This article considers the uncommon situation surrounding the acceptance of Darwinism in nineteenth-century Bohemia, when the diffusion and interpretation of Darwin’s teachings were first undertaken, above all by two professors of aesthetics at Prague – Josef Durdík and Otakar Hostinský. Although they somewhat simplified the theory of natural selection, they understood Darwin’s theory to be the arrival of a new paradigm in contrast to contemporary biologists working in the Bohemian Lands. This article presents and compares both aestheticians’ interpretations of Darwinism, (...) mainly their stance on the theory of natural selection, the possibilities of applying this theory to aesthetics and art, as well as their relationship to Darwin’s interpretation of aesthetic phenomena in nature. (shrink)
In this essay a vision of the synthesis of thought on the part of the Checkoslovakian philosopher Karel Kosick is presented. His work inspired by theMarxist dialectic and the philosophy of praxis, is, and will become ever more so, a theoretical reference for the understanding of the development o..
Free logic is an important field of philosophical logic that first appeared in the 1950s. J. Karel Lambert was one of its founders and coined the term itself. The essays in this collection (written over a period of 40 years) explore the philosophical foundations of free logic and its application to areas as diverse as the philosophy of religion and computer science. Amongst the applications on offer are those to the analysis of existence statements, to definite descriptions and to (...) partial functions. The volume contains a proof that free logics of any kind are non-extensional and then uses that proof to show that Quine's theory of predication and referential transparency must fail. The purpose of this collection is to bring an important body of work to the attention of a new generation of professional philosophers, computer scientists, and mathematicians. (shrink)
This paper raises the question to what extent the crisis of historicism is to be seen as a religious problem. There is, of course, no need to argue that religion in a broad sense of the word - ultimate concerns and fundamental values - played major roles in the debates over historicism. However, virtually no studies have been conducted on how the crisis of historicism can be "mapped" on the religious landscape in a more specific sense. Which theological schools and (...) which church denominations, for example, were most affected by or concerned over the crisis of historicism? I address this question by presenting three case-studies of Protestant and Roman-Catholic thinkers in the Netherlands. These examples show that especially those Christian intellectuals whose theological or philosophical traditions were indebted to historicist premises participated in debates over historicism. In practical terms, this implies that Protestants of various persuasions were more heavily involved than Roman-Catholics. In a final section, the paper suggests some implications of this finding for how the crisis of historicism is best understood. (shrink)
Free logic, an alternative to traditional logic, has been seen as a useful avenue of approach to a number of philosophical issues of contemporary interest. In this collection, Karel Lambert, one of the pioneers in, and the most prominent exponent of, free logic, brings together a variety of published essays bearing on the application of free logic to philosophical topics ranging from set theory and logic to metaphysics and the philosophy of religion. The work of such distinguished philosophers as (...) Bas van Fraassen, Dana Scott, Tyler Burge, and Jaakko Hintikka is represented. Lambert provides an introductory essay placing free logic in the logical tradition beginning with Aristotle, developing it as the natural culmination of a trend begun in the Port Royal logic of the 1600s, and continuing through current predicate logic--the trend to rid logic of existence assumptions. His Introduction also provides a useful systematic overview of free logic, including both a standard syntax and some semantical options. (shrink)
The essay outlines the character of free logic, and motivation for its construction and development. It details some technical achievements of high philosophical interest, but urges that the role of existence assumptions in logic is still not fully understood, that unresolved old problems, both technical and philosophical, abound, and presents some new problems of considerable philosophical import in free logic.
