Some argue, following Bertrand Russell, that because general truths are not entailed by particular truths, general facts must be posited to exist in addition to particular facts. I argue on the contrary that because general truths (globally) supervene on particular truths, general facts are not needed in addition to particular facts; indeed, if one accepts the Humean denial of necessary connections between distinct existents, one can further conclude that there are no general facts. When entailment and (...) supervenience do not coincide it is only failure of supervenience, not failure of entailment, that carries ontological import. (shrink)
Hegel begins the third main part of the Science of Logic, the “logic of the concept,” with the dialectic of universality. This dialectic, however, proves to be insufficient for the exposition of the fundamental structure of being-as-concept, because it is dominated by the perspective of self-identity. For this reason speculative logic develops a dialectic of particularity whose domain is dominated by the perspective of difference. While the dialectic of universality made explicit the meaning of the proposition-of-reason being-as-concept is universal, the (...) dialectic of particularity aspires to make explicit the meaning of the conflicting proposition-of-reason being-as-concept is particular. The present paper attempts a detailed reconstruction of this dialectic and thereby a disclosure of the meaning of the onto-logical claim that being-as-concept is particular. It is first shown how Hegel’s account of the particular relates to the expression of a totality of particulars. Next it is argued that the speculative notion of the particular is extremely complex and that this complexity can be decoded by means of four dimensions. Third, it is explained how abstraction comes to be regarded by Hegel as the essence of the particular. I end the paper by discussing how the collapse of the dialectic of particularity gives rise to the category of the individual and its peculiar dialectic. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine a puzzle that emerges from what J. P. Moreland has called the traditional realist view of quality instances. Briefly put, the puzzle is to figure out how quality instances fit into the overall structure of a concrete particular, given that the traditional realist view of quality instances prima facie seems incompatible with what might be called the traditional realist view of concrete particulars. After having discussed the traditional realist views involved and the puzzle that (...) emerges from their juxtaposition, I propose an alternative realist view of quality instances which resolves the puzzle. In short, the puzzle is solved by treating the distinction between a concrete particular and its quality instances as a distinction of reason, and by adopting the view that the individuating element of a concrete particular must also serve as its unifying element – a view which Moreland, one of traditional realism’s most stalwart contemporary defenders, rejects. (shrink)
The theory of the ontological constitution of material objects based on bare particulars has recently experienced a revival, especially thanks to the work of J.P. Moreland. Moreland and other authors belonging to this â€˜new waveâ€™, however, have focused primarily on the issue whether or not the notion of a â€˜bareâ€™ particular is internally consistent. Not much has been said, instead, about the relation holding between bare particulars and the properties they are supposed to unify into concrete particulars. This paper (...) aims to fill this gap and, making reference primarily to Morelandâ€™s version of the theory, highlight some aspects and consequences of it that have not received due attention so far. It is argued that, given a number of seemingly plausible metaphysical assumptions, supporters of bare particulars are led to either endorse supersubstantivalismâ€”the view that material objects are identical with regions of spaceâ€“timeâ€”or abandon their theory altogether. Whatever one makes of the proposed conclusion, a dialectical structure emerges that puts precise constraints on bare particular ontologies and, therefore, will have to be taken into account in future discussion of these and related topics. (shrink)
Is the assumption of a fundamental distinction between particulars and universals another unsupported dogma of metaphysics? F. P. Ramsey famously rejected the particular–universal distinction but neglected to consider the many different conceptions of the distinction that have been advanced. As a contribution to the (inevitably) piecemeal investigation of this issue three interrelated conceptions of the particular–universal distinction are examined: (i) universals, by contrast to particulars, are unigrade; (ii) particulars are related to universals by an asymmetric tie of exemplification; (...) (iii) universals are incomplete whereas particulars are complete. It is argued that these conceptions are wanting in several respects. Sometimes they fail to mark a significant division amongst entities. Sometimes they make substantial demands upon the shape of reality; once these demands are understood aright it is no longer obvious that the distinction merits our acceptance. The case is made via a discussion of the possibility of multigrade universals. (shrink)
