You are on page 1of 14

Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition

1Introduction In this lecture, we witness the birth of philosophy in the speculations and systems of the preSocratics. We explore how these philosophical forerunners shifted the focus of learned thought from religious questions of "who" and "why" to scientific questions of "what" and "how" and started a dialogue that continues to this day. Milesian physicists and Pythagoreans attempt to locate the primal origin of all things. Heraclitus and the Eleatics argue, respectively, that the true nature of reality is endless change (pluralism) or unchanging being (monism). 2The Pre-SocraticsPhysics and Metaphysics This lecture discusses the impact of the Sophists on public policy and private morality in 4th century B.C.E. Some see Sophistic analysis of conventional law based on premises about nature as a forerunner to political science. This lecture considers Sophist attitudes about power, morality, and religion, and concludes with a case study: the Melian dialogue, a famous passage from Thucydides, the Sophist-influenced 5th-century historian whose book on the Peloponnesian War is hailed as the first work of social science. 3The Sophists and Social Science Plato is the most influential philosopher in the West mostly because he invented what came to be called metaphysics, the study of true being. He aligns himself with Socrates, who drew people into critical dialogue on issues such as "What is virtue?" The Platonic theory of forms is the basis for Plato's picture of the ascent of the soul to a vision of the world above. 4PlatoMetaphysics This lecture begins with the question that Plato poses throughout The Republic: What is the meaning of justice? Socrates asserts that for a just society or Republic to be attained, reforms or "waves" of social and political change must first occur. Plato's theories of justice, power, and leadership are expressed in his "Allegory of the Cave." This vision asserts that the just state or polis cannot emerge until philosophers rule and, thus, political power is wielded wisely. 5PlatoPolitics Connected with the metaphysical notion of a deep truth about being is the psychological notion of a deep truth about ourselves. In the Phaedo, he argued that the soul is immortal because it is akin to the forms and will return to be with them if it is pure when it separates from the body at death.

Thus, Plato is the source of the "otherworldly" spirituality that is so important in the Western tradition. 6 PlatoPsychology Aristotle, the second most influential philosopher after Plato, was also Plato's student. Aristotle modified Plato's notion of form to create a science of nature or physics. His key idea was to explain the nature of change by reference to four types of causes: form, matter, goal, and cause of motion. 7AristotleMetaphysics The most significant critique of Plato's Republic comes from Aristotle, who focused his criticisms on the three great reforms, or "waves" of change, discussed in Lecture 5. Aristotle argued against the desirability of the proposed reforms with the logic characteristic of his philosophy of moderation. 8 AristotlePolitics Aristotle's ethics are an attempt to discover: "What is the good or ultimate goal of human life?" His answer is that happiness is the life lived by a certain person: the virtuous person. Virtue is to the soul as good health is to the body. Among the human excellences Aristotle discusses are the four cardinal virtues: courage, temperance, justice, and practical wisdom. 9AristotleEthics Two philosophical traditions emerged from the legacy of Plato and Aristotle in a time of cultural, political, and military change. Epicureanism was the more elite of the two; Stoicism was more readily adaptable to the needs of ordinary people and to traditional Roman values. We encounter Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, and four later Roman Stoics: among them the philosopher-king Marcus Aurelius, who ruled with resolute virtue as emperor for 14 difficult years. 10 Stoicism and Epicureanism This lecture addresses the distinctive Roman style of philosophizing: the combination of several schools' traditions into a new blend. The most successful synthesizer and the most influential Roman thinker was Cicero, evident in his ethical and his political thought. Until the 20th century, Cicero's influence was never eclipsed by any other Romanand perhaps by any Greek philosopher. 11Roman EclecticismCicero and Polybius This lecture discusses Skepticism, a tradition, like Epicureanism and Stoicism, that arose in Greece in the 4th century B.C.E., spread throughout the Hellenistic world, and survived to influence postRenaissance Western thought. In the modern lexicon of thoughtful terminology, it is very good to be empirical in method, skeptical in mental reflex.

