Le philosophe américain Charles S. Peirce ne trouva, malgré ses efforts, guère d’interlocuteurs en France. On le considéra comme un mathématicien et logicien, un physicien et un psychologue fiable, mais son œuvre philosophique fut systématiquement distordue au gré des controverses franco-françaises. Nous mettons l’accent sur les lectures d’André Lalande et de Louis Couturat qui contribuèrent néanmoins à faire reconnaître en France l’originalité du père du pragmaticisme.Despite his efforts, the American philosopher Charles S. Peirce found hardly any interlocutors in France. (...) He was considered mostly as a mathematician and logician, a physicist and a reliable psychologist, but his philosophical work was systematically distorted in consequence of “Franco-French” disputes. We emphasize here the readings of André Lalande and Louis Couturat who made significant contributions towards the recognition in France of the originality of the founding father of Pragmaticism. (shrink)
Four years after completing his Ph.D. on “The Psychology of Kant,” one of Peirce’s most famous students, John Dewey, published a compendium of Leibniz’s main theses, his 1888 Leibniz’s New Essays.1 Such a move from critical to pre-critical rationalism seems to echo Peirce’s judgment that to fully understand Kant, a thorough familiarity with Leibniz’s philosophy is an indispensable preliminary (N 2:186, 1899); for Kant himself “was reposing in a firm belief in the metaphysics of Leibnitz as theologized by Wolff when (...) he first read the book of Hume.” (W 1:104, 1863) Peirce himself started his reflection with the study of Kant’s thought. The purpose of the present paper is to demonstrate that his actual implicit .. (shrink)
This book offers a superbly clear analysis of the standard arguments for and against scientific realism. In surveying claims on both sides of the debate, Kukla organizes them in ways that expose unnoticed connections. He identifies broad patterns of error, reconciles seemingly incompatible positions, and discovers unoccupied positions with the potential to influence further debate. Kukla's overall assessment is that neither the realists nor the antirealists may claim a decisive victory.
Social constructionists maintain that we invent the properties of the world rather than discover them. Is reality constructed by our own activity? Do we collectively invent the world rather than discover it? André Kukla presents a comprehensive discussion of the philosophical issues that arise out of this debate, analysing the various strengths and weaknesses of a range of constructivist arguments and arguing that current philosophical objections to constructivism are inconclusive. However, Kukla offers and develops new objections to constructivism, distinguishing (...) between the social causes of scientific beliefs and the view that all ascertainable facts are constructed. (shrink)
The theory of emotional interpretant is mentioned only a few times in Peirce’s works. My hypothesis is that if Peirce did not develop this concept through and through, and reflected on it only very late in his writings, it is because it had been implicit in almost all his previous epistemological and semiotic works. The qualitative nature which defines belief and doubt makes the whole theory of inquiry rely on feelings, and is a consistent part of the characterization of beliefs (...) as dispositions. In spite of this, objectivity is still preserved.Includes: Comment. Emotion and belief by Henrik Rydenfelt. (shrink)
The central point of this essay is to demonstrate the incommensurability of ‘Darwinian fitness’ with the numeric values associated with reproductive rates used in population genetics. While sometimes both are called ‘fitness’, they are distinct concepts coming from distinct explanatory schemes. Further, we try to outline a possible answer to the following question: from the natural properties of organisms and a knowledge of their environment, can we construct an algorithm for a particular kind of organismic life-history pattern that itself will (...) allow us to predict whether a type in the population will increase or decrease relative to other types? Introduction Darwinian fitness Reproductive fitness and genetical models of evolution The models of reproductive fitness 4.1 The Standard Viability Model 4.2 Frequency-dependent selection 4.3 Fertility models 4.4 Overlapping generations Fitness as outcome 5.1 Fitness as actual increase in type 5.2 Fitness as expected increase in type 5.2.1 Expected increase within a generation 5.2.2 Expected increase between generations 5.2.3 Postponed reproductive fitness effects The book-keeping problem Conclusion. (shrink)
We study the idea of implantation of Piron's and Bell's geometrical lemmas for proving some results concerning measures on finite as well as infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces, including also measures with infinite values. In addition, we present parabola based proofs of weak Piron's geometrical and Bell's lemmas. These approaches will not used directly Gleason's theorem, which is a highly non-trivial result.
