Recent and rapid technological developments on many fronts have created in our society some extremely difficult moral predicaments. Previous generations have not had to face the dilemmas posed by, for example, the availability of safe abortions, sperm banks and prostoglandins. They have not had to come to terms with an unchecked exploitation of natural resources heralding imminent ecological crisis, or, worst of all, with the recognition that only in this current generation have people the capacity to destroy themselves and their (...) environment. This book seeks to show how, and why, Seventh-day Adventism has addressed these moral issues, and that the ethical questions arising from these issues are especially relevant to the Adventist church and its development. Dr Pearson looks specifically at the moral decisions Adventists have made in the area of human sexuality, on such issues as contraception, abortion, the role and status of women, divorce and homosexuality, from the beginnings of the movement to 1985. He seeks to put such decision-making in perspective by providing the general social context in which it took place, and shows how Ellen White (whose charismatic leadership held the movement together in its first fifty years) has been a major source of moral authority in the Adventist church - her writings continuing to exercise authority in a contemporary society of turmoil and change. This important book, which conveys something of the general ethos of Adventism, is the first to investigate the ethics of the movement, ans so fill a notable gap in the literature. (shrink)
This is the first comprehensive study in English of Voltaire's contes philosophiques--the philosophical tales for which he is best remembered and which include his masterpiece Candide. Pearson situates each story in its historical and intellectual context and offers new readings in light of modern critical thinking. He rejects the traditional view that Voltaire's contes were the private expression of his philosophical perplexity, and argues that it is narrative that is Voltaire's essential mode of thought. His book is a witty, (...) lucid, and scholarly guide to the "fables of reason" through which Voltaire's skepticism undermined the contemporary religious and philosophical explanations of human experience. (shrink)
What follows is a dialogue, in the Platonic sense, concerning the justifications for "business ethics" as a vehicle for asking questions about the values of modern business organisations. The protagonists are the authors, Gordon Pearson – a pragmatist and sceptic where business ethics is concerned – and Martin Parker – a sociologist and idealist who wishes to be able to ask ethical questions of business. By the end of the dialogue we come to no agreement on the necessity or (...) justification for business ethics, but on the way discuss the uses of philosophy, the meanings of integrity and trust, McDonald''s, a hypothetical torture manufacturer and various other matters. (shrink)
"A remarkable book that influenced the scientific thought of an entire generation."-- Dictionary of Scientific Biography A major statement of the language, method, and concepts of the physical sciences, this 1892 volume traces not only the history of experimental investigation but also the efforts of philosophic minds to state and organize their findings intelligently. A classic in the philosophy of science, its author is the founder of modern statistics. Karl Pearson was among the most influential university teachers of his (...) era, and he possessed a remarkable ability to captivate both students and casual listeners. In The Grammar of Science, his most widely read book, he introduced the concept of a general methodology underlying all science, and thus made one of the great contributions to modern thought. 1957 ed. (shrink)
Some critics of the accounting/auditing profession in the United States claim that independence-related quality control problems are the cause of an increased number of alleged audit failures. Certified public accountants (CPAs) were queried regarding independence impairment in their profession. Questionnaire results indicate a number of CPAs believe independence deficiencies exist, and some CPAs admit to personal independence impairment.
