The Venerable Master's vision was as vast as the Dharma Realm, and he taught and transformed all beings without regard to path of rebirth, country, ethnic origin, religion, and so forth. There are two countries, however, where he had special affinities in this life: China and the United States. Although the majority of his disciples are Chinese, history will probably remember him primarily for his work in bringing the teachings of the Buddha to the people of the West.
The essay is an analysis of John of Damascus’ justification for venerating the icons. Under the subtitle ‘reasoning for venerating the icons’ the essay conducts the analysis in three parts. First, John's definition of ‘veneration’ is presented and examined. Second, the OT ‘veneration’ passages he cites are critically evaluated. Third, the apparent incoherence of John's case is demonstrated from the Eastern Orthodox notion of scripture. This is a follow-up study to a previous essay (i.e., ‘Handmade: a critical analysis of John (...) of Damascus’ reasoning for making icons’) which analyzes a problem in Orthodox aesthetics closely related to the one I examine here. (shrink)
The essay is an analysis of John of Damascus’ reasoning for venerating the icons. Under the subtitle ‘reasoning for venerating the icons’ the essay conducts the analysis in three parts. First, John's definition of ‘veneration’ is presented and examined. Second, the OT ‘veneration’ passages he cites are critically evaluated. Third, the apparent incoherence of John's case is demonstrated from the Eastern Orthodox notion of scripture. This is a follow-up study to a previous essay (i.e., ‘Handmade: a critical analysis of John (...) of Damascus’ reasoning for making icons’) which analyzes a problem in Orthodox aesthetics closely related to the one I examine here. (shrink)
Causation is one of philosophy's most venerable and thoroughly-analyzed concepts. However, the study of how ordinary people make causal judgments is a much more recent addition to the philosophical arsenal. One of the most prominent views of causal explanation, especially in the realm of harmful or potentially harmful behavior, is that unusual or counternormative events are accorded privileged status in ordinary causal explanations. This is a fundamental assumption in psychological theories of counterfactual reasoning, and has been transported to philosophy (...) by Hitchcock and Knobe (2009). A different view--the basis of the culpable control model of blame (CCM)--is that primary causal status is accorded to behaviors that arouse negative evaluative reactions, including behaviors that stem from nefarious motives, negligence or recklessness, a faulty character, or behaviors that lead to harmful or potentially harmful consequences. This paper describes four empirical studies that show consistent support for the CCM. (shrink)
A venerable philosophical tradition holds that we rational creatures are distinguished by our capacity for a special sort of mental agency or self-determination: we can “make up” our minds about whether to accept a given proposition. But what sort of activity is this? Many contemporary philosophers accept a Process Theory of this activity, according to which a rational subject exercises her capacity for doxastic self-determination only on certain discrete occasions, when she goes through a process of consciously deliberating about (...) whether P and concludes by “making a judgment”, thereby bringing about a change in what she believes. I argue that this conception of our control over our beliefs implies an unacceptable picture of the agency we exercise in judging, and of the relation of such agency to the condition of belief itself. I suggest that the beliefs of a rational creature are themselves “acts of reason”, which reflect the capacity for doxastic self-determination in their very nature, not merely in certain facts about how they can originate. (shrink)
What is the relation between time and self? Well, one rather obvious and quite venerable suggestion is that the relation is first and foremost of a negative nature. Consider the claim that experiences never occur in isolation, and that the stream of consciousness is an ensemble of experiences that is unified both at and over time, both synchronically and diachronically. According to a classical view, we need to appeal to a self in order to account for this diachronic and (...) synchronic unity. To think of a simultaneous or temporally dispersed plurality of experiences is to think of myself as being conscious of this plurality, and as the argument goes this requires an undivided, invariable, unchanging me. The self is a principle of identity. It is that which persists and resists temporal change. This is why it has even occasionally been ascribed a certain supratemporal or atemporal character. On such an account, the unity of self is taken to be something with explanatory power rather than something that itself is in need of an explanation. (shrink)
Alvin Goldman’s contributions to contemporary epistemology are impressive—few epistemologists have provided others so many occasions for reflecting on the fundamental character of their discipline and its concepts. His work has informed the way epistemological questions have changed (and remained consistent) over the last two decades. We (the authors of this paper) can perhaps best suggest our indebtedness by noting that there is probably no paper on epistemology that either of us individually or jointly have produced that does not in its (...) notes and references bear clear testimony to the influence of Professor Goldman’s arguments. The present paper is no exception (and this would be a particularly inapt place to break with our tradition of indebtedness). Professor Goldman has produced a series of discussions that we find particularly important for coming to terms with the venerable idea that there may be truths that can be known a priori (Goldman 1992a, 1992b, 1999). We do not altogether follow his lead, while he draws on the idea that a priori justification has something to do with innateness or processess, we prefer to accentuate the idea that a priori justification turns on a conceptually grounded truths and access via acquired conceptual competence (at least in many significant philosophical cases). Still, in developing our understanding we have been aided by much that Professor Goldman says regarding concepts, conceptual competence, and related psychological processes. The influences should become progressively clear, particularly in the later sections of this paper. What would it take for there to be a priori knowledge or justification? We can begin by reflecting on a widely agreed on answer to this question—one that purports to identify something that would at least be adequate for a priori justification. The answer will then serve as one anchor for the present investigation, a bit of shared ground on which empiricists and rationalists can, and typically do, agree.. (shrink)
Strawson’s case in favor of panpsychism is at heart an updated version of a venerable form of argument I’ll call the ‘intrinsic nature’ argument. It is an extremely interesting argument which deploys all sorts of high caliber metaphysical weaponry (despite the ‘down home’ appeals to common sense which Strawson frequently makes). The argument is also subtle and intricate. So let’s spend some time trying to articulate its general form.
