Category Philosophy of Science


Originally posted on The Asifoscope:
“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 5.6. There is a gap in our language and I want to try to close it by suggesting a new philosophical term. What I am looking for is a term for an entity that exists…

“Formalizability” in the English Language

It is a peculiar feature of the current English language that the word “formalizable” is nearly non-existent. The word feels awkward. When looking up the equivalent of the German word “formalisierbar” in one of the online-dictionaries I am using, it turned out there was no corresponding English word in that dictionary. However, there was a […]

Gaps and Extensions

We apply knowledge to interpret our perceptions, to develop our thoughts and to plan and execute actions. These activities can be viewed as processes of information processing. The application of knowledge can therefore be viewed as the execution of small programs. Each chunk of knowledge can be viewed as a program[1]. Any knowledge has a […]

What is Observable?

In a discussion with Werner Heisenberg, Albert Einstein once remarked that only theory determines what is observable. According to this view, there is no theory-free observation. Some thinkers in the Vienna Circle, i.e. the movement of logical empiricism, had tried to build the foundation of science on a language of theory-free “protocol sentences”. This idea […]

A New Paradigm for Artificial Intelligence

Consider an Artificial Intelligence researcher, let’s call her Alice, programming an AI system – let’s call it Bob, the robot*. Alice has written a wonderful program so that Bob can carry out instructions she is giving him (it? – -well, let us say “him” for convenience) in English and answer her questions. However, again and […]

Cognitive Science or Cognitive Philosophy?

The basic hypothesis behind this blog is that there are no fixed laws of thinking. Our brains are programmable in a way comparable to computers. The processes or procedures of thinking and the representations used in thought are not hard wired but learned and developing and, as a result, can change during life, may be […]

Laws and Computability

Is nature computable? In the philosophy of science, one model to describe scientific explanations is what is known as the “DN” (deductive-nomological”) model, introduced by philosophers Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim. According to this model, scientific explanations of a phenomenon (more specifically: a statement describing an observable phenomenon) E to be explained (the “explanandum”) consists […]