A primary problem in the area of natural language processing has been semantic analysis. This book looks at the semantics of natural languages in context. It presents an approach to the computational processing of English text that combines current theories of knowledge representation and reasoning in Artificial Intelligence with the latest linguistic views of lexical semantics. The book will interest postgraduates and researchers in computational linguistics as well as industrial research groups specializing in natural language processing.
Michael Palmer provides a detailed account of two of the most important theories of religion in the history of psychology--those of Freud and Jung. The book first analyzes Freud's claim that religion is an obsessional neurosis, a psychological illness fueled by sexual repression. He then considers Jung's rejection of Freud's theory, and his own assertion that it is the absence of religion, not its presence, which leads to neurosis.
Alison Stone offers a feminist defence of the idea that sexual difference is natural, providing a new interpretation of the later philosophy of Luce Irigaray. She defends Irigaray's unique form of essentialism and her rethinking of the relationship between nature and culture, showing how Irigaray's ideas can be reconciled with Judith Butler's performative conception of gender, through rethinking sexual difference in relation to German Romantic philosophies of nature. This is the first sustained attempt to connect feminist conceptions of embodiment (...) to German idealist and Romantic accounts of nature. Not merely an interpretation of Irigaray, this book also presents an original feminist perspective on nature and the body. It will encourage debate on the relations between sexual difference, essentialism, and embodiment. (shrink)
Recent philosophical discussion about the relation between fiction and reality pays little attention to our moral involvement with literature. Frank Palmer's purpose is to investigate how our appreciation of literary works calls upon and develops our capacity for moral understanding. He explores a wide range of philosophical questions about the relation of art to morality, and challenges theories that he regards as incompatible with a humane view of literary art. Palmer considers, in particular, the extent to which the (...) values and moral concepts involved in our understanding of human beings can be said to enter into our understanding of, and response to, fictional characters. The scope of his discussion encompasses literary aesthetics, ethics, and epistemology, and he makes extensive reference to literary examples. (shrink)
John Palmer develops and defends a modal interpretation of Parmenides, according to which he was the first philosopher to distinguish in a rigorous manner the fundamental modalities of necessary being, necessary non-being or impossibility, and non-necessary or contingent being. This book accordingly reconsiders his place in the historical development of Presocratic philosophy in light of this new interpretation. Careful treatment of Parmenides' specification of the ways of inquiry that define his metaphysical and epistemological outlook paves the way for detailed (...) analyses of his arguments demonstrating the temporal and spatial attributes of what is and cannot not be. Since the existence of this necessary being does not preclude the existence of other entities that are but need not be, Parmenides' cosmology can straightforwardly be taken as his account of the origin and operation of the world's mutable entities. Later chapters reassess the major Presocratics' relation to Parmenides in light of the modal interpretation, focusing particularly on Zeno, Melissus, Anaxagoras, and Empedocles. In the end, Parmenides' distinction among the principal modes of being, and his arguments regarding what what must be must be like, simply in virtue of its mode of being, entitle him to be seen as the founder of metaphysics or ontology as a domain of inquiry distinct from natural philosophy and theology. An appendix presents a Greek text of the fragments of Parmenides' poem with English translation and textual notes. (shrink)
John Palmer presents a new and original account of Plato's uses and understanding of his most important Presocratic predecessor, Parmenides. Adopting an innovative approach to the appraisal of intellectual influence, Palmer first explores the Eleatic underpinnings of central elements in Plato's middle-period epistemology and metaphysics and then shows how in the later dialogues Plato confronts various sophistic appropriations of Parmenides.
In this book Alison Stone develops a feminist approach to maternal subjectivity. Stone argues that in the West the self has often been understood in opposition to the maternal body, so that one must separate oneself from the mother and maternal care-givers on whom one depended in childhood to become a self or, in modernity, an autonomous subject. These assumptions make it difficult to be a mother and a subject, an autonomous creator of meaning. Insofar as mothers nonetheless (...) strive to regain their subjectivity when their motherhood seems to have compromised it, theirs cannot be the usual kind of subjectivity premised on separation from the maternal body. Mothers are subjects of a new kind, who generate meanings and acquire agency from their position of re-immersion in the realm of maternal body relations, of bodily intimacy and dependency. Thus Stone interprets maternal subjectivity as a specific form of subjectivity that is continuous with the maternal body. Stone analyzes this form of subjectivity in terms of how the mother typically reproduces with her child her history of bodily relations with her own mother, leading to a distinctive maternal and cyclical form of lived time. (shrink)
All research has limitations, for example, from paradigm, concept, theory, tradition, and discipline. In this article Lynda Stone describes three exemplars that are variations on limitation and are “extraordinary” in that they change what constitutes future research in each domain. Malcolm Gladwell's present day study of outliers makes a statistical term into a sociological concept. Carlo Ginzburg's study of a sixteenth-century miller who challenges Church doctrine initiates the field of microhistory. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's philosophy of the rhizome (...) offers a poststructuralist study of the doing of philosophy and the form of philosophical text. Although Gladwell's study is the only one specifically on the topic of outliers, the other two investigations are outliers as well. Overall the three studies demonstrate what can be revealed and learned when limitation is transgressed. This is an important lesson for educational research—wherein heretofore unimagined societal possibility and reform of education might result. (shrink)
What is the proper relation between the scientific worldview and other parts or aspects of human knowledge and experience? Can any science aim at "complete coverage" of the world, and if it does, will it undermine--in principle or by tendency--other attempts to describe or understand the world? Should morality, theology and other areas resist or be protected from scientific treatment? Questions of this sort have been of pressing philosophical concern since antiquity. The Proper Ambition of Science presents ten particular case (...) studies written by prominent philosophers, looking at how this problem has been approached from the ancient world right up to the present day. Contributors: Bob Sharples, M.W.F. Stone, G.A.J. Rogers, J.R. Milton, Aaron Ridley, Christopher Hookway, Dermot Moran, Thomas E. Uebel, David Papineau, and Nancy Cartwright. (shrink)
This primer on authentic education explores how mind and heart can work together in the learning process. Moving beyond the bankruptcy of our current model of education, Parker Palmer finds the soul of education through a lifelong cultivation of the wisdom each of us possesses and can share to benefit others.
