Recently, nominalists have made a case against the Quine–Putnam indispensability argument for mathematical Platonism by taking issue with Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment. In this paper I propose and defend an indispensability argument founded on an alternative criterion of ontological commitment: that advocated by David Armstrong. By defending such an argument I place the burden back onto the nominalist to defend her favourite criterion of ontological commitment and, furthermore, show that criterion cannot be used to formulate a plausible form of (...) the indispensability argument. (shrink)
Recent attempts to resolve the truthmaker objection to presentism employ a fundamentally tensed account of the relationship between truth and being. On this view, the truth of a proposition concerning the past supervenes on how things are, in the present, along with how things were, in the past. This tensed approach to truthmaking arises in response to pressure placed on presentists to abandon the standard response to the truthmaker objection, whereby one invokes presently existing entities as the supervenience base for (...) the truth of past-directed propositions. In this paper, I argue that a fundamentally tensed approach to truthmaking is implausible because it requires the existence of cross-temporal supervenience relations, which are anathema to presentism. (shrink)
This article examines how the action logics associated with the stages of consciousness development of organizational leaders can influence the meaning, which these leaders give to corporate greening and their capacity to consider the specific complexities, values, and demands of environmental issues. The article explores how the seven principal action logics identified by Rooke and Torbert (2005, Harvard Business Review 83 (4), 66–76; Opportunist, Diplomat, Expert, Achiever, Individualist, Strategist and Alchemist) can affect environmental leadership. An examination of the strengths and (...) limitations of these action logics reveals the relevance of the so-called post-conventional stages of consciousness to the recognition and effective management of complex environmental issues. Suggestions are also made for promoting organizational contexts conducive to the development of a post-conventional environmental leadership. (shrink)
This case involves the quandary of a businessman named Arthur Eldredge. A member of the Board of Trustees of Plum Valley Hospital, he is uneasy about apparent conflicts of interest among many board members. Further, Mr. Eldredge is unsure if he can fulfill his responsibilities to the Board. As a trustee of the hospital, he thinks he should do something about these issues: and he is uncertain about what action to take.
This case involves the quandary of a businessman named Arthur Eldredge. A member of the Board of Trustees of Plum Valley Hospital, he is uneasy about apparent conflicts of interest among many board members. Further, Mr. Eldredge is unsure if he can fulfill his responsibilities to the Board. A trustee of the hospital, he thinks he should do something to resolve these issues. He is uncertain about what action to take.
The celebration of the eight-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Moses Maimonides, Casa de las Españas, Columbia University, March 30, 1935: Introduction by N. M. Butler. Moses Maimonides, the philosopher, by R. McKeon. Maimonides, the scientist, by R. Gottheil. Maimonides, the leader and lawgiver, by S. W. Baron.--Homage to Maimonides, by E. Gilson.--The literary character of the Guide for the perplexed, by L. Strauss.--Maimonides' treaties on resurrection: a comparative study, by J. Finkel.--A responsum of Maimonides, by R. Gottheil.--The economic (...) views of Maimonides, by S. W. Baron.--The medical work of Maimonides, by M. Meyerhof. (shrink)
This paper seeks to differentiate negative properties from positive properties, with the aim of providing the groundwork for further discussion about whether there is anything that corresponds to either of these notions. We differentiate negative and positive properties in terms of their functional role, before drawing out the metaphysical implications of proceeding in this fashion. We show that if the difference between negative and positive properties tabled here is correct, then negative properties are metaphysically contentious entities, entities that many philosophers (...) will be unwilling to countenance. (shrink)
Friends as well as foes of Kant have long been uneasy over his emphasis on duty, but lately the view that there is something morally repugnant about acting from duty seems to be gaining in popularity. More and more philosophers indicate their readiness to jettison duty and the moral 'ought' and to conceive of the perfectly moral person as someone who has all the right desires and acts accordingly without any notion that (s)he ought to act in this way. Elsewhere' (...) I have argued that such a picture of the perfectly moral person is flawed. In this paper I examine the claim that acting from duty is morally repugnant. There is some truth to this charge, but, I argue, the repugnance attaches not to acting from duty as such, but only to certain ways of acting from duty. In isolating the objectionable elements of acting from duty, I hope not only to vindicate the skeletal concept but also to offer illumination on the question of just how we should understand morally good conduct. (shrink)
Recent discussion of the problem of negative existentials for truthmaker theory suggests a modest solution to the problem: fully general negative truths like do not require truthmakers, whereas partially general negative truths like do. This modest solution provides a third alternative to the two standard solutions to the problem of negative existentials: the endorsement of truthmaker gaps, and the appeal to contentious ontological posits. We argue that this modest, middle-ground position is inconsistent with certain plausible general principles for truthmaking. The (...) only stable positions are to treat all negative truths as requiring truthmakers, or admit that no negative truths require truthmakers. Along the way, we explore some previously unaddressed questions for nonmaximalist truthmaker theory. (shrink)
Justifications and excuses are defenses that exculpate. They are therefore much more like each other than like such defenses as diplomatic immunity, which does not exculpate. But they exculpate in different ways, and it has proven difficult to agree on just what that difference consists in. In this paper I take a step back from justification and excuse as concepts in criminal law, and look at the concepts as they arise in everyday life. To keep the task manageable, I focus (...) primarily on excuses and excusing activities, distinguishing them from justifications as well as from other close relatives, in particular, forgiving and pardoning. I draw upon J.L. Austinâs classic A Plea for Excuses, but expand on his account, suggesting that we offer excuses for reasons besides those he mentions. My hope is that my examination of excuses and excusing activities will help us rethink our views on just how justifications and excuses differ, views which often are worked out without much attention to how these concepts function in everyday life and to the connection between offers of excuses and justifications and the rules of civility. (shrink)
One of the major difficulties facing presentism is the problem of causation. In this paper, I propose a new solution to that problem, one that is compatible with intrinsic, fundamental causal relations. Accommodating relations of this kind is important because (i) according to David Lewis (2004), such relations are needed to account for causation in our world and worlds relevantly similar to our own, (ii) there is no other strategy currently available that successfully reconciles presentism with relations of this kind (...) and (iii) resolving the problem of causation by accommodating intrinsic, fundamental causal relations provides the presentist with a far more general solution to the problem of causation than those currently on offer. (shrink)
