Jerry Fodor writes that a computational theory of mind 'the theory that the mind is a computer' is pretty much definitive of cognitive science. We can trace the genesis of the mechanization of reason easily enough. The rise of the 'mechanical philosophy' in the seventeenth century, though in its first instance directed at natural phenomena exclusive of reason, provided the metaphor and occasion for thinking of reason as machine like. Francis Bacon explicitly makes the suggestion by in the Novum Organum, arguing for the institution of an entirely new 'order in the sciences: There remains one hope of salvation, one way to good health: that the entire work of the mind be started over again; and from the very start the mind should not be left to itself, but be constantly controlled; and the business done if I may put it this way by machines.
Thon1as Hobbes, writing on reason and science in in Leviathan, exhausts the operations of reason by calculation: 2 Apprehension In sum, in what matter soever there is a place for addition and subtraction, there also is place for reason; and where these have not place, there reason has nothing at all to do But the elitislTI which characterized intellectual practices in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was breaking down, at least in theory, by the end of the eighteenth century in Europe.
And the advent of more sophisticated calculating machines, such as Babbage's, removed the secondary barrier to the acceptance of mind as machine. The development of the digital computer and sophisticated calculi to accompany it are therefore extensions of a fundamental idea begun in the early modern period. The effect of the historical entrenchment of the mind as machine metaphor, with its attendant conception of reason as nothing but calculation, has been to cast philosophical suspicion on any conception which cannot be reduced to a set of rules, formulae, or methods.
Reason, since the early modern period, has been primarily conceived both as discursive, as an inferential moven1ent from premises to conclusion, and as methodical, as a set of rules which guarantee a certain outcome.
Thinkers in other ways as diverse as Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes both wished to extend this conception to the new sciences, conceiving the application of reason in science as a scientific method: a set of rules of inference which, if followed exactly, will lead to the truth. This conception was enormously popular at the dawn of the so-called scientific revolution, and has persisted as a guiding heuristic in the intervening centuries via such rubrics as 'The Scientific Method', a notion which nicely captures the scientisll1 and methodism which have dominated philosophical thought about reason and rationality in the last 4 centuries.
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The subsequent history of philosophy has been, explicitly or implicitly, to acknowledge both scientism and methodism as first principles of rationality. Unfortunately, that history also reveals the failure of philosophers and philosophically minded scientists to spell out a tenable conception of scientific method. Beginning in the late nineteenth century and culminating in the last thirty years in philosophy and sociology primarily, this failure has led a host of thinkers to proclaim not only the irrationality of science but the demise of rationality. In the absence of a viable rational method, only a rationally arbitrary reliance on faith, intuition, or social convention remains, so these critics argue.
But the inference to irrationality only follows ifmethod exhausts the notion of rationality. In fact, the dichotomy by which arguments against scientific method are simultaneously arguments for irrationality is false. But to substantiate a Introduction 3 charge of false dichotomy is to show how the dichotomy is not exhaustive; one way of doing this is to rej ect the dominant conception of rationality. In this book I aim to supply in fact, to restore a conception of reason in which reason is primarily apprehensive, secondarily discursive and calculative.
My task is the more difficult since most but not all readers need to be convinced that there is a lacuna to be filled, a place for such a virtue which is not adequately filled by exhaustively inferential accounts of reason. So I will have to illustrate the inadequacies of the standard view in order to argue that my account remedies those inadequacies. Centrally, I ain1 to restore what was once obvious to the philosophic mindset: that character n1atters in inquiry.
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This last note foreshadows one of the key claims I will defend: that intellectual virtues are properly understood as apprehensive in character, and that if the intellect has a single virtue, it is apprehension. Put this way, I propose an aretaic account of the role of apprehension in inquiry. This sets up an expectation that I will engage in a detailed fashion with virtue epistengy. I will not, but I explain why I will not later, under the appropriate heads.
Briefly, it 1l1n1s out that contemporary virtue epistemology fails, for the most part, to conceive of virtue as an achievement available only to a few with the right combination of potential, education, experience and hard work. Said epistemology thus fails to conceive virtue correctly, assimilating it either to a skill which anyone could learn or a reliable mechanism which anyone could possess.
I have chosen to use the term apprehension for one overliding reason. Ofcourse ifthere were such a thing as the problen1 ofintuition, a perennial issue in a universal practice ofphilosophy as such, I would happily focus on it in what follows. The trouble is, while there has been an upsurge of interest in a cluster of issues surrounding non-discursive reason, a priori insight, intuition of foundational principles, and intellectual virtues, the approacl1es to these issues share no single conceptual framework, nor do they share a common vocabulary. Even when the same word is used, e.
Wl1ich mal es my task more difficult, for I wish to draw on elements from the analytic and the Aristotelian traditions in developing and deploying an account of apprehension, all the while rejecting other elements of both. There are three main argumentative pitfalls involved in a confrontation of traditions: pastiche, question-begging and false assimilation.hukusyuu.com/profile/2020-09-16/samsung-handy-orten-s8.php
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In the first, one picks and chooses congenial elements out of several traditions and creates a hodge-podge of ill-assorted fragments; in the second, one shows the alien tradition to be not only false but ludicrous by violating basic truths but basic only to one's home tradition , and thus unwarrantedly rejects the tradition wholesale; in the third, one shows the alien tradition to have flashes of insight nnred in intellectual primitivism, and attempts to salvage the 'genuine' insights. The flaw conm10n to the latter two is a failure to understand each tradition on its own tem1s, 4 Apprehension resulting in a misrepresentation of the alien tradition.
