When I profess realism about possible worlds, I mean to be taken literally. Possible worlds are what they are, and not some other thing. If asked what sort of thing they are, I cannot give the kind of reply my questioner probably expects: that is, a proposal to reduce possible worlds to something else. I can only ask him to admit that he knows what sort of thing our actual world is, and then explain that possible worlds are more things (...) of that sort, differing not in kind but only in what goes on at them. (shrink)
"The only immediate utility of all sciences, is to teach us, how to control and regulate future events by their causes. Our thoughts and enquiries are, therefore, every moment, employed about this relation: Yet so imperfect are the ideas which we form concerning it, that it is impossible to give any just definition of cause, except what is drawn from something extraneous and foreign to it. Similar objects are always conjoined with similar. Of this we have experience. Suitably to this (...) experience, therefore, we may define a cause to be an object, followed by another, and where all the objects similar to the first are followed by objects similar to the second. Or in other words where, if the first object had not been, the second never existed ." David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding : Section VII, Part II Hume's First Account: Causation is constant conjunction among instances of event types. (Hume's "Constant Conjunction" or "Regularity" account). (shrink)
Jaegwon Kim définissait une propriété intrinsèque comme une propriété compatible avec le fait que l'objet ne serait accompagné d'aucun autre être contingent. Mais cela impliquerait que la solitude serait une propriété intrinsèque, or c'est une propriété extrinsèque. Les auteurs définissent une propriété intrinsèque de base comme une propriété indépendante de la solitude et de l'accompagnement et qui n'est ni une propriété disjonctive ni une négation de propriété disjonctive. Deux doubles intrinsèques sont des objets qui ont toutes les mêmes propriétés intrinsèques (...) de base. Une propriété intrinsèque peut dès lors être définie comme une propriété qui ne peut jamais différer entre deux doubles. Cette définition est ensuite appliquée à différents problèmes. Si les lois de la nature sont absolument nécessaires ou qu'un être nécessaire existe, de nombreuses connexions deviendraient alors des propriétés intrinsèques et il sera nécessaire de conserver un sens à la possibilité que ces connexions nécessaires auraient pu ne pas exister. Les propriétés dispositionnelles seront intrinsèques ou non, selon la conception des lois de la nature. Il est possible de suivre les conséquences de la définition, en amendant éventuellement d'autres concepts. La définition peut aussi s'appliquer aux relations. Les auteurs comparent aussi leur définition à d'autres définitions antérieurement données par David Lewis et Peter Vallentyne. Jaegwon Kim had defined an intrinsic property as a property that does not imply that the object is accompanied by another contingent being. But this would imply that loneliness would be an intrinsic property, whereas it is an extrinsic property. The authors define a basic intrinsic property as a property independent from accompaniment or loneliness and which is neither a disjunctive property nor a negation of a disjunctive property. Two intrinsic duplicates are objects which have all the same basic intrinsic properties. An intrinsic property can be defined as a property which can never differ between duplicates. This definition is then applied to different problems. If laws of nature are necessary or if a necessary being exists, many connections will turn out to be intrinsic properties and it will be necessary to keep a sense of possibility according to which those necessary connections could have not obtained. Dispositions will be intrinsic or extrinsic depending on the conception of the laws of nature. It is possible to follow this definition of intrinsicness if one amends other concepts. The definition can also be applied to relations. The article ends by comparing this definition with previous ones by David Lewis and Peter Vallentyne. (shrink)
There is an increasing recognition of the need to provide ways for people to raise concerns about suspected wrongdoing by promoting internal policies and procedures which offer proper safeguards to actual and potential whistleblowers. Many organisations in both the public and private sectors now have such measures and these display a wide variety of operating modalities: in-house or outsourced, anonymous/confidential/identified, multi or single tiered, specified or open subject matter, etc. As a result of this development, a number of guidelines and (...) policy documents have been produced by authoritative bodies. This article reviews the following five documents from a management perspective, the first two deal with the principles upon which legislation might be based and the others describing good management practice: the Council of Europe Resolution 1729 (COER); Transparency International ‘Recommended Principles for Whistleblowing Legislation’ (TI); European Union Article 29 Data Protection Working Party Opinion (EUWP); International Chamber of Commerce ‘Guidelines on Whistleblowing’ (ICC); and the British Standards Institute ‘Whistleblowing arrangements Code of Practice 2008 (BSI). (shrink)
