Political Imaginaries in Question Content Type Journal Article Pages 5-11 Authors Suzi Adams, School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia Jeremy C. A. Smith, School of Education and Arts, University of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Ingerid S. Straume, University of Oslo Library, University of Oslo, Norway Journal Critical Horizons: A Journal of Philosophy & Social Theory Online ISSN 1568-5160 Print ISSN 1440-9917 Journal Volume Volume 13 Journal Issue Volume 13, Number 1 / 2012.
The standard use of the propositional calculus ('P.C.?) in analyzing the validity of inferences involving conditionals leads to fallacies, and the problem is to determine where P.C. may be ?safely? used. An alternative analysis of criteria of reasonableness of inferences in terms of conditions of justification rather than truth of statements is proposed. It is argued, under certain restrictions, that P. C. may be safely used, except in inferences whose conclusions are conditionals whose antecedents are incompatible with the premises in (...) the sense that if the antecedent became known, some of the previously asserted premises would have to be withdrawn. (shrink)
Christian philosophers have always been interested in clarifying the relationship between God and ethics. The theories presented on this topic can be divided into two kinds: “divine command” and “other.” In this paper I evaluate two interesting but ultimately incompatible versions of the “other” variety: one by George Mavrodes and one by Søren Kierkegaard. In the course of my analysis I argue that anyone who reads Kierkegaard’s Works of Love as presenting a divine command theory (e.g., C. Stephen Evans in (...) his recent book Kierkegaard’s Ethic of Love) is mistaken. (shrink)
Introduction, by H. J. Cargas.--St. Paul and Teilhard de Chardin, by J. H. Adams.--Teilhard and Dante, by M. Gable.--Tennyson and Teilhard, by E. R. August.--Teilhard, neo-Marxism, existentialism, by M. Barthelemy-Madaule.--Whitman, Teilhard, and Jung, by R. Benoit.--C. G. Jung and Teilhard de Chardin, by N. Braybrooke.--Camus and Teilhard, by P. Rosazza.--Bonhoeffer and Teilhard, by C. M. Hegarty.--Voices of convergence: Teilhard, McLuhan, and Brown, by D. J. Leary.
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)
Are all moral truths relative or do certain moral truths hold for all cultures and people? In Moral Relativism: A Reader, this and related questions are addressed by twenty-one contemporary moral philosophers and thinkers. This engaging and nontechnical anthology, the only up-to-date collection devoted solely to the topic of moral relativism, is accessible to a wide range of readers including undergraduate students from various disciplines. The selections are organized under six main topics: (1) General Issues; (2) Relativism and Moral Diversity; (...) (3) On the Coherence of Moral Relativism; (4) Defense and Criticism; (5) Relativism, Realism, and Rationality; and (6) Case Study on Relativism. Contributors include Ruth Benedict, Richard Brandt, Thomas L. Carson, Philippa Foot, Gordon Graham, Gilbert Harman, Loretta M. Kopelman, David Lyons, J. L. Mackie, Michele Moody-Adams, Paul K. Moser, Thomas Nagel, Martha Nussbaum, Karl Popper, Betsy Postow, James Rachels, W. D. Ross, T. M. Scanlon, William Graham Sumner, and Carl Wellman. The volume concludes with a case study on female circumcision/genital mutilation that vividly brings into focus the practical aspects and implications of moral relativism. An ideal primary text for courses in moral relativism, Moral Relativism: A Reader can also be used as a supplementary text for introductory courses in ethics and for courses in various disciplines--anthropology, sociology, theology, political science, and cultural studies--that discuss relativism. The volume's pedagogical and research value is enhanced by a topical bibliography on moral relativism and a substantial general introduction that includes explanatory summaries of the twenty selections. (shrink)
Property-identical divine-command theory (PDCT) is the view that being obligatory is identical to being commanded by God in just the way that being water is identical to being H2O. If these identity statements are true, then they express necessary a posteriori truths. PDCT has been defended in Robert M. Adams (1987) and William Alston (1990). More recently Mark C. Murphy (2002) has argued that property-identical divine-command theory is inconsistent with two well-known and well-received theses: the free-command thesis and the (...) supervenience thesis. I show that Murphy's argument is vitiated by mistaken assumptions about the substitutivity of metaphysical identicals in contexts of supervenience. The free-command thesis and the supervenience thesis therefore pose no serious threat to PDCT. (Published Online August 11 2004). (shrink)
