Electronic publications are not accessible without technical aids and need constant, time consuming attention; a look back at the data media and data formats utilized in the past 25Â years illustrates this. Recently, an increasing number of conferences and studies address the problem. Use of standard data formats, media and platform independence of data, as well as data centering instead of process centering are requirements for long-term availability. For the humanities, texts are not only the sources of information but also (...) objects of scholarly investigation. Therefore publication in a presentation format only is not sufficient. In addition to more sophisticated tools for analysis, search and navigation, a form of publication is required which does not focus on layout but gives easy access to the content and structure of the published document. Both for the creation and the scholarly evaluation of such documents, tools are required which offer additional functions compared to those provided by commercial publication and access tools. The necessary flexibility is guaranteed by the provision of basic functions of text data processing which do not anticipate or preclude any particular questions. This is illustrated by examples for the evaluation and preparation of digital texts. (shrink)
This book examines John Locke's claims about the nature and workings of language. Walter Ott proposes a new interpretation of Locke's thesis that words signify ideas in the mind of the speaker, and argues that rather than employing such notions as sense or reference, Locke relies on an ancient tradition that understands signification as reliable indication. He then uses this interpretation to explain crucial areas of Locke's metaphysics and epistemology, including essence, abstraction, knowledge, and mental representation. His discussion, which is (...) the first book-length treatment of its topic, challenges many of the current orthodox readings of Locke, and will be of interest to historians of philosophy and philosophers of language alike. (shrink)
Although a fascination with language is a familiar feature of 20th-century empiricism, its origins reach back at least to the early modern period empiricists. John Locke offers a detailed (if sometimes puzzling) treatment of language and uses it to illuminate key regions of the philosophical topography, particularly natural kinds and essences. Locke's main conceptual tool for dealing with language is 'signification'. Locke's central linguistic thesis is this: words signify nothing but ideas. This on its face seems absurd. Don't we need (...) words to signify things as well? But its very absurdity – our inclination to dismiss Locke as a 'linguistic idealist'– should signal to us that we have not yet understood Locke. Doing so must begin with an analysis of signification. Each of the three main interpretations on offer allows Locke to escape the charge of linguistic idealism, although they do so in very different ways. Locke's text also offers an influential account of linguistic particles, words like 'is', 'and' and 'if'. These signify, not ideas, but acts of the mind. These acts can either take place within a proposition, uniting its constituent ideas into a thought that admits of a truth-value, or they can take propositions as their objects, in which case they express attitudes like doubt, assertion and so on. Even this seemingly innocuous sketch of Locke's view is controversial, and many writers, from J.S. Mill onwards, have argued that Locke cannot make sense of propositional attitudes. Apart from the intrinsic interest of these questions, understanding how Locke thinks language works is a prerequisite for understanding his arguments against scholastic essentialism. It also illuminates later discussions of language in Berkeley, Hume and Mill. Author Recommends: 1. Losonsky, Michael. 'Language, Meaning, and Mind in Locke's Essay. ' The Cambridge Companion to Locke's Essay . Ed. Lex Newman. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. 286–313. In addition to making some original points, Losonsky provides an excellent overview of the three main competing positions on Lockean signification: the Fregean reading, the Scholastic reading and the Indicator theory (see entries 2–5 in the following). 2. Kretzmann, Norman. 'The Main Thesis of Locke's Semantic Theory.' Locke on Human Understanding . Ed. I. C. Tipton. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1975. 123–40. Kretzmann's influential paper offers a broadly Fregean analysis, according to which primary signification is sense and secondary, reference. Locke can then avoid the charge of linguistic idealism, as it is not the case that words signify only ideas. 3. Ashworth, E. J. 'Do Words Signify Ideas or Things?' Journal of the History of Philosophy 19 (1981): 299–326. Ashworth rejects Kretzmann's view, partly on the grounds of anachronism, and sets Locke in his historical context. As she reads Locke, he holds a scholastic position, according to which signification amounts to 'making known' or 'expressing'. This preserves the portmanteau analysis of Kretzmann: words can primarily signify or express ideas, while secondarily signifying things. 4. Lowe, E. J. 'Language and Meaning,' chapter 4. Locke . London: Routledge, 2005. This is a spirited defense of Locke's claim that words signify ideas against contemporary prejudices. Like Ian Hacking (see entry 7 in the following), Lowe argues that Locke is not offering a semantic theory in anything like the contemporary sense; rather, he is concerned with explaining human communication. 5. Ott, Walter. Locke's Philosophy of Language . Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. On the interpretation offered in chapter 1, Lockean signification is indication: words signify ideas in the same sense in which clouds signify rain. If this view is correct, Locke is departing from the particular scholastic tradition Ashworth focuses on, and embracing instead a tradition running from the Stoics through Thomas Hobbes. http://www.springerlink.com/content/xv362655719101n3/ 6. Winkler, Kenneth. 'Signification, Intention, Projection.' Forthcoming, Philosophia . http://www.springerlink.com/content/xv362655719101n3 Although previous commentators acknowledge the role of intentions in Locke's view (see especially Kretzmann's argument from the uses of words), Winkler claims that they are far more central to Locke's view than has been supposed. In particular, Winkler uses these considerations to criticize the indicator interpretation. 7. Hacking, Ian. Why Does Language Matter to Philosophy? Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1975. Much broader in focus than these other works, Hacking's classic text has much to say about early modern views on language. Hacking argues that Hobbes and Locke do not, properly speaking, even have theories of meaning. Online Materials The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on Locke, by William Uzgalis: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/locke/ > The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on Locke, author unknown: http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/l/locke.htm > Sample Syllabus Weeks 1–2: What is Locke's linguistic thesis? Is it a semantic thesis at all? Ashworth, E. J. 'Do Words Signify Ideas or Things?' Journal of the History of Philosophy 19 (1981): 299–326. Kretzmann, Norman. 'The Main Thesis of Locke's Semantic Theory.' Locke on Human Understanding . Ed. I. C. Tipton. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1975. 123–40. Locke, Essay III. i–iii. Lowe, E. J. 'Language and Meaning,' chapter 4. Locke . London: Routledge, 2005. Week 3: Propositions and attitudes Locke, Essay III. vii. Ott, Walter. 'Propositional Attitudes in Modern Philosophy.' Dialogue 41 (2002): 1–18. Owen, David. 'Locke on Judgment.' The Cambridge Companion to Locke's Essay . Ed. Lex Newman. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. 406–35. If one wanted to explore whether and how Locke applies his semiotic theory in his anti-essentialist argument, one might add (or perhaps replace Week 3 with): Week 4: Applications Bolton, Martha. 'The Relevance of Locke's Theory of Ideas to his Doctrine of Nominal Essence and Anti-Essentialist Semantic Theory.' Locke . Ed. Vere Chappell. Oxford: OUP, 1998. pp. 214–225 Locke, Essay III. vi; III.xi. 4–22. Ott, Walter. 'Locke's Argument from Signification.' Locke Studies 2 (2002): 145–76. Focus Questions 1. What is a semantic theory? What do we want out of such a theory, and does Locke even purport to provide one? 2. What are the differences among the three main competing readings of Locke? What is at stake here? What, if anything, turns on which of them accurately captures Locke's view? 3. How does Locke think his linguistic thesis tells against competing views, such as those of the scholastics? 4. What is the difference between a proposition and a list? Can Locke account for this difference? 5. There is clearly a difference between merely thinking that the cat is on the mat and asserting that it is. Can Locke account for this difference? (shrink)
On a currently popular reading of Locke, an idea represents its cause, or what God intended to be its cause. Against Martha Bolton and my former self (among others), I argue that Locke cannot hold such a view, since it sins against his epistemology and theory of abstraction. I argue that Locke is committed to a resemblance theory of representation, with the result that ideas of secondary qualities are not representations.
Like their contemporary counterparts, early modern philosophers find themselves in a predicament. On one hand, there are strong reasons to deny that sensations are representations. For there seems to be nothing in the world for them to represent. On the other hand, some sensory representations seem to be required for us to experience bodies. How else could one perceive the boundaries of a body, except by means of different shadings of color? -/- I argue that Nicolas Malebranche offers an extreme (...) – and ultimately unworkable – attempt to solve this riddle. Most commentators claim that Malebranche defends an adverbial theory of sensation, according to which a sensation is merely a way in which an act of sensing happens. The adverbial reading is wrong, or so I argue. Once we arrive at a more accurate reading, we shall see that his position is much more strange than is currently thought. -/- Nevertheless, Malebranche’s view is similar to the adverbial theory in one respect, albeit it at a very high level of generality. His view thus inherits two of the main problems that afflict adverbial theories. Although Malebranche fails to solve them, his ingenious attempts to do so are instructive. (shrink)
The popular Cartesian reading of George Berkeley's philosophy of mind mischaracterizes his views on the relations between substance and essence and between an idea and the act of thought in which it figures. I argue that Berkeley rejects Descartes's tripartite taxonomy of distinctions and makes use of a fourth kind of distinction. In addition to illuminating Berkeley's ontology of mind, this fourth distinction allows us to dissolve an important dilemma raised by Kenneth Winkler.
