Abstract While considerable attention has been given to Kohlberg's stages of moral reasoning, little effort has been given to studying Kohlberg's notion of a metaphorical Stage Seven, which presupposes a cosmic rather than a universal humanistic orientation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether EEG coherence can distinguish cosmic orientation responses from non?cosmic orientation responses to the question, ?Why be moral??. Thirteen cosmic orientation candidates were compared with thirteen non?cosmic orientation subjects, matched for age, using EEG coherence measures. (...) Results indicate that cosmic orientation candidates exhibited higher EEG bilateral frontal alpha coherence than non?cosmic orientation subjects (p< .01). In addition, a positive correlation was found between the Principled Thinking Scale of Rest's Defining Issues Test and right homolateral EEG coherence (rs = .46, p< .05). Discussion of the results, along with suggestions for further research and implications for education are included. (shrink)
Robert Williams objects that my interpretation of Hegel’s philosophical theology makes him an “Enlightenment naturalist.” In response, I explain how my book describes Hegel as decisively criticizing Enlightenment naturalism by showing that the finite and the natural must be sublated in the infinite. Second, I show that Hegel’s apparently paradoxical conception of the relation between humans and God makes sense when it is seen as part of the long tradition of rational mysticism, which includes Plato, Plotinus, Proclus, St. Augustine, (...) and Meister Eckhart. (shrink)
Evolution is littered with paraphyletic convergences: many roads lead to functional Romes. We propose here another example - an equivalence class structure factoring the broad realm of possible realizations of the Baars Global Workspace consciousness model. The construction suggests many different physiological systems can support rapidly shifting, sometimes highly tunable, temporary assemblages of interacting unconscious cognitive modules. The discovery implies various animal taxa exhibiting behaviors we broadly recognize as conscious are, in fact, simply expressing different forms of the same underlying (...) phenomenon. Mathematically, we find much slower, and even multiple simultaneous, versions of the basic structure can operate over very long timescales, a kind of paraconsciousness often ascribed to group phenomena. The variety of possibilities, a veritable rainbow, suggests minds today may be only a small surviving fraction of ancient evolutionary radiations - bush phylogenies of consciousness and paraconsciousness. Under this scenario, the resulting diversity was subsequently pruned by selection and chance extinction. Though few traces of the radiation may be found in the direct fossil record, exaptations and vestiges are scattered across the living mind. Humans, for instance, display an uncommonly profound synergism between individual consciousness and their embedding cultural heritages, enabling efficient Lamarkian adaptation. (shrink)
This book shows that the repeated announcements of the death of Hegel's philosophical system have been premature. Hegel's Philosophy of Freedom, Reality, and God brings to light accomplishments for which Hegel is seldom given credit: unique arguments for the reality of freedom, for the reality of knowledge, for the irrationality of egoism, and for the compatibility of key insights from traditional theism and naturalistic atheism. The book responds in a systematic manner to many of the major criticisms leveled at Hegel's (...) system, from Feuerbach and Kierkegaard to Heidegger and Charles Taylor. It provides detailed interpretations of Hegel's Philosophy of Spirit, large parts of his indispensable Science of Logic, and important parts of his Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy of Right. Unlike many academic books on Hegel, this one treats him very much as a 'live' thinker, whom we can learn from today. (shrink)
In 1962, the philosopher Richard Taylor used six commonly accepted presuppositions to imply that human beings have no control over the future. David Foster Wallace not only took issue with Taylor's method, which, according to him, scrambled the relations of logic, language, and the physical world, but also noted a semantic trick at the heart of Taylor's argument. -/- Fate, Time, and Language presents Wallace's brilliant critique of Taylor's work. Written long before the publication of his fiction and (...) essays, Wallace's thesis reveals his great skepticism of abstract thinking made to function as a negation of something more genuine and real. He was especially suspicious of certain paradigms of thought-the cerebral aestheticism of modernism, the clever gimmickry of postmodernism-that abandoned "the very old traditional human verities that have to do with spirituality and emotion and community." As Wallace rises to meet the challenge to free will presented by Taylor, we witness the developing perspective of this major novelist, along with his struggle to establish solid logical ground for his convictions. This volume, edited by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert, reproduces Taylor's original article and other works on fatalism cited by Wallace. James Ryerson's introduction connects Wallace's early philosophical work to the themes and explorations of his later fiction, and Jay Garfield supplies a critical biographical epilogue. (shrink)
