The study of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) function has shown to provide useful indicators for risk stratification and early detection on a variety of cardiovascular pathologies. However, data gathered during different tests of the ANS are difficult to analyse, mainly due to the complex mechanisms involved in the autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system (CVS). Although model-based analysis of ANS data has been already proposed as a way to cope with this complexity, only a few models coupling the main (...) elements involved have been presented in the literature. In this paper, a new model of the CVS, representing the ventricles, the circulatory system and the regulation of the CVS activity by the ANS, is presented. The models of the vascular system and the ventricular activity have been developed using the Bond Graph formalism, as it proposes a unified representation for all energetic domains, facilitating the integration of mechanic and hydraulic phenomena. In order to take into account the electro-mechanical behaviour of both ventricles, an electrophysiologic model of the cardiac action potential, represented by a set of ordinary differential equations, has been integrated. The short-term ANS regulation of heart rate, cardiac contractility and peripheral vasoconstriction is represented by means of continuous transfer functions. These models, represented in different continuous formalisms, are coupled by using a multi-formalism simulation library. Results are presented for two different autonomic tests, namely the Tilt Test and the Valsalva Manoeuvre, by comparing real and simulated signals. (shrink)
Visual analytics is a new interdisciplinary field of study that calls for a more structured scientific approach to understanding the effects of interaction with complex graphical displays on human cognitive processes. Its primary goal is to support the design and evaluation of graphical information systems that better support cognitive processes in areas as diverse as scientific research and emergency management. The methodologies that make up this new field are as yet ill defined. This paper proposes a pathway for development of (...) visual analytics as a translational cognitive science that bridges fundamental research in human/computer cognitive systems and design and evaluation of information systems in situ. Achieving this goal will require the development of enhanced field methods for conceptual decomposition of human/computer cognitive systems that maps onto laboratory studies, and improved methods for conducting laboratory investigations that might better map onto real-world cognitive processes in technology-rich environments. (shrink)
Current information technology policies and approaches in Colombia do not support development policies that address the structural causes of poverty. Even worse, they alienate poor people1 from technology. This condition does not allow communities to construct their own development. Instead, they pressure communities to copy and follow foreign technological models. Our experience in Colombian rural schools suggests a conceptual framework that allows people to form creative and autonomous communities and organizations, to develop their own technologies, to innovate, and to promote (...) technological movements in their socioeconomical environments. (shrink)
Richard Rorty (1931–2007) developed a distinctive and controversial brand of pragmatism that expressed itself along two main axes. One is negative—a critical diagnosis of what Rorty takes to be defining projects of modern philosophy. The other is positive—an attempt to show what intellectual culture might look like, once we free ourselves from the governing metaphors of mind and knowledge in which the traditional problems of epistemology and metaphysics (and indeed, in Rorty's view, the self-conception of modern philosophy) are rooted. (...) The centerpiece of Rorty's critique is the provocative account offered in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979, hereafter PMN). In this book, and in the closely related essays collected in Consequences of Pragmatism (1982, hereafter CP), Rorty's principal target is the philosophical idea of knowledge as representation, as a mental mirroring of a mind-external world. Providing a contrasting image of philosophy, Rorty has sought to integrate and apply the milestone achievements of Dewey, Hegel and Darwin in a pragmatist synthesis of historicism and naturalism. Characterizations and illustrations of a post-epistemological intellectual culture, present in both PMN (part III) and CP (xxxvii-xliv), are more richly developed in later works, such as Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989, hereafter CIS), in the popular essays and articles collected in Philosophy and Social Hope (1999), and in the four volumes of philosophical papers, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (1991, hereafter ORT); Essays on Heidegger and Others (1991, hereafter EHO); Truth and Progress (1998, hereafter TP); and Philosophy as Cultural Politics (2007, hereafter PCP). In these writings, ranging over an unusually wide intellectual territory, Rorty offers a highly integrated, multifaceted view of thought, culture, and politics, a view that has made him one of the most widely discussed philosophers in our time. (shrink)
This paper examines the four counterexamples offered by Lehrer and Richard in 'Remembering Without Knowing'. The analysis which Lehrer and Richard's purported counterexamples attempt to discredit is that remembering p requires knowing that p and believing that p. The counterexamples are considered individually and all are rejected as counterexamples to knowing as a necessary condition of remembering.
Richard Wollheim is one of the dominant figures in the philosophy of art, whose work has shown not only how paintings create their effects but why they remain important to us. His influential writings have focused on two core, interrelated questions: How do paintings depict? and how do they express feelings? In this collection of new essays a distinguished group of thinkers in the fields of art history and philosophical aesthetics offers a critical assessment of Wollheim's theory of art. (...) Among the themes under discussion are Wollheim's explanation of pictorial representation in terms of seeing-in, his views of artistic expression as a type of complex projection, and his notion of the internal spectator. In the final essay Wollheim himself responds to the contributors. This book will be eagerly sought out by all serious students of the theory of art, whether in departments of philosophy or art history. (shrink)
Richard Wolin, in his article 'Nazism and the Complicities of Hans-Georg Gadamer: Untruth and Method' ( New Republic , 15 May 2000, pp. 36-45), wrongly accuses Gadamer of being 'in complicity' with the Nazis. The present article in reply was rejected by the New Republic , but is printed here to show that Wolin in his article is misinformed and unfair. First, Wolin makes elementary factual errors, such as stating that Gadamer was born in Breslau instead of Marburg. He (...) relies on a highly questionable source, Teresa Orozco, as 'definitive'. He argues often by misconstruing the evidence and guilt by association. For instance, he associates Gadamer with Werner Jaeger, with whom he disagreed and had little contact. Finally,he misinterprets basic terms in Gadamer's hermeneutics, Vorurteil and authority, attributing to them the popular sense of these terms instead of their place in Gadamer's hermeneutics. Vorurteil , popularly translated as 'prejudice', but better rendered as 'prejudgment', refers to the prior knowledge that one needs in order to understand a situation or a text. In some cases, this is part of the inherited tradition. Authority refers to the respect one pays to those one recognizes as having more knowledge than oneself: one's doctor, or parent, or teacher, a judge, or certain texts. It is not an abject surrender to all authority but the necessary respect for authority in human relationships and in society in general. By misconstruing these terms, Wolin attempts to discredit Gadamer's general philosophy,not just to demonstrate a connection to the Nazis. At the end, his argument turns into a misinformed general political attack on Gadamer as an enemy of Enlightenment values. (shrink)