Despite their influence on later philosophers such as Hume, Malebranche's central arguments for occasionalism remain deeply puzzling. Both the famous ‘no necessary connection’ argument and what I call the epistemic argument include assumptions – e.g., that a true cause is logically necessarily connected to its effect – that seem unmotivated, even in their context. I argue that a proper understanding of late scholastic views lets us see why Malebranche would make this assumption. Both arguments turn on the claim that a (...) volition is the only candidate for a cause, because only a volition can include an effect as its intentional content. (shrink)
International government and corporate corruption is increasingly under siege. Although various groups of researchers have quantified and documented world-wide corruption, apparently no one has validated the measures. This study finds a very strong significant correlation of three measures of corruption with each other, thereby indicating validity. One measure was of Black Market activity, another was of overabundance of regulation or unnecessary restriction of business activity. The third measure was an index based on interview perceptions of corruption (Corruption Perceptions Index or (...) CPI) in that nation. Validity of the three measures was further established by finding a highly significant correlation with real gross domestic product per capita (RGDP/Cap). The CPI had by far the strongest correlation with RGDP/Cap, explaining over three fourths of the variance.Corruption is increasingly argued to be a barrier to development and economic growth. Business students often do not see ethics courses as being as relevant as other value-free disciplines or core courses. The data in this study suggests otherwise. Sustainable economic development appears very dependent on a constant, virtuous cycle that includes corruption fighting, and the maintenance of trust and innovation, all reinforcing each other. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that Locke is not in fact agnostic about the ultimate nature of the mind. In particular, he produces an argument, much like Jaegwon Kim's exclusion argument, to show that any materialist view that takes mental states to supervene on physical states is committed to epiphenomenalism. This result helps illuminate Locke's otherwise puzzling notion of 'superaddition.'.
The first thing that the reader notices when taking up John Shook's The God Debates is his refreshingly conciliatory tone. In a time when the "New Atheists" crowd the best-sellers lists with mud-slinging tomes and Evangelical Christians and others seem all too ready to return fire, Shook offers his work as a contribution to "ecumenical conversation" (p. 2), extending intrafaith and interfaith dialogue to include the nonreligious. In this book, Shook focuses his attention on the question of God's existence. This (...) is, in part, a tactic to keep the conversation above the fray of what he calls "religious criticism" (pp. 2ff), or the attack on religions that results from a harsh evaluation of the atrocities .. (shrink)
Unlike many of Descartes’s other followers, Pierre-Sylvain Re´gis resists the temptations of occasionalism. By marrying the ontology of mechanism with the causal structure of concurrentism, Re´gis arrives at a novel view that both acknowledges God’s role in natural events and preserves the causal powers of bodies. I set out Re´gis’s position, focusing on his arguments against occasionalism and his responses to Malebranche’s ‘no necessary connection’ and divine concursus arguments.
I claim that Berkeley's main argument against abstraction comes into focus only when we see Descartes as one of its targets. Berkeley does not deploy Winkler's impossibility argument but instead argues that what is impossible is inconceivable. Since Descartes conceives of extension as a determinable, and since determinables cannot exist as such, he falls within the scope of Berkeley's argument.
In place of traditional approaches in environmental ethics, I suggest an improved approach, with respect to the goal of improving the condition of the natural environment, called 'world mediation' through the use of Hannah Arendt's theory of the vita activa . This approach focuses on the relationship between human made worlds and nature, from which a theory of value is suggested. Intrinsic value theory and nature-culture monism are both criticized for an insufficient attention paid toward the human-nature relationship.
