Sunday, September 22, 2013

Recommended Philosophy Videos

Linda Martín Alcoff, 2012 Presidential Address, APA, Eastern Division

Mark Alfano and Abrol Fairweather, on virtue epistemology

Danielle Allen, "Education and Equality"

Corey Anton, "Some Basic Characteristics of Language"

Corey Anton, "Language, Thought & Time"

Corey Anton, "Defining Language? Please Respond"

Corey Anton, "Boundaries between Books and Minds"

Corey Anton, "On Being a Reader"

James Cargile, "Philosophy of Logic"

Carneades.org
  The Euthyphro Dilemma
  The Gettier Problem
  In Defense of the Gettier Problem
  Properties of Relations
  Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
  Russell's Paradox
  De Re vs De Dicto Distinction
  Syntactically De Re vs Syntactically De Dicto
  Semantically De Re vs Semantically De Dicto
  Modally De Re vs Modally De Dicto
  Propositional and Categorical Logic
  Symbols and Terms (Predicate Calculus)
  Bayesian Epistemology
  Bayes' Theorem and the Monty Hall Fallacy
 
Stephen Darwall, "Making the "Hard" Problem of Moral Normativity Easier"

Jacques Derrida, "What Comes Before the Question?"

Ronald Dworkin, "Law and Political Morality"

John David Ebert, "Schelling's First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature"

Miranda Fricker, "Moral Philosophy"

Paul Fry, "Introduction to Theory of Literature"
    1.  Introduction
    2.  Introduction (cont.)
    3.  Ways In and Out of the Hermeneutic                  Circle
    4.  Configurative Reading
    5.  The Idea of the Autonomous Artwork
    6.  The New Criticism and Other Western                  Formalisms
    7.  Russian Formalism
    8.  Semiotics and Structuralism
    9.  Linguistics and Literature
    10. Deconstruction I
    11. Deconstruction II
    12. Freud and Fiction
    13. Jacques Lacan in Theory
    14. Influence
    15. The Postmodern Psyche
    16. The Social Permeability of Reader and                Text
    17. The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory
    18. The Political Unconscious
    19. The New Historicism
    20. The Classical Feminist Tradition
    21. African-American Criticism
    22. Post-Colonial Criticism
    23. Queer Theory and Gender Performativity
    24. The Institutional Construction of Literary               Study
    25. The End of Theory? Neo-Pragmatism
    26. Reflections; Who Doesn't Hate Theory                 Now?

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, "The Subject of Language"

Julia Galef, "What is 'Rationality'?"

Christopher Gauker, on Language

Tamar Gendler and Eric Schwitzgebel, on implicit associations and belief

Elizabeth Grosz, Keynote Address at the 2007 Feminist Theory Workshop

Thich Nhat Hanh, "What is Nirvana?"

Annabelle Lever, on "Greening Humanity"

Jennifer McWeeny, "Feminist Ontology for the Twenty-First Century"

Charles Mills, "Does Race Exist?"

Charles Mills, "Liberalism and Racial Justice"

Authors@Google: Steven Pinker

Thomas Pogge, "Global Justice: What are the Responsibilities of Citizens?"

Ryan Preston-Roedder, "Three Varieties of Faith"

Michael Puett, "On Zhuangzi in Relation to Confucius"

Avital Ronell, in "Examined Life" (2008)
                         
Thomas Scanlon, "Ethics of Blame"

John Searle, interviewed by Bryan Magee, on the Philosophy of Language: Section 1

John Searle, interviewed by Bryan Magee, on the Philosophy of Language: Section 2

John Searle, interviewed by Bryan Magee, on the Philosophy of Language: Section 3

John Searle, interviewed by Bryan Magee, on the Philosophy of Language, Section 4

John Searle, interviewed by Bryan Magee, on the Philosophy of Language, Section 5

Galen Strawson, "What is the Subject-Experience-Content Identity Thesis?"

John Turri, "Virtue Epistemology & Intellectual Character"

Jennifer Lisa Vest, "Gyeke. Akan Concept of a Person"

Jennifer Lisa Vest, "Hume. The Idea of the Self," part 1

Jennifer Lisa Vest, "Hume. The Idea of the Self." part 2

Edmond Wright, "Narrative, Perception, Language, and Faith"

George Yancy, "Ferris Reynolds Lecture"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Nicolai Hartmann's Outlines of a Metaphysics of Knowledge


