A brief poll of my scientific colleagues confirmed that, to a person, they regard addiction as a disease, whereas most non-science acquaintances consider it to be a failure of willpower. Reconciliation of these polarized views seems difficult and rather than finding a middle path, such as suggested by Foddy and Savulescu. I am an entrenched supporter of the view that addiction can be a disease. I first should declare my position as a card-carrying biologist, holding the view that behavior emanates (...) from the brain and, accordingly, that behavior and emotions result from brain function. This brain function also produces addiction and related behaviors, whereas Foddy and Savulescu seem to credit humans with a greater capacity to choose than biological evidence suggests. The second problem relates to definitions of disease: I argue that there are at least three ways addiction might be considered a disease. 1.? ? ? Addiction is a disease because it results in pathology. For example, hypertension is a disease. Hypertension per se does not cause dysfunction, but leads to pathologically definable conditions such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Smoking, like hypertension, can result in pathologies such as emphysema and cancer. The problem is not smoking per se, or even addiction to nicotine, rather it is the consequent diseases caused by tobacco. Nevertheless, if hypertension is a disease, so is smoking. The question of “choosing‘ to persist with smoking has no bearing on whether it is disease. Whether a person chooses to care for their hypertension or ignore it does not alter the fact that they have hypertension; it is still a disease and it will still harm them. Whether addiction affects the capacity to choose is not relevant because it does not alter the fact that smoking causes pathology and hence is a disease. 2.? ? ? Foddy and Savulescu argue that addiction leaves no tell-tale pathology to set it aside from. (shrink)
These essays are the fruit of many years' research by one of the world's leading Hobbes scholars. Noel Malcolm offers not only succinct introductions to Hobbes's life and thought, but also path-breaking studies of many different aspects of his political philosophy, his scientific and religious theories, his relations with his contemporaries, the sources of his ideas, the printing history of his works, and his influence on European thought.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, who died in Cambridge in 1951, is one of the most powerful influences on contemporary philosophy, yet he shunned publicity and was essentially a private man. His friend Norman Malcolm (himself an eminent philosopher) wrote this remarkably vivid personal memoir of Wittgenstein, which was published in 1958 and was immediately recognized as a moving and truthful portrait of this gifted, difficult man. -/- This edition includes also the complete text of the fifty-seven letters which Wittgenstein wrote to (...)Malcolm over a period of eleven years. Apart from the quotations in the Memoir these letters are previously unpublished. They reveal how much friendships mattered to Wittgenstein, and how concerned he was for the health and well-being of his friends. His human qualities become evident; he advises, warns, jokes. and is grateful and affectionate. -/- The volume also features a concise biographical sketch by another leading philosopher who was a friend of Wittgenstein, Georg Henrik von Wright. -/- Much has been published about Wittgenstein since his death, but nothing brings us closer to the man himself than this modest classic of philosophical biography. -/- . (shrink)
Acclaimed writer and historian Noel Malcolm presents his sensational discovery of a new work by Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679): a propaganda pamphlet on behalf of the Habsburg side in the Thirty Years' War, translated by Hobbes from a Latin original. Malcolm's book explores a fascinating episode in seventeenth-century history, illuminating both the practice of early modern propaganda and the theory of "reason of state".
