• A Reply to John Searle and Other Traditionalists
    Multicultural Education 16 (2): 37-40. 2008.
    One of the more recent pedagogical debates confronting university instructors is whether liberal education should be replaced with multiculturalism. John Searle has labeled these positions as “traditionalists” and “challengers,” respectively. While not finding “much that is objectionable in the [traditionalists’] assumptions,” Searle argues that the challengers’ assumptions are “weak” and “fallacious.” This negative outcome for the challengers however, is due in large part to Searle’s misreprese…Read more
  • Wittgenstein's New Kind of Foundationalism
    Dissertation, Michigan State University. 2004.
    In On Certainty Wittgenstein presents an argument against both G. E. Moore and the Cartesian skeptic, exposing both positions as flawed. His main contention is that what "stands fast" for us-certainty-is not subject to doubt, truth, or falsehood. Whatever is subject to these ascriptions is propositional in form and belongs to our language-games. But certitude is not so subject; certitude is principally non-propositional and therefore stands outside the language-game. Action is the locus of certa…Read more
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    ‘The Whole Hurly-Burly’: Wittgenstein and Embodied Cognition
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (1-2): 49-58. 2013.
    While typically ignored by the cognitive sciences, Wittgenstein’s later work provides those defending embodied cognition (EC) with essential philosophical tools that serve to strengthen the argument against cognitivism. Cognition, as Wittgenstein’s work demonstrates, is not simply a matter of disembodied intellect, but is actional, time-pressured, body-based, and dependent on the larger environment.
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    Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty on the Pre-Reflective Level
    Philosophy Today 63 (2): 335-345. 2019.
    The philosophies of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Maurice Merleau-Ponty may seem at first glance to be mutually exclusive. On further examination, however, they can be seen to share some fundamental points of view. For instance, they both share a common rejection of a modern mechanistic explanation of nature, and both endorse what we might call a pre-linguistic level of meaning. In this paper, we show that these thinkers not only share some fundamental philosophical views, but also had, for many years…Read more
  •  564
    While naturalism is used in positive senses by the tradition of analytical philosophy, with Ludwig Wittgenstein its best example, and by the tradition of phenomenology, with Maurice Merleau-Ponty its best exemplar, it also has an extremely negative sense on both of these fronts. Hence, both Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein in their basic thrusts adamantly reject reductionistic naturalism. Although Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology rejects the naturalism Husserl rejects, he early on found a place for …Read more
  •  121
    This article examines the domestic use of drones by law enforcement to gather information. Although the use of drones for surveillance will undoubtedly provide law enforcement agencies with new means of gathering intelligence, these unmanned aircrafts bring with them a host of legal and epistemic complications. Part I considers the Fourth Amendment and the different legal standards of proof that might apply to law enforcement drone use. Part II explores philosopher Wittgenstein’s notion of actio…Read more
  •  19
    Exploring Certainty: Wittgenstein and Wide Fields of Thought considers how, where, and to what extent the thoughts and ideas found in Wittgenstein’s On Certainty can be applied to other areas of thought, including: ethics, aesthetics, religious belief, mathematics, cognitive science, and political theory. Robert Greenleaf Brice opens new avenues of thought for scholars and students of the Wittgensteinian tradition, while introducing original philosophies about human knowledge and cognition
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    “Aesthetic Scaffolding”: Hagberg and Wittgensteinian Certitude
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3): 397-409. 2013.
    In the penultimate chapter of his book, Art as Language, G. L. Hagberg presents an argument against Arthur Danto, George Dickie, and other advocates of the Institutional Theory (IT), arguing that a tension exists within the theory. Through conferral, a spokesperson declares what artifacts are accepted into the artworld. Hagberg finds this problematic because, while the criterion one uses is something that the later Wittgenstein would endorse, it points back to an essentialism that he clearly rej…Read more
  •  42
    In his article, “Wittgenstein and Basic Moral Certainty,” Nigel Pleasants argues that killing an innocent, non-threatening person is wrong. It is, he argues, “a basic moral certainty.” He believes our basic moral certainties play the “same kind of foundational role as [our] basic empirical certaint[ies] do.” I believe this is mistaken. There is not “simply one kind of foundational role” that certainty plays. While I think Pleasants is right to affiliate his proposition with a Wittgensteinian for…Read more
  •  545
    Bringing the views of Grayling, Moyal-Sharrock and Stroll together, I argue that in On Certainty, Wittgenstein explores the possibility of a new kind of foundationalism. Distinguishing propositional language-games from non-propositional, actional certainty, Wittgenstein investigates a foundationalism sui generis . Although he does not forthrightly state, defend, or endorse what I am characterizing as a "new kind of foundationalism," we must bear in mind that On Certainty was a collection of firs…Read more