In this paper I outline my conception of the epistemology of science, by reference to my published papers, showing how the ideas presented there fit together. In particular I discuss the aim of science, scientific progress, the nature of scientific evidence, the failings of empiricism, inference to the best (or only) explanation, and Kuhnian psychology of discovery. Throughout, I emphasize the significance of the concept of scientific knowledge.
This is a rewarding book. In terms of area, it has one foot firmly planted in metaphysics and the other just as firmly set in the philosophy of science. Nature's Metaphysics is distinctive for its thorough and detailed defense of fundamental, natural properties as essentially dispositional and for its description of how these dispositional properties are thus suited to sustain the laws of nature as (metaphysically) necessary truths.
In this paper, I seek to caution the increasing number of contemporary sociologists who are engaging with continental phenomenological sociology without looking at the Anglo-American tradition. I look at a particular debate that took place during the formative period in the Anglo-American tradition. My focus is on the way participants sought to negotiate the disciplinary division between philosophy and sociology. I outline various ways that these disciplinary exigencies, especially the institutional struggles with the sociological establishment, shaped how participants defined phenomenological (...) sociology. I argue that despite the supposed theoretical, methodological, and substantial differences between these waves of phenomenological sociology, the contemporary wave could benefit from some of the lessons that were learned by their predecessors. (shrink)
W. V. Quine was the most important naturalistic philosopher of the twentieth century and a major impetus for the recent resurgence of the view that empirical science is our best avenue to knowledge. His views, however, have not been well understood. Critics charge that Quine’s naturalized epistemology is circular and that it cannot be normative. Yet, such criticisms stem from a cluster of fundamental traditional assumptions regarding language, theory, and the knowing subject – the very presuppositions that Quine is at (...) pains to reject. Through investigation of Quine’s views regarding language, knowledge, and reality, the author offers a new interpretation of Quine’s naturalism. The naturalism/antinaturalism debate can be advanced only by acknowledging and critiquing the substantial theoretical commitments implicit in the traditional view. Gregory argues that the responses to the circularity and non-normativity objections do just that. His analysis further reveals that Quine’s departure from the tradition penetrates the conception of the knowing subject, and he thus offers a new and engaging defence of Quine’s naturalism. (shrink)
This book is part of the Fundamentals in Philosophy series, edited by John Shand, offering introductions to core areas of philosophy which are “not mere bland expositions, and as such are original pieces of philosophy in their own right”. Alexander Bird’s book meets this remit admirably. In my review I shall concentrate on the philosophical argument of the work and set aside its merits as a student text though they compare well with rivals currently on offer.
The author discusses the contributions of grounded theory and grounded action to the development of a new, and evolutionary, theoretical framework for understanding diversity as a complex phenomenon. She discusses the work of Thomas and Gregory as pioneers in expanding the conceptualization of diversity, arguing that this new understanding increases the potential for creative action in systems.
The Oxford Companion to the Mind is a classic. Published in 1987, to huge acclaim, it immediately took its place as the indispensable guide to the mysteries - and idiosyncracies - of the human mind. In no other book can the reader find discussions of concepts such as language, memory, and intelligence, side by side with witty definitions of common human experiences such as the 'cocktail-party' and 'halo' effects, and the least effort principle. Richard Gregory again brings his wit, (...) wisdom, and expertise to bear on this most elusive of subjects. Research into the mind and brain has moved on in bounds in recent years, and interest in the subject has never been so high. There has been a shift in focus away from Freud's concept of the unconscious onto consciousness itself. The new edition of the Companion includes three 'mini symposia' - on consciousness, brain scanning, and artificial intelligence - with contributions from a number of specialists, and encompassing a range of approaches. Cultural as well as scientific in approach, this accessible book offers authoritative descriptions and analysis. With new entries on controversial topics such as artificial life, attachment theory, caffeine, cruetly, drama, extra-terrestrial intelligence, genetics of mental illness, imagination, lying, puzzles, and twins, this highly-anticipated second edition explores the most intriguing of subjects. (shrink)
Gregory explains nine educational approaches to discussing Philosophy with children. A general overview through analytical and critical reasoning explains the faults with Philosophy in an education setting and the authors feedback.
