ABSTRACTThis article surveys and contextualizes the British idealists’ philosophical writings on language, aesthetics and emotions, starting with T. H. Green and concluding with Michael Oakeshott. It highlights ways in which their philosophical insights have been wrongly overlooked by later writers. It explores R. L. Nettleship’s posthumous publications in this field and notes that they exerted significant influences on British idealists and closely related figures, such as Bernard Bosanquet and R. G. Collingwood. The writing of other figures are also explored, not (...) least F. H. Bradley and J. A. Smith. The article concludes by introducing in turn the remaining articles that are found in this special issue. (shrink)
How are the contents of our beliefs, our intentions, and other attitudes individuated? Just what makes our contents what they are? Content externalism, as Hilary Putnam, Tyler Burge, and others have argued, is the position that our contents depend in a constitutive manner on items in the external world, that they can be individuated by our causal interaction with the items they are about. Content internalism, by contrast, is the position that our contents depend primarily on the properties of (...) our bodies, such as our brains. Internalists, moreover, typically hold that our contents are narrow, insofar as they locally supervene on the properties of our bodies or brains. In this article surveys the arguments and problems for these contrasting positions. (shrink)
This dissertation undertakes a philosophical analysis of “natural capital” and argues that this concept has prompted economists to view Nature in a radically novel manner. Formerly, economists referred to Nature and natural products as a collection of inert materials to be drawn upon in isolation and then rearranged by human agents to produce commodities. More recently, nature is depicted as a collection of active, modifiable, and economically valuable processes, often construed as ecosystems that produce marketable goods and services gratis. Nature (...) is depicted as consisting of various unproduced mechanisms or “natural machines” that are first discovered and then channeled so as to serve human ends. In short, nature as an ideal is a kind of garden that is characterized by natural objects purposefully arranged by intentional human agents. This dissertation first lays out working definitions of the key terms, such as capital and Nature, and then traces the historical roots of natural capital in the writings of eminent classical political economists, such as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx. I then examine the question of substitutes for “critical natural capital”, and argue that the preservation paradox is warranted: no one can restore or preserve a part of Nature without turning it into an artifact. Following the recent work of Debra Satz and Michael Sandel, I finish my dissertation by situating the question of natural capital in the broader context of whether some goods should not be for sale, particularly those I define as Basic Ecological Goods. (shrink)
This thesis has three parts. In the first part, the author defends the coherence of Cartesian scepticism about the external world. In particular, the author contends that such scepticism survives attacks from Descartes himself, as well as from W.V.O. Quine, Robert Nozick, Alvin Goldman, and David Armstrong. It follows that Cartesian scepticism remains intact. In the second part of this thesis, the author contends that the semantic or content externalisms of Hilary Putnam and Tyler Burge do not refute Cartesian (...) scepticism about the external world. In particular, he argues that Putnam and Burge do not make good their respective externalist cases against scepticism, and that they beg the question against that position. The author concludes that semantic or content externalism is important against such scepticism. In the third part of this thesis, the author addresses the mind, and suggests that Descartes, by offering his cogito argument, also offers a theory of thought content, which he then supports with his substance dualism. He suggests that Descartes does not succeed with any of his arguments here, although his theory of thought content is still plausible. To remedy this, the author discusses the versions of narrow meaning or content offered by Jerry Fodor and Colin McGinn, and defends a version of such meaning or content that presupposes that semantic or content externalism is false. The author lastly follows Donald Davidson, and argues for a version anomalous monism, which he contends is a theory that shows how semantic or content internalism might be true. (shrink)
Philip Pettit, Michael Smith, and Tyler Burge have suggested that the similarities between theoretical and practical reasoning can bolster the case for judgment internalism – i.e. the claim that normative judgments are necessarily connected to motivation. In this paper, I first flesh out the rationale for this new approach to internalism. I then argue that even if there are reasons for thinking that internalism holds in the theoretical domain, these reasons don’t generalize to the practical domain.
