Philip Kitcher Famous Quotes & Sayings

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100 Philip Kitcher Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Philip Kitcher Sayings: The amalgam of psychological attitudes we form is the synthetic complex. It may fall apart The amalgam of psychological attitudes we form is the synthetic complex. It may fall apart quite quickly as further reflection or further experience bears on it, and we may revert to our former judgments, feelings and tendencies.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: Mann's sexuality and his attitudes towards it are extremely complex - and the complexities are Mann's sexuality and his attitudes towards it are extremely complex - and the complexities are inherited in the figure of Aschenbach. Mann had lived through a series of (almost certainly unconsummated) relationships with young men.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: Anxieties about ourselves endure. If our proper study is indeed the study of humankind, then Anxieties about ourselves endure. If our proper study is indeed the study of humankind, then it has seemed-and still seems-to many that the study is dangerous. Perhaps we shall find out that we were not what we took ourselves to be. But if the historical development of science has indeed sometimes pricked our vanity, it has not plunged us into an abyss of immorality. Arguably, it has liberated us from misconceptions, and thereby aided us in our moral progress.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: The moment in which the narrator, reaching for his boots, becomes vividly and lastingly aware The moment in which the narrator, reaching for his boots, becomes vividly and lastingly aware of the finality of his grandmother's death is another such moment. It would be interesting to explore Proust's great novel from the perspective of seeing how stable synthetic complexes are formed and modified.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: It's not at all a bad idea for scientific questions to be chosen because a It's not at all a bad idea for scientific questions to be chosen because a democratic deliberation would identify them as important for people's lives.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: The hardest problem of all is to appreciate the facts that the poor nations are The hardest problem of all is to appreciate the facts that the poor nations are - quite reasonably - not going to forgo their development, and that they can only afford to develop by consuming fossil fuels.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: There are actually two separate issues here. The first is whether (as ancient philosophers and There are actually two separate issues here. The first is whether (as ancient philosophers and Nietzsche assume) only the privileged elite can live a worthwhile life. The second is whether it's possible to fulfill the roles of both serious artist and upstanding citizen. It seems to me that philosophy can dissect both questions, by delineating clearly the anatomy of the good life and the structural conditions of the roles.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: I read Aschenbach's constant desire to go beyond the works he has already produced to I read Aschenbach's constant desire to go beyond the works he has already produced to be the counterpart of Mann's deep wish to surpass his previous fiction; sometimes the diaries express this in terms of a dejected judgment that the summit has already been reached.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: Mann is widely recognized as a master of irony and ambiguity, yet it's remarkable how Mann is widely recognized as a master of irony and ambiguity, yet it's remarkable how quickly people foreclose options he carefully leaves open. Lots of readers - including eminent critics - jump to conclusions: that Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy is a central background text, that Aschenbach is an inferior writer, that he's never been attracted by pubescent male beauty before, that he dies of cholera.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: I was occupied by a range of questions, often different from those fashionable in the I was occupied by a range of questions, often different from those fashionable in the professional philosophy of the past half century, that have sometimes troubled philosophers in the past. It's taken me several decades to work out my own philosophical agenda, and it is wide.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: After two years of undergraduate study, it was clear that I was bored by the After two years of undergraduate study, it was clear that I was bored by the regime of problem-solving required by the Cambridge mathematical tripos. A very sensitive mathematics don recommended that I talk to the historian of astronomy, Michael Hoskin, and the conversation led me to enroll in the History and Philosophy of Science for my final undergraduate year.
