It is argued that the arguments put forward by Bernard Williams and Thomas Nagel in their widely influential exchange on the problem of moral luck are marred by a failure to (i) present a coherent understanding of what is involved in the notion of luck, and (ii) adequately distinguish between the problem of moral luck and the analogue problem of epistemic luck, especially that version of the problem that is traditionally presented by the epistemological sceptic. It is further claimed that (...) once one offers a more developed notion of luck and disambiguates the problem of moral luck from the problem of epistemic luck (especially in its sceptical guise), neither of these papers is able to offer unambiguous grounds for thinking that there is a problem of moral luck. Indeed, it is shown that insofar as these papers succeed in making a prima facie case for the existence of epistemic luck, it is only the familiar sceptical variant of this problem that they identify. (shrink)
This article describes a project which involved an attempt to integrate an expert system with a hypertext database of primary and secondary text materials. Our chosen legal domain was that of the Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (The Brussels Convention 1968). In this article, we address three dimensions of system design. With regard to the legal dimension, we consider the choice of domain and the representation of both knowledge and data in the (...) system. On the technological dimension, we discuss the selection of software development tools and problems associated with keeping knowledge bases and databases up-to-date. Finally, we pay particular attention to the Cinderella dimension of legal expert system development — the user interface. (shrink)
What is Knowledge? Where does it come from? Can we know anything at all? This lucid and engaging introduction grapples with these central questions in the theory of knowledge, offering a clear, non-partisan view of the main themes of epistemology. Duncan Pritchard discusses both traditional issues and contemporary ideas in thirteen easily digestible sections which include: *the value of knowledge *the structure of knowledge *virtues and faculties *perception *testimony and memory *induction *scepticism What is this thing called knowledge? contains (...) many helpful student-friendly features, Each chapter concludes with a useful summary of the main ideas discussed, a glossary of important terms, study questions, annotated further reading, and a guide to web resources. Text-boxes provide bite-sized summaries of key concepts and major philosophers, and clear and interesting examples are used throughout. This is an ideal first textbook in the theory of knowledge for undergraduates taking a first course in philosophy. (shrink)
H. Wittman, A. Desmarais, and N. Wiebe (eds.): Food Sovereignty: Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community Content Type Journal Article Category Review Paper Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10806-012-9375-1 Authors Charles Francis, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, UNL, 279 Plant Science, Lincoln, NE 68583-0915, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Whereas a number of recent articles have focussed upon whether the thesis of content externalism is compatible with a certain sort of knowledge that is gained via first-person authority,1 far less attention has been given to the relationship that this thesis bears to the possession of knowledge in general and, in particular, its relation to internalist and externalist epistemologies. Nevertheless, although very few actual arguments have been presented to this end, there does seem to be a shared suspicion that content (...) externalism must be incompatible with epistemic internalism. In a recent and influential paper, however, James Chase has challenged this conventional wisdom by offering a subtle defence of the view that content externalism and epistemic internalism are, in fact, compatible after all.2 Our aim here is twofold. First, to show that Chase is only able to achieve this result because he focuses upon the internalist conception of justification, rather than knowledge. Second, to formulate one prima facie argument which shows that an internalist conception of knowledge is incompatible with an externalist conception of content, an argument which, moreover, is not touched by Chase. (shrink)
It is claimed that McDowell’s treatment of scepticism offers a potential way of resurrecting the much derided ‘Moorean’ response to scepticism in a fashion that avoids the problems facing classical internalist and externalist construals of neo-Mooreanism. I here evaluate the prospects for a McDowellian neo-Mooreanism and, in doing so, offer further support for the view.
A great deal of discussion in the recent literature has been devoted to the so-called 'McKinsey' paradox which purports to show that semantic externalism is incompatible with the sort of authoritative knowledge that we take ourselves to have of our own thought contents. In this paper I examine one influential epistemological response to this paradox which is due to Crispin Wright and Martin Davies. I argue that it fails to meet the challenge posed by McKinsey but that, if it is (...) set within an externalist epistemology, it may have application to a related paradox that concerns the problem of radical scepticism. (shrink)
: In this essay, I trace a rhetorical affinity between feminist postmodern theory and an Enlightenment narrative of development. This affinity consists in the valorization of mobility and the repudiation of locatedness. Although feminists deploy this rhetoric in order to accommodate differences and to accustom readers to the instability that results from such accommodation, I show how this rhetoric works to justify Western colonial development and to efface women's very different experiences of mobility in the early twenty-first century.
