Richard Polt takes a fresh approach to Heidegger’s thought during his most politicized period, and works toward a philosophical appropriation of his most valuable ideas. Polt shows how central themes of the 1930s—such as inception, emergency, and the question “Who are we?”—grow from seeds planted in Being and Time and are woven into Heidegger’s political thought. Working with recently published texts, including Heidegger’s Black Notebooks, Polt traces the thinker’s engagement and disengagement from the Nazi movement. He critiques Heidegger for (...) his failure to understand the political realm, but also draws on his ideas to propose a “traumatic ontology” that understands individual and collective existence as identities that are always in question, and always remain exposed to disruptive events. Time and Trauma is a bold attempt to gain philosophical insight from the most problematic and controversial phase of Heidegger’s thought. (shrink)
Richard Hamilton provides an in-depth critique of the writngs of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels on Britain, France, and Germany. Hamilton contends that the validity of their principal historical claims has been assumed more often than investigated, and he reviews the logic of their historical arguments, citing relevant sources that challenge many of the assertions they used to build their theory of inexorable historical change. Although Marx emphasized the need for systematic empirical research into historical events, he and Engels (...) in fact relied on impressionistic evidence to support their claims of how fault lines were forming in capitalist society. Marxist theory, Hamilton concludes, is poorly supported in the historical analysis supplied by its original formulators. In showing that the historical record points to alternative readings of the course of social, economic, and political development in Western society, Hamilton argues that class boundaries tend to be fluid and that major change is more often than not the product of evolutionary -- rather than revolutionary -- forces. Originally published in 1991. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value. (shrink)
This book describes Descartes's The Passions of the Soul as a foundational work of the Enlightenment, a precursor of later notions of the historicity of the human, and the first psychology of modern type: to understand and heal ourselves, we look not outward at the world in immediate relation to it, but inward, at the self, its brain, and its past history. Special attention is given to Descartes’s account of imagination and its problematic impact on passion and volition.
Although some attention has been devoted to assessing the attitudes and concerns of businesspeople toward ethics, relatively little attention has focused on the attitudes and concerns of tomorrow's business leaders, today's college students. In this investigation a national sample was utilized to study college students' attitudes toward business ethics, with the results being analyzed by academic classification, academic major, and sex. Results of the investigation indicate that college students are currently somewhat concerned about business ethics in general, and that female (...) students in particular are more concerned about ethical issues than are their male counterparts. (shrink)
ALTHOUGH the nature of scientific explanation has been a topic much discussed by philosophers of science, one type of scientific explanation has received scant attention. In several of the sciences one often encounters a developmental explanation, an attempt, according to Woodward, "to explain why a system is in a certain stage of development by reference to a developmental 'law' which describes an orderly sequence of stages which systems of that kind go through.".
This treatise presents thoughts on the divide that exists in chemistry between those who seek their understanding within a universe wherein the laws of physics apply and those who prefer alternative universes wherein the laws are suspended or ‘bent’ to suit preconceived ideas. The former approach is embodied in the quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAIM), a theory based upon the properties of a system’s observable distribution of charge. Science is experimental observation followed by appeal to theory that, upon (...) occasion, leads to new experiments. This is the path that led to the development of the molecular structure hypothesis—that a molecule is a collection atoms with characteristic properties linked by a network of bonds that impart a structure—a concept forged in the crucible of nineteenth century experimental chemistry. One hundred and fifty years of experimental chemistry underlie the realization that the properties of some total system are the sum of its atomic contributions. The concept of a functional group, consisting of a single atom or a linked set of atoms, with characteristic additive properties forms the cornerstone of chemical thinking of both molecules and crystals and Dalton’s atomic hypothesis has emerged as the operational theory of chemistry. We recognize the presence of a functional group in a given system and predict its effect upon the static, reactive and spectroscopic properties of the system in terms of the characteristic properties assigned to that group. QTAM gives physical substance to the concept of a functional group. (shrink)
Papers from a conference held at Colorado State Univ., Sept. 1986. Addresses such related topics as the nature of the mind, our place in society, and the nature of ethics. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
This 1984 book describes the development of thought, both of Keynes and others, culminating in the publication in 1936 of Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. As one of Keynes' close collaborators - from December 1929, when the writing of the Treatise was nearing its completion - Richard Khan provides a uniquely insightful analysis of these events. The author starts with a brief survey of the contributions influential in forming Keynes' early ideas, and moves on to explore (...) the significance of the Quantity Theory of Money, and traces the development of Keynes' attitude towards the theory through his published books. Subsequent lectures are devoted to Keynes' Treatise on Money, and to his more popular writings as an economic adviser which marked the transition from the thinking in the Treatise to that in the General Theory which the author critically examines. The final lecture records the author's memory of his personal relationship with Keynes. (shrink)
The quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAIM) uses physics to define an atom and its contribution to observable properties in a given system. It does so using the electron density and its flow in a magnetic field, the current density. These are the two fields that Schrödinger said should be used to explain and understand the properties of matter. It is the purpose of this paper to show how QTAIM bridges the conceptual gulf that separates the observations of chemistry (...) from the realm of physics and do so in a manner that is both rigorous and conceptually simple. Since QTAIM employs real measurable fields, it enables one to present the findings of complex quantum mechanical calculations in a pictorial manner that isolates the essential physics. The time has arrived for a sea change in our attempts to predict and classify the observations of chemistry, time to replace the use of simplified and arbitrary models with the full predictive power of physics, as applied to an atom in a molecule. (shrink)
According to the standard account, logical positivism was the philosophical foundation of psychological neo-behaviorism. Smith (1986) has questioned this interpretation, suggesting that neo-behaviorism drew its philosophical inspiration from a different tradition, one more in keeping with naturalistic epistemology. Smith does not deny, however, the traditional interpretation of the philosophy of logical positivism, which sets it apart from naturalistic epistemology. In this article I suggest (following recent historical scholarship) that a more careful reading of the leading figure of logical positivism, Rudolph (...) Carnap, shows an important naturalistic component in his philosophy. Hence, we must reevaluate our standard interpretation of the philosophy of logical positivism and its relation to psychological neo-behaviorism. (shrink)
Genetic epistemology analyzes the growth of knowledge both in the individual person (genetic psychology) and in the socio-historical realm (the history of science). But what the relationship is between the history of science and genetic psychology remains unclear. The biogenetic law that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny is inadequate as a characterization of the relation. A critical examination of Piaget's Introduction à l'Épistémologie Généntique indicates these are several examples of what I call stage laws common to both areas. Furthermore, there is at (...) least one example of a paradoxical inverse relation between the two — geometry. Both similarities and differences between the two domains require an explanation, a developmental explanation. Although such an explanation seems to be psychological in nature, it is not merely empirical but also normative (since psychology is both factual and normative according to Piaget). Hence genetic epistemology need not be reduced to psychology (narrowly conceived), but rather should be seen as being both empirical and normative and thus similar to certain types of contemporary philosophy of science. (shrink)
Several philosophers have questioned the possibility of a genetic epistemology, an epistemology concerned with the developmental transitions between successive states of knowledge in the individual person. Since most arguments against the possibility of a genetic epistemology crucially depend upon a sharp distinction between the genesis of an idea and its justification, I argue that current philosophy of science raises serious questions about the universal validity of this distinction. Then I discuss several senses of the genetic fallacy, indicating which sense of (...) ‘genesis’ is relevant to epistemology. Next I consider the objection that psychology is irrelevant to epistemology, and that since "genetic epistemology" is really psychology, "genetic epistemology" is irrelevant to a real epistemology. Finally, I take up the objection that nothing discovered in genetic psychology could be relevant to a genetic epistemology. These last two arguments are based upon what I claim to be a mistaken notion of the nature of psychology. Suitably interpreted, psychology can assist genetic epistemology precisely in the way that the history of science assists current philosonhv of science. *I owe considerable thanks to Jann Benson, Ken Freeman, Bernie Rollin and Ron Williams for their helpful discussions concerning many of the issues discussed in this paper. I also wish to thank David Hamlyn, John Heil, William Lycan, Harvey Siegel and an anonymous reviewer for their comments and suggestions. It goes without saying that none of these individuals (especially Hamlyn and Siegel) necessarily agree with me. An earlier version of this paper was read at Colorado State University where the audience's comments were beneficial. (shrink)
Although the theory of Jean Piaget is correctly characterized as genetic epistemology, its nature and scope remain unclear and controversial. An examination of Piaget's Introduction a l'epistemologie genetique indicates that Piaget relies heavily upon a model of comparative anatomy and, consequently, that genetic epistemology is about both the history of science and individual development. This biological model seems to be the basis for Piaget's view that the history of science can be seen as a (Kantian) history of scientific concepts whereas (...) psychogenetic development is a history of these very same concepts on the individual level. Finally, although there are passages indicating a different interpretation of the scope of genetic epistemology, I give several reasons for preferring the more liberal interpretation. (shrink)
