Sexta-feira, 19 de Agosto de 2011
Is pragmatism a variety of global anti-realism? (Mistakes of «Metaphysics», of Routledge-I)


In the diccionary «Metaphysics, the key concepts» da Routledge we read the following definition of  pragmatism:


«Pragmatism is a variety of global anti-realism (see realism and anti-realism (global) and has its roots in the work of the American philosophers C.S.Pierce (1839-1914) William James (1842-1910, brother of the novelist Henry James) and John Dewey(1859-1952). (Actually many pragmatists would describe themselves as realists; however we are working with a definition of anti-realism according to which the anti-realist holds that reality is not mind-independence, and pragmatist subscribe, implicitly at least, to that thesis). (Helen Beebee, Nikk Effingham, Philip Goff, Metaphysics, the key concepts, Routledge, pages 172-173).


That is an error. Pragmatism is characterized as the philosophy of action, of searching what  is useful and tangible and, so, is compatible at the same time with realism and anti-realism (material idealism, phenomenology...). There is no opposition but inclusion and complementarity between pragmatism, belonging to the genus ergological ( ergon means work in ancien greek language) and realism, belonging to the genus ontological, i.e, consistency/nature of being. There is a realistic pragmatism an an idealist pragmatism. In the definition of Routledge book we are analyzing, there is an absence of a dialectical thought.


© (Direitos de autor para Francisco Limpo de Faria Queiroz)

publicado por Francisco Limpo Queiroz às 11:19
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Domingo, 17 de Abril de 2011
Theoretical mistakes of Michael Smith on Ethics: on realism, irrealism, nihilism, projectivism, emotivism, prescriptivism

In his article “The realism” contained in A Companion to Ethics (Basil Blackwell Ltd. 1991, 1993) , organised by Peter Singer, professor Michael Smith divides the descriptivist theories into three classes: realism, irrealism and nihilism.


«Moral realism thus contrasts with two metaphysical views about morality: irrealism (sometimes called "anti-realism") and moral nihilism. According to the irrealists, there are no moral facts, but neither are moral facts required to make sense of moral practice. (...)

«By contrast, according to the moral nihilists. the irrealits are right that there are no moral facts, but wrong about what is required to make sense of moral practice. The nihilist thinks that without moral facts moral practice is a sham, much like a religious without belief in God.»


(Michael Smith, Realism, in A Companion to Ethics, page 402, Blackwell Publishers).


Bracketing the confusing definition of nihilism exposed above,  the confusion of Smith begins with the incapacity on applying the principle of excluded middle:  so, according to the principle of excluded middle, on ontological level, the theories are realism or no realism, i.e., irrealism. Thus, nihilism is or a version of realism or a verson of irrealism. There is no other possibility out of this dilemma.


Nihilism has two senses: on ontological level, is the theory of nothing, that denies the existence of values and, thus, is the same as irrealism; on eidological level, is a realistic version, is the theory that sustains the non-differentiation on values​​, i.e., all values ​are worth the same (example: «being selfish or being selfless is the same, or being a murderer or being a peaceful and homest person is the same») or that their hierarchy is unknowable to us.


Smith wrote:

«This, the psychological counterpart to irrealism, is called "non-cognitivism" (There are different versions of irrealism: e.g emotivism, prescriptivism and projectivism.)».  

(Michael Smith, Realism, in A Companion to Ethics, page 402, Blackwell Publishers).



That is another error. Pescritivism is not confined to irrealism, there can be a realistic prescriptivism: the ideology of universal human rights is a prescriptivism, since establishes that freedoms of conscience, of anyone dispose of his body without suffering murder, mutilation, torture or humiliation are real and must be respected by all and in all human beings. Why is prescriptivism an irrealism? Smith doesn’t explain that, since he doesn´t  see clearly on that matter.


And why is emotivism an irrealistic theory? Emotivism is the theory that emotions are the base, the source of moral facts: these emotions can be considered real, and thus you have a realistic emotivism, or can be considered illusory and thus we have an irrealistic emotivism.


The same critic is applied to projectivism, the theory that moral values are projections from one or infinite human mind: there can be a realistic projectivism, if moral value are in fact in internal human nature and transposed by projection to physical and social acts, and an irrealistic projectivism, if moral values do not exist as internal stable realities in human soul.


