The Philosophical Context

  • Erik W. Aslaksen


In order to understand how the system concept fits into our view of the world and our existence as human beings, we need to make a brief detour and consider the pertinent aspects of philosophy. The first step is to recall its basic structure and nomenclature.


Singular Term System Concept Sentence Structure Abstract Entity Philosophical Context 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    A very good introduction to and survey of philosophy is Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy, Mandarin (Reed Int’l Books Ltd), London 1996, and this section is indebted to that book. Another well-known book is Harald Höffding, A History of Modern Philosophy, Dover Publications, Inc., New York 1955, and a very readable introduction is Will Durant’s The Story of Philosophy, Simon and Schuster, New York 1953. Two useful Internet references are the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and the Stanford resource,
  2. 2.
    The philosophy of language had its beginnings with the works of Gottlob Frege, in particular with his 1892 paper Ueber Sinn und Bedeutung, or “On Sense and Meaning”, in Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, 100 (1892), pp.25–50, translated in Geach, P., Black, M.: Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, Blackwell, 3rd edn. Oxford (1980). Further discussions of Frege’s work can be found in Michael Dummett, Frege: Philosophy of Language, 2nd edn. Duckworth, Harvard University Press, London, Cambridge MA (1981) Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The seminal work is Noam Chomsky, Syntactic Structures, Houton & Co., S’Gravenhage (1957), 2nd printing 1962. Chomsky’s ideas are futher developed in his books Language and Mind, enlarged edition, Harecourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. (1972), and Rules and Representations. Columbia University Press, New York (1980). A very good review is given in Smith, N., Wilson, D.: Modern Linguistics. Penguin Books Ltd. (1979) Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A major work is that of G. Ryle, The Concept of Mind, Hutcheson, London (1949); a more recent book with an extensive bibliography is G. Rey, Contemporary Philosophy of Mind, Blackwell, Cambridge MA and Oxford (1997) Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    The central work is Immanuel Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, originally published in 1781, with a second edition in 1787. A later complete reprint is that published by Th. Knaur Nachf., Berlin, and the standard English translation is that by N. Kemp-Smith. Macmillan Press Ltd, which can also be found,, A very good discussion of Kant’s ideas is given by R.P. Wolff, Kant’s theory of mental activity, Cambridge MA (1963)
  6. 6.
    Kant originally listed twelve categories, organised into a Table of four groups of three categories each, but further consideration and analysis of Kant’s comments on his categories have concluded that it is more appropriate to consider there to be only the five listed here. For example, Kant had subdivided the category “magnitude” into three concepts - unity, plurality, and totality Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rudolf Carnap, Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology. Revue International de Philosophie 4 (1950), reprinted in the Supplement to Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic, enlarged edition. University of Chicago Press (1956), and available online at,

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gumbooya Pty Ltd.Allambie HeightsAustralia

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