This paper analyses a hitherto unknown technique of using logic diagrams to create argument maps in eristic dialectics. The method was invented in the 1810s and -20s by Arthur Schopenhauer, who is considered the originator of modern eristic. This technique of Schopenhauer could be interesting for several branches of research in the field of argumentation: Firstly, for the field of argument mapping, since here a hitherto unknown diagrammatic technique is shown in order to visualise possible situations of arguments in (...) a dialogical controversy. Secondly, the art of controversy or eristic, since the diagrams do not analyse the truth of judgements and the validity of inferences, but the persuasiveness of arguments in a dialogue. (shrink)
In a multi-study naturalistic quasi-experiment involving 269 students in a semester-long introductory philosophy course, we investigated the effect of teaching argument diagramming on students’ scores on argument analysis tasks. An argument diagram is a visual representation of the content and structure of an argument. In each study, all of the students completed pre- and posttests containing argument analysis tasks. During the semester, the treatment group was taught AD, while the control group was not. The results were that among the different (...) pretest achievement levels, the scores of low-achieving students who were taught AD increased significantly more than the scores of low-achieving students who were not taught AD, while the scores of the intermediate- and high-achieving students did not differ significantly between the treatment and control groups. The implication of these studies is that learning AD significantly improves low-achieving students’ ability to analyze arguments. (shrink)
In this paper, we present a survey of the development of the technique of argument diagramming covering not only the fields in which it originated - informal logic, argumentation theory, evidence law and legal reasoning – but also more recent work in applying and developing it in computer science and artificial intelligence. Beginning with a simple example of an everyday argument, we present an analysis of it visualised as an argument diagram constructed using a software tool. In the context of (...) a brief history of the development of diagramming, it is then shown how argument diagrams have been used to analyze and work with argumentation in law, philosophy and artificial intelligence. (shrink)
This paper discusses similarities of both form and meaning between two symbolic structures: the Diagram of the Supreme Pole of Song Neo-Confucianism and the Kabbalistic Tree of medieval Jewish mysticism. These similarities are remarkable in the light of the many differences that exist between Chinese and Judaic thought, which also manifest in the two symbols. Intercultural influence might account for the similarities, but there is no historical evidence for such influence. An alternative explanation would attribute the similarities to the ubiquity (...) of religious-philosophical ideas about hierarchy, polarity, and macrocosm-microcosm parallelism, but this does not adequately account for the similar overall structure of the symbols. The question of how to understand these similarities remains open. (shrink)
Using as case studies two early diagrams that represent mechanisms of the cell division cycle, we aim to extend prior philosophical analyses of the roles of diagrams in scientific reasoning, and specifically their role in biological reasoning. The diagrams we discuss are, in practice, integral and indispensible elements of reasoning from experimental data about the cell division cycle to mathematical models of the cycle’s molecular mechanisms. In accordance with prior analyses, the diagrams provide functional explanations of (...) the cell cycle and facilitate the construction of mathematical models of the cell cycle. But, extending beyond those analyses, we show how diagrams facilitate the construction of mathematical models, and we argue that the diagrams permit nomological explanations of the cell cycle. We further argue that what makes diagrams integral and indispensible for explanation and model construction is their nature as locality aids: they group together information that is to be used together in a way that sentential representations do not. (shrink)
In his 1903 Syllabus, Charles S. Peirce makes a distinction between icons and iconic signs, or hypoicons, and briefly introduces a division of the latter into images, diagrams, and metaphors. Peirce scholars have tried to make better sense of those concepts by understanding iconic signs in the context of the ten classes of signs described in the same Syllabus. We will argue, however, that the three kinds of hypoicons can better be understood in the context of Peirce's sixty-six classes (...) of signs. We analyze examples of hypoicons taken from the field of information design, describing them in the framework of the sixty-six classes, and discuss the consequences of those descriptions to the debate about the order of determination of the 10 trichotomies that form those classes. (shrink)
There is substantial evidence from many domains that visual representations aid various forms of cognition. We aimed to determine whether visual representations of argument structure enhanced the acquisition and development of critical thinking skills within the context of an introductory philosophy course. We found a significant effect of the use of argument diagrams, and this effect was stable even when multiple plausible correlates were controlled for. These results suggest that natural⎯and relatively minor⎯modifications to standard critical thinking courses could provide (...) substantial increases in student learning and performance. (shrink)
