In this article I summarize Friedrich Hayek’s cultural group selection theory and describe the evidence gathered by current cultural group selection theorists within the behavioral and social sciences supporting Hayek’s main assertions. I conclude with a few comments on Hayek and libertarianism.
I begin by expressing thanks to Paul Rabinow. As a Foucault scholar, I am personally indebted to him for that wonderful book he wrote with Hubert Dreyfus, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structrualism and Hermeneutics, which served as my introduction to the Foucauldian philosophical enterprise. I am honored to respond to his Coss lecture on the philosophical methods of Foucault and Dewey that shape his work in philosophy and anthropology.I begin by quoting two lengthy yet revealing passages—one from Foucault's "Life: Experience and (...) Science" and the other from Dewey's "The Need for a Recovery of Philosophy"—that will set the stage for this discussion:Phenomenology expected "lived experience" to supply the originary meaning .. (shrink)
Alison Stone offers a feminist defence of the idea that sexual difference is natural, providing a new interpretation of the later philosophy of Luce Irigaray. She defends Irigaray's unique form of essentialism and her rethinking of the relationship between nature and culture, showing how Irigaray's ideas can be reconciled with Judith Butler's performative conception of gender, through rethinking sexual difference in relation to German Romantic philosophies of nature. This is the first sustained attempt to connect feminist conceptions of embodiment (...) to German idealist and Romantic accounts of nature. Not merely an interpretation of Irigaray, this book also presents an original feminist perspective on nature and the body. It will encourage debate on the relations between sexual difference, essentialism, and embodiment. (shrink)
In this book Alison Stone develops a feminist approach to maternal subjectivity. Stone argues that in the West the self has often been understood in opposition to the maternal body, so that one must separate oneself from the mother and maternal care-givers on whom one depended in childhood to become a self or, in modernity, an autonomous subject. These assumptions make it difficult to be a mother and a subject, an autonomous creator of meaning. Insofar as mothers nonetheless (...) strive to regain their subjectivity when their motherhood seems to have compromised it, theirs cannot be the usual kind of subjectivity premised on separation from the maternal body. Mothers are subjects of a new kind, who generate meanings and acquire agency from their position of re-immersion in the realm of maternal body relations, of bodily intimacy and dependency. Thus Stone interprets maternal subjectivity as a specific form of subjectivity that is continuous with the maternal body. Stone analyzes this form of subjectivity in terms of how the mother typically reproduces with her child her history of bodily relations with her own mother, leading to a distinctive maternal and cyclical form of lived time. (shrink)
All research has limitations, for example, from paradigm, concept, theory, tradition, and discipline. In this article Lynda Stone describes three exemplars that are variations on limitation and are “extraordinary” in that they change what constitutes future research in each domain. Malcolm Gladwell's present day study of outliers makes a statistical term into a sociological concept. Carlo Ginzburg's study of a sixteenth-century miller who challenges Church doctrine initiates the field of microhistory. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's philosophy of the rhizome (...) offers a poststructuralist study of the doing of philosophy and the form of philosophical text. Although Gladwell's study is the only one specifically on the topic of outliers, the other two investigations are outliers as well. Overall the three studies demonstrate what can be revealed and learned when limitation is transgressed. This is an important lesson for educational research—wherein heretofore unimagined societal possibility and reform of education might result. (shrink)
What is the proper relation between the scientific worldview and other parts or aspects of human knowledge and experience? Can any science aim at "complete coverage" of the world, and if it does, will it undermine--in principle or by tendency--other attempts to describe or understand the world? Should morality, theology and other areas resist or be protected from scientific treatment? Questions of this sort have been of pressing philosophical concern since antiquity. The Proper Ambition of Science presents ten particular case (...) studies written by prominent philosophers, looking at how this problem has been approached from the ancient world right up to the present day. Contributors: Bob Sharples, M.W.F. Stone, G.A.J. Rogers, J.R. Milton, Aaron Ridley, Christopher Hookway, Dermot Moran, Thomas E. Uebel, David Papineau, and Nancy Cartwright. (shrink)
Originally published in 1972, Should Trees Have Standing? was a rallying point for the then burgeoning environmental movement, launching a worldwide debate on the basic nature of legal rights that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in the 35th anniversary edition of this remarkably influential book, Christopher D. Stone updates his original thesis and explores the impact his ideas have had on the courts, the academy, and society as a whole. At the heart of the book is an eminently (...) sensible, legally sound, and compelling argument that the environment should be granted legal rights. For the new edition, Stone explores a variety of recent cases and current events--and related topics such as climate change and protecting the oceans--providing a thoughtful survey of the past and an insightful glimpse at the future of the environmental movement. This enduring work continues to serve as the definitive statement as to why trees, oceans, animals, and the environment as a whole should be bestowed with legal rights, so that the voiceless elements in nature are protected for future generations. (shrink)
