The existence of conflicting messages on the role and status of the university is linked to a wider paradox of values about science in society. Value is attributed to science and assumed by the university in the context of the move to knowledge-based economies and societies, yet this has not been accompanied by a systematic and balanced debate about the values that should underpin socio-economic change. Questions are then raised about both the effectiveness of public policy and the role of (...) universities in society. A reconnection between the application and production of knowledge is needed, as well as the reinsertion of a normative framework for guiding and shaping change within universities. Only under such conditions can a meaningful debate on the roles of universities as places of expectation and spaces for reflection be realized. (shrink)
The current higher educational landscape in the UK is marked by complex sets of expectations, accompanied by efforts to encourage universities into diversifying and stratifying functions. Yet the picture is far from clear and a number of tensions and contradictions remain, such as in relation to incentivisation and reward structures which impact differentially on universities. For universities that attempt to translate these agendas into meaningful actions at the local level, the result is a mixture of enthusiasm, engagement, retreat and defence. (...) This article will demonstrate such processes in action through a discussion of the ongoing "Manchester--Knowledge Capital" initiative, which seeks to bring local and regional partners and universities together to create a critically acclaimed global pivot to the emerging knowledge economy. (shrink)
A collection of twelve essays by John Perry and two essays he co-authored, this book deals with various problems related to "self-locating beliefs": the sorts of beliefs one expresses with indexicals and demonstratives, like "I" and "this." Postscripts have been added to a number of the essays discussing criticisms by authors such as Gareth Evans and Robert Stalnaker. Included with such well-known essays as "Frege on Demonstratives," "The Problem of the Essential Indexical," "From Worlds to Situations," and "The Prince (...) and the Phone Booth" are a number of important essays that have been less accessible and that discuss important aspects of Perry's views, referred to as "Critical Referentialism," on the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
There has been growing interest in, and scholarly attention to, issues and questions that arise within the subject matter domain we may call "human rights theory". See, in particular, Amartya Sen, "Elements of a Theory of Human Rights," 32 Philosophy & Public Affairs 315 (2004); James W. Nickel, Making Sense of Human Rights (rev. ed. 2006); Michael J. Perry, Toward a Theory of Human Rights: Religion, Law, Courts (2007); James Griffin, On Human Rights (2008); Nicholas Wolterstorff, Justice: Rights and (...) Wrongs (2008). This essay - a version of which will appear in a multi-authored collection of essays to be published by Oxford University Press in 2009 - is intended as a contribution to human rights theory. These are the principal questions, or sets of questions, I address in the essay:1. What is the morality of human rights - by which I mean the morality that, according to the International Bill of Human Rights, is the principal warrant for the law of human rights?2. How does the morality of human rights warrant the law of human rights?3. Some human-rights-claims are legal claims, but some are moral claims, and some are both. What does a human-rights-claim of the legal sort mean? A human-rights-claim of the moral sort? And when does it make sense to think of a right that only some human beings have - children, for example - as a human right?4. Is there a plausible secular ground for the morality of human rights?5. At the end of the proverbial day, what difference does it make - why should we care - if there is no plausible secular ground for the morality of human rights?Comments and questions welcome. (shrink)
Situation semantics was originally conceived as an alternative to extensional model theory and possible world semantics especially suited to the analysis of various problematic constructions, including naked-infinitive perception verbs (Barwise 1981) and belief-reports (Barwise and Perry 1981a, 1981b). In its earliest forms, the central ideas were.
