[Paul Boghossian] The paper asks under what conditions deductive reasoning transmits justification from its premises to its conclusion. It argues that both standard externalist and standard internalist accounts of this phenomenon fail. The nature of this failure is taken to indicate the way forward: basic forms of deductive reasoning must justify by being instances of 'blind but blameless' reasoning. Finally, the paper explores the suggestion that an inferentialist account of the logical constants can help explain how such reasoning is (...) possible. /// [Timothy Williamson] The paper challenges the inferentialist account of concept possession that Paul Boghossian takes as a premise in his account of the transmission of justification by deductive reasoning in his paper 'Blind Reasoning'. Unorthodox speakers who reject the inferences in an alleged possession condition can still have the concept by understanding a word for it. In that sense, the inferences are not analytic. Inferentialist accounts of logical constants, theoretical terms (using the Ramsey-Carnap-Lewis method) and pejorative expressions such as 'Boche' are examined and rejected. It is suggested that epistemological questions cannot be reduced to questions in the theory of thought and meaning. (shrink)
According to Russo and Williamson (Int Stud Philos Sci 21(2):157–170, 2007, Hist Philos Life Sci 33:389–396, 2011a, Philos Sci 1(1):47–69, 2011b), in order to establish a causal claim of the form, ‘C is a cause of E’, one typically needs evidence that there is an underlying mechanism between C and E as well as evidence that C makes a difference to E. This thesis has been used to argue that hierarchies of evidence, as championed by evidence-based movements, tend to (...) give primacy to evidence of difference making over evidence of mechanisms and are flawed because the two sorts of evidence are required and they should be treated on a par. An alternative approach gives primacy to evidence of mechanism over evidence of difference making. In this paper, we argue that this alternative approach is equally flawed, again because both sorts of evidence need to be treated on a par. As an illustration of this parity, we explain how scientists working in the ‘EnviroGenomarkers’ project constantly make use of the two evidential components in a dynamic and intertwined way. We argue that such an interplay is needed not only for causal assessment but also for policy purposes. (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.
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)
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.).
Timothy Williamson’s project in Knowledge and Its Limits (Williamson, 2000)1 includes proposals for substantial revisions in the received approach to epistemology. One received view is that knowledge is conceptualized in terms of a conjunction of factors that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for knowing. A central aim of epistemology is to state such necessary and sufficient conditions. Against this received view, Williamson argues that a necessary but insufficient condition need not be a conjunct of a non-circular (...) necessary and sufficient condition. Although being coloured is a necessary but insufficient condition for being red, we cannot state a necessary and sufficient condition for being red by conjoining being coloured with other properties specified without reference to red. Neither the equation ‘Red = coloured + X’ nor the equation ‘Knowledge = true belief + X’ need have a non-circular solution. (3) Williamson further argues that we have inductive reasons for thinking that no analysis of the concept knows of the standard kind is correct. The inductive reasons are simply the history of failed attempts at such “factorizing” or “decompositional” analyses. Williamson not only rejects the prospect of explaining knowledge in terms of belief, justification, and evidence, but he proposes to reverse the order of explanation. That order of explanation has been reversed in this book. The concept knows is fundamental, the primary implement of epistemological inquiry. (185) It is not altogether easy, however, to reconcile this radical program with other things Williamson says in the book. In particular, the book contains two rather unrelated accounts of knowing, and one of these accounts appeals to some of the same ingredients that traditional (or semi-traditional) analysts have used in the past. The first account, which appears in Chapter 1, says that knowing is the most general factive stative propositional attitude. The account is presented in terms of three conditions: (1) If Φ is an FMSO [factive mental state operator], from ‘S Φs that A’ one may infer ‘A’.. (shrink)
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)
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.
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)
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)
The epistemology of modality is gradually coming to play a central role in general discussions about modality. This paper is a contribution in this direction, in particular I draw a comparison between Lewis’s Modal realism and Timothy Williamson’s recent account of modality in terms of counterfactual thinking. In order to have criteria of evaluation, I also formulate four requirements which are supposed to be met by any theory of modality to be epistemologically adequate.
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.
