Farewell to Reason

Farewell to Reason

Essays discuss relativism, knowledge, creativity, progress, Aristotle, Galileo, cultural pluralism, and reason

A Farewell to Reason

A Farewell to Reason

The last half century of the Western Roman Empire is retold through the eyes of its Empress, Galla Placida. The reader experiences her evolution from debutante to barbarian hostage, Goth Queen, Empress, exiled Augusta, regent and dowager. The story opens with the sacking of Rome by the Goths in 410 A.D. The morphology of Rome is detailed from the time of Hannibal through Romulus Augustulus' deposition marking the conclusive end of the Western Roman Empire in 476. Galla refuses to succumb to the proclivities of fate as she wrestles with moral conventions and the natural human urge to accumulate power. The lessons the protagonist learned from the precedent Republic and Empire become a thought-provoking process for the reader. Plato's denial of self-evident truths, as reinforced by the likes of Cicero, reminds us with stark clarity of the dangers we face today. Further, that insanity rules groups and is the stimulation that feeds the perils that threaten our present world. A Farewell to Reason compels us to ponder, ""What might we learn?"" Rome was unable to reverse its last downward spiral because reason was cast aside. Can we allow this to happen today?

Rhetoric, Reason and Society

Rationality as Dialogue

Rhetoric, Reason and Society

This fascinating work examines some of the major arguments about modernity, culture and rationality that have emerged from recent debates on critical theory, liberal theory, the self, postmodernity, dialogic rationalism, ethics and argument. What is the relationship between knowledge, expertise and participatory dialogue? How is the `good life' connected to rationality? In what way is thinking dialogical and rhetorical? This original and lucid text addresses these and other questions, offering a broad-ranging synthesis of diverse theories to show how reason, dialogue and communication are inextricably linked. Myerson provides a sustained discussion of contemporary theories concerning models of rational dial

Against Method

Against Method

Modern philosophy of science has paid great attention to the understanding of scientific 'practice', in contrast to concentration on scientific 'method'. Paul Feyerabend's acclaimed work, which has contributed greatly to this new emphasis, shows the deficiencies of some widespread ideas about the nature of knowledge. He argues that the only feasible explanations of scientific successes are historical explanations, and that anarchism must now replace rationalism in the theory of knowledge. The third edition of this classic text contains a new preface and additional reflections at various points in which the author takes account both of recent debates on science and on the impact of scientific products and practices on the human community. While disavowing populism or relativism, Feyerabend continues to insist that the voice of the inexpert must be heard. Thus many environmental perils were first identified by non-experts against prevailing assumptions in the scientific community. Feyerabend's challenging reassessment of scientific claims and understandings are as pungent and timely as ever.

Rescuing Reason

A Critique of Anti-Rationalist Views of Science and Knowledge

Rescuing Reason

Do knowledge and science arise from the application of canons of rationality and scientific method? Or is all our scientific knowledge caused by socio-political factors, or by our interests in the socio-political - the view of sociologists of "knowledge"? Or does it result from interplay of relations of power - the view of Michel Foucault? Or does our knowledge arise from "the will to power" - the view of Nietzsche? This volume sets out to critically examine the theses of those who would debunk the idea of rational explanation. The book is wide-ranging. The theories of method of Quine, Kuhn, Feyerabend (amongst others) are discussed and related to the views of Marx, Foucault, Wittgenstein and Nietzsche as well as sociologists of science such as Mannheim and Bloor. The author provides a wide interpretative framework which links the doctrines espoused by many of these authors; it is argued that they inherit many of the difficulties in the Strong Programme in the sociology of "knowledge", and that they fail to reconcile the normativity of knowledge with their naturalism. It is argued that neither relativists, sceptics, nihilists, sociologists of "knowledge" nor the postmodernists successfully debunk the claims of rational explanation, far from it: these theorists presuppose much of the theory of methodology they deny.

