The authors examine the nature of the relationship between social science and philosophy and address the sort of work social science should do, and the role and sorts of claims that an accompanying philosophy should engage in. In particular, the authors reintroduce the question of ontology, an area long overlooked by philosophers of social science, and present a cricital engagement with the work of Roy Bhaskar. The book argues against the excesses of philosophising and commits itself to a philosophical approach (...) more deeply grounded in the social sciences. (shrink)
This book is concerned chiefly with issues in epistemology, philosophical semantics and philosophy of science. It defends a causal-realist approach to theories and explanations in the natural sciences and a truth-based propositional semantics for natural language derived from various sources, among them unusually in this context the work of William Empson. It argues against various forms of anti-realist doctrine with regard to both the truth-claims of science and the construal of intentions, meanings and beliefs in the process of linguistic understanding. (...) His book will be welcomed for its vigorous arguments and notable clarity of style. It will be of particular interest to teachers and students in philosophy, critical theory, science studies and the history of ideas. (shrink)
In this book a non-realist philosophy of mathematics is presented. Two ideas are essential to its conception. These ideas are (i) that pure mathematics--taken in isolation from the use of mathematical signs in empirical judgement--is an activity for which a formalist account is roughly correct, and (ii) that mathematical signs nonetheless have a sense, but only in and through belonging to a system of signs with empirical application. This conception is argued by the two authors and is critically discussed by (...) three philosophers of mathematics. (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)
This introduction to the philosophy of social science provides an original conception of the task and nature of social inquiry. Peter Manicas discusses the role of causality seen in the physical sciences and offers a reassessment of the problem of explanation from a realist perspective. He argues that the fundamental goal of theory in both the natural and social sciences is not, contrary to widespread opinion, prediction and control, or the explanation of events (including behaviour). Instead, theory aims to provide (...) an understanding of the processes which, together, produce the contingent outcomes of experience. Offering a host of concrete illustrations and examples of critical ideas and issues, this accessible book will be of interest to students of the philosophy of social science, and social scientists from a range of disciplines. (shrink)
Introduction: From legal realism to naturalized jurisprudence -- A note on legal indeterminacy -- Part I. American legal realism and its critics -- Rethinking legal realism: toward a naturalized jurisprudence (1997) -- Legal realism and legal positivism reconsidered (2001) -- Is there an "American" jurisprudence? (1997) -- Postscript to Part I: Interpreting legal realism -- Part II. Ways of naturalizing jurisprudence -- Legal realism, hard positivism, and the limits of conceptual analysis (1998, 2001) -- (...) Why Quine is not a postmodernist (1997) -- Beyond the Hart/Dworkin debate: the methodology problem in jurisprudence (2003) -- Part III. Naturalism, morality, and objectivity -- Moral facts and best explanations (2001) -- Objectivity, morality, and adjudication (2001) -- Law and objectivity (2002). (shrink)
Realism in Action is a selection of essays written by leading representatives in the fields of action theory and philosophy of mind, philosophy of the social sciences and especially the nature of social action, and of epistemology and philosophy of science. Practical reason, reasons and causes in action theory, intending and trying, and folk-psychological explanation are some of the topics discussed by these leading participants. A particular emphasis is laid on trust, commitments and social institutions, on the possibility of (...) grounding social notions in individual social attitudes, on the nature of social groups, institutions and collective intentionality, and on common belief and common knowledge. Applications to the social sciences include, e.g., a look at the Erklären-Verstehen controversy in economics, and at constructivist and realist views on archeological reconstructions of the past. (shrink)
In this book Christopher Norris develops the case for scientific realism by tackling various adversary arguments from a range of anti-realist positions. Through a close critical reading he shows how they fail to make adequate sense on any rational, consistent and scientifically informed survey of the evidence. Along the way he incorporates a number of detailed case-studies from the history and philosophy of science. Norris devotes much of his discussion to some of the most prominent and widely influential source-texts (...) of anti-realism. Also included are the sophisticated versions of verificationism developed by thinkers such as Michael Dummett and Bas van Fraassen. Central to Norris's argument is a prolonged engagement with the once highly influential but nowadays neglected work of Norwood Russell Hanson. This book will be welcomed especially by readers who possess some knowledge of the background debate and who wish to deepen and extend their understanding of these issues beyond an introductory level. (shrink)
