Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: This article argues that we do not need a new scientific method or a “second-order science” to deal with the facts that the individual characteristics of observers may affect the nature and quality of their observations and that the application of scientific theories may affect the systems they describe. It also argues that Umpleby has not given us good reason to think that we do.
Salutary reading for all philosophers, and not only for inductive logicians, philosophers of science and law, this important book presents an elaborate theory of inductive reasoning whose substantive features are as strikingly original as the approach is rare. First, the theory is based on concrete, real, actual, and significant instances of inductive reasoning, e.g., Karl von Frisch’s work on bees; that is, though its aim is genuinely theoretical in the sense that it engages in the proper amounts of idealization, abstraction, (...) systematization, precision, and rigor, it never loses sight of the fact that "theories in the philosophy of science, like theories in science itself, have to face up to the challenge of appropriately accredited experience within their appointed domains". Second, a central subject matter being analyzed is legal reasoning, that is, the types of proofs and arguments used by juries, judges, and lawyers in the Anglo-American system of jurisprudence, where criminal charges have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt and civil cases have to be argued on the balance of probability. Thus, in effect, Cohen’s synthesis of juridical and of scientific reasoning is an admirable example of the bridging of two "cultures." Third, and most importantly, the concept of "inductive probability," in terms of which Cohen makes sense out of his subject matter, is incommensurable with that of "mathematical probability," namely the classical calculus of chance according to which probability is measurable, additive, transitive, and obeys a multiplicational principle for conjunction and a complementational one for negation. This is not to say that "inductive probability" is a hazy, mysterious, or unstructured concept, and Cohen goes to great lengths to show that it is ordinal, modal, and formally analyzable; what it does mean is that essential types of reasoning in science and in law involve probable inferences whose probabilities are nonquantitative. Hence, though Cohen does not stress the qualitative nature of inductive probability, his book will be welcome by those who conceive of philosophy as scientia qualitatum. Specific conclusions reached by Cohen are that, in general, probability may be conceived as degree of provability, that differences in proof-rules generate different special cases of probability, that inductive probability may be viewed as the special case where the proof-rules are incomplete, that inductive probability is to inductive support as deducibility is to logical truth, and that some recent epistemological scepticism may be refuted by Cohen’s inductive logic. Finally, he sees himself in the British inductivist tradition, interpreting his predecessors as groping toward a logic of inductive support and probability rather than a methodology of discovery: from Bacon he develops the notion of eliminative induction but rejects that of induction by enumeration; Mill’s canons are analyzed as special cases of Cohen’s own "method of relevant variables," except for the method of residues, which is rejected as invalid ; he takes his critique of mathematical probability as a vindication of Hume’s thesis that "probability or reasoning from conjecture may be divided into two kinds, viz., that which is founded on chance and that which arises from causes" ; Whewell’s consilience of induction is justified ; and from Keynes, he develops the notion of the "weight" of evidence but rejects his mathematicist approach.—M. A. F. (shrink)
What would the world be like if we no longer needed meaning? Australian sociologist Michael Casey's revealing work charts the collapse of the metaphysical world and the innate human need for meaning. With the decline of Christianity and the demise of secular universalism in the west, the meaning and value of metaphysical culture has been replaced by an entirely new post-metaphysical world. In Meaninglessness, Casey revisits the social theory of Nietzsche, Freud, and Rorty, in order to conceive how this post-metaphysical (...) culture may take shape in the third millennium. Framing questions of enduring significance to contemporary social and political theory in a new methodological light, this work will appeal to scholars and general readers interested in sociology, post-modernism, cultural studies, political theory, and philosophy. (shrink)
Many contemporary logicians acknowledge a plurality of logical theories and accept that theory choice is in part motivated by logical evidence. However, just as there is no agreement on logical theories, there is also no consensus on what constitutes logical evidence. In this paper, I outline Jean Piaget’s psychological theory of reasoning and show how he used it to diagnose and solve one of the paradoxes of material implication. I assess Piaget’s use of psychology as a source of evidence for (...) logical theory in light of reservations raised by psychologism, and I highlight some ramifications for exceptionalism and anti-exceptionalism about logic by considering his use of psychology as logical evidence in the framework of genetic epistemology, Piaget’s research programme. I conclude that Piaget’s psychological theory of reasoning not only plausibly serves as a source of evidence for logical theory but also makes a strong case for anti-exceptionalism about logic. (shrink)
Das Grab des Königs Ninetjer in Saqqara: Architektonische Entwicklung frühzeitlicher Grabanlagen in Ägypten. By Claudia M. Lacher-Raschdorff. Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Kairo, Archäologische Veröffentlichungen, vol. 125. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2014. Pp. 295, 44 pls., plans. €247.
