The paper aims to investigate some aspects of Ernst Mach’s epistemology in the light of the problem of human orientation in relation to the world (Weltorientierung), which is a main topic of Western philosophy since Kant. As will be argued, Mach has been concerned with that problem, insofar as he developed an original pragmatist epistemology. In order to support my argument, I firstly investigate whether Mach defended a nominalist or a realist account of knowledge and compare his view to (...) those elaborated by other pragmatist thinkers, such as W. James, H. Vaihinger and H. Poincaré. Secondly, the question of what does it mean, for Mach, to orient ourselves in science is addressed. Finally, it will be argued that, although Mach tried to keep his epistemology restricted to a mere operational and economical account of science, that question involves the wider plane of practical philosophy. (shrink)
Aesthetics versus Art History? Ernst Cassirer as Mediator in an ongoing Controversy on the Relevance of Art for Life. Against the background of Ernst Cassirer’s cultural philosophy, art studies are to be classified as cultural studies. Central to this is Cassirer’s philosophy as the basis for answering a question that has been posed by the methods of formal aesthetics and iconology since the 19th century but is still unanswered today, namely the question of the relevance of the arts (...) for life. In this way, aesthetics/Kunstwissenschaft and art history gain a new meaning as cultural studies beyond their achievements in the humanities and in epistemology. (shrink)
L'articolo si propone di accostarsi alla figura di Ernst Mach seguendo la stessa metodologia storico-critica da lui utilizzata. Essa permette di contestualizzarne la figura e l'opera in un momento significativo della storia della filosofia occidentale, ma anche di ridefinire alcuni concetti fondamentali del suo pensiero. Scopo ulteriore della ricerca è di osservare da una diversa prospettiva la questione relativa al valore filosofico del lavoro epistemologico di Mach, mostrando come esso possa essere affermato senza bisogno di uscire dai confini da (...) lui stesso tracciati. (shrink)
What are the Objects of Perception? Ernst Cassirer’s Response to Analytic Theories of Perception. On the basis of its third volume, the Phenomenology of Knowledge (1929), Cassirer’s principal work, the Philosophy of Symbolic Forms (1923-29), can be read as a phenomenology of perception. That is to say, Cassirer not only starts from the fact of multiple forms of cultural expression to reconstruct their transcendental conditions of objectification, but at once to trace their underlying forms of perceptive subjectivity. Hence, a (...) holistic theory of subjective and objective spirit, to which Cassirer’s philosophy boils down, moves between exactly those two poles of perception and cultural expression. Starting from this interpretation, the article asks for the possibility to contribute to criticism towards recent theories of perception within the tradition of analytic philosophy. At the heart of things is the question: what should we actually conceive as the objects of perception? Inmost of its debates, analytic philosophy finds itself in the stranglehold of an internalism-externalism- dichotomy, that rests upon an unsettled understanding of objectivity. By contrast, Cassirer’s understanding of objectivity as objectification allows us to reformulate the question of the objects of perception, and hence to undermine the above dichotomy. The main points of reference of the critical examination are Peter Strawson’s Perception and its Objects (1979) and Tim Crane’s What is the Problem of Perception (2005). It will be shown that the foundation of Cassirer’s theory of perception, the distinction between perception of things and perception of expression, provides exactly the critical capability to move on from Crane’s contemporary diagnosed unsatisfactory alternative between disjunctivism and intentionalism which amounts to a new version of the controversy between direct realism and sense-data-theories in the twentieth century. Cassirer’s theory enables one to reconcile the directedness of perception with the representational capacities of the human mind. (shrink)
