Using Words and Things
Author: Mark Coeckelbergh
This book offers a systematic framework for thinking about the relationship between language and technology and an argument for interweaving thinking about technology with thinking about language. The main claim of philosophy of technology—that technologies are not mere tools and artefacts not mere things, but crucially and significantly shape what we perceive, do, and are—is re-thought in a way that accounts for the role of language in human technological experiences and practices. Engaging with work by Wittgenstein, Heidegger, McLuhan, Searle, Ihde, Latour, Ricoeur, and many others, the author critically responds to, and constructs a synthesis of, three "extreme", idealtype, untenable positions: (1) only humans speak and neither language nor technologies speak, (2) only language speaks and neither humans nor technologies speak, and (3) only technology speaks and neither humans nor language speak. The construction of this synthesis goes hand in hand with a narrative about subjects and objects that become entangled and constitute one another. Using Words and Things thus draws in central discussions from other subdisciplines in philosophy, such as philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics, to offer an original theory of the relationship between language and (philosophy of) technology centered on use, performance, and narrative, and taking a transcendental turn.
This book examines the work of Ernst Jünger and its effect on the development of Martin Heidegger’s influential philosophy of technology. Vincent Blok offers a unique treatment of Jünger’s philosophy and his conception of the age of technology, in which both world and man appear in terms of their functionality and efficiency. The primary objective of Jünger’s novels and essays is to make the transition from the totally mobilized world of the 20th century toward a world in which a new type of man represents the gestalt of the worker and is responsive to this new age. Blok proceeds to demonstrate Jünger’s influence on Heidegger’s analysis of the technological age in his later work, as well as Heidegger’s conceptions of will, work and gestalt at the beginning of the 1930s. At the same time, Blok evaluates Heidegger’s criticism of Jünger and provides a novel interpretation of the Jünger-Heidegger connection: that Jünger’s work in fact testifies to a transformation of our relationship to language and conceptualizes the future in terms of the Anthropocene. This book, which arrives alongside several new English-language translations of Jünger’s work, will interest scholars of 20th-century continental philosophy, Heidegger, and the history of philosophy of technology.
This edited collection focuses on the moral and social dimensions of ignorance—an undertheorized category in analytic philosophy. Contributors address such issues as the relation between ignorance and deception, ignorance as a moral excuse, ignorance as a legal excuse, and the relation between ignorance and moral character. In the moral realm, ignorance is sometimes considered as an excuse; some specific kind of ignorance seems to be implied by a moral character; and ignorance is closely related to moral risk. Ignorance has certain social dimensions as well: it has been claimed to be the engine of science; it seems to be entailed by privacy and secrecy; and it is widely thought to constitute a legal excuse in certain circumstances. Together, these contributions provide a sustained inquiry into the nature of ignorance and the pivotal role it plays in the moral and social domains.
Race, Philosophy, and Film
Author: Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo, Dan Flory
This collection fills a gap in the current literature in philosophy and film by focusing on the question: How would thinking in philosophy and film be transformed if race were formally incorporated moved from its margins to the center? The collection’s contributors anchor their discussions of race through considerations of specific films and television series, which serve as illustrative examples from which the essays’ theorizations are drawn. Inclusive and current in its selection of films and genres, the collection incorporates dramas, comedies, horror, and science fiction films (among other genres) into its discussions, as well as recent and popular titles of interest, such as Twilight, Avatar, Machete, True Blood, and The Matrix and The Help. The essays compel readers to think more deeply about the films they have seen and their experiences of these narratives.
In this volume, Julinna Oxley and Ramona Ilea bring together essays that examine and defend the use of experiential learning activities to teach philosophical terms, concepts, arguments, and practices. Experiential learning emphasizes the importance of student engagement outside the traditional classroom structure. Service learning, studying abroad, engaging in large-scale collaborative projects such as creating blogs, websites and videos, and practically applying knowledge in a reflective, creative and rigorous way are all forms of experiential learning. Taken together, the contributions to Experiential Learning in Philosophy argue that teaching philosophy is about doing philosophy with others. The book is divided into two sections: essays that engage in the philosophical debate about defining and implementing experiential learning, and essays that describe how to integrate experiential learning into the teaching of philosophy. Experiential Learning in Philosophy provides a timely reflection on best practices for teaching philosophical ideals and theories, an examination of the evolution of the discipline of philosophy and its adoption (or reclamation) of active modes of learning, and an anticipation of the ways in which pedagogical practices will continue to evolve in the 21st century.
Truth and Speech Acts
Author: Dirk Greimann, Geo Siegwart
Whereas the relationship between truth and propositional content has already been intensively investigated, there are only very few studies devoted to the task of illuminating the relationship between truth and illocutionary acts. This book fills that gap. This innovative collection addresses such themes as: the relation between the concept of truth and the success conditions of assertions and kindred speech acts the linguistic devices of expressing the truth of a proposition the relation between predication and truth.
In Aesthetics and Material Beauty, Jennifer A. McMahon develops a new aesthetic theory she terms Critical Aesthetic Realism - taking Kantian aesthetics as a starting point and drawing upon contemporary theories of mind from philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science. The creative process does not proceed by a set of rules. Yet the fact that its objects can be understood or appreciated by others suggests that the creative process is constrained by principles to which others have access. According to her update of Kantian aesthetics, beauty is grounded in indeterminate yet systematic principles of perception and cognition. However, Kant’s aesthetic theory rested on a notion of indeterminacy whose consequences for understanding the nature of art were implausible. McMahon conceptualizes "indeterminacy" in terms of contemporary philosophical, psychological, and computational theories of mind. In doing so, she develops an aesthetic theory that reconciles the apparent dichotomies which stem from the tension between the determinacy of communication and the indeterminacy of creativity. Dichotomies such as universality and subjectivity, objectivity and autonomy, cognitivism and non-cognitivism, and truth and beauty are revealed as complementary features of an aesthetic judgment.
