Se analizan ciertos conceptos del estructuralismo empirista de Bas van Fraassen, en particular, el de representación, para intentar una crítica a su posición con respecto al vínculo entre los modelos de las teorías y, en última instancia, el mundo físico por medio de los modelos de datos, a los cuales van Fraassen les adjudica el papel de representantes de los fenómenos. Al final se delinea, a muy grandes rasgos, una alternativa conceptualista. The article analyzes certain concepts of the empiricist structuralism (...) of Bas van Fraassen, particularly that of representation, in order to carry out a critique of his position with respect to the link between the models of the theories and, ultimately, the physical world, through data models to which van Fraassen grants the role of representatives of phenomena. Finally, the article outlines a conceptualist alternative. (shrink)
In een tafelrede, uitgesproken in 1925, wijst de Spaanse filosoof José Ortega y Gasset zijn vriend, kunstcriticus Juan de la Encina, op de problemen waar een criticus voor komt te staan in de moderne tijd. De criticus heeft niet langer de beschikking over een vaste code aan de hand waarvan hij de kwaliteit van een kunstwerk kan bepalen. In plaats daarvan ziet hij zich geconfronteerd met een verandering die zich in de opvattingen van de mensen heeft voorgedaan. In de huidige (...) tijd is de mens steeds duidelijker het heden gaan zien als iets dat volstrekt is afgezonderd van het verleden, waar eerst een meer organische opvatting werd gehuldigd. Dit heeft de nodige gevolgen voor onze waardering van oude en van moderne kunst. (shrink)
The observable/unobservable distinction, realistically construed, is a feature which lies at the very heart of van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism. The aim of this paper is to approach it by taking a close look at van Fraassen’s concept of observation. We will argue that if van Fraassen’s most recent writings about “literate experience”, especially his remarks on the status of observation reports and his general a-metaphysical stance, are taken into account, his realistic interpretation of the observable/unobservable distinction paves the road for (...) inconsistency. In particular, we will show that a dilemma emerges to the effect that van Fraassen is forced to accept skeptical consequences blatantly at odds with constructive empiricism and its restatement of the aim of science. We will finally suggest that the only way out for van Fraassen involves giving up his realistic construal of observability and thus taking sides with constructivism. (shrink)
We show that van Lambalgen's Theorem fails with respect to recursive randomness and Schnorr randomness for some real in every high degree and provide a full characterization of the Turing degrees for which van Lambalgen's Theorem can fail with respect to Kurtz randomness. However, we also show that there is a recursively random real that is not Martin-Löf random for which van Lambalgen's Theorem holds with respect to recursive randomness.
In this paper, I argue against Peter van Inwagen’s claim (in “Free Will Remains a Mystery”), that agent-causal views of free will could do nothing to solve the problem of free will (specifically, the problem of chanciness). After explaining van Inwagen’s argument, I argue that he does not consider all possible manifestations of the agent-causal position. More importantly, I claim that, in any case, van Inwagen appears to have mischaracterized the problem in some crucial ways. Once we are clear on (...) the true nature of the problem of chanciness, agent-causal views do much to eradicate it. (shrink)
In this paper, the author defends Peter van Inwagen’s modal skepticism. Van Inwagen accepts that we have much basic, everyday modal knowledge, but denies that we have the capacity to justify philosophically interesting modal claims that are far removed from this basic knowledge. The author also defends the argument by means of which van Inwagen supports his modal skepticism, offering a rebuttal to an objection along the lines of that proposed by Geirrson. Van Inwagen argues that Stephen Yablo’s recent and (...) influential account of the relationship between conceivability and possibility supports his skeptical claims. The author’s defence involves a creative interpretation and development of Yablo’s account, which results in a recursive account of modal epistemology, what the author calls the “safe explanation” theory of modal epistemology. (shrink)
In his recent book on the problem of evil, Peter van Inwagen argues that both the global and local arguments from evil are failures. In this paper, we engagevan Inwagen’s book at two main points. First, we consider his understanding of what it takes for a philosophical argument to succeed. We argue that while his criterion for success is interesting and helpful, there is good reason to think it is too stringent. Second, we consider his responses to the global and (...) local arguments from evil. We argue that although van Inwagen may have adequately responded to each of these arguments, his discussion points us toa third argument from evil to which he has yet to provide a response. (shrink)
Some artworks are called sublime because of their capacity to move human imagination in a different way than the experience of beauty. The following discussion explores how Van Gogh’s The Starry Night along with some of his other late landscape paintings accomplish this peculiar movement of imagination thus qualifying as sublime artworks. These artworks constitute examples of the higher aesthetic principles and must be judged according to the cosmological-aesthetic criteria for they manage to generate a transition between ethos and phusis (...) and present them in unity. Here, referring to Heraclitean, Kantian, Nietzschean and Heideggerian metaphysics and aesthetics, I propose that the principles of motion and transition be the new cosmologic-aesthetic categories for the judgment of sublime artworks as well as for the understanding of the world (Weltanschauung) they represent. (shrink)
Peter van Inwagen ’s argument for incompatibilism uses a sentential operator, “N”, which can be read as “No one has any choice about the fact that....” I show that, given van Inwagen ’s understanding of the notion of having a choice, the argument is invalid. However, a different interpretation of “N” can be given, such that the argument is clearly valid, the premises remain highly plausible, and the conclusion implies that free will is incompatible with determinism.
