Logo Utrecht University

Philosophy of the Arts


The history of philosophy, in a nut-shell

Kant’s Copernican Revolution is a point well taken: “the” world is a human world: we get from it what we recognise. Yet, his analysis of this, in terms of two forms of intuition and 12 categories of understanding, is a capitulation to logic—reminding one of Plato’s.
Plato, among other things, messed up a beautiful myth of his own, the myth of the cave (Republic, Bk. VII).
Romanticists messed up their–defendable–objection to Kant’s apparent removal of the world outside … by mysticism.
Then, Husserl attacked the logical narrowness of Kant’s approach, by developing an introspective method reminiscent of—though “better” than—Cartesian dualism.
What a mess philosophers made of our thinking which, needless to say, was in shambles already on account of commons sense’s flirtations with religious speculation.

I should, though, rather speak about my philosophical heroes here. David Hume (and his openness to habit and association), John Locke’s openness to the existential powers of perception (though he, and Descartes, mistakenly initiated corpuscular physics), Martin Heidegger’s of what it means to be-in-the-world (apart from his magical linguistic trics), Jean-Paul Sartre (minus his cartesianisms, and his ontological reading of freedom), Maurice Merleau-Ponty (without the woolly language), but above all and with hardly any reserve: Ludwig Wittgenstein in his later thought (but I even got to loving some of his tenets in the TLP), and those faithful to his insights, which still need uncovering, such as Richard Wollheim and Graham McFee. Then, J.J. Gibson, John McDowell, and David Wiggins.

You must be logged in to post a comment.