Arthur Norman Prior (1914-69) was a logician and philosopher from New Zealand who contributed crucially to the development of ‘non-standard’ logics, especially of the modal variety. His greatest achievement was the invention of modern temporal logic, worked out in close connection with modal logic. However, his work in logic had a much broader scope. He was also the founder of hybrid logic, and he made important contributions to deontic logic, modal logic, the theory of quantification, the nature of propositions and (...) the history of logic. In addition, he discussed questions of ethics, free will, and general theology. Prior’s philosophical works comprise about 200 titles. His earliest articles center on philosophical theology and historical studies of Scottish Reformed Theology. This led on to the publication of his first influential work on ethics: Logic and The Basis of Ethics (1949). With the invention of tense-logic in the early 1950s, his focus shifted to investigations into the syntax of tempo-modal logic leading to his seminal Time and Modality (1957), a volume derived from his John Locke Lectures in Oxford in 1956. Furthermore Prior, together with the Irish mathematician and logician C.A. Meredith (1904-76), made important early contributions to the semantics of possible worlds. Prior’s tense-logic provided a strong conceptual framework for problems pertaining to the philosophy of time. In Time and Modality, Prior discussed the philosophical implications of Ruth Barcan’s famous formulae for tense-logic, and in the 1960s he worked on the notion of the present. The most persistent problem running through Prior’s work is his study of the questions surrounding human freedom and divine foreknowledge, and more general philosophical problems emerging from this classical theological question. His thorough analysis of this problem, with the conceptual tools of tense-logic, received a crucial impetus from his correspondence with the young Saul Kripke, when the latter suggested the semantic tool of branching time to Prior. Prior’s development of two solutions based on branching time for the problem of future contingency, the Peircean and the Ockham solution, was most thoroughly developed in Past, Present and Future (1967), the most important work published by Prior. Characteristically for Prior’s methodological approach, the development of these two solutions were at the same time a development of two new systems of tense logic, and vice versa. One of Prior’s significant contributions to logic was his work on world propositions and instant propositions. In the course of developing these notions he also made one of the earliest formulations of hybrid logic. In Papers on Time and Tense (1968), he presented this idea in a more detailed manner in the context of his four grades of tense-logical involvement. (shrink)
The article deals with the structure and function of perceptual judgment in the perception theories of the Buddhist Diṅṅāga and the Vaiśeṣika Praśastapāda. I show their indebtedness to the Vyākaraṇa tradition and particularly to Patañjali. Following Shōryū Katsura’s idea that the status of perceptual judgment with regard to the Buddhist system of instruments of valid cognition was first established by Dharmakīrti, I argue that Diṅṅāga’s examples in his definition of perception in Pramāṇasamuccaya-vṛtti I,3d could be considered as perceptual judgments in (...) the sense of Charles Peirce. After the examination of Diṅṅāga’s and Praśastapāda’s examples of perceptual judgments, I come to the conclusion that Diṅṅāga, as a nominalist, sees in them an expression of ordinary linguistic behaviour shaped by convention and grammatical tradition, while Praśastapāda, as a realist, seeks to show that perceptual judgments follow the Vaiśeṣika ontological categories. If in Diṅṅāga’s epistemology perceptual judgement remains outside the pramāṇa system, in Praśastapāda’s Vaiśeṣika it pertains to the pramāṇa of perception. (shrink)
Constructions of the animal and animality are often pivotal to religious discourses. Such constructions create the possibility of identifying and valuing what is "human" as opposed to the "animal" and also of distinguishing human beliefs and behaviors that can be characterized as being animal from those that are "truly human." Some discourses also employ the concept of savagery as a bridge between the human and the animal, where the form of humanity but not its ideal beliefs and practices can be (...) displayed. This paper explores the work of the influential scientist, philosopher, and theologian A. N. Whitehead in this context. His ideas of what constitutes "the animal," the "primitive" and the "civilized" are laid out explicitly in his now little-used history of religions text, Religion in the Making. This paper explores these ideas in this history and then considers how the same ideas permeate his currently more popular philosophical and theological writing Process and Reality. Drawing on some work in post-colonial theory, the paper offers a critique of this understanding of animality, savagery, and civilization and suggests that using Whitehead to underpin modern theological work requires considerable caution. (shrink)
This article introduces the work of A.N. Whitehead and analyses his relevance to contemporary social theory. It demonstrates how a range of authors have recently utilized the work of Whitehead across a range of topics and holds that there is a need for a general introduction to his work that will open up his ideas and possible impact to a wider readership. White-head’s work is introduced through a discussion of his critique of the philosophical and scientific conceptions of substance and (...) materiality, which led to the establishment of nature as passive, external and distinct from the human or social realm. The article further analyses some of the consequences of this position, such as viewing all data or information about the world as inert. This leads to Whitehead’s argument that the retention of these ‘outdated’ conceptions has contributed to contemporary misconceptions of the status of objects within science, for example – genes. I suggest that Whitehead offers much to social theory especially in terms of re-thinking the natural/social distinction and moving beyond linguistic and discursive production to a theory of genuine construction that can incorporate both materiality and subjectivity. (shrink)
In the early 1960s A. N. Prior was commissioned to write a review of J. L. Austin’s S ense and Sensibilia. The review was never published. The present article presents a transcription of the review from the material available in the Virtual Lab For Prior Studies maintained at Aalborg University, together with an edited version of the transcription of a longer commentary on Sense and Sensibilia from which the review was condensed.