Van Inwagen has an ingenious argument for the non-existence of human artefacts . But the argument cannot be accepted, since human artefacts are everywhere. However, it cannot be ignored. The proper response to it is to treat it as a refutation of its least plausible premise, i.e., to ‘tollens’ it. I first set out van Inwagen’s argument. I then identify its least plausible premise and explain the consequence of denying it, that is, the acceptance of a plenitudinous, pluralist ontology. I (...) argue that denying it is not so difficult, since its denial is an easy consequence of ordinary beliefs. I finish by explaining why van Inwagen has not persuaded me that it may be that artefacts do not exist and conclude that nothing stands in the way of tollensing van Inwagen and accepting the consequence of doing so. (shrink)
Van Heijenoort’s main contribution to history and philosophy of modern logic was his distinction between two basic views of logic, first, the absolutist, or universalist, view of the founding fathers, Frege, Peano, and Russell, which dominated the first, classical period of history of modern logic, and, second, the relativist, or model-theoretic, view, inherited from Boole, Schröder, and Löwenheim, which has dominated the second, contemporary period of that history. In my paper, I present the man Jean van Heijenoort (Sect. 1); then (...) I describe his way of arguing for the second view (Sect. 2); and finally I come down in favor of the first view (Sect. 3). There, I specify the version of universalism for which I am prepared to argue (Sect. 3, introduction). Choosing ZFC to play the part of universal, logical (in a nowadays forgotten sense) system, I show, through an example, how the usual model theory can be naturally given its proper place, from the universalist point of view, in the logical framework of ZFC; I outline another, not rival but complementary, semantics for admissible extensions of ZFC in the very same logical framework; I propose a way to get universalism out of the predicaments in which universalists themselves believed it to be (Sect. 3.1). Thus, if universalists of the classical period did not, in fact, construct these semantics, it was not that their universalism forbade them, in principle, to do so. The historical defeat of universalism was not technical in character. Neither was it philosophical. Indeed, it was hardly more than the victory of technicism over the very possibility of a philosophical dispute (Sect. 3.2). (shrink)
Common notions of comparative philosophy tend to be strongly configured by the East-West axis. This essay suggests ways of seeing Latin American liberation philosophy as a form of comparative philosophy and an important Latin American thinker as being relevant for East-West political philosophy. The essay focuses on the Peruvian activist and intellectual, José Mariátegui, who is widely regarded to have been a leading Marxist, liberatory, and decolonial figure in 20th century Latin America. Like many “Third World” intellectuals of the interwar (...) years, Mariátegui had an interest in decolonization struggles in Asia and wrote with some consistency on this subject and in ways that bear significantly upon key themes in his political theory. Since very little of this has received commentary, this essay begins a discussion of Mariátegui's decolonial experimentation with ideas about Asia, decolonization, and indigenous cultural forms, like those of the Incas and Confucians. After some preliminary discussion of Euro.. (shrink)
En este texto se analiza cómo el filósofo español exiliado en México, José Gaos (1900- 1969), considera que la filosofía hispanoamericana, e incluso las propias tierras americanas, son lugares de una “utopía – aunque no ucronía-, debido a que tanto las tradiciones trascendente-religiosas como inmanente-filosóficas europeas han convertido a América, y como resultado final de una determinada filosofía de la historia, en lugar ideal del futuro del pensamiento filosófico –y, en última instancia, del hombre contemporáneo.
