Gesellschaft ist ein schwieriger, weil prinzipiell nie konkret faßbarer Gegenstand der Erkenntnis. Zu diesem Problem gibt es u.a. transzendentale, phänomenologische, systemtheoretische Ansätze. Die Gegenstandsverfassung hat weitreichende forschungspraktische Konsequenzen, auch hinsichtlich sozialwissenschaftlicher Wissenschaftlichkeit. Pragmatismus und Semiotik fand, trotz Apels Peirce- und Joas’ Meadrezeption, noch nicht genügend Beachtung. Gesellschaft wird nicht als Objekt, sondern als erkenntnisdeterminierendes Ziel eines kognitiven Verhaltens eingeführt. Sie wird so kontextualisiert in einer Wahrheitstheorie, die sowohl objektive Fakten wie kognitive Allgemeinheit in sich vereint, und zwar konkret in jeder (...) Zeichenrelation. Von hier ließe sich die Systemtheorie Luhmanns debattieren, nicht in ihren attraktiven Anwendungen, sondern ihrem logischen Kern nach. (shrink)
Peircean semeiotics—Peirce's own term, in contrast to the discipline of "semiotics" that is usually spelled without the second "e"—has generated a substantial secondary literature, much of it designed to clarify Peirce's obscure, unsystematic, and continuously developing ideas about signs articulated over a forty-year career, but some of it in the attempt to illuminate other disciplines or fields of inquiry (e.g., one of the most recent being the provocative Cinema and Semiotic: Peirce and Film Aesthetics, Narration, and Representation, by Johannes (...)Ehrat, published by the University of Toronto Press in 2005). T. L. Short's comprehensive discussion advances the conversation, or at least attempts to do so, in at .. (shrink)
Episodic memory has been analyzed in a number of different ways in both philosophy and psychology, and most controversy has centered on its self-referential,autonoeticcharacter. Here, we offer a comprehensive characterization of episodic memory in representational terms and propose a novel functional account on this basis. We argue that episodic memory should be understood as a distinctive epistemic attitude taken toward an event simulation. In this view, episodic memory has a metarepresentational format and should not be equated with beliefs about the (...) past. Instead, empirical findings suggest that the contents of human episodic memory are often constructed in the service of the explicit justification of such beliefs. Existing accounts of episodic memory function that have focused on explaining its constructive character through its role in future-oriented mental time travel do justice neither to its capacity to ground veridical beliefs about the past nor to its representational format. We provide an account of the metarepresentational structure of episodic memory in terms of its role in communicative interaction. The generative nature of recollection allows us to represent and communicate the reasons why we hold certain beliefs about the past. In this process, autonoesis corresponds to the capacity to determine when and how to assert epistemic authority in making claims about the past. A domain where such claims are indispensable are human social engagements. Such engagements commonly require the justification of entitlements and obligations, which is often possible only by explicit reference to specific past events. (shrink)
Informally, structural properties of mathematical objects are usually characterized in one of two ways: either as properties expressible purely in terms of the primitive relations of mathematical theories, or as the properties that hold of all structurally similar mathematical objects. We present two formal explications corresponding to these two informal characterizations of structural properties. Based on this, we discuss the relation between the two explications. As will be shown, the two characterizations do not determine the same class of mathematical properties. (...) From this observation we draw some philosophical conclusions about the possibility of a ‘correct’ analysis of structural properties. (shrink)
This paper has the aim of making Johannes von Kries’s masterpiece, Die Principien der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung of 1886, a little more accessible to the modern reader in three modest ways: first, it discusses the historical background to the book ; next, it summarizes the basic elements of von Kries’s approach ; and finally, it examines the so-called “principle of cogent reason” with which von Kries’s name is often identified in the English literature.