Ernst Mayr''s distinction between ultimate and proximate causes is justly considered a major contribution to philosophy of biology. But how did Mayr come to this philosophical distinction, and what role did it play in his earlier scientific work? I address these issues by dividing Mayr''s work into three careers or phases: 1) Mayr the naturalist/researcher, 2) Mayr the representative of and spokesman for evolutionary biology and systematics, and more recently 3) Mayr the historian and philosopher of biology. If we (...) want to understand the role of the proximate/ultimate distinction in Mayr''s more recent career as a philosopher and historian, then it helps to consider hisearlier use of the distinction, in the course of his research, and in his promotion of the professions of evolutionary biology and systematics. I believe that this approach would also shed light on some other important philosophical positions that Mayr has defended, including the distinction between essentialism: and population thinking. (shrink)
This paper is about the reception of Ernst Mach by Brentano and his students in Austria. I shall outline the main elements of this reception, starting with Brentano’s evaluation, in his lectures on positivism, of Mach’s theory of sensations. Secondly, I shall comment the early reception of Mach by Brentano’s pupils in Prague. The third part bears on the close relationship that Husserl established between his phenomenology and Mach’s descriptivism. I will then briefly examine Mach’s contribution to the controversy (...) on gestalt qualities. The fifth part bears on Stumpf’s debate with Mach on psychophysical relations and I shall conclude on Husserl’s criticism of Mach’s alleged logical psychologism. (shrink)
The subject of the paper is a polemic between Leonard Nelson and Ernst Cassirer mainly concerning the understanding of the critical method in philosophy. Nelson refutes the accusation of psychologism and attacks the core of the philosophy of the Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism. In response to those allegations, Cassirer feels obliged to defend the position of his masters and performs this task brilliantly. The present paper considers similarities and differences in the positions of both sides in this debate. I (...) try to evaluate the arguments of both sides and argue that they took basically the same positions, while the existing discrepancies did not justify such an intense polemic. If the disputing sides had approached the discussion in a less emotional way, it could have led to substantive and interesting conclusions. (shrink)
Ernst Mayr''s scientific career continues strongly 70 years after he published his first scientific paper in 1923. He is primarily a naturalist and ornithologist which has influenced his basic approach in science and later in philosophy and history of science. Mayr studied at the Natural History Museum in Berlin with Professor E. Stresemann, a leader in the most progressive school of avian systematics of the time. The contracts gained through Stresemann were central to Mayr''s participation in a three year (...) expedition to New Guinea and The Solomons, and the offer of a position in the Department of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History, beginning in 1931. At the AMNH, Mayr was able to blend the best of the academic traditions of Europe with those of North America in developing a unified research program in biodiversity embracing systematics, biogeography and nomenclature. His tasks at the AMNH were to curate and study the huge collections amassed by the Whitney South Sea Expedition plus the just purchased Rothschild collection of birds. These studies provided Mayr with the empirical foundation essential for his 1942Systematics and the Origin of Species and his subsequent theoretical work in evolutionary biology as well as all his later work in the philosophy and history of science. Without a detailed understanding of Mayr''s empirical systematic and biogeographic work, one cannot possibly comprehend fully his immense contributions to evolutionary biology and his later analyses in the philosophy and history of science. (shrink)
