As we begin our exploration of our relationship with animals, we come face to face with Peter Singer and his insistence that speciesism is a vice. It is important to come to know what he means by speciesism, why he regards it as a moral mistake.
Bob B. He: Two-dimensional X-ray diffraction Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9135-8 Authors George B. Kauffman, Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034, USA Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
(Author’s reply at “Author-Meets-Critics” session (on Paul Redding, Analytic Philosophy and the Return of Hegelian Thought) at the Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Vancouver, April 10, 2009. Robert Brandom’s “critic’s” contribution is available as “Hegel and Analytic Philosophy” from his website http://www.pitt.edu/~brandom/.).
The paper considers various ruminations on the aftermath of the death of a close one, and the processes of grieving and mourning. The conceptual examination of how grief impacts on its sufferers, from different cultural perspectives, is followed by an analytical survey of current thinking among psychologists, psychoanalysts and philosophers on the enigma of grief, and on the associated practice of mourning. Robert C. Solomon reflected deeply on the 'extreme emotion' of grief in his extensive theorizing on the emotions, particularly (...) in his essay 'On Grief and Gratitude', commenting that grief is 'often described as a very private, personal emotion, characterized by social withdrawal and shutting oneself off from the world' (2004: 73). While dialoguing with the spirit of Solomon by way also of a tribute to his immense insights, the paper engages in critical reflections on recent thinking in this area elsewhere - notably, in Heidegger, Freud, Nussbaum, Casey, Gustafson, and Kristeva - and offers a refreshing critique toward an alternative to the received wisdom. (shrink)
Conflicting religious experiences in different traditions do not necessarily <span class='Hi'>defeat</span> the rationality of conflicting beliefs sustained by those experiences in those traditions. The circularity that protects religious beliefs from such mutual <span class='Hi'>defeat</span> is not vicious. Moreover, the lack of ‘epistemological humility’ exhibited by such believers poses no threat to world peace. In fact, a campaign for compulsory humility would itself constitute a much greater threat.
With Matthew we have an unusual opportunity. The text is in a sense very welcoming. Even among those who have no experience of it as a liturgical text, names and phrases are familiar; no one stumbles over the pronunciation of “Pharisee,” etc. – at least not with the frequency that “Agamemnon” and “Thucydides” are passed over. Even the parables, which as parables should be mysterious, do not alienate the students: it is already acknowledged that the text is one that demands (...) more than a superficial reading. It demands interpretation. (shrink)
: From its founding in 1847, the AMA divided drugs into "ethical" and "unethical" preparations. Those that were ethical had a known composition and were advertised only to the profession. Others, patent medicines (technically proprietary drugs, whose trademarks were protected by copyright), were sold directly to the public. In spite of the AMA's efforts to ban the advertising and sale of these nostrums, proprietary drugs flourished during the nineteenth century. Starting in 1900, however, three major societal trends combined to bolster (...) the AMA's campaign, and by 1920 almost all advertising was directed to physicians, who would then prescribe medications to their patients. This ban on advertising pharmaceuticals directly to the public remained virtually unchanged until approximately 1980. Since then, it has slowly eroded and, as recently as 1997, the FDA created guidelines for pharmaceutical companies to advertise on television. What does this change say about the profession of medicine, the role of the physician in society, and the doctor-patient relationship? Using a comparative historical approach, this paper examines these issues. (shrink)
Erratum to: The Bearable Lightness of Being Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10516-010-9127-7 Authors Bob Hale, Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield, 45 Victoria St, Sheffield, S3 7QB UK Journal Axiomathes Online ISSN 1572-8390 Print ISSN 1122-1151.
/Analyticity theorists/, as I will call them, endorse the /doctrine of analyticity in ontology/: if some truth P analytically entails the existence of certain things, then a theory that contains P but does not claim that those things exist is no more ontologically parsimonious than a theory that also claims that they exist. Suppose, for instance, that the existence of a table in a certain location is analytically entailed by the existence and features of certain particles in that location. The (...) doctrine implies that the table's existence requires nothing more of the world than that those particles exist and bear the features in question. Analyticity theorists have alleged that this idea may be used to defend controversial existence claims against a battery of objections. I argue that this style of defense fails, because the doctrine faces counter-examples. An existence claim may be analytically entailed by some truth and still report a substantial further fact. (shrink)
Here, Bob Hale and Crispin Wright assemble the key writings that lead to their distinctive neo-Fregean approach to the philosophy of mathematics. In addition to fourteen previously published papers, the volume features a new paper on the Julius Caesar problem; a substantial new introduction mapping out the program and the contributions made to it by the various papers; a section explaining which issues most require further attention; and bibliographies of references and further useful sources. It will be recognized as the (...) most powerful presentation yet of a neo-Fregean program. (shrink)
The neo-Fregeans have argued that definition by abstraction allows us to introduce abstract concepts such as direction and number in terms of equivalence relations such as parallelism between lines and one-one correspondence between concepts. This paper argues that definition by abstraction suffers from the fact that an equivalence relation may not be sufficient to determine a unique concept. Frege’s original verdict against definition by abstraction is thus reinstated.
