Summary This article opens with a brief introduction to Giuseppe Mazzini, with particular reference to his commitment to republicanism, an ideal that would be fulfilled in Italy only after considerable time and with great difficulty. It then focuses on Mazzini's critical reception of Byron. Although Giuseppe Mazzini and Percy Bysshe Shelley would have allowed a more obvious comparison, it was Byron who really attracted Mazzini's attention and criticism. Mazzini uses Byron, on the one hand, as a means to demonstrate that (...) Italians could discuss European poetry without putting at risk their national identity, or, as the classicists maintained, that fragile and fragmented profile of a nation that contemporary Italy offered to the minds and hearts of thousands of young people. On the other hand, however, Mazzini questions Byron's authority by subverting and converting his value, in a very personal way: he gradually substitutes Byron's with a different authority and credits him with new values. Mazzini could not accept Byron as the emblem of elitism and isolation: Byron's solipsism needed to be purified, and his renowned cynical attitude tempered; eventually Byron's myth needed to be connected to the destiny of peoples and nations. (shrink)
Exploring the connection between Bentham and Byron forged by the Greek struggle for independence, this book focuses on the activities of the London Greek Committee, supposedly founded by disciples of Jeremy Bentham, which mounted the expedition on which Lord Byron ultimately met his death in Greece. Rosen's penetrating study provides a new assessment of British philhellenism and examines for the first time the relationship between Bentham's theory of constitutional government and the emerging liberalism of the 1820s. Breaking new ground in (...) the history of political ideas and culture in the early nineteenth century, Rosen advances striking new interpretations based on recently published texts and manuscript sources of the development of constitutional theory from Locke and Montesquieu, the conflicting strands of liberalism in the 1820s, and the response in Britain to strong claims for national self-determination in the Mediterranean basin. He sets out to distinguish between Bentham's theory and the ideological context against which it is usually interpreted. (shrink)
We present a counterexample to Krasnikov's (2002) much discussed time machine no-go result. In addition, we prove a positive statement: a time machine existence theorem under a modest "no holes" assumption.
To be in business is first to be. To do in business, is to enhance one's being and the being of others; it ought never result in the diminishment of either. This article invites philosophical reflection on the purpose of business.To be and do in business looks for an explanation that goes beyond the meaning of work. The meaning of work is a worthy philosophical inquiry; the meaning of business is a separate question. The purpose of business is relational. Business (...) is doing for others on condition of receipt of something of fair value in return. It deals essentially with exchanges. Persons in business relate to other persons whose needs, preferences, and desires are met, to some degree of satisfaction, by the product or service the business is organized to provide — at a price. To meet the need, preference or desire is the purpose of business. (shrink)
In a paper, “Is there a Single True Morality,” Gilbert Harman presents an argument for moral relativism that some have found persuasive. Relativism is, Harman argues, the view that is most compatible with a scientific view of the world. The present paper argues that Harman’s argument is unsound since it contains at least one false premise. Further, there are considerations to which Harman himself draws attention which count against moral relativism and in favor of moral absolutism i.e., the view that (...) actions have a moral character that is independent of how individuals or groups think or feel about them.Nor is moral absolutism incompatible with a scientific view of the world, although it is no doubt incompatible with the radical empiricsm that underlies Harman’s argument. (shrink)
A theory of musical narrative. An introduction to narrative analysis : Chopin's prelude in G major, op. 28, no. 3 ; Perspectives and critiques ; A theory of musical narrative : conceptual considerations ; A theory of musical narrative : analytical considerations ; Narrative and topic -- Archetypal narratives and phases. Romance narratives and Micznik's degrees of narrativity ; Tragic narratives : an extended analysis of Schubert, piano sonata in B flat major, D. 960, first movement ; Ironic narratives : (...) subtypes and phases ; Comic narratives and discursive strategies ; Summary and conclusion. (shrink)
Is a Health Care Ethics possible? Against sceptical and relativist doubts Kantian deontology may advance a challenging alternative affirming the possibility of such an ethics on the condition that deontology be adopted as a total programme or complete vision. Kantian deontology is enlisted to move us from an ethics of two-person informal care to one of institutions. It justifies this affirmative answer by occupying a commanding meta-ethical stand. Such a total programme comprises, on the one hand, a dual-aspect strategy incorporating (...) the macro- (institutional) and micro- (person-to-person) levels while, on the other, it integrates consistently within moral epistemology a meta-ethics with lower-ground moral theories. The article describes the issues to be dealt with and the problems which have to be solved on the way to a unifying theory of that kind (Sections I-III) and indicates elements of Kantian moral philosophy which may serve as building blocks (Section IV). Among these are not only Kant’s ideas concerning the moral acting of persons and his ideas concerning civil society and state but also his ideas concerning morality, schematism and religion. (shrink)
Fiction is often characterized by way of a contrast with truth, as, for example, in the familiar couplet “Truth is always strange/ Stranger than fiction" (Byron 1824). And yet, those who would maintain that “we will always learn more about human life and human personality from novels than from scientific psychology” (Chomsky 1988: 159) hold that some truth is best encountered via fiction. The scrupulous novelist points out that her work depicts no actual person, either living or dead; nonetheless, we (...) use names from fiction in ways that suggest that we take these names to refer. Philosophers who investigate fiction aim to reconcile such apparently incompatible phenomena, and, in general, to account for the myriad ways that we talk, think, and feel about fiction. (shrink)
