In both the Principles and the Three Dialogues, Berkeley claims that he wants to uncover those principles which lead to scepticism; to refute those principles; and to refute scepticism itself. This paper examines the principles Berkeley says have scepticial consequences, and contends that only one of them implies scepticism. It is also argued that Berkeley's attempted refutation of scepticism rests not on his acceptance of the esse est percipi principle, but rather on the thesis that physical objects and their sensible (...) qualities are immediately perceived. (shrink)
Philosophical accounts of perception in the tradition of Kant and Reid have generally supposed that an event of making a judgment is a key element in every perceptual experience. An alternative very austere view regards perception as an event containing nothing judgmental, nor anything conceptual. This account of perception as nonconceptual is discussed first historically as found in the philosophies of Locke and (briefly) Berkeley, and then examined in the contemporary work of Chisholm and Alston.
Access internalism about epistemic justification is the thesis that a person’s justification for a belief is directly accessible to that person, in the sense that the person can have direct awareness of whatever is functioning as the actual justification for the belief. This thesis is distinguished into a weak and a strong version, and a number of arguments in favor of the access internalist position are assessed. It is concluded that none of the arguments in support of access internalism is (...) satisfactory. (shrink)
Ongoing knowledge is that knowledge that a person possesses continuously across a period of time. Given the plausible assumption that knowledge implies justification, it then follows that ongoing knowledge implies ongoing justification. However, the actual character of a person's justification for a belief often changes as time passes. Two types of changes in one's ongoing justification are explored: content change and structure change. It is argued that justification held over time often undergoes both content and structure change, and that the (...) latter sort of change has interesting implications for theories of epistemic justification. (shrink)
In this essay, the author analyses Berkeleys conformity and inference argument against Lockes theory of percep tion. Both arguments are not as decisive as traditionally has been perceived and fail to engage in Lockes actual position. The main reason for this is that Berkeley does not see that Lockes position is compatible with the non-inferential nature of perceptual knowledge.
Berkeley construes his own immaterialist philosophy as facing a serious competitor, namely, what he often termed ‘materialism.’ He tries on several grounds to eliminate materialism from the competition, thus leaving immaterialism as the most plausible metaphysical theory of perception and the external world. In this paper these grounds are explored, and it is found that Berkeley’s method for rational choice between materialism and immaterialism involves consideration of a host of criteria for choice between competitive theories.
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)
I have previously argued that within an argument to show that we cannot perceive the causes of our sensations, Berkeley's Philonous conflates a psychological and an epistemic sense of 'immediately perceive', and uses the principle of perceptual immediacy (PPI), that whatever is perceived by the senses is immediately perceived. GeorgePappas has objected that Berkeley does not operate with either of these concepts of immediate perception, and does not subscribe to (PPI). But I show that Berkeley's argumentative strategy (...) requires him to use these two concepts, and that the concept of immediate perception Pappas attributes to Berkeley would weaken this strategy. I also defend attributing to Berkeley a slightly modified version of (PPI), on which it both serves his strategy and allows sense perception to incorporate what he calls 'suggestion'. (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.
George Berkeley maintains both anti-abstractionism (that abstract ideas are impossible) and idealism (that physical objects and their qualities are mind-dependent). Some scholars (including Atherton, Bolton, and Pappas) have argued, in different ways, that Berkeley uses anti-abstractionism as a premise in a simple argument for idealism. In this paper, I argue that the relation between anti-abstractionism and idealism in Berkeley's metaphysics is more complex than these scholars acknowledge. Berkeley distinguishes between two kinds of abstraction, singling abstraction and generalizing abstraction. (...) He then rests his case for idealism, not on the denial of the possibility of generalizing abstraction, but rather on the denial of the possibility of singling abstraction. Moreover, Berkeley's argument does not rest on a blanket rejection of all forms of singling abstraction. Rather, the fundamental anti-abstractionist assumption, for his purposes, is the claim that primary qualities cannot be mentally singled out from secondary qualities. Crucially, the claim that the existence of physical objects cannot be mentally singled out from their being perceived is not a premise in, but rather a consequence of, Berkeley's argument for idealism. Berkeley's argument therefore avoids circularity inasmuch as it appeals to the impossibility of singly abstracting one idea in order to establish the impossibility of singly abstracting another. (shrink)