Of Two Minds

The Nature of Inquiry

By James Blachowicz

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791436424, 434 pages, February 1998
Hardcover : 9780791436417, 434 pages, February 1998

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Table of contents


Introduction: The Mind's Own Method

Scientific Discovery

1. Full Circle: The Return to Discovery

Method without Novelty
Novelty without Method

2. The Logic of Correction

Correction vs. Elimination
Correction by Means of Elimination?
Composite Responses and Partial Successes
The Black Box Principle
Toward a Logic of Discovery

3. Generating Explanations from Facts

Initial Hypothesis
Predicted Observations
Contrasted Actual Observations
Proposed Hypothesis
Determination of Explanatory Power

4. Generating Facts from Explanations

Initial Observations
Proposed Hypothesis
Contrasted Explanatory Hypothesis
Predicted Observations
Determination of Factuality

5. Novelty and Method: Remarried

The First Principle of Inquiry
Ampliative Inference
The Regulative Principle of Correction

6. Maps of Discovery

The Second Principle of Inquiry
First-Order Maps
Generation and Confirmation in Maps
Second-Order Maps
Second-Order Justification
The Relativity of Result and the Scope of Inquiry
Quantitative Variation and Intelligent Inquiry

7. Reciprocal Justification: Stability without Foundations

The Third Priciple of Inquiry
Some Earlier Views
Reflective Equalibrium
Neither Foundations nor Coherence
Reciprocal Justification with Epistemic Privilege
The Revisability of Observation Reports
Reciprocal Justification at Different Cognitive Levels
The Generality of Correction Theory

8. Discovery and the Philosophy of Science I: Enemies of Correction

Partial Success and Evolution
Evolutionary Epistemology I: Karl Popper
Evolutionary Epistemology II: Donald Campbell

9. Discovery and the Philosophy of Science II: Friends of Correction

Abductive Inference: C.S. Peirce and N. R. Hanson
Computer Modeling of Discovery: Herbert Simon
Generative Justification: Thomas Nickles

Analog Maps and Digital Rules

10. Analog Maps

Mental Imagery and Analog "Representation"
The Digital and the Sequential
Relational Identity
The Analog beyond Mental Imagery

11. Digital Rules

Analog Maps: Representing as Reproducing
Digital Rules: Representing as Encoding
Representational Incompleteness
Levels of Representation
Qualitative and Quantitative Rules
Half-Levels of Representation
Abstract Models

12. The Calculus of Perception

Representation and Translation
Perception without Background Knowledge
Representation Mistaken for Transduction
Representation and Perceptual Inference

13. Unarticulated Meaning

Meaning, Articulation, and Formulation
Prior Acquaintance
At What Level of Cognition Does Meaning Exist
Meanings of Abstract Concepts

The Articulation of Meaning

14. Saying What We Mean

Initial Expression
Proposed Meaning
Contrasted Actual Meaning
Proposed Expression
Determination of Articulateness

15. Meaning What We Say

Initial Meaning
Proposed Expression
Contrasted Articulate Expression
Proposed Meaning
Determination of Actuality
Second-Order Maps
Metaphor and Inquiry

16. Inquiry and Philosophy I: Plato's Paradox

Platonic Inquiry
"Knowing" and "Not Knowing" in the Theaetetus
"Knowing That" and "Knowing Why"
"Knowing" and "Not Knowing" in the Meno
Levels of "Knowing That" and "Knowing Why"
The Structure if Inquiry in the Platonic Dialogues

17. Inquiry and Philosophy II: Kant and the Perfection of Cognition

The Informativeness of Propositions
Kantian Analysis and the "Improvement" of Form
The Paradox of Analysis
The Fruits of Analysis: Genera
Genera as Rules
Analysis and Synthesis of Mathematical Concepts
Analysis and Reason in the Perfection of Cognition

18. Inquiry and Philosophy III: Hegel's Dialectical Logic

Dialectic and Definition
Dialectic and Ampliative Inference
Dialectic as Correction
The Category-Dependence of the Standard
Dialectic and Scientific Inference

Inquiry and Human Consciousness

19. The Dialogue of the Soul with Itself

Two Models of Inner Speech
A Conservative between Cognitively Different Partners
Talkings to Ourselves: Earlier Views
Other "Dialogues"
Hearing the Inner Voice

20. The Roots of Duality

Feeling and Representation
Epistemology with Feeling
The Duality

Postscript: En Route to Knowledge




Proposes a resolution to the paradox of inquiry, originally formulated in Plato's Meno and most recently the focus of the "logic of discovery" debate in the philosophy of science.


This book examines the nature of inquiry—the general method by which we expand our knowledge. It proposes a resolution of the paradox of inquiry, originally formulated in Plato's Meno and most recently the focus of the "logic of discovery" debate in the philosophy of science. The logic of correction developed here directly opposes the claim made by evolutionary epistemologists such as Popper and Campbell that there is no such thing as a "logical method for having new ideas. " The author argues that beyond scientific discovery, the same logic can be found in the more intimate form of inquiry we conduct as we attempt to articulate meanings for ourselves. This comprehensive and revolutionary theory challenges traditional epistemology's conception of justification and provides substantial new interpretations of the nature of ampliative inference, representation and meaning, Platonic and Hegelian dialectic, Kantian analysis, the heuristic function of models and metaphors, and the role of inquiry in the constitution of human consciousness.

James Blachowicz is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.


"Blachowicz tackles the most central questions of epistemology and cognitive psychology in a most ambitious way. Part I has significant implications for philosophy of science and theory of knowledge, Part II raises crucial issues about representation, one of the hottest topics of cognitive science and philosophy, and Part III continues with an original account of meaning, a topic central to psychology, linguistics, and computer science as well as philosophy. Blachowicz's central points are extremely important, and he traces out their implications for an unexpectedly wide range of problems in very insightful ways. The scope of his informed reading is remarkable compared to that of most American philosophers. " — Thomas Nickles, University of Reno, Nevada

"The most important and interesting contribution of this book is that it reopens the perennially vexing set of problems in the philosophy of science concerning the nature of creative thinking and the logic of scientific discovery. The book may well revive interest in the logic of discovery, and do that in a fruitful way by providing the larger context needed in general epistemology. In my judgment this is the best book written on this subject to date. " — Richard Blackwell, Saint Louis University