The program of intervening, manipulating, constructing and creating is central to natural and engineering sciences. A renewed wave of interest in this program has emerged within the recent practices and discourse of nano-technoscience. However, it is striking that, framed from the perspective of well-established epistemologies, the constructed technoscientific objects and engineered things remain invisible. Their ontological and epistemological status is unclear. The purpose of the present paper is to support present-day approaches to techno-objects ( ontology ) insofar as they make (...) these hidden objects epistemologically perceivable. To accomplish this goal, it is inspiring to look back to the origin of the project of modernity and to its founding father: Francis Bacon. The thesis is that everything we need today for an adequate (dialectic-materialist), ontologically well-informed epistemology of technoscience can be found in the works of Bacon—this position will be called epistemological real-constructivism. Rather than describing it as realist or constructivist, empiricist or rationalist, Bacon’s position can best be understood as real-constructivist since it challenges modern dichotomies, including the dichotomy between epistemology and ontology. Such real-constructive turn might serve to promote the acknowledgement that natural and engineering sciences, in particular recent technosciences, are creating and producing the world we live in. Reflection upon the contemporary relevance of Bacon is intended as a contribution to the expanding and critical discussion on nano-technoscience. (shrink)
Duncan Pritchard's version of the safety analysis of knowledge has it that for all contingent propositions, p, S knows that p iff S believes that p, p is true, and (the “safety principle”) in most nearby worlds in which S forms his belief in the same way as in the actual world, S believes that p only if p is true. Among the other virtues claimed by Pritchard for this view is its supposed ability to solve a version (...) of the lottery puzzle. In this paper, I argue that the safety analysis of knowledge in fact fails to solve the lottery puzzle. I also argue that a revised version of the safety principle recently put forward by Pritchard fares no better. (shrink)
In this paper, I raise some questions about Pritchard’s (2005) internalist argument for scepticism. I argue that his internalism begs the question in support of scepticism. Correlatively I advance what I take to be a better internalist argument for scepticism, one that leaves open the possibility of empirically adjudicating sceptical hypotheses. I close by discussing what it means to be an internalist.
Virtue epistemology is faced with the challenge of establishing the degree to which a knower’s cognitive success is attributable to her cognitive ability. As Duncan Pritchard notes, in some cases one is inclined to a strong version of virtue epistemology, one that requires cognitive success to be because of the exercise of the relevant cognitive abilities. In other cases, a weak version of virtue epistemology seems preferable, where cognitive success need only be the product of cognitive ability. Pritchard’s (...) preference, with his anti-luck virtue epistemology, is for the latter. But as Christoph Kelp has recently argued, this preference is not without controversy. Notably, Kelp argues that Pritchard on the basis of his anti-luck virtue epistemology is impelled to cast the wrong judgment in a case that Pritchard himself discusses many times in his writings, the so-called ‘Temp case’. Though Pritchard argues that Temp lacks knowledge because his cognitive success is not a result of his cognitive ability, I concur with Kelp that Pritchard’s epistemology should in fact attribute knowledge to Temp, and show this by locating weaknesses in three distinct arguments Pritchard uses to show that Temp lacks knowledge. I subsequently argue that if Pritchard wishes to persist in denying knowledge to Temp, he should endorse what I call the ‘true description’ requirement. I close the paper by providing an argument for this requirement, controversial though it is. (shrink)
