This essay investigates Xunzi’s political philosophy of ba dao (Hegemonic Rule). It argues that Xunzi’s practical philosophy of ba dao was developed in the course of resolving the tension between theory and practice latent in Mencius’s account of ba dao . Its central claim is that contra Mencius who remained torn between his ideal political theory of ba dao and the practical utility and moral value of ba dao , Xunzi creatively re-appropriated ba dao as a “morally decent” (if not (...) morally ideal) statecraft, within the parameter of practical Confucian philosophy. After examining the moral and political value of ba dao in both domestic and international governance, the essay concludes by arguing that Xunzi’s defense of ba dao should be understood in the context of what I call “negative Confucianism,” without which the realization of the Confucian moral-political ideal (or positive Confucianism) is impossible. (shrink)
This article discusses how the results of infant research challenge the assumptions of the classical sciences of social behaviour. According to A.J. Bergesen, the findings of infant research invalidate Durkheim's theory of mental categories, thus requiring a re-theorizing of sociology. This article argues that Bergesen's reading of Emile Durkheim is incorrect, and his review of the infant research in fact invalidates his argument. Reviewing the assumptions of sociology in the light of the findings of infant research, it is argued that (...) the real challenge is to formulate a research strategy that combines the findings of the two sciences. (shrink)
Interdisciplinarity is a notoriously difficult concept to define, and even harder to achieve in practice. All too often social approaches reduce science to an object of study, or conversely physical science approaches are invoked as a source of 'higher' truth. Drawing upon our experiences as ESRC-NERC PhD students within geography, we outline a paratactical approach that links disciplines by adjacency rather than hierarchy. Toppling the disciplinary hierarchy creates the potential for non-reductionistic dialogue between science and social science, but it also (...) raises a series of practical difficulties. These are considered around the themes of polyvocality, breadth over depth and (im)permanence. We suggest that while this kind of approach is increasingly encouraged by research funding bodies, it is less easily sustained within the everyday mechanics of the academic world. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Semantic theories that violate semantic innocence, i.e. require reference-shifts when terms are embedded in ‘that’ clauses and the like, are often challenged by producing sentences where an anaphoric expression, while not itself embedded in a context in which reference shifts, is anaphoric on an antecedent expression that is embedded in such a context. This, in conjunction with a widely accepted principle concerning unproblematic anaphora, is used to show that such reference shifting has absurd consequences. We show that it is the (...) widely accepted principle concerning anaphora that is to be blamed for these consequences, and not the supposed sin of reference shifting. (shrink)
The relationship of the author's intention to the meaning of a literary work has been a persistently controversial topic in aesthetics. Anti-intentionalists Wimsatt and Beardsley, in the 1946 paper that launched the debate, accused critics who fueled their interpretative activity by poring over the author's private diaries and life story of committing the 'fallacy' of equating the work's meaning, properly determined by context and linguistic convention, with the meaning intended by the author. Hirsch responded that context and convention are not (...) sufficient to determine a unique meaning for a text; to avoid radical ambiguity we must appeal to the author's intention, which actualizes one of the candidate meanings. Subsequent writers have defended refined versions of these views, and a variety of positions on the spectrum between them, in a debate that remains central to philosophical aesthetics. While much of the debate has focused on literature, similar questions arise with respect to the interpretation of visual artworks. Some of the readings listed below address this matter explicitly. Author Recommends: William K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley, 'The Intentional Fallacy', Sewanee Review 54 (1946): 468–88. Locus classicus of the anti-intentionalist position: Wimsatt and Beardsley hold that appeal to the author's intention is always extraneous, since intention cannot override the role of linguistic convention and context in determining meaning. Criticism, they argue, should thus proceed by careful examination of the literary work rather than by sifting through biographical material that might hint at the author's intentions. E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Validity in Interpretation (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1967). The seminal statement of actual intentionalism: Hirsch holds that 'meaning is an affair of consciousness and not of physical signs or things' (23), though he allows that linguistic convention constrains the meanings the author can intend for a particular utterance. He argues that the author's intention is necessary to fix meaning, since the application of conventions alone would typically leave a text wildly indeterminate. Alexander Nehamas, 'The Postulated Author: Critical Monism as a Regulative Ideal', Critical Inquiry 8 (1981): 133–49. Nehamas