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This week the state in which I live, Nevada, executed someone. Was he guilty? Probably, he was found guilty in a and then confessed. After some twelve yers on death row he quit appealing and asked to be executed. The comment of the kids of the lady he killed were reported by the news as being thankful that justice had been served and closure brought to the situation. Today in the paper there are several articles wanting other people on death row to be this justice? Is it justice if the people executed are largely poor, minority and male? Or do the poor, minority males commit more crimes?These and a lot of other points about justice do not have simple answers. This small book attempts to show a theory of justice that covers these and a lot of other points. In defining justice he discusses deserving, reciprocity, equality, and the philosophy of what has defined justice down through the years.Excellently written, this is a book that makes you think.
A lot of theories of justice are monistic: they suggest that justice boils down to rules x, y, and z, where x, y, and z do not ever conflict, clear answers to each moral dilemma when used properly, and do not depend on context. In "Elements of Justice" Schmidtz lays out what he calls a "contextual functionalist" view of the elements of justice - a pluralistic conception that suggests "justice' is created up of four elements that cannot be reduced to any formula. Desert, reciprocity, equality, and need are each part of justice, but depending on the situation, one (or two) of these four may be more necessary than others. For instance:What do we owe to children? What they need.What do we owe to spouses and friends? Reciprocation.What do we owe to citizens? Equality under the law.What do we owe to employees? What they e book is in six sections. The first goes over why Schmidtz sees this as essentially a pluralistic view of justice that is more akin to a map than a theory (a map is an imperfect guide; a theory is a detailed argument). Section two goes over the concept of desert and what is entailed. Schmidtz points out that desert cannot only be a reward but also in anticipation of what one will do. John can deserve his promotion by doing a amazing job, but Jane might deserve to be hired based on what we think she will do when she gets the job. The third section is devoted to the idea of reciprocity and how justice often (but not always) demands that we give in proportion to what we receive, paying back or paying forward. The fourth section goes over the idea of equality, noting in particular that attempts at equality of x will always effect in inequalities somewhere stly, we obtain into the idea of need. Here are where Schmidtz's views are probably the most controversial, as he joins with a lot of critics of the 'justice as concerned with equal distribution of shares' approach. To Schmidtz, equality should be less about equality of stuff, and more about equality of chances to secure well-being. So, a lot of theorists imagine that if we are in an orchard where there are two apples, justice demands that we each obtain one apple. But that assumes that we both got the orchard at the same time, and neither of us owned the tree with those apples on it. It seldom works that way. If you got to the orchard first and worked hard to plant and grow apple trees, and i obtain there later, is the egalitarian intuition that I deserve half still so obvious? No. Well, the true globe functions more like the latter than the former situation, and justice needs to function with the latter issues more than the former. To Schmidtz, the idea of property rights and allowing trade gives everyone more of a possibility that simply shifting around bundles of goods from those who have more to those who have less. (And for those doubting that property rights give amazing opportunity for the "have less's" to rise and the "have more's" to fall, Schmidtz gets into a very amazing statistic-heavy chapter showing that market-based societies have much more class fluidity than highly distributive ones.)The final section will also be a bit controversial, and as one whose never read Schmidtz before, I'm not sure I was expecting it. He discusses the Rawls/Nozick debate as the seminal debate in 20th century justice, and that part is far from controversial or new. But he, if I understand him correctly, considers himself somewhat on the side of Ralws, arguing that Rawls has largely been misunderstood as advocating for redistributive justice. No Schmidtz says. Rawls (a) puts primacy of put on negative liberty consistent with like negative liberty for others, and (b) suggests that inequality is to be permitted if the inequality benefits the worst off (by whom he means 'working poor'). Schmidtz (if I understand him right) is s saying that both of those conditions are happy best in a shop society. That negative liberty is given pride of put there is obvious, but think about the difference principle: one of the assets of capitalism is that in to obtain rich, one has to produce positive externalities for others by serving them what they wish to for. And, again, since Schmidtz sees equality of opportunity and possibility as more beneficial than equality of shares, it seems likely that a system of markets and property rights really satisfy the difference principle as well, and maybe better, than a distributive system that takes shares from the well off and gives them to those least well off. (Whether Rawls would have agreed with that is definitely debatable and a conclusion like this will surely @#$% off some Rawls fans.)Overall, Schmidtz's conception of justice is very contextualistic and, I would say, showing tips of rule-utilitarianism. When we are dealing with tough moral cases, one of the things Schmidtz seems to wish us to think about is, "What kind of action, if followed universally, would create everyone living together run most smoothly." For instance, imagine the situation where a train is coming at five people and you have the power to switch it to another track where it will only run one person over. Now, imagine that you work at a hospital where five people are to die for lack of organs, and you have the ability to save them by taking an innocent bystander, using her organs to save the five. Same problem, but various intuitions. Schmidtz explains it this way: we wish to save the five on the tracks, but can't bring ourselves to save the five in the hospital, because, in the latter case, it involves treating a human being as if they did not have autonomy and rights (where in the former case, the person is already on the train track). We could save the five in the hospital by violating the bystander's autonomy, but that would mean living in a globe where everyone is aware that they could be the next bystander. Schmidtz defends property rights in the same way: if we live in a globe where we know that what is ours is our and what is hers is hers, it is a lot safer for all of us than living in a globe where social utility is constantly maximized and no one can be sure whether they will come out on the losing end. Etc.Anyhow, this is an interesting book with an interesting pluralistic view of justice. Anyone looking for a hard-argued theory of justice will not obtain it here. Like Walzer's Spheres Of Justice: A Defense Of Pluralism And Equality or Kekes's The Morality of Pluralism, this conception is pluralistic and thus, always somewhat incomplete (as a theory, that is, because it is contextual). It is also, indirectly, an interesting defense of markets as a more just system than highly egalitarian systems.
A superb acc of the development of the physical model of the Universe culminating in the Newtonian framework. What sets this book apart from others is how Burtt attacks the interplay between the philosophical, social, and religious worldviews characteristics of the time period.Burtt overthrows some of the conceptions still held today that the religious paradigm was the overrdiding impediment to the acceptance of the Copernican framework among the scientific community. Burtt demonstrates how the scientific community of the time had no need to revise the epicycles and deferrents of the ptolemaic scheme. It was only through the argument of greater simplicity and the appeal to the neo-platonic mathematical ideals that it became more widely accepted.A must read for any student of science interested in the complex interplay of ideas that eventually led to the rationale for and acceptance of Newtonian mechanics and the resulting metaphysical framework.
