Donald MacKay's description of the embodiment of an efficacious conscious mind is reviewed as a version of non-reductive physicalism. Particular focus is given to MacKay's analysis of the emergence of consciousness in the capacity for self-evaluation which results from informational feedback regarding the results of action. Unique to MacKay's posthumously published Gifford Lectures is his analysis of agents in dialog as a particular form of an environmental feedback loop. His analysis of dialog is reviewed and expanded to encompass concepts (...) of a First and Second Order Theory of Mind. Finally, MacKay's view of the status of the soul is considered, and the particular role of dialogue as critical to the instantiation of soul is suggested. (shrink)
The theory of embodied cognition makes the claim that our cognitive processes are, at their core, sensorimotor, situated, and action-relevant. Our mental system is built primarily to control action, and so mind is formed by the nature of the body and its interactions with the world. In this paper we will explore the nature of virtue and its formation from the perspective of embodied cognition. We specifically describe exemplars of the virtue of compassion (caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities in (...) L'Arche communities), speculating as to what might have been the formative influences in their character development. Embodied formation is understood in the context of the openness of human cortical systems to formation by social interactions, and in terms of the openness to reorganization and change of complex dynamical systems. Specific formative influences explored include interpersonal imitation, social attachment, language, and story. (shrink)
Time travelers and battles between people and machines provoke old philosophical questions: Can the past really be changed? How do we differentiate ourselves from machines? Can machines have an inner life? Brown (philosophy & critical thinking, LaGuardia Community Coll.) and Decker (philosophy, Eastern Washington Univ.; coeditor, Star Wars and Philosophy ) collect 19 essays by primarily young academics who pursue these questions with entertaining verve and philosophical skill. The Terminator story is about something well intentioned—a defense project—going wrong, but (...) none of the essays here presses this issue to a clear conclusion (readers whose interest is aroused would do well to read Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen's Moral Machines , concerned with actual machines and ones that might soon exist). Among the book's bright spots are contributions from Harry Chotiner and Jennifer Culver that show us something about how the movies work and explore the feminist issues posed by placing Sarah Connor at the center of the story. One essayist, Phillip Seng, addresses the philosophical trouble at the heart of the tale: telling good from evil in politics is hard. This book will earn a place in libraries by presenting serious issues in a way that attracts readers.—Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa, Ont. (shrink)
In his Comment , Richard Arlen Kleer accepts much of the argument in my article (Brown, 1991) but insists that I have (Kleer, 1993). Kleer agrees that there is a moral hierarchy in Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) where benevolence and self-command are ranked higher than justice and prudence, but he is uneasy with the conclusion that economic activity and the pursuit of gain are activities and insists that they do have a significant moral standing. In addition, (...) although Kleer accepts a good deal of the stylistic analysis, again he is uneasy with the results that are derived from it. This reply will take each of these aspects in turn. (shrink)
Originally published in 1966 and now recognized as a classic, Norman O. Brown's meditation on the condition of humanity and its long fall from the grace of a natural, instinctual innocence is available once more for a new generation of readers. Love's Body is a continuation of the explorations begun in Brown's famous Life Against Death . Rounding out the trilogy is Brown's brilliant Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis.
