: One of the most influential branches of nineteenth-century American feminism was a resistance movement committed to the idea that the key to social reform was the recognition and maintenance of human differences. This approach, which became central to American pragmatism, had its roots in a tradition of American women writers including Lydia Maria Child. This paper examines Child's work and focuses on her conception of pluralism and its role in sustaining diverse communities.
: From its founding in 1847, the AMA divided drugs into "ethical" and "unethical" preparations. Those that were ethical had a known composition and were advertised only to the profession. Others, patent medicines (technically proprietary drugs, whose trademarks were protected by copyright), were sold directly to the public. In spite of the AMA's efforts to ban the advertising and sale of these nostrums, proprietary drugs flourished during the nineteenth century. Starting in 1900, however, three major societal trends combined to bolster (...) the AMA's campaign, and by 1920 almost all advertising was directed to physicians, who would then prescribe medications to their patients. This ban on advertising pharmaceuticals directly to the public remained virtually unchanged until approximately 1980. Since then, it has slowly eroded and, as recently as 1997, the FDA created guidelines for pharmaceutical companies to advertise on television. What does this change say about the profession of medicine, the role of the physician in society, and the doctor-patient relationship? Using a comparative historical approach, this paper examines these issues. (shrink)
Concentrating on the music, politics, and philosophy of Richard Wagner, Lydia Goehr addresses some fundamental questions of German Romanticism: Is all music musical? Is music made less musical by the presence of words? What is musical autonomy? How do composers avoid censorship? How are composers affected by exile? Can music articulate a 'politics for the future'? What is the relation between music and philosophy?
In Hegel on Political Identity, Lydia Moland provocatively draws on Hegel's political philosophy to engage sometimes contentious contemporary issues such as patriotism, national identity, and cosmopolitanism.
What is musical meaning? Where does it reside and how can it be known? Does it make a difference to its meaning if the music is composed with or without words, as a symphony or a song? Why is it claimed that music can express human feelings with an immediacy not possible in other languages or arts? What is contained in the claim that music is autonomous, or that it is prophetic and can articulate a 'politics for the future'? Concentrating (...) on the music, politics, and philosophy of Richard Wagner, Lydia Goehr addresses these classic questions of German Romanticism. On the way, she offers an account of the peculiar relation that was established between philosophy and music in the nineteenth century; a philosophical and political reading of Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger; an account of the Wagner-Hanslick debate on musical formalism; an argument for resituating musical autonomy, in the spirit of Wagner's Gesamtkunstwerk; an account of the competing performance ideals embodied in Wagner's Bayreuth, and an interpretation of Wagner's legacy as experienced by composers exiled from Nazi Germany. -/- Goehr's historical and musicological enquiries are unified by a philosophical study of the impact of the transcendental or critical perspective on philosophical theory. She argues that philosophy needs to take its limits seriously to accommodate the primacy of music's practice. (shrink)
A volume dealing seriously with the influence of the major schools of Neo-Kantian thought on contemporary philosophy has been needed sorely for some time. But this volume of essays aims higher: it 'is published in the hopes that it will secure Neo-Kantianism a significant place in contemporary philosophical discussions' (Introduction, 1). The aim of the book, then, is partly to provide a history of major Neo-Kantian thinkers and their influence, and partly to argue for their importance in contemporary (continental) philosophy.
