The Society tor Exact Philosop-hy was founded :in·l97D at a meeting held at McGill University in Montreal on 4-5 November at which was organised iby Mario Bunge. Funding for the meeting iwas provided by SDiii the International Union of Hsistory and Philosophy of cience (vson..
The nature of motion -- Causes, forces, and resistance -- The concept of the function in fourteenth-century physics -- The significance of the theory of impetus for Scholastic natural philosophy -- Galileo and the Scholastic theory of impetus -- The theory of the elements and the problem of their participation in compounds -- The achievements of late Scholastic natural philosophy.
This is one of a group of essays (collected in this issue of the journal) about methodological considerations that have arisen for the project on the “Sanskrit knowledge systems on the eve of colonialism.” For the history of the exact sciences in Sanskrit, or Jyotiḥśāstra, in the early modern period, there are special problems. These have to do with the historically anomalous status of the exact sciences among the śāstras or Sanskrit knowledge systems, and with the predominantly “internalist” (...) method by which most recent research on Jyotiḥśāstra has been carried out. The essay considers the usefulness for tackling these problems of recent writing elsewhere in the history and philosophy of science, especially the work of Hacking. (shrink)
Except for a patina of twenty-first century modernity, in the form of logic and language, philosophy is exactly the same now as it ever was; it has made no progress whatsoever. We philosophers wrestle with the exact same problems the Pre-Socratics wrestled with. Even more outrageous than this claim, though, is the blatant denial of its obvious truth by many practicing philosophers. The No-Progress view is explored and argued for here. Its denial is diagnosed as a form of anosognosia, (...) a mental condition where the affected person denies there is any problem. The theories of two eminent philosophers supporting the No-Progress view are also examined. The final section offers an explanation for philosophy 's inability to solve any philosophical problem, ever. The paper closes with some reflections on philosophy 's future. (shrink)
Hao Wang was one of the few confidants of the great mathematician and logician Kurt Gödel. _A Logical Journey_ is a continuation of Wang's _Reflections on Gödel_ and also elaborates on discussions contained in _From Mathematics to Philosophy_. A decade in preparation, it contains important and unfamiliar insights into Gödel's views on a wide range of issues, from Platonism and the nature of logic, to minds and machines, the existence of God, and positivism and phenomenology. The impact of Gödel's theorem (...) on twentieth-century thought is on par with that of Einstein's theory of relativity, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, or Keynesian economics. These previously unpublished intimate and informal conversations, however, bring to light and amplify Gödel's other major contributions to logic and philosophy. They reveal that there is much more in Gödel's philosophy of mathematics than is commonly believed, and more in his philosophy than his philosophy of mathematics. Wang writes that "it is even possible that his quite informal and loosely structured conversations with me, which I am freely using in this book, will turn out to be the fullest existing expression of the diverse components of his inadequately articulated general philosophy." The first two chapters are devoted to Gödel's life and mental development. In the chapters that follow, Wang illustrates the quest for overarching solutions and grand unifications of knowledge and action in Gödel's written speculations on God and an afterlife. He gives the background and a chronological summary of the conversations, considers Gödel's comments on philosophies and philosophers, and his attempt to demonstrate the superiority of the mind's power over brains and machines. Three chapters are tied together by what Wang perceives to be Gödel's governing ideal of philosophy: an exact theory in which mathematics and Newtonian physics serve as a model for philosophy or metaphysics. Finally, in an epilog Wang sketches his own approach to philosophy in contrast to his interpretation of Gödel's outlook. (shrink)