In this paper I argue against Divers and Miller's 'Lightness of Being' objection to Hale and Wright's neo-Fregean Platonism. According to the 'Lightness of Being' objection, the neo-Fregean Platonist makes existence too cheap: the same principles which allow her to argue that numbers exist also allow her to claim that fictional objects exist. I claim that this is no objection at all" the neo-Fregean Platonist should think that fictional characters exist. However, the pluralist approach to truth developed by WQright in (...) 'Truth and Objectivity' allows us to salvage our intuitions about the metaphysicial lightweightness of fictional characters: truth for discourse about fictional characters fails to exert 'Cognityive Command', whereas truth about arithmetic does. (shrink)
Following the Texas standoff in 1993 between Federal agents and the Branch Davidians, the Society of Professional Journalists appointed a Task Force, chaired by Bob Steele and Jay Black to examine media conduct during that period and to draw lessons for such situations in the future. The following is the final section of a 27-page report that the Task Force submitted to the Society. It addressed a dozen issues arising from the event and contains reflections and guidelines from the Task (...) Force. (shrink)
The impact of Foucault's work can still be felt across a range of academic disciplines. It is nevertheless important to remember that, for him, theoretical activity was intimately related to the concrete practices of self-transformation; as he acknowledged: `I write in order to change myself.' 1 This avowal is especially pertinent when considering Foucault's work on the relationship between sex and power. For Foucault not only theorized about this topic; he was also actively involved in the S&M subculture of the (...) 1970s. Although his explicit discussions of S&M are somewhat piecemeal, in this article I will show how they provide a useful point of access into his broader conception of power relations. Having first reconstructed Foucault's quasi-Sartrean account of creative self-transformation specifically through one's sexuality I will then explain why his defence of S&M (as embodying `strategic' power) is insufficiently sensitive to the inherent ambiguities of this `game'. Key Words: consent desire identity limits pleasure power role-play subjectivity trust. (shrink)
Simon Blackburn posed a dilemma for any realist attempt to identify the source of necessity. Either the facts appealed to to ground modal truth are themselves necessary, or they are contingent. If necessary, we begin the process towards regress; but if contingent, we undermine the necessity whose source we wanted to explain. Bob Hale attempts to blunt both horns of this dilemma. In this paper I examine their respective positions and attempt to clear up some confusions on either side. I (...) come to defend Hale’s conclusion that both horns of the dilemma can be resisted. I end by defending my own account of the source of necessity, and showing why it does not fall victim to Blackburn’s problem. (shrink)
I investigate two asymmetrical approaches to knowledge of absolute possibility and of necessity--one which treats knowledge of possibility as more fundamental, the other according epistemological priority to necessity. Two necessary conditions for the success of an asymmetrical approach are proposed. I argue that a possibility-based approach seems unable to meet my second condition, but that on certain assumptions--including, pivotally, the assumption that logical and conceptual necessities, while absolute, do not exhaust the class of absolute necessities--a necessity-based approach may be able (...) to do so. (shrink)
How are philosophical questions about what kinds of things there are to be understood and how are they to be answered? This paper defends broadly Fregean answers to these questions. Ontological categories—such as object , property , and relation —are explained in terms of a prior logical categorization of expressions, as singular terms, predicates of varying degree and level, etc. Questions about what kinds of object, property, etc., there are are, on this approach, reduce to questions about truth and logical (...) form: for example, the question whether there are numbers is the question whether there are true atomic statements in which expressions function as singular terms which, if they have reference at all, stand for numbers, and the question whether there are properties of a given type is a question about whether there are meaningful predicates of an appropriate degree and level. This approach is defended against the objection that it must be wrong because makes what there depend on us or our language. Some problems confronting the Fregean approach—including Frege’s notorious paradox of the concept horse—are addressed. It is argued that the approach results in a modest and sober deflationary understanding of ontological commitments. (shrink)
The philosophy of modality investigates necessity and possibility, and related notions--are they objective features of mind-independent reality? If so, are they irreducible, or can modal facts be explained in other terms? This volume presents new work on modality by established leaders in the field and by up-and-coming philosophers. Between them, the papers address fundamental questions concerning realism and anti-realism about modality, the nature and basis of facts about what is possible and what is necessary, the nature of modal knowledge, modal (...) logic and its relations to necessary existence and to counterfactual reasoning. The general introduction locates the individual contributions in the wider context of the contemporary discussion of the metaphysics and epistemology of modality. (shrink)
Bonnie Steinbock argues that Peter Singer has made an important contribution to remind us that animals deserve very special consideration, but that he fails to make a compelling case against "speciesism.".
