It presents the basics of the “Relativistic theory of gravitation”, with the inclusion of original texts, from various papers, published between 1987 and 2009, by theirs authors: S. S Gershtein, A. A. Logunov, Yu. M. Loskutov and M. A. Mestvirishvili, additionally, together with the introductions, summaries and conclusions of the author of this paper. The “Relativistic theory of gravitation” is a gauge theory, compatible with the theories of quantum physics of the electromagnetic, weak and strong forces, which defines gravity as (...) the fourth force existing in nature, as a static field equipped with the transmitter particles of the virtual gravitons of spins 2 and 0, within the spirit of Galilei's principle of relativity, in his generalization of Poincaré's Special Relativity that allowed the authors to universalize that the physical laws of nature are complied with regardless of the frames of reference where they apply, integrated into the Grossmann-Einstein Entwurf theory, in its further development, by those authors, therefore, this theory preserves the conservation laws of energy-impulse and angular impulse of the gravitational field jointly to the other material fields existing in nature, in the Riemann's effective spacetime, through its identity with Minkowski's pseudo Euclidean spacetime. (shrink)
Einstein structured the theoretical frame of his work on gravity under the Special Relativity and Minkowski´s spacetime using three guide principles: The strong principle of equivalence establishes that acceleration and gravity are equivalents. Mach´s principle explains the inertia of the bodies and particles as completely determined by the total mass existent in the universe. And, general covariance searches to extend the principle of relativity from inertial motion to accelerated motion. Mach´s principle was abandoned quickly, general covariance resulted mathematical property of (...) the tensors and principle of equivalence inconsistent and it can only apply to punctual gravity, no to extended gravity. Also, the basic principle of Special Relativity, i.e., the constancy of the speed of the electromagnetic wave in the vacuum was abandoned, static Minkowski´s spacetime was replaced to dynamic Lorentz´s manifold and the main conceptual fundament of the theory, i.e. spacetime is not known what is. Of other hand, gravity never was conceptually defined; neither answers what is the law of gravity in general. However, the predictions arise of Einstein equations are rigorously exacts. Thus, the conclusion is that on gravity, it has only the equations. In this work it shows that principle of equivalence applies really to punctual and extended gravity, gravity is defined as effect of change of coordinates although in the case of the extended gravity with change of geometry from Minkowski´s spacetime to Lorentz´s manifold; and the gravitational motion is the geodesic motion that well it can declare as the general law of gravity. (shrink)
We present a proposal, alternative to the curved spacetime of Einstein, which we replaced by the curved quantum vacuum, caused by its gravitational interaction with the masses of the stars, as the source of Newtonian anomalies of celestial mechanics, restoring gravity as one of the fundamental forces of nature.
Based on the Russian school of Logunov and others, with the contribution of Tom van Flandern, and his previous works on space-time, gravitational waves and speed of the gravity, the author discusses the theory of the time-space fluid that results from the supposed gravitational waves that would have detected LIGO, and reaffirms the space-time as a structural geometric property of the dynamic matter (radiation, matter and quantum vacuum), now with the strong argument that without escape, in an unnatural way, the (...) physicists and philosophers of science confer the conception of the author to that ridiculous material-space-time, while depriving Matter, of the intrinsic space-time. In addition, he warns about the conceptual contradiction existing between NASA and Caltech over gravitational waves, being absurd the concept of Caltech, operator of LIGO, since gravitational waves would propagate in five non-detectable dimensions. NASA valiant and validly recognizes that they would be waves of space; therefore, there are no space-time waves that correspond to gravitational waves that, according to the great current of relativistic physicists, would exist. Finally, the author reaffirms that the quadrupole waves detected by LIGO are waves of the quantum vacuum. (shrink)
Presentamos lo básico de la teoría relativista de la gravitación, con la inclusión de textos originales, de varios papeles, publicados entre 1987 y 2009, por sus autores: S. S Gershtein, A. A Logunov, Yu. M Loskutov y M. A Mestvirishvili junto con las introducciones, resúmenes y conclusiones elaborados por el autor de este papel. Esta es una teoría gauge, compatible con las teorías de la física cuántica de las fuerzas electromagnética, débil y fuerte, que define la gravedad como la cuarta (...) fuerza existente en la naturaleza, como campo estático dotada de la partícula transmisora del gravitón virtual de espines 2 y 0, dentro del espíritu del principio de relatividad de Galilei, en su generalización de la relatividad especial de Poincaré que le permitió a los autores la universalización de que las leyes físicas de la naturaleza se cumplen con independencia de los marcos de referencia donde se apliquen. No obstante, integrada a la teoría Entwurf de Grossmann-Einstein, en su desarrollo ulterior, por parte de estos autores, por lo tanto, preserva las leyes de conservación de la energía-impulso y del impulso angular conjuntamente del campo gravitacional y los demás campos materiales existentes en la naturaleza, en el espaciotiempo efectivo de Riemann, mediante su identidad con el espaciotiempo pseudo Euclídeo de Minkowski. (shrink)
