Although it is frequently said that logic is a purely formal discipline lacking any content for special philosophical subdisciplines, I argue in this essay that the concepts of predication, and of the properties of objects presupposed by standard first-order logic are sufficient to address many of the traditional problems of ontology. The concept of an object's having a property is extended to provide an intensional definition of the existence of an object as the object's possessing a maximally consistent property combination, (...) consisting, for any property or its complement. Nonexistent objects by the proposed definition are those that either lack both some property and its complement, or have both a property and its complement included in its corresponding property combination. The definition in turn makes it possible to offer solutions based on purely logical concepts of such longstanding metaphysical problems as why there is something rather than nothing, and why there exists exactly one logically contingent actual world, itself a maximally consistent combination of true predication instances or facts. Additionally, the ontology upholds an argument in support of modal actualism and against modal realism, treating all logically possible worlds other than the actual world as predicationally incomplete nonexistent objects or semantic fictions. (shrink)
A fixed-parameter is an algorithm that provides an optimal solution to a combinatorial problem. This research-level text is an application-oriented introduction to the growing and highly topical area of the development and analysis of efficient fixed-parameter algorithms for hard problems. The book is divided into three parts: a broad introduction that provides the general philosophy and motivation; followed by coverage of algorithmic methods developed over the years in fixed-parameter algorithmics forming the core of the book; and a discussion (...) of the essential from parameterized hardness theory with a focus on W -hardness, which parallels NP-hardness, then stating some relations to polynomial-time approximation algorithms, and finishing up with a list of selected case studies to show the wide range of applicability of the presented methodology. Aimed at graduate and research mathematicians, programmers, algorithm designers and computer scientists, the book introduces the basic techniques and results and provides a fresh view on this highly innovative field of algorithmic research. (shrink)
This paper distinguishes between causal isolation robustness analysis and independent determination robustness analysis and suggests that the triangulation of the results of different epistemic means or activities serves different functions in them. Circadian clock research is presented as a case of causal isolation robustness analysis: in this field researchers made use of the notion of robustness to isolate the assumed mechanism behind the circadian rhythm. However, in contrast to the earlier philosophical case studies on causal isolation robustness (...)analysis (Weisberg and Reisman in Philos Sci 75:106–131, 2008 ; Kuorikoski et al. in Br J Philos Sci 61:541–567, 2010 ), robustness analysis in the circadian clock research did not remain in the level of mathematical modeling, but it combined it with experimentation on model organisms and a new type of model, a synthetic model. (shrink)
In this article we investigate the argument structure of Japanese V–V compounds from the perspective of Dynamic Event Semantics (Naumann 2001). The argument structure of a verb is defined as a linearly ordered set of so‐called dynamic roles. Dynamic roles differ from thematic relations in characterizing participants in terms of sets of results that are brought about in the course of an event. The patterns of argument sharing found in Japanese V–V compounds are shown to derive from compatibility constraints on (...) the different results that are assigned to a shared argument. In addition, it is argued that the phenomenon of argument blocking follows from the Subject‐Head Constraint (Gamerschlag 2000, 2002). This constraint requires the highest argument (= subject) of the head verb to be the highest argument of the compound. (shrink)
Cet article esquisse un rapprochement entre un courant de pensée politique, le néoréalisme, et une méthode en sciences humaines, le structuralisme. Ce courant et cette méthode ont suivi des trajectoires séparées, de l’après-guerre à la fin des années soixante-dix, jusqu’à ce que Kenneth Waltz croise ces deux problématiques. Après avoir défini respectivement réalisme et structuralisme, cet article établit leur connexion et tente d’éclairer les raisons pour lesquelles ce rapprochement n’avait pas été conduit jusqu’alors.
This article discusses the role of diagrams in mathematical reasoning in the light of a case study in analysis. In the example presented certain combinatorial expressions were first found by using diagrams. In the published proofs the pictures were replaced by reasoning about permutation groups. This article argues that, even though the diagrams are not present in the published papers, they still play a role in the formulation of the proofs. It is shown that they play a role (...) in concept formation as well as representations of proofs. In addition we note that 'visualization' is used in two different ways. In the first sense 'visualization' denotes our inner mental pictures, which enable us to see that a certain fact holds, whereas in the other sense 'visualization' denotes a diagram or representation of something. (shrink)
Three objections have recently been levelled at the analysis of intrinsicness offered by Rae Langton and David Lewis. While these objections do seem telling against the particular theory Langton and Lewis offer, they do not threaten the broader strategy Langton and Lewis adopt: defining intrinsicness in terms of combinatorial features of properties. I show how to amend their theory to overcome the objections without abandoning the strategy.
