• David Ingram, Critical Theory and Philosophy (review)
    Philosophy in Review 11 (3): 200-201. 1991.
  •  9
    Dewey and the Art of Experience
    Pragmatism Today 7 (1): 93-99. 2016.
    Instead of following the behaviorists and abandoning the concept of experience, Dewey wanted to reconstruct it. Dewey was an ardent Darwinist, so whatever experience is, it has to be an evolved, presumably adaptive power. “Experience” became for him one word for the multiplex relation between the evolved, adapted organism and its environment. Human environments include groups and social relations mediated by language. But “experience” is not centered there, or restricted to the use of language. …Read more
  •  6
    Critical Notice of Putnam (review)
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (4): 665-688. 1994.
  •  63
    Forbidding Knowledge
    The Monist 79 (2): 294-310. 1996.
    Are there matters we should exclude from inquiry? Personal privacy apart, it seems difficult to justify. By what higher, better knowledge than the results of inquiry itself could one know what inquiry ought not know? Is such knowledge a metaphysical intuition whose authority cannot be questioned? Isn't that a fairy-tale? But what about ethics? What about ethical limitations on knowledge? Can they not concern more than simply what to do with knowledge we have, concerning instead the very dynamic …Read more
  •  31
    A Cool Experiment
    Common Knowledge 24 (1): 1-7. 2018.
  • A. Phillips Griffiths, Ed., The Impulse To Philosophise (review)
    Philosophy in Review 13 (4): 158-160. 1993.
  •  24
    Without Criteria: Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze, and Aesthetics (review)
    Common Knowledge 17 (1): 198-199. 2011.
    Gilles Deleuze has a growing readership in English philosophy, where for long he was eclipsed by brilliant contemporaries like Derrida and Foucault. It is good that we are coming to appreciate his highly original and fascinatingly intricate philosophy. He worked with integrity and genius to do something different in philosophy from everything he was hearing in contemporaries. None of the familiar labels—structuralism, poststructuralism, deconstruction, phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics…Read more
  • What was epistemology?
    In Robert Brandom (ed.), Rorty and His Critics, Blackwell. 2000.
  •  62
    The so-called linguistic turn in philosophy intensified (rather than overcame) the rationalism that has haunted Western ideas about knowledge since antiquity. Orthodox accounts continue to present knowledge as a linguistic, logical quality, expressed in statements or theories that are well justified by evidence and actually true. Restating themes from the author's Knowledge and Civilization (2004a), I introduce an alternative conception of knowledge designed to overcome these propositional, disc…Read more
  •  37
    The Genial Gene: Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness (review)
    Common Knowledge 16 (3): 559-559. 2010.
    Darwin had a hypothesis about descent with modification, and a Spencerian view of the evolution as selfish conflict. Biology remains marked by the dualism today. Many, inside the discipline and out, suppose that taking an evolutionary perspective just is to seek the secret selfishness that “explains” a successful form of life. Nowhere is this view of evolution more entrenched than in the theory specialists call Sexual Selection, a theory on the evolution of everything that differentiates the sex…Read more
  •  71
    Review of Neil Gross, Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (10). 2008.
  •  19
    Modes of Margin in Philosophy
    Common Knowledge 24 (2): 181-189. 2018.
  •  26
    Foucault's theory of knowledge
    In Timothy O'Leary & Christopher Falzon (eds.), Foucault and Philosophy, Wiley-blackwell. pp. 143--162. 2010.
  •  1
    Foucault's nominalism
    In Shelley Tremain (ed.), Foucault and the Government of Disability, University of Michigan Press. pp. 93--107. 2005.
  •  41
    Deconstruction as Analytic Philosophy (review) (review)
    Common Knowledge 8 (1): 208-208. 2002.
    According to Davidson, Quine, by overcoming the distinction between analytic and synthetic truth, made the philosophy of language a serious subject. According to Rorty, Davidson, in concluding that "there is no such thing as a language," attains its most advanced position. How impoverished philosophy has become! It even becomes a kind of accomplishment to show that work which seemed new and different (deconstruction) is really the same old thing. Wheeler's book domesticates deconstruction for An…Read more
  •  15
    Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia (review)
    Common Knowledge 23 (1): 104-104. 2017.
    Wikipedia currently exists in 270 languages, with more than 20 million articles. The English-language Wikipedia has 2.5 billion words, sixty times the size of Britannica. It may be the largest collaborative initiative in history, and influences what people the world over know or think they know. Wikipedia’s distinctive feature is the non-expert, non-professional, non-certified, non-formal production of knowledge with credible content. Academics like to sneer at that, even as more of us acknowled…Read more
  • Difference Unlimited
    In Gary Brent Madison (ed.), Working Through Derrida, Northwestern University Press. 1993.
  •  62
    Games of Sport, Works of Art, and the Striking Beauty of Asian Martial Arts
    Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 40 (2). 2013.
