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Series: Vernon Series in Philosophy

Darwin’s Incomplete Idea

Wittgenstein, language, our place in nature and our responsibility for the environment.

Gunnar Odhner

April 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-474-0
Availability: In stock
173pp. ¦ $60 £48 €55

Why is progress in environmental protection slow and faltering? Is it because we misunderstand our place in nature? This book argues that it is the normative implications of Darwinism and their powerful grip on collective social consciousness that are partly responsible for the tardiness. For all its positive explanatory power and undoubted veracity, the normative implications of Darwinist thinking for our environmental predicament are stark: If we are children of Mother Nature equipped by her with a human nature, the responsibility for the deterioration of nature is partly Hers. This book takes a different standpoint. We are indeed children of Nature, but not primarily of the green nature or animal world but of the nature of language. We can understand how through the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, who states that “Language is a graft on instinctive behavior.” In our instinctive use of words we are parts of nature in a way resembling mice, frogs and giraffes. We are not as free as we think when we talk about our “free will”, because language uses us when we use it, hence our double roles as victims and instigators. The main thesis of this book is that rather than merely possessing language, we are language. If accepted, this realization may point the way to a more optimistic future for environmental protection and lay the foundations for a new analytical perspective on modern social behavior. "Darwin's Incomplete Idea" was much discussed when first published in Sweden (Bokförlaget Anomali, 2013). The English edition exposes, for the first time, this important work to an international audience. It should be of interest to philosophers of language and social scientists concerned about the environment and our place in it.

The Distinction of Human Being

An Introduction to the Logotectonic Method of Conception

Thomas Kruger Caplan, Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Germany

July 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-022-3
Availability: In stock
900pp. ¦ $85 £66 €74

Perhaps we are never done with thought, nor should be. If this is indeed the case, then Kant may have been right after all in supposing that folks will never lose interest in metaphysics, in thought thinking thought. But what of academics? Where would we find these days a comprehensive treatment of pure reason, of the epochs of its origins and accomplishments, that is not just another collection of interpretations of “source” texts in translation? This study introduces philosophy students and professionals to the “logotectonic” method of conception as developed by Heribert Boeder, a pupil of Martin Heidegger, which is broadly structuralist in its approach but endeavors to make evident how the principles of rationality governing the Occidental tradition of λóγος (logos) – even those dictated by the animus of our post/modern world of thought in opposition to it – are, in fact, founded upon the “nature” of pure reason itself, the intellect, the discipline, and the art of which can be understood as constituting a unique “language” containing a vocabulary of distinguished terms, a syntax that determines their ratios, and rules of inference with which these terms of principle, insight, and issue are built into trains of thought about thought, every thought. As a result, the wisdom of the Muses (Homer, Hesiod, Solon), of the Holy Spirit (the Synoptic Narratives of Mark, Luke, and Matthew, the Apostolic Letters of Paul, the Gospel of John), and of Humanity (Rousseau, Schiller, Hölderlin) can be seen to have thrice articulated, in their own terms, a moving vision of our experience with the distinction of human being, inspiring critical reflection to consider the λóγος as a destiny with regards to which even we, as the thinkers, the doers, and the builders of today, are still learning what it means to make a difference. ‘The Distinction of Human Being’ offers contemporary thinkers, beginners as well as professionals, a comprehensive reading of the origin and the tradition of metaphysics encompassing the life and times of pure reason as it unfolds across its theoretical, practical, and poetic endeavor the last of which suggests what a philological philosophy might entail and demand of a new generation of friends of wisdom.

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