New York University mathematical physicist Alan Sokal published in the postmodern humanities journal Social Text a parody entitled Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity . His point in doing so was to test whether the field of ``cultural studies of science'' was seriously lacking in ``intellectual standards.'' His article is nonsense from start to finish, but was still published. He revealed the hoax in another article in Lingua Franca . The incident, and reactions to it, (...) now being called the Sokal Affair, have received wide coverage in The New York Times . (shrink)
It has become standard for commentators to note sadly how little impact Frege’s work had amongst his contemporaries, but then to temper this observation by claiming an enormous indirect influence for his ideas through the work of those few who did pay serious attention to them, perhaps most notably Russell, Wittgenstein, and Carnap. How effective or transparent those conduits were is still a matter of scholarly debate.1 For myself, I am increasingly persuaded that much of what we would now judge (...) to be most centrally important in Frege was at best imperfectly transmitted. That we can now attempt judgement on what is thus central is owed, in the first place, to the re‐publication and translation of Frege’s work that effectively began with Austin’s version of Grundlagen in 1950. Austin had translated the work so as to be able to set if for an Oxford finals paper. Michael Dummett took the course, and was, he reports, “bowled over by the Grundlagen”, so much so that during the following year he “settled down to read everything that Frege had written” (2007: 9‐ 10). Soon, though not at first, Geach and Black’s Translations (1952) would help in this, but before long the work would take Dummett to Munster to examine Frege unpublished work: the first result of this study is the 1956 “Postscript” to his 1955 “Frege on Functions”, itself an important early step in dispelling bizarre misconceptions of Frege’s doctrines which seem then to have been prevalent.2 Dummett began to form plans for a comprehensive book on Frege. This required further sustained study of the Nachlass, including a visit in 1957 when, its editors acknowledge, Dummett provided an important stimulus and essential “spadework” (PW xii) towards its publication. Frege: Philosophy of Language, a rather different book from that first planned, eventually appeared in 1973. Dummett modestly remarks of it, “I believe that the book helped to revive interest in Frege” (2007: 24). Peter Geach,�.. (shrink)
The primary goal of this paper is to critically evaluate the notion that the rejection of an individualist or internalist approach to reference1 entails a weak sufficient condition for singular thought—for example, that hearing someone use the name ‘Feynman’ is sufficient to enable one to entertain a singular thought about Feynman, regardless how little one knows about Feynman. This notion is espoused, implicitly or explicitly, by at least Bach (1987, 2004), Boer and Lycan (1986), Devitt (1981, 2001), Jeshion (2002), Rozemond (...) (1993), Salmon (1989, 2004), Soames (1989, 2002), Thau (2002), and Wettstein (1986, 2003). I will call the notion ‘Millian externalism’ (though there clearly are, otherwise, significant differences amongst this list of proponents). A striking recent example is Salmon’s (2004: 254) claim that “looking at a new class-enrolment list” suffices to enable singular thoughts about previously unfamiliar enrollees. In §1, I situate Millian externalism within its historical and conceptual context. In §§ 2-3, I investigate some arguments for and against Millian externalism, and discuss some related general theoretical questions. (shrink)
0. My aims in this paper are largely expository: I am more interested in presenting the picture theory than deciding its truth. Even so, I hope that the arguments by which I develop the theory will do something to support it, since I believe that what I will present as Wittgenstein's view is indeed the truth. This is not an admission of insanity, though some things that have been thought intrinsic to the picture theory are things it would be insane (...) to believe. So clearly the view I will present, when compared to the most embracing interpretations, is a partial and selective one. It would be another kind of madness, one I am just as eagre to disown, to suppose that my own favoured selection is the only possible one. That is pretty well the last remark in this paper about other commentators. I trust my reticence entitles me to be presumed catholic until proven nonconformist. (shrink)
