Ontological Argument for the Existence of God.

Ontological argument can be defined as an argument that is founded on reason alone and not on observation of the world as is the case with cosmological and teleological arguments. It thus adopts the priori method that is mainly concerned with intuition and reason alone. The first proposers of this argument were medieval philosopher Avicenna and Anselm of Canterbury. Many variations were developed later. Ontological argument has been a subject of great contention and thus has been subjected to open criticism by many famous philosophers.

Ontological argument focuses on the concept of God and states that if we are able to envisage the greatest possible being, then it must exist. St. Anselm of Canterbury, in his book Proslogion written in the 11th century A.D., declared to have derived the existence of God from the idea of a being than which no greater can be conceived. St. Anselm that if such a being did not exist, then a greater being-which no greater can be envisaged, and which exists-can be envisaged. This is illogical since nothing can be greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived. This can only leave us with the conclusion that a being which no greater can be conceived-that is, God-exists. Rene Descartes built for this concept, with the only notable difference being that he started from the concept of a perfect being.

Anselm presented the ontological argument as a section of a prayer that was directed to God. He started by defining God and the assumptions concerning the nature of God. It also proposes that God should not be conceived to exist only as a concept in the mind but should be thought of as existing in reality. Since it states that God is a being than which no greater can be conceived, God must exist in reality failure to which a being greater than God can be envisaged.

There are varied objections to ontological arguments. Certain objections apply only to certain ontological arguments. The existence of successful universal opposition to ontological arguments is still a matter of controversy. Some of the most notable objections to ontological argument were present by Gaunilo and Immanuel Kent. Gaunilo felt that Aselms ontological argument was not valid and thus had loopholes. Gaunilo was an antagonist of Anselm though both were monks. He harbored the idea that Anselms thought was best suited for proving the existence of objects such as the greatest imaginable island that we know do not exist. If this is the case then it can be inferred that Anselms ontological argument is not sound. But we are not able to explain the exact reason why this is so.

To evaluate Gaunilos argument, we can simply replace God from his context with Lost Island. Anselm defined God as that which is greater than which a greater cannot be thought (Jackson, para.6). This can be simply translated as the greatest conceivable thing. From Gaunilos context, Lost Island can be used in the place of the greatest conceivable island. If we substitute Lost Island in the place of God then we end up with a number of inferences. It can be inferred that if Lost Island can only be real in the mind, then it follows that the Lost Island does not qualify to be the greatest conceivable thing. Lost Island exists only in the mind this implies that Lost Island is not the greatest imaginable thing. But Lost Island happens to be the greatest conceivable island this implies that the greatest conceivable island is not the greatest conceivable thing.

The reasoning does not end up with the conclusion that Gaunilo had anticipated, hence the reasoning ends up in a self contradiction. Apart from being self contradictory, the result is most likely not correct. This kind of objection was referred to as Overload Objection since it cannot actually point out the shortcomings of Ontological arguments except that this argument would overload the world with numerous numbers of perfect things which are thought of to be in existence.

Immanuel Kent came up with the most significant critique of the ontological argument. He came up with many seemingly separate arguments but which appear to be interrelated. They are founded on his central characteristics between analytic and synthetic points of view. In the case of analytic judgment, the predicate conveys something that already exists in a concept and thus is a tautology. As far as synthetic judgment is concerned, the claim connects the idea to something outside that it does not logically imply. Kent argues that if you state that a thing exists is not to qualify existence to that thing, but instead it implies that the conception of that thing is demonstrated in the universe. Statements that take the form S is P are valid if and only if there is something that exists in the world and is singled out by the name S, and the thing singled out by the name S satisfies the explanation is P.

The claim that God created heaven and earth is valid if and only if there exists something in the world that is singled out by the name God, and the God created the heavens and the Earth. In a similar manner, a statement that takes the form S is not P is valid if and only if something exists in the world that is singled out by the name S, and the thing is able to satisfy the explanation is not P. The statement God is existent takes the form S is P this statement qualifies a property, existence, to a subject, God.

God does not exist takes the form S is not P which denies a property, existence, to a subject, God. God exists is a valid statement if and only if there is something in the world that can be singled out by the name God and God in this context should be able to satisfy the explanation exists. In the other case God does not exist can be a valid statement if and only if there is something that exists in the world that can be singled out by the name God, and The God in this context should satisfy the explanation does not exist. We can thus infer that God exists is not logically synonymous to God created the heavens and the earth. God does not exist is true if and only if a thing that can be singled out by the name God is in the world, and the God in this context satisfies the description does not exist. This is not possible as God cannot exist and not exist at the same time.

Douglas Gasking, who was a philosopher from Melbourne, attempted to prove the non-existence of God. He reasoned that creation of the world is the best accomplishment conceivable. The value of the accomplishment is as a result of intrinsic quality and the capacity of its creator. The greater the handicap of the creator, the more remarkable the accomplishment. The most terrible disability of a creator would be non-existence. In this concept, if we imagine the world to have been created by an existent creator then we are able to conceive a greater being, that is, one who is responsible for all the creations while not existing. This leads to the implication that God does not exist.

Jean-Paul Sartres Existentialism.

I. What does Sartre mean by saying that  existence precedes essence
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most well-known philosophers who developed the theory of existentialism. In his theory, he claims that  existence precedes essence,  which implies that a human being existed first before its essence. It is completely apart from the Christian belief that humans are born with a purpose. This premise is usually compared to the idea that for existentialists, a chair is made by a carpenter without the concept of it being sit upon. Its purpose is not to be used as a  chair  but rather, it only becomes a chair when people start using it as one. 
Individuals do not have natures or essences that determine their behaviour and     that there is no such thing as human nature or a human essence. A person first     exists he materializes in the world, encounters himself, and only afterwards defines himself Thus, from the Christians view, the carpenter made a chair out of wood while knowing that its purpose is to be sit upon by people. It already has meaning even before it was built by the carpenter. However, in an existentialist point of view, the chair is meaningless unless people construct its meaning by sitting on it. This belief connotes that we are born in this world without any purpose or functions rather, we design our own purpose and meaning as we grow up. Our lives are not determined by destiny or any Higher Being instead, we create our own destiny. Clearly, Sartres view puts emphasis on human beings free will instead of destiny. He argues that human beings track their own path through their decisions, actions, and mistakes and not because it is their destined path.

II. What are his grounds for claiming that there is no human nature
Sartre argues that the existence of God is false. He does not believe in God so is existentialist view is extremely atheist. As an atheist, he simply does not dismiss the concept of God but also the other associated concepts related to His existence. He claims that there is no God who created us because he believes that when we first entered this world, we are purposeless creatures who, upon the aid of learning and growth, are given the freedom to choose the way we live our lives. We simply exist. He identified two types of existence in the world which he refers to as  being-for-itself  and  being-in-itself.   Being-for-itself  refers to humans  freedom to design their life for the sake of their existence, while  being-in-itself  refers to the objects which have no freedom and consciousness to do things that are not covered by their essence. This includes non-living things that do not have a mind of their own therefore, they could not make a meaning out of their own existence but rather, the people who use them construct their meanings. Hence, a  being-for-itself  has complete freedom to pursue the things that it wants to gain, whereas  being-in-itself  has limitations to what it can pursue because it restricted only to its purpose.
Apparently, all of our decisions are based on our choices. However, the consequences brought about by our choices are also ours to take accountability for. We have no one to blame but ourselves if the results of our actions are unpleasant because we have no human nature. We should not use the excuse that  it is in my nature, therefore, I cannot change it  because we all have choices and free will. Sartre believes that we are  condemned to be free  because it is not our choice to be born, but upon achievement of consciousness, we are made to decide for the rest of our lives. Everything we do is a choice, and we are in no position to say that we are forced or influenced by others. Even if what we have done is wrong, we can never say that we got trapped or stuck in a bad situation without any means of resolution aside from what we did. This further emphasizes the fact that human beings are alone in this world. There is no God to guide them or save them and give them miracles. Human beings are simply existing and that is a clear fact that Sartre believes to be absolute.

