David Lewis presented a celebrated argument for the identity theory of mind. His argument has provided the model for the program of analytic functionalism. He argues from two premises, that mental states are analytically tied to their causal roles and that, contingently, there is never a need to explain any physical change by going outside the realm of the physical, to the conclusion that mental states are physical. I show that his argument is mistaken and that it trades on (...) a crucial ambiguity in the second premise. He argues for a weaker version of that premise and then uses a stronger version in the argument. The weaker version of that premise will not allow the inference and the stronger version is contested in the dialectical context. In general then this strategy for providing analytic reductions will not be guaranteed to succeed. (shrink)
In the United States, various forms of character education have become popular in both elementary and professional education. They are often criticised, however, for their reliance on Aristotle, who is said to be problematic at several points. In response to these criticisms, I argue that Aristotle?s ancient account of character and its formation remains viable in light of work over the last decade in psychology and the neurosciences. However, some lacunae remain that can at least be partially filled with insights (...) drawn from the work of Michael Polanyi, a scientist-turned-philosopher whose larger philosophical project was launched by a desire to see Western society flourish. Insights from these varied sources can provide the building blocks with which to construct an account of character and its development that preserves Aristotle?s best insights in ways that answer the concerns voiced by the critics. (shrink)
Heidegger Beyond Deconstruction argues that Heidegger's question of being cannot be separated from the question of nature and culture, and that the history of being describes the growing predominance of culture and technology over nature, resulting in today's environmental crisis. It proposes that we turn to Heidegger's thought in order fully to understand this crisis. In doing so it is necessary to retrieve those elements of his thought which are most maligned by Derridean deconstruction: the pastoral, the homely, the local. (...) In a world coming to terms with the destructive nature of ‘globalisation' and the networks of distribution and travel which lacerate the globe, we are witnessing a gradual return to the ‘locally produced', the ‘organic', the ‘micro-generation' of energy unplugged from the national and international grid: in other words, a return to the ‘near'. The necessities and problems inherent in this return, which the ‘environmental movement' must address, are already to be found in Heidegger's thought. Lewis confronts this thought with that of Lacan, Levinas, Žižek, and Marx in order to reinvent the element to which deconstruction usually confines it and bring it into a position from which to confront the most pressing ethical and political questions of today. (shrink)
Realism and metaphysics.--Ultimates and a way of looking.--Religion and the paranormal.--Quinton, A., Lewis, H. D., Williams, B. Life after death.--Lewis, H. D., Flew, A. Survival.--Shoemaker, S., Lewis, H. D. Immortality and dualism.--The belief in life after death.--The person of Christ.
This study examined how sales managers react to ethical and unethical acts by their salespeople. Deontological considerations and, to a much lesser extent, teleological considerations predicted sales managers' ethical judgments. Sales managers' intentions to reward or discipline ethical or unethical sales force behavior were primarily determined by their ethical judgments. An organization's perceived ethical work climate was not a significant predictor of sales managers' intentions to intervene when ethical and unethical sales force behavior was encountered.
Altruism by definition involves the self's evaluation of costs and benefits of an act of the self, which must include cost to the self and benefits to the other. Reinforcement value to the self of such acts is greater than the costs to the self. Without consideration of a self-system of evaluation, there is little meaning to altruistic acts.
Two major problems exist in studying development: Similar behaviors do not need to reflect the same underlying process, different behaviors can reflect the same process; earlier behaviors do not necessarily lead to later behaviors. Empathy, rather than social contagion, is supported by different processes; contagion supported by prewired species behavior, empathy by cognitions, in particular, the cognitions about the self – a meta-representation.
Shared knowledge of intentionality as well as shared knowledge of anything depends on the organism's understanding of itself, others, and the possible relations between self and other. This understanding involves mental representations of me, which emerges in the second half of the second year in the human infant, and it is this ability that gives rise to humanlike social understanding and complex self-conscious emotions.
This volume considers the many areas where medicine intersects with the law. Advances in medical research, reproductive science and genetics have given rise to unprecedented ethical and legal quandaries. These are reflected in chapters on cloning, organ donation, choosing genetic characteristics, and the use of Viagra.
We explore the idea that eye-movement strategies in reading are precisely adapted to the joint constraints of task structure, task payoff, and processing architecture. We present a model of saccadic control that separates a parametric control policy space from a parametric machine architecture, the latter based on a small set of assumptions derived from research on eye movements in reading (Engbert, Nuthmann, Richter, & Kliegl, 2005; Reichle, Warren, & McConnell, 2009). The eye-control model is embedded in a decision architecture (a (...) machine and policy space) that is capable of performing a simple linguistic task integrating information across saccades. Model predictions are derived by jointly optimizing the control of eye movements and task decisions under payoffs that quantitatively express different desired speed-accuracy trade-offs. The model yields distinct eye-movement predictions for the same task under different payoffs, including single-fixation durations, frequency effects, accuracy effects, and list position effects, and their modulation by task payoff. The predictions are compared to—and found to accord with—eye-movement data obtained from human participants performing the same task under the same payoffs, but they are found not to accord as well when the assumptions concerning payoff optimization and processing architecture are varied. These results extend work on rational analysis of oculomotor control and adaptation of reading strategy (Bicknell & Levy, ; McConkie, Rayner, & Wilson, 1973; Norris, 2009; Wotschack, 2009) by providing evidence for adaptation at low levels of saccadic control that is shaped by quantitatively varying task demands and the dynamics of processing architecture. (shrink)
Quine’s general approach is to treat ontology as a matter of what a theory says there is. This turns ontology into a question of which existential statements are consequences of that theory. This approach is contrasted favourably with the view that takes ontological commitment as a relation to things. However within the broadly Quinean approach we can distinguish different accounts, differing as to the nature of the consequence relation best suited for determining those consequences. It is suggested that Quine’s own (...) narrowly formal account fails. Then a consideration of the necessitation approach championed by Jackson and Lewis shows that it does not do justice to the role of acknowledging consequences in determining rationality. I suggest that an approach which puts a priori consequence as the key relation does a better job. The task of spelling out the nature of a priori consequence is sketched, along with reasons to doubt the adequacy of the double indexing approach to analysing the a priori. The sorts of relations we can stand in to theories which allow us to inherit ontological commitments are touched on with a number of important philosophical strategies for introducing belief-like attitudes which nevertheless avoid ontological commitment. (shrink)
Everettian accounts of quantum mechanics entail that people branch; every possible result of a measurement actually occurs, and I have one successor for each result. Is there room for probability in such an account? The prima facie answer is no; there are no ontic chances here, and no ignorance about what will happen. But since any adequate quantum mechanical theory must make probabilistic predictions, much recent philosophical labor has gone into trying to construct an account of probability for branching selves. (...) One popular strategy involves arguing that branching selves introduce a new kind of subjective uncertainty. I argue here that the variants of this strategy in the literature all fail, either because the uncertainty is spurious, or because it is in the wrong place to yield probabilistic predictions. I conclude that uncertainty cannot be the ground for probability in Everettian quantum mechanics. (shrink)
