Saul Kripke, in a series of classic writings of the 1960s and 1970s, changed the face of metaphysics and philosophy of language. Christopher Hughes offers a careful exposition and critical analysis of Kripke's central ideas about names, necessity, and identity. He clears up some common misunderstandings of Kripke's views on rigid designation, causality and reference, and the necessary a posteriori and contingent a priori. Through his engagement with Kripke's ideas Hughes makes a significant contribution to ongoing debates on, (...) inter alia, the semantics of natural kind terms, the nature of natural kinds, the essentiality of origin and constitution, the relative merits of 'identitarian' and counterpart-theoretic accounts of modality, and the identity or otherwise of mental types and tokens with physical types and tokens. No specialist knowledge in either the philosophy of language or metaphysics is presupposed; Hughes's book will be valuable for anyone working on the ideas which Kripke made famous in the philosophy world. (shrink)
This long-awaited book replaces not one but both of Hughes and Cresswell's two previous classic studies of modal logic: An Introduction to Modal Logic and A Companion to Modal Logic . A New Introduction to Modal Logic has been completely rewritten by the authors to incorporate all the developments that have taken place since 1968 both in modal propositional logical and modal predicate logic, but without sacrificing the clarity of exposition and approachability that were essential features of the earlier (...) works. The book takes readers through the most basic systems of modal prepositional logic right up to systems of modal predicate with identity. It deals with both technical developments such as completeness and incompleteness, and finite and infinite models, and discusses philosophical applications, especially, in the area of modal predicate logic. (shrink)
Hughes explains the key elements in Aristotle's Nichomachaean Ethics terminology and highlights the controversy regarding the interpretations of his writings. He carefully explores each section of the text, and presents a detailed account of the problems Aristotle was trying to address. Hughes also examines the role that Aristotle's ethics continue to play in contemporary moral philosophy by comparing and contrasting his views with those widely held today.
R.I.G. Hughes presents a series of eight philosophical essays on the theoretical practices of physics. The first two essays examine these practices as they appear in physicists' treatises (e.g. Newton's Principia and Opticks ) and journal articles (by Einstein, Bohm and Pines, Aharonov and Bohm). By treating these publications as texts, Hughes casts the philosopher of science in the role of critic. This premise guides the following 6 essays which deal with various concerns of philosophy of physics such (...) as laws, disunities, models and representation, computer simulation, explanation, and the discourse of physics. (shrink)
Ethical dilemmas involving tax issues were identified by members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as posing the most difficult ethical problem for them (Finn et al., Journal of Business Ethics 7(8), pp. 607–609, 1988). The KPMG tax shelter fraud case proves that the tax profession has not gone untainted in the age of numerous accounting and corporate scandals, such as the Enron débâcle (Sikka and Hampton, Accounting Forum 29(3), 325–343, 2005). High-profile scandals serve to highlight the problems (...) caused by differences in ethical judgement among accountants and tax practitioners and the issue of ethics has been brought publicly to the forefront of the profession. Nevertheless, the nature and dimension of ethical issues in tax practice have been largely unexplored (Erard, Journal of Public Economics 52(2), 163–197, 1993; Marshall et al., Journal of Business Ethics 17(12), 1265–1279, 1998; Frecknall Hughes, Unpublished PhD Thesis, The University of Leeds, 2002). This research aims to contribute to the debate on ethics in tax practice by reporting interview data on tax practitioners’ perceptions of ethics in the jurisdictions of Ireland and the United Kingdom and exploring the link or equation of ethics with risk management. (shrink)
This book challenges the widely-held view that Marxism is unable to deal adequately with environmental problems. Jonathan Hughes considers the nature of environmental problems, and the evaluative perspectives that may be brought to bear on them. He examines Marx's critique of Malthus, his method, and his materialism, interpreting the latter as a recognition of human dependence on nature. Central to the book's argument is an interpretation of the 'development of the productive forces' which takes account of the differing ecological (...) impacts of different productive technologies while remaining consistent with the normative and explanatory roles that this concept plays within Marx's theory. Turning finally to Marx's vision of a society founded on the communist principle 'to each according to his needs', the author concludes that the underlying notion of human need is one whose satisfaction presupposes only a modest and ecologically feasible expansion of productive output. (shrink)
A general account of modeling in physics is proposed. Modeling is shown to involve three components: denotation, demonstration, and interpretation. Elements of the physical world are denoted by elements of the model; the model possesses an internal dynamic that allows us to demonstrate theoretical conclusions; these in turn need to be interpreted if we are to make predictions. The DDI account can be readily extended in ways that correspond to different aspects of scientific practice.
