In this book Emma Ruttkamp demonstrates the power of the full-blown employment of the model-theoretic paradigm in the philosophy of science. Within this paradigm she gives an account of sciences as process and product. She expounds the "received statement" and the "non-statement" views of science, and shows how the model-theoretic approach resolves the spurious tension between these views. In this endeavour she also engages the views of a number of contemporary philosophers of science with affinity to model theory. This (...) text can be read by specialists working in philosophy of science or formal semantics, by logicians working on the structure of theories, and by students in philosophy of science - this text offers a thorough introduction to non-statement accounts of sciences as well as a discussion of the traditional statement account of science. (shrink)
In this inaugural lecture I offer, against the background of a discussion of knowledge representation and its tools, an overview of my research in the philosophy of science. I defend a relational model-theoretic realism as being the appropriate meta-stance most congruent with the model-theoretic view of science as a form of human engagement with the world. Making use of logics with preferential semantics within a model-theoretic paradigm, I give an account of science as process and product. I demonstrate the power (...) of the full-blown employment of this paradigm in the philosophy of science by discussing the main applications of model-theoretic realism to traditional problems in the philosophy of science. I discuss my views of the nature of logic and of its role in the philosophy of science today. I also specifically offer a brief discussion on the future of cognitive philosophy in South Africa. My conclusion is a general look at the nature of philosophical inquiry and its significance for philosophers today. South African Journal of Philosophy Vol. 25 (4) 2006: pp. 275-289. (shrink)
I investigate a new understanding of realism in science, referred to as ‘interactive realism’, and I suggest the ‘evolutionary progressiveness’ of a theory as novel criterion for this kind of realism. My basic claim is that we cannot be realists about anything except the progress affected by myriad science-reality interactions that are constantly moving on a continuum of increased ‘fitness’ determined according to empirical constraints. Moreover to reflect this movement accurately, there is a corresponding continuum of verdicts about the status (...) of the knowledge conveyed by theories – ranging from stark instrumentalism to full-blown realism. This view may sound like a pessimistic inductivist's dream, but actually this is so only if one evaluates it from within a traditional context where the ‘truth’ of a single theory is the exclusive criterion for realism. I, on the other hand, want to redefine the terms of realist debate in such a way that the units of assessment of realism are sequences of theories evaluated according to their ‘evolutionary progressiveness’. I unpack ‘interactive realism’ by defining my notion of ‘evolutionary progressiveness’, the notion of ‘truth-as-historied reference’ underpinning it, and the continuum of interaction between theories and aspects of reality it affects. I conclude that, although interactive realism is a radically non-standard kind of realism, it is at least more realistic about science as a fractured complex multi-faceted enterprise than most other kinds of realism on the block, because it shows coherence amidst fragmentation. (shrink)
This is a first tentative examination of the possibility of reinstating reduction as a valid candidate for presenting relations between mental and physical properties. Classical Nagelian reduction is undoubtedly contaminated in many ways, but here I investigate the possibility of adapting to problems concerning mental properties an alternative definition for theory reduction in philosophy of science. The definition I offer is formulated with the aid of non-monotonic logic, which I suspect might be a very interesting realm for testing notions concerning (...) localized mental-physical reduction. The reason for this is that non-monotonic reasoning by definition is about appeals made not only to explicit observations, but also to an implicit selection of background knowledge containing heuristic information. The flexibility of this definition and the fact that it is not absolute, i.e. that the relation of reduction may be retracted or allowed to shift without fuss, add at least an interesting alternative factor to current materialist debates. South African Journal of Philosophy Vol. 25(2) 2006: 102-112. (shrink)
In this article, we redefine classical notions of theory reduction in such a way that model-theoretic preferential semantics becomes part of a realist depiction of this aspect of science. We offer a model-theoretic reconstruction of science in which theory succession or reduction is often better - or at a finer level of analysis - interpreted as the result of model succession or reduction. This analysis leads to 'defeasible reduction', defined as follows: The conjunction of the assumptions of a reducing theory (...) T with the definitions translating the vocabulary of a reduced theory T' to the vocabulary of T, defeasibly entails the assumptions of reduced T'. This relation of defeasible reduction offers, in the context of additional knowledge becoming available, articulation of a more flexible kind of reduction in theory development than in the classical case. Also, defeasible reduction is shown to solve the problems of entailment that classical homogeneous reduction encounters. Reduction in the defeasible sense is a practical device for studying the processes of science, since it is about highlighting different aspects of the same theory at different times of application, rather than about naive dreams concerning a metaphysical unity of science. (shrink)
