George Herbert Mead's early lectures at the University of Chicago are more important to understanding the genesis of his views in social psychology than some commentators, such as Hans Joas, have emphasized. Mead's lecture series "The Evolution of the Psychical Element," preserved through the notes of student H. Heath Bawden, demonstrate his devotion to Hegelianism as a method of thinking and how this influenced his non-reductionistic approach to functional psychology. In addition, Mead's breadth of historical knowledge as well as (...) his commitments in the natural and social sciences are on display here, culminating in the Darwinian observation that human animals only achieve the degree of control they have over their environment by the achievement of social organization. (shrink)
Sydney Shoemaker’s Causal Theory of Properties is an important starting place for some contemporary metaphysical perspectives concerning the nature of properties. In this paper I discuss the causal and intrinsic criteria that Shoemaker stipulates for the identity of genuine properties and relations, and address George Molnar’s criticism that holding both criteria presents an unbridgeable hypothesis in the Causal Theory of Properties. The causal criterion requires that properties and relations contribute to the causal powers of objects if they are to (...) be deemed genuine rather than ‘mere-Cambridge’. The intrinsic criterion requires that all genuine properties and relations be intrinsic. Molnar’s S-property argument says that these criteria conflict if one considers extrinsic spatiotemporal properties and relations to contribute causally. In this paper I argue that a solution to the contradiction that Molnar identifies involves a denial of discreteness between objects, leading to a Power Holist perspective and a resulting deflationary account of intrinsicality. -/- Keywords: Shoemaker, Molnar, Holism, genuine properties, powers, Causal Theory of Properties . (shrink)
Philosopher, poet, literary and cultural critic, George Santayana is a principal figure in Classical American Philosophy. His naturalism and emphasis on creative imagination were harbingers of important intellectual turns on both sides of the Atlantic. He was a naturalist before naturalism grew popular; he appreciated multiple perfections before multiculturalism became an issue; he thought of philosophy as literature before it became a theme in American and European scholarly circles; and he managed to naturalize Platonism, update Aristotle, fight off idealisms, (...) and provide a striking and sensitive account of the spiritual life without being a religious believer. His Hispanic heritage, shaded by his sense of being an outsider in America, captures many qualities of American life missed by insiders, and presents views equal to Tocqueville in quality and importance. Beyond philosophy, only Emerson may match his literary production. As a public figure, he appeared on the front cover of Time (3 February 1936), and his autobiography (Persons and Places, 1944) and only novel (The Last Puritan, 1936) were the best-selling books in the United States as Book-of-the-Month Club selections. The novel was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and Edmund Wilson ranked Persons and Places among the few first-rate autobiographies, comparing it favorably to Yeats's memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, and Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. Remarkably, Santayana achieved this stature in American thought without being an American citizen. He proudly retained his Spanish citizenship throughout his life. Yet, as he readily admitted, it is as an American that his philosophical and literary corpuses are to be judged. Using contemporary classifications, Santayana is the first and foremost Hispanic-American philosopher. (shrink)
This volume is a direct result of a conference held at Princeton University to honor George A. Miller, an extraordinary psychologist. A distinguished panel of speakers from various disciplines -- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial intelligence -- were challenged to respond to Dr. Miller's query: "What has happened to cognition? In other words, what has the past 30 years contributed to our understanding of the mind? Do we really know anything that wasn't already clear to William James?" Each participant (...) tried to stand back a little from his or her most recent work, but to address the general question from his or her particular standpoint. The chapters in the present volume derive from that occasion. (shrink)
George A. Olah, Alain Goeppert and G. K. Surya Prakash (eds): Beyond oil and gas: the methanol economy, 2nd updated and enlarged edition Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9141-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.
