Thirteen leading contributors offer new essays in honour of the eminent philosopher and Wittgenstein scholar Peter Hacker. They discuss issues in the interpretation of Wittgenstein, investigate central topics in the history of analytic philosophy, and explore and assess Wittgensteinian ideas about language, mind, action, ethics, and religion.
The mathematical works of the French philosopher Charles de Bovelles have received little attention from historians of scientific thought. At the University of Paris, Bovelles studied under Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples, sharing with him a high regard for the Christian Neoplatonic philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa. One aspect of Cusanus's philosophy was particularly favoured by Lefèvre and Bovelles: the use of geometrical symbolism to provide mathematical guidance to the divine. While Lefèvre was preparing an edition of Cusanus's works , Bovelles wrote (...) a treatise of his own, in which the geometry of the five polyhedra was used to provide an approach to the mystery of the Trinity. Seen in the context of Renaissance syncretism of Platonism and Christianity, Bovelles's treatise adds a theological layer of interpretation to the literal meaning of the polyhedral physics described by Plato in the Timaeus. In so doing, it contributes to the discussion of a problem that was later to concern several Renaissance philosophers and cosmologists, including, at the end of the century, Johannes Kepler. (shrink)
BackgroundAlthough the number of reporting guidelines has grown rapidly, few have gone through an updating process. The STARD statement, published in 2003 to help improve the transparency and completeness of reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies, was recently updated in a systematic way. Here, we describe the steps taken and a justification for the changes made.ResultsA 4-member Project Team coordinated the updating process; a 14-member Steering Committee was regularly solicited by the Project Team when making critical decisions. First, a review of (...) the literature was performed to identify topics and items potentially relevant to the STARD updating process. After this, the 85 members of the STARD Group were invited to participate in two online surveys to identify items that needed to be modified, removed from, or added to the STARD checklist. Based on the results of the literature review process, 33 items were presented to the STARD Group in the online survey: 25 original items and 8 new items; 73 STARD Group members completed the first survey, and 79 STARD Group members completed the second survey.Then, an in-person consensus meeting was organized among the members of the Project Team and Steering Committee to develop a consensual draft version of STARD 2015. This version was piloted in three rounds among a total of 32 expert and non-expert users. Piloting mostly led to rewording of items. After this, the update was finalized. The updated STARD 2015 list now consists of 30 items. Compared to the previous version of STARD, three original items were each converted into two new items, four original items were incorporated into other items, and seven new items were added.ConclusionsAfter a systematic updating process, STARD 2015 provides an updated list of 30 essential items for reporting diagnostic accuracy studies. (shrink)
In recent years philosophers have given much attention to the ‘ontological problem’ of events. Donald Davidson puts the matter thus: ‘the assumption, ontological and metaphysical, that there are events is one without which we cannot make sense of much of our common talk; or so, at any rate, I have been arguing. I do not know of any better, or further, way of showing what there is’. It might be thought bizarre to assign to philosophers the task of ‘showing what (...) there is’. They have not distinguished themselves by the discovery of new elements, new species or new continents, nor even of new categories, although there has often been more dreamt of in their philosophies than can be found in heaven or earth. It might appear even stranger to think that one can show what there actually is by arguing that the existence of something needs to be assumed in order for certain sentences to make sense. More than anything, the sober reader will doubtlessly be amazed that we need to assume , after lengthy argument, ‘that there are events’. (shrink)
Throughout its history philosophy has been thought to be a member of a community of intellectual disciplines united by their common pursuit of knowledge. It has sometimes been thought to be the queen of the sciences, at other times merely their under-labourer. But irrespective of its social status, it was held to be a participant in the quest for knowledge – a cognitive discipline.