How can Hume account for the meaning of causal claims? The causal realist, I argue, is, on Hume's view, saying something nonsensical. I argue that both realist and agnostic interpretations of Hume are inconsistent with his view of language and intentionality. But what then accounts for this illusion of meaning? And even when we use causal terms in accordance with Hume’s definitions, we seem merely to be making disguised self-reports. I argue that Hume’s view is not as implausible as it (...) sounds by exploring his conception of language. (shrink)
An ethical analysis of chief executive officer (CEO) salaries can be approached via theory on distributive justice and an examination of some corporate codes of ethics. U.S. CEO salaries are compared with their Japanese and European counterparts, and factors behind the high U.S. CEO salaries are reviewed. The negative repercussions of high pay are discussed, including feelings of unfairness, declining morale and greater cynicism found in lower level employees. Reduced research and development budgets, and downsized organizations are related to the (...) maintenance of high CEO salaries. After considering economic repercussions, recommendations for reform, which lead to the greatest expected benefit of the least advantaged, are made. (shrink)
Oaksford and Chater (1994) proposed to analyse the Wason selection task as an inductive instead of a deductive task. Applying Bayesian statistics, they concluded that the cards that participants tend to select are those with the highest expected information gain. Therefore, their choices seem rational from the perspective of optimal data selection. We tested a central prediction from the theory in three experiments: card selection frequencies should be sensitive to the subjective probability of occurrence for individual cards. In Experiment 1, (...) expected frequencies of the p- and the q-card were manipulated independently by concepts referring to large vs. small sets. Although the manipulation had an effect on card selection frequencies, there was only a weak correlation between the predicted and the observed patterns. In the second experiment, relative frequencies of individual cards were manipulated more directly by explicit frequency information. In addition, participants estimated probabilities for the four logical cases and of the conditional statement itself. The experimental manipulations strongly affected the probability estimates, but were completely unrelated to card selections. This result was replicated in a third experiment. We conclude that our data provide little support for optimal data selection theory. (shrink)
This paper addresses the following questions: (a) what did Locke mean when he said that ‘words signify ideas’? and (b) what is Locke’s argument for this thesis, and how successful is it? The paper argues that the two most prominent interpretations, those of Norman Kretzmann and E. J. Ashworth, attribute to Locke an argument for his semantic thesis that is fallacious, and that neither can make good sense of two key passages in book 3 of the Essay concerning Human Understanding. (...) An alternative understanding of signification, drawn from the works of Hobbes and the Port-Royal logicians, is explored and shown to provide both a satisfactory interpretation of these two passages and an understanding of Locke’s argument for the thesis that absolves him of fallacy. (shrink)
Surgery is an important part of health care worldwide. Without access to surgical treatments, morbidity and mortality increase. Access to surgical treatment is a significant problem in global public health because surgical services are not equally distributed in the world. There is a disproportionate scarcity of surgical access in low-income countries. There are many charitable organizations around the world that sponsor surgical missions to under served nations. One such organization is Operation Smile International, a group with which both authors have (...) volunteered. This paper will describe the purpose and processes involved in Operation Smile and identify some of the key ethical issues that arise in short term medical volunteer work highlighting the importance of sustainability. (shrink)
Hume’s views on language have been widely misunderstood. Typical discussions cast Hume as either a linguistic idealist who holds that words refer to ideas or a proto-verificationist. I argue that both readings are wide of the mark and develop my own positive account. Humean signification emerges as a relation whereby a word can both indicate ideas in the mind of the speaker and cause us to have those ideas. If I am right, Hume offers a consistent view on meaning that (...) is neither linguistic idealism nor positivism but a genuine alternative to these, one that deserves to be taken seriously. (shrink)
John Dewey’s theory of value provides a strong alternative to traditional intrinsic value theory that can better address the need for a wide distribution of environmental values. Grounded in his theories of experience and inquiry, Dewey understands values as concrete practices acquired through the interaction of the human organism with its surroundings. Dividing value into acts of immediate valuation and acts of evaluation, Dewey shows that all values start out as desires and through reflective criticism eventuate in value practices. Value (...) inquiry is the practice of responding to problems in the world for which our established value practices are unable to respond adequately. This model of value is shown to be a much needed improvement over intrinsic value theory insofar as it is inclusive of human desire, limiting the capacity to value to human beings, avoids much of the metaphysical and ethical conflict in the biocentrism/ecocentrism debate, as well as rejects the artificial distinction between instrumental and intrinsic value. The case for Dewey’s theory of value is further strengthened by how closely Aldo Leopold’s experience-based practice of value in A Sand County Almanac parallels Dewey’s theory of value, especially with respect to the importance of desire, science, and education. (shrink)
