The legacy and future of continental philosophy with regard to the critical philosophy of race can be seen in prominent canonical philosophical figures, the scholarship of contemporary philosophers, and recent edited collections and book series. The following reflections highlight some (though certainly not all) of the contacts and overlaps between a select number of continental philosophers and the critical philosophy of race. In particular, I consider how the continental tradition has contributed to the development of (...) the critical philosophy of race by offering tools from existentialism, phenomenology, and genealogy to emphasize questions of existence, facticity, lived experience, and historicity as they relate to analyses of race, racism, slavery, and colonialism.1 I argue that these tools have been used both implicitly and explicitly in the writings of contemporary continental philosophers who theorize about race and that the critical philosophy of race has impacted and expanded continental philosophy in significant ways. (shrink)
Does the concept of “race” find support in contemporary science, particularly in biology? No, says Naomi Zack, together with so many others who nowadays argue that human races lack biological reality. This claim is widely accepted in a number of fields (philosophy, biology, anthropology, and psychology), and Zack’s book represents only the latest defense of social constructivism in this context. There are several reasons why she fails to make a convincing case.
It is nowadays a dominant opinion in a number of disciplines (anthropology, genetics, psychology, philosophy of science) that the taxonomy of human races does not make much biological sense. My aim is to challenge the arguments that are usually thought to invalidate the biological concept of race. I will try to show that the way “race” was defined by biologists several decades ago (by Dobzhansky and others) is in no way discredited by conceptual criticisms that are now (...) fashionable and widely regarded as cogent. These criticisms often arbitrarily burden the biological category of race with some implausible connotations, which then opens the path for a quick eliminative move. However, when properly understood, the biological notion of race proves remarkably resistant to these deconstructive attempts. Moreover, by analyzing statements of some leading contemporary scholars who support social constructivism about race, I hope to demonstrate that their eliminativist views are actually in conflict with what the best contemporary science tells us about human genetic variation. (shrink)
In this concisely argued, short new book, well-known philosopher Naomi Zack explores the scientific and philosophical problems in applying a biological conception of race to human beings. Through the systematic analysis of up-to-date data and conclusions in population genetics, transmission genetics, and biological anthropology, Zack provides a comprehensive conceptual account of how "race" in the ordinary sense has no basis in science. Her book combats our everyday understanding of race as a scientifically supported taxonomy of human beings, (...) and in conclusion challenges us to be clear about what we mean by "race" and what it would require to remedy racism. (shrink)
Naomi Zack’s unique and important collection, Women of Color and Philosophy, brings together for the first time the voices of twelve philosophers who are women of color. She begins with the premise that the work of women of color who do philosophy in academe, but who do not write exclusively on issues of race, ethnicity, and gender, merits a collection of its own. It’s rare that women of color pursue philosophy in academic contexts; Zack counts at (...) most thirty among the ten thousand members of the American Philosophical Association. Women of color in philosophy often suffer an initial lack of credibility with colleagues and students, their success is often attributed to affirmative action, and the merit of their research is often questioned. They are expected to teach classes on race and gender, and asked to serve on endless committees vouching for the diversity of university programs and policies. But Zack’s collection is not about the philosophical import of these professional considerations. The idea underlying her anthology is that social identity is relevant to both philosophical activity and the production of ideas even when an author does not address race and gender. -/- This landmark volume is divided into three sections intended to reflect three critical themes: direct critiques of traditional academic philosophy; new and original applications of philosophical methods to social issues; and the fresh interpretation of traditional philosophy in ways that suggest new areas of study. (shrink)
Philosophers of science widely believe that the hereditarian theory about racial differences in IQ is based on methodological mistakes and confusions involving the concept of heritability. I argue that this "received view" is wrong: methodological criticisms popular among philosophers are seriously misconceived, and the discussion in philosophy of science about these matters is largely disconnected from the real, empirically complex issues debated in science.
