We combine state-of-the-art techniques from computational linguisticsand theorem proving to build an engine for playing text adventures,computer games with which the player interacts purely through naturallanguage. The system employs a parser for dependency grammar and ageneration system based on TAG, and has components for resolving andgenerating referring expressions. Most of these modules make heavy useof inferences offered by a modern theorem prover for descriptionlogic. Our game engine solves some problems inherent in classical textadventures, and is an interesting test case for (...) the interactionbetween natural language processing and inference. (shrink)
We explore some topics in the model theory of sheaves of modules. First we describe the formal language that we use. Then we present some examples of sheaves obtained from quivers. These, and other examples, will serve as illustrations and as counterexamples. Then we investigate the notion of strong minimality from model theory to see what it means in this context. We also look briefly at the relation between global, local and pointwise versions of properties related to acyclicity.
Recent investigations and theorising about category-specific deficits have begun to focus upon patients with progressive brain disease such as semantic dementia and Alzheimer's disease. In this commentary we briefly review what insights have been gained from studying patients of this type. We concentrate on four specific issues: the sensory/functional distinction, correlation between features, neuroanatomical considerations, and confounding factors.
An American essayist, poet, and popular philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) began his career as a Unitarian minister in Boston, but achieved worldwide fame as a lecturer and the author of such essays as “Self-Reliance,” “History,” “The Over-Soul,” and “Fate.” Drawing on English and German Romanticism, Neoplatonism, Kantianism, and Hinduism, Emerson developed a metaphysics of process, an epistemology of moods, and an “existentialist” ethics of self-improvement. He influenced generations of Americans, from his friend Henry David Thoreau to John Dewey, (...) and in Europe, Friedrich Nietzsche, who takes up such Emersonian themes as power, fate, the uses of poetry and history, and the critique of Christianity. (shrink)
Ralph Cudworth (1617-88) was one of the Cambridge Platonists. His major work, The True Intellectual System of the Universe, was completed in 1671, a year after Spinoza published (anonymously) the Tractatus Logico-philosophicus. It was published a few years later, in 1678. Cudworth offers a spirited attack against the materialism and mechanism of Thomas Hobbes. His work is couched as a search for truth among the ancient philosophers, and this paper examines his use of the Presocratics as a tool for (...) discussing the issues of his day. (shrink)
This study of Ralph Pred’s Onflow (MIT Press, 2005) expands on Pred’s arguments and raises doubts about the viability of phenomenology. Showing that Pred’s method is indeed phenomenological, I validate his interpretations of William James as phenomenologist and his critique of John Searle in light of James, which documents the extent to which the role of habit in the constitution of experience is neglected by philosophers. In explaining habit, however, Pred himself reverts to non-phenomenological models drawn from James’ postulate (...) of psycho-physical parallelism. Habit, like causation, poses an unmet challenge to phenomenological methods. In his critique of Gerald Edelman, Pred notes that Edelman falls prey to a metaphysical bias inherent in modern Indo-European languages. But Pred’s acuity in exposing a latent linguistic bias in phenomenological data is a two-edged sword. Revealing an invisible dependence of appearance on language, it casts doubt on the project of getting beyond language to "appearances-in-themselves.". (shrink)
In what follows, I analyze Ralph Strode's treatise on obligations. I have used a hitherto unpublished edition of the text (based on 14 manuscripts) made by Prof. E.J. Ashworth. I first give a brief description of Strode's text, which is all the more necessary given that it is not available to the average reader; I also offer a reconstruction of the rules proposed by Strode, following the style of reconstruction used in my analysis of Burley's and Swyneshed's rules elsewhere—that (...) is, essentially based on the idea that obligationes can be viewed as logical games. In the second part, I address Strode's explicit arguments contra Swyneshed. In the third part, I discuss Strode's epistemic and pragmatic approach to obligationes. (shrink)
This is an important book historically, documenting the long friendship and correspondence of Emerson and Carlyle. It should be noted that there is a more up-to-date edition, done in the 20th century (edited by Joseph Slater, Columbia U.P. 1964). Many of the common themes and interests of the two thinkers are indicated in the correspondence, and often enough, one can also see evidence of the differences and how they approached them.
