In this paper, the author offers an overview of some methods that have thus far been used in research on the history of philosophy. From the perspective of philosophical importance, the paper further discusses which kinds of methods are relevant or irrelevant. The examples which are specifically examined in this paper are those of Harry Wolfson, an expert in Medieval Philosophy who treated the history of philosophy exclusively from the view point of diachronic influences; Martial Gueroult, the renowned historian of twentieth century France who studied the internal structure or ‘order of reasons’ of several great philosophical systems of the past; and Jonathan Bennett who examined the history of modern philosophy in the manner of analytic philosophy. After indicating the problem with Wolfson’s method, as well as the difficulty with the idea of Dianoématique which Gueroult developed while producing his monumental works on great philosophers, the author concludes that another possible philosophically significant approach is a method which consists of analyzing the internal structure of some of the past’s philosophical doctrines (like Gueroult and others) and daring (unlike Gueroult) to criticize weaknesses, e. g. an inconsistency, in them. The author calls this method “non-idolizing or de-idolizing structuralism.”
It is commonplace to distinguish two different approaches to the history of philosophy. According to the first approach, the point of studying a text from philosophy’s past is to learn something philosophically important for us today from it. In contrast, the second, more history-oriented approach refuses to read the past philosophical text for the sake of one’s own philosophical interest. For proponents of this approach, the text can be understood only if it is situated in its context in a broad sense. In this discussion, it is sometimes suggested (by Richard Rorty, for instance) that the two approaches do not constitute a dilemma; we can and must do both independently of each other. This suggestion of coexistence, however, would cause a problem for the second approach. Preferring to be exempted from the question of truth in discussing a past philosopher, proponents of this approach would be forced into a distorted understanding of philosophy’s past. In order to avoid this consequence, the present paper proposes a third approach to the history of philosophy, in which we can deal with philosophy’s past historically and philosophically at the same time.
In the first part of this paper, in order to reconsider the significance of the history of philosophy, I examine its relationship with philosophy in three respects. First, the history of philosophy aims to examine the beginning (archē) of philosophy. By revealing its beginnings (not only in ancient Greece), we can start to engage in a new philosophy. Second, the history provides us with philosophical texts that encourage our thinking. We find there rich resources of reasoning and ideas on philosophical issues. Third, this history shows us our own position in two ways. It presents a set of philosophical concepts, problems and frameworks that we inherit from past philosophers. Also, an examination of this heritage reveals our own position within philosophy.
In the second part, I critically survey the various candidates for “first philosopher” in ancient Greece. Each thinker, from Thales to Plato, has supporters and good justification for being considered the first. Then, in the third part, I propose a new perspective, “compound eye history”, in which we investigate plural lines of thinking. Each distinct line started from a new problem raised by a philosopher and developed through critical or positive responses by his contemporaries or later thinkers. I envisage 10 “plots” or lines of ancient philosophy by which we can conceptualise that whole intellectual activity of human life and wisdom.
If we refer to the discussions of religion in various fields as the “discourse on religion,” then philosophy has served to expand the horizons of modern discourse on religion by thematizing and objectifying religion in a reflective manner. Positing religion as the Other of philosophy, this thematization of religion has also contributed to the construction of the identity of philosophy itself. We can identify four epochs or phases of philosophy’s discourse on religion: 1. enlightenment discourses; 2. alienation theories; 3. post-metaphysical discourses; 4. post-secular discourses. These epochs or stages are differentiated through the changing characteristics of three factors, namely: conceptions of religion, the “truth value” of religion, and the plausibility structure of religion. In our present era of post-secularity, the field of philosophy is being challenged to respond to claims about the “truth and validity” of religion, especially with respect to “religions of difference.”
After the theological turn in phenomenology, the relation between philosophy and theology has become very close. Jean-Luc Marion’s God without Being (1982) was the epoch-making work which showed the way from philosophy to theology.
The subject of philosophy is not limited to manifest phenomena: the invisible is also important for our life and has to become the subject of philosophy. In this respect, it will be difficult to divide theology and philosophy.
