While the recent special issue of JCS on machine consciousness (Volume 14, Issue 7) was in preparation, a collection of papers on the same topic, entitled Artificial Consciousness and edited by Antonio Chella and Riccardo Manzotti, was published. The editors of the JCS special issue, Ron Chrisley, Robert Clowes and Steve Torrance, thought it would be a timely and productive move to have authors of papers in their collection review the papers in the Chella and Manzotti book, and include these (...) reviews in the special issue of the journal. Eight of the JCS authors (plus Uziel Awret) volunteered to review one or more of the fifteen papers in Artificial Consciousness; these individual reviews were then collected together with a minimal amount of editing to produce a seamless chapter-by-chapter review of the entire book. Because the number and length of contributions to the JCS issue was greater than expected, the collective review of Artificial Consciousness had to be omitted, but here at last it is. Each paper's review is written by a single author, so any comments made may not reflect the opinions of all nine of the joint authors! (shrink)
Originally published in 1991, The Laboratory of the Mind: Thought Experiments in the Natural Sciences, is the first monograph to identify and address some of the many interesting questions that pertain to thought experiments. While the putative aim of the book is to explore the nature of thought experimental evidence, it has another important purpose which concerns the crucial role thought experiments play in Brown’s Platonic master argument.In that argument, Brown argues against naturalism and empiricism (Brown 2012), for mathematical Platonism (...) (Brown 2008), and from the Platonist-friendly, abstract universals posited by the Dretske-Tooley-Armstrong (DTA) account of the laws of nature to a more general, physical Platonism. The Laboratory of the Mind is where he takes this final step. (shrink)
T. Stuart (1993). John Buridan on Being and Essence. In Egbert P. Bos & H. A. Krop (eds.), John Buridan, a Master of Arts: Some Aspects of His Philosophy: Acts of the Second Symposium Organized by the Dutch Society for Medieval Philosophy Medium Aevum on the Occasion of its 15th Anniversary, Leiden-Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit), 20-21 June, 19. Ingenium Publishers.score: 120.0
Stuart Kauffman: Steve is extremely bright, inventive. He thoroughly understands paleontology; he thoroughly understands evolutionary biology. He has performed an enormous service in getting people to think about punctuated equilibrium, because you see the process of stasis/sudden change, which is a puzzle. It's the cessation of change for long periods of time. Since you always have mutations, why don't things continue changing? You either have to say that the particular form is highly adapted, optimal, and exists in a stable (...) environment, or you have to be very puzzled. Steve has been enormously important in that sense. (shrink)
Two normative principles of toleration are offered, one individual-regarding, the other group-regarding. The first is John Stuart Mill’s harm principle; the other is “Principle T,” meant to be the harm principle writ large. It is argued that the state should tolerate autonomous sacrifices of autonomy, including instances where an individual rationally chooses to be enslaved, lobotomized, or killed. Consistent with that, it is argued that the state should tolerate internal restrictions within minority groups even where these prevent autonomy promotion (...) of members of the group. Finally, it is argued that toleration excludes external protections of minority groups. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of contributors; Acknowledgments; Introduction: the humanist tradition in Russian philosophy G. M. Hamburg and Randall A. Poole; Part I. The Nineteenth Century: 1. Slavophiles, Westernizers, and the birth of Russian philosophical humanism Sergey Horujy; 2. Alexander Herzen Derek Offord; 3. Materialism and the radical intelligentsia: the 1860s Victoria S. Frede; 4. Russian ethical humanism: from populism to neo-idealism Thomas Nemeth; Part II. Russian Metaphysical Idealism in Defense of Human Dignity: 5. Boris Chicherin and human dignity (...) in history G. M. Hamburg; 6. Vladimir Solov'iev's philosophical anthropology: autonomy, dignity, perfectibility Randall A. Poole; 7. Russian panpsychism: Kozlov, Lopatin, Losskii James P. Scanlan; Part III. Humanity and Divinity in Russian Religious Philosophy after Solov'iev: 8. A Russian cosmodicy: Sergei Bulgakov's religious philosophy Paul Valliere; 9. Pavel Florenskii's trinitarian