The existence of predatory animals is a problem in animal ethics that is often not taken as seriously as it should be. We show that it reveals a weakness in Tom Regan's theory of animal rights that also becomes apparent in his treatment of innocent human threats. We show that there are cases in which Regan's justice-prevails-approach to morality implies a duty not to assist the jeopardized, contrary to his own moral beliefs. While a modified account of animal rights that (...) recognizes the moral patient as a kind of entity that can violate moral rights avoids this counterintuitive conclusion, it makes non-human predation a rights issue that morally ought to be subjected to human regulation. Jennifer Everett, Lori Gruen and other animal advocates base their treatment of predation in part on Regan's theory and run into similar problems, demonstrating the need to radically rethink the foundations of the animal rights movement. We suggest to those who, like us, find it less plausible to introduce morality to the wild than to reject the concept of rights that makes this move necessary to read our criticism either as a modus tollens argument and reject non-human animal rights altogether or as motivating a libertarian-ish theory of animal rights. (shrink)
In an earlier article (see J Gen Philos Sei (2009) 40: 357-372) I have discussed the arguments brought forward by Michael Wolff against the interpretation given in the commentary by Ebert and Nortmann on Aristotle's syllogistic theory (Aristoteles Analy tica Priora Buch I, übersetzt und erläutert von Theodor Ebert und Ulrich Nortmann. Berlin 2007) and against the critique of Kant's adaption of the syllogistic logic. I have dealt with Wolff's arguments concerning (Ebert/Nortmann's interpretation of) Aristotle in the (...) paper mentioned and with his attempts to defend his critique in this subsequent article (part 1; see J Gen Phils Sei (2010) 41: 215-231). Part 2 (the paper below) is concerned with Wolffs renewed attempts to defend Kant as a logician. In particular I point out that if, as Wolff claims, the nota notae relation in Kant is restricted to subordinated concepts, then it can hardly serve as a principle for syllogistic logic, as Kant claims. Against Wolff's attempts to defend Kant's claim that o-propositions are simplicitér convertible, I point out two arguments: (1) Even if Kant, following the Vernunftlehre by Meier, has assumed that an o-proposition can be turned into an i-proposition, this conversion is useless for the reduction to first figure syllogisms since we are no longer dealing with three syllogistic terms but with four. (2) It is quite unlikely that Kant has a conversion of this type in mind since the texts of his students always talk of the group of either the particular propositions or else of the negative propositions. Given Kant's mistakes concerning the convertibility simpliciter of o-propositions, it is no wonder that he overlooks the special status of the moods Baroco and Bocardo. Wolffs attempts to provide Kant with what he claims are direct proofs for these moods can be shown to rely on a reductio ad impossibile. Kant mistook what are parts of the proofs for the validity of moods in figures two to four as parts of these moods themselves. Wolff—who tries to defend Kant on this point—is forced to an artificial and unconvincing reading of the Kantian texts. (shrink)
In this paper I will argue that Boghossian's explanation of how we can acquire a priori knowledge of logical principles through implicit definitions commits a transmission of warrant-failure. To this end, I will briefly outline Boghossian's account, followed by an explanation of what a transmission of warrant-failure consists in. I will also show that this charge is independent of the worry of rule-circularity which has been raised concerning the justification of logical principles and of which Boghossian is fully aware. My (...) argument comes in two steps: firstly, I will argue for the insufficiency of Boghossian's template which is meant to explain how a subject can acquire a warrant for logical principles. I will show however that this insufficiency of his template can be remedied by adopting what I call the Disquotational Step. Secondly, I will argue that incorporating this further step makes his template subject to a transmission of warrant-failure, assuming that certain rather basic and individually motivated principles hold. Thus, Boghossian's account faces a dilemma: either he adopts the Disquotational Step and subjects his account to the charge of a transmission of warrant-failure, or he drops this additional step leaving the account confronted with explaining the gap that has previously been highlighted. I will then suggest various rejoinders that Boghossian might adopt but none of which - I will argue - can resolve the dilemma. Lastly, I will raise and briefly discuss the question whether this worry generalizes to other accounts, such as Hale and Wright's that aim to explain our knowledge of logic and/or mathematics in virtue of implicit definitions. (shrink)
In 1885, Georg Cantor published his review of Gottlob Frege's Grundlagen der Arithmetik . In this essay, we provide its first English translation together with an introductory note. We also provide a translation of a note by Ernst Zermelo on Cantor's review, and a new translation of Frege's brief response to Cantor. In recent years, it has become philosophical folklore that Cantor's 1885 review of Frege's Grundlagen already contained a warning to Frege. This warning is said to concern the defectiveness (...) of Frege's notion of extension. The exact scope of such speculations varies and sometimes extends as far as crediting Cantor with an early hunch of the paradoxical nature of Frege's notion of extension. William Tait goes even further and deems Frege 'reckless' for having missed Cantor's explicit warning regarding the notion of extension. As such, Cantor's purported inkling would have predated the discovery of the Russell-Zermelo paradox by almost two decades. In our introductory essay, we discuss this alleged implicit (or even explicit) warning, separating two issues: first, whether the most natural reading of Cantor's criticism provides an indication that the notion of extension is defective; second, whether there are other ways of understanding Cantor that support such an interpretation and can serve as a precisification of Cantor's presumed warning. (shrink)