This paper criticizes an empirical reading of On Perpetual Peace. It is also equally critical of the approach taken by philosophically minded scholars to give preference to Kant's philosophical outlook. Instead, it focuses on the peculiar oscillation between the philosophical and political aspects of the essay. Contrary to current concerns to update the conceptual framework of On Perpetual Peace—to rescue it from becoming obsolete—its salient irony, which mediates between both aspects, is singled out as a clue to an interpretation which (...) seeks to account for both of them. Thus, the essay can still be a source of inspiration for peace research. (shrink)
This paper deals with the Meinong-Russell controversy on nonsubsistent objects. The first part notes the similarity of certain contemporary semantical developments to Meinonj;'s theory of nonsubsistent objects. Then it lays out the major features of Meinong's famous theory, considers Russell's objections to same and Meinong's counter-objections to Russell, and argues that Russell's well-known argument fails. However, it is possible to augment Russell's argument against Meinong with sound Russellian principles in such a way that it presents at least a strong inclining (...) reason against Meinong's theory of impossible objects. (shrink)
In his 1923 play R.U.R.: Rossum s Universal Robots, Karel Capek coined robot as a derivative of the Czech robota (forced labor). Limited to work too tedious or dangerous for humans, today s robots weld parts on assembly lines, inspect nuclear plants, and explore other planets. Generally, robots are still far from achieving their fictional counterparts intelligence and flexibility. Humanoid robotics labs worldwide are working on creating robots that are one step closer to science fiction s androids. Building a (...) humanlike robot is a formidable engineering task requiring a combination of mechanical, electrical, and software engineering; computer architecture; and realtime control. In 1993, we began a project aimed at constructing a humanoid robot for use in.. (shrink)
The basic theory of scientific understanding presented in Sections 1–2 exploits three main ideas.First, that to understand a phenomenonP (for a given agent) is to be able to fitP into the cognitive background corpusC (of the agent).Second, that to fitP intoC is to connectP with parts ofC (via arguments in a very broad sense) such that the unification ofC increases.Third, that the cognitive changes involved in unification can be treated as sequences of shifts of phenomena inC. How the theory fits (...) typical examples of understanding and how it excludes spurious unifications is explained in detail. Section 3 gives a formal description of the structure of cognitive corpuses which contain descriptive as well as inferential components. The theory of unification is then refined in the light of so called puzzling phenomena, to enable important distinctions, such as that between consonant and dissonant understanding. In Section 4, the refined theory is applied to several examples, among them a case study of the development of the atomic model. The final part contains a classification of kinds of understanding and a discussion of the relation between understanding and explanation. (shrink)
Abstract Western philosophical and psychological thinking lacks an accepted theory of human personality; it has produced conflicting and inadequate notions, such as the religious one of a soul, the vague concept of the ?mind? and biological theories basing their understanding of man on the functions of the nervous system, particularly the brain, or dealing with his mental dimension only in terms of behavioural patterns. This paper explores the notions of personality in Indian systems and finds that virtually all of them (...) understand it, despite differing terminology, as a fluid complex of functions or living forces characterised by intrinsic intelligence and coordinated by a dynamic structural principle, operating on three levels of reality: phenomenal material, phenomenal immaterial and noumenal or absolute. One can say that the Indian tradition fully appreciated the complexity of the problem and produced theories of personality which are more comprehensive than western ones and merit study as well as attention from the point of view of contemporary creative philosophical thinking. . (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to compare the contents of the Lotus Stra and the style of presentation of its message with the thrust of the Buddha's teachings as they are preserved in the early Buddhist sources, particularly the Sutta Piaka of the Pāli Canon, and also in the Pāli commentarial literature. In the process it attempts to identify in the early sources the precedents of some of the bold statements in the Lotus Stra which appear as complete innovations, (...) but may be elaborations of elements contained in Pāli sources in germinal form. Despite the difference in style, language and mythological imagery, the conclusion is that both the Sutta Piaka and the Lotus Stra express in their respective manners the true spirit of the Buddhist message. Attention is drawn also to the striking parallels between the Buddhist picture of the multiple universe and modern cosmological theories. (shrink)
Henry Leonard and Karel Lambert first introduced so-called presupposition-free (or just simply: free) logics in the 1950’s in order to provide a logical framework allowing for non-denoting singular terms (be they descriptions or constants) such as “the largest prime” or “Pegasus” (see Leonard  and Lambert ). Of course, ever since Russell’s paradigmatic treatment of definite descriptions (Russell ), philosophers have had a way to deal with such terms. A sentence such as “the..
