You are on page 1of 261

1

Ulrich de Balbian
Meta-Philosophy Research Center

(Meta-Philosophy) Death of Philosophy Part 2

PART 2
Philosophy subject-matter page2
Different approaches to doing philosophy (Methods) page 164
Metaphysics, Ontology, Epistemology page 232

1
2

(Meta)PHILOSOPHY subject-matter

1
What are the objectives of philosophy? I ask this as that will determine what meta-philosophy says
about this question. What is the subject-matter or the subjects of investigation of philosophy?
Metaphysics informs us what philosophy is, so one would guess that hints concerning the subject-
matter or objects of philosophy will be found in what metaphysics says.
2
It is suggested (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy) this is what philosophy is about

Philosophy (from Greek , philosophia, literally "love of wisdom"[1][2][3][4])

Note: very vague, almost meaningless statement

is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge,
values, reason, mind, and language.[5][6]

note: this is more specific, but other disciplines also study these things or ideas

The term was probably coined by Pythagoras (c. 570 c. 495 BC). Philosophical methods include
questioning,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Questioning Questioning with a certain purpose in mind and certain


ways or methods of questioning are employed by philosophy.

Note: now we turn to philosophy as asking questions, in other words we become involved in WHAT
is philosophizing? What is philosophy doing when it does philosophy?

So we have to analyse and investigate what the methods, the methodology the techniques are that are
being used to do philosophy or during the doing of philosophy/izing.

2
3

It is for this reason that I wrote the meta-philosophical article , Philosophy: methods, approaches,
methodology. https://www.academia.edu/30148411/Philosophy_methods_methodology

As a background to this article my other articles on philosophy, metaphysics, ontology, etc should be
read here -

https://independent.academia.edu/UlrichdeBalbian

Questioning is a major form of human thought and interpersonal communication. It involves


employing a series of questions to explore an issue, an idea or something intriguing. Questioning is
the process of forming and wielding that serves to develop answers and insight.

http://beyondpenguins.ehe.osu.edu/issue/energy-and-the-polar-environment/questioning-techniques-
research-based-strategies-for-teachers

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_88.htm

The result is a definition of philosophical questions as questions whose answers are in principle
open to informed, rational, and honest disagreement, ultimate but not absolute, closed under further
questioning, possibly constrained by empirical and logico-mathematical resources, but requiring
noetic resources to be ...

https://www.academia.edu/3891157/Philosophical_Enterprise-Final_Paper

http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/phil/101q.php

http://operationmeditation.com/discover/65-deep-philosophical-questions/

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/meta.12035/abstract

HOW is a philosophical question?

http://www.sapere.org.uk/AboutP4C/PhilosophicalQuestions.aspx

Philosophical method (or philosophical methodology) is the study of how to do philosophy. A


common view among philosophers is that philosophy is distinguished by the ways that philosophers
follow in addressing philosophical questions. There is not just one method that philosophers use to
answer philosophical questions.

Formulate questions and problems

Another element of philosophical method is to formulate questions to be answered or problems to be


solved. The working assumption is that the more clearly the question or problem is stated, the easier
it is to identify critical issues.

3
4

A relatively small number of major philosophers prefer not to be quick, but to spend more time
trying to get extremely clear on what the problem is all about.

Enunciate a solution

Another approach is to enunciate a theory, or to offer a definition or analysis, which constitutes an


attempt to solve a philosophical problem. Sometimes a philosophical theory by itself can be stated
quite briefly. All the supporting philosophical text is offered by way of hedging, explanation, and
argument.

Not all proposed solutions to philosophical problems consist of definitions or generalizations.


Sometimes what is called for is a certain sort of explanation not a causal explanation, but an
explanation for example of how two different views, which seem to be contrary to one another, can
be held at the same time, consistently. One can call this a philosophical explanation.

Justify the solution

A argument is a set of statements, one of which (the conclusion), it is said or implied, follows from
the others (the premises). One might think of arguments as bundles of reasons often not just a list,
but logically interconnected statements followed by the claim they are reasons for. The reasons
are the premises, the claim they support is the conclusion; together they make an argument.

Philosophical arguments and justifications are another important part of philosophical method. It is
rare to find a philosopher, particularly in the Western philosophical tradition, who lacks many
arguments. Philosophers are, or at least are expected to be, very good at giving arguments. They
constantly demand and offer arguments for different claims they make. This therefore indicates that
philosophy is a quest for arguments.

A good argument a clear, organized, and sound statement of reasons may ultimately cure the
original doubts that motivated us to take up philosophy. If one is willing to be satisfied without any
good supporting reasons, then a Western philosophical approach may not be what one actually
requires.

https://philosophyofquestions.com/

The philosophy of questions explores the nature and value of questions and questioning in
our everyday lives. From the questions of daily life what is the time, where are my keys to the
questions of philosophy, science and religion that aim to deepen our understanding of the world around
us.

Questioning in all these contexts is at once an intriguing and indispensable human practice. The
philosophy of questions is about exploring this practice and so attempting to understand something
fundamental about what we do and how we live.

Explore the website to find out more about the philosophy of questions. Check out my recent posts or
my current research at the University of Edinburgh and take part in the project by completing this
questionnaire.

4
5

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/questions/

After going over some preliminaries we will focus on three lines of work on questions: one located at
the intersection of philosophy of language and formal semantics, focusing on the semantics of what
Belnap and Steel (1976) call elementary questions; a second located at the intersection of philosophy
of language and philosophy of science, focusing on why-questions and the notion of explanation; and
a third located at the intersection of philosophy of language and epistemology, focusing on
embedded or indirect questions.

1. Preliminaries
o 1.1 Questions, answers, and presuppositions
o 1.2 Kinds of questions
2. The semantics of elementary questions
o 2.1 Classical semantic theories of questions
o 2.2 Questions in dynamic semantics
o 2.3 Inquisitive semantics
o 2.4 Structured question meanings
o 2.5 Pointers to further reading
3. Why-questions
o 3.1 A formal approach: abnormic laws and Bromberger's theory
o 3.2 A pragmatic approach: explanatory contrast and van Fraassen's theory
4. Embedded (or indirect) questions
o 4.1 Knowledge-wh and the imperative-epistemic theory of wh-questions
o 4.2 Wh-complements as meaningful units
o 4.3 Wh-complements contextually defined
o 4.4 Information provision versus contextualism
o 4.5 Question-relativity
o 4.6 Wh-complements as predicates
Bibliography
Academic Tools
Other Internet Resources
Related Entries

https://www.academia.edu/30148411/Philosophy_methods_methodology

see pages 3 and 4.

critical discussion, (or the Socratic method)

2a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method

5
6

The Socratic method is a method of hypothesis elimination, in that better hypotheses are found by
steadily identifying and eliminating those that lead to contradictions.

Socratic method, also known as maieutics, method of elenchus, elenctic method, or Socratic
debate, is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and
answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying
presumptions. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one
point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict themselves in some way,
thus weakening the defender's point. This method is named after the classical Greek philosopher
Socrates and is introduced by him in Plato's Theaetetus as midwifery (maieutics) because it is
employed to bring out definitions implicit in the interlocutors' beliefs, or to help them further their
understanding.

The Socratic method is a method of hypothesis elimination, in that better hypotheses are found by
steadily identifying and eliminating those that lead to contradictions. The Socratic method searches
for general, commonly held truths that shape beliefs and scrutinizes them to determine their
consistency with other beliefs. The basic form is a series of questions formulated as tests of logic and
fact intended to help a person or group discover their beliefs about some topic, exploring definitions
or logoi (singular logos) and seeking to characterize general characteristics shared by various
particular instances. Aristotle attributed to Socrates the discovery of the method of definition and
induction, which he regarded as the essence of the scientific method.

Development
2 Method

Elenchus (Ancient Greek: elengkhos "argument of disproof or refutation; cross-examining,


testing, scrutiny esp. for purposes of refutation"[3]) is the central technique of the Socratic method.
The Latin form elenchus (plural elenchi ) is used in English as the technical philosophical term.[4]
The most common adjectival form in English is elenctic; elenchic and elenchtic are also current.

In Plato's early dialogues, the elenchus is the technique Socrates uses to investigate, for example, the
nature or definition of ethical concepts such as justice or virtue. According to Vlastos,[5] it has the
following steps:

1. Socrates' interlocutor asserts a thesis, for example "Courage is endurance of the soul", which
Socrates considers false and targets for refutation.
2. Socrates secures his interlocutor's agreement to further premises, for example "Courage is a
fine thing" and "Ignorant endurance is not a fine thing".
3. Socrates then argues, and the interlocutor agrees, that these further premises imply the
contrary of the original thesis; in this case, it leads to: "courage is not endurance of the soul".
4. Socrates then claims that he has shown that his interlocutor's thesis is false and that its
negation is true.

One elenctic examination can lead to a new, more refined, examination of the concept being
considered, in this case it invites an examination of the claim: "Courage is wise endurance of the
soul". Most Socratic inquiries consist of a series of elenchi and typically end in puzzlement known as
aporia.

Frede[6] points out that Vlastos' conclusion in step #4 above makes nonsense of the aporetic nature of
the early dialogues. Having shown that a proposed thesis is false is insufficient to conclude that some

6
7

other competing thesis must be true. Rather, the interlocutors have reached aporia, an improved state
of still not knowing what to say about the subject under discussion.

The exact nature of the elenchus is subject to a great deal of debate, in particular concerning whether
it is a positive method, leading to knowledge, or a negative method used solely to refute false claims
to knowledge.[7]

W. K. C. Guthrie in The Greek Philosophers sees it as an error to regard the Socratic method as a
means by which one seeks the answer to a problem, or knowledge. Guthrie claims that the Socratic
method actually aims to demonstrate one's ignorance. Socrates, unlike the Sophists, did believe that
knowledge was possible, but believed that the first step to knowledge was recognition of one's
ignorance. Guthrie writes, "[Socrates] was accustomed to say that he did not himself know anything,
and that the only way in which he was wiser than other men was that he was conscious of his own
ignorance, while they were not. The essence of the Socratic method is to convince the interlocutor
that whereas he thought he knew something, in fact he does not."{pg 74}

3 Application

3.1 Socratic Circles


A Socratic Circle (also known as a Socratic Seminar) is a pedagogical approach based on
the Socratic method and uses a dialogic approach to understand information in a text. Its
systematic procedure is used to examine a text through questions and answers founded on the
beliefs that all new knowledge is connected to prior knowledge, that all thinking comes from
asking questions, and that asking one question should lead to asking further questions.[8] A
Socratic Circle is not a debate. The goal of this activity is to have participants work together
to construct meaning and arrive at an answer, not for one student or one group to win the
argument.[9]
This approach is based on the belief that participants seek and gain deeper understanding of
concepts in the text through thoughtful dialogue rather than memorizing information that has
been provided for them.[9]

o 3.1.1 Various approaches to Socratic Circles
o 3.1.2 Text selection

Pertinent elements of an effective Socratic text

Socratic seminar texts are able to challenge participants thinking skills by having these
characteristics:

1. Ideas and values


2. Complexity and challenge
3. Relevance to participants' curriculum
4. Ambiguity

1. Ideas and values - The text must introduce ideas and values that are complex and difficult to
summarize.[13] Powerful discussions arise from personal connections to abstract ideas and from
implications to personal values.

7
8

2. Complexity and challenge - The text must be rich in ideas and complexity [10] and open to
interpretation.[15] Ideally it should require multiple readings,[16] but should be neither far above the
participants' intellectual level nor very long.

3. Relevance to participants and curriculum - An effective text has identifiable themes that are
recognizable and pertinent to the lives of the participants.[14] Themes in the text should relate to the
curriculum.

4. Ambiguity - The text must be approachable from a variety of different perspectives, including
perspectives that seem mutually exclusive, thus provoking critical thinking and raising important
questions. The absence of right and wrong answers promotes a variety of discussion and encourages
individual contributions.[10][16]

o
o 3.1.3 Questioning methods in Socratic Circles

Socratic Circles specify three types of questions to prepare:

Opening questions generate discussion at the beginning of the seminar in order to elicit
dominant themes.[10][15]
Guiding questions help deepen and elaborate the discussion, keeping contributions on topic
and encouraging a positive atmosphere and consideration for others.
Closing questions lead participants to summarize their thoughts and learning[10] and
personalize what theyve discussed.[15]
o
3.2 Law schools
3.3 Psychotherapy
The Socratic method has also recently inspired a new form of applied philosophy: socratic dialogue,
also called philosophical counseling. In Europe Gerd B. Achenbach is probably the best known
practitioner, and Michel Weber has also proposed another variant of the practice.

4 See also
5 References
6 Further reading

7 External links

rational argument

2 b)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectic

Dialectic or dialectics (Greek: , dialektik), also known as the dialectical method, is a


discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to
establish the truth through reasoned arguments.

8
9

The term dialectic is not synonymous with the term debate. While in theory debaters are not
necessarily emotionally invested in their point of view, in practice debaters frequently display an
emotional commitment that may cloud rational judgment. Debates are won through a combination of
persuading the opponent, proving one's argument correct, or proving the opponent's argument
incorrect. Debates do not necessarily require promptly identifying a clear winner or loser; however
clear winners are frequently determined by either a judge, jury, or by group consensus. The term
dialectics is also not synonymous with the term rhetoric, a method or art of discourse that seeks to
persuade, inform, or motivate an audience.[1] Concepts, like "logos" or rational appeal, "pathos" or
emotional appeal, and "ethos" or ethical appeal, are intentionally used by rhetoricians to persuade an
audience.[2]

Socrates favoured truth as the highest value, proposing that it could be discovered through reason
and logic in discussion: ergo, dialectic. Socrates valued rationality (appealing to logic, not emotion)
as the proper means for persuasion, the discovery of truth, and the determinant for one's actions. To
Socrates, truth, not aret, was the greater good, and each person should, above all else, seek truth to
guide one's life. Therefore, Socrates opposed the Sophists and their teaching of rhetoric as art and as
emotional oratory requiring neither logic nor proof.[3] Different forms of dialectical reasoning have
emerged throughout history from the Indosphere (Greater India) and the West (Europe). These forms
include the Socratic method, Hindu, Buddhist, Medieval, Hegelian dialectics, Marxist, Talmudic, and
Neo-orthodoxy. rinciples

2 Western dialectical forms

2.1 Classical philosophy


o 2.1.1 Socratic dialogue
o 2.1.2 Aristotle
2.2 Medieval philosophy
2.3 Modern philosophy
o 2.3.1 Hegelian dialectic
o 2.3.2 Marxist dialectic
Dialectical method and dualism
Another way to understand dialectics is to view it as a method of thinking to overcome
formal dualism and monistic reductionism.[69] For example, formal dualism regards the
opposites as mutually exclusive entities, whilst monism finds each to be an epiphenomenon
of the other. Dialectical thinking rejects both views. The dialectical method requires focus on
both at the same time. It looks for a transcendence of the opposites entailing a leap of the
imagination to a higher level, which (1) provides justification for rejecting both alternatives
as false and/or (2) helps elucidate a real but previously veiled integral relationship between
apparent opposites that have been kept apart and regarded as distinct. For example, the
superposition principle of quantum physics can be explained using the dialectical method of
thinkinglikewise the example below from dialectical biology. Such examples showing the
relationship of the dialectic method of thinking to the scientific method to a large part negates
the criticism of Popper (see text below) that the two are mutually exclusive. The dialectic
method also examines false alternatives presented by formal dualism (materialism vs
idealism; rationalism vs empiricism; mind vs body, etc.) and looks for ways to transcend the
opposites and form synthesis. In the dialectical method, both have something in common, and
understanding of the parts requires understanding their relationship with the whole system.
The dialectical method thus views the whole of reality as an evolving process.
Criticisms
9
10

Dialectics has become central to "Continental" philosophy, but it plays no part in "Anglo-
American" philosophy. In other words, on the continent of Europe, dialectics has entered
intellectual culture as what might be called a legitimate part of thought and philosophy,
whereas in America and Britain, the dialectic plays no discernible part in the intellectual
culture, which instead tends toward positivism. A prime example of the European tradition is
Jean-Paul Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason, which is very different from the works of
Popper, whose philosophy was for a time highly influential in the UK where he resided (see
below). Sartre states:
"Existentialism, like Marxism, addresses itself to experience in order to discover there
concrete syntheses. It can conceive of these syntheses only within a moving, dialectical
totalisation, which is nothing else but history orfrom the strictly cultural point of view
adopted here'philosophy-becoming-the world'."[70]
Karl Popper has attacked the dialectic repeatedly. In 1937 he wrote and delivered a paper
entitled "What Is Dialectic?" in which he attacked the dialectical method for its willingness
"to put up with contradictions".[71] Popper concluded the essay with these words: "The whole
development of dialectic should be a warning against the dangers inherent in philosophical
system-building. It should remind us that philosophy should not be made a basis for any sort
of scientific system and that philosophers should be much more modest in their claims. One
task which they can fulfill quite usefully is the study of the critical methods of science" (Ibid.,
p. 335).
In chapter 12 of volume 2 of The Open Society and Its Enemies (1944; 5th rev. ed., 1966)
Popper unleashed a famous attack on Hegelian dialectics, in which he held that Hegel's
thought (unjustly, in the view of some philosophers, such as Walter Kaufmann,[72]) was to
some degree responsible for facilitating the rise of fascism in Europe by encouraging and
justifying irrationalism. In section 17 of his 1961 "addenda" to The Open Society, entitled
"Facts, Standards and Truth: A Further Criticism of Relativism," Popper refused to moderate
his criticism of the Hegelian dialectic, arguing that it "played a major role in the downfall of
the liberal movement in Germany,... by contributing to historicism and to an identification of
might and right, encouraged totalitarian modes of thought. . . . [and] undermined and
eventually lowered the traditional standards of intellectual responsibility and honesty".[73]
Formalism
Main article: Logic and dialectic
In the past few decades, European and American logicians have attempted to provide
mathematical foundations for dialectical logic or argument. There had been pre-formal
treatises on argument and dialectic, from authors such as Stephen Toulmin (The Uses of
Argument), Nicholas Rescher (Dialectics), and van Eemeren and Grootendorst (Pragma-
dialectics). One can include the communities of informal logic and paraconsistent logic.
However, building on theories of defeasible reasoning (see John L. Pollock),

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defeasible_reasoning

In logic, defeasible reasoning is a kind of reasoning that is rationally compelling though not
deductively valid.[1] The distinction between defeasibility and indefeasibility may be seen in the
context of this joke:

During a train trip through the countryside, an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician
observe a flock of sheep. The engineer remarks, "I see that the sheep in this region are white."
The physicist offers a correction, "Some sheep in this region are white." And the
mathematician responds, "In this region there exist sheep that are white on at least one side."

10
11

The engineer in this story has reasoned defeasibly; since engineering is a highly practical discipline,
it is receptive to generalizations. In particular, engineers cannot and need not defer decisions until
they have acquired perfect and complete knowledge. But mathematical reasoning, having different
goals, inclines one to account for even the rare and special cases, and thus typically leads to a stance
that is indefeasible.

Defeasible reasoning is a particular kind of non-demonstrative reasoning, where the reasoning does
not produce a full, complete, or final demonstration of a claim, i.e., where fallibility and corrigibility
of a conclusion are acknowledged. In other words defeasible reasoning produces a contingent
statement or claim. Other kinds of non-demonstrative reasoning are probabilistic reasoning,
inductive reasoning, statistical reasoning, abductive reasoning, and paraconsistent reasoning.
Defeasible reasoning is also a kind of ampliative reasoning because its conclusions reach beyond the
pure meanings of the premises.

The differences between these kinds of reasoning correspond to differences about the conditional
that each kind of reasoning uses, and on what premise (or on what authority) the conditional is
adopted:

Deductive (from meaning postulate, axiom, or contingent assertion): if p then q (i.e., q or not-
p)
Defeasible (from authority): if p then (defeasibly) q
Probabilistic (from combinatorics and indifference): if p then (probably) q
Statistical (from data and presumption): the frequency of qs among ps is high (or inference
from a model fit to data); hence, (in the right context) if p then (probably) q
Inductive (theory formation; from data, coherence, simplicity, and confirmation): (inducibly)
"if p then q"; hence, if p then (deducibly-but-revisably) q
Abductive (from data and theory): p and q are correlated, and q is sufficient for p; hence, if p
then (abducibly) q as cause

Defeasible reasoning finds its fullest expression in jurisprudence, ethics and moral philosophy,
epistemology, pragmatics and conversational conventions in linguistics, constructivist decision
theories, and in knowledge representation and planning in artificial intelligence. It is also closely
identified with prima facie (presumptive) reasoning (i.e., reasoning on the "face" of evidence), and
ceteris paribus (default) reasoning (i.e., reasoning, all things "being equal").

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason

Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and
verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or
existing information.[1] It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as
philosophy, science, language, mathematics, and art and is normally considered to be a definitive
characteristic of human nature.[2] Reason, or as aspect of it, is sometimes referred to as rationality.

Reasoning is associated with thinking, cognition, and intellect. Reasoning may be subdivided into
forms of logical reasoning (forms associated with the strict sense): deductive reasoning, inductive
reasoning, abductive reasoning; and other modes of reasoning considered more informal, such as
intuitive reasoning and verbal reasoning.

11
12

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_reasoning

Informally, two kinds of logical reasoning can be distinguished in addition to formal deduction:
induction and abduction. Given a precondition or premise, a conclusion or logical consequence and a
rule or material conditional that implies the conclusion given the precondition, one can explain that:

Deductive reasoning determines whether the truth of a conclusion can be determined for that
rule, based solely on the truth of the premises. Example: "When it rains, things outside get
wet. The grass is outside, therefore: when it rains, the grass gets wet." Mathematical logic and
philosophical logic are commonly associated with this type of reasoning.
Inductive reasoning attempts to support a determination of the rule. It hypothesizes a rule
after numerous examples are taken to be a conclusion that follows from a precondition in
terms of such a rule. Example: "The grass got wet numerous times when it rained, therefore:
the grass always gets wet when it rains." While they may be persuasive, these arguments are
not deductively valid, see the problem of induction. Science is associated with this type of
reasoning.

Inductive-creative reasoning this term has been coined by D. Iosif to combine the
specificity of the observation set from the inductive arena and the creativity (and intuition)
element from the abductive arena therefore providing a cogent view of the future. This
methodology will result in grounded creative thinking and can be used in strategy planning to
generate future as-yet unobserved phenomena. One example would be: "we observed a large
number of white swans on all continents and hypothesize that we need to protect by law all
swans that are white but also black (in existence but unobserved) and red (possibly to be re-
engineered in a distant future)". While inductive reasoning cannot yield an absolutely certain
conclusion, it can actually increase human knowledge (it is ampliative).

Abductive reasoning, aka inference to the best explanation, selects a cogent set of
preconditions. Given a true conclusion and a rule, it attempts to select some possible
premises that, if true also, can support the conclusion, though not uniquely. Example: "When
it rains, the grass gets wet. The grass is wet. Therefore, it might have rained." This kind of
reasoning can be used to develop a hypothesis, which in turn can be tested by additional
reasoning or data. Diagnosticians, detectives, and scientists often use this type of reasoning.

1 Etymology and related words


2 Philosophical history

2.1 Classical philosophy


2.2 Subject-centred reason in early modern philosophy
2.3 Substantive and formal reason
2.4 The critique of reason

3 Reason compared to related concepts

3.1 Compared to logic


3.2 Reason compared to cause-and-effect thinking, and symbolic thinking
3.3 Reason, imagination, mimesis, and memory
3.4 Logical reasoning methods and argumentation
o 3.4.1 Deductive reasoning
o 3.4.2 Inductive reasoning

12
13

o 3.4.3 Abductive reasoning


o 3.4.4 Analogical reasoning
o 3.4.5 Fallacious reasoning

4 Traditional problems raised concerning reason

4.1 Reason versus truth, and "first principles"


4.2 Reason versus emotion or passion
4.3 Reason versus faith or tradition

5 Reason in particular fields of study

5.1 Reason in political philosophy and ethics


5.2 Psychology
o 5.2.1 Behavioral experiments on human reasoning
o 5.2.2 Developmental studies of children's reasoning
o 5.2.3 Neuroscience of reasoning
5.3 Computer science
o 5.3.1 Automated reasoning
o 5.3.2 Meta-reasoning
5.4 Evolution of reason

Along these lines, a distinction is often drawn between discursive reason, reason proper, and
intuitive reason,[3] in which the reasoning processhowever validtends toward the personal and
the opaque. Although in many social and political settings logical and intuitive modes of reason may
clash, in others contexts, intuition and formal reason are seen as complementary, rather than
adversarial as, for example, in mathematics, where intuition is often a necessary building block in the
creative process of achieving the hardest form of reason, a formal proof.

Reason, like habit or intuition, is one of the ways by which thinking comes from one idea to a related
idea. For example, it is the means by which rational beings understand themselves to think about
cause and effect, truth and falsehood, and what is good or bad. It is also closely identified with the
ability to self-consciously change beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and institutions, and therefore with the
capacity for freedom and self-determination.[4]

In contrast to reason as an abstract noun, a reason is a consideration which explains or justifies some
event, phenomenon, or behavior.[5] The field of logic studies ways in which human beings reason
formally through argument.[6]

Psychologists and cognitive scientists have attempted to study and explain how people reason, e.g.
which cognitive and neural processes are engaged, and how cultural factors affect the inferences that
people draw. The field of automated reasoning studies how reasoning may or may not be modeled
computationally. Animal psychology considers the question of whether animals other than humans
can reason.

13
14

Etymology and related words


2 Philosophical history
Etymology and related words
2 Philosophical history

2.1 Classical philosophy


2.2 Subject-centred reason in early modern philosophy
In his search for a foundation of all possible knowledge, Descartes deliberately decided to
throw into doubt all knowledge except that of the mind itself in the process of thinking:
At this time I admit nothing that is not necessarily true. I am therefore precisely
nothing but a thinking thing; that is a mind, or intellect, or understanding, or reason
words of whose meanings I was previously ignorant.[16]
This eventually became known as epistemological or "subject-centred" reason, because it
is based on the knowing subject, who perceives the rest of the world and itself as a set of
objects to be studied, and successfully mastered by applying the knowledge accumulated
through such study. Breaking with tradition and many thinkers after him, Descartes explicitly
did not divide the incorporeal soul into parts, such as reason and intellect, describing them as
one indivisible incorporeal entity.
This eventually became known as epistemological or "subject-centred" reason, because it is
based on the knowing subject, who perceives the rest of the world and itself as a set of objects
to be studied, and successfully mastered by applying the knowledge accumulated through
such study. Breaking with tradition and many thinkers after him, Descartes explicitly did not
divide the incorporeal soul into parts, such as reason and intellect, describing them as one
indivisible incorporeal entity.
A contemporary of Descartes, Thomas Hobbes described reason as a broader version of
"addition and subtraction" which is not limited to numbers.[17] This understanding of reason is
sometimes termed "calculative" reason. Similar to Descartes, Hobbes asserted that "No
discourse whatsoever, can end in absolute knowledge of fact, past, or to come" but that
"sense and memory" is absolute knowledge.[18]
In the late 17th century, through the 18th century, John Locke and David Hume developed
Descartes' line of thought still further. Hume took it in an especially skeptical direction,
proposing that there could be no possibility of deducing relationships of cause and effect, and
therefore no knowledge is based on reasoning alone, even if it seems otherwise.[19][20]
Hume famously remarked that, "We speak not strictly and philosophically when we talk of
the combat of passion and of reason. Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the
passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them."[21] Hume
also took his definition of reason to unorthodox extremes by arguing, unlike his predecessors,
that human reason is not qualitatively different from either simply conceiving individual
ideas, or from judgments associating two ideas,[22] and that "reason is nothing but a
wonderful and unintelligible instinct in our souls, which carries us along a certain train of
ideas, and endows them with particular qualities, according to their particular situations and
relations."[23] It followed from this that animals have reason, only much less complex than
human reason.


2.3 Substantive and formal reason
In the formulation of Kant, who wrote some of the most influential modern treatises on the
subject, the great achievement of reason is that it is able to exercise a kind of universal law-
making. Kant was able therefore to re-formulate the basis of moral-practical, theoretical and
aesthetic reasoning, on "universal" laws.

14
15

Here practical reasoning is the self-legislating or self-governing formulation of universal


norms, and theoretical reasoning the way humans posit universal laws of nature.[24]
Under practical reason, the moral autonomy or freedom of human beings depends on their
ability to behave according to laws that are given to them by the proper exercise of that
reason. This contrasted with earlier forms of morality, which depended on religious
understanding and interpretation, or nature for their substance.[25]
According to Kant, in a free society each individual must be able to pursue their goals
however they see fit, so long as their actions conform to principles given by reason. He
formulated such a principle, called the "categorical imperative"

In contrast to Hume then, Kant insists that reason itself (German Vernunft) has natural ends itself, the
solution to the metaphysical problems, especially the discovery of the foundations of morality. Kant
claimed that this problem could be solved with his "transcendental logic" which unlike normal logic
is not just an instrument, which can be used indifferently, as it was for Aristotle, but a theoretical
science in its own right and the basis of all the others.[27]

According to Jrgen Habermas, the "substantive unity" of reason has dissolved in modern times,
such that it can no longer answer the question "How should I live?" Instead, the unity of reason has
to be strictly formal, or "procedural." He thus described reason as a group of three autonomous
spheres (on the model of Kant's three critiques):

1. Cognitive-instrumental reason is the kind of reason employed by the sciences. It is used to


observe events, to predict and control outcomes, and to intervene in the world on the basis of
its hypotheses;
2. Moral-practical reason is what we use to deliberate and discuss issues in the moral and
political realm, according to universalizable procedures (similar to Kant's categorical
imperative); and
3. Aesthetic reason is typically found in works of art and literature, and encompasses the novel
ways of seeing the world and interpreting things that those practices embody.

For Habermas, these three spheres are the domain of experts, and therefore need to be mediated with
the "lifeworld" by philosophers. In drawing such a picture of reason, Habermas hoped to demonstrate
that the substantive unity of reason, which in pre-modern societies had been able to answer questions
about the good life, could be made up for by the unity of reason's formalizable procedures.[28]


2.4 The critique of reason From subject to intersubjective (communal)

Hamann, Herder, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Rorty, and many other
philosophers have contributed to a debate about what reason means, or ought to mean. Some, like
Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Rorty, are skeptical about subject-centred, universal, or instrumental
reason, and even skeptical toward reason as a whole. Others, including Hegel, believe that it has
obscured the importance of intersubjectivity, or "spirit" in human life, and attempt to reconstruct a
model of what reason should be.

Some thinkers, e.g. Foucault, believe there are other forms of reason, neglected but essential to
modern life, and to our understanding of what it means to live a life according to reason.[10]

In the last several decades, a number of proposals have been made to "re-orient" this critique of
reason, or to recognize the "other voices" or "new departments" of reason:

15
16

For example, in opposition to subject-centred reason, Habermas has proposed a model of


communicative reason that sees it as an essentially cooperative activity, based on the fact of
linguistic intersubjectivity.[29]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_pragmatics

Universal pragmatics, more recently placed under the heading of formal pragmatics, is the
philosophical study of the necessary conditions for reaching an understanding through
communication. The philosopher Jrgen Habermas coined the term in his essay "What is Universal
Pragmatics?" (Habermas 1979), where he suggests that human competition, conflict, and strategic
action are attempts to achieve understanding that have failed because of modal confusions. The
implication is that coming to terms with how people understand or misunderstand one another could
lead to a reduction of social conflict.

By coming to an "understanding," he means at the very least, when two or more social actors share
the same meanings about certain words or phrases; and at the very most, when these actors are
confident that those meanings fit relevant social expectations (or a "mutually recognized normative
background"). (1979:3)

For Habermas, the goal of coming to an understanding is "intersubjective mutuality ... shared
knowledge, mutual trust, and accord with one another". (1979:3) In other words, the underlying
goal of coming to an understanding would help to foster the enlightenment, consensus, and good will
necessary for establishing socially beneficial norms. Habermas' goal is not primarily for subjective
feeling alone, but for development of shared (intersubjective) norms which in turn establish the
social coordination needed for practical action in pursuit of shared and individual objectives. (See
Communicative action of 1983)

As an interdisciplinary subject, universal pragmatics draws upon material from a large number of
fields, from pragmatics, semantics, semiotics, informal logic, and the philosophy of language,
through social philosophy, sociology, and symbolic interactionism, to ethics, especially discourse
ethics, and on to epistemology and the philosophy of mind.

Universal pragmatics (UP) seeks to overcome three dichotomies: the dichotomy between body and
mind, between theory and practice, and between analytic and continental philosophy.[citation needed] It
is part of a larger project to rethink the relationship between philosophy and the individual sciences
during a period of social crisis. The project is within the tradition of Critical Theory, a program that
traces back to the work of Max Horkheimer.

The term "universal pragmatics" includes two different traditions that Habermas and his collaborator,
colleague, and friend Karl-Otto Apel have attempted to reconcile. On the one hand, ideas are drawn
from the tradition of Plato, Aristotle, and Kant, wherein words and concepts are regarded as
universally valid idealizations of shared meanings. And, on the other hand, inspiration is drawn from
the American Pragmatist tradition (feat. Charles Sanders Peirce, George Herbert Mead, Charles W.
Morris), for whom words are arbitrary signs devoid of intrinsic meaning, and whose function is to
denote the things and processes in the objective world that surrounds the speakers.[citation needed]

UP shares with speech act theory, semiotics, and linguistics an interest in the details of language use
and communicative action. However, unlike those fields, it insists on a difference between the

16
17

linguistic data that we observe in the 'analytic' mode, and the rational reconstruction of the rules of
symbol systems that each reader/listener possesses intuitively when interpreting strings of words. In
this sense, it is an examination of the two ways that language usage can be analyzed: as an object of
scientific investigation, and as a 'rational reconstruction' of intuitive linguistic 'know-how'.

Goals and methods


Universal pragmatics is associated with the philosophical method of rational reconstruction.

The basic concern in universal pragmatics is utterances (or speech acts) in general. This is in
contrast to most other fields of linguistics, which tend to be more specialized, focusing exclusively
on very specific sorts of utterances such as sentences (which in turn are made up of words,
morphemes, and phonemes).

For Habermas, the most significant difference between a sentence and an utterance is in that
sentences are judged according to how well they make sense grammatically, while utterances are
judged according to their communicative validity (see section 1). (1979:31)

Universal pragmatics is also distinct from the field of sociolinguistics, because universal pragmatics
is only interested in the meanings of utterances if they have to do with claims about truth or
rightness, while sociolinguistics is interested in all utterances in their social contexts. (1979:31,33)

Three aspects of universal pragmatics


There are three ways to evaluate an utterance, according to UP. There are theories that deal with
elementary propositions, theories of first-person sentences, and theories of speech acts.

A theory of elementary propositions investigates those things in the real world that are being
referenced by an utterance, and the things that are implied by an utterance, or predicate it. For
example, the utterance "The first Prime Minister of Canada" refers to a man who went by the name
of Sir John A. Macdonald. And when a speaker delivers the utterance, "My husband is a lawyer", it
implies that the speaker is married to a man.

A theory of first-person sentences examines the expression of the intentions of the actor(s) through
language and in the first-person.

Finally, a theory of speech acts examines the setting of standards for interpersonal relations
through language. The basic goal for speech act theory is to explain how and when utterances in
general are performative. (1979:34) Central to the notion of speech acts are the ideas of
"illocutionary force" and perlocutionary force, both terms coined by philosopher J.L. Austin.
Illocutionary force describes the intent of the speaker, while perlocutionary force means the effect an
utterance has in the world, or more specifically, the effect on others.

A performative utterance is a sentence where an action being performed is done by the utterance
itself. For example: "I inform you that you have a moustache", or "I promise you I will not burn
down the house". In these cases, the words are also taken as significant actions: the act of informing
and promising (respectively).

17
18

Habermas adds to this the observation that speech acts can either succeed or fail, depending on
whether or not they succeed on influencing another person in the intended way. (1979:35)

This last method of evaluationthe theory of speech actsis the domain that Habermas is most
interested in developing as a theory of communicative action.

Communicative action
There are a number of ways to approach Habermas's project of developing a formal pragmatic
analysis of communication. Because Habermas developed it in order to have a normative and
philosophical foundation for his critical social theory, most of the inroads into formal pragmatics
start from sociology, specifically with what is called action theory. Action theory concerns the
nature of human action, especially the manner in which collective actions are coordinated in a
functioning society.

The coordination and integration of social action has been explained in many ways by many theories.
Rational choice theory and game theory are two examples, which describe the integration of
individuals into social groups by detailing the complex manner in which individuals motivated only
by self-interest will form mutually beneficial and cooperative social arrangements. In contrast to
these, Habermas has formulated a theory of communicative action. (Habermas 1984; 1987) This
theory and the project of developing a formal pragmatic analysis of communication are inseparable.

Habermas makes a series of distinctions in the service of explaining social action. The first major
differentiation he makes is between two social realms, the system and the lifeworld. These designate
two distinct modes of social integration:

The kind of social integration accomplished in the system is accomplished through the functional
integration of the consequences of actions. It bypasses the consciousness of individuals and does not
depend upon their being oriented towards acting collectively. Economic and industrial systems are
great examples, often producing complex forms of social integration and interdependence despite
the openly competitive orientations of individuals.
The social integration accomplished in the lifeworld, by contrast, depends upon the coordination of
action plans and the conscious action-orientations of individuals. It relies on processes of human
interaction involving symbolic and cultural forms of meaning. More specifically, as Habermas
maintains, the coordination of the lifeworld is accomplished through communicative action.

Thus, communicative action is an indispensable facet of society. It is at the heart of the lifeworld
and is, Habermas claims, responsible for accomplishing several fundamental social functions:
reaching understanding, cultural reproduction, coordinating action-plans, and socializing individuals.

However, Habermas is quick to note, different modes of interaction can (in some ways) facilitate
these social functions and achieve integration within the lifeworld. This points towards the second
key distinction Habermas makes, which differentiates communicative action from strategic action.
The coordination of action plans, which constitutes the social integration of the lifeworld, can be
accomplished either through consensus or influence.

Strategic action is action oriented towards success, while communicative action is action oriented
towards understanding. Both involve the symbolic resources of the lifeworld and occur primarily
by way of linguistic interaction. On the one hand, actors employing communicative actions draw on
the uniquely impelling force of mutual understanding to align the orientation of their action plans. It

18
19

is this subtle but insistent binding force of communicative interactions that opens the door to an
understanding of their meanings. On the other hand, actors employing strategic actions do not exploit
the potential of communication that resides in the mutual recognition of a shared action-oriented
understanding. Instead strategic actors relate to others with no intention of reaching consensus or
mutual understanding, but only the intention of accomplishing pre-determined ends unrelated to
reaching an understanding. Strategic action often involves the use of communicative actions to
achieve the isolated intentions of individuals, manipulating shared understanding in the service of
private interests. Thus, Habermas claims, strategic action is parasitic on communicative action,
which means communicative action is the primary mode of linguistic interaction. Reaching a
reciprocally defined understanding is communication's basic function.

Keeping in mind this delineation of the object domain, the formal pragmatics of communication can
be more readily laid out. The essential insight has already been mentioned, which is that
communication is responsible for irreplaceable modes of social integration, and this is accomplished
through the unique binding force of a shared understanding. This is, in a sense, the pragmatic piece
of formal pragmatics: communication does something in the world. What needs to be explained are
the conditions for the possibility of what communication already does. This is, in a sense, the formal
piece of formal pragmatics: a rational reconstruction of the deep generative structures that are the
universal conditions for the possibility of a binding and compelling mutual understanding.

From here, Habermas heads the analysis in two directions. In 1) one direction is a kind of linguistic
analysis (of speech acts), which can be placed under the heading of the validity dimensions of
communication. The 2) other direction entails a categorization of the idealized presuppositions of
communication.

Communicative competence

Habermas argues that when speakers are communicating successfully, they will have to defend their
meaning by using these four claims.

1. That they have uttered something understandably or their statements are intelligible;
2. That they have given other people something to understand or are speaking something true;
3. That the speaker is therefore understandable or their intentions are recognized and appreciated
for what they are; and,
4. That they have come to an understanding with another person or, they have used words that both
actors can agree upon. (1979:4)

Habermas is emphatic that these claims are universalno human communication oriented at
achieving mutual understanding could possibly fail to raise all of these validity claims. Additionally,
to illustrate that all other forms of communication are derived from that which is oriented toward
mutual understanding, he argues that there are no other kinds of validity claims whatsoever. This is
important, because it is the basis of Habermas' critique of postmodernism.

The fundamental orientation toward mutual understanding is at the heart of universal pragmatics, as
Habermas explains:

"The task of universal pragmatics is to identify and reconstruct universal conditions of possible
mutual understanding... other forms of social actionfor example, conflict, competition, strategic
action in generalare derivatives of action oriented toward reaching understanding. Furthermore,
since language is the specific medium of reaching understanding at the sociocultural stage of

19
20

evolution, I want to go a step further and single out explicit speech actions from other forms of
communicative action."[1]

Any meaning that meets the above criteria, and is recognized by another as meeting the criteria, is
considered "vindicated" or communicatively competent.

In order for anyone to speak validly and therefore, to have his or her comments vindicated,
and therefore reach a genuine consensus and understanding Habermas notes that a few more
fundamental commitments are required. First, he notes, actors have to treat this formulation of
validity so seriously that it might be a precondition for any communication at all. Second, he asserts
that all actors must believe that their claims are able to meet these standards of validity. And third,
he insists that there must be a common conviction among actors that all validity claims are either
already vindicated or could be vindicated.

Examining the validity of speech

Habermas claims that communication rests upon a non-egoistic understanding of the world,
which is an idea he borrowed from thinkers like Jean Piaget. A subject capable of a de-centered
understanding can take up three fundamentally different attitudes to the world. Habermas refers to
such attitudes as dimensions of validity. Specifically, this means individuals can recognize different
standards for validityi.e., that the validation of an empirical truth claim requires different methods
and procedures than the validation of subjective truthfulness, and that both of those require different
methods and procedures of validation than claims to normative rightness.

These dimensions of validity can be summarized as claims to truth (IT), truthfulness (I), and
rightness (WE). So the ability to differentiate between the attitudes (and their respective "worlds")
mentioned above should be understood as an ability to distinguish between types of validity claims.

M. Cooke provided the only book length treatment of Habermas's communication theory. Cooke
explains:

"when we adopt an objectifying attitude we relate, in the first instance to the objective world of
facts and existing states of affairs [IT]; when we adopt a norm-conformative attitude we relate, in
the first instance, to the social world of normatively regulated interactions [WE]; when we adopt an
expressive attitude we relate, in the first instance to the subjective world of inner experience [I]".
(Cooke 1994)

This is fundamental to Habermas's analysis of communication. He maintains that the performance of


any speech act necessarily makes reference to these dimensions of validity, by raising at least three
validity claims.

One way to grasp this idea is to take an inventory of the ways in which an attempt at communication
can misfire, the ways a speech act can fail. A hearer may reject the offering of a speech act on the
grounds that it is invalid because it:

1. presupposes or explicates states of affairs which are not the case (IT);
2. does not conform to accepted normative expectations (WE);
3. raises doubts about the intentions or sincerity of the speaker (I).

20
21

Of course from this it follows that a hearer who accepts the offering of a speech act does so on the
grounds that it is valid because it:

1. presupposes or explicates states of affairs that are true (IT);


2. conforms to accepted normative expectations (WE);
3. raises no doubts concerning the intentions or sincerity of the speaker (I).

This means that when engaging in communication the speaker and hearer are inescapably oriented to
the validity of what is said. A speech act can be understood as an offering, the success or failure of
which depends upon the hearer's response of either accepting or rejecting the validity claims it raises.
The three dimensions of validity pointed out above are implicated in any attempt at communication.

Thus, communication relies on its being embedded within relations to various dimensions of validity.
Any and every speech act is infused with inter-subjectively recognized claims to be valid. This
implicitly ties communication to argumentation and various discursive procedures for the redemption
of validity claims. This is true because to raise a validity claim in communication is to
simultaneously imply that one is able to show, if challenged, that one's claim is justified.
Communication is possible because speakers are accountable for the validity of what they say. This
assumption of responsibility on the part of the speaker is described by Habermas as a "warranty",
because in most cases the validity claims raised during communication are taken as justified, and
communication proceeds on that basis. Similarly, the hearer is accountable for the stance he or she
takes up in relation to the validity claims raised by the speaker. Both speaker and hearer are bound to
the validity claims raised by the utterances they share during communication. They are bound by the
weak obligations inherent in pursuing actions oriented towards reaching an understanding. Habermas
would claim that this obligation is a rational one:

"With every speech act, by virtue of the validity claims it raises, the speaker enters into an
interpersonal relationship of mutual obligation with the hearer: The speaker is obliged to support
her claims with reasons, if challenged, and the hearer is obliged to accept a claim unless he has good
reason not to do so. The obligation in question is, in the first instance, not a moral one but a rational
one -- the penalty of failure to fulfill it is the charge not of immorality but of irrationality -- although
clearly the two will often overlap" (Cooke, 1994).

This begins to point towards the idea of communicative rationality, which is the potential for
rationality that is implicit in the validity basis of everyday communication, the shape of reason that
can be extracted from Habermas's formal-pragmatic analyses.

"The modern -- decentered -- understanding of the world has opened up different dimensions of
validity; to the extent that each dimension of validity has its own standards of truth and falsity and
its own modes of justification for determining these, one may say that what has been opened up are
dimensions of rationality" (Cooke, 1994).

However, before the idea of communicative rationality can be described, the other direction of
Habermas's formal pragmatic analyses of communication needs to be explained. This direction
looks towards the idealized presuppositions of communication.

21
22

Ideal presuppositions of communication

When individuals pursue actions oriented towards reaching an understanding, the speech acts they
exchange take on the weight of a mutually recognized validity. This means each actor involved in
communication takes the other as accountable for what they have said, which implies that good
reasons could be given by all to justify the validity of the understanding that is being achieved.
Again, in most situations the redemption of validity claims is not an explicit undertaking (except in
discourses, see below). Instead, each actor issues a "warranty" of accountability to the other, which
only needs to be redeemed if certain validity claims are thrown into question. This suggests that the
validity claims raised in every communicative interaction implicitly tie communication to
argumentation.

It is here that the idealized presuppositions of communication arise. Habermas claims that all
forms of argumentation, even implicit and rudimentary ones, rest upon certain "idealizing
suppositions," which are rooted in the very structures of action oriented towards understanding.
These "strong idealizations" are always understood as at least approximately satisfied by participants
in situations where argumentation (and communication) is thought to be taking place. Thus, when
during communication it is discovered that the belief that these presuppositions are satisfied is not
justified it is always taken as problematic. As a result, steps are usually taken to reestablish and
maintain the belief that they are approximately satisfied, or communication is simply called off.

1. The most basic of these idealized presuppositions is the presupposition that participants in
communicative exchange are using the same linguistic expressions in the same way. This is an
obvious but interesting point, which clearly illustrates what an idealized presupposition is. It is a
presupposition because communication would not proceed if those involved did not think it was at
least approximately satisfied (in this case that a shared language was being used). It's idealized
because no matter how closely it is approximated it is always counterfactual (because, in this case,
the fact is that all meanings are to some degree personally defined).
2. Another, basic idealized presupposition of argumentation is the presupposition that no relevant
argument is suppressed or excluded by the participants.
3. Another is the presupposition that no persuasive force except that of the better argument is exerted.
4. There is also the presupposition that all the participants are motivated only by a concern for the
better argument.
5. There is the presupposition of attributing a context-transcending significance to validity claims. This
presupposition is controversial but important (and becomes expanded and clarified in the
presuppositions of discourse, see below). The idea is that participants in communication instill their
claims with a validity that is understood to have significance beyond the specific context of their
agreement.
6. The presupposition that no validity claim is exempt in principle from critical evaluation in
argumentation;
7. The presupposition that everyone capable of speech and action is entitled to participate, and
everyone is equally entitled to introduce new topics or express attitudes needs or desires.

In sum, all these presuppositions must be assumed to be approximately satisfied in any situation of
communication, despite their being necessarily counterfactual. Habermas refers to the positing of
these idealized presuppositions as the "simultaneously unavoidable and trivial accomplishments that
sustain communicative action and argumentation".

Habermas calls discourses those forms of communication that come sufficiently close to actually
satisfying these presuppositions. Discourses often occur within institutionalized forms of

22
23

argumentation that self-reflectively refine their procedures of communication, and as a result have a
more rigorous set of presuppositions in addition to the ones listed above.

A striking feature of discourse is that validity claims tend to be explicitly thematized and there is the
presupposition that all possible interlocutors would agree to the universal validity of the conclusions
reached. Habermas especially highlights this in what he calls theoretical discourses and practical
discourses. These are tied directly to two of the three dimensions of validity discussed above:
theoretical discourse being concerned with validity claims thematized regarding objective states of
affairs (IT); practical discourse being concerned with validity claims thematized concerning the
rightness of norms governing social interactions (WE).

Habermas understands presupposition (5) to be responsible for generating the self-understanding and
continuation of theoretical and practical discourses. Presupposition (5) points out that the validity of
an understanding reached in theoretical or practical discourse, concerning some factual knowledge or
normative principle, is always expanded beyond the immediate context in which it is achieved. The
idea is that participants in discourses such as these presuppose that any understanding reached could
attain universal agreement concerning its universal validity if these discourses could be relieved of
the constraints of time and space. This idealized presupposition directs discourses concerning truth
and normative certainty beyond the contingencies of specific communicative situations and towards
the idealized achievements of universal consensus and universal validity. It is a rational
reconstruction of the conditions for the possibility of earnest discourses concerning facts and norms.
Recall that, for Habermas, rational reconstructions aim at offering the most acceptable account of
what allows for the competencies already mastered by a wide range of subjects. In order for
discourse to proceed, the existence of facts and norms must be presupposed, yet the certainty of an
absolute knowledge of them must be, in a sense, postponed.

Striking a Piagetian and Peircean chord, Habermas understands the deep structures of collective
inquiry as developmental. Thus, the presupposition shared by individuals involved in discourse is
taken to reflect this. The pursuit of truth and normative certainty is taken to be motivated and
grounded, not in some objective or social world that is treated as a "given", but rather in a learning
process. Indeed, Habermas himself is always careful to formulate his work as a research project,
open to refinement.

In any case, reconstructing the presuppositions and validity dimensions inherent to communication is
valuable because it brings into relief the inescapable foundations of everyday practices.
Communicative action and the rudimentary forms of argumentation that orient the greater part of
human interaction cannot be left behind. By reconstructing the deep structures of these Habermas has
discovered a seed of rationality planted in the very heart of the lifeworld. Everyday practices, which
are common enough to be trivial, such as reaching an understanding with another, or contesting the
reasons for pursuing a course of action, contain an implicit and idealized rationality.

In other words, communication is always somewhat rational. Communication could not occur if
the participants thought that the speech acts exchanged did not carry the weight of a validity for
which those participating could be held accountable. Nor would anyone feel that a conclusion was
justified if it was achieved by any other means than the uncoerced force of the better argument. Nor
could the specialized discourses of law, science and morality continue if the progress of knowledge
and insight was denied in favor of relativism.

That said, it is a question how appropriate it is to speak of "communication" tenselessly, and of


"everyday practices" as though they cut across all times and cultures. That they do cannot be

23
24

assumed, and anthropology provides evidence of significant difference. It is possible to ignore these
facts by limiting the scope of universal pragmatics to current forms of discourse, but this runs the
risk of contradicting Habermas's own demand for (5). Moreover, the initial unease with the classical
and liberal views of rationality had to do precisely with their ahistorical character and refusal, or
perhaps inability, to acknowledge their own origins in circumstances of the day. Their veneer of false
universality torn off by the likes of Foucault, it remains to be seen whether "universal" pragmatics
can stand up to the same challenges posed by deconstruction and skepticism.

. This view of reason is concerned with clarifying the norms and procedures by which agreement can be
reached, and is therefore a view of reason as a form of public justification.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicative_rationality

Nikolas Kompridis has proposed a widely encompassing view of reason as "that ensemble of
practices that contributes to the opening and preserving of openness" in human affairs, and a focus
on reason's possibilities for social change.[30]

The philosopher Charles Taylor, influenced by the 20th century German philosopher Martin
Heidegger, has proposed that reason ought to include the faculty of disclosure, which is tied to the
way we make sense of things in everyday life, as a new "department" of reason.[31]

In the essay "What is Enlightenment?", Michel Foucault proposed a concept of critique based on
Kant's distinction between "private" and "public" uses of reason. This distinction, as suggested, has
two dimensions:

Private reason is the reason that is used when an individual is "a cog in a machine" or when
one "has a role to play in society and jobs to do: to be a soldier, to have taxes to pay, to be in
charge of a parish, to be a civil servant."
Public reason is the reason used "when one is reasoning as a reasonable being (and not as a
cog in a machine), when one is reasoning as a member of reasonable humanity." In these
circumstances, "the use of reason must be free and public."[32]
Communicative rationality, or communicative reason (German: kommunikative
Rationalitt), is a theory or set of theories which describes human rationality as a necessary
outcome of successful communication. In particular, it is tied to the philosophy of Karl-Otto
Apel, Jrgen Habermas, and their program of universal pragmatics, along with its related
theories such as those on discourse ethics and rational reconstruction. This view of reason is
concerned with clarifying the norms and procedures by which agreement can be reached, and
is therefore a view of reason as a form of public justification.
According to the theory of communicative rationality, the potential for certain kinds of reason
is inherent in communication itself. Building from this, Habermas has tried to formalize that
potential in explicit terms. According to Habermas, the phenomena that need to be accounted
for by the theory are the "intuitively mastered rules for reaching an understanding and
conducting argumentation", possessed by subjects who are capable of speech and action. The

24
25

goal is to transform this implicit "know-how" into explicit "know-that", i.e. knowledge, about
how we conduct ourselves in the realm of "moral-practical" reasoning.
The result of the theory is a conception of reason that Habermas sees as doing justice to the
most important trends in twentieth century philosophy, while escaping the relativism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativism

Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity within
themselves, but rather only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception
and consideration.[1] As moral relativism, the term is often used in the context of moral
principles, where principles and ethics are regarded as applicable in only limited context.
There are many forms of relativism which vary in their degree of controversy.[2] The term
often refers to truth relativism, which is the doctrine that there are no absolute truths, i.e., that
truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture
(cultural relativism).[3]

Anthropological relativism refers to a methodological stance, in which the researcher suspends (or
brackets) his or her own cultural biases while attempting to understand beliefs and behaviors in their
local contexts. This has become known as methodological relativism, and concerns itself specifically
with avoiding ethnocentrism or the application of one's own cultural standards to the assessment of
other cultures.[4] Philosophical relativism, in contrast, asserts that the truth of a proposition depends
on the metaphysical, or theoretical frame, or the instrumental method, or the context in which the
proposition is expressed, or on the person, groups, or culture who interpret the proposition.[5]

Methodological relativism and philosophical relativism can exist independently from one
another, but most anthropologists base their methodological relativism on that of the philosophical
variety.[6]

The concept of relativism also has importance both for philosophers and for anthropologists in
another way. In general, anthropologists engage in descriptive relativism, whereas philosophers
engage in normative relativism, although there is some overlap (for example, descriptive relativism
can pertain to concepts, normative relativism to truth).

Descriptive relativism assumes that certain cultural groups have different modes of thought,
standards of reasoning, and so forth, and it is the anthropologist's task to describe, but not to evaluate
the validity of these principles and practices of a cultural group.

Normative relativism concerns normative or evaluative claims that modes of thought, standards of
reasoning, or the like are only right or wrong relative to a framework. Normative is meant in a general
sense, applying to a wide range of views; in the case of beliefs, for example, normative correctness equals
truth. This does not mean, of course, that framework-relative correctness or truth is always clear, the first
challenge being to explain what it amounts to in any given case (e.g., with respect to concepts, truth,
epistemic norms). Normative relativism (say, in regard to normative ethical relativism) therefore implies that
things (say, ethical claims) are not simply true in themselves, but only have truth values relative to broader
frameworks (say, moral codes). (Many normative ethical relativist arguments run from premises about ethics
to conclusions that assert the relativity of truth values, bypassing general claims about the nature of truth,
but it is often more illuminating to consider the type of relativism under question directly.

The term "relativism" often comes up in debates over postmodernism, poststructuralism and
phenomenology. Critics of these perspectives often identify advocates with the label "relativism".
For example, the SapirWhorf hypothesis is often considered a relativist view because it posits that

25
26

linguistic categories and structures shape the way people view the world. Stanley Fish has defended
postmodernism and relativism.[9]

These perspectives do not strictly count as relativist in the philosophical sense, because they express
agnosticism on the nature of reality and make epistemological rather than ontological claims.
Nevertheless, the term is useful to differentiate them from realists who believe that the purpose of
philosophy, science, or literary critique is to locate externally true meanings. Important philosophers
and theorists such as Michel Foucault, Max Stirner, political movements such as post-anarchism

Post-anarchism or postanarchism is an anarchist philosophy that employs post-structuralist and


postmodernist approaches (the term post-structuralist anarchism is used as well, so as not to suggest
having moved beyond anarchism). Post-anarchism is not a single coherent theory, but rather refers to the
combined works of any number of post-structuralists such as Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Lacan;
postmodern feminists such as Judith Butler; and post-Marxists such as Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe,
Jacques Rancire; with those of the classical anarchists, although he wasn't an anarchist nor would he
consider himself an anarchist with particular concentration on ancient Chinese thinker and Warring states
philosopher Zhuang Zhou, Emma Goldman, Max Stirner, and Friedrich Nietzsche

Duane Rousselle has claimed post-anarchism is beginning to move away from the epistemological
characterization and toward an ontological characterization.[13] He has written numerous articles and books
on the topic

or post-Marxism can also be considered as relativist in this sense - though a better term might be
social constructivist.

The spread and popularity of this kind of "soft" relativism varies between academic disciplines

The spread and popularity of this kind of "soft" relativism varies between academic disciplines. It has wide
support in anthropology and has a majority following in cultural studies. It also has advocates in political
theory and political science, sociology, and continental philosophy (as distinct from Anglo-American
analytical philosophy). It has inspired empirical studies of the social construction of meaning such as those
associated with labelling theory, which defenders can point to as evidence of the validity of their theories
(albeit risking accusations of performative contradiction in the process). Advocates of this kind of relativism
often also claim that recent developments in the natural sciences, such as Heisenberg's uncertainty
principle, quantum mechanics, chaos theory and complexity theory show that science is now becoming
relativistic. However, many scientists who use these methods continue to identify as realist or post-
positivist, and some sharply criticize the association.

Relationism is the theory that there are only relations between individual entities, and no intrinsic
properties. Despite the similarity in name, it is held by some to be a position distinct from relativismfor
instance, because "statements about relational properties [...] assert an absolute truth about things in the
world

Relativism is not skepticism. Skepticism superficially resembles relativism, because they both doubt absolute
notions of truth. However, whereas skeptics go on to doubt all notions of truth, relativists replace absolute
truth with a positive theory of many equally valid relative truths. For the relativist, there is no more to truth
than the right context, or the right personal or cultural belief, so there is a lot of truth in the world

26
27

which characterizes postmodernism,


Postmodernism describes both an era and a broad movement that developed in the mid to
late 20th century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism which marked a
departure from modernism.[1][2][3] While encompassing a broad range of ideas and projects,
postmodernism is typically defined by an attitude of skepticism or distrust toward grand
narratives, ideologies, and various tenets of Enlightenment rationality, including the existence
of objective reality and absolute truth, as well as notions of rationality, human nature, and
progress.[4] Instead, it asserts that knowledge and truth are the product of unique systems of
social, historical, and political discourse and interpretation, and are therefore contextual and
constructed. Accordingly, postmodern thought is broadly characterized by tendencies to
epistemological and moral relativism, pluralism, self-referentiality, and irony.[4]
The term postmodernism has been applied both to the era following modernity, and to a host
of movements within that era (mainly in art, music, and literature) that reacted against
tendencies in modernism.[5] Postmodernism includes skeptical critical interpretations of
culture, literature, art, philosophy, history, linguistics, economics, architecture, fiction, and
literary criticism. Postmodernism is often associated with schools of thought such as
deconstruction and post-structuralism, as well as philosophers such as Jacques Derrida, Jean
Baudrillard, and Frederic Jameson.

Origins of term
2 Influential postmodernist philosophers
3 Deconstruction
4 Postmodernism and structuralism
5 Post-postmodernism
Origins of term
2 Influential postmodernist philosophers
3 Deconstruction
4 Postmodernism and structuralism
5 Post-postmodernism

The connection between postmodernism, posthumanism, and cyborgism has led to a challenge of
postmodernism, for which the terms "postpostmodernism" and "postpoststructuralism" were first
coined in 2003:[22][23]

"In some sense, we may regard postmodernism, posthumanism, poststructuralism, etc., as


being of the `cyborg age' of mind over body. Deconference was an exploration in post-
cyborgism (i.e. what comes after the postcorporeal era), and thus explored issues of
postpostmodernism, postpoststructuralism, and the like. To understand this transition from
`pomo' (cyborgism) to `popo' (postcyborgism) we must first understand the cyborg era
itself."[24]

More recently metamodernism, post-postmodernism and the "death of postmodernism" have been
widely debated: in 2007 Andrew Hoberek noted in his introduction to a special issue of the journal
Twentieth Century Literature titled "After Postmodernism" that "declarations of postmodernism's
demise have become a critical commonplace". A small group of critics has put forth a range of
theories that aim to describe culture or society in the alleged aftermath of postmodernism, most
notably Raoul Eshelman (performatism), Gilles Lipovetsky (hypermodernity), Nicolas Bourriaud
(altermodern), and Alan Kirby (digimodernism, formerly called pseudo-modernism). None of these
new theories and labels have so far gained very widespread acceptance. The exhibition

27
28

Postmodernism - Style and Subversion 19701990 at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, 24
September 2011 15 January 2012) was billed as the first show to document postmodernism as a
historical movement.