In the first part of this paper, I will sketch the main features of traditional models of evidence, indicating idealizations in such models that I regard as doing more harm than good. I will then proceed to elaborate on an alternative model of evidence that is functionalist, complex, dynamic, and contextual, which I will call DYNAMIC EVIDENTIAL FUNCTIONALISM. I will demonstrate its application to an illuminating example of scientific inquiry, and defend it from some likely objections. In the second part, (...) I will use that alternative to solve a variety of classic and contemporary problems in the literature on scientific evidence having to do with the empirical basis of science and the use of evidence in public policy. (shrink)
The issue of meaningful yet unexpressed background-to language and to our experiences of the body-is one whose exploration is still in its infancy. There are various aspects of ''invisible,'' implicit, or background experiences which have been investigated from the viewpoints of phenomenology, cognitive psychology, and linguistics. I will argue that James's concept of the phenomenon of fringes, as explicated by Gurwitsch, provides a structural framework from which to investigate and better understand ideas and concepts that are indeterminate, particularly those experienced (...) in the sense of being sought-after. Johnson's conception of the image-schematic gestalt (ISG) provides an approach to bridging the descriptive gap between phenomenology and cognitive psychology. Starting from an analysis of the fringes, I will turn to a consideration of the tip-of-tongue (TOT) state, as a kind of feeling-of-knowing (FOK) state, from a variety of approaches, focusing mainly on cognitive psychology and phenomenology. I will then integrate a phenomenological analysis of these experiences, from the James/Gurwitsch structural viewpoint, with a cognitive/phenomenological analysis in terms of ISGs, and further integrate that with a cognitive/functional analysis of the relation between consciousness and retrieval, employing Anderson et al's theory of inhibitory mechanisms in cognition. This synthesis of these viewpoints will be employed to explore the thesis that the TOT state and similar experiences may relate to the gestalt nature of schemas, and that figure/ground and other contrast-enhancing structures may be both explanatory and descriptive characterizations of the field of consciousness. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the `Lorentzian Pedagogy' defended by J.S. Bell in his essay ``How to teach special relativity'', and to explore its consistency with Einstein's thinking from 1905 to 1952. Some remarks are also made in this context on Weyl's philosophy of relativity and his 1918 gauge theory. Finally, it is argued that the Lorentzian pedagogy---which stresses the important connection between kinematics and dynamics---clarifies the role of rods and clocks in general relativity.
Ron Giere's recent book Scientific Perspectivism sets out an account of science that attempts to forge a via media between two popular extremes: absolutist, objectivist realism on the one hand, and social constructivism or skeptical anti-realism on the other. The key for Giere is to treat both scientific observation and scientific theories as perspectives, which are limited, partial, contingent, context-, agent- and purpose-dependent, and pluralism-friendly, while nonetheless world-oriented and modestly realist. Giere's perspectivism bears significant similarly to early writings by Paul (...) Feyerabend and John Dewey. Comparing these to Giere's work not only uncovers a consilience of ideas, but also can help to fill out Giere's account in places where it is under-developed, as well as helping us understand the work of these earlier authors and their continuing relevance to contemporary concerns in philosophy of science. (shrink)
The recent move to naturalize phenomenology through a mathematical protocol is a significant advance in consciousness research. It enables a new and fruitful level of dialogue between the cognitive sciences and phenomenology of such a nuanced kind that it also prompts advancement in our phenomenological analyses. But precisely what is going on at this point of ‘dialogue’ between phenomenological descriptions and mathematical algorithms, the latter of which are based on dynamical systems theory? It will be shown that what is happening (...) is something more than a mere ‘passing of the baton’ from phenomenology to mathematics. For this sophisticated naturalization to prove a worthy endeavour it must produce more than just correlation, it must prove some form of interrelation to the extent that phenomenology is deterministic. But such interrelational and deterministic requirements are the start of a slippery slope, and it will be argued that this slope only loses more friction once a further demand of formal and precise descriptions is made of phenomenology. Such deterministic and formally precise demands misconstrue phenomenology’s ideal goal of a unification of genuine/originary reason and truth. Not a deductive and definitive discipline, phenomenology is rather from the outset descriptive and critical. Phenomenology’s descriptive beginnings will thus be employed as an essential barrier to the naturalization of phenomenology. (shrink)
Plato's Republic centers on a simple question: is it always better to be just than unjust? The puzzles in Book One prepare for this question, and Glaucon and Adeimantus make it explicit at the beginning of Book Two. To answer the question, Socrates takes a long way around, sketching an account of a good city on the grounds that a good city would be just and that defining justice as a virtue of a city would help to define justice as (...) a virtue of a human being. Socrates is finally close to answering the question after he characterizes justice as a personal virtue at the end of Book Four, but he is interrupted and challenged to defend some of the more controversial features of the good city he has sketched. In Books Five through Seven, he addresses this challenge, arguing (in effect) that the just city and the just human being as he has sketched them are in fact good and are in principle possible. After this long digression, Socrates in Books Eight and Nine finally delivers three "proofs" that it is always better to be just than unjust. Then, because Socrates wants not only to show that it is always better to be just but also to convince Glaucon and Adeimantus of this point, and because Socrates' proofs are opposed by the teachings of poets, he bolsters his case in Book Ten by indicting the poets' claims to represent the truth and by offering a new myth that is consonant with his proofs. (shrink)
This article is a critical review of Terry Eagleton’s latest publication, Why Marx Was Right (2011). Eagleton, one of the more celebrated Marxist literary critics in academia, presents his readers with a manifesto of Marxian individualism for the budding theoreticians of market socialism. This book represents Eagleton’s latest sally from [...].
