This paper responds to Antje du-Bois Pedain’s discussion of the wrongfulness constraint on the criminal law. Du-Bois Pedain argues that the constraint is best interpreted as stating that φing is legitimately criminalised only if φing is wrongful for other-regarding reasons. We take issue with du-Bois Pedain’s arguments. In our view, it is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition of legitimate criminalisation that φing is wrongful in du-Bois Pedain’s sense. Rather, it is a necessary (albeit insufficient) condition of legitimate criminalisation that (...) φing is what we call bare wrongful—that is, that the reasons in favour of φing are defeated by the reasons against. Though du-Bois Pedain is critical of this view, we argue that her criticisms do not convince. (shrink)
The main arguments currently held for and against the use of self-reports in economics are presented in their relation to well-known events in the history of the discipline: the ?measurement without theory?, the ?full-cost?, and the ?economic expectations? controversies. Doing so, the paper highlights the so far neglected role of George Katona's behavioral economics in these methodological discussions.
This paper addresses three doctrinal phenomena of which it finds evidence in English law: the quiet extension of the criminal law so as to criminalise that which is by no means an obvious offence; the creation of offences the goal of which is not to guide potential offenders away from crime; and the existence of offending behaviour which is not itself thought to justify arrest or prosecution. While such phenomena have already been criticised by other criminal law theorists, this paper (...) offers a critique to which little attention has yet been paid. It argues that the existence of these phenomena has been concealed from public view: that the organs of state have encouraged the belief that they are no part of English law. The paper then argues that it is high time the state came clean. The state owes its people answers for the imposition of the criminal law: it must account for the creation and enforcement of any given criminal offence. When the state misleads its people about the criminal lawâ€™s scope, goals and enforcement, it refuses to provide those people with the answers they are owed. (shrink)
The character of contemporary criminal law is changing. This article examines one aspect of that change: a type of criminal offence which, it is argued, effectively ousts the criminal courts. These ‘ouster offences’ are first distinguished from more conventional offences by virtue of their distinctive structure. The article then argues that to create an ouster offence is to oust the criminal courts by depriving them of the ability to adjudicate on whatever wrongdoing the offence-creator takes to justify prosecuting potential defendants. (...) The article further argues that creating such an ouster is objectionable on a number of grounds. It deprives the courts of the ability to adjudicate independently, and undermines their ability to deliver procedural justice in both pure and imperfect form. While the ouster in question is by no means express, the article argues that it is nonetheless of the first importance. (shrink)
Presents an analysis of Jonathan Edwards' theological position. This book includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.
The paper argues that there is good reason to doubt that virtue-based approaches to the question of justice can adequately come to grips with sophistic uses of the political lie – especially when sophistic thinking is stretched to the point of thoroughgoing moral skepticism, or well beyond that to outright moral nihilism and its cynical uses. To counter such uses, I turn to Kant’s most influential discussion of lying, which is found in his 1797article entitled “Of a Supposed Right to (...) Lie from Philanthropy.” Although I maintain that Kant’s particular moral argument against Constant is flawed, I argue that the specifically political position that Kant’s general juridical argument supports is sound. I thereby show how Kant’s account of the conditions for the possible conformity of politics with principles of right does effectively establish that an impeachable act of lying categorically requires impeachment and prosecution for wrongdoing. KEY WORDS – Kant. Moral philosophy. Fhilosophy of right. Political lie. (shrink)
It is argued that both neuroscience and physics point towards a similar re-assessment of our concepts of space, time and 'reality', which, by removing some apparent paradoxes, may lead to a view which can provide a natural place for consciousness and language within biophysics. There are reasons to believe that relationships between entities in experiential space and time and in modern physicists' space and time are quite different, neither corresponding to our geometric schooling. The elements of the universe may be (...) better described not as 'particles' but as dynamic processes giving rise, where they interface with each other, to the transfer, and at least in some cases experience, of 'pure'or 'active'information, the mental and physical just reflecting different standpoints. Although this analy-sis draws on general features of quantum dynamics, it is argued that purely quantum level events (and their 'interpretations') are unlikely to be relevant to the understanding of consciousness. The processes that might be able to give rise, within brain cells, to an experience like ours are briefly reviewed. It is suggested that the elementary signals that are integrated to generate a spatial experience may have features more in common with words than pixels. It is further suggested that the laws of integration of words in language may provide useful clues to the way biophysical integration of signals in neurons relates to integration of elements in experiential space. (shrink)