An assertion of high conditional probability or, more briefly, an HCP assertion is a statement of the type: The conditional probability of B given A is close to one. The goal of this paper is to construct logics of HCP assertions whose conclusions are highly likely to be correct rather than certain to be correct. Such logics would allow useful conclusions to be drawn when the premises are not strong enough to allow conclusions to be reached with certainty. This goal (...) is achieved by taking Adams" (1966) logic, changing its intended application from conditionals to HCP assertions, and then weakening its criterion for entailment. According to the weakened entailment criterion, called the Criterion of Near Surety and which may be loosely interpreted as a Bayesian criterion, a conclusion is entailed if and only if nearly every model of the premises is a model of the conclusion. The resulting logic, called NSL, is nonmonotonic. Entailment in this logic, although not as strict as entailment in Adams" logic, is more strict than entailment in the propositional logic of material conditionals. Next, NSL was modified by requiring that each HCP assertion be scaled; this means that to each HCP assertion was associated a bound on the deviation from 1 of the conditional probability that is the subject of the assertion. Scaling of HCP assertions is useful for breaking entailment deadlocks. For example, it it is known that the conditional probabilities of C given A and of ¬ C given B are both close to one but the bound on the former"s deviation from 1 is much smaller than the latter"s, then it may be concluded that in all likelihood the conditional probability of C given A B is close to one. The resulting logic, called NSL-S, is also nonmonotonic. Despite great differences in their definitions of entailment, entailment in NSL is equivalent to Lehmann and Magidor"s rational closure and, disregarding minor differences concerning which premise sets are considered consistent, entailment in NSL-S is equivalent to entailment in Goldszmidt and Pearl"s System-Z +. Bacchus, Grove, Halpern, and Koller proposed two methods of developing a predicate calculus based on the Criterion of Near Surety. In their random-structures method, which assumed a prior distribution similar to that of NSL, it appears possible to define an entailment relation equivalent to that of NSL. In their random-worlds method, which assumed a prior distribution dramatically different from that of NSL, it is known that the entailment relation is different from that of NSL. (shrink)
S. Adams, W. Ambrose, A. Andretta, H. Becker, R. Camerlo, C. Champetier, J.P.R. Christensen, D.E. Cohen, A. Connes. C. Dellacherie, R. Dougherty, R.H. Farrell, F. Feldman, A. Furman, D. Gaboriau, S. Gao, V. Ya. Golodets, P. Hahn, P. de la Harpe, G. Hjorth, S. Jackson, S. Kahane, A.S. Kechris, A. Louveau,, R. Lyons, P.-A. Meyer, C.C. Moore, M.G. Nadkarni, C. Nebbia, A.L.T. Patterson, U. Krengel, A.J. Kuntz, J.-P. Serre, S.D. Sinel'shchikov, T. Slaman, Solecki, R. Spatzier, J. Steel, D. Sullivan, (...) S. Thomas, A. Valette, V.S. Varadarajan, B. Velickovic, B. Weiss, J.D.M. Wright, R.J. Zimmer. (shrink)
I have three main objectives in this essay. First, in chapter 2, I shall put forward and justify what I call worldlessness, by which I mean the following: All truths (as well as falsehoods) are wholly independent of any circumstances, not only time and place but also possible worlds. It follows from this view that whatever is actually true must be taken as true with respect to every possible world, which means that all truths are (in a sense) necessary. However, (...) the account I shall propound is different from what is known in the trade as necessitarianism, i.e. the view that there is only one possible world, viz. the actual one, for the doctrine of the worldlessness of truth values, despite its commitment to the necessity of truths and falsehoods, is quite compatible with the idea of there being other possible worlds. Another important issue in chapter 2, explored in particular in section 2.12, is the claim that there is no real change in the world. Secondly, in chapter 3 I consider the eminent traditional argument for determinism, deriving from Aristotle, namely, logical determinism, i.e. determinism justified by an appeal to the logical principle of bivalence (that all proper statements, including those concerning the future, are either true or false). In this connection I try to show that, (i), the formulation of the conclusion of this argument as "Whatever will happen will happen of necessity" is implausible, at least from the modern point of view, (ii), the formulation as "Whatever will happen will happen inevitably" is more to the point, and (iii), on the basis of the worldless and timeless aspect advocated in chapter 2, this latter formulation is quite harmless, essentially amounting to the trivial statement, "Whatever will happen will happen". Thirdly, in chapter 4 I study theological determinism, or determinism that arises from God's supposed providential control over everything that happens. In this connection, I shall survey some historical accounts of the relation between human free will and determinism (not only theological but also causal determinism); the philosophers the views of whom I shall attend to include Chrysippus, St. Augustine, Boethius and Aquinas. I shall in particular consider G.W. Leibniz' theodicean aspirations, viz. his solution to the problem of evil and, especially, his compatibilist attempts to reconcile human free will with the strictly deterministic flow of actual events. I think it is important to try to explicate Leibniz' ingenious account of these matters, since it seems that it has not been fully appreciated in the literature, not even by contemporary Leibniz scholars (such as B. Mates, R.C. Sleigh, C. Wilson, R.M. Adams and D. Rutherford). In providing the Leibnizian compatibilist solution of the problem of determinism and freedom in chapter 4, I shall utilize the approach of chapter 2. (shrink)
