I develop a Russellian representationalist account of size experience that draws importantly from contemporary vision science research on size perception. The core view is that size is experienced in ‘body-scaled’ units. So, an object might, say, be experienced as two eye-level units high. The view is sharpened in response to Thompson’s (forthcoming) Doubled Earth example. This example is presented by Thompson as part of an argument for a Fregean view of size experience. But I argue that the Russellian view I (...) develop handles the Doubled Earth example in a natural and illuminating way, thereby avoiding the need to posit irreducible experiential ‘modes of presentation’. I also address a kind of neo-Fregean ‘reference-fixing’ view of size experience, that shares features with the Russellian view developed. I give reasons for favoring the latter. Finally, I argue that Peacocke’s claim that spatial experience is ‘unit free’ is not persuasive. (shrink)
In earlier work we have described how computer algebra may be used to derive composite rate laws for complete systems of equations, using the mathematical technique of Gröbner Bases (Bennett, Davenport and Sauro, 1988). Such composite rate laws may then be fitted to experimental data to yield estimates of kinetic parameters.Recently we have been investigating the practical application of this methodology to the estimation of kinetic parameters for the closed two enzyme system of aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) and malate dehydrogenase (...) (MDH) (Fisher 1990a; Fisher 1990b; Bennett and Fisher, 1990). (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction - when criminal law encounters bioethics: a case of tensions and incompatibilities or an apt forum for resolving ethical conflict? Amel Alghrani, Rebecca Bennett and Suzanne Ost; Part I. Death, Dying, and the Criminal Law: 2. Euthanasia and assisted suicide should, when properly performed by a doctor in an appropriate case, be decriminalised John Griffiths; 3. Five flawed arguments for decriminalising euthanasia John Keown; 4. Euthanasia excused: between prohibition and permission Richard Huxtable; Part (...) II. Freedom and Autonomy: When Consent Is Not Enough: 5. Body integrity identity disorder - a problem of perception? Robert Smith; 6. Risky sex and 'manly diversions': the contours of consent in criminal law - transmission and rough horseplay cases David Gurnham; 7. 'Consensual' sexual activity between doctors and patients: a matter for the criminal law? Suzanne Ost and Hazel Biggs; Part III. Criminalising Biomedical Science: 8. 'Scientists in the dock': regulating science Amel Alghrani and Sarah Chan; 9. Bioethical conflict and developing biotechnologies: is protecting individual and public health from the risks of xenotransplantation a matter for the (criminal) law? Sara Fovargue; 10. The criminal law and enhancement - none of the law's business? Nishat Hyder and John Harris; 11. Dignity as a socially constructed value Stephen Smith; Part IV. Bioethics and Criminal Law in the Dock: 12. Can English law accommodate moral controversy in medicine? The case of abortion Margaret Brazier; 13. The case for decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland Marie Fox; 14. The impact of the loss of deference towards the medical profession Jose; Miola; 15. Criminalising medical negligence David Archard; 16. All to the good? Criminality, politics, and public health John Coggon; 17. Moral controversy, human rights and the common law judge Brenda Hale. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction - when criminal law encounters bioethics: a case of tensions and incompatibilities or an apt forum for resolving ethical conflict? Amel Alghrani, Rebecca Bennett and Suzanne Ost; Part I. Death, Dying, and the Criminal Law: 2. Euthanasia and assisted suicide should, when properly performed by a doctor in an appropriate case, be decriminalised John Griffiths; 3. Five flawed arguments for decriminalising euthanasia John Keown; 4. Euthanasia excused: between prohibition and permission Richard Huxtable; Part (...) II. Freedom and Autonomy: When Consent Is Not Enough: 5. Body integrity identity disorder - a problem of perception? Robert Smith; 6. Risky sex and 'manly diversions': the contours of consent in HIV transmission and rough horseplay cases David Gurnham; 7. 'Consensual' sexual activity between doctors and patients: a matter for the criminal law? Suzanne Ost and Hazel Biggs; Part III. Criminalising Biomedical Science: 8. 'Scientists in the dock': regulating science Amel Alghrani and Sarah Chan; 9. Bioethical conflict and developing biotechnologies: is protecting individual and public health from the risks of xenotransplantation a matter for the (criminal) law? Sara Fovargue; 10. The criminal law and enhancement - none of the law's business? Nishat Hyder and John Harris; 11. Dignity as a socially constructed value Stephen Smith; Part IV. Bioethics and Criminal Law in the Dock: 12. Can English law accommodate moral controversy in medicine? Lessons from abortion Margaret Brazier; 13. The case for decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland Marie Fox; 14. The impact of the loss of deference towards the medical profession Jose; Miola; 15. Criminalising medical negligence David Archard; 16. All to the good? Criminality, politics, and public health John Coggon; 17. Moral controversy, human rights and the common law judge Brenda Hale. (shrink)
Principles and the context, by J. C. Bennett.--Love monism, by J. M. Gustafson.--Responsibility in freedom, by E. C. Gardner.--The new morality, by G. Fackre.--When love becomes excarnate, by H. L. Smith.--Situational morality, by R. W. Gleason.--The nature of heresy, by G. Kennedy.--Situation ethics under fire, by J. Fletcher.