n 1909, the 50th anniversary of both the publication of Origin of the Species and his own birth, John Dewey published "The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy." This optimistic essay saw Darwin's advance not only as one of empirical or theoretical biology, but a logical and conceptual revolution that would shake every corner of philosophy. Dewey tells us less about the influence that Darwin exerted over philosophy over the past 50 years and instead prophesied the influence it would (or should) (...) take in the future. I will discuss this landmark paper and the key lessons Dewey draws from Darwinism for philosophy, and give a preliminary assessment of how well we've done so far. (Dewey would be largely disappointed.). (shrink)
In recent years, pragmatism in general and John Dewey in particular have been of increasing interest to philosophers of science. Dewey's work provides an interesting alternative package of views to those which derive from the logical empiricists and their critics, on problems of both traditional and more recent vintage. Dewey's work ought to be of special interest to recent philosophers of science committed to the program of analyzing ``science in practice.'' The core of Dewey's philosophy of science is his theory (...) of inquiry---what he called ``logic.'' There is a major lacuna in the literature on this point, however: no contemporary philosophers of science have engaged with Dewey's logical theory, and scholars of Dewey's logic have rarely made connections with philosophy of science. This paper aims to fill this gap, to correct some significant errors in the interpretation of key ideas in Dewey's logical theory, and to show how Dewey's logic provides resources for a philosophy of science. (shrink)
Ronald Dworkin’s work on the topic of equality over the past twenty-five years or so has been enormously influential, generating a great deal of debate about equality both as a practical aim and as a theoretical ideal. The present article attempts to assess the importance of one particular aspect of this work. Dworkin claims that the acceptance of abstract egalitarian rights to equal concern and respect can be thought to provide a kind of plateau in political argument, accommodating as it (...) does a number of well-known ethical theories of social arrangement from utilitarianism to libertarianism. The article explores the moral foundations of these egalitarian rights and critically examines five specific reasons for supposing they matter in political debate. It is argued that though these reasons are perhaps less constructive than they might be reasonably expected to be, there is another more fundamental question we can ask about the scope of egalitarian rights the answer to which might ultimately help to explain their fundamental nature and importance. That question is: equality among whom? (shrink)
It is argued that awareness of the distinction between dynamical and variational symmetries is crucial to understanding the significance of Noether's 1918 work. Specific attention is paid, by way of a number of striking examples, to Noether's first theorem, which establishes a correlation between dynamical symmetries and conservation principles.
In mill the principle of utility does not ascribe rightness or wrongness to anything. It governs not just morality but the whole art of life. It says that happiness is the only thing desirable as an end. But the meaning of this formulation is problematic, Since mill's theory of practical reason conceives this desirability as an end as generating reasons for action for all agents in a way implying impartiality between self and others, Whereas in the ordinary sense it does (...) not. This interpretation is supported by detailed textual analysis. (shrink)
A comparison is made of the traditional Loschmidt (reversibility) and Zermelo (recurrence) objections to Boltzmann's H-theorem, and its simplified variant in the Ehrenfests' 1912 wind-tree model. The little-cited 1896 (pre-recurrence) objection of Zermelo (similar to an 1889 argument due to Poincare) is also analysed. Significant differences between the objections are highlighted, and several old and modern misconceptions concerning both them and the H-theorem are clarified. We give (...) particular emphasis to the radical nature of Poincare's and Zermelo's attack, and the importance of the shift in Boltzmann's thinking in response to the objections as a whole. (shrink)
Adam Smith's name has become synonymous with free market economics. Recent scholarship has given us a richer, more nuanced figure, steeped in the intricacies of enlightenment social and political philosophy. Adam Smith's Discourse develops this literature and gives it a radical new dimension. The first book on Adam Smith to deal with recent debates in literary theory, this interdisciplinary work examines Smith's major texts and places them within the context of enlightenment thought. It considers Smith's major writings--the Lectures on (...) Jurisprudence and On Rhetoric and Belles Letters as well as The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations --and places each within its own discursive context and with reference to its stylistic and rhetorical features. Adam Smith's Discourse debunks the view of Smith as a dogmatic free-marketeer. In its place, the book offers a portrait of a more skeptical, philosophical andpolitically focused figure. It shows that Smith's enthusiasm for the transition to a society based on trade and manufacturing was tinged with a more dispassionate recognition of the losses as well as the benefits derived from commercial society. (shrink)