A question of focus -- A unitary impulse : Husserl's confrontation with Dilthey -- The development of constitutive phenomenology -- The system of phenomenological philosophy -- Appendix 1: Husserl's publishing history -- Appendix 2: The Husserl Misch correspondence -- Appendix 3: Draft arrangements for Edmund Husserl's time investigations -- Appendix 4: Systems of phenomenological philosophy.
Metaphor enters contemporary philosophical discussion from a variety of directions. Aside from its obvious importance in poetics, rhetoric, and aesthetics, it also figures in such fields as philosophy of mind (e.g., the question of the metaphorical status of ordinary mental concepts), philosophy of science (e.g, the comparison of metaphors and explanatory models), in epistemology (e.g., analogical reasoning), and in cognitive studies (in, e.g., the theory of concept-formation). This article will concentrate on issues metaphor raises for the philosophy of language, with (...) the understanding that the issues in these various fields cannot be wholly isolated from each other. Metaphor is an issue for the philosophy of language not only for its own sake, as a linguistic phenomenon deserving of analysis and interpretation, but also for the light it sheds on non-figurative language, the domain of the literal which is the normal preoccupation of the philosopher of language. A poor reason for this preoccupation would be the assumption that purely literal language is what most language-use consists in, with metaphor and the like sharing the relative infrequency and marginal status of songs or riddles. This would not be a good reason not only because mere frequency is not a good guide to theoretical importance, but also because it is doubtful that the assumption is even true. In recent years, writers with very different concerns have pointed out that figurative language of one sort or another is a staple of the most.. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with neo-Fregean accounts of reference to abstract objects. It develops an objection to the most familiar such accounts, due to Bob Hale and Crispin Wright, based upon what I call the 'proliferation problem': Hale and Wright's account makes reference to abstract objects seem too easy, as is shown by the fact that any equivalence relation seems as good as any other. The paper then develops a response to this objection, and offers an account of what it (...) is for abstracta to exist that is Fregean in spirit but more robust than familiar views. (shrink)
This paper discusses the question whether it is possible to explain the notion of a singular term without invoking the notion of an object or other ontological notions. The framework here is that of Michael Dummett's discussion in Frege: Philosophy of Language. I offer an emended version of Dummett's conditions, accepting but modifying some suggestions made by Bob Hale, and defend the emended conditions against some objections due to Crispin Wright. This paper dates from about 1989. It originally formed part (...) of a very early draft of what became my Ph.D. dissertation. I rediscovered it and began scanning it, when I had nothing better to do, in Fall 2001, making some minor editing changes along the way. Suffice it to say that it no longer represents my current views. I hope, however, that it remains of some small interest. (shrink)
What is wrong with abstraction, Michael Potter and Peter Sullivan explain a further objection to the abstractionist programme in the foundations of mathematics which they first presented in their Hale on Caesar and which they believe our discussion in The Reason's Proper Study misunderstood. The aims of the present note are: To get the character of this objection into sharper focus; To explore further certain of the assumptions—primarily, about reference-fixing in mathematics, about certain putative limitations of abstractionist set theory, and (...) about the effects of impredicativity in abstraction principles—which underlie it; and To advance the debate of the issues thereby raised. Thanks for helpful comments to Roy Cook and to an anonymous referee. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Bob Hale in Hale 1995b posed a dilemma for modal fictionalism (more specifically, Rosen's version of modal fictionalism). A modal fictionalist who maintains the version outlined in Rosen 1990 believes that the fiction of possible worlds (PW, to use Rosen and Hale's abbreviation) is not literally true. The question arises, however, about its modal status. Is it necessarily false, or contingently false? In either case, Hale argues, the modal fictionalist is in trouble. Should the modal fictionalist claim that the story (...) of possible worlds is necessarily false, then the modal fictionalist cannot gloss their "according to the fiction of possible worlds ... ." prefix as "were the fiction of possible worlds true, then ... would be true". This is because, according to Hale, conditional claims with antecedents which are necessarily false are automatically true, so it follows that if the fiction of possible worlds is taken to be necessarily false, all conditionals of the form "were the fiction of possible worlds true then ..." are true, and not merely the ones that the modal fictionalist wishes to endorse. If the modal fiction is to be useful, not everything should be true according to it: examples of claims that had better not be true according to it include the claim that 2+2=7, or the claim that there are no possible worlds. On the other hand, if the fiction of possible worlds (PW) is only contingently false, Hale claims this also lands the Rosen's fictionalism in unacceptable trouble, though it is not so clear why (see below). Let me discuss these horns in turn. (shrink)
