What is common to all languages is notation, so Universal Grammar can be understood as a system of notational types. Given that infants acquire language, it can be assumed to arise from some a priori mental structure. Viewing language as having the two layers of calculus and protocol, we can set aside the communicative habits of speakers. Accordingly, an analysis of notation results in the three types of Identifier, Modifier and Connective. Modifiers are further interpreted as Quantifiers and Qualifiers. The (...) resulting four notational types constitute the categories of Universal Grammar. Its ontology is argued to consist in the underlying cognitive schema of Essence, Quantity, Quality and Relation. The four categories of Universal Grammar are structured as polysemous fields and are each constituted as a radial network centred on some root concept which, however, need not be lexicalized. The branches spread out along troponymic vectors and together map out all possible lexemes. The notational typology of Universal Grammar is applied in a linguistic analysis of the ‘parts of speech’ using the English language. The analysis constitutes a ‘proof of concept’ in (1) showing how the schema of Universal Grammar is capable of classifying the so-called ‘parts of speech’, (2) presenting a coherent analysis of the verb, and (3) showing how the underlying cognitive schema allows for a sub-classification of the auxiliaries. (shrink)
Analysis shows that statements of ability are disguised conditionals. More exactly, the correct analysis of 'X could have done A' is 'If X h decided (chosen, willed ...) to do A, X would have done A'. Therefore having acted freely--having been able to act otherwise than one fact did--is compatible with determinism (with the causal determination of one's acts).
This paper proposes a reconciliation between libertarian freedomand causal indeterminism, without relying on agent-causation asa primitive notion. I closely examine Peter van Inwagen''s recentcase for free will mysterianism, which is based in part on thewidespread worry that undetermined acts are too chancy to befree. I distinguish three senses of the term chance I thenargue that van Inwagen''s case for free will mystrianism fails,since there is no single construal of the term change on whichall of the premises of his argument for (...) free will–causalindeterminism incompatibilism are true. By use of a particularevent-causal indeterminist account of free action, I support thecase for free will–indeterminism compatibilism. (shrink)
This paper advances the thesis that we can justifiably believe philosophically interesting possibility statements. The first part of the paper critically discusses van Inwagens skeptical arguments while at the same time laying some of the foundation for a positive view. The second part of the paper advances a view of conceivability in terms of imaginability, where imaginging can be propositional, pictorial, or a combination of the two, and argues that conceivability can, and often does, provide us with justified beliefs of (...) what is metaphysically possible. The notion of scenarios is developed, as is an account of how filling out scenarios can uncover a defeater or, in many cases, strengthen the justification for the relevant possibility statement. (shrink)
In my paper I am concerned with Peter van Inwagen's Consequence Argument. I focus on its probably best known version. In this form it crucially employs the notion of rendering a proposition false, anotion that has never been made sufficiently clear. The main aim of my paper is to shed light on thisnotion. The explications offered so far in thedebate all are based on modal concepts. Iargue that for sufficient results a ``stronger'', hyper-intensional concept is needed, namely the concept expressed (...) by the word ``because''. I show that my analysis is superior to the prior ones. On the basis of this analysis I further explain why van Inwagen''s argument fails. (shrink)
Arguments for Restrictivism – the position that we are rarely free– have been proposed by incompatibilists Peter van Inwagen and David Vander Laan among others. This article is concerned much more with these arguments than with quantifying the frequency of free actions. There are two general ways to argue for restrictivism. First, one may take a Negative Strategy, arguing that the situations in which one is not free are common and predominant. Second, one may focus on situations in which one (...) is apparently free, and argue directly that these situations are rare – the Inventory Strategy. I conclude that both types of arguments for restrictivism are unconvincing. (shrink)
http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2008v12n2p121 O objetivo deste trabalho é discutir e desenvolver o diagnóstico que efetua van Fraassen (1987, p. 110) da lei de Hardy-Weinberg, de acordo coo qual esta: 1) não pode ser considerada uma lei a ser utilizada como un axioma da teoria genética de populações, pois é uma lei de equilíbrio que só vale sob certas condições especiais, 2) só determina uma subclasse de modelos, 3) sua generalização resulta vácua e 4) variantes complexas da lei podem ser deduzidas para pressupostos (...) mais realistas. A discussão e desenvolvimento deste diagnóstico será levada a cabo tomando como base noções propostas por outra das concepções semânticas afim daquela desenvolvida por van Fraassen, a saber: a concepção estruturalista das teorias, e uma reconstrução da genética clássica de populações no marco de uma tal metateoria, também apresentada neste trabalho. (shrink)
Abstract This paper argues that in modern (agro)biotechnology, (un)naturalness as an argument contributed to a stalemate in public debate about innovative technologies. Naturalness in this is often placed opposite to human disruption. It also often serves as a label that shapes moral acceptance or rejection of agricultural innovative technologies. The cause of this lies in the use of nature as a closed, static reference to naturalness, while in fact “nature” is an open and dynamic concept with many different meanings. We (...) propose an approach for a dynamic framework that permits an integrative use of naturalness in debate, by connecting three sorts of meaning that return regularly in the arguments brought forward in debate; cultural, technological, and ecological. We present these as aspects of nature that are always present in the argument of naturalness. The approach proposes a dynamic relation between these aspects, formed by gradients of naturalness, which in turn are related to ethical concerns. In this way we come to an overview that makes it possible to give individual arguments a relative place and that does justice to the temporality of the concept of nature and the underlying ethical concerns stakeholders have in respect to innovation in agriculture. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-16 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9359-6 Authors P. F. Van Haperen, Wageningen University and Research Centre, META, Hollandseweg 1, 6707 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands B. Gremmen, Wageningen University and Research Centre, META, Hollandseweg 1, 6707 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands J. Jacobs, Wageningen University and Research Centre, META, Hollandseweg 1, 6707 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
David Lewis has recently deployed a contextualist strategy for defending ordinary claims to know.1 In this paper, I wish to extend that strategy to ordinary claims about freedom.2 The result is a species of compatibilism that, while foreign to current debates, has a good deal going for it.
Incompatibilism about freedom and causal determinism is commonly supported by appeal to versions of the well known Consequence argument. Critics of the Consequence argument have presented counterexamples to the Consequence argument's central inference principle. The thesis of this article is that proponents of the Consequence argument can easily bypass even the best of these counterexamples.
Ted A. Warfield has recently employed modal logic to argue that compatibilism in the free-will/determinism debate entails the rejection of intuitively valid inferences. I show that Warfield's argument fails. A parallel argument leads to the false conclusion that the mere possibility of determinism, together with the necessary existence of any contingent propositions, entails the rejection of intuitively valid inferences. The error in both arguments involves a crucial equivocation, which can be revealed by replacing modal operators with explicit quantifiers over possible (...) worlds. I conclude that the modal-logical apparatus used by Warfield obscures rather than clarifies, and distracts from the real philosophical issues involved in the metaphysical debate. These issues cannot be settled by logic alone. (shrink)
This book casts new light on the traditional disagreement between those who hold that we cannot be morally responsible for our actions if they are causally determined, and those who deny this. Klein suggests that reflection on the relation between justice and deprivation offers a way out of this perplexity.