6 Influence on art
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_art

Postmodern art is a body of art movements that sought to contradict some aspects of modernism or
some aspects that emerged or developed in its aftermath. In general, movements such as intermedia,
installation art, conceptual art and multimedia, particularly involving video are described as
postmodern.

There are several characteristics which lend art to being postmodern; these include bricolage, the use
of words prominently as the central artistic element, collage, simplification, appropriation,
performance art, the recycling of past styles and themes in a modern-day context, as well as the
break-up of the barrier between fine and high arts and low art and popular culture.[1][2]

Postmodernism describes movements which both arise from, and react against or reject, trends in
modernism.[22] General citations for specific trends of modernism are formal purity, medium
specificity, art for art's sake, authenticity, universality, originality and revolutionary or reactionary
tendency, i.e. the avant-garde. However, paradox is probably the most important modernist idea
against which postmodernism reacts. Paradox was central to the modernist enterprise, which Manet
introduced. Manet's various violations of representational art brought to prominence the supposed
mutual exclusiveness of reality and representation, design and representation, abstraction and reality,
and so on. The incorporation of paradox was highly stimulating from Manet to the conceptualists.

The status of the avant-garde is controversial: many institutions argue being visionary, forward-
looking, cutting-edge, and progressive are crucial to the mission of art in the present, and therefore
postmodern art contradicts the value of "art of our times". Postmodernism rejects the notion of
advancement or progress in art per se, and thus aims to overturn the "myth of the avant-garde".
Rosalind Krauss was one of the important enunciators of the view that avant-gardism was over, and
the new artistic era is post-liberal and post-progress.[23] Griselda Pollock studied and confronted the
avant-garde and modern art in a series of groundbreaking books, reviewing modern art at the same
time as redefining postmodern art.[24][25][26]

One characteristic of postmodern art is its conflation of high and low culture through the use of
industrial materials and pop culture imagery. The use of low forms of art were a part of modernist
experimentation as well, as documented in Kirk Varnedoe and Adam Gopnik's 199091 show High
and Low: Popular Culture and Modern Art at New York's Museum of Modern Art,[27] an exhibition
that was universally panned at the time as the only event that could bring Douglas Crimp and Hilton
Kramer together in a chorus of scorn.[28] Postmodern art is noted for the way in which it blurs the
distinctions between what is perceived as fine or high art and what is generally seen as low or kitsch
art.[29] Whilst this concept of 'blurring' or 'fusing' high art with low art had been experimented during
modernism, it only ever became fully endorsed after the advent of the postmodern era.[29]
Postmodernism introduced elements of commercialism, kitsch and a general camp aesthetic within
its artistic context; postmodernism takes styles from past periods, such as Gothicism, the
Renaissance and the Baroque,[29] and mixes them so as to ignore their original use in their
corresponding artistic movement. Such elements are common characteristics of what defines
postmodern art.

28
29

Fredric Jameson suggests postmodern works abjure any claim to spontaneity and directness of
expression, making use instead of pastiche and discontinuity. Against this definition, Art and
Language's Charles Harrison and Paul Wood maintained pastiche and discontinuity are endemic to
modernist art, and are deployed effectively by modern artists such as Manet and Picasso.[30]

One compact definition is postmodernism rejects modernism's grand narratives of artistic direction,
eradicating the boundaries between high and low forms of art, and disrupting genre's conventions
with collision, collage, and fragmentation. Postmodern art holds all stances are unstable and
insincere, and therefore irony, parody, and humor are the only positions critique or revision cannot
overturn. "Pluralism and diversity" are other defining features.[31]

In general, Pop Art and Minimalism began as modernist movements: a paradigm shift and philosophical split
between formalism and anti-formalism in the early 1970s caused those movements to be viewed by some as
precursors or transitional postmodern art. Other modern movements cited as influential to postmodern art
are conceptual art and the use of techniques such as assemblage, montage, bricolage, and appropriation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_art#Movements_in_postmodern_art
Neo-expressionism and painting
Main article: Neo-expressionism

The return to the traditional art forms of sculpture and painting in the late 1970s and early 1980s seen
in the work of Neo-expressionist artists such as Georg Baselitz and Julian Schnabel has been
described as a postmodern tendency,[56] and one of the first coherent movements to emerge in the
postmodern era.[57] Its strong links with the commercial art market has raised questions, however,
both about its status as a postmodern movement and the definition of postmodernism itself. Hal
Foster states that neo-expressionism was complicit with the conservative cultural politics of the
Reagan-Bush era in the U.S.[50] Flix Guattari disregards the "large promotional operations dubbed
'neo-expressionism' in Germany," (an example of a "fad that maintains itself by means of publicity")
as a too easy way for him "to demonstrate that postmodernism is nothing but the last gasp of
modernism."[7] These critiques of neo-expressionism reveal that money and public relations really
sustained contemporary art world credibility in America during the same period that conceptual
artists, and practices of women artists including painters and feminist theorists like Griselda
Pollock,[58][59] were systematically reevaluating modern art.[60][61][62] Brian Massumi claims that
Deleuze and Guattari open the horizon of new definitions of Beauty in postmodern art.[63] For Jean-
Franois Lyotard, it was painting of the artists Valerio Adami, Daniel Buren, Marcel Duchamp,
Bracha Ettinger, and Barnett Newman that, after the avant-garde's time and the painting of Paul
Czanne and Wassily Kandinsky, was the vehicle for new ideas of the sublime in contemporary
art.[64][65]

Institutional critique
Main article: Institutional Critique

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_Critique

Critiques on the institutions of art (principally museums and galleries) are made in the work of
Michael Asher, Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren and Hans Haacke.

Institutional Critique is a form of commentary on the various institutions and conventions of art, as
well as a radical disarticulation of the institution of art. For instance, assumptions about the supposed
aesthetic autonomy or neutrality of painting and sculpture are often explored as a subject in the field

29
30

of art, and are then historically and socially mapped out (e.g. ethnographically, archaeologically) as
discursive formations, then (re)framed within the context of the museum itself. As such, Institutional
Critique seeks to make visible the historically and socially constructed boundaries between inside
and outside, public and private. Institutional Critique is often critical of the false separations often
made between distinctions of taste and supposedly disinterested aesthetic judgement, and affirms that
taste is an institutionally cultivated sensibility that may tend to differ according to the class, ethnic,
sexual and gender backgrounds of art's audiences.

One of the criticisms of Institutional Critique is its complexity. As many have noted, it is a practice
that often only advanced artists, theorists, historians, and critics can participate in. Due to its highly
sophisticated understanding of modern art and society, as part of a privileged discourse like that of
any other specialized form of knowledge, it can often leave layman viewers alienated and/or
marginalized.

Another criticism is that it can be a misnomer, since it could be argued that institutional critique
artists often work within the context of the very same institutions. Most institutional critique art, for
instance, is displayed in museums and galleries, despite its critical stance towards them.

6.1 Architecture
6.2 Urban planning
6.3 Literature
6.4 Music
6.5 Graphic design

7 Criticisms
Origins of term
2 Influential postmodernist philosophers
3 Deconstruction
4 Postmodernism and structuralism
5 Post-postmodernism
6 Influence on art

6.1 Architecture
6.2 Urban planning
6.3 Literature
6.4 Music
6.5 Graphic design

7 Criticisms
6 Influence on art

6.1 Architecture
6.2 Urban planning

30
31

6.3 Literature
6.4 Music
6.5 Graphic design
7 Criticisms



and also providing necessary standards for critical evaluation.[1]
According to Habermas, the "substantive" (i.e. formally and semantically integrated) rationality that
characterized pre-modern worldviews has, since modern times, been emptied of its content and
divided into three purely "formal" realms: (1) cognitive-instrumental reason; (2) moral-practical
reason; and (3) aesthetic-expressive reason. The first type applies to the sciences, where
experimentation and theorizing are geared towards a need to predict and control outcomes. The
second type is at play in our moral and political deliberations (very broadly, answers to the question
"how should I live?"), and the third type is typically found in the practices of art and literature. It is
the second type which concerns Habermas.
For Habermas, rational reconstruction is a philosophical and linguistic method that
systematically translates intuitive knowledge of rules into a logical form.[1] In other words, it
is an approach to science and philosophy which attempts to put meanings into language
properly.
The type of formal analysis called rational reconstruction is used by Jrgen Habermas to
name the task that he sees as appropriate for philosophy. This mode of philosophical
reflection can be compared to procedures traditionally taken up in philosophy and is
concerned with the questions traditionally posed. That is, rational reconstruction involves
making explicit and theoretically systematizing the universal and inescapable conditions for
the possibility of certain types of phenomena. Put more specifically, it can be said that
rational reconstruction is a manner of explicating the deep generative structures that give rise
to and allow for particular performances, behaviours, and other symbolically pre-structured
realities

There are a number of specific trends that Habermas identifies as important to twentieth century
philosophy, and to which he thinks his conception of communicative rationality contributes. To look
at these trends is to give a clear outline of Habermas's understanding of communicative rationality.
He labels all these trends as being post-metaphysical.[3] These post-metaphysical philosophical
movements have, among other things:

called into question the substantive conceptions of rationality (e.g. "a rational person thinks
this") and put forward procedural or formal conceptions instead (e.g. "a rational person thinks
like this");
replaced foundationalism with fallibilism with regard to valid knowledge and how it may be
achieved;
cast doubt on the idea that reason should be conceived abstractly beyond history and the
complexities of social life, and have contextualized or situated reason in actual historical
practices;
replaced a focus on individual structures of consciousness with a concern for pragmatic
structures of language and action as part of the contextualization of reason; and

31
32

given up philosophy's traditional fixation on theoretical truth and the representational


functions of language, to the extent that they also recognize the moral and expressive
functions of language as part of the contextualization of reason.
Habermas' conception of communicative rationality moves along with these contemporary
currents of philosophy. Concerning (1) it can be said that:
[Communicative] rationality refers primarily to the use of knowledge in language and action,
rather than to a property of knowledge. One might say that it refers primarily to a mode of
dealing with validity claims, and that it is in general not a property of these claims
themselves. Furthermore...this perspective suggests no more than formal specifications of
possible forms of life... it does not extend to the concrete form of life...[4]
Concerning (2), Habermas clearly and explicitly understands communicative rationality
according to the terms of a reconstructive science. This means that the conception of
communicative rationality is not a definitive rendering of what reason is, but rather a fallible
claim. It can prescribe only formal specifications concerning what qualifies as reasonable,
being open to revision in cause of experience and learning.
On (3) and (4), Habermas's entire conceptual framework is based on his understanding of
social interaction and communicative practices, and he ties rationality to the validity basis of
everyday speech. This framework locates reason in the everyday practices of modern
individuals. This is in contradistinction to theories of rationality (e.g. Plato, Kant, etc.) that
seek to ground reason in an intelligible and non-temporal realm, or objective "view from
nowhere", which supposes that reason is able adequately to judge reality from a detached and
disinterested perspective.
While Habermas's notion of communicative rationality is contextualized and historicized, it is
not relativistic.
Many philosophical contextualists take reason to be entirely context-dependent and relative.
Habermas holds reason to be relatively context specific and sensitive. The difference is that
Habermas explicates the deep structures of reason by examining the presuppositions and
validity dimensions of everyday communication, while the relativists focus only on the
content displayed in various concrete standards of rationality.
Concerning (5), Habermas's communicative rationality emphasizes the equal importance of the
three validity dimensions, which means it sees the potential for rationality in normative rightness
(WE), theoretical truth (IT) and expressive or subjective truthfulness (I). The differentiation of these
three worlds is understood as a valuable heuristic. This leaves each to its specific forms of
argumentation and justification. However, these validity dimensions should be related to one
another and understood as complementary pieces in a broader conception of rationality. This points
towards a productive interpenetration of the validity dimensions, for example the use of moral
insights by the sciences without their having to sacrifice theoretical rigor, or the inclusion of
psychological data into resources of moral philosophy.

Critique
The theory of communicative rationality has been criticized for being utopian and idealistic,[5] for
being blind to issues of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality,[6] and for ignoring the role of conflict,
contest, and exclusion in the historical constitution of the public sphere.[7]

More recently, Nikolas Kompridis has taken issue with Habermas' conception of rationality as
incoherent and insufficiently complex, proposing a "possibility-disclosing" role for reason that goes
beyond the narrow proceduralism of Habermas' theory.[8]

32
33

Kompridis argues that Habermasian critical theory, which has in recent decades become the
main paradigm of that tradition, has largely severed its own roots in German Idealism, while
neglecting modernity's distinctive relationship to time and the utopian potential of critique.
While drawing on many of Habermas' own insights (along with the philosophical traditions
of German Idealism, American Pragmatism, and the work of many others), Kompridis
proposes an alternative approach to social criticism and what he sees as its role in facilitating
social change. This interpretation is guided by an engagement with Martin Heidegger's
concept of world disclosure, as well as alternative conceptions of key philosophical
categories, like critique, agency, reason, and normativity. Arguing against Habermas'
procedural conception of reason and in favour of a new paradigm Kompridis calls reflective
disclosure, the book suggests that critical theory should become a "possibility-disclosing"
practice of social criticism "if it is to have a future worthy of its past."
World disclosure (German: Erschlossenheit, literally development or comprehension) is a
phenomenon described by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger in his landmark book
Being and Time. It has also been discussed by philosophers such as John Dewey, Jrgen
Habermas, Nikolas Kompridis and Charles Taylor.[1] It refers to how things become
intelligible and meaningfully relevant to human beings, by virtue of being part of an
ontological world i.e., a pre-interpreted and holistically structured background of meaning.
This understanding is said to be first disclosed to human beings through their practical day-
to-day encounters with others, with things in the world, and through language.
Some philosophers, such as Ian Hacking and Nikolas Kompridis, have also described how
this ontological understanding can be re-disclosed in various ways (including through
innovative forms of philosophical argument).
Reflective disclosure is a model of social criticism proposed and developed by philosopher
Nikolas Kompridis. It is partly based on Martin Heidegger's insights into the phenomenon of
world disclosure, which Kompridis applies to the field of political theory. The term refers to
practices through which we can imagine and articulate meaningful alternatives to current
social and political conditions, by acting back on their conditions of intelligibility. This could
uncover possibilities that were previously suppressed or untried, or make us insightfully
aware of a problem in a way that allows us to go on differently with our institutions,
traditions and ideals.
In his book Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future, Kompridis
describes a set of heterogeneous social practices he believes can be a source of significant
ethical, political, and cultural transformation.[1] Highlighting the work of theorists such as
Hannah Arendt, Charles Taylor, Michel Foucault and others, Kompridis calls such practices
examples of "reflective disclosure" after Martin Heidegger's insights into the phenomenon of
world disclosure. He also argues that social criticism or critique, and in particular critical
theory, ought to incorporate Heidegger's insights about this phenomenon and reorient itself
around practices of reflective disclosure if it is, as he puts it, "to have a future worthy of its
past".[2]
These practices, according to Kompridis, constitute what Charles Taylor calls a "new
department" of reason[3] which is distinct from instrumental reason, from reason understood
merely as the slave of the passions (Hume), and from the idea of reason as public justification
(Rawls). In contrast to theories of social and political change that emphasize socio-historical
contradictions (i.e., Marxist and neo-Marxist), theories of recognition and self-realization,
and theories that try to make sense of change in terms of processes that are outside the scope
of human agency, Kompridis' paradigm for critical theory, with reflective disclosure at the
centre, is to help reopen the future by disclosing alternative possibilities for speech and
action, self-critically expanding what he calls the normative and logical "space of
possibility".[4]

33
34

Kompridis contrasts his own vision of critical theory with a Habermasian emphasis on the
procedures by which we can reach agreement in modern democratic societies. He claims the
latter has ignored the utopian concerns that previously animated critical theory, and narrowed
its scope in a way that brings it closer to liberal and neo-Kantian theories of justice.

3 Reason compared to related concepts

3.1 Compared to logic


3.2 Reason compared to cause-and-effect thinking, and symbolic thinking
3.3 Reason, imagination, mimesis, and memory
3.4 Logical reasoning methods and argumentation
o 3.4.1 Deductive reasoning
o 3.4.2 Inductive reasoning
o 3.4.3 Abductive reasoning
o 3.4.4 Analogical reasoning
o 3.4.5 Fallacious reasoning

4 Traditional problems raised concerning reason

4.1 Reason versus truth, and "first principles"


4.2 Reason versus emotion or passion
4.3 Reason versus faith or tradition

5 Reason in particular fields of study

5.1 Reason in political philosophy and ethics


5.2 Psychology
o 5.2.1 Behavioral experiments on human reasoning
o 5.2.2 Developmental studies of children's reasoning
o 5.2.3 Neuroscience of reasoning
5.3 Computer science
o 5.3.1 Automated reasoning
o 5.3.2 Meta-reasoning
5.4 Evolution of reason

2.1 Classical philosophy


2.2 Subject-centred reason in early modern philosophy
2.3 Substantive and formal reason
2.4 The critique of reason

3 Reason compared to related concepts

3.1 Compared to logic


3.2 Reason compared to cause-and-effect thinking, and symbolic thinking
3.3 Reason, imagination, mimesis, and memory
3.4 Logical reasoning methods and argumentation
o 3.4.1 Deductive reasoning

34
35

o 3.4.2 Inductive reasoning


o 3.4.3 Abductive reasoning
o 3.4.4 Analogical reasoning
o 3.4.5 Fallacious reasoning

4 Traditional problems raised concerning reason

4.1 Reason versus truth, and "first principles"


4.2 Reason versus emotion or passion
4.3 Reason versus faith or tradition

5 Reason in particular fields of study

5.1 Reason in political philosophy and ethics


5.2 Psychology
o 5.2.1 Behavioral experiments on human reasoning
o 5.2.2 Developmental studies of children's reasoning
o 5.2.3 Neuroscience of reasoning
5.3 Computer science
o 5.3.1 Automated reasoning
o 5.3.2 Meta-reasoning
5.4 Evolution of reason

systems have been built that define well-formedness of arguments, rules governing the
process of introducing arguments based on fixed assumptions, and rules for shifting burden.
Many of these logics appear in the special area of artificial intelligence and law, though the
computer scientists' interest in formalizing dialectic originates in a desire to build decision
support and computer-supported collaborative work systems.[74]

and systematic presentation.[7][8]

note: methods of philosophy see my article on this topic here -


https://www.academia.edu/30148411/Philosophy_methods_methodology

Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it?[9][10][11]
What is most real? However, philosophers might also pose more practical and concrete questions
such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if one can get away with it)?[12]
Do humans have free will?[13]

Note: more general ideas as the subject-matter of philosophy

Historically, "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge.[14]

Note: take note of this!!

35
36

From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy"
encompassed astronomy, medicine and physics.[15]

note this!

For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy later became classified
as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic
philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.[16][17]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy#Professional_philosophy

note: the professionalization of philosophy and the consequences of that

In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate
academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology, linguistics and economics.

Note

Other investigations closely related to art, science, politics, or other pursuits remained part of
philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective?[18][19] Are there many scientific methods
or just one?[20] Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy?[21][22][23] Major sub-fields of
academic philosophy include metaphysics ("concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and
being"),[24]

Note: so this is philosophys subject-matter, even today?

epistemology (about the "nature and grounds of knowledge [and]...its limits and validity"

note: and this


[25]
), ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, logic, philosophy of science and the history of Western
philosophy.

Note: and this

Since the 20th century professional philosophers contribute to society primarily as professors,
researchers and writers. However, many of those who study philosophy in undergraduate or graduate
programs contribute in the fields of law, journalism, politics, religion, science, business and various
art and entertainment activities.[26]

Note: the praxis of philosophy became the activities of academics from all subjects and what that
includes

36
37

"Strong's Greek Dictionary 5385".


"Home : Oxford English Dictionary". oed.com.
"Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
The definition of philosophy is: "1. orig., love of, or the search for, wisdom or knowledge 2.
theory or logical analysis of the principles underlying conduct, thought, knowledge, and the nature of
the universe". Webster's New World Dictionary (Second College ed.).
Jenny Teichmann and Katherine C. Evans, Philosophy: A Beginner's Guide (Blackwell
Publishing, 1999), p. 1: "Philosophy is a study of problems which are ultimate, abstract and very
general. These problems are concerned with the nature of existence, knowledge, morality, reason and
human purpose."
A.C. Grayling, Philosophy 1: A Guide through the Subject (Oxford University Press, 1998), p.
1: "The aim of philosophical inquiry is to gain insight into questions about knowledge, truth, reason,
reality, meaning, mind, and value."
Adler, Mortimer J. (28 March 2000). How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great
Books of Western Civilization. Chicago, Ill.: Open Court. ISBN 978-0-8126-9412-3.
Quinton, Anthony, The ethics of philosophical practice, p. 666, Philosophy is rationally critical
thinking, of a more or less systematic kind about the general nature of the world (metaphysics or
theory of existence), the justification of belief (epistemology or theory of knowledge), and the
conduct of life (ethics or theory of value). Each of the three elements in this list has a non-
philosophical counterpart, from which it is distinguished by its explicitly rational and critical way of
proceeding and by its systematic nature. Everyone has some general conception of the nature of the
world in which they live and of their place in it. Metaphysics replaces the unargued assumptions
embodied in such a conception with a rational and organized body of beliefs about the world as a
whole. Everyone has occasion to doubt and question beliefs, their own or those of others, with more
or less success and without any theory of what they are doing. Epistemology seeks by argument to
make explicit the rules of correct belief formation. Everyone governs their conduct by directing it to
desired or valued ends. Ethics, or moral philosophy, in its most inclusive sense, seeks to articulate,
in rationally systematic form, the rules or principles involved. in Honderich 1995.
Greco, John, ed. (1 October 2011). The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism (1st ed.). Oxford
University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-983680-2.
Glymour, Clark (10 April 2015). "Chapters 16". Thinking Things Through: An Introduction to
Philosophical Issues and Achievements (2nd ed.). A Bradford Book. ISBN 978-0-262-52720-0.
"Contemporary Skepticism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". www.iep.utm.edu. Retrieved
25 April 2016.
"The Internet Classics Archive | The Republic by Plato". classics.mit.edu. Retrieved 25 April
2016.
"Free Will | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". www.iep.utm.edu. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
"Philosophy". www.etymonline.com. Online Etymological Dictionary. Retrieved 19 March
2016. The English word "philosophy" is first attested to c. 1300, meaning "knowledge, body of
knowledge."
Lindberg 2007, p. 3.
Shapin, Steven (1 January 1998). The Scientific Revolution (1st ed.). University Of Chicago
Press. ISBN 978-0-226-75021-7.
Briggle, Robert Frodeman and Adam. "When Philosophy Lost Its Way". Opinionator. Retrieved
25 April 2016.
Sartwell, Crispin (1 January 2014). Zalta, Edward N., ed. Beauty (Spring 2014 ed.).
"PLATO, Hippias Major | Loeb Classical Library". Loeb Classical Library. Retrieved 27 April
2016.

37
38

Feyerabend, Paul; Hacking, Ian (11 May 2010). Against Method (4th ed.). Verso. ISBN 978-1-
84467-442-8.
"Nozick, Robert: Political Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". www.iep.utm.edu.
Retrieved 25 April 2016.
"Rawls, John | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". www.iep.utm.edu. Retrieved 25 April
2016.
More, Thomas (8 May 2015). Utopia. Courier Corporation. ISBN 978-0-486-11070-7.
"Merriam-Webster Dictionary". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
"Merriam-Webster Dictionary". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 14 May 2016.

"Why Study Philosophy? An Unofficial "Daily Nous" Affiliate". www.whystudyphilosophy.com.


Retrieved 2016-05-02.

Perhaps we will get a few hints what philosophy is about from what metaphysics says it is concerned
with?

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy investigating the fundamental nature of being and the world
that encompasses it.[1] Metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions:[2]

1. Ultimately, what is there?


2. What is it like?

Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence, objects and their properties, space and time,
cause and effect, and possibility. A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into
the basic categories of being and how they relate to one another. Another central branch is
metaphysical cosmology: which seeks to understand the origin and meaning of the universe by
thought alone.

There are two broad conceptions about what "world" is studied by metaphysics. The strong, classical
view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist independently of any observer, so that the
subject is the most fundamental of all sciences. The weaker, more modern view assumes that the
objects studied by metaphysics exist inside the mind of an observer, so the subject becomes a form of
introspection and conceptual analysis. Some philosophers, notably Kant, discuss both of these
"worlds" and what can be inferred about each one.

Some philosophers and scientists, such as the logical positivists, reject the entire subject of
metaphysics as meaningless, while others disagree and think that it is legitimate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics

Central questions

Here we should get clues about what the subject-matter of philosophy is?
What are the things philosophy is investigating? We can therefore say what are the phenomena that it
is acceptable that philosophy may explore (should? Must? Must not explore?) -

1.1 Being and ontology

38
39

1.2 Identity and change


1.3 Causality and time
1.4 Necessity and possibility
1.5 Cosmology and cosmogony
1.6 Mind and matter
1.7 Determinism and free will
1.8 Religion and spirituality

Below we will see how notions have changed of what metaphysics is about and what it should be
and the subject-matter it should be about. And how the questions being asked in philosophy have
changed -

History and schools of metaphysics

4.1 Pre-history
4.2 Bronze age
4.3 Pre-Socratic Greece
4.4 Ancient China
4.5 Socrates and Plato

Socrates is known for his dialectic or questioning approach to philosophy rather than a positive
metaphysical doctrine.

His pupil, Plato is famous for his theory of forms (which he places in the mouth of Socrates in the
dialogues he wrote to expound it). Platonic realism (also considered a form of idealism)[25] is
considered to be a solution to the problem of universals; i.e., what particular objects have in
common is that they share a specific Form which is universal to all others of their respective kind.

The theory has a number of other aspects:

Epistemological: knowledge of the Forms is more certain than mere sensory data.
Ethical: The Form of the Good sets an objective standard for morality.
Time and Change: The world of the Forms is eternal and unchanging. Time and change
belong only to the lower sensory world. "Time is a moving image of Eternity".
Abstract objects and mathematics: Numbers, geometrical figures, etc., exist mind-
independently in the World of Forms.

ONTOLOGY in the two last sentences above.

Platonism developed into Neoplatonism, a philosophy with a monotheistic and mystical flavour that
survived well into the early Christian era.


4.6 Aristotle
Plato's pupil Aristotle wrote widely on almost every subject, including metaphysics. His
solution to the problem of universals contrasts with Plato's. Whereas Platonic Forms are
existentially apparent in the visible world, Aristotelian essences dwell in particulars.
Potentiality and Actuality[26] are principles of a dichotomy which Aristotle used throughout
his philosophical works to analyze motion, causality and other issues.

39
40

The Aristotelian theory of change and causality stretches to four causes: the material,
formal, efficient and final. The efficient cause corresponds to what is now known as a cause
simpliciter. Final causes are explicitly teleological, a concept now regarded as controversial
in science.[27] The Matter/Form dichotomy was to become highly influential in later
philosophy as the substance/essence distinction.
The opening arguments in Aristotle's Metaphysics, Book I, revolve around the senses,
knowledge, experience, theory, and wisdom. The first main focus in the Metaphysics is
attempting to determine how intellect "advances from sensation through memory,
experience, and art, to theoretical knowledge".[28] Aristotle claims that eyesight provides
us with the capability to recognize and remember experiences, while sound allows us to learn.

4.7 Classical India
o 4.7.1 Skhya
o 4.7.2 Vednta
4.8 Islamic metaphysics
4.9 Scholasticism and the Middle Ages
4.10 Rationalism and Continental Rationalism

In the early modern period (17th and 18th centuries), the system-building scope of philosophy is
often linked to the rationalist method of philosophy, that is the technique of deducing the nature of
the world by pure reason. The scholastic concepts of substance and accident were employed.

Leibniz proposed in his Monadology a plurality of non-interacting substances.


Descartes is famous for his Dualism of material and mental substances.
Spinoza believed reality was a single substance of God-or-nature.

4.11 British empiricism
British empiricism marked something of a reaction to rationalist and system-building philosophy, or
speculative metaphysics as it was pejoratively termed. The sceptic David Hume famously declared
that most metaphysics should be consigned to the flames (see below). Hume was notorious among
his contemporaries as one of the first philosophers to openly doubt religion, but is better known
now for his critique of causality. John Stuart Mill, Thomas Reid and John Locke were less sceptical,
embracing a more cautious style of metaphysics based on realism, common sense and science.
Other philosophers, notably George Berkeley were led from empiricism to idealistic metaphysics.
4.12 Kant
Immanuel Kant attempted a grand synthesis and revision of the trends already mentioned:
scholastic philosophy, systematic metaphysics, and skeptical empiricism, not to forget the
burgeoning science of his day. As did the systems builders, he had an overarching framework in
which all questions were to be addressed.
Like Hume, who famously woke him from his 'dogmatic slumbers', he was suspicious of
metaphysical speculation, and also places much emphasis on the limitations of the human
mind. Kant described his shift in metaphysics away from making claims about an objective
noumenal world, towards exploring the subjective phenomenal world, as a Copernian
revolution, by analogy to (though opposite in direction to) Copernicus' shift from man (the
subject) to the sun (an object) at the center of the universe.
Kant saw rationalist philosophers as aiming for a kind of metaphysical knowledge he defined
as the synthetic apriorithat is knowledge that does not come from the senses (it is a priori)
but is nonetheless about reality (synthetic). Inasmuch as it is about reality, it differs from
abstract mathematical propositions (which he terms analytical apriori), and being apriori it is
distinct from empirical, scientific knowledge (which he terms synthetic aposteriori). The only

40
41

synthetic apriori knowledge we can have is of how our minds organise the data of the senses;
that organising framework is space and time, which for Kant have no mind-independent
existence, but nonetheless operate uniformly in all humans. Apriori knowledge of space and
time is all that remains of metaphysics as traditionally conceived. There is a reality beyond
sensory data or phenomena, which he calls the realm of noumena; however, we cannot know
it as it is in itself, but only as it appears to us. He allows himself to speculate that the origins
of phenomenal God, morality, and free will might exist in the noumenal realm, but these
possibilities have to be set against its basic unknowability for humans. Although he saw
himself as having disposed of metaphysics, in a sense, he has generally been regarded in
retrospect as having a metaphysics of his own, and as beginning the modern analytical
conception of the subject .

4.13 Kantians
Nineteenth century philosophy was overwhelmingly influenced by Kant and his successors.
Schopenhauer, Schelling, Fichte and Hegel all purveyed their own panoramic versions of German
Idealism, Kant's own caution about metaphysical speculation, and refutation of idealism, having
fallen by the wayside. The idealistic impulse continued into the early twentieth century with British
idealists such as F. H. Bradley and J. M. E. McTaggart. Followers of Karl Marx took Hegel's dialectic
view of history and re-fashioned it as materialism.
4.14 Early analytical philosophy and positivism
During the period when idealism was dominant in philosophy, science had been making great
advances. The arrival of a new generation of scientifically minded philosophers led to a sharp
decline in the popularity of idealism during the 1920s.
Analytical philosophy was spearheaded by Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore. Russell and
William James tried to compromise between idealism and materialism with the theory of
neutral monism.
The early to mid twentieth century philosophy also saw a trend to reject metaphysical
questions as meaningless. The driving force behind this tendency was the philosophy of
logical positivism as espoused by the Vienna Circle.
At around the same time, the American pragmatists were steering a middle course between
materialism and idealism. System-building metaphysics, with a fresh inspiration from
science, was revived by A. N. Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne.

4.15 Continental philosophy
The forces that shaped analytical philosophythe break with idealism, and the influence of
sciencewere much less significant outside the English speaking world, although there was
a shared turn toward language. Continental philosophy continued in a trajectory from post
Kantianism.
The phenomenology of Husserl and others was intended as a collaborative project for the
investigation of the features and structure of consciousness common to all humans, in line
with Kant's basing his synthetic apriori on the uniform operation of consciousness. It was
officially neutral with regards to ontology, but was nonetheless to spawn a number of
metaphysical systems. Brentano's concept of intentionality would become widely influential,
including on analytical philosophy.
Heidegger, author of Being and Time, saw himself as re-focusing on Being-qua-being,
introducing the novel concept of Dasein in the process. Classing himself an existentialist,
Sartre wrote an extensive study of Being and Nothingness.
The speculative realism movement marks a return to full blooded realism.

4.16 Process metaphysics

41
42

There are two fundamental aspects of everyday experience: change and persistence. Until
recently, the Western philosophical tradition has arguably championed substance and
persistence, with some notable exceptions, however. According to process thinkers, novelty,
flux and accident do matter, and sometimes they constitute the ultimate reality.
In a broad sense, process metaphysics is as old as Western philosophy, with figures such as
Heraclitus, Plotinus, Duns Scotus, Leibniz, David Hume, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling, Gustav Theodor Fechner, Friedrich Adolf
Trendelenburg, Charles Renouvier, Karl Marx, Ernst Mach, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche,
mile Boutroux, Henri Bergson, Samuel Alexander and Nicolas Berdyaev. It seemingly
remains an open question whether major "Continental" figures such as the late Martin
Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, or Jacques Derrida
should be included.[58]
In a strict sense, process metaphysics may be limited to the works of a few founding fathers:
G. W. F. Hegel, Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, Henri Bergson, A. N. Whitehead,
and John Dewey. From a European perspective, there was a very significant and early
Whiteheadian influence on the works of outstanding scholars such as mile Meyerson (1859
1933), Louis Couturat (18681914), Jean Wahl (18881974), Robin George Collingwood
(18891943), Philippe Devaux (19021979), Hans Jonas (19031993), Dorothy M. Emmett
(19042000), Maurice Merleau Ponty (19081961), Enzo Paci (19111976), Charlie Dunbar
Broad (18871971), Wolfe Mays (1912), Ilya Prigogine (19172003), Jules Vuillemin
(19202001), Jean Ladrire (1921), Gilles Deleuze (19251995), Wolfhart Pannenberg
(1928), and Reiner Wiehl (19292010).[59]

4.17 Later analytical philosophy
While early analytic philosophy tended to reject metaphysical theorizing, under the influence
of logical positivism, it was revived in the second half of the twentieth century. Philosophers
such as David K. Lewis and David Armstrong developed elaborate theories on a range of
topics such as universals, causation, possibility and necessity and abstract objects. However,
the focus of analytical philosophy generally is away from the construction of all-
encompassing systems and toward close analysis of individual ideas.
Among the developments that led to the revival of metaphysical theorizing were Quine's
attack on the analyticsynthetic distinction, which was generally taken to undermine Carnap's
distinction between existence questions internal to a framework and those external to it.[60]
The philosophy of fiction, the problem of empty names, and the debate over existence's status
as a property have all come of relative obscurity into the limelight, while perennial issues
such as free will, possible worlds, and the philosophy of time have had new life breathed into
them.[61][62]
The analytic view is of metaphysics as studying phenomenal human concepts rather than
making claims about the noumenal world, so its style often blurs into philosophy of language
and introspective psychology. Compared to system-building, it can seem very dry,
stylistically similar to computer programming or mathematics. Despite, or perhaps because
of, this scientific dryness, it is generally regarded as having made "progress" where other
schools have not. For example, concepts from analytical metaphysics are now routinely
employed and cited as useful guides in computational ontologies for databases and to frame
computer natural language processing and knowledge representation software.

42
43

Note that in our search for WHAT philosophy is, we arrived at HOW philosophy is? How
philosophizing is done. Then, since Descartes, we realized that we cannot answer metaphysical or
Ontological questions

(Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy investigating the fundamental nature of being and the world
that encompasses it.[1] Metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions:[2]

1. Ultimately, what is there?


2. What is it like?

Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence, objects and their properties, space and time,
cause and effect, and possibility. A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into
the basic categories of being and how they relate to one another. Another central branch is
metaphysical cosmology: which seeks to understand the origin and meaning of the universe by
thought alone.

There are two broad conceptions about what "world" is studied by metaphysics. The strong, classical
view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist independently of any observer, so that the
subject is the most fundamental of all sciences. The weaker, more modern view assumes that the
objects studied by metaphysics exist inside the mind of an observer, so the subject becomes a form of
introspection and conceptual analysis. Some philosophers, notably Kant, discuss both of these
"worlds" and what can be inferred about each one.

Some philosophers and scientists, such as the logical positivists, reject the entire subject of
metaphysics as meaningless, while others disagree and think that it is legitimate.)

Unless we ask questions about who is doing philosophy? Descartes therefore investigated the subject
of philosophizing. Kant took this line of questions further and realized that he need to investigate
underlying assumptions when the subject experiences, reasons, asks questions and do other
epistemological things. Kant revealed the transcendentals conditions that underlie all activities of the
subjects, namely the limits and conditions of the framework of human existence, actions, thinking,
etc.Hegel took this further in his on way, as did Marx, the Empiricists, Continental philosophers, the
logical positivist and Anglo-Saxon analytical philosophers. The latter ended up in some kind of self-
enclosed, professional, incestuous obsession with every greater micro-scopic details of reasoning,
thinking, perception, logic, etc. The results appear to have little to do with what original, creative
thinking philosophers did, why they did it, how they did it and the rationale and purpose of the
philosophical discourse.

Continental philosophers on the other hand also lost the steep, narrow road of authentic philosophy
by their indulgence in other minutiae, for example the deconstructionists. Some Germans like
Habermas on the other hand became an apostle, a saviour, by developing Hegel and Marx with the
assistance of an emphasis on certain aspects of socio-cultural practice. His emphasis on certain
features of inter-subjectivity, no longer the isolated subject of Descartes, or the static inter-subjective
transcendental limits, conditions and framework of experience, perception, thinking, understanding
and being of Kant, but a social reduction of Heidegger. The inter-subjective, social and oh so rational
communal Being has become both the new investigated subject-matter or object as well as the
investigating subject, the purpose of philosophy and philosophizing.

43
44

All what is necessary is to explore and map out all aspects and regions of the rational,
communicative, inter-subjective, socialized being/s. Philosophy, its subject-matter and its
investigating inter/subject/s have become reduced to a sociologism. This however was not a simple
process but required the invention or fabrication of endless domains, with many levels and numerous
dimensions and to be able to do this one had to contrive all sorts of neologisms. It seems the
German and French languages lend themselves very well to this kind of activity. The second
generation Critical Theory ism of Habermas has already gone through a third generation to a fourth
generation.

Regardless of the generation all individuals are invited to the public sphere to assist in revealing the
new ideal of of??? The public sphere (German: ffentlichkeit) is an area in social life where individuals can
come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence
political action. Communication scholar Gerard A. Hauser has defined it as "a discursive space in which
individuals and groups associate to discuss matters of mutual interest and, where possible, to reach a
common judgment about them."[1] The public sphere can be seen as "a theater in modern societies in which
political participation is enacted through the medium of talk"[2] and "a realm of social life in which public
opinion can be formed".

The basic ideal belief in public sphere theory is that the government's laws and policies should be steered by
the public sphere, and that the only legitimate governments are those that listen to the public sphere.[10]
"Democratic governance rests on the capacity of and opportunity for citizens to engage in enlightened
debate".[11] Much of the debate over the public sphere involves what is the basic theoretical structure of the
public sphere, how information is deliberated in the public sphere, and what influence the public sphere has
over society.

And we have endless new social media to allow individuals to participate in the construction by means of
their phones, tablets, phablets, You Tube, Instagram, etc posts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_sphere

Media

5.1 As actors in the political public sphere


5.2 YouTube as a public sphere
5.3 Limitations of media and the internet
5.4 The information age
5.5 The virtual public sphere
5.6 Mediated publicness
5.7 The public service model

6 Non-liberal theories

6.1 Proletarian public spheres


6.2 Public spheres of production
6.3 Biopolitical public

We are presented with the nature of and the rules for doing this in these two bibles of Social Theory

Theory

44
45

2 Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 1

3 Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 2

The theory of communicative action is a critical project which reconstructs a concept of reason
which is not grounded in instrumental or objectivistic terms, but rather in an emancipatory
communicative act.[8] This reconstruction proposes "human action and understanding can be
fruitfully analysed as having a linguistic structure", [9] and each utterance relies upon the
anticipation of freedom from unnecessary domination.[10] These linguistic structures of
communication can be used to establish a normative understanding of society.[11][12][13] This
conception of society is used "to make possible a conceptualization of the social-life context that is
tailored to the paradoxes of modernity."[14]

This project started after the critical reception of Habermas's book Knowledge and Human Interests
(1968),[15][16] after which Habermas chose to move away from contextual and historical analysis of
social knowledge toward what would become the theory of communicative action.[17][18] The theory
of communicative action understands language as the foundational component of society and is
an attempt to update Marxism by "drawing on Systems theory (Luhmann), developmental
psychology (Piaget, Kohlberg), and social theory (Weber, Durkheim, Parsons, Mead, etc.)".[9]

Based on lectures initially developed in On the Pragmatics of Social Interaction Habermas was able
to expand his theory to a large understanding of society.

Thomas A. McCarthy states that

The Theory of Communicative Action has three interrelated concerns: (1) to develop a concept of
rationality that is no longer tied to, and limited by, the subjectivistic and individualistic
premises of modern philosophy and social theory; (2) to construct a two-level concept of society
that integrates the lifeworld and systems paradigms; and, finally, (3) to sketch out, against this
background, a critical theory of modernity which analyzes and accounts for its pathologies in a
way that suggests a redirection rather than an abandonment of the project of enlightenment.

The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 1 sets out "to develop a concept of rationality that is no longer
tied to, and limited by, the subjectivistic and individualistic premises of modern philosophy and social
theory."[4] With this failure of the search for ultimate foundations by "first philosophy" or "the philosophy of
consciousness", an empirically tested theory of rationality must be a pragmatic theory based on science and
social science. (reductionistsic sociologism) This implies that any universalist claims can only be validated by
testing against counterexamples in historical (and geographical) contexts not by using transcendental
ontological assumptions.

In other words a transformation of Kant assisted by Marx.

This 'purposive rational action' is steered by the "media" of the state, which substitute for oral
language as the medium of the coordination of social action. An antagonism arises between these
two principles of societal integrationlanguage, which is oriented to understanding and collective
well being, and "media", which are systems of success-oriented action.

Following Weber, Habermas sees specialisation as the key historical development, which leads to the
alienating effects of modernity, which 'permeate and fragment everyday consciousness'

45
46

Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 2


Habermas finds in the work of George Herbert Mead (18631931) and mile Durkheim (1858
1917) concepts which can be used to free Weber's theory of rationalisation from the aporias of the
philosophy of consciousness. Mead's most productive concept[citation needed] is his theoretical base of
communication and Durkheim's[citation needed] is his idea of social integration. Mead also stressed the
social character of perception: our first encounters are social.[22]

From these bases, Habermas develops his concept of communicative action: communicative action
serves to transmit and renew cultural knowledge, in a process of achieving mutual understandings. It
then coordinates action towards social integration and solidarity. Finally, communicative action is
the process through which people form their identities.[23]

Society is integrated socially both through the actions of its members and systemically by the
requirements of the economic/hierarchical/oppressive system in a way that tends to interpenetrate
and overwhelm autonomous action orientations.[who?] This gives rise to a dual concept of modern
society; the internal subjective viewpoint of the "lifeworld" and the external viewpoint of the
"system".

Following Weber again, an increasing complexity arises from the structural and institutional
differentiation of the lifeworld, which follows the closed logic of the systemic rationalisation of our
communications. There is a transfer of action co-ordination from 'language' over to 'steering media',
such as money and power, which bypass consensus-oriented communication with a 'symbolic
generalisation of rewards and punishments'. After this process the lifeworld "is no longer needed for
the coordination of action". This results in humans ('lifeworld actors') losing a sense of responsibility
with a chain of negative social consequences. Lifeworld communications lose their purpose
becoming irrelevant for the coordination of central life processes. This has the effect of ripping the
heart out of social discourse, allowing complex differentiation to occur but at the cost of social
pathologies.[24]

Disciples of the new religion do not have to fear this project is never ending one only needs to
analyse existing work to draw out endless implications, more contrived concepts, levels and
dimensions. It reminds one of the endless publications by Scientology, discovering more and more
work by their founder, or the Transcendental Meditation crowd and the numerous other sects.

For example the following

There is a transfer of action co-ordination from 'language' over to 'steering media', such as money
and power, which bypass consensus-oriented communication with a 'symbolic generalisation of
rewards and punishments'. After this process the lifeworld "is no longer needed for the coordination
of action". This results in humans ('lifeworld actors') losing a sense of responsibility with a chain of
negative social consequences. Lifeworld communications lose their purpose becoming irrelevant for
the coordination of central life processes. This has the effect of ripping the heart out of social
discourse, allowing complex differentiation to occur but at the cost of social pathologies.[24]

46
47

"In the end, systemic mechanisms suppress forms of social integration even in those areas where a
consensus dependent co-ordination of action cannot be replaced, that is, where the symbolic
reproduction of the lifeworld is at stake. In these areas, the mediatization of the lifeworld assumes
the form of colonisation".[25] Habermas argues that Horkheimer and Adorno, like Weber before them,
confused system rationality with action rationality. This prevented them from dissecting the
effects of the intrusion of steering media into a differentiated lifeworld, and the rationalisation of
action orientations that follows. They could then only identify spontaneous communicative actions
within areas of apparently 'non-rational' action, art and love on the one hand or the charisma of the
leader on the other, as having any value.

According to Habermas, lifeworlds become colonised by steering media when four things happen:[26]

1. Traditional forms of life are dismantled.

2. Social roles are sufficiently differentiated.

3. There are adequate rewards of leisure and money for the alienated labour.

4. Hopes and dreams become individuated by state canalization of welfare and culture.

These processes are institutionalised by developing global systems of jurisprudence.

Crucial terms are international, global, cosmopolitan etc all really very cool!

He here indicates the limits of an entirely juridified concept of legitimation and practically calls for
more anarchistic 'will formation' by autonomous networks and groups.

"Counterinstitutions are intended to dedifferentiate some parts of the formally organised domains
of action, remove them from the clutches of the steering media, and return these 'liberated areas' to
the action co-ordinating medium of reaching understanding".[27]

Once we have extricated ourselves from Weber's overly negative use of rationalisation, it is possible
to look at the Enlightenment ideal of reason in a fresh light. Rationality is redefined as thinking that
is ready to submit to criticism and systematic examination as an ongoing process. A broader
definition is that rationality is a disposition expressed in behaviour for which good reasons can be
given.

Habermas is now ready to make a preliminary definition of the process of communicative


rationality: this is communication that is "oriented to achieving, sustaining and reviewing consensus
and indeed a consensus that rests on the intersubjective recognition of criticisable validity
claims".[28] With this key definition he shifts the emphasis in our concept of rationality from the
individual to the social. This shift is fundamental to the Theory of Communicative Action. It is
based on an assumption that language is implicitly social and inherently rational.

Language has almost taken on a life of its own it no longer has a history, or related to
humans and societies and cultures or has it?

47
48

Argument of some kind is central to the process of achieving a rational result. Contested validity
claims are thematised and attempts are then made to vindicate or criticise them in a systematic
and rigorous way. This may seem to favour verbal language, but allowance is also given for
'practical discourses' in which claims to normative rightness are made thematic and pragmatically
tested. Non-verbal forms of cultural expression could often fall into this category.

Habermas proposes three integrated conditions from which argumentative speech can produce valid
results:

"The structure of the ideal speech situation (which means that the discourse is) immunised against
repression and inequality in a special way The structures of a ritualised competition for the better
arguments The structures that determine the construction of individual arguments and their
interrelations".[29]

If we accept such principles of rational argumentation, Communicative Rationality is:

1. The processes by which different validity claims are brought to a satisfactory resolution.

2. The relations to the world that people take to forward validity claims for the expressions they
deem important.[30]

Habermas then discusses three further types of discourse that can be used to achieve valid results in
addition to verbal argument: these are the Aesthetic, the Therapeutic and the Explicative. Because
these are not followed through in the Theory of Communicative Action the impression is given that
these are secondary forms of discourse.

1. Aesthetic discourses work by mediators arguments bringing us to consider a work or performance


which itself demonstrates a value.

"A work validated through aesthetic experience can then in turn take the place of an argument and
promote the acceptance of precisely those standards according to which it counts as an authentic
work.[31]

Habermas considers the mediation of the critic, the curator or the promoter as essential to bring
people to the revelatory aesthetic experience.

Assistance and disciples of the saviour and his message

This mediation is often locked into economic interests either directly or through state agency.

When Habermas considers the question of context he does refer to culture.

Every process of understanding takes place against the background of a culturally ingrained
preunderstanding... The interpretative task consists in incorporating the others interpretation of the
situation into one's own... this does not mean that interpretation must lead in every case to a stable
and unambiguously differentiated assignment.[32]

Speech acts are embedded in contexts that are also changed by them. The relationship is dynamic
and occurs in both directions. To see context as a fixed background or preunderstanding is to push it
out of the sphere of communicative action.

48
49

2. Therapeutic discourse is that which serves to clarify systematic self-deception. Such self-
deceptions typically arise from developmental experiences, which have left certain rigidities of
behaviour or biases of value judgement. These rigidities do not allow flexible responses to present
time exigencies. Habermas sees this in terms of psychoanalysis but does not expand on this in TCA.
(Habermas discusses psychoanalysis in Knowledge and Human Interests (1972))

A related aspect of this discourse is the adoption of a reflective attitude, which is a basic condition of
rational communication.[31]

But the claim to be free from illusions implies a dimension of self-analysis if it is to engage with
change. The most intractable illusions are surely embedded within our subconscious.

3. Explicative discourse focuses on the very means of reaching understanding the means of
(linguistic) expression. Rationality must include a willingness to question the grammar of any
system of communication used to forward validity claims. The question of whether visual language
can put forward an argument is not broached by Habermas. Although language is broadly defined as
any communicative action upon which you can be reflective it is verbal discourse that is prioritised
in Habermas' arguments. Verbal language certainly has the prominent place in his model of human
action. Oral contexts of communication have been relatively little studied and the distinction between
oral and literary forms is not made in Theory of Communicative Action.

As the System colonises the lifeworld most enterprises are not driven by the motives of their
members. The bureaucratic disempowering and desiccation of spontaneous processes of opinion and
will formation expands the scope for engineering mass loyalty and makes it easier to uncouple
political decision making from concrete, identity forming contexts of life.[33]

The system does this by rewarding or coercing that which legitimates it from the cultural spheres.
Such conditions of public patronage invisibly negate the freedom that is supposedly available in the
cultural field.

Reception
The Theory of Communicative Action was the subject of a collection of critical essays published in 1986,[34]
has inspired many responses by social theorists and philosophers, and in 1998 was listed by the International
Sociological Association as the eighth most important sociological book of the 20th century, behind Norbert
Elias' The Civilizing Process (1939) but ahead of Talcott Parsons' The Structure of Social Action (1937).[7

For more on sociologism see here - https://sites.google.com/site/philosophyphilosophizing/home and on


the left hand side of that page look for sociologism

We have seen how philosophy has been reduced to epistemology after Descartes and the result of
that in Anglo-Saxon analysis and Critical Theorys sociologism. Perhaps we can find hints in
Ontology of what philosophy is, what its subject-matter is, what the limits and conditions of the

49
50

philosophical discourse is and what philosophizing can do, cannot do and must do and other norms
of this intersubjective (!) socio-cultural practice.

Of course Ontology has been reduced by analysis and critical theory to some sort of sociologism,
be it of the social kind, the norms of professional philosophers, language, language use, linguistic
analysis, the analysis of the logic being employed for such analyses, etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology

Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality as well as the basic
categories of being and their relations.[1] Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy
known as metaphysics, ontology often deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to
exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to
similarities and differences. Although ontology as a philosophical enterprise is highly theoretical, it also has
practical application in information science and technology, such as ontology engineering.

Types

Philosophers can classify ontologies in various ways using criteria such as the degree of abstraction
and field of application: Vesselin Petrov (2011). "Chapter VI: Process ontology in the context of
applied philosophy". In Vesselin Petrov, ed. Ontological Landscapes: Recent Thought on Conceptual
Interfaces Between Science and Philosophy. Ontos Verlag. pp. 137 ff. ISBN 3868381074.

1. Upper ontology: concepts supporting development of an ontology, meta-ontology


2. Domain ontology: concepts relevant to a particular topic or area of interest, for example,
information technology or computer languages, or particular branches of science
3. Interface ontology: concepts relevant to the juncture of two disciplines
4. Process ontology: inputs, outputs, constraints, sequencing information, involved in business or
engineering processes

Ontology and language

Some philosophers suggest that the question of "What is?" is (at least in part) an issue of usage rather
than a question about facts.[20] This perspective is conveyed by an analogy made by Donald
Davidson: Suppose a person refers to a 'cup' as a 'chair' and makes some comments pertinent to a
cup, but uses the word 'chair' consistently throughout instead of 'cup'. One might readily catch on that
this person simply calls a 'cup' a 'chair' and the oddity is explained.[21] Analogously, if we find people
asserting 'there are' such-and-such, and we do not ourselves think that 'such-and-such' exist, we
might conclude that these people are not nuts (Davidson calls this assumption 'charity'), they simply
use 'there are' differently than we do. The question of What is? is at least partially a topic in the
philosophy of language, and is not entirely about ontology itself.[22] This viewpoint has been
expressed by Eli Hirsch.[23][24]

Hirsch interprets Hilary Putnam as asserting that different concepts of "the existence of something"
can be correct.[24] This position does not contradict the view that some things do exist, but points out
that different 'languages' will have different rules about assigning this property.[24][25] How to
determine the 'fitness' of a 'language' to the world then becomes a subject for investigation.

50
51

https://www.ontology.co/

Ontology is the theory of objects and their ties. It provides criteria for distinguishing different types
of objects (concrete and abstract, existent and nonexistent, real and ideal, independent and
dependent) and their ties (relations, dependencies and predication).

We can distinguish: a) formal, b) descriptive and c) formalized ontologies.

a) Formal ontology was introduced by Edmund Husserl in his Logical Investigations (1): according
to Husserl, its object is the study of the genera of being, the leading regional concepts, i.e., the
categories; its true method is the eidetic reduction coupled with the method of categorial intuition.
The phenomenological ontology is divided into two: (I) Formal, and (II) Regional, or Material,
Ontologies.

The former investigates the problem of truth on three basic levels: (a) Formal Apophantics, or formal
logic of judgments, where the a priori conditions for the possibility of the doxic certainty of reason
are to be sought, along with (b) the synthetic forms for the possibility of the axiological, and (c)
"practical" truths. In other words it is divided into formal logic, formal axiology, and formal praxis.

In contemporary philosophy, formal ontology has been developed in two principal ways. The first
approach has been to study formal ontology as a part of ontology, and to analyze it using the tools
and approach of formal logic: from this point of view formal ontology examines the logical features
of predication and of the various theories of universals. The use of the specific paradigm of the set
theory applied to predication, moreover, conditions its interpretation.

This approach is best exemplified by Nino Cocchiarella; according to whom "Formal Ontology is the
result of combining the intuitive, informal method of classical ontology with the formal,
mathematical method of modern symbolic logic, and ultimately of identifying them as different
aspects of one and the same science. That is, where the method of ontology is the intuitive study of
the fundamental properties, modes, and aspects of being, or of entities in general, and the method of
modern symbolic logic is the rigorous construction of formal, axiomatic systems, formal ontology,
the result of combining these two methods, is the systematic, formal, axiomatic development of the
logic of all forms of being. As such, formal ontology is a science prior to all others in which
particular forms, modes, or kinds of being are studied." (2)

The second line of development returns to its Husserlian origins and analyses the fundamental
categories of object, state of affairs, part, whole, and so forth, as well as the relations between parts
and the whole and their laws of dependence -- once all material concepts have been replaced by their
correlative form concepts relative to the pure 'something'. This kind of analysis does not deal with
the problem of the relationship between formal ontology and material ontology." (3).

b) Descriptive ontology concerns the collection of information about the list of objects that can be
dependent or independent items (real or ideal).

51
52

c) Formalized ontology attempts to constructs a formal codification for the results descriptively
acquired at the preceding levels.

http://protege.stanford.edu/publications/ontology_development/ontology101-noy-mcguinness.html

What is in an ontology?
The Artificial-Intelligence literature contains many definitions of an ontology; many of these
contradict one another. For the purposes of this guide an ontology is a formal explicit description of
concepts in a domain of discourse (classes (sometimes called concepts)), properties of each concept
describing various features and attributes of the concept (slots (sometimes called roles or
properties)), and restrictions on slots (facets (sometimes called role restrictions)). An ontology
together with a set of individual instances of classes constitutes a knowledge base. In reality, there
is a fine line where the ontology ends and the knowledge base begins.

Classes are the focus of most ontologies. Classes describe concepts in the domain.

http://ontology.buffalo.edu/smith/articles/ontology_pic.pdf

Philosophical Ontology
Ontology as a branch of philosophy is the science of what is, of the kinds and structures of objects, properties,
events, processes and relations in every area of reality. Ontology is often used by philosophers as a synonym of
metaphysics (a label meaning literally: what comes after the Physics), a term used by early students of Aristotle to
refer to what Aristotle himself called first philosophy. Sometimes ontology is used in a broader sense, to refer to the
study of what might exist; metaphysics is then used for the study ofwhich of the various alternative possible ontologies
is in fact true of reality. (Ingarden 1964) The term ontology (or ontologia) was coined in 1613, independently, by two
philosophers, Rudolf Gckel (Goclenius), in his
Lexicon philosophicumand Jacob Lorhard (Lorhardus), in his Theatrum philosophicum Its first occurrence in English
asrecorded by the OED appears in Baileys dictionary of 1721, which defines ontology as an Account of being in the
Abstract. Ontology seeks to provide a definitive and exhaustive classification of entities in
all spheres of being. The classification should be definitive in the sense that it can serve as an answer to such questions
as: What classes of entities are needed for a complete description and explanation of a
ll the goings-on in the universe? Or: What classes of entities are needed to give an account of what makes true all
truths? It should be exhaustive in the sense that all types of entities should be included in the
classification, including also the types of relations by which entities are tied together to form larger wholes.
Different schools of philosophy offer different approaches to the provision of such classifications.
One large division is 1) that between what we might call substantialists and fluxists, which is to say between those who
conceive ontology as a substance- or thing- (or continuant-) based discipline and 2) those who favour an ontology
centred on events or processes (or occurrents). Another large division is between a) what we might call adequatists
and b) reductionists.a) Adequatists seek a taxonomy of the entities in reality at all levels of aggregation, from the
microphysical to the cosmological, and including also the middle world (the
mesocosmos) of human-scale entities in between. b) Reductionists see reality in terms of some one
privileged level of existents; they seek to establish the ultimate furniture of the universe by decomposing reality into
its simplest constituents, or they seek to reduce in some other way the apparent variety
of types of entities existing in reality. It is the work of adequatist philosophical ontologists such as Aristotle, Ingarden
(1964), and Chisholm (1996) which will be of primary importance for us here.
Their taxonomies are in many ways comparable to the taxonomies produced by sciences such as biology or chemistry,
though they are of course radically more general than these. Adequatists transcend the dichotomy between substantialism
and fluxism, since they accept categories of both continuants and occurrents. They study the totality of those objects,
properties, processes and relations that make up the world on different
levels of focus and granularity, and whose different parts and moments are studied by the different scientific disciplines.
Ontology, for the adequatist, is then a descriptive enterprise. It is thus distinguished from

52
53

the special sciences not only a) in its radical generality but b) also in its goal or focus: it seeks not predication, but
rather taxonomy. The methods of ontology henceforth in philosophical contexts always used in the adequatist sense
are the methods of philosophy in general. They include the i) development of theories of wider or narrower scope
and ii) the testing and refinement of such theories by measuring them up, a) either against difficult counter
examples or b) against the results of science. These methods were familiar already to Aristotle himself.
In the course of the twentieth century a range of new formal tools became available to ontologists for the
development and testing of their theories. Ontologists nowadays have a choice of 1) formal frameworks (deriving from
algebra, category theory, mereology, set theory, topology) in terms of which their theories can be
formulated. These new formal tools, along with the language of formal logic, allow philosophers to express intuitive
principles and definitions in clear and rigorous fashion, and, 2) through the a application of the
methods of formal semantics, they can allow also for the testing of theories for a) consistency and b) completeness.
With the work of Quine (1953) there arose in this connection a new conception of
the proper method of ontology according to which the ontologists task is to establish
what kinds of entities scientists are committed to in their theorizing. The ontologist
studies the world by drawing conclusions from the theories of the natural sciences,
which Quine takes to be our best sources of knowledge as to what the world is like.
Such theories are extensions of the theories we develop and use informally in
everyday life, but they are developed with closer attention to certain special kinds of
evidence that confer a higher degree of probability on the claims made. Quine takes
ontology seriously. His aim is to use science for ontological purposes, which means: to

find the ontology in scientific theories.

Ontology is then a network of claims, derived


from the natural sciences, about what exists coupled with the attempt to establish what
types of entities are most basic. Each natural science has, Quine holds, its own
preferred repertoire of types of objects to the existence of which it is committed. Each
such theory embodies only a partial ontology. This is defined by the vocabulary of the
corresponding theory and (most importantly for Quine) by its canonical formalization

in the language of first-order logic.