Puritans and Pragmatists: Eight Eminent American Thinkers. By Paul K. Conkin. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1968. Pp. viii+49S. Cloth, $12.50; Paper, $5.95) Recent American Philosophy. By Andrew Reck. (New York: Pantheon, Random House, 1964. Pp. xiii+343. $5.95) -/- These two volumes supplement each other in several ways: the one introduces eight of the most important philosophers in American history, the other introduces ten less famous but more recent philosophers; the one portrays major makers of the American heritage, (...) the other expounds various types of philosophical systems, each in its own terms; the one can be read like history and biography, the other must be studied carefully; the one is written for the so-called intelligent layman, the other is composed for professional students of philosophy. Together they give a better account of the varieties of American philosophical thought than either gives, and together they provide an excellent orientation both historically and analytically. Professor Conkin of the Universities of Maryland and Wisconsin presents Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George Santayana as interesting individuals with impressive minds; the biographical and philosophical portraits are blended with rare skill and insight, so that, despite the varied idioms of their thinking and writing, these philosophers are described in a manner and a language that is intelligible and enjoyable to a literate reader, whether he has studied philosophy or not. The book will certainly be enjoyed by a large number of readers as both history and "wisdom literature." The eight eminent Americans are presented as a sequence, set against the backdrop of a "Puritan Prelude," so that they compose a continuity of New England tradition and share in a "common moral tenor." This intellectual history reflects the imaginative and literary skill of a trained historian. Three of the eight are presented as "diverse Puritans," another three as equally diverse pragmatists. Emerson is presented as "in transition" and Santayana as "in retreat." A few specialists will be irritated by the vague generalizations that serve to make a single story out of these eight characters. The author himself accurately predicts that "the most perceptive reader may find the unity too elusive to be convincing" and "some may even resent as distracting my efforts to identify it" (p. vi). One is apt to wonder what each of the eight would say if they could read the book and would find themselves set up in historical order and continuity. It is, to be sure, a commonplace that no person sees himself in proper historical perspective; but these eight are "eminently" qualified to make some intelligent remarks about themselves and their "predecessors." It seems appropriate, therefore, in this connection to report a few self-orienting remarks of Santayana. He was evidently pleased when he saw that Will Durant, in his The Story of Philosophy, has listed him to follow Herbert Spencer. And he said with some emotion: "I wish I could go down in history not as an American but as the last of the Victorians." And while he was writing his novel and was engrossed in it as autobiography he commented: "Of course, I never thought of myself as the last Puritan, for I never was one, but I might be considered as the dialectically ultimate Puritan, who worried conscientiously because he believed he should not have a con- science. (shrink)
Essays: The language of values, by W. Moore. The languages of sign theory and value theory, by E. S. Robinson. Significance, signification, and painting, by C. Morris. Evaluation and discourse, by S. C. Pepper. Empirical verifiability theory of factual meaning and axiological truth, by E. M. Adams. The third man, by I. McGreal. A non-normative definition of "good," by A. C. Garnett. The judgmental functions of moral language, by H. Fingarette. Some puzzles for attitude theories of value, by R. (...) B. Brandt. The meaning of "intrinsic value," by H. N. Lee. Value propositions, by R. S. Hartman. A second sequel on value, by R. Lepley.--Comments and responses. (shrink)
This is the first volume of a two-volume set containing the most important secondary literature on Hume on Religion (Volume 2, to be published in August 1996, deals with general remarks on Hume and Natural Religion). Focusing on responses to the Essay on Miracles , the material included in this volume ranges from 1751 to 1883. Authors include: T. Rutherford, William Adams, John Leland, George Campbell, Revd. S. Vince, John Hollis, Revd. James Somerville, Dr. Wately, Revd. A. C. L. (...) D'Arblay, Revd. Francis Kilvert, Malthus, Joseph Napier, Joseph Mazzini Wheeler, Sir Edmund Beckett, James McCosh, and Huxley. (shrink)
∗Thanks to J. C. Beall, Alex Byrne, Jason Decker, Tyler Doggett, Paul Elbourne, Adam Elga, Warren Goldfarb, Delia Graﬀ, Richard Heck, Charles Parsons, Mark Richard, Susanna Siegel, Jason Stanley, Judith Thomson, Carol Voeller, Brian Weatherson, Ralph Wedgwood, Steve Yablo, Cheryl Zoll, and an anonymous referee for valuable comments and discussions. Versions of this material were presented in my seminar at MIT in the Fall of 2000, and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Parts of this paper also derive (...) from my comments on a paper of Scott Soames at the ‘Liars and Heaps’ conference at the University of Connecticut in the Fall of 2002. I am grateful for the help of these audiences, and especially to Prof. Soames. (shrink)
