This paper discusses the ethical and regulatory issues raised by “intragenics” – organisms that have been genetically modified using gene technologies, but that do not contain DNA from another species. Considering the rapid development of knowledge about gene regulation and genomics, we anticipate rapid advances in intragenic methods. Of regulatory systems developed to govern genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, the Australian system stands out in explicitly excluding intragenics from regulation. European systems are also (...) under pressure to exclude intragenics from regulation. We evaluate recent arguments that intragenics are safer and more morally acceptable than transgenic organisms, and more acceptable to the public, which might be thought to justify a lower standard of regulation. We argue that the exemption of intragenics from regulation is not justified, and that there may be significant environmental risks associated with them. We conclude that intragenics should be subject to the same standard of regulation as other GMOs. (shrink)
During his long life (1872-1970) Bertrand Russell was one of a handful of social thinkers, let alone internationally recognized philosophers, whose views on contemporary issues won for him a devoted and supportive audience on the one hand and a host of vituperative critics on the other. Russell's revolutionary writings frequently placed him in the center of controversy with conservatives and all those who were unwilling to consider moral questions from a rational rather than an emotional stance. -/- Al (...) Seckel has compiled an exhaustive collection of Russell's very best and most thought-provoking essays on ethics, social morality, happiness, sex, adultery, marriage, and divorce. Often hidden in obscure journals, pamphlets, out-of-print periodicals, and hard-to-find books, the works assembled here comprise a comprehensive volume that is augmented by valuable section introductions and editor's comments. This volume also includes "Morality and Instinct," which is published here for the first time. (shrink)
Russell on Metaphysics brings together for the first time a comprehensive selection of Russell's writings on metaphysics in one volume. Russell's major and lasting contribution to metaphysics has been hugely influential and his insights have led to the establishment of analytic philosophy as a dominant stream in philosophy. Stephen Mumford chronicles the metaphysical nature of these insights through accessible introductions to the texts, setting them in context and understanding their continued importance. Russell on Metaphysics is both (...) a valuable introduction to Bertrand Russell as a metaphysician, and an introduction to analytic philosophy and its history. (shrink)
During the period covered by this volume, Bertrand Russell first retired from and them resumed his philosophical career. In 1927 he published two philosophy books, The Analysis of Matter and An Outline of Philosophy. His next book in academic philosophy, An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth, was not published until 1940. Yet, Russell published many essays and popular books between 1927 and 1946, mostly to finance the running of Beacon Hill School, and his growing family. Those years also (...) saw his break-up with Dora Russell, his marriage to Patricia (Peter) Spence and a move of the family to the United States. Volume 10 brings together Russell's writings on ethics, politics, religion and academic philosophy. (shrink)
Russell on Religion presents a comprehensive and accessible selection of Bertrand Russell's writing on religion and related topics from the turn of the century to the end of his life. The influence of religion pervades almost all Bertrand Russell's writings from his mathematical treatises to his early fiction. This comprehensive selection of writings offers a clear overview of the development of his thinking about religion. Russell contends with religion as a philosopher, historian, social critic and private (...) individual. The selections papers are arranged chronologically, and span Russell's thinking with his personal statements, and his views on religion and philosophy, religion and science, religion and morality and religion and history. This collection shows the development and diversity of Russell's thinking on religion and exposes the reader to all aspects of his work on this subject. (shrink)
Venkataramanaiah, V. Introduction.--Narla, V. R. Russell and his rejection of religion.--Mehta, G. L. The sceptical crusader.--Dalvi, G. R. Russell, the man.--Venkatarao, V. The nuclear war and the future of man.--Innaiah, N. Bertrand Russell's philosophy.--Subbarayudu, P. Rationality vis-a-vis faith.--Nageswar Rao, B. Russell and nuclear warfare.--Rajagopala Rao, M. Rebel in Russell.--Shankar, G. N. J. The man who revolutionised modern thought.--Maharajasri. Russell, the social scientist in the four-dimensional universe.--The life of Bertrand Russell.--Acknowledgements.--A list of principal works (...) of Bertrand Russell.--Russell's conception of good society in a democratic socialist order.--Objects. (shrink)