[Richard Glauser] Shaftesbury's theory of aesthetic experience is based on his conception of a natural disposition to apprehend beauty, a real 'form' of things. I examine the implications of the disposition's naturalness. I argue that the disposition is not an extra faculty or a sixth sense, and attempt to situate Shaftesbury's position on this issue between those of Locke and Hutcheson. I argue that the natural disposition is to be perfected in many different ways in order to be exercised (...) in the perception of the different degrees of beauty within Shaftesbury's hierarchy. This leads to the conclusion that the exercise of the disposition depends, from case to case, on many different cognitive and affective conditions, that are realised by the collaborative functionings of our ordinary faculties. Essential to Shaftesbury's conception of aesthetic experience is a disinterested, contemplative love, that causes (or contains) what we may call a 'disinterested pleasure', but also an interested pleasure. I argue that, within any given aesthetic experience, the role of the disinterested pleasure is secondary to that of the disinterested love. However, an important function of the disinterested pleasure is that, in combination with the interested pleasure, it leads one to aspire to pass from the aesthetic experience of lower degrees of beauty to the experience of higher ones in the hierarchy. /// [Anthony Savile] (1) If Shaftesbury is to be seen as the doyen of modern aesthetics, his most valuable legacy to us may not so much be his viewing aesthetic response as a sui generis disinterested delight as his insistence on its turning 'wholly on [experience of] what is exterior and foreign to ourselves'. Not that we cannot experience ourselves, or what is our own, as a source of such admiration. Rather our responses, favourable or no, are improperly grounded in any essentially reflexive, or first-personal, ways of taking what engages us. The suggestion is tested against the case of Narcissus. (2) Glauser interestingly emphasizes Shaftesbury's neo-Platonic conception of a hierarchy of aesthetic experience that culminates in the joyful contemplation of God. That hierarchy must be something that is less unitary and systematic than Shaftesbury himself had supposed, even when his emphasis on the tie between aesthetic pleasure and contemplative experience is allowed to extend beyond perception and to encompass episodes of thought itself. (shrink)
Richard Swinburne is one of the most distinguished philosophers of religion of our day. In this volume, many notable British and American philosophers unite to honor him and to discuss various topics to which he has contributed significantly. These include general topics in the philosophy of religion such as revelation, and faith and reason, and the specifically Christian doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and atonement. In the spirit of the movement which Swinburne spearheaded, the essays use analytic philosophical (...) methods to examine doctrines in particular religious traditions, expanding upon traditional discussions of theism. As such, this volume represents a field-report on the interaction of philosophy and Christian thought in the English-speaking world. Swinburne has himself contributed an individual and personal Intellectual Autobiography. (shrink)
This volume collects a number of important and revealing interviews with Richard Rorty, spanning more than two decades of his public intellectual commentary, engagement, and criticism. In colloquial language, Rorty discusses the relevance and nonrelevance of philosophy to American political and public life. The collection also provides a candid set of insights into Rorty's political beliefs and his commitment to the labor and union traditions in this country. Finally, the interviews reveal Rorty to be a deeply engaged social thinker (...) and observer. (shrink)
Between 1903 and 1918 Russell made a number of attempts to understand the unity of the proposition, but his attempts all foundered on his failure clearly to distinguish between different senses in which the relation R might be said to relate a and b in the proposition aRb: he failed to distinguish between the relation as truth-maker and the relation as unifier, and consequently committed himself again and again to the unacceptable consequence that only true propositions are genuinely unified. There (...) is an anticipation of this confusion in the writings of the fourteenth-century philosopher Richard Brinkley. (shrink)
Every day I get letters, in capitals and obsessively underlined if not actually in green ink, from flat-earthers, young-earthers, Dawkins perpetual-motion merchants, astrologers and other harmless fruitcakes. The only difference here is that Richard Milton..
Richard McKeon enjoys an enviable reputation as an erudite historian of ideas and exegete of philosophic texts. However, the originality and scope of his achievement as a systematic philosopher are less widely known. In this ambitious three-volume edition, of which Philosophy, Science, and Culture is the first, a selection of McKeon's writings will be collected to showcase his distinctive approach to the analysis of discourse. Volume I covers philosophic theory through his writings on first philosophy (metaphysics) and the methods (...) and principles of the sciences, Volume II examines philosophic arts through his writings on aesthetics and forms of discourse as a whole, and Volume III looks at philosophic practice through his writings on world community and the relations of cultures. Philosophy, Science, and Culture covers topics that range from philosophic semantics to the processes of the sciences to the forms of human rights. This collection makes McKeon's mission as a philosopher unmistakable. He characterized himself as a philosophic pluralist he was an American philosopher in the tradition of the pragmatists, one whose philosophy subtly resonates with C. S. Peirce and John Dewey. McKeon also explored the themes of deconstructionism and other late-twentieth-century philosophies decades before their popular emergence--but, in generating a matrix of possibilities for productive debate, he avoided both relativism and the entrapments of dogmatism. An important collection of his writings, this series will establish Richard McKeon as one of the foremost philosophers of the twentieth century. Richard McKeon (1900-1985) taught philosophy at the University of Chicago from 1935 to 1973, and at the time of his death had published eleven books and 158 articles on an extraordinary array of topics and cultures. Among his many national and international distinctions, he was awarded the highest honor of the American Philosophical Association when he was invited to give the Paul Carus Lectures in New York in 1965. (shrink)
The training and experience of such academic philosophers as Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam do not equip them with the economic and other social?scientific tools necessary to make useful contributions to political discussion. In the case of Rorty, this has resulted in his being unable to make effective ripostes to left?wing critics of his defense of ?bourgeois liberalism,? his uncritical endorsement of simplistic arguments for social reform, and his embrace of false prophecies of doom, such as those found (...) in Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty?Four. Moreover, his disdain for ?theory? has blinded him to the utility of mid?level theories, such as those of economics, in dealing with concrete social problems. (shrink)
In a Sentences Commentary written about 1250 the Franciscan Richard Rufus subjects Anselm’s argument for God’s existence in his Proslogion to the most trenchant criticism since Gaunilon wrote his response on behalf of the “fool.” Anselm’s argument is subtle but sophistical, claims Rufus, because he fails to distinguish between signification and supposition. Rufus therefore offers five reformulations of the Anselmian argument, which we restate in modern formal logic and four of which we claim are valid, the fifth turning on (...) a possible scribal error. Rufus’s final conclusion is that the formulation in Proslogion, chapter 3, is convincing, but not that of chapter 2. (shrink)
Richard Kilvington was an obscure fourteenth-century philosopher whose Sophismata deal with a series of logic-linguistic conundrums of a sort which featured extensively in philosophical discussions of this period. This is the first ever translation or edition of his work. As well as an introduction to Kilvington's work, the editors provide a detailed commentary. This edition will prove of considerable interest to historians of medieval philosophy who will realise from the evidence presented here that Kilvington deserves to be studied just (...) as seriously as Duns Scotus or William of Ockham. (shrink)