In his lifetime, Ralph Waldo Emerson became the most widely known man of letters in America, establishing himself as a prolific poet, essayist, popular lecturer, and an advocate of social reforms who was nevertheless suspicious of reform and reformers. Emerson achieved some reputation with his verse, corresponded with many of the leading intellectual and artistic figures of his day, and during an off and on again career as a Unitarian minister, delivered and later published a number of controversial sermons. (...) Emerson’s enduring reputation, however, is as a philosopher, an aphoristic writer (like Friedrich Nietzsche) and a quintessentially American thinker whose championing of the American Transcendental movement and influence on Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, William James, and others would alone secure him a prominent place in American cultural history. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophy and psychology have been peculiarly averse to mental images. Throughout nearly two and a half millennia of philosophical wrangling, from Aristotle to Hume to Bergson, images (perceptual and quasi-perceptual experiences), sometimes under the alias of "ideas", were almost universally considered to be both the prime contents of consciousness, and the vehicles of cognition. The founding fathers of experimental psychology saw no reason to dissent from this view, it was commonsensical, and true to the lived experience of conscious (...) thinking. However, early in this century, just about when the behaviorist revolution in psychology was loudly declaring the scientific illegitimacy of any attempt to study consciousness, and the concomitant non-existence of imagery (Watson, 1913; see Thomas, 1989), philosophy was undergoing its "linguistic turn", a turn to seeing philosophy as essentially about language rather than the world, even the 'inner' world. For decades, the very concept of the mental image was suspect, and it was certainly banished from playing any major role in theories of mind and of thinking. Ralph Ellis' Questioning Consciousness, together with the recent speculations of certain influential neuroscientists (Edelman, 1992; Damasio, 1994), may be signaling the end this unusual era. (shrink)
Ralph Burhoe developed his proposals for a social reformation at a time when the “two cultures” debate was still active. It is suggested here that Burhoe, sharing with his contemporaries an understanding of culture that was Western and normative in character, overlooked the distinction between the culture of the elites and popular culture, and consequently between religion as presented by theologians and church officials and popular religion. Therefore, his proposals for the revitalization of traditional religions, even if implemented, would (...) not work. Some contradictions within his own program are pointed out, and the social role of the sciences after World War II, as well as the ambiguities of their presence in the so-called underdeveloped nations, is analyzed. As a positive conclusion, it is suggested that Burhoe's main contribution should be sought, not in his outline for a social reformation, but in his role as an organizer of the dialogue between religion and science. (shrink)
This new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Society and Solitude reproduces the original 1870 edition—only updating nineteenth-century prose spellings. Emerson’s text is fully annotated to identify the authors and issues of concern in the twelve essays, and definitions are provided for selected words in Emerson’s impressive vocabulary. The work aims to facilitate a better understanding of Emerson’s late philosophy in relation to his sources, his development and his subsequent influence.
Moral rationalism is the view that morality originates in reason alone. It is often contrasted with moral sentimentalism, which is the view that the origin of morality lies at least partly in (non-rational) sentiment. The eighteenth century saw pitched philosophical battles between rationalists and sentimentalists, and the issue continues to fuel disputes among moral philosophers today.
