Morton White's From a Philosophical Point of View: Selected Studies PDF

By Morton White

ISBN-10: 0691119597

ISBN-13: 9780691119595

Probably the most vital philosophers of modern instances, Morton White has spent a profession development bridges one of the more and more fragmented worlds of the arts, social sciences, and usual sciences. From a Philosophical perspective is a range of White's most sensible essays, written over a interval of greater than sixty years. jointly those decisions signify the assumption that philosophers should still mirror not just on arithmetic and technological know-how but in addition on different elements of tradition, equivalent to faith, artwork, background, legislations, schooling, and morality.

White's essays hide the total variety of his pursuits: reports in ethics, the idea of information, and metaphysics in addition to within the philosophy of tradition, the background of pragmatism, and allied currents in social, political, and criminal concept. The publication additionally comprises items on philosophers who've stimulated White at various phases of his occupation, between them William James, John Dewey, G. E. Moore, and W. V. Quine. all through, White argues from a holistic perspective opposed to a pointy epistemological contrast among logical and actual ideals and likewise opposed to an both sharp one among descriptive and normative ideals.

White continues that after the thinker abandons the dogma that the logical research of arithmetic and physics is the essence of his topic, he frees himself to renew his conventional function as a scholar of the significant associations of civilization. Philosophers may still functionality no longer basically as spectators of all time and lifestyles, he argues, yet as empirically minded scholars of tradition who try and use a few of their rules for the advantage of society.

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We are tempted to introduce a counterpart to the legal concept of the whole truth and to try to discover which history comes closest to presenting it. But what is “the whole truth” about Rome or the coming of the Second World War? We cannot take the historical picture and compare it with a block of the past and see whether it accurately depicts that block. When we use the metaphor of a historical picture, we are not able to exploit any of its advantages; hence the disappointment with the picture theory of historical syntheses and the flight to pragmatism.

Law has been defined as the command of the sovereign. History has been glibly summarized as the effort to report what actually happened in the past. Questions in each of these areas have been separated sharply from questions of morality. The icy hand of overabstraction guides the writing of those philosophers who think that merely by examining the forms of words, they can characterize the essence of religion, history, or law. Their most common assumption is that by looking at any kind of language one can always single out those statements in it which are factual, objective, and descriptive, and separate them sharply from statements of value.

That is why I believe that if we succeed in clarifying the logic of narration, we shall have inaugurated a new era in the theory of historical knowledge. If we do succeed, the philosophy of history will no longer be a poor relative in the community of philosophical disciplines, for narrative history is a unique form of human discourse and those who study it will be entitled to a house on the hill. C H A P T E R 6 Historical Relativism and the Evaluation of Histories (2003) ONE OF MY MAIN TASKS in this paper is to present a framework for the discussion of a number of philosophical problems concerning narrative discourse.

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From a Philosophical Point of View: Selected Studies by Morton White

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