Proponents of Humean belief-desire psychology often appeal to the metaphor of direction of fit. Roughly, the distinction between belief and desire boils down to the differing relationship between the attitude, its content, and the way the world is. Belief in P will tend to go out of existence when confronted with the introduced (perception-like) state of not P. The desire that p will, by contrast, persist in face of the introduced state that not P. The world is to be aligned (...) to match it. Two problems threaten the direction of fit strategy. The first is a worrying lack of clarity in the notion of an introduced state. On Smith’s view, this state looks and functions like a belief; this saddles the direction of fit strategy with vicious circularity. Second, David Copp and David Sobel argue that whether the metaphor iscashed out in descriptive or normative terms, the direction of fit metaphor is fatally flawed. This gloomy prognosis is premature: the Humean should adopt a normative interpretation, since doing so would yield salvage the metaphor. The cost of the salvage, however, might be higher than Humeans want, since the normative view can be happily accepted by Kantians. (shrink)
I was quite excited when I first read Restall and Russell’s (2010) paper. For two reasons. First, because the paper provides rigorous formulations and formal proofs of implication barrier the- ses, namely “theses [which] deny that one can derive sentences of one type from sentences of another”. Second (and primarily), because the paper proves a general theorem, the Barrier Con- struction Theorem, which unifies implication barrier theses concerning four topics: generality, necessity, time, and normativity. After thinking about the paper, I (...) am satisfied with its treatment of the first three topics, namely generality, necessity, and time. But I am not satisfied with its treatment of normativity, so my comments are exclusively on that topic. (shrink)
Consequence is at the heart of logic; an account of consequence, of what follows from what, offers a vital tool in the evaluation of arguments. Since philosophy itself proceeds by way of argument and inference, a clear view of what logical consequence amounts to is of central importance to the whole discipline. In this book JC Beall and Greg Restall present and defend what thay call logical pluralism, the view that there is more than one genuine deductive consequence relation, (...) a position which has profound implications for many linguists as well as for philosophers. We should not search for one true logic, since there are many. (shrink)
Consequence is at the heart of logic; an account of consequence, of what follows from what, offers a vital tool in the evaluation of arguments. Since philosophy itself proceeds by way of argument and inference, a clear view of what logical consequence amounts to is of central importance to the whole discipline. In this book JC Beall and Greg Restall present and defend what thay call logical pluralism, the view that there is more than one genuine deductive consequence relation, (...) a position which has profound implications for many linguists as well as for philosophers. We should not search for one true logic, since there are many. (shrink)
This document collects discussion and commentary on issues raised in the workshop by its participants. Contributors are: Greg Frost-Arnold, David Harker, P. D. Magnus, John Manchak, John D. Norton , J. Brian Pitts, Kyle Stanford, Dana Tulodziecki.
Putting the ‘empiricism’ in ‘logical empiricism’: the director’s cut Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9444-x Authors Greg Frost-Arnold, Department of Philosophy, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
The aim of this highly original book is twofold: to explain the reconciliation of religion and politics in the work of John Locke, and to explore the relevance of that reconciliation for politics in our own time. Confronted with deep social divisions over ultimate beliefs Locke sought to unite society in a single liberal community. Reason could identify divine moral laws that would be acceptable to members of all cultural groups, thereby justifying the authority of government. Greg Forster demonstrates (...) that Locke's theory is liberal and rational but also moral and religious, providing an alternative to the two extremes of religious fanaticism and moral relativism. This fresh new account of Locke's thought will appeal to specialists and advanced students across philosophy, political science, and religious studies. (shrink)
In barely the space of one generation, Athens was transformed from a conventional city-state into something completely new--a region-state on a scale previously unthinkable. This book sets out to answer a seemingly simple question: How and when did the Athenian state attain the anomalous size that gave it such influence in Greek politics and culture in the classical period? Many scholars argue that Athens's incorporation of Attica was a gradual development, largely completed some two hundred years before the classical era. (...) Anderson, however, suggests that it is not until the late sixth century that we see the first systematic attempts by the Athenian polis to integrate all of Attica. Anderson first takes issue with the prevailing view of Cleisthenes' landmark political reforms of 508-7 b.c., arguing that they were animated by a more comprehensive vision of regional political community in Attica. The Athenians' strengthened the state by establishing institutional mechanisms that would allow inhabitants of the Attic periphery to participate as never before in the life of the center. The creation of a suitable physical setting for the new order was accompanied by religious, military, and symbolic innovations. Regional participation in Athenian affairs was stimulated by encouraging the Attic populace to imagine themselves, for the first time ever, as members of a single, like-minded, self-governing political community. Greg Anderson is Assistant Professor of Classics and History, University of Illinois at Chicago. (shrink)
There are certain explanations that scientists do not accept, even though such explanations do not conflict with observation, logic, or other scientific theories. I argue that a common version of the no-miracles argument (NMA) for scientific realism relies upon just such an explanation. First, scientists (usually) do not accept explanations whose explanans neither generates novel predictions nor unifies apparently disparate phenomena. Second, scientific realism (as it appears in the NMA) is an explanans that makes no new predictions, and fails to (...) unify disparate phenomena. Third, Psillos, Boyd, and other proponents of the NMA explicitly adopt a naturalism that forbids philosophy of science from using any methods not employed by science itself. Therefore, such naturalistic philosophers of science should not accept the version of scientific realism that appears in the NMA. [Publication note: This text is for a talk at the 2008 PSA convention. An expanded version of the talk was later published as a regular article in Philosophy of Science (2010).]. (shrink)
In this paper we introduce a distinct metaethical position, fictionalism about morality. We clarify and defend the position, showing that it is a way to save the 'moral phenomena' while agreeing that there is no genuine objective prescriptivity to be described by moral terms. In particular, we distinguish moral fictionalism from moral quasi-realism, and we show that fictionalism possesses the virtues of quasi-realism about morality, but avoids its vices.
