An Epistemology of the Concrete brings together case studies and theoretical reflections on the history and epistemology of the life sciences by Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, one of the world’s foremost philosophers of science. In these essays, he examines the history of experiments, concepts, model organisms, instruments, and the gamut of epistemological, institutional, political, and social factors that determine the actual course of the development of knowledge. Building on ideas from his influential book Toward a History of Epistemic Things, Rheinberger first considers ways of historicizing scientific knowledge, and then explores different configurations of genetic experimentation in the first half of the twentieth century and the interaction between apparatuses, experiments, and concept formation in molecular biology in the second half of the twentieth century. He delves into fundamental epistemological issues bearing on the relationship between instruments and objects of knowledge, laboratory preparations as a special class of epistemic objects, and the note-taking and write-up techniques used in research labs. He takes up topics ranging from the French “historical epistemologists” Gaston Bachelard and Georges Canguilhem to the liquid scintillation counter, a radioactivity measuring device that became a crucial tool for molecular biology and biomedicine in the 1960s and 1970s. Throughout An Epistemology of the Concrete, Rheinberger shows how assemblages—historical conjunctures—set the conditions for the emergence of epistemic novelty, and he conveys the fascination of scientific things: those organisms, spaces, apparatuses, and techniques that are transformed by research and that transform research in turn.
By systematically uncovering and comprehensively examining the epistemological implications of Heidegger's history of being and Foucault's archaeology of discursive formations, Towards an Epistemology of Ruptures shows how Heidegger and Foucault significantly expand the notions of knowledge and thought. This is done by tracing their path-breaking responses to the question: What is the object of thought? The book shows how for both thinkers thought is not just the act by which the object is represented in an idea, and knowledge not just a state of the mind of the individual subject corresponding to the object. Each thinker, in his own way, argues that thought is a productive event in which the subject and the object gain their respective identity and knowledge is the opening up of a space in which the subject and object can encounter each other and in which true and false statements about an object become possible. They thereby lay the ground for a new conceptual framework for rethinking the very relationship between knowledge and its object.
The first part of this book is of an epistemological nature and develops an original theory of scientific objectivity, understood in a weak sense (as intersubjective agreement among the specialists) and a strong sense (as having precise concrete referents). In both cases it relies upon the adoption of operational criteria designed within the particular perspective under which any single science considers reality. The “object” so attained has a proper ontological status, dependent on the specific character of the criteria of reference (regional ontologies). This justifies a form of scientific realism. Such perspectives are also the result of a complex cultural-historical situation. The awareness of such a “historical determinacy” of science justifies including in the philosophy of science the problems of ethics of science, relations of science with metaphysics and social dimensions of science that overstep the traditional restriction of the philosophy of science to an epistemology of science. It is to this “context” that the second part of the book is devoted.
Language Arts & Disciplines by Jennifer Daryl Slack
This international collection explores the role of ideology in the information age, challenging the dominant ideology of the information age through examinations of its philosophical and theoretical assumptions, its images of the future, and its international dimensions.
"An original international collaboration, To Stake a Claim researches the relationship between what counted for "knowledge" in the West, how this knowledge has changed over the years, and how those changes related to the mission of the church as an evangelizer within Western culture." "Examining four key areas of study, To Stake a Claim evaluates the dominant positions in contemporary philosophy regarding truth, rationality and pluralism. It first analyzes consequences for humanity that holding these positions implies. Next, it looks at faith, religion and revelation in the context of the dominant positions of contemporary philosophy discussed in the first part. The third part explores the dominant positions of contemporary theology. Finally, it summarizes the epistemological problems involved in the process of communicating the Gospel within Western culture and evaluates the theological and missiological views of this communication."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
These two volumes contain all of my articles published between 1956 and 1975 which might be of interest to readers in the English-speaking world. The first three essays in Vol. 1 deal with historical themes. In each case I as far as possible, meets con have attempted a rational reconstruction which, temporary standards of exactness. In The Problem of Universals Then and Now some ideas of W.V. Quine and N. Goodman are used to create a modern sketch of the history of the debate on universals beginning with Plato and ending with Hao Wang's System L. The second article concerns Kant's Philosophy of Science. By analyzing his position vis-a-vis I. Newton, Christian Wolff, and D. Hume, it is shown that for Kant the very notion of empirical knowledge was beset with a funda mental logical difficulty. In his metaphysics of experience Kant offered a solution differing from all prior as well as subsequent attempts aimed at the problem of establishing a scientific theory. The last of the three historical papers utilizes some concepts of modern logic to give a precise account of Wittgenstein's so-called Picture Theory of Meaning. E. Stenius' interpretation of this theory is taken as an intuitive starting point while an intensional variant of Tarski's concept of a relational system furnishes a technical instrument. The concepts of inodel world and of logical space, together with those of homomorphism and isomorphism be tween model worlds and between logical spaces, form the conceptual basis of the reconstruction.
This book approaches Hegel from the standpoint of what we might call the question of knowledge. Hegel, of course, had no "theory of knowledge" in the narrow and abstract sense in which it has come to be understood since Locke and Kant. "The examination of knowledge," he holds, "can only be carried out by an act of knowledge," and "to seek to know before we know is as absurd as the wise resolution of Scholasticus, not to venture into the water until he had learned to swim. " * While Hegel wrote no treatise exclusively devoted to epistemology, his entire philosophy is nonetheless a many-faceted theory of truth, and thus our title - Beyond Epistemology - is meant to suggest a return to the classical meaning and relation of the terms episteme and logos. I had originally planned to include a lengthy introduction for these essays, setting out Hegel's general view of philosophic truth. But as the papers came in, it became clear that I had chosen my contributors too well; indeed, they have all but put me out of business. In any case, it gives me great pleasure to have been able to gather this symposium of outstanding Hegel scholars, to provide for them a forum on a common theme of great importance, and especially, thanks to Arnold Miller, to have Hegel himself among them. Frederick G. Weiss Charlottesville, Va. • The Logic of Hegel, trans. from the Etu;yclopaedta by William Wallace. 2nd ed.
Years ago, prompted by Grize, Apostel and Papert, we undertook the study of functions, but until now we did not properly understand the relations between functions and operations, and their increasing interactions at the level of 'constituted functions'. By contrast, certain recent studies on 'constitutive functions', or preoperatory functional schemes, have convinced us of the existence of a sort of logic of functions (springing from the schemes of actions) which is prior to the logic of operations (drawn from the general and reversible coordinations between actions). This preoperatory 'logic' accounts for the very general, and until now unexplained, primacy of order relations between 4 and 7 years of age, which is natural since functions are ordered dependences and result from oriented 'applications'. And while this 'logic' ends up in a positive manner in formalizable structures, it has gaps or limitations. Psychologically, we are interested in understanding the systemƯ atic errors due to this primacy of order, such ·as the undifferentiation of 'longer' and 'farther', or the non-conservations caused by ordinal estimations (of levels, etc.), as opposed to extensive or metric evaluations. In a sense which is psychologically very real, this preoperatory logic of constitutive functions represents only the first half of operatory logic, if this can be said, and it is reversibility which allows the construction of the other half by completing the initial one-way structures.