There is no doubt that the greatest academic authorities in ethics currently– Peter Singer, Jonathan Dancy, Michael Smith, Richard M.Hare, etc – are theoretically poor since they don’t possess a dialectical thought and commit such errors we bring to light. And this sad reality echoed in hundreds of thousand of teachers of philosophy in all the world.




© (Direitos de autor para Francisco Limpo de Faria Queiroz)


publicado por Francisco Limpo Queiroz às 11:41
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Segunda-feira, 11 de Abril de 2011
The absence of an ontological definition of phenomenology in Simon Blackburn (confused views of the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy-IX)

About phenomenology, Simon Blackburn wrote in his Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy:


«Phenomenology A term that emerged in the 18th century, in the writings of Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728-77) and Kant to denote the description of consciousness of its intentional content (see INTENTIONALITY). In Hegel, phenomenology is instead the historical enquiry into the evolution of self-consciousness, developing from elementary sense experience to fully rational, free, thought processes capable of yielding knowledge. The term in the 20th century is associated with the work and school of Husserl. Following Brentano, Husserl realized that intentionality was the distinctive mark of consciousness, and saw in it a concept capable of overcoming traditional mind-body dualism. The study of consciousness, therefore, maintains two sides: a conscious experience can be regarded as an element in a stream of consciousness, but also as a representative of one aspect or “profile” of an object. In spite of Husserl ´s rejection of dualism, his belief that there is a subject-matter remaining after “epoché” or bracketing of the content of experience, associates him with the priority accorded to elementary experiences in the parallel doctrine of phenomenalism., and phenomenology has partly suffered from the eclipse of that approach to problems of approach to problems of experience and reality. However, later phenomenologists, such as Merleau-Ponty, do full justice to the world-involving nature of experience. In a different usage, the phenomenology of a subject (such as religion) is the study of what it means to pursue a particular form of life, regardless of whether anything that is said in following it out is true or false.» (Simon Blackburn, Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, page 275, Oxford press, 2005).


Let´ s explain two fundamental critics to the content of this article. First, opposite to the speech of Blackburn, Husserl does not reject dualism: he, just like Descartes, suspends the existence of external world, characterized by continuous changes and movement, to “photograph” the quiet essences of things. The rejection of dualism is merely instantaneous, not definitive, in Descartes as in Husserl.


Second, phenomenology is not characterized in this article on ontological level by Simon Blackburn: in fact, despite the ignorance of Blackburn, phenomenology is placed between realism and idealism, is the third ontological position, as Heidegger postulated. This is not theorized by Blackburn in the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy and in any of his books (at least to my knowledge).


I sustain that phenomenology is phenomenalism added or distorted with a metaphysical description in some aspects. Blackburn seems to be absolutely ignorant about this. He has lack of theorist visualization as many academics of the so called “Analytic philosophy” – only some confused minds sustain that «analytic philosophy» is clearer than «continental philosophy». The term analytic has not magic proprieties. The analysis is not only a question of internal coherence of concepts and propositions but is also a question of external correct reference to ideal or material objects.


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© (Direitos de autor para Francisco Limpo de Faria Queiroz


publicado por Francisco Limpo Queiroz às 19:35
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Sábado, 27 de Março de 2010
What is Idealism (Confused Views on the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy-VI)

The imperfect and inconsistent definition of idealism is a characteristic of Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy of Simon Blackburn:

«Idealism  Any doctrine holding that reality is fundamentally mental in nature. The boundaries of such a doctrine are not firmly drawn: for example, the traditional Christian view that God is a sustaining cause, possessing greater reality than is creation, might just be classified as a form of idealism. Leibniz ´s doctrine that the simple substances out of which all else is made are themselves perceiving and appetitive beings (monads) and that space and time are relations among these things, is another early version. Major forms of idealism include subjective idealism, or the position better called immaterialism and associated with Berkeley.» (Simon Blackburn, Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, 2005, Page 177).


In fact, the definition of Blackburn is inconsistent: some idealism sustains that nature is essentially or exclusively material and not mental. It is the case of spiritualism or Christian “idealism” in which the idea is before matter and these one is independent from idea.


I propose a better definition of idealism: any doctrine holding that matter is created by idea (Goods, human mind, monads or archetypes) or is oriented to idea or is human idea or sensation projected outside the human body.


© (Direitos de autor para Francisco Limpo de Faria Queiroz)

publicado por Francisco Limpo Queiroz às 14:38
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