A Quarterly Journal of Epistemology and Related Fields Vol.11: No.42 - summer .2010


A Quarterly Journal of

Epistemology and Related Fields

Vol.11/ No.42/ summer .2010

Executive Director: Ali-Akbar Rashad

Editor-in-Chief: Ali Reza qaeminia

Published by Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought (IICT)

Tel: 88501064, 88743008 Fax 88764792

P.O.Box: 13145-444. Tehran

E-mail: zehn@iict.ac.ir

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5/ The Future Science Needs a More Comprehensive Framework/

Mahdi Golshani

6/ Gotlob Frege on Sense/

Mahdi Abdollahi

7/ Frege, Husserl, and Quine on Reference and Meaningfulness/

Asghar Salimi

8/ Is Distinction between Analytic and Synthetic

Truths a Dogmatic One?/

Mostafa Mohajeri

10/ Kripke's Theory of Semantics of Fixed Points/

Mohammad Ardeshir and Ehsan Siavashi

11/ Probe in Davidson's Argument for Compositionality of Natural Languages and the Slingshot Argument/

Ali hosseinkhani

12/ Scientifc Discontniuty; Semantic Incommensurability or

Causal Theory of Reference?/

Yasser Khoshnevis

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The Future Science Needs a More Comprehensive Framework / Mahdi Golshani


The most important aspect of the modern world is science and technology. The modern science has changed man's view toward the world. Though it has created some achievements for man, this science has caused some problems as well. In this writing, the author tries to reveal unfavorable consequences of the modern science. The modern science has restricted itself to the material field; and reduces reality to sensible things. In addition, it is neutral in regard to values; and, in the long run, it will cause values to be discarded. The modern science is of a domination-seeking nature; it regards nature as a commodity which should be exploited. In the Medieval Age, science viewed nature from a holistic perspective; the modern science, however, lacks such a view; and because of its limitations, it cannot provide replies for man's ultimate questions concerning the meaning and goal of life.

In conclusion, the author will provide a picture of the future of science and propose some ways to eliminate the defects of the modern science.

Keywords: science, values, holism, scientific worldview, inclusive worldview, technology.

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Gotlob Frege on Sense / Mahdi Abdollahi


To explain the relation between language and external reality, the founder of symbolic logic and father of the contemporary philosophy, Gotlob Frege believes that, in addition to the mental meaning and external reference of the word, there is a third thing corresponding to the word which shows how the word relates to the external reference, and he calls it sense. Unlike meaning which is a mental and personal thing, sense is an external and objective reality of which all people may enjoy; and in this way a knowledge shared by all human beings may be acquired.

Frege's view may be studied from various perspectives. In addition to incoherencies in Frege's arguments to the effect that sense is both objective and subjective, his argument is unable to prove objectivity of sense; and even the claim that sense is external is itself false. Even if we accept his claim, he has not managed to eliminate the problem of psychologism in the path of human knowledge, which he seeks to solve.

Keywords: analytic philosophy, philosophy of language, psychologism, sense, proper noun, identity propositions

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Frege, Husserl, and Quine on Reference and Meaningfulness / Asghar Salimi


Between phenomenology and analytic philosophies, there are many similarities and dissimilarities which may be seen in the discussions concerning meaningfulness. Husserl uses the concept of meaning in a wide range which includes individual intuitions of experiences and "characters of the acts of consciousness". Husserl applies "noetic analysis" to those characters of the acts of consciousness which analyze new forms of knowledge acquired through ways other than direct intution.

For Frege, language is a vehicle to convey the meaning. He considers a fundamental difference between meaning and mental images.

Quine is of the opinion that sentences may be referred to language of empirical data. Words do not always have particular references. What that makes reference of words possible is "motivatonal reference". Words do not have always real meanings.

Keywords: meaning, reference, object, intentionality, analytic and synthetic propositions.

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Is Distinction between Analytic and Synthetic Truths a Dogmatic One? Distinction between Analytic and Synthetic in Carnap/Quine debate / Mostafa Mohajeri


Distinction between analytic truths- those truths which have their roots in the meanings of the constituent words alone and do not depend on facts- and synthetic truths- which depend on facts- has caused many debates in the 20 Century. In the present article, history of this distinction will be described; then we go to clarify that why it is important for neo-empiricists; finally, it will be discussed that how, according to Carnap, such a distinction is made in artificial languages.

