Start Your School Year Right, Read Some Marx.

Nate and some other fellars are reading themselves some Marx – I would certainly like to pitch in, but I’m a bit slow on the technological side of the matter and I’m not sure who and how will follow all the posts on all the blogs, if someone can give me a hand, I’d be happy to get right into it.

Braver Reading Group: Chapter 1

[If you’re just joining us, please click on the cover icon on the right side of the page to see the post that gathers all the discussions of Braver Reading Group, or click here]


This chapter really just sets the stage, and I don’t have that much interesting to say about it. In the spirit of these posts being helpful for a study guide, I’ll: (1) give the definitions of the Realist Theses Braver considers, (2) give the logical relations between them that he discusses, (3) mention some other realist theses in the literature, and (4) raise a couple of minor issues that may come up again as we move further into the book.

[15] R1 Independence: “The World consists of some fixed totality of mind independent objects” (Putnam, 1981, 49)

[15-17] R2 Correspondence: “Truth involves some sort of correspondence relation between words or thought-sings and external things and sets of things” (Putnam 1981, 49).

[17-19] R3 Uniqueness: “There is exactly one true and complete description of ‘the way the world is’” (Putnam 1981, 49).

[21-21] R4 Bivalence: “The primary tenet of realism, as applied to some given class of statements, is that each statement in the class is determined as true or not true, independently of our knowledge, by some objective reality whose existence and constitution is, again, independent of our knowledge” (Dummett 1981, 434).

[21-23] R5 Passive Knower: “If, whenever I have to make a judgement, I restrain my will s that it extends to what the intellect clearly and distinctly reveals, and no further, then it is quite impossible for me to go wrong” (Descartes, PWD 2:43).

[Chapter 2] R6 Realism of the Subject: “In order that as a science metaphysics may be entitled to claim, not mere fallacious plausibility, but insight and conviction, a critique of reason must itself exhibit the whole stock of a priori concepts, their division according to their various sources (sensibility, understanding, and reason), together with a complete table of them. . . . Metaphysics alone can . . . be brought to such completion and fixity as to require no further change or be capable of any augmentation by new discoveries” (Kant PFM 105/365, 106/366). Continue reading

Braver Reading Group: Introduction and Some Preliminary Comments

[If you’re just joining us, please click on the cover icon on the right side of the page to see the post that gathers all the discussions of Braver Reading Group, or click here]

It begins. I think it’s fair to say a few words about the general goal of this reading group as Jon and I initially envisioned it: on one hand, the immediate goal is to slowly read through Lee Braver’s erudite account of the relationship between analytic and continental traditions as it shows itself in the discussions of realism/anti-realism; on the other hand, we would like to present the issues raised in the book for discussion and see where it takes us, i.e. we do not feel limited by the book’s presentation of the issues and will take the discussion wherever it leads us. Braver’s book proposes to look at continental tradition and its position of anti-realism and present the issue to analytic side in somewhat familiar terms in order to show that “we are not so different after all”!

We hope to post on one chapter a week (total of 8 chapters) and discuss various aspects of the chapter in whatever way that seems appropriate. Jon and I will alternate on posting a main description and discussion of the chapters, with an option of posting a rejoinder to the other’s post on the matter. As we hope it will become quite clear soon, we come from different traditions and different sets of questions, concerns, philosophical interests and modes of engagement. This is our first attempt at a public reading group, practice that has been present on the blogs for some time now and we are open to any suggestions that can make this experience enjoyable and profitable for everyone involved.

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A Thing Of This World Reading Group (Summer 2009).

UPDATE (June 2010): A review of Lee Braver’s book in NDPR can be found here.


6/7 (Sunday) – we are a week away from the launch of this reading group and I am told there are some copies of the book available at if you are interested in joining in. If you are looking for a deal on the book, check over here to see if you can get the book a bit cheaper.

6/15 – Introduction (by Mikhail Emelianov) and Chapter 1 (by Jon Cogburn) and A Rejoinder (by Mikhail Emelianov) and A Response (by Lee Braver)

6/16 – We get a nod from Leiter Reports.

6/22 – Chapter 2: Kant’s Revolution + a short digression (by Mikhail Emelianov) and A Rejoinder (by Jon Cogburn) and A Response (by Lee Braver)

6/29 – Chapter 3: Hegel: The Truth of the Whole (by Jon Cogburn) and A Rejoinder (by Mikhail Emelianov) and A Response (by Lee Braver)

7/6 – Chapter 4: Nietzsche’s Will to Truth (by Mikhail Emelianov)

7/13 – Chapter 5: Early Heidegger: Fundamental Ontology (by Jon Cogburn) and A Rejoinder (by Mikhail Emelianov) and A Related Post (by Gary Williams)

7/20 – Chapter 6: Later Heidegger: “The Great Turning Around” (by Mikhail Emelianov) with A Rejoinder (by Gary Williams)

7/27 – Chapter 7: Foucault’s History of Truth (by Jon Cogburn) with A Rejoinder I (by John Protevi) and

8/3 – Chapter 8: Derrida.

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