History and philosophy complement and overlap each other in subject matter, but the two disciplines exhibit conflict over methodology. Since Hempel's challenge to historians that they should adopt the covering law model of explanation, the methodological conflict has revolved around the respective roles of the general and the particular in each discipline. In recent years, the revival of narrativism in history, coupled with the trend in philosophy of science to rely upon case studies, joins the methodological conflict anew. So long (...) as contemporary philosophy of science relies upon history's methodology to construct its case studies, it subjects itself to a paradoxical situation: the better the history, the worse the philosophy. An example of the methodological conflict is presented in the case of Antoine Lavoisier. This example also serves our ultimateconclusion, which is that distinctively philosophical methods of case-study design promise enhanced prescriptive powers for philosophy of science. (shrink)
Im folgenden komme ich zu dem Ergebnis, daß Gott nicht wählt, welche Welt er wählen solle, er wählt vielmehr eine besondere Definition von Vollkommenheit. Diese gilt dann als Kriterium für die Wahl der Welt. Meine Argumente für dieses Ergebnis zeigen, daß jeder wohldefinierte Seinsbereich eine eigene Definition von Vollkommenheit benötigt und all diese Definitionen logisch konsistent sein müssen. Beispiele für Definitionen werden angeführt. In diesem Zusammenhang weise ich nach, inwiefern Candides moralische Einwürfe Leibniz' mathematischphysizistischen Gott nicht treffen.
Approaches to historical figures may be roughly divided into three clumps. Internalist approaches feature close textual exegesis, analyzing, interpreting and interpolating various texts of the thinker, all in aid of careful exposition of his or her flow of thought; Don Rutherford’s Leibniz and the Rational Order of Nature provides an exemplar here. Externalist approaches attempt to place the thinker in his or her intellectual milieu, paying careful attention to links of origin and consequence; Catherine Wilson’s Leibniz’s metaphysics: a historical and (...) comparative study is an exemplar of this sort of work. Historicist approaches attempt to find contemporary relevance for aspects of the thinker’s work, oftentimes extending and extrapolating elements of the original texts in consistent and coherent ways; Dionysios Anastasiou Anapolitanos’s Leibniz: Representation, Continuity, and the Spatio-Temporal is an exemplar of this approach. Anapolitanos investigates Leibniz’s writings on the continuum in an attempt not only to discover the nature of Leibniz’s view of the issues, but also to asses his successes and failures in dealing with this difficult topic’s inherent problems. Anapolitanos‘s conclusion is quite straightforward: Leibniz’s own solution to the labyrinthus continui fails, but “without substantial modifications, his metaphysics could have allowed him to adopt a solution much closer to our modern conception of the problem.” This is a bold claim, clearly revisionary, clearly historicist, perhaps anachronistic, but, if Anapolitanos can successfully make his argument, it is a useful and interesting point to add to contemporary Leibniz scholarship. In my view, the argument succeeds. (shrink)
A rigorous extension of the full Lorentz group is found which is parameterized by interframe velocities v(t) and which reduces to Special Relativity for acceleration-free cases and to Galilean relativity for low velocity cases. Full group properties are exhibited. Four-momentum is defined and particle masses are shown to be invariants. Four-force is introduced and pseudoforces are shown to enter the equations of particle dynamics. Maxwell's equations are shown to take on pseudocurrent terms in accelerating frames. A four-vector Green function solution (...) to the modified Maxwell equations is presented. Finally, a discussion is offered concerning philosophical questions such as the operational definition of time. (shrink)
In a series of articles, the most extensive of which are  and , Carl R. Kordig has attacked the "new empiricism" of the late Norwood R. Hanson, P. K. Feyerabend, Thomas S. Kuhn, and Stephen E. Toulmin. While there are differ- ences among the views of these philosophers, they agree at least on the following claims: (1) scientific method does not proceed inductively from neutral observations because (a) observations are not free of interpretation; and (b) scientists, as a matter (...) of history, have not used induction as the means of arriving at scientific laws; and (2) the key to scientific progress is the discovery of theories, hypotheses, or paradigms which order phenomena and influence the ways in which data are experienced. While Kordig admits that the new empiricism has the valuable effect of underscoring the truth that scientific revolutions do not consist merely in finding new facts or in paying closer attention to already known facts, contrary to the new view, he maintains that observations must be and are neutral (, pp. 478-479). Kordig contends against the new empiricists that if observations are not neutral but theory-laden, then it is impossible to test, compare and verify theories. Conse- quently, Kordig concludes that the new empiricist view implies that scientific progress is impossible (, pp. 470-471; [10j, p. 470). In opposition to their view, Kordig maintains that observations are neutral and independent of theories (and this was the insight of the logical empiricists) (, p. 468); and moreover, observa- tions must be neutral to and independent of theory in order that (a) differing theories may be truly said to compete and (b) the observations may be the basis of testing and deciding between competing theories. (shrink)
THE THESIS OF THIS ESSAY is quite speculative. Moreover, it most likely will be thought to be preposterous by many philosophers and some physicists. However, as the history of philosophy illustrates, qualities such as these have been no deterrent to the broaching of an idea. Hence, the thesis of this essay will be broached, even though it is quite speculative, and most likely will be thought preposterous by some, if not all.