The currently standard approach to fiction is to define it in terms of imagination. I have argued elsewhere (Friend 2008) that no conception of imagining is sufficient to distinguish a response appropriate to fiction as opposed to non-fiction. In her contribution Kathleen Stock seeks to refute this objection by providing a more sophisticated account of the kind of propositional imagining prescribed by so-called ‘fictive utterances’. I argue that although Stock's proposal improves on other theories, it too fails to provide (...) an adequate criterion of fictionality. I conclude by sketching an alternative account according to which fiction is a genre. (shrink)
Two assumptions are common in discussions of the paradox of tragedy: (1) that tragic pleasure requires that the work be fictional or, if non-fiction, then non-transparently represented; and (2) that tragic pleasure may be provoked by a wide variety of art forms. In opposition to (1) I argue that certain documentaries could produce tragic pleasure. This is not to say that any sad or painful documentary could do so. In considering which documentaries might be plausible candidates, I further argue, against (...) (2), that the scope of tragic pleasure is limited to works that possess certain thematic and narrative features. (shrink)
A conflict within the community of those investigating business ethics is whether decision makers are motivated by an ethics of justice or an ethics of caring. The proposition put forward in this paper is that ethical orientations are strongly related to cultural backgrounds. Specifically, Hofstede's cultural stereotyping using his masculine-feminine dimension may well match a culture's reliance on justice or caring when decisions are made. A study of college graduates from six countries showed that Hofstede's dimension was remarkably accurate in (...) predicating a justice or caring orientation for decision makers from five of the six countries. (shrink)
A 1998 Cincinnati Enquirer investigation into the Central American labor practices of Chiquita Brands International was substantiated by the taped words of company officials themselves. Yet, soon after publication, the Enquirer ran a stunning front-page retraction and disavowed the report without challenging its claims. The Gannett Corporation, the paper's owner, paid Chiquita $14 million to avoid a suit. The resultant outcry by journalists was directed not at Gannett, but at lead reporter Michael Gallagher, who had surreptitiously accessed Chiquita voice mail (...) to support his allegations. Rather than being lauded as a tough investigative reporter serving a greater good, Gallagher was fired, convicted, sued by Chiquita, and vilified in the media. Was the backlash driven simply by higher ethical standards or also by anxieties about intrusive technology? A reexamination of the case suggests the latter explanation and helps frame an evolving debate about electronic eavesdropping by the media. (shrink)
Statements about fictional characters, such as “Gregor Samsa has been changed into a beetle,” pose the problem of how we can say something true (or false) using empty names. I propose an original solution to this problem that construes such utterances as reports of the “prescriptions to imagine” generated by works of fiction. In particular, I argue that we should construe these utterances as specifying, not what we are supposed to imagine—the propositional object of the imagining—but how we are supposed (...) to imagine. Most other theories of thought and discourse about fictional characters either fail to capture the intentionality of our imaginings, or else obscure the differences between imaginings directed toward fictional characters and those directed toward real individuals. I argue that once we have an account of prescriptions to imagine about real individuals, we can adapt the same framework to specify the contents of prescriptions to imagine about fictional characters, and thereby to account for the truth (or falsity) of statements about fictional characters. (shrink)
In his posthumous book from 1914, "New foundations of logic, arithmetic and set theory", Julius Konig develops his philosophy of mathematics. In a previous contribution, we attracted attention on the positive part (his truth and falsehood predicates being excluded) of his "pure logic": his "isology" being assimilated to mutual implication, it constitutes a genuine formalization of positive intuitionistic logic. Konig's intention was to rebuild logic in such a way that the excluded third's principle could no longer be logical. However, (...) his treatment of truth and falsehood (boiling down to negation) is purely classical. We explain here this discrepancy by the choice of the alleged more primitive notions to which the questioned notions of truth and falsehood have been reduced. Finaly, it turns out that the disjunctive and conjunctive forms of the principles of the excluded third and of contradiction have effectively been excluded, but none of their implicative forms. (shrink)
