Conscious experience presents a deep puzzle. On the one hand, a fairly robust materialism must be true in order to explain how it is that conscious events causally interact with non-conscious, physical events. On the other hand, we cannot explain how physical phenomena give rise to conscious experience. In this wide-ranging study, Joseph Levine explores both sides of the mind-body dilemma, presenting the first book-length treatment of his highly influential ideas on the "explanatory gap," the fact that we can't (...) explain the nature of phenomenal experience in terms of its physical realization. He presents a careful argument that there is such a gap, and, after providing intriguing analyses of virtually all existing theories of consciousness, shows that recent attempts to close it fall short of the mark. Levine concludes that in the foreseeable future consciousness will remain a mystery. (shrink)
In keeping with other recent efforts, Fodor's CONCEPTS focuses on the metaphysics of conceptual content, bracketing such epistemological questions as, "How can we know the contents of our concepts?" Fodor's metaphysical account of concepts, called "informational atomism," stipulates that the contents of a subject's concepts are fixed by the nomological lockings between the subject and the world. After sketching Fodor's "what else?" argument in support of this view, we offer a number of related criticisms. All point to the same conclusion: (...) Fodor is ultimately not merely bracketing the epistemology of conceptual content; his theory makes answers to the epistemological questions impossible. (shrink)
This article presents the importance of and concomitant ethical and legal concerns regarding the implementation of team-based work system designs in American corporations. It concludes by reconciling some of the important issues and providing direction for future action.
This essay interprets the controversy over Richard Serra's monumental sculpture, Tilted Arc , which was designed for a public plaza in downtown Manhattan in 1979 and then torn down five years later after intense public outcry. Levine reads this controversy as characteristic of contemporary debates over the arts, which continue the tradition of the nineteenth century avant-garde, pitting art against a wider public, and insisting that art must deliberately resist mainstream tastes and values in favor of marginality and innovation. (...) This definition of art has posed a lasting dilemma for democratic societies: how, after all, should a democracy deal with art that represents an intentional rejection of the majority? The problem becomes even more intractable when it comes to avant-garde art commissioned for public spaces, where the art object can challenge public tastes and movements in a way that is inescapable for those who must live and work in the space. Disturbed by the imposition of a massive and incomprehensible art object in a public plaza, Serra's opponents argued that Tilted Arc frustrated a whole range of socially beneficial activities, labor and leisure alike. And they claimed that Serra's supporters were dangerously anti-democratic. But despite the avant-garde's challenge to majority tastes, this essay makes the case that it remains a democratic value to continue to sponsor avant-garde art in public spaces. (shrink)
In these learned essays, Joseph M. Levine shows how the idea and method of modern history first began to develop during the Renaissance, when a clear distinction between history and fiction was first proposed. The new claims for history were met by a new skepticism in a debate that still echoes today. Levine's first three essays discuss Thomas More's preoccupation with the distinction between history and fiction Erasmus's biblical criticism and the contribution of Renaissance philology to critical method (...) and the way in which Renaissance rhetoric, as in Thomas Elyot's Book of the Governor, continued to inhibit the autonomy of history. He then shows how these issues persisted into the eighteenth century, even as critical method developed. He concludes with a close description of the great controversy that culminated in Edward Gibbon's day over the authenticity of a biblical text that had been used for centuries to defend the Trinity but which turned out to be a forgery. Levine shows how by then all sides were ready to concede the autonomy of history. (shrink)
It is one thing to lament the financial pressures put on universities, quite another to face up to the poverty of resources for thinking about what universities should do when they purport to offer a liberal education. In Powers of the Mind, former University of Chicago dean Donald N. Levine enriches those resources by proposing fresh ways to think about liberal learning with ideas more suited to our times. He does so by defining basic values of modernity and then (...) considering curricular principles pertinent to them. The principles he favors are powers of the mind—disciplines understood as fields of study defined not by subject matter but by their embodiment of distinct intellectual capacities. To illustrate, Levine draws on his own lifetime of teaching and educational leadership, while providing a marvelous summary of exemplary educational thinkers at the University of Chicago who continue to inspire. Out of this vital tradition, Powers of the Mind constructs a paradigm for liberal arts today, inclusive of all perspectives and applicable to all settings in the modern world. (shrink)
Do mountains exist? The answer to this question is surely: yes. In fact, ‘mountain’ is the example of a kind of geographic feature or thing most commonly cited by English speakers (Mark, et al., 1999; Smith and Mark 2001), and this result may hold across many languages and cultures. But whether they are considered as individuals (tokens) or as kinds (types), mountains do not exist in quite the same unequivocal sense as do such prototypical everyday objects as chairs (...) or people. (shrink)
Michael P. Levine, Tamas Pataki. the case of racism. If one understands racism to be rooted in some underlying psychological structure, then while what is ordinarily called racist behavior may well be indicative of such an underlying structure, ...