Truthmaker theory is commonly thought to pose a challenge for presentism. Presentism seems to lack the ontological and ideological resources required to adequately underwrite the truth of propositions concerning the past. That is because if presentism is true, then the past does not exist. According to the standard response to this challenge, the truth of propositions concerning the past supervenes on surrogate entities that ‘stand proxy’ for past things. I argue that in order for the standard response to the truthmaker (...) challenge to succeed these surrogate entities must stand in necessary connections to the past. I go on to argue that because the standard response is already committed to denying the existence of cross-temporal modal connections of this kind, by its own lights that response is in error.1. (shrink)
This paper addresses the extent to which both Julian Barbour‘s Machian formulation of general relativity and his interpretation of canonical quantum gravity can be called timeless. We differentiate two types of timelessness in Barbour‘s (1994a, 1994b and 1999c). We argue that Barbour‘s metaphysical contention that ours is a timeless world is crucially lacking an account of the essential features of time—an account of what features our world would need to have if it were to count as being one in which (...) there is time. We attempt to provide such an account through considerations of both the representation of time in physical theory and in orthodox metaphysical analyses. We subsequently argue that Barbour‘s claim of timelessness is dubious with respect to his Machian formulation of general relativity but warranted with respect to his interpretation of canonical quantum gravity. We conclude by discussing the extent to which we should be concerned by the implications of Barbour‘s view. (shrink)
Cognitive biases that affect decision making may affect the decisions of citizens that influence public policy. To the extent that decisions follow principles other than maximizing utility for all, it is less likely that utility will be maximized, and the citizens will ultimately suffer the results. Here I outline some basic arguments concerning decisions by citizens, using voting as an example. I describe two types of values that may lead to sub-optimal consequences when these values influence political behavior: moralistic values (...) (which people are willing to impose on others regardless of the consequences) and protected values (PVs, values protected from trade-offs). I present evidence against the idea that voting is expressive, i.e., that voters aim to express their moral views rather than to have an effect on outcomes. I show experimentally that PVs are often moralistic. Finally, I present some data that citizens’ think of their duty in a parochial way, neglecting out-groups. I conclude that moral judgments are important determinants of citizen behavior, that these judgments are subject to biases and based on moralistic values, and that, therefore, outcomes are probably less good than they could be. (shrink)
Part I raises some questions concerning the extent of our freedom on the view that Henry Allison's Kant's Theory of Freedom attributes to Kant, and the possibility, on that view, of weakness of will. Allison is correct to attribute to Kant the ?Incorporation Thesis?: one is never compelled to do x just because one has a desire (even a very intense desire) to do x; a desire moves one to action only if one allows it to. But while the attribution (...) seems correct, there is a puzzle: how, given the Incorporation Thesis, is weakness of will, or ?frailty?, possible? Part II considers Kant's claim in The Doctrine of Virtue that we have an indirect duty to cultivate our sympathetic feelings. Allison's interpretation is unsatisfactory because it fails to steer clear of the ?impurity? problem: the interpretation seems to foist on Kant an endorsement of impurity, i.e. the seeking out of nonmoral reasons to induce one to do one's duty. To seek out such reasons is to cultivate an impure will, something Kant warns against. A different interpretation is offered. (shrink)
The indispensability argument seeks to establish the existence of mathematical objects. The success of the indispensability argument turns on finding cases of genuine extra-mathematical explanation (the explanation of physical facts by mathematical facts). In this paper, I identify a new case of extra-mathematical explanation, involving the search patterns of fully-aquatic marine predators. I go on to use this case to predict the prevalence of extra-mathematical explanation in science.
In this paper I consider what it would take to combine a certain kind of mathematical Platonism with serious presentism. I argue that a Platonist moved to accept the existence of mathematical objects on the basis of an indispensability argument faces a significant challenge if she wishes to accept presentism. This is because, on the one hand, the indispensability argument can be reformulated as a new argument for the existence of past entities and, on the other hand, if one accepts (...) the indispensability argument for mathematical objects then it is hard to resist the analogous argument for the existence of the past. (shrink)
Commitment to a pattern of altruism or self-control may indeed be learnable and sometimes rational. Commitment may also result from illusions. In one illusion, people think that their present behavior causes their future behavior, or causes the behavior of others, when really only correlation is present. Another happy illusion is that morality and self-interest coincide, so that altruism appears self-interested.
. Whether to use privileged information as a basis for a decision to sell stock is the central issue in thiscase. A conflict between a stockbrokers perceived obligations to maximize clients stock values and protect their investments (fiduciary responsibility) and violating Security and Exchange Commission insider trading regulations must be resolved.
In this essay, I argue that traditional medical views of illness systematically exclude intuitive knowledge from their description of disease and thus result in a functionally impressive but humanly ungrounded medicine. Physicians trained in a technologized anatomico-pathologic view of disease find themselves cut off from much of what they knew about illness when they began their training. Not only do they lack a rigorous or formal way to confront the non-technical aspects of medical practice, but many have even lost sight (...) of the motives for medicine. I argue here for an intuitively based humanly grounded ontology of illness. Such an ontology begins in an understanding of the experience of the sick person rather than in an "objective" description of pathology. It is only through a science of illness-as-lived that one may achieve a truly humanistic medicine. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This article considers the application of utilitarian and deontological theories to questions that arise in the conduct of government, including whether a government may mislead the public without actually lying, how far civil servants should maintain political neutrality, whether civil servants should leak information to the press, and whether a government should avoid getting legal advice that it might not like.
The methods of experiments in the social sciences should depend on their purposes. To support this claim, I attempt to state some general principles relating method to purpose for three of the issues addressed. (I do not understand what is not a script, so I will omit that issue.) I illustrate my outline with examples from psychological research on judgment and decision making (JDM).
