During the last two decades, several different anti-physicalist arguments based on an epistemic or conceptual gap between the phenomenal and the physical have been proposed. The most promising physicalist line of defense in the face of these arguments – the Phenomenal Concept Strategy – is based on the idea that these epistemic and conceptual gaps can be explained by appeal to the nature of phenomenal concepts rather than the nature of non-physical phenomenal properties. Phenomenal concepts, on this proposal, involve (...) unique cognitive mechanisms, but none that could not be fully physically implemented. David Chalmers has recently presented a Master Argument to show that the Phenomenal Concept Strategy – not just this or that version of it, but any version of it – fails. Chalmers argues that the phenomenal concepts posited by such theories are either not physicalistically explicable, or they cannot explain our epistemic situation with regard to qualia. I argue that it is his Master Argument that fails. My claim is his argument does not provide any new reasons to reject the Phenomenal Concept Strategy. I also argue that, although the Phenomenal Concept Strategy is successful in showing that the physicalist is not rationally compelled to give up physicalism in the light of the anti-physicalist arguments, the anti-physicalist is not rationally compelled to give up the anti-physicalist argument in the light of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy either. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Plato's Apology is the principal text on which Kierkegaard relies in arguing for the idea that Socrates is fundamentally an ironist. After providing an overview of the structure of this argument, I then consider Kierkegaard's more general discussion of irony, unpacking the distinction he draws between irony as a figure of speech and irony as a standpoint. I conclude by examining Kierkegaard's claim that the Apology itself is “splendidly suited for obtaining a clear (...) class='Hi'>concept of Socrates' ironic activity,” considering in particular Kierkegaard's discussion of Socrates' remarks about death and his use of Friedrich Ast's commentary to help his readers to discover the irony that he contends runs throughout Socrates' defense speech. (shrink)
I argue that Frege's so-called "concept 'horse' problem" is not one problem but many. When these separate sub-problems are distinguished, some are revealed to be more tractable than others. I further argue that there is, contrary to a widespread scholarly assumption originating with Peter Geach, little evidence that Frege was concerned with the general problem of the inexpressibility of logical category distinctions in writings available to Wittgenstein. In consequence, Geach is mistaken in thinking that in the Tractatus Wittgenstein simply (...) accepts from Frege certain lessons about the inexpressibility of logical category distinctions and the say-show distinction. In truth, Wittgenstein drew his own morals about these matters, quite possibly as the result of reflecting on how the general problem of the inexpressibility of logical category distinctions arises in Frege's writings (whether Frege was aware of it or not), but also, quite possibly, by seeing certain glimmerings of these doctrines in the writings of Russell. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between anti-physicalist arguments in the philosophy of mind and anti-naturalist arguments in metaethics, and to show how the literature on the mind-body problem can inform metaethics. Among the questions we will consider are: (1) whether a moral parallel of the knowledge argument can be constructed to create trouble for naturalists, (2) the relationship between such a "Moral Knowledge Argument" and the familiar Open Question Argument, and (3) how naturalists can respond (...) to the Moral Twin Earth argument. We will give particular attention to recent arguments in the philosophy of mind that aim to show that anti-physicalist arguments can be defused by acknowledging a distinctive kind of conceptual dualism between the phenomenal and the physical. This tactic for evading anti-physicalist arguments has come to be known as the Phenomenal Concept Strategy. We will propose a metaethical version of this strategy, which we shall call the `Moral Concept Strategy'. We suggest that the Moral Concept Strategy offers the most promising way out of these anti-naturalist arguments,though signi cant challenges remain. (shrink)
This paper explores how the diagnosis of mental disorder may affect the diagnosed subject’s self-concept by supplying an account that emphasizes the influence of autobiographical and social narratives on self-understanding. It focuses primarily on the diagnoses made according to the criteria provided by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and suggests that the DSM diagnosis may function as a source of narrative that affects the subject’s self-concept. Engaging in this analysis by appealing to autobiographies and memoirs (...) written by people diagnosed with mental disorder, the paper concludes that a DSM diagnosis is a double-edged sword for self- concept. On the one hand, it sets the subject’s experience in an established classificatory system which can facilitate self-understanding by providing insight into subject’s condition and guiding her personal growth, as well as treatment and recovery. In this sense, the DSM diagnosis may have positive repercussions on self-development. On the other hand, however, given the DSM’s symptom-based approach and its adoption of the Biomedical Disease model, a diagnosis may force the subject to make sense of her condition divorced from other elements in her life that may be affecting her mental- health. It may lead her frame her experience only as an irreversible imbalance. This form of self-understanding may set limits on the subject’s hopes of recovery and may create impediments to her flourishing. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the most prominent and familiar features of Wittgenstein’s rule following considerations generate a powerful argument for the thesis that most of our concepts are innate, an argument that echoes a Chomskyan poverty of the stimulus argument. This argument has a significance over and above what it tells us about Wittgenstein’s implicit commitments. For, it puts considerable pressure on widely held contemporary views of concept learning, such as the view that we learn concepts by (...) constructing prototypes. This should lead us to abandon our general default hostility to concept nativism and be much more sceptical of claims made on behalf of learning theories. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop a novel account of concept acquisition for an atomistic theory of concepts. Conceptual atomism is rarely explored in cognitive science because of the feeling that atomistic treatments of concepts are inherently nativistic. My model illustrates, on the contrary, that atomism does not preclude the learning of a concept.
Abstract: There is a long tradition of trying to analyze art either by providing a definition (essentialism) or by tracing its contours as an indefinable, open concept (anti-essentialism). Both art essentialists and art anti-essentialists share an implicit assumption of art concept monism. This article argues that this assumption is a mistake. Species concept pluralism—a well-explored position in philosophy of biology—provides a model for art concept pluralism. The article explores the conditions under which concept pluralism is (...) appropriate, and argues that they obtain for art. Art concept pluralism allows us to recognize that different art concepts are useful for different purposes, and what has been feuding definitions can be seen as characterizations of specific art concepts. (shrink)
The concept of the self is a highly contested topic. Traditionally it belonged to speculative metaphysics. Almost every philosopher, whether Western or Indian, has tried to explore the nature of self. Generally, the self is taken as a substance which has permanent existence, which is eternal and non-specio-temporal. In some traditions, like the Hindu tradition, it is believed to take rebirth as the body perishes. Many Western philosophers also think that it is immortal. The nature of the self also (...) has then ethical implications. The views of David Hume and Gautama Buddha on the self, which I have chosen to discuss here, are similar. Though both belong to different traditions, both are skeptical of any permanent existence of self. This is not to say that one has borrowed from the other. For the nature and purpose of denial of the self in both the philosophers is different. So a comprehensive and comparative study of their views is very interesting. It is the intention of this article to analyze and compare the philosophical positions of Gautama and Hume on the self—a problem which was of central concern to both and which has since exercised a continuing fascination for philosophers, both of the East and the West. (shrink)
The acquisition of concepts has proven especially difficult for philosophers and psychologists to explain. In this paper, I examine Jerry Fodor’s most recent attempt to explain the acquisition of concepts relative to experiences of their referents. In reevaluating his earlier position, Fodor attempts to co-opt informational semantics into an account of concept acquisition that avoids the radical nativism of his earlier views. I argue that Fodor’s attempts ultimately fail to be persuasive. He must either accept his earlier nativism or (...) adopt a rational causal model of concept acquisition. His animus towards the latter dictates, in my view, a return to the nativism with which he began. (shrink)
To have a propositional attitude, a thinker must possess the concepts included in its content. Surprisingly, this rather trivial principle refl ects badly on many theories of concept possession because, in its light, they seem to require too much. To solve this problem, I point out an ambiguity in attributions of the form 'S possesses the concept of Fs'. There is an undemanding sense which is involved in the given principle, whereas the theoretical claims concern a stronger sense (...) which can be brought out by formulations such as 'S has an adequate conception of Fs' or 'S knows what Fs are'. (shrink)
This essay adjudicates between theoretical models of psychological concept acquisition. I provide new reasons to be skeptical about both simulationist and modularist models. I then defend the scientific-theory-theory account against familiar objections. I conclude by arguing that the scientific-theory-theory account must be supplemented by an account of hypothesis discovery.
