This paper discusses Immanuel Kant’s views on the role of experiments in natural science, focusing on their relationship with hypotheses, laws of nature, and the heuristic principles of scientific enquiry. Kant’s views are contrasted with the philosophy of experiment that was first sketched by Francis Bacon and later developed by Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke. Kant holds that experiments are always designed and carried out in the light of hypotheses. Hypotheses are derived from experience on the basis of a (...) set of heuristic principles. The function of experiments is testing hypotheses in order to either reject them as false, or else to transform them into empirical laws of nature. To this end, we must integrate the hypotheses that are confirmed by experiments with the a priori principles which are the foundations of natural science. Compared with Bacon, Boyle, and Hooke, Kant has elaborate views on the one hand, on how our theoretical and pre-theoretical assumptions bear on experimental practice, and on the other hand, on how the results of experimental activity can be integrated with theories to advance our knowledge of nature. However, Kant overstates the dependence of experiments on theories. (shrink)
Newly re-printed, Sydney Hook’s classic (1939) work on Dewey appears with an Introduction by Richard Rorty. Hook may help us see how Dewey fit into his own time. That story is important. The new printing may also help us see how Dewey fits into our time. Rorty lauds more recent treatments of Dewey’s work, especially Robert Westbrook’s intellectual biography John Dewey and American Democracy (1991), and Steven Rockefeller’s John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (1991) gets honorable mention. Specific comments (...) focus on Alan Ryan’s John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism (1995). “It may be that Dewey and Hook witnessed, as Alan Ryan suggests, ... ‘the high tide of American liberalism,’ but if this is so, then America has lost its soul.”1 Even future-focused pragmatists need to look back to Dewey and Hook. They were “Americans” who, in the final words of the Hook volume, “still had hope for what America may yet be.”. (shrink)
This work first appeared as Sidney Hook's dissertation, afterward quickly published by Open Court in 1927, the same year Hook began his long career at New York University. Heretofore difficult to find, it now appears as a handsome and timely reprint, carrying John Dewey's original "Introductory Word," and providing opportunity to look back at the pragmatist tradition and the controversial role of metaphysics in it.
In his admirably clear, beautifully argued study, Claude Panaccio has provided an able defense of Ockham’s position in response to an argument I presented against Ockham in a discussion with Peter King eight years ago at a meeting in Pittsburgh.1 But after eight years, and even after Claude’s book, I still stand by that argument. So, in these comments I will attempt to explain why I think Ockham may still not be off the hook.
This article engages bell hooks's concept of “radical black subjectivity” through the lens of the Buddhist doctrine of no-self. Relying on the Zen theorist Dōgen and on resources from Japanese aesthetics, I argue that non-attachment to the self clarifies hooks's claim that radical subjectivity unites our capacity for critical resistance with our capacity to appreciate beauty. I frame this argument in terms of hooks's concern that postmodernist identity critiques dismiss the identity claims of disempowered peoples. On the one hand, identity (...) critique has an emotional component, as it involves questioning the self and possibly letting go of aspects of that self in which a person has inevitably made emotional investments. On the other hand, it has an aesthetic component, as it opens a space for the creative crafting and recrafting of identity. Japanese aesthetics emphasizes that all aesthetic appreciation is accompanied by feelings of mournfulness, for the object of aesthetic appreciation is transient. Linking hooks's liberatory aesthetics with the resources of the Japanese tradition suggests that mournfulness in the face of self-loss necessarily accompanies all instances of critical resistance. Thus non-attachment becomes a useful framework in which to understand both the emotional and aesthetic components of empowered identity critique. (shrink)
Diggins observes in this essay that, while Nozick and Hook shared a passion for freedom and for understanding liberty in all its complexities, the two philosophers, one a libertarian and the other a democratic socialist, occupied different worlds when it came to how they viewed property and power. Nozick believed that freedom and justice depended upon a minimal state that would be severely restricted in its exercise of power. Sidney Hook never renounced his conviction, born of his early attraction to (...) Marxism, that truly dangerous power is wielded not principally by government but by private individuals of great material wealth: by industrialists. Diggins examines the divergent views of these two seminal thinkers on such issues as human rights, private property, democracy, and judicial review. The differences are profound, yet they shared a common interest in the life of the mind and in exploring such hoary philosophical topics as free will versus determinism and the grounding of moral values. (shrink)
This book is the published version of Sidney Hook's dissertation, written under John Dewey at Columbia University. It helped move American pragmatism in the direction of pragmatic realism. The book appears with an Introduction by Dewey.
