Philosophy: Vol. 90, No. 2, April 2015

The Review of Metaphysics, June 2015 | Go to article overview

Philosophy: Vol. 90, No. 2, April 2015


Oxford Philosophy in the 1950s, JOHN R. SEARLE

During the period roughly of the 1950s Oxford was generally regarded as the most important center of philosophy in the world, the one where the most interesting philosophical activity was going on. It was indeed so distinctive that the very name "Oxford Philosophy" meant not just the philosophy that happened to be practiced in Oxford but a special kind of philosophy that gave a central importance to the study of language as the major topic of philosophical investigation. It is not an exaggeration to describe this period as a golden age of Oxford Philosophy. Quite by coincidence, the author's initial stay in Oxford from 1952-1959 happened to be during the high watermark of Oxford Philosophy.

Philosophy in the Inter-War Period: A Memoir, LOUIS ARNAUD REID

The following extracts come from a memoir of philosophical life between the wars and after, written in the 1970s by the Anglo-Scottish philosopher Louis Amaud Reid (1895-1986). Today Reid is best known for his writings on aesthetics and as the holder of the foundation chair in the philosophy of education at the University of London. Reid will also be familiar to those who have read A. J. Ayer's account of Ayer's appointment to the chair of philosophy at London, for Reid was the candidate strongly preferred by the philosophers on the selection committee. Reid regretted the rise of logical positivism in the later 1930s because it introduced a break with the earlier world of humane philosophical discourse. In these extracts, edited by his grandson, Reid begins by giving a sense of the breadth of topics covered in philosophical conferences in the 1920s, before sketching some of the characters involved. He mentions of course a number of figures still familiar to us, from Moore to Russell to Wittgenstein, but tries more generally to give an impression of a philosophical world which is now largely lost. These are themes he continues elsewhere in the book, where he discusses the people he knew at Edinburgh, Aberystwyth, Liverpool, Newcastle, and London.

The Importance of Understanding Each Other in Philosophy, SEBASTIAN SUNDAY GREVE

What is philosophy? How is it possible? This essay constitutes an attempt to contribute to a better understanding of what might be a good answer to either of these questions by reflecting on one particular characteristic of philosophy, specifically as it presents itself in the philosophical practice of Socrates, Plato, and Wittgenstein. …

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