Thursday, November 12, 2009

Week Nine: Philosophy: 19th and 20th Centuries

Reading:
Osborne: 114-117, 131-152, 161-182
Robinson: 97-101, 107-109, 126-137, 145-154
Penguin
Supplemental Reading:
Oxford: 343-349, 239-252
Terms:
Darwin (1809-1882)
John Henry Newman (1801-1873)
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
Utilitarianism
Pragmatism
William James (1842-1910)
Max Weber (1864-1920)
Freud (1856-1939)
Russell (1872-1970)
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)
Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)
Notes:
ANGLO-AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY IN THE 19th CENTURY
Darwin
a) Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
b) H.M.S. Beagle, 1831-1836
c) Natural Selection:
1. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859). Though not himself the originator of the evolutionary hypothesis, nor even the first to apply the concept to of descent to plant and animal organisms, Darwin was the first to thinker to gain for natural selection a wide acceptance among biological experts.
2. The Descent of Man (1871. The human race has descended from a hairy quadrumanous animal belonging to the great anthropoid group, and related to the progenitors of the orag-utan, chimpanzee, and the gorilla.
d) effects upon the Victorian mind:
1. Loss of faith (Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach")
2. Cardinal Newman and the Oxford movement
3. Social Darwinism (not biology!)

Utilitarianism
I. Basic ideas:
a) Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness. Actions are wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.
b) Happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain. Unhappiness is
pain and the privation of pleasure.
II. Jeremy Bentham 1748-1832): lawyer, democratic, populist. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)


a) External standard of goodness: happiness could be measured quantitatively.

Law should be based on science. Law and morality should be decided "scientifically."
1 - definition of human nature
2 - Human beings are under the governanace of pain and pleasure."
3 - "felicific calculus"
4 - Seek to spread pelasure as widely as possible to produce the "general good" or "the greatest happiness to the greatest number."



III. John Stewart Mill (1806-1873): philosopher, political economist, politician.

a) Internal measure of goodness: happiness was subjective, and tied to altruism, which is as important as self-interest. Happiness is qualitative.
b) Obligation can be compatible with self-interest if it leads to the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
c) System of Logic (1843), outlines the limits and nature of meaningful discussion.
d) On Liberty (1859), relates individual liberties to those of he state, and argues that civil restrictions on individual liberties are only permissible if they are only absolutely necessary to prevent harm to others.

1 - Seek happiness rather than pleasure.
2 - Mill was pluralist--individuals should be protected from majority opinion and rules.
3 - Public good.
4 - Help the poor for the public good.

Can morality be made "scientific"?

Pragmatism
I. William James (1843-1910
a) Popularizer of pragmatism, called his system "radical empiricism."
b) Spent two years in Germany, returned to Harvard for his medical degree in 1869, and was appointed to an instructorship at Harvard Medical College in 1872. His subject field as an instructor was "physiological psychology."
b) Principles of Psychology (1890)
1. Mind is an activity, not a mental state.
2. There are no fragments labeled "sensations" or "ideas" or "mental states." Mind is a dynamic and continuous process in which an organism and the environment are integrated. It is a process of adjustment, and adjustment is intelligent and conscious.
3. Overturned the psychology of "mental states" that was the basis of empirical philosophy since Locke.
c) James' pragmatism is practicalism. An idea is useful because it is true, or it is true because it is useful.
d) Thoughts are just tools with which to do things, and the truth is what's pragmatically useful.
II. John Dewey (1859-1952)
a) Instrumentalism: Thoughts are instrumental in working out problems.
b) Thinking is a process of adjustment between man and his environment.
c) Truth is relative, and is worked out through experience and life.
d) Dewey influenced American education: experimental problem-solving, and non-dogmatic teaching.
e) Criticisms:
1. Since everything is relative, nothing can be decided philosophically.
2. Pragmatism's stress on relativity fits in with the efficiency of industrial capitalism.
Review: ROMANTICISM AND REACTION (1788-1910)
Romanticism
European Idealism

HIGH MODERNISM (1910-1945)
Fascism
Communism
Marx-Lenism
Trotskyism
Stalism
Maoism
Cubism
Vorticism
Surrealism
Freud
Jung
James Joyce
Ezra Pound
T.S. Eliot
Western Liberalism
Existentialism

CONTEMPORARY
Neo-liberalism/New Left/Post-Marxism/Postmodernism
Traditional Western Liberalism (Will it survive?)
Neoconservatism
Post-/Trans-nationalism
Libertarianism
Christian Fundamentalism
Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
Conservative Catholicism
Islamic Fundamentalism and Islamicism
MODERN PHILOSOPHY
Early 20th Century Modern Philosophy
1. Logic
a) Russell
b) Whitehead
c) Frege
d) Wittgenstein
1) Tractatus
e) Logical Positivism
2) Psychology
a) Freud
b) Jung
Totalitarianism
1. Futurism and Vorticism
2. Fascism
a) Italian Fascism
b) National Socialism (Hitler)
c) Japanese Empire
3. Communism
a) Lenin and Stalin
b) Trotsky
c) Mao
d) Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge
Structuralism
1) Levi Strauss

Postmodernism
1) Roots in Continental Philosophy
a) Rousseau
b) Hegel
c) Marx
d) Nietzsche
f) Heidegger
g) existentialism
2) Structuralism and Post-structuralism
a) Saussure
b) Structuralism
c) Levi-Strauss
d) Lacan
e) Michael Foucault
f) Althusser
g) Semiology-Barthes
a) De-constructionism - Jacques Derrida
3) New Historicism
4) Feminism
6) Cultural Relativism
a) Alternative lifestyles
b Value relativism
7) Idealism
8) Capitalisms
a) Revealed as a New Left critique of "late-capital" culture
b) Revealed as a critique of "Neo-conservative-ism"
c) Ideological capitalism in the wake of Reagan and Thatcher
d) Transglobalism, the decline of the nation-state
Artistic/Critical Modernisms
1) Modern
2) Ultra-modern
3) Postmodernism (Frederick Jamison: New Left)
4) Jencksian Post-modernism (Charles Jencks, John Barth, Umberto Eco)
ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY
1) Wittgenstein
a) First phase: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus ("The Tractatus")
b) Middle/transitional Phase: The Blue and Brown Books
c) Foundations of Mathematics
d) Notes on Frazier, Freud, and Aesthetics (Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief).
e) Second phase: Philosophical Investigations, On Certainty)
2) Maurice O'C. Drury, The Danger of Words
3) Norman Malcolm
4) Cora Diamond
5) P.M.S. Hacker, Analytic Commentary on Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein's Place in Twentieth-century Analytic Philosophy
6) Ray Monk, Wittgenstein: the Duty of Genius

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