Hud Hudson offers a fascinating examination of philosophical reasons to believe in hyperspace. He explores non-theistic reasons in the first chapter and theistic ones towards the end; in the intervening sections he inquires into a variety of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects that are either generated by the hypothesis of hyperspace or else informed by it, with discussions of receptacles, boundaries, contact, occupation, and superluminal motion. Anyone engaged with contemporary metaphysics, and many philosophers of religion, will find (...) much to stimulate them here. (shrink)
In this work, Henry Vyverberg traces the evolution and consequences of a crucial idea in French Enlightenment thought--the idea of human nature. Human nature was commonly seen as a broadly universal, unchanging entity, though perhaps modifiable by geographical, social, and historical factors. Enlightenment empiricism suggested a degree of cultural diversity that has often been underestimated in studies of the age. Evidence here is drawn from Diderot's celebrated Encyclopedia and from a vast range of writing by such Enlightenment notables as Voltaire, (...) Rousseau, and d'Holbach. Vyverberg explains not only the age's undoubted fascination with uniformity in human nature, but also its acknowledgment of significant limitations on that uniformity. He shows that although the Enlightenment's historical sense was often blinkered by its notions of a uniform human nature, there were also cracks in this concept that developed during the Enlightenment itself. (shrink)
Visionary quests to return to the Garden of Eden have shaped Western culture from Columbus' voyages to today's tropical island retreats. Few narratives are so powerful - and, as Carolyn Merchant shows, so misguided and destructive - as the dream of recapturing a lost paradise. A sweeping account of these quixotic endeavors by one of America's leading environmentalists, Reinventing Eden traces the idea of rebuilding the primeval garden from its origins to its latest incarnations in shopping malls, theme parks and (...) gated communities. With eloquence and insight, Merchant shows how the drive to conquer nature and to explore and settle the globe, springs from this utopian pastoral impulse throughout Western history. Time and again, human manipulation of the environment is our downfall: Eden is achieved by fencing off pristine beauty in national parks and wildlife preserves, while leaving the majority of the earth in ruins. Challenging both narratives, Merchant argues that the green veneer of city-park conservation has become a cover for the corruption of the earth and the neglect of its environment. Reinventing Eden is a bold new way to think about the earth that includes green political parties, sustainable development and a partnership between humans and earth that is nothing short of an ecological revolution. (shrink)
Whenever a thing changes, however slightly, it becomes in some ways unlike what it was. But how it is possible for anything to be both like and unlike itself? The possibility of change is a typically philosophical puzzle to which naturalistic science has no answer. In this book, Pivcevic examines the conditions that make the idea of change intelligible--in particular the connection between the possibility of change and the existence of selves.
Ehring shows the inadequacy of received theories of causation, and, introducing conceptual devices of his own, provides a wholly new account of causation as the persistence over time of individual properties, or "tropes.".
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)
This book aims at reconciling the emerging conceptions of mind and their contents that have, in recent years, come to seem irreconcilable. Post-Cartesian philosophers face the challenge of comprehending minds as natural objects possessing apparently non-natural powers of thought. The difficulty is to understand how our mental capacities, no less than our biological or chemical characteristics, might ultimately be products of our fundamental physical constituents, and to do so in a way that preserves the phenomena. Externalists argue that (...) the significance of thought turns on the circumstances of thinkers; reductionists hold that mental characteristics are physical; eliminationists contend that the concept of thought belongs to an outmoded folk theory of behavior. John Heil explores these topics and points the way to a naturalistic synthesis, one that accords the mental a place in the physical world alongside the non-mental. (shrink)
Human Nature offers a wide-ranging and holistic view of human nature from all perspectives: scientific, historical, and sociological. Mary Clark takes the most recent data from a dozen or more fields, and works it together with clarifying anecdotes and thought-provoking images to challenge conventional Western beliefs with hopeful new insights. Balancing the theories of cutting-edge neuroscience with the insights of primitive mythologies, Mary Clark provides down-to-earth suggestions for peacefully resolving global problems. Human Nature builds up a coherent, and above all (...) positive, picture of who we really are. (shrink)
"This admirably clear and engaging work ... is broadly accessible... and is informed by social science research. Yet it is also thoroughly philosophical, delving into problems in ethics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language.... Let us hope that LaFollette continues to tackle these problems with the clarify and rigor he shows here.".
In an important departure from current theories of causation, David Owens proposes that coincidences have no causes, and that a cause is something that ensures that its effects are no coincidence. He elucidates the idea of a coincidence as an event that can be divided into constituent events, the nomological antecedents of which are independent of each other. He also suggests that causal facts can be analyzed in terms of non-causal facts, including relations of necessity. Thus, causation is defined in (...) terms of coincidence, and coincidence without reference to causation. In a book that will be of particular interest to those concerned with the role of causation in the philosophy of mind, David Owens challenges ideas of Hume, Davidson and Lewis, and offers novel solutions to the problems still confronting theorists of causation. (shrink)
Modern philosophical thought has a manifold tradition of emphasizing "the moment". "The moment" demands questioning all-too-common notions of time, of past, present and future, uniqueness and repetition, rupture and continuity. This collection addresses the key questions posed by "the moment", considering writers such as Nietzsche, Husserl, Benjamin and Badiou, and elucidates the connections between social theory, philosophy, literary theory and history that are opened up by this notion.
This broad, ambitious study is about human nature, but human nature treated in a way quite different from the scientific account that influences so much of contemporary philosophy. Drawing on certain basic ideas of Heidegger the author presents an alternative to the debate waged between dualists and materialists in the philosophy of mind that involves reconceiving the way we usually think about 'mental' life. Olafson argues that familiar contrasts between the 'physical' and the 'psychological' break down under closer scrutiny. They (...) need to be replaced by a conception of human being in which we are not entities compounded out of body and mind, but unitary entities that are distinguished by 'having a world', which is very different from simply being a part of the world. (shrink)
Professor Arda Denkel argues here that objects are nothing more than bundles of properties. From this point of view he tackles some central questions of ontology: how is an object distinct from others; how does it remain the same while it changes through time? A second contention is that properties are particular entities restricted to the objects they inhabit. The appearance that they exist generally, in a multitude of things, is due to the way we conceptualise them. Other problems dealt (...) with include how objects bear similarities by belonging to the same kinds, and how change in them is caused. Denkel defends a thoroughgoing particularism and offers purely qualitative accounts of individuation, identity, essences and matter. Throughout, the main alternative positions are surveyed, and the relevant historical background is traced. (shrink)
This book is a study of Aristotle's metaphysics in which the central argument is that Aristotle's views on substance are a direct response to Plato's Theory of Forms. The claim is that Aristotle believes that many of Plato's views are tenable once one has rejected Plato's notion of separation. There have been many recent books on Aristotle's theory of substance. This one is distinct from previous books in several ways: firstly, it offers a completely new, coherent interpretation of (...) Aristotle's claim that substances are separate in which substances turn out to be specimens of natural kinds. Secondly, it covers a broad range of issues, including Aristotle's criticism of Plato, his views on numerical sameness and identity, his epistemology and his account of teleology. There is also a discussion of much of the recent literature on Aristotle. (shrink)
Feminisms and the Self is both a critique and a construction of feminist philosophy, bringing an original contribution to the current debate surrounding identity and subjectivity. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
Supervenience is one of the 'hot discoveries' of recent analytic philosophy, and this collection of new essays on the topic represents a 'state of the art' examination of it and its application to major areas of philosophy. The interest in supervenience has much to do with the flexibility of the concept. To say that x supervenes on y indicates a degree of dependence without committing one to the view that x can be reduced to y. Thus supervenience is a relationship (...) that has the potential of replacing the traditional notion of dependence, while performing at least part of the function reductive relationships were supposed to fulfil. Moreover, since it is a topic-neutral concept, supervenience has a wide range of applicability. (shrink)
That space and time should be integrated into a single entity, spacetime, is the great insight of Einstein's special theory of relativity, and leads us to regard spacetime as a fundamental context in which to make sense of the world around us. But it is not the only one. Causality is equally important and at least as far as the special theory goes, it cannot be subsumed under a fundamentally geometrical form of explanation. In fact, the agent of propagation of (...) causal influence is electromagnetic radiation. In this examination, the authors find support for a rationalist approach to physics, never neglecting experimentation, but rejecting a simple empiricist or positivist view of science. (shrink)
While experience tells us that time flows from the past to the present and into the future, a number of philosophical and physical objections exist to this commonsense view of dynamic time. In an attempt to make sense of this conundrum, philosophers and physicists are forced to confront fascinating questions, such as: Can effects precede causes? Can one travel in time? Can the expansion of the Universe or the process of measurement in quantum mechanics define a direction in time? In (...) this book, researchers from both physics and philosophy attempt to answer these issues in an interesting, yet rigorous way. This fascinating book will be of interest to physicists and philosophers of science and educated general readers interested in the direction of time. (shrink)
In this moderate realist account of the whole range of issues facing contemporary analytic philosophy, J. K. Swindler aims to fill the gap in the literature between extreme realism and extreme nominalism. He discusses such fundamental concepts as existence, property, universality, individual, and necessity; analyzes the paradoxes of negative existentials and the substitutivity of co-referential terms; and defends objectivity in philosophy. The study moves through three phases: first, an argument that objective philosophical truth is attainable; second, an extended realist analysis (...) of fundamental ontological concepts; and finally, a demonstration of advantages of this ontology over leading alternatives. Weaving: An Analysis of the Constitution of Objects will be of interest to all philosophers working in contemporary philosophy, philosophy of language, logic, and metaphysics, and will serve as an excellent text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in metaphysics. (shrink)