Wittgenstein advocated both expressivism about self-ascriptions of mental states and minimalism about truth. Since these are widely thought to be inconsistent doctrines, sympathetic interpreters ignore or discount one or the other of these strands in his thought. I argue that Wittgenstein's version of expressivism is consistent with his minimalism. Furthermore, when the reconciliation between expressivism and minimalism is made in the way envisioned by Wittgenstein, we acquire a straightforward account of our authoritative first person knowledge of mental states.
A classical moral defense of profit seeking as the social responsibility of business in a competitive market is examined. That defense rests on claims about the directness of relationships between (a) profit seeking activity and standards of living and (b) standards of living and the quality of life. Responses to the classical argument tend to raise doubts about the directness of the first relationship. This essay challenges the directness of the second relationship, argues that the classical argument is invalid, and (...) claims that an alternative description of the social responsibility of business is entailed by the classical premisses. (shrink)
Donald Davidson's explanation of first-person authority turns on an ingenious account of speakers' knowledge of meaning. It nonetheless suffers from a structural defect and yields, at best, expressive know-how for speakers. I argue that an expressivist strand already latent in Davidson's paratactic treatment of the semantics of belief attribution can be exploited to repair the defect, and so to yield a plausible account of first-person authority.
I argue that indirect quotation in the first person simple present tense (self-quotation) provides a class of infallible assertions. The defense of this conclusion examines the joint descriptive and constitutive functions of performative utterances and argues that a parallel treatment of belief ascription is in order. The parallel account yields a class of infallible belief ascriptions that makes no appeal to privileged modes of access. Confronting a dilemma formulated by Crispin Wright for theories of self-knowledge gives an epistemological setting for (...) the account of infallible belief ascription. (shrink)
An active ethically conscious consumer has been acclaimed as the new hero and hope for an ethically improved capitalism. Through consumers’ “voting” at the checkout, corporations are supposed to be held accountable for their conduct. In the literature on political consumerism, this has mainly been approached as political participation and governance. In this article, we do a critical review of this literature. We do so by questioning the existence of what we call a “generic active consumer model.” At the core (...) of this position, there is a belief that the active consumer is a universal entity, available across nations and time. Instead we call for an approach that takes accord of the ways consumers and consumer roles are framed in interactive processes in markets, governance structures, and everyday life. Consumers in different countries assess their responsibilities and their powers as consumers differently due to different institutionalizations within distinctive contexts. We also must take into account how the inertia of ordinary consumption and the moral complexities of everyday life restrict the adoption of an active consumerist role. Hence, the debate on political consumerism should make for a more realistic notion of ethical consumer-sovereignty and its role in improving the workings of capitalism. In our view, these findings have severe implications for understanding both theories of political consumption and the dynamics of political consumption per se. (shrink)
In Spheres of Justice, Michael Walzer articulates an approach to distributive ethics based on complex equality that is closely attentive to the specific ways particular communities value goods. A renewed interest in place and geography among practitioners and theoreticians is giving rise to questions that are beyond the scope of Walzer's system and reveal abstractions at the geographic level that undercut his overall approach. This internal inconsistency weakens, but does not ultimately discount, Walzer's overall system of distributive ethics. When calibrated (...) to allow for geographic particularity, Walzer's approach becomes even more useful to critique a range of contemporary development movements. (shrink)
In Sāṃkhya similes are an important means to communicate basic philosophical teachings. In the texts similes are frequently used, especially in the Sāṃkhya passages in the Mahābhārata, in the Sāṃkhyakārikā and in the Sāṃkhyasūtra. This paper compares the similes in these three texts and analyses changes in the philosophy as revealed in the similes. A comparison of the similes of Sāṃkhya texts produced over more than one thousand years reveals changes in the emphasis in this philosophical system. The purpose of (...) the similes in the Sāṃkhya passages of the Mahābhārata is to produce an intuitive understanding of the separateness of puruṣa and prakṛti. The similes are designed to lead the listener to understand this basic dualism. In the Sāṃkhyakārikā the most difficult issues are the relationship between prakṛti and puruṣa and the idea of prakṛti working for the salvation of puruṣa. One whole chapter of the Sāṃkhyasūtra is devoted to similes. (shrink)
