In this controversial new book O'Hear takes a stand against the fashion for explaining human behavior in terms of evolution. He contends that while the theory of evolution is successful in explaining the development of the natural world in general, it is of limited value when applied to the human world. Because of our reflectiveness and our rationality we take on goals and ideals which cannot be justified in terms of survival-promotion or reproductive advantage. O'Hear examines the nature (...) of human self-consciousness, and argues that evolutionary theory cannot give a satisfactory account of such distinctive facets of human life as the quest for knowledge, moral sense, and the appreciation of beauty; in these we transcend our biological origins. It is our rationality that allows each of us to go beyond not only our biological but also our cultural inheritance: as the author says in the Preface, "we are prisoners neither of our genes nor of the ideas we encounter as we each make our personal and individual way through life.". (shrink)
This balanced and up-to-date introduction to the philosophy of science covers all the main topics in the area, and initiates the student into the moral and social reality of science. O'Hear discusses the growth of knowledge of science, the status of scientific theories and their relationship to observational data, the extent to which scientific theories rest on unprovable paradigms, and the nature of scientific explanations. In later chapters he considers probability, scientific reductionism, the relationship between science and technology, and (...) the relationship between scientific and other values. (shrink)
Although this collection of articles is not formally a commentary on Elizabeth Anscombe's famous article of the same title, in which she criticized the moral philosophy prevalent in 1958, a number of the contributors consider Anscombe's work as a starting point. The collection can be interpreted as a demonstration of the extent to which moral philosophers have since attempted to respond to Anscombe's challenge, and to develop an approach to their subject which is neither based on divine law nor permissive (...) of the impermissible. (shrink)
In Consciousness Explained, Dennett systematically deconstructs the notion of consciousness, emptying it of its central and essential features. He fails to recognize the self?intimating nature of experience, in effect reducing experiences to reports or judgments that so?and?so is the case. His information?processing model of meaning is unable to account for semantics, the way in which speakers and hearers relate strings of symbols to the world. This ability derives ultimately from our animal nature as experiencers, though culturally supplemented in various ways. (...) But Dennett, while successful in rebutting Cartesianism about the mind, fails to take into account our natural history. He claims descent from Wittgenstein in his philosophy of mind, but he shows awareness only of Wittgensteinian's demolition of the private object of experience and overlooks the equally Wittgensteinian theme of humans as products of nature. (shrink)
In this paper I show how modern democratic states are likely to be inimical to traditional liberal education. Drawing on theoretical considerations and recent history I show how any attempt to promote traditional educational values through state interventions, such as national curricula or state regulation, is bound to be illusory. The preservation of liberal education will best be served by the wholesale removal of education from the progressive state and its bureaucracies.
Abstract The theory of evolution justifies neither optimistic nor pessimistic inferences regarding human knowledge. Darwinian accounts of knowledge would show the adaptive virtues of beliefs, but this is independent logically and practically of their truth. But equally, considerations derived from evolution should not support a downgrading of the manifest image in favour of the scientific image. As embodied beings our first and most certain interactions with the world are and must remain those of everyday life.
This collection brings together the primary assessments of and reactions to the work and abiding influence of this revolutionary thinker, as well as the controversy he caused across many academic and political fields. The set includes early responses to Popper's work from sources difficult to obtain, and also two early reviews (by Carnap and Grelling) in translations specially prepared for this set. It is organized thematically, and includes a substantial new introduction by the editor.
After stressing the shortcomings of Darwinian accounts of self-consciousness and knowledge - i.e. in terms of their survival value - AnthonyO'Hear presents Peirce's metaphysical hypotheses on cosmic evolution as an alternative approach that avoids those shortcomings. Although O'Hear does not straightforwardly defend Peirce's views, his argument suggests that only some teleological account of self-consciousness and knowledge is reasonable. The argument, though correct, is not enough to establish the metaphysical point O'Hear defends. Before developing his metaphysical (...) ideas, Peirce's rejection of natural selection as an explanation for every phenomenon brought him to consider the more appropriate question of how natural selection could give rise to a different kind of evolution. This involved outlining an evolutionary account of the origin of self-consciousness and of the mechanisms of belief fixation. The point is not one about Peirce, of course, but about the relationship between, on the one hand, biological and, on the other, psychological and cultural phenomena. (shrink)
Professor Cohen, 'Jerry' to very many, has been Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, All Souls College, Oxford. He has been both a worthy successor to Isaiah Berlin in the chair and also his own man. Born into a Jewish family in Montral, Cohen was educated at McGill University and then in Oxford under Berlin and Gilbert Ryle. He taught philosophy vigorously at University College London and became known as the first proponent of analytical Marxism. His resolute book illustrative (...) of that way of thinking is Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence . Cohen has not been imprisoned by it, as his subsequent writings make clear -- Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality and If You're An Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich? The article below, which appeared in AnthonyO'Hear (ed.), Political Philosophy , Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures (Cambridge University Press), has also been reprinted in Stephen Law (ed.), Israel, Palestine and Terror (Continuum). (shrink)