A new criterion is introduced for judging the suitability of various fuzzy logics for practical uncertain reasoning in a probabilistic world and the relationship of this criterion to several established criteria, and its consequences for truth functional belief, are investigated.
A coin rotating back in depth in some sense presents a changing, elliptical shape. How are we to understand such (in this case) ‘appearances of ellipticality’? How is the experiential sense of such shifting shape appearances related to the experiential sense of enduring shape definitive of perceived shape constancy? Is the experiential recovery of surface shape based on the prior (perhaps more fundamental) recovery of point or element 3D spatial locations?—or is the perception of shape a largely independent perceptual achievement? (...) Do we gain access to enduring shape properties by first detecting and working from ‘shape appearances’? These are some of the topics taken up in this paper. (shrink)
This article addresses the question of whetherpersonal surveillance on the world wide web isdifferent in nature and intensity from that inthe offline world. The article presents aprofile of the ways in which privacy problemswere framed and addressed in the 1970s and1990s. Based on an analysis of privacy newsstories from 1999–2000, it then presents atypology of the kinds of surveillance practicesthat have emerged as a result of Internetcommunications. Five practices are discussedand illustrated: surveillance by glitch,surveillance by default, surveillance bydesign, surveillance by (...) possession, andsurveillance by subject. The article offerssome tentative conclusions about theprogressive latency of tracking devices, aboutthe complexity created by multi-sourcing, aboutthe robustness of clickstream data, and aboutthe erosion of the distinction between themonitor and the monitored. These trendsemphasize the need to reject analysis thatframes our understanding of Internetsurveillance in terms of its impact onsociety. Rather the Internet should beregarded as a form of life whose evolvingstructure becomes embedded in humanconsciousness and social practice, and whosearchitecture embodies an inherent valence thatis gradually shifting away from the assumptionsof anonymity upon which the Internet wasoriginally designed. (shrink)
‘Learning to be job ready’ (L2BJR) was a pilot scheme involving 16 long-term unemployed people from a range of backgrounds being offered a 6-month paid placement within the care department of a city council in Northern England. The project was based on a partnership with the largest college in the city specialising in post-16 education and training for residents and employees. The college targeted people as potential candidates for the programme through their prior attendance on or interest in care courses (...) at the college, rather than the council employing more traditional methods of recruitment. Surveys, focus groups and interviews were utilised to capture the views and experiences of the participants, project workers and line managers, and also evidence of the project’s impact on service delivery in the care department. The article adds to our conceptual and practical knowledge of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the public sector in three distinct ways. From a social and business perspective, the findings of the research highlight a potentially more robust strategy for matching long-term unemployed citizens to training and job opportunities in the public sector than is otherwise possible through the more conventional route of the job centre. Secondly, through this approach and with appropriate pre-training, a greater understanding of and empathy for the service users can be developed in the new organisational members, strengthening the subsequent ethical delivery and quality of the service. Finally, a re-conceptualisation of Carroll’s influential model of CSR, which also specifically incorporates the ethical and social inclusion duties of public sector organisations not only as service providers but also as potential employers, offers a more tailored paradigm for understanding this unique yet under-researched element of CSR theory and practice. (shrink)
On the margins of the biblical canon and on the boundaries of what are traditionally called 'mainstream' Christian communities there have been throughout history writings and movements which have been at odds with the received wisdom and the consensus of establishment opinion. If one listens carefully, these dissident voices are reflected in the Bible itself-whether in the radical calls for social change from the Hebrew Bible prophets, with Jesus the apocalyptic prophet who also demanded social and economic justice for his (...) oppressed people, or perhaps from the apocalyptic tradition's millenarian visions. -/- The use of the Bible has been fertile ground throughout Christian history for prophetic calls for radical change within society as a whole and the church in particular. The essays contained in this volume examine aspects of this radical tradition, its doctrine, hermeneutics, pedagogy, and social action. They offer a sustained development of the theme of the Bible and its reception and appropriation in the context of radical practices, and an exposition of the imaginative possibilities of radical engagement with the Bible in inclusive social contexts. -/- Part 1 treats New Testament texts directly-the Lukan writings, Paul and the Book of Revelation; Part 2 explores some examples of reception history and of radical appropriation of the Bible in history and literature; Part 3 addresses contemporary issues in liberation theology and public theology. -/- This book is a Festschrift in honour of Professor Christopher Rowland, the Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture in the University of Oxford. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss what triage is and how it might be applied to the preservation of endangered species. I compare the suggested application oftriage to endangered species with its application to wartime military practice, distribution of food aid, and human population control to show that the situation of endangered species is not analogous to these other suggested uses. I argue that, as far as species preservation is concemed, triage starts with the wrong norms and values: it is “human (...) chauvinistic,” giving primacy to economic, political, and sociocultural aspects that emphasize human interests without recognizing the connection between the survival of other species and the survival of humans. (shrink)
An experimental survey was undertakento explore the links between thecharacteristics of a moral issue, the degree ofmoral intensity/moral imperative associatedwith the issue (Jones, 1991), and people'sstated willingness to pay (wtp) for policy toaddress the issue. Two farm animal welfareissues were chosen for comparison and thecontingent valuation method was used to elicitpeople's wtp. The findings of the surveysuggest that increases in moral characteristicsdo appear to result in an increase in moralintensity and the degree of moral imperativeassociated with an issue. Moreover, there (...) was apositive link between moral intensity/moralimperative associated with an issue andpeople's stated wtp for policy to address theissue. The paper discusses the relevance of thefindings of the survey in the context of thedebate concerning the relationship betweenmoral and economic values and the use of thecontingent valuation method to estimatepeople's wtp of policy options with moraldimensions. (shrink)
Through postcolonial studies, indigenous perspectives are finally being heard, challenging various Western views of the world. However, these challenges are often made in the same moralizing voice as the original conlonizations were justified. In keeping with the moralizing-resistant perspectives of Foucault, Benjamin and Derrida The Politics of Moralizing issues a warning about the risks of speaking, writing and thinking in a manner too confident about you own judgments. Can a clear line be drawn between dogmatism and simple certainty and indignation? (...) This collection starts by questioning what has become a popular, even pervasive, cultural narrative told by both the left and the right-the story of the West's moral decline, degeneration or confusion. Beyond declaiming the perils of this approach, each essay goes on to experiment with strategies for warding off moralistic tendencies and effects within our own texts and actions. Contributors even explore the dynamics and dilemmas of moralizing by advocates of liberal causes, including patriotism, environmental protection and women's rights. The Politics of Moralizing argues that taking the so-called moral high ground gives free license to self-aggrandizement, cruelty, vengeance and punitiveness and a generalized resistance to or abjection of diversity. (shrink)
David Lewis famously takes mereology “to be perfectly understood, unproblematic, and certain” (1991, 75). It is central to his thought, appearing in his discussions of set theory, modality, vagueness, structural universals, and elsewhere. He held views not only about how composition works and when it occurs, but also about the role of mereology in philosophy. In this essay, I will proceed by articulating four theses that Lewis holds about composition. (I would call them the four U’s, if only ‘unguilty’ (...) were a word!) Three of them are familiar; Lewis himself explicitly articulates and relies upon them. The fourth remains implicit, but it is nonetheless important. Here they are: Composition is unique —the same things cannot have two different fusions. Composition is unrestricted —any two things whatsoever have a fusion. (shrink)
I argue that it is intuitive and useful to think about composition in the light of the familiar functionalist distinction between role and occupant. This involves factoring the standard notion of parthood into two related notions: being a parthood slot and occupying a parthood slot. One thing is part of another just in case it fills one of that thing's parthood slots. This move opens room to rethink mereology in various ways, and, in particular, to see the mereological structure of (...) a composite as potentially outreaching the individual entities that are its parts. I sketch one formal system that allows things to have individual entities as parts multiple times over. This is particularly useful to David Armstrong, given Lewis's charge that his structural universals must do exactly that. I close by reflecting upon the nature and point of formal mereology. (shrink)