HOME . ABOUT US . CONTACT US HELP . PUBLISH WITH US . LIBRARIANS Search in or Explore Browse Publications A-Z Browse Subjects A-Z Advanced Search University of Cambridge SIGN IN Register | Why Register? | Sign Out | Got a Voucher? prev abstract next Two Approaches to Reading the Historical Descartes A Devout Catholic? Knowledge of The Mental Thought and Language Descartes as A Natural Philosopher Substance Dualism Notes Two Approaches to Reading the Historical Descartes Author: Desmond M. Clarke (...) DOI: 10.1080/09608780902986680 Publication Frequency: 5 issues per year Published in: British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Volume 17, Issue 3 June 2009 , pages 601 - 616 John Cottingham: Cartesian Reflections: Essays on Descartes's Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) 40.00 (hb.). ISBN 978-0-19-922697-9 John Cottingham, in a new collection of essays, asks the question: 'what exactly did Descartes himself chiefly take himself to be doing?' (254). 1 While the question is relatively clear, and while it acknowledges implicitly that Descartes was probably doing a range of different things, the answer that is apparently proposed here emerges only on reading the whole collection. Cottingham distinguishes in Chapter 1 - which is a new, synoptic overview of what is discussed in the other chapters, all of which were previously published - between two approaches to reading Descartes. One is to see him as 'a dummy on which to drape various suspect doctrines (such as “Cartesian dualism”)' (3), which contemporary analytic philosophers have shown to be radically mistaken. Another approach is adopted by historians of ideas 'who make it their life's work to pay meticulous scholarly attention to the philosophical works of past ages' (3). Cottingham does not explicitly criticize either of these approaches, but he hints at situating his own as some kind of Aristotelian middle course between the two. Since the two reference points are dangerously close to straw men or what Cottingham calls 'extreme positions', the proposed middle way may simply combine elements of two approaches, each of which is entirely legitimate. I return to this question at the conclusion. In fact, many of these essays were intended to show (rightly!) that Descartes never held the philosophical positions that are often attributed to him. The interpretation of Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, provides a good example of how mistaken one can be: The Cogito ergo sum radically changed the way of doing philosophy … After Descartes, philosophy became a science of pure thought: all that is being- the created world, and even the Creator, is situated within the ambit of the Cogito, as contents of human consciousness. Philosophy is concerned with beings as contained in consciousness, and not as existing independently of it. (257) The only way to address such a caricature is to refer back to what Descartes actually wrote. Cottingham does precisely that, often quoting the original Latin or French texts. However, having shown successfully, by a close reading of the texts, that Descartes did not hold many of the views that are attributed to him, it still remains to say what Descartes did hold or teach about various philosophical problems that retain their perennial interest for us. This is how the question arises, intermittently, about what Descartes thought he was 'chiefly' doing, or what was his primary objective, in the course of an intellectual career that spanned three decades. However, the apparently legitimate desire to bring Descartes' intellectual endeavours into sharp focus may be frustrated by the evidence. His life and work manifestly lack the coherence or unity of purpose that one finds, for example, among many of his French or Dutch contemporaries. It is comparatively easy to 'read' the life of Gisbertus Voetius as that of an unwavering Calvinist theologian, to see Antoine Arnauld as a staunch and consistent theological defender of Port Royal, and even to interpret the obviously fragmentary contents of Pascal's unpublished notebooks (subsequently, the Penses) as an extended search for authentic religious faith, in opposition to what he perceived as the corruption of ecclesial structures. In contrast, Descartes' life reveals features that are difficult to integrate into a coherent pattern. He lived and published during a critical juncture in the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. Although baptized into the Catholic Church soon after his birth in the Loire district of France, he chose to live most of his life in the aggressively Calvinist United Provinces, in which other religious practices were officially (though often