How might epistemology build upon its past and present, so as to be better in the future? Epistemology Futures takes bold steps towards answering that question. What methods will best serve epistemology? Which phenomena and concepts deserve more attention from it? Are there approaches and assumptions that have impeded its progress until now? This volume contains provocative essays by prominent epistemologists, presenting many new ideas for possible improvements in how to do epistemology. Contributors: Paul M. Churchland, Catherine Z. Elgin, (...) Richard Feldman, A. C. Grayling, Stephen Hetherington, Christopher Hookway, Hilary Kornblith, Mark Kaplan, William G. Lycan, Adam Morton, Jonathan M. Weinberg, Linda Zagzebski. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 'The sublime'. A short introduction to a long history Timothy M. Costelloe; Part I. Philosophical History of the Sublime: 1. Longinus and the ancient sublime Malcolm Heath; 2...And the beautiful? revisiting Edmund Burke's 'double aesthetics' Rodolphe Gasche; 3. The moral source of the Kantian sublime Melissa Meritt; 4. Imagination and internal sense: the sublime in Shaftesbury, Reid, Addison, and Reynolds Timothy M. Costelloe; 5. The associative sublime: Kames, Gerrard, Alison, and Stewart Rachel Zuckert; 6. The 'prehistory' (...) of the sublime in early modern France: an interdisciplinary perspective a Madeleine Martin; 7. The post-Kantian German sublime Paul Guyer; 8. The postmodern sublime: presentation and its limits David B. Johnson; Part II. Disciplinary and Other Perspectives: 9. The 'subtler sublime': in modern Dutch aesthetics John R. J. Eyck; 10. The first American sublime Chandos Michael Brown; 11. The environmental sublime Emily Brady; 12. Religion and the sublime Andrew Chignell and Matthew C. Halteman; 13. The British romantic sublime Adam Potkay; 14. The sublime and the fine arts Theodore Gracyk; 15. Architecture and the sublime Richard Etlin. (shrink)
Philosophers on Education provides the most comprehensive history of philosphers' views and impacts on the direction of education, from Plato to Dewey. As Amelie Oksenberg Rorty explains in describing a history of education, we are essentially describing and gaining the clearest understanding of the issues that presently concern and divide us. Philosophical reflection on education has usually been directed to the education of rulers, to those who are presumed to preserve and transmit--or to redirect and transform--the culture of sociey, its (...) knowledge and values. Every historical era is marked by a struggle among claimants to that power. It is only late in the history of liberal democracies that educational policy was formulated for and directed toward autonomous individuals who structure their own lives. The contributors to this collection recognize that history remains actively embedded and expressed in society's beliefs and practices, and that the study of the history of philosophy mandates reflection on its implications for education. The all new essays are written by some of the finest contemporary philosophers: Elizabeth Anderson, Annette C. Baier, Frederick B. Beiser, Eva T. H. Brann, M.F. Burnyeat, William Galston, Daniel Garber, Peter Gay, Alvin I. Goldman, Moshe Halbertal, Tova Hartman Halbertal, Simon Harrison, Barbara Herman, Genevieve Lloyd, Alasdair MacIntyre, Richard W. Miller, Roy P. Mottahedeh, Adam Phillips, Philip L. Quinn, C.D.C. Reeve, Patrick Riley, Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, Emma Rothschild, Alan Ryan, Richard Schacht, Josef Stern, Richard Tuck, Thomas E. Uebel, Jeremy Waldron, Allen Wood, Paul Woodruff, Jean S. Yolton, John W. Yolton, Zhang LoShan (pseudonym). (shrink)
Where exactly should we place Adam Smith in the cannon of classical liberalism? Smith's advocacy of free market economics and defence of religious liberty in The Wealth of Nations suffice for including him somewhere in that tradition.1 The nature and extent of Smith's liberalism, however, remain up for debate. One recent trend has been to characterise Smith as a proponent of social liberalism. This includes those like Stephen Darwall, Samuel Fleischacker and Charles Griswold, who have drawn attention to a kind (...) of descriptive moral egalitarianism in Smith.2 Humans, Smith seems to hold, are naturally disposed to valuing one another under a conception of equality. But that is not all these scholars suggest. They have also hinted at something more contentious ? the idea that, according to Smith, we value one another in a way resonant with contemporary notions of human dignity, conceived as the inherent value of persons grounding certain rights to, or restrictions on, treatment by others.3 In saying so, these scholars have hit upon something remarkable. However, I also think their arguments in this respect are both indirect and incomplete. Consequently, the full import of Smith's view remains obscure. This essay aims to bring some clarity. 