What nonsense might be, and what Wittgenstein thought that nonsense might be, are two of the central questions in the current debate between those—such as Cora Diamond, James Conant and Michael Kremer—who favour a “resolute” approach to Wittgenstein’s work, and those—such as P. M. S. Hacker and Hans-Johann Glock—who instead favour a more “traditional” approach. What answer we give to these questions will determine the nature and force of his criticisms of traditional philosophy, and so the very shape Wittgenstein’s work (...) has for us, as well as, to some extent, what the lesson of the Tractatus might be. My aim in this paper is to provide a detailed defence of the austere view of nonsense, that lies at the heart of the resolute approach, against a range of influentialcriticisms developed by Hans-Johann Glock and which focus on Wittgenstein’s contextualism. In so doing, I hope also to shed some light on the kind of view the austere view is, as well as how it might relate to certain other crucial aspects of Wittgenstein’s thought. (shrink)
The Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies has been and continues to be enormously influential in the physiology, psychology, and philosophy of perception. In simple terms, the Doctrine states that we directly perceive in the first instance the activity of our nerves, rather than properties in the external world. The canonical early statement of the Doctrine by the physiologist Johannes Peter Müller had profound influence on both the phi- losophy and psychology of the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially as (...) reformulated and transmitted by Müller’s student Helmholtz. A common assumption of historical and ongoing debate about the Doctrine has been its supposedly idealist or skeptical implications. What is not commonly recognized is that Müller himself ad- vanced a realist interpretation along lines that would be recognized today as a form of epistemic structural realism. This paper analyzes Müller’s structuralist epistemology in detail and reconstructs his articulation and defense of the Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies in its canonical form. Part II argues for the continued im- portance of the Doctrine and its structuralist interpretation for contemporary psychology, philosophy of per- ception, and history of philosophy of science. (shrink)
In this article I assess the Invariance Principle, which states that only quantities that are invariant under the symmetries of our theories are physically real. I argue, contrary to current orthodoxy, that the variance of a quantity under a theory’s symmetries is not a sufficient basis for interpreting that theory as being uncommitted to the reality of that quantity. Rather, I argue, the variance of a quantity under symmetries only ever serves as a motivation to refrain from any commitment to (...) the quantity in question. (shrink)
The concept ‘hereditary breast cancer’ is commonly used to delineate a group of people genetically at risk for breast cancer—all of whom also having risk for other cancers. People carrying pathogenic variants of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are often referred to as those having predisposition for ‘hereditary breast cancer’. The two genes, however, are when altered, associated with different risks for and dying from breast cancer. The main risk for dying for carriers of both genes is from ovarian cancer. (...) These biological facts are of philosophical interest, because they are the facts underlying the public debate on BRCA1/2 genetic testing as a model for the discussion of how to implement genetic knowledge and technologies in personalized medicine. A contribution to this public debate describing inherited breast cancer as ‘biological citizenship’ recently printed in Med Health Care and Philos illustrated how fragmented and detached from the biological and socio-political facts this debate sometimes is. We here briefly summarize some of the biological facts and how they are implemented in today’s healthcare based on agreed philosophical, ethical and moral principles. The suggestion of a ‘biological citizenship’ defined by hereditary breast cancer is incorrect and ill-advised. ‘Identity politics’ focusing hereditary breast cancer patients as a group based on a bundle of ill-defined negative arguments is well known, but is supported neither by scientific nor philosophical arguments. To those born with the genetic variants described, the philosophical rule of not doing harm is violated by unbalanced negative arguments. (shrink)
There exists a common view that for theories related by a ‘duality’, dual models typically may be taken ab initio to represent the same physical state of affairs, i.e. to correspond to the same possible world. We question this view, by drawing a parallel with the distinction between ‘interpretational’ and ‘motivational’ approaches to symmetries.