This book outlines the realist and pluralist philosophy of John Anderson, Australia's most original thinker. His teaching at Sydney University and his arti6es have deeply influenced Australian intellectual life. Several main themes run through his work, but Anderson never gave an overall account of his views. This is remedied here: exhibiting the range of Anderson's thought from logic, epistemology and theory of mind, to language and social theory, this volume sketches realism as a systematic philosophical position, while showing something (...) of the history of ideas in Australia. (shrink)
Current orthodoxy in the philosophy of perception views indirect realism as misguided, wrongheaded or simply outdated. The reasons for its pariah status are variegated. Although it is surely not unreasonable to speculate that philosophical fashion is one factor that contributes to this situation, there are also solid philosophical arguments which put pressure on the indirect realist position. In this paper, I will discuss one such main objection and show how the indirect realist can face it. The upshot will be (...) a defence of a new structural account of indirect realism which is immune to a number of objections that have been traditionally levelled at such theories of perceptual consciousness. (shrink)
This book features readings of over twenty key texts and authors in Western poetry and philosophy, including Homer, Plato, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare and Rousseau. Simon Haines argues that the history of both can be seen as a struggle between two different conceptions of the self: the "romantic" vs. the "realist".
This article contains a survey of recent debates in the philosophy of photography, focusing on aesthetic and epistemic issues in particular. Starting from widespread notions about automatism, causality and realism in the theory of photography, the authors ask whether the prima facie tension between the epistemic and aesthetic embodied in oppositions such as automaticism and agency, causality and intentionality, realism and fictional competence is more than apparent. In this context, the article discusses recent work by Roger Scruton, Dominic (...) Lopes, Kendall Walton, Gregory Currie, Jonathan Cohen and Aaron Meskin, Noël Carroll, and Patrick Maynard in some detail. Specific topics addressed include: aesthetic scepticism, transparency, imagination, perception, information, representation and depiction. (shrink)
Sayer argues that Popper defended a logicist philosophy of science. The problem with such logicism is that it creates what is termed here as a `truncated foundationalism', which restricts epistemic certainty to the logical form of scientific theories whilst having nothing to say about their substantive contents. Against this it is argued that critical realism, which Sayer advocates, produces a linguistic version of truncated foundationalism and that Popper's problem-solving philosophy, with its emphasis on developing knowledge through criticism, eschews all (...) forms of foundationalism and is better able to account for the development of substantive knowledge claims. Key Words: critical realism fallibilism logicism post-positivism truncated foundationalism. (shrink)
Hans Reichenbach's so-called geometrical conventionalism is often taken as an example of a positivistic philosophy of science, based on a verificationist theory of meaning. By contrast, we shall argue that this view rests on a misinterpretation of Reichenbach's major work in this area, the Philosophy of Space and Time (1928). The conception of equivalent descriptions, which lies at the heart of Reichenbach's conventionalism, should be seen as an attempt to refute Poincaré's geometrical relativism. Based upon an examination of the reasons (...) Reichenbach gives for the cognitive equivalence of geometrical descriptions, the paper argues that his conventionalism is a specific form of scientific realism. At the same time we shall argue against those interpretations which lead to a trivialization of Reichenbach's conventionalism or deny it entirely. (shrink)
The debate over scientific or critical realism is characterized by confusion, which I claim is a result of approaching the issue from both modern and ‘postmodern’ perspectives. Modern thought is characterized by foundationalism in epistemology and representationalism in philosophy of language, while holism in epistemology and the theory of meaning as use in philosophy of language are postmodern. Typical forms of scientific realism (which seek referents for theoretical terms or correspondence accounts of the truth of scientific theories) are (...) positions at home only in a modern framework. Postmodern presuppositions of other participants in the debate account for the ability of opponents to talk past one another. (shrink)
