European Journal of Philosophy: December 2011, Vol. 19, No. 4

Article excerpt

The Relationist and Substantivalist Theories of Time: Foes or Friends? JIRI BENOVSKY

There are two traditionally rival views about the nature of time: substantivalism that takes time to be a substance that exists independently of events located in it, and relationism that takes time to be constructed out of events. In this paper, first, the author examines the strategies the two views use to face the possibilities of "empty time" and "time without change." The article goes on to show that two allegedly very different rival views are much less different than has been thought: their structure is extremely similar, their strategies are extremely similar, and they can both face the possibilities of empty time and time without change in the same way. Thus, the author argues in favor of a certain kind of equivalence between the two views; he discusses a Strong and a Weak version of this claim; and he provides reasons for endorsing the former. He also discusses the parallel between this pair of views about the nature of time and another analogous pair of Views: the bundle theory and the substratum theory about the nature of material objects, with respect to the problem with Identity of Indiscernibles.--Correspondence to: jiri@benovsky.com

Kant, Reichenbach, and the Fate of A Priori Principles, KARIN DE BOER

This article contends that the relation of early logical empiricism to Kant was more complex than is often assumed. It argues that Reichenbach's early work on Kant and Einstein, entitled The Theory of Relativity and A Priori Knowledge, aimed to transform rather than to oppose Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. On the one hand, the author argues that Reichenbach's conception of coordinating principles, derived from Kant's conception of synthetic a priori principles, offers a valuable way of accounting for the historicity of scientific paradigms. On the other hand, the article shows that even Reichenbach, in line with Neo-Kantianism, associated Kant's view of synthetic a priori principles too closely with Newtonian physics and, consequently, overestimated the difference between Kant's philosophy and his own. This is even more so, the author points out, in the retrospective account logical empiricism presented of its own history. Whereas contemporary reconstructions of this history, including Michael Friedman's, tend to endorse this account, this paper offers an interpretation of Kant's conception of a priori principles that contrasts with the one put forward by both Neo-Kantianism and logical empiricism. On this basis, the author reexamines the early Reichenbach's effort to accommodate these principles to the paradigm forged by Einstein.--Correspondence to: karindeboer@cs.com

The French Revolution and the New School of Europe: Towards a Political Interpretation of German Idealism, MICHAEL MORRIS

This paper considers the significant but generally overlooked role that the French Revolution played in the development of German Idealism. Specifically, it argues that Reinhold and Fichte's engagement in revolutionary political debates directly shaped their interpretation of Kant's philosophy, leading them (a) to overlook his reliance upon common sense, (b) to misconstrue his conception of the relationship between philosophical theory and received cognitive practice, (c) to fail to appreciate the fundamentally regressive nature of his transcendental argumentative strategy, and, ultimately, (d) to seek to deduce his philosophy from a single first-principle, one grounded in the immediate awareness of the subject's mental life. …

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