of the topics includes: "The Picture-Theory," "Naming," "Private Languages," "Meaning and Use," and "Philosophical Method." In each case there are cross references to the basic texts and, where applicable, references to the Notebooks, the (...) Blue and Brown Books, Zettel and Philosophische Bemerkungen. The great service that this text performs is that it illustrates the unity of Wittgenstein’s thought—a fact that is not immediately apparent in one’s first contact with either the Tractatus or the Investigations. An important feature of the workbook is that, in addition to the references to Wittgenstein’s own work, each topic includes references to classical and contemporary treatments of the issue so that Wittgenstein’s work will not be regarded as a "curiosity in the history of philosophy." On the facing page of each topic the authors have supplied a series of questions for discussion, some of which call for straightforward textual interpretation while others require sophisticated philosophical reasoning. Thus, depending on the competence of the students, the questions can be dealt with on a variety of levels. The program of topics is designed to emphasize the continuity of Wittgenstein’s thought, and to combat the widely held view that the Investigations is a repudiation of most of the doctrines of the Tractatus. Perhaps this is why several important topics, e.g., "Grammar," "Family Resemblances," and "Seeing As," are not treated at all. But there are other sources in which the textual references for these topics can be found, and the neglect of these topics does not take away from the usefulness of the text as a class aid.—J. J. F. (shrink)
The author maintains that "man’s chief purpose in life consists in wanting to know the truth and to experience the real." But in the tradition of Kant and recent continental philosophy, he claims that one can know the real only as constituted by the mind, not as it is in itself. Rauche goes on to conclude, that all truths are perspectival and that the Truth can never be known—though it remains our highest aspiration. The perspectival character of truth is the (...) foundation upon which Rauche develops his position. He claims that truths, as perspectives, are in controversial relations to one another which state of affairs he calls a multiple of broken logos and which reveal a natural reference within the permanent state of crisis of human truth. Rauche puts it as follows: "... if man and his fellowman strive towards the Truth earnestly, they must accept each other’s truths as being complementary to each other." At this point men will become conscious of the fact that they are referred to one another. Thus the controversial relations of man’s truths are a permanent crisis which is the source both of individuality and of community. The experience of the permanent crisis of truths competing with one another is what Rauche means by "actuality." The positive acceptance of the permanent crisis of human truth is the empirical basis of the moral ought. Since human truths are complementary and refer to each other, it is "in their mutual willingness to respect each other’s claims and to see their existential needs and interests in the light of those of the other that [men] may be said to lead an ethical existence." The empirical ground of the moral ought is then seen to be the controversial relation existing between human truths. Rauche rejects in principle any attempt to constitute a theoretical ethics on a rationally conceived principle. Since the moral ought is grounded in the controversial relation existing between human truths, moral principles can be experienced only in our dealings with our fellow man, e.g., in the family and society—wherever the relationship of I-Thou is found. In effect, as in the case of truth, the moral ought appears in the field of actuality; and the crisis in truth is revealed as an ethical ground. The same permanent crisis which is the ground of truth and of the moral ought is regarded by Rauche as the basis of reality. Truth, moral existence, and reality are all conjoined in actuality. The permanent crisis of human truths is an empirical limit which has logical, epistemological, ethical and metaphysical significance. And, Rauche concludes, "... it becomes clear that man’s real existence can never be derived from a rationally conceived essence, but that essence is the way in which man realizes himself by projecting himself into his environment from the peculiar situation in which he happens to find himself, and which induces him to constitute the world in controversy with his fellowman." This is a tightly argued book and Rauche remains consistent with his assumptions throughout. One wishes, however, that the author would examine some of his assumptions. One looks in vain for a single argument which establishes that, e.g., the Truth which is unknowable and yet is the indispensable point to which men strive does in fact exist. If it does not, and Rauche has given us no reason to believe otherwise, then the basis of complementarity of conflicting human truths is lost.—J. J. F. (shrink)
This is an exciting book by one of the most respected philosophers of our time. It includes almost all of Goodman’s published articles as well as a number of papers not previously published. There are a total of forty-four papers divided into ten chapters according to topic. The chapters are: Philosophy, Origins, Art, Individuals, Meaning, Relevance, Simplicity, Induction, Likeness, and Puzzle. Each chapter is preceded by a forward which provides historical notes concerning the papers in the chapter and which frequently (...) suggests new ideas of the problem under investigation. The book demonstrates Goodman’s wide philosophical interests from discussions of art from his Languages of Art to technical analyses in philosophical logic. It affords a unique opportunity to witness the development of a philosopher’s thought over a span of over thirty years.—J. J. F. (shrink)
