Approximationism — science approximates the truth as an ideal — is the view of science implicit in all of Einstein's major works, heralded by HugoBergman in Hebrew in 1940 and expressed by Karl Popper in 1954 and 1956. Yet Bergman was not sufficiently clear about it, and even Popper is not - as shown by their not giving up certain remnants of the older views which approximationism replaces, even when these remnants are inconsistent with approximationism. Norare (...) the approximationist theories of these authors satisfactory solutions to all the problems which traditional epistemologies purported to solve. Approxiamtionism still is a program rather than a fully blown theory. (shrink)
The paper attempts to give an outline of the main doctrines of the Brentano-School and to mark the place of Bergman's contributions to descriptive Psychology. The idea of an immanent object is rejected by Marty and Bergman and was critized by Bergman in the framework of the 'concept-intuition'-distinction. It is shown that Bergman's critic leads to an interesting defense of the thesis of the privacy of mental contents.
Bergman's account of Cusanus's view of the relationship between God and the world leaves room for reservations. Bergman maintains that Cusanus is either a pantheist or a panentheist. This view, at variance with Cusanus's explicit theism, is hardly tenable in the light of a suitable interpretation of his apparently pantheistic or panentheistic formulations. Bergman's treatment of enfolding and unfolding, and especially of the arithmetical illustration of those relations, is deficient. His ascription of manifest Platonism to Cusanus's theory (...) of enfolding is objectionable, since, for Cusanus, the enfolding entities are not universals and need not even be existents. The way in which Bergman compares Cusanus with Goethe and with Rudolf Otto is misleading. So is his account of Cusanus's principle of the coincidence of opposites. (shrink)
The article explains why Soviet dissidents and the reformers of the Gorbachev era chose to characterize the Soviet system as totalitarian. The dissidents and the reformers strongly disagreed among themselves about the origins of Soviet totalitarianism. But both groups stressed the effects of totalitarianism on the individual personality; in doing so, they revealed themselves to be the heirs of the tsarist intelligentsia. Although the concept of totalitarianism probably obscures more than it clarifies when it is applied to regimes like the (...) Nazi and the Soviet, the decision of the dissidents and the reformers to use the term enabled them to clarify their own values and the reasons they felt compelled to criticize the Soviet Union and to call for its radical reform. (shrink)
This article examines the disciplinary status and experiential underpinnings of C. S. Peirce's philosophical rhetoric. The first part explores the relationship between grammar and rhetoric in the context of Peirce's theory of signs. Next, a possible tension in Peirce's conception of the scope and function of rhetoric is identified, and a resolution is proposed. The field of rhetorical research is then provisionally characterised as spanning philosophical studies of communication, learning, and methods of inquiry. Rather than being a secondary application that (...) the grammarian can ignore, the complex rhetorical field can be meaningfully construed as both the pre-theoretical starting point and the principal theoretical end of philosophical semeiotic. In the final part of the article, it is argued that the aim of Peirce's pursuit of rhetoric ought to be the improvement of semiotic habits, and this goal is construed as the third and highest conception of learning furnished by his philosophy. Further, it is contended that Peircean rhetoric can provide means for reflexive investigations into our processes and methods of inquiry, communication, and learning—that is, higher-order conceptual tools with which to imaginatively describe, control, and transform educational habits in view of personal and social ideals. (shrink)
: T. L. Short's Peirce's Theory of Signs offers a strong interpretation of semeiotic, advocating a developmental and naturalistic position. This commentary examines some of the main features of Short's approach, raising a number of critical questions concerning the growth of Peirce's thought and the problem of anthropomorphism. First, two possible weaknesses in Short's account of the development of semeiotic, connected to the treatment of the "New List of Categories" and the role of the index, are noted. Next, the menace (...) of anthropomorphism is placed in the context of Peirce's startling affirmation of this point of view. Finally, the article draws attention to Short's bold claim that Peirce's theory of signs needs to be modified in order to accommodate a plurality of final interpretants in view of varying purposes. (shrink)
What's the world made of? Donuts! and Beer! -- Protagoras, Gorgias, Captain Kirk, and Denny Crane -- Socrates : The Sergeant Schultz of Ancient Greece -- Plato is the new American Idol -- Aristotle loves Lucy -- Charlie Harper's Non-Epicurean lifestyle -- St. Augustine's Highway to Heaven -- Scully shaves Mulder with Ockham's Razor -- Larry Hagman dreams of Descartes -- Locke versus Hobbes, or The Brady Bunch takes on Survivor -- Can or can't Kant like vampires? -- Reading Hegel (...) in Outer Space -- John Stuart Mill and the Utilitarian Heroism of Dexter Morgan -- Karl Marx and Adam Smith, meet Alex P. Keaton -- Dr. Gregory House and the Nietzschean Superman -- Don Draper, George Costanza and the non-meaning of life -- Jersey Shore's 'The Situation': The Randian Ideal man with a tan? -- Earl Hickey meets Karma in My name is Earl -- Lost but not least. (shrink)
