Moral education is always closely associated with politics in China, and the term ?moral education? is often interchangeable with such other terms as ideological and political education. Officially, moral education is seen as an important tool in upholding the socialist nature of the school and society. This paper examines the changing political and ideological orientations in China, and their implications for policy change in moral education since 1978. The paper reports on a case study on The new three character classic (...) movement in Guangdong province, a focal point of opening up. This demonstrates some changes in the orientations of the moral education curriculum, including the growing concern about individual well?being and the moral quality of citizens that would fit with a society that is fast changing under the reform and opening?up policy, and being integrated into the world. It is argued that there is a clear reorientation for moral education to be disassociated from politics, and replaced by an emphasis on personal moral quality, as well as individual well?being, such as psychological health. (shrink)
Although there is a significant number of books and essays in which Aquinas's thought is examined in some detail, there are still many aspects of his writings that remain unknown to those outside the field of Thomistic studies; or which are generally misunderstood. An example is Aquinas's account of the origins of individual human life. This is the subject of a chapter in a recent book by Robert Pasnau on Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature (Cambridge: CUP, 2001). Since there will (...) be readers whose only knowledge of the issues in question will come from Pasnau's account, and since that account is contentious in substance, and advanced in advocacy of a particular moral interest, it is necessary to provide another, and, we believe, more credible account of the issue of when human life begins, as this may be determined on the basis of known empirical facts and Aquinas's metaphysics, and a more accurate representation of how (and how extensively) this matter has been treated hitherto. The morality of abortion turns on two important sets of issues: the first metaphysical, concerning the beginnings of human life and the specific status of the embryo; the second, ethical, having to do with the nature and scope of value and associated moral requirements. Besides engaging in exegesis we address both issues in philosophical terms. (shrink)
Relativism, the position that things are for each as they seem to each, was first formulated in Western philosophy by Protagoras, the 5th century BC Greek orator and teacher. Mi-Kyoung Lee focuses on the challenge to the possibility of expert knowledge posed by Protagoras, together with responses by the three most important philosophers of the next generation, Plato, Aristotle, and Democritus. In his book Truth, Protagoras made vivid use of two provocative but imperfectly spelled out ideas: first, that we are (...) all "measures" of the truth and that we are each already capable of determining how things are for ourselves, since the senses are our best and most credible guides to the truth; second, given that things appear differently to different people, there is no basis on which to decide that one appearance is true rather than the other. Plato developed these ideas into a more fully worked-out theory, which he then subjected to refutation in the Theaetetus. Aristotle argued that Protagoras' ideas lead to skepticism in Metaphysics Book G, a chapter which reflects awareness of Plato's reaction in the Theaetetus. And finally Democritus incorporated modified Protagorean ideas and arguments into his theory of knowledge and perception. There have been many important recent studies of these thinkers in isolation. However, there has been no attempt to tell a single, coherent story about how Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle responded to Protagoras' striking claim, and to its perceived implications about knowledge, perception, and truth. By studying these four figures in relation to each other, we arrive at a better understanding of an important chapter in the development of Greek epistemology. (shrink)
According to a standard picture of Leibniz’s mature views on creaturely causation, Leibniz held what some interpreters have described as his ‘thesis of spontaneity’: “every non-initial, nonmiraculous state of every created substance has as a real cause some preceding state of that very substance.”2 Evidence for this thesis is abundantly available throughout Leibniz’s mature work and here are some prominent instances.
Sukjae Lee John Duns Scotus believes it to be undeniably true that we human beings have free will. He does not argue for our freedom but rather explains it. There are two elements which are both characteristic of and essential to Scotus’ account of human will: namely, 1) the will as a self-determining power for opposites, thus a ‘rational’ power; and 2) the ‘dual affections of the will.’2 The significance of each element taken separately is comprehensible if not obvious. We (...) are puzzled, however, when we attempt to ascertain the relation between the two. This paper is an attempt to reach an adequate understanding of this relation. (shrink)
Today, more corporations disclose information about their environmental performance in response to stakeholder demands of environmental responsibility and accountability. What information do corporations disclose on their websites? This paper investigates the environmental management policies and practices of the 200 largest corporations in the world. Based on a content analysis of the environmental reports of Fortune’s Global 200 companies, this research analyzes the content of corporate environmental disclosures with respect to the following seven areas: environmental planning considerations, top management support to (...) the institutionalization of environmental concerns, environmental structures and organizing specifics, environmental leadership activities, environmental control, external validations or certifications of environmental programs, and forms of corporate environmental disclosures. (shrink)
The current study presents the findings of an empirical inquiry into the effects of Confucian ethics and collectivism, on individual whistleblowing intentions. Confucian Ethics and Individualism–Collectivism were measured in a questionnaire completed by 343 public officials in South Korea. This study found that Confucian ethics had significant but mixed effects on whistleblowing intentions. The affection between father and son had a negative effect on internal and external whistleblowing intentions, while the distinction between the roles of husband and wife had a (...) positive effect on those intentions. The effects of collectivism were also different depending on the specific types of collectivism. Horizontal collectivism had a positive effect on both types of whistleblowing intentions, whereas vertical collectivism did not show any significant effects on whistleblowing intentions. These results indicate that cultural traits such as Confucian ethics and collectivism may affect an individual’s whistleblowing intentions in degree and direction, making blanket predictions about cultural effects on whistleblowing difficult. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: In a recent article, D. H. Finkelstein offers a new proposal about the distinction between conscious and unconscious belief On his proposal, someone’s belief is conscious if he has an ability to express it simply by self-ascribing it; and someone’s belief is unconscious if he lacks such an ability. In this article, I argue that his proposal is inadequate, and then offer a somewhat different proposal. On my proposal, someone’s belief is conscious if he has self-ascribed this belief without (...) recourse to any evidence about his behaviour; and someone’s belief is unconscious if it is not conscious.RÉSUMÉ: Dans un récent article, D. H. Finkelstein propose une nouvelle distinction entre croyance consciente et inconsciente. Suivant cette proposition, la croyance de quelqu’un est consciente s’il a la capacité de l’exprimer tout simplement en se l’attribuant; sa croyance est inconsciente s’il n’en a pas la capacité. Dans cet article, je fais valoir que cette proposition est inadéquate, et je propose ensuite une nouvelledistinction. Suivant cette distinction, la croyance de quelqu’un est consciente s’il s’attribue cette croyance sans s’appuyer sur aucun élément de preuve au sujet de son comportement; sa croyance est inconsciente si elle n’est pas consciente. (shrink)
In the wake of much previous work on Gilles Deleuze's relations to other thinkers (including Bergson, Spinoza and Leibniz), his relation to Kant is now of great and active interest and a thriving area of research. In the context of the wider debate between 'naturalism' and 'transcendental philosophy', the implicit dispute between Deleuze's 'transcendental empiricism' and Kant's 'transcendental idealism' is of prime philosophical concern. -/- Bringing together the work of international experts from both Deleuze scholarship and Kant scholarship, Thinking Between (...) Deleuze and Kant addresses explicitly the varied and various connections between these two great European philosophers, providing key material for understanding the central philosophical problems in the wider 'naturalism/ transcendental philosophy' debate. The book reflects an area of great current interest in Deleuze Studies and initiates an ongoing interest in Deleuze within Kant scholarship. The contributors are Mick Bowles, Levi R. Bryant, Patricia Farrell, Christian Kerslake, Matt Lee, Michael J. Olson, Henry Somers-Hall and Edward Willatt. (shrink)
: The slogan "the personal is political" captures the distinctive challenge to the public-private divide posed by contemporary feminists. As such, feminist activism is not necessarily congruent with civic engagement, which is predicated on the paradoxical need to both bridge and sustain the public-private divide. Lee argues that rather than subverting the divide, the politics of the personal offers an alternative understanding of civic engagement that aims to reinstate individuals' dignity and agency.