The Löwenheim-Skolem theorem was published in Skolem's long paper of 1920, with the first section dedicated to the theorem. The second section of the paper contains a proof-theoretical analysis of derivations in lattice theory. The main result, otherwise believed to have been established in the late 1980s, was a polynomial-time decision algorithm for these derivations. Skolem did not develop any notation for the representation of derivations, which makes the proofs of his results hard to follow. Such a formal notation (...) is given here by which these proofs become transparent. A third section of Skolem's paper gives an analysis for derivations in plane projective geometry. To clear a gap in Skolem's result, a new conservativity property is shown for projective geometry, to the effect that a proper use of the axiom that gives the uniqueness of connecting lines and intersection points requires a conclusion with proper cases (logically, a disjunction in a positive part) to be proved. The forgotten parts of Skolem's first paper on the Löwenheim-Skolem theorem are the perhaps earliest combinatorial analyses of formal mathematical proofs, and at least the earliest analyses with profound results. (shrink)
We construct an algebra of generalized functions endowed with a canonical embedding of the space of Schwartz distributions.We offer a solution to the problem of multiplication of Schwartz distributions similar to but different from Colombeau’s solution.We show that the set of scalars of our algebra is an algebraically closed field unlike its counterpart in Colombeau theory, which is a ring with zero divisors. We prove a Hahn–Banach extension principle which does not hold in Colombeau theory. We establish a connection between (...) our theory with non-standard analysis and thus answer, although indirectly, a question raised by Colombeau. This article provides a bridge between Colombeau theory of generalized functions and non-standard analysis. (shrink)
We describe a model-theoretic approach to ordinal analysis via the ﬁnite combinatorial notion of an α-large set of natural numbers. In contrast to syntactic approaches that use cut elimination, this approach involves constructing ﬁnite sets of numbers with combinatorial properties that, in nonstandard instances, give rise to models of the theory being analyzed. This method is applied to obtain ordinal analyses of a number of interesting subsystems of ﬁrst- and second-order arithmetic.
We investigate the complexity of various combinatorial theorems about linear and partial orders, from the points of view of computability theory and reverse mathematics. We focus in particular on the principles ADS (Ascending or Descending Sequence), which states that every infinite linear order has either an infinite descending sequence or an infinite ascending sequence, and CAC (Chain-AntiChain), which states that every infinite partial order has either an infinite chain or an infinite antichain. It is well-known that Ramsey's Theorem for (...) pairs (RT₂²) splits into a stable version (SRT₂²) and a cohesive principle (COH). We show that the same is true of ADS and CAC, and that in their cases the stable versions are strictly weaker than the full ones (which is not known to be the case for RT₂² and SRT₂²). We also analyze the relationships between these principles and other systems and principles previously studied by reverse mathematics, such as WKL₀, DNR, and BΣ₂. We show, for instance, that WKL₀ is incomparable with all of the systems we study. We also prove computability-theoretic and conservation results for them. Among these results are a strengthening of the fact, proved by Cholak, Jockusch, and Slaman, that COH is Π₁¹-conservative over the base system RCA₀. We also prove that CAC does not imply DNR which, combined with a recent result of Hirschfeldt, Jockusch, Kjos-Hanssen, Lempp, and Slaman, shows that CAC does not imply SRT₂² (and so does not imply RT₂²). This answers a question of Cholak, Jockusch, and Slaman. Our proofs suggest that the essential distinction between ADS and CAC on the one hand and RT₂² on the other is that the colorings needed for our analysis are in some way transitive. We formalize this intuition as the notions of transitive and semitransitive colorings and show that the existence of homogeneous sets for such colorings is equivalent to ADS and CAC, respectively. We finish with several open questions. (shrink)
