This book is a revised and expanded edition of three lectures delivered by the author as the centerpiece of a symposium on the philosophy of God at Wake Forest University in 1979. Long out of print, in its new edition it should be a valuable resource for scholars and teachers of the philosophy of religion. The first two lectures, after a critique of the incompleteness of St. Thomas Aquinas's famous Five Ways of arguing for the existence of God, explores two (...) lesser-known resources of Aquinas's philosophical ascent of the mind to God. The first is the unrestricted dynamism of the human spirit, both intellect and will, reaching toward the fullness of being as both true (i.e., intelligible) and good. The second is the strictly metaphysical ascent to God from finite to infinite, in the line of Aquinas's later, more Neoplatonically inspired, metaphysics of participation. The third lecture is a critique of Whitehead's process philosophy. It asks: Is process philosophy compatible with Christian theism? This article is heavily revised from its earlier version, distinguishing Aquinas more sharply and critically from Whitehead than in the first edition. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas is one of the foremost thinkers in Western philosophy and Christian scholarship, recognized as a significant voice in both theological discussions and secular philosophical debates. Alongside a revival of interest in Thomism in philosophy, scholars have realized its relevance when addressing certain contemporary issues in bioethics. This book offers a rigorous interpretation of Aquinas's metaphysics and ethical thought, and highlights its significance to questions in bioethics. Jason T. Eberl applies Aquinas's views on the seminal topics of human nature (...) and morality to key questions in bioethics at the margins of human life - questions which are currently contested in the academia, politics and the media such as: · When does a human person's life begin? How should we define and clinically determine a person's death? · Is abortion ever morally permissible? How should we resolve the conflict between the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research and the lives of human embryos? · Does cloning involve a misuse of human ingenuity and technology? · What forms of treatment are appropriate for irreversibly comatose patients? How should we care for patients who experience unbearable suffering as they approach the end of life? · What ethical mandates and concerns underlie the practice of organ donation? Thomistic Principles and Bioethics presents a significant philosophical viewpoint which should motivate further dialogue amongst religious and secular arenas of inquiry concerning such complex issues of both individual and public concern. It will be illuminating reading for scholars, postgraduate and research students of philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, bioethics and moral theology. (shrink)
We seek to elucidate the philosophical context in which the so-called revolution of rigor in inifinitesimal calculus and mathematical analysis took place. Some of the protagonists of the said revolution were Cauchy, Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass. The dominant current of philosophy in Germany at that time was neo-Kantianism. Among its various currents, the Marburg school (Cohen, Natorp, Cassirer, and others) was the one most interested in matters scientific and mathematical. Our main thesis is that Marburg Neo-Kantian philosophy formulated a sophisticated (...) position towards the problems raised by the concepts of limits and infinitesimals. The Marburg school neither clung to the traditional approach of logically and metaphysically dubious infinitesimals, nor whiggishly subscribed to the new orthodoxy of the "great triumvirate" of Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass. Expressed in terms of modern mathematics, the Marburg philosophers saw the introduction of both infinitesimals and limits as completions whose prototype was Dedekind's of the rational number system resulting in the real numbers. At least partially,, this idea of "completions" can be captured in terms of a category-theoretical description of the conceptual development of modern mathematics. The feasibility of such a modern reformuation may be taken as evidence that the philosophical resources of Marburg neo-Kantianism may be of interest even for contemporary philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
Has Derek Parfit modified his views on personal identity in light of Quassim Cassam’s neo-Kantian argument that to experience the world as objective, we must think of ourselves as enduring subjects of experience? Both parties suggest there is no longer a serious dispute between them. I retrace the path that led to this truce, and contend that the debate remains open. Parfit’s recent work reveals a re-formulation of his ostensibly abandoned claim that there could be impersonal descriptions of reality. I (...) show why Parfit still needs this claim, and how it conflicts with the neo-Kantian view. (shrink)