Table of Contents -/- 1. Introduction and Overview: Two Entitlement Projects, Peter J. Graham, Nikolaj J.L.L. Pedersen, Zachary Bachman, and Luis Rosa -/- Part I. Engaging Burge's Project -/- 2. Entitlement: The Basis of Empirical Warrant, Tyler Burge 3. Perceptual Entitlement and Scepticism, Anthony Brueckner and Jon Altschul 4. Epistemic Entitlement Its Scope and Limits, Mikkel Gerken 5. Why Should Warrant Persist in Demon Worlds?, Peter J. Graham -/- Part II. Extending the Externalist Project -/- 6. Epistemic Entitlement and (...) Epistemic Competence, Ernest Sosa 7. Extended Entitlement, Adam Carter and Duncan Pritchard 8. Moorean Pragmatics, Social Comparisons and Common Knowledge, Allan Hazlett 9. Internalism and Entitlement to Rules and Methods, Joshua Schecter -/- Part III. Engaging Wright's Project -/- 10. Full Bloodied Entitlement, Martin Smith 11. Pluralist Consequentialist Anti-Scepticism, Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen 12. Against (Neo-Wittensteinian) Entitlements, Annalisa Coliva 13. The Truth Fairy and the Indirect Consequentialist, Daniel Elstein and Carrie S. I. Jenkins 14. Knowledge for Nothing, Patrick Greenough . (shrink)
Frege’s use of a judgment stroke in his conceptual notation has been a matter of controversy, at least since Wittgenstein rejected it as “logically quite meaningless” in the Tractatus. Recent defenders of Frege include Tyler Burge, Nicolas Smith and Wolfgang Künne, whereas critics include William Taschek and Edward Kanterian. Against the background of these defenses and criticisms, the present paper argues that Frege faces a dilemma the two horns of which are related to his early and later conceptions (...) of asserted content respectively. On the one hand, if content is thought of as something that has propositional structure, then the judgment stroke is superfluous. On the other hand, if what is to the right of the judgment stroke is conceived as a sort of name designating a truth-value, then there is no consistent way to avoid construing the judgment stroke as a kind of predicate, and thereby fail to do justice to the act-character of judgment and assertion. (shrink)
Various writers in the Western liberal and libertarian tradition have challenged the argument that enforcement of law and protection of property rights are public goods that must be provided by governments. Many of these writers argue explicitly for the provision of law enforcement services through private market relations.
This essay compares Rawls's and Nozick's theories of justice. Nozick thinks patterned principles of justice are false, and offers a historical alternative. Along the way, Nozick accepts Rawls's claim that the natural distribution of talent is morally arbitrary, but denies that there is any short step from this premise to any conclusion that the natural distribution is unjust. Nozick also agrees with Rawls on the core idea of natural rights liberalism: namely, that we are separate persons. However, Rawls and Nozick (...) interpret that idea in different ways-momentously different ways. The tension between their interpretations is among the forces shaping political philosophy to this day. Footnotesa For comments, I thank Alyssa Bernstein, Geoffrey Brennan, Jason Brennan, Tom Christiano, Andrew I. Cohen, Andrew Jason Cohen, Tyler Cowen, Teresa Donovan, David Estlund, Jerry Gaus, Allen Habib, Alex Kaufman, Mark LeBar, Loren Lomasky (especially Loren, for insight and inspiration over a period of many years), Cara Nine, Ellen Frankel Paul, Guido Pincione, Thomas Pogge, Dan Russell, Michael Smith, Horacio Spector, and Matt Zwolinski. I thank the Earhart Foundation for financial support in the fall of 2002 and Australian National University's Research School of Social Sciences for its wonderful hospitality during a ten week stay in 2002. The support of the folks at Liberty Fund in Indianapolis during the final stages of this project goes beyond anything I will ever be able properly to thank them for. (shrink)
Tyler Burge presents an original study of the most primitive ways in which individuals represent the physical world. By reflecting on the science of perception and related psychological and biological sciences, he gives an account of constitutive conditions for perceiving the physical world, and thus aims to locate origins of representational mind.
Tyler Burge presents a collection of his seminal essays on Gottlob Frege (1848-1925), who has a strong claim to be seen as the founder of modern analytic philosophy, and whose work remains at the centre of philosophical debate today. Truth, Thought, Reason gathers some of Burge's most influential work from the last twenty-five years, and also features important new material, including a substantial introduction and postscripts to four of the ten papers. It will be an essential resource for any (...) historian of modern philosophy, and for anyone working on philosophy of language, epistemology, or philosophical logic. (shrink)
In Burge 2005, Tyler Burge reads disjunctivism as the denial that there are explanatorily relevant states in common between veridical perceptions and corresponding illusions. He rejects the position as plainly inconsistent with what is known about perception. I describe a disjunctive approach to perceptual experience that is immune to Burge's attack. The main positive moral concerns how to think about fallibility.