The Neoplatonist philosophers who flourished between the third and sixth centuries AD had a profound influence on western philosophy, on both Christian and Islamic literature and the visual arts from the Renaissance to modern times. This extensively revised and updated second edition of Neoplatonists provides a valuable introduction to the thought of four central Neoplatonic philosophers, Plotinus, Porphyry, Proclus and Iamblichus. John Gregory presents new translations of a selection of key passages from Neoplatonist writings, an introduction that puts in (...) context the writings, and an epilogue detailing the legacy and influence of Neoplatonist thought. (shrink)
Kripkean examples of necessary a posteriori truths clearly provide a challenge to attempts to connect facts about possibility to facts about what people can conceive. The paper argues for a general principle connecting imaginability under certain special circumstances to possibility; it also discusses some of the issues raised by the resulting position.
I present an argument that encapsulates the view that theory is underdetermined by evidence. I show that if we accept Williamson's equation of evidence and knowledge, then this argument is question-begging. I examine ways of defenders of underdetermination may avoid this criticism. I also relate this argument and my critique to van Fraassen's constructive empiricism.
Is the nature of explanation a metaphysical issue? Or has it more to do with psychology and pragmatics? To put things in a different way: what are primary relata in an explanation? What sorts of thing explain what other sorts of thing? David Lewis identiﬁes two senses of ‘explanation’ (Lewis 1986, 217–218). In the ﬁrst sense, an explanation is an act of explaining. I shall call this the subjectivist sense, since its existence depends on some subject doing the explaining. Hence (...) it is people who, in this sense, explain things. In the second of his two senses, Lewis says, quoting Sylvain Bromberger, that one may properly ask of an explanation “Does anyone know it? Who thought of it ﬁrst? Is it very complicated?” (Lewis 1986, 218; Bromberger 1965). In this second sense, no subject is needed, the explanation can remain unknown, perhaps for ever. So I call this the objectivist sense. (shrink)
Dispositional essentialists claim that dispositional properties are essentially dispositional: a property would not be the property it is unless it carried with it certain dispositional powers. Categoricalists about dispositional properties deny this, asserting that the same properties might have had different dispositional powers, had the contingent laws of nature been otherwise.
The usual, comparative, conception of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) takes it to be ampliative. In this paper I propose a conception of IBE (‘Holmesian inference’) that takes it to be a species of eliminative induction and hence not ampliative. This avoids several problems for comparative IBE (e.g. how could it be reliable enough to generate knowledge?). My account of Holmesian inference raises the suspicion that it could never be applied, on the grounds that scientific hypotheses are inevitably underdetermined (...) by the evidence (i.e. are inevitably ampliative). I argue that this concern may be resisted by acknowledging, as Timothy Williamson has shown, that all knowledge is evidence. This suggests an approach to resisting scepticism different from those (e.g. the reliabilist approach) that embrace fallibilism. (shrink)
This paper sketches a dispositionalist conception of laws and shows how the dispositionalist should respond to certain objections. The view that properties are essentially dispositional is able to provide an account of laws that avoids the problems that face the two views of laws (the regularity and the contingent nomic necessitation views) that regard properties as categorical and laws as contingent. I discuss and reject the objections that (i) this view makes laws necessary whereas they are contingent; (ii) this view (...) cannot account for certain kinds of laws of nature and their properties. (shrink)
I defend my view that scientific progress is constituted by the accumulation of knowledge against a challenge from Rowbottom in favour of the semantic view that it is only truth that is relevant to progress.
Those who favour an ontology based on dispositions are thereby able to provide a dispositional essentialist account of the laws of nature. In part 1 of this paper I sketch the dispositional essentialist conception of properties and the concomitant account of laws. In part 2, I characterise various claims about the modal character of properties that fall under the heading ‘quidditism’ and which are consequences of the categoricalist view of properties, which is the alternative to the dispositional essentialist view. I (...) argue that quidditism should be rejected. In part 3, I address a criticism of a strong dispositional essentialist view, viz. that ‘structural’ (i.e. geometrical, numerical, spatial and temporal) properties must be regarded as categorical. (shrink)
Those who hold that all fundamental sparse properties have dispositional essences face a problem with structural (e.g. geometrical) properties. In this paper I consider a further route for the dispositional monist that is enabled by the requirement that physical theories should be background-free. If this requirement is respected then we can see how spatial displacement can be a causally active relation and hence may be understood dispositionally.
