The theory presented here is a near neighbour of Humphrey's theory of sensations as actions. O'Regan & Noë have opened up remarkable new possibilities. But they have missed a trick by not making more of the distinction between sensation and perception; and some of their particular proposals for how we use our eyes to represent visual properties are not only implausible but would, if true, isolate vision from other sensory modalities and do little to explain the phenomenology of conscious (...) experience in general. (shrink)
This book is a tour-de-force on how human consciousness may have evolved. From the "phantom pain" experienced by people who have lost their limbs to the uncanny faculty of "blindsight," Humphrey argues that raw sensations are central to all conscious states and that consciousness must have evolved, just like all other mental faculties, over time from our ancestorsodily responses to pain and pleasure. '.
One day someone will write a book that explains consciousness. The book will put forward a theory that closes the “explanatory gap” between conscious experience and brain activity, by showing how a brain state could in principle amount to a state of consciousness. But it will do more. It will demonstrate just why this particular brain state has to be this particular experience. As Dan Lloyd puts it in his philosophical novel, Radiant Cool: “What we need is a transparent theory. (...) One that, once you get it, you see that anything built like this will have this particular conscious experience.”1. (shrink)
This paper reports an experiment which investigates a possible cognitive antecedent of event-splitting effects (ESEs) experimentally observed by Starmer and Sugden (1993) and Humphrey (1995) â the learning of absolute frequency of event category impacting on the learning of probability of event category â and reveals some evidence that it is responsible for observed ESEs. It is also suggested and empirically substantiated that stripped-down prospect theory will accurately predict ESEs in some decision making tasks, but will not perform well (...) in others. This contention, it is argued, is indicative of fundamental descriptive shortcomings in the economic conception of choice under uncertainty and may entail implications beyond the direct concerns of this paper. (shrink)
In Plato’s Apology (29a-b), Socrates agues that he does not fear death; indeed, to fear death is a sign of ignorance. It is to claim to know what one in fact does not know (Ap. 29 a-b). Perhaps, Socrates suggests, death is not a great evil after all, but “the greatest of all goods.” At the end of the dialogue, after the judges have voted on the final verdict and Socrates has received the death penalty, the philosopher considers two common (...) views of death: that death is a long dreamless sleep and that death is a journey to another place - Hades. According to Socrates, either of these views of death would be acceptable to him; the one, because he would receive a wonderful rest with no dreams to disturb him; the other, because he would be able to talk philosophy with those who had gone before with impunity. In this paper, I will examine Socrates’ view of death, and I will argue that, according to Socrates, there could be a third perspective on death that will not only make him truly immortal in a certain way, but will also immortalize the practice of Socratic philosophy. Hence, Socrates embraces his sentence because dying at the right time and dying in the right way provides him the possibility of a good death. <br><br>. (shrink)
William Paley in his famous statement in 1800 of the Argument from Design, imagined that he found a watch lying on a heath and set to wondering how it came to be there. “The inference is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker: that there must have existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers who formed it for the purpose which.
Oddity One : Kripke claims that Wittgenstein has invented "a new form of scepticism", one which inclines Kripke "to regard it as the most radical and original sceptical problem that philosophy has seen to date, one that only a highly unusual cast of mind could have produced" (K, p. 60). However, Kripke also claims that there are analogies (and sometimes the analogies look very much like identities) between Wittgenstein's sceptical argument and the work of at least three and maybe four (...) other philosophers, viz., Quine, Goodman, Hume and Berkeley. Strange stuff indeed. The originality of Wittgenstein's work is especially difficult to see after Kripke claims that Wittgenstein presents a problem concerning the nexus between past . . . 'meanings' and present practice" (K, p. 62), and says that Hume is said to have questioned "the causal nexus whereby a past event necessitates a future one, and the inductive inferential nexus from the past to the future." (K, p. 62). Whither the originality? And the connection with Goodman's work with 'grue' is even closer than that between Kripke's Wittgenstein and Hume. Given that Kripke had read Goodman before "discovering" the rule-following paradox in Wittgenstein, one ought to be sceptical of Kripke's claim that Wittgenstein has invented a new form of scepticism. It would be much more accurate to say that Kripke has strapped Wittgenstein with a hybrid scepticism drawn from Hume and Goodman. (shrink)
_Raritan: A Quarterly Review_ , IX, 68-98, Summer 1989. Reprinted (with footnotes), _Occasional Paper #8_ , Center on Violence and Human Survival, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 1991; Daniel Kolak and R. Martin, eds., _Self & Identity: Contemporary Philosophical Issues_ , Macmillan, 1991.
