Context: This conceptual paper tries to tackle the advantages and the limitations that might arise from including second-order science into global climate change sciences, a research area that traditionally focuses on first-order approaches and that is currently attracting a lot of media and public attention. Problem: The high profile of climate change research seems to provoke a certain dilemma for scientists: despite the slowly increasing realization within the sciences that our knowledge is temporary, tentative, uncertain, and far from stable, the (...) public expectations towards science and scientific knowledge are still the opposite: that scientific results should prove to be objective, reliable, and authoritative. As a way to handle the uncertainty, scientists tend to produce “varieties of scenarios” instead of clear statements, as well as reports that articulate different scientific opinions about the causes and dynamics of change for this specific field of research. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Between Realism and Constructivism? Luhmann’s Ambivalent Epistemological Standpoint” by Armin Scholl. Upshot: One of the key aspects of constructivism is the role of the observer. As Scholl shows in his article, Luhmann shares this perspective, and beyond that opens up the concept of observation by transferring it from the micro level of individuals to the macro level of society. Luhmann goes even further by stating that all autopoietic and self-referential systems, i.e., all living, psychic, (...) and social systems, can observe, leaving an anthropological view behind. With this, the question of the “who” in “who observes” gains new insights that, surprisingly, touch on one of the central research questions in quantum physics. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Ontology, Reality and Construction in Niklas Luhmann’s Theory” by Krzysztof C. Matuszek. Upshot: On an epistemological level, Matuszek argues convincingly that Luhmann’s epistemological ambiguities could be embedded in a coherent constructivist approach. However, what do we gain by being assured of this and why is it so difficult to tolerate ambiguities in an otherwise highly elaborated theory?
Upshot: For communicating second-order science, von Foerster’s ethical imperative provides a viable starting point. Proceeding from this, we plead in favour of emphasising the common grounds of diverging scientific opinions and of various approaches in second-order science instead of focussing on the differences. This will provide a basis for communication and stimulate scientific self-reflection.
Open peer commentary on the article “On Climate Change Research, the Crisis of Science and Second-order Science” by Philipp Aufenvenne, Heike Egner & Kirsten von Elverfeldt. Upshot: I discuss the concepts of detection and attribution as they are used in scientific discussions about the cause of global warming.
Liberalism is commonly believed, especially by its exponents, to be opposed to interference by way of enforcing value judgments or concerning itself with the individual's morality. My concern is to show that this is not so and that liberalism is all the better for this. Many elements have contributed to liberal thought as we know it today, the major elements being the liberalism of which Locke is the most celebrated exponent, which is based upon a belief in natural, human rights; (...) the liberalism of which Kant is the best known exponent, which is based on respect for persons as ends in themselves; and the liberalism of Bentham and the Mills, which is based upon utilitarian ethical theories and most especially with concern for pleasure and the reduction of pain. These different elements of liberalism have led to different emphases and different political and social arrangements, but all have involved a concern to safeguard values and to use force to that end. Today they constitute strands of thought which go to make up liberal thought as we now know it, hence it is not simply a historical fact about liberalism, but a fact about its philosophical basis, that liberalism is firmly involved in certain value and moral commitments. In the remainder of this paper I shall seek to bring this out. (shrink)
Hadith scholars are individuals who play an important role in the spread of the Prophetic traditions. in the midst of his people, as an authoritative source after the Qur'an for the complete Islamic legal construct, which was previously discovered and compiled by the Imam of Hadith in their canonical books, like Imam Muḥammad ibn Ismā’īl al-Bukhārī in “Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī” and Muslim Imam ibn al-Ḥajjāj al-Naysābūrī in “Muslim Ṣaḥīḥ”, through long tracing from one country to another in order to obtain directly (...) one history from the source. The position of the Hadith scholars in this regard, who are at the spearhead of the spread of the Hadiths after their collection by the Imam of the Hadith, as well as their existence and consistency in guarding the Hadith from various forms of deviation of understanding of the people, become an integral part of an integral circle named Hadith, as a saying of the Prophet, the Rabbis and the Imams. (shrink)
The contribution of the generation of Tâbi’un in the formation of Islamic sciences in general and in the development of hadith in particular is known. Various studies have been done on the quality of this contribution. Being a part of such an aim is among the targets of this study as well. Not to conducted any work on the hadithism of especially Abdullah b. Abbas' student and after him Atâ ibn Abi Rabah who the most famous teacher of the Mecca (...) school was another encouraging reason. While examining the life and scientific personality of Ata who was one of the early personalities, it has been tried to reach some results with the information obtained from the sources from the first period, especially the fatwa and rumors belonging to him. Atâ who was leading an observable, active political life, lived in the intellectual and social turmoil that emerged in the early period. Atâ who drawing attention with his educator personality, added his own experiences to the scientific heritage he received from the companions in the first instance Ibn Abbas, and had been passed it on to the next generations. Being a fatwa authority in Makkah mufti and pilgrimage organizations for many years is one of his important experiences. In addition to being well-known for his devotion to the Sunnah, he has been taken place between those known among the generation of Tâbi’un with his fatwa and ijtihad. Ata, who is a critical hadith reciter, is accepted as the absolute authority in the hadith. The fact that he was one of the first to make talfiq in the hadith shows that he knew the diversity of the sources he reported and the many tarikh of the narrations. He wrote narrations and encouraged writing of hadith. He contributed to the development of hadith terms with some of the hadith concepts he used and drew attention with the abundance of mursal hadiths. (shrink)
J. H. Hexter, an American historian of early seventeenth-century history, terms himself whiggish and claims whiggishness is returning after the misguided popularity of Marxism. The distinction "whiggish" is more elusive than his claim suggests, and the accuracy of its application to Hexter's claim is unclear. Three characteristics commonly assigned to whig interpretation by its critics can be seen as reflections of broader, unresolved historical issues. These are: attention to political and constitutional issues; a tendency to refer to the present in (...) interpreting the past; and a belief in inevitability. It is difficult to ascertain whether Hexter's attention to political matters is a result of his view of them as intrinsically important to historical inquiry or as particularly relevant to historical accounts of Stuart England. The charge of presentism cannot confidently be made against him, as he is not guilty of anything as crude as anachronism, and subtle presentism is neither avoidable nor necessarily reprehensible. Inevitabilism is not only difficult to define, it is not displayed by Hexter. If he displays the weaknesses of whiggishness it is only through implication, in the body of ideas underlying his text. (shrink)