humanism Steven Cassedy; 10. Semën Frank's expressivist humanism Philip J. Swoboda; Part IV. Freedom and Human Perfectibility in the Silver Age: 11. Religious humanism in the Russian silver age Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal; 12. Russian liberalism and the philosophy of law Frances Nethercott; 13. Imagination and ideology in the new religious consciousness Robert Bird; 14. Eschatology and hope in silver age thought Judith Deutsch Kornblatt; Part V. Russian Philosophy in Revolution and Exile: 15. Russian Marxism Andrzej Walicki; 16. Adventures in dialectic and intuition: Shpet, Il'in, Losev Philip T. Grier; 17. Nikolai Berdiaev and the philosophical tasks of the emigration Stuart Finkel; 18. Eurasianism: affirming the person in an 'Era of Faith' Martin Beisswenger; Afterword: on persons as open-ended ends-in-themselves (the view from two novelists and two critics) Caryl Emerson; Bibliography. (shrink)
The late Berkeley philosopher Paul Feyerabend took perhaps the most permissive attitude possible towards “fringe” or “marginal” science. This flowed from a more general view about how science works best in promoting both knowledge and happiness. He argued that in order to maximize the empirical testability of our theories – a goal even a falsificationist like Karl Popper should love – we must compare them not just to observations, but to other incompatible, even apparently falsified, theories. Methodologically, this is clearly (...) sound, since which observations we make and how we construe them are affected by the ideas we use and the concepts we consider. We often have to consider contrasting ideas in order to find the observations that show the weaknesses of those ideas we already have. Further, Feyerabend saw that if testability alone is the goal of science, then there is no principled way to limit the ideas and theories that ought at any time to be given an audience. The oldest, the kookiest, the most disreputable ideas have a necessary role to play. Like John Stuart Mill he thought that one of the benefits of a truly free marketplace of ideas was that it would allow advocacy of unpopular views as well as respected ones, so that the ugly ducklings could keep the respected ideas honest, and stay alive for the day when they might show the insight they can bring. One could think of the pursuit of truth along these lines as an investigation of an elephant by several people with blindfolds on, each of whom has access only to his own portion of the animal. One would think it was a tree trunk, another a fire hose, a third maybe a whip, another an outsized yoga ball. None of these claims would be right, but if one of these people were too eager and insistent in drawing conclusions and didn’t listen to the very different and seemingly crazy ideas of the others, he might never think of observing beyond his region of the elephant. He would also, Feyerabend thought, lead a cramped and unfulfilled life. An obvious objection to this outlook is that we don’t have the resources to water a thousand flowers.. (shrink)
We contend that if efficiency and reliability are important factors in neural information processing then distributed, not localist, representations are “evolution's best bet.” We note that distributed codes are the most efficient method for representing information, and that this efficiency minimizes metabolic costs, providing adaptive advantage to an organism.
What's the world made of? Donuts! and Beer! -- Protagoras, Gorgias, Captain Kirk, and Denny Crane -- Socrates : The Sergeant Schultz of Ancient Greece -- Plato is the new American Idol -- Aristotle loves Lucy -- Charlie Harper's Non-Epicurean lifestyle -- St. Augustine's Highway to Heaven -- Scully shaves Mulder with Ockham's Razor -- Larry Hagman dreams of Descartes -- Locke versus Hobbes, or The Brady Bunch takes on Survivor -- Can or can't Kant like vampires? -- Reading Hegel (...) in Outer Space -- John Stuart Mill and the Utilitarian Heroism of Dexter Morgan -- Karl Marx and Adam Smith, meet Alex P. Keaton -- Dr. Gregory House and the Nietzschean Superman -- Don Draper, George Costanza and the non-meaning of life -- Jersey Shore's 'The Situation': The Randian Ideal man with a tan? -- Earl Hickey meets Karma in My name is Earl -- Lost but not least. (shrink)
Art v. aestheticism : the case of Walter Pater -- The importance of T.E. Hulme -- A craving for reality : T.S. Eliot today -- Wallace Stevens : metaphysical claims adjuster -- The permanent Auden -- The first half of Muriel Spark -- The qualities of Robert Musil -- James Fitzjames Stephen v. John Stuart Mill -- The legacy of Friedrich Nietzsche -- The world according to Satre -- The perversions of Michel Foucault -- The anguishes of E.M. Cioran (...) -- The trivialization of outrage -- "The two cultures" today -- Frances Fukuyama and the end of hisory -- Josef Pieper : leisure and its discontents. (shrink)
