This paper examines the distinction drawn by Amartya Sen between transcendental and comparative theories of justice, and its application to Rawls' doctrine. It then puts forward three arguments. First, it is argued that Sen offers a limited portrayal of Rawls' doctrine. This is the result of a rhetorical strategy that depicts Rawlsian doctrine as more “transcendental” than it really is. Although Sen deploys numerous quotations in support of his interpretation, it is possible to offer a less transcendental interpretation of Rawls. (...) Second, the dichotomy between transcendental and comparative approaches to questions of justice is partly misleading, insofar as any plausible moral doctrine has both transcendental and comparative elements. Transcendental elements are necessary to avoid the confusion between the general acceptance of a norm, value or principle and its justification. A comparative view highlights the conditions of application of the doctrine to the real world, taking into account the possibility of moral dilemmas, evaluative disagreements and limited resources, while proposing possible provisos and caveats to the risk of the doctrine being self‐defeating. Third, although the transcendental approach is useful, it is argued that in elaborating this dichotomy Sen overlooks the merits of the third way between comparative and transcendental doctrines, what he calls “conglomerate theory,” and also the possibility that his doctrine might be considered as an example of such a theory. The paper concludes with the argument that conglomerate theory does not aim to produce complete moral orderings, but rather a comparative approach with transcendental elements, as a form of weak transcendentalism. (shrink)
En este trabajo intento exponer las tesis de Sen sobre las características que demandamos a una teoría satisfactoria de la justicia, y sus críticas al modelo «trascendental» de teoría, que según él es lo que Rawls persigue. Según Sen, este modelo es inaceptable por ser inalcanzable e innecesario; lo que en nuestra práctica argumentativa intentamos lograr son juicios comparativos entre situaciones reales, y no sistemas completos de proposiciones acerca de ideales de la sociedad justa. Intentaré argumentar que el enfoque metaético (...) de Sen es débil por dos razones: no ofrece una reconstrucción adecuada de la teoría de Rawls, equivocándose sobre su carácter «completo», y no explica de qué manera los juicios comparativos de valor entre dos situaciones sociales no sean el resultado de una teoría «trascendental» de la justicia. Me propongo, entonces, solucionar el problema, presentando una mirada trascendental de las cuestiones de justicia, pero, al mismo tiempo, pluralista e incompleta. (shrink)
Este artigo apresenta as críticas de Francesco Patrizi à concepção aristotélica de tempo na sua Física, isto é, a crítica de Patrizi ao princípio de que o tempo é infinito em termos de infinidade matemática. A principal tese de Patrizi é a de que a “infinidade possível" da matemática acarreta contradições quando aplicada a substâncias naturais e à ciência natural em geral.
A counterpossible conditional is a counterfactual with an impossible antecedent. Common sense delivers the view that some such conditionals are true, and some are false. In recent publications, Timothy Williamson has defended the view that all are true. In this paper we defend the common sense view against Williamson’s objections.
