Francisco Romero

Francisco Romero
Francisco Romero

Francisco Romero, the Argentine philosopher of transcendence, was born in Seville, Spain, but moved to Argentina as a child. After military and literary careers he turned to philosophy, joining the faculty of the University of Buenos Aires in 1928 and of La Plata in 1929.

He renounced his academic posts in 1946 in protest against the government of Juan Perón but resumed them in 1955. Because of his conceptual discipline, scope, originality of thought, and limpid clarity of style, Romero is considered one of the ablest and most satisfying of Latin American philosophers.

The idea of transcendence dominates and unifies Romero's metaphysics and theories of knowledge and values. Transcendence implies at least the diversity achieved by passing beyond a given condition or limit and suggests a universal impetus or agency of such passage, an agency that may be purposive. Opposed to transcendence is immanence, which implies identity and containment within, or return to, a limit.

Karl Roretz

Karl Roretz - Yui Ito
Karl Roretz

Karl Roretz, the Austrian epistemologist, philosopher of culture, and aesthetician, was born at Schloss Breiteneich. He studied law, and later philosophy, at the University of Vienna, receiving his doctorate in 1906 with the dissertation "The Problem of Empathy in Modern Aesthetics."

In 1922 Roretz became a Privatdozent at the university and taught history of modern philosophy until 1938, when he ceased lecturing after the Nazi takeover of Austria. He resumed lecturing in 1945 and continued until his retirement in 1951.

As an epistemologist, Roretz espoused a "critical positivism," a philosophy whose foundation is both scientific and, in Immanuel Kant's sense, criticist. The outstanding features of his thought are critical reflection, skeptical rationality, intellectual honesty, and independence of mind. He rejected dogmatism and unsupported metaphysical speculation. Like Hans Vaihinger, he regarded metaphysical concepts as self-contradictory fictions. Thus, Roretz held, metaphysics lacks any purely logical meaning.

Richard Rorty

Richard Rorty
Richard Rorty

An American philosopher and pragmatist, Rorty is among the most widely discussed and controversial philosophers at the turn of the twenty-first century. A New Yorker by birth, Richard Rorty was educated at the University of Chicago (1946–1952) and at Yale (1952–1956) where he received his doctorate in philosophy.

After brief flirtations with Platonism and the work of A. N. Whitehead, Rorty's more mature interests began to form at the end of his military service in 1958, at which point he began serious study of the philosophers who would later number among his chief influences: Wilfrid Sellars, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, John Dewey, and W.V. O. Quine.

Early Period

Rorty's early work in analytic philosophy, sometimes thought to represent a completely distinct period, is in fact touched by two themes that resurface throughout his career. The first theme is anti-Cartesianism about the mind and knowledge. In a series of papers written during the 1960s Rorty was the first to develop a subsequently contentious theory in the philosophy of mind—eliminative materialism, which holds that the mind and mental states are theoretical, and hence dispensable, constructions.

Roscelin

Roscelin
Roscelin

Despite much scholarly effort, little is known about Roscelin of Compiègne. The only work that we can safely attribute to him is a letter he sent to Peter Abelard around 1119–1120. In this ill-tempered piece of writing Roscelin sets out to distinguish his position on the Trinity from that which Abelard was developing in his Theologia Summi Boni.

The problem for Roscelin and Abelard is to give an account of the distinction between the persons of the Trinity compatible with the unity of God. Roscelin notes that he has to navigate here between two heresies: Sabellianism, requiring such a unity in the singular substance of God that the distinction between the persons can be only verbal, and Ariansm, which distinguishes the persons as greater and lesser so as to constitute three distinct gods.

Roscelin, in effect, accused his former student of Sabellianism, and so contributed to Abelard's being called before the Council of Soissons in 1121 and required to burn a copy of his Theologia Summi Boni and confirm his orthodoxy.

Johann Karl Friedrich Rosenkranz

Johann Karl Friedrich Rosenkranz
Johann Karl Friedrich Rosenkranz

Johann Karl Friedrich Rosenkranz, the German Hegelian philosopher, was born in Magdeburg. He entered the University of Berlin in 1824. Although he was to become G. W. F. Hegel's most devoted disciple, Rosenkranz was first drawn to Friedrich Schleiermacher; he heard only an occasional lecture by Hegel and was unimpressed.

He began reading Hegel as a student at Halle in 1826 and the following year came under the influence of Karl Daub (1765–1836), a Hegelian theologian at Heidelberg. As a Privatdozent and extraordinary professor at Halle, Rosenkranz participated actively in the Hegelian circle there. Called to Berlin, he struck up a friendship with Hegel and joined his birthday celebration a few weeks before Hegel died of cholera in 1831.

Rosenkranz himself was stricken almost fatally with the disease, reflecting, as he later reported, that this was carrying discipleship entirely too far. In 1833 he succeeded Johann Friedrich Herbart as professor of philosophy at the University of Königsberg, where he remained until his death except for a brief political career in Berlin during the revolutionary crisis of 1848/1849.

Franz Rosenzweig

Franz Rosenzweig
Franz Rosenzweig

Franz Rosenzweig, the religious existentialist, was born in Cassel, Germany. From 1905 to 1912 he studied natural sciences, modern history (under Friedrich Meinecke), and philosophy (under Heinrich Rickert) at the universities of Göttingen, Munich, Freiburg, and Berlin.

At Berlin he earned a doctor of philosophy degree in 1912 with a dissertation on G. W. F. Hegel's political doctrines; later, he expanded this study. In the fall of 1913, after a spiritual crisis, he turned to religious, especially Judaic, philosophy.

In 1918–1919 he wrote Der Stern der Erlösung (The Star of Redemption), a three-part religio-philosophical system; in 1920 he founded the Freies Jüdisches Lehrhaus (Independent House of Judaic Studies) in Frankfurt.

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