This study extends research on moral reasoning competence in juvenile delinquents to their practical reasoning and perception of an institutional moral atmosphere in order to find out whether a delay in moral competence is one of the causes of the offence or one of the consequences of institutionalization or both. The study involved 64 delinquent adolescents from a modern, humane, high security detention centre and 81 secondary school pupils, all males. Delinquent adolescents exhibited lower moral competence than non?delinquents, particularly in (...) the value area ?obeying the law?, but the difference was smaller than previously reported. Juvenile delinquents' perception of the moral atmosphere in the detention centre was no lower than that of pupils regarding their school and their low moral competence could not be attributed to a poor moral atmosphere in the centre. Thus, the small delay found in moral competence is likely to precede detention. In both the delinquent and pupil groups perception of a poor moral atmosphere was a more important indicator of self?reported antisocial behaviour than low moral competence. Our conclusion is that improving the perception of the institutional moral atmosphere in school and in prison is more likely to reduce antisocial behaviour among adolescents than only improving their moral competence. (shrink)
Meu objetivo é tratar a correspondência entre a Princesa Elisabeth e Descartes como um dos momentos propulsores do estabelecimento da moral cartesiano. Procuro mostrar por primeiro, como os temas propostos por Elisabeth se inscrevem no cerne mesmo do caetesianismo, na medida em que uma de suas preocupações era o modo de relação entre aIma e o corpo. Em seguida, será visto como se estabelece nesta correspondência uma reflexão moral com traços estoicos, mas que não prescinde de uma técnica (...) médica, realizando, assim, a totalidade do projeto cartesiano, que se quer comparado à sabedoria, que não dispensa a metáfora da árvore com raízes, tronco, galhos e frutos bem determinados. (shrink)
The beginning of the twentieth century saw the emergence of the discipline of genetics. It is striking how many female scientists were contributing to this new field at the time. At least three female pioneers succeeded in becoming professors: Kristine Bonnevie (Norway), Elisabeth Schiemann (Germany) and the Tine Tammes (The Netherlands). The question is which factors contributed to the success of these women's careers? At the time women were gaining access to university education it had become quite the norm (...) for universities to be sites for teaching and research. They were still expanding: new laboratories were being built and new disciplines were being established. All three women benefited from the fact that genetics was considered a new field promising in terms of its utility to society; in the case of Tammes and Schiemann in agriculture and in the case of Bonnevie in eugenics. On the other hand, the field of genetics also benefited from the fact that these first female researchers were eager for the chance to work in science and wanted to make active contributions. They all worked and studied in environments which, although different from one another, were positive towards them, at least at the start. Having a patron was generally a prerequisite. Tammes profited from her teacher's contacts and status. Bonnevie made herself indispensable through her success as a teacher and eventually made her position so strong that she was no longer dependent on a single patron. The case of Schiemann adds something new; it shows the vulnerability of such dependency. Initially, Schiemann's teacher had to rely on the first generation of university women simply because he was unable to attract ambitious young men to his institute. In those early, uncertain years of the new discipline, male scientists tended to choose other, better established, and more prestigious disciplines. However, when genetics itself had become an established field, it also became more attractive to men. Our case studies also demonstrate that a new field at first relatively open to women closes its doors to them once it becomes established. (shrink)
Prop oriented make-believe is make-believe utilized for the purpose of understanding what I call “props,” actual objects or states of affairs that make propositions “fictional,” true in the make-believe world. I, David Hills, and others have claimed that prop oriented make-believe lies at the heart of the functioning of many metaphors, and one variety of fictionalism in metaphysics invokes prop oriented make-believe to explain away apparent references to entities some find questionable or problematic (fictional characters, propositions, moral properties, numbers). (...) class='Hi'>Elisabeth Camp has argued against my and David Hills’ views of metaphor. Her arguments, many of them echoed by Catharine Wearing, demolish a very implausible account of metaphor, but leave entirely untouched the views that Hills and I actually proposed. Clarifying what we say about metaphor serves also as a defense of fictionalist theories that invoke prop oriented make-believe. (shrink)
A precise formulation of the structure of modern evolutionary theory has proved elusive. In this paper, I introduce and develop a formal approach to the structure of population genetics, evolutionary theory's most developed sub-theory. Under the semantic approach, used as a framework in this paper, presenting a theory consists in presenting a related family of models. I offer general guidelines and examples for the classification of population genetics models; the defining features of the models are taken to be their state (...) spaces, parameters, and laws. The suggestions regarding the various aspects of the characterization of population genetics models provide an outline for further detailed research. (shrink)
