How do we go about understanding the "classic texts" of sociological theory? This paper begins by reviewing the historicist position of Jones, with its foundations in the work of Quentin Skinner and other historians of political theory. This position then is criticized from the standpoint of the neo-Deweyan pragmatism of Richard Rorty. Specifically, Rorty's pragmatism encourages us to revise Skinner's and Jones's historicism on three specific points: the acceptance of treatments of classical texts that are undeniably anachronistic but (...) nonetheless unobjectionable; the restriction of Skinner's notion of an agent's "privileged access" to his or her intentions; and the adoption of a view of the history of sociological theory as a succession of vocabularies-a view that encourages a new kind of dialogue between historians of sociological theory and theorists themselves. The last point is articulated in a concrete example of the interpretation of one of Durkheim's most characteristic arguments. The conclusion again stresses the benefits to be derived from viewing sociological theory-both past and present-from this pragmatist perspective. (shrink)
This document is a synopsis of discussions at the workshop prepared by Nicholaos Jones and Kevin Coffey, with remarks added by by Chuang Liu, John D. Norton, John Earman, Gordon Belot, Mark Wilson, Bob Batterman and Margie Morrison. The program is included in an appendix.
The current consensus in Locke scholarship is that Robert Boyle anticipated Locke's thesis that classification into species is the arbitrary work of the understanding. In fact, according to Michael Ayers, inter alia, not only did Boyle and Locke both think that classification is the workmanship of the understanding but that this thesis follows directly from the mechanical hypothesis itself. In this paper I argue that this reading of Boyle is mistaken: Locke's thesis on classification was not anticipated by Boyle. (...) I will do this by showing that Boyle's account of classification is not Locke's, but is a more realist view of natural species employing a mechanically respectable account of natural forms. (shrink)
An experiment is reported which tests for positive confirmation bias in a setting in which individuals choose what information to buy, prior to making a decision. The design â an adaptation of Wason's selection task â reveals the use that subjects make of information after buying it. Strong evidence of positive confirmation bias, in both information acquisition and information use, is found; and this bias is found to be robust to experience. It is suggested that the bias results from a (...) pattern of reasoning which, although producing sub-optimal decisions, is internally coherent and which is self-reinforcing. (shrink)
The role of corporate counsel in the corporate governance process has been long overlooked. This paper uses recent comments by Breeden as the springboard for a discussion of the issues surrounding significant roles for lawyers in corporations. It considers these both from a practical and a theoretical perspective and identifies why it is problematic merely to assume hiring lawyers will ensure good compliance both in terms of legal and ethical obligations.
The nanomedicine field is fast evolving toward complex, “active,” and interactive formulations. Like many emerging technologies, nanomedicine raises questions of how human subjects research (HSR) should be conducted and the adequacy of current oversight, as well as how to integrate concerns over occupational, bystander, and environmental exposures. The history of oversight for HSR investigating emerging technologies is a patchwork quilt without systematic justification of when ordinary oversight for HSR is enough versus when added oversight is warranted. Nanomedicine HSR provides an (...) occasion to think systematically about appropriate oversight, especially early in the evolution of a technology, when hazard and risk information may remain incomplete. This paper presents the consensus recommendations of a multidisciplinary, NIH-funded project group, to ensure a science-based and ethically informed approach to HSR issues in nanomedicine, and to integrate HSR analysis with analysis of occupational, bystander, and environmental concerns. We recommend creating two bodies, an interagency Human Subjects Research in Nanomedicine (HSR/N) Working Group and a Secretary's Advisory Committee on Nanomedicine (SAC/N). HSR/N and SAC/N should perform 3 primary functions: (1) analysis of the attributes and subsets of nanomedicine interventions that raise HSR challenges and current gaps in oversight; (2) providing advice to relevant agencies and institutional bodies on the HSR issues, as well as federal and federal-institutional coordination; and (3) gathering and analyzing information on HSR issues as they emerge in nanomedicine. HSR/N and SAC/N will create a home for HSR analysis and coordination in DHHS (the key agency for relevant HSR oversight), optimize federal and institutional approaches, and allow HSR review to evolve with greater knowledge about nanomedicine interventions and greater clarity about attributes of concern. (shrink)
We argue that the recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report, Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity, are methodologically and ethically confused. We argue that a proper understanding of evolution and complexity theory in terms of the science and ethics of using chimpanzees in biomedical research would have had led the committee to recommend not merely limiting but eliminating the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research. Specifically, we argue that a proper understanding of the difference (...) between the gross level of examination of species and examinations on finer levels can shed light on important methodological and ethical inconsistencies leading to ignorance of potentially unethical practices and policies regarding the use of animals in scientific research. (shrink)