The experimental approach in economics is a driving force behind some of the most exciting developments in the field. The 'experimental revolution' was based on a series of bold philosophical premises which have remained until now mostly unexplored. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis and critical discussion of the methodology of experimental economics, written by a philosopher of science with expertise in the field. It outlines the fundamental principles of experimental inference in order to investigate their power, scope and (...) limitations. The author demonstrates that experimental economists have a lot to gain by discussing openly the philosophical principles that guide their work, and that philosophers of science have a lot to learn from their ingenious techniques devised by experimenters in order to tackle difficult scientific problems. (shrink)
It is a venerable slogan due to David Hume, and inherited by the empiricist tradition, that the impossible cannot be believed, or even conceived. In Positivismus und Realismus, Moritz Schlick claimed that, while the merely practically impossible is still conceivable, the logically impossible, such as an explicit inconsistency, is simply unthinkable. -/- An opposite philosophical tradition, however, maintains that inconsistencies and logical impossibilities are thinkable, and sometimes believable, too. In the Science of Logic, Hegel already complained against “one of the (...) fundamental prejudices of logic as hitherto understood”, namely that “the contradictory cannot be imagined or thought” (Hegel 1931: 430). Our representational capabilities are not limited to the possible, for we appear to be able to imagine and describe also impossibilities — perhaps without being aware that they are impossible. -/- Such impossibilities and inconsistencies are what this entry is about... (shrink)
What is it for a car, a piece of art or a person to be good, bad or better than another? In this first book-length introduction to value theory, Francesco Orsi explores the nature of evaluative concepts used in everyday thinking and speech and in contemporary philosophical discourse. The various dimensions, structures and connections that value concepts express are interrogated with clarity and incision. -/- Orsi provides a systematic survey of both classic texts including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Moore and (...) Ross and an array of contemporary theorists. The reader is guided through the moral maze of value theory with everyday examples and thought experiments. Rare stamps, Napoleon's hat, evil demons, and Kant's good will are all considered in order to probe our intuitions, question our own and philosophers' assumptions about value, and, ultimately, understand better what we want to say when we talk about value. -/- 1. Value and Normativity 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Which Evaluations? 1.3 The Idea of Value Theory 1.4 Value and Normativity 1.5 Overview 1.6 Meta-ethical Neutrality 1.7 Value Theory: The Questions -/- 2. Meet the Values: Intrinsic, Final & Co. 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Final and Unconditional Value: Some Philosophical Examples 2.3 Intrinsic Value and Final Value 2.4 The Reduction to Facts 2.5 Intrinsic and Conditional Value 2.6 Elimination of Extrinsic Value? 2.7 Summary -/- 3. The Challenge against Absolute Value 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Geach and Attributive Goodness 3.3 Foot and the Virtues 3.4 Thomson and Goodness in a Way 3.5 Zimmerman's Ethical Goodness 3.6 A Better Reply: Absolute Value and Fitting Attitudes 3.7 Summary -/- 4. Personal Value 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Moore on Good and Good For 4.3 Good For and Fitting Attitudes 4.4 Moore Strikes Back? 4.5 Agent-relative Value 4.6 Impersonal/Personal and Agent-neutral/Agent-relative 4.7 Summary -/- 5. The Chemistry of Value 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Supervenience and Other Relations 5.3 Organic Unities 5.4 Alternatives to Organic Unities: Virtual Value 5.5 Alternatives to Organic Unities: Conditional Value 5.6 Holism and Particularism 5.7 Summary -/- 6. Value Relations 6.1 Introduction 6.2 The Trichotomy Thesis and Incomparability 6.3 A Fitting Attitude Argument for Incomparability 6.4 Against Incomparability: Epistemic Limitations 6.5 Against Incomparability: Parity 6.6 Parity and Choice 6.7 Parity and Incomparability 6.8 Summary -/- 7. How Do I Favour Thee? 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Three Dimensions of Favouring 7.3 Responses to Value: Maximizing 7.4 Two Concepts of Intrinsic Value? 7.5 Summary -/- 8. Value and the Wrong Kind of Reasons 8.1 Introduction 8.2 The Fitting Attitude Account and its Rivals 8.3 The Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem 8.4 The Structure of the Problem and an Initial Response 8.5 Reasons for What? 8.6 Characteristic Concerns and Shared Reasons 8.7 Circular Path: No-Priority 8.8 Summary . (shrink)
