ma thesis on critical discourse analysis

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Ma thesis on critical discourse analysis



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In Marxism, the dialectical method of historical study became intertwined with historical materialism , the school of thought exemplified by the works of Marx, Engels, and Vladimir Lenin. In the USSR, under Joseph Stalin , Marxist dialectics became "diamat" short for dialectical materialism , a theory emphasizing the primacy of the material way of life; social "praxis" over all forms of social consciousness; and the secondary, dependent character of the "ideal".

The term "dialectical materialism" was coined by the 19th-century social theorist Joseph Dietzgen who used the theory to explain the nature of socialism and social development. The original populariser of Marxism in Russia, Georgi Plekhanov used the terms "dialectical materialism" and "historical materialism" interchangeably. For Lenin, the primary feature of Marx's "dialectical materialism" Lenin's term was its application of materialist philosophy to history and social sciences.

Lenin's main input in the philosophy of dialectical materialism was his theory of reflection, which presented human consciousness as a dynamic reflection of the objective material world that fully shapes its contents and structure. Later, Stalin's works on the subject established a rigid and formalistic division of Marxist—Leninist theory in the dialectical materialism and historical materialism parts.

While the first was supposed to be the key method and theory of the philosophy of nature, the second was the Soviet version of the philosophy of history. A dialectical method was fundamental to Marxist politics, e. Soviet academics, notably Evald Ilyenkov and Zaid Orudzhev , continued pursuing unorthodox philosophic study of Marxist dialectics; likewise in the West, notably the philosopher Bertell Ollman at New York University.

A very simple process, which is taking place everywhere and every day, which any child can understand as soon as it is stripped of the veil of mystery in which it was enveloped by the old idealist philosophy. In Dialectics of Nature , Engels said:. Probably the same gentlemen who up to now have decried the transformation of quantity into quality as mysticism and incomprehensible transcendentalism will now declare that it is indeed something quite self-evident, trivial, and commonplace, which they have long employed, and so they have been taught nothing new.

But to have formulated for the first time in its universally valid form a general law of development of Nature, society, and thought, will always remain an act of historic importance. Marxist dialectics is exemplified in Das Kapital Capital , which outlines two central theories: i surplus value and ii the materialist conception of history; Marx explains dialectical materialism:. In its rational form, it is a scandal and abomination to bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension an affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time, also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.

Class struggle is the primary contradiction to be resolved by Marxist dialectics, because of its central role in the social and political lives of a society. Nonetheless, Marx and Marxists developed the concept of class struggle to comprehend the dialectical contradictions between mental and manual labor, and between town and country. Hence, philosophic contradiction is central to the development of dialectics — the progress from quantity to quality, the acceleration of gradual social change; the negation of the initial development of the status quo ; the negation of that negation; and the high-level recurrence of features of the original status quo.

As the most comprehensive and profound doctrine of development, and the richest in content, Hegelian dialectics was considered by Marx and Engels the greatest achievement of classical German philosophy But, to acknowledge this fundamental thought in words, and to apply it in reality in detail to each domain of investigation, are two different things For dialectical philosophy nothing is final, absolute, sacred. It reveals the transitory character of everything and in everything; nothing can endure before it, except the uninterrupted process of becoming and of passing away, of endless ascendancy from the lower to the higher.

And dialectical philosophy, itself, is nothing more than the mere reflection of this process in the thinking brain. Lenin describes his dialectical understanding of the concept of development :. A development that repeats, as it were, stages that have already been passed, but repeats them in a different way, on a higher basis "the negation of the negation" , a development, so to speak, that proceeds in spirals, not in a straight line; a development by leaps, catastrophes, and revolutions; "breaks in continuity"; the transformation of quantity into quality; inner impulses towards development, imparted by the contradiction and conflict of the various forces and tendencies acting on a given body, or within a given phenomenon, or within a given society; the interdependence and the closest and indissoluble connection between all aspects of any phenomenon history constantly revealing ever new aspects , a connection that provides a uniform, and universal process of motion, one that follows definite laws — these are some of the features of dialectics as a doctrine of development that is richer than the conventional one.

Sartre stated:. Existentialism , like Marxism , addresses itself to experience in order to discover there concrete syntheses. It can conceive of these syntheses only within a moving, dialectical totalisation, which is nothing else but history or—from the strictly cultural point of view adopted here—'philosophy-becoming-the world'. Dialectical naturalism is a term coined by American philosopher Murray Bookchin to describe the philosophical underpinnings of the political program of social ecology.

Dialectical naturalism explores the complex interrelationship between social problems, and the direct consequences they have on the ecological impact of human society. Bookchin offered dialectical naturalism as a contrast to what he saw as the "empyrean, basically antinaturalistic dialectical idealism" of Hegel, and "the wooden, often scientistic dialectical materialism of orthodox Marxists". A dialectical relationship of harmony between religion and science is presented, wherein science and religion are described as complementary, mutually dependent, and indispensable knowledge systems.