Although traditionally neglected, mathematical diagrams have recently begun to attract attention from philosophers of mathematics. By now, the literature includes several case studies investigating the role of diagrams both in discovery and justification. Certain preliminary questions have, however, been mostly bypassed. What are diagrams exactly? Are there different types of diagrams? In the scholarly literature, the term “mathematical diagram” is used in diverse ways. I propose a working definition that carves out the phenomena that are of (...) most importance for a taxonomy of diagrams in the context of a practice-based philosophy of mathematics, privileging examples from contemporary mathematics. In doing so, I move away from vague, ordinary notions. I define mathematical diagrams as forming notational systems and as being geometric/topological representations or two-dimensional representations. I also examine the relationship between mathematical diagrams and spatiotemporal intuition. By proposing an explication of diagrams, I explain certain controversies in the existing literature. Moreover, I shed light on why mathematical diagrams are so effective in certain instances, and, at other times, dangerously misleading. (shrink)
Historians occasionally use timelines, but many seem to regard such signs merely as ways of visually summarizing results that are presumably better expressed in prose. Challenging this language-centered view, I suggest that timelines might assist the generation of novel historical insights. To show this, I begin by looking at studies confirming the cognitive benefits of diagrams like timelines. I then try to survey the remarkable diversity of timelines by analyzing actual examples. Finally, having conveyed this (mostly untapped) potential, I (...) argue that neglecting timelines might mean neglecting significant aspects of reality that are revealed only by those signs. My overall message is that once we accept that relations are as important for the mind as what they relate, we have to pay closer attention to any semiotic device that enables or facilitates the discernment of new relations. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to investigate the roles of commutative diagrams (CDs) in a speciﬁc mathematical domain, and to unveil the reasons underlying their effectiveness as a mathematical notation; this will be done through a case study. It will be shown that CDs do not depict spatial relations, but represent mathematical structures. CDs will be interpreted as a hybrid notation that goes beyond the traditional bipartition of mathematical representations into diagrammatic and linguistic. It will be argued that (...) one of the reasons why CDs form a good notation is that they are highly mathematically tractable: experts can obtain valid results by ‘calculating’ with CDs. These calculations, take the form of ‘diagram chases’. In order to draw inferences, experts move algebraic elements around the diagrams. It will be argued that these diagrams are dynamic. It is thanks to their dynamicity that CDs can externalize the relevant reasoning and allow experts to draw conclusions directly by manipulating them. Lastly, it will be shown that CDs play essential roles in the context of proof as well as in other phases of the mathematical enterprise, such as discovery and conjecture formation. (shrink)
There are two important ways in which, when dealing with documents, we go beyond the boundaries of linear text. First, by incorporating diagrams into documents, and second, by creating complexes of intermeshed documents which may be extended in space and evolve and grow through time. The thesis of this paper is that such aggregations of documents are today indispensable to practically all complex human achievements from law and finance to orchestral performance and organized warfare. Documents provide for what we (...) can think of as a division of intellectual, instructional, and deontic labour, allowing plans, orders, and obligations to be enmeshed together in a way that often involves the use of diagrammatic elements, as for example in a musical score. (shrink)
In his article “Insight: Genesis and Ongoing Context,” Fred Crowe calls out Lonergan’s line “the diagram is more important than…is ordinarily believed” as the “philosophical understatement of the century.” Sixteen pages later he identifies elaborating an invariant cognitional theory to underlie generalized emergent probability and thus “the immanent order of the universe of proportionate being,” as “our challenge,” “but given the difficulty” he does not “see any prospect for an immediate answer.” Could this have something to do with the lack (...) of a comprehensive diagram of cognitional theory? Appendix A of The Boston College Lectures on Mathematical Logic and Existentialism offers diagrams of the dynamics of knowing and doing perhaps copied from Lonergan’s own blackboard work, but they do not distinguish explanatory and descriptive insights, let alone statistical insights, and do not illustrate the pull upwards or the fusing of routinized insights. Before we can effectively relate cognitional theory to generalized emergent probability, we must have an adequately rigorous and precise cognitional theory. I firmly believe in the truth of Lonergan’s fundamental insights, but in order to rigorously undergird generalized emergent probability there are many pertinent questions about his cognitional theory which must be asked and answered. In this paper I (1) review some of Lonergan’s attempts to diagram cognitional theory and discuss what insights they do and do not express, (2) elaborate and defend principles for making our formulations of insight into insight rigorous and clear, and (3) attempt to build up a diagram which makes full use of those principles in a maximally expressive way. (shrink)
An Aid to Venn Diagrams.Robert Allen - 1997 - American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 96 (Spring 1997):104-105.details
The following technique has proven effective in helping beginning logic students locate the sections of a three-circled Venn Diagram in which they are to represent a categorical sentence. Very often theses students are unable to identify the parts of the diagram they are to shade or bar.