The correspondence between Edgar Anderson and Ernst Mayr leading into their 1941 Jesup Lectures on “Systematics and the Origin of Species” addressed population thinking, the nature of species, the relationship of microevolution to macroevolution, and the evolutionary dynamics of plants and animals, all central issues in what came to be known as the Evolutionary Synthesis. On some points, they found ready agreement; for others they forged only a short term consensus. They brought two different working styles to this project (...) reflecting their different appreciations of what was possible at this point in evolutionary studies. For Mayr, it was a focused project with definitive short term conclusions imminent while Anderson viewed it as an episode in an ongoing historical process that, while exciting and suggestive, remained openended. Thus, Mayr and Anderson represent two distinct perspectives on the Evolutionary Synthesis in formation; by understanding both of their points of view, we can grasp more fully the state of evolutionary theory at this key moment. (shrink)
This article explores and discusses Tim Burton's film Edward Scissorhands by applying a Georg Simmel/Ernst Bloch analysis. Aside from each of the philosophical approaches serving as insightful analyses of the symbolism and narrative of the film, it is also theoretically useful to compare and unpack the similarities and differences in aspects of both Simmel's and Bloch's philosophical ideas and metaphors, influenced by their collaboratory experiences; Bloch became associated with Georg Simmel in 1908. The association and friendship with Simmel lasted (...) until 1911; at this time Bloch became increasingly disillusioned with Simmel's apparent inability to commit to any particular philosophical position. Correspondence finally drew to a close when Simmel openly supported the war policy of Imperial Germany in 1914. The influences of many of Simmel's ideas in relation to the development of Bloch's philosophy are implicitly noticeable in the cross-referencing of similar ideas, metaphors and themes. This article will suggest and tentatively work through aspects of some similarities and differences. The aim of this comparison and contrast of Simmel in relation to Bloch via Edward Scissorhands, will also serve to highlight Bloch's philosophical departure from Simmel's fragments. By exploring and discussing Simmel's essays 'The Aesthetic Significance of the Face', 'The Ruin' and 'The Stranger,' in the context of Edward Scissorhands, I will suggest that the film can be seen as a particularly poignant and effective cultural metaphor of not only the problematic nature of human ideals, but also urban ennui and disconnectedness. By comparison, the Blochian treatment of Edward Scissorhands will emphasise the Gothic, the radical stridency of Youth, and, potential utopian possibilities that are, so far, 'Not-Yet'. These frameworks will suggest that Edward Scissorhands be understood as a beautiful-monster, a cultural refraction of the utopian incognito of Not-Yet articulated future possibilities. (shrink)
In the middle of the nineteenth century, advances in experimental psychology and the physiology of the sense organs inspired so-called "Back to Kant" Neo-Kantians to articulate robustly psychologistic visions of Kantian epistemology. But their accounts of the thing in itself were fraught with deep tension: they wanted to conceive of things in themselves as the causes of our sensations, while their own accounts of causal inference ruled that claim out. This paper diagnoses the source of that problem in views of (...) one Neo-Kantian, F. A. Lange, and argues that it is solved only by Ernst Mach. No less than Lange and other Neo-Kantians, Mach was inspired to develop a psychologistic account of the foundations of knowledge, but his account also includes a coherent denial of things in themselves' existence. Finally, this paper uses this account of Lange and Mach on things in themselves to illuminate Mach's relation to a certain strain of the Neo-Kantian philosophy of his own time: his views constitute a more fully coherent version of the psychologistic theory of knowledge Back to Kant figures tried to articulate. (shrink)
Ernst H. Gombrich criticized abstract painting with several remarks scattered around his wide oeuvre. I argue that his view of abstract paintings is coherent with the account of pictorial representation he put forward in Art and Illusion, show some limits of such view, and maintain that, although several of Gombrich’s criticisms of abstract painting should be rejected, some of his remarks are insightful and worth of consideration.
