Thursday, September 21, 2023

Links of Note

 * William Paris, The Problem Spaces of Public Philosophy, at "The APA Blog"

* Bridger Ehli, Hume on Modal Projection (PDF)

* Lauren N. Ross, What is social structural explanation? A causal account (PDF)

* Baskerville, Book I of Plato's Republic, at "Baskerville Reads"

* David P. Hunt, Form and Flux in the Theaetetus and Timaeus (PDF)

* Colin Guthrie King, Aristotle's Categories in the 19th Century (PDF) -- I thought this was a very interesting article.

* Stephanie Pappas, Mistranslation of Newton's First Law Discovered after Nearly 300 Years, at "Scientific American". The headline, it should be said, is not very accurate, although the body of the article is much, much better than one would expect from such a title. The rough summary is that Daniel Hoek argues against a (now-)common interpretation of the First Law by going back to the Latin rather than the English translation which seems to be the basis of the interpretation. I haven't read Hoek's paper, but the abstract for it does suggest that the translation is an error; I would say rather that it is potentially ambiguous, in a way that later was misinterpreted. ('Unless' in the eighteenth century sometimes is used in ways that make it interpretable in the same way as 'except insofar'.) But in any case, it would not usually have been interpreted incorrectly due to the English translation until the twentieth century, because most Anglophone physicists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would have read the Latin original. Learning Latin was something that they would have done as schoolboys, and scientists like Faraday who could not read Latin and Greek with at least moderate fluency were rare. In England in particular, everyone who would have studied physics or calculus in university would certainly have studied Newton's Principia in the original Latin; it was a point of a pride. And when one looks at major Newtonian interpreters, like William Whewell, it is very clear that they did not make the mistaken interpretation that Hoek is criticizing (in fact Whewell's interpretation is quite close to the paraphrase suggested by Hoek). It's interesting to consider when the misinterpretation arose; the earliest reference given in the article is in the 1960s, and I would not be surprised if that were its origin -- new interest in Newton by people who probably (as Hoek suggests) did not go back and look at the original Latin.

* Fiorella Tomassini, Right, Morals, and the Categorical Imperative (PDF)

* Sara Protasi, Teaching Ancient Women Philosophers: A Case Study (PDF)

* Brian Kemple joins Hunter Olson for a two-part podcast on medieval semiotics.

* Ryan Haecker, Origen's Speculative Angelology (PDF)

* Andrea Iacona, Connexivity in the Logic of Reasons (PDF)

* Ben Zion Katz, Maimonides on Free Will, Divine Omniscience and Repentance, at "The Seforim Blog"