Contains fourteen essays and an introduction addressing the main areas of scholarly interest for Richard W. Davis, Professor Emeritus, Washington University, St Louis Questions how individuals envision the public good in modern Britain and how, through religious and moral beliefs, coupled with wisdom and political savvy, they can improve the public good through the ever-changing nineteenth century political institutions Essays range from studies of local electoral politics and parliamentary reform campaign to national political party organization, high politics and the (...) role religion and empire played in the creation of national policy Examines the influence of individuals on the political process through their professional work in historical and philosophical writing, journalism and missionary work at home and abroad Provides new original research in the area of modern British political history together in Parliamentary History. (shrink)
This volume of essays is an important introduction to the thought of one of the twentieth century's most significant yet underappreciated philosophers, Richard McKeon. The originator of philosophical pluralism, McKeon made extraordinary contributions to philosophy, to international relations, and to theory-formation in the communication arts, aesthetics, the organization of knowledge, and the practical sciences. This collection, which includes a philosophical autobiography as well as the out-of-print title essay "Freedom and History" and a previously unpublished essay on "Philosophic Semantics and (...) Philosophic Inquiry," is a testimony to the range and systematic power of McKeon's thinking for the social sciences and the humanities. (shrink)
So wohl Campbell als auch Whately sind sehr besorgt um die verschiedenen argumentations Formen zu analisieren, aber nicht in seiner abstrecten Vielfalt, sondern den verschiedenen Ableihungen des gebrauches oder der gegenwärtigen argumentations absicht im Entwurf jedes Arguments. In seiner Analyse haben sie beobachtet, dass die etische Begründung bemerkensmert verschieden als die Wissenschafliche. Beide Verfasser sind damit einverstanden dass es einen grossen Unterschied gibt zwischen: der existenten Prämisse in der Wissenchaftlichen Probe, und zweitens, die Form in der die Prämissen im induktiven (...) (oder moralen) Begründung verbunden sind, wiel in diesen letzten verschaffen die Prämissen getrennter Wiese eine Kosistenz auf dem Abschluss, aber sie müsen zusammen bleiben damit der Abschluss beweisbarer ist. Dieser Unterschied zwischen den art die Wharheit oder probabilität zwischen Wissenschaft und Humanität zu erzeugen, ist eines der grossen Themen der Philosophie aber das hermeneutische Paradigma zweifalt über die wissenschaftliche Folgerung, sind die Prämissen nicht doch der gleichen art vorgestellt, wer weiss, mit einer gewiss logischen Interdependenz zwischen inhnen und eine extralogische argumentative last die sie verbindet dem Anlass die Schlussfolgenung konsistente zu machen. (shrink)
Amartya Sen is a renowned economist who has also made important contributions to philosophical thinking about distributive justice. These contributions tend to take the form of criticism of inadequate positions and insistence on making distinctions that will promote clear thinking about the topic. Sen is not shy about making substantive normative claims, but thus far he has avoided commitment to a theory of justice, in the sense of a set of principles that specifies what facts are relevant for policy choice (...) and determines, given a full characterization of any situation in terms of these relevant facts, what ought to be done in that situation. Moreover, Sen has expressed skepticism about the existence of a fully adequate theory in this sense. According to Sen there is a plurality of moral considerations that bear on choice of action and policy and no particular reason to think that weights can be attached nonarbitrarily to each consideration to yield a theory. (shrink)
In a 2002 paper for this journal, Richard Joyce presents three new arguments against the Divine Command Theory. In this comment, I attempt to show that each of these arguments is either unpersuasive or uninteresting. Two of Joyce’s arguments are unpersuasive because they rely on an implausible principle or an implausible claim about what counts as a platitude governing use of the term “wrong.” Joyce’s other argument is uninteresting because it is persuasive only if Joyce’s formulation of the Euthyphro (...) Problem is persuasive. However, Joyce argues that the Euthyphro Problem is not persuasive. Therefore, if Joyce is correct about this, then his own objection to the Divine Command Theory is not persuasive either. (shrink)
Richard Swinburne’s argument in The Existence of God discusses many probabilities, ultimately concluding that God probably exists. Swinburne gives exact values to almost none of these probabilities. I attempted to assign values to the probabilities that met that weak condition that they could be correct. In this paper, I first present a brief outline of Swinburne’s argument in The Existence of God. I then present the problems I encountered in Swinburne’s argument, specifically problems that interfered with my attempt to (...) arrive at values for the probabilities discussed by Swinburne. Finally, I suggest that Swinburne’s argument would be more persuasive if he assigned exact values to his probabilities. (shrink)
First, my thanks to Richard Swinburne for his probing and thoughtful review of my book Warranted Christian Belief (WCB). His account of the book's mainline of argument is accurate as far as it goes; it does contain an important lacuna, however. The focus of the book is twofold; it is aimed in two directions. First, just as Swinburne says, I argue that there are no plausible de iure objections to Christian belief that are independent of de facto objections; any (...) plausible objection to the rationality of Christian belief, or to its warrant (the property that distinguishes knowledge from mere true belief), or its justification, will either be obviously mistaken or will (as with Freud, and Marx and a thousand others) presuppose one or more de facto objections. This is intended as a contribution to apologetics; it is important, because many or most objections to Christian belief are of just the sort I attempt to discredit. (‘I don't know whether Christian belief is true or not – who could know a thing like that? – but I do know that it is irrational, or unwarranted, or not rationally justified, or…’.) Second (and this is the focus Swinburne fails to mention), I proposed the extended A/C (Aquinas/Calvin) model as, from the perspective of Christian belief, a plausible account of the way in which Christian belief is, in fact, justified, rational and warranted. So the book is aimed in two directions: first towards readers generally, whether Christian believers or not, and second towards Christian believers. (shrink)
Misrecognition, taken seriously as unjust social subordination, cannot be remedied by eliminating prejudice alone. In this rejoinder to Richard Rorty, it is argued that a politics of recognition and a politics of redistribution can and should be combined. However, an identity politics that displaces redistribution and reifies group differences is deeply flawed. Here, instead, an alternative 'status' model of recognition politics is offered that encourages struggles to overcome status subordination and fosters parity of participation. Integrating this politics of recognition (...) with redistribution enables a coherent Left vision that could redress injustices of culture and of political economy simultaneously. (shrink)
I have argued that Wittgenstein's treatment of dreaming involves a kind of anti-realism about the past: what makes "I dreamed p " true is, roughly, that I wake with the feeling or impression of having dreamed p . Richard Scheer raises three objections. First, that the texts do not support my interpretation. Second, that the anti-realist view of dreaming does not make sense, so cannot be Wittgenstein's view. Third, that the anti-realist view leaves it a mystery why someone who (...) reports having dreamed such-and-such is inclined to report what she does. The Reply defends my reading of Wittgenstein against these objections. (shrink)
According to Richard Gaskin, The Problem of the Unity of the Proposition is to explain 'what distinguishes propositions from mere aggregates, and enables them to be true or false' (18).1 This problem arises from the simpler problem of distinguishing a sentence from a 'mere list' of words (1). The unity of a sentence is due to its syntax, a level of structure which is not apparent in the string of words which are uttered or written, and which distinguishes a (...) sentence from a list. However, if one holds that sentences express propositions that are composed of objects which serve as semantic referents of its words, then the problem of unity becomes one about the metaphysics of propositions. What constitutes a .. (shrink)
