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Philosophy and Theorizing

1 Scanning, surveying, collecting, selecting, listing, mentioning of potentially relevant information and data and
probably, significant facts.

Do (some aspects of) philosophy resembles theorizing? Is a question that requires to be dealt with in a certain
context and against a particular, explicit background so as not to be misleading. Is there an object such as
philosophy? Is there and object such as theorizing? Is the object philosophy or theorizing a notion (somewhere
in my head so that I might refer to it, correctly or misleadingly, as an idea in my mind?) Or, are they also, in
some cases, things outside in the external world? Can we be conscious of these cases? And if we can
experience them how can we explain this, for example as qualia, a phenomenal experience? How do we arrive
at the semantics of these questions from the experience and perception of the things (by integrated, complex
processes such as discrimination, integration of information, focus attention on them and reporting them)?
What are the mechanics of performing those processes or creation of those states? How and why do those
processes give rise to experience? Will it assist us if we view it from, at least, two perspectives, from different
points of view, for example as subjective (mental?) and objective (physical)? The former might refer to
processes such as reasoning, knowledge, attention, memory, judgement, evaluation, decision making,
comprehension, understanding, etc. Other words that we can include here are acquire knowledge, thinking,
experience, cognitive, intellect, deduction, induction, abduction, and other modes of reasoning such as
intuition, verbal discourse vs intuitive, (the capacity for) making sense of something, apply logic, verify facts,
justify practices, belief. Are these things embodied cognition rather than extended cognition? Can all of them
be included under the umbrella terms of consciousness (as a state of cognition) and a quality of awareness of
being aware (by the mind)? Are human beings then mere skin encapsulated egos? Embodied egos that can
employ, or act by, extended cognition when our minds are extended in an instrumental manner by tools as
individuals (persons) or as teams minds collectively (as people)? Even the encapsulated egos might, even
sufficiently or normally socialized, exist as an employ shared mental models. The latter might consist of shared
knowledge, information or data and also acquired sets of skills for performing tasks so that encapsulated egos
(individuals in the communicative reality of the cognitive society) can interact and communicate with others in
a fluid or problematic manner as individual performs and/or members of groups.

These individuals contribute information (information dumping or brain contribution or dumping of


intersubjective relevant data). This will probably occur in a dynamic manner that could affect the situation
they are involved in the constitution of (for example as police officer or arrested criminal, two lovers, teacher
and student, parent and child, etc). We can imagine endless varieties by this contribution to the situation or
context. These contributions, if we were to develop a theory will be called the data that need to be ordered.
Are there any constraints, conditions, limits, limitations to such situations? What are they? Can they be
identified and classified or categorized? And can our tools for classification themselves be ordered and
simplified? Can we generalize about the data we decide to include so that we can order it. We can for example
express an hypothesis about the data as some kind of guiding principle which aspects of the data to identify,
which relations between the data, and other questions to be expressed in the form of a hypothesis concerning
the data (and its behaviour in certain situations, circumstances or contexts). We can do this in words, express
it as logical propositions, mathematical formula, statistics, graphs, diagrams, and other forms of
representations, etc. The (alternative) ways in which we classify, depict and order the data might themselves
vary and thereby identify different patterns in or aspects of the data.

A useful notion here is that of Boundary critique (BC). It is the concept in critical systems thinking,
according to Ulrich (2002) that states that "both the meaning and the validity of professional propositions
always depend on boundary judgments as to what 'facts' (observation) and 'norms' (valuation standards) are to
be considered relevant" or not.[1]

Boundary critique is a general systems thinking principle similar to concepts as multiple perspectives, and
interconnectedness. Boundary critique according to Cabrera (2006) is "in a way identical to distinction making
as both processes cause one to demarcate between what is in and what is out of a particular construct. Boundary

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critique may also allude to how one must be explicit (e.g., critical) of these boundary decisions. Distinction
making, on the other hand, is autonomicone constantly makes distinctions all of the time." [2]

Boundary critique is based on Churchman's (1970) [3] argument, "that what is to be included or excluded for any
analysis of a situation is a vital consideration".[4] According to Kagan et al. (2004) "Something that appears to be
relevant to overall project improvement given a narrowly defined boundary, may not be seen as relevant at all if
the boundaries are pushed out. Thus, he argues, as much information as possible should be 'swept in' to the
definition of the intervention".[4]

This argumentation was extended by Werner Ulrich in the 1980s. According to Kagan et al. (2004) he "offered a
detailed challenge to the idea that the boundaries of any system are given and linked to "social reality". They are
social or personal constructs that define the limits of knowledge relevant to any particular analysis. From this
position, pushing out the boundaries of an analysis, in the context of human systems, also involves pushing the
boundaries of who may be considered a decision maker". [4]

In the practice of boundary critique, according to Ulrich (2000) [5] different kind of boundaries can be set based
on different questions:

Self-reflective boundary relating to the question "What are my boundary judgements?".


Dialogical boundary relating to the question "Can we agree on our boundary judgements?".
Controversial boundary relating to the question "Don't you claim too much?".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundary_critique

Werner Ulrich (2002). "Boundary Critique". in: The Informed Student Guide to Management Science, ed. by
H.G. Daellenbach and Robert L. Flood, London: Thomson Learning, 2002, p. 41f.
Derek Cabrera (2006). "Boundary Critique: A Minimal Concept Theory of Systems Thinking". ISSS
research paper.
C. West Churchman (1970). Operations research as a profession. Management Science, 17, B37-53.
Carolyn Kagan, Sue Caton, Amisha Amin and Amna Choudry (2005). "Boundary critique' community
psychology and citizen participation" Paper delivered to European Community Psychology Conference, Berlin,
September 2004.
Werner Ulrich(2000). "Reflective Practice in the Civil Society: The contribution of critically systemic
thinking". in: Reflective Practice;;, 1, (2) 247-268

Three other properties to remember when we depict and classify the data we decide to include are

Theories should stipulate the order in which one variable or event might affect another variable or event
Theories should include a narrative or description that depicts why one variable or event might affect another
variable or event
These narratives should refer to processes or mechanisms that might not be observable or conspicuous.

Kaplan, A. (1964). The conduct of inquiry. New York: Harper && Row.

Merton, R. K. (1967). On theoretical sociology. New York: Free Press.

Sutton, R. I., && Staw, B. M. (1995). What theory is not. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40, 371-384.

The author, and see the comments, have a lot to say about aspects of boundaries and their role in thinking
here http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2011/01/19/boundary-condition-thinking/ The author Venkatesh Rao
suggests that one can easily separate the three building blocks or dynamics, constraints and boundary
conditions by mathematic or non-mathematical models by asking these three types of questions.

Historians are a great example. The best historians tend to have an intuitive grasp of this approach to building
models using these three building blocks. Here is how you can sort these three kinds of pieces out in your own
thinking. It involves asking a set of questions when you begin to think about a complicated problem.

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1. What are the patterns of change here? What happens when I do various things? Whats the simplest
explanation here? (dynamics)
2. What can I not change, where are the limits? What can break if things get extreme? (constraints)
3. What are the raw numbers and facts that I need to actually do some detective work to get at, and
cannot simply infer from what I already know? (boundary conditions).

The commentaries made comments especially on the third one. I wish to distinguish between internal
and external boundaries or limits at all stages of thinking and theorizing. The external conditions will
often be explicit and what we will recognize more easily or be aware of, while some of the internal
ones will be more implicit and not so obvious. The latter will include things such as attitudes towards
the problem area, norms we follow, the limits to our knowledge and information concerning the
problem (we will attempt to extend this by gathering data and information, but we might still perceive
these things in a limited manner), underlying assumptions and other things or processes.

One thinks in some kind of general way through abstractions from the so far collected data, as if one
goes through the whole theory or perspective being developed (the frame of reference being
constituted) in a very general way. In this way one arrives at some preliminary generalization or
hypothesis. This generalization will be altered because of a number of factors, for example the nature
(characteristics of the type of philosopher dealing with them or the kind of philosophical handling they
will be submitted to) and the stage of the theorizing (and the theorists conception of theorizing). Then
one returns to the beginning of ones collecting of data and information and selects, orders and
classifies or categorizes them in terms of this preliminary generalization.

Returning to the end of section 1. There are both internal and external limits or boundaries to ones
work. These limits will vary for a number of reasons, for example the step or stage of theorizing the
writer is involved in. The dealing with the problem itself, for example thinking (more and more in
detail), the depiction of it and the writing down about and of it and other cognitive practices, skills,
doings and extensions will be submitted to more and different types of boundaries, One factor that will
cause this is the step in the exploration and the stage of the investigation one is occupied with. Some
boundaries will be explicit and one will be aware of them while others will be more or totally implicit
and one will be less conscious of them and most likely only notice some of the effects of some
transcendental, implicit ones.

Some of these limits will be for example knowledge (of the are and problem being dealt with, of the
nature of limits and their functioning), available skills (of know how), available facts (information of
know that of the problem etc), awareness of relevant terms and concepts (and those one is unaware of),
available and understood ideas (and those one is unaware of and do not, yet, grasp and involved),
norms one follow and is aware of (and unaware of), values, attitudes, arguments being employed (skills
ion argumentation and limits to these), reasoning, different types of limits that are functioning (and that
one is un/aware of).

The different stages of investigation include the scanning and collection of data and information,
depicting, organizing, classification and dealing with these data, the making of conjectures about the
data, their interrelations, awareness (and lack of awareness) of and reference to relevant work, books,
articles, studies, etc concerning the data and the problem being dealt with, making generalizations
concerning trends in the data and developing hypotheses.

Let us look at some of the ideas concerning good or better theories in general.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory tells us that : A scientific theory is a well-substantiated
explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly
tested and confirmed, preferably using a written, pre-defined, protocol of observations and experiments.[1][2]
Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.[3]

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It is important to note that the definition of a "scientific theory" (often ambiguously contracted to "theory" for
the sake of brevity, including in this page) as used in the disciplines of science is significantly different from,
and in contrast to, the common vernacular usage of the word "theory". As used in everyday non-scientific
speech, "theory" implies that something is an unsubstantiated and speculative guess, conjecture, idea, or,
hypothesis;[4] such a usage is the opposite of the word 'theory' in science. These different usages are comparable
to the differing, and often opposing, usages of the term "prediction" in science (less ambiguously called a
"scientific prediction") versus "prediction" in vernacular speech, denoting a mere hope.

The strength of a scientific theory is related to the diversity of phenomena it can explain, and to its elegance and
simplicity (see Occam's razor). As additional scientific evidence is gathered, a scientific theory may be rejected
or modified if it does not fit the new empirical findings; in such circumstances, a more accurate theory is then
desired. In certain cases, the less-accurate unmodified scientific theory can still be treated as a theory if it is
useful (due to its sheer simplicity) as an approximation under specific conditions (e.g., Newton's laws of motion
as an approximation to special relativity at velocities that are small relative to the speed of light).

Scientific theories are testable and make falsifiable predictions.[5] They describe the causal elements responsible
for a particular natural phenomenon, and are used to explain and predict aspects of the physical universe or
specific areas of inquiry (e.g., electricity, chemistry, astronomy). Scientists use theories as a foundation to gain
further scientific knowledge, as well as to accomplish goals such as inventing technology or curing disease.

As with most, if not all, forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are both deductive and inductive[6][7] in
nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory capability.

Paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and science historian Stephen Jay Gould said, ...facts and theories are
different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the worlds data. Theories are
structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts.[8]

National Academy of Sciences, 1999

"The Structure of Scientific Theories" in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Schafersman, Steven D. "An Introduction to Science".

National Academy of Sciences, 2008.

Popper, Karl (1963), Conjectures and Refutations, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, UK. Reprinted in
Theodore Schick (ed., 2000), Readings in the Philosophy of Science, Mayfield Publishing Company, Mountain
View, Calif.


https://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic265890.files/Critical_Thinking_File/07_The_Scientific_Method.pdf

Andersen, Hanne and Hepburn, Brian, "Scientific Method", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
(Winter 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =
<http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2015/entries/scientific-method/>

The Devil in Dover, p. 98

Contents
1 Characteristics of theories

1.1 Essential criteria


The defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make
falsifiable or testable predictions. The relevance and specificity of those predictions determine how
potentially useful the theory is. A would-be theory that makes no observable predictions is not a
scientific theory at all. Predictions not sufficiently specific to be tested are similarly not useful. In both
cases, the term "theory" is not applicable.

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1.2 Definitions from scientific organizations

2 Formation of theories
The scientific method involves the proposal and testing of hypotheses, by deriving predictions from the
hypotheses about the results of future experiments, then performing those experiments to see whether the
predictions are valid. This provides evidence either for or against the hypothesis. When enough experimental
results have been gathered in a particular area of inquiry, scientists may propose an explanatory framework
that accounts for as many of these as possible. This explanation is also tested, and if it fulfils the necessary
criteria (see above), then the explanation becomes a theory. This can take many years, as it can be difficult or
complicated to gather sufficient evidence.
3 Modification and improvement of theories

3.1 Unification of theories


3.2 Example: Relativity

4 Theories and laws


Both scientific laws and scientific theories are produced from the scientific method through the formation and
testing of hypotheses, and can predict the behavior of the natural world. Both are typically well-supported by
observations and/or experimental evidence.[27] However, scientific laws are descriptive accounts of how nature
will behave under certain conditions.[28] Scientific theories are broader in scope, and give overarching
explanations of how nature works and why it exhibits certain characteristics. Theories are supported by
evidence from many different sources, and may contain one or several laws. [29]
5 About theories

5.1 Theories as axioms

The logical positivists thought of scientific theories as statements in a formal language. First-order logic is an
example of a formal language. The logical positivists envisaged a similar scientific language. In addition to
scientific theories, the language also included observation sentences ("the sun rises in the east"), definitions, and
mathematical statements. The phenomena explained by the theories, if they could not be directly observed by
the senses (for example, atoms and radio waves), were treated as theoretical concepts. In this view, theories
function as axioms: predicted observations are derived from the theories much like theorems are derived in
Euclidean geometry. However, the predictions are then tested against reality to verify the theories, and the
"axioms" can be revised as a direct result.

The phrase "the received view of theories" is used to describe this approach. Terms commonly associated with it
are "linguistic" (because theories are components of a language) and "syntactic" (because a language has rules
about how symbols can be strung together). Problems in defining this kind of language precisely, e.g., are
objects seen in microscopes observed or are they theoretical objects, led to the effective demise of logical
positivism in the 1970s


5.2 Theories as models
The semantic view of theories, which identifies scientific theories with models rather than propositions,
has replaced the received view as the dominant position in theory formulation in the philosophy of
science.[36][37][38] A model is a logical framework intended to represent reality (a "model of reality"),
similar to the way that a map is a graphical model that represents the territory of a city or country. [39][40]

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Precession of the perihelion of Mercury (exaggerated). The deviation in Mercury's position from the
Newtonian prediction is about 43 arc-seconds (about two-thirds of 1/60 of a degree) per
century.[41][42]

In this approach, theories are a specific category of models that fulfil the necessary criteria (see above).
One can use language to describe a model; however, the theory is the model (or a collection of similar
models), and not the description of the model. A model of the solar system, for example, might consist
of abstract objects that represent the sun and the planets. These objects have associated properties, e.g.,
positions, velocities, and masses. The model parameters, e.g., Newton's Law of Gravitation, determine
how the positions and velocities change with time. This model can then be tested to see whether it
accurately predicts future observations; astronomers can verify that the positions of the model's objects
over time match the actual positions of the planets. For most planets, the Newtonian model's
predictions are accurate; for Mercury, it is slightly inaccurate and the model of general relativity must
be used instead.
The word "semantic" refers to the way that a model represents the real world. The representation
(literally, "re-presentation") describes particular aspects of a phenomenon or the manner of
interaction among a set of phenomena. For instance, a scale model of a house or of a solar system is
clearly not an actual house or an actual solar system; the aspects of an actual house or an actual solar
system represented in a scale model are, only in certain limited ways, representative of the actual
entity. A scale model of a house is not a house; but to someone who wants to learn about houses,
analogous to a scientist who wants to understand reality, a sufficiently detailed scale model may
suffice.

o 5.2.1 Differences between theory and model
Several commentators[43] have stated that the distinguishing characteristic of theories is that they are
explanatory as well as descriptive, while models are only descriptive (although still predictive in a
more limited sense). Philosopher Stephen Pepper also distinguished between theories and models, and
said in 1948 that general models and theories are predicated on a "root" metaphor that constrains how
scientists theorize and model a phenomenon and thus arrive at testable hypotheses.
Engineering practice makes a distinction between "mathematical models" and "physical models"; the
cost of fabricating a physical model can be minimized by first creating a mathematical model using a
computer software package, such as a computer aided design tool. The component parts are each
themselves modelled, and the fabrication tolerances are specified. An exploded view drawing is used to
lay out the fabrication sequence. Simulation packages for displaying each of the subassemblies allow
the parts to be rotated, magnified, in realistic detail. Software packages for creating the bill of materials
for construction allows subcontractors to specialize in assembly processes, which spreads the cost of
manufacturing machinery among multiple customers. See: Computer-aided engineering, Computer-
aided manufacturing, and 3D printing
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5.3 Assumptions in formulating theories
An assumption (or axiom) is a statement that is accepted without evidence. For example, assumptions
can be used as premises in a logical argument. Isaac Asimov described assumptions as follows:
...it is incorrect to speak of an assumption as either true or false, since there is no way of proving it to
be either (If there were, it would no longer be an assumption). It is better to consider assumptions as
either useful or useless, depending on whether deductions made from them corresponded to
reality...Since we must start somewhere, we must have assumptions, but at least let us have as few
assumptions as possible.[44]

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The term "assumption" is actually broader than its standard use, etymologically speaking. The Oxford
English Dictionary (OED) and online Wiktionary indicate its Latin source as assumere ("accept, to take
to oneself, adopt, usurp"), which is a conjunction of ad- ("to, towards, at") and sumere (to take). The
root survives, with shifted meanings, in the Italian sumere and Spanish sumir. The first sense of
"assume" in the OED is "to take unto (oneself), receive, accept, adopt". The term was originally
employed in religious contexts as in "to receive up into heaven", especially "the reception of the
Virgin Mary into heaven, with body preserved from corruption", (1297 CE) but it was also simply used
to refer to "receive into association" or "adopt into partnership". Moreover, other senses of assumere
included (i) "investing oneself with (an attribute)", (ii) "to undertake" (especially in Law), (iii) "to take
to oneself in appearance only, to pretend to possess", and (iv) "to suppose a thing to be" (all senses
from OED entry on "assume"; the OED entry for "assumption" is almost perfectly symmetrical in
senses). Thus, "assumption" connotes other associations than the contemporary standard sense of
"that which is assumed or taken for granted; a supposition, postulate" (only the 11th of 12 senses of
"assumption", and the 10th of 11 senses of "assume").
Note: I need to mention implicit assumptions underlying thinking, often the person ios not aware of
their existence and their functioning.

6 Descriptions of theories

6.1 Philosophers of science

Karl Popper described the characteristics of a scientific theory as follows:[5]

1. It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theoryif we look for
confirmations.
2. Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if,
unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible
with the theoryan event which would have refuted the theory.
3. Every "good" scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory
forbids, the better it is.

Note: Make explicit, describe and set limits, boundaries, conditions

4. A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue
of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.
5. Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability; but
there are degrees of testability: some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than
others; they take, as it were, greater risks.
6. Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and
this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory. (I now
speak in such cases of "corroborating evidence".)
7. Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, might still be upheld by their admirersfor
example by introducing post hoc (after the fact) some auxiliary hypothesis or assumption, or by
reinterpreting the theory post hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always
possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering,
its scientific status, by tampering with evidence. The temptation to tamper can be minimized by first
taking the time to write down the testing protocol before embarking on the scientific work.

Popper summarized these statements by saying that the central criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its
"falsifiability, or refutability, or testability".[5] Echoing this, Stephen Hawking states, "A theory is a good theory
if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model
that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future
observations." He also discusses the "unprovable but falsifiable" nature of theories, which is a necessary
consequence of inductive logic, and that "you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that
disagrees with the predictions of the theory".[45]

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Several philosophers and historians of science have, however, argued that Popper's definition of theory as a set
of falsifiable statements is wrong[46] because, as Philip Kitcher has pointed out, if one took a strictly Popperian
view of "theory", observations of Uranus when first discovered in 1781 would have "falsified" Newton's
celestial mechanics. Rather, people suggested that another planet influenced Uranus' orbitand this prediction
was indeed eventually confirmed.

Kitcher agrees with Popper that "There is surely something right in the idea that a science can succeed only if it
can fail."[47] He also says that scientific theories include statements that cannot be falsified, and that good
theories must also be creative. He insists we view scientific theories as an "elaborate collection of statements",
some of which are not falsifiable, while othersthose he calls "auxiliary hypotheses", are.

According to Kitcher, good scientific theories must have three features: [47]

1. Unity: "A science should be unified. Good theories consist of just one problem-solving strategy, or
a small family of problem-solving strategies, that can be applied to a wide range of problems."
2. Fecundity: "A great scientific theory, like Newton's, opens up new areas of research. Because a
theory presents a new way of looking at the world, it can lead us to ask new questions, and so to
embark on new and fruitful lines of inquiry. Typically, a flourishing science is incomplete. At any
time, it raises more questions than it can currently answer. But incompleteness is not vice. On the
contrary, incompleteness is the mother of fecundity. A good theory should be productive; it should
raise new questions and presume those questions can be answered without giving up its problem-
solving strategies."
3. Auxiliary hypotheses that are independently testable: "An auxiliary hypothesis ought to be testable
independently of the particular problem it is introduced to solve, independently of the theory it is
designed to save." (For example, the evidence for the existence of Neptune is independent of the
anomalies in Uranus's orbit.)

Like other definitions of theories, including Popper's, Kitcher makes it clear that a theory must include
statements that have observational consequences. But, like the observation of irregularities in the orbit of
Uranus, falsification is only one possible consequence of observation. The production of new hypotheses is
another possible and equally important result.

Note: creative development and employment of theories, as Weick says p519 When theorists build theory, they
design, conduct, and interpret imaginary experiments. In doing so, their activities resemble the three processes
of evolution: variation, selection, and retention. Because the theorist rather than nature intentionally guides the
evolutionary process, theorizing is more like artificial selection than natural selection, and theorizing becomes
more like natural selection the more the process. Academy of Management Review, 1989, Vol. 14, No. 4, 516-
531 Theory Construction as Disciplined Imagination KARL E. WEICK The University of Michigan

Note: the 3 important processes or aspects of theory that resembles evolutionary processes are variation,
selection, retention. More on this later.


6.2 Analogies and metaphors of theory
The concept of a scientific theory has also been described using analogies and metaphors. For
instance, the logical empiricist Carl Gustav Hempel likened the structure of a scientific theory to a
"complex spatial network:"

Weick builds his ideas concerning theory on this idea, as stated explicitly and explored by Cornelissen, J.P.
(2006) Making sense of theory construction: Metaphor and
disciplined imagination. Organization Studies, 27 (11). pp. 1579-1597. Through his many writings on
theory construction and theorizing (e.g., Weick 1989,
1995a, 1999), Karl Weick has sketched an account of organizational theorizing as an ongoing and
evolutionary process where researchers themselves actively construct representations -
representations that form approximations of the target subject under consideration and that

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subsequently provide the groundwork for extended theorizing (i.e. construct specification,
development of hypotheses) and research. The most detailed account of this process is provided in
his awarded 1989 article on theory construction as disciplined imagination (Weick 1989), wherein
theory construction is likened to artificial selection as theorists are both the source of variation and
the source of selection when they construct and select theoretical representations of a
certain target subject (Weick 1989: 520). Furthermore, in constructing theory, Weick suggested,
theorists and researchers design, conduct and interpret imaginary experiments where they rely upon
metaphors to provide them with vocabularies and images to represent and express organizational
phenomena that are often complex and abstract. The various metaphorical images simulated through
such imaginary experiments, then, are further selected through the application of specific selection
criteria and possibly retained for further theorizing and research. As such, theory construction
resembles the three processes of evolution: variation, selection and retention (Weick 1989).

Logical empiricist Carl Gustav Hempel likened the structure of a scientific theory to a "complex spatial
network:"
Its terms are represented by the knots, while the threads connecting the latter correspond, in part, to the
definitions and, in part, to the fundamental and derivative hypotheses included in the theory. The whole
system floats, as it were, above the plane of observation and is anchored to it by the rules of interpretation.
These might be viewed as strings which are not part of the network but link certain points of the latter with
specific places in the plane of observation. By virtue of these interpretive connections, the network can
function as a scientific theory: From certain observational data, we may ascend, via an interpretive string, to
some point in the theoretical network, thence proceed, via definitions and hypotheses, to other points, from
which another interpretive string permits a descent to the plane of observation.[48]

Michael Polanyi made an analogy between a theory and a map:


A theory is something other than myself. It may be set out on paper as a system of rules, and it is the
more truly a theory the more completely it can be put down in such terms. Mathematical theory reaches
the highest perfection in this respect. But even a geographical map fully embodies in itself a set of strict
rules for finding one's way through a region of otherwise uncharted experience. Indeed, all theory
may be regarded as a kind of map extended over space and time.[49]
A scientific theory can also be thought of as a book that captures the fundamental information about
the world, a book that must be researched, written, and shared. In 1623, Galileo Galilei wrote:
Philosophy [i.e. physics] is written in this grand book I mean the universe which stands
continually open to our gaze, but it cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the
language and interpret the characters in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics,
and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures, without which it is humanly
impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one is wandering around in a dark
labyrinth.[50]
The book metaphor could also be applied in the following passage, by the contemporary philosopher of
science Ian Hacking:
I myself prefer an Argentine fantasy. God did not write a Book of Nature of the sort that the old
Europeans imagined. He wrote a Borgesian library, each book of which is as brief as possible, yet each
book of which is inconsistent with every other. No book is redundant. For every book there is some
humanly accessible bit of Nature such that that book, and no other, makes possible the
comprehension, prediction and influencing of what is going onLeibniz said that God chose a world
which maximized the variety of phenomena while choosing the simplest laws. Exactly so: but the best
way to maximize phenomena and have simplest laws is to have the laws inconsistent with each other,
each applying to this or that but none applying to all. [51]

7 Theories in physics
8 Examples of scientific theories

Note that many fields of inquiry do not have specific named theories, e.g. developmental biology. Scientific
knowledge outside a named theory can still have a high level of certainty, depending on the amount of
evidence supporting it. Also note that since theories draw evidence from many different fields, the
categorization is not absolute.

9
Biology: cell theory, modern evolutionary synthesis, germ theory, particulate inheritance
theory, dual inheritance theory
Chemistry: collision theory, kinetic theory of gases, Lewis theory, molecular theory,
molecular orbital theory, transition state theory, valence bond theory
Physics: atomic theory, Big Bang theory, Dynamo theory, M-theory, perturbation theory,
theory of relativity (successor to classical mechanics), quantum field theory
Other: Climate change theory (from climatology),[54] plate tectonics theory (from geology),
theories of the origin of the Moon, theories for the Moon illusion,

9 See also

10 Further reading

11 References

http://www.sicotests.com/psyarticle.asp?id=165

Properties of excellent theories here Moss presents us with a very general description of good theories. As
already quoted above - Theories should include the following properties (see Kaplan, 1964 & Merton, 1967 &
Sutton & Staw, 1995):

Theories should stipulate the order in which one variable or event might affect another variable or
event
Theories should include a narrative or description that depicts why one variable or event might
affect another variable or event
These narratives should refer to processes or mechanisms that might not be observable or
conspicuous
These processes or mechanisms should relate to many constructs that were not assessed in the
study and thus extend appreciably beyond a specific research project
Hence, theories should present implications that are not observable or inevitable.

He continues - According to Van Lange (2012), four ideals can be utilized to evaluate and to improve theories.
Specifically: excellent theories demonstrate:

Truth: That is, the theory should generate predictions or hypotheses that are usually accurate and
substantiated.
Abstract: That is, the theory should allude to broad, unobservable concepts, assumptions, or
principles rather than only superficial, tangible features. The theory should generalize across specific
people, contexts, and processes.
Progress: The theory should include assumptions that challenge obsolete principles or introduce
new principles and perspectives. The theory might imply relationships between concepts that would
have been overlooked otherwise and, therefore, should stimulate considerable research.
Applicability: The theory should be relevant to many events and issues. The theory should be
practical and helpful to everyday life

Moss then mentions shortcomings authors should avoid as stated by Sutton and Staw (1995) Sutton, R. I.,
&& Staw, B. M. (1995). What theory is not. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40, 371-384. And reviewed
by Weick - What Theory is Not, Theorizing Is and also by Paul J DiMaggio

Kayla Booth sums up Weick - Theorizing by Weick Regarding "What Theory is Not, Theorizing IS" by
Kayla Booth lile this

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Kayla Booth "What Theory is Not, Theorizing Is"
Karl E. Weick Argument Based on Process:

Theory as an end product vs. theory as a process.

Theory in the making! Conclusion The Gist Argument Theorizing Response to Sutton and Staw "Benefit of the
Doubt Piece":

This is not theory because


1) The author is lazy
2) The author is not there... yet Argument
Is Theory itself a Continuum or is the Process of Creating Theory a Continuum?

"What Theory is Not, Theorizing Is" or


"What Theory is Not, Theorizing Can Be"

1) Sutton and Staw's 5 Parts are part of the process of making theory, reliant on context
2) Authors should articulate where they are in the process of theory creation, instead of calling it complete
3) Theory is a continuum
4) Nuances of language and original concepts may help further develop these components

Moss, above, sums up Sutton and Staw as follows

Rather than characterize the procedures that researchers should follow to construct a theory, Sutton and Staw
(1995) delineated a set of shortfalls that writers should circumvent. First, according to Sutton and Staw
(1995), many writers merely include a list of references, such as "Extraversion is related to level of
management (Smith, 1995)" rather than explicate the mechanisms or processes that relate one variable or event
to another variable or event.

As Sutton and Staw (1995) contend, an allusion to a reference should not replace a brief but lucid
description of why these variables or events are related to one another. Writers do not need to characterize
every facet of the theory, but should certainly summarize the key arguments.

Second, according to Sutton and Staw (1995), research findings should not be regarded as a substitute to
theory. For example, suppose a researcher wants to contend that extraversion is related to level of management,
which in turn is associated with breadth of knowledge. To propose this argument, authors must clarify why
extraversion might be related to level of management&& the finding that "Extraversion is related to level of
management, as shown by Smith (1995)" is informative, but not sufficient.

Third, as Weick (1989) contends, classifications or constructs should not be regarded as substitutes to
theories. For example, according to Sutton and Staw (1995), dividing variables into dispositional and situational
is not a theory. Characterizing three distinct forms of justice is not a theory, even if valuable to readers.
These contributions do not demonstrate how variables are related to one another. They do not demonstrate
how various events unfold.

