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Examen Pragmatism

Examen Pragmatism

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TEMA 1: Characteristics of classical American philosophy before the birth of pragmatism: 1.

The damnation of Renee Descartes (Renatus Carthesius in Latin, died in 164) – the American philosophy started by denouncing his philosophy. He was considered the first modern philosopher. All the basic premises of Cartesian philosophy were rejected. The first thesis of his rejected was the thesis of the separation between faculties of knowledge. According to Descartes, for instance the activity of our sensibility (a faculty of knowledge) is completely separate/distinct form the activity of reason or of our intellect. In modern philosophy there are 3 main faculties of knowledge; sensibility, imagination and intellect/reason, through which we can know something. Sensibility works through our senses, the imagination works through representations and reason works through concepts/ideas/thoughts. This distinction between faculties was rejected. American philosophers considered that we can have no genuine knowledge according to this division. In other words, we can have no genuine knowledge about an object by separating our sensibility towards it from the intellect. There are no distinctions between these. Another thesis rejected was his distinction between body and mind. American philosophers considered that the body and the mind are organically connected and cannot be separated. Descartes said that experiencing a physical contact is a part of how our body works and has nothing to do with our mind. (pain for example) Our mind simply operates on our sensation. Descartes didn‘t genuinely think body was separated from the mind. To have the consciousness of humans allows experiencing the pain and understanding it in the same time with our brains. Americans thought that experiencing the pain and understanding it is one and the same act which happen simultaneously. They considered that this separation is artificial, with no validity in practice, only theoretical. 2. The naturalization of the spirit: in classical tradition, the glorious … There are two main worlds, what Plato called ―the sensiblr eotld, the world of teresttal action, the world. American philosophers discarded these distinctions. Metaphysics – separation between the spiritual worlds and the world of experience stood at the basis of metaphysics. Americans rejected all this tradition in metaphysics/ the metaphysical tradition. They considered it to be highly speculative, fiction. American philosophers considered that for a better understanding of what is spiritual, it is necessary to naturalize values and ideas – to put them to work. What is spiritual should be manifested in nature, manifesting experience. These ideas have no value when approached abstractly – theoretically. Their essential meaning is exactly their role in experience. There is no form without content – so they rejected the existence of the spiritual world SEPARATELY from the natural world. 3. The mentalization of nature: European philosophy (Hegel, Plato, Aristotle, Plotin, Augustine, St. Thomas, Descartes, Kant) considered that nature is of a minor value for the mind. Nature is nothing else than the domain of our experiences. In other words, it has a poor rational significance (or spiritual significance). That is what for instance the transcendentalists contested (R.W. Emerson). Emerson considered that nature is essentially spiritual. Its role for our life is not minor as European philosophers considered, but our experiences are the very condition for a better understanding of ourselves. This was commonly the opinion of

classical American philosophers. Nature has a spiritual value and is not simply the domain of our experience. This means the mentalization of nature – considering nature from a spiritual standpoint. 4. The focus on processes instead of substances: in European tradition our existence, God, truth, the good, beauty – all of these are substances (something existing in and by itself). For instance (in Plato) a beautiful woman is the instantiation in reality of the abstract substance of beauty which lives independently in our soul – thus our souls have the capacity of recognizing something beautiful when seeing it, because beauty is implanted in our soul. Our soul is co-generated with the forms of truth, beauty or good. That‘s why substances exist by themselves. American philosophers considered that operating or using substances is irrelevant/ of no use for our experience. They questioned the meaning of the Platonic idea that forms are imprinted in our souls. Instead of using substances, what‘s relevant is to see how for instance the idea of truth works in experience – how is it possible for something to become true. They contested the idea that there are essential and eternal truths. Instead they considered that what is true is a process – it BECOMES true. They insisted on the process of something becoming true. 5. The substitution of yesterday with tomorrow: in European tradition what was meaningful was related to accomplishments of the past. European philosophers considered that to know something is equivalent with knowing the past of that something. American philosophers didn‘t deny the role of the past, but they put an accent on the role of the fu ture. Namely, something is meaningful only if it is relevant for future experiences. 6. Thought is not a substance, but something revealing a certain goal/something oriented towards results : in European tradition, thought was important because it was the only way of understanding what happened through concepts/ideas. Americans rejected the idea that theories and concepts alone are sufficient for explaining the true meaning of our experience. They considered that the most important role of our thought is that of changing the world not that of understanding it – of transforming reality. 7. The importance of language: in European tradition, the meaning of our statements was established in terms of a correspondence between our ideas and facts, so that language was of a minor importance – it didn‘t really matter how you said it or what language you say it in. what‘s important is the accuracy of our ideas in confrontation with facts. American philosophers considered th at language is central in experience, because they considered ideas to be abstract, they thought that there was no way of verifying the presupposed correspondence between ideas and facts – so that language became contextual/essential in the way in which understand and communicate experiences or facts. 8. Science is no more a singular and contemplative accomplishment but a cooperative one : science was no longer conceived as a purely singular activity but a cooperative one. Example: Newton constructed his world according to his own rationality,

Their question was: how do you achieve your results? That‘s why they insisted on the role of experiments. The simplistic mechanicism of the world according to Newton was no longer sufficient to explain the realities of our contemporary world. Thus science is not the product of a single mind nor the prerogative. That‘s why probably the most developed sciences and most popular ones are ―applied sciences‖. This assumption had a decisive role in the development of philosophy. they didn‘t speak about distinct human habitudes. That‘s why science is or should be conceived as a cooperative investigation . when Peirce published the article ―How . behavioral sciences. but also necessary. it cannot explain the mysteries of the world. The primacy of method: our knowledge was founded. in the absence of a specified methodology of research there is no possibility of achieving theoretical results. started to abandon the idea of the central importance of the individual and to stress upon the importance of communities of individuals. no longer independent of the world. upon speculative theories/sets of concepts constructed by the mind. According to Americans. etc. The concept of the individual by itself cannot tell something relevant about the world we live in. Americans. according to the European tradition. researchers. 9. His mechanics was a result of his solitary thinking upon what are the laws governing nature and our experience. According to Americans. Peirce Charles S. 10. was influenced by Kant and Hegel. TEMA 2: General considerations on the philosophy of Ch. etc. 11. It is better to think about individuals as parts of communities. so individuals should not be conceived isolated but living in communities. starting in the 2nd half of the 19th century. The meanings of our scientific results should be tested in order to get to their validation. Science is no longer speculative. Peirce considered that problems. Namely. from a period of time to another. Peirce . Science can no longer be separated from society: science is not abstract. So method is not only desirable. including those of metaphysics. Men and women were conceived generically under the label.following certain laws and axioms.a collaboration of scholars. could be solved if one gave careful attention to the practical conse-quences of adherence to various ideas. The substitution of the individual with the community: in the European tradition the center of our universe was the individual. the progress of science and technology in late modernity makes it impossible for a solitary mind to conceive and to explain the entire experience. Because they didn‘t think that the human potentialities are the same. but applicativ e. They are different from a culture to another. sciences that prove their results in experience. testing our theoretical assumptions according to a transparent methodology. some-times called the founder of pragmatism. they spoke instead of how generically the human mind works. Pragmatism is sometimes said to have originated in 1878.