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)
Timothy Williamson (2000 ch. 5) presents a reductio against the luminosity of knowing, against, that is, the so-called KK-principle: if one knows p, then one knows (or is at least in a position to know) that one knows p.1 I do not endorse the principle, but I do not think Williamson’s argument succeeds in refuting it. My aim here is to show that the KK-principle is not the most obvious culprit behind the contradiction Williamson derives.
Though he’s perhaps best known for his work on vagueness, Timothy Williamson also produced a series of outstanding papers in epistemology in the late 1980's and the 1990's. Knowledge and its Limits brings this work together. The result is, in my opinion, the best book in epistemology to come out since 1975.
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)
A single argument template—the EPH template—can be used to generate versions of the best known and most challenging skeptical problems. In his brilliantly groundbreaking book Knowledge and Its Limits, Timothy Williamson presents a theory of knowledge and evidence which he clearly intends to provide a response to skepticism in its most important forms. After laying out EPH skepticism and reviewing possible ways of responding to it, I show how elements of Williamson’s theory motivate a hitherto unexplored way of (...) responding to EPH-generated skeptical arguments. Then I offer reasons to doubt the correctness of Williamson’s response. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson's epistemology leads to a fairly radical version of scepticism. According to him, all knowledge is evidence. It follows that if S knows p, the evidential probability for S that p is 1. I explain Williamson's infallibilist account of perceptual knowledge, contrasting it with Peter Klein's, and argue that Klein's account leads to a certain problem which Williamson's can avoid. Williamson can allow that perceptual knowledge is possible and that all knowledge is evidence, while at (...) the same time avoiding Klein's problem. But while Williamson can allow that we know some things through experience, there are very many things he must say we cannot know. Given just how very many these are, he should be considered a sceptic. (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.
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)
Timothy Williamson claims that margin for error principles govern all cases of inexact knowledge. I show that this claim is unfounded: there are cases of inexact knowledge where Williamson’s argument for margin for error principles does not go through. The problematic cases are those where the value of the relevant parameter is fixed across close cases. I explore and reject two responses to my objection, before concluding that Williamson’s account of inexact knowledge is not compelling.
In his Knowledge and its Limits (2000) Timothy Williamson argues that knowledge can be causally efficacious and as such figure in psychological explanation. His argument for this claim figures as a response to a key objection to his overall thesis that knowing is a mental state. In this paper I argue that although Williamson succeeds in establishing that knowledge in some cases is essential to the power of certain causal explanations of actions, he fails to do this in (...) a way that establishes knowledge itself as a causal factor. The argument thus fails to support his overall claim that knowledge should be conceived as a state of mind. (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)
This note is to show that a well-known point about David Lewis’s (1986) modal realism applies to Timothy Williamson’s (1998; 2002) theory of necessary existents as well.1 Each theory, together with certain “recombination” principles, generates individuals too numerous to form a set. The simplest version of the argument comes from Daniel Nolan (1996).2 Assume the following recombination principle: for each cardinal number, ν, it’s possible that there exist ν nonsets. Then given Lewis’s modal realism it follows that there can (...) be no set of all (that is, Absolutely All) the nonsets. For suppose for reductio that there were such a set, A; let ν be A’s cardinality; and let µ be any cardinal number larger than ν. By the recombination principle, it’s possible that there exist µ nonsets; by modal realism, there exists a possible world containing, as parts, µ nonsets; each of these nonsets is a member of A. (shrink)
Lewis/Stalnaker semantics has it that all counterpossibles (i.e., counterfactual conditionals with impossible antecedents) are vacuously true. Non-vacuism, by contrast, says the truth-values of counterpossibles are affected by the truth-values of the consequents. Some counterpossibles are true, some false. Williamson objects to non-vacuism. He asks us to consider someone who answered ‘11’ to ‘What is 5 + 7?’ but who mistakenly believes that he answered ‘13’. For the non-vacuist, (1) is false, (2) true: (1) If 5 + 7 were 13, (...) x would have got that sum right (2) If 5 + 7 were 13, x would have got that sum wrong Williamson is not persuaded by the initial intuitiveness of such examples: ... they tend to fall apart when thought through. For example, if 5 + 7 were 13 then 5 + 6 would be 12, and so (by another eleven steps) 0 would be 1, so if the number of right answers I gave were 0, the number of right answers I gave would be 1. (2006) That’s the whole argument—much of it implicit. Alan Baker’s critique (2007) of Brogaard and Salerno (2007) prompts us to say something less abbreviated about a less abbreviated form of Wiliamson’s argument. Then we further develop our (2007) counterfactual analysis of essense. (shrink)