Fourth, a diagram that entails a series of variables, connected by arrows, does not alone represent a
theory. Again, researchers need to characterize the mechanisms or processes that underpin each arrow--a
narrative to explain why one variable is associated with another variable (Sutton & Staw, 1995).

Finally, researchers need to recognize that hypotheses are not theories. That is, hypotheses do not specify
the mechanisms or processes that demonstrate how the variables might be related to each other.
According to Sutton and Staw (1995), a lengthly set of hypotheses often indicates that such propositions were
included in lieu of suitable theoretical development.

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Arguments to justify these shortfalls

In some instances, researchers recognize their theories are not optimal, but rely on references, data,
constructs, diagrams, or hypotheses to mask shortfalls in their arguments. Nevertheless, some scholars
have proposed arguments that can be used to justify the legitimacy of papers, despite these shortfalls.

First according to Weick (1995), the hallmarks of an exemplary theory are seldom realized. Instead, most
attempts merely represent approximations to these ideals. For example, according to Merton (1967), some
attempted theories are merely frameworks, stipulating the categories of variables that are relevant to this
domain. Other attempted theories are merely characterizations of various constructs, without any attempt to
show how these concepts are related. Finally, some attempted theories are broader conceptualizations of
specific observations&& for example, the finding that anger amplifies the optimism bias could be written as
negative emotional states might magnify cognitive errors.

Although these attempts do not represent exemplary theories, they do, according to Weick (1995), facilitate the
construction of insightful and definitive theoretical arguments. In other words, these attempts are still
invaluable, even if imperfect. That is, these attempts to expedite the processes that underpin theory
development: abstracting, generalizing, relating, selecting, explaining, and synthesizing.

Second, according to DiMaggio (1995), these shortfalls, such as a reliance on diagrams or hypotheses, do not
compromise all categories of theories. That is, not all theories are intended to explain relationships between
associations. Some theories, for example, are intended to challenge readers, highlighting paradoxes and
undermining common assumptions, but not designed to explain broad generalizations, which are usually
broadly recognized and thus somewhat unenlightening. As a consequence, no specific set of criteria should be
applied to all theories.

Indeed, many of the criteria that define optimal theories conflict with each other, according to DiMaggio
(1995). For example, theories need to penetrate a single issue, deeply and profoundly, but also encompass a
broad range of factors, such as culture. Likewise, theories need to be lucid and clear, but also seem
challenging and paradoxical.

https://www.reference.com/world-view/characteristics-good-theory-f1ec4f7e40024887#

What are the characteristics of a good theory?

They should encourage further testing and expansions of the hypothesis. Good theories mean that others should
be able to test them and, if possible, disprove them. This doesn't mean that theories should be disprovable, but
that they should be designed so that they are neither impossible to be proved or disproved. In this way, theories
should be made to facilitate further research and insights, not discourage them.

Theories should be able to predict what will happen from a given experiment. This is what gives them a better
standing because their basis is not on pure speculation but informed hypothesizing. Good theories focus on the
effects, not the causes of a phenomena. They are also never regarded as statements of fact, but instead of
likelihood. Theories aren't regarded as facts because they are frequently revised and rethought. To say a theory
is a fact, is to take away the notion that they could ever be further tested and reformed, a practice highly
important and regarded by the scientific community.

Learn more about Logic & Reasoning

https://typeunsafe.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/four-qualities-of-a-good-theory/

Four Qualities of a Good Theory

Posted: 2011/09/02 | Author: sl0wpoke | Filed under: conceptual explanations, interesting questions | Tags:
epistemology, rationalism, theory of computation |Leave a comment

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Generally speaking, there are two steps to using any model:

Determine whether conditions validate the assumptions of the model. (Is the model applicable here?)

If conditions do validate the model, determine what predictions can be made. (What work can the model
do?)

The first step involves knowledge of the particular situation; the second step involves knowledge of the
model. A useful analogy is made with raw materials and the tools used to craft them into something: the
situation itself is the raw material, the model or theory is the tool, and the end-product is some information. As
is to be expected, the quality of the product will depend significantly on the quality of the material, the power of
the tools, and the skill of the craftsman who wields them.

The important difference between physical and intellectual work, however, is that intellectual work may
produce tools that are not at all useful. It might be argued that this difference is not an essential one; there is,
after all, no barrier to the manufacture of implements that function in purely imaginary modes. (One real
example of this phenomenon is the production of fantasy weapons, e.g. extremely ornate blades that look very
impressive but carry very little utility as real aids to attack or defence, and were probably never intended to
provide such.) That said, intellectual work is able to produce its tools quite quickly, and some of these tools defy
any practical attempts to definitively prove their usefulness. Rather than bring down the ire of any one discipline
by making all the usual accusations that their basic theories are airy-yet-crude blunders, Id like to
constructively examine the question of what makes for a good useful theory. Here are four simple criteria to
consider:

A good theory makes its inapplicability promptly and unambiguously known. This might be the most
important feature a theory can have. There is always a very strong temptation to become so enamored with a
theory that it becomes difficult to distinguish an elegant demonstration from a completely insubstantial
fantasy. Physical chemistry, with its need for a huge plethora of quick-and-dirty theories seems to be quite apt
at producing models that speak their applicability up-front and neatly hand off control to their alternatives when
their presuppositions fail. Different models predict significantly different behaviors given different spatial
scales and different temperature and pressure conditions, sometimes radically. While such a diversity of
different views might seem cluttered and confusing from the perspective of assimilating the knowledge of the
discipline, it is nonetheless quite easy to determine which model applies to a given situation. Assumptions (e.g.
this system behaves as an Ideal Gas) are very clear from the start, and even though they incorporate known
and deliberate approximations, these are accepted in a way that understands the imprecisions and their
consequences.

A good theory approximates objects, not their relationships. An outstanding example of this feature comes
from, of all places, political philosophy. John Rawls theory of justice (as constructed in his famous book of the
same name) proceeds from an extremely idealized view of individual humans and the origins of social
organization, as do virtually all other political-philosophical arguments. A Theory of Justice, however,
stands out as perhaps the most compelling political argument of the 20th century; Rawls became famous
following this work, and virtually every other theory that followed was compelled to address Rawls Theory in
some form. Nonetheless, other theorists very extensively criticized Rawls for some unrealistic features of his
model, specifically the extremely strong risk-aversion individual agents are assumed to display. These
criticisms, though well-founded and justified, made Rawls Theory no less compelling. The reason is that
Rawls Theory, though it overstates individual aversion to risk, very precisely captures the way in which
individuals evaluate their position relative to others in real societies. This emphasis on relations between
individuals stands in sharp contrast to traditional Utilitarianism, which presumes that individuals will assent
to any social contract that maximizes net social welfare with no consideration as to how they will fare
personally, a presumption very clearly at odds with reality.

A good theory tells you what it cant tell you. A theory that incorporates its own limits can very rapidly and
efficiently prune away lines of inquiry that are essentially fruitless. The example par excellence comes from the
classical theory of computation, with its results on formally undecidable propositions. A beautiful example of
this dynamic at work comes from the use of Turings famous result to demonstrate in just a few lines the
undecidability of a static information flow safety analysis. While practitioners dont very frequently encounter
results from Godel, Turing, Church, Post, or Skolem, it is arguably because the theoretical foundation of

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computation very quickly and firmly establishes the limits of what can and cant be done, so that engineers
need never be visited by the insidious temptation to construct the unconstructible.

A good theory rapidly makes new predictions from old predictions. This criterion applies to how much
uncertainty is introduced by applying a theory, or alternately, to what degree a theory lends itself to
computational procedure. It is precisely this feature that accounts for the unparalleled success of Newtons
mathematization of physics. Translating observed phenomena into readily transformable symbolic
representations allows inferences to be easily composed with one another, which means that a theory can readily
build on its own successes. While there is some danger that concrete realities will not fit well with their
symbolic outlines, i.e. that failures will also build on failures, a theory that can rapidly turn over its findings into
new findings will have the opportunity to propagate errors forward in a way that will eventually become
conspicuous, and hopefully diagnosable. By contrast, a theory that cannot readily incorporate its own
predictions as antecedents to new inferences is more likely to function as a kind of myth or parable than as a real
producer of knowledge. While its essential to have a conceptual foundation for considering any phenomenon,
and while such a foundation is a necessary condition for a theory, its easy to see that a theory, as considered
here, is more than just a framing device.

While a definitive breakdown of what makes for a good theory is certainly an appealing goal, this short
exposition is intended more as an exploration of the issues than as any sort of final word. Much, no doubt,
has already been said on the subject. While this may seem too general a subject to consider for a computer
science blog, its worth reflecting upon for the simple fact that computer science is presently faced with the
temptations of a lot of new theories. Unfortunately, few of these new theories have gained any kind of wide use
or acceptance outside of academic circles for the simple reason that they have thus far failed to demonstrate
their usefulness in any compelling way. I would emphasize, once again, that this is especially the case for
security. A good theory of security, hopefully, can make is applicability clearly known, precisely describe
relationships between its agents, make clear the fundamental limitations of security (i.e. articulate the existence
of fundamental insecurity), and draw useful conclusions.

http://faculty.atu.edu/swomack/3023ch2/sld002.htm

http://www.tectonicsdrivenbyclimvariation.com/-the-characteristics-of-a-good-theory-
hypothesis.html

The Characteristics of a Good Theory (Hypothesis)


In the philosophy of Science literature there is an extensive discussion on what makes a good theory or hypothesis.
My first introduction to the idea came from Aaron Ihde when I was a graduate teaching assistant for his course
called "The Physical Universe" at the University of Wisconsin in 1961, but I have added a few ideas. Although
not all agree with what I have found I think that theories should:

1.Explain any observations of phenomena or results of an experiment;


2.Be understandable to the interested lay person;
3. Be reasonable so that they are testable (some, like Karl Popper, say falsifiable and some like Francis
Bacon that there should be the possibility that they can be disproved by experiment or observation);
4.Be economical or parsimonious (I call this Occam's razor) and
5. Be predictive or fruitful leading to new observations or hypotheses.

http://www.soc.iastate.edu/class/202/powerpoint/soc202.pdf

Characteristics of a theory

1. Explanatory function-account for or explain a phenomenon.2. usually stated in

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propositions and concepts,3. good hypothesis provides a rigorous test of theory
Dependent variable Assumed to depend on or be caused by independent variable .Variable the
researcher wishes to explain. Expected outcome of the independent variable.Termed the criterion
variable

http://www.analytictech.com/mb870/handouts/theorizing.htm Copyright 1996 Stephen P. Borgatti

1. What is a theory?
2. Correctness of theories
3. Good theories
4. The process of theorizing
5. A tutorial on theorizing

What is a Theory?

A theory is an explanation of something. It is typically an explanation of a class of phenomena, rather than a


single specific event. Instead of explaining why there is a brown stain on my tie, a theory would explain why
men's ties often have brown stains.

Theories are often expressed as chains of causality: this happens because this and that happened just when
something else happened and this in turn happened because ... you get the idea!

Theories are sometimes confused with hypotheses, because both seem to consist of statements relating one
variable to another. Well, it's true that some theories are little more than hypotheses. But good theories are a
bit different. Here are some of the differences:

theories are more general


theories explain why things are related, whereas hypotheses just say they are related
theories generate hypotheses; hypotheses are implicit in theories

As discussed in the next section, one way that theories explain is by providing a sense of process or mechanism
for how one thing is related to another. This is very important.

Having a sense of process is an attribute or characteristic of a good theory. There are many characteristics that
make a theory good. It is not just whether the theory is correct or not. In fact, the correctness of a theory is a
very complicated issue, and is not quite as important as you might think.

Correctness of Theories

Unfortunately, we can never prove a theory right. We can prove it wrong, but can never prove it right. There
are two reasons for this. First, it doesn't matter how many times you test a theory, there is not enough time in
the universe to do all possible tests. So even if a theory has survived 100 tests, it could still fail the 101st test. In
a way, the situation is the opposite of locating a missing object in a house. If you search for the object in the
house and find it, well, it's definite that the object was in the house -- case closed. But if you search and don't
find it, that doesn't absolutely mean that the object is not in the house. It could still be there, you just missed it.
The same (well, the opposite) is true of theories. If you test a theory and it fails, that's it: it's been disproved. But
if you test it and it passes, that's just one test. There may be other data out there, or other situations, that will
disprove. You just haven't gotten to them yet.

The second reason you can't prove a theory true is that there is never just one theory that fits the facts. A
theory is really just a narrative. A tale that explains. But stories can be told very differently. In a sense,

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there are always an infinite number of theories that fit the facts. Think for example of Newtonian theories for the
motion of bodies -- equations like f = ma. Those theories served us very well for a very long time. But now, we
have replaced Newtonian physics with a whole new theory brought to light by Einstein. Was Newton wrong?
Not exactly. His theories were correct as far as they went. They predicted the motion of bodies quite well: well,
enough, for example to build airplanes that actually fly. Engineers still use Newton's theories to build certain
things. But for other things, today we use entirely different equations built on a completely different
understanding of the physical universe to do exactly the same thing. The new theory explains additional
phenomena that the old theory didn't -- for example, according to Newtonian theory, objects should not change
mass as they approach the speed of light (which they do), nor should time slow down.

Good Theories

Good theories have a number of important characteristics, including:

mechanism or process
generality
truth
falsifiability
simplicity
fertility
surprise

Mechanism (or Process). A good theory has a sense of movement, a dynamic element. The feeling of
understanding that a good theory gives is due mostly to having a sense of process by which one state of affairs
leads to another. For example, suppose athletes tend to ask dumb questions in class. A bad theory explains this
very simply: athletes are dumb. This is a bad theory on many counts, but one problem is that there is no sense of
process by which the quality of the mind is linked to the stupidity of the question. What is the mechanism by
which the questions are formed, and how is mind quality related? Contrast this with a much better theory: that
athletes have to spend a lot of their time practicing and going to games, and so have less time to study. This has
a sense of process: there is only so much time in a day, the more time is spent on sports, the less there is
available for study, the less studying the less they will understand what's going on in class, and therefore the less
cogent their questions will be. This theory is a chain of causal links, each one small enough that we can readily
believe it.

Here's another example. Why do some people steal, hurt people, and spend their lives going in and out of jail? A
common type of answer is something bad happened to them as children, or they had bad or missing parents (the
old "came from a broken home" idea). We tend to think that whatever bad happens, it is due to something bad.
But what exactly is the mechanism by which something bad happening as a child causes them to do bad
things themselves? What is it about the way the brain works that one bad thing leads to another bad thing?
That's the part we need to specify in order to have a good theory.

Bad theories often just give a name to the cause of something, without actually explaining anything. We
are often fooled into accepting these theories because it's been given a name, which makes it seem real or
credible. For example, suppose we observe that some workers work harder than others. What's the reason for
that? Some people will say "motivation". They are motivated. Motivation is an inner drive to do something. But
does it really explain anything or does it really just restate the observation? Knowing that working harder is
caused by motivation doesn't seem to help us understand anything. It really just brings up the question 'why are
some workers more motivated than others?'.

Generality. Good theories are general enough to be applicable to a wide range of individual events, people
or situations. Consider the theory that athletes ask dumb questions because they spend so much time on athletic
stuff that they don't have time for school. This is general because it should work for all athletes, not just BC
athletes, and not just for one sport. Furthermore, it can really be applied to any person who has a serious time
commitment outside of class, such as musicians. The basic idea of the theory -- the mechanism -- is that people
with significant time commitments in other areas will perform less well on the area in question.

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Truth. Unfortunately, theories can never been proved to be true. There are two reasons for this. 1) No matter
how thoroughly we test the theory against data, there is always the possibility that tomorrow there will be some
data that contradicts the theory. Just because the sun has risen everyday since we started checking, doesn't prove
a theory that suggests that it will always rise. 2) Theories are just descriptions. There are always other ways to
describe the facts that are equally valid. In this sense, truth is not a reasonable concept. All that is available to us
is descriptions that are not contradicted by the currently available facts.

Falsifiability. A good theory is falsifiable. If there is no conceivable way to construct an experiment or


collect some data that could potentially contradict the theory, the theory is worthless. Suppose you are
trying to explain the pattern of heads and tails that come up when you flip a coin 10 times. Your theory is that it
comes up heads when an invisible magician wants it to, and tails otherwise. How do you test the theory? If you
flip the coin and it comes out heads, that does not contradict the theory because it just means that the magician
wanted it to be heads. If you flip the coin and it comes out tails, that does not contradict the theory either,
because it just means the magician wanted it to be tails. No matter how the experiment turns out, the data cannot
possibly contradict the theory.

Theories like this do not really explain anything. You can't use them to predict outcomes, nor to do things (e.g.,
to build airplanes that actually fly). A lot of psychological theory comes very close to being non-falsifiable. For
example, the general concept that employees in an organization work hard because of something called
"motivation", is kind of like saying the coin comes up heads because a magician wants it that way. We can't see
motivation. We can only infer its existence by its effects (human behavior). So if a person works hard, we say
they were motivated. If they don't work, we say they weren't motivated. Yet we say the reason they work hard or
not is because of motivation. This is circular: if they are motivated, then they work hard. If they work hard, they
are motivated.

In general, any theory that explains human behavior in terms of human desires is treading on thin ice. In other
words, if you study voluntary turnover in organizations and find that people leave organizations because they
want to, you haven't really explained anything, and you could never be proven wrong.

To summarize, there are two ways that theories can fail to be falsifiable: (a) because the data are impossible by
their very nature to collect, or (b) because they are circular.

Parsimony refers to the simplicity of a theory -- the avoidance of positing complex relationships when a
simpler alternative exists. One reason for preferring parsimony is that nature seems to. Complicated things
have more ways of breaking down, and less likelihood, therefore, to endure to the present. The other
reason is that theories are useless unless they are simple enough for people to understand. Theories are
sometimes called models, and the whole idea of a model is that it is a smaller, simpler version of the real thing.
Models are meant to pull out the important parts, and leave the unimportant behind. The power of a
model can be defined as the proportion reduction in complexity that it affords over nature. Too much detail can
obscure the key things. Really complicated models don't actually explain much. The best model possible of the
Earth's weather patterns would be obtained by constructing a duplicate Earth and surrounding solar system,
exactly the same in every detail. It would predict perfectly. The problem is, the model is as complicated as
the thing we were trying to understand in the first place.

An example of parsimony is chance models. Suppose we want to understand why almost all human societies
have significant inequality -- that is some people are much richer than others. We could posit a number of
special reasons, including supernatural causes like "God wants it that way", but it is important to realize that
inequality is what we would expect even if there were no special reasons why it should happen. If we take 100
coconuts and divide them randomly among 10 people, there are only a handful of ways it could come out that
would be approximately equal: but there are about 1030 ways to divide them so that there is significant
inequality. It's just like keeping your room neat: there is basically one way of distributing all your stuff in the
3-dimensional space you call your room such that you would say 'everything is in it's place'. But there are
millions of ways that stuff can be arranged such that you would say 'the place is a mess'.

The principle of using parsimony as a criterion for model selection is known as Occam's Razor.

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Fertility. A fertile theory is one that generates lots of implications in different areas. Implications are
important because (a) they are essentially insights that were not obvious prior to stating the theory, so they
represent potentially new knowledge, and (b) they represent possibilities for testing the theory.

To be fertile, a theory pretty much has to be general.

Surprise. A quality of good theories is that they are interesting. This means that they generate non-obvious
implications. They lead you to understand things in new ways. Surprise refers to the theory's ability to make
non-obvious, unexpected predictions. A famous example is a theory that explains why certain countries have so
many more girls than boys. The theory says that this happens, ironically, when people prefer boys, such as in
India. You see, the probability of having a boy is different in different families -- it's a genetic thing. Now,
suppose what people do is keep having babies until they've got more boys than girls, or they have run out of
room. So if the first baby is a boy, they stop there. If the first baby is a girl, they have two more kids. If both are
boys, they stop there. But if one's a girl, they keep going. The result is that families that have a predisposition to
have boys, tend to have small families -- if the first kid's a boy, the stop there. But families that have a
predisposition to have girls have enormous families, as they keep trying to get boys. If there were no preference
between boys and girls, then there would be no relationship between number of kids and the sex of the kids:
large families would be just as likely to contain boys as small families.

This paradoxical result is fun -- it's beautiful.

Process of Theorizing

Start with an observation, such as "white people and black people sit at different tables in Lyons Hall". Then
create an initial explanation. For example, you might try out the idea that people prefer to eat lunch with their
own kind.

Now think about your explanation in terms of the qualities of good theory, and try to make it better. For
example, to make the theory more general, change "eat lunch with" to the more general "socialize with". Then
check the other criteria. One problem with this particular theory is that it lacks a sense of process -- how does it
happen that people prefer their own kind? Because it has no sense of process, this theory is little more than a
restatement of the initial observation. It's also hard to test. It basically says: people sit at different tables because
they want to. So if some people don't sit with their own kind, it must be because they didn't want to. Another
problem with this theory is that it is not fertile. It does not generate interesting implications. The best you could
do is predict that at parties (or any other social event), blacks and whites will self-segregate.

A model with a little more sense of process and explanation is: "People tend to do what they've done
before. So if whites grew up socializing with whites, then they will continue to socialize with whites, and the
same for blacks. People's earliest experience is with their families, who are typically the same color as they are."
This theory generates implications much more readily. For example, it suggests that kids adopted at a young age
by families of a different color will prefer to socialize with people of that color, rather than their own. It also
implies that kids growing up in racially mixed school systems should not show as much preference for their own
kind.

Theorizing is an iterative process of creation, criticism, and re-creation. It is also an art. Good theories are
beautiful, and the process of creating this beauty is what art is all about.

For more detail on the process of theorizing, click here.

http://www.analytictech.com/mb870/handouts/howto.htm

This material drawn liberally from Lave & March


An Introduction to Models in the Social Science
(some changes have been made)

18
Start with an observation. For example, think about being in college. You're in class, and the guy next to you --
who is obviously a football player -- says an unbelievably dumb thing in class. So you ask yourself: Why? And
the answer comes thundering back:

Football players are dumb.

This is a theory. It is not a very good one, but it is a start. What would make it better?

One thing would be to make it a little more general. Theories that are too narrow and specific are not very
interesting, even if they are correct. So, we could say:

Athletes are dumb

This is better, but the theory still has no sense of process, of explanation. It says, athletes have this property of
being dumb, and that's why they ask dumb questions. Dumb begets dumb. Does that actually explain anything?
Or does it just push the thing to be explained one step back? Why are athletes dumb? It's like when kids ask you
'Why is the sky blue?' and you say 'Because it is, that's why'.

There is also a circularity here. What do we mean when we say that a person is dumb? Practically speaking, it
means that they consistently behave dumbly. We cannot perceive dumbness directly. The only way we can
know whether people are dumb is by what they say and do. Yet what we are trying to explain is a dumb thing
that they said. So in effect we are saying that they say dumb things because they say dumb things.

The really big problem with circularity is that it prevents theories from being falsifiable. For example, take
the theory that if you perform the Rain Dance Ceremony and all the participants are pure of heart, it will rain the
next day. This theory is not falsifiable because if you perform the ceremony and it rains, the theory is confirmed.
If you perform the ceremony and it doesn't rain, that tells you right away that one of the participants was not
pure of heart, and again the theory is confirmed.

A good theory has a sense of process. It describes a mechanism by which A makes B happen, like the way
the gears in a car transfer the rotation in the engine to a rotation of the tires. For example, look at this
explanation:

To be a good athlete requires lots of practice time; being smart in class also requires study time.
Amount of time is limited, so practicing a sport means less studying which means being less smart in
class.

This has much more of a sense of explanation. When reading this account, we have a much greater sense of
satisfaction that something is being accomplished by theorizing. Of greatest importance is that the focus of the
story is a mechanism, not an enduring property of a class of people (athletes). This means that we can apply
the same reasoning to other people and other situations. Let's rewrite it this way:

[Limited Time Theory] There is limited time in a day, so when a person engages in a very time-
consuming activity, such as athletics, it takes away from other very time-consuming activies, such as
studying.

An implication of this theory is that we should also observe that good musicians (who practice many hours a
day) should also be dumb in class. If we don't find this, the theory is wrong. This is in part what makes it such a
good theory. It is general enough to generate implications for other groups of people and other contexts, all of
which serve as potential tests of the theory. That is, the theory is fertile.

The essence of theorizing is that you start with an observation, and then imagine the
observation as the outcome of a (hidden) process.

Here is another process that would lead to the outcome of a football player asking a dumb question in class:

19
[Excellence Theory] Everyone has a need to excel in one area. Achieving excellence in any one area is
enough to satisfy this need. Football players satisfy their need for accomplishment through football,
so they are not motivated to be smart in class.

This theory also has implications for other groups of people, such as musicians or beauty queens.

Here's one last theory:

[Jealousy Theory] We are jealous of others success. When we are jealous, we subconsciously lower
our evaluation of that persons performance in other areas. So we think football players ask dumb
questions.

This theory has some interesting implications. For example, because we are jealous of rich people, we love soap
operas which reveal how unhappy the rich really are. Similarly, perhaps really beautiful women get a lot of
recognition and status, so others will feel that beautiful women are dumb. This would explain the widespread
stereotype of the "dumb blonde" or "bimbo".

Choosing Among Competing Theories

We can use the fertility and non-circularity of all these theories to help test and choose among them. If the
theory is specified clearly enough, we can essentially present a situation to a theory and ask what it would
expect as an outcome. The idea, then, is to collect a set of situations which the different theories would have
different predictions or expectations about.

Consider, for example, how football players should behave (or appear to behave) in class out of season. Will
they still be asking dumb questions? According to the first theory (Limited Time), football players should not
ask dumb questions out of season, because there is plenty of time to study. [Whether or not there is ever a time
when football players are not consumed by the sport is another question.] But according to the second theory
(Recognition), members of the football team should continue to ask dumb questions because they are still
football players and still getting recognition, so they still don't need to excel academically. The third theory
(Jealousy) also yields the expectation of continued dumb questions, because we are still jealous.

So studying football player behavior out of season should help to distinguish between the first theory and the
other two, no matter how the data turn out. If the football players appear smart, then the Recognition and
Jealousy theories are wrong. If the football players appear dumb, then the Limited Time theory is wrong. [Of
course, we can make the theory more complicated: having limited time during the season makes them dumb in
class for those times, which erodes their confidence and interest, so they that even when they have the time, they
still don't study effectively, so they don't do any better in the off-season. We'll deal with that some other time.]

Now, consider athletes who do not look like athletes -- they are not unusually big (like football) or tall (like
basketball) or fat (like sumo wrestling). Will they appear to ask dumb questions? The Limited Time theory will
again clearly say "yes" because practice time is unaffected by physique. The Excellence theory will also say
"yes" because even if people can't recognize them on the street, they are still fulfilling their need to do one thing
really well so they will not feel the need to excel in class. The Jealousy theory would say "no" for most people
because they just don't know that they are in the presence of an athlete.

Expectations Generated by Each Theory For Two Situations


Question Limited Time Excellence Jealousy

Football players ask dumb questions out of season? No Yes Yes

Will athletes who do not look like athletes ask dumb questions? Yes Yes No

Once again, no matter how the data turn out, we will know which theories are wrong. Note that if the answer to
both questions is No, that means that all the theories are wrong, since none predict a NO answer to both
questions.

20
In practice, we would want to ask many other questions as well, even ones that more or less duplicate the
expected answers for other questions. For example, consider how football players appear in schools where
football is not important. Will they still be asking dumb questions? The Limited Time theory clearly says "yes"
because they still have to practice even if nobody on campus cares about football. The Excellence theory also
says "yes", because football is still satisfying their need for accomplishment. And the Jealousy theory would say
"no" because we are not jealous unless football is a source of status. So this question has the same pattern of
expected answers as question #2:

Question Limited Time Excellence Jealousy

FB players ask dumb questions in schools where FB is not important? Yes Yes No

Every implication of one theory is potentially useful in choosing among all the theories. For example, we noted
earlier that an implication of the limited time theory was that students studying music should also ask dumb
questions, because of the time they spend practicing their instrument. So what would the other theories say
about musicians?

Question Limited Time Excellence Jealousy

Musicians ask dumb questions too? Yes Yes No

(I'm assuming here that people don't realize, just by looking at their classmates, who is a musician, and that it
not terribly high status anyway.)

http://com330.pbworks.com/w/page/28856798/What%20Are%20the%20Characteristics%20
of%20a%20Good%20Theory

What Are the Characteristics of a Good Theory?

Read: Gleiser, "The How and the Why: Can Science Explain Purpose?";
Miner, "Body Ritual among the Nacirema"

What does Gleiser mean when he says that science is about the "how" and not about the "why?"

What is a hypothesis, and how does one use it in developing a theory?

When Gleiser argues that Isaac Newton's approach "set the stage" for modern science to have a "very clear
operational procedure," to what is he referring?

Gleiser says that science is hard enough just focusing on the "how." What does he mean?

Should we study media influence like Gleiser says we should study science?

What does the Nacirema article not tell us about the culture it discusses?

"The anthropologist has become so familiar with the diversity of ways in which different people behave in
similar situations that he is not apt to be surprised by even the most exotic customs" (Miner 1). What overall
point is Miner trying to make with regard to studying culture?

How can Miner help us better understand how to study media influence?

21
A good theory...

is testable

is predictable

is verifiable

predicts results which can be reproduced

can explain an effect but not a cause

can be disproven

is not a statement of fact, but a statement of likelihood

invites disagreement, alternative, and better explanations

constantly undergoes revision and refinement

http://ocw.jhsph.edu/courses/socialbehavioralfoundations/PDFs/Lecture4.pdf

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~jpiliavi/357/theory.white.pdf

Different types of theories described, building blocks of theories variables and concepts, propositions; development and change of theories,
paradigm shifts.

The above sources gave us their notions about theories, models and other aspects of theories and the process of
theorizing, as well as characteristics of better and good theories and essential features of the process of
theorizing. We will return to theorizing after the next section.

Philosophy, its branches, or nature, aims and purpose, methods, procedures and techniques and the main
contemporary philosophical schools (or approaches) will be referred to in this section. During the exploration of
the nature of philosophy the doing or process of philosophizing will be explored. Illustrations will be given to
show if and where the doing of philosophy by these schools or approaches reveal aspects of theorizing, good,
indifferent or bad theorizing.
A possible hypothesis : philosophy/izing is (as if) like theorizing with some aspects of the process
missing/ignored and other stages/features over-emphasized (as if they are absolute, necessities, essential to the
process or methodology of philosophy) so as to dissolve the present problem.
Exploring this proposition in more detail to reveal the implications, if any, of this for an understanding of this
hypothesis. The ideal (of) theorizing, although all real theorizing are only approximate to this ideal (situation,
process), can function as a guiding principle to investigate philosophizing. The pure theorizing ideal is merely
the leading ideal or guiding principle (functioning as a principle or guide) during philosophizing in the process
of doing philosophy, during philosophical investigations in an attempt to follow this principle but never to
achieve it completely or realize it fully.

