This article challenges recent assumptions that physicians may ethically and legally prescribe psychopharmacological enhancement drugs to patients and the counterintuitive notion that in some cases ingesting an enhancement drug constitutes the more ethical choice than forgoing this option. Enhancement proponents have touted modafinil as an ideal mechanism to improve concentration, alertness, and forgo sleep and keep pace with our society's demands. However, patients who use modafinil for these reasons risk potentially severe side effects and addiction, and face unintended consequences related (...) to their cognitive, emotive, and physiological functioning. Importantly, prescribing a controlled substance such as modafinil for performance enhancement and sleep avoidance runs contrary to a physician's ethical duty to the patient and the standard of practice set forth in legal requirements governing the prescription of controlled substances. (shrink)
Katherine Hawley explores and compares three theories of persistence -- endurance, perdurance, and stage theories - investigating the ways in which they attempt to account for the world around us. Having provided valuable clarification of its two main rivals, she concludes by advocating stage theory.
Cuban cure falls short Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9620-7 Authors Katherine Hirschfeld, Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma, 455 West Lindsey, Dale Hall Tower, Norman, OK 73019, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Massam, Katherine The Benedictine mission of New Norcia in Western Australia enjoyed an enviable reputation for success in the nineteenth century, and Bishop Rosendo Salvado continues to be remembered as a visionary founder by the local Aboriginal people as well as by scholars. But in accounts of New Norcia to date, Salvado's successor has been identified with a turn away from the mission and work with Aboriginal people. Abbot Fulgentius Torres has been blamed for distorting Rosendo Salvado's aims, and (...) credited in contrast with inaugurating an era of 'superior education' for Europeans at New Norcia. The two schools Torres established seemed to seal his reputation, as from 1908 St Gertrude's College and from 1913 St Ildephonsus's College became reliable, even distinguished, rural boarding schools for the daughters and sons respectively of Irish Catholic families. In particular the foundation stone of St Gertrude's College has stood as an accusation to Salvado's successors. (shrink)
The late Hellenistic period witnessed the rise of an imperial power whose dominion extended across almost the whole known world. The Roman empire radically affected geographical conceptions, evoking new ways of describing the earth and of constructing its history. Katherine Clarke explores the writings of three literary figures of the age - the History of Polybius, two fragmentary works of Posidonius, and the universal Geography of Strabo. Analysis in terms of the philosophical concepts of time and space reveals the (...) generic fluidity of such `geographical' and `historical' works. Furthermore, these broadly conceived accounts are shown to be appropriate literary media for the response to Roman power. They use, but transform, pre-existing Greek traditions in order to describe the new world of Rome, making them fitting products of a transitional age. This book provides a new approach to Roman imperialism by considering its impact on historiography and geographical thought. (shrink)
Arguing against the prevailing view that Cartesian dualism is fundamental to understanding Descartes' philosophy, Gordon Baker and Katherine Morris present a controversial examination of Descartes' philosophy. As the first full-length study of Descartes' conception of the person, Baker and Morris depart radically from traditional representations of Descartes'argument about the persona, the cogito, and the alleged "mind/body" dualism. Contesting the nearly institutionalized view that Cartesian duality is central to understanding Descartes, Baker and Morris illuminate how this "reading" has been ascribed (...) mistakenly and erroneously to Descartes. Controversially, they show how this interpretation has led to abuse both within philosophy and beyond it. Refusing to draw a distinction between the mind and the body in traditional ways, Baker and Morris open up interesting ways of conceptualizing both ourselves and philosophy itself. (shrink)
What is true and what is not depends upon how the world is: that there are no white ravens is true because there are no white ravens. That much, Trenton Merricks accepts. But he denies that principles about truthmaking can do any heavy lifting in metaphysics, and he provides powerful, sophisticated arguments for this denial. The hunt for individual truthmakers for specific truths is doomed once we consider negative existentials, and, on the other side of that coin, universal claims. But (...) the weaker claim that truth supervenes upon being either collapses into the platitudes about dependence that even Merricks accepts, or else collapses into the fruitless search for individual truthmakers. The reasoning is complex, yet elegant and clear, and from now on anyone wishing to use truthmaker principles to establish substantive positions in metaphysics will need to grapple with this critique. (shrink)
Variabilism is the view that proper names (like pronouns) are semantically represented as variables. Referential names, like referential pronouns, are assigned their referents by a contextual variable assignment (Kaplan 1989). The reference parameter (like the world of evaluation) may also be shifted by operators in the representation language. Indeed verbs that create hyperintensional contexts, like ‘think’, are treated as operators that simultaneously shift the world and assignment parameters. By contrast, metaphysical modal operators shift the world of assessment only. Names, being (...) variables, refer rigidly in the latter merely intensional contexts, but may vary their reference in hyperintensional contexts. This conforms to the intuition that the content of attitude ascriptions encapsulates referential uncertainty. Furthermore, names in hyperintensional contexts are ambiguous between de re* and de dicto* interpretations. This fact is used to account for asymmetric mistaken identity attributions (for example, Biron thinks Katherine is Rosaline, but he doesn’t think Rosaline is Katherine). -/- The variable theory compares favourably with its alternatives, including Millianism and descriptivism. Millians cannot account for the behaviour of names in hyperintensional contexts, while descriptivists cannot generate a necessary contrast between intensional and hyperintensional contexts. No other theory can capture the facts pertaining to the existentially bound use of names. (shrink)
