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Historical Ontology
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Table of Contents

1. Historical Ontology 2. Five Parables 3. Two Kinds of "New Historicism" for Philosophers 4. The Archaeology of Michel Foucault 5. Michel Foucault's Immature Science 6. Making Up People 7. Self-Improvement 8. How, Why, When, and Where Did Language Go Public? 9. Night Thoughts on Philology 10. Was There Ever a Radical Mistranslation? 11. Language, Truth, and Reason 12. "Style" for Historians and Philosophers 13. Leibniz and Descartes: Proof and Eternal Truths 14. Wittgenstein as Philosophical Psychologist 15. Dreams in Place Works Cited Sources Index

About the Author

Ian Hacking is University Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. He holds the chair of Philosophy and History of Concepts at the College de France. Among his many books, the most recent is Rewriting the Soul.

Reviews

To this collection of 14 essays written between 1973 and 1999 Hacking has added a revision of a hitherto unpublished 1999 lecture that provides a context of some general ideas about the relationship between philosophy and history. He focuses on the interactions between what there is (or comes to be) and our concepts thereof. The kinds of objects he considers, both of which he regards as historical, are Aristotelian universals and their instances. He emphasizes that not only do ordinary physical objects and people and their institutions begin, develop, and end, but so do concepts, especially organizing concepts, e.g., those of language, knowledge, a child, (psychic) trauma, and scientific reasoning. Among the philosophers whose views are discussed in detail are Foucault, Leibniz, Descartes, Kant, Wittgenstein, Quine, and Davidson. Stimulating, incisive, and clear even in expounding theories of unclear writers. Robert Hoffman, York Coll. of CUNY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

[Hacking] focuses on the interactions between what there is (or comes to be) and our concepts thereof. The kinds of objects he considers, both of which he regards as historical, are Aristotelian universals and their instances. He emphasizes that not only do ordinary physical objects and people and their institutions begin, develop, and end, but so do concepts, e.g., those language, knowledge, a child, (psychic) trauma, and scientific reasoning...Stimulating, incisive, and clear even in expounding theories of unclear writers. -- Robert Hoffman Library Journal 20020415 What, asks Ian Hacking in Historical Ontology, do I mean by live skepticism? His answer is that it is desirable to be 'genuinely in doubt and terrified that one's doubt might be warranted.' It's a healthy position for an enquirer into how new concepts and objects emerge in the province of philosophers and inventors, the novel uses of words and new ways of reasoning, and new interplays of power and knowledge. His essays demand attention and close reading. -- Maggie McDonald New Scientist 20041106

The use of history by philosophers is the overarching theme in this University of Toronto philosophy professor's collection of essays, Historical Ontology. Ian Hacking (The Social Construction of What?), who also holds the chair of philosophy and history of scientific concepts at the College de France, wrote these academic papers, book reviews and articles between 1973 and 1999. Many of them address Michel Foucault's mingling of history and philosophy, particularly in The Order of Things. Hacking also includes pieces on the role of dreams in philosophy, the proofs of Leibniz and Descartes, and a survey of Wittgenstein's work. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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