This volume is a direct result of a conference held at Princeton University to honor George A. Miller, an extraordinary psychologist. A distinguished panel of speakers from various disciplines -- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial intelligence -- were challenged to respond to Dr. Miller's query: "What has happened to cognition? In other words, what has the past 30 years contributed to our understanding of the mind? Do we really know anything that wasn't already clear to William James?" Each (...) participant tried to stand back a little from his or her most recent work, but to address the general question from his or her particular standpoint. The chapters in the present volume derive from that occasion. (shrink)
My initial hope when I first saw Miller’s book was that here at least would be a work which satisfies the long standing need for a comprehensive introduction to contemporary metaethics which is accessible enough to be employed in advanced undergraduate courses and introductory graduate seminars. This hope was only partially realized, however, as Miller ends up oscillating between clear presentations of extant debates in the recent literature and his own extended attempts to determine where the truth of (...) the matter lies. The result is an interesting book that likely will appeal both to those looking for a classroom text in metaethics as well as to experts on the relevant issues. (shrink)
Earlier in the pages of this journal (p 481), Wendler and Miller offered the "net risks test" as an alternative approach to the ethical analysis of benefits and harms in research. They have been vocal critics of the dominant view of benefit-harm analysis in research ethics, which encompasses core concepts of duty of care, clinical equipoise and component analysis. They had been challenged to come up with a viable alternative to component analysis which meets five criteria. The alternative must (...) (1) protect research subjects; (2) allow clinical research to proceed; (3) explain how physicians may offer trial enrolment to their patients; (4) address the challenges posed by research containing a mixture of interventions and (5) define ethical standards according to which the risks and potential benefits of research may be consistently evaluated. This response argues that the net risks test meets none of these criteria and concludes that it is not a viable alternative to component analysis. (shrink)
In 1962, the philosopher Richard Taylor used six commonly accepted presuppositions to imply that human beings have no control over the future. David Foster Wallace not only took issue with Taylor's method, which, according to him, scrambled the relations of logic, language, and the physical world, but also noted a semantic trick at the heart of Taylor's argument. -/- Fate, Time, and Language presents Wallace's brilliant critique of Taylor's work. Written long before the publication of his fiction and (...) essays, Wallace's thesis reveals his great skepticism of abstract thinking made to function as a negation of something more genuine and real. He was especially suspicious of certain paradigms of thought-the cerebral aestheticism of modernism, the clever gimmickry of postmodernism-that abandoned "the very old traditional human verities that have to do with spirituality and emotion and community." As Wallace rises to meet the challenge to free will presented by Taylor, we witness the developing perspective of this major novelist, along with his struggle to establish solid logical ground for his convictions. This volume, edited by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert, reproduces Taylor's original article and other works on fatalism cited by Wallace. James Ryerson's introduction connects Wallace's early philosophical work to the themes and explorations of his later fiction, and Jay Garfield supplies a critical biographical epilogue. (shrink)
R. Jay Wallace argues in this book that moral accountability hinges on questions of fairness: When is it fair to hold people morally responsible for what they do? Would it be fair to do so even in a deterministic world? To answer these questions, we need to understand what we are doing when we hold people morally responsible, a stance that Wallace connects with a central class of moral sentiments, those of resentment, indignation, and guilt. To hold someone (...) responsible, he argues, is to be subject to these reactive emotions in one's dealings with that person. Developing this theme with unusual sophistication, he offers a new interpretation of the reactive emotions and traces their role in our practices of blame and moral sanction. With this account in place, Wallace advances a powerful and sustained argument against the common view that accountability requires freedom of will. Instead, he maintains, the fairness of holding people responsible depends on their rational competence: the power to grasp moral reasons and to control their behavior accordingly. He shows how these forms of rational competence are compatible with determinism. At the same time, giving serious consideration to incompatibilist concerns, Wallace develops a compelling diagnosis of the common assumption that freedom is necessary for responsibility. Rigorously argued, eminently readable, this book touches on issues of broad concern to philosophers, legal theorists, political scientists, and anyone with an interest in the nature and limits of responsibility. (shrink)
Normativity and the Will collects fourteen important papers on moral psychology and practical reason by R. Jay Wallace, one of the leading philosophers currently working in these areas. The papers explore the interpenetration of normative and psychological issues in a series of debates that lie at the heart of moral philosophy. Themes that are addressed include reason, desire, and the will; responsibility, identification, and emotion; and the relation between morality and other normative domains. Wallace's treatments of these topics (...) are at once sophisticated and engaging. Taken together, they constitute an advertisement for a distinctive way of pursuing issues in moral psychology and the theory of practical reason, and they articulate and defend a unified framework for thinking about those issues. The volume also features a helpful new introduction. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Jon Miller; Part I. Textual Issues: 1. On the unity of the Nicomachean Ethics Michael Pakaluk; Part II. Happiness: 2. Living for the sake of an ultimate end Susan Sauve;; 3. Contemplation and Eudaimonia in the Nicomachean Ethics Norman O. Dahl; 4. Aristotle on Eudaimonia, Nous, and divinity A. A. Long; Part III. Psychology: 5. Aristotle, agents, and action Iakovos Vasilou; 6. Wicked and inappropriate passion Stephen Leighton; 7. Perfecting pleasures: the metaphysics of pleasure (...) in Nicomachean Ethics X Christopher Shields; 8. Aristotle's definition of non-rational pleasure and pain and desire Klaus Corcilius; 9. Non-rational desire and Aristotle's moral psychology Giles Pearson; Part IV. Virtues: 10. Beauty and morality in Aristotle T. H. Irwin; 11. Justice in the Nicomachean Ethics Book V Hallvard Fossheim. (shrink)
This book explores the various aspects of social justice--to each according to his rights, to each acording to his desert, and to each according to his need--comparing the writings of Hume, Spencer, and Kropotkin. Miller demonstrates that there are radical differences in outlook on social justice between societies, and that these differences can be explained by reference to features of the social structure.
