This study presents a substantial and often radical reinterpretation of some of the central themes of Locke's thought. Professor Alexander concentrates on the Essay Concerning Human Understanding and aims to restore that to its proper historical context. In Part I he gives a clear exposition of some of the scientific theories of Robert Boyle, which, he argues, heavily influenced Locke in employing similar concepts and terminology. Against this background, he goes on in Part II to provide an account of (...) Locke's views on the external world and our knowledge of it. He shows those views to be more consistent and plausible than is generally allowed, demonstrating how they make sense and enable scientific explanations of nature. In examining the views of Locke and Boyle together, the book throws new light both on the development of philosophy and the beginnings of modern science, and in particular it makes a considerable and original contribution to our understanding of Locke's philosophy. (shrink)
Iconoclasts? Who, Us? A Reply to Dolinko Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-7 DOI 10.1007/s11572-012-9143-3 Authors Larry Alexander, San Diego, CA, USA Kimberly Kessler Ferzan, Camden, NJ, USA Journal Criminal Law and Philosophy Online ISSN 1871-9805 Print ISSN 1871-9791.
The following statement is a report of the Committee on Philosophy in Education of the American Philosophical Association and was approved by the Association's Board of Officers in September, 1959. The Committee was composed of the following: C. W. Hendel, Chairman, H. G. Alexander, R. M. Chisholm, Max Fisch, Lucius Garvin, Douglas Morgan, A. E. Murphy, Charner Perry, and R. G. Turnbull. Primary responsibility for the preparation of this report belonged to a subcommittee composed of Roderick M. Chisholm, Chairman, (...) H. G. Alexander, Lewis Hahn, Paul C. Hayner, and Charles W. Hendel. (shrink)
It has been standard philosophical practice in analytic philosophy to employ intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of philosophical claims. In part as a response to this practice, an exciting new movement—experimental philosophy—has recently emerged. This movement is unified behind both a common methodology and a common aim: the application of methods of experimental psychology to the study of the nature of intuitions. In this paper, we will introduce two different views concerning the relationship that (...) holds between experimental philosophy and the future of standard philosophical practice (what we call, the proper foundation view and the restrictionist view), discuss some of the more interesting and important results obtained by proponents of both views, and examine the pressure these results put on analytic philosophers to reform standard philosophical practice. We will also defend experimental philosophy from some recent objections, suggest future directions for work in experimental philosophy, and suggest what future lines of epistemological response might be available to those wishing to defend analytic epistemology from the challenges posed by experimental philosophy. (shrink)
From its very beginnings, the social study of culture has been polarized between structuralist theories that treat meaning as a text and investigate the patterning that provides relative autonomy and pragmatist theories that treat meaning as emerging from the contingencies of individual and collective action-so-called practices-and that analyze cultural patterns as reflections of power and material interest. In this article, I present a theory of cultural pragmatics that transcends this division, bringing meaning structures, contingency, power, and materiality together in a (...) new way. My argument is that the materiality of practices should be replaced by the more multidimensional concept of performances. Drawing on the new field of performance studies, cultural pragmatics demonstrates how social performances, whether individual or collective, can be analogized systematically to theatrical ones. After defining the elements of social performance, I suggest that these elements have become "de-fused" as societies have become more complex. Performances are successful only insofar as they can "re-fuse" these increasingly disentangled elements. In a fused performance, audiences identify with actors, and cultural scripts achieve verisimilitude through effective mise-en-scène. Performances fail when this relinking process is incomplete: the elements of performance remain apart, and social action seems inauthentic and artificial, failing to persuade. Refusion, by contrast, allows actors to communicate the meanings of their actions successfully and thus to pursue their interests effectively. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum proposes a universal list of human capabilities as the basis for fundamental political principles. She claims that the list, in an Aristotelian spirit, might be justified by an ongoing inquiry into valuable human functionings for the good life. Here I argue that the attractiveness of Nussbaum’s theory crucially depends on the philosophical possibility of a non-reductionist understanding of naturalism and on resolving the tensions between ethical and political aspects of the role of capabilities. Through a comparison of Nussbaum’s (...) approach with those of Aristotle and (less familiarly) Hume, I try to show that in these alternative versions we find valuable resources for the kind of non-reductionist model which might, in line with Nussbaum’s own objectives, provide the basis for a capabilities-based critique of dominant modes of normative theorizing and their influence in public discourse. (shrink)
Evolutionary game theoretic accounts of justice attempt to explain our willingness to follow certain principles of justice by appealing to robustness properties possessed by those principles. Skyrms (1996) offers one sketch of how such an account might go for divide-the-dollar, the simplest version of the Nash bargaining game, using the replicator dynamics of Taylor and Jonker (1978). In a recent article, D'Arms et al. (1998) criticize his account and describe a model which, they allege, undermines his theory. I sketch a (...) theory of evolutionary explanations of justice which avoids their methodological criticisms, and develop a spatial model of divide-the-dollar with more robust convergence properties than the models of Skyrms (1996) and D'Arms et al. (1998). (shrink)
SENSATIONALISM 1 1. Introductory 1 2. Mach's Sensationalism 4 3. Developments of Sensationalism 22 II. THE INHERENT WEAKNESS OF SEN- SATIONALISM 25 1. The Point of Sensationalism 25 2. The Ambiguity of 'Sensation' 27 3. The Fundamental Conflict 35 4. Mistakes, Incorrigibility and Simplicity 40 III. DESCRIPTION 51 1. Describing and Descriptions 51 2. Describing in Terms of Sensations 67 IV. THE POSSIBILITY OF 'PURE' DES- CRIPTIONS 79 V. SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS 99 VI. DESCRIPTIONS AND EXPLANATIONS 111 BIBLIOGRAPHY 142 INDEX 145 (...) -/- -v- . (shrink)
