Fourteen philosophers share their experience teaching Peirce to undergraduates in a variety of settings and a variety of courses. The latter include introductory philosophy courses as well as upper-level courses in American philosophy, philosophy of religion, logic, philosophy of science, medieval philosophy, semiotics, metaphysics, etc., and even an upper-level course devoted entirely to Peirce. The project originates in a session devoted to teaching Peirce held at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. The session, (...) organized by <span class='Hi'>James</span> Campbell and Richard Hart, was co-sponsored by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Preface -- Introduction: Truth in Trouble -- The Linguistic Conception of Truth -- The Functions Truth Serves -- Truth in Action -- Acting Truly -- The Genesis of Representations -- Acts of Assertion -- The Truth of Statements -- The Challenge of Sceptical Relativism -- Truth as Faithfulness -- Bibliography -- Index.
The philosopher John J. McDermott comes out of the long American tradition that takes the aim of philosophical inquiry to be interpretation of the open meanings of experience, so that we might all live fuller and richer lives. Here, the authors of these nine essays explore his highly original interpretations of philosophy's various questions about our shared existence. How are we to understand the nature of American culture and to carry forward its important contributions? What is the personal importance of (...) embodiment, of living in the realization of death? How does our physical and personal environment nourish bodies and spirits? What does the deliberate pursuit of a morality offer us? How can we carry forward the fundamental tasks of education to enable those who follow us to use our shared past to address their civic and spiritual problems? What are the possibilities for community? Together, these essays offer a clear, multi-layered understanding of the compelling vision that McDermott has presented over the years. In an Afterword, McDermott responds to the authors' queries and concerns, offering a restatement of his understanding of the American philosopher's task. These essays indicate, and McDermott's response confirms, that for him philosophy is not a purely cerebral activity. Philosophy is, rather, an intellectual means of exploring the fullness of human experience, and it functions best when it operates in the context of the broad sweep of the humanities. Similarly, for McDermott the self is no given substantial entity. On the contrary, it is relational, rooted geographically and socially in its place and its fellows, and damaged when these life-giving processes fail. Further, McDermott does not accept any ultimate canopy of meaning. The human journey is a personal project within which provisional meanings must be created to sustain our advance. (shrink)
The status of the body figures paradoxically in the interrelated discourses of whiteness, aesthetic taste, and hipness. While Richard Dyer’s analysis of whiteness argues that white identity is “in but not of the body,” Carolyn Korsmeyer’s and Julia Kristeva’s feminist analyses of aesthetic “taste” demonstrate that this faculty is traditionally conceived as something “of” but not “in” the body. While taste directly distances whiteness from embodiment, hipness negatively affirms this same distance: the hipster proves his elite status within white (...) culture by positioning himself as, in the words of James Chance’s song title, “Almost Black.” The notion of hip contributes to my analysis of taste by focusing on both the gender politics of white embodiment, and how, by taking the social body as object of the prepositions “in” and “of,” these discourses of taste and hipness produce individual bodies as white, and maintain Whiteness as a socio-political norm. (shrink)
William James had the courage to experience the collision of European and American ways of thinking head on, and to emerge from it with a new philosophy - one displaying a remarkable vitality for dealing with the transformative issues at the core of the human condition. This easy to read introduction to his life and work explains why James' work is overwhelmingly valuable to us today in getting to grips with the spiritual dimension of human experience.
The Essential William James covers the primary topics for which James is still closely studied: the nature of experience, the functions of the mind, the criteria for knowledge, the definition of “truth,” the ethical life, and the religious life. His notable terms, still resonating in their respective fields, are all covered here, from “stream of consciousness” and “pure experience” to the “will to believe,” the “cash-value of truth,” and the distinction between the religiously “healthy soul” and the “sick (...) soul.” This volume’s eighteen selections receive the bulk of the attention and citation from scholars, provide excellent coverage of core topics, and have a broad appeal across many academic disciplines. (shrink)
In his introduction to this collection, John representative. McDermott presents James's thinking in all its manifestations, stressing the importance of radical empiricism and placing into perspective the doctrines of pragmatism and the will to believe. The critical periods of James's life are highlighted to illuminate the development of his philosophical and psychological thought. The anthology features representive selections from The Principles of Psychology, The Will to Believe , and The Variety of Religious Experience in addition to the complete (...) Essays in Radical Empiricism and A Pluralistic Universe . The original 1907 edition of Pragmatism is included, as well as classic selections from all of James's other major works. Of particular significance for James scholarship is the supplemented version of Ralph Barton Perry's Annotated Bibliography of the Writings of William James , with additions bringing it up to 1976. (shrink)
: With the centenary of the publication of William James's Pragmatism (1907) fast approaching, this paper explores two questions. First: what role did James's volume play in the development of the Pragmatic movement?; second: how powerful a force was that movement within American academic philosophy? With regard to the first question, this paper suggests that Pragmatism was not the font of the movement, but in fact appeared near its end; with regard to the second question, this paper suggests (...) that the Pragmatic movement, while of great importance in American society, was itself only a minor moment within professionalizing American philosophy. (shrink)
