Siegel defends "Limited Intentionism", a theory of what secures the semantic reference of uses of bare demonstratives ("this", "that" and their plurals). According to Limited Intentionism, demonstrative reference is fixed by perceptually anchored intentions on the part of the speaker.
In Educating Reason, Harvey Siegel presented the case regarding rationality and critical thinking as fundamental education ideals. In Rationality Redeemed? , a collection of essays written since that time, he develops this view, responds to major criticisms raised against it, and engages those critics in dialogue. In developing his ideas and responding to critics, Siegel addresses main currents in contemporary thought, including feminism, postmodernism and multiculturalism.
In Biro and Siegel (1992) we argued that a theory of argumentation mustfully engage the normativity of judgments about arguments, and we developedsuch a theory. In this paper we further develop and defend our theory.
In two recent papers, I criticized Ronald N. Giere's and Larry Laudan's arguments for 'naturalizing' the philosophy of science (Siegel 1989, 1990). Both Giere and Laudan replied to my criticisms (Giere 1989, Laudan 1990b). The key issue arising in both interchanges is these naturalists' embrace of instrumental conceptions of rationality, and their concomitant rejection of non-instrumental conceptions of that key normative notion. In this reply I argue that their accounts of science's rationality as exclusively instrumental fail, and consequently that (...) their cases for 'normatively naturalizing' the philosophy of science fail as well. (shrink)
In his (1988), Brian Baigrie criticizes my earlier discussion of the rationality of science (Siegel 1985). In this response, I argue that (1) Baigrie misses the point of my tripartite distinction between different questions one can ask about science's rationality, (2) Baigrie's argument that the history of the development of methodological principles is crucial to philosophical discussion of the rationality of science is flawed, and (3) Baigrie's charge that my view is "anemic" rests on a failure to appreciate the (...) point of my tripartite distinction. (shrink)
The Elements of Philosophy: Readings from Past and Present is a comprehensive collection of historical and contemporary readings across the major fields of philosophy. With depth and quality, this introductory anthology offers a selection of readings that is both extensive and expansive; the readings span twenty-five centuries. They are organized topically into five parts: Religion and Belief, Moral and Political Philosophy, Metaphysics and Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind and Language, and Life and Death. The product of the collaboration of three highly (...) respected scholars in their fields - Tamar Szabó Gendler, Susanna Siegel, and Steven M. Cahn - The Elements of Philosophy also includes introductions from the editors, explanatory footnotes, and a glossary. (shrink)
Taves: Let us begin with the claim that universities are deadly to serious intellectual work. The university ethos fosters mediocrity, boredom and gutlessness. It has become a haven for conformist intellectuals who value patronage and status over intellectual quality and challenge. “Radical” academics are no exception; they too have bought into hyperspecialization, empiricism, professionalization, abstract theory, and have become marginal, predictable and politically irrelevant. If such is the case, what are the implications? Siegel: There is certainly a sense of (...) pervasive malaise on campus. Everyone seems to agree that there is an institutional and intellectual crisis of the disciplines. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that it's possible that the contents of some visual experiences are influenced by the subject's prior beliefs, hopes, suspicions, desires, fears or other mental states, and that this possibility places constraints on the theory of perceptual justification that 'dogmatism' or 'phenomenal conservativism' cannot respect.
In The Problem of Perception, A.D. Smith’s central aim is to defend the view that we can directly perceive ordinary objects, such as cups, keys and the like.1 The book is organized around the two arguments that Smith considers to be serious threats to the possibility of direct perception: the argument from illusion, and the argument from hallucination. The argument from illusion threatens this possibility because it concludes that indirect realism is true. Indirect realism is the view that we perceive (...) mind-independent ordinary objects, but can only do so indirectly, by perceiving mind-dependent objects: objects whose existence depends on being perceived or thought about. The argument from hallucination draws a similar conclusion: if we perceive mindindependent ordinary objects at all, then our perception of them is indirect in the same way. In responding to these arguments, Smith develops an account of percep- tual consciousness. Perceptual consciousness is a kind of experience, distinct from what Smith calls ‘mere sensory experiences’, or equivalently, ‘mere sensation’. Perceptual consciousness is experience that is properly percep- tual, in which one has the phenomenology of perceiving things in the external world (including one’s body) that exist independently of one’s mind. Perceptual consciousness on its own does not suffice for actually being in perceptual contact with mind-independent reality, although it suffices for it to seem as if one i s . It follows that perceptual consciousness does not suffice for direct perception of ordinary objects, or for direct realism. Nevertheless, Smith holds that the correct account of perceptual consciousness is a crucial element in blocking the arguments from illusion and hallucination, and therefore in supporting the possibility of direct perception. This is an extraordinarily engaging book. Within a single, unified narrative, one encounters the views of many philosophers—Husserl, Fine, Broad, Sextus Empiricus, Loar, Schopenhauer, Meinong, Burge, Dilthey, Russell, Dennett, Sartre, O’Shaughnessy, Evans, Berkeley, Craig, Brentano and many.... (shrink)
Early formulations of disjunctivism about perception refused to give any positive account of the nature of hallucination, beyond the uncontroversial fact that they can in some sense seem to the same to the subject as veridical perceptions. Recently, some disjunctivists have attempt to account for hallucination in purely epistemic terms, by developing detailed account of what it is for a hallucinaton to be indiscriminable from a veridical perception. In this paper I argue that the prospects for purely epistemic treatments of (...) hallucinations are dim, and that this undermines the case for disjunctivism. (shrink)
In discussions of perception and its relation to knowledge, it is common to distinguish what one comes to believe on the basis of perception from the distinctively perceptual basis of one's belief. The distinction can be drawn in terms of propositional contents: there are the contents that a perceiver comes to believe on the basis of her perception, on the one hand; and there are the contents properly attributed to perception itself, on the other. Consider the content.
