In 1859–1860, Johan Jacob Borelius published two diatribes against Christopher Jacob Boström, the then dominating philosopher in Sweden. Boström was accused of inconsistency, because he asserted the principle of esse est percipi while at the same time maintaining that different agents can perceive one and the same thing differently. It is suggested that Borelius misunderstood Boström’s intention. In his printed defence, in 1860, Boström clarifies his use of a dual conception of meaning, resembling Frege’s distinction between Sinn (sense) and Bedeutung (...) (reference) some thirty years later. Boström appears to equate the reference of esse with that of percipi, whereas Borelius argued as if the principle concerned the senses of the two expressions. According to Borelius, two observers cannot possibly have different perceptions of the same object, if “to be” means “to be perceived”. In Boström’s view, as reconstructed here, two different phenomenal perceptions may well refer to one and the same true object, of which the phenomena are aspects. The true object exists in virtue of its being determined by God’s perfect ideas. (shrink)
A brief overview of the main Croatian philosophers of the 19th century is given (regardless of whether they worked in or outside of Croatia). Special attention is paid to Šimun Čučić (logic, metaphysics, ethics) and Franjo pl. Marković (logic, aesthetics). The philosophy of other authors is briefly summarized on the ground of the existing research results.
The Zagreb Royal Academy, the successor of the former Jesuit Neoacademy, was founded in 1776 as the central institution of higher education in Croatia as part of the educational reform in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After presenting the basic characteristics of the reform concept, the paper deals with the teaching of theoretical philosophy at the Zagreb Academy. Philosophy was taught by E. Raffay, A. Minković, G. Valičić, S. Čučić, S. Pogledić, S. Moyses, and S. Muzler until the abolition of the Academy (...) in 1850. In the transitional period of 1773-1776, theoretical philosophy was taught by V. Kalafatić (ethics by F. Sebastijanović). Philosophy, along with other subjects (primarily mathematics, physics, and history), was studied for two years, including logic, metaphysics, moral philosophy, and empirical psychology. Textual documentation of theoretical (as well as practical) philosophy is represented by printed examination theses that were publicly defended at the Academy. The most significant systematic work of theoretical philosophy, however, is Čučić's "Philosophia critice elaborata". A new, updated bibliography of these theses is also presented in the supplement. [Zagrebačka kraljevska akademija, nasljednica prijašnje isusovačke Neoacademije, osnovana je, u sklopu školske reforme u Austrijskoj Monarhiji, 1776. godine kao središnja visokoškolska ustanova u Hrvatskoj. Nakon izlaganja osnovnih karakteristika reformske koncepcije, rad se bavi nastavom teorijske filozofije na zagrebačkoj akademiji. Filozofiju su do ukinuća Akademije 1850. godine predavali E. Raffay, A. Minković, G. Valičić, S. Čučić, S. Pogledić, S. Moyses i S. Muzler. U prijelaznom razdoblju 1773-76. god. teorijsku je filozofiju predavao V. Kalafatić (etiku F. Sebastijanović). Filozofija se, uz ostale predmete (prvenstveno matematiku, fiziku i povijest), slušala dvije godine i to logika, metafizika i moralna filozofija i empirijska psihologija. Tekstovnu dokumentaciju teorijske (kao i praktičke) filozofije predstavljaju tiskane ispitne teze koje su se na Akademiji javno branile. U dodatku ,se donosi i nova, dopunjena bibliografija tih tezarija. Teorijski je međutim najznačajnije Čučićevo sustavno djelo "Philosophia critice elaborata«.]. (shrink)
Brentano’s position in the history of philosophy is often illustrated by the long list of important philosophers who have studied with him. Yet, the relations between Brentano and his students were not always without friction. In the present article I argue that Brentano’s students were most attracted by his conception of a scientific philosophy, which promised to leave the received tradition (German Idealism) behind and to mark the beginning of a new period in the history of philosophy – a project (...) they were happy to be part of. Brentano’s work remained in an important sense fragmentary, however, and could, thus, not provide the inner unity that would have been essential for forming a compact school or a unified philosophical movement. (shrink)