Human beings are not only the most sociable animals on Earth, but also the only animals that have to ponder the separateness that comes with having a conscious self. The philosophical problem of ‘other minds’ nags away at people’s sense of who—and why—they are. But the privacy of consciousness has an evolutionary history—and maybe even an evolutionary function. While recognizing the importance to humans of mind-reading and psychic transparency, we should consider the consequences and possible beneﬁts of being—ultimately—psychically opaque.
Abstract. A rhesus monkey, Helen, from whom the striate cortex was almost totally removed, was studied intensively over a period of 8 years. During this time she regained an effective, though limited, degree of visually guided behaviour. The evidence suggests that while Helen suffered a permanent loss of `focal vision she retained (initially unexpressed) the capacity for `ambient vision.
_Private Language_ is that it almost universally sees KW as offering, in his sceptical solution, an account of meaning attributions (i.e., statements of the form, "X means such-and-so by 's'"; hereafter, MAs) which takes their legitimate attribution to be a function of something other than facts or truth conditions. KW is almost universally read as having rejected any account of meaning attributions which takes them to be stating facts or corresponding to facts. In a word, KW is understood as offering (...) a nonfactualist account of MAs. And given that KW's sceptical challenge to the possibility of meaning rests on his negative assertions that there are no meaning facts, and that KW offers a sceptical solution to the sceptic's claim that meaning is impossible, i.e., a solution that by definition "begins . . . by conceding that the sceptic's negative assertions are unanswerable" (K, p. 66), it seems impossible that there would be any doubts about the accuracy of the "almost universal" reading of KW as a nonfactualist. (shrink)
I am looking at my baby son, as he thrashes around in his crib, two arms flailing, hands grasping randomly, legs kicking the air, head and eyes turning this way and that, a smile followed by a grimace crossing his face. . . And I’m wondering: what is it like to be him? What is he feeling now? What kind of experience is he having of himself?
A common complaint against Kripke’s Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language is that whereas the aim of “the real” Wittgenstein’s private language argument is to establish the impossibility of a necessarily private language, the communitarian account of meaning proposed by Kripke’s Wittgenstein (KW), if successful, would establish the impossibility of a contingently private language. I show that this common complaint is based on a failure of Kripke’s critics (a failure that is justified, in part, by Kripke’s text) to recognize and (...) understand his distinction between a “physically isolated” individual (PII) and an individual “considered in isolation” (ICl) . It is only an ICI for whom rule following and language are rendered impossible by KW. l then show that an lel speaks a necessarily private language. Thus, KW’s private language argument gives us, at best, the same story about the impossibility of private language as pre-Kripke accounts of Wittgenstein’s private language argument. (shrink)
When people are unwell, they will often begin to recover just as soon as they receive medical attention., but before the treatment could have any direct effect and even when the treatment is a sham. Mere belief that recovery is coming can by itself bring the recovery about.