Philosophers and logicians use the term “indexical” for words such as “I”, “you” and “tomorrow”. Demonstratives such as “this” and “that” and demonstratives phrases such as “this man” and “that computer” are usually reckoned as a subcategory of indexicals. (Following [Kaplan, 1989a].) The “context-dependence” of indexicals is often taken as a defining feature: what an indexical designates shifts from context to context. But there are many kinds of shiftiness, with corresponding conceptions of context. Until we clarify what we mean by (...) “context”, this defining feature remains unclear. In sections 1–3, which are largely drawn from [Perry, forthcoming(a)], I try to clarify the sense in which indexicals are context-dependent and make some distinctions among the ways indexicals depend on context. In sections 3–6, I contrast indexicality with another phenomenon that I call “unarticulated constituents.”. (shrink)
Most Americans are religious believers. Among these there is disagreement about many fundamental religious/moral matters. Because the United States is both such a religious country and such a religiously pluralistic country, the issue of the proper role of religion in politics is extremely important to political debate. In Religion in Politics, Michael Perry addresses a fundamental question: what role may religious arguments play, if any, either in public debate about what political choices to make or as a basis of (...) political choice? He is principally concerned with political choices that ban or otherwise disfavor one or another sort of human conduct based on the view that the conduct is immoral. He divides the controversy into two debates: the constitutionally proper role of religious arguments in politics, and a related, but distinct, debate about the morally proper role. Perry concludes that political choices about the morality of human conduct should not be based on religion. The newest work by one of the most important constitutional theorists writing today, Religion in Politics is sure to spark a new debate on the subject. (shrink)
'I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception.' These famous words of David Hume, on his inability to perceive the self, set the stage for JeeLoo Liu and John Perry's collection of essays on self-awareness and self-knowledge. This volume connects recent scientific studies on consciousness with the traditional issues about the self explored by Descartes, Locke and Hume. Experts in the field offer contrasting perspectives on matters such (...) as the relation between consciousness and self-awareness, the notion of personhood and the epistemic access to one's own thoughts, desires or attitudes. The volume will be of interest to philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, cognitive scientists and others working on the central topics of consciousness and the self. (shrink)
The following statement is a report of the Committee on Philosophy in Education of the American Philosophical Association and was approved by the Association's Board of Officers in December, 1958. The Committee was composed of the following: C. W. Hendel, Chairman, H. G. Alexander, R. M. Chisholm, Max Fisch, Lucius Garvin, Douglas Morgan, A. E. Murphy, Charner Perry and R. G. Turnbull. Primary responsibility for the preparation of this report belonged to a subcommittee composed of Douglas N. (...) Morgan, Chairman, and Charner Perry. (shrink)
In the face of ongoing religious conflicts and unending culture wars, what are we to make of liberalism's promise that it alone can arbitrate between church and state? In this wide-ranging study, John Perry examines the roots of our thinking on religion and politics, placing the early-modern founders of liberalism in conversation with today's theologians and political philosophers. -/- From the story of Antigone to debates about homosexuality and bans on religious attire, it is clear that liberalism's promise to (...) solve all theo-political conflict is a false hope. The philosophy connecting John Locke to John Rawls seeks a world free of tragic dilemmas, where there can be no Antigones. Perry rejects this as an illusion. Disputes like the culture wars cannot be adequately comprehended as border encroachments presided over by an impartial judge. Instead, theo-political conflict must be considered a contest of loyalties within each citizen and believer. Drawing on critics of Rawls ranging from Michael Sandel to Stanley Hauerwas, Perry identifies what he calls a 'turn to loyalty' by those who recognize the inadequacy of our usual thinking on the public place of religion. The Pretenses of Loyalty offers groundbreaking analysis of the overlooked early work of Locke, where liberalism's founder himself opposed toleration. -/- Perry discovers that Locke made a turn to loyalty analogous to that of today's communitarian critics. Liberal toleration is thus more sophisticated, more theologically subtle, and ultimately more problematic than has been supposed. It demands not only governmental neutrality (as Rawls believed) but also a reworked political theology. Yet this must remain under suspicion for Christians because it places religion in the service of the state. Perry concludes by suggesting where we might turn next, looking beyond our usual boundaries to possibilities obscured by the liberalism we have inherited. (shrink)
It is often assumed that graphemes are a crucial level of orthographic representation above letters. Current connectionist models of reading, however, do not address how the mapping from letters to graphemes is learned. One major challenge for computational modeling is therefore developing a model that learns this mapping and can assign the graphemes to linguistically meaningful categories such as the onset, vowel, and coda of a syllable. Here, we present a model that learns to do this in English for strings (...) of any letter length and any number of syllables. The model is evaluated on error rates and further validated on the results of a behavioral experiment designed to examine ambiguities in the processing of graphemes. The results show that the model (a) chooses graphemes from letter strings with a high level of accuracy, even when trained on only a small portion of the English lexicon; (b) chooses a similar set of graphemes as people do in situations where different graphemes can potentially be selected; (c) predicts orthographic effects on segmentation which are found in human data; and (d) can be readily integrated into a full-blown model of multi-syllabic reading aloud such as CDP++ (Perry, Ziegler, & Zorzi, 2010). Altogether, these results suggest that the model provides a plausible hypothesis for the kind of computations that underlie the use of graphemes in skilled reading. (shrink)
Introduction to Philosophy, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive topically organized collection of classical and contemporary philosophy available. Building on the exceptionally successful tradition of previous editions, this edition for the first time incorporates the insights of a new coeditor, John Martin Fischer, and has been updated and revised to make it more accessible. Ideal for introductory philosophy courses, the text includes sections on the meaning of life, God and evil, knowledge and reality, the philosophy of science, the mind/body problem, (...) freedom of will, consciousness, ethics, and philosophical puzzles and paradoxes. It presents seventy substantial--and in some cases complete--selections from the best and most influential works in philosophy, offering a unique balance between classical and contemporary material. An extensive glossary of philosophical terms is also included. The fourth edition features fifteen new readings, including work by Albert Camus, Roderick M. Chisholm, Daniel Dennett, Harry G. Frankfurt, William Paley, Derek Parfit, John Perry, Richard Taylor, Peter Van Inwagen, Bernard Williams, and Susan Wolf. Part III, Knowledge and Reality, has been restructured and now includes Plato's Thaetetus, selections by Edmund L. Gettier and Robert Nozick, and an essay by Christopher Grau that explores the philosophical concepts presented in the popular film The Matrix. Two new ethics puzzles--"The Trolley Problem" and "Ducking Harm and Sacrificing Others"--are also included. This edition incorporates Study Questions after each reading and is accompanied by an Instructor's CD and a Student Companion Website, both containing helpful resources. (shrink)
The first of the new Theory and History series, Matt Perry's punchy andaccessible volume examines Marxism's enormous impact on the way historians approach their subject. Perry offers both a concise introduction to the Marxist view of history and Marxism historical writing, and a guide to its relevance to students' own work.