He also admonished that true religion must conform to the conclusions of science. Nevertheless the principled dialectical approach to harmony between science and religion is not unlike social ecology 's implementation of dialectical naturalism to moderate the extremes of scientifically unverified idealisms with scientific insight. Neo-orthodoxy , in Europe also known as theology of crisis and dialectical theology, [54] [55] is an approach to theology in Protestantism that was developed in the aftermath of the First World War — It is characterized as a reaction against doctrines of 19th-century liberal theology and a more positive reevaluation of the teachings of the Reformation , much of which had been in decline especially in western Europe since the late 18th century.

In dialectical theology the difference and opposition between God and human beings is stressed in such a way that all human attempts at overcoming this opposition through moral, religious or philosophical idealism must be characterized as 'sin'. In the death of Christ humanity is negated and overcome, but this judgment also points forwards to the resurrection in which humanity is reestablished in Christ.

For Barth this meant that only through God's 'no' to everything human can his 'yes' be perceived. Applied to traditional themes of Protestant theology, such as double predestination , this means that election and reprobation cannot be viewed as a quantitative limitation of God's action. Rather it must be seen as its "qualitative definition". Dialectic prominently figured in Bernard Lonergan 's philosophy, in his books Insight and Method in Theology.

For Lonergan, dialectic is both individual and operative in community. Simply described, it is a dynamic process that results in something new:. For the sake of greater precision, let us say that a dialectic is a concrete unfolding of linked but opposed principles of change. Thus there will be a dialectic if 1 there is an aggregate of events of a determinate character, 2 the events may be traced to either or both of two principles, 3 the principles are opposed yet bound together, and 4 they are modified by the changes that successively result from them.

Dialectic is one of the eight functional specialties Lonergan envisaged for theology to bring this discipline into the modern world. Lonergan believed that the lack of an agreed method among scholars had inhibited substantive agreement from being reached and progress from being made compared to the natural sciences.

Karl Rahner , S. Karl Popper has attacked the dialectic repeatedly. In , he wrote and delivered a paper entitled "What Is Dialectic? It should remind us that philosophy should not be made a basis for any sort of scientific system and that philosophers should be much more modest in their claims. One task which they can fulfill quite usefully is the study of the critical methods of science " Ibid.

In section 17 of his "addenda" to The Open Society , entitled "Facts, Standards and Truth: A Further Criticism of Relativism", Popper refused to moderate his criticism of the Hegelian dialectic, arguing that it "played a major role in the downfall of the liberal movement in Germany [ The philosopher of science and physicist Mario Bunge repeatedly criticized Hegelian and Marxian dialectics, calling them "fuzzy and remote from science" [65] and a "disastrous legacy".

Since the late 20th century, European and American logicians have attempted to provide mathematical foundations for dialectic through formalisation, [67] : — although logic has been related to dialectic since ancient times. Building on theories of defeasible reasoning see John L. Pollock , systems have been built that define well-formedness of arguments, rules governing the process of introducing arguments based on fixed assumptions, and rules for shifting burden. Dialectic itself can be formalised as moves in a game, where an advocate for the truth of a proposition and an opponent argue.

Mathematician William Lawvere interpreted dialectics in the setting of categorical logic in terms of adjunctions between idempotent monads. For example, the Curry-Howard equivalence is such an adjunction or more generally the duality between closed monoidal categories and their internal logic. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. For varieties of language, see Dialect. For electrical insulators, see Dielectric.

Discourse method for resolving disagreement by reasoned argument. Main article: Socratic method. See also: Dialectical phenomenology and Logical holism. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. This section contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry.

Please help improve the article by presenting facts as a neutrally worded summary with appropriate citations. Consider transferring direct quotations to Wikiquote or, for entire works, to Wikisource. January Theoretical works. Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Economic determinism Historical materialism Marx's dialectic Marx's method Philosophy of nature. Related topics.

Related categories. Major works. Notable theorists. Important concepts. This section is transcluded from Logic and dialectic History. This section is transcluded from Logic and dialectic Defeasibility. This section is transcluded from Logic and dialectic Dialog games. Main articles: Game semantics and Dialogical logic.

Philosophy portal Psychology portal. Connors Classical Rhetoric For the Modern Student 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN A Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers. A commentary on Hegel's logic. University of Oxford, Department for Continuing Education.

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Aristotle's Rhetoric. Page Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Page 4. The Catholic encyclopedia: an international work of reference on the constitution, doctrine, and history of the Catholic church. New York: The Encyclopedia press, inc. Page — Retrieved Thomas Aquinas".

Philosophy of religion. New York: Ronald Press Co. Critique of pure reason. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Prometheus Books. Also see Hegel's preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit , trans. Miller Oxford: Clarendon Press, , secs. Voting Laws , 42 U. Dayton L. Alan Bass, translator. University of Chicago Books. The Logic. Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences.