Spontaneous collapse theories of quantum mechanics require an interpretation if their claim to solve the measurement problem is to be vindicated. The most straightforward interpretation rule, the fuzzy link, generates a violation of common sense known as the counting anomaly. Recently, a consensus has developed that the mass density link provides an appropriate interpretation of spontaneous collapse theories that avoids the counting anomaly. In this paper, I argue that the mass density link violates common sense in just as striking a (...) way as the fuzzy link, and hence should not be regarded as a problem-free alternative to the fuzzy link. Hence advocates of spontaneous collapse theories must accept some violation of common sense, although this is not necessarily fatal to their project. (shrink)
Recently academic freedom and academic tenure have been in the media spotlight because of concerns that academic freedom is being misused and that academic tenure provides job security to a select few. First, this paper provides a brief history of these two institutions and follow with an analysis using Stone’s (2002) policy analysis format. Second, this paper examines the university through two lenses: (a) an economic market lens; and (b) a community lens. These two lenses offer contrasting views of the (...) university and help explain the different views of academic freedom and tenure. The authors suggest that faculty make use of the economic model to increase their chances of maintaining tenure in a university atmosphere frequently characterized by a business approach rather than a collegial one. Recommendations for future research are also provided. (shrink)
The Human Genome Initiative represents an ambitious attempt to map the genetic structure of the human species (an estimated 100,00 genes). The project has generated a vast amount of theological and ethical literature, none of which discusses the impact of the project on understandings of embodiment. This gap is surprising since Michael Polanyi and, more recently, feminist thinkers have argued that embodiment is central to human existence. I argue that theologians and scientist can teach one another some important lessons (...) about embodiment by exploring some of the literature produced by the project and the anthropologies of Karl Rahner, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Stanley Hauerwas and James McClendon. (shrink)
This essay summarizes representative work in treatments of wisdom in Psychology and the neurosciences. It concludes with suggestions for how this work might cohere with and be enriched by engaging the work of Michael Polanyi.
Abstract Pavel Florensky solves Lewis Carroll’s ‘Barbershop’ paradox to support his reasoning in a previous chapter. Our discussion includes a) the problem (which we also refer to as the p paradox), b) Carroll’s solution, c) Bertrand Russell’s solution, d) Florensky’s solution and then e) a material example proffered by Florensky. Both Russell and Florensky disagree with Carroll’s solution, yet, (ostensibly) unbeknownst to themselves they offer the same solution, which is ‘p implies not-q’. Given Florensky’s material example, the solution seems (...) to tell us something about the logic of belief. We ask whether Florensky’s example has reverse implications for Russell’s solution. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s11406-011-9333-6 Authors Michael Rhodes, Philosophy and Religious Studies (NPD), Chicago, IL, USA Journal Philosophia Online ISSN 1574-9274 Print ISSN 0048-3893. (shrink)
SURVEYS (a) David Lewis, Parts of Classes (Blackwell, Oxford, 1991), §§3.4–3.6 (pp. 72–87) (b) Achille Varzi, ‘Mereology’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http:// plato.stanford.edu/entries/mereology/. (c) Michael C. Rea (ed.), Material Constitu- tion (Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 1997), esp. the introduction. (d) van Cleve and Markosian, ‘Mereology’, Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne, and Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics (Blackwell, Oxford, 2007), ch. 8, pp. 319–63. (e) Peter M. Simons, Parts: A Study in Ontology (Oxford University Press, Oxford, (...) 1987). (shrink)
Our world is a world of change. Children are born and grow into adults. Material possessions rust and decay with age and ultimately perish. Yet scepticism about change is as old as philosophy itself. Heraclitus, for example, argued that nothing could survive the replacement of parts, so that it is impossible to step into the same river twice. Zeno argued that motion is paradoxical, so that nothing can alter its location. Parmenides and his followers went even further, arguing that the (...) very concept of qualitative change is inconsistent. Change in any respect is impossible, they argued, as change requires difference and nothing differs from itself. Few today would accept the Eleatic conclusion that change is impossible. But the topic of change continues to be a source of much debate, as it brings together various issues that are central to metaphysics, language, and logic – including identity, persistence, time, tense, and temporal logic. Author Recommends Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Problem of Change.' Philosophy Compass 1 (2006): 1–10. This article presents the problem of change and provides a brief survey of potential solutions. Haslanger, Sally. 'Persistence Through Time.' The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics . Eds. M. Loux and D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. This article presents the problem of change and provides a detailed survey of potential solutions. Heller, Mark. 'Things Change.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992): 695–704. This article presents, explains, and defends the temporal parts solution to the problem of change. Hinchliff, Mark. 'The Puzzle of Change.' Philosophical Perspectives 10 (1996): 119–36. This article presents, explains, and defends the presentist solution to the problem of change. Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Argument from Temporary Intrinsics.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2003): 413–19. This article presents, explains, and defends the relationist solution to the problem of change. Sider, Theodore. Four-Dimensionalism . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. This book provides an introduction to various issues related to the problem of change, including the nature of time, tense, and persistence. Chapter 5 presents, explains, and defends the stage-view solution to the problem of change. Online Materials Change. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/change/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on change, by Chris Mortensen. Time. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on time, by Ned Markosian. Temporal Parts. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/temporal-parts/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on temporal parts, by Katherine Hawley. Material Constitution. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/material-constitution/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on material constitution, by Ryan Wasserman. Persistence Bibliography. URL: http://tedsider.org/teaching/pp_bibliography.pdf A bibliography on change and related issues, by Theodore Sider. Sample Syllabus Books on Syllabus Rea, Michael. Material Constitution: A Reader . Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997. Sider, Theodore. Four-Dimensionalism . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. 2008. Metaphysics: The Big Questions . 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. Week 1: Time and Tense Four-Dimensionalism , chapters 1 and 2. Markosian, Ned. 'A Defence of Presentism.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 1. Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004: 47–82. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 116-123. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 124-129. Week 2: Time and Persistence Four-Dimensionalism , chapter 3. McGrath, Matthew. 'Temporal Parts.' Philosophy Compass 2 (2007): 730–48. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 265-267. Hawthorne, J, Scala, M., and Wasserman, R. 'Recombination, Humean Supervenience, and Causal Constraints: An Argument for Temporal Parts?' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 1. Ed. D. Zimmerman, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004: 301-318. Week 3: Change and Presentism In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 141-149. