The term probability can be used in two main senses. In the frequency interpretation it is a limiting ratio in a sequence of repeatable events. In the Bayesian view, probability is a mental construct representing uncertainty. This 2002 book is about these two types of probability and investigates how, despite being adopted by scientists and statisticians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Bayesianism was discredited as a theory of scientific inference during the 1920s and 1930s. Through the examination of a (...) dispute between two British scientists, the author argues that a choice between the two interpretations is not forced by pure logic or the mathematics of the situation, but depends on the experiences and aims of the individuals involved. The book should be of interest to students and scientists interested in statistics and probability theories and to general readers with an interest in the history, sociology and philosophy of science. (shrink)
Now in a new edition, this volume updates Davidson's exceptional Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (1984), which set out his enormously influential philosophy of language. The original volume remains a central point of reference, and a focus of controversy, with its impact extending into linguistic theory, philosophy of mind, and epistemology. Addressing a central question--what it is for words to mean what they do--and featuring a previously uncollected, additional essay, this work will appeal to a wide audience of philosophers, linguists, (...) and psychologists. (shrink)
Interpretation, in the sense relevant to hermeneutics, is an attempt to make clear, to make sense of an object of study. This object must, therefore, be a text or a text-analogue, which in some way is confused, incomplete, cloudy, seemingly contradictory--in one way or another, unclear. The interpretation aims to bring to light an underlying coherence or sense.
_Interpretation and Construction_ examines the interpretation and products of intentional human behavior, focusing primarily on issues in art, law, and everyday speech. Focuses on artistic interpretation, but also includes extended discussion of interpretation of the law and everyday speech and communication. Written by one of the leading theorists of interpretation. Theoretical discussions are consistently centered around examples for ease of comprehension.
This book shows how research in linguistic pragmatics, philosophy of language, and rhetoric can be connected through argumentation to analyze a recognizably common strategy used in political and everyday conversation, namely the distortion of another’s words in an argumentative exchange. Straw man argumentation refers to the modification of a position by misquoting, misreporting or wrenching the original speaker’s statements from their context in order to attack them more easily or more effectively. Through 63 examples taken from different contexts (including political (...) and forensic discourses and dialogs) and 20 legal cases, the book analyzes the explicit and implicit types of straw man, shows how to assess the correctness of a quote or a report, and illustrates the arguments that can be used for supporting an interpretation and defending against a distortion. The tools of argumentation theory, a discipline aimed at investigating the uses of arguments by combining insights from pragmatics, logic, and communication, are applied to provide an original account of interpretation and reporting, and to describe and illustrate tactics and procedures that can be used and implemented for practical purposes.. This book will appeal to scholars in the fields of political communication, communication in general, argumentation theory, rhetoric and pragmatics, as well as to people working in public speech, speech writing, and discourse analysis. (shrink)
This book presents a comprehensive guide to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) which is an increasingly popular approach to qualitative inquiry taught to undergraduate and postgraduate students today. The first chapter outlines the theoretical foundations for IPA. It discusses phenomenology, hermeneutics, and idiography and how they have been taken up by IPA. The next four chapters provide detailed, step by step guidelines to conducting IPA research: study design, data collection and interviewing, data analysis, and writing up. In the next section, the (...) authors give extended worked examples from their own studies in health, sexuality, psychological distress, and identity to illustrate the breadth and depth of IPA research. The final section of the book considers how IPA connects with other contemporary qualitative approaches like discourse and narrative analysis and how it addresses issues to do with validity. (shrink)
Philosophers of quantum mechanics have generally addressed exceedingly simple systems. Laura Ruetsche offers a much-needed study of the interpretation of more complicated systems, and an underexplored family of physical theories, such as quantum field theory and quantum statistical mechanics, showing why they repay philosophical attention. She guides those familiar with the philosophy of ordinary QM into the philosophy of 'QM infinity', by presenting accessible introductions to relevant technical notions and the foundational questions they frame--and then develops and defends answers to (...) some of those questions. Finally, Ruetsche highlights ties between the foundational investigation of QM infinity and philosophy more broadly construed, in particular by using the interpretive problems discussed to motivate new ways to think about the nature of physical possibility and the problem of scientific realism. (shrink)
