Predicate logic has proved a very useful tool for the expression of theories of natural language semantics. Hurford's suggestion that predicate–argument structures mirror certain properties of the human sensorimotor architecture can be seen as an explanation of why this is so. Although I support this view, I think that the correspondences that Hurford draws between linguistic and sensorimotor structures not only involve natural language semantics, but include some elements of natural language syntax as well.
This book offers a Wittgensteinian study of concept possession and of the nature of conceptual investigation in philosophy. It is both an ideal advanced introduction to Wittgenstein's philosophy and an original treatment of some of its most crucial yet least developed regions. The book is written as a Socratic dialogue, which frames the discussion within a backward glance to Plato's Theory of Forms. In so doing it makes a bold claim as to Wittgenstein's place in Western philosophy.
This paper argues that the new science of positive psychology is founded on a whole series of fallacious arguments; these involve circular reasoning, tautology, failure to clearly define or properly apply terms, the identification of causal relations where none exist, and unjustified generalisation. Instead of demonstrating that positive attitudes explain achievement, success, well-being and happiness, positive psychology merely associates mental health with a particular personality type: a cheerful, outgoing, goal-driven, status-seeking extravert.
In analysing the position adopted by the United Kingdom over therapeutic cloning, this paper will endeavour to examine the question of regulation, its necessity and extent. This will be achieved through considering different models of relevant theoretical discourse before, in applying that discourse to identified systems of regulation, the advantages and pitfalls of each system will be assessed in the hope of reaching a solution appropriate to the sensitive, yet dynamic, needs of the issue.
Paul Churchland has recently offered a novel argument for the “objective reality” of color. The strategy he employs to make this argument is an instance of a more general research program for interpreting perceptual content, “domain‐portrayal semantics.” In the first half of the article, I point out some features of color vision that complicate Churchland's conclusion, in particular, the context‐sensitive and inferential nature of color perception. In the second half, I examine and defend the general research program, (...) concluding it is naturalistic in a minimal sense and should be of interest to naturalists and nonnaturalists alike. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Diachronic uncertainty, uncertainty about where an agent falls in time, poses interesting conceptual difficulties. Although the agent is uncertain about where she falls in time, this uncertainty can only obtain at a particular moment in time. We resolve this conceptual tension by providing a transformation from models with diachronic uncertainty relations into “equivalent” models with only synchronic uncertainty relations. The former are interpreted as capturing the causal structure of a situation, while the latter are interpreted as capturing its epistemic structure (...) . The models are equivalent in the sense that agents pass through the same information sets in the same order, In this paper, we investigate how such a transformation may be used to define an appropriate notion of equivalence, which we call epistemic equivalence . Although our project is motivated by problems which have arisen in a variety of disciplines, especially philosophy and game theory, our formal development takes place within the general and flexible framework provided by epistemic temporal logic. (shrink)
In his recent book Rescuing Justice and Equality (Harvard University Press, 2008), G. A. Cohen returns to the defense of his critique of the Rawlsian doctrine of the “basic structure as subject.” This doctrine provides the centerpiece of what Rawls has to say about the domain of distributive justice—that is, about the sorts of things judgments of distributive justice are about and about the ways in which these judgments are interconnected. From the extensiveness of Cohen’s critique of this doctrine, it (...) seems clear that he wants to take a very different view of the boundaries and contours of this domain. However, despite the characteristic clarity and precision with which he describes the Rawlsian doctrine and despite the trenchancy of his criticisms, it is still a matter of some difficulty determining the respects in which he and Rawls are actually in disagreement. (shrink)
This paper surveys applications of logical methods in the cognitive sciences. Special attention is paid to non-monotonic logics and complexity theory. We argue that these particular tools have been useful in clarifying the debate between symbolic and connectionist models of cognition.
The version of the invisible hand argument in Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments differs in important respects from the version in The Wealth of Nations. Both are different, in turn, from the version invoked by Milton Friedman in Free to Choose. However, all three have a common structure. Attention to this structure can help sharpen our sense of their essential thrust by highlighting the questions (about the nature of economic motivation, the structure of markets, and conceptions of the public (...) interest) to which answers of certain kinds would have to be available for any of the versions to succeed. (shrink)
It will be remembered that the introductory chapter to this paper differentiated between human therapeutic cloning and embryonic stem cell research, with the former concept encapsulating the latter one. In turning to examine the current system of regulation found within the United Kingdom this has particular relevance as it is only the practice of therapeutic cloning – the creation and use of an embryo – which engages with the regulative measures adopted.
