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Philosophies, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2018)

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Open AccessEditorial Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040042
Received: 21 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
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Abstract
In this Editorial note, Guest Editors introduce the theme of the Special Issue of the journal Philosophies, titled Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
Open AccessArticle The Naturalization of Natural Philosophy
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040041
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 1 October 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 24 November 2018
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Abstract
A new demarcation is proposed between Natural Philosophy and non-Natural Philosophy—philosophy tout court—based on whether or not they follow a non-standard logic of real processes. This non-propositional logic, Logic in Reality (LIR), is based on the original work of the Franco-Romanian thinker
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A new demarcation is proposed between Natural Philosophy and non-Natural Philosophy—philosophy tout court—based on whether or not they follow a non-standard logic of real processes. This non-propositional logic, Logic in Reality (LIR), is based on the original work of the Franco-Romanian thinker Stéphane Lupasco (Bucharest, 1900–Paris, 1988). Many Natural Philosophies remain bounded by dependence on binary linguistic concepts of logic. I claim that LIR can naturalize—bring into science—part of such philosophies. Against the potential objection that my approach blurs the distinction between science and philosophy, I reply that there is no problem in differentiating experimental physical science and philosophy; any complete distinction between philosophy, including the philosophy of science(s) and the other sciences is invidious. It was historically unnecessary and is unnecessary today. The convergence of science and philosophy, proposed by Wu Kun based on implications of the philosophy of information, supports this position. LIR provides a rigorous basis for giving equivalent ontological value to diversity and identity, what is contradictory, inconsistent, absent, missing or past, unconscious, incomplete, and fuzzy as to their positive counterparts. The naturalized Natural Philosophy resulting from the application of these principles is a candidate for the ‘new synthesis’ called for by the editors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
Open AccessArticle Quantum Discontents, or What Is Wrong with Our Science Practice
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040040
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 20 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
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Abstract
For more than eighty years, quantum theory (QT) has dominated physical science. This domination remains unchallenged to this day. Some physicists celebrate this remarkable stability. Others lament this fact and argue that QT inhibits our understanding of physical reality. They feel that numerous
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For more than eighty years, quantum theory (QT) has dominated physical science. This domination remains unchallenged to this day. Some physicists celebrate this remarkable stability. Others lament this fact and argue that QT inhibits our understanding of physical reality. They feel that numerous problems that have accumulated in physical science require stepping beyond the horizon outlined by QT. The article offers a critical examination of the foundational assumptions of QT that shape its practice. It uses two interpretations of QT as case studies—Copenhagen interpretation and the theoretical perspective advanced by American physicist David Bohm—to explain one major problem that continues to plague our study of physics. The article sketches a path to a possible solution and outlines a new science practice that this solution will require. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Problem of Context for Similarity: An Insight from Analogical Cognition
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040039
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 8 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
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Abstract
Similarity is central for the definition of concepts in several theories in cognitive psychology. However, similarity encounters several problems which were emphasized by Goodman in 1972. At the end of his article, Goodman banishes similarity from any serious philosophical or scientific investigations. If
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Similarity is central for the definition of concepts in several theories in cognitive psychology. However, similarity encounters several problems which were emphasized by Goodman in 1972. At the end of his article, Goodman banishes similarity from any serious philosophical or scientific investigations. If Goodman is right, theories of concepts based on similarity encounter a huge problem and should be revised entirely. In this paper, we would like to analyze the notion of similarity with some insight from psychological works on analogical cognition. Analogical cognition compares two situations or objects in order to find similarities between them. In doing so, the analogical process sorts the different features of the two situations or objects and determines the most important ones. The analogical process is also highly sensitive to context. Context-sensitivity is desirable at some level, but it is also problematic as it leads to a computational explosion. To answer this problem, we would like to consider salience as a possible heuristic in the analogical process. We will distinguish three forms of salience: Sensory, categorical, and operational. By taking salience into account, we can introduce a shortcut into the computation of similarity and circumvent computational explosion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophies on Analogy)
