Whether meaning is compositional has been a major issue in linguistics and formal philosophy of language for the last 2 decades. Semantic holism is widely and plausibly considered as an objection to the principle of semantic compositionality therein. It comes as a surprise that the holistic peculiarities of scientific language have been rarely addressed in formal accounts so far, given that semantic holism has its roots in the philosophy of science. For this reason, a model-theoretic approach to semantic holism in (...) the language of science is presented here. This approach preserves compositionality to a large extent. *Received September 2009; revised February 2010. †To contact the author, please write to: Seminar for Philosophy, Logic, and Theory of Science, Hauspostfach 49, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich 80539, Germany; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
The concept of measurement is fundamental to a whole range of different disciplines, including not only the natural and engineering sciences, but also laboratory medicine and certain branches of the social sciences. This being the case, the concept of measurement has a particular relevance to the development of top-level ontologies in the area of knowledge engineering. For this reason, the present paper is concerned with ontological aspects of measurement. We are searching for a list of concepts that are apt to (...) characterize measurement methods in a general manner. To establish such means of characterization, we will primarily deal with the semantics of measurement values. (shrink)
In this paper, a new account of empirical claims in structuralism is developed. Its novelty derives from the use that is made of the linguistic approach to scientific theories despite the presumed incompatibility of structuralism with that approach. It is shown how the linguistic approach can be applied to the framework of structuralism if the semantic foundations of that approach are refined to do justice to the doctrine of indirect interpretation of theoretical terms. This doctrine goes back to Carnap but (...) has been advanced until the present day without a proper semantic explanation. (shrink)
In this paper, a solution to the problem of theoretical terms is developed that is based on Carnap’s doctrine of indirect interpretation of theoretical terms. This doctrine will be given a semantic, model-theoretic explanation that is not given by Carnap himself as he remains content with a syntactic explanation. From that semantic explanation, rules for the truth-value assignment to postulates, i.e. sentences that determine the meaning of theoretical terms, are derived. The logical status of postulates will be clarified thereby in (...) such a way that the problem of theoretical terms disappears. (shrink)
Modal logic has been applied in many different areas, as reasoning about time, knowledge and belief, necessity and possibility, to mention only some examples. In the present paper, an attempt is made to use modal logic to account for the semantics of theoretical sentences in scientific language. Theoretical sentences have been studied extensively since the work of Ramsey and Carnap. The present attempt at a modal analysis is motivated by there being several intended interpretations of the theoretical terms once these (...) terms are introduced through the axioms of a theory. (shrink)
On Choice of Time Metric. What criteria ought to be satisfied by those observable processes which, accompanied by a function assigning values to intervals of that processes, serve as the standard for measurement of time? In how far do the criteria which can reasonably be established admit of an unambigous definition of time metric? That are the questions to which I have addressed myself in the paper. Peter Janich has aimed at solving the problem with careful avoidance of any reference (...) to physical theory. Although this paper owes a great deal to his ‘Protophysik der Zeit’, reasons will be ad-vanced that it is in principle impossible to give a foundation of time metric without any reference to physical theory. It follows that taking results of physical theory into account is unavoidable as far as a definite decision concerning the choice of time metric is aspired. At first sight reference to law-like assertions on the duration of temporal intervals appears to be paradoxical for it means to take something which originally ought to be submitted to experimental test as the standard for measurement. Poincaré is fairly conscious of this problem, yet explicitly acknowledges that there is a mutual relationship between definition of time metric and physical theory. It will be shown that this kind of mutual relationship which even might be termed as circular does not void physical theory of empirical content. Thus in the final part I am concerned to free the position which recommends reference to physical theory from its paradoxical image in order to advance a conventionalist account as a sceptical, but nevertheless fully satisfying solution. (shrink)
In What’s Wrong With Microphysicalism?, Andreas H üttemann argues against the ontological priority of the microphysical, in favour of a ‘pluralism’ that accepts physical systems of all scales as interdependent equals. This is thoughtful and original work, deploying an understanding of the relevant physics to mount a serious challenge to the dominant microphysicalist view.