Abstract: In The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce argues there is good reason to think that the “moral sense” is a biological adaptation, and that this provides a genealogy of the moral sense that has a debunking effect, driving us to the conclusion that “our moral beliefs are products of a process that is entirely independent of their truth, … we have no grounds one way or the other for maintaining these beliefs.” I argue that Joyce's skeptical conclusion is (...) not warranted. Even if the moral sense is a biological adaptation, developed moralities (such as Aristotelian eudaimonism) can “co-opt” it into new roles so that the moral judgments it makes possible can come to transcend the evolutionary process that is “entirely independent of their truth.” While evolutionary theory can shed much light on our shared human nature, moral theories must still be vindicated, or debunked, by moral arguments. (shrink)
In this paper I respond to separate criticisms by Bill Shaw (JBE, July 1988) and Richard Nunan (JBE, December 1988) of my paper A Critique of Milton Friedman's Essay The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits (JBE, August 1986). Professors Shaw and Nunan identify several points where my argument could benefit from clarification and improvement. They also make valuable contributions to the discussion of the broad issue area of whether and to what extent business should exercise (...) moral initiative.My objectives are (1) to show, with the aid of examples (inspired by Shaw) and the addition of one point of correction (inspired by Nunan), that my disapproving critique of Friedman's famous argument remains sound, (2) to show that Professor Shaw's argument contains serious problems, and (3) to build on the base laid by my critics by developing important reasons why business should exercise moral initiative. (shrink)
Richard on truth and commitment Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9795-1 Authors John MacFarlane, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
In ’The Coherence of Theism’ Richard Swinburne writes that a person cannot be omniscient and perfectly free. In ’The Existence of God’ Swinburne writes that God is a person who is omniscient and perfectly free. There is a straightforward reason why the two passages are not in tension, but recognition of this reason raises a problem for Swinburne’s argument in ’The Existence of God’ (the conclusion of which is that God likely exists). In this paper I present the problem (...) for Swinburne’s argument. I then consider two potential responses and suggest that neither succeeds. (shrink)
Richard Moran's Authority and Estrangement offers a subtle and innovative account of self-knowledge that lifts the problem out of the narrow confines of epistemology and into the broader context of practical reasoning and moral psychology. Moran argues convincingly that fundamental self/other asymmetries are essential to our concept of persons. Moreover, the first- and the third-person points of view are systematically interconnected, so that the expression or avowal of one's attitudes constitutes a substantive form of self-knowledge. But while Moran's argument (...) is wide-ranging and compelling, he relies throughout on an overly intellectualized conception of first-person attitudes as attitudes of reflection or deliberation. That conception is at once implausible and unnecessary to the main current of his argument, whose goal is to demonstrate that our self-conception as persons depends on both the distinctness and the interconnectedness of our first- and third-person perspectives on ourselves. (shrink)
Richard Matheson seeded several weird fish in the deep and dark waters of the American myth pool, not least as a prominent screenwriter for the legendary 1960s TV series The Twilight Zone. I Am Legend, a post-apocalyptic science fiction/horror novel, published in 1954 and set in 1976, remains one of his best known works.1 It shows up persistently on "Best of Horror" lists and is generally regarded as a milestone in modern Gothic fiction. What is it about this novel (...) that has invested it with canonical status? It tells a surpassingly bleak story, one that seems to encode very specific and largely outdated cultural anxieties. And as prophecy, it falls rather flat: Matheson depicts a vampire holocaust, and the .. (shrink)
Richard Rorty’s philosophy has two basic commitments: one to postmodernism and the other to liberalism. However, these commitments generate tension. As a postmodernist, he sharply criticizes the Enlightenment; as a liberal, he forcefully defends it. His postmodernist liberalism actually explains liberalism using irrationalism.
Including the substantial Introduction by Richard Eldridge, this volume consists of nine previously unpublished essays each of which focuses upon a single region of Cavell’s work. While the scope of the issues considered in the volume can be only incompletely indicated by listing the regions addressed, they include: ethics, philosophy of action, the normativity of language, aesthetics and modernism, American philosophy, Shakespeare, film, television, and opera, and the relation of Cavell’s work to German philosophy and Romanticism. The volume also (...) contains a useful index, and a brief annotated bibliography of works by and about Cavell. (shrink)
On Richard’s When Truth Gives Out Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9796-0 Authors Kevin Scharp, Department of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 350 University Hall, 230 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA Stewart Shapiro, Department of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 350 University Hall, 230 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Truth, the pragmatist claims, is something we make, not something which corresponds to reality. If this view of truth is accepted, Rorty notes, two problems arise: the pragmatist will have little to say to those who abuse others, because he or she will not be able to point to some universal standards that the abusers are vio lating ; and the torturers may be able to quote pragmatic principles in their own defence. Rorty argues that the pragmatist can reduce cruelty (...) by splitting himself or herself into public and private parts. I examine this problem and Rorty's solution. I argue that his solution fails for two reasons: first, keeping our public and private selves apart is unlikely to reduce cruelty; and, second, he cannot maintain the public/private split. Consequently, Rorty is unable to deal with the anti-pragmatic criticism that his theory of truth could lead to an increase in cruelty. Key Words: democracy liberalism political theory pragmatism Richard Rorty. (shrink)
This paper attempts a sympathetic comparison between John Dewey and Richard Rorty. In particular I establish the ways in which both Dewey's and Rorty's aesthetical modes require qualitative starting points (or some indeterminate-event trajectory) as a condition for any poetic/novel movement into the future. I show how Dewey's notions of "indeterminate situation," highlighted in his event-metaphysics, resonates with Rorty's notion of metaphor, and that finally Rorty does in fact (wittingly or not) harbor a place for the noncognitive and nonlinguistic (...) via, interestingly enough, a linguistic device. How Rorty uses his notion of metaphor (inspired by Donald Davidson's groundbreaking work) starts very much to take on the feel of what Dewey meant by "primary experience." My emphasis, then, falls on the necessity to both of their respective pragmatic positions of a qualitative starting point (QSP). In this way, the troubling dualism that has developed between experience and language starts to dissolve. (shrink)
Abstract. In this essay, I compare the atheism of Friedrich Nietzsche with that of Richard Dawkins. My purpose is to describe certain differences in their respective atheisms with the intent of showing that Nietzsche's atheism contains a richer and fuller affirmation of human life. In Dawkins’s presentation of the value of life without God, there is a naïve optimism that purports that human beings, educated in science and purged of religion, will find lives of easy peace and comfortable wonder. (...) Part of my argument is that this optimism regarding the power of objective science is subject to Nietzsche's criticism of Socrates and what he calls the “theoretical man.” As such, it fails in terms of providing a true affirmation of life in the godless world. (shrink)
It is still a popular philosophical position to call for a strict “separationism” concerning the private and the public sphere when it comes to religious convictions. Richard Rorty is one prominent supporter of this claim. The traditional critique against this division is mostly built on a particular characterization of religion that is at odds with Rortian assumptions. In this article, however, Rorty is criticized on his own terms turning pragmatically the objection to a fully internal one. What Rorty values (...) most, namely a tolerant and ironic liberalism as the capacity to describe oneself in new and interesting ways is precisely the role, I argue, that religious faith could play under “neo-liberal” conditions. (shrink)