1I intend this historically. I grant there are good reasons to be sceptical about the ultimate fate of liberty in capitalist society (e.g. Marxist reasons and reasons based on various postmodern critiques of enlightenment ideology). Also, the designation ?free market? should be understood loosely, as most scholars now agree it is a mistake to identify Smith with thoroughgoing laissez-faire economics. 2Darwall, S., ?Sympathetic Liberalism: Recent Work on Adam Smith?, Philosophy Fleischacker, S., A Third Concept of Liberty (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999) and On Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004); and Griswold, C., Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Other major commentators holding some version of this view might include Raphael, D. D. The Impartial Spectator (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007) and Vivienne Brown, Adam Smith's Discourse: Canonicity, Commerce and Conscience (London: Routledge, 1994). 3See e.g. Fleischacker (2004), 205; Darwall at 142, 156 and Griswold at 235?239. However, one must read Fleischacker carefully, for he also uses the adjectival ?dignified? to express Smith's concern with what is ?honourable? or ?respectable? about persons, which use does not obviously match up with the notion of inherent value (see e.g. p. 207). Darwall's argument includes by far the most explicit discussion of ?dignity? as I've defined it. But as Darwall's article is ostensibly a book review (albeit a substantive one that addresses three books at once, including Griswold's), it cannot be called a direct inquiry. Griswold never explicitly puts his interpretation in terms of ?dignity?, but that is clearly what he is after. Thus Darwall also reads him that way. (shrink)
This paper introduces a new, expanded range of relevant cognitive psychological research on collaborative recall and social memory to the philosophical debate on extended and distributed cognition. We start by examining the case for extended cognition based on the complementarity of inner and outer resources, by which neural, bodily, social, and environmental resources with disparate but complementary properties are integrated into hybrid cognitive systems, transforming or augmenting the nature of remembering or decision-making. Adams and Aizawa, noting this distinctive complementarity (...) argument, say that they agree with it completely: but they describe it as “a non-revolutionary approach” which leaves “the cognitive psychology of memory as the study of processes that take place, essentially without exception, within nervous systems.” In response, we carve out, on distinct conceptual and empirical grounds, a rich middle ground between internalist forms of cognitivism and radical anti-cognitivism. Drawing both on extended cognition literature and on Sterelny’s account of the “scaffolded mind” (this issue), we develop a multidimensional framework for understanding varying relations between agents and external resources, both technological and social. On this basis we argue that, independent of any more “revolutionary” metaphysical claims about the partial constitution of cognitive processes by external resources, a thesis of scaffolded or distributed cognition can substantially influence or transform explanatory practice in cognitive science. Critics also cite various empirical results as evidence against the idea that remembering can extend beyond skull and skin. We respond with a more principled, representative survey of the scientific psychology of memory, focussing in particular on robust recent empirical traditions for the study of collaborative recall and transactive social memory. We describe our own empirical research on socially distributed remembering, aimed at identifying conditions for mnemonic emergence in collaborative groups. Philosophical debates about extended, embedded, and distributed cognition can thus make richer, mutually beneficial contact with independently motivated research programs in the cognitive psychology of memory. (shrink)
There are two major semantic theories of proper names: Semantic Descriptivism and Direct Reference. According to Semantic Descriptivism, the semantic content of a proper name N for a speaker S is identical to the semantic content of a definite description “the F” that the speaker associates with the name. According to Direct Reference, the semantic content of a proper name is identical to its referent. Semantic Descriptivism suffers from a number of drawbacks first pointed out by Donnellan (1970) and Kripke (...) (1972). Direct Reference faces difficulties of its own, most importantly the problem of empty names. The most promising Directly Referential solution to this problem is the Unfilled Proposition view, according to which utterances of sentences containing empty names semantically express unfilled propositions. But this view faces the problem of accounting for the intuition that negative existentials involving empty names are true. The most promising way of dealing with this problem within Unfilled Proposition theory is to suppose (i) that utterances of sentences may be used to pragmatically convey propositions they do not semantically express, and (ii) that the proposition pragmatically conveyed by a speaker S's utterance of a sentence containing an empty name N (where “the F” is a definite description S associates with N) is identical to the proposition semantically expressed by an