The book deals with the changing nature and with the history of the concept of scientific determinism from the classical mechanics until the time immediately preceding quantum mechanics: such a historical-philosophical reconstruction is aimed at (1) signalizing and overcoming the deficiencies of the received opinion on the topic and (2) understanding better a concept which has influenced science from the beginning. -/- Before dealing with historical matters I develop in the first Chapter a kind of new, three-dimensional “measurement system” for (...) analyzing any concept of scientific determinism: many different concepts have been developed in the course of history, and we need a classification system which, on the one hand, is inclusive and broad enough to deal with different concepts; on the other hand, which makes possible to differentiate with some precision between them. My “measurement system” has three dimension or parameter: the “strength” (of the determining link between different states of the physical system), the “depth” (depending on how strong the ontological commitment of the particular concept of scientific determinism is), and the breadth (referring to the domain or the object, to which a deterministic evolution is ascribed). -/- In the second chapter I discuss briefly some main shortcomings of the received opinion about scientific determinism. Then I try to identify the “core” of scientific determinism at its origins while at the same time embedding it in the broader historical-cultural context especially of the Renaissance. On the one hand I show how the core of scientific determinism was mathematical, and this distinguished it from other related concepts, as mechanism, the principle of sufficient reason, and the aristotelic conception of science. On the other hand, precisely the support which these related concepts provided to scientific determinism, together with its mathematical nature, endowed it with an incredible resistance against empirical classification. -/- In the following three chapters I analyze the historic-philosophical development of scientific determinism along the three parameter of my measurement system. -/- In the third Chapter I reconstruct the weakening of scientific determinism with respect to its depth: the starting point is the question about the extent in which the deterministic mathematical descriptions do refer. In the development of mechanics into analytical mechanics the more and more formal character of its mathematical descriptions became evident and it became less obvious that these formal, deterministic structures also have an immediate material truth. Parallel developments within epistemology, starting with Kantian philosophy (which I deal with quite in detail), let the deterministic structures (principle, laws, equations, causal relations) appear less absolute and real and more as a product of reason, as conventions, or as models. A brief consideration of the interpretation of mechanics and its principles by Jacobi, Hertz, Mach and Poincaré shows the implications of these developments. -/- The fourth chapter reconstructs the weakening of scientific determinism with respect to the strength of the determining link: here my work deepens the track which has been opened by Ian Hacking, who interpreted the so-called “probabilistic revolution” in the 19th Century as the main reason for the erosion of determinism. The increasing pervasiveness of statistical methods in the social and natural sciences in the course of the 19th Century gave rise to a conception of scientific laws which could dispense with strict determinism. A new, empirical interpretation of probability (Frequentism) and the statistical explanation of thermodynamic phenomena in physics even suggested chance phenomena to be a necessary condition for the emergence of natural laws. -/- The last part of my work (Ch. 5, 6 and 7) considers the period (2nd half of the 19th century until ca. 1920) in which the concept of scientific determinism became explicit and was discussed as a world-picture or a world-view – that is, in its maximal breadth. I argue that there were two main reasons for the emergence of an explicit and ideological opposition “determinism vs. indeterminism” at that time: the first was the successful application of the deterministic paradigm to sociology, history, physiology and psychology in the course of the 19th Century, which provided scientific determinism with ethical implications (in particular with respect to the problem of free will, which scientific determinism seemed to deny). The second, related reason is that in the 19th Century natural scientists became public men, science was increasingly popularized and scientific issues were increasingly related to life-issues, to worldview-questions, and even to politics. In Chapter 6 I reconstruct the debates on the issue “determinism vs. indeterminism” in such a public, ideological and sometimes even political context. Among the discussants were Fechner, Du Bois-Reymond, Helmholtz, Bernard, Ostwald, Haeckel, Boussinesq, Maxwell, Boutroux, Poincaré, Renouvier, James und Peirce. Also in Vienna the debate on the issue of determinism was fervid and took ideological and political connotations: Michael Stöltzner and Deborah Coen have pointed to a particular tradition of “Vienna Indeterminism” (Stöltzner), or Viennese liberal probabilism (Coen), which was characterized by a strongly empirical conception of science and by the full acceptance and appreciation of statistical thinking in science. In the last Chapter of my work I focus on the early philosophy of Edgar Zilsel, a philosopher who stood near to the Vienna Circle and who has been much neglected in the literature by now, and I suggest considering it as part