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DLMPS Commissions

The DLMPS has two Inter-Division Commissions shared with DHST:

and two DLMPS Commissions:

The two DLMPS Commissions were created in July 2011. They will in due course have their own web pages. But here is the information presently available.

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Commission on Arabic Logic

Chair: Tony Street (UK).
Secretary: Wilfrid Hodges (UK).
Web Officer: Riccardo Strobino (UK).


For the purposes of the Commission, 'Arabic Logic' means logic done in any of the traditions that are influenced in some way by the work of, among others, Ibn al-Muqaffa', Al-Farabi, Avicenna or Averroes; this includes the logic taught today in madrasas, as well as the logic developed in the Lebanon by the early modern Christian philosophers. Most publications in these traditions have been in Arabic, but 'Arabic Logic' is taken to cover derivative work in Persian, Kurdish or other languages. Important contributions to Arabic Logic have been made by scholars who have no Arabic but use translations.

The main aim of the Commission is to provide a forum for the growing international community of researchers on Arabic Logic, at all levels and from all backgrounds. A membership list will be maintained and will be available to all members via the Commission website; new members can join via this website. The website will also contain information on conferences relevant to Arabic Logic, and on publications in the field. The Commission hopes to sponsor some meetings on aspects of Arabic Logic. Other activities may evolve.

Symposium on Arabic Foundations of Science

To be held at the forthcoming International Congress of History of Science and Technology (of the Division of History of Science and Technology, International Union of History and Philosophy of Science), Manchester, 22-28 July 2013.

1. Schedule

S012-A. Demonstration and empiricism in Avicenna

Thu 25 July, 09:10-10:40 in room Roscoe 1.010
Chair: Wilfrid Hodges (British Academy, United Kingdom)

S012-B. Foundations of science from Avicenna onwards

Thu 25 July, 11:10-12:40 in room Roscoe 1.010
Chair: Ahmad Hasnaoui (CNRS / Université Paris-Diderot, France)

2. Aims and purposes

The symposium is organised by Ahmad Hasnaoui (CNRS Paris) and Wilfrid Hodges (British Academy). It will be the first formal activity of the recently formed Arabic Logic Commission of the Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (DLMPS) of the IUHPS. What follows is the symposium abstract which will appear in the Congress programme.

The symposium will be about the theoretical underpinning that the Arab thinkers themselves gave to their science during and after the period of their greatest successes. The giant figure of Ibn Sina (Avicenna, 11th century) dominates this entire period, and most of our invited speakers have chosen to base their contributions on aspects of Ibn Sina's work. Two speakers (Dimitri Gutas, K. A. C. Mentri) will address Ibn Sina's views on empiricism and the logic of scientific discovery. Ibn Sina had a highly articulate view of how we come to new knowledge by reflection on the information that reaches us through our senses. More recent ideas of experiment and abstraction reflect his influence. At the same time Ibn Sina was concerned to describe the logical structure of the sciences.

Two speakers (Riccardo Strobino, Otman El Mernissi) will study aspects of Ibn Sina's view of logic. One central question here is the place of logic within the structure of deductive sciences as a whole. Ibn Sina's views on this, which El Mernissi will set out, are interesting to compare with his later western counterparts such as Bolzano, though lines of influence from him to the later scholars are hard to trace. Another central question is what he understood logical consequence to be; his views on this continued to be discussed in Arabic logic right up to the 18th century, as Strobino will explain.

Other speakers will examine Ibn Sina's contributions in particular areas of science. Hassan Tahiri will discuss Ibn Sina's work in the foundations of arithmetic, and compare it with related work of 19th century mathematicians and philosophers. Methodology was a major concern of Ibn Sina's, and Ahmad Hasnaoui will illustrate this by showing how Ibn Sina reshaped and in part rejected the methods of physics that Aristotle had originally proposed, and how this reshaping rested on an epistemological project. Wilfrid Hodges will show that Ibn Sina taught his students an almost precisely specified proof search algorithm, many centuries earlier than any other similar known algorithms.

Finally Khaled El-Rouayheb will review developments in logic and scientific methodology during the Ottoman period. This period saw a dramatic increase of interest in a science of 'verification', which traces back less to Avicenna and more to early Islamic juridical debates with their concern for evaluating testimonies and opinions.

The Arabic Logic Commission gratefully acknowledges support for this Symposium from DLMPS, the British Logic Colloquium and the Mind Association.

Commission on the Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences

President/Chair: Sjoerd D. Zwart (Netherlands).

Statement of Aims:

The Commission takes technology to be the theory and practice of engineering. It considers the philosophy of technology therefore to refer to all philosophical issues regarding the goals, concepts and methods applied in the engineering sciences and engineering practices, broadly conceived, including their relation to foundational questions in the natural and social sciences. Instead of focusing on the relations between society and technology as such, the Commission encourages all philosophers to open the 'black box' of the in the words of Carl Mitcham 'humanities philosophy of technology,' and study its contents. Analytical philosophy of technology in the sense just described started the second half of the twentieth century, and gaining momentum the last two decades, nowadays, it has become an established and mature member of the philosophy community.

The aims of the Commission are twofold. First, it intends to raise awareness among general philosophers about the interesting epistemic, normative and conceptual questions raised by the practices of engineers and the more general philosophical implications of the answers to these questions. Second, the Commission would like to establish a platform for the growing number of researchers, philosophers and engineers alike, to discuss, criticize and announce philosophy of technology related events.

To these ends the Commission website will provide a membership list, accessible for all members, who will be given the opportunity to announce relevant meetings and publications. Moreover, the Commission would like to arrive at a situation in which it can sponsor some relevant events.