Who is Ernest Nagel?June 25, 2021
Ernest Nagel Ki is an American philosopher and scientist. He is one of the representatives of logical positivism.
He defended the naturalist attitude and investigated the source of the purposive and causal forms of explanation.
He was born on November 16, 1901 in Nove Mesto, Czechoslovakia. He immigrated to America with his family in 1911. He became an American citizen in 1919. He graduated from City College in 1923. He studied mathematics and philosophy at Columbia University. He earned his doctorate of philosophy in 1925. He continued his duty as professor here. He retired in 1967.
Agel, among his trainers, M.R. Influenced by Cohen and Dewey, he adopted the naturalism movement developed by them. His main interests are philosophy of science and logic. In this area, he particularly focuses on the nature of scientific explanation. It examines whether explanations in the social sciences and biology are independent of those in the natural sciences and their level of approval. He argues that the purposive and causal explanations, which are considered irreducible to each other, are in fact special cases of a hypothetic-deductive explanation based on hypotheses. In his view, biologists’ use of teleological explanation is harmless if it yields effective and useful results. However, it should be noted that this is not a separate form in essence, but rather a special application of the basic form according to utility. The rationale or explanations given with reasons that are claimed to explain human action do not constitute an independent species by themselves.
In his book An Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method, co-authored with M. R. Cohen, he later opposed the naturalist explanation of logic, which included the general structure and general relations of experimental objects. Thinking that such an explanation would leave out the coherence important for logic, Nagel argues that the laws of thought provide a principle that guides scientific approaches.
In order to determine the relationship between naturalism and the Materialism it brings, it rejects the reduction of intellectual concepts to a materialist concept of unit. According to him, mental events depend on the organization of the human body and are one of its characteristics. Only in this sense should naturalism be materialistic. While examining the implications of quantum theory for philosophy, Nagel argues that it is not an aspect that destroys the current of determinism.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Is it my Open Education Philosophy Textbook?