In the last two decades, interest in narrative conceptions of identity has grown exponentially, though there is little agreement about what a "life-narrative" might be. In connecting Kierkegaard with virtue ethics, several scholars have recently argued that narrative models of selves and MacIntyre's concept of the unity of a life help make sense of Kierkegaard's existential stages and, in particular, explain the transition from "aesthetic" to "ethical" modes of life. But others have recently raised difficult questions both for these readings of Kierkegaard and for narrative accounts of identity that draw on the work of MacIntyre in general. While some of these objections concern a strong kind of unity or "wholeheartedness" among an agent's long-term goals or cares, the fundamental objection raised by critics is that personal identity cannot be a narrative, since stories are artifacts made by persons. In this book, Davenport defends the narrative approach to practical identity and autonomy in general, and to Kierkegaard's stages in particular.
Isn’t that Clever
Author: Steven Gimbel
Isn’t That Clever provides a new account of the nature of humor – the cleverness account – according to which humor is intentional conspicuous acts of playful cleverness. By defining humor in this way, answers can be found to longstanding questions about humor ethics (Are there jokes that are wrong to tell? Are there jokes that can only be told by certain people?) and humor aesthetics (What makes for a good joke? Is humor subjective?). In addition to humor in general, Isn’t That Clever asks questions about comedy as an art form such as whether there are limits to what can be said in dealing with a heckler and how do we determine whether one comedian has stolen jokes from another.
Philosophy of language explores some of the fundamental yet most technical problems in philosophy, such as meaning and reference, semantics, and propositional attitudes. Some of its greatest exponents, such as Gottlob Frege, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell are amongst the major figures in the history of philosophy. In this clear and carefully structured introduction to the subject Gary Kemp explains the following key topics: the basic nature of philosophy of language and its historical development early arguments concerning the role of meaning, including cognitive meaning vs expressivism, context and compositionality Frege's arguments concerning sense and reference; non-existent objects Russell and the theory of definite descriptions modern theories including Kripke and Putnam; arguments concerning necessity, analyticity and natural kind terms indexicality, context and modality. What are indexicals? Davidson's theory of language and the 'principle of charity' propositional attitudes Quine's naturalism and its consequences for philosophy of language. Additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of language and will be particularly useful for those coming to the subject for the first time.
Debates in Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses provides an in-depth, engaging introduction to important issues in modern philosophy. It presents 13 key interpretive debates to students, and ranges in coverage from Descartes' Meditations to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Debates include: Did Descartes have a developed and consistent view about how the mind interacts with the body? Was Leibniz an idealist, or did he believe in corporeal substances? What is Locke's theory of personal identity? Could there be a Berkeleian metaphysics without God? Did Hume believe in causal powers? What is Kant's transcendental idealism? Each of the thirteen debates consists of a well known article or book chapter from a living philosopher, followed by a new response from a different scholar, specially commissioned for this volume. Every debate is prefaced by an introduction written for those coming upon the debates for the first time and followed by an annotated list for further reading. The volume starts with an introduction that explains the importance and relevance of the modern period and its key debates to philosophy and ends with a glossary that covers terms from both the modern period and the study of the history of philosophy in general. Debates in Modern Philosophy will help students evaluate different interpretations of key texts from modern philosophy, and provide a model for constructing their own positions in these debates.
Author: Richard Shusterman, Adele Tomlin
In this volume, a team of internationally respected contributors theorize the concept of aesthetic experience and its value. Exposing and expanding our restricted cultural and intellectual presuppositions of what constitutes aesthetic experience, the book aims to re-explore and affirm the place of aesthetic experience--in its evaluative, phenomenological and transformational sense--not only in relation to art and artists but to our inner and spiritual lives.
Modern technology has changed the way we live, work, play, communicate, fight, love, and die. Yet few works have systematically explored these changes in light of their implications for individual and social welfare. How can we conceptualize and evaluate the influence of technology on human well-being? Bringing together scholars from a cross-section of disciplines, this volume combines an empirical investigation of technology and its social, psychological, and political effects, and a philosophical analysis and evaluation of the implications of such effects.
Nature and Normativity argues that the problem of the place of norms in nature has been essentially misunderstood when it has been articulated in terms of the relation of human language and thought, on the one hand, and the world described by physics on the other. Rather, if we concentrate on the facts that speaking and thinking are activities of organic agents, then the problem of the place of the normative in nature becomes refocused on three related questions. First, is there a sense in which biological processes and the behavior of organisms can be legitimately subject to normative evaluation? Second, is there some sense in which, in addition to having ordinary causal explanations, organic phenomena can also legitimately be seen to happen because they should happen in that way, in some naturalistically comprehensible sense of ‘should’, or that organic phenomena happen in order to achieve some result, because that result should occur? And third, is it possible to naturalistically understand how human thought and language can be legitimately seen as the normatively evaluable behavior of a particular species of organism, behavior that occurs in order to satisfy some class of norms? This book develops, articulates, and defends positive answers to each of these questions.
More than ninety percent of all scientific history has been made during the last half century. So far, however, only a fraction of historical scholarship has dealt with this period. Merely a decade ago, most scientific historians considered recent science - the scientific culture created, lived and remembered by contemporary scientists - an area of study best left to the historical actors themselves.