Behaving ethically depends on the ability to recognize that ethical issues exist, to see from an ethical point of view. This ability to see and respond ethically may be related more to attributes of corporate culture than to attributes of individual employees. Efforts to increase ethical standards and decrease pressure to behave unethically should therefore concentrate on the organization and its culture. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how total quality (TQ) techniques can facilitate the development of a (...) cooperative corporate culture that promotes and encourages ethical behavior throughout an organization. (shrink)
Many philosophers have asserted that evolutionary theory is unfalsifiable. In this paper I refute these assertions by detailing some falsifiable predictions of the theory and the evidence used to test them. I then analyze both these predictions and evidence cited to support assertions of unfalsifiability in order to show both what type of predictions are possible and why it has been so difficult to spot them. The conclusion is that the apparent logical peculiarity of evolutionary theory is not a property (...) of evolutionary theory; it is a property of our human-sized perspective on evolutionary theory. (shrink)
This paper shows that species are individuals with respect to evolutionary theory in the sense that the laws of the theory deal with species as irreducible wholes rather than as sets of organisms. 'Species X' is an instantiation of a primitive term of the theory. I present a sketch of a proof that it cannot be defined within the theory as a set of organisms; the proof relies not on details of my axiomatization but rather on a generally accepted property (...) of speciation; hence the same argument should work for any axiomatization which captures this generally accepted property of speciation. (shrink)
This paper: (1) gives a schema of the logical structure of functional explanation in biology; (2) shows that it falls under the covering law model of explanation by proving that the explanandum follows from the explanans; and (3) supports the claim that it captures the logical structure underlying the biological usage by analyzing in detail two cases from biology.
Many philosophers have claimed that the structure of evolutionary theory is intrinsically different from the structure of physical theories. These claims were based on the appearance of the immature structure of the theory. Refutations of these claims have been based on newly available glimpses of the mature structure of the theory. These claims and their refutations show that the relationship between the immature and mature structures of evolutionary theory is dramatically different from this relationship for Newtonian physics. Analysis of the (...) cause of this difference provides insight into significant features of the process of maturation of scientific theories. (shrink)
Narrative explanations in evolutionary biology have seemed fundamentally different from other scientific explanations, and similar to historical explanations. This investigation of the structure of narrative explanations in evolutionary biology reveals that narrative explanations do have a deductive-nomological base, but that their structure contains two significant additional elements as well. The additional elements are: the multidimensional recursive connection between the different sub-explanations in a narrative explanation; and a set of generic explanations which make possible the integration of multiple co-existing processes.
Critical thinking measures have often been empirically associated with other cognitive dimensions (e.g., achievement test scores, IQ scores, exam scores) but seldom with sociopolitical perspectives. Consequently, the current study examined the relationship of critical thinking to sociopolitical values reflective of political ideology, namely respect for civil liberties, emphasis on national security, militarism, and support for the Iraq War. In a sample of 232 undergraduates attending a Southeastern university, critical thinking correlated significantly with respect for civil liberties (.19), emphasis on national (...) security (-.29), militarism (-.25), and support for the Iraq War (-.28). A logistic regression analysis showed that the sociopolitical measures significantly predicted placement in high and low critical thinking groups, with support for the Iraq War being the primary predictor. A multivariate analysis (MANOVA) revealed that the sociopolitical means for the high and low critical thinking groups all differed significantly. The results suggest that critical thinking scores are generally predictive of liberal versus conservative political ideology. (shrink)
Seventeen television journalists from Indianapolis and Terre Haute responded to a computer simulation of a situation involving privacy of an AIDS testing site. Seven different forms of reasoning were used to deal with elements of the situation. It was found, using a 3D scale for analysis, that consequentialist forms of reasoning were dominant for respondents in this sample. Noncosequentialist thinking was also demonstrated and the nature of ethical reasoning was highly individualized.
