This paper offers an evolutionary account of chronic pain. Chronic pain is a maladaptive by-product of pain mechanisms and neural plasticity, both of which are highly adaptive. This account shows how evolutionary psychology can be integrated with Flanagan's naturalmethod, and in a way that avoids the usual charges of panglossian adaptationism and an uncritical commitment to a modular picture of the mind. Evolutionary psychology is most promising when it adopts a bottom-up research strategy that focuses on basic (...) affective and motivational systems (as opposed to higher cognitive functions) that are phylogenetically deep. (shrink)
In an effort to account for our a priori knowledge of synthetic necessary truths, Kant proposes to extend the successful method used in mathematics and the natural sciences to metaphysics. In this paper, a uniform account of that method is proposed and the particular contribution of the ‘Copernican hypothesis’ to our knowledge of necessary truths is explained. It is argued that, though the necessity of the truths is in a way owing to the object's relation to our (...) cognition, the truths we come to know are fully objective, expressing necessary relations between properties. Kant's distinction between ‘phenomena’ and ‘noumena’ is shown to serve to properly restrict the scope of the necessity claims so that they do express necessary connections between properties. (shrink)
Nuyen (this journal, vol 20, no. 4) contrasts "objectivity" in the natural science with a relation of "understanding" between knower and object in the human sciences. I present a different approach to natural science--a perspective in which the objects of the natural sciences are constructions that arise out of the interaction of the knower and the knowable world. From this perspective, it is inappropriate to to distinguish between the natural sciences and the human sciences in the (...) way Nuyen does. Instead, the crucial point is that if the human sciences refrain from abstractions and generalizations in favor of the particularities of objects and situations, then they must employ some other way to constitute a separation between theory and data in order for the work to be "scientific" as that term is used in regard to the natural sciences. (shrink)
The paper distinguishes between two kinds of mathematics, natural mathematics which is a result of biological evolution and artificial mathematics which is a result of cultural evolution. On this basis, it outlines an approach to the philosophy of mathematics which involves a new treatment of the method of mathematics, the notion of demonstration, the questions of discovery and justification, the nature of mathematical objects, the character of mathematical definition, the role of intuition, the role of diagrams in mathematics, (...) and the effectiveness of mathematics in natural science. (shrink)
State of nature or Eden? -- Hobbes' state of nature as an account of the fall? -- Hobbes' own belief or unbelief -- The contemporary reaction to Leviathan -- Hobbes and commentaries on Genesis -- A note on method and chapter order -- Good and evil -- Hobbes on good and evil -- The 'seditious doctrines' of the schoolmen -- The contemporary reaction -- The scriptural account -- The state of nature as an account of the fall? -- Equality (...) and unsociability -- Hobbes and natural equality -- The contemporary reaction -- The scriptural account -- Hobbes on natural unsociability -- The contemporary reaction -- The scriptural account -- State of nature as Eden? -- The war of all against all -- Hobbes' war of all against all -- The contemporary reaction -- The scriptural account -- State of nature as fallen condition? -- The right and law of nature -- Hobbes and natural right -- The contemporary reaction -- Hobbes and natural law -- The contemporary reaction -- The scriptural account -- Hobbes as reformed theologian? -- The creation of society -- Hobbes on the escape from the state of nature -- The contemporary reaction : Hobbes versus divine right -- The scriptural account of Cain building a city -- Hobbes on the creation of the commonwealth -- The contemporary reaction : Hobbes versus the patriarchalists -- The scriptural account of the relationship between Adam and Eve -- State of nature as Eden, the process of the fall, and the fallen condition? -- Reading Hobbes' state of nature -- Anti-aristotelianism -- Hobbes' Protestantism. (shrink)
In this article I examine some of the issues involved in taking psychiatric disorders as natural kinds. I begin by introducing a permissive model of natural kind-hood that at least prima facie seems to allow psychiatric disorders to be natural kinds. The model, however, hinges on there in principle being some grounding that is shared by all members of a kind, which explain all or most of the additional shared projectible properties. This leads us to the following (...) question: what grounding do psychiatric disorders qua natural kinds have? My principal method for examining the issue is a case study of a particular psychiatric disorder: the so-called “apathetic children.” I argue that there appear to be at least two competing models that both appeal to non-organic a grounding of the disorder. However, for other psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, the evidence points toward an organic explanation of the disorder. I contend that what unites psychiatric disorders is not a distinctive type of grounding that all psychiatric disorders share, but the distinctive set of determinable properties that is shared by all psychiatric disorders. (shrink)
This essay focuses on the extent to which the methods of analytic philosophy can be useful to feminist philosophers. I pose nine general questions feminist philosophers might ask to determine the suitability of a philosophical method. Examples include: Do its typical ways of formulating problems or issues encourage the inclusion of a wide variety of women's points of view? Are its central concepts gender-biased, not merely in their origin, but in very deep, continuing ways? Does it facilitate uncovering roles (...) that gender, politics, power, and social context play in philosophy as well as in other facets of life? (shrink)
At the beginning of the Book 1 of the Physica, Aristotle sets the question on the matter and subject of natural science. This issue refers to the concept of the science, which he starts bringing up. Natural Science (philosophia naturalis) has, since then, been especially enquired into, above all in terms of the original Aristotle’s commentary. Averroes dedicates a concise and, at the same time comprehensive Proem on the subject. Thomas Aquinas, on the contrary, and in opposition to (...) other cases, omits a methodological proem, although the subject itself develops on the brim of the commentaries on the text of Book 1. The aim of this work is to analyze the approximation and differences between the Lesson 1 of the Commentaries to the Book 1 of the Aquinate (where the philosophia naturalis method is dealt with) and the exegesis of Averroes in his Proem and the Summa Prima, in order to establish the relationship between both. KEY WORDS – Aristotle. Thomas Aquinas. Averroes. Natural science. Physical methodology. (shrink)
This book presents a comprehensive treatment of basic mathematical logic. The author's aim is to make exact the vague, intuitive notions of natural number, preciseness, and correctness, and to invent a method whereby these notions can be communicated to others and stored in the memory. He adopts a symbolic language in which ideas about natural numbers can be stated precisely and meaningfully, and then investigates the properties and limitations of this language. The treatment of mathematical concepts in (...) the main body of the text is rigorous, but, a section of 'historical remarks' traces the evolution of the ideas presented in each chapter. Sources of the original accounts of these developments are listed in the bibliography. (shrink)
Universities today betray both reason and humanity. They are still dominated by the idea, inherited from the past, that the best way the academic enterprise can help promote human welfare is, in the first instance, to pursue the intellectual aim of acquiring knowledge. First, knowledge and technological know-how are to be acquired; then, secondarily, they can be applied to help solve social problems. But academic inquiry conducted in this way – knowledge-inquiry as it may be called – violates the most (...) elementary rules of reason that one can think of and, as a result, betrays the interests of humanity. We need a revolution in academia, one which puts problems of living at the heart of academic inquiry, and takes the basic aim to be to seek and promote wisdom, construed to be the capacity to realize what is of value in life, for oneself and others, thus including knowledge, but much else besides. (shrink)
For four decades it has been argued that we need to adopt a new conception of science called aim-oriented empiricism. This has far-reaching implications and repercussions for science, the philosophy of science, academic inquiry in general, conception of rationality, and how we go about attempting to make progress towards as good a world as possible. Despite these far-reaching repercussions, aim-oriented empiricism has so far received scant attention from philosophers of science. Here, sixteen objections to the validity of the argument for (...) aim-oriented empiricism are subjected to critical scrutiny. (shrink)
Husserlian variation, Bergsonian intuition and Peircean abduction are contrasted as methodological responses to the traditional philosophical problem of deriving knowledge of universals from singulars. Each method implies a correspondingly different view of the generation of the variations from which knowledge is derived. To make sense of the latter differences, and to distinguish the different sorts of variation sought by philosophers and scientists, a distinction between extensive, intensive, and abductive-intensive variation is introduced. The link between philosophical method and the (...) generation of variation is used to illuminate different philosophical conceptions of nature and nature's relation to meaning and sense. (shrink)
