This essay is about Houdini’s escapes and ethnomethodology’s studies.1 By accomplishing what appears to be impossible, Houdini leaves his audience considering not only how did he manage to do that, but also just what is it that we consider to be possible. Magicians and escapologists warn us off an interest in the mechanics of their tricks that might spoil the thrill of what they dramatically present to us: a sense of the limits to whatwe can apprehend as an audience. While (...) marking out the differences in their projects, this essay brings out the sharedurge of escapologists and ethnomethodologists to question our senses, openmembers to particular phenomena, and awaken us tothe wonder of the world.In reflecting on what happens when magicians reveal the devices that constitute their tricks, I ask whether the purpose of studying methodologies canonlyreside in revealing how they are practically produced as intelligibleactions. What more might ethnomethodology’s invitation be? (shrink)
Universals are a class of mind independent entities, usually contrasted with individuals, postulated to ground and explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals. Individuals are said to be similar in virtue of sharing universals. An apple and a ruby are both red, and their common redness results from sharing a universal. If they are both red at the same time, the universal, red, must be in two places at once. This makes universals quite different from individuals, and controversial. (...) Whether universals are in fact required to explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals has engaged metaphysicians for two thousand years. Disputants fall into one of three broad camps. Realists endorse universals. Conceptualists and Nominalists, on the other hand, refuse to accept universals and deny that they are needed. Conceptualists explain similarity among individuals by appealing to general concepts or ideas, things that exist only in minds. Nominalists, in contrast, are content to leave relations of qualitative resemblance brute and ungrounded. Numerous versions of Nominalism have been proposed, some with a great deal of sophistication. Contemporary philosophy has seen the rise of a new form of Nominalism, one that makes use of a special class of individuals, known as tropes. Familiar individuals have many properties, but tropes are single property instances. Whether Trope Nominalism improves on earlier Nominalist theories is the subject of much recent debate. In general, questions surrounding universals touch upon some of the oldest, deepest, and most abstract of philosophical issues. (shrink)
The question to be discussed is whether the distinction between the conceptual and the nonconceptual is best understood as pertaining primarily to intentional contents or to intentional states or attitudes. Some authors have suggested that it must be understood in the second way, in order to make the claim that experiences are nonconceptual compatible with the idea that one can also believe what one experiences. I argue that there is no need to do so, and that a conceptual content can (...) be understood as being simply one which is composed of concepts, without compromising this intuitive view of the relation between beliefs and experiences. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to show that the prospects for intentional irrealism are much brighter than it is generally thought. In the first section, I provide a general haracterization of some of the various forms that the realism/irrealism debates might take. In the second, I ask whether there is any defensible form of realism about intentional states. I show that most candidates are nearly trivially false, and that the only form of intentional realism which is not, is a (...) restricted one which is prima facie no more plausible than the corresponding form of irrealism. In the third and last section, I defend my interpretation of what intentional irrealism amounts to against some possible misunderstandings, give some reasons why it should be taken seriously and argue that it could plausibly be attributed to Davidson. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to offer an account of what an agent's being rational to do or think something might amount to, which doesn't reduce to saying that it consists in this agent's doing or thinking something that is rational for him. In the first section, I call attention to the fact that such a distinction between agent rationality and action or belief rationality is widely admitted, I reject the idea that it could be interpreted as a distinction (...) between the rationality of tokens and the rationality of types, and I suggest one natural way in which a notion of objective agent rationality could be informally characterized in terms of action or belief rationality. But this first, rough, characterization depends on further uses of the notion of rationality which I try to make sense of in the second section, at least in a preliminary way. The burden of this second section is then to determine whether the intuition behind the informal proposal introduced in the first can be substantiated, i.e., whether a substantial and coherent notion of agent rationality can be worked out, and at what cost. In the concluding section, I try to "deflate" some of the worries that could be raised by the account of agent rationality I end up with. (shrink)
I clarify in what sense one might want to claim that thought or language are public. I distinguish among four forms that each of these claims might take, and two general ways of establishing them that might be contemplated. The first infers the public character of thought from the public character of language, and the second infers the latter from the former. I show that neither of these stategies seems to be able to dispense with the claim that thought and (...) language are interdependent, and that the second strategy raises more difficulties than the first. I then examine the reasoning by which Davidson means to establish that thought depends on language. I claim that this reasoning is not conclusive, and that it can be adapted in such a way as to establish aversion of the thesis that thought is public which does not presuppose that language is public, and aversion of the thesis that language is public which does not imply that thought depends on language. I conclude with the suggestion that despite appearances to the contrary Davidson’s doctrine is defensible only if it implies at least the conceivability of intentional systems that would lack language altogether. (shrink)
