The subject matter of this article constitutes the semiotic mapping of human of knowledge which results from cognition. Departing from the presentation of human subjects as world-model-builders, it places epistemology among the sciences of science and the sciences of man. As such the understanding of epistemology is referred either to a static state of knowledge or to a dynamic acquisition of knowledge by cognizing subjects. The point of arrival, in the conclusive part of a this article, constitutes the substantiation of the two understandings of epistemology, specified, firstly, as a set of investigative perspectives, which the subject of science has at his/her disposal as a knower on the metascientific level, or, secondly, as a psychophysiological endowment of a cognizing subject who possesses the ability of learning and/or knowing a certain kind of information about cognized reality.
According to Descartes, it is possible to doubt successfully that there is external world, all around us, yet still to have language, in place, without any complication. According to Wittgenstein, to doubt everything about the external world except language means nothing more than to doubt everything about the external world including language. Why? No speaker is more certain about the meaning of his words than about the external things he believes to be unassailable (for example, that he has two hands and two legs). Without this constitutive connection there would be no communication of a definite sense. Wittgenstein suggests that, after the author of the Meditations on First Philosophy adopts the hypothesis of evil deceiver, we are only under the impression that we deal with language (or that we read a text). We instead deal with symptoms of something rather different. The objective of this paper is to critically reassess Wittgenstein’s criticism of the possibility of holding such a radical sceptical position.
The end of the nineteenth century was the period when revolutionary scientific discoveries challenged well-established theories, forcing both philosophers and scientists to ask questions about the nature and certainty of scientific knowledge. A group of French scientists not only performed a thorough critique of contemporary science and its history but proposed a new model that adequately described the development of scientific knowledge. Gaston Milhaud made a significant contribution to this new description of knowledge creation. He is however rarely mentioned in the context of the theory of knowledge and remains overshadowed by his famous colleagues. Despite the fact that more than a hundred years have passed since the conventionalist philosophy of science was formulated, H. Poincaré’s, P. Duhem’s and G. Milhaud’s positions have not gained much popularity beyond the circle of philosophers of science. This article briefly outlines personal relationships within French conventionalist circle, presents important results of Milhaud’s analysis, and the reasons why philosophers do not recognize the role he played in creating a new model for the development of scientific knowledge.
This contribution to the critical discussion of Ryszard Nycz’s Culture as Verb draws on his use of the parts-of-speech model to submit another formula of conceptualizing culture, based on the adverb, and complementary to the already existing approaches. They can be divided into three classes: those that treat culture as adjective (i.e. all epiphenomenal interpretations which view culture as a set of attributes), those that treat it as noun (i.e. an object, a separate academic discipline), and those that focus on action and the processual nature of culture (hence culture as verb), and even – in association with pragmatist and performative theories of language and the more recent ‘Activist Turn’ in the social sciences – have come to regard culture as culture-in-the-making, constituted and sustained by action (activities, performances). Most important for the adverbial approach are the modalities of culture, manifested in a variety of life styles. The study of culture as adverb (‘how’) can be pursued independently of the trench wars of cultural determinists and functionalists. Responding directly to Culture as Verb, qualifi ed as, chiefl y, an epistemological study, the article calls for a closer examination of the ontological implications of Nycz’s project of reinventing the humanities.