James Conant

James Conant is Chester D. Tripp Professor of Humanities, Professor of Philosophy, and Professor in the College at the University of Chicago. He received both his B.A. (1982) and Ph.D. (1990) from Harvard University. He was Assistant, then Associate, and then Full Professor, over a period of nine years, at the University of Pittsburgh, before moving to Chicago in 1999. He works broadly in philosophy and has published articles in Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, Aesthetics, German Idealism, and History of Analytic Philosophy, among other areas, and on a wide range of philosophers, including Kant, Emerson, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Josiah Royce, William James, Frege, Carnap, Wittgenstein, Putnam, Cavell, Rorty, and McDowell, among others. He is currently working on four book-length projects: a monograph on skepticism entitled Varieties of Skepticism, a co-authored collection of essays with Cora Diamond entitled Wittgenstein and the Inheritance of Philosophy, a book on film aesthetics entitled The Ontology of the Cinematographic Image, and a forthcoming collection of interpretative essays on a variety of philosophers entitled Resolute Readings. He has edited, among other things, two volumes of Hilary Putnam's papers and co-edited (with John Haugeland) one volume of Thomas Kuhn's papers, with a second posthumous work by Kuhn soon to be completed. Together with Jay Elliot, he is about to bring out the volume of the Norton Anthology of Philosophy on The Analytic Tradition.

He has taught as a visiting professor at the College de France, Postdam University, the LMU in Munich, University of Amsterdam, University of Bergen, University of Helsinki, University of Iceland in Reykyavik, University of Picardy in Amiens, University of Uppsala, Leipzig University, Göttingen University, University College Dublin, and the University of Rome La Sapienza. From 1990 to 1993 he was a Fellow at the Michigan Society of Fellows, from 2008 to 2009 at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and from 2012 to2013 at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg of the University of Goettingen. From 2006 to 2008, together with David Wellbery, he was a co-recipient of a Mellon Foundation Saywer Seminar Grant. He is the co-recipient of two Humboldt TransCoop Awards, one with Sebastian Rödl and one with Pirmin Stekeler, each of which has facilitated numerous philosophical projects, workshops, and conferences sponsored jointly by the Departments of Philosophy at Leipzig University and the University of Chicago. In 2012 he was awarded the Anneliese Meier Prize by the Humboldt Foundation.

He serves on a number of academic advisory boards, including those of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (link), the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (link), the Berlin Center for Knowledge Research (link), the North American Nietzsche Society (link), and the Internationale Ludwig Wittgenstein Gesellschaft (link). He is also a member of the senior editorial board of the bi-lingual German-English journal Wittgenstein-Studien: Internationales Jahrbuch für Wittgenstein-Forschung (link) and the senior editorial board of the bi-lingual Italian-English journal Iride (link). Together with Günter Abel, he is co-editor of the book series Berlin Studies in Knowledge Research (link), as well as a member of the advisory board of the book series called Nordic Wittgenstein Studies. Together with Andrea Kern, he is the co-director of the Center for Analytic German Idealism (link). He served as Chairman of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago for three years, stepping down in July, 2011.

CV (PDF)

 

James Conant's recorded interviews, lectures, etc - Link


Contact

offices: Stuart Hall 208
office hours:
office phone: 773/702-6146
email: jconant@uchicago.edu

 

Recent and Forthcoming News

  • Germany's leading newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, reviews James Conant's recent book on Nietzsche, August 26, 2014. PDF
  • James Conant and Cora Diamond will co-teach the 7th Ludwig Wittgenstein Summer School on the topic of Wittgenstein on Following a Rule: Philosophical Investigations, Sections 185 - 242. The Summer School will take place from the 5th to the 8th of August, 2015 in Kirchberg am Wechsel in Lower Austria. The event is sponsored by the the International Ludwig Wittgenstein Institute and will take place just prior to the 38th International Wittgenstein Symposium in Kirchberg, which starts on the 9th of August, 2015. For more information about the Summer School, please contact Volker Munz at Volker.Munz@aau.at
  • Skepticism and Intentionality: Perspectives on Topics of James Conant, October 31, 2012 - Uni- Bonn Link
  • James Conant and Cora Diamond co-taught the 5th Ludwig Wittgenstein Summerschool from the 7th to the 10th of August 2013 in Kirchberg am Wechsel in Lower Austria. The event is sponsored by the the International Ludwig Wittgenstein Institute and took place just prior to the 36th International Wittgenstein Symposium 2013, in Kirchberg, starting on the 11th of August 2013. Recordings of the Kirchberg summer school can be accessed by clicking here. For more information about this event, click here.
  • On December 5th, 2012, James Conant will be the first Voltaire Lecturer in the new annual Voltaire Lecture Series at the University of Potsdam. Link
  • On December 3, 2012, the Center for Analytic German Idealism (CAGI) will open at the University of Leipzig. Together with Prof. Andrea Kern (Leipzig), James Conant will serve as the co-director of this new institute. The program of the opening event may be found here. Link
  • In April 2012, James Conant and Cora Diamond co-directed a Young Scholars Workshop on the topic of Philosophy, Literature and Film, at the Center for Philosophy and Literature at Duke University. Link
  • "James Conant in Potsdam"- January 12, 2012, Maerkische Allgemeine. Link
  • Rethinking Epistemology, Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Guenter Abel and James Conant, were published by Walter De Gruyter, Inc., Berlin, in December, 2011 and June, 2012 respectively.
  • On Oct. 29-31, 2012, the International Centre for Philosophy at Bonn University will host a conference on "Skepticism and Intentionality - Perspectives on Topics of James Conant".  
  • During the academic year 2012/2013, James Conant will be a fellow at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Göttingen.
  • The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has awarded the Anneliese Maier Prize to James Conant for research of internationally recognised excellence in the humanities or social sciences. Link
  • James Conant is among the keynote speakers at a conference on Philosophy, Film, and Skepticism at the University of Bonn, Germany, from November 28 - 30, 2011.
  • On June 10, 2011,  the journal Philosophical Investigations published a “virtual issue” which features the ten best articles published in the journal from 1980 to the present day and includes James Conant's 1998 article "Wittgenstein on Meaning and Use".
  • Beyond the Tractatus Wars, edited by Rupert Read and Matthew Lavery, was published in July 2011 by Routledge. The collection consists of a series of paired newly commissioned pieces alternately arguing for and against the so-called "resolute reading" of Wittgenstein's Tractatus first put forward by Cora Diamond and James Conant.
  • Together with Sebastian Rödl, James Conant will run a SIAS Summer Institute (to take place in at the National Institute of Humanities at Chapel Hill in August, 2011 and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in August, 2012), titled The Second Person: Comparative Perspectives (click here for more information).
  • On June 10, 2011,  the journal Philosophical Investigations published a “virtual issue” which features the ten best articles published in the journal from 1980 to the present day and includes James Conant's 1998 article "Wittgenstein on Meaning and Use".
  • The Institute of Philosophy of the University of Porto in Portugal is hosting a conference titled The Logical Alien at 20, to take place on June 13th & 14th, 2011, on the 20th anniversary of the publication of James Conant's paper The Search for Logically Alien Thought. For more information, click here.
  • Additional past news and announcements can be found on our "News" and "Announcements" pages here.

Books

  • James Conant, Friedrich Nietzsche: Perfektionismus & Perspektivismus tr. by Joachim Schulte, Konstanz University Press, 2014. Cover and TOC (PDF)
  • (co-edited with Andrea Kern), Varieties of Skepticism: Essays after Kant, Wittgenstein, and Cavell Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, Berlin Studies in Knowledge Research 5 (2014). For the PDF of the Table of Contents and Editors’ "Introduction: From Kant to Cavell" click here
  • Rethinking Epistemology, Vol. 2, co-edited with Guenter Abel (Walter De Gruyter Inc., June, 2012)
  • Rethinking Epistemology, Vol. 1, with Guenter Abel (Walter De Gruyter Inc., December, 2011)
  • Orwell ou le Pouvoir de la Verite (Agone, 2012) - Link
  • James Conant and Cora Diamond, Rileggere Wittgenstein (with a Foreword by Piergiorgio Donatelli and an Afterword by Silver Bronzo), Carocci, Rome, 2010 Table of Contents PDF
  • Co-editor of Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism, Routledge, London, 2002 - PDF
  • Editor of Analytic Kantianism, Philosophical Topics, Vol. 34, Nos. 1 & 2 PDF
  • Co-editor of Thomas Kuhn: The Road Since Structure, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 2000
  • Editor of Hilary Putnam: Words and Life, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1994 (PDF of Editor's Introduction) - Link
  • Editor of Hilary Putnam: Realism with a Human Face, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1990 (PDF part 1 of Editor's Introduction, PDF part 2 of Editor's Introduction) - Link
  • The road since structure: philosophical essays, 1970-1993, Ed. with John Haugeland - Link
  • Co-editor of Thomas Kuhn: The Plurality of Worlds, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL (forthcoming)
  • Co-editor of Skepticism in Context, Blackwell's, Oxford, UK (forthcoming)
  • Co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Philosophy, Volume V: The Analytic Tradition, W. W. Norton & Co., New York, NY: (forthcoming)
  • Co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Philosophy: The Concise Edition, W. W. Norton & Co., New York, NY: (forthcoming)

