For Kant, poetry is the freest, finest art of all. Music and painting depend on sensuous charms. Poetry offers the most direct presentation of "aesthetic ideas". As Kant's critique subjects reason to reason, so too does the poet try to best language via language. However, the poet's license is not absolute. The poet must create a new sense, not nonsense, lest he slide into the intractable privacy of delirium or evil. Using Hannah Arendt's reading of the Third Critique, and excerpts (...) from one of Kant's favorite poets, Milton, I examine the extent of the free play poetry allows. (shrink)
Kant thinks poetry is the greatest of all the arts, and that Milton is one of the greatest poets. Sanford Budick, a professor of English from Hebrew University, investigates the Miltonic echoes in Kant’s work in this very thorough, dense, and deliberate study. Budick argues that Milton’s poetic form, especially his use of successive images, informs some of the most crucial and complex passages in Kant’s ethical and aesthetic theory. Budick concedes that it may seem strange to blur the line (...) between poetry and philosophy, but he also underlines the fact that “in Kant’s world poetry and philosophy had not yet experienced the virtual divorce that characterizes our own age” (119). Budick contends that the .. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that the formalisms for decoherence originally devised to deal just with closed or open systems can be subsumed under a general conceptual framework, in such a way that they cooperate in the understanding of the same physical phenomenon. This new perspective dissolves certain conceptual difficulties of the einselection program but, at the same time, shows that the openness of the quantum system is not the essential ingredient for decoherence. †To contact the authors, please write to: (...) Mario Castagnino, CONICET-IAFE, Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, Casilla de Correos 67, Sucursal 28, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina; Roberto Laura, IFIR-Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Av. Pellegrini 250, 2000 Rosario, Argentina; Olimpia Lombardi, CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, C. Larralde 3440, 6°D, 1430, Buenos Aires; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Life appears to be a natural property of matter, but the problem of its origin only arose after early scientists refuted continuous spontaneous generation. There is no chance of life arising ‘all at once’, we need the standard scientific incremental explanation with large numbers of small steps, an approach used in both physical and evolutionary sciences. The necessity for considering both theoretical and experimental approaches is emphasized. After describing basic principles that are available (including the Darwin-Eigen cycle), the search for (...) origins is considered under four main themes. These are the RNA-world hypothesis; potential intermediates between an RNA-world and a modern world via the evolution of protein synthesis and then of DNA; possible alternatives to an RNA-world; and finally the earliest stages from the simple prebiotic systems to RNA. The triplicase/proto-ribosome theory for the origin of the ribosome is discussed where triples of nucleotides are added to a replicating RNA, with the origin of a triplet code well-before protein synthesis begins. The length of the code is suggested to arise from the early development of a ratchet mechanism that overcomes the problem of continued processivity of an RNA-based RNA-polymerase. It is probable that there were precursor stages to RNA with simpler sugars, or just two nucleotides, but we do not yet know of any better alternatives to RNA that were likely to arise naturally. For prebiotic stages (before RNA) a flow-reactor model is suggested to solve metabolism, energy gradients, and compartmentation simultaneously – thus the intense interest in some form of flow reactor. If an autocatalytic cycle could arise in such a system we would be major steps ahead. The most likely physical conditions for the origin of life require further clarification and it is still unclear whether the origin of life is more of an entropy (information) problem (and therefore high temperatures would be detrimental), rather than a kinetic problem (where high temperatures may be advantageous). (shrink)
This paper pursues the intertwined tracks of robotics and art since the mid 20th century, taking a loose chronological approach that considers both the devices themselves and their discursive contexts. Relevant research has occurred in a variety of cultural locations, often outside of or prior to formalized robotics contexts. Research was even conducted under the aegis of art or cultural practices where robotics has been pursued for other than instrumental purposes. In hindsight, some of that work seems remarkably prescient of (...) contemporary trends. The context of cultural robotics is a highly charged interdisciplinary test environment in which the theory and pragmatics of technical research confronts the phenomenological realities of physical and social being in the world, and the performative and processual practices of the arts. In this context, issues of embodiment, material instantiation, structural coupling, and machine sensing have provoked the reconsideration of notions of (machine) intelligence and cognitivist paradigms. The paradoxical condition of robotics vis-à-vis artificial intelligence is reflected upon. This paper discusses the possibility of a new embodied ontology of robotics that draws upon both cybernetics and post-cognitive approaches. (shrink)
The burden of this piece is to draw together into a coherent whole the somewhat diverse strands of Israel Scheffler's thought on the philosophy of religion. Extrapolating from personal discussions with Professor Scheffler, various of his books, articles, and other unpublished materials authored and kindly provided by him, I contend that he adumbrates a post-empiricist rendering of religious belief which masterfully avoids some philosophical problems, while unwittingly giving rise to others. Committed to the view that the methodology of science â (...) in one or other of its more acceptable guises â provides the most reliable measure of the content and structure of reality. Scheffler is bound conceptually to redefine Jewish belief in such a way that the traditional conflict between religion and science never emerges. Consistent with this end, he is concerned to divest traditional Judaism of its metaphysical garb, so that what remains are simply the matters of living to which religion ought properly on his view address itself. The Bible is thus reconceptualized as a piece of rich literature, of no real difference in logical kind to any other piece of rich literature, except that it defines uniquely, along with the Torah and other relevant Jewish literature, the history of the particular community whose perception of human values and meaningfulness forms the core of what it is to be Jewish. (shrink)
The experience of looking at a tilted penny involves a “phenomenological doubleness” in that it simultaneously seems to be of something circular and of something elliptical. In this paper, I investigate the phenomenological doubleness of this experience by comparing it to another case of phenomenological doubleness––the phenomenological doubleness of seeing an object in a painting. I begin by pointing out some striking similarities between the phenomenological characters of these two experiences. I then argue that these phenomenological characters have a (...) common explanation. More specifically, I argue that the psychological mechanism that explains the phenomenological doubleness of the experience of seeing an object in a painting can be extended to also explain the phenomenological doubleness of the experience of seeing a tilted penny. (shrink)
This essay is a response to the comments and critique of Laura Purdy to my earlier paper "Re-Fusing Nature/Nurture" (1983, 621-632). In it I re-emphasize that the traditional nature/nurture dichotomy is based upon an unacceptable ontology and briefly note the type of metaphysic that would serve as a more appropriate basis.