Gravity is the foundation of the current physical paradigm. Due to that gravity is strongly linked to the curvature of space-time, we research that it lacks of a valid physical concept of space-time, nevertheless that from the science philosophy, via substantivalism, it has tried respond. We found that is due to that the gnoseological process applied from the general relativity, necessarily us leads to metaphysic because ontologically space-time is a metaphysical entity. Thus, we arrive to the super substantivalism that from (...) metaphysics gives an answer on space-time rigorously exact with the vision of Einstein on physics. The result is that matter is nothing since all is space-time, i.e. geometry, therefore is a imperative of the physical science break the current paradigm. (shrink)
Gravity is the curvature of spacetime, the structural property of static gravitational field, a geometric field, in curved coordinates, according the functions guv, that express geometric relations between material events. Course, general relativity is a relational theory, however, gravity, a thinking category, has symetric physical effects with matter. We use, analitic and critic method of reread the general relativity, since the perspective of the history of the science and the philosophy of the science. Our goal is driver the debate on (...) gravity, to the arena of the quantum physics, but without the ballast of the general relativity. We find that through of relativist aether was attempted transform spacetime in a substantia without succes, the consequence was return to problematic geometric field. The philosophy of the science intervenes, and according the best philosophical theory of substantivalism, spacetime is a inmaterial, geometric substantia. Then, the metaphysics arrives to a full solution in the super-substantivalism theory, that affirms: matter arises from geometric spacetime. Thus, it explains consistently the symetric physical effects between spacetime and matter. Surely, this solution is a medieval speculation. Our conclusion is that since general relativity do not defined physically spacetime leads necessarily to philosophical definitions of relationism and substantivalism on spacetime that are unacceptable physically. Therefore, gravity is not the curvature of spacetime. (shrink)
Con base en los varios papeles, 1989-2002, mediante los textos originales, se presenta la crítica, de los matemático-físicos A. Logunov y M. Mestvirishvil, de la “general relatividad” de A. Einstein, paso previo para la elaboración de la teoría relativista de la gravitación de estos autores. Se demuestra concluyentemente que desde las ecuaciones de Einstein-Grossman-Hilbert la gravedad es absurdamente un campo métrico carente de realidad física.
Spacetime and motion are interconnected concepts. A better understanding of motion leads to a better understanding of spacetime. We use the historical critical analysis of the various theoretical proposals on motion in search of clues ignored. The prediction of the general relativity that the motion occurs in the static gravitational field is not valid because the motion always occurs in a given medium as vacuum, atmosphere, water, etc. The concept of motion and the equations of the special and general relativity, (...) as the theory of Galilee-Newton reduce motion elements to particle and spacetime. In this paper, we present the medium (in special, the quantum vacuum), as the third essential element of motion, inseparable of spacetime since it is its material support of which the spacetime is its structural form, and we analyse its consequences in the theories of spacetime. Our contribution is declare, that the spacetime itself does not exist, or is a relational property of matter, but a structural property of matter. (shrink)
The General Relativity understands gravity like inertial movement of the free fall of the bodies in curved spacetime of Lorentz. The law of inertia of Newton would be particular case of the inertial movement of the bodies in the spacetime flat of Euclid. But, in the step, from general to particular, breaks the law of inertia of Galilei since recovers apparently the rectilinear uniform movement but not the repose state, unless the bodies have undergone their collapse, although, the curved spacetime (...) becomes flat and the curved geodesies becomes straight lines. For General Relativity is a natural law, within of a gravitational field, the accelerated movement of the bodies, that leads to that a geometric curvature puts out to the bodies in such geodesic movement. In this paper this error of General Relativity, like generalization of the law of inertia of Galilei, is examined and it is found that it is caused by suppression of mass and force that allows conceiving acceleration like property of spacetime. This is a mathematical and non-ontological result. Indeed, mass and force are the fundament that the gravitational acceleration is independent of the magnitude of mass of the bodies but gravity not of the mass and the gravitational force. The action of the gravity force, on inertial and gravitational masses of a body, produces mutual cancellation during its free fallen but too its weight when this cease. By means of the third law of Newton it shows that gravity is a force since weight is caused by gravity. (shrink)