Turning to Buddhism, Imamura Hitoshi presented the idea of Buddhology in contrast to theology in Christianity. In my opinion, it will be possible to deal with the invisible in philosophy without this new field of Buddhology. Tanabe Hajime has already presented a ‘philosophy of death’, in which he discussed the existential cooperation of the living and the invisible dead. I would like to present a ‘philosophy of the manifest (ken) and the hidden (myō).’ The field of the hidden includes the dead, kami, Buddhas and other invisible aspects. Buddhism teaches the relation between the manifest and the hidden, but does not teach a transcendent God. Instead, Buddhist ideas of the dharma body, suchness and so on reveal the depth of the world of the manifest/ hidden, reminding us of the khôra of Plato and ‘place’ in Nishida Kitarō.
The “Idea” is, according to Hegel, the unity of the subject and object. However, as often in Hegel, his explanation of the role of the “Idea” is extraordinarily dense, and it is hard to understand what he means. In this paper, I will attempt to reveal the meaning of Hegel’s “absolute Idea” by focusing on his notion of dialectic and his favorite analogy of the circle.
Robert B. Pippin argues that Hegel’s logic is the completion of Kant’s transcendental philosophy, and therefore, a kind of epistemology in itself. James Kreines, however, criticized this view in his recent book. Hegel, says Kreines, criticizes any attempt to start with the assessment of our epistemic faculties; so according to him, Pippin’s interpretation cannot be valid. I take Kreines’ critique seriously. Hegel cannot begin his philosophical system with an epistemological argument.
However, it is also incorrect to start with a metaphysical argument. If we read Hegel’s argument on dialectic carefully, we can see that it is impossible for him to start with either epistemology or metaphysics. Rather, we must not fixate on where to start.
Prohibiting this fixation, in Hegel’s view, shows us how to solve the problem of the gap between subject and object. And it is because of this insight, I believe, that Hegel emphasizes the analogy of the circle when he argues for a genuine method of philosophy.
Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819) legte seiner Schrift „Über die Lehre des Spinoza in Briefen an den Herrn Moses Mendelssohn (Zweite Auflage)“ (1789) die Beilage „Auszug aus Jordan Bruno von Nola：Von der Ursache, dem Prinzip und dem Einen“ bei. Diese Schrift ist allerdings eher ein Abriß als ein Auszug. In diesem Artikel beschäftige ich mich mit der Quelle des Denkens des Lebens, welches das erste Motiv der Hegelschen Philosophie war, und mache deutlich, daß „die geistige Leiter“, welche oftmals in „Von der Ursache, dem Prinzip und dem Einen“ von Bruno genannt wurde, gerade den Weg aufzeigte, auf dem Hegel die Schellingsche Identitätsphilosophie überwinden wollte. Die Idee „der geistigen Leiter“ wurde auch in „Versuch die Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erklären“ (1790) von Goethe zum Ausdruck gebracht, und auch Schelling bereits wußte von ihr. Hegel lernte Goethes Naturverständnis durch die Vermittlung von Franz Joseph Schelver (1778-1832) kennen, der im Jahre 1803 als Professor an die Jenaer Universität berufen wurde. Ich mache in meinen Aufsatz deutlich, daß Hegel durch die Idee „der geistigen Leiter“ zu seiner „Phänomenologie des Geistes“ geführt wurde.
Diese Abhandlung zielt darauf ab, die Rolle der Unendlichkeit in Hegels Seinslehre, also in Bezug auf Qualität, Quantität und Maß in der Wissenschaft der Logik, zu erklären. Weil der Unendlichkeitsbegriff eine wichtige Stelle in Hegels Philosophie einnimmt, wurde er einerseits im Abschnitt über die Qualität bisher oft diskutiert. Andererseits wurde der Begriff des mathematischen Unendlichen in der Forschung auch schon teilweise behandelt. Der Zusammenhang zwischen beiden und die Unendlichkeit im Abschnitt über das Maß sind aber immer noch nicht genügend erklärt. Um diese zu klären, müssen der Verlauf der Veränderung der Seinslehre in Hegels Logik und der Zusammenhang zwischen dem Maß und dem Unendlichkeitsbegriff aufgezeigt werden. Diese Abhandlung betrachtet deshalb anfangs die Unendlichkeit in den Abschnitten zu Qualität und Quantität, zeigt dann das Zustandekommen der fundamentalen Konstruktion der Seinslehre (Qualität, Quantität und Maß) und betrachtet abschließend die Gemeinsamkeit und den Unterschied zwischen dem Maß und der Unendlichkeit.