When assessing the cost effectiveness of health care programmes, health economists typically presume that distant events should be given less weight than present events. This article examines the moral reasonableness of arguments advanced for positive discounting in cost-effectiveness analysis both from an intergenerational and an intrapersonal perspective and assesses if arguments are equally applicable to health and monetary outcomes. The article concludes that behavioral effects related to time preferences give little or no reason for why society at large should (...) favour the present over the future when making intergenerational choices regarding health. The strongest argument for discounting stems from the combined argument of diminishing marginal utility in the presence of growth. However, this hinges on the assumption of actual growth in the relevant good. Moreover, current modern democracy may be insufficiently sensitive to the concerns of future generations. The second part of the article categorises preference failures (which justify paternalistic responses) into two distinct groups, myopic and acratic. The existence of these types of preference failures makes elicited time preferences of little normative relevance when making decisions regarding the social discount rate, even in an intrapersonal context. As with intergenerational discounting, the combined arguments of growth and diminishing marginal utility offer the strongest arguments for discounting in the intrapersonal context. However, there is no prima facie reason to assume that this argument should apply equally to health and monetary values. To be sure, selecting an approach towards discounting health is a complex matter. However, the life-or-death implications of any approach require that the discussion not be downplayed to merely a technical matter for economists to settle. (shrink)
We introduce the appropriate iterated version of the system of ordinal notations from [G1] whose order type is the familiar Howard ordinal. As in [G1], our ordinal notations are partly inspired by the ideas from [P] where certain crucial properties of the traditional Munich' ordinal notations are isolated and used in the cut-elimination proofs. As compared to the corresponding “impredicative” Munich' ordinal notations (see e.g. [B1, B2, J, Sch1, Sch2, BSch]), our ordinal notations arearbitrary terms in the appropriate simple term (...) algebra based on the notion of collapsing functions (which we would rather identify as projective functions). In Sect. 1 below we define the systems of ordinal notationsPRJ( ), for any primitive recursive limit wellordering . In Sect. 2 we prove the crucial well-foundness property by using the appropriate well-quasi-ordering property of the corresponding binary labeled trees [G3]. In Sect. 3 we interprete inPRJ( ) the familiar Veblen-Bachmann hierarchy of ordinal functions, and in Sect. 4 we show that the corresponding Buchholz's system of ordinal notationsOT( ) is a proper subsystem ofPRJ( ), although it has the same order type according to [G3] together with the interpretation from Sect. 2 in the terms of labeled trees. In Sect. 5 we use Friedman's approach in order to obtain an appropriate purely combinatorial statement which is not provable in the theory of iterated inductive definitions ID< λ, for arbitrarily large limit ordinalλ. Formal theories, axioms, etc. used below are familiar in the proof theory of subsystems of analysis (see [BFPS, T, BSch]). (shrink)
Health care systems throughout the developed world face ‘crises’ of quality, financing and sustainability. These pressures have led governments to look for more efficient and equitable ways to allocate public resources. Prioritisation of health care services for public funding has been one of the strategies used by decision makers to reconcile growing health care demands with limited resources. Priority setting at the macro level has yet to demonstrate real successes. This paper describes international approaches to explicit prioritisation at the macro-governmental (...) level in the six experiences most published in the English literature; analyzes the ways in which values, principles and other normative concepts were presented in these international priority setting experiences; and identifies key elements of a more robust framework for ethical analysis which could promote meaningful and effective health priority setting. (shrink)
I examine the relationship between complete analysis and clarificatory analysis and explain why Wittgenstein thought he required both in his account of how to solve the problems of philosophy. I first describe Wittgenstein’s view of how philosophical confusions arise, by explaining how it is possible to misunderstand the logic of everyday language. I argue that any method of logical analysis in the Tractatus will inevitably be circular, but explain why this does not threaten the prospect of solving (...) philosophical problems. I distinguish between complete and clarificatory analysis and argue that Wittgenstein’s ‘strictly correct’ philosophical method is clarificatory analysis. Finally I discuss the relationship between the two forms of analysis and claim that, although, at the time of writing the Tractatus, Wittgenstein believed that the possibility of complete analysis underpins clarificatory analysis, in fact this was a mistake. In the Philosophical Investigations complete analysis is rejected and clarificatory analysis is retained. (shrink)
Is conceptual analysis required for reductive explanation? If there is no a priori entailment from microphysical truths to phenomenal truths, does reductive explanation of the phenomenal fail? We say yes (Chalmers 1996; Jackson 1994, 1998). Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker say no (Block and Stalnaker 1999).
