This is the first study to recognise the broad impact of opera in early-modern French culture._Downing A. Thomas considers the use of operatic spectacle and music by Louis XIV as a vehicle for absolutism; the resistance of music to the aesthetic and political agendas of the time; and the long-term development of opera in eighteenth-century humanist culture. He argues that French opera moved away from the politics of the absolute monarchy in which it originated to address Enlightenment concerns with (...) sensibility and feeling. The book combines close readings of significant seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century operatic works, circumstantial writings and theoretical works on theatre and opera, together with a measure of reception history. Thomas examines key works by Lully, Rameau, and Charpentier, among others, and extends his reach from the late seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth. (shrink)
This paper assesses G. A. Cohen's critique of Rawlsian special incentives. Two arguments are identified and criticized: an argument that the difference principle does not justify incentives because of a limitation on an agent's prerogative to depart from a direct promotion of the interests of the worst off, and an argument that justice is limited in its scope. The first argument is evaluated and defended from the criticism that once Cohen has conceded some ethically grounded special incentives he cannot sustain (...) his critique of special incentives. But it is finally rejected as a subtle form of an unreasonably demanding moral rigorism. The second argument is interpreted as the more plausible of Cohen's claims. It has, however, to be defended via two subsidiary theses: the claim that Rawls endorses a moral division of labour and that this in turn grounds a further commitment to moral dualism as opposed to moral monism. This argument is assessed and rejected. Neither the moral division of labour nor moral monism supports the claim that in applying the principles of justice to a basic structure one does not thereby apply them to the individuals constrained to act within that structure in the marketing of their labour. Nor is it plausible to identify local aspects of social relations where the principles of justice are suspended. Such principles are presupposed, for example in market relations or the family, but limitation in scope of direct application does not limit the scope of justification. That scope extends at least as far as individual decisions to market one's labour. The latter are made fair in the only possible way they could be made fair. Rawls's commitment to the revisionary socialism of James Meade illustrates this point. It is concluded that no version of Cohen's critique succeeds. However, Cohen's critique identifies the most plausible version of Rawls's egalitarianism. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophy and psychology have been peculiarly averse to mental images. Throughout nearly two and a half millennia of philosophical wrangling, from Aristotle to Hume to Bergson, images (perceptual and quasi-perceptual experiences), sometimes under the alias of "ideas", were almost universally considered to be both the prime contents of consciousness, and the vehicles of cognition. The founding fathers of experimental psychology saw no reason to dissent from this view, it was commonsensical, and true to the lived experience of conscious (...) thinking. However, early in this century, just about when the behaviorist revolution in psychology was loudly declaring the scientific illegitimacy of any attempt to study consciousness, and the concomitant non-existence of imagery (Watson, 1913; see Thomas, 1989), philosophy was undergoing its "linguistic turn", a turn to seeing philosophy as essentially about language rather than the world, even the 'inner' world. For decades, the very concept of the mental image was suspect, and it was certainly banished from playing any major role in theories of mind and of thinking. Ralph Ellis' Questioning Consciousness, together with the recent speculations of certain influential neuroscientists (Edelman, 1992; Damasio, 1994), may be signaling the end this unusual era. (shrink)
We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
This article defends tradition and common sense against a widespread and rarely questioned contemporary philosophical orthodoxy that underpins the entrenched and exorbitant "lingualism" of so much 20th century thought, and leads the way to extreme doctrines like cognitive relativism and eliminative materialism. It also plugs what might otherwise have seemed to be a significant hole in the argument of myÂ Are Theories of Imagery Theories of Imagination? (which I regard as my main positive contribution so far to the understanding ofÂ (...) the mind). For a relatively brief overview of the situation in cognitive theory and consciousness studies, as I see it, see A Stimulus toÂ the Imagination. Click here to view the full article: Imagery and the Coherence of Imagination: a Critique of White. Earlier drafts of this article, one entitled "The White Images of Imagery and Imagination: A Critique and an Alternative", were formerly available on the net. Please make any citations to the published version. - N.J.T.T. (shrink)
This series of three articles describes the history of land law shared by the British and American legal systems, and how and why these legal traditions have diverged from each other in modern times. This Article - part 1 in this series - describes the emerging customs and laws regarding land rights among early inhabitants of Britain, and how succeeding invasions and occupation by Celtic, Roman, Germanic, and Norman peoples altered these customs and laws. The Article details the profound changes (...) in land law worked by massive economic changes in early British society, including sociological occurrences such as the Black Death, and the adoption of laws, such as the Statute of Uses in 1536. (shrink)
Alien Politics retrieves from the writings of Marx an original theory of the state which remains viable and relevant today. Paul Thomas traces the process by which Marx's theory of the state as the instrument of the capitalist ruling class became transformed into communist dogma under the auspices of Lenin and other "official" Marxist stalwarts. He argues that Marx's writings still have something to teach us and should not be pulled down with the monoliths and mausoleums of communism. The (...) book continues the work of "Western Marxist" thinkers such as Antonio Gramsci and Nicos Poulantzas who came to understand the modern state in terms different from the rightly-discredited "ruling class" theory of the state associated with Leninism. Such Western Marxist theorists--more careful and nuanced readers of Marx than their powerfully-placed antagonists--helped formulate a theory of what Thomas calls "alien politics." The theory of alien politics, originally elaborated by Marx in his early critiques of Hegel and the Young Hegelians, diverges from ruling class state theory because it counterposes the state against civil society rather than treating it as an epiphenomenon of civil society. Unlike ruling class theory, alien politics retains considerable relevance as a critique of state forms that still exist in the West as well as those that have collapsed in the East. This topical and groundbreaking book re-interprets Marx and demonstrates how his ideas remain critical for political theorists, social scientists and anyone interested in the modern state. (shrink)
The past decade has seen a rapid development and proliferation of sophisticated computer systems in organizations. Designers, however, have minimized the importance of security control systems, (except for those systems where data security and access control have obviously been of major importance). The result is an increasing recognition that computer systems security is often easily compromised.This research will provide the initial step in assessing ways in which attorneys retained to prosecute computer crimes and computer people who discover these violations can (...) work together to strengthen both our computer systems to thwart violators and the laws that are currently on the books that can be used to prosecute violators. (shrink)
In this paper I will develop the argument that a cognitivist and virtue ethical approach to moral reasons is the only approach that can sustain a non-alienated relation to one’s character and ethical commitments. [Thomas, 2005] As a corollary of this claim, I will argue that moral reasons must be understood as reasonably partial. A view of this kind can, nevertheless, recognise the existence of general and positive obligations to humanity. Doing so does not undermine the view by leading (...) to a highly demanding view of morality. Indeed, it offers a defence against the view that an analogy between obligations of immediate rescue to particular individuals and general and positive obligations to humanity leads to the conclusion that morality is highly demanding. The plan of this paper is as follows. The first section sets out the main elements of a cognitivist and virtue ethical approach to moral reasons. The second applies it to the test case of an argument that claims that one way in which one seeks to lead a non-alienated ethical life, a life of integrity, is incompatible with the requirements of consequentialism given certain very general facts about the moral state of the world. [Ashford, 2000] My.. (shrink)