Spike Lee’s film 25 th Hour begins with an act of violence that it does not show: instead, the viewer hears the sounds of a dog being beaten. The dog’s menacing growl is then transformed into the growling image of Montgomery ‘Monty’ Brogan’s car speeding through New York. Monty spots the dog, and stops. It is only then that the viewer witnesses the results of the film’s ‘foundational’ act of violence: the bloody body of a dog beaten to pulp. When (...) Monty approaches the dog, it turns out the animal ‘still has some bite left in him’. Perhaps because the dog is a fighter, Monty decides to save him. Although the dog resists, he ultimately manages to get the dog in the trunk of his car. But Monty does not emerge from the rescue operation unscathed: blood is trickling from a cut in his neck. This scene can be read as a pre-figuration of a stomach-turning scene towards the end of the film, in which Monty’s friend Francis ‘Frank’ Slaughtery will beat up Monty’s face beyond recognition so that Monty will not be raped on his first night in jail. Monty’s face recalls the dog at the beginning of the film. It is through the bloody mess of their bodies that Monty and the dog begin to communicate, to enter into communion. This essay explores how this communion, this communication between Monty and the dog, comes about. I am interested, specifically, in what the significance of such an exploration might be for contemporary conceptions of community. The essay initially approaches this topic against the background of Emmanuel Levinas’ work on ethics, in which the notion of the face has played a crucial role. But its aim is really to situate the film, through the references to the work of Francis Bacon that it includes, in a more contemporary, post-Levinasian debate on an ethics of defacement. I am particularly interested in exploring the significance of such an ethics in the post-September 11 era, which is explicitly evoked at the beginning of Lee’s film. My argument is that Monty and the dog begin to communicate, to enter into a communion, and thus to form a community, through a process of defacement that simultaneously strips them from their ways of life and propels them into a shared ethical and political becoming. (shrink)
"Notwithstanding Francis Bacon’s praise for the philosophical role of the mechanical arts, historians have often downplayed Bacon’s connections with actual artisans and entrepreneurs. Addressing the specific context of mining culture, this study proposes a rather different picture. The analysis of a famous mining metaphor in _The Advancement of Learning_ shows us how Bacon’s project of reform of knowledge could find an apt correspondence in civic and entrepreneurial values of his time. Also, Bacon had interesting and so far unexplored links (...) with the early modern English mining enterprises, like the Company of Mineral and Battery Works, of which he was a shareholder. Moreover, Bacon’s notes in a private notebook, _Commentarius Solutus_, and records of patents of invention, allow us to start grasping Bacon’s connections with the metallurgist and entrepreneur Thomas Russell. Lastly, this paper argues that, to fully understand Bacon’s links with the world of Stuart technicians and entrepreneurs, it is necessary to consider a different and insufficiently studied aspect of Bacon’s interests, namely his work as patents referee while a Commissioner of Suits.". (shrink)
Because Francis Galton (1822-1911) was a well-connected gentleman scientist with substantial private means, the importance of the role he played in the professionalization of the Victorian life-sciences has been considered anomalous. In contrast to the X-clubbers, he did not seem to have any personal need for the reforms his Darwinist colleagues were advocating. Nor for making common cause with individuals haling from social strata clearly inferior to his own. However, in this paper I argue that Galton quite realistically discerned (...) in the reforming endeavors of the 1860s, and beyond, the potential for considerably enhancing his own reputation and standing within both the scientific community and the broader Victorian culture. In addition, his professionalizing aspirations, and those of his reformist allies, were fully concordant with the interests, ambitions and perceived opportunities of his elite social group during the Victorian period. Professionalization appealed to gentlemen of Galton's status and financial security as much as it did to the likes of Thomas Huxley and John Tyndall, primarily because it promised to confer on the whole scientific enterprise an unprecedented level of social prestige. (shrink)
This article deals with the theatrical work of Francisco García Escalante, known as Francis, from the point of view of Gender and Queer Theory. Since the theater work of Francis belongs to popular culture, this article analyzes elements of Mexican Review Theater (similar to Musical Theater) in reference to the dynamics she used to present diverse masculinities on stage. This essay also compares Francis’ symbolical construction of gender with that of popular singer Juan Gabriel.
