When considering the nature of the human being, Descartes holds two main claims: he believes that the human being is a genuine unity and he also holds that it is comprised of two distinct substances, mind and body. These claims appear to be at odds with one another; it is not clear how the human being can be simultaneously two things and one thing. The details of Descartes' metaphysics of substance exacerbates this problem. Because of various theological and epistemological commitments, (...) Descartes frames his metaphysics of substance in a way that ensures mind and body's real distinction from one another. Articulated from this perspective, the problem becomes one wherein it is not clear that two completely separate substances can come together to form one entity. The aim of this thesis is to show how Descartes can hold real distinction and true union without contradiction. To this end, I will first detail the problem and outline a variety of solutions that have already been presented. Then I will outline important concepts relating to Descartes' metaphysics of substance and attributes. This not only reveals the depth of the problem but also lays the groundwork for my proposed solution. I argue that the key to understanding how these two claims are consistent and in accord with Descartes' philosophy is through a comment Descartes makes to his contemporary Henricus Regius where he urges that the union of mind and body is achieved through a "mode of union." I substantiate this claim by arguing for the intelligibility of understanding union as a modal attribute within Descartes' framework. Finally, I show how Descartes can hold real distinction and true union with consistency. When union is understood as a mode, mind and body are able to exist apart from one another, ensuring real distinction. Moreover, union construed as a mode does not allow the complete separability of mind and body. Thus, when united, mind and body achieve the kind of unity Descartes desires for the human being. (shrink)
Aesthetics and the Environment presents fresh and fascinating insights into our interpretation of the environment. Traditional aesthetics is often associated with the appreciation of art, but Allen Carlson shows how much of our aesthetic experience does not encompass art but nature--in our response to sunsets, mountains or horizons or more mundane surroundings, like gardens or the view from our window. Carlson argues that knowledge of what it is we are appreciating is essential to having an appropriate aesthetic experience (...) and that a scientific understanding of nature can enhance our appreciation of it, rather than denigrate it. (shrink)
John Broome has argued that alleged cases of value incomparability are really examples of vagueness in the betterness relation. The main premiss of his argument is ‘the collapsing principle’. I argue that this principle is dubious, and that Broome's argument is therefore unconvincing. Correspondence:c1 Erik.Carlson@filosofi.uu.se.
This paper contains a formal treatment of the system of quantified epistemic logic sketched in Appendix II of Carlson (1983). Section 1 defines the syntax and recapitulates the model set rules and principles of the Appendix system. Section 2 defines a possible worlds semantics for this system, and shows that the Appendix system is complete with respect to this semantics. Section 3 extends the system by an explicit truth operatorT it is true that and considers quantification over nonexistent individuals. (...) Section 4 formalizes the idea of variable identity criteria typical of Hintikkian epistemic logic. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to work toward an explicit logic and semantics for a game theoretically inspired theory of action. The purpose of the logic is to explicate the conceptual machinery implicit in the dialogue-game model of rational discourse developed in Carlson (1983).A variety of ideas and techniques of modal and philosophical logic are used to define a model structure that generalizes the game theoretical notion of a game in extensive form (von Neumann and Morgenstern, 1944). Relative (...) to this model structure, semantic characterizations are given to the action-theoretic notions oftime, possibility, belief, preference, ability, intention, action, andrationality. The unification of these characterizations under the game-theoretical paradigm leads to insights about the logical interdependences between these concepts. (shrink)
Leaving Safe Harbors offers radical readings of conventional literature, and makes creative use of philosophy, literature, film and popular culture as it maps out a future for progressive education. Award winning author Dennis Carlson re-scripts the myths embedded in the works of Plato, Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger and analyzes them alongside such popular phenomena as Ridley Scott's Bladerunner and the British Punk group, The Sex Pistols. In his fluid writing style, he lucidly illustrates how these modern "myths" may serve (...) as models for a new way to think about education, and breathes new life into canonical texts on learning. (shrink)
This book constitutes a major advancement in the study of Hegelian philosophy by offering the first full commentary on the monumental The Science of Logic , Hegel's principal work which informs every other project Hegel ever undertook. The author has devised a system for diagramming every single logical transition that Hegel makes, many of which have never before been explored in English. This reveals a startling organizational subtlety in Hegel's work which heretofore has gone unnoticed. In the course of charting (...) Hegel's logical progress, the author provides a vigorous defence and thorough explication of unparalleled scale and scope. The book covers the entire range of subjects connected with The Science of Logic such as Being, Essence, Measure, Subjectivity and God, showing how Hegel used logic to make transitions from one category to the next. The book also mediates Hegel's confrontation with Kant, whose Critique of Pure Reason is Hegel's major competition in metaphysical systemization. Any student encountering The Science of Logic , perhaps the most difficult and by far the most rewarding of Hegel's philosophical works, will find in Carlson's book an invaluable companion to their study. (shrink)