This unusually accessible account of recent Anglo-American philosophy focuses on how that philosophy has challenged deeply held notions of subjectivity, mind, and language. The book is designed on a broad canvas in which recent arguments are placed in a historical context (in particular they are related to medieval philosophy and German idealism). The author then explores such topics as mental content, moral realism, realism and antirealism, and the character of subjectivity. Much of the book is devoted to an (...) investigation of Donald Davidson's philosophy, and there is also a sustained critique of the position of Richard Rorty. A final chapter defends the realist position against objections from postmodern thought. As a rigorous and historically sensitive account of recent philosophy, this book should enjoy a wide readership among philosophers of many different persuasions, literary theorists, and social scientists who have been influenced by postmodern thought. (shrink)
This article attempts to motivate a new approach to anti-realism (or nominalism) in the philosophy of mathematics. I will explore the strongest challenges to anti-realism, based on sympathetic interpretations of our intuitions that appear to support realism. I will argue that the current anti-realistic philosophies have not yet met these challenges, and that is why they cannot convince realists. Then, I will introduce a research project for a new, truly naturalistic, and completely scientific approach to philosophy of (...) mathematics. It belongs to anti-realism, but can meet those challenges and can perhaps convince some realists, at least those who are also naturalists. (shrink)
In 1967, after a talk Deleuze gave to the Society of French Philosophy, Ferdinand Alquiéé expressed concern during the question and answer session that perhaps Deleuze was relying too heavily upon science and not giving adequate attention to questions and problems that Alquiéé took to be distinctively philosophical. Deleuze responded by agreeing with Alquiéé; moreover, he argued that his primary interest was precisely in the metaphysics science needs rather than in the science philosophy needs. This metaphysics, Deleuze argues, is to (...) be done ‘‘in the style of Whitehead’’ rather than the style of Kant, and in developing this metaphysics Deleuze draws heavily on Spinoza. The present essay examines this Deleuzian-Spinozist metaphysics done in the style of Whitehead, the ‘‘metaphysics science needs’’, drawing on the writings of David Hume and Bruno Latour in the process. This discussion will in turn enable us to situate Deleuze's metaphysics in relation to contemporary debates concerning speculative realism and correlationism, and especially Quentin Meillassoux's critique of the latter. Our conclusion will be that the kind of metaphysics Deleuze pursues is neither correlationist nor straightforwardly realist, but rather charts a course between realism and anti-realism. (shrink)
In this paper I trace the development of one of the central debates of late twentieth-century moral philosophy—the debate between realism and what Rawls called “constructivism.” Realism, I argue, is a reactive position that arises in response to almost every attempt to give a substantive explanation of morality. It results from the realist’s belief that such explanations inevitably reduce moral phenomena to natural phenomena. I trace this belief, and the essence of realism, to a view about the (...) nature of concepts—that it is the function of all concepts to describe reality. Constructivism may be understood as the alternative view that a normative concept refers schematically to the solution to a practical problem. A constructivist account of a concept, unlike a traditional analysis, is an attemptto work out the solution to that problem. I explain how the philosophies of Kant and Rawls can be understood on this model. (shrink)
Despite the amount of work that has been produced on the subject over the years, the ‘transformation of cladistics’ is still a misunderstood episode in the history of comparative biology. Here, I analyze two outstanding, highly contrasting historiographic accounts on the matter, under the perspective of an influential dichotomy in the philosophy of science: the opposition between Scientific Realism and Empiricism. Placing special emphasis on the notion of ‘causal grounding’ of morphological characters ( sensu Olivier Rieppel) in modern developmental (...) biology’s (mechanistic) theories, I arrive at the conclusion that a ‘new transformation of cladistics’ is philosophically plausible. This ‘reformed’ understanding of ‘pattern cladistics’ entails retaining the interpretation of cladograms as ‘schemes of synapomorphies’, but in association to construing cladogram nodes as ‘developmental-genetic taxic homologies’, instead of ‘standard Darwinian ancestors’. The reinterpretation of pattern cladistics presented here additionally proposes to take Bas Van Fraassen’s ‘constructive empiricism’ as a philosophical stance that could properly support such analysis of developmental-genetic data for systematic purposes. The latter suggestion is justified through a reappraisal of previous ideas developed by prominent pattern cladists (mainly, Colin Patterson), which concerned a scientifically efficient ‘observable/non-observable distinction’ linked to the conceptual pair ‘ontogeny and phylogeny’. Finally, I argue that a robust articulation of Antirealist alternatives in systematics may provide a rational basis for its disciplinary separation from evolutionary biology, as well as for a critical reconsideration of the proper role of certain Scientific Realist positions, currently popular in comparative biology. (shrink)
