This is Eric Schliesser's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Eric Schliesser's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Eric Schliesser
Recent Activity
Platoʼs Socrates sometimes conveys the impression that one cannot be truly virtuous without being in possession of a philosophical theory about the nature of virtue, or goodness. From a Christian point of view, however, living well (morally and otherwise) does not depend so much on philosophical understanding as on life... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Digressions&Impressions
Yes, Lewis, I think that is an important skill that can be taught in history courses. A related skill is that one learns to become self-aware of one's often tacit assumptions and commitments as one struggles to understand another in order to generate sympathetic interpretation. (In the post I was not really focused on what skills can be taught by way of history, but I agree it's an important oversight.)
Ed, I am afraid that I am unfamiliar with relevant literature that I would have to research from scratch. So I could only do it by co-authoring with an expert in the field. Any suggestions?
One deflationary but non-trivial way to understand the role of historians of philosophy in the profession is as teachers that recruit the next generation of students by teaching some of the most enjoyable and exciting bits of philosophy (think Plato, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Wollstonecraft, Nietzsche, etc). A nice side-effect of... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Yes, the idea is to bracket that (perhaps incoherent) notion while I can isolate the features of philosophy that are not parasitic on science (or images of scientific philosophy, etc.)
In the days after humanity miraculously avoided nuclear annihilation in the wars and turmoil subsequent the permanent disruption of global ecology and trade patterns in the light of global warming,* the Guardians of Humanity re-discovered the work of Heather Douglas and George Smith, and they organized the sciences in such... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Neil, I missed your comment before (apologies for slow response). In philosophy Australia stopped being in the periphery in the period that David Lewis found his second (intellectual) home there. So, I would expect/predict that citation rates for Australians would have converged since. But, yes, there might be ways to test empirical hypotheses in the vicinity of my claim by cleverly using data from both English and non-English speaking countries.
This review could similarly end on the mild, modest verdict that Mele has done his job and done it well. But there is a larger context worth considering.... The science may be of the highest quality, honestly and sincerely reported, but do remember that the message delivered was the message... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
Her commitment to forging continuity between disparate, disjointed systems is what seems important. In this sense, she's a philosopher, pushing the situations that she creates toward a zany syncretism. While Jan Ader's appeal to the present seems wistfully fey, Krystufek's work is more confrontational: she creates fabulous messes and imparts... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Digressions&Impressions
A few years ago, Gereon Wolters initiated public discussion among philosophers of science about the "ever increasing use of the English language also in the humanities, and here particularly in disciplines like logic and philosophy of science." (I am quoting from his 2013 paper, which refers back to the discussion... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions
It's not impossible, of course. Frank Knight, especially, was very well read in German philosophy. But I think Pareto is the common source here. I also think there is a shared Weberian background. (But, of course, the Weber-Vaihinger connection is also worth exploring.) But I'll keep an eye out for Vaihinger in Knight (who tends to be generous in his citations)>
But this, measured by the standard of natural science, is not very far. There are no data for a science of conduct in a sense analogous to natural science. The data of conduct are provisional, shifting, and special to individual, unique situations in so high a degree that generalization is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions
Our Indian government need not proselytize to offend the religious feelings of the people, for when confined to its most strictly civil functions it will do so equally. And so it has been found already in the few feeble efforts that have made to establish civil justice. Our mistake has... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions
Thank you, David, for not keeping me in suspense about the presence of Spinozism in your book. Yes, the Kantianism is (as I note in the post) very visible in the Sermons. Anyway, I look forward to using your work as a guide in my explorations of Green.
I look forward to reading it, Aaron! (Does he mention the Spinozist connection?)
For the truth of any practical idea the only possible evidence is its realisation—T.H. Green (1870) "The Witness of God" (16) The event can only be approached through a series of fluctuating interpretations of it, behind which its original nature cannot be clearly ascertained.—T.H. Green "The Witness of God" (26)... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions
Hegel aside, philosophy was never the easy path for Sedgwick. As a graduate student in UChicago’s Department of Philosophy, she was one of only two women in her cohort—the other dropped out after the first year—and there were no female faculty members. (Today, four of the deparment’s 20 tenure-track faculty... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions
In his correspondence with (a then very youthful) Joseph Butler, Samuel Clarke writes the following: Necessity absolute and antecedent in the order of nature to the existence of any subject has nothing to limit it; but if it operates at all (as must needs do), it must operate (if I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions
Michael, Adamson explicitly appeals to work done in philology, so there is quite a bit of shared methods with other historical enterprises in his work. Moreover, I point to the views of Laerke, Smith, Goldenbaum amongst others and all of them advocate drawing on methods and results of other disciplines, including anthropology, intellectual history, and archeology. So, I think if you allowed yourself to investigate further, you may be surprised by what you find.
An abusive relationship is a closed loop. So is a professional network. So is the patriarchy.... Without exception, every single one of these men is still working—writing, publishing, editing, teaching—today. These men do not work, or live, or act in a vacuum. Unless they are masterminds or psychopaths (and they... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions
Peter, yes, I argue that thinking about what you nicely call 'joint meaning' of different texts is often key to the significance of the history of philosophy. (Mogens Laerke has written very insight-fully about methods that might disclose such joint meaning.)
A preface (co-written with Zvi Biener), defending the title 'Newton and Empiricism,' has come under fire from the Otago-school (see this post by Kirsten Walsh). The Otago-school insists that 'empiricism' is anachronistic and that we need to use a distinction between experimental and speculative philosophers (they use the acronym ESD)... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions
When I wear my 'philosophy of economics' hat, I do philosophy of economics with an interest in the 'practice' of economists, (and with an unusually strong interest in the history of economics).* I do so in order to make philosophical claims about, among other things, decision theories or social ontology,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions
I am not inclined the defend the PGR rankings in terms of benefits to the prospective students.
In the imagination there is no daylight and, Like Wallace Stevens, I know the dark is crucial. I sing, I grieve in it, I dream what haunts each night: These bodies, even lynched, still are thinking. Nothing is final, I’m told. No man shall see the end— But them, my... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2014 at Digressions&Impressions