This historical study of the infinite covers all its aspects from the mathematical to the mystical. Anyone who has ever pondered the limitlessness of space and time, or the endlessness of numbers, or the perfection of God will recognize the special fascination of the subject. Beginning with an entertaining account of the main paradoxes of the infinite, including those of Zeno, A.W. Moore traces the history of the topic from Aristotle to Kant, Hegel, Cantor, and Wittgenstein.
A. W. Moore argues in this bold, unusual, and ambitious book that it is possible to think about the world from no point of view. His argument involves discussion of a very wide range of fundamental philosophical issues, including the nature of persons, the subject-matter of mathematics, realism and anti-realism, value, the inexpressible, and God. The result is a powerful critique of our own finitude.
[A. W. Moore] There are criteria of ineffability whereby, even if the concept of ineffability can never serve to modify truth, it can sometimes (non-trivially) serve to modify other things, specifically understanding. This allows for a reappraisal of the dispute between those who adopt a traditional reading of Wittgenstein's Tractatus and those who adopt the new reading recently championed by Diamond, Conant, and others. By maintaining that what the nonsense in the Tractatus is supposed to convey is ineffable understanding, (...) rather than ineffable truth, we can do considerable justice to each of these readings. We can also do considerable justice to the Tractatus. /// [Peter Sullivan] Moore proposes to cut between 'traditional' and 'new' approaches to the Tractatus, suggesting that Wittgenstein's intention is to convey, through the knowing use of nonsense, ineffable understanding. I argue, first, that there is indeed room for a proposal of Moore's general kind. Secondly, though, I question whether Moore's actual proposal is not more in tune with Wittgenstein's later thought than with the attitude of the Tractatus. (shrink)
Two of W. V. Quine''s most familiar doctrines are his endorsement of the distinction between underdetermination and indeterminacy, and his rejection of the distinction between analytic and synthetic truths. The author argues that these two doctrines are incompatible. In terms wholly acceptable to Quine, and based on the underdetermination/indeterminacy distinction, the author draws an exhaustive and exclusive distinction between two kinds of true sentences, and then argues that this corresponds to the traditional analytic/synthetic distinction. In an appendix the author expands (...) on one aspect of the underdetermination/indeterminacy distinction, as construed here, and discusses, in passing, some of Quine''s more general views on truth. (shrink)
In this bold and innovative new work, Adrian Moore provides a refreshing but challenging new interpretation of Kant's moral philosophy and argues that it can enrich our understanding of a central problem in contemporary ethical debate: the problem of rationality. Noble in Reason, Infinite in Faculty is essential reading for all those interested in Kant, ethics and philosophy of religion.
This volume presents a selection of the most important writings in the debate on the nature of meaning and reference which started one hundred years ago with Frege's classic essay "On Sense and Reference." Contributors include Bertrand Russell, P.F. Strawson, W.V. Quine, Donald Davidson, John McDowell, Michael Dummett, Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke, David Wiggins, and Gareth Evans. The aim of this series is to bring together important recent writings in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a wide variety of (...) sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. (shrink)
Dans quelle mesure la philosophie du langage ordinaire, faite par des anglophones (usagers de l'English language,) qui réfléchissent sur la langue (language encore) et son usage correct, est-elle liée à l'anglais ? Ainsi, quand elle traite de la nature de la connaissance, se peut-il qu'il s'agisse de questions induites par le terme knowledge (connaissance/savoir) ? Adrian Moore instruit la cohérence d'une réponse négative à partir d'une réflexion sur le « nous » qui parle. Mais il voit dans l'impossibilité de (...) principe pour la philosophie du langage ordinaire de denier toute force à ce lien une bonne raison pour la philosophie analytique aujourd'hui de ne pas s'y laisser réduire. (shrink)
In this essay I consider the argument that Bernard Williams advances in ‘The Makropolus Case’ for the meaninglessness of immortality. I also consider various counter-arguments. I suggest that the more clearly these counter-arguments are targeted at the spirit of Williams's argument, rather than at its letter, the less clearly they pose a threat to it. I then turn to Nietzsche, whose views about the eternal recurrence might appear to make him an opponent of Williams. I argue that, properly interpreted, these (...) views in fact make him an ally. (shrink)
In his What is Business Ethics? Peter Drucker accuses business ethics of singling out business unfairly for special ethical treatment, of subordinating ethical to political concerns, and of being, not ethics at all, but ethical chic. We contend that Drucker's denunciation of business ethics rests upon a fundamental misunderstanding of the field. This article is a response to his charges and an effort to clarify the nature, scope and purpose of business ethics.