Technology assessment (TA) is â for several reasons â not detachable from ethical questions. The development of institutions and concepts for TA, especially in the USA and Western Europe, has been marked by an increasing tendency to focus evaluative and normative questions. In the following paper, we point out, in as far as the common notions of TA are implicitly normative, why reflection upon conceptual options of TA inevitably leads to ethical questions, and that the key question of participation necessarily (...) comes up in the context of societal decisions made under conditions of risk or uncertainty. Arrangements of participatory and discoursive TA are referred to as possible applications of discourse ethics, but there are consequences to consider, which result from discourses in TA not being ideal discourses. Concepts and performance of TA arrangements on biotechnology and gene technology in different European countries are compared, analysing what similarities and differences can be found with respect to ethical clarification. Crucial questions of how to conceptualise participatory TA (pTA) and current topics in ethics of technology are shown to coincide. A proposal is presented of how these â theoretical normative and empirical descriptive â considerations can be used in a comprehensive conception for participatory and discoursive TA. (shrink)
Service-Robotic—mainly defined as “non-industrial robotics”—is identified as the next economical success story to be expected after robots have been ubiquitously implemented into industrial production lines. Under the heading of service-robotic, we found a widespread area of applications reaching from robotics in agriculture and in the public transportation system to service robots applied in private homes. We propose for our interdisciplinary perspective of technology assessment to take the human user/worker as common focus. In some cases, the user/worker is the effective subject (...) acting by means of and in cooperation with a service robot; in other cases, the user/worker might become a pure object of the respective robotic system, for example, as a patient in a hospital. In this paper, we present a comprehensive interdisciplinary framework, which allows us to scrutinize some of the most relevant applications of service robotics; we propose to combine technical, economical, legal, philosophical/ethical, and psychological perspectives in order to design a thorough and comprehensive expert-based technology assessment. This allows us to understand the potentials as well as the limits and even the threats connected with the ongoing and the planned implementation of service robots into human lifeworld—particularly of those technical systems displaying increasing grades of autonomy. (shrink)
This study examined self-reported academic dishonesty at a midsize public university. Students (N = 492) rated the likelihood they would cheat after accepting to abide by each of eight honor code pledges before Internet-based assignments and examinations. The statements were derived from honor pledges used by different universities across the United States and varied in length, formality, and the extent to which the statements included consequences for academic dishonesty. Longer, formal honor codes with consequences were associated with a lower likelihood (...) to cheat. Results showed a significant three-way interaction and suggest how to best design honor codes. (shrink)
In a 2007 interview, then senator and presidential candidate, Barack Obama, called Reinhold Niebuhr, “one of my favorite philosophers.” When his interviewer, David Brooks, followed by asking, “What do you take away from him?” Obama answered, “I take away the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I (...) take away . . . the sense we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard, and not swinging from naïve idealism to bitter realism.”1 One part of Niebuhr’s political theology that Obama has clearly embraced is Niebuhr’s justification .. (shrink)
The paper at hand analyzes the economic implications of service robots as expected important future technology. The considerations are embedded into global trends, focusing on the interdependencies between services and industry not only in the context of the provision of services but already starting at the level of the innovation process. It is argued that due to the various interdependencies combined with heterogenous application fields, the resulting implications need to be contextualized. Concerning the net labor market effects, it is reasonable (...) to assume that the field of service robotics will generate overall job creation that goes along with increasing skill requirements demanded from involved employees. It is analyzed which challenges arise in evaluating and further developing the new technology field and some policy recommendations are given. (shrink)
Wilhelm Dilthey: Selected Works, Volume II: Understanding the Human World. Edited with Introduction by Rudolf A. Makkreel and Frithjof Rodi Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 471-474 DOI 10.1007/s10746-011-9197-6 Authors Eric S. Nelson, Department of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA, USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548 Journal Volume Volume 34 Journal Issue Volume 34, Number 4.
