Phillip Kitcher was here a few weeks ago and gave two talks on the intersections of science, society, freedom, and democracy. I thought that some of you might like to watch and discuss what was said. Below are the videos: (more…)
Archive for the ‘Pragmatism’ Category
David Hume, in his An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), first identified the difficulty of rationally justifying future predictions, which has come to be known as the Problem of Induction. He pointed out that since future predictions are neither statements of experience nor logically necessary consequences of such statements, their validity lies in the regularity of constantly conjoined events. This regularity in turn creates within the subject certain habits of belief that predispose one to expect the future to mirror reliably the past.
After some two hundred and a half years, however, and because of the likes of Hans Reichenbach, Peter Strawson, F.P. Ramsey, Karl Popper, and Rudolf Carnap, to name only a few, the problem of induction may now be regarded as solved; but, if not solved, then at the very least dissolved into a more palatable conceptual confusion. Nevertheless, Hume’s problem of induction has taken a back seat to a newer, more fashionable problem, namely, Nelson Goodman’s ‘The New Riddle of Induction.’
Despite their friendship and close connection as philosophical allies, William James offers some interesting remarks in respect to F. C. S. Schiller’s wide use of polemics in his philosophy. James general advice, in his correspondence with Schiller, was for him to “tone down a little the exuberance of his polemical wit” (to be found in Ralph Barton Perry’s The Thought and Character of William James, 303).
Though, possibly by rule if not nature, most bloggers I have seen tend to stray (from time to time) through various topics. One would hope this is where I claim that I won’t stray from the path. I confess, that may happen here as well. The main point of my posts in this blog will be to explore the history of Pragmatism in general, as well as various contemporary issues in the philosophy of science and epistemology whenever they may arise.