Reism or concretism are the labels for a position in ontology and semantics that is represented by various philosophers. As Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz and Jan Woleński have shown, there are two dimensions with which the abstract expression of reism can be made concrete: The ontological dimension of reism says that only things exist; the semantic dimension of reism says that all concepts must be reduced to concrete terms in order to be meaningful. In this paper we argue for the following two (...) theses: (1) Arthur Schopenhauer has advocated a reistic philosophy of language which says that all concepts must ultimately be based on concrete intuition in order to be meaningful. (2) In his semantics, Schopenhauer developed a theory of logic diagrams that can be interpreted by modern means in order to concretize the abstract position of reism. Thus we are not only enhancing Jan Woleński’s list of well-known reists, but we are also adding a diagrammatic dimension to concretism, represented by Schopenhauer. (shrink)
This document diagrams the forms OOA, OOE, OOI, and OOO, including all four figures. Each form and figure has the following information: (1) Premises as stated: Venn diagram showing what the premises say; (2) Purported conclusion: diagram showing what the premises claim to say; (3) Relation of premises to conclusion: intended to describe how the premises and conclusion relate to each other, such as validity or contradiction. Used in only a few examples; (4) Distribution: intended to create a system (...) in which each syllogism has a unique code. In each premise and conclusion, the terms are each assigned a one or a zero, based on whether the term is distributed; (5) Rules: lists the rules of the syllogism and shows whether that particular syllogism follows, violates, or is unaffected by, each rule. (shrink)
Robert Brandom’s expressivism argues that not all semantic content may be made fully explicit. This view connects in interesting ways with recent movements in philosophy of mathematics and logic (e.g. Brown, Shin, Giaquinto) to take diagrams seriously - as more than a mere “heuristic aid” to proof, but either proofs themselves, or irreducible components of such. However what exactly is a diagram in logic? Does this constitute a semiotic natural kind? The paper will argue that such a natural kind (...) does exist in Charles Peirce’s conception of iconic signs, but that fully understood, logical diagrams involve a structured array of normative reasoning practices, as well as just a “picture on a page”. (shrink)
The recent wave of data on exoplanets lends support to METI ventures (Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), insofar as the more exoplanets we find, the more likely it is that “exominds” await our messages. Yet, despite these astronomical advances, there are presently no well-confirmed tests against which to check the design of interstellar messages. In the meantime, the best we can do is distance ourselves from terracentric assumptions. There is no reason, for example, to assume that all inferential abilities are language-like. (...) With that in mind, I argue that logical reasoning does not have to be couched in symbolic notation. In diagrammatic reasoning, inferences are underwritten, not by rules, but by transformations of self-same qualitative signs. I use the Existential Graphs of C. S. Peirce to show this. Since diagrams are less dependent on convention and might even be generalized to cover non-visual senses, I argue that METI researchers should add some form of diagrammatic representations to their repertoire. Doing so can shed light, not just on alien minds, but on the deepest structures of reasoning itself. (shrink)
The argument diagramming method developed by Monroe C. Beardsley in his (1950) book Practical Logic, which has since become the gold standard for diagramming arguments in informal logic, makes it possible to map the relation between premises and conclusions of a chain of reasoning in relatively complex ways. The method has since been adapted and developed in a number of directions by many contemporary informal logicians and argumentation theorists. It has proved useful in practical applications and especially pedagogically in teaching (...) basic logic and critical reasoning skills at all levels of scientific education. I propose in this essay to build on Beardsley diagramming techniques to refine and supplement their structural tools for visualizing logical relationships in a number of categories not originally accommodated by Beardsley diagramming, including circular reasoning, reductio ad absurdum arguments, and efforts to dispute and contradict arguments, with applications and analysis. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to explain why knot diagrams are an effective notation in topology. Their cognitive features and epistemic roles will be assessed. First, it will be argued that different interpretations of a figure give rise to different diagrams and as a consequence various levels of representation for knots will be identified. Second, it will be shown that knot diagrams are dynamic by pointing at the moves which are commonly applied to them. For this (...) reason, experts must develop a specific form of enhanced manipulative imagination, in order to draw inferences from knot diagrams by performing epistemic actions. Moreover, it will be argued that knot diagrams not only can promote discovery, but also provide evidence. This case study is an experimentation ground to evaluate the role of space and action in making inferences by reasoning diagrammatically. (shrink)