Newton’s argument for universal gravitation in the Principia eventually rested on the third “Rule of Philosophizing,” which warrants the generalization of “qualities of bodies.” An analysis of the rule and the history of its development indicate that the term ‘quality’ should be taken to include both inherent properties of bodies and relations among systems of bodies, generalized into `laws'. By incorporating law‐induction into the rule, Newton could legitimately rebuff objections to his theory by claiming that universal gravitation was justified by (...) his method even if he could not specify the cause of gravity . †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Duke University, 201 West Duke Building, Box 90743, Durham, NC 27708; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Despite growing scientific interest in the placebo effect and increasing understanding of neurobiological mechanisms (Finniss et al. 2010), theoretical conceptualization of the placebo effect remains primitive (Miller, Colloca, and Kaptchuk 2009). Mechanistic research on this phenomenon appears largely free-floating, with little guidance by any systematic theoretical paradigm. A partial explanation is the pervasive conceptual confusion that characterizes thinking about the placebo effect. The philosopher of science Adolf Grunbaum noted that "the medical and psychiatric literature on placebos and their effects (...) is conceptually bewildering, to the point of being a veritable Tower of Babel" (Grunbaum 1994, p. 286). .. (shrink)
I develop the decision-theoretic approach to quantum probability, originally proposed by David Deutsch, into a mathematically rigorous proof of the Born rule in (Everett-interpreted) quantum mechanics. I sketch the argument informally, then prove it formally, and lastly consider a number of proposed ``counter-examples'' to show exactly which premises of the argument they violate. (This is a preliminary version of a chapter to appear --- under the title ``How to prove the Born Rule'' --- in Saunders, Barrett, Kent and Wallace, (...) "Many worlds? Everett, quantum theory and reality", forthcoming from Oxford University Press.). (shrink)
In chapter 8 of Miller 2003, I argued against the idea that Jackson and Pettit's notion of program explanation might help Sturgeon's non-reductive naturalist version of moral realism respond to the explanatory challenge posed by Harman. In a recent paper in the AJP[Nelson 2006, Mark Nelson has attempted to defend the idea that program explanation might prove useful to Sturgeon in replying to Harman. In this note, I suggest that Nelson's argument fails.
[Alan Weir] This paper addresses the problem of how to account for objective content-for the distinction between how we actually apply terms and the conditions in which we ought to apply them-from within a naturalistic framework. Though behaviourist or dispositionalist approaches are generally held to be unsuccessful in naturalising objective content or 'normativity', I attempt to restore the credibility of such approaches by sketching a behaviouristic programme for explicating objective content. /// [Alexander Miller] Paul Boghossian (1989, 1990) has argued, (...) on grounds concerning the holistic nature of belief fixation, that there are principled reasons for thinking that 'optimal conditions' versions of reductive dispositionalism about content cannot hope to satisfy a condition of extensional accuracy. I discern three separable strands of argument in Boghossian's work-the circularity objection, the open-endedness objection, and the certification objection-and argue that each of these objections fails. My conclusion is that for all that Boghossian has shown, 'optimal conditions' versions of reductive dispositionalism have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. (shrink)
This comprehensive study of Aristotle's Politics argues that nature, justice, and rights are central to Aristotle's political thought. Miller challenges the widely held view that the concept of rights is alien to Aristotle's thought, and presents evidence for talk of rights in Aristotle's writings. He argues further that Aristotle's theory of justice supports claims of individual rights that are political and based in nature.
