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by John Lange

Download Cognitivity Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Claims of Philosophy eBook
ISBN:
0691019673
Author:
John Lange
Category:
Philosophy
Language:
English
Publisher:
Princeton University Press (June 21, 1970)
Pages:
128 pages
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1804 kb
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1979 kb
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1533 kb
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Rating:
4.8
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293


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In this stimulating essay Professor Lange confronts this assumption, presents his own view of philosophy as proposal, and then seeks a solution to the paradox that his view poses for philosophy. Originally published in 1970.

Cognitivity Paradox book.

Series: Princeton Legacy Library. seven The Cognitivity Paradox I. (pp. 63-76).

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While quick to question the claims to knowledge that others make . Philosophy - Epistemology.

While quick to question the claims to knowledge that others make, philosophers have not so readily submitted their own affirmations to the same scrutiny. In fact, it seems to be the common conviction of philosophers that the assertions they make are cognitive, are true or false, and that philosophical disagreement is genuine disagreement.

Paradox : An Inquiry Concerning the Claims of Philosophy

The Cognitivity Paradox : An Inquiry Concerning the Claims of Philosophy. While quick to question the claims to knowledge that others make, philosophers have not so readily submitted their own affirmations to the same scrutiny.

The Cognitivity Paradox, an Inquiry Concerning the Claims of Philosoph. 1 2 3 4 5. Want to Read.

John Norman is the pen name of John Frederick Lange, Jr. (born June 3. .The Cognitivity Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Claims of Philosophy (1970). Imaginative Sex (1974). (born June 3, 1931), who is the author of the Gor series of fantasy novels, and a professor of philosophy.

While quick to question the claims to knowledge that others make, philosophers have not so readily submitted their own affirmations to the same scrutiny. In fact, it seems to be the common conviction of philosophers that the assertions they make are cognitive, are true or false, and that philosophical disagreement is genuine disagreement. In this stimulating essay Professor Lange confronts this assumption, presents his own view of philosophy as proposal, and then seeks a solution to the paradox that his view poses for philosophy.

Originally published in 1970.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

  • Rexfire
At the time this book was published in 1970, John Lange was professor of philosophy at Queens College of the City University of New York.

He wrote in the Foreword, “As [Bertrand] Russell might have said, this little book is not more original than it is… many things in it have been suggested by or have an affinity with things said, or partly said, by a number of recent and contemporary philosophers. It has been bumped by Peirce’s discussions of truth; and C.I. Lewis’s Conceptualistic Pragmatism; and certain remarks by [Rudolf] Carnap and [Carl] Hempel, and [W.V.O.] Quine; and Roderick Chisholm’s analysis of certain epistemic statements. I do not believe any of these men would accept all of what is said here, and I am sure that all of them would deplore that is it not said better. In the latter lamentation I concur.”

He begins the second chapter, “This essay is addressed to the problem of the nature of philosophy, its cognitivity or lack of it… The essay is motivated by a number of things, but primarily perhaps by the difficulty of explaining to myself and others continuing philosophical disagreement, a phenomenon in our time overcome only in part by journal policies and hiring practices.” (Pg. 6)

He explains, “The sort of thing I am trying to get at is the distinction between those questions where the classificatory scheme is being MERELY APPLIED, and those in which the scheme itself is under consideration. For example, if we ask, ‘Do tigers eat meat?’ we assume we are clear on the notions of tigers and meat eating, and we merely wish to find out if tigers do, as a matter of fact, eat meat. On the other hand questions such as ‘What sorts of things are tigers?’ and ‘What counts as being a meat eater?’ would be classification questions. They are questions pertaining to the classificatory scheme and not to its application. I think that the distinction, so understood, between the classification and the nonclassification question is relevant to the distinction between the philosophical and the nonphilosophical question…” (Pg. 40)

He states, “First-order philosophy is philosophy as proposed. Second-order philosophy is philosophy which presupposes that the first-order questions are settled and proceeds on that basis.” (Pg. 59)

He suggests, “I think it would be wrong to regard refuge in a school of philosophy as being simply an innocent escape from the risks of first-order philosophy, as being only the seeking of a de facto exit from the responsibilities of explicit axiological commitment, as being nothing more than a flight to the security of criteria and professionalism. Surely most of the truly fine philosophers of our day have belonged to one or another of these schools, attracted to it perhaps by the apparent possibility of getting something done, by the apparent possibility of bringing a reasonably honest pebble or two to the pile of human knowledge before dark.” (Pg. 60)

He argues, “My own conviction in this matter is that value judgments can, suitably understood, be regarded as cognitive, and it is their cognitivity which bestows cognitivity on philosophy… it is perhaps well to regard all cognitivity as conditional in some sense, for example, on the nature of man, if he has a nature, I do not think we need to let cognitivity be regarded as merely relative to given particular sets of adequacy conditions, for sets of adequacy conditions themselves may be adjudicated. Some are better than others.” (Pg. 74-75)

In the final chapter, he says, “Do these considerations demolish the possibility of establishing some useful notion of philosophical cognitivity and truth in terms of ideal communities? I do not think so, but one would have to be far bolder than one has been. Perhaps some radical analysis of belief might be required, perhaps in terms of behavior, or Peircean rules of action, or something of this sort. Also it seems one would have to speak not simply of those beliefs which were fixed by an ideal community, but those beliefs which would SATISFY an ideal community. The true belief would then be that which an ideal community would find satisfactory.” (Pg. 111)

He concludes, “Let us say simply that the cognitivity of philosophy seems to be proposal-dependent, and that proposals are normally thought to lack truth values, and accordingly that philosophy’s self-construal as cognitive, lacking a truth value, is noncognitive… Perhaps, but if it is the BEST proposal, then what? And so hierarchies begin to ache upward, and one feels that a decision of passion must be made, that one must choose. So one chooses for cognitivity. And wonders if one has made the BEST choice. And this wondering convinces him that he has, for it shows him that he is committed to the cognitivity of value judgments, that this proposal is forced on him, that he finds it imperative to accept, and that he may thus, if he wishes, regard it as true… the foregoing proposal … is at least a recommendation to philosophers that they have the courage to commit themselves to the cognitivity of value judgments, in order by their own bootstraps to restore the cognitivity which they… have abandoned in word but hae continued to proclaim in deed.” (Pg. 116-117)

This book may be of some interest to those studying analytic philosophy.
  • Mysterious Wrench
At the time this book was published in 1970, John Lange was professor of philosophy at Queens College of the City University of New York.

