What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and (...) original arguments for a deeper understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
Exploring Renaissance humanists’ debates on matter, life and the soul, this volume addresses the contribution of humanist culture to the evolution of early modern natural philosophy so as to shed light on the medical context of the ...
Bringing together an international team of historians of science and philosophy to discuss the fate of matter and form, this volume shows how disputes about matter and form spurred innovation as well as conservatism in early modern science ...
Kant's epistemology and the Buddhist philosophy are an idealism. But these two different philosophies have in themselves the contradictory element, namely the element of the outer sense of bodies and of the inner mind. Although Kant's transcendental idealism and the school Vijnanavadin (唯識學派) acknowledge only the representations and the consciousnesses., the mind need to be affected by the outer part. In Kant's theoretical philosophy the outer sense of bodies plays an alien role. It stands outside the subject. In (...) spite of this, the subject have to relate itself to the outer element. And in the Buddhism, in order to have consciousnesses, the subject have to be transformed from the fundamental ground, the Alayavijnana (第8 識). But the Alyavijnana need to have a certain moment in order to be transformed. In my paper I have concentrated myself on the problem of relation of the mind to the matter. I have tried to see into the way in which these two philosophies develop this relation. Moreover I am also interested in the problem in relation to the theoretical, practical, and aesthetical fields. (shrink)
The article examines a fundamental problem in classical Jaina philosophy, namely, the ontological status of dead matter in the hylozoistic and at the same time dualistic Jaina worldview. This question is of particular interest in view of the widespread contemporary Jaina practice of venerating bone relics and stūpas of prominent saints. The main argument proposed in this article is, that, from a classical doctrinal point of view, bone relics of renowned ascetics are valuable for Jainas, if at all, (...) because of their unique physical attributes, rather than the presumed presence of the deceased in the remains as posited in much of the extant literature on relic worship across cultures. The specific focus of the article are Jaina and non-Jaina explanations of the qualities of special matter in terms of karmic and natural processes of transformation. (shrink)
Why do octopuses matter to philosophy? They matter to the part of philosophy concerned with the mind. To see why, we step back and think about the evolutionary connections between all living things. Biologists think of these relationships in terms of a tree of life. This is a huge tree-like pattern, marking which species are close relatives and which are distantly connected. The vertebrates form one branch of the tree, and that is where we find nearly (...) all the animals with large and complex brains. These include ourselves, other mammals, and birds. In evolutionary terms, these are all cousins. In the huge area of the tree containing other animals, invertebrates, there is only one small branch where we also find large brains. This branch contains the cephalopods – octopuses, cuttlefish, and squid. Large nervous systems evolved separately on these two branches, and nowhere else. Octopuses are a separate experiment in the evolution of the mind. Meeting an octopus is like meeting an intelligent alien. So what did this experiment produce? Here is one thing. The nervous system of an octopus is less centralized than ours. In fact, more than half of the octopus' neurons are not in the animal's central "brain" at all, but in the eight arms. It is as if each arm has a mind of its own. Or perhaps in an octopus we see intelligence without a unified self. (shrink)
Many people find themselves dissatisfied with recent linguistic philosophy, and yet know that language has always mattered deeply to philosophy and must in some sense continue to do so. Ian Hacking considers here some dozen case studies in the history of philosophy to show the different ways in which language has been important, and the consequences for the development of the subject. There are chapters on, among others, Hobbes, Berkeley, Russell, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Feyerabend and Davidson. (...) Dr Hacking ends by speculating about the directions in which philosophy and the study of language seem likely to go. The book will provide students with a stimulating, broad survey of problems in the theory of meaning and the development of philosophy, particularly in this century. The topics treated in the philosophy of language are among the central, current concerns of philosophers, and the historical framework makes it possible to introduce concretely and intelligibly all the main theoretical issues. (shrink)
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)
According to pancomputationalism, everything is a computing system. In this paper, I distinguish between different varieties of pancomputationalism. I find that although some varieties are more plausible than others, only the strongest variety is relevant to the philosophy of mind, but only the most trivial varieties are true. As a side effect of this exercise, I offer a clarified distinction between computational modelling and computational explanation.<br><br>.
Abstract Naturalized metaphysics remains a default presupposition of much contemporary philosophy of physics. As metaphysics is supposed to be about the general structure of reality, so a naturalized metaphysics draws upon our best physical theories: Assuming the truth of such a theory, it attempts to answer the “foundational question par excellence “, “how could the world possibly be the way this theory says it is?“ It is argued that attention to historical detail in the development and formulation of physical (...) theories serves as an ever-relevant hygienic corrective to the “sentiment of rationality“ underlying the naturalistic impulse to read ontology off of physics. (shrink)
Abstract Contrary to most modern interpretations, in the early modern period, history was an indispensable resource for many philosophers. The different uses of history by Bacon, Gassendi, Locke, and Hume are explored to establish the role of history as a resource in early-modern philosophy.