The Marburg neo-Kantians argue that Hermann von Helmholtz's empiricist account of the a priori does not account for certain knowledge, since it is based on a psychological phenomenon, trust in the regularities of nature. They argue that Helmholtz's account raises the 'problem of validity' (Gueltigkeitsproblem): how to establish a warranted claim that observed regularities are based on actual relations. I reconstruct Heinrich Hertz's and Ludwig Wittgenstein's Bild theoretic answer to the problem of validity: that scientists and philosophers can depict the (...) necessary a priori constraints on states of affairs in a given system, and can establish whether these relations are actual relations in nature. The analysis of necessity within a system is a lasting contribution of the Bild theory. However, Hertz and Wittgenstein argue that the logical and mathematical sentences of a Bild are rules, tools for constructing relations, and the rules themselves are meaningless outside the theory. Carnap revises the argument for validity by attempting to give semantic rules for translation between frameworks. Russell and Quine object that pragmatics better accounts for the role of a priori reasoning in translating between frameworks. The conclusion of the tale, then, is a partial vindication of Helmholtz's original account. (shrink)
Kant's account of space as an infinite given magnitude in the Critique of Pure Reason is paradoxical, since infinite magnitudes go beyond the limits of possible experience. Michael Friedman's and Charles Parsons's accounts make sense of geometrical construction, but I argue that they do not resolve the paradox. I argue that metaphysical space is based on the ability of the subject to generate distinctly oriented spatial magnitudes of invariant scalar quantity through translation or rotation. The set of determinately oriented, constructed (...) geometrical spaces is a proper subset of metaphysical space, thus, metaphysical space is infinite. Kant's paradoxical doctrine of metaphysical space is necessary to reconcile his empiricism with his transcendental idealism. (shrink)
That the history and the philosophy of science have been united in a form of disciplinary marriage is a fact. There are pressing questions about the state of this union. Discourse on a New Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science is a state of the union address, but also an articulation of compelling and well-defended positions on strategies for making progress in the history and philosophy of science.
Proponents of the Fine-Tuning Argument frequently assume that the narrowness of the life-friendly range of fundamental physical constants implies a low probability for the origin of the universe ‘by chance’. We cast this argument in a more rigorous form than is customary and conclude that the narrow intervals do not yield a probability at all because the resulting measure function is non-normalizable. We then consider various attempts to circumvent this problem and argue that they fail.
I examine the role of inference from experiment in theory building. What are the options open to the scientific community when faced with an experimental result that appears to be in conflict with accepted theory? I distinguish, in Laudan's (1977), Nickels's (1981), and Franklin's (1993) sense, between the context of pursuit and the context of justification of a scientific theory. Making this distinction allows for a productive middle position between epistemic realism and constructivism. The decision to pursue a new or (...) a revised theory in response to the new evidence may not be fully rationally determined. Nonetheless, it is possible to distinguish the question of whether there is reason to pursue a theory from the question of whether that theory, once it has been pursued over time, solves a problem of interest to science. I argue that, in this context, there is a solid way to distinguish between the contexts of pursuit and of justification, on the basis of a theory's evidential support and problem-solving ability. (shrink)
On the “Russellian” solution to the Gettier problem, every Gettier case involves the implicit or explicit use of a false premise on the part of the subject. We distinguish between two senses of “justification” ---“legitimation” and “justification proper.” The former does not require true premises, but the latter does. We then argue that in Gettier cases the subject possesses “legitimation” but not “justification proper,” and we respond to many attempted counterexamples, including several variants of the Nogot scenario, a case involving (...) induction, and the case of the sight-seer and the barn. Finally, we show that, given our analysis, any challenge to a belief’s justification on the grounds that it might be “Gettierized” only requires an argument that one’s premises are themselves likely to be true, moving backwards along the object-Ievel regress. Hence, a move to externalism is neither useful nor necessary in response to the Gettier problem. (shrink)
David Lewis has proposed an analysis of lawhood in terms of membership of a system of regularities optimizing simplicity and strength in information content. This article studies his proposal against the broader background of the project of Humean supervenience. In particular, I claim that, in Lewis's account of lawhood, his intuition about small deviations from a given law in nearby worlds (in order to avoid backtracking and epiphenomena) leads to the conclusion that laws do not support (certain) counterfactuals and do (...) not bestow nomic necessity on (certain) facts induced by these laws. Support of counterfactuals and nomic necessity, however, are widely held to be important aspects of the concept of lawhood. In my view, therefore, it is not possible to abandon these criteria in any satisfactory analysis of the notion of laws of nature. In a final section, I suggest that the whole project of Humean supervenience is misleading. It does not sufficiently take notice of the important role that reasoning about contrary-to-fact situations plays in modern scientific practice. (shrink)