In this paper I examine the prevailing assumption that there is a right to procreate and question whether there exists a coherent notion of such a right. I argue that we should question any and all procreative activities, not just alternative procreative means and contexts. I suggest that clinging to the assumption of a right to procreate prevents serious scrutiny of reproductive behavior and that, instead of continuing to embrace this assumption, attempts should be made to provide a proper foundation (...) for it. I argue that the focus of procreative activities and discourse on reproductive ethics should be on obligations instead of rights, as rights talk tends to obfuscate recognition of obligations toward others, particularly those who bear the most significant burdens of the procreative process. I examine some possible foundations of a right to procreate as well as John Robertson’s thoughtful account of “procreative liberty” but conclude that at the present time there exists no compelling account of a right to procreate. Finally, I conclude that in the absence of a satisfactory account of a right to procreate, we should refrain from grounding practices or polices on the assumption that there is such a right. (shrink)
This study discusses how perceptions of ethics are formed by certified public accountants (CPAs). Theologians are used as a point of comparison. When considering CPA ethical dilemmas, both subject groups in this research project viewed confidentiality and independence as more important than recipient of responsibility and seriousness of breach. Neither group, however, was insensitive to any of the factors presented for its consideration. CPA reactions to ethical dilemmas were governed primarily by provisions of the CPA ethics code; conformity to that (...) code may well be evidence of higher stage moral reasoning. (shrink)
This dialogue engages with the ethics of politics of capitalism, and enacts a debate between two participants who have divergent views on these matters. Beginning with a discussion concerning definitions of capitalism, it moves on to cover issues concerning our different understandings of the costs and benefits of global capitalist systems. This then leads into a debate about the nature and purposes of regulation, in terms of whether regulation is intended to make competition work better for consumers, or to prevent (...) negative outcomes for citizens. The conclusion speculates about the usefulness or otherwise of this Socratic method of dialogue. (shrink)
Financial statement users must believe that external auditors are free from management control, or users will doubt the verity of auditors' representations. Although U.S.-based auditing firms claim they are independent of their corporate clients, research has demonstrated that many individuals and groups perceive the situation otherwise. A proposal for enhancing perceptions of auditor independence is offered in this article. The proposal calls for an auditor-administered educational program, complemented by corporate audit committee involvement to lend credibility to auditors' claims.
Regeneration in arthropods and amphibians follows an analogous principle making comparisons between the two phyla possible.Larval arthropods and amphibians possess powers of epimorphic regeneration which wane for many species of these phyla with the completion of metamorphosis or the cessation of moulting. In those species which retain, post-maturationally, the ability to form a regenerative blastema, larval characteristics are carried into the adult and reproductive stages of these organisms. These include many species of: urodeles, ametabolous insects, crustaceans, myriapods and arachnids. The (...) long-standing distinction between embryonic regulation and true epimorphosis would thus appear to be a difference of degree rather than kind. (shrink)
Variation or rearrangement of regulatory genes is responsible for cellular malignant change. These types of chromosomal variations also produce heterochrony or paedomorphic evolution at the organismal level. Analogously, neoplasia represents a cellular macroevolutionary event, and a tumour can be said to be an evolved population of cells. To understand this cellular evolution to malignancy, it may be necessary to go beyond a clonal selection (adaptationist) explanation of neoplastic alteration. In the pericellular environment natural selection consists of the organizational restraints of (...) surrounding cells as well as the host's immunological surveillance and non-specific monocyte-macrophage systems. Indirect evidence suggests that success for the neoplasm depends not upon clonal selection, but solely upon a genetic methodology—the function of which is to elude selection.The author has coined the term cellular heterochrony to illustrate analogic similarities in the molecular modes of speciation between anaplastic cancer cells and the heterochronic evolution of organisms. By reverting to a juvenile (embryonic) repertoire of cellular behaviour a tumour secures its own tenure or niche by usurping the host's armamentarium of selection forces, employing many of the same or similar methods by which implanting and invading tissues of the mammalian embryo forestall maternal detection and rejection. A number of ways by which the tumour blocks, subverts or evades selection are discussed. (shrink)