4 a) Let us look at examples of doing philosophy and what is said about it by philosophers.

I hope to write ABOUT philosophizing, doing philosophy and possible different approaches to and of doing it,
decisions that are made during this process and underlying (explicit and implicit) assumptions that are made
along the way and the (often mistakenly) selected (side tracks of the) path (method) chosen at different
stages.

22
4 b)

By expressing the above I have already made many implicit decisions and assumptions, some of which I am
sort of aware but others I have not yet realized. The consequences of having those assumptions and of having
made those decisions will determine many things that I will do, taking me to places where I am compelled to
make decisions - that I am fairly and some totally, unaware of at this stage of writing down these (the fairly
vague at this point) ideas.

I mention a number of different approaches to and ways of doing philosophy, this is to illustrate different
philosophical methods and methodologies. I discuss certain aspects of them in between quoting them at
length. I also give the entire contents of a certain approach, book or article so that the reader can see if s/he is
interested in that approach to the socio-cultural practice of philosophy or not as different people are only
interested in certain schools or types of doing philosophy.

See for instance Formal Methods in Philosophy Lecture Notes 2013 Dr. Anders J. Schoubye.

At the end I again work through an approach that treats different methods and methodology of philosophy as
if it is a process with different steps in it. The previously mentioned approaches, lectures, articles and Contents
pages of books/articles etc can be seen to fit in somewhere in this final overview. This illustrates the
restrictions of all these approaches.

Broad concentrates on or reduces philosophizing to three things or activities namely : analysis, synopsis and
synthesis. I give some background details concerning Broad so to assist in the understanding of these notions
of his, for example that he really was trained in science, mathematics and logic. He considered himself not to
be outstanding in those difficult disciplines so he moved to philosophy (becoming a professor at several
universities in the UK). But his former training is shown in his reductionist view and treatment of philosophy
and philosophizing. He shows that certain philosophers reduce all philosophy, philosophizing and reality by
means of these approaches (skills or tricks) to execute their speculative system of philosophy, like Hegel, or
analytic, like Hume. His science background is obvious from his examples and dealing in depth with issues from
science.

Broad, on his own admission, did not have a philosophyif by that phrase is meant highly original
philosophical theories, and a highly original way of approaching philosophical problems. He writes: I have
nothing worth calling a system of philosophy of my own, and there is no philosopher of whom I should be
willing to reckon myself a faithful follower.

Another, very different view on and interpretation of philosophy is that by Buddy Seed, et al in their lengthy
(15 pages) presentation of what the life of the philosopher and the need for doing and living philosophy by
everyone are. That article seems to be inspired by religion, more specifically Christianity (and Roman
Catholicism?). It does mention a number of important notions concerning the true philosopher, real
philosophy and authentic philosophizing. But eventually it appears, to me at least, as if it goes off into a flight
or flights of fantasy or phantasy.

It will be noted that I try to write in United Kingdom English, but that other spelling than UK English appears in
for instance US sources I am aware of that but decided to leave it like that.

4 c)

3**

I can mention a few things that should serve as a warning to what I think, what I exclude from considering at
this stage and what I imagine to be meaningful and relevant enough to write down now.

Three of these things are, being aware of the fact that it is said that -

a)

23
Philosophy, especially at this stage, involves doubt and the sense of wonder - (This astonishment and wonder
could mislead one, being over-enthusiastic, into following misleading notions and practices.

Plato said that "philosophy begins in wonder",[Plato, Theaetetus 155 d (tr. Benjamin Jowett)] a view which is
echoed by Aristotle: "It was their wonder, astonishment, that first led men to philosophize and still leads
them." [Aristotle, Metaphysics 982b12] Philosophizing may begin with some simple doubts about accepted
beliefs. The initial impulse to philosophize may arise from suspicion, for example that we do not fully
understand, and have not fully justified, even our most basic beliefs about the world.

Note that in what I expressed above these things are revealed, namely that I wonder about and am filled with
wonder as well as being astonished about certain things. But, at the same time I am, wise enough by now after
years of becoming involved in such philosophically relevant things and being trapped by them, suspicious of
what I started to do here, again. I feel suspicious of what I do because I now know that I do not really know,
that I do not fully understand what I am involved with by writing this. Why am I writing this, what are my
reasons, what are my motives, what motivates me and what are the rationale for executing this.

First of all philosophizing to me always was a very personal and passionate affair - really one of the basic
reasons to be alive, giving meaning to me life.

This is why I emphasize the wonder of this activity, the euphoria of having insights - and that arrives non-stop
as I am a highly creative- and original thinking individual, apart from having an exceptional IQ, EQ etc.

Both the acts or experience of having or undergoing insights as well as the objects the insights are about fill me
with endless wonder, delight and astonishment. Much of this concerns not yet conceptualized or pre-
conceptual notions. As this occurs to me endlessly my life and experiences are very subtle, profound and vast.
Because my life consisted out of such insights, sets of them lead to me insights and so on.

b)

I reflect on these things, the process of insights, the things they are about etc, thus I grasped what is
According to Aristotle three levels of abstraction:

- First Degree of Abstraction: we consider things as dogs, cats, car, wood, etc.

(Natural Sciences)

- Second Degree of Abstraction: we consider things in terms of number

(Mathematics)

- Third Degree of Abstraction: we consider things as Being (Metaphysics).

Having different types of insights and from or in different discourses by means of different socio-cultural practices required me
to reflect on them and distinguish them - meta-reflection, if not always meta- philosophically relevant reflections.

So what did I do with those insights? Apart from the fact that they created in my mind, or as if my mind and ways of thinking,
having experience, perception and being conscious in general occurs in a very insightful, greatly differentiated and subtle
frame/s of reference.

So what did I do with such insights?

After having an insight, we can do something about it, i.e. we can articulate, clarify and deepen our understanding of our
insight.

- Fr. Ferriols mentions 3 techniques in doing something with the insight: metaphor, analysis, and other techniques.

He says about this -

Metaphor (compare what Weick does with metaphors in theory construction and Cornelissens eight optimality principles)

- use of something familiar, ordinary to articulate, clarify, and deepen what is not

24
familiar and ordinary.

Metaphor is very important because:

1. it fixes the insight in the mind

2. it sharpens the insight in the sense that:

- it clarifies the insight

- it makes us understand the insight more deeply

3. it enables us to understand the ordinary and familiar more deeply.

Analysis (something like Weicks meaning construction, creation of new insights by conceptual and selection during through
trials)

- We use analysis also to articulate, clarify and deepen our understanding of the

insight

- analysis:

- breaking down into parts

- breaking down the insight into the different elements or dimensions which

constitute it.

Other Techniques (compare Weicks disciplined imagination)

- according to Paul Ricoeur:

- Symbol

- Myth

- Speculation (does this have anything in common with simulation? As employed for virtual experiments by Weick?)

We are given certain cautions for dealing with insights - Analysis could desiccate an insight

- analysis could dry up, fossilize the insight

- in other words, insight could cease to be alive, to be meaningful and relevant as

one subjects it to analysis.

ii. It is important to return to the concrete fullness of the original insight and insight should

permeate the whole process of doing with an insight. Why?

- to vitalize the insight

- to keep it alive, meaningful and relevant

- to prevent it from being fossilized, from being dried up.

- To check whether the analysis, metaphor or other technique of doing with

insight really leads to a clarification, articulation and deeper understanding of the insight

iii. Insight is inexhaustible

- one can explore and do something with the insight in variety of ways in order to

clarify, articulate and understand it

- but the insight itself is rich, superabundant such that it could never be exhausted

by any techniques; none of the them could fully and completely clarify, articulate, and

understand the insight.

- In every doing with an insight, there is a tension between: sense of

knowledge/light and sense of ignorance/darkness

25
iv. The richness of insight is the richness of reality itself

- insight brings us to the very heart of reality, to the deeper aspect of reality

- reality itself is superabundantly rich, inexhaustible

- thus, the richness of insight points to, indicated the richness of reality itself

- reality as mystery

- there is a tension between light and darkness in our knowledge, understanding,

appropriation of reality.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/56238200/Lecture-1-The-Act-of-Philosophizing page 4
In the Throe of Wonder: Intimations of the Sacred in a Post-Modern World by Jerome A. Miller

Insight by Bernard Lonergan

This is the appropriate context to introduce false and misleading notions about philosophy, doing philosophy and philosophers.

"The Philosophical Enterprise" by John Kavanaugh

a. Introduction: False Notions of a Philosopher and Doing Philosophy

i. False Images/Caricature of a Philosopher

1. Isolated Thinker

- one who is confined, isolated within the walls of his rooms or sitting on a ivory

tower

- one who tries to make sense of the world which he is isolated from and which

he alone understands.

2. Great System Builder

- one who has built a great system of thought but now is relegated to obscure

footnotes and erudite commentaries

- one has to cite him in one's footnote in order to be considered learned, scholarly

but in fact he is difficult to understand.

3. Academician

- one who teaches courses in philosophy which seem to be not in touch with

present pressing realities and to be irrelevant to the demands of the day to day life.

ii. False notions in how a person conducts the discipline of philosophy

1. memorizing answers to questions which he himself never has asked or has ceased to ask

or which should have never been asked or never cares to ask

- trying to remember what the philosopher said rather than trying to understand

what drove the philosopher to say those things in the first place

- consequently, philosophy courses will turn out being a big mistake on all levels:

experientially, pedagogically, and humanistically

2. isolated from other disciplines and sometimes reduced to the same level as other

disciplines

- study of philosophy in general, and of philosophy of man in particular is

26
conducted in isolation from social/behavioral and natural sciences, and other

disciplines

- thus, there is little connection between philosophy and history, myth, literature

or arts

- Why? some want philosophy to be "science", a respectable discipline with

subject and credential of its own. But as a consequence, it reduces philosophy on the

same level as other disciplines.

3. Being concerned with the problems of "the one and many", the development of logical

atomism, and linguistic or metaphysical analyses than with the fundamental questions of

meaning and the horizon of his possibilities as a man.

- to correct these false notions of a philosopher and of how philosophizing is to be

conducted, let us try to see philosophy as a Discipline of Questioning, Discipline of

Liberation, and Discipline of Personhood.

ibid. pages 4-5

More details, analysis and points of the wonder and astonishment mentioned by Plato and Aristotle, especially in so far as the
formulation of questions goes. How and why someone will ask questions and the wonder associated with this activity and
developing the ability of this attitude towards all experiences, people, the world, situations, one self and others.

Philosophizing as the Discipline of Questioning (note: at a later stage we will deal with an author who uses inquiry instead of
questioning as the philosophical method)

- to understand the act of philosophizing, we must find out and understand first

what drives, moves, leads one to philosophize as sheer human exigency, i.e. very

necessary to human existence.

- What drives a person to philosophize is the inescapable dynamism and capacity

of the human person himself to question and to seek answers to questions he himself

raises.

- In short, at the root of all philosophizing is the pre-eminent personal affair of

question-asking.

i. Queston-Asking (Weicks problem statements, requiring accuracy and going into details)

1. Question-asking is very common, at the heart of our day to day experience

- we could not escape, pass the day without asking question, without being

confronted by a question

- we could not start nor finish the day without some questions

- Why? Because of our desire, our dynamism to:

- To be confronted by things outside of us (Experience)

- Know, understand the things we experience (Understanding): What is it?

- Find out the truth of what we come to understand (Judgment): Is it?

- Make decisions for what we do/act (Decision/Action): What should I do?

2. Different Levels 2.1 Horizontal/Superficial Questions

- questions of survival

- Where will I find money to pay my rent?

27
- What will I do to save myself from trouble?

- practical questions

- What will I do tomorrow?

- How do I use the computer?

- What shirt, shoes, pant will I wear?

- What are the advantages and disadvantages of VFA?

- scientific questions: Questions of facts and making sense of certain,

particular empirical reality

- How does the sun produce its heat and light?

- How does a computer work?

- Are there intelligent life-forms outside of our planet?

- Why is there a rainbow?

2.2 Vertical/Depth Questions

- questions of ultimate purpose and meaning

- questions of significance and meaning that enables us to perceive order

and harmony in the world as a whole, our place in the universe.

- E.g.:

- Where does the world as a whole come from?

- Why is there existence rather than non-existence?

- Why am I here? What is my place in the universe?

- Where am I going?

- question of truth/reality

- Is what I perceive, understand true? What makes it true?

- question of value

- Is it good? What makes it good? What makes us truly happy?

- These are ultimate, fundamental questions in life:

- deeper questions, questions we ask even if our superficial questions are

answered; questions to which the superficial questions bring us ultimately if

we pursue the inner dynamics of questioning

- questions whose answers have bearing on our superficial questions,

questions which are the bases/foundations of our horizontal questions.

ii. Personal Affair of Asking Depth-Question

1. I myself have come to these depth-questions

- I myself see them as questions, as problems

- They are really questions/issues for me.

2. The depth-questions are really of personal value to me

- the answer to these questions are of great value to me: significant, important,

would make a difference in my life

28
- such that these questions:

- consume my entire person: my intellect, my will, my effort, my time,

my body

- no let up till I find the answers

3. Starting point of all the depth-questions is my own person.

- behind, at the center and the beginning of all depth questions: questions about

MYSELF, AS A HUMAN PERSON

- Question of Meaning and Purpose: Why am I here? What can I hope for?

- Question of Truth: Who am I really? What are my potentialities? My

uniqueness?

- Question of Value: What is my good, my happiness? What should I do? What is

the criterion in deciding what is good or not, my happiness or not?

iii. Conclusion: Greatness of philosophy lies in perpetual questioning

- philosophy does not begin with an answer/insight but a question

- it continues because we still continue to ask questions, particularly depth questions

- and the answers to our questions do not stop the question-asking but spur one to

further search for a better answer, to ask for further, deeper or different questions.

- Thus, philosophy is music of the fugue: incessant counterpoint of questioning and answering them.

4 d)

The notions in this last paragraph (I refer to point 3 from the beginning here **) should be
conceptualized more clearly and then analysed in much greater detail and depth. (As Weick suggests
that accuracy and great detail are required when making problem statements) So on to certain
warnings contained in

c)

Jonathan Ichikawa, Arch Philosophical Research Centre, University of St Andrews reviewed Chris Dalys

An Introduction to Philosophical Methods, Broadview Press, 2010, 257pp., $29.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781551119342 here

http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/24675-an-introduction-to-philosophical-methods.

By the way see sentences 2 and 3 in the first paragraph that stun me with their beauty: Even setting aside their
notorious epistemological challenges, attempts to understand philosophical investigation and " And more
inclusive discussions of the methodology of philosophy run the risk of generating lists of tautologies - ...etc. -
rather than informative treatments of how philosophy ought to proceed. This OUGHT surely is another
problem and a very large one?

Daly does not attempt a unifying statement of the nature or methodology of philosophy. ..... instead electing
for what he calls (p. 11) a 'twin track' approach, considering particular methods and kinds of data that
philosophers sometimes appear to use, and pairing descriptions of such methods with various case studies
intended to illustrate them.

I quote these reviewing statements as they express what I wrote above concerning my present writings
cause, my astonishment and wonder, and that Daly wisely steered clear from that. What he does attempt,
according to Ichikawa is employ a restricted strategy does seem advisable; the nature of philosophy is best
understood through methodologically reflective first-order philosophical practice. (What is the nature of this
practice? Does it resemble any aspects or stages of theorizing?)

29
Here follows Ichikawas warning and criticism of the shortcomings of Dalys approach/book: However, its
proponent does run the risk of having little of interest, and little distinctive of philosophy, to say, thus
succumbing to the latter horn of the dilemma set out above. Daly's book does, to some extent, so succumb.
Ichikawa refers to his 3 rd sentence in the first paragraph: And more inclusive discussions of the
methodology of philosophy run the risk of generating lists of tautologies -- believe according to the evidence,
make good inferences, do not beg questions against dialectical opponents, etc. (Surely there are other
aspects of the methods of doing or philosophizing that are not mere tautologies, but that are doing different
things and that have other purposes? Such aspects could fit in at different stages of the process of theorizing.
That is, they are not mere tautologies but have very functions for the process of philosophical theorizing? If
there is such a thing or if we can apply the word theorizing to what philosophers do or attempt to do?)

Ichikawa then criticizes Daly for NOT having done the following: "Daly does little in the book to characterize
how he thinks philosophy might differ from other kinds of engagement. (How does it differ and from what
other engagements? And what kind of standards or ideas will be employed to make such judgements?) The
extended discussion of science in Chapter Six considers how science may bear on philosophy but does not
engage with how it is and is not similar. He does point out (p. 1) that philosophers are unlike scientists in that
they do not use laboratory tools to run experiments, but this does little to distinguish philosophy in particular.
He then states what Daly said he IS going to do: " Since the central puzzle motivating the book, as given in the
introductory pages, involves the juxtaposition of, first, the propensity of philosophers to, to use Daly's term,
'make various claims' with, second, their neglect of laboratory experiments. He suggests that: "a more
forceful introduction to the present book might include a discussion of to what extent, if any, the questions
raised are particularly pressing for philosophy. Well Daly did NOT do that. (Are these claims made by
philosophers hypotheses, or having the function and nature of hypotheses? Are they generalizations? Often
they are merely the results of conceptual analysis and linguistic usage and not theoretical statements or
conclusions)

On page 11 Daly mentioned his approach: " he calls (p. 11) a 'twin track' approach, considering particular
methods and kinds of data that philosophers sometimes appear to use, and pairing descriptions of such
methods with various case studies intended to illustrate them. This restricted strategy does seem advisable;
the nature of philosophy is best understood through methodologically reflective first-order philosophical
practice. (The kind of data philosophers use will be part of the very first step of theorizing namely data
collection, or as some authors refer to it brain dump. But let us see what Daly means by the methods
philosophers use and if they constitute the process of theorizing or if they are merely one aspects of this
process. The same questions concerning theorizing can be asked of the philosophical reflective practice. Is it
the entire process of theorizing or merely some features of this process? Already we can begin to see that
philosophers must study the nature of theorizing and the process of theorizing. Such investigations will assist
them to reflect on what they do when they philosophize as they will be more clear on what they are doing and
what they are doing at different stages of philosophizing or steps when doing philosophy if they could
compare such activities with the different stages of theorizing and the function and purpose of each stage in
this process. Philosophers, especially if one sees how Daly interprets what they are doing, are unclear about
the different stages of doing philosophy as well as the purpose of each of these stages, and when they are
executing a particular stage.)

The book comprises six chapters, plus a brief introduction and conclusion. Each chapter involves an initial set
of methodological questions and consideration of one or more case studies designed to illustrate how the
questions bear on philosophical methodology. (All this, a sort of listing of what philosophical methods and
methodology are, appears to me very haphazard. This is why I wish to explore these things in terms of the
aspects of the process of theorizing. Philosophers will then be able to compare what they are doing in general
with this process and what they do at a particular stage they can compare to a particular step or stage in the
process of theorizing. Such comparisons, a sort of meta-activity, executed all along their first order
philosophical activities, will assist them to be clear about what they are doing in general and at a certain stage
or in a particular context. ) For example, the first chapter, 'Common Sense', opens with questions about the

30
nature and significance of common sense claims, then focuses primarily on G. E. Moore's application of
common sense arguments to philosophical questions, with particular emphasis on his infamously
straightforward attempted proof of the external world.( Did Moore execute something like virtual
experiments, one aspect of theorizing? Does what Moore did here resemble aspects of thought trials and
simulations with different ideas and aims in mind?)

"it was not clear to me why Daly chose the topics he did one question

and what unifies the work as a whole. another separate question.

The longest chapter of the book, the 62-page Chapter Two, 'Analysis', considers several attempts to analyze
the notion of philosophical analysis and finds them inadequate in various respects before finally concluding
very briefly (on p. 100) that the notion of analysis is not after all an interesting (This is truly and odd thing to
say as analysis has been for almost a century THE method employed by much of western philosophy. Perhaps
Daly does not get very far in understanding the nature and aspects of the process and activity of analysis
because to be able to understand it one should see it in the larger context of what philosophy is and what
philosophizing is trying to do its aims and purposes? If he were to view it in the larger context or framework
of philosophy as almost some kind of theorizing, he might be ale to reflect in a meta-manner more
meaningfully on the first-order philosophical activity of analysis. I write analysis as to me it appears to be
many things, this word refers to many different conflated stages and features of the process of theorizing.
Aspects and stages that need to be distinguished, identified and explicitly conceptualized and not merely being
lumped together as analysis.)

one for the purpose of understanding the methodology of philosophy. (But it does fit in somewhere in the
process of theorizing, even if only as one feature of it) Although I agree with Daly's conclusion here, students
engaging with the book will wonder, as I did, why we spent so much time on a question that was ultimately to
be dismissed? another (type) question

"The third chapter is devoted to 'Thought Experiment'. (these are something like metaphysical variations,
simulations and other aspects of Weicks thought trials. Such trials have many functions.) It begins with
general questions about the nature and value of thought experiments before giving brief introductions to
seventeen well-known examples of thought experiments, plus a more extended case study of thought
experiments involving personal identity. (Daly rejects the notion and tool of thought trials or simulated
experiments as relevant to philosophizing. The mistake he makes is merely listing the seventeen different
types, he should instead look at their function. Not merely in isolation, as one aspect, one feature of doing
philosophy. If he were to see the doing of philosophy as resembling the process/es of theorizing he would be
able to execute such observations in a much clearer and more accurate manner. Then thought trials or
simulated experiments will be seen as relevant to philosophizing, as a certain feature or aspect of this activity,
at a particular stage of doing philosophy.)

Daly concludes: "chapter (pp. 127-8) with what he calls the 'tentative and speculative sceptical proposal'
(what is the theoretical status, function and nature of Dalys proposal/s? Are they hypotheses? Conjectures or
what are they?) that use of intuition and consideration of hypothetical cases (again, I wish to suggest that
Daly makes this mistake, have this misunderstanding, because he sees these things, these techniques in
isolation, while he should instead view them in context as one aspect and one stage in the larger process of
philosophizing.) are irrelevant to philosophical questions.(But according to Weick they form an important
aspect of theorizing, especially as thought trials and virtual experiments. I would like to know more about
these so-called philosophical questions. They are not mere isolated phenomena, but crucial tools and
techniques. Furthermore they take different forms or have different functions ate different stages of the
process of philosophizing That is why I state that they are not mere isolated phenomena, one type of identical
object, instead, they take on many differ forms, or rather they are of many different functional - types.) At
least we can now exclude them as relevant and necessary to philosophizing and philosophical methodology!

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" Daly suggests that we dispense with thought experiments and intuitions and observe only that knowledge
and reliably produced true belief are in fact coextensive. (To me it seems as if Daly here merely repeats
uncritically some notion from philosophical history as if it is a universal and absolute truth, without detailing it
or arguing for it. And to reject the crucial tools of thought experiments and intuitions - whatever this word
means, it need to be analysed to discover what it means and how it functions in this context as Weick also
asserts it positive value - on the basis of that notion knowledge is true belief or vice versa is not very
enlightening and unsound.) Then we may infer to the best explanation that they are identical. This very radical
suggestion raises many serious questions which go unaddressed..... (Here Daly states generalizations and
unfounded hypotheses.)

Ichikawa questions Daly on the following: "can one correlate actual cases of knowledge to reliably produced
true belief without making use of the sorts of intuitions Daly wants to set aside? Ichikawa gives a suggestion
by means of a question that, he thinks, refutes what Daly states. This is not very important to me. The
following is his judgement on Dalys hypothesis of/for setting intuitions aside. The two paragraphs Daly
devotes to his 'sceptical proposal' --.... -- are not adequate to the extreme view articulated, (Note that in
chapter Four Daly does deal with hypotheses and their selection. He does not deal with this in detail but
instead comes to a conclusion that simplicity for selecting hypotheses are too restricted a standard, so I
suppose we have to employ complexity as standard to evaluate hypotheses? Weick deals with this when he
describes judgment of conjectures, employing the application of selection criteria).

"Next is Chapter Four, 'Simplicity', which examines how considerations of simplicity and complexity bear on
appropriate selection of hypotheses; the main focus is on various interpretations of Occam's Razor. Daly's
conclusion here (p. 152) is that given the various notions of simplicity available, and given the availability of
reasons to tolerate complex hypotheses, considerations of simplicity are 'quite restricted' in their
applicability to philosophical methodology. I personally cannot see the point and relevance of this?

"In Chapter Five ('Explanation'), Daly considers the extent to which philosophical theories do and should
explain. (Here Daly use the word theory for philosophical systems.) In particular, he considers the suggestion
that, when choosing between hypotheses, we should select that which offers the best explanation of the
relevant phenomena. (Here he talks about choosing between hypotheses and selection of the best one
because it gives the best explanation. But there is much more than this choosing on the basis of the best
explanation Weick talks about conjectures and their refutation and judgement. This is a complex issue and
requires detailed investigation so as to develop an idea and understanding of how hypotheses function, what
they are and what their elation with the things to be explained are. Merely stating that one or some
hypotheses can give a better explanation is not good enough. Some of the questions that need to be asked
are: how does hypotheses explain, explain what? Selected data, domains, collections or contexts of data, and
what is the nature of the explanatory relationship between hypotheses and the data it explains? In other
words, how are hypotheses related to the data or things it explains?) Of course, there are difficult and
interesting questions about just what explanation consists in, how to distinguish cases of explanation from
non-explanation, and how to determine which of various competing explanations is in the relevant sense
'better'. (Here my own questions about explanation are stated by Ichikawa as well.) Daly says little about
these questions, noting (p. 180) that 'the strategy of inference to the best explanation needs to be
supplemented not only by detailed accounts of each of the theoretical virtues, but also by a detailed account
of how to make a rational theory choice in [various cases].' (This is a very important point a rational choice.
How will this work, what will be the standard to make such a choice? Daly glosses over all the complex
questions concerning explanation to the theoretical virtues of whatever that means? Explanation as one tool
at a certain stage of the process of theorizing? and the tool of rational theory choice. A number of complex
issues are covered by this notion, for example: rational, theory, rational theory, choice, rational theory choice.
These complex notions need to be analysed in detail and it is necessary to take note of investigations in the
areas of rational choice theory. An how to make a rational theory choice? At what stage of their analysis or
doing philosophy will philosophers employ this rational theory choice tool? Will or do they analyse what the
nature of this tool is on every occasion and in each context they employ it? What are the standards employed
by rational theory choice tools? And what arguments can be made, in each context, for its valid use? )

32
This is surely right; but absent any such detailed account -- or even a vague, impressionistic account -- the
suggestion threatens to be all but empty. Again I fail to see any significant point in this for philosophical
methodology. (Here my own questions and queries concerning rational choice theory tools are summed up.)

"Chapter Six, 'Science', is not about science per se, but instead considers the bearing of science on
philosophy. The bulk of the chapter consists in putting forward and criticizing arguments for naturalism,
which Daly officially characterizes as 'The view that scientific methods and results are valuable, or even
indispensable, to philosophy.' I would like to know more about the reasons for this claim and in which ways
such things are indispensable, functional, useful to philosophy? Do they keep philosophers informed in general
and/or about the approaches of sciences, or about particular results, facts from, science? (I also would like to
know what Daly here means by scientific methods? And in which ways are they, and their results, valuable,
meaningful, functional and useful to the philosophical discourse, the practice of philosophizing and
philosophical knowledge and understanding? Are scientific results valuable and indispensable to philosophy
and philosophizing? How are they? How are they connected to these philosophical practices and
understanding?)

However, he also cautions the reader that 'no single view can be identified with naturalism.' (p. 188)
Unfortunately, in much of the ensuing discussion, Daly does not keep various naturalist theses distinct, in
several dimensions. For instance, Daly argues against naturalizing epistemology in part by claiming (p. 199)
that the psychological claims that might be of relevance to epistemology -- our susceptibility to various errors
in perception, reasoning, etc. -- consist largely in 'something we already knew, at least in broad outline'. While
this may provide some insulation against the methodological suggestion that one must formally study
psychology in order to do epistemology responsibly, it does not show, as Daly suggests it does, that scientific
information is not relevant to epistemology. This point is particularly clear if one considers how, by parity of
reasoning, one could argue from the fact cited above -- common sense already told us that we perform less
well epistemically in certain kinds of environments -- that the data provided by science is not relevant to
cognitive psychology. In both cases, philosophy and cognitive psychology, that common sense already
delivered the broad outlines of the relevant information is a non sequitur with respect to the general bearing
of scientific evidence.

Daly also seems at times to conflate the suggestion that scientific work bears on philosophical questions ('it
is perfectly appropriate to draw on the resources (e.g.) of science', p. 200, quoting Hilary Kornblith) with the
suggestion that scientific evidence and methodology are sufficient for resolving the relevant philosophical
questions (a 'discipline or theory can generate a problem but it does not follow that its resources are sufficient
to solve that problem', p. 202). This seems a bit confusing to me. To me the more serious question is - which
aspects of science, sciences methods, methodologies are relevant to philosophy/izing and why is it the case,
how does it work?

"After these six chapters, Daly gives a three-and-a-half page conclusion that puts forward two more general
ideas about philosophy.

The first is that although there is philosophical debate about what data and methods are appropriate to the
practice of philosophy (of course there is and there will always be as it depends on particular cases and it is
impossible to generalize outside a specific contact which data and which method are applicable to the doing of
philosophy in a particular context at a specific stage of the doing of philosophy), it is permissible when
engaging in first-order philosophy to proceed from contentious or debatable assumptions I cannot accept
the latter as one would have to look at particular cases of such debatable assumptions. (One would first of all
have to explore the nature of assumptions and how they function. Then one would have to investigate the
nature of a particular assumption, its functions and the implications of accepting and employing it in a specific
philosophical context.)

33
."This claim does sit in some obvious prima facie tension with various accusations throughout the book -- for
instance, on pp. 27, 33, 115, and 177 -- that certain arguments beg questions in pernicious ways, and with the
statement on p. 115 that 'begging the question is a defect in any piece of reasoning'. This tension is not
explored.[1]

The second idea of the conclusion is that often a method of cost-benefit analysis is appropriate to choosing
between philosophical theories. (It is essential to investigate what this means, to identify meaningful, if any,
aspects of this statements and then develop and re-state them in a clear manner.) This idea, while plausible
and useful, is not obviously connected to or developed from the discussion of the main text. Ichikawa
questions Dalys suggestion or statement on other grounds, namely that Daly itself contradicted it earlier in his
book. I cannot see the point of Dalys second idea, while Ichikawa is concerned about the fact that it is/was not
developed in the main text. The latter to me is irrelevant as the whole second idea, as it stands, is irrelevant to
philosophizing. If Daly took note of the process of theorizing and its different aspects and stages and tools
being employed at those stages he would not need to make this bizarre statement. Choosing between
philosophical, or any type, of theories is complex. This statements appears to be meta-theoretical, as when
working in terms of or internally to the process of theorizing one does not have such theories to choose
between. It requires a theoretical enquiry of its own, during which standards for choosing between theories
will be suggested, as data to be investigated and then the entire process of theorizing will be executed so as to
investigate and theorize about the nature of choosing between theories. However one would have to know
which particular theories in what context one will have to choose between and what the standards for making
such choices are. Furthermore, I did not know that philosophy has theories? What are these philosophical
theories? Do they consist of proven hypotheses? Are they generalizations? How did they come about?