This article was written as a commentary on a target article by Peter W. Ross entitled "The Location Problem for Color Subjectivism" [Consciousness and Cognition 10(1), 42-58 (2001)], and is published together with it, and with other commentaries and Ross's reply. If you or your library have the necessary subscription you can get PDF versions of the target article, all the commentaries, and Ross's reply to the commentaries here. However, I do not think that it is by any means essential (...) for you to have read Ross's piece in order to understand this one. Ross defends a view called "color physicalism" or color realism that holds (simplifying somewhat) that colors are real physical properties (in typical cases, spectral reflectances of object surfaces). This is in opposition to what is probably a more widely held "subjectivist" view of color, holding that color qualities really exist only in the mind. In my commentary I suggest that a realist view of qualitative properties, such as Ross's, together with a direct, active view of perception, and a concept of "extended mind" (Clark & Chalmers, 1998) may provide the materials for a real solution to the notorious hard problem of consciousness. I sketch this solution in outline. - N.J.T.T. (shrink)
Since the publication of my "Are Theories of Imagery Theories of Imagination? An _Active Perception_ Approach to Conscious Mental Content," (Thomas, 1999 - henceforth abbreviated as ATOITOI on this page), a good deal of published material has appeared or has come to my attention that either provides additional support for the Perceptual Activity Theory PA theory) of mental imagery presented in ATOITOI, or that throws further doubt on the rival (picture and description) theories that are criticized there. Other relevant (...) evidence was not mentioned in ATOITOI because I lacked the space for a proper explanation of its relevance. I hope eventually to write and publish a new account of
theory, that will make use of much of this material. In the meantime this page provides citations (and, where possible, links) to the "new" support, and discussion sections that briefly explain the relevance of the cited material. Quite apart from presenting new lines of supporting evidence and argument, I hope this page will help to clarify many aspects of. (shrink)
This groundbreaking work considers one of the central themes of archaeology, time, which until recently has been taken for granted. It considers how time is used and perceived by archaeology and also how time influences the construction of identities. The book presents case studies, eg, transition from hunter gather to farming in early Neolithic, to examine temporality and identity. Drawing upon the work of Martin Heidegger, Thomas develops a way of writing about the past in which time is seenm (...) as central to the emergence of the identities of peoples and things. He questions the modern western distinction between nature and culture, mind and body, object and subject, and argues that in some senses the temporal structure of human beings, artefacts and places are similar. (shrink)
Minimalist and quasi-realist approaches to problematic discourses such as the causal, moral and modal are compared and contrasted. The problem of unasserted contexts demonstrates that while quasi-realism can meet the challenge of reconstructing a logic of "commitment" to cover both "projected" and "detected" discourses, it can only do so at an unacceptable cost. The theory must globally revise logic, in spite of its implicit commitment to a substantial notion of truth for "detected" discourses. Thus, quasi-realism fails to meet its own (...) standards for theory acceptance. By contrast, minimalism does not face the problem of unasserted contexts, can give a global account of the truth predicate and can explain the univocality of the logical connectives. This demonstrates the dialectical superiority of the minimalist's approach. (shrink)
This essay aims to capture the intuition that the moral person is, in virtue of being such, favored over the immoral person to lead a meaningful life. It is argued that the reason for this is that the moral person is open to affirmation from others in a way that the immoral person is not. Central to the argument is that idea of psychological health. Being affirmed by others is a fundamental aspect of being psychologically health. Thus, being moral and (...) being psychologically healthy are said to dovetail with respect to leading a meaningful life. The argument regarding psychological health draws upon, and extends, P. F. Strawson’s seminal essay “Freedom and Resentment”. Also in this regard, Wittgenstein’s argument against the possibility of a private language is extended to social behavior generally. (shrink)
The term schema (plural: schemata, or sometimes schemas) is widely used in cognitive psychology and the cognitive sciences generally to designate "psychological constructs that are postulated to account for the molar forms of human generic knowledge" (Brewer, 1999). The vagueness of this definition is no accident (and no sort of failing on Brewer's part). In fact schema is used in such very different ways by different cognitive theorists that the term has become quite notorious for its ambiguity (Miller, Polson, & (...) Kintsch, 1984 p. 6). However, a concept of.. (shrink)
The concepts of imagination and consciousness have, very arguably, been inextricably intertwined at least since Aristotle initiated the systematic study of human cognition (Thomas, 1998). To imagine something is ipso facto to be conscious of it (even if the wellsprings of imaginative creativity are in the unconscious), and many have held that our conscious thinking consists largely or entirely in a succession of mental images, the products of imagination (see, e.g., Damasio, 1994 -- or, come to that, see Aristotle, (...) or Hume, or almost any pre-twentieth century cognitive theorist). A venerable tradition also regards perceptual experiences, the main focus of most recent work on consciousness, as products of the imagination, whose primary function is to integrate sensory inputs and render them meaningful (Thomas, 1998, 1999). As Coleridge (1817) famously put it, primary imagination is "the living power and prime agent of all human perception." A better understanding of imagination is likely to deepen our insight into the nature of consciousness (and, probably, vice-versa). (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to analyse the concept of remorse from the perspective of moral philosophy. This perspective may be less familiar than other approaches in this anthology, such as those of forensic psychiatry or law. In what ways does moral philosophy claim to be able to illuminate the nature of the concept of remorse? First, by presenting an account of this concept and its structure within a more general account of the nature of moral thought. Second, by (...) drawing on the resources of the philosophy of mind. This latter discipline may seem even more mysterious than moral philosophy. Moral philosophy is continuous with the reflections serious people have always conducted on the sources of those actions we feel bound to perform, the nature of values and obligations, and the nature of moral ideals. It differs from ordinary moral thought only in drawing on a range of canonical historical texts bearing.. (shrink)
This essay is part of a symposium on affirmative action that took place at the University of Cincinnati with the distinguished legal scholar Ronald Dworkin. I argue against affirmative action. And I discuss at length the votes of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the dissent of Justice Clarence Thomas. I develop the idea of idiosyncratic excellence; and I argue that diversity is a weakness insofar as it (a) an excuse for social myopia and (b)an impediment to individuals seeing beyond (...) their differences and affirming the excellences that they witness. The expected publication date, Univ of Cinn Law Review, is March 2004. (shrink)
Stich & Ravenscroft (1994) have argued that (contrary to most people's initial assumptions) a simulation account of folk psychology may be consistent with eliminative materialism, but they fail to bring out the full complexity or the potential significance of the relationship. Contemporary eliminativism (particularly in the Churchland version) makes two major claims: the first is a rejection of the orthodox assumption that realistically construed propositional attitudes are fundamental to human cognition; the second is the suggestion that with the advancement of (...) scientific understanding of the mind it will be possible to entirely eliminate the mentalistic and intentional from our ontology, thus dissolving the mind-body problem. The first claim (which has been argued in detail) supplies the principal grounds for accepting the second, much more ambitious and significant, claim. Robert Gordon's (1995, 1996, 2000) radical simulation theory of "folk psychology", proposed initially (Gordon, 1986) as an alternative to "theory theory" accounts of self and interpersonal understanding, but subsequently developing into a quite general challenge to symbolic computational accounts of mind, is not merely consistent with, but actually provides considerable additional support for, the first eliminativist claim. However, although radical simulationism has no use for reified propositional attitudes, it relies on another family of mentalistic and intentional notions, including perspective taking, "seeing as", pretending, imagery, and, most centrally, imagination. It is thus inconsistent with eliminativist metaphysical ambitions. Nevertheless, from this perspective the mind-body problem is transformed. Its solution no longer depends on accounting directly for the intentionality of the attitudes, but rather on accounting for the intentionality of imagination. Although standard accounts of imagination derive its intentionality from that of the attitudes, the recently proposed "perceptual activity" theory of imagery and imagination (Thomas, 1999) can provide a direct account of the intentionality of imagination that is consistent with physicalism.. (shrink)