Demonstrative noun phrases (e.g. this; that guy over there ) are intimately connected to the context of use in that their reference is determined by demonstrations and/or the speaker's intentions. The semantics of demonstratives therefore has important implications not only for theories of reference, but for questions about how information from the context interacts with formal semantics. First treated by Kaplan as directly referential , demonstratives have recently been analyzed as quantifiers by King, and the choice between these two approaches (...) is a matter of ongoing controversy. Meanwhile, linguists and psychologists working from a variety of perspectives have gathered a wealth of data on the form, meaning, and use of demonstratives in many languages. Demonstratives thus provide a fruitful topic for graduate study for two reasons. On the one hand, they serve as an entry point to foundational issues in reference and the semantics–pragmatics interface. On the other hand, they are an especially promising starting point for interdisciplinary research, which brings the results of linguistics and related fields to bear on the philosophy of language. Author Recommends Kaplan, David. 'Demonstratives.' 1977. Themes from Kaplan . Ed. J. Almong, J. Perry, and H. Wettstein. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. 481–563. The seminal work on the semantics of demonstratives and indexicals, such as I, here , and now . Kaplan introduces a distinction between content (which maps from possible circumstances to extensions) and character (which maps from possible contexts to contents). He argues that demonstratives and indexicals are directly referential : given a possible context, their character fixes their extension. Kaplan, David. 'Afterthoughts.' Themes from Kaplan . Ed. J. Almong, J. Perry, and H. Wettstein. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. 565–614. An elaboration on the theory developed in 'Demonstratives.' Kaplan considers the connection between direct reference and rigid designation; raises the issue of whether demonstratives depend on demonstrations or speaker intentions; and discusses implications of the analysis for formal semantics and for epistemology. King, Jeffrey C. Complex Demonstratives . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001. In perhaps the most influential challenge to date to the direct reference theory of demonstratives, King argues that complex demonstratives (i.e. demonstrative determiners with nominal complements) are best analyzed as quantifiers. Braun, David. 'Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 57–99. This recent Kaplanian analysis of complex demonstratives shows the 'state of the art' of direct reference approaches and responds to some of the objections to such approaches raised by King. Elbourne, Paul. 'Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 409–466. The most recent analysis of demonstratives as individual concepts, contrasting with both the direct reference and quantificational approaches. Fillmore, Charles. Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. In this collection of lectures, originally delivered in 1971, Fillmore considers demonstratives and indexical expressions in many languages to describe the types of information about the context (e.g. locations in space, time, and discourse) that are encoded in natural language. Gundel, Jeanette K., Nancy Hedberg, and Ron Zacharski. 'Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.' Language 69 (1993): 274–307. Perhaps the most detailed pragmatic alternative to formal semantic theories of demonstratives and other referring expressions. The authors argue that demonstratives are best described as imposing a condition of use in which the referent of the demonstrative has a certain level of salience for the interlocutors. Online Materials http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/indexicals/ Indexicals (David Braun) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reference/ Reference (Marga Reimer) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rigid-designators/ Rigid designators (Joseph LaPorte) http://philpapers.org/browse/indexicals-and-demonstratives/ Online bibliography of papers on indexicals and demonstratives Sample Syllabus The following syllabus can be used in entirety for a survey course on demonstratives; in addition, each of the three units is self-contained and can be used alone. Unit 1: Demonstratives and Indexicality Week 1: Indexicals 1. Kaplan, Demonstratives 2. Kaplan, Afterthoughts Week 2: Issues for Indexical Reference 1. Reimer, Marga. 'Do Demonstrations Have Semantic Significance?' Analysis 51 (1991): 177–83. 2. Bach, Kent. 'Intentions and Demonstrations.' Analysis 52 (1992): 140–46. 3. Nunberg, Geoffrey. 'Indexicality and Deixis.' Linguistics and Philosophy 16.1 (1993): 1–43. Week 3: Optional detour: Monsters 1. Schlenker, Philippe. 'A Plea for Monsters.' Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (2003): 29-120. Week 4: Demonstratives as Quantifiers 1. King. Complex Demonstratives , chapters 1–3. Week 5: Indexical and Non-Indexical Demonstratives 1. Braun, David. 'Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 57–99. Optional additional reading 2. Roberts, Craige. 'Demonstratives as Definites.' Information Sharing . Ed. Kees van Deemter and Roger Kibble. Stanford, CA: CSLI Press, 2002. 3. Wolter, Lynsey. 'That's That: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Demonstrative Noun Phrases.' Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2006, chapters 2–3. 4. Elbourne, Paul. 'Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 409–66. Unit 2: Demonstratives, Proximity, Salience Week 6: Demonstratives and Proximity 1. Fillmore, Charles. 'Deixis I.' in Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. 59–76. 2. Fillmore, Charles. 'Deixis II.' in Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. 103–26. Optional additional reading 3. Prince, Ellen. 'On the Inferencing of Indefinite- this NPs.' Elements of Discourse Understanding . Ed. Aravind K. Joshi, Bonnie L. Weber, and Ivan A. Sag. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981. 231–50. Week 7: Demonstratives and Salience 1. Gundel, Jeanette K., Nancy Hedberg, and Ron Zacharski. 'Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.' Language 69 (1993): 274–307. Optional additional reading 2. Brown-Schmidt, Sarah, Donna K. Byron, and Michael K. Tanenhaus. 'Beyond Salience: Interpretation of Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns.' Journal of Memory and Language 53 (2005): 292–313. Note: readers new to psycholinguistics should concentrate on the Introduction. Unit 3: Demonstratives and Copular Sentences Week 8: Background on the Typology of Copular Sentences 1. Higgins, F. Roger. 'The Pseudo-Cleft Construction in English.' Diss. MIT, 1973, chapter 5. Week 9: Demonstratives in Copular Sentences 1. Mikkelsen, Line. 'Specifying Who: On the Structure, Meaning, and Use of Specificational Copular Clauses.' Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2004, chapter 8.2 (Truncated Clefts). 2. Heller, Daphna and Lynsey Wolter. ' That is Rosa : Identificational Sentences as Intensional Predication.' Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 12 . Ed. Atle Grønn. Oslo: Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo, 2008. Week 10: Demonstratives, Copular Sentences, Modals 1. Birner, Betty J., Jeffrey P. Kaplan, and Gregory Ward. 'Functional Compositionality and the Interaction of Discourse Constraints.' Language 83 (2007): 317–43. Focus Questions 1. Which of the following expressions are indexicals? Which are demonstratives? Why? (a) a pencil (b) the pencil (c) this pencil (d) Mary Smith (e) Mary's pencil (f ) my pencil (g) we (h) you (i) here (j) there (k) now (l) then 2. Do demonstratives ever interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings? If so, under what circumstances? 3. (a) If demonstratives (sometimes or always) interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings, to what extent can a direct reference theory of demonstratives be maintained? (b) If demonstratives never interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings, to what extent can a quantificational theory of demonstratives be maintained? 4. What kind of thing is a demonstration? Is it a pointing gesture? An indication of the speaker's focus of attention? Something more abstract? 5. What information do English demonstratives convey about proximity? What is 'proximity'– physical closeness to the speaker, or something more abstract? What is the status of this information: is it entailed, presupposed, or something else? 6. Do demonstratives that are accompanied by a physical gesture of demonstration have the same semantic value as anaphoric demonstratives, such as that in (a)? Why or why not? (a) John made a peanut butter sandwich and ate it quickly. Next he took an apple from the fridge. He ate that more slowly. (shrink)
This paper introduces a symposium discussing Michael Oakeshott's understanding of the relationship of religion, science and politics. Essays by Elizabeth Corey, Timothy Fuller, Byron Kaldis, and Corey Abel are followed by a review of Corey's recent book by Efraim Podoksik.
In Colour for Architecture, published in 1976, the editors, Tom Porter and Byron Mikellides, explain that their book was “produced out of an awareness that colour, as a basic and vital force, is lacking from the built environment and that our knowledge of it is isolated and limited.”1 Lack of urban color was then especially salient in Britain—where the book was published—which had just begun to recoil at the Brutalist legacy of angular stained gray concrete strewn across the postwar landscape. (...) Perhaps because the most urgent need was to inject some hue into this architectural dystopia, one of the main innovations illustrated in the book involves nothing more than cans of paint. Dull unfinished concrete façades, the interior of a subway station, a cement works, and so on, are shown enlivened by fields of bright color. (shrink)
Medicine, as Byron Good argues, reconstitutes thehuman body of our daily experience as a medical body,unfamiliar outside medicine. This reconstitution can be seen intwo ways: (i) as a salutary reminder of the extent to which thereality even of the human body is constructed; and (ii) as anarena for what Stephen Toulmin distinguishes as theintersection of natural science and history, in which many ofphilosophy''s traditional (and traditionally abstract) questionsare given concrete and urgent form.This paper begins by examining a number of dualities (...) between themedical body and the body familiar in daily experience. Toulmin''s epistemological analysis of clinical medicine ascombining both universal and existential knowledge is thenconsidered. Their expression, in terms of attention,respectively, to natural science and to personal history, isexplored through the epistemological contrasts between themedical body and the familiar body, noting the traditionalphilosophical questions which they in turn illustrate. (shrink)
None of the three worlds within the field of professional piano playing has adequately confronted the problem of pain, partly because its causes and treatment could be easily assigned to another world. The medical world could blame pain on “misuse”; the virtuoso world on lack of “genius” or “hard work”; the pedagogical world on “bad teaching” or “lack of talent.” Each world, for its own reasons, has managed either to skirt the problem of pain outright or to develop techniques and (...) languages that fail to offer general remedies, or worse, exacerbate the amount of pain pianists endure. In the meantime, market competition in a shrinking concert market has increased, together with audience dependence upon charismatic virtuosity. The more compact virtuoso world, populated by ever larger numbers of hopeful pianists, creates intense competition in which the causes stimulating pain multiply.A number of factors have inhibited both the private and public acknowledgment of pain. First, there are the demands of maintaining a professional career as a pianist. It has been difficult if not impossible for concert artists to admit they are in pain, because it would threaten their careers. Second, there is the romantic image of pain: the belief that pain is necessary and inevitable in order to be a virtuoso. This factor is related to a culture of mastery (or masculinity): the ideal of a stoical master in control of his