London: Oxford University Press. Hegel's Science of Logic. Retrieved 28 December Negation of the Negation. I, Afterword to the Second German Edition. Progress Publishers, Moscow, Hazel Barnes, Vintage Books".

Oxford, UK: Oneworld Publications. Archived from the original on Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M. Doran Toronto: University of Toronto, , pp. Foundations of Theology. Scientific materialism. Dordrecht; Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. OCLC Evaluating philosophies. Boston studies in the philosophy of science. New York: Springer-Verlag. Handbook of argumentation theory. The uses of argument Updated ed. Objections of a more specific kind have targeted the pragmatic maxim.

Pragmatism was superseded most notably in the United States or occluded in those places where it took little hold in the first place by logical positivism. The positivists held that science is the exemplar of inquiry. And the positivists, like pragmatism, aimed at the betterment of society. The ideas at issue include epistemological holism and the underdetermination of various type of theory by evidence.

The latter is the aforementioned section 2. Antirepresentationalism is, in the first instance, this view: no representation linguistic or mental conception corresponds to reality in a way that exceeds our commonsensical and scientific notions of what it is to get the world right. We are to conceive ourselves, or our conceptions, not as answerable to the world, but only to our fellows see McDowell Rorty thinks that antirepresentationalism entails the rejection of a metaphilosophy which goes back to the Greeks, found a classic expression in Kant, and which is pursued in Analytic philosophy.

More fully: philosophy judges discourses, be they religious, scientific, moral, political, aesthetical or metaphysical, by seeing which of them, and to what degree, disclose reality as it really is. See Kant: Metaphysics , section 4. The Rortian philosopher does not seek some schema allowing two or more discourses to be translated perfectly one to the other an idea Rorty associates with representationalism. Instead she inhabits hermeneutic circle. Second: what counts as a philosophical problem is contingent, and not just in that people only discover certain philosophical problems at certain times.

Third: philosophical argument, at least when it aspires to be conclusive, requires shared assumptions; where there are no or few shared assumptions, such argument is impossible. The neutral ground that philosophy has sought for debates with staunch egoists and unbending totalitarians is a fantasy. All the philosopher can do, besides point that out, is to create a conception that articulates, but does not strictly support, his or her moral or political vision.

Rorty thinks that no less a political philosopher than John Rawls has already come close to this stance Rorty b: Nor does Rorty bemoan any of this. Rorty does not advocate an exclusive concentration on cultural as against social or economic issues. So have his readings, or appropriations, of his philosophical heroes, who include not only James and Dewey but also Wittgenstein, Heidegger and, to a lesser extent, Davidson and Derrida.

For a sample of all these criticisms, see Brandom which includes replies by Rorty and Talisse and Aikin — The term in use as early as Rajchman and West denotes the work of philosophers who owe much to Analytic philosophy but who think that they have made some significant departure from it. Often the departures in question are motivated by pragmatist allegiance or influence. Hence the placing of this section. Some Wittgensteinians count as post-Analytic too, as might the later Wittgenstein himself.

Stanley Cavell stands out here, though in one way or another Wittgenstein strongly influenced most of philosophers mentioned in this paragraph. Rorty looms large here. But there is also the aforementioned interest in Hegel, and, for instance, the fact that one finds McDowell citing Gadamer. One is the rejection or severe revision of any notion of philosophical analysis.

Some post-Analytic philosophers go further, in that they tend, often under the influence of Wittgenstein, to attempt less to solve and more to dissolve or even discard philosophical problems. Each of Putnam, McDowell and Rorty has his own version of this approach, and each singles out for dissolution the problem of how mind or language relates to the world.

A third characteristic feature of post-Analytic philosophy is the rejection of a certain kind of narrow professionalism. That sort of professionalism is preoccupied with specialized problems and tends to be indifferent to broader social and cultural questions. Moreover, innovative or heterodox style is something of a criterion of post-Analytic philosophy. One thinks here especially of Cavell. But one might mention McDowell too.

The criticism betokens the way in post-Analytic philosophers are often regarded, namely as apostates. Phenomenology , as pursued by Edmund Husserl describes phenomena. Phenomena are things in the manner in which they appear. That definition becomes more appreciable through the technique through which Husserl means to gain access to phenomena. Husserl calls that technique the epoche a term that owes to Ancient Greek skepticism. The natural attitude comprises assumptions about the causes, the composition, and indeed the very existence of that which one experiences.

That description is phenomenology. Phenomenology means to have epistemological and ontological import. The idea that Husserl shares with the positivists is that experience is the sole source of knowledge. However, and like various other philosophers including William James and the German Idealists , Husserl thinks that experience extends beyond what empiricism makes of it. Now, one might think that this attempt to derive essences from phenomena from things in the manner in which they appear must be idealist.

