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Showing posts from July 4, 2004
Bollettino Les idées expérimentales, comme nous le verrons plus tard, peuvent naître soit à propos d'un fait observé par hasard, soit à la suite d'une tentative expérimentale,soit comme corollaires d'une théorie admise. Ce qu'il faut seulement noter pour le moment, c'est que l'idée expérimentale n'est point arbitraire ni purement imaginaire ; elle doit avoir toujours un point d'appui dans la réalité observée, c'est-à-dire dans la nature. L'hypothèse expérimentale, en un mot, doit toujours être fondée sur une observation antérieure. – Claude Bernard LI has been pondering various ways of approaching the multitudinous subject of the thought experiment, soi disant. We have gotten some mail on this topic. The mail was puzzled – as in, what the hell is our point? So before we trace the geneology back to Socrates (both as mythmaker and myth), and make the usual grand historical tour in a paragraph, perhaps we should hatch an argument out of a dif
Bollettino LI has always been extremely skeptical of the role of thought experiments in philosophy. Or – we have been skeptical that they are experiments. They are many things – imaginary experimental designs; fantasies; myths; and arguments; We’ve been pondering our issue with them since reading a post in Crooked Timber last week. The post responded to another post, one by Brian Leiter, about what is dead and living – in other words, what is faddish and what is uncool – in philosophy. The CT person took the opportunity to sound off about the Twin Earth “thought experiment” – and we thought, hmm, we’ve wanted to say something about the bogusness of thought experiments for some time. So we went and looked up some of the literature. Since we are going to do this over the next couple of posts – and since our emphasis is going to be, at first, on the experiment part of the thought experiment – we’d like to point to a few links. Here’s an article, from the Winter 2003 issue of
Bollettino The appearance and expansion of Vampirism in the Democratic Party can be explained by: premature burials following cataleptic phenomena or highly contagious epidemics; folk beliefs and superstitions regarding the spitefulness of the dead; revenge of excommunicated persons; deaths by suicide for which villagers believed themselves responsible; the 'miraculous' preservation of bodies buried in places entirely without air, or in arsenic-rich soil; schizophrenics who fear being confined and become senseless; and porphyria, a hereditary blood disease frequently found in Transylvania...which causes cutaneous anomalies, dental malformations and creates a desire for blood – quote, oh so slightly changed, from “Deadly Fears: Dom Augustin Calmet's Vampires and the Rule Over Death” by Marie-Hélène Huet, Eighteenth-Century Life 21.2 (1997) 222-232 Is the reign of the vampire over? Kerry’s choice of Edwards as his v.p., instead of Gephardt, is a heartening sign. Is it