This paper examines the effects of environmental factors on the ethical behavior of managers using computers at work in Mainland China. In this study, environmental factors refer to senior management, peer groups, company policies, professional practices, and legal considerations. Ethical behaviors include attitudes to disclosure, protection of privacy, conflict of interest, personal conduct, social responsibility, and integrity. A questionnaire survey was used for data collection, and 125 mainland Chinese managers participated in the study. The results show that peer groups, professional (...) practices, and legal considerations do influence the ethical behavior of mainland Chinese managers in the areas of social responsibility, integrity, and accountability. A discussion of the implications of the results is also provided in this paper. (shrink)
This paper concerns broadly with the works of such ethical postmodern theorists as Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, Giles Deleuze, focusing on how we can contribute to the development of their ideas by discussing Laozi and Zhuanzi’s Taoism, Buddhism, and modern Korean Neo-Confucianism of Toe-gae Lee. I claim that for criticism and art, literature, film and culture as well as philosophy itself, we are now facing this new need of another notion of subjectivity that not only accepts difference but takes the (...) position of whole positivity toward the Other. This different view of subjectivity that can be called "the sublime subjectivity" or the sublime totality of a human being or a society is essentially an aesthetic one, rather than one that depends upon logic, and it is vital to take advantage of Oriental ideas. From the perspective of the ethics of Levinas, I first place the sublime, jouissance, or pure enjoyment, at the heart of literary criticism. The pure sensibility of the sublime, or jouissance, unlike the raw feelings of pleasure, is an aesthetic sensibility beyond the ontological unity of feelings of pleasures and pains. Then with the Oriental thought, I make an attempt to contribute to the development of the ideas on the ethics of the relation of the reader and the literary text’s language. Laozi’s Taote Ching, Chuanzi, Diamond Sutra, and Toe-gae Lee’s notion of Taeguk are briefly explored in view of the aesthetic transphenomenal dimension and the sublime totality. (shrink)
Examining the literature of slavery and race before the Civil War, Maurice Lee demonstrates for the first time exactly how the slavery crisis became a crisis of philosophy that exposed the breakdown of national consensus and the limits of rational authority. Poe, Stowe, Douglass, Melville, and Emerson were among the antebellum authors who tried - and failed - to find rational solutions to the slavery conflict. Unable to mediate the slavery controversy as the nation moved toward war, their writings (...) form an uneasy transition between the confident rationalism of the American Enlightenment and the more skeptical thought of the pragmatists. Lee draws on antebellum moral philosophy, political theory, and metaphysics, bringing a fresh perspective to the literature of slavery - one that synthesizes cultural studies and intellectual history to argue that romantic, sentimental, and black Atlantic writers all struggled with modernity when facing the slavery crisis. (shrink)
The goals of this study are to test a pattern of ethical decision making that predicts ethical intentions of individuals within corporations based primarily on the ethical values embedded in corporate culture, and to see whether that model is generally stable across countries. The survey instrument used scales to measure the effects of corporate ethical values, idealism, and relativism on ethical intentions of Turkish, Thai, and American businesspeople. The samples include practitioner members of the American Marketing Association in the U.S., (...) and full-time businesspeople enrolled in executive MBA programs in Thailand and Turkey. The study is positioned within a fairly new stream that assesses patterns across countries, rather than differences between them, in a way that might be called “culture free.” The results show a generally positive influence between cultural ethical values and ethical intentions. The results also indicate that the positive effect of corporate ethical values on ethical intentions is greater for managers with low idealism and high relativism. We also discuss the implications of our results for managers of international businesses. (shrink)
The search for the best strategy in literacy education is a lingering phenomenon. From time to time one strategy is claimed to work best, only to be critically challenged and replaced by another. There is always debate about what the best strategy is. The belief that there is supposed to be only one best strategy is not consistent with the fact that there are diverse views on what it should be. This paper argues that the search for the best strategy (...) is not looking for the best among various practices. Instead, it calls for a critical examination of our underlying philosophical beliefs about it. Hence, the discussion of the best strategy is divided into three philosophical phases: objectivist, deconstructivist, and praxis. The search is argued to be taking a journey of philosophical investigations rather than finding a certain practice superior to all others. (shrink)
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, operating in Australia under the National Health Act 1953, provides citizens equal access to subsidised pharmaceuticals. With ever-increasing costs of medicines and global financial pressure on all commodities, the sustainability of the PBS is of crucial importance on many social and political fronts. Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription medicines is fast expanding, as pharmaceutical companies recognise and reinforce marketing potentials not only in healthcare professionals but also in consumers. DTCA is currently prohibited in Australia, but pharmaceutical (...) companies continuously lobby for the ban to be lifted. There is evidence that such marketing strategies influence consumer behaviour and concerns have been raised about whether DTCA could affect government expenditure on the PBS in Australia. This pharmacy-based study explored Australian consumer attitudes towards DTCA and whether consumer attitudes regarding DTCA differ based on socioeconomic status, measured in terms of income and education. Consumers from different socioeconomic areas in Sydney were asked to respond to a survey about an advertisement created specifically for the promotion of a mock prescription medicine. Their views about the intent, value and reliability of the advertisement were explored. The study found that consumers of lower socioeconomic status were more likely to perceive DTCA as a source of valuable and reliable medical information, and that they were more likely to request an advertised medication from their physician. If DTCA of prescription medicines was to be introduced in Australia, an increase in government expenditure on the PBS would be anticipated. Findings of this study also expose a deficit in respect for patients’ right to autonomy and informed consent which should be based on evidence-based, unbiased, information rather than advertisements. (shrink)
This paper examines the effects of moral philosophy and ethnocentrism on quality of life orientation in international marketing. It also provides a cross-cultural comparison of ethical values between Koreans and Americans. International quality-of-life (IQOL) orientation refers to marketers' disposition to make decisions to enhance the well-being of consumers in foreign markets while preserving the well-being of other stakeholders. It is hypothesized that marketers' moral philosophy and ethnocentrism influence the development of marketers' IQOL. Specifically, the higher the IQOL orientation of international (...) managers, the higher their moral idealism, the higher their moral relativism, and the lower their ethnocentrism. Also, it is hypothesized that American managers are likely to score higher on moral relativism but lower on moral idealism compared to their Korean counterparts. Also, Korean managers are expected to be more ethnocentric than American managers. Data were collected from business professionals who enrolled in professional MBA courses both from the U.S. and Korea. The results provided support for the hypothesized relationships. Managerial implications of these relationships are discussed. (shrink)
In a recent article, D. H. Finkelstein offers a new proposal about the distinction between conscious and unconscious belief On his proposal, someone’s belief is conscious if he has an ability to express it simply by self-ascribing it; and someone’s belief is unconscious if he lacks such an ability. In this article, I argue that his proposal is inadequate, and then offer a somewhat different proposal. On my proposal, someone’s belief is conscious if he has self-ascribed this belief without recourse (...) to any evidence about his behaviour; and someone’s belief is unconscious if it is not conscious.Dans un récent article, D. H. Finkelstein propose une nouvelle distinction entre croyance consciente et inconsciente. Suivant cette proposition, la croyance de quelqu’un est consciente s’il a la capacité de l’exprimer tout simplement en se l’attribuant; sa croyance est inconsciente s’il n’en a pas la capacité. Dans cet article, je fais valoir que cette proposition est inadéquate, et je propose ensuite une nouvelledistinction. Suivant cette distinction, la croyance de quelqu’un est consciente s’il s’attribue cette croyance sans s’appuyer sur aucun élément de preuve au sujet de son comportement; sa croyance est inconsciente si elle n’est pas consciente. (shrink)
Marx holds that mankind has developed from nature and in mutual interaction with nature: nature is not an “other” but is man’s body. Capitalism is a necessary stage in mankind’s historical development of the mastery of nature, but it regards nature as an “other” to be exploited. Thus, a further historical development is necessary: the overcoming of the dichotomy between man as subject and nature as object.Capitalism bases its concept of wealth on unnecessary production rather than on socially useful production (...) and on the maximization of true leisure and free and creative activity for all. It creates excess pollution and depletes nonrenewable resources as a result of this wasteful, exploitative, unnecessary production. A Marxian solution to environmental problems involves the replacement of capitalism with a rational humane, environmentally unalienated social order. Unfortunately, the actual practice of Marxism has not generally been in accord with its own theory. Such rational, humane social orders have not yet been instituted, but they must be soon. We must take one aspect of Marx’s ideas to its logical conclusion: Marxist practice has been, at best, homocentric, but now it must overcome that limitation and truly see nature as our “body.” Marxism must become ecologically aware; mankind must become the steward of its “body”: the ecosystem upon which it depends and which now depends upon it for its health (homeostasis). (shrink)
The goal of this study was to construct a valid new instrument to measure the effect of moral intensity on managers' propensity to manage earnings. More specifically, this study is a pilot study of the impact of moral intensity on financial accountants' propensity to manage earnings. The instrument, once validated, will be used in a full-study of managers in the hotel industry. Different ethical scenarios were presented to respondents in the survey; each ethical scenario was designed in both high or (...) low moral intensity form, to reflect the importance of the moral dilemma at hand. The results were analysed by factor analysis. The findings of this study have positively validated the instrument, with three of the five moral intensity components identified as having appropriate eigenvalues. This indicates that they have a significant influence in the study. The first factor captures the social consensus dimension and one scenario of the proximity dimension. The second factor indicates an interaction between the temporal immediacy and the magnitude of consequences dimension. The third dimension is probability of effect and one scenario of the proximity dimension. In addition, t-tests indicated that the manipulation of high and low conditions within each scenario were also successful. One limitation of the study might be the use of undergraduate accounting students as manager proxies, although prior evidence suggests use of accounting students as proxies is a valid approach in this type of study. This is a highly novel project as most prior studies have focussed on moral intensity and the general ethical decision-making process. (shrink)