In general, Daly's writing style is reasonably clear, although he does tend to transition rather suddenly from
general conversational tones to more technical ones that might confuse or intimidate students. This happens
most often when he draws on work from other academics that speaks to the issues he has introduced. This
point I have often seen in philosophical writing - employing the work of other academics, so as not to have to
argue for a certain idea. But is IT a (useful? meaningful?) philosophical (writing) tool (I suppose?).

this often includes the incorporation of direct quotation, which is not always clearly extracted or explained

This is one, of several, ways of academic writing that Sutton and Staw questioned in Theory or not and is
dealt with somewhere else in this article.

Ichikawa then writes more on this criticism and continues with it below:

Although Daly notes that this cannot constitute a criterion for common sense, since some Moorean
certainties are not directly observational (the earth has existed for centuries, etc.), he suggests -- citing, but
not explaining (another issue dealt with by Sutton and Staw), Campbell -- that the empirical questions might
nevertheless help. Few students at an introductory level could, I suspect, engage this passage with anything
like full clarity without quite a lot of guidance. This is a representative pattern that occurs many times in the
book. (E.g., a detour from common sense into a discussion of Michael Dummett and a distinction between
belief and acceptance on p. 19; a presentation of Steven Rieber's application of a technical notion of semantic
structure to bear on questions of analysis on p. 66; the consideration of a dialectic between Kathleen Wilkes
and James Robert Brown on personal identity on p. 118.)

More advanced students or researchers will have an easier time following these parts of the book, but they, I
think, will be frustrated by the superficial treatments of the interesting issues raised in the case studies. And in
some instances, these latter seem also to involve philosophical errors and confusions (for example, in the

34
discussions of the Euthyphros famous argument about piety and god-lovedness and of David Lewiss modal
realism).

The book would also have benefitted from more careful editing; there are a surprising number of typos --
including one on the first page of the introduction -- and grammatical/structural errors. These are not serious
philosophical matters, of course, and would easily be fixed; I mention them because an introductory text read
by philosophy students will provide a model for their own writing, and it is best to expose them to writing of
the highest technical quality.

An Introduction to Philosophical Methods does touch upon many issues worthy of engagement, and Daly does
seem to have done well in selecting the relevant literature to consider with respect to each of his chosen
topics. As a result, the references and bibliography in this book will be useful for philosophers looking for
guidance in their early research efforts. But with respect to its central aim as an introduction to philosophical
methodology, the book falls short.

My own problem with Daly is that he does not take note of the nature of the process of theorizing and work on
this topic. If he read about the nature and the process of theorizing he would have perceived and executed his
book in a different manner. He does not have to agree with or accept my idea that philosophizing reveals
many aspects of the process of theorizing, but some of his main ideas fits in somewhere on the continuum and
in the process of theorizing and he does mention the word theory and even philosophical theory in a few
places in his book. If he knew even a little about the stages of theorizing he would have been aware when he
dealt with an issue that really expresses a certain feature or stage of theorizing and that their do exist, are
institutionalized, terms for the issue he deals with. In short he and others should inform themselves about
theorizing, the general stages of the process of theorizing and some of the terms that are employed for
features of this phenomena.

[1] Daly suggests (p. 158) that 'tension' in contexts like this is 'a weasel word' that should be avoided because it
is unclear what exactly it is meant to convey. I do not agree that this sort of language is in general
inappropriately vague. At any rate, in this instance, when I say that these elements of Daly's view are 'in
tension,' I mean that there is sufficient prima facie conflict such that someone averring both views ought to
recognize that they constitute a surprising conjunction and remark on how, contrary to appearance, they may
be consistent and mutually well-motivated. I suspect this is approximately what most philosophers mean
when they say that various claims are 'in tension' with one another. So clarify what they DO mean.

I quote, with my highlights, what I consider to be distracting in philosophizing. This person refers to these
things that I object to as philosophical methods. I object to them when you see the contexts he employs them
in and the topics he applies them to. Philosophical methods? Strategies? Technique for/of Reasoning and
explanation? He uses these different philosophical methods (he calls them) in isolation. I would refer to them
as techniques or tools. Furthermore, they should not be seen in isolation as useful tools in particular contexts
or for dealing with some specific issue or topic or problem but in the context of the process of
philosophizing. That is as instruments, procedures, tools or techniques being employed (for specific reason as
they have explicit functions) at particular steps or in specific stages of philosophizing as a more general process
of almost theorizing, if not full blown theorizing.

http://simsphilosophy.blogspot.co.za/2007/05/reflection-essay-on-philosophical.html

Reflection on Philosophical Methodologies

35
I think I have applied most of these philosophical methodologies in philosophy classes. First off, the logical
analysis is a method we employed in various exercises for my reasoning class. The conceptual analysis is
something I am doing quite a bit of right now in my European Contemporary Thought class through
examining such terms as democracy, freedom and sovereignty. I also experience this methodology
through some of the Save Our Constitution panel discussions. I took a whole course basically just about the
method of deconstruction in the Sociology of Knowledge class I took last semester. Phenomenology and one
that is not on here but seems quite similar to phenomenology, introspection, is something I have been
doing on my own since I was seventeen. It is, in many respects, my self-therapy as I struggle to reflect on my
life experiences and the meanings or lack thereof that they so entail. Also, in a class I am taking now, Feminist
Philosophies, we were just reading an essay by Iris Marion Young titled Menstrual Meditations, where young
talks a lot about where young talks a lot about Heideggers methodology of exploring oneself by going into
and through and reflecting upon ones moods. The Philosopher as Public Intellectual is a method that I
would like to utilize more often, especially once I am out of school. The example I have given through my
article about democracy matters I actually got published a few weeks ago in the hill news. In all, I think I have
applied most, if not all, of these methods whether in courses or just in my everyday life.

A couple methods that I would like to explore in more depth in my own philosophical activities are the
philosophy as conversation method and the two respective comparative methods. I believe these two
methods could be synthesized in a way as to facilitate a true dialectic between a diversity of philosophical
positions. All too often philosophy is only talking to itself. While the comparative methods might still be
subject to this problematic I believe the philosophy as conversation method could really serve as useful tool to
bridge the gap between the formally philosophical and everyday experiences. The comparative method is one
that I in fact employed in my first philosophy class called Humanities which I had in my senior year in high
school. I believe this method is most necessary in terms of its political implications. I say this because the
current methods of Identity Politics have fragmentized and specialized the Left in comparison to the what I
would consider the over-specialization of academia. While particular groups on the left such as womens
liberation, civil rights, socialists, gay rights and environmental organizations fight for their own particular ends,
they all too often fail to form coalitions as they instead fight (both internally within organization and externally
between different movements) for the same resources and media attention. I firmly believe that the Left
needs to bridge this gap if it ever hopes to achieve any of its particular goals in a sustainable way. Thus, if I
choose to return to academia my work will most surely focus on making these connections and explicit
comparisons between different social movements and between different philosophies.

I think if there is one method here that most reflects my own philosophical work it would be either
phenomenology or deconstruction. As I already mentioned I think Ive been doing phenomenology for some
time now, and I believe in the necessity of looking critically and reflectively first and foremost at ones own
experiences. I believe that the deconstruction and phenomenological method are implicit within one another.
If there was anything I learned in Sociology of knowledge it is the reciprocity by which our epistemology is
created and legitimized by particular subjectivities with particular intentions (usually power). Only by
understanding how ones own sincere intentions figure into this power struggle can one begin to determine
how to change the system. One cannot do this by simple abstraction for there is no view from nowhere. The
key is to be honest with oneself and ones intentionality, for it is my contention that only from within the
system may the system ever be altered.

The writer makes statements and do not present any grounds or arguments for them

http://www.westminster.edu/staff/brennie/WDGroupsubpages/stories/four_approaches_to_philosophy.htm

This article presents us with what the author claims are Four Approaches to Philosophy.

36
His summary:

Summary:

Few people care to study or understand logic due to everyone believing that they are skilled enough in the art
of reasoning. Logicality is one of our most useful qualities. There are four main approaches to philosophy.

1. If you can not prove something is real, then it does not lead to a contrary conclusion, but it is still seen as
being harmonious in the aspects of method and conception.

2. There is one thing in which a proposition should and will in most cases confirm. This means that no one can
doubt realities because it would not be a source of dissatisfaction. The hypothesis is then something that
everyone must agree on and admit.

3. Everyone uses the scientific method for many things and only not use it when one does not know how to
apply it to the situation.

4. Using or gaining experience of the method does not make us want to use it but helps us settle our
opinions. Because of its many splendid triumphs, it has become a permanent part of our lives.

The fourth method is the only one that displays the distinction of right and wrong. By adopting the method
of tenacity, you are taking away any doubt in which you might come upon. We adopt whatever belief that we
are most accustomed to until we are awakened by the harsh realities which cause us to down spiral into the so
called 'real world'. Authority is the method in which mankind will always be ruled. The other methods do
have their importance and truths, but this method is the one that will never change.

He then continues to provide us with an analysis -

Tenacity

The first method Pierce names is tenacity, which is characterized by clinging to a particular belief with
complete disregard to all evidence or reason that may imply that it is incorrect. While this is an effective
method in that it allows for action and decision without hesitation, it is limited by the fact that other people
will inevitably tenaciously cling to different beliefs, casting doubt and disunity. After all, it is hard to believe
absolutely in one thing and deny all other reason when you are surrounded by people who hold different
beliefs to be just as true.

To resolve this problem, the second method of authority is formed. It ensures that everyone tenaciously holds
to the same belief..

people will inevitably see that other authorities practice different doctrines, and will therefore question their
own authority.

A third method, a priori, accounts for this. It is the method of choosing whatever opinion or truth is most
pleasing at the time. This allows for quick and easy satisfaction to the problem of "who is right?"

37
All of these methods are flawed, however, for several reasons. They do not distinguish between a right and
wrong method. The a priori method, which derives from the first two, will eventually leave doubt in regard to
the validity of the opinion ("sure, it feels good, but is it truly correct?"). For these reasons it becomes necessary
to develop a method that removes the "human" factor from the equation and leaves only the raw facts. This
is the scientific method, which operates off of the belief that regular laws affect the world and are
completely independent of our opinions about them. By observing these laws and their interactions with the
world, it is possible to come to a valid conclusion.

These methods are interlinked. We always allow our opinions to be determined by something; be it a
particular belief, an authority, what strikes us at the moment, or science. Peirce argues that humans need a
scientific authority because we are self centered and view the world in a biased way.

...Science itself is influenced by our flawed nature....Thus, Peirce's argument deserves a qualification: with the
scientific method, we move constantly towards a greater knowledge and more "valid" opinions based on
our ever more accurate (and yet never perfect) perspective of the world.

http://schoubye.org/teaching/Formal-Methods/FormalMethodsNotes2013.pdf

Formal Methods in Philosophy

Lecture Notes 2013

Dr. Anders J. Schoubye

School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

University of Edinburgh

anders.schoubye@ed.ac.uk

See the Contents of this lecture and judge for yourself the assumption underlying this piece. This piece is
obviously for those who have one, very selective notion of philosophy and philosophizing. That is fine as only
those who share this narrow idea will take notice of and be able to understand the details of this
philosophical method. I wish this article could take of theorizing and situate its ideas somewhere in the
process of theorizing instead of standing on its own and in isolation.

Contents

Preface

1 Summary: First Order Logic

1.1

First Order Logic (FOL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.1

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Primitive Vocabulary of

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.2

Syntax of

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.3

Variable Binding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.4

Semantics and Models for

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.5

Variables in

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.6

Valuations and Truth-in-a-Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.1.7

Validity and Logical Consequence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2 Set Theory

2.1

Na

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ve Set Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.1

Notation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.2

Basic Axioms of Na

ve Set Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.3

Empty Set, Singleton Sets, and Pairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.4

Subsets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.5

Intersection and Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1.6

Ordered Pairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10

2.1.7

Cartesian Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10

2.1.8

Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

2.2

Russells Paradox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

15

3 ZermeloFraenkel Set Theory

17

40
3.1

Cumulative Set Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

3.1.1

The Intuitive Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

3.1.2

The Axioms of ZFC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18

3.1.3

Sizes of Infinite Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

23

3.1.4

Cardinality and One-to-One Correspondence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

23

4 Modal Logic

25

4.1

Modal Logic: Necessity and Possibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25

4.1.1

Modals in Natural Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

26

4.2

Grammar of Modal Propositional Logic (MPL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

26

4.2.1

Primitive Vocabulary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27

4.2.2

Syntax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27

4.2.3

41
Semantics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27

4.2.4

The Problem with a Truth Functional Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

28

4.3

Modal Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

30

4.3.1

Validity and Consequence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

31

4.4

Establishing Validities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

32

4.5

Invalidity and Counter models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34

4.5.1

Graphical Procedure for Demonstrating Invalidity . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

35

4.6

Axiomatic Proof Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

4.6.1

System K . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

4.6.2

System D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

4.6.3

System T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

4.6.4

42
System B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

45

4.6.5

System S4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

45

4.6.6

System S5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46

4.7

Soundness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46

5 Counterfactuals

49

5.1

Counterfactuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

49

5.2

The Behavior of Natural Language Counterfactuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

49

5.3

The Lewis-Stalnaker Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

52

5.4

Stalnakers System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

53

5.4.1

Primitive Vocabulary of SC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

53

5.4.2

Syntax of SC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

53

5.4.3

Semantics and Models for SC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

43
53

5.4.4

Semantic Validity Proofs in

SC

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

56

5.4.5

Semantic Invalidity in

SC

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

57

5.4.6

Logical Features of

SC

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

57

5.5

Lewis Criticism of Stalnakers System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

60

5.5.1

Lewis System (LC) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

62

5.6

Disjunctive Antecedents: Problems for Stalnaker and Lewis . . . . . . . . . . . . .

63

6 Decision Theory

65

6.1

Decision and Game Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

65

6.1.1

Some (famous) Decision Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

66

44
6.2

Dominance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

68

6.3

States, Choices, and Independence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

68

6.4

Maximax and Maximin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

6.5

Ordinal vs. Cardinal Utilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

70

6.6

Do What Is Likely To Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

72

7 Probability Theory

75

7.1

Probability and Measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

7.2

Propositions and Probabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

78

7.3

Axioms of Probability Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

79

7.4

Conditional Probability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

80

7.5

Conditionalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

83

7.6

45
Probabilities: Independence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

84

7.7

Correlation vs. Causation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

8 Utility and Probability

91

8.1

Utilities and Expected Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

91

8.2

Maximise Expected Utility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

92

8.3

Properties of the Maximise Expected Utility Rule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

93

8.4

A More General Version of Dominance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

94

8.5

The Sure Thing Principle and the Allais Paradox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95

8.6

Interpretations of Probability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

97

8.6.1

Probabilities as Frequencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

97

8.6.2

Degrees of Beliefs Bayesianism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

98

8.6.3

Evidential Probability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

46
8.6.4

Objective Chance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

9 More on Utility

103

9.1

Declining Marginal Utility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

9.1.1

Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

9.2

Utility and Welfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

9.2.1

Experience Based Theories of Welfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

9.2.2

Objective List Theories of Welfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

9.2.3

Preference Theories of Welfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

10 Newcombs Problem

109

10.1 Solutions to Newcombs Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

10.2 Two (potentially) Conflicting Decision Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

10.2.1 Arguments for 2-Boxing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

10.3 Causal vs. Evidential Decision Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

10.3.1 Arguments for Evidential Decision Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

11 Framing Effects

119

11.1 Risk Aversion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

11.1.1 Gains vs. Losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

11.2 Outcome Framing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

11.2.1 The Psychophysics of Chances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

11.2.2 Normative vs. Descriptive Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

https://onemorebrown.com/2008/08/15/the-philosophical-method/

47
It seems to me that philosophy is distinguished from other endeavours by the method that it adopts. This is
not unusual, as science is usually identified by the scientific method. But what is the philosophical method?
This question is obviously controversial but I think a good case can be made that the philosophical method
involves a commitment to reason and argument as a source of knowledge.

Well there you have it!

More on this in a later section

The Method of Philosophy Is the Method of Inquiry

Posted on 7 November, 2013

In my earlier post on the method of philosophy I made several negative claims: the method of philosophy is
not based on intuitions or reflective equilibrium, its not random speculating, and its also not just about
arguments. Today Im going to motivate a little maxim that Ive been mumbling to myself for a few years: that
the method of philosophy is the method of inquiry.

What do I mean by inquiry? By inquiry, I mean something like the deliberate project of understanding the
world (including ourselves) better. Sometimes this is done in order to accomplish a specific goal, like curing
polio or building bridges, and sometimes its not. I take it that building the Large Hadron Collider and looking
for the Higgs boson is an example of the latter kind, although there have been highly practical discoveries
along the way and this was always a part of the plan. At its best moments, the academy (I dont mean the
Academy, but academia, the worldwide system of universities and other institutions of higher learning) is an
institution dedicated to furthering inquiry and disseminating the resulting understanding to students and
others. I am tempted to think of inquiry as a distinctively human project (as far as we know).

Nothing needs to be said about this?

--------------------------------

The Method of Philosophy: Making Distinctions. - School of Philosophy

philosophy.cua.edu/.../The Method of Philosophy Making Distinction...

lies in its method The method of philosophical thinking is not obvious; we think we have ... I wish to help clarify
what philosophy is by discussing its method.

As critique of the following article I highlighted certain phrases, while ignoring other parts as merely
misleading and/or distracting. This individual should read about theorizing and then apply some of the stages
of it to his own confused views on the practice or doing of philosophy and its method.

http://www.csudh.edu/phenom_studies/methods_phil/lect_2.htm

2. Methods in Philosophy

48
As long as we understand philosophy is "questioning search," and thus (???) "pursuit of knowledge," this
search is not the end product of such a search as a bulk of knowledge or information. On the contrary, any
pursuit of knowledge, as long as we are finite, mortal human-beings and it searches for knowledge, this pursuit
is a rather "endless" process. It is the process starting from "here," from this starting point of the self
awareness of one's own ignorance.

2-1-1. Method in General

In general, therefore, the decision to choose a certain way or road or approach is extremely crucial, also
needless to say, to the pursuit of knowledge. It may be so due to the lack of knowledge of the so-called
"controlled procedure," or it may be the lack of knowledge about the preparations (e.g. including the strong
enough approach) or the confusion of the knowledge of the end of such a search. It may very well be that we
have a totally wrong "direction" and "anticipation" of such an investigation.

2-1-2. Method and Tool

On the other hand, method may find its way in other activities than in the pursuit of knowledge (of course, of
which we are most interested in). Take for example, to work on making something by dealing with what
Aristotle called productive knowledge. I would like to cut this pine tree in the garden. In order to do this, I have
to have an axe, a hand saw or an electric chain saw. Not only the knowledge of the tools in relation to the
object to which the tool is going to be applied here is necessary, but also the knowledge of which direction the
tree should fall down in as well as the knowledge of how to axe or saw the tree in order to have it happen. The
order of the steps necessary for cutting the tree should be considered ahead before we start cutting it. The
similar will be applied to any kind of "productive" activity (including making a clay pot, curving a stone into
something, etc.). Thus controlled procedure means those different kinds of knowledge in order to act or
achieve some particular goal as well as the order of the knowledge and steps. A biological or a pharmacological
experiment perhaps requires more elaborate conditions in which an experiment is going to be conducted.
Needless to say, so are doubtlessly with the engineering.

Within the complexity which can be specified those order of steps and knowledge of the tool by means of the
linear, mechanical causality, how complicated the procedure might be can be solved by the causal connections
step by step.

However, when the procedure to be controlled becomes so complex that the linear, mechanical causation
(logical inference on the basis of that causality) can no longer handle it. Take for example, to send a moon we
are no longer able to linearly follow the procedure step by step, but rather mutual influences and
simultaneous processes are to be "controlled" in order to achieve such a goal with the complex means. In this
case, we are now developing a controlling procedure called "simulation." This is certainly one of the first steps
to overcome the limits of the linear, mechanical causality. Such a thinking is sometimes called a "system" or a
"complex system." (to continue)

2-1-3. The Etymological Search for "Method"

On the one hand, however, the word "meodos" or "methodus" in Latin, "method" in English translation,
existed in the Classical Greek, which was made as a composite word from two words, the one is "meta"

49
(meta)"in pursuit of (something) along side with", the other, "odos" (hodos)"the way." What do these
words, "meta" and "hodos," mean in the Ancient Greek?

Thus, "methodos" as a composite word from "meta" and "hodos" signified and understood as "in pursuit of (a
certain end) along side with the (specified and controlled) way." This concept of "method" in the philosophical
significance may be traced back to Hesiod and some Pre-Socratic philosophers via Plato. According to this
understanding of the method in philosophy as the Way, the method meant "the Way" ('odos, keleuqos, patos,
each one of which means the way, the road, the path, etc.) in the doubled significance 1) as the Way of one's
devotion of life to the true and the right and 2) as the Way of the questioning search with such a devotion.

Hesiod distinguished the narrow, sterile way of the virtue (in the sense of "success") from the wider path of
wickedness.

Heraclitus was supposed to warn the person who should be mindful when one forgets where the way would
lead.

In case of Parmenides, the Way to Truth and Just is shown as the way of the person with the rational
understanding that Being is, and is distinguished from the way, which the people of habitual mundaneity and
in mortal conceptions follow and are never in touch with Truth. Thus, in the pursuit of Truth lead by Reason
shows the Way of Truth with confidence.

In Plato, it appears, this Way ended with the explicit notion of "Method." First of all, in Plato's philosophy, the
method signified the inquiry or search, that is, to "scientifically" ask a question or the questioning as such. As
we shall see it later in more details, his famous doctrine of method as the dialectic to search the ultimate
reality. Then, of course, in distinction from the art of persuasion or sophistic art and skill (h sofistikh tenhh
sophistik techn) of persuading the other regardless of its truth, the correct way and manner of investigation
or of the questioning search for reality.

Among the earlier and later sophists, naturally the method signified the way of winning the discussion or the
art of persuasion itself ('h sofistikh tenhh sophistik techn) or rhetoric.

According to Hippocrates, the method may find its master example of the art and manner of inquiry in the
correct medical diagnosis.

As we shall also discuss later more in detail, Aristotle stipulated the method as the procedure directed to the
good with deliberation ('h proairesish proairesis) which is controlled on the basis of insight and can be
obtained by study. It is also considered belonging in general to techn ('h tchnh).

The above mentioned characteristics of "method" are to be more precisely articulated and defined in terms
of a specific end. Thus, we may generally state the nature of method as follows:

50
The activity to pursue a certain plan or goal in accordance with the controlled procedure.

This etymological explication of the meaning of "method" may apply to philosophy as questioning search as
well as any search for knowledge as a scientific pursuit including mathematics.

Before we shall get into the explication of the historical development of the philosophical method or the
methods in philosophy, we would like to discuss Aristotle and his method as logic first. For logic was
considered for a long time as the philosophical method even until Immanuel Kant. It is necessary to pay a
special attention to logic as the philosophical methods.

2-1-4. Methods in Philosophy and the Objective of Philosophical Inquiry

an Overview of the Problem Domains Anticipating our Inquiry

According to the preceding etymological investigation of the nature of method, the method is "the activity to
pursue a certain plan or goal in accordance with the controlled procedure.

We also understand that philosophy is questioning search, the pursuit of knowledge, for its own sake

Philosophical inquiry is not useful, nor practical, even not meaningful to our living at all. In this sense, the
philosopher in the genuine sense is non professional, because of the following two senses: 1) it is because the
philosopher and the philosophical knowledge are absolutely no use for our practical, pragmatic life: 2) the
philosopher and the philosophical knowledge cannot have any professional training (in order to earn one's
living by doing so).

However, this does not mean that the philosophical inquiry has no end or goal, nor even a plan. To be sure
that the research and its consequence are neither useful anything else or practical at all.

Neither the knowledge which is to be pursued should be "objective!" It is beyond such a distinction between
the objective and the subjective, as Kierkegaard correctly pointed out about the question of our own existence
as the reality.

And yet, as long as the method in philosophy is a "activities" to attain a certain knowledge as its objective
via certain "procedure," we must be rather explicitly aware not only of the "controlled procedure," but also
of the "plan," "objective," or "end." This "objective" or "goal" is, as pointed out before, should be known to
us even if it is obscure in terms of our cognition of the thing experience.

As we saw earlier, thus, often lead by the value which such an end or a plan possesses, we are only aware of
the general direction.

51
Due to this beginning of philosophical inquiry, the phenomenological epoch (the bracketing the preconceived
ideas, bias, assumptions, presuppositions) neutralizes our dogmatic beliefs, as Husserl said. This may be
characterized as a return to Pythagoras' "audience" as the philosophical attitude during the Olympic Games. In
this sense, the philosopher is not in the stream, not in the flow of consciousness, but an observer standing
outside of such a stream. This unconcerned, uninterested observer's attitude seems to work as long as our
endeavouring to see, experience and know reality as it discloses itself as it actually is static in two senses: In
the sense a) reality itself is unchanging, static. In the other sense, not reality, but our attitude itself is static in
tune with the way in which reality reveals itself as it actually is.

Besides, reality in which we live is no longer static, but in dynamic change and metamorphosis. We are no
longer stand outside of reality and remain as the unconcerned, uninterested observer.

In approaching to reality as it reveals itself as it actually is, the philosopher today is no longer an uninterested
audience to the static reality, but h/she is expected and does commit himself/herself to the search for reality
itself as it reveals itself. Kierkegaard was right, when he said, the objective truth loses its total significance, but
the problem is our urgent, subjective truth of our own existence.

2-2. The Methods in the Classic Philosophy in the Far East

I find the following articles confusing and confused

https://explicitblog.wordpress.com/page/2/

Philosophy as Logical Anthropology


This is the last part of my wee methodological mini-manifesto. In the first part, I claimed that
philosophy isnt all about argument.
https://explicitblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/philosophy-isnt-all-about-arguments/

In the second part, I argued that the method of philosophy, insofar as there is such a thing, is
the method of inquiry. This time I am going to talk about one thing that some
philosophers do, and what I do.

One of the most obvious questions one can ask about philosophical methodology is Well,
what is the method of philosophy? If youve got an answer to that question in your pocket, it
will help you to judge whether something is a bit of philosophy or not, and whether a bit of
philosophy is a good one or a bad one. By comparison, one might suggest at a first pass that
the method of science is essentially empirical: you have a question about what the world is
like, and then you go check the world with a controlled experiment and find out.

So what can we say about the philosophical method? As in so many things, you cant go too
wrong starting with Plato. Plato has Socrates say somewhere that Philosophy begins in
wonder. A lot of people seem to like that expression, and it might be true. Butmy weird
and enduring love for Plato notwithstandingit doesnt do much for me. A more articulate
suggestion in Plato is that philosophy (sometimes dialectic) is the examination part of the
examined life. It is the investigation of your reasons for thinking what you think and for
doing what you do, and the policy of offering those reasons up for criticism by others

52
Part of my dissertation is on what people sometimes call the metaphysics of cognition. In
that part, Im trying to figure out what sort of a thing cognition is. Is it stuff, like brains? Or
activities, like hearing and deciding? Or is cognition like a program on a computer? And
whatever it is, what precisely makes it cognition and not something similar, but that isnt
cognition (like a dead brain, or what a microphone does, or like your web browser)? But I
think of my work as a kind of critical metaphysics in the Kantian tradition. One of the
better-known doctrines in Kants Critique of Pure Reason is what he calls the Copernican
revolution in philosophy. He claims that metaphysical knowledge, such as it is, is not
really about the ultimate structure of reality, but the structure of our own concepts. So
metaphysical claims about space and time are not really facts about the world, truly and
independently of us, but facts about the basic ways we organize our own experience. I dont
think Kant is totally right about all of that (Im not an idealist in quite the way he is), but
thats mostly how I think of what I do. My work wont tell us what cognition really is, but
if Im right Ill have learned something about how cognitive scientists think about the
world, and what we learn from their research (after Sellars: how it is that their bailiwick fits
into the countryside of science and understanding).

A nearby suggestion, though, is that philosophy is about evaluating reasons as such.

Professor James Shaw that he sometimes tells his undergraduate classes. I like this story.
Shaw says that the method of philosophy is described by something called the science of
argumentation, which is presumably a generic variation on formal logic. (Argument
here, as in most philosophical contexts, means a reasoned defense of a claim, not a verbal
fight.) On Shaws suggestion as I understand it, philosophical training involves acquiring
special knowledge of the forms of argumentation, with a focus on which ones are
conducive to preserving truth, and expertise in clarifying and evaluating arguments as such.
Thats the method.

Concerning the method of philosophy, Im pretty sure that its something like the standard
line in analytic philosophy (the tradition in which Im trained) that the method consists in
attention to argument.

Even in analytic philosophy, good work does a lot of things apart from describing argument.
For example, good work sometimes describes the range of possible ways of thinking about a
topic. As we sometimes say, it maps out the logical space.

All other activities belong to philosophy insofar as they help with the activity of articulating
good arguments.

Distinctions and other tools for navigating logical space without getting lost or
overwhelmed are often more widely applicable than a grasp of particular arguments and
counterarguments. For example, one set of distinctions familiar to most who have taken
introductory philosophy is the standard tree for categorizing views about free will (below).

Another activity of philosophers, and one that is harnessed by the folk picture, is the
articulation of possibilities that have not been thought of or put clearly before.

This exploratory side of philosophical activity is easy to miss in the analytic tradition because
most papers are organized around arguments, even when they include other kinds of
intellectual work.

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Some of Wittgensteins critics, who see him as a crackpot guru and not a philosopher
(Where are the arguments?). I would venture that a lot of the power of Wittgensteins work
comes from his ability to get you to think about things a certain way. Perhaps the same can
be said of many of the famous thinkers in the continental tradition. I might say that Plato has
a similar effect, even though his dialogues are full of arguments.

So what is the method of philosophy? My opinion is that the method of philosophy just is
the method of inquiry.

(Again I have highlighted the main points. Obviously restricting philosophizing to the
method (???) of inquiry, whatever that is meant to refer to, and arguments are far too
simplistic. And, again, I can only suggest that the author informs himself about the process of
theorizing; then he will be able to fit in his highly selective notions of philosophy, its aims
and methods, as particular features and stages of theorizing, instead presenting them as if they
are the entire process.)

