The celebration of the eight-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Moses Maimonides, Casa de las Españas, Columbia University, March 30, 1935: Introduction by N. M. Butler. Moses Maimonides, the philosopher, by R. McKeon. Maimonides, the scientist, by R. Gottheil. Maimonides, the leader and lawgiver, by S. W. Baron.--Homage to Maimonides, by E. Gilson.--The literary character of the Guide for the perplexed, by L. Strauss.--Maimonides' treaties on resurrection: a comparative study, by J. Finkel.--A responsum of Maimonides, by R. Gottheil.--The economic (...) views of Maimonides, by S. W. Baron.--The medical work of Maimonides, by M. Meyerhof. (shrink)
Friends as well as foes of Kant have long been uneasy over his emphasis on duty, but lately the view that there is something morally repugnant about acting from duty seems to be gaining in popularity. More and more philosophers indicate their readiness to jettison duty and the moral 'ought' and to conceive of the perfectly moral person as someone who has all the right desires and acts accordingly without any notion that (s)he ought to act in this way. Elsewhere' (...) I have argued that such a picture of the perfectly moral person is flawed. In this paper I examine the claim that acting from duty is morally repugnant. There is some truth to this charge, but, I argue, the repugnance attaches not to acting from duty as such, but only to certain ways of acting from duty. In isolating the objectionable elements of acting from duty, I hope not only to vindicate the skeletal concept but also to offer illumination on the question of just how we should understand morally good conduct. (shrink)
Recently, nominalists have made a case against the Quine–Putnam indispensability argument for mathematical Platonism by taking issue with Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment. In this paper I propose and defend an indispensability argument founded on an alternative criterion of ontological commitment: that advocated by David Armstrong. By defending such an argument I place the burden back onto the nominalist to defend her favourite criterion of ontological commitment and, furthermore, show that criterion cannot be used to formulate a plausible form of (...) the indispensability argument. (shrink)
Recent discussion of the problem of negative existentials for truthmaker theory suggests a modest solution to the problem: fully general negative truths like do not require truthmakers, whereas partially general negative truths like do. This modest solution provides a third alternative to the two standard solutions to the problem of negative existentials: the endorsement of truthmaker gaps, and the appeal to contentious ontological posits. We argue that this modest, middle-ground position is inconsistent with certain plausible general principles for truthmaking. The (...) only stable positions are to treat all negative truths as requiring truthmakers, or admit that no negative truths require truthmakers. Along the way, we explore some previously unaddressed questions for nonmaximalist truthmaker theory. (shrink)
Recent attempts to resolve the truthmaker objection to presentism employ a fundamentally tensed account of the relationship between truth and being. On this view, the truth of a proposition concerning the past supervenes on how things are, in the present, along with how things were, in the past. This tensed approach to truthmaking arises in response to pressure placed on presentists to abandon the standard response to the truthmaker objection, whereby one invokes presently existing entities as the supervenience base for (...) the truth of past-directed propositions. In this paper, I argue that a fundamentally tensed approach to truthmaking is implausible because it requires the existence of cross-temporal supervenience relations, which are anathema to presentism. (shrink)
It is a common criticism of presentism – the view according to which only the present exists – that it errs against truthmaker theory. Recent attempts to resolve the truthmaker objection against presentism proceed by restricting truthmaker maximalism (the view that all truths have truthmakers), maintaining that propositions concerning the past are not made true by anything, but are true nonetheless. Support for this view is typically garnered from the case for negative existential propositions, which some philosophers contend are exceptions (...) to truthmaker maximalism. In this paper, we argue that a ‘no truthmakers’ approach to the truthmaker objection is critically flawed. (shrink)
238 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY ently, believe that his theory asks too much, demanding total devo- tion to morality and treating everything worth doing (and perhaps more) as a duty. But, despite their differences, the two sets of.