This Introduction introduces readers to the concepts of political philosophy: authority, democracy, freedom and its limits, justice, feminism, multiculturalism, and nationality. Accessibly written and assuming no previous knowledge of the subject, it encourages the reader to think clearly and critically about the leading political questions of our time. THe book first investigates how politcial philosophy tackles basic ethical questions such as 'how should we live together in society?' It furthermore looks at political authority, discusses the reasons society needs politics in (...) the first place, explores the limitations of politics, and asks if there are areas of life that shouldn't be governed by politics. Moreover, the book explores the connections between political authority and justice, a constant theme in political philosophy, and the ways in which social justice can be used to regulate rather than destroy a market economy. In his travels through this realm, Miller covers why nations ar the natural units of government and wonders if the rise of multiculturalism and transnational co-operation will change all this, and asks in the end if we will ever see the formation of a world government. (shrink)
In addressing thescientific study of consciousness, Crick and Koch state, It is probable that at any moment some active neuronal processes in your head correlate with consciousness, while others do not: what is the difference between them? (1998, p. 97). Evidence from electrophysiological and brain-imaging studies of binocular rivalry supports the premise of this statement and answers to some extent, the question posed. I discuss these recent developments and outline the rationale and experimental evidence for the interhemispheric switch hypothesis of (...) perceptual rivalry. According to this model, the perceptual alternations of rivalry reflect hemispheric alternations, suggesting that visual consciousness of rivalling stimuli may be unihemispheric at any one time (Miller et al., 2000). However, in this paper, I suggest that interhemispheric switching could involve alternating unihemispheric attentional selection of neuronal processes for access to visual consciousness. On this view, visual consciousness during rivalry could be bi hemispheric because the processes constitutive of attentional selection may be distinct from those constitutive of visual consciousness. This is a special case of the important distinction between the neuronal correlates and constitution of visual consciousness. (shrink)
Franklin G. Miller and colleagues have stimulated renewed interest in research ethics through their work criticizing clinical equipoise. Over three years and some twenty articles, they have also worked to articulate a positive alternative view on norms governing the conduct of clinical research. Shared presuppositions underlie the positive and critical dimensions of Miller and colleagues' work. However, recognizing that constructive contributions to the field ought to enjoy priority, we presently scrutinize the constructive dimension of their work. We argue (...) that it is wanting in several respects. (shrink)
Galileo’s impractical science Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9534-4 Authors David Marshall Miller, Department of Philosophy, Duke University, 201 West Duke, Durham, NC 27708, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Did the Gulf War defend moral principle or Western oil interests? Is violent pornography an act of free speech or an act of violence against women? In Casuistry and Modern Ethics , Richard B. Miller sheds new light on the potential of casuistry--case-based reasoning--for resolving these and other questions of conscience raised by the practical quandaries of modern life. Rejecting the packaging of moral experience within simple descriptions and inflexible principles, Miller argues instead for identifying and making sense (...) of the ethically salient features of individual cases. Because this practical approach must cope with a diverse array of experiences, Miller draws on a wide variety of diagnostic tools from such fields as philosophy of science, legal reasoning, theology, literary theory, hermeneutics, and moral philosophy. Opening new avenues for practical reasoning, Miller's interdisciplinary work will challenge scholars who are interested in the intersections of ethics and political philosophy, cultural criticism, and debates about method in religion and morality. (shrink)
Bernard E. Rollin: Putting the Horse Before Descartes: My Life’s Work on Behalf of Animals Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9316-4 Authors Lantz Miller, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Abstract The ethics of technology use has tended to arise from the theory of the role of technology in human life and society and thus introduces a bias into moral assessment of such use. I propose a dialectical method of morally assessing a technology use without such a preset notion. Instead the assumption is that the moral agent is as responsible for use of a technology as for any other moral action of the agent, that is, the individual’s use of (...) a technology is a moral action that can be morally assessed. I apply this outlook to automobile use, weighing its moral pros and cons, such as in terms of autonomy, environmental degradation, land use, health hazards, and other moral drawbacks arising from the technology’s use or non-use. Although the conclusion leaves the final moral assessment undecided, the method points to a way fairly to assess morally the use of technologies in terms of human betterment and environmental and health concerns, minimizing biases from assumptions of the role or nature of technologies. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9320-8 Authors Lantz Miller, CUNY, New York, NY, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
The Federalist, written by “Publius” (Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison) in 1787-1788 in defense of the proposed constitution of the United States, endorses a fundamental principle of political legitimacy: namely, “it is the reason of the public alone, that ought to control and regulate the government.” This essay argues that this principle—the rule of reason—may be traced back to Plato. Part I of the essay seeks to show that Plato's Statesman offers a clearer understanding of the rule of (...) reason than his more famous Republic, and it also indicates how this principle gave rise to the ideal of constitutionalism, which was adopted and reformulated by Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero, as well as moderns including Locke and Montesquieu. Part II argues that The Federalist agrees with Plato when it argues that popular sovereignty must be tempered by the rule of reason. A proper distance should be maintained between the people and the actual exercise of power in order that political decisions be based on reason rather than passion. The people must therefore act through a federal system divided between national government and state governments, and these governments must themselves possess separated powers which control each other by means of checks and balances. Indeed, federalism itself may be viewed as a modern counterpart of Plato's “art of weaving,” which unites naturally disparate and opposed parts of the city-state into a concordant whole. In declaring, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary,” The Federalist concedes that politics is the art of the possible. But statesmanship is not an exercise in pragmatism devoid of principles. Here “Publius” shares Plato's vision of politics as a “second sailing,” that is, an attempt to approximate the ideal of rational governance as far as possible in ordinary politics. Footnotesa This paper was originally presented at a meeting of the Symposium on Political Thought at Bowling Green State University. I am very grateful to the participants for their helpful suggestions, including Peter Celello, Albert Dzur, Neil Englehart, Jefferson Holcomb, David Jackson, Melissa Miller, Terrence Watson, and Adam White. I also received valuable criticisms from David Keyt, Ellen Frankel Paul, and the other contributors to this volume. (shrink)
Arthur I. Miller is a master at capturing the intersection of creativity and intelligence. He did it with Einstein and Picasso, and now he does it with Pauli and Jung. Their shared obsession with the number 137 provides a window into their genius. --Walter Isaacson.
