Author Meets Critics Panel: Paul B. Thompson’s (2010) The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9340-4 Authors Raymond Anthony, Department of Philosophy, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Abstract I consider Paul Thompson’s Agrarian Vision from the perspective of the philosophy of technology, especially as it relates to certain questions about public engagement and deliberative democracy around food issues. Is it able to promote an attitudinal shift or reorientation in values to overcome the view of “food as device” so that conscientious engagement in the food system by consumers can become more the norm? Next, I consider briefly, some questions to which it must face up in order (...) to move closer in dismantling the barriers that inhibit the capacity for virtuous caretaking of the food system at various levels. Lastly, and more deeply, how successful might agrarianism be in inculcating citizenship values (ones that go beyond food ethics as a private affair), for the democratization of agricultural technologies? Might the Jeffersonian foundation to which the agrarianism (a la) Thompson appeals need something like a contemporary theory of justice in order to facilitate the reconstitution of our politico-moral selves? How can it help guide appropriate ruminations on the intra and intergenerational question, “What do we want the shape of our current and future social and political institutions to look like in relation to food?” Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9339-x Authors Raymond Anthony, Department of Philosophy, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
David Sloan Wilson has recently revived the idea of a group mind as an application of group selectionist thinking to cognition. Central to my discussion of this idea is the distinction between the claim that groups have a psychology and what I call the social manifestation thesis-a thesis about the psychology of individuals. Contemporary work on this topic has confused these two theses. My discussion also points to research questions and issues that Wilson's work raises, as well as (...) their connection to externalist conceptions of the mind familiar since the work of Putnam and Burge. (shrink)
Introduction: "Know yourself" -- The revelation of God's wisdom -- Credo ut intellegam -- Intellego ut credam -- The relationship between faith and reason -- The interventions of the Magisterium in philosophical matters -- The interaction between philosophy and theology -- Current requirements and tasks -- Conclusion.
George Wilson has recently defended Kripke's well-known interpretation of Wittgenstein against the criticisms of John McDowell. Wilson claims that these criticisms rest on misunderstandings of Kripke and that, when correctly understood, Kripke's interpretation stands up to them well. In particular, Wilson defends Kripke's Wittgenstein against the charge of "non-factualism" about meaning. However, Wilson has not appreciated the full significance of McDowell's criticism. I use a brief exploration of Kripke's analogy between Wittgenstein and Hume to put this (...) significance in sharp relief. It emerges that McDowell's response to Kripke's Wittgenstein account of meaning is in important respects analogous to Kant's response to Hume's account of causality, particularly Kant's complaint that Hume reduced the objective necessity of the causal nexus to a merely subjective necessity. In the same way Kripke's Wittgenstein reduces the objective normative force of meanings to a "quasi-subjective," community-relative status. (shrink)
Søren Kierkegaard used his literary, philosophical, and theological voice to reintroduce Christianity to Christendom. In this effort, he repeatedly uses the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth. Though some have noted the importance of 1 Corinthians for Kierkegaard, they have not explained this importance nor this letter’s role in Kierkegaard’s corpus. This essay seeks to fill this gap in Kierkegaard scholarship by explaining the role this letter plays in Kierkegaard’s Climacean authorship. Paul’s battle with the (...) Corinthian view of wisdom and Kierkegaard’s battle with Hegelian philosophy, which seeks to go beyond faith through speculative thinking, share similarities that engender both their works. In their battles with their respective foes, both develop a Christocentric epistemology that displaces the import of human understanding and cognitive content with the person Jesus who inverts their opponents’ epistemic values by salvifically redefining wisdom and knowledge. This epistemology of a different kind is an offense, foolishness, and absurd to their opponents because it cannot be intellectually grasped by human understanding, but rather in and through the passion of faith, which places the individual in relation with Jesus. For both authors, this relation is the essential point for the Christian life. (shrink)
The significance of Machiavelli's political thinking for the development of modern republicanism is a matter of great controversy. This reassessment examines the character of Machiavelli's own republicanism by charting his influence on Marchamont Nedham, James Harrington, John Locke, Algernon Sidney, John Trenchard, Thomas Gordon, David Hume, the baron de Montesquieu, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Concluding that although Machiavelli himself was not liberal, Paul Rahe argues that he did, nonetheless, set the (...) stage for the emergence of liberal republicanism in England. (shrink)
My review of Boghossian's book, Fear of Knowledge, is generally sympathetic toward his rejection of epistemic relativism and turns toward an examination of "constructivist" themes in light of an anti-nominalist perspective. In general terms, this is a fine little book, tightly argued, and well worth considerable attention--especially from the friends of relativism and those supporting versions of constructivism. (Constructivism + radical nominalism = relativism.).
