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L'ancien et le Nouveau Cover

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L'ancien et le Nouveau

La production du savoir dans líAfrique díaujourdíhui

How are the ëoldí and the ënew' expressed in the field of knowledge and know-how? What did we know yesterday, and what do we know today? What was, yesterday, and what is, today, the mythical part in what we believe we know? And how do we define, in each case, the core of concrete and universally valid knowledges? What rights and duties do we acclaim as human beings, as women, as children, as peoples or nations, and what understanding do we today have of these rights and duties? What is the impact, of what we today call globalisation, on the evolution of knowledge, know-how, and the awareness of such rights and duties? To these questions, and to other related ones, this book provides some answers. It is the result of a conference held in Cotonou in October 2006, on the theme ìTraditional knowledges and modern scienceî. It is dedicated to the memory of Georg Elwert, a German Africanist who passed away in 2005, and whose work on Benin, Africa and the Third World remains a source of inspiration for many.

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Learning to Unlearn

Decolonial Reflections from Eurasia and the Americas

Learning to Unlearn: Decolonial Reflections from Eurasia and the Americas is a complex, multisided rethinking of the epistemic matrix of Western modernity and coloniality from the position of border epistemology. Colonial and imperial differences are the two key concepts to understanding how the logic of coloniality creates ontological and epistemic exteriorities. Being at once an enactment of decolonial thinking and an attempt to define its main grounds, mechanisms, and concepts, the book shifts the politics of knowledge from “studying the other” (culture, society, economy, politics) toward “the thinking other” (the authors). Addressing areas as diverse as the philosophy of higher education, gender, citizenship, human rights, and indigenous agency, and providing fascinating and little-known examples of decolonial thinking, education, and art, Madina V. Tlostanova and Walter D. Mignolo deconstruct the modern architecture of knowledge—its production and distribution as manifested in the corporate university. In addition, the authors dwell on and define the echoing global decolonial sensibilities as expressed in the Americas and in peripheral Eurasia. The book is an important addition to the emerging transoceanic inquiries that introduce decolonial thought and non-Western border epistemologies not only to update or transform disciplines but also to act and think decolonially in the global futures to come.

Liberal Faith Cover

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Liberal Faith

Essays in Honor of Philip Quinn

Edited by Paul J. Weithman

Philip Quinn, John A. O’Brien Professor at the University of Notre Dame from 1985 until his death in 2004, was well known for his work in the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and core areas of analytic philosophy. Although the breadth of his interests was so great that it would be virtually impossible to identify any subset of them as representative, the contributors to this volume provide an excellent introduction to, and advance the discussion of, some of the questions of central importance to Quinn in the last years of his working life. Paul J. Weithman argues in his introduction that Quinn’s interest and analyses in many areas grew out of a distinctive and underlying sensibility that we might call “liberal faith.” It included belief in the value of a liberal education and in rigorous intellectual inquiry, the acceptance of enduring religious, cultural, and political pluralism, along with a keen awareness of problems posed by pluralism, and a deeply held but non-utopian faith in liberal democratic politics. These provocative essays, at the cutting edge of epistemology, the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and political philosophy, explore the tenets of liberal faith and invite continuing engagement with the philosophical issues.

Necessity and Possibility Cover

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Necessity and Possibility

The Logical Strategy of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser argues that reading Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as an argument for such a logic of experience makes more defensible many of Kant's most controversial claims, and makes more accessible Kant's notoriously difficult text.

No Religion without Idolatry Cover

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No Religion without Idolatry

Mendelssohn's Jewish Enlightenment

Gideon Freudenthal

Moses Mendelssohn (1725–1786) is considered the foremost representative of Jewish Enlightenment. In No Religion without Idolatry, Gideon Freudenthal offers a novel interpretation of Mendelssohn’s general philosophy and discusses for the first time Mendelssohn’s semiotic interpretation of idolatry in his Jerusalem and in his Hebrew biblical commentary. Mendelssohn emerges from this study as an original philosopher, not a shallow popularizer of rationalist metaphysics, as he is sometimes portrayed. Of special and lasting value is his semiotic theory of idolatry.

From a semiotic perspective, both idolatry and enlightenment are necessary constituents of religion. Idolatry ascribes to religious symbols an intrinsic value: enlightenment maintains that symbols are conventional and merely signify religious content but do not share its properties and value. Without enlightenment, religion degenerates to fetishism; without idolatry it turns into philosophy and frustrates religious experience. Freudenthal demonstrates that in Mendelssohn’s view, Judaism is the optimal religious synthesis. It consists of transient ceremonies of a “living script.” Its ceremonies are symbols, but they are not permanent objects that could be venerated. Jewish ceremonies thus provide a religious experience but frustrate fetishism. Throughout the book, Freudenthal fruitfully contrasts Mendelssohn's views on religion and philosophy with those of his contemporary critic and opponent, Salomon Maimon. No Religion without Idolatry breaks new ground in Mendelssohn studies. It will interest students and scholars in philosophy of religion, Judaism, and semiotics.

