by Mark English The logical positivists took a very hard anti-metaphysical line. They were right, in my view, to see traditional metaphysics as being futile and pointless. The essential problem with metaphysics is epistemic. How (given a basically scientific view of the world) can purely metaphysical statements be justified? Rudolf Carnap and most of his Vienna Circle colleagues didn’t think […]
by Mark English Complexities Terms like “pragmatism” as it applies to philosophy and the history of ideas – most isms really – are intrinsically vague and useful only to the (necessarily limited) extent that they help to bring out persistent or more fleeting strands or commonalities in thinking within or across populations. Even the views of individuals are often difficult […]
by Mark English ___ My intention here is to recapitulate a couple of points arising from recent discussions with a view to clarifying my own position on the nature of the past, before briefly addressing some broader questions relating to realism and culture. Is it acceptable to distinguish between, on the one hand, an account of the past (whatever kind […]
by Mark English Past and present If we ignore the past, not only do we forego the opportunity to understand our own social and cultural situation in more than a superficial way, but we disrespect ourselves. We are to future observers what past generations are to us, and, if we have no interest in the lives or achievements of our […]
by Mark English Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein were diametrically opposed in their respective attitudes to science and religion. They had many other profound disagreements, but they were united in one respect at least. They both rejected the metaphysics of Idealism. Metaphysically speaking, Russell was mainly concerned to counter idealist notions and to defend a science-friendly and empirical view of […]
by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Lately, I’ve been doing some work on Physicalism and social reality (1), suggesting that taking the latter seriously means that the former has to be false, and it seems to me that much of the reluctance people have expressed – and which pushes so many philosophers to insist on Physicalism – owes to certain uses […]
by Daniel Kaufman and Dan Tippens The two Dans — Kaufman and Tippens — discuss metaphysical Realism, its troubles, and what our knowledge is knowledge of.
by Daniel A. Kaufman EDITORS NOTE: This essay originally appeared on Dan Kaufman’s previous blog, Apophenia. We are reprinting it here, as a preface to a video discussion bewteen Dan Tippens and Dan Kaufman on realism, anti-realism, and our knowledge of the world. That discussion will be posted this Thursday. __________________________________________________________________ If you were to go to the trouble of asking ordinary people about […]