It's a sort of moebus strip argument. Rather than circularly assuming what it should prove, it assumes one of the things Fodor says he has disproved. It assumes that the extensions of those concepts thought by some to be recognitional are in fact controlled by stereotypes. Why do I say that? Because Fodor assumes that what makes an instance of a concept a "good instance" is that it is an average instance, that it sports the properties statistically most commonly (...) found among instances of that concept. But that the "good instances" are always the common instances is remotely plausible only if we take concepts to be organized by stereotypes. True, a goldfish is not an average or stereotypical fish (SSis that true?) and the nursing profession is not average for a male and maleness is not average for a nurse. But there is surely is nothing borderline about the fishiness of a goldfish nor, typically, about the maleness of a male nurse or the petness of a pet fish. Notice also that good examples of some kinds of things are very hard to find, for example, good examples of the fallacy of accent, and good examples of wild children, and (nowadays) good examples of scurvy are hard to find. If good instances had to be instances that were average, including in respects having nothing to do with the point of the category being defined, and if recognitional concepts had to recognize by attending to average properties, then I suppose the recognitional ability defining the concept "sphere" would have to include the ability to tell whether a thing bounces! (shrink)
Pierre Jacob's book, What Minds Can Do , is mainly concerned with intentionality. Jacob's primary goal is to explain both how it is possible for a physical system to have intentional mental states and how the intentional content of such mental states can play a role in the causal explanation of behaviour. Yet, he also tackles the issue of the nature of conscious experience. I shall focus here on a claim he makes in connection with this latter topic. The claim (...) (made at the very end of Chapter 2, p. 77) is that in order to undergo states of consciousness a creature must have concept-forming abilities. At first sight, this contention seems implausibly strong. Although our intuitions in such matters may not be very reliable, I think many people would be willing to attribute to members of certain animal species a capacity to enjoy conscious experiences, while being reluctant to grant them concept forming abilities. The plausibility or implausibility of Jacob's claim depends in a large part on how one construes the notion of a conscious experience, as well as on what one considers concept-forming abilities to be. Since the topic of consciousness is rather peripheral in Jacob's book, the rejection of this claim would not directly affect his more central theses. Yet, examining it gives us an opportunity to scrutinize a distinction that plays a central role in Dretske's work and that Jacob endorses, namely, the distinction between analogical and digital coding of information. Since this distinction underlies in turn the distinction between sensory content and conceptual content and since the latter distinction is at the core of informational semantics, this discussion may have at least indirect implications for some other problems discussed by Jacob in his book. (shrink)
In What Is Philosophy? we find philosophy devised as that power of thinking and creating which, in a division of labour with science and art, creates the concept. This division of labour points to the free interplay of Reason, Understanding and Imagination in Kant's Critique of Judgement and enables us to affirm, without obliterating the differences in kind, the non-hierarchical relationship between the three forms of thought that is asserted by Deleuze and Guattari. However, as powers of thinking and (...) creating, philosophy, science and art do not inscribe themselves in a transcendental subject. Rather, Deleuze and Guattari conceive of them, following Spinoza's ‘creating nature’, as powers that express themselves in an attribute in which every thinking subject participates. (shrink)
This paper introduces current acoustic theories relating to the phenomenology of sound as a framework for interrogating concepts relating to the ecologies of acoustic and landscape phenomena in a Japanese stroll garden. By applying the technique of Formal Concept Analysis, a partially ordered lattice of garden objects and attributes is visualized as a means to investigate the relationship between elements of the taxonomy.
Martin Buber (1878-1965) is one of the most significant existentialist philosophers of the twentieth century and a leading scholar of the Hasidic tradition in Judaism; even more important for this article is that Buber is considered by many to be the philosopher of dialogue par excellence. This article expounds Buber’s conception of dialogue and its implications for our conception of the Other.
This now-classic work challenges what Ryle calls philosophy's "official theory," the Cartesians "myth" of the separation of mind and matter. Ryle's linguistic analysis remaps the conceptual geography of mind, not so much solving traditional philosophical problems as dissolving them into the mere consequences of misguided language. His plain language and esstentially simple purpose place him in the traditioin of Locke, Berkeley, Mill, and Russell.
