Michael Oakeshott has long been recognized as one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century, but until now no single volume has been able to examine all the facets of his wide-ranging philosophy with sufficient depth, expertise, and authority. The essays collected here cover all aspects of Oakeshott’s thought, from his theory of knowledge and philosophies of history, religion, art, and education to his reflections on morality, politics, and law. The volume provides an authoritative and synoptic guide (...) to one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. (shrink)
Combining the methods of the modern philosopher with those of the historian of ideas, Knud Haakonssen presents an interpretation of the philosophy of law which Adam Smith developed out of - and partly in response to - David Hume's theory of justice. While acknowledging that the influences on Smith were many and various, Dr Haakonssen suggests that the decisive philosophical one was Hume's analysis of justice in A Treatise of Human Nature and the second Enquiry. He therefore begins with (...) a thorough investigation of Hume, from which he goes on to show the philosophical originality of Smith's new form of natural jurisprudence. At the same time, he provides an over all reading of Smith's social and political thought, demonstrating clearly the exact links between the moral theory of The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the Lectures on Jurisprudence, and the sociohistorical theory of The Wealth of Nations. This is the first full analysis of Adam Smith's jurisprudence; it emphasizes its normative and critical function, and relates this to the psychological, sociological, and histroical aspects which hitherto have attracted most attention. Dr Haakonssen is critical of both purely descriptivist and utilitarian interpretations of Smith's moral and political philosophy, and demonstrates the implausibility of regarding Smith's view of history as pseudo-economic or 'materialist'. (shrink)
This new book takes an innovative and novel approach to the study of jurisprudence. Drawing together a range of specialists, making original contributions, it provides a summary, analysis, and critique of basic themes in, and major contributions to, the study of jurisprudence. The book explores issues and ideas in jurisprudence in a way that integrates them with legal study more broadly, avoiding the tendency in recent years for the subject to become overly inward-looking, specialist and technical, leaving (...) students and the subject adrift. It picks up mid-range concepts such as rights, sovereignty, and adjudication and charts their interrelation and uses in law and legal theory. The approach taken to the subject is an interdisciplinary one, and involves making linkages with contemporary issues in political and social theory, such as the changing role of the state, forms of dispute resolution and the courts. It also addresses topics not normally covered, or covered only indirectly in other jurisprudence textbooks, such as globalisation and legal culture. Its coverage is therefore broad and links legal, political, philosophical, and social analysis. (shrink)
This review examines the final three books in the late Professor Sir Neil MacCormick's series "Law, State and Practical Reason": Rhetoric and the Rule of Law; Institutions of Law: An Essay in Legal Theory; and Practical Reason in Law and Morality . The books represent a monumental accomplishment, providing a restatement of his positions in jurisprudence, while embracing and confronting a remarkable range of traditions and philosophical approaches. Advancing what he terms a "post-positivistic view of law". MacCormick provides (...) "a substantial reworking of ideas [he had] developed over the years". The aim here is to adumbrate and reflect upon some of the themes in the books, with a view to demonstrating the significant and serious contribution which they make to contemporary jurisprudence. Since various themes permeate the books, these are considered broadly in order of the book in which they appear. In particular, such an approach enables us to trace the progression of MacCormick's theory since the publication of his seminal Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory . It is argued that, in many respects, the process can be considered to be one of radical evolution. (shrink)
The paper develops and addresses a major challenge for therapeutic conceptions of philosophy of the sort increasingly attributed to Wittgenstein. To be substantive and relevant, such conceptions have to identify “diseases of the understanding” from which philosophers suffer, and to explain why these “diseases” need to be cured in order to resolve or overcome important philosophical problems. The paper addresses this challenge in three steps: With the help of findings and concepts from cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology, it redevelops (...) the Wittgensteinian notion of “philosophical pictures.” Through a case study on seminal versions of familiar mind-body problems, it examines how such pictures shape philosophical reflection and generate ill-motivated but captivating problems. Third, it shows that philosophical pictures are constitutive of “diseases of the understanding,” in a quite strict sense of the term. On this basis, the paper explains when and why philosophical therapy is required. (shrink)
The received view of Kripke's Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language is that it fails as an interpretation because, inter alia, it ignores or overlooks what Wittgenstein has to say in the second paragraph of Philosophical Investigations 201. In this paper, I demonstrate that the paragraph in question is in fact fully accommodated within Kripke's reading, and cannot therefore be reasonably utilised to object to it. -/- In part one I characterise the objection; in part two I explain why (...) it fails; in part three I suggest why commentators might have been motivated to offer it; and in part four I claim that two commentators who have offered it also imply otherwise. (shrink)
Many philosophers have worried about what philosophy is. Often they have looked for answers by considering what it is that philosophers do. Given the diversity of topics and methods found in philosophy, however, we propose a different approach. In this article we consider the philosophical temperament, asking an alternative question: What are philosophers like? Our answer is that one important aspect of the philosophical temperament is that philosophers are especially reflective. This claim is supported by a study of (...) more than 5,000 philosophers and non-philosophers, the results of which indicate that even when we control for overall education level, philosophers tend to be significantly more reflective than their peers. We then illustrate this tendency by considering what we know about the philosophizing of a few prominent philosophers. Recognizing this aspect of the philosophical temperament, it is natural to wonder how philosophers came to be this way: Does philosophical training teach reflectivity or do more reflective people tend to gravitate to philosophy? We consider the limitations of our data with respect to this question and suggest that a longitudinal study be conducted. (shrink)
Ronald Dworkin describes an approach to how courts should decide cases that he associates with Judge Richard Posner as a Chicago School of anti-theoretical, no-nonsense jurisprudence. Since Professor Dworkin takes his own view of adjudication to be diametrically opposed to that of the Chicago School, it might seem fair, then, to describe Dworkin's own theory as an instance of pro-theoretical, nonsense jurisprudence. That characterization is not one, needless to say, that Professor Dworkin welcomes. Dworkin describes his preferred approach (...) to jurisprudential questions, to be sure, as theoretical, in opposition to what he calls the practical orientation of the Chicago School. But while there is a real dispute between Dworkin and Posner, it is not one illuminated by the contrast between theory and practice. It is, rather a dispute about the kind of theory that is relevant and illuminating when it comes to law and adjudication. And the fault line marked by this dispute is profound indeed, one that extends far beyond Dworkin and Posner and has a venerable and ancient history. I shall describe it, instead, as a dispute between Moralists and Realists, between those whose starting point is a theory of how things (morally) ought to be versus those who begin with a theory of how things really are. The Lecture endeavors to show that our contemporaries, Ronald Dworkin and Richard Posner, are reenacting a version of the dispute between the paradigmatic philosophical moralist Plato and the paradigmatic historical realist Thucydides. (shrink)