Note that ontology is for Quine himself not the meta-level study of the ontological
commitments or presuppositions embodied in the different natural-scientific theories.
Ontology is rather these commitments themselves. Quine moves to the meta-level,
making a semantic ascent to consider the statements in a theory, only in setting out to
establish those expressions which definitively carry its commitments. Quine fixes
upon the language of first-order logic as the medium of canonical representation not
out of dogmatic devotion to this particular form, but rather because he holds that this is
the only really clear form of language. First-order logic is itself just a regimentation of
corresponding parts of ordinary language, a regimentation from which, in Quines
eyes, logically problematic features have been excised. It is then, Quine argues, only
the bound variables of a theory that carry its definitive commitment to existence. It is
sentences like There are horses, There are numbers, There are electrons, that do
this job. His so-called criterion of ontological commitment is captured in the slogan:

To be is to be the value of a bound variable.

Quines approach is thus most properly conceived not as a reduction of ontology to


the study of scientific language, but rather as a continuation of ontology in the
traditional sense. When viewed in this light, however, it can be seen to be in need of
vital supplementation. For the objects of scientific theories are discipline-specific.

53
54

This means that the relations between objects belonging to different disciplinary
domains fall out of bounds for Quinean ontology. Only something like a philosophical
theory of how different scientific theories (or their objects) relate to each other can
fulfil the task of providing an inventory of all the types of entities in reality. Quine
himself would resist this latter conclusion. For him the best we can achieve in
ontology lies in the quantified statements of particular theories, theories supported by
the best evidence we can muster. We have no way to rise above the particular theories

we have; no way to harmonize and unify their respective claims.

Quine is a realist philosopher. He believes in a world beyond language and beliefs, a

world which the theories of natural science give us the power to illuminate.

another tendency in twentieth-century analytic philosophy, a tendency often


associated with Quine but inspired much rather by Kant and promulgated by thinkers
such as Carnap and Putnam, according to which ontology is a meta-level discipline
which concerns itself not with the world itself but rather only with theories or

languages or systems of beliefs.

Ontology as a first-level discipline of the world beyond ontology as what these philosophers call
external metaphysics is
impossible. The best we can achieve, they hold, is internal metaphysics, which means
precisely the study of the ontological commitments of specific theories or systems of
beliefs. Strawsonian descriptive metaphysics is one example of such internal
metaphysics. Model-theoretic semantics, too, is often implicitly understood in
internal-metaphysical terms the idea being that we cannot understand what a given
language or theory is really about, but we can build models with more or less nice
properties. What we can never do is compare these models to some reality beyond.
Ontology in the traditional philosophical sense thus comes to be replaced by the study
of how a given language or science conceptualizes a given domain. It becomes a
theory of the ontological content of certain representations. Traditional ontologists are
seeking principles that are true of reality. The practitioners of internal metaphysics, in
contrast, are seeking to elicit principles from subjects or theories. The elicited
principles may or may not be true, but this, to the practitioner of internal metaphysics,
is of no concern, since the significance of these principles lies elsewhere for instance
in yielding a correct account of the taxonomical system used by speakers of a givenlanguage or by
the scientists working in a given discipline.
certain extra-philosophical disciplines, as linguists, psychologists and
anthropologists have sought to elicit the ontological commitments (ontologies, in the
plural) of different cultures and groups. Thus, they have sought to establish the
ontology underlying common-sense or folk theories of various sorts by using the
standard empirical methods of the cognitive sciences
Ontology and Information Science
The methods used in the construction of ontologies thus conceived are derived on
the one hand from earlier initiatives in database management systems. But they also
include methods similar to those employed in philosophy (as described in Hayes
1985), including the methods used by logicians when developing formal semantic
theories.

54
55

The initial project of building one single ontology, even one single top-level ontology,
which would be at the same time non-trivial and also readily adopted by a broad
population of different information systems communities, has largely been abandoned.
The reasons for this can be summarized as follows. The task of ontology-building
proved much more difficult than had initially been anticipated (the difficulties being at
least in part identical to those with which philosophical ontologists have grappled for
some 2000 years). The information systems world itself, on the other hand, is very
often subject to the short time horizons of the commercial environment. This means
that the requirements placed on information systems change at a rapid rate, so that
already for this reason work on the construction of corresponding ontological
translation modules has been unable to keep pace.
The newly fashionable usage of ontology as meaning just conceptual model is by
now firmly entrenched in many information systems circles.

A conceptualization is an abstract, simplified view of the world that we wish to


represent for some purpose. Every knowledge base, knowledge-based system, or
knowledge-level agent is committed to some conceptualization, explicitly or
implicitly. (Gruber 1995)
What can Information Scientists learn from Philosophical Ontologists?
As we have seen, some ontological engineers have recognized that they can improve
their models by drawing on the results of the philosophical work in ontology carried
out over the last 2000 years. This does not in every case mean that they are ready to
abandon their pragmatic perspective. Rather, they see it as useful to employ a wider
repertoire of ontological theories and frameworks and, like philosophers themselves,
they are willing to be maximally opportunistic in their selection of resources for
purposes of ontology-construction. Guarino and his collaborators, for example, use
standard philosophical analyses of notions such as identity, set-theoretical
subsumption, part-whole subsumption and the like in order to expose inconsistencies
in standard upper-level ontologies such as CYC, and they go on from there to derive
meta-level constraints which all ontologies must satisfy if they are to avoid
inconsistencies of the sorts exposed.
Given what was said above, however, it appears that information ontologists may
have sound pragmatic reasons to take the philosopher ontologists traditional concern
for truth more seriously still. For the very abandonment of the focus on mere
conceptualisations and on conceptualisation-generated object-surrogates may itself
have positive pragmatic consequences.
Where ontology is directed in this fashion, towards the real world of flesh-and-blood
objects in which we all live, then this itself reduces the likelihood of inconsistency and
systematic error in the theories which result,

HOW does this work?


and, conversely, it increases the
likelihood of our being able to build a single workable system of ontology that will be
at the same time non-trivial. On the other hand, however, the ontological project thus
conceived will take much longer to complete and it will face considerable internal
difficulties along the way. Traditional ontology is a difficult business. At the same
time, however, it has the potential to reap considerable rewards not least in terms of
a greater stability and conceptual coherence of the software artefacts constructed on its
basis.
To put the point another way: it is precisely because good conceptualizations are

55
56

transparent to reality that they have a reasonable chance of being integrated together in
robust fashion into a single unitary ontological system. The fact that the real world
itself plays a significant role in ensuring the unifiability of our separate ontologies thus
implies that, if we are to accept a conceptualization-based methodology as one
stepping stone towards the construction of adequate ontologies, then we must abandon
the attitude of tolerance towards both good and bad conceptualizations. For it is this
very tolerance which is fated to undermine the project of ontology itself.
What Can Philosophers Learn from Information Systems Ontologists?
Developments in modal, temporal and dynamic logics as also in linear, substructural
and paraconsistent logics have demonstrated the degree to which advances in
computer science can yield benefits in logic benefits not only of a strictly technical
nature, but also sometimes of wider philosophical significance. Something similar can
be true, I suggest, in relation to the developments in ontological engineering referred
to above. The example of the successes and failures of information systems ontologists
can first of all help to encourage existing tendencies in philosophical ontology
(nowadays often grouped under the heading analytic metaphysics) 1) towards opening
up new domains of investigation, for example the domain of social institutions
(Mulligan 1987, Searle 1995), of patterns (Johansson 1998), of artefacts (Dipert 1993,
Simons and Dement 1996), of boundaries (Smith 2001), of dependence and
instantiation (Mertz 1996, Degen et al., 2001), of holes (Casati and Varzi 1994), and
parts (Simons 1987). 2) Secondly, it can shed new light on the many existing
contributions to ontology, from Aristotle to Goclenius and beyond (Burkhardt and
Smith 1991), whose significance was for a long time neglected by philosophers in the
shadow of Kant and other enemies of metaphysics.3) Thirdly, if philosophical ontology
can properly be conceived as a kind of generalized chemistry, then information
systems can help to fill one important gap in ontology as it has been practiced thus far,
which lies in the absence of any analogue of chemical experimentation. For one can,
as C. S. Peirce remarked (1933, 4.530), make exact experiments upon uniform
diagrams. The new tools of ontological engineering might help us to realize Peirces
vision of a time when operations upon diagrams will take the place of the experiments
upon real things that one performs in chemical and physical research.
4) Finally, the lessons drawn from information systems ontology can support the
efforts of those philosophers who have concerned themselves not only with a) the
development of ontological theories, but b) also in a field sometimes called applied
ontology (Koepsell 1999, 2000) with the application of such theories in domains
such as law, or commerce, or medicine. The tools of philosophical ontology have been
applied to solve practical problems, for example concerning the nature of intellectual
property or concerning the classification of the human foetus at different stages of its
development. Collaboration with information systems ontologists can support such
ventures in a variety of ways, i) first of all because the results achieved in specific
application-domains can provide stimulation for philosophers, but ii) also and not least
importantly because information systems ontology is itself an enormous new field of
practical application that is crying out to be explored by the methods of rigorous
philosophy.

Did we learn anything of relevance to what philosophy is, must be, must not be and might from
Smiths treatment of Ontology? About the subject-matter, or objects of study, of philosophy? Of the

56
57

methods employed during the doing of philosophy or the different stages of the process and activities
of philosophizing?

http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-94-011-7638-5_1#page-

https://philgcg11chd.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/nature-of-philosophy/

Informs us about

three basic problems of philosophy

Branches of Philosophy

Methods of Philosophy

common features of the methods

Doubt: Notice doubts that one has about the meaning or justification of some common, everyday
belief one has.

Formulate a problem; Formulate the doubts in a philosophical problem, or question. Explain the
problem very clearly and carefully.

Offer a solution: Offer a solution to the problem: either something like a philosophical analysis or a
philosophical explanation.

Argument; Give an argument or several arguments supporting the solution.

Dialectic :Present the solution and arguments for criticism by other philosophers, and help them
judge their own.

Methods

1. The Socratic Method


2. The Rational Dialogue
3. The Method of Criticism
4. The Speculative Method
5. The Descriptive Method
6. Inductive Method
7. Deductive Method
8. Dialectical Method
9. The. Method of Analysis
10. The Method of Synthesis
11. Method of Intuition

https://www.ontology.co/subject-metaphysics.htm

57
58

"As it now exists, the subject of metaphysics can be described by a distinction that became standard in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. (*) According to this distinction, metaphysics has two principal
divisions: general metaphysics and special metaphysics. General metaphysics includes ontology and most of
what has been called universal science; it is concerned, on the whole, with the general nature of reality: with
problems about abstract and concrete being, the nature of particulars, the distinction between appearance
and reality, and the universal principles holding true of what has fundamental being. Special metaphysics is
concerned with certain problems about particular kinds or aspects of being. These special problems are
associated with the distinction between the mental and the physical, the possibility of human freedom, the
nature of personal identity, the possibility of survival after death, and the existence of God. The traditional
subject of what is real as opposed to what is mere appearance is treated in both general and special
metaphysics, for some of the issues relevant to it are more general or fundamental than others."

http://www.uefap.com/reading/exercise/ess2/berlin.htm

From an article by Sir Isaiah Berlin in The Sunday Times, 14th November, 1962

https://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s10113.pdf

The Purpose of Philosophy


http://www.ditext.com/broad/st/st-intro.html

The Subject-matter of Philosophy, and its Relations to the special Sciences

this task of clearing up the meanings and determining the relations of fundamental concepts

Now the most fundamental task of Philosophy is to take the concepts that we daily use in common life and
science, to analyse them, and thus to determine their precise meanings and their mutual relations. Evidently
this is an important duty. In the first place, clear and accurate knowledge of anything is an advance on a
mere hazy general familiarity with it. Moreover, in the absence of clear knowledge of the meanings and
relations of the concepts that we use, we are certain sooner or later to apply them wrongly or to meet with
exceptional cases where we are puzzled as to how to apply them at all. For instance, we all agree pretty well
as to the place of a certain pin which we are looking at. But suppose we go on to ask: "Where is the image of
that pin in a certain mirror; and is it in this place (whatever it may be? in precisely the sense in which the pin
itself is in its place?" We shall find the question a very puzzling one, and there will be no hope of answering
it until we have carefully analysed what we mean by being in a place. Philosophy has another and closely
connected task. We not only make continual use of vague and unanalysed concepts. We have also a number of
uncriticised beliefs, which we constantly assume in ordinary life and in the sciences. We constantly assume, e.g.
that every event has a cause, that nature obeys uniform laws, that we live in a world of objects whose existence
and behaviour are independent of our knowledge of them, and so on. Now science takes over these beliefs
without criticism from common-sense, and simply works with them. We know by experience, however, that
beliefs which are very strongly held may be mere prejudices. Negroes find it very hard to believe that water can
become solid, because they have always lived in a warm climate. Is it not possible that we believe that nature as
a whole will always act uniformly simply because the part of nature in which the human race has lived has
happened to act so up to the present? All such beliefs then, however deeply rooted, call for criticism. The first
duty of Philosophy is to state them clearly; and this can only be done when we have analysed and defined
the concepts that they involve. Until you know exactly what you mean by change and by cause you cannot
know what is meant by the statement that every change has a cause. And not much weight can be attached to a
person's most passionate beliefs if he does not know what precisely he is passionately believing. The next duty
of Philosophy is to test such beliefs; and this can only be done by resolutely and honestly exposing them to

58
59

every objection that one can think of oneself or find in the writings of others. We ought only to go on believing
a propositions if, at the end of this process, we still find it impossible to doubt it. Even then of course it may not
be true, but we have at least done our best.

These two branches of Philosophy -- the analysis and definition of our fundamental concepts, and the clear statement
and resolute criticism of our fundamental beliefs -- I call Critical Philosophy.

Philosophy is mainly concerned, not with remote conclusions, but with the analysis and appraisement of the original
premises. For this purpose analytical power and a certain kind of insight are necessary, and the mathematical method is
not of much use.

Before ending this chapter I will say a word about the three sciences which are commonly thought to be specially
philosophical. These are Logic, Ethics, and Psychology. Logic simply is the most fundamental part of Critical Philosophy.
It deals with such concepts as truth, implication, probability, class, etc. In fact it may be defined as the science which
deals with propositional forms, their parts, their qualities, and their relations. Its business is to analyse and classify
forms, and to consider the formal relations that can subsist between them. Now all science consists of definite
propositions, and each of these is of one of the forms which Logic studies; but it is not the business of any other science
explicitly to discuss propositional forms. Similarly all science is full of inferences, good and bad, and all inference
depends on relations that are supposed to subsist between premises and conclusion. But it is for Logic, and for it alone,
to decide what relations do in fact justify inference, and whether these relations do actually subsist in a given case.
Thus Logic is that part of Critical Philosophy which deals with the most general and pervasive of all concepts, and with
those fundamental beliefs which form the "connective tissue" of all knowledge.

Note: This typical Broad who first worked in Science and Mathematics. According to him those disciplines were
too difficult so he moved to philosophy. He became professor of philosophy at a number of univ ersities in the UK.
This work had the title of: THE TRADITIONAL CONCEPTS OF MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS, AND THEIR
GRADUAL MODIFICATION WITHIN THE REGION OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE

http://psc.sagepub.com/content/14/2/203.extract

Paul Ricoeur the human being as the subject(matter?) of philosophy

Here is another article on The Philosophical Approaches to the Study of Man

"Existentialism and Man's Search form Meaning" by Manuel Dy, Jr.

as there are many definitions of philosophy and many schools of philosophy, so there are many
approaches to the philosophical reflection/inquiry on man.
- In our course, we will not examine all the different approaches in a specific and elaborate manner.
- Rather, using Manuel Dy's article,
- first, we just study the fundamental approaches which could be discerned if we survey
the three periods in the History of Western Philosophy and examine what is distinctive in each
period in its philosophical reflection on man:
- we could characterize the distinctive fundamental approach of each period as:
- Ancient Philosophy: COSMOCENTRIC
Man
- is seen, conceived and understood as part of the cosmos, in relation to the
cosmos
- he might be different from other things, but he is similar to the cosmos
- in fact, man is a cosmos in miniature, a microcosm; there is a proper
proportionality between cosmos and man
- to understand the cosmos is to understand man
- if the cosmos is made of material stuff, then man is a material reality
- if the cosmos is a duality of the world of things and world of ideas, then man is
a duality of Body and Soul

59
60

- if the cosmos is one world of matter and form, man is one substance made up
of body (matter) and soul (form).
- Medieval: THEOCENTRIC
with the collapse of the Graeco-Roman civililzation, and the coming and
predominance of Christianity in Medieval Europe, there was a shift in the content and
method of philosophizing.
i. Primary and Central Concern of Philosophical Inquiry/Reflection
- GOD/FAITH:
- Not as known by man himself using reason
- God of Revelation: God as he revealed himself, what he has revealed about
himself, about Man and the World
- Everything is seen in relation to God and what he has revealed
- Philosophy is used to explicitate, defend, explain and systematize the faith.
- And philosophical issues, speculation, insight arose out of faith and were
referred back to faith.
- In this sense, philosophy became a handmaid of theology/faith.
Man
- Part of Nature, Cosmos
- Cosmos:
- is not seen in itself, not simply in terms of its own consistency, harmony, unity
and stability but in relation to God, the Absolutely Transcendent Reality
- Creator-Creation relationship
- Though man is part of nature, he has unique and special relationship with God
compared to anything, compared to the totality of the things or created order
- Thus, man is seen not simply in relation to the cosmos, but in his unique
relationship with God and God's unique relationship with him.
- Modern: ANTHROPOCENTRIC
General Remarks:
- shift in primary and central concern: from the cosmos, from God to man
himself
- everything is seen in relation to man, and man is starting point, point of
departure for any philosophical reflection
- subjective turn/shift:
- subject: the one who philosophizes, the one who knows about nature, about
God, has now become the important, primary, fundamental and central object of
philosophical reflection.
- These three fundamental approaches do not explain away the uniqueness, and the subtle
and nuanced distinction of the different philosophies within each period nor they are true in
the same extent to all philosophers in each period.
- then, we will study in details one particular approach: Existentialism, which is the
approach taken in this course.
Pre-Socratics Totality of Things Material Stuff
Plato World of Things and World of Ideas
Ideas
Aristotle One World of ConcreteThings made up of matter and form.
4 Causes or Principle:material, efficient, formal,

Did the notion of the Anthropocene strengthen the idea of us being in the Anthropo-centrc age of man? Or is
it a new idea, so that we now live in or as the Anthropocene age?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropocene

The Anthropocene is a proposed epoch dating from when human activities started to have a
significant global impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems.[1][2][3] As of August 2016, neither the
International Commission on Stratigraphy nor the International Union of Geological Sciences has yet
officially approved the term as a recognized subdivision of geological time,[3][4][5] although the
Working Group on the Anthropocene (WGA) voted to formally designate the epoch Anthropocene
and presented the recommendation to the International Geological Congress on 29 August 2016.[6]

60
61

Scientists in the Soviet Union appear to have used the term "Anthropocene" as early as the 1960s to
refer to the Quaternary, the most recent geological period.[7] Ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer
subsequently used "Anthropocene" with a different sense in the 1980s[8] and the term was widely
popularized in 2000 by atmospheric chemist Paul J. Crutzen,[9] who regards the influence of human
behavior on Earth's atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a new geological
epoch for its lithosphere. A January 2016 paper in Science investigating climatic, biological, and
geochemical signatures of human activity in sediments and ice cores suggested the era since the mid-
20th century should be recognised as a distinct geological epoch from the Holocene.[10]

In 2008 a proposal was presented[by whom?] to the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society
of London to make the Anthropocene a formal unit of geological epoch divisions.[3][11] A large
majority of that Stratigraphy Commission decided the proposal had merit and should be examined
further. Independent working groups of scientists from various geological societies have begun to
determine whether the Anthropocene will be formally accepted into the Geological Time Scale.[12]

Scientists have begun to use the term "anthropocene",[13] and the Geological Society of America
entitled its 2011 annual meeting: Archean to Anthropocene: The past is the key to the future.[14] The
Anthropocene has no agreed start-date, but some scientists propose that, based on atmospheric
evidence, it may be considered[by whom?] to start with the Industrial Revolution (late eighteenth
century).[11][15] Other scientists link the new term to earlier events, such as the rise of agriculture and
the Neolithic Revolution (around 12,000 years BP). Evidence of relative human impact - such as the
growing human influence on land use, ecosystems, biodiversity, and species extinction - is
substantial; scientists think that human impact has significantly changed (or halted) the growth of
biodiversity.[16][17] Those arguing for earlier dates posit that the proposed Anthropocene may have
begun as early as 14,000 to 15,000 years before present, based on lithospheric evidence; this has led
other scientists to suggest that "the onset of the Anthropocene should be extended back many
thousand years";[18]:1 this would be closely synchronous with the current term, Holocene.

In January 2015, 26 of the 38 members of the International Anthropocene Working Group published
a paper suggesting the Trinity test on July 16, 1945 as the starting point of the proposed new
epoch.[19] However a significant minority supports one of several alternative dates.[19] In March 2015,
a paper published in Nature suggested either 1610 or 1964 as the beginning of Anthropocene.[20]
Other scholars point to the diachronous character of the physical strata of the Anthropocene, arguing
that onset and impact are spread out over time, not reducible to a single instant or date of start.[21]

The Anthropocene Working Group met in Oslo in April 2016 to consolidate evidence supporting the
argument for the Anthropocene as a true geologic epoch.[22] Evidence was evaluated and the group
voted to recommend "Anthropocene" as the new geological age in August 2016.[6] Should the
International Commission on Stratigraphy approve the recommendation, the proposal to adopt the
term will have to be ratified by the International Union of Geological Sciences before its formal
adoption as part of the geologic time scale.[5]

Etymology

2 Nature of human effects

2.1 Biodiversity
2.2 Biogeography
2.3 Climate

61
62

2.4 Geomorphology
2.5 Stratigraphy
o 2.5.1 Sedimentological record
o 2.5.2 Fossil record
o 2.5.3 Trace elements

3 Anthropocene temporal limit

3.1 "Early anthropocene" model


3.2 Antiquity
3.3 Industrial Revolution
3.4 Anthropocene marker

4 In culture
5 See also

6 References

7 Further reading

8 External links

http://www.anthropocene.info/

https://www.academia.edu/29839267/The_Anthropocene_Event_in_Social_Theory_On_Catching_Up_with_N
on-_Humans in social theory

Abstract
Signaling
that
humanity
now
carries
the
burden
of
having
radically
changed
the
Earths
environmental
parameters,
the
notion
of
the
Anthropocene
currently
generates
debate
across
the
social
sciences.
In
this
paper,
we
examine
new
mate--
rialist
and

62
63

neo--Marxist
responses
to
this
novel
situation.
Yet,
while
we
share
their
conviction
that
the
Anthropocene
holds
the
potential
to
institute
a
genuine
event
for
social
theory
and
practice,
we
argue
that
the
pathways
cleared
so
far
largely
move
us
backwards.
Hence,
rather
than
social
science
finally
catching
up
with
the
natural
sciences
by
learning
to
take
material
reality
seriously,
we
find
ourselves
in
a
situation
where
the
natural
sciences
(and
some
traditions

63
64

within
social
science)
are
finally
beginning
to
catch
up
with
the
inseparability
of
nature
and
society,
which
has
been
key
to
science
and
technology
studies
(STS)
for
decades.
In
search
of
a
viable
pathway
for
social
theory
into
the
Anthropocene,
we
turn
to
Isabelle
Stengers
argument
that
we
must
accept
the
reality
of
Gaia.
In
dialogue
with
STS
analyses
of
nonhuman
agency,
Stengers
proposition
is
a
call
for
a
situated,
non--foundational,
and
experimental
reconstruction

64
65

of
social
theo--
ry.
This
reconstruction,
we
argue,
requires
developing
an
art
of
immanent
atten--
tion
to
the
politics
of
matter
across
the
planet.
A
social
theory
adequate
to
the
Anthropocene
event
would
thus
be
committed
to
following,
learning
to
be
affect--
ed
by,
and
experimenting
with
the
divergent
knowledges
and
practices
of
natural
science,
environmental
activism,
and
concerned
publics
that
make
up
our
ecolo--
gy
of
practices.
Keywords:
Anthropocene;
event;
Gaia;
Isabelle
Stengers;

65
66

new
materialism;
neo--
Marxism;
science
and
technology
studies
(STS)
The
stories
of
both
the
Anthropocene
and
the
Capitalocene
teeter
con--
stantly
on
the
brink
of
becoming
much
Too
Big.
Marx
did
better
than
that,
as
did
Darwin
(Haraway
2016:
50)
In
recent
years,
the
Anthropocene
has
become
something
of
a
clarion
call
across
the
natural
and
social
sciences,
and
extending
well
into
the
humanities.
http://quaternary.stratigraphy.org/workinggroups/anthropocene

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/29/declare-anthropocene-epoch-experts-urge-geological-congress-
human-impact-earth

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-is-the-anthropocene-and-are-we-in-it-164801414/

https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Anthropocene

66
67

https://www.scribd.com/document/129590630/Lecture-2-Different-Approaches

http://www.slideshare.net/SircDb/philosophy-of-man-51413270

http://www.acgrayling.com/philosophy-1-a-guide-through-the-subject

http://evolvingthoughts.net/2011/09/what-is-philosophy/

https://cas.umkc.edu/philosophy/vade-mecum/apaguide.htm

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/spirkin/works/dialectical-materialism/ch01.html

It is said that ontology and therefore philosophy lost more of its traditional subject-matter with the development of the
physical sciences such as Theoretical Physics.

Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality as well as the basic
categories of being and their relations.[1] Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy
known as metaphysics, ontology often deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to
exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to
similarities and differences. Although ontology as a philosophical enterprise is highly theoretical, it also has
practical application in information science and technology, such as ontology engineering.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology

Principal questions of ontology include:

"What can be said to exist?"


"What is a thing?"[3]
"Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?"
"What are the meanings of being?"
"What are the various modes of being of entities?"

Various philosophers have provided different answers to these questions. One common approach
involves dividing the extant subjects and predicates into groups called categories. Of course, such
lists of categories differ widely from one another, and it is through the co-ordination of different
categorical schemes that ontology relates to such fields as library science and artificial intelligence.
Such an understanding of ontological categories, however, is merely taxonomic, classificatory.
Aristotle's categories are the ways in which a being may be addressed simply as a being, such as:

what it is (its 'whatness', quiddity, haecceity or essence)


how it is (its 'howness' or qualitativeness)
how much it is (quantitativeness)

67
68

where it is, its relatedness to other beings[4]

Further examples of ontological questions include:[citation needed]

What is existence, i.e. what does it mean for a being to be?


Is existence a property?
Is existence a genus or general class that is simply divided up by specific differences?
Which entities, if any, are fundamental?
Are all entities objects?
How do the properties of an object relate to the object itself?
Do physical properties actually exist?
What features are the essential, as opposed to merely accidental attributes of a given object?
How many levels of existence or ontological levels are there? And what constitutes a "level"?
What is a physical object?
Can one give an account of what it means to say that a physical object exists?
Can one give an account of what it means to say that a non-physical entity exists?
What constitutes the identity of an object?
When does an object go out of existence, as opposed to merely changing?
Do beings exist other than in the modes of objectivity and subjectivity, i.e. is the subject/object split
of modern philosophy inevitable?

Concepts

Essential ontological dichotomies include:

universals and particulars


substance and accident
abstract and concrete objects
essence and existence
determinism and indeterminism
monism and dualism
idealism and materialism

Philosophers can classify ontologies in various ways using criteria such as the degree of abstraction
and field of application:[5]

1. Upper ontology: concepts supporting development of an ontology, meta-ontology


2. Domain ontology: concepts relevant to a particular topic or area of interest, for example,
information technology or computer languages, or particular branches of science
3. Interface ontology: concepts relevant to the juncture of two disciplines
4. Process ontology: inputs, outputs, constraints, sequencing information, involved in business or
engineering processes
5. The concept of 'ontological formations' refers to formations of social relations understood as
dominant ways of living. Temporal, spatial, corporeal, epistemological and performative
relations are taken to be central to understanding a dominant formation. That is, a particular
ontological formation is based on how ontological categories of time, space, embodiment,
knowing and performing are livedobjectively and subjectively. Different ontological
formations include the customary (including the tribal), the traditional, the modern and the
postmodern. The concept was first introduced by Paul James' Globalism, Nationalism,
Tribalism[14] together with a series of writers including Damian Grenfell and Manfred Steger.

68
69

6. In the engaged theory approach, ontological formations are seen as layered and intersecting
rather than singular formations. They are 'formations of being'. This approach avoids the
usual problems of a Great Divide being posited between the modern and the pre-modern.

Here it can be seen the areas of ontology lost to social sciences. And below to biology, ecology and
cognitive sciences. Schools of subjectivism, objectivism and relativism existed at various times in the
20th century, and the postmodernists and body philosophers tried to reframe all these questions in
terms of bodies taking some specific action in an environment. This relied to a great degree on insights
derived from scientific research into animals taking instinctive action in natural and artificial settingsas
studied by biology, ecology,[17] and cognitive science and philosophy of language.

Some philosophers suggest that the question of "What is?" is (at least in part) an issue of usage rather
than a question about facts.[20] This perspective is conveyed by an analogy made by Donald
Davidson: Suppose a person refers to a 'cup' as a 'chair' and makes some comments pertinent to a
cup, but uses the word 'chair' consistently throughout instead of 'cup'. One might readily catch on that
this person simply calls a 'cup' a 'chair' and the oddity is explained.[21] Analogously, if we find people
asserting 'there are' such-and-such, and we do not ourselves think that 'such-and-such' exist, we
might conclude that these people are not nuts (Davidson calls this assumption 'charity'), they simply
use 'there are' differently than we do. The question of What is? is at least partially a topic in the
philosophy of language, and is not entirely about ontology itself.[22] This viewpoint has been
expressed by Eli Hirsch.[23][24]

Hirsch interprets Hilary Putnam as asserting that different concepts of "the existence of something"
can be correct.[24] This position does not contradict the view that some things do exist, but points out
that different 'languages' will have different rules about assigning this property.[24][25] How to
determine the 'fitness' of a 'language' to the world then becomes a subject for investigation -=

As well as to human geography In human geography there are two types of ontology: small "o"
which accounts for the practical orientation, describing functions of being a part of the group,
thought to oversimplify and ignore key activities. The other "o", or big "O", systematically, logically,
and rationally describes the essential characteristics and universal traits. This concept relates closely
to Plato's view that the human mind can only perceive a bigger world if they continue to live within
the confines of their "caves". However, in spite of the differences, ontology relies on the symbolic
agreements among members. That said, ontology is crucial for the axiomatic language frameworks.

And here to physics - There is an established and long philosophical history of the concept of atoms
as microscopic physical objects.They are far too small to be visible to the naked eye. It was as recent
as the nineteenth century that precise estimates of the sizes of putative physical atoms began to
become plausible. Almost direct empirical observation of atomic effects was due to the theoretical
investigation of Brownian motion by Albert Einstein in the very early twentieth century. But even
then, the real existence of atoms was debated by some. Such debate might be labeled 'microcosmic
ontology'. Here the word 'microcosm' is used to indicate a physical world of small entities, such as
for example atoms.

Subatomic particles are usually considered to be much smaller than atoms. Their real or actual
existence may be very difficult to demonstrate empirically.[29] A distinction is sometimes drawn
between actual and virtual subatomic particles. Reasonably, one may ask, in what sense, if any, do
virtual particles exist as physical entities? For atomic and subatomic particles, difficult questions
arise, such as do they possess a precise position, or a precise momentum? A question that continues
to be controversial is 'to what kind of physical thing, if any, does the quantum mechanical wave

69
70

function refer?' http://ontologia.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Programa-XII-IOC54.pdf


http://ontologia.net/ Physics in XII International Ontology Congress

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTsaZWzVJ4c

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-ontology/

An article that shows the intersections of ontology and logic.

A number of important philosophical problems are at the intersection of logic and ontology. Both
logic and ontology are diverse fields within philosophy and, partly because of this, there is not one
single philosophical problem about the relation between them. In this survey article we will first
discuss what different philosophical projects are carried out under the headings of logic and
ontology and then we will look at several areas where logic and ontology overlap.

1. Introduction
2. Logic
o 2.1. Different conceptions of logic
o 2.2. How the different conceptions of logic are related to each other
3. Ontology
o 3.1. Different conceptions of ontology

As a first approximation, ontology is the study of what there is. Some contest this formulation of
what ontology is, so it's only a first approximation. Many classical philosophical problems are
problems in ontology: the question whether or not there is a god, or the problem of the existence of
universals, etc.. These are all problems in ontology in the sense that they deal with whether or not a
certain thing, or more broadly entity, exists. But ontology is usually also taken to encompass
problems about the most general features and relations of the entities which do exist. There are
also a number of classic philosophical problems that are problems in ontology understood this way.
For example, the problem of how a universal relates to a particular that has it (assuming there are
universals and particulars), or the problem of how an event like John eating a cookie relates to the
particulars John and the cookie, and the relation of eating, assuming there are events, particulars and
relations. These kinds of problems quickly turn into metaphysics more generally, which is the
philosophical discipline that encompasses ontology as one of its parts. The borders here are a
little fuzzy. But we have at least two parts to the overall philosophical project of ontology: first, say
what there is, what exists, what the stuff is reality is made out off, secondly, say what the most
general features and relations of these things are.

This way of looking at ontology comes with two sets of problems which leads to the philosophical
discipline of ontology being more complex than just answering the above questions. The first set of
problems is that it isn't clear how to approach answering these questions. This leads to the
debate about ontological commitment. The second set of problems is that it isn't so clear what
these questions really are. This leads to the philosophical debate about meta-ontology. Lets look
at them in turn.

One of the troubles with ontology is that it not only isn't clear what there is, it also isn't so clear how
to settle questions about what there is, at least not for the kinds of things that have traditionally been
of special interest to philosophers: numbers, properties, God, etc. Ontology is thus a philosophical
discipline that encompasses besides the study of what there is and the study of the general features of
what there is also the study of what is involved in settling questions about what there is in general,

70
71

especially for the philosophically tricky cases. How we can find out what there is isn't an easy
question to answer. It seems simple enough for regular objects that we can perceive with our eyes,
like my house keys, but how should we decide it for such things as, say, numbers or properties? One
first step to making progress on this question is to see if what we believe already rationally settles
this question. That is to say, given that we have certain beliefs, do these beliefs already bring with
them a rational commitment to an answer to such questions as Are there numbers? If our beliefs
bring with them a rational commitment to an answer to an ontological question about the existence of
certain entities then we can say that we are committed to the existence of these entities. What
precisely is required for such a commitment to occur is subject to debate, a debate we will look at
momentarily. To find out what one is committed to with a particular set of beliefs, or acceptance of a
particular theory of the world, is part of the larger discipline of ontology.

Besides it not being so clear what it is to commit yourself to an answer to an ontological


question, it also isn't so clear what an ontological question really is, and thus what it is that
ontology is supposed to accomplish. To figure this out is the task of meta-ontology, which
strictly speaking is not part of ontology construed narrowly, but the study of what ontology is.
However, like most philosophical disciplines, ontology more broadly construed contains its own
meta-study, and thus meta-ontology is part of ontology, more broadly construed. Nonetheless it is
helpful to separate it out as a special part of ontology. Many of the philosophically most
fundamental questions about ontology really are meta-ontological questions. Meta-ontology has
not been too popular in the last couple of decades, partly because one meta-ontological view, the one
often associated with Quine, has been accepted as the correct one, but this acceptance has been
challenged in recent years in a variety of ways. One motivation for the study of meta-ontology is
simply the question of what question ontology aims to answer. Take the case of numbers, for
example. What is the question that we should aim to answer in ontology if we want to find out if
there are numbers, that is, if reality contains numbers besides whatever else it is made up from? This
way of putting it suggest an easy answer: Are there numbers? But this question seems like an easy
one to answer. An answer to it is implied, it seems, by trivial mathematics, say that the number 7 is
less than the number 8. If the latter, then there is a number which is less than 8, namely 7, and thus
there is at least one number. Can ontology be that easy? The study of meta-ontology will have to
determine, amongst others, if Are there numbers? really is the question that the discipline of
ontology is supposed to answer, and more generally, what ontology is supposed to do. We will
pursue these questions below. As we will see, several philosophers think that ontology is supposed to
answer a different question than what there is, but they often disagree on what that question is.

The larger discipline of ontology can thus be seen as having four parts:

(O1) the study of ontological commitment, i.e. what we or others are committed to,
(O2) the study of what there is,
(O3) the study of the most general features of what there is, and how the things there are
relate to each other in the metaphysically most general ways,
(O4) the study of meta-ontology, i.e. saying what task it is that the discipline of ontology
should aim to accomplish, if any, how the questions it aims to answer should be understood,
and with what methodology they can be answered.
o
o 3.2. How the different conceptions of ontology are related to each other
o The relationship between these four seems rather straightforward. (O4) will have to say how
the other three are supposed to be understood. In particular, it will have to tell us if the
question to be answered in (O2) indeed is the question what there is, which was taken
above to be only a first approximation for how to state what ontology is supposed to do.

71
72

Maybe it is supposed to answer the question what is real instead, or what is fundamental,
some other question. Whatever one says here will also affect how one should understand
(O1). We will at first work with what is the most common way to understand (O2) and (O1),
and discuss alternatives in turn. If (O1) has the result that the beliefs we share commit us to
a certain kind of entity then this requires us either to accept an answer to a question about
what there is in the sense of (O2) or to revise our beliefs. If we accept that there is such an
entity in (O2) then this invites questions in (O3) about its nature and the general relations it
has to other things we also accept. On the other hand, investigations in (O3) into the nature
of entities that we are not committed to and that we have no reason to believe exist would
seem like a rather speculative project, though, of course, it could still be fun and interesting
4. Areas of overlap
o 4.1. Formal languages and ontological commitment. (L1) meets (O1) and (O4)
Formal ontologies are theories that attempt to give precise mathematical formulations of the
properties and relations of certain entities. Such theories usually propose axioms about these
entities in question, spelled out in some formal language based on some system of formal
logic. Formal ontology can been seen as coming in three kinds, depending on their
philosophical ambition. Let's call them representational, descriptive, and systematic. We will
in this section briefly discuss what philosophers, and others, have hoped to do with such
formal ontologies.
A formal ontology is a mathematical theory of certain entities, formulated in a formal,
artificial language, which in turn is based on some logical system like first order logic, or
some form of the lambda calculus, or the like
o
o 4.2. Is logic neutral about what there is? (L2) meets (O2)
o 4.3. Formal ontology. (L1) meets (O2) and (O3)
o 4.4. Carnap's rejection of ontology. (L1) meets (O4) and (the end of?) (O2)
One interesting view about the relationship between formal languages, ontology, and meta-
ontology is the one developed by Carnap in the first half of the 20th century, and which is
one of the starting points of the contemporary debate in ontology, leading to the well-known
exchange between Carnap and Quine, to be discussed below. According to Carnap one
crucial project in philosophy is to develop frameworks that can be used by scientists to
formulate theories of the world. Such frameworks are formal languages that have a clearly
defined relationship to experience or empirical evidence as part of their semantics. For
Carnap it was a matter of usefulness and practicality which one of these frameworks will be
selected by the scientists to formulate their theories in, and there is no one correct framework
that truly mirrors the world as it is in itself. The adoption of one framework rather than
another is thus a practical question.
Carnap distinguished two kinds of questions that can be asked about what there is. One are
the so-called internal questions, questions like Are there infinitely many prime numbers?

What the philosophers aim to ask, according to Carnap, is not a question internal to the
framework, but external to it. They aim to ask whether the framework correctly corresponds
to reality, whether or not there really are numbers. However, the words used in the
question Are there numbers? only have meaning within the framework of talk about
numbers, and thus if they are meaningful at all they form an internal question, with a trivial
answer. The external questions that the metaphysician tries to ask are meaningless.

Carnap's rejection of ontology, and metaphysics more generally, has been widely criticized
from a number of different angles. One common criticism is that it relies on a too simplistic
conception of natural language that ties it too closely to science or to evidence and
verification. In particular, Carnap's more general rejection of metaphysics used a

72
73

verificationist conception of meaning, which is widely seen as too simplistic. Carnap's


rejection of ontology has been criticized most prominently by Quine, and the debate
between Carnap and Quine on ontology is a classic in this field

Carnap's arguments for the rejection of ontology are presently widely rejected. However,
several philosophers have recently attempted to revive some parts or others of Carnap's
ideas.

Yablo, See (Hofweber 2000) and (Hofweber 2005). Putnam, for example in (Putnam 1987),
has developed a view that revives some of the pragmatic aspects of Carnap's view. See (Sosa
1993) for a critical discussion of Putnam's view, and (Sosa 1999) for a related, positive
proposal.

Although ontology is often understood as the discipline that tries to find out what there is,
or what exists, this is not universally accepted. Some philosophers think that the job of
ontology is something different, and there is disagreement among them what it is more
precisely. Among the proposed options are the projects of finding out what is real, or what
is fundamental, or what the primary substances are, or what reality is like in itself, or
something like this. Proponents of these approaches often find the questions about what
there is too inconsequential and trivial to take them to be the questions for ontology.

Some philosophers have proposed that natural language might be unsuitable for the
purposes of ontology. It might be unsuitable since it carries with it too much baggage from
our particular conceptual scheme. See (Burgess 2005) for a discussion.

o 4.5. The fundamental language. (L1) meets (O4) and (the new beginning of?) (O2)
o 4.6. The structure of thought and the structure of reality. (L4) meets (O3)
o One way to understand logic is as the study of the most general forms of thought or
judgment, what we called (L4). One way to understand ontology is as the study of the most
general features of what there is, our (O3). Now, there is a striking similarity between the
most general forms of thought and the most general features of what there is. Take one
example. Many thoughts have a subject of which they predicate something. What there is
contains individuals that have properties. It seems that there is the same structure in
thought as well as in reality. And similarly for other structural features. Does this matching
between thought and the world ask for a substantial philosophical explanation? Is it a
deep philosophical puzzle?
5. Conclusion
Bibliography
Academic Tools
Other Internet Resources
Related Entries

https://www.ontology.co/

For details see Table of Ontologists of 19th and 20th Centuries

73
74


https://www.ontology.co/ontologists.htm

Detailed information (bibliographies, abstract of relevant publications, and selections of
critical judgments) for the thinkers mentioned in the Table of Ontologists are partly available
and will be completed in the near future; I will publish also pages in French and Italian with
selections of critical studies available in these languages, but not translated in English.
An important feature of this site will be the bibliographies about the history of ontology,
selected authors and ontological topics that have not yet been covered in such detail;
bibliographical entries will not only include the most relevant books, but also a selection of
articles from about one hundred philosophical reviews; attention will be paid to the relations

74
75

with logic, semantics and semiotics, in particular to the theories of predication and reference
and to the relation between thought, language and the world.
The completion of this job will require some years; more than 15,000 bibliographic
references are already available in the following languages, in decreasing order of frequency:
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish; the Bibliographies will be constantly expanded
and updated, and new abstracts of existing entries will be added.
I wish to apologize to readers of other languages, not included only because of my foreign
language limitations (my mother tongue is Italian), but I hope that students and researchers
will find sufficient material for a more thorough study and will enjoy discovering many
philosophical treasures, some little known, but in no way less significant.

For lists of past and present Ontologists see here https://www.ontology.co/ontologists.htm

http://ontology.buffalo.edu/contemporary.htm

National Center for Ontological Research


Basic Formal Ontology
The Philosophome
Ontology and Education
Information as Ontologization
Information Artifact Ontology
Peter Simons: Against Set Theory
Applied Ontology (journal)
Jan Berg: Aristotle's Theory of Definition
Cambridge Social Ontology Group
Ontospace (University of Bremen)
General Ontology for Linguistic Description
Analytic Metaphysics Portal
Ontologies: Philosophical and Computational
Formal Ontology in Information Systems
Vagueness
The New Ontology of the Mental Causation Debate
Logic and Ontology
Standard Upper Ontology
Formal Models of Common-Sense Geographic
Worlds
Ontology: A Resource Guide for Philosophers
Ingarden and the Ontology of Cultural Objects
Geographic Categories
Geographic Ontology
Ontology of Environments
Ontology of Boundaries
Conference on Applied Ontology, April 1998
What is an Ontology?
Ontology of Text
The Monist: Topology for Philosophers
The Monist: The Ontology of Scientific Realism
The Monist: Temporal Parts
Metaphysics Research Lab

75
76

https://ontologynetwork.wordpress.com/

http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/ontology-and-metaontology-9781441182890/

http://www.spep.org/conferences/the-ontological-turn-in-contemporary-philosophy-october-3-to-
5-pucrs-brazil/

The Ontological Turn in Contemporary Philosophy October 3 to 5, PUCRS,


Brazil
The so-called linguistic turn is widely regarded as the defining trait of 20th century philosophy in
the continental as well as the analytic tradition. Prepared since the 18th century by the critical
impulse which elevated the question of the human access to the world to the position of primary
philosophical problem, it has, however, led to a number of impasses that are both internal and
external: to what extent can we accept the pretence of doing philosophy in a way that would be
entirely free from implicit ontological presuppositions and commitments? To what extent is not
critique today a matter of exposing and criticising these presuppositions, as well as proposing
others? To what extent can we accept the paradoxically autarchic role that this turn, in its
extreme versions, ascribes to language in regard to being? How to navigate between the two
equally untenable reductionisms of a common sense, logicism or scientism devoid of self-
reflexivity, on the one hand, and the sacrifice of all objectivity at the altar of the signifiers free play,
on the other?

There is a growing trend in contemporary philosophy to consider that the reduction of each
and every philosophical question to the theme of the relation between human and world,
however defined what Quentin Meillassoux has famously called correlationism , not only
leaves us spinning in a void, but also renders us incapable of giving answers to the challenges
that call for thought in the present: the environmental crisis, the blurring of the boundaries
between nature and technique, the different political and cultural dimensions of what is understood
as life, the questions raised by contemporary biology, cognitive science, mathematics and
physics.
Saturated of a play of mirrors that ultimately seem to reflect nothing, are we ready for an ontological
turn in philosophy? Should such a movement in philosophy prosper, it would certainly not be
through a return to pre-critical metaphysics, but through deepening and transforming modernitys
reflexive task.

https://materialismos.wordpress.com/

http://philosophy.ou.edu/Websites/philosophy/images/irvin/Contemporary_Art--Ontology.pdf

Oxford University Press CONTEMPORARY ART: ONTOLOGY


The
ontology
of
visual
artworks
might
76
77

be
thought
comparable
to
the
ontology
of
other
sorts
of
artifacts:
a
work
of
painting
seems
to
be
materially
constituted
by
a
particular
canvas
with
paint
on
it,
just
as
a
spoon
is
constituted
by
a
particular
piece
of
metal
(Baker,
2000;
Thomson,
1998).
But
recent
developments
have
complicated

77
78

the
situation,
requiring
a
new
account
of
the
ontology
of
contemporary
art.
These
developments
also
shed
light
on
the
ontology
of
works
from
earlier
historical
eras.
New
Developments
On
a
common--sense
conception
of
the
nature
of
visual
artworks
such
as
paintings,
the
following
are
true:
1. The
artwork
is
a

78
79

particular
material
object.
2. The
appearance
of
the
painted
surface
is
central
to
the
works
identity.
3. Extensive,
irreversible
change
to
the
painted
surface
is
sufficient
for
destruction
of
the
work.
Can
analogous
claims
be
made
of
modern
and
contemporary
artworks?
Consider
some
examples.
Saburo
Murakami
stipulated
that
flaking
paint
is

79
80

integral
to
his
Peeling
Off
Paintings
(1957),
not
damage
to
be
avoided
or
repaired.
Gerald
Fergusons
Maintenance
Paintings
(c.
1979--1982).

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.820.6778&rep=rep1&type=pdf

The above are merely a few examples of the type of work that forms part of Contemporary Ontology.
What does it tell us about the subject-matter of philosophy as far as the field of ontology is concerned?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------.
7

Other disciplines that absorbed and differentiated questions, sets of questions and fields that traditionally
formed part of philosophy are cognitive psychology cognitive sociology and cognitive sciences. These and all
other disciplines, even art and meta-art, have developed or are in need of development of its own ontology.

Cognitive sociology is a sociological sub-discipline devoted to the study of the social and cultural
contingencies and consequences of human cognition. Notable authors include, but are not limited to,
Eviatar Zerubavel, Aaron Cicourel, Barry Schwartz, Karen A. Cerulo and Paul DiMaggio.
Cognition and cognitive notions have become one of the major and most fashionable impulses, attractions
and notions in contemporary sociology.
Here are a few examples
http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_sociology
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding
citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2015)
(Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Cognitive sociology is a sociological sub-discipline devoted to the study of the social and cultural
contingencies and consequences of human cognition. Notable authors include, but are not limited to,
Eviatar Zerubavel, Aaron Cicourel, Barry Schwartz, Karen A. Cerulo and Paul DiMaggio.[1]

The term 'cognitive sociology' was used already in 1974 by Cicourel.[2] However, in 1997
DiMaggio[3] published what has been referred to as a now classic paper[4] of Cognitive Sociology in
its current form.
80
81

Special journal issues on the topic of Cognitive Sociology has been published by the scientific
journals Poetics[5] and the European Journal of Social Theory in 2010 and 2007 respectively.

Graduate-level courses in cognitive sociology has been organized at the University of Copenhagen in
2014 and 2016 .

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/socf.12131/abstract

Based on remarks delivered at a special session on What Should the Sociology of Cognition Look
Like? organized by Karen A. Cerulo at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society,
Baltimore, MD, February 2014

The sociology of cognition could serve as a more effective bridge between sociology and other
disciplines, and more of a two-way thoroughfare, if we would consider doing the following two
things, which we are already doing here and there. First, we need to take a stand in philosophy of
social science debates. Second, we need to show how what we do contributes to sociological
methods, and not only say that what we do contributes to sociological theory, however fundamental
that contribution may be.

https://www.academia.edu/427279/On_the_Contributions_of_Cognitive_Sociology_for_the_Sociolo
gical_Study_of_Race

https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Cognitive_Sociology

https://www.academia.edu/29377441/Brekhus_Wayne_H_Culture_and_Cognition_Patterns_in_the_
Social_Construction_of_Reality

https://www.academia.edu/27109564/Sciences_et_pseudo-sciences_Recension

https://www.academia.edu/19673939/Toward_a_New_Materialism_in_Sociology_How_the_Sociolo
gy_of_Culture_Killed_Culture_and_Why_thats_a_Good_Thing

https://www.academia.edu/16199192/Culture_Cognition_and_Embodimen

https://www.academia.edu/15034217/Beyond_the_Comtean_Schema_The_Sociology_of_Culture_a
nd_Cognition_Versus_Cognitive_Social_Science

http://cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions/4420/what-is-the-relationship-between-sociology-and-
cognitive-sciences

What is the relationship between sociology and cognitive sciences?


I want to know what is the relationship between sociology and cognitive sciences. Let
up vote 7 me start by short consideration of both:
down vote
favorite 1. Sociology - well established discipline or a field of research Sociology is a part of social
sciences.
2
2. Cognitive sciences - a bit more recent field of research. Cognitive science cannot be
considered a discipline, it lacks core basics, there is bigger and less connected variety

81
82

of research methods and objects. Cognitive sciences is also part of social sciences, but
has stronger ties with biomedicine (neurology, pharmacology).

Sociology considers that main causes of our behavior lie outside, in the social
environment. At the same time cognitive sciences look for causation within
psyche/brain.

I believe that there are three ways of looking into relations:

1. Connections between sociological and cognitive-science journals?


2. Semantic relations like use of similar concepts and definitions?
3. Interdisciplinary projects that include both sociology and cognitive sciences?

http://home.uchicago.edu/~jlmartin/901%20syllabus.pdf

1
Culture and Cognition
Sociology 901
John Levi Martin
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Spring 2005
Overview:
In recent years there has been a buddi
ng of a new interest in culture that has
revolved around the incantation of culture and cogn
ition. In any abstract, formal sense, it is
hard to defend this as a new field, but in the soci
ological sense (which is
all that really matters)
there is clearly something new afoot. This inte
rest is different from the sociology of culture
generally conceived in two ways. First, it is
not specifically concerned with Culture in the
narrow sense of productions, but culture in th
e wider anthropologica
l sense (although specific
cultural products may be used to get at this culture).
*
Second, it is not inte
rested in the vague,
evanescent and global leve
82
83

l of culture involving things such


as symbols unless these can be
made concrete and related to defensible models of
cognition. This interest
is also different from
social psychology as currently cons
tituted, basically because of a l
ack of interest in the problems
that (largely for historical r
easons) became central to social
psychology as it currently stands.
(The substitution of cognition for psychol
ogy also seems to imply that conventional
psychological models are considered to be exhausted.)
Instead
, the study of culture and cogniti
on is an attempt to look at patternings in subjectivity that
arise because of the placement of that cogni
zing apparatus which we call the human mind in
institutional settings. How exactly this is to
be done, however, is not
yet worked out. This
makes the field incredibly exciting. This class
will be in modest form a contribution to the
projectfortunately, there is littl
e enough work that we need not simply survey what has been
done. We are also free to determine the lines
of what should be done.
This class will both
survey what there is in this area and de
termine where further work should take place.

http://sociology.rutgers.edu/documents/graduate-course-syllabi/fall-2013-graduate-courses/231-
cognitive-sociology/file

Welcome to C
ognitive Sociology,

where we
w

83
84

ill
venture to
ex
plor
e
the fascinating relations between
the social and the mental.
Using
classical and contemporary works in sociology, anthropology,
psychology,
history,
geography, linguistics, and
phil
osophy
, we will ex
amin
e the sociocultural
underpinnings of
major
mental processes
(
perception, attention, memory, classification,
signification
)
as well as the sociocognitive foundations of identity
. In so doing
, we will be drawing on major
theoretical
traditions such as
phenomenology, social constructionism, ethnomethodology, symbolic
anthropology, structuralism,
fra
me analysis,
and semiotics.
Throughout
the s
emester, you
will
use
these traditions
in a variety of substantive
contexts, acquire a
n intellectually
pluralistic
perspective
that promotes engagement with
different
theoretical perspectives, and produce original, thematically

84
85

-
inspired pieces of sociological thinking.
There are s
ix
books we will be using extensively t
hroughout the course

Eviatar Zerubavels
Social
Mindscapes
(ISBN 0
-
674
-
81390
-
1), Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmanns
The Social Construction
of Reality
(ISBN 0
-
385
-
05898
-
5), Eviatar Zerubavels
The Fine Line
(ISBN 0
-
226
-
98159
-
2), Christena
Nippert
-
Engs
H
ome and Work
(ISBN 0
-
226
-
58146
-
2), Wayne Brekhuss
Peacocks, Chameleons,
Centaurs

85
86

(ISBN 0
-
226
-
07292
-
4), and Eviatar Zerubavels
Ancestors and Relatives
(ISBN 978
-
0
-
19
-
933604
-
3).

http://www.sacra.cz/2011-2/3_Sacra_9-2011-2_6.pdf

40
Jan Krtk

Cognitive sociology and the study of human


Cognition: A
critical point
Jan Krtk, FF MU, Departement for the Study of Religions
e-mail: jan.kratky@mail.muni.cz
Abstract
I
base my paper on review of a
leading texts from the field of cognitive sociology
with the attempt to compare the implicit notion of cognition with the conceptions
elaborated in the field of cognitive science and allied disciplines (e.g. cognitive
psychology, cognitive anthropology, cognitive science of religion, cognitive
archeology etc.). I
will refer mainly to Cerulo (2002a, 2009), DiMaggio (2002),
Vaughan (2002), Wakefield (2002) and Zerubavel (1997, 2002, 2003). The exemplar
issues will be presented in the course of four steps. First, I
problematize the notion
of cognition limited merely to habituated behavioral forms related to specific
local situations as presented in study by Vaughan (2002). Second, I
discuss the
excessive focus on local structures of meaning that are conceived as one of the goals
of sociology of mind presented by Zerubavel (1997). I
point out the problematic
position of sociology of mind, since it draws a
substantial focus on intersubjectivity
defined in contrast to cognitive individualism and universalism. I
present this
methodological stance in relation to interpretative program of social sciences.

86
87

Consequently, I
show that this type of cognitive theorizing casts vital doubts on
results emerging from the field itself as well as on cross-disciplinary relevancy of
that investigation. Viable forms of collaboration between cultural theorizing based
on interpretative and descriptive methods and cognitive science will be explained
throughout the paper as well as in its final conclusion

http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?tag=cognitive-sociology

http://jura.ku.dk/icourts/news/cognitive-sociology-culture-and-international-law/

https://digilib.phil.muni.cz/handle/11222.digilib/124443

The above are only a few examples of the proliferation of articles, lectures, conferences, books, etc
concerned cognitive sociology. This new dream child sociology gave birth to appears as if it is
giving life to this discipline by means of providing it with a new ontology, a frame of reference,
other transcendentals such as assumptions and pre-suppositions, endless new concepts and ways of
generating more concepts and ideas, methodologies, techniques, methods and a treasure of new
topics for sociological investigation, research, lectures, theses and publications.

Most important in this context is the effect of that and the implications for philosophy and its
subject-matter. More fields of what used to be considered philosophy has been usurped by cognitive
sociology, cognitive psychology, law etc, etc. The most important discipline is sociology because it
has been prepared for this new differentiation of sociological subject-matter by developments in the
discipline during the last century for example by second generation Critical Theory such as
Habermas and the work surrounding him and others of that school and developments in philosophy
and other fields in France, deconstruction, Derrida, phenomenology, semiotics, etc. And, with the
sociologization of reason, cognition and the introduction of social theory into philosophy and
philosophizing boundaries between the disciplines of philosophy and sociology have been blurred
and intentionally so. The latter led to sociologism not only in the discipline of sociology, but also he
introduction of it into the discourse of philosophy and the doing of philosophy this was initially
restricted to Germany, then later top other geographical areas of Western Europe and gradually into
North America.

And, so far I have only pointed to cognitive sociology and not even mentioned other disciplines that
are involved in the cognitive sciences bandwagon. When we look at them we will no doubt discover
that a similar process of de-philosophizing (transformation of fields, questions, investigation,
concepts, conceptual practices, etc of the philosophical discourse and socio-cultural practice and
intersubjectivity) has occurred because of the involvement of other disciplines involved in cognitive
sciences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognition

Cognition is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through
thought, experience, and the senses."[1] It encompasses processes such as knowledge, attention,
memory and working memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning and "computation", problem
solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language, etc. Human cognition is
conscious and unconscious, concrete or abstract, as well as intuitive (like knowledge of a language)
and conceptual (like a model of a language). Cognitive processes use existing knowledge and
generate new knowledge.

87
88

The processes are analyzed from different perspectives within different contexts, notably in the fields
of linguistics, anesthesia, neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, education, philosophy,
anthropology, biology, systemics, logic, and computer science.[2][page needed] These and other different
approaches to the analysis of cognition are synthesised in the developing field of cognitive science, a
progressively autonomous academic discipline. Within psychology and philosophy, the concept of
cognition is closely related to abstract concepts such as mind and intelligence. It encompasses the
mental functions, mental processes (thoughts), and states of intelligent entities (humans,
collaborative groups, human organizations, highly autonomous machines, and artificial
intelligences).[3]

Thus, the term's usage varies across disciplines; for example, in psychology and cognitive science,
"cognition" usually refers to an information processing view of an individual's psychological
functions. It is also used in a branch of social psychology called social cognition to explain attitudes,
attribution, and group dynamics.[4] In cognitive psychology and cognitive engineering, cognition is
typically assumed to be information processing in a participants or operators mind or brain.[3]

Cognition can in some specific and abstract sense also be artificial.[5]

The term "cognition" is often incorrectly used to mean "cognitive abilities" or "cognitive skills."

Look at the role cognition and related ideas played in philosophy - Cognition is a word that dates
back to the 15th century, when it meant "thinking and awareness".[7] Attention to the cognitive
process came about more than eighteen centuries ago, beginning with Aristotle and his interest in the
inner workings of the mind and how they affect the human experience. Aristotle focused on
cognitive areas pertaining to memory, perception, and mental imagery. The Greek philosopher found
great importance in ensuring that his studies were based on empirical evidence; scientific
information that is gathered through observation and conscientious experimentation.[8] Centuries
later, as psychology became a burgeoning field of study in Europe and then gained a following in
America, other scientists like Wilhelm Wundt, Herman Ebbinghaus, Mary Whiton Calkins, and
William James, to name a few, would offer their contributions to the study of cognition.

Wilhelm Wundt (18321920) heavily emphasized the notion of what he called introspection:
examining the inner feelings of an individual. With introspection, the subject had to be careful to
describe his or her feelings in the most objective manner possible in order for Wundt to find the
information scientific.[9][10] Though Wundt's contributions are by no means minimal, modern
psychologists find his methods to be quite subjective and choose to rely on more objective
procedures of experimentation to make conclusions about the human cognitive process.

Hermann Ebbinghaus (18501909) conducted cognitive studies that mainly examined the function
and capacity of human memory. Ebbinghaus developed his own experiment in which he constructed
over 2,000 syllables made out of nonexistent words, for instance EAS. He then examined his own
personal ability to learn these non-words. He purposely chose non-words as opposed to real words to
control for the influence of pre-existing experience on what the words might symbolize, thus
enabling easier recollection of them.[9][11] Ebbinghaus observed and hypothesized a number of
variables that may have affected his ability to learn and recall the non-words he created. One of the
reasons, he concluded, was the amount of time between the presentation of the list of stimuli and the
recitation or recall of same. Ebbinghaus was the first to record and plot a "learning curve," and a
"forgetting curve."[12] His work heavily influenced the study of serial position and its effect on
memory, discussed in subsequent sections.

