I argue, without offering what Ameriks has called a 'short argument', that idealism follows already from the constraints that the use of the categories, in particular the categories of quality, places on the conceivability of things in themselves. My claim is that, although it is not only possible but also necessary to think things in themselves, it doesn't follow that by merely thinking we have a full grasp of the nature of things in themselves. For support, I look to a (...) much overlooked chapter in the Critique, the Transcendental Ideal, where Kant discusses what it is for a thing to be a thing-in-itself proper, namely something that is thoroughly determined. I claim that the chief reason why, given Kant's view of determinative judgment, we cannot determine a thing-in-itself is because of two connected reasons: (1) a thing-in-itself is already fully determined and therefore not further determinable and (2) we cannot possibly determine all of the thing's possible determinations. (shrink)
Searle suggests biological naturalism as a solution to the mind-brain problem that escapes traditional terminology with its seductive pull towards either dualism or materialism. We reconstruct Searle's argument and demonstrate that it needs additional support to represent a position truly located between dualism and materialism. The aim of our paper is to provide such an additional argument. We introduce the concept of "autoepistemic limitation" that describes our principal inability to directly experience our own brain as a brain (...) from the first-person perspective. The neglect of the autoepistemic limitation leads to inferences from epistemic properties to ontological features - we call this "epistemic-ontological inference." Searle attempts to avoid such epistemic-ontological inference but does not provide a sufficient argument. Once the autoepistemic limitation is considered, epistemic-ontological inference can be avoided. As a consequence, one can escape traditional terminology with its seductive pull towards either dualism or materialism. (shrink)
: As Heidegger acknowledges, our understanding is essentially situated and so limited by the context and tradition into which it is thrown. But this ‘situatedness’ does not exhaust Heidegger's concept of ‘thrownness’. By examining this concept and its grammar, I develop a more complete interpretation. I identify several different kinds of finitude or limitation in our understanding, and touch on ways in which we confront and carry different dimensions of our past.
The term futility has been widely used in medical ethics and clinical medicine for more than twenty years now. At first glance it appears to offer a clear-cut categorical characterisation of medical treatments at the end of life, and an apparently objective way of making decisions that are seen to be emotionally painful for those close to the patient, and ethically, and also potentially legally hazardous for clinicians. It also appears to deal with causation, because omission of a futile treatment (...) cannot surely be a cause of death. The problem is that futility can be argued to be a false friend , in that it gives an appearance of representing a reliable conceptual basis, in ethics, for limitation of medical treatment—usually in the context of dying—without actually doing so. In fact, the concept of futility is a conflation of clinical judgement about outcomes of treatment and the quality or even value of life, and has really failed to contribute much to the advancement of decision-making and hence care at the end-of-life. It also has the capacity to medicalise the personal space. Deliberations about the likely outcomes of medical treatment are necessary, and medical expertise is pivotal. However, futility is argued to have a better future in partnership with a broad social action agenda about the process of dying, such as that articulated in health promoting palliative care, as a basis for better death-ways in the 21st century (Kellehear 2005). Medicine needs to more honest and upfront about its limits, as death is, after all, the elephant in everybody's room. (shrink)
We argue that Löb's Theorem implies a limitation on mechanism. Specifically, we argue, via an application of a generalized version of Löb's Theorem, that any particular device known by an observer to be mechanical cannot be used as an epistemic authority (of a particular type) by that observer: either the belief-set of such an authority is not mechanizable or, if it is, there is no identifiable formal system of which the observer can know (or truly believe) it to be (...) the theorem-set. This gives, we believe, an important and hitherto unnoticed connection between mechanism and the use of authorities by human-like epistemic agents. (shrink)
Following postmodernism, post-colonialism reflects modernity from a new perspective—the cultural perspective. Post-colonialism interprets colonialism contained in modernity, deconstructs orientalism and cultural hegemonism, and turns western reflection of modernity into an inquiry about the global relationship between the East and the West. Post-colonialism brings forward a new theoretical domain, that is, the colonizational relationship between the East and the West in the process of modernization. This interpretation expresses a strong tendency of anti-western centrality and shares some ideas with marxism. This article (...) discusses the essence, characteristics, and limitation of post-colonialism from the viewpoint of Marxism, expecting to further the study of post-colonialism and its relationship with Marxism. (shrink)
All research has limitations, for example, from paradigm, concept, theory, tradition, and discipline. In this article Lynda Stone describes three exemplars that are variations on limitation and are “extraordinary” in that they change what constitutes future research in each domain. Malcolm Gladwell's present day study of outliers makes a statistical term into a sociological concept. Carlo Ginzburg's study of a sixteenth-century miller who challenges Church doctrine initiates the field of microhistory. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's philosophy of the rhizome (...) offers a poststructuralist study of the doing of philosophy and the form of philosophical text. Although Gladwell's study is the only one specifically on the topic of outliers, the other two investigations are outliers as well. Overall the three studies demonstrate what can be revealed and learned when limitation is transgressed. This is an important lesson for educational research—wherein heretofore unimagined societal possibility and reform of education might result. (shrink)
Expiratory flow limitation (EFL) can occur in mechanically ventilated patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other disorders. It leads to dynamic hyperinflation with ensuing deleterious consequences. Detecting EFL is thus clinically relevant. Easily applicable methods however lack this detection being routinely made in intensive care. Using a simple mathematical model, we propose a new method to detect EFL that does not require any intervention or modification of the ongoing therapeutic. The model consists in a monoalveolar representation of the (...) respiratory system, including a collapsible airway that is submitted to periodic changes in pressure at the airway opening: EFL provokes a sharp expiratory increase in the resistance Rc of the collapsible airway. The model parameters were identified via the Levenberg-Marquardt method by fitting simulated data on the airway pressure and the flow signals recorded in 10 mechanically ventilated patients. A sensitivity study demonstrated that only 8/11 parameters needed to be identified, the remaining three being given reasonable physiological values. Flow-volume curves built at different levels of positive expiratory pressure, PEEP, during PEEP trials (stepwise increases in positive end-expiratory pressure to optimize ventilator settings) have shown evidence of EFL in three cases. This was concordant with parameter identification (high Rc during expiration for EFL patients). We conclude from these preliminary results that our model is a potential tool for the non-invasive detection of EFL in mechanically ventilated patients. (shrink)