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 267-269. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 269-281. Week 4: Change and Temporal Parts Four-Dimensionalism , pp. 92–8. Heller, Mark. 'Things Change.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992): 695–704. Lombard, Lawrence. 'The Doctrine of Temporal Parts and the "No Change" Objection.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (1994): 365–72. Week 5: Change, Relationism, and Adverbialism Hawley, Katherine. 'Why Temporary Properties are not Relations between Physical Objects and Times.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (1998): 211–16. Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Argument from Temporary Intrinsics.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2003): 413–19. Lewis, David. 'Tensing the Copula.' Mind 111 (2002): 1–13. Caplan, Ben. 'Why so Tense about the Copula?' Mind 114 (2007): 703–8. Week 6: Change and Tropes Ehring, Douglas. 'Lewis, Temporary Intrinsics and Momentary Tropes.' Analysis 57 (1997): 254–8. MacBride, Fraser. 'Four New Ways to Change Your Shape.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2001): 81–9. Simons, Peter. 'On Being Spread Out in Time: Temporal Parts and the Problem of Change.' Existence and Explanation . Eds. W. Spohn, B.C. van Fraassen, and B. Skyrms. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991: 131-147. Weeks 7 and 8: Special Topic – Material Change Four-Dimensionalism , chapter 5. Selections from Material Constitution: A Reader. Week 9: Special Topic – Change of Position In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 186-195. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 195-215. Week 10: Special topic – Changing the Past In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 224-235. van Iwagen, Peter. 'Changing the Past.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 5 . Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009: 1-22. Hudson, H. and Wasserman, R. 'Van Inwagen on Time Travel and Changing the Past.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 5. Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009: 41-49. (shrink)
xxiii + 293. Price £50.00 h/b). Thinking About Knowing. By JAY F. ROSENBERG. (Oxford UP, 2002. Pp. viii + 257. Price £30.00 h/b). Epistemology is currently enjoying a renaissance. To a large extent, this has been sparked by some exciting new proposals, such as the contextualist theories advanced by Stewart Cohen, Keith DeRose, David Lewis and Michael Williams, the modal conceptions of knowledge offered by Fred Dretske and Robert Nozick, and the virtue epistemologies put forward by John Greco, (...) Ernest Sosa and Linda Zagzebski, to name but three currently popular views. Increasingly, however, this rebirth in epistemological theorising has been driven less by the production of new theories and more by the application of the latest batch of novel proposals to other areas of philosophy. A good illustration of this from the selection of books under review here is the contemporary debate regarding the vexed relationship between content externalism and self-knowledge that is the 2 focus of the volume of essays edited by Susana Nuccetelli. Here we have a controversy that has blended some of the most innovative aspects of recent epistemological theorising with issues in the philosophy of mind and language, with the emphasis being on the so-called ‘McKinsey paradox’ concerning the putative incompatibility of content externalism and privileged self-knowledge. Whilst early responses to this supposed paradox concentrated on the formulation of the content externalist thesis whilst treating the epistemic concepts at issue as, essentially, primitives, more recent work in this area has drawn-out some of the epistemological implications of this debate and looked at how these implications fit in with recent movements in epistemology. Many of the articles collected in this volume are instances of this ‘second phase’ of the debate. In particular, it is tremendously useful to have the new articles by Martin Davies and Crispin Wright which revisit a previous exchange between the pair where some of the epistemological morals of the McKinsey debate were first extracted.. (shrink)
Causalists about explanation claim that to explain an event is to provide information about the causal history of that event. Some causalists also endorse a proportionality claim, namely that one explanation is better than another insofar as it provides a greater amount of causal information. In this chapter I consider various challenges to these causalist claims. There is a common and influential formulation of the causalist requirement – the ‘Causal Process Requirement’ – that does appear vulnerable to these anti-causalist challenges, (...) but I argue that they do not give us reason to reject causalism entirely. Instead, these challenges lead us to articulate the causalist requirement in an alternative way. This alternative articulation incorporates some of the important anti-causalist insights without abandoning the explanatory necessity of causal information. For example, proponents of the ‘equilibrium challenge’ argue that the best available explanations of the behaviour of certain dynamical systems do not appear to provide any causal information. I respond that, contrary to appearances, these equilibrium explanations are fundamentally causal, and I provide a formulation of the causalist thesis that is immune to the equilibrium challenge. I then show how this formulation is also immune to the ‘epistemic challenge’ – thus vindicating (a properly formulated version of) the causalist thesis. (shrink)
For over half a century, scholars have laboured to show that C. S. Lewis's famed but apparently disorganised Chronicles of Narnia have an underlying symbolic coherence, pointing to such possible unifying themes as the seven sacraments, the seven deadly sins, and the seven books of Spenser's Faerie Queene. None of these explanations has won general acceptance and the structure of Narnia's symbolism has remained a mystery. -/- Michael Ward has finally solved the enigma. In Planet Narnia he demonstrates (...) that medieval cosmology, a subject which fascinated Lewis throughout his life, provides the imaginative key to the seven novels. Drawing on the whole range of Lewis's writings (including previously unpublished drafts of the Chronicles), Ward reveals how the Narnia stories were designed to express the characteristics of the seven medieval planets - - Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn - - planets which Lewis described as "spiritual symbols of permanent value" and "especially worthwhile in our own generation". Using these seven symbols, Lewis secretly constructed the Chronicles so that in each book the plot-line, the ornamental details, and, most important, the portrayal of the Christ-figure of Aslan, all serve to communicate the governing planetary personality. The cosmological theme of each Chronicle is what Lewis called 'the kappa element in romance', the atmospheric essence of a story, everywhere present but nowhere explicit. The reader inhabits this atmosphere and thus imaginatively gains connaître knowledge of the spiritual character which the tale was created to embody. -/- Planet Narnia is a ground-breaking study that will provoke a major revaluation not only of the Chronicles, but of Lewis's whole literary and theological outlook. Ward uncovers a much subtler writer and thinker than has previously been recognized, whose central interests were hiddenness, immanence, and knowledge by acquaintance. (shrink)
Some say that presentism precludes time travel into the past since it implies that the past does not exist, but this is a bad argument. Presentism says that only currently existing entities exist, and that the only properties and relations those entities instantiate are those that they currently instantiate. This does in a sense imply that the past does not exist. But if that precluded time travel into the past, it would also preclude the one-second-per-second “time travel” into the future (...) that is ordinary persistence, for presentism accords the future the same ontological status as the past. Instead of quantifying over past and future objects and events, presentists speak a tensed language, regimented with primitive sentential tense operators. For a presentist, a persisting person is one who did exist, and who will exist. Regimented, these claims become: it was the case that she exists, and it will be the case that she exists. The presentist may then apply the same strategy to time travel proper. Suppose Katy travels back to the time of the dinosaurs. The presentist can say that it was the case two hundred million years ago that Katy exists. This claim, which consists of a present-tense statement “Katy exists” embedded within the past tense operator it was the case two hundred million years ago that, is exactly the sort of statement about time that a presentist is free to accept. This has all been made clear by Simon Keller and Michael Nelson ( ). In addition to rebutting the bad argument against the consistency of presentism and time travel, Keller and Nelson argue positively in favor of consistency by showing how to translate David Lewis’s ( ) account of time travel into the presentist’s tensed language. The appearance of con ict between presentism and time travel, they argue, is due only to the fact that most defenders of time travel (for example Lewis) have tended to phrase their defenses in nonpresentist terms. As much as I applaud their rebuttal of the bad argument, I wish to sound a note of caution.. (shrink)
