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Handlungstheoretische Grundlegung zu einer methodischen Lehre vom Begriff
Author: Jan Podacker
Rede über Begriffe ist keine Rede über Wörter, sondern über Regeln, die unser Handeln bestimmen.
Für die Philosophie ist eine Explikation der Begriffsrede sowie von Verfahren der Analyse und Bildung von Begriffen ein grundlegendes Anliegen. Es wird dafür argumentiert, dass die sprachtheoretische Tradition das Begriffliche zu einseitig betrachtet. Kontrastierend werden aus der philosophischen Tradition diejenigen ideengeschichtlichen Linien herausgearbeitet (von Platon über Kant bis zu Wittgenstein, Dingler und Lorenzen), in welchen die Begriffe und das Begreifen als eine Sache des Handelns und wechselweise das Handeln als eine begriffliche Sache betrachtet werden. Der Begriff der Regel erweist sich dabei als für das Handeln wesentlich. Hinsichtlich der Begriffsbildungsverfahren wird daraufhin als methodisch zentrale Frage erarbeitet, wie Systeme von Regeln im Rahmen einer Praxis strukturiert sind bzw. sein sollten.
Selbstpositionierungsstrategien der Philosophie im 20. Jahrhundert
Author: Maria Dätwyler
Mit welchen Argumentationsstrategien begründen und legitimieren Philosophen im Laufe des 20. Jahrhunderts ihre eigene Disziplin?
Die Daseinsberechtigung und Aufgaben der Philosophie werden am Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts durch die zunehmende Geltung anderer Disziplinen stark infrage gestellt. Philosophen reagieren auf diese Infragestellung strategisch: Sie de-legitimieren diese Kritik mit gezielten Argumenten, um dadurch ihre eigene philosophische Position begründen und die Deutungsmacht ihrer Disziplin rehabilitieren zu können. Indem die Selbstpositionierungen der drei prominenten philosophischen Paradigmen Phänomenologie, Wiener Kreis und Kritische Theorie explizit gemacht werden, gewährt dieses Buch Einsichten in das Selbstverständnis der westlichen Philosophie. Die kritische Analyse zeigt, wie sich die Philosophie als Disziplin mit ihrem Anspruch auf Wahrheit bis heute behauptet.
Open Access
Author: Zeyu Chi

Abstract

In this paper I propose a notion of propria inspired by Aristotle, on which propria are non-essential, necessary properties explained by the essence of a thing. My proposal differs from the characterization of propria by Kit Fine and Kathrin Koslicki: unlike Fine, the relation of explanation on my account can’t be assimilated to a notion of logical entailment. In disagreement with Koslicki, I suggest that the explanatory relation at issue needs not be necessary. My account of essence is conceptually parsimonious: it illuminates the contribution of essence to explanation without relying on obscure notions such as Aristotelian form or identity.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Author: Benjamin Wilck

Abstract

Relying upon a very close reading of all of the definitions given in Euclid’s Elements, I argue that this mathematical treatise contains a philosophical treatment of mathematical objects. Specifically, I show that Euclid draws elaborate metaphysical distinctions between (i) substances and non-substantial attributes of substances, (ii) different kinds of substance, and (iii) different kinds of non-substance. While the general metaphysical theory adopted in the Elements resembles that of Aristotle in many respects, Euclid does not employ Aristotle’s terminology, or indeed, any philosophical terminology at all. Instead, Euclid systematically uses different types of definition to distinguish between metaphysically different kinds of mathematical object.

Open Access
In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Author: Boris Hennig

Abstract

On the one hand, Aristotle claims that the matter of a material thing is not part of its form. On the other hand, he suggests that the proper account of a natural thing must include a specification of the kind of matter in which it is realized. There are three possible strategies for dealing with this apparent tension. First, there may be two kinds of definition, so that the definition of the form of a thing does not include any specification of its matter, whereas the definition of a compound does. Second, the definition of a substance may not include a specification of its matter at all, but still reveal in what kinds of matter its form can be realized. Third, there may be a special kind of matter, functional matter, which belongs to the form of certain things. I will show that the functional matter of a thing does not belong to its form (in a strict sense of “form”), but that an adequate account of natural substances and their functions must nonetheless involve a reference to their functional matter. This means that the function of a natural thing is not the same as its form and that its adequate account as a natural thing is not a definition (in a strict sense of “form” and “definition”).

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Author: Sylvain Roudaut

Abstract

This paper offers an overview of the history of the axiom forma dat esse, which was commonly quoted during the Middle Ages to describe formal causality. The first part of the paper studies the origin of this principle, and recalls how the ambiguity of Boethius’s first formulation of it in the De Trinitate was variously interpreted by the members of the School of Chartres. Then, the paper examines the various declensions of the axiom that existed in the late Middle Ages, and shows how its evolution significantly follows the progressive decline of the Aristotelian model of formal causality.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Author: Ralf Busse

Abstract

This paper develops a valid reconstruction in first-order predicate logic of Leibniz’s argument for his complete concept definition of substance in §8 of the Discours de Métaphysique. Following G. Rodriguez-Pereyra, it construes the argument as resting on two substantial premises, the “merely verbal” Aristotelian definition and Leibniz’s concept containment theory of truth, and it understands the resulting “real” definition as saying not that an entity is a substance iff its complete concept contains every predicate of that entity, but iff its complete concept contains every predicate of any subject to which that concept is truly attributable. An account is suggested of why Leibniz criticises the Aristotelian definition as merely nominal and how he takes his own definition to overcome this shortcoming: while on the Aristotelian basis the predication relation could generate endless chains, so that substances as endpoints of predication would be impossible, Leibniz’s definition reveals lowest species as such endpoints, which he therefore identifies with individual substances. Since duplicate lowest species make no sense, the Identity of Indiscernibles for substances follows. The reading suggests a Platonist interpretation according to which substances do not so much have but are individual essences, natures or forms.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis