With its emphasis on indeterminacy, ambiguity, uncertainty, and chance, contingentism depicts normativity as one of our human practical possibilities rather than as a metaphysical bottleneck which we should necessary fulfill at the cost of repudiating concrete ways in which we grant epistemic and ethical meaning to our activities. Richard McKay Rorty’s “neo-pragmatism” launched a powerful challenge to entrenched philosophical and pre-philosophical certainties of modernity, allowing us to articulate the powerful picture of normativity as a distinctive exercise and activity of human beings. The book is a critical survey of his philosophy, in the light of various theoretical arguments as well as of his own resourceful attempts to renew philosophy from within its practice by using the conceptual tools and argumentative techniques of both analytic philosophy and pragmatism.
Rosa Maria Calcattera
The problem of universals is one of the main philosophical issues. In this book the author reconstructs the history of the problem considering a selection of medieval representative texts and authors. The source of medieval and postmedieval debate is identified in the Socratic-Platonic survey on the definition of concepts. In the Categories, Aristotle discusses important topics concerning the relations that exist between logical terms. In particular he establishes a kind of predication principle: categorial terms have a certain predication relation if (and only if) some facts expressed by ordinary sentences hold. The Categories also because of their particular disciplinary status, halfway between logic and metaphysics, leave a number of questions open. Among these questions, a particularly intriguing one is Porphyry’s riddle: are there genera and species? And, if there are such things, what are they like?