Good. 112240493X. Acidfree fresh 2nd Ed, few turned pp & water stain bott edge, cover a bit weathered; not marked-in, clearance or discard. Usually mails within 12 hours.; 5.5 x 8.5 in.; 340 pages; Review "He writes with considerable acumen and great enthusiasm on a number of important topics...In particular on the nature of philosophical analysis, phenomenalism, mental acts, and the question of analyticity..."-Philosophy.
Our author is a witty but serious philosopher. His title insinuates that anti-metaphysicians have a covert metaphysics. To get serious, though, a reader of this book needs extraordinary preparation to understand what sense to make of Bergmann?s proposal of an ?ideal language.? He wrote during the mid-twentieth century when the term ?linguistic turn? was in vogue. In the spawning ground of Bertrand Russell?s formal logic there came to life a school of thought in philosophy now known as logical positivism in which the linguistic turn got its vogue. Problems of philosophy were now to become problems of language when given a turn.
To get this idea, simple folk may enjoy a turn to musical comedy. Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady complains, ?Why can?t the English learn to speak?? Imagine each philosopher evincing this same feeling about other philosophers. Now you have it! We see the strife of the schools in metaphysics, that Babel of tongues that is the despair of freshmen. How is this cacophony to be stilled?
Ordinary language can be taken as a non-controversial lingo to speak of philosophical problems as successive proposals for an ideal language, a language that is ideal in the sense of revealing the bone of contention in an ambiance of mutual understanding. Bergmann writes as if standing on a balcony overlooking the fracas and commenting incisively on various exercises of the linguistic turn in a brawl on the saloon floor.
It can take a small lifetime to understand positions of many contenders including Wittgenstein, Carnap, Quine, Goodman, Ryle, Wisdom and that whole crowd. Bergmann gives prominence to the contention between phenomenalism and realism. Perhaps a plain man on the street could use here a taste of this brew that goes so quickly to your head.
Imagine yourself as standing at the bar with a stein of ale. A realist would say it is true that you hold in your hand a stein. A phenomenologist would say you have a perception of a stein that requires technical explanation to affirm that you have a stein in your hand. If you wish to know more, leave the bar and hike to a seminar on metaphysics.
Gustav Bergmann thinks and writes very clearly. He is incisively astute to make this book a treasure. As with most treasures, a reader must know how to appreciate it.
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