In this paper we argue for the robustness of Leibniz's commitment to the reality (but not substantiality) of body. We claim that a number of his most important metaphysical doctrines — among them, psychophysical parallelism, the harmony between efficient and final causes, the connection of all things, and the argument for the plurality of substances stemming from his solution to the continuum problem— make no sense if he is interpreted as giving an eliminative reduction of bodies to perceptions.
"More than any thing else technology creates our world. It creates our wealth, our economy, our very way of being," says W. Brian Arthur. Yet, until now the major questions of technology have gone unanswered. Where do new technologies come from -- how exactly does invention work? What constitutes innovation, and how is it achieved? Why are certain regions -- Cambridge, England, in the 1920s and Silicon Valley today -- hotbeds of innovation, while others languish? Does technology, like biological (...) life, evolve? How do new industries, and the economy itself, emerge from technologies? In this groundbreaking work, pioneering technology thinker and economist W. Brian Arthur sets forth a boldly original way of thinking about technology that gives answers to these questions. The Nature of Technology is an elegant and powerful theory of technology's origins and evolution. It achieves for the progress of technology what Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions did for scientific progress. Arthur explains how transformative new technologies arise and how innovation really works. Conventional thinking ascribes the invention of technologies to "thinking outside the box," or vaguely to genius or creativity, but Arthur shows that such explanations are inadequate. Rather, technologies are put together from pieces -- themselves technologies -- that already exist. Technologies therefore share common ancestries and combine, morph, and combine again to create further technologies. Technology evolves much as a coral reef builds itself from activities of small organisms -- it creates itself from itself; all technologies are descended from earlier technologies. Drawing on a wealth of examples, from historical inventions to the high-tech wonders of today, and writing in wonder fully engaging and clear prose, Arthur takes us on a mind-opening journey that will change the way we think about technology and how it structures our lives. (shrink)
In this paper I challenge the usual interpretations of Newton's and Leibniz's views on the nature of space and the relativity of motion. Newton's ‘relative space’ is not a reference frame; and Leibniz did not regard space as defined with respect to actual enduring bodies. Newton did not subscribe to the relativity of intertial motions; whereas Leibniz believed no body to be at rest, and Newton's absolute motion to be a useful fiction. A more accurate rendering of the opposition between (...) them, I argue, leads to a wholly different understanding of Leibniz's theory of space, one which is not susceptible to the objections Newton had raised against Descartes regarding the representation of motion. This in turn suggests a new approach for contemporary theory of space, one which neither hypostatizes space nor tries to reduce it to relations among actual things. * This work was generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, with a Fellowship for College Teachers and Independent Scholars (FB-26897-89), and also by a sabbatical leave from my institution, Middlebury College. Iam very grateful to various members of faculty of York University for their appreciative reception of an earlier one-week-old version of this paper. ‘Relative Space in Newton and Leibniz’, read to the Department of Philosophy there in January 1990, and to Robert Rynasiewicz for criticisms of an extract read at the 1991 History of Science meeting. (shrink)
During the last hundred years the notion of time flow has been held in low esteem by philosophers of science. Since the metaphor depends heavily on the analogy with motion, criticisms of time flow have either attacked the analogy as poorly founded, or else argued by analogy from a “static” conception of motion. Thus (1) Bertrand Russell argued that just as motion can be conceived as existence at successive places at successive times without commitment to a state of motion at (...) an instant, so duration can be conceived as existence at each of the times at which a thing exists without any commitment to a becoming or flow from one instant to another. I call this the “at-at” objection to time flow. A second objection (2) is that the sufficiency of the “B-theoretic” conception of time for physics makes the concept of time flow otiose. On this rendering the existence of a thing through time is just the “tenseless existence” of the thing at each instant of the duration (or at each spacetime point), without any flow from one instant or point to another. A third objection (3) is that in relativity theory, owing to the relativity of simultaneity, there is no unique invariant ‘now’, or hyperplane of simultaneously occurring events. If time flow is conceived in terms of the flow of such a ‘now’, then the non-existence of a worldwide instant of occurrence appears to be refuted. Lastly, (4) a capstone to these criticisms is the objection famously raised by Jack Smart: if rate of flow of any quantity can only be reckoned with respect to time, then with respect to what does time flow? If it does not even make sense to ask how fast time flows, then surely the metaphor should be abandoned as confused. (shrink)
