There is an increasingly widespread belief, both within and outside the discipline, that modern economics is irrelevant to the understanding of the real world. Economics and Reality traces this irrelevance to the failure of economists to match their methods with their subject, showing that formal, mathematical models are unsuitable to the social realities economists purport to address. Tony Lawson examines the various ways in which mainstream economics is rooted in positivist philosophy and examines the problems this causes. It focuses (...) on human agency, social structure and their interaction and explores how the understanding of this social phenomena can be used to transform the nature of economic practice. Economics and Reality concludes by showing how this newly transformed economics might set about shaping economic policy. (shrink)
Lawson provides a comprehensive look at the history of western thought, the evolution of science and its attempts to provide us with a "theory of everything" and an evaluation of the relativist multiple truths. He discusses why this scientific mind-set no longer works and why relativist truths are no longer sustainable. He then offers a new theory to help us better understand ourselves and our world.
This bold and brilliant book asks the ultimate question of the life sciences: How did the human mind acquire its incomparable power? In seeking the answer, Merlin Donald traces the evolution of human culture and cognition from primitive apes to the era of artificial intelligence, and presents an original theory of how the human mind evolved from its presymbolic form. In the emergence of modern human culture, Donald proposes, there were three radical transitions. During the first, our bipedal (...) but still apelike ancestors acquired "mimetic" skill—the ability to represent knowledge through voluntary motor acts—which made Homo erectus successful for over a million years. The second transition—to "mythic" culture—coincided with the development of spoken language. Speech allowed the large-brained Homo sapiens to evolve a complex preliterate culture that survives in many parts of the world today. In the third transition, when humans constructed elaborate symbolic systems ranging from cuneiforms, hieroglyphics, and ideograms to alphabetic languages and mathematics, human biological memory became an inadequate vehicle for storing and processing our collective knowledge. The modern mind is thus a hybrid structure built from vestiges of earlier biological stages as well as new external symbolic memory devices that have radically altered its organization. According to Donald, we are symbol-using creatures, more complex than any that went before us, and we may have not yet witnessed the final modular arrangement of the human mind. (shrink)
It has been suggested, on the one hand, that quantum states are just states of knowledge; and, on the other, that quantum theory is merely a theory of correlations. These suggestions are confronted with problems about the nature of psycho-physical parallelism and about how we could define probabilities for our individual future observations given our individual present and previous observations. The complexity of the problems is underlined by arguments that unpredictability in ordinary everyday neural functioning, ultimately stemming from small-scale uncertainties (...) in molecular motions, may overwhelm, by many orders of magnitude, many conventionally recognized sources of observed ``quantum'' uncertainty. Some possible ways of avoiding the problems are considered but found wanting. It is proposed that a complete understanding of the relationship between subjective experience and its physical correlates requires the introduction of mathematical definitions and indeed of new physical laws. (shrink)
Previous studies have reportedstudents' widely held belief that they are moreethical than businessmen. On the other hand,widespread cheating among college students hasbeen reported. This paper examines thisinconsistency between the beliefs of collegestudent regarding the need for ethical behaviorin a business setting and their actions in anacademic setting.The results of this study indicate that whilestudents are generally upset with cheating intheir class, a large proportion of themnonetheless engage in such behavior. It wasfurther found that students have a goodunderstanding of what constitutes (...) ethicalbehavior in the business world and the need forsuch behavior. However, they also believe thatbusiness people fail to act in an ethicalmanner, and that they may need to actunethically to advance their careers. (shrink)
A lively exchange sparked by Ortmann and Hertwig's (1997) call to outlaw deception in psychological research was intensified by underlying differences in the meaning of deception. The conception held by Broder (1998), who defended deception, would restrict research more than Ortmann and Hertwig's (1997, 1998) conception. Historically, a similar difference in conceptions has been embedded in the controversy over deception in research. The distinction between informational and relational views of deception elucidates this difference. In an informational view, giving false information, (...) allowing false assumptions, and withholding information are deceptive. In a relational view these failures to inform are not necessarily deceptive. Rather, relational criteria, including denial of right to the truth, betrayal of trust, and impairment of commerce with reality finally determine what is deceptive. Analyses reveal that fewer research procedures are deceptive on a relational view than on an informational view. Surveys of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology correspondingly show that a lower percentage of studies are deceptive on the relational view applied in this analysis than on the informational view applied by Sieber, Iannuzzo, and Rodriguez (1995). If restrictions on deception keep increasing, more studies will be vetoed on the currently salient informational view than would be vetoed on a relational view. (shrink)
The views of Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, and Clarence Thomas on how the United States Constitution should be read are examined. Thomas claims that his understanding of the Constitution aligns with Douglass. I conclude that Thomas misunderstands the strategy of Douglass and fails to appreciate the honesty of Marshall.