Many major historical figures in philosophy have provided an answer to the question of what, if anything, makes life meaningful, although they typically have not put it in these terms. Consider, for instance, Aristotle on the human function, Aquinas on the beatific vision, and Kant on the highest good. While these concepts have some bearing on happiness and morality, they are straightforwardly construed as accounts of which final ends a person ought to realize in order to have a significant existence. (...) Despite the venerable pedigree, it is only in the last 50 years or so that something approaching a distinct field on the meaning of life has been established in analytic philosophy, and it is only in the last 25 years that debate with real depth has appeared. Concomitant with the demise of positivism and of utilitarianism in the post-war era has been the rise of analytical enquiry into non-hedonistic conceptions of value grounded on relatively uncontroversial (but not universally shared) judgments or “intuitions,” including conceptions of meaning in life. Englishspeaking philosophers can be expected to continue to find life's meaning of interest as they increasingly realize that it is a distinct line of enquiry that admits of rational enquiry to no less a degree than more familiar normative categories such as well-being, right action, and distributive justice. (shrink)
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are widely taken as the gold standard for establishing causal conclusions. Ideally conducted they ensure that the treatment ‘causes’ the outcome—in the experiment. But where else? This is the venerable question of external validity. I point out that the question comes in two importantly different forms: Is the specific causal conclusion warranted by the experiment true in a target situation? What will be the result of implementing the treatment there? This paper explains how the probabilistic (...) theory of causality implies that RCTs can establish causal conclusions and thereby provides an account of what exactly that causal conclusion is. Clarifying the exact form of the conclusion shows just what is necessary for it to hold in a new setting and also how much more is needed to see what the actual outcome would be there were the treatment implemented. (shrink)
I defend (metaphysical) ground against recent, unanswered objections aiming to dismiss it from serious philosophical inquiry. Interest in ground stems from its role in the venerable metaphysical project of identifying which facts hold in virtue of others. Recent work on ground focuses on regimenting it. But many reject ground itself, seeing regimentation as yet another misguided attempt to regiment a bad idea (like phlogiston or astrology). I defend ground directly against objections that it is confused, incoherent, or fruitless. This (...) vindicates the very attempt to regiment ground. It also refocuses our attention on the genuine open questions about ground and away from the distracting, unpersuasive reasons for dismissing them. (shrink)
In this paper I explore a neglected discussion of vagueness put forward by Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Grammar (1932–34). In this work, unlike Philosophical Investigations (1953), Wittgenstein not only discusses the venerable Sorites paradox but provides a novel conception of vagueness using an analogy with coin tossing and converging intervals. As he sees it, the problematic picture of vagueness arises because we conflate aspects of the functioning of vague concepts with those of non-vague ones. Thus, while we accept that (...) vague concepts have no sharp cut-off points (are boundaryless), we nevertheless retain the idea that we can progress towards the penumbra the way we progress towards the cut-off points of non-vague concepts. As a potential remedy, Wittgenstein's analogy with coin tossing and converging intervals replaces this picture and provides an understanding of the functioning of vague concepts in which no notion of a progression arises. (shrink)
Foundationalist, Coherentist, Skeptic etc., have all been united in one respect--all accept epistemic justification cannot result from an unending, and non-repeating, chain of reasons. Peter Klein has recently challenged this minimal consensus with a defense of what he calls "Infinitism"--the position that justification can result from such a regress. Klein provides surprisingly convincing responses to most of the common objections to Infinitism, but I will argue that he fails to address a venerable metaphysical concern about a certain type of (...) regress. My conclusion will be that until Klein answers these metaphysical worries he will not have restored Infinitism as a viable option in epistemology. (shrink)
The question "what is art?" is often said to be venerable and vexing. In fact, the following answer to the question should be obvious: (R) item x is a work of art if and only if x is a work in practice P and P is one of the arts. Yet (R) has appeared so far from obvious that nobody has given it a moment's thought. The trouble is not that anyone might seriously deny the truth of (R), but (...) rather that they will find it uninformative. After all, the vexing question is pressed upon us by radical changes in art of the avant-garde, and (R) offers no resources to address these changes. With that in mind, here is the case for (R). The challenges posed by the avant-garde are real enough and they need to be addressed, but the vexing question is the wrong question to ask to address them. It does not follow that the question has no good answer. On the contrary, (R) is all the answer we need, if we do not need an answer that addresses the challenges posed by the avant-garde. Moreover, (R) points to a question that we do need answered. So, not only is it true but, in addition, (R) is as informative as we need. (shrink)
Today it is generally assumed that epistemic justification comes in degrees. The consequences, however, have not been adequately appreciated. In this paper we show that the assumption invalidates some venerable attacks on infinitism: once we accept that epistemic justification is gradual, an infinitist stance makes perfect sense. It is only without the assumption that infinitism runs into difficulties.
Despite some discomfort with this grandly philosophical topic, I do in fact hope to address a venerable pair of philosophical chestnuts: mathematical truth and existence. My plan is to set out three possible stands on these issues, for an exercise in compare and contrast.' A word of warning, though, to philosophical purists (and perhaps of comfort to more mathematical readers): I will explore these philosophical positions with an eye to their interconnections with some concrete issues of set theoretic method.
In The Quest for Reality: Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Colour [Stroud, 2000], Barry Stroud carries out an ambitious attack on various forms of irrealism and subjectivism about color. The views he targets - those that would deny a place in objective reality to the colors - have a venerable history in philosophy. Versions of them have been defended by Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, Locke, and Hume; more recently, forms of these positions have been articulated by Williams, Smart, Mackie, Ryle, (...) and Hardin, among others. Stroud's aim is to argue not only that these writers fail to make their cases, but that no conceivable argument could ever convince us that colors are not a part of objective reality. (shrink)
The Law of Non-Contradiction - that no contradiction can be true - has been a seemingly unassailable dogma since the work of Aristotle, in Book G of the Metaphysics. It is an assumption challenged from a variety of angles in this collection of original papers. Twenty-three of the world's leading experts investigate the 'law', considering arguments for and against it and discussing methodological issues that arise whenever we question the legitimacy of logical principles. The result is a balanced inquiry into (...) a venerable principle of logic, one that raises questions at the very centre of logic itself. The aim of this volume is to present a comprehensive debate about the Law of Non-Contradiction, from discussions as to how the law is to be understood, to reasons for accepting or re-thinking the law, and to issues that raise challenges to the law, such as the Liar Paradox, and a 'dialetheic' resolution of that paradox. The editors contribute an introduction which surveys the issues and serves to frame the debate, and a useful bibliography offering a guide to further reading. This volume will be of interest to anyone working on philosophical logic, and to anyone who has ever wondered about the status of logical laws and about how one might proceed to mount arguments for or against them. (shrink)
Contractualism has a venerable history and considerable appeal. Yet as an account of the foundations or ultimate grounds of morality it has been thought by many philosophers to be subject to fatal objections. This book argues otherwise. It begins by detailing and diagnosing the shortcomings of the main existing models of contractualism, “Hobbesian” contractualism (or contractarianism) and “Kantian” contractualism. It then proposes a novel, "deliberative" model, based on an interpersonal, deliberative conception of practical reason. It argues that the deliberative (...) model of contractualism represents an attractive alternative to its more familiar rivals and that it has the resources to offer a more compelling account of morality’s foundations, one that can do justice to the twin demands of moral accuracy and explanatory adequacy. (shrink)
In his 1961 paper "Tithenai ta Phainomena",1 G. E. L. Owen addressed the problem of the relationship between science as preached in the Analytics and the practice of the Aristotelian treatises. However, he gave this venerable crux a novel twist by focusing on a different aspect of the issue. According to the Prior Analytics , it appears that the first premises of scientific demonstrations must be obtained from collections (historiai) of facts derived from empirical observation. However, many of the (...) treatises seem to make little use of empirical inquiry and instead concern themselves more with 'conceptual analysis.' This is especially true in the Metaphysics and the ethical treatises, but it is also very much characteristic of the Physics. How are these two kinds of inquiry related? (shrink)
In his well-known Discourse on Metaphysics , Leibniz puts individual substance at the basis of metaphysical building. In so doing, he connects himself to a venerable tradition. His theory of individual concept, however, breaks with another idea of the same tradition, that no account of the individual as such can be given. Contrary to what has been commonly accepted, Leibniz’s intuitions are not the mere result of the transcription of subject-predicate logic, nor of the uncritical persistence of some old (...) metaphysical assumptions. They grow, instead, from an unprejudiced inquiry about our basic ontological framework, where logic of truth, linguistic analysis, and phenomenological experience of the mind’s life are tightly interwoven. Leibniz’s struggle for a concept capable of grasping concrete individuals as such is pursued in an age of great paradigm changes – from the Scholastic background to Hobbes’s nominalism to the Cartesian ‘way of ideas’ or Spinoza’s substance metaphysics – when the relationships among words, ideas and things are intensively discussed and wholly reshaped. This is the context where the genesis and significance of Leibniz’s theory of ‘complete being’ and its concept are reconstrued. The result is a fresh look at some of the most perplexing issues in Leibniz scholarship, like his ideas about individual identity and the thesis that all its properties are essential to an individual. The questions Leibniz faces, and to which his theory of individual substance aims to answer, are yet, to a large extent, those of contemporary metaphysics: how to trace a categorial framework? How to distinguish concrete and abstract items? What is the metaphysical basis of linguistic predication? How is trans-temporal sameness assured? How to make sense of essential attributions? In this ontological framework Leibniz’s further questions about the destiny of human individuals and their history are spelt out. Maybe his answers also have something to tell us. This book is aimed at all who are interested in Leibniz’s philosophy, history of early modern philosophy and metaphysical issues in their historical development. (shrink)