This paper is based on the assumption that the high incomes of some professional sports athletes, such as players in professional leagues in the United States and Europe, pose an ethical problem of social justice. I deal with the questions of what should follow from this evaluation and in which ways those incomes should be regulated. I discuss three different options: a) the idea that the incomes of professional athletes should be limited, b) the idea that they should be vastly (...) taxed by the state, and c) the idea that there is a moral obligation for the athletes to spend portions of their incomes on good causes. I will conclude that in today’s circumstances there are good reasons to advocate both option one (limitation) and option two (taxation), but that priority should be given to taxation. (shrink)
Patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, frequently exhibit expiratory airflow limitation. We propose a mathematical model describing the mechanical behavior of the ventilated respiratory system. This model has to simulate applied positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) effects during expiration, a process used by clinicians to improve airflow. The proposed model consists of a nonlinear two-compartment system. One of the compartments represents the collapsible airways and mimics its dynamic compression, (...) the other represents the lung and chest wall compartment. For all clinical conditions tested (n=16), the mathematical model simulates the removal of expiratory airflow limitation at PEEP lower than 70–80% of intrinsic end-expiratory pressure (PEEPi), i.e. the end-expiratory alveolar pressure (PAet) without PEEP. It also shows the presence of an optimal PEEP. The optimal PEEP contributes to decrease PAet from 7.4 ± 0.9 (SD) to 5.4 ± 0.9 hPa (p –1.s (p –1.s (p < 0.0001; severe flow limitation). This simplistic mathematical model gives a plausible explanation of the expiratory airflow limitation removal with PEEP and a rationale to the practice of PEEP application to airflow limited patients. (shrink)
Suppose that there are human beings whose overall psychological capacities and potential are comparable to or lower than those characteristic of the higher orders of nonhuman animals, such as chimpanzees. And suppose that the limited cognitive capacities of at least some of these human beings are congenital and resulted because the genes that coded for the growth of their brains were different, or operated differently, from those that code for the development of the brain in other human beings. I refer (...) to these human beings as the ‘radically cognitively limited’—though for brevity I will often use the abbreviated term the ‘cognitively limited’.¹ None of the.. (shrink)
I argue that Aristotle's approach to the proper type of acquisition, use-value, want, and accumulation/storage of wealth is oriented less to excluding commercial activity, such as that of Aristotle's Athens, than to forestalling misordered concupiscence – the taking of an inherendy limited good for the unlimited, or highest, good. That is, his moral aversion to taking a means for an end lies behind his rendering of the sort of wealth that is natural. By stressing the limited nature of natural wealth, (...) Aristode distinguishes such wealth qua limited from an artificial unlimited desire for profit in order to drive home his point that wealth ought not be taken as an objective good (i. e., good in itself). (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to identify a significant dilemma in current moral education in the Republic of Korea, which is influenced by rapid Americanisation, and to explore possible explanations for it. This dilemma is observed in the Korean language, family relationships and schooling in relation to tradition, as Korea is an ethnic nation sharing a common heritage. Various explanations are explored in terms of Korean historical, cultural and religious foundations. Korean people are confronting this current dilemma as beings (...) displaying both Americanised and traditional characteristics, i.e. as moral beings with both individualistic cognition and traditional affect and volition. This coexistence has created potentially serious confusion in moral standards and choices. There are limitations in individualistic cognitive reasoning and perspectives to deal with this confusion. Considering this, it is necessary to attempt to design alternative frameworks not only to prescribe but also to identify an appropriate general moral education. This article attempts to provide a guideline for this. (shrink)
It is a lie: nature is not balanced, but tumbling forwards in a damp confusion of forms. Not so much a comforting friend as a science-fiction monster: adsorbing all the bullets we shoot at it – each time getting up and coming back at us; each time further mutated and more terrifying.
Fodor argues that our minds must have epistemic limitations because there must be endogenous constraints on the class of concepts we can acquire. However, his argument for the existence of these endogenous constraints is falsified by the phenomenon of the deferential acquisition of concepts. If we allow for the acquisition of concepts through deferring to experts and scientific instruments, then our conceptual capacity will be without endogenous constraints, and there will be no reason to think that our minds are epistemically (...) bounded. (shrink)
: A central component of Bernard Williams' political realism is the articulation of a standard of legitimacy from within politics itself: LEG. This standard is presented as basic, inherent in all political orders and the best way to underwrite fundamental liberal principles particular to the modern state, including basic human rights. It does not require, according to Williams, a wider set of liberal values. In the following, I show that where Williams restricts LEG to generating only minimal political protections, seeking (...) to isolate his account of political legitimacy from a range of liberal principles, this is neither internal to, nor necessarily demanded by, the specifically political account of LEG. Instead, the limitation depends upon his wider ethical thought. (shrink)
The main characters of a philosophy meant as an activity which is not essentially different from science but deals with questions which go beyond the limits of present sciences are the following: 1) Philosophy is an investigation of the world. It is aimed at dealing with major issues and is justified only insofar as it deals with them. 2) Philosophy provides a global view, it is not limited to sectorial questions. So there cannot be a philosophy of mathematics alone, or (...) physics alone, or biology alone, and so on. 3)Being an investigation about the world, philosophy aims at knowledge. Therefore questions about knowledge are central in philosophy. 4)Philosophy is continuous with sciences. Its objectives are not essentially different from those of sciences. 5)Philosophy makes use of results of sciences. This is not accessory to it, it is essential for its progress. 6)The method of philosophy is essentially the same as that of sciences. 7) Philosophy seeks new knowledge. Seeking new knowledge is part of its deepest nature. 8) Philosophy seeks new discovery methods. Seeking new knowledge, it also seeks new methods to obtain it. 9) Philosophy tries unexplored routes and, by so doing, it may even give origin to new sciences. Its greatest value consists in this. 10) Philosophy makes use of the experience of philosophers of the past. For this may help us to understand where certain ideas lead, avoiding us to try routes which have already revealed fruitless. 11) A conclusive solution of philosophical problems is impossible. Their solutions are always provisional and are bound to be replaced sooner or later by others. Progress exists everywhere, even in philosophy. 12) Philosophy has no specific field of its own, nor specific techniques of its own. But because it moves on an unexplored ground, it is at the same time always exposed to the risk of failure but also capable of surprising developments, originating new sciences. -/- . (shrink)
David Braybrooke argues that meeting people’s needs ought to be the primary goal of social policy. But he then faces the problem of how to deal with the fact that our most pressing needs, needs to be kept alive with resource-draining medical technology, threaten to exhaust our resources for meeting all other needs. I consider several solutions to this problem, eventually suggesting that the need to be kept alive is no different in kind from needs to fulfill various projects, and (...) that needs may have a structure similar to rights, with people’s legitimate needs serving as constraints on each other’s entitlements to resources. This affords a set of axioms constraining possible needs. Further, if, as Braybrooke thinks, needs are created by communities approving projects, so that the means to prosecute the projects then come to count as needs, then communities are obliged to approve only projects that are co-feasible given the world’s finite resources. The result is that it can be legitimate not to funnel resources towards endless life-prolongation projects. (shrink)
