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1. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Tom Rockmore Tom Rockmore
A Progress Report on Cognitive Foundationalism and Metaphysical Realism
A Progress Report on Cognitive Foundationalism and Metaphysical Realism

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Metaphysical realism, though not under that name, runs throughout the entire Western tradition at least since Parmenides. His basic ontological claim, that is, that what is is and cannot not be, hence cannot change, influentially creates a central philosophical task. Cognitive foundationalism, whose exemplar is Descartes, is a cognitive strategy intended to respond to metaphysical realism. Plato rejects any form of a representational approach to knowledge in rejecting the backward causal inference from ideas in the mind to the world. The Cartesian strategy is based on a justified inference from the idea in the mind to the world, which reverses the Platonic criticism. Criticism of the Cartesian inference from the idea in the mind to the world supports Plato’s rejection of representationalism in all its forms.
2. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1
Juan J. Acero Juan J. Acero
The Arrival and Establishment of Analytic Philosophy in Spain
The Arrival and Establishment of Analytic Philosophy in Spain

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This article summarily describes the arrival and establishment of Analytic Philosophy [= AP] in Spain. It first expounds the role played in that process by philosophers such José Ferrater Mora, exiled alter the Spanish Civil War, and by Manuel Garrido, Jesús Mosterín, Javier Muguerza, Josep Blasco y José Hierro, the proper introducers of AP in the Spanish university. Secondly, the article refers to the work developed by the introducers’ former students and disciples, and holds that this second wave of AP in Spain largely helped to its consolidation. Finally, the current situation–a third wave of analytic philosophers in action–is reviewed. Its most actives centres are identified, the main changes in the national scientific policy, its profound effects on academic activities for the last twenty years, and the high degree of internationalization reached by Spanish AP from the 1990s, after the founding of the Sociedad Española de Filosofía Analítica (S.E.F.A.), are concisely pointed out.
3. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Tian Yu Cao Tian Yu Cao
Incomplete, but Real: A constructivist Account of Reference
Incomplete, but real

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Various theories of referent are critically but briefly surveyed from the perspective of structural realism; a constructivist version of structural realist account of referent is outlined, and its implications for history of science and for descriptive metaphysics are briefly indicated.
4. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Alexei Chernyak Alexei Chernyak
Indirect Reference for Indexicals and Ambiguous Self-Identification
Indirect Reference for Indexicals and Ambiguous Self-Identification

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The article is devoted to a philosophical discussion of semantics of indexical expressions inspired mainly by theories of D. Kaplan and P. Schlenker. The author considers Schlenker’s arguments contra Kaplan that referents of indexicals sometimes may not be considered as directly provided by contexts of their use. He argues that the idea that indexicals can have shifted reference can and should be developed further. The author discusses cases which seem to call for a broader understanding of context dependency of indexicals. In particular the cases that introduce contexts where the speaker does not refer to herself as a unique individual specifically located in space and time. It is argued that references in such cases can hardly be explained as either shifted or not shifted in the standard way suggested by Schlenker. These examples are followed by more examples of conditional shifting and examples of split shifted parameters. The author argues that such real speech situations along with communicative intentions of speaker suggest that a broader understanding of context dependency of indexicals should be taken into account.
5. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Hans Poser Hans Poser
Leibniz’ Projects for Academies and Their Importance in Science, Politics and Public Welfare
Leibniz’ Projects for Academies and Their Importance in Science, Politics and Public Welfare

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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.
6. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Inanna Hamati-Ataya Inanna Hamati-Ataya
Outline for a Reflexive Epistemology
Outline for a Reflexive Epistemology

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This paper addresses the notion of a “theory of knowledge” from the perspective of sociological reflexivity. What becomes of the meaning of epistemology once the ontological status of knowledge is taken seriously, and its political dimensions impossible to ignore? If the knower is no longer an impersonal, universal subject, but always a situated and purposeful actor, what kind of epistemology do we need, and what social functions can we expect it to play? Sociological reflexivity embraces the historicity and situatedness of knowledge understood as a cultural product and a social practice. It therefore enables us to cope with the collapse of our absolute and universal epistemic foundations and frames of reference, and to redefine the existential and practical meanings of knowledge for social life. In so doing, it also gives political meaning to epistemology itself, understood as a sociological theory of knowledge, not a normative one. Reflexivity can be envisaged as both a “bending back” and a “bending forward” of knowledge as praxis. As a bending back of knowledge on itself, it entails a rigorous understanding of the social conditions of possibility of our thought and our values, and hence a critical assessment of what our worldviews and notions of truth owe to the social order in which we are inscribed. As a bending forward, it turns this objective understanding into an instrument of existential and social emancipation, by delineating the structural spaces of freedom and agency that allow for a meaningful and responsible scholarly practice.
7. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Hans Poser Hans Poser
Justification of Justification: The Case of Techno Sciences
Justification of Justification

8. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Yuri Balashov Yuri Balashov
Experiencing the Present
Experiencing the Present

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I had excruciating back pain last night. The next day I went to a spa and the pain disappeared. Psychologically speaking, my pain is gone. Where is it, speaking ontologically? Atheorists have an easy time here (more or less). But B-theorists who think that persons persist by enduring are in trouble. Why am I finding myself at this particular time, with this particular set of experiences, rather than at numerous other times, with different experiences, despite the fact that all times are on the same ontological footing and I am wholly present at all of them? I argue that the Puzzle of the Experience of the Present is a real challenge for B-theorists, and the best way to deal with it is to adopt the stage view of persistence.
9. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Inês Hipólito Inês Hipólito
Mind and Brain States: Embedding the Mental in the Living Organism
Mind and Brain States

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With neurons emergence, life alters itself in a remarkable way. This embodied neurons become carriers of signals, and processing devices: it begins an inexorable progression of functional complexity, from increasingly drawn behaviors to the mind and eventually to consciousness [Damasio, 2010]. In which moment has awareness arisen in the history of life? The emergence of human consciousness is associated with evolutionary developments in brain, behavior and mind, which ultimately lead to the creation of culture, a radical novelty in natural history. It is in this context of biological evolution of conscious brains that we raise the question: how conscious brains connect with each other? In order to answer it, I will explore how brain states and conscious states each participate in dynamic interactive processes involving the whole organism. I will argue that a possible way to overcome the hard problem of consciousness might be based on the notion of embodiment as a process of embedding the mental in the living organism relating dynamically with the environment through the sensorymotor experience. In order to do so, I will provide an assembly between an anthropologic perspective of consciousness with contemporary Philosophy of Mind, Interaction Theory [Gallagher 2001, 2008; Zahavi 2001, 2008; Fuchs and De Jaegher 2009].
10. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
James Grindeland James Grindeland
Blockers: A Reply to Hawthorne
Blockers: A Reply to Hawthorne

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Physicalism is roughly the thesis that everything is physical. The two most popular ways of formulating physicalism rigorously are the ways given by Frank Jackson and David Chalmers. The best objections, in turn, include John Hawthorne’s ‘blocker’ objections. Hawthorne argues that, if it is possible for there to be non-physical beings or properties that prevent certain mental phenomena from existing (i.e., non-physical blockers), Jackson’s and Chalmers’ formulations will be inadequate. Jackson’s formulation will be inadequate by virtue of not capturing all of the right physical dependence principles. Chalmers’ formulation will be inadequate in so far as, when modified to define ‘restricted physicalisms’, such as physicalism of the mental, the restricted formulations will not capture all of the right physical dependence principles. By contrast, I argue that Hawthorne’s blocker arguments are misguided on the grounds that non-physical blockers are impossible; I argue that his critique of Chalmers’ formulation is unsound by virtue of falsely presupposing that restricted physicalisms require restricted formulations of physicalism (I argue that it is only necessary to define physicalism of a world); and I argue that Jackson’s and Chalmers’ formulations capture all of the right physical dependence principles.
11. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
René Jagnow René Jagnow
Can We See Natural Kind Properties?
Can We See Natural Kind Properties?

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Which properties can we visually experience? Some authors hold that we can experience only low-level properties such as color, illumination, shape, spatial location, and motion. Others believe that we can also experience high-level properties, such as being a dog or being a pine tree. On the basis of her method of phenomenal contrast, Susanna Siegel has recently defended the latter view. One of her central claims is that we can best account for certain phenomenal contrasts if we assume that we can visually experience natural kind properties. In this paper, I argue that certain kinds of low-level properties, namely shape-gestalt properties, can explain these phenomenal contrasts just as well as high-level properties. If successful, this is a modest, but nevertheless significant result. Even though it does not prove the falsity of Siegel’s proposal, it nevertheless secures the existence of a plausible alternative.
12. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Bin Zhao Bin Zhao
Phenomenal Character, Representational Content, and the Internal Correlation of Experience: Arguments Against Tracking Representationalism
Phenomenal Character, Representational Content, and the Internal Correlation of Experience

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Tracking representationalism is the theory that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking physical properties in an appropriate way. This theory holds that phenomenal character can be explained in terms of representational content, and it also entails that there is unlikely to be a strong correlation between phenomenal character and neural states. However, the empirical evidence shows that both claims cannot be true. So, tracking representationalism is wrong. Its fault is due to ignoring the internal correlation of experience, the existence of which shows that phenomenal character is shaped by neural states to a large extent, so it cannot be wholly explained by representational content.
13. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
José Eduardo Porcher José Eduardo Porcher
Can Anosognosia Vindicate Traditionalism about Self-Deception?
Can Anosognosia Vindicate Traditionalism about Self-Deception?