Define ‘het’ as a predicate that truly applies to itself if and only if it does not truly apply to itself and which also truly applies to any predicate that does not truly apply to its own name. We know that the attempted definition of ‘hes’ is a failure, and so a fortiori is that of ‘het’. Similarly, there is no Qussell class which contains itself as a member if and only if it does not contain itself as a member, (...) so a fortiori there is no Russell Class which contains itself as a member if and only if it does not contain itself as a member and which also contains all and only non-self-membered classes (such as the class of dogs). The second conjunct in both the definition of ‘het’ and of the Russell class cannot revive a definition doomed to failure. Likewise, the ‘definition’ of n as ‘n > 1 iff n < 1’ fails, and the attempted definition of m as ‘m > 1 iff m < 1 and m is prime’ is hopeless too; its final clause buys it no respectability. (shrink)
At the age of 20, and fresh from his undergraduate studies in mathematics, Ramsey set about writing what would be his first substantial publication, his 1923 Critical Notice of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (hereafter TLP). It is hard for modern students of that book, who negotiate its obscurities with generations of previous commentary to serve as guides, to appreciate the task Ramsey confronted; and, to the extent that one can appreciate it, it is hard not to feel intimidated by the brilliance of (...) his success. His Critical Notice made Ramsey the first of Wittgenstein’s interpreters.1 In my view it makes him, still, the best. (shrink)
A ‘multiple-proposition (MP) phenomenon’ is a putative counterexample to the widespread implicit assumption that a simple indicative sentence (relative to a context of utterance) semantically expresses at most one proposition. Several philosophers and linguists (including Stephen Neale and Chris Potts) have recently developed hypotheses concerning this notion. The guiding questions motivating this research are: (1) Is there an interesting and homogenous semantic category of MP phenomena? (2) If so, what is the import? Do MP theories have any relevance to important (...) current questions in the study of language? I motivate an affirmative answer to (1), and then argue that MP theorizing is quite relevant to debates at the semantics/pragmatics interface. (shrink)
Use of divine names is strictly regulated in the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Unlike most ordinary names, “God,” “Jesus,” and “Allah,” have a particular moral significance for the faithful. Misuse of the names constitutes a form of blasphemy—a sin. Tomes have been written about the origin of holy names in these traditions and the role that they play in devotional practices. I have no such grand theological ambitions here. Instead, in this short essay I will raise a (...) few more narrow questions about the sin of blasphemy from the standpoint of contemporary philosophy of language. Until we have good reason to think otherwise, we should assume that the best semantic theory for ordinary proper names like “Obama” and “Aristotle” extends to names for God. In particular, I think we have reason to assume some causal theory of reference is true of divine names, since some version of it seems true of most every other name. From this assumption I will argue (i) that there are some puzzles for the sin of blasphemy as it is traditionally conceived, and (ii) that we can make progress toward answering the puzzles by acknowledging that divine names are vulnerable to a special kind of reference drift. (shrink)
Recent work has shown that preschool-aged children and adults understand freedom of choice regardless of culture, but that adults across cultures differ in perceiving social obligations as constraints on action. To investigate the development of these cultural differences and universalities, we interviewed school-aged children (4–11) in Nepal and the United States regarding beliefs about people's freedom of choice and constraint to follow preferences, perform impossible acts, and break social obligations. Children across cultures and ages universally endorsed the choice to follow (...) preferences but not to perform impossible acts. Age and culture effects also emerged: Young children in both cultures viewed social obligations as constraints on action, but American children did so less as they aged. These findings suggest that while basic notions of free choice are universal, recognitions of social obligations as constraints on action may be culturally learned. (shrink)
Two distinctions within the category of designators -- Further defining the central theses -- Structure and rigidity -- Structure and naming -- Interlude: interim review and a look ahead -- Referential uses of denoting expressions -- Complex referring expressions -- Summary, overview, and general morals.