The claim that similarity plays a role in representation has been philosophically discredited. Psychologists, however, routinely analyse the success of mental representations for guiding behaviour in terms of a similarity between representation and the world. I provide a foundation for this practice by developing a philosophically responsible account of the relationship between similarity and representation in natural systems. I analyse similarity in terms of the existence of a suitable homomorphism between two structures. The key insight is that by restricting attention (...) to only those homomorphisms induced by causal processes, we can solve two philosophical problems with a single assumption. First, causal structure provides an adequate source for the bias required to ensure the similarity relation is non-trivial; second, it provides an adequate source for the directionality required to move from similarity to representation. I defend this account against objections by Goodman and van Fraassen and demonstrate that it is indeed the account of similarity's role in representation assumed by psychological practice. (shrink)
Globalism makes news every day, yet world trade is hardly greater today than 30 years ago; it is the movement of capital that is far greater now, thanks to technology. The irresistible force for one world is not the United Nations, ever an arena for the contest of national interests, but money, particularly the United States dollar, which is an unofficial world currency, often with more influence than U.S. foreign policy. One of the results of monetary globalism is to make (...) national reserve and international banks all the more important. National central banks, like the United States Federal Reserve, make monetary policy. Together with international institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, reserve banks have always been among the most important public institutions on the world stage, yet they are seldom examined as public institutions (Knott 1986). All references to banks and bankers in these pages are to central and international banks unless otherwise stated. (shrink)
To be delivered at the 2nd "Deleuze Camp" in Cardiff, Wales, in August 2008. The intended audience is composed of students and scholars of Deleuze who are non-specialists in philosophy of biology (as I am!). Thus these are introductory lectures with a good deal of simplification and exaggeration. I wish to thank Dominique Homberger, Vince LiCata, John Larkin, Chuck Dyke, and Alistair Welchman for critical and clarifying comments. They have helped immensely, and the remaining infelicities are solely my (...) responsibility. (shrink)
I argue that a reasonably comprehensive doctrine of human rights can be reconciled with at least a good deal of diversity in cultural belief and practice. The reconciliation cannot be achieved by trying to show that there is in fact a cross-cultural consensus about the existence of human rights, partly because no valid inference to the normative status of human rights can be drawn from the existence of such a consensus. However, by highlighting the premises rather than the conclusions of (...) normatively persuasive arguments for human rights, I argue that a reasonably comprehensive doctrine of universal human rights can be squared with what is known about the diversity of cultural beliefs and practices. This is because the (empirically plausible) denial that there is in fact a cross-cultural consensus about the existence of human rights can go hand-in-hand with cross-cultural endorsement of the normative considerations that underpin human rights doctrine. (shrink)
We settle a question in the literature about degrees of models of true arithmetic and upper bounds for the arithmetic sets. We prove that there is a model of true arithmetic whose degree is not a uniform upper bound for the arithmetic sets. The proof involves two forcing constructions.
It has been known for more than thirty years that the degree of a non-standard model of true arithmetic is a subuniform upper bound for the arithmetic sets (suub). Here a notion of generic enumeration is presented with the property that the degree of such an enumeration is an suub but not the degree of a non-standard model of true arithmetic. This answers a question posed in the literature.
Under the first-past-the-post electoral system that is still deeply entrenched in such democracies as Canada and the United States, it is not at all uncommon in a provincial, state, or federal election for there to be a striking lack of correspondence between the share of the seats a political party is able to win and its share of the popular vote. From the standpoint of the democratic ideal what is morally unacceptable about this system is that the right to vote (...) it confers on members of the electorate is not a defensible instantiation of the fundamental right citizens have to participate on terms of equality in the collective decision-making processes that help to determine their options in life. Three common attempts by defenders of the system to shield it from this objection are considered and rejected. (shrink)
Badiou claims Deleuze’s thinking is pre-critical metaphysics that can-not be understood in relation to Kant. I argue that Deleuze is indeed a metaphysical thinker, but precisely because he is a kind of Kantian. Badiou is right that Deleuze rejects the overwhelmingly epistemic problems of critical thought in its canonical sense, but he is wrong to claim that Deleuze completely rejects Kant. Instead, Deleuze is interested in developing a metaphysics that prolongs Kant’s conception of a productive synthesis irreducible to empirical causation. (...) Where Badiou’s criticism might hold, however, is in the risk that Deleuze’s strategy runs of contaminating his new metaphysics with a new kind of transcendental idealism. This reading has recently been developed by Ray Brassier and I explore and evaluate it, concluding that in Difference and Repetition this accusation may be correct, but that by the time of Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze (now with Guattari) has the intellectual re-sources to resist it. (shrink)
