While most Chaucer critics interested in gender and sexuality have used psychoanalytic theory to analyze Chaucer's poetry, MarkMiller re-examines the links between sexuality and the philosophical analysis of agency in medieval texts such as the Canterbury Tales, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, and the Romance of the Rose. Chaucer's philosophical sophistication provides the basis for a new interpretation of the emerging notions of sexual desire and romantic love in the late Middle Ages.
In chapter 8 of Miller 2003, I argued against the idea that Jackson and Pettit's notion of program explanation might help Sturgeon's non-reductive naturalist version of moral realism respond to the explanatory challenge posed by Harman. In a recent paper in the AJP[Nelson 2006, Mark Nelson has attempted to defend the idea that program explanation might prove useful to Sturgeon in replying to Harman. In this note, I suggest that Nelson's argument fails.
This volume is a direct result of a conference held at Princeton University to honor George A. Miller, an extraordinary psychologist. A distinguished panel of speakers from various disciplines -- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial intelligence -- were challenged to respond to Dr. Miller's query: "What has happened to cognition? In other words, what has the past 30 years contributed to our understanding of the mind? Do we really know anything that wasn't already clear to William James?" Each (...) participant tried to stand back a little from his or her most recent work, but to address the general question from his or her particular standpoint. The chapters in the present volume derive from that occasion. (shrink)
My initial hope when I first saw Miller’s book was that here at least would be a work which satisfies the long standing need for a comprehensive introduction to contemporary metaethics which is accessible enough to be employed in advanced undergraduate courses and introductory graduate seminars. This hope was only partially realized, however, as Miller ends up oscillating between clear presentations of extant debates in the recent literature and his own extended attempts to determine where the truth of (...) the matter lies. The result is an interesting book that likely will appeal both to those looking for a classroom text in metaethics as well as to experts on the relevant issues. (shrink)
Earlier in the pages of this journal (p 481), Wendler and Miller offered the "net risks test" as an alternative approach to the ethical analysis of benefits and harms in research. They have been vocal critics of the dominant view of benefit-harm analysis in research ethics, which encompasses core concepts of duty of care, clinical equipoise and component analysis. They had been challenged to come up with a viable alternative to component analysis which meets five criteria. The alternative must (...) (1) protect research subjects; (2) allow clinical research to proceed; (3) explain how physicians may offer trial enrolment to their patients; (4) address the challenges posed by research containing a mixture of interventions and (5) define ethical standards according to which the risks and potential benefits of research may be consistently evaluated. This response argues that the net risks test meets none of these criteria and concludes that it is not a viable alternative to component analysis. (shrink)
The scientific, ethical, and policy issues raised by research involving the engraftment of human neural stem cells into the brains of nonhuman primates are explored by an interdisciplinary working group in this Policy Forum. The authors consider the possibility that this research might alter the cognitive capacities of recipient great apes and monkeys, with potential significance for their moral status.
We apply a cognitive modeling approach to the problem of measuring expertise on rank ordering problems. In these problems, people must order a set of items in terms of a given criterion (e.g., ordering American holidays through the calendar year). Using a cognitive model of behavior on this problem that allows for individual differences in knowledge, we are able to infer people's expertise directly from the rankings they provide. We show that our model-based measure of expertise outperforms self-report measures, taken (...) both before and after completing the ordering of items, in terms of correlation with the actual accuracy of the answers. These results apply to six general knowledge tasks, like ordering American holidays, and two prediction tasks, involving sporting and television competitions. Based on these results, we discuss the potential and limitations of using cognitive models in assessing expertise. (shrink)
The article begins with the gospels’ admonition to take up one's cross and asks how Christians might understand Christ's work on the cross so that we might better imitate or participate in it. Using tools from recent advances in literary analysis and systematic theology, the article attempts to provide some answer to this question. It considers contemporary feminist and liberation theologians’ criticism of the common but problematic interpretation of Christ's cross, what is often called ‘substitutionary penal atonement.’ It compares this (...) with Anselm's atonement theory of satisfaction and Bernard Lonergan's and René Girard's analysis of the cross as a communication of love that invites others into loving relationship. With these interpretations of Christ's work, it concludes with some thoughts on how Christians might take up their own daily crosses. (shrink)
[Alan Weir] This paper addresses the problem of how to account for objective content-for the distinction between how we actually apply terms and the conditions in which we ought to apply them-from within a naturalistic framework. Though behaviourist or dispositionalist approaches are generally held to be unsuccessful in naturalising objective content or 'normativity', I attempt to restore the credibility of such approaches by sketching a behaviouristic programme for explicating objective content. /// [Alexander Miller] Paul Boghossian (1989, 1990) has argued, (...) on grounds concerning the holistic nature of belief fixation, that there are principled reasons for thinking that 'optimal conditions' versions of reductive dispositionalism about content cannot hope to satisfy a condition of extensional accuracy. I discern three separable strands of argument in Boghossian's work-the circularity objection, the open-endedness objection, and the certification objection-and argue that each of these objections fails. My conclusion is that for all that Boghossian has shown, 'optimal conditions' versions of reductive dispositionalism have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. (shrink)
This comprehensive study of Aristotle's Politics argues that nature, justice, and rights are central to Aristotle's political thought. Miller challenges the widely held view that the concept of rights is alien to Aristotle's thought, and presents evidence for talk of rights in Aristotle's writings. He argues further that Aristotle's theory of justice supports claims of individual rights that are political and based in nature.