This paper discusses the neo-logicist approach to the foundations of mathematics by highlighting an issue that arises from looking at the Bad Company objection from an epistemological perspective. For the most part, our issue is independent of the details of any resolution of the Bad Company objection and, as we will show, it concerns other foundational approaches in the philosophy of mathematics. In the first two sections, we give a brief overview of the "Scottish" neo-logicist school, present a generic form (...) of the Bad Company objection and introduce an epistemic issue connected to this general problem that will be the focus of the rest of the paper. In the third section, we present an alternative approach within philosophy of mathematics, a view that emerges from Hilbert's Grundlagen der Geometrie (1899, Leipzig: Teubner; Foundations of geometry (trans.: Townsend, E.). La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1959.). We will argue that Bad Company-style worries, and our concomitant epistemic issue, also affects this conception and other foundationalist approaches. In the following sections, we then offer various ways to address our epistemic concern, arguing, in the end, that none resolves the issue. The final section offers our own resolution which, however, runs against the foundationalist spirit of the Scottish neo-logicist program. (shrink)
This paper raises and then discusses a puzzle concerning the ontological commitments of mathematical principles. The main focus here is Hume's Principle—a statement that, embedded in second-order logic, allows for a deduction of the second-order Peano axioms. The puzzle aims to put pressure on so-called epistemic rejectionism, a position that rejects the analytic status of Hume's Principle. The upshot will be to elicit a new and very basic disagreement between epistemic rejectionism and the neo-Fregeans, defenders of the analytic status of (...) Hume's Principle, which will provide a new angle from which properly to assess and re-evaluate the current debate. (shrink)
In this short letter to Ed Zalta we raise a number of issues with regards to his version of Neo-Logicism. The letter is, in parts, based on a longer manuscript entitled “What Neo-Logicism could not be” which is in preparation. A response by Ed Zalta to our letter can be found on his website: http://mally.stanford.edu/publications.html (entry C3).
forthcoming in M. McNamee (ed) Philosophy, Risk and Adventure Sports, Routledge The final draft of a co-authored article with Simon Robertson (Leeds). In this paper we examine a recent version of an old controversy within climbing ethics. Our organising topic is the ‘bolting’….
This paper introduces and evaluates two contemporary approaches of neo-logicism. Our aim is to highlight the diﬀerences between these two neo-logicist programmes and clarify what each projects attempts to achieve. To this end, we ﬁrst introduce the programme of the Scottish school – as defended by Bob Hale and Crispin Wright1 which we believe to be a..
A co-authored article with Roy T. Cook forthcoming in a special edition on the Caesar Problem of the journal Dialectica. We argue against the appeal to equivalence classes in resolving the Caesar Problem.
In this paper we examine a recent version of an old controversy within climbing ethics. Our organising topic is the ‘bolting’ of climbing routes, in particular the increasing bolting of routes in those wilderness areas climbing traditionalists have customarily believed should remain bolt-free. The issues this raises extend beyond the ethical, however, encompassing a wider normative field that concerns individual ideals, the values and goals of different climbing practices and communities, as well as various aesthetic and environmental matters. This makes (...) any assessment of the acceptability of bolting a complex affair, requiring not only the identification of relevant considerations and arguments but also some way to evaluate their comparative significance. (shrink)
In this paper, we discuss the fact that not only adverbially quantified sentences with singular indefinites or bare plurals but also ones containing plural definites show Quantificational Variability Effects (QVEs), that is, they receive readings according to which the quantificational force of the respective DP seems to depend on the quantificational force of the Q-adverb. We show that if the Q-adverb is a frequency adverb like usually, there is strong evidence that QVEs come about as indirect effects of a quantification (...) over situations. This conclusion is based on the fact that in such cases the availability of QVEs is constrained in ways that have no parallel in sentences containing adverbs of quantity like for the most part or quantificational DPs instead of frequency adverbs. We show that these constraints can be derived from plausible assumptions about how the situations to be quantified over are constrained: they have to be located in time on the basis of the most specific locally available information, and their running times are not allowed to overlap. (shrink)
Recollection' in the "meno." it is argued that recollection is used as a metaphor, though not one for a priori knowledge: the point of comparison is the analogy between the processes of learning in the sense of coming to know from an error and recollecting something one has forgotten. Recollecting in this sense as well as correcting an error implies the becoming aware of a lack of knowledge previously unnoticed. It is shown that the geometry lesson (82b9-85b7) is intended to (...) bring out this analogy. It is argued further that the error to be corrected by the staging of the geometry lesson is an error of meno's concerning the nature of knowledge. It is finally argued that socrates' speech in 81a5-d5 is a parody of a gorgian speech and that the learning-is-recollection statement in this passage is an allegorical conceit in the manner of gorgias and empedocles. (shrink)
When perceiving a face, we can easily decide whether it belongs to a human or non-human primate. It is thought that face information is represented by neurons in the macaque temporal cortex. However, the precise encoding mechanisms used by these neurons remain unclear. Here we use face stimuli of humans, monkeys and monkey-human hybrids (morphs) to gain a better understanding of these mechanisms, in particular of the categorization of faces into different species, and how learning affects representation of these stimuli.