Conceptual analysis is undergoing a revival in philosophy, and much of the credit goes to Frank Jackson. Jackson argues that conceptual analysis is needed as an integral component of so-called serious metaphysics and that it also does explanatory work in accounting for such phenomena as categorization, meaning change, communication, and linguistic understanding. He even goes so far as to argue that opponents of concep- tual analysis are implicitly committed to it in practice. We show that he is (...) wrong on all of these points and that his case for conceptual analysis doesn. (shrink)
It would be nice if good old a priori conceptual analysis were possible. For many years conceptual analysis was out of fashion, in large part because of the excessive ambitions of verificationist theories of meaning._ _However, those days are over._ _A priori conceptual analysis is once again part of the philosophical mainstream._ _This renewed popularity, moreover, is well-founded. Modern philosophical analysts have exploited developments in philosophical semantics to formulate analyses which avoid the counterintuitive consequences of verificationism, while (...) vindicating our ability to know a priori precisely what it is our words and thoughts represent._ _Despite its apparent promise, however, I. (shrink)
Carnap’s quasi-analysis is usually considered as an ingenious but definitively flawed approach in epistemology and philosophy of science. In this paper it is argued that this assessment is mistaken. Quasi-analysis can be reconstructed as a representational theory of constitution of structures that has applications in many realms of epistemology and philosophy of science. First, existence and uniqueness theorems for quasi-analytical representations are proved. These theorems defuse the classical objections against the quasi-analytical approach launched forward by Goodman and others. (...) Secondly, the constitution of various kinds of structures is treated in detail: order structures, comparative similarity structures, mereological, mereotopological, and topological structures are considered. In particular, it is pointed out that there exist interesting relations between quasi-analysis and modern theories of pointless topology. (shrink)
Philosophers expend considerable effort on the analysis of concepts, but the value of such work is not widely appreciated. This paper principally analyses some arguments, beliefs, and presuppositions about the nature of design and the relations between design and science common in the literature to illustrate this point, and to contribute to the foundations of design theory.
It is easy to become battle-weary in metaphysics. In the face of seemingly unresolvable disputes and unanswerable questions, it is tempting to cast aside one’s sword, proclaiming: “there is no fact of the matter who is right!” Sometimes that is the right thing to do. As a case study, consider the search for the criterion of personal identity over time. I say there is no fact of the matter whether the correct criterion is bodily or psychological continuity.1 There exist two (...) candidate meanings for talk of persisting persons, one corresponding to each criterion, and there is simply no fact of the matter which candidate we mean. An argument schema for this sort of “no fact of the matter” thesis will be constructed. An instance of the schema will be defended in the case of personal identity. But scrutiny of this instance will reveal limits of the schema. Questions not settled by conceptual analysis—in particular, some very difficult questions of fundamental ontology—have answers. So do certain questions that can be settled by conceptual analysis, namely those that would be answered definitively by ideal philosophical inquiry. Whether there is a fact of the matter is not easily ascertained merely by looking to see whether disputes seem unresolvable or questions unanswerable: sometimes the truth is out there, however hard (or even impossible) it may be to discover. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the implications of recent empirical research on concept representation for the philosophical enterprise of conceptual analysis. I argue that conceptual analysis, as it is commonly practiced, is committed to certain assumptions about the nature of our intuitive categorization judgments. I then try to show how these assumptions clash with contemporary accounts of concept representation in cognitive psychology. After entertaining an objection to my argument, I close by considering ways in which conceptual analysis (...) might be altered to accord better with the empirical work. (shrink)
This book provides a concise overview, with excellent historical and systematic coverage, of the problems of the philosophy of language in the analytic tradition. Howard Callaway explains and explores the relation of language to the philosophy of mind and culture, to the theory of knowledge, and to ontology. He places the question of linguistic meaning at the center of his investigations. The teachings of authors who have become classics in the field, including Frege, Russell, Carnap, Quine, Davidson, and Putnam are (...) critically analyzed. I share completely his conviction that contemporary Anglo-American philosophy follows the spirit of the enlightenment in insisting on intellectual sincerity, clarity, and the willingness to meet scientific doubts or objections openly. --Professor Henri Lauener, Editor of Dialectica. (shrink)
