MEDIEVAL LOGICS LAMBERT MARIE DE RIJK (ed.), Die mittelalterlichen Traktate De mod0 opponendiet respondendi, Einleitung und Ausgabe der einschlagigen Texte. (Beitrage zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters, Neue Folge Band 17.) Miinster: Aschendorff, 1980. 379 pp. No price stated. THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY MARTA FATTORI, Lessico del Novum Organum di Francesco Bacone. Rome: Edizioni dell'Ateneo 1980. Two volumes, il + 543, 520 pp. Lire 65.000. VIVIAN SALMON, The study of language in 17th century England. (Amsterdam Studies in the Theory (...) and History of Linguistic Science, Series 111: Studies in theHistory of Linguistics, Volume 17.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins B.V., 1979.x + 218 pp. Dfl. 65. Theoria cum Praxi. Zum Verhaltnis von Theorie und Praxis im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. (Akten des 111. Internationalen Leibnizkongress, Hannover, 12. bis 17.November 1977, Band 111: Logik, Erkenntnistheorie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Metaphysik, Theologie.) Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1980. vii + 269 pp. DM 48. CLASSICAL AND NON-CLASSICAL LOGICS MICHAEL CLARK, The place of syllogistic in logical theory. Nottingham: University of Nottingham Press, 1980. ix + 151 pp. £3.00. A.F. PARKER-RHODES, The theory of indistinguishables. Dordrecht, Boston and London: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1981. xvii + 216 pp. Dfl.90.00/$39.50. NICHOLAS RESCHER and ROBERT BRANDOM, The logic of inconsistency. Oxford:Basil Blackwell, 1980. x + 174 pp. f 11.50. MISCELLANEOUS J. ZELENY, The logic of Marx. Translated from the German by T. Carver. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980. xcii + 247 pp. £12.50. FELIX KAUFMANN, The infinite in mathematics. Edited by Brian McGuinness. Introduction by E. Nagel. Translation from the German by Paul Foulkes. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1978. xvii + 235 pp. Dfl 85/$39.50 (cloth); Dfl 45/$19.95 (paper). PAMELA MCCORDUCK, Machines who think. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1979. xiv + 275 pp. $14.95. J. MITTELSTRASS (ed.), Enzyklopadie Philosophie und Wissenschaftstheorie Bd. 1 : A-G. Mannheim, Wien, Ziirich: Bibliographisches Institut, 1980. 835 pp. DM 128. (shrink)
This book is a valuable contribution to the growing list of works appearing in English on Heidegger. Its special merit lies in the fact that its author brings to his discussion of Heidegger a familiarity with Anglo-American analytic philosophy. The author explains Sein und Zeit in a language with which any student of analysis would be comfortable. By way of example, Schmitt refers to Heidegger's idea of fundamental ontology by noting "a reform of talk about being involves a reform (...) of talk about human beings." The book does not attempt to recap all of Sein und Zeit but provides the reader who approaches that work for the first time with the basic concepts needed. The author's basic claim is that in Sein und Zeit Heidegger is making new "conceptual recommendations" for our understanding of man and the world. This represents, Schmitt argues, a break with his earlier, pre-Sein und Zeit and Husserlian conviction of the existence of an a priori and ideal language and its "objective meanings." The whole discussion of Sein und Zeit's idea of language is more original and illuminating than anything yet to appear in English. As the title of the work indicates, the author regards Heidegger's main contribution to lie in the theory of man, and he sees the celebrated "turn" as testimony to the failure of Sein und Zeit to provide a new way of speaking about being. But even as a theory of man, Schmitt warns, Sein und Zeit is blind to the social and the communal. Schmitt's book is a challenging and illuminating introduction of Sein und Zeit for the American reader and one which no Heideggerian can afford to miss.--J. D. C. (shrink)
Responding to volatile criticisms frequently leveled at Leo Strauss and those he influenced, the prominent contributors to this volume demonstrate the profound influence that Strauss and his students have exerted on American liberal democracy and contemporary political thought. By stressing the enduring vitality of classic books and by articulating the theoretical and practical flaws of relativism and historicism, the contributors argue that Strauss and the Straussians have identified fundamental crises of modernity and liberal democracy.