Erstens ist die Beziehung zwischen dem Endlichen und dem Unendlichen im Abschnitt der Qualität absolut und abstrakt. Dagegen sind beide im Abschnitt über die Quantität wirklich und gesetzt. Sowohl im Abschnitt über die Qualität als auch im Abschnitt über die Quantität gibt es das schlechte Unendliche und das wahre Unendliche. Das mathematische Unendliche gilt als höher als das metaphysische Unendliche. Zweitens ist die Unendlichkeit im Hinblick auf das Zustandekommen der fundamentalen Konstruktion der Seinslehre bis 1809 dasjenige, das Qualität und Quantität aufhebt. Nach 1810 werden aber die Qualität und die Quantität durch das Maß aufgehoben. Drittens sind das Maß und die Unendlichkeit nicht unbedingt beziehungslos, wenn man die Bedeutung des Maßes in einem Gedicht Hölderlins und im Fall der Erhabenheit bei Kant betrachtet. Das Unendliche im Zusammenhang mit diesem Maß wird in der Seinslehre Hegels als das schlechte Unendliche aufgefasst. Das hegelsche Maß ist eine Grundlage, welche die Auseinandersetzung der Wahlverwandtschaft vorbereitet, die durch zwei Momente, Qualität und Quantität,zustande kommt. Außerdem lässt sich der Einfluss von der Philosophie Schellings, in Anbetracht von Schellings Versuch der Rekonstruktion der Kategorien,im Inhalt des Abschnittes über das Maß erkennen. Im Übergang vom Sein zum Wesen erreicht die absolute Indifferenz zwar die Setzung; dieser Übergang lässt sich jedoch nicht mehr direkt durch die Unendlichkeit erklären.
The internalism/externalism debate is one of the most important issues discussed in such areas of contemporary philosophy as philosophy of language, philosophy of mind (philosophy of thought), and epistemology. Husserl’s phenomenology might also be regarded as a kind of internalism since it emphasizes its methodological reduction into the internal sphere of experiences (“phenomenological reduction”). Externalist criticisms against some naive forms of internalist prejudice, however, seem to contain some important insights concerning the concepts of meaning, knowledge, and mental content (or propositional attitudes). Therefore I would like to try to defend Husserl’s basic insight concerning the concept of meaning, by adjusting it to accommodate this externalist insight. This “adjusting”, however, is not a distortion of Husserl’s original philosophy. I believe that it is just a precise explication of Husserl’s own insight as it really is.
In order to show this, I will try to survey the early Husserl’s theory of meaning first, bringing out its internalistic features. Secondly, I introduce a kind of externalist criticism relevant to the theory. Thirdly, I would like to try to reconcile them, focusing on the contextuality of experience. Then, finally, I will consider the objectivity of scientific knowledge. I will argue that Husserl can accept the contextualityof meaning from the viewpoint of the contextuality of experience, in a way which does not destroy the objectivity of scientific knowledge.
According to G. E. M. Anscombe’s proposal, agents have a special way of knowing about their own intentional actions - they have the capacity to know what they are intentionally doing without relying on any evidence from observation, inference and so on. Anscombe dubbed this special knowledge “practical knowledge” and took it to be an essential mark of agency. This article attempts an explanation and vindication of this Anscombean approach to agency.
The discussion falls into four sections. In the first section, I clarify the nature of Anscombe’s practical knowledge and argue that the principal task for us is to spell out how one can be justified in believing not just what one intends, but what one is intentionally doing without any evidence. In Section II, I discuss what is generally considered to be the most promising way of dealing with this task: the reliabilism strategy. On this view, practical knowledge is justified because there is a reliable efficient-causal link between an agent’s intention to φ and his/her actually doing φ. I am willing to accept the reliabilism strategy as being basically on the right track. However, in Section III, I argue that the reliabilism strategy overlooks an important element of Anscombe’s discussion, namely that practical knowledge is the “formal cause” of what it understands, i.e., intentional actions. With this observation in place, we can give an even more comprehensive account of the nature of practical knowledge. In Section IV, I close with a suggestion that the structure of practical knowledge so understood is surprisingly similar to the structure of the knowledge that makers of artifacts are said to have, and this similarity can support the claim that practical knowledge is knowledge about an objective, public world.