Philosophers have often sought criteria for a general distinction between appearance and reality. In chapter VII of Sense and Sensibilia, J. L. Austin claims to show that this enterprise is radically misconceived; and, characteristically, he bases his argument on the niceties of the use of ‘real’ in English. I shall try to show (1) that Austin’s account of how ‘real’ is used is muddled and inaccurate; and (2) that the uses of ‘real’ which Austin explores are irrelevant to the traditional (...) enquiry into the distinction between appearance and reality. Of these, (2) matters more, but most of my paper will treat of (1). The uses of ‘real’ which interested Austin may have some philosophical importance, so we might as well get them right. Also, although there are general grounds for denying that those uses are relevant to traditional epistemology, a tighter and more Austinian argument for the same conclusion can be based upon a correct account of the uses of ‘real’ in question. I should concede that I may have stated my thesis a little too strongly: for all I know, some philosophers may have pursued the traditional enquiry in such a miserably inadequate way that Austin’s points about the use of ‘real’ are, when suitably emended, effective against them. The fact that Austin did not publish Sense and Sensibilia suggests that he was not satisfied with its contents. Nevertheless, his views about the use of ‘real’ have been published and may be believed: personal considerations cannot be allowed to disarm criticism. I shall describe four ways of using ‘real’ in expressions of the form ‘a real F’ where ‘F’ stands for a general noun. Note the indefinite article: Austin writes as though nothing turns on the choice between ‘a real . . .’ and ‘the real . . .’, but this is not so. I shall argue that these four ways of using ‘real’ are distinct, though a single use of ‘real’ may partake of more than one of them. I believe but cannot prove that my four headings cover practically all idiomatic uses of the form ‘a real F’ other than the metaphorical, slipshod or pretentious.. (shrink)
For the dynamical hypothesis to be defended as a viable alternative to a computational perspective on natural cognition, the role of biological constraints needs to be considered. This task requires a detailed understanding of the structural organization and function of the dynamic nervous system, as well as a theoretical approach that grounds cognitive activity within the constraints of organism and ecological context.
Over the past three decades, the challenge that conscious experience poses to physicalism--the widely held view that the universe is a completely physical system--has provoked a growing debate in philosophy of mind studies and given rise to a great deal of literature on the subject. Ideal for courses in consciousness and the philosophy of mind, Consciousness and The Mind-Body Problem: A Reader presents thirty-three classic and contemporary readings, organized into five sections that cover the major issues in this debate: the (...) challenge for physicalism, physicalist responses, alternative responses, the significance of ignorance, and mental causation. Edited by Torin Alter and Robert J. Howell, the volume features work from such leading figures as Karen Bennett, Ned Block, David J. Chalmers, Frank Jackson, Colin McGinn, David Papineau, and many others. It is enhanced by a thorough general introduction by the editors, which explains "the hard problem of consciousness"--the question of how any physical phenomenon could give rise to conscious experience. The introduction also provides historical and conceptual background and explains how the consciousness/mind-body problem is related to such theories as the identity theory, dualism, and functionalism. In addition, accessible introductions outline the themes and readings contained in each section. (shrink)
This paper investigates whether, or not, the behavior of animals without speech can manifest beliefs and desires. Criteria for the attribution of such beliefs and desires are worked out with reference to Jonathan Bennett's theory of cognitive teleology: A particular ability for learning justifies attributing such beliefs and desires. The conceptual analysis is illustrated by examinations of cognitive ethology and considers higher-order intentionality. It is argued that the behavioral evidence only supports the attribution of first order beliefs and that (...) languageless animals therefore could not possess higher-order intentionality. They are only capable of forming simple, i.e., first-order beliefs about their environment. (shrink)
Phenomenologists such as Merleau?Ponty have argued that the ordinary teleological relation between an embodied agent and the world is neither ?subjective? nor ?cognitive?, i.e. that it is not normally mediated by a chain of explicit cognition occurring within a distinct mental subject. Yet, while this seems true from a first?person, phenomenological perspective, I argue that teleological forms of explanation require the ascription of Intentional states. Intentional states, however, are usually regarded as subjective, cognitive states. In order to reconcile the phenomenology (...) with the logic of teleology, I introduce the notion of ?body?intentionality?. I maintain that we can use a modified version of Jonathan Bennett's concept of a teleological law to specify third?person empirical criteria for a pre?cognitive, pre?subjective kind of Intentionality. I also argue that this notion of body?intentionality provides us with at least a partial solution to the mind?body problem that avoids the inadequacies of the computational theory of mind. (shrink)
This volume presents a selection of the most influential recent discussions of the crucial metaphysical question: What is it for one event to cause another? The subject of causation bears on many topics, such as time, explanation, mental states, the laws of nature, and the philosophy of science. Contributors include J.L Mackie, Michael Scriven, Jaegwon Kim, G.E.M. Anscombe, G.H. von Wright, C.J. Ducasse, Wesley C. Salmon, David Lewis, Paul Horwich, Jonathan Bennett, Ernest Sosa, and Michael Tooley.