In this paper I examine what exactly is ‘Aristotelian metaphysics’. My inquiry into Aristotelian metaphysics should not be understood to be so much concerned with the details of Aristotle's metaphysics. I am are rather concerned with his methodology of metaphysics, although a lot of the details of his metaphysics survive in contemporary discussion as well. This warrants an investigation into the methodological aspects of Aristotle's metaphysics. The key works that we will be looking at are his Physics, Metaphysics, Categories and (...) De Interpretatione. Perhaps the most crucial features of the Aristotelian method of philosophising are the relationship between science and metaphysics, and his defence of the principle of non-contradiction (PNC). For Aristotle, natural science is the second philosophy, but this is so only because there is something more fundamental in the world, something that natural science – a science of movement – cannot study. Furthermore, Aristotle demonstrates that metaphysics enters the picture at a fundamental level, as he argues that PNC is a metaphysical rather than a logical principle. The upshot of all this is that the Aristotelian method and his metaphysics are not threatened by modern science, quite the opposite. Moreover, we have in our hands a methodology which is very rigorous indeed and worthwhile for any metaphysician to have a closer look at. (shrink)
A paradigmatic case of rigidity for singular terms is that of proper names. And it would seem that a paradigmatic case of rigidity for general terms is that of natural kind terms. However, many philosophers think that rigidity cannot be extended from singular terms to general terms. The reason for this is that rigidity appears to become trivial when such terms are considered: natural kind terms come out as rigid, but so do all other general terms, and in (...) particular all descriptive general terms. This paper offers an account of rigidity for natural kind terms which does not trivialise in this way. On this account, natural kind terms are de jure obstinately rigid designators and other general terms, such as descriptive general terms, are not. (shrink)
The central aim of this essay is to put forward a notion of naturalism that broadly aligns with pragmatism. I do so by outlining my views on natural kinds and my account of concepts, which I have defended in recent publications (Brigandt 2009, in press-b). Philosophical accounts of both natural kinds and concepts are usually taken to be metaphysical endeavours, which attempt to develop a theory of the nature of natural kinds (as objectively existing entities of the (...) world) or of the nature of concepts (as objectively existing mental entities). However, I shall argue that any account of natural kinds or concepts must answer to epistemological questions as well and will offer a both pragmatist and naturalistic defence of my views on natural kinds and concepts. Many philosophers conceive of naturalism as a primarily metaphysical doctrine, such as a commitment to a physicalist ontology or the idea that humans and their intellectual and moral capacities are a part of nature. Sometimes such legitimate views motivate a more contentious philosophical program that maintains that any philosophical notion ought to be defined in a purely physicalist vocabulary (e.g., by putting forward a theory of concepts and intentional states that does not define them in terms of intentional notions). We will see that I reject this latter project (which is naturalistic in some sense) on naturalistic grounds, as science does not aim at developing reductive definitions. Rather than naturalism as a metaphysical doctrine, more germane to my account is a methodological type of naturalism. Here the idea is that some aspects of scientific method and practice should be used by philosophers in their attempts to develop philosophical accounts. I will illustrate this naturalistic method by laying out how philosophers can and ought to develop philosophical notions without Ingo Brigandt 2.. (shrink)
In 1934 a most singular event occurred. Two papers were published on a topic that had (apparently) never before been written about, the authors had never been in contact with one another, and they had (apparently) no common intellectual background that would otherwise account for their mutual interest in this topic.1 These two papers formed the basis for a movement in logic which is by now the most common way of teaching elementary logic by far, and indeed is perhaps all (...) that is known in any detail about logic by a number of philosophers (especially in North America). This manner of proceeding in logic is called ‘natural deduction’. And in its own way the instigation of this style of logical proof is as important to the history of logic as the discovery of resolution by Robinson in 1965, or the discovery of the logistical method by Frege in 1879, or even the discovery of the syllogistic by Aristotle in the fourth century BC. (shrink)
Hermeneutics, or interpretation, is concerned with the generation, transmission, and acceptance of meaning within the lifeworld, and was the original method of the human sciences stemming, from F. Schleiermacher and W. Dilthey. The `hermeneutic philosophy' refers mostly to Heidegger. This paper addresses natural science from the perspective of Heidegger's analysis of meaning and interpretation. Its purpose is to incorporate into the philosophy of science those aspects of historicality, culture, and tradition that are absent from the traditional analysis of (...) theory and explanation, to re-orient the current discussion about scientific realism around the hermeneutics of meaning and truth in science, and to establish some relationship between the current philosophy of natural science and hermeneutical philosophy. The paper has particular relevance to the history and social studies of science and technology. (shrink)
There is a common concern in some of the writings of Husserl and Gadamer. It is the concern to defend the legitimacy and dignity of the "human sciences." They argue from the methodological standpoint that the method of the natural sciences leaves out the relationship between the object of inquiry and the inquirer. This relationship plays a key role in "understanding," which is the concem of the human sciences. In explicating it, Husserl and Gadamer stress the role of (...) the community and the lifeworld as the context of understanding. Parallels to Husserl's and Gadamer's ideas can be found in analytical philosophy. (shrink)
This paper examines, from the point of view of a philosopher of science, what it is that introductory science textbooks say and do not say about 'scientific method'. Seventy introductory texts in a variety of natural and social sciences provided the material for this study. The inadequacy of these textbook accounts is apparent in three general areas: (a) the simple empiricist view of science that tends to predominate; (b) the demarcation between scientific and non-scientific inquiry and (c) the (...) avoidance of controversy-in part the consequence of the tendency toward textbook standardization. Most importantly, this study provides some evidence of the gulf that separates philosophy of science from science instruction, and examines some important aspects of the demarcation between science and non-science-an important issue for philosophers, scientists, and science educators. (shrink)
An overview is provided of how the concept of the thought experiment has developed and changed for the natural sciences in the course of the 20th century. First, we discuss the existing definitions of the term 'thought experiment' and the origin of the thought experimentation method, identifying it in Greek Presocratics epoch. Second, only in the end of the 19th century showed up the first systematic enquiry on thought experiments by Ernst Mach's work. After the Mach's work, a (...) negative attitude towards thought experiments came in the beginning of the 20th century, which went on until the Thomas Kuhn's and Karl Popper's work on thought experiments. Only from the mid-1980s did thought experiments begin to be considered relevant to scientific enterprise. Finally, we show the existing empirical and 'functional' theories which have developed about the nature and purpose of thought experiments. (shrink)
This volume presents an interconnected set of sixteen essays, four of which are previously unpublished, by Allan Gotthelf--one of the leading experts in the study of Aristotle's biological writings. Gotthelf addresses three main topics across Aristotle's three main biological treatises. Starting with his own ground-breaking study of Aristotle's natural teleology and its illuminating relationship with the Generation of Animals, Gotthelf proceeds to the axiomatic structure of biological explanation (and the first principles such explanation proceeds from) in the Parts of (...) Animals. After an exploration of the implications of these two treatises for our understanding of Aristotle's metaphysics, Gotthelf examines important aspects of the method by which Aristotle organizes his data in the History of Animals to make possible such a systematic, explanatory study of animals, offering a new view of the place of classification in that enterprise. In a concluding section on 'Aristotle as Theoretical Biologist', Gotthelf explores the basis of Charles Darwin's great praise of Aristotle and, in the first printing of a lecture delivered worldwide, provides an overview of Aristotle as a philosophically-oriented scientist, and 'a proper verdict' on his greatness as scientist. (shrink)