Timothy Williamson thinks that every object is a necessary, eternal existent. In defense of his view, Williamson appeals primarily to considerations from modal and tense logic. While I am uncertain about his modal claims, I think there are good metaphysical reasons to believe permanentism: the principle that everything always exists. B-theorists of time and change have long denied that objects change with respect to unqualified existence. But aside from Williamson, nearly all A-theorists defend temporaryism: the principle that there are temporary (...) existents. I think A-theorists are better off without this added commitment, but I will not argue for that in any great detail here. Instead, I will contend that a very tempting A-theoretic argument for temporaryism is unsound. In the first half of the paper, I will develop the Moorean “common sense” argument for temporaryism and dispute its central premise, namely that temporaryism is a valid generalization from highly plausible beliefs about change. I will argue that given the pervasive vagueness in our ordinary beliefs about change and the background commitments of all A-theories, no party can claim to be the common sense view because no party can accommodate most of our common sense beliefs about change in existence. In the second half of the paper, I will propose a permanentist A-theory that explains all change over time as a species of property change. I call it the minimal A-theory, since it dispenses with the change in existence assumption. As we'll see, the permanentist alternative performs well enough in explaining our ordinary beliefs about change, and it has better prospects for answering some objections commonly levied against A-theories. (shrink)
Nineteenth-century catalogues of nebulae and star clusters Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9593-6 Authors Woodruff T. Sullivan, Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Many believe that the ethical problems of donation after cardiocirculatory death (DCD) have been "worked out" and that it is unclear why DCD should be resisted. In this paper we will argue that DCD donors may not yet be dead, and therefore that organ donation during DCD may violate the dead donor rule. We first present a description of the process of DCD and the standard ethical rationale for the practice. We then present our concerns with DCD, including the following: (...) irreversibility of absent circulation has not occurred and the many attempts to claim it has have all failed; conflicts of interest at all steps in the DCD process, including the decision to withdraw life support before DCD, are simply unavoidable; potentially harmful premortem interventions to preserve organ utility are not justifiable, even with the help of the principle of double effect; claims that DCD conforms with the intent of the law and current accepted medical standards are misleading and inaccurate; and consensus statements by respected medical groups do not change these arguments due to their low quality including being plagued by conflict of interest. Moreover, some arguments in favor of DCD, while likely true, are "straw-man arguments," such as the great benefit of organ donation. The truth is that honesty and trustworthiness require that we face these problems instead of avoiding them. We believe that DCD is not ethically allowable because it abandons the dead donor rule, has unavoidable conflicts of interests, and implements premortem interventions which can hasten death. These important points have not been, but need to be fully disclosed to the public and incorporated into fully informed consent. These are tall orders, and require open public debate. Until this debate occurs, we call for a moratorium on the practice of DCD. (shrink)
Expanding Process: Exploring Philosophical and Theological Transformations in China and the West, by John Berthrong, is a model study of processive motifs in Chinese traditions and their contributions to global process-relational philosophy. Process-relational philosophy, which became a full-fledged school of thought in the twentieth century with the works of Alfred North Whitehead and the American Pragmatists, conceives of reality as constant flux. This metaphysical view is opposed to the substance-ontological view, which understands reality as a composition of timeless, discrete substances, (...) such as Plato's Forms.In working to move process philosophy out of its Whiteheadian and American roots, Berthrong draws out .. (shrink)
The theologies of the saints of Hans Urs Von Balthasar and Karl Rahner are grounded in the theologians' distinct articulations of the relationship between nature and grace, Rahner's shaped by his response to the Nouvelle Théologie and Von Balthasar's influenced by his engagement with Henri De Lubac and Karl Barth. It is a generalization, but one useful for drawing contrasts, that for Rahner the saints are mediators of the Mediator and that for Von Balthasar they are revealers of the Revealer. (...) While the theologies can be reconciled, a richer understanding of the function of saints can emerge by maintaining the contrasts. The symbolic capacity of saints in Rahner's thought and the saints' exemplary abandonment to personal mission in Von Balthasar's thought are each an emphasis valuable in communicating saints' instructional and efficacious presence for others in the ecclesial Body. (shrink)