`What is the proper relation of moral and religious beliefs to politics and law, especially in a society that, like the United States, is morally and religiously pluralistic?' In Morality, Politics, and Law, noted constitutional theorist Michael Perry answers this fundamental question, criticizing the vision of constitutional adjudication and defending a more liberal philosophy of constitutional interpretation.
The following is a joint report of the Committee on Philosophy in Education of the American Philosophical Association and of the Committee on Cooperation with the American Philosophical Association of the Philosophy of Education Society. The report has been approved by the Executive Committee of the Philosophy of Education Society and by the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association (September, 1959). The Committee of the American Philosophical Association was composed of the following: C. W. Hendel, Chairman, H. G. (...) Alexander, R. M. Chisholm, Max Fisch, Lucius Garvin, Douglas Morgan, A. E. Murphy, Charner Perry and R. G. Turnbull. The Committee of the Philosophy of Education Society consisted of Fr. R. J. Henle, S.J., Chairman, and Professors Barton, Clayton, Drake, and Hullfish. The American Philosophical Association subcommittee with primary responsibility for this report was composed of Charner Perry, Chairman, and Douglas Morgan. (shrink)
From a speech given at a conference sponsored by the Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA) on "The Puzzle of Data Security and Consumer Privacy," Washington, DC, 16 November 1992. At that time, Dr. Perry was a Consultant in Advisory Services for the Ethics Resource Center.
This anthology of essays on the work of David Kaplan, a leading contemporary philosopher of language, sprang from a conference, "Themes from Kaplan," organized by the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.
When you use the word “I” it designates you; when I use the same word, it designates me. If you use “you” talking to me, it designates me; when I use it talking to you, it designates you. “I” and “you” are indexicals. The designation of an indexical shifts from speaker to speaker, time to time, place to place. Different utterances of the same indexical designate different things, because what is designated depends not only on the meaning associated with the (...) expression, but also on facts about the utterance. An utterance of “I” designates the person who utters it; an utterance of “you” designates the person to whom it is addressed, an utterance of “here” designates the place at which the utterance is made, and so forth. Because indexicals shift their designation in this way, sentences containing indexicals can be used to say different things on different occasions. Suppose you say to me, “You are wrong and I am right about reference,” and I reply with the same sentence. We have used the same sentence, with the same meaning, but said quite different and incompatible things. (shrink)
Compatibilism is the thesis that an act may be both free and determined by previous events and the laws of nature. I assume that in normal cases a condition of a person's performing an act freely is that the person is able to refrain from performing the act. Thus, I accept that if determinism entails that agents do not have this ability, we must give up compatibilism. In this paper I try to contribute to the rethinking of compatibilism by distinguishing (...) between strong and weak accounts of laws and strong and weak accounts of ability. I argue that compatibilism is a tenable position when combined with either a weak account of laws, or a weak account of ability, or both. I shall concentrate on influential arguments for incompatibilism due to Peter van Inwagen, often called collectively the "consequence argument". (shrink)
Frege continues by explaining what bothered him in the Begriﬀsschrift, and motivated his treatment of identity in that work.2 He goes on to criticize that account. By the end of the paragraph, he has introduced his key concept of sinn, abandonning not only the Begriﬀsschrift account of identity, but its basical semantical framework. In the Begriﬀsschrift Frege’s main semantic concept was content [Inhalt ]. Already in the Begriﬀsschrift, he is struggling with this concept. In §3 he..
Now suppose that Joey responds by uttering the exact same words back to Natasha: “I am right and you are wrong”. He has said the same words, with the same meaning, but he has not said the same thing. Joey’s utterance of “I” designates Joey and his utterance of “you” designates Natasha. The truthconditions of his statement are that Joey is right and Natasha is wrong. Joey has directly disagreed with Natasha.