This article suggests that the introduction of employment protection rights for whistleblowers has implications for the way in which trust and loyalty should be viewed at the workplace. In particular, it is argued that the very existence of legislative provisions in the United Kingdom reinforces the notion that whistleblowing should not be regarded as either deviant or disloyal behaviour. Thus, the internal reporting of concerns can be seen as an act of trust and loyalty in drawing the employer's attention to (...) wrongdoing. Equally, external whistleblowing may result from a worker's belief that he or she also has a loyalty to the wider society. Given that the interests of employees do not necessarily coincide with those of their employer and that whistleblowers sometimes suffer reprisals, the author concludes that it is inappropriate to impose a contractual duty to report concerns. Instead, employers should endeavour to promote a culture of openness and create confidence in the mechanisms they provide for whistleblowing. (shrink)
Purpose The purpose of this article is to assess the operation of the UK’s Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA 1998) during its first 10 years and to consider its implications for the whistleblowing process. Method The article sets the legislation into context by discussing the common law background. It then gives detailed consideration to the statutory provisions and how they have been interpreted by the courts and tribunals. Results In assessing the impact of the legislation’s approach to whistleblowing both (...) in the UK and elsewhere, the author draws upon empirical research. Conclusion The author concludes that PIDA 1998 has not adequately protected whistleblowers and makes 12 recommendations for change. Despite the European Commission’s acknowledgement that whistleblowers can play a part in the fight against corruption, the author notes that common standards for their protection still seem a long way off. (shrink)
The void is deadly. If you were cast into a void, it would cause you to die in just a few minutes. It would suck the air from your lungs. It would boil your blood. It would drain the warmth from your body. And it would inflate enclosures in your body until they burst}.
A solution to the problem of intrinsic change for enduring things should meet three conditions. It should not replace monadic intrinsic properties by relations. It should not replace the having simpliciter of properties by standing in some relation to them (unless having them simpliciter always means standing in some relation to them, which is refuted by Bradley's regress). It should not rely on an unexplained notion of having an intrinsic property at a time. Johnston's solution satisfies the first condition at (...) the expense of the second. Haslanger's solution satisfies the first and second at the expense of the third. (shrink)
Dan Marshall and Josh Parsons note, correctly, that the property of being either a cube or accompanied by a cube is incorrectly classified as intrinsic under the definition we have given unless it turns out to be disjunctive. Whether it is disjunctive, under the definition we gave, turns on certain judgements of the relative naturalness of properties. They doubt the judgements of relative naturalness that would classify their property as disjunctive. We disagree. They also suggest that the whole idea of (...) judging relative naturalness is a dubious business. We reply that, like them or not, such judgements cannot easily be avoided. (shrink)
Several alleged counterexamples to the definition of 'intrinsic' proposed in Rae Langton and David Lewis, 'Defining "Intrinsic"', are unconvincing. Yet there are reasons for dissatisfaction, and room for improvement. One desirable change is to raise the standard of non-disjunctiveness, thereby putting less burden on contentious judgements of comparative naturalness. A second is to deal with spurious independence by throwing out just the disjunctive troublemakers, instead of throwing out disjunctive properties wholesale, and afterward reinstating those impeccably intrinsic disjunctive properties that are (...) not troublemakers. (The second of these changes makes the first more affordable.) A third, suggested by Brian Weatherson, would be to invoke the general principle that the intrinsic and the extrinsic characters of things are independent, rather than relying just on one special case of this principle; but it is none too obvious how to do this. (shrink)
This volume is devoted to Lewis's work in ethics and social philosophy. Topics covered include the logic of obligation and permission; decision theory and its relation to the idea that beliefs might play the motivating role of desires; a subjectivist analysis of value; dilemmas in virtue ethics; the problem of evil; problems about self-prediction; social coordination, linguistic and otherwise; alleged duties to rescue distant strangers; toleration as a tacit treaty; nuclear warfare; and punishment. This collection, and the two preceding volumes, (...) will disseminate more widely the work of an eminent and influential contemporary philosopher. (shrink)
This volume is devoted to Lewis's work in metaphysics and epistemology. Topics covered include properties, ontology, possibility, truthmaking, probability, the mind-body problem, vision, belief, and knowledge. The purpose of this collection, and the volumes that precede and follow it, is to disseminate more widely the work of an eminent and influential contemporary philosopher. The volume will serve as a useful work of reference for teachers and students of philosophy.