We seek to elucidate the philosophical context in which one of the most important conceptual transformations of modern mathematics took place, namely the so-called revolution in rigor in infinitesimal calculus and mathematical analysis. Some of the protagonists of the said revolution were Cauchy, Cantor, Dedekind,and Weierstrass. The dominant current of philosophy in Germany at the time was neo-Kantianism. Among its various currents, the Marburg school (Cohen, Natorp, Cassirer, and others) was the one most interested in matters scientific and mathematical. Our (...) main thesis is that Marburg neo-Kantian philosophy formulated a sophisticated position towards the problems raised by the concepts of limits and infinitesimals. The Marburg school neither clung to the traditional approach of logically and metaphysically dubious infinitesimals, nor whiggishly subscribed to the new orthodoxy of the “great triumvirate” of Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass that declared infinitesimals conceptus nongrati in mathematical discourse. Rather, following Cohen’s lead, the Marburg philosophers sought to clarify Leibniz’s principle of continuity, and to exploit it in making sense of infinitesimals and related concepts. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Neo-sentimentalism is the view that to judge that something has an evaluative property is to judge that some affective or emotional response is appropriate to it, but this view allows for radically different versions. My aim is to spell out what I take to be its most plausible version. Against its normative version, I argue that its descriptive version can best satisfy the normativity requirement that follows from Moore’s Open Question Argument while giving an answer to the Wrong Kind (...) of Reason Objection. Finally, I argue that the circularity that is involved is not vicious: understood epistemically, neo-sentimentalism remains instructive. (shrink)
Several proponents of the interventionist theory of causation have recently argued for a neo-Russellian account of causation. The paper discusses two strategies for interventionists to be neo-Russellians. Firstly, I argue that the open systems argument – the main argument for a neo-Russellian account advocated by interventionists – fails. Secondly, I explore and discuss an alternative for interventionists who wish to be neo-Russellians: the statistical mechanical account. Although the latter account is an attractive alternative, it is argued that interventionists are not (...) able to adopt it straightforwardly. Hence, to be neo-Russellians remains a challenge to interventionists. (shrink)
It is often claimed that the discovery of mirror neurons supports simulation theory (ST). There has been much controversy about this, however, as there are various competing models of the functional contribution of mirror systems, only some of which characterize mirroring as simulation in the sense required by ST. But a brief review of these models reveals that they all include simulation in some sense . In this paper, I propose that the broader conception of simulation articulated by neo-empiricist theories (...) of concepts can subsume the more specific conceptions of simulation presented by ST and by these other models, thereby offering a framework in which each of these models may play a role. According to neo-empiricism, conceptual thought in general involves simulation in the sense that it is grounded in sensory, motor, and other embodied systems (Barsalou, Behavioral and Brain Sciences , 22 , 577–609, 1999 , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences , 364 , 1281–1289, 2009 ; Barsalou et al., Trends in Cognitive Sciences , 7 (2), 84–91, 2003 ; Prinz 2002 , Mind & Language , 25 (5), 612–621, 2010 ; Glenberg and Robertson, Journal of Memory and Language , 43 , 379–401, 2000 ). Crucially, the term “simulation” here refers not to simulations of a target agent’s experience in the sense endorsed by simulation theory but to the activation of sensory, motor, affective, and introspective representations. This difference does not entail that neo-empiricism must be in competition with ST—indeed, I will propose that ST can be embedded as a special case within neo-empiricism. (shrink)
Johannes Daubert he was an acknowledged leader, and in some respects the founder, of the early phenomenological movement, and was considered – as much by its members as by Husserl himself – the most brilliant member of the group. In Daubert’s unpublished writings we find a series of reflections on Lask, and on Neo-Kantianism, which form the subject-matter of this paper. They range over topics such as the ontology of the ‘Sachverhalt’ or state of affairs, truthvalues (Wahrheitswerte) and the value (...) of truth, negative judgments and the copula, and the relation between perception and judgment. (shrink)
Critical pedagogy speaks of teachers as liberating and transformative intellectuals. Yet their voice is absent from its discourse. The emancipatory action research, described in this article, created a dialogue between teachers and the ideas concerning oppression and liberation found in Neo-Marxist pedagogies. It strongly suggests that teachers can contribute to the further development of these ideas. It indicates that Critical Theory's perceptions of the totality of oppression were largely accepted by these teachers after their own inner-reflective processes. Yet, the teachers (...) rejected the dyadic perception of oppressors and oppressed, and that of the ‘victimization’ of the subject, as they perceived such an approach to weaken the subject and exempt him/her from the struggle for liberation.They also highlighted the problematic aspects of positive utopia, which many of the critical pedagogies share, and offered a modest, yet intellectually rich perception of the struggle for liberation. As opposed to the static positive utopia that many of Neo-Marxist pedagogies offer, they suggested a dynamic and subjective perception of liberation; one that is neither restricted by the past nor by locality.This research suggests that teachers could well make a valuable contribution to the formation of a new counter-education. And that the development of a new pedagogical language in education could benefit by being done with them rather than for them. (shrink)
Introduction -- Early Heidegger and scholasticism -- Heidegger's atheology of appropriation -- Heideggerian atheology and the Scotist causal argument -- Appropriation and the problem of sufficient comprehension -- Heidegger's atheology of nothingness -- Nothingness and the problem of possibility -- A positive application.