A long-standing theme in discussion of perception and thought has been that our primary cognitive contact with individual objects and events in the world derives from our perceptual contact with them.1 When I look at a duck in front of me, I am not merely presented with the fact that there is at least one duck in the area, rather I seem to be presented with this thing (as one might put it from my perspective) in front of me, which (...) looks to me to be a duck. Furthermore, such a perception would seem to put me in a position not merely to make the existential judgement that there is some duck or other present, but rather to make a singular, demonstrative judgement, that that is an duck. My grounds for an existential judgement in this case derives from my apprehension of the demonstrative thought and not vice versa. The cognitive role of experience is also mirrored in its phenomenology: that I am presented with a particular rubber duck, or a particular event of, say, the duck coming oﬀ the production line, is reﬂected in how things now visually appear to me. It looks to me as if there is a particular object before me, or that some given unrepeatable event is occurring. Hence we should expect a theory of sensory experience which aims to give an adequate account of phenomenology to accommodate and explain how such experience can indeed be particular in character. An Intentional Theory of Perception (as I shall use this phrase) seeks to explain aspects of the phenomenal character of our perceptual experience in terms of the experience’s possession of representational properties or, in other words, through its possession of an intentional content. On such a view, an experience’s having the phenomenal properties it does (at least, with respect to those aspects of it directed at the external world) is not constitutively dependent on any object, event, or property-instance which the experience presents to the subject. One’s experience would be just the way it is, presenting to one just the kind of state of aﬀairs it does, whether or.... (shrink)
Armstrong holds that a law of nature is a certain sort of structural universal which, in turn, fixes causal relations between particular states of affairs. His claim that these nomic structural universals explain causal relations commits him to saying that such universals are irreducible, not supervenient upon the particular causal relations they fix. However, Armstrong also wants to avoid Plato’s view that a universal can exist without being instantiated, a view which he regards as incompatible with naturalism. This (...) construal of naturalism forces Armstrong to say that universals are abstractions from a certain class of particulars; they are abstractions from first-order states of affairs, to be more precise. It is here argued that these two tendencies in Armstrong cannot be reconciled: To say that universals are abstractions from first-order states of affairs is not compatible with saying that universals fix causal relations between particulars. Causal relations are themselves states of affairs of a sort, and Armstrong’s claim that a law is a kind of structural universal is best understood as the view that any given law logically supervenes on its corresponding causal relations. The result is an inconsistency, Armstrong having to say that laws do not supervene on particular causal relations while also being committed to the view that they do so supervene. The inconsistency is perhaps best resolved by denying that universals are abstractions from states of affairs. (shrink)
Abstract In this article, a critical assessment is carried out of the two available forms of nominalism with respect to the ontological constitution of material objects: resemblance nominalism and trope theory. It is argued that these two nominalistic ontologies naturally converge towards each other when the problems they have to face are identified and plausible solutions to these problems are sought. This suggests a synthesis between the two perspectives along lines first proposed by Sellars, whereby, at least at the level (...) of the simplest, truly fundamental constituents of reality, every particular is literally both an object and a particularized property (or, alternatively put, the distinction between objects and properties dissolves). Some potential problems and open issues for such an approach to nominalism in ontology are identified and discussed, with particular emphasis on the sort of fundamentalism that seems to crucially underlie the proposed ontology. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s12136-011-0145-x Authors Matteo Morganti, Department of Philosophy, University of Rome ‘RomaTRE’, Via Ostiense, 234, 00144 Rome, Italy Journal Acta Analytica Online ISSN 1874-6349 Print ISSN 0353-5150. (shrink)
While differing widely in other respects, both neo-Humean and neo-Kantian approaches to normativity embrace an internalist thesis linking reasons for acting to potential motivation. This thesis pushes in different directions depending on the underlying view of the powers of practical reason, but either way it sets the stage for an attack on realist attempts to ground reasons directly in facts about value. How can reasons that are not somehow grounded in motivational features of the agent nonetheless count as reasons for (...) that particular agent, having genuine normative force for her? Won't any realist, externalist view threaten to alienate the individual from the reasons that obtain for her, particularly if she fails (even after rational deliberation) to care about the values that are supposed to ground them? I argue that such objections can successfully be answered, and that externalist views of reasons need not be plagued with normative alienation. Focusing largely on a recent debate between Williams and McDowell over the nature of normative reasons, I show that a value-based externalist theory, when properly conceived, can account for the normative relevance of reasons to the particular agents for whom they obtain. Moreover, Williams's own sophisticated neo-Humeanism turns out to be vulnerable to parallel charges of normative alienation, which it cannot escape without compromising the very psychologistic orientation that has been its chief attraction. Realist externalism about reasons turns out to be a more viable and attractive alternative to both neo-Humeanism and neo-Kantianism than many currently take it to be. (shrink)