The most famous critic of this distinction, Quine, thinks that Carnap's criterion to make such a distinction is not sufficient. He thinks that to make such a distinction acceptable "the empirical criteria for viewing the world as it is" should be provided. To fulfill Quine's request, the empirical method of Carnap is introduced according to which, by observing one's linguistics behavior, it may be found that whether a particular sentence, as used by him, is analytic or not.

In the present article, discussions made in this concern will be studied; then the authors will show that, in spite of Quine's claim, rejection of analytic/synthetic distinction has had no important consequences for empiricism; and many results which he thinks may be achieved if such a distinction is rejected had been either achievable without this rejection or they are consequences of his other ideas for which the distinction does not need to be rejected.

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Thus, we conclude that belief in distinction between analytic/synthetic truths is not dogmatic; on the contrary insistence upon such a rejection, while it may be found empirically and while it has certain practical and theoretical results, is a dogma.

Keywords: analytic, synthetic, Quine, Carnap, a priori, a posteriori

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Kripke's Theory of Semantics of Fixed Points / Mohammad Ardeshir and Ehsan Siavashi


Though Tarski's theory of semantics is still the main theory in many branches of philosophy such as logic, epistemology, and philosophy of language, in the last 50 years, however, it has been widely criticized.

This has paved the way for rival theories. One of such rivals is Saul Kripke's theory of fixed points presented in 1975. The main properties in which this theory differs from that of Tarski are, in brief, as follows: first, this semantics is based on a three-value logic; second, unlike Tarski's theory which defines predicate of truth in meta-language, here we have a language which includes its own predicate of truth. The present article describes Kripke's theory and, in addition, discusses some critiques posed against it.

Keywords: theory of truth, fixed point, paradox of liar, true sentence, semantics, three-value logic.

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Probe in Davidson's Argument for Compositionality of Natural Languages and the Slingshot Argument / Ali hosseinkhani


Davidson, at first, for presenting his theory of meaning, provides grounds for doing so. Among these grounds, the compositionality of natural languages is one, based on which he becomes able to apply Tarski’s theory of truth to natural languages for granting a truth conditional theory of meaning. According to Davidson, it is just after admitting natural languages as compositional ones that they can be learnt. Another important basis for posing the theory is Davidson’s Slingshot argument which prevents traditional approach to meaning to be extended to sentences. In the traditional approach, all expressions refer to objects as their meanings, and meanings are treated as abstract entities. By the argument, this approach is stopped to be continued for sentences. In this essay, after describing these two arguments, I am going to discuss about.

Keywords: Davidson; theory of meaning; theory of truth and reference; the argument of compositionality; the Slingshot argument.

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Scientifc Discontniuty; Semantic Incommensurability or Causal Theory of Reference? Yasser Khoshnevis Planet and Phlogiston Case Studies / Yasser Khoshnevis


Shifting from one scientific paradigm to another one, the sense of common term between two paradigms changes. It means that the role of the concept to which the common term designates is different within the conceptual networks of the different paradigms. Kuhn infers that since the conceptual networks of the two paradigms are distinct, two paradigms are semantically incommensurable. This type of incommensurability, like its other types – methodological and perceptual/observational – has been severely challenged and criticized by philosophers. One of the competing theses for semantic incommensurability is the causal theory of reference which is advanced by Kripke and Putnam.

In this paper, I consider the consequences of these two theses in the case of scientific dis/continuity. I introduce two criteria for scientific discontinuity according to each of these theses and study the behaviors of the introduced criteria in two case studies of scientific concepts of planet and phlogiston. After that, I suggest alternative imaginary situations for the mentioned cases and again observe the behaviors of the criteria. According to these case studies, I will conclude that though semantic incommensurability advances a chauvinistic criterion regarding comparison of scientific paradigms and explanation of scientific changes, the causal theory of reference – as its competitor – can not offer a remarkable explanation for changes in the meaning of scientific terms

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and describe the birth, life and elimination of these terms as random events which are dependent to the personal decisions of members of scientific community.

Keywords: Scientific Discontinuity, Semantic Incommensurability, Causal Theory of Reference.

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