However, the exact content of that idealism — i. But objectivism cannot even understand science itself, according to Husserl; for science, he maintains, presupposes the achievements of transcendental subjectivity. There is even some suggestion in the same text that objectivism prevents us from experiencing people as people: as more than mere things.

The foregoing shows that phenomenology has a normative aspect. Husserl did make a start upon a systematic moral philosophy. But phenomenology is intrinsically ethical D. Smith 4—6 , in that the phenomenologist eschews prejudice and seeks to divine matters for him- or herself. Husserl hoped to found a unified and collaborative movement. His hope was partially fulfilled.

Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty count as heirs to Husserl because or mainly because they believed in the philosophical primacy of description of experience. Moreover, many of the themes of post-Husserlian phenomenology are present already, one way or other, in Husserl. Existential phenomenologists deny the view. For they accept a kind of externalism whereby experience, or the self, is what it is — and not just causally — by dint of the world that is experienced.

On externalism, see Philosophy of Language , section 4a and Mental Causation , section 3. Various slogans and terms within the work existential phenomenologists express these views. Merleau-Ponty may not go as far. But the interpretation of this remark is debated see J Smith At any rate, Merleau-Ponty found a greater philosophical use for the empirical sciences than did Husserl. Heidegger was more inclined to keep the sciences in their place. But he too — partly because of his existential externalist conception of phenomenology — differed from Husserl on the epoche.

Caputo describes the interpretative problem and tries to solve it. This article considers that innovation before turning to the other sense of existential phenomenology. Hermeneutics is the art or practice of interpretation. Heidegger is hermeneutical in that he holds the following. All understanding is interpretative in that it always has preconceptions.

One has genuine understanding insofar as one has worked through the relevant preconceptions. For according to Heidegger our initial understanding of our relations to the world involves some particularly misleading and stubborn preconceptions, some of which derive from philosophical tradition. Gabriel Marcel invented that latter term for ideas held by Sartre and by Simone de Beauvoir.

A term used so broadly is hard to define precisely. These theses indicate that for the existentialist philosophy must be practical. It is not, though, that existentialism puts ethics at the heart of philosophy. That is because a further central existentialist idea is that no-one, even in principle, can legislate values for another. But in no further way does that ethic make much claim to objectivity. What of politics?

Little in Husserl fits a conventional understanding of political philosophy. Sartre came to hold that his existential ethics made sense only for a society that had been emancipated by Marxism Sartre xxv-xxvi. Sartre and Merleau-Ponty give one to think, also, about the idea of artistic presentations of philosophy Diprose and Reynolds: ch. What of Heidegger? Should philosophers get involved in politics?

And was Gilbert Ryle right to say — as allegedly, apropos Heidegger, he did say Cohen n. The foregoing material indicates a sense in which phenomenology is its own best critic. Indeed, some reactions against phenomenology and existentialism as such — against the whole or broad conception of philosophy embodied they represent — owe to apostates or to heterodox philosophers within those camps. We saw that, in effect, Sartre came to think that existentialism was insufficient for politics.

Levinas accused phenomenologists prior to himself of ignoring an absolutely fundamental ethical dimension to experience see Davis Derrida resembles Sartre and Levinas, in that, like them, he developed his own metaphilosophy treated below largely via internal criticism of phenomenology. Another objection to phenomenology is that it collapses philosophy into psychology or anthropology.

Husserl himself criticized Heidegger in that way. Rather differently, some philosophers hold that, despite its attitude to naturalism, phenomenology needs to be naturalized Petitot et al As to existentialism, it has been criticized for ruining ethics and for propounding an outlook that is not only an intellectual mistake but also — and Heidegger is taken as the prime exhibit — politically dangerous see Adorno and ch. See Literary Theory section 1 for a wider or less historical notion of Critical Theory.

According to Critical Theory, the point of philosophy is that it can contribute to a critical and emancipatory social theory. The specification of that idea depends upon which Critical Theory is at issue; Critical Theory is an extended and somewhat diverse tradition. Most of the members of this generation had Jewish backgrounds.

For that reason, and because the Institute was Marxist, the first generation fled the Nazis. The Institute re-opened in Frankfurt in Within the third, Axel Honneth is the best known. There is a fourth generation too.

Moreover, there were stages or phases within the first generation. The treatment of first generation Critical Theory that follows confines itself to iii and iv. He was director of the Institute at the time. He introduced the phrase partly from prudence. But prudence was not the only motive for the new name. Horkheimer meant to clarify and shape the enterprise he was leading.

That enerprise, he proposed see Horkheimer , was the construction of a social theory that was, for one thing, broad. It treats society as a whole or in all its aspects. That breadth, together with the idea that society is more independent of the economy than traditional Marxism recognizes, means that Critical Theory ought to be interdisciplinary.