La crítica que Francis Bacon dirigió a la concepción aristotélica del movimiento no tuvo como punto de partida las obras originales de Aristóteles sino la vasta literatura de texto que durante los siglos XVI y XVII ofrecía una interpretación novedosa y ecléctica del pensamiento aristotélico. En este trabajo analizo la crítica de Bacon concentrándome en los textos aristotélicos más corrientes de su medio intelectual (Magirus, Keckermann, Conimbricenses, Toledo, Zabarella). El artículo está dividido en tres secciones: la crítica epistemológica, la (...) crítica del movimiento natural y el movimiento violento y la crítica del movimiento de ascenso y de descenso. En la conclusión señalo en qué medida la teoría baconiana del movimiento rechazó los conceptos aristotélicos y, al mismo tiempo, adoptó nociones aristotélicas claves al construir su propia clasificación de los movimientos. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the role of care and competence, as well as their relationship to one another, in contemporary medical practice. I distinguish between two types of care. The first type, care1, represents a natural concern that motivates physicians to help or to act on the behalf of patients, i.e. to care about them. However, this care cannot guarantee the correct technical or right ethical action of physicians to meet the bodily and existential needs of patients, i.e. to (...) take care of them—care2. To that end, physicians must be competent in the practice of medicine both as evidence—based science (technical competence) and as patient—centered art (ethical competence). Only then, I argue, can physicians take care of (care2) patients’ bodily and existential needs in a compassionate and comprehensive manner. Importantly, although care1 precedes competence, competence—both technical and ethical—is required for genuine care2, which in turn reinforces an authentic care1. I utilize the play Wit, especially the character Jason Posner, and Francis Peabody’s exposition on caring for patients, to illustrate the role of care and competence in contemporary medical practice. (shrink)
Resumo As festas, durante o século XVIII, desempenhavam um importante papel no cotidiano das associações de leigos e religiosas. As ordens terceiras franciscanas organizavam distintas celebrações no intuito de promover a instituição no campo religioso local, difundir suas devoções e, ao mesmo tempo, ampliar o seu recrutamento. Este artigo analisa alguns elementos constituintes das celebrações realizadas pelas ordens terceiras de São Francisco em diferentes cidades do império português (Braga e São Paulo), visando compreender o significado e a valorização atribuídos às (...) celebrações no interior das igrejas por essas agremiações. Para realizar esse estudo foram utilizados, principalmente, os livros contábeis das instituições com o objetivo de vislumbrar o investimento nas celebrações e as suas características particulares. A partir das informações compulsadas constata-se um dispêndio avultado com as cerimônias e com a manutenção do culto pelas ordens terceiras franciscanas, evidenciando a importância dedicada por essas associações às celebrações e às festas executadas em seus templos. Palavras-chave: ordem terceira de São Francisco; festa; império português.The festivals, during the eighteenth century, played an important role in the daily religious and lay associations. The Third Orders of St. Francis organized distinct celebrations in order to promote the institution in the local religious field, spread their devotions, and at the same time broaden their recruitment. This article examines some elements of the celebrations held by the Third Orders of St. Francis in different cities of the Portuguese empire (Braga and São Paulo), aiming to understand the meaning and value attributed to the celebrations inside the churches by these associations. To perform this study were primarily used the accounting books of the institutions in order to glimpse the investment in the celebrations and their characteristics. From the gathered information we find a compulsive spending with the ceremonies and the maintenance of worship by the Third Orders of St. Francis, indicating the importance given by these associations to celebrations and festivals performed in their temples. Keywords : Third Order of St. Francis; festival; Portuguese Empire. (shrink)
Afin de comprendre avec exactitude la manière dont Francis Bacon envisage la question de la prolongation de la vie humaine, il faut impérativement examiner l’assise théologique de la réflexion du philosophe à ce sujet. Il convient aussi de restituer l’intégration de cette réflexion dans les objectifs plus amples de la philosophie naturelle nouvelle. Enfin, il est nécessaire de comprendre les dimensions proprement morales de la question. Car la prolongation de la vie humaine n’est pas seulement, au sein de la (...) philosophie naturelle nouvelle, un cas parmi d’autres des recherches qu’il faut désormais effectuer : en réalité, c’est elle qui lui donne et qui lui fixe son sens ; avec elle se joue l’effectivité de l’identité espérée entre science et puissance. Mais il faut encore préciser qu’il ne s’agit aucunement pour l’homme de vieillir pour vieillir : il s’agit pour lui de pouvoir vieillir bien. Les leçons que Bacon tire de la fable de Tithon sont ici véritablement décisives. (shrink)
