Introduction -- Structuring principles -- On right -- From interest and pleasure to the good in-itself -- Good in-itself and the rights of the ensouled person -- The good and friendship in the community of free souls -- The rehabilitation of politics through the recovery of its essence.
This paper examines questions regarding the nature of and need for a certain species of equality within the overall design of Plato’s prescriptive political philosophy, with particular reference to the Republic and Laws. A common, traditional, reasonable and yet incomplete interpretation of Plato relies on the notion that Plato’s political theory and, more particularly, his prescriptions for the city of speech and the second best city rest on an abiding belief in the need for social inequality and political hierarchy, and (...) thereby rejecting in the essence of things equality as a viable political concept. But perhaps a second look at Plato is in order here. This essay attempts to explore those elements of Plato’s conceptual and prescriptive theory that reflect a different attitude toward hierarchy, one that cannot be regarded as egalitarian in any modern sense of the word, but that might evince a facet of Plato that is at the very least open to the possibility of a more egalitarian view of politics and at most directed at promoting a more egalitarian politics that has been largely unrecognized by many of Plato’s readers and overlooked by most of his commentators. (shrink)
Readers of Platos Republic are familiar with Glaucon and his role in prodding Socrates to strengthen his argument throughout the dialogue. It has been asserted on more than one occasion that Glaucon epitomizes the quality of spiritedness, and thus throughout the dialogue he is patiently guided by the taming hand of Socrates to a fuller awareness of justice and virtue. This paper will argue that Glaucon, as Spiritedness Incarnate, provides needed insight and important encouragement that strengthens Socrates positions in a (...) way that doesmore than simply ask those questions that enable the philosophers efforts to share his own wisdom. Rather, Glaucon, as Socrates younger companion, serves a role vital to the Republics overall achievement in several ways. Above all, the relationship between Socrates, Glaucon and the other participants of the dialogue together reflect the unity of the soul as the many become one. (shrink)
In this interview, Cynthia Hammond sits down with Marc Lafrance in order to discuss the 30-year sketching practice that led to her exhibition, Drawings for a Thicker Skin, in 2012. In this practice, Hammond made small, quick drawings of the clothes she would need for trips or key professional events. As she explains, the drawings were not just essential to knowing what to pack; they were essential to being able to pack. While she never conceived of the practice (...) as art, when invited to exhibit the drawings she found a way to relate this idiosyncratic and private practice to a larger set of ontological concerns. Clothing as a second skin is the key idea here, as Hammond and Lafrance explore what it means to navigate identity, idealized self-image, professional ‘passing’ and the skin ego. (shrink)
What sorts of things are there in the world? Clearly enough, there are concrete, material things; but are there other things too, perhaps nonconcrete or non-material things? Some people believe that there are such things, which are often called abstract ; purported examples of such objects include numbers, properties, possible but non-actual states of affairs, propositions, and sets. Following a long-standing tradition, I shall describe persons who believe that there are abstract objects as ‘platonists’. In this paper, I shall not (...) directly address the plausibility of platonism, as compared with its rivals; instead, I shall confine my attention to one way in which some people have tried to combine platonism and theism. More specifically, I shall concentrate upon the claim that abstract objects depend upon God ontologically ; I shall argue that platonistic theists should reject DEP in favour of the claim that abstract objects exist independently of God . In order to evaluate the relative merits of DEP versus IND, it will be helpful to examine in some detail a particular articulation of DEP. When it comes to recent work on DEP, we can do no better in this regard than to examine the recent work of Thomas V. Morris and Christopher H. Menzel. According Morris and Menzel, there is a sense in which God literally creates such abstracta through engaging in intellective activities. (shrink)
Rights of Women attracted much UK media attention in late 2014 by bringing a judicial review that challenged the reduced provisions for family law legal aid available for victims of domestic violence: R v The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 35. In June 2015, within Rights of Women’s 40th anniversary year, Hannah Camplin interviewed the organisation’s Director Emma Scott about the decision to bring the judicial review, the advantages and challenges of the judicial review (...) process, and the experience of strategic litigation within the context of Rights of Women’s long history of campaigning for women’s rights. What emerged is a portrait of a feminist organisation in 2015, and, in a fast changing political and financial landscape, the dual importance of collaborative working and the need for flexibility in service provision and campaigning tools. (shrink)
In this fascinating work, Scott Soames offers a new conception of the relationship between linguistic meaning and assertions made by utterances. He gives meanings of proper names and natural kind predicates and explains their use in attitude ascriptions. He also demonstrates the irrelevance of rigid designation in understanding why theoretical identities containing such predicates are necessary, if true.