Most models of generational succession in sexually reproducing populations necessarily move back and forth between genic and genotypic spaces. We show that transitions between and within these spaces are usually hidden by unstated assumptions about processes in these spaces. We also examine a widely endorsed claim regarding the mathematical equivalence of kin-, group-, individual-, and allelic-selection models made by Lee Dugatkin and Kern Reeve. We show that the claimed mathematical equivalence of the models does not hold. *Received January 2007; revised (...) April 2008. †To contact the authors, please write to: Elisabeth Lloyd, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, 130 Goodbody Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405; e-mail: email@example.com; Richard Lewontin, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; Marcus Feldman, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
The conflation of two fundamentally distinct issues has generated serious confusion in the philosophical and biological literature concerning the units of selection. The question of how a unit of selection of defined, theoretically, is rarely distinguished from the question of how to determine the empirical accuracy of claims--either specific or general--concerning which unit(s) is undergoing selection processes. In this paper, I begin by refining a definition of the unit of selection, first presented in the philosophical literature by William Wimsatt, which (...) is grounded in the structure of natural selection models. I then explore the implications of this structural definition for empirical evaluation of claims about units of selection. I consider criticisms of this view presented by Elliott Sober--criticisms taken by some (for example, Mayo and Gilinsky 1987) to provide definitive damage to the structuralist account. I shall show that Sober has misinterpreted the structuralist views; he knocks down a straw man in order to motivate his own causal account. Furthermore, I shall argue, Sober's causal account is dependent on the structuralist account that he rejects. I conclude by indicating how the refined structural definition can clarify which sorts of empirical evidence could be brought to bear on a controversial case involving units of selection. (shrink)
Abstract If tacit ethical ideals shape policy and practice, even when practitioners are not fully aware of underlying philosophical assumptions, then philosophical frameworks that support diagnostic, evaluative, and adaptive capacity in the sphere of action are critical to sustainability. Thompson’s agrarian-influenced sustainability framework substantially advances beyond the prevailing triple bottom line approach, as experimental evaluation of biofuels sustainability illustrates. By suggesting that governance of complex social-natural systems lies at the core of contemporary sustainability challenges, Thompson illuminates the critical importance of (...) social capacity for deliberation and choice—a powerful and somewhat unexpected theme requiring more development by philosophers and practitioners alike going forward. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9338-y Authors Elisabeth Graffy, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Madison Wisconsin, 101 Observatory Hill Office Bldg, 1225 Observatory Dr, Madison, WI 53706, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Climate change assessments rely upon scenarios of socioeconomic developments to conceptualize alternative outcomes for global greenhouse gas emissions. These are used in conjunction with climate models to make projections of future climate. Specifically, the estimations of greenhouse gas emissions based on socioeconomic scenarios constrain climate models in their outcomes of temperatures, precipitation, etc. Traditionally, the fundamental logic of the socioeconomic scenarios—that is, the logic that makes them plausible—is developed and prioritized using methods that are very subjective. This introduces a fundamental (...) challenge for climate change assessment: The veracity of projections of future climate currently rests on subjective ground. We elaborate on these subjective aspects of scenarios in climate change research. We then consider an alternative method for developing scenarios, a systems dynamics approach called ‘Cross-Impact Balance’ (CIB) analysis. We discuss notions of ‘objective’ and ‘objectivity’ as criteria for distinguishing appropriate scenario methods for climate change research. We distinguish seven distinct meanings of ‘objective,’ and demonstrate that CIB analysis is more objective than traditional subjective approaches. However, we also consider criticisms concerning which of the seven meanings of ‘objective’ are appropriate for scenario work. Finally, we arrive at conclusions regarding which meanings of ‘objective’ and ‘objectivity’ are relevant for climate change research. Because scientific assessments uncover knowledge relevant to the responses of a real, independently existing climate system, this requires scenario methodologies employed in such studies to also uphold the seven meanings of ‘objective’ and ‘objectivity.’. (shrink)
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–80) and Rene; Descartes (1596–1650) exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind (...) and body, as well as his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
: This paper focuses on Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia's philosophical views as exhibited in her early correspondence with René Descartes. Elisabeth's criticisms of Descartes's interactionism as well as her solution to the problem of mind-body interaction are examined in detail. The aim here is to develop a richer picture of Elisabeth as a philosophical thinker and to dispel the myth that she is simply a Cartesian muse.
