Category Archives: jhap

Sellars’s Argument for an Ontology of Absolute Processes / Review of Work of Russell

Volume 7.1 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by David Landy entitled “Sellars’s Argument for an Ontology of Absolute Processes”. Here is an abstract:

Scholars have rejected Wilfrid Sellars’s argument for an ontology of absolute processes on the grounds that it relies on a dubious and dogmatic appeal to the homogeneity of color. Borrowing from Rosenthal’s recent defense, but ultimate rejection of homogeneity, I defend this claim on Sellarsian/Kantian transcendental grounds, and reconstruct the remainder of his argument. I argue that Sellars has good reason to suppose that homogeneity is a necessary condition of any possible experience, including indirect experience of theoretical-explanatory posits, and therefore good reason to hold that Reductive Materialism, as he conceives it, is an untenable account of color. The remainder of his argument aims to answer the question of what the metaphysical relation is between the state of an experiencing subject that we take color to be and the colorless microphysical particles that we take to constitute that subject. After rejecting Substance Dualism, Epiphenomenalism, and Wholistic or Emergent Materialism as explanatorily inadequate, Sellars proposes that both color-states and micro-physical particles should be understood as manifestations of an underlying ontology on absolute processes.

The volume also contains a review of Samuel Lebens, Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions: A History and Defence of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement (New York: Routledge, 2017), written by Rosalind Carey.

Call for Proposals: Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy Special Issues

JHAP recently created a position of Editor for Special Issues with the purpose of offering support for first rate thematic collections of articles and encourage collective and collaborative publications in the field. Proposals on any topic within the scope of the Journal are welcome and encouraged. JHAP aims to promote research and provide a forum for discussion of the history of analytic philosophy. ‘History’ and ‘analytic’ are understood broadly. JHAP takes the history of analytic philosophy to be part of analytic philosophy. Accordingly, it publishes historical research that interacts with the ongoing concerns of analytic philosophers and with the history of other twentieth century philosophical movements and traditions.

Open Access Policy

JHAP provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. No fees are charged to authors for submission or publication of their works.

Length of Issues

JHAP is an online open access publication that offers broad flexibility of format for collections of articles and length of contributions. There are no a priori constraints to the number of essays or the minimum/maximum number of words of each article. This is meant to encourage innovative approach to scholarship and to offer flexibility for Guest-Editors.

Submission

Those interested in acting as Guest-Editor for a special issue are asked to submit a 2-page proposal describing the theme of the issue and the proposed list of contributors. All submissions will be reviewed by the Editorial Board to assess fit. Each proposal deemed to fall within the scope of the journal will then be reviewed by external referees. Successful proposals will further receive input from the Editor for Special Issues.

To request a proposal submission form, to submit a proposal or if you have any questions, please contact the Editor for Special Issues directly at lapointe@mcmaster.ca. The Subject must read: “JHAP Special Issue Project”.

Peer-Review of Articles

JHAP will insure that submitted proposals as well as the complete final draft of special issues be peer-reviewed. Guest-Editors will be responsible for anonymously refereeing individual articles within their special issue.

Timeline

Guest-Editors will be responsible for delivering their special issue within the time-frame they will have defined, on a case by case basis, in consultation with the Editor for Special Issue. Failure to deliver an issue within the time-frame might result in a cancellation of the project

Support for Guest-Editors

The position of Editor for Special Issues was created with the objective of encouraging new project and fostering a better culture around intellectual collaborations. Those are the principles that will be applied in all aspects of the process. The Editor for Special Issues is tasked to receive and assess proposals and to steward prospective Guest-Editors throughout the process. Guest-Editors for special issues will have access to a customised user-friendly portal that will allow them to manage paper submissions, revisions and refereeing for their project online.

Commissioned Projects

In addition to receiving submissions, the Editor for Special is tasked to recruit Guest-Editors for new projects. Recruitment is guided by the principles that are at the core of JHAP’s mandate: to encourage and support historical research that interacts with the ongoing concerns of analytic philosophy and with the history of other twentieth century philosophical traditions, and to do so in ways that challenges received views and promotes innovation.