Moral anti-realism comes in two forms – noncognitivism and the error theory. The noncognitivist says that when we make moral judgments we aren’t even trying to state moral facts. The error theorist says that when we make moral judgments we are making statements about what is objectively good, bad, right, or wrong but, since there are no moral facts, our moral judgments are uniformly false. This development of moral anti-realism was first seriously defended by John Mackie. In this paper I (...) explore a dispute among moral error theorists about how to deal with false moral judgments. The advice of the moral abolitionist is to stop making moral judgments, but the contrary advice of the moral fictionalist is to retain moral language and moral thinking. After clarifying the choice that arises for the moral error theorist, I argue that moral abolitionism has much to recommend it. I discuss Mackie’s defense of moral fictionalism as well as a recent version of the same position offered by Daniel Nolan, Greg Restall, and Caroline West. Then I second some remarks Ian Hinckfuss made in his defense of moral abolitionism and his criticism of “the moral society.” One of the worst things about moral fictionalism is that it undermines our epistemology by promoting a culture of deception. To deal with this problem Richard Joyce offers a “non-assertive” version of moral fictionalism as perhaps the last option for an error theorist who hopes to avoid moral abolitionism. I discuss some of the problems facing that form of moral fictionalism, offer some further reasons for adopting moral abolitionism in our personal lives, and conclude with reasons for thinking that abolishing morality may be an essential step in achieving the goals well-meaning moralists and moral fictionalists have always cherished. (shrink)
In this paper we develop a participatory model of the Christian doctrine of the atonement, according to which the atonement involves participating in the death and resurrection of Christ. In part one we argue that current models of the atonement—exemplary, penal, substitutionary and merit models—are unsatisfactory. The central problem with these models is that they assume a purely deontic conception of sin and, as a result, they fail to address sin as a relational and ontological problem. In part two we (...) argue that a participatory model of the atonement is both exegetically and philosophically plausible, and should be taken seriously within philosophical theology.i.. (shrink)
David Chalmers argues that consciousness -- authentic, first-person, conscious consciousness -- cannot be reduced to brain events or to any physical event, and that efforts to find a workable mind-body identity theory are, therefore, doomed in principle. But for Chalmers and non-reductionist in general consciousness consists exclusively, or at least paradigmatically, of phenomenal or qualia-consciousness. This results in a seriously inadequate understanding both of consciousness and of the “hard problem.” I describe other, higher-order cognitional events which must be conscious if (...) the “hard problem” is to be solved -- in any sense of ‘solve’ which would make us any the wiser about it -- but whose consciousness is quite different from the qualia and phenomena usually inventoried. Events of this kind are both part of the hard problem and the means by which we will solve it, if we ever do. -/- . (shrink)
Consider this situation: Here are two envelopes. You have one of them. Each envelope contains some quantity of money, which can be of any positive real magnitude. One contains twice the amount of money that the other contains, but you do not know which one. You can keep the money in your envelope, whose numerical value you do not know at this stage, or you can exchange envelopes and have the money in the other. You wish to maximise your money. (...) What should you do?1 Here are three forms of reasoning about this situation, which we shall call.. (shrink)
Stanley and Williamson reject Ryle's knowing-how/knowing-that distinction charging that it obstructs our understanding of human action. Incorrectly interpreting the distinction to imply that knowledge-how is non-propositional, they object that Ryle's argument for it is unsound and linguistic theory contradicts it. I show that they (and their interlocutors) misconstrue the distinction and Ryle's argument. Consequently, their objections fail. On my reading, Ryle's distinction pertains to, not knowledge, but an explanatory gap between explicit and implicit content, and his argument for it is (...) sound. I defend the distinction's necessity in explaining human action and show that it propels a fruitful explanatory program. (shrink)
We are pluralists about logical consequence . We hold that there is more than one sense in which arguments may be deductively valid, that these senses are equally good, and equally deserving of the name deductive validity. Our pluralism starts with our analysis of consequence. This analysis of consequence is not idiosyncratic. We agree with Richard Jeffrey, and with many other philosophers of logic about how logical consequence is to be defined. To quote Jeffrey.
In this paper we defend the doxastic conception of delusions against the metacognitive account developed by Greg Currie and collaborators. According to the metacognitive model, delusions are imaginings that are misidentified by their subjects as beliefs: the Capgras patient, for instance, does not believe that his wife has been replaced by a robot, instead, he merely imagines that she has, and mistakes this imagining for a belief. We argue that the metacognitive account is untenable, and that the traditional conception (...) of delusions as beliefs should be retained. (shrink)
While it isn't clear that we are right to value integrity — or so I shall argue — most of us do. Persons of integrity merit respect. Compromising one's integrity — or failing completely to exhibit it — seems a serious flaw. Two influential accounts suggest why. For Bernard Williams, integrity is 'a person's sticking by what [she] regards as ethically necessary or worthwhile.'2 To this Cheshire Calhoun adds a helpful negative gloss:To lack integrity is to underrate both formulating and (...) exemplifying one's own views. People without integrity trade action on their own views too cheaply for gain, status, reward, approval or for escape from penalties, loss of status, disapproval. Or they trade their own views too .. (shrink)
Some of the most interesting recent work in philosophy of language and metaphysics is focused on questions about propositions, the abstract, truth-bearing contents of sentences and beliefs. The aim of this guide is to give instructors and students a road map for some significant work on propositions since the mid-1990s. This work falls roughly into two areas: challenges to the existence of propositions and theories about the nature and structure of propositions. The former includes both a widely discussed puzzle about (...) propositional designators as well as direct and indirect arguments against the existence of propositions. The latter is dominated by what is currently the central debate about the metaphysics of propositions, i.e. whether they are structured, composite entities or unstructured ontological simples. This issue has eclipsed older debates about whether propositions can be identified with sets of possible worlds or other kinds of sentence intensions. Author Recommends 1. Soames, Scott. 'Direct Reference, Propositional Attitudes, and Semantic Content.' Philosophical Topics 15 (1987): 47–87. Reprinted in Propositions and Attitudes . Eds. N. Salmon and S. Soames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. 197–239. Essential groundwork for more recent work on propositions. Soames gives a careful and exacting presentation of the case against identifying propositions with sets of possible worlds or other truth-supporting circumstances. Also contains a detailed statement of the Russellian conception of propositions on which propositions are ordered sets of objects, properties and relations. 2. King, Jeffrey. 'Designating Propositions.' The Philosophical Review 111 (2002): 341–71. Sometimes substituting a definite description for a corresponding 'that'-clause can lead to bizarre changes in truth-conditions: compare 'Bill fears that Hillary will be president' with 'Bill fears the proposition that Hillary will be president'. This puzzle about propositional designators threatens the relational analysis of propositional attitude reports, the view that 'believes' expresses a relation to the proposition designated by its 'that'-clause, and thereby poses an indirect threat to the existence of propositions. King's solution posits an ambiguity in verbs like 'fear' that embed both 'that'-clauses and definite descriptions. 3. Jubien, Michael. 'Propositions and the Objects of Thought.' Philosophical Studies 104 (2001): 47–62. A direct attack on the existence of propositions. Jubien deploys an analogue of the problem that Paul Benacerraf raised for set-theoretical reductions of numbers against metaphysical reductions of propositions. Just as numbers can be reduced to sets in many different ways, any reduction of propositions brings with it equally good variants, thus making any such reduction arbitrary and unmotivated. The only alternative is to treat propositions as abstract metaphysical primitives. As Jubien argues, however, abstract primitive entities are incapable of doing what propositions must do, i.e. represent objects and states of affairs on their own, without the input of thinking subjects. The upshot is the propositions cannot be reduced and they cannot be primitive, and so they must not exist. 4. Hanks, Peter. 'How Wittgenstein Defeated Russell's Multiple Relation Theory of Judgment.' Synthese 154 (2007): 121–46. Scepticism about propositions has recently led some philosophers, Jubien included, to resuscitate Russell's multiple relation theory of judgment, the idea that judgment is a many-place relation to objects, properties and relations. This paper explains why Russell himself abandoned that theory, and why the theory is still refuted by an objection due to Wittgenstein. 5. Hofweber, Thomas. 'Inexpressible Properties and Propositions.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics . 2 vols. Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. 