Category Archives: jhap

Gilbert Ryle and the Ethical Impetus for Know-How

Volume 8.1 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Matt Dougherty entitled “Gilbert Ryle and the Ethical Impetus for Know-How”. Here is an abstract:

This paper aims to shed light on an underexplored aspect of Gilbert Ryle’s interest in the notion of “knowing-how”. It is argued that in addition to his motive of discounting a certain theory of mind, his interest in the notion also stemmed (and perhaps stemmed more deeply) from two ethical interests: one concerning his own life as a philosopher and whether the philosopher has any meaningful task, and one concerning the ancient issue of whether virtue is a kind of knowledge. It is argued that Ryle saw know-how as crucial in both respects and, also, that he continued to be interested in these ethical issues throughout his career.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Healing the Rift: How G. H. von Wright Made Philosophy Relevant to His Life

Volume 7.8 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Bernt Österman entitled “Healing the Rift: How G. H. von Wright Made Philosophy Relevant to His Life”. Here is an abstract:

In the introductory “Intellectual Autobiography” of the Georg Henrik von Wright volume of the Library of Living Philosophers series, von Wright mentions the discrepancy he always felt between his narrow logical-analytical professional work and a drive to make philosophy relevant to his life, calling it a rift in his philosophical personality. This article examines the nature of the rift and the various stages the problem went through during von Wright’s career. It is argued that the initial impression that his books The Varieties of Goodness and Explanation and Understanding had contributed to healing the rift, was subdued by a gradual shift in existential focus from individualistic ethics towards a critical concern for destructive ways of thinking inherent in the Western culture, connected with von Wright’s “political awakening” at the end of the 1960s. The most urgent questions of our times called for novel, non-analytical, ways of doing philosophy, employed in von Wright’s later works on science and reason, and the myth of progress. Eventually von Wright’s earlier methodological concerns were also alleviated by his belief that logical-analytical philosophy was inherently unsuitable for exposing the cultural structures it was very much a part of.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!


“Die Machine als Symbol ihrer Wirkungsweise”: Wittgenstein, Reuleaux, and Kinematics / Review of work on Quine

Volume 7.7 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Sébastien Gandon entitled “‘Die Machine als Symbol ihrer Wirkungsweise’: Wittgenstein, Reuleaux, and Kinematics”. Here is an abstract:

In Philosophical Investigations 193–94, Wittgenstein draws a notorious analogy between the working of a machine and the application of a rule. According to the view of rule-following that Wittgenstein is criticizing, the future applications of a rule are completely determined by the rule itself, as the movements of the machine components are completely determined by the machine configuration. On what conception of the machine is such an analogy based? In this paper, I intend to show that Wittgenstein relied on quite a specific scientific tradition very active at the beginning of the twentieth century: the kinematic or the general science of machines. To explain the fundamental tenets of this line of research and its links with Wittgenstein, I focus on Franz Reuleaux (1829–1905), whose works were known to Wittgenstein.

The first payoff of this investigation is to help distance the functionalist framework from which this passage is often read: Wittgenstein’s machines are not (or not primarily) computers. The second payoff is to explain why Wittgenstein talks about machines at this place in his discussion on rule-following: it is not the machine model in itself that is criticized in PI 193–94, but the “philosophical” temptation to generalize from it.

The volume also contains a review of Frederique Jansen-Lauret and Gary Kemp, eds., Quine and His Place in History (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), written by James Andrew Smith, Jr..

JHAP is a free, open-access, peer-reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Goodman’s Many Worlds / Review of work on Ramsey

Volume 7.6 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Alexandre Declos entitled “Goodman’s Many Worlds”. Here is an abstract:

In this paper, I examine Nelson Goodman’s pluriworldism, understood as the claim that there exists a plurality of actual worlds. This proposal has generally been quickly dismissed in the philosophical literature. I argue that we ought to take it more seriously. As I show, many of the prima facie objections to pluriworldism may receive straightforward answers. I also examine in detail Goodman’s argument for the conclusion that there are many worlds and attempt to show how it might be supported. Eventually, I discuss some underexplored challenges to pluriworldism.

