400 years after Bruno's death by fire in Rome the question arises whether Bruno did in fact die as martyr of truth. If we consider his philosophical arguments we can understand his cosmological concept of the infinite universe as essentially contradictory to some of Aristotle's ideas of philosophy of nature. Alongside his belief in the omnipresence of divinity in nature he takes the view of the universe as a living organism, an area where he was influenced by the hermetic tradition. (...) Above all Bruno's cosmology also includes ethical elements. So if we ask for the actual reason of Bruno's conviction, some theological consequences of his cosmological ideas did presumably influence the judgement of the inquisition. In contrast to Galileo Bruno's condemnation has not so far been withdrawn. However such reconsideration is possible and counting on the church's spirit of reconciliation should come to pass. (shrink)
In a famous passage in the Critique of the Power of Judgement, Kant calls the “spirit” an animating or enlivening principle in the mind. Rather than a positive affirmation building on a protobiological background, this definition marks an aesthetic notion of life. As a first step, the “Gemüt” shows itself to be an ambivalent concept between transcendental philosophy and anthropology. This ambivalence then reoccurs in the notion of life in an aesthetical regard: Life in this sense is the one hand (...) bound to the empirical notion of the powers of life – and thereby to the pre-critical works – but is now turned into something surpassing. Life in aesthetical terms is negatively bound to life in an empirical sense. So is spirit, too: It rather works as a negatively defined principle opening up the given. Life, Gemüt, and spirit make up a relational constellation that provides the grounds for the work of aesthetic ideas. By means of aesthetic ideas, spirit opens up the cognitive and thereby enlivens the Gemüt. This principle, which is spirit, can then be understood as following Kant’s logic of the infinite judgment, because the aesthetic is the opening of the rational to its indeterminate other. (shrink)
Problem: First-order scientific research is often not aware of the hidden assumptions provided by an epistemological perspective based upon realism. Beyond philosophical considerations about the epistemological foundations, some practical normative implications deriving from them are crucial: in the field of communication and media studies, some scholars criticize media coverage, e.g., on climate change, as biased and distorted from reality. Method: From a constructivist perspective, the article presents a detailed meta-analysis of the course of argumentation provided by two empirical communication studies (...) that follow an objectivist approach. Result: With the help of a second-order research strategy, it is possible to uncover their ontological assumptions and criticize their normative implications. Implications: Social scientists should be careful with normative suggestions for the system under study unless they are applied within these systems themselves. (shrink)
The article recapitulates the different phases of the western interpretation of Nāgārjuna and aims, proceeding from a foundation enriched by a critique of them, to obtain elements of a renewed transcendental-philosophical interpretation of the philosophy of emptiness, such as was initiated by Fyodor Ippolitovich Stcherbatsky in his approach inspired by Immanuel Kant. Based primarily on Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s transcendental logic and Wissenschaftslehre a systematic reconstruction of Nāgārjuna’s thought is undertaken. Taking up an insight of Bhavya/Bhāviveka, we suggest that the absolute (...) known by Nāgārjuna as pre-reflexive being-conscious is the concept-bound appearance of the absolute in the medium of prapanca and not the absolute itself dispensed from prapanca, which as the unthinkable beyond of all thinking can be immediately realized in actuality only by the self-annihilation of thinking. This will bring to light the cognitive yield of Nāgārjuna’s effort, which is of a transcendental nature avant la lettre, and which makes him a witness for the claim to universality of transcendental-philosophical knowledge, beyond Europe.Der Aufsatz rekapituliert die verschiedenen Phasen der westlichen Rezeptionsgeschichte Nāgārjunas und plädiert für eine erneute transzendentalphilosophische Interpretation der Philosophie der Leerheit, wie sie die von Immanuel Kant inspirierte Interpretation Fyodor Ippolitovich Stcherbatskys inauguriert hat. Ausgehend von Johann Gottlieb Fichtes transzendentaler Logik und Wissenschaftslehre wird eine systematische Rekonstruktion von Nāgārjunas Denken unternommen und das von Nāgārjuna affirmierte Absolute als präreflexives Bewusst-Sein interpretiert. Im Anschluss an Bhavya/Bhāviveka wird das präreflexive Bewusst-Sein Nāgārjunas als absolute Erscheinung des Absoluten vom Absoluten selbst unterschieden, das als undenkbares Jenseits allen Denkens nur durch die faktische Selbstvernichtung des Denkens unmittelbar realisiert werden kann. Anhand dieser exemplarischen Untersuchung wird die These vertreten, dass Nāgārjuna Erkenntnisse errungen hat und zwar – ante litteram – transzendentale, die ihn zu einem Zeugen des Universalitätsanspruches transzendentalphilosophischer Erkenntnis außerhalb Europas machen. (shrink)
Upshot: The controversy between realism and constructivism often seems to be a matter of epistemology. However, empirical researchers are not primarily interested in solving philosophical questions but in practicing good research. It would be shortsighted to believe that there is a contradiction between epistemological and empirical questions.
Karl Eugen Müller's contribution to the development of the algebra of logic is perhaps the most important part of his scientific work. Müller, who became Gymnasialprofessor after his university studies, was a student of Ernst Schröder's friend, the mathematician Jakob Lüroth. As a result of publishing two papers on problems related to Schröder's monumental Vorlesungen iiber die Algebra der Logik, Müller was commissioned by the Deutsche Mathematiker- Vereinigung with the editing of the unpublished parts of the Vorlesungen from Schröder's Nachla?. (...) Müller worked on Schröder's papers until 1910, but did not bring this work to a conclusion. Müller's own Nachla?, including those parts of Schröder's papers still in his possession, was destroyed in Frankfurt a.M. in 1943, so there remains no hope of finding through Müller any part of the missing Nachla? of Schröder. (shrink)
Someone’s first encounter with Logical Empiricism is very likely to be through a book or an article on the Vienna Circle. This is not surprising because research about Logical Empiricism is in most cases research about the Vienna Circle. There is no question that this is an important research field for the history of scientific philosophy but the overwhelming quantity of literature may obscure the fact that the history of Logical Empiricism is not just the history of the Schlick Circle. (...) Exactly this is the starting point of The Berlin Group and the Philosophy of Logical Empiricism: Edited by Volker Peckhaus and Nikolay Milkov, the book reminds us that at least one other group took part in this scientific endeavor and their book investigates (and promotes) the philosophy of its members. The Berlin Group is not unknown to scientific philosophers but investigations on the group are still scarce (compared to the mass of literature on the Vienna circle). The question is whether or not the b .. (shrink)
This volume presents a collection of papers on Nietzsche written by Volker Gerhardt over the past twenty-five years. The trait d’union among them is the idea that, more than a hundred years after Nietzsche’s death, the sparks of his thought—the Funken of Gerhardt’s title—can still ignite fires in contemporary readers, even to the extent that for no other nineteenth-century thinker is the definition of “arsonist” more appropriate. The range of subjects that Gerhardt tackles is wide: from the relations among (...) the body, the self, and the “I” in Zarathustra’s speech, “On the Despisers of the Body” to Nietzsche’s perspectivism, immoralism, and moral individualism; and from Nietzsche’s and Kant’s conceptions .. (shrink)