Science, in general, and chemistry in particular advances by methods that are difficult to codify. The availability of theories (models) and instrumentation play an important role but indefinable motivations to study individual phenomena are also involved. The area of chromium photophysics has a rich history that spans 150 years. A case history of the progression from the natural history stage to its present state reveals the way in which several factors that are common to much physical science research interact.
The aim of this highly original book is twofold: to explain the reconciliation of religion and politics in the work of John Locke, and to explore the relevance of that reconciliation for politics in our own time. Confronted with deep social divisions over ultimate beliefs Locke sought to unite society in a single liberal community. Reason could identify divine moral laws that would be acceptable to members of all cultural groups, thereby justifying the authority of government. Greg Forster demonstrates (...) that Locke's theory is liberal and rational but also moral and religious, providing an alternative to the two extremes of religious fanaticism and moral relativism. This fresh new account of Locke's thought will appeal to specialists and advanced students across philosophy, political science, and religious studies. (shrink)
The central problem with Bayesian philosophy of science is that it cannot take account of the relevance of simplicity and unification to confirmation, induction, and scientific inference. The standard Bayesian folklore about factoring simplicity into the priors, and convergence theorems as a way of grounding their objectivity are some of the myths that Earman's book does not address adequately. 1Review of John Earman: Bayes or Bust?, Cambridge, MA. MIT Press, 1992, £33.75cloth.
Herder has been sufﬁciently neglected in recent times, especially among philosophers, to need a few words of introduction. He lived 1744-1803; he was a favorite student of Kant's, and a student and friend of Hamann's; he became a mentor to the young Goethe, on whose development he exercised a profound inﬂuence; and he worked, among other things, as a philosopher, literary critic, Bible scholar, and translator. As I mentioned, Herder has been especially neglected by philosophers (with two notable (...) exceptions in the Anglophone world: Isaiah Berlin and Charles Taylor). This.. (shrink)
Sober (1984) has considered the problem of determining the evidential support, in terms of likelihood, for a hypothesis that is incomplete in the sense of not providing a unique probability function over the event space in its domain. Causal hypotheses are typically like this because they do not specify the probability of their initial conditions. Sober's (1984) solution to this problem does not work, as will be shown by examining his own biological examples of common cause explanation. The proposed solution (...) will lead to the conclusion, contra Sober, that common cause hypotheses explain statistical correlations and not matchings between event tokens. (shrink)
Charles Peirce is often credited for being among the first, perhaps even the first, to develop a scientific metaphysics of indeterminism. After rejecting the received view that Peirce developed his views from Darwin and Maxwell, I argue that Peirce's view results from his synthesis of Immanuel Kant's critical philosophy and George Boole's contributions to formal logic. Specifically, I claim that Kant's conception of the laws of logic as the basis for his architectonic, when combined with Boole's view of probability, yields (...) Peirce's metaphysics of probabilistic laws. Indeterminism provides, therefore, an excellent illustration of how Peirce attempted to use logic to clarify metaphysical problems.Since everyone must have conceptions of things in general, it is most important that they should be carefully constructed. I shall enter into no criticism of the different methods of metaphysical research, but shall merely say that in the opinions of several great thinkers, the only successful mode yet lighted upon is that of adopting our logic as our metaphysics. (W1: 490, 1866)2. (shrink)
Recent solutions to the curve-fitting problem, described in Forster and Sober (), trade off the simplicity and fit of hypotheses by defining simplicity as the paucity of adjustable parameters. Scott De Vito () charges that these solutions are 'conventional' because he thinks that the number of adjustable parameters may change when the hypotheses are described differently. This he believes is exactly what is illustrated in Goodman's new riddle of induction, otherwise known as the grue problem. However, the 'number of (...) adjustable parameters' is actually a loose way of referring to a quantity that is not language dependent. The quantity arises out of Akaike's theorem in a way that ensures its language invariance. (shrink)
Richard Rorty’s attempts to defend liberalism by appeal to pragmatism fail primarily as a result of his conflation of epistemological and political concepts. It is this confusion that leads him to defend unpalatable political views. Once the question of pragmatism is properly distinguished from the question of liberalism, it becomes clear that criticisms of Rorty’s politics have no bearing on his views of philosophy and, similarly, that acceptance of Rorty’s critique of philosophy does not commit pragmatists to his political views.
Sharvy’s puzzle concerns a situation in which common knowledge of two parties is obtained by repeated observation each of the other, no fixed point being reached in finite time. Can a fixed point be reached?