The analytic/synthetic distinction looks simple. It is a distinction between two different kinds of sentence. Synthetic sentences are true in part because of the way the world is, and in part because of what they mean. Analytic sentences--like all bachelors are unmarried and triangles have three sides--are different. They are true in virtue of meaning, so no matter what the world is like, as long as the sentence means what it does, it will be true. This distinction seems powerful because (...) analytic sentences seem to be knowable in a special way. One can know that all bachelors are unmarried, for example, just by thinking about what it means. But many twentieth-century philosophers, with Quine in the lead, argued that there were no analytic sentences, that the idea of analyticity didn't even make sense, and that the analytic/synthetic distinction was therefore an illusion. Others couldn't see how there could fail to be a distinction, however ingenious the arguments of Quine and his supporters. But since the heyday of the debate, things have changed in the philosophy of language. Tools have been refined, confusions cleared up, and most significantly, many philosophers now accept a view of language--semantic externalism--on which it is possible to see how the distinction could fail. One might be tempted to think that ultimately the distinction has fallen for reasons other than those proposed in the original debate. In Truth in Virtue of Meaning, Gillian Russell argues that it hasn't. Using the tools of contemporary philosophy of language, she outlines a view of analytic sentences which is compatible with semantic externalism and defends that view against the old Quinean arguments. She then goes on to draw out the surprising epistemological consequences of her approach. (shrink)
By what process of development he came to this opinion, though in itself an important and interesting question, is logically irrelevant to the inquiry how far the opinion itself is correct ; and among his opinions, when these have been ascertained, it becomes desirable to prune away such as seem inconsistent with his main doctrines, before those doctrines themselves are subjected to a critical scrutiny. Philosophic truth and falsehood, in short, rather than historical fact, are what primarily demand our attention (...) in this inquiry. (shrink)
First published in 1946, History of Western Philosophy went on to become the best-selling philosophy book of the twentieth century. A dazzlingly ambitious project, it remains unchallenged to this day as the ultimate introduction to Western philosophy. Providing a sophisticated overview of the ideas that have perplexed people from time immemorial, it is 'long on wit, intelligence and curmudgeonly scepticism', as the New York Times noted, and it is this, coupled with the sheer brilliance of its scholarship, that has made (...)Russell's History of Western Philosophy one of the most important philosophical works of all time. (shrink)
The original 1907 text of James' Pragmatism is accompanied with a series of critical essays from scholars including Moore and Russell. In the introduction Olin evaluates the strength of the criticisms made against James.
Bertrand Russell wrote most of his Philosophical Essays during the first decade of this century, a period when he was at the height of his creative energy in the realms of philosophy and mathematics. Fifty-five years later, in re-issuing the book, Russell replaced two of the essays that were available elsewhere, but made no changes to the others despite changes in his own opinions and beliefs. These seven essays display Russell's incisiveness and brilliance of exposition in the (...) examination of ethical subjects and the nature of truth. The essays mark an important stage in the evolution of Russell's thought, and are designed to appeal to readers with an interest in philosophical questions who do not have a background in philosophy. (shrink)
My target in this paper is a view that has sometimes been called the ‘Linguistic Doctrine of Necessary Truth’ (L-DONT) and sometimes ‘Conventionalism about Necessity’. It is the view that necessity is grounded in the meanings of our expressions—meanings which are sometimes identified with the conventions governing those expressions—and that our knowledge of that necessity is based on our knowledge of those meanings or conventions. In its simplest form the view states that a truth, if it is necessary, is necessary (...) (and knowably necessary) because it is analytic. It is widely recognized that this simple version of the view faces a prima facie problem with the existence of the necessary a posteriori. Assuming that all analytic truths are a priori, if there are necessary a posteriori truths then there are necessary synthetic truths—contradicting the view’s claim that all necessary truths are analytic. Contemporary L-DONTers have things to say about the problem, but in this paper I want to suggest that there is a different, more serious, problem which arises from the phenomenon of indexicality, which L-DONTers have not taken account of. Though there are many versions of the problem, a simple one is this. Consider Kaplan’s celebrated sentence. (shrink)