This is the third of a series of essays on the development and reception of Wilhelm Ostwald’s energetics. The first essay described the chemical origins of Ostwald’s interest in the energy concept and his motivations for seeking a comprehensive science of energy. The second essay and the present one discuss his various attempts, beginning in 1891 and extending over almost 3 years, to develop a consistent and coherent energetic theory. A final essay will consider reactions to this work and (...) Ostwald’s replies, and will also seek to evaluate his program of research. Ostwald’s project—to reconstruct physics and chemistry “as a pure energetics”—is worth attending to for several reasons: first, because Ostwald did ground-breaking work in chemistry (he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1909 for his studies in catalysis and rates of reaction); second, because an important school of physical chemistry formed around him at Leipzig, a school that promoted his ideas; and, finally, because he was a prominent and vigorous participant in debates at the end of the nineteenth century concerning the proper course of physical theory. (shrink)
This is the second of a series of essays on the development and reception of Wilhelm Ostwald’s energetics. The first essay described the chemical origins of Ostwald’s interest in the energy concept and his motivations for seeking a comprehensive science of energy. The present essay and the next discuss his various attempts, beginning in 1891 and extending over almost 3 years, to develop a consistent and coherent energetic theory. A final essay will consider reactions to this work and Ostwald’s (...) replies, and will also seek to evaluate his program of research. Ostwald’s project – to reconstruct physics and chemistry “as a pure energetics” – is worth attending to for several reasons: first, because Ostwald did ground-breaking work in chemistry (he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1909 for his studies in catalysis and rates of reaction); second, because an important school of physical chemistry formed around him at Leipzig, a school that promoted his ideas; and, finally, because he was a prominent and vigorous participant in debates at the end of the nineteenth century concerning the proper course of physical theory. (shrink)
This article takes as its point of departure the question of how Wilhelm Halbfass, Daya Krishna, and Jitendranath Mohanty have conceptualized tradition in relation to “Indian” philosophy. They have all reacted to, and criticized, homogeneous and static conceptions of Indian philosophies, and by articulating different ways of apprehending tradition they have tried to come to terms with such limiting images. My reading of their texts has been informed by a questioning of how they, in turn, conceptualize tradition. Most of (...) all this is related to the tendency, on the one hand, to stress that tradition is open-ended and dynamic but at the same time to speak of tradition as one singular and universalizable phenomenon .. (shrink)
This is an essay about language, thought, and culture in general, and about Ancient Greek and Classical Chinese in particular. It is about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which says that language influences the mind, and applies this hypothesis to Greek and Chinese. It is also an essay in comparative philosophy as well as a contribution to the history of ideas. From the language side, I rely on the nineteenth-century German linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, and from the culture side on the (...) contemporary French sinologist François Jullien. Combining their ideas, I give substance to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and explain some of Jullien's claims about the historical and political developments of Chinese culture. The central .. (shrink)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was one of the seventeenth century's most important thinkers. A philosopher, mathematician and scientist, his work is comparable in scope and importance only to that of Newton and Descartes. His work dominated German philosophy until Kant, and was revived in the early part of this century when his important work on logic was re-discovered. This four volume set contains 97 of the most important essays ever written about Leibniz's work. The selection has been made to (...) bring out the scope of Leibniz's work in all the areas he wrote upon, as well as its importance to contemporary philosophy and the history of philosophy. It will be an essential reference work for anyone concerned with seventeenth century philosophy and science, as well as to all Leibniz specialists. (shrink)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) was one of the great thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and is known as the last “universal genius”. He made deep and important contributions to the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of religion, as well as mathematics, physics, geology, jurisprudence, and history. Even the eighteenth century French atheist and materialist Denis Diderot, whose views could not have stood in greater opposition to those of Leibniz, could not help being awed by his achievement, (...) writing in his Encyclopedia, “Perhaps never has a man read as much, studied as much, meditated more, and written more than Leibniz… What he has composed on the world, God, nature, and the soul is of the most sublime eloquence. If his ideas had been expressed with the flair of Plato, the philosopher of Leipzig would cede nothing to the philosopher of Athens.” (Vol. 9, p. 379) Indeed, Diderot's mood was almost despairing in a remark from another piece, which also has a great deal of truth in it: “When one compares the talents one has with those of a Leibniz, one is tempted to throw away one's books and go die quietly in the dark of some forgotten corner.” More than a century later, Gottlob Frege, who fortunately did not cast his books away in despair, expressed similar admiration, declaring that “in his writings, Leibniz threw out such a profusion of seeds of ideas that in this respect he is virtually in a class of his own.” (“Boole's logical Calculus and the Concept script” in Posthumous Writings , p. 9) The aim of this entry is primarily to introduce Leibniz's life and summarize and explicate his views in the realms of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical theology, and natural philosophy. (shrink)
