Milton Friedman's book Capitalism and Freedom (1962) is divided into two parts. In the first part, consisting of the first two chapters, he lays down his two explicit political principles, and in the second part -- the rest of the book -- he allegedly applies these principles to existing society.
Wilfrid Sellars wrote: all awareness of sorts, resemblances, facts, etc., in short, all awareness of abstract entities -- indeed, all awareness even of particulars ~ is a linguistic affair. 1 This passage from Sellars' famous essay, "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" has caused, I suspect, some philosophers to view Sellars as committed to linguistic idealism-the view that all awareness is linguistically mediated.
St. Augustine's book, The City of God , suggests the fundamental problem for the philosophy of a liberal education. The basic problem is that there are two cities which beckon our allegiance: the secular city and the city of God. The role of philosophy is to examine critically the arguments of the contending parties and to adjudicate between them. A denominational college, by its nature, proclaims its allegiance to the city of God; so the place of philosophy as adjudicator becomes (...) a problem. (shrink)
Charlie Dunbar Broad is one of the most important philosophers of this century. I know that this may sound like a very irresponsible -- even whimsical -- thing to say; so I better make a strong case for this assertion. Right away, philosophers who share other sympathies may start listing more famous philosophers as prima facie evidence against my apparently rash opinion.
Several months ago, after I volunteered to examine Dmytro Chyzhevs'kyi's works on the history of philosophy in Ukraine, I found myself with a dilemma. The first problem was that I did not possess a first-hand knowledge of Ukrainian literature to conceive independently a history of philosophy in Ukraine to act as a foil against Chyzhevs'kyi's views. The second problem was that my reading of Chyzhevs'kyi resulted in an unmanageable pile of criticism. The result is that what I have to say (...) is both too little and too much: too little because I have no worked out alternative to Chyzhevs'kyi's history; too much because I cannot give an adequate critique in some twenty minutes. With such a dilemma, I follow the standard procedure in limiting myself to one thesis. Simply put, my thesis is that Chyzhevs'kyi has a confused concept of philosoply. But, then, it may be rather that I am confused about Chyzhevs'kyi's clear concept of philosophy. Whatever the case, let me explain why I find his concept of philosophy confusing. (shrink)
Against Subtle Abortion-Supporting Arguments," 1 intending to rebut Joel Feinberg's arguments for the morality of some abortions. 2 For several years now, I have regarded Feinberg's article to be one of the best on the topic, so it surprised me that DeCelles thought he could punch holes in it. In fact DeCelles does not succeed in rebutting Feinberg. One failure is that he misrepresents Feinberg's position. And the position that DeCelles does favor has disadvantages, pointed out by Feinberg, which DeCelles (...) doesn't bother answering. In addition DeCelles introduces irrelevant matters which have the effect of red herrings. My overall impression of.. (shrink)
Dennis Hutchinson, Master of the New Collegiate Division and Senior Lecturer in Law, delivered the annual "Aims of Education" lecture at Rockefeller Chapel on September 19, 1999. He took this occasion to defend the recent changes in the Core Curriculum, which have reduced the requirement from 21 courses to 18 or 15 (if language requirements are discounted). He did the same on the Milt Rosenberg radio program "Extension 720," on WGN Radio (720 AM), February 18, 1999, at which time he (...) acted as an administrative spokesman with Dan Garber. (shrink)
Norman Finkelstein, a prominent political scientist specializing in the Palestine-Israel conundrum, on which he has authored five highly praised books, was denied tenure at DePaul University by the President, Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, on June 8, 2007. After examining the particulars of the case, it strikes me as so obviously wrong to deny him tenure that the tenure procedure at DePaul constitutes a reductio ad absurdum of a university system which allows such a thing to happen.
Ted Schick has written three essays on the role of the qualitative content of experience: the earliest essay is titled "Can Fictional Literature Communicate Knowledge?" 1; a more recent one is "The Semantic Role of Qualitative Content" 2; and his latest essay, the one Ted presented today, is titled "The Epistemic Role of Qualitative Content.
John Balz, in "Success 101," has written an accurate account of the recent history of the University of Chicago from a business point of view, and he has concluded correctly that the U of C business is a success. Yet, the whole piece leaves me profoundly dissatisfied. Why? Let me illustrate this with a fairy tale.
