History and Philosophy

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Towards a history and philosophy of scientific education in practice

Towards a history and philosophy of scientific education in practice

The prioritisation of the situation and the situated nature of learning also have implications for the way we should study scientific education. To begin with, it invites us to take this situation (in the sense outlined above) into account if we want to have a full understanding of how people are educated as scientists. Moreover, if scientific education is to be seen as an initiation or an incorporation into a certain practice, and if (as we have seen) the stakes of practices are continuously contested, the nature of scientific education can also be expected to vary historically. Analyses of scientific education should take this historicity into consideration. The only hope for a philosophy of scientific education thus lies in an integrated history and philosophy of scientific education.
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SCHOOL OF DIVINITY, HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY POSTGRADUATE GUIDE.

SCHOOL OF DIVINITY, HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY POSTGRADUATE GUIDE.

The School of Divinity, History and Philosophy is a leading international provider of excellence in undergraduate and postgraduate education, at the heart of an ancient Scottish research-led University. We are located in Old Aberdeen, a beautiful and historic area, which provides a distinguished base for learning and research. Our international staff consists of over 70 lecturing and research-active members with world-leading academic credentials.

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Let's Change the Subject: Grounding Social Change in Indigenous HIstory and Philosophy

Let's Change the Subject: Grounding Social Change in Indigenous HIstory and Philosophy

Indigenous relational outlooks shaped their communities and political organizations differently from those in Europe. While indigenous political ideas helped to influence democracy later in the United States, specifically through exchanges with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Arnold, “Haudenosaunee Confederacy” 748; Bigtree 19-21), non-indigenous, Western political structures have remained strongly wedded to the idea of individualism, self-interest, male hierarchies, and capitalist politico-economic orientations. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, its values, and oral history have allowed something different to emerge, namely, a socio-political structure focused on peace, equality, and long- range ethical thinking supportive of the common good. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy developed a way of shaping its socio-political structures to preserve the best in all their people and to nurture fragile balances within the Confederacy, between other groups of people, and with the natural world. The Confederacy’s history and origins emphasize that it is through peace that life and relationships can flourish. Understanding this tradition better illustrates ways of relating that often are foreclosed in Western philosophy, politics, and economics; common U.S. approaches are not working, as is clear from environmental degradation, high violence rates, sexual assault, and other ways of harming human and nonhuman beings. Reflecting on and affirming Haudenosaunee history strengthens the ability to end cycles of violence.
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Towards a methodology for integrated history and philosophy of science

Towards a methodology for integrated history and philosophy of science

Abstract We respond to two kinds of skepticism about integrated history and philos- ophy of science: foundational and methodological. Foundational skeptics doubt that the history and the philosophy of science have much to gain from each other in prin- ciple. We therefore discuss some of the unique rewards of work at the intersection of the two disciplines. By contrast, methodological skeptics already believe that the two disciplines should be related to each other, but they doubt that this can be done successfully. Their worries are captured by the so-called dilemma of case studies: On one horn of the dilemma, we begin our integrative enterprise with philosophy and proceed from there to history, in which case we may well be selecting our his- torical cases so as to fit our preconceived philosophical theses. On the other horn, we begin with history and proceed to philosophical reflection, in which case we are prone to unwarranted generalization from particulars. Against worries about selec- tion bias, we argue that we routinely need to make explicit the criteria for choosing particular historical cases to investigate particular philosophical theses. It then be- comes possible to ask whether or not the selection criteria were biased. Against worries about unwarranted generalization, we stress the iterative nature of the pro- cess by which historical data and philosophical concepts are brought into alignment. The skeptics’ doubts are fueled by an outdated model of outright confirmation vs. outright falsification of philosophical concepts. A more appropriate model is one of stepwise and piecemeal improvement.
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Integrating History and Philosophy of Science

