On the question of precisely what role common sense (or related datum like folk psychology, trust in pre-theoretic/intuitive judgments, etc.) should have in reigning in the possible excesses of our philosophical methods, the so-called ‘continental’ answer to this question, for the vast majority, would be “as little as possible”, whereas the analytic answer for the vast majority would be “a reasonably central one”. While this difference at the level of both rhetoric and meta-philosophy is sometimes – perhaps often – (...) problematised by the actual philosophical practices of representative philosophers of either tradition, I will argue that this norm (and its absence) nonetheless continues to play an important justificatory role in relation to the use of some rather different methodological practices. In particular, many analytic philosophers not only explicitly invoke the value of common sense, but they also implicitly value it via techniques like conceptual analysis that want to explicate folk psychology and/or lay bare what is already embedded in the linguistic norms of a given culture, the widespread use of thought experiments and the way they function as ‘intuition pumps’, as well as the general aim to achieve ‘reflective equilibrium’ between our intuitions and reflective judgments in epistemology and political philosophy. Such methods, I will argue, enshrine a conservative, or, more positively, a modest understanding of the philosophical project in that it is invested in cohering with both a given body of knowledge and common sense. These methods are notably less perspicuous in continental philosophy. To bring some of the reasons why this might be so to the fore, this paper considers Deleuze’s sustained attack on both good and common sense, which he argues are fundamental to the prevalence of a dogmatic image of thought. If Deleuze is right about this, and if the analytic tradition distils and perfects certain methods that are closely associated with this image of thought, then we have here a rather stark methodological contrast that calls for elaboration and evaluation. (shrink)
Maurice Hauriou (1856-1929) -- Methodology -- Hauriou's general methodology -- Legal methodology -- Sociological methodolgy -- Methodological interplay of law and social science -- Application of methodology to large groups -- Philosophicalmethodology -- The philosophical status of Hauriou's methodology.
According to Conceptualism, philosophy is an independent discipline that can be pursued from the armchair because philosophy seeks truths that can be discovered purely on the basis of our understanding of expressions and the concepts they express. In his recent book, The Philosophy of Philosophy, Timothy Williamson argues that while philosophy can indeed be pursued from the armchair, we should reject any form of Conceptualism. In this paper, we show that Williamson’s arguments against Conceptualism are not successful, and we sketch (...) a way to understand understanding that shows that there is a clear sense in which we can indeed come to know the answers to (many) philosophical questions purely on the basis of understanding. (shrink)
Intuition serves a variety of roles in contemporary philosophy. This paper provides a historical discussion of the revival of intuition in the 1970s, untangling some of the ways that intuition has been used and offering some suggestions concerning its proper place in philosophical investigation. Contrary to some interpretations of the results of experimental philosophy, it is argued that generalized skepticism with respect to intuition is unwarranted. Intuition can continue to play an important role as part of a methodologically conservative (...) stance towards philosophical investigation. I argue that methodological conservatism should be sharply distinguished from the process of evaluating individual propositions. Nevertheless, intuition is not always a reliable guide to truth and experimental philosophy can serve a vital ameliorative role in determining the scope and limits of our intuitive competence with respect to various areas of inquiry. (shrink)
A debate is raging over philosophicalmethodology. It is a debate between philosophical traditionalists and science-oriented philosophical naturalists concerning the legitimacy of the widespread use of intuitions in philosophy. Not everyone finds the term ‘intuition’ the best label for what philosophers rely upon in the relevant sector of their practice. Instead of “intuitions” some prefer to talk of intuitive judgments, thought experiments, or what have you. Nonetheless, “intuition” is the most commonly used term in the territory, (...) so I shall not abandon it, though other terms will be used as well. Described fairly neutrally, the philosophical activity in question consists of specifying a hypothetical scenario and rendering an intuitive judgment about the correctness or incorrectness of classifying it under a stipulated heading. Does a given predicate ‘F’ apply to an event, an individual, a pair of objects, etc. in the scenario? Putting the question less linguistically, is a certain property or relation exemplified in the scenario? The central question in the debate is whether, when intuitions or intuitive judgments are formed about such cases, they provide good evidence for some type of philosophical conclusion. For instance, are they good evidence for a conclusion of the form “Case C is/is not an instance of F”? Philosophers’ ultimate interest is not in cases per se. Cases are examined as a means to determining the content or composition of the referent of ‘F’ (where the referent may be a property, a kind, a meaning, or a concept). But this further determination is not in the foreground -- though it definitely cannot be ignored. (shrink)
Primarily between 1833 and 1840, Whewell attempted to accomplish what natural philosophers and scientists since at least Galileo had failed to do: to provide a systematic and broad-ranged study of the tides and to attempt to establish a general scientific theory of tidal phenomena. In the essay at hand, I document the close interaction between Whewell’s philosophy of science (especially his methodological views) and his scientific practice as a tidologist. I claim that the intertwinement between Whewell’s methodology and his (...) tidology is more fundamental than has hitherto been documented. (shrink)
In traditional armchair methodology, philosophers attempt to challenge a thesis of the form ‘F iff G’ or ‘F only if G’ by describing a scenario that elicits the intuition that what has been described is an F that isn’t G. If they succeed, then the judgment that there is, or could be, an F that is not G counts as good prima facie evidence against the target thesis. Moreover, if these intuitions remain compelling after further (good faith) reflection, then (...) traditional armchair methodology takes the judgment to be serious (though not infallible) evidence against the target thesis—call it secunda facie evidence—that should not be discounted as long as those intuitions retain their force. Some philosophers, however, suggest that this methodology is incompatible with epistemological naturalism, the view that philosophical inquiry should be sensitive to empirical observations, and argue that traditional armchair methodology must deemphasize the role of intuitions in philosophical inquiry. In my view, however, this would be a mistake: as I will argue, the most effective way to promote philosophical progress is to treat intuitions as having the (prima and secunda) evidential status I’ve described. But I will also argue that philosophical inquiry can produce a theory that is sensitive to empirical observations and the growth of empirical knowledge, even if it gives intuitions the prima- and secunda-facie evidential status that traditional armchair methodology demands—and thus that traditional armchair methodology, if properly practiced, need not be abandoned by naturalists, or even (except for a few exceptions) be much revised. (shrink)
