Aristotle said that philosophy begins with wonder, and the first Western philosophers developed theories of the world which express simultaneously their sense of wonder and their intuition that the world should be comprehensible. But their enterprise was by no means limited to this proto-scientific task. Through, for instance, Heraclitus' enigmatic sayings, the poetry of Parmenides and Empedocles, and Zeno's paradoxes, the Western world was introduced to metaphysics, rationalist theology, ethics, and logic, by thinkers who often seem to be mystics (...) or shamans as much as philosophers or scientists in the modern mould. And out of the Sophists' reflections on human beings and their place in the world arose and interest in language, and in political, moral, and social philosophy. This volume contains a translation of all the most important fragments of the Presocratics and Sophists, and of the most informative testimonia from ancient sources, supplemented by lucid commentary. (shrink)
Beginning with the death of Socrates in 399 BC, and following the strand of philosophical inquiry through the centuries to recent figures such as Bertrand Russell and Wittgenstein, Bryan Magee's conversations with fifteen contemporary writers and philosophers provide an accessible and exciting account of Western philosophy and its greatest thinkers. With contributions from A. J. Ayer, Bernard Williams, Martha Nussbaum, Peter Singer, and John Searle, the book is not only an introduction to the philosophers of the past, but (...) gives an invaluable insight into the view and personalities of some of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. (shrink)
The great philosophers missed it, and here are the reasons why, how to bring them all up to date, a woman's take on things, with new categories and concepts, like love, oneness, the feminine, the earth, Spirit, the end of the old order, and the beginning of the new.
The suggestion that philosophers are responsible for global warming seems, on the face of it, absurd. However, that we might cause global warming has been known for over a century. If we had had in existence a more rigorous kind of academic inquiry devoted to promoting human welfare, giving priority to problems of living, humanity might have become aware of the dangers of global warming long ago, and might have taken steps to meet these dangers decades ago. That we (...) do not have academic inquiry of this type, giving priority to problems of living and able to warn humanity of the impending disaster of global warming, is the result of a philosophical mistake – a mistake about what constitutes rigorous intellectual inquiry. This is a mistake of philosophers. Thus philosophers, in failing to grasp the profound intellectual and humanitarian failings of academia as it is at present organized (the outcome of implementing a seriously defective philosophy of inquiry) can perhaps be said to be responsible for global warming. (shrink)
In this book, Marina McCoy explores Plato’s treatment of the rhetoric of philosophers and sophists through a thematic treatment of six different Platonic dialogues, including Apology, Protagoras, Gorgias, Republic, Sophist, and Phaedras. She argues that Plato presents the philosopher and the sophist as difficult to distinguish, insofar as both use rhetoric as part of their arguments. Plato does not present philosophy as rhetoric-free, but rather shows that rhetoric is an integral part of the practice of philosophy.
In this rich and detailed study of early modern women's thought, Jacqueline Broad explores the complexity of women's responses to Cartesian philosophy and its intellectual legacy in England and Europe. She examines the work of thinkers such as Mary Astell, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway and Damaris Masham, who were active participants in the intellectual life of their time and were also the respected colleagues of philosophers such as Descartes, Leibniz and Locke. She also illuminates the continuities (...) between early modern women's thought and the anti-dualism of more recent feminist thinkers. The result is a more gender-balanced account of early modern thought than has hitherto been available. Broad's clear and accessible exploration of this still-unfamiliar area will have a strong appeal to both students and scholars in the history of philosophy, women's studies, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
The 'Therapeutae' were a Jewish group of ascetic philosophers who lived outside Alexandria in the middle of the first century CE. They are described in Philo's treatise De Vita Contemplativa and have often been considered in comparison with early Christians, the Essenes, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. But who were they really? This study focuses particularly on issues of history, rhetoric, women, and gender in a wide exploration of the group, and comes to new conclusions about the 'Therapeutae' and (...) their relationship with the Jewish allegorical school of exegesis in Alexandria. The volume includes a new translation of De Vita Contemplativa. (shrink)