Selected Publications in English

  • "Two Varieties of Skepticism" forthcoming in Rethinking Epistemology, Vol. 2, edited by Guenter Abel and James Conant, Berlin: Walter De Gruyter 2012, pp. 1-73. PDF
  • "Three ways of Inheriting Austin", in La philosophie du langage ordinaire: Histoire et actualité de la philosophie d’Oxford / Ordinary Language Philosophy: The History and Contemporary Relevance of Oxford Philosophy, edited by Christoph Al-Saleh and Sandra Laugier, Olms Verlag, Hildesheim, 2011. PDF
  • Co-authored (with Ed Dain), "Throwing the Baby Out: A Reply to Roger White" in Beyond The Tractatus Wars: The New Wittgenstein Debate Edited by Rupert Read, Matthew A. Lavery, Routledge, 2011. PDF
  • "Wittgestein's Methods", in The Oxford Handbook of Wittgenstein, ed. Oskari Kuusela, Oxford University Press, 2011. PDF
  • "The World of a Movie", in Making a Difference, edited by Niklas Forsberg and Susanne Jansson, Thales, Stockholm, 2011. PDF
  • "A Development in Wittgenstein's Conception of Philosophy: From "The Method" to Methods", in In Sprachspiele verstricht - oder: Wie man der Fliege den Ausweg zeigt edited by Stefan Tolksdorf and Holm Tetens (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010). PDF
  • “The American Scholar,” in New Literary History of America, ed. Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors, Harvard University Press, April, 2009. (PDF)
  • “Josiah Royce and the Problem of Error,” in New Literary History of America, ed. Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors, Harvard University Press, April, 2009. (PDF)
  • "Mild Mono-Wittgensteinianism," Wittgenstein and the Moral Life: Essays in Honor of Cora Diamond, edited by Alice Crary, M.I. T. Press, 2007 Link
  • "Subjective Thought”, Cahiers Parisiens, edited by Robert Morrissey, Volume 3, 2007. (PDF)
  • "Wittgenstein’s Later Criticism of the Tractatus”, in Wittgenstein: The Philosopher and his Works, edited by A. Pichler and S. Säätelä, Ontos Verlag, Vienna, 2006. (PDF)
  • “The Recovery of Greece and the Discovery of America”, in Reading Cavell, edited by Alice Crary and Sanford Shieh, Routledge, 2006. (PDF)
  • "The Dialectic of Perspectivism, II," Sats - Nordic Journal of Philosophy, Vol 7, No 1 (2006). PDF
  • "Rorty and Orwell on Truth" in On Nineteen-Eighty-Four: Orwell and Our Future, edited by Abbott Gleason, Jack Goldsmith, and Martha Nussbaum, Princeton University Press, (2005). (PDF)
  • "The Dialectic of Perspectivism, I," Sats - Nordic Journal of Philosophy, Vol 6, No 2 (2005) PDF
  • "Cavell and the Concept of America", in Contending with Stanley Cavell, edited by Russell Goodman, Oxford University Press; 2005. (PDF)
  • “Stanley Cavell’s Wittgenstein”, Harvard Review of Philosophy, 2005 (PDF)
  • "What 'Ethics' in the Tractatus is Not", in Religion and Wittgenstein's Legacy, edited by D.Z. Phillips, Ashgate Publishing, 2005. Link
  • Co-authored (with Cora Diamond), "On Reading the Tractatus Resolutely,"in The Lasting Significance of Wittgenstein's Philosophy, edited by Max Kölbel and Bernhard Weiss, Routledge, 2004. Link
  • "Varieties of Skepticism," in Wittgenstein and Skepticism, edited by Denis McManus, Routledge Press, 2004. PDF
  • "How Wittgenstein’s Ladder Turned into a Fly-bottle", in New History of German Literature, edited by David Wellbery, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Anton Kaes, Dorothea von Muecke, and Judith Ryan, Harvard University Press; 2004. (PDF)
  • (with Hilary Putnam and Richard Rorty), "What is Pragmatism? A Discussion", in Think, Issue 8 Autumn 2004. (PDF)
  • "Why Worry About the Tractatus?", in Post-Analytic Tractatus, edited by Barry Foster, Ashgate, 2004. (PDF)
  • The Concept of America, in Society, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2003. PDF
  • "On Going the Bloody Hard Way in Philosophy", in The Possibilities of Sense, edited by John Whittaker, Macmillan, 2003 (PDF)
  • "The Method of the Tractatus", in From Frege to Wittgenstein: Perspectives on Early Analytic Philosophy, edited by Erich H. Reck, Oxford University Press, 2002 (PDF Part One | Part Two)
  • "In the Electoral Colony: Kafka in Florida," Critical Inquiry, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Summer, 2001), pp. 662-702 Link
  •  "Coming to Wittgenstein", in Philosophical Investigations, Vo. 24, No.2, 2001. (PDF)
  • "Philosophy and Biography" in Wittgenstein: Biography and Philosophy by James Carl Klagge, Oxford University Press, 2001 (PDF)
  • "A Prolegomenon to the Reading of Later Wittgenstein", in Deconstruction and Pragmatism, edited by Chantal Mouffe and Ludwig Nagl, Peter Lang Press, 2001 (PDF)
  • "Two Conceptions of Die Überwindung der Metaphysik", in Wittgenstein in America, edited by Timothy McCarthy and Peter Winch, Oxford University Press, 2001. (PDF)
  • "In the Electoral Colony", in Critical Inquiry, Summer 2001. (PDF)
  • "Nietzsche's Perfectionism: A Reading of Schopenhauer as Educator," in Nietzsche's Postmoralism, edited by Richard Schacht, CUP, 2000. Part 1 Part 2
  • "Freedom, Cruelty and Truth: Rorty versus Orwell," in Richard Rorty and His Critics, edited by Robert Brandom, Blackwell, 2000. Part 1 Part 2
  • "Elucidation and Nonsense in Frege and Early Wittgenstein", in The New Wittgenstein, edited by A. Crary and R. Read, Routledge, London, 2000. (PDF)
  • "Wittgenstein on Meaning and Use," in Philosophical Investigations Volume 21 Issue 3 Page 222-250, July 1998 Link
  • "Emerson as Educator", in Emerson Society Quarterly (Spring, 1998). (PDF)
  • "Kierkegaard's POSTSCRIPT and Wittgenstein's Tractatus: Teaching How to Pass from Disguised to Patent Nonsense," Wittgenstein Studies 2/97 Link
  • "The James/Royce Dispute and the Development of James's 'Solution'", in The Cambridge Companion to William James, edited by Ruth Anna Putnam, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.: 1997. (PDF)
  • "On Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mathematics" Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, New Series, Vol. 97 (1997), pp. 195-222 Link
  • "Putting Two and Two Together: Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein and the Point of View for Their Work as Authors", in The Grammar of Religious Belief, edited by D.Z. Phillips, St. Martins Press, NY: 1996. (PDF Part I Part II)
  • "Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Anscombe on Moral Unintelligibility", in Religion and Morality, edited by D. Z. Phillips, St. Martins Press, NY: 1996. (PDF)
  • "Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein and Nonsense", in Pursuits of Reason, edited by Ted Cohen, Paul Guyer and Hilary Putnam, Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock: 1992, pp. 195-224. (PDF)
  • "The Search for Logically Alien Thought: Descartes, Kant, Frege and the Tractatus" in The Philosophy of Hilary Putnam, Philosophical Topics, Vol. 20, No. 1 (1991), pp. 115-180. (PDF)
  • "On Bruns, on Cavell," in Critical Inquiry, Vol. 17, Spring 1991. Link
  • "Must We Show What We Cannot Say?" inThe Senses of Stanley Cavell, edited by R. Fleming and M. Payne, Bucknell University Press, 1989. Link
  • "On Philosophical Ground", Harvard Review, Vol. 1, No. 1 ((Fall 1986). (PDF)

Selected Publications in German

  • "Die Dialektik von Natur und Kultur beim späten Nietzsche" in James Conant, Friedrich Nietzsche: Perfektionismus & Perspektivismus tr. by Joachim Schulte, Konstanz University Press, 2014. PDF
  • "Die Suche nach logisch fremdem Denken: Kant, Frege und der Tractatus", tr. by  Bastian Reichardt, forthcoming in Bastian Reichardt and Alexander Samans (eds.) Freges Philosophie nach Frege. Münster: Mentis, 2013 .doc
  • Amerika als das philosophische Telos von Schillers literarischem Kantianismus" in Geschichte der Germanistik: Historische Zeitschrift fr die Philologien vol. 43/44, 2013, pp.12-20 PDF
  • “Spielarten des Skeptizismus” in Skeptizismus und Metaphysik edited by Markus Gabriel, Akademie-Verlag, Berlin, 2012, pp. 21-72. PDF
  • "Von der mathematischen Logik zur Sprache: Wittgensteins spätere Kritik des Tractatus", in Wittgenstein: Zu Philosophie und Wissenschaft, edited by Pirmin Stekeler, Felix Meiner Verlag, Berlin, 2012, pp. 30 - 62. PDF
  • Grenzen der Sprache: Eine Skizze von Wittgensteins Spätkritik am,Tractatus,XXIst Deutschen Kongreß für Philosophie, ed. Hans Julius Schneider und Carl Friedrich Gethmann, Academie Verlag, Leipzig, 2011.PDF
  • “Absorption – Die Ontologie einer Spielfilmwelt”, in Geschichte
    der Germanistik
    , Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, 2009 PDF
  • “Eine Leiter wird zum Fliegenglas,” in Eine Neue Geschichte der Deutschen Literatur, ed. David Wellbery, Judith Ryan and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Berlin University Press, Fall, 2008. PDF
  • “Die Welt eines Films”, Deutsche Zeitschrift Fuer Philosophie, Band 54, Heft 1 (Jan 2006). PDF
  • “Was ist Pragmatismus?”, in Wittgenstein Jahrbuch 2003, edited and translated by Richard  Raatzsch.
  • "Können unsere kognitiven Vermögen die Gegenstände selbst erreichen?", in Hilary Putnam und die Tradition des Pragmatismus, edited by Marcus Willaschek and Marie-Louise Raters, Suhrkamp, 2002. PDF
  • "Freiheit, Wahrheit und Grausamkeit: Rorty und Orwell", in Philosophie: Wissenchaft – Wirtschaft, edited by Rainer Born und Otto Neumaier, ÖBT & HPT, Vienna, 2001. PDF
  • "Stanley Cavells Wittgenstein", in Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie (1998, Heft 2). PDF

Selected Publications in French

  • "Nos pouvoirs cognitifs peuvent-ils atteindre les objets eux-memes?", translated by Raphaël Ehrsam and Anne Le Goff, in Autour de L'Esprit et le monde, A. Le Goff and C. Al-Saleh, eds., Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, Paris, 2012. (PDF)
  • "Le perfectionnisme de Nietzsche", translated by Pascal Duval, published for Amazon Kindle, available here - Link
  • "Orwell et la dictature des intellectuels", in Agone, Vol. 41 - 42, 2009 - Link
  • "Jeter l’échelle", in Europe, Vol. 82, No. 906, October 2004.
  • "Le premier, le second & le dernier Wittgenstein", in Wittgenstein, dernières pensées, edited by Jacques Bouveresse, Sandra Laugier and Jean-Jacques Rosat, Agone, 2002. (PDF)
  • "Kafka en Floride" (Short Version), in Esprit, January 2002. (PDF)
  • "Kafka en Floride" (Long Version), in Éthique, littérature, vie humaine, edited by Sandra Laugier, Presses Universitaires de Prance, Paris, 2006.
  • "Deux conceptions de l’Überwindung der Metaphysik: Carnap et le premier Wittgenstein", in Carnap et la philosophie analytique, edited by Sandra Laugier, Vrin, 2001. (PDF)
  • "Cavell et ses critiques à propos de la signification et de l’usage", in Cycnos, vol. 17, no. 1, 2000 (PDF)
  • "Introduction à Hilary Putnam et Le Réalisme à Visage Humain", Editions du Seuil, Paris: 1994 (PDF)
  • "Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, et leur point de vue sur leur oeuvre en tant qu’ auteurs”, in Europe, vol. 82, no. 906 (October 2004), 31-50. (PDF)

Selected Publications in Other Languages

  • Συμμετρες και ασυμμετρες στον πρακτικ και τον θεωρητικ λγο [Symmetries and Assymetries in Practical and Theoretical Reason] in ΔΕΥΚΑΛΙΩΝ [Deucalion], Vol.29, Issue 1-2, December 2012. PDF
  • "Introduzione", in Realismo del volto umano by Hilary Putnam, trans. by Eva Picardi, Societa editrice il Mulino, 1995. PDF
  • "Le critiche del secundo Wittgenstein al Tractatus", in Rileggere Wittgenstein, by James Conant and Cora Diamond, edited by Piergiorgio Donatelli (Roma: Carocci editori, 2010). PDF
  • “Φιλοσοφία & Κινηματογράφος” ["Philosophy and Cinema"], Cogito vol.5, Greece, 2006 PDF
  • "Filosofi og Biografi", in Erfaring og Forståelse - Biografiens Teori og Praksis (Experience and Understanding - The Theory and Practice/Praxis of Biography), Unipub Forlag, Norge, 2008.
  • “Filosofi e biografia”, Iride, anno XIX n. 48 maggio-augusto 2006, pg. 303-318. PDF
  • "Αληθειαα ’ή Ελευθερια" ["Truth or Freedom"], Ο Ρολιτης, Ιούυιος 1999.
  • “ Stanley Cavells Wittgenstein”, Agora: Journal of Metafysisk Spekusasjon, nr. 1-2, Norge, 2008 PDF
  • "Il problema della forma di filosofia", Iride (April, 1997) PDF
  • Realismo dal Valto Umano, SocietB editrice il Mulino, Rome: 1995)

Please see my CV (PDF) for a complete list of publications.

