This book explores the various views on language and its relation to philosophy in the Platonic tradition by examening the reception of Plato’s Cratylus in antiquity in general, and the commentary of the Neoplatonist Proclus in particular.
This book explores the various views on language and its relation to philosophy in the Platonic tradition by examening the reception of Plato's Cratylus in antiquity in general, and the commentary of the Neoplatonist Proclus in particular.
This paper studies Sentence 16 of Porphyry’s Pathways to the Intelligible. It is argued that it should be understood against the background of Plotinus’ discussions of the similes of the waxen block and the aviary from Plato’s Theaetetus. The first part of the paper concentrates on Plotinus’ reception of these similes. In the second part of the paper Plotinus’ discussions of the two similes are used to shed light on Sentence 16, in particular on the term προχείρισις. Furthermore it is (...) argued that Porphyry does not reject Plotinus’ claim that, pace Aristotle, intellection does not require imaging. (shrink)
Within moral psychology, theories focusing on the conceptualization and empirical measurement of people’s morality in terms of general moral values –such as Moral Foundation Theory- assume general moral values to be relevant concepts for the explanation and prediction of behavior in everyday life. However, a solid theoretical and empirical foundation for this idea remains work in progress. In this study we explore this relationship between general moral values and daily life behavior through a conceptual analysis and an empirical study. Our (...) conceptual analysis of the moral value-moral behavior relationship suggests that the effect of a generally endorsed moral value on moral behavior is highly context dependent. It requires the manifestation of several phases of moral decision-making, each influenced by many contextual factors. We expect that this renders the empirical relationship between generic moral values and people’s concrete moral behavior indeterminate. Subsequently, we empirically investigate this relationship in three different studies. We relate two different measures of general moral values -the Moral Foundation Questionnaire and the Morality As Cooperation Questionnaire- to a broad set of self-reported morally relevant daily life behaviors. Our empirical results are in line with the expectations derived from our conceptual analysis: the considered general moral values are poor predictors of the selected daily life behaviors. Furthermore, moral values that were tailored to the specific context of the behavior showed to be somewhat stronger predictors. Together with the insights derived from our conceptual analysis, this indicates the relevance of the contextual nature of moral decision-making as a possible explanation for the poor predictive value of general moral values. Our findings suggest that the investigation of morality’s influence on behavior by expressing and measuring it in terms of general moral values may need revision. (shrink)
I agree with Robbert Van den Berg that Plotinus endorses Socratic intellectualism, but I challenge his view that Plotinus rejects the phenomenon of akrasia. According to Van den Berg, the only form of akrasia acknowledged by Plotinus is a conditional, or ‘weak,’ akrasia. I provide some reasons for thinking that Plotinus might have accepted complete or ‘strong’ akrasia—full stop. While such strong forms of akrasia are usually taken to conflict with Socratic intellectualism, I argue that Plotinus’s complex, (...) dual-self psychology allows a way in which he, unique among ancient philosophers, could simultaneously endorse Socratic intellectualism and hard akrasia. (shrink)
This paper studies Sentence 16 of Porphyry's Pathways to the Intelligible. It is argued that it should be understood against the background of Plotinus' discussions of the similes of the waxen block and the aviary from Plato's Theaetetus. The first part of the paper concentrates on Plotinus' reception of these similes. In the second part of the paper Plotinus' discussions of the two similes are used to shed light on Sentence 16, in particular on the term προχείρισις. Furthermore it is (...) argued that Porphyry does not reject Plotinus' claim that, pace Aristotle, intellection does not require imaging. (shrink)
The Platonic tradition offered Plotinus two, possibly conflicting, explanations of why people do wrong: the Socratic intellectualism of the Protagoras and the Timaeus and the account of the akratic soul in the Republic. In this paper I argue that Plotinus tacitly rejects akrasia, because it suggests that the superior part of the soul is overcome by inferior parts. It thus sits ill with Plotinus’s doctrine of the impassive soul. He prefers Socratic intellectualism instead. Socratic intellectualism holds that all wrongdoing is (...) due to ignorance and hence occurs involuntarily. Plotinus understands ignorance in this context as the failure of the embodied soul to fully actualize its powers, in particular its knowledge of the Forms. This knowledge is needed in order to correctly evaluate our desires that stir us into action. These desires arise spontaneously from the body and hence they occur involuntarily. (shrink)
In this interview with Jan Hendrik van den Berg, the Dutch phenomenologist and psychiatrist addresses the origins of his work, his most significant influences, and the purpose of metabletic phenomenology in the modern age. In the course of the interview. Dr. Van den Berg provides a basic overview of his work, and highlights the central finding of his metabletic analyses: a loss of wonder before nature, which results from the more fundamental loss of genuine spirituality in the modern (...) world. (shrink)