Anything worth regarding as logicism about number theory holds that its fundamental laws – in effect, the Dedekind-Peano axioms – may be known on the basis of logic and definitions alone. For Frege, the logic in question was that of the Begriffschrift – effectively, full impredicative second order logic - together with the resources for dealing with the putatively “logical objects” provided by Basic Law V of Grundgesetze. With this machinery in place, and with the course-of-values operator governed by Basic (...) Law V counting as logical, it is possible for all the definitions involved in the logicist reconstruction of arithmetic and analysis to be fully explicit, abbreviative definitions. Had Frege’s project succeeded, he would therefore have been in position – by his own lights – to regard the axioms of number theory simply as definitional abbreviations of certain theorems of his pure logic. Basic Law V, as every interested party knows, is inconsistent. But twentieth century orthodoxy would have scorned its description as a law of logic in any case, purely on the grounds of its existential fecundity. Contemporary Neo-Fregeanism in the foundations of mathematics does not, in intention at least, pick any quarrel with the idea that pure logic should be ontologically austere. It does however maintain that the existence of the natural numbers and the real numbers as classically conceived, and thereby the truth of the traditional axioms of arithmetic and analysis, may still be known a priori on the basis of logic and definitions. For the purposes of this claim, logic is once again conceived as essentially the system of Begriffschrift. But Basic Law V is superseded by a variety of abstraction principles, of which Hume's Principle is the best known example, which we are regarded as free to lay down as true by way of determination of the meaning of the non-logical vocabulary that they contain. Thus — the idea is — the Dedekind-Peano axioms, for example, may be known, a priori, to be true by virtue of their derivation in pure logic from a principle which may be regarded as stipulatively true, and whose very stipulation may be regarded as conferring content upon the sole item of non-logical vocabulary – the cardinality operator – which it contains and thereby as conferring content upon Hume's Principle itself.. (shrink)
In “Double Vision Two Questions about the Neo-Fregean Programme”, John MacFarlane’s raises two main questions: (1) Why is it so important to neo-Fregeans to treat expressions of the form ‘the number of Fs’ as a species of singular term? What would be lost, if anything, if they were analysed instead as a type of quantifier-phrase, as on Russell’s Theory of Definite Descriptions? and (2) Granting—at least for the sake of argument—that Hume’s Principle may be used as a means of implicitly (...) defining the number operator, what advantage, if any, does adopting this course possess over a direct stipulation of the Dedekind-Peano axioms? This paper attempts to answer them. In response to the first, we spell out the links between the recognition of numerical terms as vehicles of singular reference and the conception of numbers as possible objects of singular, or object-directed, thought, and the role of the acknowledgement of numbers as objects in the neo-Fregean attempt to justify the basic laws of arithmetic. In response to the second, we argue that the crucial issue concerns the capacity of either stipulation—of Hume’s Principle, or of the Dedekind-Peano axioms—to found knowledge of the principles involved, and that in this regard there are crucial differences which explain why the former stipulation can, but the latter cannot, play the required foundational role. (shrink)
Must we believe in logical necessity? I examine an argument for an affirmative answer given by Ian McFetridge in his posthumously published paper 'Logical Necessity: Some Issues', and explain why it fails, as it stands, to establish his conclusion. I contend, however, that McFetridge's argument can be effectively buttressed by drawing upon another argument aimed at establishing that we ought to believe that some propositions are logically necessary, given by Crispin Wright in his paper 'Inventing Logical necessity'. My contention is (...) that Wright's argument, whilst it likewise fails, as it stands, to establish the necessity of necessity, established enough to close off what appears to me to be the only effective-looking sceptical response to McFetridge's original argument. My paper falls into four principal parts. In the first I expound McFetridge's argument and draw attention to the possibility of a certain type of sceptical counter to it. In the second, I begin a response to this sceptical move, taking it as far as I can without reliance upon argument of the kind given by Wright. Turning, then, to Wright's argument, I explain to what extent I think it is successful and seek to rebut some objections to the argument which, were they well-taken, would show that the argument cannot enjoy even the partial success I which to claim for it. Finally, I return to my main theme and try to show, with the assistance of what I take to be solidly established by Wright's argument, that the sceptical response collapses. (shrink)
This is a lightly edited version of my comments on Lecture 4 of Bob Brandom’s Locke Lectures, as repeated in Prague in April 2007. Recordings of the Prague lectures, including commentaries and discussions, are available here. The slides that accompanied my talk are available there.