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Philip Kitcher Sayings: The more you read the novella, the more you should wonder, I think, which judgments The more you read the novella, the more you should wonder, I think, which judgments are to be taken as bedrock.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Was Mann himself fully aware of all the facets of his irony? Probably not - Was Mann himself fully aware of all the facets of his irony? Probably not - any more than Shakespeare was fully aware of all the riches subsequent critics have found in his plays.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Sometime during the 1990s, when I was teaching philosophy at UCSD, my friend, colleague, and Sometime during the 1990s, when I was teaching philosophy at UCSD, my friend, colleague, and music teacher, Carol Plantamura, discussed the possibility of teaching a course together looking at ways in which various literary works (plays, stories, novels) had been treated as operas, and how different themes emerged in the opera and in its original. One of the pairings we planned to use was Mann's great novella and Britten's opera. Unfortunately, the course was never taught, but the idea remained with me.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Those citizens are distracted by the toys technology has supplied, and fail to recognize the Those citizens are distracted by the toys technology has supplied, and fail to recognize the ways in which what they most deeply want is made vulnerable by the coming disruptions of human relations on an over-heated planet.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Experiments work when, and only when, they call into action cognitive capacities that might reliably Experiments work when, and only when, they call into action cognitive capacities that might reliably deliver the conclusions drawn.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: The variety within Mann's fiction is impressive and fascinating. But Joyce is even more various The variety within Mann's fiction is impressive and fascinating. But Joyce is even more various and many-sided. He begins his career with a wonderful sequence of bleak studies about the ways in which human lives can go awry - in my view, Dubliners is underrated.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: The point of philosophy, as I see it, is to change thinking, and thereby to The point of philosophy, as I see it, is to change thinking, and thereby to change the conversation.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Current education in science treats all students as if they were going to have scientific Current education in science treats all students as if they were going to have scientific careers. They are required to solve problems and memorize lists. For many of them, this kills interest very quickly.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: In my view, all students should be given an initial opportunity to pursue the science In my view, all students should be given an initial opportunity to pursue the science track as far as it goes. But for those who quickly decide that track isn't for them, a different style of teaching is in order.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: If the intuition-mongering were abandoned, would that be the end of philosophy? It would be If the intuition-mongering were abandoned, would that be the end of philosophy? It would be the end of a certain style of philosophy - a style that has cut philosophy off, not only from the humanities but from every other branch of inquiry and culture.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: One of the things I want to do in the book is to explore how One of the things I want to do in the book is to explore how philosophy can be done in literature. I start doing that in the first chapter, by introducing the idea of "philosophy by showing". What literature/philosophy shows is how to look at some important facets of life in a new way, thus changing the frame in which subsequent philosophical argument proceeds.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Read Mann's notes, which contain precise accounts of cholera and its symptoms, and observe how Read Mann's notes, which contain precise accounts of cholera and its symptoms, and observe how careful he is throughout his fiction in getting medical details straight - then you might begin to wonder whether cholera is the only candidate for the cause of Aschenbach's death. What results from this, I think, is a deeper appreciation of Mann's brilliance in keeping so many possibilities in play. The ambiguity is even more artful than people have realized.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: When we read a literary work (or, in some instances, listen to music) our imagination When we read a literary work (or, in some instances, listen to music) our imagination is stimulated, we feel various emotions, and we arrive at new judgments. These attitudes are brought into relation with many others, including our standing tendencies to think and feel in particular ways, and we try to fit our psychological capacities and responses together.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: In ethics, we don't make progress by discovering pre-existent truths; we do so by solving In ethics, we don't make progress by discovering pre-existent truths; we do so by solving problems.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I think the tone of mockery Heller finds is a part of Mann's irony, but I think the tone of mockery Heller finds is a part of Mann's irony, but only a part - a brilliant further touch consists in juxtaposing perspectives so that we're led to wonder whether the mockery itself is the last word.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I have enormous respect for Derek Parfit, although he seems to me bound within an I have enormous respect for Derek Parfit, although he seems to me bound within an unfortunate philosophical tradition - rather like the extraordinarily brilliant exponents of Ptolemaic astronomy in the Middle Ages.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I'm a pluralist about perspectives on literature. There seem to me to be all sorts I'm a pluralist about perspectives on literature. There seem to me to be all sorts of illuminating ways of responding to major literary works, some of them paying considerable attention to context, others applying various theoretical ideas, yet others focusing on details of language, or linking the work to the author's life, or connecting it with other works.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: The theory of evolution explains to us what our ancestry has been. It does not The theory of evolution explains to us what our ancestry has been. It does not explain away our worth. Why should we be afraid to learn more about what we are?
