I argue that 'c' occurs extensionally in 'c caused e' and 'D' occurs extensionally in 'c caused e because c is D'. I claim that this has been insufficiently appreciated because the two contexts are often run together and because it has not been clear that the description D of c is among the referents of an explanatory argument. I argue as well that Hume's analysis of causation is consistent with taking causation to be a relation between single events, and (...) that even if events are eliminated as virtual entities, extensionality holds for all terms in the resulting context. (shrink)
It is argued that the intuition driving Kripke’s famous version of Wittgenstein’s meaning skepticism is precisely the one that prompted Hume to despair of his bundle theory of the self: there are no necessary connections between distinct mental states. This interpretation is shown to throw light on Wittgenstein’s notorious idea that all proofs “create concepts.” Wittgenstein has invented a new form of skepticism. Personally I am inclined to regard it as the most radical and original skeptical problem that philosophy has (...) seen to date[.] – Saul Kripke. (shrink)
I argue against the currently popular view that a radical change in theory affects the meaning of theoretical terms, and hence render pre- and post-shift theories incomparable. I first show how to pose the meaning-change issue without appeal to meanings reified. I contend that arguments against theory-neutral observation languages are faulty, but that even if they were sound, there are semantic devices that allow a theory to refer to the factual basis of a competitor. This suggests a picture of science (...) as the accumulation of truths, with each successive stage being more stable. (shrink)
The question is not whether the word "ought" means what hare says; the question is whether the concept of objectivity can be applied to practical judgments. Universalizability is the key, According to the kantian, And that's why the universalizability of moral judgments is conceptually important. As a preliminary to arguing this, I show that some common counterexamples to hare's thesis misfire--And I end by suggesting that it is no a priori truth that every speaker and every culture have morality.
This essay introduces a Common Knowledge symposium on the relationship between texts (for instance, musical scores or dramatic scripts) and performance in the arts by drawing out its implications for the interpretation of publicly consequential texts (such as constitutions, legal statutes, and canon law). Arguing that judges and clerics could learn much from studying the work of Philip Gossett and other practitioners of textual criticism in the arts, the essay suggests that a wider array of choices exists for legal interpretation (...) than the usual alternative between originalism or literalism, on the one hand, and intuitionism, on the other hand. Contributions to the symposium (titled “Between Text and Performance”) emphasize what Roger Moseley calls “improvisatory fluency in historical idioms,” and this introduction recommends that jurists develop for the law the kind of “ear” that musicians must have when a score invites or demands improvisation. (shrink)
Ayahuasca, a hallucinogen with profound consciousness- altering properties, has been increasingly utilized in recent studies (e.g., Strassman, 2001; Shanon, 2002a,b). However, other than Shanon's recent work, there has been little attempt to examine the effects of ayahuasca on perceptual, affective and cognitive experience, its relation to fringe consciousness or to pertinent personality variables. Twenty-one volunteers attending a seminar on ayahuasca were administered personality measures and a semi-structured interview about phenomenal qualities of their experience. Ayahuasca ingestion was associated with profound alterations (...) of temporal- spatial experiences including expansive space and slowed time. Ayahuasca use was also associated with positive emotional states, higher levels of fantasy proneness and psychological absorption and a greater openness to mystical experiences. Conversely, quickened time was associated with negative emotionality. The results are discussed within a multi-faceted model of fringe consciousness with a particular emphasis on Hunt's (1995) models of cross-modal translation as the basis for higher-order symbolic cognition and support James' (1890/1950) contention that fringe consciousness is essential to human cognition. (shrink)
Abstract: Type-B materialism is the thesis that though phenomenal states are necessarily identical with physical states, phenomenal concepts have no a priori connections to physical or functional concepts. Though type-B materialists have invoked this conceptual independence to counter a number of well-known arguments against physicalism (e.g. the conceivability of zombies, the ignorance of Mary, the existence of an 'explanatory gap'), anti-physicalists have raised objections to this strategy. My aim here is to defend type-B materialism against these objections, by arguing that (...) they share the common problem of not taking the central features of the view sufficiently seriously. However, I will end by noting that type-B materialism raises other questions, and suggesting that what stands in the way of an adequate naturalistic account of phenomenal states may be the propensity to take type-B materialism more seriously than it deserves. (shrink)
In this paper I identify a fallacy. The fallacy is worth noting for practical and theoretical reasons. First, the rampant occurrences ofthis fallacy-especially at moments calling for careful thought-indicate that it is more pernicious to clear thinking than many of those found in standard logic texts. Second, the fallacy stands apart from most others in that it contains multiple kinds oflogical error (i.e., fallacious and non-fallacious logical errors) that are themselves committed in abnormal ways, and thus it presents a two-tiered (...) challenge to oversimplified accounts of how an argument can go bad. (shrink)