Many readers have suspected that Hegel---in arguing against Kant’s individualistic and critical way of approaching ethics and favoring instead an “ethical life” he associates with custom and habit---is in effect eliminating both individual judgment and any basis for criticism of corrupt or unjust communities. Most specialists reject this view of Hegel’s ethical theory, but they haven’t explained precisely how, on the contrary, ethical life preserves individual judgment and criticism within a new way of thinking about ethics. The goal of this (...) paper is to do that. (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)
In this paper I reply to Keith Yandell's recent charge that Anselmian theists cannot also be Trinitarians. Yandell's case turns on the contention that it is impossible to individuate Trinitarian members, if they exist necessarily. Since the ranks of Anselmian Trinitarians includes the likes of Alvin Plantinga, Robert Adams, and Thomas Flint, Yandell's claim is of considerable interest and import. I argue, by contrast, that Anselmians can appeal to what Plantinga calls an essence or haecceity – a property (...) essentially unique to an object – to distinguish Trinitarian members. I go on to show that the main Yandellian objection to this individuative strategy is not successful. (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.
In this paper, we review Keith Lehrer’s account of the basing relation, with particular attention to the two cases he offered in support of his theory, Raco (Lehrer, Theory of knowledge, 1990; Theory of knowledge, (2nd ed.), 2000) and the earlier case of the superstitious lawyer (Lehrer, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 311–313, 1971). We show that Lehrer’s examples succeed in making his case that beliefs need not be based on the evidence, in order to be justified. These cases (...) show that it is the justification (rather than the belief) that must be based in the evidence. We compare Lehrer’s account of basing with some alternative accounts that have been offered, and show why Lehrer’s own account is more plausible. (shrink)
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)
In the 1980s and 1990s the discipline of philosophy of education had an impact on schooling and the public service in New Zealand because of the contracted work of James Marshall and Michael Peters. This personal reﬂection by Robert Shaw is a tribute to James Marshall and provides insight into the relationship between Ministry ofﬁcials, the community, and educational researchers.
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.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Robert Pippin; 1. Nietzsche: writings from the early notebooks Alexander Nehamas; 2. Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy and other writings Raymond Geuss; 3. Nietzsche: Untimely Meditations Daniel Breazeale; 4. Nietzsche: Human, All Too Human Richard Schacht; 5. Nietzsche: Daybreak Maudemarie Clark and Brian Leiter; 6. Nietzsche: The Gay Science Bernard Williams; 7. Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra Robert Pippin; 8. Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil Rolf-Peter Horstmann; 9. Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality (...) class='Hi'>Keith Ansell-Pearson; 10. Nietzsche: The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols Aaron Ridley; 11. Nietzsche: writings from the late notebooks Rüdiger Bittner; Select bibliography. (shrink)
Recently, new life has been breathed into the ancient philosophical topic of skepticism. The subject of some of the best and most provocative work in contemporary philosophy, skepticism has been addressed not only by top epistemologists but also by several of the world's finest philosophers who are most known for their work in other areas of the discipline. Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader brings together the most important recent contributions to the discussion of skepticism. Covering major approaches to the skeptical problem, (...) it features essays by Anthony Brueckner, Keith DeRose, Fred Dretske, Graeme Forbes, Christopher Hill, David Lewis, Thomas Nagel, Robert Nozick, Hilary Putnam, Ernest Sosa, Gail Stine, Barry Stroud, Peter Unger, and Ted Warfield. The book opens with a thorough introduction that outlines the skeptical problem, explains the dominant responses to skepticism, and discusses the strengths, weaknesses, and unresolved issues of each response, providing undergraduate students and nonphilosophers with the background and context necessary to understand the essays. Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader serves as an ideal text for courses in epistemology and skepticism and will also appeal to professional philosophers and interested general readers. (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)
