John Niemeyer Findlay

John Niemeyer Findlay

__NOTOC__John Niemeyer Findlay, known as J. N. Findlay, (Pretoria, 25 November 190327 September 1987) was a South African philosopher.

Findlay was educated in Pretoria, received a Rhodes scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford for the years 1924-1926, and completed his doctorate in 1933 Graz, where he studied under Ernst Mally. He was professor of philosophy at the Transvaal University College in Pretoria, the University of Otago in New Zealand, Rhodes University College, Grahamstown, the University of Natal, Pietermartizburg, King’s College, Newcastle upon Tyne, King's College London, the University of Texas at Austin, Yale University, and Boston University. [cite web
last = Howard
first = Alana
title = Biography
work = Gifford Lecture Series
url =
accessdate = 2008-07-10
] [citation
periodical = Owl of Minerva
title = In Memoriam: John Niemeyer Findlay
first = Errol
last = Harris
author-link = Errol Harris
volume = 19
issue = 2
date = Spring 1988
pages = 252-253
] [cite web
url =
accessdate = 2008-07-10
title = Awards • Department of Philosophy at Boston University
] He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1955 to 1956. A chair for visiting professors at Boston University carries his name, as well as a biennial award given for the best book in metaphysics, as judged by The Metaphysical Society of America.

At a time when scientific materialism, positivism, linguistic analysis, and ordinary language philosophy were the core academic ideas, Findlay championed phenomenology, revived Hegelianism, and wrote works that were inspired by Buddhism, Plotinus, and Idealism. In his books published in the 1960s, including two series of Gifford Lectures, Findlay developed Rational Mysticism. According to this mystical system, "the philosophical perplexities, e.g., concerning universals and particulars, mind and body, knowledge and its objects, the knowledge of other minds," [citation
last = Findlay
first = J. N.
authorlink = John Niemeyer Findlay
chapter = Preface
chapter-url =
title = The Transcendence of the Cave
place = London
publication-place = New York
date = 1966
publication-date = 1967
publisher = Humanities Press
] as well as those of free will and determinism, causality and teleology, morality and justice, and the existence of temporal objects, are human experiences of deep antinomies and absurdities about the world. Findlay's conclusion is that these necessitate the postulation of higher spheres, or "latitudes", where objects' individuality, categorical distinctiveness and material constraints are diminishing, lesser in each latitude than in the one below it. On the highest spheres, existence is evaluative and meaningful more than anything else, and Findlay identifies it with the idea of The Absolute. [citation
last = Drob
first = Sanford L
title = Findlay's Rational Mysticism: An Introduction
url =

Findlay translated into English Husserl's "Logische Untersuchungen" ("Logical Investigations"), which he regarded as the author's best work, as it represents a stage in his development when the idea of phenomenological bracketing was not yet taken as the basis of a philosophical system, covering in fact for loose subjectivism. The work is also, in his view, one of the peaks of philosophy in general, and it suggests superior alternatives both for overly minimalistic or naturalistic efforts in ontology and for Ordinary Language treatments of consciousness and thought. [citation
last = Findlay
first = J. N.
authorlink = John Niemeyer Findlay
chapter = Translator's Introduction (Abridged)
editor-last = Moran
editor-first = Dermot
title = Logical Investigations
volume = I
place = New Haven, Connecticut
publication-place = New York
date = 1970
publication-date = 2001
publisher = Routledge
isbn = 0-415-24189-8
] [citation
last1 = Ryle
first1 = Gilbert
authorlink1 = Gilbert Ryle
last2 = Findlay
first2 = J. N.
authorlink2 = John Niemeyer Findlay
year = 1961
title = Symposium: Use, Usage and Meaning
periodical = Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes
volume = 35
page = 240
url =
accessdate = 2008-06-14
] Findlay has also written addenda to the translations of Hegel's "Logic" and "Phenomenology of Spirit".

Findlay was first a follower, and then an outspoken critic, of Ludwig Wittgenstein. He denounced his three theories of meaning, arguing against the idea of Use, prominent in Wittgenstein's later period and in his followers, that it is insufficient for an analysis of meaning without such notions as connotation and denotation, implication, syntax and most originally, pre-existent meanings, in the mind or the external world, that determine linguistic ones, such as Husserl has evoked. Findlay credits Wittgenstein with great formal, aesthetic and literary appeal, and diverting a well deserved attention to Semantics and its difficulties. [citation
last1 = Ryle
first1 = Gilbert
authorlink1 = Gilbert Ryle
last2 = Findlay
first2 = J. N.
authorlink2 = John Niemeyer Findlay
year = 1961
title = Symposium: Use, Usage and Meaning
periodical = Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes
volume = 35
pages = 231-242
url =
accessdate = 2008-06-14




*"Meinong's Theory of Objects", Oxford University Press, 1933; 2nd ed. as "Meinong's Theory of Objects and Values", 1963
*"Hegel: A Re-examination", London: Allen & Unwin/New York: Macmillan, 1958
*"Values and Intentions", London: Allen & Unwin, 1961
*"Language, Mind and Value", London: Allen & Unwin/New York: Humanities Press, 1963
*"The Discipline of the Cave", London: Allen & Unwin/New York: Humanities Press, 1966 (Gifford Lectures 1964–1965 [] )
*"The Transcendence of the Cave", London: Allen & Unwin/New York: Humanities Press, 1967 (Gifford Lectures 1965–1966 [] )
*"Axiological Ethics", London: Macmillan, 1970
*"Ascent to the Absolute", London: Allen & Unwin/New York: Humanities Press, 1970
*"Psyche and Cerebrum", Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1972
*"Plato: The Written and Unwritten Doctrines", London: Routledge and Kegan Paul/New York: Humanities Press, 1974
*"Plato and Platonism", New York: New York Times Book Co., 1976
*"Kant and the Transcendental Object", Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981
*"Wittgenstein: A Critique", London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984


