Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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The author or concept searched is found in the following 6 controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Darwin, Ch. Verschiedene Vs Darwin, Ch. Gould II 101
CuvierVsEvolution: he concluded from his principle of interaction that evolution had to be excluded.
II 136
VavilovVsDarwin: variation does not take place in all directions, but arranged in classes of chemistry and crystallography, which are analogous. Vavilov has underemphasized the creative role of the environment.
II 328
The opponents of Darwin always bring the same litany: Darwin must have been wrong - the order cannot arise by chance (e.g. KoestlerVsDarwin).
Pinker I 403
Mortimer AdlerVsDarwinism: (Philosopher) 1940: Evolution could not have taken place, because there was also no three-and-a-half-sided triangle. Darwin: It is quite possible that intermediate forms have occurred in the past.
Natural Species/Darwin: is not an ideal type, but a population.
Vollmer I 260
Selection/Vollmer: there is no serious argument that the selection principle is circular. VsDarwinism/Tautology: the argument against Darwinism that it is tautological is misguided: "Survival of the survivor": VollmerVsVs: Fitness is not determined by the Survival of the individual, but by reproductive success, more food, more living space, more partners, more offspring, etc.

Gould I
Stephen Jay Gould
The Panda’s Thumb. More Reflections in Natural History, New York 1980
German Edition:
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Gould II
Stephen Jay Gould
Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. Further Reflections in Natural History, New York 1983
German Edition:
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Gould III
Stephen Jay Gould
Full House. The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, New York 1996
German Edition:
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Gould IV
Stephen Jay Gould
The Flamingo’s Smile. Reflections in Natural History, New York 1985
German Edition:
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989

Pi I
St. Pinker
How the Mind Works, New York 1997
German Edition:
Wie das Denken im Kopf entsteht München 1998

Vollmer I
G. Vollmer
Was können wir wissen? Bd. I Die Natur der Erkenntnis. Beiträge zur Evolutionären Erkenntnistheorie Stuttgart 1988

Vollmer II
G. Vollmer
Was können wir wissen? Bd II Die Erkenntnis der Natur. Beiträge zur modernen Naturphilosophie Stuttgart 1988
Darwin, Ch. Bigelow Vs Darwin, Ch. I 332
VsDarwinism/VsDarwin/Bigelow/Pargetter: common objection: the "survival of the fittest" is an empty tautology. BigelowVsVs: the objection assumes that fitness could only be determined retrospectively. It also assumes that the fact that some individuals survive is precisely what constitutes the fitness. (circular). BigelowVsAetiological theory: based on the same misunderstanding. It then claims that even the property of having a function is a retrospective property that is constituted by the story of survival. Thus the concept of function is robbed of its explanatory potential. I 333 Circularity/Bigelow/Pargetter: This objection is often raised falsely VsDarwinism. Fitness/Solution/Bigelow/Pargetter: but not retrospectively defined, but it is analogous to a disposition.

