•  401
    Heidegger's Comportment toward East-West Dialogue
    with Lin Ma and Jaap Van Brakel
    Philosophy East and West 56 (4): 519-566. 2006.
    The primary purpose here is to ascertain what Heidegger's comportment toward East-West dialogue is most plausibly like in the light of his philosophical concerns and orientations. Considering that one should not uncritically take at face value occasional remarks by Heidegger that seem to suggest that he is preparing an East-West dialogue, we will proceed from Heidegger's own path of thinking and bring to light fundamental presuppositions in his thought and the response he may accordingly give to…Read more
  •  370
    No Need to Speak the same Language? Review of Ramberg, Donald Davidson's Philosophy of Language
    Dialectica, Vol. 50, No.1, 1996, Pp. 63-71 50 (1): 63-72. 1996.
    The book is an “introductory” reconstruction of Davidson on interpretation —a claim to be taken with a grain of salt. Writing introductory books has become an idol of the tribe. This is a concise book and reflects much study. It has many virtues along with some flaws. Ramberg assembles themes and puzzles from Davidson into a more or less coherent viewpoint. A special virtue is the innovative treatment of incommensurability and of the relation of Davidson’s work to hermeneutic themes. The weaknes…Read more
  •  259
    Chemistry and physics: no need for metaphysical glue (review)
    Foundations of Chemistry 12 (2): 123-136. 2010.
    Using the notorious bridge law “water is H 2 O” and the relation between molecular structure and quantum mechanics as examples, I argue that it doesn’t make sense to aim for specific definition(s) of intertheoretical or interdiscourse relation(s) between chemistry and physics (reduction, supervenience, what have you). Proposed definitions of interdiscourse and part-whole relations are interesting only if they provide insight in the variegated interconnected patchwork of theories and beliefs. The…Read more
  •  253
  •  213
    The plasticity of categories: The case of colour
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1): 103-135. 1993.
    Probably colour is the best worked-out example of allegedly neurophysiologically innate response categories determining percepts and percepts determining concepts, and hence biology fixing the basic categories implicit in the use of language. In this paper I argue against this view and I take C. L. Hardin's Color for Philosophers [1988] as my main target. I start by undermining the view that four unique hues stand apart from all other colour shades (Section 2) and the confidence that the solar s…Read more
  •  164
    Kripke has argued that definitions of units of measurements provide examples of statements that are both contingent and a priori. In this paper I argue that definitions of units of measurement are intended to be stipulations of what Kripke calls theoretical identities: a stipulation that two terms will have the same rigid designation. Hence such a definition is both a priori and necessary. The necessity arises because such definitions appeal to natural kind properties only, which on Kripke's acc…Read more
  •  127
    On the inventors of XYZ
    Foundations of Chemistry 7 (1): 57-84. 2004.
    In this paper I try to make as much sense aspossible of, first, the extensive philosophicalliterature concerned with the status of `Wateris H2O' and, second, the implications ofPutnam's invention of Twin Earth, anotherpossible world stipulated to be just like Earth, except that water is XYZ, notH2O
  •  92
    Supervenience and anomalous monism
    Dialectica 53 (1): 3-24. 1999.
    SummaryIn this paper I argue that the intuitions which made Davidson and Hare use the word “supervenience,” were not the same as those which underlie current supervenience discussions. There are crucial differences between, on the one hand, the concerns of Davidson and Hare, as I interpret them, and “received” theories of supervenience on the other. I suggest the use of the term by Davidson and Hare lends support to turning the concept upside down by giving priority to the Manifest Image rather …Read more
  •  83
    Amidst the progress being made in the various (sub-)disciplines of the behavioural and brain sciences a somewhat neglected subject is the problem of how everything fits into one world and, derivatively, how the relation between different levels of discourse should be understood and to what extent different levels, domains, approaches, or disciplines are autonomous or dependent. In this paper I critically review the most recent proposals to specify the nature of interdiscourse relations, focusing…Read more
  •  80
    Are there nontrivial constraints on colour categorization?
    with B. A. C. Saunders
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (2): 167-179. 1997.
    In this target article the following hypotheses are discussed: (1) Colour is autonomous: a perceptuolinguistic and behavioural universal. (2) It is completely described by three independent attributes: hue, brightness, and saturation: (3) Phenomenologically and psychophysically there are four unique hues: red, green, blue, and yellow; (4) The unique hues are underpinned by two opponent psychophysical and/or neuronal channels: red/green, blue/yellow. The relevant literature is reviewed. We conclu…Read more
  •  80
    Is Our Universe a Mere Fluke? The Cosmological Argument and Spinning the Universes
    PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988 75-82. 1988.
    Recent discussions about the anthropic principle and the argument from design can perhaps be summarized as follows : The world is very unusual, so it must have been made by an intelligent creator. The world is very unusual, but unusual things do occur by chance. Both and , in their ordinary interpretations, have been labelled probabilistic fallacies. In my paper I will discuss in particular the following two aspects: The contemporary relevance of Cicero's discussions on chance. The fact that any…Read more
  •  67
    On the neglect of the philosophy of chemistry
    Foundations of Chemistry 1 (2): 111-174. 1999.
    In this paper I present a historiography of the recent emergence of philosophy of chemistry. Special attention is given to the interest in this domain in Eastern Europe before the collapse of the USSR. It is shown that the initial neglect of the philosophy of chemistry is due to the unanimous view in philosophy and philosophy of science that only physics is a proper science (to put in Kant's words). More recently, due to the common though incorrect assumption that chemistry can in principle be r…Read more
  •  64
    Rewriting color
    with B. A. C. Saunders
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (4): 538-556. 2001.
  •  62
    On the Conditions of Possibility for Comparative and Intercultural Philosophy
    with Lin Ma
    Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (3): 297-312. 2013.
    In this essay, we present a theory of intercultural philosophical dialogue and comparative philosophy, drawing on both hermeneutics and analytic philosophy. We advocate the approach of “de-essentialization” across the board. It is true that similarities and differences are always to be observed across languages and traditions, but there exist no immutable cores or essences. “De-essentialization” applies to all “levels” of concepts: everyday notions such as green and qing 青, philosophical concept…Read more
  •  56
    Heidegger’s thinking on the “Same” of science and technology
    with Lin8 Ma
    Continental Philosophy Review 47 (1): 19-43. 2014.
    In this article, we trace and elucidate Heidegger’s radical re-thinking on the relation between science and technology from about 1940 until 1976. A range of passages from the Gesamtausgabe seem to articulate a reversal of the primacy of science and technology in claiming that “Science is applied technology.” After delving into Heidegger’s reflection on the being of science and technology and their “coordination,” we show that such a claim is essentially grounded in Heidegger’s idea that “Scienc…Read more
  •  55
    Meaning, prototypes and the future of cognitive science
    Minds and Machines 1 (3): 233-57. 1991.
    In this paper I evaluate the soundness of the prototype paradigm, in particular its basic assumption that there are pan-human psychological essences or core meanings that refer to basic-level natural kinds, explaining why, on the whole, human communication and learning are successful. Instead I argue that there are no particular pan-human basic elements for thought, meaning and cognition, neither prototypes, nor otherwise. To illuminate my view I draw on examples from anthropology. More generall…Read more
  •  50
    Extension of Family Resemblance Concepts as a Necessary Condition of Interpretation across Traditions
    with Lin Ma
    Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 14 (4): 475-497. 2015.
    In this paper we extend Wittgenstein’s notion of family resemblance to translation, interpretation, and comparison across traditions. There is no need for universals. This holds for everyday concepts such as green and qing 青, philosophical concepts such as emotion and qing 情, as well as philosophical categories such as form of life and dao 道. These notions as well as all other concepts from whatever tradition are family resemblance concepts. We introduce the notion of quasi-universal, which conn…Read more
  •  48
    Pragmatic identity of meaning and metaphor
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 2 (2). 1988.
    No abstract
  •  47
    Revisiting Wittgenstein on Family Resemblance and Colour
    with Lin Ma
    Philosophical Investigations 39 (2). 2016.
    We argue that all general concepts are family resemblance concepts. These include concepts introduced by ostension, such as colour. Concepts of colour and of each of the specific colours are family resemblance concepts because similarities concerning an open-ended range of colour or of appearance features crop up and disappear. After discussing the notion of “same colour” and Wittgenstein's use of the phrase “our colours”, we suggest family resemblance concepts in one tradition can often be exte…Read more
  •  41
    Meaning, prototypes and the future of cognitive science
    Minds and Machines 1 (3): 233-257. 1991.
    In this paper I evaluate the soundness of the prototype paradigm, in particular its basic assumption that there are pan-human psychological essences or core meanings that refer to basic-level natural kinds, explaining why, on the whole, human communication and learning are successful. Instead I argue that there are no particular pan-human basic elements for thought, meaning and cognition, neither prototypes, nor otherwise. To illuminate my view I draw on examples from anthropology. More generall…Read more
  •  39
    The limited belief in chance
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (3): 499-513. 1991.
    In a rarely quoted paper, published in 1958 in the American Journal of Physics, T. Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa introduced the idea that the concept of chance as employed in physics is subject to what she called a ‘Limited Belief in Chance’. In this paper I elaborate the latter concept and the distinction between absolute chance and relative randomness, where the latter, but not the former, is governed by the theory of probability. I argue that in the twentieth century virtually nobody believes serious…Read more
  •  32
    The world: An unruly mess (review)
    Foundations of Chemistry 3 (3): 251-262. 2001.
  •  31
    Moral and political implications of pragmatism
    with B. A. C. Saunders
    Journal of Value Inquiry 23 (4): 259-274. 1989.
  •  31
    Natural Kinds and Manifest Forms of Life
    Dialectica 46 (3‐4): 243-261. 1992.
    SummaryIn this paper I try to make sense of and give provisional answers to question like: Are there interesting theories about natural kinds ? Are some classifications or categorisations more natural than others? Does it matter whether or not there are natural kinds? To get an initial feel for the subject let's consider some suggestions from the literature as to what might count as a candidate for a natural kind or natural kind term
  •  30
    Amidst the progress being made in the various (sub-)disciplines of the behavioural and brain sciences a somewhat neglected subject is the problem of how everything fits into one world and, derivatively, how the relation between different levels of discourse should be understood and to what extent different levels, domains, approaches, or disciplines are autonomous or dependent. In this paper I critically review the most recent proposals to specify the nature of interdiscourse relations, focusing…Read more
  •  30
    Epistemische deugden en hun verantwoording
    Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 60 (2): 243-268. 1998.
    In this paper I argue that all proposals for demarcation criteria distinguishing between scientific and non-scientific knowledge, have failed. Moreover, there is not a single set of epistemic virtues that characterizes 'good' knowledge, nor is there such a set that characterizes science. There are many different epistemic virtues and no universal rules about how they are to be applied in particular cases. Different virtues may dominate in different knowledge domains. In the 'same' domain there a…Read more
  •  28
    Conventions In Naming
    Philosophy Research Archives 8 243-277. 1982.
    Conventions in the use of names are discussed, particularly names of linguistic expressions. Also the reference of measure terms like ‘kg’ is discussed, and it is found analogous in important respects to expression names. Some new light is shed on the token-type distinction. Applications to versions of the liar paradox are shown. The use of quotation marks is critically examined