A recent argument in favor of a free market in human organs claims that such a market enhances personal autonomy. I argue here that such a market would, on the contrary, actually compromise the autonomy of those most likely to sell their organs, namely, the least well off members of society. A Marxian-inspired notion of exploitation is deployed to show how, and in what sense, this is the case.
Locke thought that it was impossible for there to be two things of the same kind in the same place at the same time. I offer (what looks to me like) a counterexample to that principle, involving two ships in the same place at the same time. I then consider two ways of explaining away, and one way of denying, the apparent counterexample of Locke's principle, and I argue that none is successful. I conclude that, although the case under discussion (...) does not refute Locke's principle, it constitutes a serious challenge to it. (shrink)
A principal challenge facing the progressive bioethics project is the crafting of a consistent message on biopolitical issues that divide progressives. -/- The regulation of enhancement technologies is one of the issues central to this emerging biopolitics, pitting progressive defenders of enhancement, “technoprogressives,” against progressive critics. This essay [PDF] will argue that technoprogressive biopolitics express the consistent application of the core progressive values of the Enlightenment: the right of individuals to control their own bodies, brains and reproduction according to their (...) own conscience, under democratic states that work for the public good. -/- Insofar as left bioconservatives want to ensure the safety of therapies and their equitable distribution, these concerns can be addressed by thorough and independent regulation and a universal health care system, and a progressive bioethics of enhancement can unite both enthusiasts and skeptics. Insofar as bioconservative concerns are motivated by deeper hostility to the Enlightenment project however, by assertion of pre-modern reverence for human uniqueness for instance, then a common program is unlikely. -/- imageAfter briefly reviewing the political history and contemporary landscape of biopolitical debates about enhancement, the essay outlines three meta-policy contexts that will impact future biopolicy: the pressure to establish a universal, cost-effective health insurance system, the aging of industrial societies, and globalization. Technoprogressive appeals are outlined that can appeal to key constituencies, and build a majority coalition in support of progressive change. Finally, some guiding principles for a technoprogressive approach to biopolicy are offered. (shrink)
This paper examines Hermann Cohen's idiosyncratic construction of a medieval Jewish philosophical tradition, focusing primarily, though not exclusively, on his Charakteristik der Ethik Maimunis . This construction, not unlike modern accounts, is filtered through the central place of Maimonides. For Cohen, however, Maimonides' centrality is defined not by his systematization of Aristotelianism, but by his elevation of ethics over metaphysics. The ethical and pantheistic concerns of Maimonides' precursors, according to this reading, anticipate his uniqueness. Whereas Shlomo ibn Gabirol's pantheistic doctrine (...) of emanation, for example, assigned little weight to ethics, Abraham ibn Daud rebelled against such a doctrine. Ibn Daud—much like Bahya ibn Paquda and Abraham ibn Ezra—becomes part of a Jewish philosophical tradition that culminates in Maimonides' rejection of Aristotelian metaphysics. In particular, this paper examines the way in which Cohen envisaged the pre-Maimonidean philosophical tradition, putting his highly critical reading of Shlomo ibn Gabirol and his pantheistic obsession with prime matter in counterpoint with his more favorable readings of Abraham ibn Daud and Bahya ibn Paquda. (shrink)
To explain the khandhas as the Buddhist analysis of man, as has been the tendency of contemporary scholars, may not be incorrect as far as it goes, yet it is to fix upon one facet of the treatment of the khandhas at the expense of others. Thus A. B. Keith could write, “By a division which ... has certainly no merit, logical or psychological, the individual is divided into five aggregates or groups.” However, the five khandhas, as treated in the (...) nikāyas and early abhidhamma, do not exactly take on the character of a formal theory of the nature of man. The concern is not so much the presentation of an analysis of man as object, but rather the understanding of the nature of conditioned existence from the point of view of the experiencing subject. Thus at the most general level rūpa, vedanā, sañña, and are presented as five aspects of an individual being's experience of the world; each khandha is seen as representing a complex class of phenomena that is continuously arising and falling away in response to processes of consciousness based on the six spheres of sense. They thus become the five upādānakkhandhas, encompassing both grasping and all that is grasped. As the upādānakkhandhas these five classes of states acquire a momentum, and continue to manifest and come together at the level of individual being from one existence to the next. For any given individual there are, then, only these five upādānakkhandhas — they define the limits of his world, they are his world. This subjective orientation of the khandhas seems to arise out of the simple fact that, for the nikāyas, this