Our first aim is to make the study of informal notions of proof plausible. Put differently, since the raison d'étre of anything like existing proof theory seems to rest on such notions, the aim is nothing else but to make a case for proof theory; ...
In 1994 the "Ramsey Colloquium," under the leadership of Richard John Neuhaus, posed a challenge to what it called the "homosexual movement" within the Christian Church. The challenge was to prove that it had reasons distinguishable from secular liberalism--reasons consistent with orthodox Christian theology--in favor of same-sex coupling. Eugene Rogers's book, "Sexuality and the Christian Body: Their Way into the Triune God, can be read as a response to this challenge. The book is important not only for the (...) content of its arguments, which are imaginative and theologically rigorous, but also for the exemplary way in which Rogers exhibits charity in his account of his conservative opponents. Rogers's recent anthology, "Theology and Sexuality", provides additional evidence that a new, more promising debate is arising within the Church, a debate that has some hope of transcending the rhetoric of the culture wars. (shrink)
Pluralism in Theory and Practice not only brings McKeon to the attention of contemporary philosophers and students; it also puts his theories into practice. Some of the essays explicate aspects of McKeon's thought or situate him in the context of American intellectual and practical engagement. Others take the concerns he raised as starting points for inquiries into urgent contemporary problems, or, in some cases, for reexamining McKeon's work as fertile ground for shaping the direction of new investigation.
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)
Up until fairly recently it was philosophical orthodoxy – at least within analytic aesthetics broadly construed – to hold that the appreciation and evaluation of works as art and moral considerations pertaining to them are conceptually distinct. However, following on from the idea that artistic value is broader than aesthetic value, the last 15 years has seen an explosion of interest in exploring possible inter-relations between the appreciative and ethical character of works as art. Consideration of these issues has a (...) distinguished philosophical history but as the Compass survey article suggests ('Art, Morality and Ethics: On the (Im)Moral Character of Art Works and Inter-Relations to Artistic Value.' Philosophy Compass 1.2 (2006): 129–43), it is only very recently that figures in the field have returned to it to develop more precisely what they take the relationships to be and why. Consensus is, unsurprisingly, lacking. The reinvigoration of the issues has led sophisticated formalists or autonomists to mount a more considered defence of the idea that aesthetic and literary values are indeed conceptually distinct from the justification or otherwise of the moral perspective or views endorsed in a work (Topic I). The challenges presented by such a defence are many but amongst them are appeals to critical practice (Lamarque and Olsen), scepticism about whether or not art really can give us bona fide knowledge (Stolnitz) and the recognition that truth often seems to be far removed from what it is we value in our appreciation of works (Lamarque). One way to motivate consideration of the relevance of a work's moral character to its artistic value concerns the phenomena of imaginative resistance. At least sometimes it would seem that, as Hume originally suggested, we either cannot or will not enter imaginatively into the perspective solicited by a work due to its morally problematic character (Topic II). In some cases, it would seem that as a matter of psychological fact, we cannot do so since it is impossible for us to imagine how it could be that a certain attitude or action is morally permissible or good (Walton). The question then is whether or not this is a function of morality in particular or constraints on imaginative possibility more generally and what else is involved. At other times, the phenomena seem to be driven by a moral reluctance to allow ourselves to enter into the dramatic perspective involved (Moran) or evaluation of the attitude expressed (Stokes). Nonetheless, it is far from obvious that this is so of all the attitudes or responses we judge to be morally problematic. After all, it looks like we can and indeed often do suspend or background particular cognitive and moral commitments in engaging with all sorts of works (Nichols and Weinberg). If the moral character of a work interacts with how we appreciate and evaluate them, then the pressing question is this: is there any systematic account of the relationship available to us? One way is to consider the relationship between our emotional responses to works and their moral character (Topic III). After all, art works often solicit various emotional responses from us to follow the work and make use of moral concepts in so doing (Carroll). Indeed, whether or not a work merits the sought for emotional responses often seems to be internally related to ethical considerations (Gaut). Yet, it is not obvious that we should apply our