In this article I give an overview of some recent work in philosophy of science dedicated to analysing the scientific process in terms of (conceptual) mathematical models of theories and the various semantic relations between such models, scientific theories, and aspects of reality. In current philosophy of science, the most interesting questions centre around the ways in which writers distinguish between theories and the mathematical structures that interpret them and in which they are true, i.e. between scientific theories as linguistic (...) systems and their non-linguistic models. In philosophy of science literature there are two main approaches to the structure of scientific theories, the statement or syntactic approach -- advocated by Carnap, Hempel and Nagel -- and the non- statement or semantic approach --advocated, among others, by Suppes, the structuralists, Beth, Van Fraassen, Giere, Wojcicki. In conclusion, I briefly review some of the usual realist inspired questions about the possibility and character of relations between scientific theories and reality as implied by the various approaches I discuss in the course of the article. The models of a scientific theory should indeed be adequate to the phenomena, but if the theory is 'adequate' to (true in) its conceptual (mathematical) models as well, we have a model-theoretic realism that addresses the possible meaning and reference of 'theoretical entities' without relapsing into the metaphysics typical of the usual scientific realist approaches. (shrink)
My model-theoretic realist account of science places linguistic systems and the corresponding non-linguistic structures at different stages of the scientific process. It is shown that science and its progress cannot be analysed in terms of only one of these strata. Philosophy of science literature offers mainly two approaches; to the structure of scientific knowledge analysed in terms of theories and their models, the "statement" and the "non-statement" approaches. In opposition to the statement approach's belief that scientific knowledge is embodied in (...) theories symbolic language) with direct interpretative links---via so-called "bridge principles"---to reality, the defenders of the non-statement approach believe in an analysis where the language in which the theory is formulated plays a much smaller role than the structures which satisfy that theory. ;The model-theoretic realism expounded here retains the notion of a scientific theory as a set of sentences, while simultaneously emphasising the interpretative role of the conceptual models of these theories. My criticism against the non-statement approach is based on the fact that merely "giving" the theory "in terms of" its mathematical structures leaves out any real interpretation of the nature and role of general terms in science. Against the statement approach's "direct" linking of general theoretical terms to reality, my approach interpolates models between theories and reality in the interpretative chain. ;The links between the general terms of scientific theories and their interpretations in the various models of the theory regulate the whole referential process. The terms of a theory are "general" in the sense that they are the result of certain abstractive conceptualisations of the object of scientific investigation and subsequent linguistic formulations of these conceptualisations. Their meanings can be "given back" only by interpreting them in the limited context, of the various conceptual models of their theory and, finally, by finding an isomorphic relation between some substructure of the conceptual model in question and some empirical conceptualisation of relevant experimental data. In this sense the notion of scientific "truth" becomes inextricably linked with that of articulated reference, as it---given its model-dependent nature---should be. (shrink)
One way in which to address the intriguing relations between science and reality is to work via the models (mathematical structures) of formal scientific theories which are interpretations under which these theories turn out to be true. The so-called 'statement approach' to scientific theories -- characteristic for instance of Nagel, Carnap, and Hempel --depicts theories in terms of 'symbolic languages' and some set of 'correspondence rules' or 'definition principles'. The defenders of the oppositionist non-statement approach advocate an analysis where the (...) language in which the theory is formulated plays a much smaller role. They hold that foundational problems in the various sciences can in general be better addressed by focusing on the models these sciences employ than by reformulating the products of these sciences in some appropriate language. My model-theoretic realist account of science lies decidedly within the non-statement context, although I retain the notion of a theory as a deductively closed set of sentences (expressed in some appropriate language), in this paper I shall focus -- against the background of a model-theoretic account of science -- on the approach to the reality-science dichotomy offered by Nancy Cartwright and briefly comment on a few aspects of Roy Bhaskar's transcendental realism. I shall, in conclusion, show how a model-theoretic approach such as mine can combine the best of these two approaches. (shrink)
