The mathematical nature of modern science is an outcome of a contingent historical process, whose most critical stages occurred in the seventeenth century. ‘The mathematization of nature’ (Koyré 1957 , From the closed world to the infinite universe , 5) is commonly hailed as the great achievement of the ‘scientific revolution’, but for the agents affecting this development it was not a clear insight into the structure of the universe or into the proper way of studying it. Rather, it was (...) a deliberate project of great intellectual promise, but fraught with excruciating technical challenges and unsettling epistemological conundrums. These required a radical change in the relations between mathematics, order and physical phenomena and the development of new practices of tracing and analyzing motion. This essay presents a series of discrete moments in this process. For mediaeval and Renaissance philosophers, mathematicians and painters, physical motion was the paradigm of change, hence of disorder, and ipso facto available to mathematical analysis only as idealized abstraction. Kepler and Galileo boldly reverted the traditional presumptions: for them, mathematical harmonies were embedded in creation; motion was the carrier of order; and the objects of mathematics were mathematical curves drawn by nature itself. Mathematics could thus be assigned an explanatory role in natural philosophy, capturing a new metaphysical entity: pure motion. Successive generations of natural philosophers from Descartes to Huygens and Hooke gradually relegated the need to legitimize the application of mathematics to natural phenomena and the blurring of natural and artificial this application relied on. Newton finally erased the distinction between nature’s and artificial mathematics altogether, equating all of geometry with mechanical practice. (shrink)
The essay first succinctly points out shortcomings in previous interpretations of Plotinus’ notion of beauty. Beauty is to be connected primarily with Intellect, which is to be understood as a special unity in diversity. The section of the essay devoted to aesthetics is therefore preceded by a short analysis of Intellect’s unity and diversity. The hypothesis about the primary relation of beauty to the Intellect is then corroborated by a reading of Ennead V.8 and further developed. The emphasis is on (...) three basic aspects of beauty: its being a unity of a mixture whose character is shared by all ontological levels; its function of referring to what is above it; and its fundamental accessibility. Though Plotinus opposes the Stoic notion of beauty as symmetry and stresses beauty’s simplicity, it follows for him that beauty has the character of unitas multiplex, albeit a special one. (shrink)
: Bereft of the illusion of an epistemic vantage point external to science, what should be our commitment towards the categories, concepts and terms of that very science? Should we, despaired of the possibility to found these concepts on rock bottom, adopt empiricist skepticism? Or perhaps the inexistence of external foundations implies, rather, immunity for scientific ontology from epistemological criticism? Philosophy's "realism debate" died out without providing a satisfactory answer to the dilemma, which was taken over by the neighboring disciplines. (...) The "symmetry principle" of the "StrongProgramme" for the sociology of science-the requirement that truth and error receive the same kind of causal explanations-offered one bold metaphysical answer, under the guise of a methodological decree. Recently, however, it has been argued that this solution is not bold enough, that the social constructivists replaced the naïve presumption of an independent nature which adjudicates our beliefs with a mirror-image presumption of a sui generis society which furnishes these beliefs autonomously. The proper metaphysics for a foundationless epistemology, argues Bruno Latour, is one which grants nature and society, object and subject, equal roles in the success and failure of science and technology; one in which history of society merges with a history of things-in-themselves. The paper analyzes the philosophical and methodological motivations and ramifications of this extraordinary suggestion. (shrink)
This study examined students' reasoning about simple repeated choices. Each choice involved ''betting'' on two events, differing in probability. We asked subjects to generate or evaluate alternative strategies such as betting on the most likely event on every trial, betting on it on almost every trial, or employing a ''probability matching'' strategy. Almost half of the college students did not generate or rank strategies according to their expected value, but few subjects preferred a strategy of strict probability matching. High-school students (...) showed greater deviations from expected value than college students. Similar misunderstandings were observed in a choice task involving real (not hypothetical) repeated trials. Large gender differences in prediction strategies and in related computational skills were observed. Subjects who understand the optimal strategy usually do so in terms of independence of successive trials rather than calculation. Some subjects understand the concept of independence but fail to bring it to bear, thinking it can be overridden by intuition or local balancing (representativeness). (shrink)
Pt. 1. The individual and his creator. The fear of God in our time -- Natural morality -- In-depth Torah study -- Levels of mitzvot -- The personal element in serving God -- Religious experience -- Naturalness in the worship of God -- The significance of Torah values -- Tension vs. tranquility in the worship of God -- Pt. 2. The individual and society. Fundamentals of prayer -- Derekh eretz, being a mensch -- "I dwell among my people" -- The (...) obligation to sanctify God's name -- Attending to the needs of the community -- The message beyond mere words -- How to relate to one who has lost his faith -- Pt. 3. The individual and his life. Humanity -- Dealing with crisis -- Adhering to values -- Independent decision-making. (shrink)
“Israel is to blame, and not Oslo,” writes Reuven Kaminer, a longtime member of the Israeli left. The almost instinctual tendency to delegitimize the Palestinian right to determine their future on an equal basis is the source of the current tension, he explains, arguing that the conflict continues today because Israel, backed by the United States - which has repeatedly proven not to be an “honest broker” - refuses to recognize the just national rights of the Palestinian people.
Abstract: This article considers the conceptual connections between self-consciousness, objectivity, and time. The model of conceptual analysis employed examines the necessary conditions of the meaningfulness of expressions in language. In the course of this analysis two distinct options for the explanation of self-consciousness are identified and examined. According to the first (Strawsonian) view, self-consciousness is based upon the distinction between the self and other subjects of consciousness; according to the second (Kantian) view, self-consciousness is based upon the distinction between the (...) self and the world. The first option is rejected, and a variation of the second option is adopted. According to it, in self-consciousness one is conscious of oneself as a temporally extended point of view (consciousness) over an objective and temporal realm of reality. (shrink)
From Guillelmi de Ockham, Summa logicae, Philotheus Boehner, Gedeon Gál and Stephanus Brown, ed., (“Guillelmi de Ockham Opera philosophica et theologica,” OPh I; St. Bonaventure, N.Y.: The Franciscan Institute, 1974), pp. 744–.
In this paper, we explore a specific variant of multicultural education inIsrael that developed within the dominant Jewish cultural identity, that isthe claim of Jews from Islamic countries (Mizrahi Jews) for educational autonomy. This demand arose against the backdrop of an aggressive nationalist ideology â Zionism â that claimed torepresent all Jews, and yet was too ambivalent toward its non-European Jewish subjects. The Mizrahi Jews' dual identity, as Jews and as products of the Arab culture, conflated with the state's problematic (...) self-conception as both Jewish and democratic. This phenomenon, apparently, is evidenced by the two types of multicultural responses that developed within the Mizrahi sector: a critical multiculturalism with a social-democratic character on the one hand, and an autonomist multiculturalism with fundamentalist featureson the other. (shrink)
Chow's defense of NHSTP ignores the fact that in psychology it is used to test substantive hypotheses in theory-corroborating research. In this role, NHSTP is not only inadequate, but damaging to the progress of psychology as a science. NHSTP does not fulfill the Popperian requirement that theories be tested severely. It also encourages nonspecific predictions and feeble theoretical formulations.