Although first published in 1969, the methodological views advanced in Quentin Skinner's “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” remain relevant today. In his article Skinner suggests that it would be inappropriate to even attempt to write the history of any idea or concept. In support of this view, Skinner advances two arguments, one derived from the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein and the other from that of J. L. Austin. In this paper I focus on the first of (...) these arguments. I claim that the conclusion which Skinner draws from this particular argument does not necessarily follow and that an alternative assessment of the methodological significance of Wittgenstein's philosophy for historians of ideas is possible. On this alternative view, far from ruling out conceptual history, an appeal to the view of meaning set out in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations leads to a quite different conclusion, namely that the writing of such a history is arguably a necessary precondition for the elucidation of the meaning of a number of the core concepts in the canon of the history of political thought. Skinner's views have changed somewhat since 1969. Indeed, from the mid 1970s onwards he came to relax the strict opposition to the idea of conceptual history to which he was then committed. The paper concludes by noting that this evolution in Skinner's thinking has made him much more sympathetic than anybody reading “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” would have imagined to the research project of the Begriffgeschichte School of conceptual history. (shrink)
The term action of consciousness is used to refer to an influence, such as psychokinesis or free will, that produces an effect on matter that is correlated to mental intention, but not completely determined by physical conditions. Such an action could not conserve energy. But in that case, one wonders why, when highly accurate measurements are done, occasions of non-conserved energy (generated perhaps by unconscious PK) are not detected. A possible explanation is that actions of consciousness take place within the (...) limits of the uncertainty principle. Two models are reviewed that, using the latter assumption, propose that consciousness can originate an action potential in the brain. One (that of Eccles) uses the latter assumption only, and the other (that of Burns) additionally assumes that consciousness acts, within those limits, by ordering quantum fluctuations. (shrink)
Harold Garfinkel: Memorial Remarks, Recollections and Reflections Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10746-012-9216-2 Authors Stacy Lee Burns, Loyola Marymount University, University Hall, One LMU Drive, Suite 4341, Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659, USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548.
Author Meets Critics Panel: Paul B. Thompson’s (2010) The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9340-4 Authors Raymond Anthony, Department of Philosophy, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Abstract I consider Paul Thompson’s Agrarian Vision from the perspective of the philosophy of technology, especially as it relates to certain questions about public engagement and deliberative democracy around food issues. Is it able to promote an attitudinal shift or reorientation in values to overcome the view of “food as device” so that conscientious engagement in the food system by consumers can become more the norm? Next, I consider briefly, some questions to which it must face up in order to (...) move closer in dismantling the barriers that inhibit the capacity for virtuous caretaking of the food system at various levels. Lastly, and more deeply, how successful might agrarianism be in inculcating citizenship values (ones that go beyond food ethics as a private affair), for the democratization of agricultural technologies? Might the Jeffersonian foundation to which the agrarianism (a la) Thompson appeals need something like a contemporary theory of justice in order to facilitate the reconstitution of our politico-moral selves? How can it help guide appropriate ruminations on the intra and intergenerational question, “What do we want the shape of our current and future social and political institutions to look like in relation to food?” Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9339-x Authors Raymond Anthony, Department of Philosophy, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Burns, C. R. Introduction.--Antiquity: Margalith, D. The ideal doctor as depicted in ancient Hebrew writings. Edelstein, L. The Hippocratic oath. Edelstein, L. The professional ethics of the Greek physician. Michler, M. Medical ethics in Hippocratic bone surgery. Maas, P. L., Oliver, J. H. An ancient poem on the duties of a physician.--The medieval era: Levey, M. Medical deontology in ninth century Islam. Bar-Sela, A., Hoff, H. E. Isaac Israeli's fifty admonitions of the physicians. Rosner, F. The physician's prayer attributed (...) to Moses Maimonides. MacKinney, L. C. Medical ethics and etiquette in the early middle ages, the persistence of Hippocratic ideals. Welborn, M. C. The long tradition, a study in fourteenth-century medical deontology.--The modern period: Larkey, S. V. The Hippocratic oath in Elizabethan England. Pleadwell, F. L. Samuel Sorbiere and his Advice to a young physician. Clark, G. Bernard Mandeville, M.D., and eighteenth-century ethics. Burns, C. R. Thomas Percival, medical ethics or medical jurisprudence? Burns, C. R. Reciprocity in the development of Anglo-American medical ethics, 1765-1865. Williams, T. F. Cabot, Peabody, and the care of the patient. (shrink)
