Marian David defends the correspondence theory of truth against the disquotational theory of truth, its current major rival. The correspondence theory asserts that truth is a philosophically rich and profound notion in need of serious explanation. Disquotationalists offer a radically deflationary account inspired by Tarski and propagated by Quine and others. They reject the correspondence theory, insist truth is anemic, and advance an "anti-theory" of truth that is essentially a collection of platitudes: "Snow is white" is true if (...) and only if snow is white; "Grass is green" is true if and only if grass is green. According to disquotationalists the only profound insight about truth is that it lacks profundity. David contrasts the correspondence theory with disquotationalism and then develops the latter position in rich detail--more than has been available in previous literature--to show its faults. He demonstrates that disquotationalism is not a tenable theory of truth, as it has too many absurd consequences. (shrink)
Science/Technoscience has moved to center stage in debates over change, power and justice in twenty-first century societies. This text provides a general framework for understanding, combining and applying the rich range of approaches that exist within sociology about science: in particular, the role (and limitations) of science in generating knowledge, and the relationship between scientific knowledge and social progress. Drawing on case studies such as the genetics and computing "revolutions," this is a clear, even-handed and comprehensive introduction to the (...) field. (shrink)
David Papineau, Jerry Fodor and many others wonder how the conjunction of the following three positions can be true: 1) Special science laws: There are lawlike generalizations in the special sciences. These sciences trade in kinds that are such that statements about salient, reliable correlations that are projectible and that support counterfactuals apply to the tokens coming under these kinds. 2) Non-reductionism: The laws of some of the special sciences cannot be reduced to physical laws. 3) Physicalism: Everything there (...) is in the world supervenes on the physical, that is, is fixed by the distribution of the physical properties in the world. The obvious problem is that (3) implies that the similarities among tokens in the world, accounting for the kinds in which the special sciences trade, and the correlations among such tokens, accounting for the laws of the special sciences, are fixed by the distribution of the physical properties. By contrast, (2) implies that some of the laws seizing such correlations are not reducible to physical laws. By using the term “token”, I mean a particular instantiating a property. Papineau’s proposal to reconcile these three positions is to account for (2) in terms of selection (pp. 6-9): There can be laws in the special sciences that are not reducible to physical laws if and only if these laws focus on effects that are selected for in a given context independently of the mechanisms by which they are brought about. Thus, the fact of there being such laws and their non-reducibility to physics do not contradict physicalism (3). The drawback is that the kinds that figure in such laws cannot enter into a rich network of laws 199 and that nothing can be causally efficacious insofar as it is a member of such a kind. In these comments, I shall try to push Papineau further in the direction of a reductive physicalism, thus solving the problem by simply abandoning (2).. (shrink)
David Lewis was one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century working in the Anglo-American analytic tradition. His corpus is extraordinary for its breadth of subject matter and for its systematicity. For both these reasons, it is difficult to do justice to his work in a short space—there are rich interconnections among his myriad writings, and numerous possible entry points. This article approaches Lewis and his work in three passes: first, a biographical tracing of his intellectual (...) influences; second, a summary of his metaphilosophy; third, a survey of his more specific philosophical views, mostly following their order of conceptual dependence. (shrink)
This volume, first published in 1954, is one of three presenting the correspondence of David Hume, one of the great men of the eighteenth century. It complements J. Y. T. Greig's two-volume Letters of David Hume, first published in 1932. Klibansky and Mossner brought together letters from 1737 to 1776, discovered after the publication of Greig's edition. Hume's correspondents in this volume include such famous thinkers and public figures as Adam Smith, James Boswell, and Benjamin Franklin. The edition (...) offers a rich picture of the man and his age, and is a uniquely valuable resource to anyone with an interest in early modern thought. (shrink)
J. Y. T. Greig's two-volume edition, first published in 1932, presents the correspondence of one of the great men of the 18th century. This first volume contains David Hume's letters from 1727 to 1765. Hume correspondents include such famous thinkers and public figures as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, James Boswell, and Benjamin Franklin. The edition offers a rich picture of the man and his age, and is a uniquely valuable resource to anyone with an interest in early modern (...) thought. (shrink)
J. Y. T. Greig's two-volume edition, first published in 1932, presents the correspondence of one of the great men of the 18th century. This second volume contains David Hume's letters from 1766 to 1776. Hume correspondents include such famous thinkers and public figures as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, James Boswell, and Benjamin Franklin. The edition offers a rich picture of the man and his age, and is a uniquely valuable resource to anyone with an interest in early modern (...) thought. (shrink)
Challenging prevailing interpretations of the development of modern philosophy, this book proposes a reinterpretation of the transcendental tradition, as represented primarily by Kant and Husserl, and counters Heidegger's influential reading of these philosophers. Author David Carr defends their subtle and complex transcendental investigations of the self and the life of subjectivity, and seeks to revive an understanding of what Husserl calls "the paradox of subjectivity"--an appreciation for the rich and sometimes contradictory character of experience.
Discover the truth about sex in the city (and the country). Mapping Desire explores the places and spaces of sexuality from body to community, from the "cottage" to the Barrio, from Boston to Jakarta, from home to cyberspace. Mapping Desire is the first book to explore sexualities from a geographical perspective. The nature of place and notions of space are of increasing centrality to cultural and social theory. Mapping Desires presents the rich and diverse world of contemporary sexuality, exploring (...) how the heterosexed body has been appropriated and resisted on the individual, community and city scales. Editors David Bell and Gill Valentine have brought together contributors with a wealth of approaches to ways in which the spaces of sex and the sexes of space are being mapped out across contemporary culture. Among the many sexual geographies covered are: Lesbians at home and on the streets; gay men on fantasy islands; bisexual identities; The heterosexualization of the workplace; bachelor farmers and spinsters; surveillance and sexuality; prostitution; queer politics; sexual citizenship, and the transformation of intimacy. The book is divided into four sections: cartographies/identities; sexualized spaces: global/local; sexualized spaces: local/global; sites of resistance. Each section is separately introduced. Beyond the bibliography, an annotated guide to further reading is also provided to help the reader map their own way through the literature. Mapping Desire will be a valuable and accessible travelogue of information for anyone interested in social, cultural and political geography, lesbian and gay studies, cultural studies, or simply those who want to find out more about the sexual landscape of contemporary society. Contents: Part I: Cartographies/Identities; Resolving Riddles: The Sexed Body, Julia Cream ; Locating Bisexual Identities: Discourses of Bisexuality and Contemporary Feminist Theory, Clare Hemmings; Of Moffies, Kaffiers and Perverts: Male Homosexuality and the Discourse of Moral Order in the Apartheid State, Glen Elder; Femme on the Streets, Butch in the Sheets (a Play on Whores), Alison Murray; Body Work: The Performance of Gendered and (Hetero)Sexualized Identities in City Workplaces, Linda McDowell; Part II: Sexualized Spaces: Global/Local; Whenever I Lay My Girlfriend That's My Home: The Performance and Surveillance of Lesbian Identities in Domestic Environments, Lynda Johnston and Gill Valentine; The Lesbian Flaneur, Sally Munt; Fantasy Islands: Popular Topographies of Marooned Masculinities, Gregory Woods; Sexuality and Urban Space: A Framework for Analysis, Lawrence Knopp; Part III: Sexualized Spaces: Local/Global; "And She Told Two Friends...": Lesbians Creating Urban Social Space, Tamar Rothenberg; Trading Places: Consumption, Sexuality and the Production of Queer Space, Jon Binnie; Bachelor Farmers and Spinsters: Gay and Lesbian Identities and Communities in Rural North Dakota, Jerry Lee Kramer; (Re)Constructing a Spanish Redlight District: Prostitution, Space and Power, Angie Hart; Part IV: Sites of Resistance; "Surveilliant Gays": HIV, Space and the Construction of Identities, David Woodhead; Sex, Scale and the "New Urban Politics": HIV-Prevention Strategies from Yaletown, Vancouver, Michael Brown; "Boom, Bye, Bye": Jamaican Ragga and Gay Resistance, Tracey Skelton; The Diversity of Queer Politics and the Redefinition of Sexual Identity and Community in Urban Space, Tim Davis; Perverse Dynamics, Sexual Citizenship and the Transformation of Intimacy, David Bell; Guide to Further Reading; Bibliography. (shrink)
In recent years, philosophical discussions of free will have focused largely on whether or not free will is compatible with determinism. In this challenging book, David Hodgson takes a fresh approach to the question of free will, contending that close consideration of human rationality and human consciousness shows that together they give us free will, in a robust and indeterministic sense. In particular, they give us the capacity to respond appositely to feature-rich gestalts of conscious experiences, in ways (...) that are not wholly determined by laws of nature or computational rules. The author contends that this approach is consistent with what science tells us about the world; and he considers its implications for our responsibility for our own conduct, for the role of retribution in criminal punishment, and for the place of human beings in the wider scheme of things. -/- Praise for David Hodgson's previous work, The Mind Matters -/- "magisterial...It is balanced, extraordinarily thorough and scrupulously fair-minded; and it is written in clear, straightforward, accessible prose." --Michael Lockwood, Times Literary Supplement -/- "an excellent contribution to the literature. It is well written, authoritative, and wonderfully wide-ranging. ... This account of quantum theory ... will surely be of great value. ... On the front cover of the paper edition of this book Paul Davies is quoted as saying that this is "a truly splendid and provocative book". In writing this review I have allowed myself to be provoked, but I am happy to close by giving my endorsement to this verdict in its entirety!" --Euan Squires, Journal of Consciousness Studies -/- "well argued and extremely important book." --Sheena Meredith, New Scientist -/- "His reconstructions and explanations are always concise and clear." --Jeffrey A Barrett, The Philosophical Review -/- "In this large-scale and ambitious work Hodgson attacks a modern orthodoxy. Both its proponents and its opponents will find it compelling reading." --J. R. Lucas, Merton College, Oxford. (shrink)
Contra Jackendoff, we argue that within the parallel architecture framework, the generality of language does not require a rich conceptual structure. To show this, we put forward a delegation model of specialization. We find Jackendoff's alternative, the subdivision model, insufficiently supported. In particular, the computational consequences of his representational notion of modularity need to be clarified.
Abstract In his paper ?Moral education and the emotions? (JME, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 81?7) John Martin Rich argues that emotions should have a more central place in moral education than is normally given to them. I am sympathetic to the attempt to give more prominence to the role of the emotions in moral education, but in this paper I shall contend that the particular arguments employed by Rich cannot be sustained.
