Max Scheler’s Cognition and Work (Erkenntnis und Arbeit) first appeared in German in 1926, just two years before his death. The first part of the book offers one of the earliest critical analyses of American pragmatism, an analysis that would come to have a significant impact on the reception of pragmatism in Germany and western Europe. The second part of the work contains Scheler’s phenomenological account of perception and the experience of reality, an account that is as original as both Husserl’s and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenologies of perception. Scheler aims to show that the modern mechanistic view of nature fails to account for the dynamic relation that not only the human being but all living beings have to the environment they inhabit.
Available in English translation for the first time, Cognition and Work pushes the boundaries of phenomenology as it is traditionally understood and offers insight into Scheler’s distinct metaphysics. This book is essential reading for those interested in phenomenology, pragmatism, perception, and living beings in their relation to the natural world.
Cost, expected benefits, and risks are paramount in grant agencies' decisions to fund scientific research. In Cognitive Economy, Nicholas Rescher outlines a general theory for the cost-effective use of intellectual resources, amplifying the theories of Charles Sanders Pierce, who stressed an “economy of research.” Rescher discusses the requirements of cooperation, communication, cognitive importance, cognitive economy, as well as the economic factors bearing on induction and simplicity. He then applies his model to several case studies and to clarifying the limits imposed on science by economic considerations.
This novel approach to epistemological discourse explains the complex but crucial role that systematization plays-not just for the organization of what we know, but also for its validation. Cognitive Harmony argues for a new conception of the process philosophers generally call induction.
Relying on the root definition of harmony, a coherent unification of component parts (systemic integrity) in such a way that the final object can successfully accomplish what it was meant to do (evaluative positivity), Rescher discusses the role of harmony in cognitive contexts, the history of cognitive harmony, and the various features it has in producing human knowledge. The book ends on the issue of philosophy and the sort of harmony required of philosophical systems.
Nicholas Rescher tackles the major questions of philosophical inquiry, pondering the nature of truth and existence. In the authoritative voice and calculated manner that we’ve come to expect from this distinguished philosopher, Rescher argues that the development of knowledge is a practice, pursued by humans because we have a need for its products. This pragmatic approach satisfies our innate urge as humans to make sense of our surroundings.
Taking his discussion down to the level of particular details, and addressing such topics as inductive validation, hypostatization fallacies, and counterfactual reasoning, Rescher abandons abstract generalities in favor of concrete specifics. For example, philosophers usually insist that to reason logically from a counterfactual, we must imagine a possible world in which the statement is fact. But Rescher argues that there’s no need to attempt to accept the facts of a world outside our cognition in order to reason from them. He shows us how we can use our own natural system of prioritizing, our own understanding of the fundamental, to resolve the inconsistencies in such statements as, “If the Eiffel Tower were in Manhattan, then it would be in New York State.”
In using dozens of real-world examples such as these, and in arguing in his characteristically succinct style, Rescher casts light on a wide variety of concrete issues in the classical theory of knowledge, and reassures us along the way that the inherent limitations on our knowledge are no cause for distress. In pragmatic theory and inquiry, we must accept that the best we can do is good enough, because we only have a certain (albeit large) set of tools and conceptualizations available to us.
A unique synthesis, this endeavor into pragmatic epistemology will be of interest to scholars and students of philosophy and cognitive science.
In this provocative work, John McCumber asks us to understand Hegel's system as a new approach to linguistic communication. Hegel, he argues, is concerned with building community and mutual comprehension rather than with completing metaphysics or developing historical critique. According to McCumber's radial interpretation, Hegel constructs a complex ideal of how we should use certain words. This ideal philosophical vocabulary is flexible and open to revision, and is constructed according to principles available at all time and all places; it is responsive to, but not dictated by, the shared language of cultured discourse whose concepts it attempts to refine and universalize.
Alexandre Kojève (1902–1968) is most widely known in America for his provocative assertion that history is at its end, that is, its completion. In the “practical” sense, this means that the process of historical development can at last be seen (if from a distance) as the realization of the Marxist “universal and homogeneous state.” However, Kojève claimed as well that the history of philosophical thinking had also reached its goal in the transformation of philosophy, as the “love of wisdom” (or the unsatisfied quest for comprehensive knowledge), into that very Wisdom itself and had done so in the most essential respects in the philosophy of Hegel.