Affirmative action has been a particularly contentious policy issue that has polarised contributions to the debate. Over recent times in most western countries, support for affirmative action has, however, been largely snuffed out or beaten into retreat and replaced by the concept of ‹diversity management’. Thus, any contemporary study that examines the development of affirmative action would suggest that its opponents have won the battle. Nonetheless, this article argues that because the battle has been won on dubious ethical grounds it (...) is important that we do not allow affirmative action to sink unnoticed. This article explores and challenges the ethical and philosophical underpinnings of opponents’ views and finds their cases against affirmative action are not ethically sound. The article concludes there are strong ethical grounds for those organisations which seek to do well, to reassert affirmative action programmes in the global efforts to eradicate systemic discrimination and disadvantage. (shrink)
Doubts about the origin of Bentham's formula, ‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number’, were resolved by Robert Shackleton thirty years ago. Uncertainty has persisted on at least two points. (1) Why did the phrase largely disappear from Bentham's writing for three or four decades after its appearance in 1776? (2) Is it correct to argue (with David Lyons in 1973) that Bentham's principle is to be differentially interpreted as having sometimes a ‘parochial’ and sometimes a ‘universalist’ bearing? These issues (...) are reopened here with particular reference to textual evidence overlooked in earlier discussions and contextual evidence on the development of Bentham's radicalism in the last two decades of his life. In conclusion some broader issues are raised concerning the character of Bentham's understanding of ‘happiness’ itself. (shrink)
Iris Murdoch's concept of Good is a central feature of her moral theory; in Murdoch's thought, attention to the Good is the primary means of improving our moral conduct. Her view has been criticised on the grounds that the Good is irrelevant to life in this world (Don Cupitt), that the notion of a transcendent, single object of attention is incoherent (Stewart Sutherland), and that we can only understand what goodness is if we see it as an attribute of a (...) theistic, trinitarian God (Christoph Schwöbel). The paper argues that, with some clarification and development of Murdoch's view, these objections are by no means fatal to her position. (shrink)
This article illustrates the important scientific role that a systems approach might play within the social sciences and humanities, above all through its contribution to a common language, shared conceptualizations, and theoretical integration in the face of the extreme (and growing) fragmentation among the social sciences (and between the social sciences and the natural sciences). The article outlines a systems theoretic approach, actor-system-dynamics (ASD), whose authors have strived to re-establish systems theorizing in the social sciences (after a period of marginalization (...) since the late 1960s). This is done, in part, by showing how key social science concepts are readily incorporated and applied in social system analysis. (shrink)
Two forms of independent action by consciousness have been proposed by various researchers – free will and holistic processing. (Holistic processing contributes to the formation of behavior through the holistic use of brain programs and encoding.) The well-known experiment of Libet et al. (1983) implies that if free will exists, its action must consist of making a selection among alternatives presented by the brain. As discussed herein, this result implies that any physical changes mind can produce in the brain are (...) very small, and this in turn implies that holistic processing would also act to select among brain programs. The latter process would contribute to flexibility of behavior, which would therefore be an indication of the possible presence of consciousness in an animal. Because locomotion requires response to varying and unpredictable conditions, the above conclusions support the idea that simple forms of consciousness appear very early in the evolutionary line of the animal kingdom. (shrink)
