Philosophy and Its Epistemic Neuroses
Philosophers have often thought that concepts such as ”knowledge” and ”truth” are appropriate objects for theoretical investigation. In a discussion which ranges widely over recent analytical philosophy and radical theory, Philosophy and Its Epistemic Neuroses takes issue with this assumption, arguing that such theoreticism is not the solution but the source of traditional problems in epistemology (How can we have knowledge of the world around us? How can we have knowledge of other minds and cultures? How can we have knowledge of ourselves?) and in the philosophy of language (How can we know what our words refer to?).The author draws on Wittgenstein and recent neo-pragmatists (Putnam, Rorty, Davidson, Williams) to argue that analytical philosophy and radical theory alike stand in an ambivalent relationship with skepticism, which issues forth in varieties of ”epistemic neuroses” - manifested most clearly in the cases of metaphysical realism, relativism and causal theories of reference. Each of these projects is defined in terms possibilities that conflict with its own chances of cognitive success. Hymers explains not only the mainstream analytical philosophy of such figures as Devitt, Quine and Burge, but also structuralism (Althusser, Lacan), feminist theory (Seller, MacKinnon, Lugones) and critical theory (Marcuse), in an attempt to outline a therapeutic alternative to philosophical theoreticism.
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The External World
Truth and Reference
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Althusser anti-individualism argued beliefs brains Burge Cartesian causal theory Chapter claim concepts conceptual schemes conflation correspondence theory counterfactual conditional critics culture Davidson Descartes Devitt distinction empirical epistemic neurosis epistemology explain explanatory expressions expressivism external world external-world skeptic externalist fact false first-person authority G. E. M. Anscombe ideal theory identify ideology intentional attitudes intentional phenomena internal relation interpretation justified kind Lacan language linguistic logical Ludwig Wittgenstein meaning metaphysical realism modest realism nature neurosis notion objectivism one's ontology philosophical position possible world problem Putnam Putnam's argument question Quine Quine's real possibility reality reason referring term relativism relativist role Rorty scientism seems self-ignorance self-knowledge self-unity sense sentences skeptical doubts skeptical scenarios sort speaker statements strong objectivism suggested synonymy Tarski theoretical theorist theory of reference theory of truth things thought tion true truth and knowledge truth theory truth-value understand unity Wittgenstein words