This study examined the effect of various antecedent variables on marketers’ perceptions of the role of ethics and socialresponsibility in the overall success of the firm. Variables examined included Hofstede’s cultural dimensions , as well as corporate ethical values and enforcement ofan ethics code. Additionally, individual variables such as ethical idealism and relativism were included. Results indicated that most ofthese variables impacted marketers’ perceptions of the importance of ethics and social responsibility, although to varying degrees.
This ambitious, interdisciplinary book seeks to explain the origins of religion using our knowledge of the evolution of cognition. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human evolution just as the cognitive intervention, cultural selection, and historical survival of religion is an accommodation of certain existential and moral elements that have evolved in the human condition.
Ken Hammond has been an influential figure in the study of decision making; with this book, he aims to show why mistaken judgments happen, how to make better decisions, and how to understand the thought modes operating in the political process.
In this book, Scott Soames illuminates the notion of truth and the role it plays in our ordinary thought as well as in our logical, philosophical, and scientific theories. Soames aims to integrate and deepen the most significant insights on truth from a variety of sources. He powerfully brings together the best technical work and the most important philosophical reflection on truth and shows how each can illuminate the other. Investigating such questions as whether we need a truth predicate (...) at all, what theoretical tasks it allows us to accomplish, and how we are to understand the content of any predicate capable of accomplishing these tasks, Soames organizes his discussion into three parts. Part I addresses crucial foundational issues as it identifies the bearers of truth, provides a basis for distinguishing truth from other notions, and formulates positive responses to well-known forms of truth-skepticism. Part II explicates the formal theories of Alfred Tarski and Saul Kripke and evaluates the philosophical significance of their work. It discusses their treatments of the Liar paradox, the relationship between truth and proof, the notion of a partially defined predicate, the concepts of logical truth and logical consequence, and the connection between truth and meaning. Part III extends important lessons drawn from Tarski and Kripke into new domains: vague predicates, the Sorites paradox, and the development of a larger, deflationary perspective on truth. Throughout the book, Soames examines a wide range of deflationary theories of truth, and attempts to separate what is correct and worth preserving in them from what is not. In doing so, he seeks to clear up many of the most significant philosophical doubts about truth. Written for a general audience while offering engaging material to the specialist, this rich study will be profitably read by both. (shrink)
Behaviour norms are considered for decision trees which allow both objective probabilities and uncertain states of the world with unknown probabilities. Terminal nodes have consequences in a given domain. Behaviour is required to be consistent in subtrees. Consequentialist behaviour, by definition, reveals a consequence choice function independent of the structure of the decision tree. It implies that behaviour reveals a revealed preference ordering satisfying both the independence axiom and a novel form of sure-thing principle. Continuous consequentialist behaviour must be expected (...) utility maximizing. Other plausible assumptions then imply additive utilities, subjective probabilities, and Bayes' rule. (shrink)
The essays in this volume, first published in 1986, examine the philosophical foundations of social choice theory. This field, a modern and sophisticated outgrowth of welfare economics, is best known for a series of impossibility theorems, of which the first and most crucial was proved by Kenneth Arrow in 1950. That has often been taken to show the impossibility of democracy as a procedure for making collective decisions. However, this interpretation is challenged by several of the contributors here. Other central (...) issues discussed in the volume include the possibility of making interpersonal comparisons of utility, the question of whether all preferences are equally to be valued, and the normative individualism underlying the theoretical tradition. Criticisms of social choice theory are advanced and suggestions for alternative approaches are developed. (shrink)
The tradition descending from Frege and Russell has typically treated theories of meaning either as theories of meanings, or as theories of truth conditions. However, propositions of the classical sort don't exist, and truth conditions can't provide all the information required by a theory of meaning. In this book, one of the world's leading philosophers of language offers a way out of this dilemma. Traditionally conceived, propositions are denizens of a "third realm" beyond mind and matter, "grasped" by mysterious Platonic (...) intuition. As conceived here, they are cognitive-event types in which agents predicate properties and relations of things--in using language, in perception, and in nonlinguistic thought. Because of this, one's acquaintance with, and knowledge of, propositions is acquaintance with, and knowledge of, events of one's cognitive life. This view also solves the problem of "the unity of the proposition" by explaining how propositions can be genuinely representational, and therefore bearers of truth. The problem, in the traditional conception, is that sentences, utterances, and mental states are representational because of the relations they bear to inherently representational Platonic complexes of universals and particulars. Since we have no way of understanding how such structures can be representational, independent of interpretations placed on them by agents, the problem is unsolvable when so conceived. However, when propositions are taken to be cognitive-event types, the order of explanation is reversed and a natural solution emerges. Propositions are representational because they are constitutively related to inherently representational cognitive acts. Strikingly original, What Is Meaning? is a major advance. (shrink)
In this book one of the world's foremost philosophers of language presents his unifying vision of the field--its principal achievements, its most pressing current questions, and its most promising future directions. In addition to explaining the progress philosophers have made toward creating a theoretical framework for the study of language, Scott Soames investigates foundational concepts--such as truth, reference, and meaning--that are central to the philosophy of language and important to philosophy as a whole. The first part of the book (...) describes how philosophers from Frege, Russell, Tarski, and Carnap to Kripke, Kaplan, and Montague developed precise techniques for understanding the languages of logic and mathematics, and how these techniques have been refined and extended to the study of natural human languages. The book then builds on this account, exploring new thinking about propositions, possibility, and the relationship between meaning, assertion, and other aspects of language use. An invaluable overview of the philosophy of language by one of its most important practitioners, this book will be essential reading for all serious students of philosophy. (shrink)
In ‘Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence’ E. J. Lowe defends “serious essentialism”. Serious essentialism is the position that everything has an essence, essences are not themselves things, and essences are the ground for metaphysical necessity and possibility. Lowe's defence of serious essentialism is both metaphysical and epistemological. In what follows I use Lowe's discussion as a point of departure for, first, adding some considerations for the plausibility of essentialism and, second, some work on modal epistemology.
