In “The logic of deep disagreements” (Informal Logic, 1985), Robert Fogelin claimed that there is a kind of disagreement – deep disagreement – which is, by its very nature, impervious to rational resolution. He further claimed that these two views are attributable to Wittgenstein. Following an exposition and discussion of that claim, we review and draw some lessons from existing responses in the literature to Fogelin’s claims. In the final two sections (6 and 7) we explore the role reason can, (...) and sometimes does, play in the resolution of deep disagreements. In doing this we discuss a series of cases, mainly drawn from Wittgenstein, which we take to illustrate the resolution of deep disagreements through the use of what we call “rational persuasion.” We conclude that, while the role of argumentation in “normal” versus “deep” disagreements is characteristically different, it plays a crucial role in the resolution of both. (shrink)
This is terribly hard, Thouless, I'm sorry. I have thought over all this for years. … It is now as if we had ploughed furrows in different parts of a field. There is a lot left to do. Judging from their writings, most contemporary analytic philosophers have not been persuaded that “the inverted spectrum problem” is – as Wittgenstein maintained – really a conceptual puzzle calling for dissolution, rather than a straight problem calling for a solution. In this paper, I (...) present Wittgenstein's view as clearly and persuasively as I can, contrasting it with the views of Sidney Shoemaker and Ned Block, two of his more prominent critics. I conclude with a look at Frank Jackson's well-known Knowledge Argument, which, if successful, would demonstrate the futility of looking for a physicalist solution to the inverted spectrum and related philosophical problems. My goal is to combat what I take to be the common and unfortunate failure – among both physicalistically inclined philosophers, including Shoemaker and Block, and anti-physicalists, such as Jackson – to appreciate the force of Wittgenstein's arguments. (shrink)
In the Western philosophical tradition logical investigation and philosophical advance have been inextricably linked, each having stimulated and shaped the other. In Logic and Philosophy William H. Brenner examines a broad range of logical concepts and methods as they relate to the larger context of philosophical investigation and thus bring to light the philosophical depth of logic and its relevance to philosophy in general.
Joachim Schulte’s introduction provides a distinctive and masterful account of the full range of Wittgenstein’s thought. It is concise but not compressed, substantive but not overloaded with developmental or technical detail, informed by the latest scholarship but not pedantic. Beginners will find it accessible and seasoned students of Wittgenstein will appreciate it for the illuminating overview it provides.
This paper presents the main lines of reasoning in the Wittgenstein notes entitled ‘Cause and Effect: Intuitive Awareness,’ in the form of a series of dialogues between Wittgenstein, Russell, and a few other philosophical voices. Two of the dialogues relate to what, in Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, Wittgenstein called ‘the similarity of my treatment with relativity theory.’.
Books reviewed: Wittgenstein and Scepticism, Denis McManus (ed.). London & New York: Routledge, 2004. xi, 305 pp. $50 hb. Wittgenstein at Work: Method in the PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS, Erich Ammereller and Eugen Fischer (eds.). London & New York: Routledge, 2004. xxix, 263 pp. $50 hb. Reviewed by William H. Brenner, Old Dominion University Philosophy Department Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA 23529‐0083, USA [email protected].
Speculation. A tribe that we have brought into subjection, which we want to make into a slave race…. The government and the scientists give it out that the people of this tribe have no souls; so they can be used without scruple for any purpose whatever. When the slaves say something happens in them, … does this confirm that they have souls? … If they say now “something happens in my head—my soul—” that only shows that they use a certain (...) picture. (shrink)
In Philosophical Review, October 1974, Professor Jones argues that Aristotle's concept of matter is that of any individual item, such as a piece of bronze or a seed, with which a process of coming into existence begins, and which is prior (in a purely temporal sense) to the product which comes to exist. Aristotle does not try to prove the existence of some sort of "super-stuff" called "prime matter."I argue that Jones' account does not do full justice to Aristotle's analysis (...) of change, or to the traditional notion of prime matter based on it. I criticize Jones' arguments and draw attention to a passage in which Aristotle says that matter comes to be and ceases to be in one sense, while in another it does not. "Matter" in the first sense refers to the determinate individual, the first term of a change; in the second sense it is the "stuff" which remains after a substantial change, the "prime matter.". (shrink)
In this paper I piece together a Wittegnsteinian view of the topics indicated in my title, contrasting it with the views of Bertrand Russell and Donald Davidson ‐ two philosophers who, in words from the Blue Book, seem “constantly to see the method of science before their eyes.” I conclude that Wittegnstein helps us understand something those philosphers tend to overlook: that “freedom of the will” gets its meaning not in a belief to be assessed by evidence but, on the (...) contrary, in the expression of a way of living and assessing life that limits the role of “assessing beliefs by evidence.”. (shrink)