This stimulating collection is devoted to the life and work of the most flamboyant of twentieth-century philosophers, Paul Feyerabend. Feyerabend's radical epistemological claims, and his stunning argument that there is no such thing as scientific method, were highly influential during his life and have only gained attention since his death in 1994. The essays that make up this volume, written by some of today's most respected philosophers of science, many of whom knew Feyerabend as students and colleagues, cover the (...) diverse themes in his extensive body of work and present a personal account of this fascinating thinker. (shrink)
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most famous philosophers of the twentieth century. The principal founder of existentialism, a political thinker and famous novelist and dramatist, his work has exerted enormous influence in philosophy, literature, politics and cultural studies. Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings is the first collection of Sartre's key philosophical writings and provides an indispensable resource for readers of his work. Stephen Priest's clear and helpful introductions make the volume an ideal companion to those coming to Sartre's (...) writing for the first time. (shrink)
This collection of essays by philosophers and educationalists of international reputation, all published here for the first time, celebrates Paul Hirst's professional career. The introductory essay by Robin Barrow and Patricia White outlines Paul Hirst's career and maps the shifts in his thought about education, showing how his views on teacher education, the curriculum and educational aims are interrelated. Contributions from leading names in British and American philosophy of education cover themes ranging from the nature of good teaching (...) to Wittgensteinian aesthetics. The collection concludes with a paper in which Paul Hirst sets out his latest views on the nature of education and its aims. The book also includes a complete bibliography of works by Hirst and a substantial set of references to his writing. (shrink)
At his death in 1987, Paul W. Pruyser of the Menninger Foundation was widely recognized as one of America's foremost authorities on the psychology of religion. His book A Dynamic Psychology of Religion set the stage for creative dialogue on the subject. In this volume, two leading practitioners in the field present a compilation of Pruyser's seminal articles, providing an overview of the major themes in Pruyser's thought. Newton Malony and Bernard Spilka evaluate Pruyser's viewpoint and suggest (...) how his position continues to influence the psychology of religion. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Rick Anthony Furtak; 1. The 'Socratic secret': the postscript to the Philosophical Crumbs M. Jamie Ferreira; 2. Kierkegaard's Socratic pseudonym: a profile of Johannes Climacus Paul Muench; 3. Johannes Climacus' revocation Alastair Hannay; 4. From the garden of the dead: Johannes Climacus on religious and irreligious inwardness Edward F. Mooney; 5. The Kierkegaardian ideal of 'essential knowing' and the scandal of modern philosophy Rick Anthony Furtak; 6. Lessing and Socrates in Kierkegaard's Postscript (...) Jacob Howland; 7. Climacus on subjectivity and the system Merold Westphal; 8. Humor and irony in the Postscript John Lippitt; 9. Climacus on the task of becoming a Christian Clare Carlisle; 10. The epistemology of the Postscript M. G. Piety; 11. Faith and reason in Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript C. Stephen Evans; 12. Making Christianity difficult: the 'existentialist theology' of Kierkegaard's Postscript David R. Law; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
Erratum to: Book Symposium on Peter Paul Verbeek’s Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011 Content Type Journal Article Category Erratum Pages 1-27 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0058-z Authors Evan Selinger, Dept. Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA Don Ihde, Dept. Philosophy, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA Ibo van de Poel, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands Martin Peterson, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands Peter-Paul Verbeek, (...) Dept. Philosophy, Twente University, Enschede, the Netherlands Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
The purpose of Pope John Paul''s encyclicalCentesimus Annus (CA) is to propound the foundations of a just economic order and to sketch its essential characteristics. As such he essentially provides an orientation or moral compass for the political economy rather than a precise road map. This article first reviews the principal components of CA and then analyzes and evaluates its central contentions on both cultural and economic grounds.