The heuristics-and-biases approach requires a clear separation of normative and descriptive models. Normative models cannot be justified by intuition, or by consensus. The lack of consensus on normative theory is a problem for prescriptive approaches. One solution to the prescriptive problem is to argue contingently: if you are concerned about consequences, here is a way to make them better.
The present paper is a commentary on an article by Drew Leder . Leder identifies a series of texts in the clinical encounter, emphasizes the central role of interpretation in making sense of each of these texts, and articulates ordering principles to guide the interpretive work.The metaphor of clinical work as textual explication, however, creates the expectation that there is a text somewhere to be found. Such an expectation invites doctors and patients to search for the text and runs the (...) risk of conceptualizing patients as more static than they are. If one is to use the textual metaphor, one must appreciate the radical extent to which the clinical encounter is a mutually produced and shifting entity. The qualities of mutuality and indeterminacy are not those one usually associates with texts. One might ultimately be better served by a different metaphor based more directly on uncertainty. (shrink)
Marcia Baron has offered an illuminating and fruitful discussion of extra-legal excuses. What is particularly useful, and particularly important, is her focus on our excusatory practices—on the ways and contexts in which we make, offer, accept, bestow and reject excuses: if we are to reach an adequate understanding of excuses, their implications and their grounds, we must attend to the roles that they can play in our human activities and relationships—and to the complexities and particularities of those roles. However, (...) I want to focus my comments less on the details of Baron’s discussions of excuses in extra-legal contexts than on the implications of her discussion for our understanding of excuses in the criminal law. What light (if any, a sceptic might add) can such analyses of our extra-legal concepts and practices throw on legal concepts and doctrines? (shrink)
In this analysis of Marcia Baronâs account of excuses, I seek to do twothings. I try to draw out the nature of the distinction between forgivingand excusing. I also defend the distinction between excuses (like duress),and denials of responsibility (like insanity).
The problem of other minds has a distinguished philosophical history stretching back more than two hundred years. Taken at face value, it is an epistemological question: it concerns how we can have knowledge of, or at least justified belief in, the existence of minds other than our own. In recent decades, philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists and primatologists have debated a related question: how we actually go about attributing mental states to others (regardless of whether we ever achieve knowledge or rational (...) justification in this domain). Until the mid-nineties, the latter debate – which sometimes goes under the name of the “mindreading” debate – was characterized by a fairly clear-cut opposition between two theoretical outlooks: “theory-theory” (TT) and “simulation theory” (ST). Theory-theorists typically argued that we attribute mental states to others on the basis of a “theory of mind” that is either constructed in early infancy and subsequently revised and modified (Gopnik 1996), or else is the result of maturation of innate mindreading “modules” (Baron-Cohen 1995). Simulation theorists, on the other hand, held that it is by creating simulated “pretend states” in ourselves that we understand the mental states of others (Goldman 1995; Gordon 1995). Recently, a number of theorists have suggested another explanation of our understanding of others as having mental states – an explanation that, at least prima facie, seems very different from the TT and ST paradigms. Drawing on the approach to other minds defended by classical phenomenologists such as Max Scheler (1954: 238-64) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (2002: 214-16, 403-25), recent participants in the mindreading debate have maintained that we often see, or perceive in some other modality, that another is in the grip of a particular emotion, say. In other words, the processes involved in our detection of others’ emotions and other mental states are often perceptual processes that are not supplemented by any extra-perceptual cognitive mechanisms (e.g., inferential processes, conscious simulation routines, or the like).. (shrink)
The problem of other minds has a distinguished philosophical history stretching back more than two hundred years. Taken at face value, it is an epistemological question: it concerns how we can have knowledge of, or at least justified belief in, the existence of minds other than our own. In recent decades, philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists and primatologists have debated a related question: how we actually go about attributing mental states to others (regardless of whether we ever achieve knowledge or rational (...) justification in this domain). Until the mid-nineties, the latter debate – which sometimes goes under the name of the “mindreading” debate – was characterized by a fairly clear-cut opposition between two theoretical outlooks: “theory-theory” (TT) and “simulation theory” (ST). Theory-theorists typically argued that we attribute mental states to others on the basis of a “theory of mind” that is either constructed in early infancy and subsequently revised and modified (Gopnik 1996), or else is the result of maturation of innate mindreading “modules” (Baron-Cohen 1995). (shrink)
The first two sections of this paper are devoted respectively to the criticisms of my views raised by Stephen Engstrom and Andrews Reath at a symposium on Kant's Theory of Freedom held in Washington D.C. on 28 December 1992 under the auspices of the North American Kant Society. The third section contains my response to the remarks of Marcia Baron at a second symposium in Chicago on 24 April 1993 at the APA Western Division meetings. The fourth section deals (...) with some general criticisms of my treatment of Kant's theory of freedom and its connection with transcendental idealism that have been raised by Karl Ameriks, who was also a participant in the second symposium, in an earlier piece published in Inquiry and by Paul Guyer in a review. The paper as a whole is thus an attempt to reformulate and clarify some of the central claims of my book in light of the initial critical reaction. (shrink)
While Hume has often been held to have been an agnostic or atheist, several contemporary scholars have argued that Hume was a theist. These interpretations depend chiefly on several passages in which Hume allegedly confesses to theism. In this paper, I argue against this position by giving a threshold characterization of theism and using it to show that Hume does not confess. His most important confession does not cross this threshold and the ones that do are often expressive rather than (...) assertive. I then argue that Hume is best interpreted as an atheist. Instead of interpreting Hume as a proto-logical positivist and arguing on the basis of Hume’s theories of meaning and method, I show that textually he appears to align himself with atheism, that his arguments in the Dialogues on Natural Religion support atheism, and that this position is most consistent with Hume’s naturalism. But, I hold that his atheism is soft and therefore distinct from that of his peers like Baron d’Holbach—while Hume really does reject theism, he neither embraces a dogmatically materialist position nor takes up a purely polemical stance towards theism. I conclude by suggesting several ways in which Hume’s atheistic philosophy of religion is relevant to contemporary discussions. (shrink)