Hubert Dreyfus has claimed that Heidegger's phenomenological method involves a “hermeneutics of suspicion”. This is an intriguing suggestion, and if it were correct it would indicate that the standard interpretations overlook a significant aspect of the methodology of Being and Time. But is there really a hermeneutics of suspicion in Being and Time? Leslie MacAvoy has offered the most sustained challenge to Dreyfus on this point, arguing that his “hermeneutics of suspicion thesis” misconstrues both the overarching project and the methodological (...) structure of Heidegger's magnum opus. In this essay, after examining Dreyfus's “hermeneutics of suspicion thesis” and MacAvoy's objections to it, I argue that the criticisms offered by MacAvoy, despite correcting some misunderstandings in Dreyfus's reading, are not fatal to the general thesis that a hermeneutics of suspicion is operative in Being and Time. Indeed, I contend that Dreyfus's basic intuition is correct and that it does identify a significant and often overlooked aspect of Heidegger's phenomenological method. In the body of the essay, Dreyfus's intuition is developed into a more detailed and rigorous analysis of the “suspicious” dimension of Being and Time. (shrink)
First published in 1984 as part of The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell , Theory of Knowledge represents an important addition to our knowledge of Russell's thought. In this work Russell attempts to flesh out the sketch implicit in The Problems of Philosophy . It was conceived by Russell as his next major project after Principia Mathematica and was intended to provide the epistemological foundations for his work. Russell's subsequent difficulties in presenting his theory of (...) knowledge, brought on by what he considered to be devastating criticisms of Wittgenstein, led to both his abandonment of this work and to a major transformation in his thought. Theory of Knowledge , now available for the first time in paperback, gives us a picture of one of the great minds of the twentieth century at work. It is possible to see the unsolved problems left without disguise or evasion. This second edition has retained the full scholarly introduction. The photographs of the manuscript, appendices, and notes on textual matters have been eliminated to provide a concise and accessible guide to understanding both Russell's own thought and his relationship with Wittgenstein. (shrink)
The years 1909-1913 were among the most productive, philosophically speaking, of Bertrand Russell's entire career. In addition to the papers reprinted in this volume, he brought Principia Mathematica to its finished form and wrote The Problems of Philosophy, Theory of Knowledge and Our Knowledge of the External World . In October 1910, Russell began teaching at Cambridge, having accepted an appointment as lecturer in logic and the principles of mathematics at Trinity College for a term of five years. (...) The following year, Ludwig Wittgenstein began to attend his lectures. Within a few months, Wittgenstein had exerted a major influence on Russsell's philosophical thinking, perhaps even more than Russell had influenced his thought. (shrink)
This paper investigates, formulates and proves an indexical barrier theorem, according to which sets of non-indexical sentences do not entail (except under specified special circumstances) indexical sentences. It surveys the usual difficulties for this kind of project, as well some that are specific to the case of indexicals, and adapts the strategy of Restall and Russell’s “Barriers to Implication” to overcome these. At the end of the paper a reverse barrier theorem is also proved, according to which an indexical (...) sentence will not, except under specified circumstances, entail a non-indexical one. (shrink)
In this book, Russell examines Hume's notion of free will and moral responsibility. It is widely held that Hume presents us with a classic statement of a compatibilist position--that freedom and responsibility can be reconciled with causation and, indeed, actually require it. Russell argues that this is a distortion of Hume's view, because it overlooks the crucial role of moral sentiment in Hume's picture of human nature. Hume was concerned to describe the regular mechanisms which generate moral sentiments (...) such as responsibility, and Russell argues that his conception of free will must be interprted within this naturalistic framework. He goes on to discuss Hume's views about the nature and character of moral sentiment; the extent to which we have control over our moral character; and the justification of punishment. Throughout, Russell argues that the naturalistic avenue of interpretation of Hume's thought, far from draining it of its contemporary interest and significance, reveals it to be of great relevance to the ongoing contemporary debate. (shrink)
This volume covers the period from the beginning of Russell's work on Volume Two of the Principles of Mathematics to the critical discovery of the theory of descriptions in 1905. Foundations of Logic gives a vivid picture of Russell wrestling with the logical paradoxes, often unsuccessfully, as he tries out one foundational scheme after another. This volume provides the key to both Bertrand Russell's philosophy of logic and philosophy of mathematics. It includes unpublished work on the theory (...) of denoting which predates Russell's famous article of 1905 and unpublished manuscripts on the so-called "zig-zag" theory with which Russell attempted to provide a type-free foundation for mathematics. The volume also gathers together for the first time a number of reviews and survey articles, along with two talks on modality and truth. It will be an essential addition to any Bertrand Russell collection. (shrink)
Philosophy, from the earliest times, has made greater claims, and achieved fewer results, than any other branch of learning. In Our Knowledge of the External World , Bertrand Russell illustrates instances where the claims of philosophers have been excessive, and examines why their achievements have not been greater.