argues for a version of hypothetical intentionalism according to which interpretation is a matter of attributing an intended meaning to a hypothetical author, distinct from the historical writer. This view allows the interpreter to find meaning even in features of the work that may have been mere accidents on the part of the historical writer. Gary Iseminger, ed., Intention and Interpretation (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1992). Intention and Interpretation is an outstanding collection including both classic and new essays representing most of the major viewpoints in the debate. Noël Carroll, 'Art, Intention, and Conversation', Intention and Interpretation , ed. Gary Iseminger (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1992), 97–131. The essay defends modest actual intentionalism, according to which the work's meaning is one compatible both with the author's meaning intentions and with the conventionally allowable meanings of the text. Carroll holds that literature is on a continuum with ordinary conversation, to which an intentionalist analysis is apt; for this reason he rejects anti-intentionalism and hypothetical intentionalism, which emphasize the purported autonomy of literary works from their authors. Daniel Nathan, 'Irony, Metaphor, and the Problem of Intention', Intention and Interpretation , ed. Gary Iseminger (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1992), 183–202. Nathan argues that even irony and metaphor, which are often thought to require an analysis in terms of the author's actual intentions, are in fact best understood on an anti-intentionalist approach. Jerrold Levinson, 'Intention and Interpretation in Literature', The Pleasures of Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), 175–213. Revised version of 'Intention and Interpretation: A Last Look', Intention and Interpretation , ed. Gary Iseminger (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1992), 221–56. The essay defends a version of hypothetical intentionalism according to which the meaning of a literary work is the meaning that would be attributed to the actual author by members of the ideal audience. Levinson argues that literary works should be treated differently from everyday utterances, since it is a convention of literature that its works are substantially autonomous from their authors. Paisley Livingston, Art and Intention: A Philosophical Study (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005). Livingston examines competing accounts of the nature of intentions as they pertain to a variety of issues in the philosophy of art, including the ontology of art, the nature of authorship, and art interpretation. In chapter 6, Livingston argues for partial intentionalism, according to which some, but not all, of a work's meanings are non-redundantly determined by the author's intentions. Stephen Davies, 'Authors' Intentions, Literary Interpretation, and Literary Value', British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2006): 223–47. Davies defends the value-maximizing view, according to which, when there is more than one conventional meaning consistent with the work's features, the meaning that should be attributed to the work is the one that makes the work out to be most aesthetically valuable. He allows for the attribution of multiple meanings when more than one candidate (approximately) maximizes the work's value. Online Materials: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beardsley-aesthetics/ Beardsley's Aesthetics (Michael Wreen) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/conceptual-art/ Conceptual Art (Elisabeth Schellekens) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/speech-acts/ Speech Acts (Mitchell Green) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hermeneutics/ Hermeneutics (Bjørn Ramberg and Kristin Gjesdal) Sample Syllabus: Week 1: Foundations 1. Wimsatt and Beardsley, 'The Intentional Fallacy'. 2. Livingston, 'What Are Intentions?', Art and Intention , 1–30. Weeks 2–3: Actual Intentionalism 1. Hirsch, Validity in Interpretation , ch. 1–2, 1–67. 2. Gary Iseminger, 'An Intentional Demonstration?', Intention and Interpretation , ed. Iseminger, 76–96. Optional reading: 1. Stephen Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels, 'Against Theory', Critical Inquiry 8 (1982): 723–742. 2. Stephen Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels, 'Against Theory 2: Hermeneutics and Deconstruction', Critical Inquiry 14 (1987): 49–58. Weeks 4–5: Modest, Moderate and Partial Intentionalism 1. Carroll, 'Art, Intention, and Conversation'. 2. Robert Stecker, Interpretation and Construction: Art, Speech, and the Law (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003), ch. 2, 29–51. 3. Livingston, 'Intention and the Interpretation of Art', Art and Intention , 135–74. Optional reading: 1. Carroll, 'Interpretation and Intention: The Debate between Hypothetical and Actual Intentionalism', Metaphilosophy 31 (2000): 75–95. 2. Stecker, 'Moderate Actual Intentionalism Defended', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (2006): 429–38. Weeks 6–7: Hypothetical Intentionalism 1. William E. Tolhurst, 'On What a Text Is and How It Means', British Journal of Aesthetics 19 (1979): 3–14. 2. Nehamas, 'Postulated Author'. 3. Levinson, 'Intention and Interpretation in Literature'. Optional reading: 1. Nehamas, 'What an Author Is', Journal of Philosophy 83 (1986): 685–91. 2. Nehamas, 'Writer, Text, Work, Author', Literature and the Question of Philosophy , ed. A. J. Cascardi (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), 265–91. 