After a long period of neglect that began in his lifetime, why has Schelling reemerged as an important philosopher, germane to contemporary concerns? In the first part of this essay I offer a brief history of Schelling’s early descent into obscurity and gradual ascent back into the light of philosophical relevance. In the second and final part of the essay, I offer a brief survey of the current Schelling resurgence in the English speaking reception of Continental philosophy.
Using Heijenoort’s unpublished generalized rules of quantification, we discuss the proof of Herbrand’s Fundamental Theorem in the form of Heijenoort’s correction of Herbrand’s “False Lemma” and present a didactic example. Although we are mainly concerned with the inner structure of Herbrand’s Fundamental Theorem and the questions of its quality and its depth, we also discuss the outer questions of its historical context and why Bernays called it “the central theorem of predicate logic” and considered the form of its expression to (...) be “concise and felicitous”. (shrink)
John McCumber’s new book takes up the current professional crisis in the discipline of philosophy and traces it back to a series of fateful philosophical distinctions that have resulted in an oppressively substantialist disposition and, in so doing, have rendered philosophy pernicious. When humankind thrives, philosophy wanes, but when philosophy thrives, humankind generally wanes. In reviewing McCumber’s timely and important work, I also reflect on philosophy’s current crisis of relevance, both in itself and with reference to this journal.
This essay is devoted to an examination of the relationship between truth and laughter in the works of Nietzsche. My central text shall be the much malignedbook four of Zarathustra, with special attention paid to the braying of the ass. Laughter has been traditionally considered irrelevent to serious philosophical content and, at best, a stylistic quirk. I argue that this stems from a basic predjudice that is constitutive of a large part of the Western tradition, namely, the confusion of working (...) hard (a sine qua non for philosophy) with taking oneself seriously. I then analyze laughter in Nietzsche’s works as the voice of truth itself. Laughter is the affirmation of a register of truth as the other beginning that has been lost in every thing that begins. Such an analysis involves a discussion of the nature of both truth and laughter. In so doing, I also distinguish Nietzschean laughter from three representative and seminal accounts of laughter provided by Hobbes, Bergson, and Kant. (shrink)
This essay is devoted to an examination of the relationship between truth and laughter in the works of Nietzsche. My central text shall be the much malignedbook four of Zarathustra, with special attention paid to the braying of the ass. Laughter has been traditionally considered irrelevent to serious philosophical content and, at best, a stylistic quirk. I argue that this stems from a basic predjudice that is constitutive of a large part of the Western tradition, namely, the confusion of working (...) hard with taking oneself seriously. I then analyze laughter in Nietzsche’s works as the voice of truth itself. Laughter is the affirmation of a register of truth as the other beginning that has been lost in every thing that begins. Such an analysis involves a discussion of the nature of both truth and laughter. In so doing, I also distinguish Nietzschean laughter from three representative and seminal accounts of laughter provided by Hobbes, Bergson, and Kant. (shrink)
Jørgen Bukdhal’s study is a quietly moving and deceptively simple corrective to Kierkegaard’s reception. First published in Danish in 1961, it dispels the image of a lonely, angst-ridden individual, hopelessly mired in interiority and oblivious to concrete social ills. By deftly and eruditely elucidating the problematics of his time and by following the full expanse of his philosophical career, Bukdahl’s Kierkegaard comes closer to someone like Levinas. For “what matters is to exist for the sake of every person, unconditionally everyone”.
This paper provides a brief explanation and illustration of the phenomenon of semiotics. It then describes the conceptual tools of semiotics and how lawyers can use semiotics in law to create compelling arguments. Last, the paper applies the tools of semiotics to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court case Ferguson v. McKiernan, 940 A.2d 1236 (Pa. 2008), to reveal the shift in social context that made the lines of legal reasoning behind the outcome appear “self-evident.”.