Louis Pojman and Robert Westmorland have compiled the best material on the subject of equality, ranging from classical works by Aristotle, Hobbes and Rousseau to contemporary works by John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, Michael Walzer, Harry Frankfurt, Bernard Williams and Robert Nozick; and including such topics as: the concept of equality; equal opportunity; Welfare egalitarianism; resources; equal human rights and complex equality. -/- CONTENTS: Introduction: The Nature and Value of Equality I. Classical Readings: 1. Aristotle: Justice and Equality 2. (...) Thomas Hobbes: Equality in the State of Nature 3. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: On the Origins of Inequality 4. David Hume: On Justice and Equality 5. Francis-Noel Babeuf and Sylvain Marechal: The Manifesto of Equality II. On the concept of Equality Itself 6. Felix E. Oppenheim: Egalitarianism as a Descriptive Concept 7. Dennis McKerlie: Equality and Time 8. Larry Temkin: Inequality III. General Considerations 9. Immanuel Kant: Groundwork for a Metaphysic of Morals 10. Robert Nozick: Justice Does Not Imply Equality 11. J.R. Lucas: Against Equality 12. Stanley I. Benn: Egalitarianism and the Equal Consideration of Interests 13. Gregory Vlastos: Justice and Equality IV. Equal Opportunity 14. John Schaar: Equality of Opportunity and Beyond 15. James Fishkin: Liberty versus Equal Opportunity 16. Peter Westen: the concept of Equal Opportunity 17. Robert Nozick: Life is not a Race 18. William Galston: A Liberal Defense of Equal Opportunity V. The Contemporary Debate on the Nature and Value of Equality 19. John Rawls: Equality and Desert 20. Wallace Matson: Justice: A Funeral Oration 21. Kai Nielson: Radical Welfare Egalitarianism 22. R.M. Hare: A Utilitarian Defense of Equality 23. Richard Arneson: Equality and Equal Opportunity for Welfare 24. Eric Rakowski: A Critique of Welfare Egalitarianism 25. Thomas Nagel: Equality and Partiality 26. Harry Frankfurt: Equality as a Moral Ideal 27. Eric Rakowski: A Defense of Resource Equality 28. Louis Pojman: On Equal Human Worth: A Critique of Contemporary Egalitarianism 29. Michael Walzer: Complex Equality Appendix 30. Kurt Vonnegut: Harrison Bergeron Bibliography. (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.
This paper introduces the concept of collective intentionality and shows its relevance when we seek to understand public management. Social ontology – particularly its leading concept, collective intentionality – provides critical insights into public organisations. The paper sets out the some of the epistemological limitations of cultural theories and takes as its example of these the group-grid theory of Douglas and Hood. It then draws upon Brentano, Husserl and Searle to show the ontological character of public management. Modern public institutions (...) – such as advisory organisations and service delivery agencies, including schools and universities – are expressions of human collective intentionality. The central concept within these institutions, as a phenomenology reveals, is cooperation. Public institutions are natural structures that emerge from our evolutionary ancestry as cooperative animals and enduringly display all the features of that ancestry. (shrink)
This thesis develops a hermeneutic philosophy of science to provide insights into physics education. -/- Modernity cloaks the authentic character of modern physics whenever discoveries entertain us or we judge theory by its use. Those who justify physics education through an appeal to its utility, or who reject truth as an aspect of physics, relativists and constructivists, misunderstand the nature of physics. Demonstrations, not experiments, reveal the essence of physics as two characteristic engagements with truth. First, truth in its guise (...) as correspondence enables a human being to prepare for the distinctive event of physics. -/- Second, the event of physics occurs in human perception when someone forces a hidden reality to disclose an aspect of itself. Thus, the ground of physics is our human involvement with reality achieved by way of truth. -/- To support this account of physics, the thesis reports phenomenological investigations into Isaac Newton’s involvement with optics and a secondary school physics laboratory. These involve interpretations of Heidegger’s theory of beings, schema and signification. The project draws upon, and contributes to, the hermeneutic phenomenology of modern physics, a tradition in continental philosophy that begins with Immanuel Kant, and advances particularly from Martin Heidegger to Patrick Heelan. -/- The thesis advocates an ontological pedagogy for modern physics which has as its purpose each individual student’s engagement with reality and truth. Students may achieve this through demonstrations of phenomena that will enable them to dwell with physics, an experience that contrasts with their embroilment in modernity, and which perpetuates nature’s own science. (shrink)
There is a palpable need for a new theory that embraces organisations and management – the hegemony of scientific theories is at an end. This paper argues that the phenomenological method which Husserl inaugurates has the potential to provide new insights. Those who adopt a phenomenological attitude to their situation within a business can explore unusual, and as yet unseen, depths within phenomena. The paper introduces Husserl’s method which requires the development of skills and a thoroughgoing rejection of scientific methods (...) of enquiry. However, this method is unlikely assist practitioners to achieve already determined business goals. (shrink)