This essay interprets the controversy over Richard Serra's monumental sculpture, Tilted Arc , which was designed for a public plaza in downtown Manhattan in 1979 and then torn down five years later after intense public outcry. Levine reads this controversy as characteristic of contemporary debates over the arts, which continue the tradition of the nineteenth century avant-garde, pitting art against a wider public, and insisting that art must deliberately resist mainstream tastes and values in favor of marginality and innovation. (...) This definition of art has posed a lasting dilemma for democratic societies: how, after all, should a democracy deal with art that represents an intentional rejection of the majority? The problem becomes even more intractable when it comes to avant-garde art commissioned for public spaces, where the art object can challenge public tastes and movements in a way that is inescapable for those who must live and work in the space. Disturbed by the imposition of a massive and incomprehensible art object in a public plaza, Serra's opponents argued that Tilted Arc frustrated a whole range of socially beneficial activities, labor and leisure alike. And they claimed that Serra's supporters were dangerously anti-democratic. But despite the avant-garde's challenge to majority tastes, this essay makes the case that it remains a democratic value to continue to sponsor avant-garde art in public spaces. (shrink)
In "The Existence of God," Richard Swinburne offers several arguments for the claim that death is not a surprising phenomenon on the assumption that God exists. I try to show that his arguments fail individually and when taken collectively. Further, I claim that the kinds of assumptions involved in his arguments can plausibly be used to argue that death would be surprising if God exists and therefore that death counts as evidence against God's existence. Finally, I argue that Swinburne's (...) claims create problems for theists who believe in eternal life after death since his arguments seem to entail that God would have good reason for denying us eternal life beyond the grave. (shrink)
This article considers the validity and strength of Richard Rorty’s pragmatist theory of interpretation in the light of two ethical issues related to literature and interpretation. Rorty’s theory is rejected on two grounds. First, it is argued that his unrestrained account of interpretation is incompatible with the distinctive moral concerns that have been seen to restrict the scope and nature of valid approaches to artworks. The second part of the paper claims that there is no indispensable relationship between supporting (...) Rorty’s pragmatist theory of interpretation and the important place that is attached to literature in the liberal society outlined by him. A reading of Donald Davidson’s texts on literary language and interpretation implies that an intentionalist theory of interpretation can accommodate those features that Rorty values in literature as well. (shrink)
Richard Rorty's recent death has unleashed a strikingly mixed judgment of his philosophical legacy, ranging from claims to originality to charges of charlatanry. What is clear, however, is Rorty's role in articulating a distinctive American voice in the history of philosophy. He achieved this not only through his own wide-ranging contributions but also by repositioning the pragmatists, especially William James and John Dewey, in the philosophical mainstream. Rorty did for the United States what Hegel and Heidegger had done for (...) Germany—to portray his nation as philosophy's final resting place. He was helped by postwar German philosophers like Jürgen Habermas who were happy to defer to their American conquerors. Rorty's philosophical method can be understood as a sublimation of America's world-historic self-understanding: a place suspicious of foreigners unless they are willing to blend into the "melting pot." In retrospect, the breadth and confidence of Rorty's writing will come to symbolize the moment when the United States, for better or worse, came to be the world's dominant philosophical power. Key Words: Rorty pragmatism logical positivism analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Richard Peters has been praised for the authenticity of his philosophy, and inquiry into aspects of the development of his philosophy reveals a profound authenticity. Yet authenticity is something he seems not to favour. The apparent paradox is resolved by observing historical changes in the understanding of authenticity as an important value. Possibilities are noted for further explorations as to how to understand and value it as an educational ideal.
“Choose your words wisely,” my mother used to say, “because you never know who’s listening.” Oddly, this is something about which my dear mother and Mark Richard apparently would agree. They both seem to think that the words you use say something about who you are, and if you use bad words, then you are a bad person. About this, I have no doubt that they are right - those who use slurs, at least in the context of many (...) assertive utterances, are surely racists, anti-Semites or whatever. But MR in his paper points out that matters go further than this, for our conversational interactions with slur words can show us to be of such dubious moral status even if we don’t utter them; just our normal practices of accepting the utterances of others would be sufficient for this result. But something is surely amiss here; no doubt we can know the meaning of slur-words, and so comprehend the utterances of others, without impugning our moral stature in any way. (shrink)
At first sight it would seem difficult to find two philosophers as different as Brian Barry and Richard Rorty. It is widely held that the former is one of the most forceful proponents of liberal universalism, whereas the latter is typically viewed as the quintessential relativist. In this essay, different usages of the term univeralism are considered, and it is argued that Rorty's position is much closer to that of Barry than is generally supposed. Indeed, the article concludes by (...) suggesting that it is Rorty who offers the less question-begging philosophical account of political liberalism. (shrink)
This paper is partly a tribute to Richard Jeffrey, partly a reflection on some of his writings, The Logic of Decision in particular. I begin with a brief biography and some fond reminiscences of Dick. I turn to some of the key tenets of his version of Bayesianism. All of these tenets are deployed in my discussion of his response to the St. Petersburg paradox, a notorious problem for decision theory that involves a game of infinite expectation. Prompted by (...) that paradox, I conclude with some suggestions of avenues for future research. (shrink)
"On the June 16th, 1996, Richard Sylvan died of a sudden and unexpected heart attack. His death, at the relatively young age of 60, robbed Australasia of one of its greatest philosophers, arguably the most original that it has ever produced. Richard was born Francis Richard Routley at Levin, New Zealand, on 13 December, 1935. He changed his name to Sylvan -- much to the confusion of a number of people -- when he remarried in 1983. After (...) studying at the Victoria University of Wellington, he took a job at the University of Sydney, in Australia, where he lived for the rest of his life. He had several other jobs in Australia, including one at the University of New.. (shrink)
Ecologist Richard Levins argues population biologists must trade‐off the generality, realism, and precision of their models since biological systems are complex and our limitations are severe. Steven Orzack and Elliott Sober argue that there are cases where these model properties cannot be varied independently of one another. If this is correct, then Levins's thesis that there is a necessary trade‐off between generality, precision, and realism in mathematical models in biology is false. I argue that Orzack and Sober's arguments fail (...) since Levins's thesis concerns the pragmatic features of model building not just the formal properties of models. (shrink)
Richard Goldschmidt famously rejected the notion of atomic and corpuscular genes, arranged on the chromosome like beads-on-a-string. I provide an exegesis of Goldschmidt’s intuition by analyzing his repeated and extensive use of metaphorical language and analogies in his attempts to convey his notion of the nature of the genetic material and specifically the significance of chromosomal pattern. The paper concentrates on Goldschmidt’s use of metaphors in publications spanning 1940-1955. -/- .
