The nature of motion -- Causes, forces, and resistance -- The concept of the function in fourteenth-century physics -- The significance of the theory of impetus for Scholastic natural philosophy -- Galileo and the Scholastic theory of impetus -- The theory of the elements and the problem of their participation in compounds -- The achievements of late Scholastic natural philosophy.
Medievalphilosophy redefined: the Latin age, c. 400-1635 -- The geography of the Latin age -- The fading light of antiquity: Neoplatonism and the tree of Porphyry, c. 3rd-5th cent. AD -- Founding fathers of the Latin Age: Augustine ([d.] 430) and Boethius ([d.] c. 525) -- The five centuries of darkness, c. 525-1025 -- Dawning of the main development : Anselm ([d.] 1109), Abaelard ([d.] 1142), Lombard ([d.] 1160) -- Enter Aristotle, c. 1150 -- Albert ([d.] 1280) (...) and Aquinas ([d.] 1274): focusing the challenge of reason -- After Aquinas ([d.] 1274) but before Fonesca ([d.] 1599): Bacon ([d.] 1292), Scotus ([d.] 1308), Ockham ([d.] 1349), D'Ailly ([d.] 1420), Soto ([d.] 1560) -- Poinsot's triumph (1632): the success and failure of the Latin Age -- The crash and burn of scholasticism, c. 1600-1650 -- After Poinsot ([d.] 1644): Peirce ([d.] 1914). (shrink)
When did modern science begin? -- Science and the medieval university -- The condemnation of 1277, God's absolute power, and physical thought in the late Middle Ages -- God, science, and natural philosophy in the late Middle Ages -- Medieval departures from Aristotelian natural philosophy -- God and the medieval cosmos -- Scientific imagination in the Middle Ages -- Medieval natural philosophy : empiricism without observation -- Science and theology in the Middle Ages (...) -- The fate of ancient Greek natural philosophy in the Middle Ages : Islam and western Christianity -- What was natural philosophy in the Middle Ages? -- Aristotelianism and the longevity of the medieval worldview. (shrink)
This paper aims at a partial rehabilitation of E. A. Moody''s characterization of the 14th century as an age of rising empiricism, specifically by contrasting the conception of the natural science of psychology found in the writings of a prominent 13th-century philosopher (Thomas Aquinas) with those of two 14th-century philosophers (John Buridan and Nicole Oresme). What emerges is that if the meaning of empiricism can be disengaged from modern and contemporary paradigms, and understood more broadly in terms of a cluster (...) of epistemic doctrines concerned with the methodology of knowing, it characterizes very appropriately some of the differences between the ways in which late-medieval thinkers both understood and practised the science of psychology. In particular, whereas Aquinas thinks psychology is about reasoning demonstratively to the real nature of the soul from its evident operations (thereby assimilating psychology to metaphysics), Buridan and Oresme, both of whom doubt whether real animate natures can be known empirically, focus on giving detailed accounts of those operations themselves (thereby assimilating psychology to physics). (shrink)
This paper aims at a partial rehabilitation of E. A. Moody's characterization of the 14th century as an age of rising empiricism, specifically by contrasting the conception of the natural science of psychology found in the writings of a prominent 13th-century philosopher (Thomas Aquinas) with those of two 14th-century philosophers (John Buridan and Nicole Oresme). What emerges is that if the meaning of empiricism can be disengaged from modern and contemporary paradigms, and understood more broadly in terms of a (...) cluster of epistemic doctrines concerned with the methodology of knowing, it characterizes very appropriately some of the differences between the ways in which late-medieval thinkers both understood and practised the science of psychology. In particular, whereas Aquinas thinks psychology is about reasoning demonstratively to the real nature of the soul from its evident operations (thereby assimilating psychology to metaphysics), Buridan and Oresme, both of whom doubt whether real animate natures can be known empirically, focus on giving detailed accounts of those operations themselves (thereby assimilating psychology to physics). (shrink)
The eagerly-awaited second volume of The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts will allow scholars and students access for the first time in English to major texts in ethics and political thought from one of the most fruitful periods of speculation and analysis in the history of western thought. Beginning with Albert the Great, who introduced the Latin west to the challenging moral philosophy and natural science of Aristotle, and concluding with the first substantial presentation in English of (...) the revolutionary ideas on property and political power of John Wyclif, the seventeen texts in this anthology offer late medieval treatments of fundamental issues in human conduct that are both conceptually subtle and of direct practical import. Special features of this volume include copious editorial introductions, an analytical index, and suggestions for further reading. This is an important resource for scholars and students of medievalphilosophy, history, political science, theology and literature. (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).