Interviews

  • "Interview. From Positivist Rabbi to Resolute Reader: James Conant in Conversation with Niklas Forsberg, Part 1" Nordic Wittgenstein Review. Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 131-160. Link
  • "Interview with Stanley Cavell", in The Senses of Stanley Cavell, edited by R. Fleming and M. Payne, Bucknell University Press, 1989. (PDF)

Selected Reviews by James Conant

  • "The Triumph of the Gift over the Curse in Stanley Cavell's Little Did I Know" Review of Little Did I Know by Stanley Cavell, in MLN Comparative Literature Issue, Vol. 126, No. 5 (December 2011), pp. 1004-1013. PDF
  • Throwing Away the Top of the Ladder" Review of Wittgenstein, A Life: Young Ludwig, 1889-1921 by Brian McGuinness and The World as I Found It by Bruce Duffy, inThe Yale Review, Vol. 79, No. 3 (1991), pp. 328-364. PDF

Selected Responses to James Conant's Work

  • Yannick Walter (2013) "Der Skeptizismus-Begriffs in Saul Kripkes Wittgenstein-Lesart – Eine Statusanalyse, zweiter Teil", in Texturen Online | Zeitschrift für den Literaturbetrieb 2011-2013 - Link
  • Piergiorgio Donatelli, "Reshaping Ethics after Wittgenstein”, Wittgenstein-Studien. Volume 4, Issue 1, (Jan 2013) Pages 207–232. PDF
  • Genia Schoenbaumsfeld, "Kierkegaard and the Tractatus", in Peter Sullivan and Michael Potter (eds.), Wittgenstein's Tractatus: History and Interpretation, Oxford, UK: OUP, 2013, pp. 59-75 PDF
  • Cameron Hessell (2013), "On the Unintelligibilty of Wittgenstein's Tractatus", in Philosophical Investigations, Vol. 36, Issue 2 (April 2013), pp. 133 -154. PDF
  • Ben Ware (2013): "Wittgenstein, modernity and the critique of modernism", in Textual Practice,  Vol. 27, Issue 2, pp. 187 - 2054 PDF
  • Stephen Mulhall, "Orchestral Metaphysics: The Birth of Tragedy between Drama, Opera, and Philosophy”, The Journal of Nietzsche Studies, Volume 44, Issue 2, Summer 2013, pp. 246-263 PDF
  • Silver Bronzo: "The Resolute Reading and Its Critics: An Introduction to the Literature", Wittgenstein-Studien, Vol. 3, 2012, pp. 45-80 PDF
  • Danny Krmer, Wittgensteins Tractatus - Unsinn oder Unsinn mit Sinn? Doctoral Dissertation, University of Erfurt, published by Grin Verlag (2012). Link
  • Nikolay Milkov "Wittgenstein's Method: The Third Phase of Its Development (1933-36)" in Knowledge, Language and Mind: Wittgenstein's Thought in Progress, Antonio Marques, Nuno Venturinha (eds.) de Gruyter, 2012. PDF
  • Jamie Turnbull, "Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, and Conant's Conceptual Confusion" in Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook. Volume 2012, Issue 1, Pages 337-366. PDF
  • Ray Monk (2012), "Catching the Tone", The Philosopher's Magazine, First Quarter, 2012; pp. 59 - 65. PDF
  • Christoph Koenig, "Das verlorene Unaussprechliche. Wittgensteins Bemerkungen ber das Gedicht 'Graf Eberhards Weidorn' von Ludwig Uhland". In: Wittgenstein bersetzen. Hg. von Matthias Kro und Esther Ramharter. Berlin: Parerga-Verlag 2012, S. 77-102. PDF
  • John McDowell (2012), "RÉPONSE À JAMES CONANT", in A. Le Goff and C. Al-Saleh (eds.), Autour de L'Esprit et le monde, Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, Paris 2012. PDF
  • Martin Stokhof, "The Quest for Purity: Another Look at the New Wittgenstein”, Croatian Journal of Philosophy, issue: 33 / 2011, pp. 275­ - 294  PDF
  • Jeffrey Church, "Two concepts of culture in the early Nietzsche" in European Journal of Political Theory 2011,10, pp.327-349 PDF
  • James R. Atkinson (2011), "Nonsense and Two Intepretations of the Tractatus", Chapter 9 of The Mystical in Wittgensteins Early Writings, London, Routledge. PDF
  • Cahill, Kevin (2011) The Fate of Wonder, New York: Columbia University Press, Chs. 1 & 2. PDF
  • Roger M. White, "Throwing the Baby Out with the Ladder: On “Therapeutic” Readings of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus" in Beyond The Tractatus Wars: The New Wittgenstein Debate.  Edited by Rupert Read, Matthew A. Lavery, Routledge, 2011. PDF
  • Oskari Kuusela, "The Dialectic of Interpretations: Reading Wittgenstein’s Tractatus" in Beyond The Tractatus Wars: The New Wittgenstein Debate.  Edited by Rupert Read, Matthew A. Lavery, Routledge, 2011. PDF
  • Vaccari, Alessio "Perfezionismo e critica della morale in Friedrich Nietzsche", Iride, Anno XXIV, Aprile 2011, pp.129-144. PDF
  • Schoenbaumsfeld, Genia (2010)," 'Resolution' - An Illusion of Sense?", in Proceedings of the 32nd International Wittgenstein-Symposium, Ontos Verlag, Vienna. PDF
  • Laugier, Sandra (2010) "Le Non-Sens de la Métaphysique et le Non-Sens de L'Éthique" in Wittgenstein - Le mythe de l'inexpressivité, Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, Paris. PDF
  • Worthington, Bernard A.: “Conant, Diamond and Tractatus 6.54”, in: Wittgenstein-Studien 1, Berlin / New York 2010, 21-37.  PDF
  • Whiting, Daniel (2010) "Particular and General: Wittgenstein, Linguistic Rules, and Context" in The Later Wittgenstein on Language, Palgrave MacMillan, New York. PDF
  • Schneider, Hans-Julius (2010). “Sätze können nichts höheres ausdrücken” in Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 58, 1. PDF
  • Bronzo, Silver (2010), "La lettura risoluta e i suoi critici: breve guida alla letteratura", in Rileggere Wittgenstein, Carocci, Rome. PDF
  • Schneider, Hans-Julius (2010), "Stellungnahmen", in In Sprachspiele Verstrickt, Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin. PDF
  • Alessio Vaccari "The Perfectionist Dimension in Friedrich Nietzsche's Critique of Morality" In Tελoς, Vol. XVII/2, 2010 (171-187). PDF
  • Michael Maurer (2009), "Is the Resolute Reading Really Inconsistent?: Trying to Get Clear on Hacker versus Conant/Diamond", in Language and World: Papers of the 32nd International Wittgenstein Symposium, edited by Volker A. Munz, Klaus Puhl, and Joseph Wang, Kirchberg am Wechsel: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society; pp. 256 - 259. PDF
  • Daniel Hutto (2009), "Philosophical Clarification, Its Possibility and Point", in Philosophia, Vol. 37; pp. 629 - 652. PDF
  • Laugier, Sandra "Le Usages du Non-Sens: Ethique e Metaphysique Dans Le Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus" in Chrisitane Chauvire (ed.) Lire le Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus de Wittgenstein (Paris: Vrin 2009) pp. 239-273. PDF
  • Peter van Inwagen, "Was George Orwell a Metaphysical Realist?"(2008), in Philosophia Scientiæ, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 161 - 185. PDF
  • Dain, Edmund (2008) "Wittgenstein, Contextualism, and Nonsense", Journal of Philosophical Research, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 101-125. PDF
  • Bastianelli, Marco, "Conclusione: Oltre i Limiti des Linguaggio" in Oltre i Limiti del Linguaggio: il Kantismo nel Tractatus di Wittgenstein, Mimesis, Milan, 2008. PDF
  • Cheung, Leo K.C. (2008) “The Disenchantment of Nonsense: Understanding Wittgenstein’s Tractatus”, Philosophical Investigations, 31, 3, pp. 197-226. PDF
  • Michael Morris and Julian Dodd (2007), "Mysticism and Nonsense in the Tractatus", in European Journal of Philosophy; pp. 1 - 30. PDF
  • Phillips, D. Z. (2007) “Locating Philosophy's Cool Place”, in D.Z. Phillips’ Contemplative Philosophy of Religion, ed. Andy Sanders, Ashgate Publishing, Burlington. PDF
  • Soren Overgaard (2007), "The Ethical Residue of Language in Levinas and Wittgenstein", in Philosophy and Social Criticism, Vol. 33, No. 2; pp. 223 - 249. PDF
  • Bruce Howes (2007), "'Rethinking' the Preface of the Tractatus", Philosophical Investigations, Volume 30, Number 1, pp. 3 - 24. PDF
  • Mulhall, Stephen (2007) “Wittgenstein’s Temple: Three Styles of Philosophical Architecture”, in D.Z. Phillips’ Contemplative Philosophy of Religion, ed. Andy Sanders, Ashgate Publishing, Burlington. PDF
  • Paul Muench, “Understanding Kierkegaard's Johannes Climacus in the Postscript: Mirror of the Reader's Faults or Socratic Exemplar?,” Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook 2007, edited by Niels Jørgen Cappelørn, Hermann Deuser and others (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2007), pp. 424 - 440. PDF
  • Rorty, Richard (2007), “Wittgenstein and the Linguistic Turn” in his Philosophy as Cultural Politics (vol.4 of Collected Papers), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. PDF
  • Colin Johnston, "Symbols in Wittgenstein's Tractatus", in The European Journal of Philosophy (2007), Vol. 15, No. 3; pp. 367 - 394. PDF
  • Schönbaumsfeld, Genia (2007) A confusion of the spheres, Oxford University Press, Oxford, chapter 1 and chapter 4.
