Empirical knowledge can be divided into the following levels: direct experience, observational sentences, their generalizations and theories. Neither of those levels is the best in an absolute sense. There have been questions whether either of them is a scientific one, and the reasons of those doubts were different for each level. Different problems (including philosophical ones, for philosophy appeals to widely understood experience) could be considered on different levels. Which level is the most appropriate depends on the purpose of the (...) consideration. The paper shows some reasons for rooting the mind-body problem on the level of direct experience, and aims to describe the manner in which we experience our body-and-mind as a unity. Thus the problem itself proves to be only superficial. However this conclusion can only be reached in a reflection following the direct experience. (shrink)
The paper presents different criteria of meaning formulated on the ground of contemporary empiricism, and shows their shortcomings. None of them respects all intuitions that empiricists have connected with the notion of meaning. The main thesis is that these intuitions can never be respected conjointly, for some of them exclude others. Consequently it is showed that the perfect empirical criterion of meaning does not exist.
The paper presents the main ideas of French conventionalism as represented by Duhem, Poincaré and Le Roy. Clarified are some misunderstandings and misinterpretations on which the negative opinion on conventionalism is usually based. Conventionalism is presented as a source of the antipositivistic breakthrough. It thus led to the most important discussions in 20th century philosophy of science, which tended to undermine epistemological fundamentalism. The influence of conventionalism is shown - on European philosophy and specifically on Polish philosophy, especially on works (...) of K. Ajdukiewicz and his followers. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to show the value of the reasonings guided by questions based on uncertain assumptions. The notion of a properly asked question is being redefined to include questions based on uncertain assumptions. As a result, the classification of simple reasonings, originally set up by K. Ajdukiewicz, is presented as more detailed. Moreover, the paper sets up the classification of complex reasonings.
The author is one of the pupils of Klemens Szaniawski. Szaniawski has lead a very active life as a scientist and a public activist. His public activity is quite well-known. His early period of life and scientific interests are not so well-known, however. And it is these latter matters that the author focuses on in her paper.
The article refers to Helena Eilstein’s views: her analysis of biblical contradictions and a limited moral relativism (similar observations made by Leszek Kołakowski are also evoked). It classifies the types of contradictions found in the Bible and suggests how to deal with them. At times the conceptual apparatus created in the philosophy of science is used and a connection to scientific cognition is made, for foundations of philosophy of science can influence the attitude towards biblical contradictions. It emphasizes the role (...) of individual attitudes and the psychological conditionality of taking moral decisions, as well as the importance of shaping moral sensitivity. Metaphors play a double role in the Bible. Firstly, metaphorical interpretations eliminate contradictions. Secondly, metaphors are useful for shaping moral sensitivity. (shrink)
Predictiveness (or testability) can be ascribed to empirical hypotheses in different degrees. Seven reasons why predictiveness is gradable are outlined. They are reflected in seven ways in which hypotheses can be compared according to the degree of their predictiveness. Hence additional specifications are required to accept predictiveness as a criterion of whether given hypotheses are scientific. Generally speaking a new hypothesis has little, if any, predictive power. Its predictive power will increase as science progresses. Specific problems arise when the predictive (...) power is expected from social sciences. (shrink)
The rationalisation of language is, according to K. Ajdukiewicz, a developmental tendency of the language, which inevitably accompanies the development of empirical knowledge. It is the transformation of well-established empirical generalisations into language axioms. It is accompanied by the reinforcement of contents of notions and by enriching the meaning-relations between expressions. Rationalisation results in sharpening as well as narrowing of the cognitive perspective. Inner inconsistency of linguistic rules may then occur, and it is apparent in the new type of experiences. (...) It is hollowed by a radical change of scientific theory; this change relates not only to statements, but also to the content of notions. The development and the change of the paradigmas in Kuhn's philosophy has similar character. (shrink)
The paper is a reply to M. Trybulec's polemics Incommensurability vs Linguistic Relativity against A. Jedynak's views on linguistic relativism. Some points of Trybulec's paper are very unclear, others mistaken, however still others express quite interesting intuitions, worthy of further investigation. The latter have actually been put forth by A. Jedynak in her earlier book and paper, and can be expressed as follows: there are different levels of meaning and of translations; linguistic relativism should take this into account; the differences (...) between languages most difficult to overcome are of pragmatical and not semantical nature. (shrink)
According to linguistic relativism, we acquire knowledge about the world through language and thus the use of different languages results in different visions of the world. This view is sometimes supported by a statement saying that some of those visions are mutually inconsistent and they cannot be accepted simultaneously: the use of one of them is inconsistent with the use of the other. The paper discusses this statement referring to an example of languages of two logical calculi, and shows it (...) to be an overstatement. Theses of different languages are not inconsistent, for they are based on different concepts. Concepts, needed for negating theses expressed in either language, cannot be found in the other one. The paper therefore poses a question whether it is possible to compile conceptual apparatuses of languages which are believed to be incommensurable. It concludes that in fact there are no logical obstacles. Such languages can be used together without the risk of cognitive conflict. However, it can be difficult due to pragmatic reasons. Although this would not undermine the beliefs of people using the broadened language, it could undermine some of their values and attitudes. This way broadening of the cognitive perspective by compiling conceptual apparatuses of different languages is likely to weaken those attitudes towards reality, from which the languages in question originated. (shrink)
The paper is a reply to the polemic with my article "The Structure of Scientific Theories and Systems of Values", which presented a number of analogies between methodological and metaethical problems. These analogies can be seen if we acknowledge the information surplus of evaluative statements in comparison to normative statements (similarly in science theories are stronger than observational statements), which is indicated by the examples of actual moral questions. The basis for the polemic is the fact that its authors deny (...) the existence of this surplus, claiming that evaluations are equivalent to and not stronger than norms. Moreover, as they reduce metaethics to the issues of meaning, and methodology to the issues of justification, they have to deny the possibility of these two domains meeting on the ground of similar problems. The paper also illustrates the reasons for a modification of meanings of certain philosophical terms that appeared in my previous article. (shrink)
The paper gives a short outline of the problem of non-monotonic reasonings and suggests to consider them in the pragmatic context of the reasoner's beliefs, espe-cially - to interpret them as enthymemes.