What better introduction to the world of philosophy than through the lives of its most prominent citizens. In The Philosophers, we are introduced to twenty-eight of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization, ranging from Aristotle and Plato to Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Sartre. An illustrious team of scholars takes us on a concise and illuminating tour of some of the most brilliant minds and enduring ideas in history. Here is Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics, Plato's cave of shadows, Schopenhauer's vision of reality (...) as blind, striving Will, Hegel's idea of the World Spirit, Bentham's principle of the Greatest Happiness, Mill's contributions to our understanding of liberty, William James's theory of the stream of consciousness, Husserl's phenomenology, and much more. Readers will find thoughtful discussions of everything from Kant's categorical imperative, to the Christian philosophies of Augustine, Aquinas, and Kierkegaard, to the materialism of Hobbes or Marx, to the modern--and quite different--philosophical systems of Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Each article is illustrated with a portrait of the philosopher, the contributors provide lists for further reading, and the volume includes a chronological table that gives valuable historical context. Here then is an authoritative and engaging guide to the ideas of the most notable philosophers, ranging from antiquity to the present day. The Philosophers shows how these great thinkers wrestled with the central problems of the human condition--with important questions of free will, morality, and the limits of logic and reason--as it illuminates their legacy for our time. (shrink)
The outstanding points of The Neglected Canon are that it provides a multicultural anthology of women philosophers: Chinese, European, North and Central American, that it provides a history of women philosophers through selected works from the first century to the beginning of the twentieth century, and that it provides unusual comprehensiveness in its bibliographies, biographies, and introductions to the works. In these three points it offers a more complete text than any yet on the market in this field. (...) Designed for the readership of the advanced college student, it serves as a classroom text for a course in women philosophers, as a supplementary text to introductory courses in philosophy, or in such specific courses as epistemology. It is also designed to serve as a resource for women's history and women's studies. (shrink)
In his article ‘Why Moral Philosophers Are Not and Should Not Be Moral Experts’ David Archard attempts to show that his argument from common-sense morality is more convincing than other competing arguments in the debate. I examine his main line of argumentation and eventually refute his main argument in my reply.
Major Philosophers of Jewish Prayer in the Twentieth Century addresses the troubling questions posed by the modern Jewish worshiper, including such obstacles to prayer as the inability to concentrate on the words and meanings of formal liturgy, the paucity of emotional involvement, the lack of theological conviction, the anthropomorphic and particularly the masculine emphasis of prayer nomenclature, and other matters. In assessing these difficultites, Cohen brings to the reader the writings on prayer of some seminal 20th century Jewish theologians. (...) These include Herman Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Avraham Yitzhak, Hoakohen Kook, Mordecai M. Kaplan, R. Arele, Aaron Rote, Elie Munk, Abraham J. Heschel, Jakob J. Petuchowski, Eugene B. Borowitz, and Lawrence A. Hoffman. (shrink)
A comprehensive update of the best-selling first edition, this revitalized new text presents readers with a series of clear, well-written entries focusing on fifty of the most influential philosophers from the last two thousand years. Chosen to present the traditional mainstream of European philosophy, the text also provides a critical survey that meets the needs of readers seeking a broad basic understanding as well as a foundation for further philosophical enquiry. Encompassing a wide range of ancient, medieval and modern (...)philosophers, features of the second edition include: * new entries on Dewey, Collingwood, Popper, Quine, Merleau-Ponty, Ayer and Rawls * a thorough revision of existing entries * a complete update of the further reading section * an expanded glossary * the addition of an alphabetical table of contents and an index for ease of use. Authoritative and highly readable, this book is a vital reference tool for all those wishing to improve their understanding of some of the worlds most fascinating intellectual figures. (shrink)
Pre-Socratics, physiologists, sages and sophists -- Platonists, Cyrenaics, Aristotelians and cynics -- Sceptics, stoics and epicureans -- Classical Chinese philosophers -- Romans (serious and ridiculous) and neoplatonists -- The deaths of Christian saints -- Medieval philosophers: Christian, Islamic, and Judaic -- Philosophy in the Latin Middle Ages -- Renaissance, Reformation and scientific revolution -- Rationalists (material and immaterial), empiricists and religious dissenters -- Philosophes, materialists and sentimentalists -- Many Germans and some non-Germans -- The masters of suspicion and (...) some unsuspicious Americans -- The long twentieth century I: philosophy in wartime -- The long twentieth century II: analytics, continentals, a few moribunds and a near-death experience. (shrink)