A new event is defined as an intervention in the time reversible dynamical trajectories of particles in a system. New events are then assumed to be quantum fluctuations in the spatial and momentum coordinates, and mental action is assumed to work by ordering such fluctuations. It is shown that when the cumulative values of such fluctuations in a mean free path of a molecule are magnified by molecular interaction at the end of that path, the momentum of a molecule can (...) be changed from its original direction to any other direction. In this way mental action can produce effects through the ordering of thermal motions. Examples are given which show that the ordering of 10^4 10^5 molecules is sufficient to (a) produce detectible PK results and (b) open sufficient ion channels in the brain to initiate a physical action. The relationship of the above model to the arrow of time is discussed. (shrink)
It is shown that if mental influence can change a position or momentum coordinate within the limits of the uncertainty principle, such change, when magnified by a single interaction, is sufficient to order the direction of traveling molecules. Mental influence could initiate an action potential in the brain through this process by using the impact of ordered molecules to open the gates of sodium channels in neuronal membranes. It is shown that about 80 ordered molecules, traveling at thermal velocity in (...) the intercellular medium in the brain, can break an ionic or covalent bond, and that the number needed to initiate an action potential is relatively small. If mental influence can act within the brain, it is reasonable to suppose it can act to some extent outside of it. If mental influence could not only order the direction of individual molecules, but coordinate this effect to produce a longitudinal pressure wave which is reasonably coherent across a macroscopic surface, only 10^4 molecules need be simultaneously affected to produce a detectible sound wave. Such an effect is not ordinarily observed, which suggests that if mental influence acts by ordering the direction of molecules, it acts at the level of individual molecules, but does not coordinate their motion. (shrink)
Experiments show that psi differs from known physical processes in a variety of ways, and these differences are described herein. Because of these, psi cannot be accounted for in terms of presently known physical laws. A number of theories, of which we review a sampling, suggest ways in which known physical laws might be expanded in order to account for psi. However, there is no agreement on which of these theories, if any, will ultimately provide a general explanation. A further (...) problem in studying psi is that it is elusive, i.e., methods are not presently known by which it can be reliably produced. However, if psi is real, its study can open the door to a new frontier of knowledge and contribute to our understanding of consciousness. (shrink)
The possibility of empirical test is discussed with respect to three issues: (1) What is the ontological relationship between consciousness and the brain/physical world? (2) What physical characteristics are associated with the mind/brain interface? (3) Can consciousness act on the brain independently of any brain process?
In the BODY WORLDS exhibitions currently touring the United States, Gunther von Hagens displays human cadavers preserved through plastination. Whole bodies are playfully posed and exposed to educate the public. However, the educational aims are ambiguous, and some aspects of the exhibit violate human dignity. In particular, the signature cards attached to the whole-body plastinates that bear the title, the signature of Gunther von Hagens, and the date of creation mark the plastinates as artwork and von Hagens as the artist (...) in a gesture that strips the personal dignity from the donors. I conclude that the educational use of cadavers is compatible with respect for dignity if: 1) the utility of such use is great enough; 2) there are no other ways of achieving these ends; and 3) every effort is made to honor the dignity of the donors. (shrink)
The 1980s witnessed a dramatic increase in hostile takeovers in the United States. Proponents argue that well- planned mergers enhance the value of the firm and the value of the firm to society. Critics typically argue that undesired takeovers ultimately harm society due to external costs not borne by the acquiring firm. To be socially responsible, the manager must consider the effects of the merger/acquisition on all stakeholders. Different traditional ethical frameworks for decision making are proposed and reviewed. A model (...) is proposed. (shrink)
Pathological morphogenesis on leaves of Fraxinus ornus (ash) and Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) under the influence of mites (Aceria fraxinivora and Eriophyes cladophthirus respectively) leads to a range of structures whose morphology and development cannot be reduced to the classical categories of plant morphology, but present a heterogeneous continuum which links fundamental structural categories. These findings support the pyramid model of plant construction.