utterance of the sentence obtained by replacing N with “the F”. Call this view “Pragmatic Descriptivism”. With respect to the problem of negative existentials, Pragmatic Descriptivists can insist that, although an utterance of “Santa does not exist” is literally neither true nor false, our taking it to be true may be explained as the result of our having confused the unfilled proposition it semantically expresses with the clearly true descriptive proposition it pragmatically conveys. Despite its theoretical virtues, Pragmatic Descriptivism has recently come under fire. Everett (2003), in particular, has advanced four different lines of criticism, to which Adams and Dietrich (2004) have responded in some detail. In this article, I have two main aims. The first is to argue that Adams and Dietrich's replies to Everett's criticisms (with one exception) are ineffective. I conclude that there is no acceptable strategy for solving the problem of empty names within Direct Reference theory. The second is to argue that there is a promising alternative to Semantic Descriptivism and Direct Reference that requires us to fill unfilled propositions with names, thereby solving the problem of empty names. (shrink)
This article provides a survey of types of moral arguments for the existence of God. The article begins by defending this type of arguments against some common criticisms, and then distinguishes practical moral arguments from theoretical moral arguments, before looking at the strengths and weaknesses of various versions of each type. The philosophers who are discussed include Immanuel Kant, Philip Quinn, Robert Adams, and George Mavrodes. The article defends the claim that such arguments can be an important part of (...) a cumulative case for theism. (shrink)
Dispositionalist theories of mental content have been attacked on the grounds that they are incompatible with semantic holism. In this paper, I resist important worries of this variety, raised by Paul Boghossian. I argue that his objections can be avoided by a conceptual role version of dispositionalism, where the multifarious relationships between mental contents are grounded on the relationships between their corresponding, grounding dispositions.
The invisible hand image is at the centre of contemporary debates about capacities of markets, on which discussion of many other topics in business ethics rests. However, its meaning in Adam Smith’s writings remains obscure, particularly the religious associations that were obvious to early readers. He drew on Isaac Newton’s theories of divine action and providence, mediated through the moderate Calvinism of the eighteenth century Scottish circles in which he moved. I argue within the context of Smith’s general providential account (...) of markets, the invisible hand operates restrain inequality and capital flight, thereby stabilizing the market system. Such an understanding of the invisible hand raises questions for contemporary religious and secular discussions of the capacities of markets in the wake of the global financial crisis. (shrink)
This paper aims to do two things. First, it describes the place that Adam Smith actually occupies in current research occurring at the boundaries of new interdisciplinary social-science fields such as evolutionary anthropology, evolutionary psychology, neuro-economics and behavioral economics. Second, it suggests a way in which Smith's place in the debates with which these subjects are concerned may be more properly defined and conceptualized. Specifically, the paper focuses on the controversial new theory of strong reciprocity, and on the reputation effects (...) that its critics think that theory neglects. (shrink)
Descartes held the doctrine that the eternal truths are freely created by God. He seems to have thought that a proper understanding of God's freedom entails such a doctrine concerning the eternal truths. In this paper, I examine Descartes' account of divine freedom. I argue that Descartes' statements about indifference, namely that indifference is the lowest grade of freedom and that indifference is the essence of God's freedom are not incompatible. I also show how Descartes arrived at his doctrine of (...) the creation of the eternal truths by consideration of the nature of God's freedom. Footnotes1 In this paper, I employ the following abbreviations:AT: Descartes, René Oeuvres de Descartes, C. Adam and P. Tannery (eds) (Paris: J. Vrin, 1996) (cited by volume and page number).CSM: Descartes, René The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vols 1 and 2, J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff, D. Murdoch (transl.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985) (cited by volume and page number).CSMK: Descartes, René The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vol. 3, J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff, D. Murdoch, A. Kenny (transl.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) (cited by page number). (shrink)
Klein’s account of epistemic justification, infinitism, supplies a novel solution to the regress problem. We argue that concentrating on the normative aspect of justification exposes a number of unpalatable consequences for infinitism, all of which warrant rejecting the position. As an intermediary step, we develop a stronger version of the ‘finite minds’ objection.