In this thesis, I give a metascientific account of causality in medicine. I begin with two historical cases of causal discovery. These are the discovery of the causation of Burkitt’s lymphoma by the Epstein-Barr virus, and of the various viral causes suggested for cervical cancer. These historical cases then support a philosophical discussion of causality in medicine. This begins with an introduction to the Russo- Williamson thesis (RWT), and discussion of a range of counter-arguments against it. Despite these, I argue (...) that the RWT is historically workable, given a small number of modifications. I then expand Russo and Williamson’s account. I first develop their suggestion that causal relationships in medicine require some kind of evidence of mechanism. I begin with a number of accounts of mechanisms and produce a range of consensus features of them. I then develop this consensus position by reference to the two historical case studies with an eye to their operational competence. In particular, I suggest that it is mechanistic models and their representations which we are concerned with in medicine, rather than the mechanism as it exists in the world. -/- I then employ these mechanistic models to give an account of the sorts of evidence used in formulating and evaluating causal claims. Again, I use the two human viral oncogenesis cases to give this account. I characterise and distinguish evidence of mechanism from evidence of difference-making, and relate this to mechanistic models. I then suggest the relationship between types of evidence presents us with a means of tackling the reference-class problem. This sets the scene for the final chapter. Here, I suggest the manner in which these two different classes of evidence become integrated is also reflected in the way that developing research programmes change as their associated causal claims develop. (shrink)
In a well-known passage from the Introduction to Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Kant defines the power or faculty of judgment [Urteilskraft] as "the capacity to think the particular as contained under the universal" (Introduction IV, 5:179).1 He then distinguishes two ways in which this faculty can be exercised, namely as determining or as reflecting. These two ways are defined as follows: "If the universal (the rule, the principle, the law) is given, then judgment, which subsumes the particular under (...) it... is determining. But if merely the particular is given, for which the universal is to be found, then judgment is merely reflecting" (ibid.) As Kant goes on to make clear, the Critique of Judgment is particularly concerned with judgment in its capacity as reflecting rather than determining. It is concerned, that is, with how we are to find universals (which he glosses as rules, principles, or laws) for given particulars. Despite the fact that the term "concept" does not appear in this set of definitions, Kant’s discussions of judgment elsewhere make it clear that this faculty can be identified at least in part with our capacity to think particular objects under concepts, in particular empirical concepts.2 The.. (shrink)
This paper is a critical re-examination of the argument in Plato's "Phaedo" for the thesis that all learning is recollection of prenatal knowledge. Plato's speaker Socrates concentrates on the case of 'equal sticks and stones', viewed as striving without complete success to resemble a Form, the Equal itself. The paper argues that (a) this is a rather special case, focused on geometry; (b) Plato is at pains to emphasize that the Form-particular relation need not be one of resemblance at (...) all, a concession which he insists would not, if made, damage his theory of recollection; (c) even if resemblance is assumed to be the correct account of that relationship, the 'striving to be like' gloss is not an integral component of Plato's metaphysics. (shrink)
Philosophers have proposed many alleged examples of non-causal explanations of particular events. I discuss several well-known examples and argue that they fail to be non-causal. 1 Questions2 Preliminaries3 Explanations That Cite Causally Inert Entities4 Explanations That Merely Cite Laws I5 Stellar Collapse6 Explanations That Merely Cite Laws II7 A Final Example8 Conclusion.
Rousseau's general will is mostly interpreted as promoting social unity at the expense of plurality. Conversely, this article argues that the general will depends on, and preserves, plurality for its formation and legitimacy. The general and the particular are not fixed opposites, for Rousseau, but are interdependent and contextually defined. The Rousseauian universal anticipates Laclau's notion of universality. The absence of any natural foundations for society deprives the universal of any pre-given identity. Likewise, the Laclauian universal names the lack (...) of ultimate ground for society. To prevent either sectarianism or despotism, the universal has to be constructed politically. Rousseau's contingent general will supplements the lack of universality, as diverse groups and individuals construct common values and political objectives that unify them across divisions without suppressing their difference. Due to its originary lack, the general will remains for ever incomplete. That incompleteness conditions the questioning, ambiguity and openness to change characterizing democracy. Key Words: democracy • equality • freedom • general will • Ernesto Laclau • particular • plurality • Jean-Jacques Rousseau • sovereignty • universal. (shrink)
In his book Democratic Authority, David Estlund puts forward a case for democracy, which he labels epistemic proceduralism, that relies on democracy's ability to produce good – that is, substantively just – results. Alongside this case for democracy Estlund attacks what he labels ‘utopophobia’, an aversion to idealistic political theory. In this article I make two points. The first is a general point about what the correct level of ‘idealisation’ is in political theory. Various debates are emerging on this question (...) and, to the extent that they are focused on ‘political theory’ as a whole, I argue, they are flawed. This is because there are different kinds of political concept, and they require different kinds of ideal. My second point is about democracy in particular. If we understand democracy as Estlund does, then we should see it as a problem-solving concept – the problem being that we need coercive institutions and rules, but we do not know what justice requires. As democracy is a response to a problem, we should not allow our theories of it, even at the ideal level, to be too idealised – they must be embedded in the nature of the problem they are to solve, and the beings that have it. (shrink)