In this study, Clare Palmer challenges the popular conception that process thinking offers an unambiguously positive contribution to the philosophical debate on environmental ethics. She critically examines the approach to ethics which may be derived from the work of process thinkers such as A. N. Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne, pointing out questions about justice and respect for individual integrity which are raised. With these questions in mind, she compares process ethics to a variety of other forms of environmental ethics, (...) as well as deep ecology. This comparative study reveals a number of difficulties associated with process thinking about the environment. Although some reformulations of process philosophy in the light of these difficulties are offered, the author suggests that a question mark should remain over the contribution which process philosophy can make to environmental ethics. (shrink)
When the first edition of Semantics appeared in 1976, the developments in this aspect of language study were exciting interest not only among linguists, but among philosophers, psychologists and logicians. Professor Palmer's straightforward and comprehensive book was immediately welcomed as one of the best introductions to the subject. Interest in Semantics has been further stimulated recently by a number of significant, and often contriversial, theoretical advances; and the publication of this second edition has enabled Professor Palmer to bring (...) his survey thoroughly up to date. There is also an important new chapter on 'Semantics and logic', showing clearly and simply the influence that logical models have had on the study of meaning. Professor Palmer always illustrates his argument with helpful examples, and his non-technical explanations will be readily intelligible to the interested layman as well as to beginning students of language and linguistics. (shrink)
“In its less dramatic versions,” writes author Dan Palmer, “structuralism is just a method of studying language, society, and the works of artists and novelists. But in its most exuberant form, it is a philosophy, an overall worldview that provides an account of reality and knowledge.” Poststructuralism is a loosely knit intellectual movement, comprised mainly of ex-structuralists who either became dissatisfied with the theory or felt they could improve it. Structuralism and Poststructuralism For Beginners is an illustrated tour through (...) the mysterious landscape of these two theories. The book’s starting point is the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de Saussure. The book moves on to the anthropologist and literary critic Claude Levi-Strauss; the semiologist and literary critic Roland Barthes; the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser; the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan; the deconstructionist Jacques Derrida. The book concludes by examining the postmodern obsession with language and with the radical claim of the disappearance of the individual–obsessions that unite the work of all of these theorists. (shrink)
Originally published in 1972, Should Trees Have Standing? was a rallying point for the then burgeoning environmental movement, launching a worldwide debate on the basic nature of legal rights that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in the 35th anniversary edition of this remarkably influential book, Christopher D. Stone updates his original thesis and explores the impact his ideas have had on the courts, the academy, and society as a whole. At the heart of the book is an eminently (...) sensible, legally sound, and compelling argument that the environment should be granted legal rights. For the new edition, Stone explores a variety of recent cases and current events--and related topics such as climate change and protecting the oceans--providing a thoughtful survey of the past and an insightful glimpse at the future of the environmental movement. This enduring work continues to serve as the definitive statement as to why trees, oceans, animals, and the environment as a whole should be bestowed with legal rights, so that the voiceless elements in nature are protected for future generations. (shrink)
This paper argues that there are no people. If identity isn't what matters in survival, psychological connectedness isn't what matters either. Further, fissioning cases do not support the claim that connectedness is what matters. I consider Peter Unger's view that what matters is a continuous physical realization of a core psychology. I conclude that if identity isn't what matters in survival, nothing matters. This conclusion is deployed to argue that there are no people. Objections to Eliminativism are considered, especially that (...) morality cannot survive the loss of persons. (shrink)
Contextualists offer "high-low standards" practical cases to show that a variety of knowledge standards are in play in different ordinary contexts. These cases show nothing of the sort, I maintain. However Keith DeRose gives an ingenious argument that standards for knowledge do go up in high-stakes cases. According to the knowledge account of assertion (Kn), only knowledge warrants assertion. Kn combined with the context sensitivity of assertability yields contextualism about knowledge. But is Kn correct? I offer a rival account of (...) warranted assertion and argue that it beats Kn as a response to the "knowledge" version of Moore's Paradox. (shrink)
Advance directives typically have two defects. First, most advance directives fail to enable people to effectively avoid unwanted medical intervention. Second, most of them have the potential of ending your life in ways you never intended, years before you had to die.