88
89

Mary Whiton Calkins (18631930) was an influential American pioneer in the realm of psychology.
Her work also focused on the human memory capacity. A common theory, called the recency effect,
can be attributed to the studies that she conducted.[13] The recency effect, also discussed in the
subsequent experiment section, is the tendency for individuals to be able to accurately recollect the
final items presented in a sequence of stimuli. Her theory is closely related to the aforementioned
study and conclusion of the memory experiments conducted by Hermann Ebbinghaus.[14]

William James (18421910) is another pivotal figure in the history of cognitive science. James was
quite discontent with Wundt's emphasis on introspection and Ebbinghaus' use of nonsense stimuli.
He instead chose to focus on the human learning experience in everyday life and its importance to
the study of cognition. James' major contribution was his textbook Principles of Psychology that
preliminarily examines many aspects of cognition like perception, memory, reasoning, and attention,
to name a few

Cognitive studies and notions presented psychology, as it did with sociology, with a new life, areas
of research, conceptual schemes and much else - The sort of mental processes described as cognitive
are largely influenced by research which has successfully used this paradigm in the past, likely
starting with Thomas Aquinas, who divided the study of behavior into two broad categories:
cognitive (how we know the world), and affective (how we understand the world via feelings and
emotions)[disputed discuss].[citation needed] Consequently, this description tends to apply to processes such as
memory, association, concept formation, pattern recognition, language, attention, perception, action,
problem solving and mental imagery.[15][16] Traditionally, emotion was not thought of as a cognitive
process. This division is now regarded as largely artificial, and much research is currently being
undertaken to examine the cognitive psychology of emotion; research also includes one's awareness
of one's own strategies and methods of cognition called metacognition and includes metamemory.

Empirical research into cognition is usually scientific and quantitative, or involves creating models to
describe or explain certain behaviors.

While few people would deny that cognitive processes are a function of the brain, a cognitive theory
will not necessarily make reference to the brain or other biological process (compare
neurocognitive). It may purely describe behavior in terms of information flow or function. Relatively
recent fields of study such as cognitive science and neuropsychology aim to bridge this gap, using
cognitive paradigms to understand how the brain implements these information-processing functions
(see also cognitive neuroscience), or how pure information-processing systems (e.g., computers) can
simulate cognition (see also artificial intelligence). The branch of psychology that studies brain
injury to infer normal cognitive function is called cognitive neuropsychology. The links of cognition
to evolutionary demands are studied through the investigation of animal cognition. And conversely,
evolutionary-based perspectives can inform hypotheses about cognitive functional systems'
evolutionary psychology.

The theoretical school of thought derived from the cognitive approach is often called cognitivism.

The phenomenal success of the cognitive approach can be seen by its current dominance as the
core model in contemporary psychology (usurping behaviorism in the late 1950s).

And, of course the role it plays in sociology and social sciuences - For every individual, the social
context in which he or she is embedded provides the symbols of his or her representation and
linguistic expression. The human society sets the environment where the newborn will be socialized
and develop his or her cognition. For example, face perception in human babies emerges by the age

89
90

of two months: young children at a playground or swimming pool develop their social recognition by
being exposed to multiple faces and associating the experiences to those faces. Education has the
explicit task in society of developing cognition. Choices are made regarding the environment and
permitted action that lead to a formed experience.

Language acquisition is an example of an emergent behavior. From a large systemic perspective,


cognition is considered closely related to the social and human organization functioning and
constrains. For example, the macro-choices made by the teachers influence the micro-choices made
by students..

The semantic network of knowledge representation systems has been studied in various paradigms.
One of the oldest is the leveling and sharpening of stories as they are repeated from memory studied
by Bartlett. The semantic differential used factor analysis to determine the main meanings of words,
finding that value or "goodness" of words is the first factor. More controlled experiments examine
the categorical relationships of words in free recall. The hierarchical structure of words has been
explicitly mapped in George Miller's Wordnet. More dynamic models of semantic networks have
been created and tested with neural network experiments based on computational systems such as
latent semantic analysis (LSA), Bayesian analysis, and multidimensional factor analysis. The
semantics (meaning) of words is studied by all the disciplines of cognitive science.

Other disciplines increasing involved in cognitive studies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_biology

Cognitive biology is an emerging science that regards natural cognition as a biological function.[1] It
is based on the theoretical assumption that every organismwhether a single cell or multicellular
is continually engaged in systematic acts of cognition coupled with intentional behaviors, i.e., a
sensory-motor coupling.[2] That is to say, if an organism can sense stimuli in its environment and
respond accordingly, it is cognitive. Any explanation of how natural cognition may manifest in an
organism is constrained by the biological conditions in which its species survives to evolve.[3] And
since by Darwinian theory the species of every organism is evolving from a common root, three
further elements of cognitive biology are required: (i) the study of cognition in one species of
organism is useful, through contrast and comparison, to the study of another species cognitive
abilities;[4] (ii) it is useful to proceed from organisms with simpler to those with more complex
cognitive systems,[5] and (iii) the greater the number and variety of species studied in this regard, the
more we understand the nature of cognition.[6

While cognitive science endeavors to explain human thought and the conscious mind, the work of
cognitive biology is focused on the most fundamental process of cognition for any organism. In the
past several decades, biologists have investigated cognition in organisms large[7] and small,[8] both
plant[9] and animal.[10] Mounting evidence suggests that even bacteria grapple with problems long
familiar to cognitive scientists, including: integrating information from multiple sensory channels to
marshal an effective response to fluctuating conditions; making decisions under conditions of
uncertainty; communicating with conspecifics and others (honestly and deceptively); and
coordinating collective behaviour to increase the chances of survival.[11] Without thinking or
perceiving as humans would have it, an act of basic cognition is arguably a simple step-by-step
process through which an organism senses a stimulus, then finds an appropriate response in its
repertoire and enacts the response. However, the biological details of such basic cognition have
neither been delineated for a great many species nor sufficiently generalized to stimulate further
investigation. This lack of detail is due to the lack of a science dedicated to the task of elucidating the

90
91

cognitive ability common to all biological organisms. That is to say, a science of cognitive biology
has yet to be established.[12] A prolegomena[13] for such science was presented in 2007 and several
authors[14] have published their thoughts on the subject since the late 1970s. Yet as the examples in
the next section suggest, there is neither consensus on the theory nor widespread application in
practice.

Although the two terms are sometimes used synonymously,[15] cognitive biology should not be
confused with the biology of cognition in the sense that it is used by adherents to the Chilean School
of Biology of Cognition.[16] Also known as the Santiago School, the biology of cognition is based on
the work of Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana,[17] who crafted the doctrine of autopoiesis.
Their work began in 1970 while the first mention of cognitive biology by Brian Goodwin (discussed
below) was in 1977 from a different perspective.[18]

More and more disciplines are drawn into cognitive studies and consequently areas of spcialization
in such studies are differentiated in those disciplines. The words cognitive and biology are also
used together as the name of a category. The category of cognitive biology has no fixed content but,
rather, the content varies with the user. If the content can only be recruited from cognitive science,
then cognitive biology would seem limited to a selection of items in the main set of sciences
included by the interdisciplinary conceptcognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics,
philosophy, neuroscience, and cognitive anthropology.[39] These six separate sciences were allied to
bridge the gap between brain and mind with an interdisciplinary approach in the mid-1970s.[40]
Participating scientists were concerned only with human cognition. As it gained momentum, the
growth of cognitive science in subsequent decades seemed to offer a big tent to a variety of
researchers.[41] Some, for example, considered evolutionary epistemology a fellow-traveler. Others
appropriated the keyword, as for example Donald Griffin in 1978, when he advocated the
establishment of cognitive ethology.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santiago%27s_theory_of_cognition

Initiated by Humberto Maturana in 1978 with the publication of his Biology of Cognition, his
subsequent work in partnership with Francisco Varela in Santiago eventually came to be called the
Santiago theory of cognition. They and their work, their cohorts and like-minded intellectuals
similarly came to be known as the Santiago School.[1] The theory can be encapsulated in two
sentences:

Living systems are cognitive systems, and living as a process is a process of cognition. This
statement is valid for all organisms, with or without a nervous system.[2]

This theory contributes a perspective that cognition is a process present at other organic levels.

The Santiago theory of cognition is a direct theoretical consequence of the theory of autopoiesis.
Cognition is considered as the ability of adaptation in a certain environment. That definition is not as
strange as it seems at first glance: for example, one is considered to have a good knowledge of
Mathematics if he can understand and subsequently solve a Mathematical problem. That is, one can
recognize the mathematical entities, their interrelations and the procedures used to view other aspects
of the relevant phenomena; all these, are the domain of Mathematics. And one with knowledge of
that domain, is one adapted to that domain, for he can tweak the problems, the entities and the
procedures within the certain domain.

91
92

Cognition emerges as a consequence of continuous interaction between the system and its
environment. The continuous interaction triggers bilateral perturbations; perturbations are considered
problems therefore the system uses its functional differentiation procedures to come up with a
solution (if it doesn't have one handy already through its memory). Gradually the system becomes
"adapted" to its environment that is it can confront the perturbations so as to survive. The resulting
complexity of living systems is cognition produced by the history of bilateral perturbations within
the system/environment schema.

This theory contributes to the philosophical discussion of awareness, consciousness, cognition


and the philosophy of mind

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_computing

Cognitive computing (CC) describes technology platforms that, broadly speaking, are based on the
scientific disciplines of Artificial Intelligence and Signal Processing. These platforms encompass
machine learning, reasoning, natural language processing, speech and vision, human-computer
interaction, dialog and narrative generation and more

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_cognition

Comparative cognition is the comparative study of the mechanisms and origins of cognition in
various species. From a biological point of view, work is being done on the brains of fruit flies that
should yield techniques precise enough to allow an understanding of the workings of the human
brain on a scale appreciative of individual groups of neurons rather than the more regional scale
previously used. Similarly, gene activity in the human brain is better understood through
examination of the brains of mice by the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science (see link
below), yielding the freely available Allen Brain Atlas. This type of study is related to comparative
cognition, but better classified as one of comparative genomics. Increasing emphasis in psychology
and ethology on the biological aspects of perception and behavior is bridging the gap between
genomics and behavioral analysis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genomics

Genomics refers to the study of the genome[1] in contrast to genetics which refers to the study of
genes and their roles in inheritance.[1] Genomics can be considered a discipline in genetics. It applies
recombinant DNA, DNA sequencing methods, and bioinformatics to sequence, assemble, and
analyze the function and structure of genomes (the complete set of DNA within a single cell of an
organism).[2][3] Advances in genomics have triggered a revolution in discovery-based research to
understand even the most complex biological systems such as the brain.[4] The field includes efforts
to determine the entire DNA sequence of organisms and fine-scale genetic mapping.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_processing_technology_and_aging

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_thought

Thought (also called thinking) the mental process in which beings form psychological
associations and models of the world. Thinking is manipulating information, as when we form
concepts, engage in problem solving, reason and make decisions. Thought, the act of thinking,
produces thoughts. A thought may be an idea, an image, a sound or even an emotional feeling that
arises from the brain.

92
93

Types of thoughts
Concept
o Abstract concept
o Concrete concept
Conjecture
Decision (see Decision-making below)
Definition
Explanation
Hypothesis
Idea
Logical argument
Logical assertion
Mental image
Percept / Perception
Premise
Proposition
Syllogism
Thought experiment

Content of thoughts

Argument
Belief
Data
Information
Knowledge
Schema

Human thought
Main article: Human thought

Analysis
Awareness
Calculation
o Estimation
Categorization
Causal thinking
Cognitive restructuring
Computational thinking
Convergent thinking
Counterfactual thinking
Critical thinking
Divergent thinking
Evaluation
Integrative thinking
Internal monologue (surface thoughts)
Introspection

93
94

Learning and memory


Parallel thinking
Prediction
Recollection
Stochastic thinking
Strategic thinking
Visual thinking

Classifications of thought

Bloom's taxonomy
Dual process theory
Fluid and crystallized intelligence
Higher-order thinking
Theory of multiple intelligences
Three-stratum theory
Williams' taxonomy

Creative processes

Brainstorming
Cognitive module
Creativity
Creative problem solving
Creative writing
Creativity techniques
Design thinking
Imagination
Lateral thinking
Noogenesis
Six Thinking Hats
Speech act
Stream of consciousness
Thinking outside the box

Decision-making
Main article: Decision-making

Choice
Cybernetics
Decision theory
Executive system
Goals and goal setting
Judgement
Planning
Rational choice theory
Speech act
Value (personal and cultural)
Value judgment

94
95

Erroneous thinking
See also: Error and Human error

Black and white thinking


Catastrophization
Cognitive bias
Cognitive distortions
Dysrationalia
Emotional reasoning
Exaggeration
Foolishness
Fallacies (see also List of fallacies)
o Fallacies of definition
o Logical fallacy
Groupthink
Irrationality
Linguistic errors
Magical thinking
Minimisation (psychology)
Motivated reasoning
Rationalization (psychology)
Rhetoric
Straight and Crooked Thinking (book)
Target fixation
Wishful thinking

Emotional intelligence (emotionally based thinking)


Main article: Emotional intelligence

Acting
Affect logic
Allophilia
Attitude (psychology)
Curiosity
Elaboration likelihood model
Emotions and feelings
Emotion and memory
Emotional contagion
Empathy
Epiphany (feeling)
Mood (psychology)
Motivation
Propositional attitude
Rhetoric
Self actualization
Self control
Self-esteem
Self-determination theory
Social cognition
Will (philosophy)
Volition (psychology)

95
96

Problem solving
Main article: Problem solving

Problem solving steps


o Problem finding
o Problem shaping
Process of elimination
Systems thinking
o Critical systems thinking
Problem-solving strategy steps one would use to find the problem(s) that are in the way to getting
to ones own goal. Some would refer to this as the problem-solving cycle (Bransford & Stein, 1993).
In this cycle one will recognize the problem, define the problem, develop a strategy to fix the
problem, organize the knowledge of the problem cycle, figure-out the resources at the user's
disposal, monitor one's progress, and evaluate the solution for accuracy.
o Abstraction solving the problem in a model of the system before applying it to the real
system
o Analogy using a solution that solves an analogous problem
o Brainstorming (especially among groups of people) suggesting a large number of solutions
or ideas and combining and developing them until an optimum solution is found
o Divide and conquer breaking down a large, complex problem into smaller, solvable
problems
o Hypothesis testing assuming a possible explanation to the problem and trying to prove (or,
in some contexts, disprove) the assumption
o Lateral thinking approaching solutions indirectly and creatively
o Means-ends analysis choosing an action at each step to move closer to the goal
o Method of focal objects synthesizing seemingly non-matching characteristics of different
objects into something new
o Morphological analysis assessing the output and interactions of an entire system
o Proof try to prove that the problem cannot be solved. The point where the proof fails will
be the starting point for solving it
o Reduction transforming the problem into another problem for which solutions exist
o Research employing existing ideas or adapting existing solutions to similar problems
o Root cause analysis identifying the cause of a problem
o Trial-and-error testing possible solutions until the right one is found
o Troubleshooting
Problem-solving methodology
o 5 Whys
o Decision cycle
o Eight Disciplines Problem Solving
o GROW model
o How to Solve It
o Learning cycle
o OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, and act)
o PDCA (plandocheckact)
o Problem structuring methods
o RPR Problem Diagnosis (rapid problem resolution)
o TRIZ (in Russian: Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch, "theory of solving inventor's
problems")

Reasoning
Main article: Reasoning

96
97

Abstract thinking
Adaptive reasoning
Analogical reasoning
Analytic reasoning
Case-based reasoning
Critical thinking
Defeasible reasoning from authority: if p then (defeasibly) q
Diagrammatic reasoning reasoning by means of visual representations. Visualizing concepts and
ideas with of diagrams and imagery instead of by linguistic or algebraic means
Emotional reasoning (erroneous) a cognitive distortion in which emotion overpowers reason, to
the point the subject is unwilling or unable to accept the reality of a situation because of it.
Fallacious reasoning (erroneous) logical errors
Heuristics
Historical thinking
Intuitive reasoning
Lateral thinking
Logic / Logical reasoning
o Abductive reasoning from data and theory: p and q are correlated, and q is sufficient for p;
hence, if p then (abducibly) q as cause
o Deductive reasoning from meaning postulate, axiom, or contingent assertion: if p then q
(i.e., q or not-p)
o Inductive reasoning theory formation; from data, coherence, simplicity, and confirmation:
(inducibly) "if p then q"; hence, if p then (deducibly-but-revisably) q
o Inference
Moral reasoning process in which an individual tries to determine the difference between what is
right and what is wrong in a personal situation by using logic.[4] This is an important and often daily
process that people use in an attempt to do the right thing. Every day for instance, people are faced
with the dilemma of whether or not to lie in a given situation. People make this decision by
reasoning the morality of the action and weighing that against its consequences.
Probabilistic reasoning from combinatorics and indifference: if p then (probably) q
Proportional reasoning using "the concept of proportions when analyzing and solving a
mathematical situation."[5]
Rational thinking
Semiosis
Statistical reasoning from data and presumption: the frequency of qs among ps is high (or
inference from a model fit to data); hence, (in the right context) if p then (probably) q
Synthetic reasoning
Verbal reasoning understanding and reasoning using concepts framed in words
Visual reasoning process of manipulating one's mental image of an object in order to reach a
certain conclusion for example, mentally constructing a piece of machinery to experiment with
different mechanisms

Machine thought
Main articles: Machine thought and Outline of artificial intelligence

Artificial creativity
Automated reasoning
o Commonsense reasoning
o Model-based reasoning
o Opportunistic reasoning

97
98

o Qualitative reasoning automated reasoning about continuous aspects of the physical


world, such as space, time, and quantity, for the purpose of problem solving and planning
using qualitative rather than quantitative information
o Spatialtemporal reasoning
o Textual case based reasoning
Computer program (recorded machine thought instructions)
Human-based computation
Natural language processing (outline)

Organizational thought

Organizational thought (thinking by organizations)

Management information system


Organizational communication
Organizational planning
o Strategic planning
Strategic thinking
Systems thinking

Aspects of the thinker


Aspects of the thinker which may affect (help or hamper) his or her thinking:

Attitude
Cognitive style
Common sense
Experience
Instinct
Intelligence
Metacognition
Mind's eye
Mindset
Rationality
Wisdom
o Sapience

Properties of thought
Accuracy
Cogency
Dogma
Effectiveness
Efficacy
Efficiency
Freethought
Frugality
Meaning
Prudence
Rights

98
99

Skepticism
Soundness
Validity
Value theory
Wrong

Fields that study thought


Linguistics
Philosophy
o Logic
o Philosophy of mind
Neuroscience
o Cognitive science
o Psychology
Cognitive psychology
Social psychology
o Psychiatry
Mathematics
Operations research

Thought tools and thought research


Cognitive model
Design tool
Diagram
o Argument map
o Concept map
o Mind map
DSRP
Intelligence amplification
Language
Meditation
Six Thinking Hats
Synectics

History of thinking
Main article: History of reasoning

History of artificial intelligence


History of cognitive science
History of creativity
History of ideas
History of logic
History of psychometrics

Organizational thinking concepts


Main articles: Organizational studies and Organizational psychology

99
100

Attribution theory
Communication
Concept testing
Evaporating Cloud
Fifth discipline
Groupthink
Group synergy
Ideas bank
Interpretation
Learning organization
Metaplan
Operations research
Organization development
Organizational communication
Organizational culture
Organizational ethics
Organizational learning
Rhetoric
Smart mob
Theory of Constraints
Think tank
Wisdom of crowds

Teaching methods and skills


Main articles: Education and Teaching

Active learning
Classical conditioning
Directed listening and thinking activity
Discipline
Learning theory (education)
Mentoring
Operant conditioning
Problem-based learning
Punishment
Reinforcement

Scholars of thinking

Aaron T. Beck
Edward de Bono
David D. Burns author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy and The Feeling Good Handbook.
Burns popularized Aaron T. Beck's cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) when his book became a best
seller during the 1980s.[6]
Tony Buzan
Noam Chomsky
Albert Ellis
Howard Gardner
Douglas Hofstadter

100
101

Ray Kurzweil
Marvin Minsky
Steven Pinker
Baruch Spinoza
Robert Sternberg

Related concepts
Cognition
Knowledge
Multiple intelligences
Strategy
Structure
System

Awareness and perception


Main articles: Awareness and Perception

Attention
Cognition
Cognitive dissonance
Cognitive map
Concept
Concept map
Conceptual framework
Conceptual model
Consciousness
Domain knowledge
Heuristics in judgment and decision making
Information
Intelligence
Intuition
Knowledge
Memory suppression
Mental model
Metaknowledge (knowledge about knowledge)
Mind map
Mindfulness (psychology)
Model (abstract)
Percept
Perception
Self-awareness
Self-concept
Self-consciousness
Self-knowledge
Self-realization
Sentience
Situational awareness
Understanding

101
102

Learning and memory


Main articles: Education, Learning, and Memory

Autodidacticism
Biofeedback
Cognitive dissonance
Dual-coding theory
Eidetic memory (total recall)
Emotion and memory
Empiricism
Feedback
Feedback loop
Free association
Heuristics
Hyperthymesia
Hypnosis
Hypothesis
Imitation
Inquiry
Knowledge management
Language acquisition
Memorization
Memory and aging
Memory inhibition
Memory-prediction framework
Method of loci
Mnemonics
Neurofeedback
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
Observation
Pattern recognition
Question
Reading
Recall
Recognition
Recollection (recall)
Scientific method
Self-perception theory
Speed reading
Study Skills
Subvocalization
Transfer of learning
Transfer of training
Visual learning

See also

Thinking portal

Artificial intelligence

102
103

o Outline of artificial intelligence


Human intelligence
o Outline of human intelligence
Neuroscience
o Outline of neuroscience
Psychology
o Gestalt psychology (theory of mind)
o Outline of psychology

Place these

Adaptation
Association of Ideas
Attacking Faulty Reasoning
Autistic thinking (see Glossary of psychiatry)
Backcasting
Causality
Chunking (psychology)
Cognition
Cognitive biology
Cognitive computing
Cognitive deficit
Cognitive dissonance
Cognitive linguistics
Cognitive module
Cognitive psychology
Cognitive science
Cognitive space
Cognitive style
Communicating
Comparative cognition
Concept-formation
Conceptual metaphor
Conceptual thinking
Conscience
Consciousness
Constructive criticism
Conversation
Criticism
Dereistic thinking (see Glossary of psychiatry)
Design (and re-design)
Dialectic
Discovery (observation)
Distinction (philosophy)
Distributed cognition
Distributed multi-agent reasoning system
Educational assessment
Emotion
Empirical knowledge
Empiricism
Epistemology

103
104

Evidential reasoning (disambiguation)


Evidential reasoning approach
Expectation (epistemic)
Experimentation
Explanation
Extension (semantics)
Facilitation (business)
Fantasy
Fideism
Figure Reasoning Test
Fuzzy logic
Fuzzy-trace theory
Generalizing
Gestalt psychology
Group cognition
Heuristics in judgment and decision making
Holism
Human multitasking
Human self-reflection
Hypervigilance
Identification (information)
Inductive reasoning aptitude
Intellect
Intelligence (trait)
Intentionality
Inventing
Judging
Kinesthetic learning
Knowledge management
Knowledge representation and reasoning
Language
Linguistics
List of cognitive scientists
List of creative thought processes
List of emotional intelligence topics
List of emotions
List of organizational thought processes
List of perception-related topics
Mathematics Mechanization and Automated Reasoning Platform
Mental function
Mental model theory of reasoning
Meta-analytic thinking
Meta-ethical
Methodic doubt
Mimesis
Mind
Models of scientific inquiry
Morphological analysis (problem-solving)
Natural language processing
Nonduality
Nous

104
105

Object pairing
Pattern matching
Personal experience
Personality psychology
Persuasion
Philomath
Philosophical analysis
Philosophical method
Planning
Po (term)
Practical reason
Preconscious
Prediction
Procedural reasoning system
Pseudoscience
Pseudoskepticism
Psychological projection
Psychology of reasoning
Qualitative Reasoning Group
Rationality and Power
Reasoning Mind
Reasoning system
Recognition primed decision
Reflective disclosure
Scientific method
SEE-I
Self-deception
Semantic network
Semantics
Semiotics
Sensemaking
Situated cognition
Situational awareness
Skepticism
Source criticism
Spatial Cognition
Speculative reason
Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning
Storytelling
Stream of consciousness (psychology)
Subconscious
Substitution (logic)
Suspicion (emotion)
Theories
Thinking processes (theory of constraints)
Thought disorder
Thought sonorization (see Glossary of psychiatry)
Translation
Truth
Unconscious mind
Understanding

105
106

VPEC-T
wikt:entrained thinking
wikt:synthesis
Working memory
World disclosure

Thinking

Buckminster Fuller: Thinking Out Loud (documentary)


Critical-Creative Thinking and Behavioral Research Laboratory
History of political thinking
Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines
Partial concurrent thinking aloud
Po (lateral thinking)
Six Thinking Hats
SolidThinking
Straight and Crooked Thinking
Systematic Inventive Thinking
The Art of Negative Thinking
The Lake of Thinking
The Leonardo da Vinci Society for the Study of Thinking
The Magic of Thinking Big
The Year of Magical Thinking
Thinking about Consciousness
Thinking about the immortality of the crab
Thinking Allowed (PBS)
Thinking Allowed
Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl
Thinking processes (Theory of Constraints)
Thinking Skills Assessment
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking
Unified structured inventive thinking
When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes
World Thinking Day

Lists

List of neurobiology topics


List of cognitive science topics
List of philosophical theories
List of psychology topics
List of cognitive scientists
Glossary of philosophical isms
List of cognitive biases
List of emotions
List of memory biases
List of mnemonics
List of neurobiology topics
List of NLP topics
List of psychometric topics

106
107

List of thought processes

NOTE: note all the fields, concepts, ideas etc concerning thought/thinking that traditionally formed part of
philosophical subject-matter that are already differentiated and form part of other disciplines and/or fields
in other disciplines.

A similar observation can be made concerning the notion of intelligences - NOTE: note all the fields,
concepts, ideas etc concerning intelligence that traditionally formed part of philosophical subject-matter
that are already differentiated and form part of other disciplines and/or fields in other disciplines.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_human_intelligence

Contents
1 Traits and aspects
2 Emergence and evolution
3 Augmented with technology
4 Capacities
5 Types of people, by intelligence
6 Models and theories
7 Related factors
8 Fields that study human intelligence
9 History
10 Organizations
11 Publications
12 Scholars and researchers
13 See also
14 Further reading
15 External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noogenesis

Noogenesis (Ancient Greek: =mind + = origin, becoming) is the emergence and evolution of
intelligence

Contents
1 Term origin

2 Recent developments

2.1 Modern understanding


2.2 Interdisciplinary nature

Interdisciplinary nature

The term "noogenesis" can be used in a variety of fields i.e. medicine,[11][12] biophysics,[13]
semiotics,[14] mathematics,[15] information technology,[16] psychology etc. thus making it a truly cross-

107
108

disciplinary one. In astrobiology noogenesis concerns the origin of intelligent life and more
specifically technological civilizations capable of communicating with humans and or traveling to
Earth.[17] The lack of evidence for the existence of such extraterrestrial life creates the Fermi
paradox.

3 Aspects of emergence and evolution of mind

The emergence of the human mind is considered to be one of the five phenomena of emergent
evolution.[18] To understand the mind, necessary to determine what the reasonable person's thinking
differs from other thinking beings. Such differences include the ability to generate calculations, to
combine dissimilar concepts, to use mental symbols, to think abstractly.[19] The knowledge of the
phenomenon of intelligent systems - the emergence of reason (noogenesis) boils down to:

Emergence and evolution of the "sapiens" (phylogenesis);


A conception of a new idea (insight, creativity synthesis, intuition, decision-making, eureka);
Development of an individual mind (ontogenesis );
Appearance of the Global Intelligence concept

3.1 To the parameters of the phenomenon "noo", "intellectus"


3.2 Aspects of evolution "sapiens"
Historical evolutionary development[21] and emergence of H.sapiens as species,[22] include
emergence of such concepts as anthropogenesis, phylogenesis, morphogenesis,
cephalization,[23] systemogenesis ,[24] cognition systems autonomy.[25]
On the other hand, development of an individuals intellect deals with concepts of
embryogenesis, ontogenesis,[26] morphogenesis, neurogenesis,[27] higher nervous function of
I.P.Pavlov and his philosophy of mind.[28] Despite the fact that the morphofunctional maturity
is usually reached by the age of 13, the definitive functioning of the brain structures is not
complete until about 1617 years of age

3.3 The future of intelligence
Bioinformatics, genetic engineering, noopharmacology, cognitive load, brain stimulation, the
efficient use of altered states of consciousness, use of non-human cognition, information technology
(IT), artificial intelligence (AI) are all believed to be effective methods of intelligence advancement.

4 Issues and further research prospects

The development of the human brain, perception, cognition, memory and neuroplasticity are unsolved
problems in neuroscience. Several megaprojects are being carried out in the American BRAIN Initiative and
the European Human Brain Project in attempt to better our understanding of the brain's functionality along
with the intention to develop human cognitive performance in the future with artificial intelligence,
informational, communication and cognitive technology.

Autopoiesis
Biological neural network
Cognitive science
Collective consciousness

108
109

Collective intelligence
Digital ecosystem
Emergence
Global brain
Human evolution
Information society
Knowledge commons
Knowledge ecosystem
Digital ecology
Knowledge management
Knowledge tagging
Management cybernetics
Media ecology
Mind
Neuroinformatics
Psychophysics
Sensory system
Technological singularity
Social organism
Sociology of knowledge
Superorganism
Territoriality (nonverbal communication)
World Brain

Evolutionary biology portal

Earth sciences portal

Logic portal

Mind and brain portal

Neuroscience portal

Psychology portal

Thinking portal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noogenesis#Interdisciplinary_nature

Interdisciplinary nature

The term "noogenesis" can be used in a variety of fields i.e. medicine,[11][12] biophysics,[13] semiotics,[14]
mathematics,[15] information technology,[16] psychology etc. thus making it a truly cross-disciplinary one. In
astrobiology noogenesis concerns the origin of intelligent life and more specifically technological civilizations
capable of communicating with humans and or traveling to Earth.[17] The lack of evidence for the existence of
such extraterrestrial life creates the Fermi paradox.

Cognitive epidemiology is a field of research that examines the associations between intelligence test scores
(IQ scores or extracted g-factors) and health, more specifically morbidity (mental and physical) and
mortality. Typically, test scores are obtained at an early age, and compared to later morbidity and mortality.
In addition to exploring and establishing these associations, cognitive epidemiology seeks to understand

109
110

causal relationships between intelligence and health outcomes. Researchers in the field argue that
intelligence measured at an early age is an important predictor of later health and mortality difference

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_epidemiology

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_human_intelligence

History

1.1 Hominidae
1.2 Homininae
1.3 Homo
1.4 Homo sapiens
o 1.4.1 Homo sapiens intelligence

2 Models

2.1 Social brain hypothesis


2.2 Social exchange theory
2.3 Sexual selection
2.4 Intelligence as a disease resistance sign
2.5 Ecological dominance-social competition model
2.6 Intelligence dependent on brain size
2.7 Group selection
2.8 Nutritional status

Dates approximate, consult articles for details

(From 2000000 BC till 2013 AD in (partial) exponential notation)

See also: Java Man (1.75e+06), Yuanmou Man (1.75e+06 : -0.73e+06),

Lantian Man (1.7e+06), Nanjing Man (- 0.6e+06), Tautavel Man (- 0.5e+06),

Peking Man (- 0.4e+06), Solo Man (- 0.4e+06), and Petera cu Oase (- 0.378e+05)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_science

Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary, scientific study of the mind and its processes.[2] It
examines the nature, the tasks, and the functions of cognition. Cognitive scientists study intelligence
and behavior, with a focus on how nervous systems represent, process, and transform information.
Mental faculties of concern to cognitive scientists include language, perception, memory, attention,
reasoning, and emotion; to understand these faculties, cognitive scientists borrow from fields such as

110
111

linguistics, psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, and anthropology.[3] The


typical analysis of cognitive science spans many levels of organization, from learning and decision to
logic and planning; from neural circuitry to modular brain organization. The fundamental concept of
cognitive science is that "thinking can best be understood in terms of representational structures in
the mind and computational procedures that operate on those structures."[3]

The cognitive sciences began as an intellectual movement in the 1950s, called the cognitive
revolution, arguably initiated by Noam Chomsky.

Principles

1.1 Levels of analysis

Marr[5] gave a famous description of three levels of analysis:

the computational theory, specifying the goals of the computation;


representation and algorithms, giving a representation of the inputs and outputs and the algorithms
which transform one into the other; and
the hardware implementation, how algorithm and representation may be physically realized.

1.2 Interdisciplinary nature
Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field with contributors from various fields, including
psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy of mind, computer science, anthropology,
sociology, and biology. Cognitive scientists work collectively in hope of understanding the
mind and its interactions with the surrounding world much like other sciences do. The field
regards itself as compatible with the physical sciences and uses the scientific method as well
as simulation or modeling, often comparing the output of models with aspects of human
cognition. Similarly to the field of psychology, there is some doubt whether there is a unified
cognitive science, which have led some researchers to prefer 'cognitive sciences' in plural.[6]
Many, but not all, who consider themselves cognitive scientists hold a functionalist view of
the mindthe view that mental states and processes should be explained by their function -

111
112

what they do. According to the multiple realizability account of functionalism, even non-
human systems such as robots and computers can be ascribed as having cognition.

1.3 Cognitive science: the term

2 Scope
Cognitive science is a large field, and covers a wide array of topics on cognition. However, it should be
recognized that cognitive science has not always been equally concerned with every topic that might bear
relevance to the nature and operation of minds. Among philosophers, classical cognitivists have largely de-
emphasized or avoided social and cultural factors, emotion, consciousness, animal cognition, and
comparative and evolutionary psychologies. However, with the decline of behaviorism, internal states such
as affects and emotions, as well as awareness and covert attention became approachable again. For
example, situated and embodied cognition theories take into account the current state of the environment
as well as the role of the body in cognition. With the newfound emphasis on information processing,
observable behavior was no longer the hallmark of psychological theory, but the modelling or recording of
mental states.

2.1 Artificial intelligence


2.2 Attention
2.3 Knowledge and processing of language
The ability to learn and understand language is an extremely complex process. Language is
acquired within the first few years of life, and all humans under normal circumstances are
able to acquire language proficiently. A major driving force in the theoretical linguistic field
is discovering the nature that language must have in the abstract in order to be learned in such
a fashion. Some of the driving research questions in studying how the brain itself processes
language include: (1) To what extent is linguistic knowledge innate or learned?, (2) Why is it
more difficult for adults to acquire a second-language than it is for infants to acquire their
first-language?, and (3) How are humans able to understand novel sentences?
The study of language processing ranges from the investigation of the sound patterns of
speech to the meaning of words and whole sentences. Linguistics often divides language
processing into orthography, phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and
pragmatics. Many aspects of language can be studied from each of these components and
from their interaction.

2.4 Learning and development
A major question in the study of cognitive development is the extent to which certain abilities are
innate or learned. This is often framed in terms of the nature and nurture debate. The nativist view
emphasizes that certain features are innate to an organism and are determined by its genetic
endowment. The empiricist view, on the other hand, emphasizes that certain abilities are learned
from the environment. Although clearly both genetic and environmental input is needed for a child
to develop normally, considerable debate remains about how genetic information might guide
cognitive development. In the area of language acquisition, for example, some (such as Steven
Pinker)[9] have argued that specific information containing universal grammatical rules must be
contained in the genes, whereas others (such as Jeffrey Elman and colleagues in Rethinking
Innateness) have argued that Pinker's claims are biologically unrealistic. They argue that genes
determine the architecture of a learning system, but that specific "facts" about how grammar works
can only be learned as a result of experience.
2.5 Memory
2.6 Perception and action

112
113

Perception is the ability to take in information via the senses, and process it in some way.
Vision and hearing are two dominant senses that allow us to perceive the environment. Some
questions in the study of visual perception, for example, include: (1) How are we able to
recognize objects?, (2) Why do we perceive a continuous visual environment, even though
we only see small bits of it at any one time? One tool for studying visual perception is by
looking at how people process optical illusions. The image on the right of a Necker cube is an
example of a bistable percept, that is, the cube can be interpreted as being oriented in two
different directions.
The study of haptic (tactile), olfactory, and gustatory stimuli also fall into the domain of
perception.
Action is taken to refer to the output of a system. In humans, this is accomplished through
motor responses. Spatial planning and movement, speech production, and complex motor
movements are all aspects of action.

2.7 Consciousness
Consciousness is the awareness whether something is an external object or something within
oneself. This helps the mind having the ability to experience or to feel a sense of self.

3 Research methods

3.1 Behavioral experiments


In order to have a description of what constitutes intelligent behavior, one must study behavior
itself. This type of research is closely tied to that in cognitive psychology and psychophysics.
3.2 Brain imaging
Brain imaging involves analyzing activity within the brain while performing various tasks. This allows
us to link behavior and brain function to help understand how information is processed. Different
types of imaging techniques vary in their temporal (time-based) and spatial (location-based)
resolution. Brain imaging is often used in cognitive neuroscience.
3.3 Computational modeling
Computational models require a mathematically and logically formal representation of a problem.
Computer models are used in the simulation and experimental verification of different specific and
general properties of intelligence. Computational modeling can help us understand the functional
organization of a particular cognitive phenomenon. There are two basic approaches to cognitive
modeling. The first is focused on abstract mental functions of an intelligent mind and operates using
symbols, and the second, which follows the neural and associative properties of the human brain, is
called subsymbolic.
3.4 Neurobiological methods

Research methods borrowed directly from neuroscience and neuropsychology can also help us to
understand aspects of intelligence. These methods allow us to understand how intelligent behavior is
implemented in a physical system.

Single-unit recording
Direct brain stimulation
Animal models
Postmortem studies

4 Key findings

113
114

Cognitive science has given rise to models of human cognitive bias and risk perception, and has been
influential in the development of behavioral finance, part of economics. It has also given rise to a new theory
of the philosophy of mathematics, and many theories of artificial intelligence, persuasion and coercion. It
has made its presence known in the philosophy of language and epistemology - a modern revival of
rationalism - as well as constituting a substantial wing of modern linguistics. Fields of cognitive science have
been influential in understanding the brain's particular functional systems (and functional deficits) ranging
from speech production to auditory processing and visual perception. It has made progress in understanding
how damage to particular areas of the brain affect cognition, and it has helped to uncover the root causes
and results of specific dysfunction, such as dyslexia, anopia, and hemispatial neglect.
5 History

The cognitive sciences began as an intellectual movement in the 1950s, called the cognitive
revolution. Cognitive science has a prehistory traceable back to ancient Greek philosophical texts
(see Plato's Meno and Aristotle's De Anima); and includes writers such as Descartes, David Hume,
Immanuel Kant, Benedict de Spinoza, Nicolas Malebranche, Pierre Cabanis, Leibniz and John
Locke. However, although these early writers contributed greatly to the philosophical discovery of
mind and this would ultimately lead to the development of psychology, they were working with an
entirely different set of tools and core concepts than those of the cognitive scientist.

The modern culture of cognitive science can be traced back to the early cyberneticists in the 1930s
and 1940s, such as Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts, who sought to understand the organizing
principles of the mind. McCulloch and Pitts developed the first variants of what are now known as
artificial neural networks, models of computation inspired by the structure of biological neural
networks.

Another precursor was the early development of the theory of computation and the digital computer
in the 1940s and 1950s. Alan Turing and John von Neumann were instrumental in these
developments. The modern computer, or Von Neumann machine, would play a central role in
cognitive science, both as a metaphor for the mind, and as a tool for investigation.

The first instance of cognitive science experiments being done at an academic institution took place
at MIT Sloan School of Management, established by J.C.R. Licklider working within the social
psychology department and conducting experiments using computer memory as models for human
cognition.[11]

In 1959, Noam Chomsky published a scathing review of B. F. Skinner's book Verbal Behavior. At
the time, Skinner's behaviorist paradigm dominated psychology. Most psychologists focused on
functional relations between stimulus and response, without positing internal representations.
Chomsky argued that in order to explain language, we needed a theory like generative grammar,
which not only attributed internal representations but characterized their underlying order.

The term cognitive science was coined by Christopher Longuet-Higgins in his 1973 commentary on
the Lighthill report, which concerned the then-current state of Artificial Intelligence research.[12] In
the same decade, the journal Cognitive Science and the Cognitive Science Society were founded.[13]
The founding meeting of the Cognitive Science Society was held at the University of California, San
Diego in 1979, which resulted in cognitive science becoming an internationally visible enterprise.[14]
In 1982, Vassar College became the first institution in the world to grant an undergraduate degree in
Cognitive Science.[15] In 1986, the first Cognitive Science Department in the world was founded at
the University of California, San Diego.[14]

114
115

In the 1970s and early 1980s, much cognitive science research focused on the possibility of artificial
intelligence. Researchers such as Marvin Minsky would write computer programs in languages such
as LISP to attempt to formally characterize the steps that human beings went through, for instance, in
making decisions and solving problems, in the hope of better understanding human thought, and also
in the hope of creating artificial minds. This approach is known as "symbolic AI".

Eventually the limits of the symbolic AI research program became apparent. For instance, it seemed
to be unrealistic to comprehensively list human knowledge in a form usable by a symbolic computer
program. The late 80s and 90s saw the rise of neural networks and connectionism as a research
paradigm. Under this point of view, often attributed to James McClelland and David Rumelhart, the
mind could be characterized as a set of complex associations, represented as a layered network.
Critics argue that there are some phenomena which are better captured by symbolic models, and that
connectionist models are often so complex as to have little explanatory power. Recently symbolic
and connectionist models have been combined, making it possible to take advantage of both forms of
explanation

6 Notable researchers

Some of the more recognized names in cognitive science are usually either the most controversial or
the most cited. Within philosophy familiar names include Daniel Dennett who writes from a
computational systems perspective, John Searle known for his controversial Chinese room, Jerry
Fodor who advocates functionalism.

David Chalmers who advocates Dualism, also known for articulating the hard problem of
consciousness, Douglas Hofstadter, famous for writing Gdel, Escher, Bach, which questions the
nature of words and thought. In the realm of linguistics, Noam Chomsky and George Lakoff have
been influential (both have also become notable as political commentators). In artificial intelligence,
Marvin Minsky, Herbert A. Simon, Allen Newell, and Kevin Warwick are prominent.

Popular names in the discipline of psychology include George A. Miller, James McClelland, Philip
Johnson-Laird, John O'Keefe, and Steven Pinker. Anthropologists Dan Sperber, Edwin Hutchins,
Scott Atran, Pascal Boyer, Michael Posner, and Joseph Henrich have been involved in collaborative
projects with cognitive and social psychologists, political scientists and evolutionary biologists in
attempts to develop general theories of culture formation, religion, and political association.

Affective science
Cognitive anthropology
Cognitive biology
Cognitive linguistics
Cognitive neuropsychology
Cognitive neuroscience
Cognitive psychology
Cognitive science of religion
Computational neuroscience
Computational-representational understanding of mind
Concept Mining
Decision field theory
Decision theory

115
116

Dynamicism
Educational neuroscience
Educational psychology
Embodied cognition
Embodied cognitive science
Enactivism
Epistemology
Heterophenomenology
Human Cognome Project
Human-Computer Interaction
Indiana Archives of Cognitive Science
Informatics (academic field)
List of cognitive scientists
List of institutions granting degrees in cognitive science
Malleable intelligence
Neural Darwinism
Personal information management (PIM)
Quantum Cognition
Simulated consciousness
Situated cognition
Society of Mind theory
Spatial Cognition
Speech-Language Pathology
Outline of human intelligence - topic tree presenting the traits, capacities, models, and research
fields of human intelligence, and more.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_human_intelligence

Outline of thought - topic tree that identifies many types of thoughts, types of thinking, aspects of
thought, related fields, and more.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_thought

After this journey through different concepts, conceptual sets and fields concerning cognition,
thought/thinking, intelligence, consciousness etc we might have a more subtle and complex idea of these
things that originally formed part of philosophical subject-matter and the discourse of philosophy.

As we have noticed many disciplines, sub-disciplines and endless topics of research and specialization have
been and are differentiated.

Have we learned anything from these things concerning the subject-matter of philosophy? What are the
implications of this diversity and complexity of research topics and disciplines for philosophy? Are there
anything, any phenomena, any topics, any ideas, concepts, sets of concepts and fields that can be explored
by philosophy alone? That are unique to philosophizing? Are there anything that can be explore by
philosophy, anything that must form the subject-matter of philosophizing? Anything that may form part of
philosophical investigation? If so, what are these things?

Perhaps branches in philosophy, other than metaphysics, ontology and epistemology, should be explored to
find uniquely and still existing philosophical subject-matter?

116
117

I present the categories of Philosophical Papers and other resources to show other sub-branches,
specializations and areas of interest in contemporary philosophy. I also include articles about questions
concerning the nature and the future of philosophy. This is perhaps a bizarre way to end explorations of the
subject-matter, or lack of it, of the philosophical discourse? A systematic diagram or a few logical
propositions or mathematical formulae would have suited the expectations of some individuals better? Or
reporting news concerning new discoveries in Cognitive Sciences that confirm theoretical conjectures about
the cognitive order as the single, absolute transcendental of sociology and other social sciences, if not all
sciences, humanities, arts and socio-cultural practices?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.oswego.edu/~delancey/100_DIR/100_LECTURES/0.Branches.pdf

http://www.nti-nigeria.org/nti-pgde/PGDE-9.pdf

http://www.slideshare.net/RightJungle/the-branches-of-philosophy-pdf

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Philosophy/The_Branches_of_Philosophy

1.1 Epistemology

1.2 Metaphysics

1.3 Logic

1.4 Ethics

Philosophy of Education: Fairly self-explanatory. A minor branch, mainly concerned with what is
the correct way to educate a person. Classic works include Plato's Republic, Locke's Thoughts
Concerning Education, and Rousseau's Emile.

Philosophy of History: Fairly minor branch (not as minor as education), although highly important
to Hegel and those who followed him, most notably Marx. It is the philosophical study of history,
particularly concerned with the question whether history (i.e. the universe and/or humankind) is
progressing towards a specific end? Hegel argued that it was, as did Marx. Classic works include
Vico's New Science, and Hegel and Marx's works.

Philosophy of Language: Ancient branch of philosophy which gained prominence in the last
century under Wittgenstein. Basically concerned with how our languages affect our thought.
Wittgenstein famously asserted that the limits of our languages mark the limits of our thought.
Classic works include Plato's Cratylus, Locke's Essay, and Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-
Philosophicus.

Philosophy of Law: Also called Jurisprudence. Study of law attempting to discern what the best
laws might be, how laws came into being in the first place, attempting to delimit human laws from
natural laws, whether we should always obey the law, and so on. Law isn't often directly dealt with
by philosophers, but much of political philosophy obviously has a bearing on it.

117
118

Philosophy of Mathematics: Concerned with issues such as, the nature of the axioms and symbols
(numbers, triangle, operands) of mathematics that we use to understand the world, do perfect
mathematical forms exist in the real world, and so on. Principia Mathematica is almost certainly the
most important work in this field.

Philosophy of Mind: Study of the mind, attempting to ascertain exactly what the mind is, how it
interacts with our body, do other minds exist, how does it work, and so on. Probably the most
popular branch of philosophy right now, it has expanded to include issues of AI. Classic works
include Plato's Republic and Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, although every major
philosopher has had some opinion at least on what the mind is and how it works.

Philosophy of Politics: Closely related to ethics, this is a study of government and nations,
particularly how they came about, what makes good governments, what obligations citizens have
towards their government, and so on. Classic works include Plato's Republic, Hobbes' Leviathan,
Locke's Two Treatises, and J.S. Mill's On Liberty.

Philosophy of Religion: Theology is concerned with the study of God, recommending the best
religious practices, how our religion should shape our life, and so on. Philosophy of religion is
concerned with much the same issues, but where Theology uses religious works, like the Bible, as it's
authority, philosophy likes to use reason as the ultimate authority.

Philosophy of Science: It is the Study of science concerned with whether scientific knowledge can
be said to be certain, how we obtain it, can science really explain everything, does causation really
exist, can every event in the universe be described in terms of physics and so on. Also popular in
recent times, classic works include Hume's Treatise on Human Nature, Kripke's Naming and
Necessity, Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

http://philosophy.atmhs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/LO1.1-The-Branches-of-Philosophy.pdf

http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com/FiveBranchesMain.html

https://philgcg11chd.wordpress.com/category/main-branches-of-philosophy/

https://s3.amazonaws.com/booklibrartytom2/8%20branches%20of%20philosophy.pdf

http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch.html

Only the traditional, major branches are mentioned by the above resources.

http://plato.stanford.edu/contents.html

Working through the Stanford above more specialized areas will be revealed.

http://www.iep.utm.edu/

http://philpapers.org/

http://philpapers.org/browse/all

118
119

Areas and Area Editors

Metaphysics and Epistemology Value Theory (Daniel Star)

Epistemology (Matthew McGrath) Aesthetics (Rafael De Clercq)


Metaphilosophy (Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa) Applied Ethics (Ezio Di Nucci)
Metaphysics (Jonathan Schaffer) Meta-Ethics (Daniel Star)
Philosophy of Action (Constantine Sandis) Normative Ethics (Jussi Suikkanen)
Philosophy of Language (Berit Brogaard) Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality (Lynne
Philosophy of Mind (David Chalmers, David Bourget) Tirrell)
Philosophy of Religion (Thomas Senor) Philosophy of Law (Aness Webster)
Social and Political Philosophy
Value Theory, Miscellaneous (Gwen Bradford)

Science, Logic, and Mathematics History of Western Philosophy

Logic and Philosophy of Logic (Aleksandra Samonek) Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy (Robin Smith)
Philosophy of Biology (Manolo Martnez) Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (Margaret
Philosophy of Cognitive Science (Gualtiero Piccinini) Cameron)
Philosophy of Computing and Information (Giuseppe 17th/18th Century Philosophy (Brandon Look)
Primiero) 19th Century Philosophy (Michelle Kosch)
Philosophy of Mathematics (ystein Linnebo) 20th Century Philosophy (Jack Alan Reynolds, James Chase)
Philosophy of Physical Science (Hans Halvorson)
Philosophy of Social Science (Michiru Nagatsu)
Philosophy of Probability (Darrell Rowbottom)
General Philosophy of Science (Howard Sankey)
Philosophy of Science, Misc

Philosophical Traditions

African/Africana Philosophy (Barry Hallen)


Asian Philosophy (JeeLoo Liu)
Continental Philosophy (Paul Livingston)
European Philosophy
Philosophy of the Americas (Susana Nuccetelli)
Philosophical Traditions, Miscellaneous

Metaphysics and Epistemology (247,231)

1 Epistemology (28,119)

Epistemology of Specific Domains (365 | 192)Ted Poston

Aesthetic Knowledge* (44)

Epistemology of Mathematics* (774 | 127)Alan Baker

Epistemology of Logic* (101)Joshua Schechter

Epistemology of Philosophy* (220 | 2)Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa

Epistemology of Religion* (2,064 | 126)Matthew A. Benton

Epistemology of Specific Domains, Misc (173)

119
120

Evidence and Proof in Law* (94)

Knowledge of Consciousness* (135)

Knowledge of Language* (502)Guy Longworth

Modal Epistemology* (426 | 1)Anand Vaidya

Moral Epistemology* (1,360 | 2)Christopher Michael Cloos

The Problem of Other Minds* (448 | 186)

Self-Knowledge* (1,082 | 258)

2 I list the entire section with all sub-sections for metaphilosophy as 1) it is of special interest to me and 2) it
still contains uniquely philosophical subject-matter.

Metaphilosophy (4,229)

Epistemology of Philosophy (220 | 2)Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa

Epistemology of Philosophy, Misc (76)Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa

Metaphilosophical Skepticism (142)Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa

Modal Epistemology* (426 | 1)Anand Vaidya

Philosophical Methods* (1,017 | 49)Joachim Horvath

Metaphilosophical Views (1,188 | 306)

Empiricism* (197 | 151)

Naturalism (268 | 223)

Moral Naturalism and Non-Naturalism* (783 | 17)Cristian Constantinescu

Arguments from Naturalism against Theism* (37)

Normativity and Naturalism* (97)

Naturalism and Intentionality* (94)

Naturalism in Economics* (29)

Naturalism in Jurisprudence* (6)

Mathematical Naturalism* (48)

Metaphysical Naturalism* (94)

Naturalism, Misc (45)

Pragmatism (222 | 175)

Pragmatism, Misc (47)

120
121

Pragmatism about Truth* (82)Patrick Greenough

Feminist Pragmatism* (154)

American Pragmatism* (2,051 | 1,722)

Rationalism* (123 | 94)Magdalena Balcerak Jackson

Metaphilosophical Views, Misc (72)

Philosophical Methods (1,017 | 49)Joachim Horvath

Argument* (454)Steven W. Patterson

Conceptual Analysis (261)Joachim Horvath

Computational Philosophy (22)

Experimental Philosophy* (1,146 | 1)Wesley Buckwalter

Formal Philosophy (12)

Intuition* (555 | 168)

Methodology in Metaphysics* (197)Frederique Janssen-Lauret

Linguistic Analysis in Philosophy (60)

Philosophical Methods, Misc (190)

Thought Experiments (358)Magdalena Balcerak Jackson

Transcendental Arguments (65)

Experimental Philosophy (1,146 | 1)Wesley Buckwalter

Experimental Philosophy of Action (233 | 2)Jonathan Phillips

Experimental Philosophy: Free Will (91)Jonathan Phillips

Experimental Philosophy: Intentional Action (120)Jonathan Phillips

Experimental Philosophy of Action, Misc (20)Jonathan Phillips

Experimental Philosophy of Language (101 | 1)Justin Sytsma

Experimental Philosophy: Reference (29)Justin Sytsma

Experimental Philosophy: Semantics (44)Shen-yi Liao

Experimental Philosophy of Language, Misc (27)Justin Sytsma

Experimental Philosophy of Mind (118)Adam Arico

Experimental Philosophy: Consciousness (46)Adam Arico

Experimental Philosophy of Mind, Misc (72)Adam Arico

Experimental Philosophy: Ethics (273 | 5)Jennifer Zamzow

Experimental Philosophy: Folk Morality (170)

121
122

Experimental Philosophy: Ethics, Misc (98)

Experimental Philosophy: Epistemology (109)Jennifer Nado

Experimental Philosophy: Contextualism and Invariantism (33)Nat Hansen

Experimental Philosophy: Epistemology, Misc (82)David Rose

Experimental Philosophy: Metaphysics (74)David Rose

Experimental Philosophy: Causation (31)David Rose

Experimental Philosophy: Persons (19)Vilius Dranseika

Experimental Philosophy: Metaphysics, Misc (24)David Rose

Foundations of Experimental Philosophy (161 | 32)John Philip Waterman

Critiques of Experimental Philosophy (60)

Foundations of Experimental Philosophy, Misc (69)

Experimental Philosophy, Miscellaneous (99 | 30)

Experimental Philosophy: Crosscultural Research (9)

* (2)

Experimental Philosophy, Misc (60)

Metaphilosophy, Miscellaneous (502 | 43)

Disagreement in Philosophy (63)

Kinds of Philosophy (8)

Metaontology* (1,002 | 114)Frederique Janssen-Lauret

Metaphilosophy, Misc (87)

The Nature of Philosophy (82)

The Nature of Analytic Philosophy (53)

Philosophical Language (14)

Philosophical Progress (34)

The Role of Philosophy (55)

The Value of Philosophy (32)

Traditions in Philosophy (32)

Verbal Disputes* (12)

Women in Philosophy* (55)

Metaphysics (32,551)

122
123

Metaontology (1,002 | 114)Frederique Janssen-Lauret

Metaontology, Misc (119)

Ontological Commitment (174)Henry Laycock

Ontological Conventionalism and Relativism (62)

Ontological Disagreement (54)Nurbay Irmak

Ontological Fictionalism (86)

Ontological Pluralism (49)Nurbay Irmak

Ontological Realism (148)Penelope Rush

Quantification and Ontology* (156)

Methodology in Metaphysics* (197)

Ontology (3,772 | 1,421

Philosophy of Action

Philosophy of Language (34,767

Philosophy of Mind (62,786)

Philosophy of Religion (56,298

M&E, Misc (159)

Value Theory (385,427)Daniel Star

10 I list 2 sections as they are of special interest to me -

Aesthetics

Aesthetic Cognition (3,628 | 1,192)

Aesthetic Cognition, Misc (42)

Aesthetic Attitudes (40)

Aesthetic Concepts (100)

Aesthetics and Emotions (373)

123
124

Aesthetic Experience (404)

Aesthetic Judgment (385)

Aesthetic Perception (201)Dustin Stokes

Aesthetic Interpretation (25)

Aesthetic Imagination (274)

Aesthetic Pleasure (174)

Aesthetic Taste (122)

Aesthetic Knowledge* (44)

Aesthetic Understanding (127)

Aesthetics and Cognitive Science (124)Dustin Stokes

Aesthetics and Psychoanalysis (1)

Aesthetic Realism and Anti-Realism (152 | 18)Fabian Dorsch

Aesthetic Realism (13)

Aesthetic Relativism (38)

Aesthetic Subjectivism (24)

Aesthetic Universality (23)

Aesthetic Realism and Anti-Realism, Misc (36)

Aesthetic Qualities (412 | 191)

Aesthetic Qualities, Misc (35)

Beauty (42)

Humour* (516)

Style (29)

The Sublime (85)Robert R. Clewis

The Tragic (30)

Aesthetic Representation (102 | 17)

Aesthetic Symbol Systems (22)

Depiction* (613)Ben Blumson

Intention and Interpretation (28)

Aesthetic Representation and Meaning, Misc (35)

Aesthetic Value (484 | 115)

Aesthetic Criticism (37)

124
125

Aesthetic Evaluation (54)

Aesthetic Normativity (32)

Aesthetics and Ethics (213)Aaron Smuts

The Value of Art* (131)

Aesthetic Value, Misc (34)

Aesthetics and Culture (184 | 46)

Aesthetic Universals (9)

Crosscultural Aesthetics (22)

Pop Culture (28)

Aesthetics and Culture, Misc (79)

Topics in Aesthetics (284 | 112)

Aesthetic Education (28)

Aesthetics of Nature (144)

Aesthetics and Race (0)Shen-yi Liao

Art and Artworks (534 | 24)Nicholas Riggle

Artworks (134)

The Artworld (46)

The Definition of Art (104)

The Value of Art* (131)

Art and Artworks, Misc (95)

Philosophy of Visual Art (1,772 | 41)Nicholas Riggle

Depiction* (613)Ben Blumson

Painting and Drawing (366)

Photography (592)Dan Cavedon-Taylor

Sculpture (66)

Philosophy of Visual Art, Misc

11

Applied Ethics (117,068)

Meta-Ethics (9,471)

Normative Ethics (25,627)

125
126

12

Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality (20,671

13

Philosophy of Law (12,440)

14

Social and Political Philosophy (81,453)

15

Philosophy of Social Science* (42,969)

16

Political Theory (7,630)

Political Views (7,493 | 442

Rights

17

Value Theory, Miscellaneous (43,201

18

Science, Logic, and Mathematics (290,352)

Logic and Philosophy of Logic

19

Philosophy of Biology (24,269)

20

Philosophy of Cognitive Science (64,474

21

Philosophy of Psychology (3,864 | 1,299)

22

Philosophy of Neuroscience (4,866 | 3,285

23

126
127

Philosophy of Consciousness (17,368 | 5,603)

Theories of Consciousness

Representationalism* (340)David Bourget

Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness (472 | 15)Richard Brown

Higher-Order Thought Theories of Consciousness (243)Richard Brown

Higher-Order Perception Theories of Consciousness (10)Richard Brown

Self-Representational Theories of Consciousness (179)Uriah Kriegel

Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness, Misc (24)Richard Brown

Functionalist Theories of Consciousness (175 | 53)

Dennett's Functionalism (117)

Functionalism and Qualia* (156)Andrew Bailey

Absent Qualia* (50)Andrew Bailey

Cognitive Models of Consciousness* (166)

Functionalist Theories of Consciousness, Misc (5)

Biological Theories of Consciousness (99 | 46)

Searle's Biological Naturalism (44)

Consciousness and Biology* (600 | 135)

Neurobiological Theories and Models of Consciousness* (177)

Mind-Brain Identity Theory* (333)Istvn Aranyosi

Biological Theories of Consciousness, Misc (9)

Panpsychism (259 | 208)Sam Coleman

The Combination Problem for Panpsychism (25)

Neutral Monism* (55)

Russellian Monism* (138)Tom McClelland

History: Panpsychism (5)

Panpsychism, Misc (21)

Theories of Consciousness, Misc (379 | 32)

Dualism about Consciousness (88)

Eliminativism about Consciousness (26)

Idealism* (168)A. P. Taylor

Phenomenalism* (77)Michael Pelczar

127
128

Neutral Monism* (55)

Russellian Monism* (138)Tom McClelland

Theories of Consciousness, Miscellaneous (40)

24

Philosophy of Linguistics (5,977 | 915)

25

Philosophy of Psychiatry and Psychopathology (4,904 | 961)

26

Science of Consciousness (17,681 | 2,455)

27

Philosophy of Computing and Information (2,906

28

Philosophy of Mathematics (11,889)

29

Philosophy of Physical Science (19,608)

30

Philosophy of Social Science (42,969)

Philosophy of Anthropology (810)Terence Rajivan Edward

Philosophy of Archaeology (383)Adrian Currie

Philosophy of Economics (6,856

31

Philosophy of Education (20,859 |

32

Philosophy of Geography (596)