Despite the recent rise in articles by American philosophers willing to deal with race, the sophistication of American philosophy's conceptualizations of American racism continues to lag behind other liberal arts fields committed to similar endeavors. Whereas other fields like American studies, history, sociology, and Black studies have found the foundational works of Black scholars essential to "truly" understanding the complexities of racism, American philosophy-driven by the refusal of white philosophers to acknowledge and incorporate the foundational works of (...) Black scholars at the turn of the century, as well as the relevant insights of contemporary race theorists-remains in a very real sense underdeveloped .. (shrink)
Historically critical reflection on whiteness in the United States has been a long-standing practice in slave folklore and in Mexican resistance to colonialism, Asian American struggles against exploitation and containment, and Native American stories of contact with European colonizers. Drawing from this legacy and from the disturbing silence on "whiteness" in postsecondary institutions, critical whiteness scholarship has emerged in the past two decades in U.S. academies in a variety of disciplines. A small number of philosophers, critical race theorists, postcolonial (...) theorists, social historians, and cultural studies scholars have revisited and reexamined questions of race and identity with an analysis that now focuses on historical studies of racial formation and the deconstruction of whiteness as an unmarked privilege-granting category and system of dominance. Collectively, the writings in this volume identify whiteness as a cultural disposition and ideology held in place by specific political, social, moral, aesthetic, epistemic, metaphysical, economic, legal, and historical conditions, crafted to preserve white identity and relations of white supremacy (Mills 2003). In this way, whiteness studies is a conscious attempt to think critically about how white supremacy continues to operate systemically, and sometimes unconsciously, as a global colonizing force. (shrink)
I argue that standard explanations of Du Bois' theory of race inappropriately characterize his view as attempting to provide descriptive criteria for races. Such an interpretation makes it both susceptible to Appiah's circularity objection and alienates it from Du Bois' central project of solidarity—which is the central point of “Conservation.” I propose that we should understand his theory as providing a normative account of race: an attempt to characterize what some races should be in terms of what other (...) races are. In providing such an account I will also show how my interpretation of Du Bois' criteria avoids the circularity objection by making the criteria central to the project of solidarity. Thus, this interpretation avoids what I take to be the two main problems with standard descriptive explanations of Du Bois' criteria. (shrink)
Joshua Glasgow argues against the existence of races. His experimental philosophy asks subjects questions involving racial categorization to discover the ordinary concept of race at work in their judgments. The results show conflicting information about the concept of race, and Glasgow concludes that the ordinary concept of race is inconsistent. I conclude, rather, that Glasgow’s results fit perfectly fine with a social-kind view of races as real social entities. He also presents thought experiments to show that (...) social-kind views give the wrong results, but intuitions might differ on which results are the wrong ones, and social-kind views can resist the implications he derives from these cases. Widespread false beliefs about a concept or category need not undermine anything’s existence, and a sufficiently context-sensitive approach to races will allow for competing criteria for race-membership in different contexts without contradictory criteria in any one context. Glasgow’s arguments are therefore unsuccessful. (shrink)
In this article, Jean-Paul Sartre’s relationship to the négritude movement and black intellectuals in Paris between the 1940s and the 1960s is examined in sociological and historical context. Sartre’s version of négritude, developed in his 1948 treatise “Orphée noir” prefacing Léopold Senghor’s collection of African and Malagasy poetry, is analyzed in terms of its role in shaping the discourses and debates surrounding négritude and the relationship of black intellectuals to the rest of French society. Sartre’s phenomenological theories of race, (...) juxtaposing dominant and subaltern ideologies, are contrasted with his dialectic of négritude. The antinégritude movement of the late 1960s is also considered with reference to Sartre’s theories and inspiration. During this period, the relationship that Sartre established with Martinican intellectual and revolutionary Frantz Fanon helped to place Sartre into prominence as an activist and a theorist of decolonization and Third World politics. Sartre’s theories of race, self, and society were integral to both his early and later works and warrant review as approaches to the sociology of culture and sources of reflection for contemporary postcolonial studies. (shrink)