One of the most significant disputes in early modern philosophy was between the moral rationalists and the moral sentimentalists. The moral rationalists — such as Ralph Cudworth, Samuel Clarke and John Balguy — held that morality originated in reason alone. The moral sentimentalists — such as Anthony Ashley Cooper, the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson and David Hume — held that morality originated at least partly in sentiment. In addition to arguments, the rationalists and sentimentalists developed rich (...) analogies. The most significant analogy the rationalists developed was between morality and mathematics. The most significant analogy the sentimentalists developed was between morality and beauty. These two analogies illustrate well the main ideas, underlying insights, and accounts of moral phenomenology the two positions have to offer. An examination of the two analogies will thus serve as a useful introduction to the debate between moral rationalism and moral sentimentalism as a whole. (shrink)
Hilary Putnam's argument against metaphysical realism (commonly referred to as the "model theoretic argument") has now enjoyed two decades of discussion.(1) The text is rich and contains variously construable arguments against variously construed philosophical positions. David Lewis isolated one argument and called it "Putnam's Paradox".(2) That argument is clear and concise; so is the paradoxical conclusion it purports to demonstrate; and so is Lewis' paradox-avoiding solution. His solution involves a position I call "anti-nominalism": not only are classes real, (...) but they are divided into arbitrary and 'natural' classes. The natural classes 'carve nature at the joints', being (as other philosophers might say) the extensions of 'real' properties, universals, or Forms.(3) Thus the argument was turned, in effect, into support for a metaphysical realism stronger than Putnam envisaged. (shrink)
Cognitive Science is in some sense the science of the mind. But an increasingly influential theme, in recent years, has been the role of the physical body, and of the local environment, in promoting adaptive success. No right-minded Cognitive Scientist, to be sure, ever claimed that body and world were completely irrelevant to the understanding of mind. But there was, nonetheless, an unmistakable tendency to marginalize such factors: to dwell on inner complexity whilst simplifying or ignoring the complex inner-outer interplays (...) that characterize the bulk of basic biological problem-solving. This tendency was expressed in, for example, the development of planning algorithms that treated real-world action as merely a way of implementing solutions arrived at by pure cognition (more recent work, by contrast, allows such actions to play important computational and problem-solving roles). It was also expressed in David Marr’s depiction of the task of vision as the construction of a detailed three-dimensional image of the visual scene. For possession of such a rich inner model effectively allows the system to “throw away” the world and to focus current computational activity int he inner model alone. (shrink)
David Hume started work on his Treatise of Human Nature (1739/40) at the age of 15 and finished it in his mid 20's. His ambition was no less than a complete science of human nature, including an account of knowledge, the emotions, and morality. Some of Hume's conclusions are famously skeptical, while others offer a rich positive source of philosophical and psychological insight. He considers personal identity, free will, induction, causality, the limits of reason, sentiment as a foundation (...) for morality, relativism, and objectivity. The Treatise now exerts a towering influence over the Western tradition, and many contemporary currents in moral philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and philosophy of science are identifiably "Humean." In this tutorial we will read the entire Treatise along with other works by Hume and influential secondary literature. Throughout, we will have two goals, namely understanding Hume's positions in their historical context and making sense of the relevance of Hume's approach to current theorizing. At the end of the semester we will turn to some recent inheritors of Hume's projects, with special attention to philosophical naturalism. (shrink)
I came to philosophy as a refugee from mathematics and statistics. I was impressed by their power at codifying and precisifying antecedently understood but rather nebulous concepts, and at clarifying and exploring their interrelations. I enjoyed learning many of the great theorems of probability theory—equations rich in ‘P’s of this and of that. But I wondered what is this ‘P’? What do statements of probability mean? When I asked one of my professors, he looked at me like I needed (...) medication. That medication was provided by philosophy, and I found it first during my Masters at the University of Western Ontario, working with Bill Harper, and then during my Ph.D. at Princeton, working with Bas van Fraassen, David Lewis, and Richard Jeffrey—all deft practitioners of formal methods. I found that philosophers had been asking my question about ‘P’ since about 1650, but they were still struggling to find definitive answers. I was also introduced to a host of other philosophical problems, and it became clear to me within nanoseconds of arriving at U.W.O. that I wanted to spend my life pursuing some of them. But I kept being drawn back to the formal methods of mathematics, and in particular of probability theory. It may be worthwhile to pause for a moment and to ask “What are formal methods?” Of course, it’s easy to come up with examples: the use of various logical systems, computational algorithms, causal graphs, information theory, probability theory and mathematics more generally. What do they have in common? They are all abstract representational systems. Sometimes the systems are studied in their own.. (shrink)
How do we know right from wrong? Do we even have moral knowledge? Moral epistemology studies these and related questions about our understanding of virtue and vice. It is one of philosophy’s perennial problems, reaching back to Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Hume and Kant, and has recently been the subject of intense debate as a result of findings in developmental and social psychology. Throughout the book Zimmerman argues that our belief in moral knowledge can survive sceptical challenges. He also draws (...) on a rich range of examples from Plato’s Meno and Dickens’ David Copperfield to Bernard Madoff and Saddam Hussein. (shrink)
David Hume's relatively short essay 'Of the Standard of Taste' deals with some of the most difficult issues in aesthetic theory. Apart from giving a few pregnant remarks, near the end of his discussion, on the role of morality in aesthetic evaluation, Hume tries to reconcile the idea that tastes are subjective (in the sense of not being answerable to the facts) with the idea that some objects of taste are better than others. 'Tastes', in this context, are the (...) pleasures or displeasures that a person can take in the beauties of poems, paintings, and other artistic compositions (though Hume also wants to stress the continuities between tastes, so understood, and the bodily sense of taste). The position at which Hume arrives in the essay (despite some dialectical unclarity) is that some people – the 'true judges'– determine by their 'joint verdict' which works are meritorious. This solution continues to exercise a fascination, as does Hume's complicated route to it. Author Recommends: Paul Guyer, 'The Standard of Taste and the "Most Ardent Desire of Society" ', Values of Beauty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 37–76. This paper places 'Of the Standard of Taste' in an especially rich context, and asks why Hume concentrates on true judges instead of the improvement of one's own taste. Mary Mothersill, 'Hume: "Of the Standard of Taste" ', Beauty Restored (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 177–208. This chapter, embedded in an exposition of Mothersill's 'First Thesis' (the denial that there are principles of taste) and 'Second Thesis' (the affirmation that some judgments of taste are genuine judgments), gives a detailed running commentary on Hume's essay. A shorter self-contained version of the chapter appeared as 'Hume and the Paradox of Taste' in Aesthetics: A Critical Anthology , 2nd ed., eds. George Dickie, Richard Sclafani, and Ronald Roblin (New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1989, 269–86). Jerrold Levinson, 'Hume's Standard of Taste: The Real Problem', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (2002): 227–38. An importance recent article, Levinson's piece argues that the 'real' difficulty with Hume's essay has gone unnoticed: why should I care about what Hume's true judges think? Christopher Williams, 'Some Questions in Hume's Aesthetics', Philosophy Compass 2/2 (2007). This article provides a brief overview of the topics discussed under weeks 3–5 in the sample syllabus below. It is intended to provide a roadmap for the particular set of readings listed there. David Wiggins, 'A Sensible Subjectivism?', Needs, Values, and Truth , 3rd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), 185–214. This is a stimulating paper in moral philosophy that treats Hume's essay on taste as a model for a serious subjectivism. Wiggins then presents his own brand of subjectivism as an alternative to Hume's. Online Materials: Hume's Aesthetics (Ted Gracyk): http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hume-aesthetics/ Sample Syllabus: Recommended background reading on Hume's historical context: Peter Kivy, The Seventh Sense: Francis Hutcheson and Eighteenth-Century British Aesthetics , 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), especially Part III. Recommended background reading on the general topic of taste: David A. Whewell, 'Taste', Blackwell Companion to Aesthetics (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), 415–18. Dabney Townsend and Carolyn Korsmeyer, 'Taste', Encyclopedia of Aesthetics , ed. Michael Kelly (New York, NY and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 4:355–62. Ted Cohen, 'The Philosophy of Taste: Thoughts on the Idea', Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics , ed. Peter Kivy (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), 167–73. Week 1: Hume on beauty, art, and aesthetic judgment in the Treatise of Human Nature and the Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals The following references are usable for any complete edition of the Treatise or Enquiry Treatise , 2.1.8 ('Of Beauty and Deformity') Treatise , 2.2.5 ('Of Our Esteem for the Rich and Powerful') Treatise , 2.2.8 ('Of Malice and Envy'), final three paragraphs Treatise , 2.2.11 ('Of the Amorous Passion, or Love Betwixt the Sexes') Treatise , 3.1.2 ('Moral Distinctions Deriv'd from a Moral Sense') Treatise , 3.3.1 ('Of the Origin of the Natural Virtues') Treatise , 3.3.5 ('Some Farther Reflexions Concerning the Natural Virtues') Enquiry , Appendix 1 ('Of moral sentiment') Week 2: Hume's essays Essays Moral, Political, and Literary , ed. Eugene Miller (Indianapolis, IN: LibertyClassics, 1985) is the most commonly used edition today. 'Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion' 'Of Eloquence' 'Of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Sciences' 'Of Simplicity and Refinement in Writing' 'Of Tragedy' 'Of the Standard of Taste' Week 3: Circularity–Virtuous or Vicious? Peter Kivy, 'Hume's Standard of Taste: Breaking the Circle', British Journal of Aesthetics (1967): 57–66. David Wiggins, 'A Sensible Subjectivism?', Needs, Values, and Truth , 3rd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), 185–214. Week 4: Rules of Art Mary Mothersill, 'Hume: "Of the Standard of Taste" ', Beauty Restored (Oxford: Clarendon, 1984), 177–208. James Shelley, 'Hume's Double Standard of Taste', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (1994): 437–45. Nick Zangwill, 'Hume, Taste, and Teleology', The Metaphysics of Beauty (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001), 149–65. Week 5: The True Judge Malcolm Budd, 'Hume and Kant', 'Hume's Standard of Taste', 'Hume and Human Nature', Values of Art (London: Allen Lane, 1995), 16–24 . Paul Guyer, 'The Standard of Taste and the "Most Ardent Desire of Society" ', Values of Beauty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 37–76. Jerrold Levinson, 'Hume's Standard of Taste: The Real Problem', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (2002): 227–38. Week 6: Moralism in Aesthetic Judgment: Hume and Beyond Kendall Walton, 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (1994): 27–50. Richard Moran, 'The Expression of Feeling in Imagination', Philosophical Review (1994): 75–106. Tamar Szabo-Gendler, 'The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance', Journal of Philosophy (2000): 55–81. Focus Questions 1. How does Hume distinguish between matters of 'fact' and 'sentiment'? 2. What is a 'rule of art', and are there any rules? 3. Can a bad critic be 'silenced'? 4. What are the characteristics of good critics? 5. Should we expect good critics to agree on the merits of a work, and should I care about becoming a good critic myself? 6. Is it possible to distinguish variations in taste for which we should expect a standard and variations for which it is 'vain' to have such an expectation? 7. How is the excellence of a work related to the exercise of taste? 8. If a work of literature has a moral outlook that differs from our own, should we consider the work defective on literary grounds? (shrink)