Experiments may not reveal their full import at the time that they are performed. The scientists who perform them usually are testing a specific hypothesis and quite often have specific expectations limiting the possible inferences that can be drawn from the experiment. Nonetheless, as Hacking has said, experiments have lives of their own. Those lives do not end with the initial report of the results and consequences of the experiment. Going back and rethinking the consequences of the experiment in a (...) new context, theoretical or empirical, has great merit as a strategy for investigation and for scientific problem analysis. I apply this analysis to the interplay between Fizeau's classic optical experiments and the building of special relativity. Einstein's understanding of the problems facing classical electrodynamics and optics, in part, was informed by Fizeau's 1851 experiments. However, between 1851 and 1905, Fizeau's experiments were duplicated and reinterpreted by a succession of scientists, including Hertz, Lorentz, and Michelson. Einstein's analysis of the consequences of the experiments is tied closely to this theoretical and experimental tradition. However, Einstein's own inferences from the experiments differ greatly from the inferences drawn by others in that tradition. (shrink)
Recent work on the philosophy of Hermann Cohen (1848-1914), founder of the Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism, has appeared in three distinct circles in the English-speaking philosophical context. Cohen re-interpreted Kant's a priori to take scientific developments into account. Michael Friedman acknowledges that the later development of this view by Cohen's intellectual heir Ernst Cassirer influenced Friedman's work on the dynamic a priori, especially in the history and philosophy of science. Owing to Cohen's links to Franz Rosenzweig, scholars have begun to (...) investigate Cohen's philosophy with reference to Derrida, Benjamin, Habermas, and Levinas and the philosophy of responsibility. And there is increasing interest in analyzing Cohen's influence on Deleuze and Badiou, particularly in the areas of ethics and aesthetics. (shrink)
In my dissertation, I present Hermann Cohen's foundation for the history and philosophy of science. My investigation begins with Cohen's formulation of a neo-Kantian epistemology. I analyze Cohen's early work, especially his contributions to 19th century debates about the theory of knowledge. I conclude by examining Cohen's mature theory of science in two works, The Principle of the Infinitesimal Method and its History of 1883, and Cohen's extensive 1914 Introduction to Friedrich Lange's History of Materialism. In the former, Cohen gives (...) an historical and philosophical analysis of the foundations of the infinitesimal method in mathematics. In the latter, Cohen presents a detailed account of Heinrich Hertz's Principles of Mechanics of 1894. Hertz considers a series of possible foundations for mechanics, in the interest of finding a secure conceptual basis for mechanical theories. Cohen argues that Hertz's analysis can be completed, and his goal achieved, by means of a philosophical examination of the role of mathematical principles and fundamental concepts in scientific theories. (shrink)
The phenomenon of mutual support presents a specific challenge to the foundationalist epistemologist: Is it possible to model mutual support accurately without using circles of evidential support? We argue that the appearance of loops of support arises from a failure to distinguish different synchronic lines of evidential force. The ban on loops should be clarified to exclude loops within any such line, and basing should be understood as taking place within lines of evidence. Uncertain propositions involved in mutual support relations (...) are conduits to each other of independent evidence originating ultimately in the foundations. We examine several putative examples of benign loops of support and show that, given the distinctions noted, they can be accurately modeled in a foundationalist fashion. We define an evidential “tangle,” a relation among three propositions that appears to require a loop for modeling, and prove that all such tangles are trivial in a sense that precludes modeling them with an evidential circle. (shrink)
The scenario is all too common: the elderly woman with end-stage dementia readmitted to the hospital for the fourth time in three months for anorexia, now static cancer progressing despite all proven chemotherapy now pursuing a toxic experimental treatment, or the patient with a rampant infection leading to multiple organ failure who requires machines, medications, and devices to filter the blood, pump the heart, exchange oxygen, facilitate clotting, and provide nutrition. Modern medical science is adept at sustaining life. The field (...) of bioethics has, since its earliest days, debated end-of-life issues; yet American society more broadly remains ill equipped for the experience of dying. This can be .. (shrink)