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Open AccessArticle Philosophia Naturalis Rediviva: Natural Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040038
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
A revitalized practice of natural philosophy can help people to live a better life and promote a flourishing ecosystem. Such a philosophy is natural in two senses. First, it is natural by seeking to understand the whole of nature, including mental phenomena. Thus,
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A revitalized practice of natural philosophy can help people to live a better life and promote a flourishing ecosystem. Such a philosophy is natural in two senses. First, it is natural by seeking to understand the whole of nature, including mental phenomena. Thus, a comprehensive natural philosophy should address the phenomena of sentience by embracing first- and second-person methods of investigation. Moreover, to expand our understanding of the world, natural philosophy should embrace a full panoply of explanations, similar to Aristotle’s four causes. Second, such a philosophy is natural by being grounded in human nature, taking full account of human capacities and limitations. Future natural philosophers should also make use of all human capacities, including emotion and intuition, as well as reason and perception, to investigate nature. Finally, since the majority of our brain’s activities are unconscious, natural philosophy should explore the unconscious mind with the aim of deepening our relation with the rest of nature and of enhancing well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
Open AccessOpinion Addressing the Conceptual Controversy of Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture: A Combined Perspective from Environmental Philosophy and Agri-Environmental Sciences
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040037
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 3 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
During the last 20 years, agronomists, environmentalists and related researchers have conveyed the need of producing enough food to satisfy the growing population demand, with minimum environmental footprint. Under this framework, the need for a “sustainable intensification” (SI) of agriculture has arisen, being
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During the last 20 years, agronomists, environmentalists and related researchers have conveyed the need of producing enough food to satisfy the growing population demand, with minimum environmental footprint. Under this framework, the need for a “sustainable intensification” (SI) of agriculture has arisen, being a concept deeply contested the last several years. We aim to shed some light on the matter from the point of view of both environmental philosophy and agri-environmental sciences. We found that the lack of clarity exposes the conceptual limits of SI, since its attributions are far from being extrapolated, for example, to animal production. Agricultural science should ensure that stakeholders understand the facts and implications of SI before implementing them. In addition, if understood only as either a set of practices or a sort of panacea, SI will be closer to fail for stakeholders’ expectations. Then, a key concern we have highlighted is one which should compel agri-environmental scientists and environmental philosophers alike to hold such conceptual frameworks accountable. Ensuring communities and public actors make informed choices about food security requires that shared goals between our disciplines are enacted in research, with community well-being as a core consideration of any debate regarding sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Hylomorphism Extended: Dynamical Forms and Minds
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040036
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
Physical objects are compounds of matter and form, as stated by Aristotle in his hylomorphism theory. The concept of “form” in this theory refers to physical structures or organizational structures. However, mental processes are not of this kind, they do not change physical
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Physical objects are compounds of matter and form, as stated by Aristotle in his hylomorphism theory. The concept of “form” in this theory refers to physical structures or organizational structures. However, mental processes are not of this kind, they do not change physical arrangement of neurons, but change their states. To cover all natural processes hylomorphism should acknowledge differences between three kinds of forms: Form as physical structure, form as function resulting from organization and interactions between constituent parts, and dynamical form as state transitions that change functions of structures without changing their physical organization. Dynamical forms, patterns of energy activation that change the flow of information without changing the structure of matter, are the key to understand minds of rational animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
Open AccessArticle The Natural Philosophy of Experiencing
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040035
Received: 13 October 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
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Abstract
A new philosophy of nature is urgently needed. The received ontological view, physicalism, is unable to account for experiential phenomena and in particular for consciousness in all its varieties. We shall outline the concept of experiencing which should figure as a new conceptual
