Most commentators agree that (part of what) Kant means by characterizing the propositions of geometry as synthetic is that they are not true merely in virtue of logic or meaning, and that this characterization has something to do with his views about the construction of geometrical concepts in intuition. Many commentators regard construction in intuition as an essential part of geometrical proofs on Kant’s view. On this reading, the propositions of geometry are synthetic because the geometrical theorems cannot be proved (...) in purely conceptual or logical terms. Other commentators see the main role of pure intuition and the figures constructed in pure intuition in that they provide a model for Euclidean geometry. On views of this kind, the propositions of geometry are synthetic because the geometrical axioms are substantive truths about one of our forms of intuition. On the interpretation proposed in this essay, what Kant means by claiming that the propositions of geometry are synthetic is not only that the Euclidean axioms and theorems cannot be reduced to tautologies or logical truths, but also that they apply to really possible objects. Construction in intuition plays no essential role in (what we now call) ‘pure’ geometry on Kant’s view. But the fact that the concepts of geometry can be constructed in intuition is of crucial importance in the context of Kant’s transcendental philosophy of geometry, because, among other things, it allows him to explain how Euclidean geometry is possible as an a priori synthetic science in the sense just indicated. (shrink)
Wie denkt Johann Gottlieb Fichte ausgehend von Immanuel Kant die Einheit von theoretischer und praktischer Philosophie? Der junge Fichte baut auf die drei Kritiken Kants auf; aufgeworfene und sich als widerstreitend herausstellende Fragen nimmt er auf und entwickelt sie zu einem eigenen System weiter. Fichtes System der Freiheit lasst sich nur mittels einer selbststandig durchgefuhrten intellektuellen Anschauung bilden, es verbirgt sich in einem geistigen Bild. Ohne den eigenen Anteil hinzuzunehmen, bleiben dem Leser der Wissenschaftslehre anstelle des Geistes nichts als Buchstaben (...) derselben. Bei Fichte wird die Frage nach dem Ort der Freiheit radikal anders und neuartig gestellt, weil der damalige Zuhorer der Jenaer Vorlesungen und auch der heutige Leser aktiv und systematisch in die Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Freiheit? einbezogen wird. Dem an der Frage Interessierten selbst wird ein gewichtiger Platz zuerkannt, das System der Freiheit von diesem und seiner Bereitschaft mitzudenken, mitzubilden und mitzuwirken abhangig gemacht. Anstelle eines wohl vermuteten und viel verlangten ausseren Systems handelt es sich um ein inneres und verborgenes System der Freiheit. Mittels einer sprachkritischen, sich auf zeitgenossische historische Worterbucher stutzenden Analyse wird diese Problematik aufgezeigt und ferner uber eine visuell tatige Bildfindung sichtbar gemacht. (shrink)
In light of new biomedical technologies, such as artificial reproduction, stem cell research, genetic selection and design, the question of what we owe to future persons-and unborn life more generally-is as contested as ever. In A Theory of Unborn Life: From Abortion to Genetic Manipulation, author Anja J. Karnein provides a novel theory that shows how our commitments to persons can help us make sense of our obligations to unborn life. We should treat embryos that will develop into persons (...) in anticipation of these persons. But how viable is this theory? Moreover, what does it mean to treat embryos in anticipation of the future persons they will develop into? Exploring the attractiveness of this approach for Germany and the U.S. - two countries with very different legal approaches to valuing unborn life-Karnein comes to startling conclusions to some of today's greatest ethical and legal debates. (shrink)
When the first publication of Hans-Georg Gadamer's magnum opus Wahrheit und Methode came to life in I960, the work was initially received with a slight sense of puzzlement and yet concurrently acknowledged as monumental. The title, in English, Truth and Method, was regarded by the philosophical community both in Germany and abroad as being somewhat obscure, as Gadamer himself would later admit, but the ingeniousness of the book's content could hardly be debated. Since its initial publication, Truth and Method has, (...) respectively helped to expand and light up the horizon of modern hermeneutics by provoking, at once, a reconsideration of the phenomenon of understanding while, at the same time, enlivening the debate over scientific methodology and its exclusive claim to truth. The central aim of the present thesis has been to focus on Part I of Truth and Method, concentrating primarily on the 'guiding humanistic concepts' and the experience of truth in art, to clarify Gadamer's understanding of truth and to shed new light as to how the experience of tmth is to be grasped in relation to the human sciences, i.e. the humanities. The humanistic concepts, I believe, are vital to understanding the