This authoritative edition was originally published in the acclaimed Oxford Authors series under the general editorship of Frank Kermode. It brings together an extensive collection of Bacon's writing - the major prose in full, together with sixteen other pieces not otherwise available - to give the essence of his work and thinking. -/- Although he had a distinguished career as a lawyer and statesman, Francis Bacon's lifelong goal was to improve and extend human knowledge. In The Advancement of Learning (...) (1605) he made a brilliant critique of the deficiencies of previous systems of thought and proposed improvements to knowledge in every area of human life. He conceived the Essays (1597, much enlarged in 1625) as a study of the formative influences on human behaviour, psychological and social. In The New Atlantis (1626) he outlined his plan for a scientific research institute in the form of a Utopian fable. In addition to these major English works this edition includes 'Of Tribute', an important early work here printed complete for the first time, and a revealing selection of his legal and political writings, together with his poetry. -/- A special feature of the edition is its extensive annotation which identifies Bacon's sources and allusions, and glosses his vocabulary. (shrink)
This volume belongs to the first new critical edition of the works of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) to have been produced since the nineteenth century. The edition presents the works in broadly chronological order and according to the best principles of modern textual scholarship. The seven works in the present volume belong to the final completed stages (Parts III-V) of Bacon's hugely ambitious six-part sequence of philosophical works, collectively entitled Instauratio magna (1620-6). All are presented in the original Latin with (...) new facing-page translations. Three of the seven texts (substantial works in two cases, and all sharing a startlingly improbable textual history) are published and translated here for the first time: these are an early version of the Historia densi, the 'lost' Abecedarium, and the Historia de animato & inanimato. Another - the Prodromi sive anticipationes philosophiae secundae - has likewise never been translated before. Together with their commentaries and the introduction they open the way to important new understandings of Bacon's mature philosophical thought. (shrink)
This is the first critical edition since the nineteenth century of Bacon's principal philosophical work in English, The Twoo Bookes of Francis Bacon. Of the proficience and advancement of Learning, divine and humane - traditionally known as The Advancement of Learning.
This volume inaugurates a new critical edition of the writings of the great English philosopher and sage Francis Bacon (1561-1626) - the first such complete edition for more than a hundred years. It contains six of Bacon's Latin scientific works, each accompanied by entirely new facing-page translations which, together with the extensive introduction and commentaries, offer fresh insights into one of the great minds of the early seventeenth century.
The major aim of this article consists in ascertaining the reasons which drove Bacon to compose what he called Instauratio Magna: a great institution of the future science in terms of an broad restoration of the past of science. It brings an exposition of his project (of what he meant to do) in contradistinction to what he effectively accomplished. Cconsidering that Kant dedicated to Bacon his Critique of Pure Reason, it is also an imperative concern of this article to search (...) for the reasons of this dedication. (shrink)
Duncan Pritchard has, in the years following his (2005) defence of a safety-based account of knowledge in Epistemic Luck, abjured his (2005) view that knowledge can be analysed exclusively in terms of a modal safety condition. He has since (Pritchard in Synthese 158:277–297, 2007; J Philosophic Res 34:33–45, 2009a, 2010) opted for an account according to which two distinct conditions function with equal importance and weight within an analysis of knowledge: an anti-luck condition (safety) and an ability condition-the (...) latter being a condition aimed at preserving what Pritchard now takes to be a fundamental insight about knowledge: that it arises from cognitive ability (Greco 2010; Sosa 2007, 2009). Pritchard calls his new view anti-luck virtue epistemology (ALVE). A key premise in Pritchard’s argument for ALVE is what I call the independence thesis; the thesis that satisfying neither the anti-luck condition nor the ability condition entails that the other is satisfied. Pritchard’s argument for the independence thesis relies crucially upon the case he makes for thinking that cognitive achievements are compatible with knowledge-undermining environmental luck—that is, the sort of luck widely thought to undermine knowledge in standard barn facade cases. In the first part of this paper, I outline the key steps in Pritchard’s argument for anti-luck virtue epistemology and highlight how it is that the compatibility of cognitive achievement and knowledge- undermining environmental luck is indispensible to the argument’s success. The second part of this paper aims to show that this compatibility premise crucial to Pritchard’s argument is incorrect. (shrink)