So wohl Campbell als auch Whately sind sehr besorgt um die verschiedenen argumentations Formen zu analisieren, aber nicht in seiner abstrecten Vielfalt, sondern den verschiedenen Ableihungen des gebrauches oder der gegenwärtigen argumentations absicht im Entwurf jedes Arguments. In seiner Analyse haben sie beobachtet, dass die etische Begründung bemerkensmert verschieden als die Wissenschafliche. Beide Verfasser sind damit einverstanden dass es einen grossen Unterschied gibt zwischen: der existenten Prämisse in der Wissenchaftlichen Probe, und zweitens, die Form in der die Prämissen im induktiven (...) (oder moralen) Begründung verbunden sind, wiel in diesen letzten verschaffen die Prämissen getrennter Wiese eine Kosistenz auf dem Abschluss, aber sie müsen zusammen bleiben damit der Abschluss beweisbarer ist. Dieser Unterschied zwischen den art die Wharheit oder probabilität zwischen Wissenschaft und Humanität zu erzeugen, ist eines der grossen Themen der Philosophie aber das hermeneutische Paradigma zweifalt über die wissenschaftliche Folgerung, sind die Prämissen nicht doch der gleichen art vorgestellt, wer weiss, mit einer gewiss logischen Interdependenz zwischen inhnen und eine extralogische argumentative last die sie verbindet dem Anlass die Schlussfolgenung konsistente zu machen. (shrink)
The core of George Orwell’s novel 1984 is a debate—if the verbal and intellectual component of an extended episode of brainwashing can properly be said to constitute a debate—, the debate between Winston Smith and O’Brien in the cells of the Ministry of Love. It is natural to read this debate as a debate between a realist (as regards the nature of truth) and an anti-realist. I offer a few representative passages from the book that demonstrate, I believe, that (...) if this is not the only possible way to understand the debate, it is one very natural way. I begin with some thoughts that passed through Winston’s mind as he was writing in his diary long before his arrest. (shrink)
George Herbert Mead (1863-1931), American philosopher and social theorist, is often classed with William James, Charles Sanders Peirce, and John Dewey as one of the most significant figures in classical American pragmatism. Dewey referred to Mead as “a seminal mind of the very first order” (Dewey, 1932, xl). Yet by the middle of the twentieth-century, Mead's prestige was greatest outside of professional philosophical circles. He is considered by many to be the father of the school of Symbolic Interactionism in (...) sociology and social psychology, although he did not use this nomenclature. Perhaps Mead's principal influence in philosophical circles occurred as a result of his friendship with John Dewey. There is little question that Mead and Dewey had an enduring influence on each other, with Mead contributing an original theory of the development of the self through communication. This theory has in recent years played a central role in the work of Jürgen Habermas. While Mead is best known for his work on the nature of the self and intersubjectivity, he also developed a theory of action, and a metaphysics that emphasizes emergence and temporality, in which the past and future are viewed through the lens of the present. Although the extent of Mead's reach is considerable, he never published a monograph. His most famous work, Mind, Self, and Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist, was published after his death and is a compilation of student notes and selections from unpublished manuscripts. (shrink)
In his recent book, In Praise of Blame, George Sher argues (among other things) that a bad act can reflect negatively on a person if that act results in an appropriate way from that person's "character," and defends a novel "two-tiered" account of what it is to blame someone. In these brief comments, I raise some questions and doubts about each of these aspects of his rich and thought-provoking account.
In a recent article, George Sher argues that a realistic conception of human agency, which recognizes the limited extent to which we are conscious of what we do, makes the task of specifying a conception of the kind of control that underwrites ascriptions of moral responsibility much more difficult than is commonly appreciated. Sher suggests that an adequate account of control will not require that agents be conscious of their actions; we are responsible for what we do, in the (...) absence of consciousness, so long as our obliviousness is explained by some subset of the mental states constitutive of the agent. In this response, I argue that Sher is wrong on every count. First, the account of moral responsibility in the absence of consciousness he advocates does not preserve control at all; rather, it ought to be seen as a variety of attributionism (a kind of account of moral responsibility which holds that control is unnecessary for responsibility, so long as the action is reflective of the agent’s real self). Second, I argue that a realistic conception of agency, that recognizes the limited role that consciousness plays in human life, narrows the scope of moral responsibility. We exercise control over our actions only when consciousness has played a direct or indirect role in their production. Moreover, we cannot escape this conclusion by swapping a volitionist account of moral responsibility for an attributionist account: our actions are deeply reflective of our real selves only when consciousness has played a causal role in their production. (shrink)
