In this essay I propose an interpretative and explanatory structure for the so-called argumentum ex silento, or argument from silence (henceforth referred to as the AFS). To this end, I explore two examples, namely, Sherlock Holmes’s oft-quoted notice of the “curious incident of the dog in the night-time” from Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “Silver Blaze,” and the historical question of Paul of Tarsus’s silence on biographical details of the historical Jesus. Through these cases, I conclude that the AFS serves (...) as a dialogical topos best evaluated and understood through the perceived authority of the arguer and the willingness of the audience to accept that authority, due to the “curious” nature of the negative evidence that the argument employed. (shrink)
In October 1924, The Physical Review, a relatively minor journal at the time, published a remarkable two-part paper by John H. Van Vleck, working in virtual isolation at the University of Minnesota. Van Vleck used Bohr's correspondence principle and Einstein's quantum theory of radiation to find quantum formulae for the emission, absorption, and dispersion of radiation. The paper is similar but in many ways superior to the well-known paper by Kramers and Heisenberg published the following year that is widely credited (...) to have led directly to Heisenberg's Umdeutung paper. As such, it clearly shows how strongly the discovery of matrix mechanics depended on earlier work on the application of the correspondence principle to the interaction of matter and radiation. (shrink)
New Waves in Philosophy, a book collection that stands out for giving a snapshot of research in all areas of philosophy is a successful editorial project addressed by Vincent F. Hendricks and Duncan Pritchard. New Waves in Philosophy of Action is one of its last titles, edited by Jesús H. Aguilar, Andrei A. Buckareff and Keith Frankish. -/- The book is aimed at the researchers of all fields and readers in general interested in this sub-discipline of philosophy very difficult (...) to localize (is it part of a sub-discipline such as metaphysics or maybe part of the philosophy of mind?). What is and how can we know the nature of intentions and its role in action? (shrink)
This anthology is the first devoted exclusively to On Certainty. The essays are grouped under four headings: the Framework, Transcendental, Epistemic and Therapeutic readings, and an introduction helps explain why these readings need not be seen as antagonistic. Contributions from W.H. Brenner, Alice Crary, Michael Kober, Edward Minar, Howard Mounce, Daniele Moyal-Sharrock, Thomas Morawetz, D.Z. Phillips, Duncan Pritchard, Rupert Read, Anthony Rudd, Joachim Schulte, Avrum Stroll, Michael Williams.
In January 1867 T.H. Green gave a series of Four Lectures on the English Commonwealth to the Edinburgh Philosophical Institute, which were then published, on the testimony of 'competent judges', in the third volume of his Collected Works edited by R.L. Nettleship. Green's family background ensured that he had strong interests in the history of Puritanism and the figure of Oliver Cromwell, and he was thoroughly immersed in many of the political and religious controversies of the later quarter of the (...) nineteenth century. Nevertheless, his assessment of the English Commonwealth as a fruit of the Reformation, rather than as a discrete transformation in political culture, has received relatively little attention in the massive literature devoted to Green's political philosophy. This essay assesses these lectures in order to show their importance for understanding in particular his analysis of freedom. It argues that without an understanding of his account of the origins of modern legal freedom born out of the English Revolution, analyses of Green's theory of freedom remain partial and incomplete. It does so by illustrating in detail the content of the lectures, the intellectual and historical debates in English philosophy and German theology that buttressed his arguments, by locating Green's Lectures within wider accounts of the character of English exceptionalism, and by attempting to examine the political context that helped to structure Green's analysis. (shrink)
This volume is a collection of papers, all but one of which were presented at a conference on the same topic at the University of Montreal in 2001. The editors have also added a brief introduction, half of which is devoted to a very quick overview of some of the relevant background literature on weakness of will and practical irrationality, while the other half summarizes the main claims of each of the papers in the volume. The contributors, in order of (...) appearance, are Michael Smith, Richard Holton, Philip Pettit, Christine Tappolet, Sarah Stroud, Sergio Tenenbaum, Gary Watson, Ralph Wedgwood, Duncan MacIntosh, Joseph Heath, and Ronald de Sousa. As is common in reviews of collections such as this one, I will first briefly summarize each contribution, and then comment in more detail on one of the papers. (shrink)
