12.13：第二届“洪谦纪念讲座”（Tscha Hung Memorial Lectures）
讲座主题：“哲学打造的世界”（“The World Philosophy Made”）
讲座时间：2019年12月13日15:00-18:00（15:00-18:00, December 13th, 2019）
讲座地点：北京大学外国哲学研究所227室（Room 227, The Institute of Foreign Philosohy）
This lecture will introduce the main themes of my book, The World Philosophy Made, about what western philosophy is, what it has been, and what it will continue to be. Our study of it today is not the study of a frozen historical canon from Socrates and Plato to Kant Hegel, and Nietzsche, offering a smorgasbord of earlier responses to unanswerable questions yielding no real knowledge. Although history remains an important part of the subject, today's philosophers generate new questions, while offering better answers to old ones than those previously given. As a result, philosophical knowledge is increasing and the canon in philosophy is always expanding.
Because philosophy is not an isolated discipline, but the partner of all disciplines, philosophers have always been deeply involved in all important areas of inquiry Our natural science, mathematics, and technology, our social science, political institutions, and economic life, our education, culture, religion, and our understanding of ourselves have all been partially shaped by philosophy. In short, philosophy is essentially connected to all foundational knowledge.
Of course, western philosophy isn’t the whole story. Although my book focuses on it alone, many advances in civilization it has helped to bring about have become the common property of all cultures. As more work in other philosophical traditions are translated, and new bodies of secondary literature grow up, new syntheses will become possible, sparking new philosophical advances.
Philosophy never advances against a background of total ignorance. It flourishes when enough is known to make great progress conceivable, even though it remains incompletely realized because new methods are needed. Philosophers help by giving us new concepts, reinterpreting old truths, and re-conceptualizing questions to expand their solution spaces. Sometimes philosophers do this when sciences are born, but they also do it as disciplines mature. As science advances, there is more, not less, for philosophy to do. Our knowledge of the universe and ourselves grows like an expanding sphere of light from a point of illumination. As light travels in all directions away from the source, the volume of the sphere, representing our secure knowledge, grows exponentially. But so does the surface area of the sphere, representing the border where knowledge blurs into doubt, bringing back methodological uncertainty. Philosophy monitors the border, ready to help plot our next move.
In my lecture, I will illuminate these ideas by the world-transforming achievements of the dawn of western philosophy in ancient Greece, its remarkable revival in 13th century Europe, its contribution to the stunning scientific advances of the 17th and 18th centuries, its role in 19th and 20th in the development of mathematical logic that led to the digital age, and it’s more recent contributions to rational decision theory, and the science of human thought and language.
“洪谦纪念讲座”（Tscha Hung Memorial Lectures）简介
Scott Soames教授生于1946 年， 1976年于麻省理工大学（MIT）获得博士学位，曾先后执教于耶鲁大学（Yale University）、普林斯顿大学（Princeton University），目前担任南加州大学（The University of Southern California）哲学学院院长。Soames教授是当代著名的语言哲学家，他在语言哲学、分析哲学史等学术领域均做出了具有深远影响的研究成果，出版有十余部学术著作和近百篇学术论文。近期出版的专著包括The World Philosophy Made: From Plato to the Digital Age (Princeton 2019), The Analytic Tradition in Philosophy, Vol 2: A New Vision (Princeton 2018). Rethinking Language, Mind, and Meaning (Princeton 2015), The Analytic Tradition in Philosophy, Vol 1: Founding Giants (Princeton 2014)。由于Soames教授在哲学研究领域的杰出贡献，他在2010年被遴选为美国人文与科学院（The American Academy of Arts and Sciences）院士。
联合主办单位：普林斯顿大学出版社（Princeton University Press）、普林斯顿读书汇