Many pragmatic philosophers insist that causality in human behavior is to be explained by psychological field theorism rather than by modern behaviorism. This paper attempts to demonstrate (1) that pragmatists often support one aspect of an untenable disjunction in psychological theory, (2) that the asserted disjunction is but a methodological distinction, and (3) that the causal order in human behavior is most likely to be profitably described, predicted, or explained by the methods of modern behaviorism.
This paper considers a much neglected, but distinctive and increasingly prevalent kind of mediation work: the mediation of large money damage cases by acting and former judges. The research finds that judicial mediation is a law-infused procedure different from forms of mediation in which the stuff of law and lawyers'' work is only marginally relevant, if at all. The study details how judge-mediators draw on their knowledge of the law, technically and as a matter of professional practice, to make legally (...) persuasive arguments that critically evaluate each side''s case and what is likely to occur at future points, adversely altering the litigants'' understanding of the risks and costs of failing to settle and thus facilitating dispute resolution. The study was developed and pursued as an ethnographic and ethnomethodological study of work. (shrink)
This study described parent participation in the informed consent conference for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in childhood leukemia and documented the relationship of physician communication to parent participation. Parents of 140 children with newly diagnosed leukemia who were eligible for RCTs were studied at six sites using comprehensive methods involving direct observation and transcripts of parent-physician communication based on audiotapes. Parent participation during the informed consent conference reflected a wide range of content categories. Consistent with hypotheses, Physician Rapport and Partnership (...) Building related to parent participation in the informed consent conference but Information Giving did not. Higher parent socioeconomic status also was related to greater parent participation for two of three measures of parent participation. Findings suggest that physician behaviors that provide support and facilitate communication may enhance parental participation in the informed consent conference for RCTs in childhood leukemia. (shrink)
This article explores what an ethicfor organic animal husbandry might look like,departing from the assumption that organicfarming is substantially based in ecocentricethics. We argue that farm animals arenecessary functional partners in sustainableagroecosystems. This opens up additional waysto argue for their moral standing. We suggestan ethical contract to be used as acomplementary to the ecocentric framework. Weexpound the content of the contract and end bysuggesting how to apply this contract inpractice. The contract enjoins us to share thewealth created in the agroecosystem (...) (by ourjoint contributions) by enjoining us to carefor the welfare and needs of the individualanimal, and to protect them from exploitation(just as human co-workers should not beexploited). The contract makes promoting goodanimal welfare a necessary condition forbenefiting farm animals. Animals for their partare guaranteed coverage under the contract solong as they continue to contribute to thesystem with products and services. (shrink)
Fodor and LePore's reconstruction of the semantic holism debate in terms of "atomism" and "anatomism" is inadequate: it fails to highlight the important issue of how intentional contents are individuated, and excludes or obscures several possible positions on the metaphysics of content. One such position, "weak sociabilism" is important because it addresses concerns of Fodor and LePore's molecularist critics about conditions for possession of concepts, without abandoning atomism about content individuation. Properties like DEMOCRACY may be "theoretical" in the following sense: (...) only devices capable of inference can come to be selectively sensitive to such properties. Thus, such concepts cannot be punctate, although their contents are individuated, as atomism requires, independently of their conceptual connections. (shrink)