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A new philosophy of nature is urgently needed. The received ontological view, physicalism, is unable to account for experiential phenomena and in particular for consciousness in all its varieties. We shall outline the concept of experiencing which should figure as a new conceptual primitive in natural philosophy. Experiencing refers to a process which comprises the interaction of an agent with its world through action based on phenomenal experience. This process can be viewed under two different aspects. One regards the subjective aspect of experiencing, the other one regards it in terms of physical objects. The first case illustrates the “what-it-is-likeness” of experiencing, the second illustrates how experiencing gets “objectified” in nature. We furthermore wish to delineate our concept of experiencing from the concept of (meta-cognitive) awareness. Scientific theories that explain how awareness comes about in sufficiently organized brains should respect the distinction between experiencing and awareness. We also sketch how experiencing could be related to theoretical biology in terms of information processing by organisms. Experiencing is non-exclusive; it refers to a primitive and a-personal natural process and not to a property possessed only by humans or other persons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
Open AccessArticle Discursive Space and Its Consequences for Understanding Knowledge and Information
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040034
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
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Abstract
The paper develops the idea of discursive space by describing the manner of existence of this space and the world of facts. The ontology of discursive space is based on the idea of discourse by Foucault. Discourse, being a language phenomenon, is a
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The paper develops the idea of discursive space by describing the manner of existence of this space and the world of facts. The ontology of discursive space is based on the idea of discourse by Foucault. Discourse, being a language phenomenon, is a form of existence of knowledge. The discursive space is a representation of knowledge and can be interpreted as the system of acquiring this knowledge. This space is connected with the world of facts by a relationship of supervenience, which can be interpreted as a flow of knowledge. At the same time, the existence of the world of facts (world of affairs) assumes that it covers all phenomena and processes, and therefore, necessarily, also the discursive space. Hence, this space is not a separate system but a system that emerges from the world in order to allow the gathering of specific knowledge about it. Treating the discursive space as one of the possible cognitive systems, one can imagine other systems of knowledge that emerge from the world (the whole), as parts subordinated to particular goals (the use of knowledge), which can have a multilevel character. The flow of knowledge on the border of such a system and the whole of it can be interpreted as information. This paper tries to justify this possibility, which could lead to a general model of the flow of the knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
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Open AccessArticle Natural Philosophy and the Sciences: Challenging Science’s Tunnel Vision
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040033
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 27 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 21 October 2018
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Abstract
Prior to the nineteenth century, those who are now regarded as scientists were referred to as natural philosophers. With empiricism, science was claimed to be a superior form of knowledge to philosophy, and natural philosophy was marginalized. This claim for science was challenged
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Prior to the nineteenth century, those who are now regarded as scientists were referred to as natural philosophers. With empiricism, science was claimed to be a superior form of knowledge to philosophy, and natural philosophy was marginalized. This claim for science was challenged by defenders of natural philosophy, and this debate has continued up to the present. The vast majority of mainstream scientists are comfortable in the belief that through applying the scientific method, knowledge will continue to accumulate, and that claims to knowledge outside science apart from practical affairs should not be taken seriously. This is referred to as scientism. It is incumbent on those who defend natural philosophy against scientism not only to expose the illusions and incoherence of scientism, but to show that natural philosophers can make justifiable claims to advancing knowledge. By focusing on a recent characterization and defense of natural philosophy along with a reconstruction of the history of natural philosophy, showing the nature and role of Schelling’s conception of dialectical thinking, I will attempt to identify natural philosophy as a coherent tradition of thought and defend it as something different from science and as essential to it, and essential to the broader culture and to civilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
Open AccessArticle Post-Modernism, Agency, and Democracy
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040032
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
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Abstract
This essay presents a general summary of post-modern philosophy’s conception of agency. It argues that while post-modern philosophers offer formidable intellectual tools for criticizing contemporary restrictions on agency, their conception falters for a variety of philosophical and political reasons. This implies we should