Environmentalists express concern at the destruction/exploitation of areas of the natural environment because they believe that those areas are of intrinsic value. An emerging response is to argue that natural areas may have their value restored by means of the techniques of environmental engineering. It is then claimed that the concern of environmentalists is irrational, merely emotional or even straightforwardly selfish. This essay argues that there is a dimension of value attaching to the natural environment which cannot be restored no (...) matter how technologically proficient environmental engineers become. The argument involves highlighting and discussing analogies between faking art and faking nature. The pivot of the argument is the claim that genesis is a significant determinant of an area's value. (shrink)
This paper argues that there are no people. If identity isn't what matters in survival, psychological connectedness isn't what matters either. Further, fissioning cases do not support the claim that connectedness is what matters. I consider Peter Unger's view that what matters is a continuous physical realization of a core psychology. I conclude that if identity isn't what matters in survival, nothing matters. This conclusion is deployed to argue that there are no people. Objections to Eliminativism are considered, especially that (...) morality cannot survive the loss of persons. (shrink)
Contextualists offer "high-low standards" practical cases to show that a variety of knowledge standards are in play in different ordinary contexts. These cases show nothing of the sort, I maintain. However Keith DeRose gives an ingenious argument that standards for knowledge do go up in high-stakes cases. According to the knowledge account of assertion (Kn), only knowledge warrants assertion. Kn combined with the context sensitivity of assertability yields contextualism about knowledge. But is Kn correct? I offer a rival account of (...) warranted assertion and argue that it beats Kn as a response to the "knowledge" version of Moore's Paradox. (shrink)
Advance directives typically have two defects. First, most advance directives fail to enable people to effectively avoid unwanted medical intervention. Second, most of them have the potential of ending your life in ways you never intended, years before you had to die.
The commonplace view about metaphorical interpretation is that it can be characterized in traditional semantic and pragmatic terms, thereby assimilating metaphor to other familiar uses of language. We will reject this view, and propose in its place the view that, though metaphors can issue in distinctive cognitive and discourse effects, they do so without issuing in metaphorical meaning and truth, and so, without metaphorical communication. Our inspiration derives from Donald Davidson’s critical arguments against metaphorical meaning and Richard Rorty’s exploration of (...) the diverse uses of language. But unlike these authors we ground our discussion squarely in distinctions about causal mechanisms in cooperative activity developed by H.P. Grice and others. (shrink)
The Principle of Credulity: 'It is basic to human knowledge of the world that we believe things are as they seem to be in the absence of positive evidence to the contrary' [Swinburne 1996: 133]. This underlies the Evidential Problem of Evil, which goes roughly like this: ‘There appears to be a lot of suffering, both animal and human, that does not result in an equal or greater utility. So there's probably some pointless suffering. As God's existence precludes pointless suffering, (...) theism is implausible.’ CORNEA is the principle that observation O raises hypothesis H's probability only if O is more probable given H than it is given not-H. Theists sometimes maintain that apparently pointless suffering is just as likely given theism as atheism (I support this claim by appealing to a Lewisian account of the relevant counterfactuals). Given CORNEA, therefore, what we see of suffering does not make theism unlikely. I maintain that a consequence of so deploying CORNEA is that CORNEA and the Principle of Credulity are incompatible. We are left with a skeptical paradox. CORNEA is a consequence of Bayes’s Theorem, I argue; but it is incompatible with a presupposition of empirical science, namely, that appearances create epistemic warrant, ceteris paribus. External-world probability skepticism follows. I treat the paradox as real. First, I offer an account of how we strike a balance in practice between CORNEA, on the one hand, and the Principle of Credulity and the scientific enterprise on the other. Second, I try to resolve the paradox outright by rejecting the Principle of Credulity and maintaining that the scientific project remains well motivated even allowing probability skepticism. On either response to the paradox, the Evidential Problem of Evil continues to have serious, but defeasible, force against theism. (shrink)
Here is a simple counterexample to David Lewis’s causal influence account of causation, one that is especially illuminating due to its connection to what Lewis himself writes: it is a variant of his trumping example.
