Hans Reichenbach, a philosopher of science who was one of five students in Einstein's first seminar on the general theory of relativity, became Einstein's bulldog, defending the theory against criticism from philosophers, physicists, and popular commentators. This book chronicles the development of Reichenbach's reconstruction of Einstein's theory in a way that clearly sets out all of its philosophical commitments and its physical predictions as well as the battles that Reichenbach fought on its behalf, in both the academic and popular (...) press. The essays include reviews and responses to philosophical colleagues, such as Moritz Schlick and Hugo Dingler; polemical discussions with physicists Max Born and D. C. Miller; as well as popular articles meant to clarify aspects of Einstein's theories and set out their philosophical ramifications for the layperson. At a time when physics and philosophy were both undergoing revolutionary changes in content and method, this book is a window into the development of scientific philosophy and the role of the philosopher. (shrink)
The essay “Was ist der Mensch?” appeared for the first time in December 1944 in the German magazine with a hundred years of tradition edited by the publisher J. J. Weber Illustrierte Zeitung Leipzig [Illustrated Magazine Leipzig]. This special cultural edition, entitled Der europäische Mensch [The European Man], which was distributed exclusively abroad, was to be the last volume of the magazine after its final regular issue in September 1994 (No. 5041). Only in 1947, the text was republished, with the (...) same pagination, in a compilation made by J. J. Weber, Vom Wahren, Schönen, Guten. Aus dem Schatz europäischer Kunst und Kultur [On the True, the Beautiful, the Good. From the Treasury of European Art and Culture]. The publisher was expropriated in 1948, and three years later the company was finally removed from the German commercial registry. “Was ist der Mensch?” has never been released in any of Gadamer’s books or separately published in a journal; it also does not appear within the 10 volumes of his Gesammelte Werke [Collected Works]—the only exception is an Italian translation included in a volume devoted to Gadamer’s views on education and the notion of Bildung (cf. Gadamer 2012). The aim of this translation is to make accessible this Gadamer’s quest for the occidental interpretations of human self-consciousness, which has until now been almost unknown and in which, for the first time, Gadamer shows, from a theoretical standpoint, not only his early—although implicit—keen interest in Max Scheler’s anthropology (particularly Scheler’s considerations on the basic historical types of the occidental man’s self-perception in accordance with the basic and underlying concept of human history that still have powerful effectiveness in modern times), but also—at the historical threshold of the imminent ending of World War II—his own concern regarding possible philosophical answers to the question: “What is man?” Cf. especially Scheler 1926 (GW 9, 120–144); 1928 (GW 9, 7–71); 1929 (GW 9, 145–170). All commenting annotations to Gadamer’s text are authored by the editor and translator. (shrink)
Hans Vaihinger was an important and fascinating figure in German philosophy in the early twentieth century, founding the well-known journal Kant-studien. Yet he was overshadowed by the burgeoning movements of phenomenology and analytical philosophy, as well as hostility towards his work because of his defense of Jewish scholars in a Germany controlled by Nazism. However, it is widely acknowledged today that The Philosophy of 'As If' is a philosophical masterwork. Vaihinger argues that in the face of an overwhelmingly complex (...) world, we produce a simpler set of ideas, or idealizations, that help us negotiate it. When cast as fictions, such ideas provide an easier and more useful way to think about certain subjects, from mathematics and physics to law and morality, than would the truth in all its complexity. Even in science, he wrote, we must proceed "as if " a material world exists independently of perceiving subjects; in behaviour, we must act "as if " ethical certainty were possible; in religion, we must believe "as if" there were a God. He also explores the role of fictions in the history of philosophy, going back to the ancient Greeks and the work of Leibniz, Adam Smith and Bentham. The Philosophy of 'As If' was a powerful influence on the emerging philosophical movement of pragmatism and was ground-breaking in its anticipation of the central role that model-building and simulation would come to play in the human sciences. This Routledge Classics edition includes a new foreword by Michael Rosenthal, which provides a fascinating and important background to Vaihinger's life and the legacy of The Philosophy of 'As If'. (shrink)