A lot of books that were well received when originally published ultimately fail the try of time and seem hopelessly outdated, or even silly to future generations. Occasionally, a book seen as a solid effort when it was written is found later to be the definitive work on the subject. The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science by Edwin Arthur Burtt is such a book.Burtt investigates the origins of the modern scientific globe view, a view that today appears to be ancient but is, in fact, only a few centuries old. The concepts that we use to describe the modern globe -- mass, velocity, energy, time etc -- form the substratum of so a lot of modern ideas that their very ubiquity has created it hard to imagine that any other view ever existed. With these ideas woven into all of our thought how does one separate these ideas from all others in to better appreciate and understand them? Burtt attacks this issue by tracing the evolution of modern scientific concepts from their origins in Copernicus and Kepler through to their highest development in Isaac may come as a surprise that Copernicus and Kepler were not motivated by empirical evidence. In fact, the empirical evidence was stacked versus their view that the sun, not the earth, was at the center of the planetary system. Anyone could see how solid the earth felt and how steady it was. If it were moving then its motion could be felt. The idea that something as huge and solid as the earth could be flung through zone was obviously r were they motivated by a desire for greater accuracy since the Ptolemaic system that they would soon replace was every bit as accurate as their sun centered system with regards to predicting eclipses and positions of the planets in the eir motivation was essentially a desire for a mathematically elegant method to express planetary motion, a simpler method that could reduce the tons of epicycles to a comparatively little number of circles. For these men, mathematics was not the key to nature, mathematics was nature and the simpler mathematical expressions that they found were real because nature was parsimonious and would not accomplish by complicated means (the epicycles) what could be accomplished more simply with circular orbits. A mathematical nature would reduce the phenomena much as a mathematician would reduce complex equations to a smaller number of easy pler's shock upon discovering that the planets did not orbit in circles, but in ellipses was genuine. The smooth constant motion of the planets was thought by Kepler to reflect the constancy of God himself. Only when Kepler discovered that equal locations were swept out by the planets in equal times was his faith restored in the mathematical universe that was held together by Galileo we see the beginnings of dualism. On one hand Galileo the empiricist laughs at his colleagues who refuse to look through his telescope and see the evidence of moons orbiting Jupiter. On the other hand we see the doctrine of basic and secondary qualities in which we do not perceive the globe as it is, but rather as it affects our senses. This doctrine calls into question the validity of the senses which, presumably, are the source for Galileo's (and our) knowledge of the true world. With sense data either limited or distorted and hence, of questionable reliability, mathematical demonstration becomes the method past the senses to the ultimate nature of things. Descartes further mechanizes the senses and pushes consciousness farther away from reality thereby producing a full blown dualism in which man becomes a spirit trapped in a machine.When we finally arrive at Newton, by method of Gilbert and Boyle, we have a fresh universe where the number of causes is reduced from the Aristotelian four, to only two. The formal cause has become mathematics which matter must obey in exacting detail. The efficient and substantial causes merge into a mechanical force compelling a passive matter to follow precise trajectories. Gone completely is the final cause as matter becomes the sole occupant of a universe whose future is completely determined by its past. The biological concept of goal directed action has no put in the billiard ball universe of unconscious motion. The irony is that one of man's greatest intellectual achievements, the formulation of the laws of motion, becomes a means to degrade man's intellectual status by reducing man's mind to matter in e above is a gross oversimplification of Burtt's work and cannot start to convey the richness of his research and the clarity of his presentation. Burtt uses extensive quotes to present the reasoning used by the amazing mathematicians and physicists at the dawn of the Enlightenment and clearly demonstrates the shift in thinking that occurs over two e only drawback to Burtt's work is that it was written nearly seventy years ago and the effects of these ideas on post-Newtonian thought are not covered. The author, in the revised 1932 edition, expressed regret that he could not incorporate these later developments into his revision of the original 1924 work. I too, feel regret that Burtt did not obtain around to another revision where he might shed some light on the effects of these ideas on quantum mechanics and relativity.Anyone interested in the development of the modern philosophy of science will have fun this intellectual journey through the minds of some of mankind's finest thinkers, those men who created possible the remarkable globe that we live in today.
I first learned who Randy Rogers was when I listened to him being interviewed on Gary Goldberg's radio present "In The Spirit". As I listened to Randy's voice I could hear his sincerity. It interested me so much that I did his book and became a fan on facebook. His constant referral to synchronicity created me attention to my daily life and see what was actually happening. I am astounded as to how much synchronicity I search in my own life. I do believe that we are all connected although it is sometimes hard to accept this as true; however Randy does point this out quite well in his travels with Kathy.I found the book to be extremely provocative. It is so well written that the reader does not wish to place it down for a moment. Weather or not the reader believes what is presented in this book; is in their (the reader's) own to the comments on Randy's disgression allow us not judge least we be judged. At least he was begin about this. As I was reading about the method Susan reacted to all that her husband was telling her about what was event to him; and her constant berating created me think why was he putting up with this for so long other than the fact that he was trying to keep his marriage together until he no longer could. I do believe that he loved her yet she pushed him away. He does not seem to harbor ill feelings towards her and thanks her on page must understand that People come into our lives for a Season, a Reason or a Lifetime. This is what makes us who we are and helps us learn life's lessons.I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it brought me to another level of thinking of what can be possible.
A mate recommended this book to me when I was distractedly talking with her on the phone. She sent me the link and I downloaded it to my Kindle since it was only $10. I'm usually not interested in "New Age-y" items (although I loved Journey of Souls) but Randy's book hooked me from the beginning because he mentions that he and his wife have just had a war and she is chastising him for moving them to a "white trash neighborhood." He then talks about how he lives in Westchester (a little suburb of Los Angeles where I grew up and still live and which is definitely NOT a white trash neighborhood - tear downs and fixer-uppers go for $650k, minimum)! That got my attention and his conversational writing style kept me interested throughout the reading Randy's book, I was struck by the number of "coincidences" his life and mine share (and coincidences is in quotes since the point of the book is that there are none). From frequent trips to the back side of Catalina (where my husband goes camping every year with his buddies), to my neighborhood, to mutual acquaintances and even a couple of birthdates, I was completely intrigued by Randy's acc of learning about his past lives, his connection to his dear friend's spirit (Kathy, on whose life and death most of the book is focused). His journey was interesting, accessible, credible, and even inspiring. My intention is to make a fresh "coincidence" between us by contacting his regressionist who practices near us. Oh, and the reason my mate recommended the book to me in the first place, although she hadn't read it herself, yet? The book was about accupuncture and, another coincidence?, her husband's cousin knows Randy and told her about it.I agree with some of the other reviewers that Randy seems to create light of his affair but I didn't obtain the sense that he used his spiritual investigation as an excuse to have one. My impression was that he wasn't comfortable getting into the info and was still slightly ashamed of the fact that he started a fresh relationship and conceived a kid while still married to another woman. It's clear from Randy's side of the story that the marriage had become irrepairable but it's totally moot anyway since it was over a decade ago and he and his wife have both found the locations they are supposed to be in this life (from what we can tell with minimal information, anyway). The bottom line for me is that the affair was secondary to the book's subject and he spent as much time on it as he did on most of the other life-altering meetings, etc. The only subject that was really delved into in any depth was Randy's own regression sessions and Kathy Lynch, the catalyst for the whole thing.I recommend this book for those who wish a layman's point of view on reincarnation, the journeys our spirits are on, and prefer a relatable, conversational writing style to the sometimes hard-to-interpret philosophical musings and scientific approaches of other authors in this genre. I enjoyed it immensely and couldn't place it down for the week we spent on vacation. It would have taken me only 2 or 3 days, tops, to [email protected]#$%! if I didn't have my young kids needing anks for sharing your story, Randy. I'd love to meet you since we're neighbors and seem to have a lot of connections.
Page 238 of this book will always be memorable to me. Like a "stretto" in a final fugue, all relevant themes for a proper understanding of what it really means to be "modern", carefully laid out across the book by following the vision of Galileo, Descartes, and Boyle (and to a lesser degree, Hobbes, More and Barrow) collapse, as it needs to be, in the towering figure of Sir Isaac Newton. For to me it was just like this: an instant flash, in which I could "see" just at once, what it means, and the wonder of being, modern. In sum, a revelation!So, if you really want, without prejudices, to really understand, or even "face" this problem, this is THE book to read.