Seventeen television journalistsfrom Indianapolis and Terre Haute, Indiana encountered a computer simulation of newsgathering, based on Potter's Box. The situation involved showing identijable faces in a story about AIDS testing. Additional information was the most accessed resource. Organizational codes of ethics were accessed the least. Journalism organization members sought more advice from all resources than others. More experienced respondents accessed more advicefrom professional peers. Females were less interested in peer advice than their male counterparts.
Quine (1960, "Word and object". Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, ch. 2) claims that there are a variety of equally good schemes for translating or interpreting ordinary talk. 'Rabbit' might be taken to divide its reference over rabbits, over temporal slices of rabbits, or undetached parts of rabbits, without significantly affecting which sentences get classified as true and which as false. This is the basis of his famous 'argument from below' to the conclusion that there can be no fact of the (...) matter as to how reference is to be divided. Putative counterexamples to Quine's claim have been put forward in the past (see especially Evans (1975, "Journal of Philosophy", LXXII(13), 343-362. Reprinted in McDowell (Ed.), "Gareth Evans: Collected papers." Oxford: Clarendon Press.), Fodor (1993, "The elm and the expert: Mentalese and its semantics." Cambridge, MA: Bradford)), and various patches have been suggested (e. g. Wright (1997, The indeterminacy of translation. In C. Wright & B. Hale (Eds.), "A companion to the philosophy of language" (pp. 397-426). Oxford: Blackwell)). One lacuna in this literature is that one does not find any detailed presentation of what exactly these interpretations are supposed to be. Drawing on contemporary literature on persistence, the present paper sets out detailed semantic treatments for fragments of English, whereby predicates such as 'rabbit' divide their reference over four-dimensional continuants (Quine's rabbits), instantaneous temporal slices of those continuants (Quine's rabbitslices) and the simple elements which compose those slices (undetached rabbit parts) respectively. Once we have the systematic interpretations on the table, we can get to work evaluating them. (shrink)
According to theories of wrongful life (WL), the imposition upon a child of an existence of poor quality can constitute an act of harming, and a violation of the child’s rights. The idea that there can be WLs may seem intuitively compelling. But, as this paper argues, liberals who commit themselves to WL theories may have to compromise some of their other beliefs. For they will thereby become committed to the claim that some women are under a stringent moral duty (...) to have an abortion: a duty that could, without injustice, at least sometimes be enforced by the state. WL theories in other words imply that some women will lack a right to choose, under which both the decision to abort, and the decision to carry the fetus to term, are protected against interference. The paper exposes a dilemma, then, for liberals who are committed both to (a) the rights of future people not to be subjected to a harmful existence, and (b) the rights of women to refuse an abortion. (shrink)
(A) I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I don’t believe that I did (1942, p. 543) or (B) I believe that he has gone out. But he has not (1944, p. 204) would be “absurd” (1942, p. 543; 1944, p. 204). Wittgenstein’s letters to Moore show that he was intensely interested in this discovery of a class of possibly true yet absurd assertions. Wittgenstein thought that the absurdity is important because it is “something similar to a contradiction, thought (...) it isn’t one” (1974, p. 177). What is the explanation of the absurdity of saying or believing something about myself that might be true? Wittgenstein thought that although the explanation will say “something about the logic of assertion” it will also show that “logic isn’t as simple as logicians think it is”. So although the explanation should.. (shrink)
A morally objectionable outcome can be overdetermined by the actions of multiple individual agents. In such cases, the outcome is the same regardless of what any individual does or does not do. (For a clear example of such a case, imagine the execution of an innocent person by a firing squad.) We argue that, in some of these types of cases, (a) there exists a group agent, a moral agent constituted by individual agents; (b) the group agent is guilty of (...) violating a moral obligation; however, (c) none of the individual agents violate any of their moral obligations. We explicate and defend this view, and consider its applications to problems generated by anthropogenic climate change and electoral politics. (shrink)
