Recently Erik Scerri has published an influential philosophical history of the development of the Periodic Table. Following Scerri’s account, I will explore the main thread of the arguments responsible for the remarkable advancement of scientific understanding that the Periodic Table represents. I will argue that the history of disputation at crucial junctures in the debate shows sensitivity to the aspects of truth that are captured by my model of truth in inquiry. The availability of a clear and explicit model of (...) truth in inquiry is of crucial importance as a response to post-modernist and other relativistic accounts of inquiry. It shows that despite such apparent sociological constraints as acceptability a robust theory of truth is available as a foundation for evaluating argumentation. (shrink)
An autobiographical narrative forms the basis for the exploration of a tension at the heart of philosophical practice. This paper considers whether Philosophy should be construed as a text-driven, expert-based endeavor as is typical in University programs or whether there is a primordial philosophical experience that grounds a more informal process of philosophical engagement? That is, is Philosophy a natural extension of human perplexity available as a tool for understanding without the trappings of Professorial scholarship and the authority of canonical (...) texts, or has the historical development of Philosophy so constructed its practice that it is beholden to sophisticated scholarship and the professional interpretation of a definitive body of classical and contemporary sources? (shrink)
A narrative review of a 35-year career in critical thinking reflecting an idiosyncratic approach to both practical and theoretical matters. The social as well as the intellectual context is described. Critical thinking across the disciplines and metamathematics are discussed as alternatives to more standard perspectives such as informal logic.
Informal logic offers a radical new perspective on the evaluation of arguments. But little work has been done on how deep concepts in the logical foundations of argument need to be modified in light of such efforts. This paper offers an indication of what might be done by sketching a new approach to the theory of entailment, truth and relevance.
The responsibility view of social freedom views obstacles as constraints on freedom if and only if there is an agent morally responsible for the obstacle's existence or nonsuppression. However, the test of moral responsibility offered by S.I. Benn and W.L. Weinstein is too narrow, W.E. Connolly's is too broad and D. Miller's is either trivial or wrong depending on whether a permissive or narrow interpretation is adopted. A plausible definition assigns moral responsibility for nonsuppression of an obstacle when a (...) reasonable person could have been expected to suppress the obstacle. (shrink)
My paper is a reaction to the articles in the newsletter Inquiry, and additional articles by others, especially MarkWeinstein, the Acting Director of the Institute for Critical Thinking at Montclair State College. Weinstein and his colleagues are engaged in a most ambitious program, as they put it, of educational reform through critical thinking across the disciplines. Without doubt, the ideologue of this school is Weinstein, and it is on his writings that I have concentrated.
Existentialism, by A. Macintyre.--Sartre the philosopher, by S. Hampshire.--The phenomenological philosophy in France, by I.W. Alexander.--Imagination, by H. Ishiguro.--Authenticity and obligation, by F.A. Olafson.--Pessimism and optimism in Sartre's thought, by F. Jeanson.--Sartre as critic, by H. Wardman.--Sartre's literary criticism, by O. Hahn.--Sartre as a playwright: The flies and Dirty hands, by W. Kaufmann.--Sartre as dramatist, by D. Bradby.--The existentialist rediscovery of Hegel and Marx, by G.L. Kline.--Sartre's ideal of social unity, by H.R. Burkel.--Praxis and dialectic in Sartre's critique, by A. (...) Manser.--Sartre and the humanist tradition in sociology, by M.A. and D. Weinstein.--Bibliography (p. -390). (shrink)
ON DECEMBER 10, 1991 Charles Shonubi, a Nigerian citizen but a resident of the USA, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport for the importation of heroin into the United States.1 Shonubi's modus operandi was ``balloon swallowing.'' That is, heroin was mixed with another substance to form a paste and this paste was sealed in balloons which were then swallowed. The idea was that once the illegal substance was safely inside the USA, the smuggler would pass the balloons and (...) recover the heroin. On the date of his arrest, Shonubi was found to have swallowed 103 balloons containing a total of 427.4 grams of heroin. There was little doubt about Shonubi's guilt. In fact, there was considerable evidence that he had made at least seven prior heroin-smuggling trips to the USA (although he was not tried for these). In October 1992 Shonubi was convicted in a United States District Court for possessing and importing heroin. Although the conviction was only for crimes associated with Shonubi's arrest date of December 10, 1991, the sentencing judge, Jack B. Weinstein, also made a ®nding that Shonubi had indeed made seven prior drug-smuggling trips to the USA. The interesting part of this case was in the sentencing. According to the federal sentencing guidelines, the sentence in cases such as this should depend on the total quantity of heroin involved. This instruction was interpreted rather broadly.. (shrink)