This article will compare and contrast two very different accounts of convention: the game-theoretical account of Lewis in Convention, and the account initially proposed by Margaret Gilbert (the present author) in chapter six of On Social Facts, and further elaborated here. Gilbert’s account is not a variant of Lewis’s. It was arrived at in part as the result of a detailed critique of Lewis’s account in relation to a central everyday concept of a social convention. An account of (...) convention need not be judged by that standard. Perhaps it reveals the nature of an important phenomenon. Looked at in that light, these very different accounts are not incompatible. Indeed, neither should be ignored if one is seeking to understand the way in which human beings arrive at some degree of social order. (shrink)
Terrorism, Security and Nationality shows how the concepts and methods of political philosophy can be applied to the practical problems of terrorism, state violence and national security. The book clarifies a wide range of issues in applied political philosophy, including the ethics of war, theories of state and nation, the relationship between communities and nationalisms, and the uneasy balance of human rights and national security. Ethnicity, national identity and the interests of the state, concepts commonly cited to justify terrorist acts, (...) all imply starkly contrasting notions of what constitutes a political community. Paul Gilbert examines the reasons for political violence and the plausibility of such justifications. He investigates notions of terrorism as unjust war and as political crime and concludes by considering the proper response of the state to political violence. (shrink)
Gilbert’s four modes of communication include the logical, the emotional, the visceral and the kisceral, which last has not received much attention at all. This mode covers the forms of argument that rely on intuition and undefended basal assumptions. These forms range from the scientific and mathematical to the religious and mystical. In this paper these forms will be examined, and suggestions made for ways in which intuitive frameworks can be compared and valued.
Margaret Gilbert offers an incisive new approach to a classic problem of political philosophy: when and why should I do what the laws of my country tell me to do? Beginning with carefully argued accounts of social groups in general and political societies in particular, the author argues that in central, standard senses of the relevant terms membership in a political society in and of itself obligates one to support that society's political institutions. The obligations in question are not (...) moral requirements derived from general moral principles, as is often supposed, but a matter of one's participation in a special kind of commitment: joint commitment. An agreement is sufficient but not necessary to generate such a commitment. Gilbert uses the phrase 'plural subject' to refer to all of those who are jointly committed in some way. She therefore labels the theory offered in this book the plural subject theory of political obligation. The author concentrates on the exposition of this theory, carefully explaining how and in what sense joint commitments obligate. She also explores a classic theory of political obligation --- actual contract theory --- according to which one is obligated to conform to the laws of one's country because one agreed to do so. She offers a new interpretation of this theory in light of a theory of plural subject theory of agreements. She argues that actual contract theory has more merit than has been thought, though the more general plural subject theory is to be preferred. She compares and contrasts plural subject theory with identification theory, relationship theory, and the theory of fair play. She brings it to bear on some classic situations of crisis, and, in the concluding chapter, suggests a number of avenues for related empirical and moral inquiry. Clearly and compellingly written, A Theory of Political Obligation will be essential reading for political philosophers and theorists. (shrink)
David V. Ciavatta: Spirit, the family, and the unconscious in Hegel’s philosophy Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11007-012-9222-0 Authors Bruce Gilbert, Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke (Lennoxville), QC, Canada Journal Continental Philosophy Review Online ISSN 1573-1103 Print ISSN 1387-2842.
My research work title is “A Philosophical Study of the Concept of Mind (with special reference to Rene Descartes, David Hume and Gilbert Ryle).” In this study we have discussed three conceptions of mind presented by Rene Descartes, David Hume and Gilbert Ryle. All the three thinkers are related to different philosophical traditions known as Rationalism, Empiricism and Analytical Philosophy respectively. Each of these various approaches can be seen as at least partly successful, each provides answers to questions (...) regarded as especially pressing, each apparently solved certain problems. Notoriously, however, each leaves unanswered and unsolved a host of distinct problems as well. (shrink)
Primary Works -/- Ryle, Gilbert: The Concept of Mind, Penguin Books, 1978 -/- __________: Dilemmas, Cambridge, at the University Press, 1966. -/- __________: Collected Papers, Edited by Barnes and Noble Vols. I &II, Hutchinson, 1971. -/- __________: On thinking, Edited by K. Kolenda, Oxford: Basil Blackwell Publishers, 1982. -/- __________;Aspects of Mind, Edited by Rene Meyer, Oxford : Blackwell, 1993..