He called his ap-proach pragmaticism. Although he never wrote a book in philosophy or organized his thoughts into systematic or final form. Although he shares some of the positivists‘ views. If there is no way of testing an idea by its effects or public consequences. meanings are not indi-vidual or private but are social and public. rather than a public or popular philoso-pher. it is meaningless. is best discovered by putting them to an experi-mental test and observing the results. The end of this inquiry. not in isolation. Peirce maintained.‖ The philosophical writings of Peirce consist of essays and manuscripts. Thus he does not stress sensation or volition as much as do later forms of popular pragmatism. even the most intelligent people are apt to be mistaken. methodology in the empirical sciences.‖ it would evaporate rapidly. The meaning of many ideas. With the publi-cation of his papers in recent decades. Chance. is knowledge. Fallibilism and an open future replace skepticism and abso-lutism. his writings make clear that he left a place for an evolutionary idealism that stresses the need for a principle of love opposed to any narrow individualism in human affairs. There is chance (tychism) because. we must avoid the belief that we have attained finality. such as James. when you are considering opposing systems of thought. He viewed logic as a means of communi-cation and a cooperative or public venture. Peirce said. on the other hand. and the philosophy behind the various methods and techniques. He set forth one of the first modern theories of mean-ing by proposing a technique for the clarification of ideas. and pragmatism replaces fixed systems of belief in philosophy and in science. Peirce argued that thinking always occurs in a context. on the one hand. many of which are fragmentary or incomplete. For these reasons. that is. Peirce thought. His crite-rion of meaningfulness was to appeal to the way an object would behave if it had a certain charac-ter or were of a certain kind. and the like. The irritation of doubt leads to the struggle to attain belief. a field in which he did pioneer work. although nature be-haves in a lawlike way. he does not share with them the idea that empiricism re-quires a denial of the possibility of metaphysics. and a man with strong moral convictions. Peirce is critical of positivism and mechanistic deter-minism. that regularity is never ex-act. Peirce supports ―falli -bilism‖. interest in Peirce‘s philosophy is increasing. Although Peirce gave his major attention to logic and methodology. Peirce was primarily a logician concerned with the more technical problems of logic and epistemology. plays a real part in the occurrence of events in the world. Peirce wished to estab-lish philosophy on a scientific basis and to treat theories as working hypotheses. He was interested in deductive systems. which aims to dispel doubt. if it were ―volatile. If an object were ―hard‖ it would scratch other objects. emphasis is on the intellect and understanding rather than on will and activity. He was the rare combi-nation of a natural scientist with a ―laboratory habit of mind. and intuitionism and a priori principles. and he is com-ing to be recognized as an intellectual genius of outstanding originality. Meanings are derived not by intuition but by experience or experi-ment. His logic included a theory of signs and symbols. One of Peirce‘s main contributions to phi-losophy is his theory of meaning. Progressive inquiry leads to constant modification.‖ a careful student of philosophy. To be able to distinguish between meaningful and meaningless is particularly important.To Make Our Ideas Clear. His approach was to invite critical examination and seek aid from others in a continuous quest for the clarification of ideas. his liter-ary activity covered many years. He coined the word pragmatism from the Greek word pragma (―act‖ or ―deed‖) to emphasize the fact that words derive their meanings from actions. 3 . He is sometimes referred to as a philosopher‘s philos-opher. In the field of metaphysics as well as in all other areas of discourse. as well as habit. Peirce‘s empiricism is intellectualistic rather than voluntaristic. and the methods of the laboratory sciences.

‖ What was so startling about this statement was that the more traditional theo ries of truth took virtually the opposite view—namely. James theory of truth William James said.TEMA 3: William James's pragmatism as radical empiricism RADICAL EMPIRICISM James defines the term radical empiricism this way: ―I say ‗empiricism‘ because it is contented to regard its most assured conclusions concern-ing matters of fact as hypotheses liable to modi-fication in the course of future experience. Human effort to improve the world is worth-while and fruitful. is the one reality we know. A theory is created to suit some human purpose. Added to this is the interpretative element. The creative whole of experience. morality. doctrines. such as greater than. which constitutes the continuous. An idea be-comes true or is made true by events. pragmatists find things partly joined and partly disjoined. Consequently. Workability. which holds that the world is neither completely evil nor com-pletely good but is capable of being improved. An idea is true if it works or if it has satisfactory conse-quences. When James exam-ined the traditional theories of truth. and the only satisfactory criterion of the truth of a theory is that it leads to beneficial results. Because experience is fragmentary. There is the given—the data of the senses— which is brought in as stimuli from the region beyond us.‖ just as the right is ―the expedient in the way of our behaving. like truth. Pragmatism. the evil is that which tends to destroy life. is the practice of looking toward results and facts instead of to-ward first principles and categories. It accepts the experiences and facts of everyday life as fun-damental. they insist that reality is pluralistic rather than monistic or dualistic. Knowledge is thus based directly on sense perception. among the latter (directly experienced) elements. that truth was a fixed or static relation.‖ but only a matter of words. which the conscious being supplies. and the trend of biological and social evolution is toward such improvement. consequences. The true is ―the expedient in the way of our thinking. The source and authority fo r beliefs and conduct are found in human experience. it also grows. and accept them as they are. ―What concrete difference will it make in life?‖ ―A dif -ference that makes no difference is no differ-ence. or ex-perience. he de-manded to know what ―truth‖ means in opera-tion. Pragmatic view on morality Within James‘s view.‖ Ideas. James was a strong defender of moral freedom and indeter-minism. . doctrines are not answers to riddles. What other motive could there be for saying that something is true or not than to provide guides for practical behavior? James would ask. he believed that determinism is an in-tellectualistic falsification of experience. Truth is relative. satisfactions. and theories be-come instruments to help us meet life situations. James includes relations. and results are the key words in the pragmatic conception of truth. which in-cludes both the given and the interpretative el-ement. Truth must be the cash value of an idea. Reality is just what it is experienced as being—flux or change. flowing stream of consciousness. is not fixed but grows out of present life situations. ―Truth happens to an idea. He sup-ported the doctrine of meliorism. as we have seen. The good is that which makes for a more satisfactory life.

