In response to counterexamples involving late preemption, David Lewis (1986) revised his original (1973) counterfactual analysis of causation to include the notion of quasi-dependence. Jonardon Ganeri, Paul Noordhof and Murali Ramachandran (1998) argue that their ‘PCA*-analysis’ of causation solves the problem of late preemption and is superior to Lewis’s analysis. I show that neither quasi-dependence nor the PCA*-analysis solves the problem of late preemption.
This is Part II of a reflection by Richard Paul on critical thinking, its theory and pedagogy, and on political and personal barriers to critical thinking education and practice. Part I of Paul’s reflection appeared in INQUIRY, Vol. 26 No. 3 (Fall 2011), pp. 5-24. In Part II Paul focuses on the concept of critical thinking, pointing out its unifying features as well as the many ways it can be contextualized in human thought and life. He lays (...) out his basic critical thinking theory and offers critical thinking polarities for use in assessing critical thinking approaches. He provides an overview of the work of the Foundation for Critical Thinking in advancing fairminded critical thought in education and in society. (shrink)
Originally entitled Osoba i Czyn and published in Poland in 1969, TheActing Person is the official English translation and has been thoroughly edited and revised with the collaboration of the author. The book stresses that Man must ceaselessly unravel his mysteries and strive for a new and more mature expression of his nature. The author sees this expression as an emphasis on the significance of the individual living in community and on the person in the process of performing an action. (...) The author states in his preface that he has tried to face the major issues concerning life, nature, and the existence of Man directly as they present themselves to Man in his struggles to survive while maintaining the dignity of a human being, but who is torn apart between his all too limited condition and his highest aspirations to set himself free. The author hopes that his book "contributes to this disentangling of the conflicting issues facing Man, which are crucial for Man’s own clarification of his existence and direction of his conduct". The author’s analysis of the human being is a dynamic counter to the materialistic and positivistic tendencies in various schools of modern philosophy. Ever since Descartes, the knowledge of Man and his world has been identified through cognition. This book is a reversal of the post-Cartesian attitude toward Man in that it characterises him as the person in action. Audience: The Acting Person will be of great interest to philosophers, anthropologists, and scholars specializing in phenomenology. It will also be of deep concern to theologians, priests, seminarians, and members of religious orders who wish to gain an insight into Pope John Paul II’s philosophy of life. (shrink)
High-spin states have been studied in Pr-135(59), populated through the Cd-116(Na-23,4n) reaction at 115 MeV, using the Gammasphere gamma-ray spectrometer. The negative-parity yrast band has been significantly extended to spin similar to 45 (h) over bar and excitation energy 21.5 MeV, showing evidence for several rotational alignments. The positive-parity yrast band of Ce-135(58), populated through the p4n channel of this reaction, was also populated to spin similar to 38 (h) over bar and excitation energy 18 MeV. Cranking calculations indicate that (...) these nuclei are soft with respect to the triaxiality parameter gamma and that several competing nuclear shapes occur at high spin. (shrink)
Medium- and high-spin states of Pr-134 were populated using the Cd-116(Na-23, 5n) reaction and studied with the GAMMASPHERE spectrometer. Several new bands have been found in this nucleus, one of them being linked to the previously observed chiral-candidate twin-band structure. The ground state of Pr-134 could be determined through establishing a level structure that connects the two previously known long-lived isomeric states. Unambiguous spin-parity assignments for the excited states could be performed based on the known 2(-) spin-parity of the ground (...) state combined with the present experimental data. Intrinsic single-particle configurations have been assigned to the newly observed bands on the basis of the measured B(M1)/B(E2) ratios, alignments, band-crossing frequencies, bandhead spins, the observed single-particle configurations in the neighboring nuclei, and taking into account the predictions of total Routhian surface and tilted-axis cranking calculations. (shrink)
We all know what it is like to have these sorts of experiences. Reflection on the qualitative character of such experiences suggests that events occurring now have a characteristic property of nowness, responsible for a certain special “feel,” and that events pass from the future, to the present, and then into the past. The question I want to explore is whether we should take this suggestion to support an antireductionist ontology of time, that is, whether we should take it to (...) support an ontology that includes a primitive, monadic property of nowness responsible for the special feel of events in the present, and a relation of passage that events instantiate in virtue of literally passing from the future, to the present, and then into the past. It will be important in what follows to avoid prejudging whether the world actually does include nowness and passage, so I’ll use the locution “as of” instead of just “of” when I want to signal that descriptions like “experience as of passage” merely describe experiences with a certain qualitative character. It should be obvious that we need to take temporal experience seriously: experiences as of nowness and as of the passage of events are central to our subjective perspective. In some deep but hard to define way, our temporal experience is caught up with our sense of being, i.e., our sense of what we are and how we are. (Heidegger engages this idea in his Being.. (shrink)
