The analytical notion of ‘scientific style of reasoning’, introduced by Ian Hacking in the middle of the 1980s, has become widespread in the literature of the history and philosophy of science. However, scholars have rarely made explicit the philosophical assumptions and the research objectives underlying the notion of style: what are its philosophical roots? How does the notion of style fit into the area of research of historical epistemology? What does a comparison between Hacking’s project on styles of thinking and (...) other similar projects suggest? My aim in this paper is to answer these questions. Hacking has denied that his project of styles of thinking falls into the field of historical epistemology. I shall challenge his remark by tracing out the connections of the notion of style with historical epistemology and, more in general, with a tradition of thought born in France in the beginning of twentieth-century. (shrink)
En los últimos años Ian Hacking se ha dedicado a trabajar principalmente acerca de las ciencias humanas. El objetivo de este artículo es presentar algunas de las nociones acuñadas por el filósofo canadiense -fundamentalmente las de ontología histórica y nominalismo dinámico- para dicho ámbito. A par..
The rosy dawn of my title refers to that optimistic time when the logical concept of a natural kind originated in Victorian England. The scholastic twilight refers to the present state of affairs. I devote more space to dawn than twilight, because one basic problem was there from the start, and by now those origins have been forgotten. Philosophers have learned many things about classification from the tradition of natural kinds. But now it is in disarray and is unlikely to (...) be put back together again. My argument is less founded on objections to the numerous theories now in circulation, than on the sheer proliferation of incompatible views. There no longer exists what Bertrand Russell called ‘the doctrine of natural kinds’—one doctrine. Instead we have a slew of distinct analyses directed at unrelated projects. (shrink)
I introduce two new tools in experimental neurobiology, optogenetics and DREADDs. These tools permit unprecedented control over activity in specific neurons in behaving animals. In addition to their inherent scientific interest, these tools make an important contribution to philosophy of science. They illustrate the very premises of Ian Hacking’s “microscope” argument for the relative independence of experiment from theory. This new example is important for generalizing Hacking’s argument because the background sciences and the fields of engineering producing these tools differ (...) significantly. (shrink)
Ian Rumfitt has proposed systems of bilateral logic for primitive speech acts of assertion and denial, with the purpose of ‘exploring the possibility of specifying the classically intended senses for the connectives in terms of their deductive use’ : 810f). Rumfitt formalises two systems of bilateral logic and gives two arguments for their classical nature. I assess both arguments and conclude that only one system satisfies the meaning-theoretical requirements Rumfitt imposes in his arguments. I then formalise an intuitionist system of (...) bilateral logic which also meets those requirements. Thus Rumfitt cannot claim that only classical bilateral rules of inference succeed in imparting a coherent sense onto the connectives. My system can be extended to classical logic by adding the intuitionistically unacceptable half of a structural rule Rumfitt uses to codify the relation between assertion and denial. Thus there is a clear sense in which, in the bilateral framework, the difference between classicism and intuitionism is not one of the rules of inference governing negation, but rather one of the relation between assertion and denial. (shrink)
In a recent article Mark Ian Thomas Robson argues that there is a clear contradiction between the view that possible worlds are a part of God's nature and the theologically pivotal, but philosophically neglected, claim that God is perfectly beautiful. In this article I show that Robson's argument depends on several key assumptions that he fails to justify and as such that there is reason to doubt the soundness of his argument. I also demonstrate that if Robson's argument were sound (...) then this would be a problem for all classical theists and not just those who hold the possible worlds view. (shrink)