This book combines contemporary ethical theory, literary interpretation, and historical narrative to defend a view of the humanities as a source of moral guidance. Peter Levine argues that moral philosophers should interpret narratives and literary critics should adopt moral positions. His new analysis of Dante’s story of Paolo and Francesca sheds new light on the moral advantages and pitfalls of narratives versus ethical theories and principles.
This paper discusses the debate between atomists and molecularists regarding the nature of mental content. A molecularist believes that some, but not all, of a mental symbol's inferential connections to other mental symbols, are at least partly constitutive of that symbol's intentional content. An atomist believes that none of the symbol's inferential connections play such a constitutive role. The paper is divided into two principal parts. First, attempts by Michael Devitt and Georges Rey to defend molecularism against traditional Quinean arguments (...) are evaluated. The conclusion is that their attempts fall short of providing an adequate defense. Second, the prospects for an atomistic theory are investigated, building on the various remarks of Fodor and LePore in their book. Holism: A Shopper's Guide. It is argued that the prospects are better than at first they appear. (shrink)
In this paper I propose a model of demonstrative thought. I distinguish token-demonstratives, that pick out individuals, from type-demonstratives, that pick out kinds, or properties, and provide a similar treatment for both. I argue that it follows from my model of demonstrative thought, as well as from independent considerations, that demonstration, as a mental act, operates directly on mental representations, not external objects. That is, though the relation between a demonstrative and the object or property demonstrated is semantically direct, the (...) mechanism by which a demonstrative acquires its referent involves mediation by a perceptual representation. Finally, I argue that so-called 'demonstrative concepts'—which I treat as type-demonstratives—cannot perform the various philosophical functions that have been assigned to them. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that color is a relational feature of the distal objects of perception, a way of appearing. I begin by outlining three constraints any theory of color should satisfy: (i) physicalism about the non-mental world, (ii) consistency with what is known from color science, and (iii) transparency about color experience. Traditional positions on the ontological status of color, such as physicalist reduction of color to spectral re?ectance, subjectivism, dispositional- ism, and primitivism, fail, I claim, to meet (...) all three constraints. By treating color as a relational property, a way of appearing, the three constraints can be met. However, serious problems for this view emerge when considering the relation between illusory color experiences (particularly hallucinations) and veridical color experiences. I do not propose a solution to these problems. (shrink)
In this paper, I attempt to demonstrate the structure of Sellars' critical direct realism in the philosophy of perception. This position is original because it attempts to balance two claims that many have thought to be incompatible: (1) that perceptual knowledge is direct, i.e., not inferential, and (2) that perceptual knowledge is irreducibly conceptual. Even though perceptual episodes are not the result of inferences, they must still stand within the space of reasons if they are to be counted not only (...) as knowledge, but also as thoughts directed at the world. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate how Sellars elaborates and defends this position. (shrink)
Do our minds extend beyond our brains? In a series of publications, Mark Rowlands has argued that the correct answer to this question is an affirmative one. According to Rowlands, certain types of operations on bodily and worldly structures should be considered to be proper and literal parts of our cognitive and mental processes. In this article, I present and critically evaluate Rowlands' position.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens o Mark Twain es el autor del Diario de Adán y Eva, Un yanki en la corte del rey Arturo, Las aventuras de Tom Sawyer, Las aventuras de Huckleberry Finn y otras. Este escritor norteamericano asumió la práctica literaria como un asunto que va más allá del entretenimiento: escribió para interpelar al lector. Y este detalle salta a la vista con un libro que rara veces es referenciado: Sobre la decadencia del arte de mentir, texto que (...) aborda una enfermedad axiológica en el mundo moderno: los peligros que acarrea seguir al pie de la letra los postulados universales de un Deber y una Verdad abstracta. A continuación se hace un análisis de este problema. (shrink)
According to the thesis of the extended mind (EM) , at least some token cognitive processes extend into the cognizing subject's environment in the sense that they are (partly) composed of manipulative, exploitative, and transformative operations performed by that subject on suitable environmental structures. EM has attracted four ostensibly distinct types of objection. This paper has two goals. First, it argues that these objections all reduce to one basic sort: all the objections can be resolved by the provision of an (...) adequate and properly motivated criterion—or mark—of the cognitive. Second, it provides such a criterion—one made up of four conditions that are sufficient for a process to count as cognitive. (shrink)
An archive of Mark Sharlow's two blogs, "The Unfinishable Scroll" and "Religion: the Next Version." Covers Sharlow's views on metaphysics, epistemology, mind, science, religion, and politics. Includes topics and ideas not found in his papers.