We can distinguish between ambitious metanormative constructivism and a variety of other constructivist projects in ethics and metaethics. Ambitious metanormative constructivism is the project of either developing a type of new metanormative theory, worthy of the label “constructivism”, that is distinct from the existing types of metaethical, or metanormative, theories already on the table—various realisms, non-cognitivisms, error-theories and so on—or showing that the questions that lead to these existing types of theories are somehow fundamentally confused. Natural ways of pursuing the (...) project of ambitious metanormative constructivism lead to certain obvious, and related, worries about whether the ambitions are really being achieved—that is whether we really are being given a distinctive theory. I will argue that responding to these initial worries pushes ambitious metanormative constructivism towards adopting a kind of position that I will call “constructivism all the way down”. Such a position does see off most of the above initial worries. Drawing on the work of Ralph Walker and Crispin Wright, I argue, however, that it faces a distinct objection that is a descendent of Bertrand Russell’s Bishop Stubbs objection against coherentist theories of truth. I grant that the constructivist need not be a coherentist about truth. I argue, however, that despite this the constructivist cannot escape my version of the objection. I also distinguish between this objection and various traditional charges of circularity, regress, relativism, or psychologistic reductionism. (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary American society. -/- A (...) Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
Ralph Waldo Emerson famously warned his readers against the dangers of conformity and consistency. In this paper, I argue that this warning informs his engagement with and opposition to a Kantian view of rational agency. The interpretation I provide of some of Emerson's central essays outlines a unique conception of agency, a conception which gives substance to Emerson's exhortations of self-trust. While Kantian in spirit, Emerson's view challenges the requirement that autonomy requires acting from a conception of the law. (...) The key to understanding Emerson's opposition to Kant rests in showing how obeying the law requires spontaneity on the part of the agent herself. Emerson's concerns about conformity and consistency further enrich the view of agency, argued for by Richard Moran, according to which we take responsibility for our minds by taking up a first-person deliberative perspective on our minds. Conformity and consistency in one's thinking and acting permits society and one's own past to dictate when deliberation may come to an end, thereby undermining a crucial sense in which an agent, in taking up the deliberative perspective, has taken responsibility for her mind. (shrink)
We find before us an excellent edition of the book which the influential American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-82) published in December of 1860, four months before the outbreak of the American Civil War. The central question which Emerson poses in this volume concerns the conduct of life, that is, of how to live. The titles of the nine essays, which compose the book, illustrate the themes tackled: “Fate,” “Power,” “Wealth”, “Culture,” “Behavior,” “Worship”, “Considerations by the Way,” “Beauty” and (...) “Illusions.” As Callaway suggests, Emerson’s is not a philosophy in the sense of contemporary technicalities, “the basic tendency of his thought is a metaphysical idealism in which the soul and intuition or inspiration are central.” (p. xvi). As an essentially religious thinker, profoundly preoccupied with the human soul and with the development of human potentialities, he has always firmly opposed to slavery: one cannot refuse to others human beings the development of their distinctively human potentialities (p. xxvii). (shrink)
This article argues that Ralph Waldo Emerson employs metempsychosis (reincarnation or the transmigration of the soul into successive bodies) as a figurative template for human consciousness. Mapping various traditions from Hinduism, Pythagoreanism, Platonism, and Neoplatonism onto the vastness of the geological and biological records, Emerson translates metaphysics for modernity: he depicts the soul's journey through the chronological sequence of history as a poetic process that culminates in a tenuous form of self-knowledge.
Alongside Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam and Jacques Derrida, Stanley Cavell is arguably one of the best-known philosophers in the world. In this state-of-the-art collection, Alice Crary explores the work of this original and interesting figure who has already been the subject of a number of books, conferences and Phd theses. A philosopher whose work encompasses a broad range of interests, such as Wittgenstein, scepticism in philosophy, the philosophy of art and film, Shakespeare, and philosophy of mind and language, Cavell has (...) also written much about Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Including contributions from Hilary Putnam, Cora Diamond, Jim Conant and Stephen Mulhall, this book is a must-have for libraries and students alike. (shrink)
Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other important transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, and Theodore Parker. Stimulated by English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the skepticism of Hume, the transcendentalists operated with the sense that a new era was at hand. They were critics of their contemporary society for its unthinking conformity, and (...) urged that each individual find, in Emerson's words, “an original relation to the universe” (O, 3). Emerson and Thoreau sought this relation in solitude amidst nature, and in their writing. By the 1840s they, along with other transcendentalists, were engaged in the social experiments of Brook Farm, Fruitlands, and Walden; and, by the 1850's in an increasingly urgent critique of American slavery. (shrink)
This work is Emerson's set of essays published in 1860 just before the start of the Civil War: 'Fate,' 'Power,' 'Wealth,' 'Culture,' 'Behavior,' 'Worship,' 'Considerations by the Way,' 'Beauty,' 'Illusions.'.