A putative problem for the moral particularist is that he or she fails to capture the normative relevance of certain considerations that they carry on their face, or the intuitive irrelevance of other considerations. It is argued in response that mastery of certain topic-specific truisms about a subject matter is what it is for a reasonable interlocutor to be engaged in a moral discussion, but the relevance of these truisms has nothing to do with the particularist/generalist dispute. Given that practical (...) reasoning is plausibly a form of abductive reasoning, and is therefore non-monotonic, any arbitrary addition of information can change the degree of support evidence offers for a conclusion. Given this arbitrariness, it is no objection to the particularist if he or she represents the normative landscape as flat in a way that does not display the obvious relevance of certain considerations. The normative landscape is flat and our best account of practical reasoning represents it precisely as such. Appealing to a distinction between practical reasoning and moral reasoning does not help to resurrect this pseudoproblem for particularism. Key Words: abductive inference default reasons moral particularism practical reasoning. (shrink)
This essay is a commentary upon "Race and Kant" by Thomas Hill, Jr and Bernard Boxill. They argue that although Kant in his anthropological writings took blacks to be inferior, his moral theory requires that they be shown the proper moral respect since blacks are persons nonetheless. I argue that this argument is sound, because the conception of inferiority that Kant attributed to blacks does not permit showing them the proper moral respect. Imagine a defective Mercedes Benz and a (...) Ford Pinto. These two cars are not inferior in the same sort of way. For Kant, I argue, the inferiority of blacks is more akin to that of a Ford Pinto; for he undoubtedly took blacks to be perpetual children. Chilren are persons, too; however, no one has ever supposed that moral theory applies to children in the full way that it applies to adults. (shrink)
Until a few years ago, Cognitive Science was firmly wedded to the notion that cognition must be explained in terms of the computational manipulation of internal representations or symbols. Although many people still believe this, the consensus is no longer solid. Whether it is truly threatened by connectionism is, perhaps, controversial, but there are yet more radical approaches that explicitly reject it. Advocates of "embodied" or "situated" approaches to cognition (e.g., Smith, 1991; Varela _et al_ , 1991, Clancey, 1997) argue (...) that thought cannot be understood as entirely internal. Furthermore, it is argued that autonomous robots can be designed to behave more intelligently if representationalist programming techniques are avoided (Brooks, 1991), and that the way our brains control our behavior is better understood in terms of chaos and dynamical systems theory rather than as any sort computation (e.g., Freeman & Skarda, 1990; Van Gelder & Port, 1995; Van Gelder, 1995; Garson, 1996). (shrink)
While the cancellation of a number of high-profile loans because of corruption concerns has made headline news, the World Bank's principal approach to poorly governed countries is lending in order to support reforms. Although designed to be an apolitical technocratic development financier, increasingly the Bank has focused its attention and resources on promoting good governance in its borrowers. Bank lawyers and presidents have attempted to hive of apolitical aspects of governance by arguing a distinction between the rule of law and (...) the political character of government, but this distinction is illusory. The Bank's inability to address the political embeddedness of poor governance in neo-patrimonial governments skews risk assessments and impedes the formation of effective strategies. Reform of the charter would not eliminate the Bank's bureaucratic and political constraints. (shrink)
This essay is a discussion of the radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It is an assessment of the moral advice that she dispenses her radio show, and kinds of criticisms to which she has been subjected.
Using Hofstede's culture theory (1980, 2001 Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviours, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nation. Sage, NewYork), the current study incorporates the moral development (e.g. Thorne, 2000; Thorne and Magnan, 2000; Thorne et al., 2003) and multidimensional ethics scale (e.g. Cohen et al., 1993; Cohen et al., 1996b; Cohen et al., 2001; Flory et al., 1992) approaches to compare the ethical reasoning and decisions of Canadian and Mainland Chinese final year undergraduate accounting students. The results indicate that Canadian accounting (...) students' formulation of an intention to act on a particular ethical dilemma (deliberative reasoning) as measured by the moral development approach (Thorne, 2000) was higher than Mainland Chinese accounting students. The current study proposes that the five factors identified by the multidimensional ethics scale (MES), as being relevant to ethical decision making can be placed into the three levels of ethical reasoning identified by Kohlberg's (1958, The Development of Modes of Moral Thinking and Choice in the Years Ten to Sixteen. University of Chicago, Doctoral dissertation) theory of cognitive moral development. Canadian accounting students used post-conventional MES factors (moral equity, contractualism, and utilitarianism) more frequently and made more ethical audit decisions than Chinese accounting students. (shrink)
Evolutionary change is opportunistic, but its course is strongly constrained in several fundamental ways. These constraints (historical/phylogenetic, functional/adaptive, constructional/morphogenetic) and their dynamic relationships are discussed here and shown to constitute the conceptual framework of Constructional Morphology. Notwithstanding recent published opinions which claim that the discovery of constraints renders Neodarwinian selection theory obsolete, we regard the insights of Constructional Morphology as being entirely consistent with this theory. As is shown here in the case of the Hyracoidea, formal analysis of the constraints (...) which have framed the evolution of various characters extends our understanding of the evolution of a taxon. (shrink)
A random sample of 146 fortune 500 firms were surveyed in 1996 to determine whether firm size and industry type affect employers' level of involvement and support of ethical and environmental policies and practices. The study found relationships between firm size and ethical and environmental policies and practices. While the majority of firms (90.3%), regardless of size, have a formal written code of ethics, large firms are more likely to employ an ombudsperson to handle ethical concerns and to have a (...) network confidentiality policy. Although most firms (83.5%) have a formal written environmental policy, large firms are more inclined to invest in new ways to reduce the production of various types of waste. Another interesting twist to the study has to do with the relationships found between industry type and ethical and environmental policies and practices. Industries, such as the computers and electronics and scientific and photographics sectors, that are involved with high precision products and industries, such as mining, crude oil, and petroleum refining, that utilize natural resources are more inclined to have a formal written code of ethics and social responsibility. In addition, industries that utilize natural resources are more likely than other industries to have formal written environmental policies and practices. (shrink)
We present a model of steady state solute and water reabsorption along the rat proximal tubule. Major co-and counter-transport systems in the apical and basolateral cell membranes are described using kinetic descriptions based on data from the flows and solute concentrations along the length of the proximal tubule as a function of filtration rate and peritubular solute concentrations. We show that for many aspects of proximal tubule transport physiology this kinetics-based model is an adequate representation of the mammalian proximal tubule.