Corporate entrepreneurs -- described in the academic literature as those managers or employees who do not follow the status quo of their co-workers -- are depicted as visionaries who dream of taking the company in new directions. As a result, though, in overcoming internal obstacles to reaching their professional goals they can often walk a fine line between clever resourcefulness and outright rule breaking. A framework is presented as a guideline for middle managers and organizations seeking to impede unethical behaviors (...) in the pursuit of entrepreneurial activity. This paper examines the barriers middle managers face in trying to be entrepreneurial in less supportive environments, the ethical consequences that can result, and a suggested assessment and training program for averting such dilemmas. We advise companies that embrace corporate entrepreneurship: (1) establish the needed flexibility, innovation, and employee initiative and risk-taking; (2) remove the barriers that the entrepreneurial middle manager may face to more closely align personal and organizational initiatives and reduce the need to behave unethically; and (3) include an ethical component to corporate training which will provide guidelines for instituting compliance and values components into the state-of-the-art corporate entrepreneurship programs. (shrink)
In this article, I present a contractualist conception of human-participant research ethics, arguing that the most appropriate source of the rights and responsibilities of researcher and participant is the contractual understanding between them. This conception appears to explain many of the more fundamental ethical incidents of human-participant research. I argue that a system of contractual rights and responsibilities would allow a great deal of research that has often been felt to be ethically problematic, such as research involving deception, concealed research, (...) and research on dependent populations. However, in defining the conditions under which such research should be permissible, my contractualist theory also makes it clear that there are limits-and explains what those limits are-to the propriety of such research. (shrink)
In his recent article, ‘Lottery puzzles and Jesus’ return’, Donald Smith says that Christians should accept a very robust scepticism about the future because a Christian ought to think that the probability of Jesus’ return happening at any future moment is inscrutable to her. But I think that Smith’s argument lacks the power rationally to persuade Christians who are antecedently uncommitted as to whether or not we can or do have any substantive knowledge about the future. Moreover, I think (...) that Christians who are so antecedently uncommitted have available objections they can reasonably press against Smith’s arguments. In the article, I attempt to bring out these objections. (shrink)
Given W.V. Quine’s and Donald Davidson’s extensive agreement about much of the philosophy of language and mind, and the obvious methodological parallels between Quine’s radical translation and Davidson’s radical interpretation, many—including Quine and Davidson—are puzzled by their occasional disagreements. I argue for the importance of attending to these disagreements, not just because doing so deepens our understanding of these influential thinkers, but because they are in fact the shadows thrown from two distinct conceptions of philosophical inquiry: Quine’s “naturalism” and (...) what I call Davidson’s “humanism.” The clash between Quine and Davidson thus provides valuable insight into the history of analytic naturalism and its malcontents. (shrink)
The work of Donald Davidson (1917-2003) transformed the study of meaning. Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, two of the world's leading authorities on Davidson's work, present the definitive study of his widely admired and influential program of truth-theoretic semantics for natural languages, giving an exposition and critical examination of its foundations and applications.
