The Simplicity and Power (SP) theory (Wolff 2003a) provides support for Pothos's proposals by illustrating how the effect of “rules” and “similarity” may be achieved within an integrated model that makes no explicit provision for either concept. The theory is described here in outline with simple examples to show how rules and similarity can emerge as properties of the system in learning, reasoning, categorization, and the parsing of language.
What does it mean to be disadvantaged? Is it possible to compare different disadvantages? What should governments do to move their societies in the direction of equality, where equality is to be understood both in distributional and social terms? Linking rigorous analytical philosophical theory with broad empirical studies, including interviews conducted for the purpose of this book, Wolff and de-Shalit show how taking theory and practice together is essential if the theory is to be rich enough to be applied (...) to the real world, and policy systematic enough to have purpose and justification. The book is in three parts. Part 1 presents a pluralist analysis of disadvantage, modifying the capability theory of Sen and Nussbaum to produce the 'genuine opportunity for secure functioning' view. This emphasises risk and insecurity as a central component of disadvantage. Part 2 shows how to identify the least advantaged in society even on a pluralist view. The authors suggest that disadvantage 'clusters' in the sense that some people are disadvantaged in several different respects. Thus identifying the least advantaged is not as problematic as it appears to be. Conversely, a society which has 'declustered disadvantaged' - in the sense that no group lacks secure functioning on a range of functionings - has made considerable progress in the direction of equality. Part 3 explores how to decluster disadvantage, by paying special attention to 'corrosive disadvantages' - those disadvantages which cause further disadvantages - and 'fertile functionings' - those which are likely to secure other functionings. In sum this books presents a refreshing new analysis of disadvantage, and puts forward proposals to help governments improve the lives of the least advantaged in their societies, thereby moving in the direction of equality. (shrink)
Introduction: What is the critical spirit?--Utopianism, ancient and modern, by M.I. Finley.--Primitive society in its many dimensions, by S. Diamond.--Manicheanism in the Enlightenment, by R.H. Popkin.--Schopenhauer today, by M. Horkheimer.--Beginning in Hegel and today, by K.H. Wolff.--The social history of ideas: Ernst Cassirer and after, by P. Gay.--Policies of violence, from Montesquieu to the Terrorist, by E.V. Walter.--Thirty-nine articles: toward a theory of social theory, by J.R. Seeley.--History as private enterprise, by H. Zinn.--From Socrates to Plato, by H. Meyerhoff.--Rational (...) society and irrational art, by H. Read.--The quest for the Grail; Wagner and Morris, by C.E. Schorske.--Valéry; Monsieur Teste, by L. Goldmann.--History and existentialism in Sartre, by L. Krieger.--German popular biographies; culture's bargain counter, by L. Lowenthal.--The Rechtsstaat as magic wall, by O. Kirchheimer. (shrink)
Ontic structural realists hold that structure is all there is, or at least all there is fundamentally. This thesis has proved to be puzzling: What exactly does it say about the relationship between objects and structures? In this article, I look at different ways of articulating ontic structural realism in terms of the relation between structures and objects. I show that objects cannot be reduced to structure, and argue that ontological dependence cannot be used to establish strong forms of structural (...) realism. At the end, I show how a weaker, but controversial, form of structural realism can be articulated on the basis of ontological dependence. (shrink)
Social inequalities in health in the UK persist despite attempts to reduce them. We argue that work and pensions constitutes an area of intervention where there is potential to make change happen. We propose that workers who are exposed to significant health risks through their occupation should be allowed to draw their state pension earlier, based on a minimum number of years in the workforce. We model this proposal on similar policies in other European countries. In our modification, the pension (...) age and the retirement age would be separated, such that workers can receive a state pension whether or not they choose to continue working. This arrangement may encourage workers either to reduce their working hours or to change to less demanding or harmful work. The health of these workers would thereby benefit from reduced exposure to a harmful work environment, reduced stress and more opportunities for rest and relaxation. However, it has also been suggested that retirement is bad for mental health. In response, our proposal enables workers to phase in full retirement over a period of part-time work, and we believe that this would counter any potential negative effects on health caused by retirement. (shrink)
In an earlier article (s. J Gen Philos Sci 40:341–355, 2009), I have rejected an interpretation of Aristotle’s syllogistic which (since Patzig) is predominant in the literature on Aristotle, but wrong in my view. According to this interpretation, the distinguishing feature of perfect syllogisms is their being evident. Theodor Ebert has attempted to defend this interpretation by means of objections (s. J Gen Philos Sci 40:357–365, 2009) which I will try to refute in part  of the following article. I (...) want to show that (1) according to Aristotle’s Prior Analytics perfect and imperfect syllogisms do not differ by their being evident, but by the reason for their being evident, (2) Aristotle uses the same words to denote proofs of the validity of perfect and imperfect syllogisms („ apodeixis “, “ deiknusthai ” etc.), (3) accordingly, Aristotle defines perfect syllogisms not as being evident, but as “requiring nothing beyond the things taken in order to make the necessity evident“, i.e. as not “requiring one or more things that are necessary because of the terms assumed, but that have not been taken among the propositions” ( APr. I. 1), (4) the proofs by which the validity of perfect assertoric syllogisms can be shown according to APr. I. 4 are based on the Dictum de omni et nullo , (5) the fact that Aristotle describes these proofs only in rough outlines corresponds to the fact that his proofs of the validity of other fundamental rules are likewise produced in rough outlines, e.g . his proof of the validity of conversio simplex in APr. I. 2, which usually has been misunderstood (also by Ebert): (6) Aristotle does not prove the convertibility of E -sentences by presupposing the convertibility of I -sentences; only the reverse is true. (shrink)