Edward Aloysius Pace, philosopher and educator, by J. H. Ryan.-Neo-scholastic philosophy in American Catholic culture, by C. A. Hart.- The significance of Suarez for a revival of scholasticism, by J. F. McCormick.- The new physics and scholasticism, by F. A. Walsh.- The new humanism and standards, by L. R. Ward.- The purpose of the state, by E. F. Murphy.- The concept of beauty in St. Thomas Aquinas, by G. B. Phelan.- The knowableness of God: its relation to the theory of (...) knowledge in St. Thomas, by Matthew Schumacher.- The modern idea of God, by F. J. Sheen.- The analysis of association of its equational constants, by T. V. Moore.- Bibliography (p. 224-225) - Character and body build in children, by Sister M. Rosa McDonough. Bibliography (p. 248-249) - The moral development of children, by Sister Mary.- Medieval education (700-900) by T. J. Shahan.- The need for a Catholic philosophy of education, by George Johnson. (shrink)
This essay shows why Karl Rahner’s “Chalcedon: End or Beginning?,” also titled “Current Problems in Christology” (1954), stands as a breakthrough in contemporary Catholic Christology. After describing the Neo-Thomism and Neo-Scholasticism of the early twentieth century, it examines one instance of this body of thought: Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s “Christ the Savior” (1946). Then, the essay reviews the argument of “Chalcedon: End or Beginning?” Finally, it contrasts Garrigou-Lagrange’s literal Thomism and Rahner’s transcendental Thomism.
This article offers a detailed review of Filosofi italiani contemporanei, a book that presents overviews of seven contemporary Italian philosophers and philosopher/theologians—Luigi Pareyson, Emanuele Severino, Italo Mancini, Gianni Vattimo, Vincenzo Vitiello, Massimo Cacciari, and theologian Bruno Forte. Not intended as a comprehensive survey of the contemporary Italian philosophical scene, the book presents thinkers influential during the last three decades who have focused on tradition, post-metaphysical conceptions of being, origin, and principle, and the openness of philosophy to religion. Although eccentric by (...) Anglo-American standards, the selection does not misrepresent recent Italian philosophizing, which has been more thoroughgoingly shaped by neo-scholasticism, idealism, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and nihilism than most English-language work. Open to international philosophy as well as to its own traditions, Italian thinkers work within a complex ethos that has produced significant recent philosophizing and holds great promise for the future. (shrink)
. Critical realism is a frequently mentioned, but not very well-known, late nineteenth-/early twentieth-century philosophical tradition. Having its roots in Kantian epistemology, critical realism is best characterized as a revisionist approach toward the original Kantian doctrine. Its most outstanding thesis is the idea that Kantian things-in-themselves are knowable. This idea was—at least implicitly—suggested by thinkers such as Alois Riehl, Wilhelm Wundt, and Oswald Külpe. Interestingly enough, the philosophical position of the early Moritz Schlick stands in the critical realist tradition as (...) well. As will be outlined in the course of this paper, both Schlick’s magnum opus General Theory of Knowledge (1918) and his seminal Space and Time in Contemporary Physics (1917) are based on the assumption that the objects of science are relations and that relations have the status of Kantian things-in-themselves. By way of conclusion, I shall point out that this— more or less directly—leads to the current debate over ‘structural’ realism. (shrink)
This article discusses the historical background to the concept of normativity which has a wide use in contemporary philosophy. It locates the origin of that concept in the Southwestern Neo-Kantian school, the writings of Windelband, Rickert and Lask. The Southwestern school made the concept of normativity central to epistemology, ethics and the interpretation of German idealism. It was their solution to the threats of psycologism and historicism. However, Windelband, Rickert and Lask found difficulties with the concept which eventually forced them (...) to abandon it. These difficulties might be of interest to contemporary philosophers who find the concept of normativity appealing. (shrink)
A volume dealing seriously with the influence of the major schools of Neo-Kantian thought on contemporary philosophy has been needed sorely for some time. But this volume of essays aims higher: it 'is published in the hopes that it will secure Neo-Kantianism a significant place in contemporary philosophical discussions' (Introduction, 1). The aim of the book, then, is partly to provide a history of major Neo-Kantian thinkers and their influence, and partly to argue for their importance in contemporary (continental) philosophy.