Nationality, citizenship and eligibility have become increasingly relevant in sport, especially under current conditions where there is an increasing number of players who change their ?allegiances? for international sporting purposes. While it is reasonable to link such trends to wider processes of globalisation and accelerated migratory flows, it is also evident that national sporting representation is subject to the venal power of commercialism. The concern is that national representation has developed into a more strategic, planned and economically driven activity that (...) involves the overt collusion of national governing bodies and individual athletes. This paper evaluates the moral status of current international sporting representation (ISR) rules and practices as they relate to the Olympics. By drawing on de Coubertin's notion of ?sincere internationalism? and Walsh and Guilianotti's (2007) work on hyper-commercialisation in sport, we will attempt to demonstrate how some of the current practices and regulations of ISR are ethically problematic. We conclude that current ISR regulations are drawn too loosely and need to be amended in order to limit the moral pathologies identified. Our critique is informed by empirical data collected from members of the Welsh sports practice community. (shrink)
By a "developed" economy, people roughly mean ones with a high, persistently-growing per-captia income which is not simply based on resource extraction (i.e., oil) or remittances or rentierism — an industrial (or, if there is such a thing, post-industrial) economy which makes most of its participants reasonably and increasingly prosperous. While there are of course differences among them --- the United States is not New Zealand, which is not Belgium, which is not Finland, which is not Japan --- they are (...) all more similar to each other than they are to the vast variety of "undeveloped", "under-developed", or (most optimistically) "developing" economies across the world. (Some people refer to the developed countries as "the North" and the others as "the South"; this drives me up the wall, if only from looking at where China and Australia are on the map.) Economies in the first category tend to stay there; so, sadly, do countries in the second. Development economics is the sub-discipline of economics which attempts to study how economies which have not attained this happy condition can be made to do so, and the factors which hold others back. (shrink)
The theme of the third annual Spring workshop of the HUPO-PSI was proteomics and beyond and its underlying goal was to reach beyond the boundaries of the proteomics community to interact with groups working on the similar issues of developing interchange standards and minimal reporting requirements. Significant developments in many of the HUPO-PSI XML interchange formats, minimal reporting requirements and accompanying controlled vocabularies were reported, with many of these now feeding into the broader efforts of the Functional Genomics Experiment (FuGE) (...) data model and Functional Genomics Ontology (FuGO) ontologies. (shrink)
Drawing on Aristotle’s notion of “ultimate responsibility,” Robert Kane argues that to be exercising a free will an agent must have taken some character forming decisions for which there were no sufficient conditions or decisive reasons.1 That is, an agent whose will is free not only had the ability to develop other dispositions, but could have exercised that ability without being irrational. To say it again, a person has a free will just in case her character is the product (...) of decisions that she could have rationally avoided making. That one’s character is the product of such decisions entails ultimate responsibility for its manifestations, engendering a free will. (shrink)
James L. Anderson analyzed the novelty of Einstein's theory of gravity as its lack of "absolute objects." Michael Friedman's related work has been criticized by Roger Jones and Robert Geroch for implausibly admitting as absolute the timelike 4-velocity field of dust in cosmological models in Einstein's theory. Using the Rosen-Sorkin Lagrange multiplier trick, I complete Anna Maidens's argument that the problem is not solved by prohibiting variation of absolute objects in an action principle. Recalling Anderson's proscription of "irrelevant" (...) variables, I generalize that proscription to locally irrelevant variables that do no work in some places in some models. This move vindicates Friedman's intuitions and removes the Jones-Geroch counterexample: some regions of some models of gravity with dust are dust-free and so naturally lack a timelike 4-velocity, so diffeomorphic equivalence to (1,0,0,0) is spoiled. Torretti's example involving constant curvature spaces is shown to have an absolute object on Anderson's analysis, viz., the conformal spatial metric density. The previously neglected threat of an absolute object from an orthonormal tetrad used for coupling spinors to gravity appears resolvable by eliminating irrelevant fields. However, given Anderson's definition, GTR itself has an absolute object (as Robert Geroch has observed recently): a change of variables to a conformal metric density and a scalar density shows that the latter is absolute. (shrink)
James L. Anderson analyzed the conceptual novelty of Einstein's theory of gravity as its lack of ``absolute objects.'' Michael Friedman's related concept of absolute objects has been criticized by Roger Jones and Robert Geroch for implausibly admitting as absolute the timelike 4-velocity field of dust in cosmological models in Einstein's theory. Using Nathan Rosen's action principle, I complete Anna Maidens's argument that the Jones-Geroch problem is not solved by requiring that absolute objects not be varied. Recalling Anderson's (...) proscription of (globally) ``irrelevant'' variables that do no work (anywhere in any model), I generalize that proscription to locally irrelevant variables that do no work in some places in some models. This move vindicates Friedman's intuitions and removes the Jones-Geroch counterexample: some regions of some models of gravity with dust are dust-free, and there is no good reason to have a timelike dust 4-velocity vector there. Eliminating the irrelevant timelike vctors keeps the dust 4-velocity from counting as absolute by spoiling its neighborhood-by-neighborhood diffeomorphic equivalence to (1,0,0,0). A more fundamental Gerochian timelike vector field presents itself in gravity with spinors in the standard orthonormal tetrad formalism, though eliminating irrelevant fields might solve this problem as well. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Robert Kane’s defense of event-causal libertarianism, as presented in Responsibility, Luck, and Chance: Reflections on Free Will and Indeterminism, fails because his event-causal reconstruction is incoherent. I focus on the notions of efforts and self-forming actions essential to his defense.
