Gary Kemp presents a penetrating investigation of key issues in the philosophy of language, by means of a comparative study of two great figures of late twentieth-century philosophy. So far as language and meaning are concerned, Willard Van Orman Quine and Donald Davidson are usually regarded as birds of a feather. The two disagreed in print on various matters over the years, but fundamentally they seem to be in agreement; most strikingly, Davidson's thought experiment of Radical Interpretation looks to (...) be a more sophisticated, technically polished version of Quinean Radical Translation. Yet Quine's most basic and general philosophical commitment is to his methodological naturalism, which is ultimately incompatible with Davidson's main commitments. In particular, it is impossible to endorse, from Quine's perspective, the roles played by the concepts of truth and reference in Davidson's philosophy of language: Davidson's employment of the concept of truth is from Quine's point of view needlessly adventurous, and his use of the concept of reference cannot be divorced from unscientific 'intuition'. From Davidson's point of view, Quine's position looks needlessly scientistic, and seems blind to the genuine problems of language and meaning. Gary Kemp offers a powerful argument for Quine's position, and in favour of methodological naturalism and its corollary, naturalized epistemology. It is possible to give a consistent and explanatory account of language and meaning without problematic uses of the concepts truth and reference, which in turn makes a strident naturalism much more plausible. (shrink)
In this clear and carefully structured introduction to the subject Gary Kemp explains the following key topics: the basic nature of philosophy of language and its historical development early arguments concerning the role of meaning, ...
Seen | Unseen is a deep, richly illustrated, and erudite analysis of the interconnections between science and the visual arts. Martin Kemp explores the responses of artists, scientists, and their instruments, to the world - ranging from early representations of perspective, to pinhole cameras, particle accelerators and the Hubble telescope. -/- From Leonardo, Durer, and the inventors of photography to contemporary sculptors, and from Galileo and Darwin to Stephen J. Gould, Kemp considers the way in which scientists and (...) artists have perceived the world and responded to its patterns, and sees common 'structural intuitions' reflected in their work. (shrink)
In this strikingly bold and original work, Kemp argues that the Western idea of time reversed itself between the fourteenth and the eighteenth century from a static and syncretic image of a temporal world in which all time is uniform, the past is the arbiter of truth and all inherited knowledge is eternally viable, and no secrets lie hidden in time waiting to be revealed to a future age; to a dynamic and supersessive model of history in which the (...) past dispenses only ignorance and error. Kemp describes these two opposed historical worlds, these "time texts," and traces the transition between them, its mechanism, and its motivation, concluding by drawing out the epistemological consequences of supersessive history for the modern intellect. (shrink)
Jürgen Habermas is one of the most important thinkers of this century. His work has been highly influential not only in philosophy, but particularly in the fields of politics, sociology and law. This is the first collection that explores the connections between his body of work and North America's biggest philosophical movement, pragmatism. Habermas and Pragmatism investigates the influences of pragmatism on Habermas' thought in a collection of stellar essays with contributions by Habermas himself, leading representatives of pragmatism, as well (...) as critical and legal theorists. The essays cover a range of subjects including philosophy of language, democracy, nature of rationality and social theory as well as the relation of major figures such as Hegel, Pierce, Mead and Dewey to Habermas and pragmatism. (shrink)
Sociology was born as an attempt to delimit an object of investigation offered by society as a social reality. The ambition was that of "treating the social facts as things" (Durkheim) or of understanding and explaining the social relations by respecting an "axiological neutrality" (Max Weber). Today, however, we are in the presence of a new kind of sociologists, and they are by no means the less popular ones, who are not trying to avoid assessments in their analysis of the (...) present social world. I have in mind especially two sociologists, Ulrich Beck (Munich) and David Held (London). I will discuss in particular the view of sociology presented in a recent book of Ulrich Beck ( Macht und Gegenmacht im globalen Zeitalter , 2002, translated into French under the title Pouvoir et contre-pouvoir à l'ère de la mondialisation , 2003), and I will show some analogies between Beck and Held. Finally, I will try to identify the points that make the present sociological epistemology different from that of the great founders of this science. (shrink)
This paper presents the findings of a study of purchasing and supply management professionals in India conducted to identify the key ethical issues they face in carrying out their work related responsibilities as well as to determine the extent to which various factors appear to be helpful or to present challenges to their efforts to act ethically in the course of their work. The Indian findings are then compared to those for studies conducted among purchasing and supply management professionals in (...) the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Key findings for the four studies are summarized and implications for business and the professions are presented. (shrink)
Richard Heck has contested my argument that the equation of the meaning of a sentence with its truth-condition implies deflationism, on the ground that the argument does not go through if truth-conditions are understood, in Davidson's style, to be stated by T-sentences. My reply is that Davidsonian theories of meaning do not equate the meaning of a sentence with its truth-condition, and thus that Heck's point does not actually obstruct my argument.
This article considers the `Strong Programme' account of scientific knowledge from a fresh perspective. It argues that insufficient attention has been paid to the Strong Programme's monistic intent, that is, its aim to unify considerations of instrumental adequacy and social interests in explanations of the development of scientific knowledge. Although sharing the judgment of many critics that the Strong Programme approach is flawed, the article diverges from standard criticisms by suggesting that the best alternative is not a dualistic framework but (...) a more adequate monistic approach. Key Words: Strong Programme interests monism finitism classification. (shrink)
This article evaluates the structural conception of interests developed by Margaret Archer as part of her dualist version of critical realism. It argues that this structural analysis of interests is untenable because, first, Archer’s account of the causal influence of interests on agents is contradictory and, second, Archer fails to offer a defensible account of her claim that interests influence agents by providing reasons for action. These problems are explored in relation to Archer’s theoretical and empirical work. I argue for (...) an alternative account of interests that focuses on agents’ understandings of their interests and problems with these understandings. (shrink)
Learning to understand a single causal system can be an achievement, but humans must learn about multiple causal systems over the course of a lifetime. We present a hierarchical Bayesian framework that helps to explain how learning about several causal systems can accelerate learning about systems that are subsequently encountered. Given experience with a set of objects, our framework learns a causal model for each object and a causal schema that captures commonalities among these causal models. The schema organizes the (...) objects into categories and specifies the causal powers and characteristic features of these categories and the characteristic causal interactions between categories. A schema of this kind allows causal models for subsequent objects to be rapidly learned, and we explore this accelerated learning in four experiments. Our results confirm that humans learn rapidly about the causal powers of novel objects, and we show that our framework accounts better for our data than alternative models of causal learning. (shrink)