Entry for the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, at http://www.iep.utm.edu/fouc-eth/, includes discussion of Foucault's turn to ethics, conception of ethical relations, care of the self, and the connection between his critical philosophy and conception of ethics.
ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) continues to be a controversial issue among some educationalists. This paper argues that negativity towards the ADHD concept shown by some antagonists is based on outdated thinking and a lack of understanding of the diagnosis and the biopsychosocial paradigm through which it can be usefully understood. The author delineates a biopsychosocial account of ADHD and gives particular attention to the educational implications of this view, exploring empirical evidence on effective educational interventions for ADHD. A major conclusion (...) that is drawn from the discussion is that educationalists who deride the ADHD concept from an uninformed position are not only hindering the development of effective interventions for ADHD, they are failing to exploit the educational potential of a biopsychosocial perspective that is likely to go well beyond the issue of ADHD in schools. (shrink)
Advocates of traditional views on truth such as the correspondence and coherence theories converge on two theses about truth: substantivism and monism. According to the former thesis, truth consists in some substantive property or relation F. According to the latter thesis, there is exactly one property or relation (whether substantive or not) in terms of which truth is to be accounted for across all truth-apt domains of discourse. The correspondence theorist thus has it that a proposition is true just in (...) case it corresponds with reality, i.e. just in case a certain substantive relation holds between language and the world. Furthermore, this is so for any truth-apt discourse: whether we are dealing with propositions about mathematics, medium-sized dry goods, or legal matters truth always and everywhere consists in correspondence with reality.1 Recently, resistance to alethic traditionalism has emerged from two camps. The deflationist takes issue with substantivism: there is nothing more to truth than what is captured by instances of the following well-known schema: (T) 〈p〉 is true iff p. 2 According to the deflationist, substantive properties (or relations) such as correspondence and coherence have no role to play in an account of truth. At most, a deﬂationist will allow that all true propositions share a “lightweight” property of falling under the concept of truth. Deﬂationists about truth thus reject the metaphysical project that aims to uncover the deep or substantive nature of truth. Truth, according to the deflationist, is merely a logical device that serves certain functions such as endorsing a proposition and making (potentially infinite) generalizations. For instance, instead of saying that the empty set is a subset of every set and that Bob believes 〈the empty set is a subset of every set〉, the power set of an infinite set is uncountable and Bob believes 〈the power set of an infinite set is uncountable〉, and so on for Bob’s other beliefs about set.... (shrink)
*I am very pleased to be able to contribute this paper to a festschrift for Andrea Bonomi. This is not however, the paper I really wanted to write; I would have much rather have contributed a paper comparing the pianistic styles of Lennie Tristano and Bill Evans, which I think Andrea would have found much more fascinating than an essay devoted to an understanding of Frege’s thinking. But I do not totally despair. Andrea’s first paper published in English was (...) entitled “On the Concept of Logical Form in Frege,” so perhaps I can maintain some hope that this paper will appeal to lingering interests that Andrea wrote of in the past. I would like to thank Johannes Brandl, Ben Caplan, Bill Demopoulos, Bob Fiengo, Mark Kalderon, Patricia Marino, Gila Sher, Michael Thau, Dan Vest and especially Aldo Antonelli for very helpful discussion. (shrink)