ABSTRACTJason Wirth's Mountains, Rivers, and the Great Earth: Reading Gary Snyder and Dōgen in an Age of Ecological Crisis challenges complacency in two significant ways. First, it performs a commitment to philosophy as creative and capacious practice in contrast to orthodoxies or technical provincialisms. Second, it disrupts unreflective usages of “wealth” and “development” as inherently economic in developing a compelling argument about the way that spiritual poverty informs contemporary ecological pathology. In this review, I present six key claims in (...)Wirth's text and offer unfolding thoughts in response. (shrink)
Fitch’s Paradox shows that if every truth is knowable, then every truth is known. Standard diagnoses identify the factivity/negative infallibility of the knowledge operator and Moorean contradictions as the root source of the result. This paper generalises Fitch’s result to show that such diagnoses are mistaken. In place of factivity/negative infallibility, the weaker assumption of any ‘level-bridging principle’ suffices. A consequence is that the result holds for some logics in which the “Moorean contradiction” commonly thought to underlie the result is (...) in fact consistent. This generalised result improves on the current understanding of Fitch’s result and widens the range of modalities of philosophical interest to which the result might be fruitfully applied. Along the way, we also consider a semantic explanation for Fitch’s result which answers a challenge raised by Kvanvig (2006). (shrink)
Many think that Pascal’s Wager is a hopeless failure. A primary reason for this is because a number of challenging objections have been raised to the wager, including the “many gods” objection and the “mixed strategy” objection. We argue that both objections are formal, but not substantive, problems for the wager, and that they both fail for the same reason. We then respond to additional objections to the wager. We show how a version of Pascalian reasoning succeeds, giving us a (...) reason to pay special attention to the infinite consequences of our actions. (shrink)
We make the case that the Prisoner’s Dilemma, notwithstanding its fame and the quantity of intellectual resources devoted to it, has largely failed to explain any phenomena of social scientific or biological interest. In the heart of the paper we examine in detail a famous purported example of Prisoner’s Dilemma empirical success, namely Axelrod’s analysis of WWI trench warfare, and argue that this success is greatly overstated. Further, we explain why this negative verdict is likely true generally and not just (...) in our case study. We also address some possible defenses of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. (shrink)
I examine and resolve an exegetical dichotomy between two main interpretations of Peirce’s theory of abduction, namely, the Generative Interpretation and the Pursuitworthiness Interpretation. According to the former, abduction is the instinctive process of generating explanatory hypotheses through a mental faculty called insight. According to the latter, abduction is a rule-governed procedure for determining the relative pursuitworthiness of available hypotheses and adopting the worthiest one for further investigation—such as empirical tests—based on economic considerations. It is shown that the Generative Interpretation (...) is inconsistent with a fundamental fact of logic for Peirce—i.e., abduction is a kind of inference—and the Pursuitworthiness Interpretation is flawed and inconsistent with Peirce’s naturalistic explanation for the possibility of science and his view about the limitations of classical scientific method. Changing the exegetical locus classicus from the logical form of abduction to insight and economy of research, I argue for the Unified Interpretation according to which abduction includes both instinctive hypotheses-generation and rule-governed hypotheses-ranking. I show that the Unified Interpretation is immune to the objections raised successfully against the Generative and the Pursuitworthiness interpretations. (shrink)
Some commentators have condemned Kant’s moral project from a feminist perspective based on Kant’s apparently dim view of women as being innately morally deﬁcient. Here I will argue that although his remarks concerning women are unsettling at ﬁrst glance, a more detailed and closer examination shows that Kant’s view of women is actually far more complex and less unsettling than that attributed to him by various feminist critics. My argument, then, undercuts the justiﬁcation for the severe feminist critique of Kant’s (...) moral project. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a revitalised interest in non-classical solutions to the semantic paradoxes. In this paper I show that a number of logics are susceptible to a strengthened version of Curry's paradox. This can be adapted to provide a proof theoretic analysis of the omega-inconsistency in Lukasiewicz's continuum valued logic, allowing us to better evaluate which logics are suitable for a naïve truth theory. On this basis I identify two natural subsystems of Lukasiewicz logic which individually, but (...) not jointly, lack the problematic feature. (shrink)
How does Aristotle view the production of females? The prevailing view is that Aristotle thinks female births are teleological failures of a process aiming to produce males. However, as I argue, that is not a view Aristotle ever expresses, and it blatantly contradicts what he does explicitly say about female births: Aristotle believes that females are and come to be for the sake of something, namely, reproduction. I argue that an alternative to that prevailing view, according to which the embryo’s (...) sex is determined solely by “non-teleological necessity,” also misrepresents Aristotle’s view. As I show, the explanation Aristotle gives is more sophisticated and less egalitarian than the alternative account allows: There is some sense in which males are, for Aristotle, the “default” result. I offer instead an interpretation that can accommodate the asymmetry between Aristotle’s biological account of the production of males and females, but which does not imply that females are thereby teleological failures. There is no doubt that Aristotle thinks females are inferior to males in many respects. However, if he thinks that inferiority is grounded in biological facts, it is not the fact that females are the results of a failure of form to be realized. (shrink)
This chapter argues for an interpretation of Kant's psychology of moral evil that accommodates the so-called excluded middle cases and allows for variations in the magnitude of evil. The strategy involves distinguishing Kant's transcendental psychology from his empirical psychology and arguing that Kant's character rigorism is restricted to the transcendental level. The chapter also explains how Kant's theory of moral evil accommodates 'the badass'; someone who does evil for evil's sake.