This book examines the philosophical foremothers of women’s philosophy and explores what their work may have to offer modern theorizing in feminist ethics. Through such writers as Catharine Macaulay, Mary Wollstonecraft, and George Eliot, Gardner interprets a varied selection of moral philosophers in an attempt both to contribute to our understanding of their work, and perhaps even to encourage other philosophers to interpretive work of their own. She also looks into the reasons such forms as novels, letters, and (...) poetry have often been assigned non-philosophical status, while they seem to be prevalent in the work of women philosophers from the history of philosophy. (shrink)
Karl Jaspers died in 1969, leaving unfinished his universal history of philosophy, a history organized around those philosophers who have influenced the course of human thought. The first two volumes of this work appeared in Jasper's lifetime the third and fourth have been gathered from the vast material of his posthumous papers. This is the fourth volume. Following his original plan of "promoting the happiness that comes of meeting great men and sharing in their thoughts," Jaspers discusses Descartes, a (...) pious Catholic who vacillated between rational philosophy and obedience to authority. Lessing, whose thought was clear, open-ended, experimental, hones. Pascal. Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Weber, who posed most penetratingly and urgently the "radical questionability of human Existenz." Marx was a dogmatic dreamer, and Einstein a great scientist, but limited in his insight into human existence. Jasper's method is personal, one of constant questioning and struggle, as he enters into dialogue iwth his "eternal contemporaries," the thinkers of the past. For he believes that it is only through communication with others that we come to ourselves and to wisdom. (shrink)
The twelve essays in this volume are not only introductions to some of the most influential thinkers in human history but are also invitations for the reader to participate in a living debate. "What is justice?" "What is truth?" These questions, first posed by Socrates two and a half millennia ago, have lost none of their power to baffle. And while many philosophers have claimed to answer them, ultimately the questions return, compelling us once again. The authors of these (...) essays are distinguished philosophers in their own right. They engage with philosophical ideas rather than merely relaying them. By choosing a specific aspect of their subject's work, they liberate the great philosophers from textbook cliche;s--revealing them in all their freshness and originality. (shrink)
A cautionary note -- Introduction -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau : the philosopher as victim -- Arthur Schopenhauer : the rebarbative bodhisattva -- Friedrich Nietzsche : a sickly Übermensch -- Feature : Nietzsche and Nazism -- Bertrand Russell : the mathematics of human behaviour -- Ludwig Wittgenstein : anger and asceticism -- Martin Heidegger : magician, predator, peasant and Nazi -- Feature : The Héloïse complex -- Jean-Paul Sartre : intellectual tyranny, charm and bad faith -- Feature : Women philosophers behaving (...) badly -- Michel Foucault : madness, sex and punishment -- Feature : Demetrius, philosopher king of Athens. (shrink)
Philosophic writing appears in a variety of genres, addressed to a variety of audiences; it appears nestled within distinctive 'enterprises' : Plato, Berkeley and Hume wrote dialogues; Augustine and Rousseau wrote autobiographical confessions; Mill and Bernard Williams wrote reports to Parliament; Boethius and Descartes wrote meditations; Bacon, Montaign and Hume wrote essays; Aquinas and our contemporaries contribte articles;Leibniz and Hume wrote histories' they all wrote letters and discourses.
“Between the earliest and the latest of the works included here, we have two hundred and fifty years of vigorous and adventurous philosophizing,” Monroe Beardsley writes in his Introduction to this collection. “If the modern period can be only vaguely or arbitrarily bounded, it can at least be studied, and we can ask whether any dominant themes, overall patterns of movement, or notable achievements can be found within it. This question is one that is best asked by the reader after (...) he has read, or read around in, these works.” This Modern Library Paperback Classic also includes a newly updated Bibliography. (shrink)
Homer (mid to late 8th century B.C.) : founder of western humanism -- Solon (630-560 B.C.) : poet, lawgiver, statesman -- Thales (early 6th century) : father of western science -- Sappho (612-580 B.C.) : poet on fire -- Pythagoras (mid-500s-496 B.C.) : mystic mathematician -- Parmenides (born c. 515 B.C.) : father of metaphysics and logic -- Themistocles (524-459 B.C.) : savior of the western world Phidias (490-430 B.C.) : lord of western aesthetics -- Gorgias (483-376 B.C.) : master (...) of the word -- Socrates (469-399 B.C.) : iconoclast and moral revolutionary -- Thucydides (460-399 B.C.) : true father of history -- Plato (427-347 B.C.) : fountainhead of western philosophy -- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) : polymathic genius -- Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) : disseminator of Greek culture -- Epicurus (341-270 B.C.) : physicist and ethician -- Zeno (335-263 B.C.) : stoic sage -- Galen (A.D. 129-199) : physician, scientist, philosopher --. (shrink)