Commentary on "On Specification and the Senses," by Thomas A. Stoffregen and Benoît G. Bardy: Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 195-261 (2001). The target article's value lies not in its defence of specification, or the "global array" concept, but in its challenge to the paradigm of 5+ senses, and its examples of multiple receptor types cooperatively participating in specific information pick-up tasks. Rather than analysing our perceptual endowment into 5+ senses, it is more revealing to type perceptual systems according to (...) task. (shrink)
This essay examines the role of the University of Bridgeport's Faculty Council in relation to the faculty union. The Faculty Council is a governing body composed of elected faculty representatives from different schools and departments within the university. Faculty Council leaders facilitated the certification of AAUP as the faculty's bargaining agent in 1973 and, under the author's leadership, the faculty petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to decertify the union in 1991. The author participated on the picket line during the (...) 1975, 1978 and 1987 faculty strikes, but crossed the picket line during the 1990 strike. (shrink)
This volume gathers together a series of the canonical statements which have defined an interpretive archaeology. Many of these have been unavailable for some while, and others are drawn from inaccessible publications.
Examining Thomas Hill Green's moral philosophy, Thomas defends a radically new perception of Green as an independent thinker rather than a devoted partisan of Kant or Hegel. Green's moral philosophy, argues Thomas, includes a widely misunderstood defense of free will, an innovative model of deliberation that rejects both Kantian and Humean conceptions of practical reason, a barely recognized theory of character, and an account of moral objectivity that involves no dependence on religion--all of which yield a coherent (...) body of moral philosophy that raises important problems neglected in contemporary ethics. (shrink)
This is the first book-length study to explore the relationship between archaeology and modern thought, showing how philosophical ideas that developed in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries still dominate our approach to the material remains of ancient societies. It discusses the modern emphasis on method rather than ethics or meaning, our understanding of change in history and nature, the role of the nation-state in forming our views of the past, and contemporary notions of human individuality, the mind, and materiality. Julian (...)Thomas also addresses the modern preoccupation with depth, which enables archaeology to be used as a metaphor in other disciplines. The book concludes by advocating a "counter-modern" archaeology that refuses to separate material evidence from political, moral, rhetorical, and aesthetic concerns, as well as meaning. (shrink)
At first glance there seem to be many similarities between Thomas S. Kuhn’s and Ludwik Fleck’s accounts of the development of scientific knowledge. Notably, both pay attention to the role played by the scientific community in the development of scientific knowledge. But putting first impressions aside, one can criticise some philosophers for being too hasty in their attempt to find supposed similarities in the works of the two men. Having acknowledged that Fleck anticipated some of Kuhn’s later theses, there (...) seems to be a temptation in more recent research to equate both theories in important respects. Because of this approach, one has to deal with the problem of comparing the most notable technical terms of both philosophers, namely ‘‘thought style’’ and ‘‘paradigm’’. This paper aims at a more thorough comparison between Ludwik Fleck’s concept of thought style and Thomas Kuhn’s concept of paradigm. Although some philosophers suggest that these two concepts are essentially equal in content, a closer examination reveals that this is not the case. This thesis of inequality will be defended in detail, also taking into account some of the alleged similarities which may be responsible for losing sight of the differences between these theories. (shrink)
Section 1 of this essay distinguishes between four interpretations of Socratic intellectualism, which are, very roughly: (1) a version in which on any given occasion desire, and then action, is determined by what we think will turn out best for us, that being what we all, always, really desire; (2) a version in which on any given occasion action is determined by what we think will best satisfy our permanent desire for what is really best for us; (3) a version (...) formed by the assimilation of (2) to (1), labelled the ‘standard’ version’ by Thomas C. Brickhouse and Nicholas D. Smith, and treated by them as a single alternative to their own interpretation; and (4) Brickhouse and Smith’s own version. Section 2 considers, in particular, Brickhouse and Smith’s handling of the ‘appetites and passions’, which is the most distinctive feature of interpretation (4). Section 3 discusses Brickhouse and Smith’s defence of ‘Socratic studies’ in its historical context, and assesses the contribution made by their distinctive interpretation of ‘the philosophy of Socrates’. One question raised in this section, and one that is clearly fundamental to the existence of ‘Socratic studies’, is how different Brickhouse and Smith’s Socrates turns out to be from Plato himself, i.e., the Plato of the post-‘Socratic’ dialogues; to which the answer offered is that on Brickhouse and Smith’s interpretation Socratic moral psychology becomes rather less distinguishable from its ‘Platonic’ counterpart—as that is currently understood—than it is on the interpretation(s) they oppose. (shrink)
Jesus Christ may be regarded as the chief spirit of agitation and innovation. He himself declared, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” One cannot delve seriously into the centuries of activism and scholarship against racism, Jim Crowism, and the terrorism of lynching without encountering the legacies of Timothy Thomas Fortune and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Black scholars from the 19th century to the present have been inspired by the sociological and economic works of Fortune and Wells. Scholars (...) of American philosophy, however, continue to ignore their writings, their theoretical contributions and their ethical aspirations, preferring instead the insipid declarations of white turn of the century .. (shrink)
S. A. Lloyd responds to critics of her book Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes . She seeks to explain the centrality of Hobbes's reciprocity theorem to our understanding of his laws of nature.