is how the world is experienced; that is to say, it is not seen primarily as having metaphysical significance.Accounts of experience and the phenomena of existence are complex in the early Buddhist texts; the subject is one that is tackled from different angles and perspectives. The treatment of rūpa, vedanā, saññā, and represents one perspective, the treatment of the six spheres of sense is another. As we have seen, in the nikāya formulae the two merge, complementing each other in the task of exposing the complex network of conditions that is, for the nikāyas, existence. In the early abhidhamma texts khandha, āyatana and dhātu equally become complementary methods of analysing, in detail, the nature of conditioned existence.The approach adopted above has been to consider the treatment of the five khandhas in the nikāyas and early abhidhamma texts as a more or less coherent whole. This has incidentally revealed something of the underlying structure and dynamic of early Buddhist teaching — an aspect of the texts that has not, it seems, either been clearly appreciated or properly understood, and one that warrants further consideration. (shrink)
I offer a critical reconstruction of Kant's thesis that aesthetic judgement is founded on the principle of the purposiveness of nature. This has been taken as equivalent to the claim that aesthetics is directly linked to the systematicity of nature in its empirical laws. I take issue both with Henry Allison, who seeks to marginalize this claim, and with Avner Baz, who highlights it in order to argue that Kant's aesthetics are merely instrumental for his epistemology. My solution is that (...) aesthetic judgement operates as an exemplary presentation of our general ability to schematise an intuition with a concept at the empirical level. I suggest that this counts as an empirical schematism. Although aesthetic judgement is not based on empirical systematicity, it can nevertheless offer indirect support for the latter in so far as it is a particular revelation of purposiveness in general. (shrink)
Dementia is an illness that raises important questions about our own attitudes to illness and aging. It also raises very important issues beyond the bounds of dementia to do with how we think of ourselves as people--fundamental questions about personal identity. Is the person with dementia the same person he or she was before? Is the individual with dementia a person at all? In a striking way, dementia seems to threaten the very existence of the self.LThis book brings together philosophers (...) and practitioners to explore the conceptual issues that arise in connection with this increasingly common illness. Drawing on a variety of philosophers such as Descartes, Lock, Hume, Wittgenstein, the authors explore the nature of personal identity in dementia. They also show how the lives and selfhood of people with dementia can be enhanced by attention to their psychological and spiritual environment. Throughout, the book conveys a strong ethical message, arguing in favor of treating people with dementia with all the dignity they deserve as human beings. The book covers a range of topics, stretching from talk of basic biology to talk of a spiritual understanding of people with dementia. Accessibly written by leading figures in psychiatry and philosophy, the book presents a unique and long overdue examination of an illness that features in so many of our lives. (shrink)
: Quite rightly, philosophers of physics examine the theories of physics, theories like Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory, the Special and General Theories of Relativity, and Statistical Mechanics. Far fewer, however, examine how these theories are put to use; that is to say, little attention is paid to the practices of theoretical physicists. In the early 1950s David Bohm and David Pines published a sequence of four papers, collectively entitled, 'A Collective Description of Electron Interaction.' This essay uses that quartet (...) as a case study in theoretical practice. In Part One of the essay, each of the Bohm-Pines papers is summarized, and within each summary an overview is given, framing a more detailed account. In Part Two theoretical practice is broken into six elements: (a) the use of models, (b) the use of theory, (c) modes of description and narrative, (d) the use of approximations, (e) experiment and theory, (f) the varied steps employed in a deduction. The last element is the largest, drawing as it does from the earlier ones. Part Three enlarges on the concept of 'theoretical practice,' and briefly outlines the subsequent theoretical advances which rendered the practices of Bohm and Pines obsolete, if still respected. (shrink)
