The idea of ‘hope’ has received significant attention in the political sphere recently. But is hope just wishful thinking, or can it be something more than a political catch-phrase? This book argues that hope can be understood existentially, or on the basis of what it means to be human. Under this conception of hope, given to us by Gabriel Marcel, hope is not optimism, but the creation of ways for us to flourish. War, poverty and an absolute reliance on technology (...) are real-life evils that can suffocate hope. Marcel’s thought provides a way to overcome these negative experiences. An ethics of hope can function as an alternative to isolation, dread, and anguish offered by most existentialists. This book presents Marcel’s existentialism as a convincing, relevant moral theory; founded on the creation of hope, interwoven with the individual’s response to the death of God. Jill Hernandez argues that today’s reader of Marcel can resonate with his belief that the experience of pain can be transcended through a philosophy of hope and an escape from materialism. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that Leibniz’s form/matter defense of omnipotence is paradoxical, but not irretrievably so. Leibniz maintains that God necessarily must concur only in the possibility for evil’s existence in the world (the form of evil), but there are individual instances of moral evil that are not necessary (the matter of evil) with which God need not concur. For Leibniz, that there is moral evil in the world is contingent on God’s will (a dimension of (...) divine omnipotence), with the result that even though it is necessary that God exerts his will, there are particular products of his will that are contingent and unnecessary—including human moral evil. If there are instances of evil which are contingent on God’s will and yet unnecessary, then the problematic conclusion for Leibniz’s view must be that human evil depends upon divine concurrence, not just for its possibility in the world (which is necessary) but for its instance (which is contingent). If the form/matter defense of omnipotence contains a true paradox, then God concurs in the form as well as the matter of evil. To assuage this difficulty for Leibniz, I will argue that he could either give up an Augustinian notion of evil, or rely upon a distinction between *potenta absoluta* and *potenta ordinate*, which was popular among important thinkers in the medieval period. (shrink)
This article explores the relational and motivational leadership behaviors that may promote stewardship in organizations. I conceptualize stewardship as an outcome of leadership behaviors that promote a sense of personal responsibility in followers for the long-term wellbeing of the organization and society. Building upon the themes presented in the stewardship literature, such as identification and intrinsic motivation, and drawing from other research streams to include factors such as interpersonal and institutional trust and moral courage, I posit that leaders foster stewardship (...) in their followers through various relational, motivational, and contextually supportive leadership behaviors. (shrink)
Samuel Kerstein argues that an asymmetry between moral worth and maxims prevents Kant from accepting a category of acts that are impermissible, but have moral worth. Kerstein contends that an act performed from the motive of duty should be considered as a candidate for moral worth, even if the action’s maxim turns out to be impermissible, since moral worth depends on the correct moral motivation of an act, rather than on the moral rightness of an act. I argue that Kant (...) cannot consistently maintain that there are morally forbidden, though good, acts since one of the conditions of acting from the moral law should be that one has a true belief about what the moral law requires. My project, then, rejects the possibility of morally impermissible, worthy acts for Kant, and qualifies the conditions for moral worth Kerstein gives with an epistemological constraint on moral worth. (shrink)
This article examines the complex relationship between culture, values, and ethics in mental health care. Cultural competence is a practical, concrete demonstration of the ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence (doing good), nonmaleficence (not doing harm), and justice (treating people fairly)—the cornerstones of modern ethical codes for the health professions. Five clinical cases are presented to illustrate the range of ethical issues faced by mental health clinicians working in a multicultural environment, including issues of therapeutic boundaries, diagnosis, treatment choice, (...) confidentiality and informed consent, and the just distribution of limited health care resources. (shrink)
Recent feminists have critiqued G.W. Leibniz’s Theodicy for its effort to justify God’s role in undeserved human suffering over natural and moral evil. These critiques suggest that theodicies which focus on evil as suffering alone obfuscate how to thematize evil, and so they conclude that theodicies should be rejected and replaced with a secularized notion of evil that is inextricably tied to the experiences of the victim. This paper argues that the political philosophy found in the writings of Catherine Macaulay (...) (1731–1791) can serve as a support to Leibniz’s larger claims and can also offer a more concrete, situated notion of evil that escapes the contemporary feminist critique. Macaulay’s work on natural and moral political evil, especially, will be presented as an early modern precursor to feminism, which defends divine perfection and a pre-established harmony in the face of political evil. I then identify three unique theodicical arguments in Macaulay’s work: the pragmatically beneficial defense, the eschatalogical defense, and the redemptive defense. (shrink)