If the defenders of typical postmodern accounts of science (and their less extreme social-constructivist partners) are at one end of the scale in current philosophy of science, who shall we place at the other end? Old-style metaphysical realists? Neo-neo-positivists? ... Are the choices concerning realist issues as simple as being centered around either, on the one hand, whether it is the way reality is “constructed” in accordance with some contingent language game that determines scientific “truth”; or, on the other hand, (...) whether it is the way things are in an independent reality that makes our theories true or false? If, in terms of realism, “strong” implies “metaphysical” in the traditional sense, and “weak” implies “non-absolutist” or “non-unique”, what – if anything – could realism after Rorty's shattering of the mirror of nature still entail? In accordance with my position as a model-theoretic realist, I shall show in this article the relevance of the assumption of an independent reality for postmodern (philosophy of) science – against Lyotard's dismissal of the necessity of this assumption for science which he interprets as a non-privileged game among many others. I shall imply that science is neither the “child” of positivist philosophy who has outgrown her mother, freeing herself from metaphysics and epistemology, nor is science, at the other end of the scale, foundationless and up for grabs. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.22(3) 2003: 220–235. (shrink)
A model-theoretic realist account of science places linguistic systems and their corresponding non-linguistic structures at different stages or different levels of abstraction of the scientific process. Apart from the obvious problem of underdetermination of theories by data, philosophers of science are also faced with the inverse (and very real) problem of overdetermination of theories by their empirical models, which is what this article will focus on. I acknowledge the contingency of the factors determining the nature – and choice – of (...) a certain model at a certain time, but in my terms, this is a matter about which we can talk and whose structure we can formalise. In this article a mechanism for tracing "empirical choices" and their particularized observational-theoretical entanglements will be offered in the form of Yoav Shoham's version of non-monotonic logic. Such an analysis of the structure of scientific theories may clarify the motivations underlying choices in favor of certain empirical models (and not others) in a way that shows that "disentangling" theoretical and observation terms is more deeply model-specific than theory-specific. This kind of analysis offers a method for getting an articulable grip on the overdetermination of theories by their models – implied by empirical equivalence – which Kuipers' structuralist analysis of the structure of theories does not offer. (shrink)
I am arguing that it is only by concentrating on the role of models in theory construction, interpretation and change, that one can study the progress of science sensibly. I define the level at which these models operate as a level above the purely empirical (consisting of various systems in reality) but also indeed below that of the fundamental formal theories (expressed linguistically). The essentially multi-interpretability of the theory at the general, abstract linguistic level, implies that it can potentially make (...) claims about systems in reality, other than the particular one which originally induced it. Any so-called correspondence relation between (systems in) reality and the entities and relations in some scientific theory, thus consists of two jumps or interpretations: from the theory (linguistic level) to some model of it (constructural level); and from there to some system in reality. Clearly then the level of fundamental theories cannot be ignored la Nancy Cartwright - in studying the relations between a theory and reality, because the particular features of the theory (the various systems in reality onto which the theory can be mapped) cannot be studied without the underlying knowledge that these systems have one common feature, namely that each of them is the range (or other pole) of a mapping of a context-specific model of the theory - which in itself, is a mapping, or more specifically, an interpretation of the theory. I am also claiming that the nature of these levels and the relations between them necessitate an epistemological rather than an ontological notion of truth criteria, and a referential rather than a representational link between science and reality. (shrink)
This Introduction has two foci: the first is a discussion of the motivation for and the aims of the 2014 conference on New Thinking about Scientific Realism in Cape Town South Africa, and the second is a brief contextualization of the contributed articles in this special issue of Synthese in the framework of the conference. Each focus is discussed in a separate section.
