Duhem is commonly held to have founded his view of history of science as continuous on the ‘metaphsical assertion’ of natural classification. With the help of a strict distinction between formal and material characterization of natural classification I try to show that this imputation is problematic, if not simply incorrect. My analysis opens alternative perspectives on Duhem's talk of continuity, the ideal form of theories, and the rôle of ‘bon sens’; moreover it emphasizes some aspects of Duhem's realism (...) that play an important part in his philosophy of science. (shrink)
The transfer of children from primary school to secondary school has long been seen as a problematic area. The National Curriculum was depicted as offering a solution to some of the transfer problems by providing for curriculum continuity across the primary-secondary divide. This paper reports the results of a study of curriculum continuity in one subject, history, now that a National Curriculum has been in place for several years. It reports that teachers continue to see problems with (...) the transfer and that secondary school teachers still incline to a ‘fresh start’ approach to year 7 pupils. There is also some evidence of a lack of curriculum consistency within the secondary schools involved in the research, there are differences between primary and secondary schools in the range of teaching and learning methods employed, there is some decline in pupils’ ratings of their experience of secondary education across year 7 and there are signs of some gender differences in these ratings. The conclusion is that there is a case for saying that the new arrangements have not alleviated the problems associated with the transfer. (shrink)
Huang, Chun-chieh, Konfuzianismus: Kontinuität und Entwicklung: Studien zur chinesischen Geistesgeschichte (Confucianism: Continuity and Development: Studies in Chinese Intellectual History), Edited and translated by Stephan Schmidt Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11712-010-9191-0 Authors Heiner Roetz, Faculty of East Asian Studies, Ruhr University, 44780 Bochum, Germany Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009 Journal Volume Volume 9 Journal Issue Volume 9, Number 4.
The objective of this paper is to balance two major conceptual tendencies in science policy studies, continuity and discontinuity theory. While the latter argue for fundamental and distinct changes in science policy in the late 20th century, continuity theorists show how changes do occur but not as abrupt and fundamental as discontinuity theorists suggests. As a point of departure, we will elaborate a typology of scientific governance developed by Hagendijk and Irwin ( 2006 ) and apply it to (...) new empirical material. This makes possible a contextualization of the governance of science related to the codification of the “third assignment” of the Swedish higher education law of 1977. The law defined the relation between university science and Swedish citizens as a dissemination project, and did so despite that several earlier initiatives actually went well beyond such a narrow conceptualisation. Our material reveals continuous interactive and rival arrangements linking the state, public authorities, the universities and private industrial enterprises. We show how different but coexisting modes of governance of science existed in Sweden during the 20th century, in clear contrast with the picture promoted by discontinuity theorists. A close study of the historical development suggests that there were several periods of layered governance when interactions and dynamics associated with continuity as well as discontinuity theories were prevalent. In addition, we conclude that the typology of governance applied in the present paper is fruitful for carrying out historical analyses of the kind embarked upon in spite of certain methodological shortcomings. (shrink)
Abstract Six apparent features of Kant's conception of autonomy appear to differentiate it sharply from anything that we can find in an Aristotelian conception of will and practical reason. (1) Autonomy requires a role for practical reason independent of its instrumental role in relation to non-rational desires. (2) This role belongs to the rational will. (3) This role consists in the rational will's being guided by its own law. (4) This guidance by the law of the will itself requires acts (...) of legislation?the making of laws?for oneself. (5) These acts of legislation constitute the law as one's own law, as moral constructivists hold. (6) Kant marks this character of the rational will by using ?autonomy? and cognates. These six apparent features, however, do not mark any discontinuity between Kant and an Aristotelian conception. The first three apparent features are genuinely Kantian, but are not aspects of discontinuity, whereas the last three mark aspects of discontinuity, but are not genuinely Kantian. (shrink)
Since his Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft was first published in 1786, controversy has surrounded Immanuel Kant’s conception of matter. In particular, the justification for both his dynamical theory of matter and the related dismissal of mechanical philosophy are obscure. In this paper, I address these longstanding issues and establish that Kant’s dynamism rests upon Leibnizian, metaphysical commitments held by Kant from his early pre-Critical texts on natural philosophy to his major critical works. I demonstrate that, throughout his corpus and inspired (...) by Leibniz, Kant endorses the a priori law of continuity of alteration as a truth of metaphysics, according to which all alterations in experience must occur gradually through all intervening degrees. The principle thus legislates against mechanical philosophy’s absolutely impenetrable atoms, as they would would involve instantaneous changes of velocity in impact. This reveals the metaphysical incoherencies in mechanical philosophy and leaves Kant’s own dynamical theory of matter, grounded on material forces, as the only viable approach to physical explanation. Subsequently, I demonstrate that Kant nevertheless made conceptual space in his system for the theoretical consideration of mechanical explanations, which makes manifest one of the positive roles that the faculty of reason can play with respect to natural science. (shrink)
