We argue that the distinction between framework and interaction theories should be taken carefully into consideration when dealing with the philosophical implications of fundamental theories in physics. In particular, conclusions concerning the nature of reality can only be consistently derived from assessing the ontological and epistemic purport of both types of theories. We put forward an epistemic form of realism regarding framework theories, such as Quantum Field Theory. The latter, indeed, informs us about the general properties of quantum fields, laying (...) the groundwork for interaction theories. Yet, concerning interaction theories, we recommend a robust form of ontological realism regarding the entities whose existence is assumed by these theories. As an application, we refer to the case of the Standard Model, so long as it has proved to successfully inform us about the nature of various sorts of fundamental particles making up reality. In short, although we acknowledge that both framework and interaction theories partake in shaping our science-based view of reality, and that neither would do by itself the work we expect them to accomplish together, our proposal for a coherent ontology of fundamental entities advances a compromise between two forms of realism about theories in each case. (shrink)
In this international and interdisciplinary collection of critical essays, distinguished contributors examine a crucial premise of traditional readings of Plato's dialogues: that Plato's own doctrines and arguments can be read off the statements made in the dialogues by Socrates and other leading characters. The authors argue in general and with reference to specific dialogues, that no character should be taken to be Plato's mouthpiece. This is essential reading for students and scholars of Plato.
We re-examine the geometry lesson in the Meno, focusing on the interaction between interlocutors in the practice of recollection. We appeal to an analogy with interactive memory to suggest how Plato could think that inquiry could be successful even when participants have no awareness of what would satisfy their inquiry. This exposes a feature of recollection that needs no metaphysical assumptions, and which emphasises interaction. This feature, which has escaped the notice of philosophers, is more fundamental to the Meno than (...) a theory of innate ideas. Such a theory may be superimposed on the view about interactive memory we describe for the Meno, but to focus on Plato’s epistemological theory without first understanding what he has to say about the social dimensions of memory is putting the cart before the horse. (shrink)
Following the proposal of a new kind of selective structural realism that uses as a basis the distinction between framework and interaction theories, this work discusses relevant applications in fundamental physics. An ontology for the different entities and properties of well-known theories is thus consistently built. The case of classical field theories—including general relativity as a classical theory of gravitation—is examined in detail, as well as the implications of the classification scheme for issues of realism in quantum mechanics. These applications (...) also shed light on the different range of applicability of the ontic and epistemic versions of structural realism. (shrink)
Una consideración de las relaciones y mutuas influencias entre cultura y lenguaje en la concepción de Vico, a la luz de tres intérpretes suyos: J. Joyce, I. Berlin y C. Fuentes.A consideration of the relationships and mutual influences between culture and language in Vico's thought, in the light of three of his interpreters: J. Joyce, I. Berlin and C. Fuentes.