I argue that law is not best considered an essentially contested concept. After first explaining the notion of essential contestability and disaggregating the concept of law into several related concepts, I show that the most basic and general concept of law does not fit within the criteria generally offered for essential contestation. I then buttress this claim with the additional explanation that essential contestation is itself a framework for understanding complex concepts and therefore should only be applied (...) when it is useful to gain a greater understanding of uses of the concept to which it is applied (adducing criteria for making such judgments of usefulness). With that in mind, I then show that applying the appellation of essential contestation to the concept of law does not helpfully illuminate the most general concept of law (usually of most interest to legal philosophers) and therefore it should not be used, while allowing that it might be more useful for the related concept of the rule of law. (shrink)
Contemporary debates about the nature of semantic reference have tended to focus on two competing approaches: theories which emphasize the importance of descriptive information associated with a referring term, and those which emphasize causal facts about the conditions under which the use of the term originated and was passed on. Recent empirical work by Machery and colleagues suggests that both causal and descriptive information can play a role in judgments about the reference of proper names, with findings of cross-cultural variation (...) in judgments that imply differences between individuals with respect to whether they favor causal or descriptive information in making reference judgments. We extend this theoretical and empirical line of inquiry to views of the reference of natural and nominal kind concepts, which face similar challenges to those concerning the reference of proper names. In two experiments, we find evidence that both descriptive and causal factors contribute to judgments of concept reference, with no reliable differences between natural and nominal kinds. Moreover, we find evidence that the same individuals’ judgments can rely on both descriptive and causal information, such that variation between individuals cannot be explained by appeal to a mixed population of “pure descriptive theorists” and “pure causal theorists.” These findings suggest that the contrast between descriptive and causal theories of reference may be inappropriate; intuitions may instead support a hybrid theory of reference that includes both causal and descriptive factors. We propose that future research should focus on the relationship between these factors, and describe several possible frameworks for pursuing these issues. Our findings have implications for theories of semantic reference, as well as for theories of conceptual structure. (shrink)
Critics argue that non-cognitivism cannot adequately account for the existence and nature of some thick moral concepts. They use the existence of thick concepts as a lever in an argument against non-cognitivism, here called the Thick Concept Argument (TCA). While TCA is frequently invoked, it is unfortunately rarely articulated. In this paper, TCA is first reconstructed on the basis of John McDowell’s formulation of the argument (from 1981), and then evaluated in the light of several possible non-cognitivist responses. In (...) general, TCA assumes too much about what a non-cognitivist is (or must be) committed to. There are several non-cognitivist theories, and only some fit the view attacked by TCA. Furthermore, TCA rests on a contestable intuition about a thought experiment, here called the External Standpoint Experiment (ESE). It is concluded that TCA is remarkably weak, given how frequently the argument is invoked. (shrink)
The Gettier problem has stymied epistemologists. But whether or not this problem is resolvable, we still must face an important question: Why does the Gettier problem arise in the first place? So far, philosophers have seen it as either a problem peculiar to the concept of knowledge, or else an instance of a general problem about conceptual analysis. But I would like to steer a middle course. I argue that the Gettier problem arises because knowledge is a thick (...) class='Hi'>concept, and a Gettier-like problem is just what we should expect from attempts at analyzing a thick concept. Section 2 is devoted to establishing the controversial claim that knowledge is thick, and, in Sect. 3, I show that there is a general problem for analyzing thick concepts of which the Gettier problem is a special instance. I do not take a stand on whether the Gettier problem, or its general counterpart, is resolvable. My primary aim is to bring these problems into better focus. (shrink)
The author claims that concept possession is not only necessary but also sufficient for self-consciousness, where self-consciousness is understood as the awareness of oneself as a self. Further, he links concept possession to intelligent behavior. His ultimate aim is to provide a framework for the study of self-consciousness in infants and non-human animals. I argue that the claim that all concepts are necessarily related to the self-concept remains unconvincing and suggest that what might be at issue here (...) are not so much conceptual but rather metacognitive abilities. (shrink)
The operation of developing a concept is a common procedure in mathematics and in natural science, but has traditionally seemed much less possible to philosophers and, especially, logicians. Meir Buzaglo's innovative study proposes a way of expanding logic to include the stretching of concepts, while modifying the principles which block this possibility. He offers stimulating discussions of the idea of conceptual expansion as a normative process, and of the relation of conceptual expansion to truth, meaning, reference, ontology and paradox, (...) and analyzes the views of Kant, Wittgenstein, Godel, and others, paying especially close attention to Frege. His book will be of interest to a wide range of readers, from philosophers (of logic, mathematics, language, and science) to logicians, mathematicians, linguists, and cognitive scientists. (shrink)
Given its centrality to the intellectual thought processes through which the great structures of logic, nature, and spirit are unfolded it is clear that mediation is vital to the very possibility of Hegel’s encyclopaedic philosophy. Yet Hegel gives little specific explanation of the concept of mediation. Surprisingly, it has been the subject of even less attention by scholars of Hegel. Nevertheless it is casually used in discussions of Hegel and post- Hegelian philosophy as though its meaning were simple and (...) straightforward. In these discussions mediation is the thesis that meanings are not atomic in that the independence of something is inseparable from its relation to something else. Hence being is mediated by nothing, the particular by the universal, the individual by society. But does Hegel ever explain mediation in a way which justifies such use of the concept? The same easy employment of mediation is found in Theodor Adorno whose works are replete with the use of this concept and, indeed, acknowledgements of its Hegelian origin. But the concept of mediation in Adorno’s negative dialectic is operative in an entirely different context from that of Hegel. How, it might be asked, can a concept be so adaptable? I want to argue that mediation is, in fact, an equivocal term which in both Hegel and Adorno covers a variety of entirely different conceptual relations. Furthermore, as propounded by both Hegel and Adorno it lacks the rigour which could allow the particular conclusions which the concept allegedly facilitates. (shrink)
: The concept of the person has come to be intimately connected with questions about the value of life. It is applied to those sorts of beings who have some special value or moral importance and where we need to prioritize the needs or claims of different sorts of individuals. "Person" is a concept designating individuals like us in some important respects, but possibly including individuals who are very unlike us in other respects. What are these respects and (...) why are they important? This paper sets out to answer these questions and to develop a coherent and useful concept of the person. (shrink)
A powerful reply to a range of familiar anti-physicalist arguments has recently been developed. According to this reply, our possession of phenomenal concepts can explain the facts that the anti-physicalist claims can only be explained by a non-reductive account of phenomenal consciousness. Chalmers (2006) argues that the phenomenal concept strategy is doomed to fail. This article presents the phenomenal concept strategy, Chalmers' argument against it, and a defence of the strategy against his.
