• The Logic of Being: Realism, Truth, and Time
    Northwestern University Press. 2017.
    In the Logic of Being: Realism, Truth, and Time, the influential philosopher Paul M. Livingston explores and illuminates truth, time, and their relationship by employing methods from both Continental and analytic philosophy.
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    "Philosophy of Language," by Scott Soames (review)
    Teaching Philosophy 35 (2): 230-235. 2012.
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    Functionalism and logical analysis
    In David Woodruff Smith & Amie L. Thomasson (eds.), Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind, Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 19. 2005.
    After more than thirty-five years of debate and discussion, versions of the functionalist theory of mind originating in the work of Hilary Putnam, Jerry Fodor, and David Lewis still remain the most popular positions among philosophers of mind on the nature of mental states and processes. Functionalism has enjoyed such popularity owing, at least in part, to its claim to offer a plausible and compelling description of the nature of the mental that is also consistent with an underlying physicalist o…Read more
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    Introduction
    with Dominik Finkelde
    In Dominik Finkelde & Paul M. Livingston (eds.), Idealism, Relativism, and Realism: New Essays on Objectivity Beyond the Analytic-Continental Divide, De Gruyter. pp. 1-14. 2020.
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    Working through Balaska’s deeply perceptive, elegantly written, and profoundly honest book, Wittgenstein and Lacan at the Limit, a reader steeped in the recent academic literature about either or both of its main figures may come to feel herself placed at what is, itself, a certain kind of limit. The limit I mean is the limit of a familiar type of theoretical discourse about the constitution and structure of language and subjectivity as Wittgenstein and Lacan treat them: it includes the discours…Read more
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    Several debates of the last years within the research field of contemporary realism – known under titles such as "New Realism," "Continental Realism," or "Speculative Materialism" – have shown that science is not systematically the ultimate measure of truth and reality. This does not mean that we should abandon the notions of truth or objectivity all together, as has been posited repeatedly within certain currents of twentieth century philosophy. However, within the research field of contemporar…Read more
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    This paper considers the historical and current reception of Husserl’s phenomenological project within the tradition of analytic philosophy, especially in the United States. Despite the fact that both Husserlian phenomenology and the analytic tradition have centrally undertaken systematic analysis and clarification of structures of meaning or sense, the project of phenomenological analysis and reflection has never been centrally or comprehensively integrated into the most characteristic projects…Read more
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    Presentation and the Ontology of Consciousness
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (3): 301-331. 2017.
    _ Source: _Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 301 - 331 The idea that we can understand key aspects of the metaphysics of consciousness by understanding conscious states as having a _presentational_ character plays an essential role in the phenomenological tradition beginning with Brentano and Husserl. In this paper, the author explores some potential consequences of this connection for contemporary discussions of the ontology of consciousness in the world. Drawing on Hintikka’s analysis of epistemic modali…Read more
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    Badiou and the Conseqeunces of Formalism
    Cosmos and History : The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 8 (1): 131-150. 2012.
    I consider the relationship of Badiou’s schematism of the event to critical thought following the linguistic turn as well as to the mathematical formalisms of set theory. In Being and Event, Badiou uses formal argumentation to support his sweeping rejection of the linguistic turn as well as much of contemporary critical thought. This rejection stems from his interpretation of set theory as barring thought from the 'One-All' of totality; but I argue that, by interpreting it differently, we can un…Read more
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    Experience and Structure: An Investigation in the History of Philosophy of Mind
    Dissertation, University of California, Irvine. 2002.
    Historical investigation and analysis of the concepts of "consciousness," "experience," and "explanation" can clarify and sharpen contemporary discussion in philosophy of mind about the problem of explaining consciousness. I have investigated the difficulties of explaining consciousness at four historically important moments in the development of analytic philosophy of mind. In each chapter, I unearth and evaluate the arguments originally made for influential theories and doctrines, and analyze …Read more
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    Experience and structure: Philosophical history and the problem of consciousness
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (3): 15-33. 2002.
    Investigation and analysis of the history of the concepts employed in contemporary philosophy of mind could significantly change the contemporary debate about the explainability of consciousness. Philosophical investigation of the history of the concept of qualia and the concept of scientific explanation most often presupposed in contemporary discussions of consciousness reveals the origin of both concepts in some of the most interesting philosophical debates of the twentieth century. In particu…Read more
  • _Philosophy and the Vision of Language_ explores the history and enduring significance of the twentieth-century turn to language as a specific object of investigation and resource for philosophical reflection. It traces the implications of the access to language in some of the most prominent projects and results of the historical and contemporary tradition of analytic philosophy, including the projects of Frege, Wittgenstein, Sellars, Quine, Brandom, and Cavell. Additionally, it demonstrates the…Read more
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    My aim in this paper is to begin a discussion about how, and to what extent, Martin Heidegger’s thinking about technology offers helpful critical terms for thinking about the nature and global sway of today’s most dominant and prevalent forms of technology, namely the interrelated technologies of information, communication, and (capitalist) commerce. My suggestion will be that Heidegger’s thought does indeed have implications for critical thinking about these technologies, but that in order to s…Read more
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    Badiou and the Politics of Form
    Philosophy Compass 7 (5): 304-315. 2012.