This paper corrects the common misconception that Meno's slave (in Plato's dialogue of that name) is a boy. The first part of the paper shows how long-standing and widespread that misconception is. The description of Meno's slave as a "slave-boy" goes back at least to Benjamin Jowett, and the phrase is still commonly seen today in books and journal articles in philosophy and classics generally, even in presses and journals with the highest reputation. The paper then shows that the Greek (...) term pais, often translated as "boy", is when addressed to slaves used to indicate their condition, not their age. When the text of the Meno is examined carefully, it is clear that there is no evidence that Meno's slave is a boy. In fact, it is clear that the expression "boy" is used in relation to his condition, not in relation to his age. It thus demeans us to refer to Meno's slave as a "slave-boy" or just "boy", since it either displays our ignorance about the use of the term pais or, worse, makes us complicit in using a term of condescension. The paper concludes by suggesting that the proposed correction is philosophically significant, since it opens an investigation into Plato's depiction of slaves that is otherwise blocked by supposing the slave to be a boy. (shrink)
This article examines some of the ways in which Plato conveys a concern with peace and what conceptions of peace he has a concern with. I first consider Plato’s attitude to war and its conventional opposite, peace. In this context we find very little concern with peace at all and, by contrast, a somewhat disturbing emphasis on the importance of war. However, if we turn from war to a different type of conflict, faction, we find a distinct difference. Plato considers (...) faction unproductive because of the internal divisions it sustains. Yet Plato does not specifically call the opposite of faction ‘peace’; instead, he uses terms that have different extensions for us, such as δικαιοσύνη. Nevertheless, it is possible to outline a positive Platonic conception of peace by tabling a set a of peace-related terms. I distinguish three categories of terms that describe conditions of peace, dispositions of peacefulness, and relations of peace, where such relations result from the expression of peaceful dispositions. My examination suggests that positive peace, for Plato, is founded on the unity and integrity of character. Only when individuals are at peace with themselves can peace within society be achieved. (shrink)
The traditional Square of Opposition consists of four sentence types. Two are universal and two particular; two are affirmative and two negative. Examples, where ‘S’ and ‘P’ designate the subject and the predicate, are: ‘every S is P’, ‘no S is P’, ‘some S is P’ and ‘some S is not P’. Taking the usual sentences of the square of opposition, quantifying over their predicates exhibits non-standard sentence forms. These sentences may be combined into non-standard Squares of Opposition , and (...) they reveal a new relationship not found in the usual Square. Medieval logicians termed ‘disparatae’ pairs of sentences like ‘every S is some P’ and ‘some S is every P’, which are neither subaltern nor contrary, neither contradictory nor subcontrary. Walter Redmond has designed a special language L to express the logical form of these sentences in a precise way. I will use this language to show how Squares of Opposition, standard and non-standard, form a complex network of relations which bring to .. (shrink)
We examine the "Theaetetus" in the light of its juxtaposition of philosophical, mathematical and sophistical approaches to knowledge, which we show to be a prominent feature of the drama. We suggest that clarifying the nature of philosophy supersedes the question of knowledge as the main ambition of the "Theaetetus". Socrates shows Theaetetus that philosophy is not a demonstrative science, like geometry, but it is also not mere word-play, like sophistry. The nature of philosophy is revealed in Socrates' activity of examination (...) and his refusal to deny his ignorance about knowledge. (shrink)
Hampton's interpretation of the Philebus attempts to reveal the underlying unity of the dialogue's ethical, ontological, and epistemological arguments while locating them in the more general context of Plato's other works, particularly the Republic. At the same time Hampton resists the temptation to illuminate the Philebus by means of sources external to Plato, including Aristotle and the Neoplatonists, though some of this evidence receives treatment in the appendix. Hampton's most original arguments are to be found in her discussions of the (...) causative role of the Good and the ontological import of truth for the nature of pleasure. There is an occasional glossing over of details, but in most of its general claims the interpretation is convincing. (shrink)
This book is a significant addition to studies of Parmenides and the foundation of Greek philosophy, with interesting implications for subsequent Western metaphysics. Within carefully drawn limits, Austin conducts a rigorous analysis of Parmenides' poem that is both creative and forceful. The resultant insights into Parmenidean logic, ontology and method cannot easily be discounted. Austin claims that Parmenides uses a consciously systematic and exhaustive method to describe being. Thus, he argues, all the arguments and distinctions of the "Truth" section--and to (...) some extent those of "Opinion"--are necessary for a complete description of being. Here Parmenides employs the principles of noncontradiction and excluded middle, and displays an understanding-albeit a partial one--of the functions of negation, double negation, copula and predicate. The most general challenge to Austin's thesis, obviously, is the charge of anachronism. Austin recognizes and embraces this challenge. His response is contained in the thorough arguments of the first five chapters. (shrink)