Since antiquity well into the beginnings of the 20th century geometry was a central topic for philosophy. Since then, however, most philosophers of science, if they took notice of topology at all, considered it as an abstruse subdiscipline of mathematics lacking philosophical interest. Here it is argued that this neglect of topology by philosophy may be conceived of as the sign of a conceptual sea-change in philosophy of science that expelled geometry, and, more generally, mathematics, from the (...) central position it used to have in philosophy of science and placed logic at center stage in the 20th century philosophy of science. Only in recent decades logic has begun to loose its monopoly and geometry and topology received a new chance to find a place in philosophy of science. (shrink)
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)
From its inception in Kant's efforts to articulate a "religion within the limits of reason alone," the Continental tradition has maintained a strict division of labor between theological and philosophical reflection on religion. In what follows, I examine this continental legacy in the context of Jacques Derrida's recent work on the concept of responsibility. First I discuss three guiding themes (the limits of speculative analysis, the idea of nondogmatic religion, and the importance of the other) that characterize the continental tradition's (...) general orientation toward philosophy of religion, as well as Derrida's approach to the concept of responsibility. I turn next to elucidating Derrida's account of responsibility as developed in "Force of Law: The Mystical Foundations of Authority" and The Gift of Death. I conclude with a discussion of the uses and limits of this account for religious (and theological) reflection, as well as for the task of articulating a contemporary continental philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Abstract Recently, some philosophers of psychiatry (viz., Rachel Cooper and Dominic Murphy) have analyzed the issue of psychiatric classification. This paper expands upon these analyses and seeks to demonstrate that a consideration of the history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) can provide a rich and informative philosophical perspective for critically examining the issue of psychiatric classification. This case is intended to demonstrate the importance of history for philosophy of psychiatry, and more generally, the potential (...) benefits of historically-informed approaches to philosophy of science. (shrink)
The very idea of a general philosophy of science relies on the assumption that there is this thing called science—as opposed to the various individual sciences. In this programmatic piece I make a case for the claim that general philosophy of science is the philosophy of science in general or science as such. Part of my narrative makes use of history, for two reasons. First, general philosophy of science is itself characterised by an intellectual tradition which (...) aimed to develop a coherent philosophical view of science, qua a part of culture with distinctive epistemic features and a distinctive relation to reality. But, second, this tradition went through some important conceptual shifts which re-oriented it and made it more sensitive to the actual development of science itself. The historical narrative focuses on three such moments: the defining moment, associated with Aristotle, and two major conceptual turns, related to Kant and Duhem. The pressures on the very idea of a general philosophy of science that followed the collapse of the macro-models of science that became popular in the 1960s, the pressures that lay all of the emphasis on fragmentation and not on integration, can be dealt with by a new synthesis within general philosophy of science of the constitutive and the historical, in light of the intellectual tradition that has defined it. (shrink)
There is a need to bring about a revolution in the philosophy of science, interpreted to be both the academic discipline, and the official view of the aims and methods of science upheld by the scientific community. At present both are dominated by the view that in science theories are chosen on the basis of empirical considerations alone, nothing being permanently accepted as a part of scientific knowledge independently of evidence. Biasing choice of theory in the direction of simplicity, (...) unity or explanatory power does not permanently commit science to the thesis that nature is simple or unified. This current ‘paradigm’ is, I argue, untenable. We need a new paradigm, which acknowledges that science makes a hierarchy of metaphysical assumptions concerning the comprehensibility and knowability of the universe, theories being chosen partly on the basis of compatibility with these assumptions. Eleven arguments are given for favouring this new ‘paradigm’ over the current one. (shrink)
Abstract In this essay I trace the role of history in the philosophy of art from the early twentieth century to the present, beginning with the rejection of history by formalists like Clive Bell. I then attempt to show how the arguments of people like Morris Weitz and Arthur Danto led to a re-appreciation of history by philosophers of art such as Richard Wollheim, Jerrold Levinson, Robert Stecker and others.