Johnstone, H. W., Jr. Rhetoric and communication in philosophy.--Smith, C. R. and Douglas, D. G. Philosophical principles in the traditional and emerging views of rhetoric.--Wallace, K. R. Bacon's conception of rhetoric.--Thonssen, L. W. Thomas Hobbes's philosophy of speech.--Walter, O. M., Jr. Descartes on reasoning.--Douglas, D. G. Spinoza and the methodology of reflective knowledge in persuasion.--Howell, W. S. John Locke and the new rhetoric.--Doering, J. F. David Hume on oratory.--Douglas, D. G. A neo-Kantian approach to the epistomology of judgment in (...) criticism.--Bevilacqua, V. M. Lord Kames's theory of rhetoric.--Brockriede, W. E. Bentham's philosophy of rhetoric.--Anderson, R. E. Kierkegaard's theory of communication.--Macksoud, S. J. Ludwig Wittgenstein, radical operationism and rhetorical stance.--Stewart, J. J. L. Austin's speech act analysis.--Torrence, D. L. A philosophy of rhetoric from Bertrand Russell.--Clark, A. Martin Buber, dialogue, and the philosophy of rhetoric.--Bennett, W. Kenneth Burke--a philosophy in defense of un-reason.--Dearin, R. D. The philosophical basis of Chaim Perelman's theory of rhetoric. (shrink)
Introduction -- Value theory : the nature of the good life -- Epicurus letter to Menoeceus -- John Stuart Mill, Hedonism -- Aldous Huxley, Brave new world -- Robert Nozick, The experience machine -- Richard Taylor, The meaning of life -- Jean Kazez, Necessities -- Normative ethics : theories of right conduct -- J.J.C. Smart, Eextreme and restricted utilitarianism -- Immanuel Kant the good will & the categorical imperative -- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan -- Philippa Foot, Natural goodness -- Aristotle, Nicomachean (...) ethics -- W.D. Ross, What makes right acts right? -- Hilde Lindemann, What is feminist ethics? -- Metaethics : the status of morality -- David Hume, Moral distinctions not derived from reason -- J.L. Mackie, The subjectivity of values -- Gilbert Harman, Ethics and observation -- Mary Midgley, Trying out one's new sword -- Michael Smith, Rrealism -- Renford Bambrough, Pproof -- Moral problems -- Peter Singe, The Singer solution to world poverty -- Heidi Malm, Paid surrogacy: arguments and responses -- Ronald Dworkin, Playing God : genes, clones, and luck -- James Rachels, The morality of euthanasia -- John Harris, The survival lottery -- Peter Singer, Unsanctifying human life -- William F. Baxter, People or penguins : the case for optimal pollution -- Judith Jarvis, Tthomson a defense of abortion -- Don Marquis, Why abortion is immoral -- Jonathan Bennett, The conscience of Huckleberry Finn -- Michael Walzer, Terrorism : a critique of excuses -- David Luban, Liberalism, torture, and the ticking bomb -- Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham City Jail -- Igor Primoratz, Justifying legal punishment -- Stephen Nathanson, An eye for an eye -- Michael Huemer, America's unjust drug war -- John Corvino, Why shouldn't Tommy and Jimmy have sex? : a defense of homosexuality -- Bonnie Steinbock, Adultery -- Hugh Lafollette, Licensing parents -- Jane English, What do grown children owe their parents? (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that three of the most prominent theories of conditional acceptance face very serious problems. David Lewis' concept of imaging, the Ramsey test and Jonathan Bennett's recent hybrid view all face viscous regresses, or they either employ unanalyzed components or depend upon an implausibly strong version of doxastic voluntarism.