The expertise of the first-generation encompassed economics, sociology, law, politics, psychology, aesthetics and philosophy. Next, Critical Theory is emancipatory. It aims at a society that is rational and free and which meets the needs of all. It is to that end that Critical Theory is critical. It means to reveal how contemporary capitalist society, in its economy and its culture and in their interplay, deceives and dominates.

Critical Theory so defined involves philosophy in several ways. To begin to explain that third point: Horkheimer and company little specified the rational society they sought and little defended the norms by which they indicted contemporary society. With Marx, they held that one should not legislate for what should be the free creation of the future. With Hegel, they held that, anyway, knowledge is conditioned by its time and place.

They held also, and again in Hegelian fashion, that there are norms that exist largely unactualized within capitalism — norms of justice and freedom and so forth — which suffice to indict capitalism. Philosophy, especially post-Kantian German Idealism, had tried to overcome various types of alienation.

But only the achievement of a truly free society could actually do that, according to Critical Theory. Note lastly here that, at least after , Critical Theory denied both that ostensibly Marxist regimes were such and that emancipation was anywhere nearly at hand.

There is a sense in which philosophy looms larger or even larger in the next phase of the first generation of Critical Theory. Adorno and Horkheimer are the principle figures of this phase, and their co-authored Dialectic of Enlightenment its main text.

To disenchant the world is to render it calculable. The Dialectic traces disenchantment from the historical Enlightenment back to the proto-rationality of myth and forward to modern industrial capitalism to its economy, psychology, society, politics, and even to its philosophies.

Here is the parallel idea in the Dialectic. Enlightenment has reverted to myth, in that the calculated world of contemporary capitalism is ruled, as the mythic world was ruled, by impersonal and brutish forces. Disenchantment produces a merely instrumental reason in that it pushes choice among ends outside of the purview of rationality. That said, the result — Horkheimer and Adorno argue — is a kind of instrumentalization of ends. Ends get replaced, as a kind of default, by things previously regarded merely instrumentally.

Thus, at least or especially by the time of contemporary capitalism, life comes to be governed by such means-become-ends as profit, technical expertise, systematization, distraction, and self-preservation. Do these ideas really amount to Critical Theory?

Perhaps they are too abstract to count as interdisciplinary. Worse: they might seem to exclude any orientation towards emancipation. True, commentators show that Adorno offered more practical guidance than was previously thought; also, first-generation Critical Theory, including the critique of instrumental reason, did inspire the s student movement. However: while Marcuse responded to that movement with some enthusiasm, Adorno and Horkheimer did not.

Perhaps they could not. They write xvi :. We have no doubt—and herein lies our petitio principii —that freedom in society is inseparable from enlightenment thinking. We believe we have perceived with equal clarity, however, that the very concept of that thinking, no less than the concrete historical forms, the institutions of society with which it is intertwined, already contains the germ of the regression.

Habermas is a principal source of the criticisms of Adorno and Horkheimer just presented. Nonetheless, or exactly because he thinks that his predecessors have failed to make good upon the conception, Habermas pursues Critical Theory as Horkheimer defined it, which is to say, as broad, interdisciplinary, critical, and emancipatory social theory. The central thesis of the critique of functionalist reason is that the system has colonized the lifeworld.

In order to understand the thesis, one needs to understand not only the notions of system, lifeworld, and colonization but also the notion of communicative action and — this being the most philosophical notion of the ensemble — the notion of communicative rationality. Communicative action is action that issues from communicative rationality.

The lifeworld comprises those areas of life that exhibit communicative action or, we shall see, which could and perhaps should exhibit it. The areas at issue include the family, education, and the public sphere. A system is a social domain wherein action is determined by more or less autonomous or instrumental procedures rather than by communicative rationality.

Habermas counts markets and bureaucracies as among the most significant systems. So the thesis that the lifeworld has been colonized by the system is the following claim. The extension of bureaucracy and markets into areas such as the family, education, and the public sphere prevent those spheres from being governed by free and open discussion. Habermas uses his colonization thesis to explain alienation, social instability, and the impoverishment of democracy. He maintains, further, that even systems cannot function if colonization proceeds beyond a certain point.

The thinking runs thus. Part of the way in which systems undermine communicative action is by depleting resources social, cultural and psychological necessary for such action. But systems themselves depend upon those resources. Still: Habermas makes it relatively clear that the colonization thesis is meant not only as descriptive but also as normative.

For consider the following. How far does Habermas warrant the normativity, which is to say, show that colonization is bad? It is hard to be in favour of self-undermining societies. But some degree of? But Habermas does have the following argument for the badness of colonization. Habermas a: and Habermas respectively. For it is central both to his philosophy of language or to his so-called universal pragmatics and to his ethics.

