Jürgen Habermas is one of the most important thinkers of this century. His work has been highly influential not only in philosophy, but particularly in the fields of politics, sociology and law. This is the first collection that explores the connections between his body of work and North America's biggest philosophical movement, pragmatism. Habermas and Pragmatism investigates the influences of pragmatism on Habermas' thought in a collection of stellar essays with contributions by Habermas himself, leading representatives of pragmatism, as well (...) as critical and legal theorists. The essays cover a range of subjects including philosophy of language, democracy, nature of rationality and social theory as well as the relation of major figures such as Hegel, Pierce, Mead and Dewey to Habermas and pragmatism. (shrink)
Gary Kemp presents a penetrating investigation of key issues in the philosophy of language, by means of a comparative study of two great figures of late twentieth-century philosophy. So far as language and meaning are concerned, Willard Van Orman Quine and Donald Davidson are usually regarded as birds of a feather. The two disagreed in print on various matters over the years, but fundamentally they seem to be in agreement; most strikingly, Davidson's thought experiment of Radical Interpretation looks to (...) be a more sophisticated, technically polished version of Quinean Radical Translation. Yet Quine's most basic and general philosophical commitment is to his methodological naturalism, which is ultimately incompatible with Davidson's main commitments. In particular, it is impossible to endorse, from Quine's perspective, the roles played by the concepts of truth and reference in Davidson's philosophy of language: Davidson's employment of the concept of truth is from Quine's point of view needlessly adventurous, and his use of the concept of reference cannot be divorced from unscientific 'intuition'. From Davidson's point of view, Quine's position looks needlessly scientistic, and seems blind to the genuine problems of language and meaning. Gary Kemp offers a powerful argument for Quine's position, and in favour of methodological naturalism and its corollary, naturalized epistemology. It is possible to give a consistent and explanatory account of language and meaning without problematic uses of the concepts truth and reference, which in turn makes a strident naturalism much more plausible. (shrink)
Seen | Unseen is a deep, richly illustrated, and erudite analysis of the interconnections between science and the visual arts. Martin Kemp explores the responses of artists, scientists, and their instruments, to the world - ranging from early representations of perspective, to pinhole cameras, particle accelerators and the Hubble telescope. -/- From Leonardo, Durer, and the inventors of photography to contemporary sculptors, and from Galileo and Darwin to Stephen J. Gould, Kemp considers the way in which scientists and (...) artists have perceived the world and responded to its patterns, and sees common 'structural intuitions' reflected in their work. (shrink)
In this strikingly bold and original work, Kemp argues that the Western idea of time reversed itself between the fourteenth and the eighteenth century from a static and syncretic image of a temporal world in which all time is uniform, the past is the arbiter of truth and all inherited knowledge is eternally viable, and no secrets lie hidden in time waiting to be revealed to a future age; to a dynamic and supersessive model of history in which the (...) past dispenses only ignorance and error. Kemp describes these two opposed historical worlds, these "time texts," and traces the transition between them, its mechanism, and its motivation, concluding by drawing out the epistemological consequences of supersessive history for the modern intellect. (shrink)
Sociology was born as an attempt to delimit an object of investigation offered by society as a social reality. The ambition was that of "treating the social facts as things" (Durkheim) or of understanding and explaining the social relations by respecting an "axiological neutrality" (Max Weber). Today, however, we are in the presence of a new kind of sociologists, and they are by no means the less popular ones, who are not trying to avoid assessments in their analysis of the (...) present social world. I have in mind especially two sociologists, Ulrich Beck (Munich) and David Held (London). I will discuss in particular the view of sociology presented in a recent book of Ulrich Beck ( Macht und Gegenmacht im globalen Zeitalter , 2002, translated into French under the title Pouvoir et contre-pouvoir à l'ère de la mondialisation , 2003), and I will show some analogies between Beck and Held. Finally, I will try to identify the points that make the present sociological epistemology different from that of the great founders of this science. (shrink)
This paper presents the findings of a study of purchasing and supply management professionals in India conducted to identify the key ethical issues they face in carrying out their work related responsibilities as well as to determine the extent to which various factors appear to be helpful or to present challenges to their efforts to act ethically in the course of their work. The Indian findings are then compared to those for studies conducted among purchasing and supply management professionals in (...) the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Key findings for the four studies are summarized and implications for business and the professions are presented. (shrink)
Richard Heck has contested my argument that the equation of the meaning of a sentence with its truth-condition implies deflationism, on the ground that the argument does not go through if truth-conditions are understood, in Davidson's style, to be stated by T-sentences. My reply is that Davidsonian theories of meaning do not equate the meaning of a sentence with its truth-condition, and thus that Heck's point does not actually obstruct my argument.