Recent experimental philosophy arguments have raised trouble for philosophers' reliance on armchair intuitions. One popular line of response has been the expertise defense: philosophers are highly-trained experts, whereas the subjects in the experimental philosophy studies have generally been ordinary undergraduates, and so there's no reason to think philosophers will make the same mistakes. But this deploys a substantive empirical claim, that philosophers' training indeed inculcates sufficient protection from such mistakes. We canvass the psychological literature on expertise, (...) which indicates that people are not generally very good at reckoning who will develop expertise under what circumstances. We consider three promising hypotheses concerning what philosophical expertise might consist in: (i) better conceptual schemata; (ii) mastery of entrenched theories; and (iii) general practical know-how with the entertaining of hypotheticals. On inspection, none seem to provide us with good reason to endorse this key empirical premise of the expertise defense. (shrink)
There is an urgent need to bring about a revolution in the overall aims and methods of academic inquiry, its whole character and structure, so that it takes up its proper task of promoting wisdom rather than just acquiring knowledge. Academia as at present constituted has built into its institutions a momumental and very damaging philosophical blunder - one that most professional philosophers are blind to. This is little short of an intellectual scandal. It is time philosophers woke (...) up to their intellectual and humanitarian responsibilities. (shrink)
Beginning with a long and extensively rewritten introduction surveying the predecessors of the Presocratics, this book traces the intellectual revolution initiated by Thales in the sixth century B.C. to its culmination in the metaphysics of Parmenides and the complex physical theories of Anaxagoras and the Atomists in the fifth century it is based on a selection of some six hundred texts, in Greek and a close English translation which in this edition is given more prominence. These provide the basis for (...) a detailed critical study of the principal individual thinkers of the time. Besides serving as an essential text for undergraduate and graduate courses in Greek philosophy and in the history of science, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers with interests in philosophy, theology, the history of ideas and of the ancient world, and indeed to anyone who wants an authoritative account of the Presocratics. (shrink)
This volume presents twenty of the most important interviews the journal, Cogito conducted between 1987 and 1996. Covering a wide spectrum of intellectual inquiry, from logic to metaphysics to philosophy of mind, the interviews provide an excellent introduction to philosophy in the English speaking world at the end of the century. Interviews with: Michael Dummett Peter Strawson Alasdair MacIntyre David Gauthier Nancy Cartwright Mary Warnock Hilary Putnam Daniel Dennett Bernard Williams John Cottingham Willard Quine Stephen Korner Hugh Mellor Adam Morton (...) Jean Hampton Roger Scruton Richard Dawkins Richard Sorabji Derek Parfit Martha Nussbaum. (shrink)
This volume brings together for the first time thirteen recent interviews with the brightest names in contemporary philosophy, including W.V.O. Quine, Richard Rorty, Stanley Cavell, Hilary Putnam and John Rawls. The pieces are culled from the Harvard Review of Philosophy, which has operated at the core of Harvard's Philosophy Department since 1991. Covering wide range of topics from the philosophy of law to logic to metaphysics to literature, the interviews provide a fascinating introduction to some of the most influential thinkers (...) of the day. The book also includes a foreword by Thomas Scanlon. Interviews with Henry Alison, Stanley Cavell, Alan Dershowitz, Cora Diamond, Umberto Eco, Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., Alexander Nehemas, Hilary Putnam, W.V. Quine, John Rawls, Richard Rorty, Michael Sandel, Cornel West. (shrink)
Philosophy and history (with Jean Hyppolite) -- Philosophy and science (with Georges Canguilhem) -- Philosophy and sociology (with Raymond Aron) -- Philosophy and psychology (with Michel Foucault) -- Philosophy and language (with Paul Ricœur) -- Philosophy and truth (with Jean Hyppolite, Georges Canguilhem, Raymond Aron, Michel Foucault, Paul Ricœur, Alain Badiou and Dina Dreyfus) -- Philosophy and ethics (with Michel Henry) -- Model and structure (with Michel Serres) -- Teaching philosophy through television (with excerpts from Jean Hyppolite, Georges Canguilhem, Raymond (...) Aron, Michel Foucault and Paul Ricœur. Alain Badiou by telephone and Dina Dreyfus in the studio). (shrink)