Philosophers of history in the past few decades have been predominantly interested in issues of explanation and narrative discourse. Consequently, they have focused consistently and almost exclusively on the historian’s output, thereby ignoring that historical scholarship is a practice of reading, thinking, discussing, and writing, in which successful performance requires active cultivation of certain skills, attitudes, and virtues. This paper, then, suggests a new agenda for philosophy of history. Inspired by a “performative turn” in the history and (...) philosophy of science, it focuses on the historian’s “doings” and proposes to analyze these performances in terms of epistemic virtue. It argues that historical scholarship is embedded in “practices” or “epistemic cultures,” in which knowledge is created and warranted by means of such virtues as honesty, carefulness, accuracy, and balance. These epistemic virtues, however, are not etched in stone: historians may highlight some of them, exchange one for another, or reinterpret their meaning. On the one hand, this suggests a rich area of research for historians of historiography. To what extent can consensus, conflict, continuity, and change in historical scholarship be explained in terms of epistemic virtue? On the other hand, the proposal outlined in this article raises a couple of philosophical questions. For example, on what grounds can historians choose among epistemic virtues? And what concept of the self comes with the notion of virtue? In addressing these questions, philosophy of history may expand its current scope so as to encompass not only “writings” but also “doings,” that is, the virtuous performances historians recognize as professional conduct. (shrink)
It is sometimes suggested that Collingwood's philosophy of history is decidedly anti-naturalist and argues for a complete separation between history and the natural sciences. The purpose of this paper is to examine this suggestion and to argue that Collingwood's conception of the relationship between history and natural sciences is much more subtle and nuanced than such a view would allow for. In fact, there is little in Collingwood to offend contemporary naturalistic sensibilities reasonably construed. The impression that (...) Collingwood's views are incompatible with naturalism stems, in part, from an overly Kantian interpretation of the idea of rationality, as applied to historical agents, in terms of transcendentally fixed norms. This difficulty, however, does not arise if we opt for a more Hegelian interpretation of rationality in terms of continuity in thought, which Collingwood himself seemed to favor. Examining Collingwood's pronouncements on these topics leads one to the conclusion that, while objecting to the excesses of early naturalism, Collingwood saw no insurmountable obstacles to the reconciliation of science and history and their potential collaboration in some areas. (shrink)
Charles Taylor’s latest collection of essays, Dilemmas and Connections, is the most recent installment in his development of a grand history of the rise of a modern, secular age. In this review, I show how the historical narrative that defines Taylor’s late work is in continuity with his earlier hermeneutic commitments, while also allowing him to advance new inquiries into areas as diverse as secularism, religion, nationalism, and human rights discourse. I do this by not only providing a (...) succinct summary of Taylor’s master narrative, but also by arguing that it resolves a number of philosophical dilemmas. (shrink)
What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and original arguments (...) for a deeper understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
Natural classification and continuity, science and history. Some Reflections on Pierre Duhem. Duhem is commonly held to have founded his view of history of science as continuous on the 'metaphysical assertion' of natural classification. With the help of a strict distinction between formal and material characterization of natural classification I try to show that this imputation is problematic, if not simply incorrect. My analysis opens alternative perspectives on Duhem's talk of continuity, the ideal form of theories, (...) and the rôle of 'bon sens'; moreover it emphasizes some aspects of Duhem's realism that play an important part in his philosophy of science. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis book assumes that basic ways of thinking about history are hard‐wired in the brain. Since different styles of discourse with which we talk about the past are hardwired, Blum infers that a protohistorical consciousness is necessary for the existence of language. Historical logics reflect some preconceived part–whole relation. Blum discerns four kinds of part‐whole structure, which he terms continuity, quantum, continuum, and dialectic. Blum believes that these part–whole relations rest on universal, prereflective intuitions. He concludes that humans (...) have different prelinguistic intuitions of time.Blum claims that people's variable innate temporality is expressed in their historical style. It follows that historical style antedates history as a genre. Hence we are not talking about historical style, but about how individuals apply their sense of the relation between parts and wholes to the problem of time. Our study of historical context becomes secondary to the assumptions we make about the interface between part–whole relations and time. The temporality of history is derivative of a phenomenon that is not historical.Certain conclusions are suggestive. First, modality precedes tense in evolution. Second, we ourselves are continuing to evolve. Blum believes that we are moving “towards a selection of abstract thinkers ruled by pure reason.” Instead of viewing cultures as organisms, it is more profitable to think of the evolution of structures of thinking, and to show that some are more prominent at present than they have been in the past.For Blum, historical thinking is a dependent variable. It depends on tense and modality, which are given before language and culture. Historical thinking reflects a primary experience, but it is not such a primary experience itself. (shrink)
Richard Sorabji here takes time as his central theme, exploring fundamental questions about its nature: Is it real or an aspect of consciousness? Did it begin along with the universe? Can anything escape from it? Does it come in atomic chunks? In addressing these and myriad other issues, Sorabji engages in an illuminating discussion of early thought about time, ranging from Plato and Aristotle to Islamic, Christian, and Jewish medieval thinkers. Sorabji argues that the thought of these often negelected philosophers (...) about the subject is, in many cases, more complete than that of their more recent counterparts. “Splendid. . . . The canvas is vast, the picture animated, the painter nonpareil. . . . Sorabji’s work will encourage more adventurers to follow him to this fascinating new-found land.”—Jonathan Barnes, Times Literary Supplement “One of the most important works in the history of metaphysics to appear in English for a considerable time. No one concerned with the problems with which it deals either as a historian of ideas or as a philosopher can afford to neglect it.”—Donald MacKinnon, Scottish Journal of Theology “Unusually readable for such scholarly content, the book provides in rich and cogent terms a lively and well-balanced discussion of matters of concern to a wide academic audience.”— Choice. (shrink)