On the Curious Calculi of Wittgenstein and Spencer Brown

Volume 6.10 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Gregory Landini entitled “On the Curious Calculi of Wittgenstein and Spencer Brown”. Here is an abstract:

In his Tractatus, Wittgenstein sets out what he calls his N-operator notation which can be used to calculate whether an expression is a tautology. In his Laws of Form, George Spencer Brown offers what he calls a “primary algebra” for such calculation. Both systems are perplexing. But comparing two blurry images can reduce noise, producing a focus. This paper reveals that Spencer Brown independently rediscovered the quantifier-free part of the N-operator calculus. The comparison sheds a flood light on each and from the letters of correspondence we shall find that Russell, as one might have surmised, was a catalyst for both.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Truth, Meaning, and Interpretation: A Reconsideration of Davidson’s Program

Volume 6.9 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Arpy Khatchirian entitled “Truth, Meaning, and Interpretation: A Reconsideration of Davidson’s Program”. Here is an abstract:

On a common reading of Davidson, the motivation for his proposal that a meaning theory is to take the form of a truth theory is at least partly guided by concern with the ends and means of interpretation. At the same time, the consensus seems to be that this proposal faces a particularly stubborn justificatory burden. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to suggest that there is a promising route to discharging this burden, albeit one that is visible only once we shift our attention away from the so-called ‘problem of interpretation’; second, to make the case that, contrary to initial appearances, the line of justification offered here gives us a plausible interpretation of Davidson’s own goals.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Three Positivist Disputes in the 1960s / Review of Work on Frege

Volume 6.8 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Carl-Göran Heidegren entitled “Three Positivist Disputes in the 1960s”. Here is an abstract:

The West German positivist dispute in the 1960s is well known and thoroughly studied. At about the same time positivist disputes also took place in two Scandinavian countries: one in Norway and one in Sweden. What did the front lines in the debate look like in the three countries? What was the outcome of the different disputes? The main focus in the article is on the Swedish case, but some comparative perspectives relating to the three disputes will also be presented. The Swedish positivist dispute originated with Gerard Radnitzky’s doctoral dissertation in theory of science, defended at the University of Gothenburg in May 1968, Contemporary Schools of Metascience (2 volumes). The dissertation caused a stir of controversy. It meant a challenge to the Swedish philsophical establishment because it leaned heavily on continental philosophers such as Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas, who at the time were more or less unknown in Sweden. The controversy was continuated in the following years, most notably in the leftist journal Häften för kritiska studier (Notebooks for Critical Studies).

The volume also contains a review of Pieranna Garavaso and Nicla Vassallo, Frege on Thinking and Its Epistemic Significance  (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015), written by Rasa Davidaviciute.

Marcus Rossberg assumes role of Editor in Chief at JHAP

Marcus Rossberg (UConn) has assumed the role of Editor in Chief of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy. Marcus works on philosophy of logic and mathematics as well as on Frege (he’s co-editor and co-translator of the new English edition of Frege’s Basic Laws) and Nelson Goodman. He succeeds Kevin Klement (UMass), who has concluded a productive three-year term. Kevin remains on the editorial board. Many thanks to Kevin for his service.

Collections in Early Bolzano

Volume 6.7 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Stefania Centrone and Mark Siebel entitled “Collections in Early Bolzano.” Here is an abstract:

There are quite a few studies on late Bolzano’s notion of a collection (Inbegriff). We try to broaden the perspective by scrutinising the forerunner of collections in Bolzano’s early writings, namely the entities referred to by expressions with the technical term “et”. Special emphasis is laid on the question whether these entities are set-theoretical or mereological plenties. Moreover, similarities and differences to Bolzano’s mature conception are pointed out. We argue that early Bolzano’s particular blend of set-theoretical and mereological features is best interpreted as a set-theoretically enhanced mereology.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Roman Ingarden and Verificationism

Volume 6.6 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

This is issue deals with Roman Ingarden’s critique of verificationism. It begins with a translation, by Bernard Linsky, of Ingarden’s “The Logical Attempt at a New Formulation of Philosophy: A Critical Remark”. Here is an abstract:

This is the first English translation of Roman Ingarden’s paper presented at the 8th World Congress of Philosophy held in Prague in 1934: “Der Logistische Versuch einer Neugestaltung der Philosophie: Eine Kritische Bemerkung”, translated here as “The Logical Attempt at a New Formulation of Philosophy: A Critical Remark”. Also translated here are brief discussions by Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath. These essays were published in the original German in the Proceedings of the Congress in 1936. This statement of Ingarden’s criticisms of the doctrines of the Vienna Circle has been mentioned in print, but his views have not been discussed, or indeed accurately reported to date.