This is a case study investigating the growth of fair trade pioneer, Cafédirect. We explore the growth of the company and develop strategic insights on how Cafédirect has attained its prominent position in the UK mainstream coffee industry based on its ethical positioning. We explore the marketing, networks and communications channels of the brand which have led to rapid growth from niche player to a mainstream brand. However, the company is experiencing a slow down in its meteoric rise and we (...) question whether it is possible for the company to regain its former momentum with its current marketing strategy. (shrink)
where ‘aa’ is a plural term, and ‘F’ a plural predicate. Following George Boolos (1984) and others, many philosophers and logicians also think that plural expressions should be analysed as not introducing any new ontological commitments to some sort of ‘plural entities’, but rather as involving a new form of reference to objects to which we are already committed (for an overview and further details, see Linnebo 2004). For instance, the plural term ‘aa’ refers to Alice, Bob and Charlie simultaneously, (...) and the plural predicate ‘F’ is true of some things just in case these things cooperate. A natural question that arises is whether the step from the singular to the plural can be iterated. Are there terms that stand to ordinary plural terms the way ordinary plural terms stand to singular terms? Let’s call such terms superplural. A superplural term would thus, loosely speaking, refer to several ‘pluralities’ at once, much as an ordinary plural term refers to several objects at once.1 Further, let’s call a predicate superplural if it can be predicated of superplural terms. It is reasonably straightforward to devise a formal logic of superplural terms, superplural predicates, and even superplural quantifiers (see Rayo 2006). But does this formal logic reflect any features of natural languages? In particular, does ordinary English contain superplural terms and predicates? The purpose of this article is to address these questions. We examine some earlier arguments for the existence of superplural expressions in English and find them to be either.. (shrink)
Crispin Wright and Bob Hale have defended the strategy of defining the natural numbers contextually against the objection which led Frege himself to reject it, namely the so-called ‘Julius Caesar problem’. To do this they have formulated principles (called sortal inclusion principles) designed to ensure that numbers are distinct from any objects, such as persons, a proper grasp of which could not be afforded by the contextual definition. We discuss whether either Hale or Wright has provided independent motivation for a (...) defensible version of the sortal inclusion principle and whether they have succeeded in showing that numbers are just what the contextual definition says they are. (shrink)
The Müller-Lyer illusion is the natural consequence of the construction of the vertebrate eye, retina and visual processing system. Due to imperfections in the vertebrate eye and retina and due to the subsequent processing in the system by ever increasing receptive fields, the visual information becomes less and less precise with respect to exact location and size. The consequence of this is that eventually the brain has to calculate a weighted mean value of the information, which is spread out over (...) a population of neurons. In the case of the Müller-Lyer illusion this inevitably leads to extension of one and reduction of the other line. The arguments presented explain several published experimental results concerning the Müller-Lyer illusion and shed new light upon the philosophical neutrality of observation sentences. (shrink)
The so-called ticking bomb is invoked by philosophers and lawyers trying to justify, on behalf of their political masters, the use of torture in extremis. I show that the scenario is spurious; and that the likely consequences of the use of interrogational torture in such cases are disastrous. Finally, I test the argument against a real case.