When Adam Smith published his celebrated writings on economics and moral philosophy he famously referred to the operation of an invisible hand. Adam Smith's Political Philosophy makes visible the invisible hand by examining its significance in Smith's political philosophy and relating it to similar concepts used by other philosophers, revealing a distinctive approach to social theory that stresses the significance of the unintended consequences of human action. This book introduces greater conceptual clarity to the discussion of the (...) invisible hand and the related concept of unintended order in the work of Smith and in political theory more generally. By examining the application of spontaneous order ideas in the work of Smith, Hume, Hayek and Popper, Adam Smith's Political Philosophy traces similarities in approach and from these builds a conceptual, composite model of an invisible hand argument. While setting out a clear model of the idea of spontaneous order the book also builds the case for using the idea of spontaneous order as an explanatory social theory, with chapters on its application in the fields of science, moral philosophy, law and government. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who may be (...) uncertain about the circumstances in which she acts, and hence is unable to use her standard moral principle directly in deciding what to do. This paper distinguishes two important senses of “moral guidance”; proposes criteria of adequacy for accounts of subjective rightness; canvasses existing definitions for “subjective rightness”; finds them all deficient; and proposes a new and more successful account. It argues that each comprehensive moral theory must include multiple principles of subjective rightness to address the epistemic situations of the full range of moral decision-makers, and shows that accounts of subjective rightness formulated in terms of what it would reasonable for the agent to believe cannot provide that guidance. (shrink)
The paper develops a conception of epistemic warrant as applied to perceptual belief, called "entitlement", that does not require the warranted individual to be capable of understanding the warrant. The conception is situated within an account of animal perception and unsophisticated perceptual belief. It characterizes entitlement as fulfillment of an epistemic norm that is apriori associated with a certain representational function that can be known apriori to be a function of perception. The paper connects anti-individualism, a thesis about the nature (...) of mental states, and perceptual entitlement. It presents an argument that explains the objectivity and validity of perceptual entitlement partly in terms of the nature of perceptual states–hence the nature of perceptual beliefs, which are constitutively associated with perceptual states. The paper discusses ways that an individual can be entitled to perceptual belief through its connection to perception, and ways that entitlement to perceptual belief can be undermined. (shrink)
This essay is a long one. It is not meant to be read in a single sitting. Its structure is as follows. In section I, I explicate perceptual anti-individualism. Section II centers on the two aspects of the representational content of perceptual states. Sections III and IV concern the nature of the empirical psychology of vision, and its bearing on the individuation of perceptual states. Section V shows how what is known from empirical psychology undermines disjunctivism and hence certain further (...) views that entail it, including naive realism. In Section VI, I raise a further point against disjunctivism. Section VII indicates how general reflection on perceptual perspective and epistemic ability supports the constraints from empirical psychology. It also explains how reflection on veridicality conditions, psychological explanation, and cognitive ability conspire to force recognition of the two kinds of representation mentioned in the preceding paragraph. In the Appendix, I criticize attempts to support disjunctivism. (shrink)
In Burge [Disjunctivism and perceptual psychology. Philosophical Topics 33: 1–78, 2005], I criticized several versions of disjunctivism. McDowell defends his version against my criticisms in McDowell [Tyler Burge on disjunctivism. Philosophical Explorations 13: 243–55, 2010]. He claims that my general characterization fails to apply to his view. I show that this claim fails because it overlooks two elements in my characterization. I elaborate and extend my criticisms of his disjunctivism. I criticize his positions on infallibility and indefeasibility, and reinforce (...) my earlier charges that his views on perception and epistemology are hyper-intellectualized. The central point in my rejection of his disjunctivism concerns his claim that the science of perceptual psychology is irrelevant to his disjunctivist classification of perceptual states. I hold that this claim shows lack of familiarity with the science and serious misunderstanding of it. The basic deficiency in McDowell's disjunctivism is that it, like other versions, is incompatible with well-established scientific knowledge. (shrink)
