This book is about one of the most baffling of all paradoxes--the famous Liar paradox. Suppose we say: "We are lying now." Then if we are lying, we are telling the truth; and if we are telling the truth we are lying. This paradox is more than an intriguing puzzle, since it involves the concept of truth. Thus any coherent theory of truth must deal with the Liar. Keith Simmons discusses the solutions proposed by medieval philosophers and offers his (...) own solutions and in the process assesses other contemporary attempts to solve the paradox. Unlike such attempts, Simmons' "singularity" solution does not abandon classical semantics and does not appeal to the kind of hierarchical view found in Barwise's and Etchemendy's The Liar. Moreover, Simmons' solution resolves the vexing problem of semantic universality--the problem of whether there are semantic concepts beyond the expressive reach of a natural language such as English. (shrink)
Helping more than “a little”: recent books on Kierkegaard and philosophy of religion Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-16 DOI 10.1007/s11153-012-9345-6 Authors J. Aaron Simmons, Department of Philosophy, Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Hwy, Greenville, SC 29613, USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047.
Abstract In 1968 Simmons studied the personal and moral values of 101 fourth?year pupils of a comprehensive school by means of 10 unfinished sentences. This survey was published in 1980. The first sentence was based on an Ideal Person Test used by the Eppels in the early 1960s. In 1981 the 1968 survey was replicated and extended to include 820 fourth?year pupils (492 boys, 328 girls, average age 15 years) in six schools with different social and geographical backgrounds. The (...) responses to the first sentence confirmed many of the Eppels? findings of nearly 20 years ago particularly with respect to (a) the rejection of ideal models in favour of ?myself choices, (b) the clear preference by nearly half the subjects for ideal models chararcterised by attractive physical appearance and popularity, (c) the over?subscription of boys to material values and the oversubscription of girls to social values. (shrink)
In Simmons (Arch Math Logic 43:65–83, 2004), I described a method of producing ordinal notations ‘from below’ (for countable ordinals up to the Howard ordinal) and compared that method with the current popular ‘from above’ method which uses a collapsing function from uncountable ordinals. This ‘from below’ method employs a slight generalization of the normal function—the fruitful functions—and what seems to be a new class of functions—the helpful functions—which exist at all levels of the function space hierarchy over ordinals. (...) Unfortunately, I was rather sparing in my description of these classes of functions. In this paper I am much more generous. I describe the properties of the helpful functions on all finite levels and, in the final section, indicate how they can be used to simplify the generation of ordinal notations. The main aim of this paper is to fill in the details missing from . The secondary aim is to indicate what can be done with helpful functions. Fuller details of this development will appear elsewhere. (shrink)
The most recent addition to the Fundamentals of Philosophy Series, Political Philosophy is a concise yet thorough and highly engaging introduction to the essential problems of the discipline. Organized topically and presented in a straightforward manner by an eminent political philosopher, A. John Simmons, it investigates the nature and basis of political authority and the structure and organization of political life. Each chapter focuses on a central problem, considers how it could be addressed, and outlines the various philosophical positions (...) surrounding it. Covering both historical and contemporary work, this unique text offers a survey of major concepts and debates while also reflecting the author's views and contributions. Accessible to novices yet also useful for advanced students, Political Philosophy presents a unified and accessible portrait of the issues that have been puzzling political philosophers for years. (shrink)
A nativist moral psychology, modeled on the successes of theoretical linguistics, provides the best framework for explaining the acquisition of moral capacities and the diversity of moral judgment across the species. After a brief presentation of a poverty of the moral stimulus argument, this chapter sketches a view according to which a so-called Universal Moral Grammar provides a set of parameterizable principles whose specific values are set by the child's environment, resulting in the acquisition of a moral idiolect. The principles (...) and parameters approach predicts moral diversity, but does not entail moral relativism. (shrink)
: When health care workers migrate from poor countries to rich countries, they are exercising an important human right and helping rich countries fulfill obligations of social justice. They are also, however, creating problems of social justice in the countries they leave. Solving these problems requires balancing social needs against individual rights and studying the relationship of social justice to international justice.
In this article I articulate how phenomenology can and should appropriate the theme of Platonic cognitive erôs. Erôs has two principal meanings: sexual passion and the desire for the whole that characterizes the philosophical life; in its cognitive sense, it implies dissatisfaction with partial truth and aiming at the givenness of the whole. The kind of lived-experience in which the being-true of the world is presented to and affectively allures the knower is a phenomenological analogue to what in Plato is (...) the contemplative communion with the Good. Cognitive desire is always motivated by the consciousness of the lack of knowledge and the recalcitranceon the part of the world to be fully revealed. Husserlian phenomenology confirms the fact that erotic perception is always beckoned by the world and its states of affairs from the outside, as opposed to physiologically reduced Cartesian wonder and internally motivated striving on the part of Kantian reason. (shrink)
This article recounts the history of the composition, publication and dissemination of Edward Pococke’s translation into Arabic of Grotius, De Veritate , the motivation for making it alleged both by Grotius and by Pococke, and the changes in the text which were introduced by Pococke. An Appendix provides, for the two chapters which are most different from Grotius’s original, the Arabic text, a literal translation, Grotius’s Latin, and details of the sources of Grotius and Pococke for their accusations against (...) the Muslims in those chapters. (shrink)
Presents an analysis of Jonathan Edwards' theological position. This book includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.
