The World Observed/The World Conceived

Hans Radder undertakes the investigation of one of the deepest questions in general philosophy, the relationship between the human observer and the material world, in the context of the philosophy of science. The argument moves from refining and defining the thesis that concepts are essential to observation to a demonstration of how concepts enter into the world as perceived. This original and powerful study includes not only a philosophical analysis of the concept of abstraction but also a discussion of the practical issue of patenting the products of concept-driven research. The book is strongly to be recommended for the breadth of its content and for the clarity of exposition.
Rom Harré, Georgetown University

Observation and conceptual interpretation constitute the two major ways through which human beings engage the world. The World Observed/The World Conceived presents an innovative analysis of the nature and role of observation and conceptualization. While these two actions are often treated as separate, Hans Radder shows that they are inherently interconnected-that materially realized observational processes are always conceptually interpreted and that the meaning of concepts depends on the way they structure observational processes and abstract from them. He examines the role of human action and conceptualization in realizing observational processes and develops a detailed theory of the relationship between observation, abstraction, and the meaning of concepts.

The World Observed/The World Conceived will prove useful to many areas of scholarly study including ontology, epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, science studies, and cognitive science.

about the author

Hans Radder

Hans Radder is professor emeritus in philosophy of science and technology at the Department of Philosophy of VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands. He is the author of many articles and several books, including The World Observed/The World Conceived and The Material Realization of Science: From Habermas to Experimentation and Referential Realism, and editor of The Commodification of Academic Research: Science and the Modern University.

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Hans Radder