David Lewis is widely credited with the first formulation of common knowledge and the first rigorous analysis of convention. However, common knowledge and convention entered mainstream game theory only when they were formulated, later and independently, by other theorists. As a result, some of the most distinctive and valuable features of Lewis' game theory have been overlooked. We re-examine this theory by reconstructing key parts in a more formal way, extending it, and showing how it differs from more (...) recent game theory. In contrast to current theories of common knowledge, Lewis' theory is based on an explicit analysis of the modes of reasoning that are accessible to rational individuals and so can be used to analyse the genesis of common knowledge. Lewis' analysis of convention emphasises the role of inductive reasoning and of salience in the maintenance of conventions over time. Footnotes Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 13th Amsterdam Colloquium at the University of Amsterdam, at a workshop on social norms at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and at seminars at Tilburg University and the University of Bristol. We are grateful for comments from participants at those meetings, from two anonymous referees, and from Michael Bacharach, Nick Bardsley, Cristina Bicchieri, Luc Bovens, Simon Grant, David McCarthy, Shepley Orr, Brian Skyrms, Peter Vanderschraaf, Peter Wakker and Jörgen Weibull. Robert Sugden's work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust. (shrink)
Derek Parfit's “reductionist” account of personal identity (including the rejection of anything like a soul) is coupled with the rejection of a commonsensical intuition of essential self-unity, as in his defense of the counter-intuitive claim that “identity does not matter.” His argument for this claim is based on reflection on the possibility of personal fission. To the contrary, Simon Blackburn claims that the “unity reaction” to fission has an absolute grip on practical reasoning. Now David Lewis denied Parfit's claim (...) that reductionism contravenes common sense, so I revisit the debate between Parfit and Lewis, showing why Parfit wins it. Is reductionism about persons then inherently at odds with the unity reaction? Not necessarily; David Velleman presents a reductionist theory according to which fission does not conflict with the unity reaction. Nonetheless, relying on the distinction between person level descriptions of first-person states and the first-person perspective itself, I argue that Velleman's theory does not eliminate fission-based conflict with the unity reaction. Footnotesa * Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the philosophy departments at Rutgers University and Bowling Green State University. I am indebted to many members of these audiences, and to the other contributors to this volume, for their comments—especially Frank Arntzenius, Michael Bradie, David Copp, John Finnis, Jerry Fodor, Brian Loar, Barry Loewer, Colin McGinn, Fred Miller, Mark Moyer, David Oderberg, Marya Schechtman, David Schmidtz, David Sobel, and Sara Worley. Special thanks to David Sanford. I am also grateful to graduate students in my seminar at Bowling Green during the spring of 2003, for urging me to take seriously the grip of the unity reaction; I am especially grateful for the comments of Nico Maloberti, Jonathan Miller, John Milliken, Robyn Peabody, Jennifer Sproul, Jessica Teaman, and Sherisse Webb. (shrink)
It is sometimes claimed (e.g., by Sider (2001a,b); Holton (2003); Stalnaker (2004); Williams (2007); Weatherson (2003, 2010)) that a theory of predicate meaning that assigns a central role to naturalness is either (a) Lewisian, (b) true, or (c) both. The theory in question is rarely developed in particularly great detail, but the rough intuitive idea is that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is more-or-less consistent with the usage of the predicate. The point of this (...) note is to investigate whether a version of this idea could be true, and whether it could be properly attributed to Lewis. I’m going to mostly focus on the second question, but I think in such a way that light is shed on the ﬁrst question. To anticipate the answer a little, I’m going to say that whether the use plus naturalness theory is plausibly attributed to Lewis (and is plausibly true) depends on what we want a theory of (predicate) meaning to do. Here are two very distinct tasks we could be engaged in. First, we could be investigating the metaphysics of meaning, and so be interested in how it is that a pattern of animal noises can come to have any kind of content at all. Second, we could be investigating the meaning of some particular term, where substantive claims about the meanings of other terms are presupposed in our inquiry. Call the ﬁrst project metasemantics, and the second project applied semantics. I’m going to conclude that use plus naturalness is a plausible way to approach applied semantics. But it isn’t a great way to approach metasemantics. The problem is that once we crunch through the details, it’s impossible to disentangle a notion of “use” such that naturalness can be added to it to get a theory of meaning. Before we can get very far on any of these inquiries, we need to say a bit about what we mean by ‘naturalness’. Naturalness plays a lot of distinctive roles for Lewis. Some of these broadly metaphysical roles. These roles are the primary focus of (Lewis, 1983a).. (shrink)
Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and (...) add some more. But I also argue that the orthodox interpretation has a grain of truth in it, and seeing that helps us appreciate the strength of Lewis's late theory of meaning. References T. Bays. The Problem with Charlie: Some Remarks on Putnam, Lewis and Williams. Philosophical Review 116:401–425, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-003 J. Hawthorne. Craziness and Metasemantics. Philosophical Review 116:427–440, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-004 R. Holton. David Lewis's Philosophy of Language. Mind and Language 18:286-295, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0017.00228 D. Lewis. Convention: A Philosophical Study. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1969. D. Lewis. Radical Interpretation. Synthese 27:331–344, 1974. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00484599 D. Lewis. Languages and Language. In Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 7:3–35. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1975. D. Lewis. Attitudes De Dicto and De Se. Philosophical Review 88: 513–543, 1979. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2184843 D. Lewis. Mad Pain and Martian Pain. In Ned Block, editor, Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, pages 216-232. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980. D. Lewis. New Work for a Theory of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61: 343–377, 1983. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408312341131 D. Lewis. Putnam's Paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62: 221-236, 1984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408412340013 D. Lewis. On the Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1986. D. Lewis. Meaning without Use: Reply to Hawthorne. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70: 106-110, 1992. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408112340093 D. Lewis.. Reduction of Mind. In Samuel Guttenplan, editor, A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, pages 412–431. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994. Reprinted in Lewis 1999. References to reprint. D. Lewis. Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511625343 W. Schwarz. Lewisian Meaning without Naturalness. Unpublished manuscript, 2006. W. Schwarz. David Lewis: Metaphysik und Analyse. Paderborn: Mentis-Verlag, 2009. T. Sider. Criteria of Personal Identity and the Limits of Conceptual Analysis. Philosophical Perspectives 15: 189–209, 2001a. T. Sider. Four-Dimensionalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001b. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019924443X.001.0001 T. Sider. Writing the Book of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. PMCid:3539916 R. Stalnaker. Lewis on Intentionality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82: 199–212, 2004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713659796 B. Weatherson. What Good Are Counterexamples?. Philosophical Studies 115: 1-31, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1024961917413 B. Weatherson. Vagueness as Indeterminacy. In Richard Dietz and Sebastiano Moruzzi, editors, Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic, pages 77–90. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570386.003.0005 J. R. G. Williams. Eligibility and Inscrutability. Philosophical Review 116: 361-399, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-002. (shrink)
