European Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 17, No. 1, March 2009

Article excerpt

In Defence of Narrative, ANTHONY RUDD

Many recent thinkers (for example, MacIntyre, Taylor, Ricoeur) have argued that the notion of narrative should be central to our thinking about ethics and personal identity. This paper defends the value of a narrative approach from recent criticisms by Galen Strawson and others. After elucidating the concept of narrative that MacIntyre introduced in After Virtue, the paper considers and rejects various objections to his narrative account of personal identity, arguing that some of the prominent criticisms of narrative theory simply do not apply to this conception, properly understood. The paper concludes by defending Taylor's claim that an ethical life must aspire to, and to some extent achieve, the unity of a narrative.--Correspondence to

"Hopelessly Strange": Bernard Williams' Portrait of Wittgenstein as a Transcendental Idealist, STEPHEN MULHALL

This article critically evaluates Bernard Williams' influential exploration of the idea that there might be an illuminating relation between the Kantian Critical project and that of Wittgenstein's philosophy, both early and late. It argues that Williams' interpretation of Wittgenstein is insufficiently grounded in the primary texts, unduly influenced by strands in the secondary literature dominant in Oxford at the time of his essay's composition, and insensitive to the reasons for Wittgenstein's refusal to adopt philosophical positions of a kind that might be taxonomised in the ways Williams proposes. The key idea that might be rescued from Williams' otherwise misdirected account is that of acknowledging the extent to which Wittgenstein's grammatical remarks should be seen as ways of exploring the limits of our agreement in speech rather than assuming their prior existence--an idea central to Stanley Cavell's reading of the later philosophy.--Correspondence to: stephen.mulhall

Merleau-Ponty's Account of Hallucination, KOMARINE ROMDENHROMLUC

This paper offers a reading of Merleau-Ponty on hallucination. Drawing on clinical studies, he claims that a satisfactory account of hallucination must accommodate the following two facts. Most hallucinating subjects distinguish between their hallucinations and perceptions. Nevertheless, they are often deceived by their hallucinations. Merleau-Ponty argues that these facts cannot be captured if one conceives of hallucinations as sense experiences, beliefs, or judgments. Instead, he suggests that they result from the malfunctioning of two capacities that are properly exercised in perception: the power of summoning and perceptual faith. The article presents an account of these capacities before linking some of Merleau-Ponty's claims about the phenomenology of hallucination to ideas put forward in the contemporary clinical literature on this topic.--Correspondence to:

Naturalism, Method and Genealogy in "Beyond Selflessness," P. J. E. KAIL

The author considers some themes concerning naturalism, method and genealogy raised by Christopher Janaway's Beyond Selflessness: Reading Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morality (Oxford: OUP, 2007). The author discusses Janaway's claim that Nietzsche saw Paul Ree's methodology as being hampered by its aspiration to a form of selflessness, and addresses the question of what might be meant by "real history" in the context of Nietzsche's Genealogy and its relation to naturalism.--Correspondence to:

Responses to Commentators, CHRISTOPHER JANAWAY

The article discusses issues raised by Daniel Came, Ken Gemes, Peter Kail, and Stephen Mulhall in commentaries on Janaway, Beyond Selflessness: Reading Nietzsche's "Genealogy" (2008). …