Ernst Cassirer wird in diesem Buch als ein Denker vorgestellt, der geistig in der philosophischen Tradition wurzelt und sich gleichzeitig den Herausforderungen duch die europäische Moderne stellt: dem Festschreiben eines vor allem durch die Wissenschaften beglaubigten universalen Vernunftanspruchs auf der einen und der Anerkennung einer Vielfalt kultureller Welten auf der anderen Seite. Über die Analyse einiger Grundbegriffe des Cassirerschen Entwurfs einer "Philosophie der symbolischen Formen" - in die auch die Werke aus dem Nachlass Cassirers miteinbezogen werden - versucht der (...) Autor, die Spannungen sichtbar zu machen, die diesem Entwurf die Modernität geben und ihn offen machen für eine Weiterentwicklung. "Die Vielfalt der symbolischen Welten und die Einheit des Geistes", "der Werkbegriff im Denken Cassirers", "Ausdruck und symbolische Prägnanz", "die ethische Dimension des symbolischen Handelns", "das Denken der Renaissance und die Wurzeln der Moderne", sind die Titel, unter denen - von einer bestimmten Seite aus - jeweils ein Blick auf das Ganze des Cassirerschen Denksn gewonnen werden soll. Dass dieses Ganze kein geschlossenes "System" sein, sondern Wege zum Verstehen unserer geistigen und kulturellen SDituation freilegen will, zeigt der Autor in einer abschließenden Analyse, die auch die Bedeutung des Cassirerschen Entwurfs für die philosophische Diskussion der Gegenwart darzulegen versucht. (shrink)
Ernst Mayr''s historical writings began in 1935 with his essay Bernard Altum and the territory theory and have continued up through his monumentalGrowth of Biological Thought (1982) and hisOne Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought (1991). Sweeping in their scope, forceful in their interpretation, enlisted on behalf of the clarification of modern concepts and of a broad view of biology, these writings provide both insights and challenges for the historian of biology. Mayr''s general intellectual (...) formation was guided by the GermanBildung ideal, with its emphasis on synthetic and comprehensive knowledge. His understanding of how to write history was inspired further by the example of the historian of ideas Arthur Lovejoy. Some strengths and limitations of this approach are explored here through attention to Mayr''s treatment of the French biologist J.-B. Lamarck. It is contended that Mayr''s contributions to the history of biology are not restricted to his own very substantial historical writings but also include his encouragement of other scholars, his development of an invaluable archive of scientific correspondence, and his insistence that historians who write about evolution and related subjects acquire an adequate understanding of the principles of Darwinian biology. (shrink)
In seiner Kritik der naturwissenschaftlichen Erkenntnis besteht Troeltschs Leistung darin, eine traditionelle Begrifflichkeit unter schon gewandelten Bedingungen auf die Reichweite ihrer Anwendbarkeit hin zu hinterfragen. Ich werde im ersten Teil den von ihm konstruierten Gegensatz von Natur und Geschichte thesenhaft skizzieren, soweit er im ersten Kapitel von »Der Historismus und seine Probleme« ausgeführt ist (1.). In einem zweiten Teil möchte ich dann einige Elemente hervorheben, die zur Vermittlung des Entgegengesetzten geeignet sind, ohne zu dessen Aufhebung zu führen. Sie verweisen auf (...) philosophische Gehalte, die in ein Natur und Geschichte umfassendes System der Erkenntnis aufzunehmen wären (2.). (shrink)
In his Contributions to the Analysis of the Sensations (Mach 1885) the phenomenalist philosopher Ernst Mach confronts us with a difficulty: “If we regard the Ego as a real unity, we become involved in the following dilemma: either we must set over against the Ego a world of unknowable entities […] or we must regard the whole world, the Egos of other people included, as comprised in our own Ego.” (Mach 1885: 21) In other words, if we start from (...) a phenomenalist viewpoint, i.e., if we believe that the manifold of sensations we are confronted with is ontologically fundamental —as Mach clearly does: “For us, colors, sounds, spaces, times,… are the ultimate ele-ments” (Mach 1885: 23)—then we are in danger to end up in solipsism. Unless, that is, we assume that some underlying thing-in-itself substratum from which matter, we ourselves, and all the others emanate. The only other alter-native seems to be—and Mach advertises it vehemently for he denies any “mons-trous notion of a thing-in-itself” (Mach 1885: 6)1—that we get rid of the Ego. For, if there is no Self in the first place, then the question whether there are others dissolves. To put it the other way round, it is ok that the others do not exist because, really, I do not exist either. If the Ego is a Myth solipsism is not just wrong but nonsense. There are two questions this paper wishes to address: first, do we need independent additional support for the denial of the Self or is the avoidance of solipsism reason enough to assume the Ego’s non-existence? I will argue that we do need additional reasons and I will evaluate those that Mach indeed gives to prove that “the primary fact is not the I, the Ego, but the elements (sensations)” (Mach 1885: 19). Second, is the deconstruction of the I, even if further sufficient support can be found, really adequate to stop us from worrying about solipsism? The doubt I will put forward is that the illusion of a Self might conjure up enough of an Ego—just like feeling a pain is having a pain, even if it is located in a phantom limb—to start us wondering whether it also occurs elsewhere. (shrink)