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I'm often quite gloomy about the prospects for the human future. But, although I have I'm often quite gloomy about the prospects for the human future. But, although I have no competence to intervene directly in a political movement, I hope that what I write may, in combination with the suggestions of others, cause a shift in perspective that will inspire a world-wide movement to accept the only solution to climate change. And before it's too late.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Philosophers ought to aspire to know lots of different things and to forge useful synthetic Philosophers ought to aspire to know lots of different things and to forge useful synthetic perspectives.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: To my mind, Death in Venice represents an enormous advance in Mann's literary development, not To my mind, Death in Venice represents an enormous advance in Mann's literary development, not simply for the commonly appreciated reason that he crafted a superbly supple and elegant style, apparently well suited to the kind of prose Aschenbach is supposed to write.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: My ethical naturalism sees us as facing the predicament of being social animals without evolved My ethical naturalism sees us as facing the predicament of being social animals without evolved adaptations that make social life easy. The fundamental problem that sparks the ethical project lies in our limited responsiveness to one another. The only way we have to address that problem is through a representative, informed, and engaged conversation.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I suggest in my own discussion of this episode, Mann invites us to set the I suggest in my own discussion of this episode, Mann invites us to set the attempt to philosophize about his predicament in the context of Aschenbach's life. The literary presentation thus adds to the naked philosophical skeleton.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I intend Deaths in Venice to contribute both to literary criticism and to philosophy. But I intend Deaths in Venice to contribute both to literary criticism and to philosophy. But it's not "strict philosophy" in the sense of arguing for specific theses. As I remark, there's a style of philosophy - present in writers from Plato to Rawls - that invites readers to consider a certain class of phenomena in a new way. In the book, I associate this, in particular, with my good friend, the eminent philosopher of science, Nancy Cartwright, who practices it extremely skilfully.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Mann was profoundly influenced by two philosophers, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, who returned to the most Mann was profoundly influenced by two philosophers, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, who returned to the most ancient of all philosophical questions - "How to live?" - and whose writings offered novel perspectives for considering that question (much more perspective-offering than rigorous argument!)
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Conclude, what Thomas Mann really wanted was a limited physical relationship with beautiful young men: Conclude, what Thomas Mann really wanted was a limited physical relationship with beautiful young men: the opportunity to gaze at them, an occasional touch, a restrained kiss. That isn't a surrogate for what he'd like to have if he were somehow free from social constraints. It's what the young Platen wanted, it's what he wanted - and it's what his Aschenbach wants.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Any writer who could handle all these different voices would deserve high praise, but to Any writer who could handle all these different voices would deserve high praise, but to do so without any sense of jarring or incoherence is an extraordinary accomplishment.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Mann was conscious of adopting different perspectives in different parts of the novella, but my Mann was conscious of adopting different perspectives in different parts of the novella, but my guess is that there are plenty of passages in which the resonance of the words he chose struck him as exactly right (even though he didn't probe to discover exactly what tone or narrative device gave them that effect).
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Because the problems are objective features of the human situation - social animals without the Because the problems are objective features of the human situation - social animals without the capacities for making social life come easily - ethics is objectively constrained. It's not the case that "anything goes".
