This article discusses how the results of infant research challenge the assumptions of the classical sciences of social behaviour. According to A.J. Bergesen, the findings of infant research invalidate Durkheim's theory of mental categories, thus requiring a re-theorizing of sociology. This article argues that Bergesen's reading of Emile Durkheim is incorrect, and his review of the infant research in fact invalidates his argument. Reviewing the assumptions of sociology in the light of the findings of infant research, it is argued that (...) the real challenge is to formulate a research strategy that combines the findings of the two sciences. (shrink)
No. Animals' primary problem is the shaping of movements, guided by and adapting to sensory signals. This requires a narrower class of biorobotic models than that spanned by Webb's dimensions and examples. We claim that all model variables and mechanisms must have real counterparts, input vectors must model known sensor fields, internal state vectors and transformations must model neurophysiological processes, and output vectors must model coordinated muscle signals.
Semantic theories that violate semantic innocence, i.e. require reference-shifts when terms are embedded in ‘that’ clauses and the like, are often challenged by producing sentences where an anaphoric expression, while not itself embedded in a context in which reference shifts, is anaphoric on an antecedent expression that is embedded in such a context. This, in conjunction with a widely accepted principle concerning unproblematic anaphora, is used to show that such reference shifting has absurd consequences. We show that it is the (...) widely accepted principle concerning anaphora that is to be blamed for these consequences, and not the supposed sin of reference shifting. (shrink)
The relationship of the author's intention to the meaning of a literary work has been a persistently controversial topic in aesthetics. Anti-intentionalists Wimsatt and Beardsley, in the 1946 paper that launched the debate, accused critics who fueled their interpretative activity by poring over the author's private diaries and life story of committing the 'fallacy' of equating the work's meaning, properly determined by context and linguistic convention, with the meaning intended by the author. Hirsch responded that context and convention are not (...) sufficient to determine a unique meaning for a text; to avoid radical ambiguity we must appeal to the author's intention, which actualizes one of the candidate meanings. Subsequent writers have defended refined versions of these views, and a variety of positions on the spectrum between them, in a debate that remains central to philosophical aesthetics. While much of the debate has focused on literature, similar questions arise with respect to the interpretation of visual artworks. Some of the readings listed below address this matter explicitly. Author Recommends: William K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley, 'The Intentional Fallacy', Sewanee Review 54 (1946): 468–88. Locus classicus of the anti-intentionalist position: Wimsatt and Beardsley hold that appeal to the author's intention is always extraneous, since intention cannot override the role of linguistic convention and context in determining meaning. Criticism, they argue, should thus proceed by careful examination of the literary work rather than by sifting through biographical material that might hint at the author's intentions. E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Validity in Interpretation (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1967). The seminal statement of actual intentionalism: Hirsch holds that 'meaning is an affair of consciousness and not of physical signs or things' (23), though he allows that linguistic convention constrains the meanings the author can intend for a particular utterance. He argues that the author's intention is necessary to fix meaning, since the application of conventions alone would typically leave a text wildly indeterminate. Alexander Nehamas, 'The Postulated Author: Critical Monism as a Regulative Ideal', Critical Inquiry 8 (1981): 133–49. Nehamas argues for a version of hypothetical intentionalism according to which interpretation is a matter of attributing an intended meaning to a hypothetical author, distinct from the historical writer. This view allows the interpreter to find meaning even in features of the work that may have been mere accidents on the part of the historical writer. Gary Iseminger, ed., Intention and Interpretation (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1992). Intention and Interpretation is an outstanding collection including both classic and new essays representing most of the major viewpoints in the debate. Noël Carroll, 'Art, Intention, and Conversation', Intention and Interpretation , ed. Gary Iseminger (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1992), 97–131. The essay defends modest actual intentionalism, according to which the work's meaning is one compatible both with the author's meaning intentions and with the conventionally allowable meanings of the text. Carroll holds that literature is on a continuum with ordinary conversation, to which an intentionalist analysis is apt; for this reason he rejects anti-intentionalism and hypothetical intentionalism, which emphasize the purported autonomy of literary works from