Philosophy of as if, the system espoused by Hans Vaihinger in his major philosophical work Die Philosophie des Als Ob (; The Philosophy of “As If”), which. The Philosophy of ‘as If ‘ has 32 ratings and 4 reviews. Elena said: Vaihinger provides here, I think, the clearest exposition of the thread that runs fr. ‘As if’ r\ S.l’stcut of tlrc :rl, Itr’:r.’ti.’ liietiotts.,rl’ I\’l;rnkin.l lly. H . VAIHINGER. ‘fr:rrrslrk’d lry. C. K. OGDEN. NEW YORK. HARCOURT, BRACIi.
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The Philosophy of ‘as If ‘
Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Philosophy of ‘as If ‘ by Hans Vaihinger.
This is an important book of one idea, but that idea is a very important one for the social scientist. According to the author “many thought processes and thought constructs appear to be consciously false assumptions, which either contradict reality or are even contradictory in themselves, but which are intentionally thus formed in order to ov reprint of edition.
According to the author “many thought processes and thought constructs appear to be consciously false assumptions, which either contradict reality or are even contradictory in themselves, but which are intentionally thus formed in order to overcome difficulties of thought by this artificial deviation, and reach the goal of thought by roundabout ways and by paths.
These artificial thought constructs are called ‘Scientific Fictions’ and distinguished as conscious creations by their ‘as if’ character. Paperbackpages. Published December 8th by Martino Fine Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about The Philosophy of ‘as If ‘please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Philosophy of ‘as If ‘. Lists with This Book. Jun 20, Elena Holmgren rated it it was amazing Shelves: Vaihinger provides here, I think, the clearest exposition of the thread that runs from the medieval nominalists, through Hume, Kant, and ultimately, Nietzsche.
He shows how each of these thinkers contributes to the emergence of “the philosophy of as-if,” which is a mode of philosophizing that seeks to face squarely the epistemic implications that emerge from the pervasiveness of illusion in human life. In this view, the fullest lucidity we can have access to as embodied existents is the lucidity Vaihinger provides here, I think, the clearest exposition of the thread that runs from the medieval nominalists, through Hume, Kant, and ultimately, Nietzsche.
In this view, the fullest lucidity we can have access to as embodied existents is the lucidity to be found when we peer through the pervasive veneer of illusion that shrouds our lives, and gain thereby a liberating detachment from these by seeing them for the first time for what they really are, i.
He argues, via a comparative historical analysis that is focused through the prism of his own synoptic interpretation, that these thinkers taken together show us how knowledge itself is best understood as an edifice of fictional constructs built atop the “optical illusions” and “aesthetic anthropomorpshisms” as Nietzsche called them, in Beyond Good and Evil created by our organismic embodiment in the world.
In this view, the clearest view we can attain of the real is the negative, self-reflexive view afforded us when we see our organismic illusions for what they are.
Reading back from Nietzsche, Vaihinger casts a new light on the true epistemic function, for organismic existents, of the laws of nature, of causality, of the lines, points, and of axioms of the mathematician, of the independent substances inevitably postulated by the logician, and of the very principle of parsimony posited by Occam as the regulative principle of science.
In a way, he shows how Nietzsche following Kant’s re-interpretation of the foundational concepts of ontology in terms of the perspective of the human subject more seriously takes into account the epistemic implications of the purely organismic grounding of knowledge than do most optimistic, positivistically-inclined evolutionary epistemologists: Knowledge is the means whereby we construct a human, cognizable, systematizable world atop the intractable otherness of the real world.
The “philosophy as-if” suspends belief in the foundational faith of any rational epistemology, namely, the belief that the pattern of the mind is adequate to grasp the pattern of the world, that the human part can grasp the form of the universal whole. Once you suspend this foundational act of faith and take a very clear look at the nature of the knowledge situation, as well as the human drives that power it, Vaihinger persuasively argues, “the philosophy of as-if” is what is left to our honest perusal.
Among many other things, he shows that, in order to rightly understand any of these thinkers, we must understand them as tributaries that flow into and contribute to the unfolding of this larger pattern of philosophizing.
This, he argues persuasively, is especially true in the case of Kant and Nietzsche, neither of which you can understand unless you place them in relation to each other on this larger map of philosophical positions that hanns around “the philosophy of as-if,” which he also calls “fictionalism,” or the view that whatever else our knowledge-constructs may happen to be, what we can most surely say about them, from the vantage point which we, in philosopny, occupy, is that they are postulates grounded solely in our organismic striving to progressively extend the pattern set by our organismic requirements by re-creating the world in a human form.
