Konstruktivismus.Paul Lorenzen - 1994 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 25 (1):125 - 133.details
Constructivism. This is an unpublished lecture read 5 years ago stating the program of constructive 'Wissenschaftstheorie' (i.e. philosophy of the sciences and humanities). Its publication now is an attempt to clarify the muddle documented in the issue 23/2 of this journal, which discussed radical constructivism (referring to biological evolution) and constructionism (referring to psychological genesis). The muddle is caused by the uncritical use of 'elaborated' speech (Bildungssprache) with terms such as: empirical, metaphysical, explanation, description, reality, actuality, object, entity, etc.). Constructivism (...) as first tought in Erlangen reconstructs its own elaborated code for use in the constructive Wissenschaftstheorie. All constructions (reconstructions) start from practice with the language reduced to unelaborated talk within practice. This is called the 'practicist' turn of Wissenschaftstheorie. This turn is limited to scientific or humanistic disciplines supporting common action in response to precritical needs, especially war and hunger. Traditional disciplines can be reformed to serve this purpose. The lecture sketches the beginnings of such a reform for mathematics and technology (including physics as a step towards better technology) and for ethical politics - in contrast to strategies for more power - (including history as a step towards more consensus). The sketch follows the terminological proposal worked out in my 'Lehrbuch' of constructive Wissenschaftstheorie (1987). Logical particles are introduced dialogically, modalities are defined syntactically. The compatibility of relativistic physics with constructive theories of space and time (protophysics) is shown. For ethical politics the starting point is, that we live in states with laws enforced with respect to all citizens alike - and that we live in a post-traditional pluralism of ways of life (Lebensformen). Without the rhetoric of values and without the abstraction of human rights, it is shown how an enlightened style of argumentation can transform our states into 'republics' with a compatible plurality of ways of life. Whether such enlightened argumentation has a chance of being accepted by intellectuals (before they have destroyed our world) - this question remains unanswered. (shrink)
August Weismann is famous for having argued against the inheritance of acquired characters. However, an analysis of his work indicates that Weismann always held that changes in external conditions, acting during development, were the necessary causes of variation in the hereditary material. For much of his career he held that acquired germ-plasm variation was inherited. An irony, which is in tension with much of the standard twentieth-century history of biology, thus exists – Weismann was not a Weismannian. I distinguish (...) three claims regarding the germ-plasm: (1) its continuity, (2) its morphological sequestration, and (3) its variational sequestration. With respect to changes in Weismann’s views on the cause of variation, I divide his career into four stages. For each stage I analyze his beliefs on the relative importance of changes in external conditions and sexual reproduction as causes of variation in the hereditary material. Weismann believed, and Weismannism denies, that variation, heredity, and development were deeply intertwined processes. This article is part of a larger project comparing commitments regarding variation during the latter half of the nineteenth century. (shrink)
This paper examines the contents and institutional context of August Weismann's long essay on Amphimixis (1891). Therein he presented detailed discussions of his on-going studies of reduction division and parthenogenesis, but more to the point, he included an elaborate examination of Émile Maupas's two major publications in protozoology. To understand the relevance of this part to the other two, the author briefly reviews highpoints in earlier nineteenth century protozoology and concludes that only in the mid-1870s and 1880s did protozoa (...) add an important dimension to heredity theory. Otto Bütschli and then Maupas provided Weismann with a deeper understanding of how conjugation and fertilization were related but not identical processes. This allowed him to integrate the two into a fuller understanding of evolution by natural selection. (shrink)
A case against Prior’s theory of propositions goes thus: (1) everyday propositional generalizations are not substitutional; (2) Priorean quantifications are not objectual; (3) quantifications are substitutional if not objectual; (4) thus, Priorean quantifications are substitutional; (5) thus that Priorean quantifications are not ontologically committed to propositions provides no basis for a similar claim about our everyday propositional generalizations. Prior agrees with (1) and (2). He rejects (3), but fails to support that rejection with an account of quantification on which there (...) could be quantifications that are neither substitutional nor objectual. The paper draws from the work of Lorenzen an alternative conception of quantification in terms of which that needed account can be given. (shrink)