This article explores aspects of Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption from the perspective of systems theory. Mosès, Pollock, and others have noted the systematic character of the Star. While “systematic” does not mean “systems theoretic,” the philosophical theology of the Star encompasses ideas that are salient in systems theory. The Magen David star to which the title refers, and which deeply structures Rosenzweig’s thought, fits the classic definition of “system” – a set of elements and relations between the elements. The Yes (...) and No of the elements and their reversals illustrate the bridging of element and relation with the third category of “attribute,” a notion also central to the definition of “system.” In the diachronics of “the All,” the relations actualize what is only potential in the elements in their primordial state and thus remedy the incompleteness of these elements, fusing them into an integrated whole. Incompleteness is a major theme of systems theory, which also explicitly examines the relations between wholes and parts and offers a formal framework for expressing such fusions. In this article, the systems character of Parts I & II of the Star is explored through extensive use of diagrams; a systems exploration of Part III is left for future work. Remarkably, given its highly architectonic character, diagrams are absent in Rosenzweig’s book, except for the triangle of elements, the triangle of relations, and the hexadic star, which are presented on the opening page of each part of the book. While structures can be explicated entirely in words, diagrams are a visual medium of communication that supplements words and supports a nonverbal understanding that structures both thought and experience. (shrink)
While mechanistic explanation and, to a lesser extent, nomological explanation are well-explored topics in the philosophy of biology, topological explanation is not. Nor is the role of diagrams in topological explanations. These explanations do not appeal to the operation of mechanisms or laws, and extant accounts of the role of diagrams in biological science explain neither why scientists might prefer diagrammatic representations of topological information to sentential equivalents nor how such representations might facilitate important processes of explanatory reasoning (...) unavailable to scientists who restrict themselves to sentential representations. Accordingly, relying upon a case study about immune system vulnerability to attacks on CD4+ T-cells, I argue that diagrams group together information in a way that avoids repetition in representing topological structure, facilitate identification of specific topological properties of those structures, and make available to controlled processing explanatorily salient counterfactual information about topological structures, all in ways that sentential counterparts of diagrams do not. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that the different positions taken by Dyson and Feynman on Feynman diagrams’ representational role depend on different styles of scientific thinking. We begin by criticizing the idea that Feynman Diagrams can be considered to be pictures or depictions of actual physical processes. We then show that the best interpretation of the role they play in quantum field theory and quantum electrodynamics is captured by Hughes' Denotation, Deduction and Interpretation theory of models (DDI), where (...) “models” are to be interpreted as inferential, non-representational devices constructed in given social contexts by the community of physicists. (shrink)
Mathematical diagrams are frequently used in contemporary mathematics. They are, however, widely seen as not contributing to the justificatory force of proofs: they are considered to be either mere illustrations or shorthand for non-diagrammatic expressions. Moreover, when they are used inferentially, they are seen as threatening the reliability of proofs. In this paper, I examine certain examples of diagrams that resist this type of dismissive characterization. By presenting two diagrammatic proofs, one from topology and one from algebra, I (...) show that diagrams form genuine notational systems, and I argue that this explains why they can play a role in the inferential structure of proofs without undermining their reliability. I then consider whether diagrams can be essential to the proofs in which they appear. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to elucidate the relationship between Aristotelian conceptual oppositions, commutative diagrams of relational structures, and Galois connections.This is done by investigating in detail some examples of Aristotelian conceptual oppositions arising from topological spaces and similarity structures. The main technical device for this endeavor is the notion of Galois connections of order structures.