<span class='Hi'>Mark</span> Balaguer’s project in this book is extremely ambitious; he sets out to defend both platonism and ﬁctionalism about mathematical entities. Moreover, Balaguer argues that at the end of the day, platonism and ﬁctionalism are on an equal footing. Not content to leave the matter there, however, he advances the anti-metaphysical conclusion that there is no fact of the matter about the existence of mathematical objects.1 Despite the ambitious nature of this project, for the most part Balaguer does (...) not shortchange the reader on rigor; all the main theses advanced are argued for at length and with remarkable clarity and cogency. There are, of course, gaps in the account (some of which are described below) but these should not be allowed to overshadow the sig-. (shrink)
In addition to the standard ellipsis process known as VP-ellipsis, another ellipsis process, known as pseudo-gapping, was first brought to the fore-front in the 1970’s by Sag (1976) and N. Levin (1986). This process elides subparts of a VP, as in (1): (1) Although I don’t like steak, I do___pizza. Developing ideas of K.S. Jayaseelan (Jayaseelan (1990)), Howard Lasnik has developed an analysis in which pseudo-gapping, which, in some instances, looks as though it is simply deleting a verb, is in (...) fact deletion of a verb phrase, so that pseudo-gapping is really a probe into the structure of the verb phrase. I will examine pseudo-gapping in detail, and will show that it truly is a gold mine of insight into a number of fundamental issues in syntax. More concretely, I will demonstrate that a careful, detailed analysis of this process will bear on the derivational level at which Principle A of the binding theory applies, as well as the amount of explicit encoding within syntactic representations of informational structure, particularly focus. The paper will also re-assess Lasnik’s conclusion that pseudo-gapping provides evidence for Larson’s (1988) V-raising to a higher empty V position, a case of head movement, and will show that the movement involved is actually a case of remnant movement, or XP-movement. (shrink)
‘It is of the very nature of consciousness to be intentional’ said Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘and a consciousness that ceases to be a consciousness of something would ipso facto cease to exist’.1 Sartre here endorses the central doctrine of Husserl’s phenomenology, itself inspired by a famous idea of Brentano’s: that intentionality, the mind’s ‘direction upon its objects’, is what is distinctive of mental phenomena. Brentano’s originality does not lie in pointing out the existence of intentionality, or in inventing the terminology, which (...) derives from scholastic discussions of concepts or intentiones.2 Rather, his originality consists in his claim that the concept of intentionality marks out the subject matter of psychology: the mental. His view was that intentionality ‘is characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. No physical phenomenon manifests anything like it’.3 This is Brentano’s thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental. Despite the centrality of the concept of intentionality in contemporary philosophy of mind, and despite the customary homage paid to Brentano as the one who revived the terminology and placed the concept at the centre of philosophy, Brentano’s thesis is widely rejected by contemporary philosophers of mind. What is more, its rejection is not something which is thought to require substantial philosophical argument. Rather, the falsity of the thesis is taken as a starting-point in many contemporary discussions of intentionality, something so obvious that it only needs to be stated to be recognised as true. Consider, for instance, these remarks from the opening pages of Searle’s Intentionality: Some, not all, mental states and events have Intentionality. Beliefs, fears, hopes and desires are Intentional; but there are forms of nervousness, elation and undirected anxiety that are not Intentional.... My beliefs and desires must always be about something. But my nervousness and undirected anxiety need not in that way be about anything.4 Searle takes this as obvious, so obvious that it is not in need of further argument or elucidation. (shrink)
This paper examines a paradigm case of allegedly successful reductive explanation, viz. the explanation of the fact that water boils at 100°C based on facts about H2O. The case figures prominently in Joseph Levine’s explanatory gap argument against physicalism. The paper studies the way the argument evolved in the writings of Levine, focusing especially on the question how the reductive explanation of boiling water figures in the argument. It will turn out that there are two versions of the (...) explanatory gap argument to be found in Levine’s writings. The earlier version relies heavily on conceptual analysis and construes reductive explanation as a process of deduction. The later version makes do without conceptual analysis and understands reductive explanations as based on theoretic reductions that are justified by explanatory power. Along the way will be shown that the bridge principles — which are being neglected in the explanatory gap literature — play a crucial role in the explanatory gap argument. (shrink)
Response to Mark Schroeder’s Slaves of the passions Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9656-3 Authors Jonathan Dancy, The University of Reading, Reading, UK Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Recently, it has been a part of the so-called consequentializing project to attempt to construct versions of consequentialism that can support agent-relative moral constraints. Mark Schroeder has argued that such views are bound to fail because they cannot make sense of the agent relative value on which they need to rely. In this paper, I provide a fitting-attitude account of both agent-relative and agent-neutral values that can together be used to consequentialize agent-relative constraints.