Weismann's ideas on species transmutation were first expressed in his famous debate with Moritz Wagner on the mechanism of speciation. Wagner suggested that the isolation of a colony from its original source is a preliminary and necessary factor for speciation. Weismann accepted a secondary, facilitating role for isolation, but argued that natural and sexual selection are the primary driving forces of species transmutation, and are always necessary and often sufficient causes for its occurrence. The debate with Wagner, which occurred between (...) 1868 and 1872 within the framework of Darwin's discussions of geographical distribution, was Weismann's first public battle over the mechanism of evolution. This paper, which offers the first comprehensive analysis of this debate, extends previous analyses and throws light on the underlying beliefs and motivations of these early evolutionists, focusing mainly on Weismann's views and showing his commitment to what he later called "the all sufficiency of Natural Selection." It led to the crystallization of his ideas on the central and essential role of selection, both natural and sexual, in all processes of evolution, and, already at this early stage in his theoretical thinking, was coupled with sophisticated and nuanced approach to biological organization. The paper also discusses Ernst Mayr's analysis of the debate and highlights aspects of Weismann's views that were overlooked by Mayr and were peripheral to the discussions of other historians of biology. (shrink)
In 1889 Hugo de Vries published " Intracellular Pangenesis " in which he formulated his ideas on heredity. The high expectations of the impression these ideas would make did not come true and publication was negated or reviewed critically. From the reactions of his Dutch colleagues and the discussion with the famous German zoologist August Weismann we conclude that the assertion that each cell contains all hereditary material was controversial and even more the claim that characters are inherited independently (...) of each other. De Vries felt that he had to convince his colleagues of the validity of his theory by providing experimental evidence. He established an important research program which resulted in the rediscovery of Mendel's laws and the publication of "The Mutation Theory." This article also illustrates some phenomena that go beyond an interesting episode in the development of theories of heredity. It shows that criticism from colleagues can move a researcher so deeply that he feels compelled to set up an extensive research program. Moreover it illustrates that it is not unusual that a creative scientist is only partially willing to take criticism on his theories into account. Last but not least it demonstrates that common opinion on the validity of specific arguments may change in the course of time. (shrink)
Pojęcie eutanazji ma w kręgu kultury europejskiej nie tylko znaczenie historyczne. Odnosząc się do historii, filozofii, medycyny, etyki czy literatury, nabrało ono także charakteru instytucjonalnego w okresie Trzeciej Rzeszy, kiedy eutanazja stała się elementem walki z najsłabszymi członkami społeczeństwa. Na przykładzie analizy kazania biskupa niemieckiego Cicmensa Augusta Grafa von Galena z 3 sierpnia 1941 r. ukazany został sprzeciw Kościoła katolickiego w Trzeciej Rzeszy w okresie tzw. Kirchenkampf. Analiza kontekstualna miała na celu ukazanie elementów charakterystycznych języka i argumentacji, którymi posługiwał się (...) Clemens August. (shrink)
A detailed chronology is offered for the writing of Frege's central philosophical essays from the early 1890s. Particular attention is given to (the distinction between) Sinn and Bedeutung. Suggestions are made as to the origin of the examples concerning the Morning Star/Evening Star and August Bebel's views on the return of Alsace-Lorraine. Likely sources are offered for Frege's use of the terms Bestimmungsweise, Art des Gegebenseins and Sinn und Bedeutung.
In early August 2011, disturbances broke out in a number of English cities. What happened was broadcast globally, and all of a sudden it seemed as if all of the country was about to burst into flames. This short paper is offered by way of a ‘letter’ from England. It was written in late August 2011 and is an initial attempt to develop an understanding of why the disturbances broke out, what motivated the people who were involved and, (...) indeed, why things were confined to England. Cities elsewhere in Britain experienced nothing. The paper identifies a crisis in the English social imaginary. The disturbances are understood as a conjunctural response to this crisis, a response highlighting the interregnum in the English social imaginary. (shrink)
I have argued elsewhere that scientific realism is most significantly challenged neither by traditional arguments from underdetermination of theories by the evidence, nor by the traditional pessimistic induction, but by a rather different historical pattern: our repeated failure to conceive of alternatives to extant scientific theories, even when those alternatives were both (1) well-confirmed by the evidence available at the time and (2) sufficiently scientifically serious as to be later embraced by actual scientific communities. Here I use August Weismann's (...) defense of his influential germ-plasm theory of inheritance to support my claim that this pattern characterizes the history of theoretical scientific investigation generally. Weismann believed that the germ-plasm must become disintegrated into its constituent elements over the course of development, I argue, only because he failed to conceive of any possible alternative mechanism of ontogenetic differentiation. This and other features of the germ-plasm theory, I suggest, reflect a still more fundamental failure to imagine that the germ-plasm might be a productive rather than expendable resource for the cell. Weismann's case provides impressive support for the problem of unconceived alternatives while rendering its challenge to scientific realism deeper and sharper in a number of important ways. (shrink)
On Thursday evening, August 30, 1989, in the Combination Room of Trinity College, Cambridge University, Michael Petry of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, opened the conference he had organized on “Hegel and Newtonianism.” Under the sponsorship of the Istituo per gli Studi Filosofici of Naples, Petry invited more than 40 scholars from Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada to discuss the relation between eighteenth century Newtonian science and Hegel’s philosophy of nature.
