The role of classical logic as the base of formalized scientific theories seems to be unshakable. Yet legitimate doubts about its universal applicability in science have resulted in the development of alternative systems, among which constructive and modal logic are discussed in syntactic and semantic terms.
The paper brings a critical analysis of the assumptions on which K. Ajdukiewicz (1934) based his considerations concerning the theory of meaning and proposes to look at these problems from a new research perspective. The considerations sought to analyse the modes of accepting propositions which call for a contact with empirical reality, therefore to apply some empirical procedures (observations, tests, experiments).
In what follows, I will address three fundamental questions regarding the theory of knowledge. They are as follows: What is knowledge? How can it be represented? How may one evaluate its quality? In this essay I outline a certain conceptual framework within which, I believe, these questions should be examined.
Ryszard Wójcicki's book „Ajdukiewicz. A Theory of Meaning” opens a series of publications Filozofia polska XX wieku [Polish Philosophy of XXth Century], created by Wójcicki. The main subject of the book is a theory of the meaning of linguistic expressions, which was formulated in the thirties and is known as a directival theory of meaning. The aim that the author has set for himself is not only to present and popularise that theory (these aims are implied by the character of (...) the series), but also the evaluation of its material adequacy and its significance for further investigations of language as a means of representation and transmission of knowledge. Adam Nowaczyk tries to show that Wójcicki's critique of Ajdukiewicz's conception is unjustified, for the fallacy allegedly committed in this conception is either only apparent or else easily remediable. Wójcicki disagrees with Nowaczyk's objection. (shrink)
The two main points of this contribution are the following: (1) Applied mathematical theories might complement physical theories in an essential way; some applied mathematical theories allow us to understand phenomena we are unable to explain by resorting to physical theories alone, (2) In the case of social sciences it might be necessary to account for examined phenomena by resorting to the idea of goal-oriented activity (the causal approach typical for natural science might be unsatisfactory). Weinberg's idea of grand reductionism (...) ignores the two above mentioned facts and hence overestimates the foundational role of physics and its methodology. (shrink)
The central claim of this paper is the following. There are two different types of notions applied in science, and in fact in any discourse whatsoever. Some of the notions are veristic, i.e. they refer to some specific fairly well defined entities (individual objects, species, relations, systems, regularities, etc.). But there are also heuristic notions that serve the users to call attention to the fact that a specific situation can be accounted for, or even less - there is a chance (...) that it can be accounted for, in a certain way known already from some earlier application of similar ideas. On numerous occasions we argue by analogy. Now, to argue by analogy means to treat the situation accounted for as „similar” to some other already familiar situations. The similarity in question can amount to some fairly explicitly stated expectations, which go beyond the available evidence. The heuristic notions can be characterized as the notions in terms of which such expectations are stated. Since the right interpretation of those expectations should be defined anew any time when an argument by analogy is applied, also the concepts they involve share this characteristic. Thus while the veristic concepts have some fixed references, the reference of a heuristic concept should be defined anew every time when the concept is used. A theory which involves any heuristic notions is called heuristic. A theory is said to be veristic if all the descriptive notions it involves are veristic. The notion of truth can be in a straightforward way applied to veristic theories only. (shrink)
This paper was written with two aims in mind. A large part of it is just an exposition of Tarski's theory of truth. Philosophers do not agree on how Tarski's theory is related to their investigations. Some of them doubt whether that theory has any relevance to philosophical issues and in particular whether it can be applied in dealing with the problems of philosophy (theory) of science.In this paper I argue that Tarski's chief concern was the following question. Suppose a (...) language L belongs to the class of languages for which, in full accordance with some formal conditions set in advance, we are able to define the class of all the semantic interpretations the language may acquire. Every interpretation of L can be viewed as a certain structure to which the expressions of the language may refer. Suppose that a specific interpretation of the language L was singled out as the intended one. Suppose, moreover, that the intended interpretation can be characterized in a metalanguage L +. If the above assumptions are satisfied, can the notion of truth for L be defined in the metalanguage L + and, if it can, how can this be done? (shrink)