What is the proper relation between the scientific worldview and other parts or aspects of human knowledge and experience? Can any science aim at "complete coverage" of the world, and if it does, will it undermine--in principle or by tendency--other attempts to describe or understand the world? Should morality, theology and other areas resist or be protected from scientific treatment? Questions of this sort have been of pressing philosophical concern since antiquity. The Proper Ambition of Science presents ten particular case (...) studies written by prominent philosophers, looking at how this problem has been approached from the ancient world right up to the present day. Contributors: Bob Sharples, M.W.F. Stone, G.A.J. Rogers, J.R. Milton, Aaron Ridley, Christopher Hookway, Dermot Moran, Thomas E. Uebel, David Papineau, and Nancy Cartwright. (shrink)
J. H. Lambert proved important results of what we now think of as non-Euclidean geometries, and gave examples of surfaces satisfying their theorems. I use his philosophical views to explain why he did not think the certainty of Euclidean geometry was threatened by the development of what we regard as alternatives to it. Lambert holds that theories other than Euclid’s fall prey to skeptical doubt. So despite their satisfiability, for him these theories are not equal to Euclid’s in justification. Contrary (...) to recent interpretations, then, Lambert does not conceive of mathematical justification as semantic. According to Lambert, Euclid overcomes doubt by means of postulates. Euclid’s theory thus owes its justification not to the existence of the surfaces that satisfy it, but to the postulates according to which these “models” are constructed. To understand Lambert’s view of postulates and the doubt they answer, I examine his criticism of Christian Wolff’s views. I argue that Lambert’s view reflects insight into traditional mathematical practice and has value as a foil for contemporary, model-theoretic, views of justification. (shrink)
Though not the first to use the term "psychology" (psychologia), ' Christian Wolff did give it currency in the mid-eighteenth century. He was the first to mark off the discipline of empirical psychology and to distinguish it from rational, or theoretical, psychology. This distinction and his conception of the two corresponding methods of conducting psychological inquiry, especially his emphasis on the use of introspection, profoundly inffuenced the course of psychological..
Despite hundreds of definitions, no consensus exists on a definition of life or on the closely related and problematic definitions of the organism and death. These problems retard practical and theoretical development in, for example, exobiology, artificial life, biology and evolution. This paper suggests improving this situation by basing definitions on a theory of a generalized particle hierarchy. This theory uses the common denominator of the “operator” for a unified ranking of both particles and organisms, from elementary particles to animals (...) with brains. Accordingly, this ranking is called “the operator hierarchy”. This hierarchy allows life to be defined as: matter with the configuration of an operator, and that possesses a complexity equal to, or even higher than the cellular operator. Living is then synonymous with the dynamics of such operators and the word organism refers to a select group of operators that fit the definition of life. The minimum condition defining an organism is its existence as an operator, construction thus being more essential than metabolism, growth or reproduction. In the operator hierarchy, every organism is associated with a specific closure, for example, the nucleus in eukaryotes. This allows death to be defined as: the state in which an organism has lost its closure following irreversible deterioration of its organization. The generality of the operator hierarchy also offers a context to discuss “life as we do not know it”. The paper ends with testing the definition’s practical value with a range of examples. (shrink)
At the start of the 21st century, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seems to have great potential for innovating business practices with a positive impact on People, Planet and Profit. In this article the differences between the management systems approach of the nineties, and Corporate Social Responsibility are analysed.An analysis is structured around three business principles that are relevant for CSR and management systems: (1) doing things right the first time, (2) doing the right things, and (3) continuous improvement and innovation. (...) Basically CSR is focussing on the second principle, and management systems focus on the first. However, CSR is very likely to build on the management systems as well. (shrink)
Hughes explains the key elements in Aristotle's Nichomachaean Ethics terminology and highlights the controversy regarding the interpretations of his writings. He carefully explores each section of the text, and presents a detailed account of the problems Aristotle was trying to address. Hughes also examines the role that Aristotle's ethics continue to play in contemporary moral philosophy by comparing and contrasting his views with those widely held today.