Locke denied that ideas of secondary qualities resemble their causes. It has been suggested that Locke denied this because he accepted a mechanical corpuscular hypothesis about the constitution of objects. This paper shows that this and other usual explanations of Locke's denial are mistaken. Further, it suggests an alternative relationship between the scientific account and Locke's philosophical views, and finally it provides Locke's real justification for his claim that ideas of secondary qualities do not resemble their causes.
The commonplace view about metaphorical interpretation is that it can be characterized in traditional semantic and pragmatic terms, thereby assimilating metaphor to other familiar uses of language. We will reject this view, and propose in its place the view that, though metaphors can issue in distinctive cognitive and discourse effects, they do so without issuing in metaphorical meaning and truth, and so, without metaphorical communication. Our inspiration derives from Donald Davidson’s critical arguments against metaphorical meaning and Richard Rorty’s exploration of (...) the diverse uses of language. But unlike these authors we ground our discussion squarely in distinctions about causal mechanisms in cooperative activity developed by H.P. Grice and others. (shrink)
Here is a simple counterexample to David Lewis’s causal influence account of causation, one that is especially illuminating due to its connection to what Lewis himself writes: it is a variant of his trumping example.
Mental simulation is the simulation, replication or re-enactment, usually in imagination, of the thinking, decision-making, emotional responses, or other aspects of the mental life of another person. According to simulation theory, mental simulation in imagination plays a key role in our everyday psychological understanding of other people. The same mental resources that are used in our own thinking, decision-making or emotional responses are redeployed in imagination to provide an understanding of the thoughts, decisions or emotions of another.
I argue that being wide awake is an epistemic virtue which enables me to recognize immediately that I'm wide awake. Also I argue that dreams are imaginings and that the wide awake mind can immediately discern the difference between imaginings and vivid sense experience. Descartes need only pinch himself.
Circumscribed delusional beliefs can follow brain injury. We suggest that these involve anomalous perceptual experiences created by a deficit to the person's perceptual system, and misinterpretation of these experiences due to biased reasoning. We use the Capgras delusion (the claim that one or more of one's close relatives has been replaced by an exact replica or impostor) to illustrate this argument. Our account maintains that people voicing this delusion suffer an impairment that leads to faces being perceived as drained of (...) their normal affective significance, and an additional reasoning bias that leads them to put greater weight on forming beliefs that are observationally adequate rather than beliefs that are a conservative extension of their existing stock. We show how this position can integrate issues involved in the philosophy and psychology of belief, and examine the scope for mutually beneficial interaction. (shrink)
This paper is about the contemporary debate concerning folk psychology – the debate between the proponents of the theory theory of folk psychology and the friends of the simulation alternative.1 At the outset, we need to ask: What should we mean by this term ‘folk psychology’?
This article revisits the ethical and political questions raised by feminist debates over essentialism, the belief that there are properties essential to women and which all women share. Feminists widespread rejection of essentialism has threatened to undermine feminist politics. Re-evaluating two responses to this problemstrategic essentialism and Iris Marion Youngs idea that women are an internally diverse seriesI argue that both unsatisfactorily retain essentialism as a descriptive claim about the social reality of womens lives. I argue instead that women have (...) a genealogy: women always acquire femininity by appropriating and reworking existing cultural interpretations of femininity, so that all women become situated within a history of overlapping chains of interpretation. Because all women are located within this complex history, they are identifiable as belonging to a determinate social group, despite sharing no common understanding or experience of femininity. The idea that women have a genealogy thus reconciles anti-essentialism with feminist politics. (shrink)
This is the first book to offer a systematic account of feminist philosophy as a distinctive field of philosophy. The book introduces key issues and debates in feminist philosophy including: the nature of sex, gender, and the body; the relation between gender, sexuality, and sexual difference; whether there is anything that all women have in common; and the nature of birth and its centrality to human existence. An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy shows how feminist thinking on these and related topics (...) has developed since the 1960s. The book also explains how feminist philosophy relates to the many forms of feminist politics. The book provides clear, succinct and readable accounts of key feminist thinkers including de Beauvoir, Butler, Gilligan, Irigaray, and MacKinnon. The book also introduces other thinkers who have influenced feminist philosophy including Arendt, Foucault, Freud, and Lacan. Accessible in approach, this book is ideal for students and researchers interested in feminist philosophy, feminist theory, womens studies, and political theory. It will also appeal to the general reader. (shrink)
In this article I re-examine Adorno's and Horkheimer's account of the disenchantment of nature in Dialectic of Enlightenment . I argue that they identify disenchantment as a historical process whereby we have come to find natural things meaningless and completely intelligible. However, Adorno and Horkheimer believe that modernity not only rests on disenchantment but also tends to re-enchant nature, because it encourages us to think that its institutions derive from, and are anticipated and prefigured by, nature. I argue that Adorno's (...) Negative Dialectics and Aesthetic Theory show how constellations and artworks generate an alternative form of reenchantment which is critical of modernity and its domination of nature. This form of re-enchantment finds natural beings to be mysteriously meaningful because they embody histories of immeasurable suffering. This experience engenders guilt and antipathy to human domination over nature. Key Words: Adorno disenchantment domination enlightenment modernity natural beauty nature. (shrink)