Two major themes in the literature on indicative conditionals are (1) that the content of indicative conditionals typically depends on what is known;1 (2) that conditionals are intimately related to conditional probabilities.2 In possible world semantics for counterfactual conditionals, a standard assumption is that conditionals whose antecedents are metaphysically impossible are vacuously true.3 This aspect has recently been brought to the fore, and defended by Tim Williamson, who uses it in to characterize alethic necessity by exploiting such equivalences as: A⇔¬A (...) A. One might wish to postulate an analogous connection for indicative conditionals, with indicatives whose antecedents are (in some relevant sense) epistemically impossible being vacuously true: and indeed, the modal account of indicative conditionals of Brian Weatherson has exactly this feature.4 This allows one to characterize an epistemic modal by the equivalence A⇔¬A→A. For simplicity, in what follows we write A as KA and think of it as expressing that subject S knows that A.5 The connection to probability has received much attention. Stalnaker (1970) suggested, as a way of articulating the ‘Ramsey Test’, the following very general schema for indicative conditionals relative to some probability function P: P(A→B) = P(B|A) 1For example, Nolan (2003); Weatherson (2001); Gillies (2007). 2For example Stalnaker (1970); McGee (1989); Adams (1975). 3Lewis (1973). See Nolan (1997) for criticism. 4‘epistemically possible’ here means incompatible with what is known (where ‘what is known’ is to be cashed out in some relevant sense). 5This idea was suggested to me in conversation by John Hawthorne. I do not know of it being explored in print. The plausibility of this characterization will depend on the exact sense of ‘epistemically possible’ in play—if it is compatibility with what a single subject knows, then can be read ‘the relevant subject knows that p’. If it is more delicately formulated, we might be able to read as the epistemic modal ‘must’.. (shrink)
Quine (1960, Word and object. Cambridge, Mass.:MIT Press, ch. 2) claims that there are a variety of equally good schemes for translating or interpreting ordinary talk. ‘Rabbit’ might be taken to divide its reference over rabbits, over temporal slices of rabbits, or undetached parts of rabbits, without significantly affecting which sentences get classified as true and which as false. This is the basis of his famous ‘argument from below’ to the conclusion that there can be no fact of the matter (...) as to how reference is to be divided. Putative counterexamples to Quine’s claim have been put forward in the past (see especially Evans 1975; 1975, Journal of Philosophy, LXXII(13), 343–362. Reprinted in McDowell (Ed.), Gareth Evans: Collected papers. Oxford: Clarendon Press.), and various patches have been suggested (e.g. Wright (1997, The indeterminacy of translation. In C. Wright & B. Hale (Eds.), A companion to the philosophy of language (pp. 397–426). Oxford: Blackwell)). One lacuna in this literature is that one does not find any detailed presentation of what exactly these interpretations are supposed to be. Drawing on contemporary literature on persistence, the present paper sets out detailed semantic treatments for fragments of English, whereby predicates such as ‘rabbit’ divide their reference over four-dimensional continuants (Quine’s rabbits), instantaneous temporal slices of those continuants (Quine’s rabbit-slices) and the simple elements which compose those slices (undetached rabbit parts) respectively. Once we have the systematic interpretations on the table, we can get to work evaluating them. (shrink)
Shaughan La Vine, Understanding the Infinite.Cambridge, Massachussets :Harvard University Press, 1994, ix + 372 pp.£31.95/$47.95 B.Russell, Foundations of logic 1903?05, The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, Volume 4, Edited by Urquhart, A.with the assistance of Lewis, A.C.London and New York:Routledge, 1994, Hi+ 743 pp.£100 Ray Monk and Anthony Palmer (eds.), Bertrand Russell and the Origins of Analytical Philosophy.Introduction by Ray Monk and Anthony Palmer.Bristol, U.K.:Thoemmes Press, 1996. xvi + 383 pp.£48.00/$78.00 (cloth); £16.95/$29.95 (paper) T.J.Holopainen, Dialectic & Theology in the Eleventh (...) Century.Leiden:E.J.Brill, 1996. vii+171pp.$78. (shrink)
