One of the most important philosophers of recent times, Elizabeth Anscombe wrote books and articles on a wide range of topics, including the ground-breaking monograph Intention. Her work is original, challenging, often difficult, always insightful; but it has frequently been misunderstood, and its overall significance is still not fully appreciated. This book is the first major study of Anscombe's philosophical oeuvre. In it, Roger Teichmann presents Anscombe's main ideas, bringing out their interconnections, elaborating and discussing their implications, pointing out (...) objections and difficulties, and aiming to give a unified overview of her philosophy. Many of Anscombe's arguments are relevant to contemporary debates, as Teichmann shows, and on a number of topics what Anscombe has to say constitutes a powerful alternative to dominant or popular views. Among the writings discussed are Intention, "Practical Inference," "Modern Moral Philosophy," "Rules, Rights and Promises," "On Brute Facts," "The First Person," "The Intentionality of Sensation," "Causality and Determination," An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus, "The Question of Linguistic Idealism," and a number of other pieces, including some that are little known or hard to obtain. A complete bibliography of Anscombe's writings is also included. Ranging from the philosophy of action, through ethics, to philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and the philosophy of logic and language, this book is a study of one of the most significant bodies of work in modern philosophy, spanning more than fifty years, and as pertinent today as ever. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions on causal inference in medicine are stuck in dyadic camps, each defending one kind of evidence or method rather than another as best support for causal hypotheses. Whereas Evidence Based Medicine advocates the use of Randomised Controlled Trials and systematic reviews of RCTs as gold standard, philosophers of science emphasise the importance of mechanisms and their distinctive informational contribution to causal inference and assessment. Some have suggested the adoption of a pluralistic approach to causal inference, and an inductive (...) rather than hypothetico-deductive inferential paradigm. However, these proposals deliver no clear guidelines about how such plurality of evidence sources should jointly justify hypotheses of causal associations. We here develop such guidelines by first giving a philosophical analysis of the underpinnings of Hill’s viewpoints on causality. We then put forward an evidence-amalgamation framework adopting a Bayesian net approach to model causal inference in pharmacology for the assessment of harms. Our framework accommodates a number of intuitions already expressed in the literature concerning the EBM vs. pluralist debate on causal inference, evidence hierarchies, causal holism, relevance, and reliability. (shrink)
This article sketches an idealized strategy for the identification of neural correlates of consciousness. The proposed strategy is based on a state space approach originating from the analysis of dynamical systems. The article then focuses on one constituent of consciousness, phenomenal awareness. Several rudimentary requirements for the identification of neural correlates of phenomenal awareness are suggested. These requirements are related to empirical data on selective attention, on completely intrinsic selection and on globally unconscious states. As an example, neuroscientific findings on (...) synchronized γ activity are categorized according to these requirements. (shrink)
Narrative allegory is distinguished from mythology as reality from symbol; it is, in short, the proper intermedium between person and personification. Where it is too strongly individualized, it ceases to be allegory […]. In the community of scholars of intermedia research, the above quoted citation is commonly regarded as Coleridge’s coining of the term “intermedium” or “intermediality”. However, a short glance at the discursive strategy of his argument emphasizes that his notion of “intermedium” must be closely linked to the poetics (...) and aesthetics of 19th-century romanticism. For the romantic poet, the term of “intermedium” does not point to media relations or intermedia processes but to.. (shrink)
This paper compares different strategies of analysing economic phe-nomena, namely individualism and holism. As it turns out, a main point for which methodological individualism is criticized is its supposed reductionism and the related arbitrariness of choosing individuals as a unit of explanation. The paper shows that there exists at least with F. A. Hayek an author who presents an evolutionary theory of economic and social change that avoids the reductionism of orthodox individualistic theory. According to Hayek, the social scientist should (...) try to receive insights about collective phenomena by analysing to what extent rules of behaviour are adopted by some individuals, larger groups or a whole population. Besides the selection argument, Hayek's observation of learning processes as primary factors determining behaviour gives rise to a conception of mankind far beyond optimization models. Hayek thus overcomes a reductionist individualism by taking recourse to hierarchical selection and learning processes. (shrink)
In Intention, Anscombe characterises intentional actions as “the actions to which a certain sense of the question ‘Why?’ is given application”. Some philosophers have seen Anscombe's reference to “Why?”, and to other workings of language, as heuristic devices only. I argue that, on the contrary, we should see the enquiry-and-response dialogue, and related dialogues, as essential foci of the sort of investigation Anscombe is undertaking, one which looks to a certain kind of language-game and the human purpose or purposes which (...) lie behind it. This approach can be fruitfully extended to other questions in the philosophy of action and of mind. (shrink)
What is it for the same word or expression to occur in two different contexts? One is inclined to say that the word “rat” does not occur in “Socrates loved Plato,” but it is harder to justify this statement than might be thought. This issue lies in the midst of a tangle of issues, a number of which are investigated in an important but little-discussed article of Anscombe’s, in which she considers the question whether the Wittgenstein of the Philosophical Investigations (...) can be read as proposing a “micro-reductionist” theory of language: i.e., a theory which states non-circular conditions for any given sound’s having a meaning. Anscombe answers the question negatively; and indeed there are obstacles faced by any such theory of language. Our investigation turns out to have implications not only within philosophy of language, but also within philosophy of psychology. (shrink)
There is a class of speech-acts employing expressions such as ‘can't, ‘must’, and ‘meant to’, which have a paradigm role in stating the rules that govern a practice. Elizabeth Anscombe called such expressions stopping (or forcing) modals. Although “You can't phi”, etc., are not implicit hypothetical imperatives, it nevertheless makes prima facie sense to ask of a given practice why we go in for it, what the point of it is. Various questions are discussed in connection with these facts, e.g. (...) What distinguishes a rule's applying to someone from its having force (for that person)? Where the practice at issue is a ‘language-game’, does the question “Why do we do this?” still makes sense? (shrink)