Both formal semantics and cognitive semantics are the source of important insights about language. By developing precise statements of the rules of meaning in fragmentary, abstract languages, formalists have been able to offer perspicuous accounts of how we might come to know such rules and use them to communicate with others. Conversely, by charting the overall landscape of interpretations, cognitivists have documented how closely interpretations draw on the commonsense knowledge that lets us make our way in the world. There is (...) no opposition between these insights. Sooner or later we will have a semantics that responds to both. However, developing such a semantics is profoundly difficult, because there are certain tensions to be overcome in reconciling the two perspectives. For one thing, the overall landscape of meaning does seem to be characterized by a much richer ontology and more dynamic categories than are exhibited by the fragments typically studied in the formal tradition. One sign of strain is the recent tendency to talk of “procedural”, “non-compositional”, or “computational” semantics, as in Hamm, Kamp and van Lambalgen 2006, hereafter HK&vL. We think such locutions can serve as useful reminders to keep semantics fixed on the central question of how language allows us to share information that some have and others need to get. However, there is some danger that formalists will merely by put off by an idea that, taken literally, may not be such a good one. In this short article, we want to explore and defend the traditional realist view attributed by HK&vL to Lewis among others. In fact, this view offers a well-developed, extremely straightforward and robust account of the relation between semantics and cognition. Moreover, while the realist view has ways of accommodating the representationalist insights of DRT (Lewis 1979; Thomason 1990; Stalnaker 1998), it remains unclear how “computational” semantics can account for the key data for the realist view: cases where we judge interlocutors to be ignorant about aspects of meaning in their native language (Kripke 1972; Putnam 1975; Stalnaker 1979; Williamson 1994).. (shrink)
The relations among consciousness, brain, behavior, and scientific explanation are explored in the domain of color perception. Current scientific knowledge about color similarity, color composition, dimensional structure, unique colors, and color categories is used to assess Locke.
Richard Wolin, in his article 'Nazism and the Complicities of Hans-Georg Gadamer: Untruth and Method' ( New Republic , 15 May 2000, pp. 36-45), wrongly accuses Gadamer of being 'in complicity' with the Nazis. The present article in reply was rejected by the New Republic , but is printed here to show that Wolin in his article is misinformed and unfair. First, Wolin makes elementary factual errors, such as stating that Gadamer was born in Breslau instead of Marburg. He relies (...) on a highly questionable source, Teresa Orozco, as 'definitive'. He argues often by misconstruing the evidence and guilt by association. For instance, he associates Gadamer with Werner Jaeger, with whom he disagreed and had little contact. Finally,he misinterprets basic terms in Gadamer's hermeneutics, Vorurteil and authority, attributing to them the popular sense of these terms instead of their place in Gadamer's hermeneutics. Vorurteil , popularly translated as 'prejudice', but better rendered as 'prejudgment', refers to the prior knowledge that one needs in order to understand a situation or a text. In some cases, this is part of the inherited tradition. Authority refers to the respect one pays to those one recognizes as having more knowledge than oneself: one's doctor, or parent, or teacher, a judge, or certain texts. It is not an abject surrender to all authority but the necessary respect for authority in human relationships and in society in general. By misconstruing these terms, Wolin attempts to discredit Gadamer's general philosophy,not just to demonstrate a connection to the Nazis. At the end, his argument turns into a misinformed general political attack on Gadamer as an enemy of Enlightenment values. (shrink)
Skepticism about the external world may very well be correct, so the question is in order: what theory of knowledge flows from skepticism itself? The skeptic can give a relatively simple and intuitive account of knowledge by identifying it with indubitable certainty. Our everyday `I know that p' claims, which typically are part of practical projects, deploy the ideal of knowledge to make assertions closely related to, but weaker than, knowledge claims. The truth of such claims is consistent with skepticism; (...) various other vexing problems don't arise. In addition, even if no claim about the world outside my mind can be more probable than its negation, the project of pure scientific research remains well motivated. (shrink)
Recent work in cognitive neuroscience on the child's Theory of Mind (ToM) has pursued the idea that the ability to metarepresent mental states depends on a domain-specific cognitive subystem implemented in specific neural circuitry: a Theory of Mind Module. We argue that the interaction of several domain-general mechanisms and lower-level domain-specific mechanisms accounts for the flexibility and sophistication of behavior, which has been taken to be evidence for a domain-specific ToM module. This finding is of more general interest since it (...) suggests a parsimonious cognitive architecture can account for apparent domain specificity. We argue for such an architecture in two stages. First, on conceptual grounds, contrasting the case of language with ToM, and second, by showing that recent evidence in the form of fMRI and lesion studies supports the more parsimonious hypothesis. Theory of Mind, Metarepresentation, and Modularity Developmental Components of ToM The Analogy with Modularity of Language Dissociations without Modules The Evidence from Neuroscience Conclusion CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
According to the theory theory of folk psychology, our engagement in the folk psychological practices of prediction, interpretation and explanation draws on a rich body of knowledge about psychological matters. According to the simulation theory, in apparent contrast, a fundamental role is played by our ability to identify with another person in imagination and to replicate or re-enact aspects of the other person’s mental life. But amongst theory theorists, and amongst simulation theorists, there are significant differences of approach.