*"Time: A Treatment of Some Puzzles", Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, Vol. 19, Issue 13 (December 1941): 216-235.
*"Morality by Conventions", "Mind", Vol. 33, No. 210 (1944): 142-169
*"Can God's Existence Be Disproved?", "Mind", Vol. 37, No. 226 (1948): 176-183; reprinted with discussion in Flew, A. and MacIntyre, A. C., (eds.), "New Essays in Philosophical Theology", New York: Macmillan, 1955 []
*"Linguistic Approach to Psychophysics", "Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society", 1949-1950
*"The Justification of Attitudes", "Mind", Vol. 43, No. 250 (1954): 145-161
*"Use, Usage and Meaning", "Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society", Supplementary Volumes, Vol. 35. (1961), pp. 223-242 []
*"Foreword", in "Hegel's Logic, Being Part One of The Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences (1830)", Clarendon Press, 1975. ISBN 978-0198245124 []
*"Analysis of the Text", in "Phenomenology of Spirit", Oxford University Press, 1977: 495-592. ISBN 978-0-19-824597-1 []


*Robert S. Cohen, Richard M. Martin, and Merold Westphal (eds.), "Studies in the Philosophy of J.N. Findlay", Albany NY: State University of New York Press, 1985 (Includes autobiographical note by Findlay and his account of encounters with Wittgenstein). ISBN 978-0873957953
*Michele Marchetto, "L'etica impersonale: La teoria dei valori di John Niemeyer Findlay", Edizioni scientifiche italiane, 1989. ISBN 978-8871041384; Eng. tr. 1989, "Impersonal Ethics: John Niemeyer Findlay's Value-theory", Avebury, 1996. ISBN 978-1859722725
*Bockja Kim, "Morality as the End of Philosophy: The Teleological Dialectic of the Good in J.N. Findlay's Philosophy of Religion", University Press of America, 1999. ISBN 978-0761814900

External links

* [ John Niemeyer Findlay] by Dr. Sanford L. Drob
* [ Philosophical History: The Otago Department]
* [ Gifford Lecture Series - Biography - John Niemeyer Findlay]

NAME = Findlay, John Niemeyer
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Findlay, J.N.; Findlay, JN; Findlay, J N; Findlay, J. N.
SHORT DESCRIPTION = South African Philosopher
DATE OF BIRTH = November 25, 1903
PLACE OF BIRTH = Pretoria, South Africa
DATE OF DEATH = September 27, 1987

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Niemeyer Findlay — John Niemeyer Findlay, auch bekannt als J. N. Findlay, (* 25. November 1903 in Pretoria; † 27. September 1987) war ein südafrikanischer Philosoph. Findlay war Mitglied der British Academy und der American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Er war im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Findlay (surname) — Findlay is a surname, and may refer to:*Brent Findlay (born 1985), New Zealand cricketer *Conn Findlay (born 1930), American Olympic medalist in rowing and sailing *Dave Finlay (born 1958), British Irish professional wrestler *Donald Findlay… …   Wikipedia

  • Findlay — ist als Variante von Finlay der Familienname folgender Personen: Alexander Findlay, erster Leutnantgouverneur der britische Kolonie Gambia in Westafrika Arthur Findlay (1883–1964), britischer Esoteriker Conn Findlay (* 1930) US amerikanischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Findlay (disambiguation) — John Findlay may refer to:*John Findlay, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania *John Van Lear Findlay, U.S. Representative from Maryland *John Niemeyer Findlay, 20th century philosopher;See also *John Finley (disambiguation) *John Finlay… …   Wikipedia

  • Arthur Prior — Infobox Philosopher region = Western Philosophers era = 20th century philosophy color = #B0C4DE image caption = name = Arthur Norman Prior birth = December 4, 1914 death = October 6, 1969 school tradition = Logic main interests = Temporal Logic,… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Balliol College people — The following is a list of notable people educated at Balliol College, Oxford. When available, year of matriculation is provided in parenthesis, as listed in the relevant edition of The Balliol College Register or in the Oxford Dictionary of… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Newcastle University people — This article is a list of people who spent time at Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, as either a student or teacher. This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help… …   Wikipedia

  • La sociedad abierta y sus enemigos — es una obra en dos volúmenes escrita por Karl Popper durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Al no encontrar un editor en Estados Unidos, fue publicada por primera vez en Londres por Routledge en 1945. El trabajo critica las teorías del historicismo… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Atheismus — (von altgr. ἄθεος (átheos) „ohne Gott“ bzw. „gottlos“) bezeichnet im engeren Sinne die Überzeugung, dass es keinen Gott gibt. Zum Atheismus im weiteren Sinn gehören auch andere Abgrenzungen vom Glauben an Gott, beispielsweise Ansichten, nach… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Arthur Norman Prior — (* 4. Dezember 1914 in Masterton, Neuseeland; † 6. Oktober 1969 in Trondheim, Norwegen) war ein neuseeländisch britischer Logiker und Philosoph, der der analytischen Philosophie der formalen Sprache zuzurechnen ist. Mit seinem Werk Time and… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.