In the first part of chapter 2 of book II of the Physics Aristotle addresses the issue of the difference between mathematics and physics. In the course of his discussion he says some things about astronomy and the ‘ ‘ more physical branches of mathematics”. In this paper I discuss historical issues concerning the text, translation, and interpretation of the passage, focusing on two cruxes, ( I ) the first reference to astronomy at 193b25–26 and ( II ) the reference (...) to the more physical branches at 194a7–8. In section I, I criticize Ross’s interpretation of the passage and point out that his alteration of ( I ) has no warrant in the Greek manuscripts. In the next three sections I treat three other interpretations, all of which depart from Ross's: in section II that of Simplicius, which I commend; in section III that of Thomas Aquinas, which is importantly influenced by a mistranslation of ( II ), and in section IV that of Ibn Rushd, which is based on an Arabic text corresponding to that printed by Ross. In the concluding section of the paper I describe the modern history of the Greek text of our passage and translations of it from the early twelfth century until the appearance of Ross's text in 1936. (Published Online August 10 2006) Footnotes1 This paper was prepared as the basis of a presentation at a conference entitled “Writing and rewriting the history of science, 1900–2000,” Les Treilles, France, September, 2003, organized by Karine Chemla and Roshdi Rashed. I have compared Aristotle's and Ptolemy's views of the relationship between astronomy and physics in a paper called “Astrologogeômetria and astrophysikê in Aristotle and Ptolemy,” presented at a conference entitled “Physics and mathematics in Antiquity,” Leiden, The Netherlands, June, 2004, organized by Keimpe Algra and Frans de Haas. For a discussion of Hellenistic views of this relationship see Ian Mueller, “Remarks on physics and mathematical astronomy and optics in Epicurus, Sextus Empiricus, and some Stoics,” in Philippa Lang (ed.), Re-inventions: Essays on Hellenistic and Early Roman Science, Apeiron 37, 4 (2004): 57–87. I would like to thank two anonymous readers of this essay for meticulous corrections and thoughtful suggestions, almost all of which I readily adopted. (shrink)
Quine claims that holism (i.e., the Quine-Duhem thesis) prevents us from defining synonymy and analyticity (section 2). In Word and Object, he dismisses a notion of synonymy which works well even if holism is true. The notion goes back to a proposal from Grice and Strawson and runs thus: R and S are synonymous iff for all sentences T we have that the logical conjunction of R and T is stimulus-synonymous to that of S and T. Whereas Grice and Strawson (...) did not attempt to defend this definition, I try to show that it indeed gives us a satisfactory account of synonymy. Contrary to Quine, the notion is tighter than stimulus-synonymy – particularly when applied to sentences with less than critical semantic mass (section 3). Now according to Quine, analyticity could be defined in terms of synonymy, if synonymy were to make sense: A sentence is analytic iff synonymous to self-conditionals. This leads us to the following notion of analyticity: S is analytic iff, for all sentences T, the logical conjunction of S and T is stimulus-synonymous to T; an analytic sentence does not change the semantic mass of any theory to which it may be conjoined (section 4). This notion is tighter than Quine's stimulus-analyticity; unlike stimulus-analyticity, it does not apply to those sentences from the very center of our theories which can be assented to come what may, even though they are not synthetic in the intuitive sense (section 5). Conclusion: We can have well-defined notions of synonymy and analyticity even if we embrace Quine's holism, naturalism, behaviorism, and radical translation. Quine's meaning skepticism is to be repudiated on Quinean grounds. (shrink)
Two things about Hilary Putnam have not changed throughout his career: some (including Putnam himself) have regarded him as a “realist” and some have seen him as a philosopherwho changed his positions (certainly with respect to realism) almost continually. Apparently, what realism meant to him in the 1960s, in the late seventies and eighties, and in the nineties, respectively, are quite different things. Putnam indicates this by changing preﬁxes: scientiﬁc, metaphysical, internal, pragmatic, commonsense, but always realism. Encouraged by Putnam’s own (...) attempts to distinguish his views from one time to another, his work is often regarded as split between an early period of “metaphysical realism” (his characterization) and a later and still continuing period of “internal realism”. Late Putnam is understood to be a view that insists on the primacy of our practices, while the early period is taken to be a view from outside these, a “God’s Eye view”. As Putnam himself stresses (1992b), this way of dividing his work obscures continuities, the most important of which is a continuing attempt to understand what is involved in judging practices of inquiry, like science, as being objectively correct. Thus Putnam’s early and his current work appear to have more in common than the division between “early” and “late” suggests. In fact, Putnam’s earlier writings owe much of their critical force to his adopting the pragmatic perspective of an open-minded participant in practices of empirical inquiry, a stance not explicitly articulated in these writings but rather taken simply as a matter of course.1 Thus insofaras Putnam’s early writings defend a form of representational realism, they can be regarded as attempts to articulate a realist position at work inside our ordinary practices of making empirical judgments. For this reason, we begin our review of Putnam’s realisms by extracting from the early writings a core of principles that carries over into his current work but underwent signiﬁcantly different interpretations over time.. (shrink)
For most observers of economics from both inside and outside the science, the term economics is synonymous with neoclassical economics. It is the methodology of neoclassical economics that defines the discipline of economics. Mainstream economics is neoclassical economics and anyone entering the discipline today who wishes to obtain an appointment at one of the leading universities of the world is well advised to master its techniques. The fact that virtually every winner of a Nobel prize from Paul Samuelson up to (...) his student Joseph Stiglitz has been a practitioner of neoclassical economics is ample proof of the methodologys triumph. Despite the dominance of this methodology, however, neoclassical economics has been subject to a steady stream of criticisms and proposals for alternative methodological approaches throughout its life. This article focuses on two relatively recent challenges to the neoclassical orthodoxy that seem to have taken hold of a non-negligible minority of the profession, some of whom can be found at leading universities. These two challenges come from behavioural economics and evolutionary economics. The article describes the strengths and weaknesses of both of these methodological approaches and contrasts them with that of neoclassical economics. It concludes that all three methodologies have something positive to contribute to the study of human behaviour. Key Words: neoclassical economics behavioural economics evolutionary economics. (shrink)