Mental simulation is the simulation, replication or re-enactment, usually in imagination, of the thinking, decision-making, emotional responses, or other aspects of the mental life of another person. According to simulation theory, mental simulation in imagination plays a key role in our everyday psychological understanding of other people. The same mental resources that are used in our own thinking, decision-making or emotional responses are redeployed in imagination to provide an understanding of the thoughts, decisions or emotions of another.
I argue that being wide awake is an epistemic virtue which enables me to recognize immediately that I'm wide awake. Also I argue that dreams are imaginings and that the wide awake mind can immediately discern the difference between imaginings and vivid sense experience. Descartes need only pinch himself.
Circumscribed delusional beliefs can follow brain injury. We suggest that these involve anomalous perceptual experiences created by a deficit to the person's perceptual system, and misinterpretation of these experiences due to biased reasoning. We use the Capgras delusion (the claim that one or more of one's close relatives has been replaced by an exact replica or impostor) to illustrate this argument. Our account maintains that people voicing this delusion suffer an impairment that leads to faces being perceived as drained of (...) their normal affective significance, and an additional reasoning bias that leads them to put greater weight on forming beliefs that are observationally adequate rather than beliefs that are a conservative extension of their existing stock. We show how this position can integrate issues involved in the philosophy and psychology of belief, and examine the scope for mutually beneficial interaction. (shrink)
This paper is about the contemporary debate concerning folk psychology – the debate between the proponents of the theory theory of folk psychology and the friends of the simulation alternative.1 At the outset, we need to ask: What should we mean by this term ‘folk psychology’?
This article revisits the ethical and political questions raised by feminist debates over essentialism, the belief that there are properties essential to women and which all women share. Feminists widespread rejection of essentialism has threatened to undermine feminist politics. Re-evaluating two responses to this problemstrategic essentialism and Iris Marion Youngs idea that women are an internally diverse seriesI argue that both unsatisfactorily retain essentialism as a descriptive claim about the social reality of womens lives. I argue instead that women have (...) a genealogy: women always acquire femininity by appropriating and reworking existing cultural interpretations of femininity, so that all women become situated within a history of overlapping chains of interpretation. Because all women are located within this complex history, they are identifiable as belonging to a determinate social group, despite sharing no common understanding or experience of femininity. The idea that women have a genealogy thus reconciles anti-essentialism with feminist politics. (shrink)
This is the first book to offer a systematic account of feminist philosophy as a distinctive field of philosophy. The book introduces key issues and debates in feminist philosophy including: the nature of sex, gender, and the body; the relation between gender, sexuality, and sexual difference; whether there is anything that all women have in common; and the nature of birth and its centrality to human existence. An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy shows how feminist thinking on these and related topics (...) has developed since the 1960s. The book also explains how feminist philosophy relates to the many forms of feminist politics. The book provides clear, succinct and readable accounts of key feminist thinkers including de Beauvoir, Butler, Gilligan, Irigaray, and MacKinnon. The book also introduces other thinkers who have influenced feminist philosophy including Arendt, Foucault, Freud, and Lacan. Accessible in approach, this book is ideal for students and researchers interested in feminist philosophy, feminist theory, womens studies, and political theory. It will also appeal to the general reader. (shrink)
In this article I re-examine Adorno's and Horkheimer's account of the disenchantment of nature in Dialectic of Enlightenment . I argue that they identify disenchantment as a historical process whereby we have come to find natural things meaningless and completely intelligible. However, Adorno and Horkheimer believe that modernity not only rests on disenchantment but also tends to re-enchant nature, because it encourages us to think that its institutions derive from, and are anticipated and prefigured by, nature. I argue that Adorno's (...) Negative Dialectics and Aesthetic Theory show how constellations and artworks generate an alternative form of reenchantment which is critical of modernity and its domination of nature. This form of re-enchantment finds natural beings to be mysteriously meaningful because they embody histories of immeasurable suffering. This experience engenders guilt and antipathy to human domination over nature. Key Words: Adorno disenchantment domination enlightenment modernity natural beauty nature. (shrink)