Homology is among the most important comparative concepts in biology. Today, the evolutionary reinterpretation of homology is usually conceived of as the most important event in the development of the concept. This paradigmatic turning point, however important for the historical explanation of life, is not of crucial importance for the development of the concept of homology itself. In the broadest sense, homology can be understood as sameness in reference to the universal guarantor so that in this sense the different concepts (...) of homology show a certain kind of “metahomology”. This holds in the old morphological conception, as well as in the evolutionary usage of homology. Depending on what is (or was) taken as a guarantor, different types of homology may be distinguished (as idealistic, historical, developmental etc.). This study represents a historical overview of the development of the homology concept followed by some clues on how to navigate the pluralistic terminology of modern approaches to homology. (shrink)
Colour plays a fundamental role in the philosophical treatments of painting. Colour while it is an essential part of the work of art cannot be divorced from the account of painting within which it is articulated. This paper begins with a discussion of the role of colour in Schelling's conception of art. Nonetheless its primary concern is to develop a critical encounter with Jean-François Lyotard's analysis of the Dutch painter Karel Appel. The limits of Lyotard's writings on painting, which (...) this paper will attribute in part to Lyotard's ‘empiricism’, becomes most apparent in his treatment of colour. (shrink)
This paper explores concepts of multiple and nested identities and how these relate to citizenship and rights, and the implications of identities and rights for active citizenship education. Various theoretical conceptions of identity are analysed, and in particular ideas concerning multiple identities that are used contingently, and about identities that do not necessarily include feeling a strong affinity with others in the group. The argument then moves to the relationship between identity and citizenship, and particularly citizenship and rights. Citizenship is (...) treated non-legalistically, as one of the locations of belonging. The paper draws on three successive categorisations of citizenship rights: by T.H. Marshall in the 1950s, Karel Vasak in the late 1970s and John Urry in the 1990s, and is illustrated in part by the development of European citizenship in parallel to national identity. This is then linked to how contemporary citizenship education might use the exploration of contested rights as a way of developing practical enactive skills of citizenship. (shrink)
Those who want to interpret the quantifier ? (3 x) (. . .x. . .)'as having no existence commitment often fail to distinguish between this objective and that of merely changing the values of the variables. The confusion vitiates solutions of the singular existence anomalies which purport to be based on a non?existential interpretation of the quantifier. An example of one who makes the distinction but still interprets the particular quantifier non?existentially is offered by Czeslaw Lejewski. Objection to the classical (...) interpretation of the quantifiers often runs hand in hand with aversion to extensional logic. However, it is at least arguable that such an aversion is the result of underestimating the resources of extensional logic. These points arc discussed in the wake of Professor Marcus's recent paper in this journal ?Interpreting Quantification? (shrink)
In this paper, the author analyzes critically some of the ideas found in Karel Lambert's recent book, Meinong and the Principle of Independence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983). Lambert attempts to forge a link between the ideas of Meinong and the free logicians. The link comes in the form of a principle which, Lambert says, these philosophers adopt, namely, Mally's Principle of Independence, which Mally himself later abandoned. Instead of following Mally and attempting to formulate the principle in the (...) material mode as the claim that an object can have properties without having any sort of being, Lambert formulates the principle in the formal mode, as (something equivalent to) the rejection of the traditional constraint on the principle of predication. The principle of predication is that a formula of the form Fa' is true iff the general term F' is true of the object denoted by the object term a'. The traditional constraint on this predication principle is that for the sentence Fa' to be true, not only must the object term have a denotation, but it must also denote an object that has being. According to Lambert, the free logicians violate this constraint by suggesting that Fa' can be true even if the object term has no denotation, whereas Meinong violates this constraint by proposing Fa' can be true even when the object term denotes an object that has no being. Lambert then tries to `vindicate' the Principle of Independence, thereby justifying both the work of the free logicians and Meinong. (shrink)
The independent emergence of similar features in phylogenetically non-allied groups of organisms has usually been explained as the result of similar selection pressures particular to specific environments. This explanation has been more or less helpful in elucidating convergent resemblances among organisms since the times of Darwin. Nevertheless, intensive research has brought new knowledge on the emergence of structural similarity among organisms, especially during the last two decades. We now have manifold evidence of the phenomena of evolutionary re-entries or re-evolution, which (...) happens when a particular character present in one organic taxon also appears in another taxon which does not share an immediate ancestry. This is not the re-appearance of the same character, but rather of a similar one. Here I propose a model of threefold origin of similar phenotypic features in unrelated organisms stemming from intrinsic, extrinsic and semiosic causation. It is suggested that neither externalist nor internalist explanations per se, nor any combination thereof, are sufficient to cover all the manifold instances of character re-evolution. There is also a special group of resemblances that consists of what is originated, shaped, and retained in evolution due to meaning attributed to them by particular organic subjects. These cases cannot be fully understood without inviting a biosemiotic approach. Integrating Uexkull’s theory of meaning with the recent evolutionary developmental perspective could complete our understanding of phenotypic re-evolution. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to compare the contents of the Lotus S?tra and the style of presentation of its message with the thrust of the Buddha's teachings as they are preserved in the early Buddhist sources, particularly the Sutta Pi aka of the P?li Canon, and also in the P?li commentarial literature. In the process it attempts to identify in the early sources the precedents of some of the bold statements in the Lotus S?tra which appear as complete (...) innovations, but may be elaborations of elements contained in P?li sources in germinal form. Despite the difference in style, language and mythological imagery, the conclusion is that both the Sutta Pi aka and the Lotus S?tra express in their respective manners the true spirit of the Buddhist message. Attention is drawn also to the striking parallels between the Buddhist picture of the multiple universe and modern cosmological theories. (shrink)