The Radical Attitude and Modern Political Theory focuses on the appearance of an attitude towards modernity that can be best described as radical. It emerges in discourses of politics and the state from the Sixteenth century onwards and can be discerned in many of the central texts of modern political theory, even those that are usually understood to be conservative in character. Accordingly, the attitude is best seen not as a coherent ideology or tradition but as a series of conceptual (...) resources that continue to inform political discourse in the present. (shrink)
What does it mean to know something - scientifically, anthropologically, socially? What is the relationship between different forms of knowledge and ways of knowing? How is knowledge mobilised in society and to what ends? Drawing on ethnographic examples from across the world, and from the virtual and global "places" created by new information technologies, Anthropology and Science presents examples of living and dynamic epistemologies and practices, and of how scientific ways of knowing operate in the world. Authors address the nature (...) of both scientific and experiential knowledge, and look at competing and alternative ideas about what it means to be human. The essays analyze the politics and ethics of positioning "science", "culture" or "society" as authoritative. They explore how certain modes of knowing are made authoritative and command allegiance (or not), and look at scientific and other rationalities - whether these challenge or are compatible with science. (shrink)
In response to Hoeltje I concede the main point of his first section: for each logical truth S of the object language, it is a logical consequence of the Davidsonian theory of meaning I offered in my paper that S is logically true, contrary to what I asserted in the paper. However, I now argue that a Davidsonian theory of meaning may be formulated equally well in such a way that it not a logical consequence of the theory that S (...) is a logical truth. Nonetheless, the revised theory of meaning will still ‘entail’ in a wider sense that S is a logical truth, for we can prove by induction on the consequence class of the revised theory that S is a logical truth. So far, my disagreement with Hoeltje is over the more charitable interpretation of a passage from Davidson. I close by arguing that Davidson was mistaken on one point, a theory of meaning will entail a threefold distinction among the sentences of the object language, not a twofold distinction as he claimed. (shrink)
It would seem that we in the West are suffering from an increasing glut of rights. To the sixty-odd human rights that the Universal Declaration and its Covenants have long given us, must now be added the particular rights claims of an increasing number of ‘oppressed’ minorities, claims to compensation rights for just about every conceivable harm done and claims to ever more trivial things. This tendency is harmful insofar as it trivialises rights and devalues the coverage of rights. Human (...) rights are fundamental and ought to be protected from these tendencies. Using an analysis of the foundations of human rights, and their function in maintaining autonomy in particular, this article analyses the content of rights – what must be fulfilled in order for a right to be protected – as a means of demonstrating the possibility of reducing the volume of rights without reducing rights coverage and of creating a defensible hierarchy. (shrink)
This expands the proposal in 'Is consciousness only a property of individual cells?' to attempt to cover all relevant psychological, neuroscientific and philosophical issues. Some of the material is now dated (in 2011) but chiefly in the sense that tentative proposals have become firmer views for me. An example of this is the clarification of complementarities in "Are our spaces made of words?'.
We perceive colour, shape, sound and touch 'bound together' in a single experience. The following arguments about this binding phenomenon are raised: (1) The individual signals passing from neurone to neurone are not bound together, whether as elements of information or physically. (2) Within a single cell, binding in terms of bringing together of information is potentially feasible. A physical substrate may also be available. (3) It is therefore proposed that a bound conscious experience must be a property of an (...) individual cell, not of a group of cells. Since it is unlikely that one specific neurone is conscious, it is suggested that every neurone has a version of our consciousness, or at least some form of sentience. However absurd this may seem it appears to be consistent with the available evidence; arguably the only explanation that is. It probably does not alter the way we should expect to experience the world, but may help to explain the ways we seem to differ from digital computers and some of the paradoxes seen in mental illness. It predicts non-digital features of intracellular computation, for which there is already evidence, and which should be open to further experimental exploration. The arguments given may well prove flawed or the conclusion biologically or physically untenable, but the idea is raised for discussion not least because a formal demonstration that it is invalid may help to identify more fruitful avenues. (shrink)