To put the second of those points more accurately: the idea of a communicative telos is central to his respective conceptions of both ethics and morality. Habermas understands morality to be a matter of norms that are mainly norms of justice and which are in all cases universally-binding. Ethics , by contrast, is a matter of values, where those values: express what is good for some individual or some group; have no authority beyond the individual or group concerned; and are trumped by morality when they conflict with it.

Habermas has a principle, derived from the linguistic, communicative telo s mentioned above, which he applies to both normal norms and ethical values. To wit: a norm or value is acceptable only if all those affected by it could accept it in reasonable — rational and uncoerced — discourse. Note, too, that in the twenty-first century Habermas has turned his attention to 1 that which religion can contribute to the public discourse of secular states and 2 bioethics.

Habermas connects postmetaphysical thinking to something else too. Habermas detects the philosophy of consciousness in Descartes, in German Idealism, and in much other philosophy besides. Seemingly a philosophy counts as a philosophy of consciousness, for Habermas, just in case it holds this: the human subject apprehends the world in an essentially individual and non-linguistic way. The second criticism is most associated with Karl-Otto Apel, who nonetheless has co-operated with Habermas in developing discourse ethics.

On the first criticism, see for instance Geuss 94f. Habermas has been charged, also, with making Critical Theory uncritical. The idea here is this. In allowing that it is alright for some markets and bureaucracies to be systems, Habermas allows too much. This issue is an instance of the so-called normativity problem in Critical Theory, on which see Freyenhagen ; Finlayson For an affirmative answer, see Geuss Adorno has been the principal target for such criticisms and Adorno did defend his style; see Joll Yet Habermas, too, is very hard to interpret.

Philosophy is co-extensive with metaphysics in that all philosophy since Plato involves such a project of grounding. Now Heidegger himself holds that beings das Seiende have a dependence upon being das Sein. Indeed, being is identical to no being or being s or property or cause of any being s whatsoever. But what, then, is being?

Note, however, that this distinction between two senses of Heideggerian Sein is interpretatively controversial. One wants specification of all this. We shall see that Heidegger provides some. Nevertheless, it may be a mistake to seek an exact specification of the ideas at issue. For Heidegger may not really mean das Sein in either sense to explain anything.

He may mean instead to stress the mysteriousness of the fact that beings are accessible to us in the form that they are and, indeed, at all. That said, sometimes Heidegger gives a longer list of epochs, in which list the epochs correlate with metaphysical systems.

It is important that this history, and indeed the simpler tripartite scheme, does not mean to be a history merely of conceptions of being. It means to be also a history of being itself , i. Heidegger allows also for some ontological heterogeneity within epochs, too. All Heidegger ff. Some of this conception is actually fairly straightforward. The Thing the bridge , persons, and numerous other phenomena all stand in relations of mutual determination, i. But in modernity ontological variety is diminished, according to Heidegger.

In modernity Things become mere objects. Indeed subsequently objects themselves, together with human beings, become mere resources. That metaphysics, which tends towards seeing man as the measure of all things, is in fact metaphysics as such, according to Heidegger. For anthropocentrism is incipient in the very beginnings of philosophy, blossoms in various later philosophers including Descartes and Kant, and reaches its apogee in Nietzsche, the extremity of whose anthropocentrism is the end of metaphysics.

And that end reflects the reign of resources. More on this mitigation shortly. What though is wrong with the real being revealed as resource? It is monstrous — Heidegger contends — because it is nihilism. Some such forgetfulness is nigh inevitable. We are interested in beings as they present themselves to us. So we overlook the conditions of that presentation, namely, being and Being.

But Enframing represents a more thoroughgoing form of forgetfulness. Such nihilism sounds bearable. But Heidegger lays much at its door: an impoverishment of culture; a deep kind of homelessness; the devaluation of the highest values see Young ch. The thinking at issue is a kind of thoughtful questioning. Whatever its object, thinking always involves recognition that it is das Sein , albeit in some interplay with humanity, which determines how beings are. Indeed, Heideggerian thinking involves wonder and gratitude in the face of das Sein.

A small amount of it actually consists of poems. A related objection is that, though Heidegger claimed to leave theology alone, what he produced was an incoherent reworking of religion Haar ; Philipse Structuralism was an international trend in linguistics, literary theory, anthropology, political theory, and other disciplines.

It sought to explain phenomena sounds, tropes, behaviors, norms, beliefs. The post-structuralists applied this structural priority to philosophy. They are post -structuralists less because they came after structuralism and more because, in appropriating structuralism, they distanced themselves from the determinism and scientism it often involved Dews 1—4.

But attention is restricted to the best known and most controversial of the post-structuralists, namely, Jacques Derrida. The notion of text here is a broad one. It extends from written texts to conceptions, discourses, and even practices. That in turn is for two reasons each of which should become clearer below. First, the nature of deconstruction varies with that which is deconstructed.