This paper examines the view held by Francesco Piccolomini (1523-1607) on the relation between prime matter and extension. In his discussion of prime matter in the Libri ad scientiam de natura attinentes Piccolomini develops a theory of prime matter that incorporates crucial elements of the viewpoint adhered to by the Neoplatonist Simplicius. The originality of Piccolomini’s undertaking is highlighted by contrasting it with the ideas found in Jacopo Zabarella’s De rebus naturalibus . The case of Piccolomini shows that, in (...) order to classify early modern metaphysical theories of prime matter, the category ‘prime matter as sheer dimensionality’ is indispensable. (shrink)
This book is both an introduction to and a research work on Meinongianism. “Meinongianism” is taken here, in accordance with the common philosophical jargon, as a general label for a set of theories of existence – probably the most basic notion of ontology. As an introduction, the book provides the first comprehensive survey and guide to Meinongianism and non-standard theories of existence in all their main forms. As a research work, the book exposes and develops the most up-to-date Meinongian theory (...) (called modal Meinongianism), applies it to specific fields, and discusses its open problems. Part I of the book provides a historical introduction to, and critical discussion of, the dominant philosophical view of existence: the “Kantian-Fregean-Quinean” perspective. Part II is the full-fledged introduction to the Meinongian theories of existence as a real property of individuals: after starting with the so-called naïve Meinongian conception and its problems, it provides a self-contained presentation of the main neo-Meinongian proposals, and a detailed discussion of their strengths and weaknesses. Part III develops a specific neo-Meinongian theory of existence employing a model-theoretic semantic framework. It discusses its application to the ontology and semantics of fictional objects, and its open problems. The methodology of the book follows the most recent trends in analytic ontology. In particular, the meta-ontological point of view is largely privileged. (shrink)
Strong Reciprocity theorists claim that cooperation in social dilemma games can be sustained by costly punishment mechanisms that eliminate incentives to free ride, even in one-shot and finitely repeated games. There is little doubt that costly punishment raises cooperation in laboratory conditions. Its efficacy in the field however is controversial. I distinguish two interpretations of experimental results, and show that the wide interpretation endorsed by Strong Reciprocity theorists is unsupported by ethnographic evidence on decentralised punishment and by historical evidence on (...) common pool institutions. The institutions that spontaneously evolve to solve dilemmas of cooperation typically exploit low-cost mechanisms, turning finite games into indefinitely repeated ones and eliminating the cost of sanctioning. (shrink)
On the one hand, after Matteo d'Acquasparta's distinction between the three types of eternity and the temporal necessity of the past, Meyronnes radicalized Scotus's dynamic vision of duration, conceiving the modality as a relation of implication between predicate and existing subject, and time as relationship between Creator and creature. On the other hand, after Ockham denied the real simultaneity of opposed potencies, the Ochamist extension of temporal necessity to the present was denied by Gregory of Rimini, who was favourable, together (...) with Wodeham, to the mutability of the past in a divided sense. Mirecourt, strong on the English subtleties, appears to follow Gregory and tries to find a solution to the interaction between the two contingencies, from top to bottom, which had been formalized by Gregory: if I, performing or not performing X, can act as if God, as the supreme intellect from eternity, could have known or not known X to come, and, if God as agent, absolutely willing omnipotent and unimpeadable from eternity can act as if X happened or did not happen, then can I act as if X, which is from eternity, did not happen from eternity? (shrink)
Is there a notion of contradiction—let us call it, for dramatic effect, “absolute”—making all contradictions, so understood, unacceptable also for dialetheists? It is argued in this paper that there is, and that spelling it out brings some theoretical benefits. First it gives us a foothold on undisputed ground in the methodologically difficult debate on dialetheism. Second, we can use it to express, without begging questions, the disagreement between dialetheists and their rivals on the nature of truth. Third, dialetheism has an (...) operator allowing it, against the opinion of many critics, to rule things out and manifest disagreement: for unlike other proposed exclusion-expressing-devices (for instance, the entailment of triviality), the operator used to formulate the notion of absolute contradiction appears to be immune both from crippling expressive limitations and from revenge paradoxes—pending a rigorous nontriviality proof for a formal dialetheic theory including it. (shrink)