George H. Mead and Alfred Schutz proposed foundations for an interpretative sociology from opposite standpoints. Mead accepted the objective meaning structure a priori. His problem became therefore the explanation of the individuality and creativity of human actors in his social behavioristic approach. In contrast, Schutz started from the subjective consciousness of an isolated actor as a result of a phenomenological reduction. He was concerned with the problem of explaining the possibility of this isolated actor’s perceiving other actors in their (...) existence, their concreteness, and the motives for their behavior. I treat these two approaches and their associated problems as equally relevant. My evaluation is based on their success in solving their specific problems. The aim is to decide which of the two approaches provides the more adequate foundation for an interpretative sociology. (shrink)
George Engel designed his biopsychosocial model to be a broad framework for medicine and psychiatry. Although the model met with great initial success, it now needs conceptual attention to make it relevant for future generations. Engel articulated the model as a version of biological systems theory, but his work is better interpreted as the beginnings of a richly nuanced philosophy of medicine. We can make this reinterpretation by connecting Engel’s work with the tradition of American pragmatism. Engel initiates inquiry (...) like a pragmatist, he understands theory and philosophy like a pragmatist, he justifies beliefs like a pragmatist, and he understands the world like a pragmatist. By drawing out these similarities, medical and psychiatric scholars can revitalize the biopsychosocial model, and they can open medicine and psychiatry to a rich philosophic heritage and a flourishing interdisciplinary tradition. (shrink)
In the mid-nineteenth century George Boole formulated his ‘conditions of possible experience’. These are equations and ineqaulities that the relative frequencies of (logically connected) events must satisfy. Some of Boole's conditions have been rediscovered in more recent years by physicists, including Bell inequalities, Clauser Horne inequalities, and many others. In this paper, the nature of Boole's conditions and their relation to propositional logic is explained, and the puzzle associated with their violation by quantum frequencies is investigated in relation to (...) a variety of approaches to the interpretation of quantum mechanics. * While preparing this paper for publication I have learnt of the untimely death of Professor J. S. Bell, and I wish to dedicate the paper to his memory. This research was undertaken while I spent a sabbatical leave at Wolfson College, and the History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Cambridge. I would like to thank Michael Redhead and Jeremy Butterfield for their hospitality and for helpful discussions. A first draft of this paper has been distributed among the participants of the conference 'Einstein in Context' which was held in Israel, in April 1990.1 have benefited from the comments of many colleagues. I would like to thank in particular Arthur Fine who enlightened me on the prism models, David Albert. Maya Bar-Hillel. Yemima Ben-Menachem, Mara Beller. Simon Saunders, and Mark Steiner. This research is partially supported by the Edelstein Center for the History and Philosophy of Science at the Hebrew University. (shrink)
George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, was one of the great philosophers of the early modern period. He was a brilliant critic of his predecessors, particularly Descartes, Malebranche, and Locke. He was a talented metaphysician famous for defending idealism, that is, the view that reality consists exclusively of minds and their ideas. Berkeley's system, while it strikes many as counter intuitive, is strong and flexible enough to counter most objections. His most studied works, the Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human (...) Knowledge Principles, for short) and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous Dialogues), are beautifully written and dense with the sort of arguments that delight contemporary philosophers. He was also a wide ranging thinker with interests in religion (which were fundamental to his philosophical motivations), the psychology of vision, mathematics, physics, morals, economics, and medicine. Although many of Berkeley's first readers greeted him with incomprehension, he influenced both Hume and Kant, and is much read (if little followed) in our own day. (shrink)
Georgius Trapezuntius Cretensis (or George of Trebizond) (1396-1472), an eminent humanist scholar who immigrated to Italy from Crete, is well appreciated for his translations, commentaries and treatises on philosophy, rhetoric and science. While there is a good deal of scholarship on Byzantine scholars in the Italian Renaissance, the topic of their contribution to mathematics and science in general has not to date been thoroughly addressed. This paper purports to fill this lacuna. On the basis of major evidence, I will (...) attempt to show the way Trapezuntius treated mathematics and physical sciences in order to serve his personal goals in the mid 15th century. (shrink)
George Berkeley notoriously claimed that his immaterialist metaphysics was not only consistent with common sense but that it was also integral to its defense. Roberts argues that understanding the basic connection between Berkeley's philosophy and common sense requires that we develop a better understanding of the four principle components of Berkeley's positive metaphysics: The nature of being, the divine language thesis, the active/passive distinction, and the nature of spirits. Roberts begins by focusing on Berkeley's view of the nature of (...) being. He elucidates Berkeley's view on Locke and the Cartesians and by examining Berkeley's views about related concepts such as unity and simplicity. From there he moves on to Berkeley's philosophy of language arguing that scrutiny of the famous "Introduction" to the Principles of Human Knowledge reveals that Berkeley identified the ideational theory of meaning and understanding as the root cause of some of the worst of man's intellectual errors, not "abstract ideas." Abstract ideas are, rather, the most debilitating symptom of this underlying ailment. In