It is proposed that the physical structure of an observer in quantum mechanics is constituted by a pattern of elementary localized switching events. A key preliminary step in giving mathematical expression to this proposal is the introduction of an equivalence relation on sequences of spacetime sets which relates a sequence to any other sequence to which it can be deformed without change of causal arrangement. This allows an individual observer to be associated with a ﬁnite structure. The identiﬁcation of suitable (...) switching events in the human brain is discussed. A deﬁnition is given for the sets of sequences of quantum states which such an observer could occupy. Finally, by providing an a priori probability for such sets, the deﬁnitions are incorporated into a complete mathematical framework for a many-worlds interpretation. At a less ambitious level, the paper can be read as an exploration of some of the technical and conceptual diﬃculties involved in constructing such a framework. (shrink)
Process philosophy is said by some to be the future of American philosophy. This collection of essays, ranging from studies of Whitehead to Camus and Sir Muhammad Iqbal, extends the discussion far beyond the boundaries of North America. Several of the essays are of a more systematic character. Donald Hanks analyzes the category of process as a pre-conceptual principle used to organize experience into an intelligible pattern. Andrew Reck provides an analysis of the meaning and justification of what he (...) considers to be the ten ideas or categories requisite for a system of process philosophy. Charles Schmidtke argues that process philosophy faces a fundamental decision regarding whether the character of reality as process is given as an ultimate datum or whether process philosophy structures reality in accordance with the characteristic of creative becoming. Other essays in the volume are concerned with the concept of process in the work of a variety of philosophers, some of whom are less directly in the process tradition. Ramona Cormier analyzes the relationship of the process of experience to its unchanging aspect in connection with Camus’ concern for the meaningfulness of life and the limitations of rational inquiry. Bertrand P. Helm provides a study of James’ concept of time and Patrick S. Madigan a study of the concept of space in Leibniz and Whitehead. Whitehead’s understanding of the interaction of things provides the basis for R. Kirby Godsey’s study of the categories of substance and relation in Whitehead, and Robert C. Whittemore provides an introduction to the process philosophy of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, the little known poet-philosopher and sometime student of James Ward. James Leroy Smith’s article on Whitehead and Marx is a critical comparison of their political philosophies.—E.T.L. (shrink)
Dedicated to Philipp Frank and containing introductory greetings to Frank by some of his more illustrious pupils and colleagues, the essays in this volume cover the proceedings of the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science, 1962-1964. The essays deal with most of the important problems in the philosophy of science from physics to the biological sciences and psychology, and include approaches from diverse traditions: Whiteheadian, Scientific Realism, Thomistic, Phenomenological, as well as historical approaches. High points were McMullin's "From Matter (...) to Mass," which contained a highly sensitive analysis of the Aristotelian doctrine of prime matter; Sellars's "The Identity Approach to the Mind-Body Problem"; Capek's "The Myth of Frozen Passage," which very ably took to task some historical and theoretical overextensions of Relativity Theory and spatializations of time which have resulted in the Block-Universe theory: the fact that Donald Williams commented on Capek's paper made it all the more interesting as it was William's theory in particular that was under attack. The best part of the book, however, was an approximately one hundred page exchange on the nature of scientific explanation which included a lead paper by J. J. C. Smart and lengthy commentaries by Sellars, Putnam, and Feyerabend. The issue, in part, was the radical-replaceability-of-frameworks theory of Feyerabend versus the gradual-replacement theory of Sellars.—E. A. R. (shrink)