As early as 1941, George Allen Morgan wrote that Nietzsche’s thought is “saturated with the historical point of view.” It is breathtaking how long it has taken scholarly writing on Nietzsche to catch up with Morgan and pay this aspect of Nietzsche’s thought the serious attention it deserves. Marcus Andreas Born’s study is therefore a very welcome development as a serious and engaged examination of Nietzsche’s “historical thought.” As his subtitle indicates, Born’s approach focuses on Nietzsche’s concept of genealogy. (...) He ties genealogy closely to history by suggesting that Nietzsche proposes genealogy as his way of revising, and improving on, existing approaches to history (18). For Born, as for .. (shrink)
Whereas liberals tend to emphasize harm as the decisive criterion for legitimizing criminalisation, moralists take a qualified notion of wrongfulness as sufficient even when no harm is at hand. This comment takes up Andreas von Hirsch’s “dual element approach” requiring both harm and wrongfulness as necessary conditions for criminalisation and argues that Joel Feinberg’s account of harming as violation of moral rights is perfectly compatible with it. Subsequently, two issues from the liberalism-moralism debate on criminalisation are examined: The difficulty (...) of how to determine wrongfulness beyond the scope of harming, and the so far disregarded question of whether the democratic legislator is free within the framework of constitution to criminalise whatever conduct he wants to prevent irrespective of philosophical constraints. (shrink)
Francisco Valles, also known as ‘The Divine Valles’, was most probably the greatest Spanish physician of the Renaissance and succeeded Andreas Vesalius, whom he knew well, as the personal doctor of Philip II of Spain. Valles studied in Alcalá and wrote several works, among which the influential Controversiarum medicarum et philosophicarum. The importance of Valles’s contribution to the debate concerning the number, the specific tasks, and the localization of the internal senses in Aristotle and in Galen is attested by (...) Pedro da Fonseca’s appreciation of his contribution and by the relevance of Valles’s works to the study of the history of philosophy and of anatomy, in antiquity, in the Renaissance and in scholasticism. (shrink)
McCormick, John, Carl Schmitt's Critique of Liberalism: Against Politics as Technology (reviewed by Andreas Kalyvas); Caldwell, Peter, Popular Sovereignty and the Crisis of German Constitutional Law: The Theory and Practice of Weimar Constitutionalism (reviewed by Andreas Kalyvas); Dyzenhaus, David, Legality and Legitimacy: Carl Schmitt, Hans Kelsen, Hermann Heller (reviewed by Andreas Kalyvas); Cristi, Renato, Carl Schmitt and Liberal Authoritarianism: Strong State, Free Economy (reviewed by Andreas Kalyvas).
Microphysicalism , the view that whole objects behave the way they do in virtue of the behavior of their constituent parts, is an influential contemporary view with a long philosophical and scientific heritage. In What's Wrong With Microphysicalism? Andreas Huttemann offers a fresh challenge to this view. Huttemann agrees with the microphysicalists that we can explain compound systems by explaining their parts, but claims that this does not entail that the parts determine the whole. At most, it shows that (...) there is a relationship of determination within parts and wholes, but there is no justification for taking this relationship to be asymmetrical rather than one of mutual dependence. Huttemann argues that if this is the case, then microphysicalists have no right to claim that the micro-level is the ultimate agent: neither the parts nor the whole have "ontological priority." Huttemann advocates a pragmatic pluralism, allowing for different ways to describe nature. In the course of his argument, Huttemann examines three compound theses of micro-physicalism: micro-determination (or "supervenience"), micro-government, and micro-causation. He uses examples from classical and quantum physics to illustrate various senses of micro-explanation, and discusses the likelihood of emergent phenomena or properties. He distinguishes between microphysicalism and other forms of physicalism, such as identity-physicalism, and argues that we can buy into the latter while rejecting microphysicalism. What's Wrong With Microphysicalism? is a convincing and original contribution to central issues in contemporary philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and metaphysics. (shrink)
