Two concepts of truth as correspondence of ideas with facts are analyzed. One of them is the thought-external fact relation, and the other is the fact-proposition one. The two maps are then composed, and the resulting map is assumed to formalize the concept of truth as adequacy or correspondence of ideas to facts. Besides, some desiderata for a correspondence theory of partial truth are proposed. Finally, the truth criteria employed in science and technology are recalled.
pt. I. Matter: 1. Philosophy as worldview ; 2. Classical matter: bodies and fields ; 3. Quantum matter: weird but real ; 4. General concept of matter: to be is to become ; 5. Emergence and levels ; 6. Naturalism ; 7. Materialism -- pt. II. Mind: 8. The mind-body problem ; 9. Minding matter: the plastic brain ; 10. Mind and society ; 11. Cognition, consciousness, and free will ; 12. Brain and computer: the hardware/software dualism ; 13. Knowledge: (...) genuine and bogus -- pt. III. Appendices: 14. Appendix A: Objects ; 15. Appendix B. Truths. (shrink)
The goal of this article is to answer some of the criticisms of my views on social science formulated by contributors to the symposium on my philosophy of social science. Key Words: emergence mechanism method process understanding.
This article addresses the following problems: What is a mechanism, how can it be discovered, and what is the role of the knowledge of mechanisms in scientific explanation and technological control? The proposed answers are these. A mechanism is one of the processes in a concrete system that makes it what it is for example, metabolism in cells, interneuronal connections in brains, work in factories and offices, research in laboratories, and litigation in courts of law. Because mechanisms are largely (...) or totally imperceptible, they must be conjectured. Once hypothesized they help explain, because a deep scientific explanation is an answer to a question of the form, "How does it work, that is, what makes it tickwhat are its mechanisms?" Thus, by contrast with the subsumption of particulars under a generalization, an explanation proper consists in unveiling some lawful mechanism, as when political stability is explained by either coercion, public opinion manipulation, or democratic participation. Finding mechanisms satisfies not only the yearning for understanding, but also the need for control. Key Words: explanation function mechanism process system systemism. (shrink)
El autor recoge el versículo 13 del capítulo 19 del Evangelio atribuido a San Mateo reza así : "porque a cualquiera que tiene, le será dado, y tendrá más; pero al que no tiene, aún lo que tiene le será quitado", y lo vincula a la sociología de la ciencia, para a través del "efecto San Mateo" -los investigadores científicos eminentes cosechan aplausos mucho más nutridos, que otros investigadores, menos conocidos, por contribuciones equivalentes- exponer la estratificación social de las comunidades (...) científicas. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: I. METAPHYSICS -- 1. How Do Realism, Materialism, and Dialectics Fare in Contemporary Science? (1973) -- 2. New Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1954) -- 3. Energy: Between Physics and Metaphysics (2000) -- 4. The Revival of Causality (1982) -- 5. Emergence and the Mind (1977) -- 6 SCIENTIFIC REALISM -- 6. The Status of Concepts (1981) -- 7. Popper's Unworldly World 3 (1981) --II. METHODOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE -- 8. On Method in (...) the Philosophy of Science (1973) -- 9. Induction in Science (1963) -- 10. The GST Challenge to the Classical Philosophies of Science (1977) -- 11. The Power and Limits of Reduction (1991) -- 12. Thinking in Metaphors (1999) --III. PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS -- 13. Moderate Mathematical Fictionism (1997) -- 14. The Gap between Mathematics and Reality (1994) -- 15. Two Faces and Three Masks of Probability (1988) --IV. PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICS -- 16. Physical Relativity and Philosophy (1979) -- 17. Hidden Variables, Separability, and Realism (1995) -- 18. Schrodinger's Cat Is Dead (1999) --V. PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY -- 19. From Mindless Neuroscience and Brainless Psychology to Neuropsychology (1985) -- 20. Explaining Creativity (1993) -- VI. PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE -- 21. Analytic Philosophy of Society and Social Science: -- The Systemic Approach as an Alternative to Holism and Individualism (1988) -- 22. Rational Choice Theory: A Critical Look at Its Foundations (1995) -- 23. Realism and Antirealism in Social Science (1993) --VII. PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY -- 24. The Nature of Applied Science and Technology (1988) -- 25. The Technology-Science-Philosophy Triangle in Its Social Context (1999) -- 26. The Technologies in Philosophy (1999) --VIII. MORAL PHILOSOPHY -- 27. A New Look at Moral Realism (1993) -- 28. Rights Imply Duties (1999) --IX. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY -- 29. Morality Is the Basis of Legal and Political Legitimacy (1992) -- 30. Technoholodemocracy: An Alternative to -- Capitalism and Socialism (1994) -- Bibliography -- Index of Names -- Index of Subjects. (shrink)