Benjamin Libet, Do we have free will? -- Adina L. Roskies, Why Libet's studies don't pose a threat to free will? -- Alfred r. mele, libet on free will : readiness potentials, decisions, and awareness? -- Susan Pockett and Suzanne Purdy, Are voluntary movements initiated preconsciously? : the relationships between readiness potentials, urges, and decisions? -- William P. Banks and Eve A. Isham, Do we really know what we are doing? : implications of reported time of decision for theories of (...) volition? -- Elisabeth Pacherie and Patrick Haggard, What are intentions? -- Mark Hallett, Volition : how physiology speaks to the issue of responsibility? -- John-Dylan Haynes, Beyond Libet : long-term prediction of free choices from neuroimaging signals? -- F. Carota, M. Desmurget, and A. Sirigu, Forward modeling mediates motor awareness? -- Tashina Graves, Brian Maniscalco, and Hakwan Lau, Volition and the function of consciousness? -- Deborah Talmi and Chris D. Frith, Neuroscience, free will, and responsibility? -- Jeffrey P. Ebert and Daniel M. Wegner, Bending time to one's will? -- Thalia Wheatley and Christine Looser, Prospective codes fulfilled : a potential neural mechanism of the will? -- Terry Horgan, The phenomenology of agency and the libet results? -- Thomas Nadelhoffer, The threat of shrinking agency and free will disillusionism? -- Gideon Yaffe, Libet and the criminal law's voluntary act requirement? -- Larry Alexander, Criminal and moral responsibility and the libet experiments? -- Michael S. Moore, Libet's challenge(s) to responsible agency? -- Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Lessons from Libet?. (shrink)
Neither the apparently cold-blooded murder of a complete stranger, the central event in The Stranger, nor Hugo's murder of Hoederer in Dirty Hands—a political assassination or crime of passion, depending on how one views it—can be considered unusual acts, in literature or in life. The topic of murder has itself created an extremely popular genre: the detective novel or "whodunit," which has become a huge industry and has aficionados everywhere, Sartre being one. In French theater, the topic of political assassination (...) has resulted in such famous plays as de Musset's Lorenzaccio (1834), which ostensibly deals with Florence in the sixteenth century and the tyrannical Alexandre de Médicis, who is assassinated by his young cousin, but is in fact "a limpid transposition of the failed revolution of July 1830." It is well known that Sartre was an admirer of Musset and Romantic theater. In 1946, Jean Cocteau, who helped with the staging of Les Mains sales (Dirty Hands), wrote L'Aigle ` deux têtes (The Two-Headed Eagle), which was inspired "by the sad life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria and her tragic death by the hand of the Franco-Italian assassin, Luigi Lucheni." Sartre himself, in Nausea, has Anny use the engraving in Michelet's Histoire de France depicting the assassination of the Duke de Guise as a perfect illustration of "privileged situations.". (shrink)
“For what tomorrow will be, no one knows,” writes Victor Hugo. This dialogue, proposed to Jacques Derrida by the historian Elisabeth Roudinesco, brings together two longtime friends who share a common history and an intellectual heritage. While their perspectives are often different, they have many common reference points: psychoanalysis, above all, but also the authors and works that have come to be known outside France as “post-structuralist.” Beginning with a revealing glance back at the French intellectual scene over the (...) past forty years, Derrida and Roudinesco go on to address a number of major social and political issues. Their extraordinarily wide-ranging discussion covers topics such as immigration, hospitality, gender equality, and “political correctness”; the disordering of the traditional family, same-sex unions, and reproductive technologies; the freedom of the “subject” over and against “scientism”; violence against animals; the haunting specter of communism and revolution; the present and future of anti-Semitism (as well as that which marked Derrida’s own history) and the hazardous politics of criticizing the state of Israel; the principled abolition of the death penalty; and, to conclude, a chapter “in praise of psychoanalysis.” These exchanges not only help to situate Derrida's thought within the milieu out of which it grew, they also show more clearly than ever how this thought, impelled by a deep concern for justice, can be brought to bear on the social and political issues of our day. What emerges here above all, far from an abstract, apolitical discourse, is a call to take responsibility—for the inheritance of a past, for the singularities of the present, and for the unforeseeable tasks of the future. (shrink)
