Genes are thought to have evolved from long-lived and multiply-interactive molecules in the early stages of the origins of life. However, at that stage there were no replicators, and the distinction between interactors and replicators did not yet apply. Nevertheless, the process of evolution that proceeded from initial autocatalytic hypercycles to full organisms was a Darwinian process of selection of favourable variants. We distinguish therefore between Neo-Darwinian evolution and the related Weismannian and Central Dogma divisions, on the one hand, and (...) the more generic category of Darwinian evolution on the other. We argue that Hull’s and Dawkins’ replicator/interactor distinction of entities is a sufficient, but not necessary, condition for Darwinian evolution to take place. We conceive the origin of genes as a separation between different types of molecules in a thermodynamic state space, and employ a notion of reproducers. (shrink)
Popper famously claimed that he had solved the problem of induction, but few agree. This paper explains what Popper's solution was, and defends it. The problem is posed by Hume's argument that any evidence-transcending belief is unreasonable because (1) induction is invalid and (2) it is only reasonable to believe what you can justify. Popper avoids Hume's shocking conclusion by rejecting (2), while accepting (1). The most common objection is that Popper must smuggle in induction somewhere. But this objection smuggles (...) in precisely the justificationist assumption (2) that Popper, as here undestood, rejects. Footnotes1 Invited address at the Karl Popper 2002 Centenary Conference, Vienna, 3–7 July 2002. (shrink)
Roger Jones asks what Newtonian realists should be realists about, given that there are four empirically equivalent formulations of Newtonian mechanics which have different ontological commitments and explanatory mechanisms. A realist answer is sketched: Newtonians should be realists about what the best metaphysical considerations dictate, where the best metaphysical considerations are those which have yielded the best physics. Metaphysical considerations are required within physics, just as they are required to eliminate idealist and surrealist theories which are empirically equivalent to realist (...) ones. Realists must reject the positivist assumption that empirically equivalent theories are explanatory and evidential equivalents, too. (shrink)
: This essay explores how early approaches in feminist aesthetics drew on concepts honed in the field of feminist legal theory, especially conceptions of oppression and equality. I argue that by importing these feminist legal concepts, many early feminist accounts of how art is political depended largely on a distinctly liberal version of politics. I offer a critique of liberal feminist aesthetics, indicating ways recent work in the field also turns toward critical feminist aesthetics as an alternative.
Can we know anything for certain? There are those who think we can (traditionally labeled the "dogmatists") and those who think we cannot (traditionally labeled the "skeptics"). The theory of knowledge, or epistemology, is the great debate between the two. This book is an introductory and historically-based survey of the debate. It sides for the most part with the skeptics. It also develops out of skepticism a third view, fallibilism or critical rationalism, which incorporates an uncompromising realism about perception, science, (...) and the nature of truth. (shrink)
Two books have been particularly influential in contemporary philosophy of science: Karl R. Popper's Logic of Scientific Discovery, and Thomas S. Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Both agree upon the importance of revolutions in science, but differ about the role of criticism in science's revolutionary growth. This volume arose out of a symposium on Kuhn's work, with Popper in the chair, at an international colloquium held in London in 1965. The book begins with Kuhn's statement of his position followed by (...) seven essays offering criticism and analysis, and finally by Kuhn's reply. The book will interest senior undergraduates and graduate students of the philosophy and history of science, as well as professional philosophers, philosophically inclined scientists, and some psychologists and sociologists. (shrink)
[Ian Rumfitt] Frege's logicism in the philosophy of arithmetic consisted, au fond, in the claim that in justifying basic arithmetical axioms a thinker need appeal only to methods and principles which he already needs to appeal in order to justify paradigmatically logical truths and paradigmatically logical forms of inference. Using ideas of Gentzen to spell out what these methods and principles might include, I sketch a strategy for vindicating this logicist claim for the special case of the arithmetic of the (...) finite cardinals. /// [Timothy Williamson]The paper defends the intelligibility of unrestricted quantification. For any natural number n, 'There are at least n individuals' is logically true, when the quantifier is unrestricted. In response to the objection that such sentences should not count as logically true because existence is contingent, it is argued by consideration of cross-world counting principles that in the relevant sense of 'exist' existence is not contingent. A tentative extension of the upward Löwenheim-Skolem theorem to proper classes is used to argue that a sound and complete axiomatization of the logic of unrestricted universal quantification results from adding all sentences of the form 'There are at least n individuals' as axioms to a standard axiomatization of the first-order predicate calculus. (shrink)