Politically, as well as philosophically, concerns with human rights have permeated many of the most important debates on social justice worldwide for fully a half-century. Henry Shue's 1980 book on Basic Rights proved to be a pioneering contribution to those debates, and one that continues to elicit both critical and constructive comment. Global Basic Rights brings together many of the most influential contemporary writers in political philosophy and international relations - Charles Beitz, Robert Goodin, Christian Reus-Smit, Andrew Hurrell, Judith Lichtenberg, (...) Elizabeth Ashford, Thomas Pogge, Neta Crawford, Richard Miller, David Luban, Jeremy Waldron and Simon Caney- to explore some of the most challenging theoretical and practical questions that Shue's work provokes. These range from the question of the responsibilities of the global rich to redress severe poverty to the permissibility of using torture to gain information to fight international terrorism. The contributors explore the continuing value of the idea of "basic rights" in understanding moral challenges as diverse as child labor and global climate change. (shrink)
Under the clear and thoughtful editorship of Ruiping Fan, The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China provides new and highly substantive insights into the emergence of a renewed, relevant, and perceptively engaged Confucianism in 21st century China. Through the vibrantly diverse essays contained in this volume, and in cogent overview through Fan’s introduction, one learns that Confucianism is thoroughly misunderstood, if it is seen only through Western lenses. It cannot be absorbed into that rights-based “global” discourse that has been the (...) West’s troubled inheritance from the Enlightenment. Extraordinarily thoughtful Chinese voices are found in this volume that converse with each other in serious and revealing ways. Should genuine exchange continue to develop between Western thinkers and Chinese Confucians, The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China will surely be an indispensable pathway into those core issues, moral and social, that will unavoidably be encountered as China and the West advance further into the 21st century. -/- -/- Stephen A. Erickson, Professor of Philosophy and the E. Wilson Lyon Professor of the Humanities, Pomona College, USA -/- -/- The Renaissance of Confucianism in Contemporary China features an important school of Confucianism in Mainland China today, “Political Confucianism,” powerfully articulated by Jiang Qing, author of the leading article in this volume. “Political Confucianism” is unique: on the “Political” side, it rejects many core values of liberalism, the dominant political ideology in the West; and on the “Confucianism” side, it rejects the one-sided emphasis on the inner sageliness of “New Confucianism” developed in Hong Kong and Taiwan in the last century. In this volume, the programmatic essay by Jiang Qing is followed by penetrating essays, either further expanding on or critically examining various themes of Jiang’s original essay, by eminent scholars, many of whom are committed Confucians themselves. The volume concludes with an informative biography of Jiang Qing. It is a must-read for anyone who is interested in learning about the situation of Confucianism in contemporary China in particular and about Confucianism or contemporary China in general. -/- -/- Yong HUANG, Chief Editor, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy -/- This is the most important recent study of Chinese culture and political theory. It offers a rich insight into the renaissance of authentic Confucian commitments in contemporary China and the foundationally different moral and political direction that it proposes for China’s future. The essays Fan brings together tie the power of China’s rich past to the prospect of a China quite different from what the West envisages. It is a “must-read” for anyone seeking to understand China in the 21st century. -/- -/- David Solomon, W.P. and H.B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture, University of Notre Dame. (shrink)
‘‘COGNITIVE ECOLOGY’’ is a fruitful model for Shakespearian studies, early modern literary and cultural history, and theatrical history more widely. Cognitive ecologies are the multidimensional contexts in which we remember, feel, think, sense, communicate, imagine, and act, often collaboratively, on the ﬂy, and in rich ongoing interaction with our environments. Along with the anthropologist Edwin Hutchins,1 we use the term ‘‘cognitive ecology’’ to integrate a number of recent approaches to cultural cognition: we believe these approaches offer productive lines of (...) engagement with early modern literary and historical studies.2 The framework arises out of our work in extended mind and distributed cognition.3 The extended mind hypothesis arose from a post-connectionist philosophy of cognitive science. This approach was articulated in Andy Clark’s Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again, and further developed by Susan Hurley and Mark Rowlands, among others.4 The distributed cognition approach arose independently, from work in cognitive anthropology, HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), the sociology of education and work, and science studies. The principles of distributed cognition were articulated in Hutchins’s ethnography of navigation, Cogni- tion in the Wild,5 and developed by theorists such as David Kirsh and Lucy Suchman.6 These models share an anti-individualist approach to cognition. In all these views, mental activities spread or smear across the boundaries of skull and skin to include parts of the social and material world. In remembering, decision making, and acting, whether individually or in small groups, our complex and structured activities involve many distinctive dimensions: neural, affective, kines-. (shrink)
David Marr's theory of vision has been a rich source of inspiration, fascination and confusion. I will suggest that some of this confusion can be traced to discrepancies between the way Marr developed his theory in practice and the way he suggested such a theory ought to be developed in his explicit metatheoretical remarks. I will address claims that Marr's theory may be seen as an optimizing theory, along with the attendant suggestion that optimizing assumptions may be inappropriate (...) for cognitive mechanisms just as anti-adaptationists have argued they are inappropriate for other physiological mechanisms. I will discuss the nature of optimizing assumptions and theories. Considering various difficulties in identifying and assessing optimizing assumptions, I will suggest that Marr's theory is not purely an optimizing theory and that reaction to Marr on this issue prompts interesting considerations for the development of inter-disciplinary constraints in the cognitive and brain sciences. (shrink)
This rich, subtle and hugely ambitious book might also have been called “why (and how) metaphysics matters”. Cooper's themes are the tensions implicit in the relation of contingent human beings to the world and the implications of those tensions, and of putative means of their.
Toleration has a rich tradition in Western political philosophy. It is, after all, one of the defining topics of political philosophy—historically pivotal in the development of modern liberalism, prominent in the writings of such canonical figures as John Locke and John Stuart Mill, and central to our understanding of the idea of a society in which individuals have the right to live their own lives by their own values, left alone by the state so long as they respect the (...) similar interests of others. -/- Toleration and Its Limits, the latest addition to the NOMOS series, explores the philosophical nuances of the concept of toleration and its scope in contemporary liberal democratic societies. Editors Melissa S. Williams and Jeremy Waldron carefully compiled essays that address the tradition's key historical figures; its role in the development and evolution of Western political theory; its relation to morality, liberalism, and identity; and its limits and dangers. -/- Contributors: Lawrence A. Alexander, Kathryn Abrams, Wendy Brown, Ingrid Creppell, Noah Feldman, Rainer Forst, David Heyd, Glyn Morgan, Glen Newey, Michael A. Rosenthal, Andrew Sabl, Steven D. Smith, and Alex Tuckness. (shrink)
I thank the commentators for their extremely rich and stimulating discussions of Thought and World.1 Their commentaries show that a number of TW’s claims are in need of clarification and defense, and that some of its arguments contain substantial lacunae. I am very pleased to have these flaws called to my attention, and to have an opportunity to try to correct them. Also, I am grateful for the commentators’ endorsements. As is perhaps inevitable in a symposium of this kind, (...) the commentaries contain more questions and objections than expressions of agreement; but even so, each of the com- mentators conveys the impression that he found TW to be worth reading. It is an honor to receive endorsements, even qualified endorsements, from such a distinguished company. (shrink)
In a remarkable and utterly original work of philosophical history, Richard Allen revivifies David Hartley's Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations (1749). Though it includes a detailed and richly annotated chronology, this is not a straight intellectual biography, attentive as it might be to the intricacies of Hartley's Cambridge contacts, or the mundane rituals of his medical practice, or the internal development of the doctrine of association of ideas. Instead Allen brings Hartley's book, a psychological (...) epic with a mystical finale, sympathetically to life in a generous and ambitious historical gesture of mutual recognition. Late 20th-century readers "are in a better position to understand Hartley's work" than were earlier sympathizers like Joseph Priestley and John Stuart Mill; and in turn, Allen argues that "Hartley has something to say to us" about just how rich and strange a full mechanistic psychology might be. (shrink)
The world's economy expands, food production increases, and technology links people as never before. But the human population grows, rainforests decline, species become extinct, climate change threatens extreme weather, cancer kills more than ever, and nearly a billion people starve as the gap between rich and poor widens. Environmental Ethics Today addresses these matters by exploring beliefs of fact and value guiding human interactions with nature. The style is journalistic, featuring actual controversies and individual stories, but the content is (...) philosophically rigorous. Abstract theories, ideas, and methods, such as utilitarianism, contractarianism, and hermeneutics are introduced as needed to understand and solve practical problems. Should respect for nature limit genetic engineering? Is economic growth the best measrure of progress or can materialism inhibit family values? Does globalization mostly help Third World countries or harm people and poor women? Are experiments on animals immoral? Is biodiversity valuable apart from any human advantage? Overall, does human welfare conflict with nature's integrity. Environmental Ethics Today considers many views including those of Aldo Leopold, Vandana Shiva, Garrett Hardin, Peter Singer, Julian Simon, David Korten, Jane Goodall, Holmes Rolston III, J. Baird Callicott, Karen Warren, Tom Regan, Val Plumwood, Wendell Berry, Father Thomas Berry, Daniel Quinn, and Arne Naess. (shrink)
Christianity teaches that whenever evil is done, God had ample warning. He could have prevented it, but He didn't. He could have stopped it midway, but He didn't. He could have rescued the victims of the evil, but - at least in many cases - He didn't. In short, God is an accessory before, during, and after the fact to countless evil deeds, great and small. An explanation is not far to seek. The obvious hypothesis is that the Christian God (...) is really some sort of devil. Maybe He is a devil as popularly conceived, driven' by malice. Or maybe He is unintelligibly capricious. Or maybe He is a fanatical artist who cares only for the aesthetic quality of creation - perhaps the abstract beauty of getting rich variety to emerge from a few simple laws, or perhaps the concrete drama of human life with all its diversity - and cares nothing for the good of the creatures whose lives are woven into His masterpiece. Oust as a tragedian has no business providing a happy end out of compassion for his characters.) But no; for Christianity also teaches that God is morally perfect and perfectly benevolent, and that He loves all of His creatures; and that these things are true in a sense not a million miles from the sense in which we attribute morality, benevolence, or love to one another. (shrink)