155–206. An indirect attack on the existence of propositions. Hofweber argues that sentences like 'Bill believes something that Hillary asserted' do not commit us to the existence of propositions. His view is that propositional quantification is an instance of what he calls 'internal' or 'inferential role' quantification, a kind of quantification that carries no ontological implications. 6. Schiffer, Stephen. The Things We Mean . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. esp. chs 1–2. Schiffer defends his theory of pleonastic propositions, on which propositions are unstructured, have no parts, and are very finely grained. 7. Bealer, George. 'Propositions.' Mind 107 (1998): 1–32. Bealer defends his algebraic theory of propositions, which, like Schiffer's pleonastic account, treats propositions as unstructured metaphysical simples. 8. King, Jeffrey. The Nature of and Structure of Content . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. The best developed current theory of the structure in structured propositions. King identifies propositions with certain kinds of facts in which objects, properties and relations are bound together by amalgams of syntactic and semantic relations. 9. Hanks, Peter. 'Recent Work on Propositions.' Philosophy Compass 4 (2009): 1–18. A survey of work on propositions since the mid-1990s that complements this teaching and learning guide. Contains responses to Jubien's and Hofweber's arguments against propositions and critical discussions of Schiffer's pleonastic propositions and King's theory of propositional structure. Online Resources 1. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/propositions/ Propositions (Matthew McGrath) 2. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/propositions-structured/ Structured Propositions (Jeffrey King) 3. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/propositions-singular/ Singular Propositions (Greg Fitch) Sample Partial Syllabus The following partial syllabus can be used as a unit on recent work on propositions in graduate level courses in philosophy of language or metaphysics. Week 1: A Substitution Puzzle About Propositional Designators King, Jeffrey. 'Designating Propositions'. Moltmann, Friederike. 'Propositional Attitudes Without Propositions.' Synthese 135 (2003): 77–118. Week 2: The Benacerraf Problem and Propositional Representation Benacerraf, Paul. 'What Numbers Could Not Be.' Philosophical Review 74 (1965): 47–73. Jubien, Michael. 'Propositions and the Objects of Thought.' Week 3: Propositional Quantification Hofweber, Thomas. 'Inexpressible Properties and Propositions'. Hofweber, Thomas. 'A Puzzle about Ontology.' Noûs 39 (2005): 256–83. Week 4: Schiffer on Pleonastic Propositions Schiffer, Stephen. 'Language-Created Language-Independent Entities.' Philosophical Topics 24 (1996): 149–67. Schiffer, Stephen. The Things We Mean , chs 1–2. Week 5: King on Structured Propositions King, Jeffrey. 'Structured Propositions and Complex Predicates.' Noûs , 29 (1995): 516–35. King, Jeffrey. The Nature and Structure of Content , chs 1–3. Focus Questions 1. Why does identifying propositions with sentence intensions, e.g. sets of possible worlds, 'require the attitudes to have a particular sort of closure under logical consequence, which they clearly don't have' (Mark Richard)? 2. How does the difference between (a) and (b) pose a threat to the existence of propositions? (a) Bill fears that Hillary will be president. (b) Bill fears the proposition that Hillary will be president. 3. What is the Benacerraf problem for metaphysical reductions of propositions? 4. Why must a proposition represent 'on its own cuff' (Michael Jubien)? Why is this a problem for the view that propositions are primitive abstract entities? 5. What does it mean to say that propositions are structured ? Give two different accounts of what propositional structure might be. (shrink)
It is argued that the English bare plural (an NP with plural head that lacks a determiner), in spite of its apparently diverse possibilities of interpretation, is optimally represented in the grammar as a unified phenomenon. The chief distinction to be dealt with is that between the generic use of the bare plural (as in Dogs bark) and its existential or indefinite plural use (as in He threw oranges at Alice). The difference between these uses is not to be accounted (...) for by an ambiguity in the NP itself, but rather by explicating how the context of the sentence acts on the bare plural to give rise to this distinction. A brief analysis is sketched in which bare plurals are treated in all instances as proper names of kinds of things. A subsidiary argument is that the null determiner is not to be regarded as the plural of the indefinite article a. (shrink)
Logical pluralism has been in vogue since JC Beall and Greg Restall 2006 articulated and defended a new pluralist thesis. Recent criticisms such as Priest 2006a and Field 2009 have suggested that there is a relationship between their type of logical pluralism and the meaning-variance thesis for logic. This is the claim, often associated with Quine 1970, that a change of logic entails a change of meaning. Here we explore the connection between logical pluralism and meaning-variance, both in general (...) and for Beall and Restall's theory specifically. We argue that contrary to what Beall and Restall claim, their type of pluralism is wedded to meaning-variance. We then develop an alternative form of logical pluralism that circumvents at least some forms of meaning-variance. (shrink)
In his classic 1936 essay On the Concept of Logical Consequence, Alfred Tarski used the notion of satisfaction to give a semantic characterization of the logical properties. Tarski is generally credited with introducing the model-theoretic characterization of the logical properties familiar to us today. However, in his book, The Concept of Logical Consequence, Etchemendy argues that Tarski's account is inadequate for quite a number of reasons, and is actually incompatible with the standard model-theoretic account. Many of his criticisms are meant (...) to apply to the model-theoretic account as well.In this paper, I discuss the following four critical charges that Etchemendy makes against Tarski and his account of the logical properties:(1)(a) Tarski's account of logical consequence diverges from the standard model-theoretic account at points where the latter account gets it right. (b) Tarski's account cannot be brought into line with the model-theoretic account, because the two are fundamentally incompatible. (2) There are simple counterexamples (enumerated by Etchemendy) which show that Tarski's account is wrong. (3) Tarski committed a modal fallacy when arguing that his account captures our pre-theoretical concept of logical consequence, and so obscured an essential weakness of the account. (4) Tarski's account depends on there being a distinction between the logical terms and the non-logical terms of a language, but (according to Etchemendy) there are very simple (even first-order) languages for which no such distinction can be made. Etchemendy's critique raises historical and philosophical questions about important foundational work. However, Etchemendy is mistaken about each of these central criticisms. In the course of justifying that claim, I give a sustained explication and defense of Tarski's account. Moreover, since I will argue that Tarski's account and the model-theoretic account really do come to the same thing, my subsequent defense of Tarski's account against Etchemendy's other attacks doubles as a defense against criticisms that would apply equally to the familiar model-theoretic account of the logical properties. (shrink)
This paper argues that Pascal's formulation of his famous wager argument licenses an inference about God's nature that ultimately vitiates the claim that wagering for God is in one's rational self-interest. In particular, it is argued that if we accept Pascal's premises, then we can infer that the god for whom Pascal encourages us to wager is irrational. But if God is irrational, then the prudentially rational course of action is to refrain from wagering for him.
In their recent book Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience, Max Bennett and Peter Hacker attack neural materialism (NM), the view, roughly, that mental states (events, processes, etc.) are identical with neural states or material properties of neural states (events, processes, etc.). Specifically, in the penultimate chapter entitled “Reductionism,” they argue that NM is unintelligible, that “there is no sense to literally identifying neural states and configurations with psychological attributes.” This is a provocative claim indeed. If Bennett and Hacker are right, then (...) a sizeable number of philosophers, cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, etc., subscribe to a view that is not merely false, but strictly meaningless. In this article I show that Bennett and Hacker's arguments against NM, whether construed as arguments for the meaninglessness of or the falsity of the thesis, cannot withstand scrutiny: when laid bare they are found to rest upon highly dubious assumptions that either seriously mischaracterize or underestimate the resources of the thesis. (shrink)
Judith Thomson, David Lewis, and Ted Sider have each formulated different arguments that apparently pose problems for our ordinary claims of diachronic sameness, i.e., claims in which we assert that familiar, concrete objects survive (or persist) through time by enduring as numerically the same entity despite minor changes in their intrinsic or relational properties. In this paper, I show that all three arguments fail in a rather obvious way--they beg the question--and so even though there may be arguments that provide (...) grounds to fuss about whether our ordinary claims of diachronic sameness are defective, Thomson, Lewis, and Sider's arguments are not among them. (shrink)
In this paper, I distinguish different kinds of pluralism about logical consequence. In particular, I distinguish the pluralism about logic arising from Carnap’s Principle of Tolerance from a pluralism which maintains that there are different, equally “good” logical consequence relations on the one language. I will argue that this second form of pluralism does more justice to the contemporary state of logical theory and practice than does Carnap’s more moderate pluralism.