In _Feminist Interpretations of John Rawls_, Ruth Abbey collects eight essays responding to the work of John Rawls from a feminist perspective. An impressive introduction by the editor provides a chronological overview of English-language feminist engagements with Rawls from his Theory of Justice onwards. She surveys the range of issues canvassed by feminist readers of Rawls, as well as critics’ wide disagreement about the value of Rawls’s corpus for feminist purposes. The eight essays that follow testify to the continuing ambivalence (...) among feminist readers of Rawls. From the perspectives of political theory and moral, social, and political philosophy, the essayists address particular aspects of Rawls’s work and apply it to a variety of worldly practices relating to gender inequality and the family, to the construction of disability, to justice in everyday relationships, and to human rights on an international level. The overall effect is to give a sense of the broad spectrum of possible feminist critical responses to Rawls, ranging from rejection to adoption. Aside from the editor, the contributors are Amy R. Baehr, Eileen Hunt Botting, Elizabeth Brake, Clare Chambers, Nancy J. Hirschmann, Anthony Simon Laden, Janice Richardson, and Lisa H. Schwartzman. (shrink)
For the past fifty years anxiety over naturalism has driven debates in social theory. One side sees social science as another kind of natural science, while the other rejects the possibility of objective and explanatory knowledge. _Interpretation and Social Knowledge_ suggests a different route, offering a way forward for an antinaturalist sociology that overcomes the opposition between interpretation and explanation and uses theory to build concrete, historically specific causal explanations of social phenomena.
Interpretation, in the sense relevant to hermeneutics, is an attempt to make clear, to make sense of an object of study. This object must, therefore, be a text or a text-analogue, which in some way is confused, incomplete, cloudy, seemingly contradictory--in one way or another, unclear. The interpretation aims to bring to light an underlying coherence or sense.
In this book Mark Bevir and Jason Blakely set out to make the most comprehensive case yet for an 'interpretive' or hermeneutic approach to the social sciences. Interpretive approaches are a major growth area in the social sciences today. This is because they offer a full-blown alternative to the behavioralism, institutionalism, rational choice, and other quasi-scientific approaches that dominate the study of human behavior. In addition to presenting a systematic case for interpretivism and a critique of scientism, Bevir and Blakely (...) also propose their own uniquely 'anti-naturalist 'notion of an interpretive approach. This anti-naturalist framework encompasses the insights of philosophers ranging from Michel Foucault and Hans-Georg Gadamer to Charles Taylor and Ludwig Wittgenstein, while also resolving dilemmas that have plagued rival philosophical defenses of interpretivism. In addition, working social scientists are given detailed discussions of a distinctly interpretive approach to methods and empirical research. The book draws on the latest social science to cover everything from concept formation and empirical inquiry to ethics, democratic theory, and public policy. An anti-naturalist approach to interpretive social science offers nothing short of a sweeping paradigm shift in the study of human beings and society. This book will be of interest to all who seek a humanistic alternative to the scientism that overwhelms the study of human beings today. (shrink)
Quantum mechanics is a subject that has captured the imagination of a surprisingly broad range of thinkers, including many philosophers of science. Quantum field theory, however, is a subject that has been discussed mostly by physicists. This is the first book to present quantum field theory in a manner that makes it accessible to philosophers. Because it presents a lucid view of the theory and debates that surround the theory, An Interpretive Introduction to Quantum Field Theory will interest students of (...) physics as well as students of philosophy. -/- Paul Teller presents the basic ideas of quantum field theory in a way that is understandable to readers who are familiar with non-relativistic quantum mechanics. He provides information about the physics of the theory without calculational detail, and he enlightens readers on how to think about the theory physically. Along the way, he dismantles some popular myths and clarifies the novel ways in which quantum field theory is both a theory about fields and about particles. His goal is to raise questions about the philosophical implications of the theory and to offer some tentative interpretive views of his own. This provocative and thoughtful book challenges philosophers to extend their thinking beyond the realm of quantum mechanics and it challenges physicists to consider the philosophical issues that their explorations have encouraged. (shrink)
