Thompson Clarke’s paper marked the beginning of the revival of the interest to the problems of philosophical skepticism in the early 70’s. In his paper Clarke raises the issue of skepticism’s relevance to the philosophical inquiry and provides a new interpretation of the traditional skeptical problems. Also Clarke points out the significance of G. E. Moore’s defense of common sense. Particularly, he shows that the lack of ordinary contexts does not make skeptical questions and Moore’s attempts to answer these questions are meaningless, as philosophers of ordinary language claimed. However, skeptics and their opponents usually share a theoretical presupposition - the idea of standard human-conceptual constitution. As Clarke points out, this constitution supposedly determines the limits and content of the human knowledge about the world. The notion of objective knowledge and the conception of philosophy itself are based on the idea of such a constitution. However, Clarke, by applying the concepts of dream and hallucination, illustrates that this idea contradicts the functioning of the concepts we use to learn about and understand the world.
The purpose of this essay is to explore the prospects for the use and development of Thompson Clarke’s ideas from his well-known paper, “The Legacy of Skepticism.” The paper is particularly concerned with Clarke’s criticism of the so-called “standard human-conceptual constitution,” which provides a ground for the distinction between plain questions of ordinary life and a philosophical intellectual quest. In support of Clarke’s criticism, it is compared to Donald Davidson’s criticism of scheme-content dualism. Moreover, the paper provides an assessment of G. E. Moore’s arguments against philosophical skepticism, which can be applied to a critical study of metaphysical preconditions in contemporary epistemology and for elaborating on the extended conception of “ordinary.” The main conclusion of the paper is that skepticism, being the logical result of these preconditions, mostly depends on the distinction between pure logical and epistemological possibilities, which is presupposed by the very idea of a conceptual scheme. This distinction is the basis for drawing radical and intuitive skeptical conclusions.
The article examines the intellectual biography and views of the greatest German polemist and philosopher of the second part of XX century, Odo Marquard. From a historical philosophical point of view, Marquard is considered as the member of Joachim Ritter’s school, who is mostly known as initiator and editor-in-chief of the fundamental encyclopedic “Historical dictionary of philosophy” (Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie (1971-2007)). Marquard himself points out that his reception of Ritter’s philosophy was strongly influenced by the protests of 1968. His affirmative position to the modern world is partly the consequence of these political events. Heretofore Marquard was deeply interested in Frankfurt school and wrote sarcastic epigrams about Ritter’s philosophy. But after 1968 Marquard debates with the theories of Theodor Adorno and Jürgen Habermas and Ritter’s philosophy of diremption (Entzweiung) becomes the object of his reflection and partly the polemical weapon against the attempts to question the basics of liberal-democratic society of postwar West Germany.
From a political point of view, Marquard's philosophy is often considered as the philosophy of liberal conservatism. Marquard points out, that the history of formation of liberal institutes has great importance for modernity itself. This emphasis can be explained historically. Marquard belongs to the generation, which was called by Helmut Schelsky “skeptical generation”. This generation went through the radical historical breaks. The extreme politicization of everyday life in national socialism period, the second World War, the collapse of third Reich, the experience of radical disorientation form his skeptical position, which distance itself from any ideology, from any assertion, which pretends to be the absolutely truth. According to Marquard, the aim of skeptic is not to search the theory, which could “reconcile” the conflict among different points of view, but to keep this conflict. In other words, the aim is to keep the principle of separation of powers, where the powers are considered not only as the political institutions, but also as assertion, theories, conceptions, which could influence the position of individual. The study was implemented in the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2016.
The article is a statement of lecture, which was hold on the Radio Free Berlin (Sender Freies Berlin) in 1983. It was published in the collection of Marquards’ papers “Skepticism and agreement” (Skepsis und Zustimmung). The articles of this collection specify and evolve the position, which was fist articulated in the work “Farewell to Matters of Principle” (Abschied vom Prinzipiellen). The lecture “In Defense of the Power Solitude” is addressed to a broad audience. Therefore the author doesn’t indicate his main opponents. Nevertheless, there is a polemic with Jürgen Habermas theory of communicative action and Theodor Adorno critical theory. In contrast to the critical theory the author states, that trouble of modernity isn’t the solitude, but the lack of capability to the solitude.
In the first part of the article the author deals with the sociocultural premises, because of which solitude becomes inevitable phenomena of modernity. In the second part he describes, how modern citizens try to avoid the solitude, and points out, that these attempts could produce opposite results. The third part presents detailed argumentation for the statement, according to which it is useless to try to avoid solitude. On the contrary, it should be accepted, at least as much as it helps to make a distance, which is necessary for a sober assessment of reality. This conclusion is reflected in the fourth, final part, where the author indicates the phenomena, which couldn’t save from the solitude, but contribute to the formation of the culture of capability to the solitude.
The article considers the Views of L. N. Tolstoy not only as a representative, but also as a accomplisher of the Enlightenment. A comparison of his philosophy with the ideas of Spinoza and Diderot made it possible to clarify some aspects of the transition to the unique Tolstoy’s religious and philosophical doctrine. The comparison of General and specific features of the three philosophers was subjected to a special analysis. Special attention is paid to the way of thinking, the relation to science and the specifics of the worldview by Tolstoy and Diderot. An important aspect is researched the contradiction between the way of thinking and the way of life of the three philosophers.
Tolstoy's transition from rational perception of life to its religious and existential bases is shown. Tolstoy gradually moves away from the idea of a natural man to the idea of a man, who living the commandments of Christ. Starting from the educational worldview, Tolstoy ended by creation of religious and philosophical doctrine, which were relevant for the 20th century.
This important new book offers the first full-length interpretation of the thought of Martin Heidegger with respect to irony. In a radical reading of Heidegger's major works (from Being and Time through the ‘Rector's Address' and the ‘Letter on Humanism' to ‘The Origin of the Work of Art' and the Spiegel interview), Andrew Haas does not claim that Heidegger is simply being ironic. Rather he argues that Heidegger's writings make such an interpretation possible - perhaps even necessary.
Heidegger begins Being and Time with a quote from Plato, a thinker famous for his insistence upon Socratic irony. The Irony of Heidegger takes seriously the apparently curious decision to introduce the threat of irony even as philosophy begins in earnest to raise the question of the meaning of being. Through a detailed and thorough reading of Heidegger's major texts and the fundamental questions they raise, Haas reveals that one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century can be read with as much irony as earnestness. The Irony of Heidegger attempts to show that the essence of this irony lies in uncertainty, and that the entire project of onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology, therefore needs to be called into question.
The article is concerned with the notions of technology in essays of Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger. The special problem of the connection between technology and freedom is discussed in the broader context of the criticism of culture and technocracy discussion in the German intellectual history of the first half of the 20th century.