Gerd Buchdahl's international reputation rests on his masterly writings on Kant. In them he showed how Kant transformed the philosophical problems of his predecessors and he minutely investigated the ways in which Kant related his critical philosophy to the contents and methods of natural science. Less well known, if only because in large part unpublished, are the writings in which Buchdahl elaborated his own views on the methods and status of the sciences. In this paper I examine the roles (...) of hermeneutics in Buchdahl's reconstruction of Kant's philosophical system and in his own 'transcendental methodological' approach to the philosophy of science. The first section looks at Buchdahl's views on the theory and practice of historical interpretation and at the Husserlian hermeneutic scheme of reduction and realisation that he used in his later accounts of the philosophies of science of Kant and himself. The second section concentrates on Buchdahl's treatment of the grounds of science in Kant; and the third on the hermeneutic strategies Buchdahl employed in articulating and justifying his own views. The paper closes with reflections on the impact and importance of Buchdahl's interpretation of Kant's critical philosophy in relation to the sciences and of his own hermeneutically based philosophy of science. (shrink)
In responding to our paper (CQ Vol 4., No. 3), Matthew D. Bacchetta and Gerd Richter include several misinterpretations and misrepresentations of our IVONT protocol and structure for ethical debate. We actively invited scrutiny of our IVONT protocol; however, for us to seriously respond to criticisms of our publication, we suggest respectfully that those who critique the article critique the protocol that we proposed. First and foremost, we certainly do not have a regarding mitochondrial genetics.
Gerd Gigerenzer's influential work examines the rationality of individuals not from the perspective of logic or probability, but from the point of view of adaptation to the real world of human behavior and interaction with the environment. Seen from this perspective, human behavior is more rational than it might otherwise appear. This work is extremely influential and has spawned an entire research program. This volume (which follows on a previous collection, Adaptive Thinking, also published by OUP) collects his most (...) recent articles, looking at how people use "fast and frugal heuristics" to calculate probability and risk and make decisions. It includes a newly writen, substantial introduction, and the articles have been revised and updated where appropriate. This volume should appeal, like the earlier volumes, to a broad mixture of cognitive psychologists, philosophers, economists, and others who study decision making. (shrink)
Within the Cognitive Science of Religion, Justin Barrett has proposed that humans possess a hyperactive agency detection device that was selected for in our evolutionary past because ‘over detecting’ (as opposed to ‘under detecting’) the existence of a predator conferred a survival advantage. Within the Intelligent Design debate, William Dembski has proposed the law of small probability, which states that specified events of small probability do not occur by chance. Within the Fine-Tuning debate, John Leslie has asserted a tidiness principle (...) such that, if we can think of a good explanation for some state of affairs, then an explanation is needed for that state of affairs. In this paper I examine similarities between these three proposals and suggest that they can all be explained with reference to the existence of an explanation attribution module in the human mind. The forgoing analysis is considered with reference to a contrast between classical rationality and what Gerd Gigerenzer and others have called ecological rationality. (shrink)
The paper shows why and how an empirical study of fast-and-frugal heuristics can provide norms of good reasoning, and thus how (and how far) rationality can be naturalized. We explain the heuristics that humans often rely on in solving problems, for example, choosing investment strategies or apartments, placing bets in sports, or making library searches. We then show that heuristics can lead to judgments that are as accurate as or even more accurate than strategies that use more information and computation, (...) including optimization methods. A standard way to defend the use of heuristics is by reference to accuracy-effort trade-offs. We take a different route, emphasizing ecological rationality (the relationship between cognitive heuristics and environment), and argue that in uncertain environments, more information and computation are not always better (the “less-can-be-more” doctrine). The resulting naturalism about rationality is thus normative because it not only describes what heuristics people use, but also in which specific environments one should rely on a heuristic in order to make better inferences. While we desist from claiming that the scope of ecological rationality is unlimited, we think it is of wide practical use. (shrink)
A demarcation between kant's general metaphysics (transcendental principles) and his special metaphysics is attempted, through a discussion of kant's three accounts of lawlikeness, 'transcendental', 'empirical' and 'metaphysical'. the distinctions are defended via a number of 'indicators' in kant's writings, and the 'looseness of fit' between the different types of lawlikeness is discussed.
In his discussion of pleasure, Aristotle assumes the thesis that a perfect activity always and necessarily yields pleasure. The occurrence of pleasure is even presented as a sign that the activity is perfect. But this assumption seems to be too easy. It is possible that we do feel pleasure in activities which are not perfectly performed, and on the other hand, it is not certain at all that I will enjoy a perfect activity. Pleasure falls into the category of what (...) J. Elster has called 'states that are essentially by-products'. Up to a point, Aristotle acknowledges this, but he does not follow this analysis to its final consequences. If one agrees, as Aristotle does, that there is a difference between the perfect activity and pleasure, it should be possible that an activity is perfect without yielding pleasure, or that pleasure will accompany even an activity which is not perfect. (shrink)