The present paper is an attempt at the investigation of the nature of polarity contrast in natural languages. Truth conditions for natural language sentences are incomplete unless they include a proper definition of the conditions under which they are false. It is argued that the tertium non datur principle of classical bivalent logical systems is empirically invalid for natural languages: falsity cannot be equated with non-truth. Lacking a direct intuition about the conditions under which a sentence is false, we need (...) an independent foundation of the concept of falsity. The solution I offer is a definition of falsity in terms of the truth of a syntactic negation of the sentence. A definition of syntactic negation is proposed for English (Section 1). The considerations are applied to the analysis of definites in non-generic sentences and the analysis of generic indefinites. These two domains are investigated in breadth and some depth and the analyses compared and connected. During the discussion of non-generic predications with definite arguments and their respective negations (Section 2), a theory of predication is developed, basic to which is the distinction between integrative and summative predication. Summative predication, e.g., distributive plural, leads to contrary, all-or-no-thing, polarity contrasts due to the fundamental Presupposition of Indivisibility. Further-more, levels of predication are distinguished that are built up by various processes of constructing macropredications from lexical predicates. Given this analysis, particular (i.e., non-generic) quantification (Section 3) can be reanalyzed as an integrative, first-order form of predication that fills the truth-value gaps created by summative predication. The account comprises both nominal and adverbial quantification and relates quantification to the simpler types of predication discussed in Section 2. (shrink)
Moral particularism is commonly presented as an alternative to approaches to ethics, such as consequentialism or Kantianism. This paper argues that particularists' aversions to consequentialism stem not from a structural feature of consequentialism per se, but from substantial and structural axiological views traditionally associated with consequentialism. Given a particular approach to (intrinsic) value, there need be no conflict between moral particularism and consequentialism. We consider and reject a number of challenges holding that there is after all such a conflict. (...) We end by suggesting that our proposed position appears quite appealing since it preserves attractive elements from particularism as well as consequentialism. (shrink)
The article is a contribution to the debate between Tasmowski & Verluyten (1982, 1985) and Bosch (1983, 1984, 1987) as to how the form as well as the interpretation of anaphoric pronouns is determined. TV rightly criticize B's tests as to whether a particular third-person pronoun is functioning semantico-syntactically or referential-anaphorically; however, their examples and arguments do not warrant the conclusion that there is no substantive distinction to be drawn between the two types of pronoun use. Many of TV's (...) examples in this connection merit further analysis, which leads to very different conclusions from the ones they arrive at. There is not a single dichotomy between two types of pronoun use, but a dine, the crucial factor differentiating each position on the cline being the degree to which the pronoun's discourse referent or its intension is presupposed by the speaker. In section 2, I argue that the traditional notion ‘antecedent’, as espoused by TV, should be abandoned, and that it is in terms of the discourse model representation by means of which each discourse referent is encoded in the discourse model that anaphoric pronouns refer. Finally, in section 3, the role of the ‘agreement’ of anaphoric pronouns in gender and number is examined, and the conclusion is drawn that this is not a necessary condition for pronominal anaphora. Referential-anaphoric pronouns are relatively independent indexical expressions, and their gender and number features may be manipulated by the speaker to achieve a variety of types of reference to a particular discourse referent. Suggestions as to fruitful areas for future research in the field of pronominal anaphora are derived from the foregoing discussion. (shrink)
In this article we argue that ubuntu (human interdependence) is not some form of essentialist notion that unfolds in exactly the same way as some critics of ubuntu might want to suggest. Rather, we offer a philosophical position that (re)considers the situation of the self in relation to others. The article starts from the general issues at stake in the debate concerning particularity and universalist ethics. We then reconsider the general position of the ethics of care, and particularly how it (...) has recently been revisited by Michael Slote. Following this, ubuntu is characterised as a particular kind of ethic of care. With this in mind, what we shall put forward is an extension of Seyla Benhabib's (2006) view that the self and others should iteratively and hospitably engage in deliberation. Although we agree with Benhabib that iterations (as arguing over and over again and talking back) are worthwhile in themselves, considering ubuntu (‘a person becoming a person in relation with other persons’), we find Stanley Cavell's (1979) idea of ‘living with skepticism’—particularly, acknowledging humanity in the Other and oneself—as more apposite to extend the theoretical premises of ubuntu. Although the practice of ubuntu is lived out differently amongst Africa's people, we want to add to the diverse ways in which ubuntu can both disrupt and offer ways as to how challenges of human conflict and violence can possibly be resolved. The article finally addresses a couple of educational examples and argues that this approach, by being well-grounded in the life experience of learners, can critically assist the central role of education. (shrink)
