There are mathematical structures with elements that cannot be distinguished by the properties they have within that structure. For instance within the field of complex numbers the two square roots of −1, i and −i, have the same algebraic properties in that field. So how do we distinguish between them? Imbedding the complex numbers in a bigger structure, the quaternions, allows us to algebraically tell them apart. But a similar problem appears for this larger structure. There seems to be always (...) a background and a context that we rely upon. Thus mathematicians naturally make use of Kantian intuition and references fixed by names and denotations. I argue that such features cannot be avoided. (shrink)
Are indices a purely linguistic, textual phenomenon or are linguistic indices a special case of a more general type of indexical signs? In comparing Carlo Ginzburg's restrictive view of indices and traces in particular with Peirce's general approach to indexical signs, this paper argues that Peirce's account of indexicality makes it possible to connect the sciences and the humanities by a flexible relational concept of the epistemic function of an identification that indexical experiences allows for. In this way Peirce's flexible (...) concept of indexicality allows us to connect e.g. the experience of a condensation trace of an electron in a cloud chamber with that of the trace of a deer in the snow. (shrink)
An analysis of the theory of biodynamic farming is presented. The founder of biological dynamic agriculture, the Austrian Rudolf Steiner, Ph.D., (1861–1925), introduced methods of preparation and use of eight compounds forming the nucleus of his agricultural theory. His instructions were based on insights and inner visions from spiritualistic exercises and not on agricultural experiments. His purpose was to show mankind a form of agriculture that enables not only the production of healthy foods but also the achievement of harmonious interactions (...) in agriculture and a spiritual development of mankind through “cosmic forces” captured in the foods. However, many of his statements are not provable simply because scientifically clear hypotheses cannot be made as his descriptions were unclear and not stringent. Those predictions that can be tested scientifically have been found to be incorrect. It was concluded that Steiner's instructions are occult and dogmatic and cannot contribute to the development of alternative or sustainable agriculture. (shrink)
Vor allem die prophetischen Texte versteht er als dramatisch inszenierende Rede, deren Dramatik allerdings nicht von einer Aufführungspraxis abhängt. Der Titel "Gottes Wahrnehmungen" ist aber noch in einem andern Sinn zu verstehen.
A form of logic called relational and contextual reasoning is put forward as an improvement over other, more familiar types of logic. Developmental ideas are used to show how maturity ordinarily leads people away from binary (true/false) logic to systems of reasoning that are more subtle and better suited to making decisions in the face of ambiguity.
The editors of Nietzsche as a Scholar of Antiquity claim with some justification that few philosophers, and even fewer classicists, have "taken the time to understand [Nietzsche] on his own terms as a scholar of antiquity". "Our primary aim," Jensen and Heit say, "is to show not how Nietzsche's earlier works on antiquity help us to understand Nietzsche, but how they may improve our understanding of antiquity." I shall suggest that not every contribution to the collection succeeds in that primary (...) aim.Two chapters are reprints of older pieces: Jonathan Barnes's "Nietzsche and Diogenes Laertius" and Glenn W. Most and Thomas Fries's "Die Quellen von Nietzsches Rhetorik-Vorlesung", translated in... (shrink)