Aristotle tells us that the Nicomachean Ethics (= NE ) is an “inquiry” and an “investigation” ( methodos and zētēsis , see NE 1094b10–11, 1102a12–15). One important way that the work comprises an investigation is that it is a prolonged search for the definition of
In Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, one can find a number of remarks that could be seen as antithetical to classic philosophical analysis. There are passages seemingly rejecting the ideas of concept decomposition, regression to first principles, and semantic substitution. The criticism, I argue, is aimed not at analysis in particular, but rather at some idealizations that pervade a certain picture of philosophy. This picture can be contrasted with Wittgenstein’s pragmatist view of explanations of meaning which, I believe, can inform a different attitude towards philosophical method that aligns well with a vision of philosophy as conversation. If we think of philosophy as engaging in the development and exchange of explanations of meaning, we can see how various methods can coexist insofar as they are useful, and as long as the urge to sublimate them beyond our practices can be avoided.
Husserl introduces a phenomenological concept called “motivation” early in the First Investigation of his magnum opus, the Logical Investigations. The importance of this concept has been overlooked since Husserl passes over it rather quickly on his way to an analysis of the meaningful nature of expression. I argue, however, that motivation is essential to Husserl’s overall project, even if it is not essential for defining expression in the First Investigation. For Husserl, motivation is a relation between mental acts whereby the content of one act make some further meaningful content probable. I explicate the nature of this relation in terms of “evidentiary weight” and differentiate it from Husserl’s notion of Evidenz, often translated as “self-evidence”. I elucidate the importance of motivation in Husserl’s overall phenomenological project by focusing on his analyses of thing-perception and empathy. Through these examples, we can better understand the continuity between the Logical Investigations and Husserl’s later work.
An act’s form of apprehension (Auffassungsform) determines whether it is a perception, an imagination, or a signitive act. It must be distinguished from the act’s quality, which determines whether the act is, for instance, assertoric, merely entertaining, wishing, or doubting. The notion of form of apprehension is explained by recourse to the so-called content-apprehension model (Inhalt-Auffassung Schema); it is characteristic of the Logical Investigations that in it all objectifying acts are analyzed in terms of that model. The distinction between intuitive and signitive acts is made, and the notion of saturation (Fülle) is described, by recourse to the notion of form of apprehension.
really being an inquirer at all. Pyrrhonian inquiry is a sham. According to Jonathan Barnes, for instance, “real Sextan sceptics do not investigate” 2 and as Gisela Striker says, “contrary to Sextus’ initial claim that the Sceptic goes on investigating, philosophical investigations seem to be precisely
investigations, some say that they have found the truth, others declare that it cannot be apprehended, while others still continue to search.
Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism (= PH ), 1.2 (T1)
So Sextus Empiricus begins his general account of scepticism, or as he sometimes puts it, the sceptical
that, for Plato, both knowledge and the search for knowledge are a priori : this is 99d–100a, when he argues that we ought not to try to grasp things by our eyes and each of our senses, lest in doing so we get blinded in our soul, but ought, rather, to investigate the truth of things in logoi
Sextus responds to the Dogmatists’ criticism that the Sceptics cannot investigate Dogmatic theses, formulating his own version of Meno’s puzzle against them. He thus forces them to adopt υοεῐυ ἁπλῶς – a way of thinking that does not carry any commitment to the reality of what someone thinks – as their only solution to the puzzle and as the necessary starting point of their investigation. Nοεῐυ ἁπλῶς avoids Dogmatic assumptions without making use of the Sceptical argumentation that leads to suspension of judgment. It constitutes a novel answer to Meno’s puzzle, Dogmatism- and Scepticism-free, with important consequences both for Dogmatism and for Scepticism.
To which extent is it justified to adopt Kant as a godfather of cognitive science? To prepare the stage for an answer of this question, we need to set aside Kant’s general transcendental approach to the mind which is radically anti-empiricist and instead turn our attention to his specific topics and claims regarding the mind which are often not focus of Kant’s epistemological investigations. If someone is willing to take this stance, it turns out that there are many bridges connecting Kant with contemporary cognitive science. We investigate possible bridges suggested in the literature between some of Kant’s central claims about consciousness, mental content, and functions of mind, and some specific treatments of these topics in contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science. While doing so, we offer additional arguments for some proposed bridges, reconstruct others and completely destroy still other bridges by demonstrating that some suggested links between Kant and cognitive science remain only apparent.
The problem of ‘collective unity’ in the transcendental philosophies of Kant and Husserl is investigated on the basis of number’s exemplary ‘collective unity’. To this end, the investigation reconstructs the historical context of the conceptuality of the mathematics that informs Kant’s and Husserl’s accounts of manifold, intuition, and synthesis. On the basis of this reconstruction, the argument is advanced that the unity of number – not the unity of the ‘concept’ of number – is presupposed by each transcendental philosopher in their accounts of the transcendental foundation of manifold, intuition, and synthesis. This presupposition is ultimately traced to Kant’s and Husserl’s responses to Hume’s philosophy of human understanding and the critical limits of what Kant calls the ‘qualitative’ unity of transcendental consciousness. These critical limits are exposed in both philosophers’ attempts to account for that ‘qualitative’ unity on the basis of the ‘quantitative’ unity of number.