For the last several decades, philosophers have wrestled with the proper place of religion in liberal societies. Usually, the debates among these philosophers have started with the articulation of various conceptions of liberalism and then proceeded to locate religion in the context of these conceptions. In the process, however, too little attention has been paid to the way religion is conceived. Drawing on the work of Robert Audi and Nicholas Wolterstorff, two scholars who are often read as holding opposing (...) views on these issues, I argue that, for the purposes of their argument about liberalism, both have implicitly accepted a concept of religion that has come under severe attack in recent work on the subject. Namely, they have accepted a concept of religion that identifies religion primarily with belief, ritual practice, and ecclesial institutions. Following recent scholarship, I suggest that religion is better conceived as a kind of culture. To conclude the essay, I gesture toward what the beginnings of a re-visioned debate about religion and liberal society might look like if one started from this revised conception of religion. (shrink)
Robert Adams’s Finite and Infinite Goods is one of the most important and innovative contributions to theistic ethics in recent memory. This article identifies two major flaws at the heart of Adams’s theory: his notion of intrinsic value and his claim that ‘excellence’ or finite goodness is constituted by resemblance to God. I first elucidate Adams’s complex, frequently misunderstood claims concerning intrinsic value and Godlikeness. I then contend that Adams’s notion of intrinsic value cannot explain what it could mean (...) for countless finite goods to be intrinsically valuable. Next, I articulate a criticism of his Godlikeness thesis altogether unlike those he has previously addressed: I show that, on Adams’s own account of Godlikeness, a diverse myriad of excellences could not possibly count as resembling God. His theory thus fails to account for a whole world of finite goods. I defend my two criticisms against objections and briefly sketch a more Aristotelian and Christian way forward. (shrink)
Hegel’s aesthetic ideal is the perfect integration of form and content within a work of art. This ideal is incompatible with the predominant 20th-century principle of formalist criticism, that form is the sole important factor in a work of art. Although the formalist dichotomy between form and content has been criticized on philosophical grounds, that does not suffice to justify Hegel’s ideal. Justifying Hegel’s ideal requires detailed art criticism that shows how form and content are, and why they should be, (...) integrated in good works of art. This essay provides some of this criticism. By focusing on the work of the contemporary artist, Robert Turner, this criticism further suggests that Hegel’s aesthetic ideal is still relevant. Moreover, the nature of Turner’s work suggests that art is still relevant in our day in ways Hegel did not expect. (shrink)
Kane's ambitious and bold book presents a sustained argument for an ethical theory that gives an account of right action and the good life. The general structure of the main argument is presented and specific points are critically discussed.
This Article is a short response to Anders Tolland's "Iterated Non-Refutation: Robert Lockie on Relativism", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 14, no. 2, 245-254, 2006. Tolland's article was itself a response to Lockie, R (2003) "Relativism and Reflexivity", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 11, no. 3, 319-339.
In 1991, Jones developed an issue-contingent model of ethical decision making in which moral intensity is posited to affect the four stages of Rest’s 1986 model (awareness, judgment, intention, and behavior). Jones claimed that moral intensity, which is “the extent of issue-related moral imperative in a situation” (p. 372), consists of six characteristics: magnitude of consequences (MC), social consensus (SC), probability of effect (PE), temporal immediacy (TI), proximity (PX), and concentration of effect (CE). This article reports (...) the findings of two studies that analyzed the factor structure of moral intensity, operationalized by a 12-item Perceived Moral Intensity Scale (PMIS) adapted from the work of Singhapakdi et al. [1996, Journal of Business Research, 36, 245–255] and Frey [2000, Journal of Business Ethics, 26, 181–195]. The two items that were purported to measure CE were dropped due to their inability to effectively tap into the characteristic proposed by Jones. Factor analyses of the remaining 10 items supported a 3-factor structure, with the MC, PE, and TI items loading on the first factor, the PX items loading on the second factor, and the SC items loading on the third factor. These factors were labeled: Probable Magnitude of Consequences, Proximity, and Social Consensus. The authors conclude that moral intensity consists of three characteristics, rather than the six posited by Jones. (shrink)
Robert Owen was one of the most extraordinary Englishmen who ever lived and a great man. In a way his history is the history of the establishment of modern industrial Britain, reflected in the mind and activities of a very intelligent, capable and responsible industrialist, alive to the best social thought of his time. The organisation of industrial labour, factory legislation, education, trade unionism, co-operation, rationalism: he was passionately and ably engaged in all of them. His community at New (...) Lanark was the nearest thing to an industrial heaven in the Britain of dark satanic mills; he tried to found a rational co-operative community in the USA. In everything he contemplated, he saw education as a key. This selection of his writings on education illustrates his rationalist concept of the formation of character and its implications for education and society; also his growing utopian concern with social reorganisation; and third, his impact on social movements. Silver's introduction shows Owen's relationship to particular educational traditions and activities and his long-term influence on attitudes to education. (shrink)
This book collects essays considering the full range of Robert Sokolowski's philosophical works: his vew of philosophy; his phenomenology of language and his account of the relation between language and being; his phenomenology of moral action; and his phenomenological theology of disclosure.