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The traditional conception of self-deception takes it for an intrapersonal form of interpersonal deception. However, since the same subject is at the same time deceived and deceived, this means attributing the agent a pair of contradictory beliefs. In the course of defending a deflationary conception of self-deception, Mele (1997) has challenged traditionalists to present convincing evidence that there are cases of self-deception in which what he calls the dual belief-requirement is satisfied. Levy (2009) has responded to this challenge affirming that there is at least one real cases of self-deception that meets this requirement, namely, that of anosognosia. In this family of conditions, the patient apparently believes that there is nothing wrong with her while, at the same time, providing behavioral cues that indicate that the patient is somehow aware of his disease. If Levy is right, then traditionalism about self-deception could be vindicated, after having been widely abandoned due to its need to postulate exotic mental processes in order to make sense of the attribution of contradictory beliefs. In this paper, I assess whether Levy’s response to Mele’s challenge is successful by analyzing his interpretation of the empirical evidence to which he appeals. Finally, I attack the cogency of the underlying commitments about the nature of folk psychology to which one is required to defer in order to draw from conflicting evidence the attribution of contradictory beliefs.
14. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Alexei Cherniak Alexei Cherniak
Belief Content and Belief State
Belief Content and Belief State

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The paper is dedicated to the analysis of a contribution of the distinction between states and contents of beliefs to the explanation of changes of beliefs in some specific situations such as changed stakes or evidence. The plausible idea about beliefs is that an agent may have two different beliefs in the same proposition representing different relations to that proposition - belief states. Different accounts of states of beliefs were proposed. The claim critically observed in the paper is that a change of belief may be explained as a change of either proposition believed or state of belief. It is argued that explanations of changes of beliefs in terms of changes in their states are reducible to explanations in terms of changes in their propositional contents. In particular it is argued that cases where changing beliefs are expressed by sentences with so called essential indexicals, which are considered to be cases of changing belief states, but not propositions, may be described as rather instances of changing belief's propositional contents. There is also the account of belief as triadic relation between believer, believed propositions and mode of its presentation by believers. According to it belief change may be represented as a change of the mode of presentation which preserves propositional content of the belief. Against this account it is argued that modes of presentation of propositions either does not in fact contribute to semantic contents of corresponding beliefs or may be assimilated by their propositional contents. It seems plausible that to be relevant to the belief change the information is to be at least available to a competent reflexive agent of the belief, and this information then may be added to a propositional content of that belief after some reflection.
15. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Ivan A. Karpenko Ivan A. Karpenko
The Notion of Space in Some Modern Physics Theories
The Notion of Space in Some Modern Physics Theories

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The article analyzes a number of modern physics approaches in different aspects, which are directly or indirectly affected by the problem of space. The variations of cosmologies based on the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, the theory of inflation, the holographic universe model, the model of the virtual universe, etc. and their scientifically validated combinations are examined for specifics of category of space interpretation in each case. In reliance to the historical and philosophical analys is the connection between the traditional interpretations of the concept of space in philosophy and the modern ones in physics is established. The context of some modern physical theories is concluded to bring new dimensions to the understanding of space (while retaining certain classical concepts).
16. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Dimitris Kilakos Димитрис Килакос
How Could Vygotsky Inform an Approach to Scientific Representations?
Применение идей Выготского в исследовании проблемы научных представлений