This essay is a sustained attempt to bring new light to some of the perennial problems in philosophy of mind surrounding phenomenal consciousness and introspection through developing an account of sensory and phenomenal concepts. Building on the information-theoretic framework of Dretske (1981), we present an informational psychosemantics as it applies to what we call sensory concepts, concepts that apply, roughly, to so-called secondary qualities of objects. We show that these concepts have a special informational character and semantic structure that closely (...) tie them to the brain states realizing conscious qualitative experiences. We then develop an account of introspection which exploits this special nature of sensory concepts. The result is a new class of concepts, which, following recent terminology, we call phenomenal concepts: these concepts refer to phenomenal experience itself and are the vehicles used in introspection. On our account, the connection between sensory and phenomenal concepts is very tight: it consists in different semantic uses of the same cognitive structures underlying the sensory concepts, such as the concept of red. Contrary to widespread opinion, we show that information theory contains all the resources to satisfy internalist intuitions about phenomenal consciousness, while not offending externalist ones. A consequence of this account is that it explains and predicts the so-called conceivability arguments against physicalism on the basis of the special nature of sensory and phenomenal concepts. Thus we not only show why physicalism is not threatened by such arguments, but also demonstrate its strength in virtue of its ability to predict and explain away such arguments in a principled way. However, we take the main contribution of this work to be what it provides in addition to a response to those conceivability arguments, namely, a substantive account of the interface between sensory and conceptual systems and the mechanisms of introspection as based on the special nature of the information flow between them. (shrink)
As its title indicates, this article shows animation to be the fundamental, essential, and properly descriptive concept to understandings of animate life. A critical and constructive path is taken toward an illumination of these threefold dimensions of animation. The article is critical in its attention to a central linguistic formulation in cognitive neuroscience, namely, enaction ; it is constructive in setting forth an analysis of affectivity as exemplar of a staple of animate life, elucidating its biological and existential foundations (...) in animation. (shrink)
Franz Brentano’s attempt to distinguish mental from physical phenomena by employing the scholastic concept of intentional inexistence is often cited as reintroducing the concept of intentionality into mainstream philosophical discussion. But Brentano’s own claims about intentional inexistence are much misunderstood. In the second half of the 20th century, analytical philosophers in particular have misread Brentano’s views in misleading ways.1 It is important to correct these misunderstandings if we are to come to a proper assessment of Brentano’s worth as (...) a philosopher and his position in the history of philosophy. Good corrections have been made in the recent analytic literature by David Bell (1990), Dermot Moran (1996), and Barry Smith (1994) among others. But there is also another, more purely philosophical lesson to be learned from the proper understanding of Brentano’s views on this matter. This is that Brentano’s struggles with the concept of intentionality reveal a fundamental division between different ways of thinking about intentionality, an division which Brentano himself does not make fully clear. Making the nature of this division explicit is the aim of this paper. (shrink)
Keeley has recently argued that the philosophical issue of how to analyse the concept of a sense can usefully be addressed by considering how scientists, and more specifically neuroethologists, classify the senses. After briefly outlining his proposal, which is based on the application of an ordered set of individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for modality differentiation, I argue, by way of two complementary counterexamples, that it fails to account fully for the way the senses are in fact individuated (...) in neuroethology and other relevant sciences. I suggest substantial modifications to Keeley. (shrink)
It is commonplace in cognitive science that concepts are individuated in terms of the roles they play in the cognitive lives of thinkers, a view that Jerry Fodor has recently been dubbed ‘Concept Pragmatism’. Quinean critics of Pragmatism have long argued that it founders on its commitment to the analytic/synthetic distinction, since without such a distinction there is plausibly no way to distinguish constitutive from non-constitutive roles in cognition. This paper considers Fodor’s empirical arguments against analyticity, and in particular (...) his arguments against lexical decomposition and definitions, and argues that Concept Pragmatists have two viable options with respect to them. First, Concept Pragmatists can confront them head-on, and argue that they do not show that lexical items are semantically primitive or that lexical concepts are internally unstructured. Second, Pragmatists may accept that these arguments show that lexical concepts are atomic, but insist that this need not entail that Pragmatism is false. For there is a viable version of Concept Pragmatism that does not take lexical items to be semantically structured or lexical concepts to be internally structured. Adopting a version of Pragmatism that takes meaning relations to be specified by inference rules, or meaning postulates, allows one to accept the empirical arguments in favor of Concept Atomism, while at the same time deny that such arguments show that there are no analyticities. The paper concludes by responding to Fodor’s recent objection that such a version of Concept Pragmatism has unhappy consequences concerning the relation between concept constitution and concept possession. (shrink)
This paper considers the philosophical interpretation of the concept of svabhāva, sometimes translated as 'inherent existence' or 'own-being', in the Madyamaka school of Buddhist philosophy. It is argued that svabhāva must be understood as having two different conceptual dimensions, an ontological and a cognitive one. The ontological dimension of svabhāva shows it to play a particular part in theories investigating the most fundamental constituents of the world. Three different understandings of svabhāva are discussed under this heading: svabhāva understood as (...) essence, as substance, and as the true nature of phenomena (absolute svabhāva). The cognitive dimension shows svabhāva as playing an important rôle in our everyday conceptualization of phenomena. Svabhāva is here seen as a superimposition (samāropa) which the mind projects onto the world. (shrink)
We begin with a puzzle: why do some know-how attributions entail ability attributions while others do not? After rejecting the tempting response that know-how attributions are ambiguous, we argue that a satisfactory answer to the puzzle must acknowledge the connection between know-how and concept possession (specifically, reasonable conceptual mastery, or understanding). This connection appears at first to be grounded solely in the cognitive nature of certain activities. However, we show that, contra anti-intellectualists, the connection between know-how and concept (...) possession can be generalized via reflection on the cognitive nature of intentional action and the potential of certain misunderstandings to undermine know-how even when the corresponding abilities and associated propositional knowledge are in place. Such considerations make explicit the intimate relation between know-how and understanding, motivating a general intellectualist analysis of the former in terms of the latter. (shrink)
The English translation of Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere converges with a recent trend toward the revival of the "political culture concept" in the social sciences. Surprisingly, Habermas's account of the Western bourgeois public sphere has much in common with the original political culture concept associated with Parsonian modernization theory in the 1950s and 1960s. In both cases, the concept of political culture is used in a way that is neither political nor cultural. Explaining (...) this peculiarity is the central problem addressed in this article and one to follow. I hypothesize that this is the case because the concept itself is embedded in an historically constituted political culture (here called a conceptual network)-a structured web of conceptual relationships that combine into Anglo-American citizenship theory. The method of an historical sociology of concept formation is introduced to analyze historically and empirically the internal constraints and dynamics of this conceptual network. The method draws from new work in cultural history and sociology, social studies, and network, narrative, and institutional analysis. This research yields three empirical findings: this conceptual network has a narrative structure, here called the Anglo-American citizenship story; this narrative is grafted onto an epistemology of social naturalism; and these elements combine in a metanarrative that continues to constrain empirical research in political sociology. (shrink)
The concept of alienation is one of the most important and fruitful legacies of Hegel's social philosophy. It is strange therefore that Hegel's own account is widely rejected, not least by writers in those traditions which have taken up and developed the concept in the most influential ways: Marxism and existentialism.
Brain death is accepted in most countries as death. The rationales to explain why brain death is death are surprisingly problematic. The standard rationale that in brain death there has been loss of integrative unity of the organism has been shown to be false, and a better rationale has not been clearly articulated. Recent expert defences of the brain death concept are examined in this paper, and are suggested to be inadequate. I argue that, ironically, these defences demonstrate the (...) lack of a defensible rationale for why brain death should be accepted as death itself. If brain death is death, a conceptual rationale for brain death being equivalent to death should be clarified, and this should be done urgently. (shrink)
The discussion presents a framework of concepts that is intended to account for the rationality of semantic change and variation, suggesting that each scientific concept consists of three components of content: 1) reference, 2) inferential role, and 3) the epistemic goal pursued with the concept’s use. I argue that in the course of history a concept can change in any of these components, and that change in the concept’s inferential role and reference can be accounted for (...) as being rational relative to the third component, the concept’s epistemic goal. This framework is illustrated and defended by application to the history of the gene concept. It is explained how the molecular gene concept grew rationally out of the classical gene concept despite a change in reference, and why the use and reference of the contemporary molecular gene concept may legitimately vary from context to context. (shrink)
The notion of a recognitional concept (RC) is stated precisely and shown to be unrelated to the proper notion of a perceptually based concept, defining of concept empiricism. More fundamentally, it is argued that the notion of an RC does not reflect a potentially sensible candidate theory of concepts at all and therefore ought to be abandoned from concept-theoretical discourse. In the later parts of the paper, it is shown independently of these points that Fodor’s attacks (...) on RCs are in all central respects based on fallacies and confusions. Thus, even if the notion of an RC were one worth defending, it could not be threatened by Fodor’s attacks on it. Throughout the paper, I aim at clarification regarding the logical relations between various concept-theoretical options. (shrink)
Opening with Ford Motor Company as a case in point, this essay develops a broad and systematic approach to the field of business ethics. After an analysis of the form and content of the concept of responsibility, the author introduces the principle of moral projection as a device for relating ethics to corporate policy. Pitfalls and objections to this strategy are examined and some practical implications are then explored.The essay not only defends a proposition but exhibits a research style (...) and a research program. Philosophical ethics and organizational management are joined in the process. (shrink)
The principal aim of this book is to develop and defend an analysis of the concept of moral obligation. The analysis is neutral regarding competing substantive theories of obligation, whether consequentialist or deontological in character. What it seeks to do is generate new solutions to a range of philosophical problems concerning obligation and its application. Amongst these problems are deontic paradoxes, the supersession of obligation, conditional obligation, prima facie obligation, actualism and possibilism, dilemmas, supererogation, and cooperation. By virtue of (...) its normative neutrality, the analysis provides a theoretical framework within which competing theories of obligation can be developed and assessed. This study is a major contribution to metaethics that will be of particular interest to all philosophers concerned with normative ethical theory. (shrink)
In this paper, I investigate an important aspect of Kant's theory of pure sensible intuition. I argue that, according to Kant, a pure concept of space warrants and constrains intuitions of finite regions of space. That is, an a priori conceptual representation of space provides a governing principle for all spatial construction, which is necessary for mathematical demonstration as Kant understood it.