Unlike natural agents, artificial agents are, to varying extent, designed according to sets of principles or assumptions. We argue that the designers philosophical position on truth, belief and knowledge has far reaching implications for the design and performance of the resulting agents. Of the many sources of design information and background we believe philosophical theories are under-rated as valuable influences on the design process. To explore this idea we have implemented some computer-based agents with their control algorithms inspired by two (...) strongly contrasting philosophical positions. A series of experiments on these agents shows that, despite having common tasks and goals, the behaviour of the agents is markedly different and this can be attributed to their individual approaches to belief and knowledge. We discuss these findings and their support for the view that epistemological theories have a particular relevance for artificial agent design. (shrink)
Product counterfeiting, a serious problem throughout the world, is particularly challenging for luxury brands, which often have simple designs and a value that depends largely on buyers' perceptions. This study incorporates the concept of customer value into an investigation of the anticounterfeiting strategies. Both hedonic and utilitarian values positively influence customer loyalty toward luxury brands. As a means to strengthen customer values, legal and product strategies positively influence customers' hedonic value, whereas communication and product strategies positively influence their utilitarian value. (...) The managerial implications of these findings and directions for further research are discussed. (shrink)
This is a comparative study on the 20th's century's Western philosophy Hannah Arendt(1906-1975) and the 16th century's Eastern Confucian thinker Wang Yang-ming(1472-1529). Wang-ming was a Neoconfucian thinker of the 16th century China. In his time, Chinese intellectual world was dominated by Neoconfucian Ch’eng-Chu School which laid much stress on scholastic work of learning. Yang-ming saw a huge obstacle of intellectualism in Ch’eng-Chu school’s theoretical scholasticism that emphasized overly book-learning to be required on the way to become a genuine person. He (...) recognized this kind of rigidintellectualism as the true reason for the dichotomy in his time between knowledge and action, between learning and life, and between selfcultivation and social practice. According to his view, the dichotomy brought about serious political corruption and oppressed human creativity up to the point of total institutionalization of “truth”. Hannah Arendtwas sickened under the severe totalitarianism of the 20th century, especially as a Jew under the German Nazism. She undertook an extensive analysis of how Western civilization generated totalitarian imperialism, fascism, and communism, going through the modern times, all of which made human beings’ language and action superfluous, erupted, and destroyed. Through these experiences, she became disgusted with traditional Western hierarchy of thinking and doing, philosophy and politics, theory and practice, in short, vita contemplativa and vita activa. Although they both lived far away from each other in space and time and used completely different languages, they both, in my view, shared many common problems and concerns, not only in the contents of their thoughts but also in the way and form of construction of thoughts. To the similar extent that people were warned and judged by both thinkers respectively in their times of the totalitarianism of making human beings superfluous and puppet-like, we human beings in the 21st century are considered to be threatened by the totalitarian nullification caused by modern utilitarianism, automation, consumerism, etc. These principles are practiced limitlessly and boundlessly, so that our whole lives of politics, culture, and education are now suffering from that threat. It is my conviction that we can acquire some guide and wisdom from the twothinkers of East and West, because they discovered possible solutions of how to restore and revive human beings’ capacities of thinking and judging, and how to bring action and doing. (shrink)
This article seeks to explain the transformation of culture using the mechanism of evolutionary theory. Social biologists have been dealing with this issue for many years now. However, these scholars have not sufficiently allowed for the importance of factors independent of genes. They have primarily thought of culture as nothing more than the expansion of genes, as an increase in the rate of genetic adaptation. Namely, they have focused less on culture itself and more on its natural origins. Even while (...) accepting the dual inheritance model that the structure of biological genes and cultural transmission is different, this article seeksto take a step further. My aim is to show how culture that takes shape on the group level is explainable on the cultural genetic level. Seen from the point of view of culture genetics, the transformation of culture signifies the transformation in the frequency of a cultural gene. At this point, we are thus faced with the following questions: 1) Is it possible to concretize the units of culture genes? 2) What is the fundamental characteristic of a culture gene? and 3) What relationship is there between biological genes and cultural genes? This article will prove that it is indeed possible to concretize the units of culture genes, that the most substantialfundamental characteristic of a cultural gene is, as would be expected, to clone itself, and that cultural genes and biological genes exist within multiple relationships of cooperation, conflict, and reciprocity. Finally, this article will further concretize the dual inheritance model with a careful examination of its two patterns of evolutionary explanation, the reductionist on the one hand, and the non-reductionist on the other. This examination will conclude that, in terms of culture, the non-reductionist model is the most suitable. (shrink)
An examination of the relationship between law and morals, this wide-ranging book develops themes addressed by Hart and Devlin, relating them to issues and events of current interest. Lee covers such timely concerns as: the Moral Majority; embryo experiments and surrogate motherhood; contraception, children's rights, and parents' rights; informed medical consent; equality and discrimination; and freedom of expression and pornography. Stressing the relevance of these issues to the lives of all of us, Lee argues for broader participation in debate on (...) this topic. (shrink)
A controversy of the Perception is focused on the Mind-Nature relation by Confucian Scholars in 18th century Joseon Dynasty. Chang-Hyup Kim [金昌協], especially, asserted that the Perception should be the unique side of Mind, because the Wise [智: the Mind of Judgment, remarkably about the righteous or not] is one aspect of the Nature. He needs to define the category of Wise and Perception, because the existing definition of Wise as an unprocurable activity of Mind. That might bring a confusion (...) of concepts though The Mind and Nature, in his view. More over he added the essential aspect of Perception to real activity of Perception, and in this point of view, the position of Mind is important to the process of consolidating into Nature. Therefore he asserted that we should perceive the Nature, the essence, in the side of Mind [卽心指性]. This vision of the aim to Nature in the point of Mind, which was reinvestigation of Neo-Confucianism and this was succeeded to the general with academic traditional of Nak School [洛學]. (shrink)
In this book, Keekok Lee asks the question, "what is an animal, and how does our treatment of it within captivity affect its status as a being ?" This ontological treatment marks the first such approach in looking at animals in captivity. Engaging with the moral questions of zoo-keeping (is it morally justified to keep a wild animal in captivity?) as well as the ontological (what is it that we conserve in zoos after all? A wild animal or its shadow?), (...) Lee develops her own original hypothesis, centred around the concept of "immuration"--defining this in contrast to domestication--and thereby provides a unique addition to the growing body of work on animal ethics. (shrink)
: My aim is to develop a feminist theory of value—an axiology—which unites two notions that seem to have little in common for a theorizing whose ultimate goal is justice-driven emancipatory action, namely, the ecological and the aesthetic. In this union lies the potential for a critical feminist political praxis capable of appreciating not only the value of human life, but those relationships upon which human and nonhuman life depend. A vital component of this praxis is, I argue, the potential (...) for an aesthetic experience whose value is exemplified in those actions that tend to foster respect for biodiversity and ecological stability. (shrink)
To illustrate the strength of Bartky's clarity of insight I focus on her discussion of shame found in two essays in Femininity and Domination. I argue that these essays as well as the other in the collection identify and offer a clear analysis of many issues central to feminism and call for Bartky to write a sequel which offers constructive suggestions of ways out.
In his philosophy of nothingness, Kitarō Nishida illuminates the matrix of transformation of the world "from the Created to the Creating" (tsukuru mono kara tsukurareta mono e) through shintai, or the body. In this matrix, shintai enters into the stage of an action-sensation continuum and emerges as the immaculate iconic tool of nothingness to create new figures as extended self. This idea of shintai has resonance with the development of postwar art in Japan. The "Space of Transparency" put forth by (...) Ufan Lee, the leader of Monoha, is the principal example. This essay investigates Nishida's notion of shintai and its influence on Lee's theory of art. (shrink)
Up until fairly recently it was philosophical orthodoxy – at least within analytic aesthetics broadly construed – to hold that the appreciation and evaluation of works as art and moral considerations pertaining to them are conceptually distinct. However, following on from the idea that artistic value is broader than aesthetic value, the last 15 years has seen an explosion of interest in exploring possible inter-relations between the appreciative and ethical character of works as art. Consideration of these issues has a (...) distinguished philosophical history but as the Compass survey article suggests ('Art, Morality and Ethics: On the (Im)Moral Character of Art Works and Inter-Relations to Artistic Value.' Philosophy Compass 1.2 (2006): 129–43), it is only very recently that figures in the field have returned to it to develop more precisely what they take the relationships to be and why. Consensus is, unsurprisingly, lacking. The reinvigoration of the issues has led sophisticated formalists or autonomists to mount a more considered defence of the idea that aesthetic and literary values are indeed conceptually distinct from the justification or otherwise of the moral perspective or views endorsed in a work (Topic I). The challenges presented by such a defence are many but amongst them are appeals to critical practice (Lamarque and Olsen), scepticism about whether or not art really can give us bona fide knowledge (Stolnitz) and the recognition that truth often seems to be far removed from what it is we value in our appreciation of works (Lamarque). One way to motivate consideration of the relevance of a work's moral character to its artistic value concerns the phenomena of imaginative resistance. At least sometimes it would seem that, as Hume originally suggested, we either cannot or will not enter imaginatively into the perspective solicited by a work due to its morally problematic character (Topic II). In some cases, it would seem that as a matter of psychological fact, we cannot do so since it is impossible for us to imagine how it could be that a certain attitude or action is morally permissible or good (Walton). The question then is whether or not this is a function of morality in particular or constraints on imaginative possibility more generally and what else is involved. At other times, the phenomena seem to be driven by a moral reluctance to allow ourselves to enter into the dramatic perspective involved (Moran) or evaluation of the attitude expressed (Stokes). Nonetheless, it is far from obvious that this is so of all the attitudes or responses we judge to be morally problematic. After all, it looks like we can and indeed often do suspend or background particular cognitive and moral commitments in engaging with all sorts of works (Nichols and Weinberg). If the moral character of a work interacts with how we appreciate and evaluate them, then the pressing question is this: is there any systematic account of the relationship available to us? One way is to consider the relationship between our emotional responses to works and their moral character (Topic III). After all, art works often solicit various emotional responses from us to follow the work and make use of moral concepts in so doing (Carroll). Indeed, whether or not a work merits the