It is argued that the English bare plural (an NP with plural head that lacks a determiner), in spite of its apparently diverse possibilities of interpretation, is optimally represented in the grammar as a unified phenomenon. The chief distinction to be dealt with is that between the generic use of the bare plural (as in Dogs bark) and its existential or indefinite plural use (as in He threw oranges at Alice). The difference between these uses is not to be accounted (...) for by an ambiguity in the NP itself, but rather by explicating how the context of the sentence acts on the bare plural to give rise to this distinction. A brief analysis is sketched in which bare plurals are treated in all instances as proper names of kinds of things. A subsidiary argument is that the null determiner is not to be regarded as the plural of the indefinite article a. (shrink)
Frances Howard-Snyder has argued that objective consequentialism violates the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. In most situations, she claims, we cannot produce the best consequences available, although objective consequentialism says that we ought to do so. Here I try to show that Howard-Snyder's argument is unsound. The claim that we typically cannot produce the best consequences available is doubtful. And even if there is a sense of ‘producing the best consequences’ in which we cannot do so, objective consequentialism (...) does not entail that we ought, in this sense, to produce the best consequences. (shrink)
In Section 1, I rehearse some arguments for the claim that morality should be ``action-guiding'', and try to state the conditions under which a moral theory is in fact action-guiding. I conclude that only agents who are cognitively and conatively ``ideal'' are in general able to use a moral theory as a guide to action. In Sections 2 and 3, I discuss whether moral ``actualism'' implies that morality cannot be action-guiding even for ideal agents. If actualism is true, an ideal (...) agent will know about her own future actions. Since such foreknowledge is often thought to be incompatible with deliberation, and since action-guidance presupposes the possibility of deliberation, there is an apparent difficulty in combining actualism with the requirement of action-guidance. In opposition to an argument by Jan Österberg, I try to show that actualism and action-guidance are in fact compatible. (shrink)
The development and nature of environmental aesthetics -- Aesthetic appreciation and the natural environment -- The requirements for an adequate aesthetics of nature -- Aesthetic appreciation and the human environment -- Appreciation of the human environment under different conceptions -- Aesthetic appreciation and the agricultural landscape -- What is the correct way to aesthetically appreciate landscapes?
Concerns regarding corporate ethics have grown steadily throughout the past decade. In order to remain competitive, many organizational leaders are faced with the challenge of creating an ethical environment within their organization. A model is presented showing the process and elements necessary for the institutionalization of organizational ethics. The transformational leadership style lends itself well to the creation of an ethical environment and is suggested as a means to facilitate the institutionalization of corporate ethics. Finally, the benefits of using transformational (...) leadership are demonstrated through the components of a psychological contract, organizational commitment, and ethical culture to institutionalize organizational ethics. (shrink)
In this essay I attempt to move the aesthetics of human environments away from what I call the designer landscape approach. This approach to appreciating human environments involves a cluster of ideas and assumptions such as: that human environments are usefully construed as being in general ''deliberately designed'' and worthy of aesthetic consideration only in so far as they are so designed, that human environments are in this way importantly similar to works of art, and that the aesthetics of human (...) environments thus has much in common with the aesthetics of art. As an alternative to the designer landscape approach, I suggest that the aesthetics of human environments should be understood as a major area of the aesthetics of everyday life. To facilitate this shift I develop the idea of an ecological approach to the aesthetics of human environments and the related notion of functional fit. The ecological approach employs an analogy with natural ecosystems and, by stressing the role of functional fit in each, facilitates the appreciation of both natural and human environments in a way that I characterize as ''looking as they should.'' The upshot, I maintain, is a set of appreciative consequences constituting a more satisfying aesthetic experience of our everyday human environments. (shrink)
Hume’s mysterious words, “we must distinguish betwixt personal identity, as it regards our thought or imagination, and as it regards our passions or the concern we take in ourselves” have been the focus of a variety of different interpretations, some more creative than others. But the solution to this interpretative problem is indeed very simple, too simple to occur to most readers. What Hume has in mind is actually nothing but the different ways association works with regard to, on the (...) one hand, imagination, and, on the other hand, passion. Hence, one may easily read the entire Treatise as containing just one idea of self, that is, the bundle of perceptions discussed in “On personal identity.” Contrary to what many scholars have recently suggested, this idea may very well be “the idea, or rather impression” of self at play in the mechanism of sympathy, as well as the object of pride and humility. This faithful but dull reading makes Hume coherent, probably more coherent than any two-ideas interpretation does. (shrink)
John Broome has argued that incomparability and vagueness cannot coexist in a given betterness order. His argument essentially hinges on an assumption he calls the ‘collapsing principle’. In an earlier article I criticized this principle, but Broome has recently expressed doubts about the cogency of my criticism. Moreover, Cristian Constantinescu has defended Broome’s view from my objection. In this paper, I present further arguments against the collapsing principle, and try to show that Constantinescu’s defence of Broome’s position fails.