body, able to surmount such mundane obstacles as pain. Byron Janis “recounted instances in which the pain was so intense as he started to warm up that he could not imagine enduring the performance. But after a few minutes it went away. ‘You just play through it,’ he said, “and this is what kept happening” (New York Times, ibid.).Third, the emotional identification of the young prodigy with their teacher; the belief that the teacher is giving the young pianist a precious skill, potential career as an artist, and would not allow unnecessary pain. Psychologically it is difficult to challenge teaching maxims that lead to discomfort. Instead, musicians in pain blame themselves.Complementary factors are leading to a growing ability to acknowledge pain. First, what might be called a “culture of femininity” emphasizing awareness of the body may be increasing. It is interesting to speculate whether women teachers are more likely than male teachers to emphasize that playing should be “comfortable.” Are women pianists less likely to suffer pain than male pianists because of less commitment to the ideal of control, power, and mastering pain?Second, the rise of the world of performing-arts medicine itself provides a refuge, a safe place where pain can be legitimately acknowledged. Medicalization takes pain out of the virtuoso world and “neutralizes” its emotional and professionally charged character, whether or not the doctors have solutions.Third, the diffusion of awareness that pain is not one's individual problem, as such examples as Gary Graffman and Leon Fleisher have become publicly acknowledged. However, once acknowledged, there may be a contagion effect. Is it possible that the reported incidence of pain is a result of a kind of “mass hysteria”? This possibility raises a knotty methodological issue: How much can we trust subjective reports of pain? Once people are asked if they have physical problems, they may become aware of them. Or, the individual may “discover” or “remember” an analog to parental or teacher abuse. Such an attempt to explain away the discovery of widespread pain as hysteria seems highly unlikely.If injuries to hand and arm can be shown to be caused by keyboards, not just pianos, but computers too, then legal institutions may get involved in this complex story. Here we are dealing with a future possibility, but an ominous one. Repetitive stress injury (RSI) has been charged by persons suffering pain after long hours on the computer, and more than 2,000 suits have been filed against makers of computer equipment. This issue is so new there is no scholarly literature on the topic. Our information is derived from Time Magazine, 24 October 1994, 61. A few months later, plaintiffs lost a suit against IBM and Apple Computers claiming that “computer keyboard makers should be held liable for repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which most experts agree have no single cause.” Attorneys for the plaintiffs intended to appeal (San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, 12 March 1995). The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in October, 1994, announced a plan for rules that would “make it harder for employers to claim they didn't know about the problem.... For the delicate muscles and tendons in the fingers and wrists, rapidly pushing buttons [or piano keys] thousands of times an hour can be just as stressful [as driving screws or slicing carcasses in a meat-processing plant].” The Time magazine article blithely explains the consequences of these stresses as creating “tiny tears in the muscles and tendons, which become inflamed. If the tissues aren't given time to heal properly, scarring can occur.”This issue is so new there is no scholarly literature on the topic. Our information is derived from Time Magazine, 24 October 1994, 61. A few months later, plaintiffs lost a suit against IBM and Apple Computers claiming that “computer keyboard makers should be held liable for repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which most experts agree have no single cause.” Attorneys for the plaintiffs intended to appeal (San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, 12 March 1995).That the hand motions required for the piano and computer keyboards are essentially the same, in terms of body physiology, has been finally realized. A book giving concrete instructions on how to “play” both types of keyboards safely and efficiently was published in 1995, although the author, a concert pianist, focusses upon computers, with an accurate eye on a far bigger market for the book. The author, concert pianist Stephanie Brown, describes the “dangerous angle” (which piano pedagogue Dorothy Taubman labels “twisting”), and several other fundamental mistakes in holding and moving the hands (“clawing,” “scratching,” “curling”). Brown has codified a number of principles about hand position and movement which are beginning to be regarded as “common sense” among piano pedagogues. The book received enthusiastic blurbs on the cover from several neurologists and hand therapists, including Dr. Frank Wilson (cited earlier). See Stephanie Brown, The Hand Book (New York: Ergonome Publishers, 1995).It is curious in a society like ours that technical solutions have not been explored at all as a cure for pain. Interviews with members of manufacturing companies at the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy in October, 1994 indicated that there is practically no work being done in this area. Even though certain technological solutions readily present themselves (as they do in the computer industry, for example), having to with changing the physical arrangement of the keyboard, nothing has been seriously considered. Several alternative keyboards have been invented, but none has been adopted. Dr. Otto Goldhammer, for example, invented exchangeable keyboards, with five different widths of keys, to be used in music schools so that “every pupil plays on a keyboard fitted to his hands” (Gat, Technique, 272). Neither have pedagogical learning routines in electronic keyboards reached the sophistication that is now technically possible. This lack is fortunate (and perhaps not accidental) because Steinway and Baldwin might become subject to suits on exactly the same grounds as IBM has become liable. If pain is still slipping through the cracks among the various worlds constituting the field of professional piano playing, it is