Integrating History and Philosophy of Science

But more to the point, where does all this leave the new enterprise we are initiating in Pittsburgh this weekend? Is there room for yet another permutation of the busy combination of H, P, and S? The aim of the new society is to promote work that blends history and philosophy of science in a single unified inquiry. The motif of integration could easily be misunderstood if it were taken to propose that history of science and philosophy of science should lose their separate identities as distinct ways of approach to the sciences, each with its own methods and concerns. This is clearly out of the question for a whole variety of reasons. No, the aim of our joint venture is much more modest. It is simply to secure a place for work that does further the interests of both sides simultaneously, without for a moment suggesting that this is the only model to be followed.
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Quantum mechanics and Indian philosophies: A contribution to the history and philosophy of science

Quantum mechanics and Indian philosophies: A contribution to the history and philosophy of science

In this paper we have study four quantum experiments that challenge the “common sense” of reality. In fact, in the 20 th century, the emergence of Quantum Mechanics and Transpersonal Psychology have contributed to challenge our “common sense” about the vision of the world. It is true that scientific progress have allowed us an improvement in our day to day life, but the core of the questions that were raised in the Introduction of this paper, still remain to be answered by contemporary society, such as What is the role of the human being in the Universe (the choice of the observer)? How we could explain the exceptional capabilities of the human brain (telepathic communication)?What is the purpose of Life (the perception of Life)?.In this regard, Prigogine (Prigogine and Stengers, 1986). suggested “a new alliance” between science (physics, biology, chemistry) and humanities/social sciences (history, philosophy, psychology) in order to answer the previousquestions in a transdisciplinary and in a deeper way.
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Traditional Knowledge as a Tool for Discussing History and Philosophy of Science in Teacher Education

Traditional Knowledge as a Tool for Discussing History and Philosophy of Science in Teacher Education

The research was developed as part of the activities in classes on the history of chemistry at a Brazilian federal university in the years 2013 and 2014. In these two years, 49 chemistry students had been enrolled in that discipline and all of them collaborated voluntarily in this study. As a first step, an investigation project was presented to be developed by the students as a final task. In this project, the students would need to identify traditional knowledge relating to chemistry that existed in their community. Then, the students would need to gather data on this knowledge by means of a field investigation. For this, they conducted interviews with a view to finding out about the topic, and about how and when people learned it. This field research lasted around two months and was carried out in groups of two or three students. In the meantime, theo- retical reference points regarding the history and philosophy of science were discussed.
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Between history and philosophy: Isaiah Berlin on political theory and hermeneutics

Between history and philosophy: Isaiah Berlin on political theory and hermeneutics

In reading Berlin as a hermeneutic theorist this thesis integrates what have been regarded as his writings on intellectual history – largely overlooked by the political theorists assessing his work – into his normative discourse. Doing this allows the inclusion of a normative neo- Kantian argument for liberalism that stands separate from value pluralism while at the same time inextricably linked to it. The genealogy of the fact/value distinction that Berlin presents is not anecdotal, but a central component of his argument for liberalism: only by becoming aware of the historical development of those ideals underpinning our ethical and political convictions can we affirm them or revise them: philosophy – or analytical philosophy – alone is not enough when it comes to human beings and societies. 97 TCL is a brilliant example of this, in which the notions of negative and positive liberty are not presented in the abstract but as part of genealogical developments, and it is precisely from their historical evolution that we can draw normative arguments for defending either one or the other. In the same way, by tracing back to Kant our current understanding of moral values and turning this into an unavoidable condition of our current historical moment – like one of Collingwood’s metaphysical presuppositions – it is possible to argue for the need of liberalism in the setting of value pluralism. That is to say, the sign of our time is not only that values are plural, and often incommensurable, but also that we conceive the meaning of value to be irrevocably linked with autonomy, and this cannot be reverted or denied. The main thrust of Berlin’s argument is methodological: his narrative is neither purely historicist, which would at most allow him to make a conservative argument about preserving the liberal status quo; nor purely philosophical, as it ends with the seeming logically irresolvable conflict between value pluralism, relativism and the argument in favour of liberalism. Berlin’s comprehensive defence of liberalism only makes complete sense if we approach his work hermeneutically.
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Towards a Mutually Beneficial Integration of History and Philosophy of Science: The Case of Jean Perrin