What is the will? And what is its relation to human action? Throughout history, philosophers have been fascinated by the idea of "the will": the source of the drive that motivates human beings to act. However, there has never been a clear consensus as to what the will is and how it relates to human action. Some philosophers have taken the will to be based firmly in reason and rational choice, and some have seen it as purely self-determined. Others have (...) replaced the idea of the human will with a more general drive uniting humans and the rest of nature, living and non-living. This collection of nine specially commissioned papers traces the formulation and treatment of the problem of the will from ancient philosophy through the scholastic theologians of the Middle Ages, to modern philosophy and right up to contemporary theories. Philosophers discussed include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Bonaventure, Hobbes, Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. (shrink)
A major recurrent feature of the intellectual landscape in cognitive science is the appearance of a collection of essays by Noam Chomsky. These collections serve both to inform the wider cognitive science community about the latest developments in the approach to the study of language that Chomsky has advocated for almost fifty years now,1 and to provide trenchant criticisms of what he takes to be mistaken philosophical objections to this approach. This new collection contains seven essays, the earliest of which (...) were first published about ten years ago. So the linguistic work that is summarised is within the principles and parameters approach and some of the essays (particularly the first and last) provide an outline of the main ideas of the emerging minimalist programme.2 But this is not primarily a book about the details of recent linguistic theory. Rather, in these essays Chomsky offers a wealth of critical commentary on some of the most influential arguments in the philosophy of mind and language that have appeared over the past two decades or so. Indeed, Chomsky discusses a vast range of philosophical topics and reaches some radical conclusions – that many influential philosophical discussions on language and mind are utterly misconceived and that, for example, the traditional mind-body problem cannot even be coherently stated. (shrink)
When we wish to frame or to communicate a precise and nuanced argument, we should first clarify whatever meaningful distinctions our reasoning exploits. That’s why every good paper begins by defining its terms. A tiger is a large and ferocious predatory cat, yellow with black stripes. A bachelor is an unmarried man. Freedom is the capacity to choose one’s actions for oneself, independent of causal forces in the outside world. Knowledge is justified true belief. Getting clear on our concepts is (...) the process of analysis. It is such a fundamental part of philosophical practice that the preponderance of contemporary philosophical writing in English today is described as ‘analytic’. (shrink)
Of course in every act of this kind, there remains the possibility of putting this act into question – insofar as it refers to more distant, more essential ends.... For example the sentence which I write is the meaning of the letters I trace, but the whole work I wish to produce is the meaning of the sentence. And this work is a possibility in connection with which I can feel anguish; it is truly my possibility...tomorrow in relation to it (...) my freedom can exercise its nihilating power. (shrink)
HOST is the theory that to be conscious of a mental state is totarget it with a higher-order state (a `HOS'), either an innerperception or a higher-order thought. Some champions of HOSTmaintain that the phenomenological character of a sensory stateis induced in it by representing it with a HOS. I argue that thisthesis is vulnerable to overwhelming objections that flow largelyfrom HOST itself. In the process I answer two questions: `What isa plausible sufficient condition for a quale's belonging to aparticular (...) mental state?' and `What is the propositional contentof HOSs that target sensory states?'. (shrink)
This paper is about the contemporary debate concerning folk psychology – the debate between the proponents of the theory theory of folk psychology and the friends of the simulation alternative.1 At the outset, we need to ask: What should we mean by this term ‘folk psychology’?
The usage, derivation, and psychological, ethical, and legal aspects of slang terminology in medicine are discussed. The colloquial vocabulary is further described and a comprehensive glossary of common UK terms provided in the appendix. This forms the first list of slang terms currently in use throughout the British medical establishment.