This paper provides a historical analysis of a shift in the way animal models of mental disorders were conceptualized: the shift from the mid-twentieth-century view, adopted by some, that animal models model syndromes classified in manuals such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), to the later widespread view that animal models model component parts of psychiatric syndromes. I argue that in the middle of the twentieth century the attempt to maximize the face validity of animal models (...) sometimes led to the pursuit of the ideal of an animal model that represented a behaviorally defined psychiatric syndrome as described in manuals such as the DSM. I show how developments within psychiatric genetics and related criticism of the DSM in the 1990s and 2000s led to the rejection of this ideal and how researchers in the first decade of the twenty-first century came to believe that animal models of mental disorders should model component parts of mental disorders, adopting a so-called endophenotype approach. (shrink)
Biology in the Critical Philosophy and the Opus postumum Hein van den Berg. Parts of Chap. 2 have been previously published in Hein van den Berg (2011), “ Kant's Conception of Proper Science.” Synthese 183 (1): 7–26. Parts of Chap.
Introduction to collection of papers by group of scholars and ACO missionaries brought together to discuss the developments within the ACO over the past hundred years during a conference that was organised by Dr Wilbert van Saane of Haigazian University in January 2021. I will briefly summarise what strikes me as characteristic of the ACO on the basis of these articles, and conclude with a discussion of how this may contribute to further reflection in Mission Studies and World Christianity.
Kant’s views on animals have received much attention in recent years. According to some, Kant attributed the capacity for objective perceptual awareness to non-human animals, even though he denied that they have concepts. This position is difficult to square with a conceptualist reading of Kant, according to which objective perceptual awareness requires concepts. Others take Kant’s views on animals to imply that the mental life of animals is a blooming, buzzing confusion. In this article I provide a historical reconstruction of (...) Kant’s views on animals, relating them to eighteenth-century debates on animal cognition. I reconstruct the views of Buffon and Reimarus and show that (i) both Buffon and Reimarus adopted a conceptualist position, according to which concepts structure the cognitive experience of adult humans, and (ii) that both described the mental life of animals as a blooming, buzzing confusion. Kant’s position, I argue, is virtually identical to that of Reimarus. Hence Kant’s views on animals support a conceptualist reading of Kant. The article further articulates the historical antecedents of the Kantian idea that concepts structure human cognitive experience and provides a novel account of how the ideas of similarity and difference were conceptualized in eighteenth-century debates on animal cognition. (shrink)
Ernst Mayr argued that the emergence of biology as a special science in the early nineteenth century was possible due to the demise of the mathematical model of science and its insistence on demonstrative knowledge. More recently, John Zammito has claimed that the rise of biology as a special science was due to a distinctive experimental, anti-metaphysical, anti-mathematical, and anti-rationalist strand of thought coming from outside of Germany. In this paper we argue that this narrative neglects the important role played (...) by the mathematical and axiomatic model of science in the emergence of biology as a special science. We show that several major actors involved in the emergence of biology as a science in Germany were working with an axiomatic conception of science that goes back at least to Aristotle and was popular in mid-eighteenth-century German academic circles due to its endorsement by Christian Wolff. More specifically, we show that at least two major contributors to the emergence of biology in Germany—Caspar Friedrich Wolff and Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus—sought to provide a conception of the new science of life that satisfies the criteria of a traditional axiomatic ideal of science. Both C.F. Wolff and Treviranus took over strong commitments to the axiomatic model of science from major philosophers of their time, Christian Wolff and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, respectively. The ideal of biology as an axiomatic science with specific biological fundamental concepts and principles thus played a role in the emergence of biology as a special science. (shrink)
We introduce constructive and classical systems for nonstandard arithmetic and show how variants of the functional interpretations due to Gödel and Shoenfield can be used to rewrite proofs performed in these systems into standard ones. These functional interpretations show in particular that our nonstandard systems are conservative extensions of E-HAω and E-PAω, strengthening earlier results by Moerdijk and Palmgren, and Avigad and Helzner. We will also indicate how our rewriting algorithm can be used for term extraction purposes. To conclude the (...) paper, we will point out some open problems and directions for future research, including some initial results on saturation principles. (shrink)
