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Displaying: 1-20 of 51 documents


1. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
David Boersema Inductivism, Naturalism, and Metascientific Theories
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In this paper I will argue that, while inductivism as a view concerning scientific theories has been discredited, the (often implicit) criteria for evaluating metascientific theories is in fact primarily inductivist. The very philosophical community that has condemned and eschewed inductivism for scientific theories in fact applies inductivism for its own metascientific theories. While somewhat troubling, matters are compounded for those advocating a naturalist stance toward metascientific theories, since those advocates suggest that there is not (or should not be) a sharp division between scientific theories and metascientific theories.
2. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
José E. Burgos The Relational Nature of Species Concepts
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Édouard Le Roy as early as 1901 observed the existence of an intellectual movement seeking to break from traditional positivism and set for himself the task of drawing up the program of this new positivism. Noting that this program precedes the Vienna Circle, I endeavor to determine its nature and to evaluate its impact on logical positivism. Viewed in this light, the discussions between Le Roy, Poincaré and Duhem appear more prolonged and substantial than is usually thought. What we have here is perhaps not a homogeneous doctrine but a vigorous intellectual movement, from which logical positivists were able to borrow specific theses in their attempts to mitigate Mach's strict positivism; more important still, they had before them an example of neopositivism. History is not the only concern: among the issues debated, one encounters the claim that facts are theory-laden. This claim still stirs controversy today. An inquiry into the origins of the claim is one way of clarifying the arguments involved.
3. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Armando Cíntora Critical Comments on Laudan’s Theory of Scientific Aims
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I criticize Laudan's constraints on cognitive aims as presented in Science and Values. These constraints are axiological consistency and non-utopianism. I argue that (i) Laudan's prescription for non utopian aims is too restrictive because it excludes ideals and characterizes as irrational or non-rational numerous human contingencies. (ii) We aim to ideals because there is no cogent way to specify in advance what degree of deviation from an ideal is acceptable. Thus, one cannot dispense with ideals. (iii) Laudan does not distinguish difficult from impossible goals, making his injunction against utopianism imprecise. It is "semantically utopian" and, furthermore, a prescription for conservatism and mediocrity. (iv) Goals often contradict each other or are at least partially incompatible. Since Laudan does not say how to prioritize incompatible aims, axiological consistency is an utopian desideratum. Thus, his constraints on cognitive aims contradict one another. Finally, (v), Laudan's axiological constraints are too weak and in order to strengthen them, he must invoke without justification some implicit pre-philosophical cognitive aims. This opens the logical possibility of axiological relativism, which Laudan attempted from the beginning to avoid.
4. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Manuel Comesaña ¿Tiene Derecho a Existir la Filosofía de la Ciencia?
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En este trabajo se suscribe la tesis de que la filosofía de la ciencia-al igual que las demás ramas de la filosofía-consiste en discusiones interminables sobre problemas que no se pueden resolver, pero se sostiene también que, a pesar (o a causa) de eso, tiene derecho a existir debido a que cumple funciones importantes, entre ellas precisamente la de dar lugar a discusiones interminables sobre problemas que no se pueden resolver, actividad que a las personas con genuina vocación filosófica les produce una satisfacción intelectual difícil de entender para quienes no comparten esa vocación.
5. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Gustaaf C. Cornelis Is Popularization of Science Possible?
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If the philosophy of science wants to pass along its views adequately to the public, it is important that the latter have a basic general understanding of science. Only in this way can "popularization of science" be meaningful from a philosophical and educational point of view. Is "good" popularization a possibility or merely a utopian phantasm. I conclude that popularization of science is possible if certain conditions are met. Scientists have to take responsibility and be honest in their efforts, both toward science as well as the public.
6. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Gyorgy Darvas Ontological Levels and Symmetry Breaking
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I discuss the role of symmetry breaking in a philosophical context, and formulate laws of symmetry breaking. I deal with their conceptual and ontological background, limits of validity, their relation to the theories of evolution and reductionism and to level theories. Level theories are used to make a sequential arrangement of the forms of appearance of moving matter. Aspects of symmetry or symmetry breaking have never been involved in the treatment of these theories. Here, I first attempt to bring knowledges of different origins together. There are two types of level theories: a general one (in philosophy) and particular ones (in the inanimate, the organic nature and in the human society). Particular level theories differ from each other in the three fundamental ontological spheres, and in their description and contents . At the same time they may have common features, e.g., all are particular theories concerning their width of validity, and all are based on an arrangement by a common concept, namely the forms of interaction. The clarification of these conceptual problems was necessary to understand the laws of symmetry breaking. The law of correspondence between the ontological levels and their potential symmetry properties is formulated in four constituent statements and two concluding laws are also presented. The new features of this treatment will link level theories with (dis)symmetry principles, and formulate the laws of symmetry breaking.
7. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Gregg Alan Davia Thoughts on a Possible Rational Reconstruction of the Method of “Rational Reconstruction”
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Rational reconstructions standardly operate so as to transform a given problematic philosophical scientific account-particularly of a terminological, methodological or theoretical entity-into a similar, but more precise, consistent interpretation. This method occupies a central position in the practice of analytic philosophy. Nevertheless, we encounter-even if only in a very few specific publications-a vague image of it. This is due on the one hand to the problem of the intentions of application, i.e., of the normativity of rational reconstruction (descriptive/prescriptive-ambivalence). It is also due on the other hand to the problem of the significance of the method in the field of history of philosophy (systematic/historical-dichotomy). The varied usage within analytic philosophy, as well as the increasingly inflationary and interfering usage outside, contribute to make rational reconstruction somehow appear a Proteus in contemporary philosophical methodology. This paper attempts to administer first aid and to close a bit of the theoretical gap and thus to reach a more exact image for the interests of analytic philosophy. Self-application of the method appears to be the right remedy. A graduating rational reconstruction of a standard concept of rational reconstruction will be suggested, differentiating the concept of rational reconstruction according to normativity, and explicating the method of rational reconstruction into two such variants.
8. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Elba del Carmen Riera La Complejidad: Consideraciones Epistemológicas y Filosóficas
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La ciencia no puede escapar al condicionamiento cultural. Desde hace unos treinta años ha surgido un interés particular por una nueva línea de investigación que privilegia un objeto de estudio interdisciplinar: los sistemas complejos. Se trata de una respuesta al cambio cultural frente a conceptos como los de desorden y caos que estaban desplazados del ámbito de la ciencia clásica, por ser considerarlos informes y vacíos de significación. Hoy hay toda una revalorización de los mismos. Los sistemas complejos se ubican entre la categoría de orden entendida como sinónimo de determinismo y previsibilidad total de la naturaleza y el caos, concebido como azar y desorden total, donde nada puede ser previsto. La complejidad, en cambio, supone irreversibilidad, temporalidad, no-linealidad, aleatoriedad, fluctuaciones, bifurcaciones, autoorganización, probabilidad y extrae de esta nueva información, una enorme riqueza de posibilidades para hacer crecer la ciencia. Intentamos resumir los caracteres fundamentales de este nuevo paradigma que, por medio de un nuevo lenguaje epistemológico postula la creación de categorías y conceptos diferentes para la ciencia actual, lo que se está traduciendo en una ampliación de la racionalidad científica
9. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Assen I. Dimitrov Do Attractors Exist in Physical Space: The Truth Is Out There
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10. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Francisco Flores “Top-Down” or “Bottom-Up”: Explaining Laws in Special Relativity
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Wesley Salmon has suggested that the two leading views of scientific explanation, the “bottom-up” view and the “top-down” view, describe distinct types of explanation. In this paper, I focus on theoretical explanations in physics, i.e., explanations of physical laws. Using explanations of E=mc2, I argue that the distinction between bottom-up explanations (BUEs) and top-down explanations (BUEs) is best understood as a manifestation of a deeper distinction, found originally in Newton’s work, between two levels of theory. I use Einstein’s distinction between ‘principle’ and ‘constructive’ theories to argue that only lower level theories, i.e., ‘constructive’ theories, can yield BUEs. These explanations, furthermore, depend on higher level laws that receive only TDEs from a ‘principle’ theory. Thus, I conclude that Salmon’s challenge to characterize the relationship between the two types of explanation can be met only by recognizing the close relationship between types of theoretical explanation and the structure of physical theory.
11. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Maarten Franssen The Not-so-trivial Truth of Methodological Individualism
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I defend the truth of the principle of methodological individualism in the social sciences. I do so by criticizing mistaken ideas about the relation between individual people and social entities held by earlier defenders of the principle. I argue, first, that social science is committed to the intentional stance; the domain of social science, therefore, coincides with the domain of intentionally described human action. Second, I argue that social entitites are theoretical terms, but quite different from the entities used in the natural sciences to explain our empirical evidence. Social entities (such as institutions) are conventional and open-ended constructions, the applications of which is a matter of judgment, not of discovery. The terms in which these social entities are constructed are the beliefs, expectations and desires, and the corresponding actions of individual people. The relation between the social and the individual 'levels' differs fundamentally from that between, say, the cellular and the molecular in biology. Third, I claim that methodological individualism does not amount to a reduction of social science to psychology; rather, the science of psychology should be divided. Intentional psychology forms in tandom with the analysis of social institutions, unitary psycho-social science; cognitive psychology tries to explain how the brain works and especially how the intentional stance is applicable to human behavior.
12. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Vladimir G. Gamaonov The Relation-Functional Concept Of The Information
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There is such a point of view that information is an abstract unit as an invariant of informational processes. Information consists of object, procedural and morphological components.We have an opportunity to consider that information consists of object and procedural components. So we have the relation-functional concept of information.Information has such attributes as syntactics, semantics and pragmatics. These attributes are relational definitions. Semantics and pragmatics are considered to be external features (characteristics) of the definite syntactics.
13. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Serghey Stoilov Gherdjikov The Limits of Science
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Does science have any limits? Scientists say no. Philosophers are divided in their response. The humanities say that science is not "humanitarian," and thus not metaphysically deep. In response, scientists and some philosophers contend that science is the best knowledge we have about the world. I argue that science is limited by its form. Science has no object that derives from the human form. Everything that is incomparable to the dimension of the human body is reducible to notions that are commensurable to that body. This phenomenologically clarifies some of the most important discoveries in contemporary science. The Special Theory of Relativity shows the dependence of space and time on the accounting system. Quantum mechanics displays the limits of observation (Heisenberg) and logical indefiniteness by compelling the creation of a macropresentation of micro-objects and gets around logic (Feyerabend) through the principle of additionality. Experimental science has come out as an artificial projection of human expansion, not as a reflection of the transcendent order of the world itself. "The life world" successfully takes the place of "the objective world" of modern rationality.
14. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Alexandru Giuculescu Order Versus Chaos or the Ghost of Indeterminacy
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Indeterminacy, uncertainty, disorder, randomness, vagueness, fuzziness, ambiguity, crisis, undecideability, chaos, are all different terms. Yet, they are also semantically related to the idea of something opposed to order or structure and organization. Such terms denote prima facie insuperable obstacles to the attainment of true, certain, or precise knowledge about things and events. After analysing the ontological, logical, and axiological status of indeterminary, I outline the aoristic logic which allows adequate descriptions of phenomena pertaining to an area of indeterminary. Aoristic logic provides a propositional calculus that makes possible the compatibility of order with indeterminacy.
15. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
David Gruenberg Bootstrapping and the Problem of Testing Quantitative Theoretical Hypotheses
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I consider two alternative solutions to the problem of computing the values of theoretical quantities, and, thus, of testing theoretical hypotheses, viz., Sneed's structuralist eliminationism and Glymour's bootstrapping. The former attempts to solve the problem by eliminating theoretical quantities by means of the so-called Ramsey-Sneed sentence that represents the global empirical claim of the given theory. The latter proposes to solve the problem by deducing the values of the theoretical quantities from, among others, the very hypothesis to be tested. I argue that in those cases where the theoretical quantities are not strongly Ramsey-eliminable-which seems to be the case for most of the actual physical theories-eliminationism does not succeed in computing the values of theoretical quantities and is compelled to use bootstrapping in this task. On the other hand, we see that a general notion of bootstrapping-which, though implicitly, is present as a subreasoning in structuralism-provides a formally correct procedure for computing theoretical quantities, and thus contributes to the solution to the problem of testing theoretical hypotheses involving these quantities.
16. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
David Gruender On Explanation: Aristotelean and Hempelean
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Given the great historical distance between scientific explanation as Aristotle and Hempel saw it, I examine and appraise important similarities and differences between the two approaches, especially the inclination to take deduction itself as the very model of scientific knowledge. I argue that we have good reasons to reject this inclination.
17. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Jagdish Hattiangadi Algebra As Thought Experiment
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This paper addresses the problem of understanding what mathematics contributes to the exceptional success of modern mathematical physics. I urge that we give up the Kantian construal of the division between mathematics (synthetic a priori) and physics (experimental), and that we ask instead how algebra helps synthetic a posteriori mathematics improve our ability to study the world. The theses suggested are: 1) Mathematical theories are about the empirical world, and are true or false just like other theories of empirical science. 2) The air of artificiality in mathematics lies exclusively in the use of algebraic method. 3) This method is constructive much like all fiction is, but this construction is for the purpose of experimental investigation of the physical world to the extent that anything in the world has objects like those in the fictional world of a particular algebra. 4) This is why algebraic techniques are successful even when the assumptions of the system are false: they may still be applicable to some things considered from some perspective. 5) The success of mathematical physics is also due to Descartes' discovery of a remarkable truth: we live in space and time which can be described as a whole. 6) Therefore, what distinguishes modern science from earlier and later philosophy is not a general method of science, but the fact that it happened to find a truth, and a particular way of studying reality which bore fruit.
18. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Norma Silvia Horenstein Something More on What Explanation Explains
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Es propósito de esta comunicación revisar la teoría pragmática de la explicación sostenida por van Fraassen en The Scientific Image y otros escritos. Se cuestiona la necesidad de responder objeciones como las de Kitcher y Salmon en términos de la identificación de una relación de relevancia objetiva en las explicaciones concebidas como respuestas a preguntas por qué. En consecuencia, se examina la alternativa de considerer positivamente la existencia de haces de relaciones de relevancia especialmente como determinantes de la producción de diferentes desarrollos teóricos que proporcionen nuevas imágenes no literales de cómo es el mundo. Se toma como punto de partida para esta propuesta la adhesión de van Fraassen a la concepción semántica de las teorías científicas. Se señala entonces el contraste entre el análisis complementario que de la explicación y de la reconstrucción de teorías realiza el enfoque estructural y la posición sustentada por van Fraassen. En esta última se advierte el divorcio entre la concepción pragmática de la explicación y la tesis de que las teorías científicas se identifícan a través de sus modelos más la definitió teórica que define estas estructuras. Se sugiere la necesidad de restablecer la conexión entre ambas aun sin comprometerse en una teoría de la unificación, pero reconociendo virtudes informacionales en la explicación. En un análisis que incorpora las dimensiones pragmática y diacrónica se intenta reivindicar el valor de la explicación en la generación de teorías que sean empíricamente adecuadas en principio.
19. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Imre Hronszky Technological “Paradigms”: Cognitive Traditions and Communities in Technological Change
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Many efforts have been made to discover some paradigm-like changes in mathematics, the social sciences, arts, history, etc. Gary Gutting forcefully criticizes the tendency of over-constraining the original conception that mostly led to insignificant analogies. But some applications may fall between correct isomorphic utilization and insignificant analogizing. The paradigm conception of technological change emerged in the early 1980's. This paper shows how fruitful the analogy has been for developing the idea of technological 'paradigms.' But a technological paradigm shows decisive differences which concern the values (which are not only cognitive ones) of technologies, the hierarchical systemic communities, the partly different nature of crises (through 'presumptive anomalies,' by Constant), and the necessarily integrated nature of technological knowledge leading to successful artifacts linked to goal-oriented research. Technological-paradigms-thinking became an established part of evolutionary economics also. According to this, paradigms rival conceptions that show further changes in comparison to the original Kuhnian approach. I conclude by discussing the nature of scientific change from the viewpoint of technological paradigms.
20. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 37
Heisook Kim Yin and Yang: the Nature of Scientific Explanation in a Culture
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I explore the nature of scientific explanation in a culture centering on the doctrine of yin and yang combined with that of five phrases, wu-hsing (YYFP). I note how YYFP functions as an alternative to the causal way of thinking, as well as the meaning of scientific explanation in a culture. I also consider whether a scientific concept becomes metaphorical when it is superseded by an alternative organizing concept.