Dans cette contribution, j'examinerai l'argument qui renvoie dos à dos le théisme et l'athéisme et qui structure la présentation de l'alternative que constitue le Dieu à venir. N'étant ni adhérant, ni sympathisant du réalisme spéculatif, je ne proposerai pourtant pas de critique externe de la philosophie de la religion proposée par Meillassoux. De manière heuristique, je vais tenir pour acquis Après la finitude et je montrerai ce qui me semble être les faiblesses de l'argument, critiques rendant finalement peu crédible l'affirmation (...) que peut encore venir un Dieu qui ne serait ni le Dieu métaphysique, ni le Dieu du sentiment religieux. Pour cela, je vais reprendre le dilemme spectral (Meillassoux) et discuter la cohérence du concept de Dieu à venir ainsi que sa pertinence pour résoudre le dilemme. Il apparaitra alors que si l'on admet la contingence absolue, on ne peut croire raisonnablement en un Dieu, même à venir. D'où le désespoir absolu. (shrink)
I understand Pluralism to be the doctrine that, either generally or with reference to some particular area of judgement, there is more than one basic principle. It endorses the possibility that some particular case may arise which will be adjudicated in one way if one principle is applied while another principle points otherwise and to an answer which, at least in practice, is incompatible. Thus in morality, according to pluralism there may be more than one correct answer to the question (...) of which of the decisions available in some particular situation is the best. (shrink)
Scientists and laypeople alike use the sense of understanding that an explanation conveys as a cue to good or correct explanation. Although the occurrence of this sense or feeling of understanding is neither necessary nor sufficient for good explanation, it does drive judgments of the plausibility and, ultimately, the acceptability, of an explanation. This paper presents evidence that the sense of understanding is in part the routine consequence of two well-documented biases in cognitive psychology: overconfidence and hindsight. In light of (...) the prevalence of counterfeit understanding in the history of science, I argue that many forms of cognitive achievement do not involve a sense of understanding, and that only the truth or accuracy of an explanation make the sense of understanding a valid cue to genuine understanding. (shrink)
Philosophers agree that scientific explanations aim to produce understanding, and that good ones succeed in this aim. But few seriously consider what understanding is, or what the cues are when we have it. If it is a psychological state or process, describing its specific nature is the job of psychological theorizing. This article examines the role of understanding in scientific explanation. It warns that the seductive, phenomenological sense of understanding is often, but mistakenly, viewed as a cue of genuine understanding. (...) The article closes with a discussion of several new paths of research that tie the psychology of scientific explanation to cognate notions of learning, testimony, and understanding. (shrink)
Scientific realism has been advanced as an interpretation of the natural sciences but never as an interpretation of the behavioural sciences. This book introduces a novel version of scientific realism -- Measured Realism -- that characterizes the kind of theoretical progress in the social and psychological sciences that is uneven but indisputable. Measuring the Intentional World proposes a theory of measurement -- Population-Guided Estimation -- that connects natural, psychological, and social scientific inquiry.
Le débat entre E. Peterson et C. Schmitt des années 1930 sur le théologico-politique a laissé une question irrésolue qui resurgit dans les sociétés pluralistes postmodernes. La nouvelle théologie politique du théologien de Münster J.B. Metz la réactive en proposant au fil de son oeuvre une éthique politique comme éthique du changement social. En sous-estimant le caractère polémique du politique et la fragilité des sujets dont l’identité est devenue précaire, Metz parvient sûrement à une théologie critique mais demeure incertain (...) sur le versant de l’invention politique proprement dite de la société. L’opposition de J. Milbank à cette théologie politique ne dirime pas la question et demeure dans un geste uniquement critique en proposant une contre-éthique, une contre-ontologie, un contre-royaume par la mise en oeuvre de pratiques narratives, rituelles et sociales. Un débat entre la théologie de J.B. Metz et la pensée communautariste de S. Hauerwas pourrait peut-être affronter la question de l’avènement des sujets capables d’invention politique dans les sociétés complexes de la postmodernité. (shrink)
Realizing the ideal of democracy requires political inclusion for citizens. A legitimate democracy must give citizens the opportunity to express their attitudes about the relative attractions of different policies, and access to political mechanisms through which they can be counted and heard. Actual governance often aims not at accurate belief, but at nonepistemic factors like achieving and maintaining institutional stability, creating the feeling of government legitimacy among citizens, or managing access to influence on policy decision-making. I examine the traditional relationship (...) between inclusiveness and accuracy, and illustrate this connection by discussing empirical work on how group decision-making can improve accuracy. I also advance a Generic Epistemic Principle that any evidence-based decision-making procedures must embrace. Focusing on policy-making, I then measure the distance between these standards and the ones actually implemented in U.S. political settings. Psychological research on individual and group decision-making is a source of normative assessment for existing policy judgment, but it neither rationalizes nor legitimates the actual and typical processes used in U.S. institutions of political decision making. To establish this point, I focus on one characteristic government institution—the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology—that displays deliberative processes at odds with the sciences they advocate, and with the Generic Epistemic Principle. I explain this discouraging condition in terms of several inveterate factors in U.S. politics: a limitlessly money-driven and endless campaigning process that effectively forces elected representatives to align themselves with money and vote strategically, the use of procedural arrangements known to make people feel politically included when they are not, and the unresponsiveness of a majoritarian (vs. consensus) democracy. (shrink)
