"Symmetry" was one of the most important methodological themes in 20th-century physics and is probably going to play no lesser role in physics of the 21st century. As used today, there are a variety of interpretations of this term, which differ in meaning as well as their mathematical consequences. Symmetries of crystals, for example, generally express a different kind of invariance than gauge symmetries, though in specific situations the distinctions may become quite subtle. I will review some of the various (...) notions of "symmetry" and highlight some of their uses in specific examples taken from Pauli's scientific oevre. This paper is based on a talk given at the conference "Wolfgang Pauli's Philosophical Ideas and Contemporary Science", May 20.-25. 2007, at Monte Verita, Ascona, Switzerland. (shrink)
Several philosophers have argued that the factivity of knowledge poses a problem for epistemic contextualism (EC), which they have construed as a knowability problem. On a proposed minimalistic reading of EC’s commitments, Wolfgang Freitag argues that factivity yields no knowability problem for EC. I begin by explaining how factivity is thought to generate a contradiction out of paradigmatic contextualist cases on a certain reading of EC’s commitments. This reductio results in some kind of reflexivity problem for the contextualist when (...) it comes to knowing her theory: either a knowability problem or a statability problem. Next, I set forth Freitag’s minimalistic reading of EC and explain how it avoids the reductio, the knowability problem and the statability problem. I argue that despite successfully evading these problems, Freitag’s minimalistic reading saddles EC with several other serious problems and should be rejected. I conclude by offering my own resolution to the problems. (shrink)
Der Beitrag referiert und diskutiert die in Wolfgang Künnes Buch Conceptions of Truth entwickelte Wahrheitstheorie. Es handelt sich um eine realistische, also nichtepistemische, deflationistisch gefärbte Theorie mit Propositionen als Wahrheitswertträgern. Erörtert wird insbesondere der alethische Realismus dieser Theorie, genauer: die Auffassung, dass es Wahrheiten gibt, die niemals ein Mensch gerechtfertigt für wahr halten kann. Den nichtrealistischen Theorien, die Wahrsein an gerechtfertigtes Fürwahrhalten binden, hält Künne sein „Argument aus den blinden Flecken im Feld der Rechtfertigung“ entgegen, welches nicht die Möglichkeit (...) nichtentdeckbaren Irrtums behauptet, sondern Fälle unvermeidlicher Unkenntnis anführt: Gewisse Wahrheiten können gar nicht erst zum Gegenstand einer Überprüfung werden. Es könne sogar wahre Propositionen geben, die Menschenwesen auf immer unverständlich bleiben, weil sie jenseits unserer begrifflichen und kognitiven Fähigkeiten liegen. Diese Möglichkeit zu leugnen laufe auf einen alethischen Speziezismus hinaus. – Der Beitrag erörtert auch weitere Aspekte von Künnes Buch. (shrink)
Zusammenfassung LÃ¤Ãt sich Wissenschaftstheorie mittels Wissenschaftsgeschichte Ã¼berprÃ¼fen? Die VorschlÃ¤ge und AnsÃ¤tze Wolfgang Detels hierzu* werden einer kritischen PrÃ¼fung unterzogen. Es wird gezeigt, daÃ seine Darstellungen der normenlogischen Struktur solcher ÃberprÃ¼fungsversuche ihren Gegenstand nicht treffen: sie geben die angesprochenen AnsÃ¤tze, etwa von Kuhn oder Lakatos, nicht mehr wieder.
This volume represents a magnum opus by Wolfgang Weidlich, summarizing his long work in the area of sociodynamics. It lays out the origins and development of his ideas on this topic, presents a variety of applications drawn from his previous work, and offers some new insights and suggestions. For those acquainted with Professor Weidlich’s work it is a satisfying summing up. For those unacquainted with it, the book provides a good overview and discussion of what is involved in it, (...) both its weaknesses and its strengths. It has a definite predecessor, Weidlich’s 1983 book with his frequent coauthor, Günter Haag, Concepts and Models of a Quantitative Sociology, but goes well beyond the arguments and models presented in that volume. (shrink)
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) was one of the greatest physicists of the past century. He played a leading role in the development of modern physics and was known for his ruthless intellectual integrity. Pauli first became famed through the publication of his encyclopaedia article on the theory of relativity (Pauli, 1921) when he was still a student of Sommerfeld's. Einstein much admired this article, which remained a classic.
This review mostly discusses Künne's positive proposal about truth, his Modest Account. In particular, I discuss propositional quantification, which is required for Künne's formulation of the Modest Account, and under what conditions this kind of quantification is acceptable. I argue that it requires a view of propositions which he rejects, (but I accept).
This paper develops the first parts of a logical framework for the empirical sciences, by means of a redefinition of theory structuralism as originally developed by Joseph Sneed, Wolfgang Stegmüller, and others, in the context of a ‘rigid’ logic as based on a fixed (therefore rigid) ontology. The paper defends a formal conception of the empirical sciences that has an irreducible ontological basis and is unable, in general, to provide purely structural characterizations of the domain of a theory. The (...) extreme rationalist utopia of a characterization of the real world ‘up to isomorphism’, therefore, is rejected. (shrink)