In “What Puzzling Pierre Does not Believe”, Lewis (, 412‐4) argues that the sentences (1) Pierre believes that London is pretty and (2) Pierre believes that London is not pretty both truly describe Kripke’s well‐known situation involving puzzling Pierre (). Lewis also argues that this situation is not one according to which Pierre believes either the proposition (actually) expressed by (3) London is pretty or the proposition (actually) expressed by (4) London is not pretty. These claims, Lewis (...) suggests, provide a starting point from which a correct resolution of Kripke’s puzzles about belief () can be developed. At the end of his paper (, p. 414‐7), Lewis considers and replies to a number of potential objections to his position. According to one of these, Lewis’s contentions regarding (1)‐(4) cannot all be true because ‘believes that’ and ‘believes the proposition that’ are synonymous. Although the objection Lewis considers is unsound and his response to it correct, a minor variant of that objection provides significant reason to be skeptical of his contentions. This variant, moreover, is not persuasively addressed by anything either Lewis or any other well‐known defender of this sort of view (such as Stalnaker ) has had to say on the matter. All of this is relevant, moreover, not 2 only when it comes to assessing Lewis’s contentions regarding (1)‐ (4), but also when it comes to drawing lessons from certain standard objections to the view that the propositional objects of belief and assertion are sets of metaphysically possible worlds. (shrink)
David Lewis (1979) has argued that according to his possible worlds analysis of counterfactuals, “backtracking” counterfactuals of the form “If event A were to happen at tA, then event B would happen at tB” where tB precedes tA, are usually false if B does not actually happen at tB. On the other..
In his metaphysical summa of 1986, The Plurality of Worlds, David Lewis famously defends a doctrine he calls ‘modal realism’, the idea that to account for the fact that some things are possible and some things are necessary we must postulate an infinity possible worlds, concrete entities like our own universe, but cut off from us in space and time. Possible worlds are required to account for the facts of modality without assuming that modality is primitive – that there (...) are irreducibly modal facts. We argue that on one reading, Lewis’s theory licenses us to assume maverick possible worlds which spread through logical space gobbling up all the rest. Because they exclude alternatives, these worlds result in contradictions, since different spread worlds are incompatible with one another. Plainly Lewis’s theory must be amended to exclude these excluders. But, we maintain, this cannot be done without bringing in modal primitives. And once we admit modal primitives, bang goes the rationale for Lewis’s modal realism. (shrink)
August 16, 1997 David Lewis2 has long defended an account of scientific law acceptable even to an empiricist with significant metaphysical scruples. On this account, the laws are defined to be the consequences of the best system for axiomitizing all occurrent fact. Here "best system" means the set of sentences which yields the best combination of strength of descriptive content 3 with simplicity of exposition. And occurrent facts, the facts to be systematized, are roughly the particular facts about a localized (...) space-time region that are non-modal, non-dispositional, and non-causal. Scientists providing or attempting to provide laws are plausibly seen as giving general principles that unify a body of data. Thus they organize or systematize the arrangement of occurrences. For this reason, Lewis's account has the important merits of providing contact with actual scientific practice while making sense of the standard philosophical conception that laws should be general but more than mere accidental generalizations. However, Lewis has long known about a potential problem with this account, a problem involving chance and credence.4 In a recent series of articles he, Michael Thau, and Ned Hall have developed a new formulation of the relationship between chance and credence which solves the problem. However, I will argue that these articles leave untouched and even exacerbate a closely related and more fundamental problem with the best system account, the problem of nomic necessity. Laws are supposed to be more than true; in some sense they must be true. Yet a principle's membership in the best systematization for one world seems to say nothing about its necessity, i.e., its truth at other worlds. I close by briefly describing how an alternative empiricist account may remove both problems. (shrink)
My aim is to rekindle interest in David Lewis's (1983) infamous but neglected Mixed Theory of mental states. The Mixed Theory is a mix of physicalism and functionalism designed to capture the intuitions that both Martians and abnormal human Madmen can be in pain. The Mixed Theory is widely derided. But I offer a new development of the Mixed Theory immune to its most prominent objections. In doing so, I uncover a new motivation for the Mixed Theory: its unique (...) ability to explain cases in which it is plausibly indeterminate whether something is in pain. The Mixed Theory, whether or not it is ultimately correct, at least deserves renewed attention. (shrink)
‘The shamanic context of cave art is attested by a number of features’, Michael Winkelman writes (p.6); and, scarcely pausing for breath, he proceeds to reel off as if they were matters of established fact a list of co njectures about the authorship and meaning of ice-age cave paintings. We are t o conclude, without question apparently, that ‘cave art images represent shamanic activities and altered states of consciousness, and the subterranean rock art sites were used for shamanic vision (...) questing’ (p. 7). Well, may be. The shaman hypothesis is certainly an intriguing one; and David Lewis-Williams, in particular, has made a plausible case for it. Yet my own first reaction is: not so fast. For one thing, I myself, in the pages of this Journal a few years ago, presented evidence which – to begin with, anyway – suggests that any such interpretation has to be complet ely mistaken. (shrink)
C I Lewis showed up Down Under in 2005, in e-mails initiated by Allen Hazen of Melbourne. Their topic was the system Hazen called FL (a Funny Logic), axiomatized in passing in Lewis 1921. I show that FL is the system MEN of material equivalence with negation. But negation plays no special role in MEN. Symbolizing equivalence with → and defining ∼A inferentially as A→f, the theorems of MEN are just those of the underlying theory ME of pure (...) material equivalence. This accords with the treatment of negation in the Abelian l-group logic A of Meyer and Slaney (Abelian logic. Abstract, Journal of Symbolic Logic 46, 425–426, 1981), which also defines ∼A inferentially with no special conditions on f. The paper then concentrates on the pure implicational part AI of A, the simple logic of Abelian groups. The integers Z were known to be characteristic for AI, with every non-theorem B refutable mod some Zn for finite n. Noted here is that AI is pre-tabular, having the Scroggs property that every proper extension SI of AI, closed under substitution and detachment, has some finite Zn as its characteristic matrix. In particular FL is the extension for which n = 2 (Lewis, The structure of logic and its relation to other systems. The Journal of Philosophy 18, 505–516, 1921; Meyer and Slaney, Abelian logic. Abstract. Journal of Symbolic Logic 46, 425–426, 1981; This is an abstract of the much longer paper finally published in 1989 in G. G. Priest, R. Routley and J. Norman, eds., Paraconsistent logic: essays on the inconsistent, Philosophica Verlag, Munich, pp. 245–288, 1989). (shrink)