This paper offers some suggestions on, and encouragement for, how to be better at risk communication in times of agricultural crisis. During the foot and mouth epizootic, the British public, having no precedent to deal with such a rapid and widespread epizootic, no existing rules or conventions, and no social or political consensus, was forced to confront the facts of a perceived "economic disease. Foot and mouth appeared as an economic disease because the major push to eradicate it was motivated (...) exclusively by trade and economic reasons and not because of threats it posed to the lives of human beings and livestock. The British public deferred responsibility to their elected officials for a speedy end to this non-life threatening viral epizootic. The latter, however, did not have a contingency plan in place to tackle such an extensive outbreak. The appeal to an existing policy, i.e., mass eradication, as the exclusive strategy of containment was a difficult pill for the public to swallow well before the end of the 226-day ordeal. Public outcry reflected (in part) serious misgivings about the lack of effective communication of risk-informed decisions between government agents and all concerned. The government''s handling of the matter underestimated concerns and values about animal welfare, public trust, and the plight of farmers and rural communities. A general loss of trust by some segments of the public was exacerbated by perceived mismanagement and early fumbles by government agents.Public moral uneasiness during the crisis, while perhaps symbolic of growing discontent with an already fractured relationship with farmed animals and the state of animal farming today, arguably, also reflected deep disappointment in government agents to recognize inherently and conditionally normative assumptions in their argument as well as recognize their narrow conception of risk. Furthermore, broader stakeholder participation was clearly missing from the outset, especially with respect to the issue of vaccination. A greater appreciation for two-way risk communication is suggested for science-based public policy in agriculture, followed by suggestions on how to be more vigilant in the future. (shrink)
Due in part to a growing realization of the importance of the role that retailing plays in the marketing channel, and to the increasing numbers of college graduates being employed by retailers, growing attention is being placed on business students'' ethical perceptions of retailing practices. This study continues this focus by examining the ethical perceptions of collegiate business students attending two different universities which likely represent two different microcultures — conservative evangelical Protestant and secular.The results suggest that ethical perceptions may (...) vary between the students attending two universities which likely represent differing microcultures. The students attending the conservative evangelical Protestant university appear to possess ethical perceptions which are significantly more ethical than those of students attending the public university. Evidence was observed, therefore, which suggests that ethical perceptions may vary across students from differing microcultures. (shrink)
Recent models of consciousness are reviewed which explore the relationship of consciousness to physical laws; many of these also explore the relationship of consciousness to biological findings. Issues investigated by these models are discussed, with the issues framed in a general way in order to provide a comparison between the models. In Part I the issues discussed are: (1) What is the causal relationship between consciousness and the physical world (physicalism, dualism, etc.)? and (2) What physical characteristics are associated with (...) the interface between brain/physical world and consciousness? (shrink)
Recent models of consciousness are reviewed which explore the relationship of consciousness to physical laws; many of these also explore the relationship of consciousness to biological findings. Issues investigated by these models are discussed, with the issues framed in a general way in order to provide a comparison between the models. In Part II the issues discussed include: (1) Does all of the information content of consciousness correspond to neural coding in the brain? (2) Does consciousness follow the brain passively, (...) or can it act independently? (3) Is independent processing by consciousness compatible with the second law of thermodynamics? (shrink)
Using survey data collected from chief executives of nonprofit organizations and financial performance information, the current study examined the influence of the individual chief executive characteristics on their perception of organization performance. The study found that executives with internal Locus of Control, high collectivism values, and analytical decision styles have greater convergence between their perceptions of performance and a financial measure. The study findings also offer support for existing theories that suggest executive cognitions play a significant role in filtering information, (...) ultimately influencing the accuracy of perceptions and the effectiveness of strategic choices. (shrink)