Abstract: Williamson argues that when one feels cold, one may not be in a position to know that one feels cold. He thinks this argument can be generalized to show that no mental states are such that when we are in them we are in a position to know that we are in them. I argue that his argument is a sorites argument in disguise because it relies on the implicit premise that warming up is gradual. Williamson claims (...) that his argument is not a sorites argument; I explain why he has not given us any reason to accept the claim. (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)
Several philosophers offer explanations of linguistic vagueness by appealing to the referential context-dependence of vague terms. Timothy Williamson argues pre-emptively that any such approach must fail, on the grounds that context-dependence is neither necessary nor sufficient for vagueness. He supports this claim, in turn, by example. This paper argues that his examples fail to show that context-dependence is either unnecessary or insufficient for vagueness, and hence that he has failed by his own lights to show that it cannot explain (...) vagueness. (shrink)
In epistemology and in philosophy of language there is fierce debate about the role of context in knowledge, understanding, and meaning. Many contemporary epistemologists take seriously the thesis that epistemic vocabulary is context-sensitive. This thesis is of course a semantic claim, so it has brought epistemologists into contact with work on context in semantics by philosophers of language. This volume brings together the debates, in a set of twelve specially written essays representing the latest work by leading figures in the (...) two fields. All future work on contextualism will start here. Contributors: Kent Bach, Herman Cappelen, Andy Egan, Michael Glanzberg, John Hawthorne, Ernest Lepore, Peter Ludlow, Peter Pagin, Georg Peter, Paul M. Pietroski, Gerhard Preyer, Jonathan Schaffer, Jason Stanley, Brian Weatherson, Timothy Williamson. (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)
According to contextualism, the truth-conditions of knowledge attributions depend on features of the attributor's context. Contextualists take their view to be supported by cases in which the intuitive correctness of knowledge attributions depends on the attributor's context. Williamson offers a complex invariantist account of such cases which appeals to two elements, psychological bias and a failure of luminosity. He provides independent reasons for thinking that contextualist cases are characterized by psychological bias and a failure of luminosity, and argues that (...) some of our intuitions about the cases are explained by the former factor and some by the latter. I argue that psychological bias is the more fundamental of these elements. I show how, by itself, psychological bias can explain all the intuitions concerning contextualist cases. Further, it gives the best account of why contextualist cases are characterized by a failure of luminosity. (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)
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)
In Moral Creativity, John Wall argues that moral life and thought are inherently and radically creative. Human beings are called by their own primordially created depths to exceed historical evil and tragedy through the ongoing creative transformation of their world. This thesis challenges ancient Greek and biblical separations of ethics and poetic image-making, as well as contemporary conceptions of moral life as grounded in abstract principles or preconstituted traditions. Taking as his point of departure the poetics of the will of (...)Paul Ricoeur, and ranging widely into critical conversations with Continental, narrative, feminist, and liberationist ethics, Wall uncovers the profound senses in which moral practice and thought involve tension, catharsis, excess, and renewal. In the process, he draws new connections between sin and tragedy, practice and poetics, and morality and myth. Rather than proposing a complete ethics, Moral Creativity is a meta-ethical work investigating the creative capability as part of what it means, morally, to be human. This capability is explored around four dimensions of ontology, teleology, deontology, and social practice. In each case, Wall examines a traditional perspective on the relation of ethics to poetics, critiques it using resources from contemporary phenomenology, and develops a conception of a more original poetics of moral life. In the end, moral creativity is a human capability for inhabiting tensions among others and in social systems and, in the image of a Creator, creating together an ever more radically inclusive moral world. (shrink)