This essay is a discussion of the radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It is an assessment of the moral advice that she dispenses her radio show, and kinds of criticisms to which she has been subjected.
Although in fundamental agreement with Carpendale & Lewis's (C&L's) position, we discuss a potential source of confusion regarding the socially constituted nature of mental states. Drawing from recent work by Kusch (1997; 1999), we argue, more specifically, that mental states are instances of “artificial kinds,” and so, stand between the more common classificatory extremes of “the natural” and “the social.”.
Peter van Inwagen contends that free will is a mystery. Here I present an argument in the spirit of van Inwagen's. According to the Assimilation Argument, libertarians cannot plausibly distinguish causally undetermined actions, the ones they take to be exercises of free will, from overtly randomized outcomes of the sort nobody would count as exercises of free will. I contend that the Assimilation Argument improves on related arguments in locating the crucial issues between van Inwagen and libertarians who hope to (...) demystify free will, while avoiding objections these arguments have faced. (shrink)
In this comprehensive new study of human free agency, Laura Waddell Ekstrom critically surveys contemporary philosophical literature and provides a novel account of the conditions for free action. Ekstrom argues that incompatibilism concerning free will and causal determinism is true and thus the right account of the nature of free action must be indeterminist in nature. She examines a variety of libertarian approaches, ultimately defending an account relying on indeterministic causation among events and appealing to agent causation only in (...) a reducible sense. Written in an engaging style and incorporating recent scholarship, this study is critical reading for scholars and students interested in the topics of motivation, causation, responsibility, and freedom. In broadly covering the important positions of others along with its exposition of the author’s own view, Free Will provides both a significant scholarly contribution and a valuable text for courses in metaphysics and action theory. (shrink)
The physics and metaphysics of identity and individuality Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9463-7 Authors Don Howard, Department of Philosophy and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA Bas C. van Fraassen, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA Elena Castellani, Department of Philosophy, University of Florence, Via Bolognese 52, 50139 (...) Florence, Italy Laura Crosilla, Department of Pure Mathematics, School of Mathematics, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT UK Steven French, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK Décio Krause, Department of Philosophy, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88040-900 Campus Trindade, Florianópolis, SC Brazil Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
A philosophically and historically sensitive account of the engagement of the major protagonists of Victorian British philosophy, Reforming Philosophy considers the controversies between William Whewell and John Stuart Mill on the topics of science, morality, politics, and economics. By situating their debate within the larger context of Victorian society and its concerns, Laura Snyder shows how two very different men—Whewell, an educator, Anglican priest, and critic of science; and Mill, a philosopher, political economist, and parliamentarian—reacted to the challenges of (...) their times, each seeking to reform science as a means of reforming society as a whole. The first book-length examination of the dispute between Mill and Whewell in its entirety, Reforming Philosophy provides a rich and nuanced understanding of the intellectual spirit of Victorian Britain and will be welcomed by philosophers and historians of science, scholars of Victorian studies, and students of the history of philosophy and political economy. (shrink)
While the lives of millions of people are overshadowed by poverty and destitution, a relatively small subset of the world's population enjoys an unprecedented level of wealth. No doubt the world's rich have duties to address the plight of the global poor. But should we think of these as duties of egalitarian justice much like those applying domestically, or as weaker duties of humanitarian assistance? In this book, Laura Valentini offers an in-depth critique of the two most prominent answers (...) to this question, cosmopolitanism and statism, and develops a novel normative framework for addressing it. Central to this framework is the idea that, unlike duties of assistance - which bind us to help the needy - duties of justice place constraints on the ways we may legitimately coerce one another. Since coercion exists domestically as well as internationally, duties of justice apply to both realms. The forms of coercion characterizing these two realms, however, differ, and so the content of duties of justice varies across them. Valentini concludes that given the nature of existing international coercion, global justice requires more than statist assistance, yet less than full cosmopolitan equality. (shrink)