This paper is roughly in two parts. The first deals with whether know-how is constituted by propositional knowledge, as discussed primarily by Gilbert Ryle (1949) The concept of mind. London: Hutchinson, Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson (2001). Knowing how. Journal of Philosophy, 98, pp. 411–444 as well as Stephen Hetherington (2006). How to know that knowledge-that is knowledge-how. In S. Hetherington (Ed.) Epistemology futures. Oxford: Oxford University Press. The conclusion of this first part is that know-how sometimes does and sometimes (...) does not consist in propositional knowledge. The second part defends an analysis of know-how inspired by Katherine Hawley’ (2003). Success and knowledge-how. American Philosophical Quarterly, 40, pp. 19–31, insightful proposal that know-how requires counterfactual success. I conclude by showing how this analysis helps to explain why know-how sometimes does and sometimes does not consist of propositional knowledge. (shrink)
Temporal parts are analogous to spatial parts: just as the conference has one spatial part which occupies the seminar room, and another which occupies the lecture hall, it has one temporal part which ‘occupies’ Friday and another which ‘occupies’ Saturday. These temporal parts of the conference have half-hour coffee-breaks as temporal parts of their own; these coffee-breaks are also temporal parts of the whole conference.
This volume collects together chapters that were originally delivered at a conference on the Admissible Contents of Experience that took place at the University of Glasgow in March 2006. The original papers were first published in a special edition of The Philosophy Quarterly (July 2009). -/- Introduction (Fiona Macpherson, University of Glasgow). -- 1. Perception And The Reach Of Phenomenal Content (Tim Bayne, University of Oxford). -- 2. Seeing Causings And Hearing Gestures (Steven Butterfill, University of Warwick). -- 3. Experience (...) And Content (Alex Byrne, Massachusetts Institute of Technology). -- 4. Is Perception A Propositional Attitude? (Tim Crane, University College London). -- 5. Conscious Reference (Alva Noë, University of California, Berkeley). -- 6. What Are The Contents Of Experiences? (Adam Pautz, University of Texas at Austin). -- 7. Aspect-Switching And Visual Phenomenal Character (Richard Price, University of Oxford). -- 8. The Visual Experience Of Causation (Susanna Siegel, Harvard University). -- 9. The Admissible Contents Of Visual Experience (Michael Tye, University of Texas at Austin). -- Index. (shrink)
I argue that, despite van Inwagen's pessimism about the task, it is worth looking for answers to his General Composition Question. Such answers or 'principles of composition' tell us about the relationship between an object and its parts. I compare principles of composition with criteria of identity, arguing that, just as different sorts of thing satisfy different criteria of identity, they may satisfy different principles of composition. Variety in criteria of identity is not taken to reflect ontological variety in the (...) identity relation; I discuss whether variety in principles of composition should be taken to reflect ontological variety in the composition relation. (shrink)
Sometimes we work out by ourselves how to do something. But often we rely upon the help, advice or example of others. To this extent learning how resembles learning that: sometimes you can see the truth for yourself, but sometimes you need to phone a friend. Do the similarities end there? When we are tempted to think that knowing how differs significantly from knowing that, it is often because knowing how seems to be transmitted, acquired, taught and learned in distinctive (...) ways. Practical knowledge can’t always be obtained from books or lectures, it often requires hands-on experience, those who know how can’t always teach, and sometimes those who can’t do can nevertheless teach. (shrink)
Abstract: We challenge a line of thinking at the fore of recent work on epistemic value: the line (suggested by Kvanvig  and others) that if the value of knowledge is “swamped” by the value of mere true belief, then we have good reason to doubt its theoretical importance in epistemology. We offer a value-driven argument for the theoretical importance of knowledge—one that stands even if the value of knowledge is “swamped” by the value of true belief. Specifically, we contend (...) that even if knowledge itself has no special epistemic value, its relationship to other items of value—cognitive abilities—gives ample reason to locate the concept at the very core of epistemology. (shrink)
In a recent spate of reflective writings on the concept of human rights, philosophers have been concerned to firm up the analytical boundaries of human rights discourse, without excluding welfare rights from the catalogue. The article considers three of these recent attempts to `revalue the currency' of human rights: the agency conception, the pluralist conception, and the negative duties conception. It ultimately defends a `dignity-based' account of human rights, in which any number of human interests and values may ground a (...) right, but in which the failure to respect the right must constitute a threat to human dignity (one's sense of self-worth as a person) in order for it to count as a genuine human right. It further argues that a `dignity-based' account of human rights justifies a focus on the state as the agent against which human rights are held, and gives us reason to doubt that the state could adequately fulfil the human-rights-based duties it owes its citizens by simple forbearance. On the account offered here, the state may be said to violate the rights of its members, and to threaten their human dignity, when it fails to provide them with the means to realize their basic needs. Key Words: human dignity civil and political rights welfare rights social rights. (shrink)