This article considers the `Strong Programme' account of scientific knowledge from a fresh perspective. It argues that insufficient attention has been paid to the Strong Programme's monistic intent, that is, its aim to unify considerations of instrumental adequacy and social interests in explanations of the development of scientific knowledge. Although sharing the judgment of many critics that the Strong Programme approach is flawed, the article diverges from standard criticisms by suggesting that the best alternative is not a dualistic framework but (...) a more adequate monistic approach. Key Words: Strong Programme interests monism finitism classification. (shrink)
This article evaluates the structural conception of interests developed by Margaret Archer as part of her dualist version of critical realism. It argues that this structural analysis of interests is untenable because, first, Archer’s account of the causal influence of interests on agents is contradictory and, second, Archer fails to offer a defensible account of her claim that interests influence agents by providing reasons for action. These problems are explored in relation to Archer’s theoretical and empirical work. I argue for (...) an alternative account of interests that focuses on agents’ understandings of their interests and problems with these understandings. (shrink)
Learning to understand a single causal system can be an achievement, but humans must learn about multiple causal systems over the course of a lifetime. We present a hierarchical Bayesian framework that helps to explain how learning about several causal systems can accelerate learning about systems that are subsequently encountered. Given experience with a set of objects, our framework learns a causal model for each object and a causal schema that captures commonalities among these causal models. The schema organizes the (...) objects into categories and specifies the causal powers and characteristic features of these categories and the characteristic causal interactions between categories. A schema of this kind allows causal models for subsequent objects to be rapidly learned, and we explore this accelerated learning in four experiments. Our results confirm that humans learn rapidly about the causal powers of novel objects, and we show that our framework accounts better for our data than alternative models of causal learning. (shrink)
In this paper, I attempt to develop the account of intellectual virtues offered by Aristotle and St. Thomas in a way which recognizes faith as a good intellectual habit. I go on to argue that, as a practical matter, this virtue is needed not only in theology, where it provides the basis of further intellectual work, but also in the natural sciences, where it is required given the complexity of the subject matter and the cooperative nature of the enterprise.
Landy’s book (OUP 2004; 255 pp.+ x) delivers what has gone long and scandalously missing: a philosophical analysis of Proust’s incomparable book that is muscular, concise, philosophically informed and sophisticated; logically rigorous, explanatorily fruitful, and meticulously answerable to its data, namely the text. The philosophy here is not, as often the case in writing about Proust, mere rhetoric or window-dressing, but substantive and literally believable. The book should for a long time be inescapable for anyone writing philosophically about Proust, and (...) perhaps for anyone writing philosophically about imaginative literature, full stop. It is that good, its themes that wide. (shrink)
Structure/agency theories presuppose that there is a unity to structure that distinguishes it from the (potential) diversity of agents' responses. In doing so they formally divide the robust social processes shaping the social world (structure) from contingent agential variation (agency). In this article we question this division by critically evaluating its application to the concept of role in critical realism and structural functionalism. We argue that Archer, Elder-Vass and Parsons all mistakenly understand a role to have a singular structural definition (...) which agents may then diverge from. Drawing on the work of Gross, Mason and McEachern we argue instead that if agents diverge in their conceptions of what role incumbents should do, there is no single role definition, but rather a range of diverse role-expectations. Acknowledging this can help us to understand variation in role behaviour, with different incumbents potentially being more exposed to some expectations than others. We argue that considering roles in this way can extend the ability of social scientists to identify robust social processes shaping role behaviour and decrease the extent to which they need to call on contingent factors in such explanations. (shrink)
A profound problem in viewing operant learning as selection appears to be the identification of replicators. Given the lack of consensus on what constitutes the appropriate unit of analysis for behavior, there may be multiple levels at which the metaphor of selection may be usefully applied. A final difficulty: The elements of selection in the evolution of species are objects. In behavior, they are events.