Some philosophers argue that many contemporary debates in metaphysics are “illegitimate,” “shallow,” or “trivial,” and that “contemporary analytic metaphysics, a professional activity engaged in by some extremely intelligent and morally serious people, fails to qualify as part of the enlightened pursuit of objective truth, and should be discontinued” (Ladyman and Ross, Every thing must go: Metaphysics naturalized , 2007 ). Many of these critics are explicit about their sympathies with Rudolf Carnap and his circle, calling themselves ‘neo-positivists’ or ‘neo-Carnapians.’ Yet (...) despite the fact that one of the main conclusions of logical positivism was that metaphysical statements are meaningless, many of these neo-positivists are themselves engaged in metaphysical projects. This paper aims to clarify how we may see a neo-positivist metaphysics as proceeding in good faith, one that starts with serious engagement with the findings of science, particularly fundamental physics, but also has room for traditional, armchair methods. (shrink)
Recently, several philosophers have defended what might be called ‘neo-essentialism’ about natural kinds. Their views purport to improve upon the traditional essentialism of Kripke and Putnam by rejecting the claim that essences must be comprised of intrinsic properties. I argue that this so-called break from traditional essentialism is not a break at all, because the widespread interpretation of Putnam according to which he takes essences to be intrinsic is mistaken. Putnam makes no claim to the effect that essences of natural (...) kinds must be intrinsic, and offers at least one example of a natural kind whose essence is non-intrinsic. I conclude that his traditional essentialism has been misinterpreted, and consequently that neo-essentialism is not so ‘neo’ after all. (shrink)
It is argued here that there is no fact of the matter between direct reference theory and neo-Fregeanism. To get a more precise idea of the central thesis of this paper, consider the following two claims: (i) While direct reference theory and neo-Fregeanism can be developed in numerous ways, they can be developed in essentially parallel ways; that is, for any (plausible) way of developing direct reference theory, there is an essentially parallel way of developing neo-Fregeanism, and vice versa. And (...) (ii) for each such pair of theories, there is no fact of the matter as to which of them is superior; or more precisely, they are tied in terms of factual accuracy. These are sweeping claims that cannot be fully justified in a single paper. But arguments are given here that motivate these theses, i.e., that suggest that they are very likely true. (shrink)
In recent years, several systematic theories of linguistic meaning have been offered that give pride of place to linguistic practice, or the process of linguistic communication. Often these theories are referred to as neo-pragmatist or new pragmatist; I call them 'practice-based'. According to practice-based theories of meaning, the process of linguistic communication is somehow constitutive of, or otherwise essential for the existence of, propositional linguistic meaning. Moreover, these theories disavow, or downplay, the semantic importance of inflationary notions of representation. I (...) introduce the basic ideas and motives behind some practice-based theories of meaning, and offer some reasons why an eliminativist, non-quietist, epistemic practice-based approach to meaning that 1) disavows any explanatory role for the linguistic community as such, 2) prioritizes sentence meaning over word meaning, and 3) may , in the end, be naturalistic, should be favored over its practice-based competitors. (shrink)
The debate over whether Frankfurt-style cases are counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP) has taken an interesting turn in recent years. Frankfurt originally envisaged his attack as an attempting to show that PAP is false—that the ability to do otherwise is not necessary for moral responsibility. To many this attack has failed. But Frankfurtians have not conceded defeat. Neo-Frankfurtians, as I will call them, argue that the upshot of Frankfurt-style cases is not that PAP is false, but that (...) it is explanatorily irrelevant. Derk Pereboom and David Hunt’s buffer cases are tailor made to establish this conclusion. In this paper I come to the aid of PAP, showing that buffer cases provide no reason for doubting either its truth or relevance with respect to explaining an agent’s moral responsibility. (shrink)
Causal powers, say, an electron’s power to repel other electrons, are had in virtue of having properties. Electrons repel other electrons because they are negatively charged. One’s views about causal powers are shaped by—and shape—one’s views concerning properties, causation, laws of nature and modality. It is no surprise, then, that views about the nature of causal powers are generally embedded into larger, more systematic, metaphysical pictures of the world. This dissertation is an exploration of three systematic metaphysics, Neo-Humeanism, Nomicism and (...) Neo-Aristotelianism. I raise problems for the first two and defend the third. A defense of a systematic metaphysics, I take it, involves appealing to pre-theoretical commitments or intuitions, and theoretical issues such as simplicity or explanatory power. While I think that Neo-Aristotelianism is the most intuitive of the available general metaphysical pictures of the world, these kinds of intuitions do not settle the matter. The most widely held of the alternative pictures, Neo-Humeanism, is accepted in great part because of its theoretical power. In contrast, a systematic Neo-Aristotelian metaphysic is, at best, nascent. The way forward for the Neo-Aristotelian, therefore, is a contribution to an ongoing research program, generating Neo-Aristotelian views of modality, causation and laws of nature from the Neo-Aristotelian understanding of causal powers. The central argument of this dissertation is that such views are defensible, and so the Neo-Aristotelian metaphysic ought to be accepted. (shrink)
According to the species of neo-logicism advanced by Hale and Wright, mathematical knowledge is essentially logical knowledge. Their view is found to be best understood as a set of related though independent theses: (1) neo-fregeanism-a general conception of the relation between language and reality; (2) the method of abstraction-a particular method for introducing concepts into language; (3) the scope of logic-second-order logic is logic. The criticisms of Boolos, Dummett, Field and Quine (amongst others) of these theses are explicated and assessed. (...) The issues discussed include reductionism, rejectionism, the Julius Caesar problem, the Bad Company objections, and the charge that second-order logic is set theory in disguise. The irresistible metaphor is that pure abstract objects [...] are no more than shadows cast by the syntax of our discourse. And the aptness of the metaphor is enhanced by the reflection that shadows are, after their own fashion, real. (Crispin Wright , p. 181-2) But I feel conscious that many a reader will scarcely recognise in the shadowy forms which I bring before him his numbers which all his life long have accompanied him as faithful and familiar friends; (Richard Dedekind , p. 33). (shrink)