ineffectively) banned. Descartes may have adopted the motto from Ovid, at least early in his career: 'bene vixit qui bene latuit' (he lives well who conceals himself well), and he seems genuinely to have wished to avoid theological controversies. However, he engaged in very public controversies with so many of his contemporaries - including Hobbes, Gassendi, the French Jesuits (collectively) and Father Dinet (in particular), Voetius and the University of Utrecht, Regius, Fermat, Roberval, Revius and other theologians at Leiden - that one might conclude that his claimed preference for a quiet life was a disingenuous mask. 2 Descartes published four books during his lifetime, and wrote at least one other that he had intended to publish. The latter was his first major composition, Le Monde, which he suppressed when he heard about Galileo's condemnation by Rome in 1633. This was followed, in 1637, by Descartes' first book (also written in French), which he tried to publish anonymously by withholding his name from the title page: the Discours de la methode pour bien conduire sa raison, & chercher la verit dans les sciences. Plus la dioptrique, les meteors, et la geometrie, qui sont des essais de cete methode. Four years later Descartes published the first edition (in Latin) of Meditationes de prima philosophia, in quibus Dei existentia et animae immortalitas demonstrator, which also included six sets of objections and replies. The Principia philosophiae appeared (in Latin) in Amsterdam in 1644, and was followed five years later by Les Passions de l'Ame (in French). 3 In parallel with these publications, Descartes carried on a very extensive correspondence over a thirty-year period (in both Latin and French), and preserved copies or drafts of his letters with a view to future publication. Given the range and variety of his interests, and the sheer volume of writings, published or otherwise, that have survived from his pen, one may be tempted to engage in a comparative evaluation, as Cottingham does, by selecting one of Descartes' books as his primary contribution to philosophy. Cottingham claims that the Meditations was Descartes''masterpiece' (44), 'the definitive statement of Descartes's philosophy' (45) and the 'definitive statement of his metaphysics' (68). He also describes the Meditations more narrowly as 'his metaphysical masterpiece' (259, 303) and, more broadly, as 'his philosophical masterpiece' (289), and he lists it with the Discours as one of Descartes' two 'masterworks' (280). The Principia offers some competition in this comparative judgement when it is described as 'the canonical presentation of his metaphysical views' (114), while 'the construction of a moral system … was the crowning aim of his philosophy' (231). Having pitched repeatedly for the Meditations as Descartes' primary text, Cottingham claims that its author was 'a devout Catholic' (215), that he was 'a devoutly religious philosopher' (256), and that he could not free himself 'from the influence of the long years of theological study he had dutifully completed at La Flche' (62). Accordingly, the Meditations should be read as 'in essence a work of theodicy' (220); 'what has pride of place in the construction of his philosophical system is … an appeal to God … the nature and existence of the Deity is something that lies at the very heart of his entire philosophical system' (255). Without quite saying so, there are hints here that Descartes was a devout Christian whose primary intellectual contribution was to write a work of metaphysics, in which God is central and in the course of which the author alternates between proving God's existence and contemplating God - the latter a seventeenth-century version of Bonaventure's Journey of the Soul to God. 'Descartes's attraction to a contemplative mode of philosophizing' (305) is reflected, in the Meditations, in 'the language of the soul's coming to rest in adoring contemplation of the light' (306). Cottingham also accepts the overwhelming evidence from Descartes' correspondence that he 'devoted most of his career not to metaphysics but to science' (108), although he quibbles elsewhere with those who adopt the shorthand term 'science' to describe part of what was called 'natural philosophy' in the seventeenth century (282). He also refers to the '(notoriously lame) argument for the essential incorporeality of the thinking self' in one of Descartes' masterworks (60), and he describes the 'strange, seemingly isolated world of his metaphysical meditations' (139), with its 'creaking ontology' (147), when read in isolation from the rest of his work as a natural philosopher. How should we read him, then, in the twenty-first century? A Devout Catholic? That Descartes was a devout Catholic is possible, unlikely and undecidable. He seems not to have studied theology at all while at school at La Flche, although he completed the pre-theology college cycle in the company of Jesuit students who then continued their studies in theology. Descartes consistently attempted to avoid public entanglement with religious and theological controversies, and said so frequently. 4 Given the alignments that prevailed at the time, both in France. (shrink)