Combining the methods of the modern philosopher with those of the historian of ideas, Knud Haakonssen presents an interpretation of the philosophy of law which Adam Smith developed out of - and partly in response to - David Hume's theory of justice. While acknowledging that the influences on Smith were many and various, Dr Haakonssen suggests that the decisive philosophical one was Hume's analysis of justice in A Treatise of Human Nature and the second Enquiry. He therefore begins with a (...) thorough investigation of Hume, from which he goes on to show the philosophical originality of Smith's new form of natural jurisprudence. At the same time, he provides an over all reading of Smith's social and political thought, demonstrating clearly the exact links between the moral theory of The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the Lectures on Jurisprudence, and the sociohistorical theory of The Wealth of Nations. This is the first full analysis of Adam Smith's jurisprudence; it emphasizes its normative and critical function, and relates this to the psychological, sociological, and histroical aspects which hitherto have attracted most attention. Dr Haakonssen is critical of both purely descriptivist and utilitarian interpretations of Smith's moral and political philosophy, and demonstrates the implausibility of regarding Smith's view of history as pseudo-economic or 'materialist'. (shrink)
Natural deduction is the type of logic most familiar to current philosophers, and indeed is all that many modern philosophers know about logic. Yet natural deduction is a fairly recent innovation in logic, dating from Gentzen and Ja?kowski in 1934. This article traces the development of natural deduction from the view that these founders embraced to the widespread acceptance of the method in the 1960s. I focus especially on the different choices made by writers of elementary (...) textbooks?the standard conduits of the method to a generation of philosophers?with an eye to determining what the ?essential characteristics? of natural deduction are. (shrink)
Exploring the central ideas of traditional metaphysics--such as the simplicity of nature, its comprehensibility, or its systematic integrity--this book analyzes looking at such notions from a scientific point of view. It seeks to describe in a clear, accessible manner the metaphysical situation that characterizes the process of inquiry in natural science, aiming to shed light on reality by examining the modus operandi of natural science itself and focusing as much on its findings as on its conceptual and methodological (...) presuppositions. Written by an eminent scholar of philosophy, this book is the culmination of many years of penetrating work. It is the definitive presentation of some of Nicholas Rescher's most fascinating ideas and is an engaging source for philosophers and non-philosophers alike. (shrink)
Natural deduction (for short: nd-) calculi have not been used systematically as a basis for automated theorem proving in classical logic. To remove objective obstacles to their use we describe (1) a method that allows to give semantic proofs of normal form theorems for nd-calculi and (2) a framework that allows to search directly for normal nd-proofs. Thus, one can try to answer the question: How do we bridge the gap between claims and assumptions in heuristically motivated ways? (...) This informal question motivates the formulation of intercalation calculi. Ic-calculi are the technical underpinnings for (1) and (2), and our paper focuses on their detailed presentation and meta-mathematical investigation in the case of classical predicate logic. As a central theme emerges the connection between restricted forms of nd-proofs and (strategies for) proof search: normal forms are not obtained by removing local "detours", but rather by constructing proofs that directly reflect proof-strategic considerations. That theme warrants further investigation. (shrink)
The most original aspect of Hedwig Conrad-Martius’ research is her interpretation of nature, performed through the phenomenological method. She pinpoints the very essences of the natural phenomena, discovering entelechies inside them and a trans-physical dimension. She reads the evolution of nature in a new way, against the deterministic interpretation of it. Inside nature one can discover many levels, qualitatively different. The human being participates to all of them, but his/her peculiarity is linked to the mental–spiritual life.
John Corcoran?s natural deduction system for Aristotle?s syllogistic is reconsidered.Though Corcoran is no doubt right in interpreting Aristotle as viewing syllogisms as arguments and in rejecting Lukasiewicz?s treatment in terms of conditional sentences, it is argued that Corcoran is wrong in thinking that the only alternative is to construe Barbara and Celarent as deduction rules in a natural deduction system.An alternative is presented that is technically more elegant and equally compatible with the texts.The abstract role assigned by tradition (...) and Lukasiewicz to Barbara and Celarent is retained.The two ? perfect syllogisms? serve as ?basic elements? in the construction of an inductively defined set of valid syllogisms.The proposal departs from Lukasiewicz, and follows Corcoran, however, in construing the construction as one in natural deduction.The result is a sequent system with fewer rules and in which Barbara and Celarent serve as basic deductions.To compare the theory to Corcoran?s, his original is reformulated in current terms and generalized.It is shown to be equivalent to the proposed sequent system, and several variations are discussed.For all systems mentioned, a method of Henkin?style completeness proofs is given that is more direct and intuitive than Corcoran?s original. (shrink)
Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) is a method for exploring inner experience. DES subjects carry a random beeper in natural environments; when the beep sounds, they capture their inner experience, jot down notes about it, and report it to an investigator in a subsequent expositional interview. DES is a fundamentally idiographic method, describing faithfully the pristine inner experiences of persons. Subsequently, DES can be used in a nomothetic way to describe the characteristics of groups of people who share (...) some common characteristic. This paper describes DES and compares it to Petitmengin’s [Phenomenol Cogn Sci, this issue] second-person interview method. (shrink)
Duhem's discussion of physical theories as natural classifications is neither antithetical nor incidental to the main thrust of his philosophy of science. Contrary to what is often supposed, Duhem does not argue that theories are better thought of as economically organizing empirical laws than as providing information concerning the nature of the world. What he is primarily concerned with is the character and justification of the scientific method, not the logical status of theoretical entities. The crucial point to (...) notice is that he took the principle of the autonomy of physics to be of paramount importance and he developed the conception of natural classification in opposition to accounts of physical theories that contravened it. (shrink)
It has been remarked, my Hermippus, that though the ancient philosophers conveyed most of their instruction in the form of dialogue, this method of composition has been little practised in later ages, and has seldom succeeded in the hands of those who have attempted it. Accurate and regular argument, indeed, such as is now expected of philosophical enquirers, naturally throws a man into the methodical and didactic manner; where he can immediately, without preparation, explain the point at which he (...) aims; and thence proceed, without interruption, to deduce the proofs on which it is established. To deliver a SYSTEM in conversation, scarcely appears natural; and while the dialogue-writer desires, by departing from the direct style of composition, to give a freer air to his performance, and avoid the appearance of Author and Reader, he is apt to run into a worse inconvenience, and convey the image of Pedagogue and Pupil. Or, if he carries on the dispute in the natural spirit of good company, by throwing in a variety of topics, and preserving a proper balance among the speakers, he often loses so much time in preparations and transitions, that the reader will scarcely think himself compensated, by all the graces of dialogue, for the order, brevity, and precision, which are sacrificed to them. (shrink)
In the debate between the natural science and the phenomenological or hermeneutical approaches in the human sciences, a third alternative described by Husserl has been widely ignored. Contrary to frequent assumptions, Husserl believed that a purely phenomenological method is not generally the appropriate approach for the empirical human sciences. Rather, he held that although they can and should make important use of phenomenological analysis, such sciences should take their basic stance in the "natural attitude," the ordinary commonsense (...) lifeworld mode of understanding which cuts across the divergent abstractive specializations of natural science and phenomenology Human science in the natural attitude, shorn of its naivete by phenomenological insight, would be the field of descriptive concrete sociocultural sciences capable of taking a truly explanatory approach to their subject matter, persons and personal formations. In practice, both Weber and Freud exemplify the method recommended by Husserl. (shrink)
A new formalism for predicate logic is introduced, with a non-standard method of binding variables, which allows a compositional formalization of certain anaphoric constructions, including donkey sentences and cross-sentential anaphora. A proof system in natural deduction format is provided, and the formalism is compared with other accounts of this type of anaphora, in particular Dynamic Predicate Logic.