Both formal semantics and cognitive semantics are the source of important insights about language. By developing precise statements of the rules of meaning in fragmentary, abstract languages, formalists have been able to offer perspicuous accounts of how we might come to know such rules and use them to communicate with others. Conversely, by charting the overall landscape of interpretations, cognitivists have documented how closely interpretations draw on the commonsense knowledge that lets us make our way in the world. There is (...) no opposition between these insights. Sooner or later we will have a semantics that responds to both. However, developing such a semantics is profoundly difficult, because there are certain tensions to be overcome in reconciling the two perspectives. For one thing, the overall landscape of meaning does seem to be characterized by a much richer ontology and more dynamic categories than are exhibited by the fragments typically studied in the formal tradition. One sign of strain is the recent tendency to talk of “procedural”, “non-compositional”, or “computational” semantics, as in Hamm, Kamp and van Lambalgen 2006, hereafter HK&vL. We think such locutions can serve as useful reminders to keep semantics fixed on the central question of how language allows us to share information that some have and others need to get. However, there is some danger that formalists will merely by put off by an idea that, taken literally, may not be such a good one. In this short article, we want to explore and defend the traditional realist view attributed by HK&vL to Lewis among others. In fact, this view offers a well-developed, extremely straightforward and robust account of the relation between semantics and cognition. Moreover, while the realist view has ways of accommodating the representationalist insights of DRT (Lewis 1979; Thomason 1990; Stalnaker 1998), it remains unclear how “computational” semantics can account for the key data for the realist view: cases where we judge interlocutors to be ignorant about aspects of meaning in their native language (Kripke 1972; Putnam 1975; Stalnaker 1979; Williamson 1994).. (shrink)
Skepticism about the external world may very well be correct, so the question is in order: what theory of knowledge flows from skepticism itself? The skeptic can give a relatively simple and intuitive account of knowledge by identifying it with indubitable certainty. Our everyday `I know that p' claims, which typically are part of practical projects, deploy the ideal of knowledge to make assertions closely related to, but weaker than, knowledge claims. The truth of such claims is consistent with skepticism; (...) various other vexing problems don't arise. In addition, even if no claim about the world outside my mind can be more probable than its negation, the project of pure scientific research remains well motivated. (shrink)
Recent work in cognitive neuroscience on the child's Theory of Mind (ToM) has pursued the idea that the ability to metarepresent mental states depends on a domain-specific cognitive subystem implemented in specific neural circuitry: a Theory of Mind Module. We argue that the interaction of several domain-general mechanisms and lower-level domain-specific mechanisms accounts for the flexibility and sophistication of behavior, which has been taken to be evidence for a domain-specific ToM module. This finding is of more general interest since it (...) suggests a parsimonious cognitive architecture can account for apparent domain specificity. We argue for such an architecture in two stages. First, on conceptual grounds, contrasting the case of language with ToM, and second, by showing that recent evidence in the form of fMRI and lesion studies supports the more parsimonious hypothesis. Theory of Mind, Metarepresentation, and Modularity Developmental Components of ToM The Analogy with Modularity of Language Dissociations without Modules The Evidence from Neuroscience Conclusion CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
According to the theory theory of folk psychology, our engagement in the folk psychological practices of prediction, interpretation and explanation draws on a rich body of knowledge about psychological matters. According to the simulation theory, in apparent contrast, a fundamental role is played by our ability to identify with another person in imagination and to replicate or re-enact aspects of the other person’s mental life. But amongst theory theorists, and amongst simulation theorists, there are significant differences of approach.
What is the will? And what is its relation to human action? Throughout history, philosophers have been fascinated by the idea of "the will": the source of the drive that motivates human beings to act. However, there has never been a clear consensus as to what the will is and how it relates to human action. Some philosophers have taken the will to be based firmly in reason and rational choice, and some have seen it as purely self-determined. Others have (...) replaced the idea of the human will with a more general drive uniting humans and the rest of nature, living and non-living. This collection of nine specially commissioned papers traces the formulation and treatment of the problem of the will from ancient philosophy through the scholastic theologians of the Middle Ages, to modern philosophy and right up to contemporary theories. Philosophers discussed include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Bonaventure, Hobbes, Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. (shrink)
