Phenomenological sociology was founded at the beginning of 1930s by Alfred Schutz. His mundane phenomenology sought to combine impulses drawn from Husserl's transcendental phenomenology and Weber's action theory. It was made famous at the turn of 1960s and 1970s by Garfinkel's ethnomethodology and Berger & Luckmann's social constructionism. This paper deals with the notable accomplishments of Schutz and his followers and then proceeds to a shared shortcoming, which is that the phenomenological approach is unable to understand meaning in any other (...) way but as actors's knowledge. Therefore, phenomenological sociologists are forced to describe the actor's interpretations of meaning as transparent to the actor him/herself, even if they sometimes make heroic attempts to escape the limitations of the phenomenological conception. The limitation is apparent in Husserl's and Schutz's definition of meaning as a “reflective intentional act”, Garfinkel's use of the term “accounting” to refer to a signifying effect, and the way Berger and Luckmann describe their social theory as “sociology of knowledge”. Today, similar confusions are present in Michael Polanyi's “tacit knowledge”and in Giddens' structuration theory. (shrink)
One of the characteristic features of contemporary logic is that it incorporates the Frege-Russell thesis according to which verbs for being are multiply ambiguous. This thesis was not accepted before the nineteenth century. In Aristotle existence could not serve alone as a predicate term. However, it could be a part of the force of the predicate term, depending on the context. For Kant existence could not even be a part of the force of the predicate term. Hence, after Kant, existence (...) was left homeless. It found a home in the algebra of logic in which the operators corresponding to universal and particular judgments were treated as duals, and universal judgments were taken to be relative to some universe of discourse. Because of the duality, existential quantifier expressions came to express existence. The orphaned notion of existence thus found a new home in the existential quantifier. (shrink)
Myles Brand and Marshall Swain advocate the principle that if A is the set of conditions individually necessary and jointly sufficient for the occurrence of B, then if C is a set of conditions individually necessary for the occurrence of B, every member of C is a member of A. I agree with John Barker and Risto Hilpinen who each argue that this principle is not true for causal necessity and sufficiency, but I disagree with their claim that it (...) is true for logical necessity and sufficiency. The original appeal of the principle may be due to confusing two kinds of totality: to say that when every member of set A obtains, then every condition necessary for E obtains is not to say that every condition necessary for E is a member of A. All the authors mentioned believe that causal necessity precludes logical necessity. I deny this on the basis of an example from kinematics. Hume has not refuted definitions of causation in terms of logically necessary and sufficient conditions, nor have Brand and Swain. (shrink)
: This paper is a commentary on some topics discussed by Thomas Short in his recent book Peirce's Theory of Signs: Peirce's distinction between iconic and indexical signs, the objects of propositions, and different ways of interpreting the distinction between the immediate and dynamic objects of signs. Peirce's distinction between immediate and dynamic objects is in certain respects analogous to Alexius Meinong's distinction between the "auxiliary objects" and the "ultimate objects" ("target objects") of mental representations. It is suggested that the (...) models of a theory can be regarded as its immediate objects, and the real systems represented by the models are the dynamic objects of the theory. (shrink)
A fruit is the mature ovary of a plant. Its main biological function is to ensure the protection and dissemination of the seeds it encloses. In the case of fleshy fruits, dissemination is achieved by attracting animals who eat the fruit, digest the sweet softer flesh, and either regurgitate or excrete the harder seeds at some distance from the plant. Humans, however, have evolved, through artificial selection, plants that produce seedless fruits, such as bananas, Thomson grapes or Arrufatina clementines. Seedless (...) grapes provide an arresting example of the more general issue I want to address in this chapter. Domesticated plants and animals have simultaneously biological, cultural, and artifactual functions. So do also human bodily traits used artifactually, for instance suntans. How should we describe these functions and their articulation? What are the biological and cultural functions of seedless grapes, or of suntans, and how do these functions interact? In trying to answer such questions, we are led to rethink the relationship between nature and culture, and to reappraise the notion of an artifact. The notion of an artifact commonly used in the social sciences, particularly in archeology and anthropology, is a family resemblance notion, useful for a first-pass description of various objects and for a vague characterization of scholarly, and in particular museographic interests. It should not be taken for granted that this notion could be defined precisely enough to serve a genuine theoretical purpose. When definitions are offered, they are based on prototypical cases. This is true of a dictionary definition such as Webster’s: ‘A usually simple object (as a tool or ornament) showing human workmanship or modification, as distinguished from a natural object.’ It is also true of a philosopher’s definition such as Risto Hilpinen’s in his entry on artifact in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: ‘An artifact may be defined as an object that has been intentionally made or produced for a certain purpose.. (shrink)
This book sets out to examine the medieval understanding of Aristotle's famous discussion of "weakness of the will" (akrasia, incontinentia) in the seventh book of his Nicomachean Ethics. The medieval views are outlined primarily on the basis of the commentaries on Aristotle's "Ethics by Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Walter Burley, Gerald Odonis and John Buridan. An investigation of the earlier Augustinian discussion concerning reluctant actions (invitus facere) rounds out the study. The recent studies of weakness of the will have (...) neglected the medieval philosophers. The present volume fills this gap in historical research and shows that especially the conceptual refinement of the fourteenth-century discussion makes contributions that are comparable to those of twentieth-century philosophers. (shrink)