According to many philosophers, psychological explanation can legit- imately be given in terms of belief and desire, but not in terms of knowl- edge. To explain why someone does what they do (so the common wisdom holds) you can appeal to what they think or what they want, but not what they know. Timothy Williamson has recently argued against this view. Knowledge, Williamson insists, plays an essential role in ordinary psycho- logical explanation. Williamson’s argument works on two (...) fronts. First, he argues against the claim that, unlike knowledge, belief is “composite” (rep- resentable as a conjunction of a narrow and a broad condition). Belief’s failure to be composite, Williamson thinks, undermines the usual motiva- tions for psychological explanation in terms of belief rather than knowl- edge. Unfortunately, we claim, the motivations Williamson argues against do not depend on the claim that belief is composite, so what he says leaves the case for a psychology of belief unscathed. Second, Williamson argues that knowledge can sometimes provide a better explanation of action than belief can. We argue that, in the cases considered, explanations that cite beliefs (but not knowledge) are no less successful than explanations that cite knowledge. Thus, we conclude that Williamson’s arguments fail both coming and going: they fail to undermine a psychology of belief, and they fail to motivate a psychology of knowledge. (shrink)
According to many philosophers, psychological explanation canlegitimately be given in terms of belief and desire, but not in termsof knowledge. To explain why someone does what they do (so the common wisdom holds) you can appeal to what they think or what they want, but not what they know. Timothy Williamson has recently argued against this view. Knowledge, Williamson insists, plays an essential role in ordinary psychological explanation.Williamson's argument works on two fronts.First, he argues against the claim (...) that, unlike knowledge, belief is``composite'' (representable as a conjunction of a narrow and a broadcondition). Belief's failure to be composite, Williamson thinks, undermines the usual motivations for psychological explanation in terms of belief rather than knowledge.Unfortunately, we claim, the motivations Williamson argues against donot depend on the claim that belief is composite, so what he saysleaves the case for a psychology of belief unscathed.Second, Williamson argues that knowledge can sometimes provide abetter explanation of action than belief can.We argue that, in the cases considered, explanations that cite beliefs(but not knowledge) are no less successful than explanations that citeknowledge. Thus, we conclude that Williamson's arguments fail both coming andgoing: they fail to undermine a psychology of belief, and they fail tomotivate a psychology of knowledge. (shrink)
Upshot: During the late 1990s’ “Science Wars,” the concept of “social construction” was hotly debated between postmodernist scholars and realist scientists. In this context, Paul Boghossian delivers a concise critique of a Rortyan constructivism. Yet in doing so, he excludes the majority of constructivisms and relativisms from his analysis, fails to engage in the existing literature on those arguments he analyses, and, occasionally, misreads his opponents.
The context for these interviews was a seminar [Peter Gratton] conducted on speculative realism in the Spring 2010. There has been great interest in speculative realism and one reason Gratton surmise[s] is not just the arguments offered, though [Gratton doesn't] want to take away from them; each of these scholars are vivid writers and great pedagogues, many of whom are in constant contact with their readers via their weblogs. Thus these interviews provided an opportunity to forward student questions about their (...) respective works. Though each were conducted on different occasions, the interviews stand as a collected work, tying together the most classical questions about “realism” to ancillary movements about the non-human in politics, ecology, aesthetics, and video gaming—all to point to future movements in this philosophical area. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson has a marvelously precise account of epistemic justification in terms of knowledge and probability. I argue that the account runs aground on certain cases involving the probability values 0 and 1.
The following is an essay review of Paul Needham's translation of Pierre Duhem's Lemixte et la combinaison chimique and a numberof other essays. In this review we describe theintent and general features of Le mixte and try to place it in the larger context of Duhem'sprogram for energetics. The long essay (Essay3) opposing Marcellin Berthelot'sthermochemistry is singled out for detailedcommentary, since it gives Duhem's reasons forendorsing Josiah Willard Gibbs's chemicalstatics. We argue that a chemical mechanics ofa Gibbsian sort, defended (...) in Le mixte and otheressays in this volume, was the inspiration for,and basis of, Duhem's energetics. Needham'swelcome translations help an English-languageaudience to better understand the basiccontours of Duhem's important, if ultimatelymisguided, project. We conclude with somecomments on the difficulties in translatingDuhem and on the quality of the translationsNeedham has provided. (shrink)
Oberman, H. A. Quoscunque tulit foecunda vetustas.--Bouwsma, W. J. The two faces of humanism.--Gilmore, M. P. Italian reactions to Erasmian humanism.--Dresden, S. The profile of the reception of the Italian Renaissance in France.--IJsewijn, J. The coming of humanism to the Low Countries.--Hay, D. England and the humanities in the fifteenth century.--Spitz, L. W. The course of German humanism.
