I am grateful to Dirk Moses for taking the time to study my work so assiduously and to comment on it so perspicuously. His essay is eminently well-informed and even-handed, and I have little to add to or correct of his characterization of my many, long on-going, and admittedly flawed attempts to deconstruct modern historical discourse. He understands me well enough and I think that I understand his objections to my position. We do not disagree on matters of fact, (...) I think, but we have different notions about the nature of historical discourse and the uses to which historical knowledge can properly be put. (shrink)
Review of: Marinus Dirk Stafleu. Theories at Work: On the Structure and Functioning of Theories in Science, in Particular during the Copernican Revolution. (Christian Studies Today.) 310 pp., bibl., index. Lanham, Md./New York: University Press of America, 1987; Toronto: Institute for Christian Studies, 1987. $28.75 (cloth); $16.50 (paper).
Volume 1 of this biography of L. E. J. Brouwer was published in 1999.1 The volume under review here covers the period from the early nineteen twenties until Brouwer's death in 1966. It also includes a short epilogue that discusses the disposition of Brouwer's estate after his death, his influence on others, the paths of some of his students and colleagues, and other matters. Van Dalen notes in the Preface that in preparing this volume he consulted some historical studies that (...) appeared after the first volume was published. He also used new material from various archives. The biography contains interesting quotations from unpublished materials in the Brouwer Archive and from correspondence. The bibliographical references to Brouwer's publications, it should be noted, are somewhat different in this volume. This volume, like the first, contains some nice photographs and reproductions. I noted that there were many typographical errors in the earlier book but Volume 2 is relatively free of them.As is the case in Volume 1, the discussion of Brouwer's mathematical and philosophical work is woven into the narrative of Brouwer's life and times. The story in this volume starts with Brouwer's first contacts with Paul Alexandrov and Paul Urysohn in 1923. The interaction began when Urysohn announced that he had found a mistake in Brouwer's definition of dimension in Brouwer's 1913 paper on natural dimension. Was it just a slip of the pen, as Brouwer always maintained, or something more substantial? Urysohn and Alexandrov ultimately came to agree with Brouwer on the matter, and Urysohn was prepared to grant Brouwer priority for the definition of dimension. There were, however, ups and downs along the way. Karl Menger, through his own work in topology and dimension theory, soon got into the picture, and Brouwer and Menger were to …. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to shed some light on the distinction between justified and unjustified religious diversity, a problem that Dirk-Martin Grube only hinted at in his article ‘Justified Religious Difference.’ This article’s focus is not so much on the epistemological question of justifying religious difference, but on how to deal with it in the societal sphere. This implies that religions and religious diversity will be approached from a practical perspective, that is, as ways of life. I (...) start by examining the opportunities and problems of religious diversity, opposing a universalist and a particularist view on this issue. Religious difference is an opportunity, because it is intertwined with creativity and innovation, but it is also a problem, because it confronts us with incompatible judgments, irreconcilable values, and contrary principles. Notwithstanding the legitimate objections that can be raised against the particularist position, the above observations seriously undermine Grube’s idea that the distinction between justified and unjustified religious difference can be made unambiguously, because of the heterogeneous character of the idea of justification itself. In order to deal with this issue, I propose a re-examination of the idea of tolerance, defined as a virtue: I disapprove of your manner of living, but I respect in it your liberty to live as you please and I recognize your right to manifest it publicly. But this virtue makes only sense against the background of the intolerable, which is the translation of the idea of unjustified religious difference into the language of the public debate. This idea serves as an always fragile limit to tolerance. (shrink)
Jonathan Wolff is Professor of Philosophy at University College London. He is the author of Robert Nozick (1991), An Introduction to Political Philosophy (1996) and Why Read Marx Today (2002). He is currently working on a number of topics at the intersection of political philosophy and public policy.
This paper responds to an essay by Dirk-Martin Grube published in this same journal issue. Special attention is drawn to issues such as tolerance, respect, and the recognition of otherness regarding religious beliefs. Grube interestingly suggests that the focus on religious truth should be replaced by a focus on justification. Some critical remarks on these suggestions are made.
In my response to Dirk Greimann I maintain that whereas one can recognize some specific appeals to “parsimony” or “simplicity” in the sciences and in philosophy as correct and legitimate, there is no precise adequate formulation of Ockham’s razor as a general methodological principle, and argue that the formulations he examines in his paper exemplify this imprecision.Em minha réplica à Dirk Greimann mantenho que mesmo sendo possível reconhecer certos apelos à “parcimônia” e à “simplicidade” nas ciências e na (...) filosofia como corretos e legítimos, não há uma formulação precisa e adequada da navalha de Occam como princípio metodológico geral, e argumento que as formulações examinadas em seu artigo exemplificam esta imprecisão. (shrink)
In §1 I discuss the pragmatic and semantic objections that Dirk raises against the claim that sentences refer to states of affairs. In §2 I explain in which sense I maintain that true sentences identify states of affairs.
After discussing the nature of toleration, giving a brief history of the emergence of religious toleration in the West, and presenting my understanding of religion, I develop what I call ‘the dignity argument’ for religious toleration: to fail to tolerate a person’s religion is to treat that person in a way that does not befit their dignity. And to treat them in a way that does not befit their dignity is to wrong them, to treat them unjustly.
To what end should or do we pursue philosophy and how? Meta-philosophical questions along these lines have gained more and more interest recently. The collected volume "Erkenntnistheorie — Wie und wozu?" (Engl.: "Epistemology — How and to what end?") aspires to raise and tackle issues addressing the meta-epistemological questions "How is epistemology practiced and to what end?". Although this aim sounds like a descriptive meta-epistemological endeavor, it is not surprising that many authors rather argue for normative claims surrounding the questions (...) "How and to what end should epistemology be pursued?". This review provides an overview on the collected volume and offers a critical evaluation of its overall achievement. (shrink)