3. Levinson, 'Hypothetical Intentionalism: Statement, Objections, and Replies', Is There a Single Right Interpretation? , ed. M. Krausz (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002), 309–18. Week 8: The Value-Maximizing View 1. Davies, 'The Aesthetic Relevance of Authors' and Painters' Intentions', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 41 (1982): 65–76. 2. Davies, 'Authors' Intentions, Literary Interpretation, and Literary Value'. Weeks 9–10: Anti-Intentionalism 1. Beardsley, 'The Authority of the Text,' The Possibility of Criticism (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1970), 16–37. 2. Nathan, 'Irony, Metaphor, and the Problem of Intention'. 3. Nathan, 'Art, Meaning, and Artist's Meaning', Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art , ed. M. Kieran (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006), 282–95. Optional reading: 1. Beardsley, 'Intentions and Interpretations: A Fallacy Revived', The Aesthetic Point of View: Selected Essays , ed. M. J. Wreen and D. M. Callen (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982), 188–207. 2. Nathan, 'Irony and the Author's Intentions', British Journal of Aesthetics 22 (1982): 246–56. Sample Mini-Syllabus: Week 1: Foundations 1. Wimsatt and Beardsley, 'The Intentional Fallacy'. 2. Livingston, 'What Are Intentions?', Art and Intention , 1–30. Week 2: Actual and Modest Intentionalism 1. Hirsch, Validity in Interpretation , ch. 1–2, 1–67. 2. Carroll, 'Art, Intention, and Conversation'. Week 3: Hypothetical Intentionalism and Anti-Intentionalism 1. Levinson, 'Intention and Interpretation in Literature'. 2. Nathan, 'Irony, Metaphor, and the Problem of Intention'. Focus Questions 1. Is the difficulty of ascertaining the author's intentions a good reason to reject actual intentionalism? 2. Should literary works be seen as largely autonomous from their authors, even if we think that interpretation of ordinary utterances is properly a matter of ascertaining the speaker's intentions? 3. Are linguistic context and convention sufficient to determine the meaning of a literary work, or is the author's intention required to stave off an unacceptable degree of ambiguity? 4. Should the author's intentions about the genre or category to which the work belongs have a different status than intentions about the work's meaning? 5. Can the author's intentions have a non-redundant role to play in fixing meaning even if we take the role of context and linguistic convention seriously? 6. Should we expect the author's intention to play the same role (if any) in the interpretation of visual artworks that it plays in the interpretation of literature, or do differences between these two art forms require distinct approaches? (shrink)
[H. de Regt is ‘co-supervisor’ of the current UvT PhD project ‘Consciousness: Science Says It All?’ (drs. A. Frantzen; supervisor: prof. em. dr. A. A. Derksen). This project (in which the problem of phenomenal consciousness is approached via the work of the American pragmatist John Dewey) is absorbed in the programme Pragmatism: Living versus Paper Doubt. In order to realize the project described below he has provisionally planned (a) further collaboration with prof. dr. C.J.M. Schuyt (University of Amsterdam) to realize (...) a Pragmatism Center at Tilburg University, (b) international contacts with prof. dr. Nathan Houser & prof. dr. André De Tienne at the Peirce Project Research Center, and with dr. Timothy Lyons (Faculty of Philosophy) (all at Indiana University/Purdue University, Indianapolis, United States), he will also visit the Center for Peirce Studies at the Texas Tech University, Lubbock, where the well known Peirce scholar professor Ken Ketner hosts the complete electronic available Peirce Archives; for the establishment of a Pragmatism Center in Tilburg the support of prof. Ketner will be sought, and (c) to organize two international congresses on Peircean pragmatism and contemporary philosophy of science and mind (including proceedings)]. (shrink)
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) was an almost unbelievably prolific writer. At his death he left not only a massive body of published work (25 volumes in the recently completed Princeton University Press edition), but also a sprawling mass of unpublished writings that rivaled the size of the published corpus. This book tells the story of the peculiar fate of this portion of Kierkegaard's literary remains, which flowed ceaselessly from his steel pen from his late teens to a week before his death. (...) It is the story of packets and sacks of paper covered with words and images that, after a vagabond existence in various homes, finally landed at the Royal Danish Library, where they are today guarded with great care. Readers are also introduced to a selection of this enormous body of material, including drawings and doodlings (often human profiles with high foreheads) that escaped from Kierkegaard's pen in unguarded moments and complement the allure of the philosopher's strikingly variable, elusive handwriting. The authors of this book are among the editors of a modern critical edition of Kierkegaard's oeuvre currently being produced in Copenhagen. By the end of his life Kierkegaard had become a controversial figure, engaged in a furious assault upon "Christendom." From the very moment of their discovery in the days following his death, the unpublished words and images constituted a highly problematic bonanza, an intellectual and religious hot potato (or sack of potatoes) that was passed from hand to hand, suppressed, selectively and tendentiously published and republished. Written Images offers readers a fascinating tour of the misadventures of these written images that will, finally, soon be published in their entirety. (shrink)