We show that IE1 proves that every element greater than 1 has a unique factorization into prime powers, although we have no way of recovering the exponents from the prime powers which appear. The situation is radically different in Bézout models of open induction. To facilitate the construction of counterexamples, we describe a method of changing irreducibles into powers of irreducibles, and we define the notion of a frugal homomorphism into Ẑ = ΠpZp, the product of the p-adic integers for (...) each prime p. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Preface -- Acknowledgements -- Notes on Contributors -- Introduction; Z.Radman -- The Mystery of the Background qua Background; H.L.Dreyfus -- PART I: ECHOING SEARLE'S AND DREYFUS' VIEWS ON THE BACKGROUND -- Ground-Level Intelligence:Action-Oriented Representation and the Dynamics of the Background; M.Cappuccio& M.Wheeler -- Exposing the Background: Deep and Local; D.D.Hutto -- The Background as Intentional, Conscious, and Nonconceptual; M.Schmitz -- Social Cognition, the Chinese Room, and the Robot Replies; S.Gallagher -- Contesting John's Searle' Social Ontology: (...) Institutions and Background; J.Margolis -- Music and the Background; D.Schmicking -- PART II: EXTENDED VIEWS ON THE BACKGROUND -- Implicit Precision; E.T.Gendlin -- Enkinaesthesia: The Essential Sensuous Background for Co-Agency; S.A.J.Stuart -- Steps Entailed in Foregrounding the Background: Taking the Challenge of Languaging Experience Seriously; M.Sheets-Johnstone -- The Body as Background: Pragmatism and Somasthetics; R.Shusterman -- The Background: A Tool of Potentiality; Z.Radman -- Embodied Technology as Implicit Knowledge of Modern Civilization; K.Mainzer -- Index. (shrink)
We prove results about nonstandard formulas in models of Peano arithmetic which complement those of Kotlarski, Krajewski, and Lachlan in [KKL] and [L]. This enables us to characterize both recursive saturation and resplendency in terms of statements about nonstandard sentences. Specifically, a model M of PA is recursively saturated iff M is nonstandard and M-logic is consistent.M is resplendent iff M is nonstandard, M-logic is consistent, and every sentence φ which is consistent in M-logic is contained in a full satisfaction (...) class for M. Thus, for models of PA, recursive saturation can be expressed by a (standard) Σ 1 1 -sentence and resplendency by a ▵ 1 2 -sentence. (shrink)
The latter half of nineteenth-century England was rife with the evolution question. As English imperialism also reached its pinnacle during this time, racial gradations and superiority of the white race in the newly formed human chain loomed large culturally. In 1849, Thomas Carlyle anonymously published his anti-emancipationist perspective in “The Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question,” followed by John Stuart Mill’s divergent response to him in 1850 titled, “The Negro Question.” In 1878, The Westminster Review also published a woman’s (...) perspective, “The Importance of Race and Its Bearing on the Negro Question” by Alice Bodington, which resembled the Carlyle essay in various ways. Although Mill’s essay was a direct attack on Carlyle’s explosive article and is overtly against Carlyle and Bodington’s ideas, this paper argues that an imperialist agenda underlies Mill’s views and in fact poses the same theories of Carlyle and Bodington. The paper first proceeds to interrogate Mill’s hegemonic subtext through a comparison of these three essays by situating them within the scientific discourse of the era, arguing that science, especially phrenology and evolution theories, didn’t exist in a vacuum, but was used to perpetrate the normative racial ideologies of the period. The paper also uses Edward Said’s theory of ‘Othering the Orient’ in Culture and Imperialism to show that while Mill seemingly diverges from Carlyle’s stance, this ‘othering’ is in fact present in all three writers’ works. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a criticism of Carnap's inductive logic which also applies to other formal methods of inductive inference. Criticisms of Carnap's views have typically centered upon the justification of his particular choice of inductive method. I argue that the real problem is not that there is an agreed upon method for which no justification can be found, but that different methods are justified in different circumstances.