In a beautiful recent essay, the philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong explains the reasons for his departure from evangelical Christianity, the religious culture in which he was brought up. Sinnot-Armstrong contrasts the interpretive methods used by good philosophers and fundamentalist believers: Good philosophers face objections and uncertainties. They follow where arguments lead, even when their conclusions are surprising and disturbing. Intellectual honesty is also required of scholars who interpret philosophical texts. If I had distorted Kant’s view to make him reach a conclusion (...) that I preferred, then my philosophy professor would have failed me. The contrast with religious reasoning is stark. My Christian friends seemed happy to hide serious problems in the Bible and in their arguments. They preferred comfort to intellectual honesty. I couldn’t. To what extent can we, historians of philosophy, claim the virtue of intellectual honesty? Speaking frankly, I do not find the practice criticized by Sinnot-Armstrong’s philosophy professor rare or unusual at all. We very frequently distort the views of past philosophers in order to reach the conclusions we prefer. We just call it “Charitable Interpretation.” In this essay, I discuss and criticize the logic behind so-called charitable interpretations in the history of philosophy. This phenomenon is ubiquitous and is not at all restricted to a particular philosophical strand or ideology. Analytic philosophers and post-modernists, Marxists, liberals, secularists, and fundamentalists, we all engage in the very same domestication project. Even more disturbing than the sheer ideological pervasiveness of this phenomenon is the fact that, on many occasions, superb philosophers and historians take part in this fairly childish endeavor. In the first part of this essay, I discuss the general logic of charitable interpretations in the history of philosophy, mostly by addressing discussions in metaphysics and epistemology. In the second part, I focus on the somewhat less noticed use of charitable interpretations in the study of political philosophy, and point out the quintessential role ideology plays in these discussions. In both parts, I concentrate mostly on the interpretation of Spinoza’s thought. I do so not because I have special fondness for Spinoza (“guilty as charged,” I admit), but because Spinoza is such a beast (and may I add, an enchanting beast) and attracts a disproportionate share of the domestication efforts from historians and philosophers of all creeds and persuasions. In the third and final part of the paper, I will begin to outline an alternative methodology, which suggests that past philosophers can be most relevant to our current philosophical discussion, to the extent that they provide us with well-motivated challenges to our common-sense beliefs. Such challenges have the invaluable virtue of being able to undermine our most fundamental and secure beliefs, and force us to engage with the most fundamental questions. What more can we expect from good philosophy? (shrink)
Interpreting Figurative Meaning critically evaluates the recent empirical work from psycholinguistics and neuroscience examining the successes and difficulties associated with interpreting figurative language. There is now a huge, often contradictory literature on how people understand figures of speech. Gibbs and Colston argue that there may not be a single theory or model that adequately explains both the processes and products of figurative meaning experience. Experimental research may ultimately be unable to simply adjudicate between current models in psychology, linguistics and philosophy (...) of how figurative meaning is interpreted. Alternatively, the authors advance a broad theoretical framework, motivated by ideas from 'dynamical systems theory', that describes the multiple, interacting influences which shape people's experiences of figurative meaning in discourse. This book details past research and theory, offers a critical assessment of this work and sets the stage for a new vision of figurative experience in human life. (shrink)
Statutory interpretation involves the reconstruction of the meaning of a legal statement when it cannot be considered as accepted or granted. This phenomenon needs to be considered not only from the legal and linguistic perspective, but also from the argumentative one - which focuses on the strategies for defending a controversial or doubtful viewpoint. This book draws upon linguistics, legal theory, computing, and dialectics to present an argumentation-based approach to statutory interpretation. By translating and summarizing the existing legal interpretative canons (...) into eleven patterns of natural arguments - called argumentation schemes - the authors offer a system of argumentation strategies for developing, defending, assessing, and attacking an interpretation. Illustrated through major cases from both common and civil law, this methodology is summarized in diagrams and maps for application to computer sciences. These visuals help make the structures, strategies, and vulnerabilities of legal reasoning accessible to both legal professionals and laypeople. (shrink)
Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt, edited by Bonnie Honig, a collection of critical feminist essays on Hannah Arendt, illustrates both the disorientation and the insights that can result when feminist philosophers come to terms with a canonical figure who is a woman.