This is a further improved version of a paper previously called `Reflective and Affective Consciousness'. It is better now -- more or less comprehensible if still imperfect. It is the fourth in a series of papers, and continues the idea that consciousness needs to be analysed not in any of the boring ways: by way of the plain or 17th Century materialism that is still with us in new packages, or immaterialism, or dualistic identity theory, or functionalism and cognitive science (...) with philosophical ambition. (For argued surveys of these, and a particular allegiance now abandoned in favour of Consciousness as Existence, go to Mind Brain Connection and Mind and Brain Explanation .) Consciousness needs to be analysed, rather, mainly in terms of things existing outside of heads. The final draft of the paper will eventually turn up in the annual proceedings of The Royal Institute of Philosophy, a volume under the title Minds and Persons edited by AnthonyO'Hear. At the end of the paper here there is a summary of it -- in fact the handout for a lecture. (shrink)
Introduction -- Wittgenstein's early conception of value -- An outline of tractarian ontology -- Value, the self, and the mystical -- The lecture on ethics -- Language-games, the private language argument and aspect psychology -- Language-games -- The private language argument -- Aspect psychology -- The soul and attitudes towards the living -- Wittgenstein's general conception of the soul -- Ilham Dilman on the soul and seeing-as -- Religious contexts -- J.B. Watson and the denial of the soul -- Attitudes (...) towards other minds and forms of life -- The soul and the face -- Aspect blindness and dawning -- Particularism, rule-following, and evaluations -- David McNaughton on the property of humanity and particularism -- John McDowell on rule-following and values -- Peter Winch on moral particularism -- The meaning and value of the religious point of view -- Wittgenstein on Frazer's golden bough -- Truth in religion -- Wittgenstein on art : reactions and causes -- Aesthetics, causes, and natural history -- A contemporary evolutionary account of aesthetic value -- Neuro-scientific accounts -- Aesthetic realism and the definition of art -- Aesthetic historicism and relativism -- Institutional and historical theories of art -- Forms of life, moral truth, and justification -- Cora Diamond on forms on seeing-as theory and imagination -- Paul Johnston on moral justification and truth -- D.Z. Phillips and H.O. Mounce on the justification of morality -- Doubt and certainty : framework beliefs and core values -- An overview of certainty -- Avrum Stroll, AnthonyO'Hear , and Cyril Barrett on certainty and value -- Cultural relativism and institutional embodiment -- Peter Winch on cultural relativism -- Sabina Lovibond on moral facts and institutional embodiment -- Cyril Barrett on cultural relativism -- Conclusion: How to do things with Wittgenstein. (shrink)
Turning Images in Philosophy, Science, and Religion: A New Book of Nature brings together new essays addressing the role of images and imagination recruited in the perennial debates surrounding nature, mind, and God. -/- The debate between "new atheists" and religious apologists today is often hostile. This book sets a new tone by locating the debate between theism and naturalism (most "new atheists" are self-described "naturalists") in the broader context of reflection on imagination and aesthetics. The eleven essays will be (...) of interest to anyone who is fascinated by the power of imagination and the role of aesthetics in deciding between worldviews or philosophies of nature. Representing a variety of points of view, authors include outstanding philosophers of religion and of science, a distinguished art historian, and a visual artist. -/- The book begins with Martin Kemp's essay on the work of the biologist, mathematician and classical scholar D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson in which Kemp develops the idea of "structural intuitions and a critique of reductive thinking about the natural world. This is followed by Geoffrey Gorham's overview and analysis of images of nature and God found in early modern science and philosophy. AnthonyO'Hear questions a reductive, naturalist account of the origin of mind and values. Dale Jacquette offers a thoroughgoing naturalistic philosophy of the emergence of intentionality and a unique argument about the emergence of art and the aesthetic appreciation of nature. E.J. Lowe brings to light some challenges facing naturalistic approaches to human imaginative sensibility. Douglas Hedley articulates and defends a cognitive account of imagination, highlighting some of the difficulties confronting naturalism. Daniel N. Robinson offers a sweeping treatment of nature and naturalism, historically engaging Aristotle, Kant, Hegel and others. Conor Cunningham provides an aggressive critique of contemporary naturalism. Gordon Graham investigates the resources of naturalism in accounting for our sense of the sacred. Mark Wynn provides a subtle understanding of imagination and perception, suggesting how these may play into the theism - naturalism debate. The book concludes with Jil Evans' reflections on how images of the Galapagos Islands have been employed philosophically to picture either a naturalist or theistic image of nature. (shrink)
