Working Sessions | Epistemology and Philosophy of Science

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Kripke's Sceptical Wittgenstein: Reality or Illusion?

Andrei Alexandru Achim
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

The present paper presents one of the better known pictures of a sceptical Wittgenstein, that of Saul Kripke, in the context of strong arguments against this perspective, in an ongoing debate in contemporary philosophy. Our intention is to present the entire spectrum of propositions, from Kripke's apology of "his" sceptical Wittgenstein to those of the most virulent critics, who deny Wittgenstein even remotely being sceptic and seeing Kripke's undertaking as a mere illusion.

Is intentionality the mark of the mental for Thomas Aquinas?

Elena Baltuta
Academia Română, Filiala Iași

ACKNOWLEDGE MENT: This paper was made within The Knowledge Based Society Project supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU 89/1.5/S/ 56815”

Common knowledge helps us deal with the challenges of everyday life. For instance, red light signals that one should not cross the street, while the green light means one can safely cross it. Every once in a while though, common knowledge must at least put into question: when crossing the street in the UK, for example, one must not look first to left, but to right. Though the repercussions are not as striking as they can be in an unfortunate case of the previous example, the sentence “intentionality is the mark of the mental” is a classical example of philosophical common knowledge which would better be examined before stated. Since Brentano first asserted in Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint that “every mental phenomenon is characterized by what the Scholastics of the Middle Ages called the intentional (or mental) inexistence of an object” some scholars tend to believe that in the Middle Ages intentionality was indeed the mark of the mental. But the inference is far from being right and my lecture will try to prove that for at least one medieval thinker, Thomas Aquinas, it was not intentionality, but immateriality that played a more important role in distinguishing between mental and physical phenomena.   

The methodological role and the ontological status of invariance (symmetry) principles

Constantin-Cosmin Brincus
Faculty of Philosophy -University of Bucharest

The aim of this paper is to explain the notion of ‘law of nature’ on the basis of the method of invariance under a group of transformations elaborated by the German mathematician Felix Klein. The explanation will be configured in analogy with that proposed by Alfred Tarski who used the same method to explain the logical notions. Through the presence of this method-idea in logic, mathematics, physics I will sustain the methodological role of principles of invariance in determining a scientific discipline by defining its central concepts. After an analysis of the principles of invariance (symmetry) in physics, I will argue that there are reasons to believe that these principles are not just theoretical instruments, but they have a real existence in the physical world. Finally, I will conclude by defining the notion of ‘law of nature’ through Klein’s method.

Jean - Luc Marion: The Principle of Donation and its Transcendental Nature

Cosma Tudor Purnavel
Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza

it is common today to consider that Marion's philosophy resenblances a piece of clothmade out of the most eclectic strands: a phenomenological, a theological and an exegetical one. An important part of those that acknowledge this situation will also state that Marion's phenomenological impetus is corrupted by alien elements to phenomenology itself, most importantly those that are theological in nature. Consequently his phenomenology is dismissed on account of the fact that the place of the old and venerable specter of phenomenology - zurück zu den Sachen selbst - has been usurped by a God in disguise. Those that defend this interpretation will also contend that the principle of donation plays the role of a Trojan horse, sent by the theological army to conquer the phenomenological fortress. Even though I myself do not consider this interpretation to be very far from the truth, my intent is to put it out of action and to question the principle of donation in itself. The neutralization of the thesis that equates donation with God will help us to determine the status that the former plays in Marion's philosophy. Along this line I will try to show that the principle in question has a transcendental dignity. Precisely at this point Marion's philosophy clashes most violently with Husserl's phenomenology, for the latter is distinguished by the fact that it sees only the subject as having a transcendental role, an acknowledgement that leads to the setting up of certain limitations to experience. These limitations - e.g. the horizon - are in fact transcendental conditions of possibility that remove the principle of donation from its transcendental position. My contention is that Marion, in order to overcome the Husserlian subject, will introduce the doctrine of the saturate phenomenon, whose actuality is to be found in the eidetic intuition.