On ne rencontre pas beaucoup de femmes dans les ouvrages d’histoire de la philosophie à l’âge classique. Au mieux, elles tiennent salon ou se montrent de brillantes correspondantes de philosophes ou de savants illustres auxquelles elles doivent leur renommée, comme Lady Ranelagh, la sœur de Robert Boyle, Damaris Masham, fille de Cudworth, amie de Locke et correspondante de Leibniz, ou encore Elisabeth de Bohème ou Christine de Suède, correspondantes de Descartes. Leurs contributions au savoir..
This paper elucidates the structure of Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved, using the framework of human emotions in response to grieving and death as developed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Through her studies of terminally ill patients, Kubler-Ross identified five stages when approaching death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages accurately fill the process that the character Sethe experiences in the novel as she learns to accept her daughter’s death.
After a long period of neglect, the phenomenology of action has recently regained its place in the agenda of philosophers and scientists alike. The recent explosion of interest in the topic highlights its complexity. The purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework allowing for a more precise characterization of the many facets of the phenomenology of agency, of how they are related and of their possible sources. The key assumption guiding this attempt is that the processes through (...) which the phenomenology of action is generated and the processes involved in the specification and control of action are strongly interconnected. I argue in favor of a three-tiered dynamic model of intention, link it to an expanded version of the internal model theory of action control and specification, and use this theoretical framework to guide an analysis of the contents, possible sources and temporal course of complementary aspects of the phenomenology of action. (shrink)
The emphasis on the limitations of objectivity, in specific guises and networks, has been a continuing theme of contemporary analytic philosophy for the past few decades. The popular sport of baiting feminist philosophers — into pointing to what's left out of objective knowledge, or into describing what methods, exactly, they would offer to replace the powerful objective methods grounding scientific knowledge — embodies a blatant double standard which has the effect of constantly putting feminist epistemologists on the defensive, on the (...) fringes, on the run.This strategy can only work if objectivity is transparent, simple, stable, and clear in its meaning. It most certainly is not. In fact, taking objectivity as a sort of beautiful primitive, self-evident in its value, and all-powerful in its revelatory power, requires careless philosophy, and the best workers in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science have made reworked definitions of objectivity absolutely central to their own projects. In fact, classic feminist concerns with exploring the impact of sex and gender on knowledge, understanding, and other relations between human beings and the rest of the world fall squarely within the sort of human and social settings thatare already considered central in most current analytic metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science. I argue that the burden of proof is clearly on those who wish toreject the centrality and relevance of sex and gender to our most fundamental philosophical work on knowledge and reality. (shrink)
Two main approaches can be discerned in the literature on agentive self-awareness: a top-down approach, according to which agentive self-awareness is fundamentally holistic in nature and involves the operations of a central-systems narrator, and a bottom-up approach that sees agentive self-awareness as produced by lowlevel processes grounded in the very machinery responsible for motor production and control. Neither approach is entirely satisfactory if taken in isolation; however, the question of whether their combination would yield a full account of agentive self-awareness (...) remains very much open. In this paper, I contrast two disorders affecting the control of voluntary action: the anarchic hand syndrome and utilization behavior. Although in both conditions patients fail to inhibit actions that are elicited by objects in the environment but inappropriate with respect to the wider context, these actions are experienced in radically different ways by the two groups of patients. I discuss how top-down and bottom-up processes involved in the generation of agentive self-awareness would have to be related in order to account for these differences. (shrink)
The expression ‘Like’ has a wide variety of uses among English and American speakers. It may describe preference, as in (1) She likes mint chip ice cream. It may be used as a vehicle of comparison, as in (2) Trieste is like Minsk on steroids.
