This paper, originally written for a conference on criminal law in times of emergency, considers the implications of the â€˜German Airliner caseâ€™ for criminal law theory. In that case, the German constitutional court struck down as unconstitutional a law empowering state officials to order the shooting down of a hijacked plane on the grounds that the state could not order the killing of innocent civilians. Some have argued that despite this ruling, individual officials should still be entitled to claim a (...) criminal law justification defence. I argue that the nature of justification defences necessarily ties them to the powers of the state to engage in such activity. I also argue that both the constitutional decision and its criminal law implications are salutary. (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 Apart from the quotations in the Memoir these letters are previously unpublished.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)
Hobbes's manuscript refutation of Thomas White bears no title. Some modern scholars have proposed, on the basis of references to it by Mersenne, that the work was entitled 'De motu, loco et tempore', and the abbreviated version of this, 'De motu', has become current in modern scholarship. This research note analyses Mersenne's references, and concludes that this apparent title was a descriptive phrase introduced by Mersenne himself. The full description included the term 'philosophia' (thus: Hobbes's 'philosophy concerning motion, place and (...) time'); this suggests a double focus, not only on the manuscript text, but also on Hobbes's 'body' of natural philosophy more generally. (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.