The widespread impression that recent philosophy of science has pioneered exploration of the “social dimensions of scientific knowledge‘ is shown to be in error, partly due to a lack of appreciation of historical precedent, and partly due to a misunderstanding of how the social sciences and philosophy have been intertwined over the last century. This paper argues that the referents of “democracy‘ are an important key in the American context, and that orthodoxies in the philosophy of science (...) tend to be molded by the actual regimes of science organization within which they are embedded. These theses are illustrated by consideration of three representative philosophers of science: John Dewey, Hans Reichenbach, and Philip Kitcher. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]. (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)
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)
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.
The report gives a survey of the Hungarian philosophy of science after 1973. The report throws some light on the history of Hungarian philosophy in the context of the political circumstances of the late sixties and seventies. It starts with the not so well-known history of 'persecution of philosophers' in 1973. Then it treats the emergence of the philosophy of science focussing on the most significant representatives of this branch of philosophy, which was up to that (...) time almost unknown in Hungary. Due to the fact that the important results in Hungarian philosophy of science run parallel with the reception and translation of the significant products of Western philosophy, such as Wittgenstein's, Popper's, Kuhn's, or Polanyi's works, the report gives relatively significant room to treat these achievements. The last part of the report presents a survey of the younger generation of the philosophers of science, concentrating on the most important insights. (shrink)
How should we live? According to philosopher and biologist Massimo Pigliucci, the greatest guidance to this essential question lies in combining the wisdom of 24 centuries of philosophy with the latest research from 21st century science. In Answers for Aristotle, Pigliucci argues that the combination of science and philosophy first pioneered by Aristotle offers us the best possible tool for understanding the world and ourselves. As Aristotle knew, each mode of thought has the power to clarify the other: (...) science provides facts, and philosophy helps us reflect on the values with which to assess them. But over the centuries, the two have become uncoupled, leaving us with questions—about morality, love, friendship, justice, and politics—that neither field could fully answer on its own. Pigliucci argues that only by rejoining each other can modern science and philosophy reach their full potential, while we harness them to help us reach ours. Pigliucci discusses such essential issues as how to tell right from wrong, the nature of love and friendship, and whether we can really ever know ourselves—all in service of helping us find our path to the best possible life. Combining the two most powerful intellectual traditions in history, Answers for Aristotle is a remarkable guide to discovering what really matters and why. (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)
It is an unfortunate fact of academic life that there is a sharp divide between science and philosophy, with scientists often being openly dismissive of philosophy, and philosophers being equally contemptuous of the naivete ́ of scientists when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of their own discipline. In this paper I explore the possibility of reducing the distance between the two sides by introducing science students to some interesting philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology, using biological (...) theories of the origin of religion as an example. I show that philosophy is both a discipline in its own right as well as one that has interesting implications for the understanding and practice of science. While the goal is certainly not to turn science students into philoso- phers, the idea is that both disciplines cannot but benefit from a mutual dialogue that starts as soon as possible, in the classroom. (shrink)
Contrary to common views that philosophy is extraneous to cognitive science, this paper argues that philosophy has a crucial role to play in cognitive science with respect to generality and normativity. General questions include the nature of theories and explanations, the role of computer simulation in cognitive theorizing, and the relations among the different ﬁelds of cognitive science. Normative questions include whether human thinking should be Bayesian, whether decision making should maximize expected utility, and how norms should be (...) established. These kinds of general and normative questions make philosophical reﬂection an important part of progress in cognitive science. Philosophy operates best, however, not with a priori reasoning or conceptual analysis, but rather with empirically informed reﬂection on a wide range of ﬁndings in cognitive science. (shrink)
Science and philosophy have a very long history, dating back at least to the 16th and 17th centuries, when the first scientist-philosophers, such as Bacon, Galilei, and Newton, were beginning the process of turning natural philosophy into science. Contemporary relationships between the two fields are still to some extent marked by the distrust that maintains the divide between the so-called “two cultures.” An increasing number of philosophers, however, are making conceptual contributions to sciences ranging from quantum mechanics to (...) evolutionary biology, and a few scientists are conducting research relevant to classically philosophical fields of inquiry, such as consciousness and moral decision-making. This article will introduce readers to the borderlands between science and philosophy, beginning with a brief description of what philosophy of science is about, and including a discussion of how the two disciplines can fruitfully interact not only at the level of scholarship, but also when it comes to controversies surrounding public understanding of science. (shrink)
Bringing together an international team of historians of science and philosophy to discuss the fate of matter and form, this volume shows how disputes about matter and form spurred innovation as well as conservatism in early modern science ...