This essay explores structural realist interpretation of spacetime with special emphasis on the close interrelationship between, on the one hand, ontological debates in spacetime structural realism and, on the other, foundational investigations in structural realism in the philosophy of mathematics. Drawing on various structuralist approaches in the philosophy of mathematics, as well as on the theoretical complexities of General Relativity, this investigation will reveal that a structuralist approach can serve as a useful means of deflating some of the (...) ontological and metaphysical disputes regarding similarly structured substantivalist and relationist spacetimes. Our analysis only covers spacetime theories up to the standard models in General Relativity (GTR), with its extension to theories of quantum gravity left for future investigations. This presentation is based on Slowik (2005), and includes a more detailed discussion in section 2.3 (which came out a bit garbled in the earlier paper). (shrink)
My critical comments on Part I of P. J. E. Kail's Projection and Realism in Hume's Philosophy are divided into two parts. First, I challenge the exegetical details of Kail's take on Hume's important distinction between natural and philosophical relations. I show that Kail misreads Hume in a subtle fashion. If I am right, then much of the machinery that Kail puts into place for his main argument does different work in Hume than Kail thinks. Second, I offer a (...) brief criticism of Kail's argument for reading Hume "as a realist about the external world" (Kail, 67). The two parts are (loosely) tied together because it turns out that Kail and I disagree about how Hume thinks of philosophers' activity generally.One caveat: .. (shrink)
This book comes to the rescue of scientific realism, showing that reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Philosophical realism holds that the aim of a particular discourse is to make true statements about its subject matter. Ilkka Niiniluoto surveys different kinds of realism in various areas of philosophy and then sets out his own critical realist philosophy of science.
An explicit philosophy and meta-philosophy of positivism, empiricism and popperianism is provided. Early popperianism is argued to be essentially a form of empiricism, the deviations from empiricism are traced. In contrast, the meta-philosophy and philosophy of an evolutionary naturalistic realism is developed and it is shown how the maximal conflict of this doctrine with all forms of empiricism at the meta-philosophical level both accounts for the form of its development at the philosophical level and its defense against attack from (...) nonrealist quarters. Following an earlier article on realism of similar theme (Synthese 26 (1974), 409) this paper then further explores the ramifications of a thoroughgoing realist position. (shrink)
The title of my book, Projection and Realism in Hume's Philosophy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2007), might mislead. One might protest, with some justification, that since neither "projection" nor "realism" is Hume's term and that both carry a severe threat of anachronism, discussing them in connection with Hume is misguided. Why might the readers of this journal wish to read such a work?Well, the first thing to note is that Hume's name has come to be associated with the metaphor (...) of projection, understood as having some kind of "non-realist" connotations, and, at the same time, he attracted readings that make him a "realist" of some sort or another in different areas.1 So, there seems to be some tension here. .. (shrink)
It sometimes happens that advances in one area of philosophy can be applied to a quite different area of philosophy, and that the result is an unexpected significant advance. I think that this is true of the philosophy of time and meta-ethics. Developments in the philosophy of time have led to a new understanding of the relation between semantics and metaphysics. Applying these insights to the field of meta-ethics, I will argue, can suggest a new position with respect to moral (...) discourse and moral reality. This new position retains the advantages of theories like moral realism and naturalism, yet is immune to many of their difficulties. (shrink)