“Supervenience”, though a philosophers’ notion, has a venerable history. It was used by Leibniz to say that relations are nothing over and above the intrinsic properties of their relata, by Sidgwick to say that moral characteristics covary with non-moral ones, by Moore to say that the former are grounded in the latter, by Hare to say that they stand in some relation of strict implication and by Davidson (1970: 214) to say that “mental characteristics are in some sense dependent, (...) or supervenient, on physical characteristics” (cf. Kim 1990: 136–138). Here is what Robert Stal- naker (1996) says about the “intuitive ideas that motivate the attempts to articulate concepts of supervenience”:
To say that the A-properties or facts are supervenient on the B-properties or facts is to say that the A-facts are, in a sense, redundant, since they are already implicitly speciﬁed when one has speciﬁed all the B-facts. A-facts are not fact ‘over and above’ the B-facts, not something ‘separate’. To state an A-fact, or ascribe an A-property, is to describe the same reality in a diﬀerent way, at a diﬀerent level of abstraction, by carving the same world at diﬀerent joints. (Stalnaker 1996: 87)
Kim (1990: 140) identiﬁes three key features of our concept of supervenience: covariance, depend- ency and nonreducibility (where “non-reducibility” means that the supervenience of A-features on B-features is consistent with the former not being reducible to the latter).1 Explanation, sometimes required for reducibility, is absent : supervenience claims state that some patterns of property covariation hold, without explaining why they hold.2. (shrink)
Cases of overdetermination or preemption continue to play an important role in the debate about the proper interpretation of causal claims of the form "C was a cause of E". I argue that the best treatment of preemption cases is given by Mackie's venerable INUS account of causal claims. The Mackie account suffers, however, from problems of its own. Inspired by its ability to handle preemption, I propose a dramatic revision to the Mackie account – one that Mackie himself (...) would certainly have rejected – to solve these difficulties. The result is, I contend, a very attractive account of singular causal claims. (shrink)
Normative questions – particularly questions about what we should believe and how we should behave – have always been high on the agenda for philosophers, and over the centuries there has been no shortage of answers proposed. But this abundance of answers raises yet another fundamental philosophical question: How should we evaluate the proposed answers; how can we determine whether an answer to a normative question is a good one? The best known and most widely used method for evaluating answers (...) to normative questions can be traced all the way back to Plato. Recently, however, cognitive scientists interested in cross cultural differences have reported findings that pose a serious challenge to this venerable philosophical method. Indeed, in light of these new findings some philosophers – I am one of them – have come to think that after 2400 years it may be time for philosophy to stop relying on Plato’s method. In the pages that follow I’ll sketch the path that led me to this conclusion. (shrink)
Ronald Dworkin describes an approach to how courts should decide cases that he associates with Judge Richard Posner as a Chicago School of anti-theoretical, no-nonsense jurisprudence. Since Professor Dworkin takes his own view of adjudication to be diametrically opposed to that of the Chicago School, it might seem fair, then, to describe Dworkin's own theory as an instance of pro-theoretical, nonsense jurisprudence. That characterization is not one, needless to say, that Professor Dworkin welcomes. Dworkin describes his preferred approach to jurisprudential (...) questions, to be sure, as theoretical, in opposition to what he calls the practical orientation of the Chicago School. But while there is a real dispute between Dworkin and Posner, it is not one illuminated by the contrast between theory and practice. It is, rather a dispute about the kind of theory that is relevant and illuminating when it comes to law and adjudication. And the fault line marked by this dispute is profound indeed, one that extends far beyond Dworkin and Posner and has a venerable and ancient history. I shall describe it, instead, as a dispute between Moralists and Realists, between those whose starting point is a theory of how things (morally) ought to be versus those who begin with a theory of how things really are. The Lecture endeavors to show that our contemporaries, Ronald Dworkin and Richard Posner, are reenacting a version of the dispute between the paradigmatic philosophical moralist Plato and the paradigmatic historical realist Thucydides. (shrink)
This paper examines the philosophical basis for the argument that there is a connection between ethical behavior and profitability. Both sides of this argument – that good ethics is good business and that bad ethics is bad business – are explored. The possibility of a moral floor above which ethical behavior is not rewarded is considered, and an economic experiment testing such a proposition is discussed. Johnson & Johnson suffers a potentially devastating blow when some cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules cause several (...) deaths. Johnson & Johnson voluntarily pulls Tylenol off the shelf, to universal acclaim. When Tylenol is returned to the marketplace, its share of the over-the-counter painkiller market becomes greater than it was before the tragedy. Arthur Andersen, the venerable accounting firm, is caught in the web surrounding the downfall of Enron, Inc. As Enron’s various sins are discovered, it is found that Arthur Andersen auditors had signed off on flawed audits and had shredded documents to cover themselves. Andersen is prosecuted for, and convicted of, obstructing justice (although the conviction is later overturned). Today the firm barely exists and has no resemblance to the Big Five accounting giant of 1999. These stories seem to indicate that ethical (or unethical) behavior leads to positive (or negative) financial results. But the philosophical arguments underpinning such statements are seldom subjected to proper analysis. They are perhaps wishful thinking, or perhaps based on examples such as the above without considering other examples that may reinforce a contrary position. This paper will explore the philosophical arguments and empirical evidence regarding these statements and state some research questions for exploration in this area. In particular we will propose the possibility that a moral floor exists above which firms that engage in ethical activities will not reap rewards, but below which firms that engage in unethical activities will be punished by actors in the economic marketplace. We will discuss an economic experiment to determine if such actors indeed form a moral floor. (shrink)
There is no such thing as the cosmological argument. Rather, there are several arguments that all proceed from facts or alleged facts concerning causation, change, motion, contingency, or Hnitude in respect of the universe as a whole or processes within it. From them, and from general principles said to govern them, one is led to deduce or infer as highly probable the existence of a cause of the universe (as opposed, say, to a designer or a source of value). Such (...) arguments have a venerable history. A cosmological argument from heavenly motion to a ‘world soul’ is found in Plato’s Laws, bk. l0. This kind of argument is given extended elaboration and defense by Aristotle, both in the Physics (bks. 7-8) and the Metaphysics (hk. 12/lambda), where he argues for an ‘unmoved mover` from the existence of motion within the cosmos (again, primarily astronomical). Cosmological arguments abound in medieval Arabic philosophy. There are arguments to the existence of a necessary cause of the universe from the existence of contingent beings (due to the falsafa (‘philosophy’) scholars, a school heavily influenced by Greek thought) and arguments to the existence of a iirst cause of the universe from the temporal frnitude of the universe (due to the lcalarri (‘discourse’) scholars, a rival school of more traditional Qufanic theology) (Craig 1980: ch. 3). Defenders of the contingency argument include al-Farabi/Abu Nast (c.870—950), ibn Sina/Avicenna (980—lO3Y), and [bn Rushcl/Averroes (1i26e98). Supporters of what is now known as the kalam cosmological argument include al·lshrink)
How should we determine the distribution of psychological traits—such as Theory of Mind, episodic memory, and metacognition—throughout the Animal kingdom? Researchers have long worried about the distorting effects of anthropomorphic bias on this comparative project. A purported corrective against this bias was offered as a cornerstone of comparative psychology by C. Lloyd Morgan in his famous “Canon”. Also dangerous, however, is a distinct bias that loads the deck against animal mentality: our tendency to tie the competence criteria for cognitive capacities (...) to an exaggerated sense of typical human performance. I dub this error “anthropofabulation”, since it combines anthropocentrism with confabulation about our own prowess. Anthropofabulation has long distorted the debate about animal minds, but it is a bias that has been little discussed and against which the Canon provides no protection. Luckily, there is a venerable corrective against anthropofabulation: a principle offered long ago by David Hume, which I call “Hume’s Dictum”. In this paper, I argue that Hume’s Dictum deserves a privileged place next to Morgan’s Canon in the methodology of comparative psychology, illustrating my point through a discussion of the debate over Theory of Mind in nonhuman animals. (shrink)
Despite its current popularity, “emergence” is a concept with a venerable history and an elusive, ambiguous standing in contemporary evolutionary theory. This paper briefly recounts the history of the term and details some of its current usages. Not only are there radically varying interpretations about how to define emergence but “reductionist” and “holistic” theorists hold very different views about the issue of causation. However, these two seemingly polar positions are not irreconcilable. Reductionism, or detailed analysis of the parts and (...) their interactions, is essential for answering the “how” question in evolution—how does a complex living system work? But holism is equally necessary for answering the “why” question—why did a particular arrangement of parts evolve? In order to answer the “why” question, a broader, multi-leveled paradigm is required. The reductionist approach to explaining emergent complexity has entailed a search for underlying “laws of emergence.” In contrast, the “Synergism Hypothesis” focuses on the “economics”—the functional effects produced by emergent wholes and their selective consequences in evolutionary change. This paper also argues that emergent phenomena represent, in effect, a subset of a larger universe of cooperative, synergistic effects in the natural world. (shrink)