We describe an evaluation undertaken on contract for the New Zealand State Services Commission of a major project (the Administrative Decision-Making Skills Project) designed to produce a model of administrative decision making and an associated teaching/learning packagefor use by government officers. It describes the evaluation of a philosophical model of decision making and the associated teaching/learning package in the setting of the New Zealand Public Service, where a deliberate attempt has been initiated to improve the quality of decision making, especially (...) in relation to moral factors. (shrink)
Business education is at a critical juncture. How are we to justify the curriculum in undergraduate business awards in Aotearoa New Zealand? This essay suggests a philosophical framework for the analysis the business curriculum in Western countries. This framework helps us to see curriculum in a context of global academic communities and national needs. It situates the business degree in the essential tension which modernity (Western metaphysics) creates and which is expressed in an increasingly globalised economy. The tension is between (...) those who insist that the degree is to serve modernity and those who hope that it may contribute to a new era of justice and harmony with nature. One critical battle ground for the business curriculum is the subject Business Ethics. The business ethics curriculum often indicates the intention of the business ethics degree itself. Kant's distinction between heteronomy (rule following) and autonomy (making your own decisions) provides us with a means to judge the purposes of business ethics courses: there are courses which seek to produce reliable and compliant (heteronomous) employees, and there are those which seek to produce independent creative (autonomous) human beings. The question for this conference is: what do we as business educators see as our task? (shrink)
Human beings originate votes, and democracy constitutes decisions. This is the essence of democracy. A phenomenological analysis of the vote and of the decision reveals for us the inherent strength of democracy and its deficiencies. Alexis de Tocqueville pioneered this form of enquiry into democracy and produced positive results from it. Unfortunately, his phenomenological method was inadequate and he missed the essential core of his 'associative art'. The frequent association of democracy with rationality misleads us about its nature and its (...) requirements. The phenomenology of democracy aligns with the governance concept of democracy. Many attempts to reform democracy, or impose it on others, are misplaced because they do not attend to the essence of democracy. (shrink)
This paper argues that learning is inherently violent. It examines the way in which Heidegger uses – and refrains from using – the concept in his account of Dasein. Heidegger explicitly discussed “learning” in 1951 and he used of the word in several contexts. Although he confines his use of “learning” to the ontic side of the ontic-ontological divide, there are aspects of what he says that open the door to an ontological analogue of the ontic learning. In this discussion (...) it emerges that what precludes “learning” behaving as does “willing”, “waiting” and “thanking”, is something that derives from the relatedness of Dasein. The paper finally examines violence within the disclosure of truth. The approach to the investigation is experimental and is to some extent modeled on Heidegger‟s own later enquires. (shrink)
This paper inaugurates a discussion about the phenomenology of union decision-making. Phenomenology provides a new lens that may enable us to gain penetrating insights into how unions function in the fractious world of human resources management. The present paper is preliminary to any fieldwork that may be undertaken. Its main purposes are to identify theory that could be the foundation of further practical work, relate recent work in the phenomenology of management to union practices and to propose directions of enquiry. (...) The relevant theory is that of Edmund Husserl who provides us with a practical method of enquiry into the real world of human resource practice. Husserl’s work has already been applied in relation to local government functioning and some of the findings there appear relevant to the present enquiry. In particular, the nature and role of plebiscites. (shrink)
Heidegger’s hermeneutic method and his account of pedagogy are useful in teaching students how to think and write. This paper interprets the method of thinking which Martin Heidegger taught to his students and indicates strategies that have been used to introduce that method to New Zealand students in an online course. The method appears to philosophers as a technique of conceptual analysis, although Heidegger may not have agreed with that characterisation or its use in this way. To tertiary teachers it (...) is one framework that they may use to teach a strategy and techniques under the rubric of critical thinking. The use of the method of procedure proposed is well within the capabilities of teachers in practical subjects such as business, management, medicine and law. Students in the author’s business analysis course say that a hermeneutic strategy forces them to struggle, but ultimately they report satisfaction at their increased abilities and believe that they have gained something efficacious. (shrink)