When a theory, as the general relativity, linked to special relativity, is foundation of a scientific paradigm, through normal science and academy, scientifics, professionals, professors, students and journals of that scientific community, the paradigm, it self-sustains and reproduces. Thus, the research is obligated and limited to apply the model existent of the paradigm to formulate problems and solve them, without searching new discoveries. This self-protection of the paradigm causes it to end its cycle of life, only after a long time, (...) until that arise unresolved anomalies, some presents since origin, that they finally cause its change by other new paradigm. In this work, we study the most important anomalies that are part of the foundations of general relativity with the goal of promoting the call period of transition that is previous to scientific revolution. We use critical analysis method for rereading the general relativity, from the perspective of the history of science and philosophy of science. We find, the structural and complex anomaly of general relativity based on metaphysical spacetime that produces the metaphysics replaces physics. Also, two internal anomalies their direct consequences. These are: matter curves metaphysical spacetime, and metaphysical spacetime determines the geodesic motion of physical matter. We conclude that general relativity has no valid physical concept of spacetime, therefore of gravity. For these reasons, a new paradigm is needed. (shrink)
While the philosophers of science discuss the General Relativity, the mathematical physicists do not question it. Therefore, there is a conflict. From the theoretical point view “the question of precisely what Einstein discovered remains unanswered, for we have no consensus over the exact nature of the theory 's foundations. Is this the theory that extends the relativity of motion from inertial motion to accelerated motion, as Einstein contended? Or is it just a theory that treats gravitation geometrically in the spacetime (...) setting?”. “The voices of dissent proclaim that Einstein was mistaken over the fundamental ideas of his own theory and that their basic principles are simply incompatible with this theory. Many newer texts make no mention of the principles Einstein listed as fundamental to his theory; they appear as neither axiom nor theorem. At best, they are recalled as ideas of purely historical importance in the theory's formation. The very name General Relativity is now routinely condemned as a misnomer and its use often zealously avoided in favour of, say , Einstein's theory of gravitation What has complicated an easy resolution of the debate are the alterations of Einstein's own position on the foundations of his theory”, (Norton, 1993). Of other hand from the mathematical point view the “General Relativity had been formulated as a messy set of partial differential equations in a single coordinate system. People were so pleased when they found a solution that they didn't care that it probably had no physical significance” (Hawking and Penrose, 1996). So, during a time, the declaration of quantum theorists:“I take the positivist viewpoint that a physical theory is just a mathematical model and that it is meaningless to ask whether it corresponds to reality. All that one can ask is that its predictions should be in agreement with observation.” (Hawking and Penrose, 1996)seemed to solve the problem, but recently achieved with the help of the tightly and collectively synchronized clocks in orbit frontally contradicts fundamental assumptions of the theory of Relativity. These observations are in disagree from predictions of the theory of Relativity. (Hatch, 2004a, 2004b, 2007). The mathematical model was developed first by Grossmann who presented it, in 1913, as the mathematical part of the Entwurf theory, still referred to a curved Minkowski spacetime. Einstein completed the mathematical model, in 1915, formulated for Riemann ́s spacetimes. In this paper, we present as of General Relativity currently remains only the mathematical model, darkened with the results of Hatch and, course, we conclude that a Einstein ́s gravity theory does not exist. (shrink)
The equivalence principle between the gravitational motion and the inertial motion is false because a particle or body successively in two any contiguous points while in a gravitational frame they have different kinetic energy, instead they always have equal kinetic energy in an inertial frame.
General Relativity defines gravity like the metric of a Lorentzian manifold. Einstein formulated spacetime as quality structural of gravity, i.e, circular definition between gravity and spacetime, also Einstein denoted "Space and time are modes by which we think, not conditions under which we live" and “We denote everything but the gravitational field as matter”, therefore, spacetime is nothing and gravity in first approximation an effect of coordinates, and definitely a geometric effect. The mathematical model generates quantitative predictions coincident in high (...) grade with observations without physical meaning. Philosophy intervened: in Substantivalism, spacetime exists in itself while in Relationalism as metrical relations. But, it does not know what spacetime. The outcomes of model have supported during a century, validity of the General Relativity, interpreted arbitrarily. Einstein formulated, from quadrupoles of energy, the formation of ripples in spacetime propagating as gravitational waves abandoned, in 1938, when he said that they do not exist. LIGO announced the first detection of gravitational waves from a pair of merging black holes. They truly are waves of quantum vacuum. (shrink)
The General Relativity understands gravity like inertial movement of the free fall of the bodies in curved spacetime of Lorentz. The law of inertia of Newton would be particular case of the inertial movement of the bodies in the spacetime flat of Euclid. But, in the step, of the particular to the general, breaks the law of inertia of Galilei since recovers the rectilinear uniform movement but not the repose state, unless the bodies have undergone their union, although, the curved (...) spacetime becomes flat and the curved geodesies becomes straight lines. For General Relativity is a natural law, within of a gravitational field, the uniform accelerated movement of the bodies, that leads to that a geometric curvature puts out to the bodies of the repose state for animate them of the movement of free fallen. In this paper this error of General Relativity, like generalization of the law of inertia of Galilei, is examined and it is found that it is caused by suppression of mass and force that allows conceiving acceleration like property of spacetime. This is a mathematical and non-ontological result. Indeed, mass and force are the fundament that the gravitational acceleration is a constant value for all the bodies, independently of the magnitude of mass but not of the mass and the gravitational force. The action of the gravity force, on inertial and gravitational masses of a body, produces mutual cancellation during its free fallen. In addition, by means of the third law of Newton it demonstrates that gravity is a force since weight is caused by gravity force. (shrink)
In the standard model of cosmology, λCDM, were introduced to explain the anomalies of the orbital velocities of galaxies in clusters highest according estimated by General Relativity the dark matter and the accelerated expansion of the universe the dark energy. The model λCDM is based in the equations of the General Relativity that of the total mass-energy of the universe assigns 4.9% to matter (including only baryonic matter), 26.8%, to dark matter and 68.3% to dark energy adjusted according observed in (...) Planck mission, therefore, excluding bosonic matter (quantum vacuum). However, the composition of dark matter and dark energy are unknown. Due to that it lacks of a correct physical theory of gravity since General Relativity is only their powerful equations, which in their applications, their results are interpreted arbitrarily. Properties as curvature, viscous fluid, dragging frame and gravity action are attributed mistakenly to the spacetime by the materialist substantivalism, the most credible philosophical interpretation that complements the General Relativity, caused by its absence of physical definition of spacetime and static gravitational field as immaterial, but which violates, the conception of gravity as an effect of coordinates of the generalization of the inertial motion to the accelerated motion and, in particular, the description of the metric tensor of gravity as a geometric field. These properties are really of the quantum vacuum, the main existence form of the matter. In this paper we propose that the quantum vacuum is the source of dark matter and dark energy, therefore, the components of the quantum vacuum are of them. Both are opposite effects of the quantum vacuum that when gravitationally interacts with the cosmic structures, the vacuum it curves and when such interaction tends to cease by declination of the formation of these structures, occurring since near five milliard of years ago, vacuum it maintains quasi plane, since it interacts gravitationally very weakly with itself, accelerating expansion of the universe. (shrink)