In contrast with some recent theories of infinitesimals as non-Archimedean entities, Leibniz’s mature interpretation was fully in accord with the Archimedean Axiom: infinitesimals are fictions, whose treatment as entities incomparably smaller than finite quantities is justifiable wholly in terms of variable finite quantities that can be taken as small as desired, i.e. syncategorematically. In this paper I explain this syncategorematic interpretation, and how Leibniz used it to justify the calculus. I then compare it with the approach of Smooth Infinitesimal Analysis (...) (SIA), as propounded by John Bell. Despite many parallels between SIA and Leibniz’s approach —the non-punctiform nature of infinitesimals, their acting as parts of the continuum, the dependence on variables (as opposed to the static quantities of both Standard and Non-standard Analysis), the resolution of curves into infinitesided polygons, and the finessing of a commitment to the existence of infinitesimals— I find some salient differences, especially with regard to higher-order infinitesimals. These differences are illustrated by a consideration of how each approach might be applied to Newton’s Proposition 6 of the Principia, and the derivation from it of the v2/r law for the centripetal force on a body orbiting around a centre of force. It is found that while Leibniz’s syncategorematic approach is adequate to ground a Leibnizian version of the v2/r law for the “solicitation” ddr experienced by the orbiting body, there is no corresponding possibility for a derivation of the law by nilsquare infinitesimals; and while SIA can allow for second order differentials if nilcube infinitesimals are assumed, difficulties remain concerning the compatibility of nilcube infinitesimals with the principles of SIA, and in any case render the type of infinitesimal analysis adopted dependent on its applicability to the problem at hand. (shrink)
: In this reassessment of Descartes' debt to his mentor Isaac Beeckman, I argue that they share the same basic conception of motion: the force of a body's motion—understood as the force of persisting in that motion, shorn of any connotations of internal cause—is conserved through God's direct action, is proportional to the speed and magnitude of the body, and is gained or lost only through collisions. I contend that this constitutes a fully coherent ontology of motion, original with Beeckman (...) and consistent with his atomism, which, notwithstanding Descartes' own profoundly original contributions to the theory of motion, is basic to all Descartes' further work in natural philosophy. (shrink)
Newton and Leibniz had profound disagreements concerning metaphysics and the relationship of mathematics to natural philosophy, as well as deeply opposed attitudes towards analysis. Nevertheless, or so I shall argue, despite these deeply held and distracting differences in their background assumptions and metaphysical views, there was a considerable consilience in their positions on the status of infinitesimals. In this paper I compare the foundation Newton provides in his Method Of First and Ultimate Ratios (sketched at some time between 1671 and (...) 1684, and published in the Principia of 1687) with that provided independently by Leibniz in his unpublished manuscript De quadratura arithmetica (1675-6) as well as in later writings. I argue that both appeal to a version of the Archimedean Axiom to underwrite their use of infinitesimal techniques, which must be interpreted as a shorthand for rigorously finitist methods. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to trace the development of Gottfried Leibniz’s early thought on the status of the actually infinitely small in relation to the continuum. I argue that before he arrived at his mature interpretation of infinitesimals as fictions, he had advocated their existence as actually existing entities in the continuum. From among his early attempts on the continuum problem I distinguish four distinct phases in his interpretation of infinitesimals: (i) (1669) the continuum consists of assignable points separated (...) by unassignable gaps; (ii) (1670-71) the continuum is composed of an infinity of indivisible points, or parts smaller than any assignable, with no gaps between them; (iii) (1672-75) a continuous line is composed not of points but of infinitely many infinitesimal lines, each of which is divisible and proportional to a generating motion at an instant (conatus); (iv) (1676 onward) infinitesimals are fictitious entities, which may be used as compendia loquendi to abbreviate mathematical reasonings; they are justifiable in terms of finite quantities taken as arbitrarily small, in such a way that the resulting error is smaller than any pre-assigned margin. Thus according to this analysis Leibniz arrived at his interpretation of infinitesimals as fictions already in 1676, and not in the 1700's in response to the controversy between Nieuwentijt and Varignon, as is often believed. (shrink)