In this paper, I address three main objections to Husserl’s phenomenology understood as an a priori investigation of essences, and try to show that it is not unpromising. According to the first objection, which comes from Schlick, Husserl employs the term ‘a priori’ in a non-Kantian way and thereby neglects Kant’s great achievement; the second objection is that Husserl seems to assume that all necessary truths can be known a priori, but Kripke showed that some necessary truths can be known only a posteriori; the third objection is that Husserl’s method of knowing essences, ‘Free Variation,’ seems to involve empirical elements, so it is not an a priori method. In order to reply to these objections, in Section 1, I look at Kant’s discussion of a priori knowledge in the Introduction to the Critique of Pure Reason, and introduce a distinction between the two roles which experience can play in our cognition: the justificatory role and the enabling role. A priori knowledge is thus knowledge whose justification is independent of any experience. In Section 2, replying to the first objection, I argue that no matter how Husserl may use the term, he is committed to the view that knowledge of essences is not dependent for its justification on any experience and therefore is a priori in the standard Kantian sense. In Section 3, I reply to the second objection, arguing that Husserl can evade Kripkean criticism, because his concern is not with all necessary truths, but with only those which can be known non-inferentially. In Section 4, I reply to the third objection, arguing that Husserl’s method of Free Variation can be seen as an a priori method because it can be regarded as relying only on our understanding of concepts.
This paper proposes an enactive account of thing-perception by integrating a descriptive, phenomenological analysis of thing-perception with the American philosopher John Haugeland’s account of “objective perception.” Enactive views of perception hold that perception is a form of embodied action. They apply well to the kind of perception that directly guides embodied action, but so far there is no convincing account as to how they might accommodate “thing-perception,” or the kind of perception that merely presents physical objects as things as such. Phenomenologically speaking, thing-perception is a temporally extended process of transforming an inarticulate appearance of a physical object into an articulate one. Furthermore, such transformation is shaped by embodied action guided by a normative sensitivity to the environment. Accordingly, phenomenological description suggests that ordinary thing-perception depends on the operation of bodily skills or bodily habits of certain kinds. On the other hand, Haugeland submits that our perceptual experience has the structure of objectivity by virtue of our antecedent commitment to certain constitutive standards. In particular, thing-perception is essentially dependent on our commitment to the constitutive standard for thinghood: We experience things as perceptual objects because of our preparedness to maintain in our experience a pattern of phenomena in accord with this constitutive standard. I claim that it is one and the same thing to have a commitment to the constitutive standard for thinghood and to have a bodily habit of seeing physical objects as things as such. Furthermore, I argue by thus integrating the two accounts described so far that thing-perception is essentially dependent on a form of embodied action. To have a bodily habit of seeing something as such is to have a commitment to the constitutive standard for thinghood, and the latter commitment is necessary for thing-perception to take place. Therefore, thing-perception is essentially a form of embodied action.
William James’s pragmatism has been criticized since it was first proposed. In particular, his claim that whether an idea is true or not must depend on the effect which it has on our experiences invites the criticism that pragmatism is a form of subjectivism and anti-realism. According to this criticism, if any idea considered as useful is true, the criteria of truth set by pragmatism depend on the time and situation, and so are only arbitrary and relative; therefore, a true idea is a figment of some human imagination which has no connection with objective reality.
However, James repeatedly objected to this criticism. He claimed that his pragmatism did not make truth vague and uncertain, that one could certainly get access to reality by true ideas and that in this sense he was a realist. The purpose of this study is to show, by analyzing the theory of truth in James’s pragmatism, that he understood the agreement of our ideas with reality in a different way from other theories, and constructed a characteristic realism of his own.
In James’s view, truth as the agreement of an idea with reality is realized by certain actions that the idea leads to, namely, by a process of verification that one can practically follow, and reality is a mixture of sense experiences and previous truths one has already acquired. This study considers an action performed to know reality as a kind of intuition, and explains that the truth established by the action transforms reality. Reality as inevitable not only presses one to be subject to it: one can also act on and change it. James insists that an action as intuition embodies our knowledge of reality, and also contributes to the creation of reality in the sense that it newly produces truths and adds them to reality. For James, this interaction between human beings and reality, and the constant modifications occasioned by it are the actuality of our concrete world.