The theoretical contradiction between General Relativity and Quantum Gravity about gravity was ended, since spacetime is not structural property of the gravitational fi eld like Einstein said. Exactly spacetime is the structural geometric property of the matter and energy that it gives their geometric dimensions. Thus, spacetime is not continent of the matter (Substantialism), since it is contained. Neither is the category of the relations between material bodies or between their events (Relationalism) since is not relational property; spacetime is structural (...) property. The particle-wave, of matter and eld, has intrinsically three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension. The spacetime is intrinsically the structural quality of particle-wave. The spacetime is the geometric dimensions of the particle-wave itself and for others. Therefore, the matter and its movements are containing itself. Now only Quantum Gravity is possible. (shrink)
In this essay the author overcomes the theoretical contradiction between General Relativity that defines the gravitational field as a geometric aspect of spacetime, either as potential or curvature, and Quantum Gravity that defines it as a fundamental force of interaction, with the change in the conception of spacetime of structural geometric property from the gravitational field, to the conception of spacetime structural geometric property of matter in motion. Spacetime is not a continent of matter (Substantialism) but rather is contained in (...) matter insofar as it constitutes the geometric structure that gives it its shape and allows its changes, to which as space it confers its ability to contain and as time its capacity to becoming. Nor is spacetime the category of geometric relations of material bodies and their events (Relationism), since it is not a relational property of matter but rather the geometric spacetime structural property of matter, which it endows with their abilities to self-contain and transform. The author's conception of spacetime is that dynamic energy-matter, geometrically endowed with the four dimensions of spacetime, is spatially self-contained and temporarily self-transforming. The wave-particle, of matter and of the field, does not exist in spacetime, but this is the intrinsic structural geometric property of the wave-particle, therefore, attached to its own internal nature, as its intrinsic dimensional geometric property which with the force of law is manifested in its quantitative measurements, either when the wave particle itself is taken or in relation to others. Thus, only theories on gravity from Quantum Gravity are possible, although they must be reformulated, renouncing to integrate them with the geometric vision derived from the equations of the so-called "General Relativity". (shrink)
Desde un enfoque epistemológico se busca hacer la crítica de la relatividad general en el momento en que se formula una teoría cuántica sobre la gravedad (año 1967). Como consecuencia de la restauración de la concepción física sobre la geométrica de la gravedad, en una física de partículas-ondas, se plantea, mediante un análisis formal de estructura, que el gravitón-onda gravitatoria tendrá una velocidad mayor que c.
Cette étude défend l’idée que, contrairement à l’opinion de Latour sur la nécessité de laisser de côté l’épistémologie pour traiter de tout ce qui a de la valeur pour la science, Mario Bunge a systématiquement construit une épistémologie détaillée et approfondie. La stratégie argumentative consistera à montrer (a) qu’il est faux que nous n’avons jamais été modernes (b) que l’épistémologie est là pour de bon et (c) que Mario Bunge soutient un réalisme scientifique fort, une version du matérialisme, du systémisme (...) et de l’émergentisme, comportant une dimension morale (il existe des valeurs objectives comme la vérité, la paix et la justice qui méritent d’être étudiées). Ensuite, le réalisme de Bunge rejette la neutralité axiologique rendant les scientifiques responsables de leurs actions. Bunge a toujours été moderne et continue à enrichir ses propres positions. (shrink)
The main claim of this study is that, contrary to Latour’s view about the need to leave aside epistemology to deal with anything valuable about science, Mario Bunge has consistently built up a detailed and thorough epistemology. The argumentative strategy will be to show that (a) it is not true that we have never been modern (b) epistemology is here to stay, and (c) Mario Bunge endorses a strong scientific realism, a brand of materialism, systemism and emergentism, including a moral (...) dimension (there are objective values like, truth, peace and justice that deserve to be respected). Then, Bunge’s realism rejects axiological neutrality making scientists responsible for their actions. Bunge has always been modern and keeps enriching his own views. (shrink)
A key premise of the kalam cosmological argument is that the universe began to exist. However, while a number of philosophers have offered powerful criticisms of William Lane Craig’s defense of the premise, J.P. Moreland has also offered a number of unique arguments in support of it, and to date, little attention has been paid to these in the literature. In this paper, I attempt to go some way toward redressing this matter. In particular, I shall argue that Moreland’s philosophical (...) arguments against the possibility of traversing a beginningless past are unsuccessful. (shrink)
This chapter provides an overview and critical discussion of cosmological arguments for theism, with special focus on the Kalam argument and arguments from contingency.