Plato and the trial of Socrates -- What is philosophy? -- Euthyphro : defining philosophical terms -- The apology, Phaedo, and Crito : the trial, immortality, and death of Socrates -- Philosophy of religion -- Can we prove that God exists? -- St. Anselm : the ontological argument -- St. Thomas Aquinas : the cosmological argument -- William Paley : the teleological argument -- Blaisepascal : it is better to believe in God's existence than to deny it -- William James (...) : free choice is the basis of belief -- Does the idea of a good God exclude evil? -- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz : God can allow some evil -- David Hume : a good God would exclude evil -- Ethics -- Are ethics relative? -- Ruth Benedict : ethics are relative -- W.T. Stace : ethics are not relative -- Are humans always selfish? -- Humans are always selfish : Glaucon's challenge to Socrates -- James Rachels : humans are not always selfish -- Which is basic in ethics : happiness or obligation? -- Aristotle : happiness is living virtuously -- Jeremy Bentham : happiness is seeking the greatest pleasure for the greatest number of people -- Immanuel Kant : duty is prior to happiness -- Friedrich Nietzsche : happiness is having power -- Jean-Paul Sartre : existentialist ethics -- Rosemarie Tong : feminist ethics are different -- Contemporary moral problems : abortion, homosexuality, animal rights -- Jane English : are most abortions moral? -- Peter Singer : do animals have rights? -- Knowledge -- What is knowledge? -- Plato : knowledge is warranted, true belief -- What method is best for acquiring knowledge? -- Charles Sanders Peirce : four approaches to philosophy -- How do we acquire knowledge? -- René Descartes : knowledge is not ultimately sense knowledge -- John Locke : knowledge is ultimately sensed -- Immanuel Kant : knowledge is both rational and empirical -- How is truth established? -- Bertrand Russell : truth is established by correspondence -- Francis H. Bradley : truth is established by coherence -- William James : truth is established on pragmatic grounds -- Can we know the nature of causal relations? -- David Hume : cause means regular association -- David Hume : there are no possible grounds for induction -- Metaphysics -- Why is there something rather than nothing? -- Parmenides : being is uncaused -- Lao-Tzu : non-being is the source of being -- Is reality general or particular? -- Plato : universals are real -- David Hume : particulars are real -- Of what does reality consist? -- René Descartes : reality consists of mind and matter -- Paul Churchland : reality consists of matter -- George Berkeley : reality consists of ideas -- John Dewey : reality consists of mental and physical qualities -- Are humans free? -- Holbach : humans are determined -- Robert Kane : humans are free -- Social and political philosophy -- What is liberty? -- Fyodor Dostoevski : liberty and authority -- John Stuart Mill : liberty is independence from the majority's tyranny -- Martin Luther King, Jr. : liberty and racial prejudice -- Which government is best? -- Thomas Hobbes : monarchy is best -- John Locke : democracy is best -- Karl Marx : communism and nonalienated labor is best -- Alexis de Tocqueville : democracy can have serious problems -- Karl Popper : utopias lead to violence -- Aesthetics -- What constitutes the experience of beauty? -- Plotinus : beauty, sensuous, and ideal -- What is the function of art? -- Aristotle : the nature of tragedy -- Henri Bergson : the nature of comedy -- Philosophy and the good life -- Classic views of the good life -- Epicurus : Epicurus and the pleasant life -- Epictetus : Epictetus and the life of self-control -- What gives life meaning? -- Leo Tolstoy : faith provides life's meaning -- Albert Camus : each person determines his or her life's meaning -- What is the value of philosophy? -- Bertrand Russell : the value of philosophy. (shrink)
Two of the most important concepts in contemporary philosophy of mind are computation and consciousness. This paper explores whether there is a strong relationship between these concepts in the following sense: is a computational theory of consciousness possible? That is, is the right kind of computation sufficient for the instantiation of consciousness. In this paper, I argue that the abstract nature of computational processes precludes computations from instantiating the concrete properties constitutive of consciousness. If this is correct, then not only (...) is there no viable computational theory of consciousness, the Human Mental State Multiple Realizability in Silicon Thesis is almost certainly false. (shrink)