This book includes Emerson's re-written version of his early book, Nature, along with various essays, including: The American Scholar (1836), The Divinity School Address (1838), Literary Ethics (1838), The Method of Nature (1841), Man the Reformer (1841), Lecture on the Times (1841), The Conservative (1841), The Transcendentalist (1842), The Young American (1844).
Gold and iron are good To buy iron and gold; All earth’s fleece and food For their like are sold. Boded Merlin wise, Proved Napoleon great, Nor kind nor coinage buys Aught above its rate. Fear, Craft, and Avarice Cannot rear a State. Out of dust to build What is more than dust, Walls Amphion piled Phoebus stablish must. When the Muses nine With the Virtues meet, Find to their design An Atlantic seat, By green orchard boughs Fended from the (...) heat, Where the statesman ploughs Furrow for the wheat; When the Church is social worth, When the state house is the hearth, Then the perfect State is come, The republican at home. (shrink)
The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made. This quarrel is the subject of civil history. The conservative party established the reverend hierarchies and monarchies of the most ancient world. The battle of patrician and plebeian, of parent state and colony, of old usage and accommodation to new facts, of the rich and the poor, reappears in all (...) countries and times. The war rages not only in battle-fields, in national councils, and ecclesiastical synods, but agitates every man's bosom with opposing advantages every hour. On rolls the old world meantime, and now one, now the other gets the day, and still the fight renews itself as if for the first time, under new names and hot personalities. Such an irreconcilable antagonism, of course, must have a correspondent depth of seat in the human constitution. It is the opposition of Past and Future, of Memory and Hope, of the Understanding and the Reason. It is the primal antagonism, the appearance in trifles of the two poles of nature. (shrink)
The American Scholar An Address, Man the Reformer, Self-Reliance, Compensation, Friendship, Heroism, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet, Character, Manners, Essays: Gifts, Nature, Politics, New England Reformers Worship, Beauty -/- English Traits -/- (Harvard Classics, Vol. V.).
Of the many nineteenth-century writers who have come to be known collectively as the American Renaissance, none, writes David Van Leer, 'aspired so relentlessly to the mantle of philosopher as did Ralph Waldo Emerson'. In this, the first book to treat Emerson as a serious philosopher, Dr Van Leer explores Emerson's interest in the subject, while remaining sensitive to the unfolding of Emerson's own complex career. He argues that Emerson's essays can be read quite seriously in terms of their (...) philosophical content; and that in fact such philosophical readings show the individual works to be far more carefully structured than has usually been assumed. (shrink)
This timely anthology contains five pieces of republished poetry (and one original poem) and eleven essays of varying length taking mostly contemporary stances on—and thus hoping to spur the on-going reception into the twenty-first century of—the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. The assortment of the texts is heterogeneous, yet showing a slight philosophical emphasis: among the eleven essays, half a dozen are by authors trained in philosophy, a couple by literary scholars, and another couple by poets. The prose pieces (...) are previously unpublished, excluding the classical essays by Robert C. Pollock (published originally in 1958) and John J. McDermott (1980), as well as John Lysaker's thought-provoking meditation "Taking .. (shrink)
means of defense, squirts its spittle and half-digested fodder at its opponent.”1 Thus we see Nietzsche, as he does frequently in his writings, drawing on the semantic resources made available by the investigation of animal nature and using them to illuminate human character. The editors of . Nietzschean Bestiary had the superlative idea to advance the progression from zoology to anthropology one step further: starting from Nietzsche’s myriad trope of animality, to construct a philosophical bestiary that illuminates not only the (...) status of human animality but also that of our metaphorical resources in general. The result comprises twenty-five essays from twenty-three contributors, most of which are organized around a single creature (albeit no llama). These essays’ execution of the original idea is, on the whole, excellent. I do not think that they establish the two main conceits of the volume. But the volume nevertheless provides a vivid and diverse display of Nietzsche’s animal tropes that engages with broader philosophical concerns. (shrink)