In this powerful work of conceptual and analytical originality, the author argues for the primacy of the material arrangements of the laboratory in the dynamics of modern molecular biology. In a post-Kuhnian move away from the hegemony of theory, he develops a new epistemology of experimentation in which research is treated as a process for producing epistemic things. A central concern of the book is the basic question of how novelty is generated in the empirical sciences. In addressing this question, (...) the author brings French poststructuralist thinking—notably Jacques Derrida’s concepts of “différance” and “historiality”—to bear on the construction of epistemic things. Historiographical perspective shifts from the actors’ minds to their objects of manipulation. These epistemological and historical issues are illuminated in a detailed case study of a particular laboratory, that of the oncologist and biochemist Paul C. Zamecnik and his colleagues, located in a specific setting—the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital of Harvard University at the Massachusetts General Hospital of Boston. The author traces how, between 1945 and 1965, this group developed an experimental system for synthesizing proteins in the test tube that put Zamecnik’s research team at the forefront of those who led biochemistry into the era of molecular biology. (shrink)
The Hans Reichenbach Papers comprise published and unpublished manuscripts, lectures, correspondence, photographs, drawings, and related materials from his early student days until his death. The correspondence contains about 9000 pages to and from Reichenbach; it ranges over his entire career. Those with whom Reichenbach maintained lifelong contact include Rudolf Carnap, Ernst Cassirer, Herbert Feigl, Philip Frank, Carl Hempel, Sidney Hook, Paul Oppenheim and Wolfgang Pauli. In addition, there is significant correspondence with von Astor, Bergmann, Bertalanffy, Dingler, Dubislav, Einstein, Fraenkel, (...) Frank, Freundlich, Grelling, Grünbaum, Paul Hertz, Hutten, Jordan, Landé, von Laue, Lewin, C.I. Lewis, Charles Morris, Nagel, Neurath, Northrop, Planck, Quine, Regener, Rougier, Salmon, Schillp, Schlick, Scholz, Schrödinger, Martin Strauss, Tarski, Vaihinger, Weiss, Williams, Zawarski, and Zilsel. The correspondence provides a valuable source of information about Reichenbach’s personal and philosophical development. It also provides primary source material for research into one of the 20th century most influential philosophical movements. Reichenbach’s manuscripts include many of his own notes as a student. Some go as far back as his university days in science and mathematics. Some of the most significant of these notes are those taken by him as a student of Albert Einstein on the special and general theories of relativity. There are four such notebooks dating from 1918. In addition there are his student notes on astronomy, Planck and electricity, Hilbert’s “Statistical Mechanics” and “Problems and Principles.” He also kept many of his lecture notes from Germany, Turkey, and the United States. The number of lectures runs to over 100 and provides a glimpse into the problems of philosophy and how he presented them to his students. Many of his lectures discussed principles of radio and issues in philosophy and modern science, often in form of popularizations of questions in relativity and quantum theory delivered on radio programs for a wider audiences. In addition to this there are an abundance of notes, calculations, and diagrams used to draft both published and unpublished papers. (shrink)
We publish here the letters between Gadamer and Ricoeur, as they are found in the Archives of the two philosophers. Starting from February 1964 and ending on October 2000, the thirty-five letters reproduced here cannot give a complete picture of their much richer correspondence and relations, because it seems that neither Ricoeur, nor Gadamer kept all the letters they received from one another. But altogether, they document their common concerns, their mutual respect, even their intellectual solidarity and finally the particular (...) context that brought them to write to one another, i.e. Ricoeur’s intention to publish a translation of Gadamer’s book, Truth and Method, in a new series he edited for the Seuil Publisher. This publishing and translation project will mark their entire correspondence. (shrink)
Philosophy, Socrates declared, is the art of dying. This book underscores that it is also the art of learning to live and share the earth with those who have come before us. Burial, with its surrounding rituals, is the most ancient documented cultural-symbolic practice: all humans have developed techniques of caring for and communicating with the dead. The premise of Being with the Dead is that we can explore our lives with the dead as a cross-cultural existential a priori out (...) of which the basic forms of historical consciousness emerge. Care for the dead is not just about the symbolic handling of mortal remains; it also points to a necropolitics, the social bond between the dead and living that holds societies together—a shared space or polis where the dead are maintained among the living. Moving from mortuary rituals to literary representations, from the problem of ancestrality to technologies of survival and intergenerational communication, Hans Ruin explores the epistemological, ethical, and ontological dimensions of what it means to be with the dead. His phenomenological approach to key sources in a range of fields gives us a new perspective on the human sciences as a whole. (shrink)
Hans Albert ist der Hauptvertreter des Kritischen Rationalismus und einer der einflussreichsten Wissenschaftslehrer im deutschen Sprachraum. Seine interdisziplinar angelegten Arbeiten beschaftigen sich mit den Grundlagen der Sozialwissenschaften und der Bedeutung kritisch-rationalen Denkens fur die sozialwissenschaftliche Theorie und Praxis. Der vorliegende Band enthalt Texte fuhrender Vertreter aus Philosophie, Soziologie, Religionswissenschaft und Jurisprudenz, die sich mit den Positionen Alberts im Kontext ihres eigenen Fachgebiets beschaftigen.