The volume also contains a review of Steven Methven, Frank Ramsey and the Realistic Spirit (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), written by Cheryl Misak.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Carnap on Analyticity and Existence / Review of work on Quine, Goodman, Popper, and Wittgenstein

Volume 7.5 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Gary Ebbs entitled “Carnap on Analyticity and Existence: A Clarification, Defense, and Development of Quine’s Reading of Carnap’s Views on Ontology”. Here is an abstract:

Does Carnap’s treatment of philosophical questions about existence, such as “Are there numbers?” and “Are there physical objects?”, depend on his analytic–synthetic distinction? If so, in what way? I answer these questions by clarifying, defending, and developing the reading of Carnap’s paper “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” that W. V. Quine proposes, with little justification or explanation, in his paper “On Carnap’s Views on Ontology”. The primary methodological value of studying Quine’s reading of “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” is that it prompts us to look for, and helps us to see the significance of, passages by Carnap that reveal the logical foundations of his views on ontology. Guided in this way by Quine’s reading, I show that (1) in “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” Carnap’s preferred treatment of philosophical questions relies on paraphrasing them so that their answers are immediately obvious elementary logical truths, and are therefore, by his standards, trivially analytic; and (2) in its most general form, Carnap’s treatment of philosophical questions about existence depends on his controversial view that the analytic truths of a language L may include sentences that are not elementary logical truths, but that are nevertheless, by Carnap’s standards, analytic-in-L simply because we have stipulated that they are to be among the “meaning postulates” of L.

The volume also contains a review of Bredo Johnsen, Righting Epistemology: Hume’s Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), written by Matthew Carlson.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Verificationism and (Some of) its Discontents

Volume 7.4 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Thomas Uebel entitled “Verificationism and (Some of) its Discontents”. Here is an abstract:

Verificationism has had a bad press for many years. The view that the meaning of our words is bound up with the discernible difference it would make if what we say, think or write were true or false, nowadays is scorned as “positivist” though it was shared by eminent empiricists and pragmatists. This paper seeks to sort through some of the complexities of what is often portrayed as an unduly simplistic conception. I begin with an overview of its main logical empiricist varieties before considering which aspects of it fall victim to which of the three major types of objection that have been raised against it. I will conclude that what is left standing is a modest proposal that seems worth further investigation.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Book Symposium: Wilfrid Sellars and the Foundations of Normativity by Peter Olen

Volume 7.3 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open access.

The contributions included in this volume were originally prepared for an “Author Meets Critics” session on Peter Olen’s book Wilfrid Sellars and the Foundations of Normativity, organized by Carl Sachs for the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Savannah, Georgia, on 5th January, 2018.

Table of contents

  1. Catherine Legg: Peter Olen: Wilfrid Sellars and the Foundations of Normativity
  2. David Beisecker: On Peter Olen’s Wilfrid Sellars and the Foundations of Normativity
  3. Mark Lance: Rejecting the pure, but keeping the pragmatics
  4. Peter Olen: Response to Critics

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at jhaponline.org. Submissions welcome!

Donald Davidson: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Volume 7.2 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open access.

This volume is a special issue: Donald Davidson: Looking back, Looking forward, edited by Claudine Verheggen. The volume contains five substantial articles, as well as an introductory essay. Here is an abstract:

The papers collected in this issue were solicited to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Donald Davidson’s birth. Four of them discuss the implications of Davidson’s views—in particular, his later views on triangulation—for questions that are still very much at the centre of current debates. These are, first, the question whether Saul Kripke’s doubts about meaning and rule-following can be answered without making concessions to the sceptic or to the quietist; second, the question whether a way can be found to answer Davidson’s own doubts about the continuity of non-propositional thought and language; third, the question whether normative properties can be at once causal and prescriptive; fourth, the question whether folk psychological explanations can be at once illuminating and autonomous. The fifth paper reexamines Davidson’s take on the principle of compositionality, which always was at the centre of his theorizing about language.

Table of contents

  1. Claudine Verheggen: Volume Introduction
  2. Olivia Sultanescu and Claudine Verheggen: Davidson’s Answer to Kripke’s Sceptic
  3. Dorit Bar-On: Crude Meaning, Brute Thought (or: What Are They Thinking?!)
  4. Robert Myers: Davidson’s Meta-Normative Naturalism
  5. Karsten R. Stueber: Davidson, Reasons, and Causes: A Plea for a Little Bit More Empathy
  6. Peter Pagin: Compositionality in Davidson’s Early Work

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at jhaponline.org. Submissions welcome!