Pascal’s Wager does not exist in a Platonic world of possible gods, abstract probabilities and arbitrary payoffs. Real decision-makers, such as Pascal’s “man of the world” of 1660, face a range of religious options they take to be serious, with fixed probabilities grounded in their evidence, and with utilities that are fixed quantities in actual minds. The many ingenious objections to the Wager dreamed up by philosophers do not apply in such a real decision matrix. In the situation Pascal addresses, (...) the Wager is a good bet. In the situation of a modern Western intellectual, the reasoning of the Wager is still powerful, though the range of options and the actions indicated are not the same as in Pascal’s day. (shrink)
In 2009, Scott S. Reuben was convicted of fabricating data, which lead to 25 of his publications being retracted. Although it is clear that the perpetuation of retracted articles negatively effects the appraisal of evidence, the extent to which retracted literature is cited had not previously been investigated. In this study, to better understand the perpetuation of discredited research, we examine the number of citations of Reuben’s articles within 5 years of their retraction. Citations of Reuben’s retracted articles were assessed (...) using the Web of Science Core Collection. All citing articles were screened to discriminate between articles in which Reuben’s work was quoted as retracted, and articles in which his data was wrongly cited without any note of the retraction status. Twenty of Reuben’s publications had been cited 274 times between 2009 and 1024. In 2014, 45 % of the retracted articles had been cited at least once. In only 25.8 % of citing articles was it clearly stated that Reuben’s work had been retracted. Annual citations decreased from 108 in 2009 to 18 in 2014; however, the percentage of publications correctly indicating the retraction status also declined. The percentage of citations in top-25 %-journals, as well as the percentage of citations in journals from Reuben’s research area, declined sharply after 2009. Our data show that even 5 years after their retraction, nearly half of Reuben’s articles are still being quoted and the retraction status is correctly mentioned in only one quarter of the citations. (shrink)
There are three questions associated with Simpson’s Paradox (SP): (i) Why is SP paradoxical? (ii) What conditions generate SP?, and (iii) What should be done about SP? By developing a logic-based account of SP, it is argued that (i) and (ii) must be divorced from (iii). This account shows that (i) and (ii) have nothing to do with causality, which plays a role only in addressing (iii). A counterexample is also presented against the causal account. Finally, the causal and logic-based (...) approaches are compared by means of an experiment to show that SP is not basically causal. (shrink)
The existence of singularities alerts that one of the highest priorities of a centennial perspective on general relativity should be a careful re-thinking of the validity domain of Einstein’s field equations. We address the problem of constructing distinguishable extensions of the smooth spacetime manifold model, which can incorporate singularities, while retaining the form of the field equations. The sheaf-theoretic formulation of this problem is tantamount to extending the algebra sheaf of smooth functions to a distribution-like algebra sheaf in which the (...) former may be embedded, satisfying the pertinent cohomological conditions required for the coordinatization of all of the tensorial physical quantities, such that the form of the field equations is preserved. We present in detail the construction of these distribution-like algebra sheaves in terms of residue classes of sequences of smooth functions modulo the information of singular loci encoded in suitable ideals. Finally, we consider the application of these distribution-like solution sheaves in geometrodynamics by modeling topologically-circular boundaries of singular loci in three-dimensional space in terms of topological links. It turns out that the Borromean link represents higher order wormhole solutions. (shrink)
It is sometimes claimed that the Bayesian framework automatically implements Ockham’s razor—that conditionalizing on data consistent with both a simple theory and a complex theory more or less inevitably favours the simpler theory. It is shown here that the automatic razor doesn’t in fact cut it for certain mundane curve-fitting problems.
To vindicate morality against skeptical doubts, Kant must show that agents can be moved to act independently of their sensible desires. Kant must therefore answer a motivational question: how does an agent get from the cognition that she ought to act morally to acting morally? Affectivist interpretations of Kant hold that agents are moved to act by feelings, while intellectualists appeal to cognition alone. To overcome the significant shortcomings of each view, I develop a hybrid theory of motivation. My central (...) interpretive claim is that Kant is a special kind of motivational internalist: on his view, agents are moved to act by a feeling of intellectual pleasure at the prospect of accomplishing a task they have set for themselves, a feeling that originates in free choice. The resulting theory is immune to the challenges facing intellectualism and affectivism, thus strengthening the prospects of Kant’s justification of morality. (shrink)
This book arose from the author’s recent dissertation written under the Gerhard Schonrich at Munich. It focuses on Peirce’s theory of categories and his epistemology. According to Baltzer, what is distinctive in Peirce’s theory of knowledge is that he reconstrues objects as “knots in networks of relations.” The phrase may ring a bell. It suggests a structuralist interpretation of Peirce, influenced by the Munich environs. The study aims to shows how Peirce’s theory of categories supports his theory of knowledge and (...) how “question concerning a priori structures of knowledge” are transformed within this relational framework. A chief critical target is David Savan’s semiotics, specifically the idea that “the multiplicity of development of the categories” is “conditioned by nothing but the indefiniteness of the categories.”1 But in contrast with this, if there is any indefiniteness in the categories, they cannot fully direct their own application, and this is to say regarding them “that our knowledge is never absolute but always swims, as it were, in a continuum...”2 If the doctrine of continuity applies to the categories, they also have a continuum to swim in. (shrink)
This work runs counter to the traditional interpretations of Peirce's philosophy by eliciting an inherent strand of pragmatic pluralism that is embedded in the very core of his thought and that weaves his various doctrines into a systematic ...