This article analyses the influence of Hinduism on Ecosophy T. Arne Naess in several of his environmental writings quotes verse 6.29 of the Bhagavadgit?, a Hindu sacred text. The verse is understood to illustrate the close relationship between the ideas of oneness of all living beings, non?injury and self?realization. The article compares the interpretations of the verse of some of the most important Hindu commentators on the Bhagavadgit? with the environmentalist interpretation. There is no agreement in the history of the (...) Hindu tradition on the meaning of the verse. The interpretation of Ecosophy T contrasts sharply with the interpretations of the Hindu monastic traditions but has similarities with the twentieth?century social activist interpretations of Mohandas K. Gandhi and S. Radhakrishnan. In Ecosophy T aspects of this social activist version of Hinduism have been creatively reinterpreted in the context of contemporary environmentalism. (shrink)
It is a common mistake, especially, perhaps, among students of the religions and philosophies of India, to assume that the word prakti, best known as the ultimate material principle in the Sākhya and Yoga systems of religious thought, the material cause of the world in Hindu theologies and, as such, an epithet of the goddesses in Hinduism, always refers to an ultimate principle. Even in Sākhya and Yoga texts the word prakti is used in various ways. Prakti does not always (...) refer to the ultimate principle. Translators often leave the word prakti untranslated and mislead the reader to assume that the ultimate principle is referred to, when it is not. This article discusses the use of prakti in the Sākhya-Yoga texts the Yogastra and the Vyāsabhāya and criticises some translation practices. (shrink)
It is a common mistake, especially, perhaps, among students of the religions and philosophies of India, to assume that the word prak?ti, best known as the ultimate material principle in the S??khya and Yoga systems of religious thought, the material cause of the world in Hindu theologies and, as such, an epithet of the goddesses in Hinduism, always refers to an ultimate principle. Even in S??khya and Yoga texts the word prak?ti is used in various ways. Prak?ti does not always (...) refer to the ultimate principle. Translators often leave the word prak?ti untranslated and mislead the reader to assume that the ultimate principle is referred to, when it is not. This article discusses the use of prak?ti in the S??khya-Yoga texts the Yogas?tra and the Vy?sabh??ya and criticises some translation practices. (shrink)
Objective: This paper describes the variety of ways that information about ethics-related methods are included or not included in public health research articles. Methods: Information about the ethics-related content of all articles published in nine highly-respected public health journals in 2006 was extracted. Results: Of 989 primary analyses, 73% of the articles commented on ethics committee approval or exemption, 63% mentioned participant consent and 9% indicated whether or not inducement or compensation was given. 84% of articles mentioned a funding source, (...) but fewer than 4% identified any potential conflict of interest. Reporting rates for committee review and consent were higher for experimental than for observational studies and were comparatively higher in studies conducted among potentially vulnerable populations like children and residents of low income countries. Conclusions: More complete reporting would facilitate the design, evaluation and comparison of future research studies. (shrink)
The principle of non-injury toward all living beings (ahimsā) in India was originally a rule restraining human interaction with the natural environment. I compare two discourses on the relationship between humans and the natural environment in ancient India: the discourse of the priestly sacrificial cult and the discourse of the renunciants. In the sacrificial cult, all living beings were conceptualized as food. The renunciants opposed this conception and favored the ethics of non-injury toward all beings (plants, animals, etc.), which meant (...) that no living being should be food for another. The first represented an ethics modeled on the power that the eater has over the eaten while the second attempted to overturn this food chain ethics. The ethics of non-injury ascribed ultimate value to every individual living being. As a critique of the individualistic ethics of noninjury, a holistic ethics was developed that prescribed the unselfish performance of one’s duties for the sake of the functioning of the natural system. Vegetarianismbecame a popular adaptation of the ethics of non-injury. These dramatic changes in ethics in ancient India are suggestive for the possibility of dramatic changes in environmental ethics today. (shrink)