. Part C of this three part series is the presentation from the Oxford style debate held at the Tenth Annual International Conference Promoting Business Ethics between Laura Hartman, J.D., and Dr. Moses Pava on topics related to the EverQuest® v. EverCrack case (Part B). In a traditional Oxford style debate, two debaters take opposing viewpoints and the third debater argues the neutral position. At the Conference, the modified format featured the two debaters presenting diametrically opposing views – (...) corporate responsibility versus personal responsibility. This modified format was also used during the Ethics Awareness Week (Part A), with University professors presenting the debate before the student body. Ms. Hartman’s position focused on the personal responsibility by Mr Woolley while Dr. Pava opined that Sony Online Entertainment had corporate responsibility toward Mr. Woolley and all other individuals similarly situated. (shrink)
Be it fair trade coffee or foreign oil, our choices as consumers affect the well-being of humans around the globe, not to mention the natural world and of course ourselves. Consumption is a serious ethical issue, and Christian writers throughout history have weighed in, discussing topics such as affluence and poverty, greed and gluttony, and proper stewardship of resources. These voices are often at odds, however. In this book, Laura M. Hartman formulates a coherent Christian ethic of consumption, imposing (...) order on the debate by dividing it into four imperatives: Christians are to consume in ways that avoid sin, embrace creation, love one's neighbor, and envision the future. An adequate ethics of consumption, she argues, must include all four considerations as tools for discernment, even when they seem to contradict one another. The book includes discussions of Christian practices such as fasting, gratitude, solidarity, gift-giving, Sabbath-keeping, and the Eucharist. Using exemplars from the Christian tradition and practical examples from everyday life, The Christian Consumer offers a thoughtful guide to ethical consumption. (shrink)
Introduction Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s10503-011-9238-3 Authors Ana Laura Nettel, Law Department, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana—Azcapotzalco (UAM-A), Amsterdam 180-403 Colonia Hipódromo Condesa, 06100 Mexico, DF, Mexico Georges Roque, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), CRAL, EHESS/CNRS, 96 Bd. Raspail, 75006 Paris, France Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X.
Framing effects have a significant influence on the finitely repeated matching pennies game. The combination of being labelled "a guesser", and having the objective of matching the opponent’s action, appears to be advantageous. We find that being a player who aims to match the opponent’s action is advantageous irrespective of whether the player moves first or second. We examine alternative explanations for our results and relate them to Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Purloined Letter". We propose a behavioral model which generates (...) the observed asymmetry in the players’ performance. (shrink)
It would be nice if good old a priori conceptual analysis were possible. For many years conceptual analysis was out of fashion, in large part because of the excessive ambitions of verificationist theories of meaning._ _However, those days are over._ _A priori conceptual analysis is once again part of the philosophical mainstream._ _This renewed popularity, moreover, is well-founded. Modern philosophical analysts have exploited developments in philosophical semantics to formulate analyses which avoid the counterintuitive consequences of verificationism, while vindicating our ability (...) to know a priori precisely what it is our words and thoughts represent._ _Despite its apparent promise, however, I. (shrink)
The Queen's College, Oxford, UK In his article `Facts and Principles', G.A. Cohen attempts to refute constructivist approaches to justification by showing that, contrary to what their proponents claim, fundamental normative principles are fact- in sensitive. We argue that Cohen's `fact-insensitivity thesis' does not provide a successful refutation of constructivism because it pertains to an area of meta-ethics which differs from the one tackled by constructivists. While Cohen's thesis concerns the logical structure of normative principles, constructivists ask how normative principles (...) should be justified . In particular, their claim that justified fundamental normative principles are fact-sensitive follows from a commitment to agnosticism about the existence of objective moral facts. We therefore conclude that, in order to refute constructivism, Cohen would have to address questions of justification, and take a stand on those long-standing meta-ethical debates about the ontological status of moral notions (for example, realism versus anti-realism) with respect to which he himself wants to remain agnostic. Key Words: John Rawls normative justification realism versus anti-realism methodological versus substantive principles. (shrink)
This paper proposes a reconciliation between libertarian freedomand causal indeterminism, without relying on agent-causation asa primitive notion. I closely examine Peter van Inwagen''s recentcase for free will mysterianism, which is based in part on thewidespread worry that undetermined acts are too chancy to befree. I distinguish three senses of the term chance I thenargue that van Inwagen''s case for free will mystrianism fails,since there is no single construal of the term change on whichall of the premises of his argument for (...) free will–causalindeterminism incompatibilism are true. By use of a particularevent-causal indeterminist account of free action, I support thecase for free will–indeterminism compatibilism. (shrink)