In this book, Malcolm presents a new and radical interpretation of Plato's earlier dialogues. He argues that the few cases of self-predication contained therein are acceptable simply as statements concerning universals, and that therefore Plato is not vulnerable in these cases to the Third Man Argument. In considering the middle dialogues, Malcolm takes a conservative stance, rejecting influential current doctrines which portray the Forms as being not self-predicative. He shows that the middle dialogues do indeed take Forms to (...) be both universals and paradigms, and thus to exemplify themselves. The author goes on to consider why Plato should have been unsuccessful in avoiding self-predication. He shows that Plato's concern to explain how the truths of mathematics can indeed be true played an important role in his postulation of the Form as an Ideal Individual. The author concludes with the claim that reflection on the ambiguity of the notion of the "Standard Yard" may help us to appreciate why Plato failed to distinguish Forms as universals from Forms as paradigm cases. (shrink)
This paper compares Wittgenstein's conception of ?objective certainty? with Descartes's ?metaphysical certainty?. According to both conceptions if you are certain of something in these senses, then it is inconceivable that you are mistaken. But a striking difference is that for Descartes, if you are metaphysically certain of something it follows both that the something is so and that you know it is so; whereas on Wittgenstein's conception neither thing follows. I try to show that there is a form of ?scepticism? (...) in Wittgenstein's outlook on the concept of certainty, although it is not the familiar Philosophical Scepticism. The Appendix takes issue with a recent essay by John Cook which argues that the ?hinge propositions? of On Certainty are based on ?the metaphysics of phenomenalism? (shrink)
Recent critiques have selected textual evidence for casting Hearne as a failed narrator, because he did not live up to the mercantile or imperialist expectations for late 18th-century explorers, or as a biased narrator, because he never fully moves beyond such valuations. But if we categorize phenomenologically Hearne's experiences as a student of the Arctic throughout his four-year journey, there is more textual evidence for reading it as the account of a civilized narrator's conflicted adaptation to an indigenous society as (...) his consciousness is more and more shaped by Arctic nature. Hearne's A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay, to the Northern Ocean 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772 (1795) is filled with patterns of experience in which Hearne is learning, often slowly and painfully, a culture of place through his body. Hearne is a developing narrator who moves from experiencing the Arctic as an alien, hostile, and unnatural place to responding directly to its actualities, adjusting over time to the demands the land and its people place on him. As Hearne eventually finds a temporary home in Arctic wilderness, his most significant accomplishment as a narrator is to move the locus of culture into it. As the phenomenologist Edward S. Casey puts it, this results in a 'thickening' between the antinomical oppositions of civilization and Arctic. Viewed in light of his own statements in his Preface, the commendation of contemporary reviewers, and the contrasting limitations of pre-Hearne sub-Arctic narratives, Hearne's Journey amounts to a reconfiguration of 18th-century civilized constructs into three roles grounded in Arctic phenomena: as a naturalist, as a traveler across northern terrain, and as a member of a Chipewyan war party. An ur-narrative of land-based Arctic exploration, Hearne's Journey finally demonstrates an integration with the land and the Chipewyans with whom he travels that establishes phenomenological precedents for the reading of all later accounts of land-based Arctic travel. (shrink)
Scholars suggest that evolutionary psychology may provide a foundation for assumptions regarding human values. I explore this suggestion by developing two arguments regarding the permissiveness of norms regulating male and female sexual activity. The first relies on the standard rational choice assumption that people value resources, and the second relies on an assumption suggested by evolutionary psychology that actors value seeing their children successfully reach adulthood. These two assumptions produce contrasting predictions regarding sex norms. I describe the implications of these (...) predictions for explaining cross-cultural variation and present evidence that supports the evolutionary psychology-based predictions in this context. I also suggest implications of the two approaches for explaining norms cross-nationally and within the United States. The article provides support for the utility of evolutionary psychology in developing assumptions about values. (shrink)
Descartes' proof that his essence is thinking.--Thoughtless brutes.--Descartes' proof that he is essentially a non-material thing.--Behaviorism as a philosophy of psychology.--The privacy of experience.--Wittgenstein on the nature of mind.--The myth of cognitive processes and structures.--Moore and Wittgenstein on the sense of "I know."--The groundlessness of belief.
The claim that isomorphism in perceptual behaviour allows for differences in inner experience holds only if experience is taken to be an entity quite distinct from perceptual behaviour and only accidentally related to it. But this is not so. The two are internally related; experience as conceptualised being inherent to perception as a species of normative behaviour.
Colours are not the sorts of thing that are amendable to traditional forms of scientific explanation. To think otherwise is to mistake their ontology and ignore their normativity. The acquisition and use of colour categories is constrained by the logic of colour grammars.