Why I am so very unFrench, and other essays
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Présentation de l'éditeur
For those like myself, who found the politico-philosophical terrorism beginning its reign at the beginning of the 1960s intolerable, analytic philosophy in contrast could not but offer the comforting image of what a democratic philosophical community should be: civilized and tolerant, where all citizens equally must offer arguments and be willing to listen to and discuss possible objections. This sort of community was the last thing we could hope to ask for in the philosophical milieu of that time. It goes without saying that our conception of analytic philosophy then owed much to idealization and naivety. But I’m still convinced today that for someone who holds democracy to be of the highest importance (even more important than philosophy itself), the scientific community and its methods should continue to offer an example from which philosophy might draw inspiration. It is an example, in any case, that philosophy should not allow itself to ignore, as happens most of the time in France.
While reading very closely Paul Valéry, Rudolf Carnap and Nietzsche as well as Richard Rorty, Bernard Williams and Michael Dummett, Jacques Bouveresse opens up his own way through philosophy. As an ironical rationalist, whose eye has been educated by a longstanding familiarity with Robert Musil’s and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s works, he is certainly not a so-called “French philosopher”, but neither exactly an analytic one. The five essays collected here have been written between 1982 and 2006.
Why I am so very unFrench [Texte intégral]I • II • Ill
Reading Rorty: Pragmatism and its Consequences [Texte intégral]
Philosophy from an Antiphilosopher: Paul Valéry [Texte intégral]1. Valéry and the philosophers’ philosophy • 2. Science, poetry, and philosophy • 3. Saying and making • 4. Does Valéry have a philosophy?
Do We Need Truth? [Texte intégral]1. What would we be and could we do without the help of the false? • 2. Can one want the true and why is it wanted? • 3. Science, evil and maliciousness • 4. What could be learned fom Nietzsche • 5. On the indispensability of truth
Rudolf Carnap and the Legacy of Aufklärung [Texte intégral]1. A plea for the “scientific spirit” in philosophy • 2. Carnap and the wish to “out-Russell Russell” • 3. From the Jugendbewegung to the Vienna period
Jacques BouveresseProfesseur honoraire au Collège de France, chaire de Philosophie du langage et de la connaissance