Russell’s rejection in 1898 of the doctrine of internal relations — the view that all relations are grounded in the intrinsic properties of the terms related — was a decisive part of his break with Hegelianism and opened the way for his turn to analytic philosophy. Before rejecting it, Russell had given the doctrine little thought, though it played an essential role in the most intractable of the problems facing his attempt to construct a Hegelian dialectic of the sciences. I (...) argue that it was Russell’s early reading of Leibniz, in preparation for his lectures on Leibniz given at Cambridge in 1899, that most probably alerted him to the role the doctrine was playing in his own philosophy. Leibniz defended a similar doctrine and extricated it from difficulties like those faced by Russell by means of devices that were not open to Russell. Russell would have come across these views of Leibniz in writings by Leibniz that he read in the summer of 1898, just before he rejected the doctrine of internal relations. References F. H. Bradley. Appearance and Reality. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968. Originally published 1893. Nicholas Griffin. Russell’s Idealist Apprenticeship. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991. Nicholas Griffin. Russell and Leibniz on the Classification of Propositions. In Ralf Krömer and Yannick Chin-Drian, editors, New Essays on Leibniz Reception. Basel, Birkhäuser, pp. 85–127, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-0346-0504-5 G. W. Leibniz. Die Philosophischen Schriften von Leibniz, 7 Volumes. Edited by C.I. Gerhardt. Berlin, Weidman, 1875–90. G. W. Leibniz. The Philosophical Works of Leibnitz. Edited by G.M. Duncan. New Haven, Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor, 1890. G. W. Leibniz. New Essays Concerning Human Understanding, Translated by A.G. Langley. London, Macmillan, 1896. G. W. Leibniz. The Monadology and other Philosophical Writings. Edited by R. Latta. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1898. G. W. Leibniz. Philosophical Papers and Letters, 2 Volumes. Edited by L.E. Loemker. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1956. G. W. Leibniz. New Essays Concerning Human Understanding, Translated and Edited by Peter Remnant and Jonathan Bennett. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981. Massimo Mugnai. Leibniz’ Theory of Relations. Stuttgart: Steiner, 1992. Massimo Mugnai. Leibniz’s Ontology of Relations: A Last Word?. In Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, Volume IV. Edited by Daniel Garber and Donald Rutherford. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659593.001.0001 Walter H. O’Briant. Russell on Leibniz. Studia Leibniziana, 11: 159–222, 1979. B. Russell. An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry. New York, Dover, 1956. B. Russell. My Philosophical Development. London, Allen and Unwin, 1959. B. Russell. The Principles of Mathematics. London: Allen and Unwin, 1964. B. Russell. The Monistic Theory of Truth. In Philosophical Essays New York, Simon and Schuster, pages 131–46, 1968. B. Russell. A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. London, Allen and Unwin, 1975. B. Russell, The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 1, Cambridge Essays, 1888–99, edited by Kenneth Blackwell, et al. London, Allen and Unwin, 1983. B. Russell. The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 2, Philosophical Papers, 1896–99, edited by Nicholas Grif?n and Albert C. Lewis. London, Routledge, 1989a. B. Russell. On the Relations of Number and Quantity (1897). In Russell [1989a], pages 70–82, 1989b. B. Russell. An Analysis of Mathematical Reasoning (1898). In Russell [1989a], pages 163–241, 1989c. B. Russell. The Classification of Relations (1899), in Russell [1989a], pages 138–46, 1989d. B. Russell. The Fundamental Ideas and Axioms of Mathematics (1899). In Russell [1989a], pages 265–305, 1989e. B. Russell. The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 3, Towards “The Principles of Mathematics”, 1900–02, edited by Gregory H. Moore. London, Routledge, 1993a. B. Russell. The Principles of Mathematics, 1899–1900 Draft. In Russell [1993a], pages 13–180, 1993b. B. Russell. The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 11, Last Philosophical Testament, 1943–68. Edited by John G. Slater. London, Routledge, 1997. (shrink)
Skeptical of the arguments put forth in Robert Duncan's long-awaited, post-humously published The H. D. Book, this review essay questions the elevation of Pre-Raphaelite, Aestheticist, and Decadent poetry that forms the basis of Duncan's revisionist canon—a revision in which Wallace Stevens and T. S. Eliot are dismissed as “merely rational,” while H. D. and Duncan himself are elevated to the uppermost ranks, just beneath Ezra Pound. The essay focuses on the peculiarity of “Wardour Street” diction returning to (...) poetry in the postmodern era (especially in the verse of Gjertrud Schnackenberg) and connects this development to the nostalgia evidenced in Duncan's occultism. Placing the New Critics with the poets Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur, Duncan dismisses them all as “academics” and “descendants of those ministers of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, holding out against the magic of poetry as once they held out against the magic-religion of witch cults.” Emphasizing that it is the witch cults with which Duncan evidently sides, the essay concludes that Duncan's reranking of poets is no more reliable than his attitude toward rationality. (shrink)
Wisdom, J. L. Susan Stebbing, 1885-1943, an appreciation.--Acton, H. B. Moral ends and means.--Laird, J. Reflections occasioned by ideals and illusions.--Edgell, B. The way of behaviour.--Oakeley, H. D. Is there reason in history?--Mace, C. A. The logic of elucidation.--Ewing, A. C. Philosophical analysis.--Duncan-Jones, A. The concert ticket.--Black, M. Logic and semantics.--Saw, R. L. The grounds of induction in Professor Whitehead's philosophy of nature.--Russell, L. J. Epistemology and the ego-centric predicament.--Susan Stebbing: publications (p. 155-156).