Background: The development of implicit tests for measuring biases and behavioral predispositions is a recent development within psychology. While such tests are usually researched within a social-cognitive paradigm, behavioral researchers have also begun to view these tests as potential tests of conditioning histories, including in the sexual domain. Objective: The objective of this paper is to illustrate the utility of a behavioral approach to implicit testing and means by which implicit tests can be built to the standards of behavioral psychologists. (...) Design: Research findings illustrating the short history of implicit testing within the experimental analysis of behavior are reviewed. Relevant parallel and overlapping research findings from the field of social cognition and on the Implicit Association Test are also outlined. Results: New preliminary data obtained with both normal and sex offender populations are described in order to illustrate how behavior-analytically conceived implicit tests may have potential as investigative tools for assessing histories of sexual arousal conditioning and derived stimulus associations. Conclusion: It is concluded that popular implicit tests are likely sensitive to conditioned and derived stimulus associations in the history of the test-taker rather than ‘unconscious cognitions’, per se. Keywords: implicit association test; function acquisition speed test; relational frame theory; stimulus equivalence; sex offenders; sexual interests (Published: 15 March 2012) Citation: Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2012, 2 : 17335 - DOI: 10.3402/snp.v2i0.17335. (shrink)
Cross-modal perceptual illusions occur when a stimulus to one modality impacts perceptual experience associated with another modality. Unlike synaesthesia, cross-modal illusions are intelligible as results of perceptual strategies for dealing with sensory stimulation to multiple modalities, rather than as mere quirks. I argue that understanding cross-modal illusions reveals an important flaw in a widespread conception of the senses, and of their role in perceptual experience, according to which understanding perception and perceptual experience is a matter of assembling independently viable stories (...) about vision, audition, olfaction, and the rest. (shrink)
Philip Pettit (2003) argues that color looks should be explained in terms of manifest powers. He indicates that his view is broadly allied with our own dynamic sensorimotor approach to conscious experience (O’Regan and Noë 2001a, b, c; Hurley 1998, Hurley and Noë 2003a.
The Shorter REP presents the very best of the acclaimed ten volume Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy in a single work. By selecting and presenting--in full--the most important entries for the beginning philosopher and truncating the rest of the entries to survey the breadth of the field, The Shorter REP will be the only desk reference on philosophy that anyone will need. Comprising over 900 entries and covering the major philosophers and philosophical topics, The Shorter REP includes the following special features: (...) *Over 130 comprehensive, in-depth entries as they appear in the ten volume Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy *Unrivalled coverage of major philosophers, themes, movements and periods making the volume indispensable for any student or general reader *Revised versions of many of the most important entries, including fresh suggestions for further reading *Over 20 brand new entries on important new topics *Entries by many leading philosopherssuch as Bernard Williams, Martha Nussbaum, Richard Rorty, Onora O'Neill, T.M.Scanlon and Anthony Appiah. (shrink)
"Philosophy meant Greek. Rome had nothing to oﬀer except a stern traditional moralism exempliﬁed by Cato, which found the rigid Semitic ethic of the Stoics congenial, and a reaction away from this, which expressed itself in a loose Epicureanism, such as Epicurus himself and his sincere exponents would have utterly disowned. 'And so it is not Epicurus who has driven them to debauchery. They have already given themselves over to immorality, and now try to hide their debauchery in the lap (...) of philosophy; they congregate in the place where they hope to hear the praise of pleasure' (1). The words date from the next century, but they are applicable to the age of Cicero. Cicero is at some pains to explain away the apparent Roman incapacity for philosophy. He suggests that there is no real inability : rather their energies have been diverted into other channels. Be that as it may, philosophy meant Greek, and Greek philosophy of the age of Cicero was represented predominantly by four schools. (shrink)
John Reiss is a practicing evolutionary biologist (herpetology) who by his own account happened to be in the right place (Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology) at the right time (the 1980s) to hear echoes of the debate about sociobiology that had been raging there between E. O. Wilson and, on the other side, Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin (xiv). Reiss is not concerned with sociobiology, at least in this book, but with the adaptationism that Gould and Lewontin saw in (...) the sociobiologists’ approach to cooperative behavior. At Harvard, Reiss was guided by Pere Alberch, in whose laboratory Gould’s stress on developmental constraints was being transformed into a now influential version of the Evo-devo movement (xiv, 327). On Alberch’s view, which Reiss accepts, variation in the rate, timing, placement, and intensity of gene products during the ontogenetic process, rather than mutation in structural genes, constitutes the proximate source of the phenotypic variation on which natural election works (327-29). Reiss does not think that Evo-devo, at least as he construes it, does away with natural selection. Rather, he seeks to identify the role played by selection in retaining or eliminating the variation generated in the developmental process. Selection, he argues, enables organisms, populations, species, and other lineages to maintain the presumptively adapted conditions of existence to which their very persistence already testifies. “Adaptedness,” Reiss writes, “is not a product of evolution; it is a condition for evolution” (22). He thinks that this fact, as he takes it to be, belies the adaptationist assumption that organisms are collections of independently optimal adaptations that arise by way of concerted spurts of directional selection. “It is a mistake,” he writes, “to atomize organisms and to explain each part as the solution of a problem raised by the environment” (295). (shrink)