This paper offers a detailed account of arguments in De Caelo I by which Aristotle tried to demonstrate the necessity of the perpetual existence and the perpetual rotation of the cosmos. On our interpretation, Aristotle’s arguments are naturalistic. Instead of being based (as many have thought) on rules of logic and language, they depend, we argue, on natural science theories about abilities (δυνάμεις), e.g., to move and to change, which things have by nature and about the conditions under which these (...) abilities can be exercised. Our interpretation locates the De Caelo arguments in the context of some central doctrines of the Organon, the Metaphysics, the Physics, and other texts. The De Caelo arguments fit a number of views developed in these texts. Aristotle’s treatments of local motion, of natural motion and change, of necessity and possibility, and of abilities and their exercises are examples. But, as we interpret them, the De Caelo arguments raise serious questions about the role of (and the need for) Metaphysics A’s soulful Unmoved Mover in Aristotle’s overall natural-scientific picture. (shrink)
This paper problematizes contemporary cultural understandings of autism. We make use of the developmental psychology concepts of ‘Theory of Mind’ and ‘mindblindness’ to uncover the meaning of autism as expressed in these concepts. Our concern is that autism is depicted as a puzzle and that this depiction governs not only the way Western culture treats autism but also the way in which it governs everyday interactions with autistic people. Moreover, we show how the concepts of Theory of Mind and mindblindness (...) require autism to be a puzzle in the first place. Rather than treat autism as a puzzle that must be solved, we treat autism as a teacher and thus as having something valuable to contribute toward an understanding of the inherent partiality and uncertainty of human communication and collective life. (shrink)
: This article is concerned with Newton's appropriation of Descartes' ontology of true and immutable natures in developing his theory of infinitely extended space. It contends that unless the part played by the Platonic distinction between "being a nature" and "having a nature" in Newton's thinking is properly appreciated the foundation of his doctrine of space in relation to God will not be fully understood. It also contends that Newton's Platonism is consistent with his empiricism once the mediating role is (...) made clear that the geometry of moving loci play in grounding his intuitions concerning infinite natures. (shrink)
Isaac Newton wrote the manuscript Questiones quaedam philosophicae at the very beginning of his scientific career. This small notebook thus affords rare insight into the beginnings of Newton's thought and the foundations of his subsequent intellectual development. The Questiones contains a series of entries in Newton's hand that range over many topics in science, philosophy, psychology, theology, and the foundations of mathematics. These notes, written in English, provide a very detailed picture of Newton's early interests, and record his critical appraisal (...) of contemporary issues in natural philosophy. Written predominantly in 1664-5, they give a significant perspective on Newton's thought just prior to his annus mirabilis, 1666. This volume provides a complete transcription of the Questiones, together with an 'expansion' into modern English, and a full editorial commentary on the content and significance of the notebook in the development of Newton's thought. It will be essential reading for all those interested in Newton and the intellectual foundations of science. (shrink)
We argue that Isaac Newton really is best understood as being in the tradition of the Mechanical Philosophy and, further, that Newton saw himself as being in this tradition. But the tradition as Newton understands it is not that of Robert Boyle and many others, for whom the Mechanical Philosophy was defined by contact action and a corpuscularean theory of matter. Instead, as we argue in this paper, Newton interpreted and extended the Mechanical Philosophy's slogan “matter and motion” in reference (...) to the long and distinguished tradition of mixed mathematics and the study of simple machines. (shrink)
This is a response to two reviews of our book "Science Unfettered: A Philosophical Study of Sociohistorical Ontology." We clarify the relationship between the ontological and the ontic, the key phrases: 'being-in-the-world,' the 'facticity' of human existence. We show where the sources of reviewers misunderstandings lie.