This paper seeks to show that the turn toward local scientific practices in the philosophy of science is not a turn away from transcendental investigations. On the contrary, a pragmatist approach can very well be (re)connected with Kantian transcendental examination of the necessary conditions for the possibility of scientific representation and cognition, insofar as the a priori conditions that transcendental philosophy of science examines are understood as historically relative and thus potentially changing. The issue of scientific realism will be (...) considered from this perspective, with special emphasis on Thomas Kuhn's conception of paradigms as frameworks making truth-valued scientific statements possible and on Charles S. Peirce's realism about "real generals". (shrink)
Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason contains an original and powerful semantics of singular cognitive reference which has important implications for epistemology and for philosophy of science. Here I argue that Kant’s semantics directly and strongly supports Newton’s Rule 4 of Philosophy in ways which support Newton’s realism about gravitational force. I begin with Newton’s Rule 4 of Philosophy and its role in Newton’s justification of realism about gravitational force (§2). Next I briefly summarize Kant’s semantics of singular cognitive (...) reference (§3), and then show that it is embedded in and strongly supports Newton’s Rule 4, and that it rules out not only Cartesian physics (per Harper) but also Cartesian, infallibilist presumptions about empirical justification generally (§4). This result exposes a key fallacy in Bas van Fraassen’s original argument for his anti-realist Constructive Empiricism (§5). (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)
This paper concerns Jean Piaget's (1896–1980) philosophy of science and, in particular, the picture of scientific development suggested by his theory of genetic epistemology. The aims of the paper are threefold: (1) to examine genetic epistemology as a theory concerning the growth of knowledge both in the individual and in science; (2) to explicate Piaget's view of ‘scientific progress’, which is grounded in his theory of equilibration; and (3) to juxtapose Piaget's notion of progress with Thomas Kuhn's (1922–1996). Issues of (...) scientific continuity, scientific realism and scientific rationality are discussed. It is argued that Piaget's view highlights weaknesses in Kuhn's ‘discontinuous’ picture of scientific change. (shrink)
In this new edition, Arthur Fine looks at Einstein's philosophy of science and develops his own views on realism. A new Afterword discusses the reaction to Fine's own theory. "What really led Einstein . . . to renounce the new quantum order? For those interested in this question, this book is compulsory reading."--Harvey R. Brown, American Journal of Physics "Fine has successfully combined a historical account of Einstein's philosophical views on quantum mechanics and a discussion of some of the (...) philosophical problems associated with the interpretation of quantum theory with a discussion of some of the contemporary questions concerning realism and antirealism. . . . Clear, thoughtful, [and] well-written."--Allan Franklin, Annals of Science "Attempts, from Einstein's published works and unpublished correspondence, to piece together a coherent picture of 'Einstein realism.' Especially illuminating are the letters between Einstein and fellow realist Schrodinger, as the latter was composing his famous 'Schrodinger-Cat' paper."--Nick Herbert, New Scientist "Beautifully clear. . . . Fine's analysis is penetrating, his own results original and important. . . . The book is a splendid combination of new ways to think about quantum mechanics, about realism, and about Einstein's views of both."--Nancy Cartwright, Isis. (shrink)
Aiming to unravel the mystery of quantum mechanics, this book is concerned with questions about action-at-a-distance, holism, and whether quantum mechanics gives a complete account of microphysical reality. With rigorous arguments and clear thinking, the author provides an introduction to the philosophy of physics.
In Continental Realism Paul Ennis tackles the rise of realist metaphysics in contemporary continental philosophy. Pitted against the dominant antirealist and transcendental continental hegemony Ennis argues that continental thinking must establish an alliance between metaphysics, speculation, and realism if we are to truly get back to the things themselves.
Religion and the external world -- Projection, religion, and the external world -- The senses, reason and the imagination -- Realism, meaning and justification : the external world and religious belief -- Modality, projection and realism -- 'Our profound ignorance' : causal realism, and the failure to detect necessity -- Spreading the mind : projection, necessity and realism -- Into the labyrinth : persons, modality, and Hume's undoing -- Value, projection, and realism -- Gilding : (...) projection, value and secondary qualities -- The gold : good, evil, belief and desire -- The golden : relational values, realism and a moral sense. (shrink)
Is philosophy worth it? -- Explanation and the laws of nature -- Reference, truth, and meaning -- Causality, change, and emergence -- Making it happen (social agency) -- Dialectic -- Living well -- Dialectic critical realism -- Socrates and so on? -- Philosophy and the dialectic of emancipation -- Appendix: explaining philosophies.