In this chapter, I outline and defend a version of concept empiricism. The theory has four central tenets: Concepts represent categories by reliable causal relations to category instances; conceptual representations of category vary from occasion to occasion; these representations are perceptually based; and these representations are all learned, not innate. The last two tenets on this list have been central to empiricism historically, and the first two have been developed in more recent years. I look at each in turn, (...) and then I discuss the most obvious objection to empiricism. According to that objection, some concepts cannot be perceptually based because they represent things that are abstract, and hence unperceivable. I discuss two standard examples: democracy and moral badness. I argue that both can be explained using resources available to the empiricist. (shrink)
This paper responds to Tugendhat's well-known and influential critique of Heidegger's concept of truth with the resources of Heidegger's texts, in particular §44 of Being and Time. To start with, Tugendhat's primary critical argument is reconstructed. It is held to consist firstly in the charge of ambiguity against Heidegger's formulations of his concept of truth and secondly in the claim that Heidegger's concept of truth is incompatible with an adequate concept of falsehood. It is shown that (...) the supposedly ambiguous meanings are, on the one hand, in fact clearly distinguished by Heidegger and, on the other, that they merely amount to different extensions of the same meaning of truth. It is then shown how this concept of truth is indeed compatible with an adequate, albeit post-metaphysical, concept of falsehood. Finally, the grounds of falsehood in the untruth of the existential of Verfallen are pursued and further objections are dismissed. (shrink)
One of the main strategies against conceivability arguments is the so-called phenomenal concept strategy, which aims to explain the epistemic gap between physical and phenomenal truths in terms of the special features of phenomenal concepts. Daniel Stoljar has recently argued that the phenomenal concept strategy has failed to provide a successful explanation of this epistemic gap. In this paper my aim is to defend the phenomenal concept strategy from his criticisms. I argue that Stoljar has misrepresented the (...) resources of the strategy, which can indeed accomplish the required explanatory task, once it is properly understood. (shrink)
When perceiving, explaining, or criticizing human behavior, people distinguish between intentional and unintentional actions. To do so, they rely on a shared folk concept of intentionality. In contrast to past speculative models, this article provides an empirically-based model of this concept. Study 1 demonstrates that people agree substantially in their judgments of intentionality, suggesting a shared underlying concept. Study 2 reveals that when asked to directly define the term intentional, people mention four components of intentionality: desire, belief, (...) intention, and awareness. Study 3 confirms the importance of a fifth component, namely, skill. In light of these findings, the authors propose a model of the folk concept of intentionality and provide a further test in Study 4. The discussion compares the proposed model to past ones and examines its implications for social perception, attribution, and cognitive development. (shrink)
Many psychologists and philosophers believe that the close correlation between human language and human concepts makes the attribution of concepts to nonhuman animals highly questionable. I argue for a three-part approach to attributing concepts to animals. The approach goes beyond the usual discrimination tests by seeking evidence for self-monitoring of discrimination errors. Such evidence can be collected without relying on language and, I argue, the capacity for error-detection can only be explained by attributing a kind of internal representation that is (...) reasonably identified as a concept. Thus I hope to have shown that worries about the empirical intractability of concepts in languageless animals are misplaced. (shrink)
Hegel’s assertion that self-consciousness is desire in general stands at a critical point in the Phenomenology , but the concept of desire employed in this identification is obscure. I examine three ways in which Hegel’s concept of desire might be understood and conclude that this concept is closely related to Fichte’s notions of drive and longing. So understood, the concept plays an essential role in Hegel’s non-foundational, non-genetic account of the awareness that individual rational subjects have (...) of themselves. This account, I argue, is part of a larger concern with demonstrating the relation between theoretical and practical capacities of the subject. I also argue that my reading explains Hegel’s emphasis on the figure of the bondsman in “Lordship and Bondage.” The bondsman’s experience of itself and its world instantiates Hegel’s views on the integration of subjective capacities and the reality of objects of experience. (shrink)
Since 1962 Kuhn's concept of incommensurability has undergone a process of transformation. His current account of incommensurability has little in common with his original account of it. Originally, incommensurability was a relation of methodological, observational and conceptual disparity between paradigms. Later Kuhn restricted the notion to the semantical sphere and assimilated it to the indeterminacy of translation. Recently he has developed an account of it as localized translation failure between subsets of terms employed by theories.