In March 1912 A. N. Whitehead wrote a letter which sheds new and important light on his own view of his mathematical goals. In this article I publish the letter for the first time and relate its contents not only to his mathematical career but also to his scientific, philosophical and educational interests.
Constructions of the animal and animality are often pivotal to religious discourses. Such constructions create the possibility of identifying and valuing what is "human" as opposed to the "animal" and also of distinguishing human beliefs and behaviors that can be characterized as being animal from those that are "truly human." Some discourses also employ the concept of savagery as a bridge between the human and the animal, where the form of humanity but not its ideal beliefs and practices can be (...) displayed. This paper explores the work of the influential scientist, philosopher, and theologian A. N. Whitehead in this context. His ideas of what constitutes "the animal." the "primitive" and the "civilized" are laid out explicitly in his now little-used history of religions text, Religion in the Making.This paper explores these ideas in this history and then considers how the same ideas permeate his currently more popular philosophical and theological writing Process and Reolity. Drawing on some work in post-colonial theory the paper offers a critique of this understanding of animality, savagery, and civilization and suggests that using Whitehead to underpin modern theological work requires considerable caution. (shrink)
The many comments on good and evil found in the writings of A. N. Whitehead are exhibited in his mind against the two categories of positive and negative value. His concern in value-considerations is with the “trinity” of truth, beauty and goodness on the one hand, and with falsehood, ugliness and evil on the other. For him, “value” is a word employed for “the intrinsic reality of an event” and very frequently in his treatment of the value-theme he uses the (...) term “importance” as having equivalence to “value.”. (shrink)
Logical realism, by Arthur Norman Prior understood as the view that logic is not about language but about reality, is a consistent and strong tenet in all of Prior's philosophical work. Recent discoveries in letters from Prior to his wife, Mary Prior, and to his cousin, Hugh Teague, serve to highlight the influence of J.N. Findlay with regard to Prior's logical realism. Through the letters, we come to learn, that the title of Prior's M.A. thesis from 1937 was ‘The Nature (...) of Logic’, that he didn't consider it good and finally, that he attributed much of the work to Findlay. It is argued here that Findlay's criticism of philosophical idealism, evident in his early writings and documented by Prior's letters, moderated Prior's views on Marxism and Karl Barth's theology, and indeed constitute the foundation of Prior's temporal realism. We are thus able to improve our knowledge on all of these aspects. Regarding Marxism, we can extend backwards the time when Prior was aware of the logical problems with Marx's dialectics from the time given by Mary in her 2003 interview with Hasle. Regarding Barth, we can see how Prior's work on ridding Barthian theology of philosophical idealism led him to investigate the importance of the ontological argument with regard to the philosophical foundation of Barthian theology. Finally, the analysis of Findlay's influence helps us better understand the nature of Prior's logical realism and appreciate why Prior said that he directly and indirectly owed all he knew of logic and ethics to Findlay and why Prior called Findlay the founding father of tense-logic. (shrink)