This paper describes the historical background and early formation of Wilhelm Johannsen's distinction between genotype and phenotype. It is argued that contrary to a widely accepted interpretation (For instance, W. Provine, 1971. "The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics". Chicago: The University of Chicago Press; Mayr, 1973; F. B. Churchill, 1974. "Journal of the History of Biology" 7: 5-30; E. Mayr, 1982. "The Growth of Biological Thought," Cambridge: Harvard University Press; J. Sapp, 2003. Genesis. "The Evolution of Biology". New York: (...) Oxford University Press) his concepts referred primarily to properties of individual organisms and not to statistical averages. Johannsen's concept of genotype was derived from the idea of species in the tradition of biological systematics from Linnaeus to de Vries: An individual belonged to a group - species, subspecies, elementary species - by representing a certain underlying type (S. Müller-Wille and V. Orel, 2007. "Annals of Science" 64: 171-215). Johannsen sharpened this idea theoretically in the light of recent biological discoveries, not least those of cytology. He tested and confirmed it experimentally combining the methods of biometry, as developed by Francis Galton, with the individual selection method and pedigree analysis, as developed for instance by Louis Vilmorin. The term "genotype" was introduced in W. Johannsen's 1909 ("Elemente der Exakten Erblichkeitslehre". Jena: Gustav Fischer) treatise, but the idea of a stable underlying biological "type" distinct from observable properties was the core idea of his classical bean selection experiment published 6 years earlier (W. Johannsen, 1903. "Ueber Erblichkeit in Populationen und reinen Linien". "Eine Beitrag zur Beleuchtung schwebender Selektionsfragen," Jena: Gustav Fischer, pp. 58-59). The individual ontological foundation of population analysis was a self-evident presupposition in Johannsen's studies of heredity in populations from their start in the early 1890s till his death in 1927. The claim that there was a "substantial but cautious modification of Johannsen's phenotype-genotype distinction" (Churchill, 1974, p. 24) from a statistical to an individual ontological perspective derives from a misreading of the 1903 and 1909 texts. The immediate purpose of this paper is to correct this reading of the 1903 monograph by showing how its problems and results grow out of Johannsen's earlier work in heredity and plant breeding. Johannsen presented his famous selection experiment as the culmination of a line of criticism of orthodox Darwinism by William Bateson, Hugo de Vries, and others (Johannsen, 1903). They had argued that evolution is based on stepwise rather than continuous change in heredity. Johannsen's paradigmatic experiment showed how stepwise variation in heredity could be operationally distinguished from the observable, continuous morphological variation. To test Galton's law of partial regression, Johannsen deliberately chose pure lines of self-fertilizing plants, a pure line being the descendants in successive generations of one single individual. Such a population could be assumed to be highly homogeneous with respect to hereditary type, and Johannsen found that selection produced no change in this type. Galton, he explained, had experimented with populations composed of a number of stable hereditary types. The partial regression which Galton found was simply an effect of selection between types, increasing the proportion of some types at the expense of others. (shrink)
This paper considers the charge that—contrary to the current widespread assumption accompanying the near-universal neglect of his work—Wilhelm Jerusalem (1854–1923) cannot count as one of the founders of the sociology of (scientific) knowledge. In order to elucidate the matter, Jerusalem’s “sociology of cognition” is here reconstructed in the context of his own work in psychology and philosophy as well as in the context of the work of some predecessors and contemporaries. It is argued that while it shows clear discontinuities (...) with the present-day understanding of the sociology of (scientific) knowledge, Jerusalem’s sociology of cognition was not only distinctive in its own day but also anticipated in nuce a much-discussed theme in current history of science. (shrink)
An iron mortar bomb, which was excavated in a suburb of Stralsund (Northern Germany) and dates from the siege of this town in 1678 by the elector of Brandenburg, Friedrich Wilhelm, has been investigated. The residual blasting powder was contaminated with rock minerals and large amounts of iron oxide [Î±-FeO(OH)]. Analytical data and the results of explosivity tests are presented. The original composition of the powder corresponds to historical recipes.
A selection from the correspondence of the logician Wilhelm Ackermann (1896?1962) is presented in this article. The most significant letters were exchanged with Bernays, Scholz and Lorenzen, from which extensive passages are transcribed. Some remarks from other letters, with quotations, are also included.