This article explores the proposal offered by Ian Hacking for the distinction between natural and social sciences—a proposal that he has defined from the outset as complex and different from the traditional ones. Our objective is not only to present the path followed by Hacking's distinction, but also to determine if it constitutes a novelty or not. For this purpose, we deemed it necessary to briefly introduce the core notions Hacking uses to establish his strategic approach to (...) social sciences, under the assumption that they are less well known that the ones corresponding to his treatment of natural sciences. Key Words: Ian Hacking • natural sciences • social sciences • distinction. (shrink)
Representing and Reconstructing: A Hermeneutical Reply to Ian Hacking. Hacking published in 1983 Representing and Intervening which has provoked, particularly in the US, the so called realism/anti-realism debate which is still alive today. He lays claim to anti-realism for theory and to realism for the experiment. Following him, only that which can be used for manipulating something (e.g., the path of an electon) is realistic. H. Putnam is a severe critic of this dualism. In my paper I am (...) going to take the Hacking-Putnam controversy as a starting-point for the problem about the determination of the relation between theory and experiment in the natural sciences. I shall then follow M. Schlick's discussion of this problem and the current solution to the problem as offered by H. Pietschmann. The differing interpretation of Kant according to the three perspectives shall be the guideline for the argumentation. The goal of my argumentation is that theory and experiment do not live their own lives, that in experimenting one always continues traditional chains of action, and that natural science cannot be regarded independently of the life world it takes place in. This insight into the representing and reconstructing overturns in natural science, due to the necessity of human decisions, opens up their hermeneutical dimension. (shrink)
There is a natural objection to the epistemic coherence of Bas van Fraassen’s use of a distinction between the observable and unobservable in his constructive empiricism, an objection that has been raised with particular clarity by Alan Musgrave. We outline Musgrave’s objection, and then consider how one might interpret and evaluate van Fraassen’s response. According to the constructive empiricist, observability for us is measured with respect to the epistemic limits of human beings qua measuring devices, limitations ‘which will (...) be described in detail in the final physics and biology’ (van Fraassen 1980: 17). In order for the constructive empiricist to determine what counts as observable, he will have to appeal to our best scientific theories of light, human physiology, and so forth. To put the same point in a slightly more abstract way, in order to draw a distinction between observable and unobservable entities, the constructive empiricist needs to use his best scientific theory of observability – call it T* – to tell him the identity of the observable entities. This raises an interesting difficulty. Constructive empiricism is the view that ‘science aims to give us theories that are empirically adequate; and acceptance of a theory involves as belief only that it is empirically adequate’ (van Fraassen 1980:12). When he accepts a theory, the constructive empiricist only believes the statements of his scientific theories that are about observable entities. Thus, in order to know which statements of a scientific theory to believe, the constructive empiricist needs to know which statements of that theory are about observable entities. In particular then, the constructive empiricist only believes the statements of his theory of observability T* that are about observable entities. Therefore, in order to know which statements of T* he can believe, the constructive empiricist needs to know which statements of T* are about observable entities. However, it is T* that tells the constructive empiricist what counts as an observable entity: the constructive empiricist therefore needs to use T* to tell him which statements of T* he can believe. The fact that the distinction drawn by T* must also apply to itself is not an immediate cause for alarm.. (shrink)
Alan Musgrave has been one of the most important philosophers of science in the last quarter of the 20th century. He has exemplified an exceptional combination of clearheaded and profound philosophical thinking. Two seem to be the pillars of his thought: an uncompromising commitment to scientific realism and an equally uncompromising commitment to deductivism. The essays reprinted in this volume (which span a period of 25 years, from 1974 to 1999) testify to these two commitments. (There are two omissions (...) from this collection: “Realism, Truth and Objectivity” in Realism and Anti-realism in the PhilosophyofScience(1996,Kluwer)and“HowtoDowithoutInductiveLogic” (Science&Educationvol.8,1999.Iwillmakesomereferencestothesepapersin what follows.) In the present review, instead of giving an orderly summary of the 16 papers of Essays, I discuss Musgrave’s two major commitments and raise some worries about their combination. (shrink)