As is well known, one of Leibniz’s seminal insights in his work on series concerned sums of differences. If from a given series A one forms a difference series B whose terms are the differences of the successive terms of A, the sum of the terms in the B series is simply the difference between the last and first terms of the original series: “the sum of the differences is the difference between the first term and the last” (A vii.3, (...) p. 95). This insight, so far as I now, has never been named; I shall call it the Difference Principle. Suitably generalized, it becomes the basis for the fundamental theorem of the calculus: the sum (integral) of the differentials equals the difference of the sums (the definite integral evaluated between last and first terms), ∫ Bdx = [A]fi. As is well known, the Difference Principle has its origin in the problem set him by Huygens in September 1672 to find the sum of the reciprocal triangular numbers. This date is, incidentally, confirmed by Leibniz himself in Summa fractionum a figuratis, per aequationes (A vii.3, p. 365 ), as well as by the first piece in A vii.3, De summa numerorum triangulorum recipricorum (p. 3), although in his Origo inventionis trianguli harmonici of the Winter of 1675-76 he misremembers it as “Anno 1673” (p. 712). Leibniz explains the algorithm in a letter to Meissner 21 years later: “If one wants to add, for example, the first five.. (shrink)
This paper consists in an exposition of a proof Newton gave in 1666 of the parallelogram law for compounding velocities, and an examination of its implications for understanding his treatment of motion resulting from a continuously acting force in the Principia. I argue that the “moments” invoked in the fluxional proof of the vector resolution and composition of velocities are “virtual times”, a device allowing Newton to represent motions by the linear displacements produced in such a time; the ratio of (...) velocities at an instant can then be represented by assuming the velocities continue for such a virtual time. By the Method of First and Ultimate Ratios, the first ratio of the velocities is then given by the ratio of such lines, under the presupposition that in the limit they will shrink to zero magnitude. I then argue that the same device is implicit in Newton’s appeal to “moments” or “particles of time” in his proof of Kepler’s Area Law in the “Locke Paper” and in Proposition 1 of Book 1 of the Principia, and that the limiting process involved there is therefore the same as that implicit in the Method of First and Ultimate Ratios. (shrink)
Gottfried Leibniz is well known for his claim to have “rehabilitated” the substantial forms of scholastic philosophy, forging a reconciliation of the New Philosophy of Descartes, Mersenne and Gassendi with Aristotelian metaphysics (in his so-called Discourse on Metaphysics, 1686). Much less celebrated is the fact that fifty years earlier (in his Hypomnemata Physica, 1636) the Bratislavan physician and natural philosopher Daniel Sennert had already argued for the indispensability to atomism of (suitably re-interpreted) Aristotelian forms, in explicit opposition to the rejection (...) of substantial forms by his fellow atomist Sébastien Basson.1.. (shrink)
In a recent note in this review (Leibniz e gli Zenonisti, n. 3, 2001, pp. 15-22) Paolo Rossi stresses the importance of a philosophical sect that he claims has been unjustly ignored in accounts of the history of modern philosophy, the Jesuit philosophers of Louvain and Spain of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century known as the Zenonists. The occasion for his complaint is Massimo Mugnai’s admirable new introduction to Leibniz’s thought (Introduzione alla filosofia di Leibniz, Torino, Einaudi, 2001), (...) which in all other respects than its failure to mention the Zenonists, Rossi compliments and commends: justly, for in my opinion it is the best introduction to Leibniz yet written. (shrink)
The failure of the critics of corporate governance to agree on what should be done to improve the governance process can, in most cases, be traced to a different understanding of the role of corporate directors in that process. This article analyzes and contrasts the obligations of directors under two legal theories, the fictional person theory and the organic theory, of the corporation. A comparison of the director's obligations under each theory indicates that the organic theory provides a better basis (...) for assessing the performance of directors and initiating reform.Among the boards of directors of Fortune 500 companies, I estimate that 95% are not fully doing what they are legally, morally, and ethically supposed to do. And they couldn't, even if they wanted to. (shrink)