Much of the recent debate regarding scepticism has focussed on a certain template sceptical argument and a rather restricted set of proposals concerning how one might deal with that argument. Throughout this debate the ‘Moorean’ response to scepticism is often cited as a paradigm example of how one should not respond to the sceptical argument, so conceived. As I argue in this paper, however, there are ways of resurrecting the Moorean response to the sceptic. In particular, I consider the prospects (...) for three such proposals in this regard: a classical epistemic internalist neo-Mooreanism, a classical epistemic externalist neo-Mooreanism, and a non-classical McDowellian epistemic internalist neo-Mooreanism, and maintain that the last two of these proposals (both of which make appeal to a disjunctivist account of perception, broadly conceived) merit further exploration. Indeed, I claim that a suitably qualified version of neo-Mooreanism would actually sit quite well with the general philosophical motivations behind other key anti-sceptical views and I argue that given this fact neo-Mooreanism is actually at a dialectical advantage relative to other views when it comes to dealing with the sceptical problem as it is typically conceived. (shrink)
This paper provides a detailed examination of Kit Fine’s sizeable contribution to the development of a neo-Aristotelian alternative to standard mereology; I focus especially on the theory of ‘rigid’ and ‘variable embodiments’, as defended in Fine 1999. Section 2 briefly describes the system I call ‘standard mereology’. Section 3 lays out some of the main principles and consequences of Aristotle’s own mereology, in order to be able to compare Fine’s system with its historical precursor. Section 4 gives an exposition of (...) Fine’s theory of embodiments and goes on to isolate a number of potential concerns to which this account gives rise. In particular, I argue that (i) Fine’s theory threatens to proliferate primitive sui generis relations of parthood and composition, whose characteristics must be stipulatively imposed on them, relative to particular domains; (ii) given its ‘superabundance’ of objects, Fine’s system far outstrips the (arguably) already inflated ontological commitments of standard mereology; and (iii) there is a legitimate question as to why we should consider Fine’s primitive and sui generis relations of parthood and composition to be genuinely mereological at all, given their formal profile. These three objections lead me to conclude that we ought to explore other avenues that preserve the highly desirable, hylomorphic, features of Fine’s mereology, while avoiding its methodological and ontological excesses. (shrink)
Anjan Chakravartty and I are both scientific realists and yet we are separated by a great divide. He’s a neo-Aristotelian, whereas I am a neo-Humean. Prima facie, this is not a divide that has anything to do with scientific realism itself. It’s a divide within metaphysics—or the metaphysics of science, to be more precise. It might be thought that neo-Humeanism is anti-metaphysics altogether, but this is wrong. Metaphysics—that is, a view about the deep structure of reality and its fundamental constituents—is (...) not optional. The only serious issue, I believe, is how deeply this view should be digging; how rich the conception of the fundamental structure of reality ought to be. Neo-Humeanism promotes a rather thin—or sparse—view of the fundamental structure of reality. In particular, it denies that the regularity there is in the world needs grounding in a metaphysically distinct (and typically deeper) layer of facts or entities, which are supposed to enforce the regularity there is in the world. But buying into the idea that the world is characterised by regular patterns of co-existence and succession of property-instances is metaphysics enough! So the real issue between neo-Aristotelianism and neo-Humeanism is not: metaphysics or notmetaphysics. Rather, it is: how much of metaphysics ought we to buy into? I take it that this question is elliptical and needs supplementation: how much of metaphysics ought we to buy into if we are to make sense of the world as this is described by science? Others might disagree with the suggested supplementation. Fair enough! In my own view, metaphysics should be in the service of science and should be constrained by it. I trust this is something Chakravartty and I share. Our disagreement (and the real disagreement between neo-Aristotelianism and neo- Humeanism) concerns precisely the issue of whether the image of the world as painted by modern science does require or imply a neo-Aristotelian metaphysics. Concomitantly, the issue is how we decide (philosophically) what kind of metaphysical theory is required by science.. (shrink)
This article discusses Philip Pettit’s neo-republicanism in light of the criterion of self-sustenance: the requirement that a political theory be capable of serving as a self-sustaining public philosophy for a pluralist democracy. It argues that this criterion can only be satisfied by developing an adequate politics of virtue. Pettit’s theory is built around the notion of freedom as non-domination, and he does not say much about the virtues of citizens or the policies the state may employ to encourage their development. (...) In order to explain the motivation to comply with republican laws that promote non-domination, Pettit relies on the phenomenon of civility and the mechanism of the intangible hand. But to understand what underlies an adequate level of robust civility one needs to focus on the more basic phenomenon of personal virtue. Policies that aim to promote non-domination should take into account the need to cultivate virtue among citizens, as well as the full range of conditions that favor its exercise. (shrink)
Robert C. Cummins (2002). Neo-Teleology. In Andre Ariew, Robert E. Cummins & Mark Perlman (eds.), Functions: New Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology and Biology. Oxford University Press.score: 12.0
Neo-teleology is the two part thesis that, e.g., (i) we have hearts because of what hearts are for: Hearts are for blood circulation, not the production of a pulse, so hearts are there--animals have them--because their function is to circulate the blood, and (ii) that (i) is explained by natural selection: traits spread through populations because of their functions. This paper attacks this popular doctrine. The presence of a biological trait or structure is not explained by appeal to its function. (...) To suppose otherwise is to trivialize natural selection. (shrink)
I outline a neo-Fregean strategy in the debate on the existence of possible worlds. The criterion of identity and the criterion of application are formulated. Special attention is paid to the fact that speakers do not possess proper names for worlds. A broadly Quinean solution is proposed in response to this difficulty.