In his Philosophical Inquiry concerning Human Liberty (1717), the English deist Anthony Collins proposed a complete determinist account of the human mind and action, partly inspired by his mentor Locke, but also by elements from Bayle, Leibniz and other Continental sources. It is a determinism which does not neglect the question of the specific status of the mind but rather seeks to provide a causal account of mental activity and volition in particular; it is a ‘volitional determinism’. Some decades (...) later, Diderot articulates a very similar determinism, which seeks to recognize the existence of “causes proper to man” (as he says in the Réfutation d’Helvétius). The difference with Collins is that now biological factors are being taken into account. Obviously both the ‘volitional’ and the ‘biological’ forms of determinism are noteworthy inasmuch as they change our picture of the nature of determinism itself, but my interest here is to compare these two determinist arguments, both of which are broadly Spinozist in nature – and as such belong to what Jonathan Israel called in his recent book “the radical Enlightenment,” i.e. a kind of underground Enlightenment constituted by Spinozism – and to see how Collins’ specifically psychological vision and Diderot’s specifically biological vision correspond to their two separate national contexts: determinism in France in the mid-1750s was a much more medico-biological affair than English determinism, which appears to be on a ‘path’ leading to Mill and associationist psychology. (shrink)
What is the impact of science on philosophy? In “Experiments in Ethics”, Kwame Anthony Appiah addresses this question for morality and ethics. Appiah suggests that scientific results may undermine moral intuitions by undermining our confidence in the actual sources of our intuitions, or by invalidating our factual assumptions about the causes of human behavior. Appiah worries that scientific results showing situational causes on human behavior force us to abandon the intuition, formalized in virtue ethics, that what matters is “who (...) you are on the inside”. In this review, we agree with Appiah that scientific results at once force and do not force us to abandon this intuition. We also propose that Appiah’s worry is due in part to an over-simplified conception of “internal causes”, shared widely among scientists and philosophers. By re-introducing the true richness of internal causes invoked in moral judgments, we hope to relax the tension between scientific results and moral intuitions. Ultimately, we propose that science can undermine and constrain but cannot affirm our commitment to specific moral intuitions. (shrink)
The correspondence between Samuel Clarke and Anthony Collins of 1706–8, while not well known, is a spectacularly good debate between a dualist and a materialist over the possibility of giving a materialist account of consciousness and personal identity. This article puts the Clarke Collins Correspondence in a broader context in which it can be better appreciated, noting that it is really a debate between John Locke and Anthony Collins on one hand, and Samuel Clarke and Joseph Butler on (...) the other. Anthony Collins argues on behalf of John Locke's claim that it would be as easy for God to superadd the power of thinking to matter as for him to connect a soul to a body. Locke did not believe that matter could naturally produce thought or consciousness, but it was in God's power to make matter think. To defend Locke's claim Collins must defend the claim that there are emergent properties in the world – properties of a whole that are not possessed by the parts. Collins also defends a materialist version of Locke's account of personal identity against a variety of charges. Because the topics of debate in the correspondence are of such great interest to us, it deserves to be rescued from the neglect into which it fell and from which intellectual historians and philosophers have only recently and partially removed it. (shrink)
Abstract Kwame Anthony Appiah has devoted much scholarly work to exploring the problems surrounding racial and cultural identities in the USA. He defends the position that such identities need not be centrally significant in the psyche of the subject, and that black demands for blacks to be recognised having a black (race) identity, is symptomatic of black racism. Like other racisms, black racism has a tendency to ?go imperial?, affecting the autonomy of the individual to decide which identity constructs (...) she is willing to endorse as her own. Appiah believes that free association, as the locus of social solidarities and the formation of individual and social identities, should be upheld as a counterweight to the imperialism of racisms in the USA. He believes, furthermore, that the cosmopolitan state best caters for free associations of this kind. In this article I offer a comprehensive view of Appiah's support for cosmopolitanism as the best answer to the problems of identity which race and culture generate in multicultural USA. (shrink)
Situating the subject -- Hermeneutics and spech-act theory -- Hermeneutics, semantics, and conceptual grammar -- Lexicography, exegesis, and reception history -- Parables, narrative-worlds, and reader-response theories -- Philosophy, language, theology, and postermodernity -- Hermeneutics, history, and theology.