Philosophers expend considerable effort on the analysis of concepts, but the value of such work is not widely appreciated. This paper principally analyses some arguments, beliefs, and presuppositions about the nature of design and the relations between design and science common in the literature to illustrate this point, and to contribute to the foundations of design theory.
Some fourteenth-century treatises on paradoxes of the liar family offer a promising starting-point for the formulation of full-fledged theories of truth with systematic relevance in their own right. In particular, Bradwardine's thesis that sentences typically say more than one thing gives rise to a quantificational approach to truth, and Buridan's theory of truth based on the notion of suppositio allows for remarkable metaphysical parsimony. Bradwardine's and Buridan's theories both have theoretical advantages, but fail to provide a satisfactory account of truth (...) because both are committed to the thesis, fatal for both, that every sentence signifies/implies its own truth. I close with remarks on Greg Restall's recent model-theoretic formalization of Bradwardine's theory of truth. (shrink)
One of the more refractory problems in contemporary discussions of consciousness is the problem of determining what a mental state's being conscious consists in. This paper defends the thesis that a mental state is conscious if and only if it has a certain reflexive character, i.e., if and only if it has a structure that includes an awareness of itself. Since this thesis finds one of its clearest expressions in the work of Brentano, it is his treatment of the thesis (...) on which I initially focus, though I subsequently bring in Sartre where he addresses himself to an important point not considered by Brentano. As part of this investigation, the paper also, more specifically, aims to exhibit as perspicuously as possible the relationship between self-awareness and the phenomenal, or 'what-it- is-like', dimension of conscious experience. I attempt to show, in particular, that the phenomenal character of at least perceptual consciousness can be fully explained in terms of self-awareness, i.e., in terms of a low-level or 'implicit' self-awareness that is built into every conscious perceptual state. (shrink)
Possible worlds semantics has been very useful in modeling not only the intensionality of necessity and possibility, future and past. It has also found its place in modeling the intentionality of propositional attitudes like belief and knowledge. There is something fruitful in analyzing a belief as a set of possible worlds. The belief is the set of possible worlds in which the belief is true. The belief is true if and only if the actual world is in the corresponding set (...) of propositions. The possible worlds in the set corresponding to the belief represent how the agent per- ceives the world to be. If the belief is false, then the world isn’t how the agent sees the world to be, and so the actual world isn’t in the set of worlds corresponding to the belief (see Lewis  and Stalnaker ). The same can be said of whole belief states just as much as it can be said of individual beliefs. My belief state is the set of worlds consistent with what I believe. This view has been very fruitful, not least because the set-theoretic structure of sets of possible worlds corresponds nicely with the logical structure of entailment relations among propositions and the behavior of propositional connectives like conjunction, disjunction, and negation. However, the story does not deal well with inconsistent belief. Inconsistent beliefs are true in no possible worlds, so they are each modeled by the same set of worlds—the empty set. My beliefs are often inconsistent, and so are those of many.. (shrink)
For more than 10 years, Ulrich Beck has dominated discussion of risk issues in the social sciences. We argue that Beck's criticisms of the theory and practise of risk analysis are groundless. His understanding of what risk is is badly flawed. His attempt to identify risk and risk perception fails. He misunderstands and distorts the use of probability in risk analysis. His comments about the insurance industry show that he does not understand some of the basics of that industry. And (...) his assertions about the wrongness of allowing acceptable levels of exposure to toxic chemicals do not stand up to scrutiny. Key Words: Beck risk analysis risk perception probability insurance. (shrink)
It appears that in the 30 years that business ethics has been a discipline in its own right a model of business ethics has not been proffered. No one appears to have tried to explain the phenomenon known as ‚business ethics’ and the ways that we as a society interact with the concept, therefore, the authors have addressed this gap in the literature by proposing a model of business ethics that the authors hope will stimulate debate. The business ethics model (...) consists of three principal components (i.e. expectations, perceptions and evaluations) that are interconnected by five sub-components (i.e. society expects; organizational values, norms and beliefs; outcomes; society evaluates; and reconnection). The introduced model makes a contribution to the creation of a conceptual framework for business ethics. A few tentative conclusions may be drawn from the introduced model of business ethics. The model aspires to be highly dynamic. The ultimate outcome is dependent upon the evolution of time and contexts. It is also dependent upon and provides reference to the behaviours and perceptions of people. The model proposes business ethics to be a continuous and an iterative process. There is no actual end of the process, but a constant reconnection to the initiation of successive process iterations of the business ethics model. The principals and sub-components of the model construct the dynamics of this continuous process. They provide guidance on what and how to explore our common efforts to understand the phenomenon known as business ethics. The model provides opportunities for further research in the field of business ethics. (shrink)
There is widespread acknowledgement that the law of non-contradiction is an important logical principle. However, there is less-than-universal agreement on exactly what the law amounts to. This unclarity is brought to light by the emergence of paraconsistent logics in which contradictions are tolerated: From the point of view of proofs, not everything need follow from a contradiction — from the point of view of models, there are “worlds” in which contradictions are true. In this sense, the law of non-contradiction is (...) violated in these logics. However, in many paraconsistent logics, statement (it is not the case that ¢ and ¡£¢ ¤ ¢¦¥ not- ¢ ) is still provable. In this sense, the law of non-contradiction is upheld. This paper attempts to clarify the different readings of the law of non-contradiction, in particular taking cues from the tradition of relevant logics. A further guiding principle will be the natural duality between the law of non-contradiction and rejection on the one hand and the law of the excluded middle and acceptance on the other. (shrink)
What are the relations between preattentive feature-placing and states of perceptual awareness? For the purposes of this paper, states of "perceptual awareness" are confined to the simplest possible exemplars: states in which one is aware of some aspect of the appearance of something one perceives. Subjective contours are used as an example. Early visual processing seems to employ independent, high-bandwidth, preattentive feature "channels", followed by a selective process that directs selective attention. The mechanisms that yield subjective contours are found very (...) early in this processing. An experiment by Greg Davis and Jon Driver is described; it seems to show that multiple subjective figures can be coded in these preattentive, parallel stages of visual processing. I propose that some of these preattentive states might register the very same differences that, were one aware of them, would be phenomenal differences. Some arguments pro and con on this possibility are assessed. (shrink)
One of the most dominant approaches to semantics for relevant (and many paraconsistent) logics is the Routley–Meyer semantics involving a ternary relation on points. To some (many?), this ternary relation has seemed like a technical trick devoid of an intuitively appealing philosophical story that connects it up with conditionality in general. In this paper, we respond to this worry by providing three different philosophical accounts of the ternary relation that correspond to three conceptions of conditionality. We close by briefly discussing (...) a general conception of conditionality that may unify the three given conceptions. (shrink)