Many philosophers have worried about what philosophy is. Often they have looked for answers by considering what it is that philosophers do. Given the diversity of topics and methods found in philosophy, however, we propose a different approach. In this article we consider the philosophical temperament, asking an alternative question: what are philosophers like? Our answer is that one important aspect of the philosophical temperament is that philosophers are especially reflective: they are less likely than their peers to (...) embrace what seems obvious without questioning it. This claim is supported by a study of more than 4,000 philosophers and non-philosophers, the results of which indicate that even when we control for overall education level, philosophers tend to be significantly more reflective than their peers. We then illustrate this tendency by considering what we know about the philosophizing of a few prominent philosophers. Recognizing this aspect of the philosophical temperament, it is natural to wonder how philosophers came to be this way: does philosophical training teach reflectivity or do more reflective people tend to gravitate to philosophy? We consider the limitations of our data with respect to this question and suggest that a longitudinal study be conducted. (shrink)
In this revised edition, two distinguished philosophers have extended and strengthened the most authoritative text available on the philosophy of law and jurisprudence. While retaining their comprehensive coverage of classical and modern theory, Murphy and Coleman have added new discussions of the Critical Legal Studies movement and feminist jurisprudence, and they have strengthened their treatment of natural law theory, criminalization, and the law of torts. The chapter on law and economics remains the best short introduction to that difficult, (...) controversial, and influential topic.Students will appreciate the careful organization and clear presentation of complicated issues as well as the emphasis on the relevance of both law and legal theory to contemporary society. (shrink)
This paper was written for a forthcoming Cambridge University Press anthology titled "On Philosophy in American Law" that commemorates the 75th anniversary of Karl Llewellyn's essay of the same name. Karl Llewellyn was a founder of the Legal Realist movement in American jurisprudence, and his essay is most obviously read as a brief for that movement, in which he argues that a Realist focus on underlying social needs better explains the course of American legal history than do the competing (...) natural law, positivist and formalist schools. Without contesting the merits of this conventional reading, I argue that Llewellyn's essay also makes an implicit case for another, quite different point: the need for Continental philosophical approaches to law in contemporary American jurisprudence. In particular, I argue that the conception of philosophy upon which Llewellyn relies is, with one exception, deeply Hegelian. The one exception lies in Llewellyn's residual belief that, at least to a limited extent, philosophy can change the world as well interpret it. This belief places him squarely in the camp of post-Hegelian thinkers, the camp that also includes contemporary Continental political and legal philosophers. I conclude by suggesting how the post-Hegelian tradition responds to some of the deepest conundrums of contemporary American jurisprudence, using the problem of affirmative action as an example. (shrink)
To anyone who is looking for light it is a pleasure to receive a criticism so acute and on the whole so fair-minded as Professor Montague has given to my little book on Syndicalism and Philosophical Realism in the last number of the Philosophical Review. I am indebted to the editor for permission to publish a few lines of reply,...
The apology to the reader -- The corpus chair and oxford jurisprudence as evolved by 1952 -- The gladsome light of philosophicaljurisprudence -- The elusive sources of Hart's ideas in The Concept of Law -- Cyclops, hedgehogs, and foxes -- Where Homer nodded? -- Judging a pioneer.
One of the first volumes in the new series of prestigious Oxford Handbooks, The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law brings together specially commissioned essays by twenty-seven of the foremost legal theorists currently writing, to provide a state of the art overview of jurisprudential scholarship. Each author presents an account of the contending views and scholarly debates animating their field of enquiry as well as setting the agenda for further study. This landmark publication will be essential reading (...) for anyone working in legal theory and of interest to legal scholars generally, philosophers and legal theorists looking for a way in to understand current jurisprudential thinking. (shrink)
Exploring Law's Empire is a collection of essays by leading legal theorists and philosophers who have been invited to develop, defend, or critique Ronald Dworkin's controversial and exciting jurisprudence. The volume explores Dworkin's critique of legal positivism, his theory of law as integrity, and his writings on constitutional jurisprudence. Each essay is a cutting-edge contribution to its field of inquiry, the highlights of which include an introduction by Justice Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court, and a (...) concluding essay by Dworkin himself. This final chapter responds to the preceding essays and lays out Dworkin's own vision for the future of jurisprdence over the coming years. (shrink)
These essays deal with central and controversial issues in jurisprudence. This volume emphasizes legal theory, and the collection will be of interest to students of and others involved with political philosophy as well as law students and philosophers.
What exactly is a philosophical intuition? And what makes such an intuition reliable, when it is reliable? This paper provides a terminological framework that is able answer to the first question, and then puts the framework to work developing an answer to the second question. More specifically, the paper argues that we can distinguish between two different "evidential roles" which intuitions can occupy: under certain conditions they can provide information about the representational structure of an intuitor's concept, and under (...) different conditions, they can provide information about whether or not a property is instantiated. The paper describes two principles intended to capture the difference between the two sets of conditions---that is, the paper offers a principle that explains when an intuition will be a reliable source of evidence about the representation structure of an intuitor's concept, and another principle that explains when an intuition will be a reliable source of evidence about whether or not a property is instantiated. The paper concludes by briefly arguing that, insofar as philosophers are interested using intuitions to determine whether or not some philosophically interesting property is instantiated by some scenario (for instance, whether knowledge is instantiated in a Gettier-case), the reliability of the intuition in question does not depend on whether or not the intuition is widely shared. (shrink)
This important collection of essays includes Professor Hart's first defense of legal positivism; his discussion of the distinctive teaching of American and Scandinavian jurisprudence; an examination of theories of basic human rights and the notion of "social solidarity," and essays on Jhering, Kelsen, Holmes, and Lon Fuller.