Accounts of propositions as sets of possible worlds have been criticized for conflating distinct impossible propositions. In response to this problem, some have proposed to introduce impossible worlds to represent distinct impossibilities, endorsing the thesis that impossible worlds must be of the same kind; this has been called the parity thesis. I show that this thesis faces problems, and propose a hybrid account which rejects it: possible worlds are taken as concrete Lewisian worlds, and impossibilities are represented as set-theoretic constructions (...) out of them. This hybrid account (1) distinguishes many intuitively distinct impossible propositions; (2) identifies impossible propositions with extensional constructions; (3) avoids resorting to primitive modality, at least so far as Lewisian modal realism does. (shrink)
We outline a neo-Meinongian framework labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM) to account for the ontology and semantics of fictional discourse. Several competing accounts of fictional objects are originated by the fact that our talking of them mirrors incoherent intuitions: mainstream theories of fiction privilege some such intuitions, but are forced to account for others via complicated paraphrases of the relevant sentences. An ideal theory should resort to as few paraphrases as possible. In Sect. 1, we make this explicit via (...) two methodological principles, called the Minimal Revision and the Acceptability Constraint. In Sect. 2, we introduce the standard distinction between internal and external fictional discourse. In Sects. 3–5, we discuss the approaches of (traditional) Meinongianism, Fictionalism, and Realism—and their main troubles. In Sect. 6 we propose our MMM approach. This is based upon (1) a modal semantics including impossible worlds (Subsect. 6.1); (2) a qualified Comprehension Principle for objects (Subsect. 6.2); (3) a notion of existence-entailment for properties (Subsect. 6.3). In Sect. 7 we present a formal semantics for MMM based upon a representation operator. And in Sect. 8 we have a look at how MMM solves the problems of the three aforementioned theories. (shrink)
Language evolution, intended as an open problem in the evolutionary research programme, will be here analyzed from the theoretical perspective advanced by the supporters of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. Four factors and two associated concepts will be matched with a selection of critical examples concerning genus Homo evolution, relevant for the evolution of language, such as the evolution of hominin life-history traits, the enlargement of the social group, increased cooperation among individuals, behavioral change and innovations, heterochronic modifications leading to increased (...) synaptic plasticity. A particular form of niche construction will be considered in a multilevel framework. It will be argued that the four points mentioned above prove to be fundamental explanatory tools to understand how language might have emerged as a result of a gene-culture coevolutionary dynamics. (shrink)
A dialetheia is a sentence, A, such that both it and its negation, ¬A, are true (we shall talk of sentences throughout this entry; but one could run the definition in terms of propositions, statements, or whatever one takes as her favourite truth-bearer: this would make little difference in the context). Assuming the fairly uncontroversial view that falsity just is the truth of negation, it can equally be claimed that a dialetheia is a sentence which is both true and false.
I present an approach to our conceiving absolute impossibilities—things which obtain at no possible world—in terms of ceteris paribus intentional operators: variably restricted quantifiers on possible and impossible worlds based on world similarity. The explicit content of a representation plays a role similar in some respects to the one of a ceteris paribus conditional antecedent. I discuss how such operators invalidate logical closure for conceivability, and how similarity works when impossible worlds are around. Unlike what happens with ceteris paribus counterfactual (...) conditionals, the closest worlds are relevantly closest belief-worlds: closest to how things are believed to be, rather than to how they are. Also, closeness takes into account apriority and the opacity of intentional contexts. (shrink)
Although it is a crucial component of seismic velocity model building, salt delineation is often a major bottleneck in the interpretation workflow. Automatic methods like image segmentation can help to alleviate this bottleneck, but issues with accuracy and efficiency can hinder their effectiveness. However, a new graph-based segmentation algorithm can, after modifications to account for the unique nature of seismic data, quickly and accurately delineate salt bodies on 3D seismic images. In areas where salt boundaries are poorly imaged, limited manual (...) interpretations can be used to guide the automatic segmentation, allowing for interpreter insight to be combined with modern computational capabilities. A successful 3D field data example demonstrates that this method could become an important tool for interactive interpretation tasks. (shrink)