place of the ideational theory, Berkeley defends a rudimentary "use theory" of meaning. This understanding of Berkeley's approach to semantics is then applied to the divine language thesis and is shown to have important consequences for Berkeley's pragmatic approach to the ontology of natural objects and for his approach to our knowledge of, and relation to other minds, including God's. Turning next to Berkeley's much aligned account of spirits, the author defends the coherence of Berkeley's view of spirits by way of providing an interpretation of the active/passive distinction as marking a normative distinction and by focusing on the role that divine language plays in letting Berkeley identify the soul with the will. With these four principles of Berkeley's philosophy in hand, he then returns to the topic of common sense and offers a defense of Berkeley's philosophy as built upon and expressive of the deepest metaphysical commitments of mainstream Christianity. Roberts' reappraisal of this important figure should appeal to all historians of philosophy as well as scholars in metaphysics and philosophy of language. (shrink)
In this article, the cosmological positions of George of Trebizond are regrouped and an attempt to evaluate his offer to the philosophy of nature in the Renaissance is presented. George of Trepizond dedicated a huge part of his work to the philosophical and scientific study of the world; he also renewed the way the Greek letters are studied and used.
: To honor Bernard Goldstein, this article highlights in the "Defense of Theon against George of Trebizond" by Regiomontanus (1436-1476) themes that resonate with leading strands of Goldstein's scholarship. I argue that, in this poorly-known work, Regiomontanus's mastery of Ptolemy's mathematical astronomy, his interest in making astronomy physical, and his homocentric ideals stand in unresolved tension. Each of these themes resonates with Gold- stein's fundamental work on the Almagest, the Planetary Hypotheses, and al-Bitruji's Principles of Astronomy. I flesh out (...) these tensions with an intriguing interpretation of the history of astronomy, in which Regiomontanus contrasts the two-dimensional "eccentric astronomy" attributed to the Almagest and the Arabs with the three-dimensional spheres of the "later" astronomers. A similar contrast reappears when Regiomontanus portrays as a "fictitious art" an astronomy that does not go beyond the accommodation of computations to the appearances. To conclude, I use Regiomontanus's expression to reinstate (pace Goldstein and Barker in this journal, 1998) fictionalism as an actor's category in Osiander and sixteenth-century astronomy. (shrink)
Spinoza took it to be an important psychological fact that belief cannot be compelled. At the same time, he was well aware of the compelling power that religious and political fictions can have on the formation of our beliefs. I argue that Spinoza allows that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fictions. His complex account of the imagination and fiction, and their disabling or enabling roles in gaining knowledge of Nature, is a site of disagreement among commentators. The novels of (...) class='Hi'>George Eliot (who translated Spinoza's works) represent a significant development for those who aim to resolve such disagreement in favour of the epistemic value of the imagination and fiction. Although Eliot agreed with Spinoza that belief cannot be compelled, she nevertheless affirmed the potential of certain kinds of fiction to be not only compelling but also edifying. The parallel reading of Eliot and Spinoza offered here raises the question of whether his philosophy can accommodate a theory of art in which the artist is seen to be capable of attaining and imparting dependable knowledge. (shrink)
In this paper, I will discuss and characterize transcendental and salvational aspects of two naturalistic philosophical projects, those of Robert Corrington, a contemporary American Naturalist and George Santayana, the first identifiable American Naturalist. I am considering here soteriological pathways available for transformation or transfiguration of the self toward a state of spiritual optimization in an imminent natural cosmos where all but limited gains seem to be out of human hands. The individual, imbedded in Nature, is caught up in an (...) unteleological stream of Nature's own formation. In my consideration of this subject in relation to Robert Corrington's work, I have found a helpful and insightful .. (shrink)
Philosophers differ widely in the extent to which they condone the exploration of the realms of possibilia. Some are very enamoured of thought experiments in which human intuition is trained upon the products of human imagination. Others are much more sceptical of the fruits of such purely cognitive explorations. That said, it is clear that human beings cannot dispense with modal speculation altogether. Rationality rests upon the ability to make decisions and that in turn rests upon the ability to learn (...) about what is possible and what is probable. Thus, on pain of irrationality, we must have some means of exploring other possible worlds. Thankfully, intuition is not the only aid we have at our disposal. Science also is in the business of finding regularities, which hold counterfactually. Scientific theory tells us about the likelihood of particular outcomes flowing from particular processes given particular background conditions. Thus, it also tells us about the contents of 1 of 21 other possible worlds. One consequence of the possibility of such inferences has been a theoretical interest, not just in the contents, but also in the geography of the domain of all possibly worlds. Metaphysicians, epistemologists and philosophers of language are very familiar with locutions such as “nearby possible worlds” (meaning possible worlds very similar to the actual world). Similarly, evolutionary