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This essay presents a general summary of post-modern philosophy’s conception of agency. It argues that while post-modern philosophers offer formidable intellectual tools for criticizing contemporary restrictions on agency, their conception falters for a variety of philosophical and political reasons. This implies we should develop a more robust conception of agency to provide a foundation for progressive politics. The essay concludes by analyzing several recent steps to develop such a conception. Full article
Open AccessArticle Induction and Epistemological Naturalism
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040031
Received: 26 August 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 30 September 2018 / Published: 18 October 2018
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Abstract
Epistemological naturalists reject the demand for a priori justification of empirical knowledge; no such thing is possible. Observation reports, being the foundation of empirical knowledge, are neither justified by other sentences, nor certain; but they may be agreed upon as starting points for
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Epistemological naturalists reject the demand for a priori justification of empirical knowledge; no such thing is possible. Observation reports, being the foundation of empirical knowledge, are neither justified by other sentences, nor certain; but they may be agreed upon as starting points for inductive reasoning and they function as implicit definitions of predicates used. Making inductive generalisations from observations is a basic habit among humans. We do that without justification, but we have strong intuitions that some inductive generalisations will fail, while for some other we have better hopes. Why? This is the induction problem according to Goodman. He suggested that some predicates are projectible when becoming entrenched in language. This is a step forward, but not entirely correct. Inductions result in universally generalised conditionals and these contain two predicates, one in the antecedent, one in the consequent. Counterexamples to preliminary inductive generalisations can be dismissed by refining the criteria of application for these predicates. This process can be repeated until the criteria for application of the predicate in the antecedent includes the criteria for the predicate in the consequent, in which case no further counterexample is possible. If that is the case we have arrived at a law. Such laws are implicit definitions of theoretical predicates. An accidental generalisation has not this feature, its predicates are unrelated. Laws are said to be necessary, which may be interpreted as ‘“Laws” are necessarily true’. ‘Necessarily true’ is thus a semantic predicate, not a modal operator. In addition, laws, being definitions, are necessarily true in the sense of being necessary assumptions for further use of the predicates implicitly defined by such laws. Induction, when used in science, is thus our way of inventing useful scientific predicates; it is a heuristic, not an inference principle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
Open AccessArticle Time and Life in the Relational Universe: Prolegomena to an Integral Paradigm of Natural Philosophy
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040030
Received: 1 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
Relational ideas for our description of the natural world can be traced to the concept of Anaxagoras on the multiplicity of basic particles, later called “homoiomeroi” by Aristotle, that constitute the Universe and have the same nature as the whole world.
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Relational ideas for our description of the natural world can be traced to the concept of Anaxagoras on the multiplicity of basic particles, later called “homoiomeroi” by Aristotle, that constitute the Universe and have the same nature as the whole world. Leibniz viewed the Universe as an infinite set of embodied logical essences called monads, which possess inner view, compute their own programs and perform mathematical transformations of their qualities, independently of all other monads. In this paradigm, space appears as a relational order of co-existences and time as a relational order of sequences. The relational paradigm was recognized in physics as a dependence of the spatiotemporal structure and its actualization on the observer. In the foundations of mathematics, the basic logical principles are united with the basic geometrical principles that are generic to the unfolding of internal logic. These principles appear as universal topological structures (“geometric atoms”) shaping the world. The decision-making system performs internal quantum reduction which is described by external observers via the probability function. In biology, individual systems operate as separate relational domains. The wave function superposition is restricted within a single domain and does not expand outside it, which corresponds to the statement of Leibniz that “monads have no windows”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
Open AccessArticle Sciences of Observation
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040029
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 1 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
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Abstract
Multiple sciences have converged, in the past two decades, on a hitherto mostly unremarked question: what is observation? Here, I examine this evolution, focusing on three sciences: physics, especially quantum information theory, developmental biology, especially its molecular and “evo-devo” branches, and cognitive science,
