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)
Recent research investigating the language–thought interface in the spatial domain points to representations of the horizontal and vertical dimensions that closely resemble those posited by Jeffery et al. However, the findings suggest that such representations, rather than being tied to navigation, may instead reflect more general properties of the perception of space.
In an earlier article (see J Gen Philos Sei (2010) 41: 341-355) I have compared Aristotle's syllogistic with Kant's theory of "pure ratiocination". "Ratiocinia pura" („reine Vernunftschlüsse") is Kant's designation for assertoric syllogisms Aristotle has called 'perfect'. In Kant's view they differ from non-pure ratiocinia precisely in that their validity rests only on the validity of the Dictum de omni et nullo (which, however, in Kant's view can be further reduced to more fundamental principles) whereas the validity of non-pure ratiocinia (...) additionally presupposes the validity of inferences which Kant calls consequentiae immediatae. I have argued that Kant's view is in some (not in all) essential features in accordance with Aristotle's view concerning perfect syllogisms and certainly leading to a tenable and interesting logical theory. As a result I have rejected not only the interpretation of Aristotle adopted by Theodor Ebert, but also the objections he has raised against Kant's logical theory. As far as Aristotle is concerned, Ebert has attempted to defend his position in the first part of his reply to my article published in J Gen Philos Sei (2009) 40: 357-365, and I have argued against this defence in issue 1 of the J Gen Philos Sei (2010) 41: 199-213 (cf. Ebert's answer in the same issue pp. 215-231). In the following discussion I deal with Eberts defence of his criticism of Kant published in the second part of his reply to my article (see J Gen Philos Sei (2009) 40: 365-372). I shall argue, that Kant's principle 'nota notae est nota rei ipsius' and his use of technical vocabulary stand up to the objections raised by Ebert. His attempts to prove that Kant's logical theory is defective are based on several misinterpretations. (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)
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)
In an earlier article (see J Gen Philos Sei (2009) 40: 357-372) I have discussed the arguments brought forward by Michael Wolff against the interpretation given in the commentary by Ebert and Nortmann on Aristotle's syllogistic theory (Aristoteles Analy tica Priora Buch I, übersetzt und erläutert von Theodor Ebert und Ulrich Nortmann. Berlin 2007) and against the critique of Kant's adaption of the syllogistic logic. I have dealt with Wolff's arguments concerning (Ebert/Nortmann's interpretation of) Aristotle in the paper (...) mentioned and with his attempts to defend his critique in this subsequent article (part 1; see J Gen Phils Sei (2010) 41: 215-231). Part 2 (the paper below) is concerned with Wolffs renewed attempts to defend Kant as a logician. In particular I point out that if, as Wolff claims, the nota notae relation in Kant is restricted to subordinated concepts, then it can hardly serve as a principle for syllogistic logic, as Kant claims. Against Wolff's attempts to defend Kant's claim that o-propositions are simplicitér convertible, I point out two arguments: (1) Even if Kant, following the Vernunftlehre by Meier, has assumed that an o-proposition can be turned into an i-proposition, this conversion is useless for the reduction to first figure syllogisms since we are no longer dealing with three syllogistic terms but with four. (2) It is quite unlikely that Kant has a conversion of this type in mind since the texts of his students always talk of the group of either the particular propositions or else of the negative propositions. Given Kant's mistakes concerning the convertibility simpliciter of o-propositions, it is no wonder that he overlooks the special status of the moods Baroco and Bocardo. Wolffs attempts to provide Kant with what he claims are direct proofs for these moods can be shown to rely on a reductio ad impossibile. Kant mistook what are parts of the proofs for the validity of moods in figures two to four as parts of these moods themselves. Wolff—who tries to defend Kant on this point—is forced to an artificial and unconvincing reading of the Kantian texts. (shrink)
Modern public relations practices have been dominated by appeals to impulses, desires, and images that affect publics defined predominantly in demographic terms. This paper argues that abandoning basic rhetorical assumptions about the ability of ordinary people to engage in practical reason has serious ethical implications for the marketplace as well as for society in general. The study applies recent rhetorical scholarship on issues of public discourse and rhetorical culture to public relations practices, considering how rhetoric can contribute to more effective (...) and ethical public discourse in our dominant modes of marketplace communication. (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..
In "The Disunity of Consciousness," Gerard O'Brien and Jon Opie argue that human consciousness is not synchronically unified. They suggest that the orthodox conception of the unity of consciousness admits of two readings, neither of which they find persuasive. According to them, "a conscious individual does not have a single consciousness, but several distinct phenomenal consciousnesses, at least one for each of the senses, running in parallel." They call this conception of consciousness the _multi-track account. I make three points (...) in reply: (1) O'Brien and Opie's characterization of the orthodox conception of the unity of consciousness is problematic; (2) their arguments in support of the multitrack account are unpersuasive; and (3) the phenomenon of intersensory integration suggests that O'Brien and Opie are wrong to claim that "the only sense in which it is correct to talk of a 'unified' consciousness (...) is that in which the representational contents of the various components coincide.". (shrink)
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)
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.
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)
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)