This paper dates from about 1994: I rediscovered it on my hard drive in the spring of 2002. It represents an early attempt to explore the connections between the Julius Caesar problem and Frege's attitude towards Basic Law V. Most of the issues discussed here are ones treated rather differently in my more recent papers "The Julius Caesar Objection" and "Grundgesetze der Arithmetik I 10". But the treatment here is more accessible, in many ways, providing more context and (...) a better sense of how this issue relates to broader issues in Frege's philosophy. (shrink)
you ought to - you should - become the one you are -, such a command opposes the strictures of Kant’s practical imperatives, offering an assertion that seems to encourage us as what we are. As David B. Allison stresses in his book, Nietzsche’s is a voice that addresses us as a friend would: “like a friend who seems to share your every concern - and your aversions and suspicions as well. Like a true friend, he (...) rarely tells you what you ought to do.”. (shrink)
This paper examines the theories of the soul proposed by Girolamo Cardano in his De immortalitate animorum (1545) and his De subtilitate (1550-4), Julius Caesar Scaliger's comprehensive critique of these views in the Exercitationes exotericae de subtilitate of 1557, and Cardano's reply to this critique in his Actio in calumniatorem of 1559. Cardano argues that the passive intellect is individuated and mortal, and that the agent intellect is immortal but subject to constant reincarnation in different human beings. His theory (...) of cognition leads him to claim that at its highest level, the intellect is converted into the object of its perception. In his refutation of the various elements of Cardano's theories, Scaliger uses his knowledge of the Greek text of Aristotle to stress the reflexive faculty of the soul, its ability to conceive of objects greater than itself, and its status as the individuating principle of the hylemorphic human being. In spite of Cardano's pretention to novelty and Scaliger's humanist credentials, both thinkers are shown to conduct their discussions in an inherited scholastic matrix of thought. (shrink)
A field-theoretic version of Wigner’s friend (1961) illustrates how the quantum measurement problem arises for field theory. Similarly, considering spacelike separate measurements of entangled fields by observers akin to Wigner’s friend shows the sense in which relativistic constraints make the measurement problem particularly difficult to resolve in the context of a relativistic field theory. We will consider proposals by Wigner (1961), Bloch (1967), Helwig and Kraus (1970), and Bell (1984) for resolving the measurement problem for quantum field theory. (...) We will conclude by considering the possibility of giving up rich dynamical explanation in the context of a many-maps formulation of relativistic quantum field theory. (shrink)
The publication of Jurgen Habermas's Nachmetaphysisches Denken (Post-Metaphysical Thinking) and the publication of a Hans-Willi Weis article about my work prompted several people in Germany to approach me with questions about my response to those pieces. What follows is a brief reply to both.
The evolution of internation relationships is studied by means of a mathematical model based on a popular rule of triadic interaction: the friend of my friend is my friend, the friend of my enemy is my enemy, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the enemy of my friend is my enemy. The rule is shown to lead to the formation and preservation of unipolar and bipolar configurations of nations, with the strengths of (...) relationships, both friendly and conflictual, intensifying through time. These results confirm speculations originally made in static, graph theoretic studies of the balancing of relationships within individuals, small groups and systems of nations. (shrink)
This paper investigates the relationship between some corpuscularian and Aristotelian strands that run through the thought of the sixteenth-century philosopher and physician Julius Caesar Scaliger. Scaliger often uses the concepts of corpuscles, pores, and vacuum. At the same time, he also describes mixture as involving the fusion of particles into a continuous body. The paper explores how Scaliger’s combination of corpuscularian and non-corpuscularian views is shaped, in substantial aspects, by his response to the views on corpuscles and the vacuum (...) in the work of his contemporary, Girolamo Fracastoro. Fracastoro frequently appears in Scaliger’s work as an opponent against whom numerous objections are directed. However, if one follows up Scaliger’s references, it soon becomes clear that Scaliger also shares some of Fracastoro’s views. Like Scaliger, Fracastoro suggests corpuscularian explanations of phenomena such as water rising in lime while at the same time ascribing some non-corpuscularian properties to his natural minima. Like Scaliger, Fracastoro maintains that there is no vacuum devoid of bodies since places cannot exist independently of bodies (although their opinions diverge regarding how exactly the relevant dependency relation might be explicated). Finally, like Scaliger, Fracastoro connects a continuum view of mixture with a theory of natural minima. (shrink)