This paper considers an approach to teaching ethics in bioengineering based on the How People Learn (HPL) framework. Curricula based on this framework have been effective in mathematics and science instruction from the kindergarten to the college levels. This framework is well suited to teaching bioengineering ethics because it helps learners develop “adaptive expertise”. Adaptive expertise refers to the ability to use knowledge and experience in a domain to learn in unanticipated situations. It differs from routine expertise, which requires using (...) knowledge appropriately to solve routine problems. Adaptive expertise is an important educational objective for bioengineers because the regulations and knowledge base in the discipline are likely to change significantly over the course of their careers. This study compares the performance of undergraduate bioengineering students who learned about ethics for stem cell research using the HPL method of instruction to the performance of students who learned following a standard lecture sequence. Both groups learned the factual material equally well, but the HPL group was more prepared to act adaptively when presented with a novel situation. (shrink)
The predictive validity of the ultimatum game (UG) for cross-cultural differences in real-world behavior has not yet been established. We discuss results of a recent meta-analysis (Oosterbeek et al 2004), which examined UG behavior across large-scale societies and found that the mean percent offers rejected was positively correlated with social expenditure.
Francisco Ayala and others have argued that recent genetic evidence shows that the origins of the human race cannot be monogenetic, as the Church hastraditionally taught. This paper replies to that objection, developing a distinction between biological and theological species first proposed by Andrew Alexanderin 1964.
Philip Kitcher has recently worried that the New Atheists, by mounting an attack against religion tout court, risk alienating a large swath of ‘religious’ people whose way of life is, to Kitcher's mind, innocuous. Encouraging a more moderate response, Kitcher thinks certain non-threatening modes of religious existence should be protected. In this article, I argue that while Kitcher's attempt to provide balance to the secularism debate is a great service, he ultimately fails to distinguish innocuous modes of religious belief from (...) more threatening modes, a failing that allows the debate to return to its previous extremes. In drawing attention to the shortcomings of Kitcher's approach, I make the humanist's argumentative burden explicit: the defender of a ‘moderate’ secular humanism must show that people who arrange their lives around belief in a transcendent being are more likely to do ethical harm than those that don't. (shrink)
This essay responds to the argument that US interest in Kuwaiti oil made its war against Iraq fail the just-war criterion of right intention. That argument is based on a misunderstanding of the criterion, namely, that right intention requires not merely the presence of a concern for justice but the absence of any other (especially self-interested) motives. Correction of this misunderstanding is important to application of the just-war theory to the general question of intervention in foreign wars.
The author discusses the limits, the power and the dangers of speech, seen as the essential mode of all philosophical ‘acts’. The place of speech in the public sphere is mentioned in relation to the politico-religious debates that have taken place in Denmark in the last few years. The paper returns to and develops the inaugural speech at the World Philosophy Conference in Seoul, South Korea, in July 2008.
Context: Ernst von Glasersfeld’s radical constructivism has been very influential in education, particularly in mathematics and science education. Problem: There is limited guidance available for educational researchers who wish to design research that is consistent with constructivist thinking. Von Glasersfeld’s radical constructivism, together with the theoretical perspectives outlined by constructivist educational researchers such as Guba and Lincoln, can be considered as a source of guidance. Method: The paper outlines a constructivist knowledge framework that could be adopted for educational research. The (...) discussion considers how judgement of what counts as knowledge could be made, and how the set of procedures chosen could enable the researcher to represent the findings of the inquiry as knowledge. Results: An argument is made for researchers to explicate the criteria for judging an inquiry. Each criterion can then be linked to the standards to be reached and the techniques for generating data. The joint satisfaction of criteria and techniques for a constructivist inquiry creates conditions that indicate the “trustworthiness” or “authenticity” of an educational research study. Implications: The illustration of how a constructivist inquiry could be judged recognises how the contribution of von Glasersfeld’s radical constructivism can be used to inform the practice of educational research. Constructivist content: The argument presented in the paper links to radical constructivism and suggests ways in which it can be applied in the context of educational research. (shrink)
Davidson (1917-2003) was a brilliant but egotistical writer. His writing is vigorous and concise, and enviably refined. On the other hand, it is probably too concise, and sometimes too clever, for readers not already well-versed in logic, the philosophy of language, and the sorts of argumentative moves made in the highest circles of philosophy. So here is some help.
These are all indexicals (or each has an indexical use, as will emerge). Take the word ’I’. It is a singular term, but it would be wrong to say that the word ’I’ has a referent; it is not like ‘Rotterdam’, always having the same referent on each occasion of use. Rather, each utterance of the word has a referent. Its referent is the speaker, the one saying it.
The Ambiguity of Globalization -- The Paradox of the Nation -- The Utopia of Sustainability -- The Premodern Cosmopolitan -- The Modern Cosmopolitan -- Cultivation With and For Others -- Hermeneutics as Cultivation : Mimesis -- Philosophy of Education as Hermeneutics -- The Global Cosmopolitan.