The publication of a new intellectual biography of George Cheyne provides a "propitious" occasion for "a thoroughly skeptical review" of the question which has long exercised Hume scholars, whether Cheyne was the intended recipient of David Hume's fascinating pre-Treatise Letter to a Physician, the letter which describes his own hypochondriacal physical and mental symptoms and gives an account of his early philosophical development. Hume's nineteenth-century biographer, John Hill Burton, argued that Hume was probably writing to Cheyne, while Ernest Mossner claimed (...) to definitively refute that hypothesis in an article entitled "Hume's Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot," published in 1944. Anita Guerrini's intellectual biography does not discuss Cheyne as a possible recipient of Hume's letter, but she does present a well-rounded picture of this interesting eighteenth-century physician from which we can judge his appropriateness as its addressee. In the following discussion I will make use of the biographical material found in this new biography of Cheyne, as well as other sources, to show that Mossner's arguments are less than definitive, and that it would be wrong to dismiss the possibility that the letter was sent to George Cheyne. This is a possibility that, for reasons that I will make clear, makes good biographical and philosophical sense. At the same time, it is important to keep a proper suspense of judgment as Burton did, for the evidence that the letter was either intended for or actually sent to Cheyne is not definitive. (shrink)
Recently advocates of the propensity interpretation of fitness have turned critics. To accommodate examples from the population genetics literature they conclude that fitness is better defined broadly as a family of propensities rather than the propensity to contribute descendants to some future generation. We argue that the propensity theorists have misunderstood the deeper ramifications of the examples they cite. These examples demonstrate why there are factors outside of propensities that determine fitness. We go on to argue for the more general (...) thesis that no account of fitness can satisfy the desiderata that have motivated the propensity account. (shrink)
The paper critically reviews the challenges facing the European Court of Human Rights when hearing claims being brought under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights in relation to the phenomena of enforced disappearances as a result of the internal armed conflicts of Turkey and Chechnya. The paper traces the phenomenal and, oftentimes, controversial evolution of the associated jurisprudence and provides evidence of judicial disparities and inconsistencies that are not easily rationalised. Such inconsistencies suggest that whilst Strasbourg’s intention (...) may be to ensure accountability in the face of adversity and human atrocities, its noble cause may be based on judicially unsubstantial foundations. (shrink)
In a famous text Descartes has written this: Whenever the thought of God's supreme power occurs to me, I cannot help feeling that he might easily, if he so wished, make me go wrong even in what I think I see most clearly with my mind's eye. On the other hand, whenever I turn to the matters themselves which I think I perceive very clearly, I am so convinced by them that I burst out: ‘let who will deceive me, he (...) can never bring it about that I should be nothing at the time of thinking that I am something, nor that it be true that I never existed if it is true that I exist now; nor even that two and three together make more or less than five, or any such thing in which I see manifest contradiction’. (shrink)
The instrumentalist argument from the underdetermination of theories by data runs as follows: (1) every theory has empirically equivalent rivals; (2) the only warrant for believing one theory over another is its possession of a greater measure of empirical virtue; (3) therefore belief in any theory is arbitrary. In this paper, I examine the status of the first premise. Several arguments against the universal availability of empirically equivalent theoretical rivals are criticized, and four algorithms for producing empirically equivalent rivals are (...) defended. I conclude that the case for the first premise of the argument from underdetermination is very strong. The disposition of the argument itself depends on the fate of the second premise. (shrink)
It is well known that, in France, this important movement, which originated in Port-Royal, did not remain exactly on the same basis during its development. In this paper we attempt to show how a new concept was proposed by Du Marsais, Beauzée and, finally, Letellier.
