There is a classic problem which confronts any attempt to assign death a value. On the assumption that death is personal annihilation, death deprives evil of a requisite subject, for no misfortune can befall something which does not exist. Recent efforts to provide a reasonable basis for counting death as a bad thing have centered on an analysis of the loss of life's goods which it brings. So long as the analysis assumes that death is a simple state, loss can (...) be explained only by reference to a realm of possible things which exist after death. An alternative analysis of death is offered in which death is defined as a limit on life. That analysis provides a basis for evaluative judgements about death, while avoiding any commitment to post-mortem existence. (shrink)
The work of W.V.O. Quine is often held to folIow the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle in broad outline, but to diverge from it in crucial particulars. On the basis of recent reevaluations of the latter, I argue that the philosophical distance between Quine and the Vienna Circle is less than ordinarily thought, or, most importantly, than Quine himself admits.
One way to determine the quality and pace of change in a science as it undergoes a major transition is to follow some feature of it which remains relatively stable throughout the process. Following the chosen item as it goes through reinterpretation permits conclusions to be drawn about the nature and scope of the broader change in question. In what follows, this device is applied to the change which took place in logic in the mid-nineteenth century. The feature chosen as (...) the focal point is the categorical syllogism. (shrink)
Rolf Gruner's article on the role of understanding in the social sciences casts rational understanding as the aim of the social sciences. Even though he opts for a non?controversial methodology for the social sciences, his view still commits the social sciences to seeking the reproduction of reality rather than the explanation of it.
Nathan Houser, Don D. Roberts and James Van Evra (eds), Studies in the Logic of Charles Sanders Peirce, In:Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 1997, xiii + 653 pp. £41.95. ISBN 0-253-33020-3.
This volume provides a comprehensive exploration of Charles Sanders Peirce's work in mathematics and formal logic, highlighting linkages between Peirce's work and present developments in the science and history of logic. The essays are collected from an internationally distinguished group of scholars who gathered at Harvard University in 1989 to commemorate Peirce's birth in 1839. Not just of historical interest, Studies in the Logic of Charles Sanders Peirce shows the considerable relevance of Peirce's work for current research. The stimulating depth (...) and originality of Peirce's thought and the continuing importance and usefulness of his ideas are brought out by this major volume.(publisher). (shrink)