Donald Davidson’s epistemology is predicated on, among other things, the rejection of Experiential Foundationalism, which he calls ‘unintelligible’. In this essay, I assess Davidson’s arguments for this conclusion. I conclude that each of them fails on the basis of reasons that foundationalists and antifoundationalists alike can, and should, accept.
Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig present the definitive critical exposition of the philosophical system of Donald Davidson (1917-2003). Davidson's ideas had a deep and broad influence in the central areas of philosophy; he presented them in brilliant essays over four decades, but never set out explicitly the overarching scheme in which they all have their place. Lepore's and Ludwig's book will therefore be the key work, besides Davidson's own, for understanding one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century.
A Companion to Donald Davidson presents newly commissioned essays by leading figures within contemporary philosophy. Taken together, they provide a comprehensive overview of Davidson’s work across its full range, and an assessment of his many contributions to philosophy.
Problems of Rationality is divided into three parts. The first four essays defend the claim that judgments of value are objectively true. The next six expound what Davidson called "a unified theory of thought, meaning, and action". The last four discuss the problems that weakness of will and self-deception raise for Davidson's claim that ascription of intention and belief is possible only if we assume the agent's rationality. I shall discuss the three parts in sequence.
The book is an “introductory” reconstruction of Davidson on interpretation —a claim to be taken with a grain of salt. Writing introductory books has become an idol of the tribe. This is a concise book and reflects much study. It has many virtues along with some flaws. Ramberg assembles themes and puzzles from Davidson into a more or less coherent viewpoint. A special virtue is the innovative treatment of incommensurability and of the relation of Davidson’s work to hermeneutic themes. The (...) weakness comes in a certain unevenness. While generally convincing and well written, the book has low points which may leave the reader confused or unconvinced. Davidson is the hero in this book, and our hero is sometimes over idealized. (shrink)
Tracing the background of Davidson’s work in the positivists’ philosophical emigration of the 30’s and in Quine, Evnine’s “Introduction” offers a “map of the terrain to be covered” which stresses the “rationalistic” character of Davidson’s views on holism and rationality. Thus, “his main philosophical concerns ... language, the mental and action...are the ingredients of a philosophical anthropology.” In spite of Quinean roots, the view is that “Davidson has now wholly removed himself, philosophically speaking, from the empiricist tradition.” The result: a (...) “rationalism,...a genuine, non-empiricist philosophical vision.” Though appealing to those of a “rationalist” leaning, this theme seems to generalize Davidson’s criticisms of Quine’s behaviorism as a lapse from empiricism. Often, it arises from interpretive gloss just where the tough-minded reader seeks quotation. (shrink)
Donald Davidson's theory of mind is widely regarded as a normative theory. This is a something of a confusion. Once a distinction has been made between the categorisation scheme of a norm and the norm's force-maker, it becomes clear that a Davidsonian theory of mind is not a normative theory after all. Making clear the distinction, applying it to Davidson's theory of mind, and showing its significance are the main purposes of this paper. In the concluding paragraphs, a sketch (...) is given of how a truly normative Davidsonian theory of mind might be formulated. (shrink)
Donald Davidson is unquestionably one of America's greatest living philosophers. His influence on Anglo-American philosophy over the last twenty years has been enormous, and his work is an unavoidable reference point in current debates in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. This book offers a systematic and accessible introduction to Davidson's work. Evnine begins by discussing Davidson's contribution to the philosophy of mind, including his views on action, events and causation. He then examines Davidson's work in (...) the philosophy of language. The link between meaning and truth, radical interpretation, and semantic holism are considered in detail. The final chapters deal with the metaphysical aspects of Davidson's work and seek to assess his philosophical project as a whole. (shrink)