How is a person's freedom related to his or her preferences? Liberal theorists of negative freedom have generally taken the view that the desire of a person to do or not do something is irrelevant to the question of whether he is free to do it. Supporters of the “pure negative” conception of freedom have advocated this view in its starkest form: they maintain that a person is unfree to Φ if and only if he is prevented from Φ-ing by (...) the conduct or dispositions of some other person. This definition of freedom is value-neutral in the sense that no reference is made to preferences over options or indeed to any other indicators of the values of options, either in the characterization of “Φ-ing” itself or in the characterization of the way in which Φ-ing can be constrained. (shrink)
In the Mead–Freeman controversy, Ian Jarvie has supported much of Derek Freeman’s critique of Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa, arguing that Samoan society was sexually repressive rather than sexually permissive, that Mead was “hoaxed” about Samoan sexual conduct, that Mead was an “absolute” cultural determinist, that Samoa was a definitive case refuting Mead’s “absolute” cultural determinism, that Mead’s book changed the direction of cultural anthropology, and that Freeman’s personal conduct during the controversy was thoroughly professional. This article calls (...) into question these empirical and theoretical arguments, often using Freeman’s own field research and publications. (shrink)
This article explores the proposal offered by Ian Hacking for the distinction between natural and social sciences—a proposal that he has defined from the outset as complex and different from the traditional ones. Our objective is not only to present the path followed by Hacking’s distinction, but also to determine if it constitutes a novelty or not. For this purpose, we deemed it necessary to briefly introduce the core notions Hacking uses to establish his strategic approach to social sciences, under (...) the assumption that they are less well known that the ones corresponding to his treatment of natural sciences. (shrink)
In his book The Boundary Stones of Thought, Ian Rumfitt considers five arguments in favour of intuitionistic logic over classical logic. Two of these arguments are based on reflections concerning the meaning of statements in general, due to Michael Dummett and John McDowell. The remaining three are more specific, concerning statements about the infinite and the infinitesimal, statements involving vague terms, and statements about sets.Rumfitt is sympathetic to the premisses of many of these arguments, and takes some of them to (...) be effective challenges to Bivalence, the following principle: Each statement is either true or false.However, he argues that counterexamples to Bivalence do not immediately lead to counterexamples to Excluded Middle, and so do not immediately refute classical logic; here, Excluded Middle is taken to be the following principle: For each statement A, is true.Much... (shrink)
This article reviews the research of “top rebirth scientist” Ian Stevenson on spontaneous past-life memory cases, focusing on three key problems with Stevenson’s work. First, his research of entirely anecdotal case reports contains a number of errors and omissions. Second, like other reincarnation researchers, Stevenson has done no controlled experimental work on such cases; yet only such research could ever resolve whether the correspondences found between a child’s statements and a deceased person’s life exceed what we might find by chance. (...) Finally, the best reincarnation research should at least meet the standards met by typical empirical research, but Stevenson’s methodology does not even meet the standards expected of third- or fourth-year college students. -/- 1. How Controlled Experimental Work is Possible -- 2. The Anecdotal Record - 2.1 Reincarnation and Biology - 2.2 The Imad Elawar Case -- 3. Conclusion. (shrink)
Ian Hacking has defined himself as a philosopher in the analytic tradition. However, he has also recognized the profound influence that Michel Foucault had on much of his work. In this article I analyse the specific imprint of certain works by Foucault—in particular Les mots et les choses—in two of Hacking’s early works: Why Does Language Matter to Philosophy? and The Emergence of Probability. I propose that these texts not only share a debt of Foucauldian thought, but also are part (...) of what I believe is Hacking’s central project: the analysis of the historical and situated conditions of possibility for the emergence of concepts and of objects, inspired also by the French philosopher’s thought. (shrink)
. In my response to Ian Barbour's criticisms, I first argue for the anthropological dimensions and contextuality of any theology. Next I examine and criticize Barbour's thesis that I am an in‐compatibilist about divine action. Finally I illustrate the fact that I see genuine opportunities for a dialogue between theologians and scientists without apologetics, category mistakes, or relegating theology to the fringes of science, by pointing to evolutionary explanations of religion.