For the first time in three centuries, this book brings back into print three discourses now confirmed to have been written by the young Thomas Hobbes. Their contents may well lead to a resolution of the long-standing controversy surrounding Hobbes's early influences and the subsequent development of his thought. The volume begins with the recent history of the discourses, first published as part of the anonymous seventeenth-century work, Horae Subsecivae . Drawing upon both internal evidence and external confirmation afforded (...) by new statistical "wordprinting" techniques, the editors present a compelling case for Hobbes's authorship. Saxonhouse and Reynolds present the complete texts of the discourse with full annotations and modernized spellings. These are followed by a lengthy essay analyzing the pieces' significance for Hobbes's intellectual development and modern political thought more generally. The discourses provide the strongest evidence to date for the profound influences of Bacon and Machiavelli on the young Hobbes, and they add a new dimension to the much-debated impact of the scientific method on his thought. The book also contains both introductory and in-depth explanations of statistical "wordprinting.". (shrink)
Professor Thomas Mulligan undertakes to discredit Milton Friedman's thesis that The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits. He attempts to do this by moving from Friedman's paradigm characterizing a socially responsible executive as willful and disloyal to a different paradigm, i.e., one emphasizing the consultative and consensus-building role of a socially responsible executive. Mulligan's critique misses the point, first, because even consensus-building executives act contrary to the will of minority shareholders, but even more importantly, because he (...) assumes that the mandate of a shareholder majority brings legitimacy to efforts of corporate managers to utilize corporate wealth in solving social problems. It is the role of our democratic institutions to deal with national agenda issues such as inflation, unemployment, and pollution, not that of the private sector. Corporations and private individuals do have a role to play in enhancing the quality of the human environment, however, and the author suggests a coherent means of developing that role in an effort rescue corporate social responsibility from Mulligan no less than from Friedman. (shrink)
One of the most significant political philosophers of the twentieth century, Carl Schmitt is a deeply controversial figure who has been labeled both Nazi sympathizer and modern-day Thomas Hobbes. First published in 1938, The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes used the Enlightenment philosopher’s enduring symbol of the protective Leviathan to address the nature of modern statehood. A work that predicted the demise of the Third Reich and that still holds relevance in today’s security-obsessed society, this (...) volume will be essential reading for students and scholars of political science. “Carl Schmitt is surely the most controversial German political and legal philosopher of this century. . . . We deal with Schmitt, against all odds, because history stubbornly persists in proving many of his tenets right.”— Perspectives on Political Science “[A] significant contribution. . . . The relation between Hobbes and Schmitt is one of the most important questions surrounding Schmitt: it includes a distinct, though occasionally vacillating, personal identification as well as an association of ideas.”— Telos. (shrink)
This is a major new study of Thomas Aquinas, the most influential philosopher of the Middle Ages. The book offers a clear and accessible guide to the central project of Aquinas' philosophy: the understanding of human nature. Robert Pasnau sets the philosophy in the context of ancient and modern thought, and argues for some groundbreaking proposals for understanding some of the most difficult areas of Aquinas' thought: the relationship of soul to body, the workings of sense and intellect, the (...) will and the passions, and personal identity. Structured around a close reading of the treatise on human nature from the Summa theologiae and deeply informed by a wide knowledge of the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophy, this study will offer specialists a series of novel and provocative interpretations, while providing students with a reference commentary on one of Aquinas' core texts. (shrink)
In this article, I explore the relationship between the philosophy of Theodor Adorno and the Bilderverbot , or biblical Second Commandment against images. My starting point is J. F. Lyotard's construction of the melancholic sublime in his essay `What is the Postmodern?', which I argue he uses to critique Adorno's aesthetics, and, more generally, his position as a `modern' thinker. To prove that Lyotard had Adorno in mind when he constructed the category of the melancholic sublime, I return to an (...) earlier piece by Lyotard — `Adorno as the Devil' — which is a reading of Thomas Mann's Dr Faustus , in which Adorno is said to be one of the faces of the Devil. My argument is that Lyotard's understanding of Adorno is flawed because he does not recognize the distinctly Jewish, albeit secularized, character of his thought. I set out to challenge Lyotard by demonstrating the central importance that the Bilderverbot plays in Adorno's work, which should not be understood as melancholic because the Jewish Messianism associated with the Bilderverbot is profoundly future-oriented. In short, I argue that Lyotard's depiction of Adorno is flawed because he reads him as a Christian, while he should be approaching him as a secularized Jew. Key Words: Theodor Adorno • aesthetic theory • Dr Faustus • the image prohibition • Jewish thought • Jean-François Lyotard • Thomas Mann • Messianism • representation • the sublime. (shrink)
In two recent essays, Thomas Pogge addresses the question of how research and development of essential drugs should be incentivized. Essential drugs are drugs for diseases that ruin human lives. The current incentivizing scheme for such drugs is, according to Pogge, a significant causal factor in bringing about a state of affairs in which millions of people die or suffer from lack of access to essential drugs. Pogge, therefore, suggests a reform plan for how to incentivize research and development (...) of these drugs, and he is of the opinion that implementation of this plan will have a significant positive impact on the global disease burden. This paper is a critical examination of Pogge's reform plan. In the first part of the paper, Pogge's reasons for being dissatisfied with the current incentivizing scheme are spelled out. The reform plan is then presented, and in the final part of the paper, it is argued that the reform plan is flawed at a number of levels. (shrink)
Some theorists approach the Gordian knot of consciousness by proclaiming its inherent tangle and mystery. Others draw out the sword of reduction and cut the knot to pieces. Philosopher Thomas Metzinger, in his important new book, Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity,1 instead attempts to disentangle the knot one careful strand at a time. The result is an extensive and complex work containing almost 700 pages of philosophical analysis, phenomenological reflection, and scientific data. The text offers a (...) sweeping and comprehensive tour through the entire landscape of consciousness studies, and it lays out Metzinger's rich and stimulating theory of the subjective mind. Metzinger's skilled integration of philosophy and neuroscience provides a valuable framework for interdisciplinary research on consciousness. Metzinger's overall goal in Being No One is to defend a representational theory of subjectivity, one that reduces subjective mental processes to representational mental processes. Subjective experiences take place whe n there is a conscious perspective, an active first-person point of view. It occurs in. (shrink)
Caitlin Smith Gilson, The metaphysical presuppositions of being-in-the-World: a confrontation between St. Thomas Aquinas and Martin Heidegger Content Type Journal Article Pages 157-161 DOI 10.1007/s11153-010-9263-4 Authors Christine Sorrell Dinkins, Department of Philosophy, Wofford College, 429 N. Church St., Spartanburg, SC 29303, USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047 Journal Volume Volume 71 Journal Issue Volume 71, Number 2.