The well-known "Consequence Argument" for the incompatibility of freedom and determinism relies on a certain rule of inference; "Principle Beta". Thomas Crisp and Ted Warfield have recently argued that all hitherto suggested counterexamples to Beta can be easily circumvented by proponents of the Consequence Argument. I present a new counterexample which, I argue, is free from the flaws Crisp and Warfield detect in earlier examples.
Gustafsson and Espinoza have recently argued that the ‘small-improvement argument’, against completeness as a rationality requirement for preference orderings, is defective. They claim that the two main premises of the argument conflict, and hence should not both be accepted. I show that this conflict can be avoided by modifying one of the premises.
Whether or not intrinsic value is additively measurable is often thought to depend on the truth or falsity of G. E. Moore's principle of organic unities. I argue that the truth of this principle is, contrary to received opinion, compatible with additive measurement. However, there are other very plausible evaluative claims that are more difficult to combine with the additivity of intrinsic value. A plausible theory of the good should allow that there are certain kinds of states of affairs whose (...) intrinsic value cannot be outweighed by any number of states of certain other, less valuable, kinds. Such``non-trade-off'' cannot reasonably be explained in terms of organic unities, and it can be reconciled with the additivity thesis only if we are prepared to give up some traditional claims about the nature of intrinsic value. (shrink)
Ruth Chang has defended a concept of "parity", implying that two items may be evaluatively comparable even though neither item is better than or equally good as the other. This article takes no stand on whether there actually are cases of parity. Its aim is only to make the hitherto somewhat obscure notion of parity more precise, by defining it in terms of the standard value relations. Given certain plausible assumptions, the suggested definiens is shown to state a necessary and (...) sufficient condition for parity, as this relation is envisaged by Chang. (shrink)
Positive aesthetics holds that the natural environment, insofar as it is unaffected by man, has only positive aesthetic qualities and value-that virgin nature is essentially beautiful. In spite of the initial implausibility of this position, it is nonetheless suggested by many individuals who have given serious thought to the natural environment and to environmental philosophy. Certain attempts to defend theposition involve claiming either that it is not implausible because our appreciation of nature is not genuinely aesthetic, or that the position (...) is justified in virtue of man’s limited control and understanding of the natural world or in virtue of the natural world’s divine design and origin. Such attempts are inadequate; they neither justify the position nor explain its acceptance. In order to account for positive aesthetics,we must note the intimate connection between nature appreciation and the development of natural science. An understanding of the role of scientific knowledge in the aesthetic appreciation of nature not only sheds light on the acceptance of the positive aesthetics position, but also suggests a means by which to justify it. (shrink)
Bicchieri (The grammar of society: The nature and dynamics of norms, 2006, xi) presents a formal analysis of norms that answers the questions of “when, how, and to what degree” norms affect human behavior in the play of games. The purpose of this paper is to apply a variation of the Bicchieri norms analysis to generate a model of norms-based play of the traditional deterrence game (Zagare and Kilgour, Int Stud Q 37:1–27, 1993; Morrow, Game theory for political scientists, 1994), (...) the paradigmatic model of conflict initiation in International Relations. The deterrence game is modeled here as a sequential decision problem. As such, our analysis is an adaptation of Bicchieri’s game-theoretic formalization of norms to what we will call the norms account of the game. We find that the standard account of the traditional deterrence game is a special case of the norms account of the game. We also show that the adaptation of Bicchieri’s analysis of social norms yields new and interesting claims regarding when, how, and to what degree norms operate as a constraint on risk-related behavior in the traditional deterrence game. Moreover, we discuss how the results of the model provide testable propositions of relevance to the role of norms in international interactions. (shrink)
This study examines a moderated/mediated model of ethical leadership on follower job satisfaction and affective organizational commitment. We proposed that managers have the potential to be agents of virtue or vice within organizations. Specifically, through ethical leadership behavior we argued that managers can virtuously influence perceptions of ethical climate, which in turn will positively impact organizational members' flourishing as measured by job satisfaction and affective commitment to the organization. We also hypothesized that perceptions of interactional justice would moderate the ethical (...) leadership-to-climate relationship. Our results indicate that ethical leadership has both a direct and indirect influence on follower job satisfaction and affective commitment. The indirect effect of ethical leadership involves shaping perceptions of ethical climate, which in turn, engender greater job satisfaction and affective organizational commitment. Furthermore, when interactional justice is perceived to be high, this strengthens the ethical leadership-to-climate relationship. (shrink)