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)
A recent focus of Philip Kitcher’s research has been, somewhat surprisingly in the light of his earlier work, the philosophical analyses of literary works and operas. Some may see a discontinuity in Kitcher’s oeuvre in this respect – it may be difficult to see how his earlier contributions to philosophy of science relate to this much less mainstream approach to philosophy. The aim of this paper is to show that there is no such discontinuity: Kitcher’s contributions to the (...)philosophy of science and his more recent endeavors into the philosophy of literature and of music are grounded in the same big picture attitude towards the human mind – an attitude that he would undoubtedly call ‘pragmatic’: one that emphasizes the importance of those mental processes that are not (or not entirely) rational. (shrink)
A great mathematician and teacher, and a physicist and philosopher in his own right, bridges the gap between science and the humanities in this exposition of the philosophy of science. He traces the history of science from Aristotle to Einstein to illustrate philosophy's ongoing role in the scientific process. In this volume he explains modern technology's gradual erosion of the rapport between physical theories and philosophical systems, and offers suggestions for restoring the link between these related areas. This (...) book is suitable for undergraduate students and other readers. 1962 ed. Index. 36 figures. (shrink)
This article critically examines the views that psychology ?rst came into existence as a discipline ca. 1879, that philosophy and psychology were estranged in the ensuing decades, that psychology ?nally became scienti?c through the in?uence of logical empiricism, and that it should now disappear in favor of cognitive science and neuroscience. It argues that psychology had a natural philosophical phase (from antiquity) that waxed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that this psychology transformed into experimental psychology ca. 1900, that (...) philosophers and psychologists collaboratively discussed the subject matter and methods of psychology in the ?rst two decades of the twentieth century, that the neobehaviorists were not substantively in?uenced by the Vienna Circle, that the study of perception and cognition in psy- chology did not disappear in the behaviorist period and so did not reemerge as a result of arti?cial intelligence, linguistics, and the computer analogy, that although some psychologists adopted the language-of-thought approach of traditional cognitive science, many did not, and that psychology will not go away because it contributes independently of cognitive science and neuroscience. (shrink)
Humankind : a limited company? -- From volume to point: 1. Philosophy, 2. Religion -- Science : specialised but not special -- Cosmic hierarchies -- Consciousness -- Cognition -- In theory -- Back to Genesis -- The beautiful union.