Methods of punishing corporations have changed from self-regulation to economic sanctions by government as corporations have evolved from small groups of entrepreneurs to multinational entities. It is proposed that the next stage in the evolution of punishment methods is modified vendettas, or organized attempts by non-government groups to influence corporations through the application of economic and non-economic sanctions.This paper develops the concept of modified vendettas as a complement to government-initiated economic sanctions. The effectiveness of modified vendettas is analyzed through two (...) case examples. As with any punishment method, however, the usefulness of a modified vendetta depends not only on its effectiveness but also on how well it meets society's needs to monitor and check corporate activity while preserving corporations' rights to operate. To resolve this issue, modified vendettas are assessed using a philosophical framework incorporating both retributive and utilitarian principles. It is found that modified vendettas extend society's ability to control corporate behavior while corporations have legal and public relations means to protect themselves from frivolous use of the technique. Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and no body to be kicked? (Baron Thurlow). (shrink)
Paul Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach was a philosopher, translator, and prominent social figure of the French Enlightenment. In his philosophical writings Holbach developed a deterministic and materialistic metaphysics which grounded his polemics against organized religion and his utilitarian ethical and political theory. As a translator, Holbach made significant contributions to the European Enlightenment in science and religion. He translated German works on chemistry and geology into French, summarizing many of the German advances in these areas in his entries in (...) Diderot's Encyclopedia. Holbach also translated important English works on religion and political philosophy into French. Holbach remains best known, however, for his role in Parisian society. The close circle of intellectuals that Holbach hosted and, in various ways, sponsored produced the Encyclopedia and a number of revisionary religious, ethical, and political works that contributed to the ideological basis for the French Revolution. Despite the radical views of many members of his coterie, however, Holbach's broader visiting guest list included many of the most prominent intellectual and political figures in Europe. His salon, then, was at once a shelter for radical thought and a hub of mainstream culture. (shrink)
Newman’s defense of the role of the laity in the development of doctrine not only occasioned a negative reaction from the Vatican, it had continued reverberations among his followers.This essay examines Newman’s influence on Baron Friedrich von Hügel and then compares the Baron’s positions with those Newman’s biographer, Wilfred Ward.
If each of the subtypes of autism is defined simply as constituted by a set of symptoms, then the criteria for its observation are straightforward, although, of course, some of those symptoms themselves might be hard to observe definitively. Compare with telling whether or not someone is bleeding: while it might be hard to tell if someone is bleeding internally, we know what it takes to find out, and when we have the right access and instruments we can settle the (...) issue. But matters are not so simple for the autism subtypes. For one thing, how do we settle which symptoms to group together under one heading? One key difference between “autism disorder” and “Asperger’s disorder” is that the former exhibit language delays (sometimes extreme), whereas the latter do not. But is that a sign of genuinely distinct conditions or is that an artifact of the distinct groups of subjects that Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger worked with? And in general, although there are certainly types of behavior that are taken to be indicative of autism, none by itself is taken by diagnosticians to be either necessary or sufficient for a definitive diagnosis for any of the autism subtypes. What is the diagnostician to do? This is not merely an academic issue, as many parents can attest. Are we in a situation, then, that each practitioner has his or her own “pet” signs that are the “real keys” to the diagnosis? That would suggest that the term “autistic” might meet the fate of the outdated term “neurotic,” which turned out to be a pseudo-scientific term for an inexact clumping together of unrelated phenomena. The assumption amongst specialists seems to be that we will reach the point with "autism" that we have with "water": there will be a root essence to autism whose presence or absence settles a diagnosis. If that is to be the case, however, we have to settle the level of application of the concept. Does the term apply to people who exhibit particular behaviors? Or is it possible to exhibit “autistic” behaviors without actually being autistic, because autism is instead a particular feature of the mind (as, for example, in Baron-Cohen’s “impaired theory of mind module” theory, discussed below) which usually but not necessarily has behavioral effects? Or is autism located instead in the brain, perhaps in damage to key areas, which in turn would typically have an effect on modules of the mind? Or perhaps autism is located in genetics or biology, so that some people with damage to the brain caused by accidents so that they exhibit autistic symptoms would not actually be autistic. Conversely, supposing one had an “autistic brain” but showed none of (or not a sufficient number of) the symptoms, would one not be autistic? The assumption is that the genotypes and phenotypes will line up neatly, but if they do not, what happens to the concept “autistic?” (There is an analogy in the philosophy of sex and gender: androgen insensitive individuals tend to self-identify as female and have outward female traits, but have XY chromosomes—should we go with chromosomes or self-identity in assigning sex category?) Finally, the implications for these complications for diagnosis and categorization, with the attendant social and medical implications is discussed. The typical assumption of the medical profession is that autism cannot be “cured.” That assumes that autism is not simply the symptoms. However, at the same time, the tests used to diagnose ASDs work simply from the symptoms (for example, Baron-Cohen’s Sally/Anne test, which ASD children of a certain age almost all fail, but which practically no ASD adult fails). This implies an inherent confusion over the status of the concept. I conclude that attempts to make sense of some true or accurate summary of what it is to be autistic (such as one would find in the DSM) are almost certainly misguided and will vanish into history along with “neurotic.” But as with racial terms, which are similarly shifting and perverse, the term has already passed into the public sphere and will have a lasting and dangerous influence beyond its short scientific shelf-life. (shrink)