In Slaves of the Passions, Mark Schroeder provides a systematic, rigorously argued defense of a Humean theory of reasons for action, taking pains to respond to influential objections to the view. While inspired by Hume, Schroeder makes it clear that he aims to develop a Humean theory, not necessarily one that Hume himself embraced, and for this reason little is said about Hume in the book. One respect in which Schroeder takes himself to be departing from Hume is in (...) developing a normative account. On his reading, Hume held that only beliefs could stand in the reason relation (187, n11), whereas Schroeder, like many contemporary Humeans, holds that actions can as well. He sets out to develop a theory of this .. (shrink)
In recent times there have been a number of proposals for a nominalistic philosophy of mathematics. These proposals divide into two quite distinct camps: those who take mathematical propositions to be true, and those who take them to be untrue.2 Both options face substantial difficulties, but let’s focus on the first option. The problem here is in asserting that mathematical propositions such as ‘there exist infinitely many complex roots of the Riemann zeta function’ are true (as this one surely is) (...) and then to go on to deny that there are any complex numbers. To do this just seems inconsistent, or at least “intellectually dishonest” (Putnam, 1971, p. 347). One way to approach this problem is to reinterpret the mathematical claims in question so that they come out true, but do not refer to mathematical objects. So for example, Geoffrey Hellman  interprets mathematical claims to be about possible structures. Such options, since they do not take mathematical claims at face value, must employ a non-uniform semantics and this is thought, by almost everyone, to be a significant price to pay for one’s nominalism. The problem is particularly acute when one considers mixed mathematical and empirical statements such as ‘there exists a planet with mass m and location (x, y, z) and a function G that describes the gravitational potential of the planet at time t’. Here different parts of a single sentence must be treated differently—the talk of planets (and perhaps fields) is treated literally but the mathematical parts are treated non-literally. Apparently the only alternative to reinterpreting mathematical discourse is to follow Hartry Field  and deny the truth of mathematical propositions. But this option is very counterintuitive. (shrink)
In Slaves of the Passions Mark Schroeder puts forward Hypotheticalism, his version of a Humean theory of normative reasons that is capable, so he argues, to avoid many of the difficulties Humeanism is traditionally vulnerable to. In this critical notice, I first outline the main argument of the book, and then proceed to highlight some difficulties and challenges. I argue that these challenges show that Schroeder's improvements on traditional Humeanism – while they do succeed in making the view more (...) immune to some argumentative moves and somewhat more plausible – pushes rather strongly in non-Humean directions. This, together with the remaining failures of Schroeder's Hypotheticalism, should make us more rather than less suspicious of the prospects of Humeanism. (shrink)
Andy Clark once remarked that we make the world smart so we don’t have to be (Clark, 1997). What he meant was that human beings (along with many other animals) alter and transform their environments in order to accomplish certain tasks that would prove difficult (or indeed impossible) without such transformations. This remarkable insight goes a long way towards explaining many aspects of human culture, ranging from linguistic notational systems to how we structure our cities. It also provides the basis (...) for Mark Rowlands’ thought-provoking and insightful book, The New Science of the Mind. (shrink)
The metaphysical importance of the compatibility question: comments on Mark Balaguer’s Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-12 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9897-4 Authors Michael McKenna, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Mark Schroeder’s Hypotheticalism: agent-neutrality, moral epistemology, and methodology Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9657-2 Authors Tristram McPherson, Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota Duluth, 361 A. B. Anderson Hall, 1121 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
In Morality Without Foundations, Mark Timmons argues that moral judgments (e.g. “cruelty is wrong”) have what he calls “evaluative assertoric content,” and so, are true or false. However, I argue that, even if correct, this argument renders moral truth or falsity mysterious.
