Journalism and media studies lack robust theoretical concepts for studying journalistic knowledge generation. More specifically, conceptual challenges attend the emergence of big data and algorithmic sources of journalistic knowledge. A family of frameworks apt to this challenge is provided by “social epistemology”: a young philosophical field which regards society’s participation in knowledge generation as inevitable. Social epistemology offers the best of both worlds for journalists and media scholars: a thorough familiarity with biases and failures of obtaining knowledge, and a strong (...) orientation toward best practices in the realm of knowledge-acquisition and truth-seeking. This paper articulates the lessons of social epistemology for two central nodes of knowledge-acquisition in contemporary journalism: human-mediated knowledge and technology-mediated knowledge. . (shrink)
Some aspects of my writing the monograph Developing the Horizons of the Mind (2002) are highlighted, the central characteristics of relational and contextual reasoning (RCR) are explained, and the contributions to this symposium by John Albright, Varadaraja V. Raman, and John Teske are discussed.
We argue that a conflict between two conceptions of “quantity of matter” employed in a corollary to proposition 6 of Book III of the Principia illustrates a deeper conflict between Newton’s view of the nature of extended bodies and the concept of mass appropriate for the theoretical framework of the Principia. We trace Newton’s failure to recognize the conflict to the fact that he allowed for the justification of natural philosophical claims by two types of a posteriori, empiricist methodologies. Newton's (...) thoughts on these methodologies demonstrate that his natural philosophy continued to develop after the publication of the first edition of Principia and that De Grav should be understood as an early, and not necessarily representative, text. (shrink)
Newton’s Regulae philosophandi—the rules for reasoning in natural philosophy—are maxims of causal reasoning and induction. This essay reviews their significance for Newton’s method of inquiry, as well as their application to particular propositions within the Principia. Two main claims emerge. First, the rules are not only interrelated, they defend various facets of the same core idea: that nature is simple and orderly by divine decree, and that, consequently, human beings can be justified in inferring universal causes from limited phenomena, if (...) only fallibly. Second, the rules make substantive ontological assumptions on which Newton’s argument in the Principia relies. (shrink)
Herbert Marcuse visited Israel in late December 1971 . Summing up his political conclusions at the end of his visit, he published an article in the English-language Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post under the title “Israel is Strong Enough to Concede.”1 A Hebrew translation of that article appeared concurrently in the Israeli daily Haaretz under the title “My Opinions on the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Israel Must Accept the Existence of a Palestinian State.”2 A few days prior to the publication of his (...) article in the Israeli press, Marcuse met with journalists and other guests…. (shrink)
This is the first volume of original commissioned papers on the subject of Newton and empiricism. The chapters, contributed by a leading team of both established and younger international scholars, explore the nature and extent of Newton's relationship to a variety of empiricisms and empiricists.
Newton began his Principia with three Axiomata sive Leges Motus. We offer an interpretation of Newton’s dual label and investigate two tensions inherent in his account of laws. The first arises from the juxtaposition of Newton’s confidence in the certainty of his laws and his commitment to their variability and contingency. The second arises because Newton ascribes fundamental status both to the laws and to the bodies and forces they govern. We argue the first is resolvable, but the second is (...) not. However, the second tension shows that Newton conceives laws as formal causes of bodies and forces. This neo-Aristotelian conception goes missing in Kantian accounts of laws, as well as accounts that stress laws’ grounding in powers and capacities. (shrink)
I argue that Isaac Newton's De Gravitatione should not be considered an authoritative expression of his thought about the metaphysics of space and its relation to physical inquiry. I establish the following narrative: In De Gravitatione (circa 1668–84), Newton claimed he had direct experimental evidence for the work's central thesis: that space had "its own manner of existing" as an affection or emanative effect. In the 1710s, however, through the prodding of Roger Cotes and G. W. Leibniz, he came to (...) see that this evidence relied on assumptions that his own Principia rendered unjustifiable. Consequently, he (i) revised the conclusions he explicitly drew from the experimental evidence, (ii) rejected the idea that his spatial metaphysics was grounded in experimental evidence, and (iii) reassessed the epistemic status of key concepts in his metaphysics and natural philosophy. The narrative I explore shows not only that De Gravitatione did not constitute the metaphysical backdrop of the Principia as Newton ultimately understood it, but that it was the Principia itself that ultimately lead to the demise of key elements of De Gravitatione. I explore the implications of this narrative for Andrew Janiak's and Howards Stein's interpretations of Newton's metaphysics. (shrink)
The introduction considers the state of scholarship on empiricism as a philosophical and historical category, particularly as it pertains to experimental philosophy. It concludes that empiricism properly understood is a rich category encompassing epistemic, semantic, methodological, experimental, and moral elements. Its richness makes it a suitable lens through which to account for actual historical complexity. The introduction relates the category to the work of Sir Isaac Newton, who influenced all of empiricism’s elements.