theory tells us that there is little chance of us discovering an organism that is mammal-like in most respects except in having six limbs. It’s not that we know such an organism to be impossible, but rather that we think it would be the product of an evolutionary history very different to the actual history of life on earth. Put another way, such organisms would be denizens of distant possible worlds. Clearly then, both biology and philosophy have ample motivation to be interested in the reasoning and evidence that supports such claims. Seemingly, in both disciplines there is a certain lure to this modal cartography, but ought we in fact to be convinced of its merits? Is it science or philosophy or not a good example of either? What sort of problems can it solve? What sort of problems will it create? How might we test its accuracy? In his excellent book Theoretical Morphology: The Concept and Its Applications (1999), George McGhee provides an admirable introduction to the complex theoretical landscape surrounding the exploration of possible biological form.. (shrink)
George Herbert Mead was a dedicated progressive and internationalist who strove to realize his political convictions through participation in numerous civic organizations in Chicago. These convictions informed and were informed by his approach to philosophy. This article addresses the bonds between Mead's philosophy, social psychology, and his support of women's rights through an analysis of a letter he wrote to his daughter-in-law regarding her plans for a career.
Lying and dysfunctional impression management have been identified as two serious forms of deviant behavior in organizations. One manifestation of such behavior is distortion of one's résumé. In 1981, Janet Cooke lost American journalism's highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, and her job when her work was exposed as a hoax. The revelation surfaced after it was discovered that she had lied on her résumé and her biographical record. Twenty years later, football coach George O'Leary resigned from one of the (...) most coveted jobs in college sports when it was discovered that he had falsified his academic and athletic accomplishments decades earlier. This paper summarizes the two cases - their similarities and differences - and places them in the context of organizational deviance. The case studies provide discussion points, practical advice and instructional material for students in business ethics and management classes. Lessons include the importance of preparing accurate, unvarnished résumés and the morally bankrupt nature of allegedly minor distortions that can later cause huge trouble for the individuals and the institutions involved. (shrink)
A symbol might have racist connotations in the sense that a substantial portion of the relevant population associates it with racist values or institutions. A governmental symbol display might therefore carry racist connotations that the government doesn’t intend, including connotations that haven’t always been attached to the symbol. So I claimed recently in the pages of this journal (Alter 2000b). I also explained how those claims create problems for some of George Schedler’s (1998) main views about governmental displays of (...) the Confederate battle flag. In his response, Schedler rejects my claims, arguing that they lead to absurdities when applied to various examples. He adds that one of his examples brings into question my “political savvy” (Schedler 2000, p. 5). Be that as it may, his arguments against my claims are entirely without force, and serve to confirm the weakness of his initial position. So I’ll argue. I’ll also identify a problematic assumption in our dispute, which is not uncommon in discussions of symbolic meaning and racist speech. (shrink)
Lying and dysfunctional impression management have been identified as two serious forms of deviant behavior in organizations. One manifestation of such behavior is distortion of one's résumé. In 1981, Janet Cooke lost American journalism's highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, and her job when her work was exposed as a hoax. The revelation surfaced after it was discovered that she had lied on her résumé and her biographical record. Twenty years later, football coach George O'Leary resigned from one of (...) the most coveted jobs in college sports when it was discovered that he had falsified his academic and athletic accomplishments decades earlier. This paper summarizes the two cases — their similarities and differences — and places them in the context of organizational deviance. The case studies provide discussion points, practical advice and instructional material for students in business ethics and management classes. Lessons include the importance of preparing accurate, unvarnished résumés and the morally bankrupt nature of allegedly minor distortions that can later cause huge trouble for the individuals and the institutions involved. (shrink)
After Heitler and London published their pioneering work on the application of quantum mechanics to chemistry in 1927, it became an almost unquestioned dogma that chemistry would soon disappear as a discipline of its own rights. Reductionism felt victorious in the hope of analytically describing the chemical bond and the structure of molecules. The old quantum theory has already produced a widely applied model for the structure of atoms and the explanation of the periodic system. This paper will show two (...) examples of the entry of quantum physics into more classical fields of chemistry: inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry. Due to their professional networking, George Hevesy and Michael Polanyi found their ways to Niels Bohr and Fritz London, respectively, to cooperate in solving together some problems of classical chemistry. Their works on rare earth elements and adsorption theory throws light to the application of quantum physics outside the reductionist areas. They support the heuristic and persuasive value of quantum thinking in the 1920–1930s. Looking at Polanyi’s later oeuvre, his experience with adsorption theory could be a starting point of his non-justificationist philosophy. (shrink)