For the inaugural session of the Consultation on Mysticism and Politics at the 1995 convention of the College Theology Society, the consultation’s conveners, David Hammond and Kris Willumsen (both of Wheeling Jesuit College) organized a panel presentation on John Milbank’s Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason. The panelists were John Berkman (then of Sacred Heart University, now of the Catholic University of America), Anthony Godzieba (VillanovaUniversity), Paul Lakeland (Fairfield University), and William Loewe (Catholic University of America).The choice (...) of text was a fortunate one as panelists and audience members alike recognized something emphasized by previous reviewers of the book: no matter how one evaluates Milbank’s proposal, he makes a major contribution to contemporary theology by plunging theology into the thick of the contemporary debates over the status of modernity and postmodernity. In doing so, Milbank avoids employing any of the means normally used in these debates, such as the correlationmethod. Rather, his deeply reflective analysis reaches back into the Christian theological tradition in order to retrieve its Augustinian moment for the post-Nietzschean present. From his dialogue with contemporary Western culture and the social and political theories which undergird it, Milbank pointedly proposes a provocation: not only an alternative theological reading of the history and status of modernity/postmodernity, but also nothing less than a truly theological reconstruction of the contemporary.This review symposium presents the panelists’ contributions, which have been revised for this publication. (shrink)
This major volume assembles leading scholars to address and explain the significance of Paul Ricoeur's extraordinary body of work. Ricoeur's work is of seminal importance to the development of hermeneutics, phenomenology, and ideology critique in the human sciences. Opening with three key essays from Ricoeur himself--on Europe, fragility and responsibility, and love and justice--this fascinating volume offers a tour of his work ranging across topics such as the hermeneutics of action, narrative force, and the other and deconstruction, while discussing (...) his work in the context of such contemporary thinkers as Heidegger, Levinas, Arendt, and Gadamer. Offering a very useful overview of Paul Ricoeur's enormous contribution to modern thought, Paul Ricoeur will be invaluable for students and academics across the social and human sciences and philosophy. (shrink)
This volume is a collection of essays in appreciation, analysis and honor of Paul Ziff, one of the leading American philosophers of the post-World War II period. The essays address questions that loomed large in Ziff's own work. Essays by Zeno Vendler, Jay Rosenberg, and Tom Patton address topics in philosophy of language: understanding, misunderstanding, rules, regularities, and proper names. Michael Resnik examines the nature of numbers, Rita Nolan addresses `mutant predicates', and Peter Alexander discusses microscopes and corpuscles. Douglas (...) C. Long ruminates on Ziff's claim that machines can neither think nor feel. The essays of Dale Jamieson, Bill E. Lawson, Douglas Dempster, and Joseph Ullian address various questions in aesthetics: aesthetic appreciation and morality, expression, the scope of appreciation, and the aesthetics of sport. In the spirit of Ziff, Douglas Stalker criticizes some of the `mush' that looms large in our intellectual lives. The volume begins with a reminiscence by Paul Benacerraf, and ends with selections from an unpublished volume of plays by Paul Ziff. The volume should appeal to anyone whose work has been influenced by Ziff, or is interested in central philosophical problems concerning language, mind, and art. (shrink)
Modern republicanism - distinguished from its classical counterpart by its commercial character and jealous distrust of those in power, by its use of representative institutions, and by its employment of a separation of powers and a system of checks and balances - owes an immense debt to the republican experiment conducted in England between 1649, when Charles I was executed, and 1660, when Charles II was crowned. Though abortive, this experiment left a legacy in the political science articulated both by (...) its champions, John Milton, Marchamont Nehdham, and James Harrington, and by its sometime opponent and ultimate supporter Thomas Hobbes. This volume examines these four thinkers, situates them with regard to the novel species of republicanism first championed more than a century before by Niccolo Machiavelli, and examines the debt that he and they owed the Epicurean tradition in philosophy and the political science crafted by the Arab philosophers Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes. (shrink)
The work of the late Paul Grice (1913–1988) exerts a powerful influence on the way philosophers, linguists, and cognitive scientists think about meaning and communication. With respect to a particular sentence φ and an “utterer” U, Grice stressed the philosophical importance of separating (i) what φ means, (ii) what U said on a given occasion by uttering φ, and (iii) what U meant by uttering φ on that occasion. Second, he provided systematic attempts to say precisely what meaning is (...) by providing a series of more refined analyses of utterer’s meaning, sentence meaning, and what is said. Third, Grice produced an account of how it is possible for what U says and what U means to diverge. Fourth, by characterizing a philosophically important distinction between the “genuinely semantic” and “merely pragmatic” implications of a statement, Grice clarified the relationship between classical logic and the semantics of natural language. Fifth, he provided some much needed philosophical ventilation by deploying his notion of “implicature” to devastating effect against certain overzealous strains of “Ordinary Language Philosophy,” without himself abandoning the view that philosophy must pay attention to the nuances of ordinary talk. Sixth, Grice undercut some of the most influential arguments for a philosophically significant notion of “presupposition.” Today, Grice’s work lies at the center of research on the semantics-pragmatics distinction and shapes much discussion of the relationship between language and mind. In a nutshell, Grice has forced philosophers and linguists to think very carefully about the sorts of facts a semantic theory is supposed to account for and to reflect upon the most central theoretical notions, notions that otherwise might be taken for granted or employed without due care and attention. To be sure, Grice’s own positive proposals have their weaknesses; but in the light of his work any theory of meaning that is to be taken at all seriously must now draw a sharp line between genuinely semantic facts and facts pertaining to the nature of human interaction.. (shrink)
In this chapter I discuss Charles Taylor's and Paul Ricoeur's theories of narrative identity and narratives as a central form of self-interpretation.1 Both Taylor and Ricoeur think that self-identity is a matter of culturally and socially mediated self-definitions, which are practically relevant for one's orientation in life.2 First, I will go through various characterisations that Ricoeur gives of his theory, and try to show to what extent they also apply to Taylor's theory. Then, I will analyse more closely Charles (...) Taylor's, and in section three, Paul Ricoeur's views on narrative identity. (shrink)
The paper discusses some aspects of the relationship between Feyerabend and Kuhn. First, some biographical remarks concerning their connections are made. Second, four characteristics of Feyerabend and Kuhn's concept of incommensurability are discussed. Third, Feyerabend's general criticism of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions is reconstructed. Forth and more specifically, Feyerabend's criticism of Kuhn's evaluation of normal science is critically investigated. Finally, Feyerabend's re-evaluation of Kuhn's philosophy towards the end of his life is presented.