Nicolai Hartmann’s Outlines of a Metaphysics of Knowledge (Grundzüge einer Metaphysik der Erkenntnis, 1921) is perhaps his most important work in the field of epistemology. It was published early in his career, when he was teaching at the University of Marburg (where he was a professor from 1922-1925), and it describes the relation between epistemology and ontology. It has not, as of 2013, been published in English.
      In the Metaphysics, Hartmann describes four different sides to the problem of knowledge: (1) the psychological, (2) the logical, (3) the ontological, and (4) the gnoseological. The first two sides constitute the non-metaphysical side of the problem of knowledge, while the last two constitute the metaphysical side of the problem of knowledge. The first three constitute the “wider problem of knowledge,” while the last one constitutes the “narrower problem of knowledge.”
      The metaphysical side of knowledge is also metapsychological and metalogical in orientation, and thus it is closely connected to the non-metaphysical side of knowledge.1
      The psychological side of knowledge is represented by the fact that knowledge may be described as a psychological process or event. A knowing subject, just as much as a known object, is essential to any act of knowledge. But just as psychology adheres to the side of the subject, so does logic adhere to the side of the object.2 Just as psychology is concerned with a psychological event or process in the subject, so is logic concerned with the logical contents or structure of the object. Thus, the logical side of knowledge is represented by the fact that knowledge has an objective and not merely subjective character.3
      Psychologism may be described as a tendency to see all knowledge as dependent on, or explicable in terms of, psychological events or processes, while logicism may be described as a tendency to see all knowledge as dependent on, or explicable in terms of, logical relations. Hartmann argues that both psychologism and logicism, because of their inability to address important ontological and gnoseological questions, may lead to misunderstanding of the problem of knowledge.
      According to Hartmann, the problem of knowledge is inseparable from the phenomenon of knowledge, and thus the aporetics of knowledge can only be fully illuminated by investigation of the phenomenology of knowledge. The analysis of the problem of knowledge goes hand in hand with the analysis of the phenomenon of knowledge. Since the “narrower problem of knowledge” is also inseparable from the problem of being, epistemology may be inseparable from both phenomenology and ontology.
      The phenomenology of knowledge may define the relation between the knower and the known, and between the subject and object of knowledge. In the relation of knowledge (Erkenntnisrelation), as long as the object is independent of the subject and of the subject’s knowing, the object may be said to have a being-in-itself (Ansichsein).4 The object is inseparable from the subject only insofar as it is known or knowable. As long as it has a being-in-itself, the object is indifferent toward its objectification or objectifiability.5
      Similarly, the subject in the relation of knowledge has a being-in-itself and does not simply merge into being a subject for an object. The subject’s being-in-itself is initially only a gnoseological one, but it becomes a psychological, logical, and ontological one as well.6
      The form of the object in the consciousness of the subject is determined by the subject’s grasping (or knowing) of the object. The determinations of the object that lie within the consciousness of the subject are those that are graspable or knowable by the subject. Those that lie outside the (floating) boundary of objectification or knowledge constitute the “transobjective,” and those that lie outside the boundary of objectifiability or knowability constitute the “irrational” or “transintelligible.”7
      The “transsubjective” is analogous to the “transobjective” in the relation of knowledge. Just as the object of knowledge never merges into being merely an object for a subject and always has a being-in-itself, so also does the subject always in some way subsist independently as that which is in-itself.
      The aporetics of knowedge arise from the “general aporia of knowledge,” from which in turn arise six other aporias: (1) the aporia of perception and givenness, (2) the aporia of a priori knowledge, (3) the aporia of the criterion of knowledge, (4) the aporia of the problem of consciousness, (5) the aporia of the progress of knowledge, and (6) the aporia of being (the ontological aporia behind the gnoseological aporia).
      The general aporia of knowledge arises from the dynamic and changing opposition of subject and object. This opposition is reflected by such questions as: What kind of relation can exist between the subject and object, if they transcend each other by subsisting independently outside of their relation? From what source comes to the originally separated subject and object the unity that is posited in their relation as knower and known? How is such a relation possible? Does the phenomenon of knowledge emerge from the transcendence of subject and object, or does the transcendence of subject and object emerge from the phenomenon of knowledge?8
      The aporia of perception and givenness is reflected by such questions as: If an object must somehow be given to a perceiving subject in order for its properties to be known by the subject, then how can it be given to the subject if it transcends the subject and the relation of knowledge? —Either its givenness must be merely appearance or its transcendence must be merely appearance.9
      The aporia of a priori knowledge is reflected by such questions as: How can it be that for aprioristic knowledge only logical-immanent and ideal forms of essence are given to knowing consciousness, and that these forms of essence are indifferent to the real essence of the actual?  How can that which is grasped as ideal essence be indifferent to the real essence that transcends it? This indifference, according to Hartmann, is the focal point of the problem of transcendent apriority.10 Immanent apriority, or aprioristic knowledge of ideal objects, depends on the intersubjective identity of categories of knowledge and categories of being, but transcendent apriority, or aprioristic knowledge of real objects, depends on the transcendent identity of categories of knowledge and categories of being.11
      The aporia of the criterion of knowledge is reflected by such questions as: How can the perceiving subject know whether the immanent form of the object in consciousness corresponds to the transcendent object? If the subject can only determine whether the immanent form of the object corresponds to other immanent forms and cannot determine whether the immanent form corresponds to the transcendent object, then there may be no valid criterion of knowledge. 
      The aporia of the problem of consciousness is expressed by such questions as: How is knowledge possible of that which is unknown? How can objectification of the “transobjective” occur, without the latter as such being abolished?12
      The aporia of the progress of knowledge is reflected by such questions as: From knowledge that something is unknown, how can positive knowledge of that thing be attained?  From inadequate knowledge of an object, how can we arrive at adequate knowledge of that object?
      The aporia of being is expressed by such questions as: What is the ontological relation behind the gnoseological relation of knower and known? What is “that which is” (Seinde), insofar as it is independent of all knowability? What is the positive meaning of the “transintelligible”?
      Hartmann distinguishes between the “transintelligible” and the “mystical” by saying that the "mystical" can be an object of revelation, intuition, and ecstatic apprehension.13 The "mystical" is therefore knowable, even though it may not be completely understood. The “transintelligible,” on the other hand, is incapable of being objectified, and is unknowable.


 FOOTNOTES

1Nicolai Hartmann, Grundzüge einer Metaphysik der Erkenntnis (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1921), p. 11.
2Ibid., p. 19.
3Ibid., p. 19.
4Ibid., pp. 39-40.
5Ibid., p. 40.
6Ibid., p. 41.
7Ibid., p. 47.
8Ibid., p. 49.
9Ibid., p. 51.
10Ibid., pp. 52-53.
11Ibid., p. 286.
12Ibid., p. 53.
13Ibid., p. 57.