Arthur Norman Prior's early theological writings have been relatively neglected for many years. Moreover, to the extent that they have been discussed at all they have been treated mainly as youthful work quite separate from Prior's later work as a philosopher and logician. However, as interest in Prior's achievements has been growing significantly in recent years it has become more important to investigate the development with his overall work. In fact, Prior's putatively "youthful" theological work overlapped his work as a (...) philosopher and logician for many years, as is richly documented by examples discussed in this paper. A particularly important theme is the problem of predestination. This paper presents comprehensive evidence that this theme, which was Prior's most important single preoccupation as a theological writer, was a most important source of inspiration for his development of tense logic. Via questions regarding divine foreknowledge and human free will, predestination was to motivate Prior as a logician to focus on time and tense. Whilst investigating this development, the paper also traces Prior's parallel development from Calvinist Christian believer to a more agnostic position. (shrink)
Este trabalho tem o escopo de investigar o conceito de Direito de Resistência em Baruch de Spinoza, através da sua obra Tratado Político e de seus comentadores. Inicialmente a resistência é apresentada em diferentes visões, Hobbes e Locke, seguida pela tradição hegemônica da filosofia política e logo contraposta ao conceito de Desobediência Civil. Em seguida, Spinoza surge com sua perspectiva inovadora, não diferenciando resistir de obedecer, caso certas circunstâncias se apresentem no ambiente político, a partir de uma breve contextualização e (...) análise do fundamento da Resistência neste autor, a potência da multidão. Por fim, busca-se o Decreto nº 8243/14 para submetê-lo a seguinte questão: pode este ser visto como uma institucionalização da Resistência, nos termos espinosanos? (shrink)
An MV-algebra A=(A,0,¬,⊕) is an abelian monoid (A,0,⊕) equipped with a unary operation ¬ such that ¬¬x=x,x⊕¬0=¬0, and y⊕¬(y⊕¬x)=x⊕¬(x⊕¬y). Chang proved that the equational class of MV-algebras is generated by the real unit interval [0,1] equipped with the operations ¬x=1−x and x⊕y=min(1,x+y). Therefore, the free n-generated MV-algebra Free n is the algebra of [0,1]-valued functions over the n-cube [0,1] n generated by the coordinate functions ξ i ,i=1, . . . ,n, with pointwise operations. Any such function f is a (...) McNaughton function, i.e., f is continuous, piecewise linear, and each piece has integer coefficients. Conversely, McNaughton proved that all McNaughton functions f: [0,1] n →[0,1] are in Free n . The elements of Free n are logical equivalence classes of n-variable formulas in the infinite-valued calculus of Łukasiewicz. The aim of this paper is to provide an alternative, representation-free, characterization of Free n. (shrink)
Cet article, s’inscrit dans le cadre minimaliste de la syntaxe générative et étudie oui / non et wh-questions dans la langue Ǹjò̩-kóo, parlée dans l’état de Ondo au Nigeria. On observe que la particule interrogative pour des questions de type oui / non qui suit systématiquement le sujet DP se trouve également dans des clauses avec wh-questions. Cet article soutient que oui / non et wh-questions sont projetées par la même tête fonctionnelle Inter˚, et que wh-words ne participent pas à (...) la saisie de wh-propositions comme interrogative. L’article conclut que le mouvement de Wh-éléments vers la position initiale de la clause dans les langues à WH-mouvement n’a pas pour but l’interrogation mais plutôt pour la focalisation. (shrink)
Frágil é, segundo Alexis de Tocqueville, o equilíbrio em que se encontra a liberdade em um estado social de igualdade de condições. Tomados pela sua maior paixão, a da igualdade, os homens democráticos podem assistir a conversão da liberdade em despotismo ao se entregarem à busca exclusiva de seus interesses e bens privados, ao abdicarem da faculdade de julgar, deixandose guiar servilmente pela opinião da maioria, a fonte da autoridade em tal estado social. Em face disso, este artigo sustenta que, (...) ao discorrer acerca dos costumes estadunidenses, n'A Democracia na América, o autor não faz mera descrição mas delineia uma teoria social, a doutrina do interesse bem compreendido, a qual relacionaria, na república americana, a virtude e o interesse, e poderia fornecer elementos para instruir as sociedades democráticas. (shrink)
Verbin, N., Divinely abused: a philosophical perspective on Job and his kin Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11153-010-9262-5 Authors A. K. Anderson, Department of Religion, Wofford College, 429 N. Church St., Spartanburg, SC 29303, USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047.