Background: Omalizumab, an anti-immunoglobulin E antibody, reduces exacerbations and symptoms in uncontrolled allergic asthma. The study objective was to estimate the costs and consequences of omalizumab compared to usual care from a US payer perspective. Methods: We estimated payer costs, quality-adjusted survival (QALYs), and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of omalizumab compared to usual care using a state-transition simulation model that included sensitivity analyses. Every 2 weeks, patients could transition between chronic asthma and exacerbation health states. The best available evidence (...) informed the clinical and cost input estimates. Five years of omalizumab treatment followed by usual care was assumed to estimate a lifetime horizon. Omalizumab responders (60.5% of treated) were modeled as a separate scenario where nonresponders reverted back to usual care after 16 weeks of active treatment. Results: The mean lifetime discounted costs and QALYs were $83 400 and 13.87 for usual care and $174 500 and 14.19 for omalizumab plus usual care resulting in $287 200/QALY (95% interval: $219 300, $557 900). The ICER was $172 300/QALY when comparing omalizumab to usual care in the responder scenario. One-way sensitivity analyses indicated that the results were sensitive to the difference in treatment-specific utilities for the chronic state, exacerbation-associated mortality, omalizumab price, exacerbation rates, and response definition. Conclusions: The results suggest that adding omalizumab to usual care improves QALYs at an increase in direct medical costs. The cost-effectiveness of omalizumab is similar to other chronic disease biologics. The value increases when omalizumab response is used to guide long-term treatment. (shrink)
Biomedical science has been remarkably successful in explaining illness by categorizing diseases and then by identifying localizable lesions such as a virus and neoplasm in the body that cause those diseases. Not surprisingly, researchers have aspired to apply this powerful paradigm to addiction. So, for example, in a review of the neuroscience of addiction literature, Hyman and Malenka (2001, p. 695) acknowledge a general consensus among addiction researchers that “[a]ddiction can appropriately be considered as a chronic medical illness.” Like other (...) diseases, “Once addiction has taken hold, it tends to follow a chronic course.” (Koob and La Moal 2006, p. ?). Working from this perspective, much effort has gone into characterizing the symptomology of addiction and the brain changes that underlie them. Evidence for involvement of dopamine transmission changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) have received the greatest attention. Kauer and Malenka (2007, p. 844) put it well: “drugs of abuse can co-opt synaptic plasticity mechanisms in brain circuits involved in reinforcement and reward processing”. Our goal in this chapter to provide an explicit description of the assumptions of medical models, the different forms they may take, and the challenges they face in providing explanations with solid evidence of addiction. <br>. (shrink)
The last decade has seen the rapid rise of China as a global power, and the stability of China-U.S. relations has taken on global significance. The two political giants are meeting in the Middle East, Africa, and even Latin America. As Joseph Grange aptly points out, rising tensions over such issues as human rights and national sovereignty are not simply the result of differing political agendas. Underlying cultural assumptions and historical meanings are at the root of these differences, and opening (...) a constructive dialogue on these differing cultural assumptions is the key to a fruitful political relationship. This charge is left to philosophy.In John Dewey, Confucius, and Global Philosophy Joseph Grange provides .. (shrink)
This volume brings together a number of perspectives on the nature of realization explanation and experimentation in the ‘special’ and biological sciences as well as the related issues of psychoneural reduction and cognitive extension. The first two papers in the volume may be regarded as offering direct responses to the questions: (1) What model of realization is appropriate for understanding the metaphysics of science? and (2) What kind of philosophical work is such a model ultimately supposed to do?
The Morris water maze has been put forward in the philosophy of neuroscience as an example of an experimental arrangement that may be used to delineate the cognitive faculty of spatial memory (e.g., Craver and Darden, Theory and method in the neurosciences, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2001; Craver, Explaining the brain: Mechanisms and the mosaic unity of neuroscience, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007). However, in the experimental and review literature on the water maze throughout the history of its use, (...) we encounter numerous responses to the question of “what” phenomenon it circumscribes ranging from cognitive functions (e.g., “spatial learning”, “spatial navigation”), to representational changes (e.g., “cognitive map formation”) to terms that appear to refer exclusively to observable changes in behavior (e.g., “water maze performance”). To date philosophical analyses of the water maze have not been directed at sorting out what phenomenon the device delineates nor the sources of the different answers to the question of what. I undertake both of these tasks in this paper. I begin with an analysis of Morris’s first published research study using the water maze and demonstrate that he emerged from it with an experimental learning paradigm that at best circumscribed a discrete set of observable changes in behavior. However, it delineated neither a discrete set of representational changes nor a discrete cognitive function. I cite this in combination with a reductionist-oriented research agenda in cellular and molecular neurobiology dating back to the 1980s as two sources of the lack of consistency across the history of the experimental and review literature as to what is under study in the water maze. (shrink)