The unified theory of dose and effect, as indicated by the median-effect equation for single and multiple entities and for the first and higher order kinetic/dynamic, has been established by T.C. Chou and it is based on the physical/chemical principle of the massaction law (J. Theor. Biol. 59: 253-276, 1976 (質量作用中效定理) and Pharmacological Rev. 58: 621-681, 2006) (普世中效指數定理). The theory was developed by the principle of mathematical induction and deduction (數學演繹歸納法). Rearrangements of the median-effect equation lead to Michaelis-Menten, Hill, Scatchard, (...) and Henderson-Hasselbalch equations. The “median” serves as the universal reference point and the “common link” for the relationship of all entities and is also the “harmonic mean” of kinetic dissociation constants. Over 300 mechanism-specific equations have been derived and published using the mathematical induction-deduction process. These equations can be deduced into several general equations, including the median-mediated whole/part equation, combination index theorem, isobologram equation, and polygonogram. It is proven that “dose” and “effect” are interchangeable, thus, “substance” and “function” are interchangeable, which leads to “the unity theory” (劑效、心物、知行一元論) in quantitative mathematical philosophy (數學的定量哲學) in functional context. Therefore, a general theory centered on the “median” and based on equilibrium dynamics has evolved. In other words: [「中」的宇宙觀： 以「中」爲基凖的動力學生態平衡]. Based on the median-effect equation of the mass-action law, the fundamental claim is that we can draw “a specific cure” for only two data points, if they are determined accurately. This claim has far reaching consequences since it defies the general held belief that two points can dray only a straight line. Remarkably, the unity theory (一元論) providesscientific/mathematical interpretation in equations and in graphics of Chinese ancient philosophy, including Fu-Si Ba Gua (伏羲八卦), Dao’s Harmony (和諧), the Confucian doctrine of the mean (儒家中庸之道), Chou Dun-Yi’s (周敦頤, 1017-1073) From Wu-ji to Tai-ji and Taiji Tu Sho (無極而太極及太極圖說). The moderntopological analysis for trinity yields an exact correspondence to the Ba-Gua, which was introduced over 4,000 years ago. Furthermore, the median-centered algorithm, promotes modern ecological content (生態學) in the equilibral dynamic state of harmony. It is concluded that Western science and Eastern philosophy are directly linked and complementary to each other. Since the truth in mathematical quantitative philosophy (數學的定量哲學) has no boundaries, East and West philosophies can flourish together for the common goal and ideal in science and in humanity (世界大同). (shrink)
This article examines the intersections of Confucian philosophy and feminist ethics of care. It explains the origins and contribution of care ethics to modern ethical discourse and the controversy that surrounds this ethical theory. The article discusses the emergence of comparative research on the compatibility (or incompatibility) of Confucian ren and feminist care. It first explores the question whether it is philosophically feasible to disassociate Confucian ren from its historical context by deploying it for contemporary feminist debates, especially considering that, (...) strictly speaking, no direct counterpart in the original Confucian texts is an exact match to the words “care” or “caring.” Following this exploration, the article investigates what ren is and whether Confucian ren is feminist care, what the “No Exit” Objection and the “Domesticity” Objection are, and how ren or caring in Confucian philosophy can answer these objections. The article concludes with an affirmation of the social transformative power of ren and its feminist potential. (shrink)
конецформыначалоформыLeo Lopatin (1855-1920) elaborated the distinct and proved views on the subject, methods and tasks of philosophy. In this paper Lopatin's definition of the subject of philosophy is reviewed and his method of reasoning is shown. As Lopatin proves, philosophy has to be knowledge of theactual nature of things in their independent reality and in their internal attitude and interrelations; it is knowledge of the actual world. The exact and clear understanding of the subject, methods of philosophical knowledge is (...) necessary for any scientist-researcher working in the field of philosophy, ethics, and psychology. It might be useful for a researcher in the field of natural sciences as well. Philosophy should have an independent position among other sciences and it differs from theology that allocates belief in the isolated and unique source of knowledge. Lopatin's example, who shows how one can distinguish philosophy from theology, poetry, art reflections of a writer, inspires everyone who tries to answer "eternal questions" of knowledge. (shrink)
One of the classical systems of Indian Philosophy is specially concerned with the problems of logic c This system is called Nyaya which has a long history of about two thousand years. In the extent of the literature it has produced and in the depth of the philosophical problems it discusses, it is of considerable interest and importance. However, the spirit of pure rationality in which Nyaya discusses these problems and the techniques it makes use of in handling them are (...) quite different from other systems of Indian thought and at once renders it a unique achievement of the Indian mind. The term Nyaya means the method of coming to a conclusion with certainty and the system of Indian philosophy in which philosophical problems are discussed according to this method came to be called Nyayadarsana or just Nyaya. Nyaya has been sedulously cultivated in restricted circles of traditional learning. Nyaya and in particular, Navyanyaya studies with unparalleled rigour and exactitude the nature, the dimensions and conditions of human knowledge. And by common consent the philosophical problem par excellence is the problem of knowledge. With rare insight, both the old and modern Nyaya analyse the problems connected with human knowledge and sets forth in detail the exact conditions in which valid knowledge is possible. This essay highlights the nature and scope of Nyaya logic comparing and contrasting it with other systems of logic especially the Buddhist and Aristotelian. (shrink)