It is posited that the initiating event of amphibian regeneration of a limb, is retrodifferentiation* of what are to become the developing cells of the blastema. These cells reiterate a larval or premetamorphic ontogenic repertoire, induced by elevated levels of prolactin with adequate innervation. Subsequent redifferentiation of the blastema cells occurs, controlled by thyroxine and innervation.This temporal displacement of cellular morphologic characters in regeneration should be looked upon as a function of the ability to reiterate larval characters and subsequently metamorphose. (...) If correct, this would explain why amphibians which metamorphose only once, lose the ability to postmetamorphically regenerate. An exception to this,Xenopus laevis, an anuran which can epimorphically regenerate, to some extent, will be discussed.[/p]. (shrink)
In this volume comprised of sixteen essays and rebuttals, author and professor of philosophy Susan Haack responds to her fellow philosophers and her critics on a wide range of topics that involve much more than the esoteric nature of contemporary philosophy. Instead, as is Haack's forte, she asserts her views on important current issues such as how scientists conduct their work, the ethics of affirmative action and the pitfalls of preferential hiring, and how the distorted reality the postmodern thinkers (...) have presented has corrupted legal thinking. Her charge is to bring clarity, precision, integrity, and most of all, practicality to her field of study. (shrink)
There are two motivations commonly ascribed to historical actors for taking up statistics: to reduce complicated data to a mean value (e.g., Quetelet), and to take account of diversity (e.g., Galton). Different motivations will, it is assumed, lead to different methodological decisions in the practice of the statistical sciences. Karl Pearson and W. F. R. Weldon are generally seen as following directly in Galton’s footsteps. I argue for two related theses in light of this standard interpretation, based on a (...) reading of several sources in which Weldon, independently of Pearson, reflects on his own motivations. First, while Pearson does approach statistics from this "Galtonian" perspective, he is, consistent with his positivist philosophy of science, utilizing statistics to simplify the highly variable data of biology. Weldon, on the other hand, is brought to statistics by a rich empiricism and a desire to preserve the diversity of biological data. Secondly, we have here a counterexample to the claim that divergence in motivation will lead to a corresponding separation in methodology. Pearson and Weldon, despite embracing biometry for different reasons, settled on precisely the same set of statistical tools for the investigation of evolution. (shrink)
[Susan Hurley] I argue that the aim to neutralize the influence of luck on distribution cannot provide a basis for egalitarianism: it can neither specify nor justify an egalitarian distribution. Luck and responsibility can play a role in determining what justice requires to be redistributed, but from this we cannot derive how to distribute: we cannot derive a pattern of distribution from the 'currency' of distributive justice. I argue that the contrary view faces a dilemma, according to whether it (...) understands luck in interpersonal or counterfactual terms. /// [Richard J. Arneson] Does it make sense to hold that, if it is bad that some people are worse off than others, it is worse if those who are worse off come to be so through sheer bad luck that it is beyond their power to control? In her contribution to this symposium, Susan Hurley cautions against a closely related fallacy: from the fact that people have come to an unequal condition through unchosen bad luck, it does not follow that, if we aim to undo the influence of unchosen luck, we ought to institute equality of condition. Forswearing the fallacy that Hurley analyses is compatible with answering the question affirmatively, and more generally with holding that principles of distributive justice should be sensitive to the distinction between chosen and unchosen bad luck. This essay explores how this might be done. (shrink)
I document some of the main evidence showing that E. S. Pearson rejected the key features of the behavioral-decision philosophy that became associated with the Neyman-Pearson Theory of statistics (NPT). I argue that NPT principles arose not out of behavioral aims, where the concern is solely with behaving correctly sufficiently often in some long run, but out of the epistemological aim of learning about causes of experimental results (e.g., distinguishing genuine from spurious effects). The view Pearson did (...) hold gives a deeper understanding of NPT tests than their typical formulation as accept-reject routines, against which criticisms of NPT are really directed. The Pearsonian view that emerges suggests how NPT tests may avoid these criticisms while still retaining what is central to these methods: the control of error probabilities. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Jon Miller; Part I. Textual Issues: 1. On the unity of the Nicomachean Ethics Michael Pakaluk; Part II. Happiness: 2. Living for the sake of an ultimate end Susan Sauve;; 3. Contemplation and Eudaimonia in the Nicomachean Ethics Norman O. Dahl; 4. Aristotle on Eudaimonia, Nous, and divinity A. A. Long; Part III. Psychology: 5. Aristotle, agents, and action Iakovos Vasilou; 6. Wicked and inappropriate passion Stephen Leighton; 7. Perfecting pleasures: the metaphysics of pleasure (...) in Nicomachean Ethics X Christopher Shields; 8. Aristotle's definition of non-rational pleasure and pain and desire Klaus Corcilius; 9. Non-rational desire and Aristotle's moral psychology Giles Pearson; Part IV. Virtues: 10. Beauty and morality in Aristotle T. H. Irwin; 11. Justice in the Nicomachean Ethics Book V Hallvard Fossheim. (shrink)