: This article examines Peirce's semiotic philosophy and its development in the light of his characterisations of "representationism" and "presentationism". In his definitions of these positions, Peirce overtly pits the representationists, who treat percepts as representatives, against the presentationists, according to whom percepts do not stand for hidden realities. The article shows that Peirce's early writings—in particular the essay "On the Doctrine of Immediate Perception" and certain key texts from the period 1868–9—advocate an inferentialist approach clearly associated with representationism. However, (...) although Peirce continues to deny the cognitive import of first impressions throughout his philosophical career, the new view of perception that emerges in the early 1900s indicates a significant move in the direction of a presentationist point of view, a development partly corresponding to changes in his theory of categories. The strongest evidence for this reading is found in Peirce's contention that the percept is not a sign. The discussion concludes with considerations of possible objections and alternatives to the proposed interpretation in addition to some reflections on the consequences and relevance of Peirce's turn toward presentationism. (shrink)
T. L. Short's Peirce's Theory of Signs offers a strong interpretation of semeiotic, advocating a developmental and naturalistic position. This commentary examines some of the main features of Short's approach, raising a number of critical questions concerning the growth of Peirce's thought and the problem of anthropomorphism. First, two possible weaknesses in Short's account of the development of semeiotic, connected to the treatment of the "New List of Categories" and the role of the index, are noted. Next, the menace of (...) anthropomorphism is placed in the context of Peirce's startling affirmation of this point of view. Finally, the article draws attention to Short's bold claim that Peirce's theory of signs needs to be modified in order to accommodate a plurality of final interpretants in view of varying purposes. (shrink)
The subject of sexuality among elderly patients with dementia was examined, focusing on two main aspects: the sexual behaviour of institutionalized elderly people with dementia; and the reactions of other patients, staff and family members to this behaviour. The behaviour was found to be mostly heterosexual and ranged from love and caring to romance and outright eroticism. Reactions varied, being accepting of love and care but often objecting to erotic behaviour. Understanding of the sexual needs of elderly people should become (...) an integral part of the training and continued education of health care staff, thus helping to resolve conflicts and clarify common misconceptions. (shrink)
Paternalism in the medical care of children is appropriate and ethically justifiable. However, dilemmatic disagreement by paternalistic agents as to which clinical choice is in the child's best interest may occur because of the underlying conflict between two rival standards for the moral value of life: longevity versus quality. Neither standard is unreasonable. Either could be the basis for choice of medical care by the parents or by the pediatrician. Having the child choose between options disputed by his parents and (...) the pediatrician is unlikely to resolve their conflict. Exercise of informed consent by the adolescent requires agreement by his parents to relinquish their paternalistic veto. The probable best-interest choice by the child when he has matured could be reasonably made from either standard. Therefore, the longevity/quality of life question ought not ordinarily to be foreclosed by paternalistic authority which opts for one standard to the exclusion of the other. Medical interventions, paternalistically determined, are justified in the face of deteriorating quality, but only as long as the interventions themselves do not cause deterioration. Application of this limitation of paternalism to the zone of agreement between the rival life standards is made to clinical case examples. Multiple extrinsic criteria may measure the quality of life. Three quality factors, sensation of pain, capacity to communicate and physical functioning are considered. The extent of the zone of agreement between the two life standards varies because quality of life is a relative good, contingent both upon which extrinsic criteria are selected to assess it and upon the priorities which are set among these criteria. (shrink)
This article examines the contention that the central concepts of C. S. Peirce’s semeiotic are inherently communicational. It is argued that the Peircean approach avoids the pitfalls of objectivism and constructivism, rendering the sign-user neither a passive recipient nor an omnipotent creator of meaning. Consequently, semeiotic may serve as a useful general framework for studies of learning processes.
