Gila Sher interviewed by Chen Bo: -/- I. Academic Background and Earlier Research: 1. Sher’s early years. 2. Intellectual influence: Kant, Quine, and Tarski. 3. Origin and main Ideas of The Bounds of Logic. 4. Branching quantifiers and IF logic. 5. Preparation for the next step. -/- II. Foundational Holism and a Post-Quinean Model of Knowledge: 1. General characterization of foundational holism. 2. Circularity, infinite regress, and philosophical arguments. 3. Comparing foundational holism and foundherentism. 4. A post-Quinean model of (...) knowledge. 5. Intellect and figuring out. 6. Comparing foundational holism with Quine’s holism. 7. Evaluation of Quine’s Philosophy -/- III. Substantive Theory of Truth and Relevant Issues: 1. Outline of Sher’s substantive theory of truth. 2. Criticism of deflationism and treatment of the Liar. 3. Comparing Sher’s substantive theory of truth with Tarski’s theory of truth. -/- IV. A New Philosophy of Logic and Comparison with Other Theories: 1. Foundational account of logic. 2. Standard of logicality, set theory and logic. 3. Psychologism, Hanna’s and Maddy’s conceptions of logic. 4. Quine’s theses about the revisability of logic. -/- V. Epilogue. (shrink)
Two of the most difficult problems in the foundations of physics are (1) what gives rise to the arrow of time and (2) what the ontology of quantum mechanics is. They are difficult because the fundamental dynamical laws of physics do not privilege an arrow of time, and the quantum-mechanical wave function describes a high-dimensional reality that is radically different from our ordinary experiences. -/- In this paper, I characterize and elaborate on the ``Wentaculus” theory, a new approach to time’s (...) arrow in a quantum universe that offers a unified solution to both problems. Central to the Wentaculus are (i) Density Matrix Realism, the idea that the quantum state of the universe is objective but can be impure, and (ii) the Initial Projection Hypothesis, a new law of nature that selects a unique initial quantum state. On the Wentaculus, the quantum state of the universe is sufficiently simple to be a law, and the arrow of time can be traced back to an exact boundary condition. It removes the intrinsic vagueness of the Past Hypothesis, eliminates the Statistical Postulate, provides a higher degree of theoretical unity, and contains a natural realization of “strong determinism." I end by responding to four recent objections. In a companion paper, I elaborate on Density Matrix Realism. (shrink)
In this book, the author adopts the methodology of "discussing philosophy by studying history of philosophy". The chapters in the book discuss the essential content of The Study of Renxue Ontology, Ren's development in pre-Qin (before 206BC) and Han period (206BC-220), Ren theories in Song Dynasty (960-1279) and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It covers topics ranging from Confucius and Mencius' classic theories to Li Zehou's ontology of emotions as well as the development of Ren in the historical context and its contemporary (...) interpretations. The book develops the theory of Ren and Taoist style of classical Confucianism while critically incorporating modern Chinese philosophical ontology. The resulting philosophical construction incorporates classical Confucian Ren theory and classical Confucian Ren theory and the continuation of and responses to the arguments of modern Chinese philosophy, thus offering a comprehensive and innovative coverage of contemporary Chinese Confucianism. The book combines Chinese contemporary cultural heritage and creative development to promote contemporary Confucianism and harmony between China and the world. (shrink)
Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Buber were giant thinkers of the twentieth century who made significant contributions to the understanding of religious consciousness and of Judaism. They wrote on various subjects, such as the Bible, the commandments, Hasidism, Zionism and Christianity, and had much in common, though they also differed on substantial points. Of special note is the intense and fruitful interaction that took place between them. Until now, scholars have not undertaken a comparative analysis of Buber and Heschel as (...) eminent contemporary interpreters of the Jewish tradition. In this volume, Meir and Even-Chen have taken upon themselves the challenge of monitoring their agreements and disputes. (shrink)
What exists at the fundamental level of reality? On the standard picture, the fundamental reality contains (among other things) fundamental matter, such as particles, fields, or even the quantum state. Non-fundamental facts are explained by facts about fundamental matter, at least in part. In this paper, I introduce a non-standard picture called the "cosmic void” in which the universe is devoid of any fundamental material ontology. Facts about tables and chairs are recovered from a special kind of laws that satisfy (...) strong determinism. All non-fundamental facts are completely explained by nomic facts. I discuss a concrete example of this picture in a strongly deterministic version of the many-worlds theory of quantum mechanics. I discuss some philosophical and scientific challenges to this view, as well as some connections to ontological nihilism. (shrink)
