The goal of the present volume is to discuss the notion of a 'conceptual framework' or 'conceptual scheme', which has been dominating much work in the analysis and justification of knowledge in recent years. More specifi cally, this volume is designed to clarify the contrast between two competing approaches in the area of problems indicated by this notion: On the one hand, we have the conviction, underlying much present-day work in the philosophy of science, that the best we can hope for in the justifi cation of empirical knowledge is to reconstruct the conceptual means actually employed by science, and to develop suitable models for analyzing conceptual change involved in the progress of science. This view involves the assumption that we should stop taking foundational questions of epistemology seriously and discard once and for all the quest for uncontrovertible truth. The result ing program of justifying epistemic claims by subsequently describing patterns of inferentially connected concepts as they are at work in actual science is closely connected with the idea of naturalizing epistemology, with concep tual relativism, and with a pragmatic interpretation of knowledge. On the other hand, recent epistemology tends to claim that no subsequent reconstruction of actually employed conceptual frameworks is sufficient for providing epistemic justification for our beliefs about the world. This second claim tries to resist the naturalistic and pragmatic approach to epistemology and insists on taking the epistemological sceptic seriously.
Transcendental Arguments and Justified Christian Belief offers an extended discussion of the characteristics of transcendental arguments and the philosophical objections that have been leveled against them. Author Ronney Mourad provides a comprehensive review of the recent philosophical literature concerning the definition and possibility of transcendental arguments and defends original positions on these issues. One function of transcendental arguments is to identify beliefs or propositions implied by any possible act of assertion. Anyone who denies the conclusions of a sound transcendental argument, defined in this way, simultaneously implies the truth of those conclusions by asserting the denial. Therefore, a sound transcendental argument produces conclusions that are distinctively universal and resistant to criticism. This book also applies transcendental argumentation to epistemological questions in Christian theology. Can Christians justify their religious beliefs? Do they even need to try? The work of Karl-Otto Apel and Franklin Gamwell serves as the starting point for the development of a transcendentally grounded conception of epistemic justification. The final chapters argue, in conversation with Schubert Ogden and Alvin Plantinga, that the obligations of epistemic justification revealed by transcendental arguments bear several implications for theological method.
Recent philosophy has seen the idea of the transcendental, first introduced in its modern form in the work of Kant, take on a new prominence. Bringing together an international range of younger philosophers and established thinkers, this volume opens up the idea of the transcendental, examining it not merely as a mode of argument, but as naming a particular problematic and a philosophical style. With contributions engaging with both analytic and continental approaches, this book will be of essential interest to philosophers and philosophy students interested in the idea of the transcendental and the part that it plays in modern and contemporary philosophy.
The idea to produce the current volume was conceived by Jiirgen Mittelstrass and Robert E. Butts in 1978. Idealist philosophers are wrong about one thing: the temporal gap separating idea and reality can be very long indeed - even ten or so years! Problems of timing were joined by personal problems and by the pressure of other professional commitments. Fortunately, James Brown agreed to cooperate in the editing of the volume; the infusion of his usual energy, good judgement and good-natured promptness saved the volume and made its produc tion possible. Despite the delays, the messages of the papers included in the book have not gone stale. An extremely worthwhile exercise in international philosophical cooperation has come to fruition; the German constructivist philosophical position is here represented in papers in English that will make its contemporary importance available to a larger audience. The editors owe thanks to many persons. All involved in the project owe much to the interest and support of Nicholas Rescher, a friend of the undertaking from the time of its inception. My review of the translations was helped immensely by Andrea Purvis' careful copy editing of the typescript. Most of all, however, we owe gratitude and admiration for the tireless efforts on behalf of this enterprise to Jiirgen Mittelstrass.