This is a reply to Timothy Williamson’s paper ‘Tennant’s Troubles’. It defends against Williamson’s objections the anti-realist’s knowability principle based on the author’s ‘local’ restriction strategy involving Cartesian propositions, set out in The Taming of the True . Williamson’s purported Fitchian reductio , involving the unknown number of books on his table, is analyzed in detail and shown to be fallacious. Williamson’s attempt to cause problems for the anti-realist by means of a (...) supposed rigid designator generates a contradiction with arithmetic right away, upon instantiating the obviously relevant theorem that every natural number is provably odd or provably even. The paper also explains and formulates a globally restricted knowability principle, which likewise blocks the attempted reductio. (shrink)
Russo and Williamson claim that establishing causal claims requires mechanistic and difference-making evidence. In this article, I will argue that Russo and Williamson's formulation of their thesis is multiply ambiguous. I will make three distinctions: mechanistic evidence as type vs object of evidence; what mechanism or mechanisms we want evidence of; and how much evidence of a mechanism we require. I will feed these more precise meanings back into the Russo?Williamson thesis and argue that it is both (...) true and false: two weaker versions of the thesis are worth supporting, while the stronger versions are not. Further, my distinctions are of wider concern because they allow us to make more precise claims about what kinds of evidence are required in particular cases. (shrink)
(2013). Heidegger, Wittgenstein and St Paul on the Last Judgement: On the Roots and Significance of ‘The Theoretical Attitude’. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 143-164. doi: 10.1080/09608788.2012.686980.
We are often in no position to know whether p is true but, it is widely held, where we do know that p, we are always in a position to know that we know that p: knowledge is luminous. In Chapter 4 of Knowledge and Its Limits Williamson argues that knowledge is not luminous and with this conclusion in hand he hopes to see off the sceptic, amongst other things.
Jacob Boehme, the seventeenth-century mystical philosopher, had a significant influence upon Paul Tillich. In this article I offer a reassessment of the relationship between these two thinkers by arguing for an orthodox interpretation of Boehme's doctrine of God that links him more closely with Tillich than recent commentators have suggested. Specifically, I show how Boehme and Tillich stand united against the heterodox Hegel in their presentation of a dynamic process of divinity's self-differentiation and reconciliation that completes itself apart from (...) history rather than within history. This move, I conclude, keeps Boehme and Tillich squarely within the realm of Christian orthodoxy. (Published Online April 7 2006). (shrink)
Timothy Williamson (2002) has offered an argument for the claim that, necessarily, he exists, that is, that he is a necessary existent.1 Though this argument has attracted a great deal of attention (e.g., Rumfitt 2003 and Wiggins 2003), I present a new argument for the same conclusion which reveals a new way of denying the soundness of Williamson’s argument, one which denies not only that it is necessary that he exists but also that there are any true necessities (...) about Williamson at all. In conclusion, given that it is contingent that Williamson exists, I nevertheless distinguish a sense in which he is, after all, a necessary existent: Williamson necessarily exists, though it is not necessary that he exists. (shrink)
Paul Otlet (1868–1944) was a Belgian intellectual, a utopian internationalist and a visionary theorist of the field of information science. His work is a milestone in the history of information science since he launched the concept of "documentation," a field that evolved out of bibliography and developed into information science.1 Otlet defined documentation as the whole of the proper means of passing on, communicating, and distributing information. Otlet was a convinced apostle of the idea of universalism as the title (...) of one of his seminal books, Monde. Essai d'Universalisme, illustrates. This was the outcome of a course of fifteen lessons, entitled "L'universalisme, doctrine philosophique et économie mondiale," .. (shrink)
When talk of philosophy of pedagogy comes up today, it is common to hear the names of Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, John Dewey, or Paulo Freire, but the name of Paul Goodman, who campaigned vigorously for pedagogical reform much of his life, is seldom mentioned. In spite of neglect of his work, Goodman had much to say on pedagogical practice that is rich, poignant, and relevant today. In consequence, it is unfortunate that he is seldom read and discussed today. This (...) essay is an attempt to fill in the gap in the scholarship. I begin by presenting an elaboration of Goodman's key insights. I then offer a critical analysis of those pedagogical insights. (shrink)