In this essay I examine how we use indexicals. The key function of indexicals, I claim, is to help the audience --- that is the hearers or readers of the utterance with whom the speaker intends to be communicating---to find supplementary channels of information about the object to which the indexical refers. To keep the discussion manageable, I will oversimplify the epistemology of conversation. I ignore the fact that people sometimes lie and sometimes make mistakes. I talk freely about what (...) one learns and the information one gets from an utterance. (shrink)
In this essay I distinguish three kinds of self-knowledge. I call these three kinds agent-relative knowledge, self-attached knowledge and knowledge of the person one happens to be. These aspects of self-knowledge diﬀer in how the knower or agent is represented. Most of what I say will be applicable to beliefs as well as knowledge, and to other kinds of attitudes and thoughts, such as desire, as well.1 Agent-relative knowledge is knowledge from the perspective of a particular agent. To have this (...) sort of knowledge, the agent need not have an idea of self, or a notion of himself or herself. This sort of knowledge can be expressed by a simple sentence containing a demonstrative for a place or object, and without any term referring to the speaker. For example, “There is an apple” or “that is a toaster”. (Ideas of speciﬁc objects I call notions. Ideas of properties and relations I just call ideas. A judgement involves an idea being associated with a notion. A.. (shrink)
Studies of childhood abuse and neglect haveimportant lessons for considerations of natureand nurture. While each child has uniquegenetic potentials, both human and animalstudies point to important needs that everychild has, and severe long-term consequencesfor brain function if those needs are not met. The effects of the childhood environment,favorable or unfavorable, interact with all theprocesses of neurodevelopment (neurogenesis,migration, differentiation, apoptosis,arborization, synaptogenesis, synapticsculpting, and myelination). The time coursesof all these neural processes are reviewed herealong with statements of core principles forboth genetic and (...) environmental influences onall of these processes. Evidence is presentedthat development of synaptic pathways tends tobe a ``use it or lose it'' proposition.Abuse studies from the author's laboratory,studies of children in orphanages who lackedemotional contact, and a large number of animaldeprivation and enrichment studies point to theneed for children and young nonhuman mammals tohave both stable emotional attachments with andtouch from primary adult caregivers, andspontaneous interactions with peers. If theseconnections are lacking, brain development bothof caring behavior and cognitive capacities isdamaged in a lasting fashion.These effects of experience on the brainimply that effects of modern technology can bepositive but need to be monitored. Whiletechnology has raised opportunities forchildren to become economically secure andliterate, more recent inadvertent impacts oftechnology have spawned declines in extendedfamilies, family meals, and spontaneous peerinteractions. The latter changes have deprivedmany children of experiences that promotepositive growth of the cognitive and caringpotentials of their developing brains. (shrink)
G. E. Moore famously noted that saying 'I went to the movies, but I don't believe it' is absurd, while saying 'I went to the movies, but he doesn't believe it' is not in the least absurd. The problem is to explain this fact without supposing that the semantic contribution of 'believes' changes across first-person and third-person uses, and without making the absurdity out to be merely pragmatic. We offer a new solution to the paradox. Our solution is that the (...) truth conditions of any moorean utterance contradict its accuracy conditions. Thus we diagnose a contradiction in how the moorean utterance represents things as being; so we can do justice to the intuition that a Moore-paradoxical utterance is in some way senseless, even if we know what proposition it expresses. (shrink)
The English expression “self” is a modest one; in its normal use, it is not even quite a word, but something that makes an ordinary object pronoun into a reﬂexive one: “her” into “herself,” “him” into “himself” and “it” into “itself”. The reﬂexive pronoun is used when the object of an action or attitude is the same as the subject of that action or attitude. If I say Mark Twain shot _himself _in the foot, I describe Mark Twain not only (...) as the shooter but as the person shot; if I say Mark Twain admired _himself, _I describe him not only as the admirer but as the admired. In this sense, “the self” is just the person doing the action or holding the attitude that is somehow in question. “Self” is also used as a preﬁx for names of activities and attitudes, identifying the special case where the object is the same as the agent: self-love, self-hatred, self-abuse, self-promotion, self-knowledge. (shrink)
Kaplan says that monsters violate Principle 2 of his theory. Principle 2 is that indexicals, pure and demonstrative alike, are directly referential. In providing this explanation of there being no monsters, Kaplan feels his theory has an advantage over double-indexing theories like Kamp’s or Segerberg’s (or Stalnaker’s), which either embrace monsters or avoid them only by ad hoc stipulation, in the sharp conceptual distinction it draws between circumstances of evaluation and contexts of utterance. We shall argue that Kaplan’s prohibition is (...) also essentially stipulative, and that it is too general. The main difference between ourselves and Kaplan is that the basic carriers of a truth-value is a sentence-in-a-context; our account is utterance-based. (shrink)