Pythagoras -- Confucius -- Heracleitus -- Parmenides -- Zeno of Elea -- Socrates -- Democritus -- Plato -- Aristotle -- Mencius -- Zhuangzi -- Pyrrhon of Elis -- Epicurus -- Zeno of Citium -- Philo Judaeus -- Marcus Aurelius -- Nagarjuna -- Plotinus -- Sextus Empiricus -- Saint Augustine -- Hypatia -- Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius -- Śaṅkara -- Yaqūb ibn Ishāq aṣ-Ṣabāḥ al-Kindī -- Al-Fārābī -- Avicenna -- Rāmānuja -- Ibn Gabirol -- Saint Anselm of Canterbury -- al-Ghazālī -- (...) Peter Abelard -- Averroës -- Zhu Xi -- Moses Maimonides -- Ibn al-'Arabī -- Shinran -- Saint Thomas Aquinas -- John Duns Scotus -- William of Ockham -- Niccolò Machiavelli -- Wang Yangming -- Francis Bacon, Viscount Saint Alban (or Albans), Baron of Verulam -- Thomas Hobbes -- René Descartes -- John Locke -- Benedict de Spinoza -- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz -- Giambattista Vico -- George Berkeley -- Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu -- David Hume -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau -- Immanuel Kant -- Moses Mendelssohn -- Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet -- Jeremy Bentham -- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel -- Arthur Schopenhauer -- Auguste Comte -- John Stuart Mill -- Søren Kierkegaard -- Karl Marx -- Herbert Spencer -- Wilhelm Dilthey -- William James -- Friedrich Nietzsche -- Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege -- Edmund Husserl -- Henri Bergson -- John Dewey -- Alfred North Whitehead -- Benedetto Croce -- Nishida Kitarō -- Bertrand Russell -- G.E. Moore -- Martin Buber -- Ludwig Wittgenstein -- Martin Heidegger -- Rudolf Carnap -- Sir Karl Popper -- Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno -- Jean-Paul Sartre -- Hannah Arendt -- Simone de Beauvoir -- Willard Van Orman Quine -- Sir A.J. Ayer -- Wilfrid Sellars -- John Rawls -- Thomas S. Kuhn -- Michel Foucault -- Noam Chomsky -- Jürgeb Gabernas -- Sir Bernard Williams -- Jacques Derrida -- Richard Rorty -- Robert Nozick -- Saul Kripke -- David Kellogg Lewis -- Peter (Albert David) Singer. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; 1. Inclusion and identity; 2. Contesting competence: the ideal of self-determination; 3. Expertise and authority in the early church; 4. Defining the circle of sophists: Philostratus and the construction of the Second Sophistic; 5. Becoming orthodox: heresiology as self-fashioning; 6. Successions and self-definition; 7. 'From such mothers and fathers': succession narratives in early Christian discourse.
Greek ways of thinking -- Matter and form: (ionians and pythagoreans) -- The problem of motion: (Heraclitus, Parmenides and the pluralists) -- The reaction towards humanism: (the Sophists and Socrates) -- Plato (I): the doctrine of ideas -- Plato (II): ethical and theological answers to the sophists -- Aristotle (I): the aristotelian universe -- Aristotle (II): human beings.
This paper presents the history of the Frankfurt School’s inclusion of normative concerns in social science research programs during the period 1930-1955. After examining the relevant methodology, I present a model of how such a program could look today. I argue that such an approach is both valuable to contemporary social science programs and overlooked by current philosophers and social scientists.
From young children, with their guileless, searching questions, to the recently bereaved, trying to make sense of tragic loss, humans wrestle with our relationship to God--and with God's essence, motivations, and power--throughout our lives: Why does God permit catastrophe and senseless tragedy, again and again? Is God's power limited in any way? Can He change the past? Does He know the future? Why does God require prayer? Why does He not provide stronger evidence of His presence? Whom does God consign (...) to hell, and why? Does God change? Suffer? What can we make of the conflicting diversity within world religions, of the many gods of different religious traditions? Such questions engage, confront, and perplex us on a daily basis. In this rich, concise volume, leading philosophers who have long pondered God's nature and ways take on these core problems and present their findings in a manner likely to engage believer and non-believer, general reader and specialist alike. (shrink)
The advent of distinctively Modern European philosophy at the turn of the seventeenth century was occasioned by two major developments: the painful recognition after thirty years of religious war that principles of public conduct must be justified independently of sectarian religious dogma; and the growth of natural science, especially discoveries in astronomy that linked terrestrial and celestial physics in a newly mathematicized, explanatory mechanics founded by Galileo and dramatically extended by Newton. The roles of reason and empirical evidence in inquiry, (...) and their superiority to custom and tradition for knowledge of nature were undeniable, though their respective roles and proper epistemological accounting were far from obvious. I review briefly some key points in the advent of natural science in order show that some fundamental philosophical predilections have obscured the proper roles of reason and evidence in the philosophical accounting of scientific knowledge. These predilections are found both among rationalists and among empiricists. Though they may be more readily apparent among seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophers, they are no less prevalent in mainstream analytical philosophy of science. Their diagnosis augurs a fundamental philosophical reorientation, a reorientation inaugurated, indeed, by Hegel. (shrink)
What are the philosophical views of contemporary professional philosophers? Are more philosophers theists or atheists? Physicalists or non-physicalists? Deontologists, consequentialists, or virtue ethicists? We surveyed many professional philosophers in order to help determine the answers to these and other questions. This article documents the results.