In this paper we examine the following problems: How many concepts of function are there in biology, social science, and technology? Are they logically related and if so, how? Which of these function concepts effect a functional explanation as opposed to a mere functional account? What are the consequences of a pluralist view of functions for functionalism? We submit that there are five concepts of function in biology, which are logically related in a particular way, and six function concepts in (...) social science and technology. Only two of them may help effect a genuine functional explanation. Finally, our synthetic approach allows us to distinguish four different varieties of functionalism in biology, psychology, social science, and technology: formalist, black boxist, adaptationist, and teleological. And only one of them is explanatory in the strong sense defended here. (shrink)
Individualism comes in at least ten modes: ontological, logical, semantic, epistemological, methodological, axiological, praxiological, ethical, historical, and political. These modes are bound together. For example, ontological individualism motivates the thesis that relations are n-tuples of individuals, as well as radical reductionism and libertarianism. The flaws and merits of all ten sides of the individualist decagon are noted. So are those of its holist counterpart. It is argued that systemism has all the virtues and none of the defects of individualism and (...) holism. One such virtue is the ability to recognize that individualism is a system rather than an unstructured bag of opinions--which raises the question whether thorough and consistent individualism is at all possible. Key Words: holism individualism system systemism. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to elucidate the notions of explanation and mechanism, in particular of the social kind. A mechanism is defined as what makes a concrete system tick, and it is argued that to propose an explanation proper is to exhibit a lawful mechanism. The so-called covering law model is shown to exhibit only the logical aspect of explanation: it just subsumes particulars under universals. A full or mechanismic explanation involves mechanismic law statements, not purely descriptive ones (...) such as functional relations and rate equations. Many examples from the natural, biosocial, and social sciences are examined. In particular, macro-micro-micro-macro social relations are shown to explain other wise puzzling macro-macro links. The last part of the article relates the author's progress, over half a century, toward understanding mechanism and explanation. (shrink)
The author submits that Popper's social philosophy rests on seven pillars: rationality (both conceptual and practical), individualism (ontological and methodological), libertarianism, the nonexistence of historical laws, negative utilitarianism ("Do no harm"), piecemeal social engineering, and a view on social order. The first six pillars are judged to be weak, and the seventh broken. In short, it is argued that Popper did not build a comprehensive, profound, or even consistent system of social philosophy on a par with his work in epistemology. (...) Still, he did make some important contributions to the field, such as unveiling the philosophical roots of totalitarianism and defending social engineering against both revolutionists and conservatives. (shrink)
Up until recently social scientists took it for granted that their task was to account for the social world as objectively as possible: they were realists in practice if not always in their methodological sermons. This situation started to change in the 1960s, when a number of antirealist philosophies made inroads into social studies.This paper examines critically the following kinds of antirealism: subjectivism, conventionalism, fictionism, social constructivism, relativism, and hermeneutics. An attempt is made to show that these philosophies are false (...) and are causing serious damage to social studies.Next the subjective interpretation of probability is analyzed as a case of subjectivism. An approach to the subjective perception of justice is sketched as an example of the objective study of subjective experience.Finally, the three main varieties of realism — naive, critical, and scientific — are outlined. It is argued that the scientific attitude involves scientific realism, which is put in practice even by scholars who, like Weber and Simmel, called themselves antirealists. (shrink)
The paper investigates the problems whether a concrete individual can be defined as a set or be characterized by an abstract theory. In particular, Jesês Mosterín’s objection to a theory of things proposed by the present author is discussed. Also, the view of scientific theories held by Sneed, and adopted by Mosterln, is analyzed. It is concluded that any adequate description of a concrete individual calls for more than a mathematical formalism.
