Contains fourteen essays and an introduction addressing the main areas of scholarly interest for Richard W. Davis, Professor Emeritus, Washington University, St Louis Questions how individuals envision the public good in modern Britain and how, through religious and moral beliefs, coupled with wisdom and political savvy, they can improve the public good through the ever-changing nineteenth century political institutions Essays range from studies of local electoral politics and parliamentary reform campaign to national political party organization, high politics and the (...) role religion and empire played in the creation of national policy Examines the influence of individuals on the political process through their professional work in historical and philosophical writing, journalism and missionary work at home and abroad Provides new original research in the area of modern British political history together in Parliamentary History. (shrink)
"Follow the money" has been the operational rule for historians and investigative journalists since at least the Watergate era, if not earlier. Futurists do not have a money trail to follow, but instead must predict the trajectory of economic relations based on assumptions of what technological and social developments the future may hold. Many futurists assume that nanotechnology in combination with Artificial Intelligence (AI) will yield a world of material abundance with little or no need for human labor. The nano/AI (...) cornucopia will rain down wealth upon one and all, giving slackers and solid workaholics equal access to almost anything they could ever need or want. But is this really the most likely scenario? (shrink)
H. P. Grice virtually discovered the phenomenon of implicature (to denote the implications of an utterance that are not strictly implied by its content). Gricean theory claims that conversational implicatures can be explained and predicted using general psycho-social principles. This theory has established itself as one of the orthodoxes in the philosophy of language. Wayne Davis argues controversially that Gricean theory does not work. He shows that any principle-based theory understates both the intentionality of what a speaker implicates and (...) the conventionality of what a sentence implicates. In developing his argument the author explains that the psycho-social principles actually define the social function of implicature conventions, which contribute to the satisfaction of those principles. This challenging book will be of importance to philosophers of language and linguists, especially those working in pragmatics and sociolinguistics. (shrink)
Abstract MacFarlane distinguishes “context sensitivity” from “indexicality,” and argues that “nonindexical contextualism” has significant advantages over the standard indexical form. MacFarlane’s substantive thesis is that the extension of an expression may depend on an epistemic standard variable even though its content does not. Focusing on ‘knows,’ I will argue against the possibility of extension dependence without content dependence when factors such as meaning, time, and world are held constant, and show that MacFarlane’s nonindexical contextualism provides no advantages over indexical contextualism. (...) The discussion will shed light on the definition of indexicals as well as the meaning of ‘knows,’ and highlight important constraints on the way meaning can be represented in semantics. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9831-1 Authors Wayne A. Davis, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116. (shrink)
Michael Davis, a leading figure in the study of professional ethics, offers here both a compelling exploration of engineering ethics and a philosophical analysis of engineering as a profession. After putting engineering in historical perspective, Davis turns to the Challenger space shuttle disaster to consider the complex relationship between engineering ideals and contemporary engineering practice. Here, Davis examines how social organization and technical requirements define how engineers should (and presumably do) think. Later chapters test his analysis of (...) engineering judgement and autonomy empirically, engaging a range of social science research including a study of how engineers and managers work together in ten different companies. (shrink)
Wayne Davis presents a highly original approach to the foundations of semantics, showing how the so-called "expression" theory of meaning can handle names and other problematic cases of nondescriptive meaning. The fact that thoughts have parts ("ideas" or "concepts") is fundamental: Davis argues that like other unstructured words, names mean what they do because they are conventionally used to express atomic or basic ideas. In the process he shows that many pillars of contemporary philosophical semantics, from twin earth (...) arguments to the necessity of identity, are unfounded. (shrink)
In this compelling book, John B. Davis examines the change and development in Keynes's philosophical thinking, from his earliest work through to The General Theory, arguing that Keynes came to believe himself mistaken about a number of his early philosophical concepts. The author begins by looking at the unpublished 'Apostles' papers, written under the influence of the philosopher G. E. Moore. These display the tensions in Keynes's early philosophical views, and outline his philosophical concepts of the time, including the (...) concept of intuition. Davis then shows how Keynes's later philosophy is implicit in the economic argument of The General Theory. He argues that Keynes's philosophy had by this time changed radically, and that he had abandoned the concept of intuition for the concept of convention. The author sees this as being the central idea in The General Theory, and looks at the philosophical nature of this concept of convention in detail. (shrink)
The present paper is a rejoinder to Michael Martin’s “Reply to Davis” (Philo vol. 2, no. 1), which was a response to my “Is Belief in theResurrection Rational? A Response to Michael Martin” (ibid.), which was itself a response to Martin’s “Why the Resurrection is Initially Improbable” (Philo vol. 1, no. 1), which in turn was a critique of various of my own writings on resurrection, especially Risen Indeed: Making Sense of the Resurrection.