Here I review Robert Trivers' 2011 book _The Folly of Fools_, in which he advocates the evolutionary theory of deceit and self-deception that he pioneered in his famous preface to Richard Dawkins' _Selfish Gene_. Although the book contains a wealth of interesting discussion on topics ranging from warfare to immunology, I find it lacking on two major fronts. First, it fails to give a proper argument for its central thesis--namely, that self-deception evolved to facilitate deception of others. Second, the (...) book lacks conceptual clarity with respect to the focal term "self-deception.". (shrink)
Robert Audi’s The Good in the Right undertakes the magisterial work of reviving the intuitionism of W.D. Ross, rescuing Ross from the overlapping shadows of Henry Sidgwick, G. E. Moore, and, to a lesser extent, H. A. Prichard, marrying Ross to Kant, and so working to produce "a full-scale moral philosophy providing both an account of moral principles and judgments—a metaethical account—and a set of basic moral standards" that might be employed in moral reasoning. The book is magnificent in (...) ambition and impressive in detail. (shrink)
Robert Rupert is well-known as an vigorous opponent of the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC). His Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind is a first-rate development of his “systems-based” approach to demarcating the mind. The results are impressive. Rupert’s account brings much-needed clarity to the often-frustrating debate over HEC: much more than just an attack on HEC, he gives a compelling picture of why the debate matters.
Critical notice of Robert Audi's The Good in the Right in which doubts are raised about the epistemological and ethical doctrines it defends. It doubts that an appeal to Kant is a profitable way to defend Rossian normative intuitionism.
Recent proponents of the ‘theory theory’ of mind often trace its roots back to Wilfrid Sellars’ famous ‘myth of Jones’ in his 1956 article, ‘Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind’. Sellars developed an account of the intersubjective basis of our knowledge of the inner mental states of both self and others, an account which included the claim that such knowledge is in some sense theoretical knowledge. This paper examines the nature of this claim in Sellars’ original account and its (...) relationship to more recent debates concerning ‘theory of mind’, in particular the theory theory. A close look reveals that Sellars’ original view embodied several distinctions that would enable more recent theory theorists to accommodate certain phenomenological objections that have been raised against that outlook. At the heart of the philosophical issue is an overlooked complexity involved in Sellars’ account of the ‘theory/observation’ distinction, involving a conception of the distinction that is both independently plausible and a key to the issue in dispute. (shrink)
I first adumbrate pertinent aspectsof Robert Kane''s libertarian theory of free choice oraction and an objection of luck that has been levelledagainst the theory. I then consider Kane''s recentresponses to this objection. To meet these responses,I argue that the view that undetermined choices (ofthe sort implied by Kane''s theory) are a matter ofluck is associated with a view about actionexplanation, to wit: when Jones does A and hisdoing of A is undetermined, and when hiscounterpart, Jones*, in the (...) nearest possibleworld in which the past and the laws are held constantuntil the moment of choice does B instead, thereis no explanation (deterministic or indeterministic)of the difference in outcome – Jones''s A-ing butJones*''s B-ing – in terms of prior reasonsor motives of either agent. Absence of such anexplanation is one crucial factor that underliesthe charge that Jones''s A-ing and Jones*''sB-ing are matters of luck. I argue that thissort of luck is incompatible with responsibility. (shrink)
Insieme a John McDowell, Robert Brandom è uno dei filosofi emergenti della reazione al naturalismo filosofico; seguace Wilfrid Sellars, è l'autore americano che più si avvicina al dialogo con la filosofia continentale e propone una rivalutazione di Kant e Hegel nella filosofia analitica. Già allievo di Richard Rorty, Brandom è diventuo famoso con la pubblicazione di Making it Explicit. Questo ponderoso volume di 900 pagine non ha avuto però ancora una sufficiente attenzione nel dibattito filosofico italiano (a parte alcuni (...) inteventi pubblicati su Iride). Forse questo dipende in parte dalla peculiarità e difficoltà del suo approccio, in parte dalla mole stessa del citato volume. Anche per questo motivo Brandom ha presentato una serie di lezioni2 ove riprende i temi del libro maggiore e ne approfondisce alcune parti. In quanto segue si presentano i temi fondamentale di Making it Explicit, arricchiti con elementi presi dal nuovo approfondimento. (shrink)
The two main challenges of the theory of conceptual content presented by Robert Brandom in Making It Explicit are to account for a referential dimension of conceptual content and to account for the objectivity of conceptual norms. Brandom tries to meet both these challenges in chapter 8 of his book. I argue that the accounts presented there can only be understood if seen against the background of Brandom's theory of communication developed in chapter 7. This theory is motivated by (...) the well-known problem that semantic holism threatens the possibility of communication because it has the consequence that words mean different things in different mouths. Brandom offers a solution to this problem in terms of what he calls recurrence commitments. I show that chapter 8 of Making It Explicit should be understood as arguing that a practice that includes acknowledging interpersonal recurrence commitments institutes both conceptual contents with a referential dimension and objective conceptual norms. I close by raising the objection that Brandom's argument can only show that conceptual norms are communally shared and not that they are objective. I propose an emendation of this argument, having recourse to a practice Brandom refers to as rational rectification in his new book Between Saying and Doing. (shrink)