III. What are the implications of this for human responsibility, i.e., why does Sartre insist that we choose for all human beings when we choose for ourselves
Enumerating all these, Sartre believes that our human responsibility towards our actions is what causes our anguish and misery. Sartre defines the anguish of human as a result of his or her responsibility to humankind. When one makes a decision that involves other people s welfare, one feels anguish. One suffers the consequences that his or her decision has made which resulted in the harm of other people.
We are aware . . . that the pressures and demands that the world presents to us are the result of the ways in which we see and engage with things, and that this in turn is the result of our changeable characters rather than any fixed natures. But explicitly thinking about this induces in us a feeling of anguish    

It becomes a suffering because despite the influence of someone from a higher position, one would realize that he or she is alone in making the decision and has no one to blame but himself or herself. Therefore, it becomes his or her sole responsibility. We design our own lives by choosing our path and deciding on it we believe it to be the most ideal way to live. Simply put, we deem our lives as a model for other people. We construct our image in our own choosing and not in the likeness of anyone else. By choosing ourselves, we make ourselves the model for everybody else which, in all terms, makes us responsible for humankind.
The very being of the For-itself which  is condemned to be free and must forever choose itself i.e., make itself.  To be free does not mean to obtain what one has wished but rather by oneself to determine oneself to wish (in the broad sense of choosing). In other words success is not important to freedom.
This existentialist claim holds the view that human beings are the highest form of creatures and that no God or any other greater being exists. Human beings are created without purpose and are solely responsible for their actions and decisions in life. They are free to do anything they intend to as they are all to blame for the consequences that may arise. Simply put, a human being is alone in this planet and everything depends on this person therefore, a person must hold himself or herself above all the other creatures. This way of thinking inevitably includes the concept of pride because a human being considers himself or herself to be above the others. The fact that an existentialist point of view does not have any regard for a god reveals that man himself or herself is god. Pride, therefore, is an essential constituent of existentialism.

Roman Influence on Western Civilization

Western civilization is what is presently called modern or contemporary society that mainly comprises Western Europe and North America. It is believed that civilization came in through the influence of ancient cultures the two main ones being Greek and Roman. The influence by Greece was mainly by their golden age and Rome with its great Empire and Republic. Ancient Rome formed the law code much like the one used in the present time in many countries. The belief that a person is innocent until proven guilty originated from the Roman laws. Rome had senates just like the ones used today, with both upper and lower class. Ancient Rome was a civilization that expanded out of a small agricultural community. The empire was founded on the Italian peninsula in the 9th century B.C.

This means that civilization has been in place for centuries. During its existence, it moved from a kingdom to an Oligarchic Republic then to an expanding Autocratic Empire. Roman civilization grew to dominate Southwestern Europe, Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean area through capture and assimilation. The Roman Empire spanned a wide spread of territory and included a number of cultures. The Roman Empire is categorized into classical era, comprising the joining civilizations of ancient Rome and ancient Greece, jointly referred to as Creco-Roman world. The Romans were proud of their rule but they appreciated Greeks leadership in the fields of art, architecture, literature and philosophy.  The Romans were singular people who were once terribly cruel but benevolently democratic. They were barbaric and intolerant at the same time creative and intellectual. By the 2nd century B.C. Romans conquered Greece and came to appreciate the Greek culture. Educated Romans studied the Greek language. The mixing of the elements of Greek, Hellenistic and Roman culture produced a new culture that was referred to as Greco-Roman culture. This is often known as classical civilization. This is the era when the Greek and Roman literature thrived. Ancient Rome contributed very much to the establishment of law, art, literature, war, technology, architecture, religion, and language in the western society. The history of the Ancient Rome still has a key influence on the world today. The Romans were a bridge between the older cultures and the western civilization.  

Roman Influence on Western Civilization

The Roman greatness was marked by their willingness to receive other peoples ideas for their own purposes. Their architecture, technology, city planning, art and military planning are all as a result of other peoples influences. In fact there was little that they did which was their original idea. The total of what they did was unique to them and made them remarkable people in history.

Christianity played a key role in civilization and the culture that is still in place in the western civilization. In the Roman Empire, art and architecture were religious in nature. During the Pax Romana, Roman culture was spread to Western Europe. The Roman power in the semi-civilized regions of Western Europe that is Gaul, Britain, and Spain and Augustas peace establishment during the Pax Romana meant that there were military stationed in the western provinces. The arrangement assisted in Romanizing and civilizing the western provinces in different ways. The legionary camps in the provinces became lasting settlements, local merchants and families settled around them. As time went by the camp settlements became towns and cities. The military origins of these cities are reflected in Britain in places like Winchester and Lanchester from the Latin terms castra which means camp. Most of the army officials did not return home after they were discharged from the service. They remained in the camps, married local women and raised children under Roman cultures with them. The peaceful existence brought in by Pax Romana, supported the growth of native towns into cities. The city dwellers copied the Roman modes of dressing, language, architecture and local governance. The extended period of peace allowed the Romans time to build excellent systems of paved roads that stretched across the empire. They built strong roads that were all connected some of which are still in use today. The roads were technological marvel. They were constructed of stone, concrete and sand, just like it is done today. The roads connected Rome to the other parts of the empire.      

The roads were primarily meant to transport the Roman troops to places that experienced problems, but they served to promote trade and the arrival of Italian merchants into the towns of the western provinces. All this allowed the locals to copy Roman ways of personal incentives and also their cultural practices. It is from the establishment of towns and cities by the Romans that the idea of people living in apartments and establishing of welfare came up.

The language of the Roman was Latin, italic language that relied little on order of words. The Roman alphabet was founded on the Etruscan alphabet based on Greek alphabet. Most of the literature that was studied by Romans at that time was in Greek. The growth of the Roman Empire spread Latin language throughout Europe. With time the Vulgar Latin which differed from classical Latin in grammar and vocabulary, evolved in different areas changing into a number of Romance languages. Therefore it is true to argue that the Indo-European language family comprise of languages that descended from Latin, the language of Ancient Roman. The Latin language became predominant in the western empire and became the foundation for Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, and Romanian languages. They all started off as bad Latin but with time established themselves as different clear languages. Latin also influenced other languages used in the Western Civilization in so far as the words used are concerned. For example English, although doesnt have the Latin syntax grammar, has many Latin words. Because Latin was the language of the Roman Catholic Church and of academics, it naturally influenced other languages even the non-Romance languages.

Romans most lasting and great contribution to the western civilization is the law. The earliest Roman law mostly dealt with the rights of the Roman citizens. With the expansion of the Roman Empire, the Romans came to accept that laws should be fair and equal to every person, whether wealthy or poor. With time judges started to recognize and learn certain principles of justice. The principles were influenced by the wisdom of the stoic philosophers. They were based on common sense and practical ideas. Some of the standards of the Roman law were every person had the right to receive equal treatment under the law every person was believed innocent unless proven guilty the burden of proving was the accusers rather than the accused people were to be prosecuted for deeds not thoughts and any law that proven to be unreasonable and revoltingly unfair could be done away with. The principles of the Roman law continued to form the foundation of many legal systems in the European countries and other countries influenced by Europe like the United States. Most of the legal systems in the modern civilizations also follow the legal system of the ancient Rome. An example is the legislative body whose elected representatives are called senators.

The annals of history are defined by the Romans and adapted by the western civilization. The years are defined on the basis of the birth of Jesus Christ in the Roman town of Judea. Romans came up with the idea of the modern calendar. The calendar was the church calendar and the holidays were like they are observed today only that in those days the holidays were church holidays otherwise called Holy Days. In fact the word holiday, as used in the modern civilization comes from the phrase Holy Day. The daily lives of the people even the kinds of food they ate were controlled by Christian doctrines. In a way the church dictated the culture because even politics and traditions were interwoven with religion and faith. Christianity which traces its origin from the Roman Empire still thrives as the worlds greatest religion. Therefore Christianity is a major link between the ancient world and the modern civilization. The appealing message of love and forgiveness as preached by Christianity made a very great impact in development. People needed to work together in unity for development to be achieved. Christianity was able to influence the rest of the world leading to civilization because the Christians owed it to their faith to spread the gospel. Before Christ departed he asked his followers to spread the gospel all over the earth and win new converts. Roman accepted the challenge of spreading the gospel. It is them who helped in the spread of Christianity making it the greatly spread religion.

Roman Empire was the birth pace of Christianity and democracy, the major developments of contemporary history. Christian theology gave rise to the inviolability of individual believer and summon for the obedience to the authority that is Christ who was higher than other rulers like Caesar. This idea defined and supported the concept of liberty under law. Christian institutions, especially the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church in a struggle with the holy Roman emperor and local monarchs, bestowed to the western civilization the concept of separation and limitation of powers. 

Rome invented the concrete which is a major component in building structures up to date. The Romans also used bricks and glass. The Romans built big, strong and beautiful structures most of which are still standing to date. Its favorite architecture shape, the arch, is still being used today especially for government and capital buildings.  The popularity of the architectures remained because the idea was so practical. In fact Thomas Jefferson started a Roman revival in the United States in the 18th century. In this case, most public building for example the United States capitol and majority state capitols have Roman features. In the United States modern legal structures are made in the imitation of ancient Roman Empire. Romans invented aqueducts and sewers. The aqueducts were made by Roman engineers to deliver water into cities and town. This technology is being used today for water delivery and drainage of sewer.