I explore the idea of language reaching its limits by distinguishing two kinds of limits language may have: The first are “Boundaries” which lie on the edges of language, and distinguish what makes sense from what does not. These, I claim, are suitable in making theoretical generalizations. The second are “Contours,” which lie within language, and allow for contrasting and comparing meanings and shades of meanings that we capture in language. These are more suitable for characterizations of particulars, and for (...) literary use. I claim that failure to draw this distinction is responsible for confusions in Sabina Lovibond’s and Richard Rorty’s views of moral thought and language. (shrink)
: Common morality theory must confront apparent counterexamples from the history of morality, such as the widespread acceptance of slavery in prior eras, that suggest core norms have changed over time. A recent defense of common morality theory addresses this problem by drawing a distinction between the content of the norms of the common morality and the range of individuals to whom these norms apply. This distinction is successful in reconciling common morality theory with practices such as slavery, but only (...) at the cost of underscoring the limits of common morality theory, in particular its inability to resolve disputes about the moral status of entities. Given that many controversies in bioethics center on the disputed status of various entities, such as embryos and nonhuman animals, this is an important limitation. Nonetheless, common morality theory still can be a useful resource in diminishing moral conflict on issues that do not involve disputes over moral status. (shrink)
We contrast three decision rules that extend Expected Utility to contexts where a convex set of probabilities is used to depict uncertainty: Γ-Maximin, Maximality, and E-admissibility. The rules extend Expected Utility theory as they require that an option is inadmissible if there is another that carries greater expected utility for each probability in a (closed) convex set. If the convex set is a singleton, then each rule agrees with maximizing expected utility. We show that, even when the option set is (...) convex, this pairwise comparison between acts may fail to identify those acts which are Bayes for some probability in a convex set that is not closed. This limitation affects two of the decision rules but not E-admissibility, which is not a pairwise decision rule. E-admissibility can be used to distinguish between two convex sets of probabilities that intersect all the same supporting hyperplanes. (shrink)
In a recent Philosophy of Science article Gerhard Schurz proposes meta-inductivistic prediction strategies as a new approach to Hume's. This comment examines the limitations of Schurz's approach. It can be proven that the meta-inductivist approach does not work any more if the meta-inductivists have to face an infinite number of alternative predictors. With his limitation it remains doubtful whether the meta-inductivist can provide a full solution to the problem of induction.
The human in continuous century envisage the skepticism. When the human envisage the deficiency of his knowledge, will be in trouble of skepticism, when the knowledge of human fundamentally is doubted, all internal or external impressions will be doubted, so the man envisage the unlimited skepticism. But is it possible and logical? The possibility of it is a psychological question too, but my effort is the epistemological surveying of it. We can survey this question in two ways. One way is (...) justifier reasons of skepticism. Are there sufficient for unlimited skepticism? Every deduction is based on preludes and if they’re uncertain the result will be uncertain too. There any deduction can’t justify unlimited skepticism. The other way is the surveying results of this skepticism. We have beliefs thatnever can doubt them like our existence. This inability express that the unlimited skepticism doesn’t agree the logic of our subject. Moreover the unlimited skepticism brings the mixed continuums. If we doubt anything, doubt this doubting too and this involving haven’t extremity, the demoniac hang that can’t be accepted by our. (shrink)
John Barrow is increasingly recognized as one of our most elegant and accomplished science writers, a brilliant commentator on cosmology, mathematics, and modern physics. Barrow now tackles the heady topic of impossibility, in perhaps his strongest book yet. Writing with grace and insight, Barrow argues convincingly that there are limits to human discovery, that there are things that are ultimately unknowable, undoable, or unreachable. He first examines the limits on scientific inquiry imposed by the deficiencies of the human mind: our (...) brain evolved to meet the demands of our immediate environment, Barrow notes, and much that lies outside this small circle may also lie outside our understanding. Barrow investigates practical impossibilities, such as those imposed by complexity, uncomputability, or the finiteness of time, space, and resources. Is the universe finite or infinite? Can information be transmitted faster than the speed of light? The book also examines the deeper theoretical restrictions on our ability to know, including Godel's theorem--which proved that there were things that could not be proved--and Arrow's Impossibility theorem about democratic voting systems. Finally, having explored the limits imposed on us from without, Barrow considers whether there are limits we should impose upon ourselves. For instance, if the secrets of the atom are to be found only by recreating extreme environments at great financial cost, just how much should we devote to that quest? Weaving together this intriguing tapestry, he illuminates some of the most profound questions of science, from the possibility of time travel to the very structure of the universe. (shrink)
Testing the validity of knowledge requires formal expression of that knowledge. Formality of an expression is defined as the invariance, under changes of context, of the expression's meaning, i.e. the distinction which the expression represents. This encompasses both mathematical formalism and operational determination. The main advantages of formal expression are storability, universal communicability, and testability. They provide a selective edge in the Darwinian competition between ideas. However, formality can never be complete, as the context cannot be eliminated. Primitive terms, observation (...) set-ups, and background conditions are inescapable parts of formal or operational definitions, that all refer to a context beyond the formal system. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and Gödel's Theorem provide special cases of this more universal limitation principle. Context-dependent expressions, on the other hand, have the benefit of being more flexible, intuitive and direct, and putting less strain on memory. It is concluded that formality is not an absolute property, but a context-dependent one: different people will apply different amounts of formality in different situations or for different purposes. Some recent computational and empirical studies of formality and contexts illustrate the emerging scientific investigation of this dependence. (shrink)
My assigned task in today’s colloquium is to review philosophers’ perspectives on the broad question of whether health care rationing ought to target the elderly. This is a revolutionary question, particularly in a society that is so sensitive to apparent discrimination, and the question must be approached carefully if it is to be successfully dealt with. Three subordinate questions attend this one and must be addressed in the course of answering it. The first such question has to do with (...) the issue of justice: how is it fair to target the elderly in achieving reductions in health care costs? Isn’t the proposal, or for that matter, isn’t targeting any age group, morally objectionable as a species of ageism, just as targeting members of a particular race or sex would be racist or sexist? The second subordinate question has to do with the issue of fittingness. Given that we can show in some way that targeting the elderly is not inherently unjust, why would limiting health care to them be a fitting thing for medicine to do? How would it fit, for example, with the traditional commitments of medicine, to sustain life, to relieve suffering, to heal and cure and restore function? And in particular, if medicine has the ability to save and relieve and restore the elderly, why should it replace that set of commitments with a different set for this particular population? The third subordinate question seems political, an arena reserved for one of my speaker colleagues today. There are, I believe, some underlying philosophical dimensions to its answer, and so I will say something about it. The philosophical/political questions is, Given that rationing health care to the elderly is not patently unjust, and given that a case can be made out that the ends of medicine are not violated by such limitation, shy should the elderly, as a group, assent to such a limitation? I want to address these subordinate questions, for I believe them to be the chief stumbling blocks for the possibility of an affirmative answer to our.... (shrink)