This article discusses the theories of perception of Robert Kilwardby and Peter of John Olivi. Our aim is to show how in challenging certain assumptions of medieval Aristotelian theories of perception they drew on Augustine and argued for the active nature of the soul in sense perception. For both Kilwardby and Olivi, the soul is not passive with respect to perceived objects; rather, it causes its own cognitive acts with respect to external objects and thus allows the subject to (...) perceive them. We also show that Kilwardby and Olivi differ substantially regarding where the activity of the soul is directed to and the role of the sensible species in the process, and we demonstrate that there are similarities between their ideas of intentionality and the attention of the soul towards the corporeal world. (shrink)
Mathematical idealizations are scientific representations that result from assumptions that are believed to be false, and where mathematics plays a crucial role. I propose a two stage account of how to rank mathematical idealizations that is largely inspired by the semantic view of scientific theories. The paper concludes by considering how this approach to idealization allows for a limited form of scientific realism. ‡I would like to thank Robert Batterman, Gabriele Contessa, Eric Hiddleston, Nicholaos Jones, and Susan Vineberg (...) for helpful discussions and encouragement. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Beering Hall, Purdue University, 100 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
In a recent study of astrophysical “fine-tunings” (or “coincidences”), Robert Klee critically assesses the support that such astrophysical evidence might be thought to lend to the design argument (i.e., the argument that our universe has been designed by some deity). Klee argues that a proper assessment indicates that the universe is not as “fine-tuned” as advertised by proponents of the design arguments. We argue (i) that Klee’s assessment of the data is, to a certain extent, problematic; and (ii) even (...) if Klee’s assessment of the data is correct, it provides a necessary but not a sufficient response to the design argument. However, an adequate skeptical rejoinder to the design argument can be made by appealing to the anthropic principle. (shrink)
Standard definitions of lying imply that intending to deceive others is a necessary condition of one's telling a lie. In an earlier paper, which appeared in this journal, Wokutch, Murrmann and I argued that intending to deceive others is not a necessary condition of one's telling a lie and proposed an alternative definition. In a reply which also appeared in this journal, Gary Jones argues that (1) our arguments fail to establish the claim that it is possible to (...) lie without intending to deceive others, and that (2) the objections which we raise for standard definitions apply equally to our own. The present paper argues that one can lie without intending to deceive others. I concede Jones' second criticism and propose a new alternative definition. (shrink)
Part of Sellars’s general attack on the Myth of the Given is his endorsement of psychological nominalism, a view that implies that awareness of our own mental states is not given but must be earned.Sellars provides an account of how such awareness might have been earned with the Myth of Jones. Such an account is important for Sellars, for without it the Given can look necessary after all. But aproblem with such accounts is that they can look extremely implausible. (...) Sellars himself seems unconcerned to make his account plausible, and so others have stepped in here. But, I argue, they have done so in ways that fail to respect his psychological nominalism. This evinces, as well as reinforces, a lack of sensitivity to the scope of Sellars’s attack on the Given, the aim of which is the dismantling of “the entire framework of givenness.” In this essay, I show how one can make Sellars’s Myth of Jones plausible, while still respecting his psychological nominalism, by seeing how Jones’s thought is governed by the norms of rationality as interpretability. (shrink)
Robert Cummins has recently used the program of Clark Hull to illustrate the effects of logical positivist epistemology upon psychological theory. On Cummins's account, Hull's theory is best understood as a functional analysis, rather than a nomological subsumption. Hull's commitment to the logical positivist view of explanation is said to have blinded him to this aspect of this theory, and thus restricted its scope. We will argue that this interpretation of Hull's epistemology, though common, is mistaken. Hull's epistemological views (...) were developed independently of, and in considerable contrast to, the principles of logical positivism. (shrink)
Various early modern philosophers affirm the traditional distinction between ‘things above reason’ and ‘things contrary to reason.’ However, it is Robert Boyle who goes furthest to rework and defend the division, and to explore its ramifications in detail. My aim here is to examine the logical structure of Boyle’s version of the distinction, and his concomitant account of the sphere of truths beyond human understanding. I also weigh the philosophical merits of the account and clarify the relationship between Boyle’s (...) characterization of things above reason and his alleged dialethism. (shrink)
Formal axiology is based on the logical nature of meaning, namely intension, and on the structure of intension as a set of predicates. It applies set theory to this set of predicates. Set theory is a certain kind of mathematics that deals with subsets in general, and of finite and infinite sets in particular. Since mathematics is objective and a priori, formal axiology is an objective and a priori science; and a test based on it is an objective test based (...) on an objective standard.1. (shrink)
Eleven distinguished philosophers have contributed specially written essays on a set of topics much debated in recent years, including physicalism, qualia, semantic competence, conditionals, presuppositions, two-dimensional semantics, and the relation between logic and metaphysics. All these topics are prominent in the work of Robert Stalnaker, a major presence in contemporary philosophy, in honor of whom the volume is published. It also contains a substantial new essay in which Stalnaker replies to his critics, and sets out his current views on (...) the topics discussed. (shrink)
Robert Russell's theological work has been a helpful stimulus to the task of understanding the meaning of divine action and providence in the age of science. He relates God's direct action "fundamentally" to the hidden domain of quantum events, and his theology of nature deserves careful attention. It is questionable, however, whether the term fundamental as applied to quantum events by physical science may be taken over by theology without more careful qualification than Russell offers.