In discussions of perception and its provision of knowledge, it is common to distinguish what one comes to believe on the basis of perception from the distinctively perceptual basis of one's belief. The distinction can be drawn in terms of propositional contents: there are the contents that a perceiver would normally come to believe on the basis of her perception, on the one hand; and there are the contents properly attributed to perception itself, on the other. Consider the content.
There are many contemporary sources and defenders of epistemological relativism which have not been considered thus far. I have, for example, barely touched on the voluminous literature regarding frameworks, conceptual schemes, and Wittgensteinian forms of life. Davidson's challenge to the scheme/content distinction and thereby to conceptual relativism, Rorty's acceptance of the Davidsonian argument and his use of it to defend a relativistic position, Winchian and other sociological and anthropological arguments for relativism, recent work in the sociology of science, and Goodman's (...) novel articulation of a relativism of worlds and of worldmaking, to mention just some of the contemporary loci of debate, all need to be addressed. So also do the plethora of relativistic arguments spawned by Kuhn and related literature in recent philosophy of science. Therefore, it cannot be said that there is no more to be said on behalf of epistemological relativism. Moreover, the positive task of delineating a defensible version of absolutism remains to be accomplished.Nevertheless, the defenses of relativism considered above do seem to have been successfully undercut. More specifically, the arguments for the incoherence of relativism are as compelling as ever, and have manifestly not been laid to rest by contemporary relativists. The basic Socratic insight that relativism is self-refuting, and so incoherent, remains a fundamental difficulty for those who would resuscitate and defend the ancient Protagorean doctrine or a modern variant of it. (shrink)
Perception provides a form of contact with the world and the other people in it. For example, we can learn that Franco is sitting in his chair by seeing Franco; we can learn that his hair is gray by seeing the colour of his hair. Such perception enables us to understand primitive forms of language, such as demonstrative expressions.
In this review of Christopher Winch's new book, Education, Autonomy and Critical Thinking (2006), I discuss its main theses, supporting some and criticising others. In particular, I take issue with several of Winch's claims and arguments concerning critical thinking and rationality, and deplore his reliance on what I suggest are problematic strains of the later Wittgenstein. But these criticisms are not such as to upend Winch's powerful critique of antiperfectionism and 'strong autonomy' or his defence of 'weak autonomy'. His account (...) of autonomy as an educational aim is important and in several respects compelling. (shrink)
It is with some trepidation that I offer this critical review of Feyerabend's new book. I do not relish the prospect of getting involved in one of the nasty little fights Feyerabend picks with those who criticize his work. Nevertheless, Feyerabend's work cries out for critical attention. Of particular interest is the degree to which this new work deepens or enhances Feyerabend's earlier castigations of Reason. Fans of Feyerabend will be disappointed to learn that Feyerabend's philosophy is not deepened or (...) enhanced in any significant way, and that his responses to his critics are on the whole unconvincing. (shrink)
How should we think about the interrelationships that obtain among Philosophy, Education, and Culture? In this paper I explore the contours of one such interrelationship: namely, the way in which educational and (other) philosophical ideals transcend individual cultures. I do so by considering the contemporary educational and philosophical commitment to multiculturalism. Consideration of multiculturalism, I argue, reveals important aspects of the character of both educational and philosophical ideals. Specifically, I advance the following claims: i) We are obliged to embrace the (...) moral and political directives of multiculturalism. ii) This obligation is a moral one: that is, multiculturalism is justified on moral grounds. iii) Far from entailing any philosophically problematic form of cultural relativism, multiculturalism is itself a ‘universal’ or ‘transcultural’ ideal. iv) Moreover, the advocacy of multiculturalism presupposes another kind of universality, dubbed below ‘transcultural normative reach.’ v) Consequently, multiculturalism should not be understood as entailing the demise of ‘universalistic’ dimensions of either philosophy or education. (shrink)
First, what it is for a sentient being to sense is for it to employ two distinct capacities: one for representing places-at-times; the other for representing "features" (60, cf. 70). Exercised together, the result is akin to feature-placing, which brings us to the second thesis: what sensory systems represent is that features are instantiated at place-times. Accordingly, sensory systems do not, for instance, attribute properties to objects, such as trees, tables, bodies, or persons (163).
