The science of chaos, as a new breed of science, has many features which are not common among modern studies in science. Its subject, chaos, has no clear definition, but its mathematical 'paradigms', i.e. some nonlinear equations, whose solutions share unique intricate patterns, seem to be in many ways revealing hitherto unexpected aspects both of the world and of many researches into it. It is examined in this paper what constitutes the ontological status of mathematical models which would be necessary for the unconditional acceptance of these aspects as genuine ones. The likely physical meaning of nonlinearity, and what it might enable one to explain are also envisaged.
The philosophical implications of "chaos" cannot be grasped without clear understanding of such concepts as "determinism", "non-linearity", and "predictability". Beginning with Laplace's classical statement of determinism and predictability, I will sketch Maxwell's and Poincaré's modifications of the statement and their awareness of the significance of nonlinearity. Then I will briefly touch upon what may be suggested by the study of chaos for clarification of the notion of complexity; and, finally, contend that the computation for the study of chaos can be regarded as a kind of inductive basis, which provides the affinity of mathematics and natural sciences, on the one hand, and the continuity of traditional sciences and studies on chaotic systems, on the other.
This paper reviews some recent work on issues connecting the theories of scientific explanation and confirmation. Beginning with Harman and Hempel and continuing with Salmon, Miller, Pennock and Ruben, I consider different explications of the explanatory relation that could be used in an Inference to the Best Explanation (I.B.E.) confirmation theory. Causal theories of explanation are currently the most promising and I discuss the strengths of an I.B.E. theory based upon an objective "ontic" view of explanation like Salmon's over an "epistemic" causal view such as Miller's. Finally I show how a causal theorist can address two purported weaknesses of the causal approaches that arise from Humean and Sellarsian arguments.
We define "absolute truth", like "absolutely a priori truth" of H. Putnam, as a proposition (statement) which is true in every epistemically possible world, namely, true no matter how the world turns out (epistemically) to be. We have yet to know whether there are such absolute truth(s) or not. In this paper, we try to propose, only as a program of course, an argument for the existence of the absolute truth. Our argument utilizes the logical structure of "the modal ontological argument" for the existence of God. Using this logical structure, we can enable what cannot have been done by any types of so called "refutation of relativism": to deduce the necessity (or actuality) of the existence of the absolute truth from the possibility of the existence of the absolute truth.
There have been interesting debates between Hilary Putnam and his critics on his argument against metaphysical realism. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the nature of the debates and to defend Putnam's position in several important points. There are two types of criticism, one is to defend the correspondence theory of truth, and the other is to defend metaphysical realism without the correspondence theory of truth. Putnam seems to be able to answer these criticism effectively. Of course this isn't exhaustive survey, but I think this limited survey is enough to indicate the remaining problems.