Big I
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990
Evolution Theory Verschiedene Vs Evolution Theory Vollmer I 258
VsEvolution: the theory of evolution is circular: you can only "unroll" things that are already there. VollmerVsVs: the meaning of a term is never determined by etymology, but by definition, use, context.
The term does not have the meaning that the Romans gave it when they coined it. >Change of concept.
I 276
VsEvolution Theory: "Every adaptation requires a recognition of that to which it is to be adapted. Then the recognition of fitting is a circle." VollmerVsVs: it is not true at all that every adjustment requires recognition.
VsEvolution Theory: not predictable
VollmerVsVsVs: there is no compelling reason at all to use forecasting capability as a benchmark for the science of a theory.
Vollmer: The goal of science is not prognoses, but explanations!
I 277
VsEvolution Theory: "It is not falsifiable". For example, if one finds life on Mars, it is explained in evolutionary theory, if none is found, its absence or disappearance is also explained in evolutionary theory. (PopperVsEvolution Theory!) (s)Vs: For example, the not-being-damaged of a fallen cup can also be explained with the help of physics.)
I 278
VsEvolution Theory: from the existence of characteristics one can only conclude that they allow and possibly enable life, but not that they promote it! Therefore, one cannot necessarily accept adaptation! (Roth, 1984). Especially one cannot claim that our previous Survival proves the correctness of our view of the world!
I 279
VollmerVsVsVs: that there are selection-neutral and even survival-damaging characteristics makes it probably an empirical question whether functionality is present in individual cases, but does not impair the fertility of that panselection maxim. The question "What for?" is always allowed in biology, even if it does not always find an answer.
I 279
VsEvolution Theory: 1. The transfer of selection theory to the development of cognitive abilities can only succeed if there is objective truth and if knowledge is more useful than error. (Simmel, 1895). 2. Moreover, cognitive Fits could also come about other than through self-adaptation, for example by the environment changing and itself adapting (by chance).
3. Correct mapping of the outside world obviously does not play a role in selection! Because there are so many species with "worse knowledge": plants are not "falsified" by the eye, the primordial eye not by the eagle eye, etc.
I 282
VsEvolution Theory: can success guarantee truth? Truth/Simmel: actually goes the way of equating success with probation and probation with truth. >Pragmatism.
Evolutionary EpistemologyVsSimmel: it does not adopt this pragmatic approach. It makes a strict distinction between truth definition and truth criterion.
Truth/Vollmer: Success is neither necessary nor sufficient, but is always indicative.
Fitting can be determined without any recourse to selection or evolution.
I 284
But one can also proceed the other way round: one finds that the contribution of the subject to knowledge is at least partly genetically determined. (Interaction).
I 285
Reference/VsEvolution Theory: (e.g. Putnam): it is not clear which reference physical terms have at all!

Vollmer I
G. Vollmer
Was können wir wissen? Bd. I Die Natur der Erkenntnis. Beiträge zur Evolutionären Erkenntnistheorie Stuttgart 1988

Vollmer II
G. Vollmer
Was können wir wissen? Bd II Die Erkenntnis der Natur. Beiträge zur modernen Naturphilosophie Stuttgart 1988
Ordinary Language Black Vs Ordinary Language II 207
Everyday language/Austin: Passed the long test of survival of the fittest, finer distinction than theoretically designed artificial languages.
II 208
VsOrdinary language, Phil.der/Black: it is intellectually conservative.
II 161
VsLanguage/Black: There is a long tradition to rebel against alleged or actual deceptions by language: E.g. Logan Pearsall Smith: "I stood there for a while, thinking about language, about its perfidious meanness and its inappropriateness, about the shamefulness of our vocabulary and how the moralists have spoiled our words by infusing all their hatred of human happiness in the words like in little poison bottles."
"Logophobia"/Abhorrence of language/BerkeleyVsLanguage: "most of the knowledge is confusedbvand darkened by the misuse of words; since the words so much oppose understanding, I am determined to make as little use as possible of them and to try to involve them bare and naked in my ideas."
II 162
LockeVsLanguage: was so impressed by the errors, the darkness, the mistakes and the confusion which is caused by the bad use of words that he wondered if they contributed more to the improvement or prevention of knowledge. (Essay Book III, Chapter XI Section 4). WhiteheadVsLanguage: it is incomplete and fragmentary, it only represents a transitional stage beyond the monkey mentality. Main risk for philosophy: false confidence in the appropriateness of the language.
Wittgenstein: all philosophy is criticism of language.
Brigham Young: I long for the time in which the pointing of a finger or a gesture can express every idea without expression. (1854)
Swift: (trip to Balnibarbi): ... the project of the second professor was aimed at abolishing all words ...
II 163
The smartest followed the new method to express themselves through the things they carry in a bundle on their backs ...
III 166
SartreVsLanguage/Black: "disgust": Roquentin tried to retreat into silence.