Continuing with his statement that https://explicitblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/the-


method-of-philosophy-is-the-method-of-inquiry/

The Method of Philosophy Is the Method


of Inquiry
Posted on 7 November, 2013

In my earlier post on the method of philosophy I made several negative claims: the method of
philosophy is not based on intuitions or reflective equilibrium, its not random speculating, and
its also not just about arguments. Today Im going to motivate a little maxim that Ive been
mumbling to myself for a few years: that the method of philosophy is the method of inquiry

What do I mean by inquiry? By inquiry, I mean something like the deliberate project
of understanding the world (including ourselves) better. Sometimes this is done in order to
accomplish a specific goal, like curing polio or building bridges, and sometimes its not. I
take it that building the Large Hadron Collider and looking for the Higgs boson is an example
of the latter kind, although there have been highly practical discoveries along the way and
this was always a part of the plan. At its best moments, the academy (I dont mean the
Academy, but academia, the worldwide system of universities and other institutions of higher
learning) is an institution dedicated to furthering inquiry and disseminating the resulting
understanding to students and others. I am tempted to think of inquiry as a distinctively
human project (as far as we know). I dont think that when a cat figures out how to use door
handles its performing inquiry, but maybe we can say its a special kind of cat-inquiry as
long as we recognize the differences between cat-inquiry and human inquiry. For example,
the understanding gained from cat-inquiry does not tend to be disseminated among other cats,
whereas human inquiry is a deeply social project.

Inquiry is about understanding of some sort, and not just truth or knowledge, narrowly
construed.

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I believe that the method of philosophy is just the method of inquirythat the acceptable
methods in philosophical work are any and all of the acceptable methods in inquiry in
general. To illustrate what I mean, Ill talk a little bit about philosophy as a scientific
discipline, and then about philosophy as a humanistic or perennial discipline.

Philosophy and scientific inquiry. Despite what you may have heard, philosophy and
science are pretty tight. This is true in at least two ways. For one, a lot of contemporary
analytic philosophy draws on empirical premises to make arguments. Hilary Kornblith is a
good avatar for this practice in epistemology. Kornblith uses results in psychology and
cognitive science to defend a particular picture of how we come to know things, and what our
limitations are. This is also very true in my own specialty, philosophy of cognitive science.

(Cognitive sciences is an exception because it is an inter-disciplinary area of study, with the


discipline of philosophy being included)

Now, I am not claiming here that philosophy is better than scientific disciplines. I am just
saying that, at bottom, we are all doing the same kind of thing. Craig Skinner (an interesting
fellow) argued online last year that one function of philosophy as a discipline is to be a
source for the budding off of other disciplines, like the sciences. This is an interesting
notion, but the budding off activity makes more sense if there is at bottom a continuity
between philosophical inquiry and other kinds of inquiry.

The perennial aspect of philosophy.. there is another dimension to some philosophy, which I
am tempted to call the perennial side to philosophy. Philosophy in its perennial mode
engages with topics that are not suited to being settled once and for all, but that require
repeated engagement. I think some ethics is like this

I also think that this is the sort of picture of philosophy that the later Wittgenstein had in mind
when he defended his therapeutic conception of philosophy (the most famous remarks
are probably 115128). Wittgenstein claimed that philosophy clears up the linguistic
confusions that we encounter in life. I wouldnt go so far as Wittgenstein here, but I think it is
a part of philosophical inquiry to devise methods for getting around logical space
without getting lost, and techniques for finding our way if we have.. (this is all very
interesting and I agree with Wittgenstein in this. Much of what was classified under
philosophy, for example ontological and metaphysical problems can be dissolved by
exploration, or analysis. But these things, for example clarification of concepts and
meaning, form a small part of the process of theorizing and situating them in that larger
context will assist philosophers in many ways getting the bigger picture of what philosophy
is like, what it is about and how it is done.)

The perennial vision of philosophy is also championed by Richard Rorty. In a notorious


discussion of Derridas work (Philosophy as a Kind of Writing), he criticizes the analytic
philosophers Kantian conception of inquiry as narrowly knowledge-producing, and
suggests instead that philosophers think of themselves as commentators in a great and
interminable conversation about how to live. (I quote his words on Rorty, Derrida and Kant
as they point out a meaningful aspect of philosophizing and the need to situate it in a lerger
process.)

So what is philosophy? All this is to say that philosophys methods include those of other
areas of inquiry. Sometimes philosophy uses the scientific method. Sometimes science

55
uses philosophical methods. Sometimes philosophy functions to apply old views to new
situations. Sometimes in philosophy we reimagine the old and familiar from a new
perspective. So (note the, unfounded conclusion the author comes to after all the examples
he gives!) if there is any method to philosophy, I think its just the method of inquiry in
general. Philosophers adopt a broad range of methods for understanding the world, and those
methods seem to include, well, all of them.

But I think in the end this is an ecumenical conclusion (I like my conclusions ecumenical). If
the project of philosophy is, at its broadest, just the project of inquiry, then that sits well
with a lot of other things people have said about philosophy. It sits well with Platos old
line that Philosophy begins in wonder, since the ultimate end of philosophy is to promote
understanding. It also plays nice with the other claims of Platos Socrates, that philosophy is
the means to the examined life, since a better understanding about how to live well is a
special case of inquiry, and perhaps the most important one. My conclusion explains the
central importance of argument to Platos Socrates, but also the importance of critical
examination of assumptions and the development of tools for navigating logical space. My
conclusion also sits well with Skinners suggestion that philosophy is a source for other
disciplines to bud off from, since other disciplines represent more specialized
approaches to inquiry. (Inquiry has now become some kind of measuring tool, and
standard..)

Finally, I think my conclusions is a happy companion to Sellars famous dictum that The
aim of philosophy, abstractly formulated, is to understand how things, in the broadest
possible sense of the term, hang together, in the broadest possible sense of the term.
Sellars continues that philosophy is distinguished from the special disciplines in that
philosophers aim to keep track of the big picture (It is therefore the eye on the whole
which distinguishes the philosophical enterprise). I would say that thats a nice regulative
ideal, and it is something I try to do, but I doubt its a necessary condition. A lot of
philosophers specialize quite narrowly, who are still philosophers. And people of many
professions sometimes address philosophical concerns without necessarily reflecting on how
their bailiwick fits into the countryside as a whole.

If this is right, though, there is a question left outstanding. What does that mean for the
subject matter of philosophy? Surely if leftovers is too narrow a characterization, then
everything is too broad! Not everything is philosophy, but I am not sure how to limit the
subject matter because anything could be philosophy. Consider that Platos prescriptions
about policy and social architecture belong to philosophy. Aristotles early biology is
philosophy (even if its not great). Newton was a natural philosopher. Really, its one of the
most frustrating things about philosophy that potentially anything can be relevant to anything.
As a philosopher of cognitive science, I feel like I should know so much more than a human
being ever could. Ive got to manage my time and effort, of course, and its hubris to think
that one person can be an expert in everything, or even (these days) in very many things at
all. But I dont think I can write off any sphere of human knowledge as clearly irrelevant to
philosophy or even to my project. I never really get to say Thats work for another
department, unless I mean that I just dont have the skills ( it is not skills that the author
requires but just taking notice of the notion of theorizing and explore what the process of
theorizing consist of, so that he can situate his selective notion of the activity of
philosophizing as inquiry, only, as one stage and one feature of the entire process of
theorizing.) or the time or the funding to look into it. But I never meant to claim that its my
job to know everything (what a wonderful and terrible job that would be!). But any technique

56
that anybody uses to understand the world better is a technique I could potentially find a use
for in my line of work.

Other articles by this author

https://explicitblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/agreeing-and-disagreeing-with-help-from-
objectivity

https://explicitblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/why-study-philosophy/

Continuing his article on https://explicitblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/philosophy-as-


logical-anthropology/

This is the last part of my wee methodological mini-manifesto. In the first part, I claimed that
philosophy isnt all about argument. In the second part, I argued that the method of
philosophy, insofar as there is such a thing, is the method of inquiry. This time I am going to
talk about one thing that some philosophers do, and what I do.

The metaphysics of cognition. In that part, Im trying to figure out what sort of a thing
cognition is in

doctrines in Kants Critique of Pure Reason is what he calls the Copernican revolution in
philosophy. He claims that metaphysical knowledge, such as it is, is not really about the
ultimate structure of reality, but the structure of our own concepts. So metaphysical claims
about space and time are not really facts about the world, truly and independently of us, but
facts about the basic ways we organize our own experience. I dont think Kant is totally right
about all of that (Im not an idealist in quite the way he is), but thats mostly how I think of
what I do. My work wont tell us what cognition really is, but if Im right Ill have learned
something about how cognitive scientists think about the world, and what we learn from
their research (after Sellars: how it is that their bailiwick fits into the countryside of science
and understanding).

Sociologists and anthropologists are interested in describing various human practices and
social structures, perhaps especially with an eye toward making comparisons across different
communities, or attending to power dynamics and forms of organization and so on. What
philosophers (some of them) do is examine human practices with an eye toward their
rationality. For example, epistemologists are interested in characterizing and evaluating our
evidential practices in general, philosophers of science are interested in scientific practices
like explanation and theory-construction, philosophers of action and ethicists are interested in
various features of our deliberative practices and practices of evaluating actions and holding
people responsible. So like anthropologists, these philosophers are interested in human
practices. But unlike most anthropologists, the philosophers are not interested primarily in
things like power dynamics or the diversity of cultural practices (though theyre
interesting)philosophers are especially interested in practices that involve reasoning,
and whether and why these practices make sense.

(My view here turns out, predictably, to have been anticipated somewhat. For example, the
idea of logical anthropology has some affinity with George Graham and Terry Horgans
notion of ideological inquiry, and Katrin Flikschuhs notion of philosophical field work.
But my view differs from these others on some details, and was worked out independently

57
with different aims and different cases in mind. Nevertheless, I suspect all three views spring
from the same post-Kantian place

Why bother figuring out what scientists think cognition is? Why not just figure out what it
really is? More generally, one might suppose that it is a better use of time to figure out how
things really are, rather than what experts who arent trained in philosophy seem to think but
dont tend to say out loud. After all, reconstructing what is implicit in scientific (or other)
practices and making it explicit seems to be a roundabout way of figuring out how things
really are, and the scientists might not be right, anyway (Would it not be more meaningful to
look at the theorizing process/es employed by scientist as well as philosophers? And then
situate what you are doing, and then try to understand what scientists are doing from your
perspective?)

The stronger reply is that the scientific enterprise is our best effort to figure out how the
world is, and that our everyday practices of learning and inferring and acting reflect the
priorities and limitations we actually live with. Doing logical anthropology is a good way to
learn about the world while taking advantage of our existing knowledge, and avoiding the
philosophers temptation to simplify and generalize too much. Logical anthropology isnt a
roundabout route to understanding; its a route that takes seriously the fact that we can learn
by examining practices that have already emerged to learn about the things we philosophers
might want to learn about.

Edouard Machery argues in his book Doing without Concepts (I linked to the prcis above)
that cognitive scientists investigate at least three different kinds of cognitive structure that are
all called concepts, that the result is confusion and false disagreement, and that wed be
better off using three different words instead

I think, for philosophers to investigate and describe the practices of those scientists, either in
order to explain their practices to others or in order to learn something about the rational
organization of scientific institutions, or perhaps for some other reason

While not all philosophers are engaged in kinds of logical anthropology, I think that a lot of
us do something like this (although I think few of us think of our work this way). I think its a
valuable kind of research for philosophers to doour training makes us suited to it, and not a
lot of other researchers do work like this, and it reveals an interesting dimension of human
activity that, sometimes, allows us to better understand what we do, and why it does or
doesnt make sense given the world that we live in. At any rate, this I how I think of my own
work and its value. And, I suppose, trying to describe logical anthropology as a philosophical
project is itself a kind of logical anthropology of philosophy. The main goal I have
with Explicit Content is to say clearly what I think philosophers do, in order to explain it
to non-philosophers and to induce discussion about whether our practices are good ones. (I
still think the author requires a general framework to situate what he is doing philosophically,
as if it is philosophy and that frame of reference is that of the process of theorizing.)

In this article the author is doing meta-philosophy..

https://explicitblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/metadiscursive-technology-distinctions-
continua-phase-spaces/

58
In an earlier post https://explicitblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/metadicursive-technology-
claims-views-arguments/

I discussed the notion of metadiscursive technology: we use concepts to make sense of the
world and do things in it, and bits of metadiscursive technology are the concepts that help
us understand how we do this. In this post Id like to talk about three ways of carving up
possibilities (three categories of ways to draw categories): distinctions, spectra or
continua, and phase spaces.

First, this post is a little meta (getting meta is another important philosophical activity). Im
going to be talking about ways of categorizing possibilities. People usually adopt ways of
categorizing things without thinking about which way to use; they just use a way. But Im
going to talking about these ways as objects.

can call the different ways models, or schemes, or theories.

lots of different models that are useful for different contexts.

First, the distinction is one of the most important tools a philosopher has. A distinction is a
contrast between two or more categories in a space of relevant possibilities, or a contrast
between two ways of categorizing.

A dichotomy is a special kind of distinction that divides the entire space of relevant possibilities
into two non-overlapping categories.

, a continuum only varies along one dimension. That is, a continuum is only the
appropriate discursive technology if the relevant possibilities can be placed in order,
along a single line. If placing things in a single line doesnt help you with what youre doing,
you may need to consider more than one dimension of variation. To capture multiple
dimensions of variation, you need what I call a phase space by loose analogy with a notion
from math and physics

59
A simple Vijay-fancier model. This is a phase space composed of a continuum and a
distinction. The bluer areas indicate regions more likely to contain Vijays secret admirer.

For an example of a more complex phase space, we can consider the fact that gender
identification does not always agree with biological sex. We could represent that situation by
constructing two distinctions in different dimensions, like so:

For an example of a more complex phase space, we can consider the fact that gender
identification does not always agree with biological sex. We could represent that situation by
constructing two distinctions in different dimensions, like so:

Sex and gender as a phase space composed of two orthogonal distinctions.

Now recall our simple phase-space model of Vijays potential admirers, the Vijay-fancier
model. That model relied on the assumption that we could treat gender as a dichotomy. That
might be a safe assumption under some circumstancesperhaps all of the people who might
have written the notes to Vijay are transgendered or cisgendered. Nevertheless, we could
strive to be more inclusive of other trans* people and replace the man/woman dichotomy in
the model with a more complex categorization of gender. However, the continuum
conception of sexual preference also presupposes a gender dichotomy, so we might also want
to revise that dimension of the Vijay-fancier model. A model like that would be a very
serious piece of conceptual technology. And as I hope is evident, the activity of

60
categorization need not be restrictive or oppressive. By engaging earnestly with variation and
maintaining an open mind about the choice of models for categorization, the activity can be
legitimating to those who might normally feel left out. Perhaps particularly with gender, sex,
and sexuality, a refusal to think openly about categories often cedes too much ground to
traditional (in these cases, also oppressive) models of categorization.

I dont mean to suggest that phase spaces are always best and distinctions or dichotomies
always worse. Different technologies are suited to different tasks.

I trust these examples show that doing things with conceptseven just distinguishing
between related categoriescan get really complicated really quickly. It often pays to use the
simplest model that suits your present purpose

(The reason why I included this philosophers discussion on meta-discursive technology,


continuums, phase-space etc as they can be useful to create diagrams about the meanings one
distinguish during theorizing.)

https://explicitblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/metadicursive-technology-claims-views-
arguments/

This is the first post in what will be an ongoing series about what I like to call philosophical
technology or, sometimes, metadiscursive or metaconceptual technology (since its not
relevant only to philosophers). I said last time that the method of philosophy is just the
method of inquiry, but in practice a lot of philosophy these days involves a lot of attention to
the way we use words or concepts (more on that next time). Since thats a thing that
philosophers do, we need to have some conceptual resources for talking about ways of
talking, or for thinking about ways of thinking. I like to refer to these resources as bits of
technology to emphasize the fact that developing these resources requires some ingenuity
and effort, that using them effectively involves a bit of training, and that they can be
developed or improved over time. I like to emphasize that last part because, like a lot of
philosophical work, progress in metadiscursive technology tends to become invisible once
its been made.

Some bits of philosophical technology - distinctions, objections, counterexamples

arguments, soundness and validity for arguments, and necessary and sufficient conditions.

modality ( necessity, possibility, and related notions) which comes in various formsalethic,
epistemic, practical, and others

the difference between a claim, a view, and an argument.

First, a claim is the sort of thing that is expressed by a declarative sentence. A lot of what
philosophers do is examine claims, and eventually commit themselves to affirming some of
them, and denying others. (If you both affirm and deny the same claim then youve got a
contradiction on your hands,

consideration of claims is a necessary part of philosophy,

61
Views are collections of claims that are supposed to be coherent. Views, like claims, can be
true or false

Views are often associated with the particular philosophers who explain them, like Ruth
Garrett Millikans teleosemantics (roughly a view that meanings of words or thoughts, like
biological functions, are determined by their causal history according to a process of natural
selection

teleofunctionalism is a word for a family of related views, like Millikans and Karen
Neanders.

The main business of philosophy involves giving and evaluating arguments.

(Argument connected series of statements; intended to establish a proposition. Evaluate


arguments, are the reasons given true and significant to the conclusion? Is the inference valid
and is the conclusion plausible?)

An argument is a reasoned defense of a claim. On this view (see what I did there?),
arguments consist of two parts: a claim, called the conclusion, that the argument is supposed
to support, and a reason that supports the conclusion. Philosophers use arguments to
support claims (where the claim is the conclusion) and views (where the various claims that
make up the view are conclusions, usually of different arguments). And just like there can be
claims about claims, there can be arguments about arguments. For example, criticisms or
objections about arguments are arguments about arguments (they are arguments that some
other argument is bad)

If arguments are reasoned defenses of claims, then you see that they are not bare statements
of claims, and not disputes or questions or problems. Philosophical controversies, like the
mind-body problem or the problem of personal identity, are not arguments in this sense
because they do not have conclusions and they do not provide reasons. People make
arguments for various views that resolve these controversies in different ways, but
philosophers do not usually call the controversies themselves arguments

The most common way to model arguments in the analytic tradition is based on the form of a
deductive inference in classical logic, or a syllogism in Aristotelian logic. Either way, the
reason is made up of claims called premises that, if they are arranged right, support the
conclusion through some rule or combination of rules.

logic models arguments

most philosophical arguments are given in the form of reasons

arguments cannot be true or false. Conclusions or premises, since they are also claims, can be
true or false, but arguments have more complicated ways of being good or bad. Arguments
can be valid or invalid, or cogent or not cogent, or sound or unsound, and so on.

an argument is bad if it doesnt give you a good enough reason to believe its conclusion, and
the ways that reasons are bad are different and more complicated than being false.

62
At least three main ways to criticize arguments in philosophy. First, one can claim that
the premises or presuppositions of the argument are untrue. That doesnt make the
argument untrue, and it doesnt mean that the conclusion is false, its just one way that an
argument might not give you reason to believe its conclusion. A second way to criticize an
argument is to say that the reason doesnt support the conclusion, regardless of whether its
presuppositions are true. A simple example:

Edinburgh is in Scotland.
Humans often wear clothes.
Therefore, George Clooney is famous.
The premises and the conclusion are all true, but the premises dont support the conclusion. They
dont give you reason to believe it. A third way to criticize an argument is to claim that we have an
independent reason to believe that the conclusion is false, and that this reason is better than the
reason given in the argument.
Even if not all philosophy is about arguments, critical examination of arguments is a central activity
of philosophers, especially analytic philosophers. And while most disciplines do the same thing a lot
of the time, philosophers are often the ones that are most concerned with developing the
metadiscursive technology for doing so with self-conscious clarity and precision.
sustained attention to arguments, and for the complicated ways of supporting and evaluating claims,
arguments, and views.
(The above provides a basic description of some elementary, but essential aspects of writing
philosophy. Combined with the internal dialogue of the philosophical narrator, where he plays two
or more roles, some might be employed as techniques to question or disagree with what he is trying
to express, these things are the cement that connects the building blocks of the story being narrated
in the entire theorizing process.)
L

http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/phil/phil_03.html

The methods employed in philosophical reasonings and enquiries include the basic presuppositions of
scientific approach in general; but over and above these methods, philosophical processes endeavour to
discover ways of considering and knowing the facts implied in the phenomena of experience.

The true philosophic method should not be lopsided, should not be biased to any particular or special dogma,
but comprehend within itself the processes of reflection and speculation and at the same time be able to
reconcile the deductive and the inductive methods of reasoning. The philosophy of the Absolute rises above
particulars to greater and greater universals, basing itself on facts of observation and experience by the
method of induction and gradual generalisation of truths, without missing even a single link in the chain of
logic and argumentation, reflection and contemplation, until it reaches the highest generalisation of the
Absolute Truth; and then by the deductive method comes down to interpret and explain the facts of
experience in the light of the nature of this Truth. This is a great example of the most satisfactory method of
philosophical enquiry.

Philosophy being the way of the knowledge of Truth, its method must be in agreement with the nature of
Truth. In philosophy and religion the end always determines the nature of the means.

(All these are very beautiful, high ideals, but merely abstract speculation. It covers over all the details that are
required in philosophical methodology and theorizing.)

-------------------------

63
M

The following is interesting and perhaps suitable for limited scholarly work and academic investigations and
their aims.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholarly_method

The scholarly method or scholarship is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their
claims about the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public.
It is the methods that systemically advance the teaching, research, and practice of a given scholarly or
academic field of study through rigorous inquiry. Scholarship is noted by its significance to its particular
profession, and is creative, can be documented, can be replicated or elaborated, and can be and is peer-
reviewed through various methods

Originally started to reconcile the philosophy of the ancient classical philosophers with medieval Christian
theology, scholasticism is not a philosophy or theology in itself but a tool and method for learning which places
emphasis on dialectical reasoning. The primary purpose of scholasticism is to find the answer to a question or
to resolve a contradiction. It was once well known for its application in medieval theology, but was eventually
applied to classical philosophy and many other fields of study.

The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and
other evidence to research and then to write history. The question of the nature, and indeed the possibility, of
sound historical method is raised in the philosophy of history, as a question of epistemology. History guidelines
commonly used by historians in their work require external criticism, internal criticism, and synthesis.

The empirical method is generally taken to mean the collection of data on which to base a hypothesis or derive
a conclusion in science. It is part of the scientific method, but is often mistakenly assumed to be synonymous
with other methods. The empirical method is not sharply defined and is often contrasted with the precision of
experiments, where data is derived from the systematic manipulation of variables. The experimental method
investigates causal relationships among variables. An experiment is a cornerstone of the empirical approach to
acquiring data about the world and is used in both natural sciences and social sciences. An experiment can be
used to help solve practical problems and to support or negate theoretical assumptions.

The scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge,
or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based
on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A
scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the
formulation and testing of hypotheses

------------------------

I deal with Broads positive suggestions for philosophical methods somewhere else, they are, as should be
expected, restive and rather analytical.

64
SOME METHODS OF SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY

By Professor C. D. Broad.

Published in Aristotelian Society Supplement 21 (1947): 1-32.

Examples of Synopsis

Problem of sense-perception

Mind-body problem

Free-will problem

Paranormal phenomena

Synopsis and Analysis

Synopsis and Synthesis

Some further Remarks on Synopsis and Synthesis

How are Principles of Synthesis Discovered?

How are Proposed Principles of Synthesis Recommended?

O
https://www.scribd.com/user/76974855/Buddy-Seed

https://www.scribd.com/doc/56238200/Lecture-1-The-Act-of-Philosophizing

(This work appears to be very existentialist as it takes the subject, as a person, as the point of reference.
Philosophy/izing then becomes a very personal affair. This dimension is probably present in all philosophizing,
but philosophers decide not to concentrate on or deal with it and/or they consider it not to be part of
objective philosophy/izing?)

On page 6 we are informed about

Philosophizing as the Discipline of Liberation -

especially by ,means of questioning ourselves, our species, our history/ies, our society, community, culture,

socio-cultural practices such as philosophy/izing, etc.

Below we are shown how this questioning operates and how it assists in liberation one from historical, sociological,
psychological encapsulation, determination or conditioning.

- philosophizing as a discipline of questioning is a discipline of liberation, i.e. in

asking questions, philosophy leads to liberation:

65
- liberation from encapsulation, conditioning, determination

- liberation to the horizon of possibilities

- liberation to affirm one's possibilities and one's determination

i. Questioning liberates one from historical, sociological, psychological encapsulation,

determination or conditioning

1. Historical, Sociological and Psychological encapsulation, determination, conditioning

Historical

- what am I know, what can I do, what I am doing, how I value things,

4. Philosophizing as the Discipline of Personhood

- philosophizing becomes an authentic discipline of questioning and of liberation

when it is discipline of personhood, i.e.:

- personal task

- at the root of one's being a person

- important in my growth as a person

i. Philosophizing as a Personal Task

1. Personal Affair of Asking-Question

- I must myself personally ask the depth-question

- The personal questions and their answers are of great value to me

- The questions have to do with my person, my identity

2. Personal Search for the answer, for the truth to these depth-questions

- I myself will look/find for the answers to these depth-questions

- I could not delegate this to other, nor just be a spectator to the searching-activity

- In my personal search, I must not be content:

- with sheer conjecture,

- with sentimentalism: feeling good and nice

- with philosophical warm blanket

- just with pursuing relevance

- utmost aim: pursuing truth:

- be it palatable or not

- be it a comfort or threat/discomfort

- my personal search for the answer involves:

a. exacting, careful, disciplined reflection of my own experience and thoughts

b. philosophical dialogue:

- I will be open to other philosophers' experiences and insights

- Study works of others

c. study also of other disciplines

- open to other things which might be vehicle for finding answers to my

depth-questions about myself: myth, history, literature, natural sciences,

behavioral sciences.

66
3. Seeing the answers to these questions or the truth myself

- in finding some answers to my depth-questions, I myself see, realize

- the truth of these answers

- that they are really true to me

- they really answer my personal depth-questions

ii. Philosophizing is at the root of one's being a person

- the human person is driven by his personhood to philosophize:

- to ask depth-questions

- to seek/find answers for them

- to see himself the truth of the answers he has found

- Why? because of the nature of his person as homo viator (man on the way)

- His present situation - the situation he finds himself at the moment:

- not yet complete, not yet finished-product

- not yet sufficient with himself

- contingent

- finite truth, happiness, justice (Pascal)

- yet not content, satisfied with what he is: restless, insatiable

- he is not happy, at rest, content with he is and has at the moment

- he desires, longs from something more than what he is and has at the

moment

- Quixotic man: dreaming the impossible

- Alexandrian man: crying because there is no more to conquer

- Augustinian man: ever restless until my heart rests in Thee.

- Pascalian man: great abyss within that cannot be filled by anything

finite.

- Dostoyevski's moral hero

- Thus, he asks more questions, he searches, demands for more answers about

himself, about his world.

iii. In philosophizing, one's personhood, one's growth as a person is at stake

- when I stop philosophizing (to ask depth-questions, to seek/find answers for

them and to see himself the truth of the answers he has found),

- I become determined, conditioned, encapsulized by my history, society, and

psychological make-up

- I refuse to be open to my own possibilities, and take responsibility of them and

myself as creative self-project

- Remain satisfied with the present and stagnate, arresting my growth as a person.

Conclusion/Summary:

- questioning, then, is the starting point and the continuing force of all philosophy

67
- questioning leads one to find answers, and finding the answers he himself must see the

truth of those answers

- but in finding answers to the depth-questions primarily about himself: his identity and

action, he will not reach a point of no return; rather leads him back to new questions, leading

to a new search, new answers, so on and so forth.

- In so doing, he is liberated from those which enslave, he becomes open

how I see things could be determined or conditioned in large extent by the past

events, by what happened in the past

- past events: personal, family, society.

- Sociological encapsulation, determination, conditioning

- the kind of society that I live in, the culture, the social structures I find

myself in affect in significant degree to the point even of conditioning,

determining and encapsulizing my seeing, doing and valuing.

- Psychological encapsulation, determination, conditioning

- refers to how my genes, experiences of pain and pleasure, neurons,

among others affect my seeing, doing and valuing.

2. By questioning, I am liberated from these conditioning, encapsulation and determination

- Why? By questioning, I am able to place myself at a distance from these types

of conditioning, determination or encapsulation, such that they no longer determine

at least in the same degree as before I have begun to question -

By questioning, I could say, "wait a minute", to the present situation: the present

conditioning, determination

- In this way, I could resist the conditioning, the currents, the pull; in effect, I

revolt against the historical, sociological and psychological conditioning.

ii. Questioning opens me to the horizon of possibilities

1. What was seen before as a pure necessity (that which could not be otherwise, in which I

have no choice) is now seen upon questioning as a possibility which I could choose to

reject or accept.

2. Other possibilities, possible patterns, options which I never have thought before open

before me.

iii. Questioning leads one to Affirmation

1. Affirmation of the Future as Creative Self-Project

- the possibilities that are opened before him/her in questioning, he must affirm,

he must choose, must take responsibility of as his/her project, through which he

shapes, determines himself/herself.

- Only in this way, he takes responsibility to determine/shape himself/herself,

what kind of self/person he will be in the future (future self-project), rather than

being determined by one's history, society and psychological make-up.

2. Affirmation of the Past, of my determinations

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- Questioning leads one to confront the past and embrace/accept/own/possess the

past as his/her past

- Why is this very important?

- The past is part of one's identity though I do not have to be determined

by it

- The possibilities of the present that are opened to me and among which

I must choose to determine my self-project are the results of the past.

- Thus, to embrace the past is also to embrace my present identity and

my future self-project.

This exploration of questioning is then from page 7 onwards related to philosophy, or placed in the context of the discourse of
philosophy. First as philosophy for all people (as individuals) or in everyday context and then gradually as a disciplined practice.

4. Philosophizing as the Discipline of Personhood

- philosophizing becomes an authentic discipline of questioning and of liberation

when it is discipline of personhood, i.e.:

- personal task

- at the root of one's being a person

- important in my growth as a person

i. Philosophizing as a Personal Task

1. Personal Affair of Asking-Question

- I must myself personally ask the depth-question

- The personal questions and their answers are of great value to me

- The questions have to do with my person, my identity

2. Personal Search for the answer, for the truth to these depth-questions

- I myself will look/find for the answers to these depth-questions

- I could not delegate this to other, nor just be a spectator to the searching-activity

- In my personal search, I must not be content:

- with sheer conjecture,

- with sentimentalism: feeling good and nice

- with philosophical warm blanket

- just with pursuing relevance

- utmost aim: pursuing truth:

- be it palatable or not

- be it a comfort or threat/discomfort

- my personal search for the answer involves:

a. exacting, careful, disciplined reflection of my own experience and thoughts

b. philosophical dialogue:

69
- I will be open to other philosophers' experiences and insights

- Study works of others

c. study also of other disciplines

- open to other things which might be vehicle for finding answers to my

depth-questions about myself: myth, history, literature, natural sciences,

behavioral sciences.