In this particularly well written volume Graeme Hirst presents a theoretically motivated foundation for semantic interpretation (conceptual analysis) by computer, and shows how this framework facilitates the resolution of both lexical and syntactic ambiguities.
This book is the first to offer a systematic account of the role of language in the development and interpretation of physics. An historical-conceptual analysis of the co-evolution of physics and mathematics leads to the classical/quantum interface. Bohr's interpretation is analyzed and extended to the interpretation of the standard model of particle physics.
Refutes the methodological separatists who hold that the logic of explanation and testing in the human sciences is fundamentally different than in the natural sciences, and develops complementary accounts for interpretation and explanation, ...
Bewildering features of modern physics, such as relativistic space-time structure and the peculiarities of so-called quantum statistics, challenge traditional ways of conceiving of objects in space and time. Interpreting Bodies brings together essays by leading philosophers and scientists to provide a unique overview of the implications of such physical theories for questions about the nature of objects. The collection combines classic articles by Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, Hans Reichenbach, and Erwin Schrodinger with recent contributions, including several papers that have never (...) before been published. -/- The book focuses on the microphysical objects that are at the heart of quantum physics and addresses issues central to both the "foundational" and the philosophical debates about objects. Contributors explore three subjects in particular: how to identify a physical object as an individual, the notion of invariance with respect to determining what objects are or could be, and how to relate objective and measurable properties to a physical entity. The papers cover traditional philosophical topics, common-sense questions, and technical matters in a consistently clear and rigorous fashion, illuminating some of the most perplexing problems in modern physics and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
As the theory of the atom, quantum mechanics is perhaps the most successful theory in the history of science. It enables physicists, chemists, and technicians to calculate and predict the outcome of a vast number of experiments and to create new and advanced technology based on the insight into the behavior of atomic objects. But it is also a theory that challenges our imagination. It seems to violate some fundamental principles of classical physics, principles that eventually have become a part (...) of western common sense since the rise of the modern worldview in the Renaissance. So the aim of any metaphysical interpretation of quantum mechanics is to account for these violations. (shrink)
In this companion to ‘Charity, Interpretation, and Belief’, McGinn broadens his attack on Davidson's principle of charity, arguing that charity is no more required for the ascription of notional beliefs (i.e. shared concepts) than it is for the ascription of relational beliefs. His argument takes the form of a reductio: if Davidson were right that about the inherently charitable nature of interpretation, then, McGinn argues, traditional sceptical worries (e.g. concerning the external world, other minds) would not even arise. But that (...) is absurd. In the concluding section, McGinn presents his preferred (Quinean) method of interpretation, according to which the ascription of beliefs and meanings proceeds only after the attribution of perceptual experiences. (shrink)
Philosophers have wanted to work with conceptions of word-competence, or concept-possession, on which being a competent practitioner with a word amounts to being a competent judge of its uses by others. I argue that our implicit conception of competence with a word does not have this presupposition built into it. One implication of this is what I call "modesty" in interpretation: we allow for others, uses of words that we would not allow for ourselves. I develop this point by looking (...) at Saul Kripke's discussion of some famous examples given by Benson Mates, concerning beliefs about beliefs. I defend Mates's point against Kripke's claim that an interpreter who is modest in my sense must be "conceptually confused." . (shrink)
The paper purports to provide an analytical treatment of the truth and legal interpretation issue. In the first part, it lays down a conceptual apparatus meant to capture the main aspects of the legal interpretation phenomenon, with particular attention paid to the several kinds of linguistic outputs resulting from interpretive activities. In the second part, it recalls three different notions of truth, focussing, so far as systemic truth is concerned, on the difference between deductive and rhetorical normative systems. In the (...) third, and last, part, it shows in which ways the phenomenon of legal interpretation encompasses truth-apt entities, leaving the choice between austere and liberal alethic pluralism to the reader. A few, final remarks address the formalism/scepticism problem. (shrink)
Interpretation in science has gained little attention in the past because philosophers of science believed that interpretation belongs to the context of discovery or must be associated with meaning. But scientists often speak about interpretation when they report their findings. Elsewhere I have argue in favour of a pragmatic-rhetorical theory of explanation, and it is in light of this theory that I suggest we can understand interpretation in the natural sciences.
