Wittgenstein, possibly the most influential philosopher of the twentieth century, is often labelled a Neopositivist, a New-Kantian, even a Sceptic. Questions on Wittgenstein, first published in 1988, presents a selection of nine essays investigating a matter of vital philosophical importance: Wittgenstein’s relationship to his Austrian predecessors and peers. The intention throughout is to determine the precise contours of Wittgenstein’s own thought by situating it within its formative context. Although it remains of particular interest to Anglo-Saxon philosophers, special familiarity with Austrian philosophy is required to appreciate the subtle and profound influence which this cultural and philosophical setting had on Wittgenstein’s intellectual development. Professor Haller has spent his career exploring these themes, and is one of the foremost authorities on both Wittgenstein and contemporary Austrian philosophy. Questions on Wittgenstein thus offers a unique insight into the twentieth-century tradition of Austrian philosophy, and its importance for Wittgenstein’s thought.
Wittgenstein’s Intentions, first published in 1993, presents a series of essays dedicated to the great Wittgenstein exegete John Hunter. The problematic topics discussed are identified not only by Wittgenstein’s own philosophical writings, but also by contemporary scholarship: areas of ambiguity, perhaps even confusion, as well as issues which the father of analytic philosophy did not himself address. The difficulties involved in speaking cogently about religious belief, suspicion, consciousness, the nature of the will, the coincidence of our thoughts with reality, and transfinite numbers are all investigated, as well as a variety of other intriguing questions: why can’t a baby pretend to smile? How do I know what I was going to say? Wittgenstein’s Intentions is an invaluable resource for students of Wittgenstein as well as scholars, and opens up a wide horizon of philosophical questioning for those as yet unfamiliar with this style of reasoning.
Philosophers since Descartes have felt themselves compelled to make a choice between mind and body. Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mind, first published in 1986, argues that there is no genuine epistemological problem of mind, and that the widespread philosophical scepticism with regard to our knowledge of other minds is without foundation. Ashok Vohra applies Wittgenstein’s method to show that the problem has arisen through a tendency to over-philosophise our simple experiences. Vohra presents a positive account of Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mind, arguing that to consider his philosophy entirely destructive is misleading. He shows that knowledge of mind is gained through a large complex of intersubjectively identifiable factors such as the linguistic and non-linguistic past, present and future behaviour of the person concerned. He thus justifies the belief, on which psychology and psychoanalysis are based, that mind is not a mystery to which only the owner has privileged access.
Wittgenstein’s philosophical achievement lies in the development of a new philosophical method rather than in the elaboration of a particular philosophical system. Dr Paul Johnston applies this innovative method to the central problems of moral philosophy: whether there can be ‘truth’ in ethics, or what the meaning of objectivity might mean in the context of moral deliberation. Wittgenstein and Moral Philosophy, first published in 1989, represents the first serious and rigorous attempt to apply Wittgenstein’s method to ethics. The conclusions arrived at differ radically from those dominating contemporary ethical discussion, revealing an immense discrepancy between the ethical concepts employed in everyday moral decision-making and the way in which these are discussed by philosophers. Dr Johnston examines ways of eliminating this discrepancy in order to gain a clearer picture of the proper nature of moral claims, and at the same time provides new insights into Wittgenstein’s conception of philosophy.
First published in 1989, this book tackles a relatively little-explored area of Wittgenstein’s work, his philosophy of psychology, which played an important part in his late philosophy. Writing with clarity and insight, Budd traces the complexities of Wittgenstein’s thought, and provides a detailed picture of his views on psychological concepts. A useful guide to the writings of Wittgenstein, the book will be of value to anyone concerned with his work as a whole, as well as those with a more general interest in the philosophy of psychology.
What might be the outcome for philosophy if its texts were subjected to the powerful techniques of rhetorical close-reading developed by current deconstructionist literary critics? When first published in 1983, Christopher Norris’ book was the first to explore such questions in the context of modern analytic and linguistic philosophy, opening up a new and challenging dimension of inter-disciplinary study and creating a fresh and productive dialogue between philosophy and literary theory.
First published in 1996, Science as a Questioning Process evaluates scientific theories through from Darwinian evolution to relativity, and from quantum theory to cosmology. It offers an examination of these theories, in terms of a compromise between resolvable empirical questions, and theoretical questions left unresolved. The book asks questions that deal with both intellectual and public concern about what science tells us, and how reliable it is. Through this novel perspective, the book examines science in the context of everyday culture and the role it plays in everyday life. This book will be of interest to anyone working in the fields of philosophy, sociology and science.
First published in 1980, this reissue is a study of the sociology of language, which aims to bridge the gap between textbook and monograph by alternating chapters of explication and analysis. A chapter outlining a particular theory and suggesting general criticisms is followed by a chapter offering an original application of that theory. The aim of the authors is to treat text and talk as the site of specific practices which sustain or subvert particular relations between appearance and reality.
On Being in the World, first published in 1990, illumines a neglected but important area of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, revealing its pertinence to the central concerns of contemporary analytic philosophy. The starting point is the idea of ‘continuous aspect perception’, which connects Wittgenstein’s treatment of certain issues relating to aesthetics with fundamental questions in the philosophy of psychology. Professor Mulhall indicates parallels between Wittgenstein’s interests and Heidegger’s Being and Time, demonstrating that Wittgenstein’s investigation of aspect perception is designed to cast light on much more than a bizarre type of visual experience: in reality, it highlights what is distinctively human about our behaviour in relation to things in the world, what it is that distinguishes our practical activity from that of automata. On Being in the World remains an invaluable resource for students of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, as well as anyone interested in negotiating the division between analytic and continental philosophy.
This reissue, first published in 1971, provides a brief historical account of the Theory of Logical Types; and describes the problems that gave rise to it, its various different formulations (Simple and Ramified), the difficulties connected with each, and the criticisms that have been directed against it. Professor Copi seeks to make the subject accessible to the non-specialist and yet provide a sufficiently rigorous exposition for the serious student to see exactly what the theory is and how it works.
A pioneering critic, educator, and poet, I. A. Richards (1893-1979) helped the English-speaking world decide not only what to read but how to read it. Acknowledged "father" of New Criticism, he produced the most systematic body of critical writing in the English language since Coleridge. His method of close reading dominated the English-speaking classroom for half a century. John Paul Russo draws on close personal acquaintance with Richards as well as on unpublished materials, correspondence, and interviews, to write the first biography (originally published in 1989) of one of last century’s most influential and many-sided men of letters.
First published in 1978, this reissue presents a seminal philosophical work by professor Putnam, in which he puts forward a conception of knowledge which makes ethics, practical knowledge and non-mathematic parts of the social sciences just as much parts of 'knowledge' as the sciences themselves. He also rejects the idea that knowledge can be demarcated from non-knowledge by the fact that the former alone adheres to 'the scientific method'. The first part of the book consists of Professor Putnam's John Locke lectures, delivered at the University of Oxford in 1976, offering a detailed examination of a 'physicalist' theory of reference against a background of the works of Tarski, Carnap, Popper, Hempel and Kant. The analysis then extends to notions of truth, the character of linguistic enquiry and social scientific enquiry in general, interconnecting with the great metaphysical problem of realism, the nature of language and reference, and the character of ourselves.