Daniel Russell develops a fresh and original view of pleasure and its pivotal role in Plato's treatment of value, happiness, and human psychology. This is the first full-length discussion of the topic for fifty years, and Russell shows its relevance to contemporary debates in moral philosophy and philosophical psychology. Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life will make fascinating reading for ancient specialists and for a wide range of philosophers.
Episodic memory is usually regarded in a Conceptualist light, in the sense of its being dependent upon the grasp of concepts directly relevant to the act of episodic recollection itself, such as a concept of past times and of the self as an experiencer. Given this view, its development is typically timed as being in the early school-age years (Perner, 2001; Tulving, 2005). We present a minimalist, Non-Conceptualist approach in opposition to this view, but one that also exists in clear (...) contrast to the kind of minimalism (‘episodic-like’) espoused by Clayton and Dickinson (1998) with regard to memory in food-caching birds. While emphasising the nonconceptual elements of episodic memory (in common with the ‘episodic-like’ approach) we also insist on the essentially phenomenological nature of the memory (as does the Conceptualist approach). We propose the third year of life as a plausible onset period. Our view is rooted in Kantian assumptions about the spatiotemporal content of experience (and thus of re-experience) and about the synthetic unity of experience—and thus of re-experience. We answer two objections to this position. (shrink)
Contextualism is supposed to explain why the following argument for skepticism seems plausible: (1) I don’t know that I am not a bodiless brain-in-a-vat (BIV); (2) If I know I have hands, then I know I am not a bodiless BIV; (3) Therefore, I do not know I have hands. Keith DeRose claims that (1) and (2) are “initially plausible.” I claim that (1) is initially plausible only because of an implicit argument that stands behind it; it is not intuitively (...) plausible. The argument DeRose offers is based on the requirement of sensitivity, that is, on the idea that if you know something then you would not believe it if it were false. I criticize the sensitivity requirement thereby undercutting its support for (1) and the skeptical data that contextualism is meant to explain. While skepticism is not a plausible ground for contextualism, I argue that certain pragmatic considerations are. It’s plausible to think that to know something more evidence is required when more is at stake. The best way to handle skepticism is to criticize the arguments for it. We should not adopt contextualism as a means of accommodating skepticism even if there are other pragmatic reasons for being a contextualist about knowledge. (shrink)
'These propositions may seem mild, yet, if accepted, they would absolutely revolutionize human life.' With these words Bertrand Russell introduces what is indeed a revolutionary book. Taking as his starting-point the irrationality of the world, he offers by contrast something 'wildly paradoxical and subversive' Sceptical Essays has never been out of print since its first publication in 1928. Today, besieged as we are by the numbing onslaught of twenty-first-century capitalism, Russell's defense of scepticism and independence of mind is (...) as timely as ever. In clear, engaging prose, he guides us through the key philosophical issues that affect our daily life. (shrink)
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is currently defined as a cognitive/behavioral developmental disorder where all clinical criteria are behavioral. Inattentiveness, overactivity, and impulsiveness are presently regarded as the main clinical symptoms. The dynamic developmental behavioral theory is based on the hypothesis that altered dopaminergic function plays a pivotal role by failing to modulate nondopaminergic (primarily glutamate and GABA) signal transmission appropriately. A hypofunctioning mesolimbic dopamine branch produces altered reinforcement of behavior and deficient extinction of previously reinforced behavior. This gives rise to delay (...) aversion, development of hyperactivity in novel situations, impulsiveness, deficient sustained attention, increased behavioral variability, and failure to “inhibit” responses (“disinhibition”). A hypofunctioning mesocortical dopamine branch will cause attention response deficiencies (deficient orienting responses, impaired saccadic eye movements, and poorer attention responses toward a target) and poor behavioral planning (poor executive functions). A hypofunctioning nigrostriatal dopamine branch will cause impaired modulation of motor functions and deficient nondeclarative habit learning and memory. These impairments will give rise to apparent developmental delay, clumsiness, neurological “soft signs,” and a “failure to inhibit” responses when quick reactions are required. Hypofunctioning dopamine branches represent the main individual predispositions in the present