sought for emotional responses often seems to be internally related to ethical considerations (Gaut). Yet, it is not obvious that we should apply our moral concepts or respond emotionally in our imaginative engagement with works as art as we should in real life (Kieran, Jacobson). A different route is via the thought that art can convey knowledge (Topic IV). There might be particular kinds of moral knowledge art distinctively suited to conveying (Nussbaum) or it may just be that art does so particularly effectively (Carroll, Gaut, Kieran). Either way where this can be tied to the artistic means and appreciation of a work it would seem that to cultivate moral understanding contributes to the value of a work and to betray misunderstanding is a defect. Without denying the relevance of the moral character of a work some authors have wanted to claim that sometimes the immoral aspect of a work can contribute to rather than lessen its artistic value (Topic V). One route is to claim that there is no systematic theoretical account of the relationship available and what the right thing to say is depends on the particular case involved (Jacobson). Another involves the claim that this is so when the defect connects up in an appropriate way to one of the values of art. Thus, it has been claimed, only where a work reveals something which adds to intelligibility, knowledge or understanding in virtue of its morally problematic aspect can this be so (Kieran). The latter position looks like it could in principle be held whilst nonetheless maintaining that the typical or standard relationship is as the moralists would have it. Yet perhaps allowing valence change for such reasons is less a mark of principled explanation and more a function of downright inconsistency or incoherence (Harold). The topics themselves and suggested readings given below follow the structure articulated above as further amplified in the Compass survey article. The design and structure given below can be easily compressed or expanded further. Author Recommends 1. Carroll, Noël. 'Art, Narrative and Moral Understanding.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 126–60. This article develops the idea that engaging with narrative art calls on moral concepts and emotions and can thereby clarify our moral understanding. 2. Carroll, Noël. Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays . Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Part IV consists of six distinct essays on questions concerning the inter-relations between art and morality including the essay cited above and the author's articulation and defence of moderate moralism. 3. Gaut, Berys. 'The Ethical Criticism of Art.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 182–203. 4. Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. This monograph provides the most exhaustive treatment of the issues and defends the claim that, where relevant, whenever a work is morally flawed it is of lesser value as art and wherever it is morally virtuous the work's value as art is enhanced. Chapters 7 and 8 defend concern ethical knowledge and chapter 10 is a development of the article cited above concerning emotional responses. Chapter 3 also gives a useful conceptual map of the issues and options in the debate. 5. Jacobson, Daniel. 'In Praise of Immoral Art.' Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155–99. A wide ranging and extended treatment of relevant issues which objects to generalising moral treatments of our responses to art works and defends the idea that particular works can be better because of rather than despite their moral defects. 6. Kieran, Matthew. 'Forbidden Knowledge: The Challenge of Cognitive Immoralism.' Art and Morality . Ed. Sebastian Gardner and José Luis Bermúdez. London: Routledge, 2003. 56–73. A general argument for immoralism is elaborated by outlining when, where and why a work's morally problematic character can contribute to its artistic value for principled reasons (through enhancing moral understanding). 7. Kieran, Matthew. Revealing Art . London: Routledge, 2005. Chapter 4. This chapter argues against both aestheticism and straightforward moralism about art, elaborating a defence of immoralism in relation to visual art whilst ranging over issues from pornographic art to the nature and demands of different genres in art. 8. Lamarque, Peter. 'Cognitive Values in the Arts: Marking the Boundaries.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, 127–39. This article concisely outlines and defends a sophisticated aestheticism that denies the importance of truth to artistic value. 9. Stolnitz, Jerome. 'On the Cognitive Triviality of Art.' British Journal of Aesthetics 32.3 (1992): 191–200. This article articulates and defends the claim that no knowledge of any interesting or significant kind can be afforded by works appreciated and evaluated as art. 10. Walton, Kendall. 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, I.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. 68 (1994): 27–51. This article builds on some comments from Hume to develop the idea that when engaging with fictions it seems impossible imaginatively to enter into radically deviant moral attitudes. Online Materials 'Aesthetics and Ethics: The State of the Art.' American Society of Aesthetics online (Jeffrey Dean): http://www.aesthetics-online.org/articles/index.php?articles_id=15 >. 'Art, Censorship and Morality' downloadable podcast of Nigel Warburton interviewing Matthew Kieran at Tate Britain (BBC/OU Open2.net as part of the Ethics Bites series): http://www.open2.net/ethicsbites/art-censorship-morality.html >. 'Art, Morality and Ethics: On the (Im)Moral Character of Art Works and Inter-Relations to Artistic Value.' Philosophy Compass 1.2 (2006): 129–43 (Matthew Kieran): http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557779/abstract >. 'Ethical Criticism of Art.' Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Ella Peek): http://www.iep.utm.edu/a/art-eth.htm >. 'Fascinating Fascism.' New York Review of Books Piece Discussing Leni Riefenstahl (Susan Sontag): http://www.nybooks.com/articles/9280 >. 'The Beheading of St. John the Baptist (1450s), Giovanni de Paolo' (Tom Lubbock): http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/great-works/great-works-the-beheading-of-st-john-the-baptist-1450s-giovanni-di-paolo-1684900.html >. Vladimir Nabokov and Lionel Trilling discuss Lolita (CBS): http://www.listal.com/video/3848698 >. Sample Syllabus Topic I Autonomism/Aestheticism • Anderson, James C. and Jeffrey T. Dean. 'Moderate Autonomism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 38.2 (1998): 150–66. • Beardsley, Monroe. Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism . New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1958. Chapter 12. • Kant, Immanuel. The Critique of Judgement.Trans. James Creed Meredith . Oxford: Oxford UP, 1952 . • Lamarque, Peter. 'Cognitive Values in the Arts: Marking the Boundaries.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, 127–39. • ——. 'Tragedy and Moral Value.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73.2 (1995): 239–49. • Lamarque, Peter and Stein Olsen. Truth, Fiction and Literature . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994. Chapter 10. • Stolnitz, Jerome. 'On the Cognitive Triviality of Art.' British Journal of Aesthetics 32.3 (1992): 191–200. Topic II Imaginative Capacities, Intelligibility and Resistance • Moran, Richard. 'The Expression of Feeling in Imagination.' Philosophical Review 103.1 (1994): 75–106. • Nichols, Shaun. 'Just the Imagination: Why Imagining Doesn't Behave Like Believing'. Mind & Language 21.4 (2006): 459–74. • Stokes, Dustin. 'The Evaluative Character of Imaginative Resistance'. British Journal of Aesthetics 46.4 (2006): 387–405. • Tanner, Michael. 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, II'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 68 (1994): 51–66. • Walton, Kendall (1994). 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, I'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 68 (1994): 27–51. • Weinberg, Jonathan. 'Configuring the Cognitive Imagination.' New Waves in Aesthetics . Eds. K. Stock and K. Thomson-Jones. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 203–23. Topic III Moralism and Emotions • Carroll, Noël. 'Moderate Moralism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 36.3 (1996): 223–37. • Carroll, Noël. 'Art, Narrative and Moral Understanding.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998.126–60. • Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Chapter 10. • ——. 'The Ethical Criticism of Art.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 182–203. • Hume, David. 'Of the Standard of Taste.' Selected Essays . Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993 . 133–53. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Emotions, Art and Immorality.' Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Emotions . Ed. Peter Goldie. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 681–703. • Tolstoy, Leo. What is Art? . London: Penguin, 2004. Chapters 5 and 15. Topic IV Moralism and Knowledge • Aristotle. Poetics . Trans. M. Heath. London: Penguin, 1996 [367–322 BC]. • Carroll, Noël. 'The Wheel of Virtue: Art, Literature and Moral Knowledge.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60.1 (2002): 3–26. • Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Chapters 7 and 8. • Gaut, Berys. 'Art and Cognition.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 115–26. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Art, Imagination and the Cultivation of Morals.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 54.4 (1996): 337–51. • Nussbaum, Martha. 'Finely Aware and Richly Responsible: Literature and the Moral Imagination.' Love's Knowledge . New York: Oxford UP, 1990. 148–68. • Plato. The Republic . Trans. D. Lee. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974. Book 10. Topic V Immoralist Contextualism • Harold, James. 'Immoralism and the Valence Constraint.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48.1 (2008): 45–64. • Jacobson, Daniel. 'In Praise of Immoral Art.' Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155–99. • ——. 'Ethical Criticism and the Vices of Moderation.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 342–55. • John, Eileen. 'Artistic Value and Moral Opportunism.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 331–41. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Forbidden Knowledge:The Challenge of Cognitive Immoralism.' Art and Morality . Ed. Sebastian Gardner and José Luis Bermúdez. London: Routledge, 2003. 56–73. • Kieran, Matthew. Revealing Art . London: Routledge, 2005. Chapter 4. • Patridge, Stephanie. 'Moral Vices as Artistic Virtues: Eugene Onegin and Alice.' Philosophia 36.2 (2008): 181–93. Focus Questions 1. What is the strongest argument for the claim that the moral character of a work is not relevant to its artistic value? Does artistic or literary criticism tend to concern itself with the truth or morality of works? If so, in what ways? If not, why do you think this is? 2. What different explanations might there be for difficulty with or resistance to imaginatively entering into attitudes you take to be immoral? How might this relate to the way our imaginings work as contrasted with belief? How might different literary or artistic treatments of the same subject matter make a difference? 3. How do narrative works draw on our moral concepts and responses? Can we suspend our normal moral commitments or application of moral concepts in responding emotionally to art works? Should we respond emotionally to art works as we ought to respond to real world events we witness? Why? Why not? 4. How, if at all, do art works convey moral understanding? How, if at all, is this related to the kinds of moral knowledge art works can teach or reveal to us? When, where and why might this be tied to the artistic value of a work? How can we tell where a work enhances our moral understanding as opposed to misleading or distorting it? 5. What art works do you value overall as art which commend or endorse moral values and attitudes that you do not? Is appreciation of them always marred or lessened by the morally dubious aspect? If not, what explains the differences in evaluation? What, if anything, might you learn by engaging with works which endorse moral attitudes or apply moral concepts different from those you take to be justified? How, if at all, might this connect up with what makes them valuable as art? (shrink)
In a congressional hearing in the spring of 1996, talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford was charged with endorsing clothing made in Honduran sweatshops by exploited children. Resulting media coverage focused public attention on a seamy underside of the "global economy." Redemption strategies used by Gifford and her public relations consultant, and repeated and promoted through the mass media, fed a larger controversy over the meaning of the concept of the global economy and its ethical implications for the American public.