This paper aims at surveying the current philosophical issues concerning the climate change crisis in Latin America. The work attempts to analyze some central policies, particularly those that fostered economic progress in the region at the expense of human and environmental depletion. Historically, Latin America remained at the periphery of philosophical inquiry following the long standing multiple manifestations of colonialism. As a result, the systematic philosophical reflections about climate change in the region have been scarce at best. Here, I have (...) addressed three main topics: political ecology, economic development, and indigenous issues. Latin American political ecology generally seeks to identify the ontological schemes necessary to mitigate, cope, and adapt to the climatic crisis. In addition, developmentalism played a significant role in exacerbating the state of Latin American political, economic, and ecological systems. Environmentalists all throughout the region strive to find alternatives to replace the failures of developmentalist policies. Consequently, indigenous concepts such as Sumak Kawsay or ?good living? offer alternate philosophical modes for Latin Americans, with their complex ethnic diversity, to derive their ontological and epistemological foundations on the problems posed by climate change. My work represents a sketch reporting the various inception points of different eco-philosophical views portraying legitimate instances of Latin Americans thinking critically about their own reality and surroundings. These may serve as alternate methods to forge models that could potentially contribute to universal philosophical concepts endowing humanity with broader epistemic tools to tackle the crisis at hand. (shrink)
The ‘middle knowledge’ doctrine salvages free will and divine omniscience by contending that God knows what agents will freely choose under any possible circumstances. I argue, however, that the Leibnizian problem of divine knowledge of human evil is best resolved by applying a Theodicy II distinction between determined, foreseen, and resolved action. This move eliminates deference to middle knowledge. Contingent action is indeed free, but not all action is contingent, and so not all action is free. For Leibniz, then, God’s (...) knowledge extends to the sum pattern of determinates for an act, rather than to contingent events. (shrink)
Critical thinking is often assumed to be an integral part of learning in higher education. This learning increasingly takes place in the online environment, where students and faculty are challenged to engage in a collaborative project of critical thinking. This paper seeks to explore the process of critical thinking that is currently taking place online and proposes that social interaction and the social construction of knowledge are integral parts of this process. Discussion boards from economics, history, and sociology are discussed (...) as examples of how critical thinking is developed in the online environment. (shrink)
There is convergence among researchers of the ‘Big Five’ personality traits taxonomy, that the dimension of conscientiousness best explains differences in work performance. This research is a literature review on the interrelationship between certain traits of the conscientiousness dimension and human virtues, or character traits. It also analyzes whether or not it is rational to argue that the continuous improvement culture enhances the exercise of these character traits. The personal effort to develop one's conscientiousness enriches one's character or way of (...) being, and this development is a consequence of character moulding through an intellectual and willful effort enabling one not only to develop personal habits but also to improve task performance. Continuous improvement culture, on the one hand, should provide a work environment where employees can practice virtues, including those contained in conscientiousness. On the other hand, the requirement is that continuous improvement culture should be developed in an environment that respects the freedom and purpose of the individual. (shrink)
Since the 2004 publication of his book The Good in the Right, Robert Audi has been at the forefront of the current resurgence of interest in intuitionism – the idea that human beings have an intuitive sense of right and wrong – in ethics. The New Intuitionism brings together some of the world’s most important contemporary writers from such diverse fields as metaethics, epistemology and moral psychology to explore the latest implications of, and challenges to, Audi’s work. The book also (...) includes an opening chapter that surveys the development of contemporary intuitionism and a conclusion that lays the ground for future developments and debates both written by Audi himself, making this an essential survey of this important school of ethical thought for anyone working in the field. (shrink)