Why these lectures? -- Hegel between the ancients and the moderns -- Divisions and topics in philosophy of subjective spirit -- Anthropology : slumbering spirit -- Animal magnetism and clairvoyance -- Dementia -- Phenomenology of spirit -- Reciprocal recognition, spirit, and the concept of right -- Recognition and self-actualization -- Psychology : theoretical spirit -- Spirit for itself : from the found to the posited -- Imagination, sign, memory -- Mechanical memory and transcendental deduction -- Psychology : practical spirit : (...) the synthesis of Kant and Aristotle -- The formalism of the psychology -- Unresolved issues : the unity of the philosophy of spirit -- Notes on the text and translation -- Introduction -- Anthropology -- Natural soul -- The dreaming soul -- Sentience -- Self-feeling -- Habit -- Actual soul -- Phenomenology of spirit -- Consciousness as such -- Self-consciousness -- Reason -- Psychology -- Theoretical spirit -- Intuition -- Representation -- Thought -- Practical spirit. (shrink)
This paper explores one of the main sources of Nietzsche’s knowledge of physiology and considers its relevance for the philosophical study of history. Beginning in 1881, Nietzsche read Der Kampf der Theile im Organismus by Wilhelm Roux, which exposed him to a dysteleological account of organic development emphasising the excitative, assimilative and auto-regulative processes of the body. These processes mediate the effects of natural selection. His reading contributed to a physiological understanding of history that borrowed Roux’s description of physiological (...) processes. This physiological description of history proceeded from the similarity between the body’s mediation of its milieu and history’s mediation of the past. (shrink)
In this paper I take up the question of the possible influence of J. G. Fichte on Wilhelm von Humboldt’s theory of language. I first argue that the historicalrecord is unclear, but show that there is a deep philosophical difference between the two views and, as a result of this difference, we should conclude thatthe influence was small. Drawing on a distinction made by Michael Dummett, I show that Fichte understands language as encoding thought while Humboldtunderstands language as a (...) medium of thought. The consequences of this difference affect a wide range of issues from their views on the nature of personal pronouns, to their theories of communicative understanding, to their theories of the proper nature of inquiry into language. (shrink)
La locution vision du monde est aujourd'hui très régulièrement utilisée dans la presse écrite et dans les sciences humaines, mais sait-on que c'est au linguiste allemand, Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835), que nous devons le concept de ...
O texto é uma resenha de uma obra do filósofo e psicólogo alemão Wilhelm Dilthey. A resenha aborda uma publicação para o português da obra Filosofia e educação na data em que se celebra o centenário de morte de Dilthey. A iniciativa dessa análise se justifica por ressaltar esta edição que: apresenta ao público brasileiro este autor relativamente pouco conhecido em nosso país; introduz os termos de sua filosofia. Dilthey é pensador crucial para o século XX por ter contestado (...) a influência que a doutrina positivista possuiria sobre as ciências humanas (especialmente as sociais, as históricas e as do psiquismo) com seu método hermenêutico. A influência deste pensador se fez sensivelmente presente na obra de autores como Weber, Simmel, Spengler, Ortega y Gasset, Heidegger e Gadamer. (shrink)
Em 2011, celebra-se o centenário de morte de Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911). Para esta data, no Brasil e no exterior, editoras e universidades vêm se mobilizando, desde o ano passado, para organizar novas edições e eventos acadêmicos sobre o filósofo alemão. Associados à Fundação Fritz Thyssen em Colônia, Alemanha, tradutores de diversos idiomas vêm vertendo a obra para o inglês, o russo e o japonês. Também traduções para o português estão sendo preparadas no Brasil.
O texto é uma resenha de uma obra do filósofo e psicólogo alemão Wilhelm Dilthey. A resenha aborda uma publicação para o português da obra Introdução às ciências humanas (1883), na data em que se celebra o centenário de morte de Dilthey. A iniciativa dessa análise se justifica por ressaltar esta edição que: apresenta ao público brasileiro este autor relativamente pouco conhecido em nosso país; introduz os termos de sua filosofia. Dilthey é pensador crucial para o século XX por (...) ter contestado a influência que doutrina positivista possuiria sobre as ciências humanas (especialmente as sociais, as históricas e as do psiquismo) com seu método hermenêutico. A influência deste pensador se fez sensivelmente presente na obra de autores como Weber, Spengler, Ortega y Gasset e Gadamer. (shrink)