If such issues are living. shall I marry this woman (or man) or shall I wait until I know for certain how the marriage will turn out? I cannot know for certain that the marriage will be harmonious and suc-cessful. God is the name of this ideal tendency or encompassing support in human experience. Such philosophies. furthermore. it is volitional as well as sensory. and in these circumstances they need to act in accordance with the evidence. There are real possibilities for evil as well as for good in our world. For example. Consciousness displays interest. The will determines how and what we expe-rience. When the will to believe leads to decision and action. in which a choice between the proposed lines of action either is not forced or is trivial. In the religious sense. Consequently. James. so with our ideas. All the facts are not known and I cannot wait until all the evidence is in. all contributed to his views of religion and of God. To fail to act is in itself a decision—not to marry this person at this time. with their search for ultimate reality and their at-tempt to find the immutable. however. TEMA 4: Pragmatic view on democracy in J. and educational philosophies. it is an almost uni-versal experience. where some decision is demanded by the structure of the situation. because failure to decide will commit them to one of the alternatives.The will to believe James devoted considerable attention to reli-gion. In The Quest for Cer-tainty. moral and friendly. and the will rather than the intellect is determinative. forced.‖ Let us consider first James‘s doctrine of the will to believe. thus thinking is empirically secondary to willing. Dewey achieved prominence in logic. 296–297) prolific writings and his application of the principles of the movement to all phases of life and thought. What is selected and emphasized is thereby made vital and real. epistemology. but both are used. the term instrumentalism is preferred to the term pragmatism. God is. as we have seen. yet the issue is liv-ing. There are still other situations. the world we experience is largely of our own making. In life. Life‘s values are empirical and are found and tested in t he process of living. Dewey claimed. thus. and we can cooperate with God in cre-ating a better world. Dewey The continued growth and strength of prag-matism can be attributed to John Dewey‘s (see biography and ex-cerpt. In other situations. attempt to minimize or tran-scend human experience. in many of life‘s experi-ences. forced. and diversity in-herent in our world. pp. individuals have to make numerous decisions. We have pointed out that radical empiricism ceases to look bey ond experience for supposed necessities and metaphysical entities and stresses the present stream of consciousness. ethics. and attention.‖ We feel that which is sympathetic and gives us ―sup -port. or to truth and value simply through the fact that the will exists. happi -ness. he insisted that God is finite. and peace. James‘ doctrine of the will to believe applies to this third type of situation. we have contact with a ―More. This sense of the ―More‖ brings comfort. Those ideas that interest us and engage our attention tend to exclude others and to dominate the scene. however. The doctrines of pluralism and meliorism. According to James. Dewey was a keen and a constant critic of the classical or traditional types of philosophies. For Dewey and his many followers. people need to act even though they do not have all the evidence on the basis of which they would like to make their decisions. it leads to discovery and conviction. all-powerful God could have created the world as we know it. and these ideas tend to find expression in our actions. in which individuals facing some crucial issue must choose and act. they can postpone their decisions or even refrain from choosing at all. as well as the doctrine of the will to believe. aes-thetics. and momentous. How are they to make these decisions and formulate their beliefs? In some situations the evidence is reasonably certain and clear. and momentous. individuality. desire. As with our sensory perceptions. He acknowledged later that ―the will to believe‖ might have been called ―the right to believe. no good. freedom. was impressed by the novelty. and political.‖ We rely on it in worship and in prayer. economic. Dewey .

Second. Dewey insists that ―experience is not a veil that shuts man off from nature‖. and philosophies are. of bustling cities and struggling nations. One is to appease or conciliate the powers around us by ceremonial rites. Interest thus shifts from tradi-tional metaphysical problems to the methods. and sensory and rational factors cease to be competi-tors and are both parts of a unifying process. All thinking and all concepts.says that we have used two meth-ods to escape dangers and gain security. The method is that of experimental in-quiry as guided by empirical research in the area of values. part of the ―protective equip-ment of the race in its struggle for existence. Our knowledge does not merely mirror the world. The orthodox empiri-cal view regards experience primarily as a knowl-edge affair (see Chapter 9). The second is to invent tools to control the forces of nature to our advantage. According to Dewey. doctrines. and so on. supplication. meliorism is the view that the world can be made better by our efforts. it reshapes and changes it. the notion of futurism bids us to look mainly to the future and not to the past.‖ Reflective thinking occurs when we face a problem or when our habits are blocked in par-ticular crises. Dewey was born in 1859. of fields and factories. philosophers attempted to discover some ―theoretical superexperience‖ on the basis of which they might build a secure and meaningful life. will not be a repetition but will be in some sense novel. which dominated Greek and medieval thinking and has character-ized many areas of modern science. The aim of philosophy is the better organization of human life and activ-ity here and now. There is no separate ―mind stuff ‖ gifted with a faculty for thinking. The aim of thinking is to remake experienced reality through the use of experimental . The world is in the mak-ing. and the time process seriously. Thinking is biological. This is the way of science. Dewey refuses to attempt to tran-scend human experience or to believe that any-one else has ever succeeded in doing so. logics. which is growing out of the past. development and struggle. In his essay ―The Need for a Recovery of Philosophy.‖ Dewey sets down his criticisms of the traditional or inherited view of experience as found in empiricism and offers a substitute interpretation. We can no longer hold a spectator view of reality. precariousness and stability—these are the basic elements that humans face. Experience is one of the key words in Dewey‘s pragmatic theory.‖ Experience for Dewey is primarily experimental and is not tied to what has been or what is ―given‖. we live in an unfin-ished world. Dewey takes evolution. and techniques for scientific and social progress. are created by us in pursuit of particular interests and goals. sacrifices. Scientific theories. Basic to Dewey‘s philosophy is the instrumental theory of ideas. and it is the way Dewey approves. Intelligence is an instrument for the individual or society to gain some goal. like other tools and instruments. it is concerned with the adjustment between an organism and its environment. the year Darwin published Origin of Species. a view also held by William James. is the world of our experience. Mind is manifested in ou r capacity to respond to what is doubtful or prob-lematic in experience. Dewey‘s attitude can best be un-derstood by an examination of three aspects of what we call his instrumentalism. This present world of men and women. We should try to understand it and then attempt to construct a society in which all can grow in freedom and intelligence. Dewey‘s philosophy is of and for daily experience. Knowing occurs within nature. at-titudes. Third. industry. Organism and environ-ment. Dewey prefers to see 7 experience as ―an affair of the intercourse of a living being with its social and physical environ-ment. The vi-sion of human beings as always changing and de-veloping in the midst of an environment that fosters and at the same time threatens their lives was decisive for Dewey. Not since Aristotle has any philosopher built his or her thought so completely on biological foundations. The future. experience involves an effort to change the given by reaching forward into the unknown. in Dewey‘s words. of plants and animals. This view of the world stands in marked contrast to that of a fixed and permanent reality. Knowing and acting are continuous. relativity. the no-tion of temporalism means that there is real movement and progress in time. the use of intelligence as a method. First. it is constantly moving forward. it is the only means we have of penetrating further i nto the se-crets of nature. Ideas are plans of action. Dewey put these elements together in the unifying idea of experience. and the arts. In the past.

