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Binding is firm and sound. Pages are clean and unmarked. A very nice and presentable first printing of this philosophical investigation of the ordinary by Stanley Rosen. About The Elusiveness of the Ordinary: "The concept of the ordinary, along with such cognates as everyday life, ordinary language, and ordinary experience, has come into special prominence in late modern philosophy. Thinkers have employed two opposing yet related responses to the notion of the ordinary: scientific and phenomenological approaches on the one hand, and on the other, more informal or even anti-scientific procedures.

Eminent philosopher Stanley Rosen here presents the first comprehensive study of the main approaches to theoretical mastery of ordinary experience. He evaluates the responses of a wide range of modern and contemporary thinkers and grapples with the peculiar problem of the ordinary--how to define it in its own terms without transforming it into a technical and so, extraordinary artifact. Rosen' s approach is both historical and philosophical. He offers Montesquieu and Husserl as examples of the scientific approach to ordinary experience; contrasts Kant and Heidegger with Aristotle to illustrate the transcendental approach and its main alternatives; discusses attempts by Wittgenstein and Strauss to return to the pre-theoretical domain; and analyzes the differences among such thinkers as Moore, Austin, Grice, and Russell with respect to the analytical response to ordinary language.

Rosen concludes with a theoretical exploration of the central problem of how to capture the elusive ordinary intact. Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller 1. Condition: Minor rubbing. More information about this seller Contact this seller 2.

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Great condition with minimal wear, aging, or shelf wear. Seller Inventory P In his typical assertions against philosophers he p. But he was not making a point about the use of expressions in making those assertions themselves. Of course, in my case, I was using them with a purpose—the purpose of disproving a general proposition which many philosophers have made; so that I was not only using them in their usual sense, but also under circumstances where they might possibly serve a useful purpose, though not a purpose for which they would be commonly used.

MW, Whether he thereby settles affirmatively the philosophical problem of the external world depends in part on what that problem amounts to and what the negative sceptical answer to it means. But if Moore does prove or know that there are external things, there must be some general proposition to the effect that there are no external things which he proves or knows to be false. We know that some philosophers have said or implied that no one knows whether there are external things.

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But if there is a way of understanding Moore's assertions as fully legitimate we are now faced with the possibility that what those philosophers meant to assert is not the same thing Moore proves to be false. This is precisely why I think G. Moore's proof of an external world is so important; he better than anyone else opens up this possibility for us.

He of course would never explain the significance of p. He thinks he is refuting the very thing sceptical philosophers said or implied.

Edmund Husserl

But if there is nothing wrong with his saying what he says, he could be unwittingly presenting us with the possibility that what he and all the rest of us say and do in everyday life could be perfectly true and legitimate without thereby answering one way or the other the philosophical problem of our knowledge of the external world. If that were so, the philosophical problem and its sceptical answer would perhaps be seen to stand in a much more complicated and puzzling relation to what we say and do in everyday life than the traditional conception outlined in Chapter Two would imply.

That in itself could be a philosophical advance of great importance. Exploring that possibility will involve looking closely, and if possible without philosophical preconceptions, at the sort of thing Moore actually does and says in his typical assertions against philosophers. Could one then really fail to answer the philosophical problem of the external world? Near the beginning of his lecture he might say:.

In contrast, individuals suffering from certain mental abnormalities each believes that what we know to be the real world is his imaginative creation. I think we do not regard the lecturer in this context as having settled affirmatively the philosophical problem of our knowledge of the external world. It is difficult to say precisely why that is absurd—after all, the lecturer did say that we know it, and we can suppose he does know what he is talking about—but I think there is no doubt that that would be our reaction.

Certainly the physiologist in his lecture is not responding to any challenge he sees coming his way from philosophy. No philosophical thoughts need ever have entered his head; he could say and mean exactly what he says even if there had never been any such thing as philosophy. He is simply distinguishing two groups of people on the basis of what one group knows and the other does not; he is stating what he and all the rest of us know to be a fact.