Analytic metaphysics is in resurgence; there is renewed and vigorous interest in topics such as time, causation, persistence, parthood and possible worlds. We who share this interest often pay lip-service to the idea that metaphysics should be informed by modern science; some take this duty very seriously.2 But there is also a widespread suspicion that science cannot really contribute to metaphysics, and that scientific findings grossly underdetermine metaphysical claims. For some, this prompts the thought ‘so much the worse for metaphysics’; (...) others mutter ‘so much the worse for science’. (shrink)
Symmetry, intended as invariance with respect to a transformation (more precisely, with respect to a transformation group), has acquired more and more importance in modern physics. This Chapter explores in 8 Sections the meaning, application and interpretation of symmetry in classical physics. This is done both in general, and with attention to specific topics. The general topics include illustration of the distinctions between symmetries of objects and of laws, and between symmetry principles and symmetry arguments (such as Curie's principle), and (...) reviewing the meaning and various types of symmetry that may be found in classical physics, along with different interpretative strategies that may be adopted. Specific topics discussed include the historical path by which group theory entered classical physics, transformation theory in classical mechanics, the relativity principle in Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, general covariance in his General Theory of Relativity, and Noether's theorems. In bringing these diverse materials together in a single Chapter, we display the pervasive and powerful influence of symmetry in classical physics, and offer a possible framework for the further philosophical investigation of this topic. (shrink)
If the property _being a methane molecule_ is a universal, then it is a structural universal: objects instantiate _being a methane molecule_ just in case they have the right sorts of proper parts arranged in the right sort of way. Lewis argued that there can be no satisfactory account of structural universals; in this paper I provide a satisfactory account.
Take this banana. It is now yellow, and when I bought it yesterday it was green. How can a single object be both green all over and yellow all over without contradiction? It is, of course, the passage of time which dissolves the contradiction, but how is this possible? How can a banana ripen? These questions raise the problem of change. The problem is sometimes called the problem of temporary intrinsics, but, as I shall explain below, this emphasis on intrinsic (...) properties is misleading. (shrink)
In a crucial passage of the second-edition Transcendental Deduction, Kant claims that the concept of motion is central to our understanding of change and temporal order. I show that this seemingly idle claim is really integral to the Deduction, understood as a replacement for Locke’s “physiological” epistemology (cf. A86-7/B119). Béatrice Longuenesse has shown that Kant’s notion of distinctively inner receptivity derives from Locke. To explain the a priori application of concepts such as succession to this mode of sensibility, Kant construes (...) the mind as receptive to its own activity. As Longuenesse understands Kant’s response to Locke, “motion” becomes little more than a metaphor for the action of understanding on inner sense. For Michael Friedman, in contrast, this passage evidences Kant’s deep concern with the foundations of Newtonian science. He reads it as a reference to inertial motion, the standard by which temporal intervals are measured. I show that Longuenesse’s and Friedman’s interpretations are in fact complementary. Both Locke and Kant are deeply concerned with the quantification of time. So Longuenesse is right that §24 is meant to supplant Locke’s account, and Friedman correctly takes it as the foundation of Kant’s account of the application of quantitative concepts to time. Kant aims, specifically, to explain cognition of time as continuous magnitude. However, Longuenesse leaves Kant without an answer to Locke’s challenge that continuous magnitude cannot be understood on the basis of discrete magnitude. And on Friedman’s view Kant’s account of the understanding’s activity presupposes, and thus cannot explain, the achievements of the mathematical sciences (such as the representation of temporal continuity). On my reading, Kant’s key contention is that we must regard the segregation of temporally ordered representation into units as the work of the understanding, rather than (as Locke views it) of sensibility. By giving the understanding this role, Kant succeeds where he takes Locke to fail. I show how the power to unify temporal representation can be ascribed to the understanding on the basis, not of assumed mathematical or scientific knowledge, but of its characterization as the power of judgment. (shrink)