Abstract: According to certain dispositional accounts of meaning, an agent's meaning is determined by the dispositions that an idealized version of this agent has in optimal conditions. We argue that such attempts cannot properly fix meaning. For even if there is a way to determine which features of an agent should be idealized without appealing to what the agent means, there is no non-circular way to determine how those features should be idealized. We sketch an alternative dispositional account that avoids (...) this problem, according to which an agent's meaning is determined by the dispositions that an abstract version of this agent has in optimal conditions. (shrink)
Duncan Pritchard (2008, 2009, 2010, forthcoming) has argued for an elegant solution to what have been called the value problems for knowledge at the forefront of recent literature on epistemic value. As Pritchard sees it, these problems dissolve once it is recognized that that it is understanding-why, not knowledge, that bears the distinctive epistemic value often (mistakenly) attributed to knowledge. A key element of Pritchard’s revisionist argument is the claim that understanding-why always involves what he calls strong cognitive achievement—viz., cognitive (...) achievement that consists always in either (i) the overcoming of a significant obstacle or (ii) the exercise of a significant level of cognitive ability. After outlining Pritchard’s argument, we show (contra Pritchard) that understanding-why does not essentially involve strong cognitive achievement. Interestingly, in the cases in which understanding-why is distinctively valuable, it is (we argue) only because there is sufficiently rich objectual understanding in the background. If that’s right, then a plausible revisionist solution to the value problems must be sensitive to different kinds of understanding and what makes them valuable, respectively. (shrink)
From the dictum ought implies can , it has been argued that no account of belief's normativity can avoid the unpalatable result that, for unbelievable propositions such as "It is raining and nobody believes that it is raining", one ought not to believe them even if true. In this article, I argue that this move only succeeds on a faulty assumption about the conjunction of doxastic "oughts.".
Moral hypocrisy is motivation to appear moral yet, if possible, avoid the cost of actually being moral. In business, moral hypocrisy allows one to engender trust, solve the commitment problem, and still relentlessly pursue personal gain. Indicating the power of this motive, research has provided clear and consistent evidence that, given the opportunity, many people act to appear fair (e.g., they flip a coin to distribute resources between themselves and another person) without actually being fair (they accept the flip only (...) if it favors themselves). New evidence also indicates the power of moral hypocrisy in a situation more obviously relevant to business, resource allocation when one party has information about relative resource value that the other does not. Characteristics of modern business situations likely to encourage moral hypocrisy are outlined. We conclude that moral hypocrisy is not only a pragmatic virtue in modern business but is also fast becoming a prescriptive one. (shrink)
In this paper, we provide a logical formalization of the emotion triggering process and of its relationship with mental attitudes, as described in Ortony, Clore, and Collins’s theory. We argue that modal logics are particularly adapted to represent agents’ mental attitudes and to reason about them, and use a specific modal logic that we call Logic of Emotions in order to provide logical definitions of all but two of their 22 emotions. While these definitions may be subject to debate, we (...) show that they allow to reason about emotions and to draw interesting conclusions from the theory. (shrink)
The Tree of Life hypothesis frames the evolutionary process as a series of events whereby lineages diverge from one another, thus creating the diversity of life as descendent lineages modify properties from their ancestors. This hypothesis is under scrutiny due to the strong evidence for lateral gene transfer between distantly related bacterial taxa, thereby providing extant taxa with more than one parent. As a result, one argues, the Tree of Life becomes confounded as the original branching structure is gradually superseded (...) by reticulation, ultimately losing its ability to serve as a model for bacterial evolution. Here we address a more fundamental issue: is there a Tree of Life that results from bacterial evolution without considering such lateral gene transfers? Unlike eukaryotic speciation events, lineage separation in bacteria is a gradual process that occurs over tens of millions of years, whereby genetic isolation is established on a gene-by-gene basis. As a result, groups of closely related bacteria, while showing robust genetic isolation as extant lineages, were not created by an unambiguous series of lineage-splitting events. Rather, a temporal fragmentation of the speciation process results in cognate genes showing different genetic relationships. We argue that lineage divergence in bacteria does not produce a tree-like framework, and inferences drawn from such a framework have the potential to be incorrect and misleading. Therefore, the Tree of Life is an inappropriate paradigm for bacterial evolution regardless of the extent of gene transfer between distantly related taxa. (shrink)