It is the ambition of evolutionary psychology to explain how the basic features of human mental life came to be selected because of their contribution to biological survival. Counted among the most basic must be the subjective qualities of conscious sensory experience: the felt redness we experience on looking at a ripe tomato, the felt saltiness on tasting an anchovy, the felt pain on being pricked by a thorn. But, as many theorists acknowledge, with these qualia, the ambition of evolutionary (...) psychology may have met its match. Everyone agrees that a trait can only contribute to an organism's biological survival in so far as it operates in the public domain. Yet almost everyone also agrees that the subjective quality of sensory experience is (at least for all practical purposes) private and without external influence. Then, maybe we must either concede that the subjective quality of sensations cannot after all have been determined by selection (even if this is theoretically depressing) or else demonstrate that the quality of sensations is not as private as it seems to be (even if this is intuitively unconvincing). No. I believe neither of these solutions to the puzzle is in fact the right one. I argue instead that the truth is that the quality of sensations has indeed been shaped by selection in the past, despite the fact that it is today effectively private. And this situation has come about as a result of a remarkable evolutionary progression, whereby the primitive activity of sensing slowly became "privatized" - that is to say, removed from the domain of overt public behavior and transformed into a mental activity that is now, in humans, largely if not exclusively internal to the subject's mind. (shrink)
The emergence of cave art in Europe about 30,000 years ago is widely believed to be evidence that by this time human beings had developed sophisticated capacities for sym- bolization and communication. However, comparison of the cave art with the drawings made by a young autistic girl, Nadia, reveals surprising similarities in content and style. Nadia, despite her graphic skills, was mentally defective and had virtually no language. I argue in the light of this comparison that the existence of the (...) cave art cannot be the proof which it is usually assumed to be that the humans of the Upper Palaeolithic had essentially.. (shrink)
I said that the cure itself is a certain leaf, but in addition to the drug there is a certain charm, which if someone chants when he makes use of it, the medicine altogether restores him to health, but without the charm there is no profit from the leaf.
The hard problem of consciousness is to explain the experience of qualia. But everything gets easier once we realise that what has to be explained is not how qualia can exist as objective entities but rather why the conscious subject should believe that they exist. This essay lays out a programme for doing this. It makes radical proposals as to how the “qualia illusion” is created, and why sustaining this illusion is biologically adaptive.
To date, research into socially responsible investment (SRI), and in particular the socially responsible investment funds industry, has focused on whether investing in SRI assets has any differential impact on investor returns. Prior findings generally suggest that, on a risk-adjusted basis, there is no difference in performance between SRI and conventional funds. This result has led to questions about whether SRI funds are really any different from conventional funds. This paper examines whether the portfolio allocation across industry sectors and the (...) stock-picking ability of SRI managers are different when compared to conventional fund managers. The study finds that SRI funds exhibit different industry betas consistent with different portfolio positions, but that these differences vary from year to year. It is also found that there is little difference in stock-picking ability between the two groups of fund managers. (shrink)
No one doubts that our experience of phenomenal consciousness—the felt redness of fire, the felt sweetness of a peach, the felt pain of a bee sting—arises from the activity of our brains. Yet the problem of explaining how this can be so seems to many theorists to be staggeringly hard. How can the wine of consciousness, the weird, ineffable, immaterial qualia that give such richness to subjective experience, conceivably arise from the water of the brain? As the philosopher Colin McGinn (...) has put it, it's like trying to explain how you can get "numbers from biscuits, or ethics from rhubarb." The philosopher Jerry Fodor recently claimed, "The revisions of our concepts and theories that imagining a solution will eventually require are likely to be very deep and very unsettling.". (shrink)
Dreaming can provide a marvelous opportunity for the “playful” exploration of dramatic events. But the chance to learn to deal with danger is only a small part of it. More important is the chance to discover what it is like to be the subject of strange but humanly significant mental states. [Revonsuo].
