thing produced and understood by speakers of natural language. So understood, metaphors are naturally viewed as linguistic expressions oi a particular type, or as Iittguistic expressions used in a particular type of way. W'e adopt this linguistic conception of metaphor in what follows. In doing so, we do not intend to rule out the possibility of non-linguistic forms of metaphor. Many theorists think that nonlinguistic objects (such as paintings or dance performances) or conceptual structures (like love cts a journey or (...) argttment as tvar)' should also be treated as metaphors. Indeed, the idea that metaphors are in the first instance conceptual phenomena, and hvguistic devices only derivatively, is the dominant view in what is now the dominant area of metaphor research: cognitive science.' In construing metaphor as linguistic, we merely intend to impose appropriate constraints on a discussion whose focus is the understanding and analysis of metaphor within contemporary philosophy of language. Given this starting point, what can be said about metaphor that is not controversiaP. Very little, as it turns out. Metaphor is a trope or figure of speech, where a 'figure.. (shrink)
In this paper1 I shall present not just the conscience of Huckleberry Finn but two others as well. One of them is the conscience of Heinrich Himmler. He became a Nazi in 1923; he served drably and quietly, but well, and was rewarded with increasing responsibility and power. At the peak of his career he held many offices and commands, of which the most powerful was that of leader of the S.S. - the principal police force of the Nazi regime. (...) In this capacity, Himmler commanded the whole concentration-camp system, and was responsible for the execution of the so-called ‘final solution of the Jewish problem’. It is important for my purposes that this piece of social engineering should be thought of not abstractly but in concrete terms of Jewish families being marched to what they think are bath-houses, to the accompaniment of loud-speaker renditions of extracts from The Merry Widow and Tales of Hoffman, there to be choked to death by poisonous gases. Altogether, Himmler succeeded in murdering about four and a half million of them, as well as several million gentiles, mainly Poles and Russians. The other conscience to be discussed is that of the Calvinist theologian and philosopher Jonathan Edwards. He lived in the first half of the eighteenth century, and has a good claim to be considered America’s first serious and considerable philosophical thinker. He was for many years a widely-renowned preacher and Congregationalist minister in New England; in 1748 a dispute with his congregation led him to resign (he couldn’t accept their view that unbelievers should be admitted to the Lord’s Supper in the hope that it would convert them); for some years after that he worked as a missionary, preaching to Indians through an interpreter;, then in 1758 he accepted the presidency of what is now Princeton University, and within two months died from a smallpox inoculation. Along the way he wrote some first-rate philosophy: his book attacking the notion of free will is still sometimes read.. (shrink)
Peter Singer is probably the best-known and most controversial ethicist in the world today. He rigorously applies utilitarian moral theory to issues such as world poverty, the environment, abortion, euthanasia and, most famously, animal welfare. He has also written a book about his grandfather, David Oppenheim, who died in Theresienstadt concentration camp. He is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University.
In these notes, unadorned page numbers under 350 refer to Dennett (1987) - The Intentional Stance, hereafter referred to as Stance - and ones over 495 refer to Dennett (1988) - mostly to material by him but occasionally to remarks of his critics. Since the notes will focus on disagreements, I should say now that I am in Dennett’s camp and am deeply in debt to his work in the philosophy of mind, which I think is wider, deeper, more (...) various and more fruitful than mine or anyone else’s. Still, I have some ideas and emphases that I think he could profit from. In the final chapter of Stance Dennett compares his work with that of several others, including me. He sees me as having a position like his, the main difference being that I think (as he doesn’t) that our attributions of mental content can always be highly determinate (pp. 347f). In fact, there are differences between us but this isn’t one of them. I want to get this straight, so as to clear the decks for the positive points I am going to make. There is some indeterminacy and there could be lots of it; Dennett’s case for that is unanswerable. As for how much there actually is: I don’t know and don’t even suspect; there is simply no declared issue between Dennett and myself on that. Nor do we disagree on a related matter. If there is no evidence that settles whether the animal believes that P or believes that Q, should we say that nevertheless one of these is right, and it’s just that we can’t know which it is? Dennett says No. I perfectly agree. (shrink)
G. A. Cohen incisively argued that our judgments of social justice should fit our convictions about how to interact with others in our personal lives. Ironically, the ordinary morality of cooperation invoked in his last book undermines his favored principle of equality, and supports John Rawls' reliance on a relevantly impartial choice promoting appropriate fundamental interests as a basis for distributive standards. His further objections to Rawls' account of distributive justice neglect the role of social relations in establishing the proper (...) scope of that impartiality and the moral force of Rawls' taxonomy of non-ideal societies. In contrast, the powerful evocation of goods of community at the end of Cohen's last book points to a genuine inadequacy. Conscientious fellow-citizens must take account of the impact of their political choices on options for sharing and caring. In finding a proper balance between these goods and competing individualist concerns, the original position is of too little use to sustain Rawls' assessment of his conception of justice as complete. In the face of our strong moral convictions about how to live together, both Cohen's luck egalitarianism and Rawls' barriers between aspirations to community and political choice must give way. (shrink)
Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) and Bayesianism are our two most prominent theories of scientific inference. Are they compatible? Van Fraassen famously argued that they are not, concluding that IBE must be wrong since Bayesianism is right. Writers since then, from both the Bayesian and explanationist camps, have usually considered van Fraassen's argument to be misguided, and have plumped for the view that Bayesianism and IBE are actually compatible. I argue that van Fraassen's argument is actually not so misguided, (...) and that it causes more trouble for compatibilists than is typically thought. Bayesianism in its dominant, subjectivist form, can only be made compatible with IBE if IBE is made subservient to conditionalization in a way that robs IBE of much of its substance and interest. If Bayesianism and IBE are to be fit together, I argue, a strongly objective Bayesianism is the preferred option. I go on to sketch this objectivist, IBE-based Bayesianism, and offer some preliminary suggestions for its development. (shrink)
Animal liberationists tend to divide into two mutually antagonistic camps: animal welfarists, who share a utilitarian moral outlook, and animal rightists, who presuppose a structure of basic rights. However, the gap between these groups tends to be exaggerated by their allegiance to oversimplified versions of their favored moral frameworks. For their part, animal rightists should acknowledge that rights, however basic, are also defeasible by appeals to consequences. Contrariwise, animal welfarists should recognize that rights, however derivative, are capable of constraining appeals (...) to consequences. If both sides move to more defensible theoretical positions, their remaining differences on that level may be compatible with a broad area of convergence on practical issues. Keywords: animal welfare, animal rights, ethics CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Three fallacies in the rationality debate obscure the possibility for reconciling the opposed camps. I focus on how these fallacies arise in the view that subjects interpret their task differently from the experimenters (owing to the influence of conversational expectations). The themes are: first, critical assessment must start from subjects' understanding; second, a modal fallacy; and third, fallacies of distribution.