This paper discusses the prospects of a dispositional solution to the Kripke–Wittgenstein rule-following puzzle. Recent attempts to employ dispositional approaches to this puzzle have appealed to the ideas of finks and antidotes—interfering dispositions and conditions—to explain why the rule-following disposition is not always manifested. We argue that this approach fails: agents cannot be supposed to have straightforward dispositions to follow a rule which are in some fashion masked by other, contrary dispositions of the agent, because in all cases, at least (...) some of the interfering dispositions are both relatively permanent and intrinsic to the agent. The presence of these intrinsic and relatively permanent states renders the ascription of a rule-following disposition to the agent false. (shrink)
Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby have argued that pornography might create a climate whereby a woman’s ability to refuse sex is literally silenced or removed. Their central argument is that a failure of ‘uptake’ of the woman’s intention means that the illocutionary speech act of refusal has not taken place. In this paper, I challenge the claims from the Austinian philosophy of language which feature in this argument. I argue that uptake is not in general required for illocution, nor is (...) it required for refusal in particular. I conclude with remarks on the relationship between illocutionary and perlocutionary speech-acts. (shrink)
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of the most cited academic books of all time. His contribution to the philosophy science marked not only a break with several key positivist doctrines but also inaugurated a new style of philosophy of science that brought it much closer to the history of science. His account of the development of science held that science enjoys periods of stable growth punctuated by revisionary revolutions, to which he added the controversial ‘incommensurability thesis’, that theories (...) from differing periods suffer from certain deep kinds of failure of comparability. (shrink)
In ‘Finkish Dispositions’1 David Lewis proposes an analysis of dispositions which improves on the simple conditional analysis. In this paper I show that Lewis’ analysis still fails. I also argue that repairs are of no avail, and suggest why this is so.
Dispositional monism is the view that natural properties and relations are ‘pure powers’. It is objected that dispositional monism involves some kind of vicious or otherwise unpalatable regress or circularity. I examine ways of making this objection precise. The most pressing interpretation is that is fails to make the identities of powers determinate. I demonstrate that this objection is in error. It does however puts certain constraints on what the structure of fundamental properties is like. I show what a satisfactory (...) structure would be. (shrink)
Various writers have proposed that the notion of a possible world is a functional concept, yet very little has been done to develop that proposal. This paper explores a particular functionalist account of possible worlds, according to which pluralities of possible worlds are the bases for structures which provide occupants for the roles which analyse our ordinary modal concepts. It argues that the resulting position meets some of the stringent constraints which philosophers have placed upon accounts of possible worlds, while (...) also trivializing the question what possible worlds are. The paper then discusses a range of problems facing the functionalist position. (shrink)
I show that Armstrong’s view of laws as second-order contingent relations of ‘necessitation’ among categorical properties faces a dilemma. The necessitation relation confers a relation of extensional inclusion (‘constant conjunction’) on its relata. It does so either necessarily or contingently. If necessarily, it is not a categorical relation (in the relevant sense). If contingently, then an explanation is required of how it confers extensional inclusion. That explanation will need to appeal to a third-order relation between necessitation and extensional inclusion. The (...) same dilemma reappears at this level. Either Armstrong must concede that some properties are not categorical but have essential powers – or he is faced with a regress. (shrink)
Why, despite his enormous inﬂuence in the latter part of the twentieth century, has Kuhn left no distinctively Kuhnian legacy? I argue that this is because the development of Kuhn’s own thought was in a direction opposite to that of the mainstream of the philosophy of science. In the 1970s and 1980s the philosophy of science took on board the lessons of externalism as regards reference and knowledge, and became more sympathetic to a naturalistic approach to philosophical problems. Kuhn, on (...) the other hand, started out with a strong naturalistic streak, employing non-philosophical disciplines, primarily psychology, in order to build his accounts of scientiﬁc change and the nature of observation and scientiﬁc thought. But by the 1970s Kuhn’s work had taken on a much more purely philosophical, a priori, tone. His explanation of incommensurability moved from a psychological explanation to one embedded in the philosophy of language. Increasingly he gave his outlook a Kantian gloss. I suggest, nonetheless, that Kuhn’s most valuable contribution is to be found in The Structure of Scientiﬁc Revolutions and not in his later work, and that the naturalistic direction of the former has important links with connectionist research in cognitive science that deserve further study. 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. (shrink)