A major recurrent feature of the intellectual landscape in cognitive science is the appearance of a collection of essays by Noam Chomsky. These collections serve both to inform the wider cognitive science community about the latest developments in the approach to the study of language that Chomsky has advocated for almost fifty years now,1 and to provide trenchant criticisms of what he takes to be mistaken philosophical objections to this approach. This new collection contains seven essays, the earliest of which (...) were first published about ten years ago. So the linguistic work that is summarised is within the principles and parameters approach and some of the essays (particularly the first and last) provide an outline of the main ideas of the emerging minimalist programme.2 But this is not primarily a book about the details of recent linguistic theory. Rather, in these essays Chomsky offers a wealth of critical commentary on some of the most influential arguments in the philosophy of mind and language that have appeared over the past two decades or so. Indeed, Chomsky discusses a vast range of philosophical topics and reaches some radical conclusions – that many influential philosophical discussions on language and mind are utterly misconceived and that, for example, the traditional mind-body problem cannot even be coherently stated. (shrink)
The train of thought I will follow here begins with two facts about Husserl. First, the main and most intractable problems in interpreting him, and the major conflicts between his interpreters, arise from and are fed by the equivocality and unsteady meaning of his terminology. Second, Husserl has a highly developed theory of terminology, beginning with, but by no means limited to, the earliest periods of his thought. This theory of terminology, moreover, focuses on the causes of equivocality and unsteadiness (...) of meaning. These two facts, taken together, suggest why there is something philosophically deep, some deep aspect of the selfknowledge of knowledge, in Husserl’s work, and helps explains why figures of the stature of Heidegger and Carnap took so much interest in him. Nevertheless, I will suggest that Husserl’s theory of terminology is inadequate to his problems: that the self-knowledge of philosophy is here (as always) incomplete. This helps explain what both Heidegger and Carnap reject in Husserl, and therefore, in turn, why the question, how to give to or recover for terminology an unequivocal and fixed meaning, becomes crucial for both of them. Both of them, in fact, approach this question in a way which is essentially a modification—albeit a root and branch modification—of Husserl’s approach. This paper, despite it’s title, will be devoted mostly to setting up the problem in Husserl. At the end I will then briefly describe Heidegger’s and Carnap’s contrasting solutions. (shrink)
When we wish to frame or to communicate a precise and nuanced argument, we should first clarify whatever meaningful distinctions our reasoning exploits. That’s why every good paper begins by defining its terms. A tiger is a large and ferocious predatory cat, yellow with black stripes. A bachelor is an unmarried man. Freedom is the capacity to choose one’s actions for oneself, independent of causal forces in the outside world. Knowledge is justified true belief. Getting clear on our concepts is (...) the process of analysis. It is such a fundamental part of philosophical practice that the preponderance of contemporary philosophical writing in English today is described as ‘analytic’. (shrink)
Of course in every act of this kind, there remains the possibility of putting this act into question – insofar as it refers to more distant, more essential ends.... For example the sentence which I write is the meaning of the letters I trace, but the whole work I wish to produce is the meaning of the sentence. And this work is a possibility in connection with which I can feel anguish; it is truly my possibility...tomorrow in relation to it (...) my freedom can exercise its nihilating power. (shrink)
HOST is the theory that to be conscious of a mental state is totarget it with a higher-order state (a `HOS'), either an innerperception or a higher-order thought. Some champions of HOSTmaintain that the phenomenological character of a sensory stateis induced in it by representing it with a HOS. I argue that thisthesis is vulnerable to overwhelming objections that flow largelyfrom HOST itself. In the process I answer two questions: `What isa plausible sufficient condition for a quale's belonging to aparticular (...) mental state?' and `What is the propositional contentof HOSs that target sensory states?'. (shrink)
This paper is about the contemporary debate concerning folk psychology – the debate between the proponents of the theory theory of folk psychology and the friends of the simulation alternative.1 At the outset, we need to ask: What should we mean by this term ‘folk psychology’?
A sort of 'modal problem of the many' applies to reference to Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes. An indefinite number of possible beings completely satisfy the stories. Which one of them is Harry? No principled answer seems possible. This led Kripke to deny that names of fictional characters denote possible people. I argue that a supervaluationist theory of the the truth of claims about fictional characters solves Kripke's problem.
I argue that people who believe fetuses have the same moral right to life as the rest of us have sufficient reasons to refuse to classify abortion as legal murder and to refuse to punish abortion as severely as legal murder.