This paper discusses the skeptical argument presented by Keith Lehrer in his paper Why Not Scepticism?. It is argued that Lehrer's argument depends on unacceptable premises, and therefore fails to establish the skeptical conclusion. On the other hand, it is also shown that even if the skeptic's opponent (called a dogmatist) knows something, he may be unable to prove this in a way which could convince the skeptic; hence the difficulty of refuting skepticism. The paper also criticises Dretske's attempt to (...) refute skeptical arguments by rejecting the consequence condition for epistemic justification. (shrink)
This paper is a commentary on some topics discussed by Thomas Short in his recent book Peirce's Theory of Signs: Peirce's distinction between iconic and indexical signs, the objects of propositions, and different ways of interpreting the distinction between the immediate and dynamic objects of signs. Peirce's distinction between immediate and dynamic objects is in certain respects analogous to Alexius Meinong's distinction between the "auxiliary objects" and the "ultimate objects" ("target objects") of mental representations. It is suggested that the models (...) of a theory can be regarded as its immediate objects, and the real systems represented by the models are the dynamic objects of the theory. (shrink)
The paper argues that something is art only if (i) it belongs to a special kind of internal history and (ii) needs to be understood and appreciated in the light of such history. This goes against both the traditional view that art has a timeless, ahistorical essence and the historicist view that there can be no ahistorical perspective for understanding art. The paper draws on Hegel’s view that art needs to be understood through its history, but rejects the idea that (...) the history of art has an end in the double sense of a goal and an end point. It also rejects Arthur Danto’s Hegel-inspired claim that the ahistorical essence of art is revealed at the end of its history and opens the door to a natural alliance between philosophers of art and art historians. (shrink)
Many historians and philosophers of logic have claimed that during the modern classical era there was a long period of stagnation or even of decline in the field of logic. The aim of this paper is to convince the audience that this standard evaluation of the development of modern logic during the period from Leibniz to Frege is misdirected and needs to be corrected. Even though it is true that the now usual way of understanding logic merely as the doctrine (...) of syntax and semantics of explicit languages would not have appealed even to most 19th century logicians, it is still not the case that there is nothing worth discussing with regard to the development of logic during the modern classical period. The algebraic period culminated with Schroder's contribution and neither Herbartian formal logic nor Trendelenburg's critical epistemology aroused much interest among the 20th century mathematical logicians and analytic philosophers. Nevertheless, the development of symbolic logic can only be understood properly by relating its emergence to the immediately preceding philosophically-oriented discussion about the reform of logic. (shrink)
This paper wants to bring about a “linguistic turn” in the current theological discussion on gifts and giving. It focuses on the linguistic constructions around “give” and their use in religious and theological texts. The linguistic approach is enriched with the help of Seneca's philosophy of gifts and services. Seneca's De beneficiis is not, however, interpreted as a handbook of anthropology and economic exchange, but as a guide to the proper use of the words “give” and “receive”. In the last (...) sections of this paper, some prominent themes of Reformation theology are discussed from the linguistic perspective of giving. In particular, the issue of receiving something purely passively is addressed. (shrink)
THIS PAPER DISCUSSES A CONCEPT OF IMPERSONAL KNOWLEDGE ('Kp') SATISFYING THE PRINCIPLE ('K subscript a'p implies Kp), BUT NOT ITS CONVERSE. IT IS ARGUED THAT SEVERAL GETTIER-TYPE COUNTEREXAMPLES TO THE CLASSICAL ANALYSIS KNOWLEDGE (ESPECIALLY THOSE DEPENDING UPON THE 'SOCIAL' ASPECT OF KNOWLEDGE) CAN BE ACCOUNTED FOR IN TERMS OF THE ABOVE PRINCIPLE.
Charles S. Peirce introduces the distinction between a token and a type into semiotics and philosophy by using as an example two ways of individuating words:(P1) A common mode of estimating the amount of matter in a MS. or printed book is to count the number of words. There will ordinarily be about twenty the's on a page, and of course they count as twenty words. In another sense of the word "word," however, there is but one word "the" in (...) the English language; and it is impossible that this word should lie visibly on a page or be heard in any voice, for the reason that it is not a Single thing or Single event. It does not exist; it only determines things that do exist. Such a definitely significant Form, I propose .. (shrink)
In his Logical Investigations Edmund Husserl criticizes John Stuart Mill’s account of meaning as connotation, especially Mill’s failure to separate the distinction between connotative and non-connotative names from the distinction between the meaningful and the meaningless. According to Husserl, both connotative and non-connotative names have meaning or “signification”, that is, what Gottlob Frege calls the sense (“Sinn”) of an expression. The distinction between connotative and non-connotative names is a distinction between two kinds of meaning (or sense), attributive and non-attributive meaning (...) (“attributive und nicht-attributive Bedeutung”). Attributive (connotative) names denote (refer to) objects through their attributes, whereas a non-attributive name means a thing directly (“direkt”). In this paper I examine the concepts of attributive and non-attributive meaning by means of the semiotic theory of Charles S. Peirce, and compare Peirce’s account with the views of Frege, Husserl, Alexius Meinong, and David Kaplan and Gareth Evans. (shrink)
Expressions of the form "s represents an F", "s represents t as G", and "s represents an F as G" are analysed by means of C. S. Peirce's and Nelson Goodman's semiotic theories, and these theories are compared with each other. It is argued that Peirce's concept of interpretant provides a plausible account of what Goodman calls the exemplification features of aesthetic signs (works of art).