This paper presents the contributions of Alcindo Flores Cabral, professor of Chemistry at the Faculdade de Agronomia Eliseu Maciel, nowadays part of the Universidade Federal de Pelotas, to chemistry teaching. It is a contribution almost unknown to the Brazilian chemical community, although recognized as valuable by several renowned chemists abroad, like W. Hückel, G. Charlot, F. Strong, E. Fessenden and others. Cabral’s innovative helical representation is presented in connection not only with contemporary representations, but also an incursion is made into (...) the first helical systems proposed, those of Hinrichs and of Baumhauer. Some comments are made not only on Cabral’s Classificação Natural dos Elementos, published in 1946, but also about other texts he wrote for an efficient chemistry teaching. (shrink)
A "practical discourse" is a collective deliberation organized in such a way as to guarantee optimally unrestrained exchange of arguments; the result should be a decision, e.g. acceptance of a collectively binding norm of action, expressing a rational consensus. Juergen Habermas argues that the choice of entering a "practical discourse" in order to resolve conflict is not arbitrary but is rather "rationally motivated"; speakers of any language whatsoever "unavoidably" share certain normatively binding presuppositions, amongst which is that they expect of (...) one another that they will enter "discourse". ;The present essay is an attempt to test the grounds for the claim that general conditions of communication make "discourse" "unavoidable". It excavates arguments that Habermas rather suggests than explicitly presents, and attempts to give them clear form suitable for critical evaluation. There seem to be about three arguments for his claim: from the nature of "speaking subjects"; from the general conditions of "communicative action"; from the alleged promissory force of illocutions of everyday language. ;Critical evaluation shows that these arguments are insufficient to establish the "thesis of unavoidability". The thesis itself is fatally ambiguous ; the arguments often beg the question. Habermas also fails to distinguish between the project of describing language-use and the project of justifying its rationality for, granting that we had the reciprocal expectations of which he speaks, further argumentation would be required to show that we were rational, let alone moral, for having such expectations. ;Finally, it is determined that Habermas' theory of "communicative action" is itself inconsistent with the project of grounding an obligation to "discourse" in the conditions of "communicative action". According to the latter, obligations must be justified in "discourses"; thus, no argument showing speakers share normative expectations would ipso facto show those expectations are obligatory of "normatively valid". (shrink)
Epistemic scoring rules are the en vogue tool for justifications of the probability norm and further norms of rational belief formation. They are different in kind and application from statistical scoring rules from which they arose. In the first part of the paper I argue that statistical scoring rules, properly understood, are in principle better suited to justify the probability norm than their epistemic brethren. Furthermore, I give a justification of the probability norm applying statistical scoring rules. In the second (...) part of the paper I give a variety of justifications of norms for rational belief formation employing statistical scoring rules. Furthermore, general properties of statistical scoring rules are investigated. Epistemic scoring rules feature as a useful technical tool for constructing statistical scoring rules. (shrink)
It is widely acknowledged that resource allocations are taking place at various levels of the health care system. On the macro level, resources are allocated according to societal and political considerations within the system as a whole. On the micro level, it is the health care organization where allocations have to be made. Ethical analyses of this micro level usually deal with decisions of health care professionals since they affect patients directly. Allocation decisions by management are of less interest to (...) the ethical literature, although they define the framework for patient care. In this respect, this concerns not only the use of drugs or infrastructure but also of human resources. Human resource management, therefore, is deeply involved in allocation decisions and, thereby, must shoulder a threefold responsibility: towards the health of the patient, the employees, and the organization. The objective of this article is to analyze the ethics of allocation that derives from this threefold responsibility from the perspective of human resource management in a hospital. For an adequate ethical analysis of allocation in a hospital, human resource management has to be considered, since personnel is the most precious resource to allocate in a hospital. (shrink)
an overly long draft of an encyclopedia article forthcoming in History of Continental Thought, Volume 6: Poststructuralism and Critical Theory: The Return of Master Thinkers, ed. Alan D. Schrift (Acumen Press).
As children, we are often told both what to do and what to think. For a child to learn at all, it must in the first instance simply trust those, such as parents, who teach it things; and this goes for practical as well as theoretical learning. Doubting is necessarily something that comes later, for to be able to doubt one must have some beliefs already, e.g. concerning what sort of reasons count as good reasons, and what count as bad. (...) But in growing up, a person does, or should, develop the capacity for rational doubt, and also the capacity for rational resistance to being told what to do. The first capacity constitutes a critical faculty, and the second is an essential constituent of practical autonomy. (shrink)
In ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’, Anscombe characterises the virtue of justice by reference to two features of the just person: that of having a standing intention not ‘to commit or participate in any unjust actions for fear of any consequences, or to obtain any advantage, for himself or anyone else’; and that of being someone who ‘quite excludes’ certain types of action from consideration. I investigate what and together amount to and entail. The investigation covers a number of issues, including the (...) nature of moral dilemmas, the relevance or irrelevance of motive to the question whether an act manifests a given virtue, backward-looking reasons and practical wisdom, and the idea of moral bedrock, or moral ‘hinge propositions’. I conclude with a tentative endorsement of the view that there are intrinsically unjust kinds of acts, i. e. acts that are always and everywhere unjust. (shrink)
A clock can do two things: it can give the time, and it can measure time. Perhaps the first function is the more humanly important. But one might say that a clock can only give the time by measuring time; at some point it is ‘fed’ the time, or the date, and if it subsequently keeps good time—measures time accurately—one can use it to read off later times or dates.