experience of truth. One reason, which leads me to this conclusion, is that in Truth and Method Gadamer begins his philosophical undertaking with the elucidation of the humanistic concepts rather than with a direct exposition of truth. By opening with the humanistic concepts, Gadamer seems to demonstrate subtly the phenomenological and ontological nature of knowledge and understanding. The outcome of this manoeuvre is that one comes to realise that truth does not simply belong to method and that it is not something which can be defined solely as 'absolute certainty'. Moreover, in my interview with Professor Gadamer, the humanistic concepts, he explained to me, are the most 'natural' and 'original' concepts. By natural and original he means that these concepts are intrinsic. They evolve from life as well as being a part of life, i.e. a way of living. Thus these concepts, he affirmed, represent 'a way of life' and a way to truth. Consequently, insofar as comprehending the phenomenon of truth, I believe any and every investigation of the concept of truth must begin with the understanding of the humanistic tradition. The following thesis however does not end simply with the humanistic concepts. It also devotes to examining the truth-claim or the 'truth-experience' of art. This part of the inquiry centres on two important questions: How are we to understand art? What does it mean to experience art? The challenge here has been to show how Gadamer overcomes Kant's subjectivation of the aesthetic experience and to demonstrate how and why Gadamer considers the experience of art as the 'self-presentation' of being. In surveying the various works of criticism I have tried to draw attention to what seem to me to be the most insightful comments and analyses. If 1 have failed in any way to supply proper acknowledgement to ideas, which might seem close to other critical works, I offer my apologies. As I am sure those in the research business know well, in reflection ideas often interfuse with one's own, making it difficult sometimes to discriminate between one's own ideas from another's. However, I have tried my best to keep from that error. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to investigate how children use their participation in research as a potential transformative social practice in everyday life. The concept of transformative social practice will be discussed in relation to the notion of transformation. Through empirical examples provided by Holly (12) and Oliver (11), the article argues that research processes open up possibilities for understanding ourselves (researchers and participants) in new ways. ‘Life Mapping’ - as dialogical method in research with children - will be (...) presented and reflected upon as a way for children to develop different understandings of themselves, their families, and everyday life. This emphasizes the connection between the use of child-relevant methodologies and how specific children can bring dialogues from the research process in to play in their everyday lives. Data is drawn from a qualitative study and is a part of a PhD project studying children’s everyday lives with two households as a result of parental divorce. The project involves ten children aged 8- 12 and their parents. (shrink)
The author argues that normative questions in social law are in need of a more philosophical approach. This is particularly true for the evaluation of Work-first arrangements. She proposes to evaluate workfare policies from the perspective of the reciprocity principle as it is deployed in the work of the liberal egalitarians John Rawls and Stuart White. While Rawls’ interpretation of the reciprocity principle seems to be at odds with Dutch jurisprudence on workfare policies, which allows for Work-first arrangements within the (...) boundaries that are set by article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights , White’s approach rather encourages work obligations for welfare recipients, on the condition that citizens acquire individual drawing rights on collective participation funds. (shrink)
From French miniature paintings to the work of Pope Pius II, this collection of essays explores the philosophical history behind medieval European art. The essays reveal how a visual vocabulary was established among French miniature painters to express the concepts of personal identity and alterity in their work and how Pope Pius II helped spread these metaphysical ideologies across the eastern Christian world. An exhaustive and articulate guide to European art in the Middle Ages, this book is essential reading for (...) art students and enthusiasts alike. (shrink)
Rhythmus figuriert in Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness als wirkmächtige Sinneserfahrung, die Körper affiziert und auf diese Weise Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen Menschen und Maschinen oder aber Europäern und »Barbaren« herstellt. Er wird somit zu einem zentralen Ort der Aushandlung von Ängsten vor der Ansteckung durch das Fremde, wie sie für die britische Literatur zur Zeit der Jahrhundertwende typisch waren.