The author extends theory on the relationship between workplace spirituality and business ethics by integrating the "yamas" from yoga, a venerable Eastern spiritual tradition, with existing literature. The yamas are five practices for harmonizing and deepening social connections that can be applied in the workplace. A theoretical framework is developed and two sets of propositions are forwarded. One set emanates from the yamas and another one conjectures relationships between spirituality and business ethics surfaced by the application of these spiritual (...) practices from yoga. (shrink)
According to a typical skeptical hypothesis, the evidence of your senses has been massively deceptive. Venerable skeptical hypotheses include the hypotheses that you have been deceived by a powerful evil demon, that you are now having an incredibly detailed dream, and that you are a brain in a vat. It is obviously reasonable for you now to be conﬁdent that neither of the above hypotheses is true. Epistemologists have proposed many stories to explain why that is reasonable. One theory (...) is that those hypotheses are inherently much less plausible than the hypothesis that your senses are basically reliable. Another theory is that you currently don’t believe any of those hypotheses, and that you need no justiﬁcation to continue in that disbelief, given that your current beliefs cohere properly. A third theory is that —given that your senses are working properly—your sensory experiences themselves justify you in believing propositions such as the proposition that you have hands. Neo is given very good evidence that some skeptical hypothesis is true. He rightly becomes doubtful that his senses are or have been trustworthy. In fact, he becomes conﬁdent of a particular hypothesis: that AI’s created the Matrix, etc. But this is just one of many types of hypotheses that might account for his experiences. These types include. (shrink)
In the context of debates about what form a theory of meaning should take, it is sometimes claimed that one cannot understand an intersective modifier-head construction (e.g., ‘pet fish’) without understanding its lexical parts. Neo-Russellians like Fodor and Lepore contend that non-denotationalist theories of meaning, such as prototype theory and theory theory, cannot explain why this is so, because they cannot provide for the ‘reverse compositional’ character of meaning. I argue that reverse compositionality is a red herring in these debates. (...) I begin by setting out some positive arguments for reverse compositionality and showing that they fail. Then I show that the principle of reverse compositionality has two big strikes against it. First, it is incompatible with all theories of meaning on the market, including the denotationalism favored by neo-Russellians. Second, it explains nothing that is not already explained by its venerable predecessor, the principle of (forward) compositionality. (shrink)
Perhaps some of the movie-goers among you have had the experience of sitting through a film with no discernable plot and no significant action, only to be accused by your companions of having missed the point. 'It's not supposed to be dramatic', they tell you, 'it's a Character Study! ' The conventions of this genre seem to require that it centre on an otherwise inconspicuous person who undergoes some familiar life passage or other with terribly subtle, if any, reactions or (...) results. Well, if a thesis is to a philosophy talk what a plot is to a movie, I'm afraid I'm about to inflict the counterpart to a Character Study: I' ll introduce a distinctive inquirer and record her progress through a particularly venerable philosophical neighbourhood. My apologies in advance for what will be more a saunter than a journey. (shrink)
The concepts of imagination and consciousness have, very arguably, been inextricably intertwined at least since Aristotle initiated the systematic study of human cognition (Thomas, 1998). To imagine something is ipso facto to be conscious of it (even if the wellsprings of imaginative creativity are in the unconscious), and many have held that our conscious thinking consists largely or entirely in a succession of mental images, the products of imagination (see, e.g., Damasio, 1994 -- or, come to that, see Aristotle, or (...) Hume, or almost any pre-twentieth century cognitive theorist). A venerable tradition also regards perceptual experiences, the main focus of most recent work on consciousness, as products of the imagination, whose primary function is to integrate sensory inputs and render them meaningful (Thomas, 1998, 1999). As Coleridge (1817) famously put it, primary imagination is "the living power and prime agent of all human perception." A better understanding of imagination is likely to deepen our insight into the nature of consciousness (and, probably, vice-versa). (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that some objections raised by Jantzen (Synthese, 2010 ) against the separation of the concepts of ‘counting’ and ‘identity’ are misled. We present a definition of counting in the context of quasi-set theory requiring neither the labeling nor the identity and individuality of the counted entities. We argue that, contrary to what Jantzen poses, there are no problems with the technical development of this kind of definition. As a result of being able (...) to keep counting and identity apart for those entities, we briefly suggest that one venerable tradition concerning the nature of quantum particles may be consistently held. According to that tradition, known as the Received View on particles non-individuality, quantum particles may be seen as entities having both features: (i) identity and individuality do not apply to them, (ii) they may be gathered in collections comprising a plurality of them. (shrink)
On September 11, 2001, as everyone knows, the towers of the World Trade Center in New York were attacked. I want to discuss this event in order to motivate a nonreductionist view of the extensions of everyday concepts. Next, I shall set out, and begin to defend, the particular view of nonreductionism that I favor—the Constitution View. Then, I shall consider two venerable metaphysical issues (the nature of vagueness and the mind-independent/mind- dependent distinction) in light of the Constitution View. (...) If the Constitution View is correct, then everyday concepts are a good guide to reality. My aim is to offer a metaphysical theory that acknowledges the genuine reality of what our everyday concepts (as well as our scientific concepts) are concepts of. (shrink)
The Parmenides is, quite possibly, the most enigmatic of Plato's dialogues. The dialogue recounts an almost certainly fictitious conversation between a venerable Parmenides (the Eleatic Monist) and a youthful Socrates, followed by a dizzying array of interconnected arguments presented by Parmenides to a young and compliant interlocutor named “Aristotle” (not the philosopher, but rather a man who became one of the Thirty Tyrants after Athens' surrender to Sparta at the conclusion of the Peloponnesian War). Most commentators agree that Socrates (...) articulates a version of the theory of forms defended by his much older namesake in the dialogues of Plato's middle period, that Parmenides mounts a number of potentially devastating challenges to this theory, and that these challenges are followed by a piece of intellectual “gymnastics” consisting of eight strings of arguments (Deductions) that are in some way designed to help us see how to protect the theory of forms against the challenges. Beyond this, there is precious little scholarly consensus. Commentators disagree about the proper way to reconstruct Parmenides' challenges, about the overall logical structure of the Deductions, about the main subject of the Deductions, about the function of the Deductions in relation to the challenges, and about the final philosophical moral of the dialogue as a whole. (shrink)
Is it wrong to torture prisoners of war for fun? Is it wrong to yank on someone’s hair with no provocation? Is it wrong to push an innocent person in front of a train in order to save five innocent people tied to the tracks? If you are like most people, you answered "yes" to each of these questions. A venerable account of human moral judgment, influential in both philosophy and psychology, holds that these judgments are underpinned by internally (...) represented principles or rules and reasoning about whether particular cases fall under those rules. Recently, this view has come under sustained attack from multiple quarters, and now looks to be in danger of being discarded. In this chapter we consider this evidence, and find that it does not support the elimination of rules from moral psychology. (shrink)
In 1993, my first full year as a master’s student studying rhetoric at the University of Tennessee, the venerable George Kennedy visited campus. He was part of a star-studded interdisciplinary symposium on rhetoric (Page duBois and Thomas Cole were the other two guests), and if memory serves, the large crowd awaiting Kennedy’s talk stirred with anticipation; this event was two years after the publication of a much-needed and now indispensible translation of Aristotle’s Rhetoric. After the talk, it stirred with (...) something more like befuddlement. Kennedy’s talk, “A Hoot in the Dark,” shared a title with an essay he had published in Philosophy and Rhetoric the year prior. The subject? Animal rhetoric. I .. (shrink)
Science progresses if we succeed in rendering the objects of scientific inquiry more comprehensively or more precisely. Popper tries to formalize this venerable idea. According to him the most comprehensive and most precise description of the world is given by the set T of all true statements. A hypothesis comes the closer to T, or has the more verisimilitude, the more true consequences and the fewer false consequences it implies. Popper proposes to order hypotheses by the inclusion relations between (...) the sets of their true and of their false consequences ("truth contents" and "falsity contents"). A partial ordering would permit one to decide whether the substitution of theory t 1 by t 2 represents scientific progress. But because of the logical relations between the elements of the sets of logical consequences, or contents, false hypotheses cannot be compared. As our theories usually turn out to be false sooner or later, they can seldom be compared as to their verisimilitude and when they can, the result depends only on which theory implies the other and on their truth-values. Popper even tries to define a measure of verisimilitude on the partial ordering. It has to fail for the same reason. In addition he tries to relativize the concept of a content and fails. What is more, any attempt at defining a measure of better or worse correspondence to the whole truth must fail, as there is no justification for saying that any true primitive sentence asserts as much about reality as some other primitive sentence, or more. (shrink)
The basic linguistic phenomenon of presupposition is commonplace and intuitive, little different from the relation described by the word presuppose in its everyday usage. In ordinary language, when we say that someone presupposes something, we mean that they assume it, or take it for granted. The term is used in the same way when we talk of a speaker presupposing something, although typically we are interested in those assumptions which are revealed by what the speaker says. To begin with the (...) most venerable case of presupposing, first discussed by Frege 1892, when a speaker makes an assertion, “there is always an obvious presupposition that the simple or compound proper names used have reference.” So a speaker who says. (shrink)
Controversies over the innateness of cognitive processes, mechanisms, and structures play a persistent role in driving research in philosophy as well as the cognitive sciences, but the appropriate way to understand the category of the innate remains subject to dispute. One venerable approach in philosophy and cognitive science merely contrasts innate features with those that are learned. In fact, Jerry Fodor has recently suggested that this remains our best handle on innateness.
