Philosophische Überlegungen zum Verhältnis von sprachlichem und nicht-sprachlichem Verstehen
Author: Dirk Schröder
Was heißt es, etwas zu verstehen? Dieses Buch verfolgt das Ziel, einen Beitrag zu einer Theorie des Verstehens zu leisten, indem es einen Ausschnitt aus dem Bereich der Objekte und Formen des Verstehens untersucht.
Die Schwerpunkte liegen dabei auf dem Verstehen einer Sprache und dem Verstehen nicht-sprachlicher Praktiken. Der Autor setzt sich mit einer Reihe von Positionen und Argumenten aus der neueren, insbesondere analytischen Philosophie der Sprache, des Geistes und der Erkenntnis auseinander, greift aber auch Gedanken aus der klassischen sowie philosophischen Hermeneutik auf. Gegen verbreitete Ansichten argumentiert er, dass Verstehen von Wissen zu unterscheiden und grundsätzlich als Fähigkeit zu erklären ist, die im Rahmen sprachlicher, aber auch sprachunabhängiger Praktiken ausgeübt werden kann. Verstehen begreift er als praktische Form der Erkenntnis, die auf sprachlichen und nicht-sprachlichen Sinn zielt.
The Sorites Paradox and the Nature and Logic of Vague Language
Author: Inga Bones
This book reassesses philosophical approaches to linguistic vagueness, a puzzling feature of natural language that gives rise to the ancient Sorites paradox.
The paradox consists in three claims: (1) One grain of sand does not make a heap. (2) One billion grains of sand do make a heap. (3) For any two amounts of sand differing by at most one grain: either both are heaps of sand, or neither one is.
Claim (3) is rendered plausible by an initial conviction that vague predicates like ‘heap’ tolerate small changes. The repeated application of a tolerance principle to claim (2), however, yields the further proposition that one grain of sand does make a heap – which contradicts claim number one. Consequently, many philosophers reject or modify tolerance principles for vague predicates.
Inga Bones reassesses prominent responses to the Sorites and defends a Wittgensteinian dissolution of the paradox. She argues that vague predicates are, indeed, tolerant and discusses how this finding relates to the paradox itself, to the notion of validity and to the concept of a borderline case.
A Sceptical Theory of Scientific Inquiry: Problems and Their Progress presents a distinctive re-interpretation of Popper’s ‘critical rationalism’, displaying the kind of spirit found at the L.S.E. before Popper’s retirement. It offers an alternative to interpretations of critical rationalism which have emphasised the significance of research programmes or metaphysics (Lakatos; Nicholas Maxwell), and is closer to the approach of Jagdish Hattiangadi. Briskman gives priority to methodological argument rather than logical formalisms, and takes further his own work on creativity. In addition to offering an important contribution to the understanding of critical rationalism, the book contains interesting engagements with Michael Polanyi and the Meno Paradox. This volume also contains an introduction by the editor, which situates Briskman’s work in the history of the interpretation of ‘critical rationalism’.
This book examines the tension between formal and informal methods in philosophy. The rise of analytic philosophy was accompanied by the development of formal logic and many successful applications of formal methods. But analytical philosophy does not rely on formal methods alone. Elements of broadly understood informal logic and logical semiotics, procedures used in natural sciences and humanities, and various kinds of intuition also belong to the philosopher’s toolkit. Papers gathered in the book concern the opposition formality–informality as well as other pairs, such as methodology versus metaphilosophy, interdisciplinarity versus intradisciplinarity, and methodological uniformity versus diversity of sciences. Problems of the nature of logic and the explanatory role of mathematical theories are also discussed.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to sketch out three methods of dealing with philosophical questions used by members of the Lvov-Warsaw School. These methods are: analysis of concepts, paraphrase of theses, and axiomatization of theories. In the first part of the paper, we provide a rudimentary analysis of the concept of method. We point to the fact that in order to characterize a certain research method, one has to indicate the aim of applying it, list its stages, and reconstruct its underlying conceptual scheme. In the second part of the paper, we describe analysis, paraphrase and axiomatization in terms of aims, steps, and conceptual tools. We also present some examples of applications of these methods in works by Kazimierz Twardowski, Jan Łukasiewicz, Tadeusz Kotarbiński, Tadeusz Czeżowski, and Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz.