3. Seeing the answers to these questions or the truth myself

- in finding some answers to my depth-questions, I myself see, realize

- the truth of these answers

- that they are really true to me

- they really answer my personal depth-questions

ii. Philosophizing is at the root of one's being a person

- the human person is driven by his personhood to philosophize:


7

- to ask depth-questions

- to seek/find answers for them

- to see himself the truth of the answers he has found

- Why? because of the nature of his person as homo viator (man on the way)

- His present situation - the situation he finds himself at the moment:

- not yet complete, not yet finished-product

- not yet sufficient with himself

- contingent

- finite truth, happiness, justice (Pascal)

- yet not content, satisfied with what he is: restless, insatiable

- he is not happy, at rest, content with he is and has at the moment

- he desires, longs from something more than what he is and has at the

moment

- Quixotic man: dreaming the impossible

- Alexandrian man: crying because there is no more to conquer

- Augustinian man: ever restless until my heart rests in Thee.

- Pascalian man: great abyss within that cannot be filled by anything

finite.

- Dostoyevski's moral hero

- Thus, he asks more questions, he searches, demands for more answers about

himself, about his world.

iii. In philosophizing, one's personhood, one's growth as a person is at stake

- when I stop philosophizing (to ask depth-questions, to seek/find answers for

them and to see himself the truth of the answers he has found),

- I become determined, conditioned, encapsulized by my history, society, and

70
psychological make-up

- I refuse to be open to my own possibilities, and take responsibility of them and

myself as creative self-project

- Remain satisfied with the present and stagnate, arresting my growth as a person.

Conclusion/Summary:

- questioning, then, is the starting point and the continuing force of all philosophy

- questioning leads one to find answers, and finding the answers he himself must see the

truth of those answers

- but in finding answers to the depth-questions primarily about himself: his identity and

action, he will not reach a point of no return; rather leads him back to new questions, leading

to a new search, new answers, so on and so forth.

- In so doing, he is liberated from those which enslave, he becomes open he becomes open to his own

possibilities, and takes responsibility of himself as a creative self-project.

--------------------------------------

We are then presented with William Luijpens Authenticity of philosophy.

As we can see this section deals with the following:

The authenticity of philosophy and the contradiction of or rather in(side) philosophy. Misleading or mistaken reactions lead to ,
what Luijpens consider to be, inauthentic philosophy. Symptoms of inauthentic philosophy are:

scient-ism, (as absolute, final, all-encompassing, revealing and dealing with the one and only true reality, perfect methods, etc)

scepticism (rejection of all knowledge, truths, philosophies, etc) is also a philosophy (philosophical approach or attitude);

and dogmatism (of the one, absolute philosophy or the final philosophical system and method, eg Marxism, Critical Theory,
Phenomenology, Kantiasm, Analytic philosophy, Deconstructionism, etc).

Luijpen then sets out the characteristics of authentic philosophy from page 9 onwards.

It is-

a personal affair

of asking questions

looking for answers

seeing the truth (and meaningfulness?) of some of the answers

and philosophy/izing is authentic when -

Philosophizing is authentic when it is one's own life that raises the philosophical questions

- man has to live his own life, determine his own action

- he is responsible for his own life and his actions

- he is only human, a person only when he himself lives his own life and

determines his own actions

- others could not live my life for me nor I could simply live the life of others

- I could not let others determine my life and actions, nor determine others' lives

71
and actions

- To live my own life, to determine my own action is to live according to my own

basic convictions about:

- Life/Realtiy

- Myself

- Values

- To come to my own basic convictions, I myself have to discover them:

- I myself ask the questions about them

- I myself seek the answers

- I myself have to see the truth of the answers

- Thus, I myself can discover my own basic convictions from within.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

He then deals with existing philosophies and the relation of my own personal philosophy or authentic philosophical living to
them. Page 10

What is the role of constituted philosophies in the philosophizing as a personal

task/affair? This we will answer:

- First, by clarifying the nature of these constituted philosophies. This we will do

in this section.

- Then, by clarifying the proper relationship between my philosophizing as a

personal affair with these constituted philosophies. This we will do in the next

section.

i. Philosophy as Personal

Philosophy as Personal Expression of Particular Experience of Reality

Here he introduces a new notion , almost a standard of authentic philosophy/izing as

a SPEAKING WORD. Not merely a talking word, but a speaking word.

AND not all speaking word is philosophy/ical.

Then describes to us what a philosopher is *

(someone:

- who sees particular aspects of reality, in a particular depth

- who experiences reality in a particular way

- who is present to reality in a particular way

- to whom reality is present in a distinct way

- philosophy (philosophers ideas, theories, etc.) is an articulation, expression of

this particular way of experiencing the world/reality.)

72
He describes the correct philosophical training and his conclusion informs us about the purpose and necessity of studying
already constituted (or already existing) philosophy/ies.

Conclusion:

- If constituted philosophy is a speaking word (i.e., an articulation/expression of a

particular experience of reality), then the study of the works of the different philosophers

leads us to:

- Experience the philosophers' particular experiences of reality

(APPROPRIATION)

- Experience new and deeper aspect of reality other than what they have

experienced (EXPANSION)

- And one does not simply accumulate knowledge but listens to reality no matter

where it speaks to him.

------------------------------------------

1. Philosophy as Speaking Word, not Talking Words

- talking:

- ideas are just set of ideas

- which we must relate with one another

- which we understand in themselves as ideas/ statements/words

- speaking:

- ideas are expressions of the philosopher's personal experience of reality

- experience:

- subject presence to reality: personal presence of who I am to reality, my

opening up to reality

- reality presence to the subject: presence of reality to the person;

unfolding, manifestation, unveiling of reality to the person.

- Ideas try to express, articulate what the person sees himself deeply in

reality, what he himself experiences, his particular insight of the wealth of

reality

2. Not All Speaking Word is Philosophy

- there are different ways of experiencing reality, i.e.

- of being present to reality

- of reality being present to me

- not all of these are philosophy, or philosophical experience. E.g.:

- Rose, a beautiful beach:

- Economist

73
- Lover

- Theologian

- Scientist

- Philosopher

- School

10

- Student

- Teacher

- Administrator

- Janitor

- *A philosopher is someone:

- who sees particular aspects of reality, in a particular depth

- who experiences reality in a particular way

- who is present to reality in a particular way

- to whom reality is present in a distinct way

- philosophy (philosophers ideas, theories, etc.) is an articulation, expression of

this particular way of experiencing the world/reality.

- E.g.: Plato's Philosophy: Theory of Forms

- As solidified thought it may sound abstract

- But it is really an expression of Plato's particular experience, insight of

3. The Authenticity of Philosophy (William Luijpen)

a. Introduction

i. The Innumerable Contradictions of Philosophy

- for 2,500 years, man has been philosophizing and the result is innumerable and

contradictory claims and systems of philosophy.

- much older than Modern Science, yet unable to formulate even a few theses

(statements) which are unanimously accepted by all philosophers as observed by the

philosophers themselves like the Sceptics, Rene Descartes, Hume, Kant

- not a single thesis is not denied by another philosopher in the past, present,

or/and future.

ii. Reactions Leading to Inauthentic Philosophy

1. Scientism: Rejecting Philosophy and Absolutizing Physical/Empirical Sciences

74
- Unlike philosophy, Physical/Empirical Sciences:

- Very successful discipline

- Better knowledge of the physical world

- Fruitful knowledge: leads to mastery/control of the physical world

- Greatly contributed in making life better

- Highly Verifiable/Intersubjective Knowledge

- Because of these characteristics of Physical Sciences, some are led to reject

philosophy and to absolutize Science (Scientism). How? By claiming/believing that:

1. Science alone is the only genuine and reliable source of knowledge, not

philosophy or any other means.

- what can be known and is known by Science constitutes alone as the

true knowledge

- knowledge, pure and simple, is the knowledge offered by Science

- here, Science, already claims and decrees, not about the physical world

but claims and decrees on Theory of Knowledge: the possibility, extent and

validity of knowledge

2. Science alone discloses reality such that whatever cannot be disclosed or are not

disclosed by Science is not real.

- here, reality is equated or reduced with the reality accessible to Science

- from its epistemological claim, Science is led to an ontological claim:

A Theory of Reality: The Structure and Constitution of Reality.

- Scientism (absolutizing Science) is not a science, not scientific

- It already claims about things beyond the competence/realm of physical

sciences

- It deals with or addresses some things beyond its tasks, namely: Theory

of Knowledge, Theory of Reality

- This is already the work of philosophy.

- Thus, in rejecting philosophy, it philosophizes although in a

contradictory way, an inauthentic philosophy

- Scientific yet unscientific

- Verifiable yet unverifiable

- Rejects philosophy but already takes a philosophical position on the

issues of Knowledge and Reality

2. Scepticism

- rejection of all claims of knowledge of reality, all claims as doubtful, not only

philosophical claims, but all claims

- this is itself is a philosophy, a philosophical position/view about knowledge and

reality

75
- yet a self-contradictory philosophy; thus, an inauthentic philosophy

- claim: all knowledge is doubtful

- yet this claim is also a form of knowledge

- therefore, this claim (that all knowledge is doubtful) is also doubtful

- this shows that the conclusion falsifies the first premise; thus the

argument contradicts itself.

- Any rejection of philosophy (Scientism, Scepticism and others) is itself a

philosophy though a bad one

- To ridicule philosophy, to laugh at philosophy is itself a philosophy

3. Dogmatism

- claims that of the different philosophical systems, one can be the philosophy, is

the philosophy

- thus, one looks for THE philosophy:

- in the past: turns to different philosophies or philosophers in the past

- in the present: turns to every new philosophy or system to whether at

last it present THE philosophy

- in the future: expects that THE philosophy will be formulated in the

future.

- This expectation, of course, meets with disappointments, frustrations, and

disillusions. Why?

- Because there was, is and will be never such thing as THE philosophy

2. Authentic Philosophy as a Personal Task

i. Philosophizing: not an attempt to learn a philosophical system

- few geniuses in history laid down their thoughts in grandiose masterpieces and

systems like Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, Whitehead

- to philosophize authentically is not simply to learn one of these philosophical

systems

- not just to talk about, study/learn with or without proof:

- the questions they asked

- the answers the found and proposed

- and these questions and answers are in the first place not my own personal

questions nor could their answers mean anything to me nor make a difference in my

life, nor make me more human, more of a person I am meant to be.

- In short, learning their truth, but not my truth.

ii. Philosophizing is authentic only when it is a personal affair

1. Personal Affair of Question-Asking

- I myself personally raise the depth questions

- I myself see the importance of these questions and their answers to me

- It is myself that I question

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2. Personal Affair of Searching the Answer to these questions

- I myself look diligently for the answers, overcoming any obstacles, subjecting

myself to certain disciplines

3. Personal Affair of Seeing the Truth of the answers

- I myself see the truth of the answers I found.

- Only in this way can philosophizing be authentic philosophizing, i.e.:

- Philosophize in an original and personal way

- My own philosophy, not just any other philosophy

iii. Philosophizing is authentic when it one's own life that raises the philosophical questions

- man has to live his own life, determine his own action

- he is responsible for his own life and his actions

- he is only human, a person only when he himself lives his own life and

determines his own actions

- others could not live my life for me nor I could simply live the life of others

- I could not let others determine my life and actions, nor determine others' lives

and actions

- To live my own life, to determine my own action is to live according to my own

basic convictions about:

- Life/Reality

- Myself

- Values

- To come to my own basic convictions, I myself have to discover them:

- I myself ask the questions about them

- I myself seek the answers

- I myself have to see the truth of the answers

- Thus, I myself can discover my own basic convictions from within.

3. Authentic Philosophy as a Speaking Word

- though authentic philosophy is a deeply personal affair, there are already

concluded philosophies, i.e. thoughts laid down in a system by great genius of the past,

like Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas among others.

- What is the role of constituted philosophies in the philosophizing as a personal

task/affair? This we will answer:

- First, by clarifying the nature of these constituted philosophies. This we will do

in this section.

- Then, by clarifying the proper relationship between my philosophizing as a

personal affair with these constituted philosophies. This we will do in the next

section.

i. Philosophy as Personal Expression of Particular Experience of Reality

77
1. Philosophy as Speaking Word, not Talking Words

- talking:

- ideas are just set of ideas

- which we must relate with one another

- which we understand in themselves as ideas/ statements/words

- speaking:

- ideas are expressions of the philosopher's personal experience of reality

- experience:

- subject presence to reality: personal presence of who I am to reality, my

opening up to reality

- reality presence to the subject: presence of reality to the person;

unfolding, manifestation, unveiling of reality to the person.

- Ideas try to express, articulate what the person sees himself deeply in

reality, what he himself experiences, his particular insight of the wealth of

reality

2. Not All Speaking Word is Philosophy

- there are different ways of experiencing reality, i.e.

- of being present to reality

- of reality being present to me

- not all of these are philosophy, or philosophical experience. E.g.:

- Rose, a beautiful beach:

- Economist

- Lover

- Theologian

- Scientist

- Philosopher

- School

10

- Student

- Teacher

- Administrator

- Janitor

- A philosopher is someone:

- who sees particular aspects of reality, in a particular depth

- who experiences reality in a particular way

- who is present to reality in a particular way

- to whom reality is present in a distinct way

- philosophy (philosophers ideas, theories, etc.) is an articulation, expression of

this particular way of experiencing the world/reality.

78
- E.g.: Plato's Philosophy: Theory of Forms

- As solidified thought it may sound abstract

- But it is really an expression of Plato's particular experience, insight of

reality.

ii. End of Philosophical Formation and Training

- not just:

- drilling the aspirant into different philosophical theses or ideas

- memorizing the different philosophical theses and understanding them in

themselves

- but the ideas/theses/solidified thoughts are just means:

- to make us personally see/experience what the philosopher has seen, has

experienced of reality

- to make us enter into a whole new world we have never seen or even suspected

before

- analogy of index finger as a sign

4. Authentic Philosophy as a Common Task

i. Authentic Philosophy as both a personal task and a common task

- Philosophizing to be authentic should both:

- A personal task/affair

- A personal affair of asking questions, seeking answers, and seeing the

truth of the answers I have found.

- Philosophizing about my person, philosophizing arising from my own

personal situation

- A common task

- Demands the study of the works, thoughts of the philosophers

- Why?

- I am inserted in a history of thought, which is not purely personal,

which I have not made myself.

- I do not start from zero, from scratch in my own philosophizing for

other have thought before me.

- I am carried by their thought; I am in the stream of thought established

by tradition

- at least because of the language I speak

- and because of the ideas in this language which permeate me

- Thus, impossible for me to think without tradition

- Problem:

- How do I philosophize in such a way that we do not compromise either:

- The act of philosophizing as a personal task

- The act of philosophizing as a common task

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ii. Constituted Philosophy makes us sensitive and gives us access to the wealth of reality

which they great philosophers have perceived and which otherwise we could not have

perceived.

- philosophers have long been dead and their own particular experiences of reality

have long passed.

- Yet these experiences found expression, are embodied, contained in their

philosophy which is a speaking word.

- Through their works, we have access to their unique experience of reality and

through them, their own experiences of reality could also be ours.

- Without their experiences, it would be difficult for us to come to those

experiences. E.g.:

- without Plato,

- our experience and conception of reality would be trivial and

materialistic

- the totality of being could not be experienced and understood in its

great variety and levels, at least when we reflect philosophically upon reality

11

- without Augustine, we would not have been sensitive and understood the

meaning of our restlessness of being-in-the-world.

- Without Marx, Darwin, Freud, we could not have been corrected of our

exaggerated spiritualism.

- Therefore, they make it possible for us to have personal experience of reality, to

make us sensitive to the superabundance/wealth contained in the totality of all that is.

iii. What the great philosophers saw/experienced remains fruitful and source of inspiration

- works of great philosophers are considered classical not only because they make

us see/experience what they saw/experience which otherwise we could have been blind

of.

- But at the same time they inspire us to see/experience over and beyond what

they saw

- They further inspire us to ask questions, further beyond, deeper than they have

asked

- To find/seek answers beyond what they found

- To see ourselves the truth of the answers beyond what they themselves saw.

- Yet as every philosopher was struck/awed by a particular aspect of reality, and

every system constructed by a great philosopher is an expression/articulation of some

aspect of reality, there is a danger:

- that a particular aspect of reality might be elevated by him to the rank of reality,

pure and simple, or THE REALITY

- that a particular experience of reality may be proclaimed as the only REALITY

80
and its articulation and systematization as the SYSTEM, THE PHILOSOPHY.

- When this happens, it becomes antiquated.

Conclusion:

- If constituted philosophy is a speaking word (i.e., an articulation/expression of a

particular experience of reality), then the study of the works of the different philosophers

leads us to:

- Experience the philosophers' particular experiences of reality

(APPROPRIATION)

- Experience new and deeper aspect of reality other than what they have

experienced (EXPANSION)

- And one does not simply accumulate knowledge but listens to reality no matter

where it speaks to him.

--------------------------------------------------------------

From page 12 onwards we are informed that philosophy is intersubjective. In other it is not merely subjective, invented and
practised by a single, isolated individual but in terms of inter-subjective (socio-cultural) standards, norms or rules of the
philosophical discourse and socio-cultural practice.

According to him philosophical truths (insights? knowledge) are intersubjective because -

Philosophical Truth is intersubjective simply because any truth is intersubjective.

- In principle,

- Truth is not true to me alone but to true to all; otherwise is not true at all.

- Though in fact (de facto)

- A particular philosophical truth is not yet recognized by all

- Yet, it can be recognized by all as true, as valid.

---------------------

Philosophical truths differ from scientific (also intersubjective) truth -

difference is not that scientific truth is intersubjective while philosophical truth

is not

- but that the intersubjectivity of scientific truth is easier to achieve than the

intersubjective examination of philosophical question and discovery.

- In principle, both are intersubjective.

He then concludes that philosophy is not useful in the world/reality of work, but it is useful and meaningful(?) in the context of
the reality/world of philosophy.

-------------------------

5. The Intersubjectivity of Philosophical Truth

i. Denial of Intersubjectivity of Philosophical Truth

- Subjective View of Philosophical Truth: Philosophical Truth has to be

81
subjective in order to be authentic. Why?

- Philosophy is a personal task/affair:

- Asking one's own depth-questions

- Seeking find by himself answers for them

- Seeing himself the truth of the answers

- As a personal task, it involves study of other philosophers in order to see the

truth they discovered as true to me, to be inspired to see myself more than what they

have seen.

- Subjectivistic View of Philosophical Truth

- Philosophical truth (that which I see, discover, know in my philosophical

enterprise, that which is unfolded before me in philosophical pursuit) is true/valid to

me alone but not true/valid for all.

- Philosophical Truth is per se not truth for all (not intersubjective)

- Intersubjective View of Scientific Truth

- Scientific truth is the only intersubjective truth, i.e. the only truth which could be

accepted/validated by all as true.

- Intersubjectivity as the exclusive characteristic of Science

ii. Subjectivistic View of Philosophy is Self-Contradictory View

- those who claim that philosophical truth is true to me alone but not true to all

contradict themselves; in other words, their claim contradicts/falsifies their claim

- How?

- For them to claim this subjectivistic view of philosophical truth, they presuppose

that this view as true is valid to all and not just to a particular person.

- To claim otherwise, they would not make sense at all as they would not make

any statement or any claim on this view. Why?

- For to make a claim of anything before anyone, I presuppose that no

one can rightly deny this truth. Thus, this implies that he can also see the truth of

what I claim.

12

- But they claim that no philosophical truth is true to all

- Thus, they contradict themselves.

iii. Difference between Philosophical Truth and Scientific Truth

- difference is not that scientific truth is intersubjective while philosophical truth

is not

- but that the intersubjectivity of scientific truth is easier to achieve than the

intersubjective examination of philosophical question and discovery.

- In principle, both are intersubjective.

iv. Philosophical Truth is intersubjective simply because any truth is intersubjective.

- In principle,

82
- Truth is not true to me alone but to true to all; otherwise is not true at all.

- Though in fact (de facto)

- A particular philosophical truth is not yet recognized by all

- Yet, it can be recognized by all as true, as valid.

6. The Usefulness of Philosophy

1. Philosophy is not useful in the "World of Work"

- "World of Work":

- technocratic world, functional world

- control/manipulation of nature to serve/meet one's particular needs

- dealing with practical living

- life on the horizontal dimension

- Science is very useful in this kind world

- E.g. Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Economic, Psychology

- But philosophy is not useful, and even wholly useless in this kind world, the

world of work

- Thus, when a person concerns himself with the practical living and as society

tends to become a technocratic organization of work, philosophy is seen as useless

- Ironically, it is to this person, and to this society that philosophy becomes not

only useful but even necessary.

2. Philosophy is useful in the "World of Philosophy"

- unless one enters into a particular presence to reality (world) achieved by

philosophers, unless one enters into the level, dimension, realm, aspect of reality which

the philosophers have entered, one cannot be convinced of the usefulness of philosophy.

- Thus, the usefulness of philosophy can only be appreciated by those who have

left behind or go beyond or deeper than the world of work, and have experienced,

perceived or entered into this realm, dimension of reality - world of philosophy

- For those who have already entered, they do not need to be convinced of the

usefulness of philosophy for the value of philosophy clearly reveals itself.

- For those who have not yet entered into the world of philosophy, they can at

least accept the usefulness of philosophy in good faith, and start philosophizing.

---------------------------

I find many of his ideas very attractive because I have since my youth identified written about then when I found their relevance
for philosophy and their meaningfulness, for example intersubjectivity, authentic philosophy/izing and philosophers and those
who live for philosophy (and not merely living off it as academic philosophers). Original, creative thinking philosophers versus
academic, derivative philosophers, comparable to academic art and the art by original-, creative-thinking artists.

However, much of what he suggests are not hard philosophy(ical facts), but the idealization of and hope for what philosophy
might be like - almost in the vein of Plato. These are often mere speculations when he makes statements or speculates and do
not provide us with arguments and reasons for these statements he makes.

I include this article by C D Broad from 1947 among methods of philosophy as I find it interesting for several reasons.

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He was professor of philosophy at a number of universities, mostly in the UK .
(Broad was openly homosexual at a time
when homosexual acts were illegal. In March 1958, Broad along with fellow philosophers A.J. Ayer and
Bertrand Russell, writer J.B. Priestley, and 27 others, sent a letter to The Times which urged the acceptance of
the Wolfenden Report's recommendation that homosexual acts should 'no longer be a criminal offence'.). He was
also President of the Society for Psychical Research in 1935 and 1958. Broad argued that if research showed
that psychic events occur, this would challenge philosophical theories of "basic limiting principles" in at least
five ways:

1. Backward causation, the future affecting the past, is rejected by many philosophers, but would be
shown to occur if, for example, people could predict the future.
2. One common argument against dualism, that is the belief that minds are non-physical, and bodies
physical, is that physical and non-physical things cannot interact. However, this would be shown to be
possible if people can move physical objects by thought (telekinesis).
3. Similarly, philosophers tend to be skeptical about claims that non-physical 'stuff' could interact with
anything. This would also be challenged if minds are shown to be able to communicate with each
other, as would be the case if mind-reading is possible.
4. Philosophers generally accept that we can only learn about the world through reason and perception.
This belief would be challenged if people were able to psychically perceive events in other places.
5. Physicalist philosophers believe that there cannot be persons without bodies. If ghosts were shown to
exist, this view would be challenged.
6. Broad argued for "non-occurrent causation" as "literally determined by the agent or self." The agent
could be considered as a substance or continuant, and not by a total cause which contains as factors
events in and dispositions of the agent. Thus our efforts would be completely determined, but their
causes would not be prior events.
7. New series of events would then originate which he called "continuants." These are essentially causa
sui.
8. Peter van Inwagen says that Broad formulated an excellent version of what van Inwagen has called
the "Consequence Argument" in defense of incompatibilism.

Broad's early interests were in science and mathematics. Despite being successful in these he came to believe
that he would never be a first-rate scientist, and turned to philosophy. Broad's interests were exceptionally
wide-ranging. He devoted his philosophical acuity to the mind-body problem, the nature of perception,
memory, introspection, and the unconscious, to the nature of space, time and causation. He also wrote
extensively on the philosophy of probability and induction, ethics, the history of philosophy and the philosophy
of religion. The ample scope and scale of Broad's work is impressive In addition he nourished an interest in
parapsychologya subject he approached with the disinterested curiosity and scrupulous care that is
characteristic of his philosophical work.

Broad did not have a philosophyif by that phrase is meant highly original philosophical theories, and a
highly original way of approaching philosophical problems. He writes: I have nothing worth calling a system of
philosophy of my own, and there is no philosopher of whom I should be willing to reckon myself a faithful
follower (1924, p. 77 Critical and Speculative Philosophy, in Contemporary British Philosophy (First Series),
ed. by J.H. Muirhead, London: Allen and Unwin).

It is one thing to delineate the contours of the notion of emergence, another to argue that emergent
phenomena actually exist. A wide variety of phenomena have been held to be emergent. Apart from
consciousness, various chemical and biological phenomena have been held to be emergent. Broad is not
willing to rule out a physicalistic reduction of chemistry and biology to physics: chemical and biological
phenomena might, he believes, very well be reducible to complex microphysical processes. In his opinion,
however, consciousness is a different matter. We will turn to consciousness in a moment. When it comes to
biology and chemistry he declares that he does not see any a priori impossibility in a mechanistic biology or

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chemistry (1925, p. 72). He stresses that it is in practice enormously difficult to know whether, say, a certain
biological feature such as nutrition is emergent or not. It is evident from what Broad says that he recognises
that the Emergentist stance has its dangers in that it tends to encourage acceptance of laws and properties as
ultimate and irreducible. There is a danger in this because, as he notes, reductive explanations have proved
remarkably successful in the past, and there is the possibility that what we take to be an emergent
phenomenon is in fact reducible.

In the last chapter of his book Broad presents a taxonomy of no less than seventeen different theories which
are possible theoretically on the relation between Mind and Matter (1925, p. 607). By a process of
elimination Broad arrives at a more wieldy number of theories. Two of the remaining rivalling theories are
Physicalismin Broad's terminology, Mechanismand Emergentism. Let us now take a closer look at his
case for Emergentism.

Broad adduces a version of what has come to be known as The Knowledge Argument in favour of an
Emergentist position with respect to the place of consciousness in nature. He asks us to assume that there is a
mathematical archangel.

Metaphilosophy

Broad distinguishes two chief aspects of philosophical thinking. He labels these critical philosophy and
speculative philosophy. Critical philosophy has two chief tasks, one of which is to analyse certain very
general concepts such as number, thing, quality, change, cause, etc. (1924, p. 82). We make use of these and
a whole host of other concepts in science and ordinary life. Although we are typically able to apply them fairly
consistently, we are not able to analyse them. Nor are we able to state their precise relations to each other.
One task of critical philosophy is to provide analyses of such concepts. It becomes evident that this is an
important task as soon as it is realized that when we seek to apply these concepts to odd or exceptional cases
we are often uncertain whether they are applicable. For example, it might be unclear whether a certain
individual with a multiple personality disorder is a person or not .Such difficulties arise because we are not
clear as to what we mean by being a person (1924, p. 83). There is, therefore, a need for an intellectual
discipline that seeks to analyse and define this and many other concepts.

In science and in daily life we do not merely use unanalysed concepts. We also assume uncritically a number
of very fundamental propositions. In all our arguments we assume the truth of certain principles of reasoning.
Again, we always assume that every change has a cause. And in induction we certainly assume somethingit
is hard to say whatabout the fundamental make-up of the existent world (1924, p. 84).

The second task of critical philosophy is to examine these and other fundamental assumptions; it is to take
these propositions which we uncritically assume in science and daily life and to subject them to criticism
(ibid.).

In order to analyse a proposition we must seek to attain a clearer grasp of the concepts featured in the
proposition. Thus the analysis and criticism of a proposition depends on the analysis of concepts. And vice
versa: by reflecting on the propositions in which a certain concept occurs we clear up the meaning of it.

Now, critical philosophy is one part or aspect of philosophical thinking. But critical philosophy does not
include all that is understood by philosophy. It is certainly held to be the function of a philosopher to discuss
the nature of Reality as a whole, and to consider the position and prospects of men in it (1924, p. 96). This
aspect of philosophical thinking is speculative philosophy.

Speculative philosophy seeks to work out a view of reality as a whole by taking into account the whole range of
human experiencescientific, social, ethical, sthetic, and religious: Its business is to take over all aspects of

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human experience, to reflect upon them, and to try to think out a view of Reality as a whole which shall do
justice to all of them (1924, p. 96).

Broad's idea is that the various aspects of human experience and (putative) facts linked to these provide a point
of departure for philosophical reflectionan exceedingly important sort of reflection aiming at a reasoned view
of Reality as a whole.

As can be gathered from the above, philosophical thinking features, according to Broad, a distinctive type of
birds-eye view. He calls it synopsis. Let us take a somewhat closer look at this. The plain man as well as the
professional scientist or scholar

I understand by synopsis the necessary preliminary towards trying to satisfy this desire, viz. the deliberate
viewing together of aspects of human experience which are generally viewed apart, and the endeavour to see
how they are inter-related. (1947a, p. 4)

On reflection it is clear that the synoptic stance is necessary for the discovery of various inadequacies in our
picture of reality, inadequacies resulting from a far too insular perspective on reality. The synoptic stance will,
in effect, lead to the discovery of latent philosophical problems: It is synopsis, revealing prima facie
incoherence, which is the main motive to philosophical activity (1958, p. 121; cf. 1947a, p. 16). And it is
clearly only after we have discovered and successfully addressed these problems that we may lay claim to a
satisfactory picture of reality as a whole.

Broad gives several examples of how synopsis is featured in philosophical thinking. One of these is taken from
the free will problem. The main facts germane to the problem are these: (i) When we consider a situation in
which we did a certain action, we are quite convinced that we could have done otherwise: we could have
performed an alternative action. On reflection it seems clear that could is used in some sense that is not
analysable in terms of would have, if. (ii) Our moral judgments seem to presuppose that a person who in fact
willed to do a certain action could have willed otherwise. (iii) Given the past, the actual situation and the laws of
nature it seems impossible that anything other should have happened than what in fact did happen. If so, how
can our volitions be other than completely determined? (iv) It is difficult, then, to reconcile the notions of moral
responsibility with the view that our volitions are completely determined.

The problem of free will is discovered when we look at (i) and (ii) in the light of (iii) In other words, the very
problem is discerned only because we have envisaged these facts together, i.e. because we have taken a synoptic
view of the facts.

Above are a few of the reasons why I find Broad, his work, ideas and suggestions of interest. It is against the
above background as context that the article below should be res.

I find Broads notions and depictions of method of (analytic and) speculative philosophy both very general, but
also in another sense very limited. Those are obviously not the only reasons for philosophy or the only methods
employed by philosophers. In spite of this I find his view of methods of philosophy of interest.

SOME METHODS OF SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY

By Professor C. D. Broad.