Philosophy of History (6,062)Jonathan Lamb Gorman

Philosophy of Law* (12,440)Aness Webster

Philosophy of Political Science (

33

Philosophy of Sociology (1,286

128
129

Sociology of Science* (1,083)Markus Seidel

Sociology of Knowledge* (130)Markus Seidel

Philosophy of Sociology, Misc (36)

Philosophy of Social Science, Miscellaneous (2,898 | 772)

Functional Explanation in Social Science (58)

Holism and Individualism in Social Science (91)

Objectivity and Value in Social Science (86)

Rational Choice Theory (321)

Reduction in Social Science (28)

Social Ontology (260)Robert Keith Shaw

Philosophy of Social Science, General Works (879)

Philosophy of Social Science, Misc (403

34

Philosophy of Probability (5,567)

35

General Philosophy of Science (36,843)

Philosophy of Science, Misc (

36

History of Western Philosophy (248,967)

Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy

Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (24,091

17th/18th Century Philosophy (71,249)

17th/18th Century French Philosophy

17th/18th Century German Philosophy (28,957 | 234)Corey W. Dyck

Alexander Baumgarten (49)Courtney Fugate

Christian August Crusius (52)Jonas Jervell Indregard

Johann Georg Hamann (83)

Johann Gottfried Herder (136)

Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (39)

Immanuel Kant (21,885 | 4,536)

129
130

17th/18th Century Philosophy, Miscellaneous (5

19th Century Philosophy (33,211)

20th Century Philosophy (39,119)

20th Century Analytic Philosophy (23,276 | 444)

20th Century Continental Philosophy (5,299 | 3,324

37

Philosophical Traditions (175,353)

African/Africana Philosophy (2,510)

Asian Philosophy (25,851)JeeLoo Liu

Arabic and Islamic Philosophy* (1,508 | 1,326)

Asian Philosophy, Misc (337)

Chinese Philosophy (12,674 | 3,823

Japanese Philosophy (928)Curtis Rigsby

Indian Philosophy (7,214 |

38

Continental Philosophy (101,888)

39

European Philosophy (36,643)

40

Philosophy of the Americas (6,689)

41

Philosophical Traditions, Miscellaneous (1,738)

42

Philosophy, Misc (2,827)

Philosophy, Introductions and Anthologies (174)

Philosophy, General Works (1,482)

130
131

Teaching Philosophy (162)

Philosophy for Children (11)

Teaching Philosophy, Misc (38)

Philosophy, Miscellaneous (790)

Other Academic Areas (48,190)

Natural Sciences (4,574)

Natural Sciences (4,574)

Biological Sciences (4,088)

Chemistry (18)

Earth Sciences (24)

Physics (357)

Space Sciences (14)

Natural Sciences, Misc (50)

Social Sciences (6,471)

Archaeology (57)

Anthropology (307)

Communication (179)

Cultural Studies (153)

Economics (197)

Education* (388)

Gender Studies (62)

Geography (23)

History (367)

Political Science (771)

Semiotics (3,864)

Sociology (241)

Social Sciences, Misc (166)

Cognitive Sciences (13,256)

Linguistics (505)

Neuroscience (190)

131
132

Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (168)

Psychology (774)

Cognitive Sciences, Misc (280)

Formal Sciences (737)

Computer Science (107)

Information Science (70)

Mathematics (62)

Statistics (13)

Mathematical Logic (449)

Systems Science (9)

Formal Sciences, Misc (17)

Arts and Humanities (21,671)

Architecture and Design (64)

Classics (20,004)

Film and Television (69)

Literature (317)

Medieval Studies (278)

Modern Languages (42)

Music (64)

Religious Studies (296)

Theater (19)

Visual Arts (112)

Arts and Humanities, Misc (304)

Professional Areas (913)

Agriculture (34)

Business (43)

Education* (388)

Engineering (54)

Health Sciences (49)

Medicine (139)

Nursing (12)

132
133

Journalism and Media (23)

Law (116)

Marketing (10)

Military Studies (19)

Transportation (3)

Professional Areas, Misc (21)

Other Academic Areas, Misc (266)

https://www.pdcnet.org/wp/

Journals and Series

Alphabetical(All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T W)

The Acorn
Akten des XIV. Internationalen Kongresses fr Philosophie
Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review
American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy
American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly
The American Journal of Semiotics
The American Philosophical Association Centennial Series
Ancient Philosophy
Arendt Studies
Atti del IV Congresso Internazionale di Filosofia
Atti del XII Congresso Internazionale di Filosofia
Augustinian Studies
Augustinianum
Balkan Journal of Philosophy
Bibliothque du Congrs International de Philosophie
Binghamton Journal of Philosophy
Bowling Green Studies in Applied Philosophy
Bradley Studies
Bulletin de la Socit Amricaine de Philosophie de Langue Franaise
Bulletin of Literary Semiotics
Business and Professional Ethics Journal
Business Ethics Journal Review
Business Ethics: The Magazine of Corporate Responsibility

133
134

Cahiers du Centre dtudes Phnomnologiques


Canadian Journal of Philosophy
Catholic Social Science Review
The Chesterton Review
The Chesterton Review em Portugus
The Chesterton Review en Espaol
The Chesterton Review en Franais
The Chesterton Review in Italiano
Chiasmi International
Chra
Chromatikon
The CLR James Journal
Cogito
Croatian Journal of Philosophy
Cultura
Der 16. Weltkongress fu r Philosophie
Dialectics and Humanism
Dialogue and Universalism
Dialogue: Canadian Philosophy Review
Die Philosophin
Duquesne Studies in Phenomenological Psychology
Environmental Ethics
Environmental Philosophy
Environment, Space, Place
Epistemology & Philosophy of Science
Epoch: A Journal for the History of Philosophy
tudes Phnomnologiques
Faith and Philosophy
Fichte-Studien
Forum Philosophicum
Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal
Grazer Philosophische Studien
The Harvard Review of Philosophy
Heidegger Studies
History of Communism in Europe
Hume Studies
Idealistic Studies
Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines
International Corporate Responsibility Series
International Directory of Philosophy
International Journal of Applied Philosophy
International Philosophical Quarterly
International Studies in Philosophy
International Studies in Philosophy Monograph Series
Irish Philosophical Journal
Journal for Peace and Justice Studies
Journal of Buddhist Philosophy
Journal of Business Ethics Education

134
135

Journal of Catholic Social Thought


The Journal of Critical Analysis
Journal of Croatian Studies
Journal of Early Modern Studies
Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion
Journal of Islamic Philosophy
Journal of Japanese Philosophy
Journal of Philosophical Research
The Journal of Philosophy
The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods
The Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law
Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry
Journal of Pre-College Philosophy
Journal of Religion and Violence
Kilikya Felsefe Dergisi / Cilicia Journal of Philosophy
The Leibniz Review
Levinas Studies
Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture
Logos & Episteme
The Lonergan Review
Mayutica
Mediaevalia
Medieval Philosophy and Theology
Memorias del XIII Congreso Internacional de Filosofa
The Modern Schoolman
The Monist
The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly
New Nietzsche Studies
The New Scholasticism
New Vico Studies
The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy
Newman Studies Journal
Newsletter of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy
NTU Philosophical Review
Overheard in Seville: Bulletin of the Santayana Society
The Owl of Minerva
The Personalist Forum
Perspektiven der Philosophie
Phenomenology 2005
Phenomenology 2010
Philo: A Journal of Philosophy
The Philosophers' Magazine
philoSOPHIA
Philosophia Africana
Philosophical Inquiry
The Philosophical Review
Philosophical Studies
Philosophical Studies of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

135
136

Philosophical Topics
Philosophie et Culture: Actes du XVIIe congrs mondial de philosophie
Philosophy and History
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Philosophy and Theology
Philosophy in Context
Philosophy in the Contemporary World
Philosophy Now
Philosophy of Management
Philosophy Research Archives
Philosophy Today
PhilPapers
PhilPapers with Full Text
Pierre d'angle
Polish Journal of Philosophy
Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association
Proceedings of the Eighth International Kant Congress
Proceedings of the Hegel Society of America
Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society
Proceedings of the Sixth International Kant Congress
Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Philosophy
The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy
The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy
Proceedings of the XIth International Congress of Philosophy
Proceedings of the XVth World Congress of Philosophy
Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy
Process Studies
Professional Ethics
Quaestiones Disputatae
Questions: Philosophy for Young People
Radical Philosophy Review
Radical Philosophy Review of Books
Radical Philosophy Today
Raven: A Journal of Vexillology
Renascence
Res Philosophica
The Review of Metaphysics
Roczniki Filozoficzne
The Ruffin Series in Business Ethics
The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics
The Saint Augustine Lecture Series
Schutzian Research
Semiotic Scene
Semiotics
Sign Systems Studies
Social Imaginaries
Social Philosophy Today
Social Theory and Practice

136
137

The Southern Journal of Philosophy


Southwest Philosophy Review
The Southwestern Journal of Philosophy
Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal
Studi Internazionali di Filosofia
Studia Neoaristotelica
Studia Phaenomenologica
Studia Philosophica
Studies in Practical Philosophy
Symposion
Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy
Teaching Ethics
Teaching Philosophy
Techn: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Theoria
Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children
Thought: Fordham University Quarterly
Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya
Tradition and Discovery
Travaux du IXe Congrs International de Philosophie
Tulane Studies in Philosophy
The Works of Francis William Newman on Religion
World Congress of Philosophy Collection

By Category

Analytic Philosophy
Ancient Philosophy
Applied Philosophy
Business and Professional Ethics
Catholic Tradition
Classical Studies
Conference Proceedings
Contemporary Philosophy
Continental Philosophy
General Interest
History
History of Philosophy
Language and Literature
Major Philosophers
Philosophy and Religion
Philosophy for Children
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Science
Reference Works
Religious Studies
Research Databases
Semiotics
Social and Political Philosophy

137
138

Social Science
Teaching Philosophy
Zeta Books

Books and other Media


Alphabetical(All A B C D E F G H I K L M N P Q R S T W)

A l'preuve de l'exprience
A Survey of International Corporate Responsibility
Actes du huitime Congrs International de Philosophie
Ambiente, Tecnologa y Justificacin
Analyse Rflexive
Analytic Philosophy and Logic
Anlise reflexiva
Animism, Adumbration, Willing and Wisdom
Apparition des formes urbaines
ARISTOTLE'S POETICS
Aristotle Then and Now
At Play in the Field of Possibles
Atti del V Congresso Internazionale di Filosofia
Autonomy, Responsibility, and Health Care
Bericht ber den III. Internationalen Kongress fr Philosophie
Boethiana mediaevalia
Branching Off
Business, Science, and Ethics
Civic Virtue, Divided Societies, and Democratic Dilemmas
Communication, Conflict, and Reconciliation
Congre s International de Philosophie, IIme session
Contemporary Philosophy
Controversies in International Corporate Responsibility
Cosmopolitanism without Foundations
Croises de la Modernit
DAO DE JING
Deception
Democracy, Racism, and Prisons
Demonstrating Philosophy
Des compositions de lexprience
Die Vision eines postmodernen Lebens
Dieu hte
Directory of American Philosophers, 2014-2015
Directory of American Philosophers, 2016-2017
Documents from the XIX World Congress of Philosophy
Documents from the XVIII World Congress of Philosophy
Education and Social Justice
Eidos et Pathos
Emmanuel Levinas 100
Environmental Challenges to Business
Environmental Philosophy as Social Philosophy

138
139

Environment, Technology, Justification


Epistemology
Ethical Issues for the Twenty-First Century
Ethics
Ethics and Entrepreneurship
Ethics and the Life Sciences
tre sans mot dire
tre(s) de passage
Food
Forgiveness
Franz Brentano's Metaphysics and Psychology
Freedom, Religion, and Gender
Freedom, Will, and Nature
From Chile To The World: 70 Years of Gabriela Mistral's Nobel Prize
Gender, Diversity, and Difference
Guidebook for Publishing Philosophy
Historical Essays in 20th Century American Philosophy
History, Apocalypse, and the Secular Imagination
Human Rights, Religion, and Democracy
HUME'S DIALOGUES CONCERNING NATURAL RELIGION
Individuation et vision du monde
Intercultural Philosophy
International Directory of Philosophy and Philosophers, 2015-2016
International Law and Justice
Invitation to ArchiPhen
KANT'S FOUNDATIONS OF ETHICS
L'absolu dans la philosophie du jeune Schelling
LArgument infini
La conscience perceptive
La gense du monde fantastique en littrature
La Mtaphysique du Dasein
La philosophie et le sens de son histoire
La prudence de lhomme desprit
Le Savoir en appel
Les deux morts de Maurice Blanchot
Letters of Francis William Newman, Chiefly on Religion
Liberation between Selves, Sexualities, and War
Library of Congress Subject Headings in Philosophy
Memory, Humanity, and Meaning
Metaphysics
Mtaphysique et thologie chez Nicolas Malebranche
MILL'S ON LIBERTY
Modern Philosophy
New Approaches to Business Ethics
Paris Chic, Tehran Thrills
Perspectives on International Corporate Responsibility
Phenomenology and Human Science Research Today
Phenomenology and Media

139
140

Philosophy Against Empire


Philosophy and Culture
Philosophy and Language
Philosophy in America at the Turn of the Century
Philosophy in the Abrahamic Tradition
Philosophy of Education
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Religion, Art, and Creativity
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy Through Teaching
PLATO'S APOLOGY
PLATO'S CRITO
PLATO'S EUTHYPHRO
PLATO'S PHEADO
Poverty, Justice, and Markets
Power, Protest, and the Future of Democracy
Premire, deuxime, troisime personne
Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 1901-1910
Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 1911-1920
Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 1921-1930
Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 1931-1940
Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 1941-1950
Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 1951-1960
Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 1961-1970
Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 1971-1980
Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 1981-1990
Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 1991-2000
Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society - Volume 26
Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Philosophy
Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of Philosophy
Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy
Pueblos indgenas, plantas y mercados Amazona y Gran Chaco
Quappelle-t-on la pense?
Quappelle-t-on un sminaire?
Quest-ce quun hritage?
Race and Diversity in the Global Context
Race, Social Identity, and Human Dignity
Raison et mystique dans le noplatonisme
Reason in Context
Reflective Analysis
Schleiermachers Icoses
Science, Reason, and Religion
Science, Technology, and Social Justice
Selected Papers from the XXII World Congress of Philosophy
Selected Papers from the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy
Selected Papers in Honor of William P. Alston
Semiotics 2000
Semiotics 2003

140
141

Semiotics 2008
Semiotics 2009
Semiotics 2010
Semiotics 2011
Semiotics 2012
Semiotics 2013
Semiotics 2014
Semiotics 2015
Smallest Mimes
Social and Political Philosophy
Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Teaching New Histories of Philosophy
Teaching Philosophy Today
Teaching Philosophy (anthology)
The American Philosophical Association Centennial Series
The Art of Experimental Natural History
The Exasperating Gift of Singularity
The Hardwick Library and Hobbes's Early Intellectual Development
The Idea of Values
The Lived Experience of Violation
The Philosopher's Index Thesaurus
The Philosophical Habit of Mind
The Public and The Private in the Twenty-First Century
The Theory and Practice of Husserls Phenomenology
Thinking and Be-ing in Heideggers Beitrge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis)
Thinking in Dialogue with Humanities
Thought and Practice in African Philosophy
Thoughts on Images
Translation and Interpretation
Translational Hermeneutics
Transparency, Information and Communication Technology
Truth and Objectivity in Social Ethics
bersetzung und Hermeneutik
War and Terrorism

By Category

Analytic Philosophy
Ancient Philosophy
Applied Philosophy
Audio Files and E-Books
Business and Professional Ethics
Catholic Tradition
Conference Proceedings
Contemporary Philosophy
Continental Philosophy
General Interest
History of Philosophy
Language and Literature

141
142

Major Philosophers
Philosophy and Religion
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Science
Reference Works
Religious Studies
Research Databases
Semiotics
Social and Political Philosophy
Social Science
Teaching Philosophy
Zeta Books

Online Resources
PDC E-Collection Search Articles

International Directory of Philosophy

Titles by category
Analytic Philosophy
Ancient Philosophy
Applied Philosophy
Business and Professional Ethics
Catholic Tradition
Conference Proceedings
Contemporary Philosophy
Continental Philosophy
General Interest
History
History of Philosophy
Language and Literature
Major Philosophers
Philosophy and Religion
Philosophy for Children
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Science
Religious Studies
Semiotics
Social and Political Philosophy
Social Science
Teaching Philosophy
Zeta Books

142
143

http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/nature.shtml

http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/what.shtml

http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/life.shtml

Let us end where we began

http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/character.shtml

Characteristics of a Philosophical Problem


Abstract: A working definition of philosophy is proposed and a few philosophical problems are
illustrated.

1. Some general comments about the nature of philosophy can be summarized from the previous
tutorial.
1. Etymologically, "philosophy" can be broken into the following roots and examples.
philofond of, affinity for; e.g., the name "Philip" means "lover of horses."
sophiawisdom; e.g., the name "Sophie" means "wisdom."
2. Hazarding a beginning definition and some general characteristics of philosophy might be of
help.
1. Philosophy is the systematic inquiry into the principles and presuppositions of any
endeavor.
1. Almost any area of interest has philosophical aspects. For example, name an
area and place the phrase philosophy of in front of it as in philosophy of
science, philosophy of art, and philosophy of science. Or name the area and
place the word philosophy after it as in political philosophy and ethical
philosophy.
2. Recently, philosophy of sport, medical ethics, and ethics of genetics have
generated much interest.
3. Some restaurants have printed on the back of the customer's bill their
philosophy of restaurant management.
2. In general, philosophy questions often are a series of "why-questions," whereas
science is often said to ask "how-questions."
3. E.g., asking "Why did you come to class today?" is the beginning of a series of why-
questions which ultimately lead to the answer of the principles or presuppositions
by which you lead your life.

I.e., Answer: "To pass the course."

Question: "Why do you want to pass the course?"


Answer: "To graduate from college."

Question: "Why do you want to graduate?"

143
144

Answer: "To get a good job."

Question: "Why do you want a good job?"


Answer: "To make lots of money."

Question: "Why do you want to make money?"


Answer: "To be happy."

Hence, one comes to class in order to increase the chances for happiness.
2. As I remember Avrum Stroll and Richard H. Popkin, in their highly readable book, Introduction to
Philosophy, isolate seven characteristics of a philosophical problem. These characteristics serve as a
good introduction to mark some of the perplexing kinds of problems which can arise in philosophy.

Philosophical Thought-Experiments from Metaphysics and Epistemology

Characteristics Typical Examples

1. A reflection about If I take a book off my hand, what's left on my hand? If I take away the air,
the world and the then what's left? If I take away the space? With the space gone, nothing is
things in it. left. Does everything exist in nothing?

According to Newton's gravitation theory, as the ballerina on a New York


2. A conceptual rather stage moves, my balance is imperceptibly affected. Since the earth's
than a practical circumference is about 25,000 miles, and the earth spins around once every
activity. 24 hours, as I sit at my desk, I am in reality looping through space in giant
arcs at over 25,000 miles per hour.

Does a tree falling in a forest with no one around to hear it, make a sound?
To solve, we distinguish two senses of "sound": (1) hearinga
3. The use of reason
phenomenological perception and (2) vibrationa longitudinal wave in
and argumentation to
matter. So if no one is there to hear, there is no sound of type 1, but there
establish a point.
is sound of type 2, as can be determined by the prior leaving a recording
device on the scene.

Does a mirror reverse left and right? If I move my right hand, the image's
4. An explanation of left hand moves. But why then doesn't the mirror reverse up and down?
the puzzling features Why aren't the feet in the mirror image at the top of the mirror? Why
of things. doesn't it change the situation if I lie down or I rotate the mirror 90
degrees?

What is a fact? In science, facts are collected. Is a book a fact? Is it a big or


little fact? Is the book a smaller fact than the earth which is a larger fact. If
5. Digging beyond the
the book is brown, is that a brown fact? If facts don't have size, shape, and
obvious.
color, then in what manner do they exist in the world? And how can they be
found?

6. The search for Is a geranium one flower or is it a combination of many small flowers
principles which bunched together? If I turn on a computer, does one event occur or do
underlie phenomena. many events occur?

144
145

Is nature discrete or continuous? E.g., Consider Zeno's paradoxes of


motion. If you are to leave the classroom today, isn't it true that you will
7. Theory building
have to walk at least half-way to the door? And then when you get half-
from these principles.
way, you will have to at least walk another half? How many "halves" are
there? How will you ever get out?

3. In practice, philosophy is an attitude, an approach, or even a calling to answer, to ask, or to


comment upon certain peculiar kinds of questions. As we saw previously, the problems are often
relegated to the main divisions of philosophy: Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Axiology (Ethics and
sthetics).
1. Attitudea curiosity arising from questions such as the following.
0. Under the assumption that time is a dimension just like any other, the case of the
problem of the surprise examination can arise: Suppose students obtain the
promise from their teacher that a surprise quiz scheduled be given next week will
not be given, if the students demonstrate how they can know, in advance, the day
the teacher will give the exam. Thus, the students can argue as follows: Assuming
the class meets only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the students know the
surprise exam cannot be given on Friday because everyone would know Thursday
night that the following day is the only period left in which to give the exam. One
would think that the teacher could give the exam Wednesday, but since Friday has
been eliminated as a possibility, on Tuesday night, the students would know that the
only period left in the week would be Wednesday (since Friday has already been
eliminated; hence, the exam could not be given Wednesday either. Monday, then, is
the only possible period left to offer the exam. But, of course, the teacher could not
give the exam Monday because the students would expect the exam that day.
Consequently, the teacher cannot give a surprise examination next week.
1. In his Nobel Prize Lecture, Richard Feynman explained that from the perspective of
quantum electrodynamics, if an electron is seen as going forward in time, a positron
is the same particle moving backwards in time. Is time- reversal really possible?
1. Is a positron, or even the earlier tachyon, discussed above, associated with
backward causation a possible event? Consider this paradoxical result.
Suppose a "positron gun" or a "tachyon gun" would fire a particle going
backward in timeit could "trigger" an off-switch to turn off the gun before
it could be fired.
2. This example is, of course, a thought-experiment. As Feynman noted in his
Lectures on Physics, "Philosophers say a great deal about what is absolutely
necessary for science, and it is always, so far as one can see, rather naive,
and probably wrong.
2. Approachto devise a methodology to answer such puzzles. Very often, all that is needed is
to invoke old maxim, "When there is a difficulty, make a distinction."
0. E.g., for the problem of the sound of a tree falling in a forest with no one around to
hear, all we need do is distinguish two different senses of "sound."
1. If by "sound" is meant a "phenomenological perception by a subject," then no sound
("hearing") would occur. If by "sound" is meant "a longitudinal wave in matter," then
a sound is discoverable.
3. Calling if a person has had experiences of curiosity, discovery, and invention at an early
age, these experiences could leave an imprint on mind and character to last a lifetime.

Further Reading:

145
146

Ask a Philosopher Archive. Submitted philosophical questions are answered in some detail by
philosophers, a project maintained by the International Society for Philosophers. You may submit
your questions on the Ask a Philosopher page.
Backward Causation. Jan Fey's entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy examines several
paradoxes based on the notion where an effect temporally, but not causally, precedes its cause.
Paradox. An extensive reference list of paradoxes in Wikipedia is summarized by topic in
mathematics, logic, practice, philosophy, psychology, physics and economics with links to more
extensive discussion.
Unexpected Hanging Paradox. Eric W. Weisstein at the site Wolfram MathWorld provides another
version of the Surprise Examination Paradox with a list of further references.

203. Language is a labyrinth of paths. You approach from one side and know your way about; you
approach the same place from another side and no longer know your way about. Ludwig
Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations Trans. G. E. M. Anscombe, 3rd. ed. (New York: The
Macmillan Company), 1958), 82e.

http://www.isfp.co.uk/index.html

The International Society for Philosophers was formed in 2002 in association with the
Pathways School of Philosophy to bring together amateur and professional
philosophers from all over the world.

The mission of the ISFP is to "teach the world to philosophize... We believe in


freedom of thought and expression but also in the responsibility that goes with that
freedom." (ISFP Mission Statement).

The Board of the ISFP is responsible for examining essay portfolios and dissertations
submitted for the ISFP Associate and Fellowship Awards.

The ISFP publishes the electronic journals, Philosophy Pathways and Philosophy for
Business, and runs online conferences for Pathways students and ISFP members.

On 16th November 2016, there were 2010 ISFP members in 92 countries.

http://www.philosophypathways.com/questions/index.html

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Philosophy-Made-Simple-Richard-Popkin/dp/0385425333

https://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Made-Simple-Complete-Important/dp/0385425333

Download book here for free


http://samples.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/9781135139537_sample_900187.pdf

146
147

Philosophy - eBooks
samples.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/9781135139537_sample_900187.pdf

Third edition. Richard H. Popkin, Ph.D. and. A vrum Stroll, Ph.D. MADE SIMPLE. BOOKS ...
Stroll, Avrum. 190.904 ... Introduction. Xl. 1 Ethics. 1 .... Their titles could easily be read: The first
was ...... isolation from the social conditions of the time.

Download book 840 pages here for free


http://183.91.33.12/cache/eresource.lcu.edu.cn/resource/E_Course/ouzhzhxsh/
//The Columbia History

The Columbia History of Western Philosophy


eresource.lcu.edu.cn/.../The%20Columbia%20History%20of%20Western%20Philoso...

Casebound editions of Columbia University Press books are printed on ... I hope that this volume is
worthy of all of her help. .... Donald Davidson and John Searle Avrum Stroll 655 ... Philosophy and
the History of Philosophy Richard H. Popkin ... Western Philosophy, are eminently readable, but
cover only the high spots of ...

http://historyofmodernphilosophy.blogspot.co.za/2008/07/benedict-de-spinoza.html

From Descartes to Derrida

Table of Contents
.
* Preface
1. Introduction
2. Early Modern Philosophers
3. Descartes
4. Spinoza
5. Leibniz
6. Locke
7. Berkeley
8. Hume
9. French Enlightenment
10. Kant
11. Hegel
12. Schopenhauer
13. Nietzsche
14. Positivism and Utilitarianism
15. Marx
16. Pragmatism and James
17. Bergson
18. Logical Analysis and Russell
19. Wittgenstein
20. Logical Positivism
21. Existentialism and Sartre

147
148

22. Camus and Absurdism


23. Popper
24. Postmodernism
25. Appendix
* The Existentialist Couple
* Suggestions for further study

http://historyofmodernphilosophy.blogspot.co.za/2008/07/suggestions-for-further-study.html

Suggestions for further study


.
Books:

History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell, Routledge, London


Story of Philosophy by Will Durrant, Pocket Books
Sophies World by Jostein Gaarder, Berkeley Books, New York
Philosophy Made Simple, by Richard H. Popkin and Avrum Stroll, Doubleday & Company, Inc. USA
Fifty Major Philosophers, by Diane Collinson, Routledge, London
One Hundred Twentieth- Century Philosophers, Routledge New York
An Outline of Western Philosophy, by C B Armstrong

Online Resources:

Philosophy Pages by Garth Kemerling


http://www.philosophypages.com
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
http://www.iep.utm.edu/
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
http://plato.stanford.edu/
Squashed Philosophers by Glyn Hughes
http://www.btinternet.com/~glynhughes/squashed/index.htm
Galilean Library
http://www.galilean-library.org
Spark Notes
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy

http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/

http://www.isfp.co.uk/businesspathways/philosophie-und-wirtschaft/index.html

http://www.philosophypathways.com/newsletter/

http://www.the-philosopher.co.uk/

http://www.philosophical-investigations.org/2015/05/what-is-philosophical-problem.html

148
149

If we ban speculation about metahypotheses, does philosophical debate simply evaporate?

What is a philosophical problem? The irrefutable metahypothesis

Taking this further, if we cannot hypothesise about hypotheses, then does science evaporate too?

Labels: Karl Popper, Matthew Blakeway, Richard Dawkins, scientific method, Sraffa philosophy of
language

It is our language, said Francis Bacon, which bedevils everything. It is simply incapable of dealing
with being: Yet even definitions cannot cure this evil in dealing with natural and material things;
since the definitions themselves consist of words, and those words beget others."

I myself have seen bans on areas of philosophical debate as philosophical short circuits, where
philosophers most needed escape clauses. Notably Wittgenstein's: "Whereof one cannot speak,
thereof one must be silent."

http://www.philosophical-investigations.org/search/label/Matthew%20Blakeway

We Need Animal Cognition, Not Neuroscience

http://www.the-philosopher.co.uk/philosophicalanarchism.htm

I distinguish Political Anarchism from Philosophical Anarchism, on the other hand, which
concentrates on the critique of political authority and does not necessarily require the abolition of the
state. This latter characteristic is reflected in the fact that negative philosophical anarchism is
compatible with many alternative political outlooks. A subspecies of Political Anarchism might be
identified as the idea that individuals have each an inviolable sphere of action under their total
control. This form of anarchism views social relationships as contractual interactions between
independent beings, beings seen as able to lead their lives abstracted from their social environment
and its impacts.

I should like to focus however here on the philosophical side of anarchism and outline its
contribution to the debate on political authority. For this, I will need to concentrate on what I call
'critical philosophical anarchism'. This I define as the view which examines the best candidates for
moral theories of political obligation and derives from their failure the result:

* there is no general political obligation, and that in this respect,


* political institutions remain without justification.
Incorporated in this approach is a prior standard of theoretical criticism merged with some idea of
what an ideal legitimate society should be like. Philosophical Anarchism considers all existing states
to be illegitimate insofar as they fail to meet this ideal.

This anarchist position, as it figures within the debate on political obligation, offers something
valuable to the perspective we have towards political institutions and our relation to them. I think
that it is important to stress both its critical perspective and its ideal of legitimacy. I see these aspects
as defining features of the approach and furthermore as incorporating crucial elements of the
arguments of Philosophical Anarchism against political obligation. These are also compatible with
certain features of Communal Anarchism.

149
150

http://www.the-philosopher.co.uk/genomic.htm

Thus rationalism can never complete its task of obtaining knowledge of the whole of existence. The
immediate and unique present always escapes the petrification of process which is its method. Its
own continuous extension in specialisation takes it ever further from completeness but perhaps the
most problematic issue for the logic of the total system is the content of the system. The most
consistent philosophical expression of this problem is found in Kant's absolute adherence to the
impossibility of having any knowledge of the world independently of our perception of it. Our
understanding can only be of 'things which may be objects of possible experience', that 'outside the
field of possible experience there can be no synthetic a priori principles'. We cannot know anything
independently of our own perceptions. There can be no privileged transcendental view of the
objective. We can know nothing as it is, but only as it seems.

Despite its meaning being endlessly debated, the thing-in-itself simply conceptualises the fact that
any experience of the objective can only ever be through the perspective of a subject. Its meaning is
that ultimately knowledge is only ever personal. Its irrationality denies entirely the possibility of the
total system.

Kant makes the impossibility of closure and completion even more explicit in his analysis of the
antinomies of rational cosmology. In reason's inescapable desire to view the whole be free of the
chains of causality of the objective. The Kantian moral actor is a poor thing, impotent within the
natural world, stripped of every desire, inclination and self-interest, of that which defines the
individual.

Only by active intervention in content, through creativity and the effecting of change can be we
loosen the grip that contemplation places us in. Limits to thought can only be overcome by action:

'the essence of praxis consists in annulling that indifference of form towards content that we found in the problem of the
thing-in-itself. Thus praxis can only be really established as a philosophical principle if, at the same time, a conception of
form can be found whose basis and validity no longer rest on that pure rationality and that freedom from every definition
of content. In so far as the principle of praxis is the prescription for changing reality, it must be tailored to the concrete
material substratum of action if it is to impinge upon it to any effect'.

The goal of the Enlightenment Project is nothing less than the fundamental
understanding of the organic and inorganic, of life and death. And its paradigmatic
procedure is the scientific method, the practical application of the intellectual process,
which precedes by progressive abstraction and decomposition of the whole into its parts
and the re-arrangement of them to form laws which explain the whole.

After all, biological complexity and sophistication is achieved by the atomisation of life,
the decomposition of the unitary, the dissolution of the organic into the inorganic. Reality
is mathematised, geometrised in our desire to grasp it. When we theorise on the trajectory
of a body in space, we resolve the continuous nature of indivisible motion into static
parts in order to integrate them. Scientific analysis demands petrification of process and
division of that produced without division.

Henri Bergson's Creative Evolution describes these procedures in detail, summarising


them thus: 'All the operations of our intellect tend to geometry, as to the goal where they

150
151

find their perfect fulfilment'. He describes the conceptualisation of the action of a hand
passing into some iron filings in a single movement and leaving it's imprint;

Some will account for the position of each filing by the action exerted upon it by the neighbouring filings:
these are the mechanists. Others will prefer to think that a plan of the whole has presided over the detail of
these elementary actions, they are the finalists. But the truth is that there has been merely one indivisible
act, that of the hand passing through the filings.

The effects of the application of enlightenment methodology on the labour process


underpins much Marxist thought. Lukacs, in his seminal essay Reification and the
Consciousness of the Proletariat, puts it thus: 'the mathematical analysis of work-
processes denotes a break with the organic, irrational and qualitatively determined unity
of the product. Rationalisation in the sense of being able to predict with ever greater
precision all the results to be achieved is only to be acquired by the exact breakdown of
every complex into its elements and by the study of the special laws governing
production - this destroys the organic necessity with which inter-related special
operations are unified in the end-product. The unity of a product as a commodity no
longer coincides with its unity as a use-value.'

Rationalisation transforms time from quality to quantity.

Time sheds its qualitative, variable, flowing nature; it freezes into an exactly delimited, quantifiable
continuum filled with quantifiable 'things' (the reified, mechanically objectified 'performance' of the
worker, wholly separated from his total human personality): in short, it becomes space.
Yet Enlightenment time does not endure. It is a static-time which in calculation and
analysis fixates. It is the t of mathematics and physics which functions by a stopping-up
and a segmenting-of the indivisible flow of duration. Real time, swollen with all of the
past, irrupts into the present as the absolutely novel. Life thus is a continuous process, an
ever-preceding movement which our biology holds fast and gazes at. Our intellect can
only grasp the Bergsonian vital impetus, which in its contact with matter constantly
creates the unique, by a permanent interruption, an interruption which allow for infinite
analysis after the event of that which before the event is totally beyond analysis.

The total system cannot permit the unforeseen, the unpredictable, the novel. These deny
finality, stability and closure, are antithetical to control, manipulation and prediction. Yet
the progress of life is not one of recognition and familiarity but one of strangeness,
mystery and magic. The unique present moment happening always and everywhere in
real time, constantly and permanently prevents all attempts at total systematisation. It
cannot be caught fast until it is gone. The totalising urge is an eternal game of catch-up
with the unknowable and unforeseeable present.
The very progress of knowledge moves it ever further from totality. Any connection
between a myriad of intricate sub-specialisms occurs by chance. In specialisation, we
repudiate any interest in the possibility of the total system. Intellectual endeavour takes
place in innumerable arenas, each 'a formally closed system of partial laws', in Lukacs'
words. For any system, anything outside it is conceptually and practically beyond it's
comprehension. Even a systematisation, a supra-ordination, of them all seems an
insurmountable task.

151
152

The rationalisation of work and the 'structure-creation' of economic processes moves in


the same direction. Lukacs discussing periods of economic crisis puts it thus; 'The true
structure of society appears rather in the independent, rationalised and formal partial laws
whose links with each other are of necessity purely formal (i.e. their formal
interdependence can be formally systematised), while as far as concrete realities are
concerned they can only establish fortuitous connections - the whole structure of
capitalist production rests on the interaction between a necessity subject to strict laws in
all isolated phenomena and the relative irrationality of the total process.'

Thus rationalism can never complete its task of obtaining knowledge of the whole of
existence. The immediate and unique present always escapes the petrification of process
which is its method. Its own continuous extension in specialisation takes it ever further
from completeness but perhaps the most problematic issue for the logic of the total
system is the content of the system. The most consistent philosophical expression of this
problem is found in Kant's absolute adherence to the impossibility of having any
knowledge of the world independently of our perception of it. Our understanding can
only be of 'things which may be objects of possible experience', that 'outside the field of
possible experience there can be no synthetic a priori principles'. We cannot know
anything independently of our own perceptions. There can be no privileged
transcendental view of the objective. We can know nothing as it is, but only as it seems.

Despite its meaning being endlessly debated, the thing-in-itself simply conceptualises the
fact that any experience of the objective can only ever be through the perspective of a
subject. Its meaning is that ultimately knowledge is only ever personal. Its irrationality
denies entirely the possibility of the total system.

Kant makes the impossibility of closure and completion even more explicit in his
analysis of the antinomies of rational cosmology. In reason's inescapable desire to view
the whole be free of the chains of causality of the objective. The Kantian moral actor is a
poor thing, impotent within the natural world, stripped of every desire, inclination and
self-interest, of that which defines the individual.

Only by active intervention in content, through creativity and the effecting of change can
be we loosen the grip that contemplation places us in. Limits to thought can only be
overcome by action:

'the essence of praxis consists in annulling that indifference of form towards content that we found in the
problem of the thing-in-itself. Thus praxis can only be really established as a philosophical principle if, at
the same time, a conception of form can be found whose basis and validity no longer rest on that pure
rationality and that freedom from every definition of content. In so far as the principle of praxis is the
prescription for changing reality, it must be tailored to the concrete material substratum of action if it is to
impinge upon it to any effect'.
For Lukacs it was the proletariat who was to liberate mankind from the reified structure
of its existence but 80 years of world history have fulfilled his prophecy completely.
'Only when the consciousness of the proletariat is able to point out the road along which
the dialectics of history is objectively impelled, but which it cannot travel unaided, will
the consciousness of the proletariat awaken to a consciousness of the process, and only
then will the proletariat become the identical subject-object of history whose praxis will
change reality. If the proletariat fails to take this step the contradiction will remain
unresolved and will be reproduced by the dialectical mechanics of history at a higher

152
153

level, in an altered form and with increased intensity. It is in this that the objective
necessity of history consists'.

The Bergsonian flight into intuition, Kant's Critique of Practical Reason and Lukacs'
vision of the 'salvific' role of the proletariat all fail to solve in any meaningful way the
riddle of content, genesis and totality that Enlightenment thought creates and sustains.

These philosophies all issue in a demand for practice to break the petrification of
rationalisation and the contemplation of rationalism and whilst the form that this practice
should take varies, all thinkers radically exclude from their premises, since this would
completely contradict the philosophy itself, the possibility that Enlightenment practice
could ever be the answer to the riddle of Enlightenment thought. However, the unlimited
explosion of scientific knowledge since the appearance of these works requires a re-
evaluation of this possibility:

Can our knowledge of a thing ever reach such a fundamental depth that it allows us to
know that thing, finally as it is and not forever to know it just as it seems?

Can science as practice give us the objective world which Kant ultimately failed to do in
thought, in the Transcendental Deductions?

Does our knowledge of things ever become so utterly extensive, reach such a
comprehensive breadth that it becomes total knowledge?

Does the incessant scientific transformation of quality to quantity provide us with such a
totality of content that the generation of the truly novel, the qualitatively unique, becomes
possible?

Can the science of time, t, allow us to reclaim Real Time?

Let us speak of Life, the organic, the mirror that Bergson constantly holds up to the
sterile formalism of scientific reductionism. The living cell is totally dependent upon the
proteins that 'subserve' the functions of metabolism and repair, the production and
maintenance of a membrane, of replication and reproduction, and without the
transcription and translation of DNA these proteins do not exist. There is nothing more
fundamental to the life of the cell than the bases that constitute DNA, guanine, adenine,
thymine and cytosine; without these there is no life, beyond these lies the inorganic. On
the 14th April 2003 the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium
announced the completion of the Human Genome Project. The finished sequence covers
approximately 99% of the Human Genome and contains less than 1 error per 10,000
bases. In 50 years we have gone from the discovery of the double helix to the near
contiguous text of three billion DNA letters.

It is the same biological reductionism that gives us the anatomists dissection that has led
us to the Human Genome, but the end - points are radically different. The former is the
aestheticisation of death, the latter the total alphabetisation of life. Pushing down through
layer upon layer of the phenomena of what it is to be human we reach the lowest
common denominator which is not life itself but the essential content of that life.

153
154

Available in public databases, for use without restriction, we are the co-owners of our
fundamental script, named and created by ourselves, in its totality.
The search for the minimal gene set, the least amount of DNA required to initiate and
maintain life, is an attempt to exclude all the massive redundancy of this script.

This is Enlightenment rationalisation at its extreme but precedes in the diametrically


opposite direction to that of the decomposition of the unitary and interruption of process.
The aim is the creation, albeit a reproduction, of life, a restitution of process in real time
from the atomised, segmented and fixed.

Genetic engineering is prediction and calculation, again at its most extreme, but it is
productive of the novel. The search for longer lasting tomatoes and for designer babies,
albeit banal and reprehensible respectively, is manipulation of content in a creation of the
unique. Perhaps most audacious are the attempts to create entirely new genomes, ones
that obey the dictates of human logic rather than those handed to us by natural selection.
Researchers are attempting to engineer cells that build proteins from completely novel
amino acids, one which do not form any part of the repertory of the 20 used in nearly all
living cells on earth.

Bergson's philosophy is a constant attempt to situate understanding in the ever - present


of unique happening, to reverse the direction in which matter inclines, in which
mechanism takes us, but it provides no point of departure. The genome is the ultimate
point of departure for this reversal. Derived mechanistically but from practice, not from
thought, it imbues the vital impetus with human vision and consciousness. The question
of the possible closure of the system of Life itself is no longer an issue of the adequacy of
philosophical method but one of technological advance, of praxis not of intuition.

The Bergsonian flight into intuition, Kant's Critique of Practical Reason and Lukacs'
vision of the 'salvific' role of the proletariat all fail to solve in any meaningful way the
riddle of content, genesis and totality that Enlightenment thought creates and sustains.

These philosophies all issue in a demand for practice to break the petrification of
rationalisation and the contemplation of rationalism and whilst the form that this practice
should take varies, all thinkers radically exclude from their premises, since this would
completely contradict the philosophy itself, the possibility that Enlightenment practice
could ever be the answer to the riddle of Enlightenment thought. However, the unlimited
explosion of scientific knowledge since the appearance of these works requires a re-
evaluation of this possibility:

Can our knowledge of a thing ever reach such a fundamental depth that it allows us to
know that thing, finally as it is and not forever to know it just as it seems?

Can science as practice give us the objective world which Kant ultimately failed to do in
thought, in the Transcendental Deductions?

Does our knowledge of things ever become so utterly extensive, reach such a
comprehensive breadth that it becomes total knowledge?

154
155

Does the incessant scientific transformation of quality to quantity provide us with such a
totality of content that the generation of the truly novel, the qualitatively unique, becomes
possible?

Can the science of time, t, allow us to reclaim Real Time?

It is in genetic manipulation, and in particular manipulation of the human genome, that


the solution that Lukacs proposed to resolve the antinomies of classical thought is to be
found - here in the practical creation of content and concrete totality by the identical
subject-object.

If the completed genome of any organism is the thing-in-itself of that organism, if the
manipulation of this content generates the indivisible and constantly unique movement of
life and if the minimal gene set describes the essential conditions for that life in its
totality then it becomes a key task for Philosophy to reflect on the implications that
Biology has for the way we now philosophise.

http://www.the-philosopher.co.uk/socsci.htm

The danger of fragmentation in the social sciences, including the futile infatuation with myopic
'newness' and postmodern 'agenda', is this: if we disperse too much into smaller and smaller
areas of inquiry, discourse becomes flat and almost impossible. We no longer know what linking
ideas and principles of thinking to communicate, and to whom. The more we become intelligent
specialists, the less are we intellectually taken seriously. Piling higher the heap of facts can never
produce a better theory, let alone a philosophy of reflection.

The warning: 'publish or perish', is another debilitating development in academia. Such


threats halt the growth and freedom of thinking. They not only push social scientists into
the privatisation and commercial exploitation of research. Worse still, in that they lower
academic expectations to instruction in functional skills and their practical usefulness,
they also change substantially the satisfaction of educational ideals. And similarly, there
are the hordes of publicists, all-rounders, prolific volunteers, pronouncing on everything
fashionable. In academic journalism little or no time and care are taken to fathom the
ideas on offer, if any are offered at all. We have forgotten what the social sciences
inescapably demand of us.

To examine the claim of an academic discipline to be science, is to go to the heart of its


philosophical values. This means going beyond the rigid methods of analytic rationality,
confined within a discipline, which is always removed and remote from the reality of
human concerns. Education is the path out of narrow maxims of teaching and into
clearings of freer and more flexible thinking. The purpose of this article is to discuss the
pedagogical role of philosophy for a humanistic way to understand the world in which
we live. A good example is the social science called International Relations, which deals
with the global totality of the self-created relations between human beings. In its
existential implications international politics raises the most far reaching philosophical
questions about the social and historical condition of humankind.

155
156

Without conceptual rootedness and the philosophical perspective of historical


consciousness, the shaky scientific status of the social sciences will not be overcome. It is
not that we pose questions; they come to us, and we have to respond. We therefore must
be clearer where and how we have to anchor our thinking.

The Need for Philosophy

Indifference to philosophical reasoning in the social sciences tragically undermines their


study. This is a matter of first priority. It urges us to pursue our intellectual endeavours
with a strengthened philosophical orientation in mind. Our standards should not be idle
talk or what is ephemerally interesting, what meets the taste of everyday opinions. No,
the search for the highest good in education should guide our aspirations. Philosophy is a
caring and healing praxis. If it has a role to play in education, it is to enrich our moral
vocabulary and so our moral lives. This challenges the technical claims of those experts
and that expertise that demean political and social questions to short-term problem-
solving and efficient management. In the end, the role of philosophy is to recapture the
sense of wonderment and intellectual sensibility about the calamity of the human
condition. I would challenge the reader to find more tragic examples of this than in the
history of international politics.

Some may find the educational requirement of philosophy either too high or not needed
at all. For cultural reasons this is indefensible and professionally insufficient. It is also
discourteous towards those philosophers whose thinking one can, without refined
knowledge of linguistic nuances, only pretend to study. Furthermore, the criterion of a
good translation is not just its philological exactness, but the rendering of philosophical
meaning.

International Relations is the most complex of the social sciences. Yet despite its
immense importance, its tradition or history of ideas is philosophically shallow. It has no
compelling school of thought. It is devoid of paradigmatic depth and insight into the
nature of humanity's past and destiny. And running commentaries and day-to-day
consultancy about what is happening in the world can be no substitute for the task of
demonstrating the conceptual structure of international relations and their global
consequences.

We have to concentrate on integrating philosophical approaches into our understanding


of international affairs which are now all about the very condition that affects and can
destroy our earthly source of existence. This is our fundamental challenge. The enormous
sufferings of so much of humanity pose a profound problem for us. And related to this is
a further daunting philosophical question: how is it possible for a part to say something
of validity about the whole of which it is just a part? When the social sciences deal with
particular issues, they fail to recognise the universal links between their themes. But
social life and its historical development can be understood only in a holistic and not in a
piecemeal fashion. In the light of such growing pedagogical anomalies, we need to have
the courage to inquire into the scientific, conceptual underpinnings of International
Relations. We need to return to the humanities, especially philosophy.

Principles of Dialectic and Phenomenology

156
157

Thinking philosophically in social science means sharpening the logically necessary


categorial prerequisites for the comprehension of our relationship to the world we live in.
This, for instance, means rejecting the all too popular insistence on psychologism with its
empirical and relativistic tendencies. Fundamental for a critique of this approach to
knowledge acquisition is that we do not enquire into the psychological sources of
cognition, but into its logical underpinnings. To say that psychologism is senseless is to
make the difference between psychic acts of thinking and their logical content. It is to
make the distinction between what is and what is valid. Asking for adequate conceptual
conditions of the possibility of reflection is likewise dismissing as one-sided those
viewpoints which reduce an understanding of our life-world to mechanistic and causal
explanations, analogous to the mathematical and positivist physical sciences. Instead of a
formal logic, we require for educational purposes a logic of reflection. Such a logic is to
establish the correct scientific cognition of human consciousness and the way it manifests
itself in socio-historical actuality.

This logic would also study the premises of the individual sciences, their construction
and methodologies. Empirical sciences, after all, are practised according to the
conceptually unifying operations and intentions of a reflecting human consciousness. The
modes of pre-suppositional thinking, which most closely fulfil the quest for such unity in
the social sciences, are dialectic and phenomenology.

In order to make sense of these disciplines, we must turn to their most influential
expositors: Kant, Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger, and examine as the tensions within
them. These continental traditions cannot be ignored. For without them our
understanding of modern societies is likely to become ahistorical, conceptually muddled,
and thus defective, as is so often the case with the quantitative and classificatory
approaches of Anglo-American scholars. With their usual claim only to local and
analytical knowledge they deny at the same time any legitimacy to comprehensive
thinking in social science.

The discussion of Kant and Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger, however, does not entail
dependency on them. Thinking itself, especially in times of social crises and historical
transitions, is vitally dependent on the subject matter of part-whole relations towards
which thinking is ultimately directed. Thinking is a predicative and, hence, relational
activity. And relation is the quintessential category of philosophical science at all levels
of socio-historical perspectives, from interpersonal to international relations.

But why should we inquire specifically into the dictions of dialectic and
phenomenology? It is because ethics, politics, justice and progress are themes which in a
most crucial way call for criteria of judging the theoretical and practical connections
between individuals and their communities and history. In addition, the epistemological
and methodological question of how an open science of the global structure of social
reality as a project for the future is possible at all is framable primarily within dialectic
and phenomenology.

And these Western languages, in turn, have their beginnings in ancient Greek thought.
What is more, it is through the Greek tragedians that the tragedy of modernity can be
appreciated and non-Western holistic ideas of the world mediated. The ancient vision of
the world invoked the entire environment - human, divine, and inanimate. It was a world
intact, a world whose parts, spiritual and material, were interdependent. This world has

157
158

collapsed and long been lost. Only slowly are we now beginning to relearn the pressing
question of how this happened and whether we can ever again regain a sense of unity.
For understanding the relationship between human beings and the world is the first
condition of human survival.

All thinking about socio-historical formations takes its cue from starting-points of
reflection, which must be assumed as conditions for comprehending these developments.
The following are merely sketches of some educational aspects and objectives of
dialectic and phenomenology. These may serve as an impetus for the reader to explore
them further. Kant's theoretical philosophy, for instance, is a sharp conceptual critique of
empiricism, but also a denial of all metaphysical knowledge as an illusion. It describes
with dialectic the contradictory relationship between the understanding and reason. By
means of the Copernican revolution, which establishes the subjective and transcendental
categories of the understanding, one cognises objects of sense-perception in space and
time. Reason, however, allows only for the belief in transcendent ideas such as God,
freedom, and immortality. Reason 'out there' cannot be reflectively known. But, as a
logical presupposition, it is said to prescribe to the understanding the task to seek the
unity of its conceptual knowledge - the ultimate goal of every individual science.

This dualism cannot be bridged. It leads Kant to ask the famous questions: 'What can I
know?', 'What ought I to do?', and 'What may I hope'? As a first orientation for working
towards a coherent social science, these most humanistic of questions are today as
appropriate as they ever were. Hegel's approach is to resolve the Kantian dichotomy by
placing dialectic in socio-historical relations. The dialectic of reason is no longer a
transcendent condition for understanding a presumed objective world external to us. It is
now the truth itself of human self-consciousness. Reason creates and educates itself
within and through the totality of social and historical actuality.

This process of production results in the unity of theory and praxis. History is the
immanent object in which the social subject reflects itself. Dialectic is the conceptual
mediation of present subjective and holistic identity out of differing and in this sense
contradictory and particular moments of the past. Hegel's statement that the ''I' is the
'We', and 'We' is the 'I'' formulates most succinctly the organic structure of
interdependence that constitutes the part-whole relations between the individual, society,
and history. Husserl's phenomenology is a passionate argument against modern science
and the impact of its history on the human life-world. Unlike Kant, Husserl does not
study the world as it appears conceptually. Rather, he describes the logical structures of
the manners of how it shows itself to consciousness.

Phenomenology is a rigorous attempt to probe the essence of the cognising subject itself.
Subjective consciousness always intends the unity of all the horizons of the world.
Phenomena are therefore not essentially physical entities; they are experiences inter-
subjectively lived and articulated. Husserl's humanism is the search for new constitutions
of humanity's self-responsibility. These conditions cannot be material facts, for 'merely
fact-minded sciences make merely fact-minded people'. Their legitimacy, instead, is
grounded in the transcendental origin of a logic of reflection.

Phenomenological thinking for Heidegger is a path that penetrates the transcendentalism


of Kant's concept and Husserl's consciousness and leads towards the unconcealment of
Being. Being is for the subject the meaning-giving ground of its experiences.

158
159

Phenomenological research opens up those rigid traditions which seemingly established


philosophical and religious certainties. '

All these historical epochs show how Being appeared in time but in distorted forms. Its
expressions in the praxis of science and technology today are seen as particularly
dangerous. Unlike Hegel, who constructs dialectically the reflection of the present out of
its past, Heidegger destroys phenomenologically all metaphysical manifestations and re-
discovers the authentic source of Being in the pre-Socratic visions of the unity of the
world.

To regain a binding sense of origin, in order to find a truer social and historical direction
into the future, one needs to question the development of the past. This is the educational
task of philosophy, for 'questioning is the piety of thought'.This synopsis indicates that
dialectic and phenomenology provide us with an initial access into conceptual languages
of relation. They also reveal the manner in which the inescapable tension within and
between them reflects the need for calm and change in humanity's self-image.

Concepts connect facts and theories about society and history into contextual, and
philosophical meaning. More than any other heuristic entry into social science they offer
the possibility to make our spiritual and material reality transparent and hence
intelligible. But we cannot grasp these concepts - and their further appropriation by later
French and German writers - without recourse to our quartet: Kant and Hegel, Husserl
and Heidegger. Structuralism and post-structuralism, hermeneutics and critical theory,
for instance, have their bearings in the dialectical and phenomenological practices of our
philosophers. These sages illuminate our awareness of the internal relations of socio-
historical life. Observation alone and simplistic common-sense thinking cannot
accomplish this. Questions which underlie the evidence of relational unity have their
final justification in dialectic and phenomenology. It is in dialectic that we find the
immanent principle of all human activity and movement, while in phenomenology the
philosophy of subjectivity grounds this principle in a framework of consciousness and
world, history and Being.

The works of Kant and Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger are at once distant and
contemporaneous. Their thinking can help us to overcome the conceptual chaos in the
increasingly atomised social sciences. These philosophers subject slippery assumptions
about social and historical appearances to critical judgments. In their daring questions
and answers they teach us to think thinking, and not merely to record and report on
ready-made theories, to seek safety in uncontroversial facts, or to escape into relativistic
pluralism and its twin, dogmatic scepticism.

Humans are the only beings who are concerned about what they ought to be, about their
future, their possibilities of being

I said earlier that among the social sciences the study of International Relations is the
most far reaching. War and peace and the danger of a nuclear holocaust, environmental
and ecological threats, and the impact of capitalist economies on world poverty are issues
of truly planetary magnitude. Everything else is derivative. These developments affect
the whole of humankind. But how do we relate to them? They cannot be made sense of

159
160

merely with catchy sound-bites like 'new world order', 'the end of history', or 'the clash of
civilisations'. Their understanding, instead, is intrinsically philosophical.

In dialectical and phenomenological reflection we are dealing with ourselves as subjects,


and with the questions 'what is it to be human?' and 'how ought we to live?'. Humans are
the only beings who are concerned about what they ought to be, about their future, their
possibilities of being. Their end and thus their future is always only a question for them.

This is in stark contrast with factual studies and predictions based on the pretensions of
statistics. There we treat the political world as if it self-evidently existed as an object
outside and independent of us. To prove this wrong, philosophical teaching has to
become the pedagogical agent through which knowledge becomes, not only the
conscious possession of human beings, but also the guiding principle of their action -
now with the view of a future that is to be secured for all humanity.

One example must suffice to illustrate my point. Carl von Clausewitz begins his great
book On War like this: 'I propose to consider first the various elements of the subject,
next its various parts or sections, and finally the whole in its internal structure. In other
words, I shall proceed from the simple to the complex. But in war more than in any other
subject we must begin by looking at the nature of the whole; for here more than
elsewhere the part and the whole must always be thought together..It is for reason of this
part-whole relationship and the most radical paradigmatic shift it necessitates that
Raymond Aron called Clausewitz a 'philosopher' of war.

Little in Clausewitz is ever understood unless we see the timeless truth of his premise
embodying a unity and are prepared to think it through and ponder its consequences for
action. Clausewitz is not a theoretician of particular types of war. And by the same token,
Marx is not a market economist, just as the philosophers of nature, from the pre-Socratics
to Heidegger, are not short-term policy-makers. They are not specialists in the pursuit of
narrow interests. They are thinkers who conceive of human beings not as distinct entities,
but as subjects who produce themselves spiritually and materially in the whole of society,
history, and nature. Their work needs to be carefully studied and not misused in mindless
collages of quotations and for ambiguous motives.

It is not that we are disturbed by a problem for which we must fix a solution. We are
faced with a condition of humanity that requires first a transformation of our thinking.
We think correctly when we learn that socio-historical phenomena and their relation to
nature are both woven together into a web of life. If we do not care to wonder about the
significance of our own standpoint, our scholarly products remain unconvincing and
hopelessly entangled in the finitude of facts and myriads of theories. They will remain
built on quicksand and not be accepted as valid reasoning. But the effort to legitimate
what we are doing is our foremost educational responsibility. While our pronouncements
may not be the truth, the search for truth remains nonetheless inalienable. If we fail in
this imperative, our need for philosophical conceptions of what we are engaged in when
we think about the world is unfulfilled, and all sense of intellectual purpose lost.

Philosophising is not an exercise which we impose on others. It is a form of praxis; it


guides us towards the integrity of our own thinking, its origin and unfolding.

160
161

The experience of nihilism in the 20th century should be the strongest justification for
adopting the questioning thinking of dialectic and phenomenology. This century calls for
the contemplation of the necessary though complicated and often tragic relationship
between philosophy and politics, between our actions and the great ideas which we
acknowledge. This century supports much pessimism about what is domestically,
internationally, and globally possible, despite the attempt by some to retrieve and
preserve the Enlightenment promise. But the premise of that promise, that is, man's
inevitable emergence from his own self-imposed immaturity, has clearly lost credibility,
both theoretically and in practical terms.

Many people today doubt our wisdom and see no reason to be sure of ourselves. The
politics of thinking must therefore be to determine, again and again, who we are and
what we are doing to ourselves and to others, even though this quest is never fully
complete. It is only a possibility. But we must try to get a grip on the question. To choose
a philosophy is like choosing a self. Not to choose one is not knowing who one is and
what one thinks.

The social sciences are about factual knowledge and theory acquisition and the informative and
policy-oriented analysis of historical, contemporary, and current affairs. But the study of socio-
historical phenomena also demands the scrutiny of these theories, the understanding of that
knowledge and the justification of the very presuppositions which are claimed to validate this
analysis. All knowledge is ultimately grounded in principles of philosophical comprehension.
What theory is to fact, philosophy is to theory, and all three moments of cognition are
inextricably linked to one another. Only when we raise our human concerns to the level of
philosophical consciousness are these concerns opened up to understanding. Upholding
philosophical values presupposes a noble vision of educational purpose. This purpose is the
imaginative teaching of serious thinking. It may well be that in the world today we act too much
and think too little.

Address for correspondence:

Dr Hayo Krombach, Centre for the Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences,
London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A
2AE.

The Columbia History of Western Philosophy | Books | Columbia ...


https://cup.columbia.edu/...columbia-history-of-western-philosophy/9780231101295

Richard Popkin has assembled 63 leading scholars to forge a highly approachable chronological
account of the development of Western philosophical ...

The three chapters in this appendix deal with matters that do not really fit in the
chronologically ordered structure of the rest of this volume. Nonetheless, each deals
with a matter of much relevance. Constance Blackwell* has been working on the
history of the history of philosophy, making us realize that what we call the history
of philosophy is an enterprise that itself has a history that goes back to the Renais-
sance; and in the form we usually meet it, it only goes back to the mid-eighteenth
century. The development of histories of philosophy, as she shows, has greatly influ-
enced what people think philosophy is about and established what we accept as the

161
162

canon of important philosophical authors, going back to antiquity.