Scholars of Wilfrid Sellars’s thought split into Right- and Left-wing Sellarsians. Right-wing Sellarsians urge Sellars’s scientific realism and the prominence of the scientific image of man in the synoptic vision. Left-wing Sellarsians emphasize the prominence of the logical space of reasons over that of causes, rejecting Sellars’s scientism. In his recent book James O’Shea attempts to reconcile these Sellarsian images, arguing that one best understands the Sellarsian synoptic image in terms of a norm/nature meta-principle that endorses the (...) conceptual irreducibility and causal reducibility of norms. In this paper, I argue that O’Shea’s norm/nature meta-principle renders Sellars’s synoptic vision a Left-wing one. In its stead, I present a Sellarsian ideal: the view that Sellars ought to have held, whether he did so or not. My synoptic Sellarsian vision is based in part on the claim that Sellars found norms in nature and on a scientifically based philosophical account of norms in nature, whether these norms be biological, psychological, social, cultural or personal. I maintain then that Sellars was a Right-wing Sellarsian and that, if he wasn’t, he should have been. Indeed, a Sellars redivivus would be the leader of his party! (shrink)
Although in modern times and clinical settings, we rarely see the old characteristics of tribal shamanism such as deep trances, out-of-body experiences, and soul retrieval, the archetypal dreams, waking visions and active imagination of modern depth psychology represents a liminal zone where ancient and modern shamanism overlaps with analytical psychology. These essays explore the contributors' excursions as healers and therapists into this zone. The contributors describe the many facets shamanism and depth psychology have in common: animal symbolism; recognition of the (...) reality of the collective unconscious; and healing rituals that put therapist and patient in touch with transpersonal powers. By reintroducing the core of shamanism in contemporary form, these essays shape a powerful means of healing that combines the direct contact with the inner psyche one finds in shamanism with the self-reflection and critical awareness of modern consciousness. The essays draw from the contributors' experiences both inside and outside the consulting room, and with cultures that include the Lakota Sioux, and those of the Peruvian Andes and the Hawaiian Islands. The focus is on those aspects of shamanism most useful and relevant to the modern practice of depth psychology. As a result, these explorations bring the young practice of analytical psychology into perspective as part of a much more ancient heritage of shamanistic healing. Contributors: Margaret Laurel Allen, Norma Churchill, Arthur Colman, Lori Cromer, Patricia Damery, C. Jess Groesbeck, Pansy Hawk Wing, June Kounin, Carol McRae, Pilar Montero, Jeffrey A. Raff, Janet S. Robinson, Meredith Sabini, Dyane N. Sherwood, Sara Spaulding-Phillips, Bradley A. Te Paske and Louis M. Vuksinick. (shrink)
Political candidates often believe they must focus their campaign efforts on a small number of swing voters open for ideological change. Based on the wisdom of opinion polls, this might seem like a good idea. But do most voters really hold their political attitudes so firmly that they are unreceptive to persuasion? We tested this premise during the most recent general election in Sweden, in which a left- and a right-wing coalition were locked in a close race. We asked (...) our participants to state their voter intention, and presented them with a political survey of wedge issues between the two coalitions. Using a sleight-of-hand we then altered their replies to place them in the opposite political camp, and invited them to reason about their attitudes on the manipulated issues. Finally, we summarized their survey score, and asked for their voter intention again. The results showed that no more than 22% of the manipulated replies were detected, and that a full 92% of the participants accepted and endorsed our altered political survey score. Furthermore, the final voter intention question indicated that as many as 48% (69.2%) were willing to consider a left-right coalition shift. This can be contrasted with the established polls tracking the Swedish election, which registered maximally 10% voters open for a swing. Our results indicate that political attitudes and partisan divisions can be far more flexible than what is assumed by the polls, and that people can reason about the factual issues of the campaign with considerable openness to change. (shrink)
Many readers encounter the history and mythology of the Illuminati for the first time in the course of reading Angels & Demons. They typically wonder if the Illuminati is a real organization in history and, if so, how much of Dan Brown’s description is accurate. To help answer that question, we turned to George Johnson, the well-known New York Times science writer. Johnson shares several interests with Dan Brown and fans of Angels & Demons: He has written extensively about the (...) conflicts and confluences of science and religion (including contributing an essay on that topic elsewhere in this volume). He has written about quantum physics and antimatter. And, as it turns out, he has written a book that deals extensively with the Order of Illuminati, its history, and the uses of myths and legends about the strange organization by (mostly right-wing) modern conspiracy theorists. That book, Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics, was published in 1983 and remains a veritable gold mine of hard fact and analysis about the real history of the Illuminati. Even more important than the factual history presented by Johnson is his description of the vast web of myth that has grown.. (shrink)
Donald C. Lee’s “On the Marxian View of the Relationship between Man and Nature” is one of a number of recent attempts to interpret Marxian doctrine in an environmentally attractive way. I argue that Lee does not really succeed, that many of the assumptions of the Marxian theory which Lee still retains are in conflict with a satisfactory environmental ethic and with the current process of revision of theconventional ethic. The central doctrine Lee expounds, the superficially attractive Marxian thesis of (...) unity between man and nature, is attractive only because the real basis of this “unity”-the transformation of nature into a human expression-is not spelled out. Such unity-through-transformation is incompatible with retention and respect for untransformed nature, i.e., wilderness. The Marxian position Lee expoundsis environmentally unsatisfactory in many other ways also: it continues to laud the “objectification” of nature, retains a highly homocentric view of man’s relation to nature, and encourages human hubris. Other specific elements of the position Lee presents which are in conflict with environmentalism are the doctrine of the historical necessity of the capitalist stage, with its acquiescence in the destructive technology of advanced capitalism, the chauvinistic Marxian material on animals appealed to by Lee, and the treatment of liberation as the maximization of leisure and the minimization of bread labor. To obtain an environmentally sound noncapitalist society it is necessary to discard many central elements of Marxian doctrine and to move beyond Marx. (shrink)
This paper integrates genetical studies of variation in the wing patterns of Lepidoptera with experimental investigations of developmental mechanisms. Research on the tropical butterfly,Bicyclus anynana, is described. This work includes artificial selection of lines with different patterns of wing eyespots followed by grafting experiments on the lines to examine the phenotypic and genetic differences in terms of developmental mechanisms. The results are used to show how constraints on the evolution of this wing pattern may be related to (...) the developmental organisation. The eyespot pattrn can be envisaged as a set of developmental homologues; a common developmental mechanism is associated with a quantitative genetic system involving high genetic correlations. However, individual genes which influence only subsets of the eyespots, thus uncoupling the interdependence of the eyespots, may be important in evolutionary change. The postulated evolutionary constraints are illustrated with respect to differences in wing pattern found among other species ofBicyclus. (shrink)
The following reflections were originally an oral response to issues raised in Lee Yearley's presentation in May 2009 at Harvard Divinity School. As written here, they follow upon his oral and now written comments, highlighting key issues and points for development, drawing on this respondent's expertise in comparative and Hindu studies.