Secondly, the volume contains a companion paper by Francis Jeffry Pelletier and Bernard Linsky, entitled “Verification: The Hysteron Proteron Argument”:

This paper investigates the strange case of an argument that was directed against a positivist verification principle. We find an early occurrence of the argument in a talk by the phenomenologist Roman Ingarden at the 1934 International Congress of Philosophy in Prague, where Carnap and Neurath were present and contributed short rejoinders. We discuss the underlying presuppositons of the argument, and we evaluate whether the attempts by Carnap (especially) actually succeed in answering this argument. We think they don’t, and offer instead a few sociological thoughts about why the argument seems to have disappeared from the profession’s evaluaton of the positivist criterion of verifiability.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Why “is at”? —On Quine’s Objection to Carnap’s Aufbau in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”

Volume 6.4 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open access.

It features an article by Ka Ho Lam entitled ‘Why “is at”? —On Quine’s Objection to Carnap’s Aufbau in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”’. Here is an Abstract:

In “Two Dogmas”, Quine indicates that Carnap’s Aufbau fails “in principle” to reduce our knowledge of the external world to sense data. This is because in projecting the sensory material to reconstruct the physical world, Carnap gives up the use of operating rules and switches to a procedure informed by general principles. This procedure falls short of providing an eliminative translation for the connective “is at”, which is necessary for the reduction. In dissecting Quine’s objection, I argue that Quine has at best proven the claim that the use of general principles essentially fails the task of radical reductionism. However, in order to establish the conclusion that the Aufbau fails in principle, Quine needs to further vindicate two other claims. They are: first, a switch from operating rules to general principles is necessary; second, the set of general principles Carnap adopts is the best alternative. By disambiguating the notion of “explicit definition” and examining the concept of definability in the Aufbau, I explore the possibility of justifying these two claims that Quine overlooks in his objection. The result suggests that Quine’s objection stands in tension with his radical reductionist reading of the Aufbau.

The volume also contains a review of Anna Boncompagni’s Wittgenstein and Pragmatism. On Certainty in the Light of Peirce and James, written by Annalisa Coliva.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Method, Science, and Mathematics: Neo-Kantianism and Analytic Philosophy

Volume 6.3 of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open access.

This issue is a special volume edited by Scott Edgar and Lydia Patton dedicated to Neo-Kantianism and Analytic Philosophy. The volume contains eleven substantial articles, as well as an introductory essay. Here is an abstract:

At its core, analytic philosophy concerns urgent questions about philosophy’s relation to the formal and empirical sciences, questions about philosophy’s relation to psychology and the social sciences, and ultimately questions about philosophy’s place in a broader cultural landscape. This picture of analytic philosophy shapes this collection’s focus on the history of the philosophy of mathematics, physics, and psychology. The following essays uncover, reflect on, and exemplify modes of philosophy that are engaged with these allied disciplines. They make the case that, to the extent that analytic philosophers are still concerned with philosophy’s ties to these disciplines, we would do well to pay attention to neo-Kantian views on those ties.

Table of contents

  1. Scott Edgar: Volume Introduction
  2. Gary Hatfield: Helmholtz and Philosophy: Science, Perception, and Metaphysics, with Variations on Some Fichtean Themes
  3. Liesbet De Kock: Historicizing Hermann von Helmholtz’s Psychology of Differentiation
  4. R. Brian Tracz: Helmholtz on Perceptual Properties
  5. Matthias Neuber: Perception and Coincidence in Helmholtz’s Theory of Measurement
  6. Paola Cantù: The Epistemological Question of the Applicability of Mathematics
  7. Francesca Biagioli: Articulating Space in Terms of Transformation Groups: Helmholtz and Cassirer
  8. Samantha Matherne: Cassirer’s Psychology of Relations: From the Psychology of Mathematics and Natural Science to the Psychology of Culture
  9. Janet Folina: After Non-Euclidean Geometry: Intuition, Truth and the Autonomy of Mathematics
  10. Georg Schiemer: Cassirer and the Structural Turn in Modern Geometry
  11. Thomas Ryckman: Cassirer and Dirac on the Symbolic Method in Quantum Mechanics: A Confluence of Opposites
  12. Erik C. Banks: Grete Hermann as Neo-Kantian Philosopher of Space and Time Representation

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!