E. A. Burtt provides a historical acc of what a lot of people might regard as surprising in the globe of science. Burtt fundamentally reveals that the inspiration or basis for a lot of theories and fresh ideas during the scientific revolution was not based on empirical data and experimentation; rather, they were driven by the metaphysical and aesthetically charged geometrical atomism of pre-Socratic Greek philosopher cording to this worldview, the underlying essence of the universe is mathematical, and in the case of Pythagoras, the mind-independent globe was literally comprised by physical, geometrical atoms or structures. This was not a worldview that was supported by facts and empirical testing at the time, but was introduced on a priori (before experience) grounds and reasoning.Burtt begins with Copernicus and his heliocentric view of the solar system, which stated that the Sun was the center of the solar system, not the earth. Contrary to our intuitions or education on how hypotheses originate, Copernicus was not swayed by any empirical data to suggest this fresh worldview (which was conceptually not new, but posited by Greek philosopher Aristarchus of Samos in 4th century B.C.), rather he was infatuated with the re-birth of the Pythagorean metaphysic via the time of Copernicus (1473 – 1543), there were no empirical problems with Ptolemy's Christian inspired and anthropocentric geocentric theory, and in fact Copernicus' heliocentric theory was up versus several problems, such as the inability at the time to observe and validateparallax (the shifting of the observable position of the stars based on the assumption that the earth shifts its position as it revolves around the Sun). And of course, Copernicus was up versus the religious powers at the time, which used Biblical text to help the geocentric view of the addition, both Copernicus and Ptolemy’s systems were able to predict the same celestial phenomena, so from a practical standpoint, Copernicus offered no advantage with his theory. The basic difference was that Copernicus' heliocentric theory exhibited or implied more harmony, simplicity, and beauty with its app of less epicycles (small circular deviations that planets had to take as they rotated around the Sun or Earth, to acc for their true elliptical pathways, which were unknown until Kepler). Accepting the heliocentric theory based on the preconceived notions of harmony, simplicity, and beauty was not based on empirical testing, but was derived from the Pythagorean metaphysic, and indeed much of the Greek worldview that the universe was fundamentally orderly, harmonious, and attractive at its core. This aesthetic and metaphysic was accepted by reason alone, a priori, not on something remotely close to the scientific method. Place another way, this metaphysic described the method thinkers wanted the essence of the universe to be, not the method it was validated to be via short, Copernicus essentially embraced the Pythagorean mathematical interpretation of the universe and became convinced that the whole universe is created up of numbers. And since mathematicians at the time were attracted to the notion of simplicity, beauty, and harmony, this provided an a priori basis for accepting his heliocentric theory.Burtt moves on to create a related case in light of the theories and work of Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Gilbert, Newton, and others. All these amazing thinkers were inspired and influenced by the same Pythagorean metaphysic of numbers and the a priori, untestable assumption that the underlying (not observable) essence of the universe as pler worshiped the Sun metaphorically as "God"; introduced a mysterious, aesthetic, and untestable view of causation; and asserted that the true globe existed independent of the mind and was entirely mathematical in llowing the lead of Copernicus and his attention to celestial phenomena, Galileo applied the Pythagorean metaphysic to the globe of terrestrial dynamics; stated that nature acts according to immutable mathematical laws (the language of the universe); asserted that matter is comprised of infinitely little indivisible atoms, which only possess mathematical properties (number, figure, magnitude, position, motion, etc); and introduced the notion of "occult" indestructible forces that governed the movement of matter behind the scenes (since matter by itself floating around in absolute zone cannot govern its own orderly behavior without the aid of an exterior agent).Descartes viewed the universe as a geometrical machine; denied the existence of a void or vacuum in zone (as did a lot of during that time to with the issue of "Action at a Distance); and constructed a radical mind-body dualism that would plague Western globe thinkers for the rest of history, as well as introduce a number of philosophical absurdities and challenges (such as Descartes’ ludicrous idea that the pineal gland in the brain was the connection point or “dysfunctional conjunction” between the material body/brain and the soul).Henry More envisioned forces as the "Spirit of Nature", where gravity, cohesion, magnetism, etc are not mechanical (like the geometrical motion of bodies), but “spiritual” or indicative of a divine lbert, the father of the study of magnetism, posited that magnetism was the "soul" of the universe, and that this soul, though spiritual, is extended in zone (not immaterial) and explains action at a distance. Newton truly turned over a fresh leaf and suggested that we can neverknow the essences or causes of these "occult" forces in nature, but can only mathematically reduce and formulate their observable effects (such as his inverse square law of gravity). Yet in the end he ironically embraces, as did a lot of of his predecessors, the “God of the Gaps” and affirms that the material globe is fundamentally mathematical (return of the Pythagorean metaphysic) and is composed of hard, indestructible particles that were made by God and have only mathematical attributes; that the human soul is locked up inside the body with absolutely no contact with the real, external physical globe (dualism of Descartes); and that based on the metaphysic of primary-secondary qualities, secondary qualities (color, taste, etc) are all phantasms made by the mind, not properties of the physical, external ton and those before him ultimately sold out to metaphysics, as their “fudge factor” and method of coping with the unknown. Or, as an alternative and perhaps more likely explanation, shall we speculate that maintaining a little and virtually harmless component of theological mysticism was their method of staying out of problem with the Church, lest they be burnt as the stake as Bruno was in 1600 for his heretical ideas?We can summarize the extent of metaphysical foundations of modern science as follows:• The Pythagorean-Neo-Platonist view that the underlying nature of the universe is mathematical, assumed a priori and based on the aesthetic principles of harmony, simplicity, and beauty (Copernicus et al)• Deification of the Sun and assumption that harmonious mathematical structures cause observable phenomenon (Kepler)• Atomism: physical universe is comprised of indestructible particles that have only mathematical properties (Galileo et al)• A priori assumption that all empirical phenomenon can be reduced to mathematical relationships (all)• Universe viewed as “geometrical machine” (Descartes)• Concept of primary/secondary qualities: only mathematical qualities of physical objects are real; secondary qualities (smell, taste, color, etc) are figments of the mind (all)• Radical mind-body dualism: minds/souls completely detached and separate from the real, physical globe (Descartes et al)• A priori knowledge of the universe is mathematical and of divine origin• Introduction of ether and occult or spiritual/divine forces to avoid the issue of “action at a distance” (spirit of nature, magnetic soul, God as incorporeal or extended plenum,etc)
This book is absolutely incredible. I could NOT stop reading it! I highly recommend this book. I have always known on some level the truths contained in this book, but to see them documented in this real life tale is entertaining as well as thought provoking. Since the author has such unbelievable connection in the globe of movies, it would be delightful to see this book come to life on the huge ank you Randy Rogers. It was fun seeing how so a lot of things in my life were synchronistic with your life. My name being Kathy, having a sister Dianne and a sister Susan, Dianne being born on your birthday July 8th and Susan being born on Michele's birthday August 11th, having a very amazing mate named Donna that was born and raised in Pennsylvania, my mother passing away with breast cancer and another very amazing mate who passed in May of this year with ovarian cancer, and so much more!!!! WOW is all I can say.
