City College of New York The hereditarian theory of race differences in IQ was briefly revived with the appearance of The Bell Curve but then quickly dismissed. The authors attempt a defense of it here, with an eye to conceptual and logical issues of special interests to philosophers, such as alleged infirmities in the heritability concept. At the same time, some relevant post-Bell Curve empirical data are introduced.
"Intentional behaviorism" is Gordon Foxall's name for his proposal to mix the oil of mentalist language with the water of empiricist behaviorism. The trouble is, oil and water don't mix. To remain scientific, the language of behavioral science must remain non-mental. Folk psychological ascriptions of belief and desire do not explain the patterns of behavior identified by behavior analysis; they merely describe these patterns in less scientific language. The underpinnings of these patterns, if not intentionality, must be sought in physiology, (...) particularly neurophysiology. Intentionality is an aspect of language, not the world. If we find it in the world, it is because we have put it there. (shrink)
In his compact and erudite but lucid and skillfully argued volume, Hxplaining Postmodernism, Stephen Hicks traces the history of postmodernist commitment to relativistic nihilism from its origins in Kant and Rousseau up through Fichte and Heidegger to Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard and Rorty. That done, Hicks goes on to show how the anticapitalist left has responded to the spectacular failures of socialist practice and theory by abandoning the scientistic objectivism of Marx while embracing postmodernist irrationalism, multiculturalism, and extremist rhetoric. It is (...) a fine performance. (shrink)
In an earlier essay in this journal, the estimable John Staddon charges B. F. Skinner and E. O. Wilson with committing several fallacies while promoting evolutionary ethics. The present essay replies that what Staddon regards as fallacies are signal contributions to a naturalistic understanding of ethical choice and language.
What are "private events" and what is their significance? The term is B. F. Skinner's, but the idea is much older. Before J. B. Watson challenged their methods and their metaphysics, virtually all psychologists assumed that the only way to discover a person's supposedly private states of mind was to ask her about them. Not a believer in minds, Skinner nevertheless agreed that sensations, feelings, and certain unspecified forms of "covert behavior" cannot be observed by others, because they take place (...) inside the body underneath the skin. Then he added that these inner events are of interest only to the physiologist; the concern of the behavior analyst is how intact organisms interact with their environment, not how their inward parts interact with each other. That compromise enabled Skinner to pursue behavior analysis in disregard of neurophysiology, which there was at the time no good way to study anyhow. But Skinner's talk of ineluctably private events was ill considered and ill conceived. There is no well understood sense in which people observe their own sensations, feelings, and "covert behavior," but if these take place inside the body, as it is reasonable to believe, the physiologist can observe them given the sophisticated new machines now available. And since these events inside the body vary with circumstances and influence behavior, the psychologist cannot afford to ignore what the physiologist has to say about them. Black box psychology is out of date. Though it is opaque, the skin is not an epistemological barrier. (shrink)
In his spirited "Faith and Goodness" (this issue), John Staddon says that my defense of B. F. Skinner's definition of the good—as what has the potential to reinforce desire for it—overlooks the fact that people sometimes desire the wrong things. Staddon appears to agree with G. E. Moore that the good should, rather, be equated with what is worthy of being desired, so ought to be desired, whether it ever is desired or not. But since there is no objective test (...) of worthiness, Moore's ought can only mean "I, and folk like me, desire that others desire what we desire that they desire."¹ When the talk is of values, there is no getting away from desires.². (shrink)
The images from wars in the Middle East that haunt us are those of young women killing and torturing. Their media circulated stories share a sense of shock. They have both galvanized and confounded debates over feminism and women's equality. And, as Oliver argues in this essay, they share, perhaps subliminally, the problematic notion of women as both offensive and defensive weapons of war, a notion that is symptomatic of fears of women's "mysterious" powers.