Our world is a world of change. Children are born and grow into adults. Material possessions rust and decay with age and ultimately perish. Yet scepticism about change is as old as philosophy itself. Heraclitus, for example, argued that nothing could survive the replacement of parts, so that it is impossible to step into the same river twice. Zeno argued that motion is paradoxical, so that nothing can alter its location. Parmenides and his followers went even further, arguing that the (...) very concept of qualitative change is inconsistent. Change in any respect is impossible, they argued, as change requires difference and nothing differs from itself. Few today would accept the Eleatic conclusion that change is impossible. But the topic of change continues to be a source of much debate, as it brings together various issues that are central to metaphysics, language, and logic – including identity, persistence, time, tense, and temporal logic. Author Recommends Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Problem of Change.' Philosophy Compass 1 (2006): 1–10. This article presents the problem of change and provides a brief survey of potential solutions. Haslanger, Sally. 'Persistence Through Time.' The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics . Eds. M. Loux and D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. This article presents the problem of change and provides a detailed survey of potential solutions. Heller, Mark. 'Things Change.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992): 695–704. This article presents, explains, and defends the temporal parts solution to the problem of change. Hinchliff, Mark. 'The Puzzle of Change.' Philosophical Perspectives 10 (1996): 119–36. This article presents, explains, and defends the presentist solution to the problem of change. Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Argument from Temporary Intrinsics.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2003): 413–19. This article presents, explains, and defends the relationist solution to the problem of change. Sider, Theodore. Four-Dimensionalism . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. This book provides an introduction to various issues related to the problem of change, including the nature of time, tense, and persistence. Chapter 5 presents, explains, and defends the stage-view solution to the problem of change. Online Materials Change. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/change/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on change, by Chris Mortensen. Time. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on time, by Ned Markosian. Temporal Parts. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/temporal-parts/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on temporal parts, by Katherine Hawley. Material Constitution. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/material-constitution/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on material constitution, by Ryan Wasserman. Persistence Bibliography. URL: http://tedsider.org/teaching/pp_bibliography.pdf A bibliography on change and related issues, by Theodore Sider. Sample Syllabus Books on Syllabus Rea, Michael. Material Constitution: A Reader . Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997. Sider, Theodore. Four-Dimensionalism . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. 2008. Metaphysics: The Big Questions . 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. Week 1: Time and Tense Four-Dimensionalism , chapters 1 and 2. Markosian, Ned. 'A Defence of Presentism.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 1. Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004: 47–82. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 116-123. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 124-129. Week 2: Time and Persistence Four-Dimensionalism , chapter 3. McGrath, Matthew. 'Temporal Parts.' Philosophy Compass 2 (2007): 730–48. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 265-267. Hawthorne, J, Scala, M., and Wasserman, R. 'Recombination, Humean Supervenience, and Causal Constraints: An Argument for Temporal Parts?' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 1. Ed. D. Zimmerman, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004: 301-318. Week 3: Change and Presentism In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 141-149. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 267-269. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 269-281. Week 4: Change and Temporal Parts Four-Dimensionalism , pp. 92–8. Heller, Mark. 'Things Change.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992): 695–704. Lombard, Lawrence. 'The Doctrine of Temporal Parts and the "No Change" Objection.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (1994): 365–72. Week 5: Change, Relationism, and Adverbialism Hawley, Katherine. 'Why Temporary Properties are not Relations between Physical Objects and Times.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (1998): 211–16. Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Argument from Temporary Intrinsics.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2003): 413–19. Lewis, David. 'Tensing the Copula.' Mind 111 (2002): 1–13. Caplan, Ben. 'Why so Tense about the Copula?' Mind 114 (2007): 703–8. Week 6: Change and Tropes Ehring, Douglas. 'Lewis, Temporary Intrinsics and Momentary Tropes.' Analysis 57 (1997): 254–8. MacBride, Fraser. 'Four New Ways to Change Your Shape.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2001): 81–9. Simons, Peter. 'On Being Spread Out in Time: Temporal Parts and the Problem of Change.' Existence and Explanation . Eds. W. Spohn, B.C. van Fraassen, and B. Skyrms. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991: 131-147. Weeks 7 and 8: Special Topic – Material Change Four-Dimensionalism , chapter 5. Selections from Material Constitution: A Reader. Week 9: Special Topic – Change of Position In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 186-195. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 195-215. Week 10: Special topic – Changing the Past In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 224-235. van Iwagen, Peter. 'Changing the Past.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 5 . Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009: 1-22. Hudson, H. and Wasserman, R. 'Van Inwagen on Time Travel and Changing the Past.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 5. Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009: 41-49. (shrink)
Putative counterexamples to the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles (PII) are notoriously inconclusive. I establish ground rules for debate in this area, offer a new response to such counterexamples for friends of the PII, but then argue that no response is entirely satisfactory. Finally, I undermine some positive arguments for PII.