Although it has been something of a fetish for philosophers to distinguish between hallucination and illusion, the enduring problems for philosophy of perception that both phenomena present are not essentially different. Hallucination, in its pure philosophical form, is just another example of the philosopher’s penchant for considering extreme and extremely idealized cases in order to understand the ordinary. The problem that has driven much philosophical thinking about perception is the problem of how to reconcile our evident direct perceptual contact with (...) objects and properties with the equally evident fact that there is no phenomenological signal separating error and truth. “The obscure object of hallucination” offers a subtle and plausible solution to this problem and one that solves the problem generally, not just in the special case of hallucination. Johnston’s objective is to offer a theory of perception that meets two constraints: (1) that it provide an explanation of the possibility of delusive and veridical sensings that are indistinguishable from the ﬁrst-person perspective and (2) that it count as form of direct realism where this is taken to involve acquaintance with the objects of perception. Johnston uses the ﬁrst constraint to rule out disjunctivism. The second constraint is used to rule out conjunctivism, which as Johnston uses the term, includes most of the widely adopted philosophical theories of perception. Johnston also develops his own sophisticated and interesting theory of perception. In what follows, I will discuss the relation of Johnston’s theory to conjunctivism, examine one of his anti-conjunctivist arguments and ﬁnally compare Johnston’s theory with some other versions of direct realism. These topics constitute a very incomplete selection of the important issues discussed in this rich and interesting paper. I will also not disagree, in any fundamental way, with any of the central theses of Johnston’s discussion.. (shrink)
In this paper, I try to make sense of the idea that true knowledge attributions characterize something that is more valuable than true belief and that survives even if, as Contextualism implies, contextual changes make it no longer identifiable by a knowledge attribution. I begin by sketching a familiar, pragmatic picture of assertion that helps us to understand and predict how the words “S knows that P” can be used to draw different epistemic distinctions in different contexts. I then argue (...) that the examples provided by Cohen and DeRose meant to illustrate Contextualism fail to do so, and I construct an example that does. I conclude by considering the response that an objective assessment of skepticism depends, not on what we might use sentences of the form “S knows that P” to say, but on what such sentences themselves say—on their literal, context-invariant meanings. I argue that there is little reason to believe that our words have such context-invariant meanings, and I suggest that the pragmatic picture of assertion can secure a rich enough conception of objectivity to address the skeptic. (shrink)
Jeremy Waldron’s Law and Disagreement1 is an extremely important and influential book. Not only is it probably the best known recent text presenting the case against judicial review, but it is also rich in details and arguments regarding related but distinct issues such as the history of political philosophy, the relevance of metaethics to political philosophy, the desirable structure of legislative bodies, the justification of democracy and majoritarianism, Rawls’ political philosophy, and much more. In commenting on such rich (...) work, then, the difficulty is not to find things to disagree (or indeed agree) with, but rather to pick and choose among the many topics one can discuss. Below I focus on what seem to me like central difficulties in the more general political philosophy Waldron seems to endorse, and in its application to the topic of judicial review. (shrink)
What sorts of reasons are i) required and ii) morally acceptable when citizens in a pluralist liberal democracy undertake to resolve pressing political issues? This paper presents and then critically examines John Rawls''s answer to this question: his so called wide-view of public reason. Rawls''s view requires that the content of liberal public reason prove rich enough to yield a reasoned and determinate resolution for most if not all fundamental political issues. I argue that the content of liberal public (...) reason will prove inadequate in this regard far more often than Rawls suspects. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to shed some light on a certain type of sentence, which I call a borderline contradiction. A borderline contradiction is a sentence of the form F a ∧ ¬F a, for some vague predicate F and some borderline case a of F , or a sentence equivalent to such a sentence. For example, if Jackie is a borderline case of ‘rich’, then ‘Jackie is rich and Jackie isn’t rich’ is a borderline (...) contradiction. Many theories of vague language have entailments about borderline contradictions; correctly describing the behavior of borderline contradictions is one of the many tasks facing anyone offering a theory of vague language. Here, I first briefly review claims made by various theorists about these borderline contradictions, attempting to draw out some predictions about the behavior of ordinary speakers. Second, I present an experiment intended to gather relevant data about the behavior of ordinary speakers. Finally, I discuss the experimental results in light of several different theories of vagueness, to see what explanations are available. My conclusions are necessarily tentative; I do not attempt to use the present experiment to demonstrate that any single theory is incontrovertibly true. Rather, I try to sketch the auxiliary hypotheses that would need to be conjoined to several extant theories of vague language to predict the present result, and offer some considerations regarding the plausibility of these various hypotheses. In the end, I conclude that two of the theories I consider are better-positioned to account for the observed data than are the others. But the field of logically-informed research on people’s actual responses to vague predicates is young; surely as more data come in we will learn a great deal more about which (if any) of these theories best accounts for the behavior of ordinary speakers. (shrink)
Vision, more than any other sense, dominates our mental life. Our visual experience is just so rich, so detailed, that we can hardly distinguish that experience from the world itself. Even when we just think about the world and don't look at it directly, we can't help but 'imagine' what it looks like. We think of 'seeing' as being a conscious activity--we direct our eyes, we choose what we look at, we register what we are seeing. The series of (...) events described in this book radically altered this attitude towards vision. This book describes one of the most extraordinary neurological cases of recent years--one that profoundly changed scientific views on consciousness. It is the story of Dee Fletcher--a woman recently blinded--who became the subject of a series of scientific studies. As events unfolded, Milner and Goodale found that Dee wasn't in fact blind--she just didn't know that she could see. Taking us on a journey into the unconscious brain, the two scientists who made this incredible discovery tell the amazing story of their work, and the surprising conclusion they were forced to reach. Written to be accessible to students and popular science readers, this book is a fascinating illustration of the power of the 'unconscious' mind. (shrink)
In this paper I question the claim that the increasingly popular position known as ‘free-will theism’ or ‘the open view of God’ supports a rich religious life. To do this I advance a notion of ‘religious adequacy’, and then argue that free-will theism fails to be religiously adequate with respect to one of the principal practices of the religious life – petitionary prayer. Drawing on current work in libertarian free-will theory, I consider what are likely the only two lines (...) of defence free-will theists might use in response to my argument. I argue that these defences either fail or have features that make them unacceptable to free-will theists. I then suggest that this failure with petitionary prayer is an instance of a larger problem for free-will theism, that the position's distinctive views often differ more dramatically from the common beliefs and practices of most believers than is usually recognized or acknowledged. I conclude that free-will theism can support a rich religious life only for those who make the requisite changes in belief and practice, including changing their expectations about petitionary prayer. (shrink)
According to an influential view in contemporary cognitive science, many human cognitive capacities are innate. The primary support for this view comes from ‘poverty of stimulus’ arguments. In general outline, such arguments contrast the meagre informational input to cognitive development with its rich informational output. Consider the ease with which humans acquire languages, become facile at attributing psychological states (‘folk psychology’), gain knowledge of biological kinds (‘folk biology’), or come to understand basic physical processes (‘folk physics’). In all these (...) cases, the evidence available to a growing child is far too thin and noisy for it to be plausible that the underlying principles involved are derived from general learning mechanisms. This only alternative hypothesis seems to be that the child’s grasp of these principles is innate. (Cf. Laurence and Margolis, 2001.). (shrink)
From young children, with their guileless, searching questions, to the recently bereaved, trying to make sense of tragic loss, humans wrestle with our relationship to God--and with God's essence, motivations, and power--throughout our lives: Why does God permit catastrophe and senseless tragedy, again and again? Is God's power limited in any way? Can He change the past? Does He know the future? Why does God require prayer? Why does He not provide stronger evidence of His presence? Whom does God consign (...) to hell, and why? Does God change? Suffer? What can we make of the conflicting diversity within world religions, of the many gods of different religious traditions? Such questions engage, confront, and perplex us on a daily basis. In this rich, concise volume, leading philosophers who have long pondered God's nature and ways take on these core problems and present their findings in a manner likely to engage believer and non-believer, general reader and specialist alike. (shrink)
It is well known that Tarski proved a result which can be stated roughly as: no sufficiently rich, consistent, classical language can contain its own truth definition. Tarski''s way around this problem is to deal with two languages at a time, an object language for which we are defining truth and a metalanguage in which the definition occurs. An obvious question then is: under what conditions can we construct a definition of truth for a given object language. Tarski claims (...) that it is necessary and sufficient that the metalanguage be essentially richer. Our contention, put bluntly, is that this claim deserves more scrutiny from philosophers than it usually gets and in fact is false unless essentially richer means nothing else than sufficient to contain a truth definition for the object language. (shrink)
Mathematically, gauge theories are extraordinarily rich --- so rich, in fact, that it can become all too easy to lose track of the connections between results, and become lost in a mass of beautiful theorems and properties: indeterminism, constraints, Noether identities, local and global symmetries, and so on. -/- One purpose of this short article is to provide some sort of a guide through the mathematics, to the conceptual core of what is actually going on. Its focus is (...) on the Lagrangian, variational-problem description of classical mechanics, from which the link between gauge symmetry and the apparent violation of determinism is easy to understand; only towards the end will the Hamiltonian description be considered. -/- The other purpose is to warn against adopting too unified a perspective on gauge theories. It will be argued that the meaning of the gauge freedom in a theory like general relativity is (at least from the Lagrangian viewpoint) significantly different from its meaning in theories like electromagnetism. The Hamiltonian framework blurs this distinction, and orthodox methods of quantization obliterate it; this may, in fact, be genuine progress, but it is dangerous to be guided by mathematics into conflating two conceptually distinct notions without appreciating the physical consequences. (shrink)
Jarrett Leplin’s paper is multifaceted; it’s rich with ideas, and I won’t even try to touch on all of them. Instead, I’d like to raise three questions about the paper: one about its definition of reliable method, one about its solution to the generality problem, and one about its answer to clairvoyance-type objections.