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Multiple sciences have converged, in the past two decades, on a hitherto mostly unremarked question: what is observation? Here, I examine this evolution, focusing on three sciences: physics, especially quantum information theory, developmental biology, especially its molecular and “evo-devo” branches, and cognitive science, especially perceptual psychology and robotics. I trace the history of this question to the late 19th century, and through the conceptual revolutions of the 20th century. I show how the increasing interdisciplinary focus on the process of extracting information from an environment provides an opportunity for conceptual unification, and sketch an outline of what such a unification might look like. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
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Open AccessArticle We Need to Recreate Natural Philosophy
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040028
Received: 24 August 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
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Abstract
Modern science began as natural philosophy, an admixture of philosophy and science. It was then killed off by Newton, as a result of his claim to have derived his law of gravitation from the phenomena by induction. But this post-Newtonian conception of science,
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Modern science began as natural philosophy, an admixture of philosophy and science. It was then killed off by Newton, as a result of his claim to have derived his law of gravitation from the phenomena by induction. But this post-Newtonian conception of science, which holds that theories are accepted on the basis of evidence, is untenable, as the long-standing insolubility of the problem of induction indicates. Persistent acceptance of unified theories only in physics, when endless equally empirically successful disunified rivals are available, means that physics makes a persistent, problematic metaphysical assumption about the universe: that all disunified theories are false. This assumption, precisely because it is problematic, needs to be explicitly articulated within physics, so that it can be critically assessed and, we may hope, improved. The outcome is a new conception of science—aim-oriented empiricism—that puts science and philosophy together again, and amounts to a modern version of natural philosophy. Furthermore, aim-oriented empiricism leads to the solution to the problem of induction. Natural philosophy pursued within the methodological framework of aim-oriented empiricism is shown to meet standards of intellectual rigour that science without metaphysics cannot meet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
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Open AccessArticle Natural Philosophy and Natural Logic
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040027
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
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Abstract
1. Nature has its own logic, which does not follow the human will. Nature is itself; it exists, moves, changes, and evolves according to its own intrinsic ways. Human and human society, as a product of a specific stage of natural development, can
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1. Nature has its own logic, which does not follow the human will. Nature is itself; it exists, moves, changes, and evolves according to its own intrinsic ways. Human and human society, as a product of a specific stage of natural development, can only be a concrete manifestation of the logic of nature. 2. In the broad sense, nature refers to all, both phenomena and processes, in the universe. It includes human society spiritual phenomena. In a narrow sense, nature refers to the world outside the society and opposed to society as well, or refers to the research objects of natural sciences 3. The narrow natural philosophy is in the intermediary position between the natural sciences and the overall philosophy (the supreme philosophy, an advocation of Kun Wu’s philosophy of information. For further detail, please refer to the subscript in the following.). Furthermore, it is an independent sub-level philosophical discipline; the broad natural philosophy is a meta-philosophy or supreme philosophy, stipulating the entire world from the dimensions of nature itself. 4. Natural philosophy reveals the laws of nature’s own existence, movement, change, and evolution. This determines that the way of expressing natural philosophy is necessarily natural ontology. The construction of the theoretical system of natural philosophy is inevitably a process of abandoning cognitive mediums of human beings through reflection. It is necessary for us to conclude that natural philosophy is the stipulation of nature itself, which comes out of the nature itself. So, we must explain the nature from the standpoint of the nature itself. 5. The true philosophy should move from the human world to the nature, finding back Husserl’s suspended things, and establish a brand-new philosophy in which man and nature, substance, information, and spirit are united. This kind of philosophy is able to provide contemporary ecological civilization with a reasonable philosophical foundation, rebuilding natural philosophy in a new era, which is a very urgent task for contemporary philosophers. 6. The unity of philosophy and science cannot be seen merely as an external convergence, but also as an intrinsic fusion; a true philosophy should have a scientific character, and science itself must have a philosophical basis. The unity of such an intrinsic fusion of science and philosophy can be fully demonstrated by the practical relationship of development between human philosophy and science. 7. In addition to the narrow path along epistemology, linguistics, and phenomenology, the development of human philosophy has another path. This is the development of philosophy itself that has been nurtured and demonstrated during the development of general science: On the one hand, the construction of scientific rationality requires philosophical thinking and exploration; On the other hand, the progress of science opens the way for the development of philosophy. 