Machine generated contents note: 1. Rationality, idealism, monism, and beyond Michael Della Rocca; 2. Kant's idea of the unconditioned and Spinoza's the fourth antinomy and the ideal of pure reason Omri Boehm; 3. The question is whether a purely apparent person is possible Karl Ameriks; 4. Herder and Spinoza Michael Forster; 5. Goethe's Spinozism Eckart Förster; 6. Fichte on freedom: the Spinozistic background Allen Wood; 7. Fichte on the consciousness of Spinoza's God Johannes Haag; 8. Spinoza in Schelling's early (...) conception of intellectual intuition Dalia Nassar; 9. Schelling's philosophy of identity and Spinoza's ethica more geometrico Michael Vater; 10. 'Omnis determinatio est negatio' - determination, negation, and self-negation in Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel Yitzhak Y. Melamed; 11. Thought and metaphysics: Hegel's critical reception of Spinoza Dean Moyar; 12. Two models of metaphysical inferentialism: Spinoza and Hegel Gunnar Hinricks; 13. Trendelenburg and Spinoza Fred Beiser; 14. Replies on behalf of Spinoza Don Garrett. (shrink)
There is a vacuum in three generations of the Grotowski menï¿½s livesï¿½this becomes clear within the filmï¿½s first ten minutes. First Hank (Billy Bob Thornton) wakes alone in the middle of the night, vomits for no apparent reason, and makes a ritual trip to a lonely diner. Next Hankï¿½s boy Sonny (Heath Ledger) perfunctorily screws a prostitute whoï¿½after they have finishedï¿½tells him "you look so sad." Finally, Buckï¿½the eldest played by Peter Boyleï¿½wanders through the house sucking breath from an (...) oxygen tank, adds a new page to his capital punishment scrapbook, and spits racist epithets at some teenagers of color who wander into his yard. (shrink)
Scholars generally divide into two camps regarding the role of religion in Hobbes's Leviathan. One side claims that the natural-law doctrine of Leviathan cannot work without sincere belief in God, and Leviathan's theology is sincerely intended to support it. The other side insists that the natural-law doctrine is intended to replace religious ethics and that the theology is insincere. This article first considers two arguments for the 'insincere' reading, the strangeness of Hobbes's theology and his use of certain rhetorical devices, (...) and finds them inadequate. It then analyses Hobbes's natural-law doctrine and argues that there is a fatal interpretive flaw in the 'sincere' reading -- no argument can be made consistent with Hobbes's philosophy to show that the natural law of self-preservation is in fact God's law, so his natural-law doctrine cannot rely on God's moral authority as Hobbes claims it does. (shrink)
Abstract Ramsey, Stick and Garon (1991) argue that if the correct theory of mind is some parallel distributed processing theory, then folk psychology must be false. Their idea is that if the nodes and connections that encode one representation are causally active then all representations encoded by the same set of nodes and connections are also causally active. We present a clear, and concrete, counterexample to RSG's argument. In conclusion, we suggest that folk psychology and connectionism are best understood as (...) complementary theories. Each has different limitations, yet each will co?evolve with the other in an overlapping domain of ?normal? psychology. (shrink)
Herder already very early in his career, in the 1760s, established two vitally important and epoch-making principles in the philosophy of language: that thought is essentially dependent on and bounded by language; and that meanings or concepts should be identified - not with such items as the referents involved, Platonic forms, or empiricist 'ideas' - but with word-usages. What did Herder do for an encore? His Treatise on the Origin of Language from 1772 might seem the natural place to look (...) for an answer to this question (since it is his best known work in the philosophy of language by far), but it is really the wrong place to look, because it temporarily regresses to a more conventional and less philosophically interesting position. However, Herder did succeed in making impressive progress in a broader array of works, namely by striving to identify prima facie problem cases confronting his two principles and to reconcile them with the latter. The main ones which he identified were God, animals, and non-linguistic art. In each of these cases, having initially proposed a reconciliation which did not work, he went on to develop a much more plausible one, indeed one which (at least in the two cases that really require one: animals and non-linguistic art) seems broadly correct. (shrink)
The simple question, what is empirical success? turns out to have a surprisingly complicated answer. We need to distinguish between meritorious fit and ‘fudged fit', which is akin to the distinction between prediction and accommodation. The final proposal is that empirical success emerges in a theory dependent way from the agreement of independent measurements of theoretically postulated quantities. Implications for realism and Bayesianism are discussed. ‡This paper was written when I was a visiting fellow at the Center for Philosophy of (...) Science at the University of Pittsburgh; I thank everyone for their support. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 5185 Helen C. White Hall, 600 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53706; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Puzzle solving in normal science involves a process of accommodation—auxiliary assumptions are changed, and parameter values are adjusted so as to eliminate the known discrepancies with the data. Accommodation is often contrasted with prediction. Predictions happen when one achieves a good fit with novel data without accommodation. So, what exactly is the distinction, and why is it important? The distinction, as I understand it, is relative to a model M and a data set D, where M is a set of (...) equations with adjustable parameters (i. e., M is a family of equations with no free parameters). Definition: Model M predicts data D if and only if either (a) all members of M fit D well, or (b) a particular predictive hypothesis is selected from M by fitting M to other data, and the fitted model fits D well. M merely accommodates D if and only if (i) M does not predict D, and (ii) the predictive hypothesis selected from M using other data does not fit D well. There will be cases in which a model M neither predicts nor accommodates D. These are the cases in which we are willing to say that data falsifies the model. So, the distinction between prediction and accommodation applies only when there is no falsification. (shrink)
Curve-fitting typically works by trading off goodness-of-fit with simplicity, where simplicity is measured by the number of adjustable parameters. However, such methods cannot be applied in an unrestricted way. I discuss one such correction, and explain why the exception arises. The same kind of probabilistic explanation offers a surprising resolution to a common-sense dilemma.