In his (2002) Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra provides a powerful articulation of the claim that Resemblance Nominalism provides the best answer to the so-called Problem of Universals. Resemblance Nominalism has not been popular for some time, and one inﬂuential reason for this is the widespread belief that Resemblance Nominalism cannot dispense with all universals. The realist critics appeal to what is known as Russell’s Regress (cf. Russell 1997). If properties are to be explained in terms of one object’s resembling another, then this (...) seems to leave the relational property of resemblance itself unexplained. The critics’ objection is that this property itself must be explained by a dyadic universal of resemblance. (shrink)
Emergent properties are intended to be genuine, natural higher level causally efficacious properties irreducible to physical ones. At the same time they are somehow dependent on or 'emergent from' complexes of physical properties, so that the doctrine of emergent properties is not supposed to be returned to dualism. The doctrine faces two challenges: (i) to explain precisely how it is that such properties emerge - what is emergence; (ii) to explain how they sidestep the exclusion problem - how it is (...) that there is room for these properties to be causally efficacious, given the causal completeness of the physical. In this paper I explain how functional properties can meet both challenges. (shrink)
In this paper I aim to show that a certain law of nature, namely that common salt (sodium chloride) dissolves in water, is metaphysically necessary. The importance of this result is that it conﬂicts with a widely shared intuition that the laws of nature (most if not all) are contingent. There have been debates over whether some laws, such as Newton’s second law, might be deﬁnitional of their key terms and hence necessary. But the law that salt dissolves in water (...) is not that kind of law. The law statement ‘salt dissolves in water’ is clearly synthetic. It appears a classic case of a contingent law. We like to believe that there are possible worlds in which the laws of nature are different and in which salt does not dissolve in water. (shrink)
Recent Carnap scholarship suggests that the received view of the Carnap-Quine analyticity debate is importantly mistaken. It has been suggested that Carnap’s analyticity distinction is immune from Quine’s criticisms. This is either because Quine did not understand Carnap’s use of analytic-ity, or because Quine did not appreciate that, rather than dispelling dog-mas, he was merely offering an alternate framework for philosophy. It has also been suggested that ultimately nothing of substance turns on this dis-pute. I am sympathetic to these reassessments (...) and their rejection of the re-ceived view, but argue that they fail to pay proper attention to Carnap’s metaphysical deflationism. For it is there that Quine’s arguments ultimately make contact with Carnap, undermining his metaphysical deflationism. Moreover, the viability of deflationism is directly related to the viability of Carnap’s view of philosophy as methodologically distinct from science. Hence, Quine’s criticisms make contact with the deepest aspects of Car-nap’s views. (shrink)
Evidence is often taken to be foundational, in that while other propositions may be inferred from our evidence, evidence propositions are themselves not inferred from anything. I argue that this conception is false, since the non-inferential propositions on which beliefs are ultimately founded may be forgotten or undermined in the course of enquiry.
Selection explanations explain some non-accidental generalizations in virtue of a selection process. Such explanations are not particulaizable - they do not transfer as explanations of the instances of such generalizations. This is unlike many explanations in the physical sciences, where the explanation of the general fact also provides an explanation of its instances (i.e. standard D-N explanations). Are selection explanations (e.g. in biology) therefore a different kind of explanation? I argue that to understand this issue, we need to see that (...) a standard D-N explanation of some non-accidental generalization (al Fs are Gs) may also ipso facto explain its contrapositive (all non-Gs are non-Fs), but the explanation is particularizable with respect to the former but not to the latter. This can be seen by noting that the Raven Paradox counterexample to the H-D model of confirmation also generates a counterexample to the D-N model of explanation (all ravens are black does not explain why the non-black shoe is a non-raven). In such cases it is natural to take the generalization with the positive predicates to have a particularizable explanation. However, this need not be the case, and in selection explanations it is the generalization with the positive predicates whose explanation is no particularizable. Thus there is no need to suppose that selection explanations are fundamentally different. (shrink)