of the “Vienna Indeterminism”. First, I show how he gave an indeterministic foundation both to statistical and causal knowledge as well as to irreversibility in physics. Second, I inquire into his philosophy of probability and show how it developed in parallel to the ones of Hans Reichenbach and Richard von Mises. Finally, Zilsel happens to be a further, relevant case-study for pointing to the ideological and political side of the issue of determinism. -/- At the end of this reconstruction it should have become clear how no physical theory, no empirical evidence and no experimental confirmation can support or contradict scientific determinism in its non-trivial formulations. The validity of any such formulation depends strongly not only (from the systematical point of view) from the definition of other concepts (like time, physical state, causality etc.), but also from the particular conception of science which more or less implicitly constitutes its background, and which is subjected to historical change. -/- (ISBN: 9783495491034). (shrink)
The paper addresses Thiodolf Rein’s (1838–1919) view of empiricist philosophies, which arrived in Finland in the second half of the nineteenth century. Rein was the key figure of Finnish philosophy towards the end of the nineteenth century. His philosophy was strongly influenced by Hermann Lotze (1817–1881), probably the most distinguished German philosopher of the time. In his main work, "Försök till en framställning af psykologin eller vetenskapen om själen" (Attempt at a presentation of psychology, or the science of the soul, (...) 1876–1891), Rein attempts to reconcile modern natural science and its empirical methodology with idealist metaphysics. His chief concern is to refute the claim that the results of natural science corroborate materialism. Whereas Lotze had only shortly commented on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, Rein attempts to integrate Darwin’s theory into his idealist metaphysics. Besides philosophy, Rein’s arguments had also implications for broader political and cultural issues of the time. (shrink)
‘PHILOSOPHY, or the doctrine and discipline of ideas’, as S. T. Coleridge understood it, is the theme of this book. It considers the most vital and mature vein of Coleridge’s thought to be ‘the contemplation of ideas objectively, as existing powers’. A theory of ideas emerges in critical engagement with thinkers including Plato, Plotinus, Böhme, Kant, and Schelling. A commitment to the transcendence of reason, central to what he calls ‘the spiritual platonic old England’, distinguishes him from his German contemporaries. (...) The book also engages with Coleridge’s poetry, especially in a culminating chapter dedicated to the ‘Limbo’ sequence. This book pursues a theory of contemplation that draws from discussions of imagination and the ‘Ideas of Reason’ in Coleridge’s published texts and extensively from his unpublished works, fragments, letters, and notebooks. He posited a hierarchy of cognition from basic sense intuition to the apprehension of scientific, ethical, and theological ideas. The structure of the book follows this thesis, beginning with sense data, moving upwards into aesthetic experience, imagination, and reason, with final chapters on formal logic and poetry that constellate the contemplation of ideas. Coleridge’s Contemplative Philosophy is not just a work of intellectual history, it addresses a figure whose thinking is of continuing interest, arguing that contemplation of ideas and values has consequences for everyday morality and aesthetics, as well as metaphysics. The volume will be of interest to philosophers, intellectual historians, scholars of religion, and of literature. (shrink)
This paper is a history of philosophy in Australia in the first decade of the twenty-first century. It considers, among other things: (1) the state of the higher education sector; (2) the state of the humanities; (3) the state of philosophy in the academy; (4) support for philosophy in the academy; (5) the role of philosophy beyond the academy; (6) changes in philosophical practice in this decade,; (7) changes in the teaching of philosophy in this decade; and (8) the domains (...) of inquiry in which philosophers worked in this decade. (shrink)
J. H. Newman is known as a convert, an educator and a theologian, however, the twenty thousand letters he wrote testify to another aspect of his personality: A good friend. Friendship was not an abstract ideal for him, it was love given and received. Throughout his life he cultivated committed and generous relationships, sharing his heart, time, wisdom and financial resources with his friends. In today’s world where intimacy, friendship, commitment and generosity are often seen with suspicion, the way Newman (...) lived friendship, while cultivating a deep intellectual life in the celibate state of a clergyman, can be very enlightening. (shrink)
A comprehensive bibliography of truth from 1873 to 1939. (I do not intend to publish this manuscript; rather, I post it as a resource for others with an interest in theories of truth during the early analytic period.).