[David Charles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being with one activity, sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the best life available for (...) humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
Topology is integral to a shift in socio-cultural theory from a linguistic to a mathematical paradigm. This has enabled in Badiou and Žižek a critique of the symbolic register, understood in terms of pure conceptual abstraction. Drawing on topology, this article understands it instead in terms of the figure. The break with the symbolic and language necessitates a break with form, but topologically still preserves a logic of the figure. This becomes a process of figuration, indeed a process of `deformation'. (...) Badiou/Žižek will then presume a break with the symbolic for `the real'. But topology entails the centrality of not the real but the imaginary. With Castoriadis, this imaginary is understood as productive and social, and with Sloterdijk as spatial. In our times this is a self-organizing socio-technical imaginary. For Niklas Luhmann these socio-technical systems engage in coupling. They structurally couple with other social imaginaries. Their self-organization, going beyond pure functionality, operates through semantic excess: an excess that organizes the system and is their structure. Such structural coupling entails semantic exchange, consisting of not just information but also of images. (shrink)
This essay describes two styles of natural theology that emerged in England out of a debate over the correct interpretation of divine evidences in nature during the seventeenth century. The first style was exemplified in the work of John Wilkins and Robert Boyle. It stressed the lawful operation of the universe under a providential order. The second, embodied in the writings of the Cambridge Platonists, was more open to evidence for the wondrousness of nature provided by the marvelous and by (...) spiritual phenomena. Initially appearing to be alternative and complementary arguments for orthodoxy, these two approaches to natural theology underwent different transformations during the ensuing decades. In the process, a natural theology predicated on the intellectual demonstration of divine power through the argument from design came to predominate over alternative strategies that placed greater emphasis on the wondrousness of nature. (shrink)
What is law (and why should we care)? -- Crazy little thing called "law" -- Austin's sanction theory -- Hart and the rule of recognition -- How to do things with plans -- The making of a legal system -- What law is -- Legal reasoning and judicial decision making -- Hard cases -- Theoretical disagreements -- Dworkin and distrust -- The economy of trust -- The interpretation of plans -- The value of legality.
It is hard to think of a more banal statement one could make about the law than to say that it necessarily claims legal authority to govern conduct. What, after all, is a legal institution if not an entity that purports to have the legal power to create rules, confer rights, and impose obligations? Whether legal institutions necessarily claim the moral authority to exercise their legal powers is another question entirely. Some legal theorists have thought that they do—others have not (...) been so sure. But no one has ever denied that the law holds itself out as having the legal authority to tell us what we may or may not do. (shrink)
Using the language of common-sense psychology, we explain human behavior by citing its reason or purpose, and this is central to our understanding of human beings as agents. On the other hand, since human beings are physical objects, human behavior should also be explicable in the language of physical science, in which causal accounts cast human beings as collections of physical particles. CSP talk of mind and agency, however, does not seem to mesh well with the language of physical science.In (...) Teleological Realism, Scott Sehon argues that CSP explanations are not causal but teleological -- that they cite the purpose or goal of the behavior in question rather than an antecedent state that caused the behavior. CSP explanations of behavior, Sehon claims, are answering a question different from that answered by physical science explanations, and, accordingly, CSP explanations and physical science explanations are independent of one another. Common-sense facts about mind and agency can thus be independent of the physical facts about human beings, and, contrary to the views of most philosophers of mind in recent decades, common-sense psychology will not be subsumed by physical science.Sehon defends his non-reductionist account of mind and agency in clear and nontechnical language. He carefully distinguishes his view from forms of "strong naturalism" that would seem to preclude it. And he evaluates key objections to teleological realism, including those posed by Donald Davidson's influential article "Actions, Reasons and Causes" and some put forth by more recent proponents of causal theories of action. CSP, Sehon argues, has a different realm than does physical science; the normative notions that are central to CSP are not reducible to physical facts and laws. (shrink)
David Schweickart has challenged a number of claims that are central to my argument that market socialism would probably degenerate into something only nominally distinguishable from capitalism. Chief among these is the claim that competitive pressures would force the workers in a worker-controlled firm to create pay and authority differentials that would make such firms structurally homologous to capitalist firms. Schweickart challenges this on two fronts: He argues that there is no good reason to believe that market forces under market (...) socialism would create the pay and authority differentials characteristic of capitalism. He further argues that certain structural features of market socialism would insure that competition would not be as intense as it is under capitalism. Consequently, even if capitalistically structured firms were more efficient, it would not make much difference, since no sword of Damocles would hang over the heads of those firms whose workers prefer more collectivist methods of control. Let us consider each of these points in turn. (shrink)
This paper addresses a significant gap in the conceptualization of business ethics within different cultural influences. Though theoretical models of business ethics have recognized the importance of culture in ethical decision-making, few have examinedhow this influences ethical decision-making. Therefore, this paper develops propositions concerning the influence of various cultural dimensions on ethical decision-making using Hofstede''s typology.