Significance testing is the primary method for establishing causal relationships in psychology. Meehl [1978, 1990a, 1990b] and Faust  argue that significance tests and their interpretation are subject to actuarial and psychological biases, making continued adherence to these practices irrational, and even partially responsible for the slow progress of the ‘soft’ areas of psychology. I contend that familiar standards of testing and literature review, along with recently developed meta-analytic techniques, are able to correct the proposed actuarial and psychological biases. In (...) particular, psychologists embrace a principle of robustness which states that real psychological effects are (1) reproducible by similar methods, (2) detectable by diverse means, and (3) able to survive theoretical integration. By contrast, spurious significant findings perish under the strain of persistent tests of their robustness. The resulting vindication of significance testing confers on the world a role in determining the rationality of a method, and also affords us an explanation for the fast progress of ‘hard’ areas of psychology. *I would like to thank Dick Boyd and Phil Gasper for helpful comments on the ideas presented here. (shrink)
We present a multiscale integrationist interpretation of the boundaries of cognitive systems, using the Markov blanket formalism of the variational free energy principle. This interpretation is intended as a corrective for the philosophical debate over internalist and externalist interpretations of cognitive boundaries; we stake out a compromise position. We first survey key principles of new radical views of cognition. We then describe an internalist interpretation premised on the Markov blanket formalism. Having reviewed these accounts, we develop our positive multiscale account. (...) We argue that the statistical seclusion of internal from external states of the system—entailed by the existence of a Markov boundary—can coexist happily with the multiscale integration of the system through its dynamics. Our approach does not privilege any given boundary, nor does it argue that all boundaries are equally prescient. We argue that the relevant boundaries of cognition depend on the level being characterised and the explanatory interests that guide investigation. We approach the issue of how and where to draw the boundaries of cognitive systems through a multiscale ontology of cognitive systems, which offers a multidisciplinary research heuristic for cognitive science. (shrink)
Scientific realists contend that theory-conjunction presents a problem for empiricist conceptions of scientific knowledge and practice. Van Fraassen (1980) has offered a competing account of theory-conjunction which I argue fails to capture the mercenary character of epistemic dependence in science. Representative cases of theory-conjunction developed in the present paper show that mercenary reliance implies a "principle of epistemic symmetry" which only a realist can consistently accommodate. Finally, because the practice in question involves the conjunction of theories, a version of realism (...) more robust than the "entity realism" of Cartwright (1983, 1989) and Hacking (1983) is required to explain the success of theory-conjunction. (shrink)
The processes underwriting the acquisition of culture remain unclear. How are shared habits, norms, and expectations learned and maintained with precision and reliability across large-scale sociocultural ensembles? Is there a unifying account of the mechanisms involved in the acquisition of culture? Notions such as “shared expectations,” the “selective patterning of attention and behaviour,” “cultural evolution,” “cultural inheritance,” and “implicit learning” are the main candidates to underpin a unifying account of cognition and the acquisition of culture; however, their interactions require greater (...) specification and clarification. In this article, we integrate these candidates using the variational approach to human cognition and culture in theoretical neuroscience. We describe the construction by humans of social niches that afford epistemic resources called cultural affordances. We argue that human agents learn the shared habits, norms, and expectations of their culture through immersive participation in patterned cultural practices that selectively pattern attention and behaviour. We call this process “thinking through other minds” – in effect, the process of inferring other agents’ expectations about the world and how to behave in social context. We argue that for humans, information from and about other people's expectations constitutes the primary domain of statistical regularities that humans leverage to predict and organize behaviour. The integrative model we offer has implications that can advance theories of cognition, enculturation, adaptation, and psychopathology. Crucially, this formal treatment seeks to resolve key debates in current cognitive science, such as the distinction between internalist and externalist accounts of theory of mind abilities and the more fundamental distinction between dynamical and representational accounts of enactivism. (shrink)
The use of null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) in psychology has been under sustained attack, despite its reliable use in the notably successful, so-called "hard" areas of psychology, such as perception and cognition. I argue that, in contrast to merely methodological analyses of hypothesis testing (in terms of "test severity," or other confirmation-theoretic notions), only a patently metaphysical position can adequately capture the uneven but undeniable successes of theories in "hard psychology." I contend that Measured Realism satisfies this description, and (...) characterizes the role of NHST in hard psychology. (shrink)