I argue that a certain type of naturalist should not accept a prominent version of the no‐miracles argument (NMA). First, scientists (usually) do not accept explanations whose explanans‐statements neither generate novel predictions nor unify apparently disparate established claims. Second, scientific realism (as it appears in the NMA) is an explanans that makes no new predictions and fails to unify disparate established claims. Third, many proponents of the NMA explicitly adopt a naturalism that forbids philosophy of science from using any methods (...) not employed by science itself. Therefore, such naturalistic philosophers of science should not accept the version of scientific realism that appears in the NMA. *Received April 2007; revised November 2008. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 300 Pulteney Street, Geneva, NY 14456; e‐mail: gfrost‐firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
It is well known that, according to some, philosophical reflection on zombies (i.e., bodies without minds) poses a problem for physicalism. But what about ghosts, i.e., minds without bodies? Does philosophical reflection on them pose a problem for physicalism? Descartes, of course, thought so, and lately rumours have been surfacing that has was right after all, that ghosts pose a problem for both a priori and a posteriori physicalism, and for any kind of physicalism in between. This paper argues that (...) physicalists have nothing to fear from ghosts, since the central consideration employed to motivate ghostly arguments against physicalism--viz., that ghosts are conceivable--is false: ghosts aren't conceivable. (shrink)
There is a strong intuition that for a change to occur, there must be a moment at which the change is taking place. It will be demonstrated that there are no such moments of change, since no state the changing thing could be in at any moment would suffice to make that moment a moment of change. A moment in which the changing thing is simply in the state changed from or the state changed to cannot be the moment of (...) change, since these states are respectively before and after the change; moreover, to select one of these moments over the other as the moment of change would be arbitrary. A moment in which the changing thing is neither in the state changed from nor in the state changed to cannot be the moment of change, since there are changes for which it is impossible for something to be in neither state. Finally, the moment of change cannot be a moment in which the changing thing is in both the state changed from and the state changed to, as suggested by Graham Priest and others. Even if, like proponents of this view, we are willing to accept the contradictions that the account entails, it is demonstrated that on such a model, every change would require an infinite number of other changes, every change would take an infinite amount of time, and some changes would occur without occurring at any time. Further, the model is grossly counterintuitive, with the exact nature of the counterintuitive element depending on what model of time and space one endorses. Finally, it is demonstrated that this model is incompatible with the Leibniz Continuity Condition. (shrink)
The underdetermination of theory by data obtains when, inescapably, evidence is insufficient to allow scientists to decide responsibly between rival theories. One response to would-be underdetermination is to deny that the rival theories are distinct theories at all, insisting instead that they are just different formulations of the same underlying theory; we call this the identical rivals response. An argument adapted from John Norton suggests that the response is presumptively always appropriate, while another from Larry Laudan and Jarrett Leplin (...) suggests that the response is never appropriate. Arguments from Einstein for the special and general theories of relativity may fruitfully be seen as instances of the identical rivals response; since Einstein’s arguments are generally accepted, the response is at least sometimes appropriate. But when is it appropriate? We attempt to steer a middle course between Norton’s view and that of Laudan and Leplin: the identical rivals response is appropriate when there is good reason for adopting a parsimonious ontology. Although in simple cases the identical rivals response need not involve any ontological difference between the theories, in actual scientific cases it typically requires treating apparent posits of the various theories as mere verbal ornaments or computational conveniences. Since these would-be posits are not now detectable, there is no perfectly reliable way to decide whether we should eliminate them or not. As such, there is no rule for deciding whether the identical rivals response is appropriate or not. Nevertheless, there are considerations that suggest for and against the response; we conclude by suggesting two of them. (shrink)
According to reductive intentionalism, the phenomenal character of a conscious experience is constituted by the experience's intentional (or representational) content. The goal of this article is to show that a phenomenon in visual perception called change blindness poses a problem for this doctrine. It is argued, in particular, that phenomenal character is not sensitive, as it should be if reductive intentionalism is correct, to fine-grained variations in content. The standard anti-intentionalist strategy is to adduce putative cases in which phenomenal character (...) varies despite sameness of content. This paper explores an alternative anti-intentionalist tack, arguing, by way of a specific example involving change blindness, that content can vary despite sameness of phenomenal character. (shrink)
According to one tradition in realist philosophy, ‘truthmaking’ amounts to necessitation. That is, an object x is a truthmaker for the claim A if x exists, and the existence of x necessitates the truth of A. In symbols: E!x ∧ (E!x ⇒ A). I argued in my paper “Truthmakers, Entailment and Necessity” , that if we wish to use this account of truthmaking, we ought understand the entailment connective “⇒” in such a claim as a relevant entailment, in the tradition..
Many commentators on Alfred Tarski have, following Hartry Field, claimed that Tarski's truth-definition was motivated by physicalism—the doctrine that all facts, including semantic facts, must be reducible to physical facts. I claim, instead, that Tarski did not aim to reduce semantic facts to physical ones. Thus, Field's criticism that Tarski's truth-definition fails to fulfill physicalist ambitions does not reveal Tarski to be inconsistent, since Tarski's goal is not to vindicate physicalism. I argue that Tarski's only published remarks that speak approvingly (...) of physicalism were written in unusual circumstances: Tarski was likely attempting to appease an audience of physicalists that he viewed as hostile to his ideas. In later sections I develop positive accounts of: (1) Tarski's reduction of semantic concepts; (2) Tarski's motivation to develop formal semantics in the particular way he does; and (3) the role physicalism plays in Tarski's thought. (shrink)
What would morality have to be like in order to answer to our everyday moral concepts'? What are we committed to when we make moral claims such as "female infibulation is wrong"; or "we ought give money to famine relief"; or "we have a duty to not to harm others", and when we go on to argue about these sorts of claims'? It has seemed to many Ã¢â¬â and it seems plausible to us Ã¢â¬â that when we assert and argue (...) about things such as these we presuppose at least the following. (shrink)
In this essay I first provide an analysis of various community concepts. Second, I evaluate two of the most serious challenges to the existence of communities—gradient and paleoecological analysis respectively—arguing that, properly understood, neither threatens the existence of communities construed interactively. Finally, I apply the same interactive approach to ecosystem ecology, arguing that ecosystems may exist robustly as well. ‡I would like to thank to the participants at the Ecology and Environmental Ethics Conference at the University of Utah, the Philosophy (...) of Ecology Conference hosted by the University of Brisbane, and those participants in a session at the Philosophy of Science Association Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia for helpful discussions of this essay. Specific thanks go to Mark Colyvan, Greg Cooper, Steve Downes, Chris Elliott, Marc Ereshefsky, Paul Griffiths, Jesse Hendrikse, Greg Mikkelson, Anya Plutynski, Kate Ritchie, Sahotra Sarkar, Kim Sterelny, and Rob Wilson. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Lewis and Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, Portland, OR 97219; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Mark Balaguer's Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics presents an intriguing new brand of platonism, which he calls plenitudinous platonism, or more colourfully, full-blooded platonism. In this paper, I argue that Balaguer's attempts to characterise full-blooded platonism fail. They are either too strong, with untoward consequences we all reject, or too weak, not providing a distinctive brand of platonism strong enough to do the work Balaguer requires of it.