Recently psychologists and experimental philosophers have reported findings showing that in some cases ordinary people's moral intuitions are affected by factors of dubious relevance to the truth of the content of the intuition. Some defend the use of intuition as evidence in ethics by arguing that philosophers are the experts in this area, and philosophers' moral intuitions are both different from those of ordinary people and more reliable. We conducted two experiments indicating that philosophers and non- (...) class='Hi'>philosophers do indeed sometimes have different moral intuitions, but challenging the notion that philosophers have better or more reliable intuitions. (shrink)
In the essay, I compare the aims and especially the methods of philosophers and grammarians. It transpires that there are several interesting similarities to be found with the method and aim in particular of traditional 'armchair philosophers'. I argue that these similarities go far enough to suggest that if armchair philosophers' method is in a state of challenge, as is claimed by a number of experimental philosophers, then the same can be said about the method of (...) grammarians. However, I also try to show that it is not easy for experimental philosophers to frame their critique in a way that avoids construing its target too broadly, which would lead to unacceptable consequences. I conclude with some brief remarks on the extent to which a properly targeted critique can provide a challenge for traditional philosophical method. (shrink)
Artificial life (ALife) is the attempt to create artificial instances of life in a variety of media, but primarily within the digital computer. As such, the field brings together computationally-minded biologists and biologically-minded computer scientists. I argue that this new field is filled with interesting philosophical issues. However, there is a dearth of philosophers actively conducting research in this area. I discuss two books on the new field: Margaret A. Boden's The philosophy of artificial life and Christopher G. Langton's (...) Artificial life: an overview. They cover three areas of philosophical interest: the definition of life, the relationship between life and mind, and the possibility of creating life within a computational environment. This discussion allows me to critique past work in the philosophy of ALife that tends to see the field as a proving ground for traditional arguments from the philosophy of artificial intelligence. Instead, I suggest, what is interesting about ALife is how it differs from artificial intelligence and that the most interesting philosophical issues in the area are those derived from biology, not psychology. I recommend that these two books taken together constitute an interesting introduction to ALife and the wealth of philosophical issues found therein. (shrink)
In a world allegedly lacking a moral compass, tolerance has become the major virtue of our time. All profess to be tolerant, but how tolerant are we in reality? As a case in point, how tolerant are philosophers themselves? A short overview of philosophy seems to suggest that they are less tolerant than one might imagine. A few reasons for this are provided : on the one hand, their commitment to issues of truth, logic and argument makes them perhaps (...) intolerant of what they view as blatantly absurd or flawed views; on the other hand, the often very ideological nature of philosophy itself does its part to make philosophers less open to differing or opposite points of view. (shrink)
I examine Plato's claim in the Republic that philosophers must rule in a good city and Aristotle's attitude towards this claim in his early, and little discussed, work, the Protrepticus. I argue that in the Republic, Plato's main reason for having philosophers rule is that they alone understand the role of philosophical knowledge in a good life and how to produce characters that love such knowledge. He does not think that philosophic knowledge is necessary for getting right the (...) vast majority of judgments about actions open to assessment as virtuous or vicious. I argue that in the Protrepticus Aristotle accepts similar reasons for the rule of philosophers, but goes beyond the Republic and seems to suggest that philosophic knowledge is required for getting right ethical and political judgments in general. I close by noting some connections with Aristotle's later views in the Eudemian Ethics, the Nicomachean Ethics, and the Politics. Footnotesa For comments on an earlier draft of this paper, I thank the other contributors to this volume, as well as Aditi Iyer and Rachana Kamtekar. (shrink)
Philosophers since Aristotle have explored emotion, and the study of emotion has always been essential to the love of wisdom. In recent years Anglo-American philosophers have rediscovered and placed new emphasis on this very old discipline. The view that emotions are ripe for philosophical analysis has been supported by a considerable number of excellent publications. In this volume, Robert Solomon brings together some of the best Anglo-American philosophers now writing on the philosophy of emotion, with chapters from (...)philosophers who have distinguished themselves in the field of emotion research and have interdisciplinary interests, particularly in the social and biological sciences. The reader will find a lively variety of positions on topics such as the nature of emotion, the category of "emotion," the rationality of emotions, the relationship between an emotion and its expression, the relationship between emotion, motivation, and action, the biological nature versus social construction of emotion, the role of the body in emotion, the extent of freedom and our control of emotions, the relationship between emotion and value, and the very nature and warrant of theories of emotion. In addition, this book acknowledges that it is impossible to study the emotions today without engaging with contemporary psychology and the neurosciences, and moreover engages them with zeal. Thus the essays included here should appeal to a broad spectrum of emotion researchers in the various theoretical, experimental, and clinical branches of psychology, in addition to theorists in philosophy, philosophical psychology, moral psychology, and cognitive science, the social sciences, and literary theory. (shrink)