This paper examines the relation or, more precisely, tension between postmodern deconstruction and ethics by elaborating upon the ethico-political dimensions of deconstructionism. It embarks on a critical assessment of postmodern discourse on ethics in view of its political implications by analyzing Jacques Derrida''s and Richard Rorty''s arguments with an assumption that their positions represent a certain logic in the postmodern discourse on ethics. Postmodern ethics is based on incredulity with regard to traditional metanarratives, and it defines ethics in terms (...) of sensitivity or responsibility to otherness and difference. Its proponents believe that the negation of modern metanarratives opens a way to the Other which has been marginalized and suppressed both in thought and in social practice. Derrida and Rorty represent this position with their emphasis on the ethical nature of deconstruction and the need to elaborate new languages for ethics. Despite postmodern appeal to ethics of this sort, however, postmodern thinking shows its limits in dealing with most ethical-political matters in the contemporary world. The postmodern approach to ethics, being restricted within the perspective of the individual, does not provide any determinate framework for deciding how to adjudicate conflicting ethical claims or how to link the unconditional affirmation of emancipatory ideals, enlightened social criticism, and democratic accountability in determinate political terms. In the main, this paper contends that philosophical deconstruction and responsibility to otherness undermine each other in the public sphere. (shrink)
Is Jean-Paul Sartre to be credited for Richard Wright's existentialist leanings? This essay argues that while there have been noteworthy philosophical exchanges between Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Richard Wright, we can find evidence of Wright's philosophical and existential leanings before his interactions with Sartre and Beauvoir. In particular, Wright's short story "The Man Who Lived Underground" is analyzed as an existential, or Black existential, project that is published before Wright met Sartre and/or read his scholarship. Existentialist (...) themes that emerge from Wright's short story include flight, guilt, life, death, dread, and freedom. Additionally, it is argued that "The Man Who Lived Underground" offers a reversal of the prototypical allegory of the cave that we find in the Western (ancient Greek) philosophical tradition. The essay takes seriously the significance of the intellectual exchanges between Sartre, Beauvoir, and Wright while also highlighting Wright's own philosophical legacy. (shrink)
Norman Bowie wrote an article on the moral obligations of multinational corporations in 1987. This paper is a response to Bowie, but more importantly, it is designed to articulate the force and substance of the pragmatist philosophy developed by Richard Rorty. In his article, Bowie suggested that moral universalism (which he endorses) is the only credible method of doing business ethics across cultures and that cultural relativism and ethnocentrism are not. Bowie, in a manner surprisingly common among contemporary philosophers, (...) lumps Rorty into a bad guy category without careful analysis of his philosophy and ascribes to him views which clearly do not fit. I attempt to provide both a more careful articulation of Rorty's views, and to use his pragmatism to illustrate an approach to business ethics which is more fruitful than Bowie's. This brand of philosophy follows the Enlightenment spirit of toleration and attempts to set aside questions of Truth, whether religious or philosophical, and have ethics centered around what James called that which is good in the way of belief. Rather than looking for metaphysical foundations or some type of external justification, ethicists perform their craft from within the cultural traditions, narratives and practices of their society. (shrink)
The clinical ethics propounded by Richard Zaner is unique. Partly because of his phenomenological orientation and partly because of his own daily practice as a clinical ethicist in a large university hospital, Zaner focuses on the particular concrete situations in which patients and their families confront illness and injury and struggle toward workable ways for dealing with them. He locates ethical reality in the clinical encounter. This encounter encompasses not only patient and physician but also the patients family and (...) friends and indeed the entire lifeworld in which the patient is still striving to live. In order to illuminate the central moral constituents of such human predicaments, Zaner discusses the often-overlooked features of disruption and crisis, the changed self, the patients dependence and the physicians power, the violation of personal boundaries and their necessary reconfiguring, and the art of listening. (shrink)
In the history of medieval semantics, supposition theory is important especially in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In this theory the emphasis is on the term, whose properties one tries to determine. In the fourteenth century the focus is on the proposition, of which a term having supposition is a part. The idea is to analyse propositions in order to determine their truth (probare). The Speculum puerorum written by Richard Billingham was the standard textbook for this approach. It was (...) very influential in Europe. The theory of the probatio propositionis was meant to solve problems both in (empirically oriented) scientific propositions such as used by the Oxford Calculators, and theological propositions, especially those about the Trinity. The book is original, concise, but not clear in every respect. Studying medieval commentaries may help us to understand Richard's book. In the present paper three commentaries are presented. The commentators discussed problems about the status of Richard's book, and about its doctrine: what is the relation between probatio and truth, what is the relation between probatio and supposition, what exactly are mediate and immediate terms (e.g.is the pronoun 'this' mediate or immediate?). The commentators sometimes criticize Richard. For example, one of them argues, against Billingham, that the verb 'can' ampliates its subject term and is therefore mediate. (shrink)
Leading figures in ancient philosophy present nineteen original papers on three key themes in the work of Richard Sorabji. The papers dealing with Metaphysics range from Democritus to Numenius on basic questions about the structure and nature of reality: necessitation, properties, and time. The section on Soul includes one paper on the individuation of souls in Plato and five papers on Aristotle's and Aristotelian theories of cognition, with a special emphasis on perception. The section devoted to Ethics concentrates upon (...) Stoicism and the complex views the Stoics held on such topics as motivation, akrasia, oikeitsis, and the emotions. It also includes one paper on the influence of Greek ethics in Modern Philosophy. The volume also contains a fascinating "intellectual autobiography" by Sorabji himself, and a full Bibliography of his works. (shrink)
In his previous books, The Theory of Epistemic Rationality (1987) and Working Without a Net (1993), Richard Foley presented a highly influential account of what it means for one’s beliefs and belief-forming practices to be rational. Developing a positive new account of epistemic rationality, however, has never been Foley’s sole concern. His project is metaepistemological in character as much as it is epistemological. Put crudely, questions such as ‘What makes some beliefs knowledge?’ are of equal importance to Foley as (...) such questions as ‘How is scepticism possible?’. Indeed, given the way in which philosophical debates tend to be shaped, it may be the more fruitful way of tackling a philosophical problem to start from questions of the latter type and work one’s way backward to the fundamental questions that gave rise to the debate in the first place. Such an approach need not be strictly historical; rather, it will be meta-epistemological in that it probes deeply into the possibility of an epistemological theory, its prospective subject matter as well as its limitations. Given the difficulty of constructing a coherent epistemological theory and defending it against the various objections that are standardly run against such theories, it should often prove more viable to illustrate the general meta-epistemological ‘lessons’ by way of referring to previous epistemological theories and the long-standing debates that surround them. Hence, a metaepistemological approach naturally gives rise to an historically informed outlook. (shrink)