Until recently philosophy of religion has been almost exclusively focused upon the analysis of western religious ideas. The central concern of the discipline has been the concept God , as that concept has been understood within Judaeo-Christianity. However, this narrow remit threatens to render philosophy of religion irrelevant today. To avoid this philosophy of religion should become a genuinely multicultural discipline. But how, if at all, can philosophy of religion rise to this challenge? The paper considers (...) fictionalism about religious discourse as a possible methodological standpoint from which to practice a tradition-neutral form of philosophy of religion. However, after examining some of the problems incurred by fictionalism, the paper concludes that fictionalism and religious diversity are uneasy bedfellows; which implies that fictionalism is unlikely to be the best theory to shape the practice of philosophy of religion in a multicultural context. (shrink)
History and philosophy complement and overlap each other in subject matter, but the two disciplines exhibit conflict over methodology. Since Hempel's challenge to historians that they should adopt the covering law model of explanation, the methodological conflict has revolved around the respective roles of the general and the particular in each discipline. In recent years, the revival of narrativism in history, coupled with the trend in philosophy of science to rely upon case studies, joins the methodological conflict anew. (...) So long as contemporary philosophy of science relies upon history's methodology to construct its case studies, it subjects itself to a paradoxical situation: the better the history, the worse the philosophy. An example of the methodological conflict is presented in the case of Antoine Lavoisier. This example also serves our ultimateconclusion, which is that distinctively philosophical methods of case-study design promise enhanced prescriptive powers for philosophy of science. (shrink)
Philosophy of physics is a small but thriving research field situated at the intersection between the natural sciences and the humanities. However, what exactly distinguishes philosophy of physics from physics is rarely made explicit in much depth. We provide a detailed analysis in the form of eleven theses, delineating both the nature of the questions asked in philosophy of physics and the methodology with which they are addressed.
Looking back over the last 40 years of work in the philosophy of religion provides a fascinating vantage point from which to assess the state of the discipline today. I describe central features of American philosophy of religion in 1970 and reconstruct the last 40 years as a progression through four main stages. This analysis offers an overarching framework from which to examine the major contributions and debates of process philosophy of religion during the same period. The (...) major thinkers, topics, positions, and controversies are presented, analyzed, and critiqued. In the concluding section I offer a critical appraisal of the state of the field today based on the results of these historical analyses. (shrink)
Comprised of essays by top scholars in the field, this volume offers concise overviews of philosophical issues raised by biology. Brings together a team of eminent scholars to explore the philosophical issues raised by biology Addresses traditional and emerging topics, spanning molecular biology and genetics, evolution, developmental biology, immunology, ecology, mind and behaviour, neuroscience, and experimentation Begins with a thorough introduction to the field Goes beyond previous treatments that focused only on evolution to give equal attention to other areas, such (...) as molecular and developmental biology Represents both an authoritative guide to philosophy of biology, and an accessible reference work for anyone seeking to learn about this rapidly-changing field. (shrink)
I offer you some theories of intellectual obligations and rights (virtue Ethics): initially, RBT (a Right to Believe Truth, if something is true it follows one has a right to believe it), and, NDSM (one has no right to believe a contradiction, i.e., No right to commit Doxastic Self-Mutilation). Evidence for both below. Anthropology, Psychology, computer software, Sociology, and the neurosciences prove things about human beliefs, and History, Economics, and comparative law can provide evidence of value about theories of rights. (...) However, insofar as we have methods within Philosophy to help us formulate precise concepts of 'belief' and 'rights', methods that also help us to prove links (or absence thereof) amongst families of concepts of rights and belief, our discipline is in and of itself capable of sound reasoning about issues as puzzling as the following. Suppose a Jane who does not believe in God yet who believes she ought to so believe: Jane is undergoing doxastic moral regret (moral regret for lack of faith). We have all known such Janes and perhaps at one time or another even been one. Paradox: given RBT and