In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the ‘conatus doctrine’ in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a criticism of (...) her account of the nature of philosophy in Spinoza. I argue it is less piecemeal and less akin to what we would recognize as ‘science’ than she suggests. Third, I argue against James's core commitment that Spinoza's three kinds of knowledge differ in degree; I claim they differ in kind. My argument will offer a new interpretation of Spinoza's conception of ‘common notions’. Moreover, I argue that Spinozistic adequate knowledge involves something akin to angelic disembodiment. (shrink)
Was sind wir? Wie immer man sich zu dieser Frage stellt, eines scheint offenkundig: Wir sind Tiere, genauer gesagt: menschliche Tiere, Mitglieder der Art Homo sapiens. Dabei mag es überraschen, daß viele Philosophen diese vermeintlich banale Tatsache abstreiten. Plato, Augustinus, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant und Hegel, um nur einige herausragende zu nennen, waren alle der Meinung, wir seien keine Tiere. Es mag zwar sein, daß unsere Körper Tiere sind. Doch sind wir nicht mit unseren Körpern gleichzusetzen. Wir sind etwas (...) anderes als Tiere. Kaum anderer Meinung sind Denker nicht-westlicher Traditionen. Und rund neun von zehn Philosophen, die heutzutage über Probleme der personalen Identität nachdenken, vertreten Ansichten, die ausschließen, daß wir Tiere sind. (shrink)
The subject of this paper is an introduction to my assessment of the work of the late American anthropologist, Eric Wolf (1923–1999), whom I consider to be one of the greatest American anthropologist. I plan a monograph on his total work from a point of view, largely overlooked, emphasizing his sensitive, path-breaking, and poetic insights. I see Wolf’s work as having three interpenetrating periods, which I call (1) Eric Wolf, the poet, focusing primarily on his work on Mexico, (...) (2) the study of peasantry world-wide, emphasizing history, context, power, etc. (from the very beginning Wolf demolished the idea of static isolated cultures that anthropologists so loved to study; and in this respect, Eric Wolf changed anthropology forever), and (3) the third period, reaching to his death and never really finished, was Wolf the philosopher and crosser of boundaries. (shrink)
Eric R. Scerri: selected papers on the periodic table Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10698-010-9089-2 Authors Pieter Thyssen, Ph.D. Fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), Department of Chemistry, Laboratory of Coordination Chemistry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F bus 2404, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238 Journal Volume Volume 12 Journal Issue Volume 12, Number 3.
Following its determination of a finding of scientific misconduct the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) will seek redress for any injury sustained. Several remedies both administrative and statutory may be available depending on the strength of the evidentiary findings of the misconduct investigation. Pursuant to federal regulations administrative remedies are primarily remedial in nature and designed to protect the integrity of the affected research program, whereas statutory remedies including civil fines and criminal penalties are designed to deter and punish wrongdoers. (...) This commentary discusses the available administrative and statutory remedies in the context of a specific case, that of former University of Vermont nutrition researcher Eric Poehlman, and supplies a possible rationale for the legal result. (shrink)
The enigma of Eric Hoffer -- The migrant worker -- On the waterfront -- Intimate friendships -- The true believer -- Hoffer as a public figure -- The literary life -- America and the intellectuals -- God, Jehovah, and the Jews -- The longshoreman philosopher.
Eric Olson argues in The Human Animal that thought-experiments involving body-swapping do not in the end offer any support to psychological continuity theories, nor do they pose any threat to his Biological View. I argue that he is mistaken in at least the second claim.
Refusing to pursue recent and possible future developments in medical research is itself a morally momentous decision—and that inaction has consequences Cohen and other right-wing thinkers refuse to acknowledge. -/- .
This is an excellent book that deserves careful attention from anyone whose work touches on issues in the philosophy of mind and action. In it, Marcus challenges the dominant philosophical conception of the mind’s place in nature, according to which mentalistic explanations hold true only when mental states or events cause things to happen in the same way as physical states and events do. Against this conception, Marcus argues that mental causation is utterly dissimilar to most of the causation we (...) find in the physical realm, and that psychological achievements like believing and acting for reasons should be understood as manifestations of the rational ability self-consciously to represent good-making relations as holding between propositions and actions. (shrink)
In this paper I focus on the central role faith plays in the thought of Polanyi and Voegelin. I begin by indicating how both find the modern conception of scientific knowing seriously wanting. What Polanyi terms "objectivism" and Voegelin calls "scientism" is the modern tendency to reduce knowledge to only that which can be scientifically demonstrated. This errant view of knowledge does not occur in a vacuum, though, and both men draw a connection between this and the political pathologies of (...) the twentieth century. I then show the complementary ways in which these two thinkers believe recovery is possible: an epistemological solution encompassed in Polanyi's personal knowledge and an ontological reorientation that is the core of Voegelin's insistence that we must recover an awareness of human participation in transcendent reality. (shrink)
Eric Mack’s “Inside Public Reason” is thorough and fair-minded review of The Order of Public Reason. My deep thanks to him for his insights, as well as his judiciousness. In these remarks I cannot take up all the important matters he raises; in particular I put aside two important issues—the analysis of the political and discussion of how contingent social processes play a fundamental role in public justification (Fred D’Agostino focuses on this second feature of The Order of Public (...) Reason in his “The Orders of Public Reason,” Analytical Philosophy, forthcoming.). I plan to take up the latter on another occasion. (shrink)