The mind is basically a problem-solving instrument and needs to try alternative means for solving problems. is religious. Dewey and the modern instrumentalists have been staunch defenders of freedom and de-mocracy. Dewey never said that education ought simply to cater to the needs and whims of the child. We are not part body and part mind. The spirit of education should be experi-mental. and thus the intelligent guidance of the teacher is necessary. chil-dren ―gradually tend to become listless and fi-nally bored. In one of his ear-liest writings on education. including freedom of speech. changing the habits of a culture.techniques. The term God may be used if it refers to the unity of all ideal ends in their ten-dency to arouse us to desire and action. Instead of revolution. it would be more accurate to say that inso-far as it has failed to develop the tough-minded habits of 9 intelligence. If we are creatures of habit. and of as-sembly. and of the political and civil liberties. He uses the adjective reli-gious to describe those values through which one‘s personality is integrated and enriched. Instead of some catastrophic upheaval. we are natural-ized within nature. The Child and the Curriculum. it has failed to be influ-enced by what is most basic for Dewey. Nature is neither rational nor irrational. Dewey was a defender of moral free-dom—or freedom of choice—of intellectual freedom. Children are ex-pected to ―work things out for themselves‖ without receiving proper guidance. Nature in humans is na-ture grown intelligent. which should extend over the entire culture and penetrate to its founda-tions. However. of press. sometimes called linguistic pragmatism is a recent philosophical term for philosophy that reintroduces many concepts from pragmatism. and nature is so interpreted as to take account of us. because of an abiding conviction of its genuine value. Rorty's neopragmatism Neopragmatism. Thus any activity pursued on behalf of an ideal. Dewey believed that those habits may be altered by educAtion. The values of life are capable of verifi-cation by the methods through which other facts are established. Dewey insisted that there be clear objec-tives in promoting the art of critical thinking. he criticizes the child-oriented the-ory of education by noting that it contains an empty concept of development. Nothing is more important than education in remolding a society. ―Though there is widespread belief that Ameri -can education has suffered from Dewey‘s influ-ence. Thus he believed in universal education. direction. According to Dewey.‖ Dewey and many of his supporters reject all supernaturalism and ground both ethical and re-ligious values solely in the natural relations of humans. hu-mans and nature always are interdependent. Nature is not something merely to be ac-cepted and enjoyed.‖ When unlimited free expression is allowed.‖ Dewey argues instead for the ne-cessity of deliberate guidance. Neopragmatism is defined as: A postmodern version of pragmatism developed by the American philosopher Richard Rorty and . such as a revolution. education should provide the conditions for developing our most useful and creative habits. TEMA 5. Dewey was critical of the traditional institu-tional church. The demand that education be universal is bound up with Dewey‘s conviction that there is a need to find a way to reorient society as a whole. it is something to be modified and experimentally controlled. systematic and ordered. He advocated an extension of the demo-cratic principles in the political and social realms to all races and classes. with its stress on fixed ritual and authoritarian dogma. Education is. and order. it is intelligible and understand-able. ed-ucation can provide a more controlled approach to change. but education of the sort that is available to every man in every walk of life. or ought to be. advocating complete freedom for the child ―reflects a sentimental idealization of the child‘s naive caprices and performances‖ and in-evitably results in 8 ―indulgence and spoiling. R. According to Dewey‘s pragmatic outlook.

Kantian transcendentalism. goodness. In his rejection of all kinds of realism he is also critical of linguistic/ analytic philosophy — which he himself had initially promoted. Instead we should consider whether a 'practice' has been accomplished successfully or whether a form achieves satisfactory self-description. We must be concerned not to seek any positive 'nature' but to remain content with what we can make of ourselves. Philosophy in studying the advantages and disadvantages of these ways is thus to be concerned with what he calls 'edification' and not with a systematic quest for 'truth'. ideas are accurate representations of reality. a human nature. he says. images. and the like. Our knowledge and the language we use to articulate our experience are inseparable from our concerns and purposes. and that it is possible to discover by means of 'pure'. As such we are what he terms 'liberal ironists'. 'foundations' of epistemology. and Solidarity and Philosophical Papers. rationalism. In his later work Contingency.Much of Rorty's philosophy is directed against various 'traditional' assumptions: that the mind 'mirrors' nature. have been unable to justify their claims. I he extends this broad approach to a consideration of the self. non-empirical methods real essences. and ethics. Even the criteria we appeal to for judging our arguments can change. The test of such forms will no longer be whether they provide us with insight into truth. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. subjectivity. a passionate advocate of the liberty of the individual — even though the concept of selfhood is a pragmatic one. There being no appeal to absolute moral values. such as Platonism. meanings. Rorty's own positive approach is to make use of hermeneutic and pragmatic models with a view to developing new forms of discourse. but this essentially has been created by ourselves. He argues that thought cannot be properly examined if divorced from the cultural conditions in which it is embedded. Irony. His concept of truth is thus pragmatic. He is therefore critical of all kinds of a priori metaphysics. What we must seek to achieve through our analysis of different forms of discourse and cultural practices are better ways of talking and acting. We do indeed have a sense of the 'self'. or to provide criteria for distinguishing between genuine and false representations. or beauty. Previous philosophers. absolute values. Rorty invokes the notion of 'solidarity' which is grounded in man's common . He is. though he recognises that many philosophers belonging to these traditions have nevertheless attempted to jettison the metaphor of mirroring. he says paradoxically. however. that our perceptions.drawing inspiration from John Dewey. and that true propositions in some way 'correspond' to that reality .

he sees it as becoming but one more kind of 'conversation' in our cultural life. The Fixation of Belief In this essay Peirce examines some of the different methods that he thinks people use to determine what beliefs they are going to buy and which ones they are going to reject. You. . may believe that human beings do in fact have free will. Realist philosophers argue that 'better' ways are just those which are more successful in revealing truth and providing knowledge about the world. Rejecting philosophy as a 'mirror' of nature and as a search for 'truth'. which beliefs they are going to "fix on" as their own. Kuhn and Henson Pe foaie!!! TEMA 7: Contemporary sources of relativism – PAUZA TEMA 8: Ch. He says there are four basic methods people use. and vice versa. TEMA 6 : The pragmatic view on science in Th. How did you settle on those beliefs you have? What processes do people go through to decide (often unconsciously) what beliefs they are going to accept and which they are going to reject? Peirce says that there are basically four different methods that people use to settle on which beliefs they are going to hold. He thus seems to be committed to some kind of cultural relativism: there are no absolute standards.experience of suffering — and argues that literature may offer greater insight into the human condition than abstract philosophizing. or that Republicans are the best political party. for example. Language has evolved as a means for us humans to understand and live successfully within the actual world. if correct. i.is what method people use to fix. for example. or that sharks are mammals. their beliefs. For people who use this method. Peirce's.") he question Peirce wants us to look at -. must radically change our perception of the nature and function of philosophy. and which can be assessed by reference to the viability and progress of. you will continue to believe that. or settle on. (Hence his title. All this means is that when a person uses this method they simply tenaciously hold onto whatever beliefs they already hold. "The Fixation of Belief. Rorty presents a highly controversial thesis which. if you use this method. 1. the natural sciences and our ability to cope with the world. only 'better' ways of talking and acting.after some long introductory comments that he makes us wade through -. or that there is a life after death.. So if you already believed that this course is not the first ever of its kind. The first method used for settling on a belief is the method of tenacity.e. and reject whatever beliefs they already reject. and this is common to all cultures. It has also been objected against Rorty that the idea of criteria for linguistic usage as being culturally embedded is incoherent.

