The Death of Philosophy: Reference and Self-reference in by Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel

By Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel

Philosophers debate the dying of philosophy up to they debate the dying of God. Kant claimed accountability for either philosophy's starting and finish, whereas Heidegger argued it concluded with Nietzsche. within the 20th century, figures as varied as John Austin and Richard Rorty have proclaimed philosophy's finish, with a few even calling for the arrival of "postphilosophy." on the way to make experience of those conflicting positions—which usually say as a lot in regards to the thinker as his subject—Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel undertakes the 1st systematic remedy of "the finish of philosophy," whereas additionally recasting the background of western inspiration itself.

Thomas-Fogiel starts with postphilosophical claims similar to scientism, which she finds to be self-refuting, for they subsume philosophy into the branches of the ordinary sciences. She discovers comparable matters in Rorty's skepticism and strands of continental concept. Revisiting the paintings of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century philosophers, while the break up among analytical and continental philosophy all started, Thomas-Fogiel unearths either traditions an analogous path—the highway of reference—which finally ended in self-contradiction. This phenomenon, even if valorized or condemned, has been understood because the loss of life of philosophy. Tracing this development from Quine to Rorty, from Heidegger to Levinas and Habermas, Thomas-Fogiel finds the self-contradiction on the middle in their claims whereas additionally carving another course via self-reference. proficient below the French thinker Bernard Bourgeois, she remakes philosophy in intriguing new methods for the twenty-first century.

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But to reduce the entirety of the mental sphere to physical laws, by attributing to each mental property a neurological predicate, is clearly to pass from an epistemological position—according to which each proposition must, in the final analysis, be able to be judged by empirical elements—to a strong ontological thesis, according to which all phenomena are only physical states that follow physical laws. ”69 It is no longer a question of aiming, through philosophy, at a work of clarification of complex concepts, nor of claiming to say what knowledge in general must be (for example, “clear,” and “judged by experience”), but rather of developing the neurosciences, the only ones likely to address the whole of reality (nature as well as humanity).

In this sense, his scientism is more radical than Carnap’s. It is this very movement to dissolve philosophy within an exact science that we must investigate first of all. To do so, I have chosen to examine attempts to reduce it to biology rather than the two other paradigms I’ve mentioned, for two reasons: first, because physicalism, which we have just discussed, seems, if we accept the most widely held opinions,70 to have failed in its program, or, to put it more cautiously, physicalism is not currently the program best financed by wealthy American industry and is therefore the least likely to offer new results.

It is an orientation which acknowledges the bonds that tie men together, but at the same time strives for free development of the individual. 66 As Galison remarks, the prudent pragmatism of the American audience could only poorly handle ideas like this, whose coloring hints at a totally different tradition, for which philosophy is a summative discipline, whose spirit sustains scientific knowledge as well as artistic disciplines and allows individual blossoming as well as the harmonious development of the community.

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