Abstract In this paper, we show that Greek distinguishes empirically ability as a precondition for action, and ability as initiating and sustaining force for action. In this latter case, the ability verb behaves like an action verb, and the sentence has the logical form of a causative structure φ CAUSE [BECOME ψ] (Dowty 1979). The distinction between ability as potential for action and ability as action itself has a venerable tradition that goes back to Aristotle, and is recently implied (...) in a number of analyses (Mari and Martin 2007, 2009, Thomason 2005). We show first that the phenomenon is not just aspectual ( pace Bhatt 1999, Hacquard 2006, 2009, Pinon 2003): actualized ability emerges with the ability verb also with imperfective aspect and present tense. They key, we argue is causation, which triggers a shift from pure ability, to ability as force (in the sense of Copley and Harley 2010, i.e. as action initiating energy). In Greek, the action reading of the ability modal comes about in an apparent co-ordinate causative structure, where the two clauses are connected with conjunction ke ‘and’— a pattern that we find also in other languages, including English, at least with some action verbs such as try, allow . Our analysis implies a meaning of ability richer than mere possibility ( pace Hacquard); and, by capitalizing on the causative meaning and the presence of force in causative structures, our analysis enables a principled explanation of the shift to action-ability without positing ambiguity for the ability verb ( pace Bhatt 1999). (shrink)
It is often claimed that the bulk of the laws of physics –including such venerable laws as Universal Gravitation– are violated in many (or even all) circumstances because they havecounter-instances that result when a system is not isolated fromother systems. Various accounts of how one should interpretthese (apparently) violated laws have been provided. In thispaper, I examine two accounts of (apparently) violated laws, thatthey are merely ceteris paribus laws and that they aremanifestations of capacities. Through an examination of theprimary (...) example that motivated these views, I show that given aproper understanding of the situation, neither view is optimalbecause the law is not even apparently violated. Along the way, Iam able to diagnose what has led to the mistaken belief: I showthat it originates from an element of the standard empiricistconception of laws. I then evaluate the suggestions of how tointerpret violated laws with respect to other examples and findthem wanting there too. (shrink)
In the Indian philosophical tradition Arjuna stands out as a major representative of an important ethical and intellectual position, as Socrates stands out in the West. While the cultural contexts of the views of Arjuna and Socrates differ significantly, their views on the axiological status of the physical body have much in common. As an exercise in comparative thought in the area of “the philosophy of the body”, much can be gained through a comparison of the corpological views of these (...) two venerable characters as they are depicted in circumstances that ctystalise their teachings, i.e. in their 'trials': Arjuna as he stands before Krsna just prior to the great battle narrated in the Mah bh rata and Socrates as he sits with his beloved friend Crito just prior to his day of execution. (shrink)
This collection of previously unpublished essays presents a new approach to the history of analytic philosophy--one that does not assume at the outset a general characterization of the distinguishing elements of the analytic tradition. Drawing together a venerable group of contributors, including John Rawls and Hilary Putnam, this volume explores the historical contexts in which analytic philosophers have worked, revealing multiple discontinuities and misunderstandings as well as a complex interaction between science and philosophical reflection.
A venerable tradition in philosophy sees significance in the fact that, from a subjective viewpoint, some rules seem to impress themselves upon us with a distinctive kind of authority or normative force: one feels their pull and is drawn to act in accordance with such rules unconditionally, and violations strike one as egregious. Though the first person experience of it can be mystifying, I believe this phenomenology is just one aspect of the operation of a psychological system crucial to (...) morality. Building on previous work, I’ll call this property of certain rules independent normativity. After describing that property, I situate it with respect to earlier work done on the so-called moral/conventional distinction, and suggest new questions it raises about morality and emotion. Sripada and Stich (2006) posit a model of the cognitive architecture underlying an important element of human rule cognition.1 Following them, I’ll call this the norm system, and the rules cognized by it social norms. One feature of this system is that it imputes those rules it processes with independent normativity. Understood this way, those rules that enjoy independent normativity do so not in virtue of any particular content, but because the mental representations that express them occupy a certain functional role in human minds (that I’ll call SN-functional role). (shrink)
Metaphors of the mind abound. The mind has been metaphorically described as an aviary, a telephone switchboard, a ghost in a machine, and a computer - to name but a few. Bernard Baars, in his In the theater of consciousness, adds to this venerable list, arguing that the mind can be instructively thought of as a working theater. Baars argues for the aptness of his theater metaphor by showing how it can be used to tell "a unified story" of (...) all the currently available scientific data on consciousness. This paper argues that Baars' theater metaphor is not entirely apt, that once it is unpacked, it suggests a certain relation between consciousness and attention that does not appear to be supported by the currently available data. (shrink)
 The venerable question "Why is there anything (rather than nothing) at all?" has become particularly topical after a long absence from the philosophical scene. In 1981, it elicited a novel, and rather startling, response from Robert Nozick (Nozick 1981: 115-64). Since then, it has received steady attention from a number of astrophysicists, in particular, those promoting one version or another of an Anthropic Principle (see e.g. Barrow et al. 1986).  In the midst of this activity, a small (...) volume by Nicholas Rescher has appeared, The Riddle of Existence . In it, Rescher echoes approvingly Heidegger's claim that this is `the most fundamental question of metaphysics' and accordingly undertakes (what he has described privately.. (shrink)
The literature on the venerable aesthetic category of the sublime often provides us with lists of sublime phenomena — mountains, storms, deserts, volcanoes, oceans, the starry sky, and so on. But it has long been recognized that what matters is the experience of such objects. We then find that one of the most consistent claims about this experience is that it involves an element of fear. Meanwhile, the recognition of the sublime as a category of aesthetic appreciation implies that (...) attraction, admiration or pleasure is also present.1However, there is also a sense of fear and attraction when we watch car chases or fights. Neither of these is an occasion for the sublime so much as a visceral sort of excitement.2 As .. (shrink)
The ethical foundation of the medical profession, which values service above reward and holds the doctor-patient relationship as inviolable, continues to be challenged by the commercialization of health care. This article contends that a realigned leadership framework - one that distinguishes being a leader as the ontological basis for what leaders know, have, and do - is central to safeguarding medicine's ethical foundation. Four ontological pillars of leadership - awareness, commitment, integrity, and authenticity - are proposed as fundamental elements that (...) anchor this foundation and the basic tenets of professionalism. Ontological leadership is shaped by and accessible through language; what health care leaders create in language "uses" them by providing a point of view (a context) within and from which they orient their conversations, decisions, and conduct such that they are ethically aligned and grounded. This contextual leadership framework exposes for us the limitations imposed by our mental maps, creating new opportunity sets for being and action (previously unavailable) that embody medicine's charter on professionalism. While this leadership methodology contrasts with the conventional results-oriented model where leading is generally equated with a successful clinical practice, a distinguished research program, or a promotion, it is not a replacement for it; indeed, results are essential for performance. Rather, being and action are interrelated and their correlated nature equips leaders with a framework for tackling health care's most complex problems in a manner that preserves medicine's venerable ethical heritage. (shrink)
Controversies over the innateness of cognitive processes, mechanisms, and structures play a persistent role in driving research in philosophy as well as the cognitive sciences, but the appropriate way to understand the category of the innate remains subject to dispute. One venerable approach in philosophy and cognitive science merely contrasts innate features with those that are learned. In fact, Jerry Fodor has recently suggested that this remains our best handle on innateness.
