Leibniz' Theorie der moglichen Welten ist ein komplexes Ideengebaude, das er im Lauf der Jahre in verschiedenen Gelegenheitsschriften fortentwickelte. Hier wird diese Theorie systematisch dargestellt. Es werden sowohl die logischen Aspekte der Leibnizschen Moglichkeitstheorie erlautert als auch ihre Verbindungen mit Leibniz' Lehre von Raum und Zeit sowie ihre Beziehungen zu Leibniz' Theologie und insbesondere seiner Schopfungslehre.
Modeling and simulation clearly have an upside. My discussion here will deal with the inevitable downside of modeling — the sort of things that can go wrong. It will set out a taxonomy for the pathology of models — a catalogue of the various ways in which model contrivance can go awry. In the course of that discussion, I also call on some of my past experience with models and their vulnerabilities.
Both Plato and Kant devote much attention and care to deliberating about their method of philosophizing. And, interestingly, both seek to expand and explain their view of philosophical method by one selfsame strategy: explaining the contrast between rational procedure in mathematics and in philosophy. Plato and Kant agree on a fundamental point of philosophical method that is at odds with the mathematico-demonstrative methodology of philosophy found in Spinoza and present in Christian Wolff. Both reject the axiomatic approach with its insistence (...) on fundamental truths postulated from the outset. Both alike insist that philosophizing—unlike mathematics—is an exercise in theorizing where the questions of basicness and foundations come into view only after the inquiry has gone on for a long, long time—and certainly not at its start. (shrink)
The paper argues a certain parallelism between the perception and the conception of real-world objects. Just as the former is always incomplete, perspectival, and error-prone, so is the latter. We can never claim ultimate correctness for our conception of things. This fact is crucial for communication, because if our own conceptions were claimed as definitive, then we could never be secure in our confidence that we are in communicative touch with one another regarding a common, shared object of communication.
The paper argues that future knowledge will in substantial measure be inscrutable for us today, with the principal exception of facts about the past. The paper considers the reasons for this circumstance and examines its wider implications for the condition of human knowledge.
The ancient problem of mind-matter relationship still has traction. Cartesian dualism created a seemingly impossible divide here. But with the decline of mechanism on the matter sides the issue of trans-categorical causality no larger secured insurmountable. However, with a more open concept of causality in view, there is no reason to think that the causality at issue here is a one way street from matter to mind. The mind-brain can be seen as a unified hermeneutical engine that permits of two-way (...) operation. Mark Twain asked “When the body is drunk, does the mind stay sober?” But one may just as well ask “When the mind says ‘Write!,’ does the hand remain immobile?”. (shrink)
This article identifies and criticizes fallacies found in arguments against the existence of free will. These arguments draw in a variety of issues, including: natural causation, deliberation, the relation of mind and body, agent-internal and agent-external determinism, motivation for action, and the evolutionary role of free-will. The paper contends that, in each case, the misconception at issue can be overcome by drawing appropriate distinctions, the heeding of which makes for a more viable construal of how freedom of the will—if such (...) there is—should be taken to work. So at each stage there is some further clarification of what free will involves. There gradually emerges from the fog an increasingly clear view that what is at issue here is the capacity of intelligent beings to resolve matters of choice and decision through a process of deliberation on the basis of their beliefs and desires, a process that allows for ongoing updates and up-to-the-bitter-end revisability. (shrink)
To Kant’s mind, all of the tasks that Western philosophical thought has traditionally assigned to the deity as institutor of a rational world-order do indeed need to be accomplished, but humanity – we mere mortals – are up to the task. What we have here is a philosophy not so much of enlightenment as of enormous hubris.
Paradoxes of vagueness have been on the agenda since classical antiquity. Some theorists have addressed them by curtailing logical principles (bivalence, excluded middle). Others pro-pose to extrude vagueness as an illusion of sorts rooted overlooking an existing but unidentified boundary or limit. The pre-sent paper projects a third prospect, grounded in the idea of a predicative va-grancy, that resolves the issue by epis-temological resources via the prospect of ignorance regarding not just the place-ment but the very existence of a boun-dary.