NDSM, Jane as described not only does not exist, Jane cannot exist. Thus, to enrich the ways in which Philosophy need not get all its evidence from other academic disciplines, I present a brief introduction to what I call Neutral Universal Frames (NUFs). NUFs solve hard puzzles about interactions among modal concepts of belief and rights, concepts that occur in RBT, NDSM and the description of our Janes. NUFs for theories precisely articulated via any two or more modal concepts are a powerful and immensely general set of tools enabling us to define rich theories of truth ("models on frames") to test philosophical theories for internal consistency and to prove the existence of connections (or absence thereof) amongst alternative articulations of philosophical theories. NUFs thereby add to the constructive knowledge producing way Logics intersect with Philosophy of Religion. And we will soon see why Jane, be she named 'Jane' or known simply as you: cannot exist. Read on at your own risk. (shrink)
Over the past four decades, software engineering has emerged as a discipline in its own right, though it has roots both in computer science and in classical engineering. Its philosophical foundations and premises are not yet well understood. In recent times, members of the software engineering community have started to search for such foundations. In particular, the philosophies of Kuhn and Popper have been used by philosophically-minded software engineers in search of a deeper understanding of their discipline. It seems, however, (...) that professional philosophers of science are not yet aware of this new discourse within the field of software engineering. Therefore, this article aims to reflect critically upon recent software engineers’ attempts towards a philosophy of software engineering and to introduce our own philosophical thoughts in this context. Finally, we invite the professional philosophers of science to participate in this interesting new discourse. (shrink)
This paper gives a survey of the philosophy of science in Finland during the two decades 1970-90. Topics covered include the background (earlier studies by Eino Kaila, G. H. von Wright, and Jaakko Hintikka), the main areas of research (inductive logic, probability, truthlikeness, scientific theory, theory change, scientific realism, explanation and action, foundations of special disciplines), and the cultural impact of science studies.
Philosophers of religion have written a great deal about the problem of evil. Their reflections, however, have not concentrated, at least not extensively or sufficiently, on the particularities of evil that manifest themselves in genocide. Concentrating on some of those particularities, this essay reflects on genocide, which has sometimes been called the crime of crimes, to raise questions such as: how should genocide affect the philosophy of religion and what might philosophers of religion contribute to help check that crime (...) against humanity? (shrink)
The paper shows epistemological, methodological and ontological peculiarities of chemistry taken as a classificatory science of materials using experimental methods. Without succumbing to standard interpretations of physical science, chemical methods of experimental investigation, classification, reference, theorizing, prediction and production of new entities are developed one by one as first steps towards a philosophy of chemistry. Chemistry challenges traditional concepts of empirical object, empirical predicate, reference frame and theory, but also the distinction commonly drawn between natural science and technology. Due (...) to its many peculiarities, I propose to treat chemistry philosophically as a special type of science, apart from other sciences. (shrink)
The International Union of History and Philosophy of Science organizing the 10th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science is at its cross-road: the alternative is mass-performance or creative exchange of ideas. The program is criticized because the thematic center in History and Philosophy of Science has been shifted too far into the realm of micro-fields of Logic and the time reduction for presentation and discussion of papers to 20 minutes should be reconsidered. Several outstanding (...) papers are shortly discussed: Martin-Löw on "Formalized Tarski-Semantics of Type Theory", Hoyningen-Huene on "Feyerabend and Kuhn", Leroux on "Helmholtz and Hertz", and Muller on "Bell meets Dirac". Finally the visiting-program is gratefully appreciated. (shrink)
This paper presents a survey of the philosophy of science in Estonia. Topics covered include the historical background (science at the 17th century Academia Gustaviana, in the 19th century, during the Soviet period) and an overview of the current situation and main areas of research (the problem of demarcation, a critique of the traditional understandings of science, φ-science, classical and non-classical science, the philosophy of chemistry, the problem of induction, the sociology of scientific knowledge, semiotics as a methodology).