This important and timely collection is the result of a conference on self-knowledge held at the University of St. Andrews in 1995. A number of papers included in it focus on the epistemology of self-knowledge. In particular, they try to provide a plausible explanation of what makes knowledge of our own mental states immediate and authoritative. Crispin Wright deals with that problem in the context of Wittgensteinian philosophy of mind. John McDowell replies to Wright’s essay by providing a different picture (...) of Wittgenstein’s later views on mind and philosophy. Christopher Peacocke considers, in his contribution, conscious attitudes, especially the possession condition of the concept of belief, and argues that a conscious belief gives rise to the relevant second-order belief in a way that is neither inferential, nor observational. Michael Martin responds by suggesting that Peacocke’s proposal applies only to conscious episodes of a certain kind. Most of the contributors to the collection are convinced that the observational model of self-knowledge is fatally flawed. Cynthia Macdonald undertakes to show that not everything is wrong with that model and its various criticisms can be effectively met. Elizabeth Fricker in her long essay offers a careful analysis of the distinction between two conceptions of selfknowledge: a special access account, according to which we have a unique privileged access to our own mental states, and a constitutive account holding that the self-ascription of a particular mental state is a necessary condition of being in that state. She finds that distinction, and the dichotomy based upon it, untenable. Akeel Bilgrami and Tyler Burge are concerned in their respective contributions with the role of self-knowledge in free, responsible agency, and in the practice of reasoning. They seem to suggest that in view of that role one should endorse a constitutive account of self-knowledge. The prevailing number of current theories of mental content accept a thesis of externalism to the effect that mental content is constituted and individuated not only by factors lying inside one’s head, or inside one’s subjective realm, but also and foremost by external and environmental factors. It seems, however, that the combination of externalism about mental content with our ordinary conception of self-knowledge leads to a certain tension and highly implausible consequences. Some philosophers, including Paul A. Boghossian, argue that the tension is genuine, and selfknowledge is simply incompatible with externalism. We have to claim this because otherwise we would have to agree on an apparently absurd extension of the domain of what can be known nonempirically or a priori. Other contributors are not convinced by Boghossian’s argument for incompatibilism. Brian McLaughlin and Michael Tye in their joint essay attempt to show that the argument does not apply to the most popular version of externalism. Martin Davies thinks the argument can be blocked by invoking principles limiting the transfer of epistemic warrant across known entailments, and Diana Raffman believes it is ultimately based upon equivocation. Moreover, as illustrated by Jim Edwards on an example of sense experience, one can accept externalism while modifying the extent of our self-knowledge in various ways. The last two contributions of the collection, by Barry C. Smith and James Higginbotham respectively, are concerned with knowledge of what we mean when we speak a language and its connections with self-knowledge in general. (shrink)
Argument for Epiphenomenalism [I]: (A) Mental event-tokens are identical with physical event-tokens. (B) The causal powers of a physical event are determined only by its physical properties; and (C) mental properties are not reducible to physical properties.
Consequentialism is thought to be in significant conflict with animal rights theory because it does not regard activities such as confinement, killing, and exploitation as in principle morally wrong. Proponents of the “Logic of the Larder” argue that consequentialism results in an implausibly pro-exploitation stance, permitting us to eat farmed animals with positive well- being to ensure future such animals exist. Proponents of the “Logic of the Logger” argue that consequentialism results in an implausibly anti-conservationist stance, permitting us to exterminate (...) wild animals with negative well-being to ensure future such animals do not exist. We argue that this conflict is overstated. Once we have properly accounted for indirect effects, such as the role that our policies play in shaping moral attitudes and behavior and the importance of accepting policies that are robust against deviation, we can see that consequentialism may converge with animal rights theory significantly, even if not entirely. (shrink)
Non‐Humean theories of natural necessity invoke modally‐laden primitives to explain why nature exhibits lawlike regularities. However, they vary in the primitives they posit and in their subsequent accounts of laws of nature and related phenomena (including natural properties, natural kinds, causation, counterfactuals, and the like). This article provides a taxonomy of non‐Humean theories, discusses influential arguments for and against them, and describes some ways in which differences in goals and methods can motivate different versions of non‐Humeanism (and, for that matter, (...) Humeanism). In short, this article provides an introduction to non‐Humeanism concerning the metaphysics of laws of nature and natural necessity. (shrink)
Recently two distinct forms of rule-utilitarianism have been introduced that differ on how to measure the consequences of rules. Brad Hooker advocates fixed-rate rule-utilitarianism, while Michael Ridge advocates variable-rate rule-utilitarianism. I argue that both of these are inferior to a new proposal, optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism. According to optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism, an ideal code is the code whose optimum acceptance level is no lower than that of any alternative code. I then argue that all three forms of rule-utilitarianism fall prey to two fatal (...) problems that leave us without any viable form of rule-utilitarianism. (shrink)