During the past decade, the so-called “hypothesis of cognitive extension,” according to which the material vehicles of some cognitive processes are spatially distributed over the brain and the extracranial parts of the body and the world, has received lots of attention, both favourable and unfavourable. The debate has largely focussed on three related issues: (1) the role of parity considerations, (2) the role of functionalism, and (3) the importance of a mark of the cognitive. This paper critically assesses these (...) issues and their interconnections. Section 1 provides a brief introduction. Section 2 argues that some of the most prominent objections against the appeal to parity considerations fail. Section 3 shows that such considerations are nevertheless unsuitable as an argument for cognitive extension. First, the actual argumentative burden is carried by an underlying commitment to functionalism, not by the parity considerations themselves. Second, in the absence of an independently motivated mark of the cognitive, the argument based on parity considerations does not get off the ground, but given such a mark, it is superfluous. Section 4 argues that a similar dilemma arises for the attempt to defend cognitive extension by a general appeal to functionalism. Unless it can be independently settled what it is for a process to be cognitive, functionalism itself will be undermined by the possibility of cognitive extension. Like parity considerations, functionalism is thus either unable to support cognitive extension or superfluous. Hence, nothing short of the specification of an appropriate mark of the cognitive that can be fulfilled not only by intracranial but also by extended processes will do as an argument for cognitive extension. (shrink)
The aim of this book is to defend ‘explanatory gap’, Levine’s own influential notion in the philosophical studies of phenomenal consciousness. The entire book proves how clear and systematic are Levine’s arguments in dealing with even as highly intractable an issue as the mystery of consciousness. The mind-body problem in a contemporary guise is rooted in two prima facie plausible but incompatible propositions that philosophers have reached: (1) Some form of materialism or physicalism is true. (2) Phenomenal consciousness, (...) raw feel, or qualia cannot be explained physicalistically. The traditional strategy for solving the problem is simply to reject one or the other of these propositions. Thus some philosophers reject (1) and become dualists accordingly, and others reject (2) and become materialists accordingly. Levine, however, ventures to accept both of them at the same time. That is, while he defends materialism he also believes that we can never make a priori derivations from physical facts to phenomenal facts. (shrink)
An inadequate grasp of the role of imagination has vitiated understanding of human cognition in western thinking. Extending a project initiated with George Lakoff in _Metaphors we Live By_ (1980), Mark Johnson's book _The Body in the Mind_ (1987) offers the claim that all thinking originates in bodily experience. A range of schemata formed during our early experience manipulating a physical world of surfaces, distances, and forces, lays the foundation of later, more abstract modes of thought. In presenting his (...) argument, Johnson lays special stress on the qualities and dynamics of the image schemata, the (generally unnoticed) metaphoricity of the transformations underlying abstract thought, and the new significance that should be attributed to the imagination, which is the general term Johnson wishes to claim for the mental processes he expounds. In this paper I draw attention to the importance of Johnson's insights for understanding literary response. In particular, I will show how a typical procedure of literary texts involves bringing to awareness image schemata of the kind that Johnson describes. At the same time, several problems in Johnson's account which limit its usefulness will also be examined: an undue reliance upon the spatial properties of schemata; a conflation of dead with live or poetic metaphors; and a neglect of other bodily influences on thought, especially kinaesthetic and affective aspects. These problems, for example, limit the usefulness of Johnson's attempt to build on Kant's theory of imagination. In comparison with Coleridge, who also attempted to build on Kant, Johnson is unable to overcome the formalism of Kant's theory. Coleridge's account of imagination, I will suggest, provides a better foundation for examining the bodily basis of meaning, while remaining compatible with Johnson's intentions and his more valuable insights. (shrink)
“Choose your words wisely,” my mother used to say, “because you never know who’s listening.” Oddly, this is something about which my dear mother and Mark Richard apparently would agree. They both seem to think that the words you use say something about who you are, and if you use bad words, then you are a bad person. About this, I have no doubt that they are right - those who use slurs, at least in the context of many (...) assertive utterances, are surely racists, anti-Semites or whatever. But MR in his paper points out that matters go further than this, for our conversational interactions with slur words can show us to be of such dubious moral status even if we don’t utter them; just our normal practices of accepting the utterances of others would be sufficient for this result. But something is surely amiss here; no doubt we can know the meaning of slur-words, and so comprehend the utterances of others, without impugning our moral stature in any way. (shrink)
artificial life, each of which is a grand challenge requiring a major advance on a fundamental issue for its solution. Each problem is briefly explained, and, where deemed helpful, some promising paths to its solution are indicated.