In: Formal and Informal Methods in Philosophy

Abstract

Although mathematical logic is considered a precise tool for solving philosophical issues, it has its own drawbacks. This paper illustrates one of these possible issues by drawing on the example of two philosophers, Jan L. Łukasiewicz and Arthur N. Prior. The two shared many similar views, as well as the conviction that mathematical logic should be used in philosophy. In addition, both were interested in the history of philosophy and both tried to deny determinism and formulate claims to support future contingency. For a certain time, Prior even adopted Łukasiewicz’s system of many-valued logic and was a defender of it. However, after developing his system of temporal logic Prior was more reserved towards Łukasiewicz’s system and formulated several objections to it. While Prior was, in his later works, a proponent of intensional logic and nominalism, Łukasiewicz insisted that any decent system of modal logic had to be extensional. There are also hints that Łukasiewicz may have adopted a Platonist position, even though Łukasiewicz himself was not willing to discuss these philosophical questions in his work. In contrast, Prior was a nominalist. As a result, they postulated divergent systems of logic for solving similar philosophical issues.

In: Formal and Informal Methods in Philosophy

Abstract

The presented paper contains a justification for the view that the concept of the normative nature of logic can be reduced to certain well-known metalogic properties of inference relation. We consider a class of propositional logics identified with corresponding consequence operation used to define an inference relation. An inference pair which is valid or generally verifiable guarantees the reliability of a given reasoning, which is an interpretation of this pair. To phrase the description of such reasonings in normative terms, we can say that they respect the norms of a given logic, or that the logic is normative with respect to them. Our approach gives quite a simple and clear meta-scientific explanation of the concept, which sometimes is a subject of misleading philosophical associations.

In: Formal and Informal Methods in Philosophy
Author: Tadeusz Szubka

Abstract

The Polish-born British philosopher Kazimierz (known as Casimir) Lewy (1919–1991) was an inspiring and influential lecturer and reader at the University of Cambridge who significantly contributed to the intellectual formation of a number of British philosophers in the second half of the twentieth century. He was a characteristically analytic philosopher along the lines of his Cambridge mentors, in particular G. E. Moore and John Wisdom. However, his philosophical interests arose in Warsaw through encounters with the writings and lectures of Tadeusz Kotarbiński. Even though Lewy was well acquainted with the tradition of Polish analytic philosophy, embodied in the Lvov-Warsaw School, and discussed it occasionally in his work, he was rather resistant to it. This paper provides an account of Lewy’s exposure to that school, and then suggests what the rationale of this resistance could be. Its sources are discerned in: (1) Lewy’s unrepentant affirmation of the existence of abstract objects, including concepts and propositions, and of modalities; (2) his flexible approach to logic and deference to the ordinary notion of entailment, and (3) his conception of philosophical analysis along the lines of G. E. Moore.

In: Formal and Informal Methods in Philosophy

Abstract

We find pioneering conceptions of philosophical analysis in the works of George Edward Moore and Jan Łukasiewicz, the most eminent representatives of analytic philosophy. While the views of the first are widely known and have been repeatedly and extensively commented on, Łukasiewicz’s conception has unfortunately not provoked many comments or studies. In this article, I would like to reconstruct Łukasiewicz’s theory of conceptual analysis, present its motivation and weaknesses, and show its influence on the development of the semiotic method of analysis in the Lvov-Warsaw School.

In: Formal and Informal Methods in Philosophy

Abstract

The so-called classical “Methodenstreit,” which originated in economics with Carl Menger and Gustav Schmoller in 1883 was followed by several variants beginning with the historical sciences in the last decade of the 19th century. One highly contested question in terms of methodology was the existence, role and function of laws in history and the cultural sciences as necessary elements of any possible historical (causal) explanation – an alternative methodology to an exclusively intuitive understanding (Verstehen) claimed by the proponents of German historicism (Historismus) and the humanities (Geisteswissenschaften).

Throughout further methodological debates during the last century we can see the recurrence of similar topics in the sciences as well as in the philosophy of science in different contexts without any consensus about the basic dispute. The following article is an attempt to reconstruct this ongoing debate in more detail and to provide a first overview of the several variants of Methodenstreit with the continuous central question, whether there is one unified science as a regulative conception covering humanities with one scientific method or not. To date, the research literature is dealing only with specific manifestations of this issue.

My argument is that the main issues recurring in the history and philosophy of science of the 20th century are manifestations of central, still unresolved methodological and epistemological problems which can be investigated from a meta-theoretical as well as a contextual point of view.

In: Formal and Informal Methods in Philosophy