Introduction -- Value theory : the nature of the good life -- Epicurus letter to Menoeceus -- John Stuart Mill, Hedonism -- Aldous Huxley, Brave new world -- Robert Nozick, The experience machine -- Richard Taylor, The meaning of life -- Jean Kazez, Necessities -- Normative ethics : theories of right conduct -- J.J.C. Smart, Eextreme and restricted utilitarianism -- Immanuel Kant the good will & the categorical imperative -- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan -- Philippa Foot, Natural goodness -- Aristotle, (...) Nicomachean ethics -- W.D. Ross, What makes right acts right? -- Hilde Lindemann, What is feminist ethics? -- Metaethics : the status of morality -- David Hume, Moral distinctions not derived from reason -- J.L. Mackie, The subjectivity of values -- Gilbert Harman, Ethics and observation -- Mary Midgley, Trying out one's new sword -- Michael Smith, Rrealism -- Renford Bambrough, Pproof -- Moral problems -- Peter Singe, The Singer solution to world poverty -- Heidi Malm, Paid surrogacy: arguments and responses -- Ronald Dworkin, Playing God : genes, clones, and luck -- James Rachels, The morality of euthanasia -- John Harris, The survival lottery -- Peter Singer, Unsanctifying human life -- William F. Baxter, People or penguins : the case for optimal pollution -- Judith Jarvis, Tthomson a defense of abortion -- Don Marquis, Why abortion is immoral -- Jonathan Bennett, The conscience of Huckleberry Finn -- Michael Walzer, Terrorism : a critique of excuses -- David Luban, Liberalism, torture, and the ticking bomb -- Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham City Jail -- Igor Primoratz, Justifying legal punishment -- Stephen Nathanson, An eye for an eye -- Michael Huemer, America's unjust drug war -- John Corvino, Why shouldn't Tommy and Jimmy have sex? : a defense of homosexuality -- Bonnie Steinbock, Adultery -- Hugh Lafollette, Licensing parents -- Jane English, What do grown children owe their parents? (shrink)
The concept of consciousness has been the source of much philosophical, cognitive scientific and neuroscientific discussion for the past two decades. Many scientists, as well as philosophers, argue that at the moment we are almost completely in the dark about the nature of consciousness. Stuart Sutherland, in a much quoted remark, wrote that.
I defend these claims: (1) 'Pleasure' has exactly one English antonym: 'unpleasure.' (2) Pleasure is the most convincing example of an organic unity. (3) The hedonic calculus is a joke. (4) An important type of pleasure is background pleasure. (5) Pleasures in bad company are still good. (6) Higher pleasures aren't pleasures (and if they were, they wouldn't be higher). Thesis (1) merely concerns terminology, but theses (2)-(6) are substantive, evaluative claims.
1. Animal Cruelty Industrial farming is appallingly abusive to animals. Pigs. In America, nine-tenths of pregnant sows live in “gestation crates.” These pens are so small that the animals can barely move. When the sows are first crated, they may flail around, in an attempt to get out. But soon they give up. Crated pigs often show signs of depression: they engage meaningless, repetitive behavior, like chewing (...) the air or biting the bars of the stall. The sows live like this for four months. Gestation crates will be phased out in Europe by the end of 2012, but they will still be used in America.1 In nature, pigs nurse their young for about thirteen weeks. But in industrial farms, piglets are taken from their mothers after about ten days. Because the piglets are weaned prematurely, they develop a lifelong craving to suck and chew. But the farmers don’t want them sucking and chewing on other pigs’ tails. So the growers routinely snip off (or “dock”) the tails of all their pigs. They do this with a pair of pliers and no anesthetic. However, the whole tail is not removed; a tender stump remains. The point is to render the area sensitive, so the pigs being chewed on will fight back. Which they do.2 Over 113 million pigs are slaughtered each year in America.3 Typically, these pigs are castrated, their needle teeth are clipped, and one of their ears is notched for identification —all without pain relief.4 In nature, pigs spend up to three quarters of their waking hours foraging and exploring their environment.5 But in the factory farms, “tens of thousands of hogs spend their entire lives ignorant of earth or straw or sunshine, crowded together beneath a metal roof standing on metal slats suspended over a septic tank.”6 Bored, and in constant pain, the pigs must perpetually inhale the fumes of their own waste. These pigs often get sick, and their ill health is exacerbated by the overcrowding. In 2000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture compared hog farms containing over 10,000 pigs—which is the norm—with farms containing under 2,000 pigs.. (shrink)
