Many people, including many contemporary philosophers, believe that the state has no business trying to improve people's characters, elevating their tastes, or preventing them from living degraded lives. They believe that governments should remain absolutely neutral when it comes to the consideration of competing conceptions of the good. One fundamental aim of George Sher's book is to show that this view is indefensible. A second complementary aim is to articulate a conception of the good that is worthy of promotion (...) by the state. The first part of the book analyses attempts to ground the neutrality thesis in the value of autonomy, respect for autonomy, the dangers of a non-neutral state, and scepticism about the good. The second part defends an objective conception of the good which remains sensitive to some of the considerations that make subjectivism attractive. (shrink)
The paper presents an outline of a unified answer to five questions concerning logic: (1) Is logic in the mind or in the world? (2) Does logic need a foundation? What is the main obstacle to a foundation for logic? Can it be overcome? (3) How does logic work? What does logical form represent? Are logical constants referential? (4) Is there a criterion of logicality? (5) What is the relation between logic and mathematics?
Attention to the conversational role of alethic terms seems to dominate, and even sometimes exhaust, many contemporary analyses of the nature of truth. Yet, because truth plays a role in judgment and assertion regardless of whether alethic terms are expressly used, such analyses cannot be comprehensive or fully adequate. A more general analysis of the nature of truth is therefore required – one which continues to explain the significance of truth independently of the role alethic terms play in discourse. We (...) undertake such an analysis in this paper; in particular, we start with certain elements from Kant and Frege, and develop a construct of truth as a normative modality of cognitive acts (e.g., thought, judgment, assertion). Using the various biconditional T-schemas to sanction the general passage from assertions to (equivalent) assertions of truth, we then suggest that an illocutionary analysis of truth can contribute to its locutionary analysis as well, including the analysis of diverse constructions involving alethic terms that have been largely overlooked in the philosophical literature. Finally, we briefly indicate the importance of distinguishing between alethic and epistemic modalities. (shrink)
It is widely thought to be unfair to hold people responsible, or to blame or punish them, for wrongful acts or omissions that are beyond their control. Because this principle is often taken to support incompatibilism, and because it has led many to deny the possibility of moral luck, we might expect its normative underpinnings to have been carefully scrutinized. However, surprisingly, they have not. In the current paper, I will try to fill this gap by first reconstructing, and then (...) criticizing, what I take to be the principle’s most compelling rationale. Because I will argue that that rationale is irretrievably flawed, the thrust of my discussion will be to raise doubts both about the principle itself and about the philosophical theses that it is said to support. (shrink)
In his response to my essay “Out of Control,” Neil Levy contests my claims that (1) we are often responsible for acts that we do not consciously choose to perform, and that (2) despite the absence of conscious choice, there remains a relevant sense in which these actions are within our control. In this reply to Levy, I concede that claim (2) is linguistically awkward but defend the thought that it expresses, and I clarify my defense of claim (1) by (...) distinguishing my position from attributionism. (shrink)
Knowledge requires both freedom and friction . Freedom to set up our epistemic goals, choose the subject matter of our investigations, espouse cognitive norms, design research programs, etc., and friction (constraint) coming from two directions: the object or target of our investigation, i.e., the world in a broad sense, and our mind as the sum total of constraints involving the knower. My goal is to investigate the problem of epistemic friction, the relation between epistemic friction and freedom, the viability of (...) foundationalism as a solution to the problem of friction, an alternative solution in the form of a neo-Quinean model, and the possibility of solving the problem of friction as it applies to logic and the philosophy of logic within that model. (shrink)
This collection of new essays offers a 'state-of-the-art' conspectus of major trends in the philosophy of logic and philosophy of mathematics. A distinguished group of philosophers addresses issues at the centre of contemporary debate: semantic and set-theoretic paradoxes, the set/class distinction, foundations of set theory, mathematical intuition and many others. The volume includes Hilary Putnam's 1995 Alfred Tarski lectures, published here for the first time.