Towards a Mutually Beneficial Integration of History and Philosophy of Science: The Case of Jean Perrin

In this chapter, I argued for the necessity of the historicist-hermeneutic approach for achieving a mutually beneficial integration of History of Science and Philosophy of Science. Aspects of the historicist-hermeneutic approach have been supported by various scholars during the last fifty years. I demonstrated how this approach can be applied concretely to solve one of the most problematic case-studies in philosophy of science: the reasoning underlying Jean Perrin’s argument for molecular reality. I argued that Perrin’s was a case of multiple determination. Perrin put forward a no-coincidence argument for the existence of molecules, which was based on the agreement between multiple, independent determinations of Avogadro’s number (and consequently, other molecular magnitudes). The blunt rationale of the argument was the following: it would be a highly improbable coincidence for multiple, independent determinations of molecular magnitudes to achieve concordant results, and yet for there not to be any molecules. The careful application of the historicist-hermeneutic approach, however, shows that there were additional structural elements of Perrin’s argument that were responsible for its exceptional strength and, ultimately, for its success. They were the following:
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Bochenski and Balance: System and History in Analytic Philosophy

Bochenski and Balance: System and History in Analytic Philosophy

So if the point of cognitive philosophy is systematic, rather than therapeutic or merely analytic, what is the role of the history of philosophy? Do we not just have scientism back again, with a grandiose cosmological twist? No we do not, because unlike the optimists of early analytic philosophy from Frege and Russell to Carnap and Neurath, or early phenomenology from Brentano to Husserl, we do not pretend to have a magic key or formula, whether it be the logic of Principia, the Verification Principle, or the phenomenology of intentionality, which will unlock the mysteries of the universe, or more modestly, solve the ancient and recalcitrant problems of philosophy. Analytical systematics has to be modest and fallibilist through and through, while pushing away at those problems. Philosophical problems, known and unknown, remain hard for several reasons. One is our general intellectual limitation. Another is that unlike the case of science, where teamwork and massive funding helps a “can-do” mentality, philosophy is largely carried on by individuals in the time they can spare after university teaching and administration. The “arts and letters” status of philosophy, accompanied by the prejudice that the best philosophers are isolated geniuses and that cooperation and teamwork are somehow cheating, is a more considerable barrier to progress than even most professionals realise. Finally, there is the point that philosophical problems remain unsolved or unresolved in part because they are hard – not technically or combinatorially hard, like problems in mathematics, nor hard because they require outré and expensive experiments, but conceptually hard, because they typically revolve around just those deeply and complexly embedded concepts which make up the crooked backbone of our thinking. Such concepts cannot be isolated and treated separately like a virus in a test-tube. If you pull at one, lots of them move together.
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A Redescriptive History of Humanism and Hermeneutics in African Philosophy

A Redescriptive History of Humanism and Hermeneutics in African Philosophy

From the above, it would be grasped that we need to pay at- tention to creation and formation of concepts in African phi- losophy. A crucial problem that we need to tackle now is the problem of alternative theories to humanism and hermeneutics in the history of African Philosophy. There are strong argu- ments in favour of the position that contemporary African phi- losophy is discontinuous with its ancient origins. It can no longer be denied, however, that most contemporary African philosophers have turned their attention to concepts and theo- ries formulated by ancient thinkers and have explored the rele- vance of these concepts to contemporary problems. In line with this observation, we present three major contemporary African philosophers who have explored the orisa intellectual culture to establish this continuity. These three philosophers have the same cultural background; Yoruba cultural background, but we in no way claim here that this cultural background is the only cultural background through which the redescriptive of African philosophy could be enacted; it is just one among many of such cultural background.
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The Decisive Role Played by Leibniz in the History of Both Science and Philosophy of Knowledge