Whatever we might think about the relation between what p. He makes a perfectly legitimate and intelligible application of the word, and once we are reminded of examples like this we see that similar remarks can be made in such relatively ordinary circumstances every day.

Transcendentalism and the Ordinary

But none of Malcolm's original three conditions are satisfied, nor does an example anything like this appear in his augmented list. When the physiologist was giving his lecture there was no question at issue about the external world and no doubt to be removed. He gave no reason for his assertion and there was no investigation in the offing that would settle the question of the existence of the external world.

But violating Malcolm's conditions or not appearing in his augmented list is no proof of misuse. Moore, of course, was not lecturing on mental abormalities, and he was addressing his remarks to philosophers, so the example of the lecturing physiologist does not automatically settle the question of how we are to understand Moore.

But it does show that it is possible to say, legitimately and undogmatically, what at least looks like the very same thing the philosophical sceptic doubts or denies, without settling or perhaps even touching the philosophical problem of our knowledge of the external world. Suppose a murder has just been committed in a country house during a weekend party. The young duke is found stabbed on the far side of the large table in the hall, although the butler was with him the whole time except for a few seconds when he left to answer the telephone in the foyer where there were many people.

An experienced detective and his younger assistant are among the guests and are trying to determine how it could have p. After considerable reflection the eager assistant announces that someone must have dashed into the room and stabbed the victim and dashed out again before the butler returned from answering the telephone. But when he says they know the table is there and was there a few minutes ago, there is no question at issue about the table's presence and no doubt about it to be removed. He gives no reason for his assertion, and there is no investigation that would settle the question.

He is simply reminding his colleague of something he knows and appears to have overlooked or denied in his attempted explanation of the murder. That is often a valuable procedure in trying to determine what is true or what to believe. The detective knows that the reflections of his younger colleague must be wrong, since they conflict with something both of them already know to be true. He does not even need to know what thoughts led the assistant to that conclusion.

Even without finding some specific flaw in his colleague's thinking, he knows it is wrong since it could be true only if the table were not there. The presence of the table is something that is known and cannot be denied in their reflections, and the detective is quite right to remind his apprentice of it. It brings the enthusiastic but misguided speculations of his colleague back down to earth. The technique was certainly familiar to him. It seems to me a sufficient refutation of such views as these, simply to point to cases in which we do know such things.

This, after all, you know, really is a finger: there is no doubt about it: I know it and you all know it. And I think we may safely challenge any philosopher to bring forward any argument in favour either of the proposition that we do not know it, or of the proposition that it is not true, which does not at some point, rest upon some premiss which is, beyond comparison, less certain than is the proposition which it is designed to attack.

The questions whether we ever do know such things as these, and whether there are any material things, seem to me, therefore, to be questions which there is no need to take seriously; they are questions which it is quite easy to answer, with certainty, in the affirmative. Moore thinks he can safely challenge philosophers in this way because he thinks nothing is more certain than that this is a finger. That is why he is confident that any argument p.

This capacity to remain unruffled by apparently disturbing philosophical reasoning, and never to cast a second glance at his certainty, is characteristic of Moore's confrontations with other philosophers. Do we think the master detective is dogmatic or hasty in his reply to the apprentice?

He knows the table is there, and so does the apprentice, and that knowledge is what assures him that any explanation of the murder must acknowledge that the table is there. He too could be confident that anyone who tried to explain the murder by denying that the table is there would have to rely at some point on something that is less certain than that is. There can be no objection to the detective's assessing the apprentice's hypothesis on the basis of how it fits in with what is already known.

It is difficult to think of any other way to judge the truth or plausibility of something. The detective's remaining unruffled by the apprentice's suggestion, and his having no second thoughts about his certainty that the table is there, is not dogmatism. He would be hopeless as a detective if he could be led to deny obvious facts simply in order to have some explanation or other.