This deep presence of Foucault’s influence across contemporary theoretical landscapes signals a need for self-reflectiveness that has largely (though not entirely) been missing in contemporary uses of Foucault. While scholarship in a Foucauldian vein is obviously alive and well, scholarship on Foucauldian methodology is not. This paper develops a distinction between two methodological features of Foucault’s work that deserve to be disentangled: I parse the methods (e.g., genealogy, archaeology) and concepts (e.g., discipline, biopower) featured in Foucault’s texts. Following this, I (...) use the terms of this distinction to develop a detailed survey of two quite different contemporary uses of Foucault. My two test cases for comparison are the works of Giorgio Agamben and Ian Hacking, two contemporary theorists who demonstrate a productive engagement with central features of Foucault’s work. (shrink)
In the first part of chapter 2 of book II of the Physics Aristotle addresses the issue of the difference between mathematics and physics. In the course of his discussion he says some things about astronomy and the ‘ ‘ more physical branches of mathematics”. In this paper I discuss historical issues concerning the text, translation, and interpretation of the passage, focusing on two cruxes, the first reference to astronomy at 193b25–26 and the reference to the more physical branches at 194a7–8. In (...) section I, I criticize Ross’s interpretation of the passage and point out that his alteration of has no warrant in the Greek manuscripts. In the next three sections I treat three other interpretations, all of which depart from Ross's: in section II that of Simplicius, which I commend; in section III that of Thomas Aquinas, which is importantly influenced by a mistranslation of, and in section IV that of Ibn Rushd, which is based on an Arabic text corresponding to that printed by Ross. In the concluding section of the paper I describe the modern history of the Greek text of our passage and translations of it from the early twelfth century until the appearance of Ross's text in 1936. (shrink)
This paper examines Ian Hacking's arguments in favor of entity realism. It shows that his examples from science do not support his realism. Furthermore, his proposed criterion of experimental use is neither sufficient nor necessary for conferring a privileged status on his preferred unobservables. Nonetheless his insight is genuine; it may be most profitably seen as part of a more general effort to create a space for a new form of scientific and philosophical certainty, one that does not require foundations.
There is widespread acceptance in medical humanities circles that reading is good for doctors and that, in medical educational terms, it is particularly good at making better doctors by widening perspective and developing the sensibilities. Recent recommendations on medical education in the UK have allowed medical students to take courses in literature as a component of their degrees, and some have suggested that this option should be compulsory for all doctors. It is possible, however, that in our eagerness to assert (...) the primacy of a literary education for personal development, we can ignore other routes to enlightened, sensitive doctoring. This paper appraises the instrumental role of a literary education for doctors through an analysis of Ian McEwan’s novel Saturday, which deals with the dramatic events in the day in the life of a neurosurgeon. (shrink)
I use Ian Hacking 's views to explore ways of classifying people, exploiting his distinction between indifferent kinds and interactive kinds, and his accounts of how we 'make up' people. The natural kind/essentialist approach to indifferent kinds is explored in some depth. I relate this to debates in psychiatry about the existence of mental illness, and to educational controversies about the credentials of learner classifications such as 'dyslexic'. Claims about the 'existence' of learning disabilities cannot be given a clear, simple (...) and unambiguous interpretation. In particular I show that science cannot deliver a definitive taxonomy of learner categories, and that this has important implications for teachers and policy makers. (shrink)
Representing and Reconstructing: A Hermeneutical Reply to Ian Hacking. Hacking published in 1983 Representing and Intervening which has provoked, particularly in the US, the so called realism/anti-realism debate which is still alive today. He lays claim to anti-realism for theory and to realism for the experiment. Following him, only that which can be used for manipulating something is realistic. H. Putnam is a severe critic of this dualism. In my paper I am going to take the Hacking -Putnam controversy as (...) a starting-point for the problem about the determination of the relation between theory and experiment in the natural sciences. I shall then follow M. Schlick's discussion of this problem and the current solution to the problem as offered by H. Pietschmann. The differing interpretation of Kant according to the three perspectives shall be the guideline for the argumentation. The goal of my argumentation is that theory and experiment do not live their own lives, that in experimenting one always continues traditional chains of action, and that natural science cannot be regarded independently of the life world it takes place in. This insight into the representing and reconstructing overturns in natural science, due to the necessity of human decisions, opens up their hermeneutical dimension. (shrink)
Ian Hacking, Hacking and Latour on science studies and metaphysics: The Social Construction of What?Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-81200-X Bruno Latour, Pandora's Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science StudiesHarvard University Press, ISBN0-67-465336-X.