Contemporary physics is in a great need of a unified theoretical framework allowing for a comprehensive physical description of particles and interactions. One of the leading candidates for such a framework, the superstring theory, has recently provoked immense critics due to the lack of its experimental verification (L. Smolin, R. Penrose). The survey of the specificity of the unification mechanisms that are operative within the superstring theory shows that, in comparison with such a successful paradigm as that of the general (...) theory of relativity, the unification model of the theory does not follow the strict relation between the formalism and a unifying physical idea. The critical analysis of the superstring theory, presented by Lee Smolin in his book The Trouble with Physics, offers a detailed re-evaluation of theory's physical foundations but remains insensitive to issues of methodological, ontological and epistemological import. In particular, Smolin seems to be aware of the lack of the background independence as well as the need to compactify extra space-time dimensions that are hoped to be alleviated in the future M-theory. He treats purely mathematical criteria such as that of renormalizability on an equal footing with the physical interpretation of the theory. Such a methodological disarray leads to Smolin's biased estimate of the true drawbacks of the superstring theory. (shrink)
Book I: Before -- The origin -- Book II: Genesis -- Here goes nothing -- The light at the end of the tunnel -- Directions -- The geography of nowhere -- Book III: In residence -- Foyer -- Living room -- Dinner party -- East Room -- West Wing -- A room of one's own -- The children's hour -- In the garden -- Reflecting pool -- Book IV: Public library -- Dictionary of nothing -- The reading room -- (...) Writers' room -- In the stacks -- Samuel Beckett -- Italo Calvino -- E.M. Cioran -- Edmond Jabès -- Thomas Merton -- Rumi -- William Shakespeare -- Poets' corner -- Through a glass darkly -- The classics -- Book V: Concert Hall -- Overture -- Silence of the spheres -- Symphonies of silence -- Moments of silence -- The audience -- Book VI: School -- Knowing nothing -- The joy of unknowing -- Mathematics -- The arts -- Science sutra -- Creative thinking -- Paradoxical logic -- Master class -- Recess -- Final exam -- Book VII: Museum -- Permanent collection -- The moderns -- Warhol retrospective -- Gallery of blind spots -- In studio -- Nothing is beautiful -- Book VIII: Theater district -- Comedy tonight -- Mostly mystery -- Sing along -- In the wings -- Theater of the absurd -- Book IX: House of worship -- Nothing is sacred -- Seminary -- House of doubt -- Practicing nothing -- Book X: Downtown -- City hall -- At the office -- Inn on Main Street -- Restaurant -- Corner bar -- Wall Street -- Book XI: City limits -- This way out -- Tunnel at the end of the light -- Cemetery -- Last words -- After lite. (shrink)
This article defends as correct and as faithful to Aquinas’s thought the tenets of “descriptivism” (sometimes called “naturalism”) in the context of criticisms that Patrick Lee has made in “Is Thomas’s Natural Law Theory Naturalist?” (American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 71:4 : 567–87). “Revisiting Aquinas” argues that evaluative utterances are descriptive; so even if human goods were immediately known by practical reason (a position nonetheless rejected), their understanding would be a descriptive one, which moral objectivity requires. The arising of the prescriptivity (...) of precepts in relation to practical reason is then treated. The descriptivism articulated in this paper supports Lee’s emphasis on the primacy of love and choice; it further stresses that submission to an understood order of objective goods is essential to willing well. (shrink)
It is well-known that the domain of case assignment extends beyond the arguments of a predicate to a range of adverbials in some languages, including Korean. In this paper we concentrate on case-marked Duration/Frequency adverbials which are characterized as ‘extensive measures’ by Wechsler and Lee (1996).∗ In some languages, case-marked adverbials are in the accusative and provide a boundedness to an event (cf. Kuryłowicz (1964), Kiparsky (1998), Kratzer (2004)). However, in Korean, the D/F adverbials can show accusative or nominative, with (...) no apparent difference in their temporal or aspectual semantic contribution. (shrink)
David Lewis's book 'On the Plurality of Worlds' mounts an extended defense of the thesis of modal realism, that the world we inhabit the entire cosmos of which we are a part is but one of a vast plurality of worlds, or cosmoi, all causally and spatiotemporally isolated from one another. The purpose of this article is to provide an accessible summary of the main positions and arguments in Lewis's book.
The paper argues that philosophers commonly misidentify the substitutivity principle involved in Russell’s puzzle about substitutivity in “On Denoting” (the so-called "George IV puzzle"). This matters because when that principle is properly identified the puzzle becomes considerably sharper and more interesting than it is often taken to be. This article describes both the puzzle itself and Russell's solution to it, which involves resources beyond the theory of descriptions. It then explores the epistemological and metaphysical consequences of that solution. One such (...) consequence, it argues, is that Russell must abandon his commitment to propositions. (shrink)
This anthology is the first devoted exclusively to On Certainty. The essays are grouped under four headings: the Framework, Transcendental, Epistemic and Therapeutic readings, and an introduction helps explain why these readings need not be seen as antagonistic. Contributions from W.H. Brenner, Alice Crary, Michael Kober, Edward Minar, Howard Mounce, Daniele Moyal-Sharrock, Thomas Morawetz, D.Z. Phillips, Duncan Pritchard, Rupert Read, Anthony Rudd, Joachim Schulte, Avrum Stroll, Michael Williams.
The article evaluates the Domain Postulate of the Classical Model of Science and the related Aristotelian prohibition rule on kind-crossing as interpretative tools in the history of the development of mathematics into a general science of quantities. Special reference is made to Proclus’ commentary to Euclid’s first book of Elements , to the sixteenth century translations of Euclid’s work into Latin and to the works of Stevin, Wallis, Viète and Descartes. The prohibition rule on kind-crossing formulated by Aristotle in Posterior (...) analytics is used to distinguish between conceptions that share the same name but are substantively different: for example the search for a broader genus including all mathematical objects; the search for a common character of different species of mathematical objects; and the effort to treat magnitudes as numbers. (shrink)
Primary Works -/- Hume, David(1997) An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, from Philosophical Classics from Plato to Nietzsche, Ed. By Forrest E. Baired & Walter Kaufmann, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. -/- ___________ (1978) A Treatise of Human Nature, Edited by L.A. Selby-Bigge Oxford University Press, London. -/- :___________( 2006) The Understanding(Treatise :Book I), Ed. by Bennettt, Jonathan , The, Radical Academy, -/- Link:http;//www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdf/humebig.pdf.Citation:20-10-2006 -/- Flew, Antony(1962) Hume on Human Nature and the Understanding, Edi. ,Collier Books, New York.
In this paper, I address Mitchell Herschbach’s arguments against the phenomenological critics of folk psychology. Central to Herschbach’s arguments is the introduction of Michael Wheeler’s distinction between ‘on-line’ and ‘off-line’ intelligence to the debate on social understanding. Herschbach uses this distinction to describe two arguments made by the phenomenological critics. The first is that folk psychology is exclusively off-line and mentalistic. The second is that social understanding is on-line and non-mentalistic. To counter the phenomenological critics, Herschbach argues for the existence (...) of on-line false belief understanding. This demonstrates that folk psychology is not restricted to off-line forms and that folk psychology is more widespread than the phenomenological critics acknowledge. In response, I argue the on-line/off-line distinction is a problematic way of demarcating the phenomenological critics from orthodox accounts of folk psychology. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose a comparison between some widely accepted Quinian views and Ludwig Wittgenstein's remarks on the logical and the empirical in On Certainty. While Quine's perspective and Wittgenstein's aare not thorougly dissimilar (so that the question of which influence Wittgenstein's thought might have had on the thought of some contemporary philosopher like Quine is both interesting and relevant), there is at least one important difference between them. I submit that Wittgenstein's view on this crucial distinction are more (...) general but ultimately more plausible than the nowadays popular Quinian view. (shrink)
While Cavell is well known for his reinterpretation of the later Wittgenstein, he has never really engaged himself with post-Investigations writings like On Certainty. This collection may, however, seem to undermine the profoundly anti-dogmatic reading of Wittgenstein that Cavell has developed. In addition to apparently arguing against what Cavell calls ‘the truth of skepticism’ – a phrase contested by other Wittgensteinians – On Certainty may seem to justify the rejection of whoever dares to question one’s basic presuppositions. According to On (...) Certainty, or so it seems, the only right response to someone with different certainties is a reproach like ‘Fool!’ or ‘Heretic!’. This article aims to show that On Certainty need not be taken to prove Cavell wrong. It explains that Wittgenstein, in line with the first two parts of The Claim of Reason, does not reject scepticism out of hand but rather questions the sceptic’s self-understanding. Using arguments from Part Three of The Claim, the article moreover argues that a confrontation with divergence calls for self-examination rather than self-righteousness. Precisely because Wittgenstein acknowledges ‘the groundlessness of our believing’ or, in Cavellian terms, ‘the truth of skepticism’, he is not the authoritarian thinker that some have taken him to be. (shrink)
rimary Works -/- Descartes, Rene, (1997) Meditations on the First Philosophy, from Philosophical Classics from Plato to Nietzsche, Ed. By Forrest E. Baired & Walter Kaufmann, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. -/- ______________ (1972) “The Principles of Philosophy”, from Masterworks of Philosophy, Vol.I, Ed. by S.E. Frost Jr., McGraw Hill Book Company. -/- ______________ (1958)”The Passions of the Soul”, from Descartes Philosophical Writings, Trans.& Selected by Norman Kemp Smith, The Modern Library, New York. -/- _____________ (1927)”The Passions of (...) the Soul”, from Descartes Selections, Edi. by Charles Scribner’s Sons, United States. -/- ____________ (2006)” Meditations on the First Philosophy”, The Radical Academy, 2006.Link:http;//www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdf/desmed.pdf ,Citation:20-10-2006 -/- _____________(2006)”Discourse on the Method“, The Radical Academy, 2006.Link:http;//www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdf/desdisc.pdf ,Citation:20-10-2006 -/- ______________:”Objections to Descartes’s Meditations, and His Replies“, The Radical Academy, 2006.Link:http;//www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdf/descor.pdf ,Citation:20-10-2006 -/- Anscomb,E.& Geach,P.T. (1966) Descartes Philosophical Writings, (Edi.& Trans.) The Nelson and Sons Ltd., London. (shrink)
