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Philosophy of Science

(2,337 words)

Author(s): Linde, Gesche

Theory and Praxis

(4,249 words)

Author(s): Linde, Gesche | Figal, Günter | Westhelle, Vítor | Herms, Eilert | Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences The distinction between theory as a consistent linguistic or symbolic system of ordered statements about a par-¶ ticular subject area or phenomenal domain and practice (praxis) as technical action to produce quantifiable phenomena in an experiment, or at least observation against the background of a theory, is fundamental to the modern natural sciences, although the precise definition of the relationship between the two is disputed and is addressed by the philosophy of science. Usually the relationship between theory and praxis is described by saying…

Signs

(2,878 words)

Author(s): Esterbauer, Reinhold | Alles, Gregory D. | Kober, Michael | Ochs, Peter | Linde, Gesche | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The term sign usually…

Pragmatism

(3,095 words)

Author(s): Linde, Gesche | Pape, Helmut | Grube, Dirk-Martin | Huxel, Kirsten
[German Version] I. The Term and Its Impact Though there was scattered use of the term in German historiography (Ernst Bernheim) and 19th-century German and French philosophy (Conrad Herrmann, M. Blondel), the concept and term go back to C.S. Peirce (see also II below), who introduced the concept in How to Make Our Ideas Clear (1878), the term in 1902 in J. Baldwin’s Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, and both orally between 1871 and 1873 ¶ in the Metaphysical Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He used the term for a logical maxim that the meaning of concepts must…

Rationality

(2,088 words)

Author(s): Fricke, Christel | Petzoldt, Matthias | Huxel, Kirsten | Linde, Gesche
[German Version] I. Philosophy Rationality is derived from Latin ratio (“calculation, consideration, reason”) and medieval Latin rationalitas (“reason, capacity for thought”). The term denotes various intellectual capacities that distinguish human beings as “rational animals” from the other more highly developed animals. In German, from the 18th century, these capacities were generally designated as Verstand (Intellect: I) and Vernunft (Reason: I). Under the influence of the English term rationality, and the usage of v…

Imagination

(2,195 words)

Author(s): Recki, Birgit | Linde, Gesche
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Ethics – IV. Power of Imagination I. Philosophy Imagination or fantasy (Gk φαντασία/ phantasía, Lat. phantasia; Lat./Eng./Fr. imaginatio[n], “appearance, mental image, idea”; cf. also Gk φάντασμα/ phántasma, “appearance, dream image, vision”) is the primarily pictographic conception of things that dominates in memory and recreation (as in dreams). Its elementary activity als…

Realism

(4,743 words)

Author(s): Kober, Michael | Großhans, Hans-Peter | Kitschen , Friederike | Hartwich, Wolf-Daniel | Linde, Gesche
[German Version] I. Philosophy Realism in a given area B means the ontological thesis that names or terms used in a theory of B refer to things that exist independently of human thought. For example, in natural realism the existence of stones, trees, and ¶ tables is assumed; in scientific realism, that of electrons, force fields, and quarks (see V below); in mathematical realism, that of numbers and quantities; or in ethical realism, that of moral values. Critics of realism object, for example, that moral values are an expression of value attitudes and are thus human constructions, just as numbers or quantities are only constructions of the human mind. Since it is not possible, according to philosophical skepticism, to prove the existence of thing…