Gendlin proposes experiential concepts as bridges between phenomenology and logical formulation. His method moves back and forth, aiming to increase both natural understanding and logical formulation. On thesubjective side, the concepts requiredirect reference tofelt orimplicit meaning. There is no equivalence between this and the logical side. Rather, in logical explication, the implicit iscarried forward, a relation shown by many functions. The subjective is no inner parallel. It performsspecific functions in language. Once these are located, they also lead to (...) developments on the formulated side.To show some of this, Gendlin modifies Lakoff and Johnson''s theory of metaphor, and expands it into a theory of all language use. He denies that a metaphor consists of a pattern or image, shared by two situations. There is only one situation — the metaphoric one. The original situation is actually a family of many uses (in the Wittgensteinian sense). As in all speech, a word makes sense only as its use-family crosses with an actual situation in the actual spot in a sentence. Subjectively, a metaphor means this crossing. From it, long chains of new similarities and differences can be generated. Ways to study the functions and features of thiscrossing are proposed. (shrink)
When natural selection theory was presented, much active philosophical debate, in which Darwin himself participated, centered on its hypothetical nature, its explanatory power, and Darwin's methodology. Upon first examination, Darwin's support of his theory seems to consist of a set of claims pertaining to various aspects of explanatory success. I analyze the support of his method and theory given in the Origin of Species and private correspondence, and conclude that an interpretation focusing on the explanatory strengths of (...) class='Hi'>natural selection theory accurately reflects neither Darwin's own self-consciously held views, nor the nature of his support. Darwin's methodological and philosophical arguments were at once consistently empiricist and more sophisticated than such interpretations credit to him. (shrink)
In this article I attempt to reconstruct David Hume's use of the label ?experimental? to characterise his method in the Treatise. Although its meaning may strike the present-day reader as unusual, such a reconstruction is possible from the background of eighteenth-century practices and concepts of natural inquiry. As I argue, Hume's inquiries into human nature are experimental not primarily because of the way the empirical data he uses are produced, but because of the way those data are theoretically (...) processed. He seems to follow a method of analysis and synthesis quite similar to the one advertised in Newton's Opticks, which profoundly influenced eighteenth-century natural and moral philosophy. This method brings him much closer to the methods of qualitative, chemical investigations than to mechanical approaches to both nature and human nature. (shrink)
The paper is devoted to the concise description of some Natural Deduction System (ND for short) for Linear Temporal Logic. The system's distinctive feature is that it is labelled and analytical. Labels convey necessary semantic information connected with the rules for temporal functors while the analytical character of the rules lets the system work as a decision procedure. It makes it more similar to Labelled Tableau Systems than to standard Natural Deduction. In fact, our solution of linearity representation (...) is rather independent of the underlying proof method, provided that some form of (analytic) cut is admissible. We will also discuss some generalisations of the system and compare it with other formalizations of linearity. (shrink)
Natural selection in the sense of Darwin always means physical propagation (positive case) or disappearance (negative case) of living organisms due to differential reproduction. If one concentrates on this simple materialist principle, one arrives at a much better method of discerning true selection processes from largely nonrandom processes of internal rearrangement (somatic mutations) and reorganisation (operant learning).
We develop a general method for applying functional models to natural systems and cite recent progress in protein modeling that demonstrates the power of this approach. Functional modeling constrains the range of acceptable structural models of a system, reduces the difficulty of finding them, and improves their fidelity. However, functional models are distinctly different from the structural models that are more commonly applied in science. In particular, structural and functional models ask different questions and provide different kinds of (...) answers. As we clarify these differences and articulate how to use these models jointly, we extend our ability to do science and gain insight into the proper use of the terms organization , order , and emergence when describing systems in nature. (shrink)
What is the relation between philosophical analysis and sociological method? Sociology has traditionally looked to Philosophy to provide either an indubitable epistemic foundation for its practices or alternatively to legislate invariant criteria of scientificity which might guide the social sciences in questions of methodology. But has Philosophy itself such an autonomy from the developing knowledge domains of the different sciences,natural and social? A structural analysis of philosophic discourse in the twentieth century reveals as a key element of recent (...) philosophic'al thought a central anthropologism. This study traces the rupture in philosophic thought which has occurred with the dissolution and collapse of classical epistemology and the emergence in turn of a radically new mode of philosophizing based on a recognition of the centrality of social reality to ontological judgement and epistemological critique. Just as the analytic epistemOlogy of the seventeenth century can be seen as an accommodation by Philosophy to the emergence and development of the empirical natural sc~ences, so the appearance of 'conversational' epistemology can be viewed as Philosophy's attempt to think'the implications for the nature of knowledge-in-general of the emergence and subsequent development of the social sciences at the end of the nineteenth century. The key theoretical instance which demarcates classical epistemology fram the anthropologistic philosophy since the 1920's is its inability to accommodate the category of intersubjectiv:itJY successfully within its egological structure. Contemporary philosophy, phenomenological, analytical, pragmatist and marxist, is forced to grapple with the new awareness of man's essential sociality. This has profound implications for epistemology. The question of the relationship of philosophical analysis to sociological method must be re-addressed in the light of the revealed epistemic proximity of the two disciplines. What sort of philosophical critique, we ask, is possible and appropriate in an age of sociological reason and historical method? (shrink)
We give two proofs of strong normalisation for second order classical natural deduction. The first one is an adaptation of the method of reducibility candidates introduced in  for second order intuitionistic natural deduction; the extension to the classical case requires in particular a simplification of the notion of reducibility candidate. The second one is a reduction to the intuitionistic case, using a Kolmogorov translation.
This paper presents a novel approach to the unsupervised learning of syntactic analyses of natural language text. Most previous work has focused on maximizing likelihood according to generative PCFG models. In contrast, we employ a simpler probabilistic model over trees based directly on constituent identity and linear context, and use an EM-like iterative procedure to induce structure. This method produces much higher quality analyses, giving the best published results on the ATIS dataset.