Usually axiological systems and scientific theories are contrasted with each other. Significant differences between them are stressed: scientific theories purport to describe the world, while axiological systems do not. There is no common agreement as to what the values are and where one can find them. Scientific theories can be justified by experience, whereas axiological systems cannot and theorists differ as to how they should be justified. Scientific theories are to be true and useful, but it is not clear how (...) axiological systems should be evaluated. As far as scientific theories are concerned, commonly accepted procedures of their formulation, verification and evaluation have been established, whereas there are no such procedures for axiological systems. All this is taken to show that scientific theories are much better off than axiological systems.Although there is no denying that scientific theories and axiological systems can be contrasted with each other, there are also some important similarities between them, which are rarely mentioned, however. The author demonstrates far reaching analogies between the structure of scientific theories and the structure of axiological systems. (shrink)
This article is a polemic with the article by Marian Przełęcki, O pewnych filozoficznych konsekwencjach semantycznej definicji prawdy published by “Studia Filozoficzne” 6, 1973. Przełęcki claimed that certain evaluative propositions have a logical value by virtue of containing evaluative predicates which are commonly understood. The functioning of these predicates in natural languages makes it possible to identify their denotation in these languages, and thus it is possible to assign logical values to the propositions that predicate about different elements of the (...) world their values in all cases when these elements do not fall into the range of vagueness of the predicates used. The authors of the polemic points out that the propositions analysed by Przełęcki are in fact descriptive and not normative because their logical value is determined by a common understanding of the evaluative predicates which they contain. These propositions do not say what is morally good, but, what is commonly believed to be morally good. Consequently, the problem of logical value of evaluative propositions has not been settled in Przełęcki’s article, while the ascription of logical values to propositions belonging to descriptive ethics, which is the real subject matter of the article, hardly poses any questions. The authors of this polemic contend that it is not possible to settle the problem of logical value of evaluative propositions without an analysis of the meaning of evaluative predicates. (shrink)
The limits of science change primarily as a result of new discoveries. But there can be other reasons, of a conceptual and/or methodological nature. The essence and structure of science can be understood differently, which results in different definitions of its limits. The text discusses some areas in which the limits of science were defined differently. Firstly, on the grounds of logical empiricism, views distant from direct experience, as generalisations and theories, have been excluded from science, narrowing its limits. Secondly, (...) the lack of an unshakable and strictly empirical basis has been found within the limits of science, while previously that basis was thought necessary. Thus, the limits of science were again found narrowed. Thirdly, previously neglected and rather unwanted evaluative elements have been repeatedly discovered at the base of science. It was claimed to sanction them within the limits of science. In that case the latter per se would not change their range, however their concept would have to broaden. Last but not least, for various and not necessarily intentional reasons, the limits of science has become vague. (shrink)
The starting point of the investigations undertaken in the article is the thesis of empirical indeterminacy of scientific theories. According to this thesis the same set of empirical data can be differently explained by different theories, none of which will be found compelling. The reason for that is that no specific theory is a logical consequence of observational statements. This thesis can be so generalized as to include systems of value as well. Theoretical statements serve as justification of observational statements, (...) although the former are not entailed by the latter. Similarly with judgements of value: they justify moral norms but are not entailed by them. Consequently the same obligations can be justified on the grounds of different systems of value. Systems of value are not therefore determined by moral obligations and have the same function in ethics as theory does in science. Systems of value remain, however, radically different from scientific theories because the relations that bind observational statements with scientific observations are quite different from those that bind moral norms with human behaviour in ethics. (shrink)