The philosophical interest of verbal disputes is twofold. First, they play a key role in philosophical method. Many philosophical disagreements are at least partly verbal, and almost every philosophical dispute has been diagnosed as verbal at some point. Here we can see the diagnosis of verbal disputes as a tool for philosophical progress. Second, they are interesting as a subject matter for first-order philosophy. Reflection on the existence and nature of verbal disputes can reveal something (...) about the nature of concepts, language, and meaning. In this article I first characterize verbal disputes, spell out a method for isolating and resolving them, and draw out conclusions for philosophicalmethodology. I then use the framework to draw out consequences in first-order philosophy. In particular, I argue that the analysis of verbal disputes can be used to support the existence of a distinctive sort of primitive concept and that it can be used to reconstruct a version of an analytic/synthetic distinction, where both are characterized in dialectical terms alone. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the epistemic position of psychiatry between the science of general laws in relation to frequently encountered generality and the science of specific events which is directed towards the particular. In this respect the development of the dichotomy of nomothetic and idiographic methodology from its generally forgotten neo-Kantian origins (Windelband, Rickert, Natorp, Bauch, MÃ¼nch, Hessen, MÃ¼nsterberg) is delineated within the context of a historical-philosophical analysis and then its incorporation into psychology and (...) psychopathology (Stern, Binswanger, Kronfeld, Jaspers) is reconstructed. In the course of this analysis and also in the discussion of the currently accepted theories of analytical philosophy (StegmÃ¼ller) and critical rationalism (Popper) it becomes clear that, in spite of widespread current opinions to the contrary, individualizing concept formation is an indispensable element in the methodological inventory of psychiatric science. (shrink)
In what does philosophical progress consist? 'Vertical' progress corresponds to development within a specific paradigm/framework for theorizing (of the sort associated, revolutions aside, with science); 'horizontal' progress corresponds to the identification and cultivation of diverse paradigms (of the sort associated, conservativism aside, with art and pure mathematics). Philosophical progress seems to involve both horizontal and vertical dimensions, in a way that is somewhat puzzling: philosophers work in a number of competing frameworks (like artists or mathematicians), while typically maintaining (...) that only one of these is correct (like scientists). I diagnose this situation as reflecting that we are presently quite far from the end of inquiry into philosophicalmethodology. The good news is that we appear to be making advances on this score. The bad news is that failure to recognize or make explicit that our standards are in flux often leads to dogmatism, as I illustrate by attention to three assumptions presently operative in metaphysical and metametaphysical contexts. I close by identifying a tension between vertical and horizontal progress in philosophy, and suggesting an updated version of Carnap's principle of tolerance for new philosophical forms. (shrink)
Zhong 中 is a very important philosophical concept in early Confucianism. Both the received ancient Confucian classics and the newly discovered ancient bamboo manuscripts tell us that adhering to the principle of zhong was an important charge that had been transmitted and inherited by early ancient Chinese political leaders from generation to generation. Confucius and his followers adopted the concept of zhong and further developed it into a sophisticated doctrine, which is usually called zhongdao 中道 (the Way of zhong) (...) or zhongyong 中庸. Being a polysemous word, zhong has several different but philosophically related meanings. However, for a long time, people usually understood zhong in the sense of only one of its meanings, and zhongdao or zhongyong has been commonly interpreted as “the doctrine of the mean.” My argument in this paper is that a synthetic interpretation, which includes all the semantic meanings of zhong is necessary in order to acquire a deep and well-rounded comprehension of the philosophical significance of the Way of zhong. The Way of zhong features a dialectal view of the relationship between heaven and human beings, mind and materials, subjective desire and the available objective conditions, self and others, centrality and diversity, and so on. The Way of zhong has become a widely applied philosophicalmethodology in Confucianism, as well as a political principle and a kind of personal moral merit in early Confucian doctrines. Today, it still has relevance in contemporary Chinese social and cultural contexts. (shrink)
Often philosophers have reason to ask fundamental questions about the aims, methods, nature, or value of their own discipline. When philosophers systematically examine such questions, the resulting work is sometimes referred to as “metaphilosophy.” Metaphilosophy, it should be said, is not a well-established, or clearly demarcated, field of philosophical inquiry like epistemology or the philosophy of art. However, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries there has been a great deal of metaphilosophical work on issues concerning the (...) class='Hi'>methodology of philosophy in the analytic tradition. This article focuses on that work. (shrink)
Abstract: The notion that philosophy can be practised as a kind of therapy has become a focus of debate. This article explores how philosophy can be practised literally as a kind of therapy, in two very different ways: as philosophical therapy that addresses “real-life problems” (e.g., Sextus Empiricus) and as therapeutic philosophy that meets a need for therapy which arises in and from philosophical reflection (e.g., Wittgenstein). With the help of concepts adapted from cognitive and clinical psychology, and (...) from cognitive linguistics, the article shows that both philosophical projects address important and literally therapeutic tasks and explains how they can do so with genuinely philosophical argument and analysis. This brings into view new applications for philosophy, a need for therapy in core areas of the subject, and the outline of a new approach to meet what will be shown to be a central need. (shrink)
Philosophical Delusion and its Therapy provides new foundations and methods for the revolutionary project of philosophical therapy pioneered by Ludwig Wittgenstein. The book vindicates this currently much-discussed project by reconstructing the genesis of important philosophical problems: With the help of concepts adapted from cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology, the book analyses how philosophical reflection is shaped by pictures and metaphors we are not aware of employing and are prone to misapply. Through innovative case-studies on the genesis (...) of classical problems about the mind and perception, and on thinkers including Locke, Berkeley and Ayer, the book demonstrates how such autonomous habits of thought systematically generate unsound intuitions and philosophical delusions, whose clash with reality, or among each other, gives rise to ill-motivated but maddening problems. The book re-examines models of therapeutic philosophy, due to Wittgenstein and J. L. Austin, and develops an approach that may let us overcome philosophical delusions and the problems they engender. In this way, the book explains where and why therapy in called for in philosophy, and develops techniques to carry it out. Introduction : some perplexing discoveries -- Philosophical pictures : the birth of "the mind" -- Through pictures to problems : minds and bodies -- Pictures' effects : from "secondary qualities" to "perceptions" -- The power of pictures : Berkeley's approach -- Self-perpetuating absurdity : Berkeley defends "perceptions" -- Philosophical delusions : Ayer reinvents "perceptions" -- Two turns : a new vision of philosophy -- Linguistic analysis as therapy : Austin on "perceptions" -- Self-reflection as therapy : Wittgenstein on understanding. (shrink)
What do Ross’s The Right and the Good; Chisholm’s Theory of Knowledge; Kripke’s Naming and Necessity; and Audi’s The Architecture of Reason have in common? They all advance important philosophical positions, but not so much via analytic arguments as via formal schemas, distinctions, examples, and analogies. They use such formal schemas, etc, to describe the world so as to make some aspect of it manifest. That is, they simply try to ‘tell it like it is’. This ‘method of descriptive (...) manifestation’ is less commonly recognized than it should be given its divergence from the self-image of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
A number of philosophers have recently suggested that the role of intuitions in the epistemology of armchair philosophy has been exaggerated. This suggestion is rehearsed and endorsed. What bearing does the rejection of the centrality of intuition in armchair philosophy have on experimentalist critiques of the latter? I distinguish two very different kinds of experimentalist critique: one critique requires the centrality of intuition; the other does not.
We distinguish and discuss two different accounts of the subject matter of theories of reference, meta-externalism and meta-internalism. We argue that a form of the meta- internalist view, “moderate meta-internalism”, is the most plausible account of the subject matter of theories of reference. In the second part of the paper we explain how this account also helps to answer the questions of what kind of concept reference is, and what role intuitions have in the study of the reference relation.