Contemporary processes of globalization havebeen accompanied by a serious deterioration inthe health of many women across the world. Particularly disturbing is the drastic declinein the health status of many women in theglobal South, as well as some women in theglobal North. This paper argues that thehealth vulnerability of women in the globalSouth is inseparable from their political andeconomic vulnerability. More specifically, itlinks the deteriorating health of many Southernwomen with the neo-liberal economic policiesthat characterize contemporary economicglobalization and argues that this structure (...) issustained by the heavy burden of debtrepayments imposed on many Southern countries. In conclusion, it argues that many Southerndebt obligations are not morally bindingbecause they are not democraticallylegitimate. (shrink)
It is claimed that McDowell’s treatment of scepticism offers a potential way of resurrecting the much derided ‘Moorean’ response to scepticism in a fashion that avoids the problems facing classical internalist and externalist construals of neo-Mooreanism. I here evaluate the prospects for a McDowellian neo-Mooreanism and, in doing so, offer further support for the view.
One of the most important philosophical topics in the early twentieth century ? and a topic that was seminal in the emergence of analytic philosophy ? was the relationship between Kantian philosophy and modern geometry. This paper discusses how this question was tackled by the Neo-Kantian trained philosopher Ernst Cassirer. Surprisingly, Cassirer does not affirm the theses that contemporary philosophers often associate with Kantian philosophy of mathematics. He does not defend the necessary truth of Euclidean geometry but instead develops a (...) kind of logicism modeled on Richard Dedekind's foundations of arithmetic. Further, because he shared with other Neo-Kantians an appreciation of the developmental and historical nature of mathematics, Cassirer developed a philosophical account of the unity and methodology of mathematics over time. With its impressive attention to the detail of contemporary mathematics and its exploration of philosophical questions to which other philosophers paid scant attention, Cassirer's philosophy of mathematics surely deserves a place among the classic works of twentieth century philosophy of mathematics. Though focused on Cassirer's philosophy of geometry, this paper also addresses both Cassirer's general philosophical orientation and his reading of Kant. (shrink)
Anything worth regarding as logicism about number theory holds that its fundamental laws – in effect, the Dedekind-Peano axioms – may be known on the basis of logic and definitions alone. For Frege, the logic in question was that of the Begriffschrift – effectively, full impredicative second order logic - together with the resources for dealing with the putatively “logical objects” provided by Basic Law V of Grundgesetze. With this machinery in place, and with the course-of-values operator governed by Basic (...) Law V counting as logical, it is possible for all the definitions involved in the logicist reconstruction of arithmetic and analysis to be fully explicit, abbreviative definitions. Had Frege’s project succeeded, he would therefore have been in position – by his own lights – to regard the axioms of number theory simply as definitional abbreviations of certain theorems of his pure logic. Basic Law V, as every interested party knows, is inconsistent. But twentieth century orthodoxy would have scorned its description as a law of logic in any case, purely on the grounds of its existential fecundity. Contemporary Neo-Fregeanism in the foundations of mathematics does not, in intention at least, pick any quarrel with the idea that pure logic should be ontologically austere. It does however maintain that the existence of the natural numbers and the real numbers as classically conceived, and thereby the truth of the traditional axioms of arithmetic and analysis, may still be known a priori on the basis of logic and definitions. For the purposes of this claim, logic is once again conceived as essentially the system of Begriffschrift. But Basic Law V is superseded by a variety of abstraction principles, of which Hume's Principle is the best known example, which we are regarded as free to lay down as true by way of determination of the meaning of the non-logical vocabulary that they contain. Thus — the idea is — the Dedekind-Peano axioms, for example, may be known, a priori, to be true by virtue of their derivation in pure logic from a principle which may be regarded as stipulatively true, and whose very stipulation may be regarded as conferring content upon the sole item of non-logical vocabulary – the cardinality operator – which it contains and thereby as conferring content upon Hume's Principle itself.. (shrink)
I outline a variant on the formalist approach to mathematics which rejects textbook formalism's highly counterintuitive denial that mathematical theorems express truths while still avoiding ontological commitment to a realm of abstract objects. The key idea is to distinguish the sense of a sentence from its explanatory truth conditions. I then look at various problems with the neo-formalist approach, in particular at the status of the notion of proof in a formal calculus and at problems which Gödelian results seem to (...) pose for the tight link assumed between truth and proof. (shrink)