In the post-Newtonian world motion is assumed to be a simple category which relates to the locomotion of bodies in space, and is usually associated only with physics. Philosophy, God and Motion shows that this is a relatively recent understanding of motion and that prior to the scientific revolution motion was a much broader and more mysterious category, applying to moral as well as physical movements. SimonOliver presents fresh interpretations of key figures in the history of western (...) thought including Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Newton, examining the thinkers' handling of the concept of motion. Through close readings of seminal texts in ancient and medieval cosmology and early modern natural philosophy, the book moves from antique to modern times investigating how motion has been of great significance within theology, philosophy and science. Particularly important is the relation between motion and God, following Aristotle traditional doctrines of God have understood the divine as the 'unmoved mover' while post-Holocaust theologians have suggested that in order to be compassionate God must undergo the motion of suffering. Philosophy, God and Motion suggests that there may be an authentically theological, as well as a natural scientific understanding of motion. (shrink)
In Womanizing Nietzsche, Kelly Oliver uses an analysis of the position of woman in Nietzsche's texts to open onto the larger question of philosophy's relation to the feminine and the maternal. Offering readings from Nietzsche, Derrida, Irigaray, Kristeva, Freud and Lacan, Oliver builds an innovative foundation for an ontology of intersubjective relationships that suggests a new approach to ethics. Oliver argues that while Freud, Nietzsche and Derrida, in particular, attempt to open up philosophy to its other--the unconscious, (...) the body, difference, even the feminine--their attempts depend on closing off the possibility of a specifically feminine other. In this regard, Oliver maintains that none of these theorists have escaped the Hegelian model of intersubjectivity at the level of Lordship and Bondage. She suggests that the recent talk of the death of philosophy is a symptom of the exclusion of woman, the feminine and the maternal. By problematizing and reformulating the traditional philosophical association between the maternal and nature, Oliver presents an alternative model for intersubjectivity and ethics. (shrink)
A valuable intervention in Kristevan scholarship and a significant and exciting contribution in its own right to post-structuralist discussions of ethical and political agency and practice. Contributors: Judith Butler, Tina Chanter, Marilyn Edelstein, Jean Graybeal, Suzanne Guerlac, Alice Jardine, Lisa Lowe, Noelle McAfee, Norma Claire Moruzzi, Kelly Oliver, Tilottma Rajan, Jacqueline Rose, Allison Weir, Mary Bittner Wiseman, Ewa Ziarek.
This enterprising book, written in the spirit of William James, urges our appreciation of the intensely personal character of spiritual transcendence. Phil Oliver's work has important implications for specialists concerned with the Jamesian concept of "pure experience," and it illuminates significant interdisciplinary ties among philosophy, literature, and other intellectual domains.
This article critically engages Julia Kristeva’s latest work on maternal passion as an antidote to what she calls “feminine fatigue.” Oliver elaborates, criticizes, and expands Kristeva’s view that maternity can be a model for thinking about passion and its relation to creativity and even to ethics. She relates Kristeva’s thinking about feminine fatigue to contemporary feminism in the United States. .
Max Weber's distinction in "Politics as a Vocation" between the ethic of conviction and the ethic of responsibility is best understood as a distinction between mutually exclusive ethical worldviews. Interpretations that correlate the two ethics with Weber's distinction between value-rational social action and instrumental-rational social action are misleading since Weber assumes that both types of rational social action are present in both ethics. The ethic of conviction recognizes a given hierarchy of values as the context for moral endeavor. The ethic (...) of responsibility acknowledges value obligations, but assumes the absence of any given hierarchy of values and the inevitability of value conflict as the context for moral endeavor. When interpreted in the context of his multilayered understanding of value conflict, Weber's ethic of responsibility emerges as a coherent ethical perspective. (shrink)
This paper examines Max Adler's philosophical thought, in order to elucidate how he was able to spot a religious meaning in the materialistic conception of history and to understand his connection to Judaism. The first part expounds on how the prominence of religious issues was perceived in the Marxist milieu; the second part analyzes Adler's particular position, above all in harmony with Kantian philosophy; and the third part brings out the essential differences between Adler's and Kant's ideas on religion. Finally (...) the paper shows how Adler's hope in an ultramundane salvation of mankind separates his interpretation from Jewish messianism. (shrink)