Jonathan Dancy works within almost all fields of philosophy but is best known as the leading proponent of moral particularism. Particularism challenges “traditional” moral theories, such as Contractualism, Kantianism and Utilitarianism, in that it denies that moral thought and judgement relies upon, or is made possible by, a set of more or less well-defined, hierarchical principles. During the summer of 2006, the Philosophy Departments of Lund University (Sweden) and the University of Reading (England) began a series of exchanges to take (...) place every other year, alternating between the departments. Andreas Lind and Johan Brännmark arranged to meet Dancy during the first meeting in Lund to talk about questions regarding particularism, moral theory and the shape of the analytical tradition. The major part of the conversation is printed below. (shrink)
Alexander von Humboldt: Counternarrative of a dissenter? Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9514-0 Authors Andreas W. Daum, History Department, 570 Park Hall, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Truth and paradoxes Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9656-3 Authors Andreas Karitzis, Hellenic Open University, 23 Aidiniou str., 17122 Athens, Greece Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Although the modern age is often described as the age of democratic revolutions, the subject of popular foundings has not captured the imagination of contemporary political thought. Most of the time, democratic theory and political science treat as the object of their inquiry normal politics, institutionalized power, and consolidated democracies. The aim of Andreas Kalyvas' study is to show why it is important for democratic theory to rethink the question of its beginnings. Is there a founding unique to democracies? (...) Can a democracy be democratically established? What are the implications of expanding democratic politics in light of the question of whether and how to address democracy's beginnings? Kalyvas addresses these questions and scrutinizes the possibility of democratic beginnings in terms of the category of the extraordinary, as he reconstructs it from the writings of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt and their views on the creation of new political, symbolic, and constitutional orders. (shrink)
Although metaphysics as a discipline can hardly be separated from Aristotle and his works, the questions it raises were certainly known to authors even before the reception of Aristotle in the thirteenth century. Even without the explicit use of this term the twelfth century manifested a strong interest in metaphysical questions under the guise of «natural philosophy» or «divine science», leading M.-D. Chenu to coin the expression of a twelfth century «éveil métaphysique». In their commentaries on Boethius and under the (...) influence of Neoplatonism, twelfth century authors not only anticipate essential elements of thirteenth century metaphysics, they also make an original contribution to the history of metaphysics by attempting to integrate the theory of first principles, philosophical theology and ontology. This volume presents and examines the contributions of the twelfth century to metaphysics made by selected Jewish, Christian and Muslim authors of the Iberian Peninsula and Francia. -/- Contributors include Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (Frankfurt am Main), Andreas Speer (Würzburg), Charles Burnett (London), Alexander Fidora (Frankfurt am Main), Thomas Ricklin (Neuchâtel), Yossef Schwartz (Jerusalem), Josep Udina (Barcelona), Jack C. Marler (St. Louis/USA), Gillian R. Evans (Cambridge), Andreas Niederberger (Frankfurt am Main) and Françoise Hudry (Paris). (shrink)
Andrea Staiti, Geistigkeit, Leben und geschichtliche Welt in der Transzendentalphänomenologie Husserls Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s10743-012-9103-8 Authors Nicholas de Warren, Department of Philosophy, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02481, USA Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848.
This issue of Mélusine pursues the research initiated in 1982 on the surrealist book, without giving the last word on such a complex subject. Demonstrating erudition worthy of La Revue d'histoire littéraire de la France, the contributors propose new ideas and points of view. By the sheer abundance of technical terms, the articles would have astonished the avant-garde poets and artists in question, who were so very fond of entertainment. Some contributors examine the illustrated book, the artist's book and the (...) book-object in general as surrealist publications, while others focus on a single book or even on the non-book imagined by André Breton.In her introduction, editor Andrea Oberhuber describes the evolution of .. (shrink)
« Météorite tombé de l’autre côté du Rhin, Dietrich ne semble d’aucun temps philosophique assignable, rebelle à tous les « ismes », splendide, mais isolé – d’un mot : “Teutonique” ». C’est la connaissance de ce grand penseur, Theodoricus Teutonicus von Vriberg, Thierry ou Dietrich de Freiberg en français, que vient enrichir la thèse de doctorat d’Andrea Colli, publiée en 2010 aux éditions Marietti. Cette recherche prolonge la redécouverte de cet « épineux outsider » dont le coup de lancement ..