Heated debate surrounds the question whether the relationship between physician-researcher and patient-subject is governed by a duty of care. Miller and Weijer argue that fiduciary law provides a strong legal foundation for this duty, and for articulating the terms of the relationship between physician-researcher and patient-subject.
While most Chaucer critics interested in gender and sexuality have used psychoanalytic theory to analyze Chaucer's poetry, Mark Miller re-examines the links between sexuality and the philosophical analysis of agency in medieval texts such as the Canterbury Tales, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, and the Romance of the Rose. Chaucer's philosophical sophistication provides the basis for a new interpretation of the emerging notions of sexual desire and romantic love in the late Middle Ages.
The 'Art of Life' is John Stuart Mill's name for his account of practical reason. In this volume, eleven leading scholars elucidate this fundamental, but widely neglected, element of Mill's thought. Mill divides the Art of Life into three 'departments': 'Morality, Prudence or Policy, and Æsthetics'. In the volume's first section, Rex Martin, David Weinstein, Ben Eggleston, and Dale E. Miller investigate the relation between the departments of morality and prudence. Their papers ask whether Mill is a rule utilitarian (...) and, if so, whether his practical philosophy must be incoherent. The second section contains papers by Jonathan Riley and Wendy Donner, who explore the relation between the departments of morality and aesthetics. They discuss issues ranging from supererogation to aesthetic pleasure and humanity's relationship with nature. -/- The papers in the third section consider the Art of Life's axiological first principle, the principle of utility. Elijah Millgram contends that Mill's own life refutes his claim that the Art of Life has a single axiological first principle. Philip Kitcher maintains that Mill has a dynamic axiology requiring us to continually refine our conception of the good. In the final section, three papers address what it means to put the Art of Life into practice. Robert Haraldsson locates an 'Art of Ethics' in On Liberty that is in tension with the Art of Life. Nadia Urbinati plumbs the classical roots of Mill's view of the good life. Finally, Colin Heydt develops Mill's suggestion that we regard our own lives as works of art. (shrink)
Miller and Rodgers (2001) proposed a central nervous system based Ontogenetic Bonding System that operates across the life course to promote succorant, 1 affiliative, sexual, and nurturant bonds. I discuss features of this theoretical framework that can inform Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky's (D&M-S's) model. Most important, I suggest that the affiliative reward processes D&M-S describe are better conceptualized as subserving the affect/motivation of affection. Footnotes1 “Succorance” is a term coined by Murray (1938) to describe a general tendency to seek the (...) help and protection of others. (shrink)
In this book polymath William Ian Miller probes one of the dirty little secrets of humanity: that we are all faking it much more than anyone would care to admit. He writes with wit and wisdom about the vain anxiety of being exposed as frauds in our professions, cads in our loves, and hypocrites to our creeds. He finds, however, that we are more than mere fools for wanting so badly to look good to ourselves and others. Sometimes, when (...) we are faking it, our vanity leads to virtue, and we actually achieve something worthy of esteem and praise William Ian Miller is the Thomas G. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. He has also taught at Harvard, Yale, Chicago, and the Universities of Bergen and Tel Aviv. His previous books include The Mystery of Courage (Harvard University Press, 2000) and The Anantomy of Disgust (Harvard University Press, 1997). (shrink)
I am indebted to Zwirn and Zwirn  (hereafter Z&Z) for their extended and careful comments on the arguments of Popper & Miller , , and also for friendly and illuminating conversations. Their judgement seems to be that although Popper and I fail to make a satisfactory case for our conclusion that inductive probability is impossible, that conclusion is nonetheless defensible on quite other grounds. I don’t really agree with this, as I shall explain.