A comprehensive and systematic reconstruction of the philosophy of Charles S. Peirce, perhaps America's most far-ranging and original philosopher, which reveals the unity of his complex and influential body of thought. We are still in the early stages of understanding the thought of C. S. Peirce (1839-1914). Although much good work has been done in isolated areas, relatively little considers the Peircean system as a whole. Peirce made it his life's work to construct a scientifically sophisticated and logically rigorous philosophical (...) system, culminating in a realist epistemology and a metaphysical theory ("synechism") that postulates the connectedness of all things in a universal evolutionary process. In The Continuity of Peirce's Thought, Kelly Parker shows how the principle of continuity functions in phenomenology and semeiotics, the two most novel and important of Peirce's philosophical sciences, which mediate between mathematics and metaphysics. Parker argues that Peirce's concept of continuity is the central organizing theme of the entire Peircean philosophical corpus. He explains how Peirce's unique conception of the mathematical continuum shapes the broad sweep of his thought, extending from mathematics to metaphysics and in religion. He thus provides a convenient and useful overview of Peirce's philosophical system, situating it within the history of ideas and mapping interconnections among the diverse areas of Peirce's work. This challenging yet helpful book adopts an innovative approach to achieve the ambitious goal of more fully understanding the interrelationship of all the elements in the entire corpus of Peirce's writings. Given Peirce's importance in fields ranging from philosophy to mathematics to literary and cultural studies, this new book should appeal to all who seek a fuller, unified understanding of the career and overarching contributions of Peirce, one of the key figures in the American philosophical tradition. (shrink)
In this brillant meditation on conceptions of history, Le Goff traces the evolution of the historian's craft. Examining real and imagined oppositions between past and present, ancient and modern, oral and written history, _History and Memory_ reveals the strands of continuity that have characterized historiography from ancient Mesopotamia to modern Europe.
Investigation and analysis of the history of the concepts employed in contemporary philosophy of mind could significantly change the contemporary debate about the explainability of consciousness. Philosophical investigation of the history of the concept of qualia and the concept of scientific explanation most often presupposed in contemporary discussions of consciousness reveals the origin of both concepts in some of the most interesting philosophical debates of the twentieth century. In particular, a historical investigation of the inheritance of concepts of (...) the elements of experience and the nature of scientific explanation from C. I. Lewis and Rudolf Carnap to contemporary theorists like David Chalmers shows the profound continuity of these concepts throughout the analytic tradition, despite important changes in the dimensions of philosophical relevance and significance that have characterized the emerging debate. I argue that, despite the significant methodological shift from the foundationalist epistemology of the 1920s to today's functionalist explanations of the mind, the problem of explaining consciousness has remained the problem of analysing or describing the logical and relational structure of immediate, given experience. Appreciation of this historical continuity of form recommends a more explicit discussion of the philosophical reasons for the underlying distinction between structure and content, reasons that trace to Lewis and Carnap's influential but seldom-discussed understanding of the relationship between subjectivity, conceived as the realm of private, ineffable contents, and objectivity, understood as public, linguistic expressibility. With this historical background in mind, the contemporary debate about the explanation of consciousness can be re-interpreted as a debate about the relationship between ineffable experience and structurally conceived meaning. (shrink)
_God and Morality_ evaluates the ethical theories of four principle philosophers, Aristotle, Duns Scotus, Kant, and R.M. Hare. Uses their thinking as the basis for telling the story of the history and development of ethical thought more broadly Focuses specifically on their writings on virtue, will, duty, and consequence Concentrates on the theistic beliefs to highlight continuity of philosophical thought.
The first comprehensive survey of Islamic philosophy from the seventh century to the present, this classic discusses Islamic thought and its effect on the cultural aspects of Muslim life. Fakhry shows how Islamic philosophy has followed from the earliest times a distinctive line of development, which gives it the unity and continuity that are the marks of the great intellectual movements of history.
This history of human origin studies covers a wide range of disciplines. This important new study analyses a number of key episodes from palaeolithic archaeology, palaeoanthropology, primatology and evolutionary theory in terms of various ideas on how one should go about such reconstructions and what, if any, the uses of such historiographical exercises can be for current research in these disciplines. Their carefully argued point is that studying the history of palaeoanthropological thinking about the past can enhance the (...) quality of current research on human origins. The main issues in the present volume are the uses of disciplinary history in terms of present-day research concerns, the relative weight of cultural and other 'external' contexts, and continuity and change in theoretical perspectives. The book's overall approach is an epistemological one. It does not, in other words, primarily address anthropological data as such, but our ways of handling such data in terms of our most fundamental, but usually quite implicit theoretical presuppositions. (shrink)