Although resolution-based inference is perhaps the industry standard in automated theorem proving, there have always been systems that employed a different format. For example, the Logic Theorist of 1957 produced proofs by using an axiomatic system, and the proofs it generated would be considered legitimate axiomatic proofs; Wang’s systems of the late 1950’s employed a Gentzen-sequent proof strategy; Beth’s systems written about the same time employed his semantic tableaux method; and Prawitz’s systems of again about the same time are (...) often said to employ a natural deduction format. [See Newell, et al (1957), Beth (1958), Wang (1960), and Prawitz et al (1960)]. Like sequent proof systems and tableaux proof systems, natural deduction systems retain.. (shrink)
Wentzel van Huyssteen's Alone in the World? (2006) presents an interpretation of human uniqueness in the form of a dialogue between classical Christian theological affirmations and cutting-edge scientific understandings of the human and animal worlds. The sheer amount of information from different thinkers and fields that van Huyssteen absorbs and integrates makes this book extraordinary and, indeed, very rich as a work of interdisciplinary theology. The book commands respect and deserves close attention. In this essay I evaluate van Huyssteen's proposal (...) as well as the method he uses to produce it. Special attention is given to the concept of embodiment. Van Huyssteen's concept of embodiment is substantially correct in most respects and largely consistent with the scientific and theological pictures of human nature. In a few respects, however, his interpretation of the bodily character of human life appears to be insufficiently thoroughgoing relative to our best contemporary knowledge of human nature from the natural sciences. (shrink)
Ronald Moore's new book Natural Beauty: A Theory of Aesthetics Beyond the Arts seeks to offer up an account of beauty in nature rather than the beauty of nature. Moore claims his is a syncretic theory. That is, it combines the best parts of competing theories into a single comprehensive account of, in this case, our judgments of natural beauty. The syncretic impulse is a common one in philosophy. Seeing many theories, each with some strong points yet none (...) successful overall, a natural solution is to simply glom them all together. But does this work? Are we entitled to pick and choose in this manner, taking what we like but leaving behind the preconceptions to which each theory was moored? And is the resulting supertheory consistent and coherent? I will use Moore's book as a test case for some of these theoretical questions. I identify some 'syncretic sites' in Moore's theory to see whether his method passes muster. (shrink)
Two different equivalence relations on countable nonstandard models of the natural numbers are considered. Properties of a standard sequence A are correlated with topological properties of the equivalence classes of the transfer of A. This provides a method for translating results from analysis into theorems about sequences of natural numbers.
The reticulated model of scientific rationality includes the goal of the investigation, the method by which the goal is achieved, and the epistemic values needed to assess whether the goal was achieved by the applied method. I expand this model of rationality to include metaphysical assumptions and commitments that inform the origins of epistemic claims. I then explore the rational boundaries between the natural sciences and Christian theology in terms of goals, methods, and metaphysics. Finally, I discuss (...) the advantages and problems of exploring the rational boundaries between science and theology. (shrink)
This paper argues that Nicholas of Cusa’s investigation of infinity and incommensurability in De docta ignorantia was shaped by the mathematical innovations and thought experiments of fourteenth-century natural philosophy. Cusanus scholarship has overlooked this influence, in part because Raymond Klibansky’s influential edition of De docta ignorantia situated Cusa within the medieval Platonic tradition. However, Cusa departs from this tradition in a number of ways. His willingness to engage incommensurability and to compare different magnitudes of infinity distinguishes him from his (...) Platonic predecessors, who had appropriated the Pythagorean model of universal harmonies. Cusa’s penchant for representing quantity geometrically suggests not only that he has adopted the fourteenth-century method of latitude measurement, but that he accepts incommensurability as normative. Finally, Cusa’s persistent attention to mathematical inaccuracy and to his own learned ignorance suggests his kinship with the meta-critical, conjectural quality of fourteenth-century thought. (shrink)
This paper presents a novel approach to the unsupervised learning of syntactic analyses of natural language text. Most previous work has focused on maximizing likelihood according to generative PCFG models. In contrast, we employ a simpler probabilistic model over trees based directly on constituent identity and linear context, and use an EM-like iterative procedure to induce structure. This method produces much higher quality analyses, giving the best published results on the ATIS dataset.
Controlled natural languages (CNL) with a direct mapping to formal logic have been proposed to improve the usability of knowledge representation systems, query interfaces, and formal specifications. Predictive editors are a popular approach to solve the problem that CNLs are easy to read but hard to write. Such predictive editors need to be able to “look ahead” in order to show all possible continuations of a given unfinished sentence. Such lookahead features, however, are difficult to implement in a satisfying (...) way with existing grammar frameworks, especially if the CNL supports complex nonlocal structures such as anaphoric references. Here, methods and algorithms are presented for a new grammar notation called Codeco, which is specifically designed for controlled natural languages and predictive editors. A parsing approach for Codeco based on an extended chart parsing algorithm is presented. A large subset of Attempto Controlled English has been represented in Codeco. Evaluation of this grammar and the parser implementation shows that the approach is practical, adequate and efficient. (shrink)
Why was it that Francis Bacon, trained for high political office, devoted himself to proposing a celebrated and sweeping reform of the natural sciences? Julian Martin's investigative study looks at Bacon's family context, his employment in Queen Elizabeth's security service and his radical critique of the relationship between the Common Law and the Monarchy, to find the key to this important question. Deeply conservative and elitist in his political views, Bacon adapted Tudor strategies of State management and bureaucracy, the (...) social anxieties and prejudices of the late-Elizabethan governing elite, and a principal intellectual resource of the English governing classes - the Common Law - into a novel vision and method for the sciences. Bacon's axiom that 'Knowledge is Power' takes on far-reaching implications in Martin's challenging argument that the reform of natural philosophy was a central part of an audacious plan to strengthen the powers of the Crown in the State. (shrink)
1) Gaukroger estimates that there exist two irreconcilable theses in the Cartesian method in the Rules. The first thesis concerns the problem of the cognitive grasp of inference, the other the problem of the method of discovery. Descartes, by integrating deduction as a simple object of intuition, rejects the psychologicalinterpretation of inference, and elevates deduction to the status of a necessary condition of knowledge. On the other hand, the problem of the method of discovery requires that inference (...) produces a new truth as its conclusion. Descartes takes the algebraic solution of equations as the model of this method. But this orientation leads Descartes to deny all cognitive function operating in the inference of synthetic form. Thus, according to Gaukroger, these two theses tendto be opposed, calling into question the unity of the method. 2) We admit the cognitive analysis of Gaukroger on the Cartesian inference. However, Gaukroger does not see the importance of “the natural power of the mind” in the Rules. Indeed, the cognitive role of inference is always understood by Descartes, in light of this natural power. Thus, the main role of the method is to teach ways of increasing this power. Descartes tries to pose, by the algebraic treatment of questions, an analogy between the mathematical order and the order of the operations of the mind, enabling him to discover pure schemes of these operations. And, It is by theses schemes that the mind exercise itself in order to increase its natural power. For this reason, we must reconsider Gaukroger’s thesis that Descartesassimilates literally the method of discovery and algebraic solution, as well as his thesis of the inconsistency of the Cartesian method. (shrink)
There are explicit claims to Darwinian thinking in numerous fields of study. A common temptation associated with this method across disciplines is to call some attributes “natural” and others “cultural” in origin. But this distinction can be dangerous—particularly when applied to ethics. When employing the Darwinian method, ideas should be evaluated in the same way whether the characteristics are described as natural or as cultural. We should ascertain the moral usefulness of a trait irrespective of its (...) genetic basis or lack thereof. The nature/culture distinction is irrelevant to ethics. If Darwinian thinking connotes or implies an important difference, it is a dangerous idea to moral theory. I don’t believe the method denotes such a distinction, and in fact helps ethicists ask and answer many interesting questions that would not have arisen without it. But great care should be taken. (shrink)