Socrates and Meno reach two different conclusions: in the first part of the dialogue, that virtue is knowledge and can therefore be taught; in the second, that it is reliable true opinion and can therefore be acquired only by divine inspiration. Taking into account Socrates’ role as a teacher (of his interlocutors and of Plato) and Plato’s role as a teacher (of us), I show that neither of these conclusions is consistent with the existence of philosophy as a human institution, (...) and argue that, for this reason, Plato refuses ultimately to endorse either of them. (shrink)
This paper explores the compatibility of Luce Irigaray's recent insistence on the need to revalue nature, and to recognise culture's natural roots, with her earlier advocacy of social transformation towards a culture of sexual difference. Prima facie, there is tension between Irigaray's political imperatives, for if culture really is continuous with nature, this implies that our existing, non-sexuate, culture is naturally grounded and unchallengeable. To dissolve this tension, Irigaray must conceive culture as having self-transformative agency without positioning culture as active (...) vis-à-vis an inert and passive nature. I argue that Irigaray achieves this by conceiving culture to arise from a division internal to nature. She derives this idea from Hölderlin, who claims that nature originally divides itself into subjects and objects, and from Heidegger, who maintains that nature inflicts an originary violence upon itself. Critically reworking Hölderlin and Heidegger, Irigaray argues that male nature tends to turn against itself to generate an anti-natural, ecologically destructive, culture. She argues, however, that this tendency can be redirected and alleviated by the very cultural resources which male nature generates in dividing itself. Irigaray thus develops a unique way to advocate social change while recognising nature's profound impact and influence upon culture. (shrink)
In this article I argue that the Early German Romantics understand the absolute, or being, to be an infinite whole encompassing all the things of the world and all their causal relations. The Romantics argue that we strive endlessly to know this whole but only acquire an expanding, increasingly systematic body of knowledge about finite things, a system of knowledge which can never be completed. We strive to know the whole, the Romantics claim, because we have an original feeling of (...) it that motivates our striving. I then examine two different Romantic accounts of this feeling. The first, given by Novalis, is that feeling gives us a kind of access to the absolute which logically precedes any conceptualisation. I argue that this account is problematic and that a second account, offered by Friedrich Schlegel, is preferable. On this account, we feel the absolute in that we intuit it aesthetically in certain natural phenomena. This form of intuition is partly cognitive and partly non-cognitive, and therefore it motivates us to strive to convert our intuition into full knowledge. (shrink)
When classical mechanics is seen as the short-wavelength limit of quantum mechanics (i.e., as the limit of geometrical optics), it becomes clear just how serious and all-pervasive the measurement problem is. This formulation also leads us into the Bohm theory. But this theory has drawbacks: its nonuniqueness, in particular, and its nonlocality. I argue that these both reflect an underlying problem concerning information, which is actually a deeper version of the measurement problem itself.
To what extent, if any, is the moral thought of Thomas Aquinas 'Aristotelian'? This question is not simply of historical interest, since it directs our attention to those areas of contemporary English-speaking moral philosophy where Thomas is discussed. In some quarters there is a tendency to classify Thomas as a thinker in the 'Aristotelian tradition', and his debt to Aristotle is thought to be apparent in his remarks on moral reasoning and virtue. Nowhere is this tendency more evident than in (...) discussions of Thomas by supporters of modern virtue ethics. In this paper, I will argue that the relationship of Thomas's ethics to Aristotle is much more complicated than these discussions assume. Despite the strong and interesting affinities that exist between the practical philosophies of Thomas and Aristotle, the sum total of their common features can never disguise nor dilute the profound differences that separate them. The paper will conclude with some suggestions as to how an appreciation of these differences can enable us to cast Thomas's remarks on virtue in a different light. (shrink)
: This paper reconstructs the evolution of Novalis’ thought concerning being, nature, and knowledge. In his earlier writings (above all the Fichte-Studies) he argues that unitary being underlies finite phenomena and that we can never know, but only strive towards knowledge of, being. In contrast, his later writings, principally the Allgemeine Brouillon, maintain that the unitary reality underlying finite things can be known, because it is an organic whole which develops and organises itself according to an intelligible pattern. Novalis equates (...) this whole with nature. However, because this organic whole exercises spontaneity in assuming particular forms of organisation, we can never know why it assumes just these particular forms; nature therefore remains partly unintelligible to us. I argue that Novalis’ intellectual shift towards the idea that the whole can be known is motivated by his concern to explain how the modern, “disenchanted,” view of nature could be overcome. I also argue that by recognising this shift, we can resolve the dispute between Frank and Beiser as to whether Novalis thinks that the absolute can be known. (shrink)
Humanism and Early Modern Philosophy is an original and timely volume that examines the distinctive and important role played by humanism in the development of early modern philosophy. Focusing on individual authors as well as intellectual trends, this collection of essays aims to portray the humanist movement as an essential part of the philosophy of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Ibn S¯ına, known to the Latin West as Avicenna, was a medieval Aristotelian— one of the greatest of all medieval Aristotelians. He lived in Persia from 980 to 1037, and wrote mostly in Arabic. Simplicius of Cilicia was a sixth century Neoplatonist; he is known mostly for his commentaries on Aristotle. Both of these men were, broadly speaking, part of the same philosophical tradition: the tradition of Neoplatonic or Neoplatonizing Aristotelianism. There is probably no direct historical connection between them, however, (...) and anyway I will not try to demonstrate one. In this paper I will examine their closely related, but ultimately quite different, accounts of corporeity— of what it is to be a body—and in particular of the essential relationship between corporeity and materiality. (shrink)
