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The Logical Leap by David Harriman


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Those interested in Whewell, and especially the debate he got into with John Stuart Mill over the nature of induction, may find interesting Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society by Laura J. Snyder, the author of the SEP article. I wrote a review of it for The Objective Standard.

For your discussion about the relevance of an epistemologist's metaphysical views, see especially the discussion on page 131 regarding Mill's idealism. He considered himself a follower of Berkeley -- "To be is to be perceived" -- and defined matter as "a Permanent Possibility of Sensation."

There is now a book that examines the history of the debate over the substance, depth, and breadth of Whewell's Kantianism, Whewell's Critics by John Wettersten. I can't recommend the book generally, but it's a place to turn if you want to study this long-running debate about how Kantian Whewell was and whether it matters.

Also, do not overlook that what makes Whewell so interesting in the history of induction is that he was the most mature in a line of thinkers developing Francis Bacon's theory of induction. Do not overlook Bacon's own Novum Organum and other works in the Baconian tradition, especially those by Thomas Reid and John Herschel.

It's best to see Whewell as he saw himself, as a Baconian struggling with (what we'd call) axiomatic concepts and how it is that perceptions and not sensations are the foundations of human cognition and how it is that new concepts get formed. You'll understand Whewell better that way than if you read him as a Kantian and then try figuring out whether his deviations from Kant were fruitful or not.

Professor  McCaskey,

 

May I presume you refer to Thomas Reid's publication of  "Essays on the intellectual powers of man (1786)" (the use of "f"'s as "s"'s being proliferate on the referenced public domain re-publication,) and John Herschel, who did not show up under a search of "Intellectual powers", (which specific works of his did you have in mind, if they contribute to further study here?) I am curious, as the Lexicon submission under "morality" cites "For the New Intellectual" where the following excerpt is attributed:

" The power of morality is the greatest of all intellectual powers—and mankind’s tragedy lies in the fact that the vicious moral code men have accepted destroys them by means of the best within them."

 

Interestingly enough, this exact quote eludes being identified within the text itself, either via the searchable CD, or the paperback I currently have in my possession.

 

Thank-you for your consideration in this matter.

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  • 3 years later...

.

Some readers here may have known Ted Keer, at least as a poster. He posted a while at Objectivism Online. I have learned from his Facebook page that he died on 5 March 2018. He died in his sleep of natural causes. Ted once quipped of my paper Universals and Measurement: "At last, metaphysics that stays crispy in milk."

Here is a comment of Ted's on The Logical Leap

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55 minutes ago, Boydstun said:

.

Some readers here may have known Ted Keer, at least as a poster. He posted a while at Objectivism Online. I have learned from his Facebook page that he died on 5 March 2018. He died in his sleep of natural causes. Ted once quipped of my paper Universals and Measurement: "At last, metaphysics that stays crispy in milk."

Here is a comment of Ted's on The Logical Leap

This is terrible news.  Ted was one of the best people to interact with in Rand-land.  Always so stimulating.  He stopped posting years ago, and has been much missed.  I'll let the folks at OL know.

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I got mixed up, Ninth. What I had come across was this little bit of posting, but I see that this too was at Objectivist Living, only under a different user name. I'll link this one here. It gives a link to his own personal blog, which shows some of his range of his interests.

 

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  • 2 months later...

Ted's sister just posted a reminiscence on OL.

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/topic/16758-ted-keer-rip/?do=findComment&comment=277620

The end is particularly memorable:

" May this parting bit hopefully bring a smile...He was buried with a copy of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology minus a few pages from which the kids crafted origami boats and sent off some honorary ashes downstream where he often wandered. "

This calls to mind Leonard Bernstein being buried with his score of the Mahler 5th.  He performed the Adagietto at the memorial service for Bobby Kennedy in 1968, here's that recording:

 

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