Many new approaches and theories have been put forth and developed in various ways.
At this point, it is hard to assess where we are and where we may be going in future
philosophizing.
There has been a tremendous divergence between the concerns and approaches of
philosophers in the English-speaking world and those of the French and German
worlds. Over the last half century, there has been fairly little contact between these
philosophical worlds. In the United States, a kind of mixing is beginning to occur that
might lead to new possible ways of carrying of the philosophical quest.
Up to World War II, the American philosophical scene was dominated by prag-
matic philosophy and British idealism. In the 1930s, many European intellectual ref-
ugees came to America and found havens in colleges and universities. The logical
positivists from Vienna seem to have had the first major impact and to have gener-
ated an American form of positivism. More slowly, people trained in phenomology
and existentialism in Germany and France came here. Both movements had to trans-
late their texts, explain them to the American audience, and show their relevance to
thinkers here. Also in the 1930s, some American scholars came in contact with Lud-
wig Wittgenstein and his teachings and brought his way of philosophizing to the
American scene. After the war, many more went to study at Oxford and Cambridge
to imbibe the new kinds of analytic philosophies, and some of the leaders came to
the United States to teach.
For a few decades, there was little communication among the new kinds of Euro-
pean philosophies that were becoming the vital part of the American philosophical

scene. Battles were fought for control of college and university departments. New
journals appeared in order to foster research in different kinds of philosophizing. The
American Philosophical Association, the umbrella organization of the people teaching
in the field, was dominated for a while by the logical positivists and analytic philos-
ophers. Gradually, a kind of balance has been reached, and almost every group is
able to take part in the programs of the association.
A broader view of philosophy has been emerging in many departments: a feeling
and conviction that students should be exposed to the different kinds of philosophies
and ways of doing philosophy. This has led to the coexistence in many colleges and
universities of philosophers of different interests, styles, and convictions. This inter-
mingling is starting to show some fruit and might presage new combined ways
philosophers could approach problems in the twenty-first century.
What movements, what figures, will emerge retrospectively as the central ones of
twentieth-century thought is beyond our present ability to judge. As new issues be-
come the important foci of philosophers, the newer thinkers find their antecedents in
previous philosophizing. So the history of philosophy is always being rewritten in
terms of newer developments.
It looks to me, as the editor of this volume, that quite forceful kinds of scepticism
are being generated out of the analytic and Continental movements. What John
Dewey called the quest for certainty may be over, replaced by other forms of
understanding. To guess what these might be like is to attempt prophecy. The study
of the history of philosophy should bring the realization that the human drive to
come to terms with the world we live in has led to a vast number of different kinds
of theorizing and understanding. Many philosophies that were believed or found
most plausible or certain in the past have subsequently been written off as erroneous,
immature, or uninteresting. The same may happen with the most plausible or con-

162
163

vincing theories being offered currently. But the urge for philosophic understanding
shows no sign of abating, and so the philosophical journey will probably go on and
on, each stage building on and rewriting its past.
RICHARD H. POPKIN

* HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY AND


RECONSTRUCTING PHILOSOPHY
Between 1430 and 1833, when Hegels Lectures on the History of Philosophy were first
published, philosophers used the history of philosophy to define philosophy and to
better philosophize themselves. The history of philosophy as a subject has been studied
with renewed vigor since 1926. At this time, Emile Brehier, in a seminal study
introducing his Histoire de la philosophie, stated that he had developed a new methodology
that rejected Hegelian constructs, as well as those inspired by Auguste Comte.
In 1979, Giovanni Santinello wrote that he would not impose an idea on historical
texts as post-Kantian philosophers have done in his five-volume survey of works on
the history of philosophy written between the Renaissance and the twentieth century
in his Models of the History of Philosophy. The material the Santinello volumes have
amassed is extraordinary, studying around 160 historians of philosophy up to G. W. F.
Hegel. This new historical approach has liberated us. We can now witness how the
retelling of philosophys history created philosophy as we now know it and how the
history of philosophy raised philosophical questions that philosophers found they
had to answer.

A generation ago, it was thought that neuroscience held the promise of solving many philosophical
problems. Looking back now over those lost decades, we are able to see that it failed to solve a
single one, and arguably created a new one or two.

http://www.philosophypages.com

163
164

On doing philosophy and different approaches

I hope to write ABOUT philosophizing, doing philosophy and possible different approaches to and of doing it, decisions
that are made during this process and underlying (explicit and implicit) assumptions that are made along the way and
the (often mistakenly) selected (side tracks of the) path (method) chosen at different stages.

By expressing the above I have already made many implicit decisions and assumptions, some of which I am sort of
aware but others I have not yet realized. The consequences of having those assumptions and of having made those
decisions will determine many things that I will do, taking me to places where I am compelled to make decisions - that I
am fairly and some totally, unaware of at this stage of writing down these (the fairly vague at this point) ideas.

I mention a number of different approaches to and ways of doing philosophy, this is to illustrate different philosophical
methods and methodologies. I discuss certain aspects of them in between quoting them at length. I also give the entire
contents of a certain approach, book or article so that the reader can see if s/he is interested in that approach to the
socio-cultural practice of philosophy or not as different people are only interested in certain schools or types of doing
philosophy.

See for instance Formal Methods in Philosophy Lecture Notes 2013 Dr. Anders J. Schoubye.

At the end I again work through an approach that treats different methods and methodology of philosophy as if it is a
process with different steps in it. The previously mentioned approaches, lectures, articles and Contents pages of
books/articles etc can be seen to fit in somewhere in this final overview. This illustrates the restrictions of all these
approaches.

Broad concentrates on or reduces philosophizing to three things or activities namely : analysis, synopsis and synthesis. I
give some background details concerning Broad so to assist in the understanding of these notions of his, for example
that he really was trained in science, mathematics and logic. He considered himself not to be outstanding in those
difficult disciplines so he moved to philosophy (becoming a professor at several universities in the UK). But his former
training is shown in his reductionist view and treatment of philosophy and philosophizing. He shows that certain
philosophers reduce all philosophy, philosophizing and reality by means of these approaches (skills or tricks) to execute
their speculative system of philosophy, like Hegel, or analytic, like Hume. His science background is obvious from his
examples and dealing in depth with issues from science.

Broad, on his own admission, did not have a philosophyif by that phrase is meant highly original philosophical
theories, and a highly original way of approaching philosophical problems. He writes: I have nothing worth calling a
system of philosophy of my own, and there is no philosopher of whom I should be willing to reckon myself a faithful
follower.

Another, very different view on and interpretation of philosophy is that by Buddy Seed, et al in their lengthy (15 pages)
presentation of what the life of the philosopher and the need for doing and living philosophy by everyone are. That
article seems to be inspired by religion, more specifically Christianity (and Roman Catholicism?). I does mention a
number of important notions concerning the true philosopher, real philosophy and authentic philosophizing. But
eventually it appears, to me at least, as if it goes off into a flight or flights of fantasy or phantasy.

It will be noted that I try to write in United Kingdom English, but that other spelling than UK English appears in for
instance US sources I am aware of that by decided to leave it like that.

3**

164
165

I can mention a few things that should serve as a warning to what I think, what I exclude from considering at this stage
and what I imagine to be meaningful and relevant enough to write down now.

Three of these things are, being aware of the fact that it is said that -

a)

Philosophy, especially at this stage, involves doubt and the sense of wonder - (This astonishment and wonder could
mislead one, being over-enthusiastic, into following misleading notions and practices.

Plato said that "philosophy begins in wonder",[Plato, Theaetetus 155 d (tr. Benjamin Jowett)] a view which is echoed by
Aristotle: "It was their wonder, astonishment, that first led men to philosophize and still leads them." [Aristotle,
Metaphysics 982b12] Philosophizing may begin with some simple doubts about accepted beliefs. The initial impulse to
philosophize may arise from suspicion, for example that we do not fully understand, and have not fully justified, even
our most basic beliefs about the world.

Note that in what I expressed above these things are revealed, namely that I wonder about and am filled with wonder
as well as being astonished about certain things. But, at the same time I am, wise enough by now after years of
becoming involved in such philosophically relevant things and being trapped by them, suspicious of what I started to
do here, again. I feel suspicious of what I do because I now know that I do not really know, that I do not fully
understand what I am involved with by writing this. Why am I writing this, what are my reasons, what are my motives,
what motivates me and what are the rationale for executing this.

First of all philosophizing to me always was a very personal and passionate affair - really one of the basic reasons to be
alive, giving meaning to me life.

This is why I emphasize the wonder of this activity, the euphoria of having insights - and that arrives non-stop as I am a
highly creative- and original thinking individual, apart from having an exceptional IQ, EQ etc.

Both the acts or experience of having or undergoing insights as well as the objects the insights are about fill me with
endless wonder, delight and astonishment. Much of this concerns not yet conceptualized or pre-conceptual notions. As
this occurs to me endlessly my life and experiences are very subtle, profound and vast. Because my life consisted out of
such insights, sets of them lead to me insights and so on.

b)

I reflect on these things, the process of insights, the things they are about etc, thus I grasped what is
According to Aristotle three levels of abstraction:

- First Degree of Abstraction: we consider things as dogs, cats, car, wood, etc.

(Natural Sciences)

- Second Degree of Abstraction: we consider things in terms of number

(Mathematics)

- Third Degree of Abstraction: we consider things as Being (Metaphysics).

Having different types of insights and from or in different discourse by means of different socio-cultural practices required me to reflect on
them and distinguish them - meta-reflection, if not always meta- philosophically relevant reflections.

So what did I do with those insights, apart from the fact that they created in my mind, or as if my mind and ways of thinking, having
experience, perception and being conscious in general occurs in a very insightful, greatly differentiated and subtle frame/s of reference.

So what did I do with such insights.

After having an insight, we can do something about it, i.e. we can articulate, clarify and deepen our understanding of our insight.

- Fr. Ferriols mentions 3 techniques in doing something with the insight: metaphor, analysis, and other techniques.

165
166

He says about this -

Metaphor

- use of something familiar, ordinary to articulate, clarify, and deepen what is not

familiar and ordinary.

Metaphor is very important because:

1. it fixes the insight in the mind

2. it sharpens the insight in the sense that:

- it clarifies the insight

- it makes us understand the insight more deeply

3. it enables us to understand the ordinary and familiar more deeply.

Analysis

- We use analysis also to articulate, clarify and deepen our understanding of the

insight

- analysis:

- breaking down into parts

- breaking down the insight into the different elements or dimensions which

constitute it.

Other Techniques

- according to Paul Ricoeur:

- Symbol

- Myth

- Speculation

We are given certain cautions for dealing with insights - Analysis could desiccate an insight

- analysis could dry up, fossilize the insight

- in other words, insight could cease to be alive, to be meaningful and relevant as

one subjects it to analysis.

ii. It is important to return to the concrete fullness of the original insight and insight should

permeate the whole process of doing with an insight. Why?

- to vitalize the insight

- to keep it alive, meaningful and relevant

- to prevent it from being fossilized, from being dried up.

- To check whether the analysis, metaphor or other technique of doing with

insight really leads to a clarification, articulation and deeper understanding of the insight

iii. Insight is inexhaustible

- one can explore and do something with the insight in variety of ways in order to

clarify, articulate and understand it

- but the insight itself is rich, superabundant such that it could never be exhausted

by any techniques; none of the them could fully and completely clarify, articulate, and

understand the insight.

166
167

- In every doing with an insight, there is a tension between: sense of

knowledge/light and sense of ignorance/darkness

iv. The richness of insight is the richness of reality itself

- insight brings us to the very heart of reality, to the deeper aspect of reality

- reality itself is superabundantly rich, inexhaustible

- thus, the richness of insight points to, indicated the richness of reality itself

- reality as mystery

- there is a tension between light and darkness in our knowledge, understanding,

appropriation of reality.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/56238200/Lecture-1-The-Act-of-Philosophizing page 4
In the Throe of Wonder: Intimations of the Sacred in a Post-Modern World by Jerome A. Miller

Insight by Bernard Lonergan

This is the appropriate context to introduce false and misleading notions about philosophy, doing philosophy and philosophers.

"The Philosophical Enterprise" by John Kavanaugh

a. Introduction: False Notions of a Philosopher and Doing Philosophy

i. False Images/Caricature of a Philosopher

1. Isolated Thinker

- one who is confined, isolated within the walls of his rooms or sitting on a ivory

tower

- one who tries to make sense of the world which he is isolated from and which

he alone understands.

2. Great System Builder

- one who has built a great system of thought but now is relegated to obscure

footnotes and erudite commentaries

- one has to cite him in one's footnote in order to be considered learned, scholarly

but in fact he is difficult to understand.

3. Academician

- one who teaches courses in philosophy which seem to be not in touch with

present pressing realities and to be irrelevant to the demands of the day to day life.

ii. False notions in how a person conducts the discipline of philosophy

1. memorizing answers to questions which he himself never has asked or has ceased to ask

or which should have never been asked or never cares to ask

- trying to remember what the philosopher said rather than trying to understand

what drove the philosopher to say those things in the first place

- consequently, philosophy courses will turn out being a big mistake on all levels:

experientially, pedagogically, and humanistically

2. isolated from other disciplines and sometimes reduced to the same level as other

167
168

disciplines

- study of philosophy in general, and of philosophy of man in particular is

conducted in isolation from social/behavioral and natural sciences, and other

disciplines

- thus, there is little connection between philosophy and history, myth, literature

or arts

- Why? some want philosophy to be "science", a respectable discipline with

subject and credential of its own. But as a consequence, it reduces philosophy on the

same level as other disciplines.

3. Being concerned with the problems of "the one and many", the development of logical

atomism, and linguistic or metaphysical analyses than with the fundamental questions of

meaning and the horizon of his possibilities as a man.

- to correct these false notions of a philosopher and of how philosophizing is to be

conducted, let us try to see philosophy as a Discipline of Questioning, Discipline of

Liberation, and Discipline of Personhood.

ibid. pages 4-5

More details, analysis and points of the wonder and astonishment mentioned by Plato and Aristotle, especially in so far as the formulation
of questions goes. How and why someone will ask questions and the wonder associated with this activity and developing the ability of this
attitude towards all experiences, people, the world, situations, one self and others.

Philosophizing as the Discipline of Questioning

- to understand the act of philosophizing, we must find out and understand first

what drives, moves, leads one to philosophize as sheer human exigency, i.e. very

necessary to human existence.

- What drives a person to philosophize is the inescapable dynamism and capacity

of the human person himself to question and to seek answers to questions he himself

raises.

- In short, at the root of all philosophizing is the pre-eminent personal affair of

question-asking.

i. Queston-Asking

1. Question-asking is very common, at the heart of our day to day experience

- we could not escape, pass the day without asking question, without being

confronted by a question

- we could not start nor finish the day without some questions

- Why? Because of our desire, our dynamism to:

- To be confronted by things outside of us (Experience)

- Know, understand the things we experience (Understanding): What is

it?

- Find out the truth of what we come to understand (Judgment): Is it?

- Make decisions for what we do/act (Decision/Action): What should I

do?

168
169

2. Different Levels 2.1 Horizontal/Superficial Questions

- questions of survival

- Where will I find money to pay my rent?

- What will I do to save myself from trouble?

- practical questions

- What will I do tomorrow?

- How do I use the computer?

- What shirt, shoes, pant will I wear?

- What are the advantages and disadvantages of VFA?

- scientific questions: Questions of facts and making sense of certain,

particular empirical reality

- How does the sun produce its heat and light?

- How does a computer work?

- Are there intelligent life-forms outside of our planet?

- Why is there a rainbow?

2.2 Vertical/Depth Questions

- questions of ultimate purpose and meaning

- questions of significance and meaning that enables us to perceive order

and harmony in the world as a whole, our place in the universe.

- E.g.:

- Where does the world as a whole come from?

- Why is there existence rather than non-existence?

- Why am I here? What is my place in the universe?

- Where am I going?

- question of truth/reality

- Is what I perceive, understand true? What makes it true?

- question of value

- Is it good? What makes it good? What makes us truly happy?

- These are ultimate, fundamental questions in life:

- deeper questions, questions we ask even if our superficial questions are

answered; questions to which the superficial questions bring us ultimately if

we pursue the inner dynamics of questioning

- questions whose answers have bearing on our superficial questions,

questions which are the bases/foundations of our horizontal questions.

ii. Personal Affair of Asking Depth-Question

1. I myself have come to these depth-questions

- I myself see them as questions, as problems

- They are really questions/issues for me.

169
170

2. The depth-questions are really of personal value to me

- the answer to these questions are of great value to me: significant, important,

would make a difference in my life

- such that these questions:

- consume my entire person: my intellect, my will, my effort, my time,

my body

- no let up till I find the answers

3. Starting point of all the depth-questions is my own person.

- behind, at the center and the beginning of all depth questions: questions about

MYSELF, AS A HUMAN PERSON

- Question of Meaning and Purpose: Why am I here? What can I hope for?

- Question of Truth: Who am I really? What are my potentialities? My

uniqueness?

- Question of Value: What is my good, my happiness? What should I do? What is

the criterion in deciding what is good or not, my happiness or not?

iii. Conclusion: Greatness of philosophy lies in perpetual questioning

- philosophy does not begin with an answer/insight but a question

- it continues because we still continue to ask questions, particularly depth questions

- and the answers to our questions do not stop the question-asking but spur one to

further search for a better answer, to ask for further, deeper or different questions.

- Thus, philosophy is music of the fugue: incessant counterpoint of questioning and answering them.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The notions in this last paragraph (I refer to point 3 from the beginning here **) should be conceptualized
more clearly and then analysed in much greater detail and depth. So on to certain warnings contained in

c)

Jonathan Ichikawa, Arch Philosophical Research Centre, University of St Andrews reviewed Chris Dalys

An Introduction to Philosophical Methods, Broadview Press, 2010, 257pp., $29.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781551119342 here

http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/24675-an-introduction-to-philosophical-methods.

By the way see sentences 2 and 3 in the first paragraph that stun me with their beauty: Even setting aside their notorious
epistemological challenges, attempts to understand philosophical investigation and " And more inclusive discussions
of the methodology of philosophy run the risk of generating lists of tautologies - ...etc. - rather than informative
treatments of how philosophy ought to proceed. This OUGHT surely is another problem and a very large one?

Daly does not attempt a :unifying statement of the nature or methodology of philosophy. ..... instead electing for what
he calls (p. 11) a 'twin track' approach, considering particular methods and kinds of data that philosophers sometimes
appear to use, and pairing descriptions of such methods with various case studies intended to illustrate them.

I quote these reviewing statements as they express what I wrote above concerning my present writings cause, my
astonishment and wonder, and that Daly wisely steered clear from that. What he does attempt, according to Ichikawa

170
171

is employ a restricted strategy does seem advisable; the nature of philosophy is best understood through
methodologically reflective first-order philosophical practice. Here follows Ichikawas warning and criticism of the
shortcomings of Dalys approach/book: However, its proponent does run the risk of having little of interest, and little
distinctive of philosophy, to say, thus succumbing to the latter horn of the dilemma set out above. Daly's book does, to
some extent, so succumb. Ichikawa refers to his 3 rd sentence in the first paragraph: And more inclusive discussions
of the methodology of philosophy run the risk of generating lists of tautologies -- believe according to the evidence,
make good inferences, do not beg questions against dialectical opponents, etc.

Ichikawa then criticizes Daly for NOT having done the following: "Daly does little in the book to characterize how he
thinks philosophy might differ from other kinds of engagement. The extended discussion of science in Chapter Six
considers how science may bear on philosophy but does not engage with how it is and is not similar. He does point out
(p. 1) that philosophers are unlike scientists in that they do not use laboratory tools to run experiments, but this does
little to distinguish philosophy in particular. He then states what Daly said he IS going to do: " Since the central puzzle
motivating the book, as given in the introductory pages, involves the juxtaposition of, first, the propensity of
philosophers to, to use Daly's term, 'make various claims' with, second, their neglect of laboratory experiments. He
suggests that: "a more forceful introduction to the present book might include a discussion of to what extent, if any,
the questions raised are particularly pressing for philosophy. Well Daly did NOT do that.

On page 11 Daly mentioned his approach: " he calls (p. 11) a 'twin track' approach, considering particular methods and
kinds of data that philosophers sometimes appear to use, and pairing descriptions of such methods with various case
studies intended to illustrate them. This restricted strategy does seem advisable; the nature of philosophy is best
understood through methodologically reflective first-order philosophical practice.

The book comprises six chapters, plus a brief introduction and conclusion. Each chapter involves an initial set of
methodological questions and consideration of one or more case studies designed to illustrate how the questions
bear on philosophical methodology. For example, the first chapter, 'Common Sense', opens with questions about the
nature and significance of common sense claims, then focuses primarily on G. E. Moore's application of common
sense arguments to philosophical questions, with particular emphasis on his infamously straightforward attempted
proof of the external world.

"it was not clear to me why Daly chose the topics he did one question

and what unifies the work as a whole. another separate question.

The longest chapter of the book, the 62-page Chapter Two, 'Analysis', considers several attempts to analyze the
notion of philosophical analysis and finds them inadequate in various respects before finally concluding very briefly
(on p. 100) that the notion of analysis is not after all an interesting one for the purpose of understanding the
methodology of philosophy. Although I agree with Daly's conclusion here, students engaging with the book will
wonder, as I did, why we spent so much time on a question that was ultimately to be dismissed? another (type)
question

"The third chapter is devoted to 'Thought Experiment'. It begins with general questions about the nature and value of
thought experiments before giving brief introductions to seventeen well-known examples of thought experiments, plus
a more extended case study of thought experiments involving personal identity. Daly concludes: "chapter (pp. 127-8)
with what he calls the 'tentative and speculative sceptical proposal' that use of intuition and consideration of
hypothetical cases are ir""relevant to philosophical questions. At least we can now exclude them as relevant and
necessary to philosophizing and philosophical methodology!

" Daly suggests that we dispense with thought experiments and intuitions and observe only that knowledge and
reliably produced true belief are in fact coextensive. Then we may infer to the best explanation that they are
identical. This very radical suggestion raises many serious questions which go unaddressed.....

Ichikawa questions Daly on the following: " can one correlate actual cases of knowledge to reliably produced true belief
without making use of the sorts of intuitions Daly wants to set aside? Ichikawa gives a suggestion by means of a

171
172

question that, he thinks, refutes what Daly states. This is not very important to me. The following is his judgement on
Dalys hypothesis of/for setting intuitions aside. The two paragraphs Daly devotes to his 'sceptical proposal' --.... -- are
not adequate to the extreme view articulated,

"Next is Chapter Four, 'Simplicity', which examines how considerations of simplicity and complexity bear on
appropriate selection of hypotheses; the main focus is on various interpretations of Occam's Razor. Daly's conclusion
here (p. 152) is that given the various notions of simplicity available, and given the availability of reasons to tolerate
complex hypotheses, considerations of simplicity are 'quite restricted' in their applicability to philosophical
methodology. I personally cannot see the point and relevance of this?

"In Chapter Five ('Explanation'), Daly considers the extent to which philosophical theories do and should explain. In
particular, he considers the suggestion that, when choosing between hypotheses, we should select that which offers
the best explanation of the relevant phenomena. Of course, there are difficult and interesting questions about just
what explanation consists in, how to distinguish cases of explanation from non-explanation, and how to determine
which of various competing explanations is in the relevant sense 'better'. Daly says little about these questions, noting
(p. 180) that 'the strategy of inference to the best explanation needs to be supplemented not only by detailed
accounts of each of the theoretical virtues, but also by a detailed account of how to make a rational theory choice in
[various cases].' This is surely right; but absent any such detailed account -- or even a vague, impressionistic account --
the suggestion threatens to be all but empty. Again I fail to see any significant point in this for philosophical
methodology.

"Chapter Six, 'Science', is not about science per se, but instead considers the bearing of science on philosophy. The
bulk of the chapter consists in putting forward and criticizing arguments for naturalism, which Daly officially
characterizes as 'The view that scientific methods and results are valuable, or even indispensable, to philosophy.' I
would like to know more about the reasons for this claim and in which ways such things are indispensable, functional,
useful to philosophy? Do they keep philosophers informed in general and/or about the approaches of sciences, or
about particular results, facts from, science?

However, he also cautions the reader that 'no single view can be identified with naturalism.' (p. 188) Unfortunately, in
much of the ensuing discussion, Daly does not keep various naturalist theses distinct, in several dimensions. For
instance, Daly argues against naturalizing epistemology in part by claiming (p. 199) that the psychological claims that
might be of relevance to epistemology -- our susceptibility to various errors in perception, reasoning, etc. -- consist
largely in 'something we already knew, at least in broad outline'. While this may provide some insulation against the
methodological suggestion that one must formally study psychology in order to do epistemology responsibly, it does
not show, as Daly suggests it does, that scientific information is not relevant to epistemology. This point is particularly
clear if one considers how, by parity of reasoning, one could argue from the fact cited above -- common sense already
told us that we perform less well epistemically in certain kinds of environments -- that the data provided by science is
not relevant to cognitive psychology. In both cases, philosophy and cognitive psychology, that common sense already
delivered the broad outlines of the relevant information is a non sequitur with respect to the general bearing of
scientific evidence. Daly also seems at times to conflate the suggestion that scientific work bears on philosophical
questions ('it is perfectly appropriate to draw on the resources (e.g.) of science', p. 200, quoting Hilary Kornblith) with
the suggestion that scientific evidence and methodology are sufficient for resolving the relevant philosophical
questions (a 'discipline or theory can generate a problem but it does not follow that its resources are sufficient to solve
that problem', p. 202). This seems a bit confusing to me. To me the more serious question is - which aspects of
science, sciences methods, methodologies are relevant to philosophy/izing and why is it the case, how does it work?

"After these six chapters, Daly gives a three-and-a-half page conclusion that puts forward two more general ideas
about philosophy. The first is that although there is philosophical debate about what data and methods are
appropriate to the practice of philosophy, it is permissible when engaging in first-order philosophy to proceed from
contentious or debatable assumptions I cannot accept the latter as one would have to look at particular cases of such
debatable assumptions.

172
173

."This claim does sit in some obvious prima facie tension with various accusations throughout the book -- for instance,
on pp. 27, 33, 115, and 177 -- that certain arguments beg questions in pernicious ways, and with the statement on p.
115 that 'begging the question is a defect in any piece of reasoning'. This tension is not explored.[1] The second idea
of the conclusion is that often a method of cost-benefit analysis is appropriate to choosing between philosophical
theories. This idea, while plausible and useful, is not obviously connected to or developed from the discussion of the
main text. Ichikawa questions Dalys suggestion or statement on other grounds, namely that Daly itself contradicted it
earlier in his book. I cannot see the point of Dalys second idea, while Ichikawa is concerned about the fact that it is/was
not developed in the main text. The latter to me is irrelevant as the whole second idea is irrelevant to philosophizing.

In general, Daly's writing style is reasonably clear, although he does tend to transition rather suddenly from general
conversational tones to more technical ones that might confuse or intimidate students. This happens most often when
he draws on work from other academics that speaks to the issues he has introduced. This point I have often seen in
philosophical writing - employing the work of other academics, so as not to have to argue for a certain idea. But is IS a
(useful? meaningful?) philosophical (writing) tool (I suppose?).

this often includes the incorporation of direct quotation, which is not always clearly extracted or explained

Ichikawa then writes more on this criticism and contin ues with it below:

Although Daly notes that this cannot constitute a criterion for common sense, since some Moorean certainties are not
directly observational (the earth has existed for centuries, etc.), he suggests -- citing, but not explaining, Campbell --
that the empirical questions might nevertheless help. Few students at an introductory level could, I suspect, engage
this passage with anything like full clarity without quite a lot of guidance. This is a representative pattern that occurs
many times in the book. (E.g., a detour from common sense into a discussion of Michael Dummett and a distinction
between belief and acceptance on p. 19; a presentation of Steven Rieber's application of a technical notion of semantic
structure to bear on questions of analysis on p. 66; the consideration of a dialectic between Kathleen Wilkes and James
Robert Brown on personal identity on p. 118.)

More advanced students or researchers will have an easier time following these parts of the book, but they, I think, will
be frustrated by the superficial treatments of the interesting issues raised in the case studies. And in some instances,
these latter seem also to involve philosophical errors and confusions (for example, in the discussions of the
Euthyphros famous argument about piety and god-lovedness and of David Lewiss modal realism).

The book would also have benefitted from more careful editing; there are a surprising number of typos -- including one
on the first page of the introduction -- and grammatical/structural errors. These are not serious philosophical matters,
of course, and would easily be fixed; I mention them because an introductory text read by philosophy students will
provide a model for their own writing, and it is best to expose them to writing of the highest technical quality.

An Introduction to Philosophical Methods does touch upon many issues worthy of engagement, and Daly does seem to
have done well in selecting the relevant literature to consider with respect to each of his chosen topics. As a result, the
references and bibliography in this book will be useful for philosophers looking for guidance in their early research
efforts. But with respect to its central aim as an introduction to philosophical methodology, the book falls short.

[1] Daly suggests (p. 158) that 'tension' in contexts like this is 'a weasel word' that should be avoided because it is
unclear what exactly it is meant to convey. I do not agree that this sort of language is in general inappropriately vague.
At any rate, in this instance, when I say that these elements of Daly's view are 'in tension,' I mean that there is sufficient

173
174

prima facie conflict such that someone averring both views ought to recognize that they constitute a surprising
conjunction and remark on how, contrary to appearance, they may be consistent and mutually well-motivated. I
suspect this is approximately what most philosophers mean when they say that various claims are 'in tension' with
one another. So clarify what they DO mean.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I quote, with my highlights, what I consider to be distracting in philosophizing. This person refers to these things that I
object to as philosophical methods. I object to them when you see the contexts he employs them in and the topics he
applies them to. Philosophical methods? Strategies? Technique for/of Reasoning and explanation?

http://simsphilosophy.blogspot.co.za/2007/05/reflection-essay-on-philosophical.html

Reflection on Philosophical Methodologies

I think I have applied most of these philosophical methodologies in philosophy classes. First off, the logical analysis is
a method we employed in various exercises for my reasoning class. The conceptual analysis is something I am doing
quite a bit of right now in my European Contemporary Though class through examining such terms as democracy,
freedom and sovereignty. I also experience this methodology through some of the Save Our Constitution panel
discussions. I took a whole course basically just about the method of deconstruction in the Sociology of Knowledge
class I took last semester. Phenomenology and one that is not on here but seems quite similar to phenomenology,
introspection, is something I have been doing on my own since I was seventeen. It is, in many respects, my self-
therapy as I struggle to reflect on my life experiences and the meanings or lack thereof that they so entail. Also, in a
class I am taking now, Feminist Philosophies, we were just reading an essay by Iris Marion Young titled Menstrual
Meditations, where young talks a lot about where young talks a lot about Heideggers methodology of exploring
oneself by going into and through and reflecting upon ones moods. The Philosopher as Public Intellectual is a
method that I would like to utilize more often, especially once I am out of school. The example I have given through my
article about democracy matters I actually got published a few weeks ago in the hill news. In all, I think I have applied
most, if not all, of these methods whether in courses or just in my everyday life.

A couple methods that I would like to explore in more depth in my own philosophical activities are the philosophy as
conversation method and the two respective comparative methods. I believe these two methods could be synthesized
in a way as to facilitate a true dialectic between a diversity of philosophical positions. All too often philosophy is only
talking to itself. While the comparative methods might still be subject to this problematic I believe the philosophy as
conversation method could really serve as useful tool to bridge the gap between the formally philosophical and
everyday experiences. The comparative method is one that I in fact employed in my first philosophy class called
Humanities which I had in my senior year in high school. I believe this method is most necessary in terms of its political
implications. I say this because the current methods of Identity Politics have fragmentized and specialized the Left in
comparison to the what I would consider the over-specialization of academia. While particular groups on the left such
as womens liberation, civil rights, socialists, gay rights and environmental organizations fight for there own particular
ends, they all too often fail to form coalitions as they instead fight (both internally within organization and externally
between different movements) for the same resources and media attention. I firmly believe that the Left needs to
bridge this gap if it ever hopes to achieve any of its particular goals in a sustainable way. Thus, if I choose to return to
academia my work will most surely focus on making these connections and explicit comparisons between different
social movements and between different philosophies.

174
175

I think if there is one method here that most reflects my own philosophical work it would be either phenomenology or
deconstruction. As I already mentioned I think Ive been doing phenomenology for some time now, and I believe in the
necessity of looking critically and reflectively first and foremost at ones own experiences. I believe that the
deconstruction and phenomenological method are implicit within one another. If there was anything I learned in
Sociology of knowledge it is the reciprocity by which our epistemology is created and legitimized by particular
subjectivities with particular intentions (usually power). Only by understanding how ones own sincere intentions
figure into this power struggle can one begin to determine how to change the system. One cannot do this by simple
abstraction for there is no view from nowhere. The key is to be honest with oneself and ones intentionality, for it is my
contention that only from within the system may the system ever be altered.

-------------------------------------------

http://mcps.umn.edu/philosophy/14_15Boyd.pdf

I do not find this article of much interest to philosophical methodology and consider it to be distracting from the real
issues and nature of this methodology.

The writer makes statements and do not present any grounds or arguments for them

http://www.westminster.edu/staff/brennie/WDGroupsubpages/stories/four_approaches_to_philosophy.htm

This article presents us with what the author claims are Four Approaches to Philosophy.

His summary:

Summary:

Few people care to study or understand logic due to everyone believing that they are skilled enough in the art of
reasoning. Logicality is one of our most useful qualities. There are four main approaches to philosophy.

1. If you can not prove something is real, then it does not lead to a contrary conclusion, but it is still seen as being
harmonious in the aspects of method and conception.

2. There is one thing in which a proposition should and will in most cases confirm. This means that no one can doubt
realities because it would not be a source of dissatisfaction. The hypothesis is then something that everyone must
agree on and admit.

3. Everyone uses the scientific method for many things and only not use it when one does not know how to apply it to
the situation.

4. Using or gaining experience of the method does not make us want to use it but helps us settle our opinions. Because
of its many splendid triumphs, it has become a permanent part of our lives.

175
176

The fourth method is the only one that displays the distinction of right and wrong. By adopting the method of tenacity,
you are taking away any doubt in which you might come upon. We adopt whatever belief that we are most
accustomed to until we are awakened by the harsh realities which cause us to down spiral into the so called 'real
world'. Authority is the method in which mankind will always be ruled. The other methods do have their importance
and truths, but this method is the one that will never change.

He then continues to provide us with an analysis -

Tenacity

The first method Pierce names is tenacity, which is characterized by clinging to a particular belief with complete
disregard to all evidence or reason that may imply that it is incorrect. While this is an effective method in that it
allows for action and decision without hesitation, it is limited by the fact that other people will inevitably tenaciously
cling to different beliefs, casting doubt and disunity. After all, it is hard to believe absolutely in one thing and deny all
other reason when you are surrounded by people who hold different beliefs to be just as true.

To resolve this problem, the second method of authority is formed. it ensures that everyone tenaciously holds to the
same belief..

people will inevitably see that other authorities practice different doctrines, and will therefore question their own
authority. A third method, a priori, accounts for this. It is the method of choosing whatever opinion or truth is most
pleasing at the time. This allows for quick and easy satisfaction to the problem of "who is right?"

All of these methods are flawed, however, for several reasons. They do not distinguish between a right and wrong
method. The a priori method, which derives from the first two, will eventually leave doubt in regard to the validity of
the opinion ("sure, it feels good, but is it truly correct?"). For these reasons it becomes necessary to develop a method
that removes the "human" factor from the equation and leaves only the raw facts. This is the scientific method, which
operates off of the belief that regular laws affect the world and are completely independent of our opinions about
them. By observing these laws and their interactions with the world, it is possible to come to a valid conclusion.

These methods are interlinked. We always allow our opinions to be determined by something; be it a particular belief,
an authority, what strikes us at the moment, or science. Peirce argues that humans need a scientific authority because
we are self centered and view the world in a biased way.

...Science itself is influenced by our flawed nature....Thus, Peirce's argument deserves a qualification: with the scientific
method, we move constantly towards a greater knowledge and more "valid" opinions based on our ever more accurate
(and yet never perfect) perspective of the world.

------------------------------

http://schoubye.org/teaching/Formal-Methods/FormalMethodsNotes2013.pdf

Formal Methods in Philosophy

Lecture Notes 2013

Dr. Anders J. Schoubye

School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

University of Edinburgh

176
177

anders.schoubye@ed.ac.uk

See the Contents of this lecture and judge for yourself the assumption underlying this piece.

Contents

Preface

1 Summary: First Order Logic

1.1

First Order Logic (FOL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.1

Primitive Vocabulary of

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.2

Syntax of

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.3

Variable Binding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.4

Semantics and Models for

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.5

Variables in

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

177
178

1.1.6

Valuations and Truth-in-a-Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.7

Validity and Logical Consequence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2 Set Theory

2.1

Na

ve Set Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.1

Notation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.2

Basic Axioms of Na

ve Set Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.3

Empty Set, Singleton Sets, and Pairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.4

Subsets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.5

Intersection and Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.6

Ordered Pairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

178
179

10

2.1.7

Cartesian Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10

2.1.8

Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

2.2

Russells Paradox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

15

3 ZermeloFraenkel Set Theory

17

3.1

Cumulative Set Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

3.1.1

The Intuitive Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

3.1.2

The Axioms of ZFC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18

3.1.3

Sizes of Infinite Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

23

3.1.4

Cardinality and One-to-One Correspondence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

23

4 Modal Logic

25

4.1

Modal Logic: Necessity and Possibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25

4.1.1

179
180

Modals in Natural Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

26

4.2

Grammar of Modal Propositional Logic (MPL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

26

4.2.1

Primitive Vocabulary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27

4.2.2

Syntax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27

4.2.3

Semantics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27

4.2.4

The Problem with a Truth Functional Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

28

4.3

Modal Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

30

4.3.1

Validity and Consequence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

31

4.4

Establishing Validities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

32

4.5

Invalidity and Countermodels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34

4.5.1

Graphical Procedure for Demonstrating Invalidity . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

35

4.6

180
181

Axiomatic Proof Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

4.6.1

System K . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

4.6.2

System D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

4.6.3

System T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

4.6.4

System B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

45

4.6.5

System S4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

45

4.6.6

System S5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46

4.7

Soundness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46

5 Counterfactuals

49

5.1

Counterfactuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

49

5.2

The Behavior of Natural Language Counterfactuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

49

5.3

The Lewis-Stalnaker Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

181
182

52

5.4

Stalnakers System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

53

5.4.1

Primitive Vocabulary of SC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

53

5.4.2

Syntax of SC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

53

5.4.3

Semantics and Models for SC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

53

5.4.4

Semantic Validity Proofs in

SC

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

56

5.4.5

Semantic Invalidity in

SC

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

57

5.4.6

Logical Features of

SC

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

57

5.5

Lewis Criticism of Stalnakers System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

60

5.5.1

Lewis System (LC) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

182
183

62

5.6

Disjunctive Antecedents: Problems for Stalnaker and Lewis . . . . . . . . . . . . .

63

6 Decision Theory

65

6.1

Decision and Game Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

65

6.1.1

Some (famous) Decision Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

66

6.2

Dominance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

68

6.3

States, Choices, and Independence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

68

6.4

Maximax and Maximin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

6.5

Ordinal vs. Cardinal Utilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

70

6.6

Do What Is Likely To Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

72

7 Probability Theory

75

7.1

Probability and Measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

7.2

183
184

Propositions and Probabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

78

7.3

Axioms of Probability Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

79

7.4

Conditional Probability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

80

7.5

Conditionalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

83

7.6

Probabilities: Independence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

84

7.7

Correlation vs. Causation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

8 Utility and Probability

91

8.1

Utilities and Expected Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

91

8.2

Maximise Expected Utility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

92

8.3

Properties of the Maximise Expected Utility Rule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

93

8.4

A More General Version of Dominance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

94

8.5

The Sure Thing Principle and the Allais Paradox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

184
185

95

8.6

Interpretations of Probability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

97

8.6.1

Probabilities as Frequencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

97

8.6.2

Degrees of Beliefs Bayesianism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

98

8.6.3

Evidential Probability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

8.6.4

Objective Chance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

9 More on Utility

103

9.1

Declining Marginal Utility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

9.1.1

Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

9.2

Utility and Welfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

9.2.1

Experience Based Theories of Welfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

9.2.2

Objective List Theories of Welfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

9.2.3

Preference Theories of Welfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

10 Newcombs Problem

109

10.1 Solutions to Newcombs Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

10.2 Two (potentially) Conflicting Decision Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

10.2.1 Arguments for 2-Boxing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

185
186

10.3 Causal vs. Evidential Decision Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

10.3.1 Arguments for Evidential Decision Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

11 Framing Effects

119

11.1 Risk Aversion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

11.1.1 Gains vs. Losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

11.2 Outcome Framing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

11.2.1 The Psychophysics of Chances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

11.2.2 Normative vs. Descriptive Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

-----------------------------

https://onemorebrown.com/2008/08/15/the-philosophical-method/

It seems to me that philosophy is distinguished from other endeavors by the method that it adopts. This is not unusual,
as science is usually identified by the scientific method. But what is the philosophical method? This question is
obviously controversial but I think a good case can be made that the philosophical method involves a commitment to
reason and argument as a source of knowledge.

Well there you have it!

---------------------------

https://explicitblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/the-method-of-philosophy-is-the-method-of-inquiry/

The Method of Philosophy Is the Method of Inquiry

Posted on 7 November, 2013

In my earlier post on the method of philosophy I made several negative claims: the method of philosophy is not based
on intuitions or reflective equilibrium, its not random speculating, and its also not just about arguments. Today Im
going to motivate a little maxim that Ive been mumbling to myself for a few years: that the method of philosophy is the
method of inquiry.

What do I mean by inquiry? By inquiry, I mean something like the deliberate project of understanding the world
(including ourselves) better. Sometimes this is done in order to accomplish a specific goal, like curing polio or building
bridges, and sometimes its not. I take it that building the Large Hadron Collider and looking for the Higgs boson is an
example of the latter kind, although there have been highly practical discoveries along the way and this was always a
part of the plan. At its best moments, the academy (I dont mean the Academy, but academia, the worldwide system of
universities and other institutions of higher learning) is an institution dedicated to furthering inquiry and disseminating
the resulting understanding to students and others. I am tempted to think of inquiry as a distinctively human project (as
far as we know).

186
187

Nothing needs to be said about this?

--------------------------------

The Method of Philosophy: Making Distinctions. - School of Philosophy

philosophy.cua.edu/.../Th eMethod of Philosophy_Making Distinction...

lies in its method The method of philosophical thinking is not obvious; we think we have ... I wish to help clarify what
philosophy is by discussing its method.

-----------------------------------------
k http://johnpollock.us/ftp/PAPERS/Pollock_Technical_Methods_In_Philosophy.pdf

CONTENTS

PREFACE

IX

CHAPTER ONE:

SET

THEORY

1.

The

Logical

Framework

2.

The

Basic

Concepts

of

Set

Theory

2.1

Class

Membership

2.2

187
188

Definition

by

Abstraction

2.3

Some

Simple

Sets

2.4

Subsets

2.5

Unions and Intersections

2.6

Relative Complements

11

2.7

Power

Sets

12

2.8

Generalized

Union

and Intersection

13

3.

Relations

15

3.1

Ordered

Pairs

188
189

15

3.2

Ordered

n-tuples

18

3.3

The

Extensions

of

Properties and Relations

19

3.4

Operations

on

Relations

21

3.5

Properties

of

Relations

23

3.6

Equivalence Relations

25

3.7

Ordering Relations

27

4.

Functions

30

4.1

Mappings Into and

Onto

189
190

32

4.2

Operations on

Functions

33

4.3

The

Restriction

of

a Function

34

4.4

One-One

Functions

34

4.5

Ordered

n-tuples

35

4.6

Relational Structures and

Isomorphisms

35

5.

Recursive

Definitions

37

6.

Arithmetic

44

6.1

Peano's

Axioms

190
191

44

6.2

Inductive Definitions

6.3

The

Categoricity

of

Peano's

Axioms

54

TENTS

6.4

Set-Theoretic

Surrogates

56

6.5

Arithmetic

59

CHAPTER

TWO:

LOGIC

1.

The

Predicate

Calculus

62

1.1

Syntax

62

1.2

Formal

191
192

Semantics

66

1.3

Derivations

72

1.4

Definite Descriptions

84

1.5

First-Order Logic

with

Functions

87

2.

First-Order

Theories

87

2.1

Axiomatic

Theories

87

2.2

Semantic

Closure

89

2.3

Godel's

Theorem

96

3.

Higher-Order

Logic

106

192
193

SOLUTIONS

TO

EXERCISES

Chapter

One

Ill

Chapter

Two

117

LIST

OF SYMBOLS

121

--------------------------

http://www.csudh.edu/phenom_studies/methods_phil/lect_2.htm

2. Methods in Philosophy

As long as we understand philosophy is "questioning search," and thus "pursuit of knowledge," this search is not the
end product of such a search as a bulk of knowledge or information. On the contrary, any pursuit of knowledge, as long
as we are finite, mortal human-beings and it searches for knowledge, this pursuit is a rather "endless" process. It is the
process starting from "here," from this starting point of the self awareness of one's own ignorance.

2-1-1. Method in General

In general, therefore, the decision to choose a certain way or road or approach is extremely crucial, also needless to
say, to the pursuit of knowledge. It may be so due to the lack of knowledge of the so-called "controlled procedure," or
it may be the lack of knowledge about the preparations (e.g. including the strong enough approach) or the confusion of
the knowledge of the end of such a search. It may very well be that we have a totally wrong "direction" and
"anticipation" of such an investigation.

2-1-2. Method and Tool

On the other hand, method may find its way in other activities than in the pursuit of knowledge (of course, of which we
are most interested in). Take for example, to work on making something by dealing with what Aristotle called
productive knowledge. I would like to cut this pine tree in the garden. In order to do this, I have to have an axe, a hand
saw or an electric chain saw. Not only the knowledge of the tools in relation to the object to which the tool is going to
be applied here is necessary, but also the knowledge of which direction the tree should fall down in as well as the
knowledge of how to axe or saw the tree in order to have it happen. The order of the steps necessary for cutting the
tree should be considered ahead before we start cutting it. The similar will be applied to any kind of "productive"

193
194

activity (including making a clay pot, curving a stone into something, etc.). Thus controlled procedure means those
different kinds of knowledge in order to act or achieve some particular goal as well as the order of the knowledge and
steps. A biological or a pharmacological experiment perhaps requires more elaborate conditions in which an
experiment is going to be conducted. Needless to say, so are doubtlessly with the engineering.

Within the complexity which can be specified those order of steps and knowledge of the tool by means of the linear,
mechanical causality, how complicated the procedure might be can be solved by the causal connections step by step.

However, when the procedure to be controlled becomes so complex that the linear, mechanical causation (logical
inference on the basis of that causality) can no longer handle it. Take for example, to send a moon we are no longer
able to linearly follow the procedure step by step, but rather mutual influences and simultaneous processes are to be
"controlled" in order to achieve such a goal with the complex means. In this case, we are now developing a controlling
procedure called "simulation." This is certainly one of the first steps to overcome the limits of the linear, mechanical
causality. Such a thinking is sometimes called a "system" or a "complex system." (to continue)

2-1-3. The Etymological Search for "Method"

On the one hand, however, the word "meodos" or "methodus" in Latin, "method" in English translation, existed in the
Classical Greek, which was made as a composite word from two words, the one is "meta" (meta)"in pursuit of
(something) along side with", the other, "odos" (hodos)"the way." What do these words, "meta" and "hodos,"
mean in the Ancient Greek?

Thus, "methodos" as a composite word from "meta" and "hodos" signified and understood as "in pursuit of (a certain
end) along side with the (specified and controlled) way." This concept of "method" in the philosophical significance may
be traced back to Hesiod and some Pre-Socratic philosophers via Plato. According to this understanding of the method
in philosophy as the Way, the method meant "the Way" ('odos, keleuqos, patos, each one of which means the way, the
road, the path, etc.) in the doubled significance 1) as the Way of one's devotion of life to the true and the right and 2)
as the Way of the questioning search with such a devotion.

Hesiod distinguished the narrow, sterile way of the virtue (in the sense of "success") from the wider path of
wickedness.

Heraclitus was supposed to warn the person who should be mindful when one forgets where the way would lead.

In case of Parmenides, the Way to Truth and Just is shown as the way of the person with the rational understanding
that Being is, and is distinguished from the way, which the people of habitual mundaneity and in mortal conceptions
follow and are never in touch with Truth. Thus, in the pursuit of Truth lead by Reason shows the Way of Truth with
confidence.

In Plato, it appears, this Way ended with the explicit notion of "Method." First of all, in Plato's philosophy, the method
signified the inquiry or search, that is, to "scientifically" ask a question or the questioning as such. As we shall see it
later in more details, his famous doctrine of method as the dialectic to search the ultimate reality. Then, of course, in

194
195

distinction from the art of persuasion or sophistic art and skill (h sofistikh tenhh sophistik techn) of persuading
the other regardless of its truth, the correct way and manner of investigation or of the questioning search for reality.

Among the earlier and later sophists, naturally the method signified the way of winning the discussion or the art of
persuasion itself ('h sofistikh tenhh sophistik techn) or rhetoric.

According to Hippocrates, the method may find its master example of the art and manner of inquiry in the correct
medical diagnosis.

As we shall also discuss later more in detail, Aristotle stipulated the method as the procedure directed to the good with
deliberation ('h proairesish proairesis) which is controlled on the basis of insight and can be obtained by study. It is
also considered belonging in general to techn ('h tchnh).

The above mentioned characteristics of "method" are to be more precisely articulated and defined in terms of a specific
end. Thus, we may generally state the nature of method as follows:

The activity to pursue a certain plan or goal in accordance with the controlled procedure.

This etymological explication of the meaning of "method" may apply to philosophy as questioning search as well as any
search for knowledge as a scientific pursuit including mathematics.

Before we shall get into the explication of the historical development of the philosophical method or the methods in
philosophy, we would like to discuss Aristotle and his method as logic first. For logic was considered for a long time as
the philosophical method even until Immanuel Kant. It is necessary to pay a special attention to logic as the
philosophical methods.

2-1-4. Methods in Philosophy and the Objective of Philosophical Inquiry

an Overview of the Problem Domains Anticipating our Inquiry

2-1-4. Methods in Philosophy and the Objective of Philosophical Inquiry

an Overview of the Problem Domains Anticipating our Inquiry

According to the preceding etymological investigation of the nature of method, the method is "the activity to pursue a
certain plan or goal in accordance with the controlled procedure.

195
196

We also understand that philosophy is questioning search, the pursuit of knowledge, for its own sake

Philosophical inquiry is not useful, nor practical, even not meaningful to our living at all. In this sense, the philosopher
in the genuine sense is non professional, because of the following two senses: 1) it is because the philosopher and the
philosophical knowledge are absolutely no use for our practical, pragmatic life: 2) the philosopher and the philosophical
knowledge cannot have any professional training (in order to earn one's living by doing so).

However, this does not mean that the philosophical inquiry has no end or goal, nor even a plan. To be sure that the
research and its consequence are neither useful anything else or practical at all.

Neither the knowledge which is to be pursued should be "objective!" It is beyond such a distinction between the
objective and the subjective, as Kierkegaard correctly pointed out about the question of our own existence as the
reality.

And yet, as long as the method in philosophy is a "activities" to attain a certain knowledge as its objective via certain
"procedure," we must be rather explicitly aware not only of the "controlled procedure," but also of the "plan,"
"objective," or "end." This "objective" or "goal" is, as pointed out before, should be known to us even if it is obscure in
terms of our cognition of the thing experience.

As we saw earlier, thus, often lead by the value which such an end or a plan possesses, we are only aware of the
general direction.

Due to this beginning of philosophical inquiry, the phenomenological epoch (the bracketing the preconceived ideas,
bias, assumptions, presuppositions) neutralizes our dogmatic beliefs, as Husserl said. This may be characterized as a
return to Pythagoras' "audience" as the philosophical attitude during the Olympic Games. In this sense, the philosopher
is not in the stream, not in the flow of consciousness, but an observer standing outside of such a stream. This
unconcerned, uninterested observer's attitude seems to work as long as our endeavouring to see, experience and know
reality as it discloses itself as it actually is static in two senses: In the sense a) reality itself is unchanging, static. In the
other sense, not reality, but our attitude itself is static in tune with the way in which reality reveals itself as it actually is.

Besides, reality in which we live is no longer static, but in dynamic change and metamorphosis. We are no longer stand
outside of reality and remain as the unconcerned, uninterested observer.

In approaching to reality as it reveals itself as it actually is, the philosopher today is no longer an uninterested audience
to the static reality, but h/she is expected and does commit himself/herself to the search for reality itself as it reveals
itself. Kierkegaard was right, when he said, the objective truth loses its total significance, but the problem is our urgent,
subjective truth of our own existence.

2-2. The Methods in the Classic Philosophy in the Far East

-----------------------------------

http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/phil/phil_03.html

196
197

The methods employed in philosophical reasonings and enquiries include the basic presuppositions of scientific
approach in general; but over and above these methods, philosophical processes endeavour to discover ways of
considering and knowing the facts implied in the phenomena of experience.

The true philosophic method should not be lopsided, should not be biased to any particular or special dogma, but
comprehend within itself the processes of reflection and speculation and at the same time be able to reconcile the
deductive and the inductive methods of reasoning. The philosophy of the Absolute rises above particulars to greater
and greater universals, basing itself on facts of observation and experience by the method of induction and gradual
generalisation of truths, without missing even a single link in the chain of logic and argumentation, reflection and
contemplation, until it reaches the highest generalisation of the Absolute Truth; and then by the deductive method
comes down to interpret and explain the facts of experience in the light of the nature of this Truth. This is a great
example of the most satisfactory method of philosophical enquiry.

Philosophy being the way of the knowledge of Truth, its method must be in agreement with the nature of Truth. In
philosophy and religion the end always determines the nature of the means.

-------------------------

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholarly_method

The scholarly method or scholarship is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about
the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public. It is the methods that
systemically advance the teaching, research, and practice of a given scholarly or academic field of study through
rigorous inquiry. Scholarship is noted by its significance to its particular profession, and is creative, can be documented,
can be replicated or elaborated, and can be and is peer-reviewed through various methods

Originally started to reconcile the philosophy of the ancient classical philosophers with medieval Christian theology,
scholasticism is not a philosophy or theology in itself but a tool and method for learning which places emphasis on
dialectical reasoning. The primary purpose of scholasticism is to find the answer to a question or to resolve a
contradiction. It was once well known for its application in medieval theology, but was eventually applied to classical
philosophy and many other fields of study.

The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other
evidence to research and then to write history. The question of the nature, and indeed the possibility, of sound
historical method is raised in the philosophy of history, as a question of epistemology. History guidelines commonly
used by historians in their work require external criticism, internal criticism, and synthesis.

The empirical method is generally taken to mean the collection of data on which to base a hypothesis or derive a
conclusion in science. It is part of the scientific method, but is often mistakenly assumed to be synonymous with other
methods. The empirical method is not sharply defined and is often contrasted with the precision of experiments, where
data is derived from the systematic manipulation of variables. The experimental method investigates causal
relationships among variables. An experiment is a cornerstone of the empirical approach to acquiring data about the
world and is used in both natural sciences and social sciences. An experiment can be used to help solve practical
problems and to support or negate theoretical assumptions.

The scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or
correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on
gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method

197
198

consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of
hypotheses

------------------------

SOME METHODS OF SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY

By Professor C. D. Broad.

Published in Aristotelian Society Supplement 21 (1947): 1-32.

Examples of Synopsis

Problem of sense-perception

Mind-body problem

Free-will problem

Paranormal phenomena

Synopsis and Analysis

Synopsis and Synthesis

Some further Remarks on Synopsis and Synthesis

How are Principles of Synthesis Discovered?

How are Proposed Principles of Synthesis Recommended?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.scribd.com/user/76974855/Buddy-Seed

https://www.scribd.com/doc/56238200/Lecture-1-The-Act-of-Philosophizing

On page 6 we are informed about

Philosophizing as the Discipline of Liberation -

especially by ,means of questioning ourselves, our species, our history/ies, our society, community, culture,

socio-cultural practices such as philosophy/izing, etc.

Below we are shown how this questioning operates and how it assists in liberation one from historical, sociological, psychological
encapsulation, determination or conditioning.

198
199

- philosophizing as a discipline of questioning is a discipline of liberation, i.e. in

asking questions, philosophy leads to liberation:

- liberation from encapsulation, conditioning, determination

- liberation to the horizon of possibilities

- liberation to affirm one's possibilities and one's determination

i. Questioning liberates one from historical, sociological, psychological encapsulation,

determination or conditioning

1. Historical, Sociological and Psychological encapsulation, determination, conditioning

Historical

- what am I know, what can I do, what I am doing, how I value things,

4. Philosophizing as the Discipline of Personhood

- philosophizing becomes an authentic discipline of questioning and of liberation

when it is discipline of personhood, i.e.:

- personal task

- at the root of one's being a person

- important in my growth as a person

i. Philosophizing as a Personal Task

1. Personal Affair of Asking-Question

- I must myself personally ask the depth-question

- The personal questions and their answers are of great value to me

- The questions have to do with my person, my identity

2. Personal Search for the answer, for the truth to these depth-questions

- I myself will look/find for the answers to these depth-questions

- I could not delegate this to other, nor just be a spectator to the searching-activity

- In my personal search, I must not be content:

- with sheer conjecture,

- with sentimentalism: feeling good and nice

- with philosophical warm blanket

- just with pursuing relevance

- utmost aim: pursuing truth:

- be it palatable or not

- be it a comfort or threat/discomfort

- my personal search for the answer involves:

a. exacting, careful, disciplined reflection of my own experience and thoughts

b. philosophical dialogue:

- I will be open to other philosophers' experiences and insights

- Study works of others

c. study also of other disciplines

199
200

- open to other things which might be vehicle for finding answers to my

depth-questions about myself: myth, history, literature, natural sciences,

behavioral sciences.

3. Seeing the answers to these questions or the truth myself

- in finding some answers to my depth-questions, I myself see, realize

- the truth of these answers

- that they are really true to me

- they really answer my personal depth-questions

ii. Philosophizing is at the root of one's being a person

- the human person is driven by his personhood to philosophize:

- to ask depth-questions

- to seek/find answers for them

- to see himself the truth of the answers he has found

- Why? because of the nature of his person as homo viator (man on the way)

- His present situation - the situation he finds himself at the moment:

- not yet complete, not yet finished-product

- not yet sufficient with himself

- contingent

- finite truth, happiness, justice (Pascal)

- yet not content, satisfied with what he is: restless, insatiable

- he is not happy, at rest, content with he is and has at the moment

- he desires, longs from something more than what he is and has at the

moment

- Quixotic man: dreaming the impossible

- Alexandrian man: crying because there is no more to conquer

- Augustinian man: ever restless until my heart rests in Thee.

- Pascalian man: great abyss within that cannot be filled by anything

finite.

- Dostoyevski's moral hero

- Thus, he asks more questions, he searches, demands for more answers about

himself, about his world.

iii. In philosophizing, one's personhood, one's growth as a person is at stake

- when I stop philosophizing (to ask depth-questions, to seek/find answers for

them and to see himself the truth of the answers he has found),

- I become determined, conditioned, encapsulized by my history, society, and

psychological make-up

- I refuse to be open to my own possibilities, and take responsibility of them and

myself as creative self-project

200
201

- Remain satisfied with the present and stagnate, arresting my growth as a person.

Conclusion/Summary:

- questioning, then, is the starting point and the continuing force of all philosophy

- questioning leads one to find answers, and finding the answers he himself must see the

truth of those answers

- but in finding answers to the depth-questions primarily about himself: his identity and

action, he will not reach a point of no return; rather leads him back to new questions, leading

to a new search, new answers, so on and so forth.

- In so doing, he is liberated from those which enslave, he becomes open

how I see things could be determined or conditioned in large extent by the past

events, by what happened in the past

- past events: personal, family, society.

- Sociological encapsulation, determination, conditioning

- the kind of society that I live in, the culture, the social structures I find

myself in affect in significant degree to the point even of conditioning,

determining and encapsulizing my seeing, doing and valuing.

- Psychological encapsulation, determination, conditioning

- refers to how my genes, experiences of pain and pleasure, neurons,

among others affect my seeing, doing and valuing.

2. By questioning, I am liberated from these conditioning, encapsulation and determination

- Why? By questioning, I am able to place myself at a distance from these types

of conditioning, determination or encapsulation, such that they no longer determine

at least in the same degree as before I have begun to question -

By questioning, I could say, "wait a minute", to the present situation: the present

conditioning, determination

- In this way, I could resist the conditioning, the currents, the pull; in effect, I

revolt against the historical, sociological and psychological conditioning.

ii. Questioning opens me to the horizon of possibilities

1. What was seen before as a pure necessity (that which could not be otherwise, in which I

have no choice) is now seen upon questioning as a possibility which I could choose to

reject or accept.

2. Other possibilities, possible patterns, options which I never have thought before open

before me.

iii. Questioning leads one to Affirmation

1. Affirmation of the Future as Creative Self-Project

- the possibilities that are opened before him/her in questioning, he must affirm,

he must choose, must take responsibility of as his/her project, through which he

shapes, determines himself/herself.

- Only in this way, he takes responsibility to determine/shape himself/herself,

201
202

what kind of self/person he will be in the future (future self-project), rather than

being determined by one's history, society and psychological make-up.

2. Affirmation of the Past, of my determinations

- Questioning leads one to confront the past and embrace/accept/own/possess the

past as his/her past

- Why is this very important?

- The past is part of one's identity though I do not have to be determined

by it

- The possibilities of the present that are opened to me and among which

I must choose to determine my self-project are the results of the past.

- Thus, to embrace the past is also to embrace my present identity and

my future self-project.

This exploration of questioning is then from page 7 onwards related to philosophy, or placed in the context of the discourse of philosophy.
First as philosophy for all people or in everyday context and then gradually as a disciplined practice.

4. Philosophizing as the Discipline of Personhood

- philosophizing becomes an authentic discipline of questioning and of liberation

when it is discipline of personhood, i.e.:

- personal task

- at the root of one's being a person

- important in my growth as a person

i. Philosophizing as a Personal Task

1. Personal Affair of Asking-Question

- I must myself personally ask the depth-question

- The personal questions and their answers are of great value to me

- The questions have to do with my person, my identity

2. Personal Search for the answer, for the truth to these depth-questions

- I myself will look/find for the answers to these depth-questions

- I could not delegate this to other, nor just be a spectator to the searching-activity

- In my personal search, I must not be content:

- with sheer conjecture,

- with sentimentalism: feeling good and nice

- with philosophical warm blanket

- just with pursuing relevance

- utmost aim: pursuing truth:

- be it palatable or not

- be it a comfort or threat/discomfort

202
203

- my personal search for the answer involves:

a. exacting, careful, disciplined reflection of my own experience and thoughts

b. philosophical dialogue:

- I will be open to other philosophers' experiences and insights

- Study works of others

c. study also of other disciplines

- open to other things which might be vehicle for finding answers to my

depth-questions about myself: myth, history, literature, natural sciences,

behavioral sciences.