”Self-beliefs” are beliefs of the sort one ordinarily has about oneself, and expresses with the first person. These contrast with the beliefs one has in ”Casta˜neda cases,” in which one has a belief about oneself without knowing it. This paper advances an account of the nature of self-belief. According to this account, self-belief is a special case of interacting with things via notions that serve as repositories for information about objects with certain important relations to the knower, and as motivators (...) for actions the success of which is dependent on the object in that relation to the agent. Identity is such a relation, and ”self-notions” play this special role: they are the repositories for information gained in normally self-informative ways, and the motivators of types of action whose success normally depends on facts about the agent. Self-beliefs involve such self-notions, while the beliefs that one has about oneself in Casta˜neda cases do not. (shrink)
Gricean pragmatics seems to pose a dilemma. If semantics is limited to the conventional meanings of types of expressions, then the semantics of an utterance does not determine what is said. If all that figures in the determination of what is said counts as semantics, then pragmatic reasoning about the specific intentions of a speaker intrudes on semantics. The dilemma is false. Key points: Semantics need not determine what is said, and the description, with which the hearer begins, need not (...) provide the hearer with knowledge of what was said, or the ability to express what was said, from the hearer's context. (shrink)
In this essay I distinguish three kinds of self-knowledge. I call these three kinds agent-relative knowledge, self-attached knowledge and knowledge of the person one happens to be. These aspects of self-knowledge differ in how the knower or agent is represented. Most of what I say will be applicable to beliefs as well as knowledge, and to other kinds of attitudes and thoughts, such as desire, as well.
Classical Gricean pragmatics is usually conceived as dealing with far-side pragmatics, aimed at computing implicatures. It involves reasoning about why what was said, was said. Near-side pragmatics, on the other hand, is pragmatics in the service of determining, together with the semantical properties of the words used, what was said. But this raises the specter of ‘the pragmatic circle.’ If Gricean pragmatics seeks explanations for why someone said what they did, how can there be Gricean pragmatics on the near-side? Gricean (...) reasoning seems to require what is said to get started. But then if Gricean reasoning is needed to get to what is said, we have a circle. (shrink)
There are many good introductions to philosophy, and many important philosophy books, but only a handful that are both; the book you have in your hands, The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell, is one of these, and one of the best.
The topic of this essay is “the slingshot,” a short argument that purports to show that sentences1 designate (stand for, refer to) truth values. Versions of this argument have been used by Frege 2, Church 3, Quine4 and Davidson5; thus it is historically important, even if it immediately strikes one as ﬁshy. The argument turns on two principles, which I call substitution and redistribution. In “Semantic Innocence and Uncompromising Situations,”6 Jon Barwise and I rejected both principles, as part of our (...) attempt.. (shrink)
In this article I discuss a number of issues raised by Professor Jules Coleman's recent article "Beyond the Separability Thesis." I suggest, to begin, that Coleman is correct that neither a narrow nor a broad formulation of the separability thesis takes us very far towards a robust distinction between legal positivism and legal non-positivism. I then offer a brief discussion of methodology in jurisprudence, suggesting that Coleman accepts, at least implicitly, what I call a "methodology of necessary features." Since there (...) is reason to think that law possesses some necessary features that are non-normative (or descriptive) and others that are moral in character, the promise of this pluralistic approach is that it will be capable of bridging the gap between so-called "descriptive" and "normative" theories of methodology in jurisprudence. Since the distinction between descriptive and normative methodological theories is sometimes taken to be one way, among others, of drawing a distinction between positivist and non-positivist theories of law, the pluralism of the "methodology of necessary features" gives us yet one more reason to think that the distinction between positivism and non-positivism is not a theoretically fundamental one. Finally, I discuss Coleman's "moral semantics claim," i.e., the idea that "legal content is best understood as moral directives about what is to be done and who is to decide what is to be done." Coleman acknowledges that the moral semantics claim, when taken together with the social facts thesis, raises a well-known problem: How can social facts create content-independent reasons for action? I suggest that we are most likely to find the answer to this question by focusing directly on whether or not law's claimed moral authority—meaning its claimed moral power—can be justified, rather than by focusing indirectly, as many theorists have done, on the existence or non-existence of a general obligation to obey the law. (shrink)
This paper examines the argument that moral approval of homosexuality is analogous to the early church's inclusion of gentiles. The analogy has a long but often overlooked history, dating back to the start of the modern gay-rights movement. It has recently gained greater prominence because of its importance to the Episcopal Church's debate with the wider Anglican Communion. Beginning with the Episcopal Church argument, we see that there are five specific areas most in need of further clarification. In this essay (...) I examine significant uses of the analogy from the prior 25 years to see how effectively they address these five areas. I conclude that the conversation surrounding the Gentile Analogy is the current, best hope for mutual understanding among Christians about homosexuality. However, if the analogy is to advance the Christian conversation, much greater care and precision is needed in its application from traditionalists and revisionists alike. (shrink)
A caveat: The topic of abortion is both highly controversial and extremely complex, and I certainly cannot hope to address all of its important ethical aspects in the brief notes that follow. Readers are urged to consult a good annotated bibliography such as the one compiled by James DeHullu for references to more extensive scholarly treatments of abortion.