This collection contains studies on justice, juridical reasoning and argumenta tion which contributed to my ideas on the new rhetoric. My reflections on justice, from 1944 to the present day, have given rise to various studies. The ftrst of these was published in English as The Idea of Justice and the Problem of Argument (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1963). The others, of which several are out of print or have never previously been published, are reunited in the present volume. As justice is, for me, the prime example of a "confused notion", of a notion which, like many philosophical concepts, cannot be reduced to clarity without being distorted, one cannot treat it without recourse to the methods of reasoning analyzed by the new rhetoric. In actuality, these methods have long been put into practice by jurists. Legal reasoning is fertile ground for the study of argumentation: it is to the new rhetoric what mathematics is to formal logic and to the theory of demonstrative proof. It is important, then, that philosophers should not limit their methodologi cal studies to mathematics and the natural sciences. They must not neglect law in the search for practical reason. I hope that these essays lead to be a better understanding of how law can enrich philosophical thought. CH. P.
Reference and Self-reference in Contemporary Thought
Author: Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Philosophers debate the death of philosophy as much as they debate the death of God. Kant claimed responsibility for both philosophy's beginning and end, while Heidegger argued it concluded with Nietzsche. In the twentieth century, figures as diverse as John Austin and Richard Rorty have proclaimed philosophy's end, with some even calling for the advent of "postphilosophy." In an effort to make sense of these conflicting positions which often say as much about the philosopher as his subject Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel undertakes the first systematic treatment of "the end of philosophy," while also recasting the history of western thought itself. Thomas-Fogiel begins with postphilosophical claims such as scientism, which she reveals to be self-refuting, for they subsume philosophy into the branches of the natural sciences. She discovers similar issues in Rorty's skepticism and strands of continental thought. Revisiting the work of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century philosophers, when the split between analytical and continental philosophy began, Thomas-Fogiel finds both traditions followed the same path the road of reference which ultimately led to self-contradiction. This phenomenon, whether valorized or condemned, has been understood as the death of philosophy. Tracing this pattern from Quine to Rorty, from Heidegger to Levinas and Habermas, Thomas-Fogiel reveals the self-contradiction at the core of their claims while also carving an alternative path through self-reference. Trained under the French philosopher Bernard Bourgeois, she remakes philosophy in exciting new ways for the twenty-first century.
This work is in no way intended as a commentary on the second Cri tique, or even on the Analytic of that book. Instead I have limited myself to the attempt to extract the essential structure of the argument of the Analytic and to exhibit it as an instance of a transcendental argument (namely, one establishing the conditions of the possibility of a practical cognitive viewpoint). This limitation of scope has caused me, in some cases, to ignore or treat briefly concrete questions of Kant's practical philosophy that deserve much closer consideration; and in other cases it has led me to relegate questions that could not be treated briefly to appendixes ,in order not to distract from the development of the argu ment. As a result, it is the argument-structure itself that receives pri mary attention, and I think some justification should be offered for this concentration on what may seem to be a purely formal concern. One of the most common weaknesses of interpretations of Kant's works is a failure to distinguish the level of generality at which Kant's argument is being developed. This failure is particularly fatal in dealing with the Critiques, since in interpreting them it is important to keep clearly in mind that it is not this or that cognition that is at stake, but the possibility of (a certain kind of) knowledge as such.
Uniqueness of style versus plurality of styles: in terms of these aesthetic categories one of the most important differences between the recent past and the present can be described. This difference manifests itself in all spheres of life - in fashion, in everyday life, in the arts, in science. What is of interest for my purposes in this book are its manifestations in the processes of con cept formation as they occur in the humanities, broadly conceived. Here the following methodological approaches seem to dominate the scene. 1. A tendency to apply semiotic concepts in various fields of research. 2. Attempts to introduce metrical concepts and measurement, even into disciplines tra ditionally considered as unamenable to mathematical treatment, like aesthetics and theory of art. 3. Efforts to fmd ways of formulating empirically testable, operational criteria for the application of concepts, especially concepts which refer to objects directly not observable, like dispositions, attitudes, character or personality traits. Care is also taken to take advantage of the conceptual apparatus of methodology to express problems in the humanities with the highest possible degree of clarity and precision. 4. Analysis of the p~rsuasive function oflanguage and its possible uses in science and in everyday life. The above tendencies are present in this book. It is divided into two parts: I. Methods of Concept Formation, and II. Applications. In the first part some general methods of concept formation are presented and their merits discussed.