The manuscript B of Aulus Gellius, containing N.A. 9-12 and 13.5, and now split at potuit/admonendi 12.10.3 between Cod. Bern. 404 and Cod. Lugd.- Bat. B. P. L. 1925, is dated by Hosius and Marshall to 1173 on the strength of the subscript to an astronomical work immediately preceding Gellius in Cod. Bern. 404. This work is the ‘Liber Atphargan'i [sic] in scientia astrorum et radicibus motuum caelestium’’ translated by Johannes Hispalensis; the subscriptio, quoted in full by Hertz, indicates the (...) date as follows : Expletus est die uicesimo quarto. V. mensis lunaris anni Arabum quingentesimi. XXVIIII. existente,.. die mensis Martii era. M.C.LXXIII. (shrink)
Causation is at once familiar and mysterious. Neither common sense nor extensive philosophical debate has led us to anything like agreement on the correct analysis of the concept of causation, or an account of the metaphysical nature of the causal relation. Causation: A User's Guide cuts a clear path through this confusing but vital landscape. L. A. Paul and Ned Hall guide the reader through the most important philosophical treatments of causation, negotiating the terrain by taking a set of examples (...) as landmarks. They clarify the central themes of the debate about causation, and cover questions about causation involving omissions or absences, preemption and other species of redundant causation, and the possibility that causation is not transitive. Along the way, Paul and Hall examine several contemporary proposals for analyzing the nature of causation and assess their merits and overall methodological cogency.The book is designed to be of value both to trained specialists and those coming to the problem of causation for the first time. It provides the reader with a broad and sophisticated view of the metaphysics of the causal relation. (shrink)
How should we make choices when we know so little about our futures? L. A. Paul argues that we must view life decisions as choices to make discoveries about the nature of experience. Her account of transformative experience holds that part of the value of living authentically is to experience our lives and preferences in whatever ways they evolve.
I defend a one category ontology: an ontology that denies that we need more than one fundamental category to support the ontological structure of the world. Categorical fundamentality is understood in terms of the metaphysically prior, as that in which everything else in the world consists. One category ontologies are deeply appealing, because their ontological simplicity gives them an unmatched elegance and spareness. I’m a fan of a one category ontology that collapses the distinction between particular and property, replacing it (...) with a single fundamental category of intrinsic characters or qualities. We may describe the qualities as qualitative charactersor as modes, perhaps on the model of Aristotelian qualitative (nonsubstantial) kinds, and I will use the term “properties” interchangeably with “qualities”. The qualities are repeatable and reasonably sparse, although, as I discuss in section 2.6, there are empirical reasons that may suggest, depending on one’s preferred fundamental physical theory, that they include irreducibly intensive qualities. There are no uninstantiated qualities. I also assume that the fundamental qualitative natures are intrinsic, although physics may ultimately suggest that some of them are extrinsic. On my view, matter, concrete objects, abstract objects, and perhaps even spacetime are constructed from mereological fusions of qualities, so the world is simply a vast mixture of qualities, including polyadic properties (i.e., relations). This means that everything there is, including concrete objects like persons or stars, is a quality, a qualitative fusion, or a portion of the extended qualitative fusion that is the worldwhole. I call my view mereological bundle theory. (shrink)
The term fuzzy logic is used in this paper to describe an imprecise logical system, FL, in which the truth-values are fuzzy subsets of the unit interval with linguistic labels such as true, false, not true, very true, quite true, not very true and not very false, etc. The truth-value set, , of FL is assumed to be generated by a context-free grammar, with a semantic rule providing a means of computing the meaning of each linguistic truth-value in as a (...) fuzzy subset of [0, 1].Since is not closed under the operations of negation, conjunction, disjunction and implication, the result of an operation on truth-values in requires, in general, a linguistic approximation by a truth-value in . As a consequence, the truth tables and the rules of inference in fuzzy logic are (i) inexact and (ii) dependent on the meaning associated with the primary truth-value true as well as the modifiers very, quite, more or less, etc. (shrink)
I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
Scientific understanding, this paper argues, can be analyzed entirely in terms of a mental act of “grasping” and a notion of explanation. To understand why a phenomenon occurs is to grasp a correct explanation of the phenomenon. To understand a scientific theory is to be able to construct, or at least to grasp, a range of potential explanations in which that theory accounts for other phenomena. There is no route to scientific understanding, then, that does not go by way of (...) scientific explanation. (shrink)
According to principles of probability coordination, such as Miller's Principle or Lewis's Principal Principle, you ought to set your subjective probability for an event equal to what you take to be the objective probability of the event. For example, you should expect events with a very high probability to occur and those with a very low probability not to occur. This paper examines the grounds of such principles. It is argued that any attempt to justify a principle of probability coordination (...) encounters the same difficulties as attempts to justify induction. As a result, no justification can be found. (shrink)
This classic collection of essays, first published in 1968, represents H.L.A. Hart's landmark contribution to the philosophy of criminal responsibility and punishment. Unavailable for ten years, this new edition reproduces the original text, adding a new critical introduction by John Gardner, a leading contemporary criminal law theorist.
David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature, composed before the author was twenty-eight years old, was published in 1739 and 1740. In revising the late L.A. Selby-Bigge's edition of Hume's Treatise Professor Nidditch corrected verbal errors and took account of Hume's manuscript amendments. He also supplied the text of theof the Treatise following the original 1740 edition and provided an apparatus of variant readings.