It would be untrue to state that western civilization was influenced by Roman Empire alone. The Greek empire in fact also played a great role in the civilization. In a sense the Roman Empire was a bi-cultural empire, having Greek language and Roman language that is the Latin. Greek came up with the idea of alphabet that is used today. It was also from Greek that the idea of Olympics began. Although Roman spread the idea of democracy, it was the Greeks who came up with the idea. The empire had common citizens participating in their government and choosing their own leaders. Like it is done in courts today, the Ancient Greek Empire had trials and actual jury that was made up of common citizens.  Payment of labour was started in Greece. It was the Greek philosophers who started the idea of writing literature and staging plays. With time Greek became the language that was used by the educated elites. The language used in the contemporary west, including English, has in them some Greek terms. The western half of the Roman Empire adopted completely the Greek language. In fact Greek was used as the official language of the Byzantine Empire. Roman artists, philosophers and writers adapted the Hellenistic and Greek models for their own purposes and came up with a style of their own. Roman art and literature became a powerful tool to express the Roman ideas of power, permanence and solidity. 

There are quiet a number of Greek and Roman philosophers who contributed to the development of mathematics, science, philosophy, literature, and art into what they are today. The founder of western literature was according to Greek legend a blind poet called Homer. He has influenced very many medieval and modern poets and novelists. Homer was the showpiece of Greek education feeding the imaginations of Greek poets, dramatists, philosophers, historians, sculptors, politicians and the common people for generations. He was known as the Founder of Western Literature, not only because he was its pioneer and greatest author but also because he made a direct influence to most of the literature figures that followed.

There were other Greek and Roman philosophers who contributed to the Western Civilization. Some of the knowledge is being used even today. One of them is Anaximander who wrote About Nature. His work was the pioneer work of prose in western history. He computerized the size and distance of the sun from the earth with only a slight error. Like all other human beings make errors, this did not mean that what he came up with did not have effect on Western Civilization. He originated the concept of evolution. There were other modifications of the theory but he is the one who came up with the original idea with all the others building on from it. Pythagoras was the first man to form the term philosopher. He believed that the earth operated according to mathematical laws. Pythagoras and those that believed in his theory influenced on Plato and through him, western philosophy in general was established. Their stress on the number being the informing principle proves significant in the developing of science. Most of his theories are still in use today.

Xenophanes was the student of Pythagoras. He was a poet as well as a philosophers and he is oftenly referred to as Father of Geology and Paleontology. This is because he was the first to come up with a theory of Extensive Geological Change. He also suggested that clouds were formed by water vapor that rises up into the air.

Ampedocles reiterated the theory of evolution by Anaximander and also proposed the pioneer theory of natural selection to explain how it operates. His argument was that only change determined the physical attributes of various species and that their adaptability determines whether they survive or become extinct. 

Leucippus proposed the atomic theory but it was later developed by his student Democritus. The theory presented all matters as comprising of minute, invisible and indestructible atoms. The atoms differed in shape, size and weight but not in quality. Varying arrangements of the atoms produced varying substances. Leucippus and Democritus also argued that the creation of the worlds was as a result of the collision and aggregation of falling and swerving atoms in the universe. Leucippus and Democritus argued that the universe was made up of matter and void and operating entirely according to natural laws.

Anaxagoras argued against the belief that the sun was god Hyperion but a mass of white-hot metal. He also added that the stars were also white-hot stones, just like the sun but their distance from the earth was big for their heat to be felt on the earth. He argued that the moon was created from the same substance as the earth and its light was reflection of sunlight.

Hippocrates is the Father of Medicine. He was the first person to argue that all diseases were as a result of natural causes. He emphasized the importance of testing medical theories. The Hippocratic School wrote a famous oath for physicians which they promised to respect. This opened the door to investigation of causes of diseases and possible treatments. This is also the origin of the oath that is usually taken by doctors and other medical practitioners.

Herophilus is the Father of Anatomy. He argued that the brain was the center of the nervous system and that the arteries transport blood and not air. This theory is generally acceptable. Erasistratus is the Father of Physiology.  He differentiated sensory from the motor nerves. He expounded the knowledge of the digestive system and explained the roles of the heart. Euclid wrote the book elements systematizing the theories of plane and solid geometry. Strabo an extensive traveler compiled a map on the known world. Dioscorides compiled a list of drugs and the plants they could be gotten from in On Medical Matters, which was the pioneer text on botany and pharmacology.

It is apparent that the modern science in the west began with the wide spread of Greek manuscripts. The modern civilization learnt from the Greeks and Romans confidence in human ability to decode the physical laws that controlled the universe. They also learnt the willingness to formulate, argue and test conventional theories. 

Even though the Romans were not as innovative as the Greeks, their influence to the western civilization was great. In addition to their own contribution to the civilization, they brought Greek ideas down to earth modifying them and transmitting them throughout the western world. In fact without Roman conquest, Greek ideas would not have reached the west. Were it not for the Roman sense of social accountability to temper the individualism of Hellenistic Greece, classical culture could have died without any influence on the western world. Therefore it is agreeable without doubt that the Roman Empire had a great influence on western civilization.    

By conserving and adding to Greek civilization, Rome fortified the western culture and traditions. The world would be very different had it not been for Roman Empire. If ideas were borne and died with the originators there would be no civilization.


John Dewey
1) What is the quest for certainty Why is it doomed, or destined to fail
Deweys quest for certainty thesis resembles the compensation and rationalization mechanisms of defense. According to Dewey, the pre-philosophical era was already characterized by the tendency to escape into an imaginary world in order to compensate for our difficulties in dealing with real world. This compensation continued with the emergence of philosophy but now took a formal, organized format which it lacked before. This point is illustrated in Deweys view that, what the intellectual formerly believed was a genuine search for abstract knowledge, is in fact an activity motivated by lower, non-epistmemic psychological principles. Men readily persuade themselves that they are devoted to intellectual certainty for its own sake. Actually they want it because of its bearing on safeguarding what they desired and esteem. The need for protection and prosperity in action created the need for warranting the validity of intellectual beliefs. In other words, Dewey believes that the real motives behind the intellectuals inquiry is not an authentic quest for certainty but a need to compensate for our lack of control over the natural environment.
    In Deweys doctrine classical philosophy helped to rationalize our escape to the level of thought
I do not doubt that there was a feeling before the rise of philosophy that the unalterably fixed and the absolutely certain are on, or that change is the source from which comes all our uncertainties and woes. But in philosophy the inchoate feeling was definitely formulated. It was asserted on grounds held to be as demonstrably necessary as are conclusions of geometry and logic.
In other words, parallel to the old ladys altruistic response (in the example above), philosophy has served to justify and make intellectually acceptable the escape to the context of thought by arguing that there is in fact  a supra-empirical world.
    Deweys thesis of the quest for certainty is destined to fail. First, even though Dewey formally rejects reductionism, his attempt to explain abstract types of reasoning in terms psychological needs point to the contrary. Dewey employs social causes in explaining the development of philosophy but these are themselves a reflection of more basic psychological principles. In Deweys scheme the need for security is the cause while the development of the customs of the upper social classes and their search for abstract knowledge is the effect. Consequently, Deweys explanation of the quest for certainty in ultimate psychological terms is reductionist. 
    The second point is that Dewey seems to be assuming that only because certainty gives security has it become desirable.  But this is contrary to some of the classical philosophers view (for example, Plato and Aristotle) who maintain that there is a genuine, epistemic quest for certainty.  That is, the fact that certainty give security does not show that it isnt genuinely desirable.  It is possible that our strive for certainty was epistemically (rather than psychologically) motivated and that safety results as a secondary, by-product of this inquiry.  Consequently, the underlying conflict between Dewey and the classical philosophers can be described in the following mode psychological versus epistemological reasons. 
    The last but not the least point deals with the status of Deweys doctrine of the quest for certainty.  Deweys doctrine suffers from the same weakness as Freuds psychoanalysis it is difficult to specify what sort of evidence could confirm (or refute) their conclusions.  In addition, no matter what one might argue against these doctrine, ones response can be interpreted as evidence that there are underlying psychological principles at work.  Specifically, ones criticism of the theory of the quest for certainty might be interpreted as attempts to cover up the real psychological motives and as a continuation of the rationalization enterprise attributed to philosophers. 2) what should replace certainty as a goal, and supersede the quest for it
Although the quest for certainty as a goal is unique to modernity, it institutes no deep breaks from the ambition for transcendence that has characterized Western civilization since the beginnings of philosophy.  In ancient though, purity was figures as the self-identity of eternity.  In modern thought, purity is relocated in the unassailability of mental certainty.  The quest for uncertainty revamped the ancient and medieval quests for purity in the light of the subjectivism of the modern age.  Purity is no longer marked by the eternality of an objective reality, but rather b y the certainty of a subjective reality. 
This view that purity supersedes certainty is the common desire of intellectualism and mysticism is for benefits bestowed by powers that transcend mere humanity.  Purity in action, so it is supposed, yields an active potency  purity is a moment of resplendent communion with powers better than those we mere humans can otherwise muster.
3) what makes dewey a pragmatist what makes pragmatism American
Dewey concentrated most of his academic career on the branch of philosophy known as
epistemology.   He was also concerned with metaphysics and how it interacted with humans
epistemic functions. Dewey thought history needed an epistemological checkup. He did not want
historians to concentrate on eternal unchanging beings but to look for answers in the present. His
epistemology is probably most associated with naturalistic epistemology.
In order to understand why Dewey is a pragmatist, we must define pragmatism for Dewey first and then continue to the intricacies of his historiography.
Deweys definition of pragmatism is fundamental for a proper understanding of his view
of history. For Dewey, history is both a way to understand humans and an act to present the
problems of men in a logical fashion. In The Growth of the American Mind, Merle Curti explains
that Deweys theory of knowledge is a public functionemphasizing the unfinished character
of society. Deweys theory of history adheres to this naturalistic function, but it is still very
human in its emphasis. However, pragmatisms definition was different for the three founders of
pragmatic philosophy. Deweys is more pluralistic Jamesian pragmatism is monistic in nature
and more foundationalist than Dewey and Royces more individualistic and metaphysical in
nature than Dewey. Philip Jackson writes that the term pragmatism means looking upon the
consequences of any proposition as a necessary test of its validity, provided, of course, that those
consequences are not just imagined but are the results of actions taken in accordance with the
proposition itself. Jackson compares this sequence as making the proposition that the cat is on the mat and then finding the cat. Pragmatism is a philosophy of results. It does not abhor the
contemplative act of philosophizing. Pragmatism does not dwell on abstractions at least
Deweyan pragmatism does not. More importantly, pragmatists do not seek to implement,
abstract ideas into society or into history method.  Dewey wrote that the term pragmatic
means only the rule of referring all thinking, all reflective considerations, to consequences for
final meaning.Jackson expounds upon Deweys definition adding that pragmatism is a way of employing knowledge for the betterment of mankind. Pragmatism is content to take its stand
with science, Dewey wrote. it also takes it stand with daily life.

