Are the sculpture and the mass of gold which permanently makes it up one object or two? In this paper, we argue that the monist, who answers ‘one object’, cannot accommodate the asymmetry of material constitution. To say ‘the mass of gold materially constitutes the sculpture, whereas the sculpture does not materially constitute the mass of gold’, the monist must treat ‘materially constitutes’ as an Abelardian predicate, whose denotation is sensitive to the linguistic context in which it appears. We (...) motivate this approach in terms of modal analyses of material constitution, but argue that ultimately it fails. The monist must instead accept a deflationary, symmetrical use of ‘materially constitutes’. We argue that this is a serious cost for her approach. (shrink)
I argue (1) that metaphysical views of material objects should be understood as 'packages', rather than individual claims, where the other parts of the package include how the theory addresses 'recalcitant data' (such as - the denier of artifacts has to account, somehow, for the seeming truth of 'there are three pencils on my table'), and (2) that when the packages meet certain general desiderata - which all of the currently competing views *can* meet - there is nothing in (...) the world that could make one of the theories true as opposed to any of the others. (shrink)
Eric T. Olson has argued that those who hold that two material objects can exactly coincide at a moment of time, with one of these objects constituting the other, face an insuperable difficulty in accounting for the alleged differences between the objects, such as their being of different kinds and possessing different persistence-conditions. The differences, he suggests, are inexplicable, given that the objects in question are composed of the same particles related in precisely the same way. In response, I (...) show that the differences are not at all inexplicable once it is recognized that the conditions for a persisting object to be composed by certain particles at a moment of time must involve facts concerning other moments of time, and that the relevant facts are different for persisting objects of different kinds. Philosophers who neglect this sort of constraint on composition principles may be said to be victims of the 'cinematographic fallacy'. (shrink)
This is the second of a series of papers inspired by a paper I wrote around 1989. In this paper, I consider the notion of material contingency and relate it to the traditional, metaphysically loaded Principle of Sufficient Reason.
In a formal theory of induction, inductive inferences are licensed by universal schemas. In a material theory of induction, inductive inferences are licensed by facts. With this change in the conception of the nature of induction, I argue that the celebrated “problem of induction” can no longer be set up and is thereby dissolved. Attempts to recreate the problem in the material theory of induction fail. They require relations of inductive support to conform to an unsustainable, hierarchical empiricism.
A modus tollens against zero-dimensional material objects is presented from the premises (i) that if there are zero-dimensional material objects then there are bare particulars, and (ii) that there are no bare particulars. The argument for the first premise proceeds by elimination. First, bare particular theory and bundle theory are motivated as the most appealing theories of property exemplification. It is then argued that the bundle theorist’s Ockhamism ought to lead her to reject spatiotemporally located zero-dimensional property instances. (...) Finally, it is argued that since she must accept such instances if she accepts zero-dimensional material object bundles, she ought to avoid the latter. This leaves bare particular theory as the default view of zero-dimensional material objects. The argument for the second premise invokes the thesis that the exemplification of at least one sparse property is a prerequisite for the existence of any particular. It is argued from Humean considerations that bare particulars fail this prerequisite. (shrink)
Material culture, strictly speaking, is substance culture. Nevertheless, studies on material culture are almost exclusively concerned with things. The specificities in the perception of substances and the related everyday practices are rarely taken into consideration. Although this can be explained by the history of anthropology, the bias towards associating material culture with “formed matter” is a foundational shortcoming. In consequence, particular perspectives on the material remain understudied, and the cultural relevance of substances as such is rarely (...) taken into consideration. Taking a perspective grounded in anthropology and phenomenology, this article intends to provide new approaches to substances that elucidate the particular modes of their perception, reveal their characteristics and reflect on particular notions implicit to substances. The final section of this contribution discusses two exemplary studies on substances and proposes transformation and incorporation as new fields of research that would contribute to a more explicit engagement with substances in material culture studies. (shrink)
In this paper Grice's requirements for assertability are imposed on the disjunction of Classical Logic. Defining material implication in terms of negation and disjunction supplemented by assertability conditions, results in the disappearance of the most important paradoxes of material implication. The resulting consequence relation displays a very strong resemblance to Schurz's conclusion-relevant consequence relation.