  • Anne-Marie Christensen (2007), "Depending on Ethics: Kierkegaard’s Viewof Philosophy and Beyond", in Res Cogitans, no. 4, vol. 1, pp. 1-19. PDF
  • David G. Stern, "How Many Wittgensteins?", in a. Pichler and S. Säätelä (eds.), Wittgenstein: The Philosopher and his Works, , Frankfurt am Main; Ontos Verlag, 2006. PDF
  • Jörg Volbers, "Philosophie als Lehre oder als Tätigkeit? Über eine neue Lesart des „Tractatus“", in Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Heft 2/2006.
  • Dain, Edmund (2006) "Contextualism and Nonsense in Wittgenstein's Tractatus", South African Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 91-101. PDF
  • Phil Hutchinson and Rupert Read (2006), "An Elucidatory Interpretation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus", in International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp. 1 - 29. PDF
  • Rupert Read (2006), "A No-Theory?", in Philosophical Investigations, Vol. 29, No. 1; pp. 73-81. PDF
  • McManus, Denis, "The Method of the Tractatus" in The Enchantment of Words: Wittgenstein's Tractatus logico-philosophicus, Oxford University Pres, Oxford, 2006. PDF
  • Kuusela, O. (2006) ‘Resolute and Ineffability Readings and the Tractatus’ Failure’. In Pihlström, S., ed., Wittgenstein and the Method of PhilosophyActa Philosophica Fennica, Vol. 80, Helsinki: Philosophical Society of Finland. PDF
  • White, Roger (2006), Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Continuum, London, final chapter. PDF
  • McGinn, Marie, "The One Great Problem" in Elucidating the Tractatus: Wittgenstein's early philosophy of language and logic, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006. PDF
  • Del Pinal, “On Nonsense in the Tractatus: A Defense of the Austere Conception” in Eleuteria, Winter, 2004 (Part I - PDF) & Spring, 2005 (Part II - PDF)  
  • Nordman, Alfred (2005) Wittgenstein's Tractatus An Introduction, chapter 2 "The argument", Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. PDF
  • Diamond, Cora (2005) “Logical Syntax in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus”, The Philosophical Quarterly, 55, 218, 2005, pp. 78-89. PDF
  • Piergiorgio Donatelli (2004), "Wittgenstein, Ethics, and Religion: Earlier and Later", in Wittgenstein Today, edited by Annalisa Coliva and Eva Picardi, Il Poligrafo, Padua, pp. 447 - 464. PDF
  • Cahill, Kevin (2004), “Ethics and the Tractatus: A Resolute Failure”, Philosophy, 79, 1, pp. 33-55. PDF
  • Glock, Hans-Johann (2004) “All Kinds of Nonsense”, in Wittgenstein at Work: Method in the Philosophical Investigations, ed. Erich Ammereller and Eugene Fischer, Routledge, London. PDF
  • Sullivan, Peter (2004) “What is the Tractatus About?”, in Wittgenstein’s Lasting Significance, ed. Max Kölbel and Bernhard Weiss, Routledge, London. PDF
  • Williams, Meredith (2004), “Nonsense and the Cosmic Exile: the Austere Reading of the Tractatus, Wittgenstein’s Lasting Significance, ed. Max Kölbel and Bernhard Weiss, Routledge, London. PDF
  • Hutto, Daniel D, (2004) "More Making Sense of Nonsense: from logical form to forms of life" in Post-Analytic Tractatus ed. Barry Stocker, Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot. PDF
  • Costello, Diarmuid (2004) "'Making Sense' of Nonsense: Conant and Diamond Read Wittgenstein's Tractatus" in Post-Analytic Tractatus, ed. Barry Stocker, Ashgate Publishing Co., Burlington. PDF
  • Schonbaumsfeld, Genia (2004) “No New Kierkegaard”, International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 4, Issue 176, pp. 519-534. PDF
  • Soren Stenlund (2003), "Aesthetics and Critique of Culture", in The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 15, Nos. 27-28; pp. 178 - 184. PDF
  • Thomas A. Meyer (2003), "Wittgenstein, Moore, and Therapy", in Knowledge and Belief, edited by Winfried Löffler and Paul Weingartner, Proceedings of The Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, 2003, pp. 236- 239. PDF
  • Sullivan, Peter and Moore, A.W. (2003), “Ineffability and Nonsense”, The Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, 77, 1, pp. 169-193. PDF
  • Hacker, P.M.S. (2003) “Wittgenstein, Carnap and the New American Wittgensteinians”, The Philosophical Quarterly, 53, 210, pp. 1-23. PDF
  • Gargani, Aldo Giorgio, "The New Wittgenstein: Frege e Wittgenstein", in Wittgenstein: Dalla verità al senso della verita, Edizioni Plus-Università di Pisa, 2003. PDF
  • Milkov, Nikolay (2003), "The Method of the Tractatus", Proceedings of the 26th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, Kirchberg am Wechsel, pp. 239-241 PDF
  • Koethe, John (2003) “On the ‘Resolute’ Reading of the Tractatus”, Philosophical Investigations, 26, 3, 2003, pp. 187-204. PDF
  • Read, Rupert & Deans, Rob (2003) “Nothing is Shown”, Philosophical Investigations, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 239-268. PDF
  • Gisela Bengtsson (2002), "On the Austere Conception of Nonsense", in Proceedings of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society; pp. 25 - 27. PDF
  • Anton Alterman: "The New Wittgenstein (review)" in Journal of the History of Philosophy, Volume 39, Number 3, July 2001, pp. 456-457 PDF
  • Kai Nielsen, "Wittgenstein and Wittgensteinians on Religion", in Naturalism and Religion, Prometheus Press, 2001, pp. 317-371. PDF
  • James Ryerson, "The Quest for Uncertainty: Richard Rorty's Pragmatic Pilgrimage", Lingua Franca, Volume 10, No. 9—December 2000/January 2001. Link
  • McGinn, Marie (2001), “Saying and Showing and the Continuity of Wittgenstein’s Thought”, Harvard Review of Philosophy, Vol. 9, pp. 24-23. PDF
  • Moore, A.W. and Sullivan, Peter (2003) “Ineffability and Nonsense”, The Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, 77, 1, pp. 169-193. PDF
  • Mounce, H.O. (2001) “Critical Notice of The New Wittgenstein”, Philosophical Investigations, 24, 2, pp. 185-192. PDF
  • Narboux, Jean-Philippe (2001), “La logique peut-elle prendre soin d’elle-même?”, Critique, 59, 654. PDF
  • Proops, Ian (2001) “The New Wittgenstein: A Critique”, European Journal of Philosophy, 9, 3, pp. 375-404. PDF
  • Krebs, Victor J. (2001), “‘Around the axis of our real need’: On the Ethical Point of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy”, in European Journal of Philosophy, 9, 3, pp. 344-374. PDF
  • Lippit, John (2000) "On Authority and Revocation: Climacus as Humorist" in Anthropology and Authority: Essays on Soren Kirkegaard eds. Paul Houe, Gordon D. Marino, and Sven Hakon Rossel, Rodopi, Amsterdam. PDF
  • Rudd, Anthony John (2000) "On Straight and Crooked Readings: Why the Postscrip Does Not Self-Destruct" in Anthropology and Authority: Essays on Soren Kirkegaard eds. Paul Houe, Gordon D. Marino, and Sven Hakon Rossel, Rodopi, Amsterdam. PDF
  • Gustafsson, Martin (2000) Entangled Sense. An Inquiry into the Philosophical Significance of Meaning and Rules, Ph.D. Dissertation, Uppsala. PDFs: Chapter I, Chapter II
  • Hacker, P.M.S., "Was He Trying To Whistle It?" in The New Wittgenstein, ed. Alice Crary and Rupert Read, Routledge, New York, 2000. PDF
  • Rorty, Richard (2000), "Response to Conant" in Richard Rorty and His Critics, edited by Robert Brandom, Blackwell, Oxford. PDF
  • McGinn, Marie (1999), “Between Metaphysics and Nonsense: Elucidation in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus”, “The Philosophical Quarterly”, 49, 197, pp. 491-513. PDF
  • Michael Weston, "Evading the Issue: The Strategy of Kierkegaard's Postscript", in Philosophical Investigations, Vo. 22, No. 1, January 1999, pp. 30 - 64. PDF
  • Phillips, D.Z. (1999) Philosophy’s Cool Place, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, PDF chapter 1 and chapter 2
  • Vipperman, Kristy (1999), "Climacus the (Multidimensional) Humorist", Religious Studies. Volume 35, pp. 347 - 362 PDF
  • Reid, Lynette (1998) “Wittgenstein’s Ladder: the Tractatus and Nonsense”, Philosophical Investigations, 21, 2, pp. 97-151. PDF
  • Donatelli, Piergiorgio (1998), "Logica e Metodo Filosofico nel Tractatus", in Wittgenstein e l'Etica, Laterza, Rome. PDF
  • John Lippitt and Daniel Hutto (1998), "Making Sense of Nonsense", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp. 263 - 286. (PDF)
  • Lippit, John (1997) “A Funny Thing Happened to me on the Way to Salvation”, Religious Studies, 33, pp. 181-202. PDF
  • Putnam, Hilary (1991),"Reply to James Conant" in The Philosophy of Hilary Putnam, Philosophical Topics, Vol. 20, No. 1. PDF
  • Bruns, Gerald,  "Reply to Crewe and Conant," in Critical Inquiry, Vol. 17, No. 3, Spring 1991 PDF