Contents: FOREWORD Aronson, Moses J.; THE HUMANIZATION OF PHILOSOPHY Ayres, Clarence Edwin, THE GOSPEL OF TECHNOLOGY Bates, Ernest Sutherland; TOWARD A SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY Bode, Boyd H.; "THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM" Cohen Felix S.; THE SOCIALIZATION OF MORALITY Costello, Harry Todd, A PHILOSOPHER AMONG THE METAPHYSICIANS Durant, Will; AN AMATEUR'S PHILOSOPHY Edman, Irwin; THE NATURALISTIC TEMPER Flewelling, Ralph Tyler; THE NEW TASK OF PHILOSOPHY Holt, Edwin Bissell; THE WHIMSICAL CONDITION OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, AND OF MANKIND Hook, Sidney; EXPERIMENTAL NATURALISM Irving, John (...) Allan; TOWARD RADICAL EMPIRICISM IN ETHICS Kallen, Horace Meyer . (shrink)
We analyze G.M. Hardegree's interpretation of the Sasaki hook as a Stalnaker conditional and explain how he makes use of the basic conceptual machinery of OQL, i.e. the operational quantum logic which originated with the Geneva Approach to the foundations of physics. In particular we focus on measurements which are ideal and of the first kind, since these encode the content of the so-called Sasaki projections within the Geneva Approach. The Sasaki projections play a fundamental role when analyzing the condition (...) under which the properties expressed by Sasaki hooks can be considered as actual. We finish with a note on how the Sasaki hook can be conceived as ``assigning causes for properties to be actual", which links the interpretation of G.M. Hardegree to what has been called ``dynamic OQL". (shrink)
One of America's best known social and political philosophers, Sidney Hook, compiled this fascinating combination of essays popular and technical addressing questions by professionals and lay readers alike. -/- Written between 1934 and 1960, these controversial essays generated heated discussion and polemic, the echoes of which are still being heard. Championing secularism, humanism, and naturalism, Hook eloquently argues against the claim that religious experience and metaphysical insight alone can discover truths about existence and reality that rest outside the domain of (...) scientific method or inquiry. -/- Crucial philosophical questions are discussed: What is the role of philosophy in life? Is "philosophical knowledge" possible, as distinct from scientific and commonsense knowledge? Does determinism vacate moral responsibility? Do religious and metaphysical beliefs possess cognitive meaning? What is the core dispute between materialism and idealism? -/- Hook's provocative analyses will not only clarify these questions but stimulate readers to reassess their own views. (shrink)
The shape of hooks is of a taxonomic significance for cestoda. In order to characterize shape through numbers, a mathermatical model of drawings in two-dimensional space is proposed. This model is a synthetic one: first, it uses a large number of points on the edge of a hook-drawing as data; secondly, it enables to draw a specific hook by means of a computer after the parameters have been extracted from the data. The method does not use landmarks and therefore avoids (...) the difficulty of locating them. The ensuing discussion concerns description in common parlanceversus mathermatical language, the genesis of hooks and description in three-dimensional space. (shrink)
In this article I show that the argument in John Harris's famous "Survival Lottery" paper cannot be right. Even if we grant Harris's assumptions—of the justifiability of such a lottery, the correctness of maximizing consequentialism, the indistinguishability between killing and letting die, the practical and political feasibility of such a scheme—the argument still will not yield the conclusion that Harris wants. On his own terms, the medically needy should be less favored (and more vulnerable to being killed), than Harris suggests.