Chemical Engineering.

Chemical engineering is a field which involves the amalgamation of chemistry and physics with life sciences such as biology and biochemistry, in the context of mathematics. The knowledge gained from such an intricate combination is essentially applied upon processes involving the conversion of raw materials and chemicals into more useful forms of energy in the most efficient way possible. It also involves conducting research for the purpose of discovering new methods and techniques in large scale manufacturing enabling producers to design, improve and monitormaintain processes which involve chemical reactions as well as biological ones. The following report will attempt to provide a brief description of the field of chemical engineering and its practical applications.
Fundamentally, it is the duty of a chemical engineer to ensure that processes are run at the peak of operational efficiency thereby ensuring environmental and health sustainability, safety as well as economic viability. Chemical engineers basically have to plan every step in the production process chain because they have to ensure that costs are being controlled, the most efficient chemical and biological reaction are being employed and that the safety of the workers, individuals in the vicinity of the plant and the environment are being sustained and not damaged.
Chemical engineering is essentially the platform for the production of various products such as ceramics, fuels, industrial chemicals, plastics, explosives, pharmaceuticals etc. Consequently, Chemical engineering is vital in the sense that it is involved in almost every aspect of the manufacturing industry. One can also extend the mandate of chemical engineering to disciplines like food processing, technological enhancement of the environment etc. Therefore, the process of discovering solution to various important global issues will essentially involve the use of chemical engineering because of its inherent link with almost every aspect of life.
The four most dominant issues that the entire global community has to come to terms with are the problems of supply of food, energy, clean water and health care. It is already an established fact that advancements in the field of chemical engineering can basically solve a lot of these problems. It is clearly evident that all of these issues are inherently linked with each other. However, in order to provide clarification, lets just take the example of the supply of food which is dwindling all over the world. Nations like Africa are suffering the most because theyre going through continuous periods of starvation and lack of financial and economic resources hampers their ability to import food. This is an area in which chemical engineering can play a vital role by developing fertilizers and pesticides which can increase the amount of food produced through agricultural processes. The development of preservatives can also enhance food production in the sense that food can be stored for a longer time. In this regard, chemical engineers primarily conduct research into areas for developing production and processes for enhancing the storage, distribution and consumption of food products.
Consequently, a chemical engineer can essentially use the knowledge that he has gained to help solve the problem of food shortages common throughout the globe. Primary food products can be produced through agricultural processes therefore the main aim of a chemical engineer working in this particular field would be to develop fertilizers which would help increase the production of food from a particular fertile land used for agricultural cultivation. The area of cultivable agricultural land is decreasing all over the world and therefore advanced fertilizers need to be developed which can basically convert previously uncultivable land into a fertile zone. The development of safe preservatives for the purpose of increasing the storage time of food and eatables would also help reduce the problem of food shortages because of lack of food storage is one of the fundamental reasons of scarcity in the supply of food.
Principally, the issue of the provision of adequate food and clean water are the most prevailing of all the global issues because they in turn affect the healthcare situation of the entire world. Hence, it is clearly evident that in the department of enhancing food production as well as providing clean water to the entire world, chemical engineers can inherently play an extremely broad and important role thereby resulting in far reaching impacts which will benefit each and every society in the world.


The subject of philosophy is so wide, complicated and controversial making it hard to define it precisely. Various philosophers have various views of the nature, processes and variety of philosophy. The term philosophy means the universal and basic problems on matters such as knowledge, life, main beliefs, explanation, intelligence and language. The term philosophy can be used in two ways, formal and informal. In formal dimension, it is used as scholarly undertaking focused on the fields of rationale, main beliefs, metaphysics, epistemology and aesthetics. In the informal dimension, the term philosophy is used to present a way of life focused on answering the inquiries on the subsistence of human beings. Philosophy is particularly significant, methodical and relies on reasonable argument in resolving existential problems. This is why it differs from other ways like religious studies or folklores, of addressing the same issue. The word philosophy originates from a Greek word philosophia which means love of wisdom in the sense that wisdom is the active utilization of intelligence, not an inactive thing that a person simply possesses. Philosophy is a study that seeks to establish the secrets of life and reality. Philosophy seeks to uncover the nature of reality and knowledge. It also tries to establish what is of basic interest and importance in life. Philosophy investigates the association between humanity and nature and between the individual and society (Yount, Para 5).
    Philosophy comes up as a result of curiosity, wonder and desire to know and comprehend. Philosophy is therefore a sort of inquiry a process of analyzing, criticizing, interpreting and speculating. The origin of the term philosophy has been attributed to a Greek thinker, Pythagoras. Attribution is based on a lost work of Herakleides Pontikos, a discipline of Aristotle. Philosopher came as a replacement for sophist, a word used to describe wise men, otherwise teachers or rhetoric, who were significant in Athenian democracy. The pioneers of philosophy lived in the ancient Greek world in the early 500 B.C. The ancient philosophers made efforts to find out the fundamental make-up of things and the nature of the world and of the realism. Before the philosophy came up, to obtain answers to questions of this kind, people relied on magic, religious beliefs, superstition, traditions or powers. The philosophers considered these sources of wisdom undependable and they as an alternative looked for answers by thinking and investigating nature. This is how they came up with various philosophies. The philosophies were different due to the fact that they emanated from ideas by different people. Some of them were criticized and others expounded by other philosophers. All in all, the ancient philosophers came up with philosophies most of which we base our explanations of life on even today. These philosophies are still important up to date (Morris, p 12).
Importance of philosophy
    Philosophic thoughts are hard to escape in human life. Almost every person has on one occasion or another been baffled by such fundamentally philosophical queries like what is the essence of life Where did I come from and where will I go after death Without some answers to these inquiries, no knowledge or action is possible. It is from these questions that we are forced to reason and study hard in order to find some answers. Even the ancient philosophers got their philosophical answers from such problems. The questions can be supported by Descartes fourth meditation where he references to his third mediation that both God and him exist. He asks if God really exists, then why was there room for error or falsehood. In the fourth meditation, he attempts to answer that query philosophically concerning the true and the false. Almost every human being possesses some sort of philosophy in the sense of how they view life. A denial of philosophy is in itself philosophy. The apology is Platos version of speech given by Socrates defending himself from the charges of being a man who misled the young, declined to revere the gods and created fresh divinities. The apology by Plato starts by the words of Socrates where he says that he did not know whether the men of Athens had been influenced by his accusers. The apology suggests that philosophy starts with the truthful admittance of ignorance.  He argued that whatever the wisdom he had came from his knowledge that he knew nothing (Yount, para. 1).
    Study of philosophy assists people to elucidate what they believe, and it can stimulate them to consider definitive questions. People can investigate the philosophers of the past in order to find out why they thought the way they did and of what value their thoughts had in the present life. Great writers are always inspired by the great philosophers. They always study the works of those great philosophers, investigates the works of their critics and the impact their philosophies have in every day life. Philosophy has a lot of influence in everyday lives. Most of the things including the language we use utilize groupings derived from philosophy. A good example is the groupings of nouns and verbs that utilize the philosophic idea that there exists a distinction between things and actions. The question as to what the distinction is a philosophic question which needs reasoning and systematic logical investigation to find out (Morris, p 22). 
    In every society, there are institutions. The institutions are fundamentally established on philosophic ideas. These institutions include law government marriage education business and the family. Philosophic differences have always caused changes in these institutions, for example overthrowing of governments, amendments in laws, and transformations of economic systems. Such changes occur because people have varying beliefs and ideas on what is true, important, real, and significant. People also have different ideas on how life should be ordered. 
Philosophy is to a very great extent utilized in education systems. Systems of education run in the course of philosophic ideas of a society about what learners should be taught and the purposes of the teaching. This is evident even in the ancient times when philosophers like Plato outlined the kind of education system that would help to bring forth a perfect society. In his philosophy, he argued that the interest of the state was best preserved in the young ones. Therefore, he suggested that children be nurtured and educated by the society as a whole. In the present time, the philosophy of Plato of education system is still in use. Most societies advocate for the education of children from an early age. In democratic societies, there is the stressing of people having to learn to think and make decisions for themselves. In totalitarian societies, people are forced to surrender to the interests of the leaders and are discouraged to make decisions for themselves. The values and interests taught by a societys education system reflect the societys philosophic ideas of what is significant. Philosophy also helps professions in defending themselves against criticism and to handle professionally moral problems. Philosophy assists people to find their moral discipline as it opens the doors to investigation (Yount, Para. 6).
    Philosophy of education is a field of applied philosophy which addresses queries concerning education policy, human advancement, and curriculum development among other issues related to education. Philosophy of education addresses these queries using the conventional fields of philosophy like entomology (nature of being existence or reality in general), epistemology (nature and scope of knowledge), and ethics, and its approaches like speculative philosophy, prescriptive and analytic. Philosophy of education thus can mean the philosophical investigation of the reason, process, character and models of education. The philosophy can study what comprises nurturing and education process the principles and standards divulged through nurturing and education process the boundaries and legitimatization of education as an intellectual discipline and the link between educational theories and practices. Without philosophy, education systems would not work (Morris, p. 34).
    Philosophy is important in starting anything that is new and worthwhile. This is also vital when a person has to work together with many other people. Philosophy challenges what is already known and what is yet to be found out. Knowledge is power, but one that trumps a methodically challenged interest based on rational analysis rather than experimental processes. Philosophy disciplines people and comes as a wake up call to make people realize that they cant have control over all aspects of life. In Descartes first Meditation, he casts off all the belief in things which are not completely certain and attempts to come up with things that are for sure. Descartes tries to undermine his own beliefs remembering that his senses had deceived him in the past. Philosophy is the realization that wisdom originates from truth and that truth emanates from reality (Yount, para. 3).
What philosophy does
    Philosophy is a way of thought about the world, the universe and the people. Philosophy seeks to look inwards to establish the basis for the presuppositions that form the base for all human creation theories. The ideas of philosophy are theoretical, they are not tangible. Nevertheless, they are about the real world. Philosophy asks questions about the real world and seeks to answer them. Philosophy then tries the best way possible to make the answers they find out known to other people. This is why philosophers write articles and books to publish what they come up with. Philosophers also teach students as a way of disseminating what they know. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of seeking answers in that it is critical, generally systematic and relies on reasoned argument. Philosophy applies to the real world because it is the study of the fundamental problems and questions of existence in the real world. Philosophy presents ones personal thoughts. Socrates, Plato, Confucius among other philosophers of the past all had their own beliefs, thoughts and life experiences. They presented their own ideas and beliefs about life