Sunstein's review of research on moral heuristics is rich and informative – even without his central claim that individuals often commit moral errors. We question the value of positing such a normative moral framework for the study of moral judgment. We also propose an alternative standard for evaluating moral judgments – that of subjective rationality.
The concept of knowledge is used to certify epistemic agents as good sources (on a certain point or subject matter) for an understood audience. Attributions of knowledge and denials of knowledge are used in a kind of epistemic gate keeping for (epistemic or practical) communities with which the attributor and interlocutors are associated. When combined with reflection on kinds of practical and epistemic communities, and their situated epistemic needs for gate keeping, this simple observation regarding the point and purpose of (...) the concept of knowledge has rich implications. First, it gives one general reason to prefer contextualism over various forms of sensitive invariantism. Second, when gate keeping for a select community of experts or authorities, with an associated body of results on which folk generally might then draw (when gate keeping for a general source community ) the contextual demands approximate those with which insensitive invariantists would be comfortable. (shrink)
Friedman's rich account of the way the mathematical sciences ideally are transformed affords mathematics a more influential role than is common in the philosophy of science. In this paper I assess Friedman's position and argue that we can improve on it by pursuing further the parallels between mathematics and science. We find a richness to the organisation of mathematics similar to that Friedman finds in physics.
Everett (2005) has claimed that the grammar of Piraha˜ is exceptional in displaying ‘inexplicable gaps’, that these gaps follow from a cultural principle restricting communication to ‘immediate experience’, and that this principle has ‘severe’ consequences for work on universal grammar. We argue against each of these claims. Relying on the available documentation and descriptions of the language, especially the rich material in Everett 1986, 1987b, we argue that many of the exceptional grammatical ‘gaps’ supposedly characteristic of Piraha˜ are misanalyzed (...) by Everett (2005) and are neither gaps nor exceptional among the world’s languages. We find no evidence, for example, that Piraha˜ lacks embedded clauses, and in fact find strong syntactic and semantic evidence in favor of their existence in Piraha˜. Likewise, we find no evidence that Piraha˜ lacks quantifiers, as claimed by Everett (2005). Furthermore, most of the actual properties of the Piraha˜ constructions discussed by Everett (for example, the ban on prenominal possessor recursion and the behavior of WH-constructions) are familiar from languages whose speakers lack the cultural restrictions attributed to the Piraha˜. Finally, following mostly Gonc¸alves (1993, 2000, 2001), we also question some of the empirical claims about Piraha˜ culture advanced by Everett in primary support of the ‘immediate experience’ restriction. We conclude that there is no evidence from Piraha˜ for the particular causal relation between culture and grammatical structure suggested by Everett. (shrink)
Teaching an eight-week calm abiding meditation course to staff in a Child and Youth Mental Health Service located in a regional Australian city presented a curious meeting of Buddhism with Western culture. This meeting highlighted both the potential benefits and challenges of teaching meditation in the workplace and the value of qualitative methods for contributing to the development of meditation research. The thematic analysis of weekly participant responses to emailed reflective questions and follow-up interviews indicated that workplace meditation training can (...) precipitate sustainable changes in attitudes and behaviour beyond the workplace. Participants reported being less reactive and better able to manage emotions, having heightened self-awareness, self-acceptance and acceptance of others and of circumstances; and, in the longer term, were better able to make healthier lifestyle choices. The analysis is contextualized by a rich description of the course and salient concerns and conditions evident in contemporary Buddhist teachings and studies of mindfulness meditation. (shrink)
It is widely held that individuals who are unable to provide informed consent should be enrolled in clinical research only when the risks are low, or the research offers them the prospect of direct benefit. There is now a rich literature on when the risks of clinical research are low enough to enroll individuals who cannot consent. Much less attention has focused on which benefits of research participation count as ‘direct’, and the few existing accounts disagree over how this (...) crucial concept should be defined. This disagreement raises concern over whether those who cannot consent, including children and adults with severe dementia, are being adequately protected. The present paper attempts to address this concern by considering first what additional protections are needed for these vulnerable individuals. This analysis suggests that the extant definitions of direct benefits either provide insufficient protection for research subjects or pose excessive obstacles to appropriate research. This analysis also points to a modified definition of direct benefits with the potential to avoid these two extremes, protecting individuals who cannot consent without blocking appropriate research. (shrink)
The contributions to this special issue on cognitive development collectively propose ways in which learning involves developing constraints that shape subsequent learning. A learning system must be constrained to learn efficiently, but some of these constraints are themselves learnable. To know how something will behave, a learner must know what kind of thing it is. Although this has led previous researchers to argue for domain-specific constraints that are tied to different kinds/domains, an exciting possibility is that kinds/domains themselves can be (...) learned. General cognitive constraints, when combined with rich inputs, can establish domains, rather than these domains necessarily preexisting prior to learning. Knowledge is structured and richly differentiated, but its “skeleton” must not always be preestablished. Instead, the skeleton may be adapted to fit patterns of co-occurrence, task requirements, and goals. Finally, we argue that for models of development to demonstrate genuine cognitive novelty, it will be helpful for them to move beyond highly preprocessed and symbolic encodings that limit flexibility. We consider two physical models that learn to make tone discriminations. They are mechanistic models that preserve rich spatial, perceptual, dynamic, and concrete information, allowing them to form surprising new classes of hypotheses and encodings. (shrink)
This article traces the development of the theory and practice of what is known as ‘community of inquiry’ as an ideal of classroom praxis. The concept has ancient and uncertain origins, but was seized upon as a form of pedagogy by the originators of the Philosophy for Children program in the 1970s. Its location at the intersection of the discourses of argumentation theory, communications theory, semiotics, systems theory, dialogue theory, learning theory and group psychodynamics makes of it a rich (...) site for the dialogue between theory and practice in education. This article is an exploration of those intersections, and a prospectus of its possible role in the formation and reformulation of school curriculum. It will be argued here that, when formulated as community of philosophical inquiry in particular, it offers the possibility of ‘philosophising’ the school curriculum in general, by extending the concept-work that doing philosophy entails to all of the disciplines. The article begins with an attempt at an operational definition of the term as, move to an analysis of its dynamics, offers an example of its use in a mathematics classroom, and finishes with a schematic view of its whole-curriculum and whole-school possibilities. (shrink)
Theories about value struggles with the problem how toaccount for the motivational force inherent to value judgments. Whereasthe exact role of motivation in evaluation is the subject of somecontroversy, it’s arguably a truism that value has something to do withmotivation. In this paper, I suggest that given that the role of motivationin ethical theory is left quite unspecific by the “truisms” or “platitudes”governing evaluative concepts, a scientific understanding of motivationcan provide a rich source of clues for how we might (...) go about developingan empirically responsible theory of value. More specifically, I argue that naturalist hedonists should be eager to join forces with motivational science: the role of pleasure in themotivational system is such that a sound case for hedonism can be builton it. (shrink)
Huius recensione subiectum liber est, qui ab Ulrico G. Leinsle sub titulo Einführung in die scholastische Theologie Germanice conscriptus, a M. J. Miller magna cum sollertia Anglice redditus est. In hoc libro Leinsle materiae historicae copiam diligentissime collegit ac ordine disposuit, contributionem faciens singularem et novam ad philosophiae historiam cognoscendam. Scholaribus et viris scientificis, qui hisce legatis intellectualiis studeant, liber dictus conspectum offerit latum et valde comprehensivum principaliorum problematum ac methodorum theologiae scholasticae, rebus tamen minutis non neglectis. Leinsle demonstravit, locupletem (...) ac multiformem traditionem scholasticam partem principalem habuisse in civilizatione occidentali constituenda.The subject of this review is the book Introduction to Scholastic Theology by Ulrich G. Leinsle which was originally published in Germany as Einführung in die scholastische Theologie (the English translation of the book was very well rendered by M. J. Miller). Leinsle gathered rich historical material which he organized into an original, impressive contribution to our knowledge of the history of philosophy. It offers students and scholars interested in this intellectual legacy a comprehensive, panoramic overview of the main problems and methods of Scholastic theology and provides a quick glimpse of many sub-topicsas well. Leinsle has shown that the rich and varied Scholastic tradition played a key role in constituting our Western civilization. (shrink)
Hindu ethical studies, as a discipline distinct from religious and philosophical studies and as a field of descriptive ethics within comparative ethical studies, is a relatively recent venture. Scholars have focused upon classical Sanskritic texts for the basis of their studies, ignoring, for the most part, the rich source of commentaries on Hindu scriptures that form what Smith has called "the cumulative tradition." Furthermore, the most urgent need in the field of Hindu ethical studies is to establish definitional and (...) methodological clarity. Putting aside problems of method for later consideration, this paper explores the richness and variety of sources for the study of Hindu ethics and emphasizes the importance of integrating the study of theoretical ethics with the "lived" moralities that continue to dominate Indian society. (shrink)
We are economists with a long-standing interest in evolutionary psychology, who recently came to appreciate the rich collections of relevant data cultural anthropologists have spent decades collecting on the social environments of a wide range of human societies. While we found some systematic collections of these observations, we could not find a systematic summary of the social environment of the subsample of societies that most resemble the social environment where most human psychology seems to have evolved: small bands of (...) nomadic foragers. This short paper therefore represents our attempt to create such a summary. Using an existing dataset aggregated from diverse ethnographies, we collect statistics on the social environment of the studied cultures which most closely resemble our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Compared with relatively modern societies, nomadic foragers had similar levels of food and disease, and less murder and suicide. They did not fight over land or resources, and they enforced justice directly and personally. They avoided class divisions like rich vs. poor, shared food more, and their leaders had no formal powers. Polygamy, premarital sex, and extramarital sex were all widespread, divorce was easy, and men and women were generally considered equal. Kids were taught to be more generous, trusting, and honest, and were never punished physically. (shrink)
This book offers a rich variety of thoughtful explorations on the nature of the human person especially as related to health care, medicine, and mental health. Rarely are so many different viewpoints collected in one place about the intriguing puzzle that is the concept of person, human dignity, and the special place human beings hold in the goals of healing and the social structures of medical delivery. Ramifications of the theory of personhood are presented for bioethics, genetics, individuality, uniqueness, (...) international law, feminism, and human rights in health care. Intended for professionals in the fields of philosophy of medicine, law, and bioethics, this book will also appeal to psychologists and medical anthropologists. (shrink)
There is a difference between the private and social cost of preserving the past. While it may be privately rational to forget the past, the social cost is significant: we fail to see that Classical political economy is a polemic against racism. The past is a rich source of surprises and debates, and resources on the Web are uniquely suited to teaching such wide-ranging debates. Our ASecret History of the Dismal Science on the web, provides a rich series (...) of windows on the literary and analytical texts, and the artwork, that figured in the debates. Students who read Smith juxtaposed with Whitman, who read the Carlyle-Mill exchange, and who see these images, understand the debate the way a student who reads only the Wealth of Nations, Ricardo's Principles, or John Stuart Mill cannot. (shrink)
It would be difficult to find two more paradigmatic interlocutors of Christian theology and Jewish thought than Thomas Aquinas and Moses Maimonides. Yet we are privileged to have in our midst a contemporary philosopher who can be said to have mastered the thought of both and can present them in dialogue. This essay offers a glimpse into Avital Wohlman’s reading of the rich exchange (or lack of exchange) between these two medieval thinkers, assessing the implications of her presentation of (...) their interaction for the “unending discussion between Judaism and Christianity.”. (shrink)
While Iris Murdoch lived, Charles Taylor found philosophers as yet ‘too close’ to her rich philosophical contribution to see its true importance (Taylor 1996: 3). Twelve years from her death, Iris Murdoch, Philosopher is the first collection of essays on Murdoch’s philosophy edited by a philosopher, for a readership in academic philosophy. The collection is not yet the fulfilment of Taylor’s prophecy, but has the energy of a giant leap.