Philosophy of Science: An Anthology assembles some of the finest papers in the philosophy of science since 1945, showcasing enduring classics alongside important and innovative recent work. Introductions by the editor highlight connections between selections, and contextualize the articles Nine sections address topics at the heart of philosophy of science, including realism and the character of scientific theories, scientific explanations and laws of nature, singular casusation, and the metaphysical implications of modern physics Provides an authoritative and accessible overview of (...) the field. (shrink)
There is a growing perception among economists that their field is becoming increasingly irrelevant due to its disregard for reality. Critical realism addresses the failure of mainstream economics to explain economic reality and proposes an alternative approach. This book debates the relative strengths and weaknesses of critical realism, in the hopes of developing a more fruitful and relevant socio-economic ontology and methodology. With contributions from some of the leading authorities in economic philosophy, it includes the work of theorists (...) critical of this approach. In the first part, contributors develop and deepen economics as a realist social theory by considering the work of individuals, various schools of thought, socio- economic phenomena and methodology. In the second part, contributors weigh the strengths and weaknesses of critical realism. (shrink)
Philosophy of science in the past half century can be seen as a reaction against logical empiricism's focus on modern logic as the format in which debates should be expressed and on physics as the canonical science. These reactions have resulted in a fragmentation of the field. Although this provides ways forward for disparate philosophies of various sciences, it threatens the very possibility of general philosophy of science. The debate that most obviously continues to be conducted at the general level—the (...) debate about scientific realism—only does so because of a dangerous naïveté. Nevertheless, this article suggests that there is a place for general work not by starting at the highest level of abstraction but instead by abstracting general lessons from actual science. (shrink)
Section I: Anti-Rorty -- Knowledge -- Rorty's account of science -- Pragmatism, epistemology, and the inexorability of realism -- Agency -- The essential tension of philosophy and the mirror of nature or a tale of two Rortys -- How is freedom possible? -- Politics -- Self-defining versus social engineering poetry and politics : the problem-field of contingency, irony, and solidarity -- Rorty's apologetics -- Reference, fictionalism and radical negation -- Rorty's changing conceptions of philosophy -- Section II: For critical (...)realism -- Critical realism in context -- Appendix 1: Social theory and moral philosophy -- Appendix 2: Marxist philosophy from Marx to Althusser. (shrink)
While the phrase "metaphysics of science" has been used from time to time, it has only recently begun to denote a specific research area where metaphysics meets philosophy of science—and the sciences themselves. The essays in this volume demonstrate that metaphysics of science is an innovative field of research in its own right. The principal areas covered are: (1) The modal metaphysics of properties: What is the essential nature of natural properties? Are all properties essentially categorical? Are they all essentially (...) dispositions, or are some categorical and others dispositional? (2) Realism in mathematics and its relation to science: What does a naturalistic commitment of scientific realism tell us about our commitments to mathematical entities? Can this question be framed in something other than a Quinean philosophy? (3) Dispositions and their relation to causation: Can we generate an account of causation that takes dispositionality as fundamental? And if we take dispositions as fundamental (and hence not having a categorical causal basis), what is the ontological ground of dispositions? (4) Pandispositionalism: Could all properties be dispositional in nature? (5) Natural kinds: Are there natural kinds, and if so what account of their nature should we give? For example, do they have essences? Here we consider how these issues may be illuminated by considering examples from reals science, in particular biochemistry and neurobiology. (shrink)
At a time when the analytic/continental split dominates contemporary philosophy, this ambitious work offers a careful and clear-minded way to bridge that divide. Combining conceptual rigor and clarity of prose with historical erudition, A Thing of This World shows how one of the standard issues of analytic philosophy—realism and anti-realism—has also been at the heart of continental philosophy. Using a framework derived from prominent analytic thinkers, Lee Braver traces the roots of anti-realism to Kant's idea that the (...) mind actively organizes experience. He then shows in depth and in detail how this idea evolves through the works of Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida. This narrative presents an illuminating account of the history of continental philosophy by explaining how these thinkers build on each other's attempts to develop new concepts of reality and truth in the wake of the rejection of realism. Braver demonstrates that the analytic and continental traditions have been discussing the same issues, albeit with different vocabularies, interests, and approaches. By developing a commensurate vocabulary, his book promotes a dialogue between the two branches of philosophy in which each can begin to learn from the other. (shrink)