In this case (5) yields the result that A and D are I-related, but neither is I-related to B or C – the original person has two beginnings of existence. To get round this we need to add to (5)’s right-hand side the condition that there is no pair of distinct, simultaneously occurring person-stages u and v such that u is R-related to x and y and v is R-related to x and no pair of distinct, simultaneously occurring personstages u (...) and v such that u is R-related to x and y and v is R-related to y. In fact this condition can replace (iic) on the RHS of (5). (shrink)
Defending Poetry studies the tradition of poetic defence, or apologia, as it has been pursued and developed by three of the twentieth century's leading poet-critics: Joseph Brodsky, Seamus Heaney, and Geoffrey Hill. It begins with an extended introduction to philosophical debates over the ethical value of literature from Plato to Levinas and continues by situating these three poets as in one sense historically continuous with the defences of Horace, Sidney, Coleridge, and Shelley, but also as drastically other. This otherness (...) is bounded on one side by the example of T. S. Eliot's career-long contemplation of the ideal of poetic 'integrity', and on the other by a collective recognition of the twentieth century's great horrors, which seem to corrode all associations of art and the good. Through close readings of the poems and prose essays of Brodsky, Heaney, and Hill, Defending Poetry makes a timely intervention in current debates about literature's ethics, arguing that any ethics of literature ought to take into account not only poetry, but also the writings of poets on the value of poetry. (shrink)
Bernard Williams has argued that, because belief aims at getting the truth right, it is a conceptual truth that we cannot directly will to believe. Manyothers have adopted Williams claim that believers necessarily respect truth-conducive reasons and evidence. By presenting increasingly stronger cases, I argue that, on the contrary, believers can quite consciously disregard the demand for truth-conducive reasons and evidence. The irrationality of those who would directly will to believe is not any greater than that displayed by (...) some actual believers. So, our inability to directly will to believe is a contingent truth (at best). (shrink)
In this paper, I propose a principle of doxastic rationality based on Bernard Williams's argument against doxastic voluntarism. This principle, I go on to show, undermines a number of notions of epistemic duty which have been put forth within the framework of virtue theory. I then suggest an alternative formulation which remains within the bounds of rationality allowed for by my principle. In the end, I suggest that the failure of the earlier formulations and the adoption of the latter (...) tend to vindicate the initial grounding of virtue epistemology in reliabilist intuitions. (edited). (shrink)
This article is a response to Clifford Williams’s claim that the debate between A- and B theories of time is misconceived because these theories do not differ. I provide some missing support for Williams’s claim that the B-theory includes transition, by arguing that representative B-theoretic explanations for why we experience time as passing (even though it does not) are inherently unstable. I then argue that, contra Williams, it does not follow that there is nothing at stake in (...) the A- versus B debate. (shrink)
The debate between A-theory and B-theory in the philosophy of time is a persistent one. It is not always clear, however, what the terms of this debate are. A-theorists are often lumped with a miscellaneous collection of heterodox doctrines: the view that only the present exists, that time ﬂows relentlessly, or that presentness is a property (Williams 1996); that time passes, tense is unanalysable, or that earlier than and later than are deﬁned in terms of pastness, presentness, and futurity (...) (Bigelow 1991); or that events or facts (as opposed to language) are “tensed” (Mellor 1993). B-theorists then argue that the A-theory is incoherent, using variants on J.M.E. McTaggart’s argument for the unreality of time (McTaggart 1927, ch. 33). (shrink)
This Article critically discusses Clifford Williams’ claim that the A-theory and B-theory of time are indistinguishable. I examine three considerations adduced by Williams to support his claim that the concept of time essentially includes transition as well as extension, and argue that, despite its prima facie plausibility, the claim has not been adequately justified. Williams therefore begs the question against the B-theorist, who denies that transition is essential. By Williams’ own lights, he ought to deny that (...) the B-theory is a (realist) theory of time; and thus his claim that A-time and B-time do not differ significantly should be rejected. (shrink)