The relationship between spiritual well-being and ethical orientations in decision making is examined through a survey of executives in organizations listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The four domains of spiritual well-being, personal, communal, environmental and transcendental (Fisher, Spiritual health: its nature and place in the school curriculum, PhD thesis, University of Melbourne, 1998 ; Gomez and Fisher, Pers Individ Differ 35:1975–1991, 2003 ) are examined in relation to idealism and relativism (Forsyth, J Pers Soc Psychol 39(1):175–184, 1980 ). Results (...) reveal that spiritual well-being, in particular the communal domain of spiritual well-being, is correlated with and predictive of idealism. However, the relationship between spiritual well-being and relativism is weak. Implications of the study are discussed in terms of developing managerial programs that enhance communal well-being which should lead to greater idealism in decision making. Limitations of the study and future research opportunities are outlined. (shrink)
La recherche conduite dans le cadre de la thèse de doctorat (CROUZIER 2003) a été focalisée sur l’analyse des liens professionnels tissés entre les dispositifs RASED et les équipes éducatives des écoles primaires. Nous avons co-construit les données nécessaires à leur compréhension et choisi des traitements combinant les avantages du quantitatif et du qualitatif. Nous avons en particulier retenu une approche statistique fondée sur l’analyse statistique textuelle (LEBART SALEM 1994) pour explorer le corpus construit à partir d’entretiens auprès d’un échantillon (...) de professionnels concernés par les aides spécialisées à l’école primaire. Le choix de l’approche statistique s’inscrit dans une conception du raisonnement statistique développée par J.C. Régnier (REGNIER 1998, 2002). L’opérationnalisation du traitement a été rendue possible par le recours à un outil informatique, le logiciel S.P.A.D. (Système Portable de l’Analyse des Données) du CISIA. Cet outil permet de décrypter les corpus obtenus par des méthodes d’analyse factorielle de correspondances multiples. Différentes procédures ont été appliquées aux corpus bruts puis codés. Cette approche “quantiqualitative”, apportant une plus-value interprétative, décrypte de façon singulière la complexité de la collaboration entre acteurs. Abstrac: This PhD dissertation (CROUZIER 2003) focuses on the analysis of the professional relationships between the French institutional comprehensive remedial scheme known as RASED and educational teams in primary schools. We have jointly identified the data relevant to a thorough understanding of such relationships, opting for a method of data processing combining the advantages of both quantitative and qualitative approaches. We have chiefly relied on a specific brand of textual statistics (LEBART SALEM 1994) in order to explore a corpus made up of interviews with the primary school staffs involved in the scheme. The statistical approach accords with the conception of statistical processing developed by JC Regnier (REGNIER 1998, 2002). The processing itself has been engineered thanks to CISIA’s software, known as SPAD (portable data processing system). It has enabled us to decrypt the different types of corpuses through Correspondence Analysis (CA). Both the raw and the coded corpuses have been submitted to different types of processing. The approach, combining quantitative and qualitative elements, opens up on to new powerful interpretative insights and sheds a new light on the intricate network of interaction between the people involved. (shrink)
Edited book containing the following essays: 1 Getting over Gettier, Alan Musgrave.- 2 Justified Believing: Avoiding the Paradox Gregory W. Dawes.- Chapter 3! Literature and Truthfulness,Gregory Currie.- 4 Where the Buck-passing Stops, Andrew Moore.- 5 Universal Darwinism: Its Scope and Limits, James Maclaurin, - 6 The Future of Utilitarianism,Tim Mulgan. 7 Kant on Experiment, Alberto Vanzo.- 8 Did Newton ʻFeignʼ the Corpuscular Hypothesis? Kirsten Walsh.- 9 The Progress of Scotland: The Edinburgh Philosophical Societies and the Experimental Method, Juan Gomez.- 10 (...) Propositions: Truth vs. Existence, Heather Dyke.- 11 Against Advanced Modalizing, Josh Parsons.- 12 Spread Worlds, Plenitude and Modal Realism: A Problem for DavidLewis, Charles R. Pigden and Rebecca E. B. Entwisle.- 13 Defending Quine on Ontological Commitment. 14. The Scandal of Platonism, Vladimír Svoboda.- 15 A Neglected Reply to Prior's Dilemma J. C. Beall. 16 Mathematical and Empirical Concepts, Pavel Materna.- 17 Post-Fregean Thoughts on Propositional Unity, Bjørn Jespersen.- 18 Best-path Theorem Proving: Compiling Derivations, Martin Frické.- 19 Is Imperative Inference Impossible?, Hannah Clark-Younger. . (shrink)
No. Animals' primary problem is the shaping of movements, guided by and adapting to sensory signals. This requires a narrower class of biorobotic models than that spanned by Webb's dimensions and examples. We claim that all model variables and mechanisms must have real counterparts, input vectors must model known sensor fields, internal state vectors and transformations must model neurophysiological processes, and output vectors must model coordinated muscle signals.