This essay seeks to illuminate the changing nature of experimental physics in the 1860s and 1870s by analysing the creation of dust tubes and dust figures by the German experimentalist August Kundt, and by showing how Kundt and his associate Emil Warburg used the ‘Kundt tube’ to test the new kinetic theory of gases. In so doing, the essay seeks to show how Kundt came to revise the vision of experimental physics that he had learned from his teacher Heinrich (...) Gustav Magnus, a vision in which the experimentalist's goal was to establish ‘the facts’. Kundt, by contrast, came to envision experimental physics as being in the service of theory: to confirm or disconfirm theory, or to provide theorists with new phenomena to theorize about. Kundt's vision, it is argued, is emblematic of the changing nature of experimental physics and reflective of the rise of the new subdisciplines of theoretical and experimental physics. (shrink)
This article provides an account of the Enlightenment dispute over hermeneutical skepticism with particular reference to the idea of hermeneutical probability in the philosophical work of Christian August Crusius. The essay sheds new light on the hermeneutical issues addressed in the philosophical school of the so-called Thomasians based mainly in Leipzig in the first half of the eighteenth century. The paper deals with Crusius’ wide-ranging efforts to cope with the uncertain character of most parts of human knowledge and his (...) attempts to construct a workable theory of hermeneutical probability. This raises points of central interest relating to probabilism in the methodology of textual interpretation and connects Crusius to contemporary discussions of hermeneutical skepticism. (shrink)
This essay attempts to elaborate a first thorough comparative analysis of August Cieszkowski and Nikolaj Berdjaev. Although the latter is well known as one of the most important Russian philosophers, the former is hardly known beyond the Polish borders. This general lack of recognition contrasts with the fact that Cieszkowski played a significant role in nineteenth century philosophy in Germany, France, Poland and Russia. A comparative analysis of Cieszkowski and Berdjaev will undergird the idea that Cieszkowski was not merely (...) a ‘marginal’ figure in the history of philosophy. This essay has sought the reasons why Berdjaev considered himself to a large extent as a disciple of Cieszkowski. The stress is put on the central aspects of both philosophers’ thinking: freedom, praxis and the way they relate to morality in general. (shrink)
This volume consists of the invited papers presented at the 23rd International Wittgenstein Conference held in Kirchberg, Austria in August 2000. Among the topics treated are: truth, psychologism, science, the nature of rational discourse, practical reason, contextualism, vagueness, types of rationality, the rationality of religious belief, and Wittgenstein. Questions addressed include: Is rationality tied to special sorts of contexts? ls rationality tied to language? Is scientific rationality the only kind of rationality? Is there something like a Western rationality? and: (...) Could we genetically engineer human beings to be less wicked? (shrink)
Georg Curtius' Griechische Schulgrammatik, achtzehnte wesentlich veränderte Auflage bearbeitet von Dr Wilhelm von Hartel. Leipzig. 1888. Mk. 2.40.Methodik des Grammatischen Unterrichtes im Griechischen im Anschlnsse an W. v. Hartel's Neubearbeitung der Griechischen Sehulgrammatik von Georg Curtius, verfasst von Dr August Scheindler. Leipzig. 1888.Abriss der Grammatik des homerischen nnd herodotischen Dialekts, im Anschlusse an die 18 Auflage, von Dr. Curtius' Griechischen Schulgrammatik bearbeitet von Dr Wilhelm Von Hartel. 60 pf.Kurzgefasste griechische Schulgrammatik bearbeitet von Dr Bernhardt Gerth. Zweite verbesserte Auflage. Leipzig. (...) C. F. Winter. 1 Mk. 60. (shrink)
Tra le diverse proposte ermeneutiche capaci di dare valore alla critica che Christian August Crusius rivolge al razionalismo leibniziano-wolffiano ce n’è una che pone al centro dell’attenzione la relazione che intercorre tra antropologia e teodicea. Il discorso crusiano intorno all’uomo svolge al suo interno il ruolo di fondamento esplicativo della risposta alla questione del male in un mondo voluto da Dio. La teodicea viene così considerata per quello che è in primo luogo: l’espressione di una visione incentrata sull’essere razionale (...) finito, sulla creatura umana. (shrink)