How should we live? To answer that question, many people turn to the Bible. What they find is often inspiring, although it may set standards that are uncomfortably high: love your neighbor as yourself, treat others as you would like to be treated, and walk humbly with God. Inspiration, however, can be found in a great many books. To Kill a Mockingbird teaches the virtue of tolerance, and A Tale of Two Cities impresses us with the nobility of self-sacrifice. William (...) J. Bennett, a philosopher who served as U. S. Secretary of Education, edited a collection called The Book of Virtues that includes dozens of stories and poems designed to teach courage, selfreliance, and responsibility.i But the Bible, many people think, is different. It has an authority that other books lack. Therefore, they look to the Bible, not just for inspiration, but for answers to specific moral questions, such as questions about abortion and homosexuality. (shrink)
Although Arbib's extension of the mirror-system hypothesis neatly sidesteps one problem with the “gesture-first” theory of language origins, it overlooks the importance of gestures that occur in current-day human linguistic performance, and this lands it with another problem. We argue that, instead of gesture-first, a system of combined vocalization and gestures would have been a more natural evolutionary unit.
In the article I discuss possible amendments and corrections to Lewis’s semantics for counterfactuals that are necessary in order to account for the indeterministic and non-local character of the quantum world. I argue that Lewis’s criteria of similarity between possible worlds produce incorrect valuations for alternate-outcome counterfactuals in the EPR case. Later I discuss an alternative semantics which rejects the notion of miraculous events and relies entirely on the comparison of the agreement with respect to individual facts. However, a controversy (...) exists whether to include future indeterministic events in the criteria of similarity. J. Bennett has suggested that an indeterministic event count toward similarity only if it is a result of the same causal chain as in the actual world. I claim that a much better agreement with the demands of the quantum-mechanical indeterminism can be achieved when we stipulate that possible worlds which differ only with respect to indeterministic facts that take place after the antecedent-event should always be treated as equally similar to the actual world. In the article I analyze and dismiss some common-sense counterexamples to this claim. Finally, I critically evaluate Bennett’s proposal regarding the truth-conditions for true-antecedent counterfactuals. (shrink)
Two dogmas of empiricism, by W. V. Quine.--In defense of a dogma, by H. P. Grice and P. F. Strawson.--The analytic and the synthetic: an untenable dualism, by M. G. White.--Synonymity, by B. Mates.--The meaning of a word, by J. L. Austin.--Meaning and synonymy in natural languages, by R. Carnap.--Analytic-synthetic, by J. Bennett.--On "analytic," by R. M. Martin.--Selected bibliography (p. -196).
Abortion: The morality of abortion, by P. Ramsey. The problem of abortion and the doctrine of double effect, by P. Foot. Whatever the consequences, by J. Bennett.--Sex: Sexual perversion, by T. Nagel. On sexual morality, by S. Ruddick.--Human rights and civil disobedience: Rights, human rights, and racial discrimination, by R. Wasserstrom. The justification of civil disobedience, by J. Rawls. Law and civil disobedience, by R. M. Dworkin.--Criminal punishment: The responsibility of criminals, by W. Kneale. Murder and the principles of (...) punishment, England and the United States, by H. L. A. Hart. Or else, by J. R. Lucas.--Violence and pacifism: What violence is, by N. Garver. Pacifism, a philosophical analysis, by J. Narveson.--War: War and murder, by G. E. M. Anscombe. On the morality of war, a preliminary inquiry, by R. Wasserstrom. Peace, by R. M. Hare.--Suicide and death: Suicide, by R. F. Holland. Death, by T. Nagel. Death, by M. Mothersill.--Bibliography (p. 386-390). (shrink)
We propose using random walks in software space as abstract formal models of biological evolution. The goal is to shed light on biological creativity using toy models of evolution that are simple enough to prove theorems about them. We consider two models: a single mutating piece of software, and a population of mutating software. The fitness function is taken from a well known problem in computability theory that requires an unlimited amount of creativity, the Busy Beaver problem. (Talk given Friday (...) October 10, 2008 at the IBM Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. The author wishes to thank his colleagues Charles Bennett and David DiVincenzo for their helpful comments.). (shrink)