This book is a survey of the most important developments in Austrian philosophy in its classical period from the 1870s to the Anschluss in 1938. Thus it is intended as a contribution to the history of philosophy. But I hope that it will be seen also as a contribution to philosophy in its own right as an attempt to philosophize in the spirit of those, above all Roderick Chisholm, Rudolf Haller, Kevin Mulligan and Peter Simons, who have done so much (...) to demonstrate the continued fertility of the ideas and methods of the Austrian philosophers in our own day. For some time now, historians of philosophy have been gradually coming to terms with the idea that post-Kantian philosophy in the German-speaking world ought properly to be divided into two distinct traditions which we might refer to as the German and Austrian traditions, respectively. The main line of the first consists in a list of personages beginning with Kant, Fichte, Hegel and Schelling and ending with Heidegger, Adorno and Bloch. The main line of the second may be picked out similarly by means of a list beginning with Bolzano, Mach and Meinong, and ending with Wittgenstein, Neurath and Popper. As should be clear, it is the Austrian tradition that has contributed most to the contemporary mainstream of philosophical thinking in the Anglo-Saxon world. For while there are of course German thinkers who have made crucial contributions to the development of exact or analytic philosophy, such thinkers were outsiders when seen from the perspective of native German philosophical culture, and in fact a number of them found their philosophical home precisely in Vienna. When, in contrast, we examine the influence of the Austrian line, we encounter a whole series of familiar and unfamiliar links to the characteristic concerns of more recent philosophy of the analytic sort. As Michael Dummett points out in his Origins of Analytic Philosophy, the newly fashionable habit of referring to analytic philosophy as "Anglo-American" is in this light a "grave historical distortion". If, he says, we take into account the historical context in which analytic philosophy developed, then such philosophy "could at least as well be called "Anglo-Austrian" (1988, p. 7). Much valuable scholarly work has been done on the thinking of Husserl and Wittgenstein, Mach and the Vienna Circle. The central axis of Austrian philosophy, however, which as I hope to show in what follows is constituted by the work of Brentano and his school, is still rather poorly understood. Work on Meinong or Twardowski by contemporary philosophers still standardly rests upon simplified and often confused renderings of a few favoured theses taken out of context. Little attention is paid to original sources, and little effort is devoted to establishing what the problems were by which the Austrian philosophers in general were exercised -- in spite of the fact that many of these same problems have once more become important as a result of the contemporary burgeoning of interest on the part of philosophers in problems in the field of cognitive science. (shrink)
ABSTRACT. May scientists rely on substantive, a priori presuppositions? Quinean naturalists say "no," but Michael Friedman and others claim that such a view cannot be squared with the actual history of science. To make his case, Friedman offers Newton's universal law of gravitation and Einstein's theory of relativity as examples of admired theories that both employ presuppositions (usually of a mathematical nature), presuppositions that do not face empirical evidence directly. In fact, Friedman claims that the use of such presuppositions is (...) a hallmark of "science as we know it." But what should we say about the special sciences, which typically do not rely on the abstruse formalisms one finds in the exact sciences? I identify a type of a priori presupposition that plays an especially striking role in the development of empirical psychology. These are ontological presuppositions about the type of object a given science purports to study. I show how such presuppositions can be both a priori and rational by investigating their role in an early flap over psychology's contested status as a natural science. The flap focused on one of the field's earliest textbooks, William James's Principles of Psychology. The work was attacked precisely for its reliance on a priori presuppositions about what James had called the "mental state," psychology's (alleged) proper object. I argue that the specific presuppositions James packed into his definition of the "mental state" were not directly