Wishful thinking -- Agency and the future -- Mind matter partnership -- On morality and ethics -- Quasi-objects -- Legislated quantities -- Totalization and its problems -- Philosophical counterargumentation -- Oriental pluralism -- Analyticity reconsidered -- On issues of exponential growth.
Introduction -- The nature of free will -- Requirements of freedom : preeminently deliberation -- Free will requires the absence of thought-external -- Determination over choices and decisions -- Choice and decision are crucial -- Doing and trying -- Free action and agent causality -- Modes of freedom -- Metaphysical and moral freedom -- Moral freedom is removed by manipulation and especially -- Compulsion -- Intention and moral standing -- Moral freedom of the will involves agent intent and motivation -- (...) Ramifications of freedom -- Free will requires up-to-the-end revisability but this does not gainsay probabilistic predictability -- Issues of revision and control -- The counterfactual dimension : "could have done otherwise" -- Problem cases : machines and lunatics -- Free will as outside causality but compatible with it -- Averting the zenonic fallacy of casual regression -- Averting predetermination (contrasting pre-determination with precedence determination) -- The crucial contrast between events and eventuations -- Choices and decisions as terminating eventuations -- Free will stands outside the stream of natural causality -- On freedom and causality -- Free will excludes pre-determinism but not motive determinism -- Motivational determinism vs. casual necessitation -- Motivations and motives -- Freedom from what? : certainly not from one's own motives -- And reasons: freedom demands motivational determination -- Free will requires motivational determinism -- Determination by one's autonomous motives is the crux of moral freedom -- Compulsion is impulsion -- Objections to motive determinism can be met -- Freedom and motivation -- Must an agent choose his motives for a decision to qualify (morally) as free? -- Freedom does not require motivational self-construction -- Does freedom require self-understanding? -- Willing to will : does freedom require the will to be self-endorsing? -- Does freedom require the approval of intellect and reason? -- Does freedom require self-approved motives? -- Buridan's ass : a random willfulness is not freedom -- Compatibilism regains : what free will excludes is not agent -- Determination but gant-bypassing nature determination -- The explanation of free acts via agent determination -- Freedom, responsibility, and "could have done otherwise" -- Reasons and motives impel but do not compel -- Compatibilism again -- Mind-matter partnership -- A two-sided coin -- The issue of initiative -- A salient duality -- Mind-brain interaction works by coordination not by causality -- Does free will exist? deliberations -- Pro and con -- On evidentiating free will -- Is free will unscientific? -- So does science counter-indicate free will -- Free-will naturalism and evolution. (shrink)
Ontology cannot be left to the natural sciences, if only because it deals also with hypothetical and fictional objects. It pivots about proto-categorical issues relating to the features of objects of any and all kinds. This brings into its range issues that test the limits of knowledge by asking questions that are inherently unanswerable (for example: “What is an instance of an occurrence that no one ever mentions?”). And it raises issues of norms and values that science (in its usual (...) configuration) does not address. (shrink)
While ideals are by nature unrealizable, there are, nevertheless, many contexts in which their pursuit can be of enormous benefit. It may seem ironic but is a fact of life that the guidance afforded by “unrealistic” ideals can prove to be of enormous practical benefit.
Underdetermination can take many forms apart from the familiar case of the underdetermination of nature’s laws by the observed phenomena. Of particular interest here is the potential of underdetermination of nature’s phenomena by nature’s laws. The paper considers various ways in which this prospect might come to be realized, and goes on to consider some of the wider implications of this circumstance.
The Principle of Epistemic Disparity has it that a mind of lesser power cannot adequately comprehend the ways of a more powerful intellect. The paperconsiders the role of this principle in the thought of St. Thomas and also offers some commentary on its wider implications.