In this paper, we analyze and discuss Schopenhauer’s n-term diagrams for eristic dialectics from a graph-theoretical perspective. Unlike logic, eristic dialectics does not examine the validity of an isolated argument, but the progression and persuasiveness of an argument in the context of a dialogue or even controversy. To represent these dialogue situations, Schopenhauer created large maps with concepts and Euler-type diagrams, which from today’s perspective are a specific form of graphs. We first present the original method with Euler-type (...)diagrams, then give the most important graph-theoretical definitions, then discuss Schopenhauer’s diagrams graph-theoretically and finally give an example of how the graphs or diagrams can be used to analyze dialogues. (shrink)
This paper describes how bodily positions and gestures were used to teach argument diagramming to a student who cannot see. After listening to short argumentative passages with a screen reader, the student had to state the conclusion while touching his belly button. When stating a premise, he had to touch one of his shoulders. Premises lending independent support to a conclusion were thus diagrammed by a V-shaped gesture, each shoulder proposition going straight to the conclusion. Premises lending dependent support were (...) diagrammed by a T-shaped gesture, the shoulder premises meeting at the collar bone before moving down to the belly button. Arguments involving two pairs of entailments were diagrammed by an I-shaped gesture, going from the collar bone to a mid-way conclusion above the abdomen before travelling to the final conclusion at the belly button. The student’s strong performance suggests that placing propositions at different locations on the body and uniting them with gestures can help one discern correct argumentative structures. (shrink)
A detailed axiomatisation of diagrams (in affine geometry) is presented, which supports typing of geometric objects, calculation of geometric quantities and automated proof of theorems.
In this paper we argue that there were several currents, ideas and problems in 19th-century logic that motivated John Venn to develop his famous logic diagrams. To this end, we first examine the problem of uncertainty or over-specification in syllogistic that became obvious in Euler diagrams. In the 19th century, numerous logicians tried to solve this problem. The most famous was the attempt to introduce dashed circles into Euler diagrams. The solution that John Venn developed for this (...) problem, however, came from a completely different area of logic: instead of orienting to syllogistic like Euler diagrams, Venn applied Boolean algebra to improve visual reasoning. Venn’s contribution to solving the problem of elimination also played an important role. The result of this development is still known today as the ‘Venn Diagram’. (shrink)
In this paper I begin by extending two results of Solovay; the first characterizes the possible Turing degrees of models of True Arithmetic (TA), the complete first-order theory of the standard model of PA, while the second characterizes the possible Turing degrees of arbitrary completions of P. I extend these two results to characterize the possible Turing degrees of m-diagrams of models of TA and of arbitrary complete extensions of PA. I next give a construction showing that the conditions (...) Solovay identified for his characterization of degrees of models of arbitrary completions of PA cannot be dropped (I showed that these conditions cannot be simplified in the paper. (shrink)
If the allusive stratagems can claim to define a new type of systematicity, it is because they give access to a space where the singularity, the diagram and the metaphor may interlace, to penetrate further into the physico-mathematic intuition and the discipline of the gestures which precede and accompany ‘formalisation’. This interlacing is an operation where each component backs up the others: without the diagram, the metaphor would only be a short-lived fulguration because it would be unable to operate: without (...) the metaphor, the diagram would only be a frozen icon, unable to jump over its bold features which represent the images of an already acquired knowledge; without the subversion of the functional by the singular, nothing would come to oppose the force of habit. (shrink)
The importance of teaching critical thinking skills at the college level cannot be overemphasized. Teaching a subcategory of these skills—argument analysis—we believe is especially important for first-year students with their college careers, as well as their lives, ahead of them. The struggle, however, is how to effectively teach argument analysis skills that will serve students in a broad range of disciplines.