The Decisive Role Played by Leibniz in the History of Both Science and Philosophy of Knowledge

The crucial problem of Western philosophy of knowledge was to recognize its foundations. By comparing past mathematical and physical theories I have ob- tained a new conception of the foundations of science. In the above a dichotomy regarding the two main kinds of logic was exemplified in a crucial case-study of the history of philosophy. In addition, in Mathematics some decades ago a long and obscure work achieved a new formalization of calculus and more in general of the whole of Mathematics; this constructive mathematics is new to the extent that it avoids (almost all) idealistic notions (Markov, 1962; Bishop, 1967). At present, although its premises are incompatible with those of classical mathe- matics, it is considered by mathematicians to be on a par with classical mathe- matics. I conclude that the foundations of science include two basic dichotomies, one in mathematics and the other in logic (Drago, 1987; Drago, 1996).
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Experimental philosophy and the history of philosophy

Experimental philosophy and the history of philosophy

have the intuitions that they do. By studying these processes, experimental philosophers take themselves to be getting at certain fundamental issues about the way people ordinarily understand their world… Perhaps the claim [from analytic philosophers] is that research on the most fundamental concepts people use to understand themselves and their world doesn’t really count as “philosophy.” But this claim seems a bit hopeless and bizarre. It is not as though experimental philosophers are involved in some sort of radical departure from the traditional problems of philosophy. In fact the chronology is just the opposite. For most of the history of philosophy, questions about human nature and the nature of cognition were absolutely central. Then, for a comparatively brief period, many philosophers forsook these problems in favor of problems that had a more technical character. Experimental philosophy now seeks a return to the traditional problems of philosophy, the problems that played such a prominent role in the work of Plato, Aristotle and so many of their successors. (Knobe 2007, 89-91)
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A Non-Linear History of the Sitar: Applied Philosophy and the Ethnographic Gaze

A Non-Linear History of the Sitar: Applied Philosophy and the Ethnographic Gaze

contradictions as well as occasional points of congruity between these but I believe that the new acceptance of realist and materialist stances require a through assessing of pathways out of the dislocated and disembodied post- modern ideologies. This non-linear history of the sitar will foreground issues of causality, ontological categories, the nature of agency, history, temporality, and be applied to historical, cultural, linguistic, and musical issues. The sitar, as object, is situated in a body of cultural practices that must be understood on their own terms, which, according to Turner “[Practices,] it would appear, are the vanishing point of twentieth-century philosophy” (1994: 1). While “practice” per se does not form the substance of this discourse, it points to a pernicious problem in some contemporary philosophies, stemming from the denial of essence and Being.
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Continental Philosophy Commons Esthetics Commons History of Philosophy Commons Metaphysics Commons Philosophy of Language Commons , and the Philosophy of Mind Commons

Continental Philosophy Commons Esthetics Commons History of Philosophy Commons Metaphysics Commons Philosophy of Language Commons , and the Philosophy of Mind Commons

Deleuze's foremost concern in his early work is to establish a transcendental field adequate to real experience (transcendental empiricism). Given this, when confronted with the metaphysical impasses involved in language's relation to both bodies and ideas, Deleuze finds in the dimension of expression (or sense) a third term capable of reconnecting the two great lost worlds of the history of philosophy, but without, for all that, producing a higher term, capable of unifying supposed opposites. The surface—the geographical avatar of the metaphysics of sense—inheres both to the body and to the Idea, but remains irreducible to each. It connects one to the other, and language to each. For Deleuze, thought's consistency, a way of thinking has an orientation before having an object; “...[tracing] dimensions before constructing systems.” (LoS, 127). The dimension of expression (sense) in language (which is at the same time, not merely linguistic, but is also the logical attribute of the body or state of affairs), presupposes a metaphysics of surface, an orientation on this surface. This metaphysics in turn presupposes a distinction between its philosophically traditional rivals, and the terms which correspond and are proper to them, since the surface does not exist independently of a depth and a height (or a body and a proposition). Thus, a brief elaboration of metaphysical depth, surface, and height will provide us with the necessary context for the common theme of sense in Wittgenstein and Deleuze.
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Nature and history : towards a hermeneutic philosophy of historiography of science