The journey he goes on is absolutely amazing. I recommend this book to everyone, including some mates of mine in Los Angeles (who live probably 2-3 miles from the author) that recently lost their daughter to Lukemia. My mates have been suddenly interested in the spiritual side of life. They feel their daughter's energy around them. Thank you Randy for writing this book & sharing your experience with san Miller and my dogs Kelly & Tinky
Randolph J. Rogers, journalist and professional photographer vividly describes his awesome past life regressions, myriad synchronicities, and out-of-body experiences in a sincere conversational style. His authenticity is fed by journal entries recorded and dated at the time of each event. His jaw-dropping experiences lead him on a find for answers. The twists and turns of his quest hold the reader turning pages in a heightened state of excitement. The answers he discovers can benefit human kind.
Apparently, this has been a standard since the fifties. I heard it mentioned in a lecture and had to have it. The author does a amazing job of evaluating the assumptions that underpin modern scientific thinking. I'm enjoying the read.
The Overture:Louis Menand provides us with a delightful ride through American intellectual history while showing us that the evolution and development of American intellectual life was anything but smooth. It was full of contradictions and setbacks, as well as leaps forward, characterized by both progress and reversion. America was, and still is, characterized by a strange admixture of Christian fundamentalism, laissez-faire economics principles, national isolationism, a paternalistic tendency to evangelist its values, the doctrine of natural law, scientific determinism, private will, the validity of natural Darwinism, creation theory and the fallacy social Darwinism. In this book, Louis Menand puts forward a lucid and cogent case for the reconsideration of American pragmatism. In a globe and a country of increasing vitriolic political division based on dearly held beliefs that do not let for the chance of error, a dose of amazing old American pragmatism might be in order. Anything that makes it harder for people to be driven to violence by their beliefs is to be e Pragmatic Summary:William James:C.S. Peirce, the founder of what we now know as pragmatism by which he meant, in easy terms, that what makes a statement real is the empirical verifiability of the statement as a effect competent inquiry. William James meant that a statement is real if it works. To place it crudely, truth is what works and promotes wellbeing. More fully, James held that ideas precede truth. That is, “truth happens to an idea”. An Idea becomes a truth based on subsequent consequences and outcomes, ideas do not begin as being ‘true’. This is how James explained that science and belief in God are compatible, including belief in will, we develop beliefs that are useful and work in terms of navigating our private existence and social experience. Beliefs work in the service of interests. Each is only a hypothesis and is changeable as experience unfolds. As James said, no belief is justified by its correspondence to ‘reality’ because mirroring the ‘reality’ is not the purpose of the human mind. We do not act because we have beliefs, we have beliefs because we act, the two then become commingled and inseparable. In the view of Peirce, what started as an instrument leading to ever expanding knowledge of the natural globe became instead, in the hands of James, a tool for justifying belief in whatever one is deeply committed to believing. When Peirce learned what James had created of pragmatism he changed the name employed to label his thinking to “pragmaticism”, an intentionally awkward term to prevent its use and misuse. In any case, James did not much like the term pragmatism either, he preferred ‘humanism’ to describe what was going on in Peirce’s thought as well as his own.C.S. Peirce:In Peirce’s thought, ‘truth’ is the opinion upon which all competent investigations will converge based on rational scientific inquiries, opining will lead to convergence - this is as concise a summary of the view of Charles Sanders Peirce that I can manage. This to me means that there is an evolutionary learning process at the base of that which we call ‘truth’. We gain a sufficiency of understanding through experience, not a totality of understanding. What counts as evidence, methods of gathering evidence, and thus what counts as ‘truth’ changes over time. It is evolutionary and progressive in manner. Knowledge, ‘truth’, is just the outcome of competent examination of an problem topic to changing circumstances and competing values. What is ‘true’ is only derived at the end of a process of inquiry, not at the beginning. However, we proceed in the opposite manner, often believing that the ‘truth’ of the matter is arrived at first. For Peirce, the principle by which the ‘truth’ is established and understood occurs only after the fact. This does not mean that such principles are arbitrary or capricious, only that they are established, and modified, as a effect of repeated and competent inquiry. The deeper implication is that our thinking is circular. That is, there is no appeal outside of our thinking to validate our thinking but the habitual activity resulting from the process inquiring and thinking can be statistically modeled, suggesting convergence around a mean which is an necessary part what Peirce meant with his “pragmaticism”. We only have a belief about beliefs because mental representations do not refer to things in the world, they refer to other metal representations. The less metaphysical are our beliefs, the more useful they will be for navigating the hn Dewey:John Dewey preferred to call what became known as pragmatism, he did not like the label any more than did Peirce or James, as ‘instrumentalism’ by which he meant that ‘truth’ is what we are warranted in saying is true; ‘truth’ is just what is warrantably assertible and this found through the experience of doing and testing things in the world. Pragmatism provides an acc of the method people navigate their experience of existence, the method they think, come up with ideas, form beliefs and reach decisions. That is, in the navigation of our experience, thinking and acting are two names for this single process of navigation. For Dewey, much like James, beliefs are merely tools. If a belief or set of beliefs do not work in the world, we simply disregard them an adopt fresh beliefs that do work, better at least, for now at least. There is no metaphysical privileging of the mind and ideas over any other aspect of the environment. The relation of the mind to ‘reality’ is no various than relation of hand to the environment. Amazing decisions are congruent with the social world. Ethics is social, not personal. As John Dewey stated, it is not the individual that makes the society, it is the society that makes the individual. His idea of society was one based on tolerance and equality.Oliver Wendell Holmes:Oliver Wendell Holes would characterize all this quite succinctly in stating that a trade in ideas is far superior to the best devised try of ‘truth’. But Homes realized that there are always defects in trade and shop transactions that prevent them from being completely or perfectly competitive. This is an experimental process but life itself is an experiment and Homes crucially understood that explements can fail. ‘Truth’ is not correspondence to a preexisting ideology or metaphysical ‘reality’, it is simply that which produces a difference for the civil society. In the view Holmes, individual rights such as speech are protected, not because the rights inhere to the individual, but because such rights benefit the community; to search the best possible ‘truth’ - to produce the optimal outcomes for the society. Free speech is not an individual good, it is a social iticisms of Pragmatism:What is necessary and common to the four leading thinkers of pragmatism is that it does not provide a fixed philosophical system like so much of nineteenth century and prior thinking. There are no conclusions, just a continued unfolding. It was certainly not a revolutionary philosophy. However, pragmatism does not address from where or how we obtain our ideas and interests and why some people are prepared to die, and slay others, for what is just a contingent working hypothesis. Pragmatism provides no criteria by which to judge the ‘truths’ that effect from pragmatism, not even the crudest of utilitarian criteria is suggested. Are these pragmatic ‘truths’ the same as values? Is this how values are made under a pragmatic regime? Is anything that achieves its end to be regarded as valuable? Is this what is meant by value?The Pragmatic Truth:The find for meaning is a byproduct for the find for what works. Pragmatism is more prosaic in its find for mechanisms that are just amazing enough to work. From here, meaning often creeps in, but this is serendipitous. What follows from pragmatism is that ‘truth’ is to be found in processes and procedures, not in principles and premises. If the legal or scientific procedures are correct for example, the outcomes will be beneficial science and law. Beneficial science and law do not follow from preexisting ideas, truths or metaphysical systems no matter how cherished or traditional. The same is real education, If the procedures and process of education are good, the education will be good. An appealing philosophy to the can-do temperament of America. In the Oxford Companion to Philosophy, pragmatism is described as efficacy is practical application: "What works most effectively in practice." That is, "What works most effectively in practice provides a standard for the determination of truth in the case of statements, rightness in case of actions, and value in in the case of appraisals." The obvious risk here is that what is found to work in practice is most likely socially determined and highly contingent on the values embedded in the culture by which practice and what constitutes the particle is defined. For example, it does not take much creatively to imagine a Nazi or Stalinist pragmatism. That is, pragmatism is the paradigm philosophy of the status quo and proceeds without ever asking what produces or justifies that status e Not good Print Quality of the Book:As enthusiast of paper and ink, I found both to be of inferior quality in this printing. The print itself is faint and in locations letters are poorly struck or altogether missing. This resulting in words that are incomplete, e.g., p 195, to wit: “individual” is rendered as “ dividual’ and “ a machine” is rendered as “ achine”. On p. 155, the word “we” is missing, perhaps more an example of not good editing. On p. 332, the word “waste” is rendered as “ aste” with a poorly struck ”a”. None of this is reflection upon the author or the book as a literary work, both of which are excellent.