Johann August Schlettwein established a reputation during the later eighteenth century as Germany's foremost Physiocrat. Schlettwein's primarily literary reputation was lent authority by his direct participation in two practical Physiocratic experiments: the Markgraf of Baden's trial introduction of a single tax during the the early 1770s, and the creation of an Economic Faculty at the University of Giessen as part of a general financial reform in the state of Hessen-Darmstadt. It is this latter case which will be examined here, (...) where university reform was assigned an important role in the general reconstruction of state finances. But why should the reformers in Darmstadt have lighted upon a maverick figure such as Schlettwein to lead a Faculty which was in turn assigned a leading role in the reform of their state university? And given the apparent failure of Schlettwein to fulfil the hopes placed in him, to what can we attribute his generally lacklustre performance in Giessen? While the first of these questions can be fairly readily answered by considering the choices facing the state government, the second problem is more open: a number of possibilities suggest themselves. The fact that Physiocratic principles conflicted sharply with those governing cameralistic teaching in the German university could have been a significant obstacle; or it could have been that the role assigned to Schlettwein proved impossible, caught between the agenda of Physiocratic reform and that of the state government; or it might of course be that Schlettwein bore personally the major share of the blame. The Physiocratic programme was sweeping in its ambitions; but where it was put into practice (in Baden), or was lent an academic platform (in Giessen), it failed. By examining the reasons behind the failure in Gie?en we can perhaps learn something more of the scope of Physiocracy as a programme of reform in the eighteenth century and thence, indirectly, about the contemporary reception of Physiocratic ideas. (shrink)
August Ludwig Hülsen’s virtually forgotten “Prüfung der von der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin aufgestellten Preisfrage: Was hat die Metaphysik seit Leibniz und Wolf für Progressen gemacht?” is the first German post-Kantian system in which reason is conceived as developing in history according to speculative rule based on the logical resolving of contradictions. Notwithstanding, Hülsen’s system is up to this day almost entirely unknown to most scholars in the field. This paper outlines the fundamental aspects of Hülsen’s system and (...) discusses two of its main innovations: the deduction of the transcendental possibility of rational historicity, and the systematic historization of Fichte’s concept of judging activity; the constitutive equivalent of consciousness’s logical-temporal substrate. (shrink)
Edited in this contribution are eighteen of August Tholuck's letters to Friedrich Lücke from 1827 to 1854, which were recently discovered in Göttingen's municipal archives. In addition, ten of Lücke's replies that were made available by the Franckesche Stiftungen in Halle now receive their necessary supplementation. In its introduction and critical commentary the paper focuses on and elucidates the exegesis of St John's Gospel, theological Hegelianism and Lücke's appointment from Göttingen to Halle in 1838.
Nach einigen einleitenden Bemerkungen zur Bedeutung von Fachzeitschriften für die Entwicklung der Wissenschaften und einem Hinweis auf die wichtigsten Abschnitte des Lebenslaufes von August Leopold Crelle wird seine herausragende Rolle als Gründer und Herausgeber wissenschaftlicher Fachzeitschriften gewürdigt. Zunächst wird die dabei von Crelle besonders für das Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik geleistete Arbeit ausführlicher dargestellt, dem sich der Versuch einer Einschätzung der Bedeutung dieser Zeitschrift mit Hilfe quantitativer Kennziffern anschließt. Schließlich wird die Bedeutung des gleichfalls von Crelle (...) begründeten Journals für die Baukunst untersucht und herausgearbeitet, daß durch das Baujournal den deutschen Ingenieuren wichtige Informationen und Erfahrungen aus dem technisch fortgeschrittenerem Ausland übermittelt wurden. Abschließend werden fünf unveröffentlichte Dokumente im Wortlaut wiedergegeben, die mit der vorstehenden Thematik im Zusammenhang stehen.After some introductory remarks on the significance of scientific journals for the development of science and an indication of the most important aspects of the career of August Leopold Crelle , his projected role as the founder and editor of scientific journals is discussed. First of all, his achievements with the Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik are described in detail, together with an attempt to estimate the significance of this journal with the help of quantitative analyses. Then the significance of the Journal für die Baukunst , which Crelle similarly founded, is examined, and it is shown that important information and experience of technically more progressive foreign countries was transmitted to German engineers through the engineering journal. Finally, five unpublished documents are reproduced, which relate to the previous topics. (shrink)