In this essay, we discuss how Descartes arrives at his mature view of material causation. Descartes position changes over time in some very radical ways. The last section spells out his final position as to how causation works in the world of material objects. When considering Descartes causal theories, it is useful to distinguish between vertical and horizontal causation. The vertical perspective addresses Gods relation to creation. God is essential being, and every being other than God depends upon God in (...) order to exist and to continue in existence .Thus, from the vertical perspective, the act of creating and fact of coming into existence are co-extensive notions. This metaphysical/theological framework is the basis of Descartes commitment to three interrelated notions: that genuine causes and effects occur simultaneously; that causing is appropriately the case only when the cause is acting; and the view that God is the efficient, total, and continuous cause of everything that exists and every action that occurs. So from the vertical perspective, things are nothing without Gods continuous creation, and there is a problem in articulating how they are said to have independent being and causal efficacy. It is in terms of these commitments that Descartes views on horizontal, or material, causation must be approached. We will make apparent the radical extent to which his account of intra-worldly causation abandons his earlier and more traditional views about material causation. To this end we discuss Descartes journey to his mature position by emphasizing the growing epistemic limitations of his philosophy, which culminate in what we call his epistemic stance. (shrink)
This article is concerned with the question of whether, and to what extent, the concept of metaphor properly applies to pictures (e.g., paintings or photographs). The question is approached dialectically through an examination of the views of Sonia Sedivy, who advances the following 4 claims: (a) that pictures possess propositional content, (b) that there are metaphoric pictures, (c) that metaphoric pictures do not possess metaphoric content, and (d) that there can be no theory of pictorial metaphor. Although the first of (...) Sedivy's claims is rejected in this article, the existence of pictorial metaphors is not denied. Thus, the fact that pictures do not possess propositional content does not preclude the possibility of pictorial metaphors. What are required, though, are changes to the conception of pictorial metaphor that Sedivy advances. (shrink)
This paper investigates Newton’s ontology of space in order to determine its commitment, if any, to both Cambridge neo-Platonism, which posits an incorporeal basis for space, and substantivalism, which regards space as a form of substance or entity. A non-substantivalist interpretation of Newton’s theory has been famously championed by Howard Stein and Robert DiSalle, among others, while both Stein and the early work of J. E. McGuire have downplayed the influence of Cambridge neo-Platonism on various aspects of Newton’s own (...) spatial hypotheses. Both of these assertions will be shown to be problematic on various grounds, with special emphasis placed on Stein’s influential case for a non-substantivalist reading. Our analysis will strive, nonetheless, to reveal the unique or forward-looking aspects of Newton’s approach, most notably, his critical assessment of substance ontologies, that help to distinguish his theory of space from his neo-Platonic contemporaries and predecessors. (shrink)
The Catholic philosophy of history, by Joseph Schrembs.- The "Two cities" of Otto of Freising and its influence on the Catholic philosophy of history, by Felix Fellner.- Aquinas and the missing link in the philosophy of history, by M.F.X.Millar.- Dante's philosophy of history, by G.G.Walsh.- Bossuet's "Discourse in universal history," by P.J.Barry.- Giambattista Vico, philosopher-historian, by P.C.Perrotta.- Christian thought and economic policy, by C.E.McGuire.
. This paper examines the association between long-term compensation and corporate social responsibility (CSR) for 90 publicly traded Canadian firms. Social responsibility is considered to include concerns for social factors and the environment (e.g. Johnson, R. and D. Greening: 1999, Academy of Management Journal 42(5), 564-578; Kane, E. J. (2002, Journal of Banking and Finance 26:, 1919-1933; McGuire, J. et al. 2003, Journal of Business Ethics 45 (4), 341-359). Long-term compensation attempts to focus executives efforts on optimizing the (...) longer term, which should direct their attention to factors traditionally associated with socially responsible executives (Mahapatra, S. 1984, Journal of Financial Economicsit 20, 347-376). As hypothesized, we found a significant relationship between the long-term compensation and total CSR weakness as well as the product/environmental weakness dimension of CSR. In addition, we found a marginally significant relationship between long-term compensation and total corporate responsibility. Our findings are that executives long-term compensation is associated with a firms environmental actions, and that firms that utilize long-term compensation are more likely to mitigate product/environment weaknesses than those that do not. Implications for practice and research are discussed. (shrink)
We explore the extent to which Boards use executive compensation to incite firms to act in accordance with social and environmental objectives (e.g., Johnson, R. and D. Greening: 1999, Academy of Management Journal 42(5), 564-578; Kane, E. J.: 2002, Journal of Banking and Finance 26, 1919-1933.). We examine the association between executive compensation and corporate social responsibility (CSR) for 77 Canadian firms using three key components of executives' compensation structure: salary, bonus, and stock options. Similar to prior research (McGuire, (...) J., S. Dow and K. Argheyd: 2003, Journal of Business Ethics 45(4), 341-359), we measure three different aspects of CSR, which include Total CSR as well as CSR Strengths and CSR Weaknesses. CSR Strengths and CSR Weaknesses capture the positive and negative aspects of CSR, respectively. We find significant positive relationships between: (1) Salary and CSR Weaknesses, (2) Bonus and CSR Strengths, (3) Stock Options and Total CSR; and (4) Stock Options and CSR Strengths. Our findings suggest the importance of the structure of executive compensation in encouraging socially responsible actions, particularly for larger Canadian firms. This in turn suggests that executive compensation can be an effective tool in aligning executives' welfare with that of the "common good", which results in more socially responsible firms (Bebchuk, L., J. Fried and D. Walker: 2002, The University of Chicago Law Review 69, 751-846; Zalewski, D.: 2003, Journal of Economic Issues 37(2), 503-509). In addition, our findings suggest the importance of institutional context in influencing the association between executive compensation and CSR. Further implications for practice and research are discussed. (shrink)