Where much contemporary philosophy seeks to stave off the "threat" of nihilism by safeguarding the experience of meaning--characterized as the defining feature of human existence--from the Enlightenment logic of disenchantment, this book attempts to push nihilism to its ultimate conclusion by forging a link between revisionary naturalism in Anglo-American philosophy and anti-phenomenological realism in recent French philosophy. Contrary to an emerging "post-analytic" consensus which would bridge the analytic-continental divide by uniting Heidegger and Wittgenstein against the twin perils of scientism (...) and skepticism, this book short-circuits both traditions by plugging eliminative materialism directly into speculative realism. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: I. METAPHYSICS -- 1. How Do Realism, Materialism, and Dialectics Fare in Contemporary Science? (1973) -- 2. New Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1954) -- 3. Energy: Between Physics and Metaphysics (2000) -- 4. The Revival of Causality (1982) -- 5. Emergence and the Mind (1977) -- 6 SCIENTIFIC REALISM -- 6. The Status of Concepts (1981) -- 7. Popper's Unworldly World 3 (1981) --II. METHODOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE -- 8. On (...) Method in the Philosophy of Science (1973) -- 9. Induction in Science (1963) -- 10. The GST Challenge to the Classical Philosophies of Science (1977) -- 11. The Power and Limits of Reduction (1991) -- 12. Thinking in Metaphors (1999) --III. PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS -- 13. Moderate Mathematical Fictionism (1997) -- 14. The Gap between Mathematics and Reality (1994) -- 15. Two Faces and Three Masks of Probability (1988) --IV. PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICS -- 16. Physical Relativity and Philosophy (1979) -- 17. Hidden Variables, Separability, and Realism (1995) -- 18. Schrodinger's Cat Is Dead (1999) --V. PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY -- 19. From Mindless Neuroscience and Brainless Psychology to Neuropsychology (1985) -- 20. Explaining Creativity (1993) -- VI. PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE -- 21. Analytic Philosophy of Society and Social Science: -- The Systemic Approach as an Alternative to Holism and Individualism (1988) -- 22. Rational Choice Theory: A Critical Look at Its Foundations (1995) -- 23. Realism and Antirealism in Social Science (1993) --VII. PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY -- 24. The Nature of Applied Science and Technology (1988) -- 25. The Technology-Science-Philosophy Triangle in Its Social Context (1999) -- 26. The Technologies in Philosophy (1999) --VIII. MORAL PHILOSOPHY -- 27. A New Look at Moral Realism (1993) -- 28. Rights Imply Duties (1999) --IX. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY -- 29. Morality Is the Basis of Legal and Political Legitimacy (1992) -- 30. Technoholodemocracy: An Alternative to -- Capitalism and Socialism (1994) -- Bibliography -- Index of Names -- Index of Subjects. (shrink)
Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics addresses quantum mechanics and relativity and their philosophical implications, focusing on whether these theories of modern physics can help us know nature as it really is, or only as it appears to us. The author clearly explains the foundational concepts and principles of both quantum mechanics and relativity and then uses them to argue that we can know more than mere appearances, and that we can know to some extent the (...) way things really are. He argues that modern physics gives us reason to believe that we can know some things about the objective, real world, but he also acknowledges that we cannot know everything, which results in a position he calls realistic realism. This book is not a survey of possible philosophical interpretations of modern physics, nor does it leap from a caricature of the physics to some wildly alarming metaphysics. Instead, it is careful with the physics and true to the evidence in arriving at its own realistic conclusions. It presents the physics without mathematics, and makes extensive use of diagrams and analogies to explain important ideas. Engaging and accessible, Appearance and Reality serves as an ideal introduction for anyone interested in the intersection of philosophy and physics, including students in philosophy of physics and philosophy of science courses. (shrink)
Archaeological theory -- Philosophy and archaeology -- Critical realism as critique of Western philosophy -- Critical realism as philosophical underlabourer -- Diversity and impasse in current archaeological theorising -- The contradictions of archaeological theory -- The material in archaeological theory -- Critical realism, the material, and absence -- Time, scale, and the ontology of the material -- Conclusions, implications, and further research.
