JohnPalmer develops and defends a modal interpretation of Parmenides, according to which he was the first philosopher to distinguish in a rigorous manner the fundamental modalities of necessary being, necessary non-being or impossibility, and non-necessary or contingent being. This book accordingly reconsiders his place in the historical development of Presocratic philosophy in light of this new interpretation. Careful treatment of Parmenides' specification of the ways of inquiry that define his metaphysical and epistemological outlook paves the way for (...) detailed analyses of his arguments demonstrating the temporal and spatial attributes of what is and cannot not be. Since the existence of this necessary being does not preclude the existence of other entities that are but need not be, Parmenides' cosmology can straightforwardly be taken as his account of the origin and operation of the world's mutable entities. Later chapters reassess the major Presocratics' relation to Parmenides in light of the modal interpretation, focusing particularly on Zeno, Melissus, Anaxagoras, and Empedocles. In the end, Parmenides' distinction among the principal modes of being, and his arguments regarding what what must be must be like, simply in virtue of its mode of being, entitle him to be seen as the founder of metaphysics or ontology as a domain of inquiry distinct from natural philosophy and theology. An appendix presents a Greek text of the fragments of Parmenides' poem with English translation and textual notes. (shrink)
JohnPalmer presents a new and original account of Plato's uses and understanding of his most important Presocratic predecessor, Parmenides. Adopting an innovative approach to the appraisal of intellectual influence, Palmer first explores the Eleatic underpinnings of central elements in Plato's middle-period epistemology and metaphysics and then shows how in the later dialogues Plato confronts various sophistic appropriations of Parmenides.
"The question for me is how can the human mind occur in the physical universe? We now know that the world is governed by physics. We now understand the way biology nestles comfortably within that. The issue is how will the mind do that as well?" Alan Newell, 4 December 1991, Carnegie Mellon University -/- The argument JohnAnderson gives in this book was inspired by the passage above, from the last lecture by one of the pioneers of (...) cognitive science. Alan Newell describes what, for him, is the pivotal question of scientific inquiry, and Anderson gives an answer that is emerging from the study of brain and behaviour. -/- Humans share the same basic cognitive architecture with all primates, but they have evolved abilities to exercise abstract control over cognition and process more complex relational patterns. The human cognitive architecture consists of a set of largely independent modules associated with different brain regions. This book discusses in detail how these various modules can combine to produce behaviors as varied as driving a car and solving an algebraic equation, but focuses principally on two of the modules: the declarative and procedural. The declarative module involves a memory system that, moment by moment, attempts to give each person the most appropriate possible window into his or her past. The procedural module involves a central system that strives to develop a set of productions that will enable the most adaptive response from any state of the modules. Newell argued that the answer to his question must take the form of a cognitive architecture, and Anderson organizes his answer around the ACT-R architecture, but broadens it by bringing in research from all areas of cognitive science, including how recent work in brain imaging maps onto the cognitive architecture. (shrink)
'With this scheme, JohnAnderson joins a very distinguished line of philosophers who have presented us with a set of categories. We have first Plato (the doctrine of Highest Kinds in his dialogue The Sophist), then Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Samuel Alexander.' - D. M. Armstrong, from the introduction. Space, Time and the Categories presents a unique record of personal influence and inspiration over three generations of philosophers in Australia, England and Scotland. This work is a vitally important (...) text in the history of the development of realist philosophy in Australian universities. With an introduction by Emeritus Professor D M Armstrong whose own student notes are the basis for the text used, this book brings together three of the major figures in the history of Australian philosophy. (shrink)
In The Grace and the Severity of the Ideal, Victor Kestenbaum swims against the current of Dewey scholarship. He declares for and gives close articulation to the importance of transcendence in the philosophy of John Dewey. The guiding thread of the book is "the proposal that Dewey never outgrew his idealistic period. His philosophical achievement is not to be located in his naturalism but in the frontiers along which the natural and the transcendental touch" (137). Kestenbaum does not argue (...) that Dewey defends a supernatural sense of transcendence; instead, he documents the modes of transcendence that, for Dewey, reveal themselves within the flow of experience. This is a learned and carefully developed book, one that will provoke pragmatists to think carefully about how growth, self-revision, and... (shrink)
In this engaging book, Douglas Anderson begins with the assumption that philosophy—the Greek love of wisdom—is alive and well in American culture. At the same time, professional philosophy remains relatively invisible. Anderson traverses American life to find places in the wider culture where professional philosophy in the distinctively American tradition can strike up a conversation. How might American philosophers talk to us about our religious experience, or political engagement, or literature—or even, popular music? Anderson’s second aim is (...) to find places where philosophy happens in nonprofessional guises—cultural places such as country music, rock’n roll, and Beat literature. He not only enlarges the tradition of American philosophers such as John Dewey and William James by examining lesser-known figures such as Henry Bugbee and Thomas Davidson, but finds the theme and ideas of American philosophy in some unexpected places, such as the music of Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, and Bruce Springsteen, and the writingsof Jack Kerouac.The idea of “philosophy Americana” trades on the emergent genre of “music Americana,” rooted in traditional themes and styles yet engaging our present experiences. The music is “popular” but not thoroughly driven by economic considerations, and Anderson seeks out an analogous role for philosophical practice, where philosophy and popular culture are co-adventurers in the life of ideas. Philosophy Americana takes seriously Emerson’s quest for the extraordinary in the ordinary and James’s belief that popular philosophy can still be philosophy. (shrink)