Humans appear to follow normative rules of inductive reasoning in "premise diversity tasks" that is, they know that dissimilar rather than similar evidence is better for generalising hypotheses. In three experiments, we use a "hypothesis limitation task" to compare a related inductive reasoning skill knowing how to limit hypotheses by using a negative test strategy. Participants are told that one category member has some property (e.g. Dogs have a merocrine gland) and are asked what evidence they would test to (...) ensure that either all (generalisation) or only (limitation) category members have that property (e.g. All/Only mammals have merocrine glands; tests: wolf, bull, crocodile). Despite participants' reluctance to use negative tests in the Wason 2-4-6 task and other reasoning tasks, participants do use normatively correct negative tests in the hypothesis limitation task as often as they use diverse positive tests in the premise diversity task. Moreover, when given a hypothesis limitation task before a rule evaluation task (similar to the 2-4-6 task), the use of negative tests increases. Thus, when testing hypotheses, people can and do use the right kind of test strategy for the task. (shrink)
Most legal analyses of selective nontreatment of seriously ill children centre on the question of whether it is in a child’s best interests to be kept alive in the face of extreme suffering and/or an intolerable quality of life. Courts have resisted any direct confrontation with the question of whether the child’s death is in his or her best interests. Nevertheless, representations of death may have an important role to play in this field of jurisprudence. The prevailing philosophy is to (...) configure death as a release from a futile or painful existence and/or as a dignified end in an objectively hopeless situation. However, there can be disagreement about the meaning of death in these settings. Some parents object that death would be premature or that it represents a culpable neglect of their child. A closer examination of these discordant interpretations allows for a better comprehension of the cultural understandings that underscore clinical and legal accounts of death following end-of-life decisions. (shrink)
Cowan assumes a unitary capacity-limited attentional focus. We argue that two main problems need to be solved before this assumption can complement theoretical knowledge about human cognition. First, it needs to be clarified what exactly the nature of the elements (chunks) within the attentional focus is. Second, an elaborated process model needs to be developed and testable assumptions about the proposed capacity limitation need to be formulated.
This lecture is cpncerned with the expected-utility or Bayesian model of rationality, with particular attention both to the strengths and limitations of the model. The alternative market and legal models of rationality are examined and rejected as less satisfactory than the expected-utility model. The role of intuitive judgement in the context of actual decision making is stressed. The fundamental place of intuitive judgement in science, especially in the performance of experiments and the analysis and presentation of results is analyzed. Errors (...) of measurement naturally arise in application of the expected-utility model, but there is a long history of theory and practice for dealing with such errors. The existence of such errors constitutes a limitation, not a prohibition, on the use of expected-utility theory as a fundamental framework for rational behaviour. (shrink)
Tolerance is one of the most important aims of education in a contemporary pluralist society. On the other hand, there is very wide agreement that some phenomena like violence or indoctrination in school are so bad or wrong that they must not be tolerated. In this context, two problems are discussed. First, the limits of tolerance regarding the right of students in public schools to be excused from the specific parts of Instruction which they or their parents see as a (...) form of indoctrination. Secondly, the respect for individual students and their autonomy as a limitation on tolerance regarding the "right" of parents who are members of certain religious sects to exempt their children from the mandatory education in order to maintain their communal and religious identity. (shrink)
Gérard Siegwalt | : Face aux trois tentations majeures du catholicisme traditionnel (mais dont il n’a pas le monopole), à savoir le particularisme absolutisé de la compréhension qu’il a de lui-même, le supranaturalisme de sa compréhension de Dieu, l’an-historisme de la théologie mystique, face ainsi à la théologie dualiste de la délimitation par rapport à ce qui n’est pas lui, le concile Vatican II représente, dans sa visée, l’ouverture au réel tel qu’il est, dans un esprit non de discrimination mais (...) de discernement, avec la question : qu’est-ce qui dans le réel est constructeur, qu’est-ce qui est destructeur ? Il est mû par la conscience que Dieu est le Dieu du réel et la foi, foi au coeur du réel. Il marque l’ouverture à une théologie de la récapitulation selon laquelle toutes choses sont récapitulées par Dieu en Christ, et ainsi à une intégration critique du réel, dépassant par là l’exclusivisme du catholicisme traditionnel et accédant à l’exigence d’une théologie critique — exclusive et inclusive à la fois — de la catholicité. | : Over against the three major temptations of catholicism (not exclusively catholic however), which are the absolutized particularism of its autocomprehension, the supernaturalism of its comprehension of God, the nonhistorical character of mystical theology, then over against the dualistic conception of its distinction from what is different from itself. Council Vatican II stands for an opening to the real as it is, in a spirit not of discrimination but of discernment, with the question : what in the real is creative, what is destructive ? It is motivated by the consciousness that God is the God of the real, and that faith is to be found at the heart of the real. It means the opening to a theology which recapitulates everything in Christ, that is, the opening to a critical integration of the real, according to the requirements of a critical theology of catholicity — at the same time exclusivist and inclusivist — over against the exclusivism of traditional catholicism. (shrink)
Bryan Norton proposes a "convergence hypothesis'* stating that anthropocentrists and nonanthropocentrists can arrive at common environmental policy goals if certain constraints are applied. Within his theory he does not, however, address the consideration ofnonconsequentualist issues, and, therefore, does not provide an argument for the convergence between consequentualist and nonconsequentualist ethical positions. In the case of biotechnology, nonconsequentualist issues can dominate the debate in both the fields of environmental ethics and bioethics. I argue that, the convergence hypothesis must be rejected when (...) tested against the case of biotechnology, and this limitation of convergence applies to any theory of reconciliation within the "health" concept because the achievement and preservation of "health "emphasizes a consequentualist outlook. I conclude that an inclusive ethics for ecosystem and human health should be explicit about this limitation. (shrink)
The discovery of a quaternary complexity limitation to mature cognitive operations raises important theoretical issues. We propose that cognitive limitations arise naturally in a complex dynamic information processing system, and consider problems such as the distinction between parallel and serial processes and the representativeness of the empirical data base used by Halford et al. to support their relational complexity scheme.