Did protolanguage users use discrete words that referred to objects, actions, locations, etc., and then, at some point, combine them; or on the contrary did they have words that globally indexed whole semantic complexes, and then come to divide them? Our answer is: early humans were forming language units consisting of global and discrete dimensions of semiosis in dynamic opposition. These units of thinking-for-speaking, or ‘growth points’ (GPs) were, jointly, analog imagery (visuo-spatio-motoric) and categorically-contrastive (-emic) linguistic encodings. This discrete-global duality (...) was a new mode of embodied cognition that enabled thinking and acting in new ways: the dawn of protolanguage. Where did this mode of cognition come from? We have some suggestions based on the hypothesis that gestures gained the power to orchestrate actions, manual and vocal, with significances other than those of the actions themselves, giving rise to cognition framed in the proposed dual terms. Note, however, our proposal is not one of the ‘gesture-first’ theories of language origins. Such theories predict what did not evolve: a language of pantomime; rather than what did evolve: an integrated system of synchronized gestures and spoken forms. GP theory is an account of the cognition underlying such an integrated system. A scenario for the evolutionary selection of this cognitive mode is ‘Mead’s Loop’, a model in which one’s cognition is enriched by one’s own gestures, insofar as they are objects in social interactions. (shrink)
Oxford Readings in Philosophy -/- The aim of this series is to bring together important recent writings in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a variety of sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. The editors of each volume contribute an introductory essay on the items chosen and on the questions with which they deal. A selective bibliography is appended as a guide to further reading. -/- This new volume (...) in the successful Oxford Readings in Philosophy series presents fifteen recently published articles on the main topics in Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding. The increased interest in Locke's philosophy over the past twenty years has resulted in more rigorous, better informed, and more philosophically sophisticated studies than ever before. The essays included here represent the best of this recent work. Each article covers one or more major issues in Locke's Essay. Together they cover all the key themes, including: innate ideas, ideas and perception, primary and secondary qulaities, free will, substance, personal identity, language, essence, knowledge, and belief. The authors include some of the world's leading Locke scholars: Michael R. Ayers, Margaret Atherton, J.L. Mackie, John Campbell, Vere Chappell, Martha Brandt Bolton, Jonathan Bennett and Kenneth P. Winkler. Their essays exemplify the best - and most accessible - recent scholarship on Locke, making it essential for students and specialists. (shrink)
Plato. Crito.--Mill, J. S. Utilitarianism.--Rawls, J. Two concepts of rules.--Kant, I. Fundamental principles of the metaphysic of morals.--Rawls, J. Justice as fairness.--Benn, S. I. and Peters, R. S. Society and types of social regulation.--Hobbes, T. Leviathan, abridged.--Hayek, F. A. The principles of a liberal social order.--Marx, K. Alienation and its overcoming in Communism.--Lukes, S. Alienation and anomie.--Garver, N. What violence is.--Zinn, H. The force of nonviolence.--Caudwell, C. Pacifism and violence; a study in bourgeois ethics.--Bennett, J. Whatever the consequences.--Foot, P. (...) Abortion and the doctrine of the double effect.--Benn, S. I. Punishment.--Mill, J. S. Selection from On liberty.--Mill, J. S. Selection from Considerations on representative government.--Marcuse, H. The new forms of control.--Mill, J. S. The subjection of women, abridged.--Dickinson, J. A working theory of sovereignty, abridged.--Rawls, J. The justification of civil disobedience. (shrink)
Max Bennett is a distinguished Australian neuroscientist, Peter Hacker an Oxford philosopher and leading authority on Wittgenstein. A book resulting from their collaboration, Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience, has received high praise. According to the Blackwell website, G.H. von Wright asserts that it 'will certainly, for a long time to come, be the most important contribution to the mind-body problem that there is'; and Sir Anthony Kenny says it 'shows that the claims made on behalf of cognitive science are (...) ill-founded'. M.R. Bennett & P.M.S. Hacker, Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003). (shrink)
Lewis (1973) gave a short argument against conditional excluded middle, based on his treatment of ‘might’ counterfactuals. Bennett (2003), with much of the recent literature, gives an alternative take on ‘might’ counterfactuals. But Bennett claims the might-argument against CEM still goes through. This turns on a specific claim I call Bennett’s Hypothesis. I argue that independently of issues to do with the proper analysis of might-counterfactuals, Bennett’s Hypothesis is inconsistent with CEM. But Bennett’s Hypothesis is (...) independently objectionable, so we should resolve this tension by dropping the Hypothesis, not by dropping CEM. (shrink)