Many philosophers interested in the nature of moral or other normative truths and facts are attracted to response-dependence accounts. They think, in other words, that the target normative facts are reducible to, or constituted by, or identical with, some facts involving our relevant responses. But these philosophers rarely allow all of our actual responses (of the relevant kind) to play such a role. Rather, they privilege some..
After sketching the conflict between objectivists and subjectivists on the foundations of statistics, this paper discusses an issue facing statisticians of both schools, namely, model validation. Statistical models originate in the study of games of chance, and have been successfully applied in the physical and life sciences. However, there are basic problems in applying the models to social phenomena; some of the difficulties will be pointed out. Hooke's law will be contrasted with regression models for salary discrimination, the latter (...) being a fairly typical application in the social sciences. (shrink)
The mathematical nature of modern science is an outcome of a contingent historical process, whose most critical stages occurred in the seventeenth century. ‘The mathematization of nature’ (Koyré 1957 , From the closed world to the infinite universe , 5) is commonly hailed as the great achievement of the ‘scientific revolution’, but for the agents affecting this development it was not a clear insight into the structure of the universe or into the proper way of studying it. Rather, it was (...) a deliberate project of great intellectual promise, but fraught with excruciating technical challenges and unsettling epistemological conundrums. These required a radical change in the relations between mathematics, order and physical phenomena and the development of new practices of tracing and analyzing motion. This essay presents a series of discrete moments in this process. For mediaeval and Renaissance philosophers, mathematicians and painters, physical motion was the paradigm of change, hence of disorder, and ipso facto available to mathematical analysis only as idealized abstraction. Kepler and Galileo boldly reverted the traditional presumptions: for them, mathematical harmonies were embedded in creation; motion was the carrier of order; and the objects of mathematics were mathematical curves drawn by nature itself. Mathematics could thus be assigned an explanatory role in natural philosophy, capturing a new metaphysical entity: pure motion. Successive generations of natural philosophers from Descartes to Huygens and Hooke gradually relegated the need to legitimize the application of mathematics to natural phenomena and the blurring of natural and artificial this application relied on. Newton finally erased the distinction between nature’s and artificial mathematics altogether, equating all of geometry with mechanical practice. (shrink)
The 300th anniversary of the publication of Isaac Newton’s Opticks in 1704 provides an occasion to review the history of its composition and publication. As a preliminary to presenting that history, Newton’s attitude to publication and response to criticism are examined. Newton’s clashes with Hooke and his presumed role as the cause of the delay in the publication of the Opticks until after his death are also scrutinized. Rather than simply presenting Newton and Hooke as quarrelsome, which they (...) indeed were, they are presented as rivals to be England’s leading optical authority. Although Newton announced his intention to publish a book very much like the Opticks in the winter of 1675–76, he did not begin to write it until 1687. It was composed in various stages, including new experimental investigations, by 1692, except for the part on diffraction. A planned, but unfulfilled, revision of the part on diffraction was responsible for delaying its publication for a number of years. (shrink)
he landscape of every career contains a few crevasses, and usually a more extensive valley or two—for every Ruth's bat a Buckner's legs; for every lopsided victory at Agincourt, a bloodbath at Antietam. Darwin's Origin of Species contains some wonderful insights and magnificent lines, but this masterpiece also includes a few notable clunkers. Darwin experienced most embarrassment from the following passage, curtailed and largely expunged from later editions of his book: In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne (...) swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale. Why did Darwin become so chagrined about this passage? His hypothetical tale may be pure speculation and conjecture, but the scenario is not entirely absurd. Darwin's discomfort arose, I think, from his failure to follow a scientific norm of a more sociocultural nature. Scientific conclusions supposedly rest upon facts and information. Speculation is not entirely taboo, and may sometimes be necessary faute de mieux . But when scientists propose truly novel and comprehensive theories—as Darwin tried to do in advancing natural selection as the primary mechanism of evolution—they need particularly good support, and invented hypothetical cases just don't supply sufficient confidence for crucial conclusions. (shrink)