Does general validity or real world validity better represent the intuitive notion of logical truth for sentential modal languages with an actuality connective? In (Philosophical Studies 130:436–459, 2006) I argued in favor of general validity, and I criticized the arguments of Zalta (Journal of Philosophy 85:57–74, 1988) for real world validity. But in Nelson and Zalta (Philosophical Studies 157:153–162, 2012) Michael Nelson and Edward Zalta criticize my arguments and claim to have established the superiority of real world validity. Section 1 (...) of the present paper introduces the problem and sets out the basic issues. In Sect. 2 I consider three of Nelson and Zalta’s arguments and find all of them deficient. In Sect. 3 I note that Nelson and Zalta direct much of their criticism at a phrase (‘true at a world from the point of view of some distinct world as actual’) I used only inessentially in Hanson (Philosophical Studies 130:436–459, 2006), and that their account of the philosophical foundations of modal semantics leaves them ill equipped to account for the plausibility of modal logics weaker than S5. Along the way I make several general suggestions for ways in which philosophical discussions of logical matters–especially, but not limited to, discussions of truth and logical truth for languages containing modal and indexical terms–might be facilitated and made more productive. (shrink)
Although organizational commitment continues to interest researchers because of its positive effects on organizations, we know relatively little about the effects of the ethical context on organizational commitment. As such, we contribute to the organizational commitment field by assessing the effects of ethical climates (Victor and Cullen, 1987, 1988) on organizational commitment. We hypothesized that an ethical climate of benevolence has a positive relationship with organizational commitment while egoistic climate is negatively related to commitment. Results supported our propositions for (...) both a benevolent climate and an egoistic climate. We also hypothesized that a principled climate is positively related to organizational commitment for professional workers but has no relationships for nonprofessional workers. Results supported this hypothesis. (shrink)
Ethics and the University brings together the practice of ethics in the university (academic ethics) and the teaching of practical or applied ethics in the university. The book offers an explanation of practical ethics' recent emergence as a university subject, discusses research ethics, and explores the teaching of practical ethics, including sexual ethics. Michael Davis situates the subject of ethics within the university into a wider social and historical context that will be helpful in sorting out the complex issues.
The problem of the will has long been viewed as central to Heidegger's later thought. In the first book to focus on this problem, Bret W. Davis clarifies key issues from the philosopher's later period--particularly his critique of the culmination of the history of metaphysics in the technological "will to will" and the possibility of Gelassenheit or "releasement" from this willful way of being in the world--but also shows that the question of will is at the very heart of (...) Heidegger's thinking, a pivotal issue in his path from Being and Time (1926) to "Time and Being" (1962). Moreover, the book demonstrates why popular critical interpretations of Heidegger's relation to the will are untenable, how his so-called "turn" is not a simple "turnaround" from voluntarism to passivism. Davis explains why the later Heidegger's key notions of "non-willing" and " Gelassenheit " do not imply a mere abandonment of human action; rather, they are signposts in a search for an other way of being, a "higher activity" beyond the horizon of the will. While elucidating this search, his work also provides a critical look at the ambiguities, tensions, and inconsistencies of Heidegger's project, and does so in a way that allows us to follow the inner logic of the philosopher's struggles. As meticulous as it is bold, this comprehensive reinterpretation will change the way we think about Heidegger's politics and about the thrust of his philosophy as a whole. (shrink)
Grice’s Razor is a methodological principle that many philosophers and linguists have used to help justify pragmatic explanations of linguistic phenomena over semantic explanations. A number of authors in the debate over contextualism argue that an invariant semantics together with Grice’s (1975) conversational principles can account for the contextual variability of knowledge claims. I show here that the defense of Grice’s Razor found in these “Gricean invariantists,” and its use against epistemic contextualism, display all the problems pointed out earlier in (...)Davis (1998). The everyday variation in acceptable knowledge claims is better explained in terms of implicature than indexicality, but general conversational principles shed little light on whether ‘know’ is used hyperbolically, meiotically, or loosely in a context, although this issue is crucial in deciding what if anything ‘S knows p’ implicates. I present reasons favoring an account of the representative bank case in terms of loose use, making clear how they differ from Grice’s Razor. (shrink)