In the nineteenth century, the separation of naturalist or psychological accounts of validity from normative validity came into question. In his 1877 Logical Studies (Logische Studien), Friedrich Albert Lange argues that the basis for necessary inference is demonstration, which takes place by spatially delimiting the extension of concepts using imagined or physical diagrams. These diagrams are signs or indications of concepts' extension, but do not represent their content. Only the inference as a whole captures the objective content of the proof. (...) Thus, Lange argues, the necessity of an inference is independent of psychological accounts of how we grasp the content of a proposition. (shrink)
Several prominent philosophers of music, including Lydia Goehr and Peter Kivy, maintain that the experience of music changed drastically in about 1800. According to the great divide hypothesis, prior to 1800 audiences often scarcely attended to music. At other times, music was appreciated as part of social, civic, or religious ceremonies. After the great divide, audiences began to appreciate music as an exclusive object of aesthetic experience. The great divide hypothesis is false. The musicological record reveals that prior to (...) the great divide music was often the exclusive object of aesthetic experience. (shrink)
Reports of psychic phenomena are as old as human history. Experimental tests of psychic phenomena are almost as old. According to Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, King Croesus of Lydia dispatched several of his men to test seven oracles to see if any of them could divine what he, the king, was doing on the day of the test. Only Pythia, priestess of Apollo at Delphi, was able to divine correctly that the king was making a lamb and tortoise (...) stew in a bronze kettle. (shrink)
Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) participated in two of the most significant developments in physics and in the philosophy of science in the 19th century: the proof that Euclidean geometry does not describe the only possible visualizable and physical space, and the shift from physics based on actions between particles at a distance to the field theory. Helmholtz achieved a staggering number of scientific results, including the formulation of energy conservation, the vortex equations for fluid dynamics, the notion of free energy (...) in thermodynamics, and the invention of the ophthalmoscope. His constant interest in the epistemology of science guarantees his enduring significance for philosophy. (shrink)
What is the difference between a performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and the symphony itself? What does it mean for musicians to be faithful to the works they perform? To answer this question, Goehr combines philosophical and historical methods of enquiry. She describes how the concept of a musical work emerged as late as 1800, and how it subsequently defined the norms, expectations, and behavior characteristic of classical musical practice. Out of the historical thesis, Goehr draws philosophical conclusions about the (...) normative functions of concepts and ideals. She also addresses current debates amongst conductors, early-music performers, and avant-gardists. (shrink)
Internalism and Epistemology is a powerful articulation and defense of a classical answer to an enduring question: What is the nature of rational belief? In opposition to prevailing philosophical fashion, the book argues that epistemic externalism leads, not just to skepticism, but to epistemic nihilism - the denial of the very possibility of justification. And it defends a subtle and sophisticated internalism against criticisms that have widely but mistakenly been thought to be decisive. Beginning with an internalist response to the (...) Gettier problem, the authors deal with the problem of the connection to truth, stressing the distinction between success and rationality as critical to its resolution. They develop a metaregress argument against externalism that has devastating consequences for any view according to which epistemic principles are contingent. The same argument does not, they argue, affect the version of internalism they espouse, since its epistemic principles are analytic and knowable a priori. The final chapter addresses the problem of induction and shows that its solution turns critically on the distinction between success and rationality - the very distinction that lies at the heart of the dispute between internalists and externalists. Provocative, probing, and deliberately unfashionable, Internalism and Epistemology is a ringing defense of internalism that will interest specialists and students alike. It is essential reading for anyone who suspects that rumors of the death of traditional epistemology have been greatly exaggerated. (shrink)
Abstract: This article argues that Christine Korsgaard's stimulating claim that practical identity is at the foundation of agency is weakened by her reliance on a Kantian conception of freedom. The commitments that make up our practical identity are, the article suggests, better described through a system like Hegel's that attends to the nature of and connection among different kinds of commitments. Beginning with such an analysis allows us better to describe human agency; it also enables us to reflect the place (...) commitments have in our lives more accurately. Hegel offers a description of ethical life in which commitments are central but still subject to norms that themselves better allow humans to achieve concrete freedom. (shrink)
Friedrich Albert Lange (b. 1828, d. 1875) was a German philosopher, pedagogue, political activist, and journalist. He was one of the originators of neo-Kantianism and an important figure in the founding of the Marburg school of neo-Kantianism. He is also played a significant role in the German labour movement and in the development of social democratic thought. His book, THE HISTORY OF MATERIALISM, was a standard introduction to materialism and the history of philosophy well into the twentieth century.