Despite the widespread use of key concepts of the Neyman–Pearson (N–P) statistical paradigm—type I and II errors, significance levels, power, confidence levels—they have been the subject of philosophical controversy and debate for over 60 years. Both current and long-standing problems of N–P tests stem from unclarity and confusion, even among N–P adherents, as to how a test's (pre-data) error probabilities are to be used for (post-data) inductive inference as opposed to inductive behavior. We argue that the relevance of error (...) probabilities is to ensure that only statistical hypotheses that have passed severe or probative tests are inferred from the data. The severity criterion supplies a meta-statistical principle for evaluating proposed statistical inferences, avoiding classic fallacies from tests that are overly sensitive, as well as those not sensitive enough to particular errors and discrepancies. Introduction and overview 1.1 Behavioristic and inferential rationales for Neyman–Pearson (N–P) tests 1.2 Severity rationale: induction as severe testing 1.3 Severity as a meta-statistical concept: three required restrictions on the N–P paradigm Error statistical tests from the severity perspective 2.1 N–P test T(): type I, II error probabilities and power 2.2 Specifying test T() using p-values Neyman's post-data use of power 3.1 Neyman: does failure to reject H warrant confirming H? Severe testing as a basic concept for an adequate post-data inference 4.1 The severity interpretation of acceptance (SIA) for test T() 4.2 The fallacy of acceptance (i.e., an insignificant difference): Ms Rosy 4.3 Severity and power Fallacy of rejection: statistical vs. substantive significance 5.1 Taking a rejection of H0 as evidence for a substantive claim or theory 5.2 A statistically significant difference from H0 may fail to indicate a substantively important magnitude 5.3 Principle for the severity interpretation of a rejection (SIR) 5.4 Comparing significant results with different sample sizes in T(): large n problem 5.5 General testing rules for T(), using the severe testing concept The severe testing concept and confidence intervals 6.1 Dualities between one and two-sided intervals and tests 6.2 Avoiding shortcomings of confidence intervals Beyond the N–P paradigm: pure significance, and misspecification tests Concluding comments: have we shown severity to be a basic concept in a N–P philosophy of induction? (shrink)
Susan Haack presents a striking and appealing figure in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy. In spite of British birth and education, she appears to bridge the gap between analytic philosophy and American pragmatism, with its more diverse influences and sources. Well known for her writings in the philosophy of logic and epistemology, she fuses something of the hard-headed debunking style of a Bertrand Russell with a lively interest in Peirce, James and Dewey.
Consider Susan Hurley's depiction of mainstream views of the mind: "The mind is a kind of sandwich, and cognition is the filling" (p. 401). This particular sandwich (with perception as the bottom loaf and action as the top loaf) tastes foul to Hurley, who devotes most of "Consciousness in Action" to a systematic and sometimes extraordinarily detailed critique of what has otherwise been dubbed "classical" models of the mind. This critique then provides the basis for her alternative proposal, in (...) which perception, action and environment are deeply intertwined. (shrink)
Susan Wolf, Meaning in Life and Why it Matters Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9321-8 Authors Simon Derpmann, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Philosophisches Seminar, Domplatz 23, 48143 Münster, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
The main thesis of the paper is that in the case of modern statistics, the differences between the various concepts of models were the key to its formative controversies. The mathematical theory of statistical inference was mainly developed by Ronald A. Fisher, Jerzy Neyman, and Egon S. Pearson. Fisher on the one side and Neyman–Pearson on the other were involved often in a polemic controversy. The common view is that Neyman and Pearson made Fisher's account more stringent (...) mathematically. It is argued, however, that there is a profound theoretical basis for the controversy: both sides held conflicting views about the role of mathematical modelling. At the end, the influential programme of Exploratory Data Analysis is considered to be advocating another, more instrumental conception of models. Introduction Models in statistics—‘of what population is this a random sample?’ The fundamental lemma Controversy about models Exploratory data analysis as a model-critical approach. (shrink)