Edward Shils presented his book Tradition (1981) as the first extensive study of the subject. This article casts light on Shils' multifaceted understanding of tradition, comprising pragmatic, Burkean, veridical, and evolutionist perspectives. His typology of traditions is noted, and his view of institutional bearers of tradition described. In assessing Shils' theory, however, we find that it overreaches, collapsing differences that exist between traditions, transmissions, and the traditional. Key Words: tradition transmission rationalization antitradition science.
In late January of 1987, the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, R. Budd Dwyer, shot himself to death in front of a dozen reporters and camera crews during a news conference in his office. Much was subsequently made in the popular press, and within the profession, about the difficult ethical decision television journalists were faced with in determining how much of the very graphic suicide tape to air. A review of the literature in this area suggests, however, that journalists have (...) established a set of relatively detailed conventions for dealing with events involving graphic depictions of death. Analysis of the Dwyer tape and interviews conducted with Pennsylvania television news directors show that eighteen of the twenty stations in the state that carry news used basically the same type and amount of footage in their evening newscasts. One decided to use no tape. One showed the moment of death. When the story broke around noon, two additional stations showed the moment of suicide, but they revised their story for the evening program. In addition, the wide majority of news directors interviewed said they had little difficulty in deciding how to edit the tape. The processing of the Dwyer story suggests that any ethical dilemmas faced by journalists during decision making were put aside for later consideration. The material was edited quickly and according to similar patterns, or conventions, around the state. The study suggests greater attention be given to the definition and interaction of personal professional values, in the ethical sense, and norms of news processing, in the sociological sense. (shrink)
One way to do socially relevant investigations of science is through conceptual analysis of scientific terms used in special-interest science (SIS). SIS is science having welfare-related consequences and funded by special interests, e.g., tobacco companies, in order to establish predetermined conclusions. For instance, because the chemical industry seeks deregulation of toxic emissions and avoiding costly cleanups, it funds SIS that supports the concept of "hormesis" (according to which low doses of toxins/carcinogens have beneficial effects). Analyzing the hormesis concept of its (...) main defender, chemical-industry-funded Edward Calabrese, the paper shows Calabrese and others fail to distinguish three different hormesis concepts, H, HG, and HD. H requires toxin-induced, short-term beneficial effects for only one biological endpoint, while HG requires toxin-induced, net-beneficial effects for all endpoints/responses/subjects/ages/conditions. HD requires using the risk-assessment/regulatory default rule that all low-dose toxic exposures are net-beneficial, thus allowable. Clarifying these concepts, the paper argues for five main claims. (1) Claims positing H are trivially true but irrelevant to regulations. (2) Claims positing HG are relevant to regulation but scientifically false. (3) Claims positing HD are relevant to regulation but ethically/scientifically questionable. (4) Although no hormesis concept (H, HG, or HD) has both scientific validity and regulatory relevance, Calabrese and others obscure this fact through repeated equivocation, begging the question, and data-tri mm ing. Consequently (5) their errors provide some undeserved rhetorical plausibility for deregulating low-dose toxins. (shrink)
We argue that for theorists with a post-institutional conception of property, e.g., Rawlsians, there is no principled reason to limit the domain of distributive justice to tax and transfer-both tax policy and the rules of the private law are constructed in service to distributive aims. Such theorists cannot maintain a commitment to a normative conception of private law independent of their overarching distributive principles. In contrast, theorists with a pre-institutional conception of property can derive the private law from sectors of (...) morality independent of distributive justice. Nevertheless, we argue, this does not entail that the private law, for pre-institutional theorists, must be sanitized of equity-oriented values. Non-libertarian pre-institutional theorists holding principled commitments to equity-oriented values are free to invoke either tax and transfer or the rules of the private law to attain them. Footnotesa We are grateful to John G. Bennett, Harry Dolan, Edward McCaffery, and Ellen Frankel Paul for written comments on a previous draft and to Eric Mack, Fred Miller, Jeffrey Paul, A. John Simmons, and the other contributors to this volume for valuable discussions. (shrink)
Edward Said's mode of intellectual thinking cannot be categorized in terms of concepts such as liberal, socialist or anarchist. In this sense, Said remained all his life, through his work and his action, an "outsider. " This "outsiderhood" created in him an acute awareness of the world and a critical sense of resistance to all forms of political and intellectual domination. In consequence, Said detects a particularly revealing relationship between a deep-seated commitment to the secular principles of humanism andoutsiderhood (...) as the ideal ontological position for the intellectual. (shrink)
Edward O. Wilson’s recent decision to abandon kin selection theory has sent shockwaves throughout the biological sciences. Over the past two years, more than a hundred biologists have signed letters protesting his reversal. Making sense of Wilson’s decision and the controversy it has spawned requires familiarity with the historical record. This entails not only examining the conditions under which kin selection theory first emerged, but also the organicist tradition against which it rebelled. In similar fashion, one must not only (...) examine Wilson’s long career, but also those thinkers who influenced him most, especially his intellectual grandfather, William Morton Wheeler (1865–1937). Wilson belongs to a long line of organicists, biologists whose research highlighted integration and coordination, many of whom struggled over the exact same biological riddles that have long defined Wilson’s career. Drawing inspiration (and sometimes ideas) from these intellectual forebears, Wilson is confident that he has finally identified the origin of the social impulse. (shrink)