This Introduction introduces readers to the concepts of political philosophy: authority, democracy, freedom and its limits, justice, feminism, multiculturalism, and nationality. Accessibly written and assuming no previous knowledge of the subject, it encourages the reader to think clearly and critically about the leading political questions of our time. THe book first investigates how politcial philosophy tackles basic ethical questions such as 'how should we live together in society?' It furthermore looks at political authority, discusses the reasons society needs politics in (...) the first place, explores the limitations of politics, and asks if there are areas of life that shouldn't be governed by politics. Moreover, the book explores the connections between political authority and justice, a constant theme in political philosophy, and the ways in which social justice can be used to regulate rather than destroy a market economy. In his travels through this realm, Miller covers why nations ar the natural units of government and wonders if the rise of multiculturalism and transnational co-operation will change all this, and asks in the end if we will ever see the formation of a world government. (shrink)
In addressing thescientific study of consciousness, Crick and Koch state, It is probable that at any moment some active neuronal processes in your head correlate with consciousness, while others do not: what is the difference between them? (1998, p. 97). Evidence from electrophysiological and brain-imaging studies of binocular rivalry supports the premise of this statement and answers to some extent, the question posed. I discuss these recent developments and outline the rationale and experimental evidence for the interhemispheric switch hypothesis of (...) perceptual rivalry. According to this model, the perceptual alternations of rivalry reflect hemispheric alternations, suggesting that visual consciousness of rivalling stimuli may be unihemispheric at any one time (Miller et al., 2000). However, in this paper, I suggest that interhemispheric switching could involve alternating unihemispheric attentional selection of neuronal processes for access to visual consciousness. On this view, visual consciousness during rivalry could be bi hemispheric because the processes constitutive of attentional selection may be distinct from those constitutive of visual consciousness. This is a special case of the important distinction between the neuronal correlates and constitution of visual consciousness. (shrink)
Franklin G. Miller and colleagues have stimulated renewed interest in research ethics through their work criticizing clinical equipoise. Over three years and some twenty articles, they have also worked to articulate a positive alternative view on norms governing the conduct of clinical research. Shared presuppositions underlie the positive and critical dimensions of Miller and colleagues' work. However, recognizing that constructive contributions to the field ought to enjoy priority, we presently scrutinize the constructive dimension of their work. We argue (...) that it is wanting in several respects. (shrink)
Did the Gulf War defend moral principle or Western oil interests? Is violent pornography an act of free speech or an act of violence against women? In Casuistry and Modern Ethics , Richard B. Miller sheds new light on the potential of casuistry--case-based reasoning--for resolving these and other questions of conscience raised by the practical quandaries of modern life. Rejecting the packaging of moral experience within simple descriptions and inflexible principles, Miller argues instead for identifying and making sense (...) of the ethically salient features of individual cases. Because this practical approach must cope with a diverse array of experiences, Miller draws on a wide variety of diagnostic tools from such fields as philosophy of science, legal reasoning, theology, literary theory, hermeneutics, and moral philosophy. Opening new avenues for practical reasoning, Miller's interdisciplinary work will challenge scholars who are interested in the intersections of ethics and political philosophy, cultural criticism, and debates about method in religion and morality. (shrink)