Susan Stebbing’s paper “Logical Positivism and Analysis” (March 1933) was unusually critical of Wittgenstein. It put up a sharp opposition between Cambridge analytic philosophy of Moore and Russell and the positivist philosophy of the Vienna Circle to which she included Wittgenstein from 1929–32. Above all, positivists were interested in analyzing language, analytic philosophers in analyzing facts. Moreover, whereas analytic philosophers were engaged in directional analysis which seeks to illuminate the multiplicity of the analyzed facts, positivists aimed at final analysis (...) which “proves” that there are simples. Stebbing’s paper urged Wittgenstein to recast his philosophy and 1933 abandon those components of it that linked him to the Vienna Circle. (shrink)
The debate between the Mendelians and the (largely Darwinian) biometricians has been referred to by R. A. Fisher as ‘one of the most needless controversies in the history of science’ and by David Hull as ‘an explicable embarrassment’. The literature on this topic consists mainly of explaining why the controversy occurred and what factors prevented it from being resolved. Regrettably, little or no mention is made of the issues that figured in its resolution. This paper deals with the latter topic (...) and in doing so reorients the focus of the debate as one between Karl Pearson and R. A. Fisher rather than between the biometricians and the Mendelians. One reason for this reorientation is that Pearson's own work in 1904 and 1909 suggested that Mendelism and biometry could, to some extent, be made compatible, yet he remained steadfast in his rejection of Mendelism. The interesting question then is why Fisher, who was also a proponent of biometric methods, was able to synthesise the two traditions in a way that Pearson either could not or would not. My answer to this question involves an analysis of the ways in which different kinds of assumptions were used in modelling Mendelian populations. I argue that it is these assumptions, which lay behind the statistical techniques of Pearson and Fisher, that can be isolated as the source of Pearson's rejection of Mendelism and Fisher's success in the synthesis. (shrink)
In Philosophical Problems of Statistical Inference, Seidenfeld argues that the Neyman-Pearson (NP) theory of confidence intervals is inadequate for a theory of inductive inference because, for a given situation, the 'best' NP confidence interval, [CIλ], sometimes yields intervals which are trivial (i.e., tautologous). I argue that (1) Seidenfeld's criticism of trivial intervals is based upon illegitimately interpreting confidence levels as measures of final precision; (2) for the situation which Seidenfeld considers, the 'best' NP confidence interval is not [CIλ] as (...) Seidenfeld suggests, but rather a one-sided interval [CI0]; and since [CI0] never yields trivial intervals, NP theory escapes Seidenfeld's criticism entirely; (3) Seidenfeld's criterion of non-triviality is inadequate, for it leads him to judge an alternative confidence interval, [CI alt. ], superior to [CIλ] although [CI alt. ] results in counterintuitive inferences. I conclude that Seidenfeld has not shown that the NP theory of confidence intervals is inadequate for a theory of inductive inference. (shrink)
Forthright and wryly humorous, philosopher Susan Haack deploys her penetrating analytic skills on some of the most highly charged cultural and social debates of recent years. Relativism, multiculturalism, feminism, affirmative action, pragmatisms old and new, science, literature, the future of the academy and of philosophy itself—all come under her keen scrutiny in Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate.
Susan James, in her recent work Passion and Action: The Emotions in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy (Oxford: Clarendon 1997), prefaces her investigation of emotions in the seventeenth century with a series of remarks about the earlier career of the emotions, in particular their treatment in the Middle Ages. In brief, she takes the ‘new’ analyses of the passions put forward in the seventeenth century to be a philosophical sideshow to the main event: the dethronement of Aristotelian natural philosophy and metaphysics (22). (...) She describes the consequences for psychology as follows.. (shrink)
In a way that is rarely even attempted, and even more rarely actually pulled off, Susan Hurley, in her book Consciousness in Action, brings scientific ideas into contact with mainstream philosophy. It is not at all unusual for empirical results from cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience to be raised in discussion of issues in philosophy of science and philosophy of mind--Dennett and the Churchlands, for example, have been doing so for years. But Hurley attempts to draw empirical results even (...) closer to the center of philosophy, using them to make points about metaphysics and epistemology more broadly, especially PutnamÂ’s Twin Earth cases. We are very fond of Hurley's book, and we agree with nearly all of her conclusions. We do think, though, that there are two important cases where Hurley has misunderstood scientific work. First, we think she misunderstand dynamical systems theory; second, we think her criticism of ecological psychology is misplaced. In neither case do these misunderstandings derail HurleyÂ’s overall project--indeed, the former of them makes her conclusions all the more plausible. We consider them in order. (shrink)
