Taking the critique of writing in the Phaedrus as a starting point, where Socrates argues that a book cannot choose its reader nor can it defend itself against misinterpretation, Reading Plato offers solutions to the problems of interpreting the Platonic dialogues. Thomas A. Slez'ak pursuasively argues that the dialogues are designed to stimulate philosophical inquiry and to elevate philosophy to the realm of oral dialectic.
Die durch ,Dialektik' ermöglichte Erkenntnis der Ideenwelt ist die Voraussetzung der von Platon als Ziel der philosophischen Existenz geforderten ,Angleichung an Gott' . So klar die grundlegende Bedeutung der Dialektik ist, so deutlich wird auch die Entscheidung Platons, sie dem Bereich der Mündlichkeit vorzubehalten. Eine zusammenfassende Orientierung über Eigenart, Wege und Arten der Dialektik wird im Dialogwerk nur einmal vom Gesprächspartner gefordert und vom Gesprächsführer sogleich abgelehnt . Gleichwohl erlauben die verstreuten Hinweise der Dialoge, in aller Vorsicht ein Gesamtbild der (...) Dialektik zu entwerfen, was hier in zehn Punkten versucht wird, die u.a. ihre Methodik, ihre Teildisziplinen, ihre Durchführbarkeit und schließlich ihre Selbsttranszendierung in der Ideenschau thematisieren. (shrink)
It is a recurring pattern in Plato´s dialogues that the dialectician leads the discussion to a certain point where he identifies further, more fundamental problems, on which he claims to have his own view, which he does not communicate. Such passages are briefly analyzed from five dialogues. It is shown that this seemingly strange behaviour of the dialectician corresponds exactly to the way a philosopher should behave according to the Phaedrus. The recurring cases of reticence of the leading figure in (...) dialogue have to be understood as Plato´s written reference to his own unwritten philosophy. (shrink)
Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922–1996) is one of the most influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century, perhaps the most influential. His 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of the most cited academic books of all time. Kuhn’s contribution to the philosophy of science marked not only a break with several key positivist doctrines, but also inaugurated a new style of philosophy of science that brought it closer to the history of science. His account of the (...) development of science held that science enjoys periods of stable growth punctuated by revisionary revolutions. To this thesis, Kuhn added the controversial ‘incommensurability thesis’, that theories from differing periods suffer from certain deep kinds of failure of comparability. (shrink)
Thomas Kuhn transformed the philosophy of science. His seminal 1962 work "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" introduced the term 'paradigm shift' into the vernacular and remains a fundamental text in the study of the history and philosophy of science. This introduction to Kuhn's ideas covers the breadth of his philosophical work, situating "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" within Kuhn's wider thought and drawing attention to the development of his ideas over time. Kuhn's work is assessed within the context of (...) other philosophies of science notably logical empiricism and recent developments in naturalized epistemology. The author argues that Kuhn's thinking betrays a residual commitment to many theses characteristic of the empiricists he set out to challenge. Kuhn's influence on the history and philosophy of science is assessed and where the field may be heading in the wake of Kuhn's ideas is explored. (shrink)
Super-substantivalism is the thesis that space is identical to matter; it is currently under discussion ? see Sklar (1977, 221?4), Earman (1989, 115?6) and Schaffer (2009) ? in contemporary philosophy of physics and metaphysics. Given this current interest, it is worth investigating the thesis in the history of philosophy. This paper examines the super-substantivalism of Samuel Alexander, an early twentieth century metaphysician primarily associated with (the movement now known as) British Emergentism. Alexander argues that spacetime is ontologically fundamental (...) and it gives rise to an ontological hierarchy of emergence, involving novel properties such as matter, life and mind. Alexander's super-substantivalism is interesting not just because of its historical importance but also because Alexander unusually attempts to explain why spacetime is identical to matter. This paper carefully unpacks that explanation and shows how Alexander is best read as conceiving of spacetime as a Spinozistic substance, worked upon by evolution. (shrink)
" Our various cultures are symbolic environments or "spiritual ecologies" within which the Human Eros can thrive. This is how we inhabit the earth. Encircling and sustaining our cultural existence is nature.
Here we evaluate our current understanding of the function of the nervous system in Hydra, a non‐bilaterian animal which is among the first metazoans that contain neurons. We highlight growing evidence that the nervous system, with its rich repertoire of neuropeptides, is involved in controlling resident beneficial microbes. We also review observations that indicate that microbes affect the animal's behavior by directly interfering with neuronal receptors. These findings provide new insight into the original role of the nervous system, and suggest (...) that it emerged to orchestrate multiple functions including host‐microbiome interactions. The excitement of future research in the Hydra model now relies on uncovering the common rules and principles that govern the interaction between neurons and microbes and the extent to which such laws might apply to other and more complex organisms. (shrink)
Dewey’s A Common Faith has been variously interpreted, both in terms of its relation to Dewey’s corpus and internally in terms of its leading ideas. I argue for its crucial relevance in understanding Dewey and undertake an analysis of the key idea of “religious experience” as an “attitude of existence.” This distinguishes religious experience from other types of qualitative experience and shows the unique place this concept has for Dewey.