What I call “Rorty’s Dilemma” has us caught between the Scylla of Cartesian Dualism and the Charybdis of eliminativism about the mental. Proper recognition of what is distinctively mental requires accommodating incorrigibility about our mental states, something Rorty thinks materialists cannot do. So we must either countenance mental states over and above physical states in our ontology, or else give up altogether on the mental as a distinct category. In section 2, “Materialist Introspectionism—Independence and Epistemic Authority”, I review reasons for (...) being dissatisfied with materialist introspectionism as a way out of the dilemma. In section 3, “Constitutivism”, I outline two constitutivist alternatives to materialist introspectionism. In section 4, “A Neo-Expressivist View”, I offer my neo-expressivist view (defended in Bar-On, Speaking my mind: Expression and self-knowledge. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2004 ), according to which the distinctive status of mental self-ascriptions is to be explained by appeal to the expressive character of acts of issuing them (in speech or in thought). This view, I argue, allows us to stay clear of eliminativism without committing to Cartesian substance dualism, thereby offering a viable way of slipping between the horns of Rorty’s dilemma. (shrink)
Neo-sentmentalism is the view that to judge that something has an evaluative property is to judge that some affective or emotional response is appropriate with respect to it. The difficulty in assessing neo-sentimentalism is that it allows for radically different versions. My aim is to spell out what I take to be its most plausible version. I distinguish between a normative version, which takes the concepts of appropriateness to be normative, and a descriptive version, which claims that appropriateness in emotions (...) is a matter of correspondence to evaluative facts. I argue that the latter version can satisfy the normativity requirement that follows from Moore's Open Question Argument, that it is superior to the former with respect to the explanatory role of values, and with respect to the Wrong Kind of Reason Objection. Finally, I argue that the circularity that is involved is not vicious: understood epistemically, neo-sentimentalism remains instructive. (shrink)
The purpose is to stage a dialogue between (1) a pre-liberal conception of justice, represented by Aristotle as revived with the help of ideas of Lucas, Jouvenel and (later on in the argument) G. A. Cohen, and (2) a liberal conception, as founded in Kant and refurbished, renewed and worked out in (say) A Theory of Justice by John Rawls. Among the questions at issue are the roles of habit, disposition and formation; the nature of the dependency (whether one (...) way, the other way, or back and forth) between the justice of the citizen of a polity and the justice of the constitutional arrangements of the polity; the superior prospects of a piecemeal, bottom-up approach to justice or of a top-down, contractual approach; the remedial/restorative conception of justice versus more than merely remedial/restorative conceptions; tolerance of contingency; the propensity of liberal regimes to replace by managerial procedures more and more of the arrangements that previously entrusted important matters to the practical judgement of individuals; the multiplicity and diversity of the neo-Aristotelian requisites for a good polity versus the rather simpler demands of liberalism, which relate mostly to legitimacy; the idea of equality proper to a just and good polity; the closed, open enough, or completely open character of such a polity. (shrink)
Ibn Ṭufayl’s story of the solitary philosopher Ḥayy who, aided only by the power of his natural reason, comes to his own on an uninhabited equatorial island, attractively portrays the neo-Platonic worldview of the Muslim falāsifah . At the same time it forces to the foreground the most trenchant problem in any intellectualist ethics. If the highest virtue consists in the unmixed contemplative life, what good can a thinker do any longer, in any more mundane context? In this article, a (...) reading is proposed that integrates Ḥayy’s cosmological explorations with his relations towards nature and his fellow human beings. (shrink)
The essay examines the relationship, within spacetime theories, between contemporary structural realism, Cassirer’s neo-Kantian structuralism, and Friedman’s defense of the relativized a priori. Despite Friedman’s claim that the relativized a priori can explain the progress of science, by using invariant theoretical elements/structures, our investigation will demonstrate that his theory cannot make this guarantee, nor may Cassirer’s earlier theory. However, as will be argued, the main content of both Cassirer’s and Friedman’s theories can be retained within an epistemic version of structural (...) realism, thereby securing an account of scientific progress. (shrink)
It is clear that a revival of republicanism is under way, but it is not clear that the republican tradition truly speaks to contemporary concerns. In particular, it is not clear that republicanism has anything of value to say about economic matters in the early 21st century. I respond to this worry by delineating the main features of a neo-republican civic economy that is, I argue, reasonably coherent and attractive. Such an economy will preserve the market, while constraining it to (...) serve public purposes, and promote what John Rawls calls a property-owning democracy. To accomplish these ends, a civic economy is likely to concern itself with the character of work and the workplace, to take steps to preserve and protect the sense of community or publicity, to levy an inheritance tax and a progressive consumption tax, and to provide some kind of social or civic minimum of support to all citizens. Key Words: republicanism equality self-government deliberative politics civic virtue publicity markets property-owning democracy basic income inheritance tax consumption tax. (shrink)
After a brief sketch of the history of philosophical pragmatism generally, and of legal pragmatism specifically (section 1), this paper develops a new, neo-classical legal pragmatism: a theory of law drawing in part on Holmes, but also on ideas from the classical pragmatist tradition in philosophy. Main themes are the "pluralistic universe" of law (section 2); the evolution of legal systems (section 3); the place of logic in the law (section 4); and the relation of law and morality (section 5).