Essentialism about natural kinds has three tenets. The first tenet is that all and only members of a natural kind has some essential properties. The second tenet is that these essential properties play a causal role. The third tenet is that they are explanatorily relevant. I examine the prospects of questioning these tenets and point out that arguing against the first and the second tenets of kind-essentialism would involve taking parts in some of the grand debates of philosophy. (...) But, at least if we restrict the scope of the discussion to the biological domain, the third tenet of kind-essentialism could be questioned more successfully. (shrink)
As medical technology advances and severely injured or ill people can be kept alive and functioning long beyond what was previously medically possible, the debate surrounding the ethics of end-of-life care and quality-of-life issues has grown more urgent. In this lucid and vigorous book, Craig Paterson discusses assisted suicide and euthanasia from a fully fledged but non-dogmatic secular natural law perspective. He rehabilitates and revitalises the natural law approach to moral reasoning by developing a pluralistic account of just (...) why we are required by practical rationality to respect and not violate key demands generated by the primary goods of persons, especially human life. Important issues that shape the moral quality of an action are explained and analysed: intention/foresight; action/omission; action/consequences; killing/letting die; innocence/non-innocence; person/non-person. Paterson defends the central normative proposition that ‘it is always a serious moral wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human person, whether self or another, notwithstanding any further appeal to consequences or motive’. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that - despite the absence of any clear influence of one theory on the other - the legal theories of Dworkin and Hegel share several similar and, at times, unique positions that join them together within a distinctive school of legal theory, sharing a middle position between natural law and legal positivism. In addition, each theory can help the other in addressing certain internal difficulties. By recognizing both Hegel and Dworkin as proponents of a (...) position lying in between natural law and legal positivist jurisprudence, we can gain clarity in why their general legal theories seem to fit uncomfortably, if indeed they can be said to fit at all, within so many different camps - while fitting comfortably in no particular camp - as well as highlight what has been overlooked. (shrink)
David Lewis advised essentialists to judge his counterpart theory a false friend. He also argued that counterpart theory needs natural properties. This essay argues that natural properties are all essentialists need to find a true friend in counterpart theory. Section one explains why Lewis takes counterpart theory to be anti-essentialist and why he thinks it needs natural properties. Section two establishes the connection between the natural properties counterpart theory needs and the essentialist consequences Lewis disavows. Section (...) three answers two objections: the first attempts to block the consequences of adding natural properties to counterpart theory; the second grants the consequences, but denies that they amount to essentialism. –Correspondence to: Todd_Buras@baylor.edu. (shrink)
The vision of natural kinds that is most common in the modern philosophy of biology, particularly with respect to the question whether species and other taxa are natural kinds, is based on a revision of the notion by Mill in A System of Logic. However, there was another conception that Whewell had previously captured well, which taxonomists have always employed, of kinds as being types that need not have necessary and sufficient characters and properties, or essences. These competing (...) views employ different approaches to scientific methodologies: Mill’s class-kinds are not formed by induction but by deduction, while Whewell’s type-kinds are inductive. More recently, phylogenetic kinds (clades, or monophyletic-kinds) are inductively projectible, and escape Mill’s strictures. Mill’s version represents a shift in the notions of kinds from the biological to the physical sciences. (shrink)
Natural law is a perennial though poorly represented and understood issue in political philosophy and the philosophy of law. Mark C. Murphy argues that the central thesis of natural law jurisprudence--that law is backed by decisive reasons for compliance--sets the agenda for natural law political philosophy, which demonstrates how law gains its binding force by way of the common good of the political community. Murphy's work ranges over the central questions of natural law jurisprudence and political (...) philosophy, including the formulation and defense of the natural law jurisprudential thesis, the nature of the common good, the connection between the promotion of the common good and requirement of obedience to law, and the justification of punishment. (shrink)
We have been accustomed at least since Kant and mainstream history of philosophy to distinguish between the ‘mechanical’ and the ‘teleological’; between a fully mechanistic, quantitative science of Nature exemplified by Newton (or Galileo, or Descartes) and a teleological, qualitative approach to living beings ultimately expressed in the concept of ‘organism’ – a purposive entity, or at least an entity possessed of functions. The beauty of this distinction is that it seems to make intuitive sense and to map onto historical (...) and conceptual constellations in medicine, physiology and the related natural-philosophical discussions on the status of the body versus that of the machine. In this presentation I argue that the distinction between mechanism and teleology is imprecise and flawed, on the basis of a series of examples: the presence of ‘functional’ or ‘purposive’ features even in Cartesian physiology; work such as that of Richard Lower’s on animal respiration; the fact that the model of the ‘body-machine’ is not at all a mechanistic reduction of organismic properties to basic physical properties but on the contrary a way of emphasizing the uniqueness of organic life; and the concept of ‘animal economy’ in vitalist medical theory, which I present as a kind of ‘teleo-mechanistic’ concept of organism (borrowing a term of Timothy Lenoir’s which he used to discuss 19th-century embryology) – neither mechanical nor teleological. (shrink)
How do fitness and natural selection relate to other evolutionary factors like architectural constraint, mode of reproduction, and drift? In one way of thinking, drawn from Newtonian dynamics, fitness is one force driving evolutionary change and added to other factors. In another, drawn from statistical thermodynamics, it is a statistical trend that manifests itself in natural selection histories. It is argued that the first model is incoherent, the second appropriate; a hierarchical realization model is proposed as a basis (...) for a statistical treatment. It emerges that natural selection does not cause evolution; it just is evolution. The theory incorporates relations of statistical correlation, but not the kind of causation found in fundamental physical processes. (shrink)
Introduction -- Contending for moral first things : Christian social ethics and postconsensus culture -- Natural law and the Christian tradition -- Natural law and the Protestant prejudice -- Moral law, Christian belief, and social ethics -- Contending for moral first things in ethical and bioethical debates : critical categories, part 1 -- Contending for moral first things in ethical and bioethical debates : critical categories, part 2 -- Ethics, bioethics, and the natural law, a (...) test case : euthanasia yesterday and today -- The natural law and public morality : second thoughts on what is at stake. (shrink)
Traditional debate on the metaphysics of gender has been a contrast of essentialist and social-constructionist positions. The standard reaction to this opposition is that neither position alone has the theoretical resources required to satisfy an equitable politics. This has caused a number of theorists to suggest ways in which gender is unified on the basis of social rather than biological characteristics but is “real” or “objective” nonetheless – a position I term social objectivism. This essay begins by making explicit the (...) motivations for, and central assumptions of, social objectivism. I then propose that gender is better understood as a real kind with a historical essence, analogous to the biologist’s claim that species are historical entities. I argue that this proposal achieves a better solution to the problems that motivate social objectivism. Moreover, the account is consistent with a post-positivist understanding of the classificatory practices employed within the natural and social sciences. (shrink)
This paper considers the problem of assigning meanings to empty natural kind terms. It does so in the context of the Twin-Earth externalist-internalist debate about whether the meanings of natural kind terms are individuated by the external physical environment of the speakers using these terms. The paper clarifies and outlines the different ways in which meanings could be assigned to empty natural kind terms. And it argues that externalists do not have the semantic resources to assign them (...) meanings. The paper ends on a sceptical note concerning the fruitfulness of using the Twin-Earth setting in debates about the semantics of empty natural kind terms. (shrink)
This paper discusses whether it can be known a priori that a particular term, such as water, is a natural kind term, and how this problem relates to Putnams claim that natural kind terms require an externalist semantics. Two conceptions of natural kind terms are contrasted: The first holds that whether water is a natural kind term depends on its a priori knowable semantic features. The second.