The distinction between harm that is intended as a means or end, and harm that is merely a foreseen side-effect of one’s action, is widely cited as a significant factor in a variety of ethical contexts. Many use it, for example, to distinguish terrorist acts from certain acts of war that may have similar results as side-effects. Yet Bennett and others have argued that its application is so arbitrary that if it can be used to cast certain harmful actions (...) in a more favorable light, then it can equally be manipulated to do the same for any kind of harmful action. In response, some have tried to block such extensions of the intend/foresee distinction by rejecting its application in cases where the relation between the plainly intended means and the harm is “too close”. This move, however, has been attacked as vague and obscure, and Bennett has argued that all the plausible candidates for explicating the idea of excessive closeness ultimately fail. In this paper, I develop and defend an account of excessive closeness with the aim of rescuing the intend/foresee distinction from such charges of arbitrariness. The account is based on the distinction between merely causal and constitutive relations among states of affairs, and I show both how it escapes Bennett’s objections to other accounts and how it applies to a variety of cases. Finally, I also examine Quinn’s alternative move of shifting the focus of the intend/foresee distinction in an attempt to sidestep the issue of closeness, and argue that it is not ultimately successful. In fact, Quinn’s view has shortcomings that can be resolved only by returning to an appeal to some notion of closeness, underscoring the need for the sort of account I offer. (shrink)
Bennett has said that 'Voluntarism casts no useful light on those aspects of the Meditations that have received the most attention: the truth rule, divine veracity, the relation between those, the Cartesian Circle'. In this paper, I shall draw together various strands from recent Descartes scholarship to argue that this is entirely false. When Descartes's voluntarism is understood as central to his epistemological project, not only does it allow us to make more sense of what he says on all (...) these issues, but also it allows us to see what he says as, on certain assumptions, unassailable. The only difficulty that then remains is that these assumptions are widely held to be necessarily false. (shrink)
Max Bennett is a distinguished Australian neuroscientist, Peter Hacker an Oxford philosopher and a leading authority on Wittgenstein. A book resulting from their collaboration (M. R. Bennett and P. M. S. Hacker, Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience, Oxford: Blackwell, 2003) has received high praise. According to the Blackwell website, G. H. von Wright asserts that it â€˜will certainly, for a long time to come, be the most important contribution to the mind-body problem that there isâ€™; and Sir Anthony Kenny (...) says it â€˜shows that the claims made on behalf of cognitive science are ill-founded.â€™ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The book builds on Wittgensteinâ€™s remark that â€˜Only of a human being and what resembles (behaves like) a living human being can one say: it has sensations; it sees, is blind; hears, is deaf; is conscious or unconsciousâ€™ (quoted at p. 71). The authors identify what they call the mereological fallacy, the fallacy of attributing to a part of something properties that are correctly attributed only to the whole. Much of the book is a development of the claim that most neuroscientists commit this fallacy by attributing to brains properties and activities that can properly be attributed only to persons. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â I wonâ€™t give a general review of the book, which does make valuable points concerning the importance of using language accurately in discussing mental concepts: helpful and laudatory reviews can be found on the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews website (by Dennis Patterson) and in Philosophy 79, No. 307 (January 2004) 141-46 (by Daniel N. Robinson). However, I believe that some of its basic propositions are themselves fundamentally mistaken, and suggest that this is a consequence of disregard of opposing considerations, and insufficient recognition of the flexibility of language. I will discuss three basic propositions from the book, which are particularly relevant from the â€˜consciousness studiesâ€™ point of view.. (shrink)
This collection presents some of the most vital and original recent writings on Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, the three greatest rationalists of the early modern period. Their work offered brilliant and distinct integrations of science, morals, metaphysics, and religion, which today remain at the center of philosophical discussion. The essays written especially for this volume explore how these three philosophical systems treated matter, substance, human freedom, natural necessity, knowledge, mind, and consciousness. The contributors include some of the most prominent writers (...) in the field, including Jonathan Bennett, Michael Della Rocca, Jan A. Cover, Catherine Wilson, Stephen Voss, Edwin Curley, Don Garrett, and Margaret D. Wilson. (shrink)
The image sees.The image feels.The image acts. (Bennett, CB, 195)The image gives.The image is given.The image proliferates.The image betrays.The image for gives.The image is for giving.The image is for exposition.The image is for beauty.The image is from the good.The image is mother, and is father, is both mother and father, and neither mother nor father; for it is the child. The image is the parent, and the children, both parent and children, and neither parent nor children.
This guest-edited special section explores the related themes of mystery, humility, and religious practice from both the Western and East Asian philosophical traditions. The contributors are David E. Cooper, John Cottingham, Mark Wynn, Graham Parkes, and Ian James Kidd.