This book examines the relationship between environmental and democratic thought and the apparent compatibility of ecology and democracy. Although environmental politics is quite rightly seen as a progressive force, it has also featured a strand of extreme right "eco-authoritarianism" and its proponents have sometimes developed controversial positions on such issues as population policy. There have also been a number of situations where radical environmental activists have broken the laws of democratic societies in pursuit of ecological objectives and the book examines (...) this in a number of case studies on biotechnology, genetic engineering and biodiversity. This is a significant contribution to the literature on environmental politics, ecological thought and democracy. (shrink)
‘The shamanic context of cave art is attested by a number of features’, Michael Winkelman writes (p.6); and, scarcely pausing for breath, he proceeds to reel off as if they were matters of established fact a list of co njectures about the authorship and meaning of ice-age cave paintings. We are t o conclude, without question apparently, that ‘cave art images represent shamanic activities and altered states of consciousness, and the subterranean rock art sites were used for shamanic vision questing’ (...) (p. 7). Well, may be. The shaman hypothesis is certainly an intriguing one; and David Lewis-Williams, in particular, has made a plausible case for it. Yet my own first reaction is: not so fast. For one thing, I myself, in the pages of this Journal a few years ago, presented evidence which – to begin with, anyway – suggests that any such interpretation has to be complet ely mistaken. (shrink)
The alleged paradox begins with a sceptical inquiry about my right to claim that my past usage of '+' (i.e., my past usage of the plus sign) was used to denote the function plus rather than the function quus. The definition of quus is: x quus y = x + y, if x, y < 57; otherwise, x quus y = 5. (Kripke uses an encircled plus sign to represent the quus sign. I can't reproduce that sign here so I'll (...) just use 'quus'). Basically, the problem is that on all of the problems that I have done so far, the plus and quus functions demand the same answers. So, whether I know it or not, my past responses to computations have been in accord with plus just as much as they have been in accord with quus. Thus, there seems to be no reason at all to prefer the claim that I've been plussing to the claim that I've been quussing, given my hypothetical past history. After all, the two functions are identical over the cases that I am allowed to appeal to so far. Given this setup, Kripke boldly asks: "Who is to say that [quus] is not the function I previously meant by '+'?" The sceptic claims that no one can legitimately claim that quus is not the function I previously meant by '+', given the hypothetical situation he proposes, because no one can find a fact that shows that I meant plus rather than quus. More specifically, the sceptic challenges those of us who disagree with him to produce a fact that shows that I meant plus rather than quus. Also, the sceptic requires that the fact in question "must, in some sense, show how I am justified in giving the answer '125' to '68 + 57'" (rather than '5'). (K, p. 11). (I have always seen the second form of the challenge, as Kripke calls it, viz., the requirement that the fact show how I am justified in answering '125' rather than '5', as simply a way of clarifying the task at hand. After all, challenging someone to produce a fact that I meant plus rather than quus is not the most obvious challenge in the world, for a variety of reasons. Since it's clear that if I such a fact could be produced, it would justify my saying '125' rather than '5', the second form of the challenge does not impose a new task on us.. (shrink)
IN the recently published Life by I.eslie Stephen of his brother, Fitz-James, there is an account of a school to which the latter went when he was a boy. The teacher, a certain Mr. Guest, used to converse with his pupils in this wise: "Gurney, what is the difference between justification and sanctification?- Stephen, prove the omnipotence of God " etc. In the midst of our Harvard freethinking and indifference we are prone to imagine that here at your good old (...) orthodox College conversation continues to be somewhat upon this order; and to show you that we at Harvard have not lost all interest in these vital subjects, I have brought with me tonight something like a sermon on justification by faith to read to you, --I mean an essay in justification of faith, a defence of our right to adopt a believing attitude in religious matters, in spite of the fact that our merely logical intellect may not have been coerced. 'The Will to Believe,' accordingly, is the title of my paper. (shrink)
Human beings begin life as quadrupeds, crawling on all fours, but none has ever been known to retain this gait and develop it into a proficient replacement for adult bipedality. We report the case of a family in which five siblings, who suffer from a rare form of cerebellar ataxia, are still quadrupeds as adults - walking and running on their feet and wrists. We describe the remarkable features of this gait, discuss how it has developed in the members of (...) this family, and consider whether a similar gait may have been used by human ancestors. (shrink)