_Interpretation and Construction _examines the interpretation and products of intentional human behavior, focusing primarily on issues in art, law, and everyday speech. Focuses on artistic interpretation, but also includes extended discussion of interpretation of the law and everyday speech and communication. Written by one of the leading theorists of interpretation. Theoretical discussions are consistently centered around examples for ease of comprehension.
Researchers have converged on the idea that a pragmatic understanding of communication can shed important light on the evolution of language. Accordingly, animal communication scientists have been keen to adopt insights from pragmatics research. Some authors couple their appeal to pragmatic aspects of communication with the claim that there are fundamental asymmetries between signalers and receivers in non-human animals. For example, in the case of primate vocal calls, signalers are said to produce signals unintentionally and mindlessly, whereas receivers are thought (...) to engage in contextual interpretation to derive the significance of signals. We argue that claims about signaler-receiver asymmetries are often confused. This is partly because their authors conflate two conceptions of pragmatics, which generate different accounts of the explanatory target for accounts of the evolution of language. Here we distinguish these conceptions, in order to help specify more precisely the proper explanatory target for language evolution research. (shrink)
This book is the companion to Difference and Disavowal: The Trauma of Eros (Stanford University Press, 2000), which dealt with the psychoanalytic clinical problem of resistance to interpretation. The key to this resistance is the unconscious registration and repudiation (disavowal) of the reality of difference. The surprising generality of this resistance intersects with Nietzsche's, Heidegger's, and Derrida's understanding of how and why difference is in general the “unthought of metaphysics.” All three see metaphysics engaged with a “registration and repudiation of (...) difference,” and all three rethink interpretation in relation to this question. The synthesis of these theories of interpretation and difference provides the philosophical foundations for a new thinking of how interpretation functions, and is a critical intersection of deconstruction and psychoanalysis. (shrink)
The text of Martin Heidegger’s 1927–28 university lecture course on Emmanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason presents a close interpretive reading of the first two parts of this masterpiece of modern philosophy. In this course, Heidegger continues the task he enunciated in Being and Time as the problem of dismatling the history of ontology, using temporality as a clue. Within this context the relation between philosophy, ontology, and fundamental ontology is shown to be rooted in the genesis of the modern (...) mathematical sciences. Heidegger demonstrates that objectification of beings as beings is inseparable from knowledge a priori, the central problem of Kant’s Critique. He concludes that objectification rests on the productive power of imagination, a process that involves temporality, which is the basic constitution of humans as beings. (shrink)
People can be autonomous, if they are subject to authority. In particular, they can be autonomous if they are subject to the authority of law. I defend the first claim through a study of Joseph Raz's compelling account of authority; I claim that his work leads to the conclusion that autonomous judgment is needed to determine the jurisdiction of an authority, and to interpret its directives. I defend the second claim by arguing that law does not claim unlimited jurisdiction, and (...) need not claim unlimited scope for its directives. But the requirements of the rule of law create a standing risk that the law will not adequately recognize the autonomy of its subjects, because of its artificial techniques for controlling its own jurisdiction and for controlling the scope of its own directives. (shrink)