If an object has a property essentially, it has that property in every possible world according to which it exists.2 If an object has a property accidentally, it does not have that property in every possible world according to which it exists. Claims about an object’s essential or accidental properties are de re modal claims, and essential and accidental properties are de re modal properties. Take an object’s modal profile to specify its essential properties and the range of its accidental (...) properties. Note that “world” as I am using it is a term of art: a modal realist believes that there are many concrete worlds, while the actualist believes in only one concrete world, the actual world. The ersatzist is an actualist who takes nonactual possible worlds and their contents to be abstracta. Essentialism is the view that objects have properties essentially, but one should distinguish deep essentialism from shallow essentialism. Deep essentialists take the (nontrivial) essential properties of an object to determine its nature— such properties give sense to the idea that an object has a unique and distinctive character, and make it the case that an object has to be a certain way in order for it to be at all.3 As Stephen Yablo (1987, 297) describes it, the essence of a thing is “an assortment of properties in virtue of which it is the entity in question,” as well as “a measure of what is required for it to be that thing.” Intuitively, on the deep essentialist picture, an ordinary object has essential properties, and it must have its essential properties in order for it to exist. On this view, objects’ essential properties are absolute, i.e., are not determined by contexts of describing (or thinking, etc.) about the object, and truths about such properties are absolute truths.4 Shallow essentialists oppose deep essentialists: they reject the view that objects can be said to have essential properties independently of contexts of description or evaluation, and so substitute context-dependent truths for the deep essentialist’s context-independent ones.. (shrink)
If persons, cats and cellphones are not identical to the sums that constitute them, there seems to be a problem with symmetric causal overdetermination: anything the cat causes is also caused by her constitutive sums of microparticles, atoms, molecules, etc. But persons, cats and cellphones are not identical to the sums that constitute them. I argue that the problem of constitutive overdetermination is serious, in particular because of the problem of additivity: if there is constitutive overdetermination, there is a transfer (...) of energy, momentum, or some other conserved quantity from each overdetermining cause to the effect, but each quantity alone is sufficient to bring about the effect. If these conserved quantities are additive, constitutive overdetermination violates the laws. I then argue that constitutive overdetermination is an artifact of a flawed interpretation of the layered model of the world and propose a new interpretation. The argument is developed in the context of a discussion of the relations between objects, but there are obvious connections to debates in philosophy of mind, especially debates concerning mental causation. (shrink)
While skiing, Suzy falls and breaks her right wrist. The next day, she writes a philosophy paper. Her right wrist is broken, so she writes her paper using her left hand. (Assume, as seems plausible, that she isn’t dexterous enough to write it any other way, e.g., with her right foot.) She writes the paper, sends it off to a journal, and it is subsequently published. Is Suzy’s accident a cause of the publication of the paper?2 Of course not. Below, (...) I will show that none of the major contenders for a theory of events coupled with a theory of causation succeeds against examples like that of Suzy’s accident, and that the reason for this derives from an underlying tension between our beliefs about events and our goals for theories of causation. I will then argue that property instances should be taken, in the first instance, as the causal relata, and propose an analysis of causation that I call aspect causation. (shrink)
I address two related questions: first, what is the best theory of how objects have de re modal properties? Second, what is the best defense of essentialism given the variability of our modal intuitions? I critically discuss several theories of how objects have their de re modal properties and address the most threatening antiessentialist objection to essentialism: the variability of our modal intuitions. Drawing on linguistic treatments of vagueness and ambiguity, I show how essentialists can accommodate the variability of modal (...) intuitions while holding that objects have their modal properties independently of contexts. (shrink)
Counterfactual analyses of causation can provide elegant analyses of many cases of causation. However, they fail to give intuitively correct analyses of cases involving a commonplace variety of late preemptive causation. I argue that a small emendation can solve the problem.