theory. The theory predicts that behavior and symptoms in ADHD result from the interplay between individual predispositions and the surroundings. The exact ADHD symptoms at a particular time in life will vary and be influenced by factors having positive or negative effects on symptom development. Altered or deficient learning and motor functions will produce special needs for optimal parenting and societal styles. Medication will to some degree normalize the underlying dopamine dysfunction and reduce the special needs of these children. The theory describes how individual predispositions interact with these conditions to produce behavioral, emotional, and cognitive effects that can turn into relatively stable behavioral patterns. Key Words: catecholamine; clumsiness; dopamine; hyperkinesis; hyperkinetic disorder; impulsivity; monoamine; neuromodulator; overactivity; pollutants; reinforcement; reward; verbally governed behavior; soft signs; variability. (shrink)
Although it is widely recognized that David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40) belongs among the greatest works of philosophy, there is little agreement about the correct way to interpret his fundamental intentions. It is an established orthodoxy among almost all commentators that skepticism and naturalism are the two dominant themes in this work. The difficulty has been, however, that Hume's skeptical arguments and commitments appear to undermine and discredit his naturalistic ambition to contribute to "the science of man". (...) This schism appears to leave his entire project broken-backed. The solution to this riddle depends on challenging another, closely related, point of orthodoxy: namely, that before Hume published the Treatise he removed almost all material concerned with problems of religion. Russell argues, contrary to this view, that irreligious aims and objectives are fundamental to the Treatise and account for its underlying unity and coherence. It is Hume's basic anti-Christian aims and objectives that serve to shape and direct both his skeptical and naturalistic commitments. When Hume's arguments are viewed from this perspective we can solve, not only puzzles arising from his discussion of various specific issues, we can also explain the intimate and intricate connections that hold his entire project together. This "irreligious" interpretation provides a comprehensive fresh account of the nature of Hume's fundamental aims and ambitions in the Treatise. It also presents a radically different picture of the way in which HUme's project was rooted in the debates and controversies of his own time, placing the Treatise in an irreligious or anti-Chrisitan philosophical tradition that includes Hobbes, Spinoza and freethinking followers. Considered in these terms, Hume's Treatise constitutes the crowning achievement of the Radical Enlightenment. (shrink)
The analytic/synthetic distinction looks simple. It is a distinction between two different kinds of sentence. Synthetic sentences are true in part because of the way the world is, and in part because of what they mean. Analytic sentences - like all bachelors are unmarried and triangles have three sides - are different. They are true in virtue of meaning, so no matter what the world is like, as long as the sentence means what it does, it will be true. -/- (...) This distinction seems powerful because analytic sentences seem to be knowable in a special way. One can know that all bachelors are unmarried, for example, just by thinking about what it means. But many twentieth-century philosophers, with Quine in the lead, argued that there were no analytic sentences, that the idea of analyticity didn't even make sense, and that the analytic/synthetic distinction was therefore an illusion. Others couldn't see how there could fail to be a distinction, however ingenious the arguments of Quine and his supporters. -/- But since the heyday of the debate, things have changed in the philosophy of language. Tools have been refined, confusions cleared up, and most significantly, many philosophers now accept a view of language - semantic externalism - on which it is possible to see how the distinction could fail. One might be tempted to think that ultimately the distinction has fallen for reasons other than those proposed in the original debate. -/- In Truth in Virtue of Meaning, Gillian Russell argues that it hasn't. Using the tools of contemporary philosophy of language, she outlines a view of analytic sentences which is compatible with semantic externalism and defends that view against the old Quinean arguments. She then goes on to draw out the surprising epistemological consequences of her approach. (shrink)