Kripke and Putnam have convinced most philosophers that we cannot do metaphysics of nature by analysing the senses of natural kind terms -- simply because natural kind terms do not have senses. Neo-descriptivists, especially Frank Jackson and David Chalmers, believe that this view is mistaken. Merging classical descriptivism with a Kaplan-inspired two-dimensional framework, neo-descriptivists devise a semantics for natural kind terms that assigns natural kind terms so-called 'primary intensions'. Since primary intensions are senses by other names, (...) Jackson and Chalmers conclude that we can and should do metaphysics of nature by analysing the natural kind concepts competent speakers possess. I argue that neo-descriptivism does not provide a suitable basis for doing this kind of metaphysics. I first of all give a detailed account of the neo-descriptivist semantics and deflate the intuitive support neo-descriptivists try to draw from their case of the XYZ-world. I then present three arguments -- the Argument from Ignorance, the Argument from Conceptual Analysis, and the Argument from Laziness. Taken together, these arguments undermine the neo-descriptivist analysis of natural kind terms. I conclude that natural kind terms do not have senses, that we cannot do metaphysics of nature by analysing the senses of our kind terms, and that the Kripke-Putnam account still provides the best semantics for natural kind terms we have. (shrink)
Fodor claims that cognitive modules can be thought of as constituting a psychological natural kind in virtue of their possession of most or all of nine specified properties. The challenge to this considered here comes from synaesthesia. Synaesthesia is a type of cross-modal association: input to one sensory modality reliably generates an additional sensory output that is usually generated by the input to a distinct sensory modality. The most common form of synaesthesia manifests Fodor's nine specified properties of modularity, (...) and hence, according to Segal (1997), it should be understood as involving an extra module. Many psychologists believe that synaesthesia involves a breakdown in modularity. After outlining how both theories can explain the manifestation of the nine alleged properties of modularity in synaesthesia, I discuss the two concepts of function which initially motivate the respective theories. I argue that only a teleological concept of function is properly able to adjudicate between the two theories. The upshot is a further application of so-called externalist considerations to mental phenomena. (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.
Chapter one argues for the important contribution that a natural law based framework can make towards an analysis and assessment of key controversies surrounding the practices of suicide, assisted suicide, and voluntary euthanasia. The second chapter considers a number of historical contributions to the debate. The third chapter takes up the modern context of ideas that have increasingly come to the fore in shaping the 'push' for reform. Particular areas focused upon include the value of human life, the value (...) of personal autonomy, and the rejection of double effect reasoning. Chapter four engages in the task of pointing out structural weakness in utilitarianism and deontology. The thesis argues that major systemic weaknesses in both approaches can be overcome by a teleology of basic human goods. John Finnis' work becomes the underpinning of subsequent applied natural law analysis. Chapter five proceeds to argue for the defence of the intrinsic good of human life from direct attack. The thesis holds out for the proposition "that it is always a serious moral wrong to intentionally kill a human person, whether self or another, regardless of a further appeal to consequences or motive." In support of this, it defends the validity of double effect reasoning as an indispensable part of applied moral decision making. Chapter six critically assesses the arguments of anti-perfectionists that it is not the business of the state to enforce deep or substantive conceptions of the 'good life.' The chapter moves on to argue that the natural law conception of the person in society, centred on the common good, provides a solid framework for assessing both the justification for, as well as the limits on, the role of the state to use its power to legally impose certain moral standards. Chapter seven addresses the concrete relationship between natural law and legal policy by exploring the issue of assisted suicide in the constitutional context of the United States.
In this book, Buckle provides a historical perspective on the political philosophies of Locke and Hume, arguing that there are continuities in the development of seventeenth and eighteenth-century political theory which have often gone unrecognized. He begins with a detailed exposition of Grotius's and Pufendorf's modern natural law theory, focussing on their accounts of the nature of natural law, human sociability, the development of forms of property, and the question of slavery. He then shows that Locke's political theory (...) takes up and develops these basic themes of natural law. The author argues further that, rather than being a departure from this tradition, the moral sense theory of Hutcheson and Hume represents a not entirely successful attempt to underpin the natural law theory with an adequate moral psychology. (shrink)
The existence of natural laws, whether deterministic or indeterministic, and whether exceptionless or ceteris paribus, seems puzzling because it implies that mindless bits of matter behave in a consistent and co-ordinated way. I explain this puzzle by showing that a number of attempted solutions fail. The puzzle could be resolved if it were assumed that natural laws are a manifestation of God’s activity. This argument from natural law to God’s existence differs from its traditional counterparts in that, (...) whereas the latter seek to explain the fact of natural laws, the former seeks to explain their possibility. The customary objections to the traditional arguments cannot be successfully adapted to counter this new argument, with one exception which has only limited effect. I rebut four claims that the theistic solution to the puzzle about natural laws is paradoxical, though I concede that one of these claims has merit. I consider four objections to the new argument but find three of them more or less unsatisfactory. The fourth, if successful, would undermine our claims to know the truth about the world. (shrink)
Building on the work of Peter Hinst and Geo Siegwart, we develop a pragmatised natural deduction calculus, i.e. a natural deduction calculus that incorporates illocutionary operators at the formal level, and prove its adequacy. In contrast to other linear calculi of natural deduction, derivations in this calculus are sequences of object-language sentences which do not require graphical or other means of commentary in order to keep track of assumptions or to indicate subproofs. (Translation of our German paper (...) "Ein Redehandlungskalkül. Ein pragmatisierter Kalkül des natürlichen Schließens nebst Metatheorie"; online available at http://philpapers.org/rec/CORERE.). (shrink)
Fundamentalist forms of religion today claim authority everywhere, including the debates over the politics and constitutional law of liberal democracies. This book examines this general question through its critical evaluation of a recent school of thought: that of the new natural lawyers. The new natural lawyers are the lawyers of the current Vatical hierarchy, polemically concerned to defend its retrograde views on matters of sexuality and gender in terms of arguments that, in fact, notably lack the philosophical rigor (...) of the historical Thomism they claim to honor. The book critiques forms of fundamentalism and offers an original argument both for how they arose and why they are unreasonable in contemporary circumstances. (shrink)
What are biological species? Aristotelians and Lockeans agree that they are natural kinds; but, evolutionary theory shows that neither traditional philosophical approach is truly adequate. Recently, Michael Ghiselin and David Hull have argued that species are individuals. This claim is shown to be against the spirit of much modern biology. It is concluded that species are natural kinds of a sort, and that any 'objectivity' they possess comes from their being at the focus of a consilience of inductions.
The tradition of natural law is one of the foundations of Western civilization. At its heart is the conviction that there is an objective and universal justice which transcends humanity’s particular expressions of justice. It asserts that there are certain ways of behaving which are appropriate to humanity simply by virtue of the fact that we are all human beings. Recent political debates indicate that it is not a tradition that has gone unchallenged: in fact, the opposition is as (...) old as the tradition itself. By distinguishing between philosophy and ideology, by recalling the historical adventures of natural law, and by reviewing the theoretical problems involved in the doctrine, Simon clarifies much of the confusion surrounding this perennial debate. He tackles the questions raised by the application of natural law with skill and honesty as he faces the difficulties of the subject. Simon warns against undue optimism in a revival of interest in natural law and insists that the study of natural law beings with the analysis of “the law of the land.” He writes not as a polemicist but as a philosopher, and he writes of natural law with the same force, conciseness, lucidity and simplicity which have distinguished all his other works. (shrink)
This book shows how political argument in terms of rights and natural rights began in medieval Europe, and how the theory of natural rights was developed in the seventeenth century after a period of neglect in the Renaissance. Dr Tuck provides a new understanding of the importance of Jean Gerson in the formation of the theories, and of Hugo Grotius in their development; he also restores the Englishman John Selden's ideas to the prominence they once enjoyed, and shows (...) how Thomas Hobbes's political theory can best be understood against this background. In general, the book enables us to understand more fully the characteristics of the natural rights theories available to the men of the Enlightenment, and thereby to appreciate the complexity and equivocal nature of modern right theories. (shrink)
David Hume is one of the most provocative philosophers to have written in English. His Dialogues ask if a belief in God can be inferred from what is known of the universe, or whether such a belief is even consistent with such knowledge. The Natural History of Religion investigates the origins of belief, and follows its development from polytheism to dogmatic monotheism. Together, these works constitute the most formidable attack upon religious belief ever mounted by a philosopher. This new (...) edition includes Section XI of The Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding and a letter by Hume in which he discusses Dialogues. (shrink)
This chapter defends the positive thesis which constitutes its title. It argues first, that the mind has been shaped by natural selection; and second, that the result of that shaping process is a modular mental architecture. The arguments presented are all broadly empirical in character, drawing on evidence provided by biologists, neuroscientists and psychologists (evolutionary, cognitive, and developmental), as well as by researchers in artificial intelligence. Yet the conclusion is at odds with the manifest image of ourselves provided both (...) by introspection and by common-sense psychology. The chapter concludes by sketching how a modular architecture might be developed to account for the patently unconstrained character of human thought, which has served as an assumption in a number of recent philosophical attacks on mental modularity. (shrink)
In earlier work I have claimed that emotion and some emotions are not `natural kinds'. Here I clarify what I mean by `natural kind', suggest a new and more accurate term, and discuss the objection that emotion and emotions are not descriptive categories at all, but fundamentally normative categories.