In this book, a Grice/Strawson account of analyticity is explained and formalized, and a corresponding account of logic is offered. The implications of these views for science/substantive inquiry are explored and a neo-Carnapian/verificationist meta-theory is presented.
Philosophy (and its corollaries in the human sciences such as literary, social and political theory) is distinguished from other disciplines by a more thoroughgoing emphasis on the a priori. Philosophy makes no claims to predictive power; nor does it aim to conform to popular opinion (beyond ordinary intuitions as recorded by ‘thought experiments’). Many philosophers view the discipline’s self-exemption from ‘real world’ empirical testing as a non-issue or even an advantage, in allowing philosophy to focus on universal and necessary truths. (...) This article argues otherwise. The non-instrumentality of philosophical discourse renders it into a collective private language, impairing the discipline’s ability to judge the quality of its own output. The natural sciences and other technical disciplines offer the non-expert ‘windows of scrutiny’ into their respective methodologies, through numerous findings that can be easily and independently tested by amateurs. Such outside scrutiny provides a mechanism of external quality control, mitigating the internal effects of cognitive bias and institutionalised conformity upon the discourses of technical disciplines. In contrast, the conclusions of philosophy are not testable without in-depth knowledge of the methods by which they are arrived at; knowledge which can apparently only be gained through an extensive program of study, in philosophy. This epistemic circularity renders the program (even one of self-study) into a ‘black box’ in which the internal influence of cognitive biases and conformity effects cannot be independently assessed. The black box of philosophy is, in all relevant respects, analogous to the black box of the Cartesian mind that is the subject of Wittgenstein’s private language argument. (shrink)
Traditionally it has been thought that the moral valence of a proposition is, strictly speaking, irrelevant to whether someone knows that the proposition is true, and thus irrelevant to the truth-value of a knowledge ascription. On this view, it’s no easier to know, for example, that a bad thing will happen than that a good thing will happen (other things being equal). But a series of very surprising recent experiments suggest that this is actually not how we view knowledge. On (...) the contrary, people are much more willing to ascribe knowledge of a bad outcome. This is known as the epistemic side-effect effect (ESEE), and is a specific instance of a widely documented phenomenon, the side-effect effect (a.k.a. “the Knobe effect”), which is the most famous finding in experimental philosophy. In this paper, I report a new series of five experiments on ESEE, and in the process accomplish three things. First, I confirm earlier findings on the effect. Second, I show that the effect is virtually unlimited. Third, I introduce a new technique for detecting the effect, which potentially enhances its theoretical significance. In particular, my findings make it more likely that the effect genuinely reflects the way we think about and ascribe knowledge, rather than being the result of a performance error. (shrink)
According to some critics, traditional armchair philosophicalmethodology relies in an illicit way on intuitions. But the particular structure of the critique is not often carefully articulated?a significant omission, since some of the critics? arguments for skepticism about philosophy threaten to generalize to skepticism in general. More recently, some experimentalist critics have attempted to articulate a critique that is especially tailored to affect traditional methods, without generalizing too widely. Such critiques are more reasonable, and more worthy of serious (...) consideration, than are blunter critiques that generalize far too widely. I argue that a careful (empirical!) examination of extant philosophical practices shows that traditional philosophical methods can meet these more reasonable challenges. (shrink)
Wittgenstein at Work: Method in the Philosophical Investigations explores the least well-understood aspect of Wittgenstein's later work: his aims and methods. Specially-commissioned papers by twelve of the world's leading Wittgenstein scholars analyze the way he approached key topics such as rule-following and private language, and examine his remarks on clarification, nonsense and other central notions of his methodology. Many contributors touch on the therapeutic aspects Wittgenstein's approach, the focus of much current debate. Wittgenstein at Work provides both students (...) and specialist with a much-needed methodological companion to one of the greatest philosophical works of the twentieth century. (shrink)
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 Private Language Sections of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, -/- generally agreed to run from §§ 243 - 271, but extending to § 315 with the book’s continued -/- treatment of the private object model and the inner and outer conception of the mind, have -/- proved remarkably resistant to any generally agreed interpretation. Even today, ways of -/- looking at these sections which were first in vogue half a century ago when discussions of -/- this aspect of Wittgenstein’s (...) work were at their height, still have their adherents, at a time -/- when the emphasis in Wittgenstein exegesis has graduated towards anti-theoretical, -/- non-doctrinal, and therapeutic conceptions of his entire methodology. Discussion about -/- the rule-following considerations after Saul Kripke’s new interpretation of the argument -/- against private language, which predominated during the last quarter of the 20th century, -/- has tended to be superseded into the new millennium by controversy over substantial v -/- resolute conceptions of nonsense in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, a debate now -/- seen by some interpreters to illuminate Wittgenstein’s later work.This paper sheds light -/- on these complex matters firstly by studying a very popular interpretative approach to the -/- relevant sections within its historical context, and secondly by attempting to grasp his overall -/- methodology, primarily as practised in the private language passages themselves. This can -/- help to show how they may reflect the content of §§ 89 -133. However, just as it can be argued -/- that Hume never fully reconciles the sceptical and naturalistic tendencies in his writing, it can -/- be surmised that Wittgenstein never really finds a proper balance between the avowedly -/- therapeutic intent of those stated passages and what, at least for some commentators, are -/- the clearly discoverable argumentative strategies that he employs throughout his treatment -/- of private language and, indeed, throughout Part 1 of the Philosophical Investigations. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive and authoritative reference collection in the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences. The source materials selected are drawn from debates within the natural sciences as well as social scientific practice. This four volume set covers the traditional literature on the philosophy of the social sciences, and the contemporary philosophical and methodological debates developing at the heart of the disciplinary and interdisciplinary groups in the social sciences. It addresses the needs of researchers and academics (...) who are grappling with the relationship between questions of knowledge construction and the problems of social scientific method. (shrink)
Philosophical considerations and positions underlie all of the natural and social sciences. In the latter case philosophical foundations and their emergent issues have a profound impact on methodology and empirical practice. Design decisions will usually depend on philosophical perspectives or assumptions, such as the very fundamental decision to employ a quantitative design or an interpretive design. The 'philosophy of social research' is thus a subset of the philosophy of social science, but also an important subject area (...) that spans methodology and method. The articles making up this timely collection are the best exemplars of key positions in a very wide disciplinary field. The selection is designed to begin each section with an 'entry level' article to introduce the reader to the topic area and to ground the approach a research problem. Topics covered include science and art in the history of social research, positivism and antipositivism, language and the linguistic turn, realism and anti-realism, theory and theory choice, logic and models, prediction and laws, interpretation, probability and complexity. With the study of the philosophical foundations of methods and methodology gaining increasing priority in university courses, this will be a valuable resource for academics and researchers across the social sciences. (shrink)
What is the nature of the evidence provided by thought experiments in philosophy? For instance, what evidence is provided by the Gettier thought experiment against the JTB theory of knowledge? According to one view, it provides as evidence only a certain psychological proposition, e.g. that it seems to one that the subject in the Gettier case lacks knowledge. On an alternative, nonpsychological view, the Gettier thought experiment provides as evidence the nonpsychological proposition that the subject in the Gettier case lacks (...) knowledge (e.g., Williamson 2007). Given the centrality of thought experiments to philosophical enquiry, the correct account of thought experiment evidence is important for understanding the nature of philosophicalmethodology. Further, Williamson argues that a misguided adherence to the psychological view of thought experiment evidence encourages scepticism about philosophy since it opens a gap between our evidence and the nonpsychological subject matter of philosophy. The main aim of this paper is to defend the psychological view against recent objections. In particular, I argue that even if thought experiment evidence is psychological, it can still provide justification for non-psychological claims which are the subject matter of philosophy. (shrink)