Abstract: The notion that philosophy can be practised as a kind of therapy has become a focus of debate. This article explores how philosophy can be practised literally as a kind of therapy, in two very different ways: as philosophical therapy that addresses “real-life problems” (e.g., Sextus Empiricus) and as therapeutic philosophy that meets a need for therapy which arises in and from philosophical reflection (e.g., Wittgenstein). With the help of concepts adapted from cognitive and clinical psychology, and (...) from cognitive linguistics, the article shows that both philosophical projects address important and literally therapeutic tasks and explains how they can do so with genuinely philosophical argument and analysis. This brings into view new applications for philosophy, a need for therapy in core areas of the subject, and the outline of a new approach to meet what will be shown to be a central need. (shrink)
Christian Philosophical Theology constitutes a Christian philosopher's look at various crucial topics in Christian theology, including belief in God, the nature of God, the Trinity, christology, the resurrection of Jesus, the general resurrection, redemption, and theological method. The book is tightly argued, and amounts to a coherent explanation of and case for the Christian world view. Although written from a broadly Reformed Protestant perspective, and although the author does not avoid controversial topics, his aim is to present a `merely (...) Christian' world view (to adapt slightly C. S. Lewis's famous term). That is, he attempts to write as much as possible from the perspective of the broad centre of Christian understanding. (shrink)
Robert Merrihew Adams has been a leader in renewing philosophical respect for the idea that moral obligation may be founded on the commands of God. This collection of Adams' essays, two of which are previously unpublished, draws from his extensive writings on philosophical theology that discuss metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical issues surrounding the concept of God--whether God exists or not, what God is or would be like, and how we ought to relate ourselves to such a being. Adams (...) studies the relation between religion and ethics, delving into an analysis of moral arguments for theistic belief. In several essays, he applies contemporary studies in the metaphysics of individuality, possibility and necessity, and counterfactual conditionals to issues surrounding the existence of God and problems of evil. (shrink)
Philosophical Delusion and its Therapy provides new foundations and methods for the revolutionary project of philosophical therapy pioneered by Ludwig Wittgenstein. The book vindicates this currently much-discussed project by reconstructing the genesis of important philosophical problems: With the help of concepts adapted from cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology, the book analyses how philosophical reflection is shaped by pictures and metaphors we are not aware of employing and are prone to misapply. Through innovative case-studies on the genesis (...) of classical problems about the mind and perception, and on thinkers including Locke, Berkeley and Ayer, the book demonstrates how such autonomous habits of thought systematically generate unsound intuitions and philosophical delusions, whose clash with reality, or among each other, gives rise to ill-motivated but maddening problems. The book re-examines models of therapeutic philosophy, due to Wittgenstein and J. L. Austin, and develops an approach that may let us overcome philosophical delusions and the problems they engender. In this way, the book explains where and why therapy in called for in philosophy, and develops techniques to carry it out. Introduction : some perplexing discoveries -- Philosophical pictures : the birth of "the mind" -- Through pictures to problems : minds and bodies -- Pictures' effects : from "secondary qualities" to "perceptions" -- The power of pictures : Berkeley's approach -- Self-perpetuating absurdity : Berkeley defends "perceptions" -- Philosophical delusions : Ayer reinvents "perceptions" -- Two turns : a new vision of philosophy -- Linguistic analysis as therapy : Austin on "perceptions" -- Self-reflection as therapy : Wittgenstein on understanding. (shrink)
General jurisprudence-that branch of legal philosophy concerned with the nature of law and adjudication-has been relatively unaffected by the "naturalistic" strains so evident, for example, in the epistemology, philosophy of mind and moral philosophy of the past forty years. This paper sketches three ways in which naturalism might affect jurisprudential inquiry. The paper serves as a kind of precis of the main themes in my book NATURALIZING JURISPRUDENCE: ESSAYS ON AMERICAN LEGAL REALISM AND NATURALISM IN LEGAL PHILOSOPHY (Oxford (...) University Press, 2007). (shrink)
Are propositions of law true or false? If so, what does it mean to say that propositions of law are true and false? This book takes up these questions in the context of the wider philosophical debate over realism and anti-realism. Despite surface differences, Patterson argues that the leading contemporary jurisprudential theories all embrace a flawed conception of the nature of truth in law. Instead of locating that in virtue of which propositions of law are true, Patterson argues that (...) lawyers use forms of argument to show the truth of propositions of law. Additionally, Patterson argues that the realism/anti-realism debate in jurisprudence is part of a larger argument over the role of postmodernism in jurisprudence. For this, Patterson offers an analytic account of postmodernism and charts its implications for legal theory. This book will be of interest to those in legal theory, philosophy, social and political theory, and ethics. (shrink)
Steven French and Decio Krause examine the metaphysical foundations of quantum physics. They draw together historical, logical, and philosophical perspectives on the fundamental nature of quantum particles and offer new insights on a range of important issues. Focusing on the concepts of identity and individuality, the authors explore two alternative metaphysical views; according to one, quantum particles are no different from books, tables, and people in this respect; according to the other, they most certainly are. Each view comes with (...) certain costs attached and after describing their origins in the history of quantum theory, the authors carefully consider whether these costs are worth bearing. Recent contributions to these discussions are analyzed in detail and the authors present their own original perspective on the issues. The final chapter suggests how this perspective can be taken forward in the context of quantum field theory. (shrink)
“Virtue jurisprudence” is a normative and explanatory theory of law that utilises the resources of virtue ethics to answer the central questions of legal theory. The main focus of this essay is the development of a virtue–centred theory of judging. The exposition of the theory begins with exploration of defects in judicial character, such as corruption and incompetence. Next, an account of judicial virtue is introduced. This includes judicial wisdom, a form of phronesis, or sound practical judgement. A virtue–centred (...) account of justice is defended against the argument that theories of fairness are prior to theories of justice. The centrality of virtue as a character trait can be drawn out by analysing the virtue of justice into constituent elements. These include judicial impartiality (even–handed sympathy for those affected by adjudication) and judicial integrity (respect for the law and concern for its coherence). The essay argues that a virtue–centred theory accounts for the role that virtuous practical judgement plays in the application of rules to particular fact situations. Moreover, it contends that a virtue–centred theory of judging can best account for the phenomenon of lawful judicial disagreement. Finally, a virtue–centred approach best accounts for the practice of equity, departure from the rules based on the judge’s appreciation of the particular characteristics of individual fact situations. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]. (shrink)
A discussion of how making a decision about religious belief places this kind of belief in a category which distinguishes it from 'belief in other minds' or 'belief in an external world'. This has important consequences for a philosophical approach to religious belief.
v. 1. Jurisprudence. The end of law -- v. 2. The nature of law -- v. 3. The scope and subject matter of law. Sources, forms, modes of growth -- v. 4. Application and enforcement of law. Analysis of general juristic conceptions -- v. 5. The system of law.