This collection of essays and stories by Bertrand Russell, the influential modern philosopher, is divided into four distinct parts. The first part is devoted to six essays on the books that influenced him in youth, broadly speaking from the age of 15 to the age of 21. For Russell, this was a time when each book was an adventure and enormously important to him when first exploring the world and trying to determine his attitude towards it. The writers (...) whom he selects for discussion are Shelley, Turgenev, Ibsen, Milton, certain historians (especially Gibbon) and the great mathematical writers. The second part of the book is devoted to essays on politics and education. The third part consists of divertissements, parables, nightmares and dreams, the dreams being recorded exactly as dreamt and in no way decorated or improved. The final section of the book contains 11 essays and addresses on peace and war, which include some of Russell's famous public pronouncements on nuclear warfare and international tension. Rich in wit and humor, Fact and Fiction is a highly characteristic Russell book, demonstrating the great width of his interests and the depth of his convictions. (shrink)
Contextualists often argue from examples where it seems true to say in one context that a person knows something but not true to say that in another context where skeptical hypotheses have been introduced. The skeptical hypotheses can be moderate, simply mentioning what might be the case or raising questions about what a person is certain of, or radical, where scenarios about demon worlds, brains in vats, The Matrix, etc., are introduced. I argue that the introduction of these skeptical hypotheses (...) leads people to fallaciously infer that it is no longer true to say that the relevant person knows. I believe that that is a better explanation of the so-called intuition that the person does not know than the contextualists who claim that raising these skeptical hypotheses changes the standards that determine when it is true to say S knows that P. At the end I raise the possibility that contextualists might defend their view on pragmatic rather than skeptical grounds by arguing that the standards of evidence rise when more is at stake in a practical sense. (shrink)
Two substantive comments are made. The first is methodological, and concerns Heyes's proposals for a critical test for theory of mind. The second is theoretical, and concerns the appropriateness of asking questions about theory of mind in nonhuman primates. Although Heyes warns against the apparent simplicity of the theory of mind hypothesis, she underplays the linguistic implications.
" The supreme principle, both in politics and in private life, should be to promote all that is creative, and so to diminish the impulses and desires that center round possession." This book, originally entitled Why Men Fight, is generally seen as the fullest expression of Bertrand Russell's political philosophy. Russell argues that after the experience of the Great War the individualistic approach of traditional liberalism had reached its limits. Political theory must be based on the motivated forces (...) of creativity and impulse rather than on competition. The ideas expressed in Principles of Social Reconstruction have greatly contributed to Russell's fame as a social critic and anti-war activist. The introduction by Richard Rempel locates them in the context of Russell's other writings and show that neither his ideas nor his language have lost their force and topicality over the years. (shrink)
Russell's objections to object-theory have been refuted by the proofs of the consistency of Meinong's system given by various writers. These proofs exploit technical distinctions that Meinong apparently uses very little if at all. Instead, Meinong introduces a theoretical postulate called the modal moment. I describe this postulate and its place in Meinong's system, and I argue that it has been much under-rated by Meinong's logician expositors.
On one hand, Chinese consumers are well known for conspicuous consumption and the adoption of luxury products and named brands. On the other hand, they also have a bad reputation for buying counterfeit products. Their simultaneous preferences for two contrasting types of product present a paradox that has not been addressed in the literature. This study attempts to present an explanation of this paradox by examining the effects of traditional Chinese cultural values and consumer values (...) on consumers’ deontological judgment of pirated CDs and the amount of social benefits they perceive they gain from them. We interviewed 300 Hong Kong Chinese consumers, and found that face consciousness increased materialism and risk aversion, thereby producing a favorable deontological judgment of pirated CDs. Face consciousness also has a direct effect on the amount of social benefits perceived in pirated CDs. Both favorable deontological judgment and perceived social benefits contributed to a strong intention to buy pirated CDs. The results are discussed in a cultural perspective. (shrink)
Book Information The Liberal Archipelago: A Theory of Diversity and Freedom. The Liberal Archipelago: A Theory of Diversity and Freedom Chandran Kukathas , Oxford : Oxford University Press , 2003 , xii + 292 , £25.00 ( cloth ), US $45.00 ( cloth ) By Chandran Kukathas. Oxford University Press. Oxford. Pp. xii + 292. £25.00 (cloth:), US $45.00 (cloth:).