The McCollough effect, an orientation-contingent color aftereffect, has been known for over 30 years and, like other aftereffects, has been taken as a means of probing the brain's operations psychophysically. In this paper, we review psychophysical, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging studies of the McCollough effect. Much of the evidence suggests that the McCollough effect depends on neural mechanisms that are located early in the cortical visual pathways, probably in V1. We also review evidence showing that the aftereffect can be induced without (...) conscious perception of the induction patterns. Based on these two lines of evidence, it is argued that our conscious visual experience of the world arises in the cortical visual system beyond V1. (shrink)
Mankind as a species has little reason to boast about his sensory capacities. A dog's sense of smell, a bat's hearing, a hawk's visual acuity are all superior to our own. But in one respect we may justifiably be vain: our ability to see colours is a match for any other animal. In this respect we have in fact surprisingly few rivals. Among mammals only our nearest relatives, the monkeys and apes, share our ability – all others are nearly or (...) completely colour-blind. In the animal kingdom as a whole colour vision occurs only in some fishes, reptiles, insects and birds. (shrink)
In his article “Deep Ecology and the Irrelevance of Morality,” Eric H. Reitan contends that, contrary to the disavowals of Fox and Naess, the “ecosophy T” concept of “Self-realization” constitutes a precondition of morality according to a “robust” Kantian moral framework. I suggest that there is a significant problem involved in rendering Self-realization compatible with a Kantian moral framework. This problem of ontological priority demonstrates that Naess and Fox are in fact correct in their assertion that Self-realization is a nonmoral (...) phenomenon. (shrink)
Altruistic behaviour, where it occurs in nature, is commonly assumed to belong to one or other of two generically different types. Either it is an example of "kin selected altruism" such as occurs between blood relatives – a worker bee risking her life to help her sister, for example, or a human father giving protection to his child. Or it is an example of "reciprocal altruism" such as occurs between non-relatives who have entered into a pact to exchange favours – (...) one male monkey supporting another unrelated male in a fight over a female, for example, or one bat who has food to spare offering it to another unrelated individual who is hungry. (shrink)
It appears that knappers intentionally produced symmetrical stones. Use of the dorsal pathways in knapping does not preclude shape perception, nor does it obviate use of ventral pathways in other tasks in Homo sapiens 400,000 years ago. Shape perception precedes production in present-day human infants, suggesting that symmetry perception was used by knappers of symmetrical stones.
visually or directly by hand 3,3•4, and the `weighing' of half-inch "The apparent weight of colours . Pictures are often said to circles of coloured paper at either end of a simulated balance have a centre of gravity, perhaps determined by the way the..
The dissident students from Oxford, who in the year 1209 settled in Cambridge, are said to have been on their way to the cathedral town of Ely. But they stayed the night in Cambridge, fell under its spell, and never left. A century earlier wool merchants from Yorkshire, travelling to the big fair in Norwich, got caught in a rain storm at the bridge across the Cam, unpacked their merchandise to let it dry, sold the lot, and thereafter made Cambridge's (...) market their journey's end. (shrink)
Ian Kershaw, in his new biography of Hitler2, quotes a teenage girl, writing to celebrate Hitler’s 50th birthday in April 1939: “a great man, a genius, a person sent to us from heaven”. What kind o f design-flaw in human nature could be responsible for such a seemingly grotesque piece of hero-worship? Why do people in general fall so easily under the sway of dictators?
It is very difficult, now that everybody is so accustomed to everything, to give an idea of the kind of uneasiness felt when one first looked at all these pictures on these walls. . . Now I was confused and I looked and I looked and I was confused.
Skoyles’s case against human brain size being related to IQ is strong; but his case in favor of its being related to expertise is weak. I propose that the explanation for the evolutionary expansion of the human brain in fact lies far away, in the need to have a brain that could continue to function into old age.
And Jesus said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. . . There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or (...) wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. (shrink)
I went to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1961 with a scholarship in Physics and Mathematics. But, coming under the influence of William Rushton, I soon decided that I wanted to study how the mind works - and I took my final degree in Psychology and Physiology.