Greek philosophy for kids “I know that I know nothing.” With this classic statement, uttered over two thousand years ago, Socrates set the standard for the future of Western philosophy. By day, he soaked up the sun in the Athenian marketplace, where he’d converse for hours on end about the meaning of wisdom, right and wrong, courage, justice, and love. By night, he feasted and danced with friends. He was charming, but not handsome, happy, but not rich. Unfortunately, his (...) method of thinking did not sit well with everyone. In the end, his fellow Athenians punished him with death. The story of Socrates’ life unfolds through cheerful illustrations and a two-tiered text, one layer quite simple, the other full of juicy additional details about the philosopher’s life and times. The ending assembles a “School of Athens,” showcasing thinkers, from Erasmus to Martin Luther King, Jr., who have been inspired by Socrates’ philosophy. (shrink)
Our passion for this work arose in very different histories of living, but these histories converged some years ago around the writings of Humberto Maturana1. There were other reasons for us getting together, but it was the ideas of Maturana which inspired us both to take another look at the way we were doing things in our research and education, respectively. One of us (Lloyd) was grappling with basic biological questions which arose from research on the physiology of stress. Maturana's (...) ideas provided a new way of thinking about the relationship between living things and their environment. David, in psychology and education, sought from Maturana a more solid scientific grounding for the extraordinary richness of the experiential learning environment in which he worked. (shrink)
Up until fairly recently it was philosophical orthodoxy – at least within analytic aesthetics broadly construed – to hold that the appreciation and evaluation of works as art and moral considerations pertaining to them are conceptually distinct. However, following on from the idea that artistic value is broader than aesthetic value, the last 15 years has seen an explosion of interest in exploring possible inter-relations between the appreciative and ethical character of works as art. Consideration of these issues has a (...) distinguished philosophical history but as the Compass survey article suggests ('Art, Morality and Ethics: On the (Im)Moral Character of Art Works and Inter-Relations to Artistic Value.' Philosophy Compass 1.2 (2006): 129–43), it is only very recently that figures in the field have returned to it to develop more precisely what they take the relationships to be and why. Consensus is, unsurprisingly, lacking. The reinvigoration of the issues has led sophisticated formalists or autonomists to mount a more considered defence of the idea that aesthetic and literary values are indeed conceptually distinct from the justification or otherwise of the moral perspective or views endorsed in a work (Topic I). The challenges presented by such a defence are many but amongst them are appeals to critical practice (Lamarque and Olsen), scepticism about whether or not art really can give us bona fide knowledge (Stolnitz) and the recognition that truth often seems to be far removed from what it is we value in our appreciation of works (Lamarque). One way to motivate consideration of the relevance of a work's moral character to its artistic value concerns the phenomena of imaginative resistance. At least sometimes it would seem that, as Hume originally suggested, we either cannot or will not enter imaginatively into the perspective solicited by a work due to its morally problematic character (Topic II). In some cases, it would seem that as a matter of psychological fact, we cannot do so since it is impossible for us to imagine how it could be that a certain attitude or action is morally permissible or good (Walton). The question then is whether or not this is a function of morality in particular or constraints on imaginative possibility more generally and what else is involved. At other times, the phenomena seem to be driven by a moral reluctance to allow ourselves to enter into the dramatic perspective involved (Moran) or evaluation of the attitude expressed (Stokes). Nonetheless, it is far from obvious that this is so of all the attitudes or responses we judge to be morally problematic. After all, it looks like we can and indeed often do suspend or background particular cognitive and moral commitments in engaging with all sorts of works (Nichols and Weinberg). If the moral character of a work interacts with how we appreciate and evaluate them, then the pressing question is this: is there any systematic account of the relationship available to us? One way is to consider the relationship between our emotional responses to works and their moral character (Topic III). After all, art works often solicit various emotional responses from us to follow the work and make use of moral concepts in so doing (Carroll). Indeed, whether or not a work merits the sought for emotional responses often seems to be internally related to ethical considerations (Gaut). Yet, it is not obvious that we should apply our moral concepts or respond emotionally in our imaginative engagement with works as art as we should in real life (Kieran, Jacobson). A different route is via the thought that art can convey knowledge (Topic IV). There might be particular kinds of moral knowledge art distinctively suited to conveying (Nussbaum) or it may just be that art does so particularly effectively (Carroll, Gaut, Kieran). Either way where this can be tied to the artistic means and appreciation of a work it would seem that to cultivate moral understanding contributes to the value of a work and to betray misunderstanding is a defect. Without denying the relevance of the moral character of a work some authors have wanted to claim that sometimes the immoral aspect of a work can contribute to rather than lessen its artistic value (Topic V). One route is to claim that there is no systematic theoretical account of the relationship available and what the right thing to say is depends on the particular case involved (Jacobson). Another involves the claim that this is so when the defect connects up in an appropriate way to one of the values of art. Thus, it has been claimed, only where a work reveals something which adds to intelligibility, knowledge or understanding in virtue of its morally problematic aspect can this be so (Kieran). The latter position looks like it could in principle be held whilst nonetheless maintaining that the typical or standard relationship is as the moralists would have it. Yet perhaps allowing valence change for such reasons is less a mark of principled explanation and more a function of downright inconsistency or incoherence (Harold). The topics themselves and suggested readings given below follow the structure articulated above as further amplified in the Compass survey article. The design and structure given below can be easily compressed or expanded further. Author Recommends 1. Carroll, Noël. 'Art, Narrative and Moral Understanding.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 126–60. This article develops the idea that engaging with narrative art calls on moral concepts and emotions and can thereby clarify our moral understanding. 2. Carroll, Noël. Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays . Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Part IV consists of six distinct essays on questions concerning the inter-relations between art and morality including the essay cited above and the author's articulation and defence of moderate moralism. 3. Gaut, Berys. 'The Ethical Criticism of Art.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 182–203. 4. Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. This monograph provides the most exhaustive treatment of the issues and defends the claim that, where relevant, whenever a work is morally flawed it is of lesser value as art and wherever it is morally virtuous the work's value as art is enhanced. Chapters 7 and 8 defend concern ethical knowledge and chapter 10 is a development of the article cited above concerning emotional responses. Chapter 3 also gives a useful conceptual map of the issues and options in the debate. 5. Jacobson, Daniel. 'In Praise of Immoral Art.' Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155–99. A wide ranging and extended treatment of relevant issues which objects to generalising moral treatments of our responses to art works and defends the idea that particular works can be better because of rather than despite their moral defects. 6. Kieran, Matthew. 'Forbidden Knowledge: The Challenge of Cognitive Immoralism.' Art and Morality . Ed. Sebastian Gardner and José Luis Bermúdez. London: Routledge, 2003. 56–73. A general argument for immoralism is elaborated by outlining when, where and why a work's morally problematic character can contribute to its artistic value for principled reasons (through enhancing moral understanding). 7. Kieran, Matthew. Revealing Art . London: Routledge, 2005. Chapter 4. This chapter argues against both aestheticism and straightforward moralism about art, elaborating a defence of immoralism in relation to visual art whilst ranging over issues from pornographic art to the nature and demands of different genres in art. 8. Lamarque, Peter. 'Cognitive Values in the Arts: Marking the Boundaries.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, 127–39. This article concisely outlines and defends a sophisticated aestheticism that denies the importance of truth to artistic value. 9. Stolnitz, Jerome. 'On the Cognitive Triviality of Art.' British Journal of Aesthetics 32.3 (1992): 191–200. This article articulates and defends the claim that no knowledge of any interesting or significant kind can be afforded by works appreciated and evaluated as art. 10. Walton, Kendall. 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, I.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. 68 (1994): 27–51. This article builds on some comments from Hume to develop the idea that when engaging with fictions it seems impossible imaginatively to enter into radically deviant moral attitudes. Online Materials 'Aesthetics and Ethics: The State of the Art.' American Society of Aesthetics online (Jeffrey Dean): http://www.aesthetics-online.org/articles/index.php?articles_id=15 >. 'Art, Censorship and Morality' downloadable podcast of Nigel Warburton interviewing Matthew Kieran at Tate Britain (BBC/OU Open2.net as part of the Ethics Bites series): http://www.open2.net/ethicsbites/art-censorship-morality.html >. 'Art, Morality and Ethics: On the (Im)Moral Character of Art Works and Inter-Relations to Artistic Value.' Philosophy Compass 1.2 (2006): 129–43 (Matthew Kieran): http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557779/abstract >. 'Ethical Criticism of Art.' Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Ella Peek): http://www.iep.utm.edu/a/art-eth.htm >. 'Fascinating Fascism.' New York Review of Books Piece Discussing Leni Riefenstahl (Susan Sontag): http://www.nybooks.com/articles/9280 >. 'The Beheading of St. John the Baptist (1450s), Giovanni de Paolo' (Tom Lubbock): http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/great-works/great-works-the-beheading-of-st-john-the-baptist-1450s-giovanni-di-paolo-1684900.html >. Vladimir Nabokov and Lionel Trilling discuss Lolita (CBS): http://www.listal.com/video/3848698 >. Sample Syllabus Topic I Autonomism/Aestheticism • Anderson, James C. and Jeffrey T. Dean. 'Moderate Autonomism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 38.2 (1998): 150–66. • Beardsley, Monroe. Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism . New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1958. Chapter 12. • Kant, Immanuel. The Critique of Judgement.Trans. James Creed Meredith . Oxford: Oxford UP, 1952 . • Lamarque, Peter. 'Cognitive Values in the Arts: Marking the Boundaries.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, 127–39. • ——. 'Tragedy and Moral Value.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73.2 (1995): 239–49. • Lamarque, Peter and Stein Olsen. Truth, Fiction and Literature . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994. Chapter 10. • Stolnitz, Jerome. 