Donald Davidson has made enormous contributions to the philosophy of action, epistemology, semantics and philosophy of mind and today is recognized as one of the most important analytical philosophers of the late twentieth century. Donald Davidson: Truth, Meaning and Knowledge addresses several issues including Davidson's writings on epistemology and theory of language with their implications of ontology and philosophy of mind and his advances in the philosophy of mind in relation to the views of Williard V. Quine, John (...) McDowell and Peter F. Strawson, in essays by Roger Gibson and Anita Avarmides. (shrink)
J. E. Malpas discusses and develops the ideas of Donald Davidson, influential in contemporary thinking on the nature of understanding and meaning, and of truth and knowledge. He provides an account of Davidson's holistic and hermeneutical conception of linguistic interpretation, and, more generally, of the mind. Outlining its Quinean origins and the elements basic to Davidson's Radical Interpretation, J. E. Malpas' book goes on to elaborate this holism and to examine the indeterminacy of interpretation and the principle of charity. (...) The metaphysical and epistemological consequences of Davidson's approach are considered, particularly in relation to scepticism and relativism, the realist/anti-realist debate, and the problem of truth. Parallels are drawn between the Davidsonian emphasis on the centrality of the notion of truth and Heidegger's notion of truth as aletheia, as the book looks to structuralist, hermeneutical and phenomenological sources to illuminate Davidson's position. (shrink)
Existují filosofové, jejichž díly se lidé zabývají prostě proto, že mají pocit, že v nich najdou něco moudrého či užitečného. Existují ale i filosofové, jejichž díla jsou mnohými lidmi brána ne(jen) jako zdroj poučení, ale i jako jakási hádanka, která se dá luštit. Ze starověkých filosofů se tohoto druhu popularity dostalo například Herakleitovi, kterému bylo dokonce už tehdy přezdíváno skoteinos, temný. V našem století je příkladem filosofa takovéhoto druhu Wittgenstein: mezi těmi, kdo se prokousávají jeho spisy, je zjevně nemalá část (...) těch, kteří to dělají prostě proto, že jeho dílo vidí jako vyzývavý hlavolam, na kterém lze bystřit ostrovtip. I Donald Davidson se zdá být autorem tohoto typu - ač jeho spisy nejsou ani fragmentární, jako ty Herakleitovy, ani nejsou nesouvislými ‘pásmy’, jako spisy pozdního Wittgensteina. K tomuto faktu jistě přispívá zvláštní, podivně lapidární způsob, kterým se Davidson někdy vyjadřuje; my se však pokusíme ukázat, že hlavním důvodem je fakt, že nám věci, o kterých píše, předvádí z perspektivy, kterou pro čtenáře není snadné zaujmout. I přesto (a částečně ovšem asi naopak právě proto) se Davidson pozvolna propracovává na pozici pravděpodobně nejuznávanějšího filosofa USA (jakkoli se asi stěží někdy stane filosofem nejpopulárnějším). Ještě v roce 1980 bylo, domnívám se, pro mnohé překvapením, když se Richard Rorty na některých místech svého kontroverzního filosofického bestselleru Filosofie a zrcadlo přírody1 stylizuje do role pouze jakéhosi Davidsonova epigona. Davidson totiž na první pohled nepůsobí dojmem filosofa, který by aspiroval na místo v učebnicích dějin filosofie: na rozdíl od svých souputníků Quina, Putnama či Rortyho se zabývá relativně úzkým okruhem témat a na to, co se děje ve filosofii kolem něj, příliš nereaguje (na přímé dotazy často odpovídá ve stylu ‘já tomu moc nerozumím’). Od doby, co na něj Rorty takto spektakulárně poukázal, nicméně stoupá na vrcholky filosofického pantheonu ještě strměji než předtím. Dnes je pravděpodobně nejpříkladnějším představitelem toho, co nazývám postanalytickou filosofií: filosofie, která navazuje na to dobré, co přinesla analytická filosofie (na její střízlivou racionalitu, na její důraz na argumentování a odůvodňování, i na její snahu pečlivě ověřovat rozumnost všech těch otázek, na které se má odpovídat), a přitom neváhá opustit to z analytické tradice, co se dnes už zdá přežité či nesprávné (přemrštěný scientismus, apriorní despekt k jiným způsobům filosofického myšlení)2.. (shrink)
One of the earliest and most influential papers applying Darwinian theory to human cultural evolution was Donald T. Campbell’s paper “Variation and Selective Retention in Sociocultural Systems.” Campbell’s programmatic essay appeared as a chapter in a book entitled Social Change in Developing Areas (Barringer et al., 1965). It sketched a very ambitious project to apply Darwinian principles to the study of the evolution of human behavior. His essential theses were four.