The Federalist, written by “Publius” (Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison) in 1787-1788 in defense of the proposed constitution of the United States, endorses a fundamental principle of political legitimacy: namely, “it is the reason of the public alone, that ought to control and regulate the government.” This essay argues that this principle—the rule of reason—may be traced back to Plato. Part I of the essay seeks to show that Plato's Statesman offers a clearer understanding of the rule of (...) reason than his more famous Republic, and it also indicates how this principle gave rise to the ideal of constitutionalism, which was adopted and reformulated by Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero, as well as moderns including Locke and Montesquieu. Part II argues that The Federalist agrees with Plato when it argues that popular sovereignty must be tempered by the rule of reason. A proper distance should be maintained between the people and the actual exercise of power in order that political decisions be based on reason rather than passion. The people must therefore act through a federal system divided between national government and state governments, and these governments must themselves possess separated powers which control each other by means of checks and balances. Indeed, federalism itself may be viewed as a modern counterpart of Plato's “art of weaving,” which unites naturally disparate and opposed parts of the city-state into a concordant whole. In declaring, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary,” The Federalist concedes that politics is the art of the possible. But statesmanship is not an exercise in pragmatism devoid of principles. Here “Publius” shares Plato's vision of politics as a “second sailing,” that is, an attempt to approximate the ideal of rational governance as far as possible in ordinary politics. Footnotesa This paper was originally presented at a meeting of the Symposium on Political Thought at Bowling Green State University. I am very grateful to the participants for their helpful suggestions, including Peter Celello, Albert Dzur, Neil Englehart, Jefferson Holcomb, David Jackson, Melissa Miller, Terrence Watson, and Adam White. I also received valuable criticisms from David Keyt, Ellen Frankel Paul, and the other contributors to this volume. (shrink)
Miller and Rodgers (2001) proposed a central nervous system based Ontogenetic Bonding System that operates across the life course to promote succorant, 1 affiliative, sexual, and nurturant bonds. I discuss features of this theoretical framework that can inform Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky's (D&M-S's) model. Most important, I suggest that the affiliative reward processes D&M-S describe are better conceptualized as subserving the affect/motivation of affection. Footnotes1 “Succorance” is a term coined by Murray (1938) to describe a general tendency to seek the (...) help and protection of others. (shrink)
In this book polymath William Ian Miller probes one of the dirty little secrets of humanity: that we are all faking it much more than anyone would care to admit. He writes with wit and wisdom about the vain anxiety of being exposed as frauds in our professions, cads in our loves, and hypocrites to our creeds. He finds, however, that we are more than mere fools for wanting so badly to look good to ourselves and others. Sometimes, when (...) we are faking it, our vanity leads to virtue, and we actually achieve something worthy of esteem and praise William Ian Miller is the Thomas G. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. He has also taught at Harvard, Yale, Chicago, and the Universities of Bergen and Tel Aviv. His previous books include The Mystery of Courage (Harvard University Press, 2000) and The Anantomy of Disgust (Harvard University Press, 1997). (shrink)
I am indebted to Zwirn and Zwirn  (hereafter Z&Z) for their extended and careful comments on the arguments of Popper & Miller , , and also for friendly and illuminating conversations. Their judgement seems to be that although Popper and I fail to make a satisfactory case for our conclusion that inductive probability is impossible, that conclusion is nonetheless defensible on quite other grounds. I don’t really agree with this, as I shall explain.
The self-communication of being and the human person’s intellectual vocation to draw it gradually into logos are important themes in the writing of W. Norris Clarke. This paper addresses two related obstacles to understanding the person’s individual essence: (1) the limited intellectual reach of the potential knower, who has no access to another’s subjectivity, (2) the person’s inability to reveal her individual essence in any one act and the need for it to be gradually unfolded. These obstacles can be partially (...) surmounted through motivational narrative, as developed by Arthur Miller, wherein persons describe those actions to which they are uniquely inclined and that bring profound fulfillment. The privileged recipient has rich access into the narrator’s subjectivity and opportunity to see in the story an ontologically stable pattern of motivated behavior that expresses her individual essence. (shrink)
The separation, uniformization, and other properties of the Borel and projective hierarchies over hyperfinite sets are investigated and compared to the corresponding properties in classical descriptive set theory. The techniques used in this investigation also provide some results about countably determined sets and functions, as well as an improvement of an earlier theorem of Kunen and Miller.