This paper explores J.S. Mill's theory of poetry and experience and its relation to his utilitarianism. It's probably one of my best papers, but for reasons I hesitate to speculate upon it's been largely ignored.
What is a person? What makes me the same person today that I was yesterday or will be tomorrow? Philosophers have long pondered these questions. In Plato's Symposium, Socrates observed that all of us are constantly undergoing change: we experience physical changes to our bodies, as well as changes in our 'manners, customs, opinions, desires, pleasures, pains, [and] fears'. Aristotle theorized that there must be some underlying 'substratum' that remains the same even as we undergo these changes. John Locke rejected (...) Aristotle's view and reformulated the problem of personal identity in his own way: is a person a physical organism that persists through time, or is a person identified by the persistence of psychological states, by memory? These essays - written by prominent philosophers and legal and economic theorists - offer valuable insights into the nature of personal identity and its implications for morality and public policy. (shrink)
Courts and legal commentators have been notoriously unsuccessful in articulating a rule to differentiate between uncompensated police power regulations of land by govemment and situations in which the govemment can only interfere with property rights if it provides compensation to those owners who suffer losses. Noticeably absent from most discussions of this “takings” issue is any foundational underpinning in a theory of justice with respect to property holdings. Can two of the most influential contemporary theories ofjustice-that of John Rawls and (...) Robert Nozick -provide such needed support for the analysis of the “takings” issue? By employing the vehicle of three hypothetical exampIes I investigate this question and reach some conclusions conceming the applicability of such abstract theories of justice to the real world. (shrink)
I would like to discuss the ontological grounds for what I shall call phenomenal knowledge. This sort of knowledge is a species of subjective knowledge, and is a kind of knowledge that we, as conscious beings, are all intimately acquainted with. It’s the sort of knowledge which one gets by experiencing or being aware of the world, by knowing what it is like to see qualitative properties like redness, by knowing what it is like to be oneself, by knowing what (...) it is like to be here, and by knowing what it is like to be here now. In other words, it is knowledge we get by having a certain sort of subjective experience. My task in this paper is to explore the nature of the ontology of this subjective experience in the hopes of shedding light on some of the debates where issues involving phenomenal knowledge come into play. To do this, I will distinguish phenomenal knowledge from other sorts of knowledge, explore the ontology of subjective experience that gives rise to phenomenal knowledge, and discuss a way in which clarity about the ontology of the subjective experience that grounds phenomenal knowledge can affect related disputes about physicalism in the philosophy of mind and other sorts of disputes in metaphysics involving reductionism. I shall assume first that there is an ontological story to tell about what subjective experience is in the actual world, and that actual phenomenal knowledge is knowledge that is somehow metaphysically “grounded” or dependent upon on actual subjective experience. I shall restrict myself to the ontology of the actual world, as I am not a fan of using conceptual analysis to restrictively determine ontology (I am no Canberra planner, or anything like), and apart from this, my task is hard enough without bringing modal issues into the picture. We can start with some basic vocabulary and distinctions. Assume that there is an unbridgeable epistemic divide between phenomenal knowledge and objective (and scientific) knowledge. Phenomenal knowledge is irreducibly subjective, and call the resulting divide.... (shrink)
This paper raises the question to what extent the crisis of historicism is to be seen as a religious problem. There is, of course, no need to argue that religion in a broad sense of the word - ultimate concerns and fundamental values - played major roles in the debates over historicism. However, virtually no studies have been conducted on how the crisis of historicism can be "mapped" on the religious landscape in a more specific sense. Which theological schools and (...) which church denominations, for example, were most affected by or concerned over the crisis of historicism? I address this question by presenting three case-studies of Protestant and Roman-Catholic thinkers in the Netherlands. These examples show that especially those Christian intellectuals whose theological or philosophical traditions were indebted to historicist premises participated in debates over historicism. In practical terms, this implies that Protestants of various persuasions were more heavily involved than Roman-Catholics. In a final section, the paper suggests some implications of this finding for how the crisis of historicism is best understood. (shrink)