We all can identify many contemporary philosophy professors we know to be theists of some type or other. We also know that often enough their nontheistic beliefs are as epistemically upstanding as the non-theistic beliefs of philosophy professors who aren’t theists. In fact, the epistemic-andnon-theistic lives of philosophers who are theists are just as epistemically upstanding as the epistemic-and-non-theistic lives of philosophers who aren’t theists. Given these and other, similar, facts, there is good reason to think that the (...) pro-theistic beliefs of theistic philosophers are frequently epistemically upstanding. Given their impeccable epistemic credentials on non-theistic matters, the amount of careful thought that lies behind their theism, the large size of the community of philosophical theists, as well as other, similar facts, it would be surprising if all or even most of their pro-theistic beliefs were epistemically blameworthy in some or other signicant sense tied to charges such as ‘He should know better than to believe that’ (so mere false belief need not be blameworthy in this sense; the use of ‘blameworthy’ will be claried below). Of course some of the pro-theistic beliefs of some theistic philosophers are epistemically blameworthy; the mere large numbers of fallible theistic philosophers almost guarantees it. My point here is that it would be unexpected if most of the pro-theistic beliefs of theistic philosophers were epistemically blameworthy. (shrink)
“Identity disorders” constitute a large class of psychiatric disturbances that, due to deviant forms of self-modeling, result in dramatic changes in the patients’ phenomenal experience of their own personal identity. The phenomenal experience of selfhood and transtemporal identity can vary along an extremely large number of dimensions: There are simple losses of content (for example, complete losses of proprioception, resulting in a “bodiless” state of self-consciousness, see Cole 1995, Gallagher and Cole 1995, Sacks 1998). There are also various typologies of (...) phenomenal disintegration as in schizophrenia, in depersonalization disorders and in_ Dissociative Identity Disorder_ (DID), sometimes accompanied by multiplications of the phenomenal self within one and the same physical system. It is important to not only analyze these state-classes in terms of functional deficits or phenomenology alone, but as _self-representational _content as well. For instance, in the second type of cases just mentioned, we confront major redistributions of the phenomenal property of "mineness” in representational space, of what is sometimes also called the “sense of ownership”. Finally, there are at least four different delusions of misidentification (DM1; namely Capgras syndrome, Frégoli syndrome, intermetamorphosis, reverse intermetamorphosis and reduplicative paramnesia). Being a philosopher, I will discuss two particular types of identity disorder
in this contribution - disorders, which are of direct philosophical relevance: A specific form of DM, and the Cotard delusion. Why should philosophers do this? And why should psychiatrists care? (shrink)
In this paper I examine the question of whether ethicists are moral experts. I call people moral experts if their moral judgments are correct with high probability and for the right reasons. I defend three theses, while developing a version of the coherence theory of moral justification based on the differences between moral and nonmoral experience: The answer to the question of whether there are moral experts depends on the answer to the question of how to justify moral judgments. Deductivism (...) and the coherence theory both provide some support for the opinion that moral experts exist in some way. I maintain – within the framework of a certain kind of coherence theory – that moral philosophers are 'semi-experts'. (shrink)
The paper is concerned with John Searle’s famous Chinese room argument. Despite being objected to by some, Searle’s Chinese room argument appears very appealing. This is because Searle’s argument is based on an intuition about the mind that ‘we’ all seem to share. Ironically, however, Chinese philosophers don’t seem to share this same intuition. The paper begins by first analysing Searle’s Chinee room argument. It then introduces what can be seen as the (implicit) Chinese view of the mind. Lastly, (...) it demonstrates a conceptual difference between Chinese and Western philosophy with respect to the notion of mind. Thus, it is shown that one must carefully attend to the presuppositions underlying Chinese philosophising in interpreting Chinese philosophers. (shrink)
The overaraching goal of this paper is to elucidate the nature of superselection rules in a manner that is accessible to philosophers of science and that brings out the connections between superselection and some of the most fundamental interpretational issues in quantum physics. The formalism of von Neumann algebras is used to characterize three different senses of superselection rules (dubbed, weak, strong, and very strong) and to provide useful necessary and sufficient conditions for each sense. It is then shown (...) how the Haag–Kastler algebraic approach to quantum physics holds the promise of a uniform and comprehensive account of the origin of superselection rules. Some of the challenges that must be met before this promise can be kept are discussed. The focus then turns to the role of superselection rules in solutions to the measurement problem and the emergence of classical properties. It is claimed that the role for “hard” superselection rules is limited, but “soft” (a.k.a. environmental) superselection rules or N. P. Landsman’s situational superselection rules may have a major role to play. Finally, an assessment is given of the recently revived attempts to deconstruct superselection rules. (shrink)