We tested the hypothesis that perception of an alternative image in ambiguous figures would be manifest as high-frequency (gamma) components that become synchronized over multiple scalp sites as a ''cognitive binding'' process occurs. For 171 combinations of data from 19 electrodes, obtained from 17 subjects and 10 replicate stimuli, we calculated the difference in correlation between the response to first seeing an ambiguous figure and when the alternative percept for that figure became consciously realized (cognitively bound). Numerous statistically significant correlation (...) differences occurred in all frequency bands tested with ambiguous-figure stimulation, but not in two kinds of control data (a reaction-time test to sound stimuli and a no-task, mind-wandering test). Statistically significant correlation changes were widespread, involving frontal, parietal, central, and occipital regions of both hemispheres. Correlation changes were evident at each of five frequency bands, ranging up to 62.5 Hz. Most of the statistically significant correlation changes were not between adjacent sites but between sites relatively distant, both ipsilateral and contralateral. Typically, these correlation changes occurred in more than one frequency band. These results suggest that cognitive binding is a distinct mental state that is reliably induced by ambiguous-figure perception tasks. Coherent oscillations at multiple frequencies may reflect the mechanism by which such binding occurs. Moreover, different coherent frequencies may mediate different components of the total cognitive-binding process. (shrink)
The study of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) function has shown to provide useful indicators for risk stratification and early detection on a variety of cardiovascular pathologies. However, data gathered during different tests of the ANS are difficult to analyse, mainly due to the complex mechanisms involved in the autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system (CVS). Although model-based analysis of ANS data has been already proposed as a way to cope with this complexity, only a few models coupling the main (...) elements involved have been presented in the literature. In this paper, a new model of the CVS, representing the ventricles, the circulatory system and the regulation of the CVS activity by the ANS, is presented. The models of the vascular system and the ventricular activity have been developed using the Bond Graph formalism, as it proposes a unified representation for all energetic domains, facilitating the integration of mechanic and hydraulic phenomena. In order to take into account the electro-mechanical behaviour of both ventricles, an electrophysiologic model of the cardiac action potential, represented by a set of ordinary differential equations, has been integrated. The short-term ANS regulation of heart rate, cardiac contractility and peripheral vasoconstriction is represented by means of continuous transfer functions. These models, represented in different continuous formalisms, are coupled by using a multi-formalism simulation library. Results are presented for two different autonomic tests, namely the Tilt Test and the Valsalva Manoeuvre, by comparing real and simulated signals. (shrink)
In this paper, we describe the use of legal ontologies as a basis to improve IT support for professional judges. As opposed to most legal ontologies designed so far, which are mostly based on dogmatic and normative knowledge, we emphasize the importance of professional knowledge and experience as an important pillar for constructing the ontology. We describe an intelligent FAQ system for junior judges that intensively use the ontology.
Cardiovascular modelling has been a major research subject for the last decade. Different cardiac models have been developed at a cellular level as well as at the whole organ level. Most of these models are defined by a comprehensive cellular modelling using continuous formalisms or by a tissue-level modelling often based on discrete formalisms. Nevertheless, both views still suffer from difficulties that reduce their clinical applications: the first approach requires heavy computational resources while the second one is not able to (...) reproduce certain pathologies.This paper presents an original methodology trying to gather advantages from both approaches, by means of a hybrid model mixing discrete and continuous formalisms. This method has been applied to define a hybrid model of cardiac action potential propagation on a 2D grid of endocardial cells, combining cellular automata and a set of cells defined by the Beeler-Reuter model. For simulations under physiological and ischemic conditions, results show that the action potential propagation as well as electrogram reconstructions are consistent with clinical diagnosis. Finally, the advantage of the proposed approach is discussed within the frame of cardiac modelling and simulation. (shrink)
Different approaches have been proposed in order to achieve knowledge integration for coronary care monitoring applications, usually in the form of expert systems. The clinical impact of these expert systems, which are based only on "shallow" knowledge, has not been remarkable due to the difficulties associated with the construction and maintenance of a complete knowledge base. Model-based systems represent an alternative to these problems because they allow efficient integration of the "deep" knowledge on the underlying physiological phenomena being monitored. In (...) this work, a brief review of existing model-based systems for cardiac rhythm interpretation is presented, followed by the description of a new system forCardiac Arrhythmia Recognition by Model-Based ECG Matching (CARMEM). Fundamental characteristics of CARMEM are presented; in particular, its ability to provide on-line parameter adaptation to simulate complex rhythms and to match observed ECG signals. The proposed model can be useful for the explanation of the origin of cardiac arrhythmias and contribute towards their robust characterization in the context of coronary care units. (shrink)