While reading philosophical literature, once in a while I come across passages which say that a particular essay or book is very good, and sometimes an additional remark is made that it is neglected. While reading such passages, I say to myself that I should take a look at this essay or book -- but then I forget to do so, or don't remember who or what was mentioned. Well, I have decided to start keeping..
Since 1961, there is a tradition at the University of Chicago to give an annual address to the incoming undergraduates on the Aims of Education. Three of these are available on the internet -- the addresses of John Mearsheimer, a political scientist (1997); Robert Pippin, a philosopher (2000); and Andrew Abbott, a sociologist (2002). My judgment is that none of them understands what liberal education is ultimately about. They all emphasize the usefulness of a University of Chicago education in the (...) market-place, and they all think of liberal education -- explicitly so by Mearsheimer -- as amoral. Putting together these two ideas of success and amorality, it is very hard to resist the thought that these professors are pushing and defending an education in sophistry (as understood by Plato). (shrink)
Charles Whitney correctly reports that I believe that the greatest problems facing humanity are the nuclear threat and overpopulation. Both situations can lead -- one directly and the other indirectly -- to massive self-destruction. But he apparently contends that these problems exist as a result of political policies, and that they require a political solution. And by this token, he thinks, the greater problem for humanity is political organization. He goes on to lament that we, as a people, have been (...) unable to work democratically to solve these problems. He writes: "I am suggesting that overpopulation and the nuclear threat are to a significant degree functions of the fact that people are prevented from associating as equals in more than local ways -- and of people's belief that they can't associate effectively.". (shrink)
Most readers of Sellars' philosophy learn about a Manifest-Scientific Image distinction, and because apparently nothing significant hinges on what at first sight seems just a neologistic labeling of a familiar distinction, it is henceforth wrongly associated with a pre-systematic commonsense/scientific framework distinction. The Manifest Image is not identical to the commonsense framework; nor is the Scientific Image identical to the scientific framework. In this paper I will concern myself only with arguing that the Manifest Image is not identical to the (...) commonsense framework. (shrink)
My paper is a reaction to the articles in the newsletter Inquiry, and additional articles by others, especially Mark Weinstein, the Acting Director of the Institute for Critical Thinking at Montclair State College. Weinstein and his colleagues are engaged in a most ambitious program, as they put it, of educational reform through critical thinking across the disciplines. Without doubt, the ideologue of this school is Weinstein, and it is on his writings that I have concentrated.
I know that it is difficult for some students to distinguish the truth of premises from the validity of an argument. They think that a valid argument has all true statements, and an invalid one a false premise. Clearly, the teaching of validity requires introducing the idea of an argument form, for it is the form which is the vehicle of validity, not what is put in the form. An argument form does not contain statements (but statement forms), so there (...) is nothing in the form to be true or false. Yet the form has the property of validity, which is the property of truth preservation. This is to say that a valid form will never allow the premise forms to be filled with true statements and the conclusion form to be filled with a false statement. (shrink)
"At this point we are again at the beginning of a philosophical road too long to explore. One hint only: Words like "object" and "objective" are evidently shot through with deep ambiguities, and need to be applied with the greatest care.".
Sense-data, if they exist, could conceivably provide foundations for empirical knowledge. Those who are opposed to empirical foundationalism are therefore also prone to reject sense-data and arguments for their existence, e.g., Rorty, Bonjour; while foundationalists are prone to accept the existence of sense-data, e.g., Russell, Ayer, Broad, Price, Lewis. An exception to this is the position of Roderick Chisholm who accepts empirical foundationalism but rejects the existence of sense-data.
Ted Schick has written three essays on the role of the qualitative content of experience: the earliest essay is titled "Can Fictional Literature Communicate Knowledge?"1; a more recent one is "The Semantic Role of Qualitative Content"2; and his latest essay, the one Ted presented today, is titled "The Epistemic Role of Qualitative Content.3" He sent me a copy of the latter for comment in January 1990 with some other of his published essays. I tried writing something -- but it was (...) nothing substantial. All he got from me were some comments over the phone. I promised to do better. He then sent me a slightly revised version in May. When I got to giving him substantial comment, it was October, and his paper was already accepted for publication. I have now read all of Ted's published writings, and what follows are my comments on Ted's paper in the light of his other writings. (shrink)