This paper reviews and develops the ethical analysis of human resource management (HRM). Initially, the ethical perspective of HRM is differentiated from the "mainstrea" and critical perspectives of HRM. To date, the ethical analysis of HRM has taken one of two forms: the application Kantian and utilitarian ethical theories to the gestalt of HRM, and the application of theories of justice and fairness to specific HRM practices. This paper is concerned with the former, the ethical analysis of (...) HRM in its entirety. It shows that numerous theoretical shortcomings exist, least of which is the disregard of stakeholder theory. These deficiencies are explored and, as such, the analysis is advanced. It is argued that such ethical analysis is outside the scope of the modern corporation. A third way in which ethics may be applied to HRM is suggested. Ethical concerns are used as a basis to develop minimum standards against which HRM, in its various guises and practice, may be evaluated. Yet, even when judged by these standards, HRM is seriously lacking. This begs the question, not of whether HRM is ethical, but of whether HRM can be ethical. (shrink)
Semantic externalism about a class of expressions is often thought to make conceptual analysis about members of that class impossible. In particular, since externalism about natural kind terms makes the essences of natural kinds empirically discoverable, it seems that mere reflection on one's natural kind concept will not be able to tell one anything substantial about what it is for something to fall under one's natural kind concepts. Many hold the further view that one cannot even know anything substantial (...) about the reference-fixers of one's natural kind concepts by armchair reflection. In this paper I want to question this latter view and claim that, because of the way our standard methodology of doing theories of reference relies on semantic intuitions, typical externalists in fact presuppose that one can know the reference-fixers of one's natural kind concepts by mere armchair reflection. The more interesting question is how substantial such knowledge can be. I also take some steps toward answering this question. (shrink)
The paper argues that existing interpretations of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as an "analysis of experience" (e.g., those of Kitcher and Strawson) fail because they do not properly appreciate the method of the work. The author argues that the Critique provides an analysis of the faculty of reason, and counts as an analysis of experience only in a derivative sense.
The paradox of analysis has been a problem for analytic philosophers at least since Moore’s time, and it is especially significant for those who seek an account of analysis along classical lines. The present paper offers a new solution to the paradox, where a theory of analysis is given where (1) analysandum and analysans are distinct concepts, due to their failing to share the same conceptual form, yet (2) they are related in virtue of satisfying various semantic (...) constraints on the analysis relation. Rather than distinguish between analysandum and analysans by appeal to epistemic considerations, the paper appeals to semantic considerations in giving a candidate account of the identity conditions for concepts. The distinctness of analysandum and analysans then serves to block the paradox in a straightforward way. (shrink)
Philosophers often hold that the aim of conceptual analysis is to discover the representational content of a given concept such as free will , belief , or law . In From Metaphysics to Ethics and other recent work, Frank Jackson has developed a theory of conceptual analysis that is one of the most advanced systematizations of this widespread idea. I argue that this influential way of characterizing conceptual analysis is too narrow. I argue that it is possible (...) that an expressivist account could turn out to be correct as a genuine conceptual analysis of a genuine concept . I claim that since an expressivist analysis does not aim to discover the representational content of a given conceptâ€”and, indeed, might itself be based on the idea that the concept in question is not even representational in natureâ€”the possibility of expressivist conceptual analysis shows that Jacksonâ€™s theory of conceptual analysis is incomplete as it currently stands. I conclude that Jackson needs to either shift his basic understanding of the nature of conceptual analysis or commit to a particular normative reinterpretation of his project. (shrink)
Empirical studies in business ethics often rely on self-reported data, but this reliance is open to criticism. Responses to questionnaires and interviews may be influenced by the subject''s view of what the researcher might want to hear, by a reluctance to talk about sensitive ethical issues, and by imperfect recall. This paper reviews the extent to which published research in business ethics relies on interviews and questionnaires, and then explores the possibilities of using secondary data, such as company documents and (...) newspaper reports, as a source for empirical studies in applied ethics. A specific example is then discussed, describing the source material, the method, the development of the research questions, and the way in which reliability and validity were established. In the example, content analysis was used to examine the extent to which the executive virtue of courage was observed or called for in items published in four international daily newspapers, and to explore the meaning which was attributed to "courage" in the papers. (shrink)