The unified theory of dose and effect, as indicated by the median-effect equation for single and multiple entities and for the first and higher order kinetic/dynamic, has been established by T.C. Chou and it is based on the physical/chemical principle of the massaction law (J. Theor. Biol. 59: 253-276, 1976 (質量作用中效定理) and Pharmacological Rev. 58: 621-681, 2006) (普世中效指數定理). The theory was developed by the principle of mathematical induction and deduction (數學演繹歸納法). Rearrangements of the median-effect equation lead to Michaelis-Menten, Hill, Scatchard, (...) and Henderson-Hasselbalch equations. The “median” serves as the universal reference point and the “common link” for the relationship of all entities and is also the “harmonic mean” of kinetic dissociation constants. Over 300 mechanism-specific equations have been derived and published using the mathematical induction-deduction process. These equations can be deduced into several general equations, including the median-mediated whole/part equation, combination index theorem, isobologram equation, and polygonogram. It is proven that “dose” and “effect” are interchangeable, thus, “substance” and “function” are interchangeable, which leads to “the unity theory” (劑效、心物、知行一元論) in quantitative mathematical philosophy (數學的定量哲學) in functional context. Therefore, a general theory centered on the “median” and based on equilibrium dynamics has evolved. In other words: [「中」的宇宙觀： 以「中」爲基凖的動力學生態平衡]. Based on the median-effect equation of the mass-action law, the fundamental claim is that we can draw “a specific cure” for only two data points, if they are determined accurately. This claim has far reaching consequences since it defies the general held belief that two points can dray only a straight line. Remarkably, the unity theory (一元論) providesscientific/mathematical interpretation in equations and in graphics of Chinese ancient philosophy, including Fu-Si Ba Gua (伏羲八卦), Dao’s Harmony (和諧), the Confucian doctrine of the mean (儒家中庸之道), Chou Dun-Yi’s (周敦頤, 1017-1073) From Wu-ji to Tai-ji and Taiji Tu Sho (無極而太極及太極圖說). The moderntopological analysis for trinity yields an exact correspondence to the Ba-Gua, which was introduced over 4,000 years ago. Furthermore, the median-centered algorithm, promotes modern ecological content (生態學) in the equilibral dynamic state of harmony. It is concluded that Western science and Eastern philosophy are directly linked and complementary to each other. Since the truth in mathematical quantitative philosophy (數學的定量哲學) has no boundaries, East and West philosophies can flourish together for the common goal and ideal in science and in humanity (世界大同). (shrink)
In his early Some Lectures concerning the Scholar’s Vocation, J. G. Fichte developed an account of the social role of the scholar. This role concerns the task of furthering human culture and progress, which Fichte considers to be a moral duty for the scholar. In these lectures, Fichte also outlined the capabilities and knowledge that the scholar needs in order to be able to fulfill the task in question, including the possession of historical knowledge. The article argues that the later (...) Addresses to the German Nation represent an attempt on Fichte’s part to realize his earlier conception of the scholar’s vocation, because these addresses aim to help usher in a new, superior epoch in human history. Particular attention is paid to the use that Fichte makes of history in them. In effect, he instrumentalizes history, and justifies his doing this in terms of a higher purpose and the ‘merely’ empirical status of historical fact and evidence. This use of history is compared to some things that Nietzsche has to say about history in his essay On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life; and it invites questions concerning the possible dangers of such a use of history and its compatibility with Fichte’s idea that the vocation of the scholar is a moral one. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. -- War on war, by Lewis Thomas -- 2. -- Silent genocide, by Abdus Salam -- 3. -- Error: a stage of knowledge, by Paulo Freire -- 4. -- Doing without a revolution?, by Tahar Ben Jelloun -- 5. -- Stop torture, by Manfred Nowak -- 6. -- Truth, force and law, by Rabindranath Tagore -- 7. -- Violence is an insult to the human being, by Federico Mayor -- 8. -- Totalitarianism banishes politics, by (...) Vaclav Havel -- 9. -- No one will stop us. , by Desmond Tutu -- 10. -- Colonialism and the youth bomb, by Joseph Ki-Zerbo -- 11. -- The shedding of blood -- 12. -- Letter from Nagasaki, by Takashi Nagai -- 13. -- Down with exclusion!, by Herbert de Souza -- 14. -- The nower to sav 'no'. bv loan Martin-Brown -- 15. -- Inquiry into a taboo, by Ouassila Si Saber -- 16. -- The illusions of rationalism, by Ernesto Sabato -- 17. -- The 'poisonous weed', by Ba Jin -- 18. -- Humanity, an ongoing creation, by Ali Ahmad Said Esber (Adonis) -- 19. -- Image, writing and the vandal, by Alberto Moravia -- 20. -- The charms of calumny, by Andres Bello -- 21. -- On the threshold of eternity, by the Abbe Pierre -- 22. -- The control of force, by Karl Jaspers -- 23. -- The nature of force, by Simone Weil -- 24. -- The debt of justice, by Martin Luther King -- 25. -- Democracy and barbarism, by Sergei S. Averintsev -- 26. -- If all the animals should disappear, by Richard Fitter -- 27. -- Irony and compassion, by Octavio Paz -- 28. -- Against all hatred, by Aime Cesaire -- 29. -- Creating differences, by Daniel J. Boorstin -- 30. -- I dislike the word 'tolerance', by Mahatma Gandhi. (shrink)