In this article the author maintains that complexity theory relies on reductionist assumptions, showing itself not to be completely convincing in dealing with the issue of novelty. First, an outline of Mark C. Taylor's The Moment of Complexity is presented as an exemplary case, particularly for his attempt to import complexity theory into the social sciences. Then, the connection between complexity theory and evolutionism is considered, arguing that this connection prevents complexity theory from giving a convincing account of the (...) emergence of novelty. A provisional conclusion is offered by arguing that novelty should be conceived as arising from a "widening" of reduction at the individual level. (shrink)
Griffiths (2001) make a number of comments about James Mark Baldwin's motivations and character at the time that he was developing what later became known as the "Baldwin effect." Some of these comments I found to be misleading. I attempt to correct the historical record concerning the origins of the "Baldwin effect.".
s a r gume nt s i n de a l i ng wi t h e ve n a s hi ghl y i nt r a c t a bl e an issue as the mystery of consciousness.<span class='Hi'></span> The mind-body problem in a contemporary guise is rooted in two prima facie plausible but incompatible propositions that philosophers have reached:<span class='Hi'></span> (1)<span class='Hi'></span> Some form of materialism or physicalism is true.<span class='Hi'></span> (2)<span class='Hi'></span> Phenomenal consciousness,<span class='Hi'></span> raw feel,<span (...) class='Hi'></span> or qualia cannot be explained physicalistically.<span class='Hi'></span> The traditional strategy for solving the problem is simply to reject one or the other of these propositions.<span class='Hi'></span> Thus some philosophers reject <span class='Hi'></span>(1)<span class='Hi'></span> and become dualists accordingly,<span class='Hi'></span> and others reject <span class='Hi'></span>(2)<span class='Hi'></span> and become materialists accordingly.<span class='Hi'></span> Levine,<span class='Hi'></span> however,<span class='Hi'></span> ventures to accept both of them at the same time.<span class='Hi'></span> That is,<span class='Hi'></span> while he defends materialism he also believes that we can never make a priori derivations from physical facts to phenomenal facts.<span class='Hi'></span> Chapter 1 of the book is devoted to establishing <span class='Hi'></span>(1)<span class='Hi'></span>. In order to define his materialism Levine reflects nested dilemmas that materialism in general confronts.<span class='Hi'></span> The di l e mma s go a s f ol l ows.<span class='Hi'></span>. (shrink)
Mark Dooley has recently argued (principally against Simon Critchley) that the attempt to establish too strong a connection between Jacques Derrida and Emmanuel Levinas not only distorts crucial disparities between their respective philosophies, it also contaminates Derridas recent work with Levinass inherent political naivety. In short, on Dooleys reading, Levinas is only of inspirational value for Derrida. I am not concerned with defending Critchleys own reading of the DerridaLevinas connection. My objective is rather to demonstrate, first, the way in (...) which Dooleys argument hinges upon a misreading of Levinas and Derrida, and, second, why Derridas recent thinking is in fact fundamentally Levinasian. Key Words: contingency guilt Holocaust hospitality institutions nature suffering third party violence. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that, though Levine frequently states that "Divine Discourse" is full of fundamental errors, he does little by way of proving his point. In particular, I defend the claim in "Divine Discourse" that divine speech is not a species of revelation. I rebut Levine's account of the significance of Biblical scholarship, defend my interpretation of Ricoeur and my remarks on entitlement.