“Reasonable hostility” is a norm of communicative conduct initially developed by studying public exchanges in education governance meetings in local U.S. communities. In this paper I consider the norm’s usefulness for and applicability to a U.S. state-level public hearing about a bill to legalize civil unions. Following an explication of reasonable hostility and grounded practical theory, the approach to inquiry that guides my work, I de-scribe Hawaii’s 2009, 18-hour pub-lic hearing and analyze selected segments of it. I show that this (...) par-ticular public hearing raised de-mands for testifiers on the anti-civil union side of the argument that rea-sonable hostility does not do a good job of addressing. Development of a norm of communication conduct for this practice, as well as others, must engage with the culture and time-specific beliefs that a society holds, beliefs that will shape not only how to argue but what may be argued and what must be assumed about particular categories of persons. (shrink)
This second and extended edition of Priest's classic includes new chapters on Heidegger and Nagarjuna, as well as reflections on reactions to the first edition. Praise for previous edition: "a splendid tour de force, one which should be read by every philosopher..."--Philosophical Quarterly "[H]ighly entertaining and provocative...an engaging and instructive tour through some of the most perplexing features of our own conceptual finitude..."--TLS.
Contrary to the widespread belief, the problem of the emergence of classical mechanics from quantum mechanics is still open. In spite of many results on the ¯h → 0 asymptotics, it is not yet clear how to explain within standard quantum mechanics the classical motion of macroscopic bodies. In this paper we shall analyze special cases of classical behavior in the framework of a precise formulation of quantum mechanics, Bohmian mechanics, which contains in its own structure the possibility of describing (...) real objects in an observer-independent way. (shrink)
This paper attempts to articulate certain inadequacies that are involved in the traditional way of categorizing Indian philosophy and explores alternative approaches, some of which otherwise are not explicitly seen in the treatises of the history of Indian Philosophies. By categorization, I mean, classifying Indian philosophy into two streams, which are traditionally called as astica and nastica or orthodox and heterodox systems. Further, these different schools in the astica Darsanas and nastica Darsanas are usually numbered into six and three respectively. (...) Nyaya - Vaisesika, Sankhya -Yoga and Purva & Uttara Mimamsa are identified as astica darsanas and Carvaka, Buddhism and Jainism are identified as nastica darsanas (6+3). It is my endeavor to critically analyze the usual astica-nastica distinction of 6+3 classification of Indian philosophy so as to find out the meaning of such a rationale in this categorization. This general consensus is contested in this paper. What I am intended to support and strengthen such a critical analysis and exploration is to discuss these systems of India’s philosophy within the general intellectual milieu of Indian cultural traditions, its orientations, presuppositions and preferences. In order to carry out such a task, I shall be taking recourse to the theories of different scholars, both traditional and modern, in approaching and appropriating Indian Philosophy from different perspectives and their critical-creative approaches shall be scrutinized. (shrink)
At the end of the 1960s “Supports/Surfaces” artists start deconstructing paintings to jeopardize their representational qualities. Claude Viallat and Daniel Dezeuze, for example, process canvases and frames to highlight their phisical aspect as opposed to the illusionistic realm or representation. This way polarities such as form/space and illusionistic space/real space start having a new, dialectic relationship.
This paper examines the morality of kidney markets through the lens of choice, inequality, and weak agency looking at the case for limiting such markets under both non-ideal and ideal circumstances. Regulating markets can go some way to addressing the problems of inequality and weak agency. The choice issue is different and this paper shows that the choice for some to sell their kidneys can have external effects on those who do not want to do so, constraining the options that (...) are now open to them. I believe that this is the strongest argument against such markets. (shrink)
If the self – as a popular view has it – is a narrative construction, if it arises out of discursive practices, it is reasonable to assume that the best possible avenue to self-understanding will be provided by those very narratives. If I want to know what it means to be a self, I should look closely at the stories that I and others tell about myself, since these stories constitute who I am. In the following I wish to question (...) this train of thought. I will argue that we need to operate with a more primitive and fundamental notion of self; a notion of self that cannot be captured in terms of narrative structures. In a parallel move, I will argue that there is a crucial dimension of what it means to be other that is equally missed by the narrative approach. I will consequently defend the view that there are limits to the kind of understanding of self and others that narratives can provide. (shrink)
One popular reason for rejecting moral realism is the lack of a plausible epistemology that explains how we come to know moral facts. Recently, a number of philosophers have insisted that it is possible to have moral knowledge in a very straightforward way—by perception. However, there is a significant objection to the possibility of moral perception: it does not seem that we could have a perceptual experience that represents a moral property, but a necessary condition for coming to know that (...) X is F by perception is the ability to have a perceptual experience that represents something as being F . Call this the ‘Representation Objection’ to moral perception. In this paper I argue that the Representation Objection to moral perception fails. Thus I offer a limited defense of moral perception. (shrink)
: Nagarjuna seems willing to embrace contradictions while at the same time making use of classic reductio arguments. He asserts that he rejects all philosophical views including his own-that he asserts nothing-and appears to mean it. It is argued here that he, like many philosophers in the West and, indeed, like many of his Buddhist colleagues, discovers and explores true contradictions arising at the limits of thought. For those who share a dialetheist's comfort with the possibility of true contradictions commanding (...) rational assent, for Nagarjuna to endorse such contradictions would not undermine but instead confirm the impression that he is indeed a highly rational thinker. It is argued that the contradictions he discovers are structurally analogous to many discovered by Western philosophers and mathematicians. (shrink)
Kit Fine develops a Fregean theory of abstraction, and suggests that it may yield a new philosophical foundation for mathematics, one that can account for both our reference to various mathematical objects and our knowledge of various mathematical truths. The Limits of Abstraction breaks new ground both technically and philosophically.
