Wundervölker, Monstrosität und Hässlichkeit im Mittelalter (German Edition)

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  • John Dewey.
  • Spiritual Sailor.
  • Pragmatism Cybrary;
  • Rorty, Richard | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

George G. The Arithmetic of Life and Death. George Shaffner. Philosophy, Psychoanalysis and Emancipation. Herbert Marcuse. Michael Bacon. The Fate of Law. Austin Sarat. Sociological Theory. Bert N. Law and the Humanities. From Bakunin to Lacan. Saul Newman. Deleuze and Pragmatism. Simone Bignall. The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. Rudolf Steiner.

The Rise of Anthropological Theory. Marvin Harris. Hannah Arendt. Phillip Hansen. Pragmatism's Advantage. He decried traditional systems which, in their pursuit of rational access to truth and reality, create an invidious distinction by casting emotion as confused thought, distraction, or bodily interference which needs to be suppressed, controlled, or bracketed.

Emotion is intertwined, psychologically, both in the individual in reasoning and acting , and in the wider culture with social forms of meaning creation. Attempts to balkanize emotion are motivated in part, he argued, by the desire to segregate leisure from labor, men from women; on this reading, the traditional rationalistic bent is, in effect, a power-play that deserves intellectual and moral critique.

As with other psychic phenomena, sentience emerges through the transactions of organisms in natural environments. Methods successful in the past, pre-organized responses, sometimes fail. In such cases, we become ambivalent—divided against ourselves about what to do next. In other words, inhibition creates ambivalence, and ambivalence makes possible new ways of considering alternatives; crude, physical situations take on qualitatively new complexities of meaning.

Thus, Dewey wrote, sentiency or feeling. EN , LW1: At this stage, the new relationships are not yet known ; they do, however, provide the conditions for knowing. Symbolization, language, is the next step in liberating these noticed relationships using intellectual tools including abstraction, memory, and imagination EN , LW1: Dewey rejected both traditional accounts of mind-as-substance or container and more contemporary schemes reducing mind to brain states EN , LW1: — Rather, mind is activity, a range of dynamic processes of interaction between organism and world.

Consider the range connoted by mind: as memory I am re mind ed of X ; attention I keep her in mind , I mind my manners ; purpose I have an aim in mind ; care or solicitude I mind the child ; paying heed I mind the traffic stop. It is. It never denotes anything self-contained, isolated from the world of persons and things, but is always used with respect to situations, events, objects, persons and groups. AE , LW — As Wittgenstein entry on Wittgenstein, section on rule-following and private language pointed out 30 years later, no private language see entry on private language is possible given this account of meaning.

While meanings might be privately entertained, they are not privately invented; meanings are social and emerge from symbol systems arising through collective communication and action EN , LW1: Active, complex animals are sentient due to the variety of distinctive connections they have with their environment. With language, creatures can identify and differentiate feelings as feelings, objects as objects, etc.

Without language, the qualities of organic action that are feelings are pains, pleasures, odors, colors, noises, tones, only potentially and proleptically.

Major theses of philosophic pragmatism

With language they are discriminated and identified. No longer our spark of divinity, as some ancients held, it is also rescued from merely being a ghost in a machine. Mind becomes vital , investigating and addressing problems, and inventing new tools, aims, and ideals. Like mind, consciousness is also a verb—the brisk transitioning of felt, qualitative events. In the end, however, Dewey did not believe a fully adequate account of consciousness could be captured in words. Dewey, then, did not define consciousness, but evoked it using contrasts and instances.

Given the processual, active nature of our psychology, Dewey was forced to depict consciousness with a dynamic, organismic vocabulary. Consciousness is thinking-in-motion, an ever-reconfiguring event series that is qualitatively felt as experience transforms. Consciousness is drama; mind is the indispensable back story. This back story is not radically subjective; it is social, constituted by communities past and present.

Dewey also tried to get at consciousness performatively, so to speak; he provoked the reader to consider the nature of consciousness while reading. Initially, it contributed to his idealism and psychology. Dewey advanced this in the Carus Lectures, revised and expanded in his metaphysical magnum opus, Experience and Nature , revised edition, ; EN , LW1. Keep three influences in mind. Second, recall that Dewey took from James a radically empirical approach to philosophy—the insistence that perspectival experience, including that called personal , emotional , or temperamental , was philosophically relevant and worth factoring into abstract and logical theories.