In his PhD thesis (1938) Turing introduced what he described as 'a new kind of machine'. He called these 'O-machines'. The present paper employs Turing's concept against a number of currently fashionable positions in the philosophy of mind.
The aim of this series is to bring together important recent writings in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a variety of sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. The editor of each volume contributes an introductory essay on the items chosen and on the questions with which they deal. A selective bibliography is appended as a guide to further reading. This volume presents a selection of the most important (...) recent writings on the nature of explanation. It covers a broad range of topics from the philosophy of science to the central philosophical terrain of the theory of knowledge. The distinguished contributors include Peter Achinstein, Wesley C. Salmon, Carl G. Hempel, Philip Kitcher, Bas C. van Fraassen, Jaegwon Kim, B. Brody, Timothy McCarthy, Peter Railton, David Lewis, Peter Lipton, James Woodward, and Robert J. Matthews. (shrink)
According to the moral theory of William Wollaston (1659-1724), the mark of a wrong action is that it signifies a falsehood.1 This theory rests, in part, on an unusual account of actions according to which they have propositional content: they "declare," "signify," "affirm," or "express" propositions (RN 8-13). To take an example from Wollaston, the act of firing on a band of soldiers affirms the proposition "Those soldiers are my enemies" (RN 8-9). Likewise, the act of breaking a promise signifies (...) the proposition "I did not make that promise" (RN 10, 16).2This account of actions, as well as the moral theory that rests on it, has many harsh critics.3 Unfortunately, some of them read Wollaston with little care, and .. (shrink)
This article examines capacity development for collective action and institutional change through the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. We integrate Hargrave and Van de Ven's (2006, Academy of Management Review 31(4), 864-888) Collective Action Model with capacity development literature to develop a framework that can be used to clarify the nature of CSR involvement in capacity development, help identify alternative CSR response options, consider expected impacts of these options on stakeholders, and highlight trade-offs across alternative CSR investments. Our (...) framework encompasses CSR program investments in the capacities of individuals, organizations, and collaborations, as also their impact on the larger enabling environment. We then use this framework to provide descriptive evidence of two implementations: (1) The PhD Project, whose mission is to increase the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty, and (2) Involve, the community involvement program at KPMG, one of the Big Four Accounting firms. We discuss implications of our framework for managerial practice and future research. (shrink)
This paper provides an informal guide to young researchers in science and engineering as they progress for their first 10 or so years from the time that they first started thinking about doing a PhD. This advice is drawn, with examples and anecdotes, from my own research career which started at the Cambridge Engineering Department in 1958, and progressed through 48 years at University College London to a part-time chair that I now hold in Aberdeen. I hope it may encourage (...) and help tomorrow's scientists on whom the Earth's future very much depends. (shrink)
Whether you undertaking a taught doctorate, or a course of study leading to a PhD, this book offers complete, up-to-date guidance and discussion on all aspects of successful doctoral work. The five experienced authors give advice on every stage in the process of completing a doctorate, from helping you to engage in critical reflection to better understand your own research biases, to useful guidelines on preparing for, and surviving, the viva. Combining general discussion with practical advice, this book is an (...) essential companion to your research. Topics include: Preparing for a doctorate Embarking on your Research Adapting to life as a student Working with a supervisor Reading critically Conceptualising your research Thinking about methodologies and approaches Producing a thesis Preparing for and taking the viva Disseminating your research. (shrink)