What role does the concept of representation play in the contexts of experimentation and explanation in cognitive neurobiology? In this article, a distinction is drawn between minimal and substantive roles for representation. It is argued by appeal to a case study that representation currently plays a role in cognitive neurobiology somewhere in between minimal and substantive and that this is problematic given the ultimate explanatory goals of cognitive neurobiological research. It is suggested that what is needed is for representation to (...) instead play a more substantive role. (shrink)
To study philosophy is to encounter paradox after paradox. These encounters provoke thought but also frustration. How many times have I seen eager eyes turn to Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling with the expectation that he will tie ethical justification to religious belief in a comforting and familiar manner, counterbalancing the incessant demand for reasons from Plato and Aristotle and the all-too-radical critiques of Nietzsche. Instead, of course, matters get even harder with Kierkegaard. The turn to the religious doesn't provide justification (...) for the ethical as hoped, and worse still in Kierkegaard's little book we are told that he cannot, in language that trades in universals, capture the singularity of god .. (shrink)
School psychologists often break confidentiality if confronted with risky adolescent behavior. Members of the National Association of School Psychologists ( N = 78) responded to a survey containing a vignette describing an adolescent engaging in risky behaviors and rated the degree to which it is ethical to break confidentiality for behaviors of varying frequency, intensity, and duration. Respondents generally found it ethical to break confidentiality when risky adolescent behaviors became more dangerous or potentially harmful, although there was considerable variability between (...) respondents. Significant gender effects were found between male and female respondents for alcohol use, and a significant Form Type (i.e., male or female vignette) Frequency/Duration interaction was observed for antisocial behaviors. School psychologists could benefit from further training in ethical decision making because these ethical dilemmas are not always clear-cut. (shrink)
Following Neale, I call the notion that there can be no such thing as a structured referring expression ‘structure skepticism’. The specific aim of this paper is to defuse some putative counterexamples to structure skepticism. The general aim is to bolster the case in favor of the thesis that lack of structure—in a sense to be made precise—is essential to reference.
Descriptive accounts of the nature of explanation in neuroscience and the global goals of such explanation have recently proliferated in the philosophy of neuroscience (e.g., Bechtel, Mental mechanisms: Philosophical perspectives on cognitive neuroscience. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2007; Bickle, Philosophy and neuroscience: A ruthlessly reductive account. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishing, 2003; Bickle, Synthese, 151, 411–434, 2006; Craver, Explaining the brain: Mechanisms and the mosaic unity of neuroscience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) and with them new understandings of the <span class='Hi'>experimental</span> (...) practices of neuroscientists have emerged. In this paper, I consider two models of such practices; one that takes them to be reductive; another that takes them to be integrative. I investigate those areas of the neuroscience of learning and memory from which the examples used to substantiate these models are culled, and argue that the multiplicity of <span class='Hi'>experimental</span> protocols used in these research areas presents specific challenges for both models. In my view, these challenges have been overlooked largely because philosophers have hitherto failed to pay sufficient attention to fundamental features of <span class='Hi'>experimental</span> practice. I demonstrate that when we do pay attention to such features, evidence for reduction and integrative unity in neuroscience is simply not borne out. I end by suggesting some new directions for the philosophy of neuroscience that pertain to taking a closer look at the nature of neuroscientific experiments. (shrink)
This paper demonstrates that the human visual system, the primary sensory conduit for primates, processes ambient energy in a way that obligatorily constructs the objects that we ineluctably perceive. And since our perceptual apparatus processes information only in terms of objects (along with the properties and movements of objects), we are limited in our ability to comprehend ‘what is’ when we move beyond our ordinary world of midsize objects—as, for example, when we address the micro microworld of quantum physics.