In August of 2000, Firestone executives initiated the second largest tire recall in U.S. history. Many of the recalled tires had been installed as original factory equipment on the popular Ford Explorer SUVs. At the time of the recall, the tires and vehicles had been linked to numerous accidents and deaths, most of which occurred when tire blowouts resulted in vehicle rollovers. While Firestones role in this case has been widely acknowledged, Ford executives have managed to deflect much of the (...) attention away from themselves, mainly by claiming that the Firestone tires were not its product, and therefore not its responsibility. In this paper, we examine the extent to which Ford can be held morally responsible for the incidents at issue. In so doing, we develop an approach for determining when an item is a product in its own right, as opposed to a component of another product. We argue that such an analysis not only provides a better understanding of this case, but also more properly accounts for the extent to which evolutions in technology and business relationships can affect issues of moral responsibility in business contexts. (shrink)
Research on the normative aspect of leadership is still a relatively new enterprise within the mainstream of leadership studies. In the past, most academic inquiry into leadership was grounded in a social scientific paradigm that largely ignored the ethical substance of leadership. However, perhaps because of a number of public and infamous cases of failure in business leadership, in recent years there has been renewed interest in the ethical side of leadership in business. This paper argues that ethical issues of (...) leadership actually arise at number of different levels, and that it is important to distinguish between various diverse kinds of ethical issues that arise in the study of leadership. The three levels identified are the level of the individual morality of leaders, the level of the means of their leadership, and the level of the leadership mission itself. We argue that only by fully understanding all of the different levels of ethical analysis pertinent to business leadership, and the distinctive kind of issues that arise at each level, can we fully integrate normative studies of leadership into the field of leadership studies. As such, this paper offers a model that incorporates three different levels of ethical analysis that can be used to study normative issues in leadership studies. Such a model can be used to better understand and integrate ethical issues into research, teaching, and training in leadership. (shrink)
I explore how some aspects of Foucoult’s work on power can be applied to human/animal power relations. First, I argue that because animals behave as “beings that react” and can respond in different ways to human actions, in principle at least, Foucoult’s work can offer insights into human/animal power relations. However, many of these relations fall into the category of “domination,” in which animals are unable to respond. Second, I examine different kinds of human power practices, in particular, ways in (...) which humans construct animal constitutions and animal subjectivities. Finally, I use a case study of a pet cat to show how such power practices may come together in a single instance. (shrink)
Socrates and Meno reach two different conclusions: in the first part of the dialogue, that virtue is knowledge and can therefore be taught; in the second, that it is reliable true opinion and can therefore be acquired only by divine inspiration. Taking into account Socrates’ role as a teacher (of his interlocutors and of Plato) and Plato’s role as a teacher (of us), I show that neither of these conclusions is consistent with the existence of philosophy as a human institution, (...) and argue that, for this reason, Plato refuses ultimately to endorse either of them. (shrink)
This paper explores the compatibility of Luce Irigaray's recent insistence on the need to revalue nature, and to recognise culture's natural roots, with her earlier advocacy of social transformation towards a culture of sexual difference. Prima facie, there is tension between Irigaray's political imperatives, for if culture really is continuous with nature, this implies that our existing, non-sexuate, culture is naturally grounded and unchallengeable. To dissolve this tension, Irigaray must conceive culture as having self-transformative agency without positioning culture as active (...) vis-à-vis an inert and passive nature. I argue that Irigaray achieves this by conceiving culture to arise from a division internal to nature. She derives this idea from Hölderlin, who claims that nature originally divides itself into subjects and objects, and from Heidegger, who maintains that nature inflicts an originary violence upon itself. Critically reworking Hölderlin and Heidegger, Irigaray argues that male nature tends to turn against itself to generate an anti-natural, ecologically destructive, culture. She argues, however, that this tendency can be redirected and alleviated by the very cultural resources which male nature generates in dividing itself. Irigaray thus develops a unique way to advocate social change while recognising nature's profound impact and influence upon culture. (shrink)
When classical mechanics is seen as the short-wavelength limit of quantum mechanics (i.e., as the limit of geometrical optics), it becomes clear just how serious and all-pervasive the measurement problem is. This formulation also leads us into the Bohm theory. But this theory has drawbacks: its nonuniqueness, in particular, and its nonlocality. I argue that these both reflect an underlying problem concerning information, which is actually a deeper version of the measurement problem itself.
