Books on Positive Philosophy
Overview
A triad of book projects related to Positive Philosophy.
Of the three books envisaged two are informal, one covering the theoretical and the other the practical aspects of positive philosophy. The third book contains formal materials connected with positive philosophy in various ways, and comes in three volumes. Of these three volumes are concerned with formal exegetical analysis, one consists of various formal syntheses, and the third contains supporting materials (theories having little philosophical interest), and complete theory listings for all three parts.
A presentation of the theoretical/analytic side of Positive Philosophy closely coupled with a contemporary conception of the research and development programmes of Leibniz and Carnap on the formalisation and automation of reason and its applications in science and engineering.
Practical Positive Philosophy is concerned with existential questions, ethics, morality, justice, politics and economics.
An analytic examination of varieties of analysis (mostly but not necessarily philosophical) and their philosophical, technical and technological underpinnings, historical and contemporary, formal and informal.
Introduction
Of the three books envisaged two are informal, one covering the theoretical and the other the practical aspects of positive philosophy. The third book contains formal materials connected with positive philosophy in various ways, and comes in three volumes. Of these three volumes are concerned with formal exegetical analysis, one consists of various formal syntheses, and the third contains supporting materials (theories having little philosophical interest), and complete theory listings for all three parts.
Some History

At the beginning of 2009 I thought to write a monograph on "The Fundamental Triple-Dichotomy". This project evolved during the year, first into more broadly conceived "book" on "Metaphysical Positivism". To this was added a companion project, at first "A Formal History of Philosophical Logio", the name shifting with my ideas and ending the year as "An Analytic History of Philosophical Analysis".

At the beginning of 2010 I decided to scrap these projects (which had evolved considerably in their conception, but not progressed significantly in their execution) and start afresh. I started up a new project called "The HOT Philosophy Project", but in no time at all I realised that, even though this might take the limelight over 2010, it would not encompass all that I still wanted to do in the original projects. So I decided to keep them, or something similar.

I had originally intended "The Fundamental Triple-Dichotomy" and then its sucessor "Metaphysical Positivism" to contain quite a lot of historical material. Under the new structure this kind of material is split between "The HOT Philosophy Project" (which includes some relevant intellectual autobiography and some history essential to understanding the ideas) and "The Analytic History..." (which is primarily historical), leaving "Metaphysical Positivism" as a pure exposition of a kind of analytic philosophy. This would, I thought, be too narrow a scope, so I decided to make it a fuller account of my philosophy and call it "Positive Philosophy". This would have a part on the purely analytic part of the philosophy, for which I would continue to use the name "Metaphysical Positivism".

During 2011 however, I was distracted from all these book writing ambitions, and spent a large chunk of the year getting better acquainted with contemporary philosophy of set theory. This happened because of a couple of events at Birkbeck College in London which I had the opportunity to attend and which I thought it worth my while to spend time preparing for. In the second and larger of these, a summer school and conference, I became engrossed in certain issues in forcing, and this sustained my distraction from the books into the autumn.

So when I came back to thinking of books, pretty much a whole year had passed, and I was ready to recast the enterprise again. "HOT philosophy" is off the agenda for the time being, and I have chosen other ways of approaching the exposition of Positive Philosophy. The main shift is that the analytic or theoretical part is to be presented through the Leibniz/Carnap project continuation in a volume entitled "Positive Philosophy and The Automation of Reason", thus dropping discussion of evolution and de-emphasising the Carnap/Kripke critique. A second volume on the practical side might be thought of as an evolution of my "Anarchy is Order" idea, but for some reason I decided to leave that alone (in suspension) and start afresh as "Positive Philosophy, Freedom and Demoncracy". Those I now envisage as my most active front, but a compendium of formal analysis ("Analyses of Analysis") remains in the picture and will I hope develop in parallel, and I might also find time to progress my joint enterprise with Speranza "A conversation between Carnap and Grice". The formal exegesis of Plato and Aristotle, partly built on the Grice/Code work is the most likely near term stimulus to progress on both these works, since some talk of Plato and Aristotle is to appear in the volumes on Positive Philosophy. I would also like to do some formal analysis of Leibniz's ideas connected with the grand project.