Every Thing Must Go is wildly ambitious. It advances substantive views on the proper scope of metaphysics (unifying science), the nature of reality (things subservient to structures), the current state of play in quantum gravity (fragmented), and the connection between fundamental physics and the rest of science (hard to summarise). It is both fascinating and infuriating. A key theme is the dismissal of ‘neo-scholastic’ metaphysics and the promotion of ‘naturalised metaphysics’. I fear my own work qualifies as neoscholastic, and although (...) I’m reassured to have ‘some extremely intelligent and morally serious people’ as company, I’d hate to think we were ‘wasting [our] talents – and, worse, sowing systematic confusion about the world, and about how to find out about it’ (vii). So I will focus my attention on this theme. (shrink)
The fact that welfare rights – rights to food, shelter and medical care – will conflict with one another is often taken to be good reason to exclude welfare rights from the catalogue of genuine rights. Rather than respond to this objection by pointing out that all rights conflict, welfare rights proponents need to take the conflicts objection seriously. The existence of potentially conflicting and more weighty normative considerations counts against a claim’s status as a genuine right. To think otherwise (...) would be to threaten the peremptory force – and hence the analytical integrity – of rights. The conflicts objection is made more pressing once we have conceded that welfare rights give people entitlements to what are potentially scarce goods. I argue that welfare rights can survive the conflicts objection if, and only if, we take scarcity into account in the framing of a given welfare right. (shrink)
Vague existence can seem like the worst kind of vagueness in the world, or seem to be an entirely unintelligible notion. This bad reputation is based upon the rumour that if there is vague existence then there are non-existent objects. But the rumour is false: the modest brand of vague existence entailed by certain metaphysical theories of composition does not deserve its bad reputation.
: As Heidegger acknowledges, our understanding is essentially situated and so limited by the context and tradition into which it is thrown. But this ‘situatedness’ does not exhaust Heidegger's concept of ‘thrownness’. By examining this concept and its grammar, I develop a more complete interpretation. I identify several different kinds of finitude or limitation in our understanding, and touch on ways in which we confront and carry different dimensions of our past.
Highlighting main issues and controversies, this book brings together current philosophical discussions of symmetry in physics to provide an introduction to the subject for physicists and philosophers. The contributors cover all the fundamental symmetries of modern physics, such as CPT and permutation symmetry, as well as discussing symmetry-breaking and general interpretational issues. Classic texts are followed by new review articles and shorter commentaries for each topic. Suitable for courses on the foundations of physics, philosophy of physics and philosophy of science, (...) the volume is a valuable reference for students and researchers. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: We argue that the so-called ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ Value Problems for knowledge are more easily solved than is widely appreciated. Pritchard, for instance, has suggested that only virtue-theoretic accounts have any hopes of adequately addressing these problems. By contrast, we argue that accounts of knowledge that are sensitive to the Gettier problem are able to overcome these challenges. To first approximation, the Primary Value Problem is a problem of understanding how the property of being knowledge confers more epistemic value (...) on a belief than the property of being true. The Secondary Value is a problem of understanding how, for instance, property of being knowledge confers more epistemic value on a belief than the property of being jointly true and justified. We argue that attending to the fact that beliefs are ongoing states reveals that there is no difficulty in appreciating how knowledge might ordinarily have more epistemic value than mere true belief or mere justified true belief. We also explore in what ways ordinary cases of knowledge might be of distinctive epistemic value. In the end, our proposal resembles the original Platonic suggestion in the Meno that knowledge is valuable because knowledge is somehow tied to the good of truth. (shrink)
Roughly speaking, perdurantism is the view that ordinary objects persist through time by having temporal parts, whilst endurantism is the view that they persist by being wholly present at different times. (Speaking less roughly will be important later.) It is often thought that perdurantists have an advantage over endurantists when dealing with objects which appear to coincide temporarily: lumps, statues, cats, tail-complements, bisected brains, repaired ships, and the like. Some cases – personal fission, for example – seem to involve (...) temporary coincidence between objects of the same kind. Other cases – a cat and its flesh, a statue and its lump – seem to involve objects of different kinds. (shrink)
The focus of this paper is the recent revival of interest in structuralist approaches to science and, in particular, the structural realist position in philosophy of science . The challenge facing scientific structuralists is three-fold: i) to characterize scientific theories in ‘structural’ terms, and to use this characterization ii) to establish a theory-world connection (including an explanation of applicability) and iii) to address the relationship of ‘structural continuity’ between predecessor and successor theories. Our aim is to appeal to the notion (...) of shared structure between models to reconsider all of these challenges, and, in so doing, to classify the varieties of scientific structuralism and to offer a ‘minimal’ construal that is best viewed from a methodological stance. (shrink)