There are numerous contexts in which philosophers and others use model-theoretic methods in assessing the validity of ordinary arguments; consider, for example, the use of models built upon 'possible worlds' in examinations of modal arguments. But the relevant uses of model-theoretic techniques may seem to assume controversial semantic or metaphysical accounts of ordinary concepts. So, numerous philosophers have suggested that standard uses of model-theoretic methods in assessing the validity of modal arguments commit one to accepting that modal claims are to (...) be analysed in terms of possible worlds. The paper provides a very general account of how uses of model-theoretic methods in demonstrating facts about validity and invalidity may in fact often be uncoupled from controversial semantic or metaphysical theses, applying the resulting techniques to some modal cases in particular. (shrink)
I defend against criticism the following claims concening Thomas Kuhn: (i) there is a strong naturalist streak in The structure of scientific revolutions, whereby Kuhn used the results of a posteriori enquiry in addressing philosophical questions; (ii) as Kuhn's career as a philosopher of science developed he tended to drop the naturalistic elements and to replace them with more traditionally philosophical a prior approaches; (iii) at the same there is a significant residue of positivist thought in Kuhm, which Kuhn did (...) not recognise as such; (iv) the naturalist elements referred to in (i) are the most original and fruitful elements of Kuhn's thinking; (v) the positivistic elements referred to in (iii) vitiated his thought and acted as factors in preventing Kuhn from developing the naturalistic elemtns and from following the path taken by much subsequent philosophy of science. Preston presents an alternative reading of Kuhn which emphasizes the Wittgensteinian elements in Kuhn. I argue that this alternative view is, descriptively, poorly supported by the textual evidence and the facts of the history of philosophy of science in the twentieth century. I provide some defence of the naturalistic approach and related themes. (shrink)
I argue for the claim that if Lewis’s regularity theory of laws were true, we could not know any positive law statement to be true. Premise 1: According to that theory, for any law statement true of the actual world, there is always a nearby world where the law statement is false (a world that differs with respect to one matter of particular fact). Premise 2: One cannot know a proposition to be true if it is false in a nearby (...) world (the epistemological safety principle). The conclusion that no law statement can be known to be true follows immediately from the two premises. (shrink)
I argue that the naturalism of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientiﬁc Revolutions, which he himself later ignored, is worthy of rehabilitation. A naturalistic conception of paradigms is ripe for development with the tools of cognitive science. As a consequence a naturalistic understanding of world-change and incommensurability is also viable.
Dispositional essentialism, a plausible view about the natures of (sparse or natural) properties, yields a satisfying explanation of the nature of laws also. The resulting necessitarian conception of laws comes in a weaker version, which allows differences between possible worlds as regards which laws hold in those worlds and a stronger version that does not. The main aim of this paper is to articulate what is involved in accepting the stronger version, most especially the consequence that all possible properties exist (...) in all worlds. I also suggest that there is no particularly strong reason for preferring the weaker to the stronger version. For example, Armstrong's instantiation condition on universals entails that according to strong necessitarianism every property is instantiated in all possible worlds. But first we do not need to accept Armstrong's instantiation condition, in part because his arguments for it are forceful only for a contingentist about laws and properties. Secondly, even if we do accept the condition, the consequence that all properties are instantiated is not itself contradictory, so long as any form of necessitarianism holds. Strong necessitarianism is prima facie counter-intuitive. But for that matter so is weak necessitarianism. Accepting either weak or strong necessitarianism requires denying the force of intuition in this area. And indeed we have every reason to deny the force of intuition and its primary source, imagination, concerning modal facts. (shrink)
Let us call a property that is essentially dispositional a potency.1 David Armstrong thinks that potencies do not exist. All sparse properties are essentially categorical, where sparse properties are the explanatory properties of the type science seeks to discover. An alternative view, but not the only one, is that all sparse properties are potencies or supervene upon them. In this paper I shall consider the differences between these views, in particular the objections Armstrong raises against potencies.