"Contains a great deal of varied and interesting writing from Russell's first decade as an independent thinker the great themes of God and freewill, immortality and conscience are rehearsed with charm and penetration Russell shows an exuberant delight in ingenious reasoning, expressed in the fewest possible words and in the least encumbered way, that was to remain with him as a kind of trademark -- Anthony Quinton, The Times.
Human beings differ in ways of understanding, interpreting, describing or sharing experience. On the basis of experience we construct our own conceptual systems (beliefs and values) that are neither consistent nor monolithic. "Alternative conceptual systems exist, whether one likes it or not. They are not likely to go away, since they arise from a fundamental human capacity to conceptualise experience...A refusal to recognise conceptual relativism where it exists does have ethical consequences. It leads directly to conceptual elitism and imperialism - (...) to the assumption that our behaviour is rational and that of other people is not, and to attempts to impose our way of thinking on others" (Lakoff, 1987; p.337). (shrink)
Abstract In the first part of this essay (Russell, 1988a) I argued that ?cognisance? (roughly: a subject's knowledge of his relation to the physical world as an experiencer of it) cannot be explained in terms of a syntactic theory of mind, due to the ?referential? and ?holistic? nature of this knowledge. The syntactic account of the higher mental functions is immediately intelligible to us due to its derivation from computer technology, so this would not appear to be a happy (...) result for scientific psychology. In this paper I outline a strategy for developing a scientific psychology of cognisance, beginning from the assumption that such a theory should have a similar status to Chomsky's competence theory of human grammar, whilst diverging from Chomsky on the question of how such a theory should be answerable to data. Most of the paper is taken up with illustrating the way in which Jean Piaget's theory of mental development in humans is at least a first approximation to such a theory. (shrink)
In this timely work, Russell, philosopher, agnostic, mathematician, and renowned peace advocate, offers a brief yet insightful study of the conflicts between science and traditional religion during the last four centuries. Examining accounts in which scientific advances clashed with Christian doctrine or biblical interpretations of the day, from Galileo and the Copernican Revolution, to the medical breakthroughs of anesthesia and inoculation, Russell points to the constant upheaval and re-evaluation of our systems of belief throughout history. In turn, he (...) identifies where similar debates between modern science and the Church still exist today. Michael Ruse's new introduction brings these conflicts between science and theology up to date, focusing on issues arising after the Second World War. This classic is sure to interest all readers of philosophy and religion, as well as those interested in Russell's thought and writings. (shrink)
The diverse papers which make up this book are variations on a theme which is based in biological science - yet none of the contributors is really a biologist. Our metaphor for describing what we are doing here is that we have gathered together in a room because that particular room provides us with a certain view of our individual areas of interest - a view that may have been previously obscured. We are visiting the house of biology in the (...) hope that we may see more clearly things that we each find baffling about our particular field of work in education, research, or daily living. (shrink)
In this qualitative research study moral consciousness was examined in a chosen sample of two groups of children, aged 7-8 and 11-12 years, respectively. An emergent research design was used, which meant analysing the data continually so that significant meanings could emerge in the process. What was important in the study could not be predetermined, but evolved from the categories of meaning that I derived inductively from the data. The results show that children have a strong moral sense and this (...) is fostered in a "Philosophy with Children" type of community of inquiry. As participants in a community of inquiry, they grappled with issues of fairness, responsibility, choice and the value of human life. Gender differences were evident in how fairness and responsibility were perceived. Differences were also obvious in how older and younger children defined friendship and approached a topic. The research findings indicate that the interactive dialogue process helped the children to develop skills to deduce, infer, clarify, make connections, distinctions and generalisations. In listening to and respecting others they exhibited an ability to reciprocate which is central to moral judgement and action. This seemed to be deepened in the ongoing course of the dialogues. A defining feature of the inquiries was the collaborative search for truth. (shrink)
Niche construction is a potentially important concept for the human behavioural sciences but we question how it differs from models of gene-culture coevolution and whether it can be developed in the detailed ways that will be necessary if it is going to make a significant contribution to the human behavioural sciences.
This is an edited collection that is intended both as a primer for core concepts and principles in research ethics and as an in-depth exploration of the contextualisation of these principles in practice across key disciplines.
A free man's worship.--Mysticism and logic.--The place of science in a liberal education.--The study of mathematics.--Mathematics and the metaphysicians.--On scientific method in philosophy.--The ultimate constituents of matter.--The relation of sense-data to physics.--On the notion of cause.--Knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description.