It is easy to become battle-weary in metaphysics. In the face of seemingly unresolvable disputes and unanswerable questions, it is tempting to cast aside one’s sword, proclaiming: “there is no fact of the matter who is right!” Sometimes that is the right thing to do. As a case study, consider the search for the criterion of personal identity over time. I say there is no fact of the matter whether the correct criterion is bodily or psychological continuity.1 There exist two (...) candidate meanings for talk of persisting persons, one corresponding to each criterion, and there is simply no fact of the matter which candidate we mean. An argument schema for this sort of “no fact of the matter” thesis will be constructed. An instance of the schema will be defended in the case of personal identity. But scrutiny of this instance will reveal limits of the schema. Questions not settled by conceptual analysis—in particular, some very difficult questions of fundamental ontology—have answers. So do certain questions that can be settled by conceptual analysis, namely those that would be answered definitively by ideal philosophical inquiry. Whether there is a fact of the matter is not easily ascertained merely by looking to see whether disputes seem unresolvable or questions unanswerable: sometimes the truth is out there, however hard (or even impossible) it may be to discover. (shrink)
Structural realists of nearly all stripes endorse the structural continuity claim. Roughly speaking, this is the claim that the structure of successful scientific theories survives theory change because it has latched on to the structure of the world. In this paper I elaborate, elucidate and modify the structural continuity claim and its associated argument. I do so without presupposing a particular conception of structure that favours this or that kind of structural realism. Instead I focus on how structural realists can (...) best account for the neutrally formulated historical facts. The result, I hope, crystallises some of the shared commitments, desiderata and limits of structural realists. (shrink)
Most people believe that there are limits to the sacrifices that morality can demand. Although it would often be meritorious, we are not, in fact, morally required to do all that we can to promote overall good. What's more, most people also believe that certain types of acts are simply forbidden, morally off limits, even when necessary for promoting the overall good. In this provocative analysis Kagan maintains that despite the intuitive appeal of these views, they cannot be adequately defended. (...) In criticizing arguments for limited moral requirements as well as those for unconditionally prohibited acts, Kagan offers a sustained attack on two of the most basic features of ordinary common sense morality. (shrink)
In discussions of animal ethics, hypothetical scenarios are often used to try to force the clarification of intuitions about the relative value of human and animal life. Tom Regan requests, for example, that we imagine a man and a dog adrift in a lifeboat while Peter Singer explains why the life of one's child ought to be preferred to that of the family dog in the event of a house fire. I argue that such scenarios are not the usefully abstract (...) analytic tools they purport to be, but indirectly reinforce assumptions that are not only anthropocentric, but also tied to racist, sexist and ethnocentric stereotypes. An analysis of some of the cultural and ethical associations of the notion of self-sacrifice proves especially useful in revealing some of the limitations of certain popular Western approaches to animal ethics. (shrink)
In “Knowing How”, Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson (2001) propose an intellectualist account of knowledge-how, according to which all knowledge-how is a type of propositional knowledge about ways to act. In this article, I examine this intellectualist account by applying it to the epistemology of language. I argue that (a) Stanley and Williamson mischaracterize the concept of knowledge-how in the epistemology of language, and (b) intellectualism about knowledge of language fails in its explanatory task. One lesson that can be drawn (...) from this case study is that Stanley and Williamson's intellectualism is limited in its explanatory scope and power insofar as it cannot explain the knowledge of language, which is usually conceived as knowledge-how and as non-propositional in character. Their intellectualist claim that all knowledge-how is knowledge-that should be withdrawn. (shrink)
This review of Wimsatt’s book Re-engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings focuses on analysing his use of robustness, a central theme in the book. I outline a family of three distinct conceptions of robustness that appear in the book, and look at the different roles they play. I briefly examine what underwrites robustness, and suggest that further work is needed to clarify both the structure of robustness and the relation between it various conceptions.
Knowledge and its Limits presents a systematic new conception of knowledge as a kind of mental stage sensitive to the knower's environment. It makes a major contribution to the debate between externalist and internalist philosophies of mind, and breaks radically with the epistemological tradition of analyzing knowledge in terms of true belief. The theory casts new light on such philosophical problems as scepticism, evidence, probability and assertion, realism and anti-realism, and the limits of what can be known. The arguments are (...) illustrated by rigorous models based on epistemic logic and probability theory. The result is a new way of doing epistemology and a notable contribution to the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Political parties have only recently become a subject of investigation in political theory. In this paper I analyse religious political parties in the context of John Rawls’s political liberalism. Rawlsian political liberalism, I argue, overly constrains the scope of democratic political contestation and especially for the kind of contestation channelled by parties. This restriction imposed upon political contestation risks undermining democracy and the development of the kind of democratic ethos that political liberalism cherishes. In this paper I therefore aim to (...) provide a broader and more inclusive understanding of ‘reasonable’ political contestation, able to accommodate those parties (including religious ones) that political liberalism, as customarily understood, would exclude from the democratic realm. More specifically, I first embrace Muirhead and Rosenblum’s (Perspectives on Politics 4: 99–108 2006) idea that parties are ‘bilingual’ links between state and civil society and I draw its normative implications for party politics. Subsequently, I assess whether Rawls’s political liberalism is sufficiently inclusive to allow the presence of parties conveying religious and other comprehensive values. Due to Rawls’s thick conceptions of reasonableness and public reason, I argue, political liberalism risks seriously limiting the number and kinds of comprehensive values which may be channelled by political parties into the public political realm, and this may render it particularly inhospitable to religious political parties. Nevertheless, I claim, Rawls’s theory does offer some scope for reinterpreting the concepts of reasonableness and public reason in a thinner and less restrictive sense and this may render it more inclusive towards religious partisanship. (shrink)
Is physicalism compatible with either panpsychism or so-called fundamental mentality ? Minimal physicalism, I contend, is compatible with both. We should therefore jettison the No Fundamental Mentality constraint, a proposed constraint on the definition of the physical , not to mention the false limits it places on physicalist theories of mind.