John Locke's labor theory of property is one of the seminal ideas of political philosophy and served to establish its author's reputation as one of the leading social and political thinkers of all time. Through it Locke addressed many of his most pressing concerns, and earned a reputation as an outstanding spokesman for political individualism - a reputation that lingers widely despite some partial challenges that have been raised in recent years. In this major new study Matthew Kramer offers an (...) extensive critique of the labor theory and investigates the consequences of its downfall. With incisive analyses of the merits and failings of many aspects of Locke's political thought, Kramer advances a powerful challenge to Locke's image as an individualist. Employing a rigorously philosophicalmethodology, but remaining aware of the insights generated by historical approaches to Locke, Kramer concludes that Locke's political vision was in fact profoundly communitarian. (shrink)
Mark Schroeder’s Hypotheticalism: agent-neutrality, moral epistemology, and methodology Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9657-2 Authors Tristram McPherson, Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota Duluth, 361 A. B. Anderson Hall, 1121 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Abstract Recent criticisms of intuition from experimental philosophy and elsewhere have helped undermine the authority of traditional conceptual analysis. As the product of more empirically informed philosophicalmethodology, this result is compelling and philosophically salutary. But the negative critiques rarely suggest a positive alternative. In particular, a normative account of concept determination—how concepts should be characterized—is strikingly absent from such work. Carnap's underappreciated theory of explication provides such a theory. Analyses of complex concepts in empirical sciences illustrates and (...) supports this claim, and counteracts the charge explication is only suitable for highly mathematical, axiomatic contexts. Explication is also defended against the influential criticism it is “philosophically unilluminating”. Content Type Journal Article Category Original paper in Philosophy of Science Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0027-5 Authors James Justus, Philosophy Department, Florida State University and University of Sydney, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912. (shrink)
So-called “Wide Psychological Reductionism”, and similar neo-Lockean views of personal identity, are both important and popular. Yet they seem to demand of their adherents commitment to controversial views both in ontology and in philosophicalmethodology. The consequent debates interweave methodological, ontological, and evaluative issues in interesting ways. We will examine some of these issues, and explore some of the more recent developments and transformations which Psychological views have led to. The focus will be selective and we will look (...) only at a small selection from the prolific literature which has grown up around this topic. (shrink)
Methodology is understood here to include methods, approaches, and styles, which are not always easy to separate. This article deals with all three, focusing on ones that have been influential in Australasia, or have developed there, through the efforts of thinkers who have either been born in Australasia, or trained or worked there for a significant period.
Frank Ebersole's extraordinary investigations of certain key philosophical ideas behind problems in epistemology and metaphysics are the subject of this article-review. I have resisted providing what many readers will expect me to provide, namely, a critical examination of his philosophicalmethodology. I do question his unwilligness to say why his investigations only yield I negative results, and I do have something to say about classifying him as an ordinary language philosopher. However, my main focus is on trying (...) to engage critically with what he actually does in his work. To this end, I provide a narrative of the investigation he carries out into the possibility of comparing the objects of perception and dreams, and I cite other works of his in support of my understanding of that investigation. Although one of his lengthiest essays seems to be devoted to an anticipation of an objection to his approach, I explain why even there he is not concerned with the question of why he always seems to get negative results. After suggesting why some of his later essays seem to be so hard to read, I conclude by saying something about what I take to be his achievement. (shrink)
A relatively detailed review (~ 4000 words) of Christopher Mole's (2010) book "Attention is Cognitive Unison". I suggest that Mole makes a good case against many types of reductivist accounts of attention, using the right kind of methodology. Yet, I argue that his adverbialist theory is not the best articulation of the crucial anti-reductivist insight. The distinction between adverbial and process-first phenomena he draws remains unclear, anti-reductivist process theories can escapte his arguments, and finally I provide an argument for (...) why no personal level adverbialism can provide a complete and unified theory of attention. Despite my disagreements, I have learned a lot from engaging with Mole's book. It's a central contribution to the new philosophical literature on attention. (shrink)
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY GIVEN IN A SYMPOSIUM HONORING ROBERT L PATTERSON, AT THE MEETING OF THE SOCIETY FOR PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION IN SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, FEBRUARY 24, 1977. IT CLAIMS THAT HIS PHILOSOPHICALMETHODOLOGY IS MORE INCLUSIVE, VARIED, AND POWERFUL THAN HIS OWN DESCRIPTION OF IT AS "THE A PRIORI METHOD" WOULD INDICATE. A SURVEY OF PATTERSON’S WORKS, A COMPARISON WITH RICHARD PRICE’S CRITICISM OF DAVID HUME ON MIRACLES, AND COMPARISON AND CONTRAST WITH JOHN LOCKE AND W E (...) CHANNING, SHOW THAT PATTERSON’S METHODOLOGY INCLUDES ASPECTS THAT ARE LOGICAL, EPISTEMOLOGICAL, A PRIORI, A POSTERIORI, SEMANTIC, ADOPTIVE, CONDITIONAL, COMPARATIVE AND PERSPECTIVAL. (shrink)
Abstract I wish to discuss the constitutive conditions ? and aporias ? of the representations of the other in philosophy, sociology and cultural studies. In so doing, I show that crucial to the problem of ?tolerance? is the answer to such questions as: How do we represent the stranger and the other? How does this representation come into being? How can it ? in given instances ? be changed? I shall suggest that the arts may play a decisive role in (...) this process. In this paper I shall attempt to outline a double thesis: (a) the philosophical theory of the experience of something other requires the challenge of ethnology as the science of the stranger; and (b) conversely, however, ethnology itself requires a theory of cultural strangeness, which although always presupposed is never developed. I shall pursue this thesis in three stages. In the first section, I shall say something about the philosophical study of the other and its latent affinity with ethnology. In the second section, I shall take some key terms from the current dispute within ethnology over methodology, and attempt to show that the experience of something other (alien) requires a medium to express, or rather to describe, this experience. This problem of ethnographic depiction and description, lying between science and art; and the suggested solutions to this problem, developed particularly by postmodern American cultural?anthropology, namely an aesthetisization without art, leads to the third section of this paper. This provokes the following question: what does art ? that moment which remains hidden within the contemporary ethnological discussion ? have to offer to our understanding of the (cultural) other? Further, we may ask, as paradoxical as it may at first sound, whether it is precisely from art, perhaps indeed only from art, that the way is to be found leading towards that which hasn't yet been problematized in all these contemporary intercultural debates: an ethic of intercultural understanding as the most important precondition for intercultural tolerance or toleration. (shrink)
“Prediction” and “prescription” are crucial notions for economics. This paper offers a philosophical and methodological approach and takes into account the connection with the problem of science and values. To do this, two steps are followed: firstly, prediction in economics -its characteristics and limits- will be examined and, secondly, the role of prescription in economics (and its relations with internal and external values) will be studied. Thus; the underlying aims of this paper are to make explicit the characters of (...) economic prediction, to show its nexus with the economic prescription and to point out the links of both -especially, the latter- with the specific values of “economic activity” and the values of “economics as activity” (i. e., values of economic undertaking as an activity interconnected with others in the social context). (shrink)
The article deals with the philosophical and methodological ideas of N. I. Lobachevsky—one of the creators of non-Euclidean geometries in the first half of the nineteenth century. The author shows that Lobachevsky elaborated a specific system of views on the nature of mathematical concepts and that these views were deeply involved in his mathematical investigation, especially in the creation and justification of the new geometry.