Over the last few decades Michael Dummett developed a rich program for assessing logic and the meaning of the terms of a language. He is also a major exponent of Frege's version of logicism in the philosophy of mathematics. Over the last decade, Neil Tennant developed an extensive version of logicism in Dummettian terms, and Dummett influences other contemporary logicists such as Crispin Wright and Bob Hale. The purpose of this paper is to explore the prospects for Fregean logicism within (...) a broadly Dummettian framework. The conclusions are mostly negative: Dummett's views on analyticity and the logical/non-logical boundary leave little room for logicism. Dummett's considerations concerning manifestation and separability lead to a conservative extension requirement: if a sentence S is logically true, then there is a proof of S which uses only the introduction and elimination rules of the logical terms that occur in S. If basic arithmetic propositions are logically true - as the logicist contends - then there is tension between this conservation requirement and the ontological commitments of arithmetic. It follows from Dummett's manifestation requirements that if a sentence S is composed entirely of logical terminology, then there is a formal deductive system D such that S is analytic, or logically true, if and only if S is a theorem of D. There is a deep conflict between this result and the essential incompleteness, or as Dummett puts it, the indefinite extensibility, of arithmetic truth. (shrink)
At 30 years' distance, it is safe to say that Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia has achieved the status of a classic. It is not only the central text for all contemporary academic discussions of libertarianism; with Rawls's A Theory of Justice, it arguably frames the landscape of academic political philosophy in second half of 20th century. Many factors, obviously account for the prominence of the book. This paper considers one: the book's use of rhetoric to charm and disarm its (...) readers, simultaneously establishing Nozick's credibility with readers, turning them on his ideological opponents, and helping his argument over some of its more serious substantive difficulties. Footnotesa I am grateful to Joe Bankman, Tom Grey, Pam Karlan, Ellen Frankel Paul, Seana Shiffrin, and Bob Weisberg for their very helpful comments on previous drafts of this essay. I am also grateful to my fellow contributors to this volume and to the participants in the Berkeley GALA and the UCLA Law and Philosophy Workshop, at which earlier versions of this essay were presented. All errors and indiscretions are mine alone. (shrink)
There are various approaches to truth and knowledge (in fact, cataloguing them has become something of a philosophical industry of its own); and in many cases, their explanations are taken to underlie the explanation of other crucial concepts, like language, reason etc. Especially in recent years, some of the approaches have come to be based on reducing semantics to pragmatics. An outstanding example of such a pragmatist approach is that of Bob Brandom, who bases the explication of both truth and (...) knowledge on his consideration of normative pragmatics. A less explicitly pragmatist approach to truth and knowledge was offered by Donald Davidson (who is surely not a pragmatist in the narrow sense of the word, but may be thought about as one in the wider sense proposed by Brandom, 2002, in which pragmatism means starting from the practical rather than the theoretical). In this paper I would like to point out that the discrepancy between these two approaches may be smaller than it would prima facie seem. To show this, I first turn my attention briefly to the general problem of theoretically accounting for human minds. (shrink)
This paper introduces and evaluates two contemporary approaches of neo-logicism. Our aim is to highlight the diﬀerences between these two neo-logicist programmes and clarify what each projects attempts to achieve. To this end, we ﬁrst introduce the programme of the Scottish school – as defended by Bob Hale and Crispin Wright1 which we believe to be a..
This paper presents a new theory of vagueness, which is designed to retain the virtues of the fuzzy theory, while avoiding the problem of higher-order vagueness. The theory presented here accommodates the idea that for any statement S1 to the effect that 'Bob is bald' is x true, for x in [0,1], there should be a further statement S2 which tells us how true S1 is, and so on---that is, it accommodates higher-order vagueness---without resorting to the claim that the metalanguage (...) in which the semantics of vagueness is presented is itself vague, and without requiring us to abandon the idea that the logic---as opposed to the semantics---of vague discourse is classical. I model the extension of a vague predicate P as a BLURRY SET, this being a function which assigns a degree of membership or DEGREE FUNCTION to each object o, where a degree function in turn assigns an element of [0,1] to each finite sequence of elements of [0,1]. The idea is that the assignment to the sequence (0.3,0.2), for example, represents the degree to which it is true to say that it is 0.2 true that o is P to degree 0.3. The philosophical merits of my theory are discussed in detail, and the theory is compared with other extensions and generalisations of fuzzy logic in the literature. (shrink)
When Bob Brandom, six years after publishing his opus magnum Making it explicit (hereafter MIE)1, produced his slender Articulating reasons2, many people expected that finally they would have a concise introduction to his philosophical views. Their expectations, however, were to be dashed: Articulating reasons is a heterogeneous collection of texts elaborating on some of the topics of MIE and hardly digestible without the background of MIE3. As yet, Brandom has produced nothing that could be taken as introductory. His subsequent books (...) are either collections of essays addressing topics contained in or connected with MIE (Tales of the mighty dead4, Reason in Philosophy5 or the not yet published Perspectives on Pragmatism6), or engaged with Brandom's new philosophical doctrine, viz. analytic pragmatism, which is the case of Between Saying and Doing7. The last one, of course, is not unrelated to MIE, but it emphasizes different aspects of the enterprise; hence it is unlikely to pave the way to MIE for a perplexed reader. Until recently I was convinced that no readable introduction to Brandom's views therefore existed. Now I see I was mistaken. Though I knew that there was a book devoted to Brandom, by Jeremy Wanderer, I suspected it was more of a scientific biography than an introduction to the inferentialism of MIE; but in fact it is precisely the book I was missing: a congenial and comprehensible introduction to the ideas of Brandom's MIE. Hurrah!, a book my students, desperately wrestling with MIE, can be referred to! (shrink)