In this article I try to elucidate the concept of human dignity by taking a closer look at the features of a paradigmatic torture situation. After identifying the salient aspects of torture, I discuss various accounts for the moral wrongness of such acts and argue that what makes torture a violation of human dignity is the perverted moral relationship between torturer and victim. This idea is subsequently being substantiated and defended against important objections. In the final part of the chapter (...) I give a (qualified) defense of the methodology employed in the previous sections. (shrink)
This paper proposes a basic revision of the understanding of teleology in biological sciences. Since Kant, it has become customary to view purposiveness in organisms as a bias added by the observer; the recent notion of teleonomy expresses well this as-if character of natural purposes. In recent developments in science, however, notions such as self-organization (or complex systems) and the autopoiesis viewpoint, have displaced emergence and circular self-production as central features of life. Contrary to an often superficial reading, Kant gives (...) a multi-faceted account of the living, and anticipates this modern reading of the organism, even introducing the term self-organization for the first time. Our re-reading of Kant in this light is strengthened by a group of philosophers of biology, with Hans Jonas as the central figure, who put back on center stage an organism-centered view of the living, an autonomous center of concern capable of providing an interior perspective. Thus, what is present in nuce in Kant, finds a convergent development from this current of philosophy of biology and the scientific ideas around autopoeisis, two independent but parallel developments culminating in the 1970s. Instead of viewing meaning or value as artifacts or illusions, both agree on a new understanding of a form of immanent teleology as truly biological features, inevitably intertwined with the self-establishment of an identity which is the living process. (shrink)
Taking his critique of totalitarianizing conceptions of community as a starting point, this text examines Jean-Luc Nancy's work of an "ontology of plural singular being" for its political implications. It argues that while at first this ontology seems to advocate a negative or an anti-politics only, it can also be read as a "theory of communicative praxis" that suggests a certain ethos - in the form of a certain use of symbols (which is expressed only inaptly by the word "style") (...) that would render the ontological plurality of singulars perceptible and practically effective. Finally, some recent texts by Nancy even sidestep the ontology of being-with and face the question of what politics, faced with demands of justice, could be and what a democratic politics could provide. Both of these aspects in Nancy's work, however, still remain to be spelled out more politically. (shrink)
In the recent literature on concepts, two extreme positions concerning animal minds are predominant: the one that animals possess neither concepts nor beliefs, and the one that some animals possess concepts as well as beliefs. A characteristic feature of this controversy is the lack of consensus on the criteria for possessing a concept or having a belief. Addressing this deficit, we propose a new theory of concepts which takes recent case studies of complex animal behavior into account. The main aim (...) of the paper is to present an epistemic theory of concepts and to defend a detailed theory of criteria for having concepts. The distinction between nonconceptual, conceptual, and propositional representations is inherent to this theory. Accordingly, it can be reasonably argued that some animals, e.g., grey parrots and apes, operate on conceptual representations. (shrink)
Laws of nature take center stage in philosophy of science. Laws are usually believed to stand in a tight conceptual relation to many important key concepts such as causation, explanation, confirmation, determinism, counterfactuals etc. Traditionally, philosophers of science have focused on physical laws, which were taken to be at least true, universal statements that support counterfactual claims. But, although this claim about laws might be true with respect to physics, laws in the special sciences (such as biology, psychology, economics etc.) (...) appear to have—maybe not surprisingly—different features than the laws of physics. Special science laws—for instance, the economic law “Under the condition of perfect competition, an increase of demand of a commodity leads to an increase of price, given that the quantity of the supplied commodity remains constant” and, in biology, Mendel's Laws—are usually taken to “have exceptions”, to be “non-universal” or “to be ceteris paribus laws”. How and whether the laws of physics and the laws of the special sciences differ is one of the crucial questions motivating the debate on ceteris paribus laws. Another major, controversial question concerns the determination of the precise meaning of “ceteris paribus”. Philosophers have attempted to explicate the meaning of ceteris paribus clauses in different ways. The question of meaning is connected to the problem of empirical content, i.e., the question whether ceteris paribus laws have non-trivial and empirically testable content. Since many philosophers have argued that ceteris paribus laws lack empirically testable content, this problem constitutes a major challenge to a theory of ceteris paribus laws. (shrink)