Over the past three decades, philosophy of science has grown increasingly “local.” Concerns have switched from general features of scientific practice to concepts, issues, and puzzles specific to particular disciplines. Philosophy of neuroscience is a natural result. This emerging area was also spurred by remarkable recent growth in the neurosciences. Cognitive and computational neuroscience continues to encroach upon issues traditionally addressed within the humanities, including the nature of consciousness, action, knowledge, and normativity. Empirical discoveries about brain structure and (...) function suggest ways that “naturalistic” programs might develop in detail, beyond the abstract philosophical considerations in their favor. -/- The literature distinguishes “philosophy of neuroscience” and “neurophilosophy.” The former concerns foundational issues within the neurosciences. The latter concerns application of neuroscientific concepts to traditional philosophical questions. Exploring various concepts of representation employed in neuroscientific theories is an example of the former. Examining implications of neurological syndromes for the concept of a unified self is an example of the latter. In this entry, we will assume this distinction and discuss examples of both. (shrink)
A prominent phenomenon in contemporary philosophy of science has been the unexpected rise of alternative philosophers of science. This article analyses in depth such alternative philosophers of science as Paul Feyerabend, Richard Rorty, and Michel Foucault, summarizing the similarities and differences between alternative philosophies of science and traditional philosophy of science so as to unveil the trends in contemporary philosophy of science. With its different principles and foundation, alternative philosophy of science has made breakthroughs in terms (...) of its field of vision, scope, and methodology, and its relationship with science has become more humanistic and pluralistic. Attention should be given to alternative perspectives in the contemporary philosophy of science, and research should be expanded into the fields of the epistemology of science and cognitive science, the sociology of scientific knowledge and scientific anthropology, the scientific cultural philosophy, and scientific ethics. (shrink)
This article examines questions connected with the two features of Locke's intellectual landscape that are most salient for understanding his philosophy of science: (1) the profound shift underway in disciplinary boundaries, in methodological approaches to understanding the natural world, and in conceptions of induction and scientific knowledge; and (2) the dominant scientific theory of his day, the corpuscular hypothesis. Following the introduction, section 2 addresses questions connected to changing conceptions of scientific knowledge. What does Locke take science (scientia) and (...) scientific knowledge to be generally, why does he think that scientia in natural philosophy is beyond the reach of human beings, and what characterizes the conception of human knowledge in natural philosophy that he develops? Section 3 addresses the question provoked by Locke's apparently conflicting treatments of the corpuscular hypothesis. Does he accept or defend the corpuscular hypothesis? If not, what is its role in his thought, and what explains its close connection to key theses of the Essay? Since a scholarly debate has arisen about the status of the corpuscular hypothesis for Locke, Section 3 reviews some main positions in that debate. Section 4 considers the relationship between Locke's thought and that of a figure instrumental to the changing conceptions of scientific knowledge, Isaac Newton. (shrink)
The end of history by Fukuyama is mainly based on Hegel’s treatise of the end of history and Kojeve’s corresponding interpretation. But Hegel’s end of history is a purely philosophical question, i.e., an ontological premise that must be fulfilled to complete absolute knowledge. When Kojeve further demonstrates its universal and homogeneous state, Fukuyama extends it into a political view: The victory of the Western system of freedom and democracy marks the end of the development of human history and Marxist theory (...) and practice. This is a misunderstanding of Hegel. Marx analyzes, scientifically, the historical limitation of Western capitalism and maintains, by way of a kind of revolutionary teleology, the expectation of and belief in human liberation, which is the highest historical goal. His philosophy of history is hence characterized by theoretical elements from both historical scientificalness and historical teleology. (shrink)