their authors. Daniel Nathan, 'Irony, Metaphor, and the Problem of Intention', Intention and Interpretation , ed. Gary Iseminger (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1992), 183–202. Nathan argues that even irony and metaphor, which are often thought to require an analysis in terms of the author's actual intentions, are in fact best understood on an anti-intentionalist approach. Jerrold Levinson, 'Intention and Interpretation in Literature', The Pleasures of Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), 175–213. Revised version of 'Intention and Interpretation: A Last Look', Intention and Interpretation , ed. Gary Iseminger (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1992), 221–56. The essay defends a version of hypothetical intentionalism according to which the meaning of a literary work is the meaning that would be attributed to the actual author by members of the ideal audience. Levinson argues that literary works should be treated differently from everyday utterances, since it is a convention of literature that its works are substantially autonomous from their authors. Paisley Livingston, Art and Intention: A Philosophical Study (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005). Livingston examines competing accounts of the nature of intentions as they pertain to a variety of issues in the philosophy of art, including the ontology of art, the nature of authorship, and art interpretation. In chapter 6, Livingston argues for partial intentionalism, according to which some, but not all, of a work's meanings are non-redundantly determined by the author's intentions. Stephen Davies, 'Authors' Intentions, Literary Interpretation, and Literary Value', British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2006): 223–47. Davies defends the value-maximizing view, according to which, when there is more than one conventional meaning consistent with the work's features, the meaning that should be attributed to the work is the one that makes the work out to be most aesthetically valuable. He allows for the attribution of multiple meanings when more than one candidate (approximately) maximizes the work's value. Online Materials: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beardsley-aesthetics/ Beardsley's Aesthetics (Michael Wreen) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/conceptual-art/ Conceptual Art (Elisabeth Schellekens) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/speech-acts/ Speech Acts (Mitchell Green) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hermeneutics/ Hermeneutics (Bjørn Ramberg and Kristin Gjesdal) Sample Syllabus: Week 1: Foundations 1. Wimsatt and Beardsley, 'The Intentional Fallacy'. 2. Livingston, 'What Are Intentions?', Art and Intention , 1–30. Weeks 2–3: Actual Intentionalism 1. Hirsch, Validity in Interpretation , ch. 1–2, 1–67. 2. Gary Iseminger, 'An Intentional Demonstration?', Intention and Interpretation , ed. Iseminger, 76–96. Optional reading: 1. Stephen Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels, 'Against Theory', Critical Inquiry 8 (1982): 723–742. 2. Stephen Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels, 'Against Theory 2: Hermeneutics and Deconstruction', Critical Inquiry 14 (1987): 49–58. Weeks 4–5: Modest, Moderate and Partial Intentionalism 1. Carroll, 'Art, Intention, and Conversation'. 2. Robert Stecker, Interpretation and Construction: Art, Speech, and the Law (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003), ch. 2, 29–51. 3. Livingston, 'Intention and the Interpretation of Art', Art and Intention , 135–74. Optional reading: 1. Carroll, 'Interpretation and Intention: The Debate between Hypothetical and Actual Intentionalism', Metaphilosophy 31 (2000): 75–95. 2. Stecker, 'Moderate Actual Intentionalism Defended', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (2006): 429–38. Weeks 6–7: Hypothetical Intentionalism 1. William E. Tolhurst, 'On What a Text Is and How It Means', British Journal of Aesthetics 19 (1979): 3–14. 2. Nehamas, 'Postulated Author'. 3. Levinson, 'Intention and Interpretation in Literature'. Optional reading: 1. Nehamas, 'What an Author Is', Journal of Philosophy 83 (1986): 685–91. 2. Nehamas, 'Writer, Text, Work, Author', Literature and the Question of Philosophy , ed. A. J. Cascardi (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), 265–91. 3. Levinson, 'Hypothetical Intentionalism: Statement, Objections, and Replies', Is There a Single Right Interpretation? , ed. M. Krausz (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002), 309–18. Week 8: The Value-Maximizing View 1. Davies, 'The Aesthetic Relevance of Authors' and Painters' Intentions', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 41 (1982): 65–76. 2. Davies, 'Authors' Intentions, Literary Interpretation, and Literary Value'. Weeks 9–10: Anti-Intentionalism 1. Beardsley, 'The Authority of the Text,' The Possibility of Criticism (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1970), 16–37. 2. Nathan, 'Irony, Metaphor, and the Problem of Intention'. 3. Nathan, 'Art, Meaning, and Artist's Meaning', Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art , ed. M. Kieran (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006), 282–95. Optional reading: 1. Beardsley, 'Intentions and Interpretations: A Fallacy Revived', The Aesthetic Point of View: Selected Essays , ed. M. J. Wreen and D. M. Callen (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982), 188–207. 