'This is the most lucid and engaged account of Stuart Hall's work. Meticulously, and with an exemplary generosity, Helen Davis patiently unravels the threads of Hall's intellectual history. The result is a most useful and thoughtful book, which could prove to be indispensable for students of cultural studies' - Graeme Turner, University of Queensland Understanding Stuart Hall traces the development of one of the most influential and respected figures within cultural studies. Focusing on Stuart Hall's writings over a period (...) of nearly fifty years, this volume offers students and academics a cogent and exploratory route through complex and overlapping areas of analysis. In her critical assessment of Hall's most important contributions to academic and public debate, Davis shows the extent to which his analyses of race and ethnicity have been informed by early studies of Marxism, class and 'societies structured in dominance'. Davis offers fresh insight into the formation of one of the most prolific, charismatic and controversial intellectuals of his generation. Despite having been branded a 'cultural pessimist', Stuart Hall has long been associated with encouraging new, cutting-edge scholarship within the field. This volume concludes with a discussion of Hall's most recent political and academic interventions and his continuing commitment to innovation within the visual arts. (shrink)
Wayne A. Davis uses his theory of happiness to clarify and deepen Rand's theory of emotion. He distinguishes belief from knowledge, volitive from appetitive desire, and occurrent thinking from believing. He suggests that values in Rand's sense are things we volitively desire. Happiness is defined in terms of the sum of the products of the degree of belief and (volitive) desire functions over all thoughts. Davis then evaluates such Randian maxims as that happiness cannot be achieved (...) by the pursuit of irrational whims, and that emotions are not tools of cognition, but products of one's premises—one's philosophy. (shrink)
This paper is motivated by Davis’  theory of the individual in economics. Davis’ analysis is applied to health economics, where the individual is conceived as a utility maximiser, although capable of regarding others’ welfare through interdependent utility functions. Nonetheless, this provides a restrictive and flawed account, engendering a narrow and abstract conception of care grounded in Paretian value and Cartesian analytical frames. Instead, a richer account of the socially embedded individual is advocated, which employs collective intentionality analysis. (...) This provides a sound foundation for research into an approach to health policy that promotes health as a basic human right. (shrink)
If intense pain is “world-destroying,” as Elaine Scarry has argued, one of the ways nurses respond to that loss is by re-enacting the commonplace—both in practice and in writing—through daily, accumulating acts of care. Such care poses a critique of medicine’s emphasis on the exceptional moment and stresses forms of physical tending that are quotidian rather than heroic, ongoing rather than permanent or conclusive. I develop this view of care through the writings of nurses like Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, (...) Cortney Davis and Joyce Renwick. (shrink)
In England, current government policy on children's reading is strongly prescriptive, insisting on the delivery of a pure and exclusive form of synthetic phonics, where letter sounds are learned and blended in order to ‘read’ text. A universally imposed phonics ‘check’ is taken by all five year olds and the results are widely reported. These policies are underpinned by the claim that research has shown systematic synthetic phonics to be the most effective way of teaching children to read. Andrew (...) class='Hi'>Davis argues that there is a basic problem with this claim. Whatever it is that empirical researchers take themselves to be doing when they investigate synthetic phonics, they are not investigating a specifiable method of teaching reading. This is for two reasons. First, there are no such things as specifiable methods of teaching. Teaching is a vastly complex human activity involving contextual and reactive practical judgments that are responsive to the myriad contingencies of classroom life. The idea that teachers might proceed by way of prescribed methods rather than practical judgments is simply a fantasy. Second, teaching children to correlate letter combinations with sounds, and to blend sounds into sequences, is not teaching them to read. Reading is a matter of grasping meaning conveyed by text. While sustained attention to letter-sound correspondences can be helpful to some novice readers, we should neither assume that it is helpful to all nor confuse mastery of such correspondences with the ability to read. Davis's challenge to government policy on the teaching of reading, and to the empirical research that supposedly underpins it, is timely, radical and compelling. The zeal with which synthetic phonics is championed by its advocates has been remarkably effective in pushing it to the top of the educational agenda; but we should not mistake zeal for warrant. (shrink)
In ‘Davis on Enjoyment: A Reply’, Richard Warner replies to three objections against his ‘Enjoyment’ that I raised in my ‘A Causal Theory of Enjoyment’, and concludes that one of my examples in fact demonstrates a serious deficiency of my own account. I argue that Warner’s replies to my objections are unsatisfactory, and that his objection to my account had a ready solution.
Arthur Diamond comments that "it is not clear how a donor distributes money through Hanson's market". Let me try again to be clear. Imagine David Levy were to seek funding for the regression he suggests in his comments, on the relative impact of sports versus science spending on aggregate productivity. Consider what might happen under three different funding institutions.