12Roman SkepticismSextus Empiricus Two major strands of the Western tradition are from the classical Greek and Roman world of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero and from the Biblical world of Moses and Jesus. They blended in the writings of Church Fathers such as Augustine, and in the medieval period was a flowering of their synthesis. Scholastics such as St. Thomas Aquinas, and mystics such as Johannes Eckhart, were heirs of this union of Athens and Jerusalem. Modernity represented a fundamentally new relation to both these sources of Western thought. 13Introduction There is nothing like the Book of Job; it is one of the greatest poems ever written. A good man who suffers incomprehensibly pours out his heart to God, but afraid to complain; wishing for death, yet longing to bring his case before God; and increasingly impatient with friends who offer him "good advice" that misses the point. If you expect God to answer or explain, you will be disappointed. Oddly, Job does not seem disappointed. This book is about a very unusual relationship, one that the biblical people of Israel understood well because they lived it. 14 Job and the Problem of Suffering The Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament, can be read as the story of a relationship between two main characters: God and his people Israel. The relationship is defined by a covenant that binds them. Throughout the text, the covenant relationship is threatened by Israel's disobedience and God's punishment: exile and destruction of the Temple. Yet the relationship is never broken, and there is always the expectation of a restored peace. 15 The Hebrew Bible and Covenantal History In the New Testament, the synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) are key sources for research on "the historical Jesus." Scholars disagree on what the historical Jesus was like, but nearly all agree that the proclamation of something called "the kingdom of God" was central to his work, along with the telling of parables and "miraculous" healings. Most scholars would say the key to who Jesus was, and who he thought he was, is to understand what he meant by "the kingdom of God." 16 The Synoptic GospelsThe Historical Jesus and the Kingdom of God Paul, author of the earliest writings in the New Testament, is called the "apostle to the Gentiles" because his mission was to preach about Christ to non-Jews. He formulated a doctrine of justification in terms of a contrast between living "under the Law" as Jews did, and living under grace as believers in Christ did. This formulation affected Western Christian thought from Augustine onward where the key issue was the status of the individual soul before God. 17PaulJustification by Faith

Plotinus was the last great philosopher of pagan antiquity, a systematizer of the heritage of Plato, founder of Neo-Platonism, and theorist of a form of otherworldly spirituality that was profoundly influential in the Western Christian tradition through Augustine. Most influential of all, he sketched a spiritual ascent of the soul's turning inward to discover unity not only with the one Soul and the divine Mind, but with the One itself. 18Plotinus and Neo-Platonism Augustine was a Church Father, a Christian thinker who helped formulate the basic doctrines of ancient Christianity. He formulated a Christian Platonist spirituality that was immensely influential for the Western tradition. But Augustine's doctrine of grace includes a frightening implication that God chooses in advance to give his help and delight to some but not allraising troubling questions about predestination. 19 AugustineGrace and Free Will This lecture discusses how Thomas Aquinas adapted Aristotelian thought and philosophical method to the needs of the Christian philosophy and theology of his time. It presents six aspects of the Aristotelian legacy that Aquinas integrated into his system: logic, epistemology, teleology, motion, politics, and legal thinking. An understanding of Thomas's social background and institutional contextthe Dominican Order and the discourse of the universityhelps us grasp Aquinas's significance for his time and ours. 20 Aquinas and Christian Aristotelianism This lecture discusses the vexing problem of "universals"the relationships of names to things, and of both names and things to standard categories of the Western analysis of phenomena (individual, species, genus) as explored and temporarily resolved in medieval Western thought. Since the 14th century, major thinkers have tended to fall into the realist, the nominalist, or the conceptualist camp. 21 Universals in Medieval Thought A coherent tradition of mystical thought in the Christian Middle Ages can be described in terms taken from the Bible, Augustine, and the Eastern Christian neoplatonist known to the West as Denys. Augustine sought an intellectual vision of God, but the medieval tradition wanted to go beyond vision to "ecstasy" or "the darkness above the light" or "passing into God." Meister Eckhart in the 14th century reintroduced the Plotinian theme of a deep inner unity between God and the soul that is higher than intellectual vision as well as the ultimate reality in the depth of the soul. 22Mysticism and Meister Eckhart Using concepts taken from Paul and Augustine, Martin Luther taught that we are justified by faith alone; we can receive the grace of God only by believing the Gospel of Christ and not by doing good works. Luther started a debate among local scholars that blew up into a huge controversy