Ronald Preston defended the middle axiom approach to doing Christian social ethics developed by J. H. Oldham for the 1937 ‘Life and Work’ conference. Preston argued that middle axioms continue to offer the churches a relevant ecumenical method. Middle axions has since been subject to fundamental criticism by ethicists such as Duncan Forrester. It will be argued that a case study of the Church of Scotland's contribution to the devolution debate, as part of Scottish civil society, supports Preston's defence (...) of the middle axiom approach as a relevant form of political engagement in the new context of local-global politics. (shrink)
xxiii + 293. Price £50.00 h/b). Thinking About Knowing. By JAY F. ROSENBERG. (Oxford UP, 2002. Pp. viii + 257. Price £30.00 h/b). Epistemology is currently enjoying a renaissance. To a large extent, this has been sparked by some exciting new proposals, such as the contextualist theories advanced by Stewart Cohen, Keith DeRose, David Lewis and Michael Williams, the modal conceptions of knowledge offered by Fred Dretske and Robert Nozick, and the virtue epistemologies put forward by John Greco, Ernest Sosa (...) and Linda Zagzebski, to name but three currently popular views. Increasingly, however, this rebirth in epistemological theorising has been driven less by the production of new theories and more by the application of the latest batch of novel proposals to other areas of philosophy. A good illustration of this from the selection of books under review here is the contemporary debate regarding the vexed relationship between content externalism and self-knowledge that is the 2 focus of the volume of essays edited by Susana Nuccetelli. Here we have a controversy that has blended some of the most innovative aspects of recent epistemological theorising with issues in the philosophy of mind and language, with the emphasis being on the so-called ‘McKinsey paradox’ concerning the putative incompatibility of content externalism and privileged self-knowledge. Whilst early responses to this supposed paradox concentrated on the formulation of the content externalist thesis whilst treating the epistemic concepts at issue as, essentially, primitives, more recent work in this area has drawn-out some of the epistemological implications of this debate and looked at how these implications fit in with recent movements in epistemology. Many of the articles collected in this volume are instances of this ‘second phase’ of the debate. In particular, it is tremendously useful to have the new articles by Martin Davies and Crispin Wright which revisit a previous exchange between the pair where some of the epistemological morals of the McKinsey debate were first extracted.. (shrink)
Using H. Whitney's algebra of physical quantities and his definition of a similarity transformation, a family of similar systems (R. L. Causey  and ) is any maximal collection of subsets of a Cartesian product of dimensions for which every pair of subsets is related by a similarity transformation. We show that such families are characterized by dimensionally invariant laws (in Whitney's sense, , not Causey's). Dimensional constants play a crucial role in the formulation of such laws. They are represented (...) as a function g, known as a system measure, from the family into a certain Cartesian product of dimensions and having the property gφ =φ g for every similarity φ . The dimensions involved in g are related to the family by means of certain stability groups of similarities. A one-to-one system measure is a proportional representing function, which plays an analogous role in Causey's theory, but not conversely. The present results simplify and clarify those of Causey. (shrink)
A detailed theoretical analysis is presented of what five utility representations – subjective expected utility (SEU), rank-dependent (cumulative or Choquet) utility (RDU), gains decomposition utility (GDU), rank weighted utility (RWU), and a configural-weight model (TAX) that we show to be equivalent to RWU – say about a series of independence properties, many of which were suggested by M. H. Birnbaum and his coauthors. The goal is to clarify what implications to draw about the descriptive aspects of the representations from data (...) concerning these properties. The upshot is a sharp rejection of SEU and RDU and no clear choice between GDU and TAX, but a list of 8 properties is given that should receive more attention to discriminate between the latter two models. (shrink)