moral concepts or respond emotionally in our imaginative engagement with works as art as we should in real life (Kieran, Jacobson). A different route is via the thought that art can convey knowledge (Topic IV). There might be particular kinds of moral knowledge art distinctively suited to conveying (Nussbaum) or it may just be that art does so particularly effectively (Carroll, Gaut, Kieran). Either way where this can be tied to the artistic means and appreciation of a work it would seem that to cultivate moral understanding contributes to the value of a work and to betray misunderstanding is a defect. Without denying the relevance of the moral character of a work some authors have wanted to claim that sometimes the immoral aspect of a work can contribute to rather than lessen its artistic value (Topic V). One route is to claim that there is no systematic theoretical account of the relationship available and what the right thing to say is depends on the particular case involved (Jacobson). Another involves the claim that this is so when the defect connects up in an appropriate way to one of the values of art. Thus, it has been claimed, only where a work reveals something which adds to intelligibility, knowledge or understanding in virtue of its morally problematic aspect can this be so (Kieran). The latter position looks like it could in principle be held whilst nonetheless maintaining that the typical or standard relationship is as the moralists would have it. Yet perhaps allowing valence change for such reasons is less a mark of principled explanation and more a function of downright inconsistency or incoherence (Harold). The topics themselves and suggested readings given below follow the structure articulated above as further amplified in the Compass survey article. The design and structure given below can be easily compressed or expanded further. Author Recommends 1. Carroll, Noël. 'Art, Narrative and Moral Understanding.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 126–60. This article develops the idea that engaging with narrative art calls on moral concepts and emotions and can thereby clarify our moral understanding. 2. Carroll, Noël. Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays . Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Part IV consists of six distinct essays on questions concerning the inter-relations between art and morality including the essay cited above and the author's articulation and defence of moderate moralism. 3. Gaut, Berys. 'The Ethical Criticism of Art.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 182–203. 4. Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. This monograph provides the most exhaustive treatment of the issues and defends the claim that, where relevant, whenever a work is morally flawed it is of lesser value as art and wherever it is morally virtuous the work's value as art is enhanced. Chapters 7 and 8 defend concern ethical knowledge and chapter 10 is a development of the article cited above concerning emotional responses. Chapter 3 also gives a useful conceptual map of the issues and options in the debate. 5. Jacobson, Daniel. 'In Praise of Immoral Art.' Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155–99. A wide ranging and extended treatment of relevant issues which objects to generalising moral treatments of our responses to art works and defends the idea that particular works can be better because of rather than despite their moral defects. 6. Kieran, Matthew. 'Forbidden Knowledge: The Challenge of Cognitive Immoralism.' Art and Morality . Ed. Sebastian Gardner and José Luis Bermúdez. London: Routledge, 2003. 56–73. A general argument for immoralism is elaborated by outlining when, where and why a work's morally problematic character can contribute to its artistic value for principled reasons (through enhancing moral understanding). 7. Kieran, Matthew. Revealing Art . London: Routledge, 2005. Chapter 4. This chapter argues against both aestheticism and straightforward moralism about art, elaborating a defence of immoralism in relation to visual art whilst ranging over issues from pornographic art to the nature and demands of different genres in art. 8. Lamarque, Peter. 'Cognitive Values in the Arts: Marking the Boundaries.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, 127–39. This article concisely outlines and defends a sophisticated aestheticism that denies the importance of truth to artistic value. 9. Stolnitz, Jerome. 'On the Cognitive Triviality of Art.' British Journal of Aesthetics 32.3 (1992): 191–200. This article articulates and defends the claim that no knowledge of any interesting or significant kind can be afforded by works appreciated and evaluated as art. 10. Walton, Kendall. 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, I.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. 68 (1994): 27–51. This article builds on some comments from Hume to develop the idea that when engaging with fictions it seems impossible imaginatively to enter into radically deviant moral attitudes. Online Materials 'Aesthetics and Ethics: The State of the Art.' American Society of Aesthetics online (Jeffrey Dean): http://www.aesthetics-online.org/articles/index.php?articles_id=15 >. 