Debates concerning the analysis of the concept of law of nature must address the following problem. On the one hand, our grasp of laws of nature is via our knowledge of their instances. And this seems not only an epistemological truth but also a semantic one. The concept of a law of nature must be explicated in terms of the things that instantiate the law. It is not simply that a piece of metal that conducts electricity is evidence for a (...) law that metals conduct electricity. It is also the case that to explicate what it is for there to be such a law requires, and requires little more than, alluding to the fact that the piece of metal conducting electricity is an instance of that law. This is the driving intuition behind regularity theories of laws — to understand the concept ‘law,’ as in ‘it is a law that metals conduct electricity’ one need only understand little more than what it is for something to be a metal and to conduct electricity and the concept of universal generalization. On this view a law just is a regularity (or some kind of regularity) among its instances. (shrink)
In this paper I draw a connection between Kuhn and the empiricist legacy, specifically between his thesis of incommensurability, in particular in its later taxonomic form, and van Fraassen's constructive empiricism. I show that if it is the case the empirically equivalent but genuinely distinct theories do exist, then we can expect such theories to be taxonomically incommensurable. I link this to Hacking's claim that Kuhn was a nominalist. I also argue that Kuhn and van Fraassen do not differ as (...) much as might be thought as regards the claim that observation is theory laden. (shrink)
Recently O’Grady argued that Quine’s “Two Dogmas” misses its mark when Carnap’s use of the analyticity distinction is understood in the light of his deflationism. While in substantial agreement with the stress on Carnap’s deflationism, I argue that O’Grady is not sufficiently sensitive to the difference between using the analyticity distinction to support deflationism, and taking a deflationary attitude towards the distinction itself; the latter being much more controversial. Being sensitive to this difference, and viewing Quine as having reason to (...) insist on a non-arbitrary analyticity distinction, we see that “Two Dogmas” makes direct contact with Carnap’s deflationism. We must look beyond “Two Dogmas” to Quine’s other eritiques of analyticity to understand why the arbitrariness of the distinction threatens to undermine or overextend Camap’s deflationism, collapsing it into a view much like Quine’s. Quine is then seen to achieve many of Carnap’s ends, with the important exception of deflationism. (shrink)
The lack of concrete guidance provided by managerial moral standards and the ambiguity of the expectations they create are discussed in terms of the moral stress experienced by many managers. It is argued that requisite clarity and feelings of obligation with respect to moral standards derive ultimately from public discussion of moral issues within organizations and from shared public agreement about appropriate behavior. Suggestions are made about ways in which the moral dimension of an organization's culture can be more effectively (...) managed. This is the third in a research series of three papers. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that we can understand incommensurability in a naturalistic, psychological manner. Cognitive habits can be acquired and so differ between individuals. Drawing on psychological work concerning analogical thinking and thinking with schemata, I argue that incommensurability arises between individuals with different cognitive habits and between groups with different shared cognitive habits.
Slavoj iek's writings on Krzysztof Kies´lowski and Andrej Tarkovskij represent direct challenges to the Central and Eastern European tradition of spiritual art and to dominant aesthetic concepts as such. He refuses to separate the solemn films of Kies´lowski and Tarkovskij from popular culture and stresses their import as ethical statements by their directors. Despite this ethical emphasis, iek makes an important contribution to philosophical aesthetics. He implicitly defines art as a suspension of reality which reveals time in its fragility and (...) potentiality. Defining iek's aesthetics in terms of suspension helps to explain his partiality for Kies´lowski and Tarkovskij and bears comparison to the Russian tradition of philosophical aesthetics, in particular Aleksej Losev and Alexander Bakshy. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that it is not a priori that all the laws of nature are contingent. I assume that the fundamental laws are contingent and show that some non-trivial, a posteriori, non-basic laws may nonetheless be necessary in the sense of having no counterinstances in any possible world. I consider a law LS (such as 'salt dissolves in water') that concerns a substance S. Kripke's arguments concerning constitution show that the existence of S requires that a certain (...) deeper level law or variants thereof hold. At the same time, that law and its variants may each entail the truth of LS. Thus the existence of S entails LS. Consequently there is no world in which S exists and fails to obey LS. I consider the conditions concerning the fundamental laws that would make this phenomenon ubiquitous. I conclude with some consequences for metaphysics. (shrink)
This essay critically examines the idea that "identity " or "difference " might be proper objects of principles of respect. The author suggests that this idea makes sense only at the cost of the egalitarianism to which its adherents usually subscribe. The essay also shows that liberal interpretations of respect can evade this problem and reaches this conclusion on the basis of an analysis of the concept of respect and its connections with notions of status.