because in each of these worlds there are forces at work either producing pain or explaining it in individualistic terms. The pervasive experience of pain is an unintended consequence of the mutual actions of the institutions involved in creating and propagating piano music in our culture. Unintended consequences put stubborn difficulties in the path of change precisely because there are no concrete intentions or interests at stake that are producing the problem. As the examples above show, however, the mere recognition of pain as a reality pushes for a mutual opening up and interaction among these only partially overlapping worlds. If the issue of pain among pianists becomes forcibly raised - well beyond academic discourse and professional “interest groups” - in the broad community of piano playing and the even broader realm of the media, each of these institutional worlds faces deep challenges. At this moment it is impossible to know what might happen if the issue of pain is finally confronted as a joint problem for these social worlds. Within physiological limits, the issue is whether knowledge exists or can be acquired about how to play the piano in a way that will minimize the occurrence of pain. In response to the discovery of widespread pain, some actions are indeed being taken. Professor Gail Berenson, Ohio University, in a private communication (January 3, 1995) says that “several universities [are] incorporating new courses into the music curriculum that teach musician wellness strategies in a preventative effort.” She directed a workshop on “Comfort in the Performance Spotlight” in June, 1995, with faculty members Dr. Thomas Mastroianni of Catholic University of America (a teacher of a “wide range of courses dealing with musician wellness”) and Dr. Richard Norris, Medical Director of the National Arts Medicine Center. We might note that a recent addition to the repertoire of interest groups on the internet is one called “sorehand,” headquartered at the University of California at San Francisco, which is accessible by the following command: listserv@ucsfvm. ucsf.edu. In the message area one writes: subscribe sorehand [enter your name, no brackets].We have been concerned with the institutional and individual processes that both cause pain and stand in the way of obtaining a suitable cure for injured pianists. As we have shown, the institution with which pain is traditionally associated in our culture - medicine - plays only an accompanying part in this story. As David B. Morris notes in his recent work on the cultural embeddedness of pain. “Certainly we can take comfort in assuming that pain obeys the general laws of human anatomy and physiology that govern our bodies ... however, the culture we live in and our deepest personal beliefs subtly or massively recast our experience of pain. The story of how our minds and our cultures continuously reconstruct the experience of pain demands that we look beyond the medicine cabinet.” David B. Morris, The Culture of Pain (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 2.For the sociologist, what is most theoretically and substantively compelling about the relatively esoteric tribulations of pain-ridden performing artists is precisely how, within the experience of emotional and physical distress, deeply individual physical states and emotions cannot be separated from institutional pressures and constraints. And not only does the scourge of pain among pianists shatter the dichotomy of individual versus institution, it also provides a palpable example of how pain in our culture exists in the shadow of multiple social worlds. An interesting and important topic for study would be a comparison of the conditions under which pianists suffer pain with similar or different conditions for other occupations that require repetitive and stressful motions of the body: dancers, skiers, swimmers, and boxers, to name a few. Some of the same problems of linking pedagogical techniques with the incidence and causes of injury exist for sports: “... a direct link between injury and training methods is seldom made.” See William A. Sands, et al., “Women's gymnastic injuries: a 5-year study,” American Journal of Sports Medicine 21/2 (March, 1993): 271. For a study of boxers with a similar theoretical framework to ours, see, for example, Loïc Wacquant, “The pugilistic point of view,” Theory and Society 24/4 (August 1995). (shrink)
This article reads Carlyle as a reader of Goethe to recover why he proclaimed Goethe as the `benignant spiritual revolutionist' of modernity and `first of the moderns'. As Goethe's first major English translator, Thomas Carlyle was also arguably the first to grasp the nature and purpose of Goethe's project to interpret modernity as a revolutionary epoch involving changes in consciousness, culture and material development. For Carlyle, Goethe's Faust presents modern consciousness and culture from the side of elegy - as the (...) search by an old man for eternal youth and an infinite world without constraints involving tragic loss. Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, by contrast, presents the same processes from the side of romantic quest, that is, from the perspective of a youth growing into adulthood, as looking into the future with infinite hope. Finally in Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre, Carlyle discerns that the radical form of this novel as a discontinuous narrative that embodies movement, change and incompletion enables Goethe to represent the social conditions of moderns as a spiritual challenge and historic achievement. Carlyle's critical perspicacity is evident not least in his choice of Goethe's works to translate as much as his own essays on Goethe's place in modern European letters. In his close reading of Goethe, Carlyle captures the symbolic form of modernity as incorporating three levels of revolutionary transformation of individual consciousness, of culture and of modernity as mythic condition consisting of tragic development, creative destruction and perpetual movement and change. Moderns then are challenged to become authors of their own texts and lives. Carlyle contrasts Goethe's achievement against other primary candidates for the title of modern spiritual revolutionist in ironically Goethean terms: Napoleon (Prometheus), Byron (Faust and Young Werther) and Voltaire (Mephistopheles). Thereafter, the older Carlyle puts aside his critical readings of Goethe to become his own Goethean authority on the modern condition, most notably in his most famous books, Sartor Resartus, The French Revolution, Chartism, On Heroes, and Past and Present. By reading Carlyle as a reader of Goethe we can begin to discern that Carlyle was not only an historian, biographer and political commentator of his own place and times but a critical theorist seeking to interpret the modern epoch, with and beyond Goethe. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Efraim Podoksik; Part I. Oakeshott's Philosophy: 1. Oakeshott as philosopher James Alexander; 2. Worlds of experience: history Luke O'Sullivan; 3. Worlds of experience: science Byron Kaldis; 4. Worlds of experience: aesthetics Elizabeth Corey; 5. Education as conversation Kevin Williams; Part II. Oakeshott on Morality, Society and Politics: 6. Practical life and the critique of rationalism Steven Smith; 7. Oakeshott's ideological politics: conservative or liberal? Andrew Gamble; 8. Rhetoric and political language Terry Nardin; 9. Oakeshott's On (...) Human Conduct Paige Digeser and Richard Flathman; 10. Oakeshott's political theory: recapitulation and criticisms Williams A. Galston; Part III. Oakeshott and Others: 11. Oakeshott in the context of British Idealism David Boucher; 12. Oakeshott in the context of German Idealism Efraim Podoksik; 13. Oakeshott's contribution to Hobbes scholarship Ian Tregenza; 14. Oakeshott and the Cold-War critique of political rationalism Dana Villa; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
Consider the paradox of altruism: the existence of truly altruistic behaviors is difﬁcult to reconcile with an evolutionary theory which holds that natural selection operates only on individuals, since in that case individuals should be unwilling to sacriﬁce their own ﬁtness for the sake of others. Evolutionists have frequently turned to the hypothesis of group selection to explain the existence of altruism; but, even setting aside difﬁculties about understanding the relationship between altruistic behaviors and morality, group selection cannot explain the (...) evolution of morality, since morality is a one-group phenomenon and group selection is a many-group phenomenon. After spelling out just what the problem is, this paper discusses several ways out and concludes by offering suggestions why one seems best. (shrink)
Non-collapse theories of quantum mechanics have the peculiar characteristic that, although their measurements produce definite results, their state vectors remain in a superposition of possible outcomes. David Albert has used this fact to show that the standard uncertainty relations can be violated if self-measurements are made. Bradley Monton, however, has held that Albert has not been careful enough in his treatment of self-measurement and that being more careful (considering mental state supervenience) implies no violation of the relations. In this paper, (...) I will outline both Albert's proposal and Monton's objections. Then, I will show how the uncertainty relations can be violated after all (even after being as careful as Monton). Finally, I will discuss how finding a way around the objections allows us to learn more about what is and what is not possible in non-collapse theories of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
It has been suggested by Clark Glymour that the spatio-temporal structure of the universe might be underdetermined by all observational data that could ever, theoretically, be gathered. It is possible for two spacetimes to be observationally indistinguishable (OI) yet topologically distinct. David Malament extended the argument for the underdetermination of spacetime structure by showing that under quite general conditions (such as the absence of any closed timelike curves) a spacetime will always have an OI counterpart (at least in weak sense). (...) Because the plight of the cosmologist seemed to be so discouraging in this regard, Malament considered the relationship between global properties and OI spacetimes. This information is helpful to the cosmologist. It allows, in principle, one to reject some spacetime models based on observational evidence. In this paper, I consider the relationship between variants of geodesic incompleteness and different senses (some old and some new) of OI. In light of the findings, it seems that (for the most part) the predicament of the cosmologist is not good. Quite generally, versions of geodesic incompleteness are not conserved even under the strongest formulations of OI. (shrink)
The 1995 film, Dead Man Walking, concerns the life and execution of a convicted murderer in Louisiana. It is based on the experiences of Sister Helen Prejean, a Catholic nun who found herself caught up in the case. The film is not really an anti-death penalty piece: the convict’s protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, no mistaken identity or extenuating circumstances relieve the prisoner of responsibility. The viewer is told that the convict committed the brutal double rape and murder for which (...) he was sentenced to die. If anyone deserved the death penalty, this man did, and the film captures this horrible truth. And yet the humanity and compassion of Sister Prejean in her dealings with this man still raise questions about the justifiability of the death penalty. Only a remarkable piece of art can convey both sides of a passionate debate with such a clear-eyed sense of the truth. (shrink)
Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst disasters in United States history. Failures within New Orleans’ engineered hurricane protection system (levees and floodwalls) contributed to the severity of the event and have drawn considerable public attention. In the time since Katrina, forensic investigations have uncovered a range of issues and problems related to the engineering work. In this article, my goal is to distill from these investigations, and the related literature that has accumulated, some overarching macro-ethical issues that are relevant (...) for all engineers. I attempt to frame these issues, using illustrative examples taken from Katrina, in a way that might be of pedagogical use and benefit for engineering educators interested in engaging their students in discussions of engineering ethics, societal impact of engineered systems, engineering design, or related topics. Some of the issues discussed are problems of unanticipated failure modes, faulty assumptions, lack or misuse of information, the importance of resiliency, the effects of time, balancing competing interests, attending to the details of interfaces, the fickleness of risk perception, and how the past constrains the present. (shrink)
