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Historical and Systematic Essays (Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy, Volume 41)

Michael Gorman

Publication Year: 2012

The essays in this volume, written by a mix of well-established and younger philosophers, bridge divides between historical and systematic approaches in philosophy as well divides between analytical, continental, and American traditions.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Series: Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xviii

It is impossible to think without using categories. Consider the judgment that the rose is red. To make this judgment, one must use the category “red” and assign the rose to it; one must also, perhaps in a somewhat different way, make use of the category “rose.” And what is true here about judging that the rose is red is, ..

Part I. The Aristotelian Tradition

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1. Categories and Metaphysics: Aristotle’s Science of Being

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pp. 3-20

The relationship between Aristotle’s Categories and his Metaphysics is a matter of some debate. If one assumes that the Categories is fundamentally a metaphysical work, then there appear to be irreconcilable differences between the notion of substance presented in the Categories and that presented in Metaphysics Z (VII). ...

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2. Aristotle’s Categories “Where” and “When”

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pp. 21-32

The word “category” itself comes from the verb καταγορευώ, meaning “to denounce,” “to accuse,” or, as we shall see in Aristotle, “to be predicated.” In his entry “Categories” in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Manley Thompson turns first to “Aristotelian Theory” and asserts: ...

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3. Aquinas’s Metaphysics: Individuation and Constitution

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pp. 33-44

This essay examines some features of what might be called “Aquinas’s theory of things.” This is not the same as his ontology or his theory of what there is in the world, since he supposed that being— what there is—is spread over all the ten Aristotelian categories and not just the category of substance, which includes things. ...

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4. Reflections on Some Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Views of the Categories

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pp. 45-57

For about fifteen hundred years the dominant categorial scheme in Western thought was that of Aristotle, and especially in the Middle Ages it was taken quite seriously. What I would like to focus on here is a period of roughly seventy-five years, from the mid-thirteenth century to the early fourteenth century, ...

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5. Categories and Commensurability in Confucius and Aristotle: A Response to MacIntyre

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pp. 58-78

Alasdair MacIntyre argues, in “Incommensurability, Truth, and the Conversation between Confucians and Aristotelians about the Virtues,” that despite certain agreements about the virtues, Confucian and Aristotelian traditions are ultimately incommensurable.1 ....

Part II. Modern Approaches

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6. Kant: The Practical Categories

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pp. 81-96

Perhaps no thinker since Aristotle devoted as much attention to the concept and use of categories than did Immanuel Kant. For Aristotle, the categories stand at the nexus of our knowledge of the world and the being of the world; they represent the primary predicates according to which a being is said to be what it is in itself.1 ...

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7. Charles Peirce’s Categories, Phenomenological and Ontological

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pp. 97-117

Philosophical categories are necessary conditions of intelligibility. Charles Peirce proposes three such conditions—a short list when compared with the long lists proposed by Aristotle and Kant. The short list applies to the most fundamental, pervasive, or universal features identifiable in any phenomenon, ...

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8. Husserl and the Categories

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pp. 118-135

In Chapter 5 of this volume, May Sim explains that whereas Aristotle gives us a complete list of ten categories, Confucius provides no such list. Husserl does not give us any complete list of categories, either, but we can draw together from his various writings a long list of kinds of categories. ...

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9. Language-Games as Categories: An Aristotelian Theme in Wittgenstein’s Later Thought

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pp. 136-148

Aristotle and Kant agree that the species of predicates (or concepts) go hand in hand with the species of predications (or judgments). Why these two classifications go hand in hand is not, in either case, a matte of empirical discovery but has to do instead with the very nature of the project. ...

Part III. Normative Considerations ...

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10. Categories and Normativity

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pp. 151-170

Anyone who tries to understand categories soon runs into the problem of giving an account of the unity of a category. Call this the “unity problem.” In this essay I describe a distinctive and under-studied version of the unity problem and discuss how it might be solved. ...

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11. Categorial Form

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pp. 171-182

Philosophic inquiry was once dominated by two linked questions: What are the categorial features of reality? What moral difference do they make? Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Marx, and social Darwinists answered that human character, actions, laws, and virtues are properly sensitive to our nature and circumstances. ...

Part IV. Epistemological and Metaphysical Considerations

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12. Distinction, Judgment, and Discipline

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pp. 185-203

Philosophers in the analytic tradition insist upon a distinction between knowledge and fact, normally as follows: knowledge is something held by a subject of some sort, and fact is—well, it stands on its own feet, without a fact-finder, subject, or “observer” to thank for its existence. ...

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13. Categorial Intentions and Objects

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pp. 204-224

Some kinds of intentionality are rather colorful and concrete, for example, imagination, picturing, and memory. Here we will discuss a kind of intentionality that is more austere and more purely rational. We will examine what phenomenology calls categorial intentionality. This is the kind of intending that articulates states of affairs and propositions, ...

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14. Carving Up Reality

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pp. 225-237

Think of Mont Blanc, with its rabbits and foothills and its slurries of moistened rock. We can carve up the reality around Mont Blanc in different ways. If we are hunters, we might include rabbits as parts of the mountain; if we are geologists we might include only rock, perhaps together with a certain amount of air in the crevices...

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15. The Generation and Destruction of Categories

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pp. 238-267

Philosophers often behave like aboriginal peoples who count, “one, two, three, four, five, man .” Quite a few count, “one, two, many.” Dialectical sophisticates take pride in reckoning “one, two, three, many.” Contemporary thinkers arrive at indefinite multiplicities with alarmin speed. ...

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16. Are Categories Invented or Discovered? A Response to Foucault

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pp. 268-284

Sometimes the philosopher is allowed a certain latitude to explore and perhaps even to preach, rather than to present a completely worked out position. So I am going to do a bit of both. My chapter and verse is a passage from the preface to Foucault’s The Order of Things, in which he argues that categories are a matter of invention.1 ...


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pp. 285-294

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List of Contributors

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pp. 295-298

C. Wesley DeMarco (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) teaches philosophy at Clark University. His research interests include metaphysics and ethics, and he has published a number of articles, including “Knee Deep in Technique: The Ethics of Monopoly Capital” ...

Author Index

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pp. 299-302

Subject Index

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pp. 303-309

E-ISBN-13: 9780813220512
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813213774

Page Count: 327
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy