By Adolf Grünbaum (auth.), Robert S. Cohen, Marx W. Wartofsky (eds.)

The Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of technological know-how begun 2S years in the past as an interdisciplinary, interuniversity collaboration of buddies and associates in philosophy, good judgment, the normal sciences and the social sciences, psychology, non secular reports, arts and literature, and infrequently the prestigious man-in-the­ road. Boston college got here to be the house base. inside many years, professional­ ceedings have been noticeable to be applicants for book, first steered by means of Gerald Holton for the magazine Synthese in the Synthese Library, either from the D. Reidel Publishing corporation of Dordrecht, then and now in Boston and Lancaster too. Our colloquium was once heir of the Institute for the solidarity of technology, itself the yankee transplant of the Vienna Circle, and we have been again and again commemorated by way of encouragement and participation of the Institute's important determine, Philipp Frank. The court cases have been chosen, edited, revised within the mild of the discussions at our colloquia, after which different volumes have been additional which have been derived from different symposia, in Boston or somewhere else. A pleasant autonomy, in­ based of the Synthese Library right, existed for greater than a decade after which the Boston reports grew to become totally separate. We have been thankful to Jaakko Hintikka for his endured encouragement inside that Library. The sequence Boston reviews within the Philosophy of technology used to be conceived within the broadest framework of interdisciplinary and overseas issues. common scientists, mathematicians, social scientists and philosophers have contributed to the sequence, as have historians and sociologists of technological know-how, linguists, psychologists, physicians, and literary critics.

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Extra info for A Portrait of Twenty-five Years: Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science 1960–1985

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The task is so incredibly complex (analogous to learning, at least implicitly, a complicated physical theory, it is said), that it would be miraculous if even one tenth of the human race accomplished it without 'innate' assistance. (This is like Marx's 'proof' of the Labour Theory of Value in Capital, vol. ) III. CRITICISM OF THE ALLEGED EVIDENCE A. The Irrelevance of Linguistic Universals 1. Not surprising on any theory Let us consider just how surprising the 'linguistic universals' cited above really are.

If Martians are such strange creatures that they have no interest in physical objects, for example, their language will contain no concrete nouns; but would not this be more, not less surprising, on any reasonable view, than their having an interest in physical objects? ) Two more detailed points are relevant here. Chomsky has pointed out that no natural language has a phrase structure grammar. But this too is not surprising. The sentence 'John and Jim came home quickly' is not generated by a phrase-structure rule, in Chomsky's formalization of English grammar.

Consequently, it would be historically accurate to describe the views regarding language structure just outlined as a rationalist conception of the nature oflanguage. Furthermore, I employed it, again, in the classical fashion, to support what might fairly be called a rationalist conception of acquisition of knowledge, if we take the essence of this view to be that the general character of knowledge, the categories in which it is expressed or internally represented, and the basic principles that underlie it, are determined by the nature of the mind.

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