The Being of History, the Play of Différance and the Problem of Misunderstanding

Adrian-Ioan Costache
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

Beginning with the second decade of the last century, after a fierce critique of W. Dilthey and the Historical School’s epistemological approach, philosophical hermeneutics has assumed the position of “official” philosophy of history of our times. However, in our previous work we have shown that philosophical hermeneutics is not actually able to give a better answer to “What is history?” than that already offered by the Historical School. Now we would like to show that its answer to the other fundamental question of the philosophy of history - “How is history to be known?” - is even more problematic, making historical science impossible. For if the being of history really is tradition as philosophical hermeneutics argues, and if the essence of tradition is language then, on the one hand, the very stability of historical meaning presupposed by any epistemological process will always be displaced by the play of what Derrida calls “différance,” the ceaseless differentiation of the signifiers and signifieds. And, on the other hand, even if historical meaning were stable enough so as to be known, it could not be grasped because, we will try to argue, the process of understanding as philosophical hermeneutics describes it is always permeated by misunderstanding.

Epistemologic Aspects in Vision

Mihaela Costin
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

In order to model human vision towards artificial and robot vision we are implementing models, using image processing techniques. As a branch of philosophy that studies knowledge, epistemology attempts to answer the questions referring to what distinguishes true (adequate) knowledge from false (inadequate) knowledge. Achieving the ultimate goals of “computer vision” would require extensive knowledge of the nature of consciousness. Visual perception and cognition are relevant to conceive visual models for environment scenes. Interpreting and analysing real scenes suppose meta-knowledge that automatic systems are supposed to intrinsically contain. Even human eye might sometimes confound parts of the environmentally scenes. Exploring these images based on prior knowledge might be the clue for correctly survey of landscape images, surrounding environment or other aspects of vision. A detailed explore and analyse of these aspects might help in automatic interpretation and formalisation of visual knowledge.

Diagonal Structures in Logical and Philosophical Argumentation

Virgil Draghici
Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The present paper is a re-thinking of some fundamental conceptual pairs from the point of view of Cantor’s idea of diagonalization. More definite, it will be argued why the Artificial Intelligence (IT) stance referring to the intuitive-formal relation cannot be a right solution, why the Lucas/Penrose Argument must be reconsidered and why the German phenomenological distinction “das wesentliche Denken” – “das rechnende Denken” is an inconsistent one. Finally, the consequences of my proposal for a coherent theory of vagueness (concerning the relation precise-vague) will be drawn and an argument against paraconsistency will be given.

Artificial Intelligence and The Extended Mind Hypothesis

Ioan-Claudiu Farcaș
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

"The extended mind" or "the supersized mind" refer to the hypothesis proposed by Andy Clark, according to which the relationship between the mind and the world should be reassessed by the fact that the mind is not restricted to the biological substrate (brain, body), but extends outside it, thus the environment becoming - not only in an instrumental manner - a part of the cognition process, a part of the mind itself. This way of understanding the mind can become a new stance in which artificial intelligence can be reevaluated.

Le problème de la méthode chez Ferdinand Gonseth et Karl Popper. Sur l’esquisse comparative de Zdenek Kouřim

Isac Ionuţ-Constantin
Académie Roumaine, branche Iaşi, ROUMANIE

 Cet ouvrage a été rédigé dans le cadre du projet La société de la connaissance soutenu par le Programme Opérationnel Sectoriel de Développement des Ressources Humaines (POS DRU), financé par le Fonds Européen Social (FSE) et le Gouvernement roumain, sous le numéro de contract POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

Dr. Isac Ionuţ-Constantin est tuteur dans le projet La société de la connaissance soutenu par le Programme Opérationnel Sectoriel de Développement des Ressources Humaines (POS DRU), financé par le Fonds Européen Social (FSE) et le Gouvernement roumain, sous le numéro de contract POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815.  

Résumé. Les discussions contemporaines sur le problème de la méthode contiennent un épisode très intéressant qui concerne l’analyse comparative de la philosophie ouverte de Ferdinand Gonseth et le rationalisme critique de Karl Popper, analyse menée par Zdenek Kouřim, philosophe tchèque de langue française. Comme nous pouvons le constater, en dépit de son actualité et de son enjeu majeur pour une meilleure compréhension des problèmes philosophiques capitaux, celui-ci est un sujet rarement débattu. Or, comme l’a déjà dit Pierre-Marie Pouget dans son commentaire sur cette démarche analytique, le rôle de la méthodologie dans les œuvres des deux penseurs est très différent. Ainsi, tandis que chez Popper la méthode ne saurait surmonter ni la distance entre les sciences et la philosophie, ni celle entre la méthode de la recherche et la recherche de la méthode, chez Gonseth ces deux tâches s’enchevêtrent d’une manière unique dans la philosophie du XXème siècle, en éliminant tant le paradoxe du commencement que la fausse complémentarité entre les théories scientifiques et celles philosophiques. En suivant les arguments de Pouget et Kouřim, l’auteur propose un retour sur la fameuse théorie popperienne du 3ème monde, ayant en vue la critique formulée par Gonseth, notamment dans la perspective du « référentiel collectif »et celle des « horizons de réalité ». On peut, ainsi, clairement saisir la différence entre un rationalisme dit « critique », mais qui repose sur une aporie (c’est-à-dire la confiance de nature irrationnelle en l’attitude dictée par la raison) et un rationalisme dialectique qui a su incorporer organiquement l’acquis des sciences et de la philosophie. Selon la conviction de P.M. Pouget et d’autres interprètes, parmi lesquels se situe l’auteur de la communication présente, c’est par une telle démarche qu’on peut prendre conscience de la pertinence de la vision de Gonseth dans le monde philosophique actuel. 