This paper aims at analyzing Philip Kitcher's naturalistic epistemology, particularly its normative features, which are viewed as a sort of response to negative assessments made by radical naturalists on the plurality of epistemic values. According to them such values are ineffective for normative ends, e.g. theory choice. Differently from that quite excessive evaluation, Kitcher argues rather for explanatory unity as the most important and universal epistemic value. Even though Kitcher's arguments are sound, there remains some serious gaps as regards (...) his attempts; there are also serious doubts about the desirability of achieving such a value. (shrink)
This brief opening for a special issue of Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical on Philip Clayton’s thought and its connection with that of Michael Polany introduces Clayton’s essay and the responses by Martinez Hewlett, Gregory R. Peterson, Andy F. Sanders and Waler B. Gulick.
In Science, Truth, and Democracy, Philip Kitcher develops the notion of well-ordered science: scientific inquiry whose research agenda and applications (but not methods) are subject to public control guided by democratic deliberation. Kitcher's primary departure from his earlier views involves rejecting the idea that there is any single standard of scientific significance. The context-dependence of scientific significance opens up many normative issues to philosophical investigation and to resolution through democratic processes. Although some readers will feel Kitcher has not (...) moved far enough from earlier epistemological positions, the book does represent an important addition to literature on science, society, and values. (shrink)
Philosophy is often conceived in the Anglophone world today as a subject that focuses on questions in particular ‘‘core areas,’’ pre-eminently epistemology and metaphysics. This article argues that the contemporary conception is a new version of the scholastic ‘‘self-indulgence for the few’’ of which Dewey complained nearly a century ago. Philosophical questions evolve, and a first task for philosophers is to address issues that arise for their own times. The article suggests that a renewal of philosophy today should turn the (...) contemporary conception inside out, attending to and developing further the valuable work being done on the supposed ‘‘periphery’’ and attending to the ‘‘core areas’’ only insofar as is necessary to address genuinely significant questions. (shrink)
Contributing Authors: Lilli Alanen & Frans Svensson, David Alm, Gustaf Arrhenius, Gunnar Björnsson, Luc Bovens, Richard Bradley, Geoffrey Brennan & Nicholas Southwood, John Broome, Linus Broström & Mats Johansson, Johan Brännmark, Krister Bykvist, John Cantwell, Erik Carlson, David Copp, Roger Crisp, Sven Danielsson, Dan Egonsson, Fred Feldman, Roger Fjellström, Marc Fleurbaey, Margaret Gilbert, Olav Gjelsvik, Kathrin Glüer & Peter Pagin, Ebba Gullberg & Sten Lindström, Peter Gärdenfors, Sven Ove Hansson, Jana Holsanova, Nils Holtug, Victoria Höög, Magnus Jiborn, Karsten Klint (...) Jensen, Sigurður Kristinsson, Isaac Levi, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, David Makinson, Anna-Sofia Maurin, Philippe Mongin, Kevin Mulligan, Lennart Nordenfelt, Jonas Olson, Erik J. Olsson, Ingmar Persson, Johannes Persson, Björn Petersson, Philip Pettit, Hans Rott, Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen, Krister Segerberg, John Skorupski, Howard Sobel, Fredrik Stjernberg, Fred Stoutland, Caj Strandberg, Pär Sundström, Folke Tersman, Torbjörn Tännsjö, Peter Vallentyne, Bruno Verbeek, Stella Villarmea, and Michael J. Zimmerman. (shrink)
Although Gilbert Ryle published on a wide range of topics in philosophy (notably in the history of philosophy and in philosophy of language), including a series of lectures centred on philosophical dilemmas, a series of articles on the concept of thinking, and a book on Plato, The Concept of Mind remains his best known and most important work. Through this work, Ryle is thought to have accomplished two major tasks. First, he was seen to have put the final nail (...) in the coffin of Cartesian dualism. Second, as he himself anticipated, he is thought to have argued on behalf of, and suggested as dualism's replacement, the doctrine known as philosophical (and sometimes analytical) behaviourism. Sometimes known as an “ordinary language”, sometimes as an “analytic” philosopher, Ryle—even when mentioned in the same breath as Wittgenstein and his followers—is considered to be on a different, somewhat idiosyncratic (and difficult to characterise), philosophical track. (shrink)