Two critical thinking skills—the tendency to avoid myside bias and to avoid one-sided thinking—were examined in three different experiments involving over 1200 participants and across two different paradigms. Robust indications of myside bias were observed in all three experiments. Participants gave higher evaluations to arguments that supported their opinions than those that refuted their prior positions. Likewise, substantial one-side bias was observed—participants were more likely to prefer a one-sided to a balanced argument. There was substantial variation in both types of (...) bias, but we failed to find that participants of higher cognitive ability displayed less myside bias or less one-side bias. Although cognitive ability failed to associate with the magnitude of the myside bias, the strength and content of the prior opinion did predict the degree of myside bias shown. Our results indicate that cognitive ability—as defined by traditional psychometric indicators—turns out to be surprisingly independent of two of the most important critical thinking tendencies discussed in the literature. (shrink)
What is the role of Leibniz’s early work in the constitution of his mature philosophy? Conventional scholarship would emphasize 1686 as the point at which the Leibnizian philosophical system was in place, subsequent obscurities concerning forces and monads notwithstanding. In that year the Discourse on Metaphysics was completed, the Brief Demonstration of Leibniz’s discovery of the conservation of living force was published, and the correspondence with Arnauld begun, leading to the 1695 publication of the New System and part I of (...) its companion Specimen Dynamicum. On this forward-looking account, the early period recedes in importance. Against this rough but established consensus, Christia Mercer argues that far more weight needs to be given to Leibniz’s early development—especially the period from 1668 to 1672—in the Aristotelian and Platonic eclecticism of seventeenth-century Germany. Daniel Garber’s advertisement on the book jacket pertains: “Though it will be controversial, her position is one that must be reckoned with.... [I]t will be read and passionately debated for years to come.”. (shrink)
Although numerous aspects of Bertrand Russell's philosophical views have been discussed, his views about the nature of the mind and the place of psychology within modern science have received less attention. In particular, there has been little discussion of what I will call "Russell's flirtation with behaviorism." Although some individuals have mentioned this phase in Russell's philosophical career, they have not adequately situated it within Russell's changing philosophical views, in particular, his naturalistic epistemology. I briefly discuss this naturalistic epistemology and (...) the kind of behaviorism it resulted in. I also briefly compare it to the behaviorism of John Watson, which had a strong influence on Russell. Russell finally abandoned this extreme form of behaviorism because of its denial of mental images, which was crucial to Russell's philosophy of mind and his semantics. I suggest that even though Russell's flirtation with behaviorism came to an end, he continued to be committed to a naturalistic epistemology. If this is so, we need to reassess the views of Russell and their place in twentieth-century thought. (shrink)
The Conduct of Inquiry is a practical introduction to logic and scientific method. It provides a comprehensive and current discussion of the logic of scientific method and scientific reasoning. The author places consistent stress on the evaluation of actual scientific reasoning and the development of critical thinking skills by employing numerous examples that require the application of the principles discussed in the text. Each chapter lays out basic, underlying principles of logic and scientific method and illustrates them by reference to (...) detailed case studies in the history of science. The method of proceeding from concrete case studies to general principle embodied in the examples provides an understandable progression for those learning the basic ideas of logic and scientific method. (shrink)
I shall develop the suggestion that the thing in itself is not in any sense a thing. Nor is it a term which refers to a reality in opposition to which objects of experience are unfavorably compared. Yet Kant uses language which sometimes suggests both, providing ground for Schrader's observation about both the obscurity and the perversity of the doctrine.
Piaget's social psychology is not widely discussed among psychologists, partly because much of it is still contained in untranslated French works. In this article I summarize the main lines of Piaget's social psychology and briefly indicate its relation to current theories in social psychology. Rejecting both Durkheim's sociological holism and Tarde's individualism, Piaget advances a sociological relativism in which all social facts are reducible to social relations and these, in turn, are reducible to rules, values and signs. Piaget's theory of (...) social values takes the form of a social exchange theory characterized in an abstract logical way. Piaget claims social exchange requires normative principles of reciprocity and that individual social development results in such an equilibrium because rationality itself is social and based upon social cooperation. These views, in turn, derive from Piaget's orthogenetic views concerning the course of evolution: development can be characterized as an increase in equilibrium manifested both in individual action and in social interaction. (shrink)
It is now five years since P. J. Parsons published the Lille Callimachus, and the dust appears to have settled. The appearance of these fragments, which greatly increase our knowledge of the opening of the third book of the Aetia, has been followed by no great critical reaction. Apart from the attractive suggestion of E. Livrea that the ‘Mousetrap’ may belong within the story of Heracles and Molorchus, the episode has had somewhat limited impact. This is against the usual trend (...) of over-reaction to the publication of new literary texts , and is in part a tribute to the thoroughness and clarity with which Parsons presented the fragments. (shrink)