Intentionality is a term for a feature exhibited by many mental states and activities: being directed at objects. Two related things are meant by this. First, when one desires or believes or hopes, one always believes or desires or hopes something. Let’s assume that belief report 1) is true.
It has been persuasively argued by David Kaplan and others that the proposition expressed by statements like (1) is a singular proposition, true in just those worlds in which a certain person, David Israel, is a computer scientist. Call this proposition P . The truth of this proposition does not require that the utterance (1) occur, or even that Israel has ever said anything at all. Marcus, Donnellan, Kripke and others have persuasively argued for a view of proper names that, (...) put in Kaplan’s terms and applied to this example, implies that the proposition expressed by (2) is also simply P .1 The thesis that expressions of a certain category (names, indexicals, demonstratives, pronouns, descriptions, etc.) are referential 2holds that these expressions contribute the object to which they refer, rather than a mode of presentation of that object, to the propositions expressed by statements containing them. The thesis that indexicals and names are referential creates the challenge of explaining the difference in cognitive signiﬁcance between statements like (1) and (2), that express the same proposition[Wettstein, 1986]. The problem has two parts, which.. (shrink)
Information is a notion of wide use and great intuitive appeal, and hence, not surprisingly, different formal paradigms claim part of it, from Shannon channel theory to Kolmogorov complexity. Information is also a widely used term in logic, but a similar diversity repeats itself: there are several competing logical accounts of this notion, ranging from semantic to syntactic. In this chapter, we will discuss three major logical accounts of information.
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These lines — also attributed to H. L. Mencken and Carl Jung — although perhaps politically incorrect, are surely correct in reminding us that more is involved in what one communicates than what one literally says; more is involved in what one means than the standard, conventional meaning of the words one uses. The words ‘yes,’ ‘perhaps,’ and ‘no’ each has a perfectly identifiable meaning, known by every speaker of English (including not very competent ones). However, as those lines illustrate, (...) it is possible for different speakers in different circumstances to mean different things using those words. How is this possible? What's the relationship among the meaning of words, what speakers mean when uttering those words, the particular circumstances of their utterance, their intentions, their actions, and what they manage to communicate? These are some of the questions that pragmatics tries to answer; the sort of questions that, roughly speaking, serve.. (shrink)
The main topic of Jerry Fodor’s The Elm and the Expert,1, and the title of the ﬁrst chapter, is “If Psychological processes are computational, how can psychological laws be intentional?” I focus on the ﬁrst and second chapters; The ﬁrst is devoted to setting up the question, the second to answering it.
As many as two million people in the United Kingdom repeatedly see people, animals, and objects that have no objective reality. Hallucinations on the border of sleep, dementing illnesses, delirium, eye disease, and schizophrenia account for 90% of these. The remainder have rarer disorders. We review existing models of recurrent complex visual hallucinations (RCVH) in the awake person, including cortical irritation, cortical hyperexcitability and cortical release, top-down activation, misperception, dream intrusion, and interactive models. We provide evidence that these can neither (...) fully account for the phenomenology of RCVH, nor for variations in the frequency of RCVH in different disorders. We propose a novel Perception and Attention Deficit (PAD) model for RCVH. A combination of impaired attentional binding and poor sensory activation of a correct proto-object, in conjunction with a relatively intact scene representation, bias perception to allow the intrusion of a hallucinatory proto-object into a scene perception. Incorporation of this image into a context-specific hallucinatory scene representation accounts for repetitive hallucinations. We suggest that these impairments are underpinned by disturbances in a lateral frontal cortex–ventral visual stream system. We show how the frequency of RCVH in different diseases is related to the coexistence of attentional and visual perceptual impairments; how attentional and perceptual processes can account for their phenomenology; and that diseases and other states with high rates of RCVH have cholinergic dysfunction in both frontal cortex and the ventral visual stream. Several tests of the model are indicated, together with a number of treatment options that it generates. Key Words: Blindness; Charles Bonnet; cholinergic; cortical release; delirium; dementia; dream intrusion; hallucination; Perception and Attention Deficit (PAD) model; schizophrenia. (shrink)
My aim in this study is not to praise Fischer's fine theory of moral responsibility, but to (try to) bury the "semi" in "semicompatibilism". I think Fischer gives the Consequence Argument (CA) too much credit, and gives himself too little credit. In his book, The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer gave the CA as good a statement as it will ever get, and put his finger on what is wrong with it. Then he declared stalemate rather than victory. In my (...) view, Fischer's view amounts to sophisticated compatibilism. It would be nice to be able to call it by its right name. In The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer develops his own version of Consequence Argument, which turns on two principles, one of which is the fixity of the past. FP: For any action K, agent S and time i, if it is true that is S were to do Y at t, some fact about that past relative to t would not have been a fact, then S cannot at t do Fat 1. 1 argue that the equipment needed to reject FP (and thereby defend the most plausible version of compatibilism) is needed to deal with the problem of fatalism. In addition, I argue that the rejection of FP is compatible with Fischer's approach to Frankfurt cases and with his account of transfer principles. (shrink)