This book is a tour de force in the Oxford tradition of philosophical commentaries. Bostok's interest is not primarily the drama, characters, or setting of the Theaetetus, but the interpretation and evaluation of the arguments presented therein. Consequently, the dialogue receives a rather different treatment than the one to be found in Seth Benardete's The Being of the Beautiful, which is not mentioned by Bostok. Bostok's analysis of the Theaetetus is set against a background of ancient, modern, and contemporary epistemology. (...) For historical context Bostok draws mostly on the other works of Plato, though he also discusses the views of Protagoras and Heraclitus concerning perception and flux, respectively. The tradition in epistemology against which the Theaetetus is subsequently measured begins with the British empiricists Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, and includes twentieth-century analytic philosophers like Russell, Quine, and Kripke. Bostok's style is remarkably clear and engaging, and his account of the significance of the Theaetetus, while restricted in scope, is penetrating and masterly. The book contains a very brief preface, an ample introductory chapter on the place of the Theaetetus in Plato's philosophy, two main sections--appropriately titled "Knowledge and Perception" and "Knowledge and Belief"--and a modest bibliography and index. (shrink)
The greatest rhetorical display (έπιδείξις) of Plato's Protagoras is apparently not Protagoras's famous myth cum démonstration1 about the teachability of excellence (αρετή),2 but rather the dia logue as a whole. The Protagoras exposes key différences between the methods and presuppositions of Socrates and those of the Sophists - thus defending Socrates against the charge of being a Sophist himself - and in so doing clarifies the conditions and princi ples of ethical argumentation.3 The display of the Protagoras oc curs on (...) two levels. In the drama, Socrates puts the Sophists on exhibit for the benefit of Hippocrates, an Athenian boy who as pires to a sophistic éducation. In reading the dialogue, however, we become spectators to Plato's display. The pervading irony is that Piato uses the Protagoras to critieize the techniques of display and debate - and to contrast them with dialogue. But the Socratic/ Platonic display in the Protagoras is literally a showing forth, a manifestation of what a Sophist is and does, whereas a sophistical display is a showing off, that is not intrinsically related to his beliefs and aims. In order to see thèse thèmes at work in the Protagoras , however, it must first be examined from a rhetorical point of view. (shrink)
In Republic VI 508e-9b Plato has Socrates claim that the Good is the cause (αίτίαν) of truth and knowledge as well as the very being of the Forms. Consequently, as causes must be distinct from and superior to their effects, the Good is neither truth nor knowledge nor even being, but exceeds them all in beauty (509a), as well as in honour and power (509b). No other passage in Plato has had a more intoxicating effect on its readers. To take (...) just one example, James Adam was moved to quote St. Paul when he remarked about this passage that, 'it is highly characteristic of Plato's whole attitude that he finds the true keystone of the Universe — the ultimate fountain from which both Knowledge and Existence flow — in no cold and colourless ontological abstraction, like Being, but in that for which "all creation groans and labours". (shrink)
This article presents evidence over which we stumbled while investigating a completely different part of the Platonic Corpus. While examining the ordinary working vocabulary of the doubtful dialogues and of those undisputed dialogues most readily compared with them, it seemed essential to have a representative sample of Plato's allegedly 'middle' and 'late' dialogues also. The real surprise came when the Critias was included, showing some frequencies not previously observed in Platonic dialogues. This prompted treatment of the Timaeus also, some of (...) which showed comparable peculiarities. The most distinctive feature was the increase in the rate of the definite article from around 8% of total vocabulary in dialogues assumed to be early, or around 10% in Laws, to some 14% in sizeable parts of the Timaeus-Critias, where Plato seemed no less interested in the literary credentials of his creations than elsewhere. Tests intended for application to our original set of problems were yielding results that appeared to bear on a number of problems central to the interpretation of the Timaeus-Critias. (shrink)
This paper examines one aspect of the relation between philosophy and myth, namely the function myth has, for some philosophers, in narrowing the distance between appearance and reality. I distinguish this function of myth from other common functions, and also show how the approach to reality through myth differs from a more empirical philosophical approach. I argue that myth plays a fundamental role in Plato's approach to the appearance/reality distinction, and that understanding this is important to the interpretation of Plato's (...) frequent use of language suggesting the existence of a world of unchanging ideal objects and a world of transient, variable particulars. All things are an exchange for fire, and fire for all things, as goods for gold, and gold for goods.1 ?Heraclitus DK 22 B 90. (shrink)