This collection highlights the new trend away from rationalism and toward empiricism in the epistemology of modality. Accordingly, the book represents a wide range of positions on the empirical sources of modal knowledge. Readers will find an introduction that surveys the field and provides a brief overview of the work, which progresses from empirically-sensitive rationalist accounts to fully empiricist accounts of modal knowledge. Early chapters focus on challenges to rationalist theories, essence-based approaches to modal knowledge, and the prospects for naturalizing (...) modal epistemology. The middle chapters present positive accounts that reject rationalism, but which stop short of advocating exclusive appeal to empirical sources of modal knowledge. The final chapters mark a transition toward exclusive reliance on empirical sources of modal knowledge. They explore ways of making similarity-based, analogical, inductive, and abductive arguments for modal claims based on empirical information. Modal epistemology is coming into its own as a field, and this book has the potential to anchor a new research agenda. (shrink)
From the refusal of some parents to apply some vaccines to their children, in this work we will show that to act properly it is not enough with a good intellectual justification to validate a belief as accurate, it will be necessary to take into account also the systematic actions in relation to which we are constituted, as well as the feelings that accompany those actions. We begin by exposing the notion of belief that Villoro presents from authors such as (...) Braithwaite and Bain. Next, we briefly explain the topic of the justification of beliefs and then articulate it with some of the controversies related to the application of vaccines. Later, we turned to Hume to show the role of imagination in relation to pleasure and pain in decision making. Finally, we present an outline of the discussion about paternalism in the application of vaccines. (shrink)
Dossier sobre Pragmatismo. Los trabajos que se incluyen en este dossier tienen como hilo conductor el discutir una noción de verdad provisional y débil, en oposición a una concepción de verdad entendida como una fundamentación fuerte, objetiva y universal de las creencias.
En este capítulo se estudia la facultad a prevención contenida en la Ley 1333 de 2009, para analizar la forma en la que el derecho ambiental ha venido construyendo una dogmática y reglas propias, escapando de la tradición del derecho administrativo, así como creando la dogmática propia necesaria para lograr su independencia y consolidación como un área autónoma de la disciplina jurídica. Al respecto, en este ejercicio de reflexión es posible ver cómo la figura aparte de estar diseñada por fuera (...) de la teoría general del acto administrativo, también posee particularidades que la hacen única dentro del ordenamiento jurídico colombiano. (shrink)
From the epistemological posture that we present in this work we sustain the following thesis:-That as subjects we constitute the world we live in through one of the possible conceptual frameworks.-Our cognitive and social practices construct the world in a certain manner, which makes us responsible for the way this world is constituted.
Philosophy has rendered a close attention to audiovisual communication in recent times, but this interest has not always had a parallel in the attention that television has paid to philosophical themes. Nevertheless, some examples of television approaches to philosophy have reached a quite remarkable level of quality. This paper will focus on one of such instances (the DVD Gadamer. Memoria de un siglo, produced by the Spanish Open National University). By means of an analysis of its main virtues and its (...) flaws (from a communicational outlook), we will try to obtain some general conclusions about how philosophical didactics and television can move ahead in their just begun cooperation. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend an epistemological pluralism that moves away from universal and absolute rationality, as well as from a radical and arbitrary relativism, where any criterion is valid for decision making. Such epistemological pluralism maintains that subjects know the world in which they live according to different conceptual schemes. We posit a notion of truth linked to the justification process and practical effectiveness. Then we present the importance of traditional knowledge in the socio-ecological field and relative to complex (...) systems. Finally, we explain the relevance of epistemic equity between traditional and scientific knowledges in order to anticipate consequences and to make decisions less uncertain. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss whether the thesis of Nietzsche’s perspectivism, from an interpretation, could be read in keys of onto-epistemological pluralism. For this, we begin by exposing Nietzsche’s questioning of the notion of rational truth, as well as the universalist and transcendental positions linked to this concept. In the second section we expose some of the main theses of American pragmatism and show that perspectivism is not close to this current of thought. Finally, we present the proposal of ontological (...) and epistemological pluralism and we refer to why Nietzsche’s perspectivism could be articulated with this position and why not. (shrink)
I will center the discussion of the Hart-Fuller debate on the five claims Hart mentions might be understood as legal positivisms main tenets: (1) the command theory; (2) the no necessary connection thesis; (3) the methodological claim; (4) the charge of positivism as formalism and the problem of interpretation; and (5) the meta-ethical confusion. In light of these five claims, I will explore whether the exchange of views between Hart and Fuller in 1957 truly amounted to a debate. Sorting out (...) this issue is the aim of this article. (shrink)
