Weak links, in the form of inadequacies in both reasoning and supporting evidence, exist at several critical steps in the derivation of an hierarchical concept of evolution from punctuated equilibria. Punctuation itself is predicated on a distorted reading of phyletic change as phyletic gradualism, and of allopatric speciation as the instantaneous formation of unchanging typological taxa. The concept of punctuation is further confounded by the indescriminate employment of the same term to denote both a causal explanation for evolutionary change and (...) an outcome of substantiated evolutionary processes. Even when the intended usage for the term is specified, each denotation of punctuation entails respective drawbacks. As a causal explanation, punctuation clearly belongs to the class of quantum theories with all their attendant impedimenta, including special salsatory non-adaptive mechanisms of evolutionary change. Redefinition of punctuation as a pattern of morphologic change reduces it to one possible outcome of known microevolutioanry processes, thus obviating any need for an hierarchical explanation of macroevolution. While vacillation between usages has preserved the term in the literature, the end result of this obfuscation has been a circle of faulty reasoning in which the pattern of punctuation is invoked as its own proof. Widespread confusion concerning what constitutes an adequate test of punctuation is directly attributable to imprecision in both the original and revised formulations of the concept.The argument for species-level selection is based on the typological and philosphically flawed premise of species as individuals, and further requires the hypothesis of heritable emergent properties, for which empirical evidence is lacking. (shrink)
It has been widely believed that David Hilbert, a precursor of formalism, consid-ered mathematics an ordinary “game of signs”. In this paper, I try to show that Hilbert worked out and applied in his research a cohesive, holistic and organic, as well as universal picture of mathematics (as a supranational discipline) and a vision of its development. This scientific area was supposed to constitute a complex construction, and was perceived by him in an optimistic and humanistic way (it enabled solution (...) to any research problem and fulfilled diverse human needs). External experience (e.g. in the case of geometric pictures) and abstraction of its internal structures (a priori state, mathematical analysis of infinity) are particularly important for this exact science. Mathematics creates a bridge between theory and practice, between thinking and ob-servation. (shrink)
In the article herein I address the issue of the non-reductive functionalist stance devised by David Chalmers and advocated by him in his 1995 paper entitled "Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia". I attend to the argument provided in support of the thesis. The argument takes on the guise of neuron-to-silicon-chip switch thought experiment that involves two alternative-end scenarios of phenomenal consciousness, i.e. qualia, either gradually fading away as silicon chips prevail over neurons in the brain or disappearing abruptly with (...) the removal of a single consecutive neuron and its replacement with a silicon chip. I comply with the main thrust of Charmers' account on the origin of phenomenal consciousness to the effect that it is the functional structure of the material bearer of mental faculties rather than the type of material that warrants the emergence of consciousness. Yet I find fault with certain features of Charmers' reasoning. My main criticism refers to the pivotal notion of functional structure that remains an abstract and requires substantiation. The attempt to trace the fact of having sensations and being aware of them back to an entity that is only hinted at and nowhere to be found within the neurophysiological, cognitive or biological domain falls short of a sound explanation. Thus I develop Charmers' line of argument further to specify an adequate and exhaustive characteristic of the said functional structure. I suggest that, apart from the usual aspects attributive of ordinary functional structure which is considered in terms of input, output and the algorithmic operations in-between, "graininess" should also be discerned. A functional structure eligible for inducing conscious sensations should be sufficiently subtle or, in other words, complex. (shrink)
Pythagoras -- Confucius -- Heracleitus -- Parmenides -- Zeno of Elea -- Socrates -- Democritus -- Plato -- Aristotle -- Mencius -- Zhuangzi -- Pyrrhon of Elis -- Epicurus -- Zeno of Citium -- Philo Judaeus -- Marcus Aurelius -- Nagarjuna -- Plotinus -- Sextus Empiricus -- Saint Augustine -- Hypatia -- Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius -- Śaṅkara -- Yaqūb ibn Ishāq aṣ-Ṣabāḥ al-Kindī -- Al-Fārābī -- Avicenna -- Rāmānuja -- Ibn Gabirol -- Saint Anselm of Canterbury -- al-Ghazālī -- (...) Peter Abelard -- Averroës -- Zhu Xi -- Moses Maimonides -- Ibn al-'Arabī -- Shinran -- Saint Thomas Aquinas -- John Duns Scotus -- William of Ockham -- Niccolò Machiavelli -- Wang Yangming -- Francis Bacon, Viscount Saint Alban (or Albans), Baron of Verulam -- Thomas Hobbes -- René Descartes -- John Locke -- Benedict de Spinoza -- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz -- Giambattista Vico -- George Berkeley -- Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu -- David Hume -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau -- Immanuel Kant -- Moses Mendelssohn -- Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet -- Jeremy Bentham -- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel -- Arthur Schopenhauer -- Auguste Comte -- John Stuart Mill -- Søren Kierkegaard -- Karl Marx -- Herbert Spencer -- Wilhelm Dilthey -- William James -- Friedrich Nietzsche -- Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege -- Edmund Husserl -- Henri Bergson -- John Dewey -- Alfred North Whitehead -- Benedetto Croce -- Nishida Kitarō -- Bertrand Russell -- G.E. Moore -- Martin Buber -- Ludwig Wittgenstein -- Martin Heidegger -- Rudolf Carnap -- Sir Karl Popper -- Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno -- Jean-Paul Sartre -- Hannah Arendt -- Simone de Beauvoir -- Willard Van Orman Quine -- Sir A.J. Ayer -- Wilfrid Sellars -- John Rawls -- Thomas S. Kuhn -- Michel Foucault -- Noam Chomsky -- Jürgeb Gabernas -- Sir Bernard Williams -- Jacques Derrida -- Richard Rorty -- Robert Nozick -- Saul Kripke -- David Kellogg Lewis -- Peter (Albert David) Singer. (shrink)