The concept of authenticity -- the idea of `being oneself' or being `true to oneself' -- is central to modern moral thought. Yet it is a puzzling notion. This article discusses two accounts of it. Essentialism holds that each individual has a `true' nature or self. Feelings and actions are authentic when they correspond to this nature. This approach is contrasted with views of the self as a complex entity in which all parts are essential, and in which authenticity (...) involves the harmonious functioning of all parts together. This approach is illustrated from Freud and Plato, and defended against the charge of conservatism (Marcuse) and the postmodernist rejection of the very idea of an integral self (Rorty). (shrink)
Philosophers within the discipline of the history of philosophy have long since demonstrated a preoccupation with the history of aesthetic ideas. However, not all aesthetic concepts in 19th- and 20th-century thought have been given an adequate analysis. One concept which, while attracting interest in literary theory debates, has rarely been mentioned in history of philosophy debates, is that of aura . The reason for the marginal role of aura in present debates is due no doubt to the difficult and (...) sometimes utterly obscure nature of Adorno's texts, which often veils their underlying philosophical content. Aura concept is important because it represents a still rather neglected strand of Adorno's Aesthetische Theorie , which has often been regarded as solely an avocation of the aesthetics of the New. This article offers an original and in-depth analysis of this key concept showing how significant it is to Adorno's overall project. Key Words: Theodor Adorno aesthetics aura Walter Benjamin distance gaze proximity receptivity. (shrink)
The terms health, disease and illness are frequently used in clinical medicine. This has misled philosophers into believing that these concepts are important for clinical thinking and decision making. For instance, it is held that decisions about whether or not to treat someone or whether to relieve someone of moral responsibility depend on whether the person has a disease. In this paper it is argued that the crucial role of the disease concept is illusory. The health/disease distinction is irrelevant (...) for most decisions and represents a conceptual straightjacket. Sophisticated and mature clinical decision making requires that we free ourselves from the concept of disease. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophical and scienti .c discussions of mind developed from a 'proto-concept of mind ',a mythical,tradition- alistic,animistic and quasi-sensory theory about what it means to have a mind. It can be found in many di .erent cultures and has a semantic core corresponding to the folk-phenomenological notion of a 'soul '.It will be argued that this notion originates in accurate and truthful .rst-person reports about the experiential content of a special neurophenomenological state-class called 'out-of-body experiences '.They can be undergone (...) by every human being and seem to possess a culturally invariant cluster of functional and phenomenal core properties similar to the proto-concept of mind. The common causal factor in the emergence and development of the notion of the soul and the proto-concept of mind may consist in a yet to be determined set of properties realized by the human brain, underlying the cluster of phenomenal properties described in the relevant first-person reports. This hypothesis suggests that such a neurofunctional substrate ed human beings at different times, and in widely varying cultural contexts, to postulate the existence of a soul and to begin developing a theory of mind. (shrink)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become indispensable in modern business discourse; yet identifying and defining what CSR means is open to contest. Although such contestation is not uncommon with concepts found in the social sciences, for CSR it presents some difficulty for theoretical and empirical analysis, especially with regards to verifying that diverse application of the concept is consistent or concomitant. On the other hand, it seems unfeasible that the diversity of issues addressed under the CSR umbrella would yield (...) to a singular universal definition. Gallie, an eminent philosophical scholar, proposed the essentially contested concepts (ECC) theory in 1956 to address concepts that by their very nature engender perpetual disputes. He pointed out that there are certain concepts which by their very nature are inevitably contested and prescribed seven criteria for evaluating such concepts. This article examines these criteria to discover if CSR is an essentially contested concept and in that case, to construe if such a change in perception will resolve the definitional crisis. The analysis suggests that CSR is an ECC and this explains the potential for several conceptions of CSR, however, it does not totally obviate the need for a definition of its core or common reference point, if only to ensure that the contestants are dealing with an identical subject matter. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is not only to deal with the concept of infinity, but also to develop some considerations about the epistemological status of cosmology. These problems are connected because from an epistemological point of view, cosmology, meant as the study of the universe as a whole, is not merely a physical (or empirical) science. On the contrary it has an unavoidable metaphysical character which can be found in questions like “why is there this universe (or a (...) universe at all)?”. As a consequence, questions concerning the infinity of the universe in space and time can correctly arise only taking into account this metaphysical character of cosmology. Accordingly, in the following paper it will be shown that two different concepts of physical infinity of the universe (the relativistic one and the inflationary one) rely on two different ways of solution of a metaphysical problem. The difference between these concepts cannot be analysed using the classical distinctions between actual/potential infinity or numerable/continuum infinity, but the introduction of a new “modal” distinction will be necessary. Finally, it will be illustrated the role of a philosophical concept of infinity of the universe. (shrink)
Concept empiricists are committed to the claim that the vehicles of thought are re-activated perceptual representations. Evidence for empiricism comes from a range of neuroscientific studies showing that perceptual regions of the brain are employed during cognitive tasks such as categorization and inference. I examine the extant neuroscientific evidence and argue that it falls short of establishing this core empiricist claim. During conceptual tasks, the causal structure of the brain produces widespread activity in both perceptual and non-perceptual systems. I (...) lay out several conditions on what is required for a neural state to be a realizer of the functional role played by concepts, and argue that no subset of this activity can be singled out as the unique neural vehicle of conceptual thought. Finally, I suggest that, while the strongest form of empiricism is probably false, the evidence is consistent with several weaker forms of empiricism. (shrink)
Fred Feldman and, more recently, David Schmidtz have challenged the standard view that a person's desert is based strictly on past and present facts about him. I argue that Feldman's attempt to overturn this 'received wisdom' about desert's temporal orientation is unsuccessful, since his examples do not establish that what a person deserves now can be based on what will occur in the future. In addition, his forward-looking account introduces an unnecessary asymmetry regarding desert's temporal orientation in different contexts. Schmidtz (...) advances a promissory account of desert, only part of which presents a strong challenge to the received wisdom. After disambiguating the two main elements of his account, I examine Schmidtz's arguments for forward-looking desert. I find these arguments to be unconvincing because they seem to either rely on past or present facts about people, including people's dispositions, or they give us desert without desert bases. I briefly examine the relationship between desert and merit, and I argue that some dispositions might be desert bases and others might be merit bases. I conclude the paper with a summary of the arguments against desert as a forward-looking concept. (shrink)
This paper offers a further look at Husserl's late thought on the transcendental subject and the Husserl-Heidegger relationship. It attempts a reconstruction of how Husserl hoped to assert his own thoughts on subjectivity vis-à-vis Heidegger, while also pointing out where Husserl did not reach the new level that Heidegger attained. In his late manuscripts, Husserl employs the term 'transcendental person' to describe the transcendental ego in its fullest 'concretion'. I maintain that although this concept is a consistent development of (...) Husserl's earlier analyses of constitution, Husserl was also defending himself against Heidegger, who criticized him for framing the subject in terms of transcendental ego rather than as Dasein. Husserl was convinced that he could successfully respond to Heidegger's critique, but he did not grasp that Heidegger's fundamental ontology was an immanent development, rather than a scathing criticism, of his own phenomenology. (shrink)