This manuscript reviews and synthesizes most of the major research studies in the area of consumer ethics that have appeared since 1990. It examines both conceptual and empirical works with an objective of encouraging researchers to pursue research in the consumer ethics area. Toward this end, the paper also suggests directions for future research.
Business and marketing ethics have come to the forefront in recent years. While consumers have been surveyed regarding their perceptions of ethical business and marketing practices, research has been minimal with regard to their ethical beliefs and ideologies. This research investigates general attitudes of consumers relative to business, government and people in general, and compares these attitudes to their beliefs concerning various questionable consumer practices. The results show that consumers'' ethical beliefs are determined, in part, by who is at fault (...) in the unethical behavior (the seller or the buyer). The results also indicate that those with a more positive attitude toward business are less likely to engage in questionable consumer practices, but one''s attitudes toward salespeople, the government and people in general arenot related to the consumer''s ethical beliefs. (shrink)
Cappelen and Hawthorne tell us that the most basic, explanatory notion of truth is a monadic property of propositions. Other notions of truth, including those applying to sentences, are to be explained in terms of it. Among them are those found in Kripkean, Montagovian, and Kaplanean semantic theories, and their descendants – to wit truth at a context, at a circumstance, and at a context-plus-circumstance. If these are to make sense, the authors correctly maintain, they must be explained in terms (...) of the monadic notion of truth. (1-2) I thought that this was the received view, but the authors indicate otherwise. They describe possible-worlds semantics as making it “very natural to think of the foundational mode of evaluation for propositions as truth relative to worlds.”(7) I disagree. The natural way to understand possible worlds-semantics is to take world-states to be certain kinds of properties, and to take the truth of p at w to be the fact that p would be true (i.e. would instantiate monadic truth) were the universe to instantiate w. The authors add that it is somewhat natural to take “the actual truth of a proposition as [being] a matter of the proposition getting the value ‘true’ relative to a distinguished world -- the actual world.” (7) If this means that being actually true is being true at the actual world-state @, this isn’t just natural, it is unassailable -- as long as one doesn’t erroneously identify being true with being actually true. Since Cappelen and Hawthorne don’t do this, I take us to be on more or less the same page. Others, apparently, aren’t. We are told that “a number of the participants in the relevant disputes [about relativism] seem to take it for granted that philosophical semantics has somehow shown that the semantic value of sentences cannot be evaluated for truth or falsity simpliciter, since truth and falsity hold of a proposition relative to a world.” (77-8) We are also told: 1 Contemporary Analytic relativists reason as follows: ‘Lewis and Kaplan have shown that we need to relativize truth to triples of .. (shrink)
Understanding religion requires explaining why supernatural beliefs, devotions, and rituals are both universal and variable across cultures, and why religion is so often associated with both large-scale cooperation and enduring group conflict. Emerging lines of research suggest that these oppositions result from the convergence of three processes. First, the interaction of certain reliably developing cognitive processes, such as our ability to infer the presence of intentional agents, favors—as an evolutionary by-product—the spread of certain kinds of counterintuitive concepts. Second, participation in (...) rituals and devotions involving costly displays exploits various aspects of our evolved psychology to deepen people's commitment to both supernatural agents and religious communities. Third, competition among societies and organizations with different faith-based beliefs and practices has increasingly connected religion with both within-group prosociality and between-group enmity. This connection has strengthened dramatically in recent millennia, as part of the evolution of complex societies, and is important to understanding cooperation and conflict in today's world. (shrink)
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