The increasing use of technological advances in business operations very often leads to the displacement of the employee whose skills become obsolete in light of such advances. There is no doubt that the interests of both company and employee are significantly affected by the implementation of laborsaving devices. Given that those interests are pursued in an environment which is usually, if not essentially, competitive, then there arises the serious question of what rights should be accorded the employee and the company (...) in the event that the employee is likely to be displaced by technological innovation. I argue that, given the constraints of a competitive environment, certain rights might be justified through a very limited application of the highly morally intuitive principles of utility, respect for persons, fairness, and the honoring of contracts. (shrink)
Arthur Pap’s work played an important role in the development of the analytic tradition. This role goes beyond the merely historical fact that Pap’s views of dispositional and modal concepts were influential. As a sympathetic critic of logical empiricism, Pap, like Quine, saw a deep tension in logical empiricism at its very best in the work of Carnap. But Pap’s critique of Carnap is quite different from Quine’s, and represents the discovery of limits beyond which empiricism cannot go, where (...) there lies nothing other than intuitive knowledge of logic itself. Pap’s arguments for this intuitive knowledge anticipate Etchemendy’s recent critique of the model-theoretic account of logical consequence. Pap’s work also anticipates prominent developments in the contemporary neo-Fregean philosophy of mathematics championed by Wright and Hale. Finally, Pap’s major philosophical preoccupation, the concepts of necessity and possibility, provides distinctive solutions and perspectives on issues of contemporary concern in the metaphysics of modality. In particular, Pap’s account of modality allows us to see the significance of Kripke’s well-known arguments on necessity and apriority in a new light. (shrink)
O mundo como vontade e representação, de A. Schopenhauer, constitui uma das principais fontes da primeira fase produtiva da obra de F. Nietzsche. O artigo ressalta os principais pontos da metafisica da música desenvolvida no terceiro capitulo da obra de Schopenhauer e indica as suas influências determinantes sobre o jovem Nietzsche.
Arthur W. H. Adkins's writings have sparked debates among a wide range of scholars over the nature of ancient Greek ethics and its relevance to modern times. Demonstrating the breadth of his influence, the essays in this volume reveal how leading classicists, philosophers, legal theorists, and scholars of religion have incorporated Adkins's thought into their own diverse research. The timely subjects addressed by the contributors include the relation between literature and moral understanding, moral and nonmoral values, and the contemporary (...) meaning of ancient Greek ethics. The volume also includes an essay from the late Adkins himself illustrating his methodology in an analysis of the "Speech of Lysias" in Plato's Phaedrus . The Greeks and Us will interest all those concerned with how ancient moral values do or do not differ from our own. Contributors include Arthur W. H. Adkins, Stephanie Nelson, Martha C. Nussbaum, Paul Schollmeier, James Boyd White, Bernard Williams, and Lee Yearley. Commentaries by Wendy Doniger, Charles M. Gray, David Grene, Robert B. Louden, Richard Posner, and Candace Vogler. (shrink)
The paper begins with an example of the accounting treatment afforded an Indefeasible Rights Use (IRU) Swap by Global Crossing. The case presents a typical example of ways in which accounting firms contributed to the ethical scandals of the early 21st century. While the behavior of Arthur Andersen, the accounting company in the case, might have met the letter of the law, we argue that it violated the spirit of the law, which can be discovered by looking at (1) (...) the legitimate goals of a company which give it its ethical direction and (2) the responsibilities of the accounting professionals who serve the company and the general public. Those professional responsibilities are determined by looking at the legitimate function those professionals fulfill in the economy. A further claim is that Andersen and other accounting firms are motivated to abandon the responsibilities derived from pursuing their proper goals by falling into the trap of accumulating wealth for its own sake. We argue that the ultimate responsibility of internal auditors is to develop statements that give as reasonably true and fair a picture of the financial situation to any user having a claim to that knowledge. Further we argue that the major responsibilities of the external auditor are: first, to be responsible to the using public for evaluating financial statements and declaring that they represent a fair picture of the financial situation of a company, and second, to be a watchdog of financial markets and call into question irregular practices that would distort those pictures. Such due professional care requires the auditor to exercise professional skepticism: an attitude that includes a questioning mind and a critical assessment of audit evidence. The paper concludes by giving particular examples of how Arthur Andersen LLP failed to meet those responsibilities. (shrink)