Selected Reviews of James Conant's Work

  • Juliane Rebentisch, “Schluss mit dem Übermenschen-Klischee” [Review of James Conant, Friedrich Nietzsche: Perfektionismus und Perspektivismus], in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 26.08.2014, Feuilleton, S. 10. PDF
  • Patrick Dupouey, "Vérité, réalité objective et liberté selon Orwell”  in l’Humanite.fr, 10.1.2013 Link
  • Kenza Sefrioui, "Vérité, liberté, même combat” in Economia, July 2013. Link
  • Laurence Harang, Reviewed work: Orwell ou le pouvoir de la verite, Promenades Philosophiques, November 7, 2012 Link
  • Frascola Pasquale, and Gustaffson, Martin "Rileggere Wittgenstein di James Conant e Cora Diamond" Iride, Anno XXIV, Aprile 2011, pp. 199-210 PDF
  • Wolfgang Kienzler, Reviewed work: The Method of the Tractatus, Philosophische Rundschau, Volume 55 (2008), pp. 95 -122 PDF
  • Heather J. Gert, Reviewed Work: Wittgenstein's Lasting Significance, in Mind, Vol. 115, April, 2006; pp. 427 - 430.  PDF
  • Patrick Horn, Reviewed work: Post-Analytic Tractatus, Philosophical Investigations, Volume 29, Number 2 (2006), pp. 198 -215 PDF
  • Denis McManus, Reviewed Works: The New Wittgenstein and Wittgenstein in America, in Mind,Vol. 114, 2005; pp. 129 - 137. PDF Denis McManus, Reviewed work: The Method of the Tractatus, Mind, Volume 114 (January 2005), pp. 129-137 (PDF)
  • Cheryl Schotten, Reviewed Work: Nietzsche's Postmoralism, in Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Vol. 18, No. 4, 2004; pp. 241- 344 - PDF
  • David Boersema, Reviewed work: The Road Since Structure, Essays in Philosophy, Vol. 5 No. 2, June 2004 - Link
  • John Tietz, Reviewed work: Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism, The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 57, No. 3 (Mar., 2004), pp. 613-615 Link
  • Rupert Read, The Road Since Structure, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 55, No. 1 (Mar., 2004), pp. 175-178 Link
  • Alexander Bird, Reviewed work: The Road Since Structure, The
  • Boersema, David (2003) "Review of “Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism”," Essays in Philosophy: Vol. 4: Iss. 1, Article 12. PDF
  • Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 211 (Apr., 2003), pp. 298-301 Link
  • Kevin C. Klement, Reviewed Work: From Frege to Wittgenstein, in Review of Metaphysics,Vol. 57, no. 1 (September, 2003); pp. 177 -178.  PDF
  • Juan Vicente Mayoral de Lucas, Reviewed work: El camino desde la estructura, Revista de libros de la Fundación Caja Madrid, No. 78 (Jun., 2003), pp. 17-18 Link
  • Oskari Kuusela, Reviewed work: Post-Analytic Tractatus, in European Journal of Philosophy, Volume 16, Issue 3December 2008; pp. 478–482. PDF
  • Peter Lipton, "Kant on Wheels" [Review of The Road since Structure], in Social Epistemology,Volume 17Issue 2-3, 2003; pp. 215 -219. Social Epistemology, Volume 17Issue 2-3, 2003; pp. 215 -219. PDF
  • Paul Hoyningen-Huene, Howard Sankey, Reviewed work: The Road Since Structure, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 53, No. 1 (Mar., 2002), pp. 137-142 Link
  • Gabor Forrai, University of Miskolc, Reviewed work: Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and realism, Notre Dame Philosophyical Reviews (July 11, 2002) Link
  • Kelly Jolley, Reviewed work: Philosophy and Biography, Journal of the History of Philosophy, Volume 40, Number 4 (2002), pp. 552 -554 (PDF)
  • Martin Gustafsson, Reviewed Work: Rorty and His Critics, in The Philosophical Review, Vol. 110. No. 4 (Oct., 2001); pp. 645 - 650. (PDF)
  • Peter Lipton, Reviewed work: The Road Since Structure, London Review of Books, 19 July, 2001 - Link
  • R. J Bogdan, Reviewed Work: The Road since Structure, in the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Vol 21 (2), Fall 2001, pp. 183-184 Link
  • H. O. Mounce, Reviewed work: The New Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Volume 24, No. 2 (April 2001), pp. 185-192 (PDF)
  • Steve Fuller, Reviewed work: The Road Since Structure, Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Spring, 2001), pp. 251-253 Link
  • Mark Blaug, Work Reviewed: The Road since Structure, History of Political Economy, Volume 33, Number 4, Winter 2001, pp. 855-857. Link
  • Pierre-Gilles De Gennes. Reviewed Work: The Road Since Structure,  Physics Today, Mar 2001, Vol. 54 Issue 3, pp. 53-54 Link
  • Barry Barnes, Reviewed work: The Road since Structure, The British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Sep., 2001), pp. 341-343 Link
  • Gürol Irzik, Reviewed work: The Road since Structure,  Philosophy of Science, Vol. 68, No. 4 (Dec., 2001), pp. 573-575 Link
  • Joseph Margolis, Reviewed work: Words and Life, The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 194 (Jan., 1999), pp. 105-109 Link
  • Emrys Westacott, Reviewed Work: Words and Life, in Philosophy and Social Criticism,January, 1998; vol. 24, no. 1; pp. 103 - 108.  PDF
  • Isaac Nevo, Reviewed work: Words and Life, European Journal of Philosophy, Volume 5, Number 1 (1997), pp. 75 -82 (PDF)
  • Max de Gaynesford, Reviewed Work: Words and Life, Radical Philosophy, Issue #76, March/April 1996
  • John Haldane, Reviewed work: Words and Life, The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Dec., 1995), pp. 426-427 Link
  • Christopher Hookway, Words and Life, Philosophy, Vol. 70, No. 273 (Jul., 1995), pp. 460-463 Link
  • Barry Allen, Reviewed work: Realism with a Human Face, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Dec., 1994), pp. 665-688 Link
  • Joseph Margolis, Reviewed work: Realism with a Human Face. The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 177 (Oct., 1994), pp. 519-527 Link
  • Mark Sacks, Reviewed work: Realism with a Human Face, Mind, New Series, Vol. 101, No. 401 (Jan., 1992), pp. 191-195 Link
  • Richard Foley, Reviewed work: Realism with a Human Face, The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Sep., 1991), pp. 143-144 Link
  • Christopher Peacocke, Reviewed Work: Realism With a Human Face, TLS; 2/22/91, Issue 4586, p. 21
  • Terry Skeats, Reviewed work: Realism with a Human Face, Library Journal, Volume 117 (1991)
  • Bernard Williams, Reviewed Work: Realism With a Human Face, London Review of Books, Vol 13, No. 3 (February 7, 1991), pp. 12 - 13 Link

Jim Conant's recorded lectures & interviews

Recent & Upcoming Courses

PHIL 53910. The Later Philosophy of Wittgenstein. The focus of this course will be on Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, but other seminal writings from his later period will also be considered, with a special eye towards understanding his criticism of his early philosophy, especially as set forward in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. With D. Finkelstein. Spring 2015.

PHIL 20117/30117. Tractarian Themes in the History of Philosophy. The course will take up a number of themes that are central to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus as they arise in the history of philosophical thought about logic— themes that arise out of questions such as the following: What is the status of the basic law(s) of logic?; Is it possible to draw a limit to logical thought?, What is the status of the reflecting subject of logical inquiry?; What is the relation between the logical and the psychological?; What, if anything ,is the relation between the following two inquiries into forms of unity: “What is the unity of the judgment (or the proposition)?" and “What is the unity of the
judging subject?”; What (if any) sort of distinction between form and matter is relevant to logic?; How should one understand the formality of logic?; How, and how deeply, does language matter to logic? Topics will include various aspects of Aristotle's logical theory and metaphysics, Descartes’s Doctrine of the Creation of Eternal Truth, Kant on Pure General and Transcendental Logic, Frege on the nature of a proper Begriffsschrift and what it takes to understand what that it is, and early Wittgenstein’s inheritance and treatment of all of the above. Secondary readings will be from Jan Lukasiewicz, John MacFarlane, Clinton Tolley, Sebastian Roedl, Matt Boyle, John McDowell, Elizabeth Anscombe, Cora Diamond, Peter Geach, Matthias Haase, Thomas Ricketts, and Peter Sullivan. (III) With I. Kimhi. Winter 2015.

PHIL 24602. The Analytic Tradition. In this course we will read and consider some seminal texts in the analytic tradition of philosophical thought. Autumn 2014.

PHIL 57605. Layer-Cake vs. Transformative Conceptions of Human Mindedness. The Layer-Cake Assumption has many philosophical guises. In its guise as a thesis about the nature of our cognitive faculties and their relation to one another, it goes like this:  The natures of our sentient and rational cognitive capacities respectively are such that we could possess one of these capacities, as a form of cognition of objects, without possessing the other. The underlying assumption is that at least one of these capacities is a self-standing cognitive capacity – one which could operate just as it presently does in us in isolation of the other. Beginning with Kant, it became important to certain philosophers to show that the Assumption forms a common ground of philosophical views thought to be fundamentally opposed to one another – such as Empiricism and Rationalism. The Empiricist Variant of this guise of the Assumption might be put as follows: Our nature as sensibly receptive beings, in so far as it makes a contribution to cognition, represents a self-standingly intelligible aspect of our nature.  The Rationalist Variant enters such a claim on behalf of the self-standingly intelligible character of our intellectual capacities. In particular areas of philosophy – such as epistemology, metaphysics,  the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of action, and the philosophy of self-knowledge – each of these variants assumes a more determinate guise, while continuing to hold the fundamental assumption in place. Our first concern will be to isolate, compare, and contrast the various guises of this assumption and their manner of operation both across the history of philosophy and across different areas of contemporary philosophy. Our second concern will be to consider what it would be to reject the assumption in question and what the philosophical consequences of doing so are. Our third concern will be to explore the views of a number of different authors who do seek to reject it and to assess which of these attempts, if any, are philosophically satisfactory. Readings will be from Elizabeth Anscombe, Aristotle, Matthew Boyle, Robert Brandom, Gareth Evans, David  Finkelstein, Anton Ford, Christopher Frey, Immanuel Kant, Andrea Kern, Chris Korsgaard, C. I. Lewis, John McDowell, Richard Moran, Sebastian Roedl, Moritz Schlick, Wilfrid Sellars, David Velleman, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, among others. (III) Spring 2014.

21511/31511. Forms of Philosophical Skepticism. The aim of the course will be to consider some of the most influential treatments of skepticism in the post-war analytic philosophical tradition—in relation both to the broader history of philosophy and to current tendencies in contemporary analytic philosophy. The first part of the course will begin by distinguishing two broad varieties of skepticism—Cartesian and Kantian—and their evolution over the past two centuries (students without any prior familiarity with both Descartes and Kant will be at a significant disadvantage here), and will go on to isolate and explore some of the most significant variants of each of these varieties in recent analytic philosophy.  The second part of the course will involve a close look at recent influential analytic treatments of skepticism. It will also involve a brief look at various versions of contextualism with regard to epistemological claims.  We will carefully read and critically evaluate writings on skepticism by the following authors: J. L. Austin, Robert Brandom, Stanley Cavell, Thompson Clarke, Saul Kripke, C. I. Lewis, John McDowell, H. H. Price, Hilary Putnam, Barry Stroud, Charles Travis, Michael Williams, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. This will be an advanced lecture course open to graduate students and undergraduates with a prior background in analytic philosophy. (B) (III) Spring 2014.

27500/37500. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. (-HIPS 25001, CHSS 37901, FNDL 27800). PQ: Consent of instructor required. This course will be devoted to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The focus of the course will be on the Transcendental Analytic and especially the Transcendental Deduction.  We will begin, however, with a brief tour of some of the central claims of the Transcendental Aesthetic.  Some effort will be made to situate these portions of the first half of the Critique with respect to the later portions of the book, viz. the Transcendental Dialectic and the Doctrine of Method.  Although the focus of the course will be on Kant’s text, some consideration will be given to some of the available competing interpretations of the book. The primary commentators whose work will thus figure briefly in the course in this regard are Lucy Allais, Henry Allison, Stephen Engstrom, Johannes Haag, Robert Hanna, Martin Heidegger, Dieter Henrich, John McDowell, Charles Parsons, Sebastian Roedl, Wilfrid Sellars, Peter Strawson, and Manley Thompson. Our interest in these commentators in this course will always only be as a useful foil for understanding Kant’s text. No separate systematic study will be attempted of the work of any of these commentators.  Of particular interest to us will be topics like Kant’s criticisms of traditional empiricism, the distinction between sensibility and understanding, and his account of the relation between intuitions and concepts. The aim of the course is both to use certain central texts of recent Kant commentary and contemporary analytic Kantian philosophy to illuminate some of the central aspirations of Kant’s theoretical philosophy and to use certain central Kantian texts in which those aspirations were first pursued to illuminate some recent developments in epistemology and the philosophy of mind. (B) (V) Winter 2014.