"The scholarship of Michael Spitzer's new book is impressive and thorough. The writing is impeccable and the coverage extensive. The book treats the history of the use of metaphor in the field of classical music. It also covers a substantial part of the philosophical literature. The book treats the topic of metaphor in a new and extremely convincing manner."-Lydia Goehr, Columbia University The experience of music is an abstract and elusive one, enough so that we're often forced to describe (...) it using analogies to other forms and sensations: we say that music moves or rises like a physical form that it contains the imagery of paintings or the grammar of language. In these and countless other ways, our discussions of music take the form of metaphor, attempting to describe music's abstractions by referencing more concrete and familiar experiences. Michael Spitzer's Metaphor and Musical Thought uses this process to create a unique and insightful history of our relationship with music--the first ever book-length study of musical metaphor in any language. Treating issues of language, aesthetics, semiotics, and cognition, Spitzer offers an evaluation, a comprehensive history, and an original theory of the ways our cultural values have informed the metaphors we use to address music. And as he brings these discussions to bear on specific works of music and follows them through current debates on how music's meaning might be considered, what emerges is a clear and engaging guide to both the philosophy of musical thought and the history of musical analysis, from the seventeenth century to the present day. Spitzer writes engagingly for students of philosophy and aesthetics, as well as for music theorists and historians. (shrink)
In spite of the tremendous progress in recent decades of biological science, many aspects of the behaviour of organisms in general and of humans in particular remain still somewhat obscure. A new approach towards the study of the behaviour of man was presented by Heisenberg when he emphasized that a Cartesian view of nature as an object out there is an illusion in so far as the observer is always part of the formula, the man viewing nature must be figured (...) in, the experimenter into his experiment and the artist in the scene he paints. (Heisenberg, 1969).The present study is an attempt to make a step forward in this direction by focusing on the ways and means of involvement of the observer which make him an indelible part of the observation. (shrink)
Doctor, just one more thing.” I marvel every time I hear this, nearly always as I reach for the door. It is as though all patients receive copies of the same instructions, perhaps posted somewhere in the waiting room: Wait until your appointment has run over time. Watch until your doctor stands to leave. Ask a question of grave importance that cannot possibly be answered quickly. I released the doorknob. “Yes, sir?” “I was wondering if you had any advice for (...) me on preparing to die. You see, I got a copy of the pathology report and even though my oncologist didn’t tell me the prognosis was bad, I did a little of my own research. I learned that ‘high grade’ and ‘poorly .. (shrink)
Our claim in this paper is that not being identified as the data source might cause harm to a person or group. Therefore, in some cases the default of anonymisation should be replaced by a careful deliberation, together with research subjects, of how to handle the issues of identification and confidentiality. Our prime example in this article is community participatory research and similar endeavours on indigenous groups. The theme, content and aim of the research, and the question of how to (...) handle property rights and ownership of research results, as well as who should be in charge of the research process, including the process of creating anonymity, should all be answered, before anonymity is accepted. (shrink)
In his recent book, The Empirical Stance (2002), Bas van Fraassen elaborates on earlier suggestions of a religious view that has striking parallels withhis constructive empiricism. A particularly salient feature consists in the way in which he keeps a critical distance from theoretical formulations both in scienceand religion, thus preferring a mystical approach to religious experience. As an alternative, I suggest a view based on mediation by the word, both in the structureof reality and the encounter between persons. Without falling (...) prey to rationalist illusions, such an approach allows for true human knowledge as embedded intranscendent Wisdom. It implies a more radical break with the Enlightenment ideal of neutral and universal knowledge than van Fraassen’s program, as he stillmaintains a kind of immanent grounding of knowledge in the form of direct, unmediated experience, in spite of his rejection of classical foundationalism. Wecan thus overcome the antithetical ring that characterizes his notion of rationality understood as bridled irrationality and escape relativism without forgetting thelessons that we have learned from the collapse of positivism—lessons to which van Fraassen rightly draws our attention. (shrink)
In this commentary on Rotts paper Stability, Strength and Sensitivity: Converting Belief into Knowledge, I discuss two problems of the stability theory of knowledge which are pointed out by Rott. I conclude that these problems offer no reason for rejecting the stability theory, but might be grounds for deviating from the standard AGM account of belief revision which Rott presupposes.