This is part one of a two-part paper, in which we develop an axiomatic theory of the relation of partial ground. The main novelty of the paper is the of use of a binary ground predicate rather than an operator to formalize ground. This allows us to connect theories of partial ground with axiomatic theories of truth. In this part of the paper, we develop an axiomatization of the relation of partial ground over the truths of arithmetic and show that (...) the theory is a proof-theoretically conservative extension of the theory PT of positive truth. We construct models for the theory and draw some conclusions for the semantics of conceptualist ground. (shrink)
Johannes von Kries’s Spielraum-theory is regarded as one of the most important philosophical contributions of the nineteenth century to an objective interpretation of probability. This paper aims at a critical and contextual analysis of von Kries’s approach: It is contextual insofar as it reconstructs the Spielraum-theory in the historical setting that formed his scientific and philosophical outlook. It is critical insofar as it unfolds systematic tensions and inconsistencies which are rooted in this context, especially in the grave change of (...) mechanism which took place in the late nineteenth century. In this regard, the paper focuses on von Kries’s understanding of natural laws and nomological knowledge in relation to his concept of objective probability. While the formal approach of the Spielraum-theory—as far as developed by von Kries—seems sound, his epistemological claims with respect to nomological knowledge sustain classical mechanism and are hence difficult to substantiate from the point of view of modern science. (shrink)
The goal of the present article is to contribute to the epistemology and methodology of computer simulations. The central thesis is that the process of simulation modeling takes the form of an explorative cooperation between experimenting and modeling. This characteristic mode of modeling turns simulations into autonomous mediators in a specific way; namely, it makes it possible for the phenomena and the data to exert a direct influence on the model. The argumentation will be illustrated by a case study of (...) the general circulation models of meteorology, the major simulation models in climate research. (shrink)
Gareth Evans famously affirmed an explanatory connection between answering the question whether p and knowing whether one believes that p. This is commonly interpreted in terms of the idea that judging that p constitutes an adequate basis for the belief that one believes that p. This paper formulates and defends an alternative, more modest interpretation, which develops from the suggestion that one can know that one believes that p in judging that p.
In recent years there has been much psychological and neurological work purporting to show that consciousness and self-awareness play no role in causing actions, and indeed to demonstrate that free will is an illusion. The essays in this volume subject the assumptions that motivate such claims to sustained interdisciplinary scrutiny. The book will be compulsory reading for psychologists and philosophers working on action explanation, and for anyone interested in the relation between the brain sciences and consciousness.
This paper starts by looking at the coincidence of surprising behavior on the nanolevel in both matter and simulation. It uses this coincidence to argue that the simulation approach opens up a pragmatic mode of understanding oriented toward design rules and based on a new instrumental access to complex models. Calculations, and their variation by means of explorative numerical experimentation and visualization, can give a feeling for a model's behavior and the ability to control phenomena, even if the model itself (...) remains epistemically opaque. Thus, the investigation of simulation in nanoscience provides a good example of how science is adapting to a new instrument: computer simulation. (shrink)
This is part two of a two-part paper in which we develop an axiomatic theory of the relation of partial ground. The main novelty of the paper is the of use of a binary ground predicate rather than an operator to formalize ground. In this part of the paper, we extend the base theory of the first part of the paper with hierarchically typed truth-predicates and principles about the interaction of partial ground and truth. We show that our theory is (...) a proof-theoretically conservative extension of the ramified theory of positive truth up to. (shrink)
Modularity is a key concept in building and evaluating complex simulation models. My main claim is that in simulation modeling modularity degenerates for systematic methodological reasons. Consequently, it is hard, if not impossible, to accessing how representational structure and dynamical properties of a model are related. The resulting problem for validating models is one of holism. The argument will proceed by analyzing the techniques of parameterization, tuning, and kludging. They are – to a certain extent – inevitable when building complex (...) simulation models, but corrode modularity. As a result, the common account of validating simulations faces a major problem and testing the dynamical behavior of simulation models becomes all the more important. Finally, I will ask in what circumstances this might be sufficient for model validation. (shrink)