Standard interpretations of Kant’s transcendental idealism take it as a commitment to the view that the objects of cognition are structured or made by conditions imposed by the mind, and therefore to what Van Cleve calls “honest-to-God idealism”. Against this view, many more recent investigations of Kant’s theory of representation and cognitive significance have been able to show that Kant is committed to a certain form of Mental Content Externalism, and therefore to the realist view that the objects involved in (...) experience and empirical knowledge are mind-independent particulars. Some of these recent interpreters have taken this result to demonstrate an internal incompatibility between Kant‘s transcendental idealism and his own model of cognitive content and the environmental conditions of empirical knowledge. Against this suggestion, this article argues that, while Kant’s theory of content is indeed best construed as externalist, an adequately adjusted form of transcendental idealism is not only compatible with this externalism, but in fact supports it. More generally, the article develops the position that mental content externalism cannot force the adoption of metaphysical realism. (shrink)
Formal axiology is based on the logical nature of meaning, namely intension, and on the structure of intension as a set of predicates. It applies set theory to this set of predicates. Set theory is a certain kind of mathematics that deals with subsets in general, and of finite and infinite sets in particular. Since mathematics is objective and a priori, formal axiology is an objective and a priori science; and a test based on it is an objective test based (...) on an objective standard.1. (shrink)
Recently, Kenneth Westphal has presented a highly interesting and innovative reading of Kant's critical philosophy.2 This reading continues a tradition of Kantscholarship of which, e.g., Paul Guyer's work is representative, and in which the antiidealistic potential of Kant's critical philosophy is pitted against its idealistic selfunderstanding. Much of the work in this tradition leaves matters at observing the tensions this introduces in Kant's work. But Westphal's proposed interpretation goes farther. Its attractiveness derives for the most part from the promise that (...) it permits an internal critique of Kant's transcendental idealism (TI), that is, a critique that is based on the very resources of Kantian transcendental philosophy.3 In contrast to these resources, which currently seem to go through a sort of revival in an enormous array of fields, TI is notorious for dismaying even sympathetic interpreters. How attractive and needed such an internal critique of TI would be becomes all the more patent when we place such a promise in the context of some of the contemporary discussions about TI after Allison's famous defense of it. Before directly engaging with Westphal's interpretation, I would therefore like to quickly sketch on what background it acquires its force (I). After characterizing the main features of Westphal's view (II), and supporting it in more detail by an account of Kant's theory of cognitive significance (III), I then want to review the extent of its success to present Kant as issuing an anti-skeptical argument (IV.1), or semantic views that are incompatible with TI (IV.2), or a 'proof of not merely empirical realism' (IV.3). I agree that purely idealist readings of Kant are mistaken. Westphal's.. (shrink)
Background Regarding controversial medical services, many have argued that if physicians cannot in good conscience provide a legal medical intervention for which a patient is a candidate, they should refer the requesting patient to an accommodating provider. This study examines what US physicians think a doctor is obligated to do when the doctor thinks it would be immoral to provide a referral. Method The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 2000 US physicians from all specialties. The (...) primary criterion variable was agreement that physicians have a professional obligation to refer patients for all legal medical services for which the patients are candidates, even if the physician believes that such a referral is immoral. Results Of 1895 eligible physicians, 1032 (55%) responded. 57% of physicians agreed that doctors must refer patients regardless of whether or not the doctor believes the referral itself is immoral. Holding this opinion was independently associated with being more theologically pluralistic, describing oneself as sociopolitically liberal, and indicating that respect for patient autonomy is the most important bioethical principle in one's practice (multivariable ORs, 1.6–2.4). Conclusions Physicians are divided about a professional obligation to refer when the physician believes that referral itself is immoral. These data suggest there is no uncontroversial way to resolve conflicts posed when patients request interventions that their physicians cannot in good conscience provide. (shrink)
Let us imagine an ideal ethical agent, i.e., an agent who (i) holds a certain ethical theory, (ii) has all factual knowledge needed for determining which action among those open to her is right and which is wrong, according to her theory, and who (iii) is ideally motivated to really do whatever her ethical theory demands her to do. If we grant that the notions of omniscience and ideal motivation both make sense, we may ask: Could there possibly be an (...) ideal utilitarian, that is, an ideal ethical agent whose ethical theory says that our only moral obligation consists in maximizing utility? I claim that an ideal agent cannot be utilitarian. My reasoning against ideal utilitarianism will parallel Putnam's famous argument against the brains in a vat. Putnam argues that an envatted brain cannot describe its own situation because its words do not refer to brains and vats; I argue that an ideal utilitarian cannot entertain or communicate the beliefs necessary to being a utilitarian. (shrink)
In this note i argue against harold n. lee's assertion ("mind," october, 1965) that resolution of zeno's paradoxes is closely connected with the modern mathematical distinction between density and continuity. zeno's paradoxes would arise as much if space or time is dense as they do if it is continuous. in fact the paradoxes only arise if one combines a mathematical analysis of space and time with a non-mathematical conception of motion.