Within eighteenth-century debates on animal cognition we can distinguish at least three main theoretical positions: (i) Buffon’s mechanism, (ii) Reimarus’ theory of instincts, and (iii) the sensationalism of Condillac and Leroy. In this paper, I adopt a philosophical perspective on this debate and argue that in order to fully understand the justification Buffon, Reimarus, Condillac, and Leroy gave for their respective theories, we must pay special attention to the theoretical virtues these naturalists alluded to while justifying their position. These theoretical (...) virtues have received little to no attention in the literature on eighteenth-century animal cognition, but figure prominently in the justification of the mechanist, instinctive, and sensationalist theories of animal behavior. Through my philosophical study of the role of theoretical virtues in eighteenth-century debates on animal cognition, we obtain a deeper understanding of how theoretical virtues were conceptualized in eighteenth-century science and how they influenced the justification of theories of animal cognition. (shrink)
In the present paper I investigate the role that analogy plays in eighteenth-century biology and in Kant’s philosophy of biology. I will argue that according to Kant, biology, as it was practiced in the eighteenth century, is fundamentally based on analogical reflection. However, precisely because biology is based on analogical reflection, biology cannot be a proper science. I provide two arguments for this interpretation. First, I argue that although analogical reflection is, according to Kant, necessary to comprehend the nature of (...) organisms, it is also necessarily insufficient to fully comprehend the nature of organisms. The upshot of this argument is that for Kant our understanding of organisms is necessarily limited. Second, I argue that Kant did not take biology to be a proper science because biology was based on analogical arguments. I show that Kant stemmed from a philosophical tradition that did not assign analogical arguments an important justificatory role in natural science. Analogy, according to this conception, does not provide us with apodictically certain cognition. Hence, sciences based on analogical arguments cannot constitute proper sciences. (shrink)
This is the first in a series of papers on Predicative Algebraic Set Theory, where we lay the necessary groundwork for the subsequent parts, one on realizability [B. van den Berg, I. Moerdijk, Aspects of predicative algebraic set theory II: Realizability, Theoret. Comput. Sci. . Available from: arXiv:0801.2305, 2008], and the other on sheaves [B. van den Berg, I. Moerdijk, Aspects of predicative algebraic set theory III: Sheaf models, 2008 ]. We introduce the notion of a predicative category (...) with small maps and show that it provides a sound and complete semantics for constructive set theories like IZF and CZF. The main technical contribution of this paper is that it shows in detail that such categories can always be conservatively embedded in categories that are exact. These exactness properties play a crucial rôle in showing that predicative categories with small maps contain models of set theory and that they are closed under sheaves and realizability. We will prove the former statement in this paper as well, leaving a proof of the closure properties to the papers on realizability and sheaves as mentioned above. (shrink)
How can we best reconstruct the origin of a notion, its development, and possible spread to multiple fields? We present a pilot study on the spread of the notion of conceptual scheme. Though the notion is philosophically important, its origin, development, and spread are unclear. Several purely qualitative and competing historical hypotheses have been offered, which rely on disconnected disciplinary traditions, and have never been tested all at once in a single comprehensive investigation fitting the scope of its subject matter. (...) As a step toward such an investigation, we trace the use of the bigram “conceptual scheme” in about 42,000 US journal articles in social sciences from 1888-1959 by using a novel method combining a quantitative procedure aided by basic computational techniques with qualitative elements informed by Betti and van den Berg (2014)’s ‘model approach to the history of ideas’. (shrink)
Kant is well known for his restrictive conception of proper science. In the present paper I will try to explain why Kant adopted this conception. I will identify three core conditions which Kant thinks a proper science must satisfy: systematicity, objective grounding, and apodictic certainty. These conditions conform to conditions codified in the Classical Model of Science. Kant’s infamous claim that any proper natural science must be mathematical should be understood on the basis of these conditions. In order to substantiate (...) this reading, I will show that only in this way it can be explained why Kant thought (1) that mathematics has a particular foundational function with respect to the natural sciences and (2) as such secures their scientific status. (shrink)