References to moral education in New Zealand over the last fifteen years are traced through official and semi-official government reports, teachers’ publications, and other sources. It is argued that since 1962 there has been an increasing awareness of and concern with moral education. -/- The significance of the Commission on Education in New Zealand in 1962 stressed that New Zealand schools’ prime responsibility was for intellectual education, although they should also be concerned with physical, emotional, and moral development. -/- Since (...) the Commission’s report it has been noticeable that subsequent reports and papers such as the Education Departments booklet Social Education, the reports from the nation-wide educational development conference and the teachers’ union publication Education in Change have indicated that the school should adopt greater responsibility in the area of moral education. The 1977 Johnson Report strongly supported the introduction of moral education in schools and precipitated considerable public debate. (shrink)
Teachers frequently find that their teaching is unsuccessful with a particular group of students. This paper describes how Heidegger’s ontology was useful to teachers as they developed a distance education platform to teach astronomy to culturally diverse Aotearoa New Zealand secondary school students. Māori students do not perform well within their State’s model of normalising education, and academic authors ascribe this “failure” to the effects of cultural difference and imperialism. This paper conjectures that Māori are not merely “culturally different” but (...) that they represent a metaphysical heritage that is akin to that described as Greek metaphysics by Heidegger. There are cultural artefacts and practices that serve for modern Māori in a way that parallels Heidegger’s account of the ancient Greeks. Māori may represent an ontological tradition that stands completely outside of Western metaphysics. If the conjecture is correct, normalising education is unlikely to ever to be satisfactory for Māori. (shrink)
This chapter examines a foundational democratic practice by considering how it expresses concepts of the Enlightenment. The practice is that of the vote or plebiscite as it appears in governance. The leading enlightenment concept is rationality as it is expounded by Kant. Kant did not participate in national democratic processes. He expected decisions of any consequence to be made in Berlin and thrived when his City was invaded by the Russians and their officers became his students, until they left suddenly (...) in 1762 (Kuehn, 2001, p.126). Kant participated in political debate where the issues were in the main constitutional and about the processes of government reform. He became known for his theory of natural law and the justification of positive law. He advocated the separation of powers, but denied the right of revolution. This latter onclusion was in apparent contradiction of his support for republicanism, including the French, English, and American revolutions (Beck, 1971, p.413). The term “republican” in Kant’s writings is sometimes interpreted to mean “parliamentary democracy”. This is probably a mistake, and Reiss suggests Kant’s term does not carry the “connotation” of modern Western democracy (Reiss's "Introduction" in Kant, 1991a, p.25). Kant himself wrote that he wanted to prevent “the republican constitution from being confused with the democratic one, as commonly happens” (Kant, 1991a, .100). So it is that, whilst Kant wrote about the interaction of morality and politics, he did not write on the topic of the present chapter which focuses on those mechanisms or mechanics that democracy displays when it works. (shrink)
Course designers adopted a language-learners approach to the online teaching of New Zealand secondary school students in the subject of astronomy. This was possible because the curriculum for astronomy that was in 2004 established as a part of New Zealand's national curriculum was specifically designed to engage underachieving students in science and technology. A criterion-referenced assessment regime was established and an Internet platform was built specifically to facilitate this form of assessment. This platform contrasts with the norm-referenced assessment programmes that (...) are most frequently used with online instruction. In this situation - where the essential task is to reward students for learning basic vocabulary and to motivate them to further study - the theory of psychologist William James assisted the teachers to develop their online pedagogy. The article concludes with a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of using the Internet to deliver science courses to secondary school students. (shrink)