Here are crucial data for any theory of the self, self-consciousness or the structure of experience. We discuss the fundamental structure of both indexical reference, especially first-term reference, and quasi-indexical reference, used in attributing first-person reference to others. Chisholm's ingenious account of direct awareness of self is tested against the two sets of data. It satisfies neither. Chisholm's definitions raise serious questions both about philosophicalmethodology and about the underlying ontology of individuation, identity, and predication. Chisholm's adverbial account (...) of non-physical contents of consciousness is also examined; several questions are raised about the possible success of the linguistic technique of ontological reduction by hyphenation and creation of grammatical devices. (shrink)
This volume collects 17 case studies that characterize the various kinds of translations of the European culture of the last two and a half millennia from ancient Greece to Rome, from the medieval world to the Renaissance up to the ...
When I say that my conception of metaphysics is Aristotelian, or neo-Aristotelian, this may have more to do with Aristotle’s philosophicalmethodology than his metaphysics, but, as I see it, the core of this Aristotelian conception of metaphysics is the idea that metaphysics is the first philosophy . In what follows I will attempt to clarify what this conception of metaphysics amounts to in the context of some recent discussion on the methodology of metaphysics (e.g. Chalmers et (...) al . (2009), Ladyman and Ross (2007)). There is a lot of hostility towards the Aristotelian conception of metaphysics in this literature: for instance, the majority of the contributors to the Metametaphysics volume assume a rather more deflationary, Quinean approach towards metaphysics. In the process of replying to the criticisms towards Aristotelian metaphysics put forward in recent literature I will also identify some methodological points which deserve more attention and ought to be addressed in future research. (shrink)
In this paper, I situate Hans Blumenberg historically and conceptually in relation to a subtheme in the famous debate between Martin Heidegger and Ernst Cassirer at Davos, Switzerland in 1929. The subtheme concerns Heidegger’s and Cassirer’s divergent attitudes toward philosophical anthropology as it relates to the starting points and goals of philosophy. I then reconstruct Blumenberg’s anthropology, which involves reconceptualizing Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms in relation to Heidegger’s objections to the philosophical anthropology of his day (e.g., Max (...) Scheler, Helmuth Plessner, and Arnold Gehlen) as unduly anthropocentric. Blumenberg builds on anthropologist Gehlen’s assumption that human beings are biologically underdetermined and therefore world-open. With this starting point, symbolic forms, such as myth and language, make up a compensatory life-world that supports human existence. Action, or self-assertion, which is necessary given the lack of a seamless fit between human beings and the environment, is thus circumscribed and shaped by the historied, cultural constructs that constitute a life-world. Human beings can thus be characterized as a species that continually renegotiates the shape of its existence through its relation to biological limits on the one hand and cultural constants on the other. Because Blumenberg and philosophical anthropology are relatively unexplored by Anglophone philosophers, and because philosophical anthropology is central to Blumenberg’s methodology generally, this study provides an introduction to both. (shrink)
Many philosophers claim that intuitions are evidential. Yet it is hard to see how introspecting one's mental states could provide evidence for such synthetic truths as those concerning, for example, the abstract and the counterfactual. Such considerations have sometimes been taken to lead to mentalism---the view that philosophy must concern itself only with matters of concept application or other mind-dependent topics suited to a contemplative approach---but this provides us with a poor account of what it is that philosophers take themselves (...) to be doing, for many of them are concerned with the extra-mental facts about the universe. Evidentialism therefore gestates a disaster for philosophy, for it ultimately demands an epistemology for the investigation into such matter as the abstract and the modal that simply will not be forthcoming. We make a different suggestion: That intuitions are inclinations to believe. Hence, according to us, a philosophical argument does well, as a socio-rhetorical matter of fact, when it is founded on premises philosophers are generally inclined to believe, whether or not those inclinations to believe connect appropriately to the extra-mental facts. Accordingly, the role of intuitions (inclinations to believe) in philosophicalmethodology is non-evidential, and the question of how they could be used as evidence falls away. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer both a brief study of Collingwood's conception of historical explanation and epistemological historicity, and an examination of the influence of Collingwood's work on the historical methodology of Quentin Skinner and on Gadamer's hermeneutic philosophy. Collingwood's work on the philosophy of history manifests a tension between the realist implications of the doctrine of reenactment and the logic of question and answer on the one hand, and, on the other, the constructionist tendency of the rest of (...) his work on the logic of historical inquiry and on the hermeneutic character of his more general conception of human historicity. This tension is displayed in the divergent interpretations of Collingwood by Quentin Skinner and Hans-Georg Gadamer, and in the inherent difficulties of each man's philosophy of history. I argue that the weaknesses of Skinner's methodological historicism are present already in his reading of Collingwood and reflect the difficulties inherent in understanding Collingwood as offering primarily a methodology of history. I also claim that Gadamer's hermeneutic philosophy, while presenting a more plausible reading of Collingwood, suffers from tensions similar to those within Collingwood's work between the logic of explanation and the logic of practical recommendation, and between the character of historical explanation and the character of philosophical understanding. (shrink)
In this long and detailed book Bennett and Hacker set themselves two ambitious tasks. The first is to offer a philosophical critique of, what they argue are, philosophical confusions within contemporary cognitive neuroscience. The second is to present a ‘conceptual reference work for cognitive neuroscientists who wish to check the contour lines of the psychological concept relevant to their investigation’ (p.7). In the process they cover an astonishing amount of material. The first two chapters present a critical history (...) of neuroscience from Aristotle to Sherrington, Eccles and Penfield. Chapter three (to which I shall return), offers the philosophical basis for much of the book. Chapters four to twelve present detailed philosophical criticisms of a wide variety of neuroscientists (and some philosophers) on a large number of topics. These include: Crick, Damasio, Edelman, Marr and Frisby on perception (particularly the primary/secondary quality distinction and the binding problem); Milner, Squire and Kandel on memory; Blakemore and others on mental imagery; LaDoux and Damasio on the emotions; Libet on voluntary movement; and Baars, Crick, Edelman, Damasio, Penrose, Searle, Chalmers, and Nagel on consciousness (with a great deal on qualia and self-consciousness). Chapters thirteen and fourteen, along with the two appendices, contain an elaboration and defence of the book’s methodology and present explicit contrasts with the Churchlands, Dennett and Searle. Bennett and Hacker maintain that whilst neuroscientists have made significant discoveries concerning the workings of the brain, these discoveries have been obscured by their presentation within an incoherent conceptual framework. Their complaints, therefore, are often not with neuroscience itself but with what might be called its philosophical self image. (shrink)
In a beautiful recent essay, the philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong explains the reasons for his departure from evangelical Christianity, the religious culture in which he was brought up. Sinnot-Armstrong contrasts the interpretive methods used by good philosophers and fundamentalist believers: Good philosophers face objections and uncertainties. They follow where arguments lead, even when their conclusions are surprising and disturbing. Intellectual honesty is also required of scholars who interpret philosophical texts. If I had distorted Kant’s view to make him reach a (...) conclusion that I preferred, then my philosophy professor would have failed me. The contrast with religious reasoning is stark. My Christian friends seemed happy to hide serious problems in the Bible and in their arguments. They preferred comfort to intellectual honesty. I couldn’t. To what extent can we, historians of philosophy, claim the virtue of intellectual honesty? Speaking frankly, I do not find the practice criticized by Sinnot-Armstrong’s philosophy professor rare or unusual at all. We very frequently distort the views of past philosophers in order to reach the conclusions we prefer. We just call it “Charitable Interpretation.” In this essay, I discuss and criticize the logic behind so-called charitable interpretations in the history of philosophy. This phenomenon is ubiquitous and is not at all restricted to a particular philosophical strand or ideology. Analytic