On the critical side it is argued that, contrary to a widespread view, the explanation of particular facts does not play a central role in pure science and hence that philosophers of science are misguided in supposing that the understanding of such explanations is one of the central tasks of the philosophy of science. It is suggested that the view being attacked may stem in part from an impression that the establishing of a general law is tantamount to the (...) explanation of particular facts that "fall under" the law. This suggestion effects a bridge to the more positive part of the paper, which consists of an exploration of the complexities exhibited by the relation between the two activities. More specifically, I point out a number of disabilities, any one of which could prevent us from being able to explain particular facts that fall under a given law even after having established the law. Some of these have to do with the form of the law, and some have to do with our powers of detection vis-a-vis the particular facts in question. The former sort have to do with the ways in which laws may deviate from the strict-necessary-and-sufficient-condition ideal. The latter include the following points. (1) The individual explanatory factors may lie beyond our present powers of detection. (2) The complexity of such factors may be too great for us to be able to interrelate them. (3) We may be unable to apply concepts used in the law to facts in this area (although they are in fact applicable). (shrink)
In the following I take issue with the allegation that liberalism must inevitably be guilty of ‘abstract individualism’. I treat Michael Sandel’s well-known claim that there are ‘loyalties and convictions whose moral force consists partly in the fact that living by them is inseparable from understanding ourselves as the particular persons we are’ as representative of this widely held view. Specifically, I argue: (i) that Sandel’s account of the manner in which ‘constitutive’ loyalties function as reasons for action presupposes (...) the possibility of there being (what I call) ‘underivable particular obligations’, but that such obligations are, in fact, a logical impossibility; and (ii) that Sandel’s account of the self as necessarily ‘encumbered’ presupposes an account of personal identity which confuses identification with definition, and which is, therefore, fundamentally flawed. (shrink)
In “Why Not NIMBY?” Derek Turner and Simon Feldman fail to address that many NIMBY protesters are not just concerned with concrete decision making, but also introduce a ‘metaphysical’ issue that liberal-democracy considers an inappropriate subject for the political debate. The type of rationality dominating political discourse requires one to reason in terms of 'common good' or personal preferences that can be weighted against other preferences. NIMBY’s do neither; rather they reframe the debate, starting from a radically different approach to (...) the meaning of place that questions the very notion that particular places can be compared. (shrink)
There is a trend within philosophy of biology to concentrate on questions that are strongly related to particular biological research programs rather than on the general scope of the field and its relation to other sciences. Projects of the latter kind, of course, are followed as well but will not be the topic of this review. Shifting the focus to particular research programs reflects philosophers’ increased interest in knowledge of, and contribution to, actual biological research, which is organized (...) in such programs. It is accompanied by the increasing enthusiasm of biologists to involve philosophers in the conceptual work of theoretical biology. I concentrate on the philosophies of four biological research programs, three of which are devoted to evolutionary biology, which is still the main field of interest among philosophers of biology: adaptationism, EvoDevo, and the developmental systems approach. In addition, a short sketch of the newly emerging philosophy of systems biology is given. Several lines of philosophical inquiry can be found in all of the fields considered here: philosophy contributes to the conceptual development of biological research programs, it analyzes structures and delineations of particular research programs, and sometimes it is involved in a comparative assessment of biological programs as well. Philosophical projects that start from the level of a particular research program may give rise to a bottom-up perspective on biology and allow for an integrative view of biological research. This may open up the opportunity to tackle “larger” questions again in an altered and fruitful manner. (shrink)
Traditionally, research has been seen as a process in which particular cases are studied in order to produce generalisations that can later be applied to other situations. This is arguably the case, for instance, of plain statistical generalisation from samples to populations, but also of grounded theory, local theory and democratic theory. Other research approaches, such as case study research and action research, have challenged this conception and have formulated a process in which transfer takes place directly from (...) class='Hi'>particular cases to other particular cases, thus bypassing generalisations. Nevertheless, I argue that, even in research on single cases, and regardless of whether it is descriptive, explanatory or normative, any piece of research unavoidably produces, supports, modifies, qualifies or refines generalisations in the course of a research project. These generalisations are constitutive of the very descriptions, explanations and normative justifications used to talk about the particular. Nevertheless, they vary in their degree of explicitness, certainty and complexity, as well as in the substantive dimensions they generalise on. The neglect of this characteristic in the educational literature may stem from the inductive assumption that knowledge in research is produced when one first finds something about one or more cases or situations, and then generalises (or does not generalise) the results to other contexts. But generalisation exists all along the process. (shrink)