The biological species (biospecies) concept applies only to sexually reproducing species, which means that until sexual reproduction evolved, there were no biospecies. On the universal tree of life, biospecies concepts therefore apply only to a relatively small number of clades, notably plants andanimals. I argue that it is useful to treat the various ways of being a species (species modes) as traits of clades. By extension from biospecies to the other concepts intended to capture the natural realities of what (...) keeps taxa distinct, we can treat other modes as traits also, and so come to understand that theplurality of species concepts reflects the biological realities of monophyletic groups.We should expect that specialists in different organisms will tend to favour those concepts that best represent the intrinsic mechanisms that keep taxa distinct in their clades. I will address the question whether modes ofreproduction such as asexual and sexual reproduction are natural classes, given that they are paraphyletic in most clades. (shrink)
This major new study of Heidegger is the first to examine in detail the concept of existential truth that Heidegger developed in the 1920s. Daniel Dahlstrom offers a critical focus on the genesis, nature, and viability of Heidegger's radical reconceptualisation. The book has several distinctive and innovative features. First, it is the only study that attempts to understand the logical dimension of Heidegger's thought in its historical context. Second, no other book-length treatment explores the breadth and depth of Heidegger's (...) confrontation with Husserl, his erstwhile mentor. Third, the book demonstrates that Heidegger's deconstruction of Western thinking occurs on three interconnected fronts: truth, being, and time. Dealing with a crucial aspect of the philosophy of one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century, this book will be important to all scholars and students of Heidegger, be they in philosophy, theology, or literary studies. (shrink)
There are three main positions on animalthought: lingualism denies that non-linguistic animalshave any thoughts; mentalism maintains that theirthoughts differ from ours only in degree, due totheir different perceptual inputs; an intermediateposition, occupied by common sense and Wittgenstein,maintains that animals can have thoughts of a simplekind. This paper argues in favor of an intermediateposition. It considers the most important arguments infavor of lingualism, namely those inspired byDavidson: the argument from the intensional nature ofthought (Section 1); the idea that thoughts involveconcepts (Sections (...) 2–3); the argument from the holisticnature of thought (Section 4); and the claim that beliefrequires the concept of belief (Sections 5–6). The lastargument (which Davidson favors) is uncompelling, butthe first three shed valuable light on the extent towhich thought requires language. However, none of themprecludes animals from having simple thoughts. Even ifone adopts the kind of third-person perspective onthought Davidson shares with Wittgenstein, the resultis a version of the intermediate position, albeit oneenriched by Davidson''s insights concerningintensionality, concepts and holism (Section 7). We canonly ascribe simple thoughts to animals, and even thatascription is incongruous in that the rich idiom weemploy has conceptual connections that go beyond thephenomena to which it is applied. (shrink)
Frege held that singular terms can refer only to objects, not to concepts. I argue that the counter-intuitive consequences of this claim ('the concept paradox') arise from Frege's mirroring principle that an incomplete expression can only express an incomplete sense and stand for an incomplete reference. This is not, as is sometimes thought, merely because predicates and singular terms cannot be intersubstituted salva veritate ( congruitate ). The concept paradox, properly understood, poses therefore a different, harder, challenge. An (...) investigation of the foundations of the mirroring principle also sheds light on the role which language plays in Frege's epistemology of logic. (shrink)
Species concepts for bacteria and other microbes are contentious, because they are often asexual. There is a Problem of Homogeneity: every mutation in an asexual lineage forms a new strain, of which all descendents are clones until a new mutation occurs. We should expect that asexual organisms would form a smear or continuum. What causes the internal homogeneity of asexual lineages, if they are in fact homogeneous? Is there a natural “species concept” for “microbes”? Two main concepts devised for (...) metazoans and metaphytes have been applied to bacteria. One is the Recombination Concept, a revised form of the Biological Species Concept in which the homogenizing mechanism is the sharing of genome fragments, somewhat akin to sexual recombination. The other is the Ecological Species Concept, in which the ecological niche is that which maintains lineages as cohesive. In this paper I will discuss these two concepts, and offer an underlying model that conjoins them, and consider the implications for species concepts in general. In short, my argument is that asexual species are instances of the most primitive and underived notion of species, which I will call “quasispecies”, following Eigen, and that sexual species are merely one derived kind of species. Moreover, I will argue that there is a continuum of recombination from simple viral models in which each strain is a clone, through to obligate recombination of 50% of the parents’ genome, and that consequently there is no sharp division between “microbial” and more familiar species. (shrink)
Isaiah Berlin's distinction between "negative" and "positive" concepts of liberty has recently been defended on new and interesting grounds. Proponents of this dichotomy used to equate positive liberty with "self-mastery "-the rule of our rational nature over ourpassions and impulses. However, Berlin's critics have made the case that this account does not employ a separate "concept" of liberty: although the constraints it envisions are internal, rather than external, forces, the freedom in question remains "negative" (freedom is still seen as (...) the absence of such impediments). Responding to this development, Berlin's defenders have increasingly tended to identify positive liberty with "self-realization." The argument is that such an account of freedom is genuinely "nonnegative," in that it does not refer to the absence of constraints on action. This essay argues that the claims made on behalf of "freedom as self-realization" cannot withstand scrutiny, and that they fail to isolate a coherent view of liberty that is distinguishable from the absence of constraint. (shrink)
Recent experimental ﬁ ndings by Knobe and others ( Knobe, 2003; Nadelhoffer, 2006b; Nichols and Ulatowski, 2007 ) have been at the center of a controversy about the nature of the folk concept of intentional action. I argue that the signiﬁ cance of these ﬁ ndings has been overstated. My discussion is two-pronged. First, I contend that barring a consensual theory of conceptual competence, the signiﬁ cance of these experimental ﬁ ndings for the nature of the concept of (...) intentional action cannot be determined. Unfortunately, the lack of progress in the philosophy of concepts casts doubt on whether such a consensual theory will be found. Second, I propose a new, deﬂ ationary interpretation of these experimental ﬁ ndings, ‘ the trade-off hypothesis ’ , and I present several new experimental ﬁ ndings that support this interpretation. (shrink)
This article examines Gilles Deleuze’s concept of the simulacrum, which Deleuze formulated in the context of his reading of Nietzsche’s project of “overturning Platonism.” The essential Platonic distinction, Deleuze argues, is more profound than the speculative distinction between model and copy, original and image. The deeper, practical distinction moves between two kinds of images or eidolon, for which the Platonic Idea is meant to provide a concrete criterion of selection “Copies” or icons (eikones) are well-grounded claimants to the transcendent (...) Idea, authenticated by their internal resemblance to the Idea, whereas “simulacra” (phantasmata) are like false claimants, built on a dissimilarity and implying an essential perversion or deviation from the Idea. If the goal of Platonism is the triumph of icons over simulacra, the inversion of Platonism would entail an affirmation of the simulacrum as such, which must thus be given its own concept. Deleuze consequently defines the simulacrum in terms of an internal dissimilitude or “disparateness,” which in turn implies a new conception of Ideas, no longer as self-identical qualities (the auto kath’hauto), but rather as constituting a pure concept of difference. An inverted Platonism would necessarily be based on a purely immanent and differential conception of Ideas. Starting from this new conception of the Idea, Deleuze proposes to take up the Platonic project anew, rethinking the fundamental figures of Platonism (selection, repetition, ungrounding, the question-problem complex) on a purely differential basis. In this sense, Deleuze’s inverted Platonism can at the same time be seen as a rejuvenated Platonism and even a completed Platonism. (shrink)
