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The realization that radio astronomers could detect radio galaxies that were well beyond the limits of even the most powerful optical telescopes suggested that radio observations might be able to distinguish between the two competing cosmological models. The commonly accepted big-bang model required that, since the Universe continued to evolve with time, so the distant (younger) Universe should appear different than the nearby modern Universe. By contrast, the steady-state theory required that the Universe is, and always was, everywhere the same, so distant galaxies should look the same as more nearby galaxies. An intense controversy developed between radio astronomers in Sydney, Australia and Cambridge, UK over the distribution of radio sources and their implication for theories of cosmology. The Australian radio astronomers, who had better data than the Cambridge research workers, found no evidence of cosmic evolution. The Cambridge group, led by Martin Ryle, misunderstood the effects of their instrumental errors and used an incorrect analysis – but got the right answer, arguing that the Universe is evolving with time, contrary to the expectations of the steady state-theory.
After radio surveys of the sky uncovered a variety of discrete radio sources, there was an intense debate as to whether the radio emission originated in nearby “radio stars,” or were powerful sources located in distant galaxies? In Australia, John Bolton and Gordon Stanley discovered radio emission from two known galaxies. However, unwilling to accept the implied powerful radio emission if the sources were so distant, they instead erroneously reported that the optical counterparts to the radio sources were nearby Galactic nebulosities and not remote galaxies. Later, another Australian scientist identified the bright Cygnus A radio source with a faint galaxy and drew this identification to the attention of Mt. Wilson and Palomar astronomers, who initially either ignored or rejected the identification as being unrealistic. But, a few years later, they independently reidentified the Cygnus A radio sources, firmly establishing the nature of powerful radio galaxies and leading to wide-ranging speculation about the source of the apparent huge energy needed to power the giant radio lobes that typically extended hundreds of thousands of light years from the host galaxy.
An exploration of intelletualist and non- or anti-intellectualist approaches to practical action, focusing on the central role of tacit belief in establishing propsitional/rational foundations for political judgment and action.
The topic is ancient Greek terms for knowing: three main verbs, three cognate nouns, how to translate them, and how to understand the relation between translation issues and philosophical interpretation. Central are the schemas devised by John Lyons, in Structural Semantics: An Analysis of Part of the Vocabulary of Plato (Oxford, 1961). So far as Plato is concerned I favour Lyons’ original book account, as against his subsequent accommodation to the Rylean distinctions which so dominated scholarly discussion in Barnes’ and my youth. Besides the extensive texts of Plato and Aristotle, there is an account of Simplicius disagreeing with Alexander about the four knowledge verbs in the first sentence of Aristotle’s Physics. I close by elucidating Heraclitus frag. 57.
There has been renewed interest over the last twenty years in Ryle's claims and arguments about knowledge-how. Elzinga (2018) and Löwenstein (2017) have both recently defended independent Ryle-inspired accounts of knowledge-how. In what follows, I will propose and defend an amendment to accounts of knowledge-how like those of Elzinga and Löwenstein. I argue that this amendment provides an additional needed distinction between the performance robustness provided by certain performance methods (or styles), and the robustness of an agent's ability to perform according to such methods (or styles). Additionally, the proposed amendment, if adopted, will make the amended views even more Rylean. I argue for this, in part, through original exegetical work on an under-discussed theme in Ryle's philosophy of mind: the relation between semi-hypothetical statements, methodological act-description, and knowledge-how.
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