Praise for First Edition: `This book is highly recommended to a wide range of people as a clear and systematic introduction to phenomenological psychology... the book has set the stage for possible new colloquia between the phenomenological and other approaches in psychology' - Changes `As a trainee interested in matters existential, I have been put off in the past by the long-winded and confusing texts usually available in academic libraries. Thankfully, here is a text that remedies that situation... [it] provides (...) a readable and insightful account' - Clinical Psychology Forum 'Spinelli’s classic introduction to phenomenology should be essential reading on all person-centred, existential and humanistic trainings, and any other counselling or psychotherapy course which aims to help students develop an in-depth understanding of human lived-experience. This book is sure to remain a key text for many years to come' - Mick Cooper, Senior Lecturer in Counselling, University of Strathclyde 'This is by far the most monumental, erudite, comprehensive, authoritative case that Existentialism and Phenomenology (a) have a rightful place in the academy; (b) are tough-minded bodies of thought; (c) have rigorous scientific foundations; (d) bequeath a distinctive school of psychotherapy and counselling; and (e) are just as good as the more established systems of psychology' - Alvin R. Mahrer, Ph.D. University of Ottawa, Canada, Author of The Complete Guide To Experiential Psychotherapy 'This book’s rich insight into the lacunae of modern psychological thinking illustrates the contribution that existential phenomenology can make to founding a coherently mature Psychology that is both fully human(e) and responsibly ‘scientific’ in the best sense of that term' - Richard House, Ph.D., Magdalen Medical Practice, Norwich; Steiner Waldorf teacher. The Interpreted World, Second Edition, is a welcome introduction to phenomenological psychology, an area of psychology which has its roots in notoriously difficult philosophical literature. Writing in a highly accessible, jargon-free style, Ernesto Spinelli traces the philosophical origins of phenomenological theory and presents phenomenological perspectives on central topics in psychology - perception, social cognition and the self. He compares the phenomenological approach with other major contemporary psychological approaches, pointing up areas of divergence and convergence with these systems. He also examines implications of phenomenology for the precepts and process of psychotherapy. For the Second Edition, a new chapter on phenomenological research has been added in which the author focuses on the contribution of phenomenology in relation to contemporary scientific enquiry. He describes the methodology used in phenomenological research and illustrates the approach through an actual research study. The Interpreted World, Second Edition demystifies an exciting branch of psychology, making its insights available to all students of psychology, psychotherapy and counselling. (shrink)
Interpretive Archaeologies provides a forum for debate between varied approaches to studying the past. It reflects the profound shift in the direction of archaeological study in the last fifteen years. The book argues that archaeologists must understand their own subjective approaches to the material they study as well as recognize how past researchers imposed their value systems on the evidence they presented. The book's authors, drawn from Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia, represent many different strands of archaeology. They address (...) the philosophical issues involved in interpretation and the origins of meaning in the evolution and emergence of "mind" in early hominids. They discuss the ways in which material culture is understood and presented in museums, and how the nature of history is itself in flux. (shrink)
This thesis is an attempt to reconstruct the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics. First, we argue that the wave function in quantum mechanics is a description of random discontinuous motion of particles, and the modulus square of the wave function gives the probability density of the particles being in certain locations in space. Next, we show that the linear non-relativistic evolution of the wave function of an isolated system obeys the free Schrödinger equation due to the requirements of spacetime translation (...) invariance and relativistic invariance. Thirdly, we argue that the random discontinuous motion of particles may lead to a stochastic, nonlinear collapse evolution of the wave function. A discrete model of energy-conserved wavefunction collapse is proposed and shown to be consistent with existing experiments and our macroscopic experience. In addition, we also give a critical analysis of the de Broglie-Bohm theory, the many-worlds interpretation and other dynamical collapse theories, and briefly discuss the issue of unifying quantum mechanics and special relativity. (shrink)
Introduction: dimensions of inquiry -- Speaker intent and convention; linguistic meaning and pragmatics; Vagueness and indeterminacy: three topics in the philosophy of language -- Literary interpretation, performance art, and related subjects -- Religious interpretation -- General theories of interpretation -- Starting from the bottom: informal instructions -- The law of agency -- Wills -- Contracts -- Judicial alterations of textual provisions: Cy Pres and relatives -- Conclusion and a comparison.