Bayesians take “definite” or “single-case” probabilities to be basic. Definite probabilities attach to closed formulas or propositions. We write them here using small caps: PROB(P) and PROB(P/Q). Most objective probability theories begin instead with “indefinite” or “general” probabilities (sometimes called “statistical probabilities”). Indefinite probabilities attach to open formulas or propositions. We write indefinite probabilities using lower case “prob” and free variables: prob(Bx/Ax). The indefinite probability of an A being a B is not about any particular A, but rather about the (...) property of being an A. In this respect, its logical form is the same as that of relative frequencies. For instance, we might talk about the probability of a human baby being female. That probability is about human babies in general — not about individuals. If we examine a baby and determine conclusively that she is female, then the definite probability of her being female is 1, but that does not alter the indefinite probability of human babies in general being female. Most objective approaches to probability tie probabilities to relative frequencies in some way, and the resulting probabilities have the same logical form as the relative frequencies. That is, they are indefinite probabilities. The simplest theories identify indefinite probabilities with relative frequencies.3 It is often objected that such “finite frequency theories” are inadequate because our probability judgments often diverge from relative frequencies. For example, we can talk about a coin being fair (and so the indefinite probability of a flip landing heads is 0.5) even when it is flipped only once and then destroyed (in which case the relative frequency is either 1 or 0). For understanding such indefinite probabilities, it has been suggested that we need a notion of probability that talks about possible instances of properties as well as actual instances.. (shrink)
In a recent paper, “Infinitism and Epistemic Normativity,” we have problematized the relationship between infinitism and epistemic normativity. Responding to our criticisms, John Turri has offered a defense of infinitism. In this paper, we argue that Turri’s defense fails, leaving infinitism vulnerable to the originally raised objections.
This collection by a distinguished group of philosophers, psychologists, and physiologists reflects an interdisciplinary approach to the central question of cognitive science: how do we model the mind? Among the topics explored are the relationships (theoretical, reductive, and explanatory) between philosophy, psychology, computer science, and physiology; what should be asked of models in science generally, and in cognitive science in particular; whether theoretical models must make essential reference to objects in the environment; whether there are human competences that are resistant, (...) in principle, to modelling; whether simulated thinking and intentionality are really thinking and intentionality; how semantics can be generated from syntactics; the meaning of the terms "representations" and "modelling;" whether the nature of the "hardware" matters; and whether computer models of humans are "dehumanizing." Contributors include Donald Davidson, Daniel C. Dennett, Margaret A. Boden, Adam Morton, Dennis Noble, T. Poggio, Colin Blakemore, K.V. Wilkes, P.N. Johnson-Laird, and Jonathan St. B.T. Evans. (shrink)
Atran & Norenzayan (A&N) correctly claim that religion reduces emotions related to existential concerns. Our response adds to their argument by focusing on religious differences in the importance of emotion, and on other emotions that may be involved in religion. We believe that the important differences among religions make it difficult to have one theory to account for all religions.
The Federalist, written by “Publius” (Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison) in 1787-1788 in defense of the proposed constitution of the United States, endorses a fundamental principle of political legitimacy: namely, “it is the reason of the public alone, that ought to control and regulate the government.” This essay argues that this principle—the rule of reason—may be traced back to Plato. Part I of the essay seeks to show that Plato's Statesman offers a clearer understanding of the rule of (...) reason than his more famous Republic, and it also indicates how this principle gave rise to the ideal of constitutionalism, which was adopted and reformulated by Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero, as well as moderns including Locke and Montesquieu. Part II argues that The Federalist agrees with Plato when it argues that popular sovereignty must be tempered by the rule of reason. A proper distance should be maintained between the people and the actual exercise of power in order that political decisions be based on reason rather than passion. The people must therefore act through a federal system divided between national government and state governments, and these governments must themselves possess separated powers which control each other by means of checks and balances. Indeed, federalism itself may be viewed as a modern counterpart of Plato's “art of weaving,” which unites naturally disparate and opposed parts of the city-state into a concordant whole. In declaring, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary,” The Federalist concedes that politics is the art of the possible. But statesmanship is not an exercise in pragmatism devoid of principles. Here “Publius” shares Plato's vision of politics as a “second sailing,” that is, an attempt to approximate the ideal of rational governance as far as possible in ordinary politics. Footnotesa This paper was originally presented at a meeting of the Symposium on Political Thought at Bowling Green State University. I am very grateful to the participants for their helpful suggestions, including Peter Celello, Albert Dzur, Neil Englehart, Jefferson Holcomb, David Jackson, Melissa Miller, Terrence Watson, and Adam White. I also received valuable criticisms from David Keyt, Ellen Frankel Paul, and the other contributors to this volume. (shrink)