What is going on under the hood in philosophical analysis, that familiar process that attempts to uncover the nature of such philosophically interesting kinds as knowledge, causation, and justice by the method of posit and counterexample? How, in particular, do intuitions tell us about philosophical reality? The standard, if unappealing, answer is that philosophical analysis is conceptual analysis—that what we learn about when we do philosophy is in the first instance facts about our own minds. Drawing on recent work on (...) the psychology of concepts, this book proposes a new understanding of philosophical analysis, which I call inductive analysis. The thesis that philosophical analysis is inductive analysis explains how novel, substantive philosophical knowledge can be generated in the armchair. It also explains why attempts at philosophical analysis tend to fall short of providing a complete and uncontroversial definition, and supplies reasons not to lament this apparent shortcoming. (shrink)
David Lewis, Michael Thau, and Ned Hall have recently argued that the Principal Principle—an inferential rule underlying much of our reasoning about probability—is inadequate in certain respects, and that something called the ‘New Principle’ ought to take its place. This paper argues that the Principle Principal need not be discarded. On the contrary, Lewis et al. can get everything they need—including the New Principle—from the intuitions and inferential habits that inspire the Principal Principle itself, while avoiding the problems that originally (...) caused them to abandon that principle. (shrink)
Science's priority rule rewards those who are first to make a discovery, at the expense of all other scientists working towards the same goal, no matter how close they may be to making the same discovery. I propose an explanation of the priority rule that, better than previous explanations, accounts for the distinctive features of the rule. My explanation treats the priority system, and more generally, any scheme of rewards for scientific endeavor, as a device for achieving an allocation of (...) resources among different research programs that provides as much benefit as possible to society. I show that the priority system is especially well suited to finding an efficient allocation of resources in those situations, characteristic of scientific inquiry, in which any success in an endeavor subsequent to the first success brings little additional benefit to society. (shrink)
The two major modern accounts of explanation are the causal and unification accounts. My aim in this paper is to provide a kind of unification of the causal and the unification accounts, by using the central technical apparatus of the unification account to solve a central problem faced by the causal account, namely, the problem of determining which parts of a causal network are explanatorily relevant to the occurrence of an explanandum. The end product of my investigation is a causal (...) account of explanation that has many of the advantages of the unification account. (shrink)
This paper offers a metaphysics of physical probability in (or if you prefer, truth conditions for probabilistic claims about) deterministic systems based on an approach to the explanation of probabilistic patterns in deterministic systems called the method of arbitrary functions. Much of the appeal of the method is its promise to provide an account of physical probability on which probability assignments have the ability to support counterfactuals about frequencies. It is argued that the eponymous arbitrary functions are of little philosophical (...) use, but that they can be substituted for facts about frequencies without losing the ability to provide counterfactual support. The result is an account of probability in deterministic systems that has a “propensity-like” look and feel, yet which requires no supplement to the standard modern empiricist tool kit of particular matters of fact and principles of physical dynamics. (shrink)
In his introduction to these closely linked essays Professor Hart offers both an exposition and a critical assessment of some central issues in jurisprudence and political theory. Some of the essays touch on themes to which little attention has been paid, such as Bentham's identification of the forms of mysitification protecting the law from criticism; his relation to Beccaria; and his conversion to democratic radicalism and a passionate admiration for the United States.
This chapter offers an overview of the phenomenological approach to delusions, emphasizing what Karl Jaspers called the "true delusions" of schizophrenia. Phenomenological psychopathology focuses on the experience of delusions and the delusional world. Several features of this approach are surveyed, including emphasis on formal qualities of subjective life and questioning of standard assumptions about delusions as erroneous belief. The altered modalities of world-oriented and self-oriented experience that precede and ground delusions in schizophrenia, especially the experiences of revelation that Klaus Conrad (...) termed the outer and inner apophany, are then discussed. The chapter first considers the famous "delusional mood", then the role of ipseity-disturbance. In both cases it is explained how delusions can develop out of these distinctive alterations of perception and feeling. The classic question of the understandability or comprehensibility of schizophrenic delusion, together with the related issues of wish-fulfillment and rationalizing motives are then considered. The chapter addresses the crucial but neglected issue of the felt reality-status of delusions or the delusional world, discussing derealization, "double bookkeeping", and "double exposure". The chapter concludes by discussing delusions typically found in paranoid and affective psychoses, and monothematic delusions found in certain organic conditions. (shrink)
A recent paper by David Lewis, "Causation as Influence", proposes a new theory of causation. I argue against the theory, maintaining that (a) the relation asserted by a claim of the form "C was a cause of E" is distinct from the relation of causal influence, (b) the former relation depends very much, contra Lewis, on the individuation conditions for the event E, and (c) Lewis's account is unsatisfactory as an analysis of either kind of relation. The counterexamples presented here (...) provide, I suggest, some insight into the reasons for the failure of counterfactual accounts of causal relations. (shrink)
Robert Batterman and others have argued that certain idealizing explanations have an asymptotic form: they account for a state of affairs or behavior by showing that it emerges “in the limit”. Asymptotic idealizations are interesting in many ways, but is there anything special about them as idealizations? To understand their role in science, must we augment our philosophical theories of idealization? This paper uses simple examples of asymptotic idealization in population genetics to argue for an affirmative answer and proposes a (...) general schema for asymptotic idealization, drawing on insights from Batterman’s treatment and from John Norton’s subsequent critique. (shrink)