This paper gives an account of work in progress on ‘Derrida and Biology’ that takes its point of departure from Derrida's unpublished seminar La vie la mort, the first six sessions of which are devoted to biology and, in particular, to the work of François Jacob, a genetic biologist known for his research on the DNA structure and the laws of heredity in the organization and evolution of the living. This seminar shows that Derrida's engagement with biology is already at (...) work in his earliest texts, and in particular in Of Grammatology, where biology functions as the horizon in which notions like ‘differance,’ ‘archi-writing,’ ‘trace,’ and ‘text’ find their genetic-structural foundation and articulation. The goal is to demonstrate that only within this horizon one can understand the statement ‘there is nothing outside the text’ as well as the notion of the ‘general text’, widely misunderstood as the thesis of a hyperbolic hermeneutics. (shrink)
There is a principle in things, about which we cannot be deceived, but must always, on the contrary, recognize the truth – viz. that the same thing cannot at one and the same time be and not be": with these words of the Metaphysics, Aristotle introduced the Law of Non-Contradiction, which was to become the most authoritative principle in the history of Western thought. However, things have recently changed, and nowadays various philosophers, called dialetheists, claim that this Law does not (...) hold unrestrictedly – that in peculiar circumstances the same thing may at the same time be and not be, and contradictions may obtain in the world. This book opens with an examination of the famous logical paradoxes that appear to speak on behalf of contradictions (e.g., the Liar paradox, the set-theoretic paradoxes such as Cantor’s and Russell’s), and of the reasons for the failure of the standard attempts to solve them. It provides, then, an introduction to paraconsistent logics – non-classical logics in which the admission of contradictions does not lead to logical chaos –, and their astonishing applications, going from inconsistent data base management to contradictory arithmetics capable of circumventing Gödel’s celebrated Incompleteness Theorem. The final part of the book discusses the philosophical motivations and difficulties of dialetheism, and shows how to extract from Aristotle’s ancient words a possible reply to the dialetheic challenge. How to Sell a Contradiction will appeal to anyone interested in non-classical logics, analytic metaphysics, and philosophy of mathematics, and especially to those who consider challenging our most entrenched beliefs the main duty of philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
A logic is called 'paraconsistent' if it rejects the rule called 'ex contradictione quodlibet', according to which any conclusion follows from inconsistent premises. While logicians have proposed many technically developed paraconsistent logical systems and contemporary philosophers like Graham Priest have advanced the view that some contradictions can be true, and advocated a paraconsistent logic to deal with them, until recent times these systems have been little understood by philosophers. This book presents a comprehensive overview on paraconsistent logical systems to change (...) this situation. The book includes almost every major author currently working in the field. The papers are on the cutting edge of the literature some of which discuss current debates and others present important new ideas. The editors have avoided papers about technical details of paraconsistent logic, but instead concentrated upon works that discuss more 'big picture' ideas. Different treatments of paradoxes takes centre stage in many of the papers, but also there are several papers on how to interpret paraconistent logic and some on how it can be applied to philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, and metaphysics. (shrink)
Francesco Patrizi da Cherso's Discussiones peripateticae are one of the most comprehensive analyses of the whole of Aristotelian philosophy to be published before Werner Jaeger's Aristoteles. The main thrust of the argument in the Discussiones is that whatever Aristotle had said that was true was not new, and that whatever he had said that was new was not true. The article shows how Patrizi proves this with respect to the Organon, and deals with the implications for the history af (...) ancient philosophy in general implied by his stance. (shrink)
Experimental “localism” stresses the importance of context‐specific knowledge, and the limitations of universal theories in science. I illustrate Latour's radical approach to localism and show that it has some unpalatable consequences, in particular the suggestion that problems of external validity (or how to generalize experimental results to nonlaboratory circumstances) cannot be solved. In the last part of the paper I try to sketch a solution to the problem of external validity by extending Mayo's error‐probabilistic approach.
