volume XLVI, number 47, November 2001


Historias y argumentos

[Stories and Arguments]

Carlos Pereda

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Abstract: Experience can be organised in various ways, for example, in the form of stories or arguments. This paper defends that at least these two forms possess irreductible functions of their own. First, six differences between stories and arguments are discussed (in contrast with arguments, stories possess: “nearness” to experience, relative singularity, intrinsic criteria of evaluation, lack of connection between form and truth, variety of functions, and open structure). Afterwards, three common meta-properties are discussed (both discursive forms intermingle constantly, both establish places of dispute and of cooperation, both are instruments of diversity). When is one or the other discursive form to be used? There are no precise, fixed and general criteria to decide. With respect to this, each speaker depends on his or her capacity of judgment.
Keywords: Arguments, Fiction, Stories, Irreducibility, Reality

Viejo y nuevo pragmatismo

[Pragmatism, Old and New]

Susan Haack

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Abstract: C.S. Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, proposed a reformed, scientific philosophy guided by the pragmatic maxim, identifying the meaning of a concept with its experiential consequences. Over time, however, pragmatism evolved: from Peirce’s logical, ideal-realist articulation, through James’s more psychological and nominalist pragmatism, until, in our times, Richard Rorty, who proposes in the name of pragmatism that the metaphysical and epistemological territory at the traditional center of philosophy be abandoned, and that philosophy remake itself as a genre of literature, while at the other extreme such scientific philosophers as Paul Churchland and Stephen Stich also describe themselves as pragmatists. Looking at the history of pragmatism from Peirce and James through Dewey, Mead, and Schiller to the present, this article traces the transmutation of the old pragmatism into the new.
Keywords: Pragmatism, Peirce, Rorty, Truth, James

El gran juego: de Sócrates a José K.

[The Big Game: From Socrates to Joseph K.]

Oscar Nudler

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Abstract: A conceptual framework to deal with the prevailing mood of uncertainty surrounding the meaning of life is introduced. To begin with, the interconnections between meaning of life, form of life and image of the world are highlighted. As a consequence, the three elements are seen as a tripod supporting human existence. The historical development of such tripod from its origins in ancient Greece is then represented as a game —the Big Game— with players standing for contending images of the world. It is claimed that such game went through three major, destabilizing crises each of which symbolically associated to a judicial episode: the trials of Socrates, Galileo, and Joseph K, respectively. A further claim is made that the first two crises were followed by a reconstruction of the tripod but the last one led to its destruction, thereby depriving the meaning of life from its foundation. Finally, the possibility of a Socratic, post-foundationalist meaning of life concept is pondered.
Keywords: Image of the World, Postfoundationalist, tripod, Meaning of Life