To what extent, if any, is the moral thought of Thomas Aquinas 'Aristotelian'? This question is not simply of historical interest, since it directs our attention to those areas of contemporary English-speaking moral philosophy where Thomas is discussed. In some quarters there is a tendency to classify Thomas as a thinker in the 'Aristotelian tradition', and his debt to Aristotle is thought to be apparent in his remarks on moral reasoning and virtue. Nowhere is this tendency more evident than in (...) discussions of Thomas by supporters of modern virtue ethics. In this paper, I will argue that the relationship of Thomas's ethics to Aristotle is much more complicated than these discussions assume. Despite the strong and interesting affinities that exist between the practical philosophies of Thomas and Aristotle, the sum total of their common features can never disguise nor dilute the profound differences that separate them. The paper will conclude with some suggestions as to how an appreciation of these differences can enable us to cast Thomas's remarks on virtue in a different light. (shrink)
: This paper reconstructs the evolution of Novalis’ thought concerning being, nature, and knowledge. In his earlier writings (above all the Fichte-Studies) he argues that unitary being underlies finite phenomena and that we can never know, but only strive towards knowledge of, being. In contrast, his later writings, principally the Allgemeine Brouillon, maintain that the unitary reality underlying finite things can be known, because it is an organic whole which develops and organises itself according to an intelligible pattern. Novalis equates (...) this whole with nature. However, because this organic whole exercises spontaneity in assuming particular forms of organisation, we can never know why it assumes just these particular forms; nature therefore remains partly unintelligible to us. I argue that Novalis’ intellectual shift towards the idea that the whole can be known is motivated by his concern to explain how the modern, “disenchanted,” view of nature could be overcome. I also argue that by recognising this shift, we can resolve the dispute between Frank and Beiser as to whether Novalis thinks that the absolute can be known. (shrink)
While e-commerce has grown rapidly in recent years, some of the practices associated with certain aspects of marketing on the Internet, such as pop-ups, cookies, and spam, have raised concerns on the part of Internet users. In this paper I examine the nature of these practices and what I take to be the underlying source of this concern. I argue that the ethical issues surrounding these Internet marketing techniques move us beyond the traditional treatment of the ethics of marketing and (...) advertising found in discussions of business ethics previously. Rather, I show that the questions they raise ultimately turn upon questions of technique and the ways in which technologies can transform the fundamental means by which relationships are established and maintained within a social environment. I then argue that the techniques of e-commerce are indeed transforming the means by which businesses relate to consumers, and that this transformation is affecting the applicability of our previous ways of demarcating the imperatives determining the limits of accessibility between consumers and businesses. Properly addressing the ethical status of the techniques of e-marketing as such necessarily moves us to consider the changes that Internet commerce are having upon the norms that govern individuals in their relations with others. (shrink)
Humanism and Early Modern Philosophy is an original and timely volume that examines the distinctive and important role played by humanism in the development of early modern philosophy. Focusing on individual authors as well as intellectual trends, this collection of essays aims to portray the humanist movement as an essential part of the philosophy of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Members of the New Academy presented their sceptical position as the culmination of a progressive development in the history of philosophy, which began when certain Presocratics started to reflect on the epistemic status of their theoretical claims concerning the natures of things. The Academics' dogmatic opponents accused them of misrepresenting the early philosophers in an illegitimate attempt to claim respectable precedents for their dangerous position. The ensuing debate over the extent to which some form of scepticism might properly be attributed (...) to the Presocratics is reflected in various passages in Cicero's "Academica." In this essay, we try to get clearer about the precise nature of the Academics' historical claim and their view of the general lesson to be learned from reflection on the history of philosophy down to their own time. The Academics saw the Presocratics as providing some kind of support for the thesis that things are non-cognitive, or, more specifically, that neither the senses nor reason furnishes a criterion of truth. As this view is susceptible to both 'dialectical' and non-dialectical readings, we consider the prospects for each. We also examine the evidence for the varied functions both of the Academics' specific appeals to individual Presocratics and of their collections of the Presocratics' divergent opinions. What emerges is a better understanding of why the Academics were concerned with claiming the Presocratics as sceptical ancestors and of the precise manner in which they advanced this claim. (shrink)
Ibn S¯ına, known to the Latin West as Avicenna, was a medieval Aristotelian— one of the greatest of all medieval Aristotelians. He lived in Persia from 980 to 1037, and wrote mostly in Arabic. Simplicius of Cilicia was a sixth century Neoplatonist; he is known mostly for his commentaries on Aristotle. Both of these men were, broadly speaking, part of the same philosophical tradition: the tradition of Neoplatonic or Neoplatonizing Aristotelianism. There is probably no direct historical connection between them, however, (...) and anyway I will not try to demonstrate one. In this paper I will examine their closely related, but ultimately quite different, accounts of corporeity— of what it is to be a body—and in particular of the essential relationship between corporeity and materiality. (shrink)
The constitutions of many nations have been explicitly or implicitly founded upon principles of the social contract derived from Thomas Hobbes. The Hobbesian egoism at the base of the contract fairly accurately represents the structure of market enterprise. A contractarian analysis may, then, allow for justified or rationally acceptable universal standards to which businesses should conform. This paper proposes general rational restrictions upon multi-national enterprises, and includes a critique of unjustified restrictions recently proposed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and (...) Development (OECD). I propose restrictions that may be tighter than the OECD and international law currently demand, because reason requires that the activities of enterprises accord with standards of environmental and governmental sustainability in addition to consortium, national law and international law agreements. I argue that it is justifiable that indictments may be presented by a citizen or a government against the local arm of a multinational enterprise in response to violations committed by an arm within a different country. (shrink)
This paper explores the idea of 'respect for nature' in the Earth Charter. It maintains that the Earth Charter proposes a broadly holistic environmental ethic where, in situations of conflict, species are given ethical priority over the lives of individual sentient organisms. The paper considers policy implications of this perspective, looking by means of example at the current European environmental policy dispute about the ruddy and white-headed duck. Questions about the value of species and biological diversity this raises are explored. (...) The paper concludes that the principle of valuing individual animal lives should be given more prominence in Earth Charter principles. (shrink)
This paper develops a general approach to contextual reasoning in natural language processing. Drawing on the view of natural language interpretation as abduction (Hobbs et al., 1993), we propose that interpretation provides an explanation of how an utterance creates a new discourse context in which its interpreted content is both true and promi- nent. Our framework uses dynamic theories of semantics and pragmatics, formal theories of context, and models of attentional state. We describe and illustrate a Prolog implementation.