In the first section of this paper I discuss what Leibniz meant by a miracle and why Leibniz’s definition of the best of all possible worlds implies that it is a world in which miracles are minimized. In the second part of the paper I argue that human happiness within the best of all possible worlds also requires, on Leibniz’s principles, that miracles must there be minimized. In the third section of the paper I consider what, if any, miracles actually (...) remain possible for Leibniz within the best of all possible worlds. In the final section I discuss one important kind of event upon which Leibniz vacillated whether it required miraculous intervention -- namely, the elevation of the sensitive soul to rationality -- and some speculation about the cause of this vacillation in Leibniz is offered. (shrink)
Taking a schizoanalytic approach to audio-visual images, this article explores some of the radical potentia for deterritorialisation found within David Fincher's Fight Club (1999). The film's potential for deterritorialisation is initially located in an exploration of the film's form and content, which appear designed to interrogate and transcend a series of false binaries between mind and body, inside and outside, male and female. Paying attention to the construction of photorealistic digital spaces and composited images, we examine the actual (and possible) (...) ways viewers relate to the film, both during and after screenings. Recognising the film as an affective force performing within our world, we also investigate some of the real-world effects the film catalysed. Finally, we propose that schizoanalysis, when applied to a Hollywood film, suggests that Deleuze underestimated the deterritorialising potential of contemporary, special effects-driven cinema. If schizoanalysis has thus been reterritorialised by mainstream products, we argue that new, ‘post-Deleuzian’ lines of flight are required to disrupt this ‘de-re-territorialisation’. (shrink)
While he was in the employ of the Elector of Mainz, between 1668 and 1671, Leibniz produced a series of important studies in natural law. One of these, dated between 1670 and 1671, is especially noteworthy since it contains Leibniz's earliest sustained attempt to develop an account of justice. Central to this account is the notion of what Leibniz would later come to call `disinterested love', a notion that remained essentially unchanged in Leibniz's work from this period to the end (...) of his life. Through his notion of disinterested love, Leibniz sought to resolve the supposed conflict between self- and other-regarding motives. For a variety of reasons, many commentators have failed to understand the basis of Leibniz's proposed resolution. My purpose in the present paper is to clarify the terms in which Leibniz effected this resolution, as well as to point out important developments in his later thought concerning the relation between pleasure, good, and happiness. (shrink)
Peer reporting is a specific form of whistelblowing in which an individual discloses the wrongdoing of a peer. Previous studies have examined situational variables thought to influence a person's decision to report the wrongdoing of a peer. The present study looked at peer reporting from the individual level. Five hypotheses were developed concerning the relationships between (1) religiosity and ethical ideology, (2) ethical ideology and ethical judgments about peer reporting, and (3) ethical judgments and intentions to report peer wrongdoing.Subjects read (...) a vignette concerning academic cheating, and were asked to respond to a question-naire concerning the vignette. Data were analyzed using structural equation methodology. (shrink)
Analysis of Emmy Noether’s 1918 theorems provides an illuminating method for testing the consequences of “coordinate generality”, and for exploring what else must be added to this requirement in order to give general covariance its far-reaching physical significance. The discussion takes us through Noether’s first and second theorems, and then a third related theorem due originally to F. Klein. Contact will also be made with the contributions of, principally, J.L. Anderson, A. Trautman, P.A.M. Dirac, R. Torretti and the father of (...) the whole business, A. Einstein (an apparent shift in Einstein’s thinking on the significance of general covariance between 1916 and 1918 is highlighted). (shrink)
In this paper we examine a puzzle recently posed by Aaron Preston for the traditional realist assay of property (quality) instances. Consider Socrates (a red round spot) and red1—Socrates’ redness. For the traditional realist, both of these entities are concrete particulars. Further, both involve redness being `tied to’ the same bare individuator. But then it appears that red1 is duplicated in its ‘thicker’ particular (Socrates), so that it can’t be predicated of Socrates without redundancy. According to Preston, this suggests that (...) a concrete particular and its property instances aren’t genuinely related. We argue that Preston’s proffered solution here—to treat property instances as “mental constructs”—is fraught with difficulty. We then go on to show how, by fine-tuning the nature of bare particulars, treating them as abstract modes of things rather than concrete particulars, the traditional realist can neatly evade Preston’s puzzle. (shrink)