Philip Kitcher Sayings: It is hard to hide our genes completely. However devoted someone may be to the It is hard to hide our genes completely. However devoted someone may be to the privacy of his genotype, others with enough curiosity and knowledge can draw conclusions from the phenotype he presents and from the traits of his relatives.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Thomas Kuhn's book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions has probably been more widely read - Thomas Kuhn's book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions has probably been more widely read - and more widely misinterpreted - than any other book in the recent philosophy of science. The broad circulation of his views has generated a popular caricature of Kuhn's position. According to this popular caricature, scientists working in a field belong to a club. All club members are required to agree on main points of doctrine. Indeed, the price of admission is several years of graduate education, during which the chief dogmas are inculcated. The views of outsiders are ignored. Now I want to emphasize that this is a hopeless caricature, both of the practice of scientists and of Kuhn's analysis of the practice. Nevertheless, the caricature has become commonly accepted as a faithful representation, thereby lending support to the Creationists' claims that their views are arrogantly disregarded.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I felt I should also contrast Visconti's treatment of the novella - usually damned by I felt I should also contrast Visconti's treatment of the novella - usually damned by Mann fans (who typically respect Britten's more "faithful" adaptation). The Visconti film does many quite wonderful things, although there are good reasons for the condemnation.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Both Proust and Joyce record the ways in which human perspectives can be transformed. In Both Proust and Joyce record the ways in which human perspectives can be transformed. In Portrait, Stephen Dedalus is constantly undergoing epiphanies, but their effects are transitory: the new synthetic complex quickly falls apart. Proust's characters, by contrast, often achieve lasting changes of perspective.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I rather stumbled into philosophy. When I began my undergraduate career at Cambridge, I studied I rather stumbled into philosophy. When I began my undergraduate career at Cambridge, I studied mathematics.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I don't think readers of Mann have overlooked the fact that he was a great I don't think readers of Mann have overlooked the fact that he was a great ironist, but they have tended to see the irony in particular parts of the novella, and to miss it in others.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: In my view, we ought to replace the notion of analytic philosophy by that of In my view, we ought to replace the notion of analytic philosophy by that of synthetic philosophy.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: First, my frame of reference for the Britten opera shifted. I'd always thought of Britten's First, my frame of reference for the Britten opera shifted. I'd always thought of Britten's approach in Death in Venice as another exploration of the plight of the individual whose aspirations are at odds with those of the surrounding community: his last opera returning to the themes of Peter Grimes. As I read and listened and thought, however, Billy Budd came to seem a more appropriate foil for Death in Venice.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Mann's Death in Venice actually contains a snippet of philosophy about the second question, when Mann's Death in Venice actually contains a snippet of philosophy about the second question, when Aschenbach, collapsed in the plaza, engages in his quasi-Socratic, anti-Socratic, ruminations.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I argue against literal interpretation of religious doctrines. Religions make progress when they emancipate themselves I argue against literal interpretation of religious doctrines. Religions make progress when they emancipate themselves from literalism, and take their doctrinal statements to be metaphors or allegories.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Even though I want to expand the number of ways in which skilful ironic play Even though I want to expand the number of ways in which skilful ironic play happens, I suspect I'm probably guilty of the same shortcoming - and I hope that, one of these days, someone will claim that my book, while it goes in a salutary expansive direction, doesn't go far enough, that there are assumptions I make that show I've missed aspects of Mann's irony and ambiguity.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: In the end, we learn about the most basic philosophical questions - like "How to In the end, we learn about the most basic philosophical questions - like "How to live?" - from a broad mixture of sources, including literature and philosophy, history and anthropology. These sources can guide our reflections on our own experiences, as we explore and reconsider. Mann contributed to such explorations in a distinctive way, and I hope my book brings that out.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: We find in the novella a seamless interweaving of at least two narrative voices, one We find in the novella a seamless interweaving of at least two narrative voices, one of which is that of an observer so sympathetic that his language appears to be Aschenbach's own, the other of which is superficially celebratory (except at the moment of moralistic condemnation) but undercuts Aschenbach by means of an ironic detachment.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I'm very suspicious of the idea of a "final theory" in natural science, and the I'm very suspicious of the idea of a "final theory" in natural science, and the thought of a complete system of ethical rules seems even more dubious.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: So my methodological approach is to draw on many different features in highlighting different facets So my methodological approach is to draw on many different features in highlighting different facets of the novella (and the opera and the film).
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Critics who perceive the first level of Mann's irony recognize that the second voice is Critics who perceive the first level of Mann's irony recognize that the second voice is giving us reasons to be dubious about various aspects of Aschenbach's life and work. But many of them don't appreciate the second level of irony, the one exemplified in setting this narrative voice alongside the more sympathetic one, and inviting us to choose.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Mann and Joyce are very different, and yet their fiction often appeals to the same Mann and Joyce are very different, and yet their fiction often appeals to the same people: Harry Levin taught a famous course on Joyce, Proust, and Mann, and Joseph Campbell singled out Joyce and Mann as special favorites. To see them as offering "possibilities for living", as I do, isn't to identify any distinctive commonality. After all, many great authors would fall under that rubric.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I'm a fan of Hugh Kenner, Richard Ellman, Lionel Trilling and Frank Kermode. All these I'm a fan of Hugh Kenner, Richard Ellman, Lionel Trilling and Frank Kermode. All these people have taught me how to read - but perhaps, above all literary critics, I'm indebted to Wayne Booth (several people have suggested to me that I'm trying to reinvent "ethical criticism").
