Dictionary of Arguments


Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute
 
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The author or concept searched is found in the following 2 entries.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Entry
Reference
Analogies Sokal I 28
Analogies/Sokal/Bricmont: we criticize the use of scientific concepts by authors who have not understood the scientific meaning of these terms themselves. The recognition of a conclusive analogy between two existing theories can often be very useful for the further development of both theories.
In our opinion, however, the authors we are investigating are analogies between generally accepted theories (from the natural sciences) and theories that are too vague to be empirically verifiable (e. g. Lacanian psychoanalysis).
---
I 150
Analogies/Lacan/Latour/BricmontVsLacan/BricmontVsLatour/SokalVsLacan/SokalVsLatour: Latour - just like Lacan (see A. Sokal and J. Bricmont: "Eleganter Unsinn", Munich 1999, p. 38) insist on the literal validity of a comparison, which at best should be provided as a vague metaphor. For example, the enunciator (the didactic trick of Einstein to explain the theory of relativity) is assumed to be a real person whose privileges must be fought against. Afterwards, Latour says:.... Fighting against privileges in economics or physics is literally the same, but not in metaphorical terms. (B. Latour,"A relativistic account of Einstein's relativity", Social Studies of Science, 18, 1988, p. 23.) ---
I 154
Assuming that Latour's sociological concepts can be defined as precisely as those of relativity theory, and someone who is familiar with both theories could establish a formal analogy between the two. This analogy could perhaps contribute to explain relativity theory to a sociologist who is familiar with Latour's sociology, or to explain Latour's sociology to a physicist, but what sense should it have in explaining the sociology of Latour to other sociologists on the basis of the analogy to relativity theory?

Sokal I
Alan Sokal
Jean Bricmont
Fashionabel Nonsense. Postmodern Intellectuals Abuse of Science, New York 1998
German Edition:
Eleganter Unsinn. Wie die Denker der Postmoderne die Wissenschaften missbrauchen München 1999

Sokal II
Alan Sokal
Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science New York 1999

Theory of Relativity Latour Sokal I 145
Theory of Relativity/Bruno Latour/BricmontVsLatour/SokalVsLatour/Sokal: (B. Latour, "A relativistic account of Einstein's relativity", Social Studies of Science, 18, 1988, p. 3-44.) Definiton Strong Programme/Knowledge Sociology/Latour/Sokal: Latour regards his article as part and extension of the "strong programme" of science sociology, which claims that "the content of every science is thoroughly social" (p. 3).
Theory of Relativity/Latour: Thesis: the theory of relativity itself can be considered social (p. 4f).
---
Sokal I 147
SokalVsLatour: Latour misunderstands the concept of the reference system in physics. Problem: In the textbooks of relativity theory, the reference system is often equated vaguely with an "observer". Reference system/theory of relativity/Bricmont/Sokal: more precisely, a reference system can be understood as a group of observers, one of whom is at each point in the room and all of whom are equipped with synchronized clocks.
SokalVsLatour: he seems to be of the opinion that the relativity theory is concerned with the relative position (and not with the relative velocity) of different reference systems.
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Sokal 148
SokalVsLatour: he also brings in, how Latour claims, that Einstein has considered three reference systems. Einstein never did this. (Besides, Latour misspelled the equations (p. 18, fig. 8). Solution/Sokal: the Lorentz transformations make a third reference system superfluous.
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Sokal I 149
Latour: "... his desire to discipline the delegated observers and to make dependent parts of an apparatus limited to observing the superimposition of pointers and positions...". SokalVsLatour: Latour misunderstands this: the "observers" are fictional. They were introduced by Einstein for educational reasons only. Therefore, there is no need to "discipline" them.
Latour: The ability of delegated observers (...) to send reports is only possible because of their absolute dependency and even stupidity.... this is the price to pay for the freedom and credibility of the enunciator (p. 19).
SokalVsLatour: his third mistake is to assign this enunciator a central role.
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Sokal I 150
It is merely part of Einstein's didactic explanation. Sokal speaks of the "privileges" that this one allegedly has. Privileges/Latour:... fighting against privileges in economics or physics are literally the same, not metaphorical.
Comparisons/Analogies/SokalVsLatour: Latour - just like Lacan (see A. Sokal and J. Bricmont, Eleganter Unsinn, Munich 1999, p. 38) insist on the literal validity of a comparison, which at best should be interpreted as a vague metaphor. (Analogies/SokalVsLacan).
---
Sokal I 153
Theory of Relativity/Latour: (B. Latour, "A relativistic account of Einstein's relativity", Social Studies of Science, 18, 1988, p. 5): our intention... is the following: In what way can we, by reformulating the concept of society, understand Einstein's work as explicitly social? A related question is: how can we learn from Einstein to explore society? SokalVsLatour: has Latour learned anything from his analysis of relativity theory what is "transferable to society"? At the level of pure logic, the answer is no: the theory of relativity in physics has no implications for sociology.