" Or maybe you think "Ooooh. ummmm. We could discern the truth about the real world out there. You'll have to figure out from the reading what the gold standard. but it has some enormous advantages over the method of tenacity.") This method has some big advantages. and you can reject what doesn't sound good to you. that's not true. he reviewed three historic philosophies of education to indicate briefly what educators will have . TEMA 9: The democratic conception in education. So. calls it the a priori method. I don't think that's true. He emphasizes that these are assumptions.the one about this class being absolutely unique. So we can also call this method. A third method that some people use is what Peirce calls the a priori method.and if you're using the a priori method. that sounds cool. is for each of the methods Peirce outlines. or official ruler. They determine which beliefs they are going to accept by just turning to a person or institution they hold as their authority. the beliefs they already have.e. I don't like that. I'll let you figure out from the essay what he means by this method. as I have just done for you. If one uses this method they choose what to believe based on what "sounds good" to them. (What are some advantages Peirce thinks this method has over the method of tenacity?) 3. I like that. they simply hold that proposed belief up against their gold standard -. what suits you and your feelings and your belief system. but they do (he thinks) sound pretty reasonable. that's true. they are not provable. in this chapter. they think "Yes. independently of what you or I happen to think about it. i. then we could figure out what that world out there is truly like. that doesn't sound good at all. I wouldn't like being in a brand new class." If it's something they do not already believe they think "No. (That's two words. So. If it's a belief they already have. i. but also some disadvantages (what are they?).the gold standard of truth is what they already believe. or what might better be called the method of taste. existing on its own. Peirce. The first is the assumption that there is a real world out there. It really is out there. People who use the method of authority also have a fairly easy time of it. though. and that it affects our senses in certain real and regular ways. or their priest or rabbi or minister or mullah.e. that is. As a result. 2. A fourth method for fixing belief Peirce refers to as the method of science. Each method has a gold standard too. The third assumption is that if we understood the regular ways that the world affects our senses. Peirce says. or it may be their party leader or their favorite talk show host. the method of intellectual taste -. I guess it's true. that it works according to certain real and regular laws. Yeah. The second assumption is that the physical world out there has certain real characteristics. No. This may be their mother. or what suits them. So if you hear this proposed belief -.. so it's pretty handy. Unfortunately it can cause some problems. the method of authority.." So using this method you get to believe what "sounds about right" to you.you get to believe what sounds or tastes good to you. So when someone proposes a belief to them. for example -." This is a very simple method for deciding what to believe and doesn't require much thinking. you might think "Hey. 4.. Dewey Dewey has underpinned his chapter with one premise: education serves the purpose of improving society. He has claimed that educators must predicate this purpose with an understanding of societies and with an ideal society. This method too is a simple one.viz. So these are the four methods that Peirce thinks people use for settling on what beliefs they are going to accept and reject. Then. (What are some of the problems Peirce sees with using this method?) So some people use another method. of course (what are some that Peirce describes?). against which it measures each new belief to decide if that belief should be kept or thrown out. ummmmm. They put the question to that authority and whatever that authority says determines whether they will accept the belief as their own or not. a kind of official ruler or standard. Dewey has examined various notions of society to identify an ideal one. but I will tell you that Peirce says this method is based on some very basic assumptions. pronounced "ah" and "pree-OH-ree.

Dewey began the examination of an educational ideal of the eighteenth century. According to him. In line with Kant’s point of view. 3. such a society would eliminate the barriers existing between the conflicting interests. he has first warned readers about the political state of the German people at the time. In this context. he has suggested that. Education as National and as Social However. In this sense. For Dewey. First. he has tried to articulate the criteria that would characterize his ideal society. This has p redicated Dewey’s analysis of the third historic philosophy of education. This had entailed replacing the feudal system by the ideal of humanity. According to Dewey. He has considered that this type of society would be mobile. However. Germans had decided to develop an organized system of education. According to Dewey. the naturalistic ideal of Rousseau was not adequate to supply nationalists with patriots.to accomplish to build this ideal society. a society would correspond to a united whole. Th ese interests can be conflicting with the ones of others. this meant a reduction in the number of interactions between the societies that limits progress. and to develop those aptitudes. This has led him to claim that the word society can have two distinct meanings. he has called for increasing the number of common interests of the members of the society de jure. its members possess common interests. Such societies can be criminal ones. he has contended that the comprehension of the dualism between . he has started by defining society as a human association maintained because of the interests shared by the members of the society. This has prompted his examination of historic philosophies of education. He has broken down his argumentation in five sections. in fact. for the Germans. 4. The author has selected this ideal because the objective of democracy is to increase and to sustain the common interests of citizens. In addition. Dewey has affirmed that. his ideal society proceeds. After suggesting that he support this premise. Dewey has claimed that this would have required and had required the subordination of Germans to nation. Dewey has believed that to attain this objective education must foster personal initiatives and adaptability. Thus. therefore could not improve a society. The “Individualistic” Ideal of the Eighteenth Century Consequently. one de jure and one de facto. this organized system had aimed at raising patriotic citizens. The end of the Napoleonic war had separated Germans between the Kingdom of Prussia. However. since Plato had advanced that the platonic educational model could only proceed from a harmonious society. To formulate this analysis. He has argued that. the objective of Rousseau’s movement had been the emancipation of the individual from the prejudices of the feudal society. The Implications of Human Associations In this section. 5. Dewey has argued that this model is not completely appropriate for the mobile democratic ideal. a number of societies. meaning that it is at odds with the French society o f the eighteenth century. religious ones… Dewey has advanced that. implying forgetting about Rousseau’s humanitarian ideal . races and national territories. Dewey has asserted that the goals and the means of this movement lay in n ature. German nationalism had emerged. this education would assign everyone to one of three professions. de jure. of human associations. According to the writer. Rousseau’ s Emil grounds this educational conception. a democratic one. The Democratic Ideal From this. the German example. Ultimately. The Platonic Educational Philosophy The Platonic educational philosophy is the first of those philosophies. To realize this. the Russian Empire and the Austrian Empire. this reliance had represented a negation of education in itself. Therefore. Rousseau’s educational philosophy is antisocial. therefore. for each society. Kant had articulated such a concern earlier but most German nationalists labeled him as an egoist. a democratic society involves transcending the barriers existing between classes. educational ones. 2. he affirmed that Plato had proposed that the goals of education are to identify the aptitudes that these individuals would employ to do what is useful to others. In essence. Dewey has thought that the reliance on naturalistic means was problematic for the German people of the nineteenth century. 1. Dewey has asserted that the following premise underlies this philosophy: a society is stably organized when every individual does what is useful to others. Dewey has contended that this would limit social progress. comprise this society de jure. For Dewey. Dewey has drawn two conclusions.

his analysis has led him to highlight the problem for education in and for a democratic society of the conflict between nationalistic principles and wider social aims. the belief That nature governs the structure and behavior of the universe. Edification and Naturalism Notions you need to know: • Edification: moral. Rorty's. But if it does. The World Well Lost Pauza Tema 11. he proposed that educators start emphasizing on what binds people together. it does not Affect the natural world. Laws of nature exist and function Exclusively. Then.individualistic and social educations necessitates taking into account the various contexts. Rorty. nothing exists beyond nature. . intellectual or spiritual enlightenment or improvement by uplifting actions -Art edifies the space it is Placed in -Comprehension edifies the world around Naturalism: in the universe. He has thought that nationalistic goals entail obscuring social aims. TEMA 10 R. More importantly. He has propounded that the solution to this issue involves changing school curricula and teaching methods and ensuring that no class would exploit any other.

belief and justification (of actions.How knowledge relates to truth. structure and constitution of reality . "knowing how" and "acquaintance-knowledge" • Hermeneutics: a branch of knowledge That deals with interpretation of things. with concern Towards methods. Propositions. questions what knowledge is and how it CAN be obtained..There is a difference between "Knowing That". how much of year object or entity CAN be truly known and how much Remains Unknown . mostly text interpretation Concerns • Metaphysics: Concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and Existence. spirits. it studies what is outside of objective experience. etc. validity and purpose. supernatural Entities do not exist -There is no purpose in nature • Epistemology: the theory of knowledge. thoughts. Entities and notions.-Ghosts.) .

being for itself • En-kind material. refusing the Notion That change in behavior results from change in self-description Which in turn brings forth the objectivization of Human Beings • Rorty believes we SHOULD not Expect That philosophy to answer questions left unanswered by science .• Pour-kind: abstract. a being with no feelings. transcendental hermeneutics and the search for objective knowledge • He evokes works of Many Philosophers in His rhetoric and Works His Way Towards the Conclusion of His Own. Changing our opinions. being in Itself Edification and naturalism • Rorty's essay deals with the methodology of resolving Philosophical Issues Such as the distinction between spirit and nature. of being That has feelings. about how we objectivize ourselves by reflection. vocabulary and behavior through time • Phenomenology and Hermeneutics both suggest ways in Which we might create a transcendental standpoint.