This book is concerned with the relationship between semantics and surface structure and in particular with the way in which each is mapped into the other. Jim Miller argues that semantic and syntactic structure require different representations and that semantic structure is far more complex than many analysts realise. He argues further that semantic structure should be based on notions of location and movement. The need for a semantic component of greater complexity is demonstrated by an examination of prepositions, (...) particles, adverbs and verb-prefixes, and is shown to accord with cross-language and historical facts. The volume goes on to consider the sort of rules that are required to map semantic structures onto syntax. Semantics and Syntax tackles fundamental issues and draws together many of the key concepts of traditional grammar and formal linguistics. The general framework for handling syntax, semantics and morphology that it outlines is perhaps a controversial one, but it will be recognized as challenging and original. (shrink)
In the Statesman , Plato brings together--only to challenge and displace--his own crowning contributions to philosophical method, political theory, and drama. In his 1980 study, reprinted here, Mitchell Miller employs literary theory and conceptual analysis to expose the philosophical, political, and pedagogical conflict that is the underlying context of the dialogue, revealing that its chaotic variety of movements is actually a carefully harmonized act of realizing the mean. The original study left one question outstanding: what specifically, in the metaphysical (...) order of things, motivated the nameless Visitor from Elea to abandon bifurcation for his consummating non-bifurcatory division of fifteen kinds at the end of the dialogue? Miller addressed in a separate essay, first published in 1999 and reprinted here. In it, he opens the horizon of interpretation to include the new metaphysics of the Parmenides , the Philebus , and the "unwritten teachings." "This study demonstrates how the Statesman is the culminating expression of Plato's lifelong effort, both in Athens and in the Academy, to bring metaphysical insight to the unending political crisis of his times."The Philosopher in Plato's Statesman a trail-blazing work. While not every reader will agree with the lessons Miller himself draws from this approach, none should fail to be impressed by its interpretive power. All this is exciting stuff. The interpretive pathway on which Miller has embarked has the potential for changing the face of scholarship on the late Platonic dialogues. Parmenides [Publishing] is to be commended for making these two important contributions available under a single cover." -- Kenneth Sayre, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame "Miller casts considerable light on virtually every aspect of the dialogue. . . . All in all, this book is an outstanding contribution to our understanding of the Statesman." -- Stanley Rosen, Borden Parker Bowne Professor of Philosophy, Boston University MITCHELL MILLER is Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College. He is the author of Plato's Parmenides. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Jon Miller; Part I. Textual Issues: 1. On the unity of the Nicomachean Ethics Michael Pakaluk; Part II. Happiness: 2. Living for the sake of an ultimate end Susan Sauve;; 3. Contemplation and Eudaimonia in the Nicomachean Ethics Norman O. Dahl; 4. Aristotle on Eudaimonia, Nous, and divinity A. A. Long; Part III. Psychology: 5. Aristotle, agents, and action Iakovos Vasilou; 6. Wicked and inappropriate passion Stephen Leighton; 7. Perfecting pleasures: the metaphysics of pleasure (...) in Nicomachean Ethics X Christopher Shields; 8. Aristotle's definition of non-rational pleasure and pain and desire Klaus Corcilius; 9. Non-rational desire and Aristotle's moral psychology Giles Pearson; Part IV. Virtues: 10. Beauty and morality in Aristotle T. H. Irwin; 11. Justice in the Nicomachean Ethics Book V Hallvard Fossheim. (shrink)
This book explores the various aspects of social justice--to each according to his rights, to each acording to his desert, and to each according to his need--comparing the writings of Hume, Spencer, and Kropotkin. Miller demonstrates that there are radical differences in outlook on social justice between societies, and that these differences can be explained by reference to features of the social structure.
Newton’s argument for universal gravitation in the Principia eventually rested on the third “Rule of Philosophizing,” which warrants the generalization of “qualities of bodies.” An analysis of the rule and the history of its development indicate that the term ‘quality’ should be taken to include both inherent properties of bodies and relations among systems of bodies, generalized into `laws'. By incorporating law‐induction into the rule, Newton could legitimately rebuff objections to his theory by claiming that universal gravitation was justified by (...) his method even if he could not specify the cause of gravity . †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Duke University, 201 West Duke Building, Box 90743, Durham, NC 27708; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Despite growing scientific interest in the placebo effect and increasing understanding of neurobiological mechanisms (Finniss et al. 2010), theoretical conceptualization of the placebo effect remains primitive (Miller, Colloca, and Kaptchuk 2009). Mechanistic research on this phenomenon appears largely free-floating, with little guidance by any systematic theoretical paradigm. A partial explanation is the pervasive conceptual confusion that characterizes thinking about the placebo effect. The philosopher of science Adolf Grunbaum noted that "the medical and psychiatric literature on placebos and their effects (...) is conceptually bewildering, to the point of being a veritable Tower of Babel" (Grunbaum 1994, p. 286). .. (shrink)
Due largely to the work of Mark Murphy and Philip Quinn, divine will theory has emerged as a legitimate alternative to divine command theory in recent years. As an initial characterization, divine will theory is a view of deontological properties according to which, for instance, an agent S‟s obligation to perform action A in circumstances C is grounded in God‟s will that S A in C. Characterized this abstractly, divine will theory does not specify which kind of mental state (...) is supposed to ground S‟s obligation; it could be God‟s desires, beliefs, intentions, or emotions. My purpose here is not to challenge this view. Rather, I want to examine the decision by Murphy and Quinn to base their version of divine will theory on God‟s intentions, and argue that this may have been an unwise move. As an alternative, I suggest that those who are initially attracted to divine will theory would be better served to develop the view with a focus on God‟s desires rather than intentions. (shrink)