Apresentamos Max Weber como um dos sociólogos e historiadores mais importantes dentre aqueles que se dedicaram ao estudo do fenômeno religioso. Na verdade, é possível afirmar que a análise da religião compreende um dos aspectos mais fundamentais de sua obra sócio-histórica. De modo geral, esse tema aparece em seus textos de duas maneiras diferentes, quais sejam: enquanto um objeto analisado em sua singularidade e enquanto uma manifestação social que influencia de maneira significativa os demais aspectos da vida comunitária. Aqui, observamos (...) como ele muniu-se de um método particular e o utilizou como parâmetro para compreender historicamente a religião. Ao se debruçar sobre as religiões mundiais (confucionismo-taoísmo, judaísmo-cristianismo e hinduísmo-budismo), Weber estuda a racionalização cultural de suas cosmovisões. Todavia, para ele, a influência da religião sobre a vida prática varia muito segundo o caminho da salvação/libertação que é prescrito e segundo a qualidade psíquica (ou imaginada) da salvação que se pretende alcançar. Palavras-chave : Max Weber; Religião; Religiões Mundiais; Racionalização.We present Max Weber as one of the most important sociologists and historians among those who dedicated themselves to the study of the religious phenomenon. Actually, it is possible to say that the analysis of religion involves one of the most fundamental aspects of his socio-historical work. As a whole, this subject appears in his texts in two different forms, i.e., as an analyzed object in its particularities, and as a social manifestation which influences, in a significant way, the other aspects of communitarian life. Here, we observe how he equipped himself with a particular method, rescued Kantian rationality and applied it as a parameter to historically understand religion. While he dedicated himself to study world religions (Confucianism-Taoism, Judaism-Christianity, and Hinduism-Buddhism), Weber analyzes the cultural rationalization of his cosmovisions. However, for him, the influence of religion over practical life varies a lot according to the path of salvation/liberation which is prescribed in terms of the psychological (imagined) quality of the salvation which is intended to be reached. Key words : Max Weber; Religion; World Religions; Rationalization. (shrink)
In this essay I elaborate on the theoretical framework – that of Millian liberalism – that Max Charlesworth brought to many public issues, including that of the relation between education and religion. I will then apply this framework to a debate in which I have been recently involved myself: a debate around the provision of religious instruction in public schools. In the first section I expound Charlesworth’s rejection of secularism in education in a liberal pluralist state and his defence of (...) faith-based schooling. In the second section I uncover the religious motivations behind the Victorian government’s 1950 amendments to the apparently secularist Victorian Education Act of 1872. In section three, I explore the notion of secularism more fully and suggest that the struggle between those who espouse religious instruction in state schools and those who oppose it while advocating a more general form of education about religion is a symptom of a deeper tension between liberalism and communitarianism within the culture of modernist, liberal states. (shrink)
In his book on P max , Woodin presents a collection of partial orders whose extensions satisfy strong club guessing principles on ω | . In this paper we employ one of the techniques from this book to produce P max variations which separate various club guessing principles. The principle (+) and its variants are weak guessing principles which were first considered by the second author  while studying games of length ω | . It was shown in  that (...) the Continuum Hypothesis does not imply (+) and that (+) does not imply the existence of a club guessing sequence on ω | . In this paper we give an alternate proof of the second of these results, using Woodin's P max technology, showing that a strengthening of (+) does not imply a weakening of club guessing known as the Interval Hitting Principle. The main technique in this paper, in addition to the standard P m a x machinery, is the use of condensation principles to build suitable iterations. (shrink)
This paper aims at revealing the originality of Max Weber’s conception of the logical category of “historicity”, suggesting that in his writings on the methodology of the social sciences we can find a stimulating and forerunner contribution to the analysis of some logical and formal problems concerning the relationship between human knowledge and the chaos of reality (what we might call, ante-litteram, “science of chaos”). In particular, considering that in Weber’s conception scientific knowledge finds no facts “to grasp” in the (...) natural world, but rather a chaos of unique and infinitely divisible events, the analysis will be focused on the following aspects: (a) Weber’s separation of causal imputation from the notion of necessary (natural) law; (b) the importance attached to “probability judgments” with different degrees of certainty; (c) the proclaimed irreducibility of individual events to scientific models, laws, and (ideal)-types; (d) the effects imputed to the differentiation of the point of view of a scientific observer. (shrink)
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a well-known book in Spain, but it caused a complex debate that hasn’t been translated or taken into account by the critics. Outside Spain, it hasn’t been used massively for the interpretation of Weber’s thesis either. My essay aims to value all criticisms and anti-criticisms that forced Weber to a refinement of the philosophical dimension of his thesis on the relationship between rationality - irrationality and the metaphysical basis of the latter.