Deciding on a topic for the Presidential Address is no easy task. There seem to be a number of models. First, the light philosophical pastiche – the philosophical equivalent of a soufflé. Not only has that been done before1, but I could not think of a subject. Second, the standard philosophical paper, focusing in tightly on some tiny part of the picture – but there are plenty of those around (too many, as I shall later argue!) and, in any case, (...) a Presidential Address appears to demand something special. Third, the philosophical world-view, panning back to get the whole picture. That might better fit the special nature of the occasion, but it is beyond my skill to outline the big picture in a small compass. Fourth, the humorous after-dinner speech, full of wit, satire, and repartee. My predecessor, Greg Ray, delivered the perfect example last year, and one cannot improve on perfection. So that leaves what we might call the broad rumination, the reflective musing on the state of the discipline. The style of pondering whose generic title might be: Whither Philosophy? This genre is beset with dangers, as Greg so wittily showed us. It is hard to avoid being pompous, vacuous, or fatuous – or even all three at once. But I’ll have to risk that. I had been wondering for a while why I find a good deal of contemporary philosophy so tedious when someone drew my attention to a column by Jo Wolff (Head of the Philosophy Department at University College London) in a British newspaper. It begins. (shrink)
The principle of indifference (hereafter ‘Poi’) says that if one has no more reason to believe A than B (and vice versa ), then one ought not to believe A more than B (nor vice versa ). Many think it’s demonstrably false despite its intuitive plausibility, because of a particular style of thought experiment that generates counterexamples. Roger White ( 2008 ) defends Poi by arguing that its antecedent is false in these thought experiments. Like White I believe Poi, but (...) I find his defense unsatisfactory for two reasons: it appeals to false premises, and it saves Poi only at the expense of something that Poi’s believers likely find just as important. So in this essay I defend Poi by arguing that its antecedent does hold in the relevant thought experiments, and that the further propositions needed to reject Poi are false. I play only defense in this essay; I don’t argue that Poi is true (even though I think it is), but rather that one popular refutation is faulty. In showing this, I also note something that has to my knowledge gone unnoticed: given some innocuous-looking assumptions the denial of Poi is equivalent to a version of epistemic permissivism , and Poi itself is equivalent to a version of epistemic uniqueness. (shrink)
According to a currently popular approach to the analysis of phenomenal character, the phenomenal character of an experience is entirely determined by, and is in fact identical with, the experience's representational content. Two underlying assumptions motivate this approach to phenomenal character: (1) that conscious experiences are diaphanous or transparent, in the sense that it is impossible to discern, via introspection, any intrinsic features of an experience of x that are not experienced as features of x, and (2) that the immediate (...) objects of consciousness are not objects per se, but rather properties. This paper explores these assumptions, advancing the thesis that each is rejectable on phenomenological grounds. (shrink)
The Copenhagen interpretation, which informs the textbook presentation of quantum mechanics, depends fundamentally on the notion of ontological wave-particle duality and a viewpoint called “complementarity.” In this paper, Bohr's own interpretation is traced in detail and is shown to be fundamentally different from and even opposed to the Copenhagen interpretation in virtually all its particulars. In particular, Bohr's interpretation avoids the ad hoc postulate of wave function ‘collapse' that is central to the Copenhagen interpretation. The strengths and weakness of both (...) interpretations are summarized. ‡I thank Edward Mackinnon, Henry Folse, and Greg Anderson for valuable comments on the penultimate draft. The final responsibility for the paper rests with the author. †To contact the author, please write to: Bhaktivedanta Institute, 2334 Stuart Street, Berkeley, CA; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. I have been unable to achieve a sharp formulation of Bohr's principle of complementarity despite much effort I have expended on it. (Einstein 1949, 674) While imagining that I understand the position of Einstein, as regards the EPR correlations, I have very little understanding of his principal opponent, Bohr. (Bell 1987, 155) Niels Bohr brain-washed a generation of physicists into believing that the problem had been solved fifty years ago. (Gell-Mann 1979, 29) Every sentence I say must be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question. (Niels Bohr, quoted in Jammer 1966, 175) Bohr's interpretation has never been fully clarified. It needs an interpretation itself, and only that will be its defense. (Weizsäcker 1971, 25). (shrink)
Recent allegations of unethical decision-making by leaders in prominent business organizations have jeopardized the world’s confidence in American business. The purpose of this research was to develop a measure of managerial moral judgment that can be used in future research and managerial assessment. The measure was patterned after the Defining Issues Test, a widely used general measure of moral judgment. With content validity as the goal, we aimed to sample the domain of managerial ethical situations by establishing links to dimensions (...) of managerial performance, as well as to the types of organizational justice issues managers encounter. Proposed scenarios were evaluated for realism by ethics officers and human resource managers. Results indicated that the new measure is reliable and correlates with a number of relevant variables in the hypothesized manner, demonstrating evidence of construct validity. Implications for future research and for human resources management are discussed. (shrink)
Just what is full-blooded platonism?’ Greg Restall outlines several objections to Mark Balaguer's theory of full-blooded platonism. I reply to these objections by explicating the semantic framework for the reference of mathematical terms that full-blooded platonism requires. Expanding upon these replies, I then explain how the full-blooded platonist, in light of the explicated semantic framework, should treat mathematical terms and statements in order to avoid certain pitfalls. I want to thank Mark Balaguer, Phillip Bricker, and Greg Restall for (...) helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. (shrink)
I present an account of truth values for classical logic, intuitionistic logic, and the modal logic S5, in which truth values are not a fundamental category from which the logic is defined, but rather, an idealisation of more fundamental logical features in the proof theory for each system. The result is not a new set of semantic structures, but a new understanding of how the existing semantic structures may be understood in terms of a more fundamental notion of logical consequence.
In Logical consequence: A defense of Tarski (Journal of Philosophical Logic, vol. 25, 1996, pp. 617–677), Greg Ray defends Tarski"s account of logical consequence against the criticisms of John Etchemendy. While Ray"s defense of Tarski is largely successful, his attempt to give a general proof that Tarskian consequence preserves truth fails. Analysis of this failure shows that de facto truth preservation is a very weak criterion of adequacy for a theory of logical consequence and should be replaced by a (...) stronger absence-of-counterexamples criterion. It is argued that the latter criterion reflects the modal character of our intuitive concept of logical consequence, and it is shown that Tarskian consequence can be proved to satisfy this criterion for certain choices of logical constants. Finally, an apparent inconsistency in Ray"s interpretation of Tarski"s position on the modal status of the consequence relation is noted. (shrink)
I am a logical pluralist. I think that logical consequence is not just a manysplendoured thing, but that logical consequence is many different things. There is no one true logic but rather, many. Logic is a matter of “truth preservation in all cases” in the sense that..