'Democracy thrives because it helps individuals identify with the society of which they are members and because it provides for legitimate decision-making and exercise of power.' With this statement, the Council of Europe raises for us some fundamental questions: what is the practice of democracy, its merits and its limitations? A phenomenological insight into democracy as it displays itself indicates that its essence is decision making by vote. The strength of this mechanism is that it operates without a requirement for (...) rationality on the part of the participants, and its imperative is always to achieve a decision - any decision. Thus, the mechanism enables decisions in situations of incommensurable choice. The history of the engagement of Maori with local government in Aotearoa New Zealand makes apparent the limitations of democracy and challenges democracy itself. Maori have no tradition of democracy and they aspire to the exercise of their traditional decision-making practices. As a minority in a democratic country, Maori find themselves always at the mercy of the vote. Democracy is a tool of colonisation. The situation of Maori provides lessons for those who would applaud the Council of Europe and their belief in coexistence by way of democratic decision making. (shrink)
An investigation into the assessment of the moral components which were developed by John Wilson, is reported. Tests fox the classroom measurement of two components were developed. The components were; PHIL(CC), the claiming of concern for other persons as an overriding, universal, and prescriptive principle in moral decision making; and; GIG, knowledge of factual information which is relevant in making moral decisions which subjects face. The test development exercise was undertaken at a time when public interest in moral education was (...) growing. The recent demand for moral education in Auckland is reviewed. Over the last fifteen years, since the Currie Commission Report, reports by committees investigating the purposes of schools have increasingly emphasised moral and social education as school objectives. The Department of Education appeared to be sympathetic towards the cause of moral education. The submissions made by the public during the Educational Development Conference suggested that, in general, parents and citizens were prepared to consider innovative programmes in social or moral education, although there was little agreement on what form such training or education should take. A number of teachers were supporters of moral education. The primary purpose in constructing tests for Wilson's components was to provide an instrument which would assist in the evaluation of moral education curriculum projects in Auckland secondary schools. Evidence concerning descriptive, content, domain selection, construct and concurrent validity is presented. Kuder-Richardson, retest and criterion-referenced reliability studies were undertaken. It is claimed that an instrument with sufficient validity and reliability has bean produced for the summative evaluation of curriculum projects, and the diagnostic investigation of class groups using the test as a criterion-referenced measure. Auckland intermediate and secondary school pupils were surveyed, using the tests produced and punch card recording in an attempt to identify significant variables. Over 1,100 children completed the tests under controlled conditions. Significant variables identified using the test for PHIL(CC) were socio-economic level for twelve-year-old children, and intelligence for sixteen-year-old children. The effect of schooling appeared to be significant at all levels. Age does not appear to markedly increase children's concern for others. Age was related to performance in the knowledge test. Older children knew more. Other significant variables for GIG were socio-economic level (middle levels performed better) and the effects of schooling. There was some evidence that females know more than males. In both tests it appears that there is considerable interaction between the variables. Suggestions for the further development of the tests are given. (shrink)
Testimony is a crucial source of knowledge: we are to a large extent reliant upon what others tell us. It has been the subject of much recent interest in epistemology, and this volume collects twelve original essays on the topic by some of the world's leading philosophers. It will be the starting point for future research in this fertile field. Contributors include Robert Audi, C. A. J. Coady, Elizabeth Fricker, Richard Fumerton, Sanford C. Goldberg, Peter Graham, Jennifer Lackey, (...) class='Hi'>Keith Lehrer, Richard Moran, Frederick F. Schmitt, Ernest Sosa, and James Van Cleve. (shrink)
The Practice of Value explores the nature of value and its relation to the social and historical conditions under which human agents live. At the core of the book are the Tanner Lectures delivered at Berkeley in 2001 by Joseph Raz, who has been one of the leading figures in moral and legal philosophy since the 1970's. Raz argues that values depend importantly on social practices, but that we can make sense of this dependence without falling back on cultural relativism. (...) In response, three eminent philosophers, Christine Korsgaard, Robert Pippin, and Bernard Williams, offer their own distinctive reflections on the connections between value and practice. The book begins with an introduction by Jay Wallace, setting the scene for what follows, and ends with a response from Raz to his commentators. The result is a fascinating debate, accessible to readers throughout and beyond philosophy, about the relations between human values and human life. (shrink)
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.