In the early 1930s, Franz Rosenzweig’s work was celebrated, criticized and questioned for its relevance within the specific cultural, religious and philosophical preoccupations of the inhabitants of pre-state Israel. This could be seen in nuce at the opening of the Schocken Library in Jerusalem in December 1936 that was marked by a celebratory conference dedicated to the memory of Franz Rosenzweig. The evening featured a collection of four lectures held in Hebrew by eminent German-Jewish scholars: Ernst Simon, Julius Guttmann, (...) Hugo Bergmann and Gershom Scholem. Simon and Scholem’s lectures in particular put forward two strikingly different views on Rosenzweig’s possible Nachleben in the yishuv. The article is followed by Scholem’s hitherto unpublished lecture and Simon’s German summary of his own contribution that evening. (shrink)
The fruitful intellectual exchange between Aby Warburg and Ernst Cassirer revolves around the concept of “symbolic function”. In particular, the concept of function that emerges from Cassirer’s early volume, Substance and Function, can be applied to the analysis of the compositional principle that gives shape to the architecture of Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas.
Sensationalistic Phenomenalism and Economy of Thought. On Ernst Mach's Concept of Science. Ernst Mach, natural scientist and major precursor of the Vienna Circle, never wants to be a philosopher. Nevertheless his writings are full of valuable hints for a modern theory of human knowledge – with respect to economical, historical and evolutionary aspects. His kind of phenomenalism is sensationalistic, monistic and instrumentalistic. This article deals with some contributions of his approach to actual debates in the general philosophy of (...) science. (shrink)
Ernst Bloch is perhaps best known for his subtle and imaginative investigation of utopias and utpoianism, but his work also provides a comprehensive and insightful analysis of Western culture, politics and society. Yet, because he has not been one of the easiest writers to read, his full contribution has not been widely acknowledged. In this critical and accessible introduction to one of the most fascinating thinkers of the twentieth century, Vincent Geoghegan unravels much of the mystery of the man (...) and his ideas. (shrink)
This paper aims to reconstruct Ernst Cassirer’s theory of art against the backdrop of the systematic question of what overall contribution art can make to man’s relation to the world. It will be shown that for Cassirer, the productive benefit of art is essentially developing new sensuous skills of perception when dealing with art. In Essay on Man Cassirer gives three central determinations to sketch out this idea. This paper argues, that in order to render Cassirer’s concept of productive (...) art intelligible, one has to show these determinations as conceptually interrelated. Moreover, based on these three determinations this paper outlines three criteria that a satisfactory concept of productive art has to meet. (shrink)
Purpose: At Silvio Ceccato’s suggestion, I invited Ernst von Glasersfeld to the “Séminaire Leibniz” which took place in Brussels, in February 1961. The paper he delivered then, Operational Semantics: Analysis of Meaning in Terms of Operations, was included in a Euratom internal report and is published here for the first time. Conclusion: These early works clearly show von Glasersfeld’s methodological and philosophical coherence as well as his faithfulness to Ceccato’s endeavour.
Purpose: Appreciating the relationship between Sylvio Ceccato and Ernst von Glasersfeld, both as people and in their work. Approach: historical and personal accounts, archeological approach to written evidence. Findings: Ceccato’s work is introduced to an English speaking audience, and the roots of Glasersfeld’s work in Ceccato’s is explored. Flaws in Ceccato’s approach are indicated, together with how Glasersfeld’s work overcomes these, specially in language and automatic translation, and what became Radical Constructivism. Conclusion: Glasersfeld willingly acknowledges Ceccato, who he still (...) refers to as the Master. But Ceccato’s work is little known, specially in the English speaking world. The introduction, critique and delineation of extension and resolution of Ceccato’s ideas in Glasersfeld’s work is the intended value of the paper. (shrink)
I shall write about my first meeting with Ernst von Glasersfeld, and how his comments then on my doctoral study continue to help me clarify what it is I am trying to talk about; how he challenged me to pursue what has turned out to be my life’s work so far; and about how these seem to me now to fit in with that constellation of ideas.