Arthur Danto’s recent book, Andy Warhol, leads the reader through the story of the iconic American’s artistic life highlighted by a philosophical commentary, a commentary that merges Danto’s aesthetic theory with the artist himself. Inspired by Warhol’s Brillo Box installation, art that in Danto’s eyes was indiscernible from the everyday boxes it represented, Danto developed a theory that is able to differentiate art from non-art by employing the body of conceptual art theory manifest in what he termed the ‘artworld’. (...) The strength of Danto’s theory is found in its ability to explain the art of the post-modern era. His body of work weaves philosophy, art history and art criticism together, merging his aesthetic philosophy with his extensive knowledge of the world of art. Danto’s essentialist theory of embodied meaning provides him with a critical tool that succeeds in explaining the currents of contemporary art, a task that many great thinkers of art history were unable to do. If Warhol inspired Danto to create a philosophy of art, it is appropriate that Danto write a tribute to Warhol that traces how Warhol brought philosophy into art. Danto’s account of ‘Warhol as philosopher’ positions him as a pivotal figure in the history of twentieth-century art, effecting a sea change in how art was made and viewed. Warhol achieved this by conceiving of works that embodied the answers to a series of philosophical puzzles surrounding the nature of art. Warhol, as Danto describes him, manifests himself in his art because he had transformed himself, in a way, into an icon of the times. This pragmatist notion that art should undermine the dichotomies that exist between art and life would, by some accounts, position Warhol to be the philosopher that Danto claims him to be, for he dissolved the philosophical questions posted by late modern aesthetic thinkers by creating art that imploded the accepted notions of art at the time. One of Danto’s greatest contributions to aesthetics is his theory’s ability to distinguish art from non-art, recognizing that it is the artist’s intention that levels the sublimity of art into the commonplace, thereby transfiguring the everyday. However, acknowledging this achievement, I argue that Warhol’s philosophical contribution actually manifests itself in a manner different from that proposed by Danto. Danto maintains that the internal drive of art leads to the unfolding of art theoretical concepts that ineluctably shift the terrain of world of art. I would agree with Danto that Warhol, almost as Hegel viewed Napoleon as Geist on a horse, pushed forward the boundaries of art through the actualization of art’s internal drive. But I would disagree that the conceptual nature of art is one that unfolds merely as a relation of concepts that artists trace through a connection to the meaning of history they forge using their unmediated grasp of style. Rather, I would argue that the artist’s style is not bound so narrowly to the meanings they express. Through their aesthetic articulations, artists initiate a process of social interaction. This process employs the philosophical logic which Danto attributes to Warhol indirectly, and through it, it is able to transfigure the vocabulary of art—the concepts of the artworld—by superseding the language of modernism. Warhol’s philosophical contribution is seen in his mastery of both the medium of art and the underlying logic of the medium’s expression and reception. (shrink)
Contemporary hybrid logic is based on the idea of using formulas as terms, an idea invented and explored by Arthur Prior in the mid-1960s. But Prior’s own work on hybrid logic remains largely undiscussed. This is unfortunate, since hybridisation played a role that was both central to and problematic for his philosophical views on tense. In this paper I introduce hybrid logic from a contemporary perspective, and then examine the role it played in Prior’s work.
The purpose of this paper is to argue that the hybrid formalism fits naturally in the context of David Lewis’s counterfactual logic and that its introduction into this framework is desirable. This hybridization enables us to regard the inference “The pig is Mary; Mary is pregnant; therefore the pig is pregnant” as a process of updating local information (which depends on the given situation) by using global information (independent of the situation). Our hybridization also has the following technical advantages: (i) (...) it preserves the completeness and decidability of Lewis’s logic; (ii) it allows us to characterize the Limit Assumption as a proof-rule with some side-conditions; and (iii) it enables us to establish a general Kripke completeness result by using the proof-rule corresponding to the Limit Assumption. Keywords Counterfactual logic - David Lewis - Contextually definite description - Hybrid logic - Arthur Prior - The limit assumption - Strong completeness - Decidability - Bisimulation - Pure completeness. (shrink)
