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Displaying: 21-31 of 31 documents

section: ontology
21. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ilkka Niiniluoto Abduction and Scientific Realism
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Many scientific realists think that the best reasons for scientific theories are abductive, i.e., must appeal to what is also called inference to the best explanation (IBE), while some anti-realists have argued that the use of abduction in defending realism is question-begging, circular, or incoherent. This paper studies the idea that abductive inference can be reformulated by taking its conclusion to concern the truthlikeness of a hypothetical theory on the basis of its success in explanation and prediction. The strength of such arguments is measured by the estimated verisimilitude of its conclusion given the premises. It is argued that this formulation helps to make precise and justifies the "ultimate argument for scientific realism": the empirical success of scientific theories would be a miracle unless they are truthlike.
22. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Yvonne Raley Science and Ontology
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Many philosophers (such as, for instance, Nancy Cartwright, Brian Ellis, and Hartry Field) regard scientific practice as the final arbiter in ontology. In this short paper, I argue that the very philosophers who profess to derive their ontological commitments from scientific practice impose certain views on the theories established by that practice that the practice itself does not support. This is not consistent with their view that science tells us what there is.
23. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ayhan Sol Entropy, Disorder, and Traces
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Traces are generally considered to constitute an ontologically distinct class of objects that can be distinguished from other objects. However, it can be observed on close inspection that the principles to demarcate traces from other objects are quite general, imprecise and intuitively unclear, except perhaps the entropic account envisaging traces as low entropy states. This view was developed by Hans Reichenbach, Adolf Grünbaum, and J. J. C. Smart on the basis of Reichenbach's theory of branch systems that are subsystems of wider systems. According to this theory, traces form within subsystems as low entropy states as a result of interaction with wider systems. It is also claimed that entropy is the measure of disorder, and that traces are ordered states. I argue that the concepts of entropy and disorder are used beyond their legitimate limits of application, for there are clear-cut counter-examples in the literature. I also analyze the concept of trace together with some examples from classical mechanics and geology in order to show that traces are determined relative to a particular context in which they are so defined.
24. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Käthe Trettin Tropes and Relations
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A straightforward ontological account would be one which acknowledges relations as real beings, and that means, according to the scholastic tradition, as universals. The realist move in this sense which has been re-established within contemporary analytical ontology at least since Russell's early theory, is, however, not the only possible way to take relations seriously. In my paper I shall argue that there is much room for the ontological reconstruction of relations, even if one does not accept universals. The background for this argument is a particularist and realist theory, based on tropes ("trope" being the short name for "property instance" or "individual quality"). One way of reconstruction is that relations themselves are particulars. They are supposed to be relational or polyadic tropes (J. Bacon, D. Mertz). The other way is to hold that relations are internal or formal, and therefore do not require a category sai generis (K. Mulligan, P. Simons). I shall discuss these alternatives and finally opt for the second, i.e., the reconstruction of relations as internal to their relata. Moreover, I offer an argument for why basic relations such as existential dependence should be granted a transcategorial status within trope ontology. Hence, the gist of my paper is to take relations seriously without falling prey either to stubborn nominalism or to strict realism. What I intend to explore is a middle avenue thereby choosing the best of both sides in order to explicate a moderate view on the realism of relations.
section: philosophy of history
25. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Mark Bevir Narrative as a Form of Explanation
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Many scholars have argued that history embodies a different form of explanation than natural science. This paper provides an analysis of narrative conceived as the form of explanation appropriate to history. In narratives, actions, beliefs, and pro-attitudes are joined to one another by means of conditional and volitional connections. Conditional connections exist when beliefs and pro-attitudes pick up themes contained in one another, where the nature of such themes can be analysed by reference to the non-necessary and non-arbitrary nature of conditionality. Volitional connections exist when agents command themselves to do something, having decided to do it because of a pro-attitude they hold. The paper uses examples to indicate how conditional and volitional connections can explain large-scale change as well as individual actions.
26. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Leonid Grinin Once More on the Question of the Role of Personality in History
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In order for the philosophy of history to be a really necessary methodological science in relation to theoretical and epistemological problems of history, it is quite necessary to get away from the practice of general discourse and from attempts to find universal solutions suitable for all times. On the contrary, it is desirable to focus on a search for principles and for methods of applying them to the problems of different levels, which, by no means predetermining the results of concrete research, would play the role of (a) a convenient and capacious form of concentration of materials; (b) an effective tool of cognition; and (c) a "compass" preserving a scientists efforts in search of a true solution. For this it is necessary while building up theories, first, to try to combine distinct partially true approaches; secondly, to define clearly the boundaries of applicability of arguments; and thirdly, to formulate laws not in the form of absolute conclusions but according to the rules admitted in other sciences. The possibility of realizing these goals is illustrated by the example of the present theme, "on the role of personality in history," wherein the author introduces the notion of a "factor of a situation," which makes it possible to unify various points correlating personality roles and diverse states of society, and gives the typology of "roles," personalities, etc.
27. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Peter Loptson Re-Examining the 'End of History' Idea and World History since Hegel
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This paper offers an analysis of central features of modern world history which suggest a confirmation, and extension, of something resembling Fukuyama's Kojeve-Hegel *end of history' thesis. As is well known, Kojeve interpreted Hegel as having argued that in a meaningful sense history, as struggle and endeavour to achieve workable stasis in the mutual relations of selves and state-society collectivities, literally came to an end with Napoleon's 1806 victory at the battle of Jena. That victory led to the establishment or consolidation of a European system which significantly embodied the conceptually ideal roles and mutual relations of individual, state, law, and culture (including religious culture), in the aggregated states ruled or presided over by Napoleon. For Hegel the universal structures which constitute the progression of the Absolute are importantly independent of the actual concrete historical individuals and doings which embody and implement them. Once realized upon the earth, the idea of a civil society living, under law, with a sustainable religious and national normative ideology is inexpungible. Even if it has for a time dimmed, it will resurface and re-present itself, and, for Kojeve, has done so, in the gradual articulation of European union and the formations of the League of Nations and its successor the United Nations, in the world that is still our present world. It is much of this model that Fukuyama adopted, and conceived, more explicitly than perhaps either Hegel or Kojeve had done, as a realized triangulation of democracy, liberal individual rights ideology, and capitalism. The realization came to the fore, in Fukuyama's view, in the matrix of the events set in motion by the fall of communism in the European world in 1989. Contrary to Fukayama, of course, there has been rather a lot of 'history' very dramatically in the years in and since 1989, and of course especially explosively in 2001. This recent history notwithstanding, the end of history thesis seems plausible and defensible. Four large geopolitical struggles may be identified, as constituting sequential clusters of argument aimed at determining the human telos, or end-state. They constitute also a sequence of reductios of blueprints that are rivals to the liberalism-democracy-capitalism complex. The four are World War I and the geopolitical struggles between Liberal modernism and fascism, communism, and Islamism. Analyses of these four struggles are offered and defended.
section: philosophy of technology
28. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Nona R. Bolin Hannah Arendt: The Work of Technology
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Tracing the historical and theoretical distinctions between labor and work from the early Greeks to the present, Hannah Arendt presents a compelling analysis of the nature of our technological crisis. Western culture has been formed through a dominant understanding of human existence and instrumental thinking that have inevitably led to a crisis in the way we understand ourselves and relate to the world. Owing much to her contemporary, Martin Heidegger, Arendt sees the roots of the environmental crisis to be embedded in our inheritance of thinking and building.
29. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Luis Camacho Tendencias Opuestas en Filosofía de la Tecnología
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The philosophy of technology seems to be in a stagnant condition today, partly due to the lack of communication between several traditions in the field. Whereas science and technology are considered products of society in the STS programs, the approach in Latin American countries is just the opposite: a better society is sought after through the application of science and technology in development plans. A dialogue between these two opposite traditions might prove useful in overcoming stagnation in the field.
30. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
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31. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Name Index
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