Mr. B. A. Farrell has argued that psychoanalysis is refutable, without clarifying different senses of 'refutable'. Once this clarification is done and the relevant literature examined, however, it is seen that psychoanalysis is not refutable in several important senses of 'refutable', although it is refutable in a sense that is quite uninteresting.
One of the many virtues of Martin Seel’s Aesthetics of Appearing is that it lays its cards on the table at the very outset. The final three chapters consist in a series of complex digressions from the main discussion: one on the aesthetic significance of ‘resonating’(p. 139), one organized around the metaphysics of pictures, and one charged with defending the implausible claim that the artistic representation of violence is uniquely capable of revealing ‘what is violent about violence’ (p. 191). (...) But the thesis of the book and its main arguments are stated in the preface, preceding even the acknowledgements. Seel writes, ‘[t]his book makes the proposal of having aesthetics begin not with concepts of being‐so or semblance but with a concept of appearing’ (p. xi). This might initially seem opaque, as though reducing aesthetics to a subtlety involving the meaning of the Greek word phainomai, but Seel immediately clarifies the stance that he wishes to advance. Seel’s position is that aesthetics is distinguished by attention to the indeterminable particularity of sensory experience; aesthetics so considered comprises the philosophy of art as well as non‐art experience; aesthetic experience is a legitimate mode of world‐encounter by virtue of its immediacy or ‘presence’ (p. xi)(Gegenwart – i.e., a contrary of ‘past’, rather than of ‘absence’); and because the presence of our experience reveals the presence of our lives, aesthetic experience constitutes an important form of self‐knowledge. The subsequent chapters are devoted to explicating this position in extraordinary detail. Seel’s position depends on a somewhat implicit account of subjectivity. In this account, what we fundamentally perceive, conditioned by conceptual activity but transcending any possible determinate content, is a ‘play’ of sensuous qualities (p. 47). Since it is ‘unfettered’ (p. 51) by theoretical interest, this form of perception is far qualitatively richer than our more structured experiences: here one is ‘able to perceive.... (shrink)
In this essay, I propose a standard of practical rationality and a grounding for the standard that rests on the idea of autonomous agency. This grounding is intended to explain the “normativity” of the standard. The basic idea is this: To be autonomous is to be self-governing. To be rational is at least in part to be self-governing; it is to do well in governing oneself. I argue that a person's values are aspects of her identity—of her “self-esteem identity”—in a (...) way that most of her ends are not, and that it therefore is plausible to view action governed by one's values as self-governed. This is also plausible on independent grounds. Given this, I say, rational agents comply with a standard—the “values standard”—that requires them to serve their values, and to seek what they need in order to continue to be able to serve their values. Footnotesa I am grateful to many people for helpful comments and discussion over the many years in which I have been developing the ideas in this essay. With apologies to those whose help escapes my memory, I would like to thank Nomy Arpaly, Sam Black, Michael Bratman, Justin D'Arms, Dan Farrell, Pat Greenspan, Don Hubin, Dan Jacobson, Marina Oshana, Michael Ridge, Michael Robins, David Sobel, Pekka Väyrynen, and David Velleman. I presented early versions of some of the ideas in this essay to audiences in the departments of philosophy at the University of Alberta, the University of Maryland at College Park, l'Université de Montréal, the University of Southern California, and the University of Florida, to the 1999 Conference on Moral Theory and Its Applications, Le Lavandou, France, and to the 2001 Conference on Reason and Deliberation, Bowling Green State University. I am grateful for the helpful comments of those who participated in the discussions on all of these occasions and especially to the other contributors to this volume, and its editors. I owe special thanks to Ellen Paul for encouraging me to integrate my thinking on identity with my thinking on rationality and for her useful comments. (shrink)