responsible to empirical evidence, and so in that sense were a priori; but the presuppositions were rational in that they were crafted to help overcome philosophical objections (championed by neo-Hegelians) to the very idea that there can be a genuine science of mind. Thus, my case study gives an example of substantive, a priori presuppositions being put to use—to rational use—in the special sciences. In addition to evaluating James's use of presuppositions, my paper also offers historical reflections on two different strands of pragmatist philosophy of science. One strand, tracing back through Quine to C. S. Peirce, is more naturalistic, eschewing the use of a priori elements in science. The other strand, tracing back through Kuhn and C. I. Lewis to James, is more friendly to such presuppositions, and to that extent bears affinity with the positivist tradition Friedman occupies. (shrink)
Although African philosophy has become a part of the world philosophic heritage that can no longer be neglected, no comprehensive history of it is available yet. This lacuna is due to the numerous problems that affect any attempt to outline such a history. Among these problems are those inherent in the historiography of philosophy in general and many others specific to African philosophy. They include the absence of scholarly unanimity over the exact nature of philosophy and, by extension, African (...) philosophy; the dispute over the beginning of philosophy in Ancient Egypt, as well as the Afrocentrist assertion of the origin of Greek philosophy in Egypt; the problem of periodization; the status of ethnophilosophy, etc. These difficulties do not make a comprehensive history of African philosophy an impossible or irrelevant task. On the contrary, such a history is a necessity that promises to exert an enormous positive influence on the future development of African philosophy. (shrink)
The absolute was one of the most significant philosophical concepts in the early nineteenth century, particularly for the German romantics. Its exact meaning and its role within philosophical romanticism remain, however, a highly contested topic among contemporary scholars. In The Romantic Absolute, I offer a new assessment of the romantics and their understanding of the absolute, filling an important gap in the history of philosophy, especially with respect to the crucial period between Kant and Hegel.
Continuing his quest to bring American philosophy back to its roots, Bruce Wilshire connects the work of such thinkers as Thoreau, Emerson, Dewey, and James with Native American beliefs and practices. His search is not for exact parallels, but rather for fundamental affinities between the equally "organismic" thought systems of indigenous peoples and classic American philosophers. Wilshire gives particular emphasis to the affinities between Black Elk’s view of the hoop of the world and Emerson’s notion of horizon, and also (...) between a shaman’s healing practices and James’s ideas of pure experience, willingness to believe, and a pluralistic universe. As these connections come into focus, the book shows how European phenomenology was inspired and influenced by the classic American philosophers, whose own work reveals the inspiration and influence of indigenous thought. Wilshire’s book also reveals how artificial are the walls that separate the sciences and the humanities in academia, and that separate Continental from Anglo-American thought within the single discipline of philosophy. (shrink)
This excellent anthology in the philosophy of religion examines the basic classical and a host of contemporary issues in thirteen thematic sections. Assuming little or no familiarity with the religious concepts it addresses, it provides a well-balanced and accessible approach to the field. The articles cover the standard topics in the field, including religious experience, theistic arguments, the problem of evil, and miracles, as well as topics that have gained the attention of philosophers of religion in the last fifteen years, (...) such as reformed epistemology, the philosophical analysis of theological doctrine, and the kalam theological argument. The collection also includes topics often requested by instructors but seldom covered in competing texts, such as religion and science, religious pluralism, process theism, and religious ethics, offering greater flexibility in choosing exact topics for use in courses. The format of the book makes it an ideal teaching text, as each section begins with a brief introduction to the central topic or issue treated by the readings which follow. Each reading is preceded by a one paragraph summary, and a bibliography of suggested readings follow each section. Philosophy of Religion functions well as a stand-alone textbook for courses in the philosophy of religion, and is readily compatible for use as a primary source reader in conjunction with a secondary text. It is an ideal companion to Reason and Religious Belief, 2e (OUP, 1997). (shrink)