Integrated information theory is a theory of consciousness that was originally formulated, and is standardly still expressed, in terms of controversial interpretations of its own ontological and epistemological basis. These form the orthodox interpretation of IIT. The orthodox epistemological interpretation is the axiomatic method, whereby IIT is ultimately derived from, justified by, and beholden to a set of phenomenological axioms. The orthodox ontological interpretation is panpsychism, according to which consciousness is fundamental, intrinsic, and pervasive. In this paper it is argued (...) that both components of the orthodox interpretation should be rejected. But IIT should not be rejected since an interpretation-neutral formulation is available. After explaining the neutral formulation, more plausible non-axiomatic epistemologies are defended. The neutral formulation is then shown to be consistent with various contemporary physicalist ontologies of consciousness, including the phenomenal concept strategy, representationalism, and even illusionism. Along the way, instructive connections between interpretations of IIT and interpretations of quantum mechanics are noted. (shrink)
Hermeneutics has had a pervasive influence on contemporary philosophy, social and cultural theory, literary criticism, and aesthetics. In this book one of Europe's foremost contemporary philosophers provides hermeneutics with a fresh relevance and a substantive account of its philosophical meaning for science, ethics, religion, and art. Vattimo argues for a reading of hermeneutics that radicalises it according to what the author calls its 'nihilistic vocation', a term referring to the interpretive character of truth and taken from Nietzsche's statement that there (...) are, in the modern period, no facts, only interpretations. Modernity, for Vattimo, is conceived as the advent of nihilism, and the central question of the book is to ask what it means to take this nihilistic vocation seriously. This involves not simply accepting the current status of hermeneutics, but evaluating why it appears when, and where, it does. (shrink)
We argue that many intuitions do not have conscious propositional contents. In particular, many of the intuitions had in response to philosophical thought experiments, like Gettier cases, do not have such contents. They are more like hunches, urgings, murky feelings, and twinges. Our view thus goes against the received view of intuitions in philosophy, which we call Mainstream Propositionalism. Our positive view is that many thought-experimental intuitions are conscious, spontaneous, non-theoretical, non-propositional psychological states that often motivate belief revision, but they (...) require interpretation, in light of background beliefs, before a subject can form a propositional judgment as a consequence of them. We call our view Interpretationalism. We argue (i) that Interpretationalism avoids the problems that beset Mainstream Propositionalism and (ii) that our view meshes well with empirical results in contemporary cognitive science. (shrink)
The first comprehensive interpretation of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra--an important and difficult text and the only book Nietzsche ever wrote with characters, events, setting, and a plot. Laurence Lampert's chapter-by-chapter commentary on Nietzsche's magnum opus clarifies not only Zarathustra's narrative structure but also the development of Nietzsche's thinking as a whole. "An impressive piece of scholarship. Insofar as it solves the riddle of Zarathustra in an unprecedented fashion, this study serves as an invaluable resource for all serious students of Nietzsche's (...) philosophy. Lampert's persuasive and thorough interpretation is bound to spark a revival of interest in Zarathustra and raise the standards of Nietzsche scholarship in general."--Daniel W. Conway, Review of Metaphysics "A book of scholarship, filled with passion and concern for its text."--Tracy B. Strong, Review of Politics "This is the first genuine textual commentary on Zarathustra in English, and therewith a genuine reader's guide. It makes a significant and original contribution to its field."--Werner J. Dannhauser, Cornell University "This is a very valuable and carefully wrought study of a very complex and subtle poetic-philosophical work that provides access to Nietzsche's style of presenting his thought, as well as to his passionately affirmed values. Lampert's commentary and analysis of Zarathustra is so thorough and detailed... that it is the most useful English-language companion to Nietzsche's 'edifying' and intriguing work."--Choice Selected as one of Choice's outstanding academic books for 1988. (shrink)
A potentially new interpretation of quantum mechanics posits the state of the universe as a consistent set of facts that are instantiated in the correlations among entangled objects. A fact (or event) occurs exactly when the number or density of future possibilities decreases, and a quantum superposition exists if and only if the facts of the universe are consistent with the superposition. The interpretation sheds light on both in-principle and real-world predictability of the universe.
Interpretation in Religion is the work of a group of contemporary American, European, and Israeli scholars and philosophers, who analyze the crucial course of interpretation in religion — religion in general, and, in particular, Hinduism, ancient Egyptian religion, Judaism, christianity, and Islam.
Donald Davidson is, arguably, the most important philosopher of mind and language in recent decades. His articulation of the position he called "anomalous monism" and his ideas for unifying the general theory of linguistic meaning with semantics for natural language both set new agendas in the field. _Interpreting Davidson_ collects original essays on his work by some of his leading contemporaries, with Davidson himself contributing a reply to each and an original paper of his own.