Kant’s teleology as presented in the Critique of Judgment is commonly interpreted in relation to the late eighteenth-century biological research of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. In the present paper, I show that this interpretative perspective is incomplete. Understanding Kant’s views on teleology and biology requires a consideration of the teleological and biological views of Christian Wolff and his rationalist successors. By reconstructing the Wolffian roots of Kant’s teleology, I identify several little known sources of Kant’s views on biology. I argue that (...) one of Kant’s main contributions to eighteenth-century debates on biology consisted in demarcating biology from metaphysics. Kant rejected Wolffian views on the hierarchy of sciences, according to which propositions specifying the functions of organisms are derived from theological truths. In addition, Kant argued that organic self-organization necessitates a teleological description in order to show that self-organization does not support materialism. By demarcating biology and metaphysics, Kant made a small yet important contribution to establishing biology as a science. (shrink)
We argue that an adequate treatment of verb phrase anaphora must depart in two major respects from the standard approaches. First of all, VP anaphors cannot be resolved by simply identifying the anaphoric VP with an antecedent VP. The resolution process must establish a syntactic/semantic parallelism between larger units that the VPs occur in. Secondly, discourse structure has a significant influence on the reference possibilities of VPA. This influence must be accounted for. We propose a treatment which meets these requirements. (...) It builds on a discourse grammar which characterizes discourse cohesion by means of a syntactic/semantic matching procedure which recognizes parallel structures in discourse. It turns out that this independently motivated procedure yields the resolution of VPA as a side effect. (shrink)
This article explains Kant’s claim that sciences must take, at least as their ideal, the form of a ‘system’. I argue that Kant’s notion of systematicity can be understood against the background of de Jong & Betti’s Classical Model of Science (2010) and the writings of Georg Friedrich Meier and Johann Heinrich Lambert. According to my interpretation, Meier, Lambert, and Kant accepted an axiomatic idea of science, articulated by the Classical Model, which elucidates their conceptions of systematicity. I show that (...) Kant’s critique of the mathematical method is compatible with his adherence to this axiomatic conception of science. I further show that systematicity furthers traditionally accepted logical ideals of scientific knowledge, which explains why Meier and Kant think that sciences must be ‘systematic’. (shrink)
Van den Berg, I.P., Extended use of IST, Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 58 73–92. Internal Set Theory is an axiomatic approach to nonstandard analysis, consisting of three axiom schemes, Transfer , Idealization , and Standardization . We show that the range of application of these axiom schemes may be enlarged with respect to the original formulation. Not only more kinds of formulas are allowed, but also different settings. Many examples illustrate these extensions. Most concern formal aspects of (...) nonstandard asymptotics. (shrink)
The paper uses the formalism of indexed categories to recover the proof of a standard final coalgebra theorem, thus showing existence of final coalgebras for a special class of functors on finitely complete and cocomplete categories. As an instance of this result, we build the final coalgebra for the powerclass functor, in the context of a Heyting pretopos with a class of small maps. This is then proved to provide models for various non-well-founded set theories, depending on the chosen axiomatisation (...) for the class of small maps. (shrink)
In this essay Luc Van den Berge and Stefan Ramaekers take the idea of “scientific parenting” as an example of ambiguities that are typical of our late-modern condition. On the one hand, parenting seems like a natural thing to do, which makes “scientific parenting” sound like an oxymoron; on the other hand, a disengaged stance informed by the latest scientific findings is uncritically demanded of parents, as such an approach is conceived of as a panacea. Instead of taking sides in (...) this discussion, the authors seek a way to make sense of it, drawing upon the work of Charles Taylor, who offers a striking account of our contingent modern condition as well as of our ontological human constitution. They focus particularly on two examples Taylor gives where the contingent self-understanding does not coincide with our timeless human features. This opens a space for what might be considered paradoxes in our late-modern Western culture. This essay thus confronts Taylor's philosophy with the new parenting discourse to reveal how our moral horizons have evolved. Following this approach, the authors both expand on Taylor's thinking about our late modernity and at the same time try to assess the new scientific parenting discourse. (shrink)
A shift towards more environmentally friendly and socially responsible food systems is a key step in the achievement of global sustainable development goals. To obtain significant results, however, it is essential to find participative ways to frame food sustainability objectives, so they can speak to a wide array of actors of change. This article addresses the promising potential of empowering actors across the food system to make a shift in their food choices, by facilitating the association of food sustainability values (...) with contemporary moral issues. In this context, a conceptual framework for a transition towards food sustainability is proposed, based upon the concept of the moral circle. This approach transcends the human-centred methods enacted in traditional sustainable development agendas, offering an alternative with a more holistic perspective. It is expected that emphasising moral reflection around sustainability might encourage societal participation in the creation of sustainable, fair and healthier food systems. (shrink)