Charles Taylor's work has recently taken a religious turn, with Taylor becoming more explicit about his own religious faith and its influence on his thinking. Ian Fraser offers a systematic, critical exploration of the nature of Taylor's Catholicism as it appears in his writings. This reply to Fraser endorses his belief in the importance of looking carefully at Taylor's religious views. However, it raises doubts about some of Fraser's particular arguments and conclusions, and aims to foster a clearer understanding of (...) Taylor's religious beliefs. It poses questions for Fraser about what Taylor is setting out to do in A Catholic Modernity?; why he invokes the figure of Matteo Ricci; whether he believes that acts of practical benevolence are impossible without a religious foundation; and whether his religiously-inspired pluralism suffers an inherent contradiction. (shrink)
While Ludwik Fleck's Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact is mainly concerned with social elements in science, a central argument depends on his case study of the development of a serum test for syphilis, the Wasserman Reaction, which Fleck argues was the product of skill and of laboratory practice, not a simple discovery. Ian Hacking interprets the creation of new phenomena in science very differently, arguing that it can seen as an argument for scientific realism. Hacking's argument shows that (...) Fleck's case study does not lead to the conclusion Fleck expects, and may solve one of the main problems in Fleck's work, how to define an objective element of knowledge. (shrink)
. Using as a model contemporary analyses of scientific cognition, Ian Harbour has claimed that religious cognition is neither immediate nor inferential but has the structure of interpreted experience. Although I contend that Barbour has failed to establish his claim, I believe his views about the similarities between scientific and religious cognition are well founded. Thus on that basis I offer an alternative proposal that theistic religious cognition is essentially inferential and that religious experience is in fact the use of (...) inferentially acquired religious beliefs to interpret ordinary nonreligious experiences. (shrink)
RésuméLes concepts de Ian Hacking ont apporté une contribution importante aux débats dans le domaine de la philosophie de la psychiatrie, qui est aussi au coeur de son Cours au Collège de France. Titulaire de la « Chaire de philosophie et d’histoire des concepts scientifiques » après Michel Foucault, il est l’auteur d’une réflexion sur la classification des troubles mentaux à partir de la problématique des natural kinds. Pour expliquer les cas d’études développés dans son enseignement parisien, nous revenons d’abord (...) sur une série de concepts, pour ensuite poser la question du statut des métaphores scientifiques, et enfin discuter les rapports entre les notions de « maladie mentale transitoire » et de culture-bound syndrome – cette dernière étant issue de la psychiatrie transculturelle canadienne. (shrink)
Frederick R. Steiner (ed): The Essential Ian McHarg: Writings on Design and Nature, 2006 Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s10806-009-9217-y Authors Ruth Beilin, University of Melbourne Landscape Sociologist, Department of Resource Management and Geography, Melbourne School of Land and Environment Melbourne VIC 3010 Australia Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Ian Inkster (ed.): History of technology. Vol. 29. London: Continuum, 2009, 232pp, £90.00 HB Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9523-7 Authors Aristotle Tympas, Department of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Athens, University Campus, 157 71 Athens, Greece Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Ian Hunter's essay pursues several lines of argument, one explicit and the others not. The first is that of an historian correcting the mistaken view among Kantian commentators that Kant's conception of international justice had displaced Vattel's as the dominant one in nineteenth- and twentieth-century international thought. The second, which is not acknowledged, is that of a philosopher entering a debate over the relative cogency of the two conceptions. To accomplish this unacknowledged philosophical task, Hunter exaggerates the importance of Kant's (...) metaphysics in his treatment of international justice and understates the element of raison d'état in Vattel's casuistical ethics. The subtext in both lines of argument is criticism, political rather than either historical or philosophical, of Kant's effort to articulate principles of international justice, together with implicit advocacy of Vattelian ethics as a corrective to Kantian ideology. (shrink)
A careful analysis of Harold Pinter’s screenplays, notably those written in the 1980s and early 1990s, renders an illustration of how the artist’s cinematic projects supplemented, and often heightened, the focus of his dramatic output, his resolute exploration of the workings of power, love and destruction at various levels of social interaction and bold revision of received values. It seems, however, that few of the scripts did so in such a subtle yet effective manner as Pinter’s intriguing fusion of the (...) erotic, violence and ethical concerns in the film The Comfort of Strangers, directed by Paul Schrader and based on Ian McEwan’s 1981 novel of the same name. The article centres upon Pinter’s creative adaptation of McEwan’s deeply allusive and disquieting text probing, amongst others, the intricacies and tensions of gender relations and sexual intimacy. It examines the screenplay-regarded by many critics as not merely an adaptation of the novel but another, very powerful work of art-addressing Pinter’s method as an adapter and highlighting the artist’s imaginative attempts at fostering a better appreciation of the connections between authoritarian impulses, love and justice. Similarly to a number of other Pinter filmscripts and plays of the 1980s and 1990s, the erotic and the lethal alarmingly intersect in this screenplay where the ostensibly innocent-an unmarried English couple on a holiday in Venice, who are manipulated, victimized and, ultimately, destroyed-are subtly depicted as partly complicit in their own fates. (shrink)