involving the pope. He concluded that the pope wanted to take the Gospel away from Christians; the break between the Roman Catholic Church and those who saw things Luther's way was inevitable. 23 LutherLaw and Gospel John Calvin wrote a compendium of theology that made his Reformed variety of Protestantism more exportable than Lutheranism and spawned familiar forms of Protestantism such as Presbyterianism. He departed from both Luther and the Catholics by teaching that justification happens only once in life, part of Calvin's doctrine of predestination. 24 Calvin and Protestantism From the close of the 15th to the end of the 17th century, Latin Christendom was transformed. Philosophically, the epoch is opened by the age of the Renaissance, a rebirth of classical learning and art. The 17th-century Age of Reason was characterized by a rejection of authorities and an awareness of tensions between rational philosophic speculation and traditional religious beliefs. The seminal work of Sir Isaac Newton brings the Age of Reason to a close and marks the onset of the Age of Enlightenment. 25 Introduction As a work of political realism, Machiavelli's The Prince marked a sharp departure from the classical idealist tradition associated with Plato. This lecture will explain Machiavelli's purposes in writing The Prince and outline his practical advice for gaining and keeping political power. 26Machiavelli and the Origins of Political Science Thomas More's Utopia is a Christian-humanist view of an ideal society. This lecture will review the features and significance of More's ideal system, highlighting its similarities to, and divergences from, Plato's Republic. 27 More's Utopianism This lecture examines the commitment of the Christian humanist Erasmus to oppose excessive enthusiasm in any religious or intellectual matter. Generally rejected by most parties to the ferocious religious controversies of the next century and more, Erasmus has emerged again as a compelling voice of reasoned culture. 28 Erasmus Against Enthusiasm Galileo Galilei promoted the theory of heliocentric astronomy and a quantitative rather than qualitative view of nature. His demanding methodology in the sciences and his struggle against Aristotelians who controlled offices of censorship and philosophical conformity in the church became emblems of the attempt at a free natural philosophy.

29 Galileo and the New Astronomy Francis Bacon, politician and philosopher, undertook to criticize the Western intellectual inheritance and transform the human quest for knowledge. His work The New Organon argued that an inductive, experimental science would yield a new knowledge that would be dynamic, cumulative, and useful. 30Bacon's New Organon and the New Science Rene Descartes sought to demonstrate that we could establish a criterion of truth and, with it, know with certainty the real nature and the real causes of things. His thinking challenged Scholasticism at its core and altered the nature and problems of Western philosophy and science. It bequeathed a categorical dualism: the world divided into mind or body, mental, or physical domains. 31 DescartesThe Method of Modern Philosophy Thomas Hobbes asserted that people are ruled not by reason but by passions, especially the desire for power and the fear of death. The remedy for this natural inclination to violent, aggressive behavior is to establish a powerful state called the Leviathan that would be ruled by an absolute sovereign who would guarantee the peace and protection of each subject. 32HobbesPolitics and the State of Nature One of the most brilliant and challenging thinkers in the Western philosophical tradition was Baruch Spinoza. His principal work, The Ethics, offers a brilliant expression of his metaphysical monism. Spinoza asserts that nature is not the creation of a supernatural God; rather, he identifies nature as God. 33 SpinozaRationalism and the Reverence for Being Blaise Pascal was a member of the Jansenist movement, which argued for the need for salvation by faith alone, a state achievable only by God's grace. Pascal's Pensees became one of the publishing sensations of the 17th century. It stressed the misery and absurdity of man and human life without God, the insufficiency of intellectual knowledge of God, and the role of grace and the heart in faith. 34 PascalSkepticism and Jansenism Pierre Bayle was one of the most influential authors of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The arrogance of reason and the avoidance of a simple, peaceful faith, Bayle believes, lead to superstition, intolerance, and cruelty. The irony of Bayle's work is that he was increasingly read as irreligious because his fideism confronted a learned world that was ever more naturalistic and committed to reason. 35BayleSkepticism and Calvinism