In this paper, a mathematical model of the respiratory mechanics is used to reproduce experimental signal waveforms acquired from three newborn lambs. As the main challenge is to determine specific lamb parameters, a sensitivity analysis has been realized to find the most influent parameters, which are identified using an evolutionary algorithm. Results show a close match between experimental and simulated pressure and flow waveforms obtained during spontaneous ventilation and pleural pressure variations acquired during the application of positive pressure, since root (...) mean square errors equal to 0.0119, 0.0052 and 0.0094. The identified parameters were discussed in light of previous knowledge of respiratory mechanics in the newborn. (shrink)
Se realizó un trabajo de educación en valores humanos con métodos participativos en estudiantes del nuevo modelo formativo de Enfermería de la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Camagüey en la Filial de Nuevitas, para la ejecución de la tarea se capacitó a profesores y tutores, objetivo por el cual se diseñó la estrategia educativa. Se enunciaron las dificultades del objeto de investigación, resultado del diagnóstico aplicado, se confirmó la ausencia de estrategia educativa en el uso de métodos participativos con tal (...) fin, y la necesidad del diseño. Se utilizaron las etapas dirigidas a la capacitación, la sensibilización, la planificación, la valoración y el control de la ejecución del sistema de acciones con el colectivo pedagógico para el perfeccionamiento de la educación en valores con estos métodos. A teaching work based on human values with the implementation of participatory methods was carried out for Nursing students of the new training model at the seat of the Medical University of Camagüey in Nuevitas. Tutors and professors were trained to put this task into practice, reason why the teaching strategy was designed. The difficulties of the research object as a result of the applied diagnosis were set out. The lack of a teaching strategy in the use of participatory methods for this purpose, and the need of the design were stated. Stages aimed at training, awareness-raising, planning, assessment and control of the system of actions implementation with the pedagogical team in order to improve values education with these methods, were used. (shrink)
In this paper the scientific trajectory of Spanish influential biochemist Alberto Sols (1917-1989) is presented in comparative perspective. His social and academic environment, his research training under the Cori's in the US in the early 1950s and his works when coming back to Spain to develop his own scientific career are described in order to present the central argument of this paper on his path from physiological research to research on enzymatic regulation. Sols' main contributions were both scientific and (...) academic. He and his collaborators not only contributed to biological knowledge on the biochemistry of metabolic regulation but to the active reception of biochemistry in the Spanish academia and to update of Spanish medical education. (shrink)
Using Coffa's paper as a point of departure, this brief note is designed to show that Hempel's inductive-statistical model of explanation implicitly construes explanations of that type as defective deductive-nomological explanations, with the consequence that there is no such thing as genuine inductive-statistical explanation according to Hempel's account. This result suggests a possible implicit commitment to determinism behind Hempel's theory of scientific explanation.
This major publication is a history of the semantic tradition in philosophy from the early nineteenth century through its incarnation in the work of the Vienna Circle, the group of logical positivists that emerged in the years 1925-1935 in Vienna who were characterised by a strong commitment to empiricism, a high regard for science, and a conviction that modern logic is the primary tool of analytic philosophy. In the first part of the book, Alberto Coffa traces the roots of (...) logical positivism in a semantic tradition that arose in opposition to Kant's theory that a priori knowledge is based on pure intuition and the constitutive powers of the mind. In Part II, Coffa chronicles the development of this tradition by members and associates of the Vienna Circle. Much of Coffa's analysis draws on the unpublished notes and correspondence of many philosophers. The book, however, is not merely a history of the semantic tradition from Kant 'to the Vienna Station'. Coffa also critically reassesses the role of semantic notions in understanding the ground of a priori knowledge and its relation to empirical knowledge and questions the turn the tradition has taken since Vienna. (shrink)
Revisiting the history of relativity Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9466-4 Authors Lewis Pyenson, Department of History, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5242, USA Sean F. Johnston, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow, Rutherford-McCowan Building, Dumfries, Glasgow, Scotland G2 0RB, UK Alberto A. Martínez, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station B7000, Austin, TX 78712-0220, USA Richard Staley, Department of the History of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 226 Bradley Memorial Building, 1225 Linden Drive, Madison, (...) WI 53706-1528, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796 Journal Volume Volume 20 Journal Issue Volume 20, Number 1. (shrink)
