Universals are a class of mind independent entities, usually contrasted with individuals, postulated to ground and explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals. Individuals are said to be similar in virtue of sharing universals. An apple and a ruby are both red, and their common redness results from sharing a universal. If they are both red at the same time, the universal, red, must be in two places at once. This makes universals quite different from individuals, and controversial. (...) Whether universals are in fact required to explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals has engaged metaphysicians for two thousand years. Disputants fall into one of three broad camps. Realists endorse universals. Conceptualists and Nominalists, on the other hand, refuse to accept universals and deny that they are needed. Conceptualists explain similarity among individuals by appealing to general concepts or ideas, things that exist only in minds. Nominalists, in contrast, are content to leave relations of qualitative resemblance brute and ungrounded. Numerous versions of Nominalism have been proposed, some with a great deal of sophistication. Contemporary philosophy has seen the rise of a new form of Nominalism, one that makes use of a special class of individuals, known as tropes. Familiar individuals have many properties, but tropes are single property instances. Whether Trope Nominalism improves on earlier Nominalist theories is the subject of much recent debate. In general, questions surrounding universals touch upon some of the oldest, deepest, and most abstract of philosophical issues. (shrink)
This paper explores tensions in Ronald Dworkin's liberal theory (and liberalism more generally) about the appropriate relationship of the state to the different conceptions of the good that may be adopted by its citizens. Liberal theory generally supposes that the state must exhibit a kind of impartiality to different conceptions of the good. This impartiality is often thought to be captured by an anti-perfectionist ideal of liberal neutrality. But neutrality is often criticized as an ideal that lacks adequate theoretical support (...) and is difficult to reconcile with liberalism's commitment to government support of various elements of a community's culture. Nonetheless, Dworkin has tried to explain systematically how his egalitarian brand of liberalism can explain the appropriateness of a particular variety of neutrality. I argue, however, that Dworkin's account of the relationship between liberalism and the good is ambiguous. I suggest that an ideal of tolerance which embraces a mild form of perfectionism fits better with the egalitarian foundations of Dworkin's liberalism than neutrality. Moreover, tolerance is an ideal through which familiar tensions about the liberal state's relationship to the good may be resolved. (shrink)
have recently provided a compelling demonstration of enhanced attentional control under post-hypnotic suggestion. Using the classic color-word interference paradigm, in which the task is to ignore a word and to name the color in which it is printed (e.g., RED in green, say ''green''), they gave a post-hypnotic instruction to participants that they would be unable to read. This eliminated Stroop interference in high suggestibility participants but did not alter interference in low suggestibility participants. replicated this pattern and further demonstrated (...) that it is not due to a visual strategy (such as blurring or looking at a different location). As a historical footnote, we describe a ''case study'' from 18 years ago in which we observed the same result using a hypnotic instruction to a single highly suggestible individual that he could not read. The elimination of Stroop interference has important implications for both the study of attention and the study of hypnosis. (shrink)
H. B. Smith, Professor of Philosophy at the influential Pennsylvania School was (roughly) a contemporary of C. I. Lewis who was similarly interested in a proper account of implication. His research also led him into the study of modal logic but in a different direction than Lewis was led. His account of modal logic does not lend itself as readily as Lewis' to the received possible worlds semantics, so that the Smith approach was a casualty rather than a (...) beneficiary of the renewed interest in modality. In this essay we present some of the main points of the Smith approach, in a new guise. (shrink)
In this article the extent to which stories and personal narratives can and should be used to inform education policy is examined. A range of studies describable as story or personal narrative is investigated. They include life-studies, life-writing, life history, narrative analysis, and the representation of lives. We use 'auto/biography' as a convenient way of grouping this range under one term. It points to the many and varied ways that accounts of self interrelate and intertwine with accounts of others. That (...) is, auto/biography illuminates the social context of individual lives. At the same time it allows room for unique, personal stories to be told. We do not explicitly discuss all the different forms of auto/biography. Rather, we investigate the epistemology underlying the personal story in the context of social action. We discuss the circumstances in which a story may validly be used by educational policy makers and give some examples of how they have done so in the past. (shrink)
Can memory be cast as a system that meshes events to actions? This commentary considers the concepts of mesh versus association, arguing that thus far the distinction is inadequate. However, the goal of shifting to an action-based view of memory has merit, most notably in emphasizing memory as a skill and in focusing on processes as opposed to structures.
The target article by Ceci et al. provides some interesting results regarding how faculty might react to difficult social dilemmas, but it has little to say about tenure and its effect upon academic freedom. This comment discusses briefly what we know about tenure, and employment protection more generally, and why it may be in a university's best interest to hire tenured faculty. The comment concludes by pointing out that the results make a rather useful contribution regarding the difficulty of eliciting (...) information on malfeasance in organizations, an area of enormous importance. For example, the results may help us understand why the government has introduced rewards for the reporting of fraud under the whistle-blowing provisions of the Federal Claims Act. (Published Online February 8 2007). (shrink)
In a simple economic decision problem with multi-tasking the dimensionality of the problem is neither a necessary nor a sufficient measure of complexity. Rather, dimension is good measure of complexity when there is an aggregate resource constraint that creates an interaction between the different activities, resulting in a problem with high algorithmic complexity.