3. Seeing the answers to these questions or the truth myself

- in finding some answers to my depth-questions, I myself see, realize

- the truth of these answers

- that they are really true to me

- they really answer my personal depth-questions

ii. Philosophizing is at the root of one's being a person

- the human person is driven by his personhood to philosophize:


7

- to ask depth-questions

- to seek/find answers for them

- to see himself the truth of the answers he has found

- Why? because of the nature of his person as homo viator (man on the way)

- His present situation - the situation he finds himself at the moment:

- not yet complete, not yet finished-product

- not yet sufficient with himself

- contingent

- finite truth, happiness, justice (Pascal)

- yet not content, satisfied with what he is: restless, insatiable

- he is not happy, at rest, content with he is and has at the moment

- he desires, longs from something more than what he is and has at the

moment

- Quixotic man: dreaming the impossible

- Alexandrian man: crying because there is no more to conquer

- Augustinian man: ever restless until my heart rests in Thee.

- Pascalian man: great abyss within that cannot be filled by anything

finite.

- Dostoyevski's moral hero

- Thus, he asks more questions, he searches, demands for more answers about

himself, about his world.

iii. In philosophizing, one's personhood, one's growth as a person is at stake

203
204

- when I stop philosophizing (to ask depth-questions, to seek/find answers for

them and to see himself the truth of the answers he has found),

- I become determined, conditioned, encapsulized by my history, society, and

psychological make-up

- I refuse to be open to my own possibilities, and take responsibility of them and

myself as creative self-project

- Remain satisfied with the present and stagnate, arresting my growth as a person.

Conclusion/Summary:

- questioning, then, is the starting point and the continuing force of all philosophy

- questioning leads one to find answers, and finding the answers he himself must see the

truth of those answers

- but in finding answers to the depth-questions primarily about himself: his identity and

action, he will not reach a point of no return; rather leads him back to new questions, leading

to a new search, new answers, so on and so forth.

- In so doing, he is liberated from those which enslave, he becomes open he becomes open to his own

possibilities, and takes responsibility of himself as a creative self-project.

--------------------------------------

We are then presented with William Luijpens Authenticity of philosophy.

As we can see this section deals with the following:

The authenticity of philosophy and the contradiction of or rather in(side) philosophy. Misleading or mistaken reactions lead to , what
Luijpens consider to be, inauthentic philosophy. Symptoms of inauthentic philosophy are:

scient-ism, (as absolute, final, all-encompassing, revealing and dealing with the one and only true reality, perfect methods, etc)

scepticism (rejection of all knowledge, truths, philosophies, etc) is also a philosophy (philosophical approach or attitude);

and dogmatism (of the one, absolute philosophy or the final philosophical system and method, eg Marxism, Critical Theory,
Phenomenology, Kantiasm, Analytic philosophy, Deconstructionism, etc).

Luijpen then sets out the characteristics of authentic philosophy from page 9 onwards.

It is-

a personal affair

of asking questions

looking for answers

seeing the truth (and meaningfulness?) of some of the answers

and philosophy/izing is authentic when -

Philosophizing is authentic when it is one's own life that raises the philosophical questions

- man has to live his own life, determine his own action

- he is responsible for his own life and his actions

- he is only human, a person only when he himself lives his own life and

204
205

determines his own actions

- others could not live my life for me nor I could simply live the life of others

- I could not let others determine my life and actions, nor determine others' lives

and actions

- To live my own life, to determine my own action is to live according to my own

basic convictions about:

- Life/Realtiy

- Myself

- Values

- To come to my own basic convictions, I myself have to discover them:

- I myself ask the questions about them

- I myself seek the answers

- I myself have to see the truth of the answers

- Thus, I myself can discover my own basic convictions from within.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

He then deals with existing philosophies and the relation of my own personal philosophy or authentic philosophical living to them. Page
10

What is the role of constituted philosophies in the philosophizing as a personal

task/affair? This we will answer:

- First, by clarifying the nature of these constituted philosophies. This we will do

in this section.

- Then, by clarifying the proper relationship between my philosophizing as a

personal affair with these constituted philosophies. This we will do in the next

section.

i. Philosophy as Personal

Philosophy as Personal Expression of Particular Experience of Reality

Here he introduces a new notion , almost a standard of authentic philosophy/izing as

a SPEAKING WORD. Not merely a talking word, but a speaking word.

AND not all speaking word is philosophy/ical.

Then describes to us what a philosopher is *

(someone:

- who sees particular aspects of reality, in a particular depth

- who experiences reality in a particular way

- who is present to reality in a particular way

- to whom reality is present in a distinct way

205
206

- philosophy (philosophers ideas, theories, etc.) is an articulation, expression of

this particular way of experiencing the world/reality.)

He describes the correct philosophical training and his conclusion informs us the purpose and necessity of studying already constituted
(or already existing) philosophy/ies.

Conclusion:

- If constituted philosophy is a speaking word (i.e., an articulation/expression of a

particular experience of reality), then the study of the works of the different philosophers

leads us to:

- Experience the philosophers' particular experiences of reality

(APPROPRIATION)

- Experience new and deeper aspect of reality other than what they have

experienced (EXPANSION)

- And one does not simply accumulate knowledge but listens to reality no matter

where it speaks to him.

------------------------------------------

1. Philosophy as Speaking Word, not Talking Words

- talking:

- ideas are just set of ideas

- which we must relate with one another

- which we understand in themselves as ideas/ statements/words

- speaking:

- ideas are expressions of the philosopher's personal experience of reality

- experience:

- subject presence to reality: personal presence of who I am to reality, my

opening up to reality

- reality presence to the subject: presence of reality to the person;

unfolding, manifestation, unveiling of reality to the person.

- Ideas try to express, articulate what the person sees himself deeply in

reality, what he himself experiences, his particular insight of the wealth of

reality

2. Not All Speaking Word is Philosophy

- there are different ways of experiencing reality, i.e.

- of being present to reality

- of reality being present to me

206
207

- not all of these are philosophy, or philosophical experience. E.g.:

- Rose, a beautiful beach:

- Economist

- Lover

- Theologian

- Scientist

- Philosopher

- School

10

- Student

- Teacher

- Administrator

- Janitor

- *A philosopher is someone:

- who sees particular aspects of reality, in a particular depth

- who experiences reality in a particular way

- who is present to reality in a particular way

- to whom reality is present in a distinct way

- philosophy (philosophers ideas, theories, etc.) is an articulation, expression of

this particular way of experiencing the world/reality.

- E.g.: Plato's Philosophy: Theory of Forms

- As solidified thought it may sound abstract

- But it is really an expression of Plato's particular experience, insight of

3. The Authenticity of Philosophy (William Luijpen)

a. Introduction

i. The Innumerable Contradictions of Philosophy

- for 2,500 years, man has been philosophizing and the result is innumerable and

contradictory claims and systems of philosophy.

- much older than Modern Science, yet unable to formulate even a few theses

(statements) which are unanimously accepted by all philosophers as observed by the

philosophers themselves like the Sceptics, Rene Descartes, Hume, Kant

- not a single thesis is not denied by another philosopher in the past, present,

207
208

or/and future.

ii. Reactions Leading to Inauthentic Philosophy

1. Scientism: Rejecting Philosophy and Absolutizing Physical/Empirical Sciences

- Unlike philosophy, Physical/Empirical Sciences:

- Very successful discipline

- Better knowledge of the physical world

- Fruitful knowledge: leads to mastery/control of the physical world

- Greatly contributed in making life better

- Highly Verifiable/Intersubjective Knowledge

- Because of these characteristics of Physical Sciences, some are led to reject

philosophy and to absolutize Science (Scientism). How? By claiming/believing that:

1. Science alone is the only genuine and reliable source of knowledge, not

philosophy or any other means.

- what can be known and is known by Science constitutes alone as the

true knowledge

- knowledge, pure and simple, is the knowledge offered by Science

- here, Science, already claims and decrees, not about the physical world

but claims and decrees on Theory of Knowledge: the possibility, extent and

validity of knowledge

2. Science alone discloses reality such that whatever cannot be disclosed or are not

disclosed by Science is not real.

- here, reality is equated or reduced with the reality accessible to Science

- from its epistemological claim, Science is led to an ontological claim:

A Theory of Reality: The Structure and Constitution of Reality.

- Scientism (absolutizing Science) is not a science, not scientific

- It already claims about things beyond the competence/realm of physical

sciences

- It deals with or addresses some things beyond its tasks, namely: Theory

of Knowledge, Theory of Reality

- This is already the work of philosophy.

- Thus, in rejecting philosophy, it philosophizes although in a

contradictory way, an inauthentic philosophy

- Scientific yet unscientific

- Verifiable yet unverifiable

- Rejects philosophy but already takes a philosophical position on the

issues of Knowledge and Reality

2. Scepticism

- rejection of all claims of knowledge of reality, all claims as doubtful, not only

208
209

philosophical claims, but all claims

- this is itself is a philosophy, a philosophical position/view about knowledge and

reality

- yet a self-contradictory philosophy; thus, an inauthentic philosophy

- claim: all knowledge is doubtful

- yet this claim is also a form of knowledge

- therefore, this claim (that all knowledge is doubtful) is also doubtful

- this shows that the conclusion falsifies the first premise; thus the

argument contradicts itself.

- Any rejection of philosophy (Scientism, Scepticism and others) is itself a

philosophy though a bad one

- To ridicule philosophy, to laugh at philosophy is itself a philosophy

3. Dogmatism

- claims that of the different philosophical systems, one can be the philosophy, is

the philosophy

- thus, one looks for THE philosophy:

- in the past: turns to different philosophies or philosophers in the past

- in the present: turns to every new philosophy or system to whether at

last it present THE philosophy

- in the future: expects that THE philosophy will be formulated in the

future.

- This expectation, of course, meets with disappointments, frustrations, and

disillusions. Why?

- Because there was, is and will be never such thing as THE philosophy

2. Authentic Philosophy as a Personal Task

i. Philosophizing: not an attempt to learn a philosophical system

- few geniuses in history laid down their thoughts in grandiose masterpieces and

systems like Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, Whitehead

- to philosophize authentically is not simply to learn one of these philosophical

systems

- not just to talk about, study/learn with or without proof:

- the questions they asked

- the answers the found and proposed

- and these questions and answers are in the first place not my own personal

questions nor could their answers mean anything to me nor make a difference in my

life, nor make me more human, more of a person I am meant to be.

- In short, learning their truth, but not my truth.

ii. Philosophizing is authentic only when it is a personal affair

1. Personal Affair of Question-Asking

209
210

- I myself personally raise the depth questions

- I myself see the importance of these questions and their answers to me

- It is myself that I question

2. Personal Affair of Searching the Answer to these questions

- I myself look diligently for the answers, overcoming any obstacles, subjecting

myself to certain disciplines

3. Personal Affair of Seeing the Truth of the answers

- I myself see the truth of the answers I found.

- Only in this way can philosophizing be authentic philosophizing, i.e.:

- Philosophize in an original and personal way

- My own philosophy, not just any other philosophy

iii. Philosophizing is authentic when it one's own life that raises the philosophical questions

- man has to live his own life, determine his own action

- he is responsible for his own life and his actions

- he is only human, a person only when he himself lives his own life and

determines his own actions

- others could not live my life for me nor I could simply live the life of others

- I could not let others determine my life and actions, nor determine others' lives

and actions

- To live my own life, to determine my own action is to live according to my own

basic convictions about:

- Life/Reality

- Myself

- Values

- To come to my own basic convictions, I myself have to discover them:

- I myself ask the questions about them

- I myself seek the answers

- I myself have to see the truth of the answers

- Thus, I myself can discover my own basic convictions from within.

3. Authentic Philosophy as a Speaking Word

- though authentic philosophy is a deeply personal affair, there are already

concluded philosophies, i.e. thoughts laid down in a system by great genius of the past,

like Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas among others.

- What is the role of constituted philosophies in the philosophizing as a personal

task/affair? This we will answer:

- First, by clarifying the nature of these constituted philosophies. This we will do

in this section.

- Then, by clarifying the proper relationship between my philosophizing as a

210
211

personal affair with these constituted philosophies. This we will do in the next

section.

i. Philosophy as Personal Expression of Particular Experience of Reality

1. Philosophy as Speaking Word, not Talking Words

- talking:

- ideas are just set of ideas

- which we must relate with one another

- which we understand in themselves as ideas/ statements/words

- speaking:

- ideas are expressions of the philosopher's personal experience of reality

- experience:

- subject presence to reality: personal presence of who I am to reality, my

opening up to reality

- reality presence to the subject: presence of reality to the person;

unfolding, manifestation, unveiling of reality to the person.

- Ideas try to express, articulate what the person sees himself deeply in

reality, what he himself experiences, his particular insight of the wealth of

reality

2. Not All Speaking Word is Philosophy

- there are different ways of experiencing reality, i.e.

- of being present to reality

- of reality being present to me

- not all of these are philosophy, or philosophical experience. E.g.:

- Rose, a beautiful beach:

- Economist

- Lover

- Theologian

- Scientist

- Philosopher

- School

10

- Student

- Teacher

- Administrator

- Janitor

- A philosopher is someone:

- who sees particular aspects of reality, in a particular depth

- who experiences reality in a particular way

- who is present to reality in a particular way

211
212

- to whom reality is present in a distinct way

- philosophy (philosophers ideas, theories, etc.) is an articulation, expression of

this particular way of experiencing the world/reality.

- E.g.: Plato's Philosophy: Theory of Forms

- As solidified thought it may sound abstract

- But it is really an expression of Plato's particular experience, insight of

reality.

ii. End of Philosophical Formation and Training

- not just:

- drilling the aspirant into different philosophical theses or ideas

- memorizing the different philosophical theses and understanding them in

themselves

- but the ideas/theses/solidified thoughts are just means:

- to make us personally see/experience what the philosopher has seen, has

experienced of reality

- to make us enter into a whole new world we have never seen or even suspected

before

- analogy of index finger as a sign

4. Authentic Philosophy as a Common Task

i. Authentic Philosophy as both a personal task and a common task

- Philosophizing to be authentic should both:

- A personal task/affair

- A personal affair of asking questions, seeking answers, and seeing the

truth of the answers I have found.

- Philosophizing about my person, philosophizing arising from my own

personal situation

- A common task

- Demands the study of the works, thoughts of the philosophers

- Why?

- I am inserted in a history of thought, which is not purely personal,

which I have not made myself.

- I do not start from zero, from scratch in my own philosophizing for

other have thought before me.

- I am carried by their thought; I am in the stream of thought established

by tradition

- at least because of the language I speak

- and because of the ideas in this language which permeate me

- Thus, impossible for me to think without tradition

- Problem:

212
213

- How do I philosophize in such a way that we do not compromise either:

- The act of philosophizing as a personal task

- The act of philosophizing as a common task

ii. Constituted Philosophy makes us sensitive and gives us access to the wealth of reality

which they great philosophers have perceived and which otherwise we could not have

perceived.

- philosophers have long been dead and their own particular experiences of reality

have long passed.

- Yet these experiences found expression, are embodied, contained in their

philosophy which is a speaking word.

- Through their works, we have access to their unique experience of reality and

through them, their own experiences of reality could also be ours.

- Without their experiences, it would be difficult for us to come to those

experiences. E.g.:

- without Plato,

- our experience and conception of reality would be trivial and

materialistic

- the totality of being could not be experienced and understood in its

great variety and levels, at least when we reflect philosophically upon reality

11

- without Augustine, we would not have been sensitive and understood the

meaning of our restlessness of being-in-the-world.

- Without Marx, Darwin, Freud, we could not have been corrected of our

exaggerated spiritualism.

- Therefore, they make it possible for us to have personal experience of reality, to

make us sensitive to the superabundance/wealth contained in the totality of all that is.

iii. What the great philosophers saw/experienced remains fruitful and source of inspiration

- works of great philosophers are considered classical not only because they make

us see/experience what they saw/experience which otherwise we could have been blind

of.

- But at the same time they inspire us to see/experience over and beyond what

they saw

- They further inspire us to ask questions, further beyond, deeper than they have

asked

- To find/seek answers beyond what they found

- To see ourselves the truth of the answers beyond what they themselves saw.

- Yet as every philosopher was struck/awed by a particular aspect of reality, and

every system constructed by a great philosopher is an expression/articulation of some

aspect of reality, there is a danger:

213
214

- that a particular aspect of reality might be elevated by him to the rank of reality,

pure and simple, or THE REALITY

- that a particular experience of reality may be proclaimed as the only REALITY

and its articulation and systematization as the SYSTEM, THE PHILOSOPHY.

- When this happens, it becomes antiquated.

Conclusion:

- If constituted philosophy is a speaking word (i.e., an articulation/expression of a

particular experience of reality), then the study of the works of the different philosophers

leads us to:

- Experience the philosophers' particular experiences of reality

(APPROPRIATION)

- Experience new and deeper aspect of reality other than what they have

experienced (EXPANSION)

- And one does not simply accumulate knowledge but listens to reality no matter

where it speaks to him.

--------------------------------------------------------------

From page 12 onwards we are informed that philosophy is intersubjective. in other it is note merely subjective, invented and practised by
a single, isolated individual but in terms of inter-subjective (socio-cultural) standards, norms or rules of the philosophical discourse and
socio-cultural practice.

According to him philosophical truths (insights? knowledge) are intersubjective because -

Philosophical Truth is intersubjective simply because any truth is intersubjective.

- In principle,

- Truth is not true to me alone but to true to all; otherwise is not true at all.

- Though in fact (de facto)

- A particular philosophical truth is not yet recognized by all

- Yet, it can be recognized by all as true, as valid.

---------------------

Philosophical truths differ from scientific (also intersubjective) truth -

difference is not that scientific truth is intersubjective while philosophical truth

is not

- but that the intersubjectivity of scientific truth is easier to achieve than the

intersubjective examination of philosophical question and discovery.

- In principle, both are intersubjective.

He then concludes that philosophy is not useful in the world/reality of work, but it is useful and meaningful(?) in the context of the
reality/world of philosophy.

-------------------------

214
215

5. The Intersubjectivity of Philosophical Truth

i. Denial of Intersubjectivity of Philosophical Truth

- Subjective View of Philosophical Truth: Philosophical Truth has to be

subjective in order to be authentic. Why?

- Philosophy is a personal task/affair:

- Asking one's own depth-questions

- Seeking find by himself answers for them

- Seeing himself the truth of the answers

- As a personal task, it involves study of other philosophers in order to see the

truth they discovered as true to me, to be inspired to see myself more than what they

have seen.

- Subjectivistic View of Philosophical Truth

- Philosophical truth (that which I see, discover, know in my philosophical

enterprise, that which is unfolded before me in philosophical pursuit) is true/valid to

me alone but not true/valid for all.

- Philosophical Truth is per se not truth for all (not intersubjective)

- Intersubjective View of Scientific Truth

- Scientific truth is the only intersubjective truth, i.e. the only truth which could be

accepted/validated by all as true.

- Intersubjectivity as the exclusive characteristic of Science

ii. Subjectivistic View of Philosophy is Self-Contradictory View

- those who claim that philosophical truth is true to me alone but not true to all

contradict themselves; in other words, their claim contradicts/falsifies their claim

- How?

- For them to claim this subjectivistic view of philosophical truth, they presuppose

that this view as true is valid to all and not just to a particular person.

- To claim otherwise, they would not make sense at all as they would not make

any statement or any claim on this view. Why?

- For to make a claim of anything before anyone, I presuppose that no

one can rightly deny this truth. Thus, this implies that he can also see the truth of

what I claim.

12

- But they claim that no philosophical truth is true to all

- Thus, they contradict themselves.

iii. Difference between Philosophical Truth and Scientific Truth

- difference is not that scientific truth is intersubjective while philosophical truth

is not

- but that the intersubjectivity of scientific truth is easier to achieve than the

intersubjective examination of philosophical question and discovery.

215
216

- In principle, both are intersubjective.

iv. Philosophical Truth is intersubjective simply because any truth is intersubjective.

- In principle,

- Truth is not true to me alone but to true to all; otherwise is not true at all.

- Though in fact (de facto)

- A particular philosophical truth is not yet recognized by all

- Yet, it can be recognized by all as true, as valid.

6. The Usefulness of Philosophy

1. Philosophy is not useful in the "World of Work"

- "World of Work":

- technocratic world, functional world

- control/manipulation of nature to serve/meet one's particular needs

- dealing with practical living

- life on the horizontal dimension

- Science is very useful in this kind world

- E.g. Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Economic, Psychology

- But philosophy is not useful, and even wholly useless in this kind world, the

world of work

- Thus, when a person concerns himself with the practical living and as society

tends to become a technocratic organization of work, philosophy is seen as useless

- Ironically, it is to this person, and to this society that philosophy becomes not

only useful but even necessary.

2. Philosophy is useful in the "World of Philosophy"

- unless one enters into a particular presence to reality (world) achieved by

philosophers, unless one enters into the level, dimension, realm, aspect of reality which

the philosophers have entered, one cannot be convinced of the usefulness of philosophy.

- Thus, the usefulness of philosophy can only be appreciated by those who have

left behind or go beyond or deeper than the world of work, and have experienced,

perceived or entered into this realm, dimension of reality - world of philosophy

- For those who have already entered, they do not need to be convinced of the

usefulness of philosophy for the value of philosophy clearly reveals itself.

- For those who have not yet entered into the world of philosophy, they can at

least accept the usefulness of philosophy in good faith, and start philosophizing.

---------------------------

I find many of his ideas very attractive because I have since my youth identified written about then when I found their relevance for
philosophy and their meaningfulness, for example intersubjectivity, authentic philosophy/izing and philosophers and those who live for
philosophy (and not merely living off it as academic philosophers). Original, creative thinking philosophers versus academic, derivative
philosophers, comparable to academic art and the art by original-, creative-thinking artists.

216
217

However, much of what he suggests are not hard philosophy(ical facts), but the idealization of and hope for what philosophy might be like
- almost in the vein of Plato. These are often mere speculations when he makes statements or speculates and do not provide us with
arguments and reasons for these statements he makes.

----------------------------

I include this article by C D Broad from 1947 among methods of philosophy as I find it interesting for several reasons.

He was professor of philosophy at a number of universities, mostly in the UK .


(Broad was openly homosexual at a time when
homosexual acts were illegal. In March 1958, Broad along with fellow philosophers A.J. Ayer and Bertrand Russell,
writer J.B. Priestley, and 27 others, sent a letter to The Times which urged the acceptance of the Wolfenden Report's
recommendation that homosexual acts should 'no longer be a criminal offence'.). He was also President of the Society for
Psychical Research in 1935 and 1958. Broad argued that if research showed that psychic events occur, this would
challenge philosophical theories of "basic limiting principles" in at least five ways:

1. Backward causation, the future affecting the past, is rejected by many philosophers, but would be shown to
occur if, for example, people could predict the future.
2. One common argument against dualism, that is the belief that minds are non-physical, and bodies physical, is
that physical and non-physical things cannot interact. However, this would be shown to be possible if people
can move physical objects by thought (telekinesis).
3. Similarly, philosophers tend to be skeptical about claims that non-physical 'stuff' could interact with anything.
This would also be challenged if minds are shown to be able to communicate with each other, as would be the
case if mind-reading is possible.
4. Philosophers generally accept that we can only learn about the world through reason and perception. This
belief would be challenged if people were able to psychically perceive events in other places.
5. Physicalist philosophers believe that there cannot be persons without bodies. If ghosts were shown to exist,
this view would be challenged.
6. Broad argued for "non-occurrent causation" as "literally determined by the agent or self." The agent could be
considered as a substance or continuant, and not by a total cause which contains as factors events in and
dispositions of the agent. Thus our efforts would be completely determined, but their causes would not be
prior events.
7. New series of events would then originate which he called "continuants." These are essentially causa sui.
8. Peter van Inwagen says that Broad formulated an excellent version of what van Inwagen has called the
"Consequence Argument" in defense of incompatibilism.

Broad's early interests were in science and mathematics. Despite being successful in these he came to believe that he
would never be a first-rate scientist, and turned to philosophy. Broad's interests were exceptionally wide-ranging. He
devoted his philosophical acuity to the mind-body problem, the nature of perception, memory, introspection, and the
unconscious, to the nature of space, time and causation. He also wrote extensively on the philosophy of probability and
induction, ethics, the history of philosophy and the philosophy of religion. The ample scope and scale of Broad's work is
impressive In addition he nourished an interest in parapsychologya subject he approached with the disinterested
curiosity and scrupulous care that is characteristic of his philosophical work.

Broad did not have a philosophyif by that phrase is meant highly original philosophical theories, and a highly
original way of approaching philosophical problems. He writes: I have nothing worth calling a system of philosophy of
my own, and there is no philosopher of whom I should be willing to reckon myself a faithful follower (1924, p. 77
Critical and Speculative Philosophy, in Contemporary British Philosophy (First Series), ed. by J.H. Muirhead, London:
Allen and Unwin).

217
218

It is one thing to delineate the contours of the notion of emergence, another to argue that emergent phenomena
actually exist. A wide variety of phenomena have been held to be emergent. Apart from consciousness, various
chemical and biological phenomena have been held to be emergent. Broad is not willing to rule out a physicalistic
reduction of chemistry and biology to physics: chemical and biological phenomena might, he believes, very well be
reducible to complex microphysical processes. In his opinion, however, consciousness is a different matter. We will turn
to consciousness in a moment. When it comes to biology and chemistry he declares that he does not see any a priori
impossibility in a mechanistic biology or chemistry (1925, p. 72). He stresses that it is in practice enormously difficult to
know whether, say, a certain biological feature such as nutrition is emergent or not. It is evident from what Broad says
that he recognises that the Emergentist stance has its dangers in that it tends to encourage acceptance of laws and
properties as ultimate and irreducible. There is a danger in this because, as he notes, reductive explanations have
proved remarkably successful in the past, and there is the possibility that what we take to be an emergent
phenomenon is in fact reducible.

In the last chapter of his book Broad presents a taxonomy of no less than seventeen different theories which are
possible theoretically on the relation between Mind and Matter (1925, p. 607). By a process of elimination Broad
arrives at a more wieldy number of theories. Two of the remaining rivalling theories are Physicalismin Broad's
terminology, Mechanismand Emergentism. Let us now take a closer look at his case for Emergentism.

Broad adduces a version of what has come to be known as The Knowledge Argument in favour of an Emergentist
position with respect to the place of consciousness in nature. He asks us to assume that there is a mathematical
archangel.

Metaphilosophy

Broad distinguishes two chief aspects of philosophical thinking. He labels these critical philosophy and speculative
philosophy. Critical philosophy has two chief tasks, one of which is to analyse certain very general concepts such as
number, thing, quality, change, cause, etc. (1924, p. 82). We make use of these and a whole host of other concepts in
science and ordinary life. Although we are typically able to apply them fairly consistently, we are not able to analyse
them. Nor are we able to state their precise relations to each other. One task of critical philosophy is to provide
analyses of such concepts. It becomes evident that this is an important task as soon as it is realized that when we seek
to apply these concepts to odd or exceptional cases we are often uncertain whether they are applicable. For example, it
might be unclear whether a certain individual with a multiple personality disorder is a person or not.Such difficulties
arise because we are not clear as to what we mean by being a person (1924, p. 83). There is, therefore, a need for
an intellectual discipline that seeks to analyse and define this and many other concepts.

In science and in daily life we do not merely use unanalysed concepts. We also assume uncritically a number of very
fundamental propositions. In all our arguments we assume the truth of certain principles of reasoning. Again, we
always assume that every change has a cause. And in induction we certainly assume somethingit is hard to say
whatabout the fundamental make-up of the existent world (1924, p. 84).

The second task of critical philosophy is to examine these and other fundamental assumptions; it is to take these
propositions which we uncritically assume in science and daily life and to subject them to criticism (ibid.).

In order to analyse a proposition we must seek to attain a clearer grasp of the concepts featured in the proposition.
Thus the analysis and criticism of a proposition depends on the analysis of concepts. And vice versa: by reflecting on
the propositions in which a certain concept occurs we clear up the meaning of it.

Now, critical philosophy is one part or aspect of philosophical thinking. But critical philosophy does not include all
that is understood by philosophy. It is certainly held to be the function of a philosopher to discuss the nature of
Reality as a whole, and to consider the position and prospects of men in it (1924, p. 96). This aspect of philosophical
thinking is speculative philosophy.

218
219

Speculative philosophy seeks to work out a view of reality as a whole by taking into account the whole range of human
experiencescientific, social, ethical, sthetic, and religious: Its business is to take over all aspects of human
experience, to reflect upon them, and to try to think out a view of Reality as a whole which shall do justice to all of
them (1924, p. 96).

Broad's idea is that the various aspects of human experience and (putative) facts linked to these provide a point of
departure for philosophical reflectionan exceedingly important sort of reflection aiming at a reasoned view of Reality
as a whole.

As can be gathered from the above, philosophical thinking features, according to Broad, a distinctive type of
birds-eye view. He calls it synopsis. Let us take a somewhat closer look at this. The plain man as well as the
professional scientist or scholar

I understand by synopsis the necessary preliminary towards trying to satisfy this desire, viz. the deliberate
viewing together of aspects of human experience which are generally viewed apart, and the endeavour to
see how they are inter-related. (1947a, p. 4)

On reflection it is clear that the synoptic stance is necessary for the discovery of various inadequacies in our
picture of reality, inadequacies resulting from a far too insular perspective on reality. The synoptic stance
will, in effect, lead to the discovery of latent philosophical problems: It is synopsis, revealing prima facie
incoherence, which is the main motive to philosophical activity (1958, p. 121; cf. 1947a, p. 16). And it is
clearly only after we have discovered and successfully addressed these problems that we may lay claim to a
satisfactory picture of reality as a whole.

Broad gives several examples of how synopsis is featured in philosophical thinking. One of these is
taken from the free will problem. he main facts germane to the problem are these: (i) When we
consider a situation in which we did a certain action, we are quite convinced that we could have done
otherwise: we could have performed an alternative action. On reflection it seems clear that could is
used in some sense that is not analysable in terms of would have, if. (ii) Our moral judgments seem
to presuppose that a person who in fact willed to do a certain action could have willed otherwise. (iii)
Given the past, the actual situation and the laws of nature it seems impossible that anything other
should have happened than what in fact did happen. If so, how can our volitions be other than
completely determined? (iv) It is difficult, then, to reconcile the notions of moral responsibility with
the view that our volitions are completely determined.

The problem of free will is discovered when we look at (i) and (ii) in the light of (iii) In other words, the very
problem is discerned only because we have envisaged these facts together, i.e. because we have taken a
synoptic view of the facts.

Above are a few of the reasons why I find Broad, his work, ideas and suggestions of interest. It is against the
above background as context that the article below should be res.

I find Broads notions and depictions of method of (analytic and) speculative philosophy both very general,
but also in another sense very limited. Those are obviously not the only reasons for philosophy or the only
methods employed by philosophers. In spite of this I find his view of methods of philosophy of interest.

SOME METHODS OF SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY

By Professor C. D. Broad.

219
220

Published in Aristotelian Society Supplement 21 (1947): 1-32.

Examples of Synopsis

-it might be said, there is no single non-disjunctive characteristic, and no conjunction of such characteristics, common and peculiar to what Hume was
doing and what Hegel was doing. To philosophize, on this view, is to perform one or another or a mixture of at least two fundamentally different
kinds of activity, one of which is exemplified by Hume's attempt to analyze causal propositions and the other by Hegel's attempt to establish the
formal structure of the universe by dialectical reasoning.

I think it is quite clear that the word "philosophy" has always been used to cover the kind of thing that Hegel did and that McTaggart did in addition
to the kind of thing which Hume did and which Moore does, whether or not these be two radically disparate kinds of activity. Anyone who proposes
that the name "philosophy" shall be confined to the latter kind of activity is proposing that it shall henceforth be used in a new and much narrower
sense, and he should be expected to give reasons for this linguistic innovation. He might, e.g., give as his reason that philosophizing, in the sense of
doing the kind of thing that Hume did, is a practicable and useful activity; whilst philosophizing, in the sense of doing the kind of thing which Hegel
did, is not only impracticable and therefore useless, but is also a deceptive activity, based on certain fundamental illusions which have now been
detected and explained but are still dangerously insidious.

This brings me to my main point. I am inclined to think that there are two features which are together characteristic of all work that would generally
be regarded as philosophical, and a third which is often present in a high degree but may be evanescent. The two which I think are always present
may be called "analysis" and "synopsis"; the one which may be present in a vanishingly small degree can be called "synthesis." Analysis and synopsis
themselves may he present in very different degrees and proportions. Hume's work, e.g., is so predominantly analytic that it might be denied to be
synoptic, and Hegel's is so predominantly synoptic that it might be denied to be analytic. But I believe that both are always present, and that each
involves some degree of the other. Lastly, there is a very high positive correlation between synopsis and synthesis. Synthesis presupposes synopsis,
and extensive synopsis is generally made by persons whose main interest is in synthesis.

. Let it suffice to say crudely that it (analysis) consists in clearing up the meanings of all the fundamental kinds of sentence which we habitually use,
e.g., causal sentences, material-thing sentences, sentences with the word "I" as grammatical subject, sentences with temporal copulas, ethical
sentences, religious sentences, and so on.

Synopsis and synthesis are specially characteristic of what may be called "speculative philosophy," and that is why the latter phrase occurs in the
title of my paper. I will begin with the notion of synopsis.

Examples of Synopsis.

(1) As our first example we will take the problem of sense-perception. Why is there a problem?

(i) In the first place, because, if we attend carefully, we note such facts as these.

Two observers, who are said to be seeing the same part of the same thing at the same time, are often not being presented with precisely similar
visual appearances of that object.

One and the same observer, who is said to be seeing the same unchanged part of the same thing at different times and from different positions, is
often not presented with precisely similar visual appearances of that object on both occasions.

(ii) Secondly, because there are visual experiences which are abnormal in various ways and degrees, but are similar to and continuous with those
which are normal. They range, e.g., from mirror-images and straight sticks that look bent when half immersed in water,

(iii) Thirdly, because of facts which are still quite unknown except to a minority of grown-up educated persons, and which must have been
completely hidden from everyone at the time when the language in which we express our sense-experiences was first formed and for thousands of
years afterwards. One of these is the physical fact that light takes time to travel; and that the visual appearance which a remote object presents at
any time to an observer depends, not on the shape, size, position, etc., of the object at that moment, but on what they were at the moment when
the light now striking the observer's eye left the object. Another of them is the physiological fact that visual appearances vary with certain changes in
the observers eye, optic nerve, and brain

There is a problem of sense-perception, in the philosophical sense, for those and only those who try to envisage all these fact together and to
interpret sense-perception and its implications in relation to all of them. Since it is plain that they are all relevant to it, it is desirable that someone
should take this synoptic view. Since the language in which we express our visual sense-perceptions was formed unwittingly in prehistoric times to

220
221

deal in a practical way with a kind of normalized extract from our visual experiences, and in complete ignorance of a whole department of relevant
physical, physiological, and psychological facts, it would be a miracle if it were theoretically adequate and if it were not positively misleading in some
of its implications.

(i) It is plain to common sense that many of a person's sensations and feelings follow immediately upon and vary concomitantly with certain events
in his eyes, ears, joints, etc. On the other hand, many experiences, e.g., processes of day-dreaming, deliberating, reasoning, etc., do not seem prima
facie to be covariant with events in the body.

(ii) The sciences of physiology and anatomy make it almost certain that the immediate bodily antecedents and correlates of sensations and feelings
are not events in one's eyes, ears, joints, etc., but are slightly later imperceptible chemical or electrical changes in certain parts of one's brain.

(iii) It is further alleged, on the authority of these sciences, that there are immediate bodily antecedents and correlates of the same general nature,
viz., chemical or electrical events in certain parts of the brain, even to those mental processes, such as deliberating, comparing, abstracting,
reasoning, etc., which do not seem prima facie to be covariant with bodily events.

(iv) The physical sciences have developed a concept of causation in terms of regular sequence and concomitant variation, in which the notions of
agent and instrument, activity and passivity, etc., play little if any explicit part.

Now these various mutually relevant facts are hardly ever viewed synoptically except by philosophers. Common sense is quite ignorant of many of
them and common language had grown up and crystallized ages before they were known or suspected. On the other hand, scientists who are familiar
with all of them tend to concentrate on one at a time and temporarily to ignore the rest. When they confine their attention to the physical and
physiological and anatomical facts they are inclined to take the view that men are "conscious automata," i.e., that all our mental states, including
processes of reasoning, willing, etc., are mere by-products of states of brain which are determined by purely physical and physiological antecedents.
But their daily lives and all their professional activities presuppose a view which is shared by plain men and which seems prima facie to be
incompatible with the conscious automaton theory.

Scientists all assume in practice that when they design and carry out an experiment, they are initiating certain changes in the material world which
would never have taken place unless they had been thought out beforehand, desired, and deliberately led up to. They assume that their assent to or
dissent from the various alternative interpretations which might be put on the results of an experiment is determined by processes of reasoning,
demonstrative or probable, in which belief is given or withheld in accordance with evidence, which may be favourable or unfavourable, weak or
strong or coercive. Now all this involves concepts, and seems prima facie to involve modes of causation, completely different from those in terms of
which the conscious automaton theory is formulated.

To sum this up briefly. The scientist who investigates and theorizes about man and his powers and activities is himself a man exercizing certain
characteristically human powers and activities. But the account which he is apt to give of man, when he treats him as an object of scientific
investigation, seems prima facie difficult to reconcile with the occurrence and the validity of his own most characteristic activities as investigator,
experimenter, theorist, and reasoner. The need for synopsis by someone who is aware of all the main facts and can hold them steadily together in
one view is here particularly obvious.

(3) As a third example of synopsis I will take what may roughly be called the "free-will" problem. The main facts are these.

Here again the need for synopsis is evident. It seems prima facie that each of us conducts one part of his life on the assumption of complete
determinism and another part on the assumption of incomplete determinism plus something else more positive which it is very hard to formulate
clearly. And these two parts are not sharply separated; they overlap and interpenetrate each other. Most of us generally manage to ignore one
aspect at a time and concentrate on the other; but, however convenient this may be in practice,

Problem of sense-perception

Mind-body problem

Free-will problem

Paranormal phenomena

Synopsis and Analysis


I think that there is a very close connexion between synopsis and the process of analysis which everyone admits to be a characteristically
philosophical activity. It is generally synopsis which gives the stimulus to analysis. As I have shown in my examples, it often happens that each of
several regions of fact, which we generally contemplate or react to separately, gives rise to its own set of concepts and principles; that each such set
seems satisfactory and internally coherent; but that, when we contemplate these various departments together, we find that the corresponding sets
of concepts and principles seem to conflict with each other. The intellectual discomfort thus produced in a person of philosophical disposition is
perhaps the most usual motive for trying to analyze those concepts and to formulate those principles clearly. Such a process is an indispensable step

221
222

towards deciding whether the inconsistency is real or only apparent and towards formulating it precisely if it is real ; and this is a precondition of any
efficient attempt to resolve it.

Synopsis and Synthesis

Synopsis is not an end in itself. It not only provides the stimulus for analysis, but it also furnishes the basis for something else, which may be called
"Synthesis." The purpose of synthesis is to supply a set of concepts and principles which shall cover satisfactorily all the various regions of fact which
are being viewed synoptically.

The apparent conflict between the concepts and principles characteristic of different regions of fact must be shown to arise from the valid application
of these common concepts and principles in different contexts and under different special limitations.

Some further Remarks on Synopsis and Synthesis

Intellectual activities which are genuinely philosophical, in that they involve deep analysis, wide synopsis, and illuminating synthesis, occur from time
to time within some special science. This is particularly obvious when the science is concerned, as physics is, with very fundamental and pervasive
features of reality. I could certainly count as philosophical the work done by Galileo on the analysis of kinematic and dynamical phenomena, and the
correlated work of synthesis in which the formulation of the three laws of motion and the law of gravitation by Newton is an outstanding phase and
the unification of these laws by Lagrange, Hamilton, and finally Einstein is a further development.

Again, the situations which led respectively to the formulation of the Principle of Relativity and the Uncertainty Principle are typical of what I have
exemplified under the head of synopsis, and the principles themselves are typical of what I have described as synthesis. In the case of relativity there
were many different kinds of possible experiments which, in accordance with well-tried and generally accepted principles, might have been expected
to provide perceptible evidence for the motion of a body relative to the surrounding ether. The results of all these experiments were completely
negative

The Principle of Relativity and the Uncertainty Principle are clear instances of synthesis, based on synopsis, and preceded and made possible by a
more profound analysis of generally accepted concepts and principles.

The results of such synthesis in physics have the advantage that either they themselves can be stated mathematically or that they impose certain
conditions on the form of equations which express possible physical laws. Hence their consequences can be rigidly deduced. This is seldom, if ever,
true of syntheses which cover several widely different fields of fact, e.g., man considered as reasoner, experimenter, and morally responsible agent,
and man considered as an object of physiological and psychological experiment

In the Second Book of his Ethics Spinoza tries to formulate a theory of bodies consistent with his general principle that there are no finite continuants,
that the only genuine continuant is God, and that God is a substance which is at once material and mental

Synopsis and synthesis both take place at various levels. I have just given examples of them within a single region of fact, viz., that of physics. At a
higher level one would try to get a synoptic view, e.g., of the phenomena of organic and inorganic material things and processes, and try to
synthesize them into a single coherent scheme. At a still higher level one would take into one's view the facts of mental life at the animal level, and
then at the level of rational cognition, deliberate action, specifically moral emotion and motivation, and so on. Finally, if no account had so far been
taken of paranormal phenomena, these would have to be brought into the picture, and an attempt made to synthesize them with the normal facts.
As each new department was considered it would be necessary to review the syntheses which had seemed fairly satisfactory at the previous level.
Some of them might not need to be rejected or even seriously modified, but others might have to be completely abandoned or considerably altered
when a new department of fa or analyticcts was brought into the picture.

How are Principles of Synthesis Discovered?

I am sure that it is impossible to give rules for the discovery of principles of synthesis in philosophy

just as it is impossible to give rules for suggesting fruitful hypotheses and colligating a mass of observations in science

Now the speculative philosopher naturally wants to unify and synthesize such a hierarchy, and he is often tempted to do it in one or other of two
opposite ways. These might be called respectively Reduction and Sublimation. The reductive type of unification tries to show that the features which
are characteristic of the higher levels are analyzable without remainder into those which belong to the lower levels. Just the same laws hold
throughout, but we have different and more special collocations of the same elements at the higher levels; and the occurrence of those special
collocations is itself explicable from the laws and collocations characteristic of the lowest level. The sublimative type of unification tries to show that
the features which seem to be peculiar to the higher levels are really present in a latent or a specially simplified or a degenerate form at the lower
levels. It may even try to show that features which seem to be typical of the lowest levels are partially misleading appearances of features which are
typical of the highest levels. Materialism, in its non-emergent forms, and Leibniz's form of mentalism, are extreme cases respectively of the reductive
and the sublimative types of unification.

222
223

How are Proposed Principles of Synthesis Recommended?

How does a philosopher persuade himself and try to persuade others to accept the kind of synthesis which he proposes?

In former times the method was often, ostensibly at any rate, deductive. Certain very general premises were accepted by a philosopher as self-
evident synthetic propositions. He either assumed that other persons would find them self-evident at once, or, if not, he tried to remove confusions
and misunderstandings and to place his readers in a position in which they could contemplate these premises for themselves. He hoped and expected
that they too would find them self-evident.

In recent times speculative philosophers have more and more tended to abandon this method.

Certain very general premises were accepted by a philosopher as self-evident synthetic propositions. He either assumed that other persons would
find them self-evident at once, or, if not, he tried to remove confusions and misunderstandings and to place his readers in a position in which they
could contemplate these premises for themselves. He hoped and expected that they too would find them self-evident.

In recent times speculative philosophers have more and more tended to abandon this method.

-----------------------------------

I offer as a conclusion to the different notions expressed concerning the method/s and the methodology of philosophy
the following suggestions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_methodology

I make comments in this statement of philosophy and its methods/methodologies.

Philosophical method (or philosophical methodology) is the (intersubjective, socio-cultural practice , discipline or
discourse employing and based on agreements or norms accepted by and institutionalized in the particular schools of
or moments in philosophy of the philosophical discourse, if not accepted by the entire discourse, that is all the schools
and movements that constitute it) study of how to do philosophy. A common view among philosophers is that
philosophy is distinguished by the ways that philosophers follow in addressing philosophical questions. There is not just
one method that philosophers use to answer philosophical questions.

Systematic philosophy is a generic term that applies to philosophical methods and approaches that attempt to provide a
framework in reason that can explain all questions and problems related to human life.(is it not ALL life or rather
existence? Ontology and metaphysics) Examples of systematic philosophers include Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza,
and Hegel. In many ways, any attempts to formulate a philosophical method that provides the ultimate constituents of
reality, a metaphysics, can be considered systematic philosophy. In modern philosophy the reaction to systematic
philosophy began with Kierkegaard and continued in various forms through analytic philosophy, existentialism,
hermeneutics, and deconstructionism.

Some common features of the methods that philosophers follow (and discuss when discussing philosophical method)
include:

Methodic doubt - a systematic process of being skeptical about (or doubting) the truth of one's beliefs. (and all
underlying assumptions and implicit pre-suppositions or transcendentals as in the case of Kant).
Argument - provide an argument or several arguments supporting the solution.(by means of coherent, logical
reasoning and sound arguments0
Dialectic - present the solution and arguments for criticism by other philosophers, and help them judge their
own.

223
224

Doubt and the sense of wonder

Plato said that "philosophy begins in wonder", a view which is echoed by Aristotle: "It was their wonder, astonishment,
that first led men to philosophize and still leads them." Philosophizing may begin with some simple doubts about
accepted beliefs. The initial impulse to philosophize may arise from suspicion, for example that we do not fully
understand, and have not fully justified, even our most basic beliefs about the world. (doubt as a way, a method to
question and problematize things)

Formulate questions and problems

Another element of philosophical method is to formulate questions to be answered or problems to be solved. The
working assumption is that the more clearly the question or problem (the process of problematization) is stated, the
easier it is to identify critical issues.

A relatively small number of major philosophers prefer not to be quick, but to spend more time trying to get extremely
clear on what the problem is all about.

Enunciate a solution

Another approach is to(1) enunciate a theory , or (2) to offer a definition or analysis, which constitutes an attempt to
solve a philosophical problem. Sometimes a philosophical theory by itself can be stated quite briefly. All the supporting
philosophical text is offered by way of hedging, (Broad illustrates how this works in detail, attempts to provide solutions
from particular cases, generalize mistakenly to all cases, false hypotheses and proposals) explanation, and argument. (see
Broad who from his scientific background, has a number of things to say about developing and using theories in science
and reductionism, sublimation and deductionism in philosophy. How are Principles of Synthesis Discovered?
gives details of how philosophers do this. remarks on the general procedure of speculative
philosophers.What often happens is this. A philosopher is strongly impressed by some feature
which is highly characteristic of a certain important region of fact, and which within that region is
felt to be completely intelligible and a source of satisfactory explanations..Finally, he tries to show
that this principle is, in fact, operative in those regions in which it seemed at first sight not to be so.
In this way, he feels that he has discovered order and unity pervading the collection of various
regions of fact which he is surveying synoptically. Now the speculative philosopher naturally
wants to unify and synthesize such a hierarchy, and he is often tempted to do it in one or other of two
opposite ways. These might be called respectively Reduction and Sublimation. The reductive type of
unification tries to show that the features which are characteristic of the higher levels are analyzable
without remainder into those which belong to the lower levels. Just the same laws hold throughout,
but we have different and more special collocations of the same elements at the higher levels; and the
occurrence of those special collocations is itself explicable from the laws and collocations
characteristic of the lowest level. The sublimative type of unification tries to show that the features
which seem to be peculiar to the higher levels are really present in a latent or a specially simplified
or a degenerate form at the lower levels. It may even try to show that features which seem to be
typical of the lowest levels are partially misleading appearances of features which are typical of the
highest levels.)

Not all proposed solutions to philosophical problems consist of definitions or generalizations. Sometimes what is called
for is a certain sort of explanation not a causal explanation, but an explanation for example of how two different
views, which seem to be contrary to one another, can be held at the same time, consistently. One can call this a
philosophical explanation. (See the above comments and philosophical explanation of how this is done by Broad.
Broad himself uses this technique in the whole of his article).

Justify the solution

A argument is a set of statements, one of which (the conclusion), it is said or implied, follows from the others (the
premises). One might think of arguments as bundles of reasons often not just a list, but logically interconnected

224
225

statements followed by the claim they are reasons for. The reasons are the premises, the claim they support is the
conclusion; together they make an argument. (See Formal methods in Philosophy by Schoubye for details on the formal
aspects of arguments and reasoning, very detailed and complex). (also see Thouless: Straight and Crooked thinking for
correct arguments and different fallacies. Available as free PDF download here:
http://neglectedbooks.com/Straight_and_Crooked_Thinking.pdf Straight and Crooked Thinking, first
published in 1930 and revised in 1953, is a book by Robert H. Thouless which describes, assesses
and critically analyses flaws in reasoning and argument.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_and_Crooked_Thinking Synopsis of Thirty-eight fallacies discussed in the
book. (Brtoad selects a few of these that according to him are frequently , illegally not validly,
employed by philosophers. He uses his own terms to refer to them). Among them are:

No. 3. proof by example, biased sample, cherry picking


No. 6. ignoratio elenchi: "red herring"
No. 9. false compromise/middle ground
No. 12. argument in a circle
No. 13. begging the question
No. 17. equivocation
No. 18. false dilemma: black and white thinking
No. 19. continuum fallacy (fallacy of the beard)
No. 21. ad nauseam: "argumentum ad nauseam" or "argument from repetition" or "argumentum ad
infinitum"
No. 25. style over substance fallacy
No. 28. appeal to authority
No. 31. thought-terminating clich
No. 36. special pleading
No. 37. appeal to consequences
No. 38. appeal to motive

See also

Thinking portal

List of cognitive biases


List of common misconceptions
List of fallacies
List of memory biases
List of topics related to public relations and propaganda )

Philosophical arguments and justifications are another important part of philosophical method. It is rare to find a
philosopher, particularly in the Western philosophical tradition, who lacks many arguments. Philosophers are, or at least
are expected to be, very good at giving arguments. They constantly demand and offer arguments for different claims
they make. ( To make and argument is to provide a bundle of reasons that are logicalyl interconnected or coherent so as
to be able to arrive at and make a or draw a certain conclusion. Thestatements are followed by a claim for something to
be the case or not. The argument/s support the claim, the conclusion that is arrived at or made). (As we shall see in the
quotes below a good argument is clear, well organized and a sound statement of a number of interconnected or coherent
reasons for why one is able and it is legitimate to say something or to make a certain claim or draw a certain conclusion.)

This therefore indicates that philosophy is a quest for arguments. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument n


philosophy and logic, an argument is a series of statements typically used to persuade someone of

225
226

something or to present reasons for accepting a conclusion.[1][2] The general form of an argument in a
natural language is that of premises (typically in the form of propositions, statements or sentences) in
support of a claim: the conclusion.[3][4][5] The structure of some arguments can also be set out in a
formal language, and formally defined "arguments" can be made independently of natural language
arguments, as in math, logic, and computer science.

In a typical deductive argument, the premises guarantee the truth of the conclusion, while in an
inductive argument, they are thought to provide reasons supporting the conclusion's probable truth.[6]
The standards for evaluating non-deductive arguments may rest on different or additional criteria
than truth, for example, the persuasiveness of so-called "indispensability claims" in transcendental
arguments,[7] the quality of hypotheses in retroduction, or even the disclosure of new possibilities for
thinking and acting.[8]

The standards and criteria used in evaluating arguments and their forms of reasoning are studied in
logic.[9] Ways of formulating arguments effectively are studied in rhetoric (see also: argumentation
theory). An argument in a formal language shows the logical form of the symbolically represented or
natural language arguments obtained by its interpretations.)

Argument at PhilPapers

Argument at the Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project

"Argument". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.http://www.iep.utm.edu/argument/ The focus of


this article is on understanding an argument as a collection of truth-bearers (that is, the things that
bear truth and falsity, or are true and false) some of which are offered as reasons for one of them, the
conclusion. This article takes propositions rather than sentences or statements or utterances to be the
primary truth bearers. The reasons offered within the argument are called premises, and the
proposition that the premises are offered for is called the conclusion.

1. The Structural Approach to Characterizing Arguments


2. The Pragmatic Approach to Characterizing Arguments
3. Deductive, Inductive, and Conductive Arguments
4. Conclusion
5. References and Further Reading )

A good argument a clear, organized, and sound statement of reasons may ultimately cure the original doubts
that motivated us to take up philosophy. If one is willing to be satisfied without any good supporting reasons, then a
Western philosophical approach may not be what one actually requires.( https://www3.nd.edu/~jspeaks/courses/2008-
9/10100-spring/_LECTURES/2%20-%20arguments.pdf http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/arg/goodarg.php Argument
analysis

A01. What is an argument?


A02. The standard format
A03. Validity
A04. Soundness

226
227

A05. Valid patterns


A06. Validity and relevance
A07. Hidden Assumptions
A08. Inductive Reasoning
A09. Good Arguments
A10. Argument mapping
A11. Analogical Arguments
A12. More valid patterns
A13. Arguing with other people

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/logical-and-critical-thinking/0/steps/9153

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/logical-and-critical-thinking/0/steps/9152

So far we have talked about the kind of support that can be given for conclusions: deductive and non-
deductive. But we havent said anything yet about whether the premises are true or not. This is what
we do when we evaluate whether arguments are sound or cogent.

Validity and strength of arguments do not on their own tell us whether arguments are good or bad.
Weve actually seen rubbish arguments that were valid. Thats why we need to introduce two further
concepts for arguments: being sound and being cogent.

Sound Arguments
Definition: A sound argument is a valid argument that has true premises.

Firstly, a sound argument is a deductive argument. Its trying to establish conclusive support for its
conclusion. Secondly, the argument is valid: the premises, if true, would guarantee that the
conclusion is also true. And on top of all that, the premises are actually true. Therefore, a sound
argument guarantees that its conclusion is true.

227
228

We say that a sound argument is a good argument. It is a good argument because it guarantees that
the conclusion is true. It would be irrational for you not to believe the conclusion of a sound
argument.

Of course, sound arguments are very rare, because theyre very hard to establish. But, some
arguments are sound.

For example:

The province of Qubec is part of Canada. Patrick was born in Qubec. Therefore, Patrick was born
in Canada.

This is a valid argument. Can you see why?

Furthermore, the premises are true: Qubec is indeed part of Canada, and Patrick was indeed born in
Qubec. Hence, you can be absolutely certain that Patrick was born in Canada, and you ought to
believe that Patrick was born in Canada. Theres no way around it.

Here are some more examples of sound arguments:

I drank coffee this morning; therefore, I drank something this morning.

Patrick got married on January 4, 2014. Patrick has not been divorced, and Patrick is not a widower.
Therefore, Patrick is not a bachelor.

It is true that Patrick got married on January 4, 2014, that he has not divorced and that he is not a
widower. So Patrick is not a bachelor because a bachelor is an unmarried male, by definition.

Cogent Arguments
Now, what about non-deductive arguments? For non-deductive arguments, we introduce the notion
of a cogent argument.

Definition: A cogent argument is a strong non-deductive argument that has true premises.

And again, we say that cogent arguments are good. A cogent argument is by definition non-
deductive, which means that the premises are intended to establish probable (but not conclusive)
support for the conclusion.

Furthermore, a cogent argument is strong, so the premises, if they were true, would succeed in
providing probable support for the conclusion. And finally, the premises are actually true. So the
conclusion indeed receives probable support.

Heres an example:

Patrick was born in North America and Patrick wasnt born in Mexico. Its thus quite probable that
Patrick was born in the USA.

228
229

That is a cogent argument. If all you know about Patrick is whats contained in the premises, and
those premises are true (they are!), then thats a fairly strong argument, because the population of the
USA is over 300 000 000, whereas that of Canada is under 40 000 000. This means that the odds that
Patrick was born in the USA are roughly 88%, which makes the support for the conclusion quite
strong. Furthermore, the premises are true. Therefore, the argument is cogent, and so it is a good
argument.

This means that we can have good arguments that have false conclusions!

Heres another example:

I had coffee this morning. Therefore, its quite likely that I drank something this morning.

This is a strong argument with true premises, so it is cogent and therefore, good. But the conclusion
is not guaranteed. It may be that I had coffee this morning by eating it, or by some other means. But
of course, this is very unlikely, so the argument is strong, though its still possible that the conclusion
is false. Still, this is cogent and therefore, a good argument.

Patrick Girard, University of Auckland

Philosophical criticism (by and among colleagues and other philosophers that form part of the intersubjective discourse
of philosophy or a particular school of or movement in it, usually from a specialized field).

In philosophy, which concerns the most fundamental aspects of the universe, the experts all disagree.( (First of all they
dis/agree about what philosophy is and is not, what it must be and what it may be; then they disagree with those from
other schools and movements of philosophy and finally with those from the same school or movement as their own. All
this occurs on agreed intersubjective, institutionalized and internalized socio-cultural norms, practices, rules and
standards that constitute the current or contemporary philosophical discourse in general and their own school or moment
in particular. ) It follows that another element of philosophical method, common (socio-culturally institutionalize in their
particular school or movement of philosophy and internalized and adhered to be individuals constituting that school,
movement or approach) in the work of nearly all philosophers, is philosophical criticism. It is this that makes much
philosophizing a(n institutionalized) social (a socio-cultural practice and intersubjective discourse) endeavour.

Philosophers offer definitions and explanations in (to try and obtain a) solution to problems (or to attempt and
dissolve those problems) ; they argue for those solutions; and then other philosophers provide counter arguments,
expecting to eventually come up with better solutions. This exchange and resulting revision of views is called dialectic.
Dialectic (in one sense of this history-laden word) is simply philosophical conversation amongst people who do not
always agree with each other about everything.

One can do this sort of harsh criticism on one's own, but others can help greatly, if important assumptions are shared with
the person offering the criticisms. Others are able to think of criticisms from another perspective.

Some philosophers and ordinary people dive right in and start trying to solve the problem. They immediately start giving
arguments, pro and con, on different sides of the issue. Doing philosophy is different from this. It is about questioning
assumptions, digging for deeper understanding. Doing philosophy is about the journey, the process, as much as it is
about the destination, the conclusion. Its method differs from other disciplines, in which the experts can agree about most
of the fundamentals.

Motivation

Method in philosophy is in some sense rooted in motivation (it is a passion for a need of certain individuals, the wonder
and astonishment of Plato and Aristtotle), only by understanding why people take up philosophy can one properly

229
230

understand what philosophy is. (The article of Buddy Seed deals at length with details of the why do philosophy, the
reasons, the passion for it, the authentic philosopher, the authentic and inauthentic philosophical life and philosophy and
ways of doing philosophy and reasons for doing philosophy).

People often find themselves believing things that they do not understand. For example, about God, themselves, the
natural world, human society, morality and human productions. Often, people fail to understand what it is they believe
(and how this what of their believes are determined by implicit underlying transcendentals such assumptions and pre-
suppositions. These assumptions concern many things, for example the philosophers acceptance of the principles of a
certain school or movement, certain methods and norms concerning other aspects of philosophical practice that
frequently remains implicit and that people are unaware of) and fail to understand the reasons they believe in what they
do. Some people have questions about the meaning of their beliefs and questions about the justification (or rationality) of
their beliefs. A lack of these things shows a lack of understanding, and some dislike not having this understanding.

These questions about are only the tip of the philosophical iceberg. There are many other things about this universe about
which people are also fundamentally ignorant. Philosophers are in the business of investigating all sorts of those areas of
ignorance.

A bewilderingly huge number of basic concepts are poorly understood. For example:

What does it mean to say that one thing causes another?


What is rationality? What are space and time?
What is beauty, and if it is in the eye of the beholder, then what is it that is being said to be in the eye of the
beholder?

One might also consider some of the many questions about justification. Human lives are deeply informed with many
basic assumptions. Different assumptions, would lead to different ways of living.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Theories to consider if you wish to be involved in metaphysics, ontology and epistemology

The notion of inflation. Definition: A sound argument is a valid argument that has true premises.

David Marsh, of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge University, is not giving up on inflation
yet. The predictions of inflation developed by Stephen Hawking and others more than 30 years ago have
been tested by cosmological observations and faced those tests remarkably well. Many scientists regard
inflation as a simple and elegant explanation of the origin of galaxies in the universe, he said.

Or,

Scientists could soon find out whether light really did outpace gravity in the early universe. The
theory predicts a clear pattern in the density variations of the early universe, a feature measured by
what is called the spectral index. Writing in the journal Physical Review, the scientists predict a
very precise spectral index of 0.96478, which is close to the latest, though somewhat rough,
measurement of 0.968.

Science can never prove the theory right. But Afshordi said that if measurements over the next five
years shifted the spectral index away from their prediction, it would rule out their own theory. If we
are right then inflation is wrong. But the problem with inflation is that you can always fine tune it to
fit anything you want, he said.