Consciousness defines our existence and reality. But how does the brain generate thoughts and feelings? Most explanations portray the brain as a computer, with nerve cells ("neurons") and their synaptic connections acting as simple switches, or "bits" which interact in complex ways. In this view consciousness is said to "emerge" as a novel property of complex interactions among neurons, as hurricanes and candle flames emerge from complex interactions among gas and dust molecules. However this approach fails to explain why we (...) have feelings and awareness, an "inner life". So we don't know how the brain produces consciousness. (shrink)
On ethical egoism, the fact that I would suffer is no reason by itself for you not to torture me. This may seem implausible—monstrous, even—but what evidence can we offer against it? Here I examine several arguments which receive some expression in Thomas Nagel’s work. Each tries to show that a normative reason to end my pain is a reason for all agents. The arguments in Section 1 emphasize reasons that don’t entail agents and thus purportedly apply to all agents. (...) In Section 2, I examine the Argument from Dissociation, according to which my pain seems bad upon reflection, even without reflecting on its relation to me. Section 3 examines the Argument from Inability, which claims that my occurrent pains would seem bad to me, even if I couldn’t think about their relation to me. Finally, I discuss the Argument from Introspection, according to which I seem, introspectively, to have a reason to end my pain, a reason that has nothing to do with the pain’s being mine. All but one of these arguments fail utterly. The Argument from Introspection provides some grounds for rejecting egoism. (shrink)
What behavior is rational? It’s rational to act ethically, some think. Others endorse instrumentalism — it is rational to pursue one’s goals. Still others say that acting rationally always involves promoting one’s self-interest. Many philosophers have given each of these answers. But these answers don’t really conflict; they aren’t vying to describe some shared concept or to solve some mutually acknowledged problem. In so far as this is debated, it is a pseudo-debate. The different uses of ‘rational action’ differ merely (...) in meaning. I shall defend the following claims: ‘rational behavior’ is used in ethical, prudential, and instrumental ways (section 1); these uses of ‘rational behavior’ are distinct (section 2); they do not represent competing theories of rational behavior (section 3); we should stop using ‘rational behavior’ ethically and prudentially, but we may continue its instrumental use (section 4). (shrink)
Stanislaw Lesniewski’s interests were, for the most part, more philosophical than mathematical. Prior to taking his doctorate at Jan Kazimierz University in Lvov, Lesniewski had spent time at several continental universities, apparently becoming relatively attached to the philosophy of one of his teachers, Hans Comelius, to the chapters of John Stuart Mill’s System of Logic that dealt specifically with semantics, and, in general, to studies of general grammar and philosophy of language. In these several early interests are already to (...) be found the roots of the work that was to occupy Lesniewski’s life: a search for a definitive doctrine of what sorts of things there are in the world, or better, of what language must be like if it is adequately and efficiently to represent the world. (shrink)
How far can we apply the same moral principles to both public and private behaviour. In the interests of effective political action, are we right to accept acts of deceit, exploitation or force which we would regard as unacceptable in private relations with individuals? What means can be properly adopted in the promotion of great public causes? The problem of 'dirty hands' in politics was posed most strikingly by Machiavelli. It has re-emerged this century in a pressing and, to some (...) extent, a new form, in connection with the two World Wars and more recently the Vietnam War, where the political decisions and the destruction, and risks of destruction, have been of a scale and character not previously experienced. The contributors, including Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, T. M. Scanlon, and Ronald Dworkin, examine the background to this problem in moral and political theory. (shrink)
A set of arguments shows that either the Repugnant Conclusion and its variants are true or the better-than relation isn't transitive. Which is it? This is the most important question in population ethics. The answer will point the way to Parfit's elusive Theory X.