Peter van Inwagen has long claimed that he doesn’t understand substitutional quantification and that the notion is, in fact, meaningless. Van Inwagen identifies the source of his bewilderment as an inability to understand the proposition expressed by a simple sentence like “,” where “$\Sigma$” is the existential quantifier understood substitutionally. I should think that the proposition expressed by this sentence is the same as that expressed by “.” So what’s the problem? The problem, I suggest, is that van Inwagen takes (...) traditional existential quantification to be ontologically committing and substitutional quantification to be ontologically noncommitting, which requires that the two quantifiers have different meanings—but no different meaning for the substitutional quantifier is forthcoming. What van Inwagen fails to appreciate is that substitutional quantification is directed at a criterion of ontological commitment, namely, W. V. O. Quine’s, which is quite different from van Inwagen’s criterion. Substitutional quantification successfully avoids the commitments Quine’s criterion would engender but has the same commitments as existential quantification given van Inwagen’s criterion. The question, then, is whether the existential quantifier is ontologically committing, as van Inwagen believes. The answer to that question will depend on whether the ordinary language “there is/are,” which is codified by the existential quantifier, is ontologically committing. There are good reasons to doubt that it is. (shrink)
Bas van Fraassen’s empiricist reading of Perrin’s achievement invites the question: whose doubts about atoms did Perrin put to rest? This comment recontextualizes the argument and applies the notion of empirical grounding to some contemporary work in behavioral biology.
Era imprescindible una edición de aquellos textos que José Gaos escribiera sobre su gran maestro, Ortega, máxime desde que se ha comenzado a estudiar con un interés inusitado la obra del filósofo asturiano exiliado en México, tal y como se deduce del gran número de trabajos, investigaciones, publicaciones, jornadas, etc., que se han venido realizado, en la última década, mediante el esfuerzo de centros de investigación y universidades españolas como la Universidad de Valencia, la UNED, el CSIC, la U. de (...) Zaragoza, la Fundación Manuel Mindán y la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, así como en México, tanto en la UNAM como en El Colegio de México. (shrink)
In regards to the problem of evil, van Inwagen thinks there are two arguments from evil which require different defenses. These are the global argument from evil—that there exists evil in general, and the local argument from evil—that there exists some particular atrocious evil X. However, van Inwagen fails to consider whether the problem of God’s hiddenness also has a “local” version: whether there is in fact a “local” argument from God’s hiddenness which would be undefeated by his general defense (...) of God’s hiddenness. This paper will argue that van Inwagen’s present account contains no implicit response to the “local” argument from God’s hiddenness, and, worse, the “local” argument brings to the fore crucial inconsistencies in van Inwagen’s account. These inconsistencies concern van Inwagen’s criterion for philosophical success—his methodological use of an “ideal audience” in an ideal debate—and a crucial premise in his argument: namely, that people who do not believe in God are culpably deceiving themselves regarding the manifest presence of God. These considerations will be a platform for my arguing that the failures of van Inwagen’s account amount to his ignoring the extra-rational, concrete aspect of grasping “spiritual propositions”—propositions which, in order to be affirmed, require the full self-understanding which precipitates out of the mind, body, and will of a particular existing individual. (shrink)
Van Fraassen has presented in Scientific Representation an attractive notion of measurement as an important part of the empiricist structuralism that he endorses. However, he has been criticized on the grounds that both his notion of measurement and his empiricist structuralism force him to do the very thing he objects to in other philosophical projects—to endorse a controversial metaphysics. This paper proposes a defense of van Fraassen by arguing that his project is indeed a ‘metaphysical’ project, but one which is (...) very similar to Strawson’s ‘descriptive metaphysics’; if this is the case, van Fraassen’s project may be taken, following recent suggestions made by Ney and Paul, as a form of metaphysics that can potentially make a crucial contribution to scientific inquiry. (shrink)
http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2008v12n1p49 The aim of this article is to offer a rejoinder to an argument against scientific realism put forward by van Fraassen, based on theoretical considerations regarding microphysics. At a certain stage of his general attack to scientific realism, van Fraassen argues, in contrast to what realists typically hold, that empirical regularities should sometimes be regarded as “brute facts”, which do not ask for explanation in terms of deeper, unobservable mechanisms. The argument from microphysics formulated by van Fraassen is based (...) on the claim that in microphysics the demand for explanation leads to a demand for the so-called hidden-variable theories, which “runs contrary to at least one major school of thought in twentieth-century physics”. It is shown here that this argument does not represent an insurmountable obstacle to scientific realism, not even when a series of important theoretical and experimental results against hidden-variable theories — and not merely a conflict with a certain school of thought—is taken into account. (shrink)
I use van Heijenoort’s published writings and manuscript materials to provide a comprehensive overview of his conception of modern logic as a first-order functional calculus and of the historical developments which led to this conception of mathematical logic, its defining characteristics, and in particular to provide an integral account, from his most important publications as well as his unpublished notes and scattered shorter historico-philosophical articles, of how and why the mathematical logic, whose he traced to Frege and the culmination of (...) its formative period in the incompleteness results of Gödel, became modern logic, as distinct from the traditional logic of Aristotle, and why and how the logistic tradition that led from Frege through Russell, rather than the algebraic tradition that led from De Morgan and Boole through Peirce and Schröder, came, in his view, to define modern logic. (shrink)