I give a critique of the argument against the Identity of Indiscernibles found in Max Black's dialogue "The Identity of Indiscernibles". I begin by postulating and giving existence and individuation conditions for actually existent thought experiment characters on analogy with fictional characters as postulated in Peter van Inwagen's "Creatures of Fiction". I then show that Black's two-spheres thought experiment raises not one but two discernibility questions: 1) Is it true in the two-spheres thought experiment that there exist two indiscernible spheres? (...) NO. 2) Is it true in the actual world that there are two indiscernible sphere-characters? YES. (shrink)
Max Weber's postulate of value-neutrality and the naturalistic justification of norms. The relationship between facts and values is an essential problem in philosophy, political science and sociology. Usually it is held that there is a wide gap between what is and what ought to be, the nature of which, however, is far from clear. My purpose is to elucidate this relationship by analyzing some well-known articles of Max Weber. I first present Weber's postulate of ‘value-neutrality’ and outline the reasons he (...) gave for it. Then I proceed by examining Weber's scientific methodology, arguing that its presuppositions contradict the existence of a hiatus irrationalis between facts and values. This conclusion is supported by some historical examples which show that facts are constituted by values and values by facts. I propose that Weber's epistemological justification of value-neutrality be discarded in favor of a pragmatic one that can also be derived from his arguments. I conclude by sketching the outline of a naturalistic approach in philosophy and related disciplines. This approach admits the continuity of facts and values and provides a realistic view of every-day normative disputes. (shrink)
The German philosopher Max Scheler defines the human person as a value-oriented act structure. Since a person is ideally a free being with open possibilities, the aim of education is to help human beings develop their potential in various directions. At the centre of Scheler's educational philosophy is the idea of all-round education, which aims towards a developed capacity for assessment, an ability to make choices and an ability to focus on the objective nature of things.
Max <span class='Hi'>Ferdinand</span> Scheler was born in Munich on August 22, 1874 and brought up in an orthodox Jewish household.1 Aft er completing high school in 1894, he started to study medicine, philosophy, and psychology. He studied with Th eodor Lipps in Munich, with Georg Simmel and Wilhelm Dilthey in Berlin, and with Rudolf Eucken in Jena,2 where he received his doctorate in 1897 with a thesis entitled Beiträge zur Feststellung der Beziehungen zwischen den logischen und ethischen Prinzipien (Contributions to (...) an appraisal of the relations between the logical and ethical principles). Two years later this was followed by his habilitation thesis on Die transzendentale und die psychologische Methode. In 1902, Scheler met Edmund Husserl for the fi rst time at a reception in Halle given by Hans Vaihinger (1852–1933), the editor of Kant-Studien. Th.. (shrink)
This is a fine book. In what has become a crowded field, it stands out as direct, deep, and daring. It should place Max Velmans amongst the stars in the field like Chalmers, Dennett, Searle, and Churchland who are most commonly referenced in consciousness studies books and articles. It is direct in that the de rigueur history and review of the body-mind problem is illuminating and concise. It is deep in that Velmans deconstructs the usual idea of an objective world (...) as distinct from our experienced world. It is daring in that in his last chapter he comes out on the side of consciousness co-evolving with the universe rather than arising at some point within it (though he insists that such speculation is beyond the more empirical intent of his earlier chapters). (shrink)