Louis Menand's exhaustively researched The Metaphysical Club describes the life and times of a handful of prominent American intellectuals from the Civil Battle era to the Globe Battle era, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. and philosopher William James. Menand is ultimately successful in his basic aim, which is to present how abstract philosophical ideas can have a major impact on the quality of life experienced by daily and's narrative path encompasses a lot of side journeys, sometimes not appearing to advance towards the end goal, and it is not until the latest seventh of the book that we obtain treated to an overall description of the philosophy of pragmatism. The doings of the Cambridge Metaphysical Club are briefly summarized almost halfway through the book, and the reader at that point learns that the club itself is not (although it is the title of the book) what created the major impact on society; rather, it is what some of the club's members did over the course of a lot of subsequent decades that changed American e amazing pleasure in reading The Metaphysical Club comes from following Menand on these a lot of side journeys, thereby learning about a cornucopia of subjects, from the politics of slavery, abolition and the Civil War, to what pre-Civil Battle proper Boston Brahmin society was like, to the impact that Darwin's ideas on evolution had, to the Dartmouth College case and the founding of the modern personal American university, to the Pullman vehicle strike, to the initial wars to establish the principle of academic freedom, all underscored with a recurring discussion of race attitudes over the decades.If this list appears to be a bit of a grab-bag of subjects, that impression prevails while reading the book: although it is all connected, you never quite know what topic Menand is going to discover next. The Metaphysical Club is not the final authority on any of these subjects; rather, it is a top-quality survey work. The subtitle describes the book better than the title: it truly is "a story of ideas in America". It's not "the" definitive story; Menand is exercising his right to discover brief portions of topics of interest to him and germane to the storyline. But if you are willing to grant him this authorial license, and not protest the course he chooses, then you will be enthralled, entertained, and a work of history (it won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for history), Menand also succeeds in providing a amazing of context about the state of the globe his topics were living in, so that we 21st century readers can "see how almost unimaginably strange they and their globe were, too." While there are certain timeless truths that were generated by these thinkers, it is also instructive to see just how much they were a product of their times, which (of course) applies equally as well to us, today.
The "Ori" (head; consciousness) is the most important, insightful and provocative aspect of Ifa theology. Awo Fa'lokun is adept in interpreting its meaning both to non-initiates and for initiates within one of the most substantial spiritual traditions on this planet.
The Metaphysical Club refers to a philosophical society that met in Cambridge in the 1870's. This short-lived group of intellectuals gathered regularly to discuss the problems of the day: the aftermath of the Civil War, evolution, science, religion, abolition, race, to name a few. Louis Menand, professor at the Town College of Fresh York and writer for the Fresh Yorker, has done extensive research of this group and has written a very lively acc of their achievements. Menand is a practitioner of the pragmatism that emerged from the meetings and writings of this extraordinary group.And how does one characterize the philosophy of pragmatism? Pragmatism was, first of all, a reaction to the death and destruction of the Civil War, it was a reaction to the political certitudes that led to the violence of war. As the subtitle indicates this is a story about ideas. The pragmatists "believed that ideas were not 'out there' waiting to be discovered, but are tools..." They believed ideas were social, that no individual could lay claim to them. And borrowing from the Darwinism of the day, they "believed that ideas do not develop according to some inner logic of their own, but are entirely dependent, like germs, on their human carriers and the environment." The pragmatists thus had a fluid notion of knowledge and truth: "ideas are provisional responses to particular and unreproducible circumstances." Therefore truth is contingent: ideas are real only insofar as they work. As William James famously said in "Varieties of Religious Experience," pragmatists are only interested in "truth's money value." As you can see, this is a very homespun American fore going into some of the issues of this philosophy , it is necessary to point out that Menand's way of collective biography of pragmatism's four key orginators - Oliver Wendell Holmes,Jr., Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey - is the logical method to discuss its ideas. Since ideas are always "soaked through" with contingency, it is proper to describle the historical milieu from which they ushered. If truth is provisional it follows that what was real then may not be real now. This explains why Menand's pragmatists and their pragmatisms readily dodged criticism: they were always moving and's portraits of Holmes, Peirce, James, and Dewey present how each of them from various angles arrived at convergent conclusions. Going into their backgrounds, their professional and social standing, and the happenings of their lives, he follows the way of how pragmatists arrive at truth. What has practical consequences in one's life is the only truth one need be concerned e latest part of this book - Part Five - includes three chapters entitled respectively Pragmatisms, Pluralisms, and Freedoms. This is where one would expect to search the final summation of pragmatism as a body of ideas, instead we are left hanging in abeyance. When truth is reduced to efficacy and there are no other standards by which to judge it, we search that something is lacking. If certitudes led to the violence of the Civil War, the absence of certitudes could lead to even greater injustices. Unlimited freedom and tolerance - the "truth is whatever works" attitude - is highly problematic. It is difficult to imagine what a pragmatist's ethics would look like. It sounds like a recipe for totalitarianism. The author was not convincing in resolving the issue of ethical relativism or the so-called situational at said, the book advocates tolerance, pluralism, and multiculturalism, it promotes the positives. It is also very well researched and very well written, and reading it has been very instructive. I would definitely recommed it.
The book goes into depth regarding IFA in Nigeria. Those who practice Lucumi as myself found it to be a unbelievable read, as it gives a foundation and helps one understand as to why somethings are done and how various but related our practices are.
This is a beautifully written book that shows that all traditions of the globe are like sisters and brothers of one only source. I hope that some bigots that push their views as the only method to salvation were blessed by an accident of their dogmas and read the book. My private approach to God is rooted on the hindu tradition and sometimes I feel like I am listening to the worlds of wisdom of my tradition.
This book traces the enormous changes that occurred in American intellectual life after the Civil War, as industrialization, Darwinian thought, and the shocking brutality of the battle swept away already-eroding religious beliefs and ushered in a fresh American philosophy called pragmatism. The racism of the time, including in the North, is shocking. The emergence of the fresh academic disciplines of psychology and sociology, initially out of the philosophy, is revelatory. And there is so much more in this brilliant book.