Genetic determinism is the idea that many significant human characteristics are rendered inevitable by the presence of certain genes. The psychologist Susan Oyama has famously compared arguing against genetic determinism to battling the undead. Oyama suggests that genetic determinism is inherent in the way we currently represent genes and what genes do. As long as genes are represented as containing information about how the organism will develop, they will continue to be regarded as determining causes no matter how much evidence (...) exists to the contrary. Philip Kitcher has strongly disputed Oyama’s diagnosis, arguing that the conventional ‘interactionist’ perspective on development is the correct framework for understanding the role of the genes in development. While acknowledging the legitimacy of many of Kitcher’s observations, I believe that Oyama’s view is substantially correct. In this paper I provide several lines of support for support the Oyama diagnosis. (shrink)
En este artículo me propongo analizar el punto de partida epistemológico de un reciente libro de Philip Kitcher (The Advancement of Science) a través de su discusión con las concepciónes ‘escépticas’. Podemos distinguir entre dos tipos de escepticismo en Ia trama deI libro de Kitcher: uno débil y otro radical. Intentamos difinir el tipo de realismo que Kitcher defiende, para finalmente mostrar que tal tipo de realismo es posible para Kitcher en Ia medida que no toma en cuenta el (...) escepticismo en su versión radical. En efecto, Kitcher sólo se enfrenta al escepticismo débil. Y es precisamente debido a esta restricción que es capaz de mantenerse al margen de una alternativa que sigue siendo crucial: realismo fuerte o realismo “de espíritu kantiano”.The purpose of this article is to carry out an analysis of the epistemologic standpoint on a recent book by Philip Kitcher (The Advancement of Science) by discussing the sceptic ideas which are dealt with there. We can discriminate between two kinds of scepticism appearing on Kitcher’s book: a weak and a radical one. Then we work towards a definition of the kind of realism held by this author and, finally, we try to show that such a viewpoint as Kitcher’s is possible to hold provided that we do not take the radical scepticism into account for that question. Kitcher only objects by means of the weak scepticism. And it is precisely because of that restriction that he is capable of not giving a definition of a crucial alternative: strong realism or realism in “Kantian spirit”. (shrink)
In Nietzsche and the Horror of Existence, Philip J. Kain makes a compelling case for taking Nietzsche’s concern with the subject of horror seriously and then challenges his conclusions about it. A corollary of existence, horror is an ineliminable part of being human. Our experience of horror prompts reflection on life and the act of philosophizing. Arguing it is a formative yet often overlooked theme in Nietzsche’s oeuvre, Kain recognizes that the experience of horror is central to “Nietzsche’s vision” (...) of life, truth, beauty, and knowledge (1). Kain examines Nietzsche’s interrogation of philosophical responses to horror, tracing his approach from his innovative reinterpretation of the function of tragic .. (shrink)
This paper argues that most contemporary philosophy of technology hardly lives up to its name. What goes by that name gives nearly exclusive attention to the social and political consequences of technological innovations, leaving unattended the properly philosophical questions related to the nature and mode of existence of technical objects. After reviewing some of the reasons for this situation, I argue that, over thirty years ago, Gilbert Simondon offered a stimulating analysis of these problems which is still relevant today. (...) I then present some of the major concepts of Simondon's analysis of technical objects and of his criticism of the then (and still) current reflections on technology. The concepts of technical objects, of concretization, of technical progress, of hypertelic adaptation, and of technical individual are presented and analysed. Finally, I recall Simondon's claim that our difficult relationship to technology stems, to a large extent, from a lack of understanding, and that philosopher's have a role to play in creating a new technical culture. Throughout the paper, I try to evaluate the importance of Simondon's achievement and suggest the need for further research and the way in which Simondon's analysis indicates fruitful areas of inquiry. (shrink)
In this essay I describe seven central characteristics of Philip Quinn's approach to the epistemic challenge of religious diversity as they surface in his responses to other contemporary approaches. In the process an assessment is given of Quinn's contribution, and continued relevance, to the contemporary discussions about this topic. The first three sections describe Quinn's confrontations with Alvin Plantinga, William Alston, and John Hick. The next section presents critical comments on Quinn's unique notion of thinning.