Philosophers of biology, along with everyone else, generally perceive life to fall into two broad categories, the microbes and macrobes, and then pay most of their attention to the latter. ‘Macrobe’ is the word we propose for larger life forms, and we use it as part of an argument for microbial equality. We suggest that taking more notice of microbes – the dominant life form on the planet, both now and throughout evolutionary history – will transform some of the (...) class='Hi'>philosophy of biology’s standard ideas on ontology, evolution, taxonomy and biodiversity. We set out a number of recent developments in microbiology – including biofilm formation, chemotaxis, quorum sensing and gene transfer – that highlight microbial capacities for cooperation and communication and break down conventional thinking that microbes are solely or primarily single-celled organisms. These insights also bring new perspectives to the levels of selection debate, as well as to discussions of the evolution and nature of multicellularity, and to neo-Darwinian understandings of evolutionary mechanisms. We show how these revisions lead to further complications for microbial classification and the philosophies of systematics and biodiversity. Incorporating microbial insights into the philosophy of biology will challenge many of its assumptions, but also give greater scope and depth to its investigations. (shrink)
One of the aims of Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus is to vindicate the view that philosophy and theology are separate forms of enquiry, neither of which has any authority over the other. However, many commentators have objected that this aspect of his project fails. Despite his protestations to the contrary, Spinoza implicitly gives epistemological precedence to philosophy. I argue that this objection misunderstands the nature of Spinoza's position and wrongly charges him with inconsistency. To show how he can coherently (...) allow both that theology and philosophy employ independent epistemological standards, and that philosophy is epistemologically superior to theology, we need to step back from the immediate disputes to which the Tractatus is a response and examine a Ciceronian distinction on which Spinoza indirectly draws. As well as enabling us to vindicate Spinoza's position, it places his alleged naturalism in a new light and portrays philosophizing as a form of piety. (shrink)
Applied analytical political philosophy has not been a thriving enterprise in the United States in recent years. Certainly it has made little discernible impact on public culture. Political philosophers absorb topics and ideas from the Zeitgeist, but it shows little inclination to return the favor. After the publication of his monumental work A Theory of Justice back in 1971, John Rawls became a deservedly famous intellectual, but who has ever heard political critics or commentators refer to the difference principle (...) or fair equality of opportunity in discussions aimed at a wide audience? Writing philosophically astute and beautifully accessible prose, often in not strictly academic journals of opinion, Ronald Dworkin has been in some ways the very model of a public intellectual, but the only reference to his opinions that I have seen in any newspaper occurred in a New York Times review of a restaurant near London along the Thames (as I recall, Dworkin was quoted as saying it was at the very least the best restaurant in the northern hemisphere). You might chalk up the situation to the fact that political philosophers tend to be liberal and the public political culture in the United States has been growing decidedly conservative, but that mismatch can hardly be the whole story. Right-wing libertarianism is a popular doctrine, but Robert Nozick’s classical and never superseded 1974 exploration of that view in his brilliant Anarchy, State, and Utopia is not cited. Nor is there a signiﬁcant literature that seeks to derive practical policy recommendations from Nozick’s theory and relevant factual claims. Moreover, the isolation of political philosophy stands in marked contrast to the wide inﬂuence of theory in some disciplines. For example, consider the enormous germinating impact of Richard Posner’s ideas on law and economics over the past thirty years on academic and extra-academic American legal culture. (shrink)
Abstract Scientists and philosophers generally agree that the replication of experiments is a key ingredient of good and successful scientific practice. “One-offs“ are not significant; experiments must be replicable to be considered valid and important. But the term “replication“ has been used in a number of ways, and it is therefore quite difficult to appraise the meaning and significance of replications. I consider how history may help - and has helped - with this task. I propose that: 1) Studies of (...) past scientific episodes in historical context and of recent philosophical contributions to the discussion are heuristic tools for exploring and clarifying the meaning of that concept. 2) The analysis of the development of the methodological imperative of replication sheds light on the significance scientists have attached to it, thereby contributing further to the clarification of the concept. 3) The analysis of the history of philosophical thought about methods and scientific methodology helps understand why philosophers have not paid much attention to the analysis of the concept of replication. (shrink)
This paper deals with an attempt of the mathematician Riemann to develop an outstandingly broad view of the philosophy of nature encompassing basic phenomena of both the material and the mental world. Riemann's draft is traced in its main aspects, and is accompanied by a comparison with certain chapters in the philosophical writings of Herbart that were particularly relevant to Riemann's conception of mathematics and science on the whole. This applies, in particluar, to the epistemological background and to Herbart's (...) theory of the Self. (shrink)