For a solid quarter century Paul Churchland and I have been wheeling around in the space of work on consciousness, and though from up close it may appear that we =ve been rather vehemently opposed to each other =s position, from the bird =s eye view, we are moving in a rather tight spiral within the universe of contested views, both staunch materialists, interested in the same phenomena and the same empirical theories of those phenomena, but differing only over (...) where the main chance lies for progress. (shrink)
GRICE, H. PAUL (1913-1988), English philosopher, is best known for his contributions to the theory of meaning and communication. This work (collected in Grice 1989) has had lasting importance for philosophy and linguistics, with implications for cognitive science generally. His three most influential contributions concern the nature of communication, the distinction betwen speaker's meaning and linguistic meaning, and the phenomenon of conversational implicature.
Comment on Paul Boghossian, “The nature of inference” Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-11 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9892-9 Authors Crispin Wright, New York University, New York, NY, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
In their book Unto Others, Sober and Wilson argue that various evolutionary considerations (based on the logic of natural selection) lend support to the truth of psychological altruism. However, recently, Stephen Stich has raised a number of challenges to their reasoning: in particular, he claims that three out of the four evolutionary arguments they give are internally unconvincing, and that the one that is initially plausible fails to take into account recent findings from cognitive science and thus leaves open (...) a number of egoistic responses. These challenges make it necessary to reassess the plausibility of Sober & Wilson’s evolutionary account—which is what I aim to do in this paper. In particular, I try to show that, as a matter of fact, Sober & Wilson’s case remains compelling, as some of Stich’s concerns rest on a confusion, and those that do not are not sufficiently strong to establish all the conclusions he is after. The upshot is that no reason has been given to abandon the view that evolutionary theory has advanced the debate surrounding psychological altruism. (shrink)
The present paper uses the theme of dialectic and dialogue to begin unraveling the similarities and differences between the hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur and H.G. Gadamer. Ricoeur is shown to distance himself from Heidegger by insisting on a dimension of explanation and distanciation (which he sometimes identifies with Plato's `descending dialectic') that cannot be reduced to, or absorbed by, understanding and appropriation. This same move, however, leads him to reject Platonic dialogue, with the attendant prioritizing of oral conversation over (...) the written text, as a model for hermeneutics. Ricoeur therefore sees in Gadamer's recourse to such a model a regression to the problematic position of Heidegger. Yet the conception of philosophy as dialectical and dialogical which Gadamer finds in Plato is capable of responding to Ricoeur's objections. Where the fundamental difference between the hermeneutics of Ricoeur and Gadamer emerges is in the question of whether experience is fundamentally dialectical and whether language is inherently dialogical. (shrink)
On Paul Ricoeur examines the later work of Paul Ricoeur, particularly his major work, Time and Narrative. The essays in this volume, including three pieces by Ricoeur, consider Time and Narrative, extending and developing the debate it has inspired. Time and Narrative is the finest example of contemporary philosophical hermeneutics and is one of the most significant works of philosophy published in the late twentieth century. Paul Ricoeur's study of the intertwining of time and narrative proposes and (...) examines the possibility that narrative could remedy a fatal deficiency in any purely phenomenological approach. He analyzed both literary and historical writing, from Proust to Braudel, as well as key figures in the history of philosophy: Aristotle, Augustine, Kant, Hegel, Husserl, and Heidegger. His own recognition of his limited success in expunging aporia opens onto the positive discovery of the importance of narrative identity, on which Ricoeur writeshere. An essential companion to Time and Narrative, this collection also provides an excellent introduction to Ricoeur's later work and to contemporary works in philosophical hermeneutics. It will be of major interest to philosophers, literary theorists, and historians. (shrink)
In what follows, I critique the interpretation that Sober and Wilson offer of their group selection model in Unto Others. Sober and Wilson mistakenly claim that their model operates as an example of Simpson's paradox and defend an interpretation of their model according to which groups are operated upon by natural selection. In the place of their interpretation, I offer one that parallels the mathematical calculation of the model's outcome and does not depend on the postulation of a (...) force of group selection or a value for group fitness. (shrink)