In this scholarly but non-technical book, Campbell elucidates the concept of truth by tracing its history, from the ancient Greek idea that truth is timeless, unchanging, and free from all relativism, through the seventeenth-century crisis which led to the collapse of that idea, and then on through the emergence of historical consciousness to the existentialist, sociological, and linguistic approaches of our own time. He gives a scholarly but vivid and economical exposition of the views of a remarkably wide range (...) of thinkers, always showing how their ideas engage with our contemporary concerns. He argues that current problems with truth arise from the way differing past conceptions continue to resound in our contemporary use of the word, and suggests that we must formulate a new conception of truth that is compatible with awareness that human existence is finite and contingent--with awareness of our own historicity. (shrink)
The development of a defensible and fecund notion of emergence has been dogged by a number of threshold issues neatly highlighted in a recent paper by Jaegwon Kim. We argue that physicalist assumptions confuse and vitiate the whole project. In particular, his contention that emergence entails supervenience is contradicted by his own argument that the ‘microstructure’ of an object belongs to the whole object, not to its constituents. And his argument against the possibility of downward causation is question-begging and makes (...) false assumptions about causal sufficiency. We argue, on the contrary, for a rejection of the deeply entrenched assumption, shared by physicalists and Cartesians alike, that what basically exists are things (entities, substances). Our best physics tells us that there are no basic particulars, only fields in process. We need an ontology which gives priority to organization, which is inherently relational. Reflection upon the fact that all biological creatures are far-from-equilibrium systems, whose very persistence depend upon their interactions with their environment, reveals incoherence in the notion of an ‘emergence base’. (shrink)
My project in this paper is to extend the interventionist analysis of causation to give an account of causation in psychology. Many aspects of empirical investigation into psychological causation fit straightforwardly into the interventionist framework. I address three problems. First, the problem of explaining what it is for a causal relation to be properly psychological rather than merely biological. Second, the problem of rational causation: how it is that reasons can be causes. Finally, I look at the implications of an (...) interventionist analysis for the idea that an inquiry into psychological causes must be an inquiry into causal mechanisms. I begin by setting out the main ideas of the interventionist approach. (shrink)
Noted psychologist and philosopher develops his own brand of pragmatism, based on theories of C. S. Peirce. Emphasis on "radical empiricism," versus the transcendental and rationalist tradition. One of the most important books in American philosophy. Note.
In 1947 Donald Cary Williams claimed in The Ground of Induction to have solved the Humean problem of induction, by means of an adaptation of reasoning ﬁrst advanced by Bernoulli in 1713. Later on David Stove defended and improved upon Williams’ argument in The Rational- ity of Induction (1986). We call this proposed solution of induction the ‘Williams-Stove sampling thesis’. There has been no lack of objections raised to the sampling thesis, and it has not been widely accepted. In our (...) opinion, though, none of these objections has the slightest force, and, moreover, the sampling thesis is undoubtedly true. What we will argue in this paper is that one particular objection that has been raised on numerous occasions is misguided. This concerns the randomness of the sample on which the inductive extrapolation is based. (shrink)
The paper proposes a process-based model for an ontology that encompasses the emergence of process systems generated by increasingly complex levels of organization. Starting with a division of processes into those that are persistent and those that are fleeting, the model builds through a series of exclusive and exhaustive disjunctions. The crucial distinction is between those persistent and cohesive systems that are energy wells, and those that are far-from-equilibrium. The latter are necessarily open; they can persist only by interaction with (...) their environments. Further distinctions, developed by means of the notions of self-maintenance and error detection, lead to the identification of complex biological organisms that are flexible learners, some of which are self-conscious and form themselves into social institutions. This model provides a non-reductive model for understanding human beings as both embodied and yet emergent. In particular, it provides a way of characterizing action as ‘metaphysically deep’, not an ontological embarrassment within an otherwise physicalist world. (shrink)
There has been no lack of objections raised to the sampling thesis, and it has not been widely accepted. In our opinion, though, none of these objections has the slightest force, and, moreover, the sampling thesis is undoubtedly true. What we will argue in this paper is that one particular objection that has been raised on numerous occasions is misguided. This concerns the randomness of the sample on which the inductive extrapolation is based.
Psychiatric research is advancing rapidly, with studies revealing new investigative tools and technologies that are aimed at improving the treatment and care of patients with psychiatric disorders. However, the ethical framework in which such research is conducted is not as well developed as we might expect. In this paper we argue that more thought needs to be given to the principles that underpin research in psychiatry and to the problems associated with putting those principles into practice. In particular, we comment (...) on some of the difficulties posed by the twin imperatives of ensuring that we respect the autonomy and interests of the research subject and, at the same time, enable potentially beneficial psychiatric research to flourish. We do not purport to offer a blueprint for the future; we do, however, seek to advance the debate by identifying some of the key questions to which better answers are required. (shrink)
What is an emotion? -- The dilemma of determinism -- The perception of reality -- The hidden self -- Habit -- The will -- The gospel of relaxation -- On a certain blindness in human beings -- What makes a life significant -- Philosophical conceptions and practical results -- The Philippine tangle -- The sick soul -- The Ph. D. octopus -- Does "consciousness" exist? -- The energies of men -- Concerning Fechner -- The moral equivalent of war.