The general idea of enactive perception is that actual and potential embodied activities determine perceptual experience. Some extended mind theorists, such as Andy Clark, refute this claim despite their general emphasis on the importance of the body. I propose a compromise to this opposition. The extended mind thesis is allegedly a consequence of our commonsense understanding of the mind. Furthermore, extended mind theorists assume the existence of non-human minds. I explore the precise nature of the commonsense understanding of the mind, (...) which accepts both extended minds and non-human minds. In the area of philosophy of mind, there are two theories of intentionality based on such commonsense understandings: neo-behaviorism defended, e.g., by Daniel Dennett, and neo-pragmatism advocated, e.g., by Robert Brandom. Neither account is in full agreement with how people ordinarily use their commonsense understanding. Neo-pragmatism, however, can overcome its problem—its inability to explain why people routinely find intentionality in non-humans—by incorporating the phenomenological suggestion that interactional bodily skills determine how we perceive others’ intentionality. I call this integrative position embodied neo-pragmatism . I conclude that the extended view of the mind makes sense, without denying the existence of non-human minds, only by assuming embodied neo-pragmatism and hence the general idea of enactive perception. (shrink)
A central element in neo-Fregean philosophy of mathematics is the focus on abstraction principles, and the use of abstraction principles to ground various areas of mathematics. But as is well known, not all abstraction principles are in good standing. Various proposals for singling out the acceptable abstraction principles have been presented. Here I investigate what philosophical underpinnings can be provided for these proposals; specifically, underpinnings that fit the neo-Fregean's general outlook. Among the philosophical ideas I consider are: general views on (...) a priori justification; the idea of abstraction as reconceptualization, the idea that truth is prior to reference in the sense associated with Frege's context principle; and various broadly relativistic views. The conclusions are by and large negative. (shrink)
The neo-logicist argues tliat standard mathematics can be derived by purely logical means from abstraction principles—such as Hume's Principle— which are held to lie 'epistcmically innocent'. We show that the second-order axiom of comprehension applied to non-instantiated properties and the standard first-order existential instantiation and universal elimination principles are essential for the derivation of key results, specifically a theorem of infinity, but have not been shown to be epistemically innocent. We conclude that the epistemic innocence of mathematics has not been (...) established by the neo-logicist. (shrink)
Much of The Reason’s Proper Study is devoted to defending the claim that simply by stipulating an abstraction principle for the “number-of” functor, we can simultaneously fix a meaning for this functor and acquire epistemic entitlement to the stipulated principle. In this paper, I argue that the semantic and epistemological principles Hale and Wright offer in defense of this claim may be too strong for their purposes. For if these principles are correct, it is hard to see why they do (...) not justify platonist strategies that are not in any way “neo-Fregean,” e.g. strategies that treat “the number of Fs” as a Russellian definite description rather than a singular term, or employ axioms that do not have the form of abstraction principles. (shrink)
This article critically examines the contemporary resurgence of empiricism (or “neo-empiricism”) in philosophy, psychology, neuropsychology, and artificial intelligence. This resurgence is an important and positive development. It is the first time that this centuries-old empiricist approach to cognition is precisely formulated in the context of cognitive science and neuroscience. Moreover, neo-empiricists have made several findings that challenge amodal theories of concepts and higher cognition. It is argued, however, that the theoretical foundations of and the empirical evidence for neo-empiricism are not (...) as strong as is usually claimed by its proponents. The empirical evidence for and against neo-empiricism is discussed in detail. (shrink)
Neo-Russellianism, which incorporates both Millianism (with regard to proper names) and the thesis of singular Russellian propositions, has widely been defended after the publication of Kripke's Naming and Necessity. The view, however, encounters various problems regarding empty names, names that do not have semantic referents. Nathan Salmon and Scott Soames have defended neo-Russellianism against such problems in a novel way; to account for various intuitions of competent and rational speakers regarding utterances of sentences containing empty names, Salmon and Soames appeal (...) neither to entities similar to Fregean senses, e.g. propositional guises or modes of presentation, nor to Gricean implicatures. In this paper, however, I argue that their view slips into neo-Meinongianism; it is committed to nonexistent objects, assigns various properties to them, and allows quantifiers range over such entities. This, I conclude, makes Salmon and Soames' view less appealing, if not implausible. (shrink)
The existence and extent of animal suffering provides grounds for a serious evidential challenge to theism. In the wake of the Darwinian revolution, this strain of natural atheology has taken on substantially greater significance. In this essay we argue that there are at least four neo-Cartesian views on the nature of animal minds which would serve to deflect this evidential challenge.