Knowledge and Experience: Proceedings

Knowledge and Experience: Proceedings

Knowledge and Experience: Proceedings

Knowledge and Experience: Proceedings

Excerpt

The papers in this volume are the outcome of the third annual Oberlin Colloquium held April 20-22, 1962, at Oberlin College under the auspices of the Department of Philosophy. As the contents of the volume make evident it was possible, in arranging the 1962 Colloquium, to call five sessions without departing from our policy that no two sessions should be concurrent and that each should permit as much question and answer as might be desired.

It will be seen that the papers deal with two overlapping topics, knowledge and experience, and that the authors pursue a type of philosophical inquiry commonly called "analytic." While philosophy of this type has had a long history, today it owes much to recent British philosophers. It happens that several of the sessions here presented are concerned particularly with the work of a Cambridge philosopher and with that of an Oxford one--the late Ludwig Wittgenstein and the late John L. Austin.

The opening paper by Mr. Warnock deals with Austin's "purified version" of the correspondence theory of truth--a version employing the notions of both demonstrative conventions and descriptive conventions. Warnock examines a number of objections, chiefly by Strawson, and concludes that in this version the theory is by no means so faulty as it has been taken to be.

Next, Mr. Prior turns to the Sophismata of the fourteenth-century writer John Buridan for three puzzles of self-reference. Two of them, employing the concepts of knowledge and doubt, are developed and analyzed in some detail. Prior then sketches a formal language, in the Lukasiewicz notation, which can be useful in representing such paradoxes; but he notes that it cannot be extended to include its own semantics.

In the first symposium Mr. Searle investigates recent attempts like those of Hare and Strawson to analyze the meanings of certain words in terms of performances, that is to say in terms of the kinds of speech acts which are commonly performed in the utterance of those words. He considers such philosophically troubling words as 'true' and 'good,' and examines the thesis that a speech-act analysis does not merely tell us about the acts performed in the uttering, but actually gives or analyzes the meanings, or parts of the meanings, of those words. Whether we suppose the speech acts actually to be performed or merely to be "in the offing," he argues, the thesis is . . .

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