230
231

And

Magueijo and Afshordis theory does away with inflation and replaces it with a variable speed of light.
According to their calculations, the heat of universe in its first moments was so intense that light and other
particles moved at infinite speed. Under these conditions, light reached the most distant pockets of the
universe and made it look as uniform as we see it today. In our theory, if you go back to the early universe,
theres a temperature when everything becomes faster. The speed of light goes to infinity and propagates
much faster than gravity, Afshordi said. Its a phase transition in the same way that water turns into
steam.

Magueijo and Afshordi came up with their theory to explain why the cosmos looks much the same over vast
distances. To be so uniform, light rays must have reached every corner of the cosmos, otherwise some
regions would be cooler and more dense than others. But even moving at 1bn km/h (The speed of light in a
vacuum is considered to be one of the fundamental constants of nature. Thanks to Einsteins theory of
general relativity, it was stamped in the annals of physics more than a century ago at about 1bn km/h. But
while general relativity is one of the cornerstones of modern physics, scientists know that the rules of today
did not hold at the birth of the universe.), light was not travelling fast enough to spread so far and even out
the universes temperature differences.

The multiverse (other universes or alternative universes) -

The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of possible universes, including the
universe in which we live. Together, these universes comprise everything that exists: the entirety of
space, time, matter, energy, and the physical laws and constants that describe them.

The various universes within the multiverse are called "parallel universes", "other universes" or
"alternative universes."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Astronomy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Cosmology

231
232

Metaphysics, Ontology, Epistemology

I first quote an article


http://www.learning-mind.com/everything-is-
interconnected/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Learnin
gMind+%28Learning+Mind+email%29

Everything Is Interconnected: How Spirituality, Philosophy, and Science Show


That We Are All One

Its difficult for us, as individual human beings, with the feeling
of distinctness and separateness we have, to comprehend that
everything is interconnected.
Indeed, were so alone, at times, in this physical form which seems to differentiate each of us from
the rest where all our fortunes seem to be varied and changing. We feel like we are each born to
compete with others. We observe the vast differences in the fortunes of one man compared to
another, and we perceive that each living creatures existence is a fight for its own survival,
oftentimes at the expense of other living creatures.

On the ground, in real time, this is an undeniable reality, at least as the world is now.

However, once you get past your immediate perception of what is going on; once you abstract
your view from the limits of your subjectivity, it becomes clear that everything is interconnected. We
are all, spiritually speaking, philosophically speaking, and scientifically speaking, an indivisible
unity in other words: we are all one.

1. Science

He dwells in us, not in the nether world, not in the starry heavens. The spirit living within us
fashions all this.

~ Aggripa Von Nettesheim

The big bang theory, or the scientific theory of the creation, suggests that all things are
interconnected and made of the same substance. According to the big bang theory, the entire
universe and all its contents were contained within a single point of infinite density and zero
volume. When this mighty explosion took place, the contents of that single point a sea of neutrons,
protons, electrons, anti-electrons (positrons), photons, and neutrinos formed the universe in its
original state, and those particles cooled, forming stars.

Nature is passion; we are sons of stars.

232
233

~ Alexander Gesswein

Physicist and Cosmologist Lawrence Krauss explained in a lecture in 2009, that:

Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded, and the atoms in your left hand probably
came from a different star than your right hand.You are all stardust; you couldnt be here if stars
hadnt exploded, because all the elements the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, and all the things
that matter for evolution werent created at the beginning of time, they were created in the nuclear
furnaces of stars. And the only way that they could get into your body was if the stars were kind
enough to explode. So forget Jesus the stars died so that you could be here today.

Quantum theory also suggests that all things are interconnected. The phenomenon of superposition,
i.e. that, at the quantum scale, particles can also be thought of as waves, shows that particles can
exist in different states. Indeed, in quantum mechanics, particles are thought of as existing across all
possible states at the same time. This is very difficult to conceive of and of course, we cant just
interpret in ways that suit our purposes. But the idea of non-locality particles having no definite
position and being present in more than one position at the same time suggests a unity in
everything.

2. Philosophy

Nor is it divisible, since it is all alike, and there is no more of it in one place than in another, to
hinder it from holding together, nor less of it, but everything is full of what is. Wherefore all holds
together; for what is; is in contact with what is. Moreover, it is immovable in the bonds of mighty
chains, without beginning and without end; since coming into being and passing away have been
driven afar, and true belief has cast them away. It is the same, and it rests in the self-same place,
abiding in itself.

~ Parmenides

From as far back as Parmenides (b.506 BC), a Greek philosopher who came earlier than Socrates,
there have been philosophers who saw the universe as a unified whole within which all things that
exist are subsumed.

Baruch Spinoza (b.1632 AD) attempted to prove the existence of a single infinite substance, which
is the cause of all things, of their essence and existence. Furthermore, he believed that the
recognition of the union that the mind has with whole of nature is the highest good because
happiness and morality can be derived from this, in something he calls the intellectual love of God
(amor dei Intellectualis).

150 years later Arthur Schopenhauer (b.1788) identified Spinozas universal substance with the
Will, the striving for life, existing in every living thing.

3. Spirituality

The depths of my soul produce the fruits of this world

~ Alexander Gesswein

233
234

Spirituality has often reached the same conclusions through intuition that philosophy has arrived
at through reason, and science through observation of phenomena. The central texts of Hinduism, the
Upanidshads, contain texts that talk of the unity of the mind and the world.

Buddhism also contains the principle of oneness esho funi: e (the environment), and sho (life), are
funi (inseparable). Funi means two but not two. Buddhism teaches that life manifests itself as both a
living subject and objective environment. Although we perceive things around us as separate from
us, there is a primal level of existence in which there is no separation between ourselves and our
environment.

Even Christianity, with its essentially dualist view of the cosmos: that is, of God as creator and man
as created thing, when seen as a metaphor, seems to hint at a similar view of things, God is
manifested on earth in human form. In Christ, God becomes man. The One becomes the individual
and the many. Subject becomes object. The Will is objectified.

The indivisibility of all things suddenly dawns on the subject. He is one with all, and his concern
for himself necessarily leads to concern for others to which he is identical. Morality is founded
thereon, the knowledge of which suddenly becomes the most powerful affection one has ever known:
an extension of your power to infinity. At last you are able to be at peace with all around you, and
are equipped with an imperishable source of pleasure. This is the definition of happiness.

Finite man now stands before Nature in rapturous confidence: The One and All, I am God: the world
is my representation. This is the greatest legacy of philosophy; and without our teachers of old, our
necromancers, we would be unable to transcend the painful temporal succession, finally rising to the
conception of our true freedom, sub specie aeternitatis [under the aspect of eternity].

~ Alexander Gesswein

Footnotes:

. Baruch Spinoza, Ethica

. Baruch Spinoza, The Emendation of the Intellect ; see also: Alexander Gesswein, Ethics.

References:

1. Parmenides: Poem of Parmenides


2. Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation
3. Baruch Spinoza, Ethica
4. Alexander Gesswein, Ethics Maxims and Reflections. Selected Essays, Beginning with the Inellectual
Love of God, 2016.*

*This exciting new work of philosophy was edited by the author of this article. Kindle edition
available now, final printed edition available from 25th November 2016. Please follow the link
above to get a copy if you are interested in becoming more deeply acquainted with the ideas
described above.

234
235

Notions from Metaphysics (Wikipedia) Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy investigating the


fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it. Metaphysics attempts to answer two
basic questions:

1. Ultimately, what is there?


2. What is it like?

Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence, objects and their properties, space and time,
cause and effect, and possibility. A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into
the basic categories of being and how they relate to one other. Another central branch is
metaphysical cosmology: which seeks to understand the origin and meaning of the universe by
thought alone.

There are two broad conceptions about what "world" is studied by metaphysics. The strong, classical
view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist independently of any observer, so that the
subject is the most fundamental of all sciences. The weaker, more modern view assumes that the
objects studied by metaphysics exist inside the mind of an observer, so the subject becomes a form of
introspection and conceptual analysis. Some philosophers, notably Kant, discuss both of these
"worlds" and what can be inferred about each one.

Some philosophers and scientists, such as the logical positivists, reject the entire subject of
metaphysics as meaningless, while others disagree and think that it is legitimate.

In general I agree with Amie Thomasson Amie Thomasson, have argued that many metaphysical
questions* can be dissolved just by looking at the way we use words; others, such as Ted Sider, have
argued that metaphysical questions are substantive, and that we can make progress toward answering
them by comparing theories according to a range of theoretical virtues inspired by the sciences, such
as simplicity and explanatory power.

*1.1 Being and ontology


1.2 Identity and change
1.3 Causality and time
1.4 Necessity and possibility
1.5 Cosmology and cosmogony
1.6 Mind and matter
1.7 Determinism and free will
1.8 Religion and spirituality

Ontology 3 types: Formal, Descriptive, Formalized. My position on ontology, as on metaphysics,


epistemology and much of traditional philosophy is: most of the so-called problems can be shown not to be
real philosophical problems by investigation of their assumptions and the concepts being employed.

This is the reason why I am convinced that philosoph/izing and meta-philosophy goes hand in hand (like
ontology and meta-ontology, epistemology and meta-epistemology, metaphysics and meta-metaphysics).

I further accept constructivism and inter-subjectivity. Constructivism (also known as Constructionism) is


a relatively recent perspective in Epistemology that views all of our knowledge as "constructed" in that it is

235
236

contingent on convention, human perception and social experience. Therefore, our knowledge does not
necessarily reflect any external or "transcendent" realities.
http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_constructivism.html

Constructivism in philosophy of science - Constructivist epistemology is a branch in philosophy of science


maintaining that natural science consists of mental constructs that are constructed with the aim of
explaining (sensory) experience (or measurements) of the natural world.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivist_epistemology

Also relativism - Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity within
themselves, but rather only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and
consideration. As moral relativism, the term is often used in the context of moral principles, where principles
and ethics are regarded as applicable in only limited context. There are many forms of relativism which vary
in their degree of controversy.[2] The term often refers to truth relativism, which is the doctrine that there
are no absolute truths, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a
language (discourses such as different disciplines, art forms, etc) or a culture (cultural relativism).

Anthropological relativism refers to a methodological stance, in which the researcher suspends (or
brackets) his or her own cultural biases while attempting to understand beliefs and behaviors in their
local contexts. This has become known as methodological relativism, and concerns itself specifically
with avoiding ethnocentrism or the application of one's own cultural standards to the assessment of
other cultures. This is also the basis of the so-called "emic" and "etic" distinction, in which:

An emic or insider account of behavior is a description of a society in terms that are meaningful to
the participant or actor's own culture; an emic account is therefore culture-specific, and typically
refers to what is considered "common sense" within the culture under observation.
An etic or outsider account is a description of a society by an observer, in terms that can be applied
to other cultures; that is, an etic account is culturally neutral, and typically refers to the conceptual
framework of the social scientist. (This is complicated when it is scientific research itself that is under
study, or when there is theoretical or terminological disagreement within the social sciences.)

Philosophical relativism, in contrast, asserts that the truth of a proposition depends on the
metaphysical, or theoretical frame, or the instrumental method, or the context in which the
proposition is expressed, or on the person, groups, or culture who interpret the proposition.

Methodological relativism and philosophical relativism can exist independently from one another,
but most anthropologists base their methodological relativism on that of the philosophical variety

The concept of relativism also has importance both for philosophers and for anthropologists in
another way. In general, anthropologists engage in descriptive relativism, whereas philosophers
engage in normative relativism, although there is some overlap (for example, descriptive relativism
can pertain to concepts, normative relativism to truth).

Descriptive relativism assumes that certain cultural groups have different modes of thought,
standards of reasoning, and so forth, and it is the anthropologist's task to describe, but not to evaluate
the validity of these principles and practices of a cultural group. It is possible for an anthropologist in
his or her fieldwork to be a descriptive relativist about some things that typically concern the
philosopher (e.g., ethical principles) but not about others (e.g., logical principles). However, the
descriptive relativist's empirical claims about epistemic principles, moral ideals and the like are often
countered by anthropological arguments that such things are universal, and much of the recent

236
237

literature on these matters is explicitly concerned with the extent of, and evidence for, cultural or
moral or linguistic or human universals.

Normative relativism concerns normative or evaluative claims that modes of thought, standards of
reasoning, or the like are only right or wrong relative to a framework. Normative is meant in a
general sense, applying to a wide range of views; in the case of beliefs, for example, normative
correctness equals truth. This does not mean, of course, that framework-relative correctness or truth
is always clear, the first challenge being to explain what it amounts to in any given case (e.g., with
respect to concepts, truth, epistemic norms). Normative relativism (say, in regard to normative
ethical relativism) therefore implies that things (say, ethical claims) are not simply true in
themselves, but only have truth values relative to broader frameworks (say, moral codes). (Many
normative ethical relativist arguments run from premises about ethics to conclusions that assert the
relativity of truth values, bypassing general claims about the nature of truth, but it is often more
illuminating to consider the type of relativism under question directly.)

These perspectives do not strictly count as relativist in the philosophical sense, because they express
agnosticism on the nature of reality and make epistemological rather than ontological claims.
Nevertheless, the term is useful to differentiate them from realists who believe that the purpose of
philosophy, science, or literary critique is to locate externally true meanings. Important philosophers
and theorists such as Michel Foucault, Max Stirner, political movements such as post-anarchism* or
post-Marxism can also be considered as relativist in this sense - though a better term might be social
constructivist.

Relationism is the theory that there are only relations between individual entities, and no intrinsic
properties. Despite the similarity in name, it is held by some to be a position distinct from
relativismfor instance, because "statements about relational properties [...] assert an absolute truth
about things in the world". On the other hand, others wish to equate relativism, relationism and even
relativity, which is a precise theory of relationships between physical objects: Nevertheless, "This
confluence of relativity theory with relativism became a strong contributing factor in the increasing
prominence of relativism".

Whereas previous investigations of science only sought sociological or psychological explanations of


failed scientific theories or pathological science, the 'strong programme' is more relativistic,
assessing scientific truth and falsehood equally in a historic and cultural context.

Relativism is not skepticism. Skepticism superficially resembles relativism, because they both doubt
absolute notions of truth. However, whereas skeptics go on to doubt all notions of truth, relativists
replace absolute truth with a positive theory of many equally valid relative truths. For the relativist,
there is no more to truth than the right context, or the right personal or cultural belief, so there is a lot
of truth in the world.

Thomas Kuhn's philosophy of science, as expressed in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is


often interpreted as relativistic. He claimed that as well as progressing steadily and incrementally
("normal science"), science undergoes periodic revolutions or "paradigm shifts", leaving scientists
working in different paradigms with difficulty in even communicating. Thus the truth of a claim, or
the existence of a posited entity is relative to the paradigm employed. However, it isn't necessary for
him to embrace relativism because every paradigm presupposes the prior, building upon itself
through history and so on. This leads to there being a fundamental, incremental, and referential
structure of development which is not relative but again, fundamental.

237
238

From these remarks, one thing is however certain: Kuhn is not saying that incommensurable theories cannot
be compared - what they cant be is compared in terms of a system of common measure. He very plainly
says that they can be compared, and he reiterates this repeatedly in later work, in a (mostly in vain) effort to
avert the crude and sometimes catastrophic misinterpretations he suffered from mainstream philosophers
and post-modern relativists alike. Sharrock. W., Read R. Kuhn: Philosopher of Scientific Revolutions

Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 206

But Thomas Kuhn denied the accusation of being a relativist later in his postscript.

scientific development is ... a unidirectional and irreversible process. Latter scientific theories are
better than earlier ones for solving puzzles ... That is not a relativist's position, and it displays the
sense in which I am a convinced believer in scientific progress.

I accept Rortys deflationary attitude to truth. If I did not, that is if there exists truths in general and if
they could or were expressed, I would not have to continue my philosophical questioning as it would
be sufficient merely to accept those truths.

Philosopher Richard Rorty has a somewhat paradoxical role in the debate over relativism: he is
criticized for his relativistic views by many commentators, but has always denied that relativism
applies to much anybody, being nothing more than a Platonic scarecrow. Rorty claims, rather, that he
is a pragmatist, and that to construe pragmatism as relativism is to beg the question.

'"Relativism" is the traditional epithet applied to pragmatism by realists'

'"Relativism" is the view that every belief on a certain topic, or perhaps about any topic, is as good as
every other. No one holds this view. Except for the occasional cooperative freshman, one cannot
find anybody who says that two incompatible opinions on an important topic are equally good. The
philosophers who get called 'relativists' are those who say that the grounds for choosing between
such opinions are less algorithmic than had been thought.'

'In short, my strategy for escaping the self-referential difficulties into which "the Relativist" keeps
getting himself is to move everything over from epistemology and metaphysics into cultural politics,
from claims to knowledge and appeals to self-evidence to suggestions about what we should try.'

Rorty takes a deflationary attitude to truth, believing there is nothing of interest to be said about truth
in general, including the contention that it is generally subjective. He also argues that the notion of
warrant or justification can do most of the work traditionally assigned to the concept of truth, and
that justification is relative; justification is justification to an audience, for Rorty.

In Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity he argues that the debate between so-called relativists and so-
called objectivists is beside the point because they don't have enough premises in common for either
side to prove anything to the other.

Rorty, R. Consequences of Pragmatism


Richard Rorty, Pragmatism, Relativism, and Irrationalism

Rorty, R. Hilary Putnam and the Relativist Menac

238
239

Note: The late Sir Isaiah Berlin expressed a relativistic view when he stated that, to "confuse our
own constructions with eternal laws or divine decrees is one of the most fatal delusions of men." And
again when he said, "the concept of fact is itself problematicall facts embody theories...or socially
conditioned, ideological attitudes."

Sir Isaiah Berlin, Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas, London: Pimlico, 1997,
p.303

Sir Isaiah Berlin, 'Alleged Relativism in Eighteenth Century Thought,' in The Crooked Timber of
Humanity, Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1999, p.89

*Post-anarchism or postanarchism is an anarchist philosophy that employs post-structuralist and


postmodernist approaches (the term post-structuralist anarchism is used as well, so as not to
suggest having moved beyond anarchism). Post-anarchism is not a single coherent theory, but rather
refers to the combined works of any number of post-structuralists such as Michel Foucault, Gilles
Deleuze, Jacques Lacan; postmodern feminists such as Judith Butler; and post-Marxists such as
Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Jacques Rancire; with those of the classical anarchists, with
particular concentration on Emma Goldman, Max Stirner, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Thus, the
terminology can vary widely in both approach and outcome.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-anarchism

The prefix post- is not used to denote a philosophy "after anarchism", but instead refers to the
challenging and disruption of typically accepted assumptions within frameworks that emerged during
the Enlightenment era. This means a basic rejection of the epistemological foundations of classical
anarchist theories, due to their tendency towards essentialist or reductionist notions although post-
anarchists are generally quick to point out the many outstanding exceptions, such as those noted
above. This approach is considered to be important insofar as it widens the conception of what it
means to have or to be produced, rather than only repressed, by power, thus encouraging those who
act against power in the form of domination to become aware of how their resistance often becomes
overdetermined by power-effects as well. It argues against earlier approaches that capitalism and the
state are not the only sources of domination in the moment in which we live, and that new
approaches need to be developed to combat the network-centric structures of domination that
characterize late modernity. Although thinkers such as Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, Butler, Lacan,
and Lyotard are not explicitly self-described anarchists, their ideas nevertheless serve of great
importance, given the anti-authoritarian nature of their thought. Some of them also showed interest,
to varying degrees, in the events of May 1968 in France.

Common concepts within post-anarchism include:

the misalignment of the subject in relation to discourse


the denaturalization of the body and sexuality[citation needed]
the rejection of the repressive hypothesis
Foucault's genealogy
the deconstruction of the binary oppositions of Western thought
the deconstruction of gender roles through feminist post-structuralism

Numerous important points are made in this article, too long to quote. See article itself.

I have already previously stated that I am a libertarian or anarchist and always have been so inclined.

239
240

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-anarchism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativism.

Pragmatism, instrumentalism and scepticism- Pragmatism is a philosophical movement that includes those
who claim that an ideology or proposition is true if it works satisfactorily, that the meaning of a proposition
is to be found in the practical consequences of accepting it, and that unpractical ideas are to be rejected.

Instrumentalism is the methodological view in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, advanced by the
American philosopher John Dewey, that concepts and theories are merely useful instruments, and their
worth is measured not by whether the concepts and theories are true or false (Instrumentalism denies that
theories ... Instrumentalism is one of a multitude of modern schools of thought created by scientists and
philosophers throughout the 20th century. It is named for its premise that theories are tools or instruments
identifying reliable means-end relations found in experience, but not claiming to reveal realities beyond
experience.

Skepticism or scepticism (see spelling differences) is generally any questioning attitude or doubt
towards one or more items of putative knowledge or belief. It is often directed at domains, such as
morality (moral skepticism), religion (skepticism about the existence of God), or the nature of
knowledge (skepticism of knowledge).Formally, skepticism as a topic arises in the context of
philosophy, particularly epistemology, although it has also found its way into popular-level social
and political issues like climate science, religion, pseudoscience.

Philosophical skepticism is a systematic approach that questions the notion that absolutely certain
knowledge is possible. Classical philosophical skepticism derives from the classical Greek verb,
skeptomai, "to search", implying searching but not finding. Adherents of Pyrrhonism (and more
recently, partially synonymous with Fallibilism), for instance, suspend judgment in investigations.
Skeptics may even doubt the reliability of their own senses.] Religious skepticism, on the other hand,
is "doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation)".
Scientific skepticism is about testing beliefs for reliability, by subjecting them to systematic
investigation using the scientific method, to discover empirical evidence for them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism

Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality as well as the basic
categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known
as metaphysics, ontology often deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist
and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities
and differences. Although ontology as a philosophical enterprise is highly theoretical, it also has practical
application in information science and technology, such as ontology engineering. (Wikipedia)

I find myself doing meta-ontology as well accompanying doing ontology. I suppose that is typical of
philosophizing, at least as I do it. On the notion of meta-ontology, to me it gives no problem, but it has been
used in different ways.

240
241

Meta-ontology is a term of recent origin first used by Peter van Inwagen (Van Inwagen is one of the
leading figures in contemporary metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of action. He
was the president of the Society of Christian Philosophers from 2010 to 2013.

In his book Material Beings,[18] Van Inwagen argues that all material objects are either elementary
particles or living organisms. Every composite material object is made up of elementary particles,
and the only such composite objects are living organisms. A consequence of this view is that
everyday objects such as tables, chairs, cars, buildings, and clouds do not exist. While there seem to
be such things, this is only because there are elementary particles arranged in specific ways. For
example, where it seems that there is a chair, Van Inwagen says that there are only elementary
particles arranged chairwise. These particles do not compose an object, any more than a swarm of
bees composes an object. Like a swarm of bees, the particles we call a chair maintain a more or less
stable arrangement for a while, which gives the impression of a single object. An individual bee, by
contrast, has parts that are unified in the right way to constitute a single object (namely, a bee).) in
analyzing Willard Van Orman Quine's critique of Rudolf Carnap's metaphysics, where Quine
introduced a formal technique for determining the ontological commitments in a comparison of
ontologies.[2]

Thomas Hofweber, while acknowledging that the use of the term is controversial, suggests that,
although strictly construed meta-ontology is a separate metatheory (A metatheory or meta-theory is
a theory whose subject matter is some theory. All fields of research share some meta-theory,
regardless whether this is explicit or correct. In a more restricted and specific sense, in mathematics
and mathematical logic, metatheory means a mathematical theory about another mathematical
theory.

The following is an example of a meta-theoretical statement:[1]

Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis; you can never
prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can
never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can
disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the
theory.

Meta-theoretical investigations are generally part of the philosophy of science. Also a metatheory is
an object of concern to the area in which the individual theory is conceived)

of ontology, the field of ontology can be more broadly construed as containing its metatheory.[3][4]
Advocates of the term seek to distinguish 'ontology', which investigates what there is, from 'meta'-
ontology, which investigates what we are asking when we ask what there is.[1][5][6]

Quine has called the question, What is there? the ontological question. But if we call this
question by that name, what name shall we use for the question, What are we asking when we ask
What is there?? I shall call it the meta-ontological question. I shall call the attempt to answer
the meta-ontological question meta-ontology and any proposed answer to it a meta-ontology. In
this essay, I shall briefly sketch a meta-ontology. The meta-ontology I shall present is broadly
Quinean. I am, in fact, willing to call it an exposition of Quines meta-ontology

241
242

http://philpapers.org/rec/INWM

http://www.andrewmbailey.com/pvi/Meta-ontology.pdf

Jonathan Schaffer (Jonathan Schaffer (2009). "On What Grounds What Metametaphysics". In
Chalmers, Manley and Wasserman, eds. Metametaphysics (PDF). Oxford University Press. pp. 347
83. ISBN 0199546045. Reprinted by Philosophers Annual 29, eds. Grim, Charlow, Gallow, and
Herold; also reprinted in Metaphysics: An Anthology, 2nd edition, eds. Kim, Korman, and Sosa
(2011), 73-96: Blackwell.) Contains an analysis of Quine and proposes that questions of existence
are not fundamental.)argues that there is a different question for meta-ontology to discuss, namely
the classification of ontologies according to the hierarchical connections between the objects in them,
and the determination of which objects are fundamental and which are derived. He describes three
possible types of ontology: flat, that is an array of undifferentiated objects; sorted, that is an array of
classified objects; and ordered, that is an array of inter-related objects. Schaffer says Quine's
ontology is flat, a mere listing of objects, while Aristotle's is ordered, with an emphasis upon
identifying the most fundamental objects.[7]

Amie L. Thomasson (Amie L Thomasson (2013). "Carnap and the prospects for easy ontology". 1.
Carnap's approach to existence questions. Retrieved 06-04-2013. Check date values in: |access-
date= (help) To be published in Ontology after Carnap Stephan Blatti & Sandra Lapointe (eds.) On-
line version of Thomasson
(Section 1 of this reference by Thomasson is summarizing and explaining "2. Linguistic
frameworks" of Carnap, Rudolf (1950). "Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology". Revue
Internationale de Philosophie. 4: 2040. Reprinted in Carnap, Rudolf (1956). "Supplement A.
Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology". Meaning and necessity: a study in semantics and modal
logic (2 ed.). University of Chicago Press. pp. 205221. On-line version of Carnap.))says that the
Carnap-Quine debate is misplaced when it focuses (as done by Inwagen[1]) upon the analytic-
synthetic distinction between entities: "The real distinction instead [that is, instead of the analytic-
synthetic distinction] is between existence questions asked using a linguistic framework and
existence questions that are supposed to be asked somehow without being subject to those rules
asked, as Quine puts it before the adoption of the given language."[8] These questions are what
Carnap referred to as internal-external distinctions.

I also agree with Thomasson concerning Ontology - Amie L. Thomasson says that the Carnap-Quine
debate is misplaced when it focuses (as done by Inwagen) upon the analytic-synthetic distinction
between entities: "The real distinction instead [that is, instead of the analytic-synthetic distinction] is
between existence questions asked using a linguistic framework and existence questions that are
supposed to be asked somehow without being subject to those rulesasked, as Quine puts it before
the adoption of the given language." These questions are what Carnap referred to as internal-
external distinctions.

I do not use meta-ontology as Hofwebere does - Hofweber, Thomas (Aug 30, 2011). Edward N.
Zalta, ed. "Logic and Ontology: Different conceptions of ontology". The Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition). The larger discipline of ontology can thus be seen as having four
parts [of which one is] the study of meta-ontology, i.e. saying what task it is that the discipline of

242
243

ontology should aim to accomplish, if any, how the questions it aims to answer should be
understood, and with what methodology they can be answered.

Thomas Hofweber, while acknowledging that the use of the term is controversial, suggests that,
although strictly construed meta-ontology is a separate metatheory of ontology, the field of ontology
can be more broadly construed as containing its metatheory. Advocates of the term seek to
distinguish 'ontology', which investigates what there is, from 'meta'-ontology, which investigates
what we are asking when we ask what there is.

I use it in the latter sense.

Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality as well as
the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of
philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology often deals with questions concerning what entities exist
or may be said to exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and
subdivided according to similarities and differences. Although ontology as a philosophical enterprise
is highly theoretical, it also has practical application in information science and technology, such as
ontology engineering.

Some fundamental questions

Principal questions of ontology include:

"What can be said to exist?"


"What is a thing?"[2]
"Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?"
"What are the meanings of being?"
"What are the various modes of being of entities?"

Various philosophers have provided different answers to these questions. One common approach
involves dividing the extant subjects and predicates into groups called categories. Of course, such
lists of categories differ widely from one another, and it is through the co-ordination of different
categorical schemes that ontology relates to such fields as library science and artificial intelligence.
Such an understanding of ontological categories, however, is merely taxonomic, classificatory.
Aristotle's categories are the ways in which a being may be addressed simply as a being, such as:

what it is (its 'whatness', quiddity, haecceity or essence)


how it is (its 'howness' or qualitativeness)
how much it is (quantitativeness)
where it is, its relatedness to other beings[3]

Further examples of ontological questions include:[citation needed]

What is existence, i.e. what does it mean for a being to be?


Is existence a property?
Is existence a genus or general class that is simply divided up by specific differences?
Which entities, if any, are fundamental?
Are all entities objects?
How do the properties of an object relate to the object itself?
Do physical properties actually exist?

243
244

What features are the essential, as opposed to merely accidental attributes of a given object?
How many levels of existence or ontological levels are there? And what constitutes a "level"?
What is a physical object?
Can one give an account of what it means to say that a physical object exists?
Can one give an account of what it means to say that a non-physical entity exists?
What constitutes the identity of an object?
When does an object go out of existence, as opposed to merely changing?
Do beings exist other than in the modes of objectivity and subjectivity, i.e. is the subject/object split
of modern philosophy inevitable?

Essential ontological dichotomies include:

universals and particulars


substance and accident
abstract and concrete objects
essence and existence
determinism and indeterminism
monism and dualism

Philosophers can classify ontologies in various ways using criteria such as the degree of abstraction
and field of application:

1. Upper ontology: concepts supporting development of an ontology, meta-ontology


2. Domain ontology: concepts relevant to a particular topic or area of interest, for example,
information technology or computer languages, or particular branches of science
3. Interface ontology: concepts relevant to the juncture of two disciplines
4. Process ontology: inputs, outputs, constraints, sequencing information, involved in business or
engineering processes

Note: Thomassons insight concerning metaphysics can be applied to Ontology as well Amie Thomasson,
have argued that many metaphysical questions* can be dissolved just by looking at the way we use words. In
other words all the above are not serious and essential philosophical questions but they can be analysed
away.

Epistemology

Epistemology is the study, or theory of knowledge, including the questions: What is knowledge?
How is or should it be acquired, tested, stored, revised, updated, and retrieved? Epistemology studies
the nature of knowledge, the rationality of belief, and justification.

http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com/Epistemology_Main.html

What are the key elements of a proper Epistemology?

Our senses are valid, and the only way to gain information about the world.

Reason is our method of gaining knowledge, and acquiring understanding.

244
245

Logic is our method of maintaining consistency within our set of knowledge.

Objectivity is our means of associating knowledge with reality to determine its validity.

Concepts are abstracts of specific details of reality, or of other abstractions.

A proper epistemology is a rational epistemology.

Epistemology studies the nature of knowledge, the rationality of belief, and justification. Much of the debate
in epistemology centers on four areas: (1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it
relates to such concepts as truth, belief, and justification,[2][3] (2) various problems of skepticism, (3) the
sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and (4) the criteria for knowledge and justification.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology/#DND

1. What is Knowledge?
o 1.1 Knowledge as Justified True Belief
o 1.2 The Gettier Problem
2. What is Justification?
o 2.1 Deontological and Non-Deontological justification
o 2.2 Evidence vs. Reliability
o 2.3 Internal vs. External
o 2.4 Why Internalism?
o 2.5 Why Externalism?
3. The Structure of Knowledge and Justification
o 3.1 Foundationalism
o 3.2 Coherentism
o 3.3 Why Foundationalism?
o 3.4 Why Coherentism?
4. Sources of Knowledge and Justification
o 4.1 Perception
o 4.2 Introspection
o 4.3 Memory
o 4.5 Reason
o 4.6 Testimony
5. The Limits of Knowledge and Justification
o 5.1 The Case for Skepticism
o 5.2 Skepticism and Closure
o 5.3 Relevant Alternatives and Denying Closure
o 5.4 The Moorean Response
o 5.5 The Contextualist Response
o 5.6 The Ambiguity Response
o 5.7 Knowing One Isn't a BIV
6. Additional Issues
o 6.1 Virtue Epistemology
o 6.2 Naturalistic Epistemology
o 6.3 Religious Epistemology
o 6.4 Moral Epistemology
o 6.5 Social Epistemology
o 6.6 Feminist Epistemology
Bibliography

245
246

Academic Tools
Other Internet Resources
Related Entries
Epistemology Page, maintained by Keith DeRose (Yale University).
The Epistemology Research Guide, maintained by Keith Korcz (University of Lousiana/Lafayette).
"Direct Warrant Realism", an online manuscript, by Keith DeRose (Yale University).

Related Entries
contextualism, epistemic | epistemic closure | epistemology: naturalism in | epistemology: social |
epistemology: virtue | feminist (interventions): epistemology and philosophy of science |
justification, epistemic: coherentist theories of | justification, epistemic: foundationalist theories of |
justification, epistemic: internalist vs. externalist conceptions of | knowledge: analysis of |
knowledge: by acquaintance vs. description | memory: epistemological problems of | perception:
epistemological problems of | perception: the problem of | religion: epistemology of | self-knowledge

http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_epistemology.html

Epistemology is the study of the nature and scope of knowledge and justified belief. It analyzes the
nature of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth, belief and justification. It also deals
with the means of production of knowledge, as well as skepticism about different knowledge claims. It is
essentailly about issues having to do with the creation and dissemination of knowledge in particular areas of
inquiry.

Epistemology asks questions like: "What is knowledge?", "How is knowledge acquired?", "What do people
know?", "What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge?", "What is its structure, and what
are its limits?", "What makes justified beliefs justified?", "How we are to understand the concept of
justification?", "Is justification internal or external to one's own mind?"

The kind of knowledge usually discussed in Epistemology is propositional knowledge, "knowledge-that" as


opposed to "knowledge-how" (for example, the knowledge that "2 + 2 = 4", as opposed to the knowledge of
how to go about adding two numbers).

Back to Top
What Is Knowledge?

Knowledge is the awareness and understanding of particular aspects of reality. It is the clear, lucid
information gained through the process of reason applied to reality. The traditional approach is that
knowledge requires three necessary and sufficient conditions, so that knowledge can then be defined as
"justified true belief":

truth: since false propositions cannot be known - for something to count as knowledge, it must
actually be true. As Aristotle famously (but rather confusingly) expressed it: "To say of something
which is that it is not, or to say of something which is not that it is, is false. However, to say of
something which is that it is, or of something which is not that it is not, is true."
belief: because one cannot know something that one doesn't even believe in, the statement "I know
x, but I don't believe that x is true" is contradictory.
justification: as opposed to believing in something purely as a matter of luck.

The most contentious part of all this is the definition of justification, and there are several schools of thought
on the subject:

According to Evidentialism, what makes a belief justified in this sense is the possession of
evidence - a belief is justified to the extent that it fits a person's evidence.

246
247

Different varieties of Reliabilism suggest that either: 1) justification is not necessary for knowledge
provided it is a reliably-produced true belief; or 2) justification is required but any reliable cognitive
process (e.g. vision) is sufficient justification.
Yet another school, Infallibilism, holds that a belief must not only be true and justified, but that the
justification of the belief must necessitate its truth, so that the justification for the belief must be
infallible.

Another debate focuses on whether justification is external or internal:

Externalism holds that factors deemed "external" (meaning outside of the psychological states of
those who are gaining the knowledge) can be conditions of knowledge, so that if the relevant facts
justifying a proposition are external then they are acceptable.
Internalism, on the other hand, claims that all knowledge-yielding conditions are within the
psychological states of those who gain knowledge.

As recently as 1963, the American philosopher Edmund Gettier called this traditional theory of knowledge
into question by claiming that there are certain circumstances in which one does not have knowledge, even
when all of the above conditions are met (his Gettier-cases). For example: Suppose that the clock on
campus (which keeps accurate time and is well maintained) stopped working at 11:56pm last night, and has
yet to be repaired. On my way to my noon class, exactly twelve hours later, I glance at the clock and form the
belief that the time is 11:56. My belief is true, of course, since the time is indeed 11:56. And my belief is
justified, as I have no reason to doubt that the clock is working, and I cannot be blamed for basing beliefs
about the time on what the clock says. Nonetheless, it seems evident that I do not know that the time is
11:56. After all, if I had walked past the clock a bit earlier or a bit later, I would have ended up with a false
belief rather than a true one.

Back to Top
How Is Knowledge Acquired?

Propositional knowledge can be of two types, depending on its source:

a priori (or non-empirical), where knowledge is possible independently of, or prior to, any
experience, and requires only the use of reason (e.g. knowledge of logical truths and of abstract
claims); or
a posteriori (or empirical), where knowledge is possible only subsequent, or posterior, to certain
sense experiences, in addition to the use of reason (e.g. knowledge of the colour or shape of a
physical object, or knowledge of geographical locations).

Knowledge of empirical facts about the physical world will necessarily involve perception, in other words,
the use of the senses. But all knowledge requires some amount of reasoning, the analysis of data and the
drawing of inferences. Intuition is often believed to be a sort of direct access to knowledge of the a priori.

Memory allows us to know something that we knew in the past, even, perhaps, if we no longer remember the
original justification. Knowledge can also be transmitted from one individual to another via testimony (that is,
my justification for a particular belief could amount to the fact that some trusted source has told me that it is
true).

There are a few main theories of knowledge acquisition:

Empiricism, which emphasizes the role of experience, especially experience based on perceptual
observations by the five senses in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate
ideas. Refinements of this basic principle led to Phenomenalism, Positivism, Scientism and Logical
Positivism.
Rationalism, which holds that knowledge is not derived from experience, but rather is acquired by a
priori processes or is innate (in the form of concepts) or intuitive.

247
248

Representationalism (or Indirect Realism or Epistemological Dualism), which holds that the world
we see in conscious experience is not the real world itself, but merely a miniature virtual-reality
replica of that world in an internal representation.
Constructivism (or Constructionism), which presupposes that all knowledge is "constructed", in
that it is contingent on convention, human perception and social experience.

Back to Top
What Can People Know?

The fact that any given justification of knowledge will itself depend on another belief for its justification
appears to lead to an infinite regress.

Skepticism begins with the apparent impossibility of completing this infinite chain of reasoning, and argues
that, ultimately, no beliefs are justified and therefore no one really knows anything.

Fallibilism also claims that absolute certainty about knowledge is impossible, or at least that all claims to
knowledge could, in principle, be mistaken. Unlike Skepticism, however, Fallibilism does not imply the need
to abandon our knowledge, just to recognize that, because empirical knowledge can be revised by further
observation, any of the things we take as knowledge might possibly turn out to be false.

In response to this regress problem, various schools of thought have arisen:

Foundationalism claims that some beliefs that support other beliefs are foundational and do not
themselves require justification by other beliefs (self-justifying or infallible beliefs or those based on
perception or certain a priori considerations).
Instrumentalism is the methodological view that concepts and theories are merely useful
instruments, and their worth is measured by how effective they are in explaining and predicting
phenomena. Instrumentalism therefore denies that theories are truth-evaluable. Pragmatism is a
similar concept, which holds that something is true only insofar as it works and has practical
consequences.
Infinitism typically take the infinite series to be merely potential, and an individual need only have
the ability to bring forth the relevant reasons when the need arises. Therefore, unlike most traditional
theories of justification, Infinitism considers an infinite regress to be a valid justification.
Coherentism holds that an individual belief is justified circularly by the way it fits together (coheres)
with the rest of the belief system of which it is a part, so that the regress does not proceed according
to a pattern of linear justification.
Foundherentism is another position which is meant to be a unification of foundationalism and
coherentism.

Back to Top
Major Doctrines

Under the heading of Epistemology, the major doctrines or theories include:

Constructivism Logical Positivism (Logical Empiricism)


Ordinary Language Philosophy
Constructivism (also known as Constructionism) is Phenomenalism
a relatively recent perspective in Epistemology that Positivism
views all of our knowledge as "constructed" in that it Pragmatism
is contingent on convention, human perception and Rationalism
social experience. Therefore, our knowledge does Representationalism
not necessarily reflect any external or Scientism
"transcendent" realities. Skepticism
Verificationism
It is considered by its proponents to be an alternative
to classical Rationalism and Empiricism. The
constructivist point of view is both pragmatic and
relativistic in nature. It opposes Positivism and

248
249

Scientism in that it maintains that scientific


knowledge is constructed by scientists, and not
discovered from the world through strict scientific
method, and it holds that there is no single valid
methodology, and that other methodologies may be
more appropriate for social science.

The common thread between all forms of


Constructivism is that they do not focus on an
ontological reality ("reality-as-it-is-in-itself", which
constructivists regard as is utterly incoherent and
unverifiable), but instead on constructed reality.
Thus, they reject out of hand any claims to
universalism, realism or objective truth, and admit
that their position is merely a view, a more or less
coherent way of understanding things that has thus
far worked for them as a model of the world.

Back to Top
History of Constructivism

Although the roots of Constructivism can be traced


back to the Greek philosophers Heraclitus,
Protagoras and Aristotle, it was only in 1934 that the
French philosopher Gaston Bachelard (1884 - 1962)
claimed that "Nothing proceeds from itself. Nothing is
given. All is constructed", and only in 1967 that Jean
Piaget (1896 - 1980) first used the expression
"constructivist epistemology".

The doctrine is indebted to late 19th Century


Darwinian theory, as it is claimed by constructivists
that human understanding, as the product of
Natural Selection, can be said to provide no more
"true" understanding of the world as it is in itself than
is absolutely necessary for human survival.

Back to Top
Types of Constructivism

Epistemological Constructivism is the


philosophical view, as described above, that
our knowledge is "constructed" in that it is
contingent on convention, human
perception and social experience.
Social Constructivism (or Social
Constructionism) is the theory in Sociology
and Learning Theory that categories of
knowledge and reality are actively created by
social relationships and interactions. A
social construction (or social construct) is
a concept or practice which may appear to
be natural and obvious to those who accept
it, but in reality is an invention or artifact of a
particular culture or society. Ludwig
Wittgenstein's later philosophy can be seen
as a foundation for Social Constructivism,

249
250

with its key theoretical concepts of language


games embedded in forms of life.
Psychological Constructivism theorizes
about and investigates how human beings
create systems for meaningfully
understanding their worlds and
experiences. Personal Construct
Psychology is a theory of personality
developed by the American psychologist
George Kelly in the 1950's that a person's
unique psychological processes are
channelled by the way he or she anticipates
events.
Genetic Epistemology is a type of
Constructivism established by Jean Piaget
(1896 - 1980) which studies of the origins
(genesis) of knowledge. It purports to show
that the method by which the knowledge was
obtained or created affects the validity of that
knowledge. For example, our direct
experience of gravity makes our knowledge
of it more valid than our indirect experience
of black holes. If holds that change only
occurs if the subject engages with
experiences from outside its worldview.
The theory also attempts to explain the
process of how a human being develops
cognitively from birth throughout his or her
life, through four primary stages of
development.
Mathematical Constructivism is the view in
Philosophy of Mathematics that it is
necessary to find (or "construct") a
mathematical object to prove that it exists.
Intuitionism is a kind of Mathematical
Constructivism, which maintains that the
foundations of mathematics lie in the
individual mathematician's intuition, thereby
making mathematics into an intrinsically
subjective activity.
Constructivism is also the name of a
movement in 20th Century Russian art and
architecture, as well as a discipline of
international relations and world affairs.

Deconstructionism
Empiricism
Externalism
Fallibilism
Foundationalism
Historicism
Holism
Internalism
Instrumentalism

250
251

Meta-epistemology

Some goals of meta-epistemology are to identify inaccurate traditional assumptions, or hitherto


overlooked scope for generalization. Thus whereas epistemology has usually been seen as a branch
of philosophy, the discussion below also takes examples from biology which seem equivalent in
relevant ways. Also, insofar as philosophy is involved, there may be a case for extending it beyond
its traditional domain of word-based definitions.

Meta-epistemology is a metaphilosophical study of the subject, matter, methods and aims of


epistemology and of approaches to understanding and structuring our knowledge of knowledge itself.

In epistemology, there are two basic meta-epistemological approaches: traditional "normative"


epistemology, and naturalized epistemology.

Traditional epistemology has been concerned with "justification". According to the traditional model
of knowledge, some proposition p is knowledge if and only if:

Since the time of Descartes, who sought to establish the criteria by which true beliefs could be
acquired, and to determine those beliefs we are in fact justified in believing, the primary
epistemological project has been the elucidation of the justificatory condition in the classic tripartite
conception of knowledge (i.e. justified true belief).

Naturalized epistemology had its beginnings in the twentieth century with W. V. Quine. Quine's
proposal, which is commonly called "Replacement Naturalism," is to excise every trace of
normativity from the epistemological body. Quine wanted to merge epistemology with empirical
psychology such that every epistemological statement would be replaced by a psychological
statement. (Wikipedia)

In the previous section I wrote, referred to and quoted many things on epistemology. That should be
included in this section as well.

http://philpapers.org/browse/evolutionary-epistemology

I concluded this article with a few words on meta-philosophy, in the context of and against the
background of what I wrote about meta/ontology, meta/metaphysics and meta-epistemology.

To recap and remind the reader about a few things concerning meta-philosophy. In my case to do
philosophy or philosophize, includes to meta-philosophize. That might be only peculiar to myself,
although I think it is the case with many serious, creative- and original thinking philosophers (I
exclude professional, academic philosophers who live off philosophy and are paid to write books,
articles, give lectures, speeches etc). The simple reason being that when one reflects on anything one

251
252

frequently questions what one is doing and think about or reflect on what one is doing = meta-
philosophy in other words.

Metaphilosophy (sometimes called philosophy of philosophy) is "the investigation of the nature of


philosophy". Its subject matter includes the aims of philosophy, the boundaries of philosophy, and its
methods.

Summary Metaphilosophy is the philosophical study of philosophy itself; just as the


philosophy of language is the philosophical study of language or the
philosophy of time is the philosophical study of time, the philosophy of
philosophy is the philosophical study of philosophy. Central questions
include questions about the nature of philosophical inquiry--for instance,
are we attempting to discover objective truths about the external world,
or is philosophy concerned with something more mind-dependent, like
understanding words or concepts?--and questions about the
epistemology of philosophy--for instance, how (if at all) is armchair
philosophical knowledge possible, and what is the bearing of empirical
science on philosophy?

Key An influential entry point into the literature here is Williamson 2007,
works which defends a nonskeptical approach to philosophy according to which
it is continuous with nonphilosophical inquiry. For a more traditional,
rationalist approach, see Jackson 1998. The exchange between Goldman
2007 and Kornblith 2007 provides a good exemplar of the debate about
the proper subject matter of philosophy.

Introductions The literature on metaphilosophy typically occurs at a relatively


advanced level; unlike many other philosophical subdisciplines, the
study of philosophy requires significant antecedent familiarity with
much of philosophy, so it is not particularly well-suited to introductory
treatments. However, Rosenberg 1984 is one influential introductory
text.

http://philpapers.org/browse/metaphilosophy

Journal http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9973

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphilosophy Metaphilosophy (sometimes called philosophy of


philosophy) is "the investigation of the nature of philosophy".[1] Its subject matter includes the aims
of philosophy, the boundaries of philosophy, and its methods.[2][3] It is considered by some to be a
subject apart from philosophy,[4] while others see it as automatically a part of philosophy,[5][6] and
still others see it as a combination of these subjects.[2] The interest in metaphilosophy led to the
establishment of the journal Metaphilosophy in January 1970.[7]

Lazerowitz, M. (1970). "A note on "metaphilosophy"". Metaphilosophy. 1 (1): 91. doi:10.1111/j.1467-


9973.1970.tb00792.x. see also the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy article by Nicholas Joll:
Contemporary Metaphilosophy

252
253

Nicholas Joll (November 18, 2010). "Contemporary Metaphilosophy". Internet Encyclopedia of


Philosophy (IEP).

Armen T Marsoobian (2004). "Metaphilosophy". In John Lachs; Robert Talisse. American Philosophy: An
Encyclopedia. pp. 500501. ISBN 020349279X. Its primary question is "What is philosophy?"

See for example, Charles L. Griswold Jr. (2010). Platonic Writings/Platonic Readings. Penn State Press.
pp. 144146. ISBN 0271044810.

For example, see Martin Heidegger (1956). Was Ist Das--die Philosophie?. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 21.
ISBN 0808403192. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Heidegger" defined multiple times with different
content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Heidegger" defined multiple times with
different content (see the help page).

Timothy Williamson (2008). "Preface". The Philosophy of Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons. p. ix.
ISBN 0470695919. The philosophy of philosophy is automatically part of philosophy, just as the philosophy of
anything else is...

The journal describes its scope as: "Particular areas of interest include: the foundation, scope,
function and direction of philosophy; justification of philosophical methods and arguments; the
interrelations among schools or fields of philosophy (for example, the relation of logic to problems in
ethics or epistemology); aspects of philosophical systems; presuppositions of philosophical schools;
the relation of philosophy to other disciplines (for example, artificial intelligence, linguistics or
literature); sociology of philosophy; the relevance of philosophy to social and political action; issues
in the teaching of philosophy."

Some philosophers consider metaphilosophy to be a subject apart from philosophy, above or beyond
it,[4] while others object to that idea.[5] Timothy Williamson argues that the philosophy of philosophy
is "automatically part of philosophy", as is the philosophy of anything else.[6] Nicholas Bunnin and
Jiyuan Yu write that the separation of first- from second-order study has lost popularity as
philosophers find it hard to observe the distinction.[8] As evidenced by these contrasting opinions,
debate persists as to whether the evaluation of the nature of philosophy is 'second order philosophy'
or simply 'plain philosophy'.

Many philosophers have expressed doubts over the value of metaphilosophy.[9] Among them is
Gilbert Ryle : "preoccupation with questions about methods tends to distract us from prosecuting the
methods themselves. We run as a rule, worse, not better, if we think a lot about our feet. So let us...
not speak of it all but just do it."[10]

Nicholas Bunnin & Jiyuan Yu (2009). "Metaphilosophy". The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy.
Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 426427. ISBN 1405191120.

Sren Overgaard; Paul Gilbert; Stephen Burwood (2013). "Introduction: What good is metaphilosophy?".
An introduction to metaphilosophy. Cambridge University Press. p. 6. ISBN 0521193419.

Gilbert Ryle (2009). "Chapter 23: Ordinary language". Collected Essays 1929-1968: Collected
Papers Volume 2 (Reprint of Hutchinson 1971 ed.). Routledge. p. 331. ISBN 0415485495. Quoted by
Sren Overgaard; Paul Gilbert; Stephen Burwood (2013). "Introduction: What good is
metaphilosophy?". An introduction to metaphilosophy. Cambridge University Press. p. 6.
ISBN 0521193419.

253
254

Many sub-disciplines of philosophy have their own branch of 'metaphilosophy', examples being
Meta-aesthetics, Meta-epistemology, Meta-ethics, Meta-ontology, and so forth. However, some
topics within 'metaphilosophy' cut across the various subdivisions of philosophy to consider
fundamentals important to all its sub-disciplines. Some of these are mentioned below.

4.1 Aims
Some philosophers (e.g. existentialists, pragmatists) think philosophy is ultimately a practical
discipline that should help us lead meaningful lives by showing us who we are, how we relate to the
world around us and what we should do.[citation needed] Others (e.g. analytic philosophers) see
philosophy as a technical, formal, and entirely theoretical discipline, with goals such as "the
disinterested pursuit of knowledge for its own sake".[22] Other proposed goals of philosophy include
"discover[ing] the absolutely fundamental reason of everything it investigates",[23] "making explicit
the nature and significance of ordinary and scientific beliefs",[24] and unifying and transcending the
insights given by science and religion.[25] Others proposed that philosophy is a complex discipline
because it has 4 or 6 different dimensions.[26][27]
4.2 Boundaries

Defining philosophy and its boundaries is itself problematic; Nigel Warburton has called it
"notoriously difficult".[28] There is no straightforward definition,[29][verification needed] and most
interesting definitions are controversial.[30] As Bertrand Russell wrote:

"We may note one peculiar feature of philosophy. If someone asks the question what is mathematics,
we can give him a dictionary definition, let us say the science of number, for the sake of argument.
As far as it goes this is an uncontroversial statement... Definitions may be given in this way of any
field where a body of definite knowledge exists. But philosophy cannot be so defined. Any definition
is controversial and already embodies a philosophic attitude. The only way to find out what
philosophy is, is to do philosophy."[31]

Bertrand Russell, The Wisdom of the West, p.7

While there is some agreement that philosophy involves general or fundamental


topics,[32][33][34][verification needed] there is no clear agreement about a series of demarcation issues,
including:

that between first-order and second-order investigations. Some authors say that philosophical
inquiry is second-order, having concepts, theories and presupposition as its subject matter; that it is
"thinking about thinking", of a "generally second-order character";[35] that philosophers study, rather
than use, the concepts that structure our thinking. However, the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy
warns that "the borderline between such 'second-order' reflection, and ways of practicing the first-
order discipline itself, is not always clear: philosophical problems may be tamed by the advance of a
discipline, and the conduct of a discipline may be swayed by philosophical reflection".[36]
that between philosophy and empirical science. Some argue that philosophy is distinct from science
in that its questions cannot be answered empirically, that is, by observation or experiment.[37][38]
Some analytical philosophers argue that all meaningful empirical questions are to be answered by
science, not philosophy. However, some schools of contemporary philosophy such as the
pragmatists and naturalistic epistemologists argue that philosophy should be linked to science and
should be scientific in the broad sense of that term, "preferring to see philosophical reflection as
continuous with the best practice of any field of intellectual enquiry".[39]
that between philosophy and religion. Some argue that philosophy is distinct from religion in that it
allows no place for faith or revelation.[40][verification needed]: that philosophy does not try to answer
questions by appeal to revelation, myth or religious knowledge of any kind, but uses reason,

254
255

"without reference to sensible observation and experiments".[23][verification needed] However,


philosophers and theologians such as Thomas Aquinas and Peter Damian have argued that
philosophy is the "handmaiden of theology" (ancilla theologiae).[41]

4.3 Methods
Philosophical method (or philosophical methodology) is the study of how to do philosophy.
A common view among philosophers is that philosophy is distinguished by the ways that
philosophers follow in addressing philosophical questions. There is not just one method that
philosophers use to answer philosophical questions.
Recently, some philosophers have cast doubt about intuition as a basic tool in philosophical
inquiry, from Socrates up to contemporary philosophy of language. In Rethinking Intuition[42]
various thinkers discard intuition as a valid source of knowledge and thereby call into
question 'a priori' philosophy. Experimental philosophy is a form of philosophical inquiry that
makes at least partial use of empirical researchespecially opinion pollingin order to
address persistent philosophical questions. This is in contrast with the methods found in
analytic philosophy, whereby some say a philosopher will sometimes begin by appealing to
his or her intuitions on an issue and then form an argument with those intuitions as
premises.[43] However, disagreement about what experimental philosophy can accomplish is
widespread and several philosophers have offered criticisms. One claim is that the empirical
data gathered by experimental philosophers can have an indirect effect on philosophical
questions by allowing for a better understanding of the underlying psychological processes
which lead to philosophical intuitions.[44]

4.4 Progress
A prominent question in metaphilosophy is that of whether or not philosophical progress occurs and
more so, whether such progress in philosophy is even possible.[45] It has even been disputed, most
notably by Ludwig Wittgenstein, whether genuine philosophical problems actually exist. The
opposite has also been claimed, for example by Karl Popper, who held that such problems do exist,
that they are solvable, and that he had actually found definite solutions to some of them.

Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy: "the most fundamental and general concepts and principles involved in
thought, action and reality"

Modern Thomistic Philosophy, by R. Phillips: "the absolutely fundamental reason of everything it


investigates", "the fundamental reasons or causes of all things"

Simon Blackburn (2005). "Philosophy". Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (2nd ed.). p. 276.
ISBN 0198610130. The study of the most general and abstract features of the world and categories with
which we think: mind, matter...

Ted Honderich, ed. (2005). "Conceptual analysis". Oxford Companion to Philosophy New Edition (2nd
ed.). Oxford University Press USA. p. 154. ISBN 0199264791. "Insofar as conceptual analysis is the method of
philosophy (as it was widely held to be for much of the twentieth century), philosophy is a second-order
subject because it is about language not the world or what language is about.

Simon Blackburn (2005). "Philosophy". Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (2nd ed.). Oxford University
Press. p. 277. ISBN 0198610130.

Sara Heinmaa (2006). "Phenomenology: A foundational science". In Margaret A. Simons. The


Philosophy of Simone De Beauvoir: Critical Essays. Indiana University Press. p. 22. ISBN 0253218403. The
important difference between the scientist and the philosopher is in the radically critical nature of philosophy.

255
256

Husserl characterizes this difference by saying that the task of philosophy is to ask the ultimate
questions...The philosophical questions can not be answered in the same way that empirical questions can be
answered.

Richard Tieszen (2008). "Science as a triumph of the human spirit and science in crisis: Husserl and the
fortunes of reason". In Gary Gutting. Continental Philosophy of Science. John Wiley & Sons. p. 94.
ISBN 1405137444. The sciences are in need of continual epistemological reflection and critique of a sort that
only the philosopher can provide. ...Husserl pictures the work of the philosopher and the scientist as mutually
complementary.

Simon Blackburn. Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. p. 277.

Penguin Encyclopedia

Gracia, J.G. and Noone, T.B., A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages, London 2003, p.35

Rethinking Intuition: The Psychology of Intuition and its Role in Philosophical Inquiry ,(Studies in
Epistemology and Cognitive Theory) Michael DePaul , William Ramsey (Editors), Rowman & Littlefield
Publishers, Inc. (1998) ISBN 0-8476-8796-1; ISBN 978-0-8476-8796-1

Knobe (forthcoming).

Knobe, J. and Nichols, S. (eds.) (2008) Experimental Philosophy] 2.1, OCLC 233792562

Dietrich, Eric (2011). There Is No Progress in Philosophy. Essays in Philosophy 12 (2):9.

Note: my comments on the above 4 points. 4.1 Some individuals make the topic unnecessary unclear and
therefore complex in ways that it cannot be explored.

4.2

Yes philosophy already is second-order or a meat- activity thinking ABOUT, reflecting on and talking or
writing ABOUT first-order activities. Some of these activities can deal with other areas or fields of the
philosophical discourse (eh ethics, ontology, logic, meaning etc).

4.3

There probably exist different philosophical methods, approaches and techniques. These should be
distinguished from philosophizing about a certain problem and question, where this philosophizing will
consist of different stages or steps, for example identification of the problem or questions to be investigated,
conceptualizing the problem, preliminary investigation of the problem, further analyses and employing other
techniques of cognition, thinking, reasoning etc, right through to making a synthesis

Meta-philosophy, being a socio-cultural practice that forms part of the philosophical discourse will employ
similar methods, procedures, techniques as first-order philosophy/izing. Do not be confused because first-
order philosophy/izing and second-order or meta-philosophizing shares the same methods, etc that they are
doing the same or an identical things, as they do not! They make different assumptions and have different
rational, aims, purposes and attitudes.

256
257

4.4

A prominent question in metaphilosophy is that of whether or not philosophical progress occurs and more
so, whether such progress in philosophy is even possible.[45] It has even been disputed, most notably by
Ludwig Wittgenstein, whether genuine philosophical problems actually exist. The opposite has also been
claimed, for example by Karl Popper, who held that such problems do exist, that they are solvable, and that
he had actually found definite solutions to some of them.

To me the question concerning progress in philosophy/izing or anywhere else appears to involve the
making of some kind of value judgement.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/progress

noun
1.
a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage:
the progress of a student toward a degree.
2.
developmental activity in science, technology, etc., especially with reference to the commercial
opportunities created thereby or to the promotion of the material well-being of the public through the
goods, techniques, or facilities created.
3.
advancement in general.
4.
growth or development; continuous improvement:
He shows progress in his muscular coordination.
5.
the development of an individual or society in a direction considered more beneficial than and
superior to the previous level.
6.
Biology. increasing differentiation and perfection in the course of ontogeny or phylogeny.
7.
forward or onward movement:
the progress of the planets.
verb (used without object), none, progress [pruh-gres] (Show IPA)
10.
to go forward or onward in space or time:
The wagon train progressed through the valley. As the play progressed, the leading man grew more
inaudible.
11.
to grow or develop, as in complexity, scope, or severity; advance:
Are you progressing in your piano studies? The disease progressed slowly.
Idioms
12.
in progress, going on; under way; being done; happening:
The meeting was already in progress.

6 above refers to increasing differentiation that occurs to philosophy in so far many of its fields have been
differentiated into other disciplines, sciences, etc. Is that progress? Progress in philosophy?

257
258

11 above did philosophy, what remains of it, grow in complexity? Do not confuse the academic and
professional styles and lexicons with original, creative philosophy.

10? Yes no?

5 above does philosophy become more beneficial or superior to previous states of philosophy?

2 compare it to mathematics, visual arts, music, physics, biology etc does it develop in the sense those
sciences and arts develop?

1 a movement towards a goal or higher state?

What is the nature and name of this state if any exists for philosophy? That of Plato, the good, the idea of
beauty? Of Kant? Of Nietzsche? Derrida? Husserl? Heidegger? Or some external notion , standard and judge
(god, Buddha, the Pope, Archbishop of Canterbury, Zoroaster maybe?)

Synonyms for progress


noun advancement, gain

Synonyms for progress


noun advancement, gain

http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/progress

View the list of synonyms and tick off those you think philosophy do or did undergo

258
259

259
260

260
261

261