This review presents the principal themes of Robert Spaemann's Persons: The Difference between ‘Someone’ and ‘Something.’ To be a person is not to be identical with one's teleological nature, but rather, to have that nature. Personal consciousness is necessarily temporal consciousness. Persons have a range of distinctively personal acts, such as recognizing and respecting one another, understanding their lives as wholes, making judgments of conscience, promising, and forgiving. All members of the human species, whatever their stage of development or (...) limitations, are persons. The present review also briefly considers certain objections that have been raised against Spaemann's position. (shrink)
Throughout his philosophical career at Michigan, UCLA, Yale, and Oxford, Robert Merrihew Adams's wide-ranging contributions have deeply shaped the structure of debates in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, history of philosophy, and ethics. Metaphysics and the Good: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert Merrihew Adams provides, for the first time, a collection of original essays by leading philosophers dedicated to exploring many of the facets of Adams's thought, a philosophical outlook that combines Christian theism, neo-Platonism, moral realism, metaphysical idealism, (...) and a commitment to both historical sensitivity and rigorous analytic engagement. Tied together by their aim of exploring, expanding, and experimenting with Adams's views, these eleven essays are coupled with an intellectual autobiography by Adams himself that was commissioned especially for this volume. As the introduction to the volume explains, the purpose of Metaphysics and the Good is to explore Adams's work in the very manner that he prescribes for understanding the ideas of others. By experimenting with Adams's conclusions, "pulling a string here to see what moves over there, so to speak," as Adams puts it, our authors throw into greater relief what makes Adams such an original and stimulating philosopher. In doing so, these essays contribute not only to the exploration of Adams's continuing interests, but they also advance original and important philosophical insights of their own. (shrink)
You might think a simple “No” would suffice as an answer. But there are features of Kant’s ethics that appear to be strikingly similar to virtue oriented views, so striking that some Kantians themselves have argued that Kant’s ethics in fact shares these features with virtue ethics. In what follows, I will argue against this view, though along the way I will acknowledge the features of Kant’s view that make it appear more like a kind of virtue ethics than it (...) really is. (shrink)
Part of Robert Kane’s response to the contemporary cultural condition of pluralism is to attempt to ground morality in the _search_ for wisdom about how to live. With regard to the right, Kane argues, roughly, that a new principle capturing what all morally permissible actions have in common warrants belief on the part of all inquirers, even in the face of reasonable uncertainty, because it is justified as an essential means to ascertaining wisdom. Upon embarking for wisdom, one quickly (...) discovers an important chunk of it about right action, namely, that wisdom will not be found unless one treats others in a particular kind of way. Although, as I discuss, this rationale has some similarities with transcendental arguments to be found in the literature, it is novel and merits careful attention from meta-ethicists. In this critical notice, I focus largely on Kane’s interesting justification of a principle of right action, paying somewhat less attention to the content of this principle, which is akin to Kant’s Formula of Humanity, and the not-merely-mental account of the good that Kane also advances; however, these elements of Kane’s intricate worldview about how to live should also be of interest to normative ethicists. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Robert Kane’s defense of event-causal libertarianism, as presented in Responsibility, Luck, and Chance: Reflections on Free Will and Indeterminism, fails because his event-causal reconstruction is incoherent. I focus on the notions of efforts and self-forming actions essential to his defense.
This essay begins where Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue begins: facing a moral world in ruin. MacIntyre argues that this predicament leaves us with a choice: we can follow the path of Friedrich Nietzsche, accepting this moral destruction and attempting to create lives in a rootless, uncertain world, or the path of Aristotle, working to reclaim a world in which close-knit communities sustain human practices that make it possible for us to flourish. Jeff Frank rejects MacIntyre's framework and in this essay (...) attempts to create an alternative path, one of moral repair. Through a close reading of several poems from Robert Frost's North of Boston, Frank develops the notion of moral repair and describes its ethical and educational implications. (shrink)
Robert C. Solomon saw spirituality and emotion as interpenetrating themes. I will summarize his views on spirituality and then introduce the articles in the special issue in his honor. Relating emotional integrity to spirituality, Bob argues that it is precisely through engagement - throwing ourselves into relationships and endeavors - that we come to recognize ourselves as part of something much larger than ourselves. Spirituality is an on-going adventure according to Bob, and it recommends itself in the way that (...) all adventures do. It is exciting and fun, a matter of an overflowing passionate life. (shrink)
This is an introductory volume to Robert Nozick, one of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. It is part of a new series, Contemporary Philosophy in Focus. Each volume in the series will consist of newly commissioned essays that will cover all the major contributions of a preeminent philosopher in a systematic and accessible manner. Robert Nozick is one of the most creative and individual philosophical voices of the last 25 years. His most famous book, Anarchy, (...) State and Utopia (1974), presents the classic defense of the libertarian view that only a minimal state is just. Nozick has also made significant contributions in later publications to such areas as rational choice theory, ethics, epistemology and philosophy of mind. Outside philosophy the book will be of particular interest to professionals and students in political science, law, economics, sociology and psychology. (shrink)