Philosophical hermeneutics claims that human understanding, while being contingent and historical, is likewise universal and bears within itself some pervasive features detectable via hermeneutical analyses of historically imparted tradition and language. Similarly, hermeneutical philosophy of science is confident that hermeneutical methods are the only proper tool to adequately assess, reconstruct, explain or give a meaning to historical but universal scientific knowledge and its various forms. I point out two versions of hermeneutical philosophy of science and argue that whenever (...) philosophical hermeneutics pursues rescuing "scientificity", human rationality, human rights, common values, and so forth under the pretence of its universality and competence, it necessarily transcends and violates the tenets of its own. I conclude in the favour of moderate interpretation of practical hermeneutics, perhaps in the very essence of it rest postmodern concepts of historicality, transparency and tolerance, without which there is no possibility of extricating oneself from hermeneuticism. (shrink)
Although metaphysics as a discipline can hardly be separated from Aristotle and his works, the questions it raises were certainly known to authors even before the reception of Aristotle in the thirteenth century. Even without the explicit use of this term the twelfth century manifested a strong interest in metaphysical questions under the guise of «natural philosophy» or «divine science», leading M.-D. Chenu to coin the expression of a twelfth century «éveil métaphysique». In their commentaries on Boethius and under (...) the influence of Neoplatonism, twelfth century authors not only anticipate essential elements of thirteenth century metaphysics, they also make an original contribution to the history of metaphysics by attempting to integrate the theory of first principles, philosophical theology and ontology. This volume presents and examines the contributions of the twelfth century to metaphysics made by selected Jewish, Christian and Muslim authors of the Iberian Peninsula and Francia. -/- Contributors include Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (Frankfurt am Main), Andreas Speer (Würzburg), Charles Burnett (London), Alexander Fidora (Frankfurt am Main), Thomas Ricklin (Neuchâtel), Yossef Schwartz (Jerusalem), Josep Udina (Barcelona), Jack C. Marler (St. Louis/USA), Gillian R. Evans (Cambridge), Andreas Niederberger (Frankfurt am Main) and Françoise Hudry (Paris). (shrink)
Feminist philosophy of science has been criticized on several counts. On the one hand, it is claimed that it results in relativism of the worst sort since the political commitment to feminism is prima facie incompatible with scientific objectivity. On the other hand, when critics acknowledge that there may be some value in work that feminists have done, they comment that there is nothing particularly feminist about their accounts. I argue that both criticisms can be addressed through a better (...) understanding of the current work in feminist epistemology. I offer an examination of standpoint theory as an illustration. Harding and Wylie have suggested ways in which the objectivity question can be addressed. These two accounts, together with a third approach, ‘model-based objectivity’, indicate there is a clear sense in which we can understand how standpoint theory both contributes to a better understanding of scientific knowledge and can provide a feminist epistemology. (shrink)
Cognitive science has always included multiple methodologies and theoretical commitments. The philosophy of cognitive science should embrace, or at least acknowledge, this diversity. Bechtel’s (2009a) proposed philosophy of cognitive science, however, applies only to representationalist and mechanist cognitive science, ignoring the substantial minority of dynamically oriented cognitive scientists. As an example of nonrepresentational, dynamical cognitive science, we describe strong anticipation as a model for circadian systems (Stepp & Turvey, 2009). We then propose a philosophy of science appropriate (...) to nonrepresentational, dynamical cognitive science. (shrink)
Social constructivists maintain that we invent the properties of the world rather than discover them. Is reality constructed by our own activity? Or, more provocatively, are scientific facts--is everything --constructed? Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Science is a clear assessment of this critical and increasingly important debate. Andre Kukla presents a comprehensive discussion of the philosophical issues involved and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of a range of constructivist arguments, illustrating the divide between the sociology and the (...) class='Hi'>philosophy of science through examples as varied as laboratory science, time, and criminality. He argues that current philosophical objections to constructivism are drastically inconclusive, while offering and developing new objections. Throughout, Kukla distinguishes between the social causes of scientific beliefs and the view that all ascertainable facts are constructed. (shrink)
Cognitive science has always included multiple methodologies and theoretical commitments. The philosophy of cognitive science should embrace, or at least acknowledge, this diversity. Bechtel's (2009a) proposed philosophy of cognitive science, however, applies only to representationalist and mechanist cognitive science, ignoring the substantial minority of dynamically-oriented cognitive scientists. As an example of non-representational, dynamical cognitive science, we describe strong anticipation as a model for circadian systems (Stepp and Turvey 2009). We then propose a philosophy of science appropriate to (...) non-representational, dynamical cognitive science. (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)