Despite the affirmation below from a chapter entitled “The Moral Self” in his Ethics (1932), Deweyseems not to have used the term “moralself” outside that context. Perhaps he didn’t think it that crucial in his overall philosophy. I argue, on the contrary, that the concept ofthe moralself is fundamental to Deweyan moral psychology and that it provides an illuminating lens through which to view his philosophy of education. This paper explicates Dewey’s perspective on moral education as education of the moral (...) self. (shrink)
Wetting of micron-sized Pb droplets on thin polycrystalline films of decagonal Al13Co4 and cubic crystalline AlCo phases is reported. The sample preparation is crucial to having Pb droplets lying on a clean surface. Decagonal and cubic films were prepared under high vacuum conditions, by sequential deposition and annealing of specific stackings of Al and Co layers of nanometre thicknesses. A 300?nm thick Pb slab was then deposited on the top of the films. Dewetting experiments were performed in situ in a (...) scanning Auger microprobe where the surface chemistry can be monitored: the Pb slab dewets into droplets. The wetting of Pb on both substrates was found to be similar with contact angles around 45°. (shrink)
We have performed broadband dielectric spectroscopy to study the merging of the α- and ?-relaxations in Sorbitol. To investigate this merging in detail the data were analyzed both directly in the frequency domain and after transforming the data to the time domain. At the liquid-glass transition temperature, Tg , the standard analysis give a clear kink in the temperature dependence of the relaxation time of the ?-relaxation. However, using a more sophisticated analysis we show that the data can be equally (...) well described by extrapolating the low temperature Arrhenius behaviour of the ?-relaxation to the merging region of the α- and ?-relaxations. The Sorbitol data is thus compatible with a scenario with no anomalous temperature behaviour in the merging region. (shrink)
This study reviews the ethical dilemmas of nursing staff about using restraints on patients suffering from dementia in two types of health care settings in Israel: internal medicine wards of three general hospitals; and psychogeriatric wards of three nursing homes. The nurses’ level of knowledge about the Patient’s Rights Law, the Israeli Code of Ethics, and the guidelines on restraints was analysed. The purposes of restraints were defined as beneficial to: (1) the patient; (2) other patients; or (3) the institution. (...) The concept was evaluated in a realistic situation (expressing views of daily practice) and in an idealistic situation (expressing personal and professional beliefs and values). It was shown that nurses in internal medicine wards of general hospitals agreed more with the use of restraints than those in psychogeriatric wards in nursing homes. Differences were more pronounced when restraints were beneficial to the institution. In addition, nurses working in psychogeriatric wards of nursing homes had more knowledge about the guidelines on restraints and were less inclined than their counterparts to agree with the use of restraints for the benefit of other patients or the institution. (shrink)
The relations between philosophy, science and religion preoccupied S.H. Bergman for many years. He wanted to corroborate, by belief, a personal God to whom, and not only about whom, one can speak. This should follow from authentic religious experience, making it independent from philosophy. Furthermore, according to Bergman, religion can do what philosophical reasoning is incapable of doing since he considers belief to be stronger than knowledge. A criticalscrutiny of these assumptions involves some interesting implications concerning toleration, freedom-of-thought (...) and dogmatism. The final conclusion consists in that belief cannot refute philosophical knowledge but can reject it while philosophy can refute belief but cannot reject it. (shrink)
Bergman's view on the History of philosophy can be characterised as a heuristic doctrine which helps the philosophical pedagogue. Some problems arising from Bergman's religious way of thinking are revealed as underpinning the objections to it, as there are: the multiplicity of systems, the possibility of acquiring final truth, etc. In spite of these objections Bergman's ideas can be maintianed as a very efficient means for a teacher of academic philosophy.