The visual brain consists of several parallel, functionally specialized processing systems, each having several stages (nodes) which terminate their tasks at different times; consequently, simultaneously presented attributes are perceived at the same time if processed at the same node and at different times if processed by different nodes. Clinical evidence shows that these processing systems can act fairly autonomously. Damage restricted to one system compromises specifically the perception of the attribute that that system is specialized for; damage to a given (...) node of a processing system that leaves earlier nodes intact results in a degraded perceptual capacity for the relevant attribute, which is directly related to the physiological capacities of the cells left intact by the damage. By contrast, a system that is spared when all others are damaged can function more or less normally. Moreover, internally created visual percepts-illusions, afterimages, imagery, and hallucinations-activate specifically the nodes specialized for the attribute perceived. Finally, anatomical evidence shows that there is no final integrator station in the brain, one which receives input from all visual areas; instead, each node has multiple outputs and no node is recipient only. Taken together, the above evidence leads us to propose that each node of a processing-perceptual system creates its own microconsciousness. We propose that, if any binding occurs to give us our integrated image of the visual world, it must be a binding between microconsciousnesses generated at different nodes. Since any two microconsciousnesses generated at any two nodes can be bound together, perceptual integration is not hierarchical, but parallel and postconscious. By contrast, the neural machinery conferring properties on those cells whose activity has a conscious correlate is hierarchical, and we refer to it as generative binding, to distinguish it from the binding that might occur between the microconsciousnesses. (shrink)
Many biologists and philosophers have worried that importing models of reasoning from the physical sciences obscures our understanding of reasoning in the life sciences. In this paper we discuss one example that partially validates this concern: part-whole reductive explanations. Biology and physics tend to incorporate different models of temporality in part-whole reductive explanations. This results from differential emphases on compositional and causal facets of reductive explanations, which have not been distinguished reliably in prior philosophical analyses. Keeping these two facets distinct (...) facilitates the identifi cation of two further aspects of reductive explanation: intrinsicality and fundamentality. Our account provides resources for discriminating between different types of reductive explanation and suggests a new approach to comprehending similarities and differences in the explanatory reasoning found in biology and physics. (shrink)
The paper argues that the correct deﬁnition of lying is that to lie is to assert something one believes to be false, where assertion is understood in terms of the notion of the common ground of a conversation. It is shown that this deﬁnition makes the right predictions for a number of cases involving irony, joking, and false implicature. In addition, the proposed account does not assume that intending to deceive is a necessary condition on lying, and hence counts so-called (...) bald-faced lies as lies. (shrink)
We have self-knowledge of various sorts: knowledge of things we have done or suffered, for example, and some knowledge of who we are: of our character-traits, our temper, our inclinations, weaknesses, feelings, addictions, worries, lusts and so on. Most of this knowledge is human knowledge of the regular kind, nothing exciting about it, epistemologically speaking.
We approach the virtual reality phenomenon by studying its relationship to set theory. This approach offers a characterization of virtual reality in set theoretic terms, and we investigate the case where this is done using the wellfoundedness property. Our hypothesis is that non-wellfounded sets (so-called hypersets) give rise to a different quality of virtual reality than do familiar wellfounded sets. To elaborate this hypothesis, we describe virtual reality through Sommerhoff’s categories of first- and second-order self-awareness; introduced as necessary conditions for (...) consciousness in terms of higher cognitive functions. We then propose a representation of first- and second-order self-awareness through sets, and assume that these sets, which we call events, originally form a collection of wellfounded sets. Strong virtual reality characterizes virtual reality environments which have the limited capacity to create only events associated with wellfounded sets. In contrast, the logically weaker and more general concept of weak virtual reality characterizes collections of virtual reality mediated events altogether forming an entirety larger than any collection of wellfounded sets. By giving reference to Aczel’s hyperset theory we indicate that this definition is not empty because hypersets encompass wellfounded sets already. Moreover, we argue that weak virtual reality could be realized in human history through continued progress in computer technology. Finally, within a more general framework, we use Baltag’s structural theory of sets (STS) to show that within this hyperset theory Sommerhoff’s first- and second-order self-awareness as well as both concepts of virtual reality admit a consistent mathematical representation. To illustrate our ideas, several examples and heuristic arguments are discussed. (shrink)