In this essay I analyse and criticize George Lindbeck's treatment of truth and meaning in his book "The Nature of Doctrine." On truth, his theory is riddled with conceptual problems, fails as an adequate theoretical description of our pretheoretic intuition of truth, and is finally parasitic on this intuition. On meaning, his reduction of meaning (and sometimes truth) to use or usefulness leads him to an incorrect categorization of doctrines as (essentially) performative utterances and second-order, non-assertive discourse, rather than (...) as propositional attitude statements. Finally, I suggest the inadequacy of his treatment of truth and meaning redounds to the failure of his theory of religion and doctrine as a whole. (shrink)
I maintain that George Ripley (1802-1880) is among the most philosophically searching New England transcendentalists. In this essay I argue that Ripley’s denial that God’s miracles are the sole evidence of Christian truth clarifies the issues and debate that divide empiricists who seek evidence for truth through external verification and intuitionists who maintain that religious truth is manifest only within the minds, hearts, and special senses of true believers.
George W. Bush is not only Americaâ€™s president, but also its most prominent moralist. No other president in living memory has spoken so often about good and evil, right and wrong. His inaugural address was a call to build â€œa single nation of justice and opportunity.â€ A year later, he famously proclaimed North Korea, Iran and Iraq to be an â€œaxis of evil,â€ and in contrast, he called the United States â€œa moral nation.â€ He defends his tax policy (...) in moral terms, saying that it is fair, and gives back to taxpayers what is rightfully theirs. The case he makes for free trade is â€œnot just monetary, but moral.â€ Open trade is a â€œmoral imperative.â€ Another â€œmoral imperative,â€ he says, is alleviating hunger and poverty throughout the world. He has said that â€œAmericaâ€™s greatest economic need is higher ethical standards.â€ In setting out the â€œBush doctrine,â€ which defends preemptive strikes against those who might threaten America with weapons of mass destruction, he asserted: â€œMoral truth is the same in every culture, in every time, and in every place.â€ But in what moral truths does the president believe? Considering how much the president says about ethics, it is surprising how little serious discussion there has been of the moral philosophy of George W. Bush. (shrink)
This article discusses the work of George Udny Yule in relation to the evolutionary synthesis and the biometric-Mendelian debate. It has generally been claimed that (i.) in 1902, Yule put forth the first account showing that the competing biometric and Mendelian programs could be synthesized. Furthermore, (ii.) the scientific figures who should have been most interested in this thesis (the biometricians W. F. Raphael Weldon and Karl Pearson, and the Mendelian William Bateson) were too blinded by personal animosity towards (...) each other to appreciate Yule's proposal. This essay provides a detailed account of (i.), maintaining that Yule's 1902 proposal is better understood as a reduction, not a synthesis of the two programs. The results of this analysis are then used to evaluate (ii.), where I will instead argue that Bateson and the biometricians had good reasons to avoid endorsing Yule's account. (shrink)
The study that George Lakoff and Rafael Núñez call "idea analysis" and begin in their recent book Where mathematics comes from is intended to dissect mathematical concepts into their metaphorical parts, where metaphor is used in the cognitive-science sense promoted by Lakoff and Mark Johnson in Metaphors we live by and subsequent works by each of them and together. Lakoff and Núñez's analysis of the (modern) algebraic concept of group is based on the attribution to contemporary mathematics of what (...) will be widely recognizable by their name for it, the folk theory of essences. I argue that this philosophical basis for their analysis is spurious and supply an alternative analysis of the same concept within their "metaphorical" paradigm but without essences. This analysis, which I hope is more viable than theirs, is intended to support the general applicability of the paradigm by freeing it from outmoded philosophical baggage. (shrink)
In Use and Abuse Revisited: Response to Pluhar and Varner, Kathryn Paxton George misunderstands the point of my essay, In Defense of the Vegan Ideal: Rhetoric and Bias in the Nutrition Literature. I did not claim that the nutrition literature unambiguously confirms that vegans are not at significantly greater risk of deficiencies than omnivores. Rather than settling any empirical controversy, my aim was to show how the literature can give the casual reader a skewed impression of what is known (...) about the risks of a vegan diet. In this brief rejoinder, I illustrate how two essays by nutritionists in the same volume as George's and my essays, and a referee's report on my manuscript which was authored by a nutritionist, confirm the soundness of this basic insight. (shrink)
Although the existence of correspondence between George Boole (1815?1864) and William Stanley Jevons (1835?1882) has been known for a long time and part was even published in 1913, it has never been fully noted; in particular, it is not in the recent edition of Jevons's letters and papers. The texts are transcribed here, with indication of their significance. Jevons proposed certain quite radical changes to Boole's system, which Boole did not accept; nevertheless, they were to become well established.