Social grooming is an important element of social life in terrestrial primates, inducing the putative benefits of β-endorphin stimulation and group harmony and cohesion. Implicit in many analyses of grooming (e.g. biological markets) are the assumptions of costs and benefits to grooming behaviour. Here, in a review of literature, we investigate the proximate costs and benefits of grooming, as a potentially useful explanatory substrate to the well-documented ultimate (functional) explanations. We find that the hedonic benefits of grooming are well documented. (...) However, we did not find convincing evidence for costs. If proximate costs do exist, they might consist of energetic, cognitive, opportunity costs, or some combination of all of these. Nonetheless, there remains the possibility that grooming costs are negligible, or even that the provision of allogrooming is rewarding in itself. We suggest empirical research to resolve this issue. (shrink)
Ten brilliant essays on logic appear in this collection, the work of one of the world’s best-known authorities on logic. In these thought-provoking arguments and meditations, Nobel Prize winner Bertrand Russell challenges the romantic mysticism of the 19th century, positing instead his theory of logical atomism. These essays are categorized by Russell as "entirely popular" and "somewhat more technical." The former include the well-known title essay plus "A Free Man’s Worship" and "The Place of Science in a Liberal (...) Education"; the latter comprise "On the Notion of Cause" and "Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description," along with other essays written in the cogent and witty style for which their author is justly renowned. (shrink)
Six "divine conjectures" frame the place of Theóne (The One to Whom we pray) in the creation of our universe and for its continuing development in five subsequent stages into a loving universe. The first stage, the cosmological universe, establishes the laws of nature, understood by scientists as the "standard model". The second stage introduces life and death into the universe by a process we are only now beginning to understand. Stage 3 requires certain life forms to become conscious with (...) a subset of those life-forms acquiring language that results in that subset becoming self-conscious. The next stage, Conjecture 4, identifies certain persons who become addicted to learning in their unrelenting effort to learn as much of what can be known as possible. The fifth conjecture requires individual persons to act as agents of Theóne in achieving Conjecture 6—a universe that is both loving and lawful. During the course of the exposition subsidiary discussions of the concepts of conjecture and hypothesis explicate the function of each in the advancement of knowledge and understanding. There are brief discussions of prayer and purpose in relation to the Divine. (shrink)
This volume shows Bertrand Russell in transition from a neo-Kantian and neo-Hegelian philosopher to an analytic philosopher of the highest rank. During this period, his research centered on writing The Principles of Mathematics. The volume draws together previously unpublished drafts which shed light on Russell's struggle to accept Cantor's notion of continuum as well as Russell's infinite ordinal and cardinal numbers. It also includes the first version of Russell's Paradox.
The critique of psychologism -- Phenomenology and other 'eidetic sciences' -- Phenomenology and transcendental philosophy -- The transcendental reduction -- The structure of intentionality -- Intuition, evidence, and truth -- Categorial intuition and ideation (eidetic seeing) -- Time-consciousness -- The ego and selfhood -- Intersubjectivity -- The crisis of the sciences and the idea of the 'lifeworld' -- Conclusion: mastering Husserl.
THE PHILOSOPHY which I advocate is generally regarded as a species of realism, and accused of inconsistency because of the elements in it which seem contrary to that doctrine. For my part, I do not regard the issue between realists and their opponents as a funda- mental one; I could alter my view on this issue without changing my mind as to any of the doctrines upon which I wish to lay stress. I hold that logic is what is fundamental (...) in philosophy, and that schools should be characterized rather by their logic than by their metaphysic. My own logic is atomic, and it is this aspect upon which I should wish to lay stress. Therefore I prefer to describe my philosophy as "logical atomism," rather than as "realism," whether with or without some prefixed adjective. (shrink)
We contend that if efficiency and reliability are important factors in neural information processing then distributed, not localist, representations are “evolution's best bet.” We note that distributed codes are the most efficient method for representing information, and that this efficiency minimizes metabolic costs, providing adaptive advantage to an organism.
"However that all objections may be taken off with more advantage and clearness, I beg leave to lay down the following principle... It is impossible the effect should be perfecter than its cause... [D]enying this principle leads to downright Atheism...".