Extreme conditions like savantism, autism or synaesthesia, which have a neurological 2AH, UK basis, challenge the idea that other minds are similar to our own. In this paper we report a single case study of a man in whom all three of these conditions co-occur. We suggest, on the basis of this single case, that when savantism and synaesthesia co- occur, it is worthwhile testing for an undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). This is because savantism has an established association with (...) ASC, and the combination of ASC with synaesthesia may increase the likelihood of savantism. The implications of these conditions for philosophy of mind are introduced. (shrink)
The traditional argument for skepticism relies on a comparison between a normal subject and a subject in a skeptical scenario: because there is no relevant difference between them, neither has knowledge. Externalists respond by arguing that there is in fact a relevant difference—the normal subject is properly situated in her environment. I argue, however, that there is another sort of comparison available—one between a normal subject and a subject with a belief that is accidentally true—that makes possible a new argument (...) for skepticism. Unlike the traditional form of skeptical argument, this new argument applies equally well to both internalist and externalist theories of knowledge. (shrink)
For two hundred years materialist philosophers have argued that man is some sort of machine. The claim began with French materialists of the Enlightenment such as Pierre Cabanis, Julien La Mettrie, and Baron d’Holbach (La Mettrie even wrote a book titled Man the Machine). Likewise contemporary materialists like Marvin Minsky, Daniel Dennett, and Patricia Churchland claim that the motions and modifications of matter are sufficient to account for all human experiences, even our interior and cognitive ones. Whereas the Enlightenment (...) philosophes might have thought of humans in terms of gear mechanisms and fluid flows, contemporary materialists think of humans in terms of neurological systems and computational devices. The idiom has been updated, but the underlying impulse to reduce mind to matter remains unchanged. (shrink)
When Woodrow Wilson, in the course of his campaign for the Presidency in 1912, attacked Thomas Jefferson and Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brfor the constitutionalism articulated by the latter and embraced, in turn, by the Framers of the American Constitution was a systematic attempt to put into practice something very much like the first principles spelled out in the Declaration of Independence. Montesquieu was not a doctrinaire. He feared that, in his own country and elsewhere, revolution would (...) eventuate in the establishment of a despotism, and so he gently, quietly promoted unobtrusive reform. But the cautious, prudential political science that he outlined in his Spirit of Laws was anything but value-free. If the American framers found his legislative science of use, it was because the hatred of despotism and love for liberty animating its author was grounded in an account of natural right closely akin to the one, espoused in John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, that had inspired their revolution. (shrink)
Private politics (Baron 2003), i.e. attempts by various groups in society to influence corporate behavior without recourse to the state regulation or the law, has been an increasingly significant theme over the past few decades, and is likely to remain prominent in the years ahead. Yet, the occasional success of such attempts remains difficult to understand, because from the firm’s perspective, such groups lack a well-developed basis for negotiation and bargaining. Following this line of reasoning, we discuss how such (...) groups try to influence firms, and whether how they do so today is any different from earlier periods in time. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Contributors; Method of citing Aristotle's works; Method of citing Kant's works; Introduction; 1. Virtue ethics in relation to Kantian ethics: an opinionated overview and commentary Marcia Baron; 2. What does the Aristotelian Phronimos know? Rosalind Hursthouse; 3. Kant and agent-oriented ethics Allen Wood; 4. The difference that ends make Barbara Herman; 5. Two pictures of practical thinking Talbot Brewer; 6. Moving beyond Kant's moral agent in the Grounding Julian Wuerth; 7. A Kantian conception of human (...) flourishing Lara Denis; 8. Kantian perfectionism Paul Guyer; 9. Aristotle, the Stoics, and Kant on anger Nancy Sherman; 10. Kant's impartial virtues of love Christine Swanton; 11. The problem we all have with deontology Michael Slote; 12. Intuition, system, and the 'paradox' of deontology Timothy Chappell; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
Graduate Group Chairperson Acknowledgments Above all I wish to thank my co-advisors, <span class='Hi'>Jonathan</span> Baron and Alan Fiske, and my additional committee members, John Sabini and Paul Rozin, for their wisdom and guidance over the years. This dissertation is the report of a collaborative research project, carried out with Silvia Helena Koller of the Universidade Federal de Rio Grande do Sul, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and with Maria G. Dias of the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, in Recife, Brazil. The (...) research was funded by a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation, a dissertation fellowship from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and a dissertation award from the American Psychological Association. (shrink)
The significance of Machiavelli's political thinking for the development of modern republicanism is a matter of great controversy. This reassessment examines the character of Machiavelli's own republicanism by charting his influence on Marchamont Nedham, James Harrington, John Locke, Algernon Sidney, John Trenchard, Thomas Gordon, David Hume, the baron de Montesquieu, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Concluding that although Machiavelli himself was not liberal, Paul Rahe argues that he did, nonetheless, set the (...) stage for the emergence of liberal republicanism in England. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Simon Baron-Cohen has argued that autism and related developmental disorders (sometimes called “autism spectrum conditions” or “autism spectrum disorders”) can be usefully thought of as the condition of possessing an “extreme male brain.” The impetus for regarding autism spectrum disorders (ASD) this way has been the accepted science regarding the etiology of autism, as developed over that past several decades. Three important features of this etiology ground the Extreme Male Brain theory. First, ASD is disproportionately male (approximately 10:1 (...) in the case of Asperger’s Syndrome or high-functioning autism (HFA) and approximately 4:1 in the case of autistic disorder). Second, ASD is not psychogenic but biological in origin, and hence is not the product of sexist conditioning or childrearing practices, although these may affect the development of the disorder. Third, ASD is regarded as a spectrum developmental disorder, unlike other disorders such as Down Syndrome that are diagnosed by a (nearly) binary criterion. Down Syndrome, for example, is diagnosed by the presence in all or most cells within a given individual of an extra copy of Chromosome 21. Autism, on the other hand, is diagnosed by the presence of a set of symptoms that vary in their intensity and in their milder forms seem to conform to purported sex differences in cognitive, emotional, and social functioning. -/- In this paper, I do not challenge accepted science regarding the etiology of autism, and I do not challenge the idea of ASD as a disorder. Nor do