philosophers and post-modernists, Marxists, liberals, secularists, and fundamentalists, we all engage in the very same domestication project. Even more disturbing than the sheer ideological pervasiveness of this phenomenon is the fact that, on many occasions, superb philosophers and historians take part in this fairly childish endeavor. In the first part of this essay, I discuss the general logic of charitable interpretations in the history of philosophy, mostly by addressing discussions in metaphysics and epistemology. In the second part, I focus on the somewhat less noticed use of charitable interpretations in the study of political philosophy, and point out the quintessential role ideology plays in these discussions. In both parts, I concentrate mostly on the interpretation of Spinoza’s thought. I do so not because I have special fondness for Spinoza (“guilty as charged,” I admit), but because Spinoza is such a beast (and may I add, an enchanting beast) and attracts a disproportionate share of the domestication efforts from historians and philosophers of all creeds and persuasions. In the third and final part of the paper, I will begin to outline an alternative methodology, which suggests that past philosophers can be most relevant to our current philosophical discussion, to the extent that they provide us with well-motivated challenges to our common-sense beliefs. Such challenges have the invaluable virtue of being able to undermine our most fundamental and secure beliefs, and force us to engage with the most fundamental questions. What more can we expect from good philosophy? (shrink)
The paper develops and addresses a major challenge for therapeutic conceptions of philosophy of the sort increasingly attributed to Wittgenstein. To be substantive and relevant, such conceptions have to identify “diseases of the understanding” from which philosophers suffer, and to explain why these “diseases” need to be cured in order to resolve or overcome important philosophical problems. The paper addresses this challenge in three steps: With the help of findings and concepts from cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology, it redevelops (...) the Wittgensteinian notion of “philosophical pictures.” Through a case study on seminal versions of familiar mind-body problems, it examines how such pictures shape philosophical reflection and generate ill-motivated but captivating problems. Third, it shows that philosophical pictures are constitutive of “diseases of the understanding,” in a quite strict sense of the term. On this basis, the paper explains when and why philosophical therapy is required. (shrink)
The received view of Kripke's Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language is that it fails as an interpretation because, inter alia, it ignores or overlooks what Wittgenstein has to say in the second paragraph of Philosophical Investigations 201. In this paper, I demonstrate that the paragraph in question is in fact fully accommodated within Kripke's reading, and cannot therefore be reasonably utilised to object to it. -/- In part one I characterise the objection; in part two I explain why (...) it fails; in part three I suggest why commentators might have been motivated to offer it; and in part four I claim that two commentators who have offered it also imply otherwise. (shrink)
Many philosophers have worried about what philosophy is. Often they have looked for answers by considering what it is that philosophers do. Given the diversity of topics and methods found in philosophy, however, we propose a different approach. In this article we consider the philosophical temperament, asking an alternative question: What are philosophers like? Our answer is that one important aspect of the philosophical temperament is that philosophers are especially reflective. This claim is supported by a study of (...) more than 5,000 philosophers and non-philosophers, the results of which indicate that even when we control for overall education level, philosophers tend to be significantly more reflective than their peers. We then illustrate this tendency by considering what we know about the philosophizing of a few prominent philosophers. Recognizing this aspect of the philosophical temperament, it is natural to wonder how philosophers came to be this way: Does philosophical training teach reflectivity or do more reflective people tend to gravitate to philosophy? We consider the limitations of our data with respect to this question and suggest that a longitudinal study be conducted. (shrink)
This collection of essays, first published two decades ago, presents central feminist critiques and analyses of natural and social sciences and their philosophies. Unfortunately, in spite of the brilliant body of research and scholarship in these fields in subsequent decades, the insights of these essays remain as timely now as they were then: philosophy and the sciences still presume kinds of social innocence to which they are not entitled. The essays focus on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Marx; on (...) the 'adversary method' model of philosophic reasoning; on principles of individuation on philosophical ontology and philosophy of language; on individualistic assumptions in psychology; functionalism in sociological and biological theory; evolutionary theory; the methodology of political science; and conceptions of objective inquiry in the sciences. In taking insights of both Liberal and Marxian women's movements into the purportedly most abstract and value-free areas of Western thought, these essays chart sexist and androcentric assumptions, claims and practices in the cognitive, technical cores of Western sciences and their philosophies. They begin to identify the distinctive aspects of women's experiences and locations in male-supremacist social structures which can provide resources needed for the creation of post-androcentric thinking in research, scholarship, and public policy. Such uses of feminist insights remain controversial today, and even among some feminists. These authors were all junior researchers and scholars two decades ago; today many are among the most distinguished senior scholars in their fields. Their work here provides a splendid opportunity for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and the social sciences to explore some of the most intriguing and controversial challenges to disciplinary projects and to public policy today. (shrink)
Current scientific research on consciousness aims to understand how consciousness arises from the workings of the brain and body, as well as the relations between conscious experience and cognitive processing. Clearly, to make progress in these areas, researchers cannot avoid a range of conceptual issues about the nature and structure of consciousness, such as the following: What is the relation between intentionality and consciousness? What is the relation between self-awareness and consciousness? What is the temporal structure of conscious experience? What (...) is it like to imagine or visualize something, and how is this type of experience different from perception? How is bodily experience related to self-consciousness? Such issues have been addressed in detail in the philosophical tradition of phenomenology, inaugurated by Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and developed by numerous other philosophers throughout the 20th century. This chapter provides an introduction to this tradition and its way of approaching issues about consciousness. We first discuss some features of phenomenological methodology and then present some of the most important, influential, and enduring phenomenological proposals about various aspects of consciousness. These aspects include intentionality, self-awareness and the first-person perspective, time-consciousness, embodiment, and intersubjectivity. We also highlight a few ways of linking phenomenology and cognitive.. (shrink)
Cognitive neuropsychiatry attempts to understand psychiatric disorders as disturbances to the normal function of human cognitive organisation, and it attempts to link this functional framework to relevant brain structures and their pathology. This recent scientific discipline is the natural extension of cognitive neuroscience into the domain of psychiatry. We present two examples of recent research in cognitive neuropsychiatry: delusions of control in schizophrenia, and affective disorders. The examples demonstrate how the cognitive approach is a fruitful and necessary supplement to the (...) otherwise successful biological psychiatry paradigm, which tend to bypass the cognitive level. Philosophy concerns some of the core concepts involved in psychiatric illness, particularly concerning rationality, thought and action, reality testing, and the self. We present concrete examples that illustrate how philosophical conceptual tools can be particularly important for the construction and interpretation of the cognitive models relevant to the understanding of psychiatric illness. We conclude that cognitive neuropsychiatry is a fruitful and necessary supplement to biological psychiatry. Furthermore, cognitive neuropsychiatry itself may benefit significantly from employing philosophical conceptual tools in the interpretation and construction of its cognitive models. The cognitive and philosophical approaches may thus be further steps towards a scientific psychopathology. (shrink)
This paper presents the history of the Frankfurt School’s inclusion of normative concerns in social science research programs during the period 1930-1955. After examining the relevant methodology, I present a model of how such a program could look today. I argue that such an approach is both valuable to contemporary social science programs and overlooked by current philosophers and social scientists.
