This co-edited volume compares Chinese and Western experiences of engineering, technology, and development. In doing so, it builds a bridge between the East and West and advances a dialogue in the philosophy of engineering. Divided into three parts, the book starts with studies on epistemological and ontological issues, with a special focus on engineering design, creativity, management, feasibility, and sustainability. Part II considers relationships between the history and philosophy of engineering, and includes a general argument for the necessity of dialogue (...) between history and philosophy. It continues with a general introduction to traditional Chinese attitudes toward engineering and technology, and philosophical case studies of the Chinese steel industry, railroads, and cybernetics in the Soviet Union. Part III focuses on engineering, ethics, and society, with chapters on engineering education and practice in China and the West. The book’s analyses of the interactions of science, engineering, ethics, politics, and policy in different societal contexts are of special interest. The volume as a whole marks a new stage in the emergence of the philosophy of engineering as a new regionalization of philosophy. This carefully edited interdisciplinary volume grew out of an international conference on the philosophy of engineering hosted by the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. It includes 30 contributions by leading philosophers, social scientists, and engineers from Australia, China, Europe, and the United States. (shrink)
The concept of similarity is used to exemplify in what way Wolff conveys a new content to a traditional concept. Similarity functions in his system as a link between a priori ontology and a posteriori knowledge, because it is similarity on which relies Wolff's theory of abstraction, his doctrine of order (which also includes the concepts of perfection, of space and time) and even his characterization of human faculties of knowing (e.g. expectation of similar events, wit and penetration).
Complexity theories are on the way to establish a new worldview—processes instead of objects, history and uniqueness of everything instead of repetition and lawlikeness are the elements. These theories from deterministic chaos via the dissipative structures, the theory of catastrophes, self organization and synergetics are mathematical models, connected with a new understanding of science. They are characterized by new fundamental commitments of sciences. But at the same time, they are characterized by epistemic boundaries.
What I intend to show is that the Leibnizian language studies—the formal ones as well as those on natural languages—from his early plans for academies and language societies on up to his studies of etymology and to his interest in foreign languages and in logical, geometrical, arithmetical, and other formal calculi, has to be seen as an important contribution to the idea of enlightenment. Their importance was such that Christian Wolff was able to transform the Leibnizian ideas into the mighty (...) movement of Leibniz-Wolffian metaphysics, a movement paralleled to the tradition of Thomasius. Both tradiions later found their unification in Kant’s critical philosophy. (shrink)
The central thesis of this paper is that technological artifacts essentially depend on a special type of interpretation. Starting fom thedifference between science and engineering on the one side and between artifacts of fine arts and technological artifacts on the other side, it is shown that the latter ones need a ‘teleological interpretation’ which is singular and excludes a multitude of interpretations.
Mit dem Konzept des kategorialen Rahmens hat Stephan Körner eine Möglichkeit geschaffen, metaphysische Systeme zu vergleichen. Da kein metaphysisches System auf Modalbegriffe verzichten kann, wird in der vorliegenden Arbeit am Beispiel der Kritik Kants an der Wolffschen Schule gezeigt, daß Körners Konzept zu ergänzen ist um die jeweilige modale Kennzeichnung auf den Ebenen der ontologischen, logischen und epistemischen Modalitäten. So muß die Kantische Kopernikanische Wende als eine Kritik an der Wolffschen Modaltheorie gesehen werden, verbunden mit dem Entwurf einer eigenen Modalkonzeption, (...) die als neue Elemente erstens die Begründung der ontologischen Modalitäten auf epistemische statt auf logische Modalitäten und zweitens die Einführung der Wirklichkeit als gleichberechtigten Modus enthält. Der Weg dieser Kritik führt über eine Verwerfung des Wolffschen complementum possibilitatis und des ontologischen Gottesbeweises und zeigt, wie schrittweise eine Reflexion auf die Möglichkeit der Erkenntnis zu einer Umkehr des tradierten modaltheoretischen Begründungszusammenhangs führt. (shrink)
Modal concepts as possibility, necessity, contingency and reality belong to the most important means of reflection. They constitute philosophical systems - but they are not used in a systematic way to characterize technology. The central ontological problem consists in the fact that technology is based on new ideas, which at the beginning are a mere possibility, because the intended artifacts and processes never existed up to that moment. Even the blueprint expresses a possibility. But these possibilities must be realizable, since (...) technological artifacts or processes have to work properly in the world following physical andcausal necessity. Moreover, boundary conditions, sometimes seen as feasibility, have to take into account conditions of the real world, cognitive conditions, social and cultural conditions. They all constitute the realm of technological possibility. Within this region the development of technology takes place. But at the same time they have influenced our thinking and our culture from the very beginning. (shrink)
Nothing is as complex as the world – but soon we must master this complexity to be able to live in it. Our means to do so are the languages. However, they are so manifold and so differently in vocabulary, structure and in the way linked with the world that it is difficult to ascribe to them a common relation. Noam Chomsky’s empirical search for a deep structure grammar had no success. For Leibniz our actual world is infinitely complex, beginning (...) with the monad and its subordinated “worlds in the worlds”. Thus exactly our problem constellation of today can already be found there–namely how to master infinite complexity by languages. But what connects these languages? This will be discussed from (1) the representational function of signs concerning the connection between res / signum / notio / idea, via (2) the Ars characteristica and its formal-linguistic sign systems; the next step counts (3) for the natural languages and their functions, marked above all by an adaptation to new problems. The last step deals with the functions of languages, finally leading to the unity of reason. (shrink)
Leibniz wrote more than 60 proposals, concepts, and outlines for academies for Holland, Germany, Austria and Russia. Unlike the academies in Paris, London or Rome he intended a narrow connection of theoria and praxis. This should be achieved by his Scientia generalis as a theoretical unification, whereas the aim consisted in a universal Harmony.
Rudolf Carnap había publicado en el año 1928 su obra Pseudoproblemas en la filosofía, donde intentaba mostrar que la lucha entre idealismo y realismo carecía de sentido, al no ser posible de ninguna manera demostrar o refutar una de las dos posiciones. Poco después, en los años cincuenta del pasado siglo XX Ludwig Wittgenstein tuvo una gran repercusión al proponer como “solución” la idea de que los problemas de este tipo descansan sobre un hechizo de la mente, el cual se (...) origina por una mezcolanza de diferentes juegos lingüísticos –descansando el uno sobre objetos físicos, el otro sobre sensaciones y estados anímicos. (shrink)
Despite several attempts, the prolific writings of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz have not yet been brought together in a single edition. Efforts have been hampered by the sheer volume and diversity of the Leibniz estate, and also by changing political circumstances. This paper traces the history of the Leibniz edition as a long-term project of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie and its predecessors.