J. H. Lambert proved important results of what we now think of as non-Euclidean geometries, and gave examples of surfaces satisfying their theorems. I use his philosophical views to explain why he did not think the certainty of Euclidean geometry was threatened by the development of what we regard as alternatives to it. Lambert holds that theories other than Euclid’s fall prey to skeptical doubt. So despite their satisfiability, for him these theories are not equal to Euclid’s in justification. Contrary (...) to recent interpretations, then, Lambert does not conceive of mathematical justification as semantic. According to Lambert, Euclid overcomes doubt by means of postulates. Euclid’s theory thus owes its justification not to the existence of the surfaces that satisfy it, but to the postulates according to which these “models” are constructed. To understand Lambert’s view of postulates and the doubt they answer, I examine his criticism of Christian Wolff’s views. I argue that Lambert’s view reflects insight into traditional mathematical practice and has value as a foil for contemporary, model-theoretic, views of justification. (shrink)
Four-Dimensionalism is a thorough, lively and forceful defence of the claim that “necessarily, every spatiotemporal object has a temporal part at every moment at which it exists” (59). The standard four-dimensionalist view is perdurance theory, according to which everyday things like boats are temporally extended. But Sider rejects perdurance theory, nicely disparaging it as the “worm view”, and he argues for the “stage view” version of fourdimensionalism instead. According to the stage view, everyday things like boats are instantaneous, and claims (...) about the history of the Anstruther lifeboat are made true or false by the boat’s past counterparts. Sider reserves the term “four-dimensionalism” for these two views of persistence; he also defends a tenseless B-theory of time. The book develops, extends and systematises work which Sider has published over the last few years, and it makes a compelling and readable whole. I am sympathetic with many of the conclusions, but I will take issue with some of the arguments. (shrink)
Modern epistemologists don’t often discuss knowledge-how - propositional knowledge has attracted the lion’s share of attention.2 Yet the notion of knowledge-how looks useful elsewhere in philosophy - philosophers of science discuss tacit knowledge and skills, philosophers of mind disagree about whether knowing what an experience is like is a matter of knowing how to imagine or recognise it, and philosophers of language and of value consider whether knowledge of meaning or morality is knowledge-how (to use words, to follow rules, to (...) behave well).3 Without a fuller understanding of knowledge-how, it is difficult to assess these proposals. Moreover, knowledge-how is interesting qua species of knowledge - when set alongside theories of propositional knowledge, enquiry into other forms of knowledge promises to shed light on the nature of knowledge quite generally. What is it that we value about our interactions with the world, whether these interactions are through belief or through action? (shrink)
Leading young scholars present a collection of wide-ranging essays covering central problems in meta-aesthetics and aesthetic issues in the philosophy of mind, as well as offering analyses of key aesthetic concepts, new perspectives on the history of aesthetics, and specialized treatment of individual art forms.
In his Material Beings, Peter van Inwagen distinguishes two questions about parthood. What are the conditions necessary and sufficient for some things jointly to compose a whole? What are the conditions necessary and sufficient for a thing to have proper parts? The first of these, the Special Composition Question (SCQ), has been widely discussed, and David Lewis has argued that an important constraint on any answer to the SCQ is that it should not permit borderline cases of composition. This is (...) a far-reaching claim, since many plausible-seeming accounts of composition do permit borderline cases. Ned Markosian has recently directed our attention to the second, the neglected Inverse Special Composition Question (ISCQ). I will argue that those who accept Lewis’s constraint on answers to the SCQ should accept an analogous constraint on answers to the ISCQ, and I will discuss the effects of such a constraint. (shrink)
‘Fusion’ is a philosophical term of art, with a variety of uses. First, it is often a synonym for ‘sum’. In this sense, a is a fusion of b, c and d iff b, c and d are parts of a, and every part of a shares a part with b, c or d. So a cat is a fusion of the cells which compose it, and the same cat is a fusion of the molecules which compose it. Relatedly, ‘fusion’ (...) can refer to the occurrence of such composition: philosophers disagree about whether fusion is widespread, about whether it can be a vague matter, and so on. (shrink)
Trenton Merricks argues against the following doctrine: Microphysical Supervenience (MS) Necessarily, if atoms A1 through An compose an object that exemplifies intrinsic qualitative properties Q1 through Qn, then atoms like A1 through An (in all their respective intrinsic qualitative properties), related to one another by all the same restricted atom-to-atom relations as A1 through An, compose an object that exemplifies Q1 through Qn. (Merricks 1998, p. 59) Imagine a person, _P_. Microphysical Supervenience entails that there is an object, the finger-complement, (...) wholly composed of all of _P_'s atoms except those in _P_'s left index-finger. After all, when we slice off _P_'s finger, we leave atoms micro- indiscernible from those in the finger-complement, and _those_ atoms compose an object, maimed _P_. Moreover, if _being conscious_ is an intrinsic property, then Microphysical Supervenience entails that the finger-complement is conscious, for maimed _P_ is conscious. But this, argues Merricks, is "simply incredible". It cannot be the case that every large collection of _P_'s atoms forms a conscious object, for then there would be "a mighty host" of conscious objects sitting in _P_'s chair (Merricks 1998, p.63). Even if there is a finger-complement, it is not conscious. So _being_ _conscious_ does not supervene upon microphysical arrangements: if _being conscious_ is an intrinsic qualitative property then Microphysical Supervenience is false. Merricks argues that _being conscious_ is indeed intrinsic, and thus that Microphysical Supervenience _is_ false. He has two reasons for supposing _being conscious_ to be intrinsic, and I object to both of these. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that the primary issue in Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy, Part II, articles 1-40, is the problem of individuating bodies. We demonstrate that Descartes departs from the traditional quest for a principle of individuation, moving to a different strategy with the more modest aim of constructing bodies adequate to the needs of his cosmology. In doing this he meets with a series of difficulties, and this is precisely the challenge that Newton took up. We show that (...) Descartes’ questions and his strategy influenced not only Newton’s account of physical bodies, but also the structure of his mechanics. (shrink)
Is religion necessary for morality? Many people consider it outrageous, even blasphemous, to deny the divine origin of morality. Either some divine being crafted our moral sense, or we picked it up from the teachings of organized religion. Either way, we need religion to curb natureâ€™s vices. Paraphrasing Katherine Hepburn in the movie The African Queen, religion allows us to rise above wicked old Mother Nature, handing us a moral compass.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Andrew Janiak and Eric Schliesser; Part I. Newton and his Contemporaries: 1. Newton's law-constitutive approach to bodies: a response to Descartes Katherine Brading; 2. Leibniz, Newton and force Daniel Garber; 3. Locke's qualified embrace of Newton's Principia Mary Domski; 4. What geometry postulates: Newton and Barrow on the relationship of mathematics to nature Katherine Dunlop; Part II. Philosophical Themes in Newton: 5. Cotes' queries: Newton's Empiricism and Conceptions of Matter Zvi Biener and Chris (...) Smeenk; 6. Newton's Scientific Method and the Universal Law of Gravitation Ori Belkind; 7. Measurement and method: some remarks on Newton, Huygens and Euler on natural philosophy William Harper; 8. What did Newton mean by 'Absolute Motion'? Nick Huggett; 9. From velocities to fluxions Marco Panza; Part III. The Reception of Newton: 10. Newton, Locke, and Hume Graciela de Pierris; 11. Maupertuis on attraction as an inherent property of matter Lisa Downing; 12. The Newtonian refutation of Spinoza: Newton's Challenge and the Socratic Problem Eric Schliesser; 13. Dispositional explanations: Boyle's problem, Newton's solution, Hume's response Lynn Joy; 14. Newton and Kant on Absolute Space: from theology to transcendental philosophy Michael Friedman; 15. How Newton's Principia changed physics George Smith; Bibliography. (shrink)
Sider argues that, of maximalism and quantifier variance, the latter promises to let us make better sense of neo-Fregeanism. I argue that neo-Fregeans should, and seemingly do, reject quantifier variance. If they must choose between these two options, they should choose maximalism.
I claim that, if persisting objects have temporal parts, then there are non-supervenient relations between those temporal parts. These are relations which are not determined by intrinsic properties of the temporal parts. I use the Kripke-Armstrong 'rotating homogeneous disc' argument in order to establish this claim, and in doing so I defend and develop that argument. This involves a discussion of instantaneous velocity, and of the causes and effects of rotation. Finally, I compare alternative responses to the rotating disc argument, (...) and consider the implications of my arguments for the doctrines of Humean Supervenience and unrestricted mereology. (shrink)
Newton characterizes the reasoning of Principia Mathematica as geometrical. He emulates classical geometry by displaying, in diagrams, the objects of his reasoning and comparisons between them. Examination of Newtonâ€™s unpublished texts (and the views of his mentor, Isaac Barrow) shows that Newton conceives geometry as the science of measurement. On this view, all measurement ultimately involves the literal juxtapositionâ€”the putting-together in spaceâ€”of the item to be measured with a measure, whose dimensions serve as the standard of reference, so that all (...) quantity (which is what measurement makes known) is ultimately related to spatial extension. I use this conception of Newtonâ€™s project to explain the organization and proofs of the first theorems of mechanics to appear in the Principia (beginning in Sect. 2 of Book I). The placementof Keplerâ€™s rule of areas as the first proposition, and the manner in which Newton proves it, appear natural on the supposition that Newton seeks a measure, in the sense of a moveable spatial quantity, of time. I argue that Newton proceeds in this way so that his reasoning can have the ostensive certainty of geometry. (shrink)
In a recent paper in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Kosso discussed the observational status of continuous symmetries of physics. While we are in broad agreement with his approach, we disagree with his analysis. In the discussion of the status of gauge symmetry, a set of examples offered by ’t Hooft has influenced several philosophers, including Kosso; in all cases the interpretation of the examples is mistaken. In this paper we present our preferred approach to the empirical (...) significance of symmetries, re-analysing the cases of gauge symmetry and general covariance. (shrink)
1. E.J. Lowe claims that quantum physics provides examples of ontic indeterminacy, of vagueness in the world. Any such claim must confront the Evans-Salmon argument to the effect that the notion of ontic indeterminacy is simply incoherent (Evans 1978, Salmon 1981: 243-46). Lowe argues that a standard version of the Evans-Salmon argument fails quite generally (Lowe 1994). Harold Noonan (1995) has outlined a non-standard version of the argument, but Lowe argues that this non-standard version fails for specifically quantum mechanical (...) reasons (Lowe 1997). He claims that it is perfectly coherent to suppose that his quantum case is an example of ontic indeterminacy. (shrink)