Shortly after receiving his bachelor's degree at Cambridge, Isaac Newton, in one stretch of 18 months, formulated the law of gravity, laid the foundations of modern physics in his laws of motion, transformed the entire science of optics, and created the calculus. Newton also believed that natural philosophy proved God from the order and contingency of the world. The Newtonian synthesis gave to the culture a great confidence in inductive science. 36 Newton and Enlightened Science The generation of readers and authors from 1680 to 1715 was one of the most revolutionary in European history because of its fundamental change in attitudes toward knowledge and nature. This generation increasingly believed induction from data, not deduction from inherited premises, to be the path of truth, and it made the systematic inquiry into experience the heart of natural philosophy. 37Introduction Among all the European political theorists, John Locke most influenced early American ideas about government. Locke envisaged a social contract among reasonable men, in the state of nature, to legitimize a moderate government ruled not by an authoritarian sovereign, but by a majority of propertied citizens. 38 LockePolitics John Locke's influence on the late 17th and the entire 18th century can scarcely be overestimated because he changed the culture's sense of the nature and limits of knowledge. The implications of his thinking are dramatic: We learn our ethical ideas from experience, and we are products of our environment, which, if changed, would change the kinds of human beings it produces. 39 LockeThe Revolution in Knowledge Giambattista Vico's philosophy of history had an immense influence on 19th- and 20th-century thought. Vico replaced the premise of Cartesian epistemology with his own principle of verum factum, which states that we know the truth about matters that we have cognitively constructed. Vico's work has interesting implications for the study of the past, and yet, he uses modern scientific methods to demonstrate the potential dangers of using those methods. 40 Vico and the New Science of History Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu's contribution to Enlightenment political thought was his effort to systematize an understanding, through natural inquiry, of the order and the instabilities of human political and social forms. His perspective and his moral agenda had a deep influence on the American Revolution. 41 Montesquieu and Political Thought

Bernard Mandeville's career and thought exemplify central themes of the Enlightenment. His most famous work, The Fable of the Bees, presented his central paradox in moral theory, namely that private vices make public benefits. Mandeville's rigorism and focus on consequences revealed the tensions between Judeo-Christian and classical virtues versus modern commercial and secular society. 42 The Worldly Philosophy of Bernard Mandeville George Berkeley's most important philosophical work, "A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge," established his reputation as an empiricist alongside Locke and Hume. His subjectivist idealism was cogently stated as: esse est percipi: "To exist is to be perceived." 43Bishop BerkeleyIdealism and Critique of the Enlightenment This lecture examines the empiricist philosophy of David Hume, who, along with Locke and Berkeley, held that all our mental representations arise from sense experience. We will examine aspects of Hume's epistemology and his efforts to reconcile necessity with liberty. 44 Hume's Epistemology Just as Hume located the origins of causation in the constant conjunction of sensed phenomena, he located the origin of our moral judgments in their constant conjunction with a sentiment of approbation or disapprobation. Hume assesses the morality of behavior in terms of its consequences, especially in terms of its advancement of social utility. 45 Hume's Theory of Morality With Hume, we see a growing skepticism about the relationship of natural philosophy and religious belief, a skepticism that explains in part the increasing tendency of intellectuals to turn away from problems of theology to problems of secular society. 46 Hume's Natural Religion This lecture explains the ideas and significance of Adam Smith's views, in his Wealth of Nations, about division of labor. We will also examine Smith's social philosophy, which suggests that a market-based society allows social cooperation to take place as an unintended consequence of individuals' pursuits of economic self-interests. 47 Adam Smith and the Origins of Political Economy The ideas of Jean-Jacque Rousseau shared much with Enlightenment thoughtabove all, his Lockeanism, his deism, and his commitment to religious tolerance. However, for Rousseau, cultural "progress" invariably led to moral decadence, creating artificial needs and artificial inequalities. The problem, then, is to recognize the depredations of artificial social life and to seek to redeem those to the greatest extent possible. The legacy of Rousseauist themes is influential and profound, extending to counterculture movements of a "return to nature."