Austrian economics - the school of thought associated with Carl Menger, Frederick von Weiser, Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, and in this century, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Murray N. Rothbard, and Israel Kirzner - is based on a framework of methodological principles and assumptions much at variance with those of traditional or 'orthodox' economists. Robert Nozick, in his 'On Austrian Methodology', focuses attention on the most fundamental features of this framework, and subjects them to a thoroughgoing and scathing analysis. Singled (...) out for detailed and critical review are: (1) the praxeological concepts of methodological individualism; (2) the claim that economics is an a priori science of human action; (3) the nature of preference and its relation to choice and action; and (4) the assumptions of time-preference theory. Although Nozick does not consider Austrian views on business cycles, market process analysis, the coordinative and informational effects of the price system, competition, and several other fundamental aspects of praxeology, his criticism strikes at the very root of the praxeological school. This paper attempts to refute each criticism made of the praxeological school by Nozick on a point-by-point basis. It thus follows the same pattern as the original paper, and scrutinizes in detail the arguments made by its author. (shrink)
This essay compares Robert John Russell's work in his recent book Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: The Creative Mutual Interaction of Theology and Science (2008) to that of the authors known collectively as "the new atheists." I treat the latter as recent contributors to the modern tradition of scientific naturalism. This tradition makes claims to legitimacy on the basis of its close relations to the natural sciences. The purpose of this essay is to show up the poverty of the (...) naturalist tradition's scientific credentials by contrasting it with Russell's careful account of positive relations between science and Christian theology. (shrink)
In the burgeoning field of whiteness studies, What White Looks Like takes a unique approach to the subject by collecting the ideas of African-American philosophers. George Yancy has brought together a group of thinkers who address the problematic issues of whiteness as a category requiring serious analysis. What does white look like when viewed through philosophical training and African-American experience? In this volume, Robert Birt asks if whites can "live whiteness authentically." Janine Jones examines what it means to (...) be a "goodwill white." Joy James tells of beating her "addiction" to white supremacy, while Arnold Farr writes on making whiteness visible in Western philosophy. What White Looks Like brings a badly needed critique and philosophically sophisticated perspective to central issue of contemporary society. (shrink)
This article explores fundamental differences between Robert Audi’s position on self-deception and mine. Although we both depart from a model of self-deception that is straightforwardly based on stereotypical interpersonal deception, we differ in how we do that. An important difference between us might be partly explained by a difference in how we understand the kind of deceiving that is most relevant to self-deception.
Roger Sansom and Robert N. Brandon (eds.): Integrating Evolution and Development: From Theory to Practice Content Type Journal Article Pages 81-86 DOI 10.1007/s10441-010-9121-x Authors Thomas A. C. Reydon, Institute of Philosophy & Center for Philosophy and Ethics of Science (ZEWW), Leibniz Universität Hannover, Im Moore 21, 30167 Hannover, Germany Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342 Journal Volume Volume 59 Journal Issue Volume 59, Number 1.
In a message posted to one of the cognitive science discussion groups the author asked, to paraphrase roughly, what should be read to get an up-to-date account of research into color naming? My advice is (and was) to consider the two books under review here: C. L. Hardin and Luisa Maffis excellent collection of essays on color language research; Robert MacLaurys magnum opus on color naming and cognition.
For over thirty years, Robert Audi has produced important work in ethics, epistemology, and the theory of action. This volume features thirteen new critical essays on Audi by a distinguished group of authors: Fred Adams, William Alston, Laurence BonJour, Roger Crisp, Elizabeth Fricker, Bernard Gert, Thomas Hurka, Hugh McCann, Al Mele, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Raimo Tuomela, Candace Vogler, and Timothy Williamson. Audi's introductory essay provides a thematic overview interconnecting his views in ethics, epistemology, and philosophy of action. The volume concludes (...) with his comprehensive response essay that yields an illuminating dialog with all his critics and often extends his previous work. (shrink)
Jones's (1991) issue-contingent model of ethical decision making posits that six dimensions of moral intensity influence decision markers' recognition of an issue as a moral problem and subsequent behavior. He notes that "organizational settings present special challenges to moral agents" (1991, p. 390) and that organizational factors affect "moral decision making and behavior at two points: establishing moral intent and engaging in moral behavior" (1991, p. 391). This model, however, minimizes both the impact of organizational setting and organizational factors (...) on these experiences of ethical issues. In this theory, context is modeled as affecting the moral intent and behavior of the actor rather than directly affecting the issue's moral intensity. Here we look specifically at the effect of context on the moral intensity of ethical issues through a phenomenological study. Our results indicate that in certain environments, context may be critical in affecting the moral intensity of ethical issues. Thus, researchers should consider it more fully when assessing these issues' moral intensity. (shrink)