In this essay, I apply international human rights theory to the domestic discussion of criminalization. The essay takes as its starting point the “right not to be punished” that Douglas Husak posited in his recent book Overcriminalization . By reviewing international human rights norms, I take up Husak’s challenge to imbue this right with further normative content. This process reveals additional relationships between the criminal law and human rights theory, and I discuss one analogy: the derogation by states of an (...) individual’s human rights under specified conditions has certain similarities to the punishment by states of an individual who holds a right not to be punished. Along the way, I highlight the normative implications of defining a human right not to be punished under both generalist and specificationist perspectives on moral rights. Noting the similarities as well as the differences in the concepts of punishment and derogation, this essay aims to contribute to the exchange between theories of human rights and the criminal law. (shrink)
Increasingly the body is a possession that does not belong to us. It is bought and sold, bartered and stolen, marketed wholesale or in parts. The professions - especially reproductive medicine, transplant surgery, and bioethics but also journalism and other cultural specialists - have been pliant partners in this accelerating commodification of live and dead human organisms. Under the guise of healing or research, they have contributed to a new 'ethic of parts' for which the divisible body is severed from (...) the self, torn from the social fabric, and thrust into commercial transactions -- as organs, secretions, reproductive capacities, and tissues -- responding to the dictates of an incipiently global marketplace. Breaking with established approaches which prioritize the body as 'text', the chapters in this book examine not only images of the body-turned-merchandise but actually existing organisms considered at once as material entities, semi-magical tokens, symbolic vectors and founts of lived experience. The topics covered range from the cultural disposal and media treatment of corpses, the biopolitics of cells, sperm banks and eugenics, to the international trafficking of kidneys, the development of 'transplant tourism', to the idioms of corporeal exploitation among prizefighters as a limiting case of fleshly commodity. This insightful and arresting volume combines perspectives from anthropology, law, medicine, and sociology to offer compelling analyses of the concrete ways in which the body is made into a commodity and how its marketization in turn remakes social relations and cultural meanings. (shrink)
A detailed scholarly examination of the distorted image of Islam that emerged in the West during the years 1100-1350. Although most of the book is concerned with documenting this image of Islam, Daniel also explores the motives and effects of this distortion. A series of comprehensive bibliographies is included. An authoritative, if somewhat tedious, study.--J. D. T., Jr.
This paper advances a novel argument that speech perception is a complex system best understood nonindividualistically and therefore that individualism fails as a general philosophical program for understanding cognition. The argument proceeds in four steps. First, I describe a "replaceability strategy", commonly deployed by individualists, in which one imagines replacing an object with an appropriate surrogate. This strategy conveys the appearance that relata can be substituted without changing the laws that hold within the domain. Second, I advance a "counterfactual test" (...) as an alternative to the replaceability strategy. Third, I show how the typical objects of cross-modal processes (in this case, auditory-visual speech perception), more clearly irreplaceable than the objects of the unimodal process examined by Burge [(1986) Individualism and psychology, The Philosophical Review, XCV, 3-45], supply a firm basis for a nonindividualist interpretation of such cases. Finally, I demonstrate that the routine violation of the individualist's Replaceability Condition occurs even in unimodal cases - so the violation of the replaceability constraint does not derive simply from the diversity of modal sources but rather from the causal complexity of psychological processes generally. The conclusion is that philosophical progress on this issue must await progress in psychology, or, at least, philosophical progress in accounting for psychological complexity--precisely the vicissitude predicted by a thoroughgoing naturalism. (shrink)
The role of aesthetic factors in science is often mentioned, but seldom discussed in a sustained and systematic way. This thoughtful book is James McAllister’s attempt to do so. McAllister’s treatment engages a broad range of issues, relating aesthetic criteria to such diverse issues as the history of astronomy and twentieth-century physics, theoretical ruptures, and architecture. Its core goals are two. One goal is to show that there is a role for aesthetic considerations in theory choice that is compatible with (...) the rationalist tradition. Here he defends the rationalist image against two recent competitors, a Kuhnian image of science in which the history of science is not incremental and is punctuated by revolutions, and another which holds that “nonrational” aesthetic criteria play a significant role in theory choice. The second goal of this book is to defend a specific account of the role of aesthetic factors in theory choice, what McAllister calls the “aesthetic induction.”. (shrink)
Editors’ note: These four interrelated discussions of the role of the cerebellum in coordinating emotional and higher cognitive functions developed out of a workshop presented by the four authors for the 2000 Conference of the Cognitive Science Society at the University of Pennsylvania. The four interrelated discussions explore the implications of the recent explosion of cerebellum research suggesting an expanded cerebellar role in higher cognitive functions as well as in the coordination of emotional functions with learning, logical thinking, perceptual consciousness, (...) and action planning. (shrink)