A version of Bradley's regress can be endorsed in an effort to address the problem of the unity of states of affairs or facts, thereby arriving at a doctrine that I have called fact infinitism . A consequence of it is the denial of the thesis, WF, that all chains of ontological dependence are well-founded or grounded. Cameron has recently rejected fact infinitism by arguing that WF, albeit not necessarily true, is however contingently true. Here fact infinitism is supported by (...) showing that Cameron's argument for the contingent truth of WF is unsuccessful. (shrink)
Research indicates that religious values and ethical behavior are closely associated, yet, at a firm level, the processes by which this association occurs are poorly understood. Family firms are known to exhibit values-based behavior, which in turn can lead to specific firm-level outcomes. It is also known that one’s family is an important incubator, enabler, and perpetuator of religious values across successive generations. Our study examines the experiences of a single, multigenerational business family that successfully enacted their religious values in (...) their business. Drawing upon intergenerational solidarity and values-based leadership theory, and by way of an interpretive, qualitative analysis, we find that the family’s religious values enhanced their cohesion and were manifested in their leadership style, which, in turn, led to outcomes for the business. Our findings highlight the processes that underlie the relationship between religious values and organizational outcomes in family firms and offer insights into the role of solidarity in values-based leadership. (shrink)
Understanding Institutions offers a theory that is able to unify the two dominant approaches in the scientific and philosophical literature on institutions. Moreover, using the ‘rules-in-equilibrium’ theory, it tackles several ancient puzzles in the philosophy of social science.
This article proposes to investigate Jan Patočka’s idea of “post-Europe”, in the context of his understanding of European contemporary history. Therefore, I first stress how important it is for Patočka to conceive a “post-European perspective”, i.e. a peculiar insight into historical problems and conflicts that would allow humanity to find a possible path out of the condition that characterizes the twentieth century. Second, I focus on the existential figure that, according to Patočka, is capable of engendering this perspective, and whose (...) fundamental traits are equality, detachment, openness and courage. Thus, I consider Husserl’s idea of Europe, Arendt’s concept of the political and Bergson’s concept of the open soul as fundamental references for Patočka’s reconstruction. I conclude by showing how Patočka’s ethical stance on Europe and post-Europe can also be meaningful in light of the current European economic and political crisis. (shrink)
A complex brain network, centered on the hippocampus, supports episodic memories throughout their lifetimes. Classically, upon memory encoding during active behavior, hippocampal activity is dominated by theta oscillations (6-10Hz). During inactivity, hippocampal neurons burst synchronously, constituting sharp waves, which can propagate to other structures, theoretically supporting memory consolidation. This 'two-stage' model has been updated by new data from high-density electrophysiological recordings in animals that shed light on how information is encoded and exchanged between hippocampus, neocortex and subcortical structures such as (...) the striatum. Cell assemblies (tightly related groups of cells) discharge together and synchronize across brain structures orchestrated by theta, sharp waves and slow oscillations, to encode information. This evolving dynamical schema is key to extending our understanding of memory processes. (shrink)
This study considers the contribution of Francesco Patrizi da Cherso to the development of the concepts of void space and an infinite universe. Patrizi plays a greater role in the development of these concepts than any other single figure in the sixteenth century, and yet his work has been almost totally overlooked. I have outlined his views on space in terms of two major aspects of his philosophical attitude: on the one hand, he was a devoted Platonist and sought (...) always to establish Platonism, albeit his own version of it, as the only currect philosophy; and on the other hand, he was more determinedly anti-Aristotelian than any other philosopher at that time. Patrizi's concept of space has its beginnings in Platonic notions, but is extended and refined in the light of a vigorous critique of Aristotle's position. Finally, I consider the influence of Patrizi's ideas in the seventeenth century, when various thinkers are seeking to overthrow the Aristotelian concept of place and the equivalence of dimensionality with corporeality. Pierre Gassendi , for example, needed a coherent concept of void space in which his atoms could move, while Henry More sought to demonstrate the reality of incorporeal entities by reference to an incorporeal space. Both men could find the arguments they needed in Patrizi's comprehensive treatment of the subject. (shrink)