Black I
Max Black
"Meaning and Intention: An Examination of Grice’s Views", New Literary History 4, (1972-1973), pp. 257-279
Handlung, Kommunikation, Bedeutung, G. Meggle (Hg) Frankfurt/M 1979

Black II
M. Black
The Labyrinth of Language, New York/London 1978
German Edition:
Sprache. Eine Einführung in die Linguistik München 1973

Black III
M. Black
The Prevalence of Humbug Ithaca/London 1983

Black IV
Max Black
"The Semantic Definition of Truth", Analysis 8 (1948) pp. 49-63
Truth and Meaning, Paul Horwich Aldershot 1994
Parfit, D. Lewis Vs Parfit, D. IV 55
Identity/Continuity/Survival/Person/Lewis: Problem: we asked a question and got two answers: a) Identity: can only be total identity.
b) Continuity: can be gradual.
Which of these two should be relevant for Survival?
If we had to choose, we should prefer everyday platitude to philosophical subtlety.
The only hope is that identity view and continuity version are somehow reconcilable. That I would like to defend VsParFit.
IV 57
Identity/Continuity/Person/Parfit: Thesis: not both answers (continuity and identity) can be right, so we have to choose. a) Identity: is a relation with a certain formal character: it is one to one and cannot be gradual.
b) Continuity: (and connectedness) (e.g. in relation to mental things) can be one to many or many to one as well as gradual.
ParFit: therefore it is the continuity and connectedness that is relevant to personal (temporal) identity (Survival).
c) what is important for Survival is not identity! At most a relation that coincides with identity to the extent that problem cases do not occur.
LewisVsParFit: someone else could just as well represent the argument in the other direction and make identity relevant. And of course, identity is what matters in the end! Therefore, the divergence between a) and b) must be eliminated!
I agree with ParFit that continuity and connectedness are crucial, but it is not an alternative to identity.
Border case/ParFit: Problem: Border cases have to be decided arbitrarily somehow.
Identity/continuity/Survival/Person/LewisVsParFit: the opposition between identity and continuity is wrong.
Intuitively, it's definitely about identity. It is literally about identity!
Def Identity/Lewis: the relation in which everything stands to itself and to nothing else. ...+.... R-relation, I-Relation
IV 58
Def R-Relation/Identity/Continuity/Person/Lewis: a certain relation and connectedness among person states. Def I-Relation/Lewis: Question: Which of the permanent persons are identical to the previous ones?
But of course there are also I-Relations between the individual states!
IV 73
ParfitVsLewis: we should not cross our common views with the common sense. I.e. it is about another sense of Survival.
For example, shortly after the split, one of the two dP (continuants) dies, the other lives for a very long time.
S is the state divided to t0 (before the split), but after it is known that the split will take place. Then the thought that we found in S is the desire for Survival, and extremely like common sense and quite unphilosophical.
Since S is a shared state (stage), it is also a shared desire.
Problem: C2 has the Survival he desires and he depends on mental continuity and connection. (RR) but what about C1 (the prematurely dying continuant)?
IV 74
Lewis: I had written that what matters is identity in survival. Then for the short-living C1, the stage S to t0 is actually IR to states in the distant future such as S2, namely via the long-living C2! ParFitVsLewis: "But isn't that the wrong person?"
Lewis: in fact, if C1 really wants him to survive (C1), then that wish is not fulfilled.
(Lewis, however, deals with the more difficult problem):
LewisVsParFit: but I don't think he can have this wish! There is a limit to everyday psychological desires under conditions of shared states.
The shared state S thinks for both. Every thought it has must be shared. It cannot think one thing in the name of C1 and one thing in the name of C2.
If, on the other hand, C1 and C2 are to share something that is understandable in everyday life, then it must be a "plural" wish, "let us survive".
Here we must now distinguish between two pluralistic wishes:
a) weak: lets at least one of us survive
b) strong: lets us both survive.
Because these desires are plural and not singular, they are not common sense. This is because everyday psychological Survival is understood in terms of Survival of dP rather than of relations of states.
The weak desire of C1 corresponds to the desire for IR for future states. Then the IR also corresponds to the RR. and the corresponding wish.
If C1's wish is strong, he will not be satisfied. Then it does not correspond to the "philosophical wish" either.
IV 75
After RR for future stages and parfit is right VsLewis. LewisVsParFit: but should we say that C1 even has this strong desire? I don't think so. Because if C1 can have it, C2 can also have it.
Example Suppose (according to Justin Leiber): a wish is recorded from time to time, but deleted after a certain time. This corresponds to the weak desire for Survival, but not the strong one. Suppose the recording takes place at the time of the split, C1 dies shortly afterwards due to an accident. C2, survives.
Additional complication: C" then undergoes a body transplant. If his desire to survive is to be fulfilled, then it is predominantly the weak desire.
Person/Survival/Identity/LewisVsParFit: For example, until now we had assumed that both knew before the split that there would be a split. Now
Suppose (variant): both do not know about the coming split.
Question: can we not perfectly share the wish: "Let me survive"?
Problem: that C1 and C2 share the desire is based on the false presupposition that they are one person. I.e. the "me" is a wrong identification. It cannot refer to C1 in C1' thoughts and not to C2 in his thoughts. For these thoughts are one and the same.
Vs: but their desire to survive is fulfilled! At least that of C2 and that of C1 is not different. Then their wish cannot only consist in the unfulfillable singular wish. They must both also have a weak pluralistic desire, even if they do not know the division beforehand.
N.B.: that then also applies to all of us, although we are not often divided, many of our current desires are not current occurrences:
The desire to be spared unimaginable pain.