Despite all the attention given to Kants universalizability tests, one crucial aspect of Kants thought is often overlooked. Attention to this issue, I will argue, helps us resolve two serious problems for Kants ethics. Put briefly, the first problem is this: Kant, despite his stated intent to the contrary, doesnt seem to use universalization in arguing for duties to oneself, and, anyway, it is not at all clear why duties to oneself should be grounded on a procedure that envisions a (...) world in which everyone wills the contrary of those duties. The second, more global problem is that if we follow Barbara Herman in holding that Kantian ethics can provide a structure for moral deliberation, we need an interpretation of the universalization procedure that unproblematically allows it to generate something like prima facie duties to guide that deliberation; but it is not at all clear that we have such an interpretation. I argue here that if we expand our limited way of thinking about universalization, we can solve the first problem and work towards a solution to the second. We can begin by recalling that Kants Law of Nature formulation (FLN) of the Categorical Imperative obligates us to act as if the maxim of your action were to become by your will a universal law of nature (G, 421). (shrink)
According to rich views of consciousness (e.g., James, Searle), we have a constant, complex flow of experience (or 'phenomenology') in multiple modalities simultaneously. According to thin views (e.g., Dennett, Mack and Rock), conscious experience is limited to one or a few topics, regions, objects, or modalities at a time. Existing introspective and empirical arguments on this issue (including arguments from 'inattentional blindness') generally beg the question. Participants in the present experiment wore beepers during everyday activity. When a beep sounded, they (...) were to take note of the conscious experience, if any, they were having at the last undisturbed moment immediately prior to the beep. Some participants were asked to report any experience they could remember. Others were asked simply to report whether there was visual experience or not (and if so, what it was). Still others were asked about experience in the far right visual field, or tactile experience, or tactile experience in the left foot. A majority of participants in the full experience and the visual conditions reported visual experience in every single sample. Tactile and peripheral visual experience were reported less often. However, the proper interpretation of these results is uncertain. (shrink)
This paper examines whether patriotism and other forms of group partiality can be justified and what are the moral limits on actions performed to benefit countries and other groups. In particular, I ask whether partiality toward one’s country (or other groups) can justify attacking enemy civilians to achieve victory or other political goals. Using a rule utilitarian approach, I then (a) defend the legitimacy of “moderate” patriotic partiality but (b) argue that noncombatant immunity imposes an absolute constraint on what may (...) be done to promote the interests of a country or other group involved in warfare or other forms of violent conflict. (shrink)
Science and mathematics: the scope and limits of mathematical fictionalism Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9640-3 Authors Christopher Pincock, University of Missouri, 438 Strickland Hall, Columbia, MO 65211-4160, USA Alan Baker, Department of Philosophy, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081, USA Alexander Paseau, Wadham College, Oxford, OX1 3PN UK Mary Leng, Department of Philosophy, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
The paper seeks a perfectly general argument regarding the non-contingent limits to any (human or non-human) knowledge. After expressing disappointment with the history of philosophy on this score, an argument is grounded in Fitch’s proof, which demonstrates the unknowability of some truths. The necessity of this unknowability is then defended by arguing for the necessity of Fitch’s premise—viz., there this is in fact some ignorance.
The harm principle, understood as the normative requirement that conduct should be criminalized only if it is harmful, has difficulty in dealing with those core cases of criminal wrongdoing that can occur without causing any direct harm. Advocates of the harm principle typically find it implausible to hold that these core cases should not be crimes and so usually seek out some indirect harm that can justify criminalizing the seemingly harmless conduct. But this strategy justifies criminalization (...) of a wide range of conduct on the basis of the fear, worry, and anxiety it generates among those who are not the direct victims of the conduct, and thereby undermines the limiting role of the harm principle by permitting the very move it was meant to prevent: the criminalization of harmless conduct on the ground of othersâ feelings about it. The best way to avoid this dilemma is to recognize that people have rights, operating independently of the harm principle, to be treated in certain ways just because they are persons. The existence of such rights provides a ground for both criminalizing conduct and limiting the scope of criminalization because these rights point both to conduct that people must be permitted to engage in (regardless of its harmful effects) and conduct that might well be criminalized (though it is not harmful). A complete account of criminal law will therefore require the harm principle to work together with an independent account of rights. (shrink)
The principle of fair equality of opportunity is regularly used to justify social policies, both in the philosophical literature and in public discourse. However, too often commentators fail to make explicit just what they take the principle to say. A principle of fair equality of opportunity does not say anything at all until certain variables are filled in. I want to draw attention to two variables, timing and currency. I argue that once we identify the few plausible ways we have (...) at our disposal for filling in those variables, it will become apparent that a reasonable version of the principle will be quite narrow. Its usefulness as a justificatory basis for social policies will be limited to those policies that target the distribution of competitive opportunities among people entering majority. (shrink)
Recent food emergencies throughout the world have raised some serious ethical and legal concerns for nations and health organizations. While the legal regulations addressing food risks and foodborne illnesses are considerably varied and variously effective, less is known about the ethical treatment of the subject. The purpose of this article is to discuss the roles, justifications, and limits of ethics of food safety as part of public health ethics and to argue for the development of this timely and emergent field (...) of ethics. The article is divided into three parts. After a short introduction on public health ethics, all levels of food safety processes are described and the role that ethics play in each of these levels is then analyzed. In the second part, different models describing the function of food law are examined. The relationship between these models and the role of ethics of food safety is assessed and discussed in the final part, leading to some relevant comments on the limits of the role and effect of ethics of food safety. (shrink)