Finally, recall that Dewey accepted from Hegel experience as manifested in particular social, historical, and cultural modes. Not only is the self constituted through experiential transactions with the community, but this recognition vitiates the Cartesian model of the simple, atomic self and methods based upon that presumption. Philosophy may start where we start, personally — with complex, symbolic, and cultural forms—and then articulate further emergences from them.

More than just another node in a system, experience also amounted to a metaphilosophical method , a way of doing philosophy. Within this Weltanschauung , philosophy was not a rational bridge to transcend life, but was equipment for living. Thus, clarifying what experience meant assumed the greatest importance, insofar as this was vital to philosophy earning back its status as a wisdom which might aid survival, growth, and flourishing.

Dewey recognized this and commented about it toward the end of his life. It was typical for many philosophers to construe experience narrowly, as the private contents of consciousness. These contents might be perceptions sensing , or reflections calculating, associating, imagining done by the subjective mind.

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Some, such as Plato and Descartes, denigrated experience as a flux which confused or diverted rational inquiry. Others, such as Hume and Locke, thought that experience as atomic sensations provided the mind at least some resources for knowing, albeit with reduced ambitions. Both general philosophical approaches agreed that percepts and concepts were different and in tension; they agreed that sensation was perspectival and context-relative; they also agreed that this relativity problematized the assumed mission of philosophy—to know with certainty—and differed only about the degree of the problem.

Dewey disputed the shared empiricist conviction that sensations are categorically separable contents of consciousness. Regarding the phenomenon of mental privacy, Dewey argued that while we have episodes of what might be called mental interiority, it a latter human development. Regarding sensorial atomicity, discussed previously in the section on psychology , Dewey explained sensation as embedded in a larger sensori-motor circuit, a transaction which should not be quarantined to any single phase—nor to consciousness. Dewey levied similar criticisms against traditional accounts of reflective thought.

Mind is neither static nor a substance which stands, somehow, apart from the body—or from history, from culture. Rather, reasoning is always permeated with both feelings and practical exigencies. First, experience exhibits a fundamentally experimental character. This was impressed upon Dewey in a variety of his educational roles.

Dewey calls such experience direct, primary, or had.

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Known experience abstracts away from had or direct experience in purposeful and selective ways; knowing isolates certain relations or connections. Some take place with only a minimum of regulation, with little foresight, preparation and intent. Others occur because, in part, of the prior occurrence of intelligent action. Both kinds are had ; they are undergone, enjoyed or suffered. The first are not known; they are not understood; they are dispensations of fortune or providence. The second have, as they are experienced, meanings that present the funded outcome of operations that substitute definite continuity for experienced discontinuity and for the fragmentary quality due to isolation.

QC , LW4: [ 12 ]. Much in experience is unknown to us without being illusory or merely apparent; we are not trapped in a cave full of illusions with only rational dialectic to yank us upwards. Rather, we engage and cope with a world which is not completely meaningful. We strive to make the world more meaningful, but while some of the meanings devised assist in prediction and control of circumstances, others are simply enjoyed—but that does not make them less real.

Philosophy, too, is a form of activity—which means that we need to do philosophy differently; we need pay attention to where and how we start; in this sense, experience is a method. If Dewey says that experience happens in both primary felt, had and secondary reflective, known ways, why not start with theory?

Is that not experience, too? As we live our lives, we confront problems which invoke the need for inquiry and, often, there is a need to devise a tool of explanation and amelioration. Theory is that tool, generated by these encounters; it does not come first. As did James and Peirce before him, Dewey challenged not only the theories of previous philosophers, but the assumptions informing their methods.

In his philosophical work, Dewey criticized any number of these presuppositions, but here his point is metaphilosophical—how these conceptions enter into the practice of philosophy as presuppositions. Too often philosophy puts the theoretical cart before the practical horse.

We simply cannot know—and should not assume—which terms and theories are necessary for an analysis of a novel situation. Nevertheless, much philosophy has assumed such necessities. It has produced endless dialectical exchanges; it has caricatured and hollowed out many complex and changeable subject matters.

Intellectual products come, then, from earlier inquiries, which possessed their own parameters and purposes.

Full text issues

Whatever theory is eventually devised for a new situation—and Dewey is not against theory, to be very clear—it must be checked against ordinary experience EN , LW1: The experiential or denotative method tells us that we must go behind the refinements and elaborations of reflective experience to the gross and compulsory things of our doings, enjoyments and sufferings—to the things that force us to labor, that satisfy needs, that surprise us with beauty, that compel obedience under penalty. Such a method is truly critical , because it forces inquirers to check previous interpretations and judgments against their live encounters in a new situation EN , LW1: This entails that philosophy as a practice impose upon itself a much more radical and dynamic model of theorizing, one pressed into much closer transactions with existing practices and problems.