This paper addresses the extent to which both Julian Barbour‘s Machian formulation of general relativity and his interpretation of canonical quantum gravity can be called timeless. We differentiate two types of timelessness in Barbour‘s (1994a, 1994b and 1999c). We argue that Barbour‘s metaphysical contention that ours is a timeless world is crucially lacking an account of the essential features of time—an account of what features our world would need to have if it were to count as being one in which (...) there is time. We attempt to provide such an account through considerations of both the representation of time in physical theory and in orthodox metaphysical analyses. We subsequently argue that Barbour‘s claim of timelessness is dubious with respect to his Machian formulation of general relativity but warranted with respect to his interpretation of canonical quantum gravity. We conclude by discussing the extent to which we should be concerned by the implications of Barbour‘s view. (shrink)
Justifications and excuses are defenses that exculpate. They are therefore much more like each other than like such defenses as diplomatic immunity, which does not exculpate. But they exculpate in different ways, and it has proven difficult to agree on just what that difference consists in. In this paper I take a step back from justification and excuse as concepts in criminal law, and look at the concepts as they arise in everyday life. To keep the task manageable, I focus (...) primarily on excuses and excusing activities, distinguishing them from justifications as well as from other close relatives, in particular, forgiving and pardoning. I draw upon J.L. Austinâs classic A Plea for Excuses, but expand on his account, suggesting that we offer excuses for reasons besides those he mentions. My hope is that my examination of excuses and excusing activities will help us rethink our views on just how justifications and excuses differ, views which often are worked out without much attention to how these concepts function in everyday life and to the connection between offers of excuses and justifications and the rules of civility. (shrink)
One of the major difficulties facing presentism is the problem of causation. In this paper, I propose a new solution to that problem, one that is compatible with intrinsic, fundamental causal relations. Accommodating relations of this kind is important because (i) according to David Lewis (2004), such relations are needed to account for causation in our world and worlds relevantly similar to our own, (ii) there is no other strategy currently available that successfully reconciles presentism with relations of this kind (...) and (iii) resolving the problem of causation by accommodating intrinsic, fundamental causal relations provides the presentist with a far more general solution to the problem of causation than those currently on offer. (shrink)
Truthmaker theory is commonly thought to pose a challenge for presentism. Presentism seems to lack the ontological and ideological resources required to adequately underwrite the truth of propositions concerning the past. That is because if presentism is true, then the past does not exist. According to the standard response to this challenge, the truth of propositions concerning the past supervenes on surrogate entities that ‘stand proxy’ for past things. I argue that in order for the standard response to the truthmaker (...) challenge to succeed these surrogate entities must stand in necessary connections to the past. I go on to argue that because the standard response is already committed to denying the existence of cross-temporal modal connections of this kind, by its own lights that response is in error.1. (shrink)
This article examines how the action logics associated with the stages of consciousness development of organizational leaders can influence the meaning, which these leaders give to corporate greening and their capacity to consider the specific complexities, values, and demands of environmental issues. The article explores how the seven principal action logics identified by Rooke and Torbert (2005, Harvard Business Review 83 (4), 66–76; Opportunist, Diplomat, Expert, Achiever, Individualist, Strategist and Alchemist) can affect environmental leadership. An examination of the strengths and (...) limitations of these action logics reveals the relevance of the so-called post-conventional stages of consciousness to the recognition and effective management of complex environmental issues. Suggestions are also made for promoting organizational contexts conducive to the development of a post-conventional environmental leadership. (shrink)
In this paper I consider the aboutness objection against standard truth-preserving presentism (STP). According to STP: (1) past-directed propositions (propositions that seem to be about the past) like , are sometimes true (2) truth supervenes on being and (3) the truth of past-directed propositions does not supervene on how things were, in the past. According to the aboutness objection (3) is implausible, given (1) and (2): for any proposition, P, P ought to be true in virtue of what P is (...) about, and so it is upon the past that the truth of past-directed propositions ought to supervene. Although an objection along these lines has been offered previously, I press the objection in two ways. First, by providing needed support for the view that propositions ought to be true in virtue of what they are about and, second, by arguing that the two responses available to the proponent of STP fail to be compelling. (shrink)