I discuss two types of evidential problems with the most widely touted experiments in evolutionary psychology, those performed by Leda Cosmides and interpreted by Cosmides and John Tooby. First, and despite Cosmides and Tooby's claims to the contrary, these experiments don't fulfil the standards of evidence of evolutionary biology. Second Cosmides and Tooby claim to have performed a crucial experiment, and to have eliminated rival approaches. Though they claim that their results are consistent with their theory but contradictory to the (...) leading non-evolutionary alternative, Pragmatic Reasoning Schemas theory, I argue that this claim is unsupported. In addition, some of Cosmides and Tooby's interpretations arise from misguided and simplistic understandings of evolutionary biology. While I endorse the incorporation of evolutionary approaches into psychology, I reject the claims of Cosmides and Tooby that a modular approach is the only one supported by evolutionary biology. Lewontin's critical examinations of the applications of adaptationist thinking provide a background of evidentiary standards against which to view the currently fashionable claims of evolutionary psychology. (shrink)
Today's climate models are supported in a couple of ways that receive little attention from philosophers or climate scientists. In addition to standard 'model fit', wherein a model's simulation is compared to observational data, there is an additional type of confirmation available through the variety of instances of model fit. When a model performs well at fitting first one variable and then another, the probability of the model under some standard confirmation function, say, likelihood, goes up more than under each (...) individual case of fit alone. Thus, two instances of fit of distinct variables of a global climate model using distinct data sets considered collectively will provide stronger evidence for a model than either one of the instances considered individually. This has consequences for model robustness. Sets of models that produce robust results will, if their assumptions vary enough and they each are observationally sound, provide reasons to endorse common structures found in those models. Finally, independent empirical support for aspects and assumptions of the model provides an additional confirmational virtue for climate models, contrary to what is implied by some current philosophical writing on this topic. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the possibility of an objectivism for aesthetic judgements capable of incorporating certain ‘subjectivist’ elements of aesthetic experience. The discussion focuses primarily on a desired cognitivism for aesthetic judgements, rather than on any putative realism of aesthetic properties. Two cognitivist theories of aesthetic judgements are discussed, one subjectivist, the other objectivist. It is argued that whilst the subjectivist theory relies too heavily upon analogies with secondary qualities, the objectivist account, which allows for some such analogies at (...) the epistemological level, is too quick to ground aesthetic judgements in perceptual experiences alone. Further, it is held that aesthetic justification can, contra the objectivist theory under scrutiny, be based on an appeal to generally available justifying reasons without overthrowing the non-inferential character of aesthetic judgements. This possibility relies on a clearly established delineation between (i) aesthetic perception and aesthetic judgement, (ii) justifying reasons and explaining reasons, and (iii) judgement-making and judgement-justification. (shrink)
Does thought precede language, or the other way around? How does having a language affect our thoughts? Who has a language, and who can think? These questions have traditionally been addressed by philosophers, especially by rationalists concerned to identify the essential difference between humans and other animals. More recently, theorists in cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and developmental psychology have been asking these questions in more empirically grounded ways. At its best, this confluence of philosophy and science promises to blend the (...) respective strengths of each discipline, bringing abstract theory to bear on reality in a principled and focused way. At its worst, it risks degenerating into a war of words, with each side employing key expressions in its own idiosyncratic way – or worse, contaminating empirical research with a priori dogmas inherited from outmoded philosophical worldviews. In Baboon Metaphysics (2007), Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth offer an analysis of baboon cognition that promises to exemplify the very best interaction of philosophical theory and empirical research. They argue that baboons have a language of thought: a language-like representational medium, which supports the sophisticated cognitive abilities required to negotiate their complex social environment. This claim is intended to be surprising in its own right, and also to shed light on the evolution of spoken language. Because our own ancestors likely lived in a similarly complex social environment, Cheney and Seyfarth propose that the earliest humans also developed language first as a cognitive medium, and that spoken language evolved as a means to express those thoughts. There are two potential difficulties here. First, ‘Language of Thought’ (LOT) is a term of art, with much associated theoretical baggage and often comparatively little careful exposition. Thus, evaluating the claim requires getting clearer about just what LOT implies in this context.. (shrink)
Recent philosophical attention to climate models has highlighted their weaknesses and uncertainties. Here I address the ways that models gain support through observational data. I review examples of model ﬁt, variety of evidence, and independent support for aspects of the models, contrasting my analysis with that of other philosophers. I also investigate model robustness, which often emerges when comparing climate models simulating the same time period or set of conditions. Starting from Michael Weisberg’s analysis of robustness, I conclude that his (...) approach involves a version of reasoning from variety of evidence, enabling this robustness to be a conﬁrmatory virtue.. (shrink)
This important new volume argues that responsibility is a characteristic of fundamental importance for the survival of modern democratic structures. It represents a comprehensive collection of cutting-edge psychological, philosophical, sociological and evolutionary approaches to the topic.
Philipp Frank"s book Relativity â€“ a richer truth1 shows something we do not find very often after World War 2: a philosopher of science acting as a public intellectual. Taking part in the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion, Philipp Frank intervened in the public debate about the causes of Nazism and how to defend democracy and liberalism against totalitarian ideas and politics. Could philosophy of science contribute to such a struggle? Philipp Frank thought it could, he (...) even thought that Philosophy of Science should play a crucial role in it. It"s obvious that this position should be of some interest for philosophers in Austria and Europe today. Of course, any serious analysis of Frank"s position would have to take the whole historical constellation into account. Between the beginning of the conference in 1940 and the publication of the book in 1951 the historical situation had dramatically changed. And therefore one has to distinguish several political dimensions in Frank"s arguments. Let me just make a short remark on the plurality of political perspectives Frank"s discourse opened up. Philipp Frank defined the role science should play in democracy not only in contrast to the role of science as it was conceived by totalitarian governments. Of course he criticised the Nazis" and Soviets" â€?philosophies of scienceâ€? several times (see for instance p. 73, 98, 103p.). But he also made very clear that in the 40ies and 50ies not even the majority of scholars and university teachers in the US supported the specific view of science which Frank thought was so important to the advancement of democracy (for instance 59pp.). His rather critical comments on the teaching of science in the post war / cold war period show what he thought the really important political impact of science was. As far as I can see, these comments did not loose their significance. (shrink)
Elisabeth Pacherie is a research fellow in philosophy at Institut Jean Nicod, Paris. Her main research and publications are in the areas of philosophy of mind, psychopathology and action theory. Her publications include a book on intentionality (_Naturaliser_ _l'intentionnalité_, Paris, PUF, 1993) and she is currently preparing a book on action and agency.