Aside from his remarkable studies in psychology and the social sciences, Donald Thomas Campbell (1916–1996) made significant contributions to philosophy, particularly philosophy of science,epistemology, and ethics. His name and his work are inseparably linked with the evolutionary approach to explaining human knowledge (evolutionary epistemology). He was an indefatigable supporter of the naturalistic turn in philosophy and has strongly influenced the discussion of moral issues (evolutionary ethics). The aim of this paper is to briefly characterize Campbells work and to discuss (...) its philosophical implications. In particular, I show its relevance to some current debates in the intersection of biology and philosophy. In fact, philosophy of biology would look poorer without Campbells influence. The present paper is not a hagiography but an attempt to evaluate and critically discuss the meaning of Campbells work for philosophy of biology and to encourage scholars working in this field to read and re-read this work which is both challenging and inspiring. (shrink)
A preface to the Japanese translation of my book _Donald Davidson_ in which I discuss two issues on which Davidson's thought developed substantially after the book was published. First, I explain a new argument, the triangulation argument, which has come to play a prominent part in Davidson’s recent work. Secondly, I enter in some detail into a continuing controversy over supervenience and the causal efficacy of the mental, since Davidson has advanced the issue with a new paper on the topic.
Thanks to their heterogeneity, the nine essays in this volume offer a clear testimony of Donald Davidson's authority, and they undoubtedly show how much his work - even if it has raised many doubts and criticisms - has been, and still is, highly influential and significant in contemporary analytical philosophy for a wide range of subjects. Moreover, the various articles not only critically and carefully analyse Davidson's theses and arguments (in particular those concerning language and knowledge), but they also (...) illustrate how such theories and ideas, despite their unavoidable difficulties, are still alive and potentially fruitful. Davidson's work is indeed an important and provocative starting point for discussing the future progress of philosophy. (shrink)
Davidson, Donald (Herbert) (b. 1917, d. 2003; American), Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor, University of California at Berkeley (1986–2003). Previously Instructor then Professor in Philosophy at: Queens College New York (1947–1950), Stanford University, California (1950–1967), Princeton University (1967–1969), Rockefeller University, New York City (1970–1976), University of Chicago (1976–1981), University of California at Berkeley (1981–2003). John Locke Lecturer, University of Oxford (1970).
This article is a brief commentary on Donald Turner and Ford Turrell’s “The Non-Existent God: Transcendence, Humanity, and Ethics in Emmanuel Levinas.” While I agree with Turner and Turrell’s general presentation of Levinas’s existential conception of God and ethics, I reflect primarily on the reference the authors make to Kierkegaard as an existentialist forefather of Levinas. I show certain basic similarities between Levinas and Kierkegaard as existentialist thinkers, but also note their differences, also taking into consideration the influence of (...) Hegel. This paper was delivered in the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God. (shrink)
This paper deals with Angus Kerr-Lawson's interpretation of George Santayana's philosophy of values. I claim that Kerr-Lawson reads Santayana correctly; however, as regards axiology, he reads Santayana literally and misses Santayana's engagement with it. Santayana's engagement with the philosophy of values is clearly seen when we use axiological terms and problematics in approaching his thought.
In my Responses, I take up the various definitional and justificatory challenges that Anita Allen, Anthony Appiah and Bill Lawson raise to my defense of affirmative action and I try to build bridges and remove the apparent disagreements between our views. In the process, I have found a way to replace race-based affirmative action with a non-race-based program which retains all the benefits that a race-based program can provide and secures additional benefits as well.