Reviewing "The Ethics of Gender, Feminism and Christian Ethics," and "The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology," the author suggests that Susan Parsons responds to questions postmodernism has posed to both feminism and Christian ethics by using insights gained from various accounts of the moral subject found in feminist philosophy, ethics, and theology. Hesitant to embrace postmodernism's critique of the possibility of ethics, Parsons redefines ethics by establishing a moral point of view within discursive communities. Yet in her brief treatment (...) of Emmanuel Levinas, Parsons does not explore the postmodern option he offers feminists: an understanding of moral responsibility that can be critical of ethics. Parsons also ignores some feminist perspectives in the physical and natural sciences, thereby missing valuable insights of feminists who insist upon the materiality of the body. (shrink)
The late Susan Moller Okin was a leading political theorist whose scholarship integrated political philosophy and issues of gender, the family, and culture. Okin argued that liberalism, properly understood as a theory opposed to social hierarchies and supportive of individual freedom and equality, provided the tools for criticizing the substantial and systematic inequalities between men and women. Her thought was deeply informed by a feminist view that theories of justice must apply equally to women as men, and she was (...) deeply engaged in showing how many past and present political theories failed to do this. She sought to rehabilitate political theories--particularly that of liberal egalitarianism, in such a way as to accommodate the equality of the sexes, and with an eye toward improving the condition of women and families in a world of massive gender inequalities. In her lifetime Okin was widely respected as a scholar whose engagement went well beyond the world of theory, and her premature death in 2004 was considered by many a major blow to progressive political thought and women's interests around the world. -/- This volume stems from a conference on Okin, and contains articles by some of the top feminist and political philosophers working today. They are organized around a set of themes central to Okin's work, namely liberal theory, gender and the family, feminist and cultural differences, and global justice. Included are major figures such as Joshua Cohen, David Miller, Cass Sunstein, Alison Jaggar, and Iris Marion Young, among others. Their aim is not to celebrate Okin's work, but to constructively engage with it and further its goals. (shrink)
Chow pays lip service (but not much more!) to Type I errors and thus opts for a hard (all-or-none) .05 level of significance (Superego of Neyman/Pearson theory; Gigerenzer 1993). Most working scientists disregard Type I errors and thus utilize a soft .05 level (Ego of Fisher; Gigerenzer 1993), which lets them report gradations of significance (e.g., p.
In the past, hypothesis testing in medicine has employed the paradigm of the repeatable experiment. In statistical hypothesis testing, an unbiased sample is drawn from a larger source population, and a calculated statistic is compared to a preassigned critical region, on the assumption that the comparison could be repeated an indefinite number of times. However, repeated experiments often cannot be performed on human beings, due to ethical or economic constraints. We describe a new paradigm for hypothesis testing which uses only (...) rearrangements of data present within the observed data set. The token swap test, based on this new paradigm, is applied to three data sets from cardiovascular pathology, and computational experiments suggest that the token swap test satisfies the Neyman Pearson condition. (shrink)
Despite its widespread use in science, the Neyman-Pearson Theory of Statistics (NPT) has been rejected as inadequate by most philosophers of induction and statistics. They base their rejection largely upon what the author refers to as after-trial criticisms of NPT. Such criticisms attempt to show that NPT fails to provide an adequate analysis of specific inferences after the trial is made, and the data is known. In this paper, the key types of after-trial criticisms are considered and it is (...) argued that each fails to demonstrate the inadequacy of NPT because each is based on judging NPT on the grounds of a criterion that is fundamentally alien to NPT. As such, each may be seen to either misconstrue the aims of NPT, or to beg the question against it. (shrink)
Standard statistical measures of strength of association, although pioneered by Pearson deliberately to be acausal, nowadays are routinely used to measure causal efficacy. But their acausal origins have left them ill suited to this latter purpose. I distinguish between two different conceptions of causal efficacy, and argue that: 1) Both conceptions can be useful 2) The statistical measures only attempt to capture the first of them 3) They are not fully successful even at this 4) An alternative definition more (...) squarely based on causal thinking not only captures the second conception, it can also capture the first one better too. (shrink)