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In the quest for a new social turn in philosophy of science, exploring the prospects of a Vygotskian perspective could be of significant interest, especially due to Vugotsky ’s emphasis on the role of culture and socialisation in the development of cognitive functions. However, a philosophical reassessment of Vygotsky's ideas in general has yet to be done.As a step towards this direction, I attempt to elaborate an approach on scientific representations by drawing inspirations from Vygotsky. Specifically, I work upon Vygotsky's understanding on the nature and function of concepts, mediation and zone of proximal development.I maintain that scientific representations mediate scientific cognition in a tool-like fashion (Like Vygotsky's signs). Scientific representations are consciously acquired through deliberate inquiry in a specific context, where it turns to be part of a whole system, reflecting the social practices related to scientific inquiry, just scientific concepts do in Vygotsky's understanding. They surrogate the real processes or effects understudy, by conveying some of the features of the represented systems. Vygotsky's solution to the problem of the ontological status of concepts points to an analogous understanding for abstract models, which should be regarded neither as fictions nor as abstract objects.I elucidate these views by using the examples of the double-helix model of DNA structure and of the development of our understanding of the photoelectric effect.
17. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Olga Stoliarova О.Е. Столярова
MiIlieu, Embodiment, and Cultural Studies of Science: Comment on Rom Harre’s the Social Ingredients in All Ways of Acquiring Reliable Knowledge
Проблема телесного воплощения и исследование науки в контексте cultural studies

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The article discusses the concept of milieu in its connection with a problem of embodiment as it is today posed in the cultural studies of science. It is pointed out that if we take the embodied milieu as a precondition and result of our theoretical and practical activities, then it challenges the traditional sense of the word «social and, accordingly, the basic purposes of a social philosophy of science.
18. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1
Rom Harré Ром Харре
The Social Ingredients in All Ways of Acquiring Reliable Knowledge
Социальные основания получения надежного знания

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A distinction should be drawn between natural sciences and cultural studies such as psychology and history. A social philosophy of science must be based on bringing them into a fruitful relationship. What relations are possible? There is the role of natural science concepts and methods in cultural studies and the role of concepts and methods of cultural studies in natural science, determining standards of good work and particularly the choice oif domains of research with respect to human welfare. Cultural studies of natural science as an institution emphasises the importance of standards of excellence and of the role of rights and dutiesin the life of scientific institutions.
19. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 49 > Issue: 3
Alexander Ruser А. Рузер
Towards the Unity of Science Again?: Reductionist Thinking and it's Consequence for a Social Philosophy of Science
Назад к единству науки?

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At first glance the Idea of the “Unity of Science" seems to be of interest for historians of science only. However, given the expectations especially social scientists face today, to provide simple answers and feasible solutions to pressing social problems a revival of the idea is not unlikely. In particular “reductionist" ideas, aiming to adopt theoretical and methodological insight from the natural sciences thrive. This puts not only the project but also the very idea of a social philosophy of science in jeopardy. For, in consequence two of its main pillars, (1) considering the social and historic circumstance of knowledge production and (2) the need for developing a philosophy of the social sciences are equally rendered irrelevant. This contribution focuses on the fundamental flaws and shortcomings of such reductionist models, argues in favor of the disunity of science and thus defends the idea of a social philosophy of science.
20. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 49 > Issue: 3
Ivan Karpenko И.А. Карпенко
What is Time in Modern Physics?
Что такое время для современной физики?

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The problem of time is not an entirely physical problem. Physics itself does not contain a “time theory". That is particularly true in the sense that physics has not made any direct attempts to find the natural-science definition of the notion of time. Nevertheless, the concept of time emerges in science one way or another and still requires an explanation. Time fulfills an important role in the physics of XX and XXI centuries, though often a hidden one. Such a statement could be applied to both theories of macrocosm and microcosm. In the theory of relativity, time has been established as a secondary feature, a derivative of velocity and mass. However, it exists (although, as an illusion) and yet evokes the need of its philosophical interpretation. In quantum field theory time also (though implicitly) occurs according to the interpretation of the experiment results - for example, “where the particle was before its observation". Such “before"-cases indicate the very presence of time (more precisely, the observer's perception of its presence). Further theories, which have been the attempts to solve the problem of incompatibility of general relativity theory and quantum mechanics, such as the theory of loop quantum gravity, superstring theory, Shape Dynamics and others, also mention the concept of time. Time fulfills there a definite role and again evokes the question of its explanation in the frameworks of these theories. Most importantly, to find an exact meaning of this “time" term used here. This article deals with the problem of time in the context of several theories of modern physics. In particular, it attempts to give a definition of the term of time in relation to the philosophy of physics (physics itself does not characterize it). Such a task formulation has its relevance and novelty due to the facts that the discourse on the nature of time is still stipulated by Zeno's paradoxes, and the philosophy of science uses the obsolete vocabulary while describing the term. However, evidence suggests that modern physics has developed the new rules, or to be more precise, has stated the new principles, which the philosophy of science can not take into consideration without changing its vocabulary (the last also involves the modernization of intellectual intuition).