as viewed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes and the Bible.

 Law should be the foundation of any government. Whether law is based upon moral absolutes, changing consensus or totalitarian whim is of crucial importance, says Kerby Anderson in Christian View of Government and Law.
Something that must be obeyed, is one of the definitions of the word law as defined by the 21st Century Reference Dictionary.
    Different thinkers of different times have come up with a view on what the law is and its binding power. I will be looking at the views in the Bible of the law as well as Jean-Jacques and Thomas Hobbes perception of the law. These three sources or three views represent different periods of time, thus representing different people as well as political, moral and social milieu.
LAW in the Bible
    The law in the Bible is not a result of human ideas or collective human views but is a revelation from God. According to Anderson, Law is rooted in Gods unchangeable character and derived from biblical principles of morality.
Anderson presented in his article entitled Christian View of Government and Law the two important figures in the history of law  Samuel Rutherford and William Blackstone. The treatise of Rutherford, according to Anderson, challenged the foundations of the 17th century politics by proclaiming that law must be based upon the Bible, rather than the word of any man. Similarly, for Blackstone, the two foundations for law are nature and revelation through the Scriptures. According to Anderson, Blackstone believed that the fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom and thus taught that God was the source of all laws.
For these two important figures in the history of law, the Bible contains the laws that must govern mankind for these laws are ordained by God. In the Old Testament of the Bible is the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. The Ten Commandments are the laws that are to be strictly followed even up to the present century for all who believe in the Bible and the sovereignty of God as the Creator of mankind and the universe. There are also other laws in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, dealing with social activities and issues in the society. There is a law concerning the slaves, law concerning violence, law concerning property, laws of restitution and social and religious laws. The penalties for violations of the laws were so severe that they may even amount to death. However, in the New Testament, Romans 614 says, For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 7 7-13 discusses the law and sin. The law is not sin, as clearly stated in the Bible. Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, You shall not covet. In verse eleven and twelve of the same text, the apostle Paul went on saying, For sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy and just and good.
In the Old Testament, violations of the law may even bring immediate death. But today, after the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, Gods grace abound.
LAW for Thomas Hobbes
    Thomas Hobbes had a more pessimist view of man who is for him is a solitary being. He views the life of man as poor, nasty, brutish and short. He believed that people have competing interests. Professor Cunningham in his discussion of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, views that one of the objectives of Hobbes was to contribute to stability, peace, and welfare of mankind. For him, there has to be a social contract to be entered to not between the citizens and the ruling power but among the citizens. This contract shall manifest their acceptance to the rule of central authority. The society then forms a commonwealth  the leviathan.
    It is true that Hobbes saw law as commands, but it is probably a misunderstanding to see him as legal positivist. He was a contract theorist, but his ideas on the character of the social contract are both complex and controversial and extend far beyond a justification for governments, says Tracy Lightcap in her review of Claire Finkelsteins Hobbes on Law.
    The law that has been entered into by the people shall be enforced or implemented by a sovereign who is not to be subjected to the laws. However, even if the citizens had already accepted the rule of the central authority, they retain certain inalienable rights or retained rights.
LAW for Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau views the law as arising from humanity itself which he viewed as naturally and originally good. There is a natural law that is so engraved in all of us. These natural laws work against its violators by methods that are also innate in an individual just like our conscience.
    For Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as cited in the article written by David Oppenheimer, the natural law is a law that is so entwined to us since our conception and even though it is unwritten and underappreciated, its violators, even the most encompassing and conniving are guaranteed to face permanent resistance at all points. On the other hand, Rousseau further said, as presented in the same article, that those practices that do not conflict natural law have more than sum of its parts (supporters), the permanent effects of reason will further these applications.
    Rousseau claims that even though man is not a social but a solitary being, the original man was for him healthy, happy, good, and free. According to him, the vices of men only dates from the time men formed society. For him, vices were products of society and not nature. It is in Discourse that he explained how men had lost their liberty in the past. After Discourse, he wrote another book entitled the Social Contract which begins with these words  Man was born free, but he is everywhere in chains. He fought that men should not be in chains. Thus, he introduced the social contract. For him, if the society or a state is based on a genuine social contract, as against the fraudulent social contract referred to in the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, men would receive a better kind of freedom in exchange of their independence. This better kind of freedom is manifested in a true political or republican liberty. For him such liberty is to be found in obedience to a self-imposed law.
    There is a dichotomy between true law and actual law for Rousseau. For him, actual law only protects the status quo. However, the true law, as presented in the Social Contract, is a just law and its being just is ensured because it is made by the people in its collective capacity as sovereign and obeyed by them in their capacities as individuals subjected to it. The laws, following his discussion on the Social Contract, could not be unjust because the people would not make unjust laws for themselves.
    Other than the apparent similarities as well as contrasting views of the law by Hobbes, Rousseau and in the Bible in the above discussions, I would like to highlight some of the similarities on their view of the law. Rousseau is similar to Hobbes in his view that under the contract entered to by man, they totally alienate themselves and all their rights to the whole community. Both thinkers also agree with regard to the state of nature. They both viewed the original man as a solitary rather than a social being. However, they differ with regard to their view of the nature of man. Rousseau believed that man is originally healthy, happy, good, and free while for Hobbes man must have been poor, nasty, brutish and short. Furthermore, for Rousseau, the contract implies that the ruler is the peoples agent, not their master. On the other hand, Hobbes viewed a ruler as the absolute authority.
    In the Bible, the law is a command from God. This view of the law is different from that of Hobbes and Rousseau. Rousseau viewed the law as the expression of the will of man. For Hobbes, the law is a command- the people entered into a pact and bestowed upon the ruler the absolute authority and the right to enforce the law.
    On the other hand, Kerby Anderson believes that even Rousseau, as a humanist, noted in his Social Contract that one needs someone outside the world system to provide a moral basis for law. According to him, Rousseau says that It would take gods to give men laws.
    The Bible, Rousseau and Hobbes may have different perspective of the law, however I believe that the aim of the law for every thinkers is the same and such objective will linger no matter what period we are in. There is a law for everyone of us to obey in order that we will be able to live under an orderly, peaceful and harmonious relationship towards a progressive society.

