Roger North's The Musicall Grammarian 1728 is a treatise on musical eloquence in all its branches. Of its five parts, I and II, on the orthoepy, orthography and syntax of music, constitute a grammar; III and IV, on the arts of invention and communication, form a rhetoric; and V, on etymology, consists of a history. Two substantial chapters of commentary introduce the text, which is edited here for the first time in its entirety: Jamie Kassler places his treatise within (...) the broader context not only of North's musical and non-musical writings but also their relation to the intellectual ferment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and Mary Chan describes physical and textual aspects of the treatise as evidence for North's processes of thinking about musical thinking. (shrink)
Advance directives are useful ways to express one's wishes about end of life care, but even now most people have not completed one of the documents. David Doukas and William Reichel strongly encourage planning for end of life care. Although Planning for Uncertainty is at times fairly abstract for the general reader, it does provide useful background and practical steps.
In this essay, I first evaluate the conceptual analysis of human rights by Wilfried Hinsch and Markus Stepanians. Next I criticize Allen Buchanan’s claim that Rawls did not address basic human interests/capabilities theories of human nature. I argue Buchanan is doubly mistaken when he claims that John Rawls sought to avoid such theories because they are comprehensive doctrines. Then I evaluate David Reidy’s defense of Rawls, while questioning his efforts to show how Rawls’s list of human rights could (...) be expanded. Finally, I accept James Nickel’s argument that Rawls has tied human rights too closely to intervention on their behalf. However, I reject his, and by implication Rawls’s, refusal to accept a two-tiered approach to human rights. (shrink)
Arguments from stability for liberal nationalism rely on considerations about conditions for the feasibility or stability of liberal political ideals and factual claims about the circumstances under which these conditions are fulfilled in order to argue for nationalist conclusions. Such reliance on factual claims has been criticised by among others G. A. Cohen in other contexts as ideological reifications of social reality. In order to assess whether arguments from stability within liberal nationalism, especially as formulated by David Miller, (...) are vulnerable to a comparable critique, the rationale for their reliance on factual claims is discussed on the basis of a number of concerns in John Rawls’s political liberalism. The concern with stability in liberal nationalism differs from stability in Rawls’s work, mainly because of the stronger non-ideal or ‘realist’ focus of the former. In so far as the ‘realism’ of arguments from stability for liberal nationalism is recognized, they are not vulnerable to the reification charge. But if the arguments are construed as realist, this at the same time makes for other tensions within liberal nationalism. (shrink)
The violation of the Bell inequality means that measurement-results in the two wings of the experiment cannot be screened off from one another, in the sense of Reichenbach. But does this mean that there is causation between the results? I argue that it does, according to Lewis's counterfactual analysis of causation and his associated views. The reason lies in his doctrine that chances evolve by conditionalization on intervening history. This doctrine collapses the distinction between the conditional probabilities that are used (...) to state screening off, and the counterfactuals with chance consequents that are used to state lack of causation. I briefly discuss ways to evade my argument. (shrink)
Metaphysics is definitely back on the agenda of contemporary philosophy. It is a metaphysics in the full traditional sense, seeking to provide the means to gain knowledge that covers being as a whole, not just parts of it (such as the metaphysics of mind, the metaphysics of values, etc.). Oxford University Press published three books in 2011 and 2012 each of which spells out that ambition. The present review sums up the main topics covered in these books and offers some (...) comments. (shrink)