The main purpose of this article is to undertake a conceptual investigation of the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm: a psychological project initiated by Paul Baltes and intended to study the complex phenomenon of wisdom. Firstly, in order to provide a wider perspective for the subsequent analyses, a short historical sketch is given. Secondly, a meta-theoretical issue of the degree to which the subject matter of the Baltesian study can be identified with the traditional philosophical wisdom is addressed. The main result yielded (...) by a careful conceptual analysis is that the philosophical and psychological concepts of wisdom, though not entirely the same, are at least parallel. Finally, one of the revealed aspects of the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm, i.e. its relative neglect of the non-cognitive and personal aspects of wisdom is brought to the fore. This deficiency, it is suggested, can be remedied by the application of the virtue ethics' conceptual framework. (shrink)
Quine famously argued that analyticity is indefinable, since there is no good account of analyticity in terms of synonymy, and intensions are of no help since there are no intensions. Yet if there are intensions, the question still remains as to the right account of analyticity in terms of them. On the assumption that intensions must be admitted, the present paper considers two such accounts. The first analyzes analyticity in terms of concept identity, and the second analyzes analyticity in terms (...) of the analysis relation. The first fails in light of possible counterexamples. The second is defended, both by considering test cases of intuitively clear analyticities, and by developing the account in light of possible counterexamples. (shrink)
This essay concerns the question of how we make genuine epistemic progress through conceptual analysis. Our way into this issue will be through consideration of the paradox of analysis. The paradox challenges us to explain how a given statement can make a substantive contribution to our knowledge, even while it purports merely to make explicit what one’s grasp of the concept under scrutiny consists in. The paradox is often treated primarily as a semantic puzzle. However, in “Sect. 1” (...) I argue that the paradox raises a more fundamental epistemic problem, and in “Sects.1 and 2” I argue that semantic proposals—even ones designed to capture the Fregean link between meaning and epistemic significance—fail to resolve that problem. Seeing our way towards a real solution to the paradox requires more than semantics; we also need to understand how the process of analysis can yield justification for accepting a candidate conceptual analysis. I present an account of this process, and explain how it resolves the paradox, in “Sect. 3”. I conclude in “Sect. 4” by considering the implications for the present account concerning the goal of conceptual analysis, and by arguing that the apparent scarcity of short and finite illuminating analyses in philosophically interesting cases provides no grounds for pessimism concerning the possibility of philosophical progress through conceptual analysis. (shrink)
The philosophical method of conceptual analysis has been criticised on the grounds that empirical psychological research has cast severe doubt on whether concepts exist in the form traditionally assumed, and that conceptual analysis therefore is doomed. This objection may be termed the Charge from Psychology. After a brief characterisation of conceptual analysis, I discuss the Charge from Psychology and argue that it is misdirected.
D. Lewis proposed the reformed conditional analysis of disposition to handle Martin's influential counterexamples to the simple counterfactual analysis. Some philosophers, however, argue that the mere fact that the reformed conditional analysis of disposition can handle Martin's counterexamples should not be regarded as a reason to prefer the reformed conditional analysis to the simple analysis. In this paper, I argue that the reformed version should be preferred not because it can handle Martin's counterexamples but because (...) there are other counterexamples to the simple conditional analysis. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss the claim (advanced in various ways by Joseph Levine, Frank Jackson and David Chalmers) that the successful reduction of qualitative to physical states requires some sort of intelligible connection between our qualitative and physical concepts, which in turn requires a conceptual analysis of our qualitative concepts in causal-functional terms. While I defend this claim against some of its recent critics, I ultimately dispute it, and propose a different way to get the requisite intelligible connection (...) between qualitative and physical concepts. (shrink)
According to the standard opinions in the literature, blocking the unacceptable consequences of the notorious slingshot argument requires imposing constraints on the metaphysics of facts or on theories of definite descriptions (or class abstracts). This paper argues that both of these well-known strategies to rebut the slingshot overshoot the mark. The slingshot, first and foremost, raises the question as to the adequate logical formalization of statements about facts, i.e. of factual contexts. It will be shown that a rigorous application of (...) Quine’s maxim of shallow analysis to formalizations of factual contexts paves the way for an account of formalizing such contexts which blocks the slingshot without ramifications for theories of facts or definite descriptions. (shrink)