In this introduction to Part 1 of the Common Knowledge symposium, “Fuzzy Studies,” the journal's editor discusses four essays from the 1980s by Richard Rorty, in which Rorty chose to associate himself with various neopragmatists, Continental thinkers, and “left-wing Kuhnians” under the rubric of the “new fuzziness.” The term had been introduced as an insult by a philosopher of science with positivist leanings, but Rorty took it up as an “endearing” compliment, arguing that “to be less fuzzy” was also to (...) be “less genial, tolerant, open-minded, and fallibilist.” He defined the “new fuzziness” as “an attempt to blur just those distinctions between the objective and subjective and between fact and value which the critical conception of rationality has developed.” This introduction also examines W. V. Quine's essay “Speaking of Objects” (1957), which describes objects as fuzzy “half-entities”; Clifford Geertz's essay “Blurred Genres” (1980), which advises social scientists that being “taxonomically upstanding” is futile; and Lofti Zadeh's article “The Concept of a Linguistic Variable and Its Application to Approximate Reasoning” (1975), which abandons “Aristotelian, bivalent logic” in favor of a “fuzzy logic” based on Zadeh's “fuzzy set theory.” This introductory piece relates these theoretical works of the past half-century to the sorites paradox and to classical issues of vagueness raised and still unresolved in Western philosophy. Returning then to Rorty, the author questions how Rorty expected his endorsement of the “new fuzziness” to be applied, as proposed, to theology and politics. Suggesting that such applications are the natural work of historians, the author, having asked the historian Natalie Zemon Davis for comment, then quotes her response—which associates fuzzy studies, “common knowledge,” and peacemaking—at length. (shrink)
One might expect functionalism to imply that personal identity is preserved through various operations on the brain, including transplantation. I argue that this is not clearly so even where the whole brain is transplanted. It is definitely not so in cases where only the cerebrum is transplanted, a conceivable kind of hemispherectomy, and even certain cases in which the brain is "gradually" replaced by an inorganic substitute. These results distinguish functionalism from other accounts taking what Eric T. Olson calls the (...) "Psychological Approach" to personal identity, enabling it to avoid some of his objections to them. (shrink)
Sydney Shoemaker has claimed that functionalism, a theory about mental states, implies a certain theory about the identity over time of persons, the entities that have mental states. He also claims that persons can survive a "Brain-State-Transfer" procedure. My examination of these claims includes description and analysis of imaginary cases, but-notably-not appeals to our "intuitions" concerning them. It turns out that Shoemaker's basic insight is correct: there is a connection between the two theories. Specifically, functionalism implies that "non-branching functional continuity" (...) is sufficient for personal identity. But there is no implication that it is necessary. And the "BST" procedure may not preserve functional continuity. I consider several possibilities. On what may be the most attractive, the survivor of this-or any similar-procedure is not identical with the original person, but related to him or her as are the survivors in a case of fission. (shrink)
Christopher Peacocke has presented an original version of the perennial philosophical thesis that we can gain substantive metaphysical and epistemological insight from an analysis of our concepts. Peacocke's innovation is to look at how concepts are individuated by their possession conditions, which he believes can be specified in terms of conditions in which certain propositions containing those concepts are accepted. The ability to provide such insight is one of Peacocke's major arguments for his theory of concepts. I will critically examine (...) this "fruitfulness" argument by looking at one philosophical problem Peacocke uses his theory to solve and treats in depth. Peacocke (1999, 2001) defines what he calls the "Integration Challenge." The challenge is to integrate our metaphysics with our epistemology by showing that they are mutually acceptable. Peacocke's key conclusion is that the Integration Challenge can be met for "epistemically individuated concepts." A good theory of content, he believes, will close the apparent gap between an account of truth for any given subject matter and an overall account of knowledge. I shall argue that there are no epistemically individuated concepts, and shall critically analyze Peacocke's arguments for their existence. I will suggest more generally that the possession conditions of concepts and their principles of individuation shed little light on the epistemology or metaphysics of things other than concepts. My broader goal is to shed light on what concepts are by showing that they are more fundamental than the sorts of cognitive and epistemic factors a leading theory uses to define them. (shrink)
: Because I reject the notion that physical characteristics constitute cultural membership, I argue that, even if the claim were persuasive that deafness is a culture rather than a disability, there is no reason to fault hearing parents who choose cochlear implants for their deaf children.
Social externalism implies that many competences are not personal assets separable from social and cultural environments but complex states of affairs involving individuals and persisting features of social reality. The paper explores the consequences for competence identity over time and across contexts, and hence for the predictive role usually accorded to competences.
A random sample of 207 national business consultants is employed to test the effects of individual values and professional ethics on consulting behavior. The results suggest that the individual values held by consultants are positively correlated with professional ethics, but are negatively correlated with consulting behavior. Moreover, there appears to be no significant relationship between the professional ethics of consultants and business consulting behavior. Findings and issues regarding the effectiveness of codes of ethics and implications for both the provider and (...) recipient of professional consulting services are discussed. (shrink)