Philip Kitcher Sayings: For a pragmatist like me, the important issues concern the words we might deploy to For a pragmatist like me, the important issues concern the words we might deploy to achieve our purposes, rather than the language we actually use.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Refined religion is aimed at realizing ethical values, including the fostering of human lives and Refined religion is aimed at realizing ethical values, including the fostering of human lives and human communities.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: One goal of ethical inquiry might be to uncover strategies available for use when values One goal of ethical inquiry might be to uncover strategies available for use when values conflict or when rules are incomplete.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Aschenbach is not only a projection of Mann in the obvious ways - same daily Aschenbach is not only a projection of Mann in the obvious ways - same daily routines, author of the works Mann had planned - nor even in sharing his author's aspirations, doubts, and sexual identity. His watchword, "Durchhalten!" [persevere, keep going] could be Mann's own.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I suspect that any worthwhile exploration of these deep questions about living requires going beyond I suspect that any worthwhile exploration of these deep questions about living requires going beyond abstract discussions to the vivid presentation of possibilities. If readers are to be prompted to serious examination of their lives, anatomy isn't enough. We have to be stimulated to imagine, in some detail, what it would be like to live in particular ways.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Think about Mann's own daily routine (ascribed to Aschenbach), read the extant diaries and the Think about Mann's own daily routine (ascribed to Aschenbach), read the extant diaries and the letters in which he discusses the novella's themes, and it won't be so obvious that the attraction to Tadzio is completely unprecedented; it also won't be obvious that what Aschenbach wants is full sexual contact.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I take the ethical truths to be the stable elements that emerge out of ethical I take the ethical truths to be the stable elements that emerge out of ethical progress and that are retained under further ethical progress.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: The balance between literature and philosophy in Schopenhauer and Nietzsche is different from that struck The balance between literature and philosophy in Schopenhauer and Nietzsche is different from that struck in the novella, but, as Mann clearly pointed out in his writings about both thinkers, both modes are present.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I found a deep kinship between Mahler's recurrent attempts to confront all sides of life I found a deep kinship between Mahler's recurrent attempts to confront all sides of life and to affirm himself in the face of his own finitude, and Aschenbach's dedication to persevere in the literary evocation of beauty. Exploring this kinship led me to reflect on many of Mahler's songs and symphonies - and particularly his great masterpiece, Das Lied von der Erde. The end result was a way of reading Mann that I hadn't originally anticipated at all.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Many of the greatest works of philosophy seem to me to be valuable not because Many of the greatest works of philosophy seem to me to be valuable not because of their arguments, but because they offer us perspectives that open up new possibilities. They show us how we might start in different places, and not buy into the assumptions tacitly made on the first pages of the philosophical works that have influenced us.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: For anyone who conceives literature in terms of plurality of perspectives, Finnegans Wake has to For anyone who conceives literature in terms of plurality of perspectives, Finnegans Wake has to be the apogee. For, as we are told, every word in it has three score and ten "toptypsical" meanings - an exaggeration, of course, but an important reminder to readers who like their fiction definite.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Klaus Mann saw very clearly how different was his own (more liberated) form of homosexuality Klaus Mann saw very clearly how different was his own (more liberated) form of homosexuality from the same-sex attractions of his father - and that is reiterated in TM's diary queries about "how two men can sleep together".