En el mundo occidental, la primera figura que encarna el arquetipo del mediador sapiencial entre la comunidad humana y lo divino es, sin duda, Pitágoras de Samos. Las implicaciones de las doctrinas de este chamán en la historia de las ideas son enormes, pues sus invenciones abarcan todos los campos del saber: matemáticas, astronomía, filosofía, retórica, política, adivinación, medicina y religión. Nada escapa a este sabio griego, al que se atribuye un famoso teorema matemático, las escalas musicales y la idea (...) de la inmortalidad del alma. La primera parte del libro se ocupa de estudiar a Pitágoras como figura carismática y legendaria, la colección de sus enseñanzas, sus aspectos mánticos y políticos y, finalmente, la tradición pitagórica entre la realidad y la falsificación. En la segunda parte se presenta por primera vez, en una nueva traducción anotada, una recopilación de todas las biografías del filósofo: las escritas por Porfirio de Tiro, Jámblico de Calcis y Diógenes Laercio, y, como novedad, la más antigua que se conserva, redactada por el historiador griego Diodoro de Sicilia (s. I a.C.), y la del patriarca Focio de Constantinopla (s. IX). Todo ello, junto a la colección de máximas pitagóricas de origen tardío, llamada Versos de oro, así como el epítome de la enciclopedia bizantina Suda (s. X), forma el presente corpus biográfico-doctrinal de Pitágoras, que era una labor pendiente en el panorama bibliográfico español. David Hernández de la Fuente (Madrid, 1974) es escritor y profesor universitario, especializado en religión griega, antigüedad tardía e historia del platonismo. Doctor en filología clásica y sociología, es autor de los ensayos Oráculos griegos (Alianza) y Bakkhos Anax (CSIC), así como de numerosos artículos en revistas académicas y ediciones de autores clásicos, y ha coordinado la obra colectiva New Perspectives on Late Antiquity (Cambridge Scholars Pub.). Como autor de narrativa ha publicado Las puertas del sueño (Premio de Arte Joven 2005 de la Comunidad de Madrid), Continental (2007) y A cubierto (Premio Diputación de Valencia 2010). Memoria mundi 59 Isbn: 978-84-938466-6-4 440 páginas. (shrink)
This book provides both a historical analysis of the philosophical problem of individuation, and a new trajectory in its treatment. Drawing on the work of Gilles Deleuze, as well as C.S. Peirce and the lesser-known Gilbert Simondon, Alberto Toscano takes the problem of individuation, as reconfigured by Kant and Nietzsche, into the realm of modernity, providing a unique and vibrant contribution to contemporary debates in European philosophy.
The essays collected in this volume are all concerned with the connection between fiction and truth. This question is of utmost importance to metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophical logic and epistemology, raising in each of these areas and at their intersections a large number of issues related to creation, existence, reference, identity, modality, belief, assertion, imagination, pretense, etc. All these topics and many more are addressed in this collection, which brings together original essays written from various points of view by (...) philosophers of diverse trends. These essays constitute major contributions to the current debates that the connection between truth and fiction continually enlivens, and give a sense of the directions in which research on this question is heading. Contributors: Fred Adams, Frederick Kroon, Robert Howell, Brendan Murday, Terence Parsons, Graham Priest, Erich Rast, Manuel Rebuschi, Marion Renauld, R.M. Sainsbury, Grant Tavinor, Alberto Voltolini. (shrink)
Kant claims that the nominal definition of truth is: “Truth is the agreement of cognition with its object”. In this paper, I analyse the relevant features of Kant's theory of definition in order to explain the meaning of that claim and its consequences for the vexed question of whether Kant endorses or rejects a correspondence theory of truth. I conclude that Kant's claim implies neither that he holds, nor that he rejects, a correspondence theory of truth. Kant's claim is not (...) a generic way of setting aside a correspondence definition of truth, or of considering it uninformative. Being the nominal definition of truth, the formula “truth is the agreement of cognition with its object” illustrates the meaning of the predicate “is true” and people's ordinary conception of truth. True judgements correspond to the objects they are about. However, there could be more to the property of truth than correspondence. (shrink)
Alberto Casullo ("Necessity, Certainty, and the A Priori", Canadian Journal of Philosophy 18, 1988) argues that arithmetical propositions could be disconfirmed by appeal to an invented scenario, wherein our standard counting procedures indicate that 2 + 2 != 4. Our best response to such a scenario would be, Casullo suggests, to accept the results of the counting procedures, and give up standard arithmetic. While Casullo's scenario avoids arguments against previous "disconfirming" scenarios, it founders on the assumption, common to scenario (...) and response, that arithmetic might be independent of standard counting procedures. Here I show, by attention to tallying as the simplest form of counting, that this assumption is incoherent: given standard counting procedures, then (on pain of irrationality) arithmetical theory follows. (shrink)
Ernst Cassirer claimed that Kant's notion of actual object presupposes the notion of truth. Therefore, Kant cannot define truth as the correspondence of a judgement with an actual object. In this paper, I discuss the relations between Kant's notions of truth, object, and actuality. I argue that's notion of actual object does not presuppose the notion of truth. I conclude that Kant can define truth as the correspondence of a judgement with an actual object.