What is the future of legal philosophy? No doubt it has many. But we are betting that jurisprudence will gravitate towards freedom. Freedom, the attribute of the human subject, has largely been absent from legal philosophy. This is a lack that psychoanalytic jurisprudence aims to correct. In this essay, drafted as chapter in "On Philosophy in American Law" (Francis Jay Mootz III, ed.) to be published by the Cambridge University Press, we set forth what we think are the primary differences (...) between a jurisprudence based in the Continental tradition of speculative philosophy, and the liberal jurisprudences that dominate in the American academy. Most importantly, all liberal theories start with some intuition of the free, autonomous individual. In contrast, psychoanalysis views the subject's definition as the problem of philosophy. For psychoanalysis, as reformulated by Jacques Lacan, personality and freedom cannot exist in any empirical or hypothetical state of nature because nature is unfree - bound by iron-clad laws of cause and effect. Personality and freedom are artificial creations - hard-won achievements. Subjectivity - the capacity to bear duties and rights - is a stage in this struggle. (shrink)
This paper examines five groups of women that were instrumental in the emergence of the category of "feeblemindedness" in the United States. It analyzes the dynamics of oppression and power relations in the following five groups of women: "feeble-minded" women, institutional caregivers, mothers, researchers, and reformists. Ultimately, I argue that a feminist analysis of the history of mental retardation is necessary to serve as a guide for future feminist work on cognitive disability.
Terms designating substances and kinds function grammatically much like proper names of individuals. This supports Ruth Millikan's theory, but it also poses the question of how we can understand the reference of kind terms when the ontological status of the kind term is uncertain or disputed.
Biology, we are frequently told, is the science of the twenty-first century. Authority informs us that moving genes from one organism to another will provide new drugs, extend both the quantity and quality of life, and feed and fuel the world while reducing water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Authority also informs that novel genes will escape from genetically modified crops, thereby leading to herbicide-resistant weeds; that genetically modified crops are an evil privatization of the gene pool that will with (...) certainty lead to the economic ruin of small farmers around the world; and that economic growth derived from biological technologies will cause more harm than good. In other words, we are told .. (shrink)
The purpose of this volume is to rethink the questions posed by Derrida's writings and his unique philosophical positioning, without reference to the catch phrases that have supposedly summed up deconstruction.
The American experience of war is ironic. That is, there is often an intimate and unexamined relationship between seemingly contrary elements in war such as morality and politics. This article argues that without understanding such irony, we are unlikely to reflect in morally comprehensive ways on past, present, or future wars. Traditional schools of thought, however, such as moralism and political realism, reinforce these apparent contradictions. I propose, then, an alternative—"ethical realism" as informed by Reinhold Niebuhr—that better explains the irony (...) of war. Through an ethical realist examination of the U.S. Civil War, World War II, and the Iraq War, I consider how American political interests have been inextricably linked with deep moral concerns. Ethical realism charts a middle path that ennobles traditional realpolitik while eschewing certain perfectionist tendencies of moralism. Ethical realism provides a conceptual framework for evaluating these other frameworks—a distinct form of moral-political deliberation about war. (shrink)
This essay presents a methodological framework for assessing the adequacy of philosophical accounts of the aesthetic appreciation of nature. The framework involves five requirements, each of which is labeled after a philosopher who has defended it. They are called Ziff's Anything Viewed Doctrine, Budd's As Nature Constraint, Berleant's Unified Aesthetics Requirement, Hepburn's Serious Beauty Intuition, and Thompson's Objectivity Desideratum. The conclusion of the essay is that most contemporary treatments of the aesthetics of nature fail to comply with one or more (...) of these requirements and that only Scientific Cognitivism satisfies the framework consisting of all five. (shrink)
An agent may abandon an initiated action plan, although he doesnot acquire new information or encounter unforeseen obstacles.Such dynamic inconsistency can be to the agent'';s guaranteeddisadvantage, and there is a debate on how it should rationallybe avoided. The main contenders are the sophisticated andthe resolute approaches. I argue that this debate is misconceived,since both approaches rely on false assumptions about theperformability of action plans. The debate can be reformulated,so as to avoid these mistaken assumptions. I try to show that sucha (...) reformulation must rely on certain implausible claims. (shrink)