In the nineteenth century, William Whewell claimed that his confirmation criterion of consilience was a truth-guarantor: we could, he believed, be certain that a consilient theory was true. Since that time Whewell has been much ridiculed for this claim by critics such as J. S. Mill and Bas van Fraassen. I have argued elsewhere that, while Whewell's claim that consilience can guarantee the truth of a theory is clearly wrong, consilience is indeed quite useful as a confirmation criterion (Snyder 2005). (...) Here I will show that, even when consilience gives evidence for a theory that turns out to be false, there is an important sense in which consilience shows that the theory has captured something correct about the natural-kind structure of the physical world. Whewell was therefore correct to claim that consilience provides a "criterion of reality" (Whewell  1967, vol. 2, 68). Consilience provides this by giving justification for the claim that we have really `cut nature at its causal joints', to adapt Plato's famous phrase. Because of this, consilience can play a role in an argument for scientific realism. (shrink)
Inspired by the writings of J. M. Hinton (1967a, 1967b, 1973), but ushered into the mainstream by Paul Snowdon (1980–1, 1990–1), John McDowell (1982, 1986), and M. G. F. Martin (2002, 2004, 2006), disjunctivism is currently discussed, advocated, and opposed in the philosophy of perception, the theory of knowledge, the theory of practical reason, and the philosophy of action. But what is disjunctivism?
The Quine-Putnam Indispensability argument is the argument for treating mathematical entities on a par with other theoretical entities of our best scientific theories. This argument is usually taken to be an argument for mathematical realism. In this chapter I will argue that the proper way to understand this argument is as putting pressure on the viability of the marriage of scientific realism and mathematical nominalism. Although such a marriage is a popular option amongst philosophers of science and mathematics, in light (...) of the indispensability argument, the marriage is seen to be very unstable. Unless one is careful about how the Quine-Putnam argument is disarmed, one can be forced to either mathematical realism or, alternatively, scientific instrumentalism. I will explore the various options: (i) finding a way to reconcile the two partners in the marriage by disarming the indispensability argument (Jody Azzouni , Hartry Field [13, 14], Alan Musgrave [18, 19], David Papineau ); (ii) embracing mathematical realism (W.V.O. Quine , Michael Resnik , J.J.C. Smart ); and (iii) embracing some form of scientific instrumentalism (Ot´ avio Bueno [7, 8], Bas van Fraassen ). Elsewhere , I have argued for option (ii) and I won’t repeat those arguments here. Instead, I will consider the difficulties for each of the three options just mentioned, with special attention to option (i). In relation to the latter, I will discuss an argument due to Alan Musgrave  for why option (i) is a plausible and promising approach. From the discussion of Musgrave’s argument, it will emerge that the issue of holist versus separatist theories of confirmation plays a curious role in the realism–antirealism debate in the philosophy of mathematics. I will argue that if you take confirmation to be an holistic matter—it’s whole theories (or significant parts thereof) that are confirmed in any experiment—then there’s an inclination to opt for (ii) in order to resolve the marital tension outlined above.. (shrink)
In May 2010, philosophers, family and friends gathered at the University of Notre Dame to celebrate the career and retirement of Alvin Plantinga, widely recognized as one of the world's leading figures in metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of religion. Plantinga has earned particular respect within the community of Christian philosophers for the pivotal role that he played in the recent renewal and development of philosophy of religion and philosophical theology. Each of the essays in this volume engages with some (...) particular aspect of Plantinga's views on metaphysics, epistemology, or philosophy of religion. Contributors include Michael Bergman, Ernest Sosa, Trenton Merricks, Richard Otte, Peter VanInwagen, Thomas P. Flint, Eleonore Stump, Dean Zimmerman and Nicholas Wolterstorff. The volume also includes responses to each essay by Bas van Fraassen, Stephen Wykstra, David VanderLaan, Robin Collins, Raymond VanArragon, E. J. Coffman, Thomas Crisp, and Donald Smith. (shrink)
technických a obslužných prostředků lidské společnosti” – J. Zahradil, MF Dnes 12.5., s. 9). Pozoruhodná kniha Erika Davise Techgnosis (Mýtus, magie a mystika ve věku nformací), vydaná nakladatelstvím Harmony Books v New Yorku v roce 1998, se pokouší dokládat, že naše budoucnost by mohla být v tomto směru ještě podivuhodnější, než se má v těchto diskusích obvykle za to.