Recently O’Grady argued that Quine’s “Two Dogmas” misses its mark when Carnap’s use of the analyticity distinction is understood in the light of his deflationism. While in substantial agreement with the stress on Carnap’s deflationism, I argue that O’Grady is not sufficiently sensitive to the difference between using the analyticity distinction to support deflationism, and taking a deflationary attitude towards the distinction itself; the latter being much more controversial. Being sensitive to this difference, and viewing Quine as having reason to (...) insist on a non-arbitrary analyticity distinction, we see that “Two Dogmas” makes direct contact with Carnap’s deflationism. We must look beyond “Two Dogmas” to Quine’s other critiques of analyticity to understand why the arbitrariness of the distinction threatens to undermine or overextend Carnap’s deflationism, collapsing it into a view much like Quine’s. Quine is then seen to achieve many of Carnap’s ends, with the important exception of deflationism. (shrink)
In 'Necessarily, salt dissolves in water' (Analysis 61 (2001)), I argued that because the laws required for the existence of salt entail the laws that ensure dissolving in water, there is no possible world in which salt exists but fails to dissolve in water. In this paper I respond to criticisms from Helen Beebee and Stathis Psillos (Analysis 62 (2002)). I also introduce the 'down-and-up' structure, generalising the case. Whether or not this structure is instantiated is a matter for a (...) posteriori discovery. Hence not only are some laws necessary (but known a posteriori), but furthermore whether a given law is necessary or contingent will also be a matter of a posteriori discovery. (shrink)
1. Contextualism seeks to acknowledge the power of sceptical arguments while permitting to be true at least some of the assertions of knowledge and justiﬁcation we commonly make. It seems to me now just as if I am in an ofﬁce in Edinburgh. According to the sceptic the claim that I am in fact in an ofﬁce in Edinburgh is unjustiﬁed, since there is no reason I can give for this belief that is not also consistent with (or undermined by) (...) the alternative hypothesis that I am in fact on a beach in Hawaii being deceived by an evil demon into thinking that I am in an ofﬁce in Edinburgh. Yet if I were.. (shrink)
Based on analysis of interviews with managers about the ethical questions they face in their work, a typology of morally questionable managerial acts is developed. The typology distinguishes acts committed against-the-firm (non-role and role-failure acts) from those committed on-behalf-of-the-firm (role-distortion and role-as-sertion acts) and draws attention to the different nature of the four types of acts. The argument is made that senior management attention is typically focused on the types of acts which are least problematical for most managers, and that (...) the most troublesome types are relatively ignored. (shrink)
Aleksej Losev''s definition of myth centres onthe concept of detachment. In modern timesdetachment has most often figured in thecontext of philosophical aesthetics, where itis a cognitive category akin to Kant''s``disinterestedness'''' or the Russian formalists''``estrangement.'''' However Losev''s usage alsomakes reference to the ontological sense ofdetachment as contemplativeascent (cf. Meister Eckhardt''sAbgeschiedenheit). Thus, Losev''s concept ofmyth combines both senses of detachment,binding perceptual attitude and being togetherin a double movement of resignation from theworld and union with meaning; this movementliterally makes sense out of reality. (...) Ittherefore bears comparison to the treatment ofdistanciation in contemporary hermeneutics,where detachment is a key condition ofunderstanding. By investigating Losev''sconnections to other Russian thinkers, theauthor makes a case for a distinct Russiantradition of hermeneutic philosophy (V. Ivanov,G. Shpet, A. Bakshy, A. Losev). (shrink)
This paper argues that Heidegger's phenomenology of boredom in The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude (1983) could be a promising addition to the ‘toolbox’ of scientists investigating conscious experience. We describe Heidegger's methodological principles and show how he applies these in describing three forms of boredom. Each form is shown to have two structural moments – being held in limbo and being left empty – as well as a characteristic relation to passing the time. In our conclusion, we (...) suggest specific ways in which Heidegger's phenomenological description can be used in scientific investigations of boredom. (shrink)
Three principles must be taken into account in assessing the social responsibilities of international business firms in developing areas. The first is an awareness of the historical and institutional dynamics of local communities. This influences the type and range of responsibilities the firm can be expected to assume; it also reveals the limitations of any universal codes of conduct. The second is the necessity of non-intimidating communication with local constituencies. This requires the firm to temper its power and influence by (...) recognizing and responding to local concerns in the pursuit of its own objectives. The third is the degree to which the firm's operations safeguard and indeed improve the social and economic assets of local communities. At issue is the question of adequate compensation for the inevitable disruptions that an international business brings to a local community. Beneficial returns must be shared and sustained over the long term in an equitable manner. The nine studies in this special edition illustrate in different ways the importance of these three principles. (shrink)
This paper concerns the relationship between dispositions and ceteris paribus laws. Dispositions are related to conditionals. Typically a fragile glass will break if struck with force. But possession of the disposition does not entail the corresponding simple (subjunctive or counterfactual) conditional. The phenomena of finks and antidotes show that an object may possess the disposition without the conditional being true. Finks and antidotes may be thought of as exceptions to the straightforward relation between disposition and conditional. The existence of these (...) phenomena is easy to demonstrate at the macro-Ievel. But do they exist at the fundamental level also? While fundamental finkish dispositions may be excluded fairly straightforwardly, the existence of fundamental antidotes is more open. Nonetheless I conclude that the phenomenon is likely to be less widespread than at the macro level and that fundamental antidotes may be eliminable. According to the dispositional essentialist, the laws of nature can be explained by taking natural properties to be essentially dispositional. This account can be extended to show that the existence of finks and antidotes explains ceteris paribus laws. Consequently the existence or otherwise of fundamental finks and antidotes sheds some light on the question of whether fundamental laws may also be ceteris paribus laws. (shrink)
When is a belief or judgment justified? One might be forgiven for thinking the search for single answer to this question to be hopeless. The concept of justification is required to fulfil several tasks: to evaluate beliefs epistemically, to fill in the gap between truth and knowledge, to describe the virtuous organization of one’s beliefs, to describe the relationship between evidence and theory (and thus relate to confirmation and probabilification). While some of these may be held to overlap, the prospects (...) for fulfilling all may well seem poor. Furthermore the internalist requires that justification be an introspectible property of beliefs and a fundamental epistemic concept, while the externalist is often happy to ignore the concept altogether or at best regard it as an embarrassing add-on to their epistemology. In the light of this one might reasonably give up on justification altogether or adopt pluralist approach, denying that justification is any single property of beliefs of judgments. (shrink)
The paper replies to an earlier paper by Yannis Stephanou, who presented an argument purportedly showing the falsity of certain instances of the characteristic axiom of the modal logic B. The paper argues that the B axiom was not to blame for the unsoundness of Stephanou's argument.