After introducing a perspective on terrorism as postpolitical and after establishing the criteria for success that are immanent in this form of antipolitical action, this essay interprets September 11, 2001, and its aftermath inside a cultural-sociological perspective. After introducing a macro-model of social performance that combines structural and semiotic with pragmatic and power-oriented dimensions, I show how the terrorist attack on New York City and the counterattacks that immediately occurred in response can be viewed as an iteration of the performance/counterperformance (...) dialectic that began decades, indeed centuries, ago in terms of the relation of Western expansion and Arab-Muslim reaction. I pay careful attention to the manner in which the counterperformance of New Yorkers and Americans develops an idealized, liminal alternative that inspired self-defense and outrage, leading to exactly the opposite performance results from those the al-Qaeda terrorists had intended. (shrink)
The growth of managed care was accompanied by concern about the impact that changes in health care organization would have on the doctor-patient relationship (DPR). We now are in a "post-managed care era," where some of these changes in health care delivery have come to pass while others have not. A re-examination of the DPR in this setting suggests some surprising results. Rather than posing a new and unprecedented threat, managed care was simply the most recent of numerous strains on (...) the DPR that have occurred throughout the century. These strains are a constant, inevitable consequence of the varying needs and concerns of patient and physicians as they seek to balance their desires for a certain type of DPR with their simultaneous desire for other aspects of care such as lower costs, greater technological sophistication, and improved outcomes. (shrink)
One of the most important contributions of the Parsonian tradition has been its conceptualization of the relative autonomy and mutual interpenetration of culture and social systems. The first part of this chapter defines three ideal types of empirical relationships between culture and society: specification, refraction, and columnization. Each is related to different configurations of social structure and culture and, in turn, to different degrees of social conflict. The second part of the chapter uses this typology to illuminate critical aspects of (...) the relationship between conflict and integration in the Watergate crisis in the U.S. (shrink)
Ethical business practices have been widely prescribed, but why? Consumers views on unethical business practices have been studied, but possibly more important to marketers and researchers are consumer actions and reactions to unethical business practices and the businesses themselves. Do consumers react negatively, or in such a way as to "punish" the unethical business? If so, what is the nature and extent of the punishment? This research seeks answers to these questions by examining consumer reactions, such as complaining and switching, (...) to instances of unethical business practices. Using equity theory, this research proposes that consumers should be willing to tolerate some unethical behavior as long as they feel their investments and outcomes remain proportionately equal. Consumers who perceive that their outcome/investment ratio is proportionately unequal to their comparison other will respond by switching or complaining. In this research consumers were exposed to two types of service failures with different levels of service recovery in vignettes. Costs incurred by the consumer during the service transaction were also manipulated in the vignettes. Significant differences were found for complaint behavior in the failure recovery vignettes tested. Specifically, voice complaint was higher in the high cost service encounters in both types of services tested. The recovery attempt used (ethical, unethical, or none) led to significance differences in the variables of complaint, voice complaint, satisfaction, and quality. Higher satisfaction and quality ratings were found for the ethical recovery attempt and higher intentions to use complaint and voice complaint in the unethical recovery attempts. One significant interaction between cost and recovery attempt was found. Intentions to use voice complaint were higher in the high cost situations of ethical and unethical recovery, while approaching equality at the no recovery attempt. (shrink)
The paper describes the refusal of the liberal community to assert the right of persons accused of mental illness to be free of coercive psychiatric intrusion. It suggests that the penchant for benevolent governmental intrusion into other social problems may be at fault and recommends that intervention be abandoned in favor of a return to human autonomy as a basis of the concept of freedom.
Ostriches were filmed running at maximum speed, and forces on the feet were calculated. Measurements were made of the principal structures in the legs of an ostrich. Hence peak stresses in muscles, tendons and bones were calculated. They lay within the range of stresses calculated for strenuous activities of other vertebrates. The ostrich makes substantial savings of energy in running, by elastic storage in stretched tendons. Pachyornis was a flightless bird, much heavier than ostriches and with massively thick leg bones. (...) These bones are shorter than predicted for its estimated body mass, by extrapolation from allometric equations for flying birds. An attempt is made to calculate the stresses that acted in the leg bones in running, for all possible patterns of leg movement. The stresses were probably rather low, unless Pachyornis was capable of running fast. It is argued that the optimum factor of safety for moo leg bones may have been exceptionally high, as a consequence of the absence of predators. (shrink)
In this paper I describe and analyze an economic situation involving two competitive organizations. I put forth the argument that because of the systemic nature of decision making relative to managing the requirements of utilizing a descriptive equation that determines how many people an economic system can support, that even if all the players in the situation act ethically, the results will still be harmful, and necessarily so, to the system and to many innocent people. I will demonstrate that harming (...) innocent people is required and morally defensible given the choices available. The best one can do is slow down the increase in disutilities and possibly operate the system within a range of acceptable behavior that minimizes the resulting harm to innocent people, even if we cannot entirely remove this harm. In this context ethics becomes the study of the acceptable as opposed to the preferable. (shrink)
: The Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine developed by the Council of Europe, now undergoing ratification, is the first international treaty focused on bioethics. This article describes the background of the Convention's development and its general provisions and provides a comparison of its requirements with those of federal regulations governing research with human subjects. Although most provisions are comparable, there are significant differences in scope and applicability, for example, in the areas of compensation for injury, research participation by persons (...) with limited capacity to consent, assisted reproduction, organ transplantation, and research in emergency situations. The Convention represents a milestone in international bioethics and protection of human rights that will probably be referred to with increasing frequency. (shrink)