De werkverdeling met Willem de Jong is zodanig dat ik in het midden van De aantrekkingskracht van het midden mag beginnen: bij Hegel. Mijn beschouwing opent met de typering van de interpretatie die Johan van der Hoeven biedt als op de wijze van Kierkegaard. Daarop volgt een karakterisering van de wijze waarop hij de geschiedenis van de filosofie beoefent, geplaatst binnen het bredere kader van de Faculteit der Wijsbegeerte van de VU.1 Het kritische gedeelte van mijn beschouwing begint in de paragraaf die als titel heeft ‘Uit het centrum verdreven’. Vanaf dat punt blijven de gedachten die ik formuleer cirkelen rond de vraag naar de zin van de geschiedenis der wijsbegeerte; en ook: hoe ons filosoferen op die zin betrokken kan blijven.
I feel honored to be asked to respond to the text of Carl Mitcham’s Van Riessen lecture. Although philosophy of technology is not my field, there is much to make this task attractive, as Hendrik Van Riessen’s personality and philosophy have been formative influences on my own development, and this Lecture contains so much that is stimulating (as well as debatable). The setting in which Mitcham situates Van Riessen’s contribution seems to be the right one. Van Riessen’s seriousness and analytic depth are praised. Mitcham is also very positive about his focus on the internal structure of technology (techniek),1 and is convinced of the fruitfulness of this approach. He not only holds that it deserves greater attention than it has received, but also that it is still relevant today, comparing favourably with the now prevalent ‘social constructionist reflection on science and technology’.
William Desmond is professor of philosophy at the Hoger Instituut of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, a position he has held since 1994. Before this he held several positions in the US. Until 2009 he was President of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and has formerly served as President of the Hegel Society of America and the Metaphysical Society of America. He was born in Ireland. God and the Between (2008) completes the trilogy on the ‘philosophy of the between’. The first volume was Being and the Between (1995); the second one Ethics and the Between (2001).
This is a study in the philosophy of worldview. It consists of two parts. The first part, which is presented here, is concerned primarily with key elements in the general structure of a worldview. It lays the groundwork for more concrete and differentiated investigations that will be pursued as a sequel to this article. The genius of the worldview notion is that it signifies both an inner conviction and an outlook on the world. Thus it combines the personal and the universal. Moreover, it does so in the context of conflicting convictions and outlooks. Accordingly, the plural worldviews is more adequate than the singular since each reflects the presence of the others. As I try to show, this inherent pluralism is what is missing both in traditional settings as well as under totalitarian regimes. The main body of this article consists of an analysis of four basic functions: ‘orientation’, ‘assent’ (i.e. a channeling of convictions), ‘integration’, and ‘public recognition’ (i.e. attaining recognition for a cause). A preceding section is dedicated to a delineation of worldview with respect to ‘world picture’. Special attention is paid in this connection to ‘embedded´ worldviews: hybrid forms characteristic for our present ‘post-worldview era’.