The Concept, Time, and Discourse is the first volume of Kojève’s magnum opus, which was to have given an exposition of the (Hegelian) System of Knowledge and of which five volumes were written before his death. It contains, along with a preliminary discussion of the need for an updating of the Hegelian system, the first two of three introductions to the exposition of that system: a First Introduction of the Concept (the integrated totality of what is comprehensible, which is the final object of philosophic inquiry) and a Second Introduction concerning Time, both introductions leading to the (Hegelian) identification of the Concept with Time, an identification which alone takes adequate account of the fact that Philosophy is necessarily discursive (that it must actualize the requirements and essential structure of Discourse).
The present volume offers Kojève’s fullest statement of his Ontology. It includes a critical discussion of the traditional oppositions of the “general” to the “particular” and of the “abstract” to the “concrete” and an analysis of the act of “generalizing abstraction,” which detaches Essence from the Existence of Things. Kojève then discusses the three great figures in the three-stage development of philosophy into wisdom: Parmenides, Plato, and Hegel. Parmenides’ monadic account of Being (= Eternity) rendered it ineffable, thereby reducing philosophy to (non-philosophic) silence; Plato’s dyadic account of Being (as eternal) was intended to make Being a possible subject of discourse but failed to reflect adequately the triadic (and temporally developing) structure which Plato himself discerned in Discourse. Finally, Hegel’s triadic account of Being as itself “dialectical” achieved the final identification of the Concept with Time.
This is a first-time, meticulous translation of Kojève’s late, unfinished magnum opus, the “updating” of the Hegelian System of Knowledge, meaning its modification so as to make it comprehensible to the author himself and to his contemporaries. It is, however, much more than an exposition of its central terms, The Concept and Time and their identity. It is an acute, original review of the major themes of the West’s philosophical tradition; it is, in fact, a philosophical education in itself. Robert Williamson has done this tradition a great service by making Kojève’s work accessible to Americans. – Eva Brann, Dean Emerita and Senior Faculty, St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland
We now recognize Alexandre Kojève as one of the central figures of 20th century European philosophy. A translation of his The Concept, Time, and Discourse will enable English speaking readers to have a fuller understanding of his remarkably ambitious intellectual project. – Michael S. Roth, President, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.
Robert B. Williamson is Tutor Emeritus at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, where he continues to teach. He is co-author, with Alfred Mollin, of An Introduction to Ancient Greek (University Press of America) and the author of articles on Plato’s philosophy and Einstein’s early work on relativity theory.
James H. Nichols, Jr. is Professor of Government and Dr. Jules L. Whitehill Professor of Humanism and Ethics at Claremont McKenna College, where he teaches political philosophy. Among his publications are Epicurean Political Philosophy: The De rerum natura ofLucretius, translations with interpretations of Plato’s Gorgias and Phaedrus, and most recently Alexandre Kojève: Wisdom at the End ofHistory.
The philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand (1905–1982) is a cultural phenomenon. Her books have sold more than twenty-eight million copies, and countless individuals speak of her writings as having significantly influenced their lives. Despite her popularity, Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism has received little serious attention from academic philosophers.
Concepts and Their Role in Knowledge offers scholarly analysis of key elements of Ayn Rand’s radically new approach to epistemology. The four essays, by contributors intimately familiar with this area of her work, discuss Rand’s theory of concepts—including its new account of abstraction and essence—and its central role in her epistemology; how that view leads to a distinctive conception of the justification of knowledge; her realist account of perceptual awareness and its role in the acquisition of knowledge; and finally, the implications of that theory for understanding the growth of scientific knowledge. The volume concludes with critical commentary on the essays by distinguished philosophers with differing philosophical viewpoints and the author’s responses to those commentaries.
This is the second book published in Ayn Rand Society Philosophical Studies, which was developed in conjunction with the Ayn Rand Society to offer a fuller scholarly understanding of this highly original and influential thinker. The Ayn Rand Society, an affiliated group of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, seeks to foster scholarly study by philosophers of the philosophical thought and writings of Ayn Rand.
Artistic research is an endeavour in which the artistic and the academic are connected. In this emerging field of research artistic practices contribute as research to what we know and understand, and academia opens its mind to forms of knowledge and understanding that are entwined with artistic practices.
Henk Borgdorff also addresses how we comment on such issues, and how the things we say cause the practices involved to manifest themselves in specific ways, while also setting them into motion. In this sense, this work not only explores the phenomenon of artistic research in relation to academia, but it also engages with that relationship.