This paper examines pain states (and other intransitive bodily sensations) from the perspective of the problems they pose for pure informational/representational approaches to naturalizing qualia. I start with a comprehensive critical and quasi-historical discussion of so-called Perceptual Theories of Pain (e.g., Armstrong, Pitcher), as these were the natural predecessors of the more modern direct realist views. I describe the theoretical backdrop (indirect realism, sense-data theories) against which the perceptual theories were developed. The conclusion drawn is that pure representationalism about (...) pain in the tradition of direct realist perceptual theories (e.g., Dretske, Tye) leaves out something crucial about the phenomenology of pain experiences, namely, their affective character. I touch upon the role that introspection plays in such representationalist views, and indicate how it contributes to the source of their trouble vis-à-vis bodily sensations. The paper ends by briefly commenting on the relation between the affective/evaluative component of pain and the hedonic valence of emotions. (shrink)
There is a long and storied history of debates over 'realism' that has touched literally every academic discipline. Yet realism- antirealism debates play a relatively minor role in the contemporary study of consciousness. In this paper four basic varieties of realism and antirealism are explored (existential, epistemological, semantic, and ontological) and their potential impact on the study of consciousness is considered. Reasons are offered to explain why there is not more debate over these issues, including a discussion (...) of the powerful influence of externalist versions of physicalist realism. Examples are given of approaches to consciousness studies that challenge contemporary versions of physicalist realism. (shrink)
In his most audacious and radical book to date, Bhaskar develops his existing philosophy of dialectical critical realism into a philosophy of and for universal self-realization (which he also terms a transcendental critical realism). In a general theoretical introduction, Bhaskar establishes the existence of God as the fundamental categorical structure of the world and unconditional love as the cement of the universe. This system of thought is followed by a narrative novella designed to render plausible the ideas of (...) reincarnation, karma and moksha, or liberation, and to support an ethic of engaged but unattached activity in the world. (shrink)
“Hildebrand has constructed a well-paced and historically informative evaluation of neopragmatism. . . . This book makes an excellent companion for courses in both contemporary epistemology and American philosophy.” –Choice How faithful are the Neopragmatists' reformulations of Classical Pragmatism? Can their Neopragmatisms work? In examining the difficulties in Neopragmatism, David L. Hildebrand is able to propose some distinct directions for Pragmatism.
Finland is internationally known as one of the leading centers of twentieth century analytic philosophy. This volume offers for the first time an overall survey of the Finnish analytic school. The rise of this trend is illustrated by original articles of Edward Westermarck, Eino Kaila, Georg Henrik von Wright, and Jaakko Hintikka. Contributions of Finnish philosophers are then systematically discussed in the fields of logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, history of philosophy, ethics and social philosophy. Metaphilosophical reflections on (...) the nature of philosophy are highlighted by the Finnish dialogue between analytic philosophy, phenomenology, pragmatism, and critical theory. (shrink)
Philosophers of science seek to discover theessential features of science. Having donethis, these features are then proffered as a`benchmark' against which any putative sciencecan be assessed for its scientificity. Socialscientists, in particular, are much concernedwith achieving the status of genuine science.When considering the status of the socialsciences, philosophers of science also seek todiscern the essential, and differentiating,characteristics of the object of study, namely,social phenomena as such. This paper provides acritical examination of two apparentlydiametrically opposed approaches to philosophyof science, namely, (...) class='Hi'>realism and pragmatism. Thestance of `immanent critique' is adopted. Thisstance seeks to evaluate the success of aphilosophical programme entirely by thestandards that are internal to that programme.The conclusion reached, from this point ofview, is that realism is unrealistic, andpragmatism lacks practical utility. (shrink)