The widespread impression that recent philosophy of science has pioneered exploration of the “social dimensions of scientific knowledge‘ is shown to be in error, partly due to a lack of appreciation of historical precedent, and partly due to a misunderstanding of how the social sciences and philosophy have been intertwined over the last century. This paper argues that the referents of “democracy‘ are an important key in the American context, and that orthodoxies in the philosophy of science tend to be (...) molded by the actual regimes of science organization within which they are embedded. These theses are illustrated by consideration of three representative philosophers of science: John Dewey, Hans Reichenbach, and Philip Kitcher. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]. (shrink)
Philip Kitcher's The Advancement of Science sets out, programmatically, a new naturalistic view of science as a process of building consensus practices. Detailed historical case studies--centrally, the Darwinian revolution--are intended to support this view. I argue that Kitcher's expositions in fact support a more conservative view, that I dub 'Legend Naturalism'. Using four historical examples which increasingly challenge Kitcher's discussions, I show that neither Legend Naturalism, nor the less conservative programmatic view, gives an adequate account of scientific progress. (...) I argue for a naturalism that is more informed by psychology and a normative account that is both more social and less realist than the views articulated in The Advancement of Science. (shrink)
Mackie doubted anything objective could have the motivational properties of a value. In thinking we are morally required to act in a certain way, he said, we attribute objective value to the action. Since nothing has objective value, these moral judgments are all false. As to whether Mackie proved his error theory, opinions vary. But there is broad agreement on one issue. A litany of examples, ranging from amoralism to depression to downright evil, has everyone convinced that Mackie vastly overstated (...) the motivational implications of moral judgment. Mackie did go overboard. But did he have to? I think not. Even on the most modest motivational assumptions, Mackie can make objective value look queer and morality look like a sham. I begin with a sketch. (shrink)
Since the 1930’s, several attempts have been made to develop a general theory of technical systems or objects and their evolution: in France, Jacques Lafitte, André Leroi-Gourhan, Bertrand Gille, Yves Deforge, and Gilbert Simondon are the main representatives of this trend. In this paper, we focus on the work of Simondon: his analysis of technical progress is based on the hypothesis that technology has its own laws and that customer demand has no paramount influence upon the evolution of technical (...) systems. We first describe the process Simondon called “concretization” and compare it with the process of “idealization” as defined by Genrich Altshuller. We then explain how the progress of technical lineages can be characterized as following a specific rhythm of relaxation and how it thus obeys a “law” of evolution in the industrial context. Simondon’s theoretical approach, although similar to some aspects of methodologies of conception, emphasized a more accurate understanding of technical progress over possible operational applications. Simondon never intended to optimize the engineer’s tasks from an economic point of view and, in fact, his conception of technical progress can be considered as independent from the capitalistic trend of innovation. However, the philosophy of Simondon provides a better understanding of what is at stake theoretically in the modeling of laws of technical evolution. (shrink)
In response to various difficulties that confront John Hick’s pluralistic hypothesis, Philip Quinn proposes a recipe for developing more satisfactory pluralistic hypotheses. In this short exploratory paper I examine Quinn’s proposal, identify some problems that it faces, and consider some alternatives.
In Science, Truth, and Democracy, Philip Kitcher challenges the view that science has a single, context‐independent, goal, and that the pursuit of this goal is essentially immune from moral critique. He substitutes a context‐dependent account of science’s goal, and shows that this account subjects science to moral evaluation. I argue that Kitcher’s approach must be modified, as his account of science ultimately must be explicated in terms of moral concepts. I attempt, therefore, to give an account of science’s goal (...) that is free of direct moral entanglements but still makes this goal context‐dependent and leaves the choice of which projects to pursue subject to moral scrutiny. (shrink)
In his exceptionally well-received history of analytic philosophy, Scott Soames presents accounts of the work of Wittgenstein and Ryle that rest on his acceptance of metaphysical preconceptions that these philosophers implicitly question in their writings. Their shared expressive third-person treatments of the mind, for example, serve to emphasise the inadequacy of Soames's distinction between private mental states and physical states/behaviour, which he regularly employs in assessing their views. His treatment of Gilbert Ryle in particular, reflects the radically different conceptions (...) held by Ryle and Soames of the nature of philosophical investigation. Soames charges Ryle with a failure to recognise the distinction between the necessary and the analytic. He also harbours a clear understanding that philosophical problems arise naturally and directly from “our ordinary ways of thinking,” where these ways of thinking, the reader discovers, involve metaphysical preconceptions. This is at odds with Ryle's claim that certain category mistakes, playing the role, roughly, of Wittgenstein's misleading pictures, underlie some of the main problems of philosophy. The purpose of this paper is to assess how well Ryle, occasionally aided by Wittgenstein, can be seen to parry Soames's direct onslaught on his work in parts of Dilemmas and in The Concept of Mind. (shrink)