This article examines two Buddhist explanations of how a conceptual cognition, whose object is a universal, can give rise to activity that leads to a particular. In both theories, that of Dharmottara and that of Ratnakīrti, this activity is due to a kind of error. A detailed investigation of how this error happens shows that there were big differences in the two underlying epistemological models.
Ernst Mayr is a well-known biologist and philosopher in the twentieth century. Being a biologist, he is an important person in constructing the synthesis theory of evolution; being a philosopher, he has advocated a new philosophy, which, he claims, synthesizes the achievement of different biologies and physics, while at the same time getting rid of the influences of the traditional philosophy of science. In this essay, I will systematically investigate the main principles and the basic scheme of his new (...) philosophy. I find that Mayr’s new ideas of philosophy of biology can be summarized as the following five statements: The physical science is not the standard paradigm of the whole science; The historical narratives are more important than the explanation of laws; The explanation and the prediction are asymmetrical in life science; Concepts are more essential than laws in biology; There is no conflict between causality and teleonomy. (shrink)
Dharmottara, one of the most outstanding commentators of Dharmakīrti, re-uses arguments in the Pramāṇaviniścayaṭīkā, his broad commentary on Dharmakīrti’s Pramāṇaviniścaya, from his independent essay, the Kṣaṇabhaṅgasiddhi. By analyzing contents of re-used arguments in the Pramāṇaviniścayaṭīkā, this paper clarifies Dharmottara’s intention of paraphrasing his arguments in his commentarial work on Dharmakīrti. I argue that, in terms of content, such arguments are original and never fit into Dharmakīrti’s own system. It can be said that Dharmottara has a clear intention (...) to display his new innovations not only in his independent monograph, but also in his commentarial work. For Dharmottara, a commentary on Dharmakīrti is a better place than an independent monograph for showing off his advanced notions, since it is only in a commentary that his ideas can stand out directly against those of Dharmakīrti. In this sense, Dharmottara writes his commentary strategically. At the end of the article I discuss the significance of composing independent monographs or essays in the intellectual history of medieval India in the case of Dharmottara. (shrink)
Das Potenzial der Philosophie Ernst Cassirers ist keinesfalls erschöpft, sondern vielmehr in systematischer, transdisziplinärer und gesellschaftlich relevanter Perspektive anschlussfähig, um Fragestellungen der Gegenwartsphilosophie und der Wissenschaften zu begegnen. Die Cassirer-Rezeption befindet sich in dieser Hinsicht an der Schwelle des Eintritts in eine neue Phase, die im Lichte eines ‚Neulesens‘ sowie einer zunehmend globalen Vernetzung betrachtet werden kann. Von der Wissensforschung und Wahrnehmungstheorie über neue Gebiete symbolischer Formung wie Film, Geld und Virtualität bis zum spannungsreichen Verhältnis zwischen Demokratie und Mythos: (...) Die Beiträge des Bandes verstehen sich als Aktualisierung von Cassirers Philosophie der Kultur- und Wissensformen im 21. Jahrhundert. (shrink)
Ernst Mach (1838-1916) è stato una figura di riferimento per la cultura scientifica e filosofica tardo-ottocentesca e dei primi decenni del Novecento. Le sue ricerche in fisica e psicologia, così come il lavoro epistemologico che emerge dalle pagine di opere quali La meccanica nel suo sviluppo storico-critico e Conoscenza ed errore, hanno influito notevolmente su molti autori a lui contemporanei. In questi testi, Mach delinea una concezione antimetafisica del pensiero scientifico e una concezione biologico-evolutiva della conoscenza umana che si (...) ritrovano elaborate in vario modo nella teoria della relatività di A. Einstein, nell’epistemologia evoluzionistica di K. Popper e D. Campbell, nel pragmatismo di W. James e, più in generale, nelle idee che animarono il primo Circolo di Vienna. I saggi raccolti nel presente volume si propongono di commemorarne la figura e l’opera, guardando a Mach come figura di confine tra prospettive di indagine che la storia della filosofia dell’ultimo secolo ha spesso visto contrapposte. (shrink)