Newell (1980; 1990) proposed that cognitive theories be developed in an effort to satisfy multiple criteria and to avoid theoretical myopia. He provided two overlapping lists of 13 criteria that the human cognitive architecture would have to satisfy in order to be functional. We have distilled these into 12 criteria: flexible behavior, real-time performance, adaptive behavior, vast knowledge base, dynamic behavior, knowledge integration, natural language, learning, development, evolution, and brain realization. There would be greater theoretical progress if we evaluated theories (...) by a broad set of criteria such as these and attended to the weaknesses such evaluations revealed. To illustrate how theories can be evaluated we apply these criteria to both classical connectionism (McClelland & Rumelhart 1986; Rumelhart & McClelland 1986b) and the ACT-R theory (Anderson & Lebiere 1998). The strengths of classical connectionism on this test derive from its intense effort in addressing empirical phenomena in such domains as language and cognitive development. Its weaknesses derive from its failure to acknowledge a symbolic level to thought. In contrast, ACT-R includes both symbolic and subsymbolic components. The strengths of the ACT-R theory derive from its tight integration of the symbolic component with the subsymbolic component. Its weaknesses largely derive from its failure, as yet, to adequately engage in intensive analyses of issues related to certain criteria on Newell's list. Key Words: cognitive architecture; connectionism; hybrid systems; language; learning; symbolic systems. (shrink)
While for many years Locke was viewed almost universally as the prophet of liberalism, today a successive reading of C.B. Macpherson's Possessive Individualism, John Dunn's The Political Thought of John Locke and Richard Ashcraft's Revolutionary Politics and Locke's �Two Treatises of Government�, might produce a schizophrenic vision of Locke as simultaneously an accumulative bourgeois villain, an irrelevant Calvinist moralist and a radical egalitarian revolutionary hero. This essay addresses an issue examined to a greater or lesser extent by these (...) and other interpreters: John Locke's thoughts on the conduct of everyday political life. Consideration of this topic can serve to moderate one's impression of Locke, just as currently Ashcraft holds Locke to be less radical and Dunn finds Locke less irrelevant than they did before. The essay seeks to identify the group of persons Locke presumed would govern in a well-ordered nation, to examine the qualities required of these governors in order for them to perform their calling, and to illuminate Locke's personal efforts to promote these qualities in the governors of the next generation. In particular, I will examine the concept of trust, which John Dunn in recent years has found to be of continuing political relevance. In the first section, I will review the use of the word �trust� in Locke's Second Treatise to display the fact that trustworthiness in governors is constituted by possession of the qualities of virtue and prudence in the second section, I will argue that Locke's educational writings ought to be viewed as attempts to encourage the formation of the qualities necessary for good governors. In the following two sections, I will examine the meaning Locke ascribes to both �prudence� and �virtue� in his various political, philosophical, and educational writings. Finally, I will endeavour to show that an understanding of these qualities, along with the importance of status and breeding, are instrumental to an understanding of Locke's conception of the conduct of everday political life. (shrink)
Background Social and structural inequities shape health and illness; they are an everyday presence within the doctor-patient encounter yet, there is limited ethical guidance on what individual physicians should do. This paper draws on a study that explored how doctors and their professional associations ought to respond to the issue of social health inequities. Results Some see doctors as bound by a notion of care that is blind to a patient's social position, while others respond to this issue through invoking (...) notions of justice and human rights where access to care is a prime focus. Both care and justice orientations however conceal important tensions linked to the presence of bioethical principles underpinning these. Other normative ethical theories like deontology, virtue ethics and utilitarianism do not provide adequate guidance on the problem of social health inequities either. Conclusion This paper explores if Bauman's notion of "forms of togetherness" provides the basis of a relational ethical theory that can help to develop a response to social health inequities of relevance to individual physicians. This theory goes beyond silence on the influence of social position of health and avoids amoral regulatory approaches to monitoring equity of care provision. (shrink)
In recent years the concepts of individual autonomy and political liberalism have been the subjects of intense debate, but these discussions have occurred largely within separate academic disciplines. Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism contains for the first time new essays devoted to foundational questions regarding both the notion of the autonomous self and the nature and justification of liberalism. Written by leading figures in moral, legal and political theory, the volume covers inter alia the following topics: the nature of (...) the self and its relation to autonomy, the social dimensions of autonomy and the political dynamics of respect and recognition, and the concept of autonomy underlying the principles of liberalism. (shrink)