According to Libertarians, the freedom of individuals to make crucial lifeshaping choices is effectively and adequately protected if other individuals and agenciesrefrain from interfering with their freedom and if the state takes steps to ensure that such interference is either prevented or punished. This paper presents a “Liberal” critique of this position, in three stages. First, prevention of interference is only one of several conditions that must be fulfilled if an individual’s lot in life is to be legitimately traceable to (...) his or her choices. Second, the additional conditions resemble prevention of interference in that their fulfillment cannot be secured by the unaided efforts of individuals. Third, these further conditions resemble prevention of interference in that their fulfillment cannot be secured on an equitable basis for all if the state does not assume responsibility for trying to ensure their fulfillment. The argument (of non-anarchist Libertarians) that the state has a role to play in securing the fulfillment of the non-interference condition ought consequently to be extended to support the view that securing the fulfillment of the otherconditions of freedom of choice is also a legitimate function of the state. (shrink)
Taking for granted that there is a strong connection between respect far human dignity and endorsement of institutional arrangements that protect individual liberty, I ask whether this can be cited in support of a free market approach to the organization of the economy. The answer, it might seem, must be Yes. Prominent defenders of a free market system commonly assume that an important part of the rationale for the free market is that it protects individual liberty. Appearances are misleading, however. (...) The free market ideal is not a mere corollary in the economic domain of the ideal of individual liberty. It stands, rather, at some distance from it, in both content and rationale. Indeed, conflict between these ideals in certain contexts can not be ruled out. The possibility has to be reckoned with, consequently, that an unqualified commitment to the free market system is not consistent with respect for human dignity. (shrink)
Notre enquête porte sur la réception à la fois philosophique et théologique de la pensée de saint Thomas d’Aquin dans la culture roumaine à l’âge moderne.Nous avons essayé de marquer les étapes principales d’une histoire qui reflète dans une culture religieuse d’origine byzantine les tribulations de la réception dela philosophie médiévale en Occident. Formés dans les universités françaises ou allemandes, les philosophes et les théologiens orthodoxes roumains sont redevables aussi bien aux traditions philosophiques des XVIIIᵉ-XIXᵉ siècles qu’à la découverte gilsonienne (...) de la pensée médiévale. Entre polémique confessionnelle et approche scientifique, saint Thomas d’Aquin devient au XXᵉ siècle une présence significative dans les discours philosophiques et théologiques roumains (notamment dans le débat concernant la possibilité d’une philosophie chrétienne), en dépit d’une préférence traditionnelle accordée à saint Augustin. Il importe de remarquer aussi le fait que la spécificité des approches des philosophes roumains de la pensée de saint Thomas d’Aquin consiste dans l’effort de transgresser un thomisme «historique» vers des possibles enjeux modernes. (shrink)
Without attempting a full-scale definition of “terrorism,” I assume (for the purposes of the argument of the paper) (1) that terrorist acts are politically motivated, (2) that the political goals of terrorists are both diverse and (morally) a “mixed bag,” (3) that terrorist acts inflict deliberate harm on innocent civilians, and (4) that they are therefore to be condemned even when the goals they ostensibly serve are defensible goals. The various versions of the “root causes” argument seek to explain the (...) phenomenon of terrorism, not to justify it. Nevertheless, anti-terrorism strategists must take these explanations seriously and be prepared to adopta suitably broad view of the causal factors that may be involved. Exclusive concentration on the motives of terrorists is a mistake. Also important, for example, are the attitudes of (nonterrorist) members of populations in which there is sympathy for the goals of terrorists without any endorsement of their methods. (shrink)
This paper demonstrates that L'Étranger , Camus's famous novel about an outsider, had by as early as 1946 become just as much of an 'insider' in terms of its affiliation to the Parisian literary tradition. More than an insider simply by virtue of its contemporary place in the French canon, then, the novel is also intertextually bound to a tradition of oxymoronic poetics dating back to Charles Baudelaire's Paris Spleen ( Les Petits poèmes en prose ). I shall examine the (...) way in which L'Étranger performs its prose poetics, thereby establishing it as exemplary of a Parisian model of modernity. Additionally, the famous scene on the beach will be considered as a liminal space and as a literary translation of Paris into the desert, which, once a joke for Paris's relationship to provincial France, became after the Second World War a new allegory for the capital's self-alterity. (shrink)
It is well known that for all recursively enumerable sets X 1 , X 2 there are disjoint recursively enumerable sets Y 1 , Y 2 such that $Y_1 \subseteq X_1, Y_2 \subseteq X_2$ and Y 1 ∪ Y 2 = X 1 ∪ X 2 . Alistair Lachlan called distributive lattices satisfying this property separated. He proved that the first-order theory of finite separated distributive lattices is decidable. We prove here that the first-order theory of all separated distributive (...) lattices is undecidable. (shrink)
The interpretive literature in the history of political thought is now vast, complex and esoteric, posing as much a barrier to the understanding of the undergraduate student as it offers assistance. This unique and innovative text provides the student with a guide through this maze of argument. Each chapter sets out the major positions and debates that surround the texts of key thinkers, analyzes major problems of interpreting them, examines the sources of disagreement, and evaluates the different interpretations in terms (...) of their strengths, weaknesses and contributions to scholarship. (shrink)
This paper investigates whether the model of local rhetorical coherence suggested in Knott et al. (2001) can boost the performance of the Centering-based metrics of entity coherence employed by Karamanis et al. (2004) for the task of information ordering. Rhetorical coherence is integrated into the way Centering’s basic data structures are derived from the annotated features of the GNOME corpus. The results indicate that (a) the simplest metric continues to perform better than its competitors even when local rhetorical coherence (...) is taken into account, and (b) this extra coherence constraint decreases its performance. (shrink)