In Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein argues that we can neither say of the standard One Metre in Paris that it is a single metred length, nor that it is not. Kripke's reply to the puzzle is well known: the sentence expressing the assertion that the standard One Metre is one metre in length (at time t0) is a true, a priori and contingent sentence. In this paper, I would like to show the nature of the intuition that runs behind Kripke's reply (...) to the puzzle, and why, in the final analysis, it is not satisfactory, with respect to the point made by Wittgenstein. In addition, I will show that the case of the One Metre in Paris exemplifies the radical break Wittgenstein makes with traditional concepts of meaning. I then draw a general lesson that shows that the structure of concepts and functions (measures) in Wittgenstein is given by the idea of an arbitrary choice of "an object of comparison." Concepts and functions (measures) are materialised and internalised in the form of objects that are arbitrarily sampled from a sample space of same logical-type objects. (shrink)
We consider a family U of finite universes. The second order existential quantifier QR. means for each U ϵ U quantifying over a set of n(R)-place relations isomorphic to a given relation. We define a natural partial order on such quantifiers called interpretability. We show that for every QR. either QR is interpretable by quantifying over subsets of U and one to one functions on U both of bounded order, or the logic L(QR) (first order logic plus the quantifier QR) (...) is undecidable. (shrink)
Review of Avital Wohlman, Al-Ghazali, Averroës and the Interpretation of the Qur'an: Common Sense and Philosophy in Islam, Translated by David Burrell Content Type Journal Article Pages 637-639 DOI 10.1007/s11841-010-0207-3 Authors Scott Girdner, Western Kentucky University, 1906 college Heights Blvd., Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA Journal Sophia Online ISSN 1873-930X Print ISSN 0038-1527 Journal Volume Volume 49 Journal Issue Volume 49, Number 4.
Recently, the ‘right to die’ became a major social issue. Few agree suicide is a right tout court. Even those who believe suicide (‘regular’, passive, or physician-assisted) is sometimes morally permissible usually require that a suicide be ‘rational suicide’: instrumentally rational, autonomous, due to stable goals, not due to mental illness, etc. We argue that there are some perfectly ‘rational suicides’ that are, nevertheless, bad mistakes. The concentration on the rationality of the suicide instead of on whether it is a (...) mistake may lead to permitting suicides that should be forbidden. (shrink)
This paper reviews and synthesizes emerging multi-disciplinary evidence toward understanding the development of social and political organization in the Last Glacial. Evidence for the prevalence and scope of political egalitarianism is reviewed and the biological, social, and environmental influences on this mode of human organization are further explored. Viewing social and political organization in the Last Glacial in a much wider, multi-disciplinary context provides the footing for coherent theory building and hypothesis testing by which to further explore human political systems. (...) We aim to overcome the claim that our ancestors’ form of social organization is untestable, as well as counter a degree of exaggeration regarding possibilities for sedentism, population densities, and hierarchical structures prior to the Holocene with crucial advances from disparate disciplines. (shrink)
The year 1492 is only the last in a series of “ends” that inform the representation of medieval Spain in modern Jewish historical and literary discourses. These ends simultaneously mirror the traumas of history and shed light on the discursive process by which hermetic boundaries are set between periods, communities, and texts. This book addresses the representation of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as the end of al-Andalus (Islamic Spain). Here, the end works to locate and separate Muslim from Christian (...) Spain, Jews from Arabs, philosophy from Kabbalah, Kabbalah from literature, and texts from contexts. The book offers a reading of texts that emerge from its Andalusi, Jewish, and Arabic cultural sphere: Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed; the major text of Kabbalah, the Zohar; and the Arabic rhymed prose narrative of Ibn al-Astarkuwi. The author argues that these texts are written in a language that disrupts the possibility of locating it in a pre-existing cultural situation, a recognizable literary tradition, or a particular genre. At stake are issues – texts and contexts – that have gained particular urgency in the writings of such recent thinkers as Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Avital Ronell. The book reads the place and taking place of language, interrogating the notion of disappearing contexts and the view that language is derivative of its true place, the context that, having ended, is mourned as silent and lost. (shrink)
Triggered Inversion (TI) in Hebrew has been previously analyzed as canonical A'-movement to the specificer position of a functional projection in the CP-layer (Doron & Shlonsky 1990, Shlonsky 1997). This article examines the semantic properties of TI constructions in Hebrew, specifically the cross-linguistic similarities between TI in Hebrew and pseudoclefts (PC) in English, as discussed in Heycock & Kroch (1999). A structure is proposed for Hebrew TI that parallels the structure given for equatives in Hebrew by Rothstein (1995), in (...) which the trigger is base-generated in the operator layer and the inverted surface word order is an artifact of subject movement to a position below that of the verb. Finally, TI is considered in the crosslinguistic typology of focus constructions outlined in Kiss (1998). (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)
James VI and I united the crowns of England and Scotland. His books are fundamental sources of the principles which underlay the union. In particular, his Basilikon Doron was a best-seller in England and circulated widely on the Continent. Among the most important and influential British writings of their period, the king's works shed light on the political climate of Shakespeare's England and the intellectual background to the civil wars which afflicted Britain in the mid-seventeenth century. James' political philosophy (...) was a moderated absolutism, with an emphasis on the monarch's duty to rule according to law and the public good. Locke quoted his speech to parliament of 1610 approvingly, and Hobbes likewise praised 'our most wise king'. This edition is the first to draw on all the early texts of James' books, with an introduction setting them in their historical context. (shrink)
An unprocessed risk is a collection of simple lotteries with a reduction-rule that describes the actual-payoff to the decision-maker as a function of realized lottery outcomes. Experiments reveal that the willingness to pay for unprocessed risks is consistently biased toward the payoff-level in the unprocessed representation. The anchoring-to-frame bias in cases of positive framing is significantly weaker than in cases of negative framing suggesting that rational negativity bias may reflect in asymmetric violations of rationality.
Desire for flexibility suggests that the value of a choice-menu should increase with the number of options included. Complexity-aversion on the other hand may imply that the value of a menu decreases with its cardinality. We present the results of an experiment where 5 groups of subjects were asked to evaluate saving plans that let the investor choose between alternative indexing-schemes before the saving period ends. The complexity of the different plans was manipulated in two ways: (1) increasing the number (...) of indexing options; (2) reducing the quality of information upon which the choice between different indices is made. We show that an increase in the number of indexing-options produces a negative complexity effect when the quality of information is high. The same change however results in a positive flexibility effect when the quality of information is low. More generally our results suggest a `negative cross interaction of complexity effects' and that the impact of complexity is marginally decreasing. We discuss possible cognitive explanations to the observed evaluation-patterns. (shrink)
Journeys of Ghazali and Averroes to their diverse conceptions of the role of reason -- From the chimera of philosophy to the evidence of "the just balance" -- The decisive criterion of the distinction between islam and hypocrisy (zandaqa) -- Averroes, philospher-reader of the precious book -- Reorganization of the world according to Aristotle in the light of Qurʼanic revelation by Averroes -- Ghazali and Averroes in Muslim society.
Most commentators fi nd Eriugena’s On the Division of Nature to be a variation on the theme of emanation, which flows from the One and back to it, bypassing concrete reality. My intention is to highlight the Christian traits of the four divisions of nature as the spiritual itinerary destined to lay bare the ontology of Augustine’s saeculum. Following Augustine, Eriguena identifies true philosophy with true religion. The central value of concrete reality, the third division of nature, is rooted in (...) the mystery of the Incarnation. Reason’s conclusions and rules of true religion prepare man to envisage the aporia of freedom of will as the euporia revealed by grace. (shrink)