48 Rousseau's Dissent The first phase of 19th-century European high culture is associated with Romanticism. Romantics rejected the arid rationalism and scientism of the Enlightenment. A reaction against Romanticism, known as positivism, had set in by mid-century. The final phase of 19th-century thought witnessed the rise of Existential themes and issues. 49 Introduction This lecture examines the views of Immanuel Kant on the limits of knowledge, reason, science, and metaphysics, as expressed in his seminal work, The Critique of Pure Reason. Kant's "Copernican Revolution" in philosophy inverted the order of knowledge as Copernicus had inverted the positions of the Sun and Earth. 50Kant's "Copernican Revolution" This lecture examines Kant's views about morality and value. We examine Kant's derivation of his famous categorical imperative: "Act only by that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law." We will also consider the meaning and significance of alternative formulations of the categorical imperative, including Kant's "principle of humanity." 51 Kant's Moral Theory In this lecture, we examine elements in Edmund Burke's argument against the French Revolution. We will also explore how his support for the American Revolution can be squared with his denunciation of the French Revolution. This, in turn, leads us to conclude with the difficult problem of the overall character of Burke's views. 52 BurkeThe Origins of Conservatism For Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, history represents the necessary and rational unfolding of absolute Spirit becoming conscious of itself and discovering its own nature. Hegel's historicism the notion that the artistic products and accepted truths of a given era are relative to that era profoundly influenced Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida. 53 HegelHistory and Historicism Karl Marx's historical materialism is an attempt to answer Hegel's idealist explanation of history in purely naturalistic or scientific terms. Marx's historical materialism posits two fundamental entities: actual historical persons and the forces of production. For Marx, real history begins only when technology has solved the problem of production. 54 MarxHistorical Materialism The hallmark of Marx's idea of alienation is his theory of work, especially of alienated labor in the capitalist system. Marx blames this economic system for the dissatisfaction that many people find

in their work. Marx contends that such unhappiness is unnecessary and demands that it be changed so that we may experience fulfillment in our various forms of work. 55 MarxOn Alienation John Stuart Mill was a thoroughgoing empiricist in the footsteps of Hume. In moral philosophy, he has become the classic defender of one of the main theories of ethics, which is known as utilitarianism. 56 Mill's Utilitarianism Sren Kierkegaard is the Danish Christian philosopher who became the founding figure of Existentialism by thinking in a new way about how faith is possible in Christendom, in the era we now call Victorian. 57 Kierkegaard and the Leap of Faith Arthur Schopenhauer is most notorious for his philosophical pessimism, but he was one of the most ingenious and influential thinkers of the 19th century. The core of his theory is that reality is known to us as Will, which is full of self-conflict, so the world is not a harmonious place and human life has no hope of satisfaction. Only aesthetic experience and sainthood promise some escape from the torment of life's sufferings. 58 SchopenhauerThe World as Will and Idea This lecture will focus on Friedrich Nietzsche's so-called perspectivism: the view that there is no metaphysical "thing-in-itself" and, therefore, no singular truth or truths about the world. Nevertheless, Nietzsche does present what would seem to be a singular thesis about the world, the "Will to Power." The point of the lecture is to clarify both of these central theses. 59 NietzschePerspectivism and the Will to Power This lecture concerns Nietzsche's infamous attack on Judeo-Christian religion and morality and the project of self-creation with which he seeks to replace them. Again, we see an apparent contradiction or tension in Nietzsche's thought. He is, on the one hand, very much a naturalist. He does not believe in free will. And he believes that each of us is largely determined by our biology. 60 NietzscheThe Death of God, Morality, and Self-Creation The first half of the 20th century has been aptly described as an "age of extremes." The Western industrialized nations underwent dramatic changes and traumatic crises. In this context of tumult and change, philosophers sought to reconceptualize the role and function of their discipline. The result was the development of three competing conceptions of philosophic practice: philosophy as regulative, philosophy as therapeutic, and philosophy as edification. 61 Introduction