“Tarski’s Thesis” is the claim that a certain invariance condition can serve as our criterion of logicality. My goal in this paper is to explain the thesis, provide it with a philosophical justification, and respond to three recent criticisms due to Solomon Feferman.
A longstanding debate exists in both academic literature and popular culture about whether non-informative marketing tactics are manipulative. However, given that we tend to believe that some marketing tactics are manipulative and some are not, the question that marketers, their critics, and consumers need to ask themselves is that of how to actually determine whether any particular marketing tactic is manipulative and whether a given manipulative tactic is, in fact, immoral. This article proposes to operationalize criteria that can be used (...) by marketers for making such determinations and attempts to provide some clarification toward our under- standing of the concept of manipulation and the conditions for the moral acceptability of manipulative marketing practices. It argues that a marketing tactic is manipulative if it is intended to motivate by undermining what the marketer believes is his/her audience’s normal decision-making process either by deception or by playing on a vulnerability that the marketer believes exists in his/her audience’s normal decision-making process. Such a tactic is morally objectionable on several grounds, which make it morally impermissible unless outweighed by sufficient “redemptive” moral considerations. (shrink)
The construction of a systematic philosophical foundation for logic is a notoriously difficult problem. In Part One I suggest that the problem is in large part methodological, having to do with the common philosophical conception of “providing a foundation”. I offer an alternative to the common methodology which combines a strong foundational requirement (veridical justification) with the use of non-traditional, holistic tools to achieve this result. In Part Two I delineate an outline of a foundation for logic, employing the new (...) methodology. The outline is based on an investigation of why logic requires a veridical justification, i.e., a justification which involves the world and not just the mind, and what features or aspect of the world logic is grounded in. Logic, the investigation suggests, is grounded in the formal aspect of reality, and the outline proposes an account of this aspect, the way it both constrains and enables logic (gives rise to logical truths and consequences), logic's role in our overall system of knowledge, the relation between logic and mathematics, the normativity of logic, the characteristic traits of logic, and error and revision in logic. (shrink)
The paper offers a new analysis of the difficulties involved in the construction of a general and substantive correspondence theory of truth and delineates a solution to these difficulties in the form of a new methodology. The central argument is inspired by Kant, and the proposed methodology is explained and justified both in general philosophical terms and by reference to a particular variant of Tarski's theory. The paper begins with general considerations on truth and correspondence and concludes with a brief (...) outlook on the “family” of theories of truth generated by the new methodology. (shrink)
The paper argues that a philosophically informative and mathematically precise characterization is possible by (i) describing a particular proposal for such a characterization, (ii) showing that certain criticisms of this proposal are incorrect, and (iii) discussing the general issue of what a characterization of logical constants aims at achieving.
first an idea of "the role logic is expected to play."2 I think Tharp's point is intpor(ant, and wi(h this guideline in mind I will turn to Tarski's early Â«ork oÂ» tltc foundations of semantics.' I. The Task of Logic, the Origins of Semantics i(1 1 I'Ic Co(leep( ol' Truth in Formalized Languages", "On the Concept ol' I.ogical Consequence" and other writings4 Tarski presents logical..
In this paper I examine a cluster of concepts relevant to the methodology of truth theories: ‘informative definition’, ‘recursive method’, ‘semantic structure’, ‘logical form’, ‘compositionality’, etc. The interrelations between these concepts, I will try to show, are more intricate and multi-dimensional than commonly assumed.
It seems plausible to suppose that (a) the vocabulary of action is distinct from and irreducible to that of mere movement, And (b) the causal laws of the natural sciences are couched solely in terms of the latter vocabulary. From these two suppositions, The falsehood of determinism has sometimes been said to follow. I argue that whether this does follow depends on our conception of causal explanation; on the interpretation of this concept that seems to me the most interesting, The (...) falsehood of determinism follows only given the supplementary premise that there are no correlations between the relevant movement-Descriptions and action-Descriptions. But those who propose the two-Vocabularies argument have not shown the impossibility of establishing these correlations, And so have not proven determinism false. (shrink)