Essays In Honor Of Hubert L Dreyfus

What then is Dreyfus' basic claim regarding background practices?As developed in these articles, the thesis has several distinct constituent parts.Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the term 'practice' does not appear prominently in itself and that, as Dreyfus himself, following Heidegger, rightly insists, every good interpretation of classic philosophical works requires a strong contribution from the interpreter.

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Professor Dreyfus went on to play a major role in explaining Continental thought in works like “Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics” (1982), written with Paul Rabinow, and “Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time, Division I’” (1989).

With Mark Wrathall, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, he edited numerous guides devoted to existentialism, phenomenology and Heidegger’s philosophy.“It is no exaggeration to say that, insofar as English speaking philosophers have any access at all to thinkers like Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Michel Foucault, it is through the interpretation that Dreyfus originally offered of them,” the Harvard philosophy professor Sean D.

For it is this idea, that being habituated into a set of background practices is a necessary condition on the intelligibility of people, objects, and institutions, that underlies both Dreyfus' distinctive skeptical evaluations of the possibilities of artificial intelligence and his seminal contributions to Heidegger interpretation.

Characteristically, Dreyfus attributed to the Heidegger of the claim articulated briefly above: that an agent skillfully coping with its environment in terms of a set of background practices makes it possible for that agent to understand what is involved in being a person, object, or institution,.

Hubert Lederer Dreyfus, known as Bert, was born on Oct. His father, Stanley, was in the wholesale poultry business, and his mother, the former Irene Lederer, was a homemaker.

At Wiley High School, his debate coach encouraged him to apply to Harvard, which he thought was in England, because of the Cambridge address. because I figured they would help me make better bombs,” he said in an interview at the Institute of International Studies at Berkeley in 2005. He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1951, writing an undergraduate thesis on causality in quantum mechanics, and a master’s degree in 1952.The publication of this collection of essays, written over a period of more than 20 years and expertly edited by Dreyfus' student and long-time friend and collaborator Mark Wrathall, is thus both timely and greatly appreciated.This is especially the case because of the organizing principle of this anthology, the notion of 'background practices', a concept which is, arguably, Hubert Dreyfus' most important contribution.Kelly wrote recently on the philosophy website Daily Nous.In later years, he turned his attention to new subjects.With Professor Kelly, he wrote a surprise best seller on literature, “All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age” (2011).In “Skillful Coping: Essays on the Everyday Phenomenology of Everyday Perception and Action” (2014), an essay collection edited by Professor Wrathall, he employed the insights of phenomenology to explore nonreflexive action and ethics.“They came to my course and said, more or less: ‘We don’t need Plato and Kant and Descartes anymore. Simon, two of RAND’s leading artificial intelligence researchers, and followed with the equally provocative “What Computers Can’t Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason.”Professor Dreyfus argued that the dream of artificial intelligence rested on several flawed assumptions, chief among them the idea that the brain is analogous to computer hardware and the mind to computer software.In this view, human beings develop an accurate picture of the world by adding bits of information and rearranging them in a procedure that follows predictable rules.And, interestingly, Dreyfus also uses this same conceptual framework as the guiding key for his interpretation of the later Heidegger's work on the history of being, technology, and nihilism, topics that provide the focus for many of the essays in this volume.This attribution to Heidegger of the concept and role of background practices is understandable and to some extent justified by the extent to which interpreting Heidegger as introducing this view in Division 1 of has proven to be an exceedingly rich interpretive tool when employed by Dreyfus and his many outstanding students and followers, including John Haugeland, Mark Wrathall, Taylor Carman, Bill Blattner, Sean Kelly, and many others.


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