Donald Davidson Analysis of the Reception of His Works among Scholars.

The modern era to which people live in today may not have philosophers as popular as they were during the time of Plato and Aristotle. The significant philosophers of the present era are nonetheless important because they continue to provide new ideas and insights regarding aspects of the philosophical realm that remains uncovered and fully resolved. One of these aspects is the philosophy of language. In this particular realm, one name significantly stands out Donald Davidson. Most of Davidsons professional life was dedicated to the study and development of concepts that are geared at explaining, among other things, language, and how language and its content can be understood not just by the speaker-receiver components of communication, but also as something that is understood and clarified in a philosophical level. Over the years, Davidson has produced many works that have earned the attention of many professionals in the field of philosophy, and vis--vis the growth of the popularity of his works is the growth of popularity of Davidson as well. Davidsons works and ideas have garnered a mix of reactions from his contemporaries and those who came after him. Despite the mix reactions, Davidsons works can be considered as something that was received by the scholars of English studies with a certain degree of respect and reverence to his ideas and concepts. Proof of this is despite whether the professionals are in full or partial agreement or in disagreement with Davidson they, nonetheless, treat Davidson and his works and ideas respectfully. They approach analysis and the formulation of argument and counter argument with academic disposition. They consider Davidsons work, all in all, as an integral part of the set of beliefs in the philosophy of language and in other aspects, as well regardless of whether or not his ideas are refuted in the future or continues to hold ground as a solid and stable theory and set of beliefs that can attempt to explain a particular phenomenon in the human faculty and way of life. This is the focus of the discussion and analysis of the paper.
Philosophy in the modern era is identified with several different characters that have pioneered philosophical endeavors in the modern times. One of these individuals is Donald Herbert Davidson. In philosophy, he (Davidson) is the central figure after W.V. Quine. Donald Davidson is a well known philosopher largely because of his contribution to the field of philosophy. Davidson, although a high profile philosopher of the modern world, actually started with humble beginnings.
Davidson, who was married thrice, the last one being Marcia Cavell who was also a philosopher, was a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, where he was born on the 16th of March 1917. Davidson was travelling a long when he was a young boy, perhaps the reason why he grew up to be an adventurous individual even when his main profession was philosophy. From the Philippines, his family relocated to Amherst and then Philadelphia followed by their stay in Staten Island, by the time Davidson was already ready for school, attending the Staten Island Academy. His next education stop will be Harvard University, where he first took English and comparative literature and later switching to philosophy. He became a writer for a drama but later returned to schooling at Harvard and teaching philosophy. Davidson also served in the US Navy.
By 1949, he already earned his PhD in philosophy. Davidson was strongly influenced by another contemporary philosopher, W. V. O. Quine. After earning his doctorate, Davidson pursued serious work in philosophy, working with Patrick Suppes. By the start of the 1960s, Davidson was already writing essays of significant value to philosophy and was appreciated by people inside this particular group of people. Davidsons growing significance and popularity in the field of philosophy earned him prestigious positions in different associations, like the American Philosophical Association where he was president of both Western and Eastern Divisions. As a teacher and professor, his tour of duty included stints in Queens College which is currently part of CUNY, prestigious schools such as Princeton and Stanford, Oxford and Harvard, as well as in Rockefeller University and in the University of Chicago. Because of his work in the field of philosophy and his contribution to this industry and field of study, Davidson was awarded the Jean Nicod Prize in 1995. Davidsons life outside philosophy included his music, particularly his penchant for, and skill in piano. He managed to integrate this passion in philosophy by becoming one of Stanford Universitys teachers in philosophy of music.
One of the areas to which Davidson has significantly contributed is language, positing a significant set of ideas involved in the understanding of language, its theories and concepts geared at explaining how and why the language functions and how it is understood. The idea and concept of action, language and the mind are interconnected according to Davidson. For Davidson, language, mind and action are inseparable . Therefore, the understanding of how the theory of language has affected other scholars during and after Davidsons time would always include the analysis and discussion as well of how Davidson and his works, collectively, was analyzed and assessed along with his works and his ideas.
Some of the important ideas that Davidson contributed focused on action and its causes (in his essay Actions, Reasons, and Causes) activity of the brain and mental functions in Mental Events, thoughts on knowledge and beliefs inside which was the popular Three Varieties of Knowledge and for language and the theories and ideas involving and affecting it, the work Truth in Meaning, wherein Davidson sought to explain through philosophical approach how people are to understand language, words and sentences as it is uttered and delivered by the speaker what factors are important in how this is understood and how the messages are formed in response to the utterance of the language and the processing of the receiver of these words and sentences based on the receivers own set of abilities that can allow the individual to correctly or incorrectly decipher and understand the message consistent with the true message and intentions of the speaker and lastly, the concept of the radical interpreter, which involves language, the formation of meaning of the language and how it is understood and interpreted.
His work in the languages feature the times he challenged the process and understanding of the Semantic theory and the process by which messages, words and sentences are understood. Davidson openly challenged previously held ideas and beliefs regarding man and language and how language functions and how man reacts to this particular characteristic and function of language. This was an idea that was found in his many different concepts involving language. His professional career was characterized by his competent analysis of philosophical ideas and the analysis and discussion of the philosophical concepts introduced by other individuals. In the case of Davidson, one of the very popular individuals he discussed in lieu of his explanation of his ideas regarding language and the theories affecting and involved in it is Tarski. In his book, he discussed what Tarski was pointing at and getting into, and led the readers into achieving the same sense of realization by explaining and discussing what Tarski was talking about.
In his written work entitled Truth and Meaning which is read and referenced by many different professionals in philosophy of language and linguists as well who are intent on either criticizing Davidson or referring to his work for authoritative support and precedence, Davidson explains the concept of meaning of the sentences and how this depends on the meanings of the words that are used to create the sentences. The understanding of this concept, according to Davidson, was part of the traditional beliefs that many philosophers of language as well as linguists have held on for so long. This was one of the important arguments wherein Davidson would establish his different criticisms of old beliefs in language, as well as the concepts he will introduce as a result of his criticism to the old concepts. Many professionals consider this particular work of Davidson as a very important one. This allowed Davidson to establish his key arguments regarding how the language and the meaning-creation process involved in the communication and reception of language can be fully integrated with one another and be fully understood with supporting philosophical theoretical framework to explain the activityphenomena in language as it is being used by the people.  Donald Davidson, in his influential paper, Truth and Meaning identifies the central task of a theory of meaning in philosophical semantics as explaining how language users can determine the meaning of an arbitrary expression.
There are many ways in which scholars could have reacted to Davidson. In the most basic form, the scholars could either agree or disagree with Davidson. However, on a more complex reaction, scholars may opt to dissect Davidsons works further, either applying it to what they themselves are positing, using it to either support or refute other existing or new ideas in the world of language and connected theories. While others may choose to analyze the possible strengths, flaws and aspects that can be improved or explored further in the works and ideas of Davidson, in particular, his ideas regarding language and the theories involved in being able to explain how people use and understand language, sentence, words and its meanings, uttered in part or in whole, analyzed based on the different spheres of meanings based on these were actually used.
Scholars reacted to Davidson and his works. The reactions are not merely a simple set of arguments that can be collectively discussed and examined. The variety and complexity of these reactions and how the reaction was manifested would be explored, analyzed and discussed in this paper in the effort to be able to understand how English and non-English scholars exactly reacted to Davidson and his works and ideas, particularly those involving the theory and understanding of the language. There are two categories wherein the reception can be categorized - the general types which include admiration and critical reception, and other forms of reception that the individual and his work will receive from professionals, scholars and the crowd or audience in general. Because of those who Davidson has managed to convince with his ideas, many philosophers now share Davidsons position. This is one proof or characteristic on how Davidson affected modern philosophy and how his ideas were received by other scholars, especially those who came after him.
The post-Davidson era featured a world wherein a collection of individuals are still trying to find how they will, would or should react to what Davidson posited particularly in his theories involving the language. In the book Literary Theory after Davidson, for example, it expresses the need to re-assess and re-evaluate how exactly the scholars are responding and reacting to what Davidson posited. The two general types are categorized as such. This is because often, the reaction of professionals with regards to other professionals works and ideas are often either one of the following either the individual will be impressed and will believe what the individual was talking about, or the individual will not believe and critically challenge, analyse and breakdown the idea to find exactly where the individual have gone wrong and if possible show it to the individual and to the audience, not only the clarify, but also to stress the idea that the one that undertook the task of correcting the other is the more superior intellectually because of what the individuals vision can see and that which was deprived from the other one whose works and ideas were critically challenged and proven flawed or wrong.