In this collection of interviews, Derrick Jensen discusses the destructive dominant culture with ten people who have devoted their lives to undermining it. Whether it is Carolyn Raffensperger and her radical approach to public health, or Thomas Berry on perceiving the sacred; be it Kathleen Dean Moore reminding us that our bodies are made of mountains, rivers, and sunlight; or Vine Deloria asserting that our dreams tell us more about the world than science ever can, the activists and philosophers interviewed (...) in How Shall I Live My Life? each bravely present a few of the endless forms that resistance can and must take. (shrink)
Spike Lee’s film 25 th Hour begins with an act of violence that it does not show: instead, the viewer hears the sounds of a dog being beaten. The dog’s menacing growl is then transformed into the growling image of Montgomery ‘Monty’ Brogan’s car speeding through New York. Monty spots the dog, and stops. It is only then that the viewer witnesses the results of the film’s ‘foundational’ act of violence: the bloody body of a dog beaten to pulp. When (...) Monty approaches the dog, it turns out the animal ‘still has some bite left in him’. Perhaps because the dog is a fighter, Monty decides to save him. Although the dog resists, he ultimately manages to get the dog in the trunk of his car. But Monty does not emerge from the rescue operation unscathed: blood is trickling from a cut in his neck. This scene can be read as a pre-figuration of a stomach-turning scene towards the end of the film, in which Monty’s friend Francis ‘Frank’ Slaughtery will beat up Monty’s face beyond recognition so that Monty will not be raped on his first night in jail. Monty’s face recalls the dog at the beginning of the film. It is through the bloody mess of their bodies that Monty and the dog begin to communicate, to enter into communion. This essay explores how this communion, this communication between Monty and the dog, comes about. I am interested, specifically, in what the significance of such an exploration might be for contemporary conceptions of community. The essay initially approaches this topic against the background of Emmanuel Levinas’ work on ethics, in which the notion of the face has played a crucial role. But its aim is really to situate the film, through the references to the work of Francis Bacon that it includes, in a more contemporary, post-Levinasian debate on an ethics of defacement. I am particularly interested in exploring the significance of such an ethics in the post-September 11 era, which is explicitly evoked at the beginning of Lee’s film. My argument is that Monty and the dog begin to communicate, to enter into a communion, and thus to form a community, through a process of defacement that simultaneously strips them from their ways of life and propels them into a shared ethical and political becoming. (shrink)
Political realism remains a powerful theoretical framework for thinking about international relations, including the war on terrorism. For Morgenthau and other realists, foreign policy is a matter of national interest defined in terms of power. Some writers view this tenet as weakening, if not severing, realism's link with morality. I take up the contrary view that morality is embedded in realist thought, as well as the possibility of realism being thinly and thickly moralised depending on the moral psychology of the (...) agents. I argue that a prima facie case can be made within a thinly moralised realism for a relatively weak ally like Bosnia to enter the war on terrorism. An inflationary model of morality, however, explains how the moral horror of genocide in an ally's past may lead to a thickened moralised realism such that allied policy-makers question their country's entry into the war. (shrink)
Much of recent American history was influenced by the events of September 11, 2001. U.S. foreign policy during the two terms of President George W. Bush was shaped by five public texts issued within a few days following the terrorist attacks. This article reviews some of the opinions and critical observations on the president’s rhetoric during that timeframe and attempts to provide a fresh perspective. The analysis seeks to avoid ideological and political considerations and focus on the actual language. It (...) draws conclusions based on statistics, discourse strategy and semantics. A particular interest is reserved for the concept that defined subsequent political developments, which is the war on terror . My intention is to show how this choice was made, the manner in which the phrase evolved into its final form, and why it represented the most appropriate frame in terms of semantic arguments. (shrink)
On the now dominant Quinean view, metaphysics is about what there is. Metaphysics so conceived is concerned with such questions as whether properties exist, whether meanings exist, and whether numbers exist. I will argue for the revival of a more traditional Aristotelian view, on which metaphysics is about what grounds what. Metaphysics so revived does not bother asking whether properties, meanings, and numbers exist (of course they do!) The question is whether or not they are fundamental.
I argue that a Sellarsian approach to experience allows one to take seriously the thought that there is something given to us in perception without denying that we can only be conscious of conceptually structured content. I argue against the traditional empiricist reading of Sellars, according to which sensations are understood as epistemically graspable prior to concrete propositional representations, by showing that it is unclear on such a view why sensations are not just the given as Sellars so famously criticizes (...) it. I suggest an alternative transcendental reading, according to which there are two sides to the subject matter of perceptual judgments: The matter given in perception (sensation), and its form (intuition). I present an account of sensations and intuitions on which it is unproblematic to see sensations as what is given in perception: They are not intelligible independently of their role as the matter of intuitions, the content of which is accessible to us only in the context of a judgment. (shrink)
The priority monist holds that the cosmos is the only fundamental object, of which every other concrete object is a dependent part. One major argument against monism goes back to Russell, who claimed that pluralism is favoured by common sense. However, Jonathan Schaffer turns this argument on its head and uses it to defend priority monism. He suggests that common sense holds that the cosmos is a whole, of which ordinary physical objects are arbitrary portions, and that arbitrary portions depend (...) for their existence on the existence of the whole. In this paper, we challenge Schaffer’s claim that the parts of the cosmos are all arbitrary portions. We suggest that there is a way of carving up the universe such that at least some of its parts are not arbitrary. We offer two arguments in support of this claim. First, we shall outline semantic reasons in its favour: in order to accept that empirical judgements are made true or false by the way the world is, one must accept that the cosmos includes parts whose existence is not arbitrary. Second, we offer an ontological argument: in order for macro-physical phenomena to exist, there must be some micro-physical order which they depend upon, and this order must itself be non-arbitrary. We conclude that Schaffer’s common sense argument for monism cannot be made to work. (shrink)
: This paper contains the analysis of nine interviews with UK scientists on the topic of scientific models. Scientific models are an important, very controversially discussed topic in philosophy of science. A reasonable expectation is that philosophical conceptions of models ought to be in agreement with scientific practice. Questioning practicing scientists on their use of and views on models provides material against which philosophical positions can be measured.
This paper presents a puzzle or antinomy about the role of properties in causation. In theories of properties, a distinction is often made between determinable properties, like red, and their determinates, like scarlet (see Armstrong 1978, volume II). Sometimes determinable properties are cited in causal explanations, as when we say that someone stopped at the traffic light because it was red. If we accept that properties can be among the relata of causation, then it can be argued that there are (...) good reasons for allowing that some of these are determinable properties. On the other hand, there are strong arguments in the metaphysics of properties to treat properties as sparse in David Lewis’s (1983) sense. But then it seems that we only need to believe in the most determinate properties: particular shades of colour, specific masses, lengths and so on. And if we also agree with Lewis that sparse properties are ‘the ones relevant to causal powers’ (1983: 13) it seems we must conclude that if properties are relevant to causation at all, then all of these are determinate properties. I call this ‘the antinomy of determinable causation’. On the one hand, we have a good argument for the claim that determinable properties can be causes, if any properties are. I call this the Thesis. But on the other hand, we have a good argument for the claim that only the most determinate properties can be causes, if any properties are. I call this the Antithesis. Clearly, we need to reject either the Thesis or the.. (shrink)
As is well known, Wittgenstein pointed out an asymmetry between first- and third-person psychological statements: the first, unlike the latter, involve observation or a claim to knowledge and are constitutionally open to uncertainty. In this paper, I challenge this asymmetry and Wittgenstein's own affirmation of the constitutional uncertainty of third-person psychological statements, and argue that Wittgenstein ultimately did too. I first show that, on his view, most of our third-person psychological statements are noncognitive; they stem from a subjective certainty: a (...) certainty which, though not the result of an epistemic process, is not invulnerable to error in that it is a kind of assumption. I then trace Wittgenstein's realization that some third-person psychological certainties are not merely subjective but 'objective' (which means, as he uses the word, that they are logically indubitable): in some cases, we can be as logically certain that someone else is in pain than we are about ourselves being in pain. This positively reinforces Wittgenstein's rebuttal of other mind scepticism. I conclude with a response to objections about the legitimacy of calling an assurance that is logical (i.e., that does not have uncertainty or doubt on its flipside) a 'certainty', by suggesting that the flipside is to be found in pathological cases, and most pertinently here, in cases of dyssemia: a rare disorder affecting the ability to properly express or recognize basic physical expressions of feeling. (shrink)
In the Tractatus Wittgenstein criticizes Frege and Russell's view that laws of inference (Schlussgesetze) "justify" logical inferences. What lies behind this criticism, I argue, is an attack on Frege and Russell's conceptions of logical entailment. In passing, I examine Russell's dispute with Bradley on the question whether all relations are "internal".