In their marvelous book, Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior, Sober and Wilson identify two distinct problems of altruism.’ The problem of Evolutionary Altruism (EA) “is to show how behaviors that benefit others at the expense of self can evolve;” (17) group selection is the key to the solution of this problem. The problem of Psychological Altruism (PA) is to determine whether people “have altruistic desires that are psychologically ultimate.” (201) After carefully considering the arguments of (...) both psychologists and philosophers, Sober and Wilson render the verdict “not proven.” But just in the nick of time, evolutionary biology rides to the rescue; it succeeds where psychology and philosophy fail in vindicating our good nature. In this paper, I will discuss Sober and Wilson’s treatment of PA. (shrink)
Paul Churchland's epistemology contains a tension between two positions, which I will call pragmatic pluralism and eliminative materialism. Pragmatic pluralism became predominant as Churchland's epistemology became more neurocomputationally inspired, which saved him from the skepticism implicit in certain passages of the theory of reduction he outlined in Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind. However, once he replaces eliminativism with a neurologically inspired pragmatic pluralism, Churchland 1) cannot claim that folk psychology might be a false theory, in any significant (...) sense 2) cannot claim that the concepts of Folk psychology might be empty of extension and lack reference. 3) cannot sustain Churchland's criticism of Dennett's "intentional stance" . 4) cannot claim to be a form of scientific realism, in the sense of believing that what science describes is somehow realer that what other conceptual systems describe. (shrink)
Kalam cosmological arguments have recently been the subject of criticisms, at least inter alia, by physicists---Paul Davies, Stephen Hawking---and philosophers of science---Adolf Grunbaum. In a series of recent articles, William Craig has attempted to show that these criticisms are “superficial, iII-conceived, and based on misunderstanding.” I argue that, while some of the discussion of Davies and Hawking is not philosophically sophisticated, the points raised by Davies, Hawking and Grunbaum do suffice to undermine the dialectical efficacy of kalam cosmological arguments.
Sober and Wilson have propose a cluster of arguments for the conclusion that “natural selection is unlikely to have given us purely egoistic motives” and thus that psychological altruism is true. I maintain that none of these arguments is convincing. However, the most powerful of their arguments raises deep issues about what egoists and altruists are claiming and about the assumptions they make concerning the cognitive architecture underlying human motivation.
The thirty-three essays in <I>Relativism: A Contemporary Anthology</I> grapple with one of the most intriguing, enduring, and far-reaching philosophical problems of our age. Relativism comes in many varieties. It is often defined as the belief that truth, goodness, or beauty is relative to some context or reference frame, and that no absolute standards can adjudicate between competing reference frames. Michael Krausz's anthology captures the significance and range of relativistic doctrines, rehearsing their virtues and vices and reflecting on a spectrum of (...) attitudes. Invoking diverse philosophical orientations, these doctrines concern conceptions of relativism in relation to facts and conceptual schemes, realism and objectivity, universalism and foundationalism, solidarity and rationality, pluralism and moral relativism, and feminism and poststructuralism. Featuring nine original essays, the volume also includes many classic articles, making it a standard resource for students, scholars, and researchers. <B>Table of Contents:</B> Foreword by Alan Ryan Preface Introduction Michael Krausz <B>Part I. Orienting Relativism</B> 1. Mapping Relativisms Michael Krausz 2. A Brief History of Relativism Maria Baghramian <B>Part II. Relativism, Truth, and Knowledge</B> 3. Subjective, Objective, and Conceptual Relativisms Maurice Mandelbaum 4. “Just the Facts, Ma’am!” Nelson Goodman 5. Relativism in Philosophy of Science Nancy Cartwright 6. The Truth About Relativism Joseph Margolis 7. Making Sense of Relative Truth John MacFarlane 8. On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme Donald Davidson 9. Truth and Convention: On Davidson’s Refutation of Conceptual Relativism Hilary Putnam 10. Conceptual Schemes Simon Blackburn 11. Relativizing the Facts Paul A. Boghossian 12. Targets of Anti-Relativist Arguments Harvey Siegel 13. Realism and Relativism Akeel Bilgrami <B>Part III. Moral Relativism, Objectivity, and Reasons</B> 14. Moral Relativism Defended Gilbert Harman 15. The Truth in Relativism Bernard Williams 16. Pluralism and Ambivalence David B. Wong 17. The Relativity of Fact and the Objectivity of Value Catherine Z. Elgin 18. Senses of Moral Relativity David Wiggins 19. Ethical Relativism and the Problem of Incoherence David Lyons 20. Understanding Alien Morals Gopal Sreenivasan 21. Value: Realism and Objectivity Thomas Nagel 22. Intuitionism, Realism, Relativism, and Rhubarb Crispin Wright 23. Moral Relativism and Moral Realism Russ Schafer-Landau <B>Part IV. Relativism, Culture, and Understanding</B> 24. Anti Anti-Relativism Clifford Geertz 25. Solidarity or Objectivity? Richard Rorty 26. Relativism, Power, and Philosophy Alasdair MacIntyre 27. Internal Criticism and Indian Rationalist Traditions Martha C. Nussbaum and Amartya Sen 28. Phenomenological Rationality and the Overcoming of Relativism Jitendra N. Mohanty 29. Understanding and Ethnocentricity Charles Taylor 30. Relativism and Cross-Cultural Understanding Kwame Anthony Appiah 31. Relativism, Persons, and Practices Amélie Oksenberg Rorty 32. One What? Relativism and Poststructuralism David Couzens Hoy 33. Must a Feminist Be a Relativist After All? Lorraine Code List of Contributors Index. (shrink)