Nicholson's political philosophy is distinctively grounded in history. The Play of Reason: From the Modern to the Postmodern argues that such "grounding" plays as much of the foundational role demanded of philosophy as can coherently be played by anything-and that such a foundation is, pragmatically, enough. I focus on two moves: (1) thinking historically as a model for thinking cross-culturally, and (2) historicizing "all the way down," as a way of exorcising the demand for the ahistorical grounding of epistemology.
Deterministic models in population dynamics often are really approximations to stochastic models, justified by an appeal to the law of large numbers. It is proposed to call such models pseudodeterministic. Four questions are discussed in this article: (1) What errors may be made by equating deterministically predicted values to expectations? (2) When, and in what sense, may numbers be assumed to be large? (3) How large are the variances, coefficients of variations, etc., as assigned to the variables in the stochastic (...) versions of the models? (4) What role may pseudodeterministic models play in empirical research, where problems of statistical reliability arise?As an example, a modified Nicholson-Bailey model of the interaction between insect parasitoids and their hosts is discussed; the modification consists of assigning a random (density-independent) mortality to the parasitoid population. A stochastic version of this model is discussed. The expectation of the final host density is compared with the value computed from the deterministic model. The latter value is systematically lower than the former. The magnitude of the difference depends on parameter values. The variability to be expected with the stochastic model is characterized by the coefficient of variation of the final host density; its dependence on parameter values and initial conditions is discussed. It is concluded that it is worthwhile in practical applications to estimate parasitoid mortality, and that the coefficient of variation in real situations may be far from negligible. (shrink)
George Herbert Mead's lectures at the University of Chicago are more important to understanding Mead's views on social psychology than some commentators, such as Hans Joas, have emphasized. Mead's 1898-99 lecture series, preserved through the notes of his student H. Heath Bawden, demonstrate his devotion to Hegelianism as a method of thinking and how this influenced his non-reductive approach to functionalist psychology. In addition, Mead's breadth of historical knowledge and his commitments in the natural and social sciences are on (...) display here, culminating in the Darwinian observation that human animals only achieve the degree of control they have over their environment by the achievement of social organization. (shrink)
Context: Non-dualistic thinking is an alternative to realism and constructivism. Problem: In the absence of a distinct definition of the term “description,” the question comes up of what exactly can be included in non-dualistic descriptions, and in how far the definition of this term affects the relation between theory and empirical practice. Furthermore, this paper is concerned with the question of whether non-dualism and dualism differ in their implications. Method: I provide a wider semantic framework for the term “description” by (...) means of George Spencer Brown’s terminology in his calculus of indications as laid out in Laws of Form. The connection of descriptions and distinctions enables descriptions to comprise reflections and language as well as empirical observations. Results: Non-dualism can be thought of in different ways but still has essential elements in common with dualism. Implications: Non-dualism, as well as dualism, is an argumentation technique suitable for specific situations, but without significant differences in implications. (shrink)
Did George Berkeley, as I argued long ago in Belfrage (1986), defend a theory of "emotive meaning" in his Manuscript Introduction (an early version of the introduction to the Principles)? This question has raised a broad spectrum of different issues, which I think it is important to keep apart, such as rhetorical, psychological, semantic, ethical, metaphysical, and theological aspects. In the present paper, I hope to clear the ground of ambiguities, which have led to serious misunderstandings on this interesting (...) point in Berkeley's unpublished philosophy. I open with a summary account of the historical context. (shrink)