I address this talk to anyone who believes in the possibility of an informative empirical science about sensory qualities. Potentially this is a large audience. By "sensory quality" I mean those qualities manifest in various sensory experiences: color, taste, smell, touch, pain, and so on. We should include sensory modalities humans do not share, such as electro-reception in fish, echolocation in bats, or the skylight compass in birds. Those pursuing empirical science about this large domain might pursue it in the (...) halls of experimental psychology, psycho-physics, psychometrics, psycho-physiology, sensory physiology, neuroscience, neuro-biology, comparative psychology, neuro-anatomy, and so on and on. These days even molecular genetics has kicked in with some notable recent contributions to the sequencing of genes for photopigments and for olfactory receptors. But to all those investigators in all those halls I bring bad news. Your discipline is _a priori_ impossible. Philosophers whom you do not know have uncovered _a priori_ proofs that empirical investigation which proceeds along the lines currently underway, or which will proceed along lines that are currently _imaginable_, does not, will not, and cannot explain the sensory qualities of experience. Or at least so they say. You might as well give up now. (shrink)
Four Phenomenological Philosophers is the first book to examine the major texts of the leading figures of phenomenology in one volume. In separate chapters, the book explores the ideas of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty with detailed readings of their most important texts. The constantly evolving ideas of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, are presented through a review of the three major periods of his work. Martin Heidegger, who made a decisive and controversial break (...) with his teacher, Husserl, set forth his own phenomenological program in Being and Time. Jean-Paul Sartre, who transplanted the tradition from its origins in Germany to the streets of Paris, set forth his existential phenomenology in Being and Nothingness. The Phenomenology of Perception was the best and most representative work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a contemporary of Sartre whose career was cut short by his early death. A knowledge of these key thinkers and their major texts is essential to an understanding of many of the major themes of contemporary philosophy, from hermeneutics and existentialism to postmodernism and deconstructivism. This book provides the ideal introduction to this important philosophical tradition. (shrink)
How is it possible for a physical thing--a person, an animal, a robot--to extract knowledge of the world from perception and then exploit that knowledge in the guidance of successful action? That is a question with which philosophers have grappled for generations, but it could also be taken to be one of the defining questions of Artificial Intelligence. AI is, in large measure, philosophy. It is often directly concerned with instantly recognizable philosophical questions: What is mind? What is meaning? (...) What is reasoning, and rationality? What are the necessary conditions for the recognition of objects in perception? How are decisions made and justified? (shrink)
In education there is a concern that science teachers misrepresent the nature of science to students. An assumption that is implicit in this concern is that science teachers should be teaching the philosophy of science as it is understood by philosophers. This paper argues that both philosophers and science teachers misrepresent science when they engage in their respective disciplines, and it is evident the two misrepresentations are of different types. In philosophy, the misrepresentation is of a philosophical-epistemological nature (...) where advocates of particular views maintain that advocates of other views misinterpret the nature of science. In education, the misrepresentation is of a cognitive, teaching nature where teachers'' practical interpretations are not congruent with philosophers'' interpretations of science. The discrepancy that exists between the two misrepresentations is due to the intentions of the two disciplines, and assuming that science teachers should teach a philosophically coherent interpretation of the nature of science is an over-simplification of the problem. The concepts of espoused theories and theories-in-use are used to link the two interpretations of science and provide suggestions for future research that may help clarify misrepresentations of science in science education. (shrink)
We have now celebrated the centenary of J. J. Thomson’s famous paper (1897) on the electron and have examined one hundred years of the history of our first fundamental particle. What should philosophers of science learn from this history? To some, the fundamental moral is already suggested by the rapid pace of this history. Thomson’s concern in 1897 was to demonstrate that cathode rays are electrified particles and not aetherial vibrations, the latter being the “almost unanimous opinion of German (...) physicists” (p. 293) But were these German physicists so easily vanquished? De Broglie proposed in 1923 that electrons are a wave phenomenon after all and his proposal was soon multiply vindicated, even by the detection of the diffraction of the electron waves. Should we not learn from such a reversal? Should we not dispense with the simple-minded idea that Thomson discovered our first fundamental particle and admit that the very notion of discovery might well be ill-suited to science? (shrink)