I wish to offer an alternative account of what autism is. Instead, I focus on the usefulness of thinking of a disorder as an extreme version of ordinary sex differences. Does it follow from the fact that a disorder is more often found in men that we should think of it as an extreme form of maleness? If not, what other conditions must be met in order to warrant this way of thinking about ASD? What does it mean to say that ASD is a form of “extreme male brain”? Feminists are rightly skeptical of theories that make claims about male and female brains, so how should we respond to the clear evidence that the differences between typical and ASD individuals are not caused by childrearing practices? I explain what I take to be Baron-Cohen’s central argument that autism should be seen as the extreme male brain, and critique that argument. I conclude that there is no good argument that autistic symptoms should be regarded as an extreme form of male mental traits, and that Baron-Cohen’s claim does not help us to understand autism, women, or men. His claim is a speculative thesis that is readily mobilized for sexist practices. As such it requires a higher threshold for evidentiary support and rigorous argumentation—support and argumentation that does not exist. -/- KEYWORDS: autism, brain, gender, neuroscience, feminism, male . (shrink)
Montesquieu was one of the great political philosophers of the Enlightenment. Insatiably curious and mordantly funny, he constructed a naturalistic account of the various forms of government, and of the causes that made them what they were and that advanced or constrained their development. He used this account to explain how governments might be preserved from corruption. He saw despotism, in particular, as a standing danger for any government not already despotic, and argued that it could best be prevented by (...) a system in which different bodies exercised legislative, executive, and judicial power, and in which all those bodies were bound by the rule of law. This theory of the separation of powers had an enormous impact on liberal political theory, and on the framers of the constitution of the United States of America. (shrink)
Autism, typically described as a spectrum neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in verbal ability and social reciprocity as well as obsessive or repetitious behaviours, is currently thought to markedly affect more males than females. Not surprisingly, this encourages a gendered understanding of the Autism Spectrum. Simon Baron-Cohen, a prominent authority in the field of autism research, characterizes the male brain type as biased toward systemizing. In contrast, the female brain type is understood to be biased toward empathizing. Since persons (...) with autism are characterized as hyper-systemizers and hypo-empathizers, Baron-Cohen suggests that, whether they are male or female, most possess an “extreme male brain profile.” We argue that Baron-Cohen is misled by an unpersuasive gendering of certain capacities or aptitudes in the human population. Moreover, we suggest that this may inadvertently favour boys in diagnosing children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. If this is correct, it could also have rather serious consequences for treatment and services for girls (and women) on the Autism Spectrum. (shrink)
For the last thirty years, cognitive scientists have attempted to describe the cognitive architecture of typically developing human beings, using, among other sources of evidence, the dissociations that result from developmental psychopathologies such as autism spectrum disorders, Williams syndrome, and Down syndrome. Thus, in his recent defense of the massive modularity hypothesis, Steven Pinker insists on the importance of such dissociations to identify the components of the typical cognitive architecture (2005, 4; my emphasis): This kind of faculty psychology has numerous (...) advantages (...). It is supported by the existence of neurological and genetic disorders that target these faculties unevenly, such as a difficulty in recognizing faces (and facelike shapes) but not other objects, or a difficulty in reasoning about minds but not about objects or pictures. Similarly, Simon Baron-Cohen writes (1998, 335; my emphasis; see also Temple, 1997): I suggest that the study of mental retardation would profit from the application of the framework of cognitive neuropsychology (…). In cognitive neuropsychology, one key question running through the investigator’s mind is “Is this process or mechanism intact or impaired in this person?” When cognitive neuropsychology is done well, a patient’s cognitive system is examined with specific reference to a model of the normal cognitive system. And, not infrequently, evidence from the patient’s cognitive deficits leads to a revision of the model of the normal system. However, in recent years, the use of developmental psychopathologies to identify the components of the typical cognitive architecture has come under heavy fire. In a series of influential articles, neuropsychologist Annette Karmiloff-Smith has argued that findings about the pattern of impairments and preserved capacities in people with developmental psychopathologies say nothing about the cognitive architecture of.. (shrink)
Substantive accounts of autonomy place value constraints on the objects of autonomous choice. According to such views, not all sober and competent choices can be autonomous: some things simply cannot be autonomously chosen. Such an account is developed and appealed to, by Thomas Hill Jr, in order to explain the intuitively troubling nature of choices for deferential roles. Such choices are not consistent with the value of self-respect, it is claimed. In this paper I argue that Hill's attempt to explain (...) the problem with such a choice, and Marcia Baron's interpretation and defence of his view, fail in this task. The troubling nature of some choices for deference cannot be explained in terms of a substantive self-respect condition for autonomy. (shrink)
Baron Reed has developed a new argument for skepticism: (1) contemporary epistemologists are all committed to two theses, fallibilism and attributabilism; unfortunately, (2) these two theses about knowledge are incompatible; therefore, (3) knowledge as conceived by contemporary epistemologists is impossible. In this brief paper I suggest that Reed's argument appears to rest on an understanding of attributabilism that is so strong (call it maximal attributabilism) that it's doubtful that many contemporary epistemologists actually embrace it. Nor does Reed offer any (...) direct argument for the truth of maximal attributabilism. Therefore, we need not be persuaded by Reed's new argument for skepticism. (shrink)
Jean-Guillaume-César-Alexandre-Hippolyte de Colins (1783-1859), a Belgian baron who lived mainly in Paris, sought to develop a position—rational socialism—intermediate between the extremes of full capitalism (with only private property) and full communism (with only collective property). All persons fully own themselves and the artifactual wealth that they produce, and they are entitled to an equal share of the natural resources and of the assets inherited from previous generations. Gifts and bequests are to be subject to heavy taxation (although at less (...) than 100% of their value, for efficiency reasons). Natural resources are subject to a rent-tax. A warning about the following reading: Colins writes in many places as if he held that an unrestricted right to make gifts and bequests is both necessary for efficient social functioning and required by justice. His ultimate view, however, is that efficient social functioning requires only some kind of weak (partially restricted) right to make gifts and bequest, and that justice does not require any such right. More specifically, he holds that justice requires that gifts and bequests be taxed as much as compatible with efficient social functioning. (shrink)
