School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Theses

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    Substance and predication
    Ziedins, Rudolfs ( 1960)
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    The criterion of the empirical : a critical and historical review of three theories
    Suchting, W. A ( 1960)
    Between, roughly, 1920 and 1935, there appeared on the philosophical scene a number of currents which, though independent in origin (at least in the sense of lack of direct and conscious intellectual affiliations), and differing in several important aspects, may be said to have had as a minimum common element the aim of defining; the domain of natural science or "the empirical", and in particular, of demarcating it from, on the one hand, logic and mathematics, and on the other (and especially) a body of assertions collectively called "metaphysics". These currents were, broadly speaking, "operationism" (first expounded as such by P.W. Bridgman); the "principle of verifiability" which was the central idea of "logical positivism" (put forward first by a number of German philosophers, chiefly Schlick and Carnap); and a "logic of scientific discovery" based on the central concept of falsifiability (K.R. Popper). These ideas - and especially the first two - were very vigourously and widely discussed during the period mentioned above and the ensuing years; frequently the discussions took the form of what Feigl hardly exaggerates in calling "intense disputes". A prolonged and widespread dispute over a philosophical doctrine is not a new phenomenon. What is more unusual here, however, is the nature and extent of disagreement with regard to it. Leading representatives - not to speak of lesser lights - of each of the trends in question have asserted that the idea at least is of great, and even of fundamental importance. Others who have written on the problem dispute this, some going so far as to deny it any real importance at all. Now, as Dingle (the chief English representative of operationism) says, in remarking this situation, "when men who are neither fools nor liars agree that a certain idea is either the greatest discovery of a generation or the silliest nonsense imaginable, but cannot agree which it is, it is clear that there is more than a difference of opinion: there must be some defect of understanding also. Intelligent men do not thus differ about that which they comprehend equally." This diagnosis is further confirmed, by the complaints by exponents of the doctrines in question that their views are wholly or partially misunderstood, and by critics that these views suffer from insufficiently clear and exact definition. The trouble is indeed a real one. But apart from the inadequacies in the formulations of the various individual doctrines, a very important source of confusion is the failure to take sufficiently into account the differences between, on the one hand, the three main approaches already mentioned, and, on the other, the differences due to the fact that formulations of the doctrine on the basis of a particular approach have undergone (sometimes frequent) revisions and/or the fact that individual philosophers have presented individual, and hence more or less widely differing formulations. A satisfactory study of the three types of theory in question and hence of the problem(s) which they are designed to resolve can only be undertaken if both the similarities and differences, external and internal, between them are constantly kept in view. This situation constituted primary stimulus to the studios summarised in the following essay which attempts to present the relevant doctrines - or representative versions of them - as clearly as possible (what may, in principle, be lost in generality, by taking into consideration only views which have been actually held by philosophers being, it is suggested, amply compensated for by the advantage of definiteness) and, in the closest connection with this, to examine them critically in a number of important respects. In the latter connection as full a use as possible has been made of the very considerable critical literature which has accumulated around the question. A more exact delimitation of subject-matter would presuppose a preliminary clarity with regard to the exact systematic structure of the problem. But precisely this fundamental question is one of those which has been left very unclear. hence the separating out of this problem, of the philosophical questions involved, and of their ramifications will be one of the first tasks undertaken. Such a preliminary analysis is all the more necessary insofar as the doctrines in question have frequently penetrated far outside the professional philosophical world - especially, of course, into the world of the special sciences, and many do not seem to have realised the philosophical implications of some of their statements. or the necessity of a philosophical justification for them. The very facts that the philosophical views in question did find an almost immediate echo in scientific spheres and in other domains not philosophical in a specialised sense of the word, and that, independent in origin as regards personal influence, these doctrines did tend to similar ends by means very similar in many respects - this suggests that such ideas corresponded to intellectual currents already present, however latent, since an idea can usually only exercise influence where there is a previously present susceptibility. Thus these ideas must have originated and developed rather as foci of tendencies already present end stretching beyond them, then as originators of such tendencies (however much the latter may have been influenced by those ideas after the event). In fact it is essentially the broadness of this influence which lends to the doctrines in question an importance and significance greater than might be accorded the views of relatively specialised and isolated schools of philosophy. Thus, a more exact delimitation of the subject-matter of the following essay also demands a preliminary general view of the historical background of the above doctrines - the background from which they have arisen and which, partly at least, lends to them their significance. Thus, in sum, the first task is to gain a map, as accurate as possible within the scale available, of the whole country, both historically and systematically; after this it will be possible to indicate what part of it is to be more intensively explored in the remainder of the essay. These first problems will form the subject-matter of the Introduction and Part One.