This paper has three aims: first, to redeem some of Freud's most fundamental insights, so courageous and revolutionary that they were not even entirely appealing and intelligible to Freud himself; not understanding their teacher, Freud's disciples systematically distorted or suppressed his boldest speculations. By concentrating on an early Buddhist text of great profundity it is hoped to push our understanding of Freud beyond Freud himself. The exotic nature of this text makes it an especially powerful instrument for cutting through the (...) conservatism and resistance of venerable Freudian doctrine; secondly, to make more accessible a text which will encourage Western thinkers to do some serious thinking in the Buddhist way; and thirdly to examine the relationship between id and ego; it is shown why and how the egological construction (ego/superego) blocks the spontaneity of libidinal fulfillment. The role of representation in time-consciousness is also explored. (shrink)
Moralising is a venerable last resort strategy. The ancient Melians presented the Athenian generals with a splendid example when in a particularly tight corner. In our Western philosophical tradition moral rhetoric is often couched in the form of reasons for action either external to preference and desire (eg. Kant) or internal to the agent''s calculus of desire (e.g., Hume, Gauthier). A third tradition dismisses such rhetoric as the last recourse of the weak (e.g., Aristotle, Nietzsche) whereas a fourth calls (...) for an examination of the social context (e.g., Socrates, Marx, Wittgenstein, Habermas). This paper reports on an experiment which throws some empirical light on these debates and offers a surprising twist to the interpretation of the Melians'' plea. (shrink)
Despite the venerable place that "justice" occupies in social scientific theory and research, little effort has been made to see how members of society themselves define and use the concept when confronted with determining "what has happened" in some social arena, theorizing about why it happened, and deciding what should ensue. We take an ethnomethodological approach to justice, attempting to recover it as a feature of practical activity or a "phenomenon of order." Our analysis involves an actual videotaped jury (...) deliberation. In his classic study of decision making by juries, Garfinkel observed that jurors changed their reliance on commonsense reasoning very little, even though they were instructed to adhere to official and legal criteria for guilt. The vacillation between commonsense reasoning and using official criteria creates a tension; in our data this tension is manifested as the choice between adhering to law and procedural rules and providing "justice." By articulating this tension as a puzzle, several of the jurors prepare the way for using "justice," and then use this concept in formal ways which, along with other discursive patterns and strategies, constitute the deliberation as a structured, concerted activity. We show four stages in the use of the term justice as it is embedded in jurors' practical reasoning. (shrink)
Bioethics represents a dramatic revision of the centuries-old professional ethics that governed the behavior of physicians and their relationships with patients. This venerable ethics code was challenged in the years after World War II by the remarkable advances in the biomedical sciences and medicine that raised questions about the definition of death, the use of life-support systems, organ transplantation, and reproductive interventions. In response, philosophers and theologians, lawyers and social scientists joined together with physicians and scientists to rethink and (...) revise the old standards. Governments established commissions to recommend policies. Courts heard arguments and legislatures passed laws. This book is the first broad history of the growing field of bioethics. Covering the period 1947-1987, it examines the origin and evolution of the debates over human experimentation, genetic engineering, organ transplantation, termination of life-sustaining treatment, and new reproductive technologies. It assesses the contributions of philosophy, theology, law and the social sciences to the expanding discourse of bioethics. Written by one of the field's founders, The Birth of Bioethics is based on extensive archival research into sources that are difficult to obtain and on interviews with many of the leading figures in the moral debates in medicine. A very readable and comprehensive account of the evolution of bioethics, this book stresses the history of ideas but does not neglect the social and cultural context and the people involved. It will serve the information needs of philosophers, ethicists, social historians, and everyone interested in the origins of some of today's most hotly debated issues. (shrink)
Few disputes in the annals of US environmentalism enjoy the pedigree of the conservation-preservation debate. Yet, although many scholars have written extensively on the meaning and history of conservation and preservation in American environmental thought and practice, the resonance of these concepts outside the academic literature has not been sufficiently examined. Given the significance of the ideals of conservation and preservation in the justification of environmental policy and management, however, we believe that a more detailed analysis of the real-world use (...) and understanding of these ideas is needed. In this paper, we describe the results of a qualitative, semantic study of the concepts of conservation and preservation undertaken in the context of the Chattahoochee National Forest (CNF), located in northern Georgia (USA). Thirty in-depth interviews were conducted with scientists and north Georgia residents either interested or involved in the future management of the forest. Respondents were asked to define conservation and preservation in their own words and to indicate which approach they felt was more appropriate for the management of the CNF. Qualitative content analysis was used to elicit a set of recurring themes for each foundational concept. Taken together, these themes help to flesh out the meaning of conservation and preservation for citizens and scientists today, and illustrate the evolving nature of two of the more significant and venerable ideas animating US environmental policy and management. (shrink)
A venerable story in the history of medieval philosophy has it that the eleventh century saw a debate between certain 'dialecticians', who exalted the role of reason and disdained theological authority, and 'anti-dialecticians', who carefully limited—or even rejected—the application of dialectical reasoning to Christian doctrine. A number of authors have called into question certain details of this story, but in..