Underlying the political activism that led to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was what Ron Amundson has called the environmental conception of disability. In  we called this the circumstantial conception of disability and handicap, and contrasted it with the intrinsic conception. We use disability to mean loss of a function, such as moving the hands or seeing, that is part of the standard repertoire for humans. Handicap is a species of inability, in particular, the inability to do something (...) that one wants to do and most others around one can do.1 The intrinsic conception imagines a tight connection between disability and handicap; the circumstantial conception loosens and relativizes that connection. The circumstantial conception reminds us that we all depend on various tools and structures—in particular, on cultural artifacts—to enable us to do what we want to do. In many cases it is the design of these tools and structures that prevents a disabled person from accomplishing what they want, rather than anything intrinsically connected to the disability. For example, very few people.. (shrink)
Possible worlds semantics (PWS) is a family of methods that have been used to analyze a wide variety of intensional phenomena, including modality, conditionals, tense and temporal adverbs, obligation, and reports of informational and cognitive content. PWS spurred the development of philosophical logic and led to new applications of logic in computer science and artiﬁcial intelligence. It revolutionized the study of the semantics of natural languages. PWS has inspired analyses of many concepts of philosophical importance, and the concept of a (...) possible world has been at the heart of important philosophical systems. (See also POSSIBLE WORLDS, PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES IN.. (shrink)
All of culture, philosophy included, is a huge trick on nature, and nature will eventually catch on and reassert itself. But for right now, if one lives in a free society, it's a wonderful time to be a philosopher: so much to read, so much to think and write about.
Brutus wanted to kill Caesar. He believed that Caesar was an ordinary mortal, and that, given this, stabbing him (by which we mean plunging a knife into his heart) was a way of killing him. He thought that he could stab Caesar, for he remembered that he had a knife and saw that Caesar was standing next to him on his left, in the Forum. So Brutus was motivated to stab the man to his left. He did so, thereby killing (...) Caesar. (shrink)
This paper1 is the ﬁrst in a series of two, in which we (i) explore some aspects of heterogeneous systems of representation and communication2 (ii) show how American Sign Language (ASL) exhibits some of those features; (iii) draw some morals for the design of interfaces. This paper explores (i) at some length and ends with a brief look at (ii). Heterogeneous systems of representation and communication are systems that combine representations whose meanings work on different principles, such as pictures and (...) words. (We will try to reserve the word “language” for natural languages, like English and American Sign Language (ASL), and not use it for just any system of structured representations.) This talk reﬂects work that we have been doing in collaboration with Cathy Haas of the Archimedes Project at CSLI and Bill Stokoe of Gallaudet University, having to do with richly grounded meaning in ASL. Richly grounded meaning or RGM is a generalization of what Peirce called “iconicity”; the symbol and what it symbolizes are naturally rather than arbitrarily connected.3 The key word here is “arbitrary”; probably most RGM symbols are conventional in the sense developed by David Lewis in Convention (), but there is a natural connection between the symbol and what it symbolizes. The traditional word instead of “natural” might be “resemblance”. We emphasize that what is in question is something psychological; a robust cognitive correspondence between properties of a symbol (which must have enough interesting properties to ground such a relation, hence “richly grounded”) and properties of that which is symbolized. Resemblance is too restrictive. There are. (shrink)
The fact referred to we call the signal or indicating fact. The thermometer is the carrier, the property of containing mercury that has risen past 98.6 is the indicating property. The proposition that Elwood has a fever is the incremental informational content of the signal. The property of having a fever is the indicated property; Elwood is the subject matter. A signal has incremental content, given a connecting fact and relative to a constraint. 1 In this case, the connecting fact (...) is that the thermometer is in Elwood’s mouth, the connecting relation is that of one thing being in the mouth of another, and the constraint C 1 is. (shrink)
Many people in the animal welfare communityhave argued that the use of nonhuman animals inmedical research is necessarily based onspeciesism, an unjustified prejudice based onspecies membership. As such it is morally akinto racism and sexism. This is misguided. Thecombined capacities for autonomy and sentiencewith the obligations derived from relationssupport a morally justifiable rationale forusing some nonhuman animals in order to limitthe risk of harm to humans. There may be a fewcases where it is morally better to use a neversentient human (...) than a sentient animal, butthese cases are few and would not fulfill thecurrent need for research subjects. The use ofnonautonomous animals instead of humans inrisky research can be based on solid moralground. It is not necessarily speciesism. (shrink)
Words stand for things of various kinds and for various kinds of things. Because words do this, the sentences made up of words mean what they do, and are capable of expressing our thoughts, our beliefs and conjectures, desires and wishes. This simple idea seems right to me, but it ﬂies in the face of formidable authority. In a famous passage in “Reality without Reference,” Donald Davidson criticizes what he calls the “building-block theory:”.