With the great increase in litigation, insurance costs, and consumer prices, both managers and businesses should take a proactive position in avoiding liability. Legal liability may attach when a duty has been breached; many actions falling into this category are also considered unethical. Since much of business liability is caused by a breach of a duty by a business to either an individual, another business, or to society, this article asserts that the practice of liability prevention is a practical business (...) application of ethics. In today's highly litigious environment, it is appropriate for the concept of general liability prevention to be included in corporate codes of ethics. (shrink)
Dienes & Perner's target article constitutes a significant advance in thinking about implicit knowledge. However, it largely neglects processing details and thus the time scale of mental states realizing propositional attitudes. Considering real-time processing raises questions about the possible brevity of implicit representation, the nature of processes that generate explicit knowledge, and the points of view from which knowledge may be represented. Understanding the propositional attitude analysis in terms of momentary mental states points the way toward answering these questions.
The first collection of essays directed towards jurisprudence with a Hegelian theme. The editors are committed to the idea that Hegel is the future source of great energy and insight within the legal academy.
Beginning with analyses of English generic sentences and English plural indefinite noun phrases (e.g.dogs), we proceed to apply mechanisms there motivated to a characterization of atemporalwhen, a sense ofwhen which does not appear to involve time. Dealt with are such examples as Dogs are intelligent when they have blue eyes, and their relationships to examples like Dogs that have blue eyes are intelligent. The proposed treatment of atemporalwhen helps motivate the existence of a generic verb phrase operator in English, as (...) well as the treatment of indefinite plural noun phrases as disguised definite descriptions. (shrink)
The target article addresses important empirical issues, but adopts a nonanalytic stance toward consciousness and presents the mentalistic view as a very radical position that rules out informational description of anything other than conscious mental states. A better mentalistic strategy is to show how the structure of some informational states is both constitutive of consciousness and necessary for psychological functions.
In this paper we examine interactions of the reciprocal with distributive and collective operators, which are encoded by prefixes on verbs expressing the reciprocal relation: namely, the Czech distributive po and the collectivizing na-. The theoretical import of this study is two-fold. First, it contributes to our knowledge of how word-internal operators interact with phrasal syntax/semantics. Second, the prefixes po and na generate (a range of) readings of reciprocal sentences for which the Strongest Meaning Hypothesis (SMH) proposed by Dalrymple et (...) al. (1998) does not make the right predictions. The distributive prefix po prefers the Strong Reciprocity reading, although the SMH predicts that a weakening should take place, while with the prefix na we find cases where weaker reciprocal readings are preferable to the stronger ones predicted by the SMH. This behavior of po and na is, we propose, due to the way in which they modulate two factors that are crucial in the interpretation of reciprocal sentences: (i) the relevant subpluralities in the group denoted by the reciprocal's antecedent, and (ii) the strength of reciprocal relations. We provide a detailed analysis of the semantics of the prefixes po and na and their contribution to the meaning of reciprocal sentences within the general framework of event semantics with lattice structures. (shrink)
Several philosophers have argued that our cosmos is either purposely created by some rational being(s), or else just one among a vast number of actually existing cosmoi. According to John Leslie and Peter van Inwagen, the existence of a cosmos containing rational beings is analogous to drawing the winning straw among millions of straws. The best explanation in the latter case, they maintain, is that the drawing was either rigged by someone, or else many such lotteries have taken place. Arnold (...) Zuboff claims that each person is justified in concluding that her existence did not depend on a particular sperm cell first reaching the egg. If it did so depend, her existence would be extremely improbable, and an incredible coincidence for her. Similarly, intelligent life would be an incredible coincidence for us, if this were the only actual cosmos. We reject both these purported analogies. Referring to the nonheredity of 'surprise value', we conclude that an evolutionary explanation of the presence of rational beings is sufficient; there is no further need to explain the basic features of our cosmos which make intelligent life possible. This point concerning surprise value also reveals a fundamental disanalogy between straw-drawing and cosmos creation. (shrink)