It might be thought that vagueness precludes the possibility of classical conceptual analysis and, thus, that the classical or definitional view of the nature of complex concepts is incorrect. The present paper argues that classical analysis can be had for concepts expressed by vague language since (1) all of the general theories of vagueness are compatible with the thesis that all complex concepts have classical analyses and also that (2) the meaning of vague expressions can be analyzed by (...) having the degree of vagueness of a given analysandum be mapped onto the vagueness of an analysans. (shrink)
Conceptual analysis, like any exclusively theoretical activity, is far from overrated in current psychology. Such a situation can be related both to the contingent influences of contextual and historical character and to the more essential metatheoretical reasons. After a short discussion of the latter it is argued that even within a strictly empirical psychology there are non-trivial tasks that can be attached to well-defined and methodologically reliable, conceptual work. This kind of method, inspired by the ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein, (...) Peter Strawson (conceptual grammar), and Gilbert Ryle (conceptual geography), is proposed and formally depicted as being holistic, descriptive, and connective. Finally, the newly presented framework of connective conceptual analysis is defended against the “Charge from Psychology,” in a version developed by William Ramsey, claiming that conceptual analysis is based on psychological assumptions that have already been refuted by empirical psychology. (shrink)
Rational analysis (Anderson 1990, 1991a) is an empiricalprogram of attempting to explain why the cognitive system isadaptive, with respect to its goals and the structure of itsenvironment. We argue that rational analysis has two importantimplications for philosophical debate concerning rationality. First,rational analysis provides a model for the relationship betweenformal principles of rationality (such as probability or decisiontheory) and everyday rationality, in the sense of successfulthought and action in daily life. Second, applying the program ofrational analysis to (...) research on human reasoning leads to a radicalreinterpretation of empirical results which are typically viewed asdemonstrating human irrationality. (shrink)
The conditional analysis of phenomenal concepts purports to give physicalists a way of understanding phenomenal concepts that will allow them to (1) accept the zombie intuition, (2) accept that conceivability is generally a good guide to possibility, and yet (3) reject the conclusion that zombies are metaphysically possible. It does this by positing that whether phenomenal concepts refer to physical or nonphysical states depends on what the actual world is like. In this paper, I offer support for the Chalmers/Alter (...) objection that the conditional analysis fails to accommodate the true zombie intuition, and develop a new and far more powerful argument against the conditional analysis. I argue that, as stated, the conditional analysis is radically incomplete. But when fully fleshed out, the analysis becomes viciously circular. The only way to avoid this circularity is to adopt a species of analytic functionalism, on which it’s a priori that phenomenal concepts refer to the state (perhaps physical, perhaps nonphysical) that actually plays so-and-so functional role. While this rigidified analytic functionalism is coherent, it is highly unattractive, running contrary to both the intuitions that motivate functionalism and the intuitions that motivated the conditional analysis. (shrink)
This paper examines the notion that psychology is autonomous. It is argued that we need to distinguish between (a) the question of whether psychological explanations are autonomous, and (b) the question of whether the process of psychological discovery is autonomous. The issue is approached by providing a reinterpretation of Robert Cummins's notion of functional analysis (FA). A distinction is drawn between FA as an explanatory strategy and FA as an investigative strategy. It is argued that the identification of functional (...) components of the cognitive system may draw on knowledge about brain structure, without thereby jeopardizing the explanatory autonomy of psychology. (shrink)
Much has been written on Michel Foucault's reluctance to clearly delineate a research method, particularly with respect to genealogy (Harwood, 2000; Meadmore, Hatcher & McWilliam, 2000; Tamboukou, 1999). Foucault (1994, p. 288) himself disliked prescription stating, ‘I take care not to dictate how things should be’ and wrote provocatively to disrupt equilibrium and certainty, so that ‘all those who speak for others or to others’ no longer know what to do. It is doubtful, however, that Foucault ever intended for researchers (...) to be stricken by that malaise to the point of being unwilling to make an intellectual commitment to methodological possibilities. Taking criticism of ‘Foucauldian’ discourse analysis as a convenient point of departure to discuss the objectives of poststructural analyses of language, this paper develops what might be called a discursive analytic; a methodological plan to approach the analysis of discourses through the location of statements that function with constitutive effects. (shrink)