'Art, Censorship and Morality' downloadable podcast of Nigel Warburton interviewing Matthew Kieran at Tate Britain (BBC/OU Open2.net as part of the Ethics Bites series): http://www.open2.net/ethicsbites/art-censorship-morality.html >. 'Art, Morality and Ethics: On the (Im)Moral Character of Art Works and Inter-Relations to Artistic Value.' Philosophy Compass 1.2 (2006): 129–43 (Matthew Kieran): http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557779/abstract >. 'Ethical Criticism of Art.' Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Ella Peek): http://www.iep.utm.edu/a/art-eth.htm >. 'Fascinating Fascism.' New York Review of Books Piece Discussing Leni Riefenstahl (Susan Sontag): http://www.nybooks.com/articles/9280 >. 'The Beheading of St. John the Baptist (1450s), Giovanni de Paolo' (Tom Lubbock): http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/great-works/great-works-the-beheading-of-st-john-the-baptist-1450s-giovanni-di-paolo-1684900.html >. Vladimir Nabokov and Lionel Trilling discuss Lolita (CBS): http://www.listal.com/video/3848698 >. Sample Syllabus Topic I Autonomism/Aestheticism • Anderson, James C. and Jeffrey T. Dean. 'Moderate Autonomism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 38.2 (1998): 150–66. • Beardsley, Monroe. Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism . New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1958. Chapter 12. • Kant, Immanuel. The Critique of Judgement.Trans. James Creed Meredith . Oxford: Oxford UP, 1952 . • Lamarque, Peter. 'Cognitive Values in the Arts: Marking the Boundaries.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, 127–39. • ——. 'Tragedy and Moral Value.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73.2 (1995): 239–49. • Lamarque, Peter and Stein Olsen. Truth, Fiction and Literature . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994. Chapter 10. • Stolnitz, Jerome. 'On the Cognitive Triviality of Art.' British Journal of Aesthetics 32.3 (1992): 191–200. Topic II Imaginative Capacities, Intelligibility and Resistance • Moran, Richard. 'The Expression of Feeling in Imagination.' Philosophical Review 103.1 (1994): 75–106. • Nichols, Shaun. 'Just the Imagination: Why Imagining Doesn't Behave Like Believing'. Mind & Language 21.4 (2006): 459–74. • Stokes, Dustin. 'The Evaluative Character of Imaginative Resistance'. British Journal of Aesthetics 46.4 (2006): 387–405. • Tanner, Michael. 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, II'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 68 (1994): 51–66. • Walton, Kendall (1994). 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, I'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 68 (1994): 27–51. • Weinberg, Jonathan. 'Configuring the Cognitive Imagination.' New Waves in Aesthetics . Eds. K. Stock and K. Thomson-Jones. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 203–23. Topic III Moralism and Emotions • Carroll, Noël. 'Moderate Moralism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 36.3 (1996): 223–37. • Carroll, Noël. 'Art, Narrative and Moral Understanding.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998.126–60. • Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Chapter 10. • ——. 'The Ethical Criticism of Art.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 182–203. • Hume, David. 'Of the Standard of Taste.' Selected Essays . Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993 . 133–53. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Emotions, Art and Immorality.' Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Emotions . Ed. Peter Goldie. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 681–703. • Tolstoy, Leo. What is Art? . London: Penguin, 2004. Chapters 5 and 15. Topic IV Moralism and Knowledge • Aristotle. Poetics . Trans. M. Heath. London: Penguin, 1996 [367–322 BC]. • Carroll, Noël. 'The Wheel of Virtue: Art, Literature and Moral Knowledge.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60.1 (2002): 3–26. • Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Chapters 7 and 8. • Gaut, Berys. 'Art and Cognition.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 115–26. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Art, Imagination and the Cultivation of Morals.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 54.4 (1996): 337–51. • Nussbaum, Martha. 'Finely Aware and Richly Responsible: Literature and the Moral Imagination.' Love's Knowledge . New York: Oxford UP, 1990. 148–68. • Plato. The Republic . Trans. D. Lee. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974. Book 10. Topic V Immoralist Contextualism • Harold, James. 'Immoralism and the Valence Constraint.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48.1 (2008): 45–64. • Jacobson, Daniel. 'In Praise of Immoral Art.' Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155–99. • ——. 'Ethical Criticism and the Vices of Moderation.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 342–55. • John, Eileen. 'Artistic Value and Moral Opportunism.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 331–41. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Forbidden Knowledge:The Challenge of Cognitive Immoralism.' Art and Morality . Ed. Sebastian Gardner and José Luis Bermúdez. London: Routledge, 2003. 56–73. • Kieran, Matthew. Revealing Art . London: Routledge, 2005. Chapter 4. • Patridge, Stephanie. 'Moral Vices as Artistic Virtues: Eugene Onegin and Alice.' Philosophia 36.2 (2008): 181–93. Focus Questions 1. What is the strongest argument for the claim that the moral character of a work is not relevant to its artistic value? Does artistic or literary criticism tend to concern itself with the truth or morality of works? If so, in what ways? If not, why do you think this is? 2. What different explanations might there be for difficulty with or resistance to imaginatively entering into attitudes you take to be immoral? How might this relate to the way our imaginings work as contrasted with belief? How might different literary or artistic treatments of the same subject matter make a difference? 3. How do narrative works draw on our moral concepts and responses? Can we suspend our normal moral commitments or application of moral concepts in responding emotionally to art works? Should we respond emotionally to art works as we ought to respond to real world events we witness? Why? Why not? 4. How, if at all, do art works convey moral understanding? How, if at all, is this related to the kinds of moral knowledge art works can teach or reveal to us? When, where and why might this be tied to the artistic value of a work? How can we tell where a work enhances our moral understanding as opposed to misleading or distorting it? 5. What art works do you value overall as art which commend or endorse moral values and attitudes that you do not? Is appreciation of them always marred or lessened by the morally dubious aspect? If not, what explains the differences in evaluation? What, if anything, might you learn by engaging with works which endorse moral attitudes or apply moral concepts different from those you take to be justified? How, if at all, might this connect up with what makes them valuable as art? (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)
David Hume's relatively short essay 'Of the Standard of Taste' deals with some of the most difficult issues in aesthetic theory. Apart from giving a few pregnant remarks, near the end of his discussion, on the role of morality in aesthetic evaluation, Hume tries to reconcile the idea that tastes are subjective (in the sense of not being answerable to the facts) with the idea that some objects of taste are better than others. 'Tastes', in this context, are the pleasures (...) or displeasures that a person can take in the beauties of poems, paintings, and other artistic compositions (though Hume also wants to stress the continuities between tastes, so understood, and the bodily sense of taste). The position at which Hume arrives in the essay (despite some dialectical unclarity) is that some people – the 'true judges'– determine by their 'joint verdict' which works are meritorious. This solution continues to exercise a fascination, as does Hume's complicated route to it. Author Recommends: Paul Guyer, 'The Standard of Taste and the "Most Ardent Desire of Society" ', Values of Beauty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 37–76. This paper places 'Of the Standard of Taste' in an especially rich context, and asks why Hume concentrates on true judges instead of the improvement of one's own taste. Mary Mothersill, 'Hume: "Of the Standard of Taste" ', Beauty Restored (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 177–208. This chapter, embedded in an exposition of Mothersill's 'First Thesis' (the denial that there are principles of taste) and 'Second Thesis' (the affirmation that some judgments of taste are genuine judgments), gives a detailed running commentary on Hume's essay. A shorter self-contained version of the chapter appeared as 'Hume and the Paradox of Taste' in Aesthetics: A Critical Anthology , 2nd ed., eds. George Dickie, Richard Sclafani, and Ronald Roblin (New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1989, 269–86). Jerrold Levinson, 'Hume's Standard of Taste: The Real Problem', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (2002): 227–38. An importance recent article, Levinson's piece argues that the 'real' difficulty with Hume's essay has gone unnoticed: why should I care about what Hume's true judges think? Christopher Williams, 'Some Questions in Hume's Aesthetics', Philosophy Compass 2/2 (2007). This article provides a brief overview of the topics discussed under weeks 3–5 in the sample syllabus below. It is intended to provide a roadmap for the particular set of readings listed there. David Wiggins, 'A Sensible Subjectivism?', Needs, Values, and Truth , 3rd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), 185–214. This is a stimulating paper in moral philosophy that treats Hume's essay on taste as a model for a serious subjectivism. Wiggins then presents his own brand of subjectivism as an alternative to Hume's. Online Materials: Hume's Aesthetics (Ted Gracyk): http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hume-aesthetics/ Sample Syllabus: Recommended background reading on Hume's historical context: Peter Kivy, The Seventh Sense: Francis Hutcheson and Eighteenth-Century British Aesthetics , 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), especially Part III. Recommended background reading on the general topic of taste: David A. Whewell, 'Taste', Blackwell Companion to Aesthetics (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), 415–18. Dabney Townsend and Carolyn Korsmeyer, 'Taste', Encyclopedia of Aesthetics , ed. Michael Kelly (New York, NY and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 4:355–62. Ted Cohen, 'The Philosophy of Taste: Thoughts on the Idea', Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics , ed. Peter Kivy (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), 167–73. Week 1: Hume on beauty, art, and aesthetic judgment in the Treatise of Human Nature and the Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals The following references are usable for any complete edition of the Treatise or Enquiry Treatise , 2.1.8 ('Of Beauty and Deformity') Treatise , 2.2.5 ('Of Our Esteem for the Rich and Powerful') Treatise , 2.2.8 ('Of Malice and Envy'), final three paragraphs Treatise , 2.2.11 ('Of the Amorous Passion, or Love Betwixt the Sexes') Treatise , 3.1.2 ('Moral Distinctions Deriv'd from a Moral Sense') Treatise , 3.3.1 ('Of the Origin of the Natural Virtues') Treatise , 3.3.5 ('Some Farther Reflexions Concerning the Natural Virtues') Enquiry , Appendix 1 ('Of moral sentiment') Week 2: Hume's essays Essays Moral, Political, and Literary , ed. Eugene Miller (Indianapolis, IN: LibertyClassics, 1985) is the most commonly used edition today. 'Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion' 'Of Eloquence' 'Of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Sciences' 'Of Simplicity and Refinement in Writing' 'Of Tragedy' 'Of the Standard of Taste' Week 3: Circularity–Virtuous or Vicious? Peter Kivy, 'Hume's Standard of Taste: Breaking the Circle', British Journal of Aesthetics (1967): 57–66. David Wiggins, 'A Sensible Subjectivism?', Needs, Values, and Truth , 3rd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), 185–214. Week 4: Rules of Art Mary Mothersill, 'Hume: "Of the Standard of Taste" ', Beauty Restored (Oxford: Clarendon, 1984), 177–208. James Shelley, 'Hume's Double Standard of Taste', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (1994): 437–45. Nick Zangwill, 'Hume, Taste, and Teleology', The Metaphysics of Beauty (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001), 149–65. Week 5: The True Judge Malcolm Budd, 'Hume and Kant', 'Hume's Standard of Taste', 'Hume and Human Nature', Values of Art (London: Allen Lane, 1995), 16–24 . Paul Guyer, 'The Standard of Taste and the "Most Ardent Desire of Society" ', Values of Beauty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 37–76. Jerrold Levinson, 'Hume's Standard of Taste: The Real Problem', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (2002): 227–38. Week 6: Moralism in Aesthetic Judgment: Hume and Beyond Kendall Walton, 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (1994): 27–50. Richard Moran, 'The Expression of Feeling in Imagination', Philosophical Review (1994): 75–106. Tamar Szabo-Gendler, 'The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance', Journal of Philosophy (2000): 55–81. Focus Questions 1. How does Hume distinguish between matters of 'fact' and 'sentiment'? 2. What is a 'rule of art', and are there any rules? 3. Can a bad critic be 'silenced'? 4. What are the characteristics of good critics? 5. Should we expect good critics to agree on the merits of a work, and should I care about becoming a good critic myself? 6. Is it possible to distinguish variations in taste for which we should expect a standard and variations for which it is 'vain' to have such an expectation? 7. How is the excellence of a work related to the exercise of taste? 8. If a work of literature has a moral outlook that differs from our own, should we consider the work defective on literary grounds? (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)
Traditionally, analytic philosophers writing on aesthetics have given short shrift to nature. The last thirty years, however, have seen a steady growth of interest in this area. The essays and books now available cover central philosophical issues concerning the nature of the aesthetic and the existence of norms for aesthetic judgement. They also intersect with important issues in environmental philosophy. More recent contributions have opened up new topics, such as the relationship between natural sound and music, the beauty of animals, (...) and the aesthetics of gardens. Using these materials, it is now easy to include a module on the aesthetics of nature as one part of an introductory course on aesthetics, or even to design an entire upper-level undergraduate or graduate seminar around the topic. Author Recommends: Don Mannison, 'Comments Stimulated by Reinhardt's Remarks: A Prolegomenon to a Human Chauvinistic Aesthetic'. Environmental Philosophy. Eds. Don Mannison, Michael McRobbie, and Richard Routley (Canberra: Australian National University, 1980), 212–16. Readers coming fresh to contemporary debates may find the lack of attention to natural beauty in twentieth-century philosophy somewhat puzzling. This paper, which defends the view that nature cannot be aesthetically appreciated as such, presents this attitude in a particularly pure form. Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). This seminal essay marks the beginning of contemporary discussion of the aesthetics of nature. Many of its ideas and themes continue to reverberate in contemporary debates. Allen Carlson, Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture (London: Routledge, 2000). This volume is a collection of Carlson's influential essays on environmental aesthetics. Chapters 4 and 5, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment' and 'Nature, Aesthetic Judgment, and Objectivity', set the agenda for much subsequent discussion in the aesthetics of nature. Chapter 6, 'Nature and Positive Aesthetics', develops and defends the controversial idea that nature, unlike art, is always aesthetically good. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). In this paper, Berleant presents his influential idea of an 'engaged aesthetics' for nature. Yuriko Saito, 'The Aesthetics of Unscenic Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 101–11. This article develops Saito's idea that ethical considerations play a critical role in the aesthetics of nature, and presents a novel argument for Positive Aesthetics for nature. Malcolm Budd, The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature: Essays on the Aesthetics of Nature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). This book collects Budd's papers on the aesthetics of nature, which contain important criticisms of Carlson's natural environmental model and the notion of Positive Aesthetics for nature. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). This paper argues for the importance of aesthetic appreciation that emphasizes emotional responses to nature. A philosophically sophisticated and influential treatment by a leading aesthetician. Ned Hettinger, 'Allen Carlson's Environmental Aesthetics and Protection of the Environment'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2005): 57–76. In this essay, an environmental philosopher gives careful and thorough consideration to the place of aesthetic considerations in environmental protection, focusing on Carlson's work. John Andrew Fisher, 'What the Hills are Alive With: In Defense of the Sounds of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 167–79. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Most discussions of nature aesthetics focus on visual experiences; this essay is the first philosophical study of the aesthetics of natural sounds. A nuanced and original paper. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant. 'Introduction: The Aesthetics of Nature'. The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Eds. Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004), 11–42. A comprehensive review of the literature, this essay contains the best available bibliography on the subject. Online Materials: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/environmental-aesthetics/ Environmental Aesthetics: Allen Carlson's entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://www.aesthetics-online.org/articles/index.php?articles_id=17 Teaching Environmental Aesthetics: Allen Carlson's article on the American Society for Aesthetics Web site. http://www.uqtr.uquebec.ca/AE/Vol_6/ Volume 6 of AE: Canadian Aesthetics Journal /Revue canadienne d'esthetique: Papers by Thomas Heyd and Ira Newman on Allen Carlson's book Aesthetics and the Environment, along with a response from Carlson. http://www.contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=400 Paradoxes and Puzzles: Appreciating Gardens and Urban Nature: An essay by Stephanie Ross in the online journal Contemporary Aesthetics. Sample Syllabus for a three-week module in an undergraduate aesthetics course: This three week module can easily be adapted to fit shorter available class time or reduced reading expectations for students. A lighter two-week module, for instance, would drop the Hepburn reading and do either the Carroll essay or the Saito essay, but not both. Note that all readings for this module are reprinted in Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (eds.), The Aesthetics of Natural Environments (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Week 1: Introduction Reading: Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Discussion of Hepburn's essay will allow the instructor to bring out the distinctive issues and themes of the aesthetics of nature. Week 2: Objectivity or Subjectivity? Readings: Allen Carlson, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 37 (1979): 267–76. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. This section covers two very different approaches to thinking about the aesthetic appreciation of nature. Consideration of these provides an opportunity for students to reflect on nature's relationship to art, and on the character of aesthetic experience itself. Week 3: Pluralistic Approaches Readings: Yuriko Saito, 'Appreciating Nature on its Own Terms'. Environmental Ethics 20 (1998): 135–49. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. This section considers approaches that are motivated by perceived limitations of the two approaches mentioned above. In discussing these, students will focus on the significance, for the aesthetics of nature, of emotion and also of broader ethical considerations. Sample Syllabus for an upper-level undergraduate or graduate seminar: Books on Syllabus: Glenn Parsons, Aesthetics and Nature [AN] (London: Continuum Press, forthcoming November 2008). Allen Carlson, Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture [AE] (London: Routledge, 2000). Allen Carlson and Arnold Berleant (eds.), The Aesthetics of Natural Environments [ANE] (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004). Week 1: Introduction Parsons, AN, ch. 1. Allen Carlson, 'Environmental Aesthetics'. The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics. Eds. Berys Gaut and Dominic Lopes (London: Routledge, 2001), 423–36. Don Mannison, 'Comments Stimulated by Reinhardt's Remarks: A Prolegomenon to a Human Chauvinistic Aesthetic'. Environmental Philosophy. Eds. Don Mannison, Michael McRobbie, and Richard Routley (Canberra: Australian National University, 1980), 212–16. Ronald Hepburn, 'Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty'. British Analytical Philosophy. Eds. Bernard Williams and Alan Montefiore (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 285–310. Reprinted in ANE. Week 2: Imagination Parsons, AN, ch. 2. Thomas Heyd, 'Aesthetic Appreciation and the Many Stories About Nature'. British Journal of Aesthetics 41 (2001): 125–37. Reprinted in ANE. Emily Brady, 'Imagination and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 139–47. Reprinted in ANE. Marcia Eaton, 'Fact and Fiction in the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 149–56. Reprinted in ANE. Week 3: Formalism Parsons, AN, ch. 3. Carlson, 'Formal Qualities and the Natural Environment', AE, ch. 3. Allen Carlson, 'On the Possibility of Quantifying Scenic Beauty'. Landscape Planning 4 (1977): 131–72. Ira Newman, 'Reflections on Allen Carlson's Aesthetics and the Environment'. AE: Canadian Aesthetics Journal /Revue canadienne d'esthetique 6 (2001) http://www.uqtr.uquebec.ca/AE/Vol_6/Carlson/newman.html>. Nick Zangwill, 'Formal Natural Beauty'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 21 (2001): 209–24. Week 4: Science and Nature Aesthetics Parsons, AN, ch. 4. Aldo Leopold, 'Country'. A Sand County Almanac, with Essays on Conservation from Round River (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1966), 177–80. Carlson, 'Appreciation and the Natural Environment', AE, ch. 4. Carlson, 'Nature, Aesthetic Judgment, and Objectivity', AE, ch. 5. Glenn Parsons, 'The Aesthetics of Nature'. Philosophy Compass 2 (2007): 358–72. Week 5: Positive Aesthetics Carlson, 'Nature and Positive Aesthetics', AE, ch. 6. Eugene Hargrove, Foundations of Environmental Ethics (Denton, TX: Environmental Ethics Books, 1996), ch. 6. Yuriko Saito, 'The Aesthetics of Unscenic Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 101–11. Malcolm Budd, 'The Aesthetics of Nature'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (2000): 137–57. Glenn Parsons, 'Nature Appreciation, Science and Positive Aesthetics'. British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002): 279–95. Week 6: Animals Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Ed. James T. Boulton (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968 ), Pt. III, sec. VI. Holmes Rolston III, 'Beauty and the Beast: Aesthetic Experience of Wildlife'. Valuing Wildlife: Economic and Social Perspectives. Eds. Daniel J. Decker and Gary R. Goff (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987), 187–96. Glenn Parsons, 'The Aesthetic Value of Animals'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2007): 151–69. Week 7: Pluralism Parsons, AN, ch. 5. Noël Carroll, 'On Being Moved by Nature: Between Religion and Natural History'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 244–66. Reprinted in ANE. Yuriko Saito, 'Appreciating Nature on its Own Terms'. Environmental Ethics 20 (1998): 135–49. Reprinted in ANE. Ronald Hepburn, 'Nature Humanized: Nature Respected'. Environmental Values 7 (1998): 267–79. Ronald Hepburn, 'Trivial and Serious in Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 65–80. Glenn Parsons and Allen Carlson, 'New Formalism and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2004): 363–76. Week 8: Engagement Parsons, AN, ch. 6. Arnold Berleant, 'The Aesthetics of Art and Nature'. Landscape, Natural Beauty and the Arts. Eds. Salim Kemal and Ivan Gaskell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 228–43. Reprinted in ANE. Cheryl Foster, 'The Narrative and the Ambient in Environmental Aesthetics'. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998): 127–37. Reprinted in ANE. Allen Carlson, 'Aesthetics and Engagement'. British Journal of Aesthetics 33 (1993): 220–27. Week 9: The Sublime Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment. Trans. P. Guyer and E. Matthews (Cambridge University Press, 2000 ). Excerpts from sections 23–9. Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Ed. James T. Boulton (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968 ). Excerpts from Pt. II, sections 1–8. Ronald Hepburn, 'The Concept of the Sublime: Has it any Relevance for Philosophy Today?'. Dialectics and Humanism 15 (1988): 137–55. Stan Godlovitch, 'Icebreakers: Environmentalism and Natural Aesthetics'. Journal of Applied Philosophy 11 (1994): 15–30. Reprinted in ANE. Malcolm Budd, 'Delight in the Natural World: Kant on the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature. Part I: The Sublime in Nature'. British Journal of Aesthetics 38 (1998): 233–50. Week 10: Aesthetic Preservation Parsons, AN, ch. 7. Janna Thompson, 'Aesthetics and the Value of Nature'. Environmental Ethics 17 (1995): 291–305. Holmes Rolston III, 'From Beauty to Duty: Aesthetics of Nature and Environmental Ethics'. Environment and the Arts: Perspectives on Environmental Aesthetics. Ed. Arnold Berleant (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2002), 127–41. Ned Hettinger, 'Allen Carlson's Environmental Aesthetics and Protection of the Environment'. Environmental Ethics 27 (2005): 57–76. Keekok Lee, 'Beauty for Ever?'. Environmental Values 4 (1995): 213–25. Week 11: Gardens Parsons, AN, ch. 8. Mara Miller, The Garden as an Art (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993), ch. 1. Mara Miller, 'Gardens as Works of Art: The Problem of Uniqueness'. British Journal of Aesthetics 26 (1986): 252–6. Stephanie Ross, What Gardens Mean (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1998), chs. 1, 7. Tom Leddy, 'Gardens in an Expanded Field'. British Journal of Aesthetics 28 (1988): 327–40. David Cooper, 'In Praise of Gardens'. British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (2003): 101–13. Week 12: Art in Nature Parsons, AN, ch. 9. Carlson, 'Is Environmental Art an Aesthetic Affront to Nature?', AE, ch. 10. Sheila Lintott, 'Ethically Evaluating Land Art: Is It Worth It?'. Ethics, Place & Environment 10 (2007): 263–77. Emily Brady, 'Aesthetic Regard for Nature in Environmental and Land Art'. Ethics, Place & Environment 10 (2007): 287–300. Focus Questions1. Are there any important differences between the aesthetic appreciation of art and the aesthetic appreciation of nature? If so, what are they?2. Is preserving nature for its aesthetic value a coherent idea?3. What is the ugliest natural thing or place you can think of? How might proponents of Positive Aesthetics for nature deal with your example?4. Does the concept of the sublime have any significance for our contemporary experience of nature? If it does, what relation does it bear to our aesthetic appreciation of nature?5. Watch Rivers and Tides (2001), the documentary film about the British environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy. Ethically speaking, how do you think we ought to regard his art-making? (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)
Moralists hold that art criticism can and should take stock of moral considerations. Though moralists disagree over the proper scope of ethical art criticism, they are unified in their acceptance of the consistency of valence thesis: when an artwork fares poorly from the moral point of view, and this fact is art critically relevant, then it is thereby worse qua artwork. In this paper, I argue that a commitment to moralism, however strong, is unattractive because it requires that we radically (...) revise our art critical practices in contexts where revision seems ill advised. I will consider two such cases, Pushkinâs Eugene Onegin and Balthusâ Alice. When we further reflect on our actual art critical practices in cases like these, we find that we do not have an unfailing commitment to the consistency of valence thesis. That is, some artworks are (artistically) good because they are (morally) bad. (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)
This paper traces the origins of Eugene Wigner's pioneering application of group theory to quantum physics to his early work in chemistry and crystallography. In the early 1920s, crystallography was the only discipline in which symmetry groups were routinely used. Wigner's early training in chemistry, and his work in crystallography with Herman Mark and Karl Weissenberg at the Kaiser Wilhelm institute for fiber research in Berlin exposed him to conceptual tools which were absent from the pedagogy available to physicists (...) for many years to come. This both enabled and pushed him to apply the group theoretic approach to quantum physics. It took many years for the approach first introduced by Wigner in the 1920s – and whose reception by the physicists was initially problematical – to assume the pivotal place it now holds in physical theory and education. This is but one example that attests to the historic contribution made by the periphery in initiating new types of thought-perspectives and scientific careers. (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)
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)
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.
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)