Thomas Flint has claimed that my argument against Molinism suffers from a 'seemingly irreparable logical gap'. He also contests a key assumption of that argument, namely that 'something which has had causal consequences in the past is ipso facto a hard, fixed, settled fact about the past'. In reply, I show that there is no logical gap at all in the argument. And I argue that, even though Molinists have reasons, based on Molinist principles, for rejecting the assumption in (...) question, the assumption is indeed extremely plausible. Thus, the argument creates difficulties for Molinism that are more severe than Flint is willing to admit. (shrink)
: Some critics find that Thomas Reid thinks the mind especially problematic, "hid in impenetrable darkness". I disagree. Reid does not hold that mind, more than body, resists explanation by the new science. The physical sciences have made great progress because they were transformed by the Newtonian revolution, and the key transformation was to stop looking for causes. Reid's harsh words are a call for methodological reform, consonant with his lifelong pursuit of a science of mind and also with (...) his frequent (though overlooked) optimism about such a science. (shrink)
In the fall of 1967 I entered Princeton as a Freshman intending to major in physics but interested as well in history. The catalog listed a course on the history of science, taught by a Professor Thomas Kuhn with the assistance of Michael Mahoney that seemed nicely to fit both interests. The course proved to be peculiarly intense for something about what was, after all, obsolete science as, each week, hundreds of pages of arcana from the distant past had (...) to be absorbed. Professor Kuhn would pace back and forth in lecture, smoking intensely and talking rapidly to an elaborate outline drawn on the board at the beginning of each class. In tutorial, Mahoney (who passed away in 2009) developed Kuhn's points, forcing .. (shrink)
This paper presents a solution to the problem of personal identity over time in Thomas’s metaphysics. I argue that Professor Gracia’s solution to the problem of personal identity, existence, and Professor Stump’s solution, form or the human soul, are not only compatible but also necessarily interdependent on one another. This argument rests on (1) the special nature of the human soul, and (2) the metaphysical claim that for Thomas the human soul and existence are inseparable. First, I refine (...) the problem of personal identity and briefly clarify some important distinctions. Second, I present Gracia’s arguments for the principle of existence (esse) being the criterion of personal identity over time in Thomas’s metaphysics. Third, I explain Stump’s arguments for form being the principle of personal identity over time in Thomas’s metaphysics, and show how Stump’s solution can answer some of the objections that Gracia presents. Finally, I argue that, according to Thomas, the soul of an individual human person and that person’s existence embrace one another with the strength of self-identity, and that it is correct and not inconsistent to say that both the human soul and existence are the cause and principle of personal identity over time in the metaphysics of Thomas. (shrink)
Abstract Thomas Kuhn is the most famous historian and philosopher of science of the last century. He is also among the most controversial. Since Kuhn?s death, his corpus has been interpreted, systematized, and defended. Here I add to this endeavor in a novel way by arguing that Kuhn can be interpreted as a global response-dependence theorist. He can be understood as connecting all concepts and terms in an a priori manner to responses of suitably situated subjects to objects in (...) the world. Further, I claim, this interpretation is useful for three reasons. First, it allows us to systematize and defend Kuhn?s views. We can therefore better appreciate him as a thinker in his own right. Second, it deepens our understanding of both the uniqueness of Kuhn?s views and the continuity of those views with those of others. We can therefore better appreciate his place in history. And third, as I explain in the paper, my interpretation affords us the only example of an ethnocentric global response-dependence theory. We can therefore better appreciate the versatility of response-dependence itself. (shrink)
The objective of this study is to analyze the writing of three neo-scholastic writers of the twentieth century -- Marcel Chossat, Pedro Descoqs, and Francis Cunningham -- who happen to dispute the prevailing view of Thomists that St. Thomas Aquinas does indeed hold a doctrine of thereal distinction of essence and existence in created being. The approach utilized will be basically historical: we start with the year 1910, the year in which Marcel Chossat rekindled the ever-smoldering embers of the (...) essence-existence controversy with his claim that Aquinas never held such a doctrine. In order to justify another treatment of what has been called “the endlessly rehashed question”, we try to show that the arguments put forth by the three thinkers in question an are based on considerable and weighty linguistic grounds which others in the debate have tended to dismiss. We conclude by saying that any discussion of the real distinction controversy must take a “linguistic turn” if it is to have any hope of being fruitful. (shrink)
It is a testimony to the enduring importance of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions that, 30 years on, its doctrines of normal science and paradigm, incommensurability and revolution continue to challenge metascien tists and stimulate vigorous debate. Critique has mainly come from philosophers and historians; by and large, interested sociologists have embraced Kuhn. Un justifiably so, this article argues, bringing to light a serious difficulty or "anom aly" in his account of the social side of science. Contrary (...) to what he claims, scientific knowledge is not the achievement of organic communities. It is con structed in "trans-epistemic arenas" by diverse participants, laypeople, and specialists. Accepting "community" is a flawed concept in the sociology of science, and in appreciating the major role Kuhn assigned it, the Kuhnian system looks less robust than it did before. (shrink)
Independently of any eighteenth century work on the geometry of parallels, Thomas Reid discovered the non-euclidean "geometry of visibles" in 1764. Reid's construction uses an idealized eye, incapable of making distance discriminations, to specify operationally a two dimensional visible space and a set of objects, the visibles. Reid offers sample theorems for his doubly elliptical geometry and proposes a natural model, the surface of the sphere. His construction draws on eighteenth century theory of vision for some of its technical (...) features and is motivated by Reid's desire to defend realism against Berkeley's idealist treatment of visual space. (shrink)
Letters to Doubting Thomas is an exchange of letters between two characters on the existence of God; it provides a cumulative case for Theism (the belief that God exists). Chapter by chapter, theism is compared with Naturalism (roughly, the view that there is no God and that ultimate reality is physical reality), concluding that Theism (on balance) provides a better explanation of the world and human life than does Naturalism.
Thomas Brown: Negotiating a position between Hume and Reid Content Type Journal Article Category Essay Review Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9600-y Authors Ralph Jessop, Literature & Philosophy, The University of Glasgow, Dumfries Campus, Dumfries, DG1 4ZL Scotland, UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Abstract This article responds to issues raised in Ethics, Nuclear Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorist Nuclear Reprisals ? A Response to John Mark Mattox's ?Nuclear Terrorism: The Other Extreme of Irregular Warfare? by Thomas E. Doyle II, also appearing in the pages of this issue.