The ideological interface between Muslims and liberal educators undoubtedly is strained in the realm of sex education, and perhaps on no topic more so than homosexuality. Mark Halstead argues that schools should not try to ?undermine the faith? of Muslims, who object to teaching homosexuality as an ?acceptable alternative lifestyle?. In this article, I will argue against his monolithic presentation of Islam. Furthermore, I will argue that because Halstead presents a narrow view of Islam he is neglectful of gay (...) and lesbian Muslims who are particularly vulnerable to the unrepentant hostilities of their own communities, and he limits the options available to sex educators in such a way as to discourage genuine encounters between homosexuals and Muslims. (shrink)
According to a subjectivist view of some concept, C, there is an a priori implication of subjective responses in C's application or possession conditions. Subjectivists who intend their view to be descriptive of our practice with C will hold that it is possible for there to be true empirical claims which explain such responses in terms of certain things being C. Mark Johnston's "missing-explanation argument" employs a substitution principle with a view to establishing that these strands of subjectivism are (...) inconsistent. I suggest that Johnston's substitution principle survives an attempt by Alex Miller to show that it is unreliable, but that it is prey to a counterexample which cannot be explained away by the proponent of the missing-explanation argument. I conclude that the missing-explanation argument poses no threat to subjectivism. (shrink)
Mark Jordan’s recent book, Rewritten Theology, challenges the way in which the achievement of Thomas Aquinas has been both received and reformulated,often in order to serve particular theological and philosophical ends. It helps to unmask the often hidden presuppositions behind efforts to “police” Thomism, efforts which frequently require a revision and a rewriting of the texts of Aquinas themselves. At a time when it appears that there is a repristinization of the Thomistic “synthesis” reminiscent of Garrigou-Lagrange, this book is (...) an auspicious reminder that such “synthesis” often comes at the cost of fidelity to theMaster in whose name it is fashioned. (shrink)
In a recent article in The European Legacy, Mark Cortes Favis argued that the figure of Kierkegaard expressed a tension between two aspects of writing?the Socratic and the Platonic. While Favis is correct to see a duality in Kierkegaard's writing, his article does not fully answer the problem of how we can account for our interpretation of this tension. Given that the duality within Kierkegaard's writing transgresses the boundaries of author and reader, we cannot easily circumscribe any claims on (...) his writing without considering its effect on our reading. Rather, the characteristic duality of his authority manifests itself in a number of ways in the task of identifying the philosophical meaning of his texts. Kierkegaard's relationship to Socrates is thus symptomatic of a number of figural dualities that pervade interpretations of his work. By surveying the ways in which these interpretations draw on the axiom of duality in order to ascribe an authority to Kierkegaard's texts, I suggest Favis's argument that Kierkegaard's writing expresses both Socratic and Platonic aspects should be placed within the wider duality at work in the interpretation of Kierkegaard's work. (shrink)
Abstract This paper critically examines John Mark Mattox's view of the nature of the moral appropriateness of particular response options. By so doing, I aim to engage the wider readership in a debate, which I hope leads to greater clarity and precision of thinking on these topics. After summarizing Mattox's view, I argue first that in order for Mattox's ultimate conclusion to hold in moral terms, he must abandon the argument on the permissibility of nuclear reprisal to re-establish nuclear (...) deterrence and instead anchor this response solely on the moral grounds of retributive justice. Secondly, I argue that the morally superior and politically efficacious counter-nuclear terrorist response is to hunt down the nuclear terrorists and hold them accountable for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. This response is consistent with just war theoretic principles, and it also affirms the moral virtues of honor, dignity, and humane treatment in contexts where they are needed the most ? the holocausts of nuclear terrorist attacks. (shrink)
Perhaps the philosophical thesis most commonly associated with Brentano is that intentionality is the mark of the mental. But in fact Brentano often and centrally uses also what he calls ‘inner perception’ to demarcate the mental. In this paper, I offer a new interpretation of Brentano’s conception of the interrelations between mentality, intentionality, and inner perception. According to this interpretation, Brentano took the concept of mind to be a natural-kind concept, with intentionality constituting the underlying nature of the mental (...) and inner-perceivability serving as the concept’s reference-fixer. (shrink)
Applied mathematics often operates by way of shakily rationalizedexpedients that can neither be understood in a deductive-nomological nor in an anti-realist setting.Rather do these complexities, so a recent paper of Mark Wilson argues, indicate some element in ourmathematical descriptions that is alien to the physical world. In this vein the mathematical opportunistopenly seeks or engineers appropriate conditions for mathematics to get hold on a given problem.Honest mathematical optimists, instead, try to liberalize mathematical ontology so as to include all physicalsolutions. (...) Following John von Neumann, the present paper argues that the axiomatization of a scientifictheory can be performed in a rather opportunistic fashion, such that optimism and opportunism appear as twomodes of a single strategy whose relative weight is determined by the status of the field to beinvestigated. Wilson's promising approach may thus be reformulated so as to avoid precarious talk about a physicalworld that is void of mathematical structure. This also makes the appraisal of the axiomatic method inapplied matthematics less dependent upon foundationalist issues. (shrink)
[Przekład] Czy nasze umysły wykraczają poza nasze mózgi? W serii swoich publikacji Mark Rowlands argumentuje za pozytywną odpowiedzią na to pytanie. Zgodnie z Rowlandsem pewne typy działań w cielesnych lub materialnych układach należy rozpatrywać jako właściwe i dosłowne elementy naszych procesów poznawczych czy mentalnych. W niniejszym artykule dokonuję krytycznego omówienia stanowiska Rowlandsa.
