Common sense, affirmed Ferrier, can neither be set aside nor taken for granted by philosophy. Rather, it must be converted into philosophy, and this "by accepting completely and faithfully the facts and expressions of common sense as given in their primitive obscurity, and then by construing them without violence, without addition, and without diminution into clearer and more intelligible forms". In the period under discussion, the early nineteenth century, the attempt to elucidate the phenomena of mind and their linguistic moulds (...) came under the title of 'mental science' or 'analysis'. More specifically, the process envisaged for this science was inductive, what Dugald Stewart would call a dual operation of analysis and synthesis or Cabanis the method of decomposition and recomposition. Agreement on the use of such a procedure for the philosophy of mind or on the details of the technique employed was never unanimous: in the case of the latter, it had first to be established whether the 'scientist' was dealing at the outset with 'simple' or 'compound' phenomena and whether he was to proceed from the known to the unknown or vice versa. Beneath this controversy lay the roots of an earlier separation between the 'analysis of nature' and the 'analytic of imagination'. Michel Foucault, whose distinction this is, argues that these two directions of analysis begin to converge towards the end of the eighteenth century. But the moment of convergence, being fraught with difficulties for those at the intersection, is less than happy. This uneasiness of mind accounts, moreover, for the strain of conversion in 'Common Sense' philosophy. Nevertheless, where the struggles at the juncture are most intense, there is a commensurate heightening of philosophical awareness. Faintly visible in the first inquiries of Thomas Brown into causality and volition, it reaches a crescendo in his more mature reflections on memory and attention, the nature of consciousness and reflection itself. Emerging with this apprehension, and giving it depth, is Brown's sensitivity to the feelings of selfhood and his belief in the recovery, however imaginary, of the individual's past. That sense of an order to be captured and restored, combined with a recognition of the affections which, more often, reap the havoc of human nature, create in his writings the sort of excitement associated not with the resolution of dilemmas, but with a prolonged, agonizing and continual tension. The subsequent discussion moves towards as it is moved by that realization. (shrink)
In part one of our analysis of the unpublished lecture materials of thomas reid relating to adam smith, The authors touched on issues of provenance, Of manuscript description and arrangement, As well as of substance concerning reid's actual comments on smith. We have now provided as authentic a reproduction as possible of the relevant manuscript materials in the birkwood collection, Aberdeen, Arguing that there is a perceptible and studied order to reid's forceful objections.
It is a pleasure for me to give this opening address to the Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on ‘Explanation’ for two reasons. The first is that it is succeeded by exciting symposia and other papers concerned with various special aspects of the topic of explanation. The second is that the conference is being held in my old alma mater , the University of Glasgow, where I did my first degree. Especially due to C. A. Campbell and George Brown there (...) was in the Logic Department a big emphasis on absolute idealism, especially F. H. Bradley. My inclinations were to oppose this line of thought and to espouse the empiricism and realism of Russell, Broad and the like. Empiricism was represented in the department by D. R. Cousin, a modest man who published relatively little, but who was of quite extraordinary philosophical acumen and lucidity, and by Miss M. J. Levett, whose translation of Plato's Theaetetus formed an important part of the philosophy syllabus. (shrink)
Hume's doctrine of natural belief allows that certain beliefs are justifiably held by all men without regard to the quality of the evidence which may be produced in their favour. Examples are belief in an external world and belief in the veracity of our senses. According to R. J. Butler, Hume argues in the Dialogues that belief in God is of this sort. More recently John Hick has argued that for some people it is as natural to believe in God (...) as to believe in an external world. I shall first inquire what Hume understands by reasonable belief and by natural belief. I shall then use the results of this investigation to argue, against Butler, that belief in God is not a natural belief; and against Hick, more briefly, that his thesis is not viable in as far as it depends upon Hume's doctrine of natural belief. These discussions are important to the philosophy of religion since by means of natural beliefs it could be urged that belief in God is something justifiable without reference to reason or evidence: a position which would be of immense value to the theist. (shrink)
Definition of the problem: In Germany, clinical ethics is still in the state of development. Ethics consultation is very new and rare in the clinical setting in German university hospitals. Therefore this paper describes the clinical ethics activities at the Medical Center of Philipps University, Marburg, regard to ethics consultation in a case report. Clinical ethics rounds at the Surgical Intensive Care Unit are organized according to the theory and practice of the ethics consultation service at the Medical Center of (...) the University of Virginia, established by J.C. Fletcher, F.G. Miller and J.J. Fins. (shrink)