Kant famously argued in the Groundwork that our fundamental moral obligation is simply to respect the humanity in persons. However, his fuller view, found in the Metaphysic of Morals, is that the humanity in persons not only demands our respect, but also our love. Neither of these demands, of course, requires that we feel anything for others, and Kant is much more specific here about what constitutes respect between persons. But in elaborating this position he also claims that these (...) demands are somehow opposed, as though love were a sort of moral gravity and respect a sort of moral centrifugal force, which together create a cohesive moral/social bond, but alone would allow “nothingness (immorality)... [to] drink up the whole kingdom of (moral) beings” (MdS 6:449). Marcia Baron, in her illuminating paper, argues that this and related remarks are surely an exaggeration. After all, respect sometimes requires that we come closer and love sometimes imposes limits. And not only does Kant ground all duties in respect, but this is the same philosopher who, early on in the Groundwork, claimed that the Christian command to “love our neighbor” must be understood as commanding, not a feeling, but “beneficence from duty” (G 4:399). Since acting from duty is acting out of respect, “practical” love itself requires respect. So why does he think that they are opposing forces? (shrink)
About 22 years ago, the physics world was briefly rocked by claims of evidence for a new “5 th force”, based on reanalysis of data from an early 20 th century experiment. Baron Roland von Eötvös, a Hungarian nobleman, had performed extensive measurements of the correlation between inertial mass and gravitational mass and published them in 1922. The lead article in the January 6, 1986 issue of Physical Review Letters had the unassuming title: "A Reanalysis of the Eötvös Experiment" (...) by Ephriam Fischbach, et al. Two days later the New York Times ran an article with the headline: "Hints of Fifth Force in Universe Challenge Galileo's Findings" describing the possible implications of Fischbach's work. (shrink)
In the mid-nineteenth century when Joseph Baron Lister was beginning his surgical career, bold new theories of medicine were being proposed with increasing frequency. Many of these new theories were in conflict as to how the body functioned and how disease and injury should be approached. They all conflicted more, however, with the older theory of vitalism which they were gradually replacing. Lister believed in vitalism and was quite bothered by the new theories, but did not react to them (...) with hostile criticism or bombast. His typical gentlemanly style was to test them quietly against his own understandings and beliefs. This historical essay focuses upon the feelings, thoughts, and beliefs of Joseph Lister as reflected by his background and his most important experiments. It will show that the discovery which transformed surgery did not originate from any leading edge medical theory of the era. The antiseptic principle originated from the experimentation of a troubled vitalist in the service of the theory in which he so passionately believed. (shrink)
Abstract One characterisation of the duty/virtue debate contrasts an ethics of duty that provides us with the moral knowledge to know what is right because it is right, to an ethics of virtue that enables us to choose what is right only because we want to, and not because we know that we must (Baron, 1985). This paper provides an account of the practical reasoning that moral agents employ in the pursuit of valuable goals based on Raz (1986) that (...) undermines the basis for this contrast. The account shows how acquiring practical knowledge of our own valuable pursuits instructs us in the duties that we owe to others, just as being able to identify the duties we owe to others requires knowing what is necessary for living a meaningful and fulfilling life. It is argued that the interdependence of these two important aspects of moral development puts into question attempts by moral educators to distinguish sharply between them. (shrink)
The riddle of Baron von Hugel has always been how to reconcile his deep piety and attractiveness as a spiritual writer with his austere use of historical criticism on biblical texts. By interpreting Roman Catholic Modernism as basically a development in the history of piety, validating the turn to the subject of modern philosophy and science, one sees that von Hugel’s life is all of a piece, with his criticism and theology rooted in what he called “the mystical element.” (...) Thus investigation of von Hugel’s spiritual theology leads to a new interpretation of the Modernist movement as a whole. (shrink)
Pythagoras -- Confucius -- Heracleitus -- Parmenides -- Zeno of Elea -- Socrates -- Democritus -- Plato -- Aristotle -- Mencius -- Zhuangzi -- Pyrrhon of Elis -- Epicurus -- Zeno of Citium -- Philo Judaeus -- Marcus Aurelius -- Nagarjuna -- Plotinus -- Sextus Empiricus -- Saint Augustine -- Hypatia -- Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius -- Śaṅkara -- Yaqūb ibn Ishāq aṣ-Ṣabāḥ al-Kindī -- Al-Fārābī -- Avicenna -- Rāmānuja -- Ibn Gabirol -- Saint Anselm of Canterbury -- al-Ghazālī -- (...) Peter Abelard -- Averroës -- Zhu Xi -- Moses Maimonides -- Ibn al-'Arabī -- Shinran -- Saint Thomas Aquinas -- John Duns Scotus -- William of Ockham -- Niccolò Machiavelli -- Wang Yangming -- Francis Bacon, Viscount Saint Alban (or Albans), Baron of Verulam -- Thomas Hobbes -- René Descartes -- John Locke -- Benedict de Spinoza -- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz -- Giambattista Vico -- George Berkeley -- Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu -- David Hume -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau -- Immanuel Kant -- Moses Mendelssohn -- Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet -- Jeremy Bentham -- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel -- Arthur Schopenhauer -- Auguste Comte -- John Stuart Mill -- Søren Kierkegaard -- Karl Marx -- Herbert Spencer -- Wilhelm Dilthey -- William James -- Friedrich Nietzsche -- Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege -- Edmund Husserl -- Henri Bergson -- John Dewey -- Alfred North Whitehead -- Benedetto Croce -- Nishida Kitarō -- Bertrand Russell -- G.E. Moore -- Martin Buber -- Ludwig Wittgenstein -- Martin Heidegger -- Rudolf Carnap -- Sir Karl Popper -- Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno -- Jean-Paul Sartre -- Hannah Arendt -- Simone de Beauvoir -- Willard Van Orman Quine -- Sir A.J. Ayer -- Wilfrid Sellars -- John Rawls -- Thomas S. Kuhn -- Michel Foucault -- Noam Chomsky -- Jürgeb Gabernas -- Sir Bernard Williams -- Jacques Derrida -- Richard Rorty -- Robert Nozick -- Saul Kripke -- David Kellogg Lewis -- Peter (Albert David) Singer. (shrink)
This is a special double issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies (vol. 14, Sept/Oct) which I guest edited. It is also sold separately as a book and published by Imprint Academic. The essays are authored by both philosophers and psychologists (including Jose Bermudez, Georges Rey, Art Markman, Jesse Prinz, and Simon Baron-Cohen) and include topics such as conceptualism, phenomenal concepts, infant consciousness, and synesthesia.