Duncan Pritchard (2008, 2009, 2010, forthcoming) has argued for an elegant solution to what have been called the value problems for knowledge at the forefront of recent literature on epistemic value. As Pritchard sees it, these problems dissolve once it is recognized that that it is understanding-why, not knowledge, that bears the distinctive epistemic value often (mistakenly) attributed to knowledge. A key element of Pritchard’s revisionist argument is the claim that understanding-why always involves what he calls strong (...) cognitive achievement—viz., cognitive achievement that consists always in either (i) the overcoming of a significant obstacle or (ii) the exercise of a significant level of cognitive ability. After outlining Pritchard’s argument, we show (contra Pritchard) that understanding-why does not essentially involve strong cognitive achievement. Interestingly, in the cases in which understanding-why is distinctively valuable, it is (we argue) only because there is sufficiently rich objectual understanding in the background. If that’s right, then a plausible revisionist solution to the value problems must be sensitive to different kinds of understanding and what makes them valuable, respectively. (shrink)
In Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007) Francis Beckwith argues that fetuses are such that, from conception, they are prima facie wrong to kill. He thinks abortion is almost never permissible beyond rare cases where, unless the fetus is killed, both the pregnant woman and the fetus will die. He defends his view not from religiously-justified premises but by appealing to “a particular metaphysics of the human person” that he calls “The (...) Substance View.” I will argue that such metaphysics is irrelevant to the morality of abortion. Beckwith’s metaphysics thereby neither supports, nor detracts from, his abortion ethic. Moral, not metaphysical, assumptions drive the argument, and Beckwith inadequately defends these assumptions. Indeed, they are often false, and his main argument is unsound. (130 words). (shrink)
I take issue with two claims that Duncan Pritchard makes in his recent book, Epistemic Luck. The first concerns his safety-based response to the lottery problem; the second his account of the relationship between safety and intellectual virtue.
Elsewhere I have argued that the most significant threat to scientific realism arises from what I call the problem of unconceived alternatives: the repeated failure of past scientists and scientific communities to even conceive of alternatives to extant scientific theories, even when such alternatives were both (1) well-confirmed by the evidence available at the time and (2) sufficiently scientifically serious as to be actually embraced in the course of further investigation. In this paper I explore Francis Galton’s development and (...) defense of his “stirp” theory of inheritance and conclude that this particular historical example offers impressive support for the challenge posed by the problem of unconceived alternatives while simultaneously showing how we can make that challenge deeper and sharper. (shrink)
An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense (1728), jointly with Francis Hutcheson’s earlier work Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725), presents one of the most original and wide-ranging moral philosophies of the eighteenth century. These two works, each comprising two semi-autonomous treatises, were widely translated and vastly influential throughout the eighteenth century in England, continental Europe, and America. -/- The two works had (...) their greatest impact in Scotland and influenced many well-known Scottish philosophers, particularly those writing after the last Jacobite upheaval, in 1745. This can be seen in the concern of the post-1745 generation with analyzing human nature as the foundation of moral theory, with the “moral sense” and moral epistemology more generally, with the impartial spectator and the calm passions, and with the independence of benevolence from self-interest. In addition to the influence of his writings, Hutcheson was also a famed teacher whose Glasgow students, notably Adam Smith, held sway over generations of Scottish moral philosophers. -/- Despite their impact on Scottish letters, the four treatises were in fact written in Dublin, and the philosophers to whom Hutcheson responded and with whom he debated were in the main not Scottish but English, Irish, French, Roman, and Greek. Consequently, part of Hutcheson’s legacy was a cosmopolitan outlook among enlightened Scots, who learned to turn their eyes far from home. (shrink)
In Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (2007) and an earlier article in this journal, "Defending Abortion Philosophically"(2006), Francis Beckwith argues that fetuses are, from conception, prima facie wrong to kill. His arguments are based on what he calls a "metaphysics of the human person" known as "The Substance View." I argue that Beckwith’s metaphysics does not support his abortion ethic: Moral, not metaphysical, claims that are part of this Substance View are the foundation of (...) the argument, and Beckwith inadequately defends these moral claims. Thus, Beckwith’s arguments do not provide strong support for what he calls the "pro-life" view of abortion. (shrink)
