Philosophical Progress

In Defence of a Reasonable Optimism

Author: Daniel Stoljar

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192522442

Category: Philosophy

Page: 192

View: 1997

Many people believe that philosophy makes no progress. Members of the general public often find it amazing that philosophers exist in universities at all, at least in research positions. Academics who are not philosophers often think of philosophy either as a scholarly or interpretative enterprise, or else as a sort of pre-scientific speculation. And - amazingly - many well-known philosophers argue that there is little genuine progress in philosophy. Daniel Stoljar argues that this is all a big mistake. When you think through exactly what philosophical problems are, and what it takes to solve them, the pattern of success and failure in philosophy is similar to that in other fields. In philosophy, as elsewhere, there is a series of overlapping topics that determine what the subject is about. In philosophy, as elsewhere, different people in different historical epochs and different cultures ask different big questions about these topics. And in philosophy, as elsewhere, big questions asked in the past have often been solved: Stoljar provides examples. Philosophical Progress presents a strikingly optimistic picture of philosophy - not a radical optimism that says that there is some key that unlocks all philosophical problems, and not the kind of pessimism that dominates both professional and non-professional thinking about philosophy, but a reasonable optimism that views philosophy as akin to other fields.

Philosophers of Our Times

Author: Ted Honderich

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191021229

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

View: 5382

Eighteen of the world's most eminent philosophers of recent years tackle central questions of philosophy in this collection of the prestigious annual lectures given at the Royal Institute of Philosophy in London. The line-up of authors is stellar: Simon Blackburn, Ned Block, Tyler Burge, David Chalmers, Noam Chomsky, Jerry Fodor, Jürgen Habermas, Anthony Kenny, Christine Korsgaard, John McDowell, Alasdair MacIntyre, Thomas Nagel, Derek Parfit, T. M. Scanlon, John Searle, Sir Peter Strawson, Bernard Williams, and Mary Warnock. There are six pieces on questions to do with mind, perception, and action; four on reason and morality; six range over freedom, identity, religion, and politics; and the last two take a step back to look at philosophy itself and how it works. The best way to learn about philosophy is to read philosophy at its best: that is what this fascinating anthology offers.

Being, Freedom, and Method

Themes from the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen

Author: John A. Keller

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191024821

Category: Philosophy

Page: 432

View: 3558

John Keller presents a set of new essays on ontology, time, freedom, God, and philosophical method. Our understanding of these subjects has been greatly advanced, since the 1970s, by the work of Peter van Inwagen. The contributions, from some of the most prominent living philosophers, engage with van Inwagen's work and offer new insights in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of philosophy. Van Inwagen himself gives selective responses. In metaphysics, the volume will particularly interest philosophers working on free will, relational vs constituent ontologies, and time travel; in philosophy of religion, notable topics include the ontological argument, the compatibility of theism and evolution, the problem of evil, and the doctrine of atonements. And there are three papers on the hot topic of philosophical success, with responses from van Inwagen.

Philosophy as Therapy

An Interpretation and Defense of Wittgenstein's Later Philosophical Project

Author: James F. Peterman

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9780791409817

Category: Philosophy

Page: 158

View: 8659

This book presents an account and defense of Wittgenstein's later philosophy emphasizing its therapeutic character. Peterman argues that any therapeutic philosophy must present an account of human health, a related account of the mechanisms of health and illness, and finally an account of how philosophy can bring someone from a state of illness to health. In light of this general model, he presents an interpretation of Wittgenstein's therapeutic project that emphasizes the continuity between it and the earlier ethical project of the Tractatus. The book confronts the problem of continuity by arguing that the earlier ethical goal of coming into agreement with the world as such is replaced in the later views by the therapeutic goal of coming into agreement with forms of life. In the course of the argument, Peterman challenges standard interpretations of Wittgenstein's project and standard modes of criticizing and defending it. The book also contributes to contemporary philosophical discussion by showing why we should take seriously the project of philosophical therapy.

Reform in the Balance

The Defense of Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China

Author: Anthony DeBlasi

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9780791454367

Category: Philosophy

Page: 214

View: 2522

Presents the intellectual milieu of mid-Tang China, particularly the conservative defense of literary pursuits and cultural tradition in the face of political and social uncertainty.

Challenges to the Enlightenment

In Defense of Reason and Science

Author: Paul Kurtz

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 161614002X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 319

View: 6118

The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement which began in seventeenth century Europe and espoused an optimistic project: an end to human ignorance and the slavish adherence to ancient text and dogma; the application of scientific principles to solving the world's problems; the elimination of inequality between the sexes; and the advocacy of political rights for all citizens. Modern western society, with its democratic institutions and its reliance on science as the basis of technology and industry, is largely an outgrowth of Enlightenment ideals.Yet today the entire Enlightenment agenda is being challenged, not only by members of religious orthodoxy but also by a group of academics loosely described under the label of postmodernism. Whereas the Enlightenment project has always been at odds with religious orthodoxy, which has traditionally been suspicious of efforts to achieve human progress without supernatural support, today it must deal with a very different type of attack from postmodernist intellectuals. Critics of this school question the very ability of human reason to grasp objective reality, and they raise serious objections to the reliability and efficiency of the scientific method and the tyranny of democratic elites.Is the Enlightenment project still worth pursuing? The distinquished members of the Academy of Humanism who have contributed to this volume are united in their conviction that the ideals of the Enlightenment must be preserved.The contributors include: Elena Bonner, Vern Bullough, Mario Bunge, Bernard Crick, Richard Dawkins, Jose M.R. Delgado, Ann Druyan, Antony Flew, Yves Galifret, Adolf Grunbaum, Paul Kurtz, Thelma Lavine, Jose Leite Lopes, Indumati Parikh, John Passmore, Jean-Claude Pecker, Karl Popper, Richard Rorty, Mourad Wahba, George A. Wells, and Edward O. Wilson.This remarkable collection of essays presents a powerful case for the value and vitality of Enlightenment ideals. . . . Meticulously edited, beautifully typset, and reasonably priced in cloth. Enthusiastically recommended. -Ethics


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Category: Local government

Page: N.A

View: 6105