Judith Butler's contribution to feminist political thought is usually approached in terms of her concept of performativity, according to which gender exists only insofar as it is ritualistically and repetitively performed, creating permanent possibilities for performing gender in new and transgressive ways. In this paper, I argue that Butler's politics of performativity is more fundamentally grounded in the concept of genealogy, which she adapts from Foucault and, ultimately, Nietzsche. Butler understands women to have a genealogy: to be located within a (...) history of overlapping practices and reinterpretations of femininity. This genealogical understanding of femininity allows Butler to propose a coalitional feminist politics, which requires no unity among women but only loosely overlapping connections. For Butler, feminist coalitions should aim to subvert, not consolidate, entrenched norms concerning femininity. Butler has been criticized, however, for failing to explain either how subversive agency is possible or why the subversion of gender norms is desirable. Reviewing these criticisms, I argue that Butler offers a convincing explanation of the possibility of subversive agency, but that the normative dimension of her political thought remains relatively underdeveloped. I explore how the normative aspect of Butler's thought could be strengthened by recasting her notion of genealogy along more thoroughly Nietzschean and materialist lines, in terms of an idea of active and multiple bodily forces. (shrink)
This paper develops a general approach to contextual reasoning in natural language processing. Drawing on the view of natural language interpretation as abduction (Hobbs et al., 1993), we propose that interpretation provides an explanation of how an utterance creates a new discourse context in which its interpreted content is both true and promi- nent. Our framework uses dynamic theories of semantics and pragmatics, formal theories of context, and models of attentional state. We describe and illustrate a Prolog implementation.
Jon Elster denies that collectives can behave rationally. Rational behavior requires action in conformity with preferences and beliefs. According to Elster, however, social choice theory demonstrates that collectives cannot have preferences, even in principle, and this precludes them from behaving either rationally or irrationally. (Irrationality, after all, is a property that can only be possessed by something that could in theory be rational.) Elster, however, does not fully accept this refutation of the possibility of collective rationality. For in exploring the (...) question of random selection, he argues that collectives, as well as individuals, can employ random selection as a tool to facilitate more rational behavior. This contradiction can be resolved if collective preferences are not as inconceivable as Elster suggests, and Elster himself gives reason for believing they may not be. He does this by distinguishing between a thin and a broad theory of rationality. His refutation of the possibility of collective preferences depends on a thin theory of preferences (and beliefs), a theory that he admits is inadequate for purposes of normative assessment. A broad theory of preferences and beliefs, when properly developed, could well accommodate the notion of collective preferences and beliefs, and thus of collective rationality. Key Words: Elster rationality social choice theory. (shrink)
Some environmental ethicists believe that nature as whole has intrinsic value. One reason they do is because they are struck by the extent to which nature and natural processes give rise to so much that has intrinsic value. The underlying thought is that the value-producing work that nature performs, its instrumentality, imbues nature with a value that is more than merely instrumental. This inference, from instrumental value to a noninstrumental value (such as intrinsic value or systemic value), has been criticized. (...) After all, it seems to rely on the bizarre idea that a thing’s instrumental value could be a basis for it’s intrinsic value. This idea, however, is not as easy to dismiss as many might think. Review of the obvious arguments that might be deployed to defeat it shows that they have to be rejected, suggesting that a thing’s instrumental value could be, and arguably is, a basis for it’s intrinsic value. Defending this apparently bizarre idea provides a way of justifying the claim that nature as a whole has intrinsic value. (shrink)
In this paper I reconstruct Schlegel's idea that romantic poetry can re-enchant nature in a way that is uniquely compatible with modernity's epistemic and political values of criticism, self-criticism, and freedom. I trace several stages in Schlegel's early thinking concerning nature. First, he criticises modern culture for its analytic, reflective form of rationality which encourages a disenchanting view of nature. Second, he re-evaluates this modern form of rationality as making possible an ironic, romantic, poetry, which portrays natural phenomena as mysterious (...) indications of an underlying reality that transcends knowledge. Yet Schlegel relies here on a contrast between human freedom and natural necessity that reinstates a disenchanting view of nature as fully intelligible and predictable. Third, therefore, he reconceives nature as inherently creative and poetic, rethinking human creativity as consisting in participation in natural creative processes. He replaces his earlier "idealist" view that reality is in itself unknowable with the "idealist realist" view that reality is knowable as creative nature, yet, in its spontaneous creativity, still eludes full comprehension. I argue that Schlegel's third approach to the re-enchantment of nature is his most consistent and satisfactory, and is important for contemporary environmental philosophy in showing how re-enchantment is compatible with modernity. (shrink)
We use the interpretation of vague scalar predicates like small as an illustration of how systematic semantic models of dialogue context enable the derivation of useful, ﬁne-grained utterance interpretations from radically underspeci- ﬁed semantic forms. Because dialogue context sufﬁces to determine salient alternative scales and relevant distinctions along these scales, we can infer implicit standards of comparison for vague scalar predicates through completely general pragmatics, yet closely constrain the intended meaning to within a natural range.