John Campbell proposed a so-called simple view of colours according to which colours are categorical properties of the surfaces of objects just as they normally appear to be. I raised an invertion problem for Campbell's view according to which the senses of colour terms fail to match their references, thus rendering those terms meaningless—or so I claimed. Gabriele de Anna defended Campbell's view against my example by contesting two points in particular. Firstly, de Anna claimed that there is no special (...) problem here for the simple view of colours, a similar invertion story could apply to primary qualities terms for shapes. Secondly, de Anna purported to give an account of the senses and references of colour terms in my invertion story which renders the senses and references of those terms mutually consistent. In this paper I contested both of de Anna's claims. Regarding the first, I argue that his imagined invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent colours. Hence the victims of apparently inverted shapes would be able to discover the mismatch of senses and refences of their shape terms, in contrast to the victims of apparent invertions of colours. Regarding the second, I argue that de Anna's account of the victim's colour terms itself uses and not merely mentions so-called colours terms. Hence de Anna' account of them is itself meaningless due to a mismatch of sense and reference. So I conclude that my objection to Campbell's simple view of colours stands. (shrink)
In his classic 1936 paper Tarski sought to motivate his definition of logical consequence by appeal to the inference form: P(0), P(1), . . ., P(n), . . . therefore ∀nP(n). This is prima facie puzzling because these inferences are seemingly first-order and Tarski knew that Gödel had shown first-order proof methods to be complete, and because ∀nP(n) is not a logical consequence of P(0), P(1), . . ., P(n), . . . by Taski's proposed definition. An attempt to resolve (...) the puzzle due to Etchemendy is considered and rejected. A second attempt due to Gómez-Torrente is accepted as far as it goes, but it is argued that it raises a further puzzle of its own: it takes the plausibility of Tarski's claim that his definition captures our common concept of logical consequence to depend upon our common concept being a reductive conception. A further interpretation of what Tarski had in mind when he offered the example is proposed, using materials well known to Tarski at the time. It is argued that this interpretation makes the motivating example independent of reductive definitions which take natural numbers to be higher-order set theoretic entities, and it also explains why he did not regard the distinction between defined and primitive terms as pressing, as was the distinction between logical and nonlogical terms. (shrink)
Donald Dvaidson has claimed that a theory of meaning identifies the logical constants of the object language by treating them in the phrasal axioms of the theory, and that the theory entails a relation of logical consequence among the sentences of the object language. Section 1 offers a preliminary investigation of these claims. In Section 2 the claims are rebutted by appealing to Evans's paradigm of a theory of meaning. Evans's theory is deliberately blind to any relation of logical consequence (...) among the sentences of the object language, and entails only what Evans takes to be a distinct and deeper relation of structural validity among the sentences of the object language. In Section 3 we turn to Evans's motivation in order to compare the two paradigms of a theory of meaning. Evans laid down criteria under which a theory of meaning gives what he called a ‘transcendent’ semantic classification of the lexicon of the object language, in contrast to a mere ‘immanent’ classification. However, when these criteria are applied we find that, pace Evans, they favour Davidson's paradigm over Evans's. In the final section we show that Evans's conception of structural consequence turns out to be a deeper formulation of logical consequence. (shrink)
Asylum seekers, by their very circumstances, test our common assumptions and practice in relation to human rights. The treatment of asylum seekers in many European countries has become harsher, more restrictive and less tolerant in recent years, raising questions about the violation of their rights. The article examines the bases of the rights that asylum seekers do have and whether these are best supported as human rights or more limited rights that attach to the place of their temporary residence and (...) to obligations made by their country of temporary residence. Given the propensity of receiving countries to afford increasingly limited rights, the article identifies a limited set of rights that should take priority in a hierarchy of rights and which might claim widespread acceptance as those which asylum seekers must enjoy. (shrink)
An attractive semantic theory presented by Richard K. Larson and Peter Ludlow takes a report of propositional attitudes, e.g 'Tom believes Judy Garland sang', to report a believing relation between Tom and an interpreted logical form constructed from 'Judy Garland sang'. We briefly outline the semantic theory and indicate its attractions. However, the definition of interpreted logical forms given by Larson and Ludlow is shown to be faulty, and an alternative definition is offered which matches their intentions. This definition is (...) then shown to imply that Tom does not know his own mind, a result without intuitive support. A third definition is offered to deal with this problem. (shrink)
Crispin Wright has argued that an antirealist should not equate truth with warrant. Neil Tennant has disputed this. This paper continues the discussion with Tennant. Firstly, it expands upon the radical difference between Tennant's conception of a warrant and Wright's. Secondly, it shows that, even if we were to adopt Tennant's own conception of a warrant, there is a reading available to Wright of 'There is no warrant for P' and of 'There is a warrant for not-P' such that the (...) latter does not follow from the former, as Wright claimed. Finally, it is shown that, pace Tennant, superassertibility does have a role to play in Tennant's own conception of a warrant. (shrink)