Two questions about singular or de re thought are seldom as sharply distinguished as they deserve to be. The first concerns singularity of form. The second concerns singularity of content. Though much has been written in recent years about singularity of content, less attention has been given to questions about singularity of form.[i] This was not always so. The question why our thought and talk should take the form of thought and talk about objects at all once occupied center stage (...) for philosophers as diverse as Kant, Frege, and Quine.[ii] Though the Kant- Frege-Quine question has been largely absent from the stage in recent philosophy, if we are to see both what is right and what is wrong about certain prominent views about the nature of singular thought, it is time to shine the klieg lights once again on the form-content distinction. The prominent views are the widely endorsed acquaintance condition on singular thought and the less widely endorsed but nonetheless tempting view that Robin Jeshion has recently called semantic instrumentalism. [iii] Semantic instrumentalism is the view that singular thoughts about an object can be had on the cognitive cheap merely by manipulating the apparatus of singular reference. Most theorists of singular thought endorse some more or less demanding acquaintance condition on singular thought.[iv] As such, they mostly reject semantic instrumentalism. Indeed, most theorists accept some acquaintance condition because they think that semantic instrumentalism could not possibly be true. But one thing that I shall try to show in this essay is that when semantic instrumentalism is restricted to its proper scope, it captures a deep, though only partial truth about the nature of singular thought. And I shall also argue that acquaintance has been oversold as a constraint on the possibility of the de re thinkability of objects. And the key to seeing this all is keeping proper track of the form-content distinction for singular thought.. (shrink)
Benjamin Libet and also Libet and collaborators claim to advance a single hypothesis, with important consequences, about the time of a conscious experience in relation to the time when there occurs a certain physical condition in the brain. This condition is spoken of as
_adequacy_ for the experience, or, as we can as well say, _neural adequacy_ .5 This finding has been taken to throw doubt on theories that take neural and mental events to be in necessary (...) or lawlike connection, and also certain identity theories of mind and brain, as well as determinist theories. (shrink)
This article has two goals: a historical and a speculative one. The historical goal is to offer a coherent account of Spinoza’s view on mereological composition. The speculative goal is to show that Spinoza’s substance monism is distinct from versions of monism that are currently defended in metaphysics and that it deserves the attention of contemporary metaphysicians. Regarding the second goal, two versions of monism are currently defended and discussed in contemporary metaphysics: existence monism according to which there actually exists (...) exactly one concrete entity; and priority monism that is famously defended by Jonathan Schaffer and according to which there exists exactly one fundamental concrete being, the cosmos, and several derivative concrete beings that are the parts of the cosmos. In this article, I argue that substance monism is neither an existence nor a priority monism because, while Spinoza’s monist is committed to the existence of a unique fundamental individual—the substance—and to the existence of several derivative individuals—the bodies or modes of extension—, Spinoza denies that the substance is mereologically complex. Regarding the first goal, the paper solves several interpretative puzzles by arguing that Spinoza distinguishes between three kinds of composition and that his talk of composition between the substance and its modes is by his own light not to be interpreted as literally true. (shrink)
This paper examines Santayana on imagination, and related themes, chiefly as these are expressed in his early work, Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900). My hypothesis is that Santayana under-estimates, in this book, the force and significance of the prevalent distinction between imagination and fancy, as this was originally put forward by Coleridge and later developed in Emerson’s late essays. I will focus on some of those aspects of Santayana’s book which appear to react to or to engage with Emerson’s (...) views and aim to bring Santayana’s treatment of the theme of imagination into relation with Emerson. Understanding the differences in greater detail we stand a better chance of reasoned evaluation of alternative conceptions of imagination. I will argue that the Coleridge-Emersonian conception of the distinction between imagination and fancy is a crucial element of the background of Peircean abduction, and in this fashion, contributes to the continuity of Emerson’s writings with the pragmatist tradition. (shrink)
In "Behavioral Law and Economics: The Assault on Consent, Will, and Dignity," Mark D. White uses the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant to examine the intersection of economics, psychology, and law known as "behavioral law and economics." Scholars in this relatively new field claim that, because of various cognitive biases and failures, people often make choices that are not in their own interests. The policy implications of this are that public and private organizations, such as the state and employers, can (...) and should design the presentation of options and default choices in order to "steer" people to the decision they would make, were they able to make choices in the absence of their cognitive biases and failures. Such policies are promoted under the name "libertarian paternalism," because choice is not blocked or co-opted, but simply "nudged." White argues that such manipulation of choice is impossible to conduct in people's true interests, and any other goal pursed by policymakers substitutes their own ends, however benevolent they may be, for people's true ends. Normatively, such manipulation should not be conducted because it fails to respect the dignity and autonomy of persons, what some hold to be the central idea in Kant's ethical system, and which serves to protect the individual from coercion, however subtle, from other persons or the state. (shrink)
Advocates of traditional views on truth such as the correspondence and coherence theories converge on two theses about truth: substantivism and monism. According to the former thesis, truth consists in some substantive property or relation F. According to the latter thesis, there is exactly one property or relation (whether substantive or not) in terms of which truth is to be accounted for across all truth-apt domains of discourse. The correspondence theorist thus has it that a proposition is true just in (...) case it corresponds with reality, i.e. just in case a certain substantive relation holds between language and the world. Furthermore, this is so for any truth-apt discourse: whether we are dealing with propositions about mathematics, medium-sized dry goods, or legal matters truth always and everywhere consists in correspondence with reality.1 Recently, resistance to alethic traditionalism has emerged from two camps. The deflationist takes issue with substantivism: there is nothing more to truth than what is captured by instances of the following well-known schema: (T) 〈p〉 is true iff p. 2 According to the deflationist, substantive properties (or relations) such as correspondence and coherence have no role to play in an account of truth. At most, a deﬂationist will allow that all true propositions share a “lightweight” property of falling under the concept of truth. Deﬂationists about truth thus reject the metaphysical project that aims to uncover the deep or substantive nature of truth. Truth, according to the deflationist, is merely a logical device that serves certain functions such as endorsing a proposition and making (potentially infinite) generalizations. For instance, instead of saying that the empty set is a subset of every set and that Bob believes 〈the empty set is a subset of every set〉, the power set of an infinite set is uncountable and Bob believes 〈the power set of an infinite set is uncountable〉, and so on for Bob’s other beliefs about set.... (shrink)
In ‘On Denoting’ and to some extent in ‘Review of Meinong and Others, Untersuchungen zur Gegenstandstheorie und Psychologie’, published in the same issue of Mind (Russell, 1905a,b), Russell presents not only his famous elimination (or contextual deﬁ nition) of deﬁ nite descriptions, but also a series of considerations against understanding deﬁ nite descriptions as singular terms. At the end of ‘On Denoting’, Russell believes he has shown that all the theories that do treat deﬁ nite descriptions as singular terms fall (...) logically short: Meinong’s, Mally’s, his own earlier (1903) theory, and Frege’s. (He also believes that at least some of them fall short on other grounds—epistemological and metaphysical—but we do not discuss these criticisms except in passing). Our aim in the present paper is to discuss whether his criticisms actually refute Frege’s theory. We ﬁ rst attempt to specify just what Frege’s theory is and present the evidence that has moved scholars to attribute one of three different theories to Frege in this area. We think that each of these theories has some claim to be Fregean, even though they are logically quite different from each other. This raises the issue of determining Frege’s attitude towards these three theories. We consider whether he changed his mind and came to replace one theory with another, or whether he perhaps thought that the different theories applied to different realms, for example, to natural language versus a language for formal logic and arithmetic. We do not come to any hard and fast conclusion here, but instead just note that all these theories treat deﬁ nite descriptions as singular terms, and that Russell proceeds as if he has refuted them all. After taking a brief look at the formal properties of the Fregean theories (particularly the logical status of various sentences containing nonproper deﬁ - nite descriptions) and comparing them to Russell’s theory in this regard, we turn to Russell’s actual criticisms in the above-mentioned articles to examine the extent to which the criticisms hold.. (shrink)
Over the last twenty years, Bas van Fraassen has developed a “new epistemology”: an attempt to sail between Bayesianism and traditional epistemology. He calls his own alternative “voluntarism”. A constant pillar of his thought is the thought that rationality involves permission rather than obligation. The present paper aims to offer an appraisal of van Fraassen’s conception of rationality. In section 2, I review the Bayesian structural conception of rationality and argue that it has been found wanting. In sections 3 and (...) 4, I analyse van Fraassen’s voluntarism. I raise some objections about van Fraassen’s reliance on prior opinion and argue that the content of a belief matters to its rationality. In section 5, I criticise van Fraassen’s view that inference to the best explanation is incoherent. Finally, in section 6, I take on van Fraassen’s conception of rationality and show that it is too thin to fully capture rational judgement. (shrink)
In the last two decades the idea of African Philosophy has undergone significant change and scrutiny. Some critics have maintained that the idea of a system of philosophical thought tied to African traditions is incoherent. In African Philosophy Lee Brown has collected new essays by top scholars in the field that in various ways respond to these criticisms and defend the notion of African Philosophy. The essays address both epistemological and metaphysical issues that are specific to the traditional conceptual languages (...) of sub-Saharan Africa. The primary focus of the collection is on traditional African conceptions of topics like mind, person, personal identity, truth, knowledge, understanding, objectivity, destiny, free will, causation, and reality. The contributors--who include Leke Adeofe, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Lee Brown, Segun Gbadegesin, D.A. Masolo, Albert Mosley, Ifeanyi Menkiti, and Kwasi Wiredu--incorporate concerns from various African philosophical traditions, including Akan, Azande, Bokis, Igno, Luo, and Yoruba. African Philosophy ultimately tries to bring a more rigorous conception of African philosophy into fruitful contact with Western philosophical concerns, specifically in the philosophies of psychology, mind, science, and language, as well as in metaphysics and epistemology. It will appeal to both scholars and students. (shrink)
: Marin Mersenne was central to the new mathematical approach to nature in Paris in the 1630s and 1640s. Intellectually, he was one of the most enthusiastic practitioners of that program, and published a number of influential books in those important decades. But Mersenne started his career in a rather different way. In the early 1620s, Mersenne was known in Paris primarily as a writer on religious topics, and a staunch defender of Aristotle against attacks by those who would replace (...) him by a new philosophy. In this essay, I would like to examine Mersenne's changing attitude toward Galileo. In the early 1620s, Mersenne lists Galileo among the innovators in natural philosophy whose views should be rejected. However, by the early 1630s, less than a decade later, Mersenne has become one of Galileo's most ardent supporters. How, then, did Mersenne learn to love Galileo? (shrink)
Miriam Solomon's social empiricism is marked by emphasis on community level rationality in science and the refusal to impose a distinction between the epistemic and the non-epistemic character of factors ("decision vectors") that incline scientists for or against a theory. While she attempts to derive some norms from the analysis of cases, her insistent naturalism undermines her effort to articulate norms for the (appropriate) distribution of decision vectors.