The the role of pasive synthesis in Deleuze's trancendental empiricism

Emilian Margarit
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

I will try to clarify the meaning of Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism by investigating the theoretical framework that is embedded in his conception of time. For start I will present the fundamental event announced by Kant in his first critical project in respect to the ancient and medieval framework elaboration of time. The next in line will be Bergson who has a spectral, among Nietzsche and Spinoza, performance in Deleuze philosophy. The tension present facing Kant and Bergson will be exposed through the determination of the role of the active and passive synthesis. The role played by the former synthesis will constitute in our presentation the heights of Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism.

Le verbe copulatif et la predication

Dinu Moscal
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

La manière d’analyser le prédicat nominal indique le maintien de quelques distinctions propres à la perspective logiciste conservée au sein des grammaires d’aujourd’hui. Le verbe copulatif est vu comme secondaire parce qu’il est considéré comme porteur de seules informations grammaticales (selon la manière des linguistes de considérer le verbe copulatif être) ou d’une information sémantique réduite (devenir), tandis que l’information grammaticale est précisément l’élément principal de la prédication, car on parvient à découvrir le prédicat grâce à elle et non pas par l’information lexicale (qui revient à l’attribut du sujet/ nom prédicatif). La théorie qui affirme que le verbe copulatif est secondaire dans la réalisation de la prédication n’a de soutien qu’en suivant la tradition logiciste. Il est vrai, cependant, que les verbes appelés «copulatifs» ne peuvent pas réaliser complètement la prédication, même si elles ont l’apport principal à l’accomplissement de la fonction prédicative. En effet, l’attribut du sujet participe à l’accomplissement de la fonction prédicative, pourtant non pas comme principal, mais comme secondaire, et secondaire non pas à l’information grammaticale du verbe copulatif, mais à l’information lexicale qui est, sans doute, insuffisante (c’est-à-dire trop générale). Ce qu’on peut négliger dans la logique – la temporalité de la copule – est une question de la plus haute importance, si les choses sont considérées du point de vue de la langue, car ce qui fait qu’une phrase est phrase c’est justement le rapport avec le temps, ce qui peut être réalisé par le verbe qui fait que la phrase elle-même entre dans la «réalité» par le temps du verbe. En d’autres termes, le sens de la phrase est affirmé (mis en présence) par le verbe, car le but d’une phrase est justement l’affirmation (la mise en présence) de quelque chose. 

Philosophy and science: Galen of Pergamum

Adrian Muraru
Universitatea ''Al. I. Cuza'' din Iaşi

The paper tries to discuss the ancient relationship between the scientific practice and the philosophy of science, focusing on Galen of Pergamum, a physician and philosopher (2nd century AD).

The Epistemic Authority

Ionel Narița

West University of Timişoara

The issue of this contribution is to critically examine the conditions that an epistemic authority should accomplish. The Swiss author J. Bochensky, in his work, The Nature and Limits of Authority argued that there can be epistemic authorities. If a message is sent by such an authority, it must rationally be believed by any receiver. Our purpose is to prove that the Bochensky’s arguments about the existence of the epistemic authorities are not valid and, consequently, these authorities cannot be invoked in any circumstances.

Knowledge in Language: A Semiotic Exploration into the Scientific Discourse Practice

Codruța-Mariana Porcar
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract num ber POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815.