It will be shown in this article that an ontological approach for some problems related to the interpretation of Quantum Mechanics could emerge from a re-evaluation of the main paradox of early Greek thought: the paradox of Being and non-Being, and the solutions presented to it by Plato and Aristotle. More well known are the derivative paradoxes of Zeno: the paradox of motion and the paradox of the One and the Many. They stem from what was perceived by classical philosophy (...) to be the fundamental enigma for thinking about the world: the seemingly contradictory results that followed from the co-incidence of being and non-being in the world of change and motion as we experience it, and the experience of absolute existence here and now. The most clear expression of both stances can be found, again following classical thought, in the thinking of <span class='Hi'>Heraclitus</span> of Ephesus and Parmenides of Elea. The problem put forward by these paradoxes reduces for both Plato and Aristotle to the possibility of the existence of stable objects as a necessary condition for knowledge. Hence the primarily ontological nature of the solutions they proposed: Plato's Theory of Forms and Aristotle's metaphysics and logic. Plato's and Aristotle's systems are argued here to do on the ontological level essentially the same: to introduce stability in the world by introducing the notion of a separable, stable object, for which a principle of contradiction is valid: an object cannot be and not-be at the same place at the same time. So it becomes possible to forbid contradiction on an epistemological level, and thus to guarantee the certainty of knowledge that seemed to be threatened before. After leaving Aristotelian metaphysics, early modern science had to cope with these problems: it did so by introducing "space" as the seat of stability, and "time" as the theater of motion. But the ontological structure present in this solution remained the same. Therefore the fundamental notion `separable system', related to the notions observation and measurement, themselves related to the modern concepts of space and time, appears to be intrinsically problematic, because it is inextricably connected to classical logic on the ontological level. We see therefore the problems dealt with by quantum logic not as merely formal, and the problem of `non-locality' as related to it, indicating the need to re-think the notions `system', `entity', as well as the implications of the operation `measurement', which is seen here as an application of classical logic (including its ontological consequences) on the material world. (shrink)
Even people who think torture is justified in certain circumstances regard it - to say the least - as undesirable, however necessary they think it is. So I approach the issue by analysing the extreme case where people such as Dershowitz, Posner and Walzer think torture is justified, the so-called ticking bomb scenario. And since the justification offered is always consequentialist - no one thinks that torture is in any way “good in itself” – I confine myself to consequentialist arguments. (...) That is to say, I take the argument on its own terms, since any non-consequentialist objection to torture merely invites the response, ‘So much the worse for non-consequentialism’: if a moral theory insists that torture is wrong even if it would save thousands of lives that just shows how wrong the theory is . I focus only on the question of the moral justifiability of torture in the ‘ticking bomb’ case, and do not not ask whether, even if admittedly immoral, it should nonetheless be legalised (see Brecher, Torture and the Ticking Bomb, Wiley-Blackwell 2007)). My main argument is in two parts: (1) the “ticking bomb” scenario falls apart when analysed; and (2), even if it did not, the likely consequences of permitting torture would be worse than the bomb’s going off. Finally I briefly consider a genuine case. Further questions and readings are appended. (shrink)
This article takes off from Johan van Benthem’s ruminations on the interface between logic and cognitive science in his position paper “Logic and reasoning: Do the facts matter?”. When trying to answer Van Benthem’s question whether logic can be fruitfully combined with psychological experiments, this article focuses on a specific domain of reasoning, namely higher-order social cognition, including attributions such as “Bob knows that Alice knows that he wrote a novel under pseudonym”. For intelligent interaction, it is important that the (...) participants recursively model the mental states of other agents. Otherwise, an international negotiation may fail, even when it has potential for a win-win solution, and in a time-critical rescue mission, a software agent may depend on a teammate’s action that never materializes. First a survey is presented of past and current research on higher-order social cognition, from the various viewpoints of logic, artificial intelligence, and psychology. Do people actually reason about each other’s knowledge in the way proscribed by epistemic logic? And if not, how can logic and cognitive science productively work together to construct more realistic models of human reasoning about other minds? The paper ends with a delineation of possible avenues for future research, aiming to provide a better understanding of higher-order social reasoning. The methodology is based on a combination of experimental research, logic, computational cognitive models, and agent-based evolutionary models. (shrink)