This paper studies the role that known bounds on message transmission times in a computer network play on the evolution of the epistemic state over time. A connection to cones of causal influence analogous to, and more general than, light cones is presented. Focusing on lower bounds on message transmission times, an analysis is presented of how knowledge about when others are guaranteed to be ignorant about an event of interest can arise. This has implications in competitive settings, in which (...) knowing about another’s ignorance can provide an advantage. (shrink)
Accounts of Hobbes’s ‘system’ of sciences oscillate between two extremes. On one extreme, the system is portrayed as wholly axiomtic-deductive, with statecraft being deduced in an unbroken chain from the principles of logic and first philosophy. On the other, it is portrayed as rife with conceptual cracks and fissures, with Hobbes’s statements about its deductive structure amounting to mere window-dressing. This paper argues that a middle way is found by conceiving of Hobbes’s _Elements of Philosophy_ on the model of a (...) mixed-mathematical science, not the model provided by Euclid’s _Elements of Geometry_. I suggest that Hobbes is a test case for understanding early-modern system-construction more generally, as inspired by the structure of the applied mathematical sciences. This approach has the additional virtue of bolstering, in a novel way, the thesis that the transformation of philosophy in the long seventeenth century was heavily indebted to mathematics, a thesis that has increasingly come under attack in recent years. (shrink)
We argue that the idea of embodiment and the strategies for carrying out embodied approaches are some of the most prevalent and interdisciplinary legacies of early modern science. The idea of embodiment is simple: to explain the behavior of bodies, we must understand them as unified wholes in their environments. Embodied approaches eschew explanations in terms of qualitative descriptions of the intrinsic properties of bodies and promote explanation in terms of the interaction between bodies. This idea can be found in (...) Kepler's optics, Descartes' physics, and Newton's physico-mathematics. The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems (Gibson, 1966) is the culmination of this centuries-long embodiment movement which can be traced back to the 17th century. (shrink)
: Although Galileo's struggle to mathematize the study of nature is well known and oft discussed, less discussed is the form this struggle takes in relation to Galileo's first new science, the science of the second day of the Discorsi. This essay argues that Galileo's first science ought to be understood as the science of matter—not, as it is usually understood, the science of the strength of materials. This understanding sheds light on the convoluted structure of the Discorsi's first day. (...) It suggests that the day's meandering discussions of the continuum, infinity, the vacuum, and condensation and rarefaction establish that a formal treatment of the "eternal and necessary" properties of matter is possible; i.e., that matter as such can be considered mathematically. This would have been a necessary, and indeed revolutionary, preliminary to the mathematical science of the second day because matter itself was thought in the Aristotelian tradition to be responsible for the departure of natural bodies from the unchanging and thus mathematizable character of abstract objects. In addition, the first day establishes that when considered physically, these properties account for matter's force of cohesion and resistance to fracture. This essay closes by showing that this dual style of reasoning accords with the conceptual structure of mixed mathematics. (shrink)
Developing the Horizons of the Mind is a comprehensive book on Relational and Contextual Reasoning, a theory of the human mind which powerfully addresses key areas of human conflict such as the ideological conflict between nations, the conflict in close relationships and the conflict between science and religion. K. Helmut Reich provides a clear and accessible introduction to the fresh RCR way of thinking that encourages people to adopt an inclusive rather than an oppositional approach to conflict and problem-solving. (...) Part one outlines the key aspects of RCR theory and supporting empirical data and part two provides examples of its application in the world. RCR provides a stimulating and challenging tool to several disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, religious studies and education, and this book will be a valuable resource for cognitive scientists, psychotherapists, theologians, educators and all those involved in conflict resolution. (shrink)
This article contends that Georg Simmel attempted a rehabilitation of the Jewish stereotype in a singular way: via his theory of modernity and the quintessential place held therein by money. The first part of the article, based almost entirely on Simmel's The Philosophy of Money, seeks to demonstrate that Simmel intended to overturn the negative Aristotelian and Marxist assessments of money and of those who deal with it. The second part of the article is based on Simmel's unique theory of (...) type. This part seeks to establish that what Simmel in fact rehabilitates is the Jewish type, rather than any actual historical entity, and that this type is in fact the stereotype of the Jew. Simmel's attempt is made in terms of existential authenticity and in direct relation to the project of modernity. (shrink)
The effect of upper bounds on message delivery times in a computer network upon the dynamics of knowledge gain is investigated. Recent work has identified centipedes and brooms?causal structures that combine message chains with time bound information?as necessary conditions for knowledge gain and common knowledge gain, respectively. This paper shows that, under the full-information protocol, these structures are both necessary and sufficient for such epistemic gain. We then apply this analysis to gain insights into the relation between ?everyone knows? and (...) common knowledge. We prove a tight threshold on the depth k, beyond which Ek G (everyone in G knows nested to depth k) collapses into CG (common knowledge), when this knowledge concerns the occurrence of a spontaneous event. The threshold depends on the size of the group G of agents, as well as the time that has elapsed since the event of interest occurred. The existence of such a threshold is not guaranteed for all protocols, which is demonstrated here by presenting a counterexample in which no such threshold exists. (shrink)
Justifying the Obligation to Die provides a critical survey covering classical, medieval, and modern political thinking on how the state or sovereign may justifiably oblige members of the community to risk their lives on its behalf by being sent into war, and it uses Zionism to illustrate how this obligation has been argued in practice. The author then turns to the political thought of Hannah Arendt in order to argue how the obligation could become justifiable.