Anthony Kenny's book is one of the best of its genre, exemplifying the kind of introduction into (some field of) Aquinas's thought that endeavors to make his ideas accessible to the philosophically interested contemporary reader in terms of such philosophical, scientific and everyday concepts with which the reader can safely be assumed to be familiar. Indeed, Kenny's book provides us with such a good example of this genre that it brings into sharp focus the problems of the genre itself. (...) Therefore, while duly acknowledging the book's virtues of clarity of presentation, and its highly readable, almost conversational style, let me concentrate in this brief review on this problematic aspect of Kenny's book, as someone who is just as much concerned with making Aquinas accessible to a contemporary audience as the author is. (shrink)
Judeo-Christian and Anglo-Saxon forms of marriage have injected patrilineal values and companionate expectations into the Akan matrilineal family structure. As Anthony Appiah demonstrates, these infusions have generated severe strains in the matrikin social structures and, in extreme cases, resulted in the break up of families. In this essay, I investigate the ideological politics at play in this patrilinealization of Asante society.
In ‘Something to Do with Vagueness ...’, Linda Burns defends an analogy between the informational and the borderline-case variety of vagueness. She argues that the latter is in fact less extraordinary and less disastrous than people in the tradition of Michael Dummett and Crispin Wright have told us. However, her account involves presuppositions that cannot be taken for granted. Here is to take a closer look at some of these presuppositions and argue hat they may--when left unguarded--undermine much of (...)Burns’ general account. (shrink)
In assessing the veridicality of utterances, we normally seem to assess the satisfaction of conditions that the speaker had been concerned to get right in making the utterance. However, the debate about assessor-relativism about epistemic modals, predicates of taste, gradable adjectives and conditionals has been largely driven by cases in which seemingly felicitous assessments of utterances are insensitive to aspects of the context of utterance that were highly relevant to the speaker’s choice of words. In this paper, we offer an (...) explanation of why certain locutions invite insensitive assessments, focusing primarily on ’tasty’ and ’might’. We spell out some reasons why felicitous insensitive assessments are puzzling and argue briefly that recent attempts to accommodate such assessments (including attempts by John MacFarlane, Kai von Fintel and Anthony Gillies) all fail to provide more than hints at a solution to the puzzle. In the main part of the paper, we develop an account of felicitous insensitive assessments by identifying a number of pragmatic factors that influence the felicity of assessments. Before closing, we argue that the role of these factors extend beyond cases considered in the debate about assessor-relativism and fit comfortably with standard contextualist analyses of the relevant locutions. (shrink)
way on the information available in the contexts in which they are used, it’s not surprising that there is a minor but growing industry of work in semantics and the philosophy of language concerned with the precise nature of the context-dependency of epistemically modalized sentences. Take, for instance, an epistemic might-claim like..
In "Contents just are in the head" (Erkenntnis 54, pp. 321-4.) I have presented two arguments against the thesis of semantic externalism. In "Contents just aren't in the head" Anthony Brueckner has argued that my arguments are unsuccessful, since they rest upon some misconceptions regarding the nature of this thesis. (Erkenntnis 58, pp. 1-6.) In the present paper I will attempt to clarify and strengthen the case against semantic externalism, and show that Brueckner misses the point of my arguments.
Shaftesbury's philosophy combined a powerfully teleological approach, according to which all things are part of a harmonious cosmic order, with sharp observations of human nature (see section 2 below). Shaftesbury is often credited with originating the moral sense theory, although his own views of virtue are a mixture of rationalism and sentimentalism (section 3). While he argued that virtue leads to happiness (section 4), Shaftesbury was a fierce opponent of psychological and ethical egoism (section 5) and of the egoistic social (...) contract theory of Hobbes (section 6). Shaftesbury advanced a view of aesthetic judgment that was non-egoistic and objectivist, in that he thought that correct aesthetic judgment was disinterested and reflected accurately the harmonious cosmic order (section 7). Shaftesbury's belief in an harmonious cosmic order also dominated his view of religion, which was based on the idea that the universe clearly exhibits signs of perfect divine design (section 8). According to Shaftesbury, the ultimate end of religion, as well as of virtue, beauty, and philosophical understanding (all of which are turn out to be one and the same thing), is to identify completely with the universal system of which one is a part. (shrink)