The development of ethical and practice guidelines related to mental health service on the Internet has lagged behind the movement of practitioners into this area. Even for clinicians who are not offering services on the Web, the Internet has led to confusion and concern about proper roles and responsibilities. This article discusses an actual experience we had with a self-described rationally suicidal man with multiple sclerosis (MS). After presenting some background on MS, we report initial interactions with the man verbatim (...) and summarize subsequent correspondence in an analysis of the man's claim that his decision to die was well reasoned and that he should be allowed a physician's assistance. (shrink)
Fractal geometry offers a new approach to describing the morphology of fern leaves. Traditional morphology is based on the Euclidean concept of shape as an area defined by a boundary. This approach has not proven successful with fern leaves because they are so elaborate. Fractal geometry treats forms as relationships between parts rather than as areas. In fern fronds there are often constant relationships between parts. Four fractal methodologies for describing these relations within leaves are explored in this paper. These (...) include recursive line branching algorithms, iterated function systems (IFS), modifications of IFS, and L-systems. The methods are evaluated by comparing their results with measurements and appearances of various ferns. Fractal methods offer objective, quantifiable and succinct descriptions of fern-leaves. We conclude that fractal geometry offers simple descriptions of some elaborate fern shapes and that it will probably have application in investigating different aspects of ferns and other organisms. (shrink)
Our use of ‘I’, or something like it, is implicated in our self-regarding emotions, in the concern to survive, and so seems basic to ordinary human life. But why does that pattern of use require a referring term? Don't Lichtenberg's formulations show how we could have our ordinary pattern of use here without the first person? I argue that what explains our compulsion to regard the first person as a referring term is our ordinary causal thinking, which requires us to (...) find a persisting object as the mechanism that underpins the causal structure we naturally ascribe to the self. I thus argue against Peacocke's picture (2012), on which it's the cogito that explains one's knowledge of one's own existence. (shrink)
: This paper is a response to a series of five papers—by Michael Eldridge, Bruce Kuklick, John Lachs, Erin McKenna, and John Ryder—that examine my recently published volume, A Thoughtful Profession: The Early Years of the American Philosophical Association. It discusses those papers in two phases: What they have to say about the volume's account of the history of the philosophy profession in America, and what they have to say about the present and future of the profession based upon its (...) past. Each of the papers demonstrates a sincere interest in exploring the history or the meaning of the APA. (shrink)
The article deals with the social pragmatist approach to the political conception of community, especially in light of the challenges posed by the tendency to view democracy without community and blur the problem and boundaries between conflict and reconciliation. KEY WORDS – Community. Conflict. Democracy. Pragmatism. Reconciliation.
The claims by the Building Societies Association (BSA), some mutual building societies and other observers that mutual status is associated with higher levels of charitable and community involvement than public status banks are tested using the proxy of charitable donations in cash as a proportion of profits before tax (PBT). Using a sample of 31 of the remaining 65 mutual societies and the population of U.K.-based retail banks and still-independent demutualised banks, two hypotheses were tested: first, that charitable giving as (...) a proportion of PBT over the period 1990–2003 was higher for mutuals than banks and second, that longitudinal records of charitable donations as a proportion of PBT for former mutuals will show a lower rate after demutualisation. Neither hypothesis was convincingly supported allowing for the conclusion that any claims suggesting that mutuals are structurally more generous than public companies are not supported by empirical evidence. (shrink)
This welcome volume offers a rich presentation of the ideas of Jane Addams (1860–1935), with emphases upon her contributions to the Pragmatic movement. It is divided into two parts. Chapters 1–4 “provide a historical and theoretical foundation for Addams’s social philosophy,” and chapters 5–9 “discuss how Addams applied her social theories to a variety of social issues” (p. 11) including pacifism, race and diversity, socialism, education broadly conceived, and religion. There is also an introduction, an afterword, and an extensive bibliography. (...) It is the author’s hope that his study will spur further work on the role of Addams, and other women, in the history of Pragmatism and American philosophy; and I anticipate .. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophers seldom make their fundamental beliefs explicit. They prefer, rather, to deal with more narrow, topical questions. Still, their fundamental beliefs remain operative in their work. On a number of occasions over the course of his life, John Dewey gave detailed expositions of the beliefs about experience, education, community, individualism, etc., that he saw underlying his philosophical thought. An exposition and critical examination of some of these beliefs should serve as a useful means for exploring the philosophical meaning of (...) Dewey’s work. (shrink)