Perhaps the commonest reasons for the keeping of pets are companionship and as a conduit for affection. Pets are, therefore, being “used” for human ends in much the same way as laboratory or farm animals. So shouldn’t the same arguments apply to the use of pets as to those used in other ways? In accepting the “rights” of farm animals to fully express their natural behavior, one must also accept the “right” of pets to express their intrinsic natural behavior. Dogs (...) kept in houses for most of the day are being kept in an unnatural environment. So are rabbits kept in hutches, and guinea-pigs or birds in cages. These conditions infringe the animals’ telos. Dogs are naturally pack animals, so is a dog in isolation being denied its telos? Other actions more deliberately infringe telos and autonomy. Enforced shampooing – or even exercise; hair-cutting of poodles; putting animals in clothes; and tail-docking. If de-beaking of chickens is considered wrong, then the same must be true for tail-docking of dogs. One should also question the ethics of specialist breeding – especially when that results in physiological disadvantages (boxers with breathing troubles). There would appear to be no advantage to the animals in having such health problems and when these are the direct result of the breeders’ desire for specific cosmetic traits, we should question the ethics of the practice at least as much as when animals are bred for specific agricultural traits. (shrink)
I aim to show that (i) there are good ways to argue about what has intrinsic value; and (ii) good ethical arguments needn't make ethical assumptions. I support (i) and(ii) by rebutting direct attacks, by discussing nine plausible ways to argue about intrinsic value, and by arguing for pains intrinsic badness without making ethical assumptions. If (i) and (ii) are correct, then ethical theory has more resources than many philosophers have thought: empirical evidence, and evidence bearing on intrinsic value. With (...) more resources, we can hope to base all of our moral beliefs on evidence rather than on, say, emotion or mere intuition. (shrink)
This dialogue is concerned with the problems raised by the Rushdie affair for Western intellectuals, whose thought on social issues derives either from the Christian or the Western liberal tradition. This has brought to a head the many difficulties which beset a Western European country as it develops into a multicultural one. Since the concern of the dialogue is with a crisis in the thinking of Western intellectuals about free speech, censorship, tolerance, etc., the four participants are university teachers of (...) philosophy in a British university. They are: Ambrose Taylor, a self?styled defender of ?British? and ?Christian? values, Archie Runciman, a progressive Christian or religious eclectic, Freddie Stuart Hill, a committed Mill type liberal and Jenny Spring, whose liberalism is tempered by the belief that the state should take a positive role in promoting certain values. The author should not be identified with any of the speakers. (shrink)
Thomas & Karmiloff-Smith’ (T&K-S’) argument that the Residual Normality assumption is not valid for developmental disorders has implications for models of cognition in schizophrenia, a disorder that may involve a neurodevelopmental pathogenesis. A limiting factor for such theories is the lack of understanding about the nature of the cognitive system (modular components versus global processes). Moreover, it is unclear how the proposal that modularization emerges from developmental processes would change that fundamental question.
A long-standing objection to Fodor's version of the Representational Theory of Mind (RTM) argues that in ascribing intentional content to an organism's representational states there needs to be some way of distinguishing between the kinds of organisms that have such representational capacity and those kinds that haven't. Without a principled distinction there would be no way of delimiting the appropriate domain of intentional ascription. As Fodor (1986) suggests, if the objection holds, we should have no good reason for withholding intentional (...) ascription from paper clips. Fodor (1986) has defended RTM against this slippery slope objection. He distinguishes between the kinds of creatures that exhibit selective responses to nomic properties of stimuli (for example, psychophysical properties) and the kinds of creatures that also respond selectively to nonnomic properties of stimuli (for example, being a crumpled shirt). The distinction marks the differences between two kinds of "primal scenes" in which lawful relations are said to hold between an organism's behavior, representational state, and stimulus property. The arguments for the distinction are provocative but counter-examples show them to be inconclusive. (shrink)
The Religion of Humanity, first expounded by the founder of Positivism, Auguste Comte, focused the minds of a wide range of prominent Victorians on the possibility of replacing Christianity with an alternative religion based on scientific principles and humanist values. This new book traces the impact of Comte's 'religion' on Victorian Britain, showing how its ideas were championed by John Stuart Mill and George Henry Lewes before being institutionalised by Richard Congreve and Frederic Harrison, the leaders of the two (...) main centres of Positivist worship. Widely discussed by scientists, philosophers, and theologians, it also attracted the attention of numerous literary figures, including Matthew Arnold, Walter Pater, and Leslie Stephen, achieving its widest circulation through the works of George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and George Gissing. A wide-ranging and interdisciplinary contribution to the history of ideas, this book sheds new light on a significant but hitherto neglected strand of Victorian thought. (shrink)