The paper explores challenges for the interpretation of the ideal toleration that arise in educational contexts involving children. It offers an account of how a respect-based conception of toleration can help to resolve controversies about the accommodation and response to diversity that arise in schools.
I would like to thank the editors of Philosophy East and West for courteously asking me if I would like to respond to Matthew Dasti and Stephen Phillips' very thoughtful remarks about the review I wrote of Phillips' translation and commentary on the pratyakṣa chapter of Gaṅgeśa's Tattvacintāmaṇi, prepared in collaboration with N. S. Ramanuja Tatacharya (Phillips and Tatacharya 2004). Let me begin by reaffirming what I said at the beginning of my review, that the book is "a monumental (...) and momentous achievement, one whose importance cannot be understated." I have indeed enormous admiration for the magnitude of their achievement and respect for the contribution they have made through this translation to the field of .. (shrink)
Philosophy for Children arose in the 1970s in the US as an educational programme. This programme, initiated by Matthew Lipman, was devoted to exploring the relationship between the notions ‘philosophy’ and ‘childhood’, with the implicit practical goal of establishing philosophy as a full-fledged ‘content area’ in public schools. Over 40 years, the programme has spread worldwide, and the theory and practice of doing philosophy for or with children and young people appears to be of growing interest in the field (...) of education and, by implication, in society as a whole. This article focuses on this growing interest by offering a survey of the main arguments and ideas that have given shape to the idea of philosophy for children in recent decades. This aim is twofold: first, to make more familiar an actual educational practice that is not at all well known in the field of academic philosophy itself; and second, to invite a re-thinking of the relationship between philosophy and the child ‘after Lipman’. (shrink)
Confirmation of a hypothesis by evidence can be measured by one of the so far known incremental measures of confirmation. As we show, incremental measures can be formally defined as the measures of confirmation satisfying a certain small set of basic conditions. Moreover, several kinds of incremental measure may be characterized on the basis of appropriate structural properties. In particular, we focus on the so-called Matthew properties: we introduce a family of six Matthew properties including the reverse (...) class='Hi'>Matthew effect; we further prove that incremental measures endowed with reverse Matthew effect are possible; finally, we shortly consider the problem of the plausibility of Matthew properties. (shrink)
Through an argumentation analysis can one show how it is feasible to view a narrative religious text such as the Gospel of Matthew as a literary argument. The Gospel is not just good news but an elaborate argument for the standpoint that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah. It is shown why an argumentation analysis needs to be supplemented with a pragmatic literary analysis in order to describe how the evangelist presents his story so as to reach (...) his argumentative objective. The analysis also shows why in the case of historical religious literary texts, certain demands are put on the analyst that are not normally present. (shrink)
Robert Merton observed that better-known scientists tend to get more credit than less well-known scientists for the same achievements; he called this the Matthew effect. Scientists themselves, even those eminent researchers who enjoy its benefits, regard the effect as a pathology: it results, they believe, in a misallocation of credit. If so, why do scientists continue to bestow credit in the manner described by the effect? This paper advocates an explanation of the effect on which it turns out to (...) allocate credit fairly after all, while at the same time making sense of scientists' opinions to the contrary. (shrink)
In Practice in Christianity, Søren Kierkegaard's pseudonym, Anti-Climacus enters into an extended engagement with Matthew 11.6, ‘Blessed is he who takes no offense at me’. In so doing, he comes to an understanding that ‘the possibility of offense’ characterises the ‘crossroad’ at which one either comes to faith in Christ's revelation or rejects it. Such a choice, as he is well aware, cannot be made from a neutral standpoint, and so he is led to propose that it is ‘the (...) thoughts of the heart’ (i.e. a person's disposition) that constitute the pivotal factor in determining whether or not God will reconcile a person into the Christian faith. In this paper, I discuss Anti-Climacus' interpretation of Mt. 11.6 and consider his reasons for interpreting a person's predisposition as being so decisive for faith. (shrink)
Kenney, Mark Review(s) of: A source critical edition of the gospels of Matthew and Luke in Greek and English, 2 vols., Christopher J. Monaghan, C.P., Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2010, pp.378, 45.00.