We present a Kripke model for Girard's Linear Logic (without exponentials) in a conservative fashion where the logical functors beyond the basic lattice operations may be added one by one without recourse to such things as negation. You can either have some logical functors or not as you choose. Commutatively and associatively are isolated in such a way that the base Kripke model is a model for noncommutative, nonassociative Linear Logic. We also extend the logic by adding a coimplication operator, (...) similar to Curry's subtraction operator, which is resituated with Linear Logic's contensor product. And we can add contraction to get nondistributive Relevance Logic. The model rests heavily on Urquhart's representation of nondistributive lattices and also on Dunn's Gaggle Theory. Indeed, the paper may be viewed as an investigation into nondistributive Gaggle Theory restricted to binary operations. The valuations on the Kripke model are three valued: true, false, and indifferent. The lattice representation theorem of Urquhart has the nice feature of yielding Priestley's representation theorem for distributive lattices if the original lattice happens to be distributive. Hence the representation is consistent with Stone's representation of distributive and Boolean lattices, and our semantics is consistent with the Lemmon-Scott representation of modal algebras and the Routley-Meyer semantics for Relevance Logic. (shrink)
This article presents a reading of Mill in which his view of self is social rather than individualistic. I will provide criticisms of the radically-individualist interpretations of Mill offered by John Gray, R. P. Anschutz, and Robert Wolff. Gray and Anschutz get Mill wrong from the right, and Wolff gets Mill wrong from the left. Mill’s individualism has at times been overstated, leading to a neglect of the importance that he places on positive community influence of moral agents. (...) This heavy emphasis on individual detachment can lead to an (intended or not) impression that Mill’s individual is thoroughly atomistic. An overemphasis on the individualism in Mill neglects the importance of community’s role in nurturing the individual to be united with fellow citizens, to develop sympathetic affections, and to be integrated into a unified web of corroborative associations. (shrink)
This article assumes that the key element in Relativism is the denial of any comparability between different moral codes. Each system of morality is, according to the relativist, defined internally to any given culture, as parallels with examples in sport might illustrate, and as two key examples from recent moral disputes amply show. While classical writers such as Hume and Bentham, each in his way a kind of utilitarian, certainly intended to be absolutist, it might nevertheless be argued that they (...) left the way open to relativism despite their intentions. The absolutist needs to establish a common moral standard of some kind which can be used as a standard of comparison between apparently different moral codes. Hume's assumption that we share the disposition to sympathy with others seems far too optimistic; and Bentham's attempt to be scientific presupposes a shared view both of values and of the canons of moral reasoning; but there is arguably no such shared view. Might some version of Aristotelianism be a more promising approach? The article ends with an ariswer to this question. /// O presente artigo parte do pressuposto de que o elemento-chave do Relativismo é a negação de toda e qualquer comparabilidade entre diferentes códigos morais. Cada sistema de moralidade é, de acordo com o relativista, deftnido internamente nos termos de cada cultura determinada, tal como se pode ilustrar com exemplos do mundo do desporto, e dois exemplos tirados da discussão moral mais recente amplamente demonstram. Enquanto que escritores clássicos tais como David Hume e Jeremy Bentham, cada um deles utilitarista à sua maneira, pretendiam certamente ser absolutistas, a verdade é que, argumenta o autor do artigo, ambos deixaram, apesar das suas intenções, o caminho aberto ao relativismo. O absolutista necessita de alguma forma de estabelecer um padrão moral comum que possa ser usado como termo de comparação entre códigos morais aparentemente diferenciados. O pressuposto de Hume de que nós partilhamos uma inclinação para a simpatia em relação a outros seres humanos parece demasiado optimista; por seu lado, a tentativa de Bentham de corresponder às expectativas da ciência pressupõem, por seu lado, uma visdo comum dos valores e dos cânones do raciocínio moral. O problema, porém, é que se pode demonstrar não existir uma tal visão comum. Assim, pergunta o autor do artigo, não será de considerar uma certa versão do Aristotelismo como uma abordagem mais promissora? A resposta a esta questão constitui a parte final do artigo. (shrink)