The flaw unique to the first is the mistaken belief that there is neutral ground on which to stand. I will run the risk of exhibiting all three flaws. The danger of violating the first is evident from the preceding paragraph. But possible violations of the next two are not far behind. I write from the perspective of a recovering analytic who thinks that the remedies for the defects in the analytic tradition are to be found in some version of the Aristotelian tradition.
In fact, what I want to suggest is that in taking over the main lines of modern philosophy, analytic philosophy falls prey to the problems which modern philosophy creates for itself in rejecting Aristotelianisn1 wholesale. But on the t1ip side I will be at pains to extend some basic Aristotelian insights well beyond what I think their author would countenance. My insistence on the role of virtue in inquiry and my equal insistence on the centrality of the apprehensive virtue in reasoning is fundamentally Aristotelian.
But I will reject some of Aristotle's own distinctions as well as some of his conclusions. For instance, I want to extend what he says about practical reasoning into the arena of what he would call theoretical reasoning, assimilating the development of intellectual virtue to character virtue, and thus obliterating the distinction between theoretical and practical reasoning and their components. Moreover, I want to free his aCCOlu1t of intellectual virtue from any dependence on formal causation in the intellect. So I do not expect always to convince a reader who is not already convinced.
I do hope to supply the congenial reader with an account of a necessary component of a post-postmodernist rationality, and to suggest to the adversarial reader that something is amiss. This last point n1ay be put in another way. This is, in part, a book about seeing things differently.
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In it, I argue that, though there are developmental strategies for putting people in a position to see things in one way rather than another, there ultin1ately are no arguments, in the traditional sense, which have as their conclusion ways of understanding. And this book is no exception. Therefore I will be very often engaged not in argument, but in showing, pointing out, and, I hope, illuminating.
Sometimes this will take the form of presenting a perhaps overfamiliar historical episode or experimental result in a very different light from the one s in which it has come to be seen. In Chapter 3, for example, I will cast results from experimental social psychology as supportive of rationality, countering the standard presentation of them as undermining claims to rationality.
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And in Chapter 4 I will portray Copernicus as an imaginative conceptual conservative, not a revolutionary. Which means that I need to say something about how a variety of assertions in this book should be construed. On the one hand, when I say that apprehension is a virtue necessary for successful inquiry, I could be claiming any or all of the following: Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 In Aristotle's view, apprehension In an essentially Aristotelian view, apprehension For Aristotelian inquirers, apprehension For all inquirers, apprehension And 4 is the broadest, since it expands the claim to all successful inquiry.
In fact, I want to defend 4, for I want to defend the claim that the exercise of the disposition of character which apprehension describes is present in every successful inquiry, even when the inquirer purports to be following a set of rules of inference. Why does science, and more specifically the philosophy of science, occupy a central place in this study?
Since the early modern period, what has come to be known as 'science' is universally respected for its epistemic achieven1ents. This respect achieved its apex in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the early positivist movements on the one hand and early phenomenological movements on the other.
But while positivism and the extreme scientism which was its stock in trade is officially discredited in philosophical circles, nevertheless the attitude of respect for scientific success is abundant, and the large scale epistemic success of science is taken for granted in philosophy of science circles.
Moreover, these attitudes of respect toward science are routinely coupled with a methodical conception of reason. If, therefore, I can show that that routine coupling is mistaken, that the exercise of apprehensive reason accounts for what are taken to be scientific successes, then I will have begun the coupling of Aristotelian modes of reasoning with the respect, deserved or not, reserved for science. Though he is skeptical of the scope of the proj ect, nevertheless he thinks that the idea that the mind is a computer has been highly successful in local applications. He does, however, think that computationalism has failed miserably with respect to higher mental processes, offering 'vanishingly little insight'.
Chapter 2 The Aristotelian Background: Practical Reasoning, Theoretical Reasoning, and the Intellectual Virtues If apprehension is not to be, as Jaakko Hintikka disparagingly put it, 'the emperor's new intuitions', it lTIUst have more and other conceptual resources than contemporary analytic philosophy can supply. On the assumption that apprehension is a virtue or that there are multiple apprehensive virtues , I want to situate that virtue in the practice of inquiry.
But since, as I will argue, inqlliry constitutes but one of many forms of practical reasoning, it will help us to understand apprehension by discovering its role in practical reasoning more generally. My strategy is a familiar one: describe a process which has several key elements, ask what the nature of those elements must be if the process is to be successful, and then argue that the elements in question have the nature they must. The account of practical reasoning and its psychology of virtue on which I will draw is essentially Aristotelian, with modifications drawn from a variety of sources.
I will depart from what I take to be Aristotle's own account when warranted, often without warning. But given the range and fluidity of Aristotle interpretation, made possible by the often cryptic but seminal nature of Aristotle's own remarks, the account which settles out of this chapter certainly will coincide with what son1e con1ffientator takes to be Aristotle's own, and will in any event be Aristotelian in spirit.
Practical Reasoning A turn away from theorization as such towards theory as product of intellectual practice has n1arked a good deal of contemporary thought, much of it as a critique of the credibility of philosophical and scientific theory. From pragmatists to postmodernists to sociologists of knowledge, the movement has had a distinctly deflationary aim: to show that science and philosophy are just as mired in practical affairs as doing the laundry, and therefore in principle no more or less, though that is not often pointed out rational than the use of laundry detergent.
Postcolonialists have gone beyond the deflationary to the maledictory, arguing that the very idea of the 7 8 Apprehension rationality of western science has been used as a mask for systematic practices of political oppression, justifying the imposition of western values by masquerading as enlightenment. And though Kuhn, for example, disavowed any such deflationary or maledictory aims, nevertheless critics and supporters alike have very often taken his work to undermine the notion that science is a rational enterprise.