Empirical They are in nature • Rorty feels it unnecessary to find a general way to analyze These roles.If Analyzed in the Contexts of Anthropology. advocating the use of cultural anthropology as enough • Habermas' transcendental corroboration Criticize year Overly self-confident self-understanding of Itself Because it comes up with a theory make subjective Conditions That Possible and limited at the same time " • Overconfidence: Thinking That there is truthfulness to reality in Philosophical realism .• Transcendental hermeneutics promises to see nature and advocates freedom as normal discourse as year element of edification • Habermas: transcendental philosophy CAN analyze what knowledge has the practical functions .If cognitive Interests has Analyzed through inquiry in natural and cognitive sciences. They are transcendental in nature .

" . Which is the philosopher's "bad faith". Successful search for objective truth February. substituting pseudo-cognition for moral choice • Made Possible to see Kant as scientific truth Something Unable to supply a point. One among other discourse we engage in Which • Error in systematic philosophy: answering the above questions with "new" discourse. Which Would be Revealed by reflection upon scientific inquiry. the justification and to claim that our moral Decisions are based on knowledge of the nature of the world by destroying the traditional conception of reason • He Called this "the discovery of inevitable subjective Conditions.Normal scientific discourse • Can be seen in two ways: January.

reason) • Behaviorism Within epistemology is to look at normal discourse in the bifocal way: . epistemology & hermeneutics) in terms of historical and temporary & unfamiliar and familiar distinctions between normal & abnormal.As achievement of objective truth. or the best explanation we have so far . • allowing us to see Them as the distinction between inquiry and the questioning out of Which May or May not emerge inquiries • Combining Advantages of normality with abnormality • Epistemology is connected to moral Commitment (reality. Ob jectivity.• Tries to recast distinctions Rorty (nature & spirit & reflection objectivizing science.As for historical patterns ADOPTED Reasons . truth.


she must believe Z C Therefore. because it severely weakens the notion of “truth”. is to examine what practical consequence each option has). Better for whom? For what purposes? Is truth to be simply the conclusion of a hypothetical syllogism… P Agent X wants Y P If X wants Y. and it is on this that I want to focus. What difference would it practically make to anyone if this notion rather than that notion were true? If no practical difference whatever can be traced. Both sides are right. more problematic than the first. It seems to me that there is a difference between the two general formulations of the “pragmatic method”. which appears to be a straightforwardly question-begging concept. W. Whenever a dispute is serious. One formulation goes: “The pragmatic method in such cases is to try to interpret each notion by tracing its respective practical consequences. we ought to be able to show some practical difference that must follow from one side or the other's being right. James. But we must note: the squirrel-dispute is not resolved.. and an important one.” This is the first part of James’ formulation. If we relativize “truth” to the wants/needs/projects of agents. Two people disagree. and much more difficult to justify. It comes very near to saying 'what we OUGHT to believe': and in THAT definition none of you would find any oddity. as a way of settling disputes. or especially another person who does not want Y. that Z is true? This formulation of is extremely problematic. because it seems to introduce the highly subjective notion of “usefulness”.” But let us not confuse the two: the latter is a much stronger statement.. depending on what is meant by the phrase “going round”. in my opinion. making it (somewhat ironically) far less useful. Truth is used. Ought we ever not to believe what it is BETTER FOR US to believe?” This addition to pragmatism is. This may be an admirable trick. and one is occasionally able to demonstrate that his beliefs/propositions possess that elusive but extremely potent property of “truth”. Z is true? How might X convince another person who does not share the want/need for Y. To clarify. I think I understand the general relevance of James’ “squirrel” example. as we have seen. it is dissolved. We might see the second formulation as an expansion of the first: “We get to truth by determining the practical difference between options. AND the correct one is the one that is the most useful. and all dispute is idle. The disagreement is resolved. James introduces the pragmatic method. He claims that it is a paradigm case of the application of the pragmatic method (which. but someone may still ask: what is the correct way to use the phrase . What pragmatism means Lecture no 2 Here. The other (as is often echoed by neo-pragmatists such as Rorty) is as follows: “'What would be better for us to believe'! This sounds very like a definition of truth. principally. then the alternatives mean practically the same thing. it loses this potency.TEMA 12.

according to Quine. Modern empericism has been functioning based on two dogmas. For simplicity. although I‘m not sure what other alternatives he had in mind. There is no “final answer” for James. Kant‘s idea of distinguishing the difference between analytic and synthetic truths was foreshadowed by Hume (Relation between ideas and matters of facts) and Liebniz (Truths of reason and truths of fact). to define it would mean to come up with a metaphorical equivalent. are ―grounded in meanings and independent in facts‖ while synthetic truths are ―grounded in facts‖. and two) are wholly contained in themselves. Two dogmas of empiricism According to Quine. . just like analytic truths. Quine also wonders whether the limitation that analytic statements are in subject-predicate form. Quine states. that modern empiricists claim that to deny analytic truths would be self contradictory. and the second being the idea of reductionism. Tema 13: Quine.“going round”? James would seem to be suggesting that there isn’t one. Quine defines Analytic statements as true by virtue of meaning (reason). Does free will exist? Well. then yes. as I understand it (not mentioned by Quine) would be 1+1 = 2. we see how the method dissolves old philosophical problems. According to Quine. and he (Quine) further claims that selfcontradictoriness. and independent of facts. According to Quine. which takes us nowhere. they have precise complete ideas. the subject is whole in itself. 1+1 = 2 can be written as one plus one is two. Quine points out that there are problems already when defining analytical truths because. that the question itself is nonsensical. Thus. then no. the first being a distinction between analytic and synthetic truths. Analytic truths. which is reason tells us to be true. So Quine begins by giving a background on the idea of analyticity and where it comes from philosophically. For example.‖. that meaningful statements can be reduced or made equivalent to logical constructs based on terms which ―refer to immediate experience‖. only a question of meanings and consequences. if “free will” is to denote a general experience of freedom in action. at least in my understanding. Kant conceived of analytic truth statements as ―one that attributes to its subject no more than is already conceptually contained in the subject. but I take it to mean. And analytic truth. and can be found in experience. and the subjects (one. Remember. It is difficult to understand what Kant means by this. are 2 sides of the same coin. Quine then goes onto the flesh out these two dogmas beginning with the first (analyticity). If it it is to mean total freedom from any deterministic influences whatsoever.