Galileo’s impractical science Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9534-4 Authors David Marshall Miller, Department of Philosophy, Duke University, 201 West Duke, Durham, NC 27708, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Bernard E. Rollin: Putting the Horse Before Descartes: My Life’s Work on Behalf of Animals Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9316-4 Authors Lantz Miller, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Abstract The ethics of technology use has tended to arise from the theory of the role of technology in human life and society and thus introduces a bias into moral assessment of such use. I propose a dialectical method of morally assessing a technology use without such a preset notion. Instead the assumption is that the moral agent is as responsible for use of a technology as for any other moral action of the agent, that is, the individual’s use of (...) a technology is a moral action that can be morally assessed. I apply this outlook to automobile use, weighing its moral pros and cons, such as in terms of autonomy, environmental degradation, land use, health hazards, and other moral drawbacks arising from the technology’s use or non-use. Although the conclusion leaves the final moral assessment undecided, the method points to a way fairly to assess morally the use of technologies in terms of human betterment and environmental and health concerns, minimizing biases from assumptions of the role or nature of technologies. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9320-8 Authors Lantz Miller, CUNY, New York, NY, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
Arthur I. Miller is a master at capturing the intersection of creativity and intelligence. He did it with Einstein and Picasso, and now he does it with Pauli and Jung. Their shared obsession with the number 137 provides a window into their genius. --Walter Isaacson.
Heated debate surrounds the question whether the relationship between physician-researcher and patient-subject is governed by a duty of care. Miller and Weijer argue that fiduciary law provides a strong legal foundation for this duty, and for articulating the terms of the relationship between physician-researcher and patient-subject.
The 'Art of Life' is John Stuart Mill's name for his account of practical reason. In this volume, eleven leading scholars elucidate this fundamental, but widely neglected, element of Mill's thought. Mill divides the Art of Life into three 'departments': 'Morality, Prudence or Policy, and Æsthetics'. In the volume's first section, Rex Martin, David Weinstein, Ben Eggleston, and Dale E. Miller investigate the relation between the departments of morality and prudence. Their papers ask whether Mill is a rule utilitarian (...) and, if so, whether his practical philosophy must be incoherent. The second section contains papers by Jonathan Riley and Wendy Donner, who explore the relation between the departments of morality and aesthetics. They discuss issues ranging from supererogation to aesthetic pleasure and humanity's relationship with nature. -/- The papers in the third section consider the Art of Life's axiological first principle, the principle of utility. Elijah Millgram contends that Mill's own life refutes his claim that the Art of Life has a single axiological first principle. Philip Kitcher maintains that Mill has a dynamic axiology requiring us to continually refine our conception of the good. In the final section, three papers address what it means to put the Art of Life into practice. Robert Haraldsson locates an 'Art of Ethics' in On Liberty that is in tension with the Art of Life. Nadia Urbinati plumbs the classical roots of Mill's view of the good life. Finally, Colin Heydt develops Mill's suggestion that we regard our own lives as works of art. (shrink)
In a wide-ranging inquiry Richard W. Miller provides new resources for coping with the most troubling types of moral conflict: disagreements in moral conviction, conflicting interests, and the tension between conscience and desires. Drawing on most fields in philosophy and the social sciences, including his previous work in the philosophy of science, he presents an account of our access to moral truth, and, within this framework, develops a theory of justice and an assessment of the role of morality in (...) rational choice. In Miller's view, we are often in a position to claim that our moral judgments are true descriptions of moral facts. But others, relying on contrary ways of moral learning, would reject truths that we are in a position to assert, in dissent that does not depend on irrationality or ignorance of relevant evidence or arguments. With this mixed verdict on moral realism, Miller challenges many received views of rationality, scientific method, and the relation between moral belief and moral choice. In his discussion of justice, Miller defends the adequacy, for modern political choices, of a widely shared demand that institutions be freely and rationally acceptable to all. Drawing on social research and economic theories, he argues that this demand has dramatically egalitarian consequences, even though it is a premise of liberals and conservatives alike. In the final chapters, Miller investigates the role and limits of morality in the choice of conduct, arguing for new perspectives on reason and impartiality. (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)
A consensus in a scientific community is often used as a resource for making informed public-policy decisions and deciding between rival expert testimonies in legal trials. This paper contains a social-epistemic analysis of the high-profile Bendectin drug controversy, which was decided in the courtroom inter alia by deference to an emerging scientific consensus about the safety of Bendectin. Drawing on Miller’s theory of knowledge based consensus, I argue that the consensus in this case was not knowledge based, hence courts’ (...) deference to it was not epistemically justified. I draw sceptical lessons from this analysis regarding the value of scientific consensus as a desirable and reliable means of resolving scientific controversies in public life.. (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)
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.