Greg Kavka (1947-1994) was a prominent and influential figure in contemporary moral and political philosophy. The new essays in this volume are concerned with fundamental issues of rational commitment and social justice to which Kavka devoted his work as a philosopher. The essays take Kavka's work as a point of departure and seek to advance the respective debates. The topics include: the relationship between intention and moral action as part of which Kavka's famous 'toxin puzzle' is a focus of (...) discussion, the nature of deterrence, the rationality of morals, contractarian ethics, and the contemporary relevance of Hobbes' political thought. Incorporating important new philosophical statements of problems and fresh contributions to the ongoing debate about rational intention this volume will interest not just philosophers but also political scientists and economists. (shrink)
Substructural logics are non-classical logics weaker than classical logic, notable for the absence of structural rules present in classical logic. These logics are motivated by considerations from philosophy (relevant logics), linguistics (the Lambek calculus) and computing (linear logic). In addition, techniques from substructural logics are useful in the study of traditional logics such as classical and intuitionistic logic. This article provides a brief overview of the field of substructural logic. For a more detailed introduction, complete with theorems, proofs and examples, (...) the reader can consult the books and articles in the Bibliography. (shrink)
This paper proposes a retributive argument against punishment, where punishment is understood as going beyond condemnation or censure, and requiring hard treatment. The argument sets out to show that punishment cannot be justified. The argument does not target any particular attempts to justify punishment, retributive or otherwise. Clearly, however, if it succeeds, all such attempts fail. No argument for punishment is immune from the argument against punishment proposed here. The argument does not purport to be an argument only against retributive (...) justifications of punishment, and so leave open the possibility of a sound non-retributive justification of punishment. Punishment cannot be justified, the paper argues, because it cannot be demonstrated that any punishment, no matter how minimal, is not a disproportionate retributive response to criminal wrongdoing. If we are to hold onto proportionality—that is, proportionality as setting a limit to morally permissible punishment—then punishment is morally impermissible. The argument is a retributive argument against punishment insofar as a just retributive response to wrongdoing must be proportionate to the wrongdoing. The argument, that is, is concerned with proportionality as a retributive requirement. The argument against punishment is set out on the basis of a familiar version of the ‘anchoring problem’, according to which it is the problem of determining the most severe punishment to anchor or ground the punishment scale. To meet the possible criticism that we have chosen a version of the anchoring problem particularly favourable to our argument, various alternative statements of the anchoring problem are considered. Considering such statements also provides a more rounded view of the anchoring problem. One such alternative holds that the punishment scale must be anchored not just in the most severe punishment, but in the least severe punishment as well. Other alternatives hold that it is necessary and sufficient to anchor the punishment scale in any two punishments, neither of which needs to be the most or least severe punishment. A further suggestion is that one anchoring point anywhere along the punishment scale is sufficient, because it is possible to ‘project’ from such a point, so as to determine the correlative punishments for all other crimes, and so derive a complete punishment scale. Finally, the suggestion is considered that one can approach the issue of a punishment scale ‘holistically’, denying any distinction between anchoring and derived (or ‘projected’) punishments. (shrink)
The received view of an ad hochypothesis is that it accounts for only the observation(s) it was designed to account for, and so non-ad hocness is generally held to be necessary or important for an introduced hypothesis or modification to a theory. Attempts by Popper and several others to convincingly explicate this view, however, prove to be unsuccessful or of doubtful value, and familiar and firmer criteria for evaluating the hypotheses or modified theories so classified are characteristically available. These points (...) are obscured largely because the received view fails to adequately separate psychology from methodology or to recognise ambiguities in the use of ''ad hoc''. (shrink)
John Etchemendy (1990) has argued that Tarski's definition of logical consequence fails as an adequate philosophical analysis. Since then, Greg Ray (1996) has defended Tarski's analysis against Etchemendy's criticisms. Here, I'll argue that--even given Ray's defense of Tarski's definition--we may nevertheless lay claim to the conditional conclusion that 'if' Tarski intended a conceptual analysis of logical consequence, 'then' it fails as such. Secondly, I'll give some reasons to think that Tarski 'did' intend a conceptual analysis of logical consequence.
This essay is structured around the bifurcation between proofs and models: The first section discusses Proof Theory of relevant and substructural logics, and the second covers the Model Theory of these logics. This order is a natural one for a history of relevant and substructural logics, because much of the initial work — especially in the Anderson–Belnap tradition of relevant logics — started by developing proof theory. The model theory of relevant logic came some time later. As we will see, (...) Dunn’s algebraic models [76, 77] Urquhart’s operational semantics [267, 268] and Routley and Meyer’s relational semantics [239, 240, 241] arrived decades after the initial burst of activity from Alan Anderson and Nuel Belnap. The same goes for work on the Lambek calculus: although inspired by a very particular application in linguistic typing, it was developed first proof-theoretically, and only later did model theory come to the fore. Girard’s linear logic is a different story: it was discovered though considerations of the categorical models of coherence.. (shrink)
Knowledge of residual perturbations in Uranus's orbit led to Neptune's discovery in 1846 rather than the refutation of Newton's law of gravitation. Karl Popper asserts that this case is untypical of science and that the law was at least prima facie falsified. I argue that these assertions are the product of a false, a priori methodological position, 'Weak Popperian Falsificationism' (WPF), and that on the evidence the law was not, and was not considered, prima facie false. Many of Popper's commentators (...) presuppose WPF and their views on this case and its implications for scientific rationality and method are similarly unwarranted or defective. (shrink)
Analytic philosophy is once again in a methodological frame of mind. Nowhere is this more evident than in metaphysics, whose practitioners and historians are actively reflecting on the nature of ontological questions, the status of their answers, and the relevance of contributions both from other areas within philosophy (e.g., philosophical logic, semantics) and beyond (notably, the natural sciences). Such reflections are hardly new: the debate between Willard van Orman Quine and Rudolf Carnap about how to understand and resolve ontological questions (...) is widely seen as a turning point in 20th-century analytic philosophy. And indeed, this volume is occasioned by the fact that the deflationary approach advocated by Carnap that debate is once again attracting considerable interest and support. Containing ten original and previously unpublished essays by many of today's leading voices in metametaphysics, Ontology After Carnap aims both to deepen our understanding of Carnap's contributions to metaontology and to explore how this legacy might be mined for insights into the contemporary debate. Contributors: Richard Creath, Matti Eklund, Simon Evnine, Eli Hirsch, Thomas Hofweber, Kathrin Koslicki, Robert Kraut, Greg Lavers, Alan Sidelle, Amie Thomasson, Jessica Wilson & Stephen Biggs. (shrink)
Two central and well-known philosophical goals of the logical empiricists are the unification of science and the elimination of metaphysics. I argue, via textual analysis, that these two apparently distinct planks of the logical empiricist party platform are actually intimately related. From the 1920’s through 1950, one abiding criterion for judging whether an apparently declarative assertion or descriptive term is metaphysical is that that assertion or term cannot be incorporated into a language of unified science. I explore various versions of (...) this criterion throughout the works of Carnap and Neurath. (shrink)
This article defends two theses: that a mental state is conscious if and only if it has phenomenal character, i.e., if and only if there is something it is like for the subject to be in that state, and that all state consciousness involves self-consciousness, in the sense that a mental state is conscious if and only if its possessor is, in some suitable way, conscious of being in it. Though neither of these theses is novel, there is a dearth (...) of direct arguments for them in the scholarly literature and the relationship between them has so far gone underrecognized. This article attempts to remedy this lack, advancing the claim that if all conscious states have phenomenal character, then all state consciousness involves self-consciousness. (shrink)