general entities are truth claims being made about the way the world is. by virtue of astronomical observation. We found this out by experience (facts). or that the morning star and evening star are the same. Someone does not refer to anybody in particular. So for example. have distinct meanings. the Father of Lilly. Quine makes a further distinction when he says the class of all entities of which a general term is true is called the extension of the term. a general term does not purport to do this. I am not sure. if we make the claim that x is = 5 then we have to go into the world and confirm that there is indeed a 5 and it is X.that synthetic statements are true by virtue of facts (experience) only. as we found out already. Are meaning and reason interchangeable. According to Frege. it is general (or blank). The morning star and evening star were revered by ancients. or of non‖.or of each of many. Quine adopts Frege‘s statement that Meaning is not to be found in names or in references.g Mark. while a singular term names a concept. However. all the class of entities that make the claim true that someone designed the flag. now Quine wants us to get to the aspect of meaning. x does not refer to any concept. However. What Frege is trying to show is that an object can have multiple names (denotations). the son of Jacob. and mean distinctly different things (senses) while refering to the same object. and understood to mean two different things. but if we make a claim about the world. The accountant on main street. we can only know that Scott is the author of waverly if we go into the world and determine if there is a scott that is the author of waverly. He gives the famous example by Frege of the Morning Star and Evening Star. as Quine wants us to believe. analytic statements must be true to use by virtue of reason (meaning). A clearer example would be this. In other words. then to know if it is true or not we would have to go into the world and find out if someone did design the flag. Although. a general term is true ―of an entity. we later found out that they (the morning star and evening star) both referred to the same object. these statements are synthetic by nature. Quine also gives the example from Bertrand Russel of ―Scott‖ and ―the author of waverly‖. So by default. again while referring to the same object. Nevertheless. Quine notes that so far we have been dealing with singular terms and the case is somewhat different albeit parallel to singular terms. they may mean . abstract or concrete. According to Quine. there is someone who designed the US Flag. are all entities that refer to the same object and are extensions of the general term. for example in the case of x = 5. In other words. e.

that there seems little hope of erecting a fruitful science about them. Meaning is what essence becomes when it is divorced from the object of reference and wedded to the word. Quine then makes the claim that if a standard for synonymy. but then rationality is the distinct and essential feature that seperates man from other bipeds. Quine goes on to show Aristotle‘s views on the difference between essence and meaning. when rationality does not influence biped-ness or vice versa. and Quine does him no favors. In other words. On the other hand. how does one get meaning without experience? We need experience. Quine then gives the example of Aristotle who made the claim that meaning was the essence or rather essence was the fore runner to meaning. So Quine is . he goes on to say its not clear when we have two meanings or one. but the reality is that Aristotle is making the claim that while other animals may have biped-ness like the kangaroo for example.‖. in that ―Things had essences. (both qualities referring to the same object = man) thus how can he claim that one is more essential than another.different things. ―what sorts of things are meanings?‖. to draw out meanings from essences is it not? Anyways back to Quine. Quine notes that Aristotle is flawed in drawing a difference. Quine is saying that the biped-ness of man is an extension. an entity that is true of man just like rationality. or what is alike in meaning is found in the future. I mean. somehow — mental ideas for some semanticists. Quine then goes on to make the claim that in philosophy there is a more commonplace notion of an opposition or contrast between meaning (or what Quine calls intention) and Extension. but only linguistic forms have meanings. Quine dismisses the notion of meanings to be ideas gotten from objects of experience because of their elusiveness. but accidental for man to be two-legged. where the later claims that it is essential for man to be rational. or birds. or when linguistic forms should be regarded as synonymous or alike in meaning. Platonic ideas for others. I take it that what Aristotle means here is that there are other two legged mammals that can be conflated with man. Objects of either sort are so elusive. for Aristotle. While accidental may be the wrong choice of words from Aristotle. what distinguishes man from animals is essentially his rationality (some would claim the level of rationality/abstraction). if it was his essence. not to say debatable. the appeal to meanings as entities would not have played a useful part. This is Quine‘s response to this question: ―They are evidently intended to be ideas. because man happens to be both biped and rational.‖ So Quine goes on to ask. Quine shows an example by Aristotle. hence they are synthetic statements. and as such we have to go out in the world to verify.

definitions like that of the lexicographer are just relations of synonymy. Quine also mentions that Carnap has tried to explain analyticity as ‗state-descriptions‘ basically which shows that a statement can be true in every possible world. and that we should abandon meaning as what he calls ―obscure intermediary entities‖ or what he initially called ideas. He claims that no one defined it as such. This logically true class is true for present and all future reinterpretations of either the word married or man. similar to Leibniz. Quine then claims that while philosophers. although it helps simply probability. But for Quine. synonymy. analyticity. and that once fully appreciated a short step is necessary showing us that meaning is simply synonymity or analyticity of statements. which Carnap was interested in. that the bachelor reduces by definition to being unmarried. although it is true by synonymy which Quine posits is in need of clarification. like philologists. mocking the powers of a lexicographer. but while the definitions words may not be based on synonymy.rejecting the notion that meanings are entities (ideas either platonic or mental). this doesn‘t really get at the heart of the issue. and while we do not know what the connections are between terms to make them synonymous. the ―context‖ to be understood between the term and its definition are synonymous. we know that they are grounded in usage. However. because they explain by refining the meaning of a term. So Quine begins with the second class of analyticity. Quine goes on to show that a need for meanings to be entities may come from a failed appreciation at understanding that meaning is divorced from references. define terms using more familiar words. Here the word ‗bachelor‘ replaces the word ―unmarried‖ and as such is true. saying that they are synonymous is all we know about it (even though we have to explain what that means). The second class is a synonymous interchange (No bachelor is married). Quine goes to show two classes of analytic statements. Again there is no mention to experience. For Quine. the first being logically true (No unmarried man is married). . and that we cannot even claim that one defines another. Quine does make room for some definitions not to fit into a mold. It is true independent of experience. This for me is a big step. as opposed to the first class or logically true statements. the main issue for him was the second class. Quine shows us that we are now confronted with the new problem of analyticity. front to back – tossing out one of its criticisms.

which means constrained to analytic statements. take the example of ―he has a heart‖. is ―interchangeability salva veritate (apart from occurrences within words) a strong enough condition for synonymy‖? or can some non-synonymous expressions be interchangeable? Quine explains that it is not poetic or pyschological associations that is being looked for in synonymy but what he calls ‗cognitive synonymy‘ or as he explains. citing the example of ―Necessarily all and only mean are bachelors‖. and if one could replace bachelors with unmarried men.Quine then digresses unto what definitions are. And we cannot take for granted that while we use words like ‗necessarily‘ they already refer to presupposed notion that we are inquiring about. Nevertheless he leaves that aside to get back to synonymy. In other words. or gives it a new refined meaning. But as Quine notes this is a circular argument. ―necessarily‘ is supposed to mean.‖ Quine claims it is sufficient. and ―he has a kidney‖. Synonymy is according to Quine the ―interchangeability (of a linguistic form) in all contexts without change of truth value‖. However.s something trying to be proven. Quine says we can get around that by calling these separate phrases indivisible words and then ―stipulating that the interchangeability salva veritate which is to be the touchstone of synonymy is not supposed to apply to fragmentary occurrences inside of a word‖ although Quine recognizes now that ‗word‘ has its own difficulties. So Quine shows that extensional language is NOT an assurance of cognitive synonymy. showing cases of bachelors of arts. So the question is ―Is interchangeability is a sufficient condition for cognitive synonymy. which according to him can be either three things: A definition paraphrase a term. analyticity. Quine asks. But Quine gets back to the issue of synonymy. or provides a new term that is synonymous with the original term. Quine goes on to show that ―bachelor‖ and ―unmarried‖ are not synonmyous in all cases. So Quine posits that ― Interchangeability salva veritate is meaningless until relativized to a language whose extent is specified in relevant respects‖ Quine goes on to talk about languages that have a lot of predicates such as (F*x. or ―‗bachelor‘ has 8 letters‖. Quine goes to show that language is extensional when any two predicates are true of the same object. and would make no sense to someone with no . It is begging the question basically. Basically. the fact that it is cognitively synonymous maybe accidental. because while it may be true. where x is man and F is the predicate). cognitive synonymy is concerned with equivalence in meaning and not psychological appreciations of different expressions. It is circular because it accepts that we understand what the word. then it was cognitively synonymous with ―all and only bachelors are unmarried‖. that ―all and only bachelors are unmarried‖ is an analytic statement.