Philosophical anthropology is the philosophical study of the conditions of human existence and the issues that confront people in the conduct of their everyday lives. This book surveys, from a contemplative, philosophical point of view, a wide variety of human-interest issues, including happiness, luck, aging, the meaning of life, optimism and pessimism, morality, and faith and belief. The author's deliberations blend historical, theoretical, and personal perspectives into philosophical appreciation of the human condition. The philosophers of Greek (...) antiquity took philosophy to center around just this issue of intelligent living - of determining the nature of life under the guidance of reason. Such a perspective puts philosophical agenda - a position it contested with the philosophy of nature throughout classical antiquity. In more recent times, however, its prominence has declined - no doubt, the author suggests, because modern man's achievements have been more notable in the natural than in the human science. (shrink)
Human Nature After Darwin is an original investigation of the implications of Darwinism for our understanding of ourselves and our situation. It casts new light on current Darwinian controversies, and in doing so provides an introduction to philosophical reasoning and a range of philosophical problems. Janet Radcliffe Richards claims that many current battles about Darwinism, in particular about evolutionary psychology and religion, are based on mistaken assumptions about the implications of the rival views. Her analysis of these implications (...) provides a much-needed guide to the fundamentals of Darwinism and the so-called Darwin-wars, as well as providing a set of philosophical techniques relevant to wide areas of moral and political debate. It also raises philosophical problems of knowledge and certainly, free will and responsibility, altruism, the status of ethics, and the relevance of Darwinism to questions of ethics, politics and religion. The lucid presentation makes the book an ideal introduction to both philosophy and Darwinism, as well as a substantive contribution to topics of intense current controversy. It will be of interest to students of philosophy, science and the social sciences, and critical thinking. (shrink)
This book is a sophisticated, detailed, and original examination of the main ideas that have dominated Anglo-American legal philosophy since the Second World War. The author probes such themes as: whether there can be right answers to all disputed law cases; how laws and other rules impact on the practical rationality of actors subject to their authority; whether general principles justifying the law must themselves be thought of as part of the law binding on legal actors; and the possibility of (...) an interpretivist jurisprudence that is continuous with law practice in a given culture. (shrink)
The ‘community of inquiry’ as formulated by C. S. Peirce is grounded in the notion of communities of discipline-based inquiry engaged in the construction of knowledge. The phrase ‘transforming the classroom into a community of inquiry’ is commonly understood as a pedagogical activity with a philosophical focus to guide classroom discussion. But it has a broader application. Integral to the method of the community of inquiry is the ability of the classroom teacher to actively engage in the theories and (...) practices of discipline-based communities of inquiry so as to become informed by the norms of the disciplines, not only to aspire to competence within the disciplines, but also to develop habits of self-correction for reconstructing those same norms when faced with novel problems and solutions, including those in the classroom. This has implications for science education and the role of educational philosophy in developing students' ability to think scientifically. But it also has broader implications for thinking critically within all key learning areas. Here we concentrate on science education. We present the parallels between philosophical inquiry and scientific inquiry that need to be realised to promote and engage with scientific inquiry in the classroom. We also discuss the conflicts between philosophical inquiry and the way inquiry science in the classroom is portrayed in the education literature. Based on philosophical and historical perceptions of science as inquiry, a practical approach to implementation of scientific inquiry in the science classroom is presented. (shrink)
The present paper aims to bring to light the relevance of Wittgenstein‘s thought for philosophical hermeneutics. In this sense it offers a thorough discussion of the Austrian philosopher‘s understanding of the concept of translation through a detailed examination of its development from its first formulation in the context of the picture theory of meaning in the Tractatus to its reformulation as "language game" and "form of life" within the use theory put forth in Philosophical Investigations. The paper argues (...) that the skepticism towards the history of everyday language implied by Wittgenstein‘s understanding of translation could be taken as an important step forward in the development of a critical dimension of philosophical hermeneutics. (shrink)
This essay focuses on the extent to which the methods of analytic philosophy can be useful to feminist philosophers. I pose nine general questions feminist philosophers might ask to determine the suitability of a philosophical method. Examples include: Do its typical ways of formulating problems or issues encourage the inclusion of a wide variety of women's points of view? Are its central concepts gender-biased, not merely in their origin, but in very deep, continuing ways? Does it facilitate uncovering roles (...) that gender, politics, power, and social context play in philosophy as well as in other facets of life? (shrink)
The fourth collection of essays in this long-established series brings together some of the leading contributors to the study of the philosophical foundations of common law. Key issues in contract, tort, and criminal law are subjected to philosophical scrutiny, the aim being to provide an exciting new basis for advanced teaching and further research.
Near the beginning of Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche writes that “psychology is once again the path to the fundamental problems” (BGE 23). This raises a number of questions. What are these “fundamental problems” that psychology helps us to answer? How exactly does psychology bear on philosophy? In this conference paper, I provide a partial answer to these questions by focusing upon the way in which psychology informs Nietzsche’s account of value. I argue that Nietzsche’s ethical theory is based upon (...) the idea that power has a privileged normative status: power is the one value in terms of which all others values are to be assessed. If this is the correct interpretation of Nietzsche’s ethical theory, though, it raises a question: how could power have a privileged status, given that Nietzsche denies that there are any objective facts about what is valuable? I argue that Nietzsche’s account of psychology provides the answer: he grounds power’s privileged status in facts about the nature of human motivation. In particular, Nietzsche’s account of drives entails that human beings are ineluctably committed to valuing power. So Nietzsche’s ethical theory follows from his philosophical psychology. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s analogy between psychoanalysis and his later philosophical methods is explored and developed. Historical evidence supports the claim that Wittgenstein characterized an early version of his general remarks on philosophy (§§89-133 in the Philosophical Investigations) as a sustained comparison with psychoanalysis. A non-adversarial, therapeutic interpretation is adopted towards Wittgenstein which emphasizes his focus on dissolving the metaphysical puzzlement of particular troubled individuals. A “picture” of Freudian psychoanalysis is sketched which highlights several features of Freud’s therapeutic techniques and his (...) conception of a neurosis. This portrait of Freud’s methods is used as an “object of comparison” for drawing attention to important aspects of Wittgenstein’s later practice of philosophy. Wittgenstein’s therapeutic conception of philosophy, though concerned with ordinary linguistic practices, is held to focus primarily on rooting out the prejudices and dogmas which lie at the heart of the puzzled philosopher’s inclinations to make metaphysical assertions. (shrink)
Maurice Hauriou (1856-1929) -- Methodology -- Hauriou's general methodology -- Legal methodology -- Sociological methodolgy -- Methodological interplay of law and social science -- Application of methodology to large groups -- Philosophical methodology -- The philosophical status of Hauriou's methodology.
From some of the great philosophers of the Western tradition: "The Devils gateway" --Tertullian "A misbegotten male" --Aquinas "Big children their whole life long" --Schopenhauer The roots of philosophical misogyny in the writings of thinkers from the ancient Greeks through the modern age are exposed and explored in this collection. Beverley Clack questions whether the wisdom of these philosophers can be separated from the misogyny, and whether feminists should seek an alternative to the Western philosophical canon. This collection (...) offers chronological evidence of how the great male thinkers debated the question of woman, provides and introduction of each thinker. The philosophers included are: Plato, Aristotle, Tertullian, Augustine, Aquinas, Kramer, Sprenger, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Rousseau, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud, Weininger, Spengler and Lucas. (shrink)
Each of the essays included in this volume illuminates an aspect of law, reflecting an unorthodox perception of jurisprudence which combines interests in philosophy, legal theory, criminology, legal history, political and constitutional theory and the history of ideas. This work will broaden the jurisprudential scope of practitioners' professional concerns, but help academics enhance their knowledge of the wealth of information for their own studies.
