This work should be quite useful as a problem guide to phenomenalist and dualist metaphysics. Professor Yolton is concerned that any system be read both from an internal and an external perspective keeping them as separate and distinct as possible. He also cautions that the external perspective should not presuppose another metaphysic for that has often resulted in gross misreadings of earlier authors. In the first section of the book, phenomenalism, he shows how, for example, D. M. Armstrong and G. (...) Warnock have misread Berkeley and attacks G. Warnock and J. Austin's principle which rules out use of a technical irreducible language by philosophers. Solipsism and idealism as well as Berkeley's sensory phenomenalism are treated. In the second section of the book, dualism, Professor Yolton argues that some "transcendent Meaning Principle" is necessary to make the non-sensual side of dualism intelligible, outlines Plato's dualism as against Protagorian monism, indicates what he considers B. Russell's dualism and tries to show that Russell's treatment of one side is partially completed by C. I. Lewis' treatment of what Professor Yolton considers the other side. In the third section on meaning and truth he tries to establish 1) that there is a large measure of intranslatability between philosophical systems; 2) that meaning involves referrent necessarily; 3) that truth is defined by ontological rules; and 4) that correspondence is the basic truth-relation. Brief discussion is given of certain aspects of the works of P. Strawson, B. Russell, J. S. Mill, G. Ryle, W. V. O. Quine, Meinong, and Eric Tom. Slightly over half of this book is comprised of papers, some slightly modified, published from 1949 to 1961.--J. B. L. (shrink)
This collection, with an agreeable proportion of new material and a sensible selection of old, is worth the money and ought to be on the shelf of anyone interested in recent work on language by philosophers, psychologists, and linguists. The section by linguists proper is the longer and more up to date but this seems quite in order: today neither work in philosophy nor psychology can provide a plausible center-of-attention that will take in the other and linguistics as flanking material. (...) For better and worse linguistics is the centerpiece: and the debate between "interpretive" and "generative" semanticists, here respectively represented by Chomsky and George Lakoff, is the center, most likely, of the centerpiece. The generative semanticists suggest that the base and semantic components ultimately come to the same: the distinction between syntactic rules and semantic rules is presumed as in the Chomskian position but it is thought that the algorithm of wellformedness will turn out to provide all the rules needed for semantic interpretation. The interpretive semantic alternative, here argued by Chomsky in a paper otherwise difficult to obtain except in mimeo, distinguishes semantic from base component by insisting, particularly in matters respecting reference and quantification, that transformations are not meaning-invariant, and that, hence, the semantic component is fed by both the base and surface structures independently. To put the interpretive view in terms of Tarski-cum-Davidsonian biconditionals, we would no longer have on the left side of the biconditional one ’structural-descriptive’ string but rather two separate strings, one surface and the other deep, that would jointly and independently determine meaning. The generative semanticists, following James McCawley, stress that their argument against autonomous deep syntax follows in form Morris Halle’s well-known argument against a phonemic level of description supposed intermediate between superficial surface syntax and systematic phonetics. The basic question one raises against this argument is whether logico-semantic form constitutes itself for linguistic science as one level of description and as an essentially linguistic level of description. One can see an obvious place for philosophers in these arguments, though one finds in this volume very little suggestion of philosophical-semantic work, in the Frege-Carnap tradition, that Donald Davidson, Richard Montague, John Wallace, etc., have been carrying on lately. There is a previously unpublished paper by David Wiggins in this vein, but though Wiggins is his usual brilliant and playfully convoluted self, this is too idiosyncratic and occasional a piece to represent what is by way of a movement. Indeed, aside from the Wiggins-Alston material, the philosopher’s section is solid but familiar material: H. P. Grice’s famous paper on meaning and Paul Ziff’s criticism of Grice’s theory; Gilbert Harman’s "Three Levels of Meaning"; late-1960s papers by Donnellan, Linsky, Quine, Strawson, Vendler, and Searle on reference. But this aside this volume vividly makes the point that philosophy and linguistics have never been more entangled with each other in a genuine working relationship. Chomsky’s arguments come in part from recent philosopher’s work. There is evident concern by linguists with presuppositions and performatives. "Fact," an important and not easily available paper by Paul and Carol Kilparski, sparks the philosophic imagination—as do new pieces on lexical entries, semantic features, and categories by Charles Fillmore, Manfried Bierwisch, and others. Almost enough to justify J. L. Austin’s hopes for a joint endeavor of linguists, philosophers, and psychologists: one sees in the footnotes and bibliographies, in the issue and vocabulary, that disciplines are joining and reflecting upon each other in day-to-day work. The psychology section also contains one large new piece: a splendidly energetic defense of linguistic behaviorism by Charles Osgood. One finds balance for this in Jerry Fodor’s "Could meaning be an rm?" And some good, current, and often not easily available material by George Miller, Eric Lennberg, and others. The "overviews" for the various sections are quite distinguished themselves: but this is only in keeping with general character of this reader.—J. L. (shrink)
When Kepler concluded that the orbit of Mars was not a circle, he was led to the belief that the orbit was an oval touching the circle at the apsides and lying within the circle at other points. In the definition of the oval, physical hypotheses played a primary role. Two forces were involved; a tractive force arising from the effect of the solar rays rotating with the sun, and a directing force arising from a natural instinct of the planet (...) itself. The former pushed the planet along the orbit while the latter enabled the planet to steer itself across the stream of the solar vortex in a small epicycle. In adopting this physical theory to determine the oval, Kepler was led into what he himself described as ‘a new labyrinth’. After several attempts to construct the oval, and by progressively eliminating the sources of error from his calculating procedures in order to arrive at an accurate mathematical formulation of the physical hypotheses, he was able to conclude that the oval was inconsistent with the empirical data and the physical theory in need of modification. (shrink)
The language of “participant-driven research,” “crowdsourcing” and “citizen science” is increasingly being used to encourage the public to become involved in research ventures as both subjects and scientists....
When Bouvet discovered the relationship between the binary arithmetic of Leibniz and the hexagrams of the I ching—in reality only a purely formal correspondence—he sent to Leibniz a woodcut diagram of the Fu-Hsi arrangement, which provides the key to the analogy. This diagram, in a re-drawn version, was first published by Gorai Kinzō in a study of Leibniz's interpretation of the I ching and Confucianism which has been influential in providing, indirectly, the principal source for the accounts of Wilhelm and (...) Needham. Yet this pioneering study of Leibniz's interpretation of the hexagrams is virtually unknown. Even the account of Needham, who saved it from complete obscurity, contains one or two inaccuracies about it and these are repeated by Zacher in his otherwise excellent monograph on Leibniz's binary arithmetic. (shrink)
Soon after receiving Bouvet's interpretation of the hexagrams of the I ching as binary numbers, Leibniz communicated this application of his binary arithmetic to Hans Sloane in a letter published here for the first time. The letter also included a report on the observations of the variable star in the neck of the Swan by Gottfried Kirch. Sloane sent a copy of the scientific parts of the letter to Flamsteed.