Something could be round even if it were the only thing in the universe, unaccompanied by anything distinct from itself. Jaegwon Kim once suggested that we define an intrinsic property as one that can belong to something unaccompanied. Wrong: unaccompaniment itself is not intrinsic, yet it can belong to something unaccompanied. But there is a better Kim-style definition. Say that P is independent of accompaniment iff four different cases are possible: something accompanied may have P or lack P, something unaccompanied (...) may have P or lack P. P is basic intrinsic iff (1) P and not-P are nondisjunctive and contingent, and (2) P is independent of accompaniment. Two things (actual or possible) are duplicates iff they have exactly the same basic intrinsic properties. P is intrinsic iff no two duplicates differ with respect to P. (shrink)
This is the first of a three-volume collection of David Lewis's most recent papers in all the areas to which he has made significant contributions. The purpose of this collection (and the two volumes to follow) is to disseminate even more widely the work of a preeminent and influential late twentieth-century philosopher. The papers are now offered in a readily accessible format. This first volume is devoted to Lewis's work on philosophical logic from the last twenty-five years. The topics covered (...) include: deploying the methods of formal semantics from artificial formalised languages to natural languages, model-theoretic investigations of intensional logic, contradiction, relevance, the differences between analog and digital representation, and questions arising from the construction of ambitious formalised philosophical systems. The volume will serve as an important reference tool for all philosophers and their students. (shrink)
If a guilty offender is justly sentenced to be punished and an innocent volunteer agrees to be punished instead, is that any reason to leave the offender unpunished? In the context of mundane criminal justice, we mostly think not. But in a religious context, some Christians do believe in penal substitution as a theory of the atonement. However, it is not just these Christians, but most of us, who are of two minds. If the punishment is an imprisonment or death, (...) we do not believe in penal substitution. But if it’s a fine, even a big fine, we mostly do. (shrink)
David Lewis (1941-2001) was Class of 1943 University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His contributions spanned philosophical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, metaphysics, and epistemology. In On the Plurality of Worlds, he defended his challenging metaphysical position, "modal realism." He was also the author of the books Convention, Counterfactuals, Parts of Classes, and several volumes of collected papers.
Christianity teaches that whenever evil is done, God had ample warning. He could have prevented it, but He didn't. He could have stopped it midway, but He didn't. He could have rescued the victims of the evil, but - at least in many cases - He didn't. In short, God is an accessory before, during, and after the fact to countless evil deeds, great and small. An explanation is not far to seek. The obvious hypothesis is that the Christian God (...) is really some sort of devil. Maybe He is a devil as popularly conceived, driven' by malice. Or maybe He is unintelligibly capricious. Or maybe He is a fanatical artist who cares only for the aesthetic quality of creation - perhaps the abstract beauty of getting rich variety to emerge from a few simple laws, or perhaps the concrete drama of human life with all its diversity - and cares nothing for the good of the creatures whose lives are woven into His masterpiece. Oust as a tragedian has no business providing a happy end out of compassion for his characters.) But no; for Christianity also teaches that God is morally perfect and perfectly benevolent, and that He loves all of His creatures; and that these things are true in a sense not a million miles from the sense in which we attribute morality, benevolence, or love to one another. (shrink)
is the second-order theory of the part-whole relation. It can express such hypotheses about the size of Reality as that there are inaccessibly many atoms. Take a non-empty class to have exactly its non-empty subclasses as parts; hence, its singleton subclasses as atomic parts. Then standard set theory becomes the theory of the member-singleton function—better, the theory of all singleton functions—within the framework of megethology. Given inaccessibly many atoms and a specification of which atoms are urelements, a singleton function exists, (...) unique up to isomorphism. (This article is partly abridged from my Parts of Classes, partly a sequel.). (shrink)
Metatheoretical codifications of the sociological writings of George H. Mead, Jose Ortega y Gasset, and Alfred Schutz highlight the importance of the idea of life and of a commitment to a realist perspective. The authors turn common concern with the life concept in three directions: evolutionary emergence, historical rationality, and phenomenological analysis. In spite of differences, these directions share an empirically grounded starting point in the situated individual and its environment, and end with suggestions for a universalist rationality. Preliminary metatheoretical (...) principles from these authors offer a start toward a vital realist sociology fitted to the universal conditions of social life. (shrink)