Discussion of the posthuman has emerged in a wide set of fields through a diverse set of thinkers including Donna Haraway, Ray Kurzweil, Nick Bostrom, N. Katherine Hayles, and Francis Fukuyama, just to name a few. Despite his extensive critique of technology, commentators have not explored the fruitfulness of Heidegger's work for deciphering the various strands of posthumanism recently formulated in response to contemporary technological developments. Here, I employ Heidegger's critique of technology to trace opposing visions of the posthuman, (...) visions that are both tied intimately to new information technologies. For those seeking to extend humanist ideals, information technologies are employed to extend the vision of an ultra-humanist view of a ‘scientific posthuman’ that dangerously understands the body to be a forfeitable nuisance, rather than an inherent aspect of being human. Along Heideggerian lines, thinkers such as N. Katherine Hayles and Thomas Carlson have developed an alternative trajectory related to Dasein's Being-in-the-world. This trajectory posits the self as constituted by a lack or abyss, enabling the formulation of a ‘mystical posthuman,’ celebrating, rather than forfeiting, humanity's embodied existence. (shrink)
Many developing countries have allocated significant amounts of funding for nanoscience and nanotechnology research, yet compared to developed countries, there has been little study, discussion, or debate over social and ethical issues. Using in-depth interviews, this study focuses on the perceptions of practitioners, that is, scientists and engineers, in one developing country: India. The disciplinary background, departmental affiliation, types of institutions, age, and sex of the practitioners varied but did not appear to affect their responses. The results show that (...) 95% of the Indian practitioners working in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology research recognized ethical issues in this research area, and 60% of them could offer specific examples, which included possible ill effects on environment and human, use as a weapon, hype, professional ethics, laboratory testing on animals, cyborgs, widening the gap between rich and poor, self-replication, and longevity of human life. The results may offer opportunities for future cross-cultural research, as well as offer examples that can be used to raise the awareness of other practitioners in India and elsewhere regarding the importance of ethical issues. (shrink)
Possibly the most comprehensive collection of essays on Descartes' scientific writings ever published, this volume offers a detailed reassessment of his scientific work and its bearing on his philosophy. The 35 essays, written by some of the world's leading scholars, cover topics as diverse as optics, cosmology and medicine. The collection looks at Descartes' work in the sciences as an aspect of his natural-philosophical agenda and discusses: the central place of medicine in Descartes' overall project; the connections between his investigations (...) of specific psychological capacities and his ethics of self-government; and the debates and controversies into which he had his followers were drawn, and their role in shaping Cartesian natural philosophy; and other issues. Contributors: Peter Anstey, Jean-Robert Armogathe, Gordon Baker, David Behan, Annie Bitbol-Hespe;riès, Desmond Clarke, Betsy Decyk, Dennis Des Chene, Ve;ronique Fóti, Daniel Garber, Stephen Gaukroger, Peter Harrison, Gary Hatfield, Trevor McClaughlin, Peter McLaughlin, Katherine Morris, Alberto Guillermo, Timothy Reiss, Peter Schouls, John Schuster, Dennis Sepper, Peter Slezak, John Sutton, Yashiko Tomida, Klaas van Berkel, Theo Verbeek, Catherine Wilson, Celia Wolf-Devine, John Wright, John Yolton. (shrink)
Closest-continuer or best-candidate accounts of persistence seem deeply unsatisfactory, but it’s hard to say why. The standard criticism is that such accounts violate the ‘only a and b’ rule, but this criticism merely highlights a feature of the accounts without explaining why the feature is unacceptable. Another concern is that such accounts violate some principle about the supervenience of persistence facts upon local or intrinsic facts. But, again, we do not seem to have an independent justification for this supervenience claim. (...) Instead, I argue that closest continuer accounts are committed to unexplained correlations between distinct existences, and that this is their fundamental flaw. We can have independent justification for rejecting such correlations, but what the justification is depends upon much broader issues in ontology. There is no one-size-fits all objection to closest-continuer accounts of persistence. (shrink)
Within philosophy of physics it is broadly accepted that presentism as an empirical hypothesis has been falsified by the development of special relativity. In this paper, I identify and reject an assumption common to both presentists and advocates of the block universe, and then offer an alternative version of presentism that does not begin from spatiotemporal structure, which is an empirical hypothesis, and which has yet to be falsified. I fear that labelling it “presentism” dooms the view, but I don’t (...) know what else to call it. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to explore the meaning of domination and slavery in the political philosophy of Augustine of Hippo (354–430), particularly in the major work of his later years, the City of God. It offers an exploration of this aspect of Augustine's thought in the light of relatively recent scholarship on the meaning of these terms for political philosophy (in particular, the work of Quentin Skinner and Philip Pettit). It finds that, in Augustine's eyes, the nature of (...) domination or slavery in the political sphere differed from its nature in the domestic sphere. (shrink)