This is an essay on philosophicalmethodology, the disciplinary prejudices of the Anglophone philosophical world, and how these things interact with some aspects of the content and form of Latin American philosophy to preclude the latter's integration with mainstream Anglophone philosophical work. Among the topics discussed of interest to analytic philosophers: metaphilosophy, the status hierarchy of philosophical subfields, experimental philosophy, and patterns of openness and exclusion in philosophy. Among the topics of interest to philosophers interested (...) in Latin American philosophy and comparative philosophy: the nature of disputes about the existence of Latin American philosophy, the significance of this genre of writing, how contributions to it can proceed, and why metaphilosophical concerns in Latin America are problematic for the prospects for integration with the Anglophone philosophical world. (shrink)
Many philosophers have worried about what philosophy is. Often they have looked for answers by considering what it is that philosophers do. Given the diversity of topics and methods found in philosophy, however, we propose a different approach. In this article we consider the philosophical temperament, asking an alternative question: what are philosophers like? Our answer is that one important aspect of the philosophical temperament is that philosophers are especially reflective: they are less likely than their peers to (...) embrace what seems obvious without questioning it. This claim is supported by a study of more than 4,000 philosophers and non-philosophers, the results of which indicate that even when we control for overall education level, philosophers tend to be significantly more reflective than their peers. We then illustrate this tendency by considering what we know about the philosophizing of a few prominent philosophers. Recognizing this aspect of the philosophical temperament, it is natural to wonder how philosophers came to be this way: does philosophical training teach reflectivity or do more reflective people tend to gravitate to philosophy? We consider the limitations of our data with respect to this question and suggest that a longitudinal study be conducted. (shrink)
Analytic and Continental philosophy have become increasingly specialised and differentiated fields of endeavour. This important collection of essays details some of the more significant methodological and philosophical differences that have separated the two traditions, as well as examining the manner in which received understandings of the divide are being challenged by certain thinkers whose work might best be described as post-analytic and meta-continental. -/- Together these essays offer a well-defined sense of the field, of its once dominant distinctions and (...) of some of the most productive new areas generating influential ideas and controversy. In an attempt to get to the bottom of precisely what it is that separates the analytic and continental traditions, the essays in this volume compare and contrast them on certain issues, including truth, time and subjectivity. The book engages with a range of key thinkers from phenomenology, post-structuralism, analytic philosophy and post-analytic philosophy, examines the strengths and weaknesses of each tradition, and ultimately encourages enhanced understanding, dialogue and even rapprochement between these sometimes antagonistic adversaries. (shrink)
As a unique method of philosophical argument, performative contradiction attracted general attention after the change in direction of pragmatics in the twentieth century. Hintikka used this method to conduct an in-depth analysis of Descartes’ proposition “I think, therefore I am,” providing a proof which is a model in the philosophical history; Apel absorbed performative contradiction into his own framework of a priori pragmatics; and Habermas introduced it into the theory of formal pragmatics and rendered it an effective weapon (...) of debate. Wittgenstein, who had fallen into the trap of performative contradiction in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, later managed to extract himself from it and indeed used the methodology of performative contradiction to cure the ills of philosophy, making it a general philosophical method. Through analysis of its connotations and classic examples of its use we can see that it is crucial in refuting extreme relativism and skepticism, and hence provides methodological support for a new foundation for philosophical paradigms. (shrink)
I extract some philosophical morals from some aspects of Lagrangian mechanics. (A companion paper will present similar morals from Hamiltonian mechanics and Hamilton-Jacobi theory.) One main moral concerns methodology: Lagrangian mechanics provides a level of description of phenomena which has been largely ignored by philosophers, since it falls between their accustomed levels---``laws of nature'' and ``models''. Another main moral concerns ontology: the ontology of Lagrangian mechanics is both more subtle and more problematic than philosophers often realize. The treatment (...) of Lagrangian mechanics provides an introduction to the subject for philosophers, and is technically elementary. In particular, it is confined to systems with a finite number of degrees of freedom, and for the most part eschews modern geometry. (shrink)
Some philosophers of science suggest that philosophical assumptions must influence historical scholarship, because history (like science) has no neutral data and because the treatment of any particular historical episode is going to be influenced to some degree by one's prior philosophical conceptions of what is important in science. However, if the history of science must be laden with philosophical assumptions, then how can the history of science be evidence for the philosophy of science? Would not an inductivist (...) history of science confirm an inductivist philosophy of science and a conventionalist history of science confirm a conventionalist philosophy of science? I attempt to resolve this problem; essentially, I deny the claim that the history of science must be influenced by one's conception of what is important in science — one's general philosophy of science. To accomplish the task I look at a specific historical episode, together with its history, and draw some metamethodological conclusions from it. The specific historical episode I examine is Descartes' critique of Galileo's scientific methodology. (shrink)
The growing availability of computer power and statistical software has greatly increased the ease with which practitioners apply statistical methods, but this has not been accompanied by attention to checking the assumptions on which these methods are based. At the same time, disagreements about inferences based on statistical research frequently revolve around whether the assumptions are actually met in the studies available, e.g., in psychology, ecology, biology, risk assessment. Philosophical scrutiny (...) can help disentangle 'practical' problems of model validation, and conversely, a methodology of statistical model validation can shed light on a number of issues of interest to philosophers of science. (shrink)
The aim of this essay is to emphasize a number of important points that will provide a better understanding of the history of philosophical thought concerning scientific knowledge. The main points made are: (a) that the principal way of viewing abstraction which has dominated the history of thought and epistemology up to the present is influenced by the original Aristotelian position; (b) that with the birth of modern science a new way of conceiving abstraction came into being which is (...) better characterized by the term idealization, the name that was later, in fact, to be used by scientists to describe their scientific activity; (c) that, however, on account of the influence of empirical and inductive philosophy, scientists have often not had sufficient methodological awareness of this new way of viewing abstraction; (d) that this new concept of abstraction has frequently been expressed in the framework of philosophies that lie outside the mainstream of contemporary epistemology or even exhibit marked anti-scientific tendencies; (e) that the theme of idealization has been taken up again in the last few decades and a great contribution in this direction has been made by the so-called Pozna school of methodology. (shrink)