An essential ingredient of language use is our ability to reason about utterances as intentional actions. Linguistic representations are the natural substrate for such reasoning, and models from computational semantics can often be seen as providing an infrastructure to carry out such inferences from rich and accurate grammatical descriptions. Exploring such inferences offers a productive pragmatic perspective on problems of interpretation, and promises to leverage semantic representations in more flexible and more general tools that compute with meaning.
Thomas Kuhn has argued that scientists never reject a paradigm without simultaneously accepting a new paradigm. Coupled with Kuhn's claim that it is paradigms as a whole, and not individual theories, that are accepted or rejected, this thesis is seen as one of Kuhn's main challenges to the rationality of science. I argue that Kuhn is mistaken in this claim; at least in some instances, science rejects a paradigm despite the absence of a successor. In particular, such a description best (...) fits Kuhn's most discussed example, the Copernican Revolution. By differentiating scientific discoveries into three types, spontaneous, implicit, and directed, we see that Kuhn's thesis holds for spontaneous and implicit discoveries, but not directed discoveries. Directed discoveries must be understood by an alternative account of falsifiability, based on argument by reductio ad absurdum rather than argument by modus tollens as traditional accounts of falsifiability would have it. (shrink)
In B. Repacholi and V. Slaughter (eds), _Individual Differences in Theory of Mind: Implications for Typical and Atypical_ _Development_. Macquarie Monographs in Cognitive Science. Hove, E. Sussex: Psychology Press, 2003..
Recent, well-publicized scandals, involving unethical conduct have rekindled interest in academic misconduct. Prior studies of academic misconduct have focussed exclusively on situational factors (e.g., integrity culture, honor codes), demographic variables or personality constructs. We contend that it is important to also examine how␣these classes of variables interact to influence perceptions of and intentions relating to academic misconduct. In a sample of 217 business students, we examined how integrity culture interacts with Prudence and Adjustment to explain variance in estimated frequency of (...) cheating, suspicions of cheating, considering cheating and reporting cheating. Age, integrity culture, and personality variables were significantly related to different criteria. Overall, personality variables explained the most unique variance in academic misconduct, and Adjustment interacted with integrity culture, such that integrity culture had more influence on intentions to cheat for less well-adjusted individuals. Implications for practice are discussed and future research directions are offered. (shrink)
The mid-twentieth century saw the introduction of a new general model of processes, COMPUTATION, with the work of scientists such as Turing, Chomsky, Newell and Simon.1 This model so revolutionized the intellectual world that the dominant scientific programs of the day—spearheaded by such eminent scientists as Hilbert, Bloomfield and Skinner—are today remembered as much for the way computation exposed their stark limitations as for their positive contributions.2 Ever since, the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has defined itself as the subfield (...) of computer science dedicated to the understanding of intelligent entities as computational processes. Now, drawing on fifty years of results of increasing breadth and applicability, we can also characterize AI research as a concrete practice: an ENGINEER-. (shrink)
1. Introduction For philosophers, the current phase of the debate with which this volume is concerned can be taken to have begun in 1986, when Jane Heal and Robert Gordon published their seminal papers (Heal, 1986; Gordon, 1986; though see also, for example, Stich, 1981; Dennett, 1981). They raised a dissenting voice against what was becoming a philosophical orthodoxy: that our everyday, or folk, understanding of the mind should be thought of as theoretical. In opposition to this picture, Gordon and (...) Heal argued that we are not theorists but simulators. For psychologists, the debate had begun somewhat earlier when Heider (1958) produced his work on lay psychology; and in more recent times the psychological debate had continued in developmental psychology and in work on animal cognition. (shrink)