Intellectual history are very difficult to follow, and The Metaphysical Club is no exception. There is lengthy quotes from 18th century writers whose style is difficult to comprehend, Mendand's style is complex, and requires frequent reference to a dictionary. To fully understand this book I would of had to reread sections several times, or possibly benefitted from class e thesis is that four American intellectual leaders, Oliver Wendall Holmes, John Dewey, Charles S. Peirce, and William James led American thought following the Civil War. After reading this book I still do not understand how James, and particularly Peirce had a powerful influence on American thought. Chapters on Holmes were not much easier to follow and ch of Mendand's discussion is not direct and provides a amazing of background information. His discussion contains a lot of thought behind Darwin's theory of evolution, and German philosophers. The purpose for this background is to explain influences of contemporary thought.Of interest are discussions or historical background of what stories and happenings influenced these thinkers. One of his best discussions regards the Pullman strike and Dewey's assessment of the Pullman strike, professional relationship with Jane Addams, and reasons for founding the Dewey School or the Laboratory School were the best the next to latest chapter he primarily devotes the chapter to academic freedom. It is a amazing discussion and reviews how academic freedom came about. Academic freedom is not the main thrust of the book, but without explanation takes center stage. At the end there were also discussions of lesser known intellectuals. I missed the point of these chapters if the focus was on the four leading thinkers of the day.Overall, The Metaphysical Club is a very difficult read. I gained very small from it, and will leave this one for scholars and philosophers to read.
Prior to reading, I was already quite passionate in asserting that the modern scientific community had proclivities towards certain philosophical blind spots. I had no clue how extensive they were, and in fact how much I myself had readily assumed concerning the mechanistic worldview. Feser does an perfect job of surveying these assumptions through a dozens of disciplinary lenses, and creates an eye-opening read that I would recommend to any of the curious.
Louis Menard's is an excellent, well written, book about post-Civil Battle thought (modernism) in the United States. I had just finished Robert D. Richardson's "William James" book which is also unbelievable [Richardson's is more of a deep dive & Menard's is more of a survey being about James - and Charles Peirce (pronounced "Purse," I've been told by a reputable source), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, & John Dewey]. My issue is remembering it all but, still, a amazing read.
Have you ever wondered what replaced Transcendentalism? The Civil Battle found American intellectuals receptive to less idealistic discourse, and a loosely similar group of ideas we now call "pragmatism" became the foundation of post-Trancendentalist thought. If this sounds interesting to you, read is book, a blend of biography and intellectual history, truly has it all: a profound, original thesis; a attractive narrative style; and a clear presentation of complex ideas without diluting their intellectual gravity. The book does for William James, Wendall Holmes, Charles Peirce, and John Dewey what Tony Judt's unbelievable THE BURDEN OF RESPONSIBILITY did for Blum, Camus, and Aron--rescues critically necessary intellectual figures from obscurity and presents them in a graceful human form. The analysis of both hero and theory is appreciative and appropriately irreverent. Menand wants you to see them and their ideas in the context of a society tolerant of both eccentricity and fanaticism, and in the context of a society that was fundamentally altered by the Civil War. Beautifully done, and an exhilarating read.A warning to specialists: This book is intended for a general audience.A warning to the politically correct: You may be offended.A warning to regionalists (like myself): It's not as easy as Yankee = the amazing guys, Southerner = the poor e only criticism I have is slight. Menand neglects the contributions and counterpoints of Josiah Royce, the lone idealist, to the intellectual community of the period he is describing. He more than makes up for it with vivid portraits of such forgotten figures as Louis Aggasiz, G. Stanley Hall, Eugene Debs, etc...If this one doesn't pull down the Pulitzer I'll be disappointed.
When I was small I really loved science. As I got older, people created it sound like you could either love science or love your faith, and I bought that lie. This book has reignited my passion for science. This is one of my favorite books of 2019 and through it I've discovered a favorite philosopher!
There are so few books on Ifa that are just plain English and that also share esoteric indigenous info about the Ifa tradition. This book a peak into Ifa as it relates to higher consciousness and not just famous views on traditional religion. There is a difference between Lucumi and traditional African expressions of the tradition and this book would support to give more insight into traditional concepts. There needs to be more emphasis on Ori and less on individualized Orishas... This concept alone helps us to embody what Ifa is really about. Ase!
Aristotle’s Revenge talks about how scientists believe that Aristotle’s science has been largely created obsolete. Philosopher Edward Feser demonstrates that although Aristotle did create some scientific mistakes, his metaphysical assumptions about reality are the foundation of modern istotle believed in formal causes and final causes, which modern science largely rejects or ignores. But modern science needs formal causes and final causes as a foundation. Aristotle also believed in hylomorphism and a theory explaining change in terms of potentiality becoming actuality, and science needs those foundations also. Thomistic philosophy says that every efficient cause has a final cause, but modern science denies e author, Edward Feser, points out that most things in nature have substantial forms, where the properties and causal powers of the substantial form are not reducible to those of its parts. But man-made objects, such as a watch, have accidental forms, where the properties and causal powers of the object are the same as those of its item of note in this book is where Edward Feser points out that David Hume claimed that causation could not be proved, but his argument claiming that causation wasn’t knowable had logical steps, which were changes, so his argument claiming that causation couldn’t be known rested on an argument that involved change. Hume contradicted ere are necessary lessons to be learned from Aristotle’s metaphysics. Aristotle’s theory of time is called Presentism, which states that past entities, states and happenings are those that did exist; show entities, states and happenings are those that do exist; and future entities, states and happenings are those that will exist. Past entities, states and happenings are contained within the show as their effects reside in the present. The show points forward to a range of things which might yet be caused to exist. Future entities are contained within the show as potentials which might be actualized.Under Presentism, only the show is real. And that theory of time makes time travel impossible, since one can’t travel from the show (which exists) to a past or future which no longer exist (or don’t yet exist). With all the time travel going on in fiction and movies, this is useful istotle’s conception of most things in nature having substantial forms means that the form controls the parts, and most things have a top-down structure. Modern science uses reductionism, in which science tries to break things into their components to build a bottom-up explanation of things. Aristotle’s substantial forms provide insight on wave-particle duality and the entanglement issue of quantum physics, since the prime matter which makes up substances is potentiality which becomes actuality by joining with matter (the union of form and matter being called hylomorphism). At the atomic level, prime matter is potential, capable of being matter or energy, and explains how light can be a particle and a wave, since potentiality includes both particle and wave aspects, only one of which becomes actualized. It’s interesting how Aristotle’s concept of substantial forms sheds some light on the mysteries of quantum e above comments are just a few of the a lot of perfect insights that philosopher Edward Feser provides in this fascinating and profound work on metaphysics and science. Edward Feser has avenged Aristotle and defended his honor, and readers should be grateful.