specific cultural forms from the charge of ethnophilosophy. It is possible for philosophy to address the particulars of cultural experience without losing its »universal« character. The papers in this volume address three major themes in an effort to illustrate the encounter between philosophy and culture – the nature of persons, the nature of k nowledge, and the nature of change. The essays in the volume vary in their success at reaching the stated goal, inasmuch as some are more successful than (...) others at integrating the particular (cultural) and the universal (philosophical). Overall, though, Karp and Masolo's work is an important and welcome addition to the ongoing task of think ing through the nature of African philosophy. (shrink)
The inevitability of particular interpretations: catholicism and science Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9426-z Authors Don O’Leary, Department of Anatomy, Biosciences Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
The paper investigates what are the proper procedures for calculating the probability on certain evidence of a particular object e having a property, Q, e.g. of Eclipse winning the Derby. Let `α ' denote the conjunction of properties known to be possessed by e, and P(Q)/α the probability of an object which is α being Q. One view is that the probability of e being Q is given by the best confirmed value of P(Q)/α . This view is shown (...) not to be generally true, but to provide a useful approximation in many cases. Then given that we have information about the observed frequencies of Q among objects having one or more of the properties whose conjunction forms α , the paper shows how to establish which value of P(Q)/α is the best confirmed one. (shrink)
The aim of this work is to study the effect of coupling on a metabolic pathway. Specifically we assume that metabolites can exchange matter with outside pools via passive diffusion. The existence of periodic solutions in such a system is considered and resolved using the dual input describing function method. In one particular case of coupling for all permissible parameter sets the minimum dimension is given so that it is possible to detect a periodic solution. The results obtained are (...) compared with previously derived results for systems without coupling. It is concluded that coupling with exterior pools of metabolites can give rise to steady state instead of periodic solution. (shrink)
In a series of recently published lectures and essays two Roman Catholic Cardinals—Cardinals Ratzinger and Kasper—have offered significantly different positions of the issue of the relationship of the Universal to the Particular Churches. Cardinal Kasper locates the root of the disagreement in the philosophical foundations of the two views in privileging the Universal over the Particular (or vice versa) as the starting point for ecclesiology. I will explain why I find Josiah Royce’s late work (as informed by C. (...) S. Peirce’s thought) to be a valuable resource for the complexities of such a rich ecclesiological enquiry. I examine the interrelationship between Spirit, Community and the Interpretation of Signs in the mature thought of Royce, I assess his contribution to the preceding discussion, and I offer some insights into his potential value to any ongoing dialogue on the nature and purpose of the Church. (shrink)
The golden mean metaphor is suggested as a key to understanding the universal and the particular in moral philosophy since finding metaphorical links provides a way of seeing different traditions in a manner that does not erect absolute boundaries. The choice of the golden mean is made keeping in mind that all cultures recognize the worth of moderation. The prime reason for that lies in human nature which sets human beings apart from all the other living creatures by a (...) goal-oriented activity. As a rational being endowed with will, a human person cannot move toward a goal without adopting a certain strategy of actions. An instinct for self-preservation and astute prudence, personal experience and that of one's own ancestors are all prompting a human being to moderate and commensurate in dispositions and actions for an optimal attainment of the goals. Yet, the same principle is concretized in a particular cultural context (Ancient Greek, Indian, Chinese, Muslim and Russian cases are considered). Along with cultural distinctions, situational, temporal factors are of importance: much depends on whether it is the human person guided by own free will or a certain driving force, public, government, etc., outside and above defines the content of the golden mean. (shrink)
Apresenta-se nesse texto as repercussões do Concílio Vaticano II na Igreja particular de Goiás. A fidelidade ao Concílio produziu efetiva participação de todos – presbíteros, religiosas e religiosos, leigos e leigas. Tomando como referências a vivência e experiência de pastor nessa diocese (1967-1998) e diversos estudos, Dom Tomás mostra os aspectos mais relevantes dessa história: as assembléias diocesanas, com participação de leitos (1968); as CEBs e a concretização da opção pelos pobres; as Escolas Bíblicas; a defesa da posse da (...) terra, a Comissão Pastoral da Terra - CPT e o enfrentamento da ditadura militar; a causa indígena; o ecumenismo; o exercício da colegialidade; a articulação dos bispos comprometidos com as CEBs na CNBB; o problema da Visita Apóstólica na diocese; apresenta ainda um balanço de erros e conflitos; e finalmente, relata o Sínodo diocesano (1995) e seus objetivos: 1) Avaliar a situação concreta do povo, seus sofrimentos e suas lutas, para se ter uma visão mais clara da realidade; 2) Julgar à luz da Palavra de Deus;. 3) Desenvolver com mais clareza a missão da nossa Igreja dentro dessa mesma realidade. Palavras-chave : Concílio Vaticano II. Diocese de Goiás-Brasil. Participação. Colegialidade. Abstrat This article written by Archbishop Tomás Balduíno presents the impact of Vatican II in the particular Church of Goiás, emphasizing that the loyalty to the Council produced effective participation of priests, religious and lay people. Given his experience as a pastor in this diocese (1967-1998) and several studies, Bishop Thomas shows the most relevant aspects of this story: the diocesan assemblies, with the participation of lay people (1968); the CEBs and realization of the option for the poor; the Bible Schools; the defense of land tenure, the Pastoral Land Commission - CPT and the facing of the military dictatorship; the indigenous cause; ecumenism; the exercise of collegiality; the articulation of the bishops committed to the CEBs in CNBB; the problem of apostolic visit in the diocese. The article also presents a balance of errors and conflicts, and finally reports the diocesan Synod (1995) and its objectives: 1) Evaluate the concrete situation of the people, their sufferings and their struggles to get a clear picture of reality; 2) To make the judgment of reality in light of the word of God; Develop more clearly the mission of our Church in this reality Keywords : Vatican II. Diocese of Goiás-Brazil. Participation. Collegiality. - DOI: 10.5752/P.2175-5841.2011v9n24p1341. (shrink)