Logicians commonly speak in a relatively undifferentiated way about pre-euler diagrams. The thesis of this paper, however, is that there were three periods in the early modern era in which euler-type diagrams (line diagrams as well as circle diagrams) were expansively used. Expansive periods are characterized by continuity, and regressive periods by discontinuity: While on the one hand an ongoing awareness of the use of euler-type diagrams occurred within an expansive period, after a subsequent phase (...) of regression the entire knowledge about the systematic application and the history of euler-type diagrams was lost. I will argue that the first expansive period lasted from Vives (1531) to Alsted (1614). The second period began around 1660 with Weigel and ended in 1712 with lange. The third period of expansion started around 1760 with the works of Ploucquet, euler and lambert. Finally, it is shown that euler-type diagrams became popular in the debate about intuition which took place in the 1790s between leibnizians and Kantians. The article is thus limited to the historical periodization between 1530 and 1800. (shrink)
After determining one set of skills that we hoped our students were learning in the introductory philosophy class at Carnegie Mellon University, we performed an experiment twice over the course of two semesters to test whether they were actually learning these skills. In addition, there were four different lectures of this course in the first semester, and five in the second; in each semester students in some lectures were taught the material using argument diagrams as a tool to aid (...) understanding and critical evaluation, while the other students were taught using more traditional methods. In each lecture, the students were given a pre-test at the beginning of the semester, and a structurally identical post-test at the end. We determined that the students did develop the skills in which we were interested over the course of the semester. We also determined that the students who were taught argument diagramming gained significantly more than the students who were not. We conclude that learning how to construct argument diagrams significantly improves a student’s ability to analyze arguments. (shrink)
The icon is the type of sign connected to efficient representational features, and its manipulation reveals more information about its object. The London Underground Diagram (LUD) is an iconic artifact and a well-known example of representational efficiency, having been copied by urban transportation systems worldwide. This paper investigates the efficiency of the LUD in the light of different conceptions of iconicity. We stress that a specialized representation is an icon of the formal structure of the problem for which it has (...) been specialized. By embedding such rules of action and behavior, the icon acts as a semiotic artifact distributing cognitive effort and participating in niche construction. (shrink)
The cognitive processing of spatial relations in Euclidean diagrams is central to the diagram-based geometric practice of Euclid's Elements. In this study, we investigate this processing through two dichotomies among spatial relations—metric vs topological and exact vs co-exact—introduced by Manders in his seminal epistemological analysis of Euclid's geometric practice. To this end, we carried out a two-part experiment where participants were asked to judge spatial relations in Euclidean diagrams in a visual half field task design. In the first (...) part, we tested whether the processing of metric vs topological relations yielded the same hemispheric specialization as the processing of coordinate vs categorical relations. In the second part, we investigated the specific performance patterns for the processing of five pairs of exact/co-exact relations, where stimuli for the co-exact relations were divided into three categories depending on their distance from the exact case. Regarding the processing of metric vs topological relations, hemispheric differences were found for only a few of the stimuli used, which may indicate that other processing mechanisms might be at play. Regarding the processing of exact vs co-exact relations, results show that the level of agreement among participants in judging co-exact relations decreases with the distance from the exact case, and this for the five pairs of exact/co-exact relations tested. The philosophical implications of these empirical findings for the epistemological analysis of Euclid's diagram-based geometric practice are spelled out and discussed. (shrink)
This paper explains how to use a new software tool for argument diagramming available free on the Internet, showing especially how it can be used in the classroom to enhance critical thinking in philosophy. The user loads a text file containing an argument into a box on the computer interface, and then creates an argument diagram by dragging lines from one node to another. A key feature is the support for argumentation schemes, common patterns of defeasible reasoning historically know as (...) topics . Several examples are presented, as well as the results of an experiment in using the system with students in a university classroom. (shrink)
Research has shown that the construction of visual representations may have a positive effect on cognitive skills, including argumentation. In this paper we present a study on learning argumentation through computer-supported argument diagramming. We specifically focus on whether students, when provided with an argument-diagramming tool, create better diagrams, are more motivated, and learn more when working with other students or on their own. We use learning analytics to evaluate a variety of student activities: pre and post questionnaires to explore (...) motivational changes; the argument diagrams created by students to evaluate richness, complexity and completion; and pre and post knowledge tests to evaluate learning gains. (shrink)