This book is about the nature of skeptical arguments and their role in philosophical inquiry. John Greco delineates three main theses: that a number of historically prominent skeptical arguments make no obvious mistake, and therefore cannot be easily dismissed; that the analysis of skeptical arguments is philosophically useful and important, and should therefore have a central place in the methodology of philosophy; and that taking skeptical arguments seriously requires us to adopt an externalist, reliabilist epistemology. Greco argues that (...) the importance of skeptical arguments is methodological. It is further argued that taking skeptical arguments seriously requires us to adopt a version of 'virtue epistemology', or a theory of knowledge that makes intellectual virtue central in the analysis of knowledge. The above methodology has consequences for moral and religious epistemology; in particular, a theory of moral perception is defended. (shrink)
Criticizing liberal conceptions such as the autonomous subject and calling for self-interpreting selves, Michael Sandel's first book, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice seems to oppose liberal theory. Methodologically, however, it follows rather than challenges its liberal predecessors: Sandel arrives at his philosophical anthropology through abstraction and deduction. This type of inquiry is not only comparable with that of liberal theory, but also incompatible with self-interpretation as Sandel defines it. The content of his argument undermines its form. It also (...) suggests an alternative approach, historical rather than philosophical reflection, actually transforming the practice of political theory as it aims to transform our self-understanding. Given Sandel's critique and his positive contribution, normative theory must be grounded in particular empirical circumstances. Sandel's second book, Democracy's Discontent, thus represents not just a completion of the earlier analysis, but a necessary methodological change. The significance of the first book lies less in its criticism of liberalism than in its criticism of philosophy as the foundation of political theory. Key Words: empiricism methodology philosophy of social sciences reflexivity Michael Sandel self-interpretation. (shrink)
This paper will examine the relation between philosophical thought and the various milieus in which such thought takes place using the late work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. It will argue that their assessment of this relation involves a rearticulation of philosophy as an historiophilosophy. To claim that Deleuze and Guattari promote such a form of philosophy is contentious, as their work is often noted for implementing an ontological distinction between becoming and history, whereby the former is associated (...) with the act of creation and the latter with retrospective representations of this creative process. Furthermore, when elaborating on the creative nature of philosophical thought, Deleuze and Guattari explicitly refer to philosophy as a 'geophilosophy' that is in contrast to history. Nevertheless, this paper will demonstrate that far from abandoning the category of history, Deleuze and Guattari’s analysis of the relations between philosophical thought and relative milieus suggests to us an historical ontology and methodology that is a critical part of philosophy’s nature. (shrink)
The spectrum of methods (cf. Osterhoudt 1974) and the modes of thought that are used to analyse the world of sports are enormous. However, in international contexts, the range of philosophical reflections often seems to be reduced to a dichotomous structure, i.e. the analytical and the phenomenological approach. While the analytical position is linked to Anglo-Saxon countries, the phenomenological tradition is ascribed to continental philosophers. In this paper, firstly, I will address this seeming dichotomy of the continental and the (...) Anglo-Saxon positions ? being well aware of the problems of such generalisations. Secondly, I will sketch some key aspects of the phenomenology of movement and, especially, the phenomenological methodology from a German/French/Dutch perspective. Thirdly, I will focus on the existentialist interpretation of sports and how the existential philosophy is rooted in the phenomenological tradition. And finally, I will outline some advantages and limitations of the phenomenological method. (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)
The philosophical significance of Dmitri Mendeleevâ€™s successful predictions of the properties of gallium and scandium vis a vis the acceptance of the Periodic Table 1874â€“1886 has been debated recently. This author presents evidence that De Boisbaudran and Cleve both respectively predicted the possible existence of gallium and scandium, but on the basis of the old TRIAD methodology. This suggests that these successful Mendeleev predictions were therefore not independent corroboration of the concept of the Periodic System. Instead the significantly (...) independent predictive successes for Mendeleevâ€™s system were (a) the determination of the atomic weight of the known element uranium as 240 instead of the previously accepted 120 in 1874 and (b) the isolation of germanium by Winkler in 1886. (shrink)
Since 2002 we have been testing and reﬁning a methodology for ontology development that is now being used by multiple groups of researchers in different life science domains. Gary Merrill, in a recent paper in this journal, describes some of the reasons why this methodology has been found attractive by researchers in the biological and biomedical sciences. At the same time he assails the methodology on philosophical grounds, focusing speciﬁcally on our recommendation that ontologies developed for (...) scientiﬁc purposes should be constructed in such a way that their terms are seen as referring to what we call universals or types in reality. As we show, Merrill’s critique is of little relevance to the success of our realist project, since it not only reveals no actual errors in our work but also criticizes views on universals that we do not in fact hold. However, it nonetheless provides us with a valuable opportunity to clarify the realist methodology, and to show how some of its principles are being applied, especially within the framework of the OBO (Open Biomedical Ontologies) Foundry initiative. (shrink)
Preface -- Part I: Philosophical logic and philosophy of language -- Rules versus theorems : a new approach for mediation -- Between intuitionistic and two-valued logic -- On the relation between the partition of a whole into parts and the attribution of properties to an object -- Basic objectives of dialogic logic in historical perspective -- Pragmatic and semiotic prerequisites for predication : a dialogue model -- Pragmatics and semiotics : the peircean version of ontology and epistemology -- Intentionality (...) and its language-dependency -- Meaning postulates and rules of argumentation : remarks concerning the pragmatic tie between meaning (of terms) and truth (of propositions) -- What do language games measure? -- Features of Indian logic -- Part II: Methods in philosophy, in art, and in science -- The concept of science : some remarks on the methodological issue construction versus description in the philosophy of science -- Is and ought revisited -- Competition and cooperation : are they antagonistic or complementary? -- Another version of methodological dualism -- The pre-established harmony between the two Adams -- On the way to conceptual and perceptual knowledge -- Self and other : remarks on human nature and human culture -- On the concept of symmetry -- Procedural principles of the Eerlangen School : on the interrelation between the principles of method, of dialogue, and of reason. (shrink)