27600/37600. The Problem of Logically Alien Thought and Its Aftermath. In what sense, if any, do the laws of logic express necessary truths? The course will consider four fateful junctures in the history of philosophy at which this question received influential treatment: (1) Descartes on the creation of the eternal truths, (2) Kant's re-conception of the nature of logic and introduction of the distinction between pure general and transcendental logic, (3) Frege's rejection of the possibility of logical aliens, and (4) Wittgenstein's early and later responses to Frege. We will closely read short selections from Descartes, Kant, Frege, and Wittgenstein, and ponder their significance for contemporary philosophical reflection by studying some classic pieces of secondary literature on these figures, along with related pieces of philosophical writing by Jocelyn Benoist, Matt Boyle, Cora Diamond, Peter Geach, John MacFarlane, Adrian Moore, Hilary Putnam, Thomas Ricketts, Sebastian Rödl, Richard Rorty, Peter Sullivan, Barry Stroud, Clinton Tolley, and Charles Travis. The course is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students with prior background in philosophy. Autumn 2013. Syllabus

47211. Cavell’s The Claim of Reason. (=GRMN 47211, SCTH 47211). This course is the first in a two-course sequence to be offered jointly by Professors James Conant and David Wellbery.  The second course will be titled Cavell on Literature and will take place in Winter Quarter, 2012.  Students may take either one of these courses for credit without taking the other for credit. The first course will be taught primarily by Prof. Conant and the second course primarily by Prof. Wellbery. The second half of the two-course sequence will begin where The Claim of Reason itself ends – broaching topics which touch on the relation between aesthetic and philosophical criticism, and, more broadly, on the relation between philosophical and literary writing.

The aim of this first course will be to offer a careful reading of three quarters of Stanley Cavell’s major philosophical work, The Claim of Reason. The course will concentrate on Parts I, II, & IV of the book (with only very cursory discussion of Part III). We will focus on Cavell’s treatment of the following topics: criteria, skepticism, agreement in judgment, speaking inside and outside language games, the distinction between specific and generic objects, the relation between meaning and use, our knowledge of the external world, our knowledge of other minds, the concept of a non-claim context, the distinction between knowledge and acknowledgment, and the relation between literary form and philosophical content. We will read background articles by authors whose work Cavell himself discusses in the book, as well as related articles by Cavell. We will also discuss several of the better pieces of secondary literature on the book to have appeared over the course of the last three decades. Though no separate time will be given over to an independent study of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, we will take the required time to understand those particular passages from Wittgenstein to which Cavell himself devotes extended attention in his book and upon which he builds his argument. The Claim of Reason is dedicated to J. L. Austin and Thompson Clarke and its treatment of skepticism seeks to steer a middle course between that found in the writings of these two authors. We will therefore also need to read the work of these two authors carefully.  The final two meetings of the course will focus on issues in Part IV of the book which set the stage for a broader consideration of Cavell’s views on topics in philosophical aesthetics and the relation between philosophy and literature. (III) J. Conant, D. Wellbery. Autumn 2011. Syllabus

28711. Nietzsche. (= GRMN 28711, CMLT 28711).  This course will provide, in lectures and discussion sections, an introduction to Nietzsche’s major writings from Birth of Tragedy to The Antichrist. Nietzsche’s evolving philosophical position as well as his cultural criticism and his literary and music criticism will be examined. Topics will include: the tragic, pessimism and affirmation, nihilism, antiquity and modernity, philosophical psychology, the critique of morality, and the interpretation of Christianity.  Nietzsche’s biography, the major influences on his thought, and his impact on twentieth-century culture will also be considered, if only in glimpses.The primary instructor of the course will be David Wellbery, but James Conant and Robert Pippin will also join the class to discuss certain aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy. With David Wellbery, Robert Pippin. Autumn 2011

47212. Cavell on Literature (=GRMN 47212, CMLT 47200).  This course is a successor course to the seminar on Cavell's The Claim of Reason offered in Fall Quarter 2011. Students may participate in this seminar, however, without having taken the Fall seminar. The aim of this seminar is to delineate and assess Cavell's contributions to literary studies. In particular, we shall consider: 1) Cavell's theory of interpretation and criticism (mainly in terms of the essays in Must We Mean What We Say); 2) his theory of genre (Pursuits of Happiness; Contesting Tears); his theory of tragedy (essay on King Lear in Must We Mean What We Say) and, more generally, his reading of Shakespeare (Disowning Knowledge); his interpretation of Romanticism, especially of Emerson and Thoreau. With D. Wellbery. Winter 2012. Syllabus

59100. Workshop: German Philosophy  The workshop encompasses all of the following six dimensions of German Philosophy: (1) German Idealism and its precursors (with a special emphasis on the close reading of Kant's and Hegel's major works), (2) 19h-century Germany philosophy (especially Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, neo-Kantianism, neo-Hegelianism, and Marxism), (3) 20th-century German philosophy (especially the phenomoneological and hermeneutic traditions), (4) the elucidation and development within the Anglophone tradition of central concepts, methods, and concerns from the German tradition (such as transcendental argument, genealogical critique, phenomenological method, etc.), (5) the German tradition in analytic philosophy (from its roots in Frege, through the Vienna Circle, up until the present), and, last but not least, (6) cutting-edge work by contemporary German philosophers on topics in all areas of philosophy. All auditors are welcome. Only graduate students may enroll in the workshop for credit. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor in order to enroll in workshop for credit. This Workshop meets over three quarters. Co-taught with Robert Pippin.  Autumn 2010, Winter & Spring, 2011, Autumn 2011, Winter and Spring 2012

20118/30118. Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. (=GRMN 20118/30118) This course will have four foci: 1) a close reading of the Tractatus and related writings by Wittgenstein, 2) a review of the history of the reception of the Tractatus in both Austro-German and Anglo-American philosophy, 3) an overview of the most recent debates in the secondary literature on the Tractatus, and 4) an assessment of how best to interpret the overall aims, methods, and doctrines of the Tractatus. Some attention will also be given to the following topics: Wittgenstein's early criticisms of the views of Frege and Russell, the relation between Wittgenstein's pre-Tractatus writings and the Tractatus itself, and the relation between Wittgenstein's early and later thought. Readings will include texts by Frege, Russell, Ramsey, Carnap, Anscombe, Geach, McGuiness, Hacker, Goldfarb, Ricketts, Diamond, Kremer, Sullivan, White, and Floyd. (III) Winter 2012. Syllabus

27500/37500. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. This course will be devoted to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The focus of the course will be on the Transcendental Analytic and especially the Transcendental Deduction.  We will begin, however, with a brief tour of some of the central claims of the Transcendental Aesthetic.  Some effort will be made to situate these portions of the first half of the Critique with respect to the later portions of the book, viz. the Transcendental Dialectic and the Doctrine of Method.  Although the focus of the course will be on Kant’s text, some consideration will be given to some of the available competing interpretations of the book. The primary commentators whose work will thus figure briefly in the course in this regard are Lucy Allais, Henry Allison, Stephen Engstrom, Johannes Haag, Robert Hanna, Martin Heidegger, Dieter Henrich, John McDowell, Charles Parsons, Sebastian Roedl, Wilfrid Sellars, Peter Strawson, and Manley Thompson. Our interest in these commentators in this course will always only be as a useful foil for understanding Kant’s text. No separate systematic study will be attempted of the work of any of these commentators.  Of particular interest to us will be topics like  Kant’s criticisms of traditional empiricism, the distinction between sensibility and understanding, and his account of the relation between intuitions and concepts. The aim of the course is both to use certain central texts of recent Kant commentary and contemporary analytic Kantian philosophy to illuminate some of the central aspirations of Kant’s theoretical philosophy and to use certain central Kantian texts in which those aspirations were first pursued to illuminate some recent developments in epistemology and the philosophy of mind. (V) (B) Spring 2012. Syllabus

45000.  Forms of Philosophical Skepticism. The aim of the course will be to consider some of the most influential treatments of skepticism in the post-war analytic philosophical tradition—in relation both to the broader history of philosophy and to current tendencies in contemporary analytic philosophy. The first part of the course will begin by distinguishing two broad varieties of skepticism—Cartesian and Kantian—and their evolution over the past two centuries (students without any prior familiarity with both Descartes and Kant will be at a significant disadvantage here), and will go on to isolate and explore some of the most significant variants of each of these varieties in recent analytic philosophy.  The second part of the course will involve a close look at recent influential analytic treatments of skepticism. It will also involve a brief look at various versions of contextualism with regard to epistemological claims.  We will carefully read and critically evaluate writings on skepticism by the following authors: J. L. Austin, Robert Brandom, Stanley Cavell, Thompson Clarke, Saul Kripke, C. I. Lewis, John McDowell, H. H. Price, Hilary Putnam, Barry Stroud, Charles Travis, Michael Williams, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. This will be an advanced lecture course open to graduate students and undergraduates with a prior background in analytic philosophy.Winter 2011. (B) (III) Syllabus

20209/30209. Film Aesthetics: Agency and Fate in Film Noir. (= GERMN 30209) This course is a discussion of how philosophical issues are raised and addressed by movies through an examination of a particular film genre. The genre to be considered: film noir. We focus on ten Hollywood film noirs from the 1940s and 1950s. Topics include the pictorial and dramatic representation of the relation between thought and action, the nature of agency, and the problem of fate. We also secondarily touch on questions concerning the ontology and aesthetics of film (e.g., What is a movie? What is it to give a reading of a movie? What is a film genre?). We see and discuss a film each week and read several pieces of criticism about each film. Co-taugt with Robert Pippin. (A). Autumn 2009. Syllabus

21100/31301. Aesthetics: Philosophy, Photography, Film Open to college and grad students. This will be a course in both philosophy (in particular, that branch of philosophy known as aesthetics or the philosophy of art) and art history (in particular, the history of the theory of film and photography). We will be concerned with a variety of interrelated and overlapping philosophical questions that arise in connection with photography and film. Our two guiding questions will be: What is a photograph?, and: What is a movie? In the course of exploring various answers to these two questions, among the further sorts of question we will take up will be the following: questions in the theory of visual representation (e.g., what makes something a visual representation of something (else)?, what is the difference between how paintings and photographs represent?), questions of realism (e.g., what makes one photograph, or film more realistic than another?, are photographsinherently more realistic than paintings?, does the very idea of a ‘realistic’ representation rest on a philosophical confusion?), questions of meta-aesthetics (what makes something a work of art?, are photographs works of art?, is film an art?, or are only some films works of art?), questions of aesthetic medium (what is an aesthetic medium?, how does the medium of photography differ from that of paint on canvas and what, if any, is the aesthetic significance of that difference?, is anything that happens to have been recorded by a movie camera a film?, do documentary films and Hollywood narrative films explore the same aesthetic medium or different media?), questions about the supposed peculiarity of the photographic medium (does something which appears in a photograph have a different sort of ontological status than something which appears in, say, a painting or a cartoon?, does it make a difference to what sorts of aesthetic objects photographs are that they can be used as evidence in a courtroom?), and, finally, questions of normative aesthetics (what makes something a good photograph or film?, does theachievement of realism confer aesthetic value on a painting?, does the overcoming of realism confer aesthetic value on a photograph?, or are issues of realism irrelevant to the assessment of aesthetic value?). Professors J. Conant & J. Snyder   (V) Winter 2003. Syllabus