Based on the results of open ended interviews with managers in a variety of organizational positions, moral questions encountered in everyday managerial life are described. These involve transactions with employees, peers and superiors, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. It is suggested that managers identify transactions as involving personal moral concern when they believe that a moral standard has a bearing on the situation and when they experience themselves as having the power to affect the transaction. This is the first in (...) a research series of three papers. (shrink)
Hobbes' geometrical disputes are significant since they highlight several important strands in his thought - issues concerning the right to make definitions, his anti-clericalism, the maker's knowledge argument and his objections to algebra. These are examined, and the foundational position, according to Hobbes, of geomentry in relation to philosophy, science and technology, explained and discussed.
The addition of actually operators to modal languages allows us to capture important inferential behaviours which cannot be adequately captured in logics formulated in simpler languages. Previous work on modal logics containing actually operators has concentrated entirely upon extensions of KT5 and has employed a particular model-theoretic treatment of them. This paper proves completeness and decidability results for a range of normal and nonnormal but quasi-normal propositional modal logics containing actually operators, the weakest of which are conservative extensions of K, (...) using a novel generalisation of the standard semantics. (shrink)
Descriptions of how managers think about the moral questions that come up in their work lives are analyzed to draw out the moral assumptions to which they commonly refer. The moral standards thus derived are identified as (1) honesty in communication, (2) fair treatment, (3) special consideration, (4) fair competition, (5) organizational responsibility, (6) corporate social responsibility, and, (7) respect for law. It is observed that these normative standards assume the cultural form of social conventions but because managers invoke them (...) as largely private intuitions, their cultural status remains precarious and unclear. This is the second in a research series of three papers. (shrink)
When managers use moral expressions in their communications, they do so for several, sometimes contradictory reasons. Based upon analyses of interviews with managers, this article examines seven distinctive uses of moral talk, sub-divided into three groupings: (1) managers use moral talk functionally to clarify issues, to propose and criticize moral justifications, and to cite relevant norms; (2) managers also use moral talk functionally to praise and to blame as well as to defend and criticize structures of authority; finally (3) managers (...) use moral talk dysfunctionally to rationalize morally ambiguous behavior and to express frustrations. The article concludes with several practical recommendations. (shrink)
Although the terms mentor and thesis advisor (or research supervisor) are often used interchangeably, the responsibilities associated with these roles are distinct, even when they overlap. Neither are role models necessarily mentors, though mentors are role models: good examples are necessary but not sufficient. Mentorship is both a personal and a professional relationship. It has the potential for raising a number of ethical concerns, including issues of accuracy and reliability of the information conveyed, access, stereotyping and tracking of advisees, and (...) the abuse of power. Nevertheless, mentors can be critically important for professional success and are one of a number of elements that affect the responsible conduct of research. In addition, the community as a whole has a responsibility to mentor junior members. (shrink)
In this paper Russian Symbolist philosophy is represented primarily by Viacheslav Ivanov (1866--1949), but its conclusions are intended to be valid for other philosophers we classify as Symbolist, including Nikolai Berdiaev and S. L. Frank. It is posited that, by comparing Ivanov''s cosmology, aesthetics, and anthropology to those of Martin Heidegger, one can reconceive of Symbolist philosophy as an existential hermeneutic. This, it is claimed, can help to identify a common basis among the Symbolist philosophers, and also to place Russian (...) thought in the context of modern European philosophy and vice versa. (shrink)