Philip Kitcher Sayings: After the success of Buddenbrooks, he married and fathered six children. Yet the surviving diaries After the success of Buddenbrooks, he married and fathered six children. Yet the surviving diaries tell us of recurrent sexual problems - and of Katia Mann's extremely sympathetic response to them
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Mann was less interested, I think, in constructing any kind of "portrait of an age" Mann was less interested, I think, in constructing any kind of "portrait of an age" than he was in delineating an individual consciousness in which profound struggles about identity and direction arise - struggles that Mann himself had not only reflected on but felt keenly. Visconti takes up this central focus of the novella, but he couples it with a more social perspective.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Part of my methodological approach is made explicit when I discuss ways in which literature Part of my methodological approach is made explicit when I discuss ways in which literature can have philosophical significance. Literature doesn't typically argue - and when it does, it's deadly dull. But literature can supply the frame within which we come to observe and reason, or it can change our frame in highly significant ways. That's one of the achievements I'd claim for Mann, and for Death in Venice.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Sometimes, however, the new synthetic complex proves stable, and even serves as the beginning of Sometimes, however, the new synthetic complex proves stable, and even serves as the beginning of a much larger cluster of attitudes that displace some we've previously considered to be fixed parts of ourselves.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: So this is my attempt to give a preliminary - probably far too crude - So this is my attempt to give a preliminary - probably far too crude - account of how philosophy by showing can really teach us. The attempts we make to work through problems by reasoning always presuppose starting points, and even the most self-critical philosophers adopt some of those starting points simply by picking them up from the social environments in which they grow up.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I'm very concerned about the increasing distortion of research by the intrusion of the market. I'm very concerned about the increasing distortion of research by the intrusion of the market. Universities are beginning to see science as a means of attracting funds.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: It's a very bad idea for scientific conclusions to be accepted because they fit with It's a very bad idea for scientific conclusions to be accepted because they fit with the political values of a group of researchers.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: So is fighting incompleteness the source of artistic neurosis? I doubt it. At most, this So is fighting incompleteness the source of artistic neurosis? I doubt it. At most, this would apply to artists who deal with particular kinds of problems. I don't think we should think of Haydn or Mozart or Dickens or George Eliot in these terms.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Look at Mann's reading habits, his explicit comments on Nietzsche, and his copy of Birth Look at Mann's reading habits, his explicit comments on Nietzsche, and his copy of Birth of Tragedy, and it starts to seem doubtful that this work of Nietzsche's played much role in the gestation of the novella.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I don't think that anything of any consequence is known a priori: all our knowledge I don't think that anything of any consequence is known a priori: all our knowledge is built up by modifying the lore passed on to us by our ancestors in light of our experiences, and the best a philosopher can do is to learn as much about what has been discovered in various empirical fields, and use it to try to craft an improved synthesis.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I didn't know that Mahler would come to play so large a role, nor that I didn't know that Mahler would come to play so large a role, nor that music and literature and philosophy can interinanimate one another in the way I've come to think they do in this case.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Finally, this is one way to reconcile the delight in beauty with the bourgeois life. Finally, this is one way to reconcile the delight in beauty with the bourgeois life. Aschenbach, on one reading, has spent virtually all of his adult life balancing his restrained homosexuality, which is bound together with his sensitivity to beauty and thus with his artistic vocation, against the demands of conventional society.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: The result can be quite new - perhaps a tendency to judge that something we've The result can be quite new - perhaps a tendency to judge that something we've never conceived of is possible, or to feel sympathy for a trait or a type of person whom we've regarded with indifference or even hostility.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Secular humanists should recognize those forms of religion as allies in the struggle for human Secular humanists should recognize those forms of religion as allies in the struggle for human advancement. They should also learn from them, as they try to build a fully secular world in which people can have the opportunity to live rich and fulfilling lives.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I believe that the arts make indispensable contributions to our understanding. I believe that the arts make indispensable contributions to our understanding.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: If there are to be appropriate judgments about what questions are significant, you need both If there are to be appropriate judgments about what questions are significant, you need both the informed views of scientists who know what has been achieved and what future developments are promising and the reflective judgments of representatives of different groups who can identify what kinds of information are most urgently needed.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Consider the different narrative styles within the story, and the glee with which the "moralistic Consider the different narrative styles within the story, and the glee with which the "moralistic narrator" celebrates Aschenbach's fall - maybe, then, this is a hostile verdict and the international fame is warranted after all (given that Mann modeled his protagonist so closely on himself, it would be quite odd if he had intended Aschenbach's literary inferiority to be a fixed part of the interpretation).