This note examines the judgement of the House of Lords in the cases of Islam andShah, particularly with regard to their conclusion that women in Pakistan who were victims of domestic violence and not protected by their state could qualify as members of a particular social group under the Geneva Convention, and therefore attain refugee status. The note considers the Refugee Women's Legal Group's Gender Guidelines for the Determination of Asylum Claims in the U.K. and discusses the problems faced (...) by women who claim refugee status. Finally, the conceptualisation of domestic violence as a political issue and therefore a matter falling within the scope of the Convention issue is analysed. (shrink)
During the 1930s, Aleksandr Promptov—a student of the founder of Russian population genetics Sergei Chetverikov—developed an elaborate concept of speciation in birds. He conducted field investigations aimed at giving a naturalistic content to the theoretical formulations and laboratory models of evolutionary processes advanced within the framework of population genetics, placing particular emphasis on the evolutionary role of bird behavior. Yet, although highly synthetic in combining biogeographical, taxonomic, genetic, ecological, and behavioral studies, Promptov's speciation concept was ignored by the architects (...) of the 1930s and 1940s evolutionary synthesis, including Theodosius Dobzhnasky, Ernst Mayr, and Julian Huxley. In this article, I argue that the story of Promptov's concept and its reception by other evolutionists challenges the traditional presentation of the synthesis as a singular, international process of the unification of biology, which led to the creation of a universal synthetic theory of evolution. It suggests that during the same time period, within largely the same theoretical framework, there were multiple, intrinsically local, attempts at creating synthetic evolutionary concepts. These concepts were often quite particular—in their taxonomic applicability, in their explanations of various evolutionary factors, and in the range of disciplines unified in the synthesis. Apparently, these concepts ran contrary to the universal aspirations of the synthesis architects, and as a result, they were disregarded, first by the architects and later by historians of the evolutionary synthesis. (shrink)
Summary Based on Max Weber's concept of Kulturnation and Hans Blumenberg's project of metaphorology, this essay argues that modern nations follow distinct cultural programmes that are inherent to their national ideas. Each national idea is propagated by a particular biopolitical metaphor, which performs a transfer from practical or scientific ideas about how nature structures and organises life to cultural ideas about how human lives should be socially and politically organised. The essay examines the emergence of the principal metaphors of (...) grafting in England (Great Britain), of regeneration and elective affinities in France, and of organic self-generation in Prussia (Germany). The fact that each nation claims for its particular national idea the status of a universal principle constitutes the intrinsic paradox of nationalism. (shrink)
Book description: Much contemporary philosophical debate centres on the topics of logic, thought and language, and on the connections between these topics. This collection of articles is based on the Royal Institute of Philosophy’s annual lecture series for 2000–2001. Its contributors include a number of those working at the forefront of the field, and in their papers they reflect their own current pre-occupations. As such, the volume will be of interest to all philosophers, whether their own work is within the (...) areas of language and thought or not. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to bring together (at least) two very different debates: one on justice, mercy and particularity, the other on the play of exclusionary reasons. My aim is to show how the discussion of the uneasy co-existence of justice and mercy pivots on the question of particularity. And, secondly, that the debate on exclusionary reasons can show us why law may fail to do justice in this context.
A certain dilemma is inherent in relational accounts of space and time. If any objects endure through change, then temporal elements other than relations are required to describe them. If, on the other hand, no objects endure through change, no permanent reference system is available in terms of which to define the "same place" at different times. An argument which, by exploiting this latter difficulty, attempts to show that "objects with some endurance through time" must be accepted as fundamental is (...) examined and found inconclusive. A sketch is then given of an alternative scheme which does allow the relevant spatial comparisons, but which does not countenance the reidentification of particulars. The discussion is intended to show that the relationist can, as indeed he must, deny the second horn of this delemma. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to bring together (at least) two very different debates: one on justice, mercy and particularity, the other on the play of exclusionary reasons. My aim is to show how the discussion of the uneasy co-existence of justice and mercy pivots on the question of particularity. And, secondly, that the debate on exclusionary reasons can show us why law may fail to do justice in this context.