Formulated by Aquinas, commented on by post-Copernican philosophers and theologians, analysed in depth by C.S. Lewis, and deliberated by some contemporary writers, the question of multiple incarnations either within humanity or amongst extra-terrestrial sentient species is all too intermittently examined: ‘Can the Christ be incarnated more than once in our reality, or somewhere else in the universe, or another reality?’ In this paper, we examine the debate and the conclusions: that is, Lewis’s position within his philosophical theology and (...) his analogical narratives; also, some contemporary philosophers of religion and theologians (Karl Rahner, with Christopher L. Fisher and David Fergusson; Sjoerd L. Bonting and William B. Drees; E.L. Mascall and Brian Hebblethwaite; Oliver Crisp and Keith Ward). How do they relate to Aquinas’s handling of the question and how do they compare with Lewis’s approach based on a theology of the imagination (grounded in Augustine and Alice Meynell)? Can Lewis resolve the argument? Could alien species have witnessed wholly different acts, equally unique, costly to God, and necessary to the process of salvation? Any answer or explanation relates to the function and purpose of the incarnation: the Fall, original sin—therefore, how we define the boundaries, limits, of atonement. (shrink)
There is a recent and growing trend in philosophy that involves deferring to the claims of certain disciplines outside of philosophy, such as mathematics, the natural sciences, and linguistics. According to this trend— deferentialism , as we will call it—certain disciplines outside of philosophy make claims that have a decisive bearing on philosophical disputes, where those claims are more epistemically justified than any philosophical considerations just because those claims are made by those disciplines. Deferentialists believe that certain longstanding philosophical problems (...) can be swiftly and decisively dispatched by appeal to disciplines other than philosophy. In this paper we will argue that such an attitude of uncritical deference to any non-philosophical discipline is badly misguided. With reference to the work of John Burgess and David Lewis, we consider deference to mathematics. We show that deference to mathematics is implausible and that main arguments for it fail. With reference to the work of Michael Blome-Tillmann, we consider deference to linguistics. We show that his arguments appealing to deference to linguistics are unsuccessful. We then show that naturalism does not entail deferentialism and that naturalistic considerations even motivate some anti-deferentialist views. Finally, we set out deferentialism’s failings and present our own anti-deferentialist approach to philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
ABSTRACT. May scientists rely on substantive, a priori presuppositions? Quinean naturalists say "no," but Michael Friedman and others claim that such a view cannot be squared with the actual history of science. To make his case, Friedman offers Newton's universal law of gravitation and Einstein's theory of relativity as examples of admired theories that both employ presuppositions (usually of a mathematical nature), presuppositions that do not face empirical evidence directly. In fact, Friedman claims that the use of such presuppositions (...) is a hallmark of "science as we know it." But what should we say about the special sciences, which typically do not rely on the abstruse formalisms one finds in the exact sciences? I identify a type of a priori presupposition that plays an especially striking role in the development of empirical psychology. These are ontological presuppositions about the type of object a given science purports to study. I show how such presuppositions can be both a priori and rational by investigating their role in an early flap over psychology's contested status as a natural science. The flap focused on one of the field's earliest textbooks, William James's Principles of Psychology. The work was attacked precisely for its reliance on a priori presuppositions about what James had called the "mental state," psychology's (alleged) proper object. I argue that the specific presuppositions James packed into his definition of the "mental state" were not directly responsible to empirical evidence, and so in that sense were a priori; but the presuppositions were rational in that they were crafted to help overcome philosophical objections (championed by neo-Hegelians) to the very idea that there can be a genuine science of mind. Thus, my case study gives an example of substantive, a priori presuppositions being put to use—to rational use—in the special sciences. In addition to evaluating James's use of presuppositions, my paper also offers historical reflections on two different strands of pragmatist philosophy of science. One strand, tracing back through Quine to C. S. Peirce, is more naturalistic, eschewing the use of a priori elements in science. The other strand, tracing back through Kuhn and C. I. Lewis to James, is more friendly to such presuppositions, and to that extent bears affinity with the positivist tradition Friedman occupies. (shrink)
According to the mainstream of metaphysical thought, the world consists of independent individual things that are embedded in a spatio-temporal framework. These things are individuals, because (a) they have a spatio-temporal location, (b) they are a subject of the predication of properties each and (c) there are some qualitative properties by means of which each of these things is distinguished from all the other ones (at least the spatial-temporal location is such a property). Qualitative properties are all and only those (...) properties whose instantiation does not depend on the existence of any particular individual; properties such as being that individual are hence excluded. These things are independent, because their basic properties are intrinsic ones. Intrinsic are all and only those qualitative properties that a thing has irrespective of whether or not there are other contingent things; all other qualitative properties are extrinsic or relational. That is to say: Having or lacking an intrinsic property is independent of accompaniment or loneliness (see Langton and Lewis (1998) and for a refinement Lewis (2001)). The basic intrinsic properties, as well as the basic relational ones, are not disjunctive; that is to say, properties such as “being round or square” are excluded. This metaphysics can be traced back to Aristotle at least. Aristotle assumes that there is a plurality of individual things (substances) that are characterized by intrinsic properties (forms) each.1 A prominent contemporary formulation is David Lewis’ thesis of Humean supervenience. Lewis writes. (shrink)
In this essay I renew the case for Conditional Excluded Middle (CXM) in light of recent developments in the semantics of the subjunctive conditional. I argue that Michael Tooley’s recent backward causation counterexample to the Stalnaker-Lewis comparative world similarity semantics undermines the strongest argument against CXM, and I offer a new, principled argument for the validity of CXM that is in no way undermined by Tooley’s counterexample. Finally, I formulate a simple semantics for the subjunctive conditional that is (...) consistent with both CXM and Tooley’s counterexample. (shrink)
David Lewis, Michael Thau, and Ned Hall have recently argued that the Principal Principle—an inferential rule underlying much of our reasoning about probability—is inadequate in certain respects, and that something called the ‘New Principle’ ought to take its place. This paper argues that the Principle Principal need not be discarded. On the contrary, Lewis et al. can get everything they need—including the New Principle—from the intuitions and inferential habits that inspire the Principal Principle itself, while avoiding the (...) problems that originally caused them to abandon that principle. (shrink)
In “Backward Causation and the Stalnaker–Lewis Approach to Counterfactuals,” Analysis 62:191–7, (2002), Michael Tooley argues that if a certain kind of backward causation is possible, then a Stalnaker–Lewis comparative world similarity account of the truth conditions of counterfactuals cannot be sound. In “Tooley on Backward Causation,” Analysis 63:157–62, (2003), Paul Noordhof argues that Tooley’s example can be reconciled with a Stalnaker–Lewis account of counterfactuals if the comparative world similarity relation on which the Stalnaker–Lewis account relies (...) is allowed to be antecedent-relative. In this paper I show that taking comparative world similarity to be antecedent-relative results in a formal semantics which is a comparative world similarity semantics in name only. (shrink)
This essential guide to paradoxes takes the reader on a lively tour of puzzles that have taxed thinkers from Zeno to Galileo and Lewis Carroll to Bertrand Russell. Michael Clark uncovers an array of conundrums, such as Achilles and the Tortoise, Theseus' Ship, Hempel's Raven, and the Prisoners' Dilemma, taking in subjects as diverse as knowledge, ethics, science, art and politics. Clark discusses each paradox in non-technical terms, considering its significance and looking at likely solutions.