Second, there is a sense in which texts deconstruct themselves. Nonetheless: deconstruction, as a practice, reveals such alleged self-deconstruction; and that practice does have a degree of regularity. The practice of deconstruction has several stages. Moreover, it is presumed that in each case a single text is, at least centrally, at issue.

Within or via such commentary, the focus is upon metaphysical oppositions. The next step in deconstruction is to show that the text undermines its own metaphysical oppositions. Here is a common way in which Derrida tries to establish the point. He tries to show that a privileged term essentially depends upon, or shares some crucial feature s with, its supposed subordinate. Husserl distinguishes mental life, which he holds to be inherently intentional inherently characterized by aboutness from language, which is intentional only via contingent association with such states.

Thereby Husserl privileges the mental over the linguistic. Or so Derrida argues Derrida, section 4. A further strategy involves the notion of undecidability see Derrida, section 5. A third stage or aspect of deconstruction is, one can say, less negative or more productive and Derrida himself calls this the productive moment of deconstruction. Derrida argues, initially, as follows. Speech — and even thought, understood as a kind of inner speech — shares with writing features that have often been used to present writing as only a poor descendent of speech.

Those features include being variously interpretable and being derivative of something else. But there is more. Arche-writing establishes or reveals a limit to any kind of expression a limit, namely, to the semantic transparency, and the self-sufficiency, of expressions. Other deconstructions proceed similarly. What is the status of these conditions?

That encourages this idea: here we have an account not just of concepts but of things or phenomena. Yet Derrida himself does not quite say that. He denies that we can make any simple distinction between text and world, between conceptual system and phenomena.

Nor does Derrida think that, by providing such notions as arche-writing, he himself wholly evades the metaphysics of presence. Derrida retained the foregoing views, which he had developed by the end of the s. But there were developments of metaphilosophical significance. On some of these topics, see Derrida, section 7. Despite his views about the difficulty of escaping metaphysics, and despite his evident belief in the critical and exploratory value of philosophy, Derrida has been attacked for undermining philosophy.

Habermas provides an instance of the criticism. Habermas argued that Derrida erases the distinction between philosophy and literature. But the result, Habermas thinks, is an effacement of the differences between literature and philosophy. Derrida objected to being called unargumentative. Subsequently, Habermas and Derrida underwent something of a rapprochement. There might be a sense in which Derrida is too rigorous. One might reject that view. Something Levinas said apropos Derrida serves as a response.

The following anxiety might persist. Note that, in the case of many of the items that follow, the date given for a text is not the date of its first publication. Nicholas Joll Email: joll. Metaphilosophy What is philosophy? Introduction The main topic of the article is the Western metaphilosophy of the last hundred years or so. Some Pre-Twentieth Century Metaphilosophy Socrates believed that the unexamined life — the unphilosophical life — was not worth living Plato , Apology , 38a.

Defining Metaphilosophy As the foregoing sketch begins to suggest, three very general metaphilosophical questions are 1 What is philosophy? Explicit and Implicit Metaphilosophy Explicit metaphilosophy is metaphilosophy pursued as a subfield of, or attendant field to, philosophy. The Classification of Metaphilosophies — and the Treatment that Follows One way of classifying metaphilosophy would be by the aim that a given metaphilosophy attributes to philosophy.

The particular placing of some individual philosophers within the schema is problematic. The case of the so-called later Wittgenstein is particularly moot. Should he have his own category? The delineation of the traditions themselves is controversial. The notions of the Analytic and the Continental are particularly vexed. The difficulties here start with the fact that here a geographical category is juxtaposed to a more thematic or doctrinal one Williams Moreover, some philosophers deny that Analytic philosophy has any substantial existence Preston ; see also Rorty a: ; and some assert the same of Continental philosophy Glendinning 13 and ff.

Even only within contemporary Western history, there are significant approaches to philosophy that seem to at least somewhat warrant their own categories. This article does not examine those approaches. Analytic Metaphilosophy a. The Tractatus maintains the following. Logical Positivism We witness the spirit of the scientific world-conception penetrating in growing measure the forms of personal and public life, in education, upbringing, architecture, and the shaping of economic and social life according to rational principles.

In Theories of Justice itself, distributive justice was the topic. History of Philosophy For a long time, most analytic philosophers held that the history of philosophy had little to do with doing philosophy. Revisionary metaphysics attempts the impossible, namely, to depart from the fundamental features of our conceptual scheme.

The first point shows the influence of Wittgenstein. So does the third, although it is also as Strawson may have recognized somewhat Heideggerian. Naturalism including Experimentalism and Its Challenge to Intuitions Kripke and especially Quine helped to create, particularly in the United States, a new orthodoxy within Analytic philosophy.

Pragmatism, Neopragmatism, and Post-Analytic Philosophy a. Pragmatism The original or classical pragmatists are the North Americans C. Continental Metaphilosophy a. Phenomenology and Related Currents i. Existential Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Existentialism Husserl hoped to found a unified and collaborative movement. One encounters values within the world indeed, one encounters them bound up with facts ; but nothing rationally compels decision between values.