John Preston has claimed that we must understand Paul Feyerabend's later, post-1970, philosophy in terms of a disappointed Popperianism: that Feyerabend became a sceptical, relativistic, literal anarchist because of his perception of the failure of Popper's philosophy. I argue that this claim cannot be supported and trace the development of Feyerabend's philosophy in terms of a commitment to the central Popperian themes of criticism and critical explanatory progress. This commitment led Feyerabend to reject Popper's specific methodology in favour of (...) a pluralistic methodology, but the commitment to the central values of criticism and critical explanatory progress remained . Moreover, methodological pluralism does not imply scepticism, relativism, or literal anarchism. Feyerabend was not a disappointed Popperian, but, in many respects, a die-hard pluralistic Popperian. (shrink)
Although Paul Ricoeur's writings are widely and appreciatively read by theologians, this is the first book to offer a full, sympathetic yet critical account of Ricoeur's theory of narrative interpretation and its contribution to theology. Unlike many previous studies of Ricoeur, Part I argues that Ricoeur's hermeneutics must be viewed in the light of his overall philosophical agenda, as a fusion and continuation of the unfinished projects of Kant and Heidegger. Particularly helpful is the focus on Ricoeur's recent narrative (...) theory as the context in which Ricoeur deals with problems of time and the creative imagination; and it becomes clear that narrative stands at the crossroads of Ricoeur's search for the meaning of human being as well as his search for the meaning of texts. Part II examines the potential of Ricoeur's narrative theory for resolving certain theological problems, such as the dichotomy betweens the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. In so doing Vanhoozer relates Ricoeur's work to that of theologians such as Barth, Bultmann, Tillich, Pannenberg, Frei and Tracy. (shrink)
In this essay I first provide an analysis of various community concepts. Second, I evaluate two of the most serious challenges to the existence of communities—gradient and paleoecological analysis respectively—arguing that, properly understood, neither threatens the existence of communities construed interactively. Finally, I apply the same interactive approach to ecosystem ecology, arguing that ecosystems may exist robustly as well. ‡I would like to thank to the participants at the Ecology and Environmental Ethics Conference at the University of Utah, the Philosophy (...) of Ecology Conference hosted by the University of Brisbane, and those participants in a session at the Philosophy of Science Association Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia for helpful discussions of this essay. Specific thanks go to Mark Colyvan, Greg Cooper, Steve Downes, Chris Elliott, Marc Ereshefsky, Paul Griffiths, Jesse Hendrikse, Greg Mikkelson, Anya Plutynski, Kate Ritchie, Sahotra Sarkar, Kim Sterelny, and Rob Wilson. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Lewis and Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, Portland, OR 97219; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
No contemporary thinker has participated in more intellectual debates in the post-war period than Paul Ricoeur. His writings evolved from an initial concern with existentialism and phenomenology, through structuralism and psychoanalysis and the work he undertook within the hermenuetic tradition, to his recent studies in metaphor and narrative. This introduction is the first study to survey the entire range of Ricoeur's work and, exploiting the obvious thematic parallels, situates it within the context of post-structuralism. It includes the first discussion (...) of Ricoueur's Time and Narrative , a work likely to prove the most significant contribution to the theory of narrative since early structuralism. (shrink)
The paper considers Paul Natorp's Kantian reading of Plato's theory of ideas, as developed in his monumental work, Platos Ideenlehre, eine Einführung in den Idealismus (1903, 1921). Central to Natrop's reading are, I argue, the following two claims: (1) Plato's ideas are laws, not things; and (2) Plato's theory of ideas in the first instance a theory about the possibility and nature of thought - in particular cognitive and indeed scientific or explanatory thought - and only as a consequence (...) is it a theory about the nature of reality. Natrop thus argues that Plato's theory of ideas is at its heart a transcendental theory, and that Plato's metaphysics is built on this basis. The paper considers these claims - and their textual basis in Plato - in some detail, and attempts an initial evaluation of their plausibility as a reading of Plato. I am on the whole sympathetic to Natorp's reading, though a proper assessment goes beyond the present paper. The wider interest of this idealist or anti-realist reading of Plato ought to be obvious, especially in view of the commonly accepted assumption these days that both Plato and Aristotle, and indeed the Greeks in general, took realism entirely for granted (see e.g. M. Burnyeat). Natorp argues that this is true of Aristotle, but quite untrue of Plato. But he is quite clear that the idealism he ascribes to Plato is not Berkeleyan or metaphysical idealism, but a certain kind of transcendental or epistemological idealism. Natorp, however, is no uncritical follower of Kant, and the version of trascendental idealism that he ascribes to Plato is, I argue, very different from Kant's. (shrink)