S. Adams, W. Ambrose, A. Andretta, H. Becker, R. Camerlo, C. Champetier, J.P.R. Christensen, D.E. Cohen, A. Connes. C. Dellacherie, R. Dougherty, R.H. Farrell, F. Feldman, A. Furman, D. Gaboriau, S. Gao, V. Ya. Golodets, P. Hahn, P. de la Harpe, G. Hjorth, S. Jackson, S. Kahane, A.S. Kechris, A. Louveau,, R. Lyons, P.-A. Meyer, C.C. Moore, M.G. Nadkarni, C. Nebbia, A.L.T. Patterson, U. Krengel, A.J. Kuntz, J.-P. Serre, S.D. Sinel'shchikov, T. Slaman, Solecki, R. Spatzier, J. Steel, D. Sullivan, (...) S. Thomas, A. Valette, V.S. Varadarajan, B. Velickovic, B. Weiss, J.D.M. Wright, R.J. Zimmer. (shrink)
I agree with nearly everything Martin Davies says. He has written an elegant and highly informative analysis of recent philosophical debates about the mind–brain relation. I particularly enjoyed Davies’ discussion of B.A. Farrell, his precursor in the Oxford Wilde Readership (now Professorship) in Mental Philosophy. It is intriguing to see how closely Farrell anticipated many of the moves made by more recent ‘type-A’ physicalists who seek to show that, upon analysis, claims about conscious states turn out to (...) be nothing more than complex third-personal claims about internal and external behaviour. Davies is also exemplary in his even-handed treatment of those contemporary ‘type-B’ physicalists who have turned away from the neo-logical-behaviourism of Farrell and his ilk. Davies explains how type-B physicalists recognize distinctive subjective ‘phenomenal concepts’ for thinking about conscious states and so deny that phenomenal claims can be deduced a priori from behavioural or other third-personal claims. However, type-B physicalists do not accept that these subjective phenomenal concepts refer to any distinct non-material reality. In their view, phenomenal concepts and third-personal scientific concepts are simply another example of the familiar circumstance where we have two different ways of referring to a single reality. Since I am persuaded by pretty much all Davies says about these matters, I shall not comment substantially on the dialectical points he covers. Instead I want to raise two rather wider issues. The first is the set of ideas associated with the phrase ‘the explanatory gap’. Davies specifies that he is using this phrase in a specific technical sense. But the phrase has further connotations, and this can lead to a distorted appreciation of the philosophical issues. The second issue is the methodological implications of the philosophical debate. I shall argue that the philosophical issues addressed by Davies suggest that there are unexpected limitations on what empirical brain research can achieve.. (shrink)
Farrell, B. A. The criteria for a psycho-analytic interpretation.--Gardiner, P. Error, faith, and self-deception.--Cohen, G. A. Beliefs and roles.--Deutsch, J. A. The structural basis of behaviour.--Hampshire, S. Feeling and expression.--Putnam, H. The mental life of some machines.--Davidson, D. Psychology as philosophy.--Nagel, T. Brain bisection and the unity of consciousness.--Williams, B. The self and the future.--Parfit, D. Personal identity.
John Dewey and the spirit of pragmatism, by H. M. Kallen.--Dewey and art, by I. Edman.--Instrumantalism and the history of philosophy, by G. Boas.--Culture and personality, by L. K. Frank.--Social inquiry and social doctrine, by H. L. Friess.--Dewey's theories of legal reasoning and valuation, by S. Ratner.--John Dewey and education, by J. L. Childs.--Dewey's revision of Jefferson, by M. R. Konvitz.--Laity and prelacy in American democracy, by H. W. Schneider.--Organized labor and the Dewey philosophy, by M. Starr.--The desirable and emotive (...) in Dewey's ethics, by S. Hook.--John Dewey's theory of inquiry, by F. Kaufman.--Dewey's theory of natural science, by E. Nagel.--Concerning a certain Deweyan conception of metaphysics, by A. Hofstadter.--Dewey's theory of language and meaning, by P. D. Wienpahl.--Language, rules, and behavior, by W. Sellars.--The analytic and the synthetic: an untenable dualism, by M. G. White.--John Dewey and Karl Marx, by J. Cork.--Dewey in Mexico, by J. T. Farrell. (shrink)