This pioneering new book suggests how different traditions of sociological thought can contribute to an understanding of the theory and practice of rights. Rights: Sociological Perspectives provides a sociological treatment of a wide range of substantive issues but without losing sight of key theoretical questions. It considers some varied cases of public intervention, including welfare, caring, mental health provisions, pensions, justice and free speech, alongside the rights issues they raise. Similarly, it examines the question of rights from the point of (...) view of distinctive population groups, such as prisoners and victims, women, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, and lesbians and gays. It also contains two specifically theoretical chapters, which provide a critical overview of the existing approaches to the construction and implementation of rights. Rights: Sociological Perspectives offers a diverse and detailed exploration of the contribution sociological thought can make to this increasingly important aspect of social life and will be an invaluable aid to students. (shrink)
Jonathan Weisberg has argued that Jeffrey Conditioning is inherently “anti-holistic” By this he means, inter alia, that JC does not allow us to take proper account of after-the-fact defeaters for our beliefs. His central example concerns the discovery that the lighting in a room is red-tinted and the relationship of that discovery to the belief that a jelly bean in the room is red. Weisberg’s argument that the rigidity required for JC blocks the defeating role of the red-tinted light rests (...) on the strong assumption that all posteriors within the distribution in this example are rigid on a partition over the proposition that the jelly bean is actually red. But individual JC updates of propositions do not require such a broad rigidity assumption. Jeffrey conditionalizers should consider the advantages of a modest project of targeted updating focused on particular propositions rather than seeking to update the entire distribution using one obvious partition. Although Weisberg’s example fails to show JC to be irrelevant or useless, other problems he raises for JC (the commutativity and inputs problems) remain and actually become more pressing when we recognize the important role of background information. (shrink)
In this paper we analyse how the risks associated with research on transgenic plants are regulated in Sweden. The paper outlines the way in which pilot projects in the plant sciences are overseen in Sweden, and discusses the international and national background to the current regulatory system. The historical, and hitherto unexplored, reasons for the evolution of current administrative and legislative procedures in plant science are of particular interest. Specifically, we discuss similarities and differences in the regulation of medicine and (...) plant science, and we examine the tendency towards dichotomizing risk — focusing on social/ethical risks in medicine and biological risks in plant science. The context of this article is the Synpraxia research project, an inter-disciplinary program combining expertise in sciences and the humanities. (shrink)
John Post has argued that the traditional regress argument against nonfoundational justificatory structures does not go through because it depends on the false assumption that “justifies” is in general transitive. But, says Post, many significant justificatory relations are not transitive. The authors counter that there is an evidential relation essential to all inferential justification, regardless of specific inference form or degree of carried-over justificatory force, which is in general transitive. They respond to attempted counterexamples to transitivity brought by Watkins and (...) Salmon as well as to Post’s, arguing that none of these counterexamples apply to the relation they are describing. Given the revived transitivity assumption using this relation, the regress argument does indeed demonstrate the need for foundational stopping points in inferential justification. (shrink)
Richard Jeffrey developed the formula for probability kinematics with the intent that it would show that strong foundations are epistemologically unnecessary. But the reasons that support strong foundationalism are considerations of dynamics rather than kinematics. The strong foundationalist is concerned with the origin of epistemic force; showing how epistemic force is propagated therefore cannot undermine his position. The weakness of personalism is evident in the difficulty the personalist has in giving a principled answer to the question of when the conditions (...) for the application of the kinematic formula—the rigidity of the posteriors—are fulfilled, a problem made intractable by the personalist commitment to treating changes in intermediate probability as unexplained surds. Because the strong foundationalist admits changes in the intermediate probability of propositions only when there is some change in the foundations, he can avail himself of ananswer to the problem of the rigidity of the posteriors which the personalist cannot regard as complete. While probability kinematics does not make certain foundations unnecessary, the possession of certain foundations also does not make the probability kinematics formula superfluous. The formula allowsus to model the indirect routes by which the foundations influence various non-foundational propositions in the probability distribution. (shrink)