I argue in the paper that classical chemistry is a science predominantly concerned with material substances, both useful materials and pure chemical substances restricted to scientific laboratory studies. The central epistemological and methodological status of material substances corresponds with the material productivity of classical chemistry and its way of producing experimental traces. I further argue that chemist’s ‘pure substances’ have a history, conceptually and materially, and I follow their conceptual history from the Paracelsian concept of purity to (...) the modern concept of pure stoichiometric compounds. The history of the concept of ‘pure substances’ shows that modern chemists’ concept of purity abstracted from usefulness rather than being opposed to it. Thus modern chemists’ interest in pure chemical substances does not presuppose a concept of pure science. (shrink)
Material Falsity and Error in Descartes' Meditations approaches Descartes' Meditations as an intellectual journey, wherein Descartes' views develop and change as he makes new discoveries about self, God and matter. The first book to focus closely on Descartes' notion of material falsity, it shows how Descartes' account of material falsity and correspondingly his account of crucial notions such as truth, falsehood and error evolves according to the epistemic advances in the Meditations. It also offers important new insights (...) on the crucial role of Descartes' Third Meditation discussion of material falsity in advancing many subsequent arguments in the Meditations. This book will be of interest to those working on Descartes and early modern philosophy. It offers an independent reading on issues of perennial interest, such as Descartes' views on error, truth and falsehood. It also makes important contributions to topics that have been the focus of much recent scholarship, such as Descartes' ethics and his theodicy. Those working on the interface between medieval and modern philosophy will find the discussions on Descartes' debt to predecessors like Suárez and Augustine useful. (shrink)
In his metaphysics and natural philosophy, Aristotle uses the concept of a material cause,i.e., that from which something can be made or generated. This paper argues that Aristotle also has a concept of matter in the sense of physical stuff. Aristotle develops this concept of matter in the course of investigating the material causes of perceptible substances. Because of the requirements for change, locomotion, and the physical interaction of material objects, Aristotle holds that all perceptible substances must (...) be extended in three dimensions, movable, and corporeal due to their material causes. Thus, perceptible substances are physical substances because they are made out of something physical. (shrink)
The use of the material theory of induction to vindicate a scientist's claims of evidential warrant is illustrated with the cases of Einstein's thermodynamic argument for light quanta of 1905 and his recovery of the anomalous motion of Mercury from general relativity in 1915. In a survey of other accounts of inductive inference applied to these examples, I show that, if it is to succeed, each account must presume the same material facts as the material theory and, (...) in addition, some general principle of inductive inference not invoked by the material theory. Hence these principles are superfluous and the material theory superior in being more parsimonious. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the inferential configuration of arguments, generally referred to as argument scheme. After outlining our approach, denominated Argumentum Model of Topics (AMT, see Rigotti and Greco Morasso 2006, 2009; Rigotti 2006, 2008, 2009), we compare it to other modern and contemporary approaches, to eventually illustrate some advantages offered by it. In spite of the evident connection with the tradition of topics, emerging also from AMT’s denomination, its involvement in the contemporary dialogue on argument schemes should not (...) be overlooked. The model builds in particular on the theoretical and methodological perspective of pragma-dialectics in its extended version, reconciling dialectic and rhetoric; nevertheless, it also takes into account numerous other contributions to the study of argument schemes. Aiming at a representation of argument schemes able to monitor the inferential cohesion and completeness of arguments, AMT focuses on two components of argument scheme that could be distinguished, readapting pragma-dialectical terms, as procedural and material respectively. The procedural component is based on the semantic-ontological structure, which generates the inferential connection from which the logical form of the argument is derived. The material component integrates into the argument scheme the implicit and explicit premises bound to the contextual common ground (Rigotti 2006). In this paper, the comparison of the AMT to other approaches focuses on the inferential configuration of arguments and not on the typologies of argument schemes and on the principles they are based on, which the authors intend to tackle in a further paper. (shrink)