Part I raises some questions concerning the extent of our freedom on the view that Henry Allison's Kant's Theory of Freedom attributes to Kant, and the possibility, on that view, of weakness of will. Allison is correct to attribute to Kant the ?Incorporation Thesis?: one is never compelled to do x just because one has a desire (even a very intense desire) to do x; a desire moves one to action only if one allows it to. But while the attribution (...) seems correct, there is a puzzle: how, given the Incorporation Thesis, is weakness of will, or ?frailty?, possible? Part II considers Kant's claim in The Doctrine of Virtue that we have an indirect duty to cultivate our sympathetic feelings. Allison's interpretation is unsatisfactory because it fails to steer clear of the ?impurity? problem: the interpretation seems to foist on Kant an endorsement of impurity, i.e. the seeking out of nonmoral reasons to induce one to do one's duty. To seek out such reasons is to cultivate an impure will, something Kant warns against. A different interpretation is offered. (shrink)
Cognitive biases that affect decision making may affect the decisions of citizens that influence public policy. To the extent that decisions follow principles other than maximizing utility for all, it is less likely that utility will be maximized, and the citizens will ultimately suffer the results. Here I outline some basic arguments concerning decisions by citizens, using voting as an example. I describe two types of values that may lead to sub-optimal consequences when these values influence political behavior: moralistic values (...) (which people are willing to impose on others regardless of the consequences) and protected values (PVs, values protected from trade-offs). I present evidence against the idea that voting is expressive, i.e., that voters aim to express their moral views rather than to have an effect on outcomes. I show experimentally that PVs are often moralistic. Finally, I present some data that citizens’ think of their duty in a parochial way, neglecting out-groups. I conclude that moral judgments are important determinants of citizen behavior, that these judgments are subject to biases and based on moralistic values, and that, therefore, outcomes are probably less good than they could be. (shrink)
This paper motivates and develops a new theory of time: priority presentism. Priority presentism is the view according to which (i) only present entities exist fundamentally and (ii) past and future entities exist, but they are grounded in the present. The articulation of priority presentism is an exercise in applied grounding: it draws on concepts from the recent literature on ontological dependence and applies those concepts in a new way, to the philosophy of time. The result, as I will argue, (...) is an attractive position that can do much of the same work in satisfying our intuitions about time as presentism, but without the ontological cost. (shrink)
In this article I consider what it would take to combine a certain kind of mathematical Platonism with serious presentism. I argue that a Platonist moved to accept the existence of mathematical objects on the basis of an indispensability argument faces a significant challenge if she wishes to accept presentism. This is because, on the one hand, the indispensability argument can be reformulated as a new argument for the existence of past entities and, on the other hand, if one accepts (...) the indispensability argument for mathematical objects then it is hard to resist the analogous argument for the existence of the past. (shrink)
Stanovich & West (S&W) have two goals, one concerned with the evaluation of normative models, the other with development of prescriptive models. Individual differences have no bearing on normative models, which are justified by analysis, not consensus. Individual differences do, however, suggest where it is possible to try to improve human judgments and decisions through education rather than computers.
The indispensability argument seeks to establish the existence of mathematical objects. The success of the indispensability argument turns on finding cases of genuine extra-mathematical explanation (the explanation of physical facts by mathematical facts). In this paper, I identify a new case of extra-mathematical explanation, involving the search patterns of fully-aquatic marine predators. I go on to use this case to predict the prevalence of extra-mathematical explanation in science.
This paper distinguishes and evaluates six types of ethics of virtue, Taking the mark of an ethics of virtue to be the denial that it is a necessary condition of perfectly moral personhood that one be governed by a sense of what one morally ought to do. Appealing to charles taylor's notion of strong evaluation, I argue that all such ethics of virtue are inadequate because they fail to leave room for a distinction between valuing and desiring.
This paper seeks to differentiate negative properties from positive properties, with the aim of providing the groundwork for further discussion about whether there is anything that corresponds to either of these notions. We differentiate negative and positive properties in terms of their functional role, before drawing out the metaphysical implications of proceeding in this fashion. We show that if the difference between negative and positive properties tabled here is correct, then negative properties are metaphysically contentious entities, entities that many philosophers (...) will be unwilling to countenance. (shrink)