If we apply Lewis’ theory of causation to the quantum correlations which become manifest in the Bell experiments, this theory tells us that these correlations are a case of causation. However, there are strong physical reasons (and concrete suggestions) not to treat these correlations in terms of a physical interaction. The aim of this paper is to assess this conflict. My conclusion is: one can either divorce Lewis’ causation from physical interaction, or one can take the quantum case (...) as an argument for an amendment of Lewis’ theory of causation. (shrink)
In "Backward causation and the Stalnaker-Lewis approach to counterfactuals," Analysis 62 (2002): 191–97, Michael Tooley argues that if a certain kind of backward causation is possible, then a Stalnaker-Lewis style comparative world similarity account of the truth conditions of counterfactuals cannot be sound. Tooley’s target is one particular type of semantics, but, as I show, the significance of Tooley’s example goes well beyond its consequences for any one semantics for the conditional.
This volume presents a selection of the most influential recent discussions of the crucial metaphysical question: What is it for one event to cause another? The subject of causation bears on many topics, such as time, explanation, mental states, the laws of nature, and the philosophy of science. Contributors include J.L Mackie, Michael Scriven, Jaegwon Kim, G.E.M. Anscombe, G.H. von Wright, C.J. Ducasse, Wesley C. Salmon, David Lewis, Paul Horwich, Jonathan Bennett, Ernest Sosa, and Michael Tooley.
Metaphysics: Contemporary Readings is a comprehensive anthology that draws together leading philosophers writing on the major themes in Metaphysics. Chapters appear under the headings: Universals Particulars Modality and Possible Worlds Causation Time Persistence Realism and Anti-Realism Each section is prefaced by an introductory essay by the editor which guides students gently into each topic. Articles by the following leading philosophers are included: Allaire, Anscombe, Armstrong, Black, Broad, Casullo, Dummett, Ewing, Heller, Hume, Kripke, Lewis, Mackie, McTaggart, Mellor, Merricks , Parfit, (...) Plantinga, Price, Prior, Putnam, Quine, Russell, Smart, Swinburne, Taylor , Van Cleve, van Inwagen, Williams Featuring a new section on causation, this new edition is highly accessible and provides a broad-ranging exploration of the subject. Ideal for any philosophy student, this reader will prove essential reading for any metaphysics course. The sections and selections of readings have been updated to complement Michael Loux's textbook Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction , third edition. (shrink)
Now in its fourth edition, Louis P. Pojman and Lewis Vaughn's acclaimed The Moral Life: An Introductory Reader in Ethics and Literature brings together an extensive and varied collection of eighty-five classical and contemporary readings on ethical theory and practice. Integrating literature with philosophy in an innovative way, the book uses literary works to enliven and make concrete the ethical theory or applied issues addressed. Literary works by Angelou, Camus, Hawthorne, Huxley, Ibsen, Le Guin, Melville, Orwell, Styron, Tolstoy, and (...) many others lead students into such philosophical concepts and issues as relativism; utilitarianism; virtue ethics; the meaning of life; freedom and autonomy; sex, love, and marriage; animal rights; and terrorism. These topics are developed further through readings by philosophers including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Singer, Sartre, Nagel, and Thomson. This unique anthology emphasizes the personal dimension of ethics, which is often ignored or minimized in ethics texts. It also incorporates chapter introductions, study questions, suggestions for further reading, and biographical sketches of the writers. The fourth edition features five new readings--by James Rachels, Alasdair MacIntyre, Michael Levin, John Corvino, and Stephen Nathanson--and a new appendix on how to write a philosophy paper. A new Companion Website features resources for both students and instructors including reading summaries; true/false, multiple-choice, and essay questions; and PowerPoint slides. Ideal for introductory ethics courses, The Moral Life, Fourth Edition, also provides an engaging gateway into personal and social ethics for general readers. (shrink)
Abstract. In Dynamics of Reason Michael Friedman proposes a kind of synthesis between the neokantianism of Ernst Cassirer, the logical empiricism of Rudolf Carnap, and the historicism of Thomas Kuhn. Cassirer and Carnap are to take care of the Kantian legacy of modern philosophy of science, encapsulated in the concept of a relativized a priori and the globally rational or continuous evolution of scientific knowledge,while Kuhn´s role is to ensure that the historicist character of scientific knowledge is taken seriously. (...) More precisely, Carnapian linguistic frameworks, guarantee that the evolution of science procedes in a rational manner locally,while Cassirer’s concept of an internally defined conceptual convergence of empirical theories provides the means to maintain the global continuity of scientific reason. In this paper it is argued that Friedman’s neokantian account of scientific reason based on the concept of the relativized a priori underestimates the pragmatic aspects of the dynamics of scientific reason. To overcome this short-coming, I propose to reconsider C.I. Lewis’s account of a pragmatic the priori, recently modernized and elaborated by Hasok Chang. This may be<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br&g t;<br><br><br><br><br><br>Keywords: Dynamics of reason, Paradigms, Logical Empiricism,Neokantianism, Pragmatism, Mathematics, Communicative Rationality. (shrink)
The claim that composition is identity is an intuition in search of a formulation. The farmer’s field is made of six plots, and in some sense is nothing more than those six plots. According to the friend of composition as identity, the six plots are identical with the farmer’s field.1 Some philosophers, such as Peter van Inwagen (1994), have claimed that the view that composition is identity is incoherent. Van Inwagen cites the apparent ungrammaticality of sentences like ‘the six plots (...) are the farmer’s field’ as evidence for his view. Perhaps van Inwagen is right, but I needn’t settle this question here. I will argue against the view that composition is identity, whatever that view amounts to, in the following way. First, I will elucidate a principle called ‘the Plural Duplication Principle’ [PDP]. Any acceptable way of making sense of the slogan that composition is identity— i.e., any way that properly conforms to the intuitions that lead one to utter this slogan— must validate PDP. Second, I argue that PDP is false. So any acceptable way of making sense of the slogan that composition is identity is false. The slogan that composition is identity will be refuted prior to being properly formulated. Following David Lewis (1986: 59-63), let us say that x and y are duplicates just in case there is a 1-1 correspondence between their parts that preserves perfectly natural properties and relations. Suppose that A is identical with B. Then any duplicate of A must also be a duplicate of B. This follows via Leibniz’s Law: if some duplicate of A were not.. (shrink)