In his many and varied writings, St Thomas presents us with both a sophisticated account of human action and a complicated moral theory. In this article, I shall be considering the question of whether St Thomas’s theory of action and his moral theory are mutually consistent. My claim shall be that St Thomas can preserve the ontological unity of human action—but only at the cost of rendering it extremely difficult to evaluate in a manner consistent with his (...) moral theory, or, alternatively, that he can provide a viable ethical analysis of human action—but only at the cost of compromising its ontological unity. In the first section of this article I shall examine St Thomas’s account of a particular kind of moral action, namely lying. Two basic questions concerning the specificity of unicity of human action will emerge from this examination: 1) what makes an act to be a specific moral act?, and 2) what makes a specific moral act to be one act? In the second section of the article I shall attempt to show, by means of a textual examination, that St Thomas does not appear to be able to provide an account of human action that will satisfactorily answer both these basic questions at the same time. (shrink)
In this classic work by one of America's most distinguished historians, Daniel Boorstin enters into Thomas Jefferson's world of ideas. By analysing writings of 'the Jeffersonian Circle,' Boorstin explores concepts of God, nature, equality, toleration, education and government in order to illuminate their underlying world view. The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson demonstrates why on the 250th anniversary of his birth, this American leader's message has remained relevant to our national crises and grand concerns. "The volume is too (...) subtle, too rich in ideas for anyone to do justice to it in brief summary, too heavily documented and too carefully wrought for anyone to dismiss its thesis. . . . It is a major contribution not only to Jefferson studies but to American intellectual history. . . . All who work in the history of ideas will find themselves in Mr. Boorstin's debt."—Richard Hofstadter, South Atlantic Monthly. (shrink)
This volume in the Clarendon Edition of the Works of Thomas Hobbes contains A dialogue between a philosopher and a student, of the common laws of England, edited by Alan Cromartie, supplemented by the important fragment on the issue of regal succession, 'Questions relative to Hereditary Right', discovered and edited by Quentin Skinner. The former work is the last of Hobbes's major political writings. As a critique of common law by a great philosopher, it should be essential reading for (...) anybody interested in English political thought or legal theory. Although it was written when Hobbes was at least eighty, it is a lively piece of work that goes beyond a recapitulation of earlier Hobbesian doctrines, not least in applying his central ideas to the details of the English constitution. This edition supplies the extensive annotation on matters of legal and historical detail that is required by non-specialist readers; it also assists students by offering cross-references to other treatises. Cromartie's introduction is an authoritative account of seventeenth-century thinking about the common law and of Hobbes's shifting attitudes towards it. It has often been suspected that the book was motivated by fear of being burned for heresy. Cromartie disentangles the complex evidence (scattered across a number of late works) that documents this fear's development, and shows why the philosopher's acute anxieties eventually led him to write a legal treatise. In clarifying these questions, the edition casts fresh light upon his attitude to law and sovereignty. The second piece takes the form of a question put to Hobbes about the right of succession under hereditary monarchies, together with Hobbes's response. The question is in the handwriting of the fourth Earl of Devonshire, the son of the third Earl, whom Hobbes had tutored in the 1630s. He asks Hobbes whether an heir can be excluded if he is incapable of protecting his prospective subjects. The question of 'exclusion' became the most burning issue in English politics in the course of 1679, when a bill to exclude the future James II was introduced into the House of Commons. Hobbes answers with a robust defence of hereditary right, in the course of which he also makes some important general observations about the concept of a right. The manuscript is also of special interest as it constitutes Hobbes's last word on politics. It was almost certainly written in the summer of 1679, less than six months before Hobbes's death. (shrink)
Today’s globalized economy cannot be governed by legal strictures alone. A combination of self-interest and regulation is not enough to avoid the recurrence of its systemic crises. We also need virtues and a sense of corporate responsibility in order to assure the sustained success of the global economy. Yet whose virtues shall prevail in a pluralistic world? The moral theory of Thomas Aquinas meets the present need for a business ethics that transcends the legal realm by linking the ideas (...) of justice and virtue in an ingenious way. While allowing for, and incorporating, the specificities of region and religion, industry and culture, Thomas’s virtue theory coordinates private and public activities through a set of context-invariant, justice-oriented norms with conceptual appeal to contemporary questions of global business ethics.In our article, we first sketch how Aquinas’s theory can be also of relevance to a non-confessional audience through its appeal to the ‘natural light of reason.’ Then we explain how his theory of ‘natural law’ aligns his ideas of virtue and justice. From this vantage point, we address the tension between cultural diversity and moral uniformity in the economic sphere in general and in today’s globalized business world in particular. Throughout the article, we aim to show that by interpreting the virtue-dimension of business in light of the idea of social justice, Aquinas’s conception of virtuous business conduct gains inter-personal and inter-cultural validity that establishes social justice as the global virtue of business. (shrink)
The title of Thomas James's 2011 In Face of Reality: The Constructive Theology of Gordon D. Kaufman echoes the title of Gordon Kaufman's 1993 In Face of Mystery: A Constructive Theology. Kaufman's theology evolved over his long career, but mystery became his principal metaphor for God. In substituting reality for mystery, James signals his central project, which is to argue that Kaufman's theology offers an objective God who "really acts in the world" (1).For James, God's providential activity is a (...) touchstone of Christian theology. However, he asserts, contemporary science has left little space for God to act. Most theologians have responded by: 1) limiting interaction with scientific findings to preserve .. (shrink)
La réflexion de Thomas d’Aquin sur les régimes de la cité présente l’inconvénient que ses oeuvres politiques sont restées inachevées. Significative pour pouvoir décider de l’appartenance de Thomas d’Aquin au côté de la doctrine gélasienne ou à celle du pape Grégoire VII, la comparaison du Super Sententiisavec le traité De regno, telle qu’elle a été faite par I.T. Eschmann, n’est pas bien riche en conclusions pour la question du consentement politique. Selon la position que nous avons assumée dans (...) notre investigation au sein des deux oeuvres de Thomas, il est possible d’affirmer que la notion de consentement n’introduit pas de fausses discontinuités entre des textes écrits à des périodes distinctes. En fin de compte, ce qui unit le Super Sententiis au De regno c’est, à notre avis, une sorte de prudence politique, issue de la lecture que Thomas d’Aquin fait des livres sapientiels de l’Ancien Testament. Sans avoir l’intention de nier les différences qui existent entre les deux textes thomasiens, il nous semble évident qu’ils dégagent plutôt la perspective d’une science politique attentive aux pratiques du temps, mais encore réservée quant aux concepts liés au consentement exprimé par le principe quod omnes tangit, principe que la prudence politique n’a pas encore assimilé. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine one particular element of Hume’s psychology of religious belief. More specifically, I attempt to elucidate his account of what I call the sustaining causes of religious belief—that is, those causes that keep religious beliefs alive in modern human societies. In attempting to make some progress at clarifying this element of Hume’s psychology, I examine one particular ‘experiment’—namely, the case of Thomas More, a man who is, by Hume’s own admission, a person of remarkable virtue. (...) I contend that the most salient Humean explanations of More’s religious convictions are implausible but that Hume has at his disposal three more plausible hypotheses to account for More’s faith. I conclude, however, by suggesting that these hypotheses alone are insufficient to solve the puzzle More poses for this particular element of Hume’s psychology of religious belief. (shrink)
The aim of the book is to show that the ’five ways’ of Thomas Aquinas, i.e., his five arguments to prove the existence of God, are logically correct arguments by the standards of modern predicate logic. In the first chapter this is done by commenting on the two preliminary articles preceding the five ways in which Thomas Aquinas points out that on the one hand the existence of God is not self-evident to us and on the other hand, (...) that, similar as in some scientific explanations, the mere existence of a cause for an effect which is evidently known to us can be proved. In the second chapter every argument is translated into the symbolic form of predicate logic and its logical validity is shown. Additionally a detailed and critical discussion of the premises of each argument is given. (publisher). (shrink)
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This paper primarily deals with the conceptual prospects for generalizing the aim of abduction from the standard one of explaining surprising or anomalous observations to that of empirical progress or even truth approximation. It turns out that the main abduction task then becomes the instrumentalist task of theory revision aiming at an empirically more successful theory, relative to the available data, but not necessarily compatible with them. The rest, that is, genuine empirical progress as well as observational, referential and theoretical (...) truth approximation, is a matter of evaluation and selection, and possibly new generation tasks for further improvement. The paper concludes with a survey of possible points of departure, in AI and logic, for computational treatment of the instrumentalist task guided by the ‘comparative evaluation matrix’. (shrink)
Unlike many other dialogues, Plato’s Charmides has never elicited much sustained scholarly attention, even though it focuses on an important moral excellence, sôphrosunê (temperance, moderation), features two of Plato’s relatives who were members of the oligarchic government of 304–303 BC, and includes two refutations of the Republic’s formula, “doing one’s own things,” as well as a long, complex discussion of “knowledge of knowledge.” The present work is therefore a welcome addition to the small collection of English books on it (Tuckey, (...) Plato’s Charmides; Hyland, The Virtue of Philosophy; Schmid, Plato’s Charmides and the Socratic Ideal of Rationality). Early chapters, comprising nearly half the .. (shrink)
Because many of Aquinas’s most distinctive philosophical claims are embedded in theological works, in order to see what his philosophy comes to it is necessary to do a great deal of extracting and reconstructing. A major school of interpretation, however, cautions that such efforts are misguided, since Aquinas’ philosophy and theology are inextricably bound together. We respond that some versions of this inseparability thesis are too strong to be true and the remainder too weak to stand in the way of (...) renewed efforts to identify Aquinas’ pure philosophical systems. Nonetheless, a good deal is to be learned about Aquinas (and about other religious philosophers) by pondering the inseparablist challenge to rational reconstruction. (shrink)
i l l ustrat es t he di ffi cul t y of providing a purely physical characterisation of phenomenal experi ence wi t ha vi vi d exampl e about a bat ’ s sensory apparatus. Whi l e a number of obj ect i ons have al ready been made to Nagel..