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
In this note I argue that, relative to certain largely uncontroversial background conditions, any instance of Mates’ Puzzle is equivalent to some instance of Frege’s Puzzle. If correct, this result is surprising. For, barring the radical move of rejecting the possibility of synonymous expressions in a language tout court, it shows that there is no strictly lexical solution to at least some instances of Frege’s Puzzle. This forces the hand of theorists who wish to provide a semantic (rather than pragmatic) (...) solution to Frege’s Puzzle. The only option open will be modify in one way or another the standard formulation of semantic compositionality. (shrink)
The restoration of "forgotten" names to the bosom of our culture is a natural and necessary accompaniment of the political freedom beginning to make its way in our country. Free and continuous creativity is being reunited with the reader, the listener, and the participant, who had been tragically alienated from it. Our half-knowledge, intellectual arbitrariness, and opportunism are becoming clearer, more acute, and more shameful. All this is an inevitable accompaniment of one of the most prestigious and, it would seem, (...) least labor consuming trends in contemporary publishing and journal policy. The publication of texts of Russian philosophers has marked journals as different in character and mission as Novyi mir, Voprosy filosofii, Literaturnaia ucheba, Druzhba narodov, Volga, and many others. In most cases they are more or less well known works reprinted from the YMCA Press, equipped with prefaces—some better, some worse—and devoid of any sort of real intellectual commentary. (shrink)
Recognized in his day as a man of letters equaling Rousseau and Voltaire in France and rivaling Samuel Johnson, David Hume passed from favor in the Victorian age--his work, it seemed, did not pursue Truth but rather indulged in popularization. Although Hume is once more considered as one of the greatest British philosophers, scholars now tend to focus on his thought rather than his writing. To round out our understanding of Hume, M. A. Box in this book charts the interrelated (...) development of Hume's literary ambitions, theories of style, and compositional practice from his Treatise in 1739 through the Enquiries. In so doing, Box makes the case for Hume's career-long concern with the presentational modes of reaching an audience for his philosophical writings. Hume reacted to the popular failure of his masterpiece, A Treatise of Human Nature, Box suggests, by self-consciously exploring strategies in his subsequent works for agreeably bringing his readership to participate in the act of philosophizing. Combining a sensitive grasp of the ways Restoration period and eighteenth-century writers conceived the relations between rhetoric and philosophy with sound readings of particular texts, Box shows how Hume's literary concerns went beyond matters of style to involve persona, structure, and doctrine. While this book helps explain long-standing ambiguities surrounding Hume, especially by pointing out the tension between his created persona and his own voice, it also serves as an excellent introduction to his philosophy. (shrink)
For many years after Bohr's response to the EPR argument, Bohr was considered to have provided an authoritative rebuttal of the ideas of the paper, and more generally of Einstein's stance on quantum theory. More recently, however, there has been great difficulty even in achieving general agreement on Bohr's meaning. Two recent papers, by Dickson, and by Clifton and Halvorson, have sought to establish the structure of Bohr's argument. In the present paper, the papers of EPR and Bohr are re-assessed (...) in the light of these recent papers, and also in light of the development and presentation of quantum information theory. (shrink)
Comparatively little scholarly attention has been given to the question of futility in chronic psychiatric disorders, with the exception of a small body of work on so-called end-stage anorexia nervosa. A review of this literature provides the background for a critical examination of whether the concept of futility has any clinically meaningful, ethically justifiable, and legally defensible application to AN. In this article, the arguments for and against futility judgments in AN are analyzed with special emphasis on determinations of capacity (...) in this serious mental illness. Parallels between the futility disputes in medical and psychiatric disorders, where applicable, will be drawn to further illuminate whether or not the concept that continued psychiatric treatment for AN is ever truly futile. (shrink)
Considering Pragma-Dialectics honors the monumental contributions of one of the foremost international figures in current argumentation scholarship: Frans van Eemeren. The volume presents the research efforts of his colleagues and addresses how their work relates to the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation with which van Eemeren’s name is so intimately connected. This tribute serves to highlight the varied approaches to the study of argumentation and is destined to inspire researchers to advance scholarship in the field far into the future. Replete with (...) contributions from highly-esteemed academics in argumentation study, chapters in this volume address such topics as: *Pragma-dialectic versus epistemic theories of arguing and arguments; *Pragma-dialectics and self-advocacy in physician-patient interactions; *The pragma-dialectical analysis of the ad hominem family; *Rhetoric, dialectic, and the functions of argument; and *The semantics of reasonableness. As an exceptional volume and a fitting tribute, this work will be of interest to all argumentation scholars considering the astute insights and scholarly legacy of Frans van Eemeren. (shrink)
In the present essay we attempt to reconstruct Newtonian mechanics under the guidance of logical principles and of a constructive approach related to the genetic epistemology of Piaget and García. Instead of addressing Newton’s equations as a set of axioms, ultimately given by the revelation of a prodigious mind, we search for the fundamental knowledge, beliefs and provisional assumptions that can produce classical mechanics. We start by developing our main tool: the no arbitrariness principle, that we present in a form (...) that is apt for a mathematical theory as classical mechanics. Subsequently, we introduce the presence of the observer, analysing then the relation objective–subjective and seeking objectivity going across subjectivity. We take special care of establishing the precedence among all contributions to mechanics, something that can be better appreciated by considering the consequences of removing them: the consequence of renouncing logic and the laws of understanding is not being able to understand the world, renouncing the early elaborations of primary concepts such as time and space leads to a dissociation between everyday life and physics, the latter becoming entirely pragmatic and justified a-posteriori, changing our temporary beliefs has no real cost other than effort. Finally, we exemplify the present approach by reconsidering the constancy of the velocity of light. It is shown that it is a result of Newtonian mechanics, rather than being in contradiction with it. We also indicate the hidden assumption that leads to the contradiction. (shrink)
Two major functions of the visual system are discussed and contrasted. One function of vision is the creation of an internal model or percept of the external world. Most research in object perception has concentrated on this aspect of vision. Vision also guides the control of object-directed action. In the latter case, vision directs our actions with respect to the world by transforming visual inputs into appropriate motor outputs. We argue that separate, but interactive, visual systems have evolved for the (...) perception of objects on the one hand and the control of actions directed at those objects on the other. This 'duplex' approach to high-level vision suggests that Marrian or 'reconstructive' approaches and Gibsonian or 'purposive-animate-behaviorist' approaches need not be seen as mutually exclusive, but rather as complementary in their emphases on different aspects of visual function. (shrink)