Abductive reasoning takes place in forming``hypotheses'''' in order to explain ``facts.'''' Thus, theconcept of abduction promises an understanding ofcreativity in science and learning. It raises,however, also a lot of problems. Some of them will bediscussed in this paper. After analyzing thedifference between induction and abduction (1), Ishall discuss Peirce''s claim that there is a ``logic''''of abduction (2). The thesis is that this claim can beunderstood, if we make a clear distinction between inferential elements and perceptive elements of abductive reasoning. For (...) Peirce, the creative act offorming explanatory hypotheses and the emergence of``new ideas'''' belongs exclusively to the perceptive side of abduction. Thus, it is necessary to study the roleof perception in abductive reasoning (3). A furtherproblem is the question whether there is arelationship between abduction and Peirce''s concept of``theorematic reasoning'''' in mathematics (4). Both forms of reasoning could be connected, because both arebased on perception. The last problem concerns therole of instincts in explaining the success ofabductive reasoning in science, and the question whether the concept of instinct might be replaced bymethods of inquiry (5). (shrink)
Looking for an adequate explication of the concept of a biological function, several authors have proposed to link function to design. Unfortunately, known explications of biological design in turn refer to functions. The concept of general design I will introduce here breaks up this circle. I specify design with respect to its ontogenetic role. This allows function to be based on design without making reference to the history of the design, or to the phylogeny of an organism, while (...) retaining the normative aspect of function ascriptions. The concept is applicable to the function and design of technical artifacts as well. Several problems well known with other definitions can be overcome by this approach. (shrink)
We approach the virtual reality phenomenon by studying its relationship to set theory. This approach offers a characterization of virtual reality in set theoretic terms, and we investigate the case where this is done using the wellfoundedness property. Our hypothesis is that non-wellfounded sets (so-called hypersets) give rise to a different quality of virtual reality than do familiar wellfounded sets. To elaborate this hypothesis, we describe virtual reality through Sommerhoff’s categories of first- and second-order self-awareness; introduced as necessary conditions for (...) consciousness in terms of higher cognitive functions. We then propose a representation of first- and second-order self-awareness through sets, and assume that these sets, which we call events, originally form a collection of wellfounded sets. Strong virtual reality characterizes virtual reality environments which have the limited capacity to create only events associated with wellfounded sets. In contrast, the logically weaker and more general concept of weak virtual reality characterizes collections of virtual reality mediated events altogether forming an entirety larger than any collection of wellfounded sets. By giving reference to Aczel’s hyperset theory we indicate that this definition is not empty because hypersets encompass wellfounded sets already. Moreover, we argue that weak virtual reality could be realized in human history through continued progress in computer technology. Finally, within a more general framework, we use Baltag’s structural theory of sets (STS) to show that within this hyperset theory Sommerhoff’s first- and second-order self-awareness as well as both concepts of virtual reality admit a consistent mathematical representation. To illustrate our ideas, several examples and heuristic arguments are discussed. (shrink)
Introduction -- The concept of logical consequence -- Tarski's characterization of the common concept of logical consequence -- The logical consequence relation has a modal element -- The logical consequence relation is formal -- The logical consequence relation is A priori -- Logical and non-logical terminology -- The meanings of logical terms explained in terms of their semantic properties -- The meanings of logical terms explained in terms of their inferential properties -- Model-theoretic and deductive-theoretic conceptions of logic (...) -- Linguistic preliminaries : the language M -- Syntax of M -- The definition of a well formed formula of M -- Semantics for M -- The sentential connectives are defined -- The notion of satisfaction is introduced and the quantifiers are defined -- Model-theoretic consequence -- Truth in a structure -- Satisfaction revisited -- Formalized definition of truth -- Model-theoretic consequence defined -- The model-theoretic definition and the concept of logical consequence -- Does the model theoretic consequence relation reflect the salient features of the common concept of logical consequence? -- What is a logical constant? -- Deductive consequence -- Deductive system n -- The deductive theoretic definition and the concept of logical consequence -- Tarski's criticism of the deductive theoretic definition -- Is N a correct deductive system? (shrink)
Marx conceives of labour as form giving activity. This is criticised for presupposing a ”productivist’ model of labour which regards work that creates a material product -- craft or industrial work -- as the paradigm for all work (Habermas, Benton, Arendt). Many traditional kinds of work do not seem to fit this picture, and new ”immaterial’ forms of labour (computer work, service work, etc.) have developed in postindustrial society which, it is argued, necessitate a fundamental revision of Marx’s approach (Hardt (...) and Negri). In this paper I argue that Marx’s theory must be understood in the context of Hegel’s philosophy. In that light, I show that the view that Marx has a ”productivist’ model of labour is mistaken. I criticise the concept of ”immaterial’ labour, and argue that Marx’s ideas continue to provide an illuminating framework for understanding work in modern society. (shrink)
Death concept, death definition, death criterion and death test pluralism has been described by some as a problematic approach. Others have claimed it to be a promising way forward within modern pluralistic societies. This article describes the New Jersey Death Definition Law and the Japanese Transplantation Law. Both of these laws allow for more than one death concept within a single legal system. The article discusses a philosophical basis for these laws starting from John Rawls' understanding of (...) comprehensive doctrines, reasonable pluralism and overlapping consensus. It argues for the view that a certain legal pluralism in areas of disputed metaphysical, philosophical and/or religious questions should be allowed, as long as the disputed questions concern the individual and the resulting policy, law or acts based on the policy/law, do not harm the lives of other individuals to an intolerable extent. However, while this death concept, death definition, death criterion and death test pluralism solves some problems, it creates others. (shrink)
Among philosophers, there are at least two prevalent views about the core concept of intentional action. View I (Adams 1986, 1997; McCann 1986) holds that an agent S intentionally does an action A only if S intends to do A. View II (Bratman 1987; Harman 1976; and Mele 1992) holds that there are cases where S intentionally does A without intending to do A, as long as doing A is foreseen and S is willing to accept A as a (...) consequence of S’s action. Joshua Knobe (2003a) presents intriguing data that may be taken to support the second view.1 Knobe’s data show an asymmetry in folk judgements. People are more inclined to judge that S did A intentionally, even when not intended, if A was perceived as causing a harm (e.g. harming the environment). There is an asymmetry because people are not inclined to see S’s action as intentional, when not intended, if A is perceived as causing a beneﬁt (e.g. helping the environment). In this paper we will discuss Knobe’s results in detail. We will raise the question of whether his ordinary language surveys of folk judgments have accessed core concepts of intentional action. We suspect that instead Knobe’s surveys are tapping into pragmatic aspects of intentional language and its role in moral praise and blame. We will suggest alternative surveys that we plan to conduct to get at this difference, and we will attempt to explain the pragmatic usage of intentional language. (shrink)
The paper discusses concept individuation in the context of scientific concepts and conceptual change in science. It is argued that some concepts can be individuated in different ways. A particular term may be viewed as corresponding to a single concept (which is ascribed to every person from a whole scientific field). But at the same time, we can legitimately individuate in a more fine grained manner, i.e., this term can also be considered as corresponding to two or several (...) concepts (so that each of these concepts is attributed to a smaller group of persons only). The reason is that there are different philosophical and explanatory interests that underlie a particular study of the change of a scientific term. These interests determine how a concept is to be individuated; and as the same term can be subject to different philosophical studies and interests, its content can be individuated in different ways. (shrink)