A consensus exists among contemporary philosophers of biology about the history of their field. According to the received view, mainstream philosophy of science in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s focused on physics and general epistemology, neglecting analyses of the 'special sciences', including biology. The subdiscipline of philosophy of biology emerged (and could only have emerged) after the decline of logical positivism in the 1960s and 70s. In this article, I present bibliometric data from four major philosophy of science journals (Erkenntnis, (...) Philosophy of Science, Synthese, and the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science), covering 1930-59, which challenge this view. (shrink)
This paper serves both as a discussion of Henry’s (Ethical Theory Moral Practice, 5:255–270, 2002) interpretation of Aristotle on the possibility of akrasia – knowing something is wrong and doing it anyway – and an indication of the importance of desire in Aristotle’s account of moral reasoning. As I will explain, Henry’s interpretation is advantageous for the reason that it makes clear how Aristotle could have made good sense of genuine akrasia, a phenomenon that we seem to observe in the (...) real world, while maintaining non-trivial distinctions between temperance (sôphrosunê), self-indulgence (akolasia), self-control (enkrateia) and akrasia. There are, however, some interpretive challenges that follow from Henry’s account and this paper is intended to explain and resolve those. (shrink)
This collection of essays explores two competing views of practical rationality. How do we think about what we plan to do? One dominant answer is that we select the best possible option available. However, a growing number of philosophers would offer a different reply. Since we are not equipped to maximize, we must often choose the next best alternative--one that is no more than satisfactory. This strategy choice is called "satisficing" (a term coined by the economist Herb Simon).
The term 'sociobiology' was introduced in E. O. Wilson's Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975) as the application of evolutionary theory to social behavior. Sociobiologists claim that many social behaviors have been shaped by natural selection for reproductive success, and they attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary histories of particular behaviors or behavioral strategies. This survey attempts to clarify and evaluate the aim of sociobiology. Given that a neutral account is impossible, this entry does the next best thing. It takes sociobiology as (...) well as its critics seriously. On the one hand, by demonstrating that current studies of evolution and human behavior are based on Darwin's arguments for evolution (properly updated), we gain a strong rationale for thinking that something closer to sociobiology than to disconnectionism is needed to properly understand human sociality. Nevertheless, this survey reconstructs sociobiology in its best light, according to its aims. Consequently, criticism of sociobiology as it is actually practiced is not ignored or dismissed. This approach reveals what is best about sociobiology, while remaining sensitive to many of the problems it has generated. (shrink)
Here, we examine hole-freeness - a condition sometimes imposed to rule out seemingly artificial spacetimes. We show that under existing definitions (and contrary to claims made in the literature) there exist inextendible, globally hyperbolic spacetimes which fail to be hole-free. We then propose an updated formulation of the condition which enables us to show the intended result. We conclude with a few general remarks on the strength of the definition and then formulate a precise question which may be interpreted as: (...) Are all physically reasonable spacetimes hole-free? (shrink)
Within the context of general relativity, we consider one definition of a “time machine” proposed by Earman, Smeenk, and Wüthrich. They conjecture that, under their definition, the class of time machine spacetimes is not empty. Here, we prove this conjecture. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Washington, Box 353350, Seattle, WA 98195‐3350; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There does not seem to be a consistent way to ground the concept of “force” in Cartesian first principles. In this article, I first review the literature on the subject. Then, I offer an alternative interpretation of force—one that seems to be coherent and consistent with Descartes’ project. Not only does the new position avoid the problems of previous interpretations, but it does so in such a way as to support and justify those previous interpretations. *Received June 2007; revised June (...) 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Washington, Box 353350, Seattle, WA 98195; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Consider the paradox of altruism: the existence of truly altruistic behaviors is difficult to reconcile with evolutionary theory if natural selection operates only on individuals, since in that case individuals should be unwilling to sacrifice their own fitness for the sake of others. Evolutionists have frequently turned to the hypothesis of group selection to explain the existence of altruism; but group selection cannot explain the evolution of morality, since morality is a one-group phenomenon and group selection is a many-group phenomenon. (...) After spelling out just what the problem is, this paper discusses several ways of solving it. (shrink)
I develop a technique for specifying truth-conditions. (This is part of a series of four closely related papers. The other three are ‘An Account of Possibility’, ‘Ontological Commitment’ and ‘An Actualist’s Guide to Quantifying-In’.).
Here, we briefly review the notion of observational indistinguishability within the context of classical general relativity. We settle a conjecture given by Malament (1977) concerning the subject and then strengthen the result considerably. The upshot is this: There seems to be a robust sense in which the global structure of every cosmological model is underdetermined.