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Sometimes, of course, the artist does give up, saying, in effect, "I've done enough". Prospero Sometimes, of course, the artist does give up, saying, in effect, "I've done enough". Prospero declares that the revels are ended, and breaks his staff - his author retires to Stratford. At the very end, Mann did something similar. Interestingly, in both instances, death came quite quickly after that.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Britten's opera tends to see things in simpler terms. It portrays an Aschenbach who wants Britten's opera tends to see things in simpler terms. It portrays an Aschenbach who wants a richer form of sexual fulfillment, and who is hemmed in by the social conventions to which he subscribes. But Visconti's use of the Mahler Adagietto is perfect for what I take to be Aschenbach's sexual desire.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: In elaborating how "philosophy by showing" works, and in defending the idea that literature and In elaborating how "philosophy by showing" works, and in defending the idea that literature and music can contribute to philosophical "showing", I am also doing something more standardly philosophical. But I view most of the book as an interweaving of philosophy and literary criticism. If that entails a broadening of a standard idea of philosophy, it's a broadening I'd like to see happen.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I'm quite pessimistic about climate change. This is an urgent problem, and much of the I'm quite pessimistic about climate change. This is an urgent problem, and much of the world is only now waking up to the easiest part of solving - the realization that anthropogenic global warming is real.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: When I try to outline the history of ethical life, it's sometimes possible to find When I try to outline the history of ethical life, it's sometimes possible to find evidence for a hypothesis about how important transitions actually went. Often, however, that isn't so. There are many facts about human life in the Paleolithic we're never likely to know.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: A different vision of ethics is that of a collection of resources people can use A different vision of ethics is that of a collection of resources people can use to act better. The resources might be firm rules that could always be relied on. Or they might be ideals that could often be followed without thinking but that sometimes conflicted with one another.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I would like to undermine the stereotype of "strict philosophy." J.L. Austin remarked that, when I would like to undermine the stereotype of "strict philosophy." J.L. Austin remarked that, when philosophy is done well, it's all over by the bottom of the first page. I take him to have meant that the real work comes in setting up the problem with which you are dealing, and thus getting your reader to take particular things for granted.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Schopenhauer's thought that Will is insatiable, that once satisfied in one form it must be Schopenhauer's thought that Will is insatiable, that once satisfied in one form it must be expressed in new desires, is inherited both by Mann and by Aschenbach (it's in Mahler, as well). So life is inevitably incomplete.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: In working towards ways of reading Mann, so that his own advances in suggesting new In working towards ways of reading Mann, so that his own advances in suggesting new perspectives will become more vivid, I do some fairly standard philosophical analysis of ideas in Nietzsche and Schopenhauer.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: As I read Mann in German for the first time, the full achievement - both As I read Mann in German for the first time, the full achievement - both literary and philosophical - of Death in Venice struck me forcefully, so that, when I was invited to give the Schoff Lectures at Columbia, the opportunity to reflect on the contrasts between novella and opera seemed irresistible.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: I don't deny that scientific investigation is capable of delivering important truths about nature, but I don't deny that scientific investigation is capable of delivering important truths about nature, but that doesn't stop questions about whether, as it is practiced, science today lives up to its potential for benefiting humanity.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: Most influential of all is the philosopher Stanley Cavell, and a younger generation of philosophers Most influential of all is the philosopher Stanley Cavell, and a younger generation of philosophers who have attempted to follow his pioneering work in thinking about literature philosophically.
Philip Kitcher Sayings: The classical allusions and the Platonic disquisitions on beauty are no longer a form of The classical allusions and the Platonic disquisitions on beauty are no longer a form of cover, but integral to Aschenbach's complex sexuality. Moreover, the wandering around Venice in pursuit of Tadzio isn't a prelude to some sexual contact for which Aschenbach is yearning.