Both sides in the debate about scientific realism have argued that their view provides a better account of actual scientific practice. For example, it has been claimed that the practice of theory conjunction presupposes realism, and that scientists' use of multiple and incompatible models presupposes some form of instrumentalism. Assuming that the practices of science are rational, these conclusions cannot both be right. I argue that neither of them is right, and that, in fact, all scientific practices are compatible with (...) both realism and instrumentalism. I also repudiate van Fraassen's argument to the effect that the instrumentalist account of scientific practice is logically weaker, hence better, than the realist account. In the end, there are no scientific practice arguments on the table that support either side of the debate. It is also noted that the deficiencies of van Fraassen's argument are recapitulated in Putnam's miracle argument for realism. My pessimistic assessment of the state of the debate is reminiscent of Arthur Fine's. However, Fine's argument for the ‘natural ontological attitude’ once again repeats the problems of van Fraassen's and Putnam's arguments. (shrink)
Occasions of Identity is an exploration of timeless philosophical issues about persistence, change, time, and sameness. Andre Gallois offers a critical survey of various rival views about the nature of identity and change, and puts forward his own original theory. He supports the idea of occasional identities, arguing that it is coherent and helpful to suppose that things can be identical at one time but distinct at another. Gallois defends this view, demonstrating how it can solve puzzles about persistence dating (...) back to the Ancient Greeks, and investigates the metaphysical consequences of rejecting the necessity and eternity of identities. (shrink)
[Stephen Yablo] The usual charge against Carnap's internal/external distinction is one of 'guilt by association with analytic/synthetic'. But it can be freed of this association, to become the distinction between statements made within make-believe games and those made outside them-or, rather, a special case of it with some claim to be called the metaphorical/literal distinction. Not even Quine considers figurative speech committal, so this turns the tables somewhat. To determine our ontological commitments, we have to ferret out all traces of (...) nonliterality in our assertions; if there is no sensible project of doing that, there is no sensible project of Quinean ontology. /// [Andre Gallois] I discuss Steve Yablo's defence of Carnap's distinction between internal and external questions. In the first section I set out what I take that distinction, as Carnap draws it, to be, and spell out a central motivation Carnap has for invoking it. In the second section I endorse, and augment, Yablo's response to Quine's arguments against Carnap. In the third section I say why Carnap's application of the distinction between internal and external questions runs into trouble. In the fourth section I spell out what I take to be Yablo's version of Carnap. In the last I say why that version is especially vulnerable to the objection raised in the second. (shrink)
The problem of scientific disregard is the problem of accounting for why some putative theories that appear to be well-supported by empirical evidence nevertheless play no role in the scientific enterprise. Laudan and Leplin suggest (and Hoefer and Rosenberg concur) that at least some of these putative theories fail to be genuine theoretical rivals because they lack some non-empirical property of theoreticity. This solution also supports their repudiation of the thesis of underdetermination. I argue that the attempt to provide criteria (...) of theoreticity fails, that there is a Bayesian solution to the problem of scientific disregard that fares better, and that this successful solution supports a distinctively Bayesian version of the underdetermination thesis. (shrink)
In this challenging study, André Gallois proposes and defends a thesis about the character of our knowledge of our own intentional states. Taking up issues at the centre of attention in contemporary analytic philosophy of mind and epistemology, he examines accounts of self-knowledge by such philosophers as Donald Davidson, Tyler Burge and Crispin Wright, and advances his own view that, without relying on observation, we are able justifiably to attribute to ourselves propositional attitudes, such as belief, that we consciously (...) hold. His study will be of wide interest to philosophers concerned with questions about self-knowledge. (shrink)
Social constructivists maintain that we invent the properties of the world rather than discover them. Is reality constructed by our own activity? Or, more provocatively, are scientific facts--is everything --constructed? Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Science is a clear assessment of this critical and increasingly important debate. Andre Kukla presents a comprehensive discussion of the philosophical issues involved and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of a range of constructivist arguments, illustrating the divide between the sociology and the philosophy of (...) science through examples as varied as laboratory science, time, and criminality. He argues that current philosophical objections to constructivism are drastically inconclusive, while offering and developing new objections. Throughout, Kukla distinguishes between the social causes of scientific beliefs and the view that all ascertainable facts are constructed. (shrink)