Books: Consciousness Regained: Chapters in the Development of Mind , Oxford University Press, 1983 [Spanish translation 1989]. Four minutes to midnight The BBC Bronowski Memorial Lecture, BBC Publications , 1981; Menard Press 1982. [German, Greek and Russian translations, 1982].
Recent years have witnessed a resurgence of the "end of ideology" thesis, not as a theoretical stance but as a reaction to what appears to have been the decline of major ideological families, such as socialism, in a changing world order. Globalization, as well as internal national fragmentation of belief systems, have made it difficult to identify ideology in its conventional formats. This volume challenges the notion that we are living in a post-ideological age. It offers a theoretical framework for (...) exploring some of the new manifestations of ideologies, and combines this with a series of case-studies relating to recent ideational phenomena, such as populism, environmentalism and Islamic fundamentalism. It reassesses some typologies, such as the left-right axis, as an explanatory device. This volume is unique in using ideology research to bring together different scholarly perspectives including party-political analysis, the history of ideas, postmarxism, and movement politics. The purpose of the essays is to revitalize the scholarly understanding of ideology as central to the concerns of political science. Recent political movements are reinterpreted through using new approaches to the analysis of ideology. In so doing we seek to bridge the gap between empirical and theoretical research in the field. This book was previously published as a special issue of The Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. (shrink)
In this essay I seek to re?examine the ?what is ideology?? question in the light of recent developments in ideology theory. We see that contemporary ideology theory tends to employ either a ?restrictive? or an ?inclusive? conception of ideology. Most theorists operating in the field of ideology study see these two approaches as both rival and exclusive. Furthermore the relationship between the analyst of ideology and the ideological field is at issue in both cases. I argue that the concept/conception distinction (...) allows us to discern that these two approaches do not merely employ rival conceptions of the same concept. There are two concepts of ideology at work here, which perform such radically different roles that their coexistence can be seen as unproblematic, reflecting the presence of both normative and interpretative work in social science. (shrink)
Skoyles's case against human brain size being related to IQ is strong; but his case in favor of its being related to expertise is weak. I propose that the explanation for the evolutionary expansion of the human brain in fact lies far away, in the need to have a brain that could continue to function into old age.
This paper examines the recent ?deliberative turn? in environmental political thought with particular regard to demands concerning the employment of public reason in democratic deliberation. Working from John Rawls? account of the three essential elements of deliberative democracy, the paper assesses the scope for bringing environmental claims within the remit of public reason, and revisits the ?unfairness to novel reasons? objection against public reason, as articulated by Jeremy Waldron and then criticised by Lawrence Solum. I argue for a contextual view (...) of political justification. The unfairness objection is found to hold in an attenuated form, and disbarring non?public reasons from decisiveness in political justification, even on a wide view of public political culture, imposes an arbitrary unfairness on those, such as environmental activists, seeking to challenge widely shared, but possibly misguided, beliefs. (shrink)
In this paper I consider Saul Kripke’s famous Humphrey objection to David Lewis’s views on de re modality and argue that responses to this objection currently on the market fail to mitigate its force in any significant way.