The aim of this systematic review was to summarize and assess the quality of asthma intervention health economic studies from 2002 to 2007, compare the study findings with clinical management guidelines, and suggest avenues for future improvement of asthma health economic studies. Forty of the 177 studies met our inclusion criteria. We assessed the quality of studies using The Quality of Health Economic Studies validated instrument (total score range: 0-100). Six studies (15%) had quality category 2, 26 studies (65%) achieved (...) quality category 3, and the remaining eight (20%) studies were scored as the highest quality level, category 4. Overall, the findings from this review are in line with the Global Initiative for Asthma clinical guidelines. Many asthma health economic studies lacked appropriate long term time horizons to match the chronic nature of the disease and suffered from using effectiveness measures that did not capture all disease related risks and benefits. We recommend that new asthma simulation models: be flexible to allow for long term time horizons, focus on using levels of asthma control in their structure, and estimate both long term asthma specific outcomes like well-controlled time as well as generic outcomes such as quality adjusted survival. (shrink)
In recent work on a priori justification, one thing about which there is considerable agreement is that the notion of truth in virtue of meaning is bankrupt and infertile. (For the sake of more readable prose, I will use ‘TVM’ as an abbreviation for ‘the notion of truth in virtue of meaning’.) Arguments against the worth of TVM can be found across the entire spectrum of views on the a priori, in the work of uncompromising rationalists (such as BonJour (1998)), (...) of centrist moderates (such as Boghossian (1997)), and of uncompromising empiricists (such as Devitt (2004)). My aim is to dispute this widespread opinion. The outline is as follows: First, §§2-3 consist of preliminary stage-setting. Then, in §4 I will argue that some of the most prevalent arguments against the worth of TVM – in particular, one which is given clear expression by Quine (1970), and is recently reinforced by Boghossian (1997) – do not engage with the core idea motivating TVM. After deflecting this charge of incoherence, the aim of §§5-8 is to work toward developing a useful conception of TVM. (shrink)
This article investigates several consequences of a recent trend in philosophy of mind to shift the relata of realization from mental state–physical state to function‐mechanism. It is shown, by applying both frameworks to the neuroscientific case study of memory consolidation, that, although this shift can be used to avoid the immediate antireductionist consequences of the traditional argument from multiple realizability, what is gained is a far more modest form of reductionism than recent philosophical accounts have intimated and neuroscientists themselves have (...) claimed. (shrink)
In 1977 John Money published the first modern case histories of what he called ‘apotemnophilia’, literally meaning ‘amputation love’ [Money et al., The Journal of Sex Research, 13(2):115–12523, 1977], thus from its inception as a clinically authorized phenomenon, the desire for the amputation of a healthy limb or limbs was constituted as a sexual perversion conceptually related to other so-called paraphilias. This paper engages with sex-based accounts of amputation-related desires and practices, not in order to substantiate the paraphilic model, but (...) rather, because the conception of these (no doubt) heterogeneous desires and practices as symptoms of a paraphilic condition (or conditions) highlights some interesting cultural assumptions about ‘disability’ and ‘normalcy’, their seemingly inherent (un)desirability, and their relation to sexuality. In critically interrogating the socio-political conditions that structure particular desires and practices such that they are lived as improper, distressing and/or disabling, the paper constitutes an exercise in what Margrit Shildrick [Beyond the body of bioethics: Challenging the conventions. In M. Shildrick and R. Mykitiuk (Eds.), Ethics of the body: Postconventional challenges (pp. 1–26). New York: MIT Press, 2005] refers to as “postconventional ethics”. (shrink)
Against the backdrop of eliminitivist versus critical conservationist approaches to the racial category of whiteness, this article asks whether a rehabilitated version of whiteness can be worked out concretely. What might a non-oppressive, anti-racist whiteness look like? Turning to Josiah Royce’s “Provincialism” for help answering this question, I show that even though the essay never explicitly discusses race, it can help explain the ongoing need for the category of whiteness and implicitly offers a wealth of useful suggestions for how to (...) transform it. “Provincialism” is an exercise in critical conservation of the concept of provincialism, and while not identical, provincialism and whiteness share enough in common that “wise” provincialism can serve as a model for “wise” whiteness. Royce’s concept of provincialism thus can be a great help to critical philosophers of race wrestling with questions of whether and how to transformatively conserve whiteness. Exploring similarities and differences between wise provincialism and wise whiteness, I use Royce’s analyses of provincialism to shed light on why whiteness should be rehabilitated rather than discarded and how white people today might begin living whiteness as an anti-racist category. (shrink)
There is a considerable sub-literature, stretching back over 35 years, addressed to the question: Precisely which general terms ought to be classified as rigid designators? More fundamentally: What should we take the criterion for rigidity to be, for general terms? The aim of this paper is to give new grounds for the old view that if a general term designates the same kind in all possible worlds, then it should be classified as a rigid designator. The new grounds in question (...) have to do with excavating the connection between rigid designation and semantic structure. Other original contributions of the present work consist in developing responses to some objections to this approach to rigid designation. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that human beings are free because they have minds and, since they are the only creatures we have encountered that have minds, itis further assumed that they are the only creatures that are free. Elizabeth Anscombe, on the other hand, maintains that freedom, in the sense in which it is identified with the ability to do otherwise, is required for intentional action and, since even thoughtless beasts perform intentional actions, these beasts are also free. She does (...) not deny that humans exercise this freedom in a unique way. But by situating human freedom in a broader context and detaching it from any robust concept of mind she makes the claim that human beings are free that much easier to defend. (shrink)