Sellars’s Argument for an Ontology of Absolute Processes / Review of Work of Russell

Volume 7.1 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by David Landy entitled “Sellars’s Argument for an Ontology of Absolute Processes”. Here is an abstract:

Scholars have rejected Wilfrid Sellars’s argument for an ontology of absolute processes on the grounds that it relies on a dubious and dogmatic appeal to the homogeneity of color. Borrowing from Rosenthal’s recent defense, but ultimate rejection of homogeneity, I defend this claim on Sellarsian/Kantian transcendental grounds, and reconstruct the remainder of his argument. I argue that Sellars has good reason to suppose that homogeneity is a necessary condition of any possible experience, including indirect experience of theoretical-explanatory posits, and therefore good reason to hold that Reductive Materialism, as he conceives it, is an untenable account of color. The remainder of his argument aims to answer the question of what the metaphysical relation is between the state of an experiencing subject that we take color to be and the colorless microphysical particles that we take to constitute that subject. After rejecting Substance Dualism, Epiphenomenalism, and Wholistic or Emergent Materialism as explanatorily inadequate, Sellars proposes that both color-states and micro-physical particles should be understood as manifestations of an underlying ontology on absolute processes.

The volume also contains a review of Samuel Lebens, Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions: A History and Defence of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement (New York: Routledge, 2017), written by Rosalind Carey.

Call for Proposals: Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy Special Issues

JHAP recently created a position of Editor for Special Issues with the purpose of offering support for first rate thematic collections of articles and encourage collective and collaborative publications in the field. Proposals on any topic within the scope of the Journal are welcome and encouraged. JHAP aims to promote research and provide a forum for discussion of the history of analytic philosophy. ‘History’ and ‘analytic’ are understood broadly. JHAP takes the history of analytic philosophy to be part of analytic philosophy. Accordingly, it publishes historical research that interacts with the ongoing concerns of analytic philosophers and with the history of other twentieth century philosophical movements and traditions.

Open Access Policy

JHAP provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. No fees are charged to authors for submission or publication of their works.

Length of Issues

JHAP is an online open access publication that offers broad flexibility of format for collections of articles and length of contributions. There are no a priori constraints to the number of essays or the minimum/maximum number of words of each article. This is meant to encourage innovative approach to scholarship and to offer flexibility for Guest-Editors.

Submission

Those interested in acting as Guest-Editor for a special issue are asked to submit a 2-page proposal describing the theme of the issue and the proposed list of contributors. All submissions will be reviewed by the Editorial Board to assess fit. Each proposal deemed to fall within the scope of the journal will then be reviewed by external referees. Successful proposals will further receive input from the Editor for Special Issues.

To request a proposal submission form, to submit a proposal or if you have any questions, please contact the Editor for Special Issues directly at lapointe@mcmaster.ca. The Subject must read: “JHAP Special Issue Project”.

Peer-Review of Articles

JHAP will insure that submitted proposals as well as the complete final draft of special issues be peer-reviewed. Guest-Editors will be responsible for anonymously refereeing individual articles within their special issue.

Timeline

Guest-Editors will be responsible for delivering their special issue within the time-frame they will have defined, on a case by case basis, in consultation with the Editor for Special Issue. Failure to deliver an issue within the time-frame might result in a cancellation of the project

Support for Guest-Editors

The position of Editor for Special Issues was created with the objective of encouraging new project and fostering a better culture around intellectual collaborations. Those are the principles that will be applied in all aspects of the process. The Editor for Special Issues is tasked to receive and assess proposals and to steward prospective Guest-Editors throughout the process. Guest-Editors for special issues will have access to a customised user-friendly portal that will allow them to manage paper submissions, revisions and refereeing for their project online.

Commissioned Projects

In addition to receiving submissions, the Editor for Special is tasked to recruit Guest-Editors for new projects. Recruitment is guided by the principles that are at the core of JHAP’s mandate: to encourage and support historical research that interacts with the ongoing concerns of analytic philosophy and with the history of other twentieth century philosophical traditions, and to do so in ways that challenges received views and promotes innovation.