I use Ian Hacking's views to explore ways of classifying people, exploiting his distinction between indifferent kinds and interactive kinds, and his accounts of how we 'make up' people. The natural kind/essentialist approach to indifferent kinds is explored in some depth. I relate this to debates in psychiatry about the existence of mental illness, and to educational controversies about the credentials of learner classifications such as 'dyslexic'. Claims about the 'existence' of learning disabilities cannot be given a clear, simple (...) and unambiguous interpretation. In particular I show that science cannot deliver a definitive taxonomy of learner categories, and that this has important implications for teachers and policy makers. (shrink)
In Of Apes and Ancestors, Ian Hesketh attempts to de-mythologize the famous Oxford debate between Samuel Wilberforce, the bishop of Oxford, and Charles Darwin’s friends, Thomas Huxley and Joseph Hooker. Hooker and Huxley clashed publicly with Wilberforce at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) in June of 1860. At issue was the scientific content and general implication of Darwin’s Origin of Species. Hesketh argues that this event is best understood as a minor episode in (...) a complex web of personal and professional rivalries between two generations of naturalists. He further argues that Huxley aggressively reinterpreted the actual events of the debate for years afterwards, turning them into a “Galileo moment” for the nineteenth century, a moment in which science bravely stood up to religious authority and refused to back down. While his treatment of the debate and its context is well supported, the connection Hesketh draws between Huxley’s narrative and modern historiography is somewhat tenuous. (shrink)
This paper examines Ian Hacking's arguments in favor of entity realism. It shows that his examples from science do not support his realism. Furthermore, his proposed criterion of experimental use is neither sufficient nor necessary for conferring a privileged status on his preferred unobservables. Nonetheless his insight is genuine; it may be most profitably seen as part of a more general effort to create a space for a new form of scientific and philosophical certainty, one that does not require foundations.
While Ludwik Fleck's Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact is mainly concerned with social elements in science, a central argument depends on his case study of the development of a serum test for syphilis, the Wasserman Reaction, which Fleck argues was the product of skill and of laboratory practice, not a simple discovery. Ian Hacking interprets the creation of new phenomena in science very differently, arguing that it can seen as an argument for scientific realism. Hacking's argument shows that (...) Fleck's case study does not lead to the conclusion Fleck expects, and may solve one of the main problems in Fleck's work, how to define an objective element of knowledge. (shrink)
This article examines the ethical implications of Ian Mitroff's scholarly contribution to the study of Organizational Communication. Although Mitroff does not specifically ground his work in ethics, this article considers an ethic of choicemaking to be a significant interpretive key for understanding the contribution of his research. In addition, this article provides another conceptual key for understanding the considerable quantity of Mitroff's work by organizing it around three major themes: science, decision-making, and myth. The goal of this article is to (...) make explicit two conceptual keys to Mitroff's scholarship, an ethic of choice and a three-fold division of his work that exemplifies his commitment to maximizing choice in organizational settings. (shrink)
Frederick R. Steiner (ed): The Essential Ian McHarg: Writings on Design and Nature, 2006 Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s10806-009-9217-y Authors Ruth Beilin, University of Melbourne Landscape Sociologist, Department of Resource Management and Geography, Melbourne School of Land and Environment Melbourne VIC 3010 Australia Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Reply to Ian Johnston Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11712-012-9274-1 Authors Dan Robins, School of Arts and Humanities, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway, NJ 08205, USA Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
Summary Ian Hunter's early work on the history of literature education and the emergence of English as school subject issued a bold challenge to traditional accounts that have in the main focused on English either as knowledge of a particular field or as ideology. The alternative proposal put forward by Hunter and supported by detailed historical analysis is that English exists as a series of historically contingent techniques and practices for shaping the self-managing capacities of children. The challenge for the (...) field is to advance this historical work and to examine possible implications for English teaching. (shrink)