The Presentation of Positive Philosophy

Positive philosophy is presented in two parts, one theoretical (which I call metaphysicsl positivism) and one practical (which I might call existential positivism). At present I have in mind one volume for each of these, each consisting entirely of English prose.

A third volume containing formal materials is also being assembled, though it is less certain that it will ever be in a fit state to publish in hard copy, or whether there would ever be any interest in having hard copies.

The two principle expository volumes each present the philosophy through certain applications of it. In the theoretical case this is the problem of the automation of reason. In the practical case it is an exploration of the opportunities presented by information technology and global networks for the evolution of democracy and free markets and the relationship between the two.

Analyses of Analysis

This now looks like three volumes of formal material, of which the first is primarily exegetical, the second is more original and the third is just a load of theory listings (and possibly some other materials technically required but of little philsophical interest).

The first is intended to be a collection of formal models illustrating the application of the method of formal logical analysis to historical exegisis. They are not merely illustrative since most will connect with historical strands in the informal expositions of Positive Philosophy.

It is intended both to explain and illustrate in action that method, but also to trace the history of the philosophical and logical ideas which underpin the method.

In this the most crucial concept whose history is traced is that of logical truth (in that broad sense which was identified by Rudolf Carnap with the concept of analyticity).

The history begins with Plato, and is intended to conclude only when all the necessary advances which contribute to our method are in place (about 1985).

This is in part an exercise in comparative metaphysics. Metaphysical Positivism provides our best approximation to a minimal, neutral metaphysical and logical foundation suitable for conducting the comparison without tainting the systems under study by the philosophical and logical presuppositions of the analytic method.

This minimal neutral metaphysic is a core feature of Metaphysical Positivism and a terminus for the history.

I don't have much idea on what belongs to the second volume at present, but this is formal material which goes beyond exegesis, and might include some foundational work.

Positive Philosophy and The Automation of Reason
A presentation of the theoretical/analytic side of Positive Philosophy closely coupled with a contemporary conception of the research and development programmes of Leibniz and Carnap on the formalisation and automation of reason and its applications in science and engineering.
Introductory Sketch
The idea is to further the projects of Leibniz and Carnap, as a synthesis of philosophical, logical and information engineering ideas.
I am at present working towards a book intended for publication as a print on demand paperback provisionally entitled "Positive Philosophy and The Automation of Reason".

This section provide access to drafts of the book in various forms and to other related materials.
This page links together the materials at rbjones.com relevant to the book of the same name.
Positive Philosophy, Freedom and Democracy
Practical Positive Philosophy is concerned with existential questions, ethics, morality, justice, politics and economics.
Metaphysical Positivism

A concise introduction to the theoretical, analytic, aspects of Positive Philosophy sufficient to provide a basis for the practical aspects of Positive Philosophy.

Existential Positivism

Practical positive philosophy is called "existential positivism" because it builds outward from core considerations for the individual and his attitude towards life. This central core is an affirmation of the autonomy of the individual. From this an individualistic conception of ethics and morality is obtained.

Politics

The nature of democracy is considered anew, what it is and what it might become, from the point of view of the autonomous individual and in the context of a critique of present day institutions of democratic government and they way they now operate and of the possibilities that arise from information technology and plausible future developments of it.

Economics

On the thesis that the individual seeking to influence the shape of society will seek the most efficient way of exerting that influence, the possibilities for systematic harnessing of individual purchasing decisions to achieve social change are explored.

Analyses of Analysis
An analytic examination of varieties of analysis (mostly but not necessarily philosophical) and their philosophical, technical and technological underpinnings, historical and contemporary, formal and informal.
Background
A few words on the purposes and character of the work.
Part II of Analyses of Analysis is the part where I seek to present and subject to comparative analysis modern analytic methods and their philosophical underpinnings.
First part of an analytic history of Philosophical Analysis, consisting of examples of exegetical analysis pertinent to the origins of modern methods.
Part III
A condensation of the formal backbone to the formal analyses, presenting the naked analytic truths obtained by deduction in the context of the formal models.
Current Drafts in PDF

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