Here we briefly review the concept of "prediction" within the context of classical relativity theory. We prove a theorem asserting that one may predict one's own future only in a closed universe. We then question whether prediction is possible at all (even in closed universes). We note that interest in prediction has stemmed from considering the epistemological predicament of the observer. We argue that the definitions of prediction found thus far in the literature do not fully appreciate this predicament. We (...) propose a more adequate alternative and show that, under this definition, prediction is essentially impossible in general relativity. (shrink)
Some philosophers – notably Bernard Williams, Martha Nussbaum and Ruth Barcan Marcus – argue that agents in moral dilemmas are blameworthy whatever they do. I begin by uncovering the connection these philosophers are presupposing between the agent’s judgement of wrongdoing and her tendency to self-blame. Next, I argue that while dilemmatic choosers cannot help but see themselves as wrongdoers, they both can and should divorce this judgement from an ascription of self-blame. As I argue, dilemmatic choosers are morally sui generis (...) in that their actions result in a diminishment of their personal integrity with no corresponding failure of character. It is this that makes them non-blameworthy wrongdoers. This way of seeing the problem should provide dilemmatic choosers with a novel conception of their own moral psychology, one that allows them to view their actions in a manner that is given neither to moral insensitivity nor to pathological self-accusation. (shrink)
In a recent letter to Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, British columnist and climate change gadfly George Monbiot pleaded with Canada to clean up its greenhouse gas emissions act. The letter appeared just a week before the Copenhagen climate conference. In it, Monbiot alleged that Canada's newly acquired status as oil superpower threatens to ?brutalize? the country, as it has other oil-rich countries (Monbiot, G. 2009. Please, Canada, clean up your act, The Globe and Mail, November 30, A15). (...) In this paper, I want to expand on Monbiot's bleak assessment of the Canadian national psyche. It has been pointed out that climate change is forcing us to rethink philosophical ethics. Some, like Dale Jamieson, believe that virtue theory is best equipped to meet the challenge of understanding the moral dimensions of this phenomenon. I think this is basically right, but that climate change is also forcing us to reassess our capacity for moral progress. The two challenges are linked. In what follows, I will first (Section 1) motivate the appeal to virtue ethics as a new way of understanding the ethics of climate change. Next (Section 2), I offer a virtue ethical account of moral progress. With the latter in place, we can (Section 3) uncover the real nature of Canada's moral failing on climate change: it is an impediment to the moral progress of our species. (shrink)
It is common, though perhaps not correct, to think that practical rationality is strictly instrumental.1 The functions of instrumental reason include finding suitable means to our determinate ends, helping to determine our indeterminate ends, and implementing our principles in appropriate actions. One reason that might be given for adopting instrumentalism with respect to rationality might be that our best scientific evidence offers little support for the idea that our brains have powers to detect good and bad as such in persons, (...) actions, or lives. But whatever one’s reasons for taking up instrumentalism, it remains to specify the relationship means are to have with ends. A natural demand is that instrumentally rational actions implement the best means to one’s given ends. Optimizing conceptions of rationality endorse this demand. A competing conception of rationality—the satisficing conception—weakens this requirement and permits some rational actions to implement (merely) satisfactory means to the agent’s given ends. The present article argues that instrumentalist theories of rationality as commonly understood cannot consistently accommodate this satisficing conception of rationality. (shrink)
In “Deliberation Down and Dirty,” David Estlund seeks a deeper understanding of that most American of political paradoxes: regulated free speech. To that end, he sketches a normative basis for an intuitively appealing idea. The idea is: the boundaries of civility in political expression are proportional to power’s interference with reason. That is, the more that power undermines the conditions of free and orderly political expression, the wider the scope of what should count as “civil” expression, including perhaps even violence. (...) Estlund explicates his account with three important claims. First, democratic deliberation fosters what he calls the “social discovery of truth.” The epistemic value of such deliberation is the primary rationale for narrow norms of civility, since sharp political expression would be counter-productive in circumstances of ideal deliberation. Second, when the conditions of democratic deliberation are undermined in specific ways, the scope of civility widens. Estlund calls this a “breakdown” account of civility: when open deliberation breaks down (though this is, Estlund realizes, a matter of degree), formerly uncivil measures become civil. Third, permissible sharp expression should aim to restore the conditions of narrow civility. Sharp expression when civil is thus remedial, since it must aim to recreate the circumstances of free and open deliberation. These three claims form the heart of Estlund’s account of civil expression, and I would like to explore each of them in turn. (shrink)
Fifty years ago, Herbert Simon (1955, 1997) complained that the available models of rational choice were not feasible decision procedures for agents like us. These models involved variants on the theme of maximizing expected utility: the rational action for an agent is the one that is most likely to bring about outcomes that the agent prefers. Simon’s complaints about these models included the now-familiar notions that human beings do not manage probabilities well, that we have at best radically (...) incomplete utility functions, and that we lack the cognitive resources to calculate the expected utilities of even a few alternatives. (shrink)