A prominent approach in the debate on territorial rights claims that a group may have jurisdictional rights over a particular land if that land has become a repository of value for the group. This justification relies on a premise which has remained largely unsubstantiated, namely that having jurisdictional rights should be our preferred means for ensuring the group’s retaining of the land’s embedded value. This article discusses a recent attempt to fill this gap. David Miller acknowledges that the value (...) could be retained by the group if it has private property rights. However, he argues that because such rights can be changed at will by the holder of jurisdictional rights the group’s retaining of value is unacceptably insecure. I argue that this attempt fails. Miller’s argument is briefly stated so I start with some reconstructive work. Most importantly, I suggest that the argument relies on a descriptive claim about empirical probabilities, namely that the group’s having jurisdictional rights (in international law) provides the largest feasible reduction of insecurity. I then provide some tentative suggestions about expected state behavior which challenge the validity of that descriptive claim; I argue that a reform of international law which confers internationally enforced property rights on the relevant groups—rather than jurisdiction—may provide a similar (or even relatively larger) reduction of insecurity. My tentative conclusion is that Miller’s appeal to insecurity fails to provide the “embedded value” approach (favored by him and others) with the needed bridge from property rights to rights of jurisdiction. (shrink)
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)
In his most recent book, National Responsibility and Global Justice, David Miller presents an account of human rights grounded on the idea of basic human needs. Miller argues that his account can overcome what he regards as a central problem for human rights theory: the need to provide a ‘non-sectarian’ justification for human rights, one that does not rely on reasons that people from non-liberal societies should find objectionable. The list of human rights that Miller’s account generates (...) is, however, minimal when compared to those found in human rights documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. This article argues that contrary to what Miller claims, his account is ‘sectarian’, since it relies on reasons that some non-liberals should find objectionable given their divergent values. It goes on to question whether ‘sectarianism’, as Miller defines it, is, in any case, a problem for human rights theory. The article concludes that Miller provides us with no reason to abandon commitment to a more extensive list of human rights. (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)
INTRODUCTION Mark Alfano, Distinguished Guest Fellow, Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study -/- PART 1: What is a virtue? 1. Liezl van Zyl, Waikato 2. Heather Battaly, California State University Fullerton -/- PART 2: Can people be virtuous? 1. James Montmarquet, Tennessee State University 2. Mark Alfano, University of Oregon -/- PART 3: How are virtues individuated, and what unites them? 1. Daniel Russell, University of Arizona 2. Christian Miller, Wake Forest -/- PART 4: Does virtue contribute (...) to flourishing? 1. Robert Roberts, Baylor 2. Nancy Snow, Marquette -/- PART 5: How are moral and intellectual virtues related? 1. Ernest Sosa, Rutgers 2. Jason Baehr, Loyola Marymount University . (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)
Metaethics is a perennially popular subject, but one that can be challenging to study and teach. As it consists in an array of questions about ethics, it is really a mix of (at least) applied metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and mind. The seminal texts therefore arise out of, and often assume competence with, a variety of different literatures. It can be taught thematically, but this sample syllabus offers a dialectical approach, focused on metaphysical debate over moral realism, which spans (...) the century of debate launched and framed by G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica. The territory and literature are, however, vast. So, this syllabus is highly selective. A thorough metaethics course might also include more topical examination of moral supervenience, moral motivation, moral epistemology, and the rational authority of morality. Authors Recommend: Alexander Miller, An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003). This is one of the few clear, accessible, and comprehensive surveys of the subject, written by someone sympathetic with moral naturalism. David Brink, Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). Brink rehabilitates naturalism about moral facts by employing a causal semantics and