A remarkable phenomenon in our present-day culture has been the broad interest shown in the history of Russian thought, which is continually, and sometimes even from unexpected quarters, showing itself to be of topical interest. Recently, and particularly in connection with the publication of the works of N. F. Fedorov, there has been an exchange of opinions in the pages of various journals with regard to the essence of his philosophical views, revealing not merely conflicting, but in a number of (...) cases mutually exclusive assessments of those views. (shrink)
The restoration of "forgotten" names to the bosom of our culture is a natural and necessary accompaniment of the political freedom beginning to make its way in our country. Free and continuous creativity is being reunited with the reader, the listener, and the participant, who had been tragically alienated from it. Our half-knowledge, intellectual arbitrariness, and opportunism are becoming clearer, more acute, and more shameful. All this is an inevitable accompaniment of one of the most prestigious and, it would seem, (...) least labor consuming trends in contemporary publishing and journal policy. The publication of texts of Russian philosophers has marked journals as different in character and mission as Novyi mir, Voprosy filosofii, Literaturnaia ucheba, Druzhba narodov, Volga, and many others. In most cases they are more or less well known works reprinted from the YMCA Press, equipped with prefaces—some better, some worse—and devoid of any sort of real intellectual commentary. (shrink)
This book says Prior claims: (1) that a sentence never names; (2) what a sentence says cannot be otherwise signified; and (3) that a sentence says what it says whatever the type of its occurrence; (4) and that quantifications binding sentential variables are neither eliminable, substitutional, nor referential. The book develops and defends (1)-(3). It also defends (4) against the sorts of strictures on quantification of such philosophers as Quine and Davidson.
A recent article in Neuroethics posited “bad news for conservatives,” on the basis of survey data collected on line. On the basis of bivariate correlations between self-reported conservatism/liberalism and a variety of moral propositions, the author inferred that those moral judgments were ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal.’ Then, based on a series of bivariate correlations between those same moral propositions and measures of “morally worrisome” personality characteristics, the author concluded that conservatives tended to have these morally worrisome characteristics. Unfortunately, the original article (...) was replete with methodological and statistical errors. This paper presents a reanalysis of the data from the original article, using good statistical and methodological technique. The reanalysis suggests that there are some small but potentially theoretically meaningful relationships between some moral propositions and three morally worrisome (antisocial) personality characteristics. The data also suggest that these relationships can change substantially depending on other conditions, so should not yet be generalized. (shrink)
This article provides a historical overview of the Existential-Phenomenological tradition in psychiatry and psychotherapy, tracing its development from its origin in nineteenth and twentieth century philosophical thought, through its major European psychiatric proponents and schools, to its emergence as an influential approach in North America after World War II. The emphasis is on the implicit themes that provide continuity within this movement as well as on the distinctive contributions of individual thinkers. We conclude with a discussion of the present status (...) and future prospects of this tradition. (shrink)
A culture of thought : the bifurcation of nature -- Introducing Whitehead's philosophy: the lure of Whitehead -- "A thorough-going realism": Whitehead on cause and conformation -- The value of existence -- Societies, the social, and subjectivity -- Language and the body: from signification to symbolism -- This nature which is not one -- Capitalism, process, and abstraction.
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With neuroscience and psychology making significant advances in contemporary brain research, fundamental questions concerning the nature of human life and activity will become evermore critical as we proceed further into the twenty-first century. Put simply, are we creatures who exercise some genuine degree of freedom and agency in the world or are we creatures whose actions are largely if not wholly determined by biological, neurological, and psychological factors far below the radar of our conscious awareness? This article explores this important (...) and timely question by examining the views of Paul Sheldon Davies, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Alfred North Whitehead. Drawing on contemporary science, Davies dismisses Niebuhr’s existential analysis of human existence and any meaningful conception of human agency. Succinctly stated, can one take both the results of contemporary neuroscience seriously, as Davies does, and the affirmation of human agency seriously, as Niebuhr does? The thesis of this essay is that Whitehead offers a constructive bridge between Davies’ affirmation of science and Niebuhr’s existential account of human existence. In sum, it is argued that Whitehead’s process philosophy enables us to affirm the genuine influence of nonconscious factors in experience as well as the authenticity of human agency and subjectivity in the world. (shrink)
Why an emergentist account of subjectivity? On the one hand, emergentism provides a new paradigm to rethink subjectivity beyond any dualism. At the same time, the issue of subjectivity puts a strain on emergentism itself, and pushes it beyond its limits. To show it, in the present paper I address a fundamental question: How can we describe subjectivity from an emergentist perspective? To answer, I will tackle Samuel Alexander’s and Alfred North Whitehead’s emergentist accounts of subjectivity. Alexander locates subjectivity into (...) a consistent emergentist framework, but his model of subjectivity remains grounded in the classical interpretation of subjectivity as mind. Whitehead gives a more innovative model of subjectivity, which implies a radical revision of its temporality and connection to the world, but this leads him beyond emergentism as a whole. (shrink)
Steels & Belpaeme (S&B) take technical and conceptual shortcuts that have significant negative consequences on simulation implementation and agent behavior. Justifiably, their model represents a proof of concept of the role of culturalism in category formation; nevertheless, the absence of detailed information concerning the embodiment of agents and the superficial implementation of learning approaches make their results less relevant than they could be.