Hegel não destina qualquer parte de suas obras para tratar davida do espírito, porém, ao explicar os termos em que a vida deve ser compreendida na Ciência da Lógica, ele diferencia a dimensão especulativa da dimensão natural e espiritual, referindo-se, especificamente, à vida do espírito. Pretendemos, tão somente, mostrar a origem e as implicações deste conceito em Hegel, posto que, se a vida natural é o ponto mais alto a que chega a natureza, a vida espiritual é o destino (...) do homem e o terreno próprio do desenvolvimento da liberdade. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s concepts shed light on the phenomenon of schizophrenia in at least three different ways: with a view to empathy, scientific explanation, or philosophical clarification. I consider two different “positive” wittgensteinian accounts―Campbell’s idea that delusions involve a mechanism of which different framework propositions are parts, Sass’ proposal that the schizophrenic patient can be described as a solipsist, and a Rhodes’ and Gipp’s account, where epistemic aspects of schizophrenia are explained as failures in the ordinary background of certainties. I argue that (...) none of them amounts to empathic-phenomenological understanding, but they provide examples of how philosophical concepts can contribute to scientific explanation, and to philosophical clarification respectively. (shrink)
Although David Hume was one of the central figures of the eighteenth century, the answer to the question whether he can be considered as a representative figure of the age of Enlightenment, is not so obvious. To approach this question I shall analyze in this paper some of Hume’s Essays devoted to morality, politics and literature, which were widely read and discussed by his contemporaries and had a significant impact on the public opinion. The aim of this article is to (...) consider which content of Hume’s Essays is an expression of Enlightenment ideas. First I present main elements of Enlightenment thought, such as the idea of progress, the role of reason and experience and the critical attitude to religion. Secondly, focusing on the content of Hume’s Essays, I show that some features of his work are an expression of the main Enlightenment ideas. In the last part of my paper I discuss to which extent Hume can be considered as a representative figure of the Enlightenment. (shrink)
This paper presents the fundamental problems of metaphysics of words and reconstructs David Kaplan’s intentional metaphysics of words. I critically analyze Kaplan’s proposal and present the most important objections. I also propose some possible answers to the objections.
The character of norms is a relevant issue in the contemporary legal philosophy and in the metaethics. The analysis of Lewis’ sugguestions concerning the fictional statements prima facie may seem to be useless from the perspective of law. However, the situation is different, due to the fact that it is possible to treat the legal text as the description of possible world. The issue is analyzed in the paper.
É bem conhecida a oposição estabelecida por Kant entre experiência possível e dialética, na medida em que esta última é caracterizada como a lógica da ilusão. Ao mesmo tempo, o modo de pensar metafísico, que ocorre dialeticamente, em sentido kantiano, é uma tendência inevitável da razão, expressa na exigência formal de completude das categorias. Como o pensar, enquanto exercício livre da razão, é em si mesmo mais amplo do que a atividade de conhecer, própria do entendimento, o pensar contém o (...) conhecimento, embora este se qualifique pelas regras e pelos limites determinantes da objetividade. A pergunta que tentaremos formular é se essa relação continente-conteúdo não poderia configurar também uma dependência da experiência em relação ao raciocínio dialético, que estaria de algum modo indicada na função reguladora das idéias da razão. Nesse caso, a oposição formal entre conhecer e pensar seria inseparável da inclusão estrutural (dependência) da experiência no âmbito da razão. Na raiz do problema estaria talvez a tensão (dialética) entre a aspiração subjetiva de totalidade e as exigências objetivas de limitação e segmentação da experiência e a forma da experiência teria de ser finalmente concebida a partir de um fundo de inteligibilidade problemática. Dialectics and experienceThe separation of possible experience as objective knowledge and dialetics as a non-objective or non-theoretical knowledge is one of the most important aspects of kantian critical philosophy. But Kant also says that the activity of reason, as a pure thinking, has more amplitude than understanding knowledge. So we could say that theoric knowledge would depend on rational ( and non-theoretical) knowledge, as something contained in it. If we accept that, the consequence would be a relation of dependence between the form of objective knowledge and the background of a problematic even doubtful inteligible knowledge. (shrink)
Is God's foreknowledge compatible with human freedom? One of the most attractive attempts to reconcile the two is the Ockhamistic view, which subscribes not only to human freedom and divine omniscience, but retains our most fundamental intuitions concerning God and time: that the past is immutable, that God exists and acts in time, and that there is no backward causation. In order to achieve all that, Ockhamists distinguish ‘hard facts’ about the past which cannot possibly be altered from ‘soft facts’ (...) about the past which are alterable, and argue that God's prior beliefs about human actions are soft facts about the past. (shrink)
DAVID CHALMERS’ ARGUMENT FOR THE LOGICAL POSSIBILITY OF ZOMBIES S u m m a r y This paper presents a reconstruction of the argument for the logical possibility of zombies, proposed by David Chalmers, which has been debated in analytical philosophy for at least fifteen years now. Beside discussing it, I’m trying to analyze every of its premises. My aim is, especially, to present how the reasoning can show that: (a) zombies/zombie worlds are genuinely conceivable; (b) conceivability is a good (...) guide to possibility; (c) the possibility of zombies is philosophically significant. I’m particularly putting emphasis on some issues concerning two-dimensional semantics and distinctions of conceivability. The conclusion of this paper is that the argument is still not refuted, so a discussion over it should be conducted, instead of a priori refutation. The debate over zombies may have a positive influence on many fields of philosophical investigation. (shrink)