Embodied human minds operate in and spread across a vast and uneven world of things—artifacts, technologies, and institutions which they have collectively constructed and maintained through cultural and individual history. This chapter seeks to add a historical dimension to the enthusiastically future-oriented study of “natural-born cyborgs” in the philosophy of cognitive science,3 and a cognitive dimension to recent work on material memories and symbol systems in early modern England, bringing humoral psychophysiology together with material culture studies. The aim (...) is to sketch an integrative framework which spans early modern ideas and practices relating to brains, bodies, memory, and objects. Embodiment and environment, I’ll argue, were not (always) merely external influences on feeling, thinking, and remembering, but (in certain circumstances) partly constitutive of these activities. (shrink)
In a historical perspective, what is novel about computer games is that they are not pure games but cultural objects which allow the playful desires identified by Caillois to be fused with craftsmanship, the desire to do a job well for its own sake (Sennett). Play is often defined in opposition to work, for example by Huizinga and Caillois, but craftsmanship has two qualities which can be found in both. Firstly, craftsmanship entails creative attention to the material at hand (...) pleasurably and patiently built up through rehearsal (cf. Sennett on “material consciousness”)—“creative” is used in a sense read from Bergson which is almost synonymous with “possibility-widening”. Secondly, craftsmanship entails the satisfaction of seeing the end result of one's labours. Both qualities are essential to human well-being (Marx, Sennett, Smith). (shrink)
Maxwell accounted for the apparent elastic behavior of the electromagnetic field by augmenting Ampere’s law with the so-called displacement current, in much the same way that he treated the viscoelasticity of gases. Maxwell’s original constitutive relations for both electrodynamics and fluid dynamics were not material invariant. In the theory of viscoelastic fluids, the situation was later corrected by Oldroyd, who introduced the upper-convective derivative. Assuming that the electromagnetic field should follow the general requirements for a material field, we (...) show that if the upper convected derivative is used in place of the partial time derivative in the displacement current term, Maxwell’s electrodynamics becomes material invariant. Note, that the material invariance of Faraday’s law is automatically established if the Lorentz force is admitted as an integral part of the model. The new formulation ensures that the equation for conservation of charge is also material invariant in vacuo. The viscoelastic medium whose apparent manifestation are the known phenomena of electrodynamics is called here the metacontinuum. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is twofold: on the one hand, we present the outlines of a history of university collections in Germany. On the other hand, we discuss this history as a case study of the changing attitudes of the sciences towards their material heritage. Based on data from 1094 German university collections, we distinguish three periods that are by no means homogeneous but offer a helpful starting point for a discussion of the entangled institutional and epistemic factors (...) in the history of university collections. In the 19th century, university collections were institutionalized and widely recognized as indispensable in research and teaching. During the 20th century, university collection became increasingly marginalized both on an institutional and theoretical level. Towards the end of the 20th century, the situation of university collections improved partly because of their reconsideration as material heritage. (shrink)
Some beginning logic students find it hard to understand why a material conditional is true when its antecedent is false. I draw an analogy between conditional statements and conditional promises (especially between true conditional statements and unbroken conditional promises) that makes this point of logic less counter-intuitive.