John Dewey (1859-1952) lived from the Civil War to the Cold War, a period of extraordinary social, economic, demographic, political and technological change. During his lifetime the United States changed from a rural to an urban society, from an agricultural to an industrial economy, from a regional to a world power. It emancipated its slaves, but subjected them to white supremacy. It absorbed millions of immigrants from Europe and Asia, but faced wrenching conflicts between capital and labor as they (...) were integrated into the urban industrial economy. It granted women the vote, but resisted their full integration into educational and economic institutions. As the face-to-face communal life of small villages and towns waned, it confronted the need to create new forms of community life capable of sustaining democracy on urban and national scales. Dewey believed that neither traditional moral norms nor traditional philosophical ethics were up to the task of coping with the problems raised by these dramatic transformations. Traditional morality was adapted to conditions that no longer existed. Hidebound and unreflective, it was incapable of changing so as to effectively address the problems raised by new circumstances. Traditional philosophical ethics sought to discover and justify fixed moral goals and principles by dogmatic methods. Its preoccupation with reducing the diverse sources of moral insight to a single fixed principle subordinated practical service to ordinary people to the futile search for certainty, stability, and simplicity. In practice, both traditional morality and philosophical ethics served the interests of elites at the expense of most people. To address the problems raised by social change, moral practice needed to be thoroughly reconstructed, so that it contained within itself the disposition to respond intelligently to new circumstances. Dewey saw his reconstruction of philosophical ethics as a means to effect this practical reconstruction. (shrink)
The authors argue that the time is ripe for national and corporate leaders to move consciously towards the development of global ethics. This papers presents a model of global ethics, a rationale for the development of global ethics, and the implications of the model for research and practice.
Members of the New Academy presented their sceptical position as the culmination of a progressive development in the history of philosophy, which began when certain Presocratics started to reflect on the epistemic status of their theoretical claims concerning the natures of things. The Academics' dogmatic opponents accused them of misrepresenting the early philosophers in an illegitimate attempt to claim respectable precedents for their dangerous position. The ensuing debate over the extent to which some form of scepticism might properly be attributed (...) to the Presocratics is reflected in various passages in Cicero's "Academica." In this essay, we try to get clearer about the precise nature of the Academics' historical claim and their view of the general lesson to be learned from reflection on the history of philosophy down to their own time. The Academics saw the Presocratics as providing some kind of support for the thesis that things are non-cognitive, or, more specifically, that neither the senses nor reason furnishes a criterion of truth. As this view is susceptible to both 'dialectical' and non-dialectical readings, we consider the prospects for each. We also examine the evidence for the varied functions both of the Academics' specific appeals to individual Presocratics and of their collections of the Presocratics' divergent opinions. What emerges is a better understanding of why the Academics were concerned with claiming the Presocratics as sceptical ancestors and of the precise manner in which they advanced this claim. (shrink)
Pseudoscience is not an appropriate label for parapsychology. Although the noise reduction model of extrasensory perception (ESP) is explanatory only in a limited sense, research does exist addressing the correlation between ESP and altered states of consciousness (ASCs). The term anomaly is not appropriately applied to experiences such as out of body experiences (OBEs) per se, but only to the question of their source. Research on both topics should be encouraged.
sibility, or continuation of the investigation. It is apparently for this reason that in the case of philosophical investigations also some have claimed that they have discovered the truth, while some have declared that it is not capable of being apprchcnded, and others are still investigating (oi 6r. ixt (rixoucytvl. Those properly called dogmatists Ã¢â¬â for instance the Aristntelians, Epicureans, Stoics, and certain others Ã¢â¬â believe they have discovered the truth. Clitomachus, Carneades, and other Academics have declared it inapprehensible, while (...) the Skeptics continue investigating ((qzouat 6r. ot cstcatrzttcoi). (PH i 1-3) Understanding precisely what Sextus means when he says that the Skeptics continue investigating is crucial to understanding hiÂ» overall conception of the Skeptic's zetesis. One might suppose that his zetesis, like that of both brands of.. (shrink)
We present an account of processing capacity in the ACT-R theory. At the symbolic level, the number of chunks in the current goal provides a measure of relational complexity. At the subsymbolic level, limits on spreading activation, measured by the attentional parameter W, provide a theory of processing capacity, which has been applied to performance, learning, and individual differences data.
Cognitive architectures are theories of cognition that try to capture the essential representations and mechanisms that underlie cognition. Research in cognitive architectures has gradually moved from a focus on the functional capabilities of architectures to the ability to model the details of human behavior, and, more recently, brain activity. Although there are many different architectures, they share many identical or similar mechanisms, permitting possible future convergence. In judging the quality of a particular cognitive model, it is pertinent to not just (...) judge its fit to the experimental data but also its simplicity and ability to make predictions. (shrink)