Nature and history : towards a hermeneutic philosophy of historiography of science

E) Second, even if we ‘side’ with a particular party in the sense that in some relevant aspects we believe it to be relatively close to our own perspective, this does not mean that we should be less able to explain why in a particular context such a perspective would be relatively weak. It is perfectly well possible for convinced atheists not to remain puzzled by the question of why atheism is a minority position throughout most of history. Similarly, it is conceivable that we agree more with Galileo than with the Pope about the relative accuracy of the Ptolemaic and the Copernican systems, but that we can still fully understand why in a particular controversy Galileo’s arguments would fail against those of the Pope – fail, not only because of factors ‘extrinsic’ to the debate (such as the coercive powers of the Church), but also because of the intellectual context; because what was at stake was not just the question of heliocentricity or geocentricity, but the question of how to do natural philosophy, and in connection with this, the question of how to do theology, and ethics – at stake were, loosely speaking, different paradigms, neither of which we completely identify with. Once we realize this, the fact that we happen to believe, with Galileo, that it is more accurate to say that the earth goes round the sun than that the sun goes round the earth does not significantly distort our view of the controversy.
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A Retrieval of Historicism: Frank Ankersmit's Philosophy of History and Politics

A Retrieval of Historicism: Frank Ankersmit's Philosophy of History and Politics

Frank Ankersmit is often perceived as a postmodern thinker, as a European Hayden White, or as an author whose work in political philosophy can safely be ignored by those interested only in his philosophy of history. Although none of these perceptions is entire- ly wrong, they are of little help in understanding the nature of Ankersmit’s work and the sources on which it draws. Specifically, they do not elucidate the extent to which Anker- smit raises questions different from White’s, finds himself inspired by continental Euro- pean traditions, responds to specifically Dutch concerns, and is as active as a public intel- lectual as he has been prolific in philosophy of history. In order to propose a more com- prehensive and balanced interpretation of Ankersmit’s work, this article offers a contex- tual reading based largely on Dutch-language sources, some of which are unknown even in the Netherlands. The thesis advanced is that Ankersmit draws consistently on nine- teenth-century German historicism as interpreted by Friedrich Meinecke and advocated by his Groningen teacher, Ernst Kossmann. Without forcing each and every element of Ankersmit’s oeuvre into a historicist mold, the article demonstrates that some of its most salient aspects can profitably be read as attempts at translating and modifying historicist key notions into late twentieth-century categories. Also, without creating a father myth of the sort that White helped create around his teacher William Bossenbrook, the article argues that Ankersmit at crucial moments in his intellectual trajectory draws on texts and authors central to Kossmann’s research interests.
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2015 Mark Sacks Lecture Williams, History, and ‘the Impurity of Philosophy’

2015 Mark Sacks Lecture Williams, History, and ‘the Impurity of Philosophy’

One lesson to be drawn from the centrality of historical understanding in Williams' later work is that the proper philosophical resistance to various ideologies of reduction does not lie in a claim to the self-defining autonomy of human forms of self-understanding, and cannot be found in the isolation of these forms from their historical and indeed biological embeddedness. Actual examples of historical understanding of human affairs and human practices show what it looks like in practice to negotiate the tension between ‘saving the phenomena’, where that means preserving the internal understanding of these practices, and at the same time showing the temporality, the partiality, and the contradictions of that internal understanding itself. The study of history as a distinctive form of understanding has never occupied a central place in analytic philosophy, and its absence from philosophical imagination contributes directly to an impoverished sense of the space of alternatives in understanding human practices and
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From Kant to Sade : a fragment of the history of philosophy in the dialectic of enlightenment