It has become customary to begin any discussion of the Alcibiades with a review of its puzzling features. Any way you look at it, the Alcibiades is a strange dialogue. Stylistically it is peculiar, not only because it contains some unique terms,2 but also because it contains similarities to early, middle and even late dialogues. These similarities are distributed to different parts of the dialogue, prompting some scholars to maintain that the Alcibiades was written piecemeal, perhaps by different authors (cf. (...) Clark 1955). On most accounts of the Alcibiades, however, it resembles, or seems to have been written to resemble, an early Socratic dialogue. But this too is odd, since stylometric studies tend to place it at least among the middle dialogues, and in many cases after the Republic. A relatively late dating also fits with the conjectures of many scholars on the basis of anachronisms, allusions and other considerations. (shrink)
This chapter reviews the philosophy and religion dialectic from the end of the sixth century BCE through the second century CE, focusing on theology, mythology, and personal religious experience. It suggests that the familiar philosophy–religion dichotomy has acquired some of its plausibility from scholars who misunderstand the nature of religion and draw their concept of ancient philosophy too narrowly. The chapter stresses instead the interrelation of philosophy and religion, with special attention to how some philosophers incorporated religious thought into their (...) own views. The chapter argues that philosophers generally saw themselves as commending a modified understanding of their own religious heritage. (shrink)
Scholars have puzzled over the fact that Plato’s criticisms of poetry are themselves contained in mimetic works. This paper sheds light on that phenomenon by examining an analogous one. The Symposium contains one fable which is criticised by means of another which is thought to represent Plato’s own view. Diotima’s fable, however, is suspended within a larger narrative that invites us to examine and question it. The Symposium thus affords opportunity to observe Plato’s criticisms of a genre and the qualifications (...) that must be made regarding his own use of it. In particular, the Symposium emphasises that stories have no automatic claim to authority, whether they are told by a poet, or a priest or a philosopher. The upshot for Plato’s dialogues is that they remain always a starting point for philosophy: they are neither specimens of philosophical poetry nor philosophy per se. (shrink)
JL his paper calls into question a conventional way of reading the passage concerning knowledge and belief at the end of book 5 of Plato's Republic. On the conventional reading, Plato is committed to arguing on grounds that his philosophical opponents would accept, but this view fails to appreciate the rhetorical context in which the passage is situated. Indeed, it is not usually recognized or considered important that the passage has a rhetorical context at all. Philoso phers typically reduce the (...) questions asked by Socrates and the an swers given by Glaucon in the presence of a large audience, to one continuous argument of Plato's. Unfortunately, this way of reading book 5 ignores two points that are crucial to its interpretation: (1) the Socrates-Glaucon dialectic is directed to hostile (not merely intel lectually opposed) interlocutors, and (2) the relation between Socra tes and his audience (Glaucon excepted) is one of antagonism.1 I shall argue that scholars have for a long time been trying to find more philosophical fruit in the passage than it has to bear, largely because they have misconstrued its role in the argument of the Re public. (shrink)
Este estudio se ocupa de estrategias deterministas para jugar al Dilema del Prisionero iterado. Cada estrategia se incorpora a la tabla de un autómata de estado finito. Se estudian exhaustivamente tanto las estrategias de 4 bits como las de 16 bits. El estudio de las estrategias de 64 bits se ha hecho por medio de un Algoritmo Genético. Tanto la idea de estudiar estrategias deterministas como la de servirse de un Algoritmo Genético está en Axelrod, _The Complexity of Cooperation_. Respecto (...) a las estrategias de 4 bits, una conclusión se ha impuesto: _Tit for Tat_ no es la estrategia ganadora. Respecto a las estrategias de 16 bits, tampoco _Tit for Tat_ ha resultado ganadora. Respecto a las estrategias de 64 bits, hay que destacar el método de hacer evolucionar los cromosomas encontrados por el Algoritmo Genético confrontándolos con un conjunto de control de estrategias. También hay estrategias de 64 bits mejores que _Tit for Tat._. (shrink)
Presentamos algunas ideas de autores medievales acerca de las oraciones cuyo sujeto carece de referente, y si dichas oraciones. Los autores tratados son nominalistas del siglo xiv: Guillermo de Ockham, Alberto de Sajonia y Juan Buridan; y el realista moderado Vicente Ferrer. Luego abordamos a dos novohispanos, Alonso de la Veracruz y Tomás de Mercado, que están inmersos en la tradición medieval.