Each inhabitant of our world Gilbert calls (following Boethius) an id quod est or subsistens. Its main constituents are the subsistentiae (or the subsistent's id quo which is sometimes taken collectively to stand for ea quibus) and these are accompanied by the 'accidents', quantity and quality. The subsistent owes its status (or transitory condition) to a collection of inferior members of the Aristotelian class of accidents, which to Gilbert's mind are rather 'accessories' or 'attachments from without' (...) (extrinsecus affixa). The term 'substantia' is used both to stand for substance and substantial form (subsistentia), i.e., that by which something is subsistent (or 'is a substance'). The collection of subsistentiae (substantial forms) or the forma totius is called natura. However, 'natura' is also used to stand for either just one subsistentia or all the forms found in a subsistens even including its 'accidental' forms (quantity and quality). The inclusion of all kinds of accidents (including those inferior ones that make up a thing's status) is seldom found in the intension of the word 'natura'. One of the key notions featuring in Gilbert's ontology is esse aliquid. 'To be a-something' has a threefold import. First, it means 'to be only some thing', and to miss perfection. Second, it has the positive sense of 'being a something', i.e. 'being determinate and well-delineated', not indefinite, not formless that is. Third, 'to be a something' implies concreteness, corporealness and singularity. (shrink)
The article investigates how the problem of (linguistic) reference is treated in Gilbert of Poitiers' Commentaries on Boethius' Opuscula sacra . In this text the terms supponere, suppositus,-a,-um , and suppositio mainly concern the act of a speaker (or of the author of a written text) that consists of referring—by choosing a name as subject term in a proposition—to one or more subsistent things as what the speech act (or the written text) is about. Supposition is for Gilbert (...) an action performed by a speaker, not a property of terms, and his `contextual approach' has a pragmatic touch: “we do not predicate in order to supposit as much as we supposit in order to predicate“. Language is considered by Gilbert as a system for communication between human beings, key notions are the `sense in the author's mind' ( sensus mentis eius qui loquitur ) and the `interpreter's understanding' ( intelligentia lectoris ). The phenomenon of `disciplinal' discourse (“man is a species of individuals“) is treated by means of these hermeneutic notions and not by means of a special kind of supposition. (shrink)
Kam-por Yu, Julia Tao, and Philip J. Ivanhoe (eds.), Taking Confucian Ethics Seriously: Contemporary Theories and Applications Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11712-011-9253-y Authors Karyn Lai, School of History of Philosophy, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
A recent focus of Philip Kitcher’s research has been, somewhat surprisingly in the light of his earlier work, the philosophical analyses of literary works and operas. Some may see a discontinuity in Kitcher’s oeuvre in this respect – it may be difficult to see how his earlier contributions to philosophy of science relate to this much less mainstream approach to philosophy. The aim of this paper is to show that there is no such discontinuity: Kitcher’s contributions to the philosophy (...) of science and his more recent endeavors into the philosophy of literature and of music are grounded in the same big picture attitude towards the human mind – an attitude that he would undoubtedly call ‘pragmatic’: one that emphasizes the importance of those mental processes that are not (or not entirely) rational. (shrink)
(2012). In Response to “Revisiting Blumberg's ‘The Practice of Law As A Confidence Game’” by Professor Gilbert Geis. Criminal Justice Ethics: Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 39-41. doi: 10.1080/0731129X.2012.657508.
Jozef Keulartz and Gilbert Leistra (eds): Legitimacy in European Nature Conservation Policy: Case Studies in Multilevel Governance Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9248-4 Authors Sarah Beach, Kansas State University Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work Manhattan KS USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Summary We shall proceed as follows: In section ii, we shall give a brief over-view of the literature on Gilbert, more to indicate general directions of interest than to present any in-depth analysis. Then, in the main body of this presentation, section iii, we will present three ways in which we think it is accurate to claim that Gilbert influenced Descartes. These are: (1) Gilbert gave Descartes a new definition of an organ; (2) Gilbert gave Descartes (...) a new definition of what constitutes life and animation; (3) Gilbert gave Descartes a new view of natural motion. (shrink)