Philosophers love a priori knowledge: we delight in truths that can be known from the comfort of our armchairs, without the need to venture out in the world for confirmation. This is due not to laziness, but to two different considerations. First, it seems that many philosophical issues aren’t settled by our experience of the world — the nature of morality; the way concepts pick out objects; the structure of our experience of the world in which we find ourselves — (...) these issues seem to be decided not on the basis of our experience, but in some manner by things prior to (or independently of) that experience. Second, even when we are deeply interested in how our experience lends credence to our claims about the world, the matter remains of the remainder: we learn more about how experience contributes to knowledge when we see what knowledge is available independent of that experience. (shrink)
Stephen Neale presents, in Facing Facts (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001), one convenient package containing his reasoned complaints against theories of facts and non-extensional connectives. The slingshot is a powerful argument (or better, it is a powerful family of arguments) which constrains theories of facts, propositions and non-extensional connectives by showing that some of these theories are rendered trivial. This book is the best place to find the state of the art on the slingshot and its implications for logic, language and (...) metaphysics. It provides a useful starting point for anyone who has wondered what all of the fuss about the slingshot amounts to. Neale shows that the fuss does amount to something, and that theories of facts must “face facts” and present an adequate response to the slingshot. However, Neale’s evaluation of the state of play for theories of facts is too pessimistic. As the book draws near to a close, Neale writes: As I have stressed, Russell’s Theory of Facts, according to which facts have properties as components, is safe. It is certainly tempting to draw the moral that if one wants non-collapsing facts one needs properties as components of facts. I have not attempted to prove this here, but I suspect it will be proved in due course. (page 210) Neale concludes that while theories which take facts to be structured entities are safe from slingshot arguments, and he suspects that this is the only kind of fact theory safe from slingshot-style collapse. If this were the case, then theories such as situation theories or accounts of truthmakers may well be threatened. However, Neale’s suspicion is ill-founded, as I shall soon show. Not only do Russellian theories of facts survive the slingshot unscathed, but so can theories of facts which take them to be unstructured entities. Furthermore, the way that this may be not only argued for, but proved can provide a new weapon in the armoury of the theorist investigating fact theories. (shrink)
This paper sketches an evidential atheological argument that can be answered only if one of the central tenets of some theistic traditions is rejected, namely, that (propositional) belief in God is a necessary condition for salvation. The basic structure of the argument is as follows. Under theism, God is essentially omniscient, but no one can be both omniscient and irrational. So, if there is reason to hold that God is irrational, then it would follow that God doesn’t exist. And there (...) is reason to hold that God is irrational. To wit, God both hides and, according to some theistic traditions, requires belief. But it is irrational for God both to hide and require belief; therefore, God is irrational. Since a crucial – and controversial – premise in the argument is that it is irrational for God to both hide and require belief, a large part of the paper is devoted to defending that premise. (shrink)
First, a few words of introduction, setting the scene. IÕm not a Nietzsche scholar. IÕm not even an historian of philosophy of any stripe. I am one of the fortunate few who are paid to Ôdo philosophyÕ, but the areas I tend to do most of my work in are logic, philosophy of language and some philosophy of religion. So why am I presenting a paper on Nietzsche? Well, there are at least two reasons. Firstly, I teach philosophy of religion, (...) and in the course I have a section about distinctively modern critics of religious belief. Nietzsche, together with Freud, Feuerbach and Marx present important criticisms which form a part of the fabric of contemporary philosophy of religion, and any student of the area needs to know something about it. So, what better way for me to learn about it than to force myself to write a paper on it? However, my reasons are not just selfish Ñ I do believe that the way that Christians (and other religious believers) respond to these contemporary critics of religion is very important. So, my aim in this paper is not only to give a short introduction to what Nietzsche has to say about Christian faith, but also to examine what an appropriate response for believers might be. This then has consequences for what we take the task of ÔChristian PhilosophyÕ to be. (shrink)
Watkins proposes a neo-Popperian solution to the pragmatic problem of induction. He asserts that evidence can be used non-Inductively to prefer the principle that corroboration is more successful over all human history than that, Say, Counter-Corroboration is more successful either over this same period or in the future. Watkins's argument for rejecting the first counter-Corroborationist alternative is beside the point, However, As whatever is the best strategy over all human history is irrelevant to the pragmatic problem of induction since we (...) are not required to act in the past, And his argument for rejecting the second presupposes induction. (shrink)
Combining phenomenological insights from Brentano and Sartre, but also drawing on recent work on consciousness by analytic philosophers, this book defends the view that conscious states are reflexive, and necessarily so, i.e., that they have a built-in, implicit awareness of their own occurrence, such that the subject of a conscious state has an immediate, non-objectual acquaintance with it. As part of this investigation, the book also explores the relationship between reflexivity and the phenomenal, or what-it-is-like, dimension of conscious experience, defending (...) the innovative thesis that phenomenal character is constituted by the implicit self-awareness built into every conscious state. This account stands in marked contrast to most influential extant theories of phenomenal character, including qualia theories, according to which phenomenal character is a matter of having phenomenal sensations, and representationalism, according to which phenomenal character is constituted by representational content. (shrink)
The paradoxes of self-reference are genuinely paradoxical. The liar paradox, Russell’s paradox and their cousins pose enormous difficulties to anyone who seeks to give a comprehensive theory of semantics, or of sets, or of any other domain which allows a modicum of self-reference and a modest number of logical principles. One approach to the paradoxes of self-reference takes these paradoxes as motivating a non-classical theory of logical consequence. Similar logical principles are used in each of the paradoxical inferences. If one (...) or other of these problematic inferences are rejected, we may arrive at a consistent (or at least, a coherent) theory. In this paper I will show that such approaches come at a serious cost. The general approach of using the paradoxes to restrict the class of allowable inferences places severe constraints on the domain of possible propositional logics, and on the kind of metatheory that is appropriate in the study of logic itself. Proof-theoretic and model-theoretic analyses of logical consequence make provide different ways for non-classical responses to the paradoxes to be defeated by revenge problems: the redefinition of logical connectives thought to be ruled out on logical grounds. Non-classical solutions are not the “easy way out” of the paradoxes. (shrink)
It is common parlance among philosophers who inquire into the nature of consciousness to speak of there being something it is like for the subject of a mental state to be in it. The popularity of the ‘what-it-is-like’ phrase stems, in part, from the assumption that it enables us to distinguish, in an intuitive and illuminating way, between conscious and unconscious mental states: conscious mental states, unlike unconscious mental states, are such that there is something it is like for their (...) subjects to be in them. The ‘what-it-is-like’ phrase, however, has not gone unopposed; some very clever philosophers have vigorously disputed it. Peter Hacker, for example, argues that the phrase should be abandoned because it is ungrammatical, and Paul Snowdon argues that it should be abandoned because the propositions expressed by its usage are either trivial or false. This paper mounts a case for the claim that neither of these conclusions is warranted. Against Hacker, it is argued that the arguments he produces for the ungrammaticality of the phrase are unpersuasive, and against Snowdon it is argued that he fails to consider a plausible and independently motivated interpretation of the phrase, and that on this interpretation, the propositions expressed by its usage are nontrivially true. (shrink)
This is the first book to systematically survey new areas of substructural logics. This book is geared to introduce the topic to advanced students. An Introduction to Substructural Logics covers the area of logic that is crucial to developments in computing, philosophy and linguistics.