This major new study by one of the most penetrating and persistent critics of philosophical and scientific orthodoxy, returns to Aristotle in order to examine the salient categories in terms of which we think about ourselves and our nature, and the distinctive forms of explanation we invoke to render ourselves intelligible to ourselves. The culmination of 40 years of thought on the philosophy of mind and the nature of the mankind Written by one of the world’s leading philosophers, the co-author (...) of the monumental 4 volume _Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations_ Uses broad categories, such as substance, causation, agency and power to examine how we think about ourselves and our nature Platonic and Aristotelian conceptions of human nature are sketched and contrasted Individual chapters clarify and provide an historical overview of a specific concept, then link the concept to ideas contained in other chapters. (shrink)
Johanna Knapstein,1 Daniel Grimm,1 Marcus A Wörns,1 Peter R Galle,1 Hauke Lang,2 Tim Zimmermann111st Department of Internal Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany; 2Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, GermanyIntroduction: Hepatitis C virus reinfection occurs universally after liver transplantation, with accelerated cirrhosis rates of up to 30% within 5 years after liver transplantation. Dual antiviral therapy with pegylated interferon-2a and ribavirin only reaches sustained virological response rates of ~30% after liver transplantation. With the approval of (...) viral NS3/4A protease inhibitors telaprevir, boceprevir, and simeprevir and the NS5B polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir, combination therapy offers new therapeutic options for HCV-infected patients, resulting in considerably higher sustained virological response rates in the nontransplant setting. Case presentation: We report three cases of TVR-based triple antiviral therapy in HCV genotype 1 reinfected patients after liver transplantation, of whom a 57-year-old Caucasian female and a 43-year-old Caucasian male were therapy naïve, and a 49-year-old Caucasian male patient was pretreated ineffectively. After 4 weeks of therapy, viral load decreased one to three log10 and became negative in weeks 6 to 8 in the therapy naïve patients. The pretreated patient showed a negative viral load in week 4. TVR was administered over 12 weeks, 750 mg thrice daily. Doses of immunosuppression with cyclosporine were reduced four to six fold. Initial peg-IFN and RBV doses ranged from 135–180 µg/week and 800–1,200 mg/day, according to the patient's body weight. Doses of peg-IFN and RBV were adapted to 90–135 µg/week and 400–800 mg/day after 2 to 12 weeks of protease inhibitor therapy. Dual therapy was continued for 36 weeks with total treatment duration of 48 weeks in the therapy naïve patients leading to a sustained virological response 12 weeks after the end of therapy. In the pretreated patient a breakthrough was detected in week 24 and therapy was discontinued. Overall, antiviral therapy was well tolerated. Side effects included dysgeusia and anemia leading to erythropoietin application and blood transfusions. Conclusion: This case series emphasizes that triple therapy with TVR is an efficient treatment for therapy naïve HCV genotype 1 reinfected patients after liver transplantation. But therapeutic options for pretreated patients require improvement. Keyword: cyclosporine, interferon, ribavirin, hepatitis C, protease inhibitor. (shrink)
Since the first publication of Insight and Illusion in l972, a wealth of Wittgenstein's writings have become accessible. Accordingly, in this edition Professor Hacker has rewritten six of his eleven original chapters and revised the others to incorporate the new abundant material. Insight and Illusion now fully clarifies the historical backgrounds of Wittgenstein's highly different masterpieces, the Tractatus and the Investigations, and traces the evolution of Wittgenstein's thought. Hacker explains all of Wittgenstein's writings in detail, focusing on his critique of (...) metaphysics, his famous "private language argument," and his account of self-consciousness. (shrink)
Data-intensive science comes with increased risks concerning quality and reliability of data, and while trust in science has traditionally been framed as a matter of scientists being expected to adhere to certain technical and moral norms for behaviour, emerging discourses of open science present openness and transparency as substitutes for established trust mechanisms. By ensuring access to all available information, quality becomes a matter of informed judgement by the users, and trust no longer seems necessary. This strategy does not, however, (...) take into consideration the networks of professionals already enabling data-intensive science by providing high-quality data. In the life sciences, biological data- and knowledge bases managed by expert biocurators have become crucial for data-intensive research. In this paper, I will use the case of biocurators to argue that openness and transparency will not diminish the need for trust in data-intensive science. On the contrary, data-intensive science requires a reconfiguration of existing trust mechanisms in order to include those who take care of and manage scientific data after its production. (shrink)
: The aim of the present paper is to discuss how the legal metaphors in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason can help us understand the work’s transcendental argumentation. I discuss Dieter Henrich’s claim that legal deductions form a methodological paradigm for all three Critiques that exempts the deductions from following a stringent logical structure. I also consider Rüdiger Bubner’s proposal that the legal metaphors show that the transcendental deduction is a rhetorical argument. On the basis of my own reading of (...) the many different uses of legal analogies in the first Critique, I argue that they cannot form a consistent methodological paradigm as Henrich and Bubner claim. (shrink)
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