This volume has 41 chapters written to honor the 100th birthday of Mario Bunge. It celebrates the work of this influential Argentine/Canadian physicist and philosopher. Contributions show the value of Bunge’s science-informed philosophy and his systematic approach to philosophical problems. The chapters explore the exceptionally wide spectrum of Bunge’s contributions to: metaphysics, methodology and philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of physics, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of social science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of technology, moral philosophy, social and political (...) philosophy, medical philosophy, and education. The contributors include scholars from 16 countries. Bunge combines ontological realism with epistemological fallibilism. He believes that science provides the best and most warranted knowledge of the natural and social world, and that such knowledge is the only sound basis for moral decision making and social and political reform. Bunge argues for the unity of knowledge. In his eyes, science and philosophy constitute a fruitful and necessary partnership. Readers will discover the wisdom of this approach and will gain insight into the utility of cross-disciplinary scholarship. This anthology will appeal to researchers, students, and teachers in philosophy of science, social science, and liberal education programmes. 1. Introduction Section I. An Academic Vocation Section II. Philosophy Section III. Physics and Philosophy of Physics Section IV. Cognitive Science and Philosophy of Mind Section V. Sociology and Social Theory Section VI. Ethics and Political Philosophy Section VII. Biology and Philosophy of Biology Section VIII. Mathematics Section IX. Education Section X. Varia Section XI. Bibliography. (shrink)
a single life-span. Philosophers, then, do not see more or know more, and they do not see less or know less. They aim to see less detail and more of the abstract. Their details, if you like, are abstractions. Walking on God’s earth as a pedestrian, as a farmer working his fields or as a passer-by, one’s picture of one’s surroundings is every bit as intelligent as that of the pilot riding the sky. The views of the field are radically (...) different, however. One sees only a specific field and in all lively detail: the exact pattern of the land, or even the exact outline of a given leaf, grasshopper, grain of sand even. Acquaintance with minute detail is not without its price: details may stand in the way of conjuring the big picture. It may be difficult to compare whichever field one happens to be in with far off fields, with respect to their size or shape or any other quality. One may wish to inquire if far off fields were already planted, harvested, or even if they exist. A pedestrian may find it hard or even impossible to do so. The pedestrian view contains fine points that the pilot’s map never would, but it does not necessarily contain more information, for it lacks the general context. After all, there are only so many items that one can observe and account for at a single glance, a single map, a single book, a single life-span. (shrink)
Quine’s philosophy comprises a bewildering set of views whose integrating principle is his "confirmed extensionalism". The paper offers a historical as well as an intellectual reconstruction of extensionalism. Traditional extensionalism (Boole) freed logic from Aristotelian essentialism that had inhibited the development of logic. Quine’s confirmed extensionalism is the acceptance, as a matter of course, of the validity of Frege’s criticism of [Boole’s] extensionalism. His confirmed extensionalism is a generalized version of the philosophy of science known as conventionalism. As such, it (...) places the advancement of science outside the province of science proper. It is, thus, at odds with Quine’s repeated expressions of alliance with the Popperian (hypothetico-deductive) model of science. (shrink)
This volume features forty-two essays written in honor of Joseph Agassi. It explores the work and legacy of this influential philosopher, an exciting and challenging advocate of critical rationalism. Throughout six decades of stupendous intellectual activity, Agassi called attention to rationality as the very starting point of every notable philosophical way of life. The essays present Agassi’s own views on critical rationalism. They also develop and expand upon his work in new and provocative ways. The authors include Agassi's most notable (...) pupils, friends, and colleagues. Overall, their contributions challenge the received view on a variety of issues concerning science, religion, and education. Readers will find well-reasoned arguments on such topics as the secular problem of evil, religion and critical thinking, liberal democratic educational communities, democracy and constitutionalism, and capitalism at a crossroad.“/div>divTo Joseph Agassi, philosophy is the practice of reason, where reason is understood as the relentless search for criticisms of the best available explanations that we have to the world around us. This book not only honors one of the most original philosophers of science today. It also offers readers insights into a school of thought that lies at the heart of philosophy. (shrink)
This book is a philosophical introduction to the field of communication and media studies. In search of the philosophical backgrounds of that relatively young field, the book explores why this overwhelmingly popular discipline is in crisis. The book discusses classic introductions on communication, provides an update on lessons learned, and re-evaluates the work of pioneers in the light of up-to-date philosophical standards. It summarizes various debates surrounding the foundations of system theory and especially its applicability to the Social Sciences in (...) general and to Communication Studies in particular. Communication schools promise their students an understanding of the source of a principal and dynamical power in their lives, a power shaping societies and identities, molding aspirations, and deciding their fates. They also promise students a practical benefit, a chance to learn the secret of controlling that dynamical power, improving a set of skills that would ensure them a critical edge in the future job market: become better media experts for all media. Yet no one seems to know how such promises are met. Can there be a general theory of communication? If not, what can (should) communication students learn? This book looks at the problem from a philosophical perspective and proposes a framework wherein critical cases can be tested. (shrink)
In his last book, Agassi reiterates Critical Rationalism as a full-fledged philosophy of life. He criticizes Paternalism and Relativism as degenerative, and even pathological, attempts to grant life a meaning, and suggests, in their place, that fallibilism is the minimal condition for a meaningful life.