Professor Frondizi's The Nature of the Self proposes to solve the problems involved in conceiving the self as a substance. The first section of the book is an historical study of the gradual disintegration, after Descartes, of the view that the self is a substance. The second section offers an account of the self that is presumably not contaminated by this "substantialist outlook." Frondizi's attempt to trace the disintegration of Descartes' concept of the self through Locke, Berkeley and Hume is (...) not remarkable. Rather than a detailed exegesis of the texts of these philosophers, Frondizi presents a polemical commentary, relying on selected letters and a few obvious and familiar texts. He intends to prove that the British philosophers were forced to opt either for the substantialist view of the self or no theory of the self at all. Frondizi excuses this simplistic and biased judgment on the grounds that he is attempting to chart a philosophical movement rather than follow the thought of a particular philosopher: "The history of philosophy has a certain sense of direction, even though there be no concrete goal; and in some periods it is easy to note the general direction in which ideas are developing. Such is the case with the period which extends from Locke to Hume." Such surveys, however, usually beget unwarranted generalizations; certainly Frondizi's has. His thesis that the British philosophers were forced to choose either "substantialism" or skepticism shows a shallow understanding of the empiricist view of the self. This misunderstanding is the basis upon which Frondizi builds his own account of the self. His task, as he sees it, is to preserve the permanence of the self while providing for changes in moods, attitudes, etc. The "functional" interpretation of the self that results from Frondizi's proposal is Gestalt psychology unadulterated. According to Frondizi the self is a "functional Gestalt," a "dynamic structure"; and this homeostatic character accounts for the permanence as well as the fluctuations in the self. In other words, Frondizi advocates a naïve version of Kurt Lewin's "field theory" of the self. Yet, philosophers both Continental and Anglo-American have cautioned against taking Gestalt theory as an unqualified solution to problems endemic of philosophy. Also, psychologists have raised serious objections to Lewin's theory. Moreover, even granted that Frondizi was not familiar with these authors, has Frondizi's naïve study answered Hume? To what extent does a "structure" change and what are the criteria for determining when a structure is dissolved? Hume is not refuted merely by identifying the self with the Whole. Frondizi himself must either claim "substantiality" for his "dynamic structure" or submit it to Hume's analysis. Frondizi advocates an uncritical Gestalttheorie of the self as a result of his uncritical reading of 18th Century British philosophy. As a consequence, Frondizi's book is another example of how not to combine philosophy with psychology.--J. J. F. (shrink)
This is a collection of sixteen essays by the late Arnold Isenberg. All but one of the essays has had prior publication in journals, but only three of them have been reprinted in other anthologies. The collection is divided into three sections titled "Aesthetics," "Criticism," and "Ethics and Moral Psychology" respectively.
In a discussion-note in Mind, Father P. M. Farrell, O.P., gave an account, in what he admitted to be an embarrassingly brief compass, of the Thomist doctrine concerning evil. There is one sentence in this discussion which at first glance appears paradoxical. Father Farrell has been arguing that a universe containing ‘corruptible good’ as well as incorruptible is better than one containing ‘incorruptible good’ only. He continues: ‘If, however, they are to manifest this corruptible good, they must be corruptible and (...) they must sometimes corrupt.’ The final words, despite Father Farrell's italics, strike one as expressing, not a self-evident truth, but a non sequitur. The fact that I am capable of committing murder does not entail that I will at some time commit it. It is not immediately obvious that a similar entailment holds in the case of corruption and corruptibility. (shrink)
Philosophers are notorious for their disagreements and this seems to be intensified in the area of aesthetics. One of the few matters in aesthetics on which there has been general agreement concerns the concept of beauty. The prevailing attitude in our century towards theories of beauty has been that they are useless or nonsensical or worse. That there has been general agreement with this thesis is evident from the fact that discussions about beauty are rare today and favorable discussions of (...) beauty are rarer still. Thus, it is surprising to read the bold thesis in Sircello’s title. Not only does he report that beauty is a respectable topic for philosophical investigation, but he offers a "new theory" designed to overcome the deficiencies of those which preceded his. (shrink)