2. Nathan, 'Irony and the Author's Intentions', British Journal of Aesthetics 22 (1982): 246–56. Sample Mini-Syllabus: Week 1: Foundations 1. Wimsatt and Beardsley, 'The Intentional Fallacy'. 2. Livingston, 'What Are Intentions?', Art and Intention , 1–30. Week 2: Actual and Modest Intentionalism 1. Hirsch, Validity in Interpretation , ch. 1–2, 1–67. 2. Carroll, 'Art, Intention, and Conversation'. Week 3: Hypothetical Intentionalism and Anti-Intentionalism 1. Levinson, 'Intention and Interpretation in Literature'. 2. Nathan, 'Irony, Metaphor, and the Problem of Intention'. Focus Questions 1. Is the difficulty of ascertaining the author's intentions a good reason to reject actual intentionalism? 2. Should literary works be seen as largely autonomous from their authors, even if we think that interpretation of ordinary utterances is properly a matter of ascertaining the speaker's intentions? 3. Are linguistic context and convention sufficient to determine the meaning of a literary work, or is the author's intention required to stave off an unacceptable degree of ambiguity? 4. Should the author's intentions about the genre or category to which the work belongs have a different status than intentions about the work's meaning? 5. Can the author's intentions have a non-redundant role to play in fixing meaning even if we take the role of context and linguistic convention seriously? 6. Should we expect the author's intention to play the same role (if any) in the interpretation of visual artworks that it plays in the interpretation of literature, or do differences between these two art forms require distinct approaches? (shrink)
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) was an almost unbelievably prolific writer. At his death he left not only a massive body of published work (25 volumes in the recently completed Princeton University Press edition), but also a sprawling mass of unpublished writings that rivaled the size of the published corpus. This book tells the story of the peculiar fate of this portion of Kierkegaard's literary remains, which flowed ceaselessly from his steel pen from his late teens to a week before his death. (...) It is the story of packets and sacks of paper covered with words and images that, after a vagabond existence in various homes, finally landed at the Royal Danish Library, where they are today guarded with great care. Readers are also introduced to a selection of this enormous body of material, including drawings and doodlings (often human profiles with high foreheads) that escaped from Kierkegaard's pen in unguarded moments and complement the allure of the philosopher's strikingly variable, elusive handwriting. The authors of this book are among the editors of a modern critical edition of Kierkegaard's oeuvre currently being produced in Copenhagen. By the end of his life Kierkegaard had become a controversial figure, engaged in a furious assault upon "Christendom." From the very moment of their discovery in the days following his death, the unpublished words and images constituted a highly problematic bonanza, an intellectual and religious hot potato (or sack of potatoes) that was passed from hand to hand, suppressed, selectively and tendentiously published and republished. Written Images offers readers a fascinating tour of the misadventures of these written images that will, finally, soon be published in their entirety. (shrink)
Edited book containing the following essays: 1 Getting over Gettier, Alan Musgrave.- 2 Justified Believing: Avoiding the Paradox Gregory W. Dawes.- Chapter 3! Literature and Truthfulness,Gregory Currie.- 4 Where the Buck-passing Stops, Andrew Moore.- 5 Universal Darwinism: Its Scope and Limits, James Maclaurin, - 6 The Future of Utilitarianism,Tim Mulgan. 7 Kant on Experiment, Alberto Vanzo.- 8 Did Newton ʻFeignʼ the Corpuscular Hypothesis? Kirsten Walsh.- 9 The Progress of Scotland: The Edinburgh Philosophical Societies and the Experimental Method, Juan Gomez.- 10 (...) Propositions: Truth vs. Existence, Heather Dyke.- 11 Against Advanced Modalizing, Josh Parsons.- 12 Spread Worlds, Plenitude and Modal Realism: A Problem for DavidLewis, Charles R. Pigden and Rebecca E. B. Entwisle.- 13 Defending Quine on Ontological Commitment. 14. The Scandal of Platonism, Vladimír Svoboda.- 15 A Neglected Reply to Prior's Dilemma J. C. Beall. 16 Mathematical and Empirical Concepts, Pavel Materna.- 17 Post-Fregean Thoughts on Propositional Unity, Bjørn Jespersen.- 18 Best-path Theorem Proving: Compiling Derivations, Martin Frické.- 19 Is Imperative Inference Impossible?, Hannah Clark-Younger. . (shrink)
According to the moral theory of William Wollaston (1659-1724), the mark of a wrong action is that it signifies a falsehood.1 This theory rests, in part, on an unusual account of actions according to which they have propositional content: they "declare," "signify," "affirm," or "express" propositions (RN 8-13). To take an example from Wollaston, the act of firing on a band of soldiers affirms the proposition "Those soldiers are my enemies" (RN 8-9). Likewise, the act of breaking a promise signifies (...) the proposition "I did not make that promise" (RN 10, 16).2This account of actions, as well as the moral theory that rests on it, has many harsh critics.3 Unfortunately, some of them read Wollaston with little care, and .. (shrink)