Published in Aristotelian Society Supplement 21 (1947): 1-32.

Examples of Synopsis

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-it might be said, there is no single non-disjunctive characteristic, and no conjunction of such characteristics, common and peculiar to
what Hume was doing and what Hegel was doing. To philosophize, on this view, is to perform one or another or a mixture of at least two
fundamentally different kinds of activity, one of which is exemplified by Hume's attempt to analyze causal propositions and the other by
Hegel's attempt to establish the formal structure of the universe by dialectical reasoning.

I think it is quite clear that the word "philosophy" has always been used to cover the kind of thing that Hegel did and that McTaggart did
in addition to the kind of thing which Hume did and which Moore does, whether or not these be two radically disparate kinds of activity.
Anyone who proposes that the name "philosophy" shall be confined to the latter kind of activity is proposing that it shall henceforth be
used in a new and much narrower sense, and he should be expected to give reasons for this linguistic innovation. He might, e.g., give as his
reason that philosophizing, in the sense of doing the kind of thing that Hume did, is a practicable and useful activity; whilst philosophizing,
in the sense of doing the kind of thing which Hegel did, is not only impracticable and therefore useless, but is also a deceptive activity,
based on certain fundamental illusions which have now been detected and explained but are still dangerously insidious.

This brings me to my main point. I am inclined to think that there are two features which are together characteristic of all work that would
generally be regarded as philosophical, and a third which is often present in a high degree but may be evanescent. The two which I think
are always present may be called "analysis" and "synopsis"; the one which may be present in a vanishingly small degree can be called
"synthesis." Analysis and synopsis themselves may be present in very different degrees and proportions. Hume's work, e.g., is so
predominantly analytic that it might be denied to be synoptic, and Hegel's is so predominantly synoptic that it might be denied to be
analytic. But I believe that both are always present, and that each involves some degree of the other. Lastly, there is a very high positive
correlation between synopsis and synthesis. Synthesis presupposes synopsis, and extensive synopsis is generally made by persons whose
main interest is in synthesis.

. Let it suffice to say crudely that it (analysis) consists in clearing up the meanings of all the fundamental kinds of sentence which we
habitually use, e.g., causal sentences, material-thing sentences, sentences with the word "I" as grammatical subject, sentences with
temporal copulas, ethical sentences, religious sentences, and so on.

Synopsis and synthesis are especially characteristic of what may be called "speculative philosophy," and that is why the latter phrase
occurs in the title of my paper. I will begin with the notion of synopsis.

Examples of Synopsis.

(1) As our first example we will take the problem of sense-perception. Why is there a problem?

(i) In the first place, because, if we attend carefully, we note such facts as these.

Two observers, who are said to be seeing the same part of the same thing at the same time, are often not being presented with
precisely similar visual appearances of that object.

One and the same observer, who is said to be seeing the same unchanged part of the same thing at different times and from different
positions, is often not presented with precisely similar visual appearances of that object on both occasions.

(ii) Secondly, because there are visual experiences which are abnormal in various ways and degrees, but are similar to and continuous
with those which are normal. They range, e.g., from mirror-images and straight sticks that look bent when half immersed in water,

(iii) Thirdly, because of facts which are still quite unknown except to a minority of grown-up educated persons, and which must have
been completely hidden from everyone at the time when the language in which we express our sense-experiences was first formed and
for thousands of years afterwards. One of these is the physical fact that light takes time to travel; and that the visual appearance which a
remote object presents at any time to an observer depends, not on the shape, size, position, etc., of the object at that moment, but on
what they were at the moment when the light now striking the observer's eye left the object. Another of them is the physiological fact
that visual appearances vary with certain changes in the observers eye, optic nerve, and brain

There is a problem of sense-perception, in the philosophical sense, for those and only those who try to envisage all these fact together
and to interpret sense-perception and its implications in relation to all of them. Since it is plain that they are all relevant to it, it is desirable
that someone should take this synoptic view. Since the language in which we express our visual sense-perceptions was formed unwittingly
in prehistoric times to deal in a practical way with a kind of normalized extract from our visual experiences, and in complete ignorance of a
whole department of relevant physical, physiological, and psychological facts, it would be a miracle if it were theoretically adequate and if
it were not positively misleading in some of its implications.

(i) It is plain to common sense that many of a person's sensations and feelings follow immediately upon and vary concomitantly with
certain events in his eyes, ears, joints, etc. On the other hand, many experiences, e.g., processes of day-dreaming, deliberating, reasoning,
etc., do not seem prima facie to be covariant with events in the body.

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(ii) The sciences of physiology and anatomy make it almost certain that the immediate bodily antecedents and correlates of sensations
and feelings are not events in one's eyes, ears, joints, etc., but are slightly later imperceptible chemical or electrical changes in certain
parts of one's brain.

(iii) It is further alleged, on the authority of these sciences, that there are immediate bodily antecedents and correlates of the same
general nature, viz., chemical or electrical events in certain parts of the brain, even to those mental processes, such as deliberating,
comparing, abstracting, reasoning, etc., which do not seem prima facie to be covariant with bodily events.

(iv) The physical sciences have developed a concept of causation in terms of regular sequence and concomitant variation, in which the
notions of agent and instrument, activity and passivity, etc., play little if any explicit part.

Now these various mutually relevant facts are hardly ever viewed synoptically except by philosophers. Common sense is quite ignorant
of many of them and common language had grown up and crystallized ages before they were known or suspected. On the other hand,
scientists who are familiar with all of them tend to concentrate on one at a time and temporarily to ignore the rest. When they confine
their attention to the physical and physiological and anatomical facts they are inclined to take the view that men are "conscious
automata," i.e., that all our mental states, including processes of reasoning, willing, etc., are mere by-products of states of brain which are
determined by purely physical and physiological antecedents. But their daily lives and all their professional activities presuppose a view
which is shared by plain men and which seems prima facie to be incompatible with the conscious automaton theory.

Scientists all assume in practice that when they design and carry out an experiment, they are initiating certain changes in the material
world which would never have taken place unless they had been thought out beforehand, desired, and deliberately led up to. They
assume that their assent to or dissent from the various alternative interpretations which might be put on the results of an experiment is
determined by processes of reasoning, demonstrative or probable, in which belief is given or withheld in accordance with evidence, which
may be favourable or unfavourable, weak or strong or coercive. Now all this involves concepts, and seems prima facie to involve modes of
causation, completely different from those in terms of which the conscious automaton theory is formulated.

To sum this up briefly. The scientist who investigates and theorizes about man and his powers and activities is himself a man exercizing
certain characteristically human powers and activities. But the account which he is apt to give of man, when he treats him as an object of
scientific investigation, seems prima facie difficult to reconcile with the occurrence and the validity of his own most characteristic activities
as investigator, experimenter, theorist, and reasoner. The need for synopsis by someone who is aware of all the main facts and can hold
them steadily together in one view is here particularly obvious.

(3) As a third example of synopsis I will take what may roughly be called the "free-will" problem. The main facts are these.

Here again the need for synopsis is evident. It seems prima facie that each of us conducts one part of his life on the assumption of
complete determinism and another part on the assumption of incomplete determinism plus something else more positive which it is very
hard to formulate clearly. And these two parts are not sharply separated; they overlap and interpenetrate each other. Most of us generally
manage to ignore one aspect at a time and concentrate on the other; but, however convenient this may be in practice,

Problem of sense-perception

Mind-body problem

Free-will problem

Paranormal phenomena

Synopsis and Analysis


I think that there is a very close connexion between synopsis and the process of analysis which everyone admits to be a characteristically
philosophical activity. It is generally synopsis which gives the stimulus to analysis. As I have shown in my examples, it often happens that
each of several regions of fact, which we generally contemplate or react to separately, gives rise to its own set of concepts and principles;
that each such set seems satisfactory and internally coherent; but that, when we contemplate these various departments together, we
find that the corresponding sets of concepts and principles seem to conflict with each other. The intellectual discomfort thus produced in a
person of philosophical disposition is perhaps the most usual motive for trying to analyze those concepts and to formulate those principles
clearly. Such a process is an indispensable step towards deciding whether the inconsistency is real or only apparent and towards
formulating it precisely if it is real; and this is a precondition of any efficient attempt to resolve it.

Synopsis and Synthesis

Synopsis is not an end in itself. It not only provides the stimulus for analysis, but it also furnishes the basis for something else, which may
be called "Synthesis." The purpose of synthesis is to supply a set of concepts and principles which shall cover satisfactorily all the various
regions of fact which are being viewed synoptically.

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The apparent conflict between the concepts and principles characteristic of different regions of fact must be shown to arise from the valid
application of these common concepts and principles in different contexts and under different special limitations.

Some further Remarks on Synopsis and Synthesis

Intellectual activities which are genuinely philosophical, in that they involve deep analysis, wide synopsis, and illuminating synthesis, occur
from time to time within some special science. This is particularly obvious when the science is concerned, as physics is, with very
fundamental and pervasive features of reality. I could certainly count as philosophical the work done by Galileo on the analysis of
kinematic and dynamical phenomena, and the correlated work of synthesis in which the formulation of the three laws of motion and the
law of gravitation by Newton is an outstanding phase and the unification of these laws by Lagrange, Hamilton, and finally Einstein is a
further development.

Again, the situations which led respectively to the formulation of the Principle of Relativity and the Uncertainty Principle are typical of
what I have exemplified under the head of synopsis, and the principles themselves are typical of what I have described as synthesis. In the
case of relativity there were many different kinds of possible experiments which, in accordance with well-tried and generally accepted
principles, might have been expected to provide perceptible evidence for the motion of a body relative to the surrounding ether. The
results of all these experiments were completely negative

The Principle of Relativity and the Uncertainty Principle are clear instances of synthesis, based on synopsis, and preceded and made
possible by a more profound analysis of generally accepted concepts and principles.

The results of such synthesis in physics have the advantage that either they themselves can be stated mathematically or that they
impose certain conditions on the form of equations which express possible physical laws. Hence their consequences can be rigidly
deduced. This is seldom, if ever, true of syntheses which cover several widely different fields of fact, e.g., man considered as reasoner,
experimenter, and morally responsible agent, and man considered as an object of physiological and psychological experiment

In the Second Book of his Ethics Spinoza tries to formulate a theory of bodies consistent with his general principle that there are no finite
continuants, that the only genuine continuant is God, and that God is a substance which is at once material and mental

Synopsis and synthesis both take place at various levels. I have just given examples of them within a single region of fact, viz., that of
physics. At a higher level one would try to get a synoptic view, e.g., of the phenomena of organic and inorganic material things and
processes, and try to synthesize them into a single coherent scheme. At a still higher level one would take into one's view the facts of
mental life at the animal level, and then at the level of rational cognition, deliberate action, specifically moral emotion and motivation, and
so on. Finally, if no account had so far been taken of paranormal phenomena, these would have to be brought into the picture, and an
attempt made to synthesize them with the normal facts. As each new department was considered it would be necessary to review the
syntheses which had seemed fairly satisfactory at the previous level. Some of them might not need to be rejected or even seriously
modified, but others might have to be completely abandoned or considerably altered when a new department of facts was brought into
the picture.

How are Principles of Synthesis Discovered?

I am sure that it is impossible to give rules for the discovery of principles of synthesis in philosophy just as it is impossible to give rules for
suggesting fruitful hypotheses and colligating a mass of observations in science

Now the speculative philosopher naturally wants to unify and synthesize such a hierarchy, and he is often tempted to do it in one or
other of two opposite ways. These might be called respectively Reduction and Sublimation. The reductive type of unification tries to show
that the features which are characteristic of the higher levels are analyzable without remainder into those which belong to the lower
levels. Just the same laws hold throughout, but we have different and more special collocations of the same elements at the higher levels;
and the occurrence of those special collocations is itself explicable from the laws and collocations characteristic of the lowest level. The
sublimative type of unification tries to show that the features which seem to be peculiar to the higher levels are really present in a latent
or a specially simplified or a degenerate form at the lower levels. It may even try to show that features which seem to be typical of the
lowest levels are partially misleading appearances of features which are typical of the highest levels. Materialism, in its non-emergent
forms, and Leibniz's form of mentalism, are extreme cases respectively of the reductive and the sublimative types of unification.

How are Proposed Principles of Synthesis Recommended?

How does a philosopher persuade himself and try to persuade others to accept the kind of synthesis which he proposes?

In former times the method was often, ostensibly at any rate, deductive. Certain very general premises were accepted by a philosopher as
self-evident synthetic propositions. He either assumed that other persons would find them self-evident at once, or, if not, he tried to

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remove confusions and misunderstandings and to place his readers in a position in which they could contemplate these premises for
themselves. He hoped and expected that they too would find them self-evident.

In recent times speculative philosophers have more and more tended to abandon this method.

Certain very general premises were accepted by a philosopher as self-evident synthetic propositions. He either assumed that other
persons would find them self-evident at once, or, if not, he tried to remove confusions and misunderstandings and to place his readers in a
position in which they could contemplate these premises for themselves. He hoped and expected that they too would find them self-
evident.

I offer as a conclusion to the different notions expressed concerning the method/s and the methodology of
philosophy the following suggestions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_methodology

I make comments in this statement of philosophy and its methods/methodologies.

Philosophical method (or philosophical methodology) is the (intersubjective, socio-cultural practice ,


discipline or discourse employing and based on agreements or norms accepted by and institutionalized in the
particular schools of or moments in philosophy of the philosophical discourse, if not accepted by the entire
discourse, that is all the schools and movements that constitute it) study of how to do philosophy. A common
view among philosophers is that philosophy is distinguished by the ways that philosophers follow in
addressing philosophical questions. There is not just one method (I suggest that this article means that there
exist different techniques at different stages of doing philosophy, or at different stages of theorizing, instead of
different, available, mutually exclusive methods or approaches for a particular stage or context) that
philosophers use to answer philosophical questions.

Systematic philosophy is a generic term that applies to philosophical methods and approaches that attempt to
provide a framework in reason (This is not one exclusive method of philosophy but one aspect, one stage of
philosophical investigation or theorizing) that can explain all questions and problems related to human life.(is it
not ALL life or rather existence? Ontology and metaphysics) Examples of systematic philosophers include
Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, and Hegel. (But what are the methods they used to do this? To build such
systems? Systematic philosophy is not one method but a label a classificatory term of their type of work or their
intentions) In many ways, any attempts to formulate a philosophical method that provides the ultimate
constituents of reality, a metaphysics, can be considered systematic philosophy. (Again this is used a a label a
classificatory term) In modern philosophy the reaction to systematic philosophy began with Kierkegaard and
continued in various forms through analytic philosophy, existentialism, hermeneutics, and deconstructionism.

Some common features of the methods (NOT methods, techniques or tools in the larger philosophical process
of theorizing or philosophical methodology) that philosophers follow (and discuss when discussing
philosophical method) include:

Methodic doubt - a systematic process of being skeptical about (or doubting) the truth of one's
beliefs. (and all underlying assumptions and implicit pre-suppositions or transcendentals as in the
case of Kant).
Argument - provide an argument or several arguments supporting the solution.(by means of
coherent, logical reasoning and sound arguments0
Dialectic - present the solution and arguments for criticism by other philosophers, and help them
judge their own.

Doubt and the sense of wonder

Plato said that "philosophy begins in wonder", a view which is echoed by Aristotle: "It was their wonder,
astonishment, that first led men to philosophize and still leads them." Philosophizing may begin with some

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simple doubts about accepted beliefs. The initial impulse to philosophize may arise from suspicion, for
example that we do not fully understand, and have not fully justified, even our most basic beliefs about the
world. (doubt as a way, a method to question and problematize things)

Formulate questions and problems (problem statements!)

Another element of philosophical method is to formulate questions to be answered or problems to be solved.


The working assumption is that the more clearly the question or problem (the process of problematization) is
stated, the easier it is to identify critical issues. (It is called problem statements, creating alternative problem
statements.)

A relatively small number of major philosophers prefer not to be quick, but to spend more time trying to get
extremely clear on what the problem is all about. (Paying a great deal of attention to alternative problem
statements so as to select the most accurate and detailed one.)

Enunciate a solution

Another approach is to(1) enunciate a theory , or (2) to offer a definition or analysis, which constitutes an
attempt to solve a philosophical problem. (This is a method and approach? Where does this THEORY come
from? Philosophers invent them by speculation? Surely a lot of prior work would have to be executed to
fabricate such a THEORY?) Sometimes a philosophical theory by itself can be stated quite briefly.(?? really) All
the supporting philosophical text is offered by way of hedging, (Broad illustrates how this works in detail,
attempts to provide solutions from particular cases, generalize mistakenly to all cases, false hypotheses and
proposals) explanation, and argument. (see Broad who from his scientific background, has a number of things to
say about developing and using theories in science and reductionism, sublimation and deductionism in
philosophy. How are Principles of Synthesis Discovered? gives details of how philosophers do this. remarks
on the general procedure of speculative philosophers.What often happens is this. A philosopher is strongly
impressed by some feature which is highly characteristic of a certain important region of fact, and which within
that region is felt to be completely intelligible and a source of satisfactory explanations..Finally, he tries to
show that this principle is, in fact, operative in those regions in which it seemed at first sight not to be so. In this
way, he feels that he has discovered order and unity pervading the collection of various regions of fact which he
is surveying synoptically. Now the speculative philosopher naturally wants to unify and synthesize such a
hierarchy, and he is often tempted to do it in one or other of two opposite ways. These might be called
respectively Reduction and Sublimation. The reductive type of unification tries to show that the features which
are characteristic of the higher levels are analyzable without remainder into those which belong to the lower
levels. Just the same laws hold throughout, but we have different and more special collocations of the same
elements at the higher levels; and the occurrence of those special collocations is itself explicable from the laws
and collocations characteristic of the lowest level. The sublimative type of unification tries to show that the
features which seem to be peculiar to the higher levels are really present in a latent or a specially simplified or a
degenerate form at the lower levels. It may even try to show that features which seem to be typical of the lowest
levels are partially misleading appearances of features which are typical of the highest levels.)

Not all proposed solutions to philosophical problems consist of definitions or generalizations. (such as?
Examples please) Sometimes what is called for is a certain sort of explanation not a causal explanation, but
an explanation for example of how two different views, which seem to be contrary to one another, can be
held at the same time, consistently. One can call this a philosophical explanation. (See the above comments
and philosophical explanation of how this is done by Broad. Broad himself uses this technique in the whole of
his article). (These are truly baffling comments, especially as they are presented as truthful generalizations)

Justify the solution

A argument is a set of statements, one of which (the conclusion), it is said or implied, follows from the others
(the premises). One might think of arguments as bundles of reasons often not just a list, but logically
interconnected statements followed by the claim they are reasons for. The reasons are the premises, the claim
they support is the conclusion; together they make an argument. (See Formal methods in Philosophy by
Schoubye for details on the formal aspects of arguments and reasoning, very detailed and complex). (also see
Thouless: Straight and Crooked thinking for correct arguments and different fallacies. Available as free PDF
download here: http://neglectedbooks.com/Straight_and_Crooked_Thinking.pdf Straight and Crooked

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Thinking, first published in 1930 and revised in 1953, is a book by Robert H. Thouless which
describes, assesses and critically analyses flaws in reasoning and argument.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_and_Crooked_Thinking Synopsis of Thirty-eight fallacies
discussed in the book. (Brtoad selects a few of these that according to him are frequently ,
illegally not validly, employed by philosophers. He uses his own terms to refer to them).
Among them are:

No. 3. proof by example, biased sample, cherry picking


No. 6. ignoratio elenchi: "red herring"
No. 9. false compromise/middle ground
No. 12. argument in a circle
No. 13. begging the question
No. 17. equivocation
No. 18. false dilemma: black and white thinking
No. 19. continuum fallacy (fallacy of the beard)
No. 21. ad nauseam: "argumentum ad nauseam" or "argument from repetition" or
"argumentum ad infinitum"
No. 25. style over substance fallacy
No. 28. appeal to authority
No. 31. thought-terminating clich
No. 36. special pleading
No. 37. appeal to consequences
No. 38. appeal to motive

Thinking portal

List of cognitive biases


List of common misconceptions
List of fallacies
List of memory biases
List of topics related to public relations and propaganda )

Philosophical arguments and justifications are another important part of philosophical method. It is rare
to find a philosopher, particularly in the Western philosophical tradition, who lacks many arguments.
Philosophers are, or at least are expected to be, very good at giving arguments. They constantly demand and
offer arguments for different claims they make. ( To make and argument is to provide a bundle of reasons
that are logically interconnected or coherent so as to be able to arrive at and make a or draw a certain
conclusion. The statements are followed by a claim for something to be the case or not. The argument/s support
the claim, the conclusion that is arrived at or made). (As we shall see in the quotes below a good argument is
clear, well organized and a sound statement of a number of interconnected or coherent reasons for why one is
able and it is legitimate to say something or to make a certain claim or draw a certain conclusion.)

This therefore indicates that philosophy is a quest for arguments.(Really? Arguments have very specific
functions in philosophical writing, investigation, description and communication. Another unfounded
generalization) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument n philosophy and logic, an argument is a series of
statements typically used to persuade someone of something or to present reasons for accepting a
conclusion.[1][2] The general form of an argument in a natural language is that of premises (typically in the form
of propositions, statements or sentences) in support of a claim: the conclusion.[3][4][5] The structure of some
arguments can also be set out in a formal language, and formally defined "arguments" can be made
independently of natural language arguments, as in math, logic, and computer science.

In a typical deductive argument, the premises guarantee the truth of the conclusion, while in an inductive
argument, they are thought to provide reasons supporting the conclusion's probable truth.[6] The standards for
evaluating non-deductive arguments may rest on different or additional criteria than truth, for example, the

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persuasiveness of so-called "indispensability claims" in transcendental arguments,[7] the quality of hypotheses in
retroduction, or even the disclosure of new possibilities for thinking and acting.[8]

The standards and criteria used in evaluating arguments and their forms of reasoning are studied in logic.[9]
Ways of formulating arguments effectively are studied in rhetoric (see also: argumentation theory). An
argument in a formal language shows the logical form of the symbolically represented or natural language
arguments obtained by its interpretations.)

Argument at PhilPapers

Argument at the Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project

"Argument". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.http://www.iep.utm.edu/argument/ The focus of this article


is on understanding an argument as a collection of truth-bearers (that is, the things that bear truth and falsity, or
are true and false) some of which are offered as reasons for one of them, the conclusion. This article takes
propositions rather than sentences or statements or utterances to be the primary truth bearers. The reasons
offered within the argument are called premises, and the proposition that the premises are offered for is called
the conclusion.

The Structural Approach to Characterizing Arguments

1. The Pragmatic Approach to Characterizing Arguments


2. Deductive, Inductive, and Conductive Arguments
3. Conclusion
4. References and Further Reading

A good argument a clear, organized, and sound statement of reasons may ultimately cure the
original doubts that motivated us to take up philosophy. If one is willing to be satisfied without any good
supporting reasons, then a Western philosophical approach may not be what one actually requires.
https://www3.nd.edu/~jspeaks/courses/2008-9/10100-spring/_LECTURES/2%20-%20arguments.pdf
http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/arg/goodarg.php Argument analysis

A01. What is an argument?


A02. The standard format
A03. Validity
A04. Soundness
A05. Valid patterns
A06. Validity and relevance
A07. Hidden Assumptions
A08. Inductive Reasoning
A09. Good Arguments
A10. Argument mapping
A11. Analogical Arguments
A12. More valid patterns
A13. Arguing with other people

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/logical-and-critical-thinking/0/steps/9153

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https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/logical-and-critical-thinking/0/steps/9152

So far we have talked about the kind of support that can be given for conclusions: deductive
and non-deductive. But we havent said anything yet about whether the premises are true or not. This is what we
do when we evaluate whether arguments are sound or cogent.

Validity and strength of arguments do not on their own tell us whether arguments are good or bad. Weve
actually seen rubbish arguments that were valid. Thats why we need to introduce two further concepts for
arguments: being sound and being cogent.

Sound Arguments

Definition: A sound argument is a valid argument that has true premises.

Firstly, a sound argument is a deductive argument. Its trying to establish conclusive support for its conclusion.
Secondly, the argument is valid: the premises, if true, would guarantee that the conclusion is also true. And on
top of all that, the premises are actually true. Therefore, a sound argument guarantees that its conclusion is true.

We say that a sound argument is a good argument. It is a good argument because it guarantees that the
conclusion is true. It would be irrational for you not to believe the conclusion of a sound argument.

Of course, sound arguments are very rare, because theyre very hard to establish. But, some arguments are
sound.

For example:

The province of Qubec is part of Canada. Patrick was born in Qubec. Therefore, Patrick was born in Canada.

This is a valid argument. Can you see why?

Furthermore, the premises are true: Qubec is indeed part of Canada, and Patrick was indeed born in Qubec.
Hence, you can be absolutely certain that Patrick was born in Canada, and you ought to believe that Patrick was
born in Canada. Theres no way around it.

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Here are some more examples of sound arguments:

I drank coffee this morning; therefore, I drank something this morning.

Patrick got married on January 4, 2014. Patrick has not been divorced, and Patrick is not a widower. Therefore,
Patrick is not a bachelor.

It is true that Patrick got married on January 4, 2014, that he has not divorced and that he is not a widower. So
Patrick is not a bachelor because a bachelor is an unmarried male, by definition.

Cogent Arguments

Now, what about non-deductive arguments? For non-deductive arguments, we introduce the notion of a cogent
argument.

Definition: A cogent argument is a strong non-deductive argument that has true premises.

And again, we say that cogent arguments are good. A cogent argument is by definition non-deductive, which
means that the premises are intended to establish probable (but not conclusive) support for the conclusion.

Furthermore, a cogent argument is strong, so the premises, if they were true, would succeed in providing
probable support for the conclusion. And finally, the premises are actually true. So the conclusion indeed
receives probable support.

Heres an example:

Patrick was born in North America and Patrick wasnt born in Mexico. Its thus quite probable that Patrick was
born in the USA.

That is a cogent argument. If all you know about Patrick is whats contained in the premises, and those premises
are true (they are!), then thats a fairly strong argument, because the population of the USA is over 300 000 000,
whereas that of Canada is under 40 000 000. This means that the odds that Patrick was born in the USA are
roughly 88%, which makes the support for the conclusion quite strong. Furthermore, the premises are true.
Therefore, the argument is cogent, and so it is a good argument.

This means that we can have good arguments that have false conclusions!

Heres another example:

I had coffee this morning. Therefore, its quite likely that I drank something this morning.

This is a strong argument with true premises, so it is cogent and therefore, good. But the conclusion is not
guaranteed. It may be that I had coffee this morning by eating it, or by some other means. But of course, this is
very unlikely, so the argument is strong, though its still possible that the conclusion is false. Still, this is cogent
and therefore, a good argument.

Patrick Girard, University of Auckland

Philosophical criticism (by and among colleagues and other philosophers that form part of the
intersubjective discourse of philosophy or a particular school of or movement in it, usually from a
specialized field).

In philosophy, which concerns the most fundamental aspects of the universe, the experts all disagree.( (First of
all they dis/agree about what philosophy is and is not, what it must be and what it may be; then they disagree

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with those from other schools and movements of philosophy and finally with those from the same school or
movement as their own. All this occurs on agreed intersubjective, institutionalized and internalized socio-
cultural norms, practices, rules and standards that constitute the current or contemporary philosophical discourse
in general and their own school or moment in particular. ) It follows that another element of philosophical
method, common (socio-culturally institutionalize in their particular school or movement of philosophy and
internalized and adhered to be individuals constituting that school, movement or approach) in the work of nearly
all philosophers, is philosophical criticism. It is this that makes much philosophizing a(n institutionalized) social
(a socio-cultural practice and intersubjective discourse) endeavour.

Philosophers offer definitions and explanations in (to try and obtain a) solution to problems (or to attempt
and dissolve those problems) ; they argue for those solutions; and then other philosophers provide counter
arguments, expecting to eventually come up with better solutions. This exchange and resulting revision of
views is called dialectic. Dialectic (in one sense of this history-laden word) is simply philosophical
conversation amongst people who do not always agree with each other about everything.

One can do this sort of harsh criticism on one's own, but others can help greatly, if important assumptions are
shared with the person offering the criticisms. Others are able to think of criticisms from another perspective.

Some philosophers and ordinary people dive right in and start trying to solve the problem. They immediately
start giving arguments, pro and con, on different sides of the issue. Doing philosophy is different from this. It is
about questioning assumptions, digging for deeper understanding. Doing philosophy is about the journey,
the process, as much as it is about the destination, the conclusion. Its method differs from other disciplines, in
which the experts can agree about most of the fundamentals.

Motivation

Method in philosophy is in some sense rooted in motivation (it is a passion for a need of certain individuals, the
wonder and astonishment of Plato and Aristotle), only by understanding why people take up philosophy can
one properly understand what philosophy is. (The article of Buddy Seed deals at length with details of the
why do philosophy, the reasons, the passion for it, the authentic philosopher, the authentic and inauthentic
philosophical life and philosophy and ways of doing philosophy and reasons for doing philosophy).

People often find themselves believing things that they do not understand. For example, about God, themselves,
the natural world, human society, morality and human productions. Often, people fail to understand what it is
they believe (and how this what of their believes are determined by implicit underlying transcendentals such
assumptions and pre-suppositions. These assumptions concern many things, for example the philosophers
acceptance of the principles of a certain school or movement, certain methods and norms concerning other
aspects of philosophical practice that frequently remains implicit and that people are unaware of) and fail to
understand the reasons they believe in what they do. Some people have questions about the meaning of their
beliefs and questions about the justification (or rationality) of their beliefs. A lack of these things shows a lack
of understanding, and some dislike not having this understanding.

These questions about are only the tip of the philosophical iceberg. There are many other things about this
universe about which people are also fundamentally ignorant. Philosophers are in the business of investigating
all sorts of those areas of ignorance.

A bewilderingly huge number of basic concepts are poorly understood. For example:

What does it mean to say that one thing causes another?


What is rationality? What are space and time?
What is beauty, and if it is in the eye of the beholder, then what is it that is being said to be in the eye
of the beholder?

One might also consider some of the many questions about justification. Human lives are deeply informed with
many basic assumptions. Different assumptions, would lead to different ways of living.

---------------------------------------------------------------

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Theories to consider if you wish to be involved in metaphysics, ontology and epistemology

The notion of inflation. Definition: A sound argument is a valid argument that has true premises.

David Marsh, of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge University, is not giving up on inflation
yet. The predictions of inflation developed by Stephen Hawking and others more than 30 years ago have been
tested by cosmological observations and faced those tests remarkably well. Many scientists regard inflation as a
simple and elegant explanation of the origin of galaxies in the universe, he said.

Or,

Scientists could soon find out whether light really did outpace gravity in the early universe. The theory predicts
a clear pattern in the density variations of the early universe, a feature measured by what is called the spectral
index. Writing in the journal Physical Review, the scientists predict a very precise spectral index of 0.96478,
which is close to the latest, though somewhat rough, measurement of 0.968.