WILLIAM B. EWALD, From Kant to Hubert. A source book in the foundations of mathematics. Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1997. Two volumes, xviii + 1340pp. £175.00. ISBN 0 19 853271 7 DONALD GILLIES, Artificial Intelligence and Scientific Method. Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1996. xiii+176pp. £35.00 /£ 11.99. ISBN 0 19 875158 3/875159 1 N. VASSALLO, La depsicologizzazione délia logica. Un confronto tra Boole e Frege. Milano:Franco Angeli, 1995. 310 pp. 34,000 L G. SCHURZ, The Is-Ought Problem :An Investigation in Philosophical Logic. Dordrecht, (...) Boston and London : Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997. x + 332 pp. $120/£72.00. ISBN 0792344103. (shrink)
Donald Davidson foi um dos filósofos mais influentes da tradição analítica da segunda metade do século. A unidade de sua obra é constituída pelo papel central que reflexão sobre como podemos interpretar os proferimentos de um outro falante desempenha para a compreensão da natureza do significado. Davidson adota o ponto de vista metodológico de um intérprete que não pode pressupor nada sobre o significado das palavras de um falante e que não possui nenhum conhecimento detalhado de suas atitudes proposicionais. (...) Neste artigo, eu apresento inicialmente a estrutura e os pressupostos da filosofia da linguagem de Davidson; passo depois a uma discussão sobre a importância do princípio de caridade para seu projeto interpretativo e, por fim, procuro apontar as diferenças do projeto de Davidson com a hermenêutica filosófica. PALAVRAS-CHAVE – Interpretação radical. Princípio de caridade. Hermenêutica. ABSTRACT Donald Davidson was one of the most influential philosophers in the analytic tradition in the last half of the twenthy century. The unity of his work lies in the central role that the reflection on how we are able to interpret the speech of another plays in undestanding the nature of meaning. Davidson adopts the standpoint of the interpreter of the speech of another whose evidence does not, at the outset, pressupose anything about what the speaker’s words mean or any datailed knowledge of his propositional attitudes. This is the position of the radical interpreter. In this paper, I begin with an account of the assumptions and structure of Davidson’s philosophy of language; after this I discuss the philosophical importance of the principle of charity for the theory of radical interpretation and, at the end, I compare Davidson’s interpretative project to the philosophical hermeneutic. KEY WORDS – Radical interpretation. Principle of charity. Hermeneutics. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to match anomalous monism with some of Donald Davidson's theories about metaphorical meaning. In particular, I will use anomalous monism to justify Davidson's scepticism toward the paraphrase and to suggest an insight of the metaphor from the speaker's side, in contrast with the whole Davidson's theory of meaning, formulated – as is well known – from the interpreter's side.
The thesis evaluates a contemporary debate concerning the very possibility of thinking about the world. In the first chapter, McDowell's critique of Davidson is presented, focusing on the coherentism defended by the latter. The critique of the myth of the given (as it appears in Sellars and Wittgenstein), as well as the necessity of a minimal empiricism (which McDowell finds in Quine and Kant), lead to an oscillation in contemporary thinking between two equally unsatisfactory ways of understanding the empirical content (...) of thought. In the second chapter, I defend Davidson's approach, focusing on his theory of interpretation and semantic externalism, as well as on the relation between causes and reasons. In the third chapter, the debate is analyzed in more detail. I criticize the anomalous monism, the way in which the boundaries between the conceptual and the non-conceptual are understood by Davidson, as well as the naturalized Platonism defended by McDowell. This thesis is mainly negative, and it concludes by revealing problems in both positions under evaluation. (shrink)
La concepción davidsoniana de la metáfora representa un quiebre radical respecto de la visión aristotélica tradicional, que ha sido la más influyente hasta nuestros días. Mientras para Aristóteles lo metafórico es un fenómeno semántico, para Davidson lo metafórico pertenece al campo de la pragmática. En este artículo el A. desea presentar la concepción davidsoniana de la metáfora para desde allí desarrollar algunas consecuencias en torno al significado y la interpretación. "La metáfora es el trabajo de sueño del lenguaje", dice Davidson, (...) y es esto lo que gobierna tanto la adquisición como el crecimiento del lenguaje. La metáfora puede ser entendida como el paradigma del cambio conceptual y la creación de significado. (shrink)