The thought experiment is a seemingly indispensable tool in the armchair philosopher’s toolbox. One wonders, for example, how philosophers could come to think that justified true belief isn’t knowledge, that reference isn’t determined by an expression’s associated description, or that moral responsibility doesn’t require the ability to do otherwise, without the use of thought experiments. But even if thought experiments play an integral role in philosophical methodology, their legitimacy is at least initially puzzling: one would think that significant knowledge of (...) the world requires extensive empirical investigation. But since thought experiments are done from the armchair, how can they tell us about the world? -/- A standard account of the nature and utility of thought experiments provides an answer to this question, and in a way that fits naturally with a standard picture of the nature of the facts philosophers investigate: Philosophers are about the business of investigating the essences of things and kinds. But a thing’s essential and accidental properties are modal properties. Thus, one can discern a thing’s essence by discovering its modal profile. But if so, then thought experiments are naturally suited as tools for the armchair philosopher. For thought experiments shed light on modal facts. Therefore, since philosophers investigate essences, facts about essence are modal facts, and the thought experiment is one of the few tools they have for discerning such facts, thought experiments play a legitimate and indispensable role in philosophical methodology. In my dissertation, I argue that the standard account of the nature and utility of thought experiments is inadequate, and sketch a more promising account. -/- First, I argue that our knowledge of possibility is restricted to the relatively humdrum. And if so, then since the standard account ties the utility of thought experiments to our knowledge of possibility, too many thought experiments will be ruled out as useless, which raises serious concerns about the significance, and perhaps even the legitimacy, of armchair philosophy. Thus, there is pressure for armchair philosophers to reject the standard account. -/- Second, I sketch an alternative picture of the nature of facts philosophers investigate – one that’s more fine-grained than the standard modal-profile picture. Relatedly, I sketch a correspondingly fine-grained semantics for claims about such facts. This alternative picture underwrites the legitimacy of a hitherto underappreciated sort of thought experiment, which I call the non-modal thought experiment. Such thought experiments shed light on facts about the world that are more fine-grained than what can be discerned by merely examining their modal profiles. I argue that non-modal thought experiments often succeed at just the points where the more familiar modal thought experiments fail, and thus that the two are naturally suited to complement one another in the philosopher’s practice. -/- Finally, I exploit the points mentioned above to sketch an account of the variety and utility of thought experiments that’s much more nuanced than that of the standard account. I then illustrate some of its virtues by indicating its ability to account for a wide range of epistemically forceful thought experiments – both humdrum and exotic –, and by demonstrating how it can be used to make progress in debates that have reached a stalemate due to conflicting modal intuitions. -/- . (shrink)
I argue that these inconsistencies in wording and practice reflect the existence of two distinct Aristotelian views of inquiry, one peculiar to the Posterior Analytics and the other put forward in the Physics and practiced in the Physics and in other treatises. Although the two views overlap to some degree (e.g. both regard a rudimentary understanding of the subject as an essential first stage), the view of the syllogism as the workhorse of scientific investigation and the related view of inquiry (...) as a search for the ‘missing middle terms’ turn out to be ideas peculiar to the Analytics. Conversely, the techniques of analysis and differentiation highlighted in the Physics account receive only cursory attention in the Analytics. However, when we consider the character of Aristotle’s own inquiries, on both scientific and philosophical topics, it becomes clear that it is the Physics rather than the Posterior Analytics that gives us Aristotle’s considered view the path to knowledge. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that persons who hold abortions to be generally impermissible must, for the same reasons, be opposed to embryonic stem cell research [ESR]. Yet a settled position against abortion does not necessarily direct one to reject that research. The difference in potentiality between the embryos used in ESR and embryos discussed in the abortion debate can make ESR acceptable even if one holds that abortion is impermissible. With regard to their potentiality, in vitro embryos are here argued (...) to be more morally similar to clonable somatic cells than they are to in vivo embryos. This creates an important moral distinction between embryos in vivo and in vitro. Attempts to refute this moral distinction, raised in the recent debate in this journal between Alfonso Gómez-Lobo and Mary Mahowald, are also addressed. (shrink)
Gómez-Torrente’s papers have made important contributions to vindicate Tarski’s model-theoretic account of the logical properties in the face of Etchemendy’s criticisms. However, at some points his vindication depends on interpreting the Tarskian account as purportedly modally deflationary, i.e., as not intended to capture the intuitive modal element in the logical properties, that logical consequence is (epistemic or alethic) necessary truth-preservation. Here it is argued that the views expressed in Tarski’s seminal work do not support this modally deflationary interpretation, even if (...) Tarski himself was sceptical about modalities. (shrink)
I describe a new, comparative, version of the argument from interpersonal variation to subjectivism about color. The comparative version undermines a recent objectivist response to standard versions of that argument.
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