"In this lucid and provocative study, Gideon Freudenthal offers an original and compelling reading of Mendelssohn as well as a defense of the possibility of religious rationalism more generally. This book is not only an excellent contribution to a growing body of scholarship on Mendelssohn and early modern philosophy, but it also significantly sharpens and advances contemporary conversations about the relations between religion and reason." —Leora Batnitzky, Princeton University
 
"In this masterful study, Gideon Freudenthal demonstrates how Mendelssohn’s philosophy, including his philosophy of religion, is grounded in semiotics. The result is a landmark work that not only successfully challenges standard interpretations of Mendelssohn’s 'enlightened Judaism' and its alleged inconsistency but also effectively invites reconsideration of the very possibility of 'religion without idolatry.'" —Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Boston University
 
"In focusing on Mendelssohn's 'semiotics of idolatry,' Gideon Freudenthal writes as a philosopher fully at home in multiple traditions: contemporary philosophy, eighteenth-century philosophy, Jewish biblical exegesis, and comparative religion. The result is a systematic and penetrating study, based on the Hebrew as well as the German texts, that engages Mendelssohn on perhaps the most critical issue of his understanding of religion with unprecedented philosophical rigor and imagination." —David Sorkin, City University of New York Graduate Center
 

 

Philosophical Apprenticeships Cover

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Philosophical Apprenticeships

Contemporary Continental Philosophy in Canada

Jay Lampert and Jason Robinson

Philosophical Apprenticeships gathers fresh and innovative essays written by the next generation of Canada's philosophers on the work of prominent Canadian philosophers currently researching topics in continental philosophy. The authors--doctoral students studying at Canadian universities--have studied with, worked with, or been deeply influenced by these philosophers. Their essays present, discuss, and develop the work of their mentors, addressing issues such as time, art, politics, hermeneutics, and phenomenology. The result is a volume that introduces the reader to the work of current Canadian philosophers and to that of their successors, who will soon be making their own contributions to Canadian continental philosophy. Includes articles by Gabriel Malenfant on Bettina Bergo, Saulius Geniusas on Gary Madison, John Marshall on Samuel Mallin, Fran\u00e7ois Doyon on Claude Pich\u00e9, Stephanie Zubcic on Jennifer Bates, Alexandra Morrison on Graeme Nicholson, Scott Marratto on John Russon, and Jill Gilbert on John Burbridge.

A Scriptural Sculpture of Knowledges Cover

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A Scriptural Sculpture of Knowledges

This book is a scriptural sculpture of how the physical dimensions of the earth ñbuilt and natural ñ and antecedents of history structure knowledges and the physical containers ñ human and non-human ñ that embody those knowledges. The book deals with universalisms grounded on African experiences and perspectives. A key theme is how (in)security relates to knowledge creation by drawing a parallel between the proliferation of violent conflict in Africa and the marginal position that the continent occupies in the modern formation of knowledge. Also explored is the concept of creativity in relation to art and politics, as experienced by the black African elite. Bottlenecks to African creativity and the role of space and history in the production and reproduction of knowledge and ways of knowing are critically reviewed. The author makes a case for the existence of irreducible forms of knowledge existing in distinct laboratories and traces how particular biological and environment features interact with human cognition to form what passes for knowledge. He interrogates the variety of environment cognition in the light of an increasing homogenization of human cognition globally with a particular accent on climate change. This is a bold and legitimate voice on an important conversation.

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Sometimes Always True

Undogmatic Pluralism in Politics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology

Jeremy Barris

Sometimes Always True aims to resolve three connected problems. First, we need an undogmatic pluralist standpoint in political theory, epistemology, and metaphysics. But genuine pluralism suffers from the contradiction that making room for fundamental differences in outlook means making room for outlooks that exclude pluralism. _x000B__x000B_Second, philosophy involves reflecting on the world and meaning as a whole, yet this means adopting a vantage point in some way outside of meaning. _x000B__x000B_Third, our lived experience of the sense of our lives similarly undermines its own sense, as it involves having a vantage point in some way wholly outside ourselves._x000B__x000B_In detailed engagement with, among others, Davidson, Rorty, Heidegger, Foucault Wilde, and gender and sexuality theory, the book argues that these contradictions are so thoroughgoing that, like the Liar’s Paradox, they cancel the bases of their own meaning. Consequently, it argues, they resolve themselves, and do so in a way that produces a vantage point on these issues that is not dogmatically circular because it is, workably, both within and outside these issues’ sense. The solution to a genuinely undogmatic pluralism, then, is to enter into these contradictions and the process of their self-resolution. _x000B_

The Tarskian Turn Cover

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The Tarskian Turn

Deflationism and Axiomatic Truth

Leon Horsten

A philosopher proposes a new deflationist view of truth, based on contemporary proof-theoretic approaches.

Thought and World Cover

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Thought and World

The Hidden Necessities

James Ross

James F. Ross is a creative and independent thinker in contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of mind. In this concise metaphysical essay, he argues clearly and analytically that meaning, truth, impossibility, natural necessity, and our intelligent perception of nature fit together into a distinctly realist account of thought and world. Ross articulates a moderate realism about repeatable natural structures and our abstractive ability to discern them that poses a challenge to many of the common assumptions and claims of contemporary analytic philosophy. He develops a broadly Aristotelian metaphysics that recognizes the "hidden necessities" of things, which are disclosed through the sciences, which ground his account of real impossibility as a kind of vacuity, and which require the immateriality of the human ability to understand. Those ideas are supported by a novel account of false judgment. Ross aims to offer an analytically and historically respectable alternative to the prevailing positions of many British-American philosophers.

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