Keith Donnellan (1931 – ) began his studies at the University of Maryland, and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. He stayed on at Cornell, earning a Master’s and a PhD in 1961. He also taught at there for several years before moving to UCLA in 1970, where he is currently Emeritus Professor of Philosophy. Donnellan’s work is mainly in the philosophy of language, with an emphasis on the connections between semantics and pragmatics. His most influential work was (...) his 1966 paper “Reference and Definite Descriptions”. In this paper, he challenges the canonical view, due to Bertrand Russell, about definite descriptions. Russell had argued that the proper semantic treatment of a definite description such as “the present king of France” was quantificational. Thus, a sentence like “the present king of France is bald” should be analyzed as “There exists one and only one entity x that is the present king of France, and x is bald”. Donnellan argues that in natural languages, there are actually two different kinds of uses of definite descriptions. Russell’s analysis picks out the “attributive” use of definite descriptions. When we use a definite description (“the F”) this way, we mean to make statements about the unique entity x that is F. However, Donnellan notes that we also sometimes use definite descriptions “referentially” to pick out a given entity and say something about it. To see this, imagine you are at a party where virtually everyone is drinking beer. However, you and your friend are observing a man in a corner of the room holding a martini glass. Unbeknownst to you, the man’s glass is filled with water. You turn to your friend and ask, “who is the man drinking a martini?” Suppose further that your friend knows that the man in question is Fred and that Fred’s glass is filled with water. According to the Russellian attributive analysis, such a question would amount to asking for the identity of the one and only one man drinking a martini. But the presupposition that there is a man drinking a martini is false, and so there should be no answer to the question.. (shrink)
Virtue Epistemology is a new movement receiving the bulk of recent attention from top epistemologists and ethicists; this volume reflects the best work in that vein. Included are unpublished articles by such eminent philosophers as Robert Audi, Simon Blackburn, Alvin Goldman, Christopher Hookway, Keith Lehrer, and Ernest Sosa.
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)
It is often objected that the Everett interpretation of QM cannot make sense of quantum probabilities, in one or both of two ways: either it can’t make sense of probability at all, or it can’t explain why probability should be governed by the Born rule. David Deutsch has attempted to meet these objections. He argues not only that rational decision under uncertainty makes sense in the Everett interpretation, but also that under reasonable assumptions, the credences of a rational agent in (...) an Everett world should be constrained by the Born rule. David Wallace has developed and defended Deutsch’s proposal, and greatly clarified its conceptual basis. In particular, he has stressed its reliance on the distinguishing symmetry of the Everett view, viz., that all possible outcomes of a quantum measurement are treated as equally real. The argument thus tries to make a virtue of what has usually been seen as the main obstacle to making sense of probability in the Everett world. In this note I outline some objections to the Deutsch-Wallace argument, and to related proposals by Hilary Greaves about the epistemology of Everettian QM. (In the latter case, my arguments include an appeal to an Everettian analogue of the Sleeping Beauty problem.) The common thread to these objections is that the symmetry in question remains a very significant obstacle to making sense of probability in the Everett interpretation. (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)
Abstract: This paper assesses the Everettian approach to the measurement problem, especially the version of that approach advocated by Simon Saunders and David Wallace. I emphasise conceptual, indeed metaphysical, aspects rather than technical ones; but I include an introductory exposition of decoherence. In particular, I discuss whether---as these authors maintain---it is acceptable to have no precise definition of 'branch' (in the Everettian kind of sense). (A version of this paper will appear in a CTNS/Vatican Observatory volume on Quantum Theory (...) and Divine Action, ed. Robert Russell et al.). (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)