The self-communication of being and the human person’s intellectual vocation to draw it gradually into logos are important themes in the writing of W. Norris Clarke. This paper addresses two related obstacles to understanding the person’s individual essence: (1) the limited intellectual reach of the potential knower, who has no access to another’s subjectivity, (2) the person’s inability to reveal her individual essence in any one act and the need for it to be gradually unfolded. These obstacles can be partially (...) surmounted through motivational narrative, as developed by Arthur Miller, wherein persons describe those actions to which they are uniquely inclined and that bring profound fulfillment. The privileged recipient has rich access into the narrator’s subjectivity and opportunity to see in the story an ontologically stable pattern of motivated behavior that expresses her individual essence. (shrink)
The separation, uniformization, and other properties of the Borel and projective hierarchies over hyperfinite sets are investigated and compared to the corresponding properties in classical descriptive set theory. The techniques used in this investigation also provide some results about countably determined sets and functions, as well as an improvement of an earlier theorem of Kunen and Miller.
In a wide-ranging inquiry Richard W. Miller provides new resources for coping with the most troubling types of moral conflict: disagreements in moral conviction, conflicting interests, and the tension between conscience and desires. Drawing on most fields in philosophy and the social sciences, including his previous work in the philosophy of science, he presents an account of our access to moral truth, and, within this framework, develops a theory of justice and an assessment of the role of morality in (...) rational choice. In Miller's view, we are often in a position to claim that our moral judgments are true descriptions of moral facts. But others, relying on contrary ways of moral learning, would reject truths that we are in a position to assert, in dissent that does not depend on irrationality or ignorance of relevant evidence or arguments. With this mixed verdict on moral realism, Miller challenges many received views of rationality, scientific method, and the relation between moral belief and moral choice. In his discussion of justice, Miller defends the adequacy, for modern political choices, of a widely shared demand that institutions be freely and rationally acceptable to all. Drawing on social research and economic theories, he argues that this demand has dramatically egalitarian consequences, even though it is a premise of liberals and conservatives alike. In the final chapters, Miller investigates the role and limits of morality in the choice of conduct, arguing for new perspectives on reason and impartiality. (shrink)
Wallace, Meg London's National Theatre recently hosted a debate about freedom of speech, multiculturalism and Islam called Can we talk about this? The opening line was a question to the audience, 'Are you morally superior to the Taliban?' Anne Marie Waters, who was present, wrote in her blog that 'very few people in the audience raised their hand to say they were.' This response demonstrates a misconceived attempt to be seen as tolerant and 'multiculturalist'. People could not bring themselves (...) to say their views are morally superior to a group that, Waters points out, 'denies women medical treatment, imprisons them in their homes, allows domestic violence, and executes people by stoning for having a private life or the audacity to not believe in God.' They fear being labelled, racist, 'Islamophobic', or discriminating against religion. Rather, they adopt a stance that treats all moral views generated by culture or religion as equally valid ('cultural relativism'). They confuse the distinction between the right to think as you want, and the right to act as you want. (shrink)
Wallace, Max On 20 June 2012 the High Court of Australia handed down their decision in Willliams v The Commonwealth. The case concerned the question of whether it was unconstitutional for the federal government to fund religious chaplains in public schools. The argument against the funding was on technical, financial grounds. The government had avoided making a law in the parliament to fund the chaplains. That way, they were able to avoid a legal complaint that the funding breached Australia's (...) s.116, the section in the constitution that mimics America's First Amendment. The funding therefore would avoid a major dispute over separation of church and state. (shrink)
Wallace, Max At the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) Convention in Melbourne on 14 April this year Geoffrey Robertson QC turned his mind to the tax-exempt status of religion. He joked that, Atheist foundations could qualify for tax exemption by declaring their belief in Christopher Hitchens! Turn him into an L. Ron Hubbard figure to be worshipped through his sacred books! It got a good laugh. It never occurred to Robertson, or the Convention audience, that the AFA, like all (...) religions in Australia with a supernatural belief, might already be tax-exempt. (shrink)
Wallace, Max I respond here to David Nicholls November 2012 Facebook posting in response to my article 'Non-religious tax avoidance' in the Summer issue of AH, No. 108, 2012 where I reviewed how it was the Atheist Foundation of Australia came to have tax-exempt status and whether that was appropriate.