I suggest following Paul Feyerabend's own advice, and interpreting Feyerabend's work in light of the principles laid out by John Stuart Mill. A review of Mill's essay, On Liberty, emphasizes the importance Mill placed on open and critical discussion for the vitality and progress of various aspects of human life, including the pursuit of scientific knowledge. Many of Feyerabend's more unusual stances, I suggest, are best interpreted as attempts to play certain roles--especially the role of "defender of unpopular minority opinion"--that (...) are necessary to fulfilling Mill's conditions for rational exchange and optimal human development. (shrink)
I argue that four of the fundamental claims of those calling themselves `genic pluralists'Philip Kitcher, Kim Sterelny, and Ken Watersare defective. First, they claim that once genic selectionism is recognized, the units of selection problems will be dissolved. Second, Sterelny and Kitcher claim that there are no targets of selection (interactors). Third, Sterelny, Kitcher, and Waters claim that they have a concept of genic causation that allows them to give independent genic causal accounts of all selection processes. I argue (...) that each one of these claims is either false or misleading. Moreover, the challenge that arises from the availability of genic causal accounts, namely, the inability to choose on rational grounds among genic and higher-level accounts, is unsupported. (shrink)
This doctoral thesis is an examination of the possibility of ascribing objectivity to aesthetic judgements. The aesthetic is viewed in terms of its being a certain kind of relation between the mind and the world; a clear understanding of aesthetic judgements will therefore be capable of telling us something important about both subjects and objects, and the ties between them. In view of this, one of the over-riding aims of this thesis is the promotion of an ‘aesthetic psychology’, a philosophical (...) approach, that is to say, which emphasises the importance of the psychological processes involved in the making of aesthetic judgements. One of the aims of this thesis is to develop a revisionary account of the distinction between objectivity and subjectivity in the domain of value. This revision will undertake to dismantle some of the assumptions implicit in a metaphysical framework which traditionally ascribes objectivity only to judgements about facts, and not to judgements about values and other concerns such as norms and emotions. Further, the thesis examines the intricate ways in which aesthetic properties, the focus of aesthetic judgements, depend on the (emotional and other) responses of the subjects of experience. The particular role played by first-hand experience in the making of aesthetic judgements is among the things critically investigated in the interests of reaching a clearer understanding of the manner in which aesthetic judgements may be objective in the sense of being justifiable. Eventually, a defence is outlined of the view that aesthetic judgements can be supported by good reasons, but not in the same way as ordinary cognitive judgements. Finally, I outline the main tenets of a proposed ‘reasonable objectivism’ for aesthetic judgements, an objectivism grounded on justifying reasons. (shrink)
Nearly everyone shares the intuition that sarcasm or verbal irony1 is a use of language in which speaker meaning and sentence meaning come apart. Two millennia ago, Quintilian defined irony as speech in which “we understand something which is the opposite of what is actually said.”2 More recently, Josef Stern sharply distinguishes metaphor, which he argues is semantic, from irony: in the latter case, he says, we are not “even tempted to posit an ironic meaning in the utterance in addition (...) to the ordinary literal meanings of the words used.”3 Indeed, sarcasm is frequently cited as a paradigm case of pragmatic meaning. (shrink)
When natural selection theory was presented, much active philosophical debate, in which Darwin himself participated, centered on its hypothetical nature, its explanatory power, and Darwin's methodology. Upon first examination, Darwin's support of his theory seems to consist of a set of claims pertaining to various aspects of explanatory success. I analyze the support of his method and theory given in the Origin of Species and private correspondence, and conclude that an interpretation focusing on the explanatory strengths of natural selection theory (...) accurately reflects neither Darwin's own self-consciously held views, nor the nature of his support. Darwin's methodological and philosophical arguments were at once consistently empiricist and more sophisticated than such interpretations credit to him. (shrink)
Elisabeth Blum and Paul Richard Blum, both Loyola University Maryland, jointly published: Giordano Bruno: Spaccio della bestia trionfante / Austreibung des triumphierenden Tieres, a translation form the Italian into German with introduction and extensive commentary at Meiner Verlag in Hamburg (Germany) 2009. ISBN: 978-3-7873-1805-6.