In this paper, I analyze the disruptive impact of Darwinian selectionism for the century-long tradition in which the environment had a direct causative role in shaping an organism’s traits. In the case of humans, the surrounding environment often determined not only the physical, but also the mental and moral features of individuals and whole populations. With its apparatus of indirect effects, random variations, and a much less harmonious view of nature and adaptation, Darwinian selectionism severed the deep imbrication of organism (...) and milieu posited by these traditional environmentalist models. This move had radical implications well beyond strictly biological debates. In my essay, I discuss the problematization of the moral idiom of environmentalism by William James and August Weismann who adopted a selectionist view of the development of mental faculties. These debates show the complex moral discourse associated with the environmentalist-selectionist dilemma. They also well illustrate how the moral reverberations of selectionism went well beyond the stereotyped associations with biological fatalism or passivity of the organism. Rereading them today may be helpful as a genealogical guide to the complex ethical quandaries unfolding in the current postgenomic scenario in which a revival of new environmentalist themes is taking place. (shrink)
A ‘late developer’ argument, common to Psychology and Economic History, can be used to explain cultural innovation. It argues that the 19th century theory of natural selection arose in England and not Germany because of – and not in spite of – England’s scientific backwardness. Measured in terms of institutions, communities, and ideas, the relative retardation of English science was precisely what enabled it to adopt German advances in novel ways.
Emil du Bois-Reymond (1818-1896) complicates the historiography of the reception of Darwinism. His presentation of the theory was anti-teleological, a fact that refutes the claim that German Darwinists were Romantic.
The paper addresses three late Hegelian philosophers from northern Europe: Norwegian M.J. Monrad (1816–97), Swede J.J. Borelius (1823–1909) and Finn Th. Rein (1838–1919). The focus is on their views on the crisis of Hegelian speculative philosophy. The popularity of G.W.F. Hegel's philosophy in Germany declined rapidly since the 1840s. The decline was influenced by e.g. new scientific discoveries. Hegelianism maintained a strong position in northern Europe (especially in Norway and in Finland) several decades longer than in Germany. Rein, Monrad and (...) Borelius, all professors of philosophy, endorsed Hegel’s philosophy and agreed that it has to be reformed in order to meet the new challenges. They disagreed with each other, however, about the extent of this reform. They had conflicting interpretations of Hegel’s method too. (shrink)
In this paper I sketch William Whewell’s attempts to impose order on classificatory mineralogy, which was in Whewell’s day (1794e1866) a confused science of uncertain prospects. Whewell argued that progress was impeded by the crude reductionist assumption that all macroproperties of crystals could be straightforwardly explained by reference to the crystals’ chemical constituents. By comparison with biological classification, Whewell proposed methodological reforms that he claimed would lead to a natural classification of minerals, which in turn would support advances in causal (...) understanding of the properties of minerals. Whewell’s comparison to successful biological classification is particularly striking given that classificatory biologists did not share an understanding of the causal structure underlying the natural classification of life (the common descent with modification of all organisms). Whewell’s key proposed methodological reform is consideration of multiple, distinct principles of classification. The most powerful evidence in support of a natural classificatory claim is the consilience of claims arrived at through distinct lines of reasoning, rooted in distinct conceptual approaches to the target objects. Mineralogists must consider not only elemental composition and chemical affinities, but also symmetry and polarity. Geometrical properties are central to what makes an individual mineral the type of mineral that it is. In Whewell’s view, function and organization jointly define life, and so are the keys to understanding what makes an organism the type of organism that it is. I explain the relationship between Whewell’s teleological account of life and his natural theology. I conclude with brief comments about the importance of Whewell’s classificatory theory for the further development of his philosophy of science and in particular his account of consilience. (shrink)
_Concepts of Philosophy_ challenges received conceptions of philosophy by way of critical engagement with Chinese and Japanese sources. Built on philologically sound readings of specific texts, the book lifts the discussion on the concept of philosophy to a global plane.
This introductory chapter reviews the history of the reception of philosophy from Asia and the Islamic World in Western philosophy and argues in favor of conceptualizing philosophy from a more globally informed point of view.
