Download The Methods of Contemporary Thought: Translated from the by J.M. Bochenski PDF

By J.M. Bochenski

Professor Bochenski, as he himself issues out within the prologue, is a philosopher; he's top identified in England and the USA for his paintings within the heritage of common sense, and extra lately in Soviet and East ecu philosophy. yet he has taught philosophy for a few years - in Rome, in Switzerland, and on a few visits to the USA - and during this publication offers an ordinary advent to modern paintings within the box. As a method to this finish he has selected to accommodate 4 substitute equipment hired through philosophers within the 20th century. Philosophical technique has no longer attracted a lot realization, in English­ conversing circles, as a different department of the self-discipline of philosophy; the time period "methodologist", if used in any respect, might more often than not be taken to consult a person excited by medical instead of philosophical technique. while, consequently, Professor Bochenski refers, as he usually does, to "contemporary methodologists", which means those that debate the re­ spective advantages of phenomenology and mathematical common sense as methods of impending the area, the word has a wierd ring. yet philosophical technique quite makes very much extra feel than clinical process­ ology. In technology method is nearly superfluous; given all of the avail­ capable info and a pretty transparent inspiration of what's sought after, there's often no longer a lot ambiguity as to the technique of getting it, or no longer a lot which may be resolved through mere argument.

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It is therefore syntactically meaningless. Another example: a philosopher says "Nothing nothings" ("das Nichts nichtet"). Here "Nothing" is the argument of "nothings"; this last expression is obviously a monadic, statement-generating and name-determining functor. But how can it be name-determining in this statement? For what, considered syntactically, is "Nothing"? It is evidently not a name although it seems to be something like one. When we say "there is nothing", we are really trying to say "for every x it is not the case that x is here and now".

But it now appears that there are two possible interpretations here: (1) One can give to "A" the meaning of "point" and to "B" the meaning of "straight line", (2) or vice versa to "A" the meaning of "straight line" and to "B" the meaning of "point". It appears that the statement arising from interpretation (2) is also true: two parallel straight lines determine a point at an infinite distance. This results, however, in a whole system of statements which can be derived from this (formalized) statement, and we have obtained from one formula two principles of geometry.

They are only pointers indicating the way to those who wish to encounter the unspeakable in an "existential" experience that cannot be expressed in words. For God, the supremely unspeakable, there remain no further signs, but only "ciphers" whose distinguishing mark is exactly not to have any objective semantic function. (2) Another group of thinkers represents the precisely opposite standpoint. It has been formulated most sharply by Ludwig Wittgenstein in the sentence: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent".

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