Among the main concerns of 20th century philosophy was that of the foundations of mathematics. But usually not recognized is the relevance of the choice of a foundational approach to the other main problems of 20th century philosophy, i.e., the logical structure of language, the nature of scientific theories, and the architecture of the mind. The tools used to deal with the difficulties inherent in such problems have largely relied on set theory and its “received view”. There are specific issues, (...) in philosophy of language, epistemology and philosophy of mind, where this dependence turns out to be misleading. The same issues suggest the gain in understanding coming from category theory, which is, therefore, more than just the source of a “non-standard” approach to the foundations of mathematics. But, even so conceived, it is the very notion of what a foundation has to be that is called into question. The philosophical meaning of mathematics is no longer confined to which first principles are assumed and which “ontological” interpretation is given to them in terms of some possibly updated version of logicism, formalism or intuitionism. What is central to any foundational project proper is the role of universal constructions that serve to unify the different branches of mathematics, as already made clear in 1969 by Lawvere. Such universal constructions are best expressed by means of adjoint functors and representability up to isomorphism. In this lies the relevance of a category-theoretic perspective, which leads to wide-ranging consequences. One such is the presence of functorial constraints on the syntax–semantics relationships; another is an intrinsic view of (constructive) logic, as arises in topoi and, subsequently, in more general fibrations. But as soon as theories and their models are described accordingly, a new look at the main problems of 20th century’s philosophy becomes possible. The lack of any satisfactory solution to these problems in a purely logical and set-theoretic setting is the result of too circumscribed an approach, such as a static and punctiform view of objects and their elements, and a misconception of geometry and its historical changes before, during, and after the foundational “crisis”, as if algebraic geometry and synthetic differential geometry – not to mention algebraic topology – were secondary sources for what concerns foundational issues. The objectivity of basic geometrical intuitions also acts against the recent version of structuralism proposed as ‘the’ philosophy of category theory. On the other hand, the need for a consistent and adequate conceptual framework in facing the difficulties met by pre-categorical theories of language and scientific knowledge not only provides the basic concepts of category theory with specific applications but also suggests further directions for their development (e.g., in approaching the foundations of physics or the mathematical models in the cognitive sciences). This ‘virtuous’ circle is by now largely admitted in theoretical computer science; the time is ripe to realise that the same holds for classical topics of philosophy. (shrink)
In his recent book on the philosophy of mind,1 Tim Crane has maintained that intentional objects are to be conceived as schematic entities, having no particular intrinsic nature. I take this metaphysical thesis as fundamentally correct. Yet in this paper I want to cast some doubts on whether this thesis prevents intentionalia, especially nonexistent ones, from belonging to the general inventory of what there is, as Crane seems to think. If my doubts are grounded, Crane’s treatment of intentionalia may further (...) be freed from a certain tension that seems to affect it, namely the fact that he appeals to nonexistent intentionalia in order to individuate intentional states and at the same time he attempts at dispensing with them. (shrink)
Alberto Coffa used the phrase "the Copernican turn in semantics" to denote a revolutionary transformation of philosophical views about the connection between the meanings of words and the acceptability of sentences and arguments containing those words. According to the new conception resulting from the Copernican turn, here called "the Copernican view", rules of use are constitutive of the meanings of words. This view has been linked with two doctrines: (A) the instances of meaning-constitutive rules are analytically and a priori (...) true or valid; (B) to grasp a meaning is to accept its rules. The pros and cons of different versions of the Copernican view, ascribable to Wittgenstein, Carnap, Gentzen, Dummett, Prawitz, Boghossian and other authors, will be weighed. A new version will be proposed, which implies neither (A) nor (B). (shrink)
According to Alberto Coffa in The Semantic Tradition from Kant to Carnap, Kant’s account of mathematical judgment is built on a ‘semantic swamp’. Kant’s primitive semantics led him to appeal to pure intuition in an attempt to explain mathematical necessity. The appeal to pure intuition was, on Coffa’s line, a blunder from which philosophy was forced to spend the next 150 years trying to recover. This dismal assessment of Kant’s contributions to the evolution of accounts of mathematical necessity is (...) fundamentally backward-looking. Coffa’s account of how semantic theories of the a priori evolved out of Kant’s doctrine of pure intuition rightly emphasizes those developments, both scientific and philosophical, that collectively served to undermine the plausibility of Kant’s account. What is missing from Coffa’s story, apart from any recognition of Kant’s semantic innovations, is an attempt to appreciate Kant’s philosophical context and the distinctive perspective from which Kant viewed issues in the philosophy of mathematics. When Kant’s perspective and context are brought out, he can not only be seen to have made a genuinely progressive contribution to the development of accounts of mathematical necessity, but also to be relevant to contemporary issues in the philosophy of mathematics in underappreciated ways. (shrink)