of statements of L0 can be specified for various purposes or for no purpose. are the analytic statements of L0. but we do not understand what the rules attribute to those expressions.. but it would also be false if the word ‗killed‘ happened rather to have the sense of ‗begat. N. as he points out just repeat themselves in these artificial languages.‘ We do not begin to explain the idiom ‗S is analytic for L‘ with variable ‗S‘ and ‗L. to begin with. as against M. the idea that ― the meaning of a statement is the method of empirically confirming or infirming it.‘ even though we be content to limit the range of ‗L‘ to the realm of artificial languages. ) But he goes on to look at the verificationist argument.understanding of analyticity.‖ Quine classes people that believe that . The statement ‗Brutus killed Caesar‘ would be false if the world had been different in certain ways. whereby ―a new simple symbol ‗analytic-for-L0. is the class of the ‗analytic‘ statements of L0? By saying what statements are analytic for L0 we explain ‗analytic-for L0 ‘ but not ‗analytic for. Quine then goes on to discuss Analyticity. etc. . and only those. If we don‘t understand what it means to be analytic. There is no linguistic fact. Begat here is from experience. M. Again Quine goes back to front.‖ Obviously any number of classes K. .‖ we must understand the general relative term ‗analytic for‘. Now here the difficulty is simply that the rules contain the word ‗analytic.‖ Alternatively. What are the facts when we make up new words. Truth depends exclusively on experience. As such. etc. tackling supposed solutions of analyticity via semantic rules which. Quine notes another supposed semantic remedy. . N. by recursion or otherwise. of all the analytic statements of L0. before we can understand a rule which begins ―A statement S is analytic for language L0 if and only if . In short.‖ It is clear the semantic rules only mask the problem of analyticity.‘ which we do not understand! We understand what expressions the rules attribute analyticity to. An analytic statement is that limiting case which is confirmed no matter what. ―Let us suppose. As Quine puts eloquently. The rules tell us that such and such statements.‘‖( This is just not true. Quine states what amounts to his thoughts on the issue here: ―It is obvious that truth in general depends on both language and extra-linguistic fact. an artificial language L0 whose semantical rules have the form explicitly of a specification. what does it mean to say that K. we must understand ‗S is analytic for L‘ where ‗S‘ and ‗L‘ are variables.. there are no rules that can mask that we don‘t understand what it means to be analytic. interchangeability is not a sufficient condition for analyticity. Quine goes on to explain verificationism.‘ which might better be written untendentiously as ‗K‘ so as not to seem to throw light on the interesting word ―analytic.

So Quine‘s view. Quine notes that this momentous effort. to speak of a linguistic component and a factual component in the truth of any individual statement. But the total field is so undetermined by its boundary conditions. whether they be statements logically connected with the first or whether they be the statements of logical connections themselves. ―Any statement can be held true come what may. A conflict with experience at the periphery occasions readjustments in the interior of the field. to help our conceptual systems. experience. and shows how Carnap attempted to categorize every experience in a notation. but Quine says that in fact the statement should NOT be taken as a unit. Quine goes on ―Or. and that the statement should be taken as a unit not the term itself.every meaningful statement translates into an immediate experience. is a manmade fabric which impinges on experience only along the edge‖ Myths are man made. that there is much latitude of choice as to what statements to reevaluate in the light of any single contrary experience. Having reevaluated one statement we must re-evaluate some others. and the root of much nonsense. Quine mentions how Russell came up with ‗use‘ as a way to get over the term-by-term problem of empiricists. No particular experiences are linked with any particular statements in the interior of the field. But according to Quine. total science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience. certain further elements of the field. because of their logical interconnections — the logical laws being in turn simply certain further statements of the system. Re-evaluation of some statements entails re-evaluation of others. Quine says that it is difficult to show that synthetic statements are found in nature. was flawed even in principle because the connective ―is at‖ was undefined. in fact that we should reject this notion of empiricism.‖. is a recognition of the fact that a majority of what we believe are myths. Quine places Locke and Hume in that category. Every statement has a truth/false notion. This is amazing and frankly ridiculous. to change the figure. with facts tangentially related to experience. Truth values have to be redistributed over some of our statements. although he (carnap) ended up with what he recognized as a fragmentary result. Quine puts it more eloquently here: ― The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs. sometimes they serve a purpose. Isn‘t this relativism? Quine goes on ―Even a . except indirectly through considerations of equilibrium affecting the field as a whole. and that it is a dogma which Quines calls ―nonsense.‖. or empiricism without dogma as he calls it. if we make drastic enough adjustments elsewhere in the system‖. and according to Quine. from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic.

NO. And so too I bid goodnight. but. I have already urged. Yes. showing that they are intermediaries that do not exist. Quine goes on ―A recalcitrant experience can. in the cases which we are now imagining. But Quine finds them equivalent as shown here : ‖Ontological questions. or Einstein Newton. albeit stating he believes in the former. But is there an equivalency. Quine goes on ―Science is a continuation of common sense.‖ Is Ontology borne out of experience. but are allowed to be used in language because of their convenience in a logical system. The latter statements may be thought of as relatively centrally located within the total network. are on a par with questions of natural science‖ This is simply not true. and what difference is there in principle between such a shift and the shift whereby Kepler superseded Ptolemy. our natural tendency to disturb the total system as little as possible would lead us to focus our revisions upon these specific statements concerning brick houses or centaurs. Ontology is not testable. but a testability of what we know from experience. We can‘t just make logical laws willy nilly? Quine goes on further ‖ Revision even of the logical law of the excluded middle has been proposed as a means of simplifying quantum mechanics. meaning merely that little preferential connection with any particular sense data obtrudes itself. not sensory data. Pragmatism is dangerous my friends. or Darwin Aristotle?‖ But the problem he makes is forgetting that all these revisions were BASED on better methods of evaluating experience. you cannot deny they are borne of experience? Quine then compares physical objects to the gods of homer. Is Science borne out of experience. we have to change it in our every experience. Because science is not just experience. . be accommodated by any of various alternative re-evaluations in various alternative quarters of the total system. Quine ends the discussion. sort of like irrational numbers. therefore. and it continues the common-sense expedient of swelling ontology to simplify theory.statement very close to the periphery can be held true in the face of recalcitrant experience by pleading hallucination or by amending certain statements of the kind called logical laws‖ If we change logical laws to make a statement convenient. While no particular sense data intrudes. to have a sharper empirical reference than highly theoretical statements of physics or logic or ontology. and thus is speculative.‖ The later are abstract statements are get their origin in experience but are built up by logical extensions. These statements are felt. Yes. under this view. of our beliefs or system. and not some conceptual mental models for convenience. I think Mathematicians will tell you that irrational numbers are abstractions borne out of experience.

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