I bought this book many, a lot of years ago with every intention of reading it soon thereafter, but I had heard such amazing things about it that I wanted to wait until I had enough time set aside to be able to fully savor it without any distractions. So, I waited. And I waited. And I kept on waiting, because I never could seem to search that ideal stretch of distraction-free time I was saving it for. All the while, it has been sitting on a shelf collecting dust. But a few weeks ago, while doing some much-needed spring cleaning, I came across the book and decided that I had place off reading it long enough. So, in spite of the fact that I never really did search the excellent time to read it, I finally did manage to obtain it read. My only regret is that I waited so long. It is an perfect book that really does live up to all the hype.'The Metaphysical Club' is the biography of four men and an idea. The four men are the legal scholar Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (who would later become one of the most celebrated justices ever to sit on the United States Supreme Court), the psychologist and philosopher William James, the polymath Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced "purse"), and the philosopher and social reformer John Dewey. The idea, of course, is agmatism is an innovative approach to doing philosophy that was developed by Holmes, James, Peirce, and Dewey (with contributions from numerous others, of course) in the period between the American Civil Battle and the First Globe War. Pragmatism is by far the most influential school of philosophical thought ever to come out of the United States, and it has been argued that Pragmatism reflects the American method of thinking better than any other philosophical movement. This is why Pragmatism has come to be treated as virtually synonymous with "American philosophy."Pragmatism is often misunderstood, in huge part because we tend to use the word "pragmatism" to mean practical-mindedness or expediency. Well, Pragmatism can certainly be seen as a practical-minded or expedient approach to doing philosophy, but it is necessary to hold in mind that Pragmatism (at least in the philosophical sense of the word) is specifically an approach to doing philosophy—it is not really about practical-mindedness or expediency in daily affairs. In other words, the goal of Pragmatist philosophers is not to preach the virtues of practical living; it is to do philosophy in a particular way. (Here, I am using the word "philosophy" in a fairly broad sense to mean the serious, reasoned contemplation of ideas and their implications; so this would contain not only the academic discipline of philosophy, but most other fields of scholarship as well, plus at least a few professions outside of academia, the most notable being the field of law.) Pragmatism is about taking a particular approach to the contemplation of ideas—an approach that Pragmatists consider to be more practical-minded than most of the alternative approaches that have been tried over the centuries.William James, in his popular series of lectures on Pragmatism in 1906-07 (which he later published in book form), illustrated the Pragmatist approach to thinking with this amusing anecdote:"Some years ago, being with a camping party in the mountains, I returned from a solitary ramble to search everyone engaged in a ferocious metaphysical dispute. The corpus of the dispute was a squirrel—a live squirrel supposed to be clinging to one side of a tree-trunk; while over versus the tree's opposite side a human being was imagined to stand. This human witness tries to obtain sight of the squirrel by moving rapidly round the tree, but no matter how quick he goes, the squirrel moves as quick in the opposite direction, and always keeps the tree between himself and the man, so that never a glimpse of him is caught. The resultant metaphysical issue now is this: DOES THE MAN GO ROUND THE SQUIRREL OR NOT? He goes round the tree, sure enough, and the squirrel is on the tree; but does he go round the squirrel? In the unlimited leisure of the wilderness, discussion had been worn threadbare. Everyone had taken sides, and was obstinate; and the numbers on both sides were even. Each side, when I appeared, therefore appealed to me to create it a majority. Mindful of the scholastic adage that whenever you meet a contradiction you must create a distinction, I immediately sought and found one, as follows: 'Which party is right,' I said, 'depends on what you PRACTICALLY MEAN by "going round" the squirrel. If you mean passing from the north of him to the east, then to the south, then to the west, and then to the north of him again, obviously the man does go round him, for he occupies these successive positions. But if on the contrary you mean being first in front of him, then on the right of him, then behind him, then on his left, and finally in front again, it is quite as obvious that the man fails to go round him, for by the compensating movements the squirrel makes, he keeps his belly turned towards the man all the time, and his back turned away. Create the distinction, and there is no occasion for any farther dispute. You are both right and both wrong according as you conceive the verb "to go round" in one practical fashion or the other.' "While this anecdote cleverly illustrates the sort of practical-minded approach that Pragmatists like to take when thinking about ideas (in this case, the rather trivial idea of what it means "to go round" a squirrel), this illustration only scratches the surface of what philosophical Pragmatism is all about, and you'll need to do quite a bit of reading on the topic (or take a course in American philosophy) in to fully understand how Pragmatists do philosophy.'The Metaphysical Club' is actually a beautiful amazing put to begin. It won't teach you everything you need to know about the subject, but it will give you a beautiful amazing sense of what Pragmatism is all about. More importantly, you will learn a amazing about how Pragmatism came to be. You will learn about the men and women who contributed, directly or indirectly, to its development—in particular, about the four men who are most directly responsible for bringing us Pragmatism: Wendell Holmes, William James, Charles Peirce, and John Dewey. You'll learn about how their lives and experiences—and the most necessary and controversial problems of their day—helped shape their ways of thinking. You'll learn about how the history of Pragmatism is connected to the troubled history of race relations in America as well as to the growing tension between science and religion that could be seen in the decades after the publication of Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species'. Understanding the historical context and intellectual climate in which Pragmatism developed will give you a better sense of what Pragmatism is really all about.But this book is about so much more than just Pragmatism. Likewise, it is about so much more than just the lives and the intellectual accomplishments of Holmes, James, Peirce, and Dewey—who are arguably the four most necessary American thinkers of the period between the end of the Civil Battle the end of Globe Battle I (and in the case of Holmes and Dewey, well after the end of Globe Battle I). Yes, it is a biography of these four men and the idea they gave birth to. It is also, to a lesser extent, a biography of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (the father of Justice Holmes), Henry James, Sr. (the father of William James—whose brother was the popular novelist Henry James), and Benjamin Peirce (the father of Charles Peirce), all of whom were well-known and highly-respected (if a bit eccentric) intellectuals of their day who had a amazing of influence on the intellectual development of their respective sons. (John Dewey's father, Archibald, on the other hand, was a storekeeper—a fairly smart and well-read man, it seems, but not a scholar or a public figure like Holmes, James, and Peirce, Srs. The book devotes only a few sentences to him.) And the book also contains brief biographical sketches of a lot of other people who influenced the development of Pragmatism in some meaningful way, including a number whose main contribution was simply to argue in favor of views that the Pragmatists ultimately rejected. But this book is also, as its subtitle, 'A Story of Ideas in America,' suggests, a biography of America itself, or at least a chapter in that biography. It is the story of how the Civil Battle and its aftermath changed America—in particular, how it changed the method American intellectuals think about huge ideas.But it's even more than that. There are so a lot of delightful treats in this book that it would be impossible for me to list them all. The author frequently goes off on what at first appear to be random tangents about subjects ranging from the whaling industry to the Pullman strike to Laplace's and Maxwell's demons to legal wars over who gets to hire and fire professors at a university to how statistical analysis can be used to detect a forged signature on a will, but he always manages to tie all of these odd digressions back to the story of how ideas in America evolved in the decades after the Civil War, ultimately leading to the development of Pragmatism. The journey that the author takes us on has lots of twists, turns, and detours, but it is fascinating and fun—not to mention educational. I was particularly intrigued by the discussion of the different ideas about race and race relations that were being debated both before and after the Civil War. You may be surprised at some of the things you learn. (People held some beautiful bizarre and appalling ideas about race in those days. Of course, most white Americans back then—on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line—were horribly racist by today's standards, and that contains a number of Abolitionists! But the sheer dozens of views on race and race relations that were seriously proposed, discussed, and debated in those days is staggering. In the decades after the Civil War, a lot of black intellectuals began to create their own contributions to this discussion. These included scholars such as W.E.B. du Bois, who had studied philosophy under William James, and Alain Locke, who was also influenced by the Pragmatist tradition. They are also discussed in this book.)If you are interested in philosophy, American history (particularly the history of the Civil Battle and its aftermath), or the history of ideas, I highly recommend this book. I guarantee you will learn something interesting, and you'll probably have fun it, too.