Schelling scholars face an uphill battle. His confinement to the smallest circles of ‘continental’ thought puts him at the margins of what today counts as philosophy. His eclipse by Fichte and Hegel and inheritance by better-read thinkers like Kierkegaard and Heidegger tend to reduce him to a historical footnote. And the sometimes obscure formulations he uses makes the otherwise difficult writings of fellow post-Kantians seem comparatively more accessible. For those seeking to widen these circles, see through this eclipse and elucidate (...) these formulations, a deeper internal challenge is to make sense of the appearance and disappearance of intellectual intuition in Schelling’s work. The term’s apotheosis is often attributed to the height of German idealism and especially to Schelling’s identity philosophy, outside which he subjects the term to a radical critique. The identity philosophy aims to cognize the absolute ground of the system of knowledge and the system of nature, for which cognition Schelling enlists intellectual intuition. While the identity philosophy falls between a Fichtean debut and a late attack on Hegel, it is difficult to determine its exact parameter. I propose that a necessary condition for doing so is to clarify the explanatory role of intellectual intuition—that is, the specific problem to which it is the intended solution—on which the identity philosophy depends. To this end, I will trace a nexus of problems that Schelling’s use of intellectual intuition is meant to solve. Doing so will not only help to delineate the identity philosophy, but show it to be continuous with Schelling’s earlier and later periods. In §1, I account for the nexus of the problems of grounding, freedom and meaning. These problems demand, respectively, a principle by which cognition forms a system rather than an aggregate, a principle by which a system of cognition is compatible with freedom rather than incompatible and a principle by which a system of freedom can show why there is meaning rather than none. In §2, I reconstruct Schelling’s argument in the identity philosophy for why intellectual intuition can resolve this nexus of problems and, in §3, his arguments during other periods of his thought for why it cannot. I conclude in §4 by suggesting why the identity philosophy is continuous with these periods. Beyond fulfilling the interpretive task of making sense of intellectual intuition in Schelling’s sprawling corpus, my aim is thus to contribute to a unified reading of the latter. (shrink)
This text aims at pointing out some of the philosophy of law present in the works of the Hellenist philosopher and physician Sextus Empiricus , and supports two main theses: the first, based on an epistemological point of view, presupposes that exact knowledge of the world — that is, an entirely adequate relationship between the mind of each human being and the events around — is not possible, which insurmountably renders all perception relative. The second thesis, from an axiological (...) point of view, postulates that Skepticism does not necessarily imply disregarding concepts of justice or abandoning any ethical parameters, but functions as an immunizing element against intolerance and dogmatism. (shrink)
Twentieth-century philosophy has often been pictured as divided into two camps, analytic and continental. This study challenges this depiction by examining encounters between some of the leading representatives of either side. Starting with Husserl and Frege's fin-de-siècle turn against psychologism, it turns to Carnap's 1931 attack on Heidegger's metaphysics (together with its background in the Cassirer-Heidegger dispute of 1929), moving on to Ayer's 1951 meeting with Bataille and Merleau-Ponty at a Parisian bar, followed by the 'dialogue of the deaf' between (...) Oxford linguistic philosophers and phenomenologists at the 1951 Royaumont colloquium, leading up to the Derrida-Searle controversy. Careful study shows that it is implausible to assume the existence of a century-old 'gulf' between two sides of philosophy. Vrahimis argues that miscommunication and ignorance over the exact content of the above encounters must to a large extent be held accountable for any perceived gap. (shrink)
Husserl's mathematical philosophy of science can be considered an anticipation of the contemporary postpositivistic semantic approach, which regards mathematics and not logic as the appropriate tool for the exact philosophical reconstruction of scientific theories. According to Husserl, an essential part of a theory's reconstruction is the mathematical description of its domain, that is, the world (or the part of the world) the theory intends to talk about. Contrary to the traditional micrological approach favored by the members of the Vienna (...) Circle, Husserl, inspired by modern geometry and set theory, aims at a macrological analysis of scientific theories that takes into account the global structures of theories as structured wholes. This is set in the complementary theories of manifolds and theory forms considered by Husserl himself as the culmination of his formal theory of science. (shrink)