Musgrave (1981) proposed a typology of assumptions, developed further by Mäki (2000), to defend the idea that the truth of assumptions is often important when evaluating economic theories against those economists who consider only predictive success to be relevant for this purpose. In this paper I propose a new framework for this typology that sheds further light on the issue. The framework consists of a distinction between first?order assumptions that state the absence or lack of effect of some factor (...) F, and second?order assumptions that explicate the purposes for which or the reasons why particular first?order assumptions are imposed. Given this distinction, Musgrave's main contention can be reformulated as the claim that, even though the falsity of first?order assumptions is often unproblematic, it is important that the second?order assumptions be true. I go on to introduce the notion of a tractability assumption, which is a second?order assumption according to which a first?order assumption is imposed in order to make a particular problem tractable. It is argued that a realist will want to relax a first?order assumption imposed for reasons of tractability as such assumptions are not even approximately true. These amendments to the Musgrave?Mäki typology are suggested in order to improve our understanding of what moves scientists when they choose particular first?order assumptions, many of which are false, and in order to argue that the practice of doing so can be supported from a realist perspective of science. (shrink)
Ian Inkster (ed.): History of technology. Vol. 29. London: Continuum, 2009, 232pp, £90.00 HB Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9523-7 Authors Aristotle Tympas, Department of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Athens, University Campus, 157 71 Athens, Greece Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Summary What are the connections between Ian Hunter's specific criticisms of cultural studies and his more general criticisms of those strands of the humanities that take issue with instrumental reasoning? How are these connections informed by his assessments of the limitations, and the consequences, of the ?moment of theory?? What are the implications of his critique of anti-instrumental defences of the humanities for contemporary debates concerning the future trajectories of cultural studies? In exploring these questions I consider the continuities between (...) Hunter's initial criticisms of cultural studies and the broader contours of his subsequent engagements with contemporary diagnoses of the fading critical vocation of the humanities. While endorsing the general tenor of Hunter's remarks on these questions, I conclude by arguing the need for genealogies of cultural studies and of the humanities that cast their nets more widely than Hunter's primary focus on textual disciplines. (shrink)
Summary This essay focuses on a characteristic analytical and rhetorical strategy of the style of intellectual history practiced by Ian Hunter. It assesses the moral and political resources supplied by that strategy, as well as its implications for one particular humanities discipline, that of literary criticism.
When Ian Hacking won the Holberg International Memorial Prize 2009 his candidature was said to strengthen the legitimacy of the prize after years of controversy. Ole Jacob Madsen, Johannes Servan and Simen Andersen Øyen have talked to Ian Hacking about current questions in the philosophy and history of science.
Summary Ian Hunter's essay pursues several lines of argument, one explicit and the others not. The first is that of an historian correcting the mistaken view among Kantian commentators that Kant's conception of international justice had displaced Vattel's as the dominant one in nineteenth- and twentieth-century international thought. The second, which is not acknowledged, is that of a philosopher entering a debate over the relative cogency of the two conceptions. To accomplish this unacknowledged philosophical task, Hunter exaggerates the importance of (...) Kant's metaphysics in his treatment of international justice and understates the element of raison d'état in Vattel's casuistical ethics. The subtext in both lines of argument is criticism, political rather than either historical or philosophical, of Kant's effort to articulate principles of international justice, together with implicit advocacy of Vattelian ethics as a corrective to Kantian ideology. (shrink)
In a recent article Mark Ian Thomas Robson argues that there is a clear contradiction between the view that possible worlds are a part of God's nature and the theologically pivotal, but philosophically neglected, claim that God is perfectly beautiful. In this article I show that Robson's argument depends on several key assumptions that he fails to justify and as such that there is reason to doubt the soundness of his argument. I also demonstrate that if Robson's argument were sound (...) then this would be a problem for all classical theists and not just those who hold the possible worlds view. (shrink)