This book is concerned with the relationship between semantics and surface structure and in particular with the way in which each is mapped into the other. Jim Miller argues that semantic and syntactic structure require different representations and that semantic structure is far more complex than many analysts realise. He argues further that semantic structure should be based on notions of location and movement. The need for a semantic component of greater complexity is demonstrated by an examination of prepositions, (...) particles, adverbs and verb-prefixes, and is shown to accord with cross-language and historical facts. The volume goes on to consider the sort of rules that are required to map semantic structures onto syntax. Semantics and Syntax tackles fundamental issues and draws together many of the key concepts of traditional grammar and formal linguistics. The general framework for handling syntax, semantics and morphology that it outlines is perhaps a controversial one, but it will be recognized as challenging and original. (shrink)
A consensus in a scientific community is often used as a resource for making informed public-policy decisions and deciding between rival expert testimonies in legal trials. This paper contains a social-epistemic analysis of the high-profile Bendectin drug controversy, which was decided in the courtroom inter alia by deference to an emerging scientific consensus about the safety of Bendectin. Drawing on Miller’s theory of knowledge based consensus, I argue that the consensus in this case was not knowledge based, hence courts’ (...) deference to it was not epistemically justified. I draw sceptical lessons from this analysis regarding the value of scientific consensus as a desirable and reliable means of resolving scientific controversies in public life.. (shrink)
In the Statesman , Plato brings together--only to challenge and displace--his own crowning contributions to philosophical method, political theory, and drama. In his 1980 study, reprinted here, Mitchell Miller employs literary theory and conceptual analysis to expose the philosophical, political, and pedagogical conflict that is the underlying context of the dialogue, revealing that its chaotic variety of movements is actually a carefully harmonized act of realizing the mean. The original study left one question outstanding: what specifically, in the metaphysical (...) order of things, motivated the nameless Visitor from Elea to abandon bifurcation for his consummating non-bifurcatory division of fifteen kinds at the end of the dialogue? Miller addressed in a separate essay, first published in 1999 and reprinted here. In it, he opens the horizon of interpretation to include the new metaphysics of the Parmenides , the Philebus , and the "unwritten teachings." "This study demonstrates how the Statesman is the culminating expression of Plato's lifelong effort, both in Athens and in the Academy, to bring metaphysical insight to the unending political crisis of his times."The Philosopher in Plato's Statesman a trail-blazing work. While not every reader will agree with the lessons Miller himself draws from this approach, none should fail to be impressed by its interpretive power. All this is exciting stuff. The interpretive pathway on which Miller has embarked has the potential for changing the face of scholarship on the late Platonic dialogues. Parmenides [Publishing] is to be commended for making these two important contributions available under a single cover." -- Kenneth Sayre, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame "Miller casts considerable light on virtually every aspect of the dialogue. . . . All in all, this book is an outstanding contribution to our understanding of the Statesman." -- Stanley Rosen, Borden Parker Bowne Professor of Philosophy, Boston University MITCHELL MILLER is Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College. He is the author of Plato's Parmenides. (shrink)
Sacred Games, Death, and Renewal in the Ancient Eastern Woodlands Content Type Journal Article Category Review Pages 507-509 DOI 10.1558/jcr.v11i4.507 Authors Sandra Wallace, Artefact Heritage, Po Box 772 Rose Bay, NSW 2029 Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 4 / 2012.
Dewey Wallace tells the story of several prominent English Calvinist actors and thinkers in the first generations after the beginning of the Restoration. In the midst of conflicts between Church and Dissent and the intellectual challenges of the dawning age of Enlightenment, these five individuals and groups dealt with deism, anti-Trinitarianism, and scoffing atheism - usually understood as godlessness - by choosing different emphases in their defense and promotion of Calvinist piety and theology. In each case there was not (...) only persistence in an earlier Calvinist trajectory, but also a transformation of the Calvinist heritage into a new mode of thinking and acting. The different paths taken illustrate the rich variety of English Calvinism in the period. This study offers description and analysis of the mystical Calvinism of Peter Sterry, the hermeticist Calvinism of Theophilus Gale, the evangelical Calvinism of Joseph Alleine and the circle that promoted his legacy, the natural theology of the moderate Calvinist Presbyterians Richard Baxter, William Bates, and John Howe, and the Church of England Calvinism of John Edwards. Wallace seeks to overturn conventional clichés about Calvinism: that it was anti-mystical, that it allowed no scope for the ''ancient theology'' that characterized much of Renaissance learning, that its piety was harshly predestinarian, that it was uninterested in natural theology, and that it had been purged from the established church by the end of the seventeenth century. Shapers of English Calvinism, 1660-1714 illuminates the religious and intellectual history of the era between the Reformation and modernity, offering fascinating insight into the development of Calvinism and also into English Puritanism as it transitioned into Dissent. (shrink)
G. W. F. Hegel is an immensely important yet difficult philosopher. Philosophy of Mind is the third part of Hegel's Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences, in which he summarizes his philosophical system. It is one of the main pillars of his thought. Michael Inwood presents this central work to the modern reader in an intelligible and accurate new translation---the first into English since 1894---that loses nothing of the style of Hegel's thought. In his editorial introduction Inwood offers a philosophically sophisticated (...) evaluation of Hegel's ideas which includes a survey of the whole of Hegel's thought and detailed analysis of the terminology he used. (shrink)
John McDowell has suggested recently that there is a route from his favoured solution to Kripke's Wittgenstein's "sceptical paradox" about rule-following to a particular form of cognitive externalism. In this paper, I argue that this is not the case: even granting McDowell his solution to the rule-following paradox, his preferred version of cognitive externalism does not follow.
