Philosophy of Science, Logic, and Mathematics in the Twentieth Century

By Stuart G. Shanker | Go to book overview

the cerebral mechanisms with which they are correlated or by which they are caused. But the lesson to be learnt from studying the mechanist/vitalist debates is that the real evolution of this psycho-physical parallel thesis was the exact opposite: it was by proceeding from the premiss that all involuntary movements are caused by external and internal stimuli, and the persisting desire to restore the continuum picture by reducing voluntary actions to the same terms, that the notion of 'mental cause' was created: the conception of intentions, desires, beliefs as mental events that bring about actions precisely because they initiate or are isomorphic with the cerebral drive train that provides the motor power. The goal of this chapter has been, not just to chart the development of these ideas, but more importantly, to reverse this way of thinking: to establish the unique and non-causal character of mental concepts in order to clarify why it is so misleading to assume that 'psychology treats of processes in the psychical sphere, as does physics in the physical' ([10.91], section 571). Thus, my intention here has been, not to praise Descartes' legacy, but to bury it: to relegate the mechanist/ vitalist debates once and for all to the history of psychological ideas.


NOTES
1
It is highly significant that Russell should have written an introduction to Lange's History of Materialism, in which he states that: 'Ordinary scientific probability suggests…that the sphere of mechanistic explanation in regard to vital phenomena is likely to be indefinitely extended by the progress of biological knowledge' ([10.38], xvii-xviii).
2
Du Bois-Reymond followed up on his argument with an expanded account in 1880 of the 'seven world problems'. In addition to the matter force and brain thought problems he now included the origins of motion, life, sensation and language, the teleological design of nature and the problem of free will (see [10.23]).
3
Spencer's explanation of the 'continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations' also reflects the influence of Liebig's views ([10.40]).
4
In Animal Chemistry he warned that:

The higher phenomena of mental existence cannot, in the present state of science, be referred to their proximate, and still less to their ultimate, causes. We only know of them, that they exist; we ascribe them to an immaterial agency, and that, in so far as its manifestations are connected with matter, an agency, entirely distinct from the vital force with which it has nothing in common.

([10.25], 138)

5
As indeed do cognitivists, albeit for vastly different reasons. In their eyes Bernard's metaphor manifests the latent tendency to regard biological phenomena 'in terms of categories whose primary application is in the domain of

-366-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Philosophy of Science, Logic, and Mathematics in the Twentieth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • General Editors' Preface vii
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Chronology xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 8
  • Chapter 1 - Philosophy of Logic 9
  • Bibliography 39
  • Chapter 2 - Philosophy of Mathematics in the Twentieth Century 50
  • Chapter 3 - Frege 124
  • Bibliography 153
  • Chapter 4 - Wittgenstein's Tractatus 157
  • Notes 187
  • Chapter 5 - Logical Positivism 193
  • Bibliography 210
  • Chapter 6 - The Philosophy of Physics 214
  • Bibliography 233
  • Chapter 7 - The Philosophy of Science Today 235
  • Chapter 8 - Chance, Cause and Conduct: Probability Theory and the Explanation of Human Action 266
  • Chapter 9 - Cybernetics 292
  • Bibliography 313
  • Chapter 10 - Descartes' Legacy: the Mechanist/Vitalist Debates 315
  • Notes 366
  • Glossary 376
  • Index 444
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 461

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.