From the beginning, Dewey sought to critique and reconstruct metaphysical concepts e. Like his fellow pragmatists Peirce, James, and Mead, Dewey sought to transform not eradicate metaphysics. His dormant interest in metaphysics was revivified at Columbia by his colleague F. Unlike other metaphysics, Dewey explicitly said that metaphysics served something further —criticism. EN looks to existing characteristics of human culture, anthropologically, to see what they reveal, more generally, about nature. While this entry lacks space for even a bare summary, it is worth noting that EN begins with an extensive discussion of method and experience as a new starting point for philosophy.

An extensive presentation of the generic traits follows, which, in due course, evokes and informs discussions regarding science, technology, body, mind, language, art, and value. Since Dewey is a pragmatist and meliorist, it is worth asking: How can metaphysics contribute to the world beyond academic philosophy? EN , LW1: Dewey raises the issue, prophylactically:. As a statement of the generic traits manifested by existences of all kinds without regard to their differentiation into physical and mental, [metaphysics] seems to have nothing to do with criticism and choice, with an effective love of wisdom.

The activity of metaphysical map-making fits in with the more engaged role Dewey envisioned for philosophers. Metaphysical maps draw from contemporary circumstances and purposes, so they would not promise certainty or permanency. Just as physical maps must be redrawn based on changing needs and purposes, so would metaphysical maps; in the meantime, hopefully, criticism is sharpened and value is more effectively secured.

Critics often overlooked that his position was aiming to undercut prevailing metaphysical genres; often, his view was just aligned with one or another existing position. He was taken, variously, as in league with realism, idealism, relativism, subjectivism, etc. See Hildebrand Qualities are immediate, while relations are mediate; how could both coexist in the same item of experience?

In recent years, some specialists in pragmatism and American philosophy have debated whether Dewey should have engaged in metaphysics at all. Others have argued that Dewey invented a genuinely new approach to metaphysics which avoided old problems while contributing something salutary to culture at large Myers forthcoming, Garrison , Boisvert a, Alexander forthcoming. The interactional, organic model Dewey developed in his psychology informed his theories of learning and knowledge.

Seen from this standpoint, change and transformation are natural features of the actual world, and knowledge and logic are ways to adapt, survive, and thrive.


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  8. The vitality of the world in which we reason, its dynamic and biological basis, is more informative about knowledge and truth than the paradigms of physics or mathematics, historically celebrated by philosophy. The test of validity of [an] idea is its functional or instrumental use in effecting the transition from a relatively conflicting experience to a relatively integrated one. Studies , MW2: Thus, instrumentalism abandons all psycho-physical dualisms and all correspondentist theories of knowing. In the logical process the datum is not just external existence, and the idea mere psychical existence.

    Both are modes of existence—one of given existence, the other of possible , of inferred existence…. In other words, datum and ideatum are divisions of labor, cooperative instrumentalities, for economical dealing with the problem of the maintenance of the integrity of experience. Studies , MW2: — Classical empiricists insisted that the origins of knowledge lay in sensory experience.

    They were motivated, in part, by the concern that rationalistic accounts, seeking to trace knowledge to thought alone rather than particular, independent sense stimuli , were too unchecked. Without the limits imposed by sense experience, philosophy would continue to produce wild and divergent dogmatisms.

    There was in classical empiricism, as in Dewey, a genuine interest in scientific progress; for science to advance, it needed to escape unfettered speculation. Rationalists, in contrast, argued that knowledge was by nature both abstract and deductively certain. Consider, for a moment, your sensory experiences: they are fluid, individualized, and permeated by the relativity borne of innumerable external conditions.

    How could a philosophical account of genuine knowledge—necessarily certain, self-evident, and unchanging—be derived using a method so besotted with sensorial flux?

    Knowledge must derive, rather, from inner concepts, which could be certain. Kant responded to the empiricist-rationalist tension by reigning in their overweening ambitions; he argued that philosophy must stop attempting to transcend the limits of thought and experience. Kant, then, refused an originary role to either percepts or concepts, arguing instead that sense and reason are co-constitutive of knowledge. More important, Kant argued that what epistemology requires is an account of the mind as a systematic and constructive force.

    Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token. Have Institutional Access? Forgot your password? Get Permissions. Abstract The rise of pragmatism in environmental ethics in the s was driven by several factors, including dissatisfaction with the field's dominant nonanthropocentrism and the desire to increase the political and policy influence of environmental ethics.

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