21801/31801. Philosophy and Film Open to college and grad students. The course will investigate some of the conditions and modes of visual presentation that make it possible for a viewer of a motion picture drama to become absorbed in what is experienced as an independent fictional narrative world. This will involve exploring questions such as the following: What is the difference between an objective and a subjective camera shot? How is a subjective camera shot attached to or associated with the point of view of someone in the world of a movie? What is an objective camera shot? Is it, as some say, a point of view on the world of a movie that is no one's point of view -- a view from nowhere? What could that mean? Is it possible to construct a fictional narrative movie world entirely out of subjective camera shots? Along the way, some attention will be given to some specific aesthetic questions (e.g., what does it mean to say a painting or a film is "realistic"), as well as more general philosophical issues such as the following: What is a point of view (and how, if at all, does it differ from a perspective)? What is a subjective (as opposed to an objective) point of view? Is the concept of an objective point of view a contradiction in terms? We will view a number of films that will help to illustrate and sharpen our discussion of the difficulties attending these issues. Some attention will be given to exploring the similarities and differences between the presentation of a fictional narrative world in film and in some of the other other visual and dramatic arts, most notably painting and theatre. Co-taught with Joel Snyder, Dept. of Art History. Autumn 2004. Syllabus

24101/34400 Søren Kierkegaard: Either/Or. (=FNDL 22501, SCTH 34400) Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. Class limited to twenty students.. The course is devoted to a close reading of Either/Or, the first and one of the most difficult of Kierkegaard's pseudonymous writings. Our attention is divided equally between Volumes One and Two of Either/Or. Special attention will be given to the topic of the threefold categorial distinction between the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious and to the question of the overall structure of the book and how the parts are related to the whole. Co-taught with Jonathan Lear.  Autumn 2002. Syllabus

28109/39109. The Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars. This course will look carefully at some of Sellars’s most important philosophical writings, especially his classic monograph Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind and related writings, with an eye toward those aspects of his treatment of topics that have continued to prove influential in recent philosophy. The focus of the course will be on Sellars’s epistemology – in particular, his philosophy of perception. We will end the course with a closer look at Sellars’s reading of central historical figures, notably his interpretation of the British Empiricists, and, above all, his interpretation of Kant, with special attention to how his own philosophy of perception inherits, modifies, and explores Kant’s criticisms of the Empiricists, and how it reworks a number of Kantian themes – most notably that of the relation between sensibility and understanding. We will also spend a bit of time on Sellars inheritance of certain central ideas of Wittgenstein’s. Throughout the course, we will give some attention, on the one hand, to the contemporaneous authors that Sellars himself was most concerned to engage with (e.g., Lewis, Ayer, Schlick, Chisolm) as well as, on the other hand, to those philosophers today who have done most to contribute to the revival of Sellars’s thought (especially Brandom, McDowell, and Rorty). At the center of the course will be Sellars’ discussion of (what he calls) “The Myth of the Given”. We will be concerned, while reading the two sets of aforementioned authors, to explore the exact nature of Sellars’s agreements and disagreements with his contemporaries regarding the nature of the given, as well as the currently prevailing agreements and disagreements within the secondary literature regarding how best to interpret the exact nature of Sellars’ attack on the traditional idea of the Given. In this context, we will also look at the work of his most sympathetic commentators (especially O’Shea, Rosenberg, Williams, and DeVries). Throughout the course, and especially in the last several meetings of it, we will be concerned not only to establish what is the most plausible and textually satisfying interpretation of Sellars’s own writings, but also to explore what are the most powerful and satisfying ways of developing the spirit of Sellars’s best philosophical insights, even when and where doing so requires departures from the letter of Sellar’s obiter dicta.   (B)  Winter 2010.  Syllabus

29233: Freedom, Solidarity, and Truth. This course will focus on the writings of the American philosopher Richard Rorty (especially his book Contingency, Irony and Solidarity) and the British essayist and novelist George Orwell (especially his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four). The aim of the course will be to compare and contrast Rorty’s and Orwell’s respective conceptions of the relation between preservation of freedom, fostering of community, and regard for truth. We will then go on to explore the interrelationship between these issues as they arise in the writings of a number of other philosophers (most notably Cora Diamond, Harry Frankfurt, Hilary Putnam, Bernard Williams, and Peter Winch) and literary figures (most notably Milan Kundera, Csezlaw Milosz, and Vaclav Havel). A central question of the course will be the following: why is truth something we ought to value? In the course of exploring this question, we will seek to distinguish different conceptions of what it is that we value in valuing truth (including truthfulness, sincerity, honesty, accuracy, and representational fit) and different conceptions of what it is that we seek to avoid in aiming at truth (including willful deception, insincerity, unwitting dishonesty, inaccuracy, and bullshit). Fall 1999. Syllabus

29375: Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. This course will be devoted to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The focus of the course will be on the Transcendental Analytic and especially the Transcendental Deduction, but some effort will be made to situate those portions of the text with respect to the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Dialectic. Although the focus of the course will be on Kant’s text, some consideration will be given to some of the available competing interpretations of the book. The primary commentators whose work will thus figure briefly in the course in this regard are Henry Allison, Arthur Collins, Martin Heidegger, Dieter Henrich, John McDowell, Wilfrid Sellars, Peter Strawson, and Manley Thompson. Our interest in these commentators in this course will always only be as a useful foil for understanding Kant’s text. No separate systematic study will be attempted of the work of any of these commentators. Fall 1999. Syllabus

29601 Intensive Track Seminar: Thomas Kuhn's Philosophy of Science. The first half of the course will be devoted to a close reading of Kuhn's early and influential book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In the second half, we will carefully read the essays collected in The Essential Tension and The Road Since Structure and examine Kuhn's subsequent elaborations, modifications, and retractions of the views set forth in his early book, especially as they touch on the following questions: What is a scientific revolution?, What does it mean to say that X and Y are incommensurable?, And, if they are, what would one be claiming, if X and Y are theories?, Or, alternatively, if they are conceptual schemes?, Or, if they are languages? How does each of these incommensurability claims differ from the other two? Which, if any, of these three incommensurability claims entail relativism, which do not, and which, if any, of the resulting forms of relativism are vicious?  Open to college students.  Autumn 2007

31100. Aesthetics: Philosophy and the Visual Arts (=ArtH 269/369). The course will examine specific philosophical issues that arise in connection with painting, film, and photography, with special attention to questions of meta-aesthetics (what makes something a work of art?), normative aesthetics (what makes something a good work of art?), the theory of aesthetic representation (what is it for a painting, or a photograph, or a film to represent something?), and aesthetic realism (what does it mean to say that, e.g., a painting is realistic?; and is its being so a source of aesthetic value?). Readings will include writings by Ernst Gombrich, Denis Diderot, Michael Fried, Nelson Goodman, Erwin Panofsky, Charles Baudelaire, P. H. Emerson, Paul Strand, Rudolf Arnheim, V. Pudovkin, Andrew Basin, Siegfried Kracauer, Victor Perkins, and Stanley Cavell. J. Conant, J.Snyder. Spring 2001.

31890. Resemblance and Family Resemblance: Goethe, Galton and Wittgenstein Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.  This course will critically examine and explore the possibility of forms of unity and their representation that do not fit into any of the categories of representation traditionally allowed for by philosophers – such as the category of singular representation (such as intuitions or definite descriptions) or general representation (such as concepts or diagrams). The three main authors who explore the possibility of such anomalous forms of unity and their representation whom we will discuss in this course will be the German poet, philosopher and scientist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the British psychologist, naturalist and theorist of photography, Francis Galton, and the Austrian philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. Although we we will touch on various other aspects of the thought of each of these three thinkers, this course will especially concerned to explore the similarities and differences in the underlying conceptions of what is involved in the represetation of unity that respectivly underlie Goethe's theory of archetypal representation, Galton's understanding of composite photographs, and Wittgenstein's remarks on family resemblance and the perception of aspects. Co-taught with Joel Snyder.(A) Autumn 2003. Syllabus

33201. Kierkegaard: Stages on Life's Way. Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. Class limited to thirty students.. The course is devoted to a close reading of selected portions of Stages on Life's Way, the most complex of Kierkegaard's pseudonymous writings, consisting of texts by five distinct pseudonymous authors. Our attention will divided equally divided between the various parts of the volume. Special attention will be given to the topic of the treatment of the threefold categorial distinction between the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious and how it differs here from the one it receives in Kierkegaard's earlier writings. We will also attend to questions of the overall structure of the book and how the very different parts of it are to be understood as related to the whole. Co-taught with Jonathan Lear. Winter 2004. Syllabus

34100. Early Analytic Philosophy-I: Frege. This is the first part of a two-part sequence. Students may take the first part without taking the second; but only students enrolled in the first part may take the second part for credit. Part I furnishes an overview of Frege's philosophy and related aspects of Russell's philosophy, with special attention to Frege's conception of logic, his distinctions between concept and object and sense and reference, his critique of psychologism, his context principle, and his attempt to demonstrate that mathematical truths are analytic a priori, along with a brief look at Russell's logical atomism, his account of the unity of the proposition, and his theory of judgement---in short: everything you need to know in order to read Wittgenstein's Tractatus. Secondary reading includes articles on Frege and/or Russell by Thomas Ricketts, Joan Weiner, Warren Goldfarb, Gareth Evans, John McDowell, Peter Geach, Peter Hylton, Leonard Linsky, and Anthony Palmer, among others. J. Conant. Winter 2002. Syllabus

34110. Sellars Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Wilfrid Sellars was one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. We begin with a brief survey of the positivist and empiricist background of his thought (C.I. Lewis, Carnap). We read some of his eminar papers, especially "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind," and discuss recent controversies surrounding his work (Rorty, Brandom, McDowell, and others). Co-taught by Michael Kremer Winter 2004. Syllabus

34200. Early Analytic Philosophy-II: Early Wittgenstein. This is the second part of a two-part sequence. Only students who have enrolled in Part I may take this course for credit. Part II furnishes an overview of the philosophy of the early Wittgenstein, with special attention to the critique of Frege and Russell, the structure and the method of the Tractatus as a whole, its relation to the writings of the members of The Vienna Circle, the central exegetical controversies presently surrounding the work, and the transition from the Tractatus to Wittgenstein's later work. Secondary reading includes articles by Moritz Schlick, Frank Ramsey, Rudolf Carnap, Hide Ishiguro, Cora Diamond, Peter Winch, Thomas Ricketts, Peter Hacker, Peter Geach, and Elizabeth Anscombe, among others. J. Conant. Spring 2002. Syllabus