While engaged in the analysis of philosophically central concepts, analytic philosophers have traditionally relied extensively on their own intuitions about when such concepts can be correctly applied. Intuitions have, however, come under increasingly critical scrutiny of late, and if they turned out not to be a reliable tool for the proper analysis of our concepts, then a radical reworking of analytic philosophy’s methodology would be in order. One inﬂuential line of criticism against the use of intuition argues that they only (...) tell us about our conceptions of things, and not the things themselves. This venerable line of criticism can seem considerably strengthened if one endorses ‘‘externalist’’ accounts of meaning. Nevertheless, the move from semantic externalism to the rejection of intuitions will be shown to be illegitimate if one has a constitutive rather than expressive understanding of the relation between our intuitions and our concepts. (shrink)
In fourth-century Greece (BCE), the debate over the nature of philosophy generated a novel claim: that the highest form of wisdom is theoria, the rational 'vision' of metaphysical truths (the 'spectator theory of knowledge'). This book offers an original analysis of the construction of 'theoretical' philosophy in fourth-century Greece. In the effort to conceptualise and legitimise theoretical philosophy, the philosophers turned to a venerable cultural practice: theoria (state pilgrimage). In this practice, an individual journeyed abroad as an official witness (...) of sacralized spectacles. This book examines the philosophic appropriation and transformation of theoria, and analyses the competing conceptions of theoretical wisdom in fourth-century philosophy. By tracing the link between traditional and philosophic theoria, this book locates the creation of theoretical philosophy in its historical context, analysing theoria as a cultural and an intellectual practice. It develops a new, interdisciplinary approach, drawing on philosophy, history, and literary studies. (shrink)
Late nineteenth-century German anthropology had to compete for intellectual legitimacy with the established academic humanities (Geisteswissenschaften), above all history. Whereas humanists interpreted literary documents to create narratives about great civilizations, anthropologists represented and viewed objects, such as skulls or artifacts, to create what they regarded as natural scientific knowledge about so-called 'natural peoples'-colonized societies of Africa, the Pacific, and the Americas. Anthropologists thus invoked a venerable tradition that presented looking at objects as a more certain source of knowledge than (...) reading texts. Visual representations, especially of the colonized, not only allowed anthropologists allegedly objective insight into humanity but also put them in direct contact with popular audiences of ethnographic spectacles, exotic photography, and even pornographic images. Anthropologists thus sought to create a peculiar kind of anthropological vision that both differentiated them from humanists as 'objective' natural scientists but also distinguished them from the leering 'Schaulust' that they believed characterized popular consumption of exotic images. To do so they invented technologies of visual representation that eschewed the subject position figured by linear perspective. These novel optics dispensed with the leering subject posited by popular spectacles and the knowing subject posited by humanism and created an anti-humanist form of knowledge. (shrink)
The search for 'ecological insights' in venerable Asian traditions of thought prompts questions about how such traditions understood humans in relation to nature. Answers which focus on philosophical and religious ideas may overlook culturally important understandings of people and places articulated within scientific and medical thinking. The paper tentatively explores the prospects for gleaning a form of ethics of place from the study of traditional Hindu and Chinese medical sources. Although there are serious problems with the idea that any (...) unadulterated assimilation from other traditions can take place, these sources can be thought of as incorporating a place-centred (topocentric) ethic. By looking closely at Francis Zimmerman's study of Hindu medicine, it is argued that a poetics of place can be ascribed to Ayurvedic discourses on health and disease. It may be possible to associate a similar poetics with classical Chinese medical worldviews, these being reconcilable with-though not the same as-contemporary ecological understandings of humans in relation to the world. Although no pristine reconstruction of Asian traditions of medical thought can be made, the conclusion of the present paper is that it would be wrong to dismiss these traditions as 'antienvironmental', based purely on the study of philosophical and religious texts. (shrink)
I would like to thank the Sangha for inviting me to speak with you tonight. Some of you may be wondering what Measure H has to do with the Buddhadharma and why we are taking time during the period for sutra lectures to discuss it. I think it's very important to remember that all dharmas are Buddhadharmas, and that the Venerable Master Hua taught us that we have a responsibility towards the country in which we are (...) living. This is one of the few places in the world where we can freely practice Buddhism without interference or oppression from the government. This is a democratic country in which the principle of freedom of religion is practiced. In order to protect freedom of religion and to maintain the democracy in this country, all the people in the country, including us-both lay Buddhists and monastic Buddhists-must act responsibly. If you are a citizen, you have the responsibility to vote intelligently. If you are a teacher, you have a responsibility to teach the students how to be knowledgeable and responsible citizens of this country. And if you are student, you should learn what it means to be a responsible citizen. And if you are in none of those categories, you still have a responsibility to do whatever you can to lessen the suffering of all the sentient beings in this country. That is why it is important that you understand about Measure H and its relationship to the Buddhadharma. (shrink)
Are spheres multiply realizable? A venerable tradition implies that they are. Putnam’s discussion of the peg and holes (in [Putnam, 1975]) is often taken to show that all volumetric shape properties are multiply realizable . The argument runs: (a) physics is the science of the “ultimate constituents” (Putnam’s phrase) of matter, and so (b) physics can only track the behavior of each of the simple constituents of a particular system, but (c) tediously tracking individual particles doesn’t make for a (...) very good explanation, so (d) there must be an explanation outside of physics that does talk about shape, and that we should prefer because it abstracts away from the micro-level details of particular spheres. (shrink)
It is a widely shared belief that genocide – the ‘crime of crimes’– is more morally significant than ‘mere’ large-scale mass murder. Various attempts have been made to capture that separate evil of genocide: some have attempted to locate it in damage done to individuals, while others have focused upon the harm done to collectives. In this article, I offer a third, neglected, option. Genocide damages humankind: it is here that the difference is to be found. I show that this (...) understanding has a venerable legal history, and argue that it has the significant benefits of legitimising intervention and justifying universal jurisdiction. (shrink)
This article, which was originally presented at the annual conference of the Venerable John Henry Newman Association in Mundelein, Illinois, in August 2004, portrays Newman as anticipating three aspects of postmodernism:the question of epistemological foundations, the role of theology in the academy, and a conversational model of truth.
The three commentaries of Van Orden, Spivey and Anderson, and Dietrich (with Markman’s as a backdrop) form a tableau that reminds me of a fable by Ivan Andreevich Krylov (1769 - 1844), in which a swan, a pike, and a crawﬁsh undertake jointly to move a cart laden with goods. What transpires then is not unexpected: the swan strives skyward, the pike pulls toward the river, and the crawﬁsh scrambles backward. The call for papers for the present ecumenically minded special (...) issue of JETAI was designed to minimize this kind of discord, by charging the authors to examine the possibility of epistemological pluralism in cognitive science — a ﬁeld whose very diversity makes fundamental disagreement more likely than in other sciences. No doubt, the road mapped out by the editor had been conceived with good intentions in mind, but where did it lead us? It has been said that no good intention must go unpunished. To celebrate this venerable academic tradition (and also because I have a reputation to maintain), the following remarks will therefore be mostly other than conciliatory; caveat lector. (shrink)
This study shows how, in its overall ability to shed light on the vexing complexity of human being, Maimonides’ discourse on matter—treated via metaphors or seen as itself a metaphor—emerges as a venerable guide, pointing the careful reader to the most important truths about perfected humanity within the Guide of the Perplexed. After examining and harmonizing Maimonides’ dual metaphors of matter (matter as the married harlot and the woman of valor) in this way, I show how metaphor as a (...) literary form is itself an illustration of matter’s positive role in the life of the soul. Following upon this consideration of the importance of metaphorical discourse, I end by briefly suggesting how the metaphysics of matter may itself quite generally be characterized as a kind of metaphor. (shrink)
The following story is about the Venerable Mahā-maudgalyāyana, an enlightened disciple of the historical Buddha Śākyamuni. Mahā-maudgalyāyana travels to a distant solar system, to a planet which is inhabited by giant people, and on which there is also a Buddha with disciples practicing under his guidance. The story, which brings to mind Swiftâ€™s Gulliver in the land of the giants, is remarkable in many respects. The Buddha and Mahā- maudgalyāyana both probably lived during the ﬁfth and sixth centuries BCE. (...) In the European West, until the time of Galileo (1564-1642), most educated people thought the whole cosmos rotated around the earth and consisted of the sun and seven planets. They did not realize that the stars were other suns. This story here related shows that 2,500 years ago, Buddhists were aware of a vast cosmos ﬁlled with suns and planets and sentient life. Contemporary, scientiﬁcally oriented people often have a tendency to dismiss non-Western cosmologies as limited, primitive, and distorted myths, in the negative sense of that word. In this story we are presented with a cosmology that seems much closer than the Western pre-Galilean view to the contemporary scientiﬁc view of the physical universe. Of course the assertions about the spiritual powers of the Buddha and Mahā-maudgalyāyana and the size of the people on the distant planet do not merge so easily with contemporary scientiﬁc, materialist mindsets. (shrink)