There is no question Arthur Ripstein’s Force and Freedom is an engaging and powerful book which will inform legal philosophy, particularly Kantian theories, for years to come. The text explores with care Kant’s legal and political philosophy, distinguishing it from his better known moral theory. Nor is Ripstein’s book simply a recounting of Kant’s legal and political theory. Ripstein develops Kant’s views in his own unique vision illustrating fresh ways of viewing the entire Kantian project. But the same strength (...) and coherence which ties the book to Kant’s important values of independence blinds the work to our shared moral ties grounded in other political values. Ripstein’s thoughts on punishment are novel in that he embeds criminal law, both in its retributivist and consequentialist facets, into Kant’s overarching political philosophy to show how criminal law can be seen as one aspect of the supremacy of public law. But a criminal law solely focused on the preservation of freedom takes little notice of the ways criminal law need expand its view to account for how a polity can restore the victim of a crime back to civic equality, reincorporate offenders after they have been punished and cannot leave past offenders isolated and likely to reoffend, resulting in the rotating door prison system and communities of innocents who remain preyed upon by career criminals. Lastly, a political theory that does not prize our civic bonds will ignore the startling balkanization of our criminal punishment practices, where policing, arresting and imprisonment become tools of racial and social oppression. In illustrating the benefits in viewing criminal law as a coherent part of Kant’s political theory of freedom, Ripstein also highlights what is absent. It then becomes clear that though Kant presents one important facet of punishment, only a republican political theory can meet the most pressing moral demands of punishment by reminding us that criminal law must be used to preserve and strengthen civic society. (shrink)
This paper explores the extreme but well-argued-for thesis that the indirect object of an aesthetic experience of serious art is the human soul of the person having the experience. The author of the thesis was Fr. Arthur Little S.J. a mid twentieth-century Irishman, professional philosopher and philosophical popularizer. The paper treats Little’s thesis seriously: comparisons are drawn with Kant, which may be of interest even to those hostile to Little’s central assertion. Little makes a brilliant analysis of a ‘free-beauty’, (...) making the sharpest contrast between this and the most serious art, tragedy. Tragedy, Little holds Kant not able to cope with. One agrees. (shrink)
Arthur Anderson & Co. has made a significant contribution to assist and encourage the teaching of business ethics. They provided assistance initially through workshops and curriculum materials; currently they are using campus coordinators to disseminate information and materials. The curriculum materials can be used by the instructor to assist students in practicing their moral reasoning skills and cover four academic areas: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and Management. These materials include business ethics video vignettes, suggestions on presentation methods, guidelines for implementing (...) a stakeholders' analysis approach to ethical reasoning, and possible discussion questions. The vignettes present ethical dilemmas that persons may encounter in entry level positions. We have used the vignettes, the accompanying discussion questions, and the suggested stakeholder analysis in class presentations. This paper presents a discussion of the basic concepts associated with cooperative learning, an example of the implementation of cooperative learning techniques using the Arthur Andersen Accounting Ethics Vignettes, and empirical results of the influence of these particular group discussions on the students' ethical responses. We did not attempt to measure whether the individuals' moral levels changed, but whether the group discussions stimulated any changes in the students attitudes toward the particular ethical dilemma they viewed. (shrink)
Near the end of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale stands on the scaffold of shame and tears away his shirt to reveal something to the community. The narrator exclaims: “It was revealed! But it were irreverent to describe that revelation.”1 The actual manner in which this revelation is manifest is hidden, allowing readers to fill in the details. What is presumed, however, is that there indeed was some mark on the minister’s chest, and the narrator (...) provides three explanations, derived from eyewitnesses, as to how it came into existence. It was the result of Dimmesdale’s self-flagellation, or the effects of Chillingworth’s evil potions, or the seemingly supernatural transference .. (shrink)
Logic and Reality is a collection of essays by philosophers, logicians, mathematicians, and computer scientists, celebrating the work of the late distinguished philosopher Arthur Prior on the eightieth anniversary of his birth. Topics range from philosophical discussions of the nature of time and of the nature of logic itself, to descriptions of computer systems that can reason and take account of the fact that they exist in a temporal world.