Hyder constructs two historical narratives. First, he gives an account of Helmholtz's relation to Kant, from the famous Raumproblem, which preoccupied philosophers, geometers, and scientists in the mid-19th century, to Helmholtz's arguments in his four papers on geometry from 1868 to 1878 that geometry is, in some sense, an empirical science (chapters 5 and 6). Here, Hyder responds to the reading of Moritz Schlick, according to whom the "chief epistemological result" of Helmholtz's work is his argument that "Euclidean space is (...) not an inescapable form of our faculty of intuition, but a product of experience" (Schlick's note in Helmholtz 1977 , 35). Schlick's story papers over Helmholtz's deep relationship to Kant, especially in Helmholtz's early work. Hyder's work here puts this relationship at center stage, and contributes a much richer picture of the reasons for Helmholtz's later decision to turn away from the Kantian perspective. The second theme is the argument for the necessity of central forces to a determinate scientific description of physical reality, an abiding concern of Helmholtz's, and one that, as Hyder shows, has Kantian roots. Helmholtz's commitment to the necessity of central forces was key to his responses to rival views on electromagnetism, and is a deep and often under-appreciated element of his epistemology of science. (shrink)
It is often assumed that contemporary physics is more hospitable to divine action (and human freedom) than classical mechanics. The article criticizes this assumption on the grounds of both physics and theology. Most currently discussed models of divine action do not challenge the physicalist assumption that physics provides a true and complete description of nature’s causal web. Thus they resemble physicalism-plus-God. Taking up suggestions from Herman Dooyeweerd and Henri Blocher, I propose an alternative framework for divine action in the world. (...) It takes creation as the starting-point to understand the world and leads to a non-reductionist, multidimensional picture of reality. (shrink)
The most influential physicist of the 20th century considered his scientific activity to be a contribution to ,,cosmic religion". Starting from his own writings, the article presents Einstein's religious views and questions the extent to which his pantheistic convictions can provide the necessary foundations for human knowledge and action. German Der bedeutendste Physiker des 20. Jahrhunderts fasste seine wissenschaftliche Tätigkeit als Beitrag zur ,,kosmischen Religion auf. Der Artikel zeichnet die Religionsauffassung Einsteins an Hand von Originaltexten nach und fragt, inwieweit seine (...) weitgehend pantheistisch geprägten Überzeugungen menschliches Wissen und Handeln begründen können. (shrink)
It is often assumed by friends and foes alike of intelligent design that a likelihood approach to design inferences will require evidenceregarding the specific motives and abilities of any hypothetical designer. Elliott Sober, like Venn before him, indicates that this information is unavailable when the designer is not human (or at least finite) and concludes that there is no good argument for design in biology. I argue that a knowledge of motives and abilities is not always necessary for obtaining a (...) likelihood on design. In many cases, including the case of irreducibly complex objects, frequencies from known agents can supply the likelihood. I argue against the claim that data gathered from humans is inapplicable to non-human agents. Finally, I point out that a broadly Bayesian approach to design inferences, such as that advocated by Sober, is actually advantageous to design advocates in that it frees them from the Popperian requirement that they construct an overarching science which makes high-likelihood predictions. (shrink)
In order to defend the regress argument for foundationalism against Post’s objection that relevant forms of inferential justification are not transitive, Lydia McGrew and Timothy McGrew define a relation E of positive evidence, which, they contend, has the following features: It is a necessary condition for any inferential justification; it is transitive and irreflexive; and it enables both a strengthened regress argument proof against Post’s objection and an argument that nothing can ever appear in its own justificational ancestry. In (...) reply, we construct in their own terms both a counterexample to the would-be transitivity of E, and a related objection to their never-in-its-own-ancestry argument. We also rebut their rejection of certain counterexamples to the would-be transitivity of some forms of inferential justification. By doing so, and by questioning their transitivity claim for E, we aim to further the project of undermining the circularity arguments advanced by a zoo of skeptics, relativists, antirealists and internalists against realism and externalism. (shrink)