Everyone has mistaken one thing for another, such as a stranger for an acquaintance. A person who has mistaken two things, Joseph Camp argues, even on a massive scale, is still capable of logical thought. In order to make that idea precise, one needs a logic of confused thought that is blind to the distinction between the objects that have been confused. Confused thought and language cannot be characterized as true or false even though reasoning conducted in such language can be classified as valid or invalid.
To the extent that philosophers have addressed this issue at all, they take it for granted that confusion is a kind of ambiguity. Camp rejects this notion; his fundamental claim is that confusion is not a mental state. To attribute confusion to someone is to take up a paternalistic stance in evaluating his reasoning. Camp proposes a novel characterization of confusion, and then demonstrates its fruitfulness with several applications in the history of philosophy and the history of science.
The contributors to Constructing the Pluriverse critique the hegemony of the postcolonial Western tradition and its claims to universality by offering a set of “pluriversal” approaches to understanding the coexisting epistemologies and practices of the different worlds and problems we inhabit and encounter. Moving beyond critiques of colonialism, the contributors rethink the relationship between knowledge and power, offering new perspectives on development, democracy, and ideology while providing diverse methodologies for non-Western thought and practice that range from feminist approaches to scientific research to ways of knowing expressed through West African oral traditions. In combination, these wide-ranging approaches and understandings form a new analytical toolbox for those seeking creative solutions for dismantling Westernization throughout the world.
Contributors. Zaid Ahmad, Manuela Boatcă, Hans-Jürgen Burchardt, Raewyn Connell, Arturo Escobar, Sandra Harding, Ehsan Kashfi, Venu Mehta, Walter D. Mignolo, Ulrich Oslender, Issiaka Ouattara, Bernd Reiter, Manu Samnotra, Catherine E. Walsh, Aram Ziai
"What is most impressive about this book is its intelligence, its sophistication, and its charm. . . . This book presents Piaget's work and his person better than anything else that I know about."—David Elkind, Tufts University
"The tone is one of constant movement from the most ordinary to the most abstruse. There are 14 conversations with 'le Patron,' some in 1969, some in 1975, and several more with co-workers in various fields. . . . In Mr. Bringuier's book, in a pleasant informal way, we see a sophisticated non-scientist exploring Piaget's domain with the master. Some of Piaget's best-known findings about children as explained along the way, but Mr. Bringuier has ways of bringing out the relation of this psychological work to the whole of Piaget's enterprise, and we get a good sense of the man and his work."—Howard E. Gruber, New York Times Book Review
Anthropologist Dr Ad Borsboom, chair of Pacific Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, devoted his academic career from 1972 onwards to the transmission of cultural knowledge. Borsboom handed the insights he acquired during many years of fieldwork among Australian Aborigines on to other academics, students and the general public. This collection of essays by his colleagues, specializing in cultures from across the globe, focuses on knowledge transmission. The contributions deal with local forms of education or pedagogics, the learning experiences of fieldwork and the nexus of status and education. Whereas some essays are reflexive, others are personal in nature. But all of the authors are fascinated by the divergent ways in which people handle ‘knowledge’. The volume provides readers with respectful representations of other cultures and their distinct epistemologies.
Culture and Enchantment
Mark A. Schneider University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress GN357.S36 1993 | Dewey Decimal 306.01
Max Weber viewed modern life as disenchanted, an arena from which scientific inquiry had banished magic. In contrast, Mark Schneider argues intriguingly that enchantment—the sense that we are confronted by inexplicable phenomena—persists in the world today, although it has shifted from the natural to the cultural arena. Culture and Enchantment shows that students of culture today operate in social and intellectual circumstances similar to those of seventeenth-century natural philosophers. Just as Newton was drawn to alchemy, scholars today are fascinated by ghostly and mercurial agents thought to account for the meanings of cultural entities.
For interpretive disciplines, Schneider suggests, meaning often behaves behaves as mysteriously as the apparitions pursued by centuries ago by natural philosophers. He demonstrates this using two case studies from anthropology: Clifford Geertz's description of Balinese cockfights and Yoruba statuary, and Claude Levi-Strauss's analyses of myths. These provide a basis for actively engaging disputes over the meaning and interpretation of culture.
Culture and Enchantment will appeal to an interdisciplinary audience in anthropology, sociology, history, history and sociology of science, culture studies, and literary theory. Schneider's provocative arguments will make this book a fulcrum in the continuing debate over the nature and prospects of cultural inquiry.