The phenomenon of religious belief has been much discussed in philosophy of religion. However, a priori argumentation alone cannot establish what religious belief is like as a psychological attitude. Recent advances in the cognitive science of religion have paved the way for a new, naturalized philosophy of religion. Taking into account the relevant results and hypotheses presented within these disciplines, it is possible to develop a more empirically informed philosophy of religious belief. Instead of asking whether believing is rational, it (...) is here asked how religious belief is cognitively possible. Combining Boyer's evolutionary account of religion with Sperber's and Cosmides and Tooby's theory of metarepresentation, we get the sort of conceptual toolkit needed to specify those cognitive mechanisms and operations that make religious belief possible. Religious belief is shown to require a unique combination of these mechanisms and operations. (shrink)
Ethnomethodology has been torn between scientific and "radical" aspirations insofar as it moves discoursive practices from resources to the topic of the study. Scientific ethnomethodology, such as conversation analysis, studies discoursive praxis as its topic and resource. Standard scientific criteria are accepted to assess the merits of its findings. "Radical" ethnomethodology addresses mundane reasoning exclusively as its topic without recourse to standardized science. I will show that insofar as "radical" ethnomethodology succeeds in bracketing everyday resources, it loses its phenomenon with (...) the very technical skills it uses for this task. This reconsideration enables the development of ethnomethodological social science. Key Words: conversation analysis • discoursive praxis • ethnomethodology • radical ethnomethodology • social studies of science. (shrink)
El diálogo filosofía-ciencia ha tenido lugar gracias a muchas posiciones y actitudes que lo han posibilitado. Uno de los grandes posibilitadores ha sido Ilkka Niiniluoto, filósofo de la ciencia finlandés, que inspirándose en un nuevo realismo denominado crítico y por medio de dos grandes instrumentos epistemológicos ha sentado las bases de una corriente de la ciencia que interpreta a esta como una actividad progresiva y la inserta en un marco con base axiológica.
The article argues that all disciplines examining human thought could use certain shared analytical categories. This would not mean eradicating all differences between various approaches such as intellectual history and discourse analysis, but acknowledging that they are examining partly the same basic entities. The article argues that ideational entities in human thought could be understood as concepts, beliefs, and their constellations. The article discusses the views of scholars who have theorized similar categories and shows how these can be studied through (...) historical language use. Shared analytical categories would enhance interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars of human thought and allow more rigorous debates on issues that truly divide different disciplines, such as the explanatory values of human agency and structures. (shrink)
This is certainly true. Simulationists and experimentalists face equally relevant challenges when it comes to establishing that the results of their simulation or experiment are informative about the real world. But it is one thing to point this fact out, and it is another to understand how those challenges are overcome, under differing circumstances, and in varying contexts. It is here that Marcel Boumans’ contribution becomes especially valuable. He presents an example from economics in which a mathematical model performs the (...) role, not of a representational entity, but of a data sensor. Boumans argues, and I concur, that the manner in which such models are assessed is particularly interesting. They cannot be assessed merely by being confronted with facts about the world, since these models are themselves used in generating the relevant data about the phenomena in question. The relevant strategy for assessing these models is calibration. In other words, rather than being held side by side with the relevant bit of the world, the models are held up against other instruments that are antecedently believed to be reliable sources of data. (shrink)
Supporters of the autonomy of higher-level causation (or explanation) often appeal to proportionality, arguing that higher-level causes are more proportional than their lower-level realizers. Recently, measures based on information theory and causal modeling have been proposed that allow one to shed new light on proportionality and the related notion of specificity. In this paper we apply ideas from this literature to the issue of higher vs. lower-level causation (and explanation). Surprisingly, proportionality turns out to be irrelevant for the question of (...) whether higher-level causes (or explanations) can be autonomous; specificity is a much more informative notion for this purpose. (shrink)
This book comes to the rescue of scientific realism, showing that reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Philosophical realism holds that the aim of a particular discourse is to make true statements about its subject matter. Ilkka Niiniluoto surveys different kinds of realism in various areas of philosophy and then sets out his own critical realist philosophy of science.