They write xvi : We have no doubt—and herein lies our petitio principii —that freedom in society is inseparable from enlightenment thinking. Habermas Habermas is a principal source of the criticisms of Adorno and Horkheimer just presented. References and Further Reading Note that, in the case of many of the items that follow, the date given for a text is not the date of its first publication.

Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic, Edited by Mary Geach and Luke Gormally. The Analytic Turn. Good on, especially, the notions of analysis in early Analytic philosophy and on the historical precedents of those notions. Zalta ed.

Beauchamp, Tom L. Bernstein, Richard J. Cambridge MA and Cambridge. An account of the influence and importance of pragmatism. Stocksfield: Acumen. Clarke, Stanley G. London and New York: Verso. Graham Birchill and Hugh Tomlinson. Less of an introduction to metaphilosophy than its title might suggest. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Not introductory.

An influential but very short definition of metaphilosophy. London and New York: Continuum. Prinz, Jesse J. Knobe and S. Nichols eds. Experimental Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Urmson, J. London: Oxford University Press. Rescher, Nicholas Philosophical Dialectics. An Essay on Metaphilosophy. Centres upon the notion of philosophical progress. Contains numerous, occasionally gross typographical errors.

Rorty, Richard ed. Second edition. A useful study of s to s Analytic metaphilosophy. Rorty, Richard, Schneewind, Jerome B. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sorell, Tom, and Rogers, C. Oxford and New York: Oxford. Nicholas Bunnin and E. Tsui-James, pp. Oxford: Blackwell. Treats, among other things, these notions: conceptual truth; intuitions; thought experiments. Third edition. Burtt, E. Campbell and B.

Hunter eds. Moral Epistemology Naturalized , Supple. Logical Positivism. Cavell, Stanley The Claim of Reason. Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cohen, G. Reprinted in Hardcastle, Gary L. Copi, Irving M. Freeman, Samuel Rawls. Oxford and New York: Routledge. Gellner, Ernest Words and Things. An Examination of, and an Attack on, Linguistic Philosophy. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Glock, Hans-Johann ed. Hacker, P. Hutchinson, Brian G. Kripke, Saul A Naming and Necessity.

Revised and Enlarged edition. Lance, M. Copp, ed. Loux, Michael J Metaphysics. A Contemporary Introduction , second ed. Routledge: London and New York. Second ed. McDowell, John Mind and World. McMahon, Jennifer A. New York and London: Routledge. Moore, G. Moore Selected Writings , London: Routledge, , ed. New York: Humanities Press.

From lectures given in and Second and revised edition, containing some other writings by Moore. New York: Garland Publishing, An English translation of the manifesto issued by the Vienna Circle in Orenstein, Alex W. Chesham, UK: Acumen. Pitkin, Hanna Wittgenstein and Justice. Berkeley and London: University of California Press. Quine, W. New York: Columbia University Press. New edition. Harvard: Harvard University Press.

Rawls, John a A Theory of Justice. Revised edition. Rawls, John b Collected Papers ed. Samuel Freeman. London and New York: Routledge. Russell, Bertrand My Philosophical Development. Schilpp, P. Schilpp, Paul Arthur ed. Evanston and Chicago: Northwestern University Press. Sellars, Wilfred Science, Perception and Reality.

London: Methuen. Strawson, Peter Analysis and Metaphysics. An Introduction to Philosophy. Weinberg, Jonathan M. Williams, Bernard Moral Luck. Wittgenstein, Ludwig Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Pears and B.

Routledge: London. Blackwell: Oxford. Wittgenstein, Ludwig Philosophical Investigations. Malden MA and Oxford: Blackwell. Smith ed. Reading McDowell. On Mind and World. Pragmatism and Neopragmatism Brandom, Robert B. Alexander eds. Indiana University Press. New York: Dover Publications. Peirce, C. Hartshorne, P. Weiss Vols. Burks Vols. Rorty, Richard Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Rorty, Richard a Consequences of Pragmatism Essays: — Philosophical Papers, Volume 1.

Rorty, Richard Achieving Our Country. Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America. Rorty, Richard Philosophy as Cultural Politics. Philosophical Papers, Volume 4. Talisse, Robert B. Continuum: London and New York. Good and useful. Continental Philosophy Adorno, Theodor W. London and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul, ; trans. Knut Tarnowski and Frederic Will.

Adorno, Theodor W. Philosophical Fragments. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Edmund Jephcott. Dahrendorf, J. Habermas, H. Pilot, and K. Adey and D. Frisby, London: Heinemann Educational Books. Documents from debates between Popperians who were not, in fact, positivists in any strict sense and the Frankfurt School. Accessible and helpful, yet perhaps somewhat superficial. Caputo, John D Demythologizing Heidegger.

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