Lewis I
David K. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

Lewis I (a)
David K. Lewis
An Argument for the Identity Theory, in: Journal of Philosophy 63 (1966)
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (b)
David K. Lewis
Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications, in: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1972)
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (c)
David K. Lewis
Mad Pain and Martian Pain, Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1, Ned Block (ed.) Harvard University Press, 1980
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis II
David K. Lewis
"Languages and Language", in: K. Gunderson (Ed.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. VII, Language, Mind, and Knowledge, Minneapolis 1975, pp. 3-35
Handlung, Kommunikation, Bedeutung, Georg Meggle Frankfurt/M. 1979

Lewis IV
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

Lewis V
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

Lewis VI
David K. Lewis
Convention. A Philosophical Study, Cambridge/MA 1969
German Edition:
Konventionen Berlin 1975

Clarence Irving Lewis
Collected Papers of Clarence Irving Lewis Stanford 1970

LewisCl I
Clarence Irving Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991
Propensity Theory Bigelow Vs Propensity Theory I 338
Function/Fitness/Causal explanation/Propensity theory/Bigelow/Pargetter: it may be that an organism does not survive, although it has developed a function for survival. But if it survives, it is because of this function. VsPropensity theory/Bigelow/Pargetter: E.g. a structure serves absolutely no purpose. Suppose its environment changes, and suddenly its funcitons serve the purpose of Survival. Then our propensity theory would have to say that the structure has acquired a function recently. E.g. Assuming one could say that heart sounds have the function to alert doctors. But only in this century, that seems wrong.
Etiologic theory says that heart sounds have no such function, because they were not developed for that.
I 339
VsPropensity theory/Bigelow/Pargetter: it assumes that the pattern has no function. Etiologic theory: assumes that it has a function, no matter what it was needed for and what it was developed for.
I 340
Paul GriffithsVsPropensity theory/Bigelow/Pargetter: precisely because fitness is forward looking, functions should be backward looking. And the term "function" can be given up completely for the sake of "Fitness". BigelowVsVs: function and Fitness can play independent roles.
Fitness: property of an organism.
Function: functions specify the characteristics that contribute to Fitness together. And here we can also ask why they do that.

Big I
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990

The author or concept searched is found in the following theses of the more related field of specialization.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Survive Parfit, D. IV 56
Parfit: identity is not important in the survival! - Connectedness is crucial - Lewis: we must approach a) and b) to each other.