Our paper explores the uses of language in the construction and transmission of knowledge and draws upon the idea that the status of scientific knowledge has greatly changed, in that it now comprises the meta-discursive level, which has led to its being perceived in several non-traditional manners. Practically, if scientific knowledge was mere gathering of information until not long ago, it now becomes a play of meanings, significations, and speech acts based upon explicit public rules and implicit personal norms. How language relates to the extra-linguistic phenomenal, becomes, therefore, a pertinent starting point. An important endeavor of our present paper is to argue that a semiotic investigation into scientific discourse provides an analysis of a spectral perspective, allowing a multidimensional reformulation of theoretical and meta-theoretical issues and concepts. In this case, as many have argued, semiotic analysis may be considered a privileged instrument of inquiry, perhaps unique in contemporary discourse, due to its ability to describe and analyze texts pertaining to all types of research. Thus, our conclusion is that the approach to scientific discourse by means of a semiotic perspective which regards or models all systems of signs may constitute a pertinent manner of grasping the specificity of this type of discourse.

Filosofia limbajului (în viziune coșeriană)

MIHAELA CĂTĂLINA TĂRCĂOANU
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

Ne propunem să prezentăm concepția lui Eugeniu Coșeriu despre paradigma filosofiei limbajului – știința universalului sau a generalului, a ceea ce este comun tuturor limbilor, dincolo de specificul fiecăreia – fără pretenţia de exhaustivitate, dintr-o perspectivă integratoare, din necesitatea de a (re-)evalua rolul avut de lingvist în fundamentarea acestei științe. Coșeriu constata caracterul neclar și eterogen al preocupărilor care se autodefinesc drept filosofia limbajului. Într-o perspectivă epistemologică tripartită, în concepția lingvistului de origine română, filosofiei limbajului îi revine sarcina de a căuta răspunsuri la întrebările privitoare la lingvisticitate, adică la esența („ce înseamnă a-fi-limbă”), originea („de unde vine faptul-de-a-fi-limbă”) și finalitatea limbajului („în ce scop există limbi”).

I metodi classici e moderni nella comprensione scientifica della Sacra Scrittura

Tîmbuș Ioan
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815.

Ci sono alméno tre ragioni che propongono l’ermeneutica come coscienza critica o fondaménto epistemologico, o portatrice del minimum irrinunciabile di teologia razionale, all’interno della sproporzione teoretica tra mondo, della fede e mondo della cultura. La prima è di natura storica, la seconda è di natura teoretica, è la terza è di natura polemica. Orbene, bastava allargare questo originario legame tra ermeneutica e tradizione religiosa e mettere in questione tutti i prodotti umani dentro la storia, nel senso; delle ricordate scienze dello spirito, per avere un senso più ampio e successivo del valore: ermeneutico, quello di teoria del sapere storico. In questo senso l’ermeneutica è stata vissuta nell’età post-spinoziana, soprattutto a partire dal suo fondatore, lo Schleiermacher, in senso non più tecnico-retorico, ma in quello filosofico - epistemologico. Il Gadamer risolve nell’ermeneutica la trattazione dei problemi epistemologici delle scienze umane e G. Fessard fa giustamente rilevare che il campo dell’ermeneutica non ha cessato d’estendersi oltre i problemi posti dall’interpretazione dei testi antichi, soprattutto sacri. La nuova ermeneutica, sorta storicamente dopo la seconda guerra mondiale, i cui rappresentanti principali sono E. Fuchs e G. Ebeling. Il compito ermeneutico non inteso come teoria particolare dell’esegesi, ma come teologia, si specifica come compito linguistico, poiché descrive il passaggio dalla parola rivelata alla parola predicata: come tale esso è un tradurre da una lingua a un'altra, da una cultura a un'altra, alla cui base sta la storicità dell'uomo. Sul piano più strettamente biblico - teologico si giunge, con il E. Fuchs, a una vera “concezione cristologica del linguaggio”, poiché l'autenticità della lingua viene fatta coincidere con la predicazione, dell'amore di Gesù. Così intesa, l'ermeneutica diventa la “dottrina della lingua della fede”. 

Epistemological Values and perceptive illusions

Ion Vezeanu
Lab. Philosophie, Langages & Cognition, Univ. Grenoble 2

The most important theoretical problems of the cognitive sciences, notably in the experimental and cognitive psychology, are raised by the question of the perceptive illusions. Normally, some either the empiric current (positivism, logical empiricism, behaviorism, etc.), one should have a theory to give account of the possibility of the perceptive illusions. Otherwise, the empiric knowledge seems refuted by the existence of the illusory perceptions. In manner of solution, we propose a theory of the epistemological values, only capable to give account of the working of the cognitive illusions. 

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