    Martial-arts practice is not quite anything else: it is like sport, but is not sport; it constantly refers to and as it were cohabits with violence, but is not violent; it is dance-like but not dance. It shares a common athleticism with sports and dance, yet stands apart from both, especially through its paradoxical commitment to the external value of being an instrument of violence. My discussion seeks to illuminate martial arts practice by systematic contrast to games of sport and works of per…Read more
  •  13
    To Really See the Little Things: Sage Knowledge in Action
    Journal of Chinese Philosophy 42 (3-4): 359-370. 2015.
    Sage knowledge knows the evolution of circumstances from an early point, when tendencies may be inconspicuously, “effortlessly” diverted. This knowledge is expressed, not “represented,” being an intensive quality of action rather than of belief, proposition, or theory, and its effortlessness is not a matter of effort versus no effort, but of the intensity with which effort tends to vanish. The value of such knowledge and the explanation of its accomplishment in terms of perceiving incipience or …Read more
  •  109
    The virtual and the vacant—emptiness and knowledge in Chan and daoism
    Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (3): 457-471. 2010.
    Similarities between Daoism and Chan (Zen) are often merely verbal, a skillful appropriation by Chan authors of a vocabulary that seems Daoist only to a point, and then departs in a predictable way. What makes the departure predictable is the completely different understanding of emptiness in Chan and Daoism, supporting a no less different understanding of the value of knowledge. Daoism remains optimistic about knowledge in a way Chan is not. Buddhist wisdom exhausts life, extinguishes it, does …Read more
  •  18
    Barry Allen explores the concept of knowledge in Chinese thought over two millennia and compares the different philosophical imperatives that have driven Chinese and Western thought. Challenging the hyperspecialized epistemology of modern Western philosophy, he urges his readers toward an ethical appreciation of why knowledge is worth pursuing.
  •  41
  •  14
    The Philosophical Challenge from China (review)
    Common Knowledge 22 (1): 133-133. 2016.
    The premise of this volume, which collects the work of thirteen contributors, is that Chinese philosophy has plenty to say to the problems that occupy current philosophers. Turns out that means plenty to say in their terms and by their standards. For many—not all—of the contributors, the only “challenge” Chinese thought poses is assimilation, how same can they make it. Part of the problem is that the philosophy asked to receive this challenge is our insipid, directionless, imaginatively exhauste…Read more
  •  12
    A singularity of the famous Art of War《孫子兵法》 attributed to Sunzi is the way this work conceives of knowledge as a resource for the military strategist. The idea is new in Chinese tradition, and new in the worldwide context of thinking about strategy, where Sunzi’s ideas about the value of knowledge are far in advance of the thinking of Western theorists like Machiavelli or especially Clausewitz. In this paper I analyze the role of knowledge in the Sunzi theory of strategy, and show the consisten…Read more
  •  5
    The first book to focus on the intersection of Western philosophy and the Asian martial arts, _Striking Beauty_ comparatively studies the historical and philosophical traditions of martial arts practice and their ethical value in the modern world. Expanding Western philosophy's global outlook, the book forces a theoretical reckoning with the concerns of Chinese philosophy and the aesthetic and technical dimensions of martial arts practice. _Striking Beauty_ explains the relationship between Asia…Read more
  •  16
    The cloud of knowing blurring the difference with china
    Common Knowledge 17 (3): 450-532. 2011.
    In this monograph-length article, which inaugurates a multipart symposium titled “Fuzzy Studies,” the significance and virtues of blur are investigated through the whole history of Chinese intellectual tradition. In the Western tradition, the blur of becoming seems to disqualify an object for knowledge; nothing can be an object of knowledge until the blur is resolved and clarity attained. Chinese tradition offers suggestive examples of the thought that blur, so far from being incompatible with k…Read more
  •  23
    Out of Athens: The New Ancient Greeks (review)
    Common Knowledge 18 (2): 356-356. 2012.
    The field of study we call Classics is an ideological construction. It assumes that the Greece and Rome of antiquity belong to the modern West in some singular, privileged way, as our antiquity, their works our classics, and that these civilizations were largely self-invented. In this antiquity there are no diaspora, no hybrids, no minorities, often no women or slaves. Democratic, philosophical Athens is the antitype of a cosmopolis: hermetic, autochthonous, owing nothing to the civilizations of…Read more
  •  29
    Vanishing into Things
    with Bernard Faure, Jacob Raz, Glenn Alexander Magee, N. Verbin, Dalia Ofer, Elaine Pryce, and Amy M. King
    Common Knowledge 16 (3): 417-423. 2010.
    Introducing the sixth and final installment of the Common Knowledge symposium “Apology for Quietism,” Allen looks at the symposium retrospectively and concludes that it has mainly concerned “sage knowledge,” defined as foresight into the development of situations. The sagacious knower sees the disposition of things in an early, incipient form and knows how to intervene with nearly effortless and undetectable (quiet) effectiveness. Whatever the circumstance, the sage handles it with finesse, neve…Read more