Lat I
Bruno Latour
Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society Cambridge, MA 1988


Sokal I
Alan Sokal
Jean Bricmont
Fashionabel Nonsense. Postmodern Intellectuals Abuse of Science, New York 1998
German Edition:
Eleganter Unsinn. Wie die Denker der Postmoderne die Wissenschaften missbrauchen München 1999

Sokal II
Alan Sokal
Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science New York 1999

The author or concept searched is found in the following 2 controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Entry
Reference
Derrida, J. Black Vs Derrida, J. II 169
Border/BlackVsLacan/BlackVsDerrida/French philosophy: in areas where a crossing is logically impossible it is pointless to assume a border. E.g. "gap between language and reality".

Black I
Max Black
"Meaning and Intention: An Examination of Grice’s Views", New Literary History 4, (1972-1973), pp. 257-279
In
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
In
Truth and Meaning, Paul Horwich Aldershot 1994
Freud, S. Verschiedene Vs Freud, S. Derrida I 101
Analogy/Artaud: it cannot teach us what her counterpart is. (ArtaudVsFreud).
Derrida I 101
ArtaudVsFreud: the interpretation would deprive the theatre of its holiness, which belongs to it, because it is an expression of life in its elementary powers.
Lacan I 41
LacanVsFreud: against the rule of the (wrong) me. - Not where "it" was, should become "I", but the "it" is to be revealed and opened up, so that the subject can understand and experience itself from this eccentricity as a being and saying.
I 122
LacanVsFreud: not "I" instead of "it", but to reopen the horizon of "It speaks" and let the truth emerge behind the false objectivism. (BarthesVsLacan: there is no "behind").
Rorty V 42
Freud/RortyVsHume: in contrast to Hume, Freud has actually reshaped our self-image! If the ego is not master in its own house, it is because there is actually another person! The unconscious of Freud is actually effective.
V 43
But it does not seem like a thing that we can claim, but like a person that claims us. The I is populated by counterparts of people we need to know in order to understand a person's behaviour. DavidsonVsFreud/Rorty: Splitting is always perceived as disturbing by philosophers. But: (pro Freud) there is no reason to assume "you unconsciously believe that p" instead of "there is something in you that causes you to act as if you believed that p".
(Unconscious/unconscious/(s): "something in you..." then there are several brain users.)
V 62
Rorty: Freud's greatest achievement is the gratifying character of the ironic, playful intellectual.
V 63
MacIntyreVsFreud/Rorty: the abandonment of the Aristotelian "functional concept of the human" leads to "emotivism": to the annihilation of any genuine distinction between manipulative and non-manipulative social relations. Rorty: he was right, insofar moral concepts like "reason", "human nature" etc. only make sense from the Aristotelian point of view.
Def Emotivism/MacIntyre/Rorty: value judgements nothing more than the expression of preferences, attitudes or feelings.
V 64
"Ability"/Freud/Rorty: (according to Davidson): Freud drops the idea of "ability" at all and replaces it with a multitude of beliefs and desires.
V 65
RortyVsMacIntyre: this criticism only makes sense if such judgements could have been something else (e.g. expression of a rational knowledge of nature). Freud/Rorty: if we take him seriously, we no longer need to decide between a "functional" Aristotelian concept of the human, which is decisive in matters of morality, and the "terrible freedom" of Sartre.
V 66
We can track down psychological narratives without heroines or heroes. We tell the story of the whole machine as a machine, without central, privileged parts.
V 67
Dignity/Machine/Human Dignity/Rorty: only if we believe we have to have reasons to treat others decently, we lose our human dignity by proposing that our stories were about mechanisms without a centre.
V 67/68
Rationality/Traditional Philosophy/Tradition/Rorty: actually believes that there is a core of rationality in the deepest inner (even of the tormentor) to which I can always appeal. Freud: calls this "the pious world view".
V 69
Ethics/Morality/Psychology/Rorty: such a striving results in nothing more than the continued oscillating pendulum between moral dogmatism and moral skepticism.
V 70
What metaphysics has not been able to accomplish, psychology (no matter how "deep" it may be) cannot accomplish it either. Freud does not explain "moral motives" either.