Both Plato and Kant devote much attention and care to deliberating about their method of philosophizing. And, interestingly, both seek to expand and explain their view of philosophical method by one selfsame strategy: explaining the contrast between rational procedure in mathematics and in philosophy. Plato and Kant agree on a fundamental point of philosophical method that is at odds with the mathematico-demonstrative methodology of philosophy found in Spinoza and present in Christian Wolff. Both reject the axiomatic approach with (...) its insistence on fundamental truths postulated from the outset. Both alike insist that philosophizing—unlike mathematics—is an exercise in theorizing where the questions of basicness and foundations come into view only after the inquiry has gone on for a long, long time—and certainly not at its start. (shrink)
One view of philosophy that is sometimes expressed, especially by scientists, is that while philosophers are good at asking questions, they are poor at producing convincing answers. And the perceived divide between philosophical and scientific methods is often pointed to as the major culprit behind this lack of progress. Looking back at the history of philosophy, however, we find that this methodological divide is a relatively recent invention. Further, it is one that has been challenged over the past decade (...) by the modern incarnation of experimental philosophy. How might the reincorporation of empirical methods into philosophy aid the process of making philosophical progress? Building off of the work of Sytsma (2010), we argue that one way it does so is by offering a means of resolving some disputes that arise in philosophy. We illustrate how philosophical disputes may sometimes be resolved empirically by looking at the recent experimental literature on intuitions about reference. (shrink)
This contribution discusses the philosophical meaning of the Martin Heidegger’s Rectoral address. First of all, Heidegger’s philosophical basic experience is sketched as the background of his Rectoral address; the being-historical concept of “Anfang”. Then, the philosophical question of the Rectoral address is discussed. It is shown, that Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universität is asking for the identity of human being there (Dasein) in connection with the question about dem Eigenen (the Germans) and dem Fremden (the Greeks). This (...) opposition structuralizes the confrontation with the beginning of philosophical thinking in the Rectoral address. When read against the philosophical background sustaining the Rectoral address, words appearing therein such as “Kampf”, “Macht”, “Volk” and “Marsch” have nothing in common with the same words as used by the Nazis. It is shown that the Rectoral address is an extremely ambiguous text, because it claims a transformation of human being there (Dasein). Although Heidegger’s view on National Socialism is distinguished from Nazis ideology, it is clear that he made a mistake about Hitler. This article makes clear how Heidegger later changed his mind and vocabulary, and in what way this kind of mistakes and changes of mind are inherent to philosophical empiricism. (shrink)
This book demonstrates the originality and coherence of Jonathan Edwards' philosophical theology using his dynamic reconception of reality as the interpretive key. The author argues that what underlies Edwards' writings is a radical shift from the traditional Western metaphysics of substance and form to a new conception of the world as a network of dispositions: active and abiding principles that possess reality apart from their manifestations in actions and events. Edwards' dispositional ontology enables him to restate the Augustinian-Calvinist tradition (...) in theology in a strikingly modern philosophical framework. A prime example of Edwards' innovative reconstruction in philosophical theology is his conception of God as both eternal actuality and a disposition to repeat that actuality within God and also through creation. This view is a compelling alternative to the traditional Western doctrine of God as changeless actuality, on the one hand, and the recent process theologians' excessive stress on God's involvement in change, on the other. Edwards' achievement was that he saw dynamic movement as essential to God's own life without compromising the traditional Christian tenets of God's prior actuality and transcendence. The author of this volume also explicates the way in which Edwards' dynamic reconception of reality informs his theories of imagination, aesthetic perception, the knowledge of God, and the meaning of history. This expanded edition includes a new preface and a new appendix titled "Jonathan Edwards on Nature.". (shrink)
The Private Language Sections of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, -/- generally agreed to run from §§ 243 - 271, but extending to § 315 with the book’s continued -/- treatment of the private object model and the inner and outer conception of the mind, have -/- proved remarkably resistant to any generally agreed interpretation. Even today, ways of -/- looking at these sections which were first in vogue half a century ago when discussions of -/- this aspect of Wittgenstein’s (...) work were at their height, still have their adherents, at a time -/- when the emphasis in Wittgenstein exegesis has graduated towards anti-theoretical, -/- non-doctrinal, and therapeutic conceptions of his entire methodology. Discussion about -/- the rule-following considerations after Saul Kripke’s new interpretation of the argument -/- against private language, which predominated during the last quarter of the 20th century, -/- has tended to be superseded into the new millennium by controversy over substantial v -/- resolute conceptions of nonsense in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, a debate now -/- seen by some interpreters to illuminate Wittgenstein’s later work.This paper sheds light -/- on these complex matters firstly by studying a very popular interpretative approach to the -/- relevant sections within its historical context, and secondly by attempting to grasp his overall -/- methodology, primarily as practised in the private language passages themselves. This can -/- help to show how they may reflect the content of §§ 89 -133. However, just as it can be argued -/- that Hume never fully reconciles the sceptical and naturalistic tendencies in his writing, it can -/- be surmised that Wittgenstein never really finds a proper balance between the avowedly -/- therapeutic intent of those stated passages and what, at least for some commentators, are -/- the clearly discoverable argumentative strategies that he employs throughout his treatment -/- of private language and, indeed, throughout Part 1 of the Philosophical Investigations. (shrink)
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81), thinker, dramatist and controversialist of many-sided interests, is the most representative figure of the German Enlightenment. His defence of Spinoza, who had traditionally been condemned as an atheist, provoked a major controversy in philosophy, and his publication of H. S. Reimarus' radical assault on Christianity led to fundamental changes in Protestant theology. This volume presents the most comprehensive collection to date in English of Lessing's philosophical and theological writings, several of which are here translated for (...) the first time. They are edited and translated by H. B. Nisbet, who also provides an introduction that sets them in their historical and philosophical contexts. (shrink)
For much of the history of the western legal order, the question of jurisdiction - the question of the power and authority of law - has been the first question of law. This book investigates the difference that jurisdiction continues to make to the ordering of normative existence. It also follows the speculation that without an account of jurisdiction, jurisprudence would be left speechless, left with no power to address the conditions of attachment to legal and political order. The (...) starting point of this book lies with the claim that a sharper focus can be given to normative legal ordering through questions of jurisdiction than can be through those of moral responsibility or social action. This is so because jurisdiction articulates both the potentiality of law and the conditions of its exercise. It provides the idiom of response to the fact that there is law and to the fact that law institutes, judges and addresses a form of life. From this viewpoint the contributors to this book examine the institution of human rights, the new global and national orders of sovereign power and of trade and information, the judgment and government of death and desire, and the address of colonial and post-colonial legal idioms. In doing this the contributors also provide for the elaboration of questions of jurisdiction as part of the resources and repertoires of jurisprudence. This book provides a point of entry to an emergent genre of writing within doctrinal, historical and critical jurisprudence that has returned to questions of jurisdiction to think again about juridical order and change. In so doing, it also points to questions that must be asked for there to be any interdisciplinary study that addresses law. (shrink)
How can one be both a philosophical ethicist and a democrat? In this article I conclude that it can be difficult to reconcile the two roles. One involves understanding, and reconciling, the conflicting views of citizens, and the other requires the pursuit of truth through reason. Nevertheless, an important function of philosophy and ethics is to inform and improve policy. If done effectively, we could expect better, and more just, laws and policies, thereby benefiting many lives. So applying (...) class='Hi'>philosophical thinking to policy is an important job. However, it comes with substantial difficulties, not least in reconciling, or choosing between, competing philosophical theories. Despite the importance of the task, and the apparent obstacles, there is relatively little literature on how to apply ethics to real-world policy-making. Democracies need ethicists who can engage in democratic debate and bridge the gap between philosophy and public policy. I offer some tactics here. (shrink)
Stone, J. Thoughts on supposed "Death of law".--Krishna Iyer, V. R. Jurisprudence and jurisconscience.--Sharma, G. S. Law and social change in India.--Sharma, S. D. The concept of justice in Manu.--Chand, H. Legal values for a developing country.--Ramarao, T. S. The new international law relating to the rights and duties of States.--Sinha, B. S. Custom and customary law in Indian jurisprudence.--Mazumdar, D. L. Techno-economic structure of our industrial society.--Subrahamanian, N. Law and social change.