34400. Søren Kierkegaard: Concluding Unscientific Postscript(=SCTH 39400, FNDL 265). Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments. After selected introductory readings to acquaint students with the idea of a pseudonymous author, we engage in a careful reading of this text. J. Lear, J. Conant. Autumn 2001. Syllabus

43920. Action and Perception.Open only to grad students. The course will be devoted to exploring and assessing John McDowell's treatment of problems in the philosophy of perception (especially as set forth in his already classic work Mind and World) and the possibility of a parallel treatment of problems in the philosophy of action. In addition to some texts by McDowell and some selections from Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Wittgenstein, the seminar will focus mostly on writings on perception and/or action by Elizabeth Anscombe, Robert Brandom, Donald Davidson, Jennifer Hornsby, Brian O'Shaughnessy, John Searle, Michael Thompson, and Wilfrid Sellars. In the Winter Quarter, the course will be conducted by James Conant and Robert Pippin; in the Spring Quarter, the course will consist mostly of presentations of recent work on the philosophy of action by John McDowell and discussion of those presentations. Although the course meetings will be distributed over two quarters, it will count for only one quarter of credit. Students who wish to take the course for credit must attend the entire two-quarter sequence of the course Robert Pippin and James Conant . Winter 2007. Syllabus

50118. Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The focus of the course will be on evaluating and advancing ongoing debates in the contemporary secondary literature concerning how best to interpret the overall aims, methods, and doctrines of the Tractatus. Some attention will also be given to the following topics: Wittgenstein's early criticisms of the views of Frege and Russell, the history of the reception of the Tractatus in Anglo-American philosophy, the relation between Wittgenstein's pre-Tractatus writings and the Tractatus itself, and the relation between Wittgenstein's early and later thought. Readings will include texts by Frege, Russell, Ramsey, Carnap, Anscombe, Geach, McGuiness, Hacker, Goldfarb, Ricketts, Diamond, Kremer, Sullivan, White, and Floyd. (III) Winter 2008. Syllabus

50500. Non-Discursive Representation from Goethe to Wittgenstein Open to grad students. The seminar will be on the topic of non-discursive representation in the history of German thought from Kant to Wittgenstein. The topic emerged as a central issue on the intellectual agenda of post-Kantian philosophy, aesthetics, and scientific theory in response to considerations put forward by Kant in two notoriously difficult paragraphs, 76 and 77, of his Critique of Judgment (1790). In this series of dense reflections, Kant tries to refine and clarify his earlier distinction between discursive understanding and what he, again, alternately refers to as an "intuitive understanding" or an "intellectual intuition" ,-- types of cognition which, although thinkable (and perhaps attributable to a divine intellect), are not available to human intellect. These pages of Kant's, intended to establish the inevitability of his earlier distinction between two mutually exclusive forms of representation, had the opposite effect: his characterization of a kind of thinking not supposed to be possible for humans, instead proved immensely suggestive to subsequent generations of philosophers, poets, and scientists, starting with Goethe, who sought to characterize the fundamental sort of insight to which their own endeavors aspired. This pivotal Kantian demarcation -- between discursive representation and intuition -- is vigorously contested in the work of the major idealist philosophers who endeavored to think beyond Kant's strictures on human cognition. The seminar will run for two quarters, Fall and Winter. co-taught with David Wellbery. (V). Autumn 2006, Winter 2007. Syllabus

51704. The Philosophy of Visual Modernism Open to grad students. Much of the reading for this course will be work by Michael Fried. Other material to be discussed will be by Denis Diderot, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Stanley Cavell. Persons expecting to take Fried's spring seminar are stongly encouraged to enroll in this seminar as well. See the announcement below. The Committee on Social Thought announces a Spring Quarter 2005 Graduate Seminar Thursdays, 3-5:50 Modern Photography and Other Themes Instructor: Michael Fried The guest professor for this seminar will be Michael Fried from Johns Hopkins University. The topics will be Fried's aesthetic theory, art criticism and art history, especially but not exclusively his views on photography. James Conant, Robert Pippin. Winter 2005. Syllabus

52200. Late Kuhn. PQ: Enrollment -- including 'R' enrollment -- is restricted to graduate students in Philosophy and CFS except by explicit permission of the instructors. An advanced graduate seminar on the late works of T.S. Kuhn -- that is, works from the early 80s through the mid 90s. Students should already be quite familiar with The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and at least some of the philosophical discussions and controversies that followed it (including Kuhn's own essays in The Essential Tension) J. Haugeland, J. Conant. Winter 2001.

53700. Varieties of Skepticism. This seminar is devoted to an investigation of different varieties of skepticism--different both with respect to philosophical topic (external world, other minds. meaning, etc.) and with respect to the logic of the skeptical problematic (Cartesian, Humean, Kantian, etc.)--and the different varieties of response they have engendered in contemporary philosophy. Readings will be from Descartes, Kant, G.E. Moore, C.I. Lewis, Wilfrid Sellars, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Peter Strawson, Barry Stroud, Michael Williams, John McDowell, Stanley Cavell, Charles Travis, among others. Co-taught with H. Putnam. Syllabus

53700. Varieties of Skepticism. This seminar is devoted to an investigation of different varieties of skepticism--different both with respect to philosophical topic (external world, other minds. meaning, etc.) and with respect to the logic of the skeptical problematic (Cartesian, Humean, Kantian, etc.)--and the different varieties of response they have engendered in contemporary philosophy. Readings will be from Descartes, Kant, G.E. Moore, C.I. Lewis, Wilfrid Sellars, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Peter Strawson, Barry Stroud, Michael Williams, John McDowell, Stanley Cavell, Charles Travis, among others. J. Conant, H. Putnam. Autumn 2001.

53900. Workshop: Wittgenstein This workshop aims to foster forms of research that take their point of departure from an interest in Wittgenstein's intellectual achievement.The workshop seeks to provide a forum in which the following three activities can be pursued in conjunction with one another: (1) the careful study of Wittgenstein's contributions to both philosophy and other disciplines, (2) the discussion of current research by graduate students with related interests, and (3) the presentation of work by (and the opportunity for graduate students to come into contact and discussion with) some of the leading contemporary scholars at work in these areas. All auditors are welcome. Only graduate students may enroll in the workshop for credit. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor in order to enroll in workshop for credit. This Workshop meets over three quarters. Co-taught with Michael Kremer. Autumn 2003, Winter 2004, Spring 2004; Autumn 2004, Winter 2005, Spring 2005; Autumn 2005, Winter 2006, Spring 2006; Autumn 2006, Winter 2007, Spring 2007; Autumn 2007, Winter 2008, Spring 2008; Autumn 2008, Winter 2009, Spring 2009;  Autumn 2009, Winter 2010, Spring 2010; Autumn 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter and Spring 2012.

56909. Kant's Transcendental Deduction.  This seminar will be devoted to a close reading and discussion of Kant’s First Critique, focusing on the Transcendental Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding. We will also explore carefully explore a handful of proposals for how to interpret the First Critique and especially the Transcendental Deduction, including especially those put forward by Allison, Strawson, and Strawson. We will end the course with a close look at Wilfrid Sellars’s and John McDowell’s respective interpretations of Kant, with special attention to how each of their own philosophies of perception inherit, modify, and explore Kant’s criticisms of traditional empiricism, and how each of them it rework a number of Kantian themes – most notably Kant’s conception of intuition and his account of the relation between intuitions and concepts. The aim of the course is both to use certain central texts of recent Kant commentary and contemporary analytic Kantian philosophy to illuminate some the central aspirations of Kant’s theoretical philosophy and to use certain central Kantian texts in which those aspirations were first pursued to illuminate some recent developments in epistemology and the philosophy of mind.   Co-taught with R. Pippin.  (V)  Spring 2010.  Syllabus

57601. Analytical Kantianism and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. This will be both a graduate seminar on Kant and on the reception of the Kantian philosophy in analytic philosophy. It will be devoted both to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and to a brief and selective survey of some of the most difficult, influential and rewarding texts in epistemology and philosophy of mind in twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy. The course is based on the conviction that teaching these two sorts of texts together will allow each to illuminate the other. The portion of the course concerned directly with Kant will be devoted to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The focus of the course will be on the Transcendental Analytic and especially the Transcendental Deduction, but some effort will be made to situate those portions of the text with respect to the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Dialectic. The portion of the course concerned with the inheritance of Kantian philosophy in the analytic philosophical tradition will begin by briefly looking at the views of Moritz Schlick, the central figure of Vienna Circle and a leading exponent of early logical positivism in order to get some sense of the sort of view and the sort of reading of Kant to which subsequent figures in the analytic tradition were reacting. We will then proceed to read carefully the following four texts: the first three chapters of C. I. Lewis's Mind and the World Order, most of Wilfrid Sellars's classic essay Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind (EPM), Robert Brandom's Study Guide to EPM, and John McDowell's lectures Having the World in View: Sellars, Kant, and Intentionality and related writings. We will also have occasion to look briefly at related writing by these authors and by some of the contemporary authors with whom they were concerned to disagree. Conant. Autumn 2003. Syllabus

57601. Topics in Kantian Philosophy This course will be devoted to a study of selected portions of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and certain parallel episodes in twentieth-century analytic philosophy. The portions of the course devoted to Kant will focus on his views on the relation between sensibility and understanding (especially as articulated in the Transcendental Deduction), and those devoted to analytic philosophy will focus on how those Kantian views are inherited, articulated and transformed in the writings of certain analytic philosophers (especially Moritz Schlick, C. I. Lewis, Wilfrid Sellars, Robert Brandom, and John McDowell). The aim of the course is both to use certain central texts of analytic philosophy to illuminate some the central aspirations of Kant's theoretical philosophy and to use certain central Kantian texts in which those aspirations were first pursued to illuminate the direction in which one central current of the analytic tradition in epistemology and philosophy of mind has been - and still is - traveling. Open to grad students. Autumn 2003. Syllabus

57601. Topics in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. This will be both a graduate seminar on Kant and on the reception of the Kantian philosophy in analytic philosophy. It will be devoted both to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and to a brief and selective survey of some of the most difficult, influential and rewarding texts in epistemology and philosophy of mind in twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy. The course is based on the conviction that teaching these two sorts of texts together will allow each to illuminate the other. The portion of the course concerned directly with Kant will be devoted to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The focus of the course will be on the Transcendental Analytic and especially the Transcendental Deduction, but some effort will be made to situate those portions of the text with respect to the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Dialectic. The portion of the course concerned with the inheritance of Kantian philosophy in the analytic philosophical tradition will begin by briefly looking at the views of Moritz Schlick, the central figure of Vienna Circle and a leading exponent of early logical positivism in order to get some sense of the sort of view and the sort of reading of Kant to which subsequent figures in the analytic tradition were reacting. We will then proceed to read carefully the following four texts: the first three chapters of C. I. Lewis's Mind and the World Order, most of Wilfrid Sellars's classic essay Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind (EPM), Robert Brandom's Study Guide to EPM, and John McDowell's lectures Having the World in View: Sellars, Kant, and Intentionality and related writings. We will also have occasion to look briefly at related writing by these authors and by some of the contemporary authors with whom they were concerned to disagree. Autumn 2003.