'On the Cognitive Triviality of Art.' British Journal of Aesthetics 32.3 (1992): 191–200. Topic II Imaginative Capacities, Intelligibility and Resistance • Moran, Richard. 'The Expression of Feeling in Imagination.' Philosophical Review 103.1 (1994): 75–106. • Nichols, Shaun. 'Just the Imagination: Why Imagining Doesn't Behave Like Believing'. Mind & Language 21.4 (2006): 459–74. • Stokes, Dustin. 'The Evaluative Character of Imaginative Resistance'. British Journal of Aesthetics 46.4 (2006): 387–405. • Tanner, Michael. 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, II'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 68 (1994): 51–66. • Walton, Kendall (1994). 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, I'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 68 (1994): 27–51. • Weinberg, Jonathan. 'Configuring the Cognitive Imagination.' New Waves in Aesthetics . Eds. K. Stock and K. Thomson-Jones. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 203–23. Topic III Moralism and Emotions • Carroll, Noël. 'Moderate Moralism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 36.3 (1996): 223–37. • Carroll, Noël. 'Art, Narrative and Moral Understanding.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998.126–60. • Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Chapter 10. • ——. 'The Ethical Criticism of Art.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 182–203. • Hume, David. 'Of the Standard of Taste.' Selected Essays . Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993 . 133–53. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Emotions, Art and Immorality.' Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Emotions . Ed. Peter Goldie. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 681–703. • Tolstoy, Leo. What is Art? . London: Penguin, 2004. Chapters 5 and 15. Topic IV Moralism and Knowledge • Aristotle. Poetics . Trans. M. Heath. London: Penguin, 1996 [367–322 BC]. • Carroll, Noël. 'The Wheel of Virtue: Art, Literature and Moral Knowledge.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60.1 (2002): 3–26. • Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Chapters 7 and 8. • Gaut, Berys. 'Art and Cognition.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 115–26. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Art, Imagination and the Cultivation of Morals.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 54.4 (1996): 337–51. • Nussbaum, Martha. 'Finely Aware and Richly Responsible: Literature and the Moral Imagination.' Love's Knowledge . New York: Oxford UP, 1990. 148–68. • Plato. The Republic . Trans. D. Lee. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974. Book 10. Topic V Immoralist Contextualism • Harold, James. 'Immoralism and the Valence Constraint.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48.1 (2008): 45–64. • Jacobson, Daniel. 'In Praise of Immoral Art.' Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155–99. • ——. 'Ethical Criticism and the Vices of Moderation.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 342–55. • John, Eileen. 'Artistic Value and Moral Opportunism.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 331–41. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Forbidden Knowledge:The Challenge of Cognitive Immoralism.' Art and Morality . Ed. Sebastian Gardner and José Luis Bermúdez. London: Routledge, 2003. 56–73. • Kieran, Matthew. Revealing Art . London: Routledge, 2005. Chapter 4. • Patridge, Stephanie. 'Moral Vices as Artistic Virtues: Eugene Onegin and Alice.' Philosophia 36.2 (2008): 181–93. Focus Questions 1. What is the strongest argument for the claim that the moral character of a work is not relevant to its artistic value? Does artistic or literary criticism tend to concern itself with the truth or morality of works? If so, in what ways? If not, why do you think this is? 2. What different explanations might there be for difficulty with or resistance to imaginatively entering into attitudes you take to be immoral? How might this relate to the way our imaginings work as contrasted with belief? How might different literary or artistic treatments of the same subject matter make a difference? 3. How do narrative works draw on our moral concepts and responses? Can we suspend our normal moral commitments or application of moral concepts in responding emotionally to art works? Should we respond emotionally to art works as we ought to respond to real world events we witness? Why? Why not? 4. How, if at all, do art works convey moral understanding? How, if at all, is this related to the kinds of moral knowledge art works can teach or reveal to us? When, where and why might this be tied to the artistic value of a work? How can we tell where a work enhances our moral understanding as opposed to misleading or distorting it? 5. What art works do you value overall as art which commend or endorse moral values and attitudes that you do not? Is appreciation of them always marred or lessened by the morally dubious aspect? If not, what explains the differences in evaluation? What, if anything, might you learn by engaging with works which endorse moral attitudes or apply moral concepts different from those you take to be justified? How, if at all, might this connect up with what makes them valuable as art? (shrink)
In his book, Conversations on Ethics, Alex Voorhoeve interviews eleven prominent moral philosophers about central aspects of their views as well as about their intellectual development.1 In their order of appearance, these are: Frances Kamm, Peter Singer, Daniel Kahneman, Philippa Foot, Alasdair MacIntyre, Ken Binmore, Allan Gibbard, Thomas Scanlon, Bernard Williams, Harry Frankfurt, and David Velleman. The book is both richly instructive and delightful to read. Voorhoeve has a sophisticated command of his interlocutorsʼ philosophical views, and his questions (...) often hit the nail on the head. He has the talent to ask difficult questions in a welcoming way, setting the stage for his interviewees to explain their positions as clearly as they can. For the reader interested in moral theory this is a true asset, since Voorhoeve managed to assemble quite a few of the figures that have shaped the face of moral philosophy in the past generation to discuss fundamentals of their moral views. As a set of conversations with different philosophers, the book does not aim to advance any philosophical thesis of its own. Rather, the conversational method, with its unique ability to dwell on the more obscure or vulnerable junctions of a philosophical view, helps deepen our understanding of what is sometimes hidden between the lines of systematic texts. My own comments, accordingly, focus mainly on some of the virtues of the bookʼs dialogical method. A review of the main ideas presented is first in order, however. (shrink)
This paper1 is the ﬁrst in a series of two, in which we (i) explore some aspects of heterogeneous systems of representation and communication2 (ii) show how American Sign Language (ASL) exhibits some of those features; (iii) draw some morals for the design of interfaces. This paper explores (i) at some length and ends with a brief look at (ii). Heterogeneous systems of representation and communication are systems that combine representations whose meanings work on different principles, such as pictures and (...) words. (We will try to reserve the word “language” for natural languages, like English and American Sign Language (ASL), and not use it for just any system of structured representations.) This talk reﬂects work that we have been doing in collaboration with Cathy Haas of the Archimedes Project at CSLI and Bill Stokoe of Gallaudet University, having to do with richly grounded meaning in ASL. Richly grounded meaning or RGM is a generalization of what Peirce called “iconicity”; the symbol and what it symbolizes are naturally rather than arbitrarily connected.3 The key word here is “arbitrary”; probably most RGM symbols are conventional in the sense developed by David Lewis in Convention (), but there is a natural connection between the symbol and what it symbolizes. The traditional word instead of “natural” might be “resemblance”. We emphasize that what is in question is something psychological; a robust cognitive correspondence between properties of a symbol (which must have enough interesting properties to ground such a relation, hence “richly grounded”) and properties of that which is symbolized. Resemblance is too restrictive. There are. (shrink)
Philosopher David E. W. Fenner walks a fine line. In Art in Context: Understanding Aesthetic Value, he attempts to throw out the dirty bathwater of formalism while leaving the baby, the work of art itself, unscathed. He defines formalism as the approach to art in which the viewer “restricts her attention to the formal properties of the object, properties that are accessible through the senses . . . in the object” (xv). Fenner is not interested in defining art, which (...) is the primary role of professional aesthetics, but experiencing it (1). And he argues, quite rightly, that formalism cannot account for the richness of aesthetic experience. Fenner accounts for this richness through “context,” by which he means “all .. (shrink)
The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment offers a philosophical perspective on an eighteenth-century movement that has been profoundly influential on western culture. A distinguished team of contributors examines the writings of David Hume, Adam Smith, Thomas Reid, Adam Ferguson, Colin Maclaurin and other Scottish thinkers, in fields including philosophy, natural theology, economics, anthropology, natural science and law. In addition, the contributors relate the Scottish Enlightenment to its historical context and assess its impact and legacy in Europe, America and (...) beyond. The result is a comprehensive and accessible volume that illuminates the richness, the intellectual variety and the underlying unity of this important movement. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers in philosophy, theology, literature and the history of ideas. (shrink)
The notion of emergence has received much renewed attention recently. Most of the authors I review (§ II), including most notably Robert Batterman (2002, 2003, 2004) share the common aim of providing accounts for emergence which offer fresh insights from highly articulated and nuanced views reflecting recent developments in applied physics. Moreover, the authors present such accounts to reveal what they consider as misrepresentative and oversimplified abstractions often depicted in standard philosophical accounts. With primary focus on Batterman, however, I show (...) (in § III), that despite (or perhaps because of) such novel and compelling insights; underlying thematic tensions and ambiguities persist nevertheless, due to subtle reifications made of particular (albeit central) mathematical methods employed in asymptotic analysis. I offer a potential candidate (in § IV), for regularization advanced by the theoretical physicist David Finkelstein (1996, 2002, 2004). The richly characterized multilinear algebraic theories employed by Finkelstein would, for instance, serve the two-fold purpose of clearing up much of the inevitably “epistemological emergence” accompanying divergent limiting cases treated in the standard approaches, while at the same time characterize in relatively greater detail the “ontological emergence” of particular quantum phenomena under study. Among other things, this suggests that the some of the structures suggested by Batterman as essentially involving the superseded theory are better understood as regular algebraic contraction (Finkelstein). Because of the regularization latent in such powerful multilinear algebraic methods, among other things this calls into question Batterman’s claims that explanation and reduction should be kept separate, in instances involving singular limits. (§ V). (shrink)
Parameters in E-Z Reader models are estimated on the basis of a simple data set consisting of 30 means. Because of heavy aggregation, the data have a severe problem of multicolinearity and are unable to adequately constrain parameter values. This could give the model more power than the empirical data warrant. Future models should exploit the richness of eye movement data and avoid excessive aggregation.