This book provides a distinctive account of Edward Said's critique of modern culture by highlighting the religion-secularism distinction on which it is predicated. This distinction is both literal and figurative. It refers, on the one hand, to religious traditions and to secular traditions and, on the other hand, to tropes that extend the meaning and reference of religion and secularism in indeterminate ways. The author takes these tropes as the best way of organizing Said's heterogeneous corpus - from Joseph (...) Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography, his first book, to Orientalism, his most influential book, to his recent writings on the Palestinian question. The religion-secularism distinction, as an act of imagination and narrative continuity, lies behind Said's cultural criticism, his notion of intellectual responsibility, and his public controversy with Michael Walzer about the meaning and the uses of the Exodus story and about the question of Palestine. (shrink)
István Hargittai: Judging Edward Teller: A closer look at one of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9133-x Authors George B. Kauffman, Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034, USA Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
The "tree of life" iconography, representing the history of life, dates from at least the latter half of the 18th century, but evolution as the mechanism providing this bifurcating history of life did not appear until the early 19th century. There was also a shift from the straight line, scala naturae view of change in nature to a more bifurcating or tree-like view. Throughout the 19th century authors presented tree-like diagrams, some regarding the Deity as the mechanism of change while (...) others argued for evolution. Straight-line or anagenetic evolution and bifurcating or cladogenetic evolution are known in biology today, but are often misrepresented in popular culture, especially with anagenesis being confounded with scala naturae. Although well known in the mid 19th century, the geologist Edward Hitchcock has been forgotten as an early, if not the first author to publish a paleontologically based "tree of life" beginning in 1840 in the first edition of his popular general geology text Elementary Geology. At least 31 editions were published and those between 1840 and 1859 had this "paleontological chart" showing two trees, one for fossil and living plants and another for animals set within a context of geological time. Although the chart did not vary in later editions, the text explaining the chart did change to reflect newer ideas in paleontology and geology. Whereas Lamarck, Chambers, Bronn, Darwin, and Haeckel saw some form of transmutation as the mechanism that created their "trees of life," Hitchcock, like his contemporaries Agassiz and Miller, who also produced "trees of life," saw a deity as the agent of change. Through each edition of his book Hitchcock denounced the newer transmutationist hypotheses of Lamarck, then Chambers, and finally Darwin in an 1860 edition that no longer presented his tree-like "paleontological chart.". (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the terms on which John Simmons rejects all arguments for a moral obligation to obey the law and so defends “philosophical anarchism.” Although I accept his rejection of several criteria on which others might and often do insist, I criticize his reliance on the conditions of “generality” and “particularity.” In doing so, I propose an alternative to his influential conception of legitimacy.
In this essay, the author employs Edward S. Casey’s philosophy of place in order to perform a reading of Dave Eggers’ recent biographical novel, What is the What (2007). This reading is dependant upon certain concepts that Casey articulates in Getting Back Into Place (1993) and Remembering (2000), particularly the concepts of displacement, desolation, and homesteading. After an exegesis of these concepts, the author employs them in order to better understand the life of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the (...) so-called ‘Lost Boys’ from southern Sudan. Since his life is largely a narrative of displacements, Deng’s story provides us with an exceptionally rich opportunity to implement Casey’s articulation of place. (shrink)
Edward R. Murrow's reputation began and grew with World War II. This analysis, focused on his radio reporting, concerns two reports filed after he accompanied a bombing mission over Germany. The two reports provide a unique analytic opportunity because their foundation is in a singular experience. It is an analysis of the decision process, with ethical questions central to the development of the story, it is an application of classical ethical theory to a historical object for the purposes of (...) creating an understanding of media heritage and the application of moral philosophy. (shrink)
During the course of his lengthy career, Edward Schillebeeckx has developed a series of epistemological frameworks which inform his theology. Using the metaphor of “circle” to describe these frameworks, the article will argue that Schillebeeckx in his earlier theology describes experience and knowledge within the framework of an ontological circle of subject and object. In his later work, Schillebeeckx develops a second, hermeneutical circle and finally a critical circle of theory and praxis. Later developments in his thought both depend (...) upon and radically re-interpret the earlier circles of epistemology. Since all theological language and practice must originate within the boundaries of human knowledge and experience, only by this reinterpretation of epistemology, Schillebeeckx argues, can Christian theology begin to meet the challenge of the understanding of faith in the modern and postmodern world. (shrink)