Two recent conversation analytical studies draw contrary conclusions from seemingly very similar materials. Hutchby and Barnett ‘show that, far from revolutionizing the organization of telephone conversation, mobile phone talk retains many of the norms associated with landline phone talk’. Arminen and Leinonen, however, state that landline and mobile calls differ systematically from each other. These incommensurate findings raise the question of why the comparisons between landline and mobile call openings have not been able to determine whether social and communicative practices (...) are changing. It is suggested that auxiliary elements in CA allow the emergence of incompatible findings. The auxiliary assumptions enable authors to construct the phenomenon examined from their chosen perspective. Further, it will be shown that unquestioned assumptions materialize into theoretical notions that guide the research. CA studies seem to conceptualize the relationship between sequential order and sequence structure in different ways, which leads to different findings and results. (shrink)
_ Source: _Page Count 19 The theory of possible worlds has been minimally employed in the field of theory and philosophy of history, even though it has found a place as a tool in other areas of philosophy. Discussion has mostly focused on arguments concerning counterfactual history’s status as either useful or harmful. The theory of possible worlds can, however be used also to analyze historical writing. The concept of textual possible worlds offers an interesting framework to work with for (...) analyzing a historical text’s characteristics and features. However, one of the challenges is that the literary theory’s notion of possible worlds is that they are metaphorical in nature. This in itself is not problematic but while discussing about history, which arguably deals with the real world, the terminology can become muddled. The latest attempt to combine the literary and philosophical notions of possible worlds and apply it to historiography came from Lubomír Doležel in his _Possible Worlds of Fiction and History: The Postmodern Stage_. I offer some criticism to his usage of possible worlds to separate history and fiction, and argue that when historiography is under discussion a more philosophical notion of possible worlds should be prioritized over the metaphorical interpretation of possible worlds. (shrink)
The levels of selection debate is generally taken to be a debate about how natural selection can occur at the various levels of biological organization. In this paper, we argue that questions about levels of selection should be analyzed separately from questions about levels of organization. In the deflationary proposal we defend, all that is necessary for multilevel selection is that there are cases in which particles are nested in collectives, and that both the collectives and the particles that compose (...) them each separately undergo natural selection. We argue that adopting this deflationary account helps to disentangle the levels of selection and the levels of organization, and thereby contributes to advancing the levels of selection debate. (shrink)
(1994). European dimensions of Finnish culture: A survey of international and European orientation of Finnish intellectuals. World Futures: Vol. 39, The Evolution of European Identity: Surveys of the Growing Edge A Report by the European Culture Impact Research Consortium (EUROCIRCON), pp. 25-46.
The modern history of verisimilitude can be divided into three periods. The first began in 1960, when Karl Popper proposed his qualitative definition of what it is for one theory to be more truthlike than another theory, and lasted until 1974, when David Miller and Pavel Trich published their refutation of Popper's definition. The second period started immediately with the attempt to explicate truthlikeness by means of relations of similarity or resemblance between states of affairs (or their linguistic representations); the (...) work within this similarity approach was summarized in the books of Graham Oddie  and Ilkka Niiniluoto . During the subsequent third period, studies in verisimilitude have been actively continued, and interesting results and applications have been achieved, but not many dramatic novelties. While it is now obsolete to claim that truthlikeness with reasonable properties cannot be defined at all, there is still a lot of controversy about the best and least arbitrary approach to doing this. (shrink)
We start this article from Gilbert Ryle’s distinction between propositional knowledge, ‘knowing-that’, and procedural knowledge, ‘knowing-how’, and investigate how participants in interaction display orientation to the latter in various settings. As the knowledge of how things are done, know-how can be analyzed in terms of its relevance and consequentiality for parties in interaction. Similarly, as participants adjust their actions and understandings according to their sense of what they know and assume others to know, their know-how and its distribution may form (...) the basis for adjusting and reshaping their actions, forms of participation and identities. In this sense, we aim at opening an investigation of know-how, and its conventionalized form, expertise, in interaction. In as much as it forms a distinct domain, a new research object – expertise in interaction – is formulated. Methodological issues of how to study expertise in interaction are discussed. The data are in English and Finnish. (shrink)
The larger part of Yearbook 6 of the Institute Vienna Circle constitutes the proceedings of a symposium on Alfred Tarski and his influence on and interchanges with the Vienna Circle, especially those on and with Rudolf Carnap and Kurt Gödel. It is the first time that this topic has been treated on such a scale and in such depth. Attention is mainly paid to the origins, development and subsequent role of Tarski's definition of truth. Some contributions are primarily historical, others (...) analyze logical aspects of the concept of truth. Contributors include Anita and Saul Feferman, Jan Wolenski, Jan Tarski and Hans Sluga. Several Polish logicians contributed: Gzegorczyk, Wójcicki, Murawski and Rojszczak. The volume presents entirely new biographical material on Tarski, both from his Polish period and on his influential career in the United States: at Harvard, in Princeton, at Hunter, and at the University of California at Berkeley. The high point of the analysis involves Tarski's influence on Carnap's evolution from a narrow syntactical view of language, to the ontologically more sophisticated but more controversial semantical view. Another highlight involves the interchange between Tarski and Gödel on the connection between truth and proof and on the nature of metalanguages. The concluding part of Yearbook 6 includes documentation, book reviews and a summary of current activities of the Institute Vienna Circle. Jan Tarski introduces letters written by his father to Gödel; Paolo Parrini reports on the Vienna Circle's influence in Italy; several reviews cover recent books on logical empiricism, on Gödel, on cosmology, on holistic approaches in Germany, and on Mauthner. (shrink)