William Coperthwaite is a teacher, builder, designer, and writer who for many years has explored the possibilities of true simplicity on a homestead on the north coast of Maine. In the spirit of Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, and Helen and Scott Nearing, Coperthwaite has fashioned a livelihood of integrity and completeness—buying almost nothing, providing for his own needs, and serving as a guide and companion to hundreds of apprentices drawn to his unique way of being. A Handmade Life (...) carries Coperthwaite’s ongoing experiments with hand tools, hand-grown and gathered food, and handmade shelter, clothing, and furnishings out into the world to challenge and inspire. His writing is both philosophical and practical, exploring themes of beauty, work, education, and design while giving instruction on the hand-crafting of the necessities of life. Richly illustrated with luminous color photographs by Peter Forbes, the book is a moving and inspirational testament to a new practice of old ways of life. (shrink)
"Tough, smart, superbly engaging, The Material Ghost is a terrific book." -- Edward W. Said In The Material Ghost , Gilberto Perez draws on his lifelong love of the movies as well as his work as a film scholar to write a lively, wide-ranging, penetrating study of films and filmmakers and the nature of the art form. For Perez, film is complex and richly contradictory, lifelike and dreamlike at once, a peculiar mix of reality and imagination. "The images on the (...) screen," he writes, "carry in them something of the world itself, something material, and yet something transposed, transformed into another world: the material ghost." "Dazzling... The sheer intelligence at work in these lucid pages is exhilarating." -- Alfred Guzzetti, Boston Book Review "A pleasure. Gilberto Perez is one of the smartest film critics writing anywhere." -- Jonathan Rosenbaum "Strikes an ideal balance between insightful analysis and graceful writing... A model of thoughtful criticism." -- David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor "Brilliantly polemical in his critique of cynical reason ('the official philosophy of late capitalism'), no less passionate in defending the truth-value of cinema, Perez seems to be the clearest heir to the great humanist critic André Bazin." -- Sight & amp Sound "The chapters on Keaton and Renoir are stunning, full of perceptive remarks the chapter on Godard is a persuasive rehabilitation none of the chapters is without memorable insights." -- Michael Wood, London Review of Books "Gilberto Perez's ambitious, abundant, and cultivated book--the fruit of decades of thinking and teaching -- accompanies readers on a journey of discovery into the wonder of film." -- Stanley Cavell "Few books of film criticism in the past twenty-five years have been so enjoyable or instructive... [Perez] has excellent things to say about authorship, about documentaries, about popular genres, about cinematic point of view and narrative technique, about actors, and above all about camera style... He makes us want to look once more at the remarkable pictures he discusses." -- James Naremore, Cineaste. (shrink)
Simon Blackburn objects that Wittgenstein's private language argument overlooks the possibility that a private linguist can equip himself with a criterion of correctness by confirming generalizations about the patterns in which his private sensations occur. Crispin Wright responds that appropriate generalizations would be too few to be interesting. But I show that Wright's calculations are upset by his failure to appreciate both the richness of the data and the range of theories that would be available to the private linguist.
The paper defends a combination of perdurantism with mereological universalism by developing semantics of temporary predications of the sort ’some P is/was/will be (a) Q’. We argue that, in addition to the usual application of causal and other restrictions on sortals, the grammatical form of such statements allows for rather different regimentations along three separate dimensions, according to: (a) whether ‘P’ and ‘Q’ are being used as phase or substance sortal terms, (b) whether ‘is’, ‘was’, and ‘will be’ are (...) the ‘is’, ‘was’, ‘will be’ of identity or of constitution, and (c) whether ‘Q’ is being used as a subject or predicate term. We conclude that this latitude is beneficial, as it conforms with linguistic reality (i.e., the multiple uses actually in place) and also enables one to turn what is ordinarily perceived as a problem for universalist perdurantism viz., a commitment to all sorts of weird and gerrymandered temporally extended entities, into an advantage, for the richness in questions allows us to make sense of the many different readings of sentences of the same grammatical form. (shrink)
In my experience—with students, colleagues, friends, myself—I find that most people view aesthetic objects and art objects (which sometimes overlap but not always) through a variety of "lenses": subjectively located, psychologically based perspectives or "contexts" through which the object is viewed, considered, appreciated, and many times even criticized. I believe that many times the depth and richness of aesthetic reward depends on the perspective through which the subject attends to an object or event. While a part of aesthetic perspectival context (...) is objective—such as the physical conditions surrounding and history concerning the aesthetic object—the majority of it is subjective, and I want to take another .. (shrink)
The brain has been described as the organ of thought. In the 18th century, Pierre Cabanis notoriously claimed that “The brain secretes thought as the liver secretes bile.” For some reason, the 19th century materialist Karl Vogt believed the point needed to be made even more emphatically so he declared: “The brain secretes thought as the stomach secretes gastric juice, the liver bile, and the kidneys urine.” Countless neuroscientists make claims like the mind is the brain, or the mind is (...) the functioning brain, or the mind arises from the functioning brain. Fairly typical is a quote like the following: “Even though it is common knowledge, it never ceases to amaze me that all the richness of our mental life – all our feelings, our emotions, our thoughts, our ambitions, our love lives, our religious sentiments and even what each of us regards as his or her own intimate private self – is simply the activities of these little specks of jelly in our heads, in our brains.There is nothing else.” (Ramachandram - A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness.. (shrink)
This book is about an ecological-interpretive image of "the basics" in teaching and learning. The authors offer a generous, rigorous, difficult, and pleasurable image of what this term might mean in the living work of teachers and learners. In this book, Jardine, Clifford, and Friesen: *sketch out some of the key ideas in the traditional, taken-for-granted meaning of "the basics"; *explain how the interpretive-hermeneutic version of "the basics" operates on different fundamental assumptions; *show how this difference leads, of necessity, to (...) very different concrete practices in our schools; *illustrate richly how it is necessary for interpretive work to show, again and again, how new examples enrich, transform, and correct what one thought was fully understood and meaningful; and *explore the challenges of an interpretive approach in relation to child development, mathematics education, science curriculum, teacher education, novel studies, new information technologies, writing practices in the classroom, and the nature of interpretive inquiry itself as a form of "educational research." This text will be valuable to practicing teachers and student-teachers in re-imagining what is basic to their work and the work of their students. Through its many classroom examples, it provides a way to question and open up to conversation the often literal-minded tasks teachers and students face. It also provides examples of interpretive inquiry that will be helpful to graduate students and scholars in the areas of curriculum, teaching, and learning who are pursuing this form of research and writing. (shrink)
Wikipedia can be utilized as a controlled vocabulary for identifying the main topics in a document, with article titles serving as index terms and redirect titles as their synonyms. Wikipedia contains over 4M such titles covering the terminology of nearly any document collection. This permits controlled indexing in the absence of manually created vocabularies. We combine state-of-the-art strategies for automatic controlled indexing with Wikipedia’s unique property—a richly hyperlinked encyclopedia. We evaluate the scheme by comparing automatically assigned topics with those chosen (...) manually by human indexers. Analysis of indexing consistency shows that our algorithm performs as well as the average person. (shrink)
The focus of Mark Rowlands’s admirable, richly argued book is phenomenal consciousness, in particular, how such consciousness arises from processes that are not themselves phenomenally conscious. Rowlands examines several views on this question, arguing that their failures point toward his own intriguing, novel position, which he develops in the final three chapters.
Multimedia technology offers instructional designers an unprecedented opportunity to create richly interactive learning environments. With greater design freedom comes complexity. The standard answer to the problems of too much choice, disorientation, and complex navigation is thought to lie in the way we design interactivity in a system. Unfortunately, the theory of interactivity is at an early state of development. After critiquing the decision cycle model of interaction—the received theory in human computer interaction—I present arguments and observational data to show that (...) humans have several ways of interacting with their environments, which resist accommodation in the decision cycle model. These additional ways of interacting include: preparing the environment, maintaining the environment, and reshaping the cognitive congeniality of the environment. Understanding how these actions simplify the computational complexity of our mental processes is the first step in designing the right sort of resources and scaffolding necessary for tractable learner controlled learning environments. (shrink)
Not only do grammars have the dual structure that Clahsen discusses but the lexicon contains atomic, unanalyzed items, which would be still more mysterious for single-mechanism models. Forms of be in modern English are listed atomically and this is not a simple function of their morphological richness or of the fact that they move.
The Merge model suggests that lexical effects in phonemic processing reflect the activation of post-lexical phonemic representations that are distinct from prelexical phonemic input representations. This distinction seems to be unmotivated; the phoneme fails to capture the richness of prelexical representation. Increasing the information content of input representations minimizes the potential necessity for top-down processes. Footnotes1 The author is also affiliated with the Department of Psychology, Salem State College.
We describe a strategy for integration of data that is based on the idea of semantic enhancement. The strategy promises a number of benefits: it can be applied incrementally; it creates minimal barriers to the incorporation of new data into the semantically enhanced system; it preserves the existing data (including any existing data-semantics) in their original form (thus all provenance information is retained, and no heavy preprocessing is required); and it embraces the full spectrum of data sources, types, models, and (...) modalities (including text, images, audio, and signals). The result of applying this strategy to a given body of data is an evolving Dataspace that allows the application of a variety of integration and analytic processes to diverse data contents. We conceive semantic enhancement (SE) as a lightweight and flexible process that leverages the richness of the structured contents of the Dataspace without adding storage and processing burdens to what, in the intelligence domain, will be an already storage- and processing-heavy starting point. SE works not by changing the data to which it is applied, but rather by adding an extra semantic layer to this data. We sketch how the semantic enhancement approach can be applied consistently and in cumulative fashion to new data and data-models that enter the Dataspace. (shrink)