Existe já uma grande quantidade de literatura dedicada à presença na filosofia inicial de Berkeley de alguns assuntos tipicamente platônicos (arquétipos, o problema da mente de Deus, a relaçáo entre ideias e coisas, etc.). Baseados em alguns desses escritos, nas próprias palavras de Berkeley, assim como no exame de alguns elementos da tradiçáo platônica num amplo sentido, sugiro que, longe de serem apenas tópicos isolados, livremente espalhados nos primeiros escritos de Berkeley, eles formam uma perfeita rede de aspectos, atitudes e (...) modos de pensar platônicos, e que, por mais alusivos ou ambíguos que esses elementos platônicos possam parecer, eles constituem um todo coerente e complexo, desempenhando um papel importante na formaçáo da própria essência do pensamento de Berkeley. Em outras palavras, sugiro que, dadas algumas das ideias apresentadas em suas primeiras obras, foi de certo modo inevitável para George Berkeley, em virtude da lógica interna do desenvolvimento de seu pensamento, chegar a uma obra táo abertamente platônica e especulativa como Siris (1744). (shrink)
In the last couple years of George W. Bush’s reign the word “sovereignty” has been on everyone’s lips. As the U.S. prepared to invade Iraq in March 2003, those who supported the war claimed that Iraq posed a threat to U.S. security and sovereignty while those against the war argued that a preemptive strike against another sovereign nation was justified only in urgent self-defense or that U.S. sovereignty should ultimately yield to the sovereignty of international organizations such as the (...) UN. But what exactly is sovereignty?In this paper I take a few cues from Jacques Derrida’s recently published Rogues in order to analyze in detail the Platonic origins of sovereignty. I demonstrate the way in which Plato displaces or transforms a sovereignty based in convention and institutions into a sovereignty rooted in the putative knowledge of the few. Such an analysis of the origins of sovereignty can go a long way, I argue, in helping us understand and resist the policies and arguments of our sovereigns and the hidden ideas of sovereignty on which they rely. (shrink)
: Nicholson's political philosophy is distinctively grounded in history. The Play of Reason: From the Modern to the Postmodern argues that such "grounding" plays as much of the foundational role demanded of philosophy as can coherently be played by anything--and that such a foundation is, pragmatically, enough. I focus on two moves: (1) thinking historically as a model for thinking cross-culturally, and (2) historicizing "all the way down," as a way of exorcising the demand for the ahistorical grounding of (...) epistemology. (shrink)
1. Some twenty years ago I voiced reservations about John McDowell’s embrace of a spatial metaphor, whereby we should expand our idea of the ‘space’ occupied by the mind, locating its boundaries far outside the skin, way into the world.1 I thought at the time that the spatial metaphor was a flourish McDowell had been betrayed into, particularly by some of the terminology of his dispute with Dummett over ‘manifestation’. But over the years it began to be clear that it (...) was more than that, being one of several metaphors that figure centrally in his extensive and influential meditations on the relationship between ourselves and our world. Indeed, the best thumbnail description of his aim would be to show that the world is not ‘blankly external’ to the mind, and this description uses the metaphor. So the reservation went unheeded, and years later the metaphor and its cousins occupied large parts of Mind and World, which is the principal text which I shall consider, although they liberally sprinkle other writings as well. I shall use this opportunity to try to sensitize others to my reasons for discomfort. (shrink)
This paper examines Santayana on imagination, and related themes, chiefly as these are expressed in his early work, Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900). My hypothesis is that Santayana under-estimates, in this book, the force and significance of the prevalent distinction between imagination and fancy, as this was originally put forward by Coleridge and later developed in Emerson’s late essays. I will focus on some of those aspects of Santayana’s book which appear to react to or to engage with Emerson’s (...) views and aim to bring Santayana’s treatment of the theme of imagination into relation with Emerson. Understanding the differences in greater detail we stand a better chance of reasoned evaluation of alternative conceptions of imagination. I will argue that the Coleridge-Emersonian conception of the distinction between imagination and fancy is a crucial element of the background of Peircean abduction, and in this fashion, contributes to the continuity of Emerson’s writings with the pragmatist tradition. (shrink)