This paper offers two new arguments for a version of Reflection, the principle that says, roughly, that if one knew now what one would believe in the future, one ought to believe it now. The most prominent existing argument for the principle is the coherence-based Dutch Strategy argument advanced by Bas van Fraassen (and others). My two arguments are quite different. The first is a truth-based argument. On the basis of two substantive premises, that people’s beliefs generally get better over (...) time and that being a person requires having knowledge of this fact, it concludes that it is rational to treat your future selves as experts. The second argument is a transcendental one. Being a person requires being able to engage in plans and projects. But these cannot be meaningfully undertaken unless one has Reflection-like expectations about one’s future beliefs. Hence, satisfaction of Reflection is necessary for being a person. Together, the arguments show that satisfaction of Reflection is both rational and necessary for persons. (shrink)
Frankfurt School critical theory has long opposed metaphysical philosophy because it ignores suffering and injustice. In the face of such criticism, proponents of metaphysics (for example Dieter Henrich) have accused critical theory of not fully investigating the questions is raises for itself, and falling into partial metaphysical positions, despite itself. If one focuses on Max Horkheimer's early essays, such an accusation seems quite fitting. There he vociferously attacks metaphysics, but he also develops a theory that pushes toward metaphysical questions. His (...) work can thus seem laden with unpacked metaphysical baggage, and fraught with contradiction. The aim of this paper is to show that Horkheimer's critique of metaphysics makes sense and is not contradicted by a surreptitious metaphysics. To show this, Horkheimer's views will be compared with Bas van Fraassen's in The Empirical Stance . Ultimately, the paper should show that Horkheimer's early philosophy can be reconstructed in such a way that it employs a 'materialist stance'. (shrink)
Rolston (1988) argues that in order to act ethically in the environment, moral agents must assume that their actions are potentially harmful, and then strive to prove otherwise before implementing that action. In order to determine whether or not an action in the environment is harmful requires the tools of applied epistemology in order to act in accord with Rolston’s ethical prescription. This link between ethics and epistemology demands a closer look at the relationship between confirmation theory, particularly notions of (...) plausibility, in the philosophy of science and environmental ethics. Upon taking this look, I conclude that, at least logically, we are no better off assuming that actions are maximally risky (Rolston) than when we assume minimal risk. “Our vulnerability to error is greatest not from the things that we include in the model, but from the prophecies we leave out entirely.” Francis Bretherton “What is the main epistemic problem concerning science? I take it that it is the explication of how we compare and evaluate theories, as a basis either for theory acceptance or for practical action.” Bas van Fraassen “We face two kinds of ethical difficulties. One is where we know what ought to be done but not how to get the company to do it. The other is where we do not know what is right. We do not know the facts, or how to weigh the facts, especially statistical ones. We do not know the probabilities for development of future technologies. We do not know how to attach values to facts, or how to trade this good off against that one.” Holmes Rolston. (shrink)
With the disenchantment with independence in Africa, economic failure, the crimes of the elites from the independence years, the paralysis of symbolism, and finally the states' loss of dynamism, the 1990s ushered in a so-called phase of democratization. This was about rethinking citizenship and the relationship to politics. This democratization was a response to the notion of diversity. This paper claims that the answer to this diversity issue fell far short of expectations and proceeds different examples taken from social, cultural (...) and political life, including the struggle for recognition and the appearance of terrorist violence in sub-Saharan Africa. Multiparty systems designed to respond to the diversity question produced only many versions of the same by ignoring that true diversity is the encroachment on the same of the strange, the different and the unexpected. (shrink)