It is one of the questions that has baffled economists, cultural commentators and consumer-watchers: why are people who drive a hard bargain in all other parts of their lives willing to spend Â£3 on a shot of coffee and some hot, frothy milk in a very large cardboard cup? The reason for the remarkable growth of one of the social markers of the past two decades - upmarket coffee shops such as Starbucks and Caffe Nero - could now be a (...) little clearer thanks to an American academic who has undertaken a remarkable personal odyssey to try to get to the bottom of the conundrum. Bryant Simon spent a year visiting more than 400 of its coffee shops in several countries, observing customers for around 12 to 15 hours a week. He went to 25 branches outlets during four days in London, but admitted: 'I tried to have a drink in every one, but it was too painful on my system.'. (shrink)
The mathematician John Pell was a member of that golden generation of scientists Boyle, Wren, Hooke, and others which came together in the early Royal Society. Although he left a huge body of manuscript materials, he has remained an extraordinarily neglected figure, whose papers have never been properly explored. This book, the first ever full-length study of Pell, presents an in-depth account of his life and mathematical thinking, based on a detailed study of his manuscripts. It not only restores (...) to his proper place in history a figure who was one of the leading mathematicians of his day; it also brings to life a strange, appealing, but awkward character, whose failure to publish his discoveries was caused by powerful scruples. In addition, this book shows that the range of Pell's interests extended far beyond mathematics. He was a key member of the circle of the 'intelligencer' Samuel Hartlib; he prepared translations of works by Descartes and Comenius; in the 1650s he served as Cromwell's envoy to Switzerland; and in the last part of his life he was an active member of the Royal Society, interested in the whole range of its activities. The study of Pell's life and thought thus illuminates many different aspects of 17th-century intellectual life. The book is in three parts. The first is a detailed biography of Pell; the second is an extended essay on his mathematical work; the third is a richly annotated edition of his correspondence with Sir Charles Cavendish. This correspondence, which has often been cited by scholars but has never been published in full, is concerned not only with mathematics but also with optics, philosophy, and many other subjects; conducted mainly while Pell was in the Netherlands and Cavendish was also on the Continent, it is an unusually fascinating example of the correspondence that flourished in the 17th-century 'Republic of letters'. This book will be an essential resource not only for historians of mathematics, science, and philosophy, but also for intellectual and cultural historians of early modern Europe. (shrink)
Challenges liberals and conservatives alike, as Hook pierces to the heart of momentous issues: human rights, racial equality, cultural freedom, and the separation of ethical behavior from religious belief.
John Dewey and the spirit of pragmatism, by H. M. Kallen.--Dewey and art, by I. Edman.--Instrumantalism and the history of philosophy, by G. Boas.--Culture and personality, by L. K. Frank.--Social inquiry and social doctrine, by H. L. Friess.--Dewey's theories of legal reasoning and valuation, by S. Ratner.--John Dewey and education, by J. L. Childs.--Dewey's revision of Jefferson, by M. R. Konvitz.--Laity and prelacy in American democracy, by H. W. Schneider.--Organized labor and the Dewey philosophy, by M. Starr.--The desirable and emotive (...) in Dewey's ethics, by S. Hook.--John Dewey's theory of inquiry, by F. Kaufman.--Dewey's theory of natural science, by E. Nagel.--Concerning a certain Deweyan conception of metaphysics, by A. Hofstadter.--Dewey's theory of language and meaning, by P. D. Wienpahl.--Language, rules, and behavior, by W. Sellars.--The analytic and the synthetic: an untenable dualism, by M. G. White.--John Dewey and Karl Marx, by J. Cork.--Dewey in Mexico, by J. T. Farrell. (shrink)