In this article, against the background of a notion of ‘assembled’ truth, the evolutionary progressiveness of a theory is suggested as novel and promising explanation for the success of science. A new version of realism in science, referred to as ‘naturalised realism’ is outlined. Naturalised realism is ‘fallibilist’ in the unique sense that it captures and mimics the self-corrective core of scientific knowledge and its progress. It is argued that naturalised realism disarms Kyle Stanford’s anti-realist ‘new induction’ threats by showing (...) that ‘explanationism’ and his ‘epistemic instrumentalism’ are just two positions among many on a constantly evolving continuum of options between instrumentalism and full-blown realism. In particular it is demonstrated that not only can naturalised realism redefine the terms of realist debate in such a way that no talk of miracles need enter the debate, but it also promises interesting defenses against inductive- and under-determination-based anti-realist arguments. (shrink)
Naturalised realism’ is presented as a version of realism which is more compatible with the history of science than convergent or explanationist forms of realism. The account is unpacked according to four theses: 1) Whether realism is warranted with regards to a particular theory depends on the kind and quality of evidence available for that theory; 2) Reference is about causal interaction with the world; 3) Most of science happens somewhere in between instrumentalism and scientific realism on a continuum of (...) stances towards the status of theories; 4) The degree to which realism is warranted has something to do with the degree to which theories successfully refer, rather than with the truth of theories. (shrink)
In this paper, by suggesting a formal representation of science based on recent advances in logic-based Artificial Intelligence (AI), we show how three serious concerns around the realisation of traditional scientific realism (the theory/observation distinction, over-determination of theories by data, and theory revision) can be overcome such that traditional realism is given a new guise as ‘naturalised’. We contend that such issues can be dealt with (in the context of scientific realism) by developing a formal representation of science based on (...) the application of the following tools from Knowledge Representation: the family of Description Logics, an enrichment of classical logics via defeasible statements, and an application of the preferential interpretation of the approach to Belief Revision. (shrink)
A review of the book "Interpretation. Ways of thinking about the sciences and the arts" by Peter Machamer, Gereon Wolters (eds.). Published in the Pittsburgh-Konstanz series in the philosophy and history of science. Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh University Press, 2010, 266pp, $80.00 HB.
What are economic exchanges? The received view has it that exchanges are mutual transfers of goods motivated by inverse valuations thereof. As a corollary, the standard approach treats exchanges of services as a subspecies of exchanges of goods. We raise two objections against this standard approach. First, it is incomplete, as it fails to take into account, among other things, the offers and acceptances that lie at the core of even the simplest cases of exchanges. Second, it ultimately fails to (...) generalize to exchanges of services, in which neither inverse preferences nor mutual transfers hold true. We propose an alternative definition of exchanges, which treats exchanges of goods as a special case of exchanges of services and which builds in offers and acceptances. According to this theory: (i) The valuations motivating exchanges are propositional and convergent rather than objectual and inverse; (ii) All exchanges of goods involve exchanges of services/actions, but not the reverse; (iii) Offers and acceptances, together with the contractual obligations and claims they bring about, lie at the heart of all cases of exchange. (shrink)
This book is the second of two volumes devoted to the work of Theo Kuipers, a leading Dutch philosopher of science. Philosophers and scientists from all over the world, thirty seven in all, comment on Kuipers’ philosophy, and each of their commentaries is followed by a reply from Kuipers. The present volume is devoted to Kuipers’ neo-classical philosophy of science, as laid down in his Structures in Science . Kuipers defends a dialectical interaction between science and philosophy in that he (...) views philosophy of science as a meta-science which formulates cognitive structures that provide heuristic patterns for actual scientific research, including design research. In addition, Kuipers pays considerable attention to the computational approaches to philosophy of science as well as to the ethics of doing research. Thomas Nickles, David Atkinson, Jean-Paul van Bendegem, Maarten Franssen, Anne Ruth Mackor, Arno Wouters, Erik Weber & Helena de Preester, Eric Scerri, Adam Grobler & Andrzej Wisniewski, Alexander van den Bosch, Gerard Vreeswijk, Jaap Kamps, Paul Thagard, Emma Ruttkamp, Robert Causey, Henk Zandvoort comment on these ideas of Kuipers, and many present their own account. The present book also contains a synopsis of Structures in Science. It can be read independently of the first volume of Essays in Debate with Theo Kuipers, which is devoted to Kuipers’ From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism. (shrink)
