Humanities and Social Sciences

Przegląd Filozoficzny. Nowa Seria

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Przegląd Filozoficzny. Nowa Seria | 2019 | No 3 |

Abstract

Gaston Milhaud (1858–1918) was a French modern philosopher, who, having started from mathematics, came to philosophy (especially epistemology) and history of science. His works on the history of science were devoted to Greek science and modern science. Milhaud in his papers claimed that important concepts and principles of science (in different disciplines) result from decisions that simultaneously transcend both experience and logic. He emphasized the role of free creation and activity of the mind. The author discusses central problems of Milhaud’s thought, especially the problem of the relationship between science and philosophy.

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Abstract

The end of the nineteenth century was the period when revolutionary scientific discoveries challenged well-established theories, forcing both philosophers and scientists to ask questions about the nature and certainty of scientific knowledge. A group of French scientists not only performed a thorough critique of contemporary science and its history but proposed a new model that adequately described the development of scientific knowledge. Gaston Milhaud made a significant contribution to this new description of knowledge creation. He is however rarely mentioned in the context of the theory of knowledge and remains overshadowed by his famous colleagues. Despite the fact that more than a hundred years have passed since the conventionalist philosophy of science was formulated, H. Poincaré’s, P. Duhem’s and G. Milhaud’s positions have not gained much popularity beyond the circle of philosophers of science. This article briefly outlines personal relationships within French conventionalist circle, presents important results of Milhaud’s analysis, and the reasons why philosophers do not recognize the role he played in creating a new model for the development of scientific knowledge.

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Abstract

I give arguments supporting the claim that one of the most prominent methodological results of French conventionalism – rejection of the possibility of a crucial experiment in mature empirical sciences – was formulated simultaneously by Pierre Duhem and Gaston Milhaud in 1894. Thus, I attempt to question the standard approach in philosophy and methodology of science, which attributes the said result exclusively to Duhem. I am building my case of Milhaud’s true contribution to the debate on the rejection of the existence of the experimentum crucis, made in his PhD thesis Essai sur les conditions et les limites de la certitude logique.

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Abstract

Gaston Milhaud rejects the principle of contradiction if it is conceived as an absolute and universal rule. He claims that it only holds in some narrowly defined circumstances. According to him, the greater is mental contribution to an act of cognition the more appropriate is the application of the principle of contradiction. My analysis of his views shows that he wanted to emphasize the differences between the objective reality and its mental or linguistic representations rather than undermine the logical principle of contradiction. Parallels can be noted between Milhaud’s views on contradiction and Leon Chwistek’s theory of the multiplicity of realities, as well as Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz’s concept of the cognitive role of language.

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Abstract

Henri Bergson as well as Gaston Milhaud undertake a radical critique of the conception of radical determinism because they both think that mind is able to act in a free and creative manner. In the article, I examine to what degree their arguments, aimed to prove this autonomy, converge. I inquire whether their endorsement of freedom of the mental acts led the two philosophers to the same conclusions regarding the cognitive extent of the intellect and therefore the parallel description of the status of scientific cognition.

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Abstract

In this article, I compare two positions – emergentism and panpsychism, in relation to the problem of the nature of consciousness. I analyze arguments offered in support of both positions and undertake to question them. I focus on panpsychism as the less known and more controversial position. Panpsychism and emergentism are considered “metaphysical hypotheses”. Finally I propose emergentism as a preferable position in view of the fact that it is impossible to defend panpsychism as a coherent position, compatible with science.

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to present and explain the metaethical theory proposed by Ayn Rand. In particular, Rand’s view of ethics as necessary for human life is discussed. I also analyze the concept of value which is crucial to Rand’s ethics. I seek to demonstrate that the concept of value is rooted in the concept of life, and from this it follows that the normative sphere is secondary to the existence of living beings. Further, I introduce Rand’s argument concerning human life as an ultimate point of reference in her philosophy. Finally, I explain the conditional character of morality, and end my paper with a short discussion of Rand’s unique view on objectivity of values.

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Abstract

The debate between Ludwik Fleck (microbiologist and philosopher of science) and Tadeusz Bilikiewicz (historian and philosopher of medicine) took place shortly before the outbreak of World War II and remained virtually unnoticed until 1978. A wider recognition of their exchange was possible only after the English and German translations appeared. Basically, the polemics concerned understanding of the concept of style and influence that the environment exerted on scientific activity and its products. The polemic started with the review of Bilikiewicz’s book Die Embryologie im Zeitalter des Barock und des Rokoko (1932) where the historical account of the development of embryology in the early and late Baroque period was interwoven with bold sociological remarks. The commentators of the debate were quick to notice that the claims made by Fleck at that time were crucial for understanding of his position, especially because they let to interpret his views in a non-relativist way. While the importance of the controversy was univocally acknowledged, its assessment so far has been defective for two reasons. First, for decades the views of Bilikiewicz were known only from the short and rather critical presentation given by Fleck and this put their discussion into an inadequate perspective. Second, for over 40 years it remained a complete puzzle what prompted their exchange of views. This paper closes these gaps. Thus, on the one hand, I reconstruct the central issue of the disputation between Fleck and Bilikiewicz and situate it within the context of Bilikiewicz’s views. On the other hand – and this is more important – I try to explain the origin of their debate by quoting some recently discovered and unpublished archival materials. A review of their correspondence gives me an opportunity to advance some hypotheses about the aims and hopes connected with their project but also possible reasons for its failure.

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Abstract

This article is historical and philosophical in nature. Its purpose is to outline the most important trends and problems in the 19th-century Spanish philosophy. This philosophy has not yet been the subject of deeper analyses, especially in Polish literature on the subject. This is a major oversight, because the nineteenth century is the time of the impressive growth of modern social, political, legal, moral and intelectual structures in Spain. An important role in their development was played by Spanish philosophers and their reception of modern European philosophy and science. The reception was accompanied by numerous disputes and discussions about the condition of the Spanish culture and its possible development directions.

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Rada Programowa


Adam Chmielewski (UWr)

Jan Hertrich-Woleński (UJ)

Paweł Kawalec (KUL)

Małgorzata Kowalska (UwB)

Anna Latawiec (UKSW)

Adam Nowaczyk (UŁ)

Jacek Paśniczek (UMCS)

Andrzej Przyłębski (UAM)

Andrzej Szahaj (UMK)

Renata Ziemińska (US)

 

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