In this paper, I shall defend Russell's view that Mont Blanc, with all of its snow elds, is a component part" or constituent of what is actually asserted when one utters Mont Blanc is more than 4000 meters high," and of what one believes, when one believes that Mont Blanc is 4000 meters high. I also claim, however, that a proposition that does not have Mont Blanc as a constituent plays an important role in the assertion and the belief that (...) Mont Blanc is more than 4000 meters high. Taken somewhat out of context, the quotes from Frege and Russell express insights that pull in di erent directions in the contemporary philosophy of language. Behind Frege's remark is the insight that reference is not direct but mediated. When we think and talk about things, our thoughts and words are not in direct contact with the things thought about and talked about. The meanings of our words, and the cognitive roles of our ideas, do not in and of themselves determine their reference. They get at objects via some aspects of.. (shrink)
In a celebrated article, published nearly a century ago, Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld endeavored to elucidate the various types of jural relations. Hohfeld’s scheme has been justly regarded as a seminal contribution to analytical jurisprudence, and has stimulated lively debate since. This Essay aims to refute one of Hohfeld’s fundamental and most influential theses: the axiom of right–duty correlativity. To do so, it employs the simplest refutation strategy in first-order logic, namely providing a valid counterexample. Part I discusses earlier attempts to (...) do likewise, and explains why they failed. For the most part, previous illustrations of ostensibly standalone rights or standalone duties neglected relevant parties who could owe the correlative duties or hold the correlative rights, respectively. Part II puts forward a simple argument: There are abstract duties in private law that ban certain types of conduct without reference to specific victims. Those duties are not necessarily correlative with rights, although their breach may generate secondary duties with corresponding rights. In particular, tort law allows plaintiffs to recover for harm caused by breach of duty that occurred before they acquired legal personality. This is tantamount to recognizing duties that are not correlative with rights, and therefore invalidates the correlativity axiom. (shrink)
The sources and methods of espionage, the goals and tactics of covert action, and the professional conduct of intelligence officers are matters typically hidden from public scrutiny, yet clearly worthy of public debate and philosophical attention. Recent academic studies of intelligence that have had any intentional bearing on ethics or political philosophy have largely focused on procedural questions surrounding the proper degree of oversight of intelligence agencies. But what is often missed in such examinations is substantive ethical analysis of intelligence (...) operations themselves. (shrink)
In this essay I first review Kaplan’s theory of linguistic character, and then explain and motivate a concept of doxastic character. I then develop some concepts for dealing with the topic of belief retention and then, finally, discuss Rip Van Winkle. I come down on Kaplan’s side with respect to the Frege-inspired strategy, narrowly construed. But I advocate something like the Frege-inspired strategy, if it is construed more broadly. On my view it is remarkably easy to retain a belief, and (...) I think Evans is quite wrong about Rip and Kaplan. The central concept I develop, however, that of an information game, is in the spirit of much of Evans’ work. I also borrow some of his terminology. (shrink)
Merker's core idea, that the experience of being conscious reflects the interactions of actions, targets, and motivations in the upper brainstem, with cortex providing the content of the conscious experience, merits serious consideration. However, we have two areas of concern: first, that his definition of consciousness is so broad that it is difficult to find any organisms with a brain that could be non-conscious; second, that the focus on one cortical–subcortical system neglects other systems (e.g., basal forebrain and brainstem cholinergic (...) systems and their cortical and thalamic target areas) which may be of at least equal significance. (Published Online May 1 2007). (shrink)
I'll begin by using the concept of a profession. A profession is granted legitimacy and autonomy by society, when society benefits from restricting membership in it to those who satisfy special criteria, which are typically established and regulated internally by members of the profession.