He wrote in the Foreword, “As [Bertrand] Russell might have said, this little book is not more original than it is… many things in it have been suggested by or have an affinity with things said, or partly said, by a number of recent and contemporary philosophers. It has been bumped by Peirce’s discussions of truth; and C.I. Lewis’s Conceptualistic Pragmatism; and certain remarks by [Rudolf] Carnap and [Carl] Hempel, and [W.V.O.] Quine; and Roderick Chisholm’s analysis of certain epistemic statements. I do not believe any of these men would accept all of what is said here, and I am sure that all of them would deplore that is it not said better. In the latter lamentation I concur.”

He begins the second chapter, “This essay is addressed to the problem of the nature of philosophy, its cognitivity or lack of it… The essay is motivated by a number of things, but primarily perhaps by the difficulty of explaining to myself and others continuing philosophical disagreement, a phenomenon in our time overcome only in part by journal policies and hiring practices.” (Pg. 6)

He explains, “The sort of thing I am trying to get at is the distinction between those questions where the classificatory scheme is being MERELY APPLIED, and those in which the scheme itself is under consideration. For example, if we ask, ‘Do tigers eat meat?’ we assume we are clear on the notions of tigers and meat eating, and we merely wish to find out if tigers do, as a matter of fact, eat meat. On the other hand questions such as ‘What sorts of things are tigers?’ and ‘What counts as being a meat eater?’ would be classification questions. They are questions pertaining to the classificatory scheme and not to its application. I think that the distinction, so understood, between the classification and the nonclassification question is relevant to the distinction between the philosophical and the nonphilosophical question…” (Pg. 40)

He states, “First-order philosophy is philosophy as proposed. Second-order philosophy is philosophy which presupposes that the first-order questions are settled and proceeds on that basis.” (Pg. 59)

He suggests, “I think it would be wrong to regard refuge in a school of philosophy as being simply an innocent escape from the risks of first-order philosophy, as being only the seeking of a de facto exit from the responsibilities of explicit axiological commitment, as being nothing more than a flight to the security of criteria and professionalism. Surely most of the truly fine philosophers of our day have belonged to one or another of these schools, attracted to it perhaps by the apparent possibility of getting something done, by the apparent possibility of bringing a reasonably honest pebble or two to the pile of human knowledge before dark.” (Pg. 60)

He argues, “My own conviction in this matter is that value judgments can, suitably understood, be regarded as cognitive, and it is their cognitivity which bestows cognitivity on philosophy… it is perhaps well to regard all cognitivity as conditional in some sense, for example, on the nature of man, if he has a nature, I do not think we need to let cognitivity be regarded as merely relative to given particular sets of adequacy conditions, for sets of adequacy conditions themselves may be adjudicated. Some are better than others.” (Pg. 74-75)

In the final chapter, he says, “Do these considerations demolish the possibility of establishing some useful notion of philosophical cognitivity and truth in terms of ideal communities? I do not think so, but one would have to be far bolder than one has been. Perhaps some radical analysis of belief might be required, perhaps in terms of behavior, or Peircean rules of action, or something of this sort. Also it seems one would have to speak not simply of those beliefs which were fixed by an ideal community, but those beliefs which would SATISFY an ideal community. The true belief would then be that which an ideal community would find satisfactory.” (Pg. 111)

He concludes, “Let us say simply that the cognitivity of philosophy seems to be proposal-dependent, and that proposals are normally thought to lack truth values, and accordingly that philosophy’s self-construal as cognitive, lacking a truth value, is noncognitive… Perhaps, but if it is the BEST proposal, then what? And so hierarchies begin to ache upward, and one feels that a decision of passion must be made, that one must choose. So one chooses for cognitivity. And wonders if one has made the BEST choice. And this wondering convinces him that he has, for it shows him that he is committed to the cognitivity of value judgments, that this proposal is forced on him, that he finds it imperative to accept, and that he may thus, if he wishes, regard it as true… the foregoing proposal … is at least a recommendation to philosophers that they have the courage to commit themselves to the cognitivity of value judgments, in order by their own bootstraps to restore the cognitivity which they… have abandoned in word but hae continued to proclaim in deed.” (Pg. 116-117)

This book may be of some interest to those studying analytic philosophy.
  • Zamo
This very short text hails back to the days of logical positivism when philosophers seriously maintained that philosophy was nonsense. Though it would not seem to require this many pages to refute a self-refuting position, the author along the way makes acute observations on the culture of American academic philosophy that seem little changed in the 30 years since it was written. The final pages contains one of the most beautiful paeans to philosophy ever written. This is a clever, insightful, amusing and lovely work that has received far too little attention. And strangest of all, it turns out that the author writes elsewhere under the pen name "John Norman"--author of the "Gor" fantasy novels. But don't let that dissuade you! Read this book! It is a philosophical gem.
  • Hucama
Insightful and intriguing. Thought-provoking to all readers, but incredibly so for those with a formal philosophical background.