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Ragnar Van Der Merwe
University of Johannesburg
  1. A Dilemma for Determination Pluralism (or Dualism).Ragnar van der Merwe - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (4):507-523.
    Douglas Edwards is arguably the most prominent contemporary advocate of moderate alethic pluralism. Significantly influenced by Crispin Wright and Michael Lynch, his work on the nature of truth has become widely discussed in the topical literature. Edwards labels his version of moderate alethic pluralism determination pluralism. At first blush, determination pluralism appears philosophically promising. The position deserves thoughtful consideration, particularly because of its capacity to accommodate the scope problem. I argue, however, that upon analysis the view is better understood as (...)
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  2. K. Brad Wray: Resisting Scientific Realism, Book Review. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2018. [REVIEW]Ragnar van der Merwe - 2020 - Journal for the General Philosophy of Science 51 (4):637-641.
    Book Review K. Brad Wray: Resisting Scientific Realism. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2018, xii + 224 pp, £ 75.00 (Hardcover), ISBN: 9781108231633. By Ragnar van der Merwe. In The Journal for the General Philosophy of Science.
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  3.  21
    Stuart Kauffman’s Metaphysics of the Adjacent Possible: A Critique.Ragnar Van Der Merwe - forthcoming - Interdisciplinary Science Reviews.
    Stuart Kauffman has, in recent writings, developed a thought-provoking and influential argument for strong emergence. The outcome is his Theory of the Adjacent Possible (TAP). According to TAP, the biosphere constitutes a non-physical domain qualitatively distinct from the physical domain. The biosphere exhibits strongly emergent properties such as agency, meaning, value and creativity that cannot, in principle, be reduced to the physical. In this paper, I argue that TAP includes various (explicit or implicit) metaphysical commitments: commitments to (1) scientific realism, (...)
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  4.  84
    Whewell’s Hylomorphism as a Metaphorical Explanation for How Mind and World Merge.Ragnar van der Merwe - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie.
    William Whewell’s 19th century philosophy of science is sometimes glossed over as a footnote to Kant. There is however a key feature of Whewell’s account worth noting. This is his appeal to Aristotle’s form/matter hylomorphism as a metaphor to explain how mind and world merge in successful scientific inquiry. Whewell’s hylomorphism suggests a middle way between rationalism and empiricism reminiscent of experience pragmatists like Steven Levine’s view that mind and world are entwined in experience. I argue however that Levine does (...)
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  5.  74
    On Paul Cilliers’ Approach to Complexity: Post-Structuralism Versus Model Exclusivity.Ragnar Van Der Merwe - 2021 - INDECS: Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems 19 (4):457-469.
    Paul Cilliers has developed a novel post-structural approach to complexity that has influenced several writers contributing to the current complexity literature. Concomitantly however, Cilliers advocates for modelling complex systems using connectionist neural networks (rather than analytic, rule-based models). In this paper, I argue that it is dilemmic to simultaneously hold these two positions. Cilliers’ post-structural interpretation of complexity states that models of complex systems are always contextual and provisional; there is no exclusive model of complex systems. This sentiment however appears (...)
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  6. Stuart Kauffman: A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life. [REVIEW]Ragnar van der Merwe - 2020 - Metascience 29 (2):279-282.
    Enablement, the adjacent possible and the becoming of the biosphere Stuart Kauffman: A world beyond physics: the emergence and evolution of life. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019, ix + 151 pp, $24.95 HB, ISBN: 9780190871338 .
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  7. Book Review of The Metaphysics of Truth by Douglas Edwards. [REVIEW]Ragnar van der Merwe - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (4):555-574.
    Book Review The Metaphysics of Truth by Douglas Edwards Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. x + 210. ISBN 9780198758693. £45.00 ($56.00) (hardcover).
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