This is an absorbing, fascinating, complex, and obscure book all rolled into one. It is a kind of flowing narrative of ideas as they evolved, with succinct but frustratingly incomplete references to their substance, and the men and a few women who gave birth to them. It is also thick with historical context. Yet it is not intellectual history, not a philosophical argument, and not biography. As such, the book is an odd hybrid that did not quite constitute the full food I was hoping to and begins with the Transcendentalists just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, with the second amazing awakening of Evangelical Christianity as the backdrop. This was a time when intellectuals thought in absolutes, that there was some underlying truth to uncover that was compatible with a life of faith. It could be observed and known. In the case of the Transcendentalists, they were skeptical of groups and institutions, but still believed they could arrive at some individual truth that would mean something to others. I saw this as akin to a Platonic ideal merged with protestant theology, ideas which the globe only dully reflected. The abolitionists were part of this, zealots who would drag the entire country into battle in help of their mission; southern slave owners were similar, though with a diametrically opposed fanaticism of their own. An entire generation of youths went to their slaughter in the service of these ideals, marking the survivors as skeptics and doubters of such certainties for the rest of their lives. It affected budding philosophers, including William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and the same time, these philosophers absorbed 2 crucially necessary scientific concepts: statistics and Darwin's theory of natural selection. Statistics taught that you could not count on exact results to prove a point, but an average of a lot of separate observations; that meant that observers and individuals could not always be trusted to search or see the one "truth". Far more importantly, Darwin introduced an entirely fresh method to interpret the natural world: it incorporated not just possibility as affecting outcomes, but challenged the notion that there was some discernable, deterministic plan or end in accordance with God or whatever Platonic ideal you might choose. Menand explains these developments at amazing length, sometimes in too much detail, such as the chapter on a court case involving the comparison of signatures. These developments set them in opposition to the amazing scientists of their time, such as Agassiz, who was a Linnean creationist, willing to categorize organisms but without any theory to organize his observations beyond a vague theology.A fresh method was forged in an informal grouping (The Metaphysical Club) that met for just one year. From this, William James formulated his philosophy of pragmatism. Rather than seek set and unchanging truths, James concluded that one's ideas and ideals - one's private truth - were chosen as useful to one's goals or aspirations. In other words, truth was instrumental, a means to an end. It was a kind of relativism in philosophy and psychology, James' domains as the leading American thinker of his age. Intellectual colleagues in others locations applied these ideas to their disciplines, Holmes in law - promoting speech in fresh ways as part of the political process to arrive at better results, even when people are wrong - and Dewey in education, founding fresh kinds of schools to help individual development and helping to institutionalize academic freedom as a public good. However, if relativist, they believed in discipline, even sacrifice, in the service of social ideals. They were optimists, reformers of the existing systems rather than revolutionaries, and they embodied the new, democratic consensus that arose from the crushing of the confederate rebels. Their vision was tolerant and inclusive, though the rights of blacks were ignored for the sake of e end effect was the establishment of similar methods in all disciplines. In science, process became all-important, no longer yoked to pre-conceived notions but allowing whatever conclusions emerged from exhaustive observation and confirmed by specialists - there might be paradigms, but even they could fall, and the effort was collective, even social. In psychology, it meant that individual striving for truth and private goals was paramount, though conforming to social purpose. Finally, in politics and law, the democratic process should let the best ideas to emerge from the widest possible debate, a fresh kind of pluralism at the moment that immigrants were swamping the Anglo-Saxon ruling class. This consensus, relativist and naive as it was, lasted more or less until the Cold War, when either/or ideals again came to the fore in the war between capitalism and communism, but also in the war for civil rights, which was particularly unyielding and absolutist. It was then that the metaphysical club's ideals were overtaken by a fresh consensus. Interestingly, Menand argues that the current era may see a fresh relevance in tolerance and democratic is book is often a difficult read. Whenever I was well acquainted with the ideas, it was an perfect evocation of an intellectual confluence, but when I didn't know the ideas, it was hard to follow. To be sure, this is due to the holes in my own understanding - and it inspires me to read in fresh locations - but it was a nagging frustration. On balance, it is worth the effort, though not as complete a portrait of an age as related works, such as Ronald Steele's "Walter Lippmann and the American Century", which fully explained every intellectual movement of which he was a part. Of course, Menand is a peerless writer of prose, his ideas are always interesting, and I learned an immense amount. The biographical info are also very commended with these caveats.
A fairly fast-paced history that follows the trail of Pragmatism from its origin onward via biographical sketches of the men involved in forming it. As has already been noted in other reviews, this is a book that you could probably spend months and months sifting through due to the density of the topic e author does an perfect job of shedding light on other topics during the era, like slavery and the racial theories of prominent scientists. Allow me assure you, if you look at the past through the views that most of us keep today, there were few men in any part of the country that didn't keep views on race to create you cringe. For example, as silly as it might seem now, the most serious scientists of their time were divided as to whether or not the white and black races evolved from one common ancestor or evolved entirely independent of one another...i.e., we were made differently from day 's this very thing that reveals the beauty of science as something that builds on itself via verifiable data and, once your ideas fail the test, they go directly and swiftly into the dustbin of ilosophical systems not being something that spring into someone's head fully formed, Menand does a amazing job tracing all of the twists and turns that ultimately lead to what we refer to as the philosophy of is book was much broader in scope than I thought it would be and intensely interesting in a lot of ways. You'll likely add bios of Oliver Wendell Holmes, William James & John Dewey to your wish-list after reading this.
This is the best small book for fresh and experienced writers. I hadn't read this in years. Required a refresher!It's also a amazing "gift" to give college writers who know how to write for the web, but also at least understand primary rules of writing!
Again, I couldn't obtain into it like with the demo, the English is still very choppy and someone should have helped edit it more before releasing it. I'm sure it's a amazing game, I just can't really obtain into it. I won't refund, for help of the author, but I'd like to see changes created when the android game is updated.
A very clear and concise textbook covering the basics of physical hydrology. A excellent textbook for individual study as every chapter is very understandable. Modern subjects and locations of research are touched upon but the focus in this book is on a solid understanding of the basics. Highly recommend - I believe this is the only textbook I have ever read from cover to cover.
A shopping list of key observable elements that the author deems necessary for the uninitiated (FYI, all the elements are mentioned on the book's cover). This book will not support you figure out the amazing from the amazing from the poor works. But gives you markers to support you understand it a small better. I did search it interesting though the author avoids going into any depth on any topic. Had I read this book in a bookstore I do not think I would have bought it as I went through the book in 25 minutes.
In this sturdy, high-quality book, Herbert George discusses the fourteen characteristics of sculpture which he considers pertinent to understand and appreciate sculpture. These contain for example: material, place, texture, colour, volume, space, movement, light and memory. Though this approach is enlightening, the fact that no less fourteen features are identified makes it impractical to apply on a regular basis for the casual amateur of e main interest of this book lies rather in the wide array of examples that are used to illustrate the fourteen elements. Thus, the reader is exposed in a single book to works ranging from Antiquity to the present, from Canova and Michelangelo to Cristo and Amish Kapoor. Though in almost all cases only a single image is provided for each sculpture, this is sufficient to adequately demonstrate the author’s point … and to delight the reader.
Already I purchased this app at 90/- approx one year back. Then, issue is : Full pack : I purchased again yesterday at 240/- But , (I will use only one Gmail ) I have same lessons / subjects ... What should I do ? & What happened ??? Plz solve this my problem/ Or Give money back to me 240/- Thank you
This is very amazing application for photographers. I have purchased full pack of this application but the tool exposure triangle is missing in my app. I m using moto x with Android device ver kitkat 4.4.4 please support me to resolve this issue. Please send me your email address so I can send you screenshots