Positioning Du Bois's arguments in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) within social theory enhances our understanding of the phenomenological dimensions of racial oppression and of how oppressed groups build on members' differences, as well as on what they share, to construct a cosmopolitan and richly textured community. Du Bois wrote Souls just at the beginning of the Great Migration but indicated that geographical dispersion would deepen racial solidarity, enhance the meaningfulness of community, and emancipate individual group members through participation (...) in mainstream society while maintaining their black identity. Du Bois's writings have powerful implications for understanding how to promote racial justice, and contemporary readers might consider that they have implications for social justice more generally. An analysis of black newspapers that were published during the period of 1900 to 1935 illustrates how Du Bois's conceptions were woven into discourse and everyday practices. (shrink)
Contemporary ways of understanding of science, especially in the philosophy of science, are beset by overly abstract and formal models of evidence. In such models, the only interesting feature of evidence is that it has a one-way ``support'' relation to hypotheses, theories, causal claims, etc. These models create a variety of practical and philosophical problems, one prominent example being the experimenter's regress. According to the experimenter's regress, good evidence is produced by good techniques, but which techniques are good is only (...) determined by whether they produce the evidence we expect. The best answer to this problem within the traditional approach relies on the concept of robust evidence, but this answer ultimately falls flat because it creates impossible requirements on good evidence. The problem can more easily be solved by rejecting abstract, formalistic models of evidence in favor of a model of inquiry which pays attention to the temporal complexity of the process of inquiry and the distinction between observational and experimental evidence. (shrink)
After briefly sketching an historical account of criminal law that emphasizes its longstanding reach into social, commercial and personal life outside the core areas of criminal offenses, this paper explores why criminal law theory has never succeeded in limiting the content of criminal codes to offenses that fit the criteria of dominant theories, particularly versions of the harm principle. Early American writers on criminal law endorsed no such limiting principles to criminal law, and early American criminal law consequently was substantively (...) broad. But even with the rise of theories in the mid-nineteenth century that sought to limit criminal lawâs reach, codified offenses continued to widely and deeply regulate social life and exceed the limits of those normative arguments. This essay suggests that this practical failure of criminal law theory occurred because it was never adopted by an institutional actor that could limit offense definitions in accord with normative commitments. Legislatures are institutionally unsuited to having their policy actions limited by principled arguments, and courts passed on the opportunity to incorporate a limiting principle for criminal law once they began, in the Lochner era, actively regulating legislative decisions through Constitutional law. The one avenue through which criminal law theory has had some success in affecting criminal codes is through the influence of specialized bodies that influence legislation, especially the American Law Institute advocacy of the Model Penal Code. But the institutional structure of American criminal law policymaking permits an unusually small role for such specialized bodies, and without such an institutional mechanism, criminal law theory is likely to continue to have little effect on actual criminal codes. (shrink)
This paper argues that when used judiciously Bayes's law has a role to play in the evaluation of scientific hypotheses. Several examples are presented in which a rational response to evidence requires a judgement whether to apply Bayes's law or whether, for example, to redistribute prior probabilities. The paper concludes that reflection on Bayes's law illustrates how an adequate account of the rational evaluation of hypotheses requires an account of judgement--a point which several philosophers have noted despite few attempts to (...) develop an adequate theory of judgement. (shrink)
Recent years have seen a number of naturalist accounts of mathematics. Philip Kitcher’s version is one of the most important and influential. This paper includes a critical exposition of Kitcher’s views and a discussion of several issues including: mathematical epistemology, practice, history, the nature of applied mathematics. It argues that naturalism is an inadequate account and compares it with mathematical Platonism, to the advantage of the latter.
