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Title:Figuratively Speaking
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ISBN:0199838089
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Number of Pages:144
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Figuratively Speaking by Robert J. Fogelin

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Taking Wittgenstein at His Word: A Textual Study, A Defense of Hume on Miracles, Figuratively Speaking, Wittgenstein, Understanding Arguments: An Introduction to Informal Logic, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Berkeley and the Principles of Human Knowledge, Hume's Skepticism in the Treatise of Human Nature, Hume's Skeptical Crisis: A Textual Study, Pyrrhonian Reflections on Knowledge and Justification, Walking the Tightrope of Reason: The Precarious Life of a Rational Animal
br i Taking Wittgenstein at His Word i is an experiment in reading organized around a central question What kind of interpretation of Wittgenstein s later philosophy emerges if we adhere strictly to his claims that he is not in the business of presenting and defending philosophical theses and that his only aim is to expose persistent conceptual misunderstandings that lead to deep philosophical perplexities Robert Fogelin draws out the therapeutic aspects of Wittgenstein s later work by closely examining his account of rule following and how he applies the idea in the philosophy of mathematics br br br The first of the book s two parts focuses on rule following Wittgenstein s paradox of interpretation and his naturalistic response to this paradox all of which are persistent and crucial features of his later philosophy Fogelin offers a corrective to the frequent misunderstanding that the paradox of interpretation is a paradox about meaning and he emphasizes the importance of Wittgenstein s often undervalued appeals to natural responses The second half of the book examines how Wittgenstein applies his reflections on rule following to the status of mathematical propositions proofs and objects leading to remarkable demystifying results br br br br i Taking Wittgenstein at His Word i shows that what Wittgenstein claims to be doing and what he actually does are much closer than is often recognized In doing so the book underscores fundamental but frequently underappreciated insights about Wittgenstein s later philosophy, In em Hume s Skeptical Crisis em Robert Fogelin provides a textual study of the changes in perspective that emerged as Hume pursued his attempt to introduce the experimental method of reasoning into moral subjects the subtitle of the em Treatise of Human of Nature em In the process of giving an account of the operations of the human mind Hume discovered that the mechanisms that create and sustain our beliefs are deeply unreliable and in fact capricious in their operations Hume s crisis emerged when he recognized that the weaknesses that he ascribed to the operations of the human mind apply with equal force to the operations of his own mind How he asked himself could he justify pursuing profoundly difficult investigations employing mental faculties that were manifestly not up to the task His response was to trim back the ambitious program announced at the start of the em Treatise em br br Hume returned to this topic in the opening section of the em Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding em where in a more circumspect mood he weighed the reasons for and against pursuing what he calls abstruse philosophy Given our limited capacities and the complexities of the subject what he asked are the chances of success in pursing abstruse philosophical investigations Hume answered that we could expect at least modest success by adopting the stance of a mitigated skeptic where one cautiously examines only those topics suitable to our limited mental capacities Hume held that this standpoint could be attained by counter balancing radical Pyrrhonian doubt on one side with our non rational instincts to believe on the other side As a result Hume s initial attempt to produce a compleat system of the sciences was transformed into reflections of common life methodized and corrected br, George Berkeley is one of the most prominent philosophers of the eighteenth century His em Principles of Human Knowledge em has become a focal point in the understanding of empiricist thought and the development of eighteenth century philosophy br This volume introduces and assesses br Berkeley s life and the background to the em Principles em br The ideas and text in the em Principles em br Berkeley s continuing importance to philosophy br, This work written from a neo Pyrrhonian perspective is an examination of contemporary theories of knowledge and justification It takes ideas primarily found in Sextus Empiricus s em Outlines of Pyrrhonism em restates them in a modern idiom and then asks whether any contemporary theory of knowledge meets the challenges they raise The first part entitled Gettier and the Problem of Knowledge attempts to rescue our ordinary concept of knowledge from those philosophers who have assigned burdens to it that it cannot bear Properly understood Fogelin shows that the concept of knowledge is unproblematic The second part of this study called Agrippa and the Problem of Justification examines Agrippa s contribution to Pyrrhonism a systematic reduction of its procedures which came to be known as the Five Modes Leading to the Suspension of Belief These modes present a completely general procedure for refuting any claim a dogmatist might make Though largely unnoticed there is according to Fogelin an uncanny resemblance between problems posed by Agrippa s Five Modes and those that contemporary epistemologists address under the heading of a em theory of em em justification em Fogelin examines the strongest contemporary theories of justification in both foundationalist and anti foundationalist forms The conclusion is that recent philosophical writings on justification have made no significant progress in responding to the Pyrrhonian problems these writings have addressed br