As the world watched the Fukushima reactors spew incalculable quantities of radionuclides into the sea and air and wondered what effect this would have on our health and that of generations to come, the warnings of Dr. Alice Stewart about low-dose radiation risk assumed a terrible timeliness. As industry, governments, and the media attempted to quiet the alarms, assuring us that radioactive releases will dilute and disperse and become too miniscule to matter, the reassurances of Sir Richard Doll, foremost (...) among Stewart's detractors, also became relevant. It is clear, as proponents and opponents of nuclear energy thrash it out, that there is not much more scientific consensus about the hazards of low-dose radiation .. (shrink)
The article considers a particular case of Richard Kearney's characteristic hermeneutical exploration of `the possible' as an `imaginative' way of casting light upon philosophical issues. This particular case is his recent hermeneutical and phenomenological consideration of `Otherness' in the context of philosophy of religion. This consideration, strongly influenced by philosophers such as Heidegger, Levinas, Ricoeur and Derrida, is developed in two of his recent works Strangers, Gods and Monsters and The God Who May Be . The article examines how (...) he seeks to navigate an interpretation of divine otherness as an ethical appeal which escapes the dilemma of a God either so transcendent as to be anonymous or so immanent as to be a mere projection. It outlines how, rejecting onto-theology in favour of eschatology, Kearney envisages the divine as an ethically enabling possibility. This possibility, he claims, enables us to achieve, beyond our own intrinsic resources, an ethical order of justice and love through which the kingdom of God — the God Who May Be — is accomplished. There is a co-relativity between the divine as enabling possibility and humanity which accomplishes this possibility. It investigates the way in which Kearney seeks to legitimize, within a phenomenological frame of reference, an experiential affirmation of this conception of divine transcendence as eschatological possibility. It argues that this phenomenological consideration needs to be qualified and complemented by certain metaphysical considerations which Kearney disputes. Key Words: eschatology ethics God hermeneutics metaphysics Otherness phenomenology possibility. (shrink)
Charles S. Peirce frequently mentioned reading Richard Whately's Elements of Logic when he was 12 years old. Throughout his life, Peirce emphasized the importance of that experience. This valorization of Whately is puzzling at first. Early in his career Peirce rejected Whately's central logical doctrines. What valuable insight concerning logic was robust enough to survive these specific rejections? Peirce recommended a biographical approach to understanding his philosophy. This essay follows that suggestion by considering Peirce's reading of Whately in a (...) larger life context. Surprisingly many factors in Charles Peirce's personal and intellectual development were at play when he read Whately. His father, Benjamin Peirce, oversaw rigorous home schooling intended to train young Charley for a brilliant intellectual career. Laboratory experience with qualitative chemical analysis exposed the boy to the logic of scientific investigation, specifically to the hypothetico-deductive method of inquiry. However, tensions between father and son developed over Charles' wish to devote his life to studying the logic of science. The two also disagreed upon the value of formal science. Against this background we will review relevant logical doctrines of Whately's book, as well as his innovative formalizing practice of logical inquiry. Then we will see that it was Whately's lessons about formal science that were of such importance to Peirce. (shrink)
Richard Sylvan (né Routley) was one of Australasia's most prolific and systematic philosophers. Though known for his innovative work in logic and metaphysics, the astonishing breadth of his philosophical endeavours included almost all reaches of philosophy. Taking the view that very basic assumptions of mainstream philosophy were fundamentally mistaken, he sought radical change across a wide range of theories. However, his view of the centrality of logic and recognition of the possibilities opened up by logical innovation in the fundamental (...) areas of metaphysics resulted in his working primarily in these two, closely connected fields. It is this work in logic and metaphysics that is the main focus of what follows. (shrink)
I examine the two main arguments that Richard Dawkins offers in The God Delusion to convince believers that God does not exist. Dawkins’ arguments, as stated, are not successful. Neither do sympathetic extensive reformulations have what it takes to require a believer to admit that God probably does not exist. I further argue against Dawkins’ assuming that belief in God, if legitimate, can be only a scientific hypothesis.
Some contemporary Russellians, defenders of the view that the semantic content of a proper name, demonstrative or indexical is simply its referent, are prepared to accept that view’s most infamous apparent consequence: that coreferential names, demonstratives, indexicals, etc. are intersubstitutable salva veritate, even in intentional contexts. Nathan Salmon and Scott Soames argue that our recalcitrant intuitions with respect to the famous apparent counterexamples are not semantic intuitions, but rather pragmatic intuitions. Strictly and literally speaking, Lois Lane believes, and even knows (...) that Clark Kent is identical to Superman, since she believes and knows that Superman is identical to Superman. Salmon and Soames attempt to soften our reaction to this shocker by allowing that it is typically misleading to utter the sentence ‘Lois Lane knows that Clark Kent is identical to Superman’, since it pragmatically implicates, without semantically entailing, that Lois Lane would accept the sentence ‘Clark Kent is identical to Superman’. Our compulsive tendency to claim that ‘Lois Lane knows that Clark Kent is Superman’ is false, rather than merely misleading, is due to a confusion between semantics and pragmatics, between truth conditions and conditions of appropriateness of utterance.1 It is probably fair to say that the common reaction to this move in defense of Russellianism is negative. Mark Richard says the following. (shrink)
It is quite widely assumed that at the beginning of his career Richard Rorty was an orthodox analytic philosopher, working in its then current mainstream, and especially fascinated by the linguistic turn taken by this tradition. Subsequently he supposedly radically and dramatically changed his views, turning himself from a staunch analytic philosophers into a vigorous critic of the analytic tradition and ultimately paradigmatically postmodern and continental thinker. It is argued in the paper that this common picture exaggerates changes in (...) Rorty’s philosophical views. He certainly has never become fully postmodern and continental philosopher, whatever it means. And what seems more important, he always had a lot of reservations about analytic philosophy and had less hopes of it than one or two passages from his early writings suggest. (shrink)
Contemporary theories of justice frequently suppose that a legitimate state does not coerce people to comply with values or principles that they could reasonably reject. This ideal of legitimacy is thought to imply neutrality on the good: The State should not coerce people to comply with controversial conceptions of the good (which people could reasonably reject). As Ronald Dworkin puts the point, the government's policies should “be neutral on the question of the good life, or of what gives value to (...) life." Liberal neutrality is sometimes described as a generalization of policies of religious tolerance: Just as the state should be neutral with respect to religious questions, so too the state should be neutral with respect to questions about the good life.". (shrink)