Paul Klee's art found broad impact upon philosophers of varying commitments, including Hans-Georg Gadamer. Moreover, Klee himself was not only one of the most important artists of aesthetic modernism but one of its leading theoreticians, and much in his work, as in Gadamer's, originated in post-Kantian literary theory's explications of symbol and allegory. Indeed at one point in Truth and Method, Gadamer associates his project for a general "theory of hermeneutic experience" not only with Goethe's metaphysical account of the (...) symbolic but equally with a "rehabilitation" of allegory. In this paper, I examine this position and Gadamer's own use of it in his analysis of Klee's work, contrasting it with that of Walter Benjamin's account of allegory, equally indebted to Goethe and this archive. Finally, I contrast the resulting interpretations of Klee, discussing the implications that evolve for understanding both Gadamer and Benjamin— but equally for understanding Klee's work and, provisionally, the work of art, thus construed, for philosophy. (shrink)
In his Philosophical Inquiry concerning Human Liberty (1717), the English deist Anthony Collins proposed a complete determinist account of the human mind and action, partly inspired by his mentor Locke, but also by elements from Bayle, Leibniz and other Continental sources. It is a determinism which does not neglect the question of the specific status of the mind but rather seeks to provide a causal account of mental activity and volition in particular; it is a ‘volitional determinism’. Some decades (...) later, Diderot articulates a very similar determinism, which seeks to recognize the existence of “causes proper to man” (as he says in the Réfutation d’Helvétius). The difference with Collins is that now biological factors are being taken into account. Obviously both the ‘volitional’ and the ‘biological’ forms of determinism are noteworthy inasmuch as they change our picture of the nature of determinism itself, but my interest here is to compare these two determinist arguments, both of which are broadly Spinozist in nature – and as such belong to what Jonathan Israel called in his recent book “the radical Enlightenment,” i.e. a kind of underground Enlightenment constituted by Spinozism – and to see how Collins’ specifically psychological vision and Diderot’s specifically biological vision correspond to their two separate national contexts: determinism in France in the mid-1750s was a much more medico-biological affair than English determinism, which appears to be on a ‘path’ leading to Mill and associationist psychology. (shrink)
The American administrative state is a feature of the new liberalism that is largely irreconcilable with the old, founding-era liberalism. At its core, the administrative state, with its delegation of legislative power to the bureaucracy, combination of functions within bureaucratic agencies, and weakening of presidential control over administration undercuts the separation-of-powers principle that is the base of the founders' Constitution. The animating idea behind the features of the administrative state is the separation of politics and administration, which was championed by (...) James Landis, the New-Deal architect of the administrative state for President Franklin Roosevelt. The idea of separating politics and administration, and the faith such a separation requires in the objectivity of administrators, did not originate with Landis or the New Deal but, instead, with the Progressives who had come a generation earlier. Both Woodrow Wilson and Frank Goodnow were pioneers in advocating the separation of politics and administration, and made it the centerpiece of their broad arguments for constitutional reform. (shrink)
The second word in the subtitle of this article is crucial. For there can be no doubt but that the possibility of sociobiology below the human level has already been abundantly realized in, for instance, the main body of E. O. Wilson's enormous and encyclopedic treatise Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. What may more reasonably be doubted, and what is in fact questioned here, is whether, as Wilson and others hope and believe, there is much room, or indeed any, (...) for a sociobiology of our own notoriously wayward and idiosyncratic species. In proposing this particular project Wilson and his colleagues have seen themselves as promoting a climactic conquest for evolutionary biology. For surely, they seem to have thought, now, more than a century after Darwin, it is high time and past time to launch the final assault upon the last citadel. But, as we shall proceed to argue, there are reasonsreasons which were available at least in outline even to Darwin himselfwhy the ideas which have been so triumphantly successful in explaining The Origin of Species cannot properly be applied to what is in truth a fundamentally different task. They cannot, that is to say, properly be transferred to explain developments either within or out of the particular problem species of which the author of that book, along with both all the authors and all the readers of all other books, have been themselves members. (shrink)