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

The Foundation of Modern Philosophy

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Kant’s "Critique of Pure Reason" is so outstanding among modern philosophical works, that it can be termed "the" foundation of modern philosophy. Schopenhauer termed it "the most important book ever to have been written in Europe." Otfried Höffe guides the reader through the "Critique" one step at a time, expounding Kant’s thoughts, submitting them to an interpretation and drawing a summary conclusion, placing the work and its topics within the context of its modern successors. A "critical" interpretation of Kant’s text reveals that he had something to say on many discussions that are said to have originated after his death. Reducing his argumentation to its central tenets, it can be made stronger and applicable to current problems. Kant’s eventual concern, however, even when writing theoretical philosophy, lay with the practical. Elaborating this concern and its connection to Kant’s theoretical philosophy is a prime tenet of this book.

Cosmopolis

The Hidden Agenda of Modernity

Cosmopolis

In the seventeenth century, a vision arose which was to captivate the Western imagination for the next three hundred years: the vision of Cosmopolis, a society as rationally ordered as the Newtonian view of nature. While fueling extraordinary advances in all fields of human endeavor, this vision perpetuated a hidden yet persistent agenda: the delusion that human nature and society could be fitted into precise and manageable rational categories. Stephen Toulmin confronts that agenda—its illusions and its consequences for our present and future world. "By showing how different the last three centuries would have been if Montaigne, rather than Descartes, had been taken as a starting point, Toulmin helps destroy the illusion that the Cartesian quest for certainty is intrinsic to the nature of science or philosophy."—Richard M. Rorty, University of Virginia "[Toulmin] has now tackled perhaps his most ambitious theme of all. . . . His aim is nothing less than to lay before us an account of both the origins and the prospects of our distinctively modern world. By charting the evolution of modernity, he hopes to show us what intellectual posture we ought to adopt as we confront the coming millennium."—Quentin Skinner, New York Review of Books

The Question of Hermeneutics

Essays in Honor of Joseph J. Kockelmans

The Question of Hermeneutics

by Pierre Kerszberg Joseph J. Kockelmans: A Biographical Note Joseph Kockelmans was born on December I, 1923, at Meerssen in the Netherlands. In 1951 he received his doctoral degree in philosophy from the Institute for Medieval Philosophy, Angelico, Rome. Earlier on, he had earned a "Baccalaureate" and a "Licence" from the same institution. Upon his return to the Netherlands, he engaged in a series of post-doctoral studies. His first subject was mathematics, which he studied under H. Busard who taught at the Institute of Technology at Venlo (1952-55). A major turning-point then occurred when, from 1955 to 1962, his post-doctoral research centered simultaneously around physics under A. D. Fokker at the University of Leyden, and phenomenology under H. L. Van Breda at the Husserl Archives of the University of Louvain. Still in the Netherlands, his first position as professor of philosophy was at the Agricultural University of Wageningen from 1963 to 1964. Even though he had been a Visiting Professor at Duquesne University in 1962, the year 1964 marked the actual beginning of his career in the United States. He began by holding a professorship at the New School for Social Research in New York (1964-65). Before establishing himself permanently at the Pennsylvania State University from 1968 onward, where he became a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy in 1990, he also held a professorship at the University of Rittsburgh from 1965 to 1968.

Syncope

The Philosophy of Rapture

Syncope


Wittgenstein: Mind and Language

Wittgenstein: Mind and Language

Wittgenstein: Mind and Language brings together a collection of previously unpublished essays which offer a systematic account of Wittgenstein's philosophy of mind and contribute in an absolutely new and original way to illuminating his later conception of human perceptive, emotional and cognitive language from both a theoretical and an historical point of view. The focus is on the fundamental categories of philosophical grammar, on the analysis of intentionality, of belief and Moore's paradox, on certainty and doubt, on will, memory, sensations and emotions, as well as on the theory of aspects and private language and the relationship with relativism and psychologism. In the recent literature there are undoubtedly numerous qualified publications dedicated to the themes of philosophical psychology as they emerge from Wittgenstein's Nachlaß and from his writings on this subject published in the last decade. This book, however, provides the essential points of reference of Wittgenstein's late treatment of psychological concepts in the context of the general features of his early philosophy of science and language and in the framework of the trends of his time. The book is of special interest to scholars and students, philosophers, linguists, psychologists, sociologists, cognitive scientists, logicians, historians of contemporary philosophy and science.