The paper takes off from the problem of finding a proper content for the relation of identity as it holds or fails to hold among ordinary things or substances. The necessary conditions of identity are familiar, the sufficient conditions less so. The search is for conditions at once better usable than the Leibnizian Identity of Indiscernibles (independently suspect) and strong enough to underwrite all the formal properties of the relation.It is contended that the key to this problem rests at the (...) level of metaphysics and epistemology alike with a sortalist position. Sortalism is the position which insists that, if the question is whether a and b are the same, it has to be asked what are they? Any sufficiently specific answer to that question will bring with it a principle of activity or functioning and a mode of behaviour characteristic of some particular kind of thing by reference to which questions of persistence or non-persistence through change can be adjudicated.These contentions are illustrated by reference to familiar examples such as the human zygote, the Ship of Theseus and Shoemaker's Brown-Brownson. The first example is hostage for a mass of unproblematical cases. The problems presented by the second and third sort of examples arise chiefly (it is claimed) from an incompleteness in our conceptions of the relevant sort—the what the thing in question is. That incompleteness need not prevent us from knowing perfectly well which thing we are referring to. In the concluding section, sortalism is defended against various accusations of anthropocentrism.The paper touches on the interpretation of Heraclitus, Leibniz's theory of clear indistinct ideas, the difficulties of David Lewis's ‘perdurantist’ or stroboscopic view of persistence, four-dimensionalism, and the relation of personal identity both to experiential memory and to the particular bodily physiognomy of a subject. At some points—as in connection with the so-called Only a and b rule—the paper corrects, supplements or extends certain theses or formulations proposed in the author's Sameness and Substance Renewed (2001). (shrink)
Sydney Shoemaker leads today’s “neo-Lockean” liberation of persons from the conservative animalist charge of “neo-Aristotelians” such as Eric Olson, according to whom persons are biological entities and who challenge all neo-Lockean views on grounds that abstracting from strictly physical, or bodily, criteria plays fast and loose with our identities. There is a fundamental mistake on both sides: a false dichotomy between bodily continuity versus psychological continuity theories of personal identity. Neo-Lockeans, like everyone else today who relies on Locke’s analysis of (...) personal identity, including Derek Parfit, have either completely distorted or not understood Locke’s actual view. Shoemaker’s defense, which uses a “package deal” definition that relies on internal relations of synchronic and diachronic unity and employs the Ramsey–Lewis account to define personal identity, leaves far less room for psychological continuity views than for my own view, which, independently of its radical implications, is that (a) consciousness makes personal identity, and (b) in consciousness alone personal identity consists—which happens to be also Locke’s actual view. Moreover, the ubiquitous Fregean conception of borders and the so-called “ambiguity of is” collapse in the light of what Hintikka has called the “Frege trichotomy.” The Ramsey–Lewis account, due to the problematic way Shoemaker tries to bind the variables, makes it impossible for the neo-Lockean ala Shoemaker to fulfill the uniqueness clause required by all such Lewis style definitions; such attempts avoid circularity only at the expense of mistaking isomorphism with identity. Contrary to what virtually all philosophers writing on the topic assume, fission does not destroy personal identity. A proper analysis of public versus perspectival identification, derived using actual case studies from neuropsychiatry, provides the scientific, mathematical and logical frameworks for a new theory of self-reference, wherein “consciousness,” “self-consciousness,” and the “I,” can be precisely defined in terms of the subject and the subject-in-itself. (shrink)
In this paper I consider Saul Kripke’s famous Humphrey objection to David Lewis’s views on de re modality and argue that responses to this objection currently on the market fail to mitigate its force in any significant way.
In her (1996) Kadri Vihvelin argues that autoinfanticide is nomologically impossible and so that there is no sense in which time travelers are able to commit it. In response, Theodore Sider (2002) defends the original Lewisian verdict (Lewis 1976) whereby, on a common understanding of ability, time travelers are able to kill their earlier selves and their failure to do so is merely coincidental. This paper constitutes a critical note on arguments put forward by both Sider and Vihvelin. I (...) argue that although Sider’s criticism starts out promisingly he doesn’t succeed in establishing that Vihvelin’s analysis fails, because (a) he neglects to rule out a class of counterfactuals to which Vihvelin’s sample-case may belong; and (b) (together with Lewis) he is wrong to suggest that future facts are irrelevant in the evaluation of time travelers’ abilities. I show instead that Vihvelin’s argument is viciously circular, indicating that even if there are nomological constraints on autoinfanticide these cannot be established a priori. (shrink)
Drawing on different suggestions from the literature, we outline a unified metaphysical framework, labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM), combining Meinongian themes with a non-standard modal ontology. The MMM approach is based on (1) a comprehension principle (CP) for objects in unrestricted, but qualified form, and (2) the employment of an ontology of impossible worlds, besides possible ones. In §§1–2, we introduce the classical Meinongian metaphysics and consider two famous Russellian criticisms, namely (a) the charge of inconsistency and (b) the (...) claim that naïve Meinongianism allows one to prove that anything exists. In §3, we have impossible worlds enter the stage and provide independent justification for their use. In §4, we introduce our revised comprehension principle: our CP has no restriction on the (sets of) properties that can characterize objects, but parameterizes them to worlds, therefore having modality explicitly built into it. In §5, we propose an application of the MMM apparatus to fictional objects and defend the naturalness of our treatment against alternative approaches. Finally, in §6, we consider David Lewis’ notorious objection to impossibilia, and provide a reply to it by resorting to an ersatz account of worlds. (shrink)