The institutional reform of the Belgian state seems to run parallel with a redefinition of the whole of Belgian society. 'Subnationalism' has overtaken the traditional ethno-linguistic definitions which used to provide a basis for political identification and mobilisation. The territorial demarcation of the regions and the politicisation of cultural life on both sides of the linguistic border constitute basic ingredientsfor 'nationbuilding'projects in Flanders and Wallonia. A number of elements are distinguished to explain why the 'nationalism' of the regions will have (...) repercussions on the political developments in the capital area. Language and territoriality have always played a special role in Brussels. Changes in connection with definitions of territoriality and identity now seem to create opportunities to redefine the relationship between the communities in Brussels. It is not inconceivable that, in the long run, the linguistic divide wilt fade out and wilt be replaced by an identification on the basis of a territorial criterion shared by all the Brussels' inhabitants. (shrink)
Weak Quantum Theory (WQT) and the Model of Pragmatic Information (MPI) are two psychophysical concepts developed on the basis of quantum physics. The present study contributes to their empirical examination. The issue of the study is whether WQT and MPI can not only explain ‘psi’-phenomena theoretically but also prove to be consistent with the empirical phenomenology of extrasensory perception (ESP). From the main statements of both models, 33 deductions for psychic readings are derived. Psychic readings are defined as settings, in (...) which psychics support or counsel clients by using information not mediated through the five senses. A qualitative approach is chosen to explore how the psychics experience extrasensory perceptions. Eight psychics are interviewed with a half-structured method. The reports are examined regarding deductive and inductive aspects, using a multi-level structured content analysis. The vast majority of deductions is clearly confirmed by the reports. Even though the study has to be seen as an explorative attempt with many aspects to be specified, WQT and MPI prove to be coherent and helpful concepts to explain ESP in psychic readings. (shrink)
The World According to Kant offers an interpretation of Immanuel Kant’s critical idealism, as developed in the Critique of Pure Reason and associated texts. Critical idealism is understood as an ontological position, which comprises transcendental idealism, empirical realism, and a number of other basic ontological theses. According to Kant, the world, understood as the sum total of everything that has reality, comprises several levels of reality, most importantly, the transcendental level and the empirical level. The transcendental level is a mind-independent (...) level at which things in themselves exist. The empirical level is a fully mind-dependent level at which appearances exist, which are intentional objects of experience. Empirical objects and empirical minds are appearances, and empirical space and time are constituted by the spatial and temporal determinations of appearances. On the proposed interpretation, Kant is thus a genuine idealist about empirical objects, empirical minds, and space and time. But in contrast to other intentional objects, appearances genuinely exist, which is due both to the special character of experience compared to other kinds of representations such as illusions or dreams, and to the grounding of appearances in things themselves. This is why, on the proposed interpretation, Kant is also a genuine realist about empirical objects, empirical minds, and empirical space and time. This book develops the indicated interpretation, spells out Kant’s case for critical idealism thus understood, pinpoints the differences between critical idealism and ‘ordinary’ idealism, such as Berkley’s, and clarifies the relation between Kant’s conception of things in themselves and the conception of things in themselves by other philosophers, in particular, Kant’s Leibniz-Wolffian predecessors. -/- PS from the author: I maintain a list of errata plus corrections on my website (which can easily be found by googling my name). If you discover additional errors, typos, or unfortunate formulations, I would be grateful to hear from you. -/- . (shrink)
It is surprisingly difficult to determine what modal strength Leibniz wants to ascribe to his principle of the identity of indiscernibles (PII). I consider this question by examining (i) some direct textual evidence, (ii) Leibniz's main arguments for PII, (iii) Leibniz's presumable response to a prominent contemporary defense of the necessity of PII against Max Black style counterexamples, and (iv) Leibniz's views about the possibility of primitive haecceities. I conclude that Leibniz probably takes PII to be necessary.
In his recent book, The Empirical Stance, Bas van Fraassen forcefully raises the question of what a philosophical position can or should be. He mainly discusses this question with regard to empiricism but his discussion makes it clear that he takes his proposed answer to be generalizable: not only empiricism but philosophical positions in general should be understood as stances rather than dogmata. The first part of this essay is devoted to an examination of van Fraassen’s critique of ‘naïve’ or (...) dogmatic empiricism, which represents an integral part of his argument for ‘stance’ empiricism. It will be argued that, contrary to van Fraassen’s view, not all versions of naïve empiricism run into the problems identified by him. In the second part of the paper the case will be made that, contrary to van Fraassen’s thesis, the stance empiricist is in at least as bad a position as the naïve empiricist with regard to the task of providing a radical critique of metaphysics, which van Fraassen takes to be an essential task that any empiricist should be able to accomplish. The third part of this essay concerns van Fraassen’s general proposal, and examines the question whether a philosophical position can possibly consist in a stance. It will be suggested that this is not the case. With regard to empiricism this has the implication that if one wants to be a philosopher and an empiricist at the same time one needs to subscribe to a form of naïve empiricism. Furthermore, it will be proposed that as a philosopher-empiricist one should want, or, at least, allow some form of metaphysical theorizing to be part of the philosophical enterprise after all. (shrink)