A central theme in the foundational debates in the early Twentieth century in response to the paradoxes was to invoke the notion of the indefinite extensibility of certain concepts e,g. definability (the Richard paradox) and class (the Zermelo-Russell contradiction). Dummett has recently revived the notion, as the real lesson of the paradoxes and the source of Frege's error in basic law five of the Grundgesetze. The paper traces the historical and conceptual evolution of the concept and critices Dummett's argument (...) that the proper lesson of the paradoxes is that set theory is a theory of indefinitely extensible domains. (shrink)
On his death in 2007, Richard Rorty was heralded by the New York Times as “one of the world’s most influential contemporary thinkers.” Controversial on the left and the right for his critiques of objectivity and political radicalism, Rorty experienced a renown denied to all but a handful of living philosophers. In this masterly biography, Neil Gross explores the path of Rorty’s thought over the decades in order to trace the intellectual and professional journey that led him to that (...) prominence. The child of a pair of leftist writers who worried that their precocious son “wasn’t rebellious enough,” Rorty enrolled at the University of Chicago at the age of fifteen. There he came under the tutelage of polymath Richard McKeon, whose catholic approach to philosophical systems would profoundly influence Rorty’s own thought. Doctoral work at Yale led to Rorty’s landing a job at Princeton, where his colleagues were primarily analytic philosophers. With a series of publications in the 1960s, Rorty quickly established himself as a strong thinker in that tradition—but by the late 1970s Rorty had eschewed the idea of objective truth altogether, urging philosophers to take a “relaxed attitude” toward the question of logical rigor. Drawing on the pragmatism of John Dewey, he argued that philosophers should instead open themselves up to multiple methods of thought and sources of knowledge—an approach that would culminate in the publication of Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature , one of the most seminal and controversial philosophical works of our time. In clear and compelling fashion, Gross sets that surprising shift in Rorty’s thought in the context of his life and social experiences, revealing the many disparate influences that contribute to the making of knowledge. As much a book about the growth of ideas as it is a biography of a philosopher, Richard Rorty will provide readers with a fresh understanding of both the man and the course of twentieth-century thought. (shrink)
Ecologist Richard Levins (1966, 1968) argues population biologists must trade-off the generality, realism and precision of their models since biological systems are complex and our limitations are severe. Elliott Sober and Steven Orzack (1993) argue that there are cases where these model properties cannot be varied independently of one another. If this is correct, then Levins` thesis that there is a necessary trade-off between generality, precision, and realism in mathematical models in biology is false. I argue that Sober and (...) Orzack`s arguments fail since Levins` thesis concerns the pragmatic features of model building not just the formal properties of models. (shrink)
Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity , (CIS), Cambridge University Press, (Cambridge and New York; 1989), pp. 201+xvi ____________, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth , (ORT), Philosophical Papers Volume 1, Cambridge University Press, (Cambridge and New York; 1991), pp. 226+x. ____________, Essays on Heidegger and Others , (EHO), Philosophical Papers Volume 2, Cambridge UniversityPress, (Cambridge and New York; 1991), pp. 202+x. Alan R. Malachowski, ed., Reading Rorty , (RR), Basil Blackwell, (Oxford and Cambridge, MA; 1990), pp. 384+xiv.
In a recent contribution to Learning for Democracy, Richard Bailey argues that Thomas Kuhn advocated an indoctrinatory model of science education, which is fundamentally authority-based. While agreeing with Bailey’s conclusion, this article suggests that Kuhn was attempting to solve an important problem which Bailey only touches on – how to ensure that science students do not become hypercritical. It continues by offering a critical rationalist solution to this problem, arguing that paradigms qua exemplars should be historical problem-solving episodes, rather (...) than model solutions to puzzles. (shrink)
We begin our discussion of Richard by comparing his and our aims. Richard argues for and begins to develop an account of a connection between the semantic content of (an utterance of) a sentence and correct indirect reports of it. He submits that by doing so he refutes us, but that's just not so. We never challenged the existence of every such connection. Surely there is some connection (probably many). Our paper attempts to show that one alleged connection (...) does not obtain. We articulated two central goals, one specific (1), and one more general (2). (shrink)
Dr. Davidson is a William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984.
This note argues that the charge of reductionism levelled against Richard Dawkins is false. It does so by examining the development of his notion of the genes in his books The Selfish Gene (TSG), and The Extended Phenotype (TEP).
The general assumption that underlines Richard Posner’s argument in his book Not a Suicide Pact is that decisions concerning rights and security in the context of modern terrorism should be made by balancing competing interests. This assumption is obviously correct if one refers to the most rudimentary sense of balancing, namely, the idea that normative decisions should be made in light of the importance of the relevant values and considerations. However, Posner advocates a more specific conception of balancing, both (...) substantively and institutionally. Substantiality, he argues for balancing based on a consequential moral theory that rejects the ideas of deontological rights and particularly absolute or very weighty deontological rights. More specifically, it seems that Posner assumes a utilitarian theory that also rejects intrinsic concern for distributive justice. Institutionally, Posner argues that this method of reasoning should be adopted by judges when interpreting the constitution. These substantive and institutional background assumptions are of course controversial, but I do not dispute them in this Article. My critique concerns Posner’s conclusions based on these assumptions. Posner’s main claim is that given the magnitude of the danger of modern terrorism, even a small probability that an act of terror may occur justifies extreme anti-terror measures. While the general idea that even a slight risk of very serious harm justifies significant cost is plausible, I doubt Posner’s assumptions regarding the cost of various means of preventing these dangers, his claim that judicial review in this context should be very limited, and his suggestion of an absolute formal prohibition that is not strictly enforced in the context of measures such as interrogational torture. (shrink)
This paper calls into question Richard Rorty's recasting of the traditional justifications of liberal political philosophy in an anti-foundationalist ironic mould. Rorty suggests not only that his irony is compatible with the liberal commitments to human flourishing but also that it can clear up many of the conceptual difficulties that liberal reformers face today. Two objections are raised against the Rortian approach to politics, one conceptual, the other practical. Conceptually, because Rorty does not wish to burden political irony and (...) imagination with a constraining political theory, his proposal increases the likelihood that two liberal commitments that he judges essential, the separation of the public and the private, and the aversion of wilful cruelty, will clash with one another. Practically, the success of his anti-foundationalist irony among sophisticated liberal reformers is jeopardized by its potentially negative impact upon the non-ironic, metaphysically minded political actors who most need to be brought into the liberal debate. Key Words: irony liberal imagination political theory pragmatism social change Third World. (shrink)