Science can never prove the theory right. But Afshordi said that if measurements over the next five years shifted
the spectral index away from their prediction, it would rule out their own theory. If we are right then inflation
is wrong. But the problem with inflation is that you can always fine tune it to fit anything you want, he said.

And

Magueijo and Afshordis theory does away with inflation and replaces it with a variable speed of light.
According to their calculations, the heat of universe in its first moments was so intense that light and other
particles moved at infinite speed. Under these conditions, light reached the most distant pockets of the universe
and made it look as uniform as we see it today. In our theory, if you go back to the early universe, theres a
temperature when everything becomes faster. The speed of light goes to infinity and propagates much faster
than gravity, Afshordi said. Its a phase transition in the same way that water turns into steam.

Magueijo and Afshordi came up with their theory to explain why the cosmos looks much the same over vast
distances. To be so uniform, light rays must have reached every corner of the cosmos, otherwise some regions
would be cooler and more dense than others. But even moving at 1bn km/h (The speed of light in a vacuum is
considered to be one of the fundamental constants of nature. Thanks to Einsteins theory of general relativity, it
was stamped in the annals of physics more than a century ago at about 1bn km/h. But while general relativity is
one of the cornerstones of modern physics, scientists know that the rules of today did not hold at the birth of the
universe.), light was not travelling fast enough to spread so far and even out the universes temperature
differences.

The multiverse (other universes or alternative universes) -

The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of possible universes, including the universe in which
we live. Together, these universes comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, energy,
and the physical laws and constants that describe them.

The various universes within the multiverse are called "parallel universes", "other universes" or "alternative
universes."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Astronomy

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Cosmology

In this section we will look at the process of theorizing or what theorizing is not according to Weicks comments
on Sutton and Staw
(http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=00018392%28199509%2940%3A3%3C371%3AWTIN%3E2.0.CO%3B2-F)
What theory is not, theorizing is Weick, Karl E Administrative Science Quarterly; Sep 1995; 40, 3;
ABI/INFORM Global. As well as the article by DiMaggio in Administrative Science Quarterly Vol 40 no 3 Sept
1995 pages 391-397.Comments on What theory is Not. Weick; http://www.jstor.org/stable/258556 Theory
Construction as disciplined imagination.
The importance of this article by DiMaggio is because he suggests other kinds of theory. That of course will
change the whole picture as presented by Weick and Theory or not, as suggested by Sutton and Staw.
Cornelissen, J.P. (2006) Making sense of theory construction: Metaphor and disciplined imagination.
Organization Studies, 27 (11). pp. 1579-1597 can be mentioned for the reasons that he improves, according to
him, Weicks work by adding the use of the optimality principles and that he explicitly states that Weick deals
with (imagining apt and meaningful metaphors in artificial selection or evolutionary epistemology) Metaphor
(organizational improvisation as jazz and organizational behavior as collective mind which Weick himself
has imagined, selected and advanced in his writings) He suggests that these metaphors fulfil and adhere to
optimality principles (*the integration principle; topology principle, web principle, unpacking principle, good
reason principle, metonymic tightening principle, distance principle, concreteness principle,) and stress the
importance of it in Weicks work when he discusses creative imagination and theory or theorizing. These
metaphors have created new images and theoretical representations of organizations. Cornelissen suggests that
adhering to the principles will extend and improve Weicks take on theorizing as disciplined imagination.
Both metaphors are good examples of how metaphors lead to emergent meaning (and cannot therefore be
reduced to the meanings of its component parts), and as such have enriched the conceptualization (and
subsequent understanding) of organizational improvisation and organizational behavior and have generated
novel inferences and conjectures, these metaphors were also found to be apt and fitting to the target subjects
that they are meant to illuminate,
We (Cornelissen) argue that this is primarily the result of these two metaphors adhering to a set of specific
principles known as the optimality principles; a set of constraints under which metaphorical blends are most
effective. As a whole, the eight optimality principles are the following*, with the first six the original ones
proposed by Fauconnier and Turner (1998, 2002; see also Coulson 2001; Coulson and Oakley 2000): the
integration, topology, web, unpacking, good reason, metonymic tightening, distance and concreteness
principles. These principles are derived from standard pressures that obtain in all mapping situations including
metaphorical mappings (see
Hofstadter 1995, for a review). The organizational improvisation as jazz metaphor satisfies most of these
principles including the integration, topology, web, unpacking, good reason, metonymic tightening and
concreteness principles. The organizational behavior as collective mind equally satisfies a multitude of
principles including the integration, topology, web, unpacking, good reason, metonymic tightening and distance
principles. Cornelissen discusses them in detail on pages 17- 24.

Kayla Booth sums up Weick - Theorizing by Weick Regarding "What Theory is Not, Theorizing IS" by
Kayla Booth says this

Kayla Booth "What Theory is Not, Theorizing Is"


Karl E. Weick Argument Based on Process:

Theory as an end product vs. theory as a process.

Theory in the making! Conclusion The Gist Argument Theorizing Response to Sutton and Staw "Benefit of the
Doubt Piece":

This is not theory because


1) The author is lazy
2) The author is not there... yet Argument
Is Theory itself a Continuum or is the Process of Creating Theory a Continuum?

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"What Theory is Not, Theorizing Is" or
"What Theory is Not, Theorizing Can Be"

1) Sutton and Staw's 5 Parts are part of the process of making theory, reliant on context
2) Authors should articulate where they are in the process of theory creation, instead of calling it complete
3) Theory is a continuum
4) Nuances of language and original concepts may help further develop these components

In What theory is not, theorizing is Weick states that he wishes to deal with the process of theorizing rather
than the product. He agrees with Sutton and Staw that : Theory is not something one "adds" to data, or
something that one transforms from weaker to stronger by means of graphics or references, or can be feigned by
flashy conceptual performance. He suggests that references, lists, diagrams, data and hypotheses might not be
theories but can refer to theoretical development in the early stages. He then decides to look at the theorizing
process with the reminder that most theories are approximate theories and not strong theories and Merton
says they take four forms:
* general orientations
* analysis of concepts
* post-fact interpretation from a single observation
* empirical generalization
While they are not full theories, they can serve as means to further development.

Like Sutton and Shaw say, it is hard in this low-paradigm field to spot which efforts are theory and which are
not. Theory can take a variety of forms and is a continuum .
One can also go directly from data to prescription without a theory, as doctors go from symptoms to treatment
without a diagnosis sometimes. Data, lists, diagrams are not theory but can help point to and elaborate
theories.
We have the definition of theory as a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something,
especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. It belongs to a family of
words that include hypothesis, thesis, conjecture, supposition, speculation, postulation, postulate, proposition,
premise, surmise, assumption, presupposition; opinion, view, belief, contention . p.389 The process of
theorizing consists of activities like abstracting, generalizing, relating, selecting, explaining, synthesizing,
and idealizing. These ongoing activities intermittently spin out reference lists, data, lists of variables,
diagrams, and lists of hypotheses. Those emergent products summarize progress, give direction, and serve
as place makers. They have vestiges of theory but are not themselves theories. Then again, few things are full-
fledged theories.

. The ongoing activities often create the lists, diagrams, etc. that eventually can become real theory.
"Those emergent products summarize progress, give direction, and serve as place makers. I suspect that
tight coupling between treatments and symptoms, with belated theorizing of the outcomes, is a fairly common
tactic in theory construction. In my own ASQ paper re-analyzing the Mann Gulch disaster (Weick, 1993), the
argument developed partially by taking the Mann Gulch data as symptoms and, through a series of thought
trials corresponding to treatments, seeing which concepts made a difference in those symptoms. This exercise
in disciplined imagination resulted eventually in the theory that sense making collapses when role structures
collapse

Weick develops his own ideas further in many articles and books, for example in Theory
construction as disciplined imagination.
DiMaggio says that the problem is even more important than as stated by Sutton and Staw as there are three
additional issues. 1 There is more than one kind of theory. Theory as covering laws
Some traditional theories are simply statements of the world as we see it. (This sounds like some traditional
speculative metaphysical systems.) Here researchers often scurry about looking for high r-squares and
explanations.

Theory as enlightenment

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A device of sudden enlightenment. This kind of theory is complex, de-familiarizing, and rich in paradox. It's a
"surprise machine".

Theory as narrative
An account of a social process with tests of the plausibility of the narrative. Sutton and Shaw have a version
of this in mind when they talk about theory. Yet explanation means accounting for variance.

2. Good Theory Splits the Difference


Many of the best theories are hybrids of the above approaches. One problem is that these approaches are
driven by different values and purposes.

Clarity vs De-familiarization
One must balance the act of helping readers see the world with new words/eyes without confusing them too
much.

Focus vs Multidimensionality
One person's multidimensionality is another persons goulash. One persons focus is anothers reductionism.

Comprehensiveness vs Memorability
Sometimes our search for novelty causes us to overlook the most important variables (though uninteresting).

Theory Construction is Social Construction, often after the fact.

Resonance
"The reception of a theory is shaped by the extent to which a theory resonates with the cultural
presuppositions of the time and of the scientific audience that consumes it". The environment in which
evolutionary arguments are released changes. Cultural change modifies the metaphors that we think with.

Theories into Slogans


People often simplify the things they read until they fit into pre-existing schemas. If a paper is widely read by
others not expert in the original field it gets further refined and simplified. New ideas get lumped into either
"hard" or "soft" intuitive notions.

Post hoc theory construction


Theories are socially constructed after they are written. Its a cooperative venture between writer and readers.
We often reduce theories to slogans.

I really wished to return to Weick and his Theory Construction as Disciplined Imagination. I already included
details about Cornelissens article on this work by Weick in which he suggested the use of the eight optimality
principles. Some descriptions (metaphors) of Weick adhere more to these principles while others fail to adhere
to all of them. However I wish to concentrate on a few points made by Weick himself.

p.516 Theorists often write trivial theories because their process of theory construction is hemmed in by
methodological structures that favor validation rather than usefulness (Lindblom, 1987, p. 512)..

The process of theory construction in organizational studies is portrayed as imagination disciplined by


evolutionary processes analogous to artificial selection. p.516 Theorizing consists of disciplined imagination
that unfolds in a manner analogous to artificial selection. (variation, selection, retention). In other words the
theorist will make variations on many things, eg concepts used, stating the problem, on the variables,
conjectures, hypotheses, generalizations etc for example by virtual or imaginary experiments. They will make
selections and retain only certain things.

p.519 When theorists build theory, they design, conduct, and interpret imaginary experiments. In doing so,
their activities resemble the three processes of evolution: variation, selection, and retention. p.519 These
evolutionary processes are guided by representations of the environment, not by the environment itself. The
radar emissions are a substitute for actually moving through the environment.

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p.520-521 The theoretical problem that trial and error thinking tries to solve is equivalent to the adaptation
problem that trial and error locomotion tries to solve... the likelihood of a solution is determined in part by the
way the environment is represented or perceived... solutions... are more likely to be discovered where the
representations are fuller. Whether the problem is to find an explanation or a competitive advantage, fuller
descriptions suggest a greater number of possibilities.

p.522 In general, a theorizing process characterized by a greater number of diverse conjectures produces
better theory than a process characterized by a smaller number of homogeneous conjectures.
The key property is heterogeneity among thought trials. The advantage of blind-variation, after which thought
trials are modeled, is that the process can be "smarter" than the people who run it.

p.522 Blind alleys will be searched longer and more deeply when classification is weak or ignored than when it
is strong and heeded.

p.524 Given the laboratory for rejecting hypotheses, science will develop most rapidly when the widest range of
guesses is being tried [Campbell, 1961, p. 21] Execute imaginary experiments with concepts, problem
statements, metaphors, representations, the optimality principles, generalizations, hypotheses, etc
p.524 In an earlier example... it was argued that a reaction such as "that's interesting" was sufficient to
selectively retain a conjecture, independent of efforts to verify it. Eventual attempts at verification may occur
sometime later but, for reasons discussed... the value of a theory does not ride on the outcome of those tests. The
reason it does not is that validation is not the key task of social science. It might be if we could do it, but we
can't - and neither can economists

p.524 If valid knowledge is difficult, if not impossible to attain in social science, then this puts theorizing
and selection in a different light. Theorizing is no longer just a preliminary to the real work of
verification, but instead it may involve a major portion of whatever verification is possible within the
social sciences.

p.524 The generic selection criterion that seems to operate most often in theorizing and that substitutes
for validation [JLJ - Weick is referring here to the social sciences] is the judgment, "that's plausible."

p.525 Whenever one reacts with the feeling that's interesting, that reaction is a clue that current
experience has been tested against past experience, and the past understanding has been found
inadequate.

p.525 A disconfirmed assumption is an opportunity for a theorist to learn something new, to discover something
unexpected, to generate renewed interest in an old question (make assumptions explicit and identify them and
their implications)

p.526 A disconfirmed assumption interrupts a layman's well-organized activities and plans, but it accelerates the
completion of the theorist's well-organized activities and plans. Those differential effects suggest that each
should experience quite different emotional reactions to the experience of disconfirmed assumptions... theorists
should like disconfirmed assumptions because they accelerate the completion of their intention to build
interesting theory.

Theorists are both the source of variation and selection in choosing the form of the problem statement
and select their thought trials to solve the problem.

p.517 By theory we mean "an ordered set of assertions about a generic behavior or structure assumed to
hold throughout a significantly broad range of specific instances" (Sutherland, 1975, p. 9). To understand a
model, the terms theory, validation, and quality of theory are defined. Theory building involves simultaneous
parallel processing, not sequential thinking.

The greater the number of diverse criteria applied to a conjecture, the higher the probability that those
conjectures will result a good theory. Selection criteria (develop and apply them during the entire process of
theorizing) must be applied consistently. To retain the theory, the theory statement should be obvious,
connected, believable, beautiful, and real.
p.517 The lesson to be learned is that any process must be designed to highlight relationships, connections,
and interdependencies in the phenomenon of interest.

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p.518 Campbell (1974, p. 415) argued that the process of knowledge building is an evolutionary sequence that
involves trials in the form of conjectures and errors in the form of refutations. Thus, as Popper (1966) said,
imagination becomes a "benign environment that permits our hypotheses to die in our stead." Learning is
viewed as a cumulative achievement, and theorizing is viewed as "selective propagation of those few social
constructions that refer more competently to their presumed ontological referents" (Campbell, 1986, p. 118).
Selection of these more competent social constructions is done either by the external environment or by
mental selectors that represent that external environment and select on its behalf (Campbell, 1974, p.430).

p.519 Most existing descriptions of the theorizing process assume that validation is the ultimate test of a theory
and that theorizing itself is more credible the more closely it simulates external validation at every step... These
concerns can be counterproductive to theory generation.

p.519 researchers should view theory construction as sense making (e.g. Astley, 1985). Durbin (1976) pointed
the way to this usage when he remarked that "a theory tries to make sense out of the observable world by
ordering the relationships among elements that constitute the theorist's focus of attention in the real
world" (p. 26).
This article emphasizes that thought trials, representations, and mental selection should be taken into a
consideration in the theory construction. A combination of experience, practice, convention to select among
conjectures, and imagined (simulated) reality should be used in the process of theory building. This
compromise presents some similar discussions as other articles in the theory building domain. Weick (1989)
states the importance of imagination in the process of theory construction. He believes that imagination in
theorizing results from diversity of problem statements and trial and error thinking
. Such idea is close to Daft (1983) in the article Learning the Craft of Organizational Research that suggests
an innovative organization research method that differs from traditional research that primarily put an attention
on quantitative or qualitative research methods. Moreover, theory for Weick (1989) is not simply a category of
fact.This thought is similar to Bacharach(1989) in the article Organizational Theories: Some Criteria for
Evaluation, which represents that a theory is different from categorization of data, typologies, and metaphors.

http://johnljerz.com/superduper/tlxdownloadsiteWEBSITEII/id87.html

I mention a few points that I found of importance in Weicks article. Problem, problem statements in my view
can change as one develops a theory. Additional problems can be added and problems can be stated in greater
detail with new perspective that arrive during the development of the theory. As Weick suggest accuracy and
great detail is essential in stating the problems to be dealt with by a theory.I think that apart from the problem/s
to be investigated problems concerning the development or evolvement of the theory might also occur and they
should be distinguished from the problems in the problem statements. To deal with the problems data would
have to be collected, even though such a brain dump or phenomenological vision of problems might not be
accurate. Theorizing is not one-dimensional but multi-dimensional and one must remain open to the fact
simultaneously, parallel processing is required and not simplistic linear thinking. Many cognitive skills will be
required to function at the same time for example sense making, ordering, selection, creative thinking, adding
new concepts, being aware of the implications of the concepts and terms use, etc. One should also remain aware
of the main functional and unnecessary internal and external limits and constraints, such as boundaries, are
operating at every step of the process of theorizing. One can take as example conjectures or suggestions to be
dealt with. One will be involved all the time in imaginary experiments and solutions, designing them,
conducting and interpreting them.
Weick highlights this by his three evolutionary (epistemological) notions or processes of variation, selection and
retention.

The quality of theory produced is predicted to vary as a function of the accuracy and details present in the
problem statement that triggers theory building, the number of and independence among the conjectures that
attempt to solve the problem, and the number and diversity of selection criteria used to test the conjectures

An essential ingredient in Weicks disciplined imagination involves his assertion that thought trials and
theoretical representations typically involve a transfer from one epistemic sphere to another through the creative
use of metaphor.

The article follows up on this point and draws out how metaphor works, how processes of metaphorical
imagination partake in theory construction, and how insightful metaphors and the theoretical representations that
result from them can be selected.

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The paper also includes a discussion of metaphors-in-use (organizational improvisation as jazz and
organizational behaviour as collective mind) which Weick proposed in his own writings

The whole purpose of this exercise is to theoretically augment and ground the concept of disciplined
imagination, and in particular to refine the nature of thought trials and selection within it.

In doing so, he also aims to provide pointers for the use of metaphorical imagination in the process of theory
construction.

It is argued that interest is a substitute for validation during theory construction, middle range theories are a
necessity if the process is to be kept manageable, and representations such as metaphors are inevitable, given the
complexity of the subject matter.

p.526 Generalists, people with moderately strong attachments to many ideas, should be hard to interrupt and,
once interrupted, should have weaker, shorter negative reactions since they have alternate paths to realize their
plans... Generalists should be the upbeat, positive people in the profession, while specialists should be their
grouchy, negative counterparts.

p.528 The view that theory construction involves imagination disciplined by the processes of artificial selection
has a variety of implications and raises a number of questions.

p.529 The assessment that's interesting has figured prominently throughout, because it has been viewed as
a substitute for vaildity... The reaction that's interesting essentially signifies that an assumption has been
falsified.

p.529 The choice is not whether to do mental testing. Instead, the choice is how well this less than ideal
procedure can be used to improve the quality of theoretical thinking.

Weick sees the theorist as the creator, executioner and maintainer of epistemological evolution. He must deal
with the problem statements he creates in a certain manner. He should introduce and consider as many relevant
aspects and details of the problems as possible. His statements should be accurate and detailed and making
explicit all assumptions. This will be done against the background or in the context of the three processes of
evolution that his theorizing will resemble. He will design, conduct and interpret his theorizing as if it is
executing artificial selection that consists of imaginary experiments. The three principles underlying this
selection are closed related and consists of the three activities of variation, selection and retention. Something
like the survival of the fittest (the most relevant, functional, meaningful and necessary) in natural evolution.
Variations of problem solving of and conjectures of the problem statements will be made and judgements by
means of what is interesting, plausible, consistent and appropriate must be executed.
Selection criteria by means of conjectures (about what should be retained and what must be rejected) during
thought trials (employing mental experiments or simulations) will alter the conjectures, delete some, modify
others and include new ones. Imagination for example employs a technique of metaphors as cognitive/heuristic
devices. Simulated images are employed for theoretical representation as aids to learning, exploration, discovery
and problems solving. According to Cornelissen, good examples of such metaphors are: trap door of depression,
a word painting or picture, boiling mad, clean slates. These metaphors fulfil the criteria, he sets out, for the best
metaphors to be used in this context.

The problem statements will present the imagined thought trials with problems to be solved, investigated,
explained, dis/confirmed and identifying meaningful domain words and sets of assumptions concerning these
things. Smaller or middle range theories will deal with solutions that have limited and explicit assumptions,
accuracy of the problem specification in detail.
The thought trials will employ metaphorical variation (as analysed by Cornelissen in detail and with his
suggestions to improve this technique) so as to create a number of them with a great diversity. They will present
conjectures as ways to dis/solve the problem. For this diverse, heterogeneous conjectures are required. Thought
trials should be eclectic with periphery cases that are often under-explore. This is where the function of selection
criteria comes in. They enable the manipulation of the selection process to retain that what is plausible.
Validation is not the key task of social sciences so selection criteria of conjectures to be created replace
validation. The theorist must control the choice of the conjectures. The value of social science do not lie in
validated knowledge but in the suggestion (propositions) of relationships and connections that change our
perspective on an issue.
Weicks suggests theory construction as a process that involves imagination (by the use of metaphors and
imaginary experiences) and that is disciplined by selection criteria (leading to the development of conjectures,

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variation, selection, aptness, judgements of plausibility, dis/confirmed assumptions). Cornelissen re-states terms
used by Weick by the application of the eight principles, for example thats concrete is the topology principle
(preserve a relations structure, for example organizational as collective mind) thats obvious is the integration
principle (concepts or domains that are unrelated are brought together), etc. Other optimality principles that are
employed in mapping situations, for example at the level of thought trials and that can add to variation in such
trials by conceptual blending as in the case of metaphors, as stated before, are the web (maintain mappings to
input concepts), unpacking (mapping schemes, other applications), good reason (significant elements,
managerial, scanning, interpretation of concept as calling concept by another name), metonymic tightening
(elements in the blend and the input), target and source concepts must be from distant domains, concreteness
(select concrete not abstract concepts to blend with target concept) principles.
To summarize Weicks disciplinary imagination.
Construct theoretical representations, not merely deduct them from the problem statement;
The logic (arguments?) used to develop and select representations by means of thought trials, simulation and
imaginary experiments;
Develop representations from heterogeneous variations;
Evolutionary epistemology, in the form of variation, selection and retention.
Variation of multiple and different images and metaphors that are apt, plausible (fulfilling the criteria of the
optimality principles); this will create new insights for a conceptual advance (search for new concepts is an
ongoing process of meaning construction).

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Generalizations and conclusions

In this articles I attempted to include a number of different things according to various perspectives and frames
of reference of what philosophy is. I did not view philosophy from what types of subject-matter, problems or
objects it is concerned with. I instead concentrated on the methodologies, the methods, the techniques, tools and
procedures employed for doing philosophy and during the activities and processes of philosophizing.
These things can be considered the data of our investigation. The will usually be applied during a narrative or a
description executed by the philosopher. Such a narrative will consist of different steps and stages that can
clearly be distinguished and differentiated from each other. It can occur on several levels simultaneously for
example that of first-order philosophy/izing and second-order or meta-philosophy/izing. The philosopher can
also employ other tools for example that of dialogue, by using different, opposing voices, at certain stages of
presenting the narrative.
The major point of my investigation was the nature of the process of theorizing. I found the methodologies,
methods, tools etc of philosophy as presented and described by the different authors very restrictive, often
misleading and taken out of the general context of philosophizing or philosophical theorizing.
My suggestion as a remedy for these symptoms is the idea that philosophical activities and what are presented as
the methods of different philosophical approaches and schools are in fact aspects of the process of theorizing.
Practitioners appear to be unaware of the general process of theorizing and the fact that what they perceive and
describe as a philosophical methodology and method are merely a stage in this general process or a single
isolated feature of this process.
I wish to make philosophers aware of these facts. And that they need to investigate the process/es of theorizing,
the different features and stage of this/these processes so that when they philosophize they will be aware of
what stage of theorizing they are in and what aspect or feature of philosophizing they are concerned with.
This is of course an aspect of meta-philosophy, a meta-philosophical view or critique executed simultaneously
with their first-order philosophical activity/ies, be they of the analytical, deconstructive, critical theory kind or
whatever method or approach they employ.
I was surprised, amazed and even shocked when I read what philosophers think they are doing and what they
say they or other philosophers are doing or have done. They appear to view their activities as if they exist and
are executed in isolation and as if what they do (their particular isolated technique and approach) are the entire
process of doing philosophy, of philosophizing. For example when they explore, investigate and analyse a
concept or sets of concepts, they consider and present this as THE, entire, philosophical method, while in fact it
is merely a certain, very common, frequently occurring feature of the process of theorizing (namely that one
must constantly explore ones concepts and experiment with alternative ones). The same can be said about other

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so-called methods philosophers think they are employing, for example the Continentals and their followers such
as the deconstructionists and the third and fourth generation critical theorists.
Serious philosophers do not have to fear, I do not criticize their adherence to the traditional methods of their
particular school. I do not suggest that they should get rid of them or do something alien. I merely wish that they
get into perspective what they, and other philosophers, are doing and what philosophers have done in the past.
Namely, they are theorizing, they are executing the process/es of theorizing, while being unaware of it, with the
consequence that they execute their doing of philosophy by means of their particular school or traditions
method as if that is all, the entire process, from the (always new never exhausted) beginning to the (never
ending|) end of philosophical theorizing, while in fact they are merely executing and concentrating on one or a
few features of philosophical theorizing and/or one or a few stages of the process of philosophical theorizing.

Now with these thoughts and suggestions of mine, let us look again at a summary of what Wick says concerning
theorizing and if what I have attempted to do in this article and my summary or conclusions in part 6 fulfil and
realize the points he makes here. If my suggestions do realize a point I while make a simple exclamation mark
next to it -

- Weick,
Karl. E., Theory Construction as Disciplined Imagination, Academy of
Management Review, 1989, 14:4 516-531.

"Theorists often write trivial theories because their process of theory construction is hemmed
in by methodological structures that favor validation rather than usefulness. (Lindblom,
1987). Too much validation takes away the value of imagination and selection in the process.

! I attempted to fulfil the useful, instrumental, practical function, although it seems to me


what I suggested will stand up against validation as well.

Theorizing consists of disciplined imagination that unfolds in a manner analogous to artificial


selection. It comes from the consistent application of selection criteria to "trial and error"
thinking and the "imagination" in theorizing comes from deliberate diversity introduced
into the problem statements, thought trials, and selection criteria that comprise that
thinking."

! What I suggested fulfilled these criteria, or adhered to these norms or standards.

A theory is "an ordered set of assertions about a generic behavior or structure assumed
to hold throughout a significantly broad range of specific instances."

! From my section or point 1 until my final point 6 I think I fulfilled this criteria, so that it
almost appears as if I created a theory of philosophizing or the doing of philosophy as a
process of theorizing.

Verification and validation mean the demonstration, beyond pure chance, that the ordered
relationship predicted by the hypothesis exists and thereby lends support to the hypothesis.
Proof is verification of a probabalistic statement. It is a statement of high reliability.

! yes or no?

A good theory is also a plausible theory, more interesing than obvious, irrelevant, or absurd,

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obvious in novel ways, a source of unexpected connections, high in narrative rationality,
aesthetically pleasing, etc.

! yes?

A good theory process should be designed to highlight relationships, connections and


interdependencies in the phenomenon of interest.

! relationships between the philosophical discourse, the processes of doing philosophy and
the processes of theorizing.

a) Knowledge growth by intention is when an explanation of a whole region is made


more and more clear and adequate. b)Knowledge growth by extension means a full
explanation of a small region is used to explained adjacent regions.

! yes to a) what I suggested can be applied to b)

Bourgeois states that theorizing process should weave back and forth between intuition and
data-based theorizing and between induction and deduction.

! did I go backwards and forwards between data and the making of inductions and deductions
and between expressing intuitions and data based ? yes

Most theory theorists describe it as a more mechanistic process, with little appreciation for
the intuitive, blind, wasteful.... quality of the process. They assume that validation is the
ultimate test of the theory and a good theorizing process keeps this in mind at every step.

! yes, I identified and pointed out those things conceptually.

In reality, theory construction is not problem solving, because many steps happen
simultaneously. It is more a struggle with "sensemaking".

! yes I executed many steps simultaneously and I concentrated on sense making by


conceptualization of many features

When looking at philosophical writings it is obvious and rather surprising that philosophers
are unaware of the socio-cultural practice and the process of theorizing. This is surprising
because the process of doing philosophy resembles the different features and stage of the
execution of theorizing.
The systematic work of the major philosophers fits in well with the framework of theorizing,
such as surveying of the object or subject-matter to be investigated by data collection and
other practices, stating the problem as problem statements or problematization, exploration
and stating of the problem and the concepts it involves in alternative ways, representation of
them in several heterogeneous ways, submitting these things to a variety of thought trials,
imaginary experiments or simulations (of images and representations) , applying optimality
principles, the application of rational selection criteria employing evolutionary epistemology
(variation, selection, retention) at all stages of the process of theorizing, drawing of
conclusions, making generalizations and re-viewing hypotheses.

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The entire process will be presented by means of reasoning or a reasoned, coherent
narrative of argumentation, sound arguments and consistent, coherent, significant and
plausible reasons.

We find that the major philosophers who developed grand, systematic theories adhere to and
reveal the general framework of the entire process of theorizing, even if they do not deal with
all features and the detailed stages of the process. Minor, derivative and academic thinkers
appear to be unaware of the existence of theorizing and that they as aspiring philosophers are
in fact executing this practice. The way they deal with problems always select and represent
merely one or more isolated features and stages of the entire framework of the process of
theorizing. They seem to be ignorant of this fact and that they are really involved in, at least
some features and aspects, of the process of theorizing. They employ and apply isolated
methods, instruments, tools or techniques such as analysis, critical thinking and theory,
deconstruction etc as if they represent the entire process of theorizing and as if their specific
tool/s are really the entire philosophical methodology.

These words are about philosophy, the doing of philosophy and what philosophers do and
what they think they do, so it is in fact meta-philosophical descriptions. They are intended as
general statements about these things, generalizations, hypotheses, a model and pointers to a
possible framework for a theory about what the doing of philosophy is like, what the
process/es of philosophizing are like and what the processes of theorizing are like. The
philosophical methods that are referred to and described are in fact resembling different
aspects and features, and different stages of the process of theorizing, for example identifying
and describing the data that are collected as subject-matter to be investigated, deconstructed,
analysed, dealt with phenomenologically, logically or by means of the tools of critical theory,
the creation of problem statements involving this data, issues or problems,, the development
and weighing of alternative conjectures concerning these things, the use of disciplined
imagination, the selection, interpretation and retention of such conjectures, guiding ideas and
concepts, meaning construction by means of variations of different sets of concepts, invention
of concepts, use of simulations or imaginary experiments, imaginative representations eg by
using metaphors in accordance with the eight optimality principles, applying selection criteria
relevant to the particular stage of philosophizing, and other uses of thought trials, etc.

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