Abstract: Suppose you are somewhat persuaded by the arguments for Eliminative Materialism, but are put off by the view itself. For instance, you might be sympathetic to one or more of the following considerations: (1) that folk psychology is a bad theory and will be soon replaced by cognitive science or neuroscience, (2) that folk psychology will never be vindicated by cognitive science, (3) that folk psychology makes ontological commitments to weird or spooky things that no proper science will admit (...) the existence of, (4) that folk psychology seems to lead to a sort of epiphenomenalism (which is yet another thing that’s weird and spooky), and (5) that folk psychology seems to lead to the conclusion that mental content is either determined by things outside the head or is completely indeterminate, neither of which is appealing. Yet in spite of your sympathy for any one of (1)-(5), you may nonetheless cringe at the consequence of them—that is, you may be unwilling to accept the Eliminative Materialist’s radical claim that (i) there are no beliefs, desires, etc., and (ii) we should stop all talk to that quantifies to the contrary. To relieve the conflict, I propose Mental Fictionalism: the view that we are fictionalists about mental states. (shrink)
A prominent approach in the debate on territorial rights claims that a group may have jurisdictional rights over a particular land if that land has become a repository of value for the group. This justification relies on a premise which has remained largely unsubstantiated, namely that having jurisdictional rights should be our preferred means for ensuring the group’s retaining of the land’s embedded value. This article discusses a recent attempt to fill this gap. David Miller acknowledges that the value (...) could be retained by the group if it has private property rights. However, he argues that because such rights can be changed at will by the holder of jurisdictional rights the group’s retaining of value is unacceptably insecure. I argue that this attempt fails. Miller’s argument is briefly stated so I start with some reconstructive work. Most importantly, I suggest that the argument relies on a descriptive claim about empirical probabilities, namely that the group’s having jurisdictional rights (in international law) provides the largest feasible reduction of insecurity. I then provide some tentative suggestions about expected state behavior which challenge the validity of that descriptive claim; I argue that a reform of international law which confers internationally enforced property rights on the relevant groups—rather than jurisdiction—may provide a similar (or even relatively larger) reduction of insecurity. My tentative conclusion is that Miller’s appeal to insecurity fails to provide the “embedded value” approach (favored by him and others) with the needed bridge from property rights to rights of jurisdiction. (shrink)
In his most recent book, National Responsibility and Global Justice, David Miller presents an account of human rights grounded on the idea of basic human needs. Miller argues that his account can overcome what he regards as a central problem for human rights theory: the need to provide a ‘non-sectarian’ justification for human rights, one that does not rely on reasons that people from non-liberal societies should find objectionable. The list of human rights that Miller’s account generates (...) is, however, minimal when compared to those found in human rights documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. This article argues that contrary to what Miller claims, his account is ‘sectarian’, since it relies on reasons that some non-liberals should find objectionable given their divergent values. It goes on to question whether ‘sectarianism’, as Miller defines it, is, in any case, a problem for human rights theory. The article concludes that Miller provides us with no reason to abandon commitment to a more extensive list of human rights. (shrink)
In line with his theory of secularization according to which all significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts, Carl Schmitt argues in Constitutional Theory that people’s (Volk) constitution-making power in modern democracy is analogical to God’s potestas constituens in medieval theology. It is also undoubtedly possible to find a resemblance between Schmitt’s constitution-making power and God’s power as it is described in medieval theology. In the same sense as the constitution-making power is absolutely (...) free from all normative ties, God’s potestas constituens, or rather, God’s potentia absoluta is free from such ties. Yet, unlike the Schmittian constitution-making power, God’s potentia absoluta was not, in medieval theology, originally intended as a description of some form of divine action: the absolute power of God referred to the total possibilities initially open to God. However, when the canonists started to employ the term potentia absoluta in their speculations concerning the papal plenitude of power (plenitude potestatis) by the end of the thirteenth century, they used it in a different sense than the theologians previously. According to certain canonists, the pope, by his potentia absoluta, could grant de facto dispensations from divine and ecclesiastical laws. Later on, this notion became a theological notion as well, but given its origin in juridical discourse, the constitution-making power, rather than being a secularized theological notion, is a theologized juristic notion. (shrink)
Carl Schmitt, an increasingly influential German law professor, developed a provocative and historically oriented model of “political theology” with specific relevance to legal scholarship and the authorship of constitutional texts. His “political theology” is best understood neither as an expressly theological discourse within constitutional law, nor as a uniquely legal discourse shaped by a hidden theological agenda. Instead, it addresses the possibility of the continual resurfacing of theological ideas and beliefs within legal discourses of, for instance, sovereignty, the force (...) of law and states of emergency (or “exception”) that present themselves as relentlessly secular, even—in the case of Kelsenian jurisprudence—”scientific”. This article illustrates and then critically evaluates Schmitt’s theory in terms of the authorship of constitutional texts in particular. It includes two case studies—genocidal colonial land appropriation and Kelsenian positivism in order to illustrate aspects of his political theology. Whilst Schmitt is defended against reductionist interpretations, I show that there remains considerable unfinished business before a Schmittian approach to legal theory merits full acceptance. (shrink)
Editor James Fetzer presents an analytical and historical introduction and a comprehensive bibliography together with selections of many of Carl G. Hempel's most important studies to give students and scholars an ideal opportunity to appreciate the enduring contributions of one of the most influential philosophers of science of the 20th century.