    In this essay, I explore Alain Badiou’s longstanding project of theorizing political situations and political transformation through the analysis of forms and formalisms. This amounts, I argue, to a politics of form that draws on the thought of Sartre, Althusser, and Lacan, but offers new alternatives for political thought and action today. In particular, Badiou’s rigorous consideration of forms, which draws on mathematics, model theory, set theory, and category theory, allows him to theorize po…Read more
  •  142
    Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus famously ends with a remark that, as he says in the book’s “Preface,” could also summarize the sense of the book as a whole: Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. Passing over, for the moment, the difference between speaking and knowing, the remark can be read almost as a paraphrase of one written almost 2500 years ago: You could not know what is not – that cannot be done – nor indicate it. (KR 291).
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    Russellian and Wittgensteinian Atomism
    Philosophical Investigations 24 (1): 30-54. 2001.
    One difference between Russell’s logical atomism in The Philosophy of Logical Atomism and Wittgenstein’s in the Tractatus is that Russell’s doctrine is explicitly epistemological, whereas Wittgenstein’s is not; another difference is that Wittgenstein gives an a priori argument for the doctrine of logical atomism whereas Russell gives no such argument. I argue that these two differences are instructively connected: Russell’s focus on epistemology prevents him from being able to give a motivated a…Read more
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    The question of the place of what are called “animals” does not seem, at first, obviously to capture the deepest or most important imperative of a deconstructive politics devoted to challenging the constitutive structures of war, mastery, violence and sovereignty in the ‘contemporary scene’ of ‘globalization,’ or what Derrida often described as the ever more problematic and contested “mondialisation” or ‘becoming world’ of the world. And yet, as Derrida said in 1967 with respect to the “question…Read more
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    Frege on the Context Principle and Psychologism
    In Philosophy and the Vision of Language, . pp. 31-48. 2008.
    I explore the decisive connection Frege often draws between the context principle and antipsychologism, arguing that his assertion of this connection occupies a central place within the articulation of his linguistic method. In particular, Frege’s appeal to the context principle in the course of describing the epistemology of arithmetic, I argue, connects his doctrine of the nature of judgment with his defense of the objecthood of numbers, showing how an appeal to the special role of judgment in…Read more
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    Realism and the Infinite
    Speculations (IV): 99-107. 2013.
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    Within contemporary analytic philosophy, varieties of “naturalism” have recently attained an almost unchallenged methodological and thematic dominance. As David Papineau wrote in the introduction to his 1993 book Philosophical Naturalism, “nearly everybody nowadays wants to be a naturalist,” although as Papineau also notes, those who aspire to the term also continue to disagree widely about what specific methods or doctrines it implies. My purpose in this paper, however, is not to argue for or a…Read more
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    Phenomenal Concepts and the Problem of Acquaintance
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (5-6). 2013.
    Some contemporary discussion about the explanation of consciousness substantially recapitulates a decisive debate about reference, knowledge and justification from an earlier stage of the analytic tradition. In particular, I argue that proponents of a recently popular strategy for accounting for an explanatory gap between physical and phenomenal facts – the so-called “phenomenal concept strategy” – face a problem that was originally fiercely debated by Schlick, Carnap, and Neurath. The questio…Read more
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    Lee Braver: A thing of this world: A history of continental anti-realism Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s11007-011-9210-9 Authors Paul Livingston, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA Journal Continental Philosophy Review Online ISSN 1573-1103 Print ISSN 1387-2842
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    Derrida and Formal Logic: Formalising the Undecidable
    Derrida Today 3 (2): 221-239. 2010.
    Derrida's key concepts or pseudo-concepts of différance, the trace, and the undecidable suggest analogies to some of the most significant results of formal, symbolic logic and metalogic. As early as 1970, Derrida himself pointed out an analogy between his use of ‘undecidable’ and Gödel's incompleteness theorems, which demonstrate the existence, in any sufficiently complex and consistent system, of propositions which cannot be proven or disproven (i.e., decided) within that system itself. More re…Read more
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    Wittgenstein, Kant and the critique of totality
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (6): 691-715. 2007.
    In this paper, I explore Wittgenstein’s inheritance of one specific strand of Kant’s criticism, in the Critique of Pure Reason, of reason’s inherent pretensions to totality. This exploration reveals new critical possibilities in Wittgenstein’s own philosophical method, challenging existing interpretations of Wittgenstein’s political thought as “conservative” and exhibiting the closeness of its connection to another inheritor of Kant’s critique of totality, the Frankfurt school’s criticism of “id…Read more
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    Review of Alain Badiou, Logics of Worlds: Being and Event Ii (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (10). 2009.
    If it is reasonable to hope that the current moment in philosophy may ultimately represent one of transition, from the divided remnants of the still enduring "split" between "analytic" and "continental" philosophy to some form (or forms) of twenty-first century philosophy that is no longer recognizably either (or is both), it seems likely as well that the thought and work of Alain Badiou can play a key role in articulating this much needed transition. One of the central innovations of Badiou's w…Read more