Presenting a thorough examination of the sacred forests of Asia, this volume engages with dynamic new scholarly dialogues on the nature of sacred space, place, landscape, and ecology in the context of the sharply contested ideas of the Anthropocene. Given the vast geographic range of sacred groves in Asia, this volume discusses the diversity of associated cosmologies, ecologies, traditional local resource management practices, and environmental governance systems developed during the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial periods. Adopting theoretical perspectives from political ecology, (...) the book views ecology and polity as constitutive elements interacting within local, regional, and global networks. Readers will find the very first systematic comparative analysis of sacred forests that include the karchall mabhuy of the Katu people of Central Vietnam, the leuweng kolot of the Baduy people of West Java, the fengshui forests of southern China, the groves to the goddess Sarna Mata worshiped by the Oraon people of Jharkhand India, the mauelsoop and bibosoop of Korea, and many more. Comprising in-depth, field-based case study, each chapter shows how the forest's sacrality must not be conceptually delinked from its roles in common property regimes, resource security, spiritual matters of ultimate concern, and cultural identity. This volume will be of great interest to students and scholars of indigenous studies, environmental anthropology, political ecology, geography, religion and heritage, nature conservation, environmental protection, and Asian Studies. (shrink)
This study attempts to answer the question why Confucianism, the dominant “teaching” among the Three Teachings, is not a religion in contemporary China, unlike the other two “teachings,” Buddhism and Daoism. By examining this phenomenon in the social-historical context, this study finds its origin in Orientalism. The Orientalist conceptualization of religion became part of the New Culture discourse at the turn of the twentieth century. While China has undergone tremendous social changes over the past century, the old discourse remains.
Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions became the most widely read book about science in the twentieth century. His terms 'paradigm' and 'scientific revolution' entered everyday speech, but they remain controversial. In the second half of the twentieth century, the new field of cognitive science combined empirical psychology, computer science, and neuroscience. In this book, the theories of concepts developed by cognitive scientists are used to evaluate and extend Kuhn's most influential ideas. Based on case studies of the Copernican revolution, (...) the discovery of nuclear fission, and an elaboration of Kuhn's famous 'ducks and geese' example of concept learning, this volume, first published in 2006, offers accounts of the nature of normal and revolutionary science, the function of anomalies, and the nature of incommensurability. (shrink)
Jin Yuelin (1895?1984), a Chinese logician and philosopher, is greatly influenced by Hume's and Russell's philosophies. How should we respond to Hume's problem of induction? This is an important clue to understand Jin's whole philosophical career. The first section of this paper gives a brief historical review of Russell and Jin. The second section outlines Hume's skeptical arguments against causality and induction. The third section expounds Russell's justification of induction by discussing his views on Hume's skepticism, causality, principle of induction, (...) and empirical postulates. The fourth section clarifies Jin's justification of induction by discussing his critique of Hume's epistemology and his arguments for the reliability of causality and the eternal truth and apriority of the principle of induction. The final section compares Jin's justification of induction with Russell's and concludes that there are similarities and differences between their projects and that both their attempts fail. This paper takes the similar responses to the problem of induction by Jin and Russell to demonstrate the communication that there has been between Chinese philosophers and the Western ones. (shrink)
Editor'sThis essay presents Mainland New Confucianism as diverse but distinctive, as still in a process of maturation but already with a clear direction. According to Chen, MNC is a rejection of the twin modernist narratives of the left and the right in favor of a narrative that downplays the ruptures associated with the May Fourth Movement and instead seeks to reconnect to China's past values and traditions.
No Matter What the original meaning of "Ru" was, looking at it from the perspective of the history of philosophy, the image of "Ru" as portrayed by other schools in the Warring States period was infused with the characteristics of Confucianism of that time. The self-understanding of Warring States Confucians expressed by their employment of the character "Ru" clearly displayed Ru's character as well as the main points of the Ru school, namely Confucianism. In particular, the words and thoughts of (...) Xunzi, the great Confucian master, on "Ru", epitomize Pre-Qin Confucian's understanding and expectations of themselves, and also reflect the Confucian new pursuit in facing the age of the uniflcation of Qin. /// 不管"儒"字在宇源上的原始意义如何，从学术史的观点来看，战国时代的 其他学派对"儒"的思想刻画，己经鲜明地呈现出儒家的思想特质:而战国儒学在 运用"儒"字上所表达的自我理解，更突出显现了"何为儒之人格，何为儒家的学 说宗旨"在当时的通行理解。尤其是，战国末期的儒学大师苟子对"儒"的理解， 作为战国时代评论各家"儒"的总结性代表，集中体现了先秦儒家的自我理解和自 我期许，同时也反映了儒家因应秦的统4 的时代即将到来的新的追求。. (shrink)