How coherent is Descartes' conception of vacuum in the Principles? Descartes' arguments attacking the possibility of vacuum are difficult to read and to understand because they reply to several distinct threads of discussion. I separate two strands that have received little careful attention: the scholastic topic of annihilation of space, particularly represented in Albert of Saxony, and the physical arguments concerning vacuum in Galileo that are also continued after the publication of the Principles in Pascal. The distinctness of the two (...) sorts of opponent accounts for Descartes' odd habit of summarily declaring vacuum "contradictory" in some contexts, while providing extended conceptual and physical arguments meant to establish its "impossibility" in others. In several passages late in the Principles, Descartes also considers the physical ramifications of "empty space," including a discussion of the appearance of a star, were an empty space situated at the center of the celestial vortex. I argue that the discussion allows for a sensible conception of space with extension, but without matter, quite adequate to the physical discussions of vacuum among Descartes' contemporaries. (shrink)
The basic concept of Bentham's moral and political philosophy was public utility. He linked it directly with the concept of the universal interest, which comprises a distinctive partnership of the interests of all members of the community. The ultimate end of government and aim of all of morality is ‘the advancement of the universal interest’. This essay articulates the structure of Bentham's notion of universal interest and locates it in his theory of value.
In a recent paper, Jiri Benovsky argues that the bundle theory and the substratum theory, traditionally regarded as ‘deadly enemies’ in the metaphysics literature, are in fact ‘twin brothers’. That is, they turn out to be ‘equivalent for all theoretical purposes’ upon analysis. The only exception, according to Benovsky, is a particular version of the bundle theory whose distinguishing features render unappealing. In the present reply article, I critically analyse these undoubtedly relevant claims, and reject them.
Moral particularists argue that because reasons for action are irreducibly context-dependent, the traditional quest in ethics for true and exceptionless moral principles is hopelessly misguided. In making this claim, particularists assume a general framework according to which reasons are the ground floor normative units undergirding all other normative properties and relations. They then argue that there is no cashing out in finite terms either (i) when a given non-normative feature gives rise to a reason for or against action, or (ii) (...) how the reasons that are present in a given context play off each other to determine one’s overall duties. However, the conjunction of these two theses leaves particularists without a coherent notion of a reason for action: posit too much irreducible context-dependence in the behavior of reasons, and the reasons-based framework breaks down. One upshot is that the particularists’ challenge to principle-based approaches to ethics has not, at present, been successfully made out; another upshot is that perhaps the best way to formulate that challenge involves renouncing the reasons-based framework all together. (shrink)
This paper is about the claim that, necessarily, a subject who can think that a is F must also have the capacities to think that a is G, a is H, a is I, and so on (for some reasonable range of G, H, I), and that b is F, c is F, d is F, and so on (for some reasonable range of b, c, d). I set out, and raise objections to, two arguments for a strong version of (...) this claim (Gareth Evans' generality constraint). I present a new argument for a weaker version of the claim, and sketch some directions of enquiry which this new argument opens up. (shrink)
Wittgenstein famously remarks that ‘the meaning of a word is its use’ (PI §43). Whether or not one views this as gesturing at a ‘theory’ of meaning, or instead as aiming primarily at dissuading us from certain misconceptions of language that are a source of puzzlement, it is clear that Wittgenstein held that for certain purposes the meaning of an expression could profitably be characterised as its use. Throughout his later writings, however, Wittgenstein’s appeal to the notion of use pulls (...) in two directions. In several places, Wittgenstein seems to connect the notion of an expression’s meaning with that of use in the sense of usage or practice. More specifically, he suggests that for an expression to possess meaning is for there to be a practice of employing it according to certain rules. ‘That’, he tells us, ‘is why there exists a correspondence between the concepts “rule” and “meaning”’ (OC §62; cf. PG 68; PO 51; RFM VI §28; VW 103). Indeed, Wittgenstein goes so far as to say, ‘The rule-governed nature of our languages permeates our life’ (RC §303). Call the view that the meaning of an expression is determined by a general principle governing its use, rulism. (shrink)
Nicolas Malebranche Famously holds that we see all things in the physical world by means of ideas in God. This is the doctrine of Vision in God. In his initial formulation of the doctrine in the first edition of the Search After Truth (1674), Malebranche seems to posit ideas of particular physical objects in God, such as the idea of the sun or the idea of a tree. However, in Elucidations of the Search published four years later he insists (...) that there is only one idea of extension and it is general.1 Malebranche refers to this idea as "intelligible extension," in part because he thinks that we confuse it with its object, material extension, which he takes to be unintelligible in itself. By insisting upon a .. (shrink)
Rousseau initially attempts to secure freedom by grounding political rule in persuasion, rather than coercion. When the spectre of rhetoric undermines this strategy, he is led to ground the volonté générale in the silent and introspective disclosure of the solitary citizen’s inner conscience, which through a sentimentalist transformation of Descartes’s category of bon sens, is recast as an eminently public sentiment. But when rhetorical eloquence turns out to be indispensable to politics, Rousseau turns to republican virtue and the trope of (...) grounding the polity’s freedom in the patrie’s territory and, subsequently, in the citizen’s heart. (shrink)