David Rosenthal’s anthology is a valuable collection of readings. There is no dross in this book: each article is both an excellent philosophical composition in its own right and a marked stage in the development of the relatively young discipline, the philosophy of mind. Of the five sections of the book the first two are introductory; one historical the other problematic. The first section contains statements on classical materialism by Descartes, Spinoza, and Hobbes. The Descartes selections include passages from his (...) correspondence with Newcastle and Henry Moore. These clarify his veiled attack on Montaigne’s attempt to mitigate the differences between man and beast in Part V of the Discourse. Along with excerpts from Part V and Meditation VI the letters leave a coherent impression of the way Descartes handles "materialism." In the second part we are given the familiar statement of the identity thesis by Smart along with two early articles by Shaffer and Cornman, which, at the time overlooked, are significant forecasts of problems that most identity theorists are only today recognizing as problems. For instance, Cornman’s suggestion that the first project for the identity theorist is to "develop further the concept of a category" has attracted close attention only in the last few years. (shrink)
Christology seems to fall fairly clearly into two divisions. The first is concerned with the truth of the two propositions: ‘Christ is God’ and ‘Christ is a man’. The second is concerned with the mutual compatibility of these propositions. The first part of Christology tends to confine itself to what is sometimes called ‘positive theology’: that is to say, it is largely given over to examining the Jons revelationis —let us not prejudge currently burning issues by asking what this is—to (...) see what evidence can be found for the truth of these propositions. Clearly, the methods used will be above all those of New Testament exegesis. The second part of Christology will necessarily consist entirely of that speculative theology which is contrasted with positive theology. Even if the earliest speculation on this topic is to be found in the New Testament itself and thus becomes fair game for the exegetes, any attempt to relate the primary truths, ‘Christ is God’ and ‘Christ is a man’, to eachother is a work of reflection, and in the terminology I am using speculative. (shrink)
This collection of essays, addresses, and one interview come from the years 1966-73 and cover a wide spectrum of interest, dealing with such general topics as 'The Absence of God in Modern Culture' and 'The Future of Christianity.'.
The fourthDiscrete Mathematics andTheoreticalComputer Science Conference was jointly organized by the Centre for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science of the University of Auckland and the University of Bourgogne in Dijon, France, and took place in Dijon from 7 to12 July2003.Thepreviousconferenceswereheld inAuckland,NewZealand and Constan ̧ ta, Romania. The?ve invited speakers of the conference were: G.J. Chaitin, C. Ding, S. Istrail, M. Margenstein, and T. Walsh. The Programme Committee, consisting of V. Berthe, S. Boza- lidis,C.S.Calude,V.E.Cazanescu, F. Cucker, M. Deza, J. Diaz, (...) M.J. D- neen,B.Durand,L.Hemaspaandra, P. Hertling, J. Kohlas, G. Markowski, M. Mitrovic, A. Salomaa, L. Staiger, D. Skordev, G. Slutzki, I. Tomescu, M. Yasugi, and V. Vajnovszki, selected 18 papers to be presented as regular contributions and 1 5 other special CDMTCS papers. (shrink)
In his concept of an anthropological physiology, F.J.J. Buytendijk has tried to lay down the theoretical and scientific foundations for an anthropologically-oriented medicine. The aim of anthropological physiology is to demonstrate, empirically, what being specifically human is in the most elementary physiological functions. This article contains a sketch of Buytendijk''s life and work, an overview of his philosophical-anthropological presuppositions, an outline of his idea of an anthropological physiology and medicine, and a discussion of some episternological and methodological problems. It is (...) demonstrated that Buytendijk''s design of an anthropological physiology is fragmentary and programmatic and that his methodology offers few points of contact for specific anthropological experimental research.Notwithstanding, it is argued that Buytendijk''s description of the subjective, animated body forms a pre-eminent point of reference for all research in physiology and psychology in which the specific human aspect is not ignored beforehand. (shrink)
Why is there a 'hard problem' of consciousness? Why do we seem unable to grasp intuitively that physical brain processes can be identical to experiences? Here I comment on the 'meta-problem' (Chalmers, 2018), based on previous ideas (Storm, 2014; 2018). In short: humans may be 'inborn dualists' ('neuroscepticism'), because evolution gave us two (types of) brain systems (or functional modes): one (Sp) for understanding relatively simple physical phenomena, and another (Sm) specialized for mental phenomena. Because Sp cannot deal with the (...) immense complexity of the brain processes underlying consciousness, it represents them as fundamentally different from nonmental physical phenomena (dualist intuition), using 'simulations' to produce 'Sm-type understanding'/predictions that seems radically different from 'Sp-type understanding'. (By analogy, different sensory modalities, handled by distinct brain systems, evoke qualitatively different experiences.) Brain systems for Sp representations of our brain processes never evolved, because they would be useless. When lacking a single 'template' matching different aspects of reality (objective vs. subjective = simulated), complementary 'models' are needed ('neuro-complementarity'), like the wave–particle duality in quantum mechanics. Thus, it seems plausible that Sp and Sm evolved because they were needed to cope with different challenges, and that 'problem intuitions' are side effects of these useful but different brain systems. (shrink)