Robert MacArthur's mathematical ecology is often regarded as ahistorical and has been criticized by historically oriented ecologists and philosophers for ignoring the importance of history. I clarify and defend his approach, especially his use of simple mathematical models to explain patterns in data and to generate predictions that stimulate empirical research. First I argue that it is misleading to call his approach ahistorical because it is not against historical explanation. Next I distinguish three kinds of criticism of his approach (...) and argue that his approach is compatible with the first two of them. Finally, I argue that the third kind of criticism, advanced by Kim Sterelny and Paul Griffiths, is largely irrelevant to MacArthur's approach. ‡I am especially grateful to Thomas Nickles for encouragement and helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. Thanks also to Guy Hoelzer, Stephen Jenkins, and Jay Odenbaugh for comments on an earlier draft, Kim Sterelny for clarifications of the Tasmania example, Gregory Mikkelson for references, and the audience at PSA 2006 for discussions. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to examine whether business performance is affected by the adoption of practices included under the term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). To achieve this goal, we analyse the relation between CSR and certain accounting indicators and examine whether there exist significant differences in performance indicators between European firms that have adopted CSR and others that have not. The effects of compliance with the requirements of CSR were determined on the basis of firms included in the (...) Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), and specific accounting indicators were applied to measure performance. For the purposes of this study, we selected one group of firms belonging to the DJSI and another comprised of firms quoted on the Dow Jones Global Index (DJGI) but not on the DJSI. The sample was made up of two groups of 55 firms, studied for the period 1998–2004. Empirical analysis supports the conclusion that differences in performance exist between firms that belong to the DJSI and to the DJGI and that these differences are related to CSR practices. We find that a short-term negative impact on performance is produced. (shrink)
In Hitchcock as Philosopher, Robert Yanal argues that not only can we find illustrations of philosophical ideas in Hitchcock's films, but that Hitchcock does philosophy through his movies. This is a bold claim. It would be ambitious to merely assert that there are elements in Hitchcock's movies that can support rich philosophical interpretations. This sets the bar high and forces the interpreter to prove the point by supplying productive readings of the films. But Yanal accepts an even more ambitious (...) challenge -- to present Hitchcock as a philosopher in his own right, doing philosophy through his films. Unfortunately, Yanal fails to realize his project, but his book is nevertheless valuable, albeit for mostly non-philosophical reasons. (shrink)
In Hegel’s Idealism, Robert Pippin contends that Hegel develops a more adequate version of Fichte’s idealism, where the key to idealism lies in the general thesis that there are conditions presupposed by self-conscious judgments about objects. Focusing on this thesis led post-Kantian German idealists to dismiss Kant’s doctrine that space and time are a priori forms of intuition and to develop views of the autonomy of human reason in terms of thought’s self-determination. While Pippin and I agree on some (...) fundamentals, we disagree diametrically about the nature of Hegel’s idealism. Four of my main objections are these. (1) The thesis that there are conditions for self-conscious judgments about objects only entails idealism given certain kinds of conditions (such as Kant’s doctrines about space and time). (2) Hegel expressly denies that ‘the autonomy of thought’ primarily concerns the autonomy of human thinking. (3) Pippin’s interpretation of Hegel’s chapter on ‘Force and Understanding’, which is decisive for his interpretation of Hegel’s idealism, is not borne out by the examples Hegel uses to illustrate and defend his view. (4) Hegel’s frequent use in his Logics of categories that plainly derive from contingent features of our world is not, as Pippin would have it, an ironic concession that marks the reductio ad absurdum of Hegel’s view. On the contrary, such categories and their empirical basis is central to Hegel’s idealism, which is deeply naturalistic and expressly based in the empirical sciences. (1,000 word abstract in: Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 65.6 (1992):64–65.). (shrink)
In this paper, I will discuss and characterize transcendental and salvational aspects of two naturalistic philosophical projects, those of Robert Corrington, a contemporary American Naturalist and George Santayana, the first identifiable American Naturalist. I am considering here soteriological pathways available for transformation or transfiguration of the self toward a state of spiritual optimization in an imminent natural cosmos where all but limited gains seem to be out of human hands. The individual, imbedded in Nature, is caught up in an (...) unteleological stream of Nature's own formation. In my consideration of this subject in relation to Robert Corrington's work, I have found a helpful and insightful .. (shrink)
In "Moral Arguments for Theistic Belief" Robert Merrihew Adams defends a theistic argument from the nature of morality according to which the existence of God is entailed by the divine-command theory, which Adams believes is our best account of morality. In reply I examine the four arguments for the modified divine-command theory that Adams develops in this and later papers, and I show that three of the arguments are much too weak to enable him to make a case for (...) theism in this way and that the fourth itself depends on the assumption that there is a God and so would render that case circular. (shrink)
The German philosopher Robert Spaemann provides an important contribution to a number of contemporary debates in philosophy and theology, opening up possibilities for conversation between these disciplines. He engages in a dialogue with classical and contemporary positions and often formulates important and original insights which lie beyond common alternatives. In this study Holger Zaborowski provides an analysis of the most important features of Spaemann's philosophy and shows the unity of his thought. The question 'Who is a person?' is of (...) increasing significance: Are all human beings persons? Are there animals that can be considered persons? What does it mean to speak of personal identity and of the dignity of the person? Spaemann provides an answer to these questions: Every human being, he argues, is a person and, therefore, 'has' his nature in freedom. In order to understand the person, Spaemann explains, we have to think about the relation between nature and freedom and avoid the reductive accounts of this relation prevalent in important strands of modern thought. Spaemann develops a challenging critique of modernity, incorporating analysis of modern anti-modernisms and showing that these are also subject to a dialectical development, perpetuating the problematic shortcomings of many features of modern reasoning. If we do not want to abolish ourselves as persons, Spaemann reasons, we need to find a way of understanding ourselves that evades the dialectic of modernity. Thus, he reminds his readers of 'self-evident' knowledge: insights that we have once already known, but tend to forget. (shrink)