This paper responds briefly to four reviews of Force and Freedom. Valentini and Sangiovanni criticize what they see as the excessive formalism of the Kantian enterprise, contending that the Kantian project is circular, because it defines rights and freedom together, and that this circularity renders it unable to say anything determinate about appropriate restrictions and permissions. I show that the appearance of circularity arises from a misconstrual of the Kantian idea of a right. Properly understood, Kantian rights are partially indeterminate, (...) but not in a way that causes problems for the account. Ronzoni and Williams seek to broaden the reach of public right, arguing that Kant's abstract approach overlooks pressing questions of social and political life, (Ronzoni) and that public right should allow for democratic deliberation about purposes that go beyond the requirement that a state provide a rightful condition for its members (Williams). I argue that the Kantian view makes room for these factors, but that each must be understood in relation to the formal constraints of right. (shrink)
: This article compares translation and commentary practices surrounding the texts associated with French feminism with those of contemporary French women philosophers more generally. Many of the latter, discussing the history of philosophy, ask questions such as "How do texts play against the means they supply themselves?" and "How are philosophical forces, and the institutions of commentary, countered, destabilized, deregulated?" Deutscher asks what institutional means are available to understand this work as innovative philosophy, and to what extent these (...) projects can usefully be analyzed as the gestures of women in philosophy. (shrink)
Scholarship in the history of modern philosophy has changed dramatically in the last hundred years. Early in the twentieth century, philosophers such as Bertrand Russell and others regularly wrote on historical topics and figures, albeit from the perspective of their own contemporary concerns. But gradually, interest in the historical Descartes, Kant, and other figures fell off as more analytical approaches came to dominate. This lasted until the late 1960's, which saw a profound renaissance in historical scholarship. Philosophers rediscovered the (...) vitality of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophy, using both analytical approaches--which look at historical problems through a contemporary conceptual lens--and historical approaches, which reconstruct the views of philosophers from within their conceptual framework. There is now a vital, international community engaged in this scholarship. This volume showcases the best work now being written on a wide range of issues in early modern philosophy--a period in which numerous philosophical problems that continue to engage us today were first identified by Locke, Berkeley, Kant, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Descartes. Collectively the articles exemplify the diversity of methodological perspectives currently being employed by some of the most distinguished, internationally recognized experts in the field. (shrink)
Hobbes on morality and the modern science of motion -- Freedom as the realization of desire -- Leviathan : the making of a mortal God -- John Locke : underlaborer of the new sciences -- Locke on the freedom of the human spirit -- From Berkeley to Hume : the radicalization of empiricism -- Hume's science of the dynamics of the passions -- Adam Smith deciphers the invisible hand of the market -- Contradictions of economic life -- I think : (...) Descartes' foundation of modern science -- God and the good society -- Leibniz's discovery of universal freedom -- The best of all possible worlds -- Justifying God's ways : Kant's progress from Leibniz through Pope to Rousseau -- Rousseau's reasoning of the heart. (shrink)
Focusing on the problem of the Prime Matter in the Philoponus' Contra Proclum (Book XI), this study offers the first translation, in French, extensively annoted and commented in the context of the 'quaestio disputata' of the Neoplatonic ...
Metaethics is the study of metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, insofar as they relate to the subject matter of moral or, more broadly, normative discourse – the subject matter of what is good, bad, right or wrong, just, reasonable, rational, what we must or ought to do, or otherwise. But out of these four ‘core’ areas of philosophy, it is plausibly the philosophy of language that is most central (...) to metaethics – and not simply because ‘metaethics’ was for a long time construed more narrowly as a name for the study of moral language. The philosophy of language is central to metaethics because both the advantages of and the open problems facing different metaethical theories differ sharply over the answers those theories give to central questions in the philosophy of language. In fact, among the open problems over which such theories differ, are included particularly further problems in the philosophy of language. This article briefly surveys a range of broad categories of views in metaethics and both catalogues some of the principal issues faced by each in the philosophy of language, as well as how those arise out of their answers to more basic questions in the philosophy of language. I make no claim to completeness, only to raising a variety of important issues. (shrink)
In the context of Aristotle's metaphysics and natural philosophy, 'prime matter' refers to that material cause which is both the proximate material cause of the four sublunary elements and the ultimate material cause of all perishable substances. On the traditional view, prime matter is pure potentiality, without any determinate nature of its own. Against this view, I argue that prime matter must be physical, extended, and movable matter if it is to fulfil its role as (...) the substratum persisting through the generation and corruption of these elements and the individuating subject in which their defining properties are found. (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)
A monumental work by an important modern philosopher, Matter and Memory (1896) represents one of the great inquiries into perception and memory, movement and time, matter and mind. Nobel Prize-winner Henri Bergson surveys these independent but related spheres, exploring the connection of mind and body to individual freedom of choice. Bergson’s efforts to reconcile the facts of biology to a theory of consciousness offered a challenge to the mechanistic view of nature, and his original and innovative views exercised (...) a profound influence on other philosophers--including James, Whitehead, and Santayana--as well as novelists such as Dos Passos and Proust. Matter and Memory is essential to an understanding of Bergson’s philosophy and its legacy. (shrink)