This article defends linguistic descent in contrast to the possibility of linguistic ascent or the formal mode in metaphysics. We can go both ways, but metaphysics metaphysically defined presupposes metaphysics conceptualstically defined, which presupposes metaphysicas ontologially defined. Predicates implie abstract concepts (categories in metaphysics), and abstract oncepts presuppose the concrete qualities from which they are abstracted. A distinction is made between any quality and that which has the quality. This article contains a refutation of Kant on the ontological argument. Being, (...) conceived as instantiation, is a predicate once we posit universal properties instantiated by whatever is. The article, in the author's subequent work, leads to an explicit nominalism which asserts universals only as practical postulates of theoretical reason, i.e., logical discourse. Qualities are unique, not open to multiple instantiation. (shrink)
This article vindicates human rights, not as natural rights holding wherever human beings are, but as reducible to one historically constructed right to freedom of thought and its universal modes. Universal morality is elicited from international human rights law. To be moral is first to help engender everywhere either mere inner recognition of the validity of rights or mere outer compliance with their requirements; and to engender finally inner recognition expressed in a duty of outer observance. Human rights ethics replaces (...) the rights consciousness common in the West with a duty consciousness. This universal rational morality supersedes utilitarianism, Kantianism, and other rational theories. Yet moralities making no rational claim on all (e.g., Christian, Buddhist) may flourish within human rights ethics as the universal ethical minimum. (shrink)
The paper analyzes the American counterculture of the 1960s and early '70s, from the New Left through the hippies, revolutionaries and Jesus people, to the counterculture's collapse in artistry and the cynicism of Watergate; this evolution is viewed as a re-enactment of Hegel's dialectic of 'active reason' in the Phenomenology of Spirit , from the critique of 'observation' to 'society as a community of animals'. Secondly, an attempt is made to account for this re-enactment in the twentieth century. The tentative (...) conclusion is that the counterculture was America's discovery of the Hegelian idea of the state, but that, in an age of world economic interdependence and universal (if sometimes unacknowledged) military insecurity, this discovery came too late. The economic and military basis of the only world-history which Hegel knew, the history of nation-states all the way from oriental despotisms to modern 'Germanic' states is, it seems, in the process of disappearance. Section on the dialectic of Observation to Active Reason revised and updated in The Dialectical Method: A Treatise Hegel Never Wrote. Prometheus Books, 2012. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Fact checking has become a prominent facet of political news coverage, but it employs a variety of objectionable methodological practices, such as treating a statement containing multiple facts as if it were a single fact and categorizing as accurate or inaccurate predictions of events yet to occur. These practices share the tacit presupposition that there cannot be genuine political debate about facts, because facts are unambiguous and not subject to interpretation. Therefore, when the black-and-white facts?as they appear to the (...) fact checkers?conflict with the claims produced by politicians, the fact checkers are able to see only (to one degree or another) ?lies.? The examples of dubious fact-checking practices that we discuss show the untenability of the naïve political epistemology at work in the fact-checking branch of journalism. They may also call into question the same epistemology in journalism at large, and in politics. (shrink)
Kenny, A. Descartes on the will.--McRae, R. Innate ideas.--McRae, R. Descartes' definition of thought.--Gombay, A. Cogito ergo sum: inference or argument?--Ashworth, E. J. Descartes' theory of clear and distinct ideas.--Alexander, R. E. The problem of metaphysical doubt and its removal.--Tweyman, S. The reliability of reason.--Percival, W. K. On the non-existence of Cartesian linguistics.