I thought the paper by Kai-yee Wong and Chris Fraser was fascinating and insightful. Two things I especially appreciated are the clarity with which they summarize my views. I think they are quite fair and accurate. Second, I appreciate their suggestion that the way to deal with the practical problem of weakness of will has much to do with the role of the Background in shaping our actions. I think they are especially on the right track when they say (...) that the improvement of Background skills may actually narrow the range of real options for action, (p. 21) nonetheless, they do not decrease freedom. As they say, “It is a process of strengthening the self, and the agent is likely to experience the concomitant restriction of ‘live’ options not as a limitation but as strength of character.” (p. 21). That seems to me very much on the right track. What they are suggesting, and it is a powerful addition to my own writings, is that we should not just think of the Background as facilitating languages, games and social practices generally, but for morality as well (p. 23). (shrink)
This review summarises why it is difficult for Darwinian evolutionary theory to explain the existence and function of consciousness. It then evaluates whether Humphrey's book Soul Dust overcomes these problems. According to Humphrey, consciousness is an illusion constructed by the brain to enhance reproductive fitness by motivating creatures that have it to stay alive. Although the review entirely accepts that consciousness gives a first-person meaning to existence, it concludes that Humphrey does not give a convincing account of (...) how this can arise from random variations in the genome. Nor does he demonstrate how first-person experiences might enter into or be reducable to third-person functioning. The review concludes that Humphrey's case is unconvincing, and goes on to suggest that an entirely different, non-reductive approach may be required to understand consciousness. (shrink)
The Philosopher Queen: Feminist Essays on War, Love, and Knowledge. By Chris Cuomo. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003. The Philosopher Queen is a powerful illustration of what Cherríe Moraga calls a "theory in the flesh." That is, theorizing from a place where "physical realities of our lives—our skin color, the land or concrete we grow up on, our sexual longings—all fuse to create a politic [and, I would add, an ethics, spirituality, and epistemology] born out of (...) necessity" (Moraga 21). Cuomo's theory in the flesh combines standard philosophical essays with personal narratives and invites us to do philosophy from this joyful and witty place. Readers are invited to reframe and reexamine war, science, gender, sexuality, race, ecology, knowledge, and politics in a voice that is fearless, funny, faithful, and feminist—one that disrupts common understandings of how philosophy ought to be done. Instead philosophy should help us to "negotiate a wild, wicked world, and to provide some understanding of being and existence. The best philosophy aims to promote good and to produce knowledge, and therefore enable flourishing" (xi). Accepted philosophical approaches alone are inadequate. Life's challenges resist formulaic solutions. Knowledge is not always produced through neat deductions: truths are partial, power divides, stomachs growl, hearts are broken, and emotions influence... (shrink)
Why would anyone want there to be natural foundations for the social sciences? In a provocative essay exploring precisely that question, historian Chris Renwick uses an interwar debate featuring William Beveridge, Lancelot Hogben, and Friedrich Hayek to begin to imagine what might have been had such a program calling for biological knowledge to form the natural bases of the social sciences been realized at the London School of Economics. Yet perhaps Renwick grants too much attention to differences and “what-ifs” (...) and not enough to the historical question of “what happened” afterward. “Chickens and Eggs” offers an alternative view of this rather vexed question—one grounded in what happened, which suggests that Renwick’s concerns may be somewhat misplaced. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to distinguish between, and examine, three issues surrounding Humphreys's paradox and interpretation of conditional propensities. The first issue involves the controversy over the interpretation of inverse conditional propensities — conditional propensities in which the conditioned event occurs before the conditioning event. The second issue is the consistency of the dispositional nature of the propensity interpretation and the inversion theorems of the probability calculus, where an inversion theorem is any theorem of probability that makes explicit (...) (or implicit) appeal to a conditional probability and its corresponding inverse conditional probability. The third issue concerns the relationship between the notion of stochastic independence which is supported by the propensity interpretation, and various notions of causal independence. In examining each of these issues, it is argued that the dispositional character of the propensity interpretation provides a consistent and useful interpretation of the probability calculus. (shrink)
Counterpart theory has come a long way since the seventies. Its virtues are now generally appreciated. It has been extended to temporal discourse.1 And it is less often dismissed out of hand, now that Saul Kripke’s scornful words are no longer regarded as the last on the subject. But new critics have appeared, equally formidable if less dismissive. Counterpart theorists, both modal and temporal, owe them answers.
We review Potts’ influential book on the semantics of conventional implicature (CI), offering an explication of his technical apparatus and drawing out the proposal’s implications, focusing on the class of CIs he calls supplements. While we applaud many facets of this work, we argue that careful considerations of the pragmatics of CIs will be required in order to yield an empirically and explanatorily adequate account.