The Province of Jurisprudence Determined (1832) is a classic of nineteenth-century English jurisprudence, a subject on which Austin had a profound impact. His book is primarily concerned with a meticulous explanation of most of the core concepts of his legal philosophy, including his conception of law, his separation of law and morality, and his theory of sovereignty. Almost a quarter of it consists of an interpretation and defence of the principle of utility. This edition includes the complete and (...) unabridged text of the fifth (1885) and last edition. The comprehensive introduction discusses Austin's life, the main themes of his book, leading criticisms of his ideas, and recent interpretations of his legal philosophy. The edition also includes an up-to-date bibliography and biographical synopses of the principal figures mentioned in the text. (shrink)
This short work shows how systematic theology is itself a philosophical enterprise. After analyzing the nature of philosophical enquiry and its relation to systematic theology, and after explaining how theology requires that we talk about God, Vincent BrU;mmer illustrates how philosophical analysis can help in dealing with various conceptual problems involved in the fundamental Christian claim that God is a personal being with whom we may live in a personal relationship.
General aspects of jurisprudence -- Precursors of modern jurisprudence -- Natural law -- Transcendental idealism -- Utilitarianism -- Legal positivism -- Historical jurisprudence -- The sociological movement in jurisprudence -- Authority -- Scandinavian realism -- American realism -- Contemporary american jurisprudence -- Rights -- Law and morality -- Feminist jurisprudence.
General aspects of jurisprudence -- Precursors of modern jurisprudence -- Natural law -- Common law and statute -- Utilitarianism -- Punishment -- Legal positivism -- Authority -- American realism -- The nature of law -- Contemporary American jurisprudence and political philosophy -- Rights -- Law and morality.
This third book in the Oxford Essays in Jurisprudence series continues the established format and includes contributions from distinguished scholars in the field, each attempting to relate legal theory to specific areas of the law. Among the eminent contributors are Andrew Ashworth, Peter Cane, Hugh Collins, Anne de Moor, Jim Harris, Simon Lee, Bernard Rudden, and Christopher McCrudden.
The province of jurisprudence compromised -- The province of jurisprudence revisited -- The provinciality of jurisprudence determined -- The morality of jurisprudence determined -- The province of jurisprudence pre-determined -- The province of jurisprudence moralised -- The province of jurisprudence re-generated -- The province of the judiciary democratised -- The experimental province of democracy determined.
Introduction: From legal realism to naturalized jurisprudence -- A note on legal indeterminacy -- Part I. American legal realism and its critics -- Rethinking legal realism: toward a naturalized jurisprudence (1997) -- Legal realism and legal positivism reconsidered (2001) -- Is there an "American" jurisprudence? (1997) -- Postscript to Part I: Interpreting legal realism -- Part II. Ways of naturalizing jurisprudence -- Legal realism, hard positivism, and the limits of conceptual analysis (1998, 2001) -- Why Quine (...) is not a postmodernist (1997) -- Beyond the Hart/Dworkin debate: the methodology problem in jurisprudence (2003) -- Part III. Naturalism, morality, and objectivity -- Moral facts and best explanations (2001) -- Objectivity, morality, and adjudication (2001) -- Law and objectivity (2002). (shrink)
Although much has been written about the nature of philosophy and how the discipline can be defined, little attention has been paid to the ways we develop the facility to reflect philosophically or why cultivating this ability is valuable. This article develops a conception of “philosophical sensitivity,” a perceptual capacity that facilitates our awareness of the philosophical dimension of experience. Based in part on Aristotle's notion of a moral perceptual capacity, philosophical sensitivity starts with most people's natural (...) inclinations as children to reflect about life's fundamental mysteries; when this capacity is cultivated with training over time, our attentiveness to the philosophical features of ordinary life becomes almost second nature. In much the same way an aesthetically sensitive person notices certain qualities of experience not readily perceptible by others, philosophical sensitivity involves the development of a particular way of seeing the world. (shrink)
Since Plato a surprisingly large number of philosophers have chosen to write in the first person about their own lives either in works that were primarily autobiographical or in the context of other more conventionally written texts. These texts stand in marked contrast to the bulk of philosophical writing, particularly in the past century during which the discipline has become ever more professionalized and specialized. Instead of the common impersonal and argumentative forms of ordinary philosophic discussion, these autobiographical texts (...) are deeply personal and largely narrative or explanatory. The contributors to this book examine the philosophical significance of philosophers' autobiographies and whether or not there are broadly philosophical tasks for which this sort of writing is particularly suited. Autobiography as Philosophy contains a general discussion about the relation between philosophical and autobiographical writing, and essays on the specific writings of Augustine, Abelard, Montaigne, Descartes, Vico, Hume, Rousseau, Newman, Mill, Nietzsche, Collingwood and Russell by specialists on the works of these individuals. The book is original and distinctive in its efforts to think about the writings of historically recognized philosophers as communicative acts governed by their own distinctive interests and purposes. It is, therefore as much about the texts and the authors as about their doctrines and arguments. As a result the book steps back from many of the issues of substantive philosophical discussion to reflect on certain forms of writing as means to philosophical ends, to consider what those ends have included. (shrink)
Which Trinity? : the doctrine of the Trinity -- In contemporary philosophical theology -- Whose monotheism? : Jesus and his Abba -- Doctrine and analysis -- "Whoever raised Jesus from the dead" : Robert Jenson on the identity of the Triune God -- Moltmann's perichoresis : either too much or not enough -- "Eternal functional subordination" : considering a recent evangelical proposal -- Holy love and divine aseity in the theology of John Zizioulas -- Moving forward : theses on (...) the future of Trinitarian theology. (shrink)
The foundations of law. The digest title, De diversis regulis iuris antiqui, and the general principles of law, by P. Stein. Equity in Chinese customary law, by W. Y. Tsao. Prolegomena to the theory and history of Jewish law, by H. Cohn. Juridical evolution and equity, by J.P. Brutau. Reflections on the sources of the law, by P. Lepaulle. The true nature and province of jurisprudence from the viewpoint of Indian philosophy, by M.J. Sethna. On the functions and aims (...) of the state, by G. Del Veccchio.--Concepts of jurisprudence. Legal language and reality, by K. Olivecrona. The logic of the reasonable as differentiated from the logic of the rational (human reason in the making and the interpretation of the law) by L. Recaséns-Siches. Some refections on status and freedom, by W.G. Friedmann. Law and power and their correlation, by M. Reale. The notion of canonical auctoritas with respect to statute, custom and usage, by B.F. Brown. Two theories of "the institution," by J. Stone. (shrink)
This new edition of a standard reference of jurisprudence has been fully revised. Many recent developments which touch on the relationship of laws to morals--homosexuality, obscenity, suicide, and abortion--are discussed, together with controversial economic aspects of modern legislation on such as topics as restrictive trade practices and trade unions.