I have argued that forgiveness paradigmatically involves overcoming moral anger, of which resentment is the central case. I have argued, as well, that forgiveness may involve overcoming any form of anger so long as the belief that you have been wrongfully harmed is partially constitutive of it, and that overcoming other negative emotions caused by a wrongdoer's misdeed may, given appropriate qualifications, count as forgiveness. Those qualifications indicate, however, significant differences between moral anger and other negative emotions; differences which must (...) be taken into account when determining whether overcoming negative emotions other than moral anger count as forgiveness. I have proposed, too, that forgiveness requires neither overcoming all negative feelings (other than moral anger) nor the judgment that the offender is a wrongdoer.I must acknowledge that my analysis is incomplete, focusing as it does on the forgiver rather than on the person forgiven. After all, there are two sides to forgiveness. Not all forgiving involves a struggle to overcome negative feelings; sometimes it is a social transaction of a more casual sort that is effected by the simple speech act “I forgive you.” My analysis is incomplete insofar as it treats exclusively of forgiveness as a process and fails to offer an analysis of forgiveness as an act. Finally, a complete theory of forgiveness requires an account of the conditions under which forgiveness qualifies as a moral virtue, and such an account is beyond the scope of this essay. Though I have not offered a complete theory of forgiveness, my effort to clarify a dimension of what is involved in a common type of forgiveness may clear the way for answering related questions about it, and thereby lead to a fuller account of forgiveness as a moral phenomenon. (shrink)
Michael Clark has recently argued that the slippery slope argument against voluntary euthanasia is ‘entirely consequentialist’ and that its use to justify continued prohibition of voluntary euthanasia involves a failure to treat patients who request assistance in ending their lives as ends in themselves. This article agues that in fact the slippery slope is consistent with most forms of deontology, and that it need not involve any violation of the principle that people should be treated as ends, depending upon how (...) that principle is construed. It is concluded that supporters of voluntary euthanasia cannot dismiss the slippery slope argument on the basis of deontological principles but must take seriously the consequences that it postulates and engage in factual argument about their likely extent and about the likely effectiveness of any proposed safeguards. (shrink)
The precautionary principle has its origins in debates about environmental policy, but is increasingly invoked in bioethical contexts. John Harris and Søren Holm argue that the principle should be rejected as incoherent, irrational, and representing a fundamental threat to scientific advance and technological progress. This article argues that while there are problems with standard formulations of the principle, Harris and Holm's rejection of all its forms is mistaken. In particular, they focus on strong versions of the principle and fail to (...) recognize that weaker forms, which may escape their criticisms, are both possible and advocated in the literature. (shrink)
Suppose there are possible worlds in which God exists but Anselm does not. Then (I argue) there are possible worlds in which Anselm does not exist, but God cannot even entertain the thought that he does not. In such worlds Anselm does not exist, but God does not know that. This, I argue, is incompatible with (a straightforward construal of) the doctrine of God's essential omniscience. Considerations involving negative existentials also call into question a certain picture of creation, on which (...) God chooses which particular (possible) individuals to create. They suggest that there is an element of brute contingency about which individuals exist. (shrink)
This article investigates the characteristic attitudes of the Greeks toward nature, which formed the perceptual framework for their ecological thinking. Two major attitudes are discerned. One regarded nature as the theatre of the gods, whose interplay produced observed phenomena, but whose localization gave them particular, restricted roles. The other attitude viewed nature as the theatre of reason, and made the beginnings of ecological thought possible. The contributions of several Greek forerunners in the field of ecology are characterized. The most consistent, (...) balanced ecological writer in ancient Greece was Theophrastus, but his conception of an autonomous nature, interacting with man, was overshadowed in the history of ancient and medieval thought by the anthropocentric teleology of Aristotle. (shrink)
At several points in his writings, Levinas is implicitly critical of Hobbes's view that the political order is required to restrict violent conflict and competition and make morality possible. This paper makes Levinas's criticisms explicit by comparing Hobbes's descriptions of human nature and human relations with Levinas's radically different descriptions of the ethical relation of responsibility and the consequent kinship of the human community. I use insights from Levinas to argue that ethics cannot be reduced to politics and that the (...) primacy of the ethical relation provides a more adequate description of human relations and justice in the human community. (shrink)
There has been considerable work on practical reasoning in artificial intelligence and also in philosophy. Typically, such reasoning includes premises regarding means–end relations. A clear semantics for such relations is needed in order to evaluate proposed syllogisms. In this paper, we provide a formal semantics for means–end relations, in particular for necessary and sufficient means–end relations. Our semantics includes a non-monotonic conditional operator, so that related practical reasoning is naturally defeasible. This work is primarily an exercise in conceptual analysis, aimed (...) at clarifying and eventually evaluating existing theories of practical reasoning (pending a similar analysis regarding desires, intentions and other relevant concepts). (shrink)