8. In the real process of the development of human knowledge, science and philosophy are regulated, contained, and merged with each other in the process of interaction. The two are inlaid together internally to form an interactive dynamic feedback loop. The unified relationship of mutual influence, regulation, promotion and transformation presented in the intrinsic interplay of interaction between science and philosophy profoundly breeds and demonstrates the general way of human knowledge development: the philosophicalization (a term used in Kun Wu’s philosophy of information. For more details please see in Kun Wu, 2016, The Interaction and Convergence of the Philosophy and Science of Information, https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies1030228) of science and scientification (a term used in Kun Wu’s philosophy of information. For more detail, please see in Kun Wu, 2016, The Interaction and Convergence of the Philosophy and Science of Information, https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies1030228) of philosophy. 9. We face two types of dogmatism: one is the dogmatism of naturalism, and the other is the dogmatism of the philosophy of consciousness. One of the best ways to overcome these tendencies of dogmatism is to unite natural ontology, and epistemic constructivism. The crisis of contemporary philosophy induced by the western consciousness philosophy seems like belonging to the field of epistemology, but the root of this crisis is deeply buried in the ontology. The key to solving the crisis of contemporary philosophy lies precisely in the reconstruction of the doctrine of natural philosophy centering to the nature itself and excluding God. The task to be accomplished by this new natural philosophy is how to regain the natural foundation of human consciousness after the God has left the field. 10. Since the 1980s, the philosophy of information established and developed in China has proposed a theory of objective information, as well as the dual existence and dual evolution of matter and information (a key advocation in the ontological theory of Kun Wu’s philosophy of information). It is this theory that has made up for the vacancy existing between matter and mind, which apparently exists in Cartesian dualism, after the withdrawal of the God’s from the field. Philosophy of information in China is first and foremost a natural philosophy that adheres to naturalistic attitudes. Second, this natural philosophy explains the human, human mind and human society in the interpretation of the process and mechanism of natural evolution. In this connection, philosophy of information (a key advocation of Kun Wu’s philosophy of information) in China is a system of meta-philosophy or supreme philosophy. This system undoubtedly has the nature of a new natural philosophy. At the same time, this philosophy can better reflect the philosophical spirit of the information age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
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Open AccessArticle Human Cognition, Patterning and Deacon’s Absentials: The Value of Absent-Mindedness in the Sense of Minding What Is Absent
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040026
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
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Abstract
Important aspects of human cognition are considered in terms of patterning, which we claim represents a shift from focusing on what is present to what is absent. We make use of Deacon’s notion of absentials and apply it to the patterning that underscores
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Important aspects of human cognition are considered in terms of patterning, which we claim represents a shift from focusing on what is present to what is absent. We make use of Deacon’s notion of absentials and apply it to the patterning that underscores human cognition. Several important aspects of human cognition are considered that represent a shift from focusing on what is present to what is absent, namely, language as representing the transition from percept to concept-based thinking, mathematical grouping and patterning of items into sets that gave rise to verbal language, as well as imaginative thinking which is so critical for the development of the arts, mathematics and science. The connection between information and absence is also examined, in which we claim that information is an absential, paralleling an idea of Deacon’s. Full article
Open AccessEssay The Utterly Prosaic Connection between Physics and Mathematics
Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040025
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
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Abstract
Eugene Wigner famously argued for the “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” as applied to describing physics and other natural sciences in his 1960 essay. That essay has now led to some 58 years of (sometimes anguished) philosophical soul searching—responses range from “So what? Why
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Eugene Wigner famously argued for the “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” as applied to describing physics and other natural sciences in his 1960 essay. That essay has now led to some 58 years of (sometimes anguished) philosophical soul searching—responses range from “So what? Why do you think we developed mathematics in the first place?”, through to extremely speculative ruminations on the existence of the universe (multiverse) as a purely mathematical entity—the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis. In the current essay I will steer an utterly prosaic middle course: Much of the mathematics we develop is informed by physics questions we are trying to solve; and those physics questions for which the most utilitarian mathematics has successfully been developed are typically those where the best physics progress has been made. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies)
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