8,853 research outputs found

    The Debate over "Wittgensteinian Fideism" and Phillips’ Contemplative Philosophy of Religion

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    When surveying the scholarly literature over Wittgensteinian fideism, it is easy to get the sense that the principal interlocutors, Kai Nielsen and D.Z. Phillips, talk past one another, but finding the right words for appraising the distance between the two voices is difficult. In this paper, I seek to appreciate this intellectual distance through an exploration of the varying philosophical aims of Nielsen and Phillips, of the different intellectual imperatives that guide their respective conceptions of philosophical practice. In so doing, I seek to show how a contemplative mode in philosophy may be used to appraise a philosophical dispute and the terms of disagreement. In this case, a contemplative approach to understanding the dispute would frame Nielsen’s and Phillips’ contributions against the backdrop of the ends they conceive philosophy to have

    Metaphor and Apophatic Discourse: Putting Sells in Dialogue with Lakoff and Johnson

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    In the book, Mystical Languages of Unsaying, Michael A. Sells presents a performative theory of apophatic discourse. His idea is that apophatic discourse functions as a semantic analogue to mystical experience through \"meaning events.\" Although he acknowledges that an appreciation of the subtleties of metaphor is crucial to an understanding of mystical language, Sells does not discuss the extensive literature on metaphor theory from the last few decades. In this essay, the author explores how George Lakoff and Mark Johnson\'s theory of metaphor may enrich Sells\' theory. Further, he addresses what Lakoff and Johnson may learn from Sells\' treatment. While there are no conflicts, strictly speaking, between the metaphysical pictures suggested by the two theories. Sells\' picture of the world allows for fissures of meaning at which Lakoff and Johnson\'s theory at best hints. Ultimately, Lakoff and Johnson\'s conception of metaphor requires that Sells\' theory of apophatic discourse be reexamined

    Clarifying Conversations: Understanding Cultural Difference in Philosophical Education

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    The goal of this essay is to explain how Wittgenstein's philosophy may be helpful for understanding and addressing challenges to cross-cultural communication in educational contexts. In particular, the notions of “hinge,” “intellectual distance,” and “grounds” from On Certainty will be helpful for identifying cultural differences. Wittgenstein's dialogical conception of philosophy in Philosophical Investigations will be helpful for addressing that cultural difference in conversation. While here can be no panacea to address all potential sources of confusion, Wittgenstein's philosophy has strong resources that are helpful for curbing some of our human tendencies to misunderstand other people

    The Formation of Ice upon Exposed Parts of an Airplane in Flight

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    In order to experimentally study the conditions leading to ice formation on aircraft surfaces, an aircraft was equipped with small auxiliary surfaces and aerodynamic shapes similar to struts, wires, Pitot heads, etc. This airplane was flown at an altitude where a temperature of 32 F was encountered, at such times as cloud formations could be found at the coincident altitude. Here it was discovered that ice formed rapidly in regard to quantity,character, shape, and rapidity of formation. An examination of this data, which confirms observations of pilots, indicates that the weight of ice collected can very possibly be sufficient to force the airplane to rapidly lose altitude on account of the increased loads. However, it is more evident that the malformation of the aerodynamic shapes may so increase the drag and reduce the lift so as to produce a loss of altitude even greater in consequence, the combination of the two working in the same direction having a double effect. Other adverse consequences are noted. The recommendation for the guidance of those who must encounter these conditions appears to lie entirely along the lines of avoidance

    The variation in pressures in the cockpit fan airplane in flight

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    The results of an investigation to determine the pressures in the open cockpit of a Vought VE-7 airplane are given. The observed values are small and the effect upon instruments is inconsiderable

    High altitude flying

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    This note investigates the effect of high altitude or low atmospheric pressure upon the operation of an engine and the effect of the low pressure and lack of oxygen and of the very low temperatures upon the pilot and upon the performance of the airplane itself

    The Use of Wheel Brakes on Airplanes

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    The results of tests to determine the effect of wheel brakes on the landing run of an airplane under conditions of load and at various wind velocities are presented

    Toward solving the cosmological constant problem by embedding

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    The typical scalar field theory has a cosmological constant problem. We propose a generic mechanism by which this problem is avoided at tree level by embedding the theory into a larger theory. The metric and the scalar field coupling constants in the original theory do not need to be fine-tuned, while the extra scalar field parameters and the metric associated with the extended theory are fine-tuned dynamically. Hence, no fine-tuning of parameters in the full Lagrangian is needed for the vacuum energy in the new physical system to vanish at tree level. The cosmological constant problem can be solved if the method can be extended to quantum loops.Comment: published versio

    The sciences in America, circa 1880

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    For many years American science in the late 19th century was regarded as an intellectual backwater. This view derived from the assumption that the health of American science at the time was equivalent to the condition of pure science, especially pure physics. However, a closer look reveals that there was considerable vitality in American scientific research, especially in the earth and life sciences. This vitality is explainable in part by the natural scientific resources of the American continent but also in part by the energy given science from religious impulses, social reformism, and practicality. Furthermore, contrary to recent assumptions, the federal government was a significant patron of American science. The portrait of American science circa 1880 advanced in this article suggests that the nation's scientific enterprise was characterized by pluralism of institutional support and motive and that such pluralism has historically been the normal mode
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