This book argues that the institutions of law, and the structures of legal thought, are to be understood by reference to a moral ideal of freedom or independence from the power of others. The moral value and justificatory force of law are not contingent upon circumstance, but intrinsic to its character. Doctrinal legal arguments are shaped by rival conceptions of the conditions for realization of the idea of law. In making these claims, the author rejects the viewpoint of much contemporary (...) legal theory, and seeks to move jurisprudence closer to an older tradition of philosophical reflection upon law, exemplified by Hobbes and Kant. Modern analytical jurisprudence has tended to view these older philosophies as confused precisely in so far as they equate an understanding of law's nature with a revelation of its moral basis. According to most contemporary legal theorists, the understanding and analysis of existing institutions is quite distinct from any enterprise of moral reflection, but the relationship between ideals and practices is much more intimate than this approach would suggest. Some institutions can be properly understood only when they are viewed as imperfect attempts to realize moral or political ideals; and some ideals can be conceived only by reference to their expression in institutions. (shrink)
This book explores how globalisation influences the understanding of law. Adopting a broad concept of law and a global perspective, it critically reviews mainstream Western traditions of academic law and legal theory. Its central thesis is that most processes of so-called 'globalisation' take place at sub-global levels and that a healthy cosmopolitan discipline of law should encompass all levels of social relations and the legal ordering of these relations. It illustrates how the mainstream Western canon of jurisprudence needs to (...) be critically reviewed and extended to take account of other legal traditions and cultures. Written by the one of the foremost scholars in the field, this important work presents an exciting alternative vision of jurisprudence. It challenges the traditional canon of legal theorists and guides the reader through a field undergoing seismic changes in the era of globalisation. This is essential reading for all students of jurisprudence and legal theory. (shrink)
What is law? Does it have a purpose? What is its relationship with justice? Do we have a moral duty to obey the law? These sorts of questions lie at the heart of jurisprudence. Moreover, every substantive or 'black letter' branch of the law raises questions about its own meaning and function. The law of contract cannot be properly understood without an appreciation of the concepts of rights and duties. The law of tort is directly related to several economic (...) theories of compensation. The criminal law is inextricably linked to philosophies of punishment? Understanding Jurisprudence explores these problems and provides an engaging introduction to the central issues of legal theory. The book navigates the reader through legal philosophy's fundamental concepts, concerns, and controversies. An experienced teacher of jurisprudence and distinguished writer in the field, Professor Wacks adopts an approach that is easy to follow and understand without avoiding the complexities and subtleties of the subject. Students of law, politics, philosophy, and other social sciences will find this an ideal guide to the essential themes of contemporary jurisprudence. Online Resource Centre A free online resource accompanies the book and provides the following resources: Analysis of current controversies of a jurisprudential nature such as current legal and moral controversies and political debates An additional chapter providing guidance and advice on the study of jurisprudence An interactive glossary of key terms relating to legal theory Further reading, including links to full text journal articles Questions and answers Useful Web links to support learning. (shrink)
Freud claimed that the concept of drive is "at once the most important and the most obscure element of psychological research." It is hard to think of a better proof of Freud's claim than the work of Nietzsche, which provides ample support for the idea that the drive concept is both tremendously important and terribly obscure. Although Nietzsche's accounts of agency and value everywhere appeal to drives, the concept has not been adequately explicated. I remedy this situation by providing an (...) account of drives. I argue that Nietzschean drives are dispositions that generate evaluative orientations, in part by affecting perceptual saliences. In addition, I show that drive psychology has important implications for contemporary accounts of reflective agency. Contemporary philosophers often endorse a claim that has its origins in Locke and Kant: self-conscious agents are capable of reflecting on and thereby achieving a distance from their motives; therefore, these motives do not determine what the agent will do. Nietzsche's drive psychology shows that the inference in the preceding sentence is illegitimate. The drive psychology articulates a way in which motives can determine the agent's action by influencing the course of the agent's reflective deliberations. An agent who reflects on a motive and decides whether to act on it may, all the while, be surreptitiously guided by the very motive upon which he is reflecting. I show how this point complicates traditional models of the role of reflection in agency. (shrink)
This is a major new study of Thomas Aquinas, the most influential philosopher of the Middle Ages. The book offers a clear and accessible guide to the central project of Aquinas' philosophy: the understanding of human nature. Robert Pasnau sets the philosophy in the context of ancient and modern thought, and argues for some groundbreaking proposals for understanding some of the most difficult areas of Aquinas' thought: the relationship of soul to body, the workings of sense and intellect, the will (...) and the passions, and personal identity. Structured around a close reading of the treatise on human nature from the Summa theologiae and deeply informed by a wide knowledge of the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophy, this study will offer specialists a series of novel and provocative interpretations, while providing students with a reference commentary on one of Aquinas' core texts. (shrink)
This paper presents the history of the Frankfurt School’s inclusion of normative concerns in social science research programs during the period 1930-1955. After examining the relevant methodology, I present a model of how such a program could look today. I argue that such an approach is both valuable to contemporary social science programs and overlooked by current philosophers and social scientists.
