The purpose of this paper is to explore a possible resolution to one of the main objections to machine thought as propounded by Alan Turing in the imitation game that bears his name. That machines will, at some point, be able to think is the central idea of this text, a claim supported by a schema posited by Andy Clark and David Chalmers in their paper, “The Extended Mind” (1998). Their notion of active externalism is used to support, strengthen and (...) further what John Searle calls “the systems reply” to his objection to machine thought or strong Artificial Intelligence in his Chinese Room thought experiment. Relevant objections and replies to these objections are considered, then some conclusions about machine thought and the Turing test are examined. (shrink)
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)
This collection of ground-breaking essays considers the many dimensions of prayer: how prayer relates us to the divine; prayer's ability to reveal what is essential about our humanity; the power of prayer to transform human desire and action; and the relation of prayer to cognition. It takes up the meaning of prayer from within a uniquely phenomenological point of view, demonstrating that the phenomenology of prayer is as much about the character and boundaries of phenomenological analysis as it is about (...) the heart of religious life.The contributors: Michael F. Andrews, Bruce Ellis Benson, Mark Cauchi, Benjamin Crowe, Mark Gedney, Philip Goodchild, Christina M. Gschwandtner, Lissa McCullough, Cleo McNelly Kearns, Edward F. Mooney, B. Keith Putt, Jill Robbins, Brian Treanor, Merold Westphal, Norman Wirzba, Terence Wright and Terence and James R. Mensch. Bruce Ellis Benson is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College. He is the author of Graven Ideologies: Nietzsche, Derrida, and Marion on Modern Idolatry and The Improvisation of Musical Dialogue: A Phenomenology of Music. Norman Wirzba is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Georgetown College, Kentucky. He is the author of The Paradise of God and editor of The Essential Agrarian Reader. (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)
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)
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)
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 this nicely written book, Dale Murray critically discusses the moral rights posited by Robert Nozick in Anarchy, State, and Utopia. His focus is on these rights and not on Nozick's arguments about the justness of the state. He argues that Nozick's rights to compensation give rise to rights to government-financed health care and that Nozick should recognize a natural right to enough goods to ensure a reasonable chance of living a decent and meaningful life (if feasible for all). (...)Murray also discusses issues such as the role of invisible hand arguments, moralized conceptions of freedom, and the issue of whether just steps (transactions) preserve the justice of situations. (shrink)
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)
Abstract Over the course of his career, Murray Edelman made one of the few sustained attempts by a theoretically inclined political scientist to explore the effects of the public's overwhelming ignorance of politics. In his early work, he focused on political elites? manipulation of an ignorant public through the deployment of symbolism. In his later work, however, he suggested that even elites are the puppets of their ideologies. His early work has been well received; his later work has (...) gone largely unremarked. The reason may have to do with the very thing that Edelman was, in his later work, addressing: the (populist) ideological biases of his politically elite (academic) audience. (shrink)
This paper is a presentation and an interpretation of Murray Rothbard’s views on the relation between the fiscal necessities brought by war and interventionism in Money and Banking as read from his book A History of Money and Banking in the United States.
