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Download A Theory of Universals: Volume 2: Universals and Scientific by D. M. Armstrong PDF

By D. M. Armstrong

This can be a examine, in volumes, of 1 of the longest-standing philosophical difficulties: the matter of universals. In quantity I David Armstrong surveys and criticizes the most ways and suggestions to the issues which were canvassed, rejecting many of the sorts of nominalism and 'Platonic' realism. In quantity II he develops a tremendous concept of his personal, an target idea of universals dependent no longer on linguistic conventions, yet at the genuine and capability findings of typical technology. He hence reconciles a realism approximately traits and family with an empiricist epistemology. the idea permits, too, for a powerful clarification of traditional legislation as relatives among those universals.

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Extra info for A Theory of Universals: Volume 2: Universals and Scientific Realism (v. 2)

Sample text

His talk was good, very good, but colleagues had difficulty getting their own words in. Students of course, never minded this, but not all of Cohen's listeners were students. 23 Cohen was also "the personification of the naysayer"24 and he could be brutally cruel. In spite of his brilliant mind and his captivating effect on some people, his hypercritical manner with students could be destructive. Hook remembered this incident: One day a group of us were standing in animated conversation in the marble corridor of the college after an exciting hour with Cohen.

For a brief time, just before his stroke in 1942, Cohen was at Chicago with Russell and Camap. Cohen was famous for his arrogance as much as for his brilliance. It is frequently reported that his arguments dominated any verbal exchange, philosophical or otherwise. It is easy to imagine Burtt framing his argument for his dissertation with references to ideas he and Cohen had discussed in more-or- CHAPTER 3 41 less one-sided conversations. The pen, in such a case, is mightier than the drowned-out spoken word and there were some genuine points of disagreement between these two.

45 Burtt's point of departure from Dewey was that Dewey, down-to-earth Yankee he was, accepted the mechanical universe as the natural evolution of a world-view suitable for human mechanical intervention and subsequent control over nature. Burtt, on the other hand, deplored the mechanical universe as a perversion of reality, a fragmented picture. Its exposition as transitory made it nonetheless inadequate as any world-view unaware of its own history and limits must be. Burtt wanted to know and explain the history of the present world view; he wanted to use that history to push empirical logico-mathematical science to its limits to redefine the boundaries of scientific reality and, at the same time, to imply the existence of a greater reality beyond, not necessarily physical.

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