Epistemetrics is not as yet a scholarly discipline. With regard to scientific information there is the discipline of scientometrics, represented by a journal of that very name. Science, however, does not have a monopoly on knowledge. It is one of our most important cognitive resources, it is not our only one. While scientometrics is a centerpiece of epistemetrics, it is not the whole of it. Nicholas Rescher's endeavor to quantify knowledge is not only of interest in itself, but is also (...) instructive in bringing into sharper relief the nature of and the explanatory rationale for the limits that unavoidably confront our efforts to advance the frontiers of knowledge. In particular, his book demonstrates the limitations of human knowledge and will be of great value to scholars working in this area. (shrink)
Presumption is a remarkably versatile and pervasively useful resource. Firmly grounded in the law of evidence from its origins in classical antiquity, it made its way in the days of medieval scholasticism into the theory and practice of disputation and debate. Subsequently, it extended its reach to play an increasingly significant role in the philosophical theory of knowledge. It has thus come to represent a region where lawyers, debaters, and philosophers can all find some common ground. In Presumption and the (...) Practices of Tentative Cognition, Nicholas Rescher endeavors to show that the process of presumption plays a role of virtually indispensable utility in matters of rational inquiry and communication. The origins of presumption may lie in law, but its future is assured by its service to the theory of information management and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
The article urges a negative answer to the question if values merely lie ââin the eyes of the beholderââ. It argues the objectivity of values via their status as tertiary properties that are neither on dispositionally inherent in their objects nor yet affective (dispositionally evoked in the interaction between objects and senseâobservers), but rather reflective in being dispositionally evoked in suitably competent minds considering the matters involved.
v. 1. Studies in 20th century philosophy -- v. 2. Studies in pragmatism -- v. 3. Studies in idealism -- v. 4. Studies in philosophical inquiry -- v. 5. Studies in cognitivr finitude -- v. 6. Studies in social philosophy -- v. 7. Studies in philosophical anthropology -- v. 8. Studies in value theory -- v. 9. Studies in metaphilosophy -- v. 10. Studies in the history of logic -- v. 11. Studies in the philosophy of science -- v. 12. (...) Studies in metaphysical optimalism -- v. 13. Studies in Leibniz's cosmology -- v. 14. Studies in epistemology -- suppl. v. Autobiography. (shrink)
Existence -- Categories and distinctions : on classification and taxonomy in metaphysical perspective -- Complexity -- Truth and reality : factual truth as grounded in reality -- Process : on substance and process in metaphysics -- Pragmatic idealism and metaphysical realism -- Scientific realism : the limits of science as revelator of the real -- Nonexistence and nonbeing : on possibilities and merely possible individuals -- Knowledge and its limits : on quantifying knowledge : and essay in epistemetrics -- Explicability (...) and sufficient reason : on the price of an ultimate theory -- Optimalism and the rationality of the real : on the prospect of axiological explanation. (shrink)
Oft ist gegen den leibnizschen Optimalismus eingewendet worden, dass gerade die Struktur der Mannigfaltigkeit des Möglichen den ganzen Entwurf durchkreuzen könnte. Es wird gesagt, dass es möglicherweise keine beste Welt gibt, weil es mehrere optimale Welten geben könnte. Oder ein anderes Beispiel wäre, dass zu jeder möglichen Welt - egal, wie gut sie ist - eine weitere existiere, die besser ist. Der Beitrag argumentiert, dass Leibniz verschiedene Mittel zur Verfügung standen, um diesen Einwänden überzeugend zu begegnen.
Choice without preference : the problem of "Buridan's ass" -- Nicholas of Cusa on the Koran : a fifteenth-century encounter with Islam -- On learned ignorance and the limits of knowledge -- Unanswerable questions and insolubilia -- Omniscience and our understanding of God's knowledge -- Issues of infinite regress -- Being qua being -- Nonexistents then and now -- Thomism : past, present, and future -- Respect for tradition and the Catholic philosopher today.
In one form or another the concept of the Absolute has played a prominent role in Western philosophy from Plato to Hegel and beyond. The present paper addresses in particular the idea of the Absolute as the completion or perfection of the cognitive project of inquiry into the nature of the real. The discussion first traces the historical development of this conception, and then addresses the question of what sort of constructive role such a concept of cognitive absoluteness can continue (...) to play in philosophical deliberation, arguing that it does indeed afford an instrumentality able to accomplish useful work. (shrink)