In response to criticisms made by Keith Dowding (hereafter KD) of `Capitalists Rule OK', this article argues (1) that there is a genuine structural conflict of interest between consumers and producers, voters and politicians, and capitalists and governments, and (2) that only by ad hoc and arbitrary limitations on the scope of the concept of power can it be denied that consumers collectively have power over producers and capitalists (collectively) have power over government. KD accepts that voters (collectively) have (...) power over governments. Ironically, however, this is by far the most tenuous and generally problematic of the three putative power relations. Furthermore, there is no plausible way of conceding that voters (collectively) have power over politicians without also having to accept the validity of a power relation in the other two cases. The implication is that the thesis that is supposed to justify the standard North American or western European politico-economic system, according to which consumers and voters have power but capitalists do not, is nothing more than ideology, in Marx's sense of a fantastical picture of the world designed by the beneficiaries of the status quo to protect their privileged positions against legitimate demands for revolutionary change. The article concludes by taking up KD's primary objection to `Capitalists Rule', which is its rejection of the proposal to equate power with resources. According to KD's official definition, `resources' are the means of raising and lowering others' utilities. I pointed out in `Capitalists Rule' that KD himself acknowledges the inadequacy of this definition, since he almost immediately goes on to say that people do not necessarily have the power that is attributed to them. Obviously, `power' in this new sense must be something different, and is, in fact, the ability to get people to do what you want them to do or to refrain from doing things you do not want them to do. This is precisely my own proposed definition in `Capitalists Rule'. The only remaining disagreement arises from KD's wish to turn everything that lies between power in his first sense and power in his second (and my) sense into a further `resource'. I argue that this is obfuscatory and, in any case, infeasible. Key Words: power democracy capitalism. (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)
This book is an invitation to read poetry. Simon Critchley argues that poetry enlarges life with a range of observation, power of expression and attention to language that eclipses any other medium. In a rich engagement with the poetry of Wallace Stevens, Critchley reveals that poetry also contains deep and important philosophical insight. Above all, he argues for a "poetic epistemology" that enables us to think afresh the philosophical problem of the relation between mind and world, and ultimately to (...) cast the problem away. Drawing astutely on Kant, the German and English Romantics and Heidegger, Critchley argues that through its descriptions of particular things and their stubborn plainness - whether water, guitars, trees, or cats - poetry evokes the "mereness" of things. It is this experience that provokes the mood of calm and releases the imaginative insight we need to press back against the pressure of reality. Critchley also argues that this calm defines the cinematic eye of Terrence Malick, whose work is discussed at the end of the book. (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)
In “Reliabilism Leveled” Jonathan Vogel (2000) provides a strong case against epistemic theories that stress the importance of tracking/sensitivity conditions. A tracking/sensitivity condition is to be understood as some version of the following counterfactual: (T) ~p oÆ ~Bp (T) says that s would not believe p, if p were false. Among other things, tracking is supposed to express the external relation that explains why some justified true beliefs are not knowledge. Champions of the condition include Robert Nozick (1981) and, (...) more recently, Keith DeRose (1995). To my knowledge, the earliest formulation of the counterfactual condition is found in Fred Dretske’s conclusive reasons condition (1971), which says, s would not have had the reason that she does for believing p, if p were false. Vogel contends that any such counterfactual condition on knowledge will render the theory of knowledge too strong. He believes that there is at least some possible reflective knowledge that cannot satisfy the counterfactual--viz., the possible knowledge that one does not believe falsely that p. The alleged impossibility of such reflective knowledge is taken by Vogel to be a decisive objection to the tracking theories advocated by Dretske, Nozick, DeRose1 and others. The criticism finds its roots in Vogel’s earlier work (1987), and recurs in papers by Ernest Sosa (2002, 1996). Sosa suggests that the externalist idea behind tracking is on target, but that Nozick’s counterfactual is a misbegotten regimentation of the idea. In its place Sosa offers his own counterfactual “safety” condition, which he feels properly captures the externalist idea. Sosa’s counterfactual is not the topic of this paper. I mention it only to point out that the criticism that constitutes the subject of my investigation is meant to do a lot of work. In Sosa’s 1 case the criticism is meant to motivate his own counterfactual analysis, and in Vogel’s case the criticism promises to be a silver bullet against a theory that has recently found renewed life in the work of Keith DeRose.. (shrink)