En el presente artículo describo un octágono de oposición y equivalencia desarrollado por lógicos del siglo XIV, especialmente por Jean Buridan en su Summulae de dialectica. Dicho �cuadro� de oposición ofrece relaciones lógicas muy complejas, alguna de las cuales no está presente en el cuadrado tradicional de oposición. El octágono nos servirá para expresar tres tipos de oraciones: oraciones modales cuantificadas, oraciones oblicuas y oraciones con cuantificación explícita del predicado. El octágono muestra que la lógica medieval del siglo XIV ofrece (...) ya una lógica de relaciones, una lógica de la identidad y una lógica modal comparable a la lógica de nuestros días. (shrink)
Don Carlos de Sigüenza y sor Juana Inés de la Cruz no solo se encuentran en la encrucijada del paso de la edad media a la moderna, y del viejo al nuevo mundo, sino de la vieja a la nueva vía de reflexión y de la vieja a la nueva ciencia. Es lo que se intenta mostrar en estas páginas.
This paper describes adjustments to teaching practice after migrating from the North American to the Australasian higher education sector. Although the particular experience described is individual and personal, the discoveries and adjustments made can be useful to anyone who faces the experience of academic migration, or even to any teacher. Key adjustments recommended include emphasis on inquiry over information, patient attention to the individuality of learners and teachers, and shared practice of the values of sympathetic understanding, fairness and intellectual humility. (...) These recommendations are not new – in fact the paper takes pains to show how ancient they really are – but they can serve as reminders to teachers facing the insecurity of the global higher education environment. (shrink)
Plato's Sophist is complex. Its themes are many and ambiguous. The early grammarians gave it the subtitle1tEp1. 'tau ov'to~ ('on being') and assigned it to Plato's logical investigations. The Neoplatonists prized it for a theory of ontological categories they preferred to Aristotle's. Modern scholars sometimes court paradox and refer to the Sophist as Plato's dialogue on not-being (because the question ofthe possibility of not-being occupies much of the dialogue). Whitehead took the Sophist to be primarily about ouvo.~t~ ('power') and found (...) in it many of the central ideas of process theology.2 Heidegger thought it articulated the 'average concept of being in general'.3 In Cornford's view the Sophist is mainly about truth and falsehood. Ackrill, Frede and most analytic philosophers think it is about predication.4 Stanley Rosen treats it as a metaphysico-aesthetic dialogue: in his view it is about the relation of images to originals.5 As far as the title of the dialogue goes, however, opinion is almost universal. Do not be misled: 'the definition of the sophist' observed Archer-Hind 'is simply a piece of pungent satire'6 and he added that 'we may be sure that (Plato] cared little about defining the sophist, but very much about the metaphysical questions to which the process of definition was to give rise'.7 The most spectacular case of agreement with this judgment can be found in Cornford, who omits to translate the sections on the definition of the sophist because, as he says 'the modern reader ... might be wearied'.8. (shrink)