As an undergraduate from 1964 to 1967, Gareth Evans, a British philosopher of language and mind, studied for the PPE degree (philosophy, politics and economics) at University College, Oxford, where his philosophy tutor was Peter Strawson. He was then a Senior Scholar at Christ Church, Oxford (1967–68) and a Kennedy Scholar visiting Harvard and Berkeley (1968–69). In 1968, less than a year after completing his degree, Evans was elected to a Fellowship at University College. He took up the position in (...) 1969, succeeding Strawson who had become Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Oxford. During the 1970s, Evans and his University College colleague John McDowell played leading roles in developing a distinctive conception of truth-theoretic semantics, drawing on the work of Strawson, Michael Dummett, and especially Donald Davidson. Their co-edited collection, Truth and Meaning: Essays in Semantics, appeared in 1976. While philosophy of language enjoyed a central position in Oxford philosophy of that period, Evans did not share the view (regarded by Dummett as constitutive of analytic philosophy) that philosophy of language is foundational and so takes priority over philosophy of mind in the order of philosophical explanation. He attached particular importance to the mentalistic notion of understanding, and his work on the theory of reference was set within a theory of thought and especially thought about particular objects. Evans’s published work ranged over philosophy of language, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of psychology. In 1979 he was elected to the Wilde Readership in Mental Philosophy at Oxford. He died in August 1980, at the age of thirtyfour. His book, The Varieties of Reference (1982), incomplete at the time of his death, was edited and brought to publication by McDowell. A collection of thirteen of his papers and two shorter notes appeared in 1985 and a further note was published in 2004.. (shrink)
This edition of previously unpublished correspondence from the archive of the New York Union Theological Seminary between young Charles Augustus Briggs and his teacher Isaak August Dorner dates from the second half of the 19th century. It offers insight into the transnational idea flow and interconfessional exchange on the understanding of theology. It is supplemented by letters from August Dorner jun. to Charles Briggs and two letters of recommendation that illustrate the density of the enticing web of intellectual (...) relationships. (shrink)
Thucydides, II. 28, records an eclipse of the sun in the summer of the first year of the Peloponnesian war. It can be no other than the annular eclipse of the 3rd of August, 431 B.C. He describes the phenomenon so accurately and with so many details that we can hardly doubt that he observed it himself — Tο δ' αủτο θέρονς γονμηνι κατά σελήγηγ, σπερ και μόγογ δοκει ειναι γιγνεσθαι δνγατόγ, ό λιος έξέλιπε μετά μεσημβριαγ και πάλιγ άγ (...) επληρθη, γενόμενος μηνοειδής και άστέρν τινν έκΦανέντων. (shrink)
The paper deals with the first book-length materialist treatise published in Germany in the 1770s, August Wilhelm Hupel’s Anmerkungen und Zweifel über die gewöhnlichen Lehrsätze vom Wesen der menschlichen und der thierischen Seele. Based on a “great chain of being” conception, he maintains that his materialist doctrine provides stronger grounds for belief in the immortality of the soul than those substance dualism has offered. He seeks to defend that the soul is a composite being, i.e. that it is material, (...) but at the same time he argues that the soul is not identical with the body or parts of it, but rather that it exists independently and composed of “subtle”, ether-like matter. Hupel also argues that the soul is immortal. This claim is particularly uncommon since most materialists, not only in Germany, subscribe to some version of mortalism, i.e. the doctrine that the mind either ceases to exist altogether with the death of the body, or that it remains in a death-like state until the resurrection. (shrink)
In Germany a number of dictionaries of foreign words as lexemes were created. The author cites about 460 dictionaries of foreign borrowings from the period 1800–2007. Dictionaries of borrowings can be divided into three categories: dictionaries of foreign words that do not have the objective of eliminating borrowed words, but describe them in a neutral manner, Germanising dictionaries whose main purpose is to eliminate the use of foreign words and replace them with native words. There are suggested word replacements for (...) foreign lexemes, and the lexeme citation is devoid of grammatical and phonetic information, Germanising and explanatory dictionaries: mixed form: here there is a description of the foreign code, but also proposals to replace some borrowings with German equivalents. In this latter category we include the dictionary which is the subject of this article; that of Johann Christian August Heyse. (shrink)
John Lavery's The First Wounded, London Hospital, August 1914 records a memorable event in the First World War. This painting and the archives of the Royal London Hospital provide a fascinating insight into the nursing and medical care of these early war casualties.