From the beginning of the 16th century to the end of the 18th century, there were not less than ten philosophers who focused extensively on Venn’s ostensible analytical diagrams, as noted by modern historians of logic (Venn, Gardner, Baron, Coumet et al.). But what was the reason for early modern philosophers to use logic or analytical diagrams? Among modern historians of logic one can find two theses which are closely connected to each other: M. Gardner states that since (...) the Middle Ages certain logic diagrams were used just in order to teach “dull-witted students”. Therefore, logic diagrams were just a means to an end. According to P. Bernhard, the appreciation of logic diagrams had not started prior to the 1960s, therefore the fact that logic diagrams become an end the point of research arose very late. The paper will focus on the question whether logic resp. analytical diagrams were just means in the history of (early) modern logic or not. In contrast to Gardner, I will argue that logic diagrams were not only used as a tool for “dull-witted students”, but rather as a tool used by didactic reformers in early modern logic. In predating Bernhard’s thesis, I will argue that in the 1820s logic diagrams had already become a value in themselves in Arthur Schopenhauer’s lectures on logic, especially in proof theory. (shrink)
This article presents some results of a research on computational strategies for the visualization of sign classification structures and sign processes. The focus of this research is the various classifications of signs described by Peirce. Two models are presented. One of them concerns specifically the 10-fold classification as described in the 1903 Syllabus (MS 540, EP 2: 289–299), while the other deals with the deep structure of Peirce’s various trichotomic classifications. The first is 10cubes, an interactive 3-D model of Peirce’s (...) 10-fold classification, as described in the Syllabus. The second is 3N3, a computer program that builds equivalent diagrams for any n-trichotomic classification of signs. We are specially interested in how a graphic design methodology, associated with computer graphic resources and techniques, can contribute to the construction of interactive models that serve as tools for the investigation of C. S. Peirce’s theory of signs. (shrink)
We advance a theory of the representational role of Euclidean diagrams according to which they are samples of co-exact features. We contrast our theory with two other conceptions, the instantial conception and Macbeth’s iconic view, with respect to how well they accommodate three fundamental constraints on theories of the Euclidean diagrammatic practice— that Euclidean diagrams are used in proofs whose results are wholly general, that Euclidean diagrams indicate the co-exact features that the geometer is allowed to infer (...) from them and that Euclidean diagrams play the same role in both direct proofs and indirect proofs by reductio—and argue that our view is the one best suited to account for them. We conclude by illustrating the virtues of our conception of Euclidean diagrams as samples by means of an analysis of Saccheri’s quadrilateral. (shrink)
This long essay was published in Vital Beauty, a collection including Wendy Steiner and Tim Ingold, which investigates the possibility of new ways toward beauty. This is my first encounter with Hartshorne’s Diagram of Aesthetic Values, a mandala-like structure explaining the relations between aesthetic experiences. The essay looks into the awkward history of the diagram in Hartshorne’s philosophy, its connection to Max Dessoir’s work, to Whitehead’s chapter on beauty in Adventures of Ideas and the notion of creativity in Schelling.
Neuron diagrams are heavily employed in academic discussions of causation. Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum, however, offer an alternative approach employing vector diagrams, which this paper attempts to develop further. I identify three ways in which dispositionalists have taken the activities of powers to be related: stimulation, mutual manifestation, and contribution combination. While Mumford and Anjum do provide resources for representing contribution combination, which might be sufficient for their particular brand of dispositionalism, I argue that those resources (...) are not flexible enough to further accommodate either stimulation or mutual manifestation. Representational tools are provided to address these limitations, improving the general value of the vector model for dispositionalist approaches to causation. (shrink)
A particularly promising trail on the search for forgotten logic diagrams leads to Upper Lusatia in the 17th century, more precisely to Christian Weise and his students. Samuel Grosser, who later became rector in Görlitz, and Johann Christian Lange, who later became professor of logic at the University of Gießen, are the most prominent to have published remarkable logic diagrams. Even more remarkable, however, is the fact that Lange's interest in these diagrams ultimately gave rise to the (...) idea of building a logic machine. (shrink)
Recent work in formal philosophy has concentrated over-whelmingly on the logical problems pertaining to epistemic shortfall - which is to say on the various ways in which partial and sometimes incorrect information may be stored and processed. A directly depicting language, in contrast, would reflect a condition of epistemic perfection. It would enable us to construct representations not of our knowledge but of the structures of reality itself, in much the way that chemical diagrams allow the representation (at a (...) certain level of abstractness) of the structures of molecules of different sorts. A diagram of such a language would be true if that which it sets out to depict exists in reality, i.e. if the structural relations between the names (and other bits and pieces in the diagram) map structural relations among the corresponding objects in the world. Otherwise it would be false. All of this should, of course, be perfectly familiar. (See, for example, Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1027 b 22, 1051 b 32ff.) The present paper seeks to go further than its predecessors, however, in offering a detailed account of the syntax of a working universal characteristic and of the ways in which it might be used. (shrink)
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