Buddhism in a Dark Age: Cambodian Monks under Pol Pot, by Ian Harris, is a natural follow-up to Harris’s 2005 work, Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice, also published by the University of Hawai‘i Press. The present work, like the earlier one, is primarily focused on the social and political history of Cambodian Buddhism and expands on the final two chapters of that earlier work in that it deals with Buddhism in Democratic Kampuchea from 1975 to 1979 and the aftermath of (...) Khmer Rouge control. Both works are heavily dependent on French-and English-language secondary sources and periodicals, with Khmer-language sources used infrequently. Buddhism in a Dark Age is, however, a very different book than Cambodian... (shrink)
There is, I gloomily suspect, little which is significantly new that remain to be said about psycho-analysis by philosophers. The almost profligate theorising that goes on within the psycho-analytic journals will, no doubt, continue unabated. It simply strikes me as unlikely that such theorising will generate further issues of the kind that excite the philosophical mind. Though in making such an observation, I recognise that I lay claim upon the future in a manner that many might believe to be unwise. (...) The place of psycho-analysis upon the intellectual map, the implications that psycho-analytic theory and practice have for the various kinds of judgements that we make about human behaviour, have been exhaustively discussed in recent times. Rather more specifically, whether psycho-analysis should be accorded the dignity of being labelled a ‘science’, what the significance is of psycho-analysis for those complex problems bounded by the notions of Reason, Freedom, Motivation, have occasioned much fruitful philosophical debate. It is not any wish of mine to add to the literature on these problems in the forlorn hope that even slightly different answers might be forthcoming. (shrink)
Reply to Ian Johnston Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s11712-012-9274-1 Authors Dan Robins, School of Arts and Humanities, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway, NJ 08205, USA Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
Ian Leask’s new edition of John Toland’s Letters to Serena, last published in 1704, has all the marks of a fine new edition of an early eighteenth-century book—it has an index, timeline, all of Toland’s notes, along with editor’s notes explaining many of the obscure names to be found in the letters; and it has a first-rate introduction in which Leask nicely explains the letters and what he takes Toland to be doing. John Toland’s intentions and influences are a matter (...) of a very high degree of scholarly debate. The story that Leask weaves around the Letters to Serena is really quite fascinating and, while he published a detailed version of this account in “Unholy Force: Toland’s Leibnizian ‘Consummation’ of... (shrink)
Summary Ian Hunter's early work on the history of literature education and the emergence of English as school subject issued a bold challenge to traditional accounts that have in the main focused on English either as knowledge of a particular field or as ideology. The alternative proposal put forward by Hunter and supported by detailed historical analysis is that English exists as a series of historically contingent techniques and practices for shaping the self-managing capacities of children. The challenge for the (...) field is to advance this historical work and to examine possible implications for English teaching. (shrink)
Summary What are the connections between Ian Hunter's specific criticisms of cultural studies and his more general criticisms of those strands of the humanities that take issue with instrumental reasoning? How are these connections informed by his assessments of the limitations, and the consequences, of the ?moment of theory?? What are the implications of his critique of anti-instrumental defences of the humanities for contemporary debates concerning the future trajectories of cultural studies? In exploring these questions I consider the continuities between (...) Hunter's initial criticisms of cultural studies and the broader contours of his subsequent engagements with contemporary diagnoses of the fading critical vocation of the humanities. While endorsing the general tenor of Hunter's remarks on these questions, I conclude by arguing the need for genealogies of cultural studies and of the humanities that cast their nets more widely than Hunter's primary focus on textual disciplines. (shrink)
Summary This essay focuses on a characteristic analytical and rhetorical strategy of the style of intellectual history practiced by Ian Hunter. It assesses the moral and political resources supplied by that strategy, as well as its implications for one particular humanities discipline, that of literary criticism.