David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Every description contains within it a qualifier that allows us to avoid the problem of descriptive regress, and thus allows us to use the description for various purposes. Descriptive regress occurs because no one description can be understood without referring to further descriptions, which themselves require unpacking by reference to further descriptions ad infinitum. There are no fundamental descriptions no descriptions that attain and keep some privileged ontological status. The qualifier works by invoking the normal circumstances in which the description obtains. It is impossible to foresee and describe in advance all the circumstances that would not be normal and that would reveal to us when the description could not obtain. It is our common sense the sense we develop as members of communities, and a sense sometimes narrowed and specialized in certain forms of life of what set of normal circumstances are implied into the description that allows us to use descriptions for various purposes (e.g. for describing circumstances in which some normative consequence should follow if the description obtains). This theory of descriptions is particularly relevant to the analysis of the role of descriptions of behavior and behavioral concepts in law. Law, in order to enable the regulation and evaluation of human behavior, cannot do without behavioral foundations criteria for evaluation of behavior are always based on certain descriptions of behavior and behavioral concepts. The theory of descriptions developed explains how descriptions of behavior function, namely, their utility relies on the legal community's common sense of the qualifiers attaching to descriptions of behavior. But that theory also has a reformative agenda: we should not think that any one description or any one behavioral concept such as that of intentionality can do all the work for us, in every area of the law, and in respect of every single social phenomenon. We need, in other words, to rethink the criteria for the evaluation of behavior on the basis of this theory of descriptions: i.e. on both the power and the limitations of descriptions of behavior.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Delia Graff Fara (2006). Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification. Philosophical Issues 16 (1):65-87.
Kent Bach (2004). Descriptions: Points of Reference. In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Clarendon Press 189-229.
Lowell Nissen (1983). Wright on Teleological Descriptions of Goal-Directed Behavior. Philosophy of Science 50 (1):151-158.
Keith S. Donnellan (1966). Reference and Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
Nick Zangwill (2009). Appropriate Musical Metaphors. Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 20 (38).
David J. Buller (1992). "Narrow"-Mindedness Breeds Inaction. Behavior and Philosophy 20 (1):59-70.
Murali Ramachandran (2009). Descriptions with an Attitude Problem. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):721-723.
Francesco Pupa (2008). Ambiguous Articles: An Essay On The Theory Of Descriptions. Dissertation, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Arthur B. Cody (1967). Can a Single Action Have Many Different Descriptions? Inquiry 10 (1-4):164 – 180.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads16 ( #220,646 of 1,793,071 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #344,508 of 1,793,071 )
How can I increase my downloads?