In this chapter we examine Moti Mizrahi’s claim that philosophers’ opposition of scientism is founded on their worry that scientism poses “a threat to the soul or essence of philosophy as an a priori discipline”. We find Mizrahi’s methodology for testing this thesis wanting. We offer an alternative hypothesis for the increased resistance of scientism: the antipathy started as a reaction to the New Atheist movement. We also consider two varieties of weak scientism, narrow and broad, and argue that narrow (...) versions of scientism draw unnatural and unfounded distinctions within science. Mizrahi belongs somewhere between these two types, but he commits the same mistakes as proponents of the narrow variety. We demonstrate that Mizrahi’s defence of weak scientism is problematic, once again, due to methodological reasons. As an alternative, we propose that weak scientism should be based on epistemic opportunism. Epistemic opportunism explains the success of science with scientists’ willingness to adopt any methods that demonstrably work. We also show how opportunistic scientism can avoid charges of triviality. (shrink)
This volume addresses the issue of religion and economy in the evolution of human cooperation. Both religious practices and economic behaviour create and sustain intra-group cooperation by providing people with common goals and values. Even if individuals are selfish maximizers of utility, in the end everybody benefits from being part of a cooperative community, the market. The rules of the market are the invisible hand which turns selfishness into cooperation. In the same way, God beliefs constrain individual selfishness and ensure (...) cooperation within the group. (shrink)
We review some of the major accounts in the current epistemology of modality and identify some shared issues that plague all of them. In order to provide insight into the nature of modal statements in science, philosophy, and beyond, a satisfactory epistemology of modality would need to be suitably applicable to practical and theoretical contexts by limited beings. However, many epistemologies of modality seem to work only when we have access to the kind of knowledge that is at least currently (...) beyond our reach. Or, in the extreme case, it is argued that even if we knew all the relevant information about the respective domain – or even the entire state of the world – there would still remain a special class of modal truths that would be left unaccounted for. Neither picture bodes well for practical applicability, nor for the philosophical justification of these epistemologies. This is especially the case as we hold that one of the main motivations for modal inquiry typically arises in cases of imperfect information and limited cognitive resources. We close by providing a partial remedy to the situation by suggesting an overall framework of relative modality (RM) that can be used to both unify some existing modal epistemologies and, at the same time, make them more metaphysically modest. (shrink)
It has been argued within the new cognitive science of religion that people's actual religious concepts and inferences differ from their explicitly held religious concepts and beliefs; the latter are too complex to be used in fast online reasoning. Natural intuitions thus tend to overwrite theological doctrine and to drive behavior. The cognitive science of religion has focused on this intuitive aspect of religion, ignoring theological thought. Here I try to outline a theoretical model on the basis of which it (...) should be possible to explain the interaction of the intuitive and explicit processes in religious cognition. (shrink)
Filosofian piirissä on viime aikoina käyty intensiivistä keskustelua metafysiikan naturalisoinnista ja tieteellisen metafysiikan mahdollisuudesta. Yksi tämän keskustelun keskeisistä teoksista on James Ladymanin ja Don Rossin (sekä osin John Collierin ja David Spurrettin) kirjoittama Every Thing Must Go (2007). Tässä kirjassa Ladyman ja Ross puolustavat, omien sanojensa mukaan, neopositivistista skientismiä. Heidän ohjelmansa on skientistinen, koska Ladymanin ja Rossin mukaan tiede on ainoa tapa tutkia todellisuutta objektiivisesti. Neopositivismi ilmenee puolestaan siinä, että heidän ohjelmansa tukeutuu eräänlaiseen verifikaatioperiaatteeseen. Ladymanin ja Rossin verifikaatioperiaate ei kuitenkaan (...) perustu, toisin kuin aiempien positivistien vastaava, kielelliseen merkitykseen tai suoriin havaintoihin vaan tiedeyhteisöön. Tiedeyhteisö päättää, mitkä kysymykset ja teoriat ovat tutkimisen arvoisia. Ladyman ja Ross esittelevät kirjassaan kaksi metafyysistä ohjelmaa: negatiivisen ja positiivisen. Toisaalta he pyrkivät kritisoimaan analyyttistä metafysiikkaa, jota he pitävät liiaksi irtautuneena nykytieteestä, ja toisaalta antamaan oman naturalistisen metafysiikkansa. Pyrimme tässä artikkelissa osoittamaan, että Ladymanin ja Rossin positiivinen ohjelma on jännitteessä, tai jopa ristiriidassa, heidän negatiivisen ohjelmansa kanssa. Tämä näkyy Ladymanin ja Rossin sitoutumisesta modaalirealismiin ja siinä, miten he yrittävät oikeuttaa sitoumuksensa. Jännitteen vuoksi Ladymanin ja Rossin on luovuttava joko modaalirealismista tai metafysiikalle antamistaan tiukoista vaatimuksista. (shrink)
The modern history of verisimilitude can be divided into three periods. The first began in 1960, when Karl Popper proposed his qualitative definition of what it is for one theory to be more truthlike than another theory, and lasted until 1974, when David Miller and Pavel Trichý published their refutation of Popper's definition. The second period started immediately with the attempt to explicate truthlikeness by means of relations of similarity or resemblance between states of affairs (or their linguistic representations); the (...) work within this similarity approach was summarized in the books of Graham Oddie  and Ilkka Niiniluoto . During the subsequent third period, studies in verisimilitude have been actively continued, and interesting results and applications have been achieved, but not many dramatic novelties. While it is now obsolete to claim that truthlikeness with reasonable properties cannot be defined at all, there is still a lot of controversy about the best and least arbitrary approach to doing this. (shrink)