The main general goal of this paper is to consider in a new light what is usually referred in the phenomenological tradition as “material a priori”. Through a consideration of the evidence we have of anything colored being extended, the paper attempts to show that this evidence is of a different kind from the one we have of other propositions also involving necessity. The main peculiarity of this evidence is found in its dependence on linguistic meaning therein involved being (...) rooted in a factual world and on an imaginative process deployed on the background of that rooting. (shrink)
El presente artículo busca profundizar las formas en que migrantes peruanos en Chile habitan su espacio privado desde una perspectiva de cultura material, a través del análisis de las posesiones del hogar y la comida. La cultura material del hogar encarna tanto su experiencia y trayectoria migratoria como el proceso de integración en la sociedad chilena, representando el continuo proceso de ajuste que deben enfrentar en términos culturales, sociales y materiales. Los resultados muestran que las formas de habitar (...) y apropiarse del hogar están relacionadas con los procesos de integración, pues a través de la cultura material se negocia cotidianamente la pertenencia entre dos mundos, el de origen y destino, generando la ambivalencia de estar aquí y allá simultáneamente. Sus hogares se convierten en transnacionales, donde emerge un sincretismo cultural entre ambos mundos que cohabitan: Perú se refleja en la fotografía y la comida, que permite reactualizar su pertenencia e identidad originaria, y Chile es representado por objetos tecnológicos, que materializan su trabajo sacrificado y coraje, y les permite sentirse parte de la sociedad de destino. (shrink)
Preparative and analytical methods developed by separation scientists have played an important role in the history of molecular biology. One such early method is gel electrophoresis, a technique that uses various types of gel as its supporting medium to separate charged molecules based on size and other properties. Historians of science, however, have only recently begun to pay closer attention to this material epistemological dimension of biomolecular science. This paper substantiates the historiographical thread that explores the relationship between modern (...) laboratory practice and the production of scientific knowledge. It traces the historical development of gel electrophoresis from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, with careful attention to the interplay between technical developments and disciplinary shifts, especially the rise of molecular biology in this time-frame. Claiming that the early 1950s marked a decisive shift in the evolution of electrophoretic methods from moving boundary to zone electrophoresis, I reconstruct various trajectories in which scientists such as Oliver Smithies sought out the most desirable solid supporting medium for electrophoretic instrumentation. Biomolecular knowledge, I argue, emerged in part from this process of seeking the most appropriate supporting medium that allowed for discrete molecular separation and visualization. The early 1950s, therefore, marked not only an important turning point in the history of separation science, but also a transformative moment in the history of the life sciences as the growth of molecular biology depended in part on the epistemological access to the molecular realm available through these evolving technologies. (shrink)
Este artigo busca mostrar, por meio de uma análise da refutação kantiana do idealismo empírico, que Kant é ainda assim partidário de certo solo mentalista inaugurado por Descartes. Ao mesmo tempo, ele recusa as implicações solipsistas de qualquer idealismo material, seja o de Descartes, seja o de Berkeley.
Legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania establish several types of material liability of workers engaged in labour (professional) relations: material liability applied pursuant to the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the LC) and material liability applied pursuant to the Law on Public Service of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the LPC). In the present article, theoretical and practical aspects of material liability of Lithuanian public servants for (...)material damage caused are analysed. The authors of the article study the conditions for the application of the material liability and identify the main circumstances that must be determined in applying this type of legal compulsion. Furthermore, the authors investigate the relation between the material and disciplinary liabilities, study the limits of the application of labour law norms (that regulate material liability of employees) and civil law norms (regulating personal civil liability) in professional legal relations, identify the means and procedure for solving disputes arising in the application of the material liability. Practical mistakes in the application of the material liability of public servants and violations are analysed on the basis of a rather sparse case-law of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania related to the material liability. (shrink)
The tissue biobanking of specific biological residual materials, which constitutes a useful resource for medical/scientific research, has raised some ethical issues, such as the need to define which kind of consent is applicable for biological residual materials biobanks.
Mereological nihilism is the philosophical position that there are no items that have parts. If there are no items with parts then the only items that exist are partless fundamental particles, such as the true atoms (also called philosophical atoms) theorized to exist by some ancient philosophers, some contemporary physicists, and some contemporary philosophers. With several novel arguments I show that mereological nihilism is the correct theory of reality. I will also discuss strong similarities that mereological nihilism has with empirical (...) results in quantum physics. And I will discuss how mereological nihilism vindicates a few other theories, such as a very specific theory of philosophical atomism, which I will call quantum abstract atomism. I will show that mereological nihilism also is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that avoids the problems of other interpretations, such as the widely known, metaphysically generated, quantum paradoxes of quantum physics, which ironically are typically accepted as facts about reality. I will also show why it is very surprising that mereological nihilism is not a widely held theory, and not the premier theory in philosophy. (shrink)
This paper discusses Heidegger's distinction between entities that are present-at-hand and entities that are ready-to-hand. Contrary to common consensus, I argue that this distinction is a metaphysical distinction. Specifically, no ready-to-hand object is numerically identical with a present-at-hand object.