natural kinds model of moral thought and discourse. Michael Smith, The Moral Problem (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994). Smith's book frames the debate as driven by a tension between the objectivity of morality and its practical role, offering a solution in terms of a response-dependent account of practical rationality. Gilbert Harman and Judith Jarvis Thomson, Moral Relativism & Moral Objectivity (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1996). Harman argues against the objectivity of moral value, while Thomson defends it. Each then responds to the other. Frank Jackson, From Metaphysics to Ethics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998). Jackson argues that reductive conceptual analysis is possible in ethics, offering a unique naturalistic account of moral properties and facts. Mark Timmons, Morality without Foundations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Timmons distinguishes moral cognitivism from moral realism, interpreting moral judgments as beliefs that have cognitive content but do not describe moral reality. He also provides a particularly illuminating discussion of nonanalytic naturalism. Philippa Foot, Natural Goodness (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001). A Neo-Aristotelian perspective: moral facts are natural facts about the proper functioning of human beings. Russ Shafer-Landau, Moral Realism: A Defence (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2003). In this recent defense of a Moorean, nonnaturalist position, Shafer-Landau engages rival positions in a remarkably thorough manner. Terence Cuneo, The Normative Web (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007). Cuneo argues for a robust version of moral realism, developing a parity argument based on the similarities between epistemic and moral facts. Mark Schroeder, Slaves of the Passions (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007). Schroeder defends a reductive form of naturalism in the tradition of Hume, identifying moral and normative facts with natural facts about agents' desires. Online Materials: PEA Soup: http://peasoup.typepad.com A blog devoted to philosophy, ethics, and academia. Its contributors include many active and prominent metaethicists, who regularly post about the moral realism and naturalism debates. Metaethics Bibliography: http://www.lenmanethicsbibliography.group.shef.ac.uk/Bib.htm Maintained by James Lenman, professor of philosophy at the University of Sheffield, this online resource provides a selective list of published research in metaethics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu See especially the entries under 'metaethics'. Sample Syllabus: Topics for Lecture & Discussion Note: unless indicated otherwise, all the readings are found in R. Shafer-Landau and T. Cuneo, eds., Foundations of Ethics: An Anthology (Malden: Blackwell, 2007). (FE) Week 1: Realism I (Classic Nonnaturalism) G. E. Moore, Principia Ethica, 2nd ed. (FE ch. 35). W. K. Frankena, 'The Naturalistic Fallacy,'Mind 48 (1939): 464–77. S. Finlay, 'Four Faces of Moral Realism', Philosophy Compass 2/6 (2007): 820–49 [DOI: [DOI link]]. Week 2: Antirealism I (Classic Expressivism) A. J. Ayer, 'Critique of Ethics and Theology' (1952) (FE ch. 3). C. Stevenson, 'The Nature of Ethical Disagreement' (1963) (FE ch. 28). Week 3: Antirealism II (Error Theory) J. L. Mackie, 'The Subjectivity of Values' (1977) (FE ch. 1). R. Joyce, Excerpt from The Myth of Morality (2001) (FE ch. 2). Week 4: Realism II (Nonanalytic Naturalism) R. Boyd, 'How to be a Moral Realist' (1988) (FE ch. 13). P. Railton, 'Moral Realism' (1986) (FE ch. 14). T. Horgan and M. Timmons, 'New Wave Moral Realism Meets Moral Twin Earth' (1991) (FE ch. 38). Week 5: Antirealism III (Contemporary Expressivism) A. Gibbard, 'The Reasons of a Living Being' (2002) (FE ch. 6). S. Blackburn, 'How To Be an Ethical Anti-Realist' (1993) (FE ch. 4). T. Horgan and M. Timmons, 'Nondescriptivist Cognitivism' (2000) (FE ch. 5). W. Sinnott-Armstrong, 'Expressivism and Embedding' (2000) (FE ch. 37). Week 6: Realism III (Sensibility Theory) J. McDowell, 'Values and Secondary Qualities' (1985) (FE ch. 11). D. Wiggins, 'A Sensible Subjectivism' (1991) (FE ch. 12). Week 7: Realism IV (Subjectivism) & Antirealism IV (Constructivism) R. Firth, 'Ethical Absolutism and the Ideal Observer' (1952) (FE ch. 9). G. Harman, 'Moral Relativism Defended' (1975) (FE ch. 7). C. Korsgaard, 'The Authority of Reflection' (1996) (FE ch. 8). Week 8: Realism V (Contemporary Nonnaturalism) R. Shafer-Landau, 'Ethics as Philosophy' (2006) (FE ch. 16). T. M. Scanlon, What We Owe to Each Other (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), ch. 1. T, Cuneo, 'Recent Faces of Moral Nonnaturalism', Philosophy Compass 2/6 (2007): 850–79 [DOI: [DOI link]]. (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.