It is characteristic of realists to separate ontology from epistemology and of idealists to mix the two things up. By ‘idealists’ here I am mainly referring to the British neo-Hegelians but the charge of mixing up ontology and epistemology can be made against at least one ‘subjective idealist’, namely Bishop Berkeley, as his wellknown dictum ‘esse ispercipi’ testifies. The objective idealists rejected the correspondence theory of truth and on the whole accepted a coherence theory. The qualification is needed here because (...) H. H. Joachim, in The Nature of Truth, found the coherence theory unable to deal with the problem of error. (shrink)
This paper is partly to get rid of some irritation which I have felt at the quite common tendency of philosophers to elucidate ‘is red’ in terms of ‘looks red’. For a relatively recent example see, for example, Frank Jackson and Robert Pargetter, ‘An Objectivist′s Guide to Subjectivism about Colour’. However rather than try to make a long list of references, I would rather say ‘No names, no pack drill’. I have even been disturbed to find the use of the (...) words ‘looks red’ that I am opposing ascribed to me by Keith Campbell in his useful article ‘David Armstrong and Realism about Colour’. I am not saying that such talk is necessarily wrong. Talk of ‘looks red’ may be a way of harmlessly referring to the behavioural discriminations with respect to colour of a human percipient. Where it is dangerous, at least to those of us who wish to argue for a broadly physicalist account of the mind, is that it may have concealed overtones of reference to epiphenomenal and irreducibly psychic properties of experiences. Moreover even if it does not do so it may be fence sitting on this issue and liable to misinterpretation. (shrink)
It has frequently been lamented that while the human species has made immense progress in science it is nevertheless ethically backward. This ethical backwardness is all the more dangerous because the advanced state of scientific knowledge has made available a technology with which we are able to destroy ourselves—indeed a technology which may have got so much out of hand that we may not even have the capacity to prevent it from destroying us.
In an article in Philosophy R. G. Swinburne set out to argue that none of Hume's formal objections to the design argument ‘have any validity against a carefully articulated version of the argument’ . This, he maintained, is largely because Hume's criticisms ‘are bad criticisms of the argument in any form’ . The ensuing controversy between Swinburne and Olding 1 has focused upon the acceptable/unacceptable aspects of the dualism presupposed in Swinburne's defence of the design argument; upon whether any simplification (...) is achieved by reducing scientific explanation to agent explanation; and upon the problems which arise from taking a man's acting upon his body as the analogy for understanding a disembodied agent acting upon matter. In this article I shall refer to the Swinburne-Olding controversy when appropriate but my main concern is to return to Swinburne's original article and argue, seriatim , that Hume's individual criticisms of the design argument are for the most part a great deal more powerful than Swinburne allowed. I shall contend that cumulatively they destroy the design argument as any sort of rational foundation for theistic belief. But first I shall indicate briefly the character of the argument together with one or two of the distinctions and refinements in terms of which it has been found helpful to carry on the discussion in recent years. (shrink)
Dr Ian Ramsey has made considerable use of the word ‘disclosure’ in what he has to say about religion and in his attempts to give an account of the meaning of religious language. He sometimes speaks of ‘discernment’ or ‘insight’ but ‘disclosure’ is the word he normally favours. In what follows I shall ask: what a disclosure is, to what extent Dr Ramsey's use of the notion leads to confusions, and what questions have to be faced in order to resolve (...) these confusions. (shrink)
A great deal of modern Protestant theology looks very much like an attempt to conduct a salvage operation which is designed to make clear how it is possible to retain belief in Jesus Christ, and at the same time remain intellectually honest. For the same sceptical challenge which faces the secular historian also faces the theologian. If Christians are correct in arguing that the locus of God's revelation to man is in Jesus of Nazareth, then in order to know about (...) this supposed revelation, it is necessary to know about a period of time in the past; it is necessary to know the history of the man's life and actions. Theologians are therefore faced with the question: how, if at all, is it possible to bridge the logical gap between statements describing what Jesus of Nazareth said and did, and statements describing the evidence for what Jesus of Nazareth said and did. The solution found to this question by theologians tends to be determined by their conscious and unconscious philosophical presuppositions; just as it did in the examples discussed above of secular critical philosophies of history. (shrink)
Utopian Moments is an edited volume of essays with an exceptionally wide reach, covering 250 years of the utopian canon, from More's archetype to Le Guin's The Dispossessed. The editors, Miguel A. Ramiro Avilés and J. C. Davis, clearly favor the classics, or what Lyman Tower Sargent, in his contribution, calls "exemplars of the mainstream of utopian writing". All the usual suspects are here—Campanella, Bacon, Harrington, Fourier, Owen, Bellamy, Wells, and others—plus a few "wild cards" thrown in to keep things (...) interesting. True, similar projects have been done before. Claeys's excellent Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature and Claeys and Sargent's comprehensive Utopian Reader... (shrink)