From Kant to Sade : a fragment of the history of philosophy in the dialectic of enlightenment

Horkheimer and Adorno’s account of how certain ideas and principles found in Sade’s novels make explicit the practical implications of key aspects of Kant’s philosophy has, not surprisingly, been challenged. It has been argued that although Sade should indeed be granted a place in the history of philosophy, this history of philosophy cannot seriously be regarded as one that proceeds from Kant’s philosophy to the novels of Sade, with the transition in question being explained in terms of a common obsession with purely formal structures. It is here pointed out that in the case of Kant the claim that a concern with formal structures means that reason has no substantial goals of its own is obviously mistaken, because ‘[o]nly the hastiest reading of Kant’s work could miss his attack on instrumental conceptions of reason’, whereas for him ‘the real task of reason is precisely to set ends’ (Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought, 193). This criticism will be shown partly to miss its target, however, by equating a purely formal conception of reason with instrumental reason. Moreover, even if Kant does seek to explain how pure practical reason is capable of setting its own unconditionally valid ends in the form of moral duties, and how reason is not, therefore, purely instrumental in character, Horkheimer and Adorno are primarily concerned with his account of theoretical reason. They in fact dismiss Kant’s moral theory as an example of bourgeois bad conscience, as ‘a horror of relapsing into barbarism’ (DA, 108; DE, 67). Therefore, if we are to judge the intelligibility of Horkheimer and Adorno’s account of the relation between Kant’s philosophy and the novels of Sade, we must begin with Kant’s account of theoretical reason. Thus, even if aspects of Kant’s moral philosophy do feature in the Second Excursus, any references to them must first be traced back to his theoretical philosophy. It is in Sade’s novels that for Horkheimer and Adorno the practical implications of key elements of Kant’s theoretical philosophy become explicit, whereas they regard Kant’s moral philosophy not only as a case of bourgeois bad conscience, but also as something that lacks any essential relation to the theoretical conception of reason encountered in the Critique of Pure Reason. Hence Horkheimer and Adorno’s statement that Kant’s ‘attempt to derive the duty of mutual respect from a law of reason, although more cautious than any other such undertaking in Western philosophy, has no support within the Critique’ (DA, 108; DE, 67). 5
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Michael Beaney (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Analytic Philosophy

Michael Beaney (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Analytic Philosophy

Russell called it the ‘philosophical approach’ and we call it ‘ra- tional reconstruction’, its aim being to examine a philosopher as ‘the advocate of what he holds to be a body of philosophic truth’, as Russell put it in his book on Leibniz. It was the exclusive appli- cation of this approach that was for long the recognized way for analytic philosophers to engage with history. The last thirty years or so have testified to a historical turn in analytic philosophy, whereby the analytic tradition itself has been subjected to philo- sophical analysis by means of more sophisticated tools of interpre- tation. But more than that, a good case can be made for the claim that philosophical inquiry itself has an intrinsically historical di- mension to it. This is what Beaney argues for, and he offers four considerations to back up the claim. First, philosophical terminol- ogy is created and shaped by past use, and is inevitably contested; so clarification requires engagement with the past. Second, philo- sophical positions and problems are independent of articulation by particular philosophers, but only in local contexts fixed in part by shared presuppositions that can be relied upon in philosophical exchanges. Third, there’s the realization that large segments of contemporary philosophy involve engagement with colleagues from the past; there’s no such thing as breathing in a philosophical vacuum. Fourth, philosophizing always presupposes some sort of underlying narrative which is historical in character and with the help of which one puts oneself in the historical space of philosoph- ical traditions. This narrative is typically, even inevitably, dictated by ‘shadow histories’. To the extent that analytic philosophers recognize traditional analytic values, such as truth and clarity, then they cannot but engage with their own history, and do so in a serious way.
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