Quine claims that holism (i.e., the Quine-Duhem thesis) prevents us from defining synonymy and analyticity (section 2). In "Word and Object," he dismisses a notion of synonymy which works well even if holism is true. The notion goes back to a proposal from Grice and Strawson and runs thus: R and S are synonymous iff for all sentences T we have that the logical conjunction of R and T is stimulus-synonymous to that of S and T. Whereas Grice and Strawson (...) did not attempt to defend this definition, I try to show that it indeed gives us a satisfactory account of synonymy. Contrary to Quine, the notion is tighter than stimulus-synonymy -- particularly when applied to sentences with less than critical semantic mass (section 3). Now according to Quine, analyticity could be defined in terms of synonymy, if synonymy were to make sense: A sentence is analytic iff synonymous to self-conditionals. This leads us to the following notion of analyticity: S is analytic iff, for all sentences T, the logical conjunction of S and T is stimulus-synonymous to T; an analytic sentence does not change the semantic mass of any theory to which it may be conjoined (section 4). This notion is tighter than Quine's stimulus-analyticity; unlike stimulus-analyticity, it does not apply to those sentences from the very center of our theories which can be assented to come what may, even though they are not synthetic in the intuitive sense (section 5). (shrink)
ABSTRACT In its attempt to prove that voters, politicians, and bureaucrats are motivated by the public interest, Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics overlooks a great deal of public-choice research, to which much has been added during the two decades since it was published. The importance of self-interest at both the micro and macro levels of politics becomes clear once one looks not simply at the ?inputs? of a democracy but at its ?outputs? as well. The prevalence of interest (...) groups, the dysfunction of the United States tax code, the lobbying by unions for their members? self-interest, the earmarks in the Patriot Act, the numerous cases of corruption in Western democracies, and the dissatisfaction of citizens with their governments? failings all point to the importance of self-interest in politics. (shrink)
Poorly understood, linked in complex ways to ideas about race and European identity, and the focus today of an ethically vexed and rapidly expanding testing industry, cystic fibrosis is a relatively common life-threatening genetic disorder in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Many genetic diseases are invisible to the general public, but CF is a high-profile genetic disease, often characterized as a “white” disease though it occurs in many populations. Over the last five years it has (...) become the focus of genetic screening programs of many kinds, but especially for newborns, all over the world. CF is also a scientifically interesting genetic disease. By the simple if imperfect .. (shrink)
This article defends the thesis that Putnam’s theory of the use of empirical concepts constitutes a continuous backbone of his philosophy early and late. Thus, Putnam’s theory of empirical concepts should be at least compatible with the most distinctive features of both, his realism (viz., semantic externalism) and his pragmatism (viz., conceptual pluralism). The article suggests the even stronger thesis that Putnam’s theory of concepts is essential for the explanatory purposes of both. In doing so, the article proposes reading Putnam’s (...) theory as a theory displaying contextual features of language use rather than as one describing metaphysical, epistemic, or cognitional ‘underpinnings’. The theory’s continuity is thus taken to show that Putnam’s realism and pragmatism are and always have been inseparable. (shrink)
Increasingly, companies implement social and environmental standards as instruments towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) in supply chains. This is based on the assumption that such standards increase legitimacy among stakeholders. Yet, a wide variety of standards with different requirement levels exist and companies might tend to introduce the ones with low exigencies, using them as a legitimacy front. This strategy jeopardizes the reputation of social and environmental standards among stakeholders and their long-term trust in these instruments of CSR, meaning that (...) all expenses for their implementation are of no avail for the companies. Therefore, this paper highlights which criteria are important for the selection, implementation and improvement in order to achieve a company's aim, but also to strengthen the legitimacy of social and environmental standards. This research is based on conceptual thought and some existing empirical research, comparing four different social and environmental standards, revealing weaknesses and strengths. It exposes the basic conditions for the success of such standards among stakeholders and identifies the need for more empirical data. (shrink)
State governments provide preprinted advance directive forms to the general public. However, many adults in the United States (US) lack the skills necessary to read and comprehend health care-related materials. In this study, we sought to determine the readability of state government-sponsored advance directive forms.