It has been argued recently that some basic emotions should be considered natural kinds. This is different from the question whether as a class emotions form a natural kind; that is, whether emotion is a natural kind. The consensus on that issue appears to be negative. I argue that this pessimism is unwarranted and that there are in fact good reasons for entertaining the hypothesis that emotion is a natural kind. I interpret this to mean that (...) there exists a distinct natural class of organisms whose behavior and development are governed by emotion. These are emoters. Two arguments for the natural kind status of emotion are considered. Both converge on the existence of emotion as a distinct natural domain governed by its own laws and regularities. There are then some reasons for being optimistic about the prospects for consilience in emotion theory. 1 The mantra 2 Griffiths on emotions as natural kinds 3 Panksepp on emotions as natural kinds 4 Emotion as a neurobiological kind 5 Emotion as a psychological kind 6 Response to the mantra 7 Unification or fragmentation? 8 Concluding remarks. (shrink)
This major addition to Ideas in Context examines the development of natural law theories in the early stages of the Enlightenment in Germany and France. T. J. Hochstrasser investigates the influence exercised by theories of natural law from Grotius to Kant, with a comparative analysis of the important intellectual innovations in ethics and political philosophy of the time. Hochstrasser includes the writings of Samuel Pufendorf and his followers who evolved a natural law theory based on human sociability (...) and reason, fostering a new methodology in German philosophy. This book assesses the first histories of political thought since ancient times, giving insights into the nature and influence of debate within eighteenth-century natural jurisprudence. Ambitious in range and conceptually sophisticated, Natural Law Theories in the Early Enlightenment will be of great interest to scholars in history, political thought, law and philosophy. Natural Law Theories in the Early Enlightenment has been selected as the winner of the annual Morris D. Forkosch Prize for the best book in intellectual history published in 2000. (shrink)
Natural law theory is enjoying a revival of interest in a variety of scholarly disciplines including law, philosophy, political science, and theology and religious studies. This volume presents twelve original essays by leading natural law theorists and their critics. The contributors discuss natural law theories of morality, law and legal reasoning, politics, and the rule of law. Readers get a clear sense of the wide diversity of viewpoints represented among contemporary theorists, and an opportunity to evaluate the (...) arguments and counterarguments exchanged in the current debates between natural law theorists and their critics. Contributors include Hadley Arkes, Joseph M. Boyle, Jr., John Finnis, Robert P. George, Russell Hittinger, Neil MacCormick, Michael Moore, Jeffrey Stout, Joseph Raz, Jeremy Waldron, Lloyd Weinreb, and Ernest Weinrib. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s interpreters are undivided that the method plays a central role in his philosophy. This would be no surprise if we have in mind the Tractarian dictum: “philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity” (4.112). After 1929, Wittgenstein’s method evolved further. In its final form, articulated in Philosophical Investigations, it was formulated as different kinds of therapies of specific philosophical problems that torment our life (§§ 133, 255, 593). In this paper we follow the changes (...) in Wittgenstein’s thinking in four subsequent phases and in three dimensions: (i) in logic and ontology; (ii) in method proper; (iii) in style. (shrink)
Temporal externalism (TE) is the thesis (defended by Jackman (1999)) that the contents of some of an individual’s thoughts and utterances at time t may be determined by linguistic developments subsequent to t. TE has received little discussion so far, Brown 2000 and Stoneham 2002 being exceptions. I defend TE by arguing that it solves several related problems concerning the extension of natural kind terms in scientifically ignorant communities. Gary Ebbs (2000) argues that no theory can reconcile our ordinary, (...) practical judgments of sameness of extension over time with the claim that linguistic usage determines word extensions. I argue that Ebbs shows at most that no theory other than TE can effect this reconciliation. Furthermore, while Ebbs’ argument undermines Jessica Brown’s solutions to two closely related problems about natural kind term extensions (Brown 1998), TE can solve both problems without difficulty. Some criticisms of TE are briefly addressed as well. (shrink)
The explanatory role of natural selection is one of the long-term debates in evolutionary biology. Nevertheless, the consensus has been slippery because conceptual confusions and the absence of a unified, formal causal model that integrates different explanatory scopes of natural selection. In this study we attempt to examine two questions: (i) What can the theory of natural selection explain? and (ii) Is there a causal or explanatory model that integrates all natural selection explananda? For the first (...) question, we argue that five explananda have been assigned to the theory of natural selection and that four of them may be actually considered explananda of natural selection. For the second question, we claim that a probabilistic conception of causality and the statistical relevance concept of explanation are both good models for understanding the explanatory role of natural selection. We review the biological and philosophical disputes about the explanatory role of natural selection and formalize some explananda in probabilistic terms using classical results from population genetics. Most of these explananda have been discussed in philosophical terms but some of them have been mixed up and confused. We analyze and set the limits of these problems. (shrink)
In lecture III of Naming and Necessity, Kripke extends his claim that names are non-descriptive to natural kind terms, and in so doing includes a brief supporting discussion of terms for natural phenomena, in particular the terms ‘light’ and ‘heat’. Whilst natural kind terms continue to feature centrally in the recent literature, natural phenomenon terms have barely figured. The purpose of the present paper is to show how the apparent similarities between natural kind terms and (...) the natural phenomenon terms on which Kripke focuses are outweighed by more significant differences. Thus, rather than providing additional support for non-descriptivism, natural phenomenon terms turn out to challenge that thesis. (shrink)
In this paper, using a multilevel approach, we defend the positive role of natural selection in the generation of organismal form. Despite the currently widespread opinion that natural selection only plays a negative role in the evolution of form, we argue, in contrast, that the Darwinian factor is a crucial (but not exclusive) factor in morphological organization. Analyzing some classic arguments, we propose incorporating the notion of ‘downward causation’ into the concept of ‘natural selection.’ In our opinion, (...) this kind of causation is fundamental to the operation of selection as a creative evolutionary process. (shrink)
Kant maintains that his Critique of Pure Reason follows a “synthetic method” which he distinguishes from the analytic method of the Prolegomena by saying that the Critique “rests on no other science” and “takes nothing as given except reason itself”. The paper presents an account of the synthetic method of the Critique, showing how it is related to Kant’s conception of the Critique as the “science of an a priori judging reason”. Moreover, the author suggests, understanding its (...) synthetic method sheds light on the structure of the Transcendental Deduction, and its function in the work as a whole. (shrink)