This collection of essays, written between 1975 and 1987, covers topics including the doctrine of analogy, the Trinity, theological realism, the problims of evil and suffering, ecclesiology, and the so-called theistic proofs. The earlier writings relect the author's training as a philosopher in the Anglo-Aamerican analytic tradition. Later essays have a more explicitly theological focus, and they attempt to deal with and move beyond the tradition through hermeneutics, and literary and social theory. This collection thus addresses a wider list of (...) topics than is usual in works of philsophical theology, and is unique in its use of interdisciplinary methods and approaches. (shrink)
In Namibia, as in many other parts of Africa, customary law continues to play an important role for ordinary people, by setting the framework of behaviour that the law expects of them and, in return, what protections they can expect from laws. This role is today increasingly under challenge from the growing importance of constitutional law.
According to Conceptualism, philosophy is an independent discipline that can be pursued from the armchair because philosophy seeks truths that can be discovered purely on the basis of our understanding of expressions and the concepts they express. In his recent book, The Philosophy of Philosophy, Timothy Williamson argues that while philosophy can indeed be pursued from the armchair, we should reject any form of Conceptualism. In this paper, we show that Williamson’s arguments against Conceptualism are not successful, and we sketch (...) a way to understand understanding that shows that there is a clear sense in which we can indeed come to know the answers to (many) philosophical questions purely on the basis of understanding. (shrink)
Philosophers have traditionally held that claims about necessities and possibilities are to be evaluated by consulting our philosophical intuitions; that is, those peculiarly compelling deliverances about possibilities that arise from a serious and reflective attempt to conceive of counterexamples to these claims. But many contemporary philosophers, particularly naturalists, argue that intuitions of this sort are unreliable, citing examples of once-intuitive, but now abandoned, philosophical theses, as well as recent psychological studies that seem to establish the general fallibility of (...) intuition.In the first two sections of this paper, I evaluate these arguments, and also the counter-arguments of contemporary defenders of tradition. In the next two sections, I sketch an alternative account of the role of philosophical intuitions that incorporates elements of traditionalism and naturalism - and defend it against other such views. In the final section, however, I discuss intuitions about conscious experience, and acknowledge that my view may not extend comfortably to this case. This may seem unfortunate, since so much contemporary discussion of the epistemology of modality seems motivated by worries about the mind-body problem, and informed by the position one wishes to endorse. But, as I argue, if conscious experience is indeed an exception to the view I suggest in this paper, it is an exception that proves - and can illuminate - the rule. (shrink)
Précis of memory: a philosophical study Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9639-4 Authors Sven Bernecker, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-4555, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Though most of analytic philosophy is based upon intuitions, some philosophers are beginning to question whether intuitions are an appropriate basis for philosophical theory. This paper responds to the arguments of some contemporary philosophers who hold that intuitions should not be treated as evidence for anything other than our contingent psychological constitution. It begins with a demonstration that skeptical arguments by Gilbert Harman and Alvin Goldman are variations on an argument with the potential to undermine the use of intuitions (...) in much philosophical inquiry. After a demonstration that Nicholas Sturgeon’s response to Harman’s argument is inadequate, it argues that all of the instances of the skeptical argument are unsuccessful because they are epistemically self-defeating. (shrink)
In this paper I explore a neglected discussion of vagueness put forward by Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Grammar (1932–34). In this work, unlike Philosophical Investigations (1953), Wittgenstein not only discusses the venerable Sorites paradox but provides a novel conception of vagueness using an analogy with coin tossing and converging intervals. As he sees it, the problematic picture of vagueness arises because we conflate aspects of the functioning of vague concepts with those of non-vague ones. Thus, while we accept (...) that vague concepts have no sharp cut-off points (are boundaryless), we nevertheless retain the idea that we can progress towards the penumbra the way we progress towards the cut-off points of non-vague concepts. As a potential remedy, Wittgenstein's analogy with coin tossing and converging intervals replaces this picture and provides an understanding of the functioning of vague concepts in which no notion of a progression arises. (shrink)
On the question of precisely what role common sense (or related datum like folk psychology, trust in pre-theoretic/intuitive judgments, etc.) should have in reigning in the possible excesses of our philosophical methods, the so-called ‘continental’ answer to this question, for the vast majority, would be “as little as possible”, whereas the analytic answer for the vast majority would be “a reasonably central one”. While this difference at the level of both rhetoric and meta-philosophy is sometimes – perhaps often – (...) problematised by the actual philosophical practices of representative philosophers of either tradition, I will argue that this norm (and its absence) nonetheless continues to play an important justificatory role in relation to the use of some rather different methodological practices. In particular, many analytic philosophers not only explicitly invoke the value of common sense, but they also implicitly value it via techniques like conceptual analysis that want to explicate folk psychology and/or lay bare what is already embedded in the linguistic norms of a given culture, the widespread use of thought experiments and the way they function as ‘intuition pumps’, as well as the general aim to achieve ‘reflective equilibrium’ between our intuitions and reflective judgments in epistemology and political philosophy. Such methods, I will argue, enshrine a conservative, or, more positively, a modest understanding of the philosophical project in that it is invested in cohering with both a given body of knowledge and common sense. These methods are notably less perspicuous in continental philosophy. To bring some of the reasons why this might be so to the fore, this paper considers Deleuze’s sustained attack on both good and common sense, which he argues are fundamental to the prevalence of a dogmatic image of thought. If Deleuze is right about this, and if the analytic tradition distils and perfects certain methods that are closely associated with this image of thought, then we have here a rather stark methodological contrast that calls for elaboration and evaluation. (shrink)
Methods and goals in philosophy are discussed by first describing an ideal, and then looking at how the ideal might be approached. David Lewis’s work in metaphysics is critically examined and compared to analogous work by Mackie and Carnap. Some large-scale philosophical systematic work, especially in metaphysics, is best treated as model-building, in a sense of that term that draws on the philosophy of science. Models are constructed in a way that involves deliberate simplification, or other imaginative modification of (...) reality, in order to make relationships visible or problems tractable. (shrink)
In this critical review I discuss the main themes of the papers in Kit Fine's Modality and Tense: Philosophical Papers. These themes are that modal operators are intelligible in their own right and that actualist quantifiers are to be taken as basic with respect to possibilist quantifiers. I also discuss a previously unpublished paper of Fine's on modality and existence.
Is Hume a naturalist? Does he regard all or nearly all beliefs and actions as rationally unjustified? In order to settle these questions, it is necessary to examine their key terms (‘naturalism’ and ‘rational justification’) and to understand the character—especially the normative character—of Hume’s philosophical project. This paper argues (i) that Hume is a naturalist—and, in particular, both a moral and an epistemic naturalist—in quite robust ways; and (ii) that Hume can properly regard many actions and beliefs as “rationally (...) justified” in several different senses of that term. (shrink)