Philosophy: Vol. 90, No. 2, April 2015.
During the period roughly of the 1950s Oxford was generally regarded as the most important center of philosophy in the world, the one where the most interesting philosophical activity was going on. It was indeed so distinctive that the very name "Oxford Philosophy" meant not just the philosophy that happened to be practiced in Oxford but a special kind of philosophy that gave a central importance to the study of language as the major topic of philosophical investigation. It is not an exaggeration to describe this period as a golden age of Oxford Philosophy. Quite by coincidence, the author's initial stay in Oxford from 1952-1959 happened to be during the high watermark of Oxford Philosophy.
Philosophy in the Inter-War Period: A Memoir, LOUIS ARNAUD REID
The following extracts come from a memoir of philosophical life between the wars and after, written in the 1970s by the Anglo-Scottish philosopher Louis Amaud Reid (1895-1986). Today Reid is best known for his writings on aesthetics and as the holder of the foundation chair in the philosophy of education at the University of London. Reid will also be familiar to those who have read A. J. Ayer's account of Ayer's appointment to the chair of philosophy at London, for Reid was the candidate strongly preferred by the philosophers on the selection committee. Reid regretted the rise of logical positivism in the later 1930s because it introduced a break with the earlier world of humane philosophical discourse. In these extracts, edited by his grandson, Reid begins by giving a sense of the breadth of topics covered in philosophical conferences in the 1920s, before sketching some of the characters involved. He mentions of course a number of figures still familiar to us, from Moore to Russell to Wittgenstein, but tries more generally to give an impression of a philosophical world which is now largely lost. These are themes he continues elsewhere in the book, where he discusses the people he knew at Edinburgh, Aberystwyth, Liverpool, Newcastle, and London.
The Importance of Understanding Each Other in Philosophy, SEBASTIAN SUNDAY GREVE
What is philosophy? How is it possible? This essay constitutes an attempt to contribute to a better understanding of what might be a good answer to either of these questions by reflecting on one particular characteristic of philosophy, specifically as it presents itself in the philosophical practice of Socrates, Plato, and Wittgenstein. The essay first describes a certain neglected aspect of the Socratic method. Then, exploring the flipside of this aspect, it shows that despite the fact that both Socrates and Wittgenstein understand their philosophical approaches as being essentially directed at the particular problems and modes of understanding that are unique to single individuals, they nevertheless aspire to philosophical understanding of the more mundane kind that is directed at the world. Finally, interpreting parts of Plato's dialogues Phaedrus and Laches, the essay further develops the case for seeing the role of mutual understanding in philosophy as fundamentally twofold, being directed both at the individual and what they say (the word), and at things that are external to this human relation at any particular moment of philosophical understanding (the world).
Philosophy: Scientific or Humanistic? JOHN KEKES
Are or should the assumptions, methods, and aims of philosophy be scientific or humanistic? This essay takes Quine to represent the view that if philosophy is done as it should be, it is scientific. A contrary view is that philosophy rightly pursued is humanistic. The essay considers Williams's defense of it. This paper's aim is to show that each view is partly right and partly wrong and to propose an alternative that includes what is right and excludes what is wrong in both views.
Making an Anthropological Case: Cognitive Dualism and the Acousmatic, FERDIA J. STONE-DAVIS
This paper examines Roger Scruton's acousmatic account of music, situating it in relation to the anthropology that accompanies it. It suggests that in order adequately to maintain the anthropology Scruton desires (a cognitive rather than an ontological dualism), and to take full account of the parallel he draws between musical and interpersonal understanding (through gesture), the materiality of music needs to be more fully integrated into his account of musical understanding.
Atheism Considered as a Christian Sect, STEPHEN R. L. CLARK
Atheists in general need share no particular political or metaphysical views, but atheists of the most modern, Western, militant sort, escaping from a merely nihilistic mindset, are usually humanists of an especially triumphalist kind. This paper offers a critical analysis and partial history of their claims, suggesting that they are members of a distinctively Christian heretical sect, formed in reaction to equally heretical forms of monotheistic idolatry.
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|Title Annotation:||Philosophical Abstracts|
|Publication:||The Review of Metaphysics|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2015|
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