In this stunning reappraisal of the celebrated case of Daniel Paul Schreber, Lothane takes the reader on a richly documented tour of all the ingredients that made Schreber's illness a unique psychiatric event. Building outward from a close examination of Schreber's troubled relationship to his two psychiatrists, Flechsig and Weber, Lothane elaborates the personal, familial, and cultural contexts of Schreber's illness. Incorporating extensive new archival and bibliographic research, and providing extensive accounts of the personalities and theories of Schreber's two psychiatrists, (...) Paul Flechsig and Guido Weber, Zvi Lothane offers a stunning reappraisal of the Schreber case that overturns virtually all previous opinion. Lothane examines both the man and his milieu in a way that allows the reader fresh access not only to the tragedy of Schreber's illness but also to his heroic, if doomed, attempts to come to terms with his condition through writing. In the process, he persuasively demonstrates that important issues of both psychiatric diagnosis and psychoanalytic interpretation have heretofore been compromised by a failure to pay sufficient attention to Schreber's interpersonal, cultural, and historical contexts. (shrink)
All families are political, each in its own way. Nevertheless, the diversity of family politics has not negated, by and large, patriarchal influence on the Political Family. This Article introduces the Political Family as a key concept in a scholarly and activist movement in family law studies which I identify as Critical Family Law. In Part I a reminder is offered that “alternative families” have existed since the dawn of history. However, I argue that despite constant changes in the configuration (...) of the family, for the most part all family forms have adhered to patriarchy. Part II offers a brief overview of some of the central themes in contemporary critical study of family law. I show how dichotomies such as private/public and intervention/autonomy have lain at the basis of the definition of the family since antiquity, constantly shifting the very meaning of the family across time, cultures and legal traditions, but rarely challenging its patriarchal ideology. Such challenges necessitate a critical look at the language of rights and obligations within the family, in acknowledgment that this very discourse is already saturated with ideology and biased preconceptions. Under the umbrella of “Critical Family Law,” I explore the potential for promoting such a shift, discussing articles in this issue. In memory of Paula Ettelbrick, 1955-2011. (shrink)
A form of logic called relational and contextual reasoning is put forward as an improvement over other, more familiar types of logic. Developmental ideas are used to show how maturity ordinarily leads people away from binary (true/false) logic to systems of reasoning that are more subtle and better suited to making decisions in the face of ambiguity.
In den drei kurzen Abhandlungen der 1798 erschienenen Schrift "Der Streit der Fakultäten" erörtert Kant das Verhältnis der traditionell als 'untere' Fakultät angesehenen Philosophie zu den drei 'oberen' Fakultäten Theologie, Jura und Medizin. Das revolutionäre Moment der Erörterung liegt darin, daß Kant allein der philosophischen Fakultät die uneingeschränkte Freiheit in Forschung und Lehre zuschreibt sowie die Fähigkeit zur Kritik der eigenen theoretischen Voraussetzungen sowie jener der oberen Fakultäten.
I have been teaching qualitative research in education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem for some years now. I have a sense that dealing with the issues of research methodology is of importance if we do indeed consider anthropology and qualitative methods to have something to contribute to improve the world in which we live. I write this rather short note out of a commitment to empirical research in the social sciences, emphasizing that which is observed and experienced, and recognizing (...) the complexity of studying that which is human. I reflect on my experience as a learner looking for ways to understand educational practice through methods able to capture its complexity. I then reflect on my experience as a teacher of anthropology and education, and consider the problems I encounter when trying to share my trade with my students. I hint at the potential connection between the political organizations within which we evolve and the paradigmtic perspectives which seem to become an obstacle in overcoming traditional empirical perspectives in the social sciences in general and in education in particular. Last, I consider multiple literacies as tools which might help us realize the problems mentioned and emphasize that these do not belong only in the world outside but also inside our immediate academic settings. (shrink)
Against the background of the Deweyan tradition of Democracy and Education, we discuss problems of complexity and reductionism in education and educational philosophy. First, we investigate some of Dewey’s own criticisms of reductionist tendencies in the educational traditions, theories, and practices of his time. Secondly, we explore some important cases of reductionism in the educational debates of our own day and argue that a similar criticism in behalf of democracy and education is appropriate and can easily be based on Deweyan (...) terms. Thirdly, we draw some more general conclusions about complexity and reductionism as challenges for democracy and education. Among other things, we argue that powerful social tendencies of capitalist competition and social Darwinism support reductionisms in education and put the democratic project at risk. The tensional relation between democracy and capitalism constitutes a major challenge for educational philosophy in our own time as much as in Dewey’s. (shrink)
Rarely have these separate approaches been brought into the same conversation. Education, Justice, and Democracy does just that, offering an intensive discussion by highly respected scholars across empirical and philosophical disciplines.