This paper uses a two-dimensional version of a standard common consequence experiment to test the intransitivity explanation of Allais-paradox-type violations of expected utility theory. We compare the common consequence effect of two choice problems differing only with respect to whether alternatives are statistically correlated or independent. We framed the experiment so that intransitive preferences could explain violating behavior when alternatives are independent, but not when they are correlated. We found the same pattern of violation in the two cases. This is (...) evidence against intransitivity as an explanation of the Allais Paradox. The question whether violations of expected utility are mainly due to intransitivity or to violation of independence is important since it is exactly on this issue the main new decision theories differ. (shrink)
Abstract This paper analyses the uses of the word ?nature? (in P?li pakati, Sanskrit prakrti) in the P?li scripture. In the P?li scripture pakati is never used as a concept of nature considered as a unity or an entity, or as a material cause, as in the S?mkhya and Yoga, but it describes acts which are considered natural, regular and usual. The article tries to answer three questions. 1. What is the meaning of the term pakati in the P?li scripture? (...) 2. What is the relation between the term pakati in the P?li scripture and the Sanskrit term prakrti in general and as a technical term in the S?mkhya and Yoga schools, in the Medical schools and in the Jain scriptures? 3. What view of nature does analysis of the term reveal? (shrink)
Music is often studied as a cognitive domain alongside language. The emotional aspects of music have also been shown to be important, but views on their nature diverge. For instance, the specific emotions that music induces and how they relate to emotional expression are still under debate. Here we propose a mental and neural chronometry of the aesthetic experience of music initiated and mediated by external and internal contexts such as intentionality, background mood, attention, and expertise. The initial stages necessary (...) for an aesthetic experience of music are feature analysis, integration across modalities, and cognitive processing on the basis of long-term knowledge. These stages are common to individuals belonging to the same musical culture. The initial emotional reactions to music include the startle reflex, core "liking," and arousal. Subsequently, discrete emotions are perceived and induced. Presumably somatomotor processes synchronizing the body with the music also come into play here. The subsequent stages, in which cognitive, affective, and decisional processes intermingle, require controlled cross-modal neural processes to result in aesthetic emotions, aesthetic judgments, and conscious liking. These latter aesthetic stages often require attention, intentionality, and expertise for their full actualization. (shrink)
We generalize the concept of Nash equilibrium in mixed strategies for strategic form games to allow for ambiguity in the players' expectations. In contrast to other contributions, we model ambiguity by means of so-called lower probability measures or belief functions, which makes it possible to distinguish between a player's assessment of ambiguity and his attitude towards ambiguity. We also generalize the concept of trembling hand perfect equilibrium. Finally, we demonstrate that for certain attitudes towards ambiguity it is possible to explain (...) cooperation in the one-shot Prisoner's Dilemma in a way that is in accordance with some recent experimental findings. (shrink)
In the last decade a great amount of literature that elaborates on Leibniz’ cultural and philosophical openness has emerged. It is therefore odd that there has not been made any direct comments on Chung-Ying Cheng interesting analyses of Leibniz’s writings on Chinese philosophy (Cheng 2000, 2002). By giving a critical review of Cheng’s work on this topic, it is the aim of this paper to integrate some problems of Sino-western philosophical encounters into the Leibniz scholarship of today. In the course (...) of analyzing Cheng’s arguments the paper points to some problems in his approach to Leibnizian philosophy and its “encounter” with Chinese classics. After challenging Cheng’s reading of Leibniz and suggesting alternative interpretations, the paper discusses whether thisunderstanding of Leibniz could designate a positive approach to Sino‐western philosophical exchange. Central to this, the question is raised whether or not it can be shown that Leibniz remained open to rethink his own philosophy in the light of his meeting with Chinese philosophy. While the paper agrees with Cheng in the judgement that Leibniz did not arrive at a complete understanding of the Chinese classic Yijing, it claims that Cheng’s analysis contradicts some of Leibniz’s other writings on China as well as Leibniz’s general ambition of supporting global philosophical exchange. (shrink)
Contrary to widespread opinion, American Protestantism today is more complex and vibrant than the conventional model of liberal versus conservative would indicate. A center is indeed emerging, and its key lies on the periphery.
Besides his activities as a theoretical physicist, the Belgian Léon Rosenfeld cultivated and showed a lively concern for history of science since his student years. This paper is a study of his publications, correspondence and other endeavours in history of science, mainly during the early Cold War period, in order to explore his essentially Marxist views on science and society and how they differed from those of other Marxists scholars, most notably John D. Bernal and Boris Hessen.