The Matthew Effect refers to the hypothesis that a scientific contribution will receive disproportionate peer recognition whenever there are sharp and distinct differences in prestige within the academic stratification system. This paper empirically examines whether there is an institutional Matthew Effect in economics: does the prestige of an author's economics department influence the visibility or allocation of peer recognition of a scientific contribution? After controlling for author quality, journal quality and article?specific characteristics, the empirical results showed nineteen universities (...) classified as elite have a statistically and numerically positive impact on the level of peer recognition of a scientific contribution. However, further analysis found that the positive institutional Matthew Effect of these elite universities was due solely to the differential peer recognition of scientific contributions by economists affiliated with the economics departments of Harvard University and the University of Chicago. (shrink)
Matthew’s account of the journey of the magi to Jesus has been employed in historical theology to articulate the relation between reason and faith in four different ways: i) reason and faith forming a unity; ii) reason cooperating with faith; iii) reason being the tool of faith; iv) reason being superseded by faith. The paper considers each of these categories in turn, and thus progressively separates the two terms. It demonstrates that “faith” and “reason” are equivocal concepts, and that (...) their relationship is itself a key determinant of their nature. A plurality of forms of reasoning enables the journey to be completed, with each form providing a distinct contribution to a shared faith. (shrink)
In this paper I criticize arguments by Pauline Phemister and Matthew Stuart that John Locke's position in his An Essay Concerning Human Understanding allows for natural kinds based on similarities among real essences. On my reading of Locke, not only are similarities among real essences irrelevant to species, but natural kind theories based on them are unintelligible.
In my reply to Boyle, Rosenthal, and Tumulty, I revisit my view of avowals’ security as a matter of a special immunity to error, their character as intentional expressive acts that employ self-ascriptive vehicles (without being grounded in self-beliefs), Moore’s paradox, the idea of expressing as contrasting with reporting and its connection to showing one’s mental state, and the ‘performance equivalence’ between avowals and other expressive acts.
A Martian reading contemporary work on perception might be forgiven for thinking that humans had only one sense: vision. Witness the title of one popular recent collection: Vision and mind: selected readings in the philosophy of perception. Our obsession with sight is stifling. It leads to distorted vision-based models of the other senses, and it means that the distinctive puzzles raised by non-visual modalities are routinely neglected. With this pioneering and long-overdue collection of essays on auditory perception, Nudds and O’Callaghan (...) aim to start correcting this state of affairs. They deserve much praise, not least for their own substantial contributions and splendid introduction. (shrink)
This book consists of an introduction by the editor, eleven of Plantinga’s previously published pieces, and an index. The previously published works are presented in the following chronological order: “De Re et De Dicto” (1969); “World and Essence” (1970); “Transworld Identity or Worldbound Individuals?” (1973); Chapter VIII of The Nature of Necessity (1974); “Actualism and Possible Worlds” (1976); “The Boethian Compromise” (1978); “De Essentia” (1979); “On Existentialism” (1983); “Reply to John L. Pollock” (1985); “Two Concepts of Modality: Modal Realism and (...) Modal Reductionism” (1987); and “Why Propositions Cannot Be Concrete” (1993). (shrink)
Can it be better or worse for a person to be than not to be, that is, can it be better or worse to exist than not to exist at all? This old 'existential question' has been raised anew in contemporary moral philosophy. There are roughly two reasons for this renewed interest. Firstly, traditional so-called “impersonal” ethical theories, such as utilitarianism, have counter-intuitive implications in regard to questions concerning procreation and our moral duties to future, not yet existing people. Secondly, (...) it has seemed evident to many that an outcome can only be better than another if it is better for someone, and that only moral theories that are in this sense “person affecting” can be correct. The implications of this Person Affecting Restriction will differ radically, however, depending on which answer one gives to the existential question. Melinda Roberts (2003) and Matthew Adler (2009) have defended an affirmative answer to the existential question using an assumption that one can asribe a zero level of wellbeing to a person in a world in which that person doesn't exist. Contrariwise, Derek Parfit (1984), John Broome (1999), and others have worried that if we take a person’s life to be better for her than non-existence, then we would have to conclude that it would have been worse for her if she did not exist, which is absurd: Nothing would have been worse or better for a person if she had not existed. The paper suggests that an affirmative answer to the existential question can avoid such absurdities: One can claim that, say, it is better for a person to exist than not to exist, without implying that it would have been worse for a person if she had not existed or that her level of wellbeing would then have been lower. (shrink)
In this chapter we shall examine the characteristic properties of a construction wide-spread in the world’s languages, the passive. In section 1 below we discuss defining characteristics of passives, contrasting them with other foregrounding and backgrounding constructions. In section 2 we present the common syntactic and semantic properties of the most wide-spread types of passives, and in section 3 we consider passives which differ in one or more ways from these. In section 4, we survey a variety of constructions that (...) resemble passive constructions in one way or another. In section 5, we briefly consider differences between languages with regard to the roles passives play in their grammars. Specifically, we show that passives are a more essential part of the grammars of some languages than of others. (shrink)
This paper offers a narrative approach to understanding the process of clinical reasoning in complex cases involving medical uncertainty, moral ambiguity, and futility. We describe a clinical encounter in which the pediatric health care team experienced a great deal of conflict and distrust as a result of an ineffective process of interpretation and communication. We propose a systematic method for analyzing the technical, ethical, behavioral, and existential dimensions of the clinical reasoning process, and introduce the Clinical Reasoning Discussion Toolâa dialogical (...) and interpretive device aimed at improving communication, understanding, empathy, and moral deliberation in the clinical setting. (shrink)