William James and Wisconsin, by G.C. Sellery.--The distinctive philosophy of William James, by M.C. Otto.--William James, man and philosopher, by D.S. Miller.--William James and psychoanalysis, by Norman Cameron.--The William James centenary dinner: Introductory remarks, by C.A. Dykstra. William James and the world today, by John Dewey, read by Carl Boegholt. William James in the American tradition, by B.H. Bode.--The Sunday service: William James as religious thinker, by J.S. Bixler.
Reminiscences of Peter, by P. Oppenheim.--Natural kinds, by W. V. Quine.--Inductive independence and the paradoxes of confirmation, by J. Hintikka.--Partial entailment as a basis for inductive logic, by W. C. Salmon.--Are there non-deductive logics?, by W. Sellars.--Statistical explanation vs. statistical inference, by R. C. Jeffre--Newcomb's problem and two principles of choice, by R. Nozick.--The meaning of time, by A. Grünbaum.--Lawfulness as mind-dependent, by N. Rescher.--Events and their descriptions: some considerations, by J. Kim.--The individuation of events, by D. Davidson.--On properties, by (...) H. Putnam.--A method for avoiding the Curry paradox, by F. B. Fitch.--Publications (1934-1969) by Carl G. Hempel (p. -270). (shrink)
Carl Cohen's arguments against animal rights are shown to be unsound. His strategy entails that animals have rights, that humans do not, the negations of those conclusions, and other false and inconsistent implications. His main premise seems to imply that one can fail all tests and assignments in a class and yet easily pass if one's peers are passing and that one can become a convicted criminal merely by setting foot in a prison. However, since his moral principles imply (...) that nearly all exploitive uses of animals are wrong anyway, foes of animal rights are advised to seek philosophical consolations elsewhere. I note that some other philosopher's arguments are subject to similar objections. (shrink)
Carl Craver’s recent book offers an account of the explanatory and theoretical structure of neuroscience. It depicts it as centered around the idea of achieving mechanistic understanding, i.e., obtaining knowledge of how a set of underlying components interacts to produce a given function of the brain. Its core account of mechanistic explanation and relevance is causal-manipulationist in spirit, and offers substantial insight into casual explanation in brain science and the associated notion of levels of explanation. However, the focus on (...) mechanistic explanation leaves some open questions regarding the role of computation and cognition. (shrink)
The present article discusses the relationship between might ( potentia ) and power ( potestas ) as it has unfolded throughout the modern age, from Thomas Hobbes to Carl Schmitt. Hobbes indicates the way forward for a progressive linguistic and conceptual coincidence of potentia and potestas : the goal of Hobbesian political philosophy (the search for peace and security) necessitates the reduction of potentia to potestas through the elimination of the content of actus . Schmitt accepts this reduction, by (...) assigning priority to potestas : the image of modern technology as a privileged dimension of potentia—potestas comes together as the modern state. Instead of taking the route of potentia understood as an opening-up to new possibilities and as human self-affirmation, the language of potentia—potestas has triggered a process, which is that of a naturalization of power relations, that is based on and justified by the social inequality arising from the differing extent of ownership of the instruments of technological production. (shrink)
For three decades I have expounded and defended aim-oriented empiricism, a view of science which, l claim, solves a number of problems in the philosophy of science and has important implications for science itself and, when generalized, for the whole of academic inquiry, and for our capacity to solve our current global problems. Despite these claims, the view has received scant attention from philosophers of science. Recently, however, David Miller has criticized the view. Miller’s criticisms are, however, not (...) valid. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the key role played by Carl G. Hempel's work on theoretical realism and scientific explanation in effecting a crucial philosophical transition between the beginning and the end of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the century, the dominant view was that science is incapable of furnishing explanations of natural phenomena; at the end, explanation is widely viewed as an important, if not the primary, goal of science. In addition to its intellectual benefits, this (...) transition has important practical consequences with respect to dealing with the global problems humans everywhere will face in the twenty-first century. (shrink)