The German physicist Heinrich Hertz played a decisive role for Wittgenstein's use of a unique philosophical method. Wittgenstein applied this method successfully to critical problems in logic and mathematics throughout his life. Logical paradoxes and foundational problems including those of mathematics were seen as pseudo-problems requiring clarity instead of solution. In effect, Wittgenstein's controversial response to David Hilbert and Kurt Gödel was deeply influenced by Hertz and can only be fully understood when seen in this context. To comprehend the arguments (...) against the metamathematical programme, and to appreciate how profoundly the philosophical method employed actually shaped the content of Wittgenstein's philosophy, it is necessary to make an intellectual biographical reconstruction of their philosophical framework, tracing the Hertzian elements in the early as well as in the later writings. In order to write Wittgenstein's biography, we have to take seriously the coherence of his thought throughout his life, and not let convenient philosophical ideologies be our guidance in drawing up a “Wittgensteinian philosophy”. To do so, we have to take a second look upon what he actually wrote, not only in the already published material, but in the entire Nachlass. Clearly, this is not easily done, but it is a necessary task in the historical reconstruction of Wittgenstein's life and work. (shrink)
The indispensability argument for abstract mathematical entities has been an important issue in the philosophy of mathematics. The argument relies on several assumptions. Some objections have been made against these assumptions, but there are several serious defects in these objections. Ameliorating these defects leads to a new anti-realistic philosophy of mathematics, mainly: first, in mathematical applications, what really exist and can be used as tools are not abstract mathematical entities, but our inner representations that we create in imagining (...) abstract mathematical entities; second, the thoughts that we create in imagining infinite mathematical entities are bounded by external conditions. (shrink)
The research programme of the philosophy of information (PI) proposed in 2002 made it an independent area or discipline in philosophical research. The scientific concept of ‘information’ is formally accepted in philosophical inquiry. Hence a new and tool-driven philosophical discipline of PI with its interdisciplinary nature has been established. Philosophy of information is an ‘orientative’ rather than ‘cognitive’ philosophy. When PI is under consideration in the history of Western philosophy, it can be regarded as a shift (...) of large tradition. There are three large traditions at large, known as Platonic, Kantian and Leibniz-Russellian. In the discussion of the position of the possible worlds, we have modal Platonism and modal realism, but both of the theories are made in the framework of Western philosophy. In this essay, it is argued that possible worlds could be seen as worlds in information, which is then an interpretation of modal information theory (MIT). Our interpretation is made on the basis of Leibniz’s lifelong connection with China, a fact often overlooked by the Western philosophers. Possible world theory was influenced by the Neo-Confucianism flourishing since the Song Dynasty of China, the foundation of which is Yijing. It could be argued that Leibniz’s possible world theory was formulated in respect to the impact of the thoughts reflected in Yijing, in that one of the prominent features is the model-theoretic construction of theories. There are two approaches to theory construction, i.e., axiom-theoretic and model-theoretic. The origin of the former is from ancient Greece and the latter from ancient China. And they determined the different features of theoretic structures between the oriental and occidental traditions of science and technology. The tendency of the future development of science and technology is changing from the axiom-theoretic to the model-theoretic orientation, at least the two approaches being complementary each other. To some extent, this means the retrospective of tradition in the turning point of history, and some of the China’s cultural traditions might become the starting points in formulating the future Chinese philosophy of science and technology. (shrink)
This is one of a group of essays (collected in this issue of the journal) about methodological considerations that have arisen for the project on the “Sanskrit knowledge systems on the eve of colonialism.” For the history of the exact sciences in Sanskrit, or Jyotiḥśāstra, in the early modern period, there are special problems. These have to do with the historically anomalous status of the exact sciences among the śāstras or Sanskrit knowledge systems, and with the predominantly “internalist” method by (...) which most recent research on Jyotiḥśāstra has been carried out. The essay considers the usefulness for tackling these problems of recent writing elsewhere in the history and philosophy of science, especially the work of Hacking. (shrink)
It is the continuity between epistemology and empirical science that the naturalism in contemporary philosophy of science emphasizes. After its individual and social dimensions, the philosophy of scientific practice takes a stand on naturalism in order to observe complex scientific activities through practice. However, regarding the naturalism’s problem of normativity, the philosophy of scientific practice today has deconstructed more than it has constructed.