If I have understood Pearson's use of “a practice” correctly my main objection to his project is that it gives the current practices of teaching far too much normative force over the educational beliefs of teachers. While the principles of practical reasoning advocated by Pearson may serve to test the coherence of the various beliefs which are part of current practice, they do not suffice to test the reasonableness of such beliefs. To do this we need, at least (...) for some of these beliefs, to draw upon the resources made available to us by such theoretical practices as psychology, philosophy, history, etc. None of these, of course, nullifies the significance of regarding teaching as a practice. Indeed, such a conception is a forceful reminder that the theoretical practices which are concerned with education need to focus on current teaching practices if they are to guard against the sort of empty rationalism despised by Oakeshott, while saying something to the teaching profession. This will not give us an educational theory, but rather theoretical perspectives on teaching as a practice. (shrink)
Questions about the relation between mind and world have long occupied philosophers of mind. In _Consciousness in Action_ Susan Hurley invites us to adopt a ninety-degree shift and consider the relation between perception and action. The central theme of the book is an attack on what Hurley dubs the _Input-Output Picture_ of perception and actionthe picture of perceptions as sensory inputs to the cognitive system and intentions as motor outputs from it, with the mind occupying the buffer zone in (...) between. Hurley argues that this picture confuses the personal level of normatively constrained mental contents and the subpersonal level of causal processes sustaining the mind. The notions of perception and action belong to the former, those of input and output to the latter. In place of the Input-Output picture, Hurley proposes a _Two-level _ _Interdependence View_. At the subpersonal level, she points out, there are not only one-way processes from input to output but also a host of feedback loops from output to inputsome internal to the central nervous system, some of wider orbit, involving proprioception, for example, or visual feedback on movement. The system as a whole can be seen as a _dynamical singularity_a tangle of sensorimotor feedback loops centred on the organism but extending out into the world beyond. The processes at this level are the vehicles of perceptions and actions, but, Hurley insists, the two levels cannot be mapped onto each other in a simple way. Changes on the output side may affect the content of perceptions, and changes on the input side may affect that of intentions. Perception and intention are in this way _interdependent_. The point here is not the uncontroversial one that perceptions and intentions can _cause_ changes in each other. That would be compatible with the Input-Output Picture. The dependency, in Hurleys view, is not instrumental, but _constitutive_: the contents of perceptions and intentions are each constituted by processes involving both inputs and outputs.. (shrink)
The article is a commentary to Susan Haack’s The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth. It consists of two parts. In the first one some doubts about Haack’s conception of partiality of truth are formulated. However, Haack’s concept of truth is treated as one of the assumptions and not brought up for discussion. In the second part of the article a simple typology of possible sources of truth’s partiality in science is presented. The list includes deliberate and unintentional (...) omissions, misleading, lack of scientific interest, unattainability, and epistemological problems with truth and realism. (shrink)
This paper comments Susan Haack’s remarks about Twardowski’s criticism of relativism in the theory of truth. The author summarizes Twardowski’s arguments for truth-absolutism and tries to show that that their presentation by Haack is incomplete. The defense of Twardowski’s position in the paper uses ideas developed by Tarski and Kokoszyñska.
I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally responsible for the (...) good. I argue that the best theory of the meaning of life should clearly distinguish between subjective fulfillment and objective meaningfulness. The GCA respects the distinction. And it is superior to its leading rivals in the recent literature, most notably those of Erik Wielenberg and Susan Wolf. (shrink)
In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the ‘conatus doctrine’ in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a criticism of (...) her account of the nature of philosophy in Spinoza. I argue it is less piecemeal and less akin to what we would recognize as ‘science’ than she suggests. Third, I argue against James's core commitment that Spinoza's three kinds of knowledge differ in degree; I claim they differ in kind. My argument will offer a new interpretation of Spinoza's conception of ‘common notions’. Moreover, I argue that Spinozistic adequate knowledge involves something akin to angelic disembodiment. (shrink)
My commentary on Hurley is concerned with foundational issues. Hurley's investigation of animal cognition is cast within a particular framework—basically, a philosophically refined version of folk psychology. Her discussion has a complicated relationship to unresolved debates about the nature and status of folk psychology, especially debates about the extent to which folk psychological categories are aimed at picking out features of the causal organization of the mind.