Jaakko Hintikka on Truth

In the Spring of 1967, Jaakko Hintikka published two contributions to the journal Synthese, of which he was then the editor, that have proved to be of singular importance to the further development of analytic philosophy. The first was Donald Davidson’s well known essay on “Meaning and Truth,” the second Jean van Heijenoort’s no less influential note on “Logic as Calculus and Logic as Language.” In publishing these two programmatic statements side by side Hintikka as editor of Synthese helped to propel analytic philosophy into an entirely phase of its evolution. He did not, of course, foresee this at the time nor did he anticipate that the two pieces would eventually also become crucial to his own philosophical thinking.

Martin Heidegger on metaphysics, technology, and education

  It is not easy to comment on such a splendid, richly documented, and ambitious work as Iain Thomson’s Heidegger on Ontotheology.[1] Thomson’s remarkable knowledge of the Heideggerian texts, his broad familiarity with other, related writings, and the ease with which maneuvers the most complex philosophical issues call for nothing less than an equally thorough, book-length rejoinder.

Wittgenstein on the Self

“Think of a picture of a landscape, an imaginary landscape with a house in it. – Someone asks ‘whose house is that?’ – The answer, by the way, might be ‘It belongs to the farmer who is sitting on the bench in front of it.’” (PI, 398) Wittgenstein tells this story in the midst of a discussion on the self, the I, or better: on the ways we use the word “I”.

Heidegger’s Nietzsche

I am concerned here with Heidegger’s examination of Nietzsche’s thought and my question is then what this undertaking reveals (1) about Heidegger, (2) about Nietzsche, (3) about their relation, and (4) about the problems and circumstances that brought them together. To answer these questions in full is difficult. It requires us to have a grasp, first of all, of what Heidegger stands for and of the precise nature of his intellectual development from Being and Time to his later thinking.

Friendship: East and West

Matteo Ricci’s treatise on friendship, the Jiaoyou lun of 1595, signifies the moment at which Chinese thought and European philosophy first made contact.[1]  In the years immediately preceding that treatise, Ricci had translated the four books of Confucianism into Latin and ten years later he was to produce a Chinese adaptation of the Enchiridion of the Greco-Roman Stoic Epictetus, thus establishing an exchange of ideas in both directions. But it was the Jiaoyou lun with its attempt to mediate between Western and Chinese understandings of friendship that most notably tied the knot between the two traditions.

Simple Objects, Complex Questions

Summary: The essay examines Wittgenstein’s doctrine that there must be simple objects that form the substance of the world. Focusing on the 1914-1916 notebooks it seeks to determine the emergence of this doctrine and the reasons for its ultimate destruction.

Foucault’s Encounter with Heidegger and Nietzsche

How fruitful is it to relate Foucault to Heidegger and Nietzsche? What can be learned about the genesis of Foucault’s thought from such a comparison? How does it illuminate the nature and content of his thought? How does it expand our understanding of the phenomena that Foucault explores? Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow have shown us how much one can gain from reading Foucault and Heidegger together.[1] Their book inspired Foucault to say to an interviewer:

From Moore’s Lecture Notes to Wittgenstein’s Blue Book

How many Wittgensteins are there? One, two, three, or even more? The question has no definite answer. There is surely more than one way to look at Wittgenstein’s work and to divide it up in this or that way – for instance, by distinguishing different themes and preoccupations, or different styles of writing, or different phases of thinking according to this or that time-line.