In the case of Davidson, there were those who applauded and admired his ideas, perspective, thoughts and works to the extent that his ideas were often the basis by which their ideas are hinged and established in other works, using Davidson and his ideas and input as an authoritative precedent. Similarly, there are also those who try to establish new points by using the flaws and loopholes in the concepts that Davidson authored and introduced. For example, the ideas of Hector-Neri Castaneda was analysed in contrast to what Davidson has to say. It is not actually surprising if the reception of Davidsons works is met with both criticism or cynicism and appreciation. After all, philosophers, because of the innate human nature for differences, expect that not all of the people will be in agreement over a certain idea. In the case of Davidsons ideas, it was the same thing. Some people showed appreciation and believed in what Davidson posited, while others feel otherwise, criticizing and questioning his ideas because of the belief that they knew better and Davidsons ideas are incorrect and flawed. This type of mixed reaction is indicative of the health balance needed for the constant pursuit of knowledge and truth and the refinement of available data, knowledge and information. Attack from both sides is the usual reward of philosophers who, like Dewey and Davidson, try to stop the pendulum of philosophical fashion from swinging endlessly back and forth between a rough minded reductionism and a high-minded anti-reductionism.
The admiration for Davidsons work is seen through the admiration of both his students and those who arent but are nonetheless affected and inspired by what Davidson posited, taught, introduced, explained and constructed. Because of this broad scope of Davidsons impact on other professionals and the scope of the positive reception of professionals in reaction to Davidsons works, it is considered as an irrefutable fact that Davidson was able to influence many professionals during and even after his time and era.
Davidson has influenced a wide range of other scholars working in the philosophy of language and linguistics...He has both influenced and been influenced by other scholars working on truth-conditional approach to meaning, or with a more general interest in the relationship between truth and language.
One of the common trends involved in the relationship between mentor and student is that there is a profound admiration for the work of the mentor. Even in some cases the student outshines the mentor, the student still holds the mentors work as something valuable. This is noticeable in the pattern regarding how some of Davidsons students have come to react to Davidsons works, particularly in the field of language theory, even when they themselves are, in their own right, notable professionals in the field. An excellent example of this case is how professionals like Stephen Yablo and Michael Bratman, who are professionals themselves, still yield to what Davidson has to say and uses Davidsons input to legitimize their claims as well as ideas that they present in their own books and published articles.
Stephen Yablo is one of the contemporary and modern day philosophers who, like Davidson, also tackled aspects such as mind and logic as well as metaphysics. Just like Davidson, Yablo, whose wife is also another MIT philosopher by the name of Sally Haslanger, was also dedicated in the study and analysis of language and theories that are involved in the understanding of this particular facet of the socially-shared human behavior, human faculty and human characteristic. Yablo contributes to the continued analysis, discussion and development of the theories and ideas affecting the understanding of language as it is used, utilized and developed inside the human society, and his activity is often tied with his work as one of the leading philosophers working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Yablo, who is considered as a student of Davidson and a follower of Davidsons ideas particularly about language and the aspects of learning and knowledge involved in this aspect, has made a contribution already in this particular field and industry. This is manifested in the short paper that Yablo wrote and was published in 1993, discussing the idea that the liar-like paradox is something that can be generated even without self-reference. This is besides the other papers that he wrote and the book that he authored which was also published and made public. Like Davidson, Yablos inclination to study language and the aspects and concepts affecting the theories and ideas about understanding language was affected by the inclination to some of the other related aspects, like the philosophy of the mind to which Yablo was also drawn in, This was the main reason why he was able to write the Mental Causation. Yablos paper that was published in 1992 which was considered as a significant modern day work that contributed significant input in the field of philosophy of mind, which was followed by his works in the recent years that were focused on another aspect - mathematical fictionalism, among other things. Davidson influenced Yablo. This was noticeable in how Yablo referred to Davidson especially in the book that he wrote, entitled Thoughts Papers on Mind, Meaning, and Modality.
Another one of Davidsons students and the follower of Davidsonian ideas particularly in the field of philosophy like moral philosophy and the philosophy of action as well, and the understanding of knowledge and intelligence is Michael Bratman. Bratman, who was born on July 25, 1945, was the one responsible for the creation of the Belief-Desire-Intention model, a concept that was a key and integral part in many modern day technologies today including artificial intelligence. Today, Bratman works at Durfee as a professor in the School of Humanities  Sciences, as well as in Stanford University working as professor of Philosophy.
Davidson influenced many scholars including Bratman. In his book Faces of Intention, it is noticeable how Bratman uses what Davidson has to say, what Davidson believes and what Davidson posited on his ideas and theories to either establish or refute the argument he is presenting. He uses Davidsons input to legitimize what he wanted to discuss, consistently stressing what Davidson sees and says, what Davidson supposes, how and why Davidson disagrees to some ideas, what Davidson argues for or against, what Davidson emphasizes and neglects and what Davidson insists and accepts.
Besides the mentor-student relationship from which admiration for the work can be the main and common form of reception for the works like the case of Davidson and his works and his students, there is also the professional-to-professional relationship. One professional acknowledges the pioneering and insightful contribution and work that an individual, either his or her contemporary or someone that precedes him or her by mentioning and quoting the individual and his works and ideas in a book or article discussing a related issue involving the industry. This case is also not surprising in the case of Davidson. Many individuals, either those that Davidson preceded or those who are considered as contemporaries of Davidson, admired Davidsons work and insight on language theory as well as on other aspects Davidson worked on.
Often, the admiration from one professional to another manifests itself in the form of consideration and inclusion in published works. Individuals who did not become direct students of Davidson but whose reception for Davidsons works and ideas are similar to admiration for his thinking and perspective often include what Davidson has to say regarding topics wherein they consider Davidson as an authority of. A review of related literature will reveal the extent of how Davidson was turned to by professionals in order for them to clearly, and with authority, establish their ideas and have the people embrace and accept the ideas they present in the book. However, in some cases, books and its content reveal how people reiterate the ideas of Davidson in their own words and through their own analysis in the hope of explaining better the concept of Davidson particularly with regards to language, as well as about other important related matters to which he was deeply involved in, academically. There are also books that feature the collection of essays. One of this kind of book that is about philosophy is the book entitled AJ Ayer Memorial Essays, inside which Davidsons Three Varieties of Knowledge can be found, again testament that professionals consider Davidson an important and significan.
Authors Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig co-authored the book entitled Donald Davidson Meaning, Truth, Language, and Reality. Obviously, as the name suggests, this book was geared at discussing and analysing the works and ideas of Davidson. Besides the analysis content, there are also points in the book wherein the author mentions how individuals are agreeable to what Davidson posited, created and established. Sir Michael Dummett, another notable British philosopher, is known as someone who is strongly critical of Davidsons ideas. However, in the book, the authors presented to the readers how Dummett admitted that Davidson was right and correct in several particular aspects. Dummett, in his reply to Davidson, concedes straight off, that Davidson is quite right that sharing a language in the sense he has characterized it is neither necessary nor sufficient for communication, and he is right for the right reasons.
This relationship between Dummett and Davidson (in a professional level) will be something that many other professionals will notice and feature in other books owing to the merit of the argument happening between the two noted philosophers, like how Maria Cristina Amoretti and Nicla Vassallos book Knowledge, language, and interpretation on the philosophy of Donald Davidson presented it, with Dummett in agreement to some of Davidsons ideas while on the other hand also contradicting or challenging others. Also in the book, Ludwig and Lepore also made clarifications as well as insightful commentary to support the validity and strength of Davidsons ideas. They explained that, It is not obvious that Davidson was completely clear in his own mind about exactly how to employ a truth theory as a meaning theory. This is in response to how some of the criticisms may have focused on the misunderstood and assumed inability of Davidson to fully handle the rigors of theoretical foundation and application. On the contrary, Davidson has very clear idea regarding the issue and nature surrounding the ideas and concepts that he has created and introduced to the people.
Analysis provided by professionals in the hope of explaining further what Davidson was trying to explain was found in many different books discussing Davidson and his input on aspects including language (Rorty 166). Rorty, for example, explained to the readers what Davidson was trying to say regarding the role of the philosopher of language, the process of understanding the message of the language uttered and the radical interpreter concept and how things fit together by writing that the job of the philosopher of language is, for Davidson, finished when the latter notions are explicated by reference to the radical interpreters procedures.
Some people reacted by trying to understand Davidson better and present it to the people for better understanding. Another individual who was affected by Davidson and one who studied and analysed Davidson is John Mcdowell. McDowell is another British philosopher who is also respected for his works and contribution to the field of philosophy. McDowells works are often hinged on the ideas and beliefs of many different philosophers  classic and contemporary. One of these philosophers that have impacted the works of McDowell is Davidson. Because of this, McDowell often talks or writes about philosophical ideas including those involving language with reference to the ideas that Davidson established. His works are often essential readings so that the audience can have a better idea regarding what Davidson is trying to point out.