This is a proposal for rethinking the main lines of Plato’s philosophy, including some of the conceptual tools he uses for building and maintaining it. Drawing on a new interpretive paradigm for Plato’s overall vision, the central focus is on the so-called Forms. Regarding the guiding paradigm, we propose replacing the dualism of a world of Forms separated from a world of particulars, with the monistic model of a hierarchically structured universe comprising interdependent levels of reality. Regarding the tools of (...) the trade, we distinguish between three constructs that have come, one and all, and largely indiscriminately, to be regarded as Forms: Ideal Forms, Conceptual Forms, and Relational Forms. This recalibration of what we know of Plato’s outlook, tools, and methods, together with a realignment of these with his general aims, will also help restore the philosopher’s emphasis on that which is good, a perspective often blurred in the structure of two worlds. (shrink)
A surprising fact in the historiography of the Hispanic philosophy of this century is its almost total opacity towards the American philosophy, in spite of the real affinity between the central questions of American pragmatism and the topics addressed by the most relevant Hispanic thinkers of the century: Unamuno, Ortega y Gasset, d'Ors, Vaz Ferreira. In this paper that situation is studied, paying special attention to Charles S. Peirce, his personal connections with the Hispanic world, the reception of his texts (...) in Spanish, and some of the connections that lie almost hidden under the mutual ignorance which divides the two traditions. -/- . (shrink)
Any great new theoretical framework has an epistemological and an ontological aspect to its philosophy as well as an axiological one, and one needs to understand all three aspects in order to grasp the deep aspiration and idea of the theoretical framework. Presently, there is a widespread effort to understand C. S. Peirce's (1837–1914) pragmaticistic semeiotics, and to develop it by integrating the results of modern science and evolutionary thinking; first, producing a biosemiotics and, second, by integrating it with the (...) progress in cybernetics, information science, and system theory to create a cybersemiotics. In this paper, we focus on the understanding of the evolution of the universe that Peirce produced as an alternative to the mechanistic view underlying classical physics and try to place man in an evolving universe as a creative, aesthetical agent. It is true that modern non-equilibrium physics has made a modern foundation for a profound physical understanding of the basic evolutionary processes in the universe. But science still has not produced a theory that can explain how the creativity of the universe could produce signification, interpretation, and first-person consciousness. To this end, Peirce's thoughts on agapastic evolution coupled with the aesthetically influence of the growth of ideas and reasonableness on man could make a contribution. (shrink)
In this paper I examine parallels between C.S. Peirce's most mature account of signs and contemporary philosophy of language. I do this by first introducing a summary of Peirce's final account of Signs. I then use that account of signs to reconstruct Peircian answers to two puzzles of reference: The Problem of Cognitive Significance, or Frege's Puzzle; and The Same-Saying Phenomenon for Indexicals. Finally, a comparison of these Peircian answers with both Fregean and Direct Referentialist approaches to the puzzles highlights (...) interesting parallels and important differences between Peirce's final account of signs, and the concepts used in analytic philosophy of language. (shrink)
Fifty years after the publication of Bell's theorem, there remains some controversy regarding what the theorem is telling us about quantum mechanics, and what the experimental violations of Bell inequalities are telling us about the world. This chapter represents my best attempt to be clear about what I think the lessons are. In brief: there is some sort of nonlocality inherent in any quantum theory, and, moreover, in any theory that reproduces, even approximately, the quantum probabilities for the outcomes of (...) experiments. But not all forms of nonlocality are the same; there is a distinction to be made between action at a distance and other forms of nonlocality, and I will argue that the nonlocality required to violate the Bell inequalities need not involve action at a distance. Furthermore, the distinction between forms of nonlocality makes a difference when it comes to compatibility with relativistic causal structure. (shrink)