Derek Parfit's “reductionist” account of personal identity (including the rejection of anything like a soul) is coupled with the rejection of a commonsensical intuition of essential self-unity, as in his defense of the counter-intuitive claim that “identity does not matter.” His argument for this claim is based on reflection on the possibility of personal fission. To the contrary, Simon Blackburn claims that the “unity reaction” to fission has an absolute grip on practical reasoning. Now David Lewis denied Parfit's claim that (...) reductionism contravenes common sense, so I revisit the debate between Parfit and Lewis, showing why Parfit wins it. Is reductionism about persons then inherently at odds with the unity reaction? Not necessarily; David Velleman presents a reductionist theory according to which fission does not conflict with the unity reaction. Nonetheless, relying on the distinction between person level descriptions of first-person states and the first-person perspective itself, I argue that Velleman's theory does not eliminate fission-based conflict with the unity reaction. Footnotesa * Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the philosophy departments at Rutgers University and Bowling Green State University. I am indebted to many members of these audiences, and to the other contributors to this volume, for their comments—especially Frank Arntzenius, Michael Bradie, David Copp, John Finnis, Jerry Fodor, Brian Loar, Barry Loewer, Colin McGinn, Fred Miller, Mark Moyer, David Oderberg, Marya Schechtman, David Schmidtz, David Sobel, and Sara Worley. Special thanks to David Sanford. I am also grateful to graduate students in my seminar at Bowling Green during the spring of 2003, for urging me to take seriously the grip of the unity reaction; I am especially grateful for the comments of Nico Maloberti, Jonathan Miller, John Milliken, Robyn Peabody, Jennifer Sproul, Jessica Teaman, and Sherisse Webb. (shrink)
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.
For three decades I have expounded and defended aim-oriented empiricism, a view of science which, l claim, solves a number of problems in the philosophy of science and has important implications for science itself and, when generalized, for the whole of academic inquiry, and for our capacity to solve our current global problems. Despite these claims, the view has received scant attention from philosophers of science. Recently, however, David Miller has criticized the view. Miller’s criticisms are, however, not (...) valid. (shrink)
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)
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)
Miller's reply to Nelson misses the point because it does not attend to the difference between identifying the truth conditions for a proposition and explaining why those conditions are the ones in which the proposition is true.
In their recent books, National Responsibility and Global Justice (2007) and Intricate Ethics (2007), David Miller and Frances Kamm give two similar arguments aimed at preventing their favoured accounts of the moral justification of rights from justifying an excess of demanding assistance rights. Both arguments appeal to the fact that a proliferation of assistance rights would conflict with other rights. In this paper, I show that these arguments fail. As Miller recognises in a footnote, the failure of such (...) arguments appears to support an alternative holistic approach to the moral justification of rights. But I will show that, without significant further argument that Miller and Kamm do not provide, this holistic approach offers no better support for Miller’s and Kamm’s claim that there are few demanding assistance rights. (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.
: As clinicians, researchers, bioethicists, and members of society, we face a number of moral dilemmas concerning randomized clinical trials. How we manage the starting and stopping of such trials—how we conceptualize what evidence is sufficient for these decisions—has implications for both our obligations to trial participants and for the nature and security of the resultant medical knowledge. One view of how this is to be done, "clinical equipoise," recently has been given an extended defense by Paul Miller and (...) Charles Weijer in their article "Rehabilitating Equipoise." The present paper critiques this position and Miller and Weijer's defense of it. I argue that their attempted rehabilitation fails. Their analysis suffers from a number of confusions, as well as a failure to make crucial distinctions, adequately to clarify key concepts, or to think through exactly what needs to be established to justify their claim. We are left with little reason to uphold the clinical equipoise criterion. (shrink)
Geoffrey Miller argues that we can account for the evolution of human art and altruism via the action of sexual selection. He identifies five characteristics supposedly unique to sexual adaptations: fitness indicating cost; involvement in courtship; heritability; variability; and sexual differentiation. Miller claims that art and altruism possess these characteristics. I argue that not only does he not demonstrate that art and altruism possess these characteristics, one can also explain the origins of altruism via a form of group (...) selection and traits with the five characteristics in terms of a process I call "cultural sexual selection.". (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)
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)
The form of argument used by Popper and Miller to attack the concept of probabilistic induction is applied to the slightly different situation in which some evidence undermines a hypothesis. The result is seemingly absurd, thus bringing the form of argument under suspicion.
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.".
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)
In their 1983 article, Popper and Miller present an argument against inductive probability. This argument is criticized by Redhead in his 1985 article. The aim of the present note is to state one form of the Popper-Miller argument, and defend it against Redhead's criticisms.
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)
In 1983, in an open letter to the journal Nature, Karl Popper and David Miller set forth a particularly strong critical argument which sought to demonstrate the impossibility of inductive probability. Since its publication the argument has faced many criticisms and we argue in this article that they do not reach their objectives. We will first reconstruct the demonstration made by Popper and Miller in their initial article and then try to evaluate the main arguments against it. Although (...) it is possible to conceptualize logically the idea of induction, it is shown that it is not possible on traditional Bayesian grounds. (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)