In a recent article in this journal, Michael Murray and Kurt Meyers offer us (among other things) two innovative and thought-provoking responses to the important question of why God would, even occasionally, refrain from giving us that which he can and would like to give us until we request that he do so: to help the believer learn more about God and thus become more like him and to help the believer realize she is dependent on God. I (...) argue that neither explanation is adequate and thus that more work on this significant topic remains to be done. (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)
I provide an exposition and critique of the ecological ethics of Murray Bookchin. First, I show how Bookchin draws on ecology and evolutionary biology to produce a mutually constraining cluster of ethical guidelines to underpin and justify his vision of a nonhierarchical, ecological society. I then critically examine Bookchin’s method of justification and the normative consequences that flow from his position. I argue that Bookchin’s enticing promise that his ecological ethics offers the widest realm of freedom to all life (...) forms is undermined by the way in which he distinguishes and privileges second nature (the human realm) over first nature (the nonhuman realm). I conclude that Bookchin’s promise can only be delivered by a biocentric philosophy (which he rejects) rather than by his own ecological ethics. (shrink)
Abstract Murray Edelman's work raised significant theoretical and methodological questions regarding the symbolic nature of politics, and specifically the role played by non?rational beliefs (those that lack real?world grounding) in the shaping of political preferences. According to Edelman, beneath an apparently functional and accountable democratic state lies a symbolic system that renders an ignorant public quiescent. The state, the media, civil society, interpersonal relations, even popular art are part of a mass spectacle kept afloat by empty symbolic beliefs. (...) However suggestive it is, the weaknesses of Edelman's theoretical and methodological approach, and the relative strengths of more recent research on the politics of cultural symbols, render Edelman's work unable to serve as either model or springboard for the contemporary study of political symbols. (shrink)
Charles Murray's political philosophy is utilitarian, individualist, and communitarian. The basis for his success in making these components cohere is his account of happiness, inspired by the motivation theory of Abraham Maslow. Murray claims that belonging to a community and self?respect (which on his analysis require a certain social commitment) are constituents of happiness. Hence utilitarians should attribute special value to community. He also argues that active national governments are inimical to the formation and functioning of (...) communities, and that communities are fostered by governments that observe the constraints of liberal individualism. (shrink)
Abstract For Murray Edelman, political realities are largely inaccessible to the public, save by the mediation of symbols generated by elites. Such symbols often create the illusion of political solutions to complex problems?solutions devised by experts, implemented by effective leaders, and undemonstrably successful in their results.
A lot of people owe kind words to Tom Murray. Not because they hurt his feelings, or because he is easily the nicest guy in bioethics. The debt stems from the palpable silence that accompanied the release of Murray's trenchant and beautiful book, TheWorthofaChild. Somehow, in the shuffle to write and rewrite books about cloning and octuplets and $50,000 eggs, Murray's astonishingly comprehensive treatment of the meaning of the parent–child relationship passed undetected across the radar screens of (...) virtually everyone who writes about reproduction and genetics. In the year since I read TheWorthofaChild, I have paused dozens of times while reading or listening to scholars lament the dearth of careful work on the changing nature of baby-making. Each time this happens I grow more surprised that Murray's Child, which is handsomely bound, well-indexed, and published in the best style by University of California Press, isn't mentioned. This review is one scholar's attempt to right the balance. TheWorthofaChild by Thomas Murray is the most rigorous, most even-handed, and most comprehensive book ever written about the ethical issues associated with making a baby. It is also a very good read, a sensitive and moving portrayal of the struggle to be good at making and raising a child. (shrink)
While the earlier work of Philip Kitcher, in particular The Advancement of Science (1993), continues to inform his more recent studies, such as Science, Truth, and Democracy (2001), there are significant "changes of opinion" from those articulated in the 1990s. One may even speak of two different stages in the configuration of epistemological proposals. An analysis, from an empiricist standpoint, of the shifts between one and the other indicates further evolution towards realist positions but much more modest ones than (...) those previously endorsed. Kitcher qualifies former individualism with an ensuing defence of pluralism, vital to his effort to develop a social epistemology. The present centrality of the achievement of a well-ordered science , one that promotes the common good within the context of democracies, encapsulates recent variation in the work of Kitcher and may be considered one of the author's most defendable proposals, even including its classically empiricist resonance. (shrink)
Efforts to retrieve John Courtney Murray's thought must address two questions: What has changed in the quarter-century since Murray's death? What resources does his oeuvre offer for the present situation? In examining Murray's contribution to current policy debates about church-state relations, I will first review the historically conscious methodology he drew upon and the details of his argument in favor of religious liberty. However, in the years since Murray wrote, American religious communities have been severely eroded, (...) with the consequence that Murray's argument no longer has the same force. I therefore propose a reformulation of the basis for religious freedom in order to take into account the need to maintain the social conditions necessary for the exercise of religious freedom. Such a reformulation has significant implications with regard to the question of public funding for religiously affiliated private schools. (shrink)
Se discute el proyecto de la "naturalización de la filosofía de la ciencia", a través de las teorías de Ronald Giere y Philip Kitcher. Ambas tienen en común la atención preferente que prestan a los procesos de decisión de los científicos individuales y la defensa de una concepción realista y racionalista de la ciencia. La comparación se lleva a cabo desde una triple perspectiva: su consideración como teorías darwinianas del desarrollo científico, su referencia a los modelos de la psicología (...) cognitiva, y su posible coherencia con la "tesis de la simetría" defendida por los sociólogos de la escuela de Edimburgo. (shrink)