Now in a third edition, Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings is a highly acclaimed, topically organized collection that covers five major areas of philosophy--theory of knowledge, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, freedom and determinism, and moral philosophy. Editor Louis P. Pojman enhances the text's topical organization by arranging the selections into a pro/con format to help students better understand opposing arguments. He also includes accessible introductions to each chapter, subsection, and individual reading, a unique feature for an (...) anthology of this depth. While the book focuses on a compelling sampling of classical material--including selections from Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant--it also incorporates some of philosophy's best twentieth-century and contemporary work, featuring articles by Bertrand Russell, Richard Taylor, John Searle, Thomas Nagel, and others. This third edition contains an expanded glossary, more extensive section introductions, and twelve new selections: Karl Popper: "Epistemology without a Knowing Subject" Richard Rorty: "Dismantling Truth: Solidarity Versus Objectivity" Daniel Dennett: "Postmodernism and Truth" Bruce Russell: "The Problem of Evil: Too Much Suffering" David Chalmers: "Against Materialism: Can Consciousness Be Reductively Explained?" Baron Paul Henri d'Holbach: "A Defense of Determinism" Michael Levin: "A Compatibilist Defense of Moral Responsibility" Plato: Socratic Morality: "Crito" Herodotus: "Custom Is King" J. L. Mackie: "The Subjectivity of Values" Louis P. Pojman: "A Critique of Mackie's Theory of Moral Subjectivism" Thomas Nagel: "Moral Luck". (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a model of ethical choice based on the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991), multiattribute utility theory (Baron, 2000), and moral emotions (Haidt, 2003) that is an alternative to and provides more detail than the moral judgment process that is within Rest’s model. I suggest this ethical choice model better describes the ethical judgment process by incorporating compensatory judgment, specifying the use of deontological and teleological reasoning, and accounting for the influence of moral emotions. (...) In doing so it represents an improved understanding of ethical choice in business. (shrink)
The Philosophy of Autism examines autism from the tradition of analytic philosophy, working from the premise that so-called autism spectrum disorders raise interesting philosophical questions that need to be and can be addressed in a manner that is clear, jargon-free, and accessible. The goal of the original essays in this book is to provide a philosophically rich analysis of issues raised by autism and to afford dignity and respect to those living with autism by placing it at the center of (...) the discussion. (shrink)
Most scientists and theorists concerned with the problem of consciousness focus on our consciousness of the physical world (our sensations, feelings, and awareness). In this paper I consider our consciousness of the mental world (our thoughts about thoughts, intentions, wishes, and emotions).The argument is made that these are two distinct forms of consciousness, the evidence for this deriving from studies of autism. Autism is a severe childhood psychiatric condition in which individuals may be conscious of the physical world but not (...) of the mental world. Relevant experimental evidence is described, including some recent neuroimaging studies pointing towards the neural basis of our consciousness of the mental. (shrink)
There have been several recent attempts to account for the special authority of self-knowledge by grounding it in a constitutive relation between an agent's intentional states and her judgments about those intentional states. This constitutive relation is said to hold in virtue of the rationality of the subject. I argue, however, that there are two ways in which we have self-knowledge without there being such a constitutive relation between first-order intentional states and the second-order judgments about them. Recognition of this (...) fact thus represents a significant challenge to the rational agency view. (shrink)
Almost every contemporary theory of knowledge is a version of fallibilism, yet an adequate statement of fallibilism has not yet been provided. Standard definitions cannot account for fallibilistic knowledge of necessary truths. I consider and reject several attempts to resolve this difficulty before arguing that a belief is an instance of fallibilistic knowledge when it could have failed to be knowledge. This is a fully general account of fallibilism that applies to knowledge of necessary truths. Moreover, it reveals, not only (...) the connection between fallibility and error, but the connection between fallibility and accidental truth as well. (shrink)
One of the main strands of the Cartesian tradition is the view that the mental realm is cognitively accessible to us in a special way: whenever one is in a mental state of a certain sort, one can know it just by considering the matter. In that sense, the mental realm is thought to be a cognitive home for us, and the mental states it comprises are luminous. Recently, however, Timothy Williamson has argued that we are cognitively homeless: no mental (...) state is in fact luminous. But his argument depends on an excessively strong account of luminosity. I formulate a weaker conception of luminosity that is unaffected by Williamson’s argument and yet is substantial enough to satisfy those who wish to retain this part of the Cartesian tradition. (shrink)
Epistemic circularity occurs when a subject forms the belief that a faculty F is reliable through the use of F. Although this is often thought to be vicious, externalist theories generally don't rule it out. For some philosophers, this is a reason to reject externalism. However, Michael Bergmann defends externalism by drawing on the tradition of common sense in two ways. First, he concedes that epistemically circular beliefs cannot answer a subject's doubts about her cognitive faculties. But, he argues, subjects (...) don't have such doubts, so epistemically circular beliefs are rarely called upon to play this role. Second, following Thomas Reid, Bergmann argues that we have noninferential, though epistemically circular, knowledge that our faculties are reliable. I argue, however, that Bergmann's view is undermined by doubts a subject should have and that there is no plausible explanation for how we can have noninferential knowledge that our faculties are reliable. (shrink)
Knowledge is standardly taken to be belief that is both true and justified (and perhaps meets other conditions as well). Timothy Williamson rejects the standard epistemology for its inability to solve the Gettier problem. The moral of this failure, he argues, is that knowledge does not factor into a combination that includes a mental state (belief) and an external condition (truth), but is itself a type of mental state. Knowledge is, according to his preferred account, the most general factive mental (...) state. I argue, however, that Gettier cases pose a serious problem for Williamson’s epistemology: in these cases, thesubject may have a factive mental state that fails to be cognitive. Hence, knowledge cannot be the most general factive mental state. (shrink)