Influenced by the work of Charles Sanders Peirce, William James created a theory of pragmatism, which held that the meaning of any idea can be found only in experience. James melded Nietzschean perspectivalism with the American thought of Emerson. James's project was a philosophical "Protestant reformation," with the individual rebelling against the authority of accepted truths and absolutes. The world is not fixed, James argued, but is constantly remade by us. Therefore, independent analysis of the world from a priori assumptions is impossible. 62 James's Pragmatism Sigmund Freud's immensely influential theory rests squarely on his analysis of human nature. We seek to cope with inner turmoil through sublimation of our instincts, but as he says, our coping mechanisms are inadequate, and unhappiness is much easier to attain than happiness. Freud's conclusions are unquestionably pessimistic and powerfully expressed in his classic text, Civilization and Its Discontents. 63 Freud's Psychology of Human Nature According to Marx and Freud, we are suffering from a common malady termed "the alienated split self." They say we can confront the problem of alienation constructively by raising our consciousness. Freud, in particular, perceives society as the collective expression of individual aggression. 64 Freud's Discontents A. J. Ayer was one of the leading logical positivists. In Language, Truth, and Logic, he argued that philosophy should abandon the study of metaphysics and take up a detailed analysis of language. He argues that assertions that cannot be verified in empirical experience are "nonsense." Philosophy was to be the handmaiden of science, and the job of the philosopher would be to explain the meaning of scientific terms and logic. 65 A.J. Ayer and Logical Positivism Max Weber is thought to be the founder of modern sociology. He studied power relations in societies as part of his effort to "demystify the world." His greatest insights were into the varieties of authority, and he offered a profound diagnosis of the ways power is legitimated and administered in modern bureaucratic societies. 66 Max Weber and Legitimate Authority This lecture focuses on Husserlian phenomenology as a response to positivism and historicism. Edmund Husserl was opposed to relativism, skepticism, historicism, and positivism because they attempted to explain mind in terms of nature rather than nature by way of consciousness. 67 Husserl and Phenomenology

John Dewey's version of pragmatism represented the American values of democracy, progressivism, and optimism. Dewey was skeptical of truth, believing that what we call "truth" is simply what works best for us at the time. Man's moral ends are not eternal truths but are formed through customs and habits that change over time. 68 Dewey's Critique of Traditional Philosophy This lecture focuses on Martin Heidegger's early philosophy in Being and Time; his focus was on our place in the world, what he called Dasein, or simply, "being-there." From this seemingly simple starting point, Heidegger weaves a refreshing new way of thinking about knowledge, of ourselves, and our place in the world. 69HeideggerDasein and Existenz Ludwig Wittgenstein claimed that traditional metaphysics was flawed because it was based on mistakes in the use of language. The solution was to focus on those uses of language that cause confusion, using philosophy as a therapy against, in his own words, "the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language." 70 Wittgenstein and Language Analysis Members of the Frankfurt School developed provocative and original perspectives on contemporary society and culture, including analyses of Fascism and the high-tech and consumer society that exists now. Drawing on Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and Weber, the Frankfurt School synthesized philosophy and social theory to develop a critical theory of contemporary society. 71 The Frankfurt School In this lecture, we consider the modern school of structuralism, an interdisciplinary approach to all branches of human knowledge that rejects all ontological and epistemological sources of meaning in favor of an antimetaphysical approach. This approach posits that all humanistic pursuits are the products of deep structures that predate human consciousness. 72StructuralismSaussure and Lvi-Strauss Philosophy in the latter half of the 20th century was written in the context of accelerating and often disturbing changes in Western society, politics, and culture. Philosophers focused on two critical features of modernity, both inherited from the Enlightenment. One issue focused on modern political theory and practice, the other on the ideal of objective scientific rationality and progress. 73 Introduction Hayek was an economist and political philosopher. He is also well known for his critique of the ideal of "social justice." We will explore this and some of Hayek's other key ideas in social