This paper is mainly about Brentano’s commentaries on Ernst Mach in his lectures “Contemporary philosophical questions” which he held one year before he left Austria. I will first identify the main sources of Brentano’s interests in Comte’s and J. S. Mill’s positivism during his Würzburg period. The second section provides a short overview of Brentano’s 1893-1894 lectures and his criticism of Comte, Kirchhoff, and Mill. The next sections bear on Brentano’s criticism of Mach’s monism and Brentano’s argument against the (...) reduction of the mental based on his theory of intentionality. The last section is about Brentano’s proposal to replace the identity relation in Mach’s theory of elements by that of intentional correlation. I conclude with a remark on the history of philosophy in Austria. (shrink)
Inwieweit vermag sich der ehemalige explanative Erfolg nicht mehr anerkannter Theorien auf die Geltung derjenigen Teilaussagen, die Nachfolgetheorien übernommen haben, zu stützen? Zur Klärung dieser Fragestellung können die Ergebnisse von Machs Untersuchung zur mechanistischen Auffassung des Energieerhaltungssatzes herangezogen werden. Indem er sich in seiner Kritik an den ontologischen Annahmen des Mechanismus auf die Wissenschaftsgeschichte beruft, steht er einer heutigen realismuskritischen Argumentation nahe. Andererseits mißt er den hypothesenfreien Theoriebestandteilen einen Geltungscharakter zu, der in seinem Wahrheitsanspruch durchaus mit einer heutigen realistischen Behauptung (...) theorieübergreifender Bestände der wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnis vergleichbar ist. Daß Mach mit einer quer zur gegenwärtigen Terminologie liegenden Analyse einen Beitrag zur Entschärfung gegenwärtiger Kontroversen leistet, läßt eine erneute Vergegenwärtigung der Schrift von 1872 und den sich daran anschließenden Überlegungen Machs lohnenswert erscheinen. (shrink)
This paper focuses on Ernst Mach’s theory of scientific experimentation. As I shall show, Mach presents an extraordinarily wide perspective on scientific experiments, bringing together heuristic, evolutionary, historical and didactical aspects. For Mach, experimentation is not reduced to controlled testing in a laboratory. It rather describes a quite general human, and even animal, activity to explore the world. By relying on such a broad notion of experiment, however, his theory has to deal with a wide range of objections. I (...) shall analyse these objections by confronting Mach’s theory with Franz Brentano’s straightforward criticism. I shall conclude that Mach’s theory entails some unsolvable inconsistencies. These inconsistencies lead to some important questions that still pose challenges to the philosophy of scientific experimentation. (shrink)
The main goal of this article is to investigate the mythical symbolic form in Cassirer’s Philosophy of Symbolic Form regarding its connection with visual perception. The article argues that mythical symbolic form is rooted in Gestalt principles of perception for organizing the perceptual field, and shows that these principles shape the main features of space and time in Cassirer’s mythical symbolic form. This argument challenges Heidegger’s critique of Cassirer’s definition of a mythical symbolic form that it is directionless and not (...) grounded in man’s being. The combination of Gestalt principles and mythical symbolic forms supports the argument about the active role of visual perception, and clarifies Cassirer’s application and re-definition of Kantian and Neo-Kantian concepts. The investigation opens a perspective for comprehending the mythic-religious phenomenon as well as for comprehending visual perception. (shrink)