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    The definition of truth : an examination with special reference to Franz Brentano
    Srzednicki, Jan T. J ( 1962)
    This thesis comprises:- three main parts; (1,2 and 3); and introduction; concluding remarks; and a special Part (4) devoted to appendices and bibliography. The first section is devoted to an investigation of some papers of the German philosopher Franz Brentano (first-published work 1862, died 1917) who devoted considerable time to the problem of truth. This part serves a double purpose. On the one hand it is used to introduce the problem without concealing its considerable complexity and difficulty. On the other hand it helps to determine the field of inquiry more narrowly as well as producing some arguments, important but preliminary t the main argument of this thesis. The main argument is contained in Part 2; this argument draws to its conclusion, in section VII and VIII. Part 3 follows with some discussion of recent contributions to the philosophical problem of truth. It is the purpose of this part to support the final position further, by showing that these proposed solutions are unsatisfactory. Part 4, which follows the concluding remarks contains 4 appendices and bibliography. 3 appendices are translations of Brentano's papers, and the last comprises a discussion of the proper interpretation of the works of F. Brentano. The translations are provided primarily because no English texts of Brentano's work are available, the single exception being a short work on ethics, however even this dates from Brentano's early period. In contrast all translated papers came from the later period, this provides another reason for their inclusion. Appendix "A" comprises 3 letters to Anton Marty published in "Wahrheit and Evidenz" (ed.0.Kraus.). These deal with the problems of entia irrealia and present views most characteristic of Brentano's later period. Appendix "B" and "C" are translations of unpublished papers, which are discussed in Part 2, Section IV. Part 2, Section III comprises discussion of another unpublished paper, of which translation is not provided. The Bibliography does not mention all titles relevant to the problem discussed in this thesis, but it mentions many works which I have not considered in any detail, and which are not mentioned in text. I provide this because there are a great many works Which do look relevant if only the title is known, but even a cursory glance at the text shows that this appearance is misleading, it seems therefore useful to mention those that seem to have some genuine relevance. The number of contributions made it necessary to select. Even so this selection, is very rough. It is based: firstly on whether the article or book has in fact influenced my thinking; secondly on whether it represents a view worth notice; thirdly on whether it has exercised an appreciable influence; and fourthly, if an article, whether it appears in a well known journal. I am aware that using the same general principles a different selection could be made. The Bibliography even though not exhaustive is fairly long. To present it in the form of a long list in alphabetical order would be non-transparent. I have therefore divided it into four sections. The first contains a complete bibliography of all published works of F. Brentano. The second comprises a selection of unpublished manuscripts of F. Brentano, here again I am aware that a different selection Is possible. In the third the titles arc related to questions on which they bear - the stress is on references to the work of Alfred Tarski, because a large proportion of seemingly relevant articles concerning his work have no philosophical relevance whatever. I have not been able to obtain some of the titles relevant to Tarski, my knowledge of them comes from his own references - I include these because this is where a mere title can be particularly misleading. The fourth comprises a short list of books in alphabetical order, and a longer list of articles arranged in journal-volume order.
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    Logical analysis and the notion of existence
    Rice, V. I ( 1960)
    This essay is in the first place an examination of certain present day philosophers who have written on the notion or concept of existence. The relevant works of these philosophers are referred to in the text and in footnotes. I shall give reasons to show that their theories should be rejected. But this will still leave on our hands the problems which gave rise to these theories. In the second place therefore, I shall conduct an investigation on my own account. This has been largely inspired by the philosophy of St.Thomas Aquinas. But I have found reason to depart considerably from the standard expositions of Thomism and to give it a decidedly Platonist twist (or to emphasise the Platonism already present within it). It is in the application of Thotn i stic principles to the notion of existence in a Platonist way and by developing certain strands of Thomism which previously, so far as I know, have not been developed, that whatever originality there is in this essay, consists.
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    Intentional behaviour : an essay in the philosophy of action
    Krantzler, R. G ( 1971)
    This is a philosophical study which concerns itself with a very important part of a man's existence, namely with what he does. It will be limited primarily to a study of intentional behaviour. That is, what I will be concerned with will not be cases where the person was not aware of what he is doing nor with cases where what a person is doing is thinking, imagining, remembering and the like which do not involve a person behaving in some way which involves his making movements with his body intentionally, not unintentionally or accidentally or non-intentionally. I will be concerned with what men do from the point of view of their intentionally bringing about a human act, as D'Arcy has it, and I will be asking why intentional acts are brought about in the first place, why are they intentional, and why some philosophers have misconstrued and continue to misconstrue why an intentional act differs from actions and events that are not intentional actions and events.
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    Some questions arising from Kant's concept of the will
    Marshall, G. D ( 1962)
    The questions dealt with in this essay concern what is in fact involved in the exercise of the will. The answers to them are intended as a contribution not to moral philosophy or to Kantian scholarship, but to the philosophy of action. Kant's contentions are mainly used as points from which to begin a discussion of the will itself and related concepts. Although his views are critically assessed, the major part of the essay is taken up with an independent examination of the concepts used in philosophical enquiries into human action. The essay falls into three Parts. The first consists in a survey of Kant's views about the nature of the will and a statement of what he presupposes and implies. His central contention is that the will is practical reason. The second Part consists in a discussion of the adequacy of this characterisation of the will. It is argued that it is adequate and alternative views are disposed of. The third Part consists in a detailed investigation of how the will is practical reason. It is shown that the initiation of actions necessarily involves rational activities and judgements, and that this fact warrants an agent rejecting causal explanations for his intentional behaviour. I have found confirmation of several points made in the third Part, in some of the monographs in the series 'Studies in Philosophical Psychology', in Stuart Hampshire's book 'Thought and Action', and in published papers by several others. The page numbers in my references to these papers, are of the Journals listed in the short bibliography at the end of the essay.
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