To the venerable and devout man, Lord John of Gelnhausen,2 formerly abbot in Maulbronn, intercessor for one of his own. Most lovable Father, I was recently presented with Learned Ig- norance, which consists of three books (each incomplete in itself) and which is written in a sufficiently elegant style. It begins with the words “Admirabitur, et recte, maximum tuum et iam probatissimum ingeni- um” and ends “Eo aeternaliter fruituri qui est in saecula benedictus. Amen.” Having looked over [this work], (...) I feel called upon to write Un- known Learning. Here—by means of [a view] opposed to the points which the aforementioned Learned Ignorance deals with (in my judgment, harmfully) in regard to God, the universe, and Jesus Christ— an entrance opens unto the powers of the Lord so that we may be mindful of His justice.3 Those who lack the knowledge of this justice have disobediently established their own, as the apostle says in Romans 10.4 The promise of eternal life will perhaps lighten the burden of this work which I have undertaken. [ This promise] concerns the repayment of supererogation (Luke 10)5 and was made by God to the clarifiers of truth—[made] in what is written in Ecclesiasticus 24: “Those who explain me shall have eternal life.”6 From an innate desire for health the minds of my readers will be vigilant with regard even to this Unknown Learning. With spiritual weapons, however, I am going to rebut certain statements from Learned Ignorance-—[rebut them] as being incompatible with our faith, offensive to devout minds, and vainly leading away from obedience to God. At the head of what must be said comes the [command] in Psalms 45 (“Be still and see that I am God”)7 as being the legitimate enlistment of all our mental activity. For if I behold the mind of the prophet: after the elimination of malevolent wars. which are repugnant to our God, and, moreover, after the weapons of treachery have been broken8 and knowledge is to be had of Christ, our peacemaker and defender, then comes the command “Be still and see that.... (shrink)
J. Baird Callicott has proposed two second-order principles which he believes can be used to settle conflicts between his land ethic and traditional human morality. The first of these proposes that ethical obligations arising from “more venerable and intimate” communities should take precedence over those arising from “more recently emerged and impersonal” communities, while the second proposes that “stronger” interests should take precedence over “weaker” ones. Callicott’s first second-order principle fails to specify unambiguously which communities’ obligations should take precedence (...) because he has failed to provide a clear description of how we are to identify and compare communities. In order for his second second-order principle to be useful, a good deal more work needs to be done to spell out what is meant by describing certain interests as “stronger” than others, particularly with respect to holistic entities. While the project of fleshing out a description of the strengths of interests for holistic entities may present an interesting and fruitful challenge, the prospects for providing a description of community identification of the sort that Callicott requires are much dimmer. (shrink)
In all the criticisms that have shadowed the financial industry in recent years, the burden seems to be, that the reckless (as opposed to malicious) bankers too often took money of which they were the appointed stewards, and used it for speculation, especially in junk bonds. AsShaheen Borna and James Lowry argue in their "Gambling and Speculation" (the only article on gambling that I was able to raise on my computer) business speculation is probably wrong, since it is very like (...) gambling, which everyone knows is wrong. But why is gambling wrong? Ifwe, as the ethicists of business, are to adopt an uncharacteristically judgmental posture toward the most venerable American institutions, occupying the tallest and closest of American buildings, by calling their residents "gambIers," then surely we ought to be able to provide an account of the blameworthiness of gambling itself. That, at any rate, is the challenge I set myself for this paper. (shrink)
Ethicists in and out of the profession have argued that a journalist's precept to report only the truth is deduced, say, from utilitarianism's appeal to social utility or Rawls' appeal to justice as fairness. The mistake in this is indicated by an argument that the physician owes his or her professional ethic to the human need for health and the lawyer's to the human need for justice. The journalist, therefore, may well owe his or her professional regard for truthful reporting (...) to everyone's need for news?a critical element in a democratic society. So, instead of basing journalistic ethics in the fashionable moral philosophies of the modern era, it is better to argue that it grows out of the special nature of the craft, as imbedded in a more venerable notion of self fulfilling social responsibility. (shrink)
Chow ably defends classical significance testing by relating this method to venerable principles for inductive reasoning. Chow's success does not preclude the use of other approaches to statistical reasoning, which is fortunate not only for Bayesian rivals, but even for some fellow classicists.
Unlike all the major thinkers in the phenomenological tradition, but contemporary French philosophers as well, who are indebted to this tradition, Jacques Derrida, it seems, has never explicitly taken up the venerable question of philosophy’s origin in wonder. Is one to conclude from this that Derrida’s philosophy is a philosophy without wonder? Yet, what would it mean to philosophize without wonder? Or, by contrast, is Derrida’s philosophical thought engaged in multiplying wonder with the result that there is in his (...) thought more wonder than one thinks? (shrink)
This article, which was originally presented at the annual conference of the Venerable John Henry Newman Association at Villanova University in July 2005, examines the “religious formation” of students at the Catholic University of Ireland as presented by Newman in his university sermons and discourses. Newman wanted the students to develop not only intellectually, but also religiously and morally. He saw tutors as critical to this process of formation.
Clerical workers are an important segment of the work force. Catholic social teachings and eucharistic practice shed useful morallight on the increase in contingent work arrangements among clerical workers. The venerable concept of “the universal destination of the goods of creation” and a newer understanding of technology as “a shared workbench” illuminate the importance of good jobs for clerical workers. However, in order to apply Catholic social teachings to issues concerning clerical work as women’s work, sexist elements in traditional (...) Catholic social teachings must be critically assessed. Participation in the Eucharist helps share a moral stance of inclusivity and sensitivity to forms of social marginalization. While actual practice fails fully to embody gender or racial inclusivity, participation in the inclusive table fellowship of the Eucharist should make business leaders question treating contingent workers as a peripheral work force. (shrink)
Ruchkin et al.'s theoretical conclusions reflect two venerable fallacies. They confound an experimental paradigm with a theoretical concept, and they assume that features of the paradigm that are most readily detected by their methods provide an adequate account of the operation of the theoretical system. This results in a simplistic theory that does not do justice to the richness of the available data.
Darwin's inner voice -- Living the virtuous life -- Of altruism and free riders -- Knowing our immediate predecessors -- Resurrecting some venerable ancestors -- A natural Garden of Eden -- The positive side of social selection -- Learning morals across the generations -- Work of the moral majority -- Pleistocene ups, downs, and crashes -- Testing the selection-by-reputation hypothesis -- The evolution of morals -- Epilogue: humanity's moral future.
The United States Supreme Court's decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly is creating quite a stir. Suddenly gone is the famous loosey-goosey rule of Conley v. Gibson that a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.Now a complaint must provide enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible (...) on its face. Only decided last May, Bell Atlantic has been cited in over 3,700 cases. Already being described as a landmark decision, Bell Atlantic nonetheless has lawyers and judges scratching their heads over the precise pleading standard to apply in its wake. As the Second Circuit (mildly) put it, Considerable uncertainty concerning the standard for assessing the adequacy of pleadings has recently been created by the Supreme Court's decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. Just what is a plausible showing that the pleader is entitled to relief under Rule 8(a)(2)?I believe an answer lies in the 26-year-old decision of the Former Fifth Circuit in In re Plywood Antitrust Litigation. Plywood Antitrust requires, at a minimum, that a complaint . . . contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain a recovery under some viable legal theory. Already used in more than half the circuits, this standard paraphrases advice found in the venerable WRIGHT & MILLER for nearly 40 years.Properly applied, this all . . . material elements standard satisfies Bell Atlantic's plausibility requirement in all respects. The Plywood Antitrust pleading standard works well after Bell Atlantic, first, because the Supreme Court referred to the standard, albeit parenthetically, with approval in Bell Atlantic. Second, it does much to harmonize the Federal Rules' goal of dispensing with pleading technicalities while still requiring enough general factual information about a pleader's claim to make the notice in notice pleading meaningful. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it gives lawyers, litigants, and courts a standard they can actually use when drafting, or assessing the sufficiency of, pleadings. (shrink)
A venerable philosophical tradition claims that only language users possess concepts. But this makes conceptual thought out to be an implausibly rarified achievement. A more recent tradition, based in cognitive science, maintains that any creature who can systematically recombine its representational capacities thereby deploys concepts. But this makes conceptual thought implausibly widespread. I argue for a middle ground: it is sufficient for conceptual thought that one be able to entertain many of the thoughts produced by recombining one.
A venerable philosophical tradition claims that only language users possess concepts. But this makes conceptual thought out to be an implausibly rarified achievement. A more recent tradition, based in cognitive science, maintains that any creature who can systematically recombine its representational capacities thereby deploys concepts. But this makes conceptual thought implausibly widespread. I argue for a middle ground: it is sufficient for conceptual thought that one be able to entertain many of the thoughts produced by recombining one’s representational capacities, (...) so long as one can do this apart from a direct confrontation with the represented states of affairs. (shrink)