Commonsense epistemology regards perceptual experience as a distinctive source of knowledge of the world around us, unavailable in ‘blindsight’. This is often interpreted in terms of the idea that perceptual experience, through its representational content, provides us with justifying reasons for beliefs about the world around us. I argue that this analysis distorts the explanatory link between perceptual experience and knowledge, as we ordinarily conceive it. I propose an alternative analysis, on which representational content plays no explanatory role: we make (...) perceptual knowledge intelligible by appeal to experienced objects and features. I also present an account of how the commonsense scheme, thus interpreted, is to be defended: not by tracing the role of experience to its contribution in meeting some general condition on propositional knowledge (such as justification), but by subverting the assumption that it has to be possible to make the role of experience intelligible in terms of some such contribution. (shrink)
We claim that adjustable parameters play a crucial role in building and applying simulation models. We analyze that role and illustrate our findings using examples from equations of state in thermodynamics. In building simulation models, two types of experiments, namely, simulation and classical experiments, interact in a feedback loop, in which model parameters are adjusted. A critical discussion of how adjustable parameters function shows that they are boon and bane of simulation. They help to enlarge the scope of simulation far (...) beyond what can be determined by theoretical knowledge, but at the same time undercut the epistemic value of simulation models. (shrink)
When it comes to evaluating reductive hypotheses in metaphysics, supervenience arguments are the tools of the trade. Jaegwon Kim and Frank Jackson have argued, respectively, that strong and global supervenience are sufficient for reduction, and others have argued that supervenience theses stand in need of the kind of explanation that reductive hypotheses are particularly suited to provide. Simon Blackburn's arguments about what he claims are the specifically problematic features of the supervenience of the moral on the natural have also been (...) influential. But most discussions of these arguments have proceeded under the strong and restrictive assumptions of the S5 modal logic. In this paper we aim to remedy that defect, by illustrating in an accessible way what happens to these arguments under relaxed assumptions and why. The occasion is recent work by Ralph Wedgwood, who seeks to defend non-reductive accounts of moral and mental properties together with strong supervenience, but to evade both the arguments of Kim and Jackson and the explanatory challenge by accepting only the weaker, B, modal logic. In addition to drawing general lessons about what happens to supervenience arguments under relaxed assumptions, our goal is therefore to shed some light on both the virtues and costs of Wedgwood's proposal. (shrink)
On a widely held view, the canonical way to make sense of intentional actions is to invoke the agent's ‘motivating reasons’, where the claim that X did A for some ‘motivating reason’ is taken to be neutral on whether X had a normative reason to do A. In this paper, I explore a challenge to this view, drawing on Anscombe's ‘second-personal’ approach to the nature of action explanation.
ABSTRACTThrough writings of Simone Weil and Michel Foucault, the article explores the notion of education as the formation of the attending and attentive subjects. Both writers have in different ways acknowledged the important relation between attention and the self. While Weil develops a spiritual form of attention, an attention which can be trained in any form of serious studying, aiming at dissolving the illusion of the self, Foucault understands attention as an important aspect in the Greek notion of the care (...) of the self, which was developed outside of and due to the limitations of pedagogy aiming at a self-attentive self-formation. Both non-egotistic notions of attention address ethical and educational dimensions of human subjectivity. Foucault’s notion is anti-institutional and Weil’s notion is non-formative. As such, both perspectives inform educational thinking and practice by highlighting attention as a crucial aspect of both the active and the contemplative subject. (shrink)
The aim of this chapter is to clarify the meaning and the use of the concept of relativism in the context of National Socialism (NS). This chapter analyzes three aspects of the connection between relativism and NS: The first part examines the critical reproach that NS is a form of relativism. I analyze and criticize the common core of this widespread argument, which is developed in varying contexts, was held in different times, and is still shared by several authors. The (...) second part investigates the ideological debate among Nazi philosophers themselves concerning whether NS is indeed a form of relativism. I focus on the epistemological consequences of Nazi anthropology and analyze both its relativistic tendencies and the strategies used to reject relativism. In contrast to the received view, I argue that Nazi philosophers attempted to overcome both absolutism and relativism. The third part investigates the academic debate on relativism during NS, using the example of the prize question on relativism that was announced by the Prussian Academy of Science in 1936. By examining the academic approaches to the problem of relativism, I also address the question of how broader philosophical debates were related to the core of Nazi ideology. Academic philosophers took the self-understanding of Nazi philosophers seriously. They saw the shared aim of overcoming relativism as an opportunity to collaborate with NS. The brief conclusion summarizes the findings of the chapter. I conclude that, in the context of NS, critics, ideologists, and academics understand and use the concept of relativism in the same way. (shrink)