Mark Lloyd Taylor in God is Love: A Study in the Theology of Karl Rahner charges that Rahner’s understanding of the essential immutability of God renders his theology incoherent. For Taylor, Rahner’s assertion of God’s essential immutability prevents him from cartying through in a consistent manner the methodological turn to the subject which is at the heart of his theological project. An assessment of the validity of Taylor’s process-informed critique requires a careful examination of Rahner’s understanding of analogy. Analogy, for (...) Rahner is not based on a conceptual or semantic distinction but on the ontological constitution of human transcendence. From Rahner’s perspective, Taylor’s critique is faulty because it springs from an impoverished view of Being and a diminished sense of the radical nature of human transcendence. While Taylor’s critique does not undermine Rahner’s position, it alerts one to the propensity of his position to generate substantialized interpretations and, at times, Rahner’s own tendency to dissolve too quickly dialectical tensions within his position. (shrink)
The paper deals with the characterization of a class of social welfare orderings. The social evaluation functions which represent these orderings are separable in the components of the ordered utility vector. The characterization is based on the Strong Pareto Property, Co-cardinality, Continuity and a new Independence Property. Since this class encompasses the utilitarian rule and since there are members of this family which almost coincide with the rules of rank dictatorship this family bridges the gap between pure utilitarianism and rank (...) dictatorship. (shrink)
This essay examines the role of friendship in the realization of aristotle's conception of happiness or "eudaimonia". i argue that friendship serves most importantly as the epistemological tool by which the individual recognizes himself as happy. the essay also concludes that, while friends play a part in the attainment of "eudaimonia", the individual, himself, the only one who can actualize his potential to be happy.
The article demonstrates that the dominance approach—often used for the measurement of welfare in a population in which there are different household types (see e.g., Atkinson and Bourguignon, Arrow and the foundations of the theory of economic policy, 350–370, 1987)—can be based on explicit value judgments on the households’ living standard. We define living standard by equivalent income (functions) and consider classes of inequality averse social welfare functions: Welfare increases if the inequality of living standard is decreased. In this framework, (...) we suggest three new dominance criteria and obtain characterizations of second degree stochastic dominance and of two criteria proposed by Bourguignon (Journal of Econometrics 42:67–80, 1989). (shrink)
This article explores whether the notion of the decent society as a normative concept is applicable under late modern conditions of normative pluralization and individualization. My argument is that the strength of the concept does not primarily lie in its descriptive value. It is rather a ‘utopian horizon’ against which aspects of societies can be analysed. This analytical value can tell us something about the state of various facets of social life. Having to cope with pluralization, individuals are increasingly required (...) to negotiate ambiguous and contradictory norms. It is this negotiation process that defines to a large extent various aspects of contemporary individualization. However, the fact that an individualized negotiation process occurs neither means that this process is characterized by decency nor produces by default a decent society nor a genuine sense of social integration. Thus, I argue that the concept ‘decency’ can make a qualitative addition to normative negotiation processes and thus in terms of social integration. (shrink)
This article presents a characterization of higher-order risk preferences such as prudence or temperance in terms of statistical moments. Our results, which are generalizations of Roger (Theory Decis, 70(1):27–44, 2011) and Ekern (Econ Lett, 6(4), 329–333, 1980), give a better understanding of how higher-order risk preferences relate to skewness preference and kurtosis aversion. While they are not based on expected utility theory, an implication within that theory is that all commonly used utility functions exhibit skewness preference and kurtosis aversion.