This chapter explores what Emma and Austen might have to say about human agency and autonomy. Considered and challenged are Christine Korsgaard’s use of Austen’s characters (Emma Woodhouse and Harriet Smith) to exemplify a species of defective autonomous action. Austen's novel persistently addresses and clarifies the nature and sources of defective action. Harriet Smith’s happy subordination to Emma’s will, as Korsgaard maintains, is obviously problematic. But it is most often Emma Woodhouse herself, and not Harriet, whose (...) conduct Austen presents as compromised, and Emma’s behavior is not defective in such a way as to suggest an abdication of will. Moreover, it is evident that considering what another thinks one should do and allowing that to inform one’s conduct is not a course of action that is invariably deplored in Emma. The chapter investigates the light Austen’s novel can shed on defects in action and the inevitability (or not) of their connection with autonomy. (shrink)
Rights of Women attracted much UK media attention in late 2014 by bringing a judicial review that challenged the reduced provisions for family law legal aid available for victims of domestic violence: R v The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 35. In June 2015, within Rights of Women’s 40th anniversary year, Hannah Camplin interviewed the organisation’s Director Emma Scott about the decision to bring the judicial review, the advantages and challenges of the judicial review (...) process, and the experience of strategic litigation within the context of Rights of Women’s long history of campaigning for women’s rights. What emerged is a portrait of a feminist organisation in 2015, and, in a fast changing political and financial landscape, the dual importance of collaborative working and the need for flexibility in service provision and campaigning tools. (shrink)
Among Austen commentators, the traditional view of manhood holds that it is innate, “‘a matter of course,’ a given quality of a man’s nature”. However, since the 90’s, this view has been contested, especially in Emma, with the argument that “masculinity is something the novel contests and constructs”. In “Manhood and Happiness in Emma: Liberal Learning and Practicing the Language of Marriage,” I frame Austen’s understanding of manhood in terms of education. In order to become the man he (...) ought to be, he must be teachable, he must be a liberal learner, and most important for Austen, he must develop certain Christian qualities of mind: humility, kindness, and forgiveness. This education for manhood can only take place within marriage, but not just any kind of marriage will do. To reinforce this point, I contrast two different kinds of marriage — the cornerstone versus the capstone — and I discuss the kinds of thinking that go with each. Using Mr. Weston and Frank Churchill, I argue that within a capstone marriage, the languages of materialism and narcissism make it impossible to develop the qualities of mind necessary for manhood. With Mr. Knightley, who has the most potential for manhood in the novel, I argue that to fulfill this potential he must choose a cornerstone marriage, within which he may practice the language of marriage, thereby learning to express humility, kindness, and forgiveness. By acquiring these qualities and by learning to love the right things — truth, goodness, and beauty — in the right way, Mr. Knightley becomes the man he ought to be — not only in Emma’s eyes — but also in Austen’s. (shrink)
This article is an edited version of the response paper offered at the conclusion of the symposium, Modern Sensibilities. It ties together themes from the symposium papers, as well as ideas prompted by Mieke Bal’s exhibition, Emma & Edvard: Love in the Time of Loneliness, and her accompanying book, Emma and Edvard Looking Sideways: Loneliness and the Cinematic. It focuses on the anachronistic entanglements among Flaubert’s “Emma,” Munch’s motifs, Mieke Bal and Michelle Williams Gamaker’s Madame B, the (...) Munch Museum’s architecture and exhibition scenography, and the exhibition viewer. (shrink)
What has Emma Woodhouse to say to a discipline like philosophy? The minutia of daily living on which Jane Austen's Emma concentrates our attention permit a closer look at human emotions and motives. Emma shows how friendships can affect one's ways of dealing with the world, how shame can reconfigure self-understanding. That is, Emma leads us to think philosophically.
In _Considering Emma Goldman_ Clare Hemmings examines the significance of the anarchist activist and thinker for contemporary feminist politics. Rather than attempting to resolve the tensions and problems that Goldman's thinking about race, gender, and sexuality pose for feminist thought, Hemmings embraces them, finding them to be helpful in formulating a new queer feminist praxis. Mining three overlapping archives—Goldman's own writings, her historical and theoretical legacy, and an imaginative archive that responds creatively to gaps in those archives —Hemmings shows (...) how serious engagement with Goldman's political ambivalences opens up larger questions surrounding feminist historiography, affect, fantasy, and knowledge production. Moreover, she explores her personal affinity for Goldman to illuminate the role that affective investment plays in shaping feminist storytelling. By considering Goldman in all her contradictions and complexity, Hemmings presents a queer feminist response to the ambivalences that also saturate contemporary queer feminist race theories. (shrink)
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