Following Nietzsche, Vaihinger ruefully notes that we do not seek to know the world in itself; this is the foremost illusion of pre-critical epistemologies. Rather, we seek to know a world fully colonized by our own human reflection, a world rendered a home for the human spirit, a world that is no longer an inscrutable, alien other. Ultimately, all postulates that ground and direct the process of knowledge-acquisition spring from organismic values, from our striving to humanize the world and bring it into a humanly graspable and relatable form.
I cannot help but admire the way that he shows that Nietzsche takes up the Kantian critique of the instrument of all knowing, reason, only to radicalize it by showing that all our ontology, which is used, among other things, to ground our various disciplines including those of scienceis really a subset of aesthetics and axiology.
It takes guts to take the critique of knowledge to such terrifying lengths. One wonders how sustainable this stance is in practice.
Philosophy of as if | philosophy |
Ultimately, this thread in philosophy redefines wisdom as the insight born of our progressive detachment from our most nourishing illusions. We must not bank phlosophy finding a basis for any positive theoretical postulates once the process has run its course, for precisely the reasons that Kant offered in his first Critique.
In this, Vaihinger’s method seems to vaihibger a philosophical adaptation of the spiritual via negativa: It is not precisely everything that we are. This is because we cannot assume that we are in any way “the measure of all things.
All depends on making the perhaps pre-theoretical decision as to whether we find the world as essentially being friend or foe to our human strivings for our progressive organismic realization. Vaihinger’s is an important history to tell because, I find, this particular side of our philosophical tradition is uans often enough appreciated in the neo-positivist and happy-go-lucky because unreflective intellectual climate of today.
His is a sobering, chilling look, but one that brings the beauty of clarity. And it’s not “just” a re-telling of one under-remembered side of the history of philosophy, which holds a mere theoretical interest.
I think the view of human life that emerges here, from this closer look at all our illusions about knowledge, is deeply poignant and transformative, if you let it sink in. Vaihlnger, if you expunge all faith and wishful vvaihinger from epistemology, something like Vainhiger’s view is what is left.
The Philosophy of ‘as If’: A System of the Theoretical, Practical and Religious Fictions of Mankind
View all 5 comments. May 04, Colm Gillis rated it really liked it. A comprehensive, meticulous and intellectually engaging master-piece which – at the same time – tended to take its own argument to extremes and philosopphy didnt provide within itself a basis for self-criticism.
The title of the work refers to the use of fictions in all fields of study. For example; how do we calculate the area of philosoophy circle? We treat it ‘as-if’ it can be made up of a number of lines, each of length r. Vaihinger gives an in-depth history of such concepts, primarily from science and philo A comprehensive, meticulous and intellectually engaging vaihijger which – at the same time – tended to take its own argument to extremes and also didnt provide within itself a basis for self-criticism.
Vaihinger gives an in-depth history of such concepts, primarily from science and philosophy.
Kant, whose school Vaihinger belonged to, is given particular attention. It really was impressive how the author continually found textual material to support his argument. Where the book erred was treating the core insight of the book into an instrument for denying all reality. This tendency became painfully obvious when subjects other than science were being discussed. Vaihinger seemed to deny any objective reality and became mired in a rationalistic error.
Nonetheless, as a whole, the work is towering and well worth a read. Valentin rated it liked it Aug 04, Bobby rated it really liked it Vaihinber 03, Richard Pfau rated it really liked it Feb 23, Stephen rated it it was amazing Oct 23, Kit Vane Tempest rated it it was amazing Aug 24, Thomas rated it it was amazing Jul 26, Gregory Peters rated it liked it Aug 12, Morgan rated philoskphy liked it Sep 18, Etienne Antikatastaseis rated it it was amazing Jul 12, Mario Spassov rated it really liked it Mar 11, Laurent rated it really liked it Jan 31, Chris Bradley rated it liked it Dec 16, Michael Reid rated it it was amazing Jun 18, Eric rated it really liked it Jul 07, Paul Siakaluk rated it liked it Mar 11, Tudor rated it it was amazing Jun 14, Ana-Maria Deliu rated it it was amazing Apr 06, Apple Jay rated it it was amazing Jun 03, Joe vaihinge it really liked it Jul 12, Rotting rated it it was ok May 05, Christopher Plaisance rated it it was amazing Nov 02, Mark Van rated it it was amazing Jul 22, Mithu Storoni rated it it was amazing Oct 05, Andrei Vezeteu rated it really liked it Jun 11, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
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