In the past twenty years, scholarly interest in John Dewey's later writings has surged. While later works such as Art as Experience (1934), Logic: The Theory of Inquiry (1938), and Freedom and Culture (1939) have received considerable attention, Knowing and the Known (1949), Dewey's late-in-life collaboration with Arthur F. Bentley, has been largely neglected. A common bias among Dewey scholars is that this work, instead of developing Dewey's Logic, departs from its spirit, reflects the overbearing influence of Bentley on (...) Dewey (who was at the time an octogenarian), and, therefore, merits little serious scholarly consideration. However, Dewey and Bentley engaged in an extended correspondence, collected in John .. (shrink)
According to Arthur Danto, post-modern or post-historical art began when artists like Andy Warhol collapsed the Modern distinction between art and everyday life by bringing “the everyday” into the artworld. I begin by pointing out that there is another way to collapse this distinction: bring art out of the artworld and into everyday life. An especially effective way of doing this to make street art, which, I argue, is art whose meaning depends on its use of the street. I (...) defend this definition and show how it handles graffiti and public art. (shrink)
cannot grasp what is at stake in it without taking both its claims and its tone seriously. Read philosophically, Danto wants to reconceive art’s aesthetic dimension as those features that ‘inflect’ our attitude towards a work’s meaning, and to distinguish, in so doing, between beauty that is and beauty that is not internal to that meaning. Although welcome, I argue that his attempt to carry this through is compromised by his countervailing tendency to conceive the aesthetic in non-cognitive terms. Read (...) as a work of philosophical confession, on the other hand, I suggest that Danto’s late turn to aesthetics may be illuminated through a comparison with Philip Guston’s late turn to figuration. To do so, I draw parallels between Guston’s development as a painter and Danto’s philosophical trajectory. Danto concludes that, though necessary to life, beauty is not necessary to art; I conclude that, on this account, only an aesthetic art makes a warranted claim on our attention. (shrink)
This is a expository and critical review of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. 's last book, War and the American Presidency. The book collects and focuses recent writings of Arthur Schlesinger on the themes of its title. In its short Foreword and seven concise essays, the book aims to explore, in some contrast with the genre of “instant history,” the relationship between President George W. Bush’s Iraq adventure and the national past. This aim and the present work are deserving of (...) wide attention, both because of the contemporary need to deal with the extended war in Iraq and because Americans, in particular, need to attend to their own history, if we are to avoid past mistakes and make the best use of our ongoing political traditions and institutions. In order to know better where we might go in the future, we need an adequate picture of where we have been in the past. Schlesinger invites us to debate the war, the Presidency, and their relation to the American past. (shrink)
In 1935, A. G. Tansley, who was knighted later, proposed the ecosystem concept. Nevertheless, this concept was not without predecessors. Why did Tansley’s ecosystem prevail and not one of its competitors? The purpose of this article is to pin the distinguishing features of Tansley’s ecosystem down, as far as the published record allows. It is an exercise in finding the difference that made a difference. Besides being a pioneering ecologist, Tansley was an adept of psychoanalysis. His interest even led him (...) to visit Sigmund Freud in Vienna for a while. Psychologists had to regard the mind as an entity in its own right, while knowing that it truly was part of a larger whole (body + mind), because the causal relation between body and mind was unknown. This lead Tansley to conclude that psychologists must not objectify the system under study, have to search for causes within their own field, and must not speculate unless this serves a scientific purpose. In 1925, Tansley defended psychoanalysis in a prolonged controversy against a concerted attack criticizing its speculative content and poor scientific standing. This could have been the reason why Tansley kept his ecosystem free of speculative content and unscientific connotation. The competing ecosystem-like concepts, however, have contained philosophical speculation, non-deterministic properties like vitalism or entelechy, or have been burdened with unscientific connotations. Hence, rigorous restraint distinguished the ecosystem concept and made it ready for use by later researchers. (shrink)
The field of metacognition, richly sampled in the book under review, is recognized as an important and growing branch of psychology. However, the field stands in need of a general theory that (1) provides a unified framework for understanding the variety of metacognitive processes, (2) articulates the relation between metacognition and consciousness, and (3) tells us something about the form of meta-level representations and their relations to object-level representations. It is argued that the higher-order thought theory of consciousness supplies us (...) with the rudiments of a theory that meets these desiderata and integrates the principal findings reported in this collection. (shrink)
This book says Prior claims: (1) that a sentence never names; (2) what a sentence says cannot be otherwise signified; and (3) that a sentence says what it says whatever the type of its occurrence; (4) and that quantifications binding sentential variables are neither eliminable, substitutional, nor referential. The book develops and defends (1)-(3). It also defends (4) against the sorts of strictures on quantification of such philosophers as Quine and Davidson.
Certainly one of the greatest philosophers of the 19th century, Schopenhauer seems to have had more impact on literature (e.g. Thomas Mann) and on people in general than on academic philosophy. Perhaps that is because, first, he wrote very well, simply and intelligibly (unusual, we might say, for a German philosopher, and unusual now for any philosopher), second, he was the first Western philosopher to have access to translations of philosophical material from India, both Vedic and Buddhist, by which he (...) was profoundly affected, to the great interest of many, and, third, his concerns were with the dilemmas and tragedies, in a religious or existential sense, of real life, not just with abstract philosophical problems. As.. (shrink)