Summary Opinion is divided as to whether chemistry is reducible to physics. The problem can be given a satisfactory solution provided three conditions are met: that a science not be identified with its theories; that several notions of theory dependence be distinguished; and that quantum chemistry, rather than classical chemistry, be compared with physics. This paper proposes to perform all three tasks. It does so by analyzing the methodological concepts concerned as well as by examining the way a chemical rate (...) constant is derivable with the help of the quantum atomic theory. The conclusion is that chemistry, and in particular quantum chemistry, is not a part of physics although it is certainly based on the latter. (shrink)
Three rival views of the nature of society are sketched: individualism, holism, and systemism. The ontological and methodological components of these doctrines are formulated and analyzed. Individualism is found wanting for making no room for social relations or emergent properties; holism, for refusing to analyze both of them and for losing sight of the individual.A systems view is then sketched, and it is essentially this: A society is a system of interrelated individuals sharing an environment. This commonsensical idea is formalized (...) as follows: A society σ is representable as an ordered triple 〈 Composition of σ, Environment of σ, Structure of σ〉, where the structure of σ is the collection of relations (in particular connections) among components of σ. Included in the structure of any σ are the relations of work and of managing which are regarded as typical of human society in contrast to animal societies.Other concepts formalized in the paper are those of subsystem (in particular social subsystem), resultant property, and emergent or gestalt property. The notion of subsystem is used to build the notion of an F-sector of a society, defined as the set of all social subsystems performing a certain function F (e.g. the set of all schools). In turn, an F-institution is defined as the family of all F-sectors. Being abstractions, institutions should not be attributed a life and a mind of their own. But, since an institution is analyzable in terms of concrete totalities (namely social subsystems), it does not comply with the individualist requirement either.It is also shown that the systems view is inherent in any mathematical model in social science, since any such schema is essentially a set of individuals endowed with a certain structure. And it is stressed that the systems view combines the desirable features of both individualism and holism. (shrink)
The author's semantic theory is applied to the problem whether logic and semantics presuppose any ontological theory. it is concluded that, whereas formal logic has no ontological commitments at all, the applications of any theory of reference do presuppose some assumption concerning the furniture of the world, and the very notion of factual truth (as opposed to that of formal truth) presupposes the hypothesis that there exists something external to the factual propositions.
This paper presents a decision theoretic model of the American side of the Vietnam war. That is, we only consider the U.S. government declared objectives and assign them utilities from that point of view. We assume that the involvement of the U.S. in this war was the outcome of a deliberate decision and, moreover, that this decision was taken on the basis of a careful weighing of goals and means. Hence decision theory is applicable in this case - and probably (...) it was applied. We make hypotheses on the utilities of the goals and on those of the negative side effects. We also assess the probabilities of the four main possible courses of action available to achieve those goals: total war, advising, negotiating, and staying out. The total efficiencies of these turn out to be -0.30, -0.20, +0.51, and -0.11 respectively. This result explains why neutrality was not tried and why the advisory policy was eventually given up. But it does not explain why war, which has been not just inefficient but countereffective, was preferred over negotiating from the start or keeping neutral. Unless of course one assumes that the strategists either (a) paid no attention to any decision theoretic models or (b) used models that had fatal flaws. If the first alternative is discarded because of the prestige enjoyed by decision theory amongst American executives, we must conclude that the decision theoretic models employed by the U.S. high command had either of the following defects: (a) they ignored or underrated the negative side effects accompanying the implementation of every goal, or (b) they were not supplemented by mathematical models of the decisions likely to be made by the other side. In either case the decision to adopt the strategy with minimal expected utility was, at best, rational but extremely ill informed. It may have been one more victory of ideology over science. (shrink)
Planned courses of action are illustrated, described, and analysed. The analysis distinguishes the following ten components: background knowledge, general policy, practical problem to be solved by the course of action, overall decision, research planning, day by day decisions, action, end result, and evaluation of the latter. Forecast is included in the very first stage, i.e. the background knowledge concerning the system, as well as in the fifth, i.e. the acquisition of fresh knowledge.The role of forecast in programming is examined with (...) some detail. It is recalled that forecast can be intuitive or rational. If rational, forecast can be scientific (predicting facts) or technological (predicting human actions and their outcome). In either case it rests on theories and data. But technological forecast, which is the one on which planning is based, has peculiarities of its own, such as self fulfilment and self defeat.In addition, the paper examines two popular mistakes. One is the confusion of technological forecast with the prognosis (or rather prophecy) of technological developments. The latter cannot be rigorous since it is based on trends (that can be bent) not on objective laws: it is, at its best, an educated guess. A second mistake is to regard futurology as an independent new science engaged in predicting the future of man with the help of sui generis projection tools at variance with those used in normal science and technology. It is argued that serious futurology is an interdisciplinary effort to make certain large scale and long term forecasts on the basis of either present trends or definite theoretical models of macrosystems. (shrink)