For over two thousand years thought about the infinite was dominated by Aristotelian hostility to the idea that the infinite could be a legitimate object of mathematical study. Then Cantor's work late in the nineteenth century seemed to overturn this orthodoxy. However, by highlighting ways in which infinitude still could not be brought under the control of mathematicians, Cantor's work may in fact have reinforced the orthodoxy.
A questionnaire on business ethics was administered to business professionals and to upper-class business ethics students. On eight of the seventeen situations involving ethical dilemmas in business, students were significantly more willing to engage in questionable behavior than were their professional counterparts. Apparently, many students were willing to do whatever was necessary to further their own interests, with little or no regard for fundamental moral principles. Many students and professionals functioned within Lawrence Kohlberg's stage four of moral reasoning, the law (...) and order stage. Individualism and egoism remain strong patterns in the moral reasoning of many professionals, but they influence moral reasoning patterns among students to a much greater degree. (shrink)
Restrictions upon international bribery by U.S. business firms, as incorporated in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, have been controversial since this legislation was passed in 1977. Despite many attempts to repeal or change the law, it remains as originally enacted.This article reports on a survey of U.S. business professionals concerning international bribery. Response to our survey reveals a divided business community in terms of their opinions on the ethics of international payments prohibited by the present law.
The psycholinguistic literature has identified two syntactic adaptation effects in language production: rapidly decaying short-term priming and long-lasting adaptation. To explain both effects, we present an ACT-R model of syntactic priming based on a wide-coverage, lexicalized syntactic theory that explains priming as facilitation of lexical access. In this model, two well-established ACT-R mechanisms, base-level learning and spreading activation, account for long-term adaptation and short-term priming, respectively. Our model simulates incremental language production and in a series of modeling studies, we show (...) that it accounts for (a) the inverse frequency interaction; (b) the absence of a decay in long-term priming; and (c) the cumulativity of long-term adaptation. The model also explains the lexical boost effect and the fact that it only applies to short-term priming. We also present corpus data that verify a prediction of the model, that is, that the lexical boost affects all lexical material, rather than just heads. (shrink)
The author begins with an outline of Bernard William's moral philosophy, within which he locates William's notorious doctrine that reflection can destroy ethical knowledge. He then gives a partial defence of this doctrine, exploiting an analogy between ethical judgements and tensed judgements. The basic idea is that what the passage of time does for the latter, reflection can do for the former: namely, prevent the re-adoption of an abandoned point of view (an ethical point of view in the one case, (...) a temporal point of view in the other). In the final section the author says a little about how reflection might do this. Footnotes1 This essay is derived from a lecture entitled ‘Bernard Williams’, delivered at Oxford University in 2000, in the series ‘Oxford Philosophers on Oxford Philosophers’, organized by Peter Hacker and David Wiggins. I am grateful to those who attended the lecture, and to Bernard Williams, for helpful comments. (shrink)
Kant, in his third Critique, confronts the issue of how rule-governed objective judgement is possible. He argues that it requires a particular kind of aesthetic response to one's experience. I dub this response 'the Feeling of Unity', and I raise the question whether it is a type of inexpressible knowledge. Using David Bell's account of these matters as a touchstone, I argue that it is.
Research on the relationship between religious commitment and business ethics has produced widely varying results and made the impact of such commitment unclear. This study presents an empirical investigation based on a questionnaire survey of business managers and professionals in the United States yielding a database of 1234 respondents. Respondents evaluated the ethical acceptability of 16 business decisions. Findings varied with the way in which the religion variable was measured. Little relationship between religious commitment and ethical judgment was found when (...) responses were compared on the basis of broad faith categories – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, other religions, and no religion. However, respondents who indicated that religious interests were of high or moderate importance to them demonstrated a higher level of ethical judgment (less accepting of unethical decisions) than others in their evaluations. Evangelical Christians also showed a higher level of ethical judgment. (shrink)
This article analyzes the attitudes of United States business professionals toward the issue of international bribery, and in particular, whether or not having a written code of ethics has an effect on these attitudes. A vignette relating to international bribery from a widely used survey instrument was employed in a nationwide survey of business professionals to gather information on ethical attitudes of respondents. Data were also collected on gender of respondents, whether or not respondents were self-employed, whether or not the (...) respondents' firms had a written code of ethics, and to what extent the respondents' firms generated revenues from international operations. Attitudes concerning whether or not international bribery is ever acceptable exhibited wide dispersion. Respondents from firms that have a written code of ethics were significantly less likely to find international bribery acceptable. Firms that generate revenues from international operations were significantly more likely to have a written code of ethics than were firms which did not generate revenues from international operations. Implications of the findings for business policy are discussed. (shrink)