•  559
    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
  •  347
    Realism and the Infinite
    Speculations (IV): 99-107. 2013.
  •  317
    Husserl and Schlick on the logical form of experience
    Synthese 132 (3): 239-272. 2002.
    Over a period of several decades spanning the origin of the Vienna Circle, Schlick repeatedly attacked Husserl''s phenomenological method for its reliance on the ability to intuitively grasp or see essences. Aside from its significance for phenomenologists, the attack illuminates significant and little-explored tensions in the history of analytic philosophy as well. For after coming under the influence of Wittgenstein, Schlick proposed to replace Husserl''s account of the epistemology of proposi…Read more
  •  273
    In this essay, we consider the formal and ontological implications of one specific and intensely contested dialectical context from which Deleuze’s thinking about structural ideal genesis visibly arises. This is the formal/ontological dualism between the principles, ἀρχαί, of the One (ἕν) and the Indefinite/Unlimited Dyad (ἀόριστος δυάς), which is arguably the culminating achievement of the later Plato’s development of a mathematical dialectic.3 Following commentators including Lautman, Oskar Be…Read more
  •  215
    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
  •  213
    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
  •  194
    Philosophical History and the Problem of Consciousness
    Cambridge University Press. 2004.
    The problem of explaining consciousness remains a problem about the meaning of language: the ordinary language of consciousness in which we define and express our sensations, thoughts, dreams and memories. This book argues that the problem arises from a quest that has taken shape over the twentieth century, and that the analysis of history provides new resources for understanding and resolving it. Paul Livingston traces the development of the characteristic practices of analytic philosophy to pr…Read more
  •  187
    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
  •  174
    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
  •  167
    Philosophical analysis in the twentieth century - a review
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 49 (3). 2006.
    After more than a century of its development, philosophers working in the analytic tradition have recently begun to consider its history as an object of philosophical investigation.1 This development, particularly significant in the context of a tradition of inquiry that has often conceived of its own problems as ahistorical, is salutary in that it offers to show what, within the tradition, remains rich and vital for philosophy today, as well as to extract the significant theoretical and doctrin…Read more
  •  163
    'Meaning is use' in the tractatus
    Philosophical Investigations 27 (1). 2004.
    Frege ridiculed the formalist conception of mathematics by saying that the formalists confused the unimportant thing, the sign, with the important, the meaning. Surely, one wishes to say, mathematics does not treat of dashes on a bit of paper. Frege’s idea could be expressed thus: the propositions of mathematics, if they were just complexes of dashes, would be dead and utterly uninteresting, whereas they obviously have a kind of life. And the same, of course, could be said of any proposition: Wi…Read more
  •  159
    Thinking and being: Heidegger and Wittgenstein on machination and lived-experience
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 46 (3). 2003.
    Heidegger's treatment of 'machination' in the Beiträge zur Philosophie begins the critique of technological thinking that would centrally characterize his later work. Unlike later discussions of technology, the critique of machination in Beiträge connects its arising to the predominance of 'lived-experience' ( Erlebnis ) as the concealed basis for the possibility of a pre-delineated, rule-based metaphysical understanding of the world. In this essay I explore this connection. The unity of machina…Read more
  •  159
    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
  •  144
    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
  •  143
    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
  •  142
    Wittgenstein, Turing, and the "Finitude" of Language
    Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 9 215-47. 2010.
  •  142
    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
  •  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).
  •  137
    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
  •  134
    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
  •  127
    Badiou and the Consequences of Formalism
    Cosmos and History 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 …Read more
  •  115
    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
  •  114
    Review of being and event (review)
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 51 (2). 2008.
    No abstract
  •  101
    "Philosophy of Language," by Scott Soames (review)
    Teaching Philosophy 35 (2): 230-235. 2012.
  •  96
    Dialectics, Infinity and the Absolute: Response to Skempton
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (3): 402-408. 2014.
    No abstract
  •  94
    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
  •  93
    In this book, Livingston develops the political implications of formal results obtained over the course of the twentieth century in set theory, metalogic, and computational theory. He argues that the results achieved by thinkers such as Cantor, Russell, Godel, Turing, and Cohen, even when they suggest inherent paradoxes and limitations to the structuring capacities of language or symbolic thought, have far-reaching implications for understanding the nature of political communities and their deve…Read more
  •  89
  •  82
    Quine’s thesis of translational indeterminacy stands as one of the most central, surprising, and influential results of analytic philosophy in the twentieth century. The suggestion that the meaning of linguistic terms and sentences, as shown in the situation of radical translation, is systematically indeterminate and undetermined by actual speech practice, has for decades engendered thought and reflection on the nature and basis of linguistic meaning. And even beyond this surprising moral itself…Read more