Clifford Williams has recently argued that the dispute between A- and B-theories, or tensed and tenseless theories of time, is spurious because once the confusions between the two theories are cleared away there is no real metaphysical difference between them. The purpose of this paper is to dispute Williams’s thesis. I argue that there are important metaphysical differences between the two theories and that, moreover, some of the claims that Williams makes in his article suggest that he (...) is sympathetic with a B-theoretic ontology. (shrink)
Arthur W. H. Adkins's writings have sparked debates among a wide range of scholars over the nature of ancient Greek ethics and its relevance to modern times. Demonstrating the breadth of his influence, the essays in this volume reveal how leading classicists, philosophers, legal theorists, and scholars of religion have incorporated Adkins's thought into their own diverse research. The timely subjects addressed by the contributors include the relation between literature and moral understanding, moral and nonmoral values, and the contemporary meaning (...) of ancient Greek ethics. The volume also includes an essay from the late Adkins himself illustrating his methodology in an analysis of the "Speech of Lysias" in Plato's Phaedrus . The Greeks and Us will interest all those concerned with how ancient moral values do or do not differ from our own. Contributors include Arthur W. H. Adkins, Stephanie Nelson, Martha C. Nussbaum, Paul Schollmeier, James Boyd White, Bernard Williams, and Lee Yearley. Commentaries by Wendy Doniger, Charles M. Gray, David Grene, Robert B. Louden, Richard Posner, and Candace Vogler. (shrink)
Some contemporary philosophers, notably B. Williams and S. Wolf, argue that moral perfection is not just an unsustainable ideal, but also an unreasonable one in that it thwarts and demotes all the various elements that contribute to personal well-being. More importantly, moral perfection seems to imply the denial of an identifiable personal self; hence the paradox of moral perfection. I argue that this alleged paradox arises because of a misunderstanding of the role of moral ideals, of their overridingness, and (...) of the way they relate to well-being. (shrink)
In this paper I try to state and defend Epicurus' argument that death is nothing to us. I discuss some of the most prominent objections that have been raised against Epicurus' position in the recent literature; the authors whose work I discuss include T. Nagel, B.Williams, H. S. Silverstein, and D. Furley. I argue that all of these author's criticisms are flawed in one way or another While this result does not suffice to prove Epicurus right, it does show (...) that Epicurus' insight is much deeper than many of his critics have suspected. (shrink)
In this article I revisit earlier stages of the discussion of personal identity, before Neo-Lockean psychological continuity views became prevalent. In particular, I am interested in Bernard Williams’ initial proposal of bodily identity as a necessary, although not sufficient, criterion of personal identity. It was at this point that psychological continuity views came to the fore arguing that bodily identity was not necessary because brain transplants were logically possible, even if physically impossible. Further proposals by Shoemaker of causal relations (...) between mental states in our memory and Parfit’s discussion of branching causal chains created additional complications. My contention in this paper is that psychological continuity views deflected our attention from what should have remained in the spotlight all the time: the intersubjective character (or not) of criteria proposed to decide personal identity in our language game, and ultimately our form of life concerning ourselves as persons. B. Williams’ emphasis on the body was not just common sense. It was also recognition of the importance of giving priority to criteria that could be kept under intersubjective control. (shrink)