Among several of McDowells points regarding to and as a reaction to Davidsons ideas is found in McDowells analysis of Davidson and the analysis of the theories of language as posited by Davidson. In the book, McDowell explained that the point Davidson should be making is not that judgments of samesaying are not fundamental in constructing a theory of a language, but rather that such judgments are not grounded in some deeper level.
Davidson has been viewed by many as an expert in his particular field, largely because of the merit of the things that Davidson offered the people and the ideas and concepts that was borne out of Davidsons critical analysis of several different previous philosophical ideas that allowed him to create his own ideas. In Kennedy and Seldens book entitled The Cambridge history of literary criticism From formalism to post-structuralism, Davidsons key points and arguments were put into consideration. Davidson was placed alongside other professionals like Wittgenstein and Derrida. His arguments and ideas were considered in part as something that contrasts other ideas from other significant individuals like Berkeley and Kant.
But not everyone admired the works, ideas, perspectives and theories of Davidson, particularly about language. There are many different individuals who are able to posit particular counter arguments to the previous arguments that Davidson posited in his work. At one point, the reality of the constant presence of those who are critical of other people allow the people the chance to further investigate issues and ideas, to scrutinize them more, to be more curious and to explore many other possibilities. This leads either to clarification of previous wrong notions and the creation of new ideas and the formation of new knowledge.
In the case of Davidson, those whose reception of his works are considered critical are those who challenged Davidsons ideas and presented the possible holes and weak spots in the ideas of Davidson, allowing Davidson to strengthen and solidify his ideas and for other individuals to create something new out of what Davidson failed to think of or think about. During and after Davidson and his works rise to popularity, many different professionals surfaced and was identified as individuals who are critical with the works and ideas of Davidson, and rightfully so because they have legitimate queries and questions that they want Davidson to address, and possibly to rectify if proven valid.
One of the individuals who have been critically analysing Davidsons works and providing critical assessment, response and arguments to Davidsons ideas including language and language theories is Michael Dummett. Dummett was a highly decorated philosopher. Just like Davidson, Dummett was working on the philosophy of language, among other things, and like Davidson, he also served as professor of philosophy for many different reputable academic organizations. His significant contribution to the philosophy of language is entitled Frege Philosophy of Language which was published in 1973.
Dummett was one of those who strongly reacted regarding the ideas of Davidson, either positively or negatively. Davidson and Dummett have been have been engaged in a debate in and out of print for nearly two decades. In books as well as in journal articles, the debate raging between the two British philosophers was a strong indication of how scholars have received the ideas and concepts of Davidson. In a journal article, Gianfranco Soldatti wrote about the academic discussion and argument happening between Dummett and Davidson, with focus not on gossip style discussion and character-smearing, but on raising the finer points of the discussion happening between the two which can be an important catalyst for change or the discovery of possible roots leading to changes, especially since these two intellectuals put in the table impressive ideas regarding the philosophical aspect of language, learning and meaning.
Works like Soldattis highlight not the actual debate or argument, but the content of such battle. At worse, Davidson can be and might be proven wrong. The best thing to come out of this should this be the predicament is the realization that at least Davidson acted as trigger towards the realization of the real truth behind language, knowledge and meaning, among others. However, if he would be proven right and the arguments against him invalid, at least Davidson triggered an intellectual argument that allowed for the discovery and exploration of ideas involving learning and language. These ideas can be used by other professionals, who, in the future might be capable of making another crack at the ideas and concepts of Davidson and perhaps be successful in positing new ideas or improving the ideas that Davidson already laid out. In any case, the debates and arguments like that happening between Davidson and Dummett are health and important in the continuous process of learning and discovery.
Because of Dummetts own capabilities and abilities in the philosophy of language, he has managed to make some points to which Davidson eventually concedes and agrees upon. For example, in the debate of Davidson and Dummett in the concept of truth-concepts inside the language and the details of the semantic properties, Dummett manages to make a solid point through his argument to which Davidson concedes. Eventually there were some points in Dummetts argument that Davidson failed to answer or close out, in the process, allowing Dummett the merit of validity for his argument that was not successfully challenged. Because of the inability of Davidson to fully explain without loopholes key points to answer and refute Dummetts argument, this leaves intact Dummetts basic point if we want to know what truth is, it is not enough to know how truth-conditions of sentences of individual languages depend on the semantic properties of their constituents. Davidson later conceded this point. Despite the fact that Davidson was the creator of many concepts in the philosophy of language, it is important to point out that he was not god and that his mental faculty, intelligence and ideas also has its limitations. These ideas did not just easily come to him and he has to work hard to be able to create the ideas and concepts that made him who he is today. This does not mean the process was easy. In fact, it was tedious and difficult. Despite the difficulties, it is safe to say that Davidson was not able to create the perfect line of thought to hold all of the concepts together in his ideas about the philosophy of language and certain aspects of the language theory. Davidson makes this initial move (by starting with Truth and Meaning and elaborating his key points), but acknowledges difficulties in a truth-predicate oriented semantic program.
Besides the basic show of admiration, respect, and the critical reception towards an individual and his work, there are also other ways in which Davidson and his ideas and works regarding language theory, learning and knowledge and other things were received by professionals and scholars. There is fine line between being critical and being impressed, and many of the post Davidsonian era professionals are lodged in this position. They believe Davidson might be into something but this is not enough for them to be full admiration of the man. This also does not mean that they criticize the man and do not believe in his works. Because of this, many of these types of people with this type of reception resort to studying and analysing without bias and empirically what Davidsons works really meant, how it is significant, what aspects it can be of use and how it can be used and why, with no sole purpose of either strengthening and propagating his ideas or refuting his ideas all in all but simply finding the true merit of Davidsons works in the best way possible that they can.
As what Dasenbrock explained in the book that encapsulated perhaps the basic essence of Davidsonian analysis post Davidsons era, one of the main characteristics of the reception on Davidsons works is to find out exactly how these works, ideas and concepts fit in or still fit in, considering the possible changes that happened that could have rendered Davidsons works irrelevant already. And as professionals move forward and taking along them Davidsons ideas, those who put in published books the effort to thresh out the ideas to be able to clearly see where everything stands will discuss how Davidsons works actually contributed on a particular aspect to which it is considered as significant, like in literary theory for example, considering Davidsons involvement in language and literature.
The question the contributors have focused on here - no matter what their training or disciplinary identity - is what contribution Davidsons work can make to some of the ongoing debates in literary theory. The reason why this is a question worth asking is that there is a remarkable divergence between Davidsons place in contemporary analytic philosophy and his place in contemporary literary theory.
Ralf Stoeckers Reflecting Davidson Donald Davidson responding to an international forum of philosophers is one of the books that feature the analysis of Davidsons ideas and how philosophers respond and receive Davidsons ideas. The author provides a tool so that the audience can see how the ideas of Davidson was broken down and analysed so that the people can have a better comprehension on Davidson and his ideas. For example, his reactions and objections and the rationale why he accepts or resists options available for him during the course of his breakdown of his ideas and his works (Stoecker 269). This book is one of the books that act as testament to the significance of Davidsons works, ideas and concepts. It is significant enough that many people and many authors and publishers toil and invest in effort, money and logistics just to put together a book such as this. They know that Davidsons ideas are important and significant and many professionals want to know more about it and want to know what other people think about these ideas (of Davidson, his critics and his followers) and how everything fits inside the modern philosophy picture.
Many professionals who admired the work of Davidson often refers to the books that he has written which contains the explanation of the ideas that Davidson is talking about. These ideas and concepts made Davidson an important pillar in the philosophy of language. One of the books that has become an important reading material for any student of the philosophy of languages and the follower or critic of Davidson is Truth, Language and History, which discusses the concept of truth and how language delivers and processes the idea of truth and how truth eventually is affected by language and vice versa.
Rorty, whose books often talked about the ideas of Davidson, was considered as one of the individuals whose reception of the ideas of Davidson was a mix of agreement and disagreement. In other books analysing Rortys position in lieu of and in consideration to Davidson, it is reflected that Rorty was always inclined to stand side by side Davidson even though there are still many points that Rorty believes he and Davidson are in disagreement in, like the concept of meaning which is important and key in the understanding of the ideas in the philosophy of language. And though there is a source here of disagreement between him and Davidson, it is also clear hat they agree on a lot of assumptions despite their disagreement.
Davidson is an important figure in the philosophy of language because his ideas and concepts are key contributions that helped make the understanding of the philosophy of language as what it is today. Receptions of his works are mixed. To have a better understanding of the variety of the reactions and reception to Davidson and his work, it is important for the individual to read books written by him and written about him and his works. These books will help paint a better picture, not to mention help the individual be able to understand the ideas of Davidson when it comes to language, learning, knowledge and the meaning of what people say, which in usage is easy but in theoretical and philosophical analysis difficult and complex. To understand Davidsons work in its complexity, one needs to understand its context in recent analytic philosophy.