History, Metaphors, and Fables collects the central writings by Hans Blumenberg and covers topics such as on the philosophy of language, metaphor theory, non-conceptuality, aesthetics, politics, and literary studies. This landmark volume demonstrates Blumenberg's intellectual breadth and gives an overview of his thematic and stylistic range over four decades. Blumenberg's early philosophy of technology becomes tangible, as does his critique of linguistic perfectibility and conceptual thought, his theory of history as successive concepts of reality", his anthropology, or his studies (...) of literature. History, Metaphors, Fables allows readers to discover a master thinker whose role in the German intellectual post-war scene can hardly be overestimated. (shrink)
In the late 1830s and early 1840s Hans. L. Martensen helped to introduce the thought of G.W.F. Hegel to the intellectual world of Copenhagen. Between Hegel and Kierkegaard offers the first English translations of three important early writings of Martensen in the philsophy of religion. These treatises evidence an original and critical interpretation of Hegel's thought from a speculative theological point of view. The heart of Martensen's philosophy of religion is the idea of freedom or personality grounded in its (...) relation to the divine. These writings exercised an important and formative influence on the young Kierkegaard, Martensen's student, even though Kierkegaard later became a formidable opponent and critic of Martensen. (shrink)
Rethinking politics in a new vocabulary, Hans Sluga challenges the firmly held assumption that there exists a single common good which politics is meant to realize. He argues that politics is not a natural but a historical phenomenon, and not a single thing but a multiplicity of political forms and values only loosely related. He contrasts two traditions in political philosophy: a 'normative theorizing' that extends from Plato to John Rawls and a newer 'diagnostic practice' that emerged with Marx (...) and Nietzsche and has found its three most prominent twentieth-century practitioners in Carl Schmitt, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault. He then examines the sources of diagnostic political thinking, analyzes its achievements, and offers a critical assessment of its limitations. His important book will be of interest to a wide range of upper-level students and scholars in political philosophy, political theory, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
For nearly a century and a half after his death, Jonathan Edwards remained America's greatest philosopher. His rigorous, systematic vision coupled with a synthetic, creative imagination were unrivalled until the appearance of that great triumvirate of pragmatic philosophers—C. S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey—at the close of the nineteenth century.
By exploring the significance of Wittgenstein’s later texts relating to the philosophy of language, _Wittgenstein’s Later Theory of Meaning_ offers insights that will transform our understanding of the influential 20th-century philosopher. Explores the significance of Wittgenstein’s later texts relating to the philosophy of language, and offers new insights that transform our understanding of the influential 20th-century philosopher Provides original interpretations of the _systematic_ points about language in Wittgenstein’s later writings that reveal his theory of meaning Engages in close readings of (...) a variety of Wittgenstein’s later texts to explore what the philosopher really had to say about ‘kinds of words’ and ‘parts of speech’ Frees Wittgenstein from his reputation as an unsystematic thinker with nothing to offer but ‘therapy’ for individual cases of philosophical confusion. (shrink)
The first English translation of Hans Reichenbach's lucid doctoral thesis sheds new light on how Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason was understood in some quarters at the time. The source of several themes in his still influential The Direction of Time, the thesis shows Reichenbach's early focus on the interdependence of physics, probability, and epistemology.
The debate about concepts has always been shaped by a contrast between subjectivism, which treats them as phenomena in the mind or head of individuals, and objectivism, which insists that they exist independently of individual minds. The most prominent contemporary version of subjectivism is Fodor's RTM. The Fregean charge against subjectivism is that it cannot do justice to the fact that different individuals can share the same concepts. Proponents of RTM have accepted shareability as a ‘non-negotiable constraint’. At the same (...) time they insist that by distinguishing between sign-types and – tokens the Fregean objection cannot just be circumvented but revealed to be fallacious. My paper rehabilitates the Fregean argument against subjectivism. The RTM response rests either on an equivocation of ‘concept’—between types which satisfy the non-negotiable constraint and tokens which are mental particulars in line with RTM doctrine—or on the untenable idea that one and the same entity can be both a shareable type and hence abstract and a concrete particular in the head. Furthermore, subjectivism cannot be rescued by adopting unorthodox metaphysical theories about the type/token and universal/particular contrasts. The final section argues that concepts are not representations or signs, but something represented by signs. Even if RTM is right to explain conceptual thinking by reference to the occurrence of mental representations, concepts themselves cannot be identical with such representations. (shrink)