It is sometimes claimed (e.g., by Sider (2001a,b); Holton (2003); Stalnaker (2004); Williams (2007); Weatherson (2003, 2010)) that a theory of predicate meaning that assigns a central role to naturalness is either (a) Lewisian, (b) true, or (c) both. The theory in question is rarely developed in particularly great detail, but the rough intuitive idea is that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is more-or-less consistent with the usage of the predicate. The point of (...) this note is to investigate whether a version of this idea could be true, and whether it could be properly attributed to Lewis. I’m going to mostly focus on the second question, but I think in such a way that light is shed on the ﬁrst question. To anticipate the answer a little, I’m going to say that whether the use plus naturalness theory is plausibly attributed to Lewis (and is plausibly true) depends on what we want a theory of (predicate) meaning to do. Here are two very distinct tasks we could be engaged in. First, we could be investigating the metaphysics of meaning, and so be interested in how it is that a pattern of animal noises can come to have any kind of content at all. Second, we could be investigating the meaning of some particular term, where substantive claims about the meanings of other terms are presupposed in our inquiry. Call the ﬁrst project metasemantics, and the second project applied semantics. I’m going to conclude that use plus naturalness is a plausible way to approach applied semantics. But it isn’t a great way to approach metasemantics. The problem is that once we crunch through the details, it’s impossible to disentangle a notion of “use” such that naturalness can be added to it to get a theory of meaning. Before we can get very far on any of these inquiries, we need to say a bit about what we mean by ‘naturalness’. Naturalness plays a lot of distinctive roles for Lewis. Some of these broadly metaphysical roles. These roles are the primary focus of (Lewis, 1983a).. (shrink)
If one flips an unbiased coin a million times, there are 2 1,000,000 series of possible heads/tails sequences, any one of which might be the sequence that obtains, and each of which is equally likely to obtain. So it seems (1) ‘If I had tossed a fair coin one million times, it might have landed heads every time’ is true. But as several authors have pointed out, (2) ‘If I had tossed a fair coin a million times, it wouldn’t have (...) come up heads every time’ will be counted as true in everyday contexts. And according to David Lewis’ influential semantics for counterfactuals, (1) and (2) are contradictories. We have a puzzle. We must either (A) deny that (2) is true, (B) deny that (1) is true, or (C) deny that (1) and (2) are contradictories, thus rejecting Lewis’ semantics. In this paper I discuss and criticize the proposals of David Lewis and more recently J. Robert G. Williams which solve the puzzle by taking option (B). I argue that we should opt for either (A) or (C). (shrink)
Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and add some (...) more. But I also argue that the orthodox interpretation has a grain of truth in it, and seeing that helps us appreciate the strength of Lewis's late theory of meaning. References T. Bays. The Problem with Charlie: Some Remarks on Putnam, Lewis and Williams. Philosophical Review 116:401–425, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-003 J. Hawthorne. Craziness and Metasemantics. Philosophical Review 116:427–440, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-004 R. Holton. David Lewis's Philosophy of Language. Mind and Language 18:286-295, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0017.00228 D. Lewis. Convention: A Philosophical Study. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1969. D. Lewis. Radical Interpretation. Synthese 27:331–344, 1974. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00484599 D. Lewis. Languages and Language. In Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 7:3–35. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1975. D. Lewis. Attitudes De Dicto and De Se. Philosophical Review 88: 513–543, 1979. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2184843 D. Lewis. Mad Pain and Martian Pain. In Ned Block, editor, Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, pages 216-232. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980. D. Lewis. New Work for a Theory of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61: 343–377, 1983. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408312341131 D. Lewis. Putnam's Paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62: 221-236, 1984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408412340013 D. Lewis. On the Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1986. D. Lewis. Meaning without Use: Reply to Hawthorne. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70: 106-110, 1992. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408112340093 D. Lewis.. Reduction of Mind. In Samuel Guttenplan, editor, A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, pages 412–431. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994. Reprinted in Lewis 1999. References to reprint. D. Lewis. Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511625343 W. Schwarz. Lewisian Meaning without Naturalness. Unpublished manuscript, 2006. W. Schwarz. David Lewis: Metaphysik und Analyse. Paderborn: Mentis-Verlag, 2009. T. Sider. Criteria of Personal Identity and the Limits of Conceptual Analysis. Philosophical Perspectives 15: 189–209, 2001a. T. Sider. Four-Dimensionalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001b. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019924443X.001.0001 T. Sider. Writing the Book of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. PMCid:3539916 R. Stalnaker. Lewis on Intentionality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82: 199–212, 2004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713659796 B. Weatherson. What Good Are Counterexamples?. Philosophical Studies 115: 1-31, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1024961917413 B. Weatherson. Vagueness as Indeterminacy. In Richard Dietz and Sebastiano Moruzzi, editors, Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic, pages 77–90. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570386.003.0005 J. R. G. Williams. Eligibility and Inscrutability. Philosophical Review 116: 361-399, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-002. (shrink)
The thirty-three essays in <I>Relativism: A Contemporary Anthology</I> grapple with one of the most intriguing, enduring, and far-reaching philosophical problems of our age. Relativism comes in many varieties. It is often defined as the belief that truth, goodness, or beauty is relative to some context or reference frame, and that no absolute standards can adjudicate between competing reference frames. Michael Krausz's anthology captures the significance and range of relativistic doctrines, rehearsing their virtues and vices and reflecting on a spectrum of (...) attitudes. Invoking diverse philosophical orientations, these doctrines concern conceptions of relativism in relation to facts and conceptual schemes, realism and objectivity, universalism and foundationalism, solidarity and rationality, pluralism and moral relativism, and feminism and poststructuralism. Featuring nine original essays, the volume also includes many classic articles, making it a standard resource for students, scholars, and researchers. <B>Table of Contents:</B> Foreword by Alan Ryan Preface Introduction Michael Krausz <B>Part I. Orienting Relativism</B> 1. Mapping Relativisms Michael Krausz 2. A Brief History of Relativism Maria Baghramian <B>Part II. Relativism, Truth, and Knowledge</B> 3. Subjective, Objective, and Conceptual Relativisms Maurice Mandelbaum 4. “Just the Facts, Ma’am!” Nelson Goodman 5. Relativism in Philosophy of Science Nancy Cartwright 6. The Truth About Relativism Joseph Margolis 7. Making Sense of Relative Truth John MacFarlane 8. On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme Donald Davidson 9. Truth and Convention: On Davidson’s Refutation of Conceptual Relativism Hilary Putnam 10. Conceptual Schemes Simon Blackburn 11. Relativizing the Facts Paul A. Boghossian 12. Targets of Anti-Relativist Arguments Harvey Siegel 13. Realism and Relativism Akeel Bilgrami <B>Part III. Moral Relativism, Objectivity, and Reasons</B> 14. Moral Relativism Defended Gilbert Harman 15. The Truth in Relativism Bernard Williams 16. Pluralism and Ambivalence David B. Wong 17. The Relativity of Fact and the Objectivity of Value Catherine Z. Elgin 18. Senses of Moral Relativity David Wiggins 19. Ethical Relativism and the Problem of Incoherence David Lyons 20. Understanding Alien Morals Gopal Sreenivasan 21. Value: Realism and Objectivity Thomas Nagel 22. Intuitionism, Realism, Relativism, and Rhubarb Crispin Wright 23. Moral Relativism and Moral Realism Russ Schafer-Landau <B>Part IV. Relativism, Culture, and Understanding</B> 24. Anti Anti-Relativism Clifford Geertz 25. Solidarity or Objectivity? Richard Rorty 26. Relativism, Power, and Philosophy Alasdair MacIntyre 27. Internal Criticism and Indian Rationalist Traditions Martha C. Nussbaum and Amartya Sen 28. Phenomenological Rationality and the Overcoming of Relativism Jitendra N. Mohanty 29. Understanding and Ethnocentricity Charles Taylor 30. Relativism and Cross-Cultural Understanding Kwame Anthony Appiah 31. Relativism, Persons, and Practices Amélie Oksenberg Rorty 32. One What? Relativism and Poststructuralism David Couzens Hoy 33. Must a Feminist Be a Relativist After All? Lorraine Code List of Contributors Index. (shrink)