In this article, we focus on the concept of leadership ethics and make observations about transformational, transactional and servant leadership. We consider differences in how each definition of leadership outlines what the leader is supposed to achieve, and how the leader treats people in the organization while striving to achieve the organization's goals. We also consider which leadership styles are likely to be more popular in organizations that strive to maximize short run profits. Our paper does not tout or degrade (...) any of these leadership theories. Instead, it points out which theories allow reason to play more than a minimal role in ethical decision-making, as well as those that are most consistent with a firm's desire to achieve efficiency in the short run. We explain our view that the way leadership is practiced in large, bureaucratic organizations suggests that ethics is often absent from the leader's decision-making process. Consequently, we suggest that before we engage in a meaningful dialogue about what kind of leaders we might really want in business, we must consider how much short-run profit we are willing to forego in exchange for more ethical corporate cultures. (shrink)
Richard Harvey Brown's pioneering explorations in the philosophy of social science and the theory of rhetoric reach a culmination in Social Science as Civic Discourse . In his earlier works, he argued for a logic of discovery and explanation in social science by showing that science and art both depend on metaphoric thinking, and he has applied that logic to society as a narrative text in which significant action by moral agents is possible. This new work is at (...) once a philosophical critique of social theory and a social-theoretical critique of politics. Brown proposes to redirect the language and the mission of the social sciences toward a new discourse for a humane civic practice. (shrink)
In Kant's Critique of Judgment (CJ), the actual mechanism of the construction of aesthetic ideas is only briefly sketched. I suggest that there may be a connection between certain aspects of Sections 49 and 59, such that the creation of aesthetic ideas can be related to the process of "symbolic hypotyposis" (¤59.2). I will argue that the process of symbolic hypotyposis relates to the formation of aesthetic attributes, as symbols, through an analogical process; that a symbol acts, in effect, as (...) one part of the four parts of an analogy, and that the aesthetic idea may result from the application of the process of analogy. I will suggest that aesthetic attributes may, in some cases, function as symbols, and induce what I will term "conceptual overflow," in which the normal contents of the symbol are supplemented through the analogical process. (shrink)
The kinematical principle of Equal Passage Times (EPT) was introduced by Winnie in his 1970 derivation of the relativistic coordinate transformations compatible with arbitrary synchrony conventions in one-dimensional space. In this paper, the claim by Winnie and later Giannoni that EPT is a direct consequence of the relativity principle is questioned. It is shown that EPT, given Einstein's 1905 postulates, is equivalent to the relativistic (synchrony independent) clock retardation principle, and that for standard synchrony it reduces to an isotropy condition (...) for contraction (and dilation) effects. (shrink)
The deductive system in Boole's Laws of Thought (LT) involves both an algebra, which we call proto-Boolean, and a "general method in Logic" making use of that algebra. Our object is to elucidate these two components of Boole's system, to prove his principal results, and to draw some conclusions not explicit in LT. We also discuss some examples of incoherence in LT; these mask the genius of Boole's design and account for much of the puzzled and disparaging commentary LT has (...) received. Our evaluation of Boole's logical system does not differ substantially from that advanced in Hailperin's exhaustive study, Boole's Logic and Probability. Unlike the latter work, however, we make direct use of the polynomials native to LT rather than appealing to formalisms such as multisets and rings. (shrink)
In this paper I wish to examine the nature and role of "the phenomena of God" in Leinbiz's mature thought. In the first part of the paper, I discuss the nature of the universal harmony and argue that they are the perceptiual states of finite substances and the relations among them that constitute God's phenomena. In the second part of the paper, I attempt to specify the theoretical role that God's phenomena play in Leibniz's phenomenalism. This leads finally to a (...) discussion of Leibniz's teleological reasoning in the investigation of nature and of how that justification undercuts the argument for God's existence from the pre-established harmony. (shrink)
J. S. Bell's classic 1966 review paper on the foundations of quantum mechanics led directly to the Bell nonlocality theorem. It is not widely appreciated that the review paper contained the basic ingredients needed for a nonlocality result which holds in certain situations where the Bell inequality is not violated. We present in this paper a systematic formulation and evaluation of an argument due to Stairs in 1983, which establishes a nonlocality result based on the Bell-Kochen-Specker “paradox” in quantum mechanics.