This paper examines the ambiguity that attends Paul Klee's characterization of the daemonic element in his work. It does so by analyzing the history of this concept in classical German thought from Wincklemann to Goethe. I note transformations of the concept in writings contemporaneous to Klee in literary theory and theology. These include Lukács, for whom the modern novel articulates the daemonic as an ironic world devoid of transcendental immanence, homeland, or essence; and Otto, for whom the world remained (...) in some sense still not devoid of the numinous. I further consider these issues in brief discussion of Klee's account of the polyphonic construction of the artwork. Finally, attention is given to proximate philosophical treatments of the topic in writers influenced by Klee's work. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Many of the results of Timothy Williamson's Knowledge and Its Limits depend upon his argument that many, if not all, of our mental states fail to be luminous in the sense that if we are in them, then we are in a position to know that we are in them. The purpose of this article is to show that his argument is unsound. I conclude by distinguishing between partial and total luminosity, and by arguing that even if mental (...) states are not totally luminous, they are at least partially so.RÉSUMÉ: Plusieurs des résultats du livre de Timothy Williamson, Knowledge and Its Limits dépendent de son argument à l'effet que la plupart, sinon tous nos états mentaux ne sont pas lumineux au sens où tout en se trouvant dans un tel état, nous sommes en position, de savoir que tel est notre état. Cet article a pour objectif de démontrer que ce raisonnement ne tient pas. Nous concluons par une distinction entre luminosité partielle ou complète et soutenons que, même si les états mentaux ne sont pas entièrernent clairvoyants, ils le sont en partie. (shrink)
Kant's treatment of pure aesthetic judgement can ignore ugliness, since an analytic of the ugly, according to a recent essay by Paul Guyer, uncovers the aesthetic impurity of the criteria against which we judge ugliness. Free beauty, as Kant expounds it, does not admit a contrary, and hence a Kantian account of ugliness, such as Guyer's, must look elsewhere in order to scrabble together terms for its definition. Yet if we recognise the ugly by its unsuitability as an object (...) of pure contemplation, then we have made a disinterested judgement of free ugliness. The pleasure of the harmony of the faculties, which is a pleasure in the way the world and our faculties fit together, observes itself contradicted by ugliness. (shrink)
Paul Churchland's philosophical work enjoys an increasing popularity. His imaginative papers on cognitive science and the philosophy of psychology are widely discussed. Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind (1979), his major book, is an important contribution to the debate on realism. Churchland provides us with the intellectual tools for constructing a unified scientific Weltanschauung. His network theory of language implies a provocative view of the relation between science and common sense. This paper contains a critical examination of Churchland's (...) network theory of language, which is the foundation of his philosophy. It is argued that the network theory should be seen as deriving its point from traditional empiricism. The network theory enables the empiricist to resist the phenomenalistic temptations inherent in his position, and to build a realist philosophy on the basis of the representative theory of perception. This interpretation is confirmed by the fact that the representative theory is presupposed by Churchland's main argument in favour of the network view. Churchland tends to conceive of himself as a naturalistic epistemologist. But the philosophical faction to which Churchland belongs is rather that of modern neo?Kantianism. (shrink)
In his recent The Temptation of Evolutionary Ethics, Paul Farber has given a negative assessment of the last one hundred years of attempts in Anglo-American philosophy, beginning with Darwin, to develop an evolutionary ethics. Farber identifies some version of the naturalistic fallacy as one of the central sources for the failures of evolutionary ethics. For this reason, and others, Farber urges that though it has its attraction, evolutionary ethics is a temptation to be resisted. In this discussion I identify (...) three major, historically relevant forms of the naturalistic fallacy, the (1) the deductive, (2) genetic, and (3) open question forms and argue that none of them pose an intrinsic problem for evolutionary ethics. I conclude that on this score at least there is no reason to resist temptation. (shrink)