Julius König is famous for his mistaken attempt to demonstrate that the continuum hypothesis was false. It is also known that the only positive result that could have survived from his proof is the paradox which bears his name. Less famous is his 1914 book Neue Grundlagen der Logik, Arithmetik und Mengenlehre. Still, it contains original contributions to logic, like the concept of metatheory and the solution of paradoxes based on the refusal of the law of bivalence. We are (...) going to discover them by analysing the content of the book. (shrink)
Being a friend makes our lives better, but it seems this consideration cannot guide our pursuit of friendship, lest this mean we are not true friends and that our lives are not made better. The aim of this paper is to show how, appearances notwithstanding, being a true friend is consistent with having one's own happiness as one's ultimate end. Aristotle's idea that friends are other selves, and recent accounts of practical reason, show how (i) one's acting as (...) a friend could be motivated and justified by one's being a friend (and not directly by one's own happiness), and yet (ii) one's being a friend (and not one's friendly actions) is in turn supervised and justified by one's own happiness. The paper ends by considering whether such a person's pursuit of another's good is still too circumscribed by that of their own for them to count as a true friend. (shrink)
Identities ascribed to research staff in face-to-face encounters with participants have been raised as key ethical challenge in transnational health research. ‘Misattributed’ identities that do not just deviate from researchers' self-image, but obscure unequivocal aspects of researcher identity – e.g. that they are researchers – are a case of such ethical problem. Yet, the reasonable expectation of unconcealed identity can conflict with another ethical premise: confidentiality; this poses challenges to staff visiting participants at home. We explore these around a case (...) study of ‘follow-up’ staff, observed during an ethnographic study of a Kenyan HIV ‘trial community’, which included participant observation, conversations, and interviews with staff (n = 79) and participants (n = 89). We found that because of the need to maintain confidentiality and because of some suspicions towards researchers, research staff drew upon alternative identities – presenting themselves to non-participants as relatives or friends, rather than as researchers. Several staff experienced this as necessary but uncomfortable. Simultaneously, staff and participants forged close relations in line with their fictional identities, which however also posed challenges because they entailed personal responsibilities that were difficult to live up to, due to limited resources, and the trial's limited duration. Similar challenges may arise in transnational HIV treatment programmes and should be explored further in that context. (shrink)
1. Some twenty years ago I voiced reservations about John McDowell’s embrace of a spatial metaphor, whereby we should expand our idea of the ‘space’ occupied by the mind, locating its boundaries far outside the skin, way into the world.1 I thought at the time that the spatial metaphor was a flourish McDowell had been betrayed into, particularly by some of the terminology of his dispute with Dummett over ‘manifestation’. But over the years it began to be clear that it (...) was more than that, being one of several metaphors that figure centrally in his extensive and influential meditations on the relationship between ourselves and our world. Indeed, the best thumbnail description of his aim would be to show that the world is not ‘blankly external’ to the mind, and this description uses the metaphor. So the reservation went unheeded, and years later the metaphor and its cousins occupied large parts of Mind and World, which is the principal text which I shall consider, although they liberally sprinkle other writings as well. I shall use this opportunity to try to sensitize others to my reasons for discomfort. (shrink)
Gadamer's rethinking of the interconnection of theory and practice can lead to a resolution of the debate in contemporary Aristotelian scholarship regarding the priority of theory or practice in Aristotle's Ethics. This is especially true in light of Aristotle's treatment of friendship which, as I will try to show, provides support for Gadamer's claim. In Aristotle's notion of friendship, theory and practice come together, and the activity of friendship is for Aristotle the highest expression of human life precisely because true (...) friendship requires the unity of theory and practice. I argue that Aristotle's sense of , contemplation, his sense of ultimate happiness that is constituted by the life of theory, is conceived by Aristotle in a thoroughly practical and political sense. Specifically I claim that the practice of theory is the politics of friendship. (shrink)