In his 1983 article, Paul A. Roth defends the Quinean project of naturalized epistemology from the criticism presented in my 1980 article. In this note I would like to respond to Roth's effort. I will argue that, while helpful in advancing and clarifying the issues, Roth's defense of naturalized epistemology does not succeed. The primary topic to be clarified is Quine's "no first philosophy" doctrine; but I will address myself to other points as well.
In his recent work in social epistemology, Alvin Goldman argues that truth is the fundamental epistemic end of education, and that critical thinking is of merely instrumental value with respect to that fundamental end. He also argues that there is a central place for testimony and trust in the classroom, and an educational danger in over-emphasizing the fostering of students’ critical thinking. In this paper I take issue with these claims, and argue that (1) critical thinking is a fundamental end (...) of education, independently of its instrumental tie to truth, and (2) it is critical thinking, rather than testimony and trust,that is educationally basic. (shrink)
This paper considers two philosophical problems and their relation to science education. The first involves the rationality of science; it is argued here that the traditional view, according to which science is rational because of its adherence to (a non-standard conception of) scientific method, successfully answers one central question concerning science''s rationality. The second involves the aims of education; here it is argued that a fundamental educational aim is the fostering of rationality, or its educational cognate, critical thinking. The ramifications (...) of these two philosophical theses for science education are then considered, and a science education which takes reasons in science as its fundamental feature is sketched. (shrink)
Is 'education' a thick epistemic concept? The answer depends, of course, on the viability of the 'thick/thin' distinction, as well as the degree to which education is an epistemic concept at all. I will concentrate mainly on the latter, and will argue that epistemological matters are central to education and our philosophical thinking about it; and that, insofar, education is indeed rightly thought of as an epistemic concept. In laying out education's epistemological dimensions, I hope to clarify the degree to (...) which it makes sense to regard the concept as 'thick'. I also discuss the relationship between philosophy of education and virtue epistemology and the sense in which being educated might itself be thought to be an epistemic virtue. Finally, I urge virtue epistemologists in particular and epistemologists generally to turn their attention to questions of education, to further both the philosophy of education and epistemology itself. (shrink)
In biscuit conditionals (BCs) such as If you’re hungry, there’s pizza in the fridge, the if clause appears to apply to the illocutionary act performed in uttering the main clause, rather than to its propositional content. Accordingly, previous analyses of BCs have focused on illocutionary acts, and, this, I argue, leads them to yield incorrect paraphrases. I propose, instead, that BCs involve existential quantification over potential literal acts such as assertions, questions, commands, and exclamations, the semantic objects associated with declarative, (...) interrogative, imperative, and exclamative sentences, respectively. Such an existential interpretation of BCs requires only that we add potential literal acts to our inventory of individuals, and it produces reasonable paraphrases in which if has its normal meaning: If you’re hungry,[there’s a (relevant/salient) assertion that] there’s pizza in the fridge. These potential literal act variables are introduced into semantic interpretations and then undergo Existential Closure. Hence, we would expect to see similar interpretations in contexts other than BCs, that is, with other if constructions, with connectives other than if, with potential literal acts other than assertion, and in root sentences. This prediction is borne out, along with the parallel prediction that we cannot quantify over purely illocutionary acts like offers, but only over potential literal acts, those conventionally associated with a particular morphosyntactic shape. (shrink)
To help academic associations in management develop, refine, and implement a code of ethics, we conducted a survey of management educators’ perception of the ethicality of 142 specific behaviors in teaching, research, and service. The results of the survey could be used to inform ethics committees of these associations regarding the level of acceptability of such conduct. The potential value of our study for the Academy of Management or similar management associations lie in our (1) systematically involving the members in (...) building support for the code of ethics, (2) assessing members’ ethical judgments on both cross-sectional and longitudinal bases so as to identify areas needing particular attention in ethical training, (3) providing an extensive list of specific examples of questionable and potentially unethical behaviors so as to make it easier to implement the code, and (4) providing a template survey document for potential use in involving more stakeholder groups in the development of codes of ethics. (shrink)