Jon Elster denies that collectives can behave rationally. Rational behavior requires action in conformity with preferences and beliefs. According to Elster, however, social choice theory demonstrates that collectives cannot have preferences, even in principle, and this precludes them from behaving either rationally or irrationally. (Irrationality, after all, is a property that can only be possessed by something that could in theory be rational.) Elster, however, does not fully accept this refutation of the possibility of collective rationality. For in exploring the (...) question of random selection, he argues that collectives, as well as individuals, can employ random selection as a tool to facilitate more rational behavior. This contradiction can be resolved if collective preferences are not as inconceivable as Elster suggests, and Elster himself gives reason for believing they may not be. He does this by distinguishing between a thin and a broad theory of rationality. His refutation of the possibility of collective preferences depends on a thin theory of preferences (and beliefs), a theory that he admits is inadequate for purposes of normative assessment. A broad theory of preferences and beliefs, when properly developed, could well accommodate the notion of collective preferences and beliefs, and thus of collective rationality. Key Words: Elster rationality social choice theory. (shrink)
Milton Friedman’s famous comment on Corporate Social Responsibility is that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game.” I reply to Friedman, Michael Jensen, and others, in argument that accepts their implicit premise—that business can be a virtuous mechanism of free society—but that denies their delimitation of responsibility. The reply hinges upon precisely the virtue of “freedom” (...) these authors clearly consider intrinsically valuable. In the extreme case where maximizing profits would place government underthreat, such activity will not coincide with maximizing social value and would undermine the freedoms these authors claim to value. Responsibilities will also apply in less extreme cases, if we develop Amartya Sen’s argument showing that, “we have to see individual freedom as a social commitment.”. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant’s three great Critiques stand among the bulkier monuments of Enlightenment thought. The first is best known; the last had until recently been rather less studied. But his final Critique contains, I contend, a remarkable development of Kant’s theory of how human beings use and create systems of knowledge. While Kant was not himself concerned with the neuronal substrates of cognition, I argue this development yields a novel empirical hypothesis susceptible of experimental investigation. Here I present (...) the Kantian motivation and describe experimental work aimed at testing predictions arising from the new hypothesis. (shrink)
In this paper I reconstruct Schlegel's idea that romantic poetry can re-enchant nature in a way that is uniquely compatible with modernity's epistemic and political values of criticism, self-criticism, and freedom. I trace several stages in Schlegel's early thinking concerning nature. First, he criticises modern culture for its analytic, reflective form of rationality which encourages a disenchanting view of nature. Second, he re-evaluates this modern form of rationality as making possible an ironic, romantic, poetry, which portrays natural phenomena as mysterious (...) indications of an underlying reality that transcends knowledge. Yet Schlegel relies here on a contrast between human freedom and natural necessity that reinstates a disenchanting view of nature as fully intelligible and predictable. Third, therefore, he reconceives nature as inherently creative and poetic, rethinking human creativity as consisting in participation in natural creative processes. He replaces his earlier "idealist" view that reality is in itself unknowable with the "idealist realist" view that reality is knowable as creative nature, yet, in its spontaneous creativity, still eludes full comprehension. I argue that Schlegel's third approach to the re-enchantment of nature is his most consistent and satisfactory, and is important for contemporary environmental philosophy in showing how re-enchantment is compatible with modernity. (shrink)
An essential ingredient of language use is our ability to reason about utterances as intentional actions. Linguistic representations are the natural substrate for such reasoning, and models from computational semantics can often be seen as providing an infrastructure to carry out such inferences from rich and accurate grammatical descriptions. Exploring such inferences offers a productive pragmatic perspective on problems of interpretation, and promises to leverage semantic representations in more flexible and more general tools that compute with meaning.
In this Response, I defend the notion of intrinsic qualities of experience, discuss the distinction between relational experience and relational structure, clarify the difference between narrow and broad interpretations of color experience, argue against externalist approaches to color experience, defend the concept of isomorphism as a limitation in understanding color experiences, examine critiques of the color machine and color room arguments, and counter objections to within-subject experiments based on memory limitations.
Thomas Kuhn has argued that scientists never reject a paradigm without simultaneously accepting a new paradigm. Coupled with Kuhn's claim that it is paradigms as a whole, and not individual theories, that are accepted or rejected, this thesis is seen as one of Kuhn's main challenges to the rationality of science. I argue that Kuhn is mistaken in this claim; at least in some instances, science rejects a paradigm despite the absence of a successor. In particular, such a description best (...) fits Kuhn's most discussed example, the Copernican Revolution. By differentiating scientific discoveries into three types, spontaneous, implicit, and directed, we see that Kuhn's thesis holds for spontaneous and implicit discoveries, but not directed discoveries. Directed discoveries must be understood by an alternative account of falsifiability, based on argument by reductio ad absurdum rather than argument by modus tollens as traditional accounts of falsifiability would have it. (shrink)