1. Legend has it that as Mozart lay dying, a stranger dressed in black entered the room. Without saying word, he walked to the death-bed, removed the manuscript sheets of the Requiem on which the composer had been working until his final hours, and departed. This was not as you might have thought an envoy from beyond—but the servant of a certain Viennese nobleman, Count Walsegg zu Stuppach. The Count was in the habit of commissioning music anonymously, and having it (...) played in his palace as though it were his own. In extremis he was collecting the score for a forthcoming soirée. (shrink)
According to an externalist theory of content the content of an individual’s thoughts and the meaning of her words need not supervene on her intrinsic history. Two individuals may be intrinsically exactly alike yet entertain different thoughts, and attach different meanings to the words they use. ETC, which has been most notably defended by Saul Kripke, Hilary Putnam and Tyler Burge, has attained the status of current orthodoxy. Nevertheless, some maintain that combining ETC with the premisses that we have privileged (...) access to our intentional states yields a surprising conclusion. It yields the conclusion that we can have a priori knowledge of features of the external world that seem only accessible to empirical investigation. Call the argument from ETC and privileged access to this conclusion the main argument. Some take the main argument to be a reductio of ETC. Since we have privileged access to our intentional states, and lack the a priori knowledge attributed by the main argument, ETC is false. Some take the main argument to refute the premisses that we have privileged access to those intentional states falling within the scope of ETC. Others see the main argument as a refutation of external world scepticism. We will show that the main argument does not support any of these interesting conclusions. We will show that the main argument does not threaten to restrict privileged access, refute external world scepticism, or constitute a reductio of ETC. More exactly, we will show that the most defensible version of ETC, even when combined with the premiss that we have unrestricted privileged access to our intentional states, yields no a priori knowledge of the external world. (shrink)
Johnson -Laird has argued that spatial reasoning is based on the construction and manipulation of mental models in memory. The present article addresses the question of whether reasoning about time relations is constrained by the same factors as reasoning about spatial relations. An experiment is reported that explored the similarities and the differences in the performance of subjects in comparable spatial and temporal reasoning tasks. The results indicated that, in both the temporal and the spatial content domains, the data were (...) in agreement with the view that subjects solved problems by constructing models in memory rather than with a logical rule conceptualisation of reasoning. An analysis of the premise-reading times on the basis of premise-linking order provided support for an on-line process of mental models construction, and offered an explanation for the finding that spatial problems that did require an inference of transitivity were easier than problems that did not. No essential differences in processing and performance were observed across the two content domains, although in the time domain the correctness data were in agreement with both the mental models theory and the logical rules view. The results are discussed with respect to the mental models theory and the structural characteristics of the problems. (shrink)
Several philosophers of science have advanced an instrumentalist thesis about the use of probabilities in evolutionary biology. I investigate the consequences of instrumentalism on evolutionary explanations. I take issue with Barbara Horan's (1994) argument that probabilities are unnecessary to explain evolutionary change given the underlying deterministic character of evolutionary processes. First, I question Horan's deterministic assumption. Then, I attempt to undermine her Laplacian argument by demonstrating that whether probabilities are necessary depends upon the sort of questions one is asking.
Cet article présente le rôle fondamental que l’œuvre de Kant a joué dans l’élaboration de la pensée du philosophe américain Charles S. Peirce. Idéalement, il se fixerait un triple objectif : résumer les éléments de dialogue de Peirce avec Kant, évaluer l’interprétation très particulière que Peirce propose du kantisme, et montrer qu’apprécier l’importance de l’influence kantienne sur Peirce suppose des partis pris commentaristes, de sorte que les deux premiers objectifs appellent un tour d’horizon de l’état de l’art sur la question. (...) Plus modestement, l’article met en lumière l’usage de Kant aux deux extrêmes chronologiques de l’œuvre de Peirce. Une fois rappelé le poids incontestable de Kant dans la formation de Peirce, sont donc étudiées les « transformations sémiotiques » subies par le criticisme dans les juvenilia, puis la constitution du pragmaticisme comme sens commun critique au tournant du vingtième siècle. On conclut à une grande continuité de l’inspiration kantienne chez Peirce, même si la preuve en supposerait l’examen des années 1870-1900. (shrink)