This paper considers the questions that Badiou's theory poses to the culture of economic managerialism within education. His argument that radical change is possible, for people and the situations they inhabit, provides a stark challenge to the stifling nature of much current educational debate. In Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism , Badiou describes the current universalism of capitalism, monetary homogeneity and the rule of the count. Badiou argues that the politics of identity are all too easily subsumed by (...) the prerogatives of the marketplace and unable to present, therefore, a critique of the status quo. These processes are, he argues, without the potential for truth. What are the implications of Badiou's claim that education is the arranging of 'the forms of knowledge in such a way that truth may come to pierce a hole in them' ( Badiou, 2005 , p. 9)? I will argue that Badiou's theory opens up space for a kind of thinking about education that resists its colonisation by the cultures of management and marketisation and leads educationalists to consider the emancipatory potential of education in a refreshing new light. (shrink)
Introduction: thinking about globalization -- Systemic thinking: Immanuel Wallerstein -- Conceptual thinking: Anthony Giddens -- Sociological thinking: Manuel Castells -- Transformational thinking: David Held and Anthony McGrew -- Sceptical thinking: Paul Hirst and Grahame Thompson -- Spatial thinking: Peter Dicken and Saskia Sassen -- Positive thinking: Thomas Friedman and Martin Wolf -- Reformist thinking: Joseph Stiglitz -- Radical thinking: Naomi Klein, George Monbiot and Subcommandante Marcos -- Revolutinary thinking: Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri -- Cultural thinking: Arjun (...) Appadurai -- Conclusion: rethinking globalization again. (shrink)
Reflections on Meaning refines Paul Horwich’s use theory of meaning. Horwich holds that the meaning of a word is constituted by the nonsemantic property that best explains a certain law. For a given word, the law to be explained governs that word’s use by specifying the “acceptance conditions” of a privileged class of sentences containing the word (26). Horwich devotes considerable energy to details in Reflections on Meaning and focuses on especially pressing problems for his use theory of meaning. (...) As a result the book’s topics run the gamut, and the connections between its chapters are not always strong. Rather than try to provide a synoptic overview, I’ll discuss three areas where it seems further clarification and detail could be fruitful: the distinction between semantic and nonsemantic properties, context sensitivity, and compositionality. Horwich thinks ours is a “fundamentally non-semantic world” (27), making it crucial that meaning be explained in nonsemantic terms. In particular, he insists that we “exclude from the analyzing-properties [of word meaning] anything that would itself require analysis in terms of meaning”: we can’t appeal to reference, belief, or intention, for example (37). But Horwich does not object to “accounts of meaning in psychological terms,” and his own theory relies heavily on a psychological, nonsemantic relation that Horwich calls “acceptance” (37). It’s difficult to see a substantive difference between this technical notion and belief. Acceptance, for Horwich, is “the psychological (but nonsemantic) relation to a sentence that is manifested in our relying on it as a premise in theoretical and practical inference” (40–41). Belief, on the other hand, is a relation with these properties except that it is semantic. Horwich’s other characterizations of acceptance don’t sharpen the distinction very much: “S accepts a sentence just in case that sentence, or its mental correlate, is in S’s belief box” (41); “believing a given proposition is nothing more than accepting some sentence that expresses it” (61).. (shrink)
Impossible worlds are regarded with understandable suspicion by most philosophers. Here we are concerned with a modal argument which might seem to show that acknowledging their existence, or more particularly, the existence of some hypothetical (we do not say “possible”) world in which everything was the case, would have drastic effects, forcing us to conclude that everything is indeed the case—and not just in the hypothesized world in question. The argument is inspired by a metaphysical (rather than modal-logical) argument of (...)Paul Kabay’s which would have us accept this unpalatable conclusion, though its details bear a closer resemblance to a line of thought developed by Jc Beall, in response to which Graham Priest has made some philosophical moves which are echoed in our diagnosis of what goes wrong with the present modal argument. Logical points of some interest independent of the main issue arise along the way. (shrink)