Derrida I
J. Derrida
De la grammatologie, Paris 1967
German Edition:
Grammatologie Frankfurt 1993

Rorty I
Richard Rorty
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Princeton/NJ 1979
German Edition:
Der Spiegel der Natur Frankfurt 1997

Rorty II
Richard Rorty
Philosophie & die Zukunft Frankfurt 2000

Rorty II (b)
Richard Rorty
"Habermas, Derrida and the Functions of Philosophy", in: R. Rorty, Truth and Progress. Philosophical Papers III, Cambridge/MA 1998
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (c)
Richard Rorty
Analytic and Conversational Philosophy Conference fee "Philosophy and the other hgumanities", Stanford Humanities Center 1998
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (d)
Richard Rorty
Justice as a Larger Loyalty, in: Ronald Bontekoe/Marietta Stepanians (eds.) Justice and Democracy. Cross-cultural Perspectives, University of Hawaii 1997
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (e)
Richard Rorty
Spinoza, Pragmatismus und die Liebe zur Weisheit, Revised Spinoza Lecture April 1997, University of Amsterdam
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (f)
Richard Rorty
"Sein, das verstanden werden kann, ist Sprache", keynote lecture for Gadamer’ s 100th birthday, University of Heidelberg
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty II (g)
Richard Rorty
"Wild Orchids and Trotzky", in: Wild Orchids and Trotzky: Messages form American Universities ed. Mark Edmundson, New York 1993
In
Philosophie & die Zukunft, Frankfurt/M. 2000

Rorty III
Richard Rorty
Contingency, Irony, and solidarity, Chambridge/MA 1989
German Edition:
Kontingenz, Ironie und Solidarität Frankfurt 1992

Rorty IV (a)
Richard Rorty
"is Philosophy a Natural Kind?", in: R. Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Philosophical Papers Vol. I, Cambridge/Ma 1991, pp. 46-62
In
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty IV (b)
Richard Rorty
"Non-Reductive Physicalism" in: R. Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Philosophical Papers Vol. I, Cambridge/Ma 1991, pp. 113-125
In
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty IV (c)
Richard Rorty
"Heidegger, Kundera and Dickens" in: R. Rorty, Essays on Heidegger and Others. Philosophical Papers Vol. 2, Cambridge/MA 1991, pp. 66-82
In
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty IV (d)
Richard Rorty
"Deconstruction and Circumvention" in: R. Rorty, Essays on Heidegger and Others. Philosophical Papers Vol. 2, Cambridge/MA 1991, pp. 85-106
In
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum, Stuttgart 1993

Rorty V (a)
R. Rorty
"Solidarity of Objectivity", Howison Lecture, University of California, Berkeley, January 1983
In
Solidarität oder Objektivität?, Stuttgart 1998

Rorty V (b)
Richard Rorty
"Freud and Moral Reflection", Edith Weigert Lecture, Forum on Psychiatry and the Humanities, Washington School of Psychiatry, Oct. 19th 1984
In
Solidarität oder Objektivität?, Stuttgart 1988

Rorty V (c)
Richard Rorty
The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy, in: John P. Reeder & Gene Outka (eds.), Prospects for a Common Morality. Princeton University Press. pp. 254-278 (1992)
In
Solidarität oder Objektivität?, Stuttgart 1988

Rorty VI
Richard Rorty
Truth and Progress, Cambridge/MA 1998
German Edition:
Wahrheit und Fortschritt Frankfurt 2000