Francis Bacon (15611626) wrote that good scientists are not like ants (mindlessly gathering data) or spiders (spinning empty theories). Instead, they are like bees, transforming nature into a nourishing product. This essay examines Bacon's "middle way" by elucidating the means he proposes to turn experience and insight into understanding. The human intellect relies on "machines" to extend perceptual limits, check impulsive imaginations, and reveal nature's latent causal structure, or "forms." This constructivist interpretation is not intended to supplant inductivist or (...) experimentalist interpretations, but is designed to explicate Bacon's account of science as a collaborative project with several interdependent methodological goals. (shrink)
An epistemological how-possible question asks how knowledge, or knowledge of some specific kind, is possible. The main contention of Duncan Pritchard‟s stimulating comments is that what I call „explanatory minimalism‟ appears to offer us just what we are seeking when we ask such a question. This looks like a problem for me given that I defend a version of explanatory anti-minimalism. Pritchard outlines a version of minimalism inspired by the writings of John McDowell and does not find it (...) obvious that this position is lacking in any relevant respect. Nor do I. My minimalism is moderate rather than extreme but Pritchard‟s objections to anti-minimalism are objections to extreme anti-minimalism. Indeed, his comments do not seem to me to have any direct bearing on what I take to be the fundamental disagreement between minimalism and anti-minimalism. (shrink)
Like all theories that account for moral motivation, Francis Hutcheson's moral sense theory faces two related challenges. The skeptical challenge calls into question what reasons an agent has to be moral at all. The priority challenge asks why an agent's reasons to be moral tend to outweigh her non-moral reasons to act. I argue a defender of Hutcheson can respond to these challenges by building on unique features of his account. She can respond to skeptical challenge by drawing a (...) direct parallel between an agent's reasons to pursue natural, self-directed goods and her reasons to pursue moral goods. This parallel, however, makes establishing the significance of morality difficult. Given this difficulty, a separate aspect of Hutcheson's account, the additional weight given to benevolence in our assessment of mixed actions, can be used to respond to the priority challenge. (shrink)
This is the first modern book to describe Francis Bacon's jurisprudence. He has long been famous as a scientist, philosopher, politician and literary giant, but his career as one of England's greatest lawyers and jurists has been largely overlooked. Bacon's major contribution to Anglo-American jurisprudence is presented in such a way as to be suitable to specialists and non-specialists alike. The purpose is to restore Bacon to his rightful place as England's first true critical and analytical jurist, and to (...) describe how his legal thought related to his other great intellectual achievements. (shrink)
Breaking with a Puritan past -- A mother's concern -- Turmoil and diversity in the English Reformation -- The influences and the options available in English -- Reformation theology -- Intellectual trends : patristics and hebrew -- Millennialism and the belief in a providential age -- Bacon's break with the godly -- Bacon's turn toward the ancient faith -- The formative years -- Bacon and Andrewes -- The Meditationes sacrae and Bacon's turn away from calvinism -- Bacon's confession of faith (...) -- In the beginning : the creation of nature and the nature of the fall the instauration as an event in sacred history -- The ages of the world and the chain of causes -- Creation as a pattern for human learning -- Humanity in the garden -- Knowledge and the fall -- Knowledge as a support for the faith -- Human effort as the key to recovery -- On the way of salvation : Bacon's twofold via salutis -- Bbacon and original sin -- Patterns in divine action and prophecies of instauration -- The instauration in the history of providence -- Bacon's providential age -- The conditions for instauration -- In the autumn of the world : features of the age of instauration -- Irenaeus and Francis Bacon on the golden age -- Inaugurated eschatology in Bacon's instauration -- Laborers in the fields of instauration : orders and offices -- Rebuilding the temple of nature -- Human agency and the instauration -- The problem of confusing the two books -- The possibility of immortality -- Bacon's circle and his legacy -- Bacon's literary circle -- Tobie Matthew (1577-1655) -- William Rawley (1588-1667) -- Henry Wotton (15681639) -- Thomas Bushell (1594-1674) -- John Selden (1584-1654) -- George Herbert (1593-1633) -- Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) -- Thomas Bodley (1545-1613) -- Conclusions regarding Bacon's literary circle -- The reform of learning in the Civil War and the commonwealth the restoration and the Royal Society -- The Enlightenment transformation of Bacon's memory. (shrink)