When young Kant meditated upon the distinction between his right and left hands, he could not foresee that the problem of incongruent counterparts would revive in the twentieth century under a new form. In the early days of quantum chemistry, FriedrichHund developed the so-called Hund paradox that arises from the supposed inability of quantum mechanics to account for the difference between enantiomers. In this paper, the paradox is expressed as a case of quantum measurement, stressing that (...) decoherence does not offer a way out of the problem. The main purpose is to argue for the need to adopt a clear interpretation of quantum mechanics in order to solve the paradox. In particular, I claim that the Modal-Hamiltonian Interpretation, which conceives measurement as a breaking-symmetry process, supplies the tools required to explain the dextro-rotation or levo-rotation properties of optical isomers. (shrink)
Presenting the entire German text of Nietzsche's lectures on rhetoric and language and his notes for them, as well as facing page English translations, this book fills an important gap in the philosopher's corpus. Until now unavailable or existing only in fragmentary form, the lectures represent a major portion of Nietzsche's achievement. Included are an extensive editors' introduction on the background of Nietzsche's understanding of rhetoric, and critical notes identifying his sources and independent contributions.
The Construction of Social Reality can be read at different levels, and this makes it hard to assess. At one level, it is a stunningly clear, comprehensive, and extremely simple introduction to the foundations of the social sciences. At another level, it is an idiosyncratic and interesting statement by a philoso pher of note who writes in a field with which he is barely acquainted. And at yet another level, it is a philosophical treatment of certain philosophical problems that Searle's (...) independent reflections on the nature and possibility of social reality have disclosed. Different readers will find different things in Searle's book. What I found is an original contribution to a theory of institu tional facts and to a certain kind of restricted idealism that Anscombe (1976) called "linguistic idealism.". (shrink)
In this note I examine a case of teleological reasoning in international law and find it to be the fallacy of affirming the consequent.I then show that and how the basis of this fallacy is a manipulation (or juxtaposition) of ?necessary? and ?sufficient? conditions.I conclude by giving reasons for thinking that this kind of reasoning is a regular feature of international law.
The author calls attention to and discusses certain basic but neglected and/or obscured features of Hegel's idealism. He treats these features as paradigmati cally sociological and uses them as a baseline with which to chart Hegel's critique of, and against which to measure, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Section 1 introduces Hegel's criticism of Kant's idealism; in contrast to his own objective idealism, transcendental idealism is individualistic. This criticism is elaborated in section 2, issuing in the quasi-Wittgensteinian indictment that Kant (...) cannot account for the possibility of language and human thought. Section 3 argues that Hegel's criticism that mind is social and that objectivity cannot be understood in isolation from social interaction amounts to a sociological critique of Kant. (shrink)
The general chemistry curriculum includes a prelude that consumes nearly all of the first semester and occupies the first third of the typical textbook. This necessary prelude to the main event is comparable in scope to precalculus though not broken out as a formal ‘prechemistry’ course. Atomic orbitals account for much of this prelude-to-chemistry. By tradition, orbital theory is conveyed to the student in three disjunct pieces, presented in the following illogical order: the Pauli principle, the Aufbau principle, and (...) class='Hi'>Hund’s rule. (Often the n + l rule is tossed into the mix as well, though with no fixed place in the scheme). In the early twentieth century, as various researchers announced new insights into the atom at unpredictable intervals, no one could have been faulted for teaching orbitals in such a manner, catch-as-catch-can. A hundred years on, the vestiges of that (presumed) practice look wrong, and are indefensible. In the approach advocated here, orbitals would be taught as a single hierarchical rule-set, with the parts coherently sequenced as Aufbau–Hund–Pauli (and with Madelung’s n + l rule rehabilitated as part of Aufbau, no longer a free-floating mnemonic aid only). Logic aside, pragmatism offers its own argument for adopting this scheme: A tighter approach to Aufbau can lighten the ‘prechemistry’ burden significantly and bring the student that much sooner to chemistry itself. (shrink)