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There is a widely held view that the expressions ‘necessary truth’, ‘a priori truth’ and ‘analytic truth’ either express the same concept or, at least, refer to all and only the same items. Philosophers who hold this view, and who are sometimes described as ‘empiricists’, often draw the conclusion that the truths of logic and mathematics, if necessary, are also a priori and are, in some important sense, empty or not about the world. The subject matter of these disciplines, then, is said to differ in a philosophically important way from that of the empirical sciences, such as physics or chemistry. Rationalists, in contrast, have traditionally held that some a priori truths, either of logic or mathematics (or of some other area), are synthetic and, hence, non-analytic: i.e., there are synthetic a priori truths.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future. Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions. The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions: Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, black consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.
Erwin H. Bulte, Professor in Environmental Economics, Department of Economics Tilburg University, The Netherlands,
Edward B. Barbier, John S. Bugas Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Finance University of Wyoming, USA
The past decade has witnessed a proliferation of texts on trade and pollution. Compared with this rapidly expanding literature, there are relatively few contributions on trade and renewable resource management. This imbalance in the economics literature is not readily explained by lack of popular interest. The impact of trade liberalisation on renewable resource management and conservation is a highly contentious issue, fiercely debated outside academia by international bodies (e.g. the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, the International Tropical Timber Organization, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank), non-governmental organizations (e.g. TRAFFIC, the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth) and the popular media (e.g. The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Environment and New Scientist). Mass demonstrations against globalisation and the freeing of world trade in recent years in Genoa, Copenhagen, Seattle and other cities hosting meetings of international policy-makers dominated the news worldwide, and the alleged negative impact of free trade on environmental resources was a major theme during these demonstrations.
While the topic ‘trade and renewable resources’ might be capable of arousing strong emotions in the public, it is a fair question to ask whether it is sufficiently different from other fields in economics to warrant attention as a separate and emerging academic field (albeit obviously an applied one). We argue that this is indeed the case.
This paper discusses several philosophical problems with the use of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in psychotherapy outcome research. The problems include: the impermanence problem, the identification problem, and idiographic problems. The paper concludes with an assessment of the overall case for and against the use of RCTs in psychotherapy outcome research.
In this commentary, I agree with Chow's treatment
of null hypothesis significance testing as a noninferential procedure.
However, I dispute his reconstruction of the logic of theory
corroboration. I also challenge recent criticisms of NHSTP based on
power analysis and meta-analysis.
John Greenwood (this issue) claims that neglect of an important methodological distinction has contributed directly to the “epistemic impoverishment” of empirical studies of all forms of professional psychotherapy. I challenge this claim, as well as other important claims he makes about the efficacy of psychoanalysis and other forms of psychotherapy.
Poly(γ-benzyl-L-glutamate) (PBLG) derivatized at its N-terminus with lipoic acid, a disulfide-containing moiety, self-assembles on gold from helicogenic solvents to give a thin film with the polypeptide α-helices orientation distribution different from the planar orientation in the unlabeled, physisorbed PBLG films (control) and Langmuir-Blodgett monolayers. The SA films were studied by angle-dependent XPS, reflection-absorption FTIR spectroscopy, and ellipsometry. The IR dichroic properties of the amide I and amide II bands were used to infer the orientational distribution of the helices in the self-assembled film and lead to two extreme pictures of the helix axis distribution function: (a) random (hemispherical distribution) and (b) perfect order with a tilt of 53° from the surface normal. Additional characterization is necessary to differentiate between these two distributions.
It is customary to draw a distinction between statements unconfirmable in practice and statements unconfirmable in principle. It may be impossible, for example, to confirm the statement “The star most distant from us in the universe has recently doubled in size,” but this impossibility is not of a logical kind. We could conceive of tests which would either confirm or disconfirm the statement, even if in fact we cannot carry them out. In contrast, the statement ‘Everything has recently doubled in size’ cannot be confirmed for logical reasons, or so some philosophers have claimed. If everything were to double in size, including the very measuring rods used to detect expansions, it would be logically impossible, so the argument runs, to either confirm or disconfirm the above statement.
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