s proposal for a Global Resources Dividend (GRD) has been criticized because its likely effects would be less predictable than Pogge supposes and could even be counterproductive to the main aim of relieving poverty. The GRD might also achieve little with respect to its secondary aim of promoting environmental protection. This article traces the problems to Pogges inadequate conception of natural resources. It proposes instead to conceive of natural resources in terms of ecological space. Using this conception, redistributive principles follow (...) with a more definite logic from Pogges own supporting moral argument. The proposed alternative approach also promises a more direct contribution to Pogges secondary aim of resource conservation and environmental protection. I conclude that if any redistributive resource-based tax should be levied on nations, then there are at least four decisive reasons to favour levying a tax related to a nations per capita utilization of ecological space rather than the GRD. (shrink)
Hobbes's relation to the later Aristotelian tradition, in both its scholastic and its humanists variants, has been increasingly explored by scholars. However, on two fundamental points (the naturalness of the city and the use of the matter/form distinction in the political works), there is more to be said in this connection. A close examination of a range of late Renaissance commentaries on Aristotle's Politics shows that they elucidate a picture of pre-civic human nature that had (contrary to Hobbes's implication) much (...) in common with that of Hobbes. Moreover, they deployed the matter-form distinction in their analysis of the city or civitas in ways that are in important respects similar to Hobbes's procedure in De cive and Leviathan . The paper concludes that Hobbes drew on this tradition in multiple ways while at the same time undermining some of its principal conclusions; Hobbes was in no sense an 'Aristotelian' even if his philosophy has substantial debts to Aristotelianism. (shrink)
Reid rejects the image theory --the representative or indirect realist position--that memory-judgements are inferred from or otherwise justified by a present image or introspectible state. He also rejects the trace theory , which regards memories as essentially traces in the brain. In contrast he argues for a direct knowledge account in which personal memory yields unmediated knowledge of the past. He asserts the reliability of memory, not in currently fashionable terms as a reliable belief-forming process, but more elusively as a (...) principle of Commonsense. There remains a contemporary consensus against Reid's position. I argue that Reid's critique is essentially sound, and that the consensus is mistaken; personal memory judgements are spontaneous and non-inferential in the same way as perceptual judgements. But I question Reid's account of the connection between personal memory and personal identity. My primary concern is rationally reconstructive rather than scholarly, and downplays recent interpretations of Reid's faculty psychology as a precursor of functionalism and other scientific philosophies of mind. (shrink)
The article revisits the originality of Hobbes's concept of happiness on the basis of Hobbes's two accounts found respectively in Thomas White's De Mundo Examined and Leviathan . It is argued that Hobbes's claim that happiness consists in the unhindered advance from one acquired good to another ought to be understood against the background of Hobbes's theory of sensation and the imagination, on the one hand, and Hobbes's doctrine of conatus , on the other. It is further claimed that (...) the account of happiness in White's De Mundo differs from that in Leviathan . In the former work, happiness is defined not as the mere progression from one good to another but as the joy/mental pleasure derived from the awareness of one's unhindered advance. The traditional claim that Hobbes is an ethical subjectivist is examined in connection with Hobbes's view of the subjectivity of happiness and the rejection of the summum bonum . Lastly, Hobbes's distinction between worldly and everlasting happiness is discussed. (shrink)
This paper focuses on S.A. Loyd's positive account of Hobbes's moral theory as presented in chapters 5 and 6 of her new book. My discussion challenges Lloyd's reciprocity interpretation of Hobbes's moral theory. In the paper I also take issue with Lloyd's account of the derivation of his moral theory and her account of moral obligation. I offer my own definitional reading of the derivation of the Laws of Nature and my own analysis of how Hobbes explains obligation in terms (...) of assent. (shrink)
In his recent book, Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus, Christopher Brown has argued that the metaphysics of St. Thomas is preferable to contemporary analyticviews because it can solve the “problem of material constitution” (PMC) without requiring us to relinquish any of the common-sense beliefs that generate that problem. In this critical study, I show that in the case of both substances and aggregates, Brown’s Aquinas endorses views that are extremely implausible. Consequently, even if it is granted that the (...) solutions to the PMC fall right out of his views, it is still not clear that this gives us reason to prefer his ontology to its competitors. I also consider Brown’s take on the status of the human being after death. (shrink)
In this article we examine the true scope of the right Hobbes recognizes, even for the subjects of a State, to life. We hold that the right to live includes the subject's right not to accept to be deprived not only of life but also of limb; a right not to have to kill; a right not to accept to be imprisoned. The sovereign of course has a right to kill, mutilate and arrest but the conflict of his right and (...) the subject's is an original feature of Hobbes's political thought, not to be found for instance in Locke's. Also, since life is motion and desire is a continual progress from one object to another, the mere survival of the subject is not enough to make him content once peace has been achieved. The expression of the subject's discontent is illegal, but it may happen since we can understand the right to live as a right to an ever more ambitious desire. The ruler who wants to avoid discontent and its uncivil effects should in a certain measure pave the way for economic development, in order to permit the subjects to at least partially attain their desire. Obviously this is not a moral duty of the sovereign, but a prudential one, if he does not want to risk losing his office. (shrink)