philosophy, including his interpretation of the rule of law, and conclude by discussing some continuing lessons that his ideas offer for societies such as our own. 74 Hayek and the Critique of Central Planning Karl Popper wrote extensively on scientific issues and the history of ideas and was the author of The Open Society and Its Enemies, an impressive work in political philosophy. In this lecture, we will explore Popper's ideas about knowledge and politics and their connections. 75 PopperThe Open Society and the Philosophy of Science In this lecture, we will look at Thomas Kuhn's views, his Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and his controversial ideas about the character of science. We will examine how he was led to refine his idea of a "paradigm" in light of criticism that he had used the term too loosely. Finally, we will look at the research to which Kuhn's ideas have led. 76Kuhn's Paradigm Paradigm Willard Van Orman Quine made major contributions to ontology, epistemology, and mathematical logic. His philosophy came at a time when logical positivism suffered setbacks in its attempts to reduce mathematics to logic. He attacked positivism's attempt to create a foundational first philosophy that would establish the meaning of language. 77 QuineOntological Relativism Jrgen Habermas first major book on the origins, genesis, and decline of the public sphere showed how democracy was made possible by the rise of newspapers, literary journals, and public spaces where ideas critical of the existing order could be discussed and debated. Habermas made many contributions to philosophy and social theory and is today one of the most highly respected thinkers of our time. 78 HabermasCritical Theory and Communicative Action John Rawls's A Theory of Justice draws on the theories of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau to argue that the best society would be founded on principles chosen by rational citizens who would choose a system granting the most extensive liberties to its citizens while ensuring the maximum justice. The text has served as a philosophical defense of the modern welfare state. 79 Rawls's Theory of Justice In this lecture, we will consider the origins of deconstruction in the theories of Derrida, particularly as they were first presented to America in his (in)famous lecture, "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences" (1966). We shall see how Derrida, rather than work within the binaries of traditional metaphysics (or logocentrism), attempted to break down (or deconstruct) all such binaries. We shall contrast deconstruction from both Platonic and Christian thought and seek to understand the main terminology associated with deconstruction.

80 Derrida and Deconstruction Richard Rorty argues that philosophers have traditionally sought to escape from history by searching for "truth." Rorty believes that truth can never be found imbedded in language but is merely a statement that we approve of. His pragmatism is the basis of his defense of the postmodern bourgeois liberalism of the West. 81 Rorty's Neo-Pragmatism In the trilogy The Dark Side of the Dialectic, Alvin Gouldner presented a Marxist critique of Marxism itself. His analysis of the "new class" of intellectuals and others who earn their living from their education, not their ownership of capital, provides a necessary corrective to the Marxist idea of class struggle and helps explain why so many Marxists and radicals were not proletarians, but intellectuals. 82 GouldnerIdeology and the "New" Class Alasdair MacIntyre articulates a form of right-wing postmodernism, affirming the importance of traditions in contrast to the modern rejection of tradition and authority. He contends in After Virtue that modern moral reasoning is incoherent because it consists of ill-understood fragments of previous and more coherent traditions of moral reasoning. 83 MacIntyreThe Rationality of Traditions