Interdisciplinary Scope

  • Fedor Valach
Part of the Artificial Intelligence and Society book series (HCS)


At the present stage of development in the natural sciences a trend towards predicting new facts has manifested itself. Such ambitions are most appropriate in the so-called theoretical disciplines. Usually, the main aim is to predict new phenomena or new properties of objects such as substances and chemical compounds, or new physical properties of matter, etc. The creation of a new “langue des calcules” and some kind of metaphysics is undoubtedly popular — although often hidden — among scientists. This is a viewpoint which makes the deep understanding of the philosophy of sciences in the age of enlightenment topical. What was the reason for Diderot’s criticisms of mathematics? This is a current issue for some contemporary scientists, and one which generates deep skepticism. In Wittgenstein’s philosophy, the role of language is limited by its grammar.1,2,3,4 Although in the Age of Enlightenment such limitations were probably not known, Diderot’s relations with the scientists and artists of his time gives no indication of his intention to construct such a language. It may have been his orientation towards the abstract sciences that led him to reach conclusions like “the reign of mathematics is over”. Considering the circumstances, his pessimism was justified.


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  1. 1.
    Wittgenstein L. (1961) Tractatus logico philosophicus. Transl. Paris DF and McGuines BF. Routlege & Kegan Paul, London.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wittgenstein L. (1972) Philosophical Investigations. Transl. Ascombe GEM. Basil Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wittgenstein L. (1974) On Certainty. Transl. Paul D, Ascombe GEM. Basil Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wittgenstein–s Lectures. Cambridge, 1930–1932. From the Notes of John King and Desmond Lee. Edited by Desmond Lee. Basil Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1995

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  • Fedor Valach

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