Metaphilosophy Relationship to philosophy Some philosophers consider metaphilosophy to be a subject apart from philosophy, above or beyond it, while others object to that idea. Timothy Williamson argues that the philosophy of philosophy is "automatically part of philosophy," as is the philosophy of anything else. Nicholas Bunnin and Jiyuan Yu write that the separation of first- from second-order study has lost popularity as philosophers find it hard to observe the distinction. As evidenced by these contrasting opinions, debate remains as to whether the evaluation of the nature of philosophy is 'second order philosophy' or simply 'plain philosophy'. Many philosophers have expressed doubts over the value of metaphilosophy. Among them is Gilbert Ryle : "preoccupation with questions about methods tends to distract us from prosecuting the methods themselves. We run as a rule, worse, not better, if we think a lot about our feet. So let us... not speak of it all but just do it. C.
Karl Popper Karl Raimund Popper CH FBA FRS (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British philosopher and professor at the London School of Economics. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. Popper is known for his rejection of the classical inductivist views on the scientific method, in favour of empirical falsification: A theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be falsified, meaning that it can and should be scrutinized by decisive experiments. If the outcome of an experiment contradicts the theory, one should refrain from ad hoc manoeuvres that evade the contradiction merely by making it less falsifiable. Personal life Family and training Karl Popper was born in Vienna (then in Austria-Hungary) in 1902, to upper middle-class parents. He worked in street construction for a short amount of time, but was unable to cope with the heavy labour. Academic life Honours and awards
Philosophy of religion Philosophy of religion is "the philosophical examination of the central themes and concepts involved in religious traditions." These sorts of philosophical discussion are ancient, and can be found in the earliest known manuscripts concerning philosophy. The field is related to many other branches of philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. The philosophy of religion differs from religious philosophy in that it seeks to discuss questions regarding the nature of religion as a whole, rather than examining the problems brought forth by a particular belief system. Overview Philosopher William L. The term "Philosophy of Religion" did not come into general use in the West until the nineteenth century, and most pre-modern and early modern philosophical works included a mixture of religious themes and "non-religious" philosophical questions. Some aspects of philosophy of religion have classically been regarded as a part of metaphysics. Ultimate Reality
Social philosophy Social philosophy is the study of questions about social behavior and interpretations of society and social institutions in terms of ethical values rather than empirical relations. Social philosophers place new emphasis on understanding the social contexts for political, legal, moral, and cultural questions, and to the development of novel theoretical frameworks, from social ontology to care ethics to cosmopolitan theories of democracy, human rights, gender equity and global justice. Subdisciplines Social philosophy, ethics, and political philosophy all share intimate connections with other disciplines in the social sciences. In turn, the social sciences themselves are of focal interest to the philosophy of social science. The philosophy of language and social epistemology are subfields which overlap in significant ways with social philosophy. Relevant issues in social philosophy Some of the topics dealt with by social philosophy are: Social philosophers See also
Willard Van Orman Quine Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 – December 25, 2000) (known to intimates as "Van") was an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition. From 1930 until his death 70 years later, Quine was continually affiliated with Harvard University in one way or another, first as a student, then as a professor of philosophy and a teacher of logic and set theory, and finally as a professor emeritus who published or revised several books in retirement. He filled the Edgar Pierce Chair of Philosophy at Harvard from 1956 to 1978. A recent poll conducted among analytic philosophers named Quine as the fifth most important philosopher of the past two centuries. He won the first Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy in 1993, for "his systematical and penetrating discussions of how learning of language and communication are based on socially available evidence and of the consequences of this for theories on knowledge and linguistic meaning. Biography Political beliefs .
Automated reasoning Automated reasoning is an area of computer science and mathematical logic dedicated to understanding different aspects of reasoning. The study of automated reasoning helps produce computer programs that allows computers to reason completely, or nearly completely, automatically. Although automated reasoning is considered a sub-field of artificial intelligence, it also has connections with theoretical computer science, and even philosophy. The most developed subareas of automated reasoning are automated theorem proving (and the less automated but more pragmatic subfield of interactive theorem proving) and automated proof checking (viewed as guaranteed correct reasoning under fixed assumptions). Extensive work has also been done in reasoning by analogy induction and abduction. Other important topics include reasoning under uncertainty and non-monotonic reasoning. Early years Significant contributions "There are now in the world machines that think, that learn and that create.
Philosophy of mind A phrenological mapping of the brain – phrenology was among the first attempts to correlate mental functions with specific parts of the brain Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness, and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain. The mind–body problem, i.e. the relationship of the mind to the body, is commonly seen as one key issue in philosophy of mind, although there are other issues concerning the nature of the mind that do not involve its relation to the physical body, such as how consciousness is possible and the nature of particular mental states. Mind–body problem Our perceptual experiences depend on stimuli that arrive at our various sensory organs from the external world, and these stimuli cause changes in our mental states, ultimately causing us to feel a sensation, which may be pleasant or unpleasant. Arguments for dualism
Rudolf Carnap Rudolf Carnap (May 18, 1891 – September 14, 1970) was a German-born philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism. Life and work Carnap's Birthplace in Wuppertal Carnap's father had risen from the status of a poor ribbon-weaver to become the owner of a ribbon-making factory. In 1928, Carnap published two important books: The Logical Structure of the World (German: "Der logische Aufbau der Welt"), in which he developed a rigorous formal version of empiricism, defining all scientific terms in phenomenalistic terms. In February 1930 Tarski lectured in Vienna, and during November 1930 Carnap visited Warsaw. Carnap, whose socialist and pacifist beliefs put him at risk in Nazi Germany, emigrated to the United States in 1935 and became a naturalized citizen in 1941. Carnap taught himself Esperanto when he was 14 years of age, and remained sympathetic to it (Carnap 1963).
Philosophy of mind Branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of the mind A phrenological mapping of the brain – phrenology was among the first attempts to correlate mental functions with specific parts of the brain although it is now largely discredited. Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the body. However, a number of issues have been recognized with non-reductive physicalism. Mind–body problem The mind–body problem concerns the explanation of the relationship that exists between minds, or mental processes, and bodily states or processes. The main aim of philosophers working in this area is to determine the nature of the mind and mental states/processes, and how—or even if—minds are affected by and can affect the body. A related problem is how someone's propositional attitudes (e.g. beliefs and desires) cause that individual's neurons to fire and muscles to contract. Arguments for dualism Qualia