In this essay, we explore a fresh avenue into mind-body dualism by considering a seemingly distant question posed by Frege: "Why is it absurd to suppose that Julius Caesar is a number?". The essay falls into three main parts. In the first, through an exploration of Frege’s Julius Caesar problem, we attempt to expose two maxims applicable to the mind-body problem. In the second part, we draw on those maxims in arguing that “full blown dualism” is preferable to (...) more modest, property-theoretic, versions. Finally, in the third part we close by suggesting that full blown dualism need not be spooky, resurrecting a broadly Lockean, rather than Cartesian, metaphysical picture. (shrink)
The following is a reflection on the possibility of teaching by example, and especially as the idea of teaching by example is developed in the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. My thesis is that Rousseau created a literary version of himself in his writings as an embodiment of his philosophy, rather in the same way and with the same purpose that Plato created a version of Socrates. This figure of Rousseau—a sort of philosophical portrait of the man of nature—is represented as (...) an example for us to follow. This would appear to have been dangerous and destabilizing work, given the mental distress that it caused Rousseau in striving to live up to his fictional self. Rousseau's own ideas on the nature of teaching by example are presented in a discussion of the section in ‘Emile’ which Rousseau takes from an incident in his own life—the story of his meeting with a young Savoyard priest who befriended him and influenced him through the power of his example. (shrink)
This paper argues that that Caesar problem had a technical aspect, namely, that it threatened to make it impossible to prove, in the way Frege wanted, that there are infinitely many numbers. It then offers a solution to the problem, one that shows Frege did not really need the claim that "numbers are objects", not if that claim is intended in a form that forces the Caesar problem upon us.
In this essay Amy Shuffelton considers Jean-Jacques Rousseau's suspicion of imagination, which is, paradoxically, offered in the context of an imaginative construction of a child's upbringing. First, Shuffelton articulates Rousseau's reasons for opposing children's development of imagination and their engagement in the sort of imaginative play that is nowadays considered a hallmark of early and middle childhood. Second, she weighs the merits of Rousseau's opposition, which runs against the consensus of contemporary social science research on childhood imaginative play. Ultimately, Shuffelton (...) argues that Rousseau's work offers an important cautionary note to enthusiasts of children's imaginative play, due to the potentially disruptive influence of consumer capitalism, though she also notes that imagination may play a more redemptive role than Rousseau granted it. (shrink)
In response to our target article, many of the commentators concentrated on our notion of Residual Normality. In our response, we focus on the questions raised by this idea. However, we also examine broader issues concerning the importance of incorporating a realistic theory of the process of development into explanations of developmental deficits.
Physicists and philosophers argue whether quantum theory has spiritual implications. The vast majority of opinions are at two extremes: Some contend that quantum theory has absolutely no spiritual implications whatsoever, whereas others assert that it forms the very basis of a modern spirituality and can be directly applied to the human condition. It is this article's contention that neither extreme is correct. Quantum theory does have spiritual implications - a fact that its founders intuited and its enemies, Einstein preeminent among (...) them, considered prima facie evidence of its as yet undiscovered flaws. Quantum theory has proven itself against all challenges more successfully than any other scientific theory, but its spiritual implications are extremely subtle. It provides a boundary to the materialistic, deterministic worldview and shows that there must be more to reality than that, but is inherently incapable of providing evidence as to the nature of what lies beyond that boundary. (shrink)
Revonsuo's evolution-based theory places the nightmare as a prototype dream, which fully realizes its biological function. However, individuals who experience both repetitive (PTSD) nightmares and/or lifelong nontraumatic nightmares demonstrate impaired psychological functioning and attenuated information-processing. The importance of reconciling these discrepancies are addressed and ideas for providing stronger empirical tests of the model are presented. [Revonsuo].