In a recent essay appearing in this journal, I argued that, even on the assumption that the fetus is a person from the moment of conception, a Christian can consistently hold that while abortion is always murder, it ought to be legally permitted. On the assumption that the ultimate fate of moral innocents is eternal bliss, abortion, I argued, does not result in thesort of harm that ought to be legally prohibited under certain principles of moral legitimacy. Mark C. (...) Murphy published a response to this essay in which he disputes my argument that abortion does not, under such an assumption, result in harm. In this brief essay, I reply to his criticism. (shrink)
Although he has written extensively on a broad array of topics, Mark Bevir is most famous for his influential and controversial book The Logic of the History of Ideas (Cambridge University Press, 1999). In a wide-ranging interview, Bevir responds to a number of criticisms and mischaracterizations of the book, clarifies his aims in writing it, and identifies his relationship of his postfoundationalism to both analytical and continental philosophy. Additionally, Bevir articulates a hitherto unexpected ethical dimension to the work, suggesting (...) that it seeks to provide for a philosophy of the human sciences that incorporates those capacities for agency and reasoning that make us fully human and are thus deserving of respect. As such, he connects the book to the broader web of moral and political beliefs that underpin his work as a whole. (shrink)
In The Nature of Consciousness, Mark Rowlands argues that phenomenal properties, which constitute what it is like to have a conscious experience, are “transcendental”: that they are properties by which we are conscious of the nonphenomenal world, but they are not objects of conscious awareness or even linguistic reference. He uses that conclusion to support a mysterian position on the explanatory-gap problem: that it is impossible to understand how phenomenal consciousness arises from physical systems such as the brain.
In Decision Theory as Philosophy, Mark Kaplan reissues a number of perennial questions within decision theory and epistemology, particularly regarding the relevance of decision theory to epistemology and the scope of an epistemology informed by a “modest” Bayesian decision theory. Much of Kaplan’s book represents a challenge to what he calls the “Orthodox” Bayesian theory of decision and evidence. His arguments turn positive in the fourth chapter, in which he argues for the “Assertion View” of belief---an attempted reconciliation of (...) the categorical notion of belief (as distinct from disbelief) with that of confidence, which comes in degrees. Theapproach to epistemology manifest in Decision Theory, while commendable in some respects, suffers fundamentally from its methodological commitment to the primacy of preference principles over and above distinctively epistemic principles. But to express this last misgiving is just to doubt whether decision theory has much of its own to contribute to epistemology. (shrink)
Professor Strawson was interviewed on video on location at King's College, London during the Spring of 1992. Professor Strawson discusses his thoughts on a variety of topics on which he has written previously, providing some illuminating insights into how his thoughts has progressed. The text published here is en excerpt from this interview, translated with kind permission of Mr Rudolf V. Fara, the producer, in which prof. Strawson discusses his philosophical views with Martin Davies, Wilde Reader in Mental Philosophy at (...) Oxford University, and Mark Sainsbury, Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy at King's College, University of London. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss the claim (advanced in various ways by Joseph Levine, Frank Jackson and David Chalmers) that the successful reduction of qualitative to physical states requires some sort of intelligible connection between our qualitative and physical concepts, which in turn requires a conceptual analysis of our qualitative concepts in causal-functional terms. While I defend this claim against some of its recent critics, I ultimately dispute it, and propose a different way to get the requisite intelligible connection (...) between qualitative and physical concepts. (shrink)
Instead of reading Spinoza's account of the imagination in an anthropocentric way, as dependent on the traditional doctrine of human faculties, the author considers it as a consequence of his physics and cosmology. Knowledge by signs, as Spinoza calls imagination, has to be rooted in his theory of marks and images, and concerns all beings (human and non human) that are capable of marking and being marked by other bodies in the infinite semiosis of nature.