This paper investigates the following question: when can one reliably infer the existence of an intersection point from a diagram presenting crossing curves or lines? Two cases are considered, one from Euclid's geometry and the other from basic real analysis. I argue for the acceptability of such an inference in the geometric case but against in the analytic case. Though this question is somewhat specific, the investigation is intended to contribute to the more general question of the extent and limits (...) of reliable diagrammatic reasoning in mathematics. (shrink)
Arthur Pap’s work played an important role in the development of the analytic tradition. This role goes beyond the merely historical fact that Pap’s views of dispositional and modal concepts were influential. As a sympathetic critic of logical empiricism, Pap, like Quine, saw a deep tension in logical empiricism at its very best in the work of Carnap. But Pap’s critique of Carnap is quite different from Quine’s, and represents the discovery of limits beyond which empiricism cannot go, where there (...) lies nothing other than intuitive knowledge of logic itself. Pap’s arguments for this intuitive knowledge anticipate Etchemendy’s recent critique of the model-theoretic account of logical consequence. Pap’s work also anticipates prominent developments in the contemporary neo-Fregean philosophy of mathematics championed by Wright and Hale. Finally, Pap’s major philosophical preoccupation, the concepts of necessity and possibility, provides distinctive solutions and perspectives on issues of contemporary concern in the metaphysics of modality. In particular, Pap’s account of modality allows us to see the significance of Kripke’s well-known arguments on necessity and apriority in a new light. (shrink)
Many people take for granted an absolute conception of property rights. According to this conception, if I own a piece of property I have a moral right to do with it as I please, irrespective of the needs of others.This paper articulates an argument against this conception of property rights. First, it shows that there are many possible conceptions of property rights, and that there are significant differences among the models of ownership which have prevailed in different societies. Then, it (...) argues that there are decisive grounds to refuse to grant that property owners have a moral right to exercise absolute control over their property, and that ownership implies not only rights but also duties and limits. (shrink)
Hegel seeks to overturn Kant's conclusion that our knowledge is restricted, or that we cannot have knowledge of things as they are in themselves. Understanding this Hegelian ambition requires distinguishing two Kantian characterizations of our epistemic limits: First, we can have knowledge only within the "bounds of experience". Second, we cannot have knowledge of objects that would be accessible only to a divine intellectual intuition, even though the faculty of reason requires us to conceive of such objects. Hegel aims to (...) drive a wedge between these two characterizations, showing that we can have knowledge beyond Kant's bounds of experience, yet without need of divine intuition. And attention to such knowledge is supposed to show that we have no legitimate need to even conceive of divine intuition and its objects - and no need to conclude that our own knowledge is restricted by comparison, or that we cannot know things as they are in themselves. I focus here on the initial case Hegel uses to introduce this extended argument strategy: we can have more knowledge of natural kinds and laws than would be allowed by Kant's bounds of experience. (shrink)
Transcendental arguments offer a particularlypowerful strategy for combating skepticism. Such arguments, after all, attempt to show thata particular skepticism is not simply mistakenbut inconsistent or self-refuting. Whilethus tempting to philosophers struggling withskepticism of various sorts, the boldconclusions of these arguments have longrendered them suspicious in the eyes of many. In fact, in a famous paper from 1968 BarryStroud develops what is often taken to be adecisive case against transcendental argumentsin general.Recent work in the area of practical reason,however, suggests that such (...) arguments stillhave their defenders. Theorists such as JamesDreier and Christine Korsgaard have reliedexplicitly on transcendental arguments tojustify certain principles of practical reason. Can such arguments overcome Stroud's objection? In what follows, I argue that they can. However effective Stroud's general criticismmay be in other areas, it does not apply in therealm of practical reason. Nevertheless, thereare strict limits on how far transcendentalarguments can take us. In particular, despiteKorsgaard's efforts, they cannot succeed inestablishing a rational foundation formorality. (shrink)
This paper questions the prevailing historical understanding that scientific racism "retreated" in the 1950s when anthropology adopted the concepts and methods of population genetics and race was recognized to be a social construct and replaced by the concept of population. More accurately, a "populational" concept of race was substituted for a "typological one"-this is demonstrated by looking at the work of Theodosius Dobzhansky circa 1950. The potential for contemporary research in human population genetics to contribute to racism needs to be (...) considered with respect to the ability of the typological-population distinction to arbitrate boundaries between racist society and nonracist, even anti-racist, science. I point out some ethical limits of "population thinking" in doing so. (shrink)
Deliberative democracy defends an ideal of equality as political efficacy. Jorge Valadez offers a defense of such an ideal given cultural pluralism of ethnopolitical groups. He develops an epistemological account of the fact of pluralism as entailing incommensurable conceptual frameworks. While his account goes a long way towards identifying the problems with neutrality and many other liberal solutions to the problem of pluralism, it is still too liberal in certain ways. First, he draws the limits of deliberation and political inclusion (...) too narrowly, giving little role for the toleration of non-liberal groups and too great a role to autonomy in deliberation. Second, incommensurability overemphasizes the theoretical nature of cultural conflicts and the need for background agreements on certain political values and thus also underappreciates practical solutions that leave disagreements intact. Finally, the contemporary fact of pluralism is not limited to relations among distinct cultures in this way, but is far more multidimensional, given multiple political memberships and the mutual interdependence and intense interaction among widely dispersed groups. Key Words: cosmopolitanism deliberation democracy pluralism toleration. (shrink)
From 1929 onwards, C.I. Lewis defended the foundationalist claim that judgements of the form ‘x is probable’ only make sense if one assumes there to be a ground y that is certain (where x and y may be beliefs, propositions, or events). Without this assumption, Lewis argues, the probability of x could not be anything other than zero. Hans Reichenbach repeatedly contested Lewis’s idea, calling it “a remnant of rationalism”. The last move in this debate was a challenge by Lewis, (...) defying Reichenbach to produce a regress of probability values that yields a number other than zero. Reichenbach never took up the challenge, but we will meet it on his behalf, as it were. By presenting a series converging to a limit, we demonstrate that x can have a definite and computable probability, even if its justification consists of an infinite number of steps. Next we show the invalidity of a recent riposte of foundationalists that this limit of the series can be the ground of justification. Finally we discuss the question where justification can come from if not from a ground. (shrink)