In this paper, we present an interdisciplinary discussion on the relations between Science–Technology Education and Culture both historical standpoint and nowadays. The idea that a human mind can produce an intellectual revolution within science and its approaches strongly crossed like a paradigm both in the history of sciences and disciplines–literatures : but what about its social impact and science mission, as well? To describe the impact of the disseminated knowledge is a consequent aim. A case study on energy conceptualization and (...) its exhibitions in Society in Context is discussed; their correlations with education, science–techniques, industry and social impacts are discussed, as well. (shrink)
The theory of proper names proposed by J.S. Mill in A system of logic (1843), and discussed in S. Kripke’s Naming and necessity (1980), is shown to be predated by A. Rosmini’s Nuovo saggio sull’origine delle idee (1830) and T. Reid’s Essays on the intellectual powers of man (1785). For philological reasons, Rosmini probably did not obtain his view of proper names from Reid. For philosophical reasons, it is unlikely that he got it from Hobbes, Locke, Smith, or Stewart. Although (...) not explicitly indicated by Rosmini himself, he may have been influenced by St. Thomas, who in Summa theologica discusses suppositum and natura in relation to the equivocal functions of the terms ”God” and ”sun” as common and proper names. As previously observed, forerunners of the idea can be found in Antiquity, in Plato’s Theaetetus and Aristotle’s Metaphysics. From a historical point of view, the fully developed ”Millian” opinion that connotation is not a fundamental aspect of proper names, and that their referents are not fixed by description, could more accurately be termed the Reid-Rosmini-Mill theory. (shrink)
In a note to G.R.S. Mead’s "Quests Old and New", where he found a section devoted to Hans Vaihinger’s main ideas, Fernando Pessoa reflects on the consequences of the fictionalist approach to both our perception of the I and the value of consciousness. These questions correspond to some statements that we find in Nietzsche’s writings, which in particular Vaihinger refers to in his Die Philosophie des Als-ob. Our aim is thus to compare Nietzsche’s and Pessoa’s view of the I and (...) consciousness, and to deal with their psychology by making reference to Vaihinger’s fictionalism. (shrink)
The entry aims to explain a core feature of otherwise different variants of romanticism: the commitment to “the primacy of aesthetics.” This commitment is often expressed by the claim that the “aesthetic”—most broadly that which concerns beauty and art—should permeate and shape human life. The entry proposes that this romantic imperative should be understood as a structural or formal demand. On that reading, the romantic imperative requires that we model our epistemological, metaphysical, ethical, political, social and scientific pursuits according to (...) the form of the aesthetic comportment to the world, exemplified in poetry. Rather than aiming to replace “real” life, science and philosophy with poetry, the romantics urge human beings to fashion their ordinary lives and to do science and philosophy according to the model provided by poetry. Philosophy, science and everyday life need not be poetry, but poetic or poetry-like. Structurally, they should become similar. Why so? The main task of this entry is to offer an answer to this question and to show that the reasons for “poeticizing” life, science and philosophy are themselves philosophical. (shrink)
This edition provides the first complete English translation of Bernard Bolzano's four-volume Wissenschaftslehre or Theory of Science, a masterwork of theoretical philosophy. First published in 1837, the Wissenschaftslehre is a monumental, wholly original study in logic, epistemology, heuristics, and scientific methodology. Unlike most logical studies of the period, it is not concerned with the "psychological self-consciousness of the thinking mind." Instead, it develops logic as the science of "propositions in themselves" and their parts, especially the relations between these entities. It (...) offers, for the first time in the history of logic, a viable definition of consequence, and a novel view of probability. Giving constant attention to Bolzano's predecessors and contemporaries, with particular emphasis on Kant, this richly documented work is also a valuable source for the history of logic and philosophy. (shrink)
La percezione musicale ha avuto un ruolo significativo nella storia della psicologia della Gestalt. Muovendo dalle critiche di Mach ed Ehrenfels alla dottrina elaborata da Helmholtz e dall’elaborazione teorica di Stumpf, destinata a fungere da ponte concettuale, il lavoro analizza la riflessione svoltasi in seno alla psicologia della Gestalt. Sorprendentemente, Köhler non si concentra sulle Gestalten musicali complesse, ma sulle qualità tonali più elementari, mostrandone la totale irriducibilità a fattori fisico-fisiologici. Sulla stessa linea è anche Hornbostel, il quale amplia tuttavia (...) il discorso mediante il richiamo al complesso antropologico dei vissuti umani, musicali ed extramusicali, che rimandano a un determinato contesto culturale, saldando così il nesso tra psicologia della Gestalt e ricerca nel campo etnomusicologico. (shrink)
Ehrenfels, Höfler and Witasek competently contributed to a musical aesthetics based upon the principles of the Graz school. In spite of a shared general psychological framework, they deeply differ in applying it to the aesthetics of music. A double tendency can be pointed out. Ehrenfels and Höfler enthusiastically supported Richard Wagner and vindicated the aesthetic value of his music. Accordingly, they made large use of analogies between musical and organic Gestalten. In a platonic vein, Höfler also thinks of melodies as (...) timeless objects, which are discovered rather than created by great artists. On the contrary, Witasek’s approach is quite rationalistic. Avoiding any intrusion of metaphysics, he describes the intellectual and emotional processes involved in hearing a piece of music. Wholly independently of Wagnerism, Witasek explains the complexity of musical experience in the general terms of Meinongian psychology. (shrink)