The central thesis of Karl Popper's philosophy is that intellectual and political progress are best achieved by not deferring to dogmatic authority. His philosophy of science is a plea for the replacement of classic dogmatic methodology with critical debate. His philosophy of politics, similarly, is a plea for replacing Utopian social and political engineering with a more fallibilist, piecemeal variety. Many confuse his anti‐dogmatism with relativism, and his anti‐authoritarianism with Cold War conservatism or even with libertarian politics. Not so: he (...) showed a clear preference for the ideal of truth over relativist complacency, for cosmopolitanism over nationalism, and for democratic control over unbridled capitalism. (shrink)
Logic, Rhetoric and Argumentation Theory are more or less distinct attempts to approach the riddle of persuasion: what makes our reason tick? Moreover, how best can we study our ability to influence the reason of others so as to make them share our opinions? The three classical answers, then, are: (1) Logic, the theory of valid inference, is the best persuasion theory available. (2) Rhetoric, the theory of effective manipulation of others is the best persuasion theory available. Finally, (3) Argumentation (...) theory, the middle theory that recommends a mix of reasoning and manipulation, is the best persuasion theory available. In this article, I briefly explain the controversy between these three competing views and offer some comments upon its possible resolution. Since all forms of communication are performed on the spectrum between manipulation and the non-manipulative offering of contents, this controversy should interest all those who are intrigued by the miraculous possibility of human communication in the first place. (shrink)
Classical thinking on rationality regards it as an all-or-nothing affair. It thus fails to account for the fact that institutions are powerful social factors that frame the contexts within which rational agents supposedly exercise their ability to choose. This poses the classic dilemma: should social explanation refer to individual decisions or to institutions? Wettersten skillfully criticizes some of the most advanced solutions to it, and attempts to formulate a better explanatory unit for the social sciences: the partially rational individual. Since (...) the partially rational individual is also only partially an individual,Wettersten's methodological reconciliation between individualism and holism seems to have some ontological implications too, ones that he seems reluctant to embrace. His book is nevertheless an interesting contribution to the controversy regarding the limits to the explanatory power of social theories. (shrink)
Quine’s philosophy comprises a bewildering set of views whose integrating principle is his “confirmed extensionalism”. The paper offers a historical as well as an intellectual reconstruction of extensionalism. Traditional extensionalism freed logic from Aristotelian essentialism that had inhibited the development of logic. Quine’s confirmed extensionalism is the acceptance, as a matter of course, of the validity of Frege’s criticism of [Boole’s] extensionalism. His confirmed extensionalism is a generalized version of the philosophy of science known as conventionalism. As such, it places (...) the advancement of science outside the province of science proper. It is, thus, at odds with Quine’s repeated expressions of alliance with the Popperian model of science. (shrink)
Bunge contra Popper.Joseph Agassi & Nimrod Bar-Am - 2019 - In Mario Augusto Bunge, Michael R. Matthews, Guillermo M. Denegri, Eduardo L. Ortiz, Heinz W. Droste, Alberto Cordero, Pierre Deleporte, María Manzano, Manuel Crescencio Moreno, Dominique Raynaud, Íñigo Ongay de Felipe, Nicholas Rescher, Richard T. W. Arthur, Rögnvaldur D. Ingthorsson, Evandro Agazzi, Ingvar Johansson, Joseph Agassi, Nimrod Bar-Am, Alberto Cupani, Gustavo E. Romero, Andrés Rivadulla, Art Hobson, Olival Freire Junior, Peter Slezak, Ignacio Morgado-Bernal, Marta Crivos, Leonardo Ivarola, Andreas Pickel, Russell Blackford, Michael Kary, A. Z. Obiedat, Carolina I. García Curilaf, Rafael González del Solar, Luis Marone, Javier Lopez de Casenave, Francisco Yannarella, Mauro A. E. Chaparro, José Geiser Villavicencio- Pulido, Martín Orensanz, Jean-Pierre Marquis, Reinhard Kahle, Ibrahim A. Halloun, José María Gil, Omar Ahmad, Byron Kaldis, Marc Silberstein, Carolina I. García Curilaf, Rafael González del Solar, Javier Lopez de Casenave, Íñigo Ongay de Felipe & Villavicencio-Pulid (eds.), Mario Bunge: A Centenary Festschrift. Springer Verlag. pp. 263-272.details
Most of our colleagues are either dogmatists or justificationists. This makes friendship with them a delicate matter: one constantly faces the dilemma of either doing them the curtesy of overlooking their faults, or offering them the service of readiness to criticize their opinions. Bunge is one of the few who make both friendship and criticism easy: he avoids both dogmas and justifications.