In this collection of essays one of the preeminent philosophers of science writing offers a reinterpretation of the enduring significance of logical positivism, the revolutionary philosophical movement centered around the Vienna Circle in the 1920s and 30s. Michael Friedman argues that the logical positivists were radicals not by presenting a new version of empiricism but rather by offering a new conception of a priori knowledge and its role in empirical knowledge. This collection will be mandatory reading for any philosopher (...) or historian of science interested in the history of logical positivism in particular or the evolution of modern philosophy in general. (shrink)
In this insightful study of the common origins of analytic and continental philosophy, Friedman looks at how social and political events intertwined and influenced philosophy during the early twentieth century, ultimately giving rise to the two very different schools of thought. He shows how these two approaches, now practiced largely in isolation from one another, were once opposing tendencies within a common discussion. Already polarized by their philosophical disagreements, these approaches were further split apart by the rise of Naziism (...) and the resulting emigration of all influential German-speaking philosophers except for Heidegger. Although the book gives a general overview of the philosophical issues of the period, the author pays special attention to the relationships among three key twentieth-century philosophers: Rudolf Carnap, Ernst Cassirer, and Martin Heidegger. (shrink)
In a recent series of papers, Jane Friedman argues that suspended judgment is a sui generis first-order attitude, with a question as its content. In this paper, I offer a critique of Friedman’s project. I begin by responding to her arguments against reductive higher-order propositional accounts of suspended judgment, and thus undercut the negative case for her own view. Further, I raise worries about the details of her positive account, and in particular about her claim that one suspends (...) judgment about some matter if and only if one inquires into this matter. Subsequently, I use conclusions drawn from the preceding discussion to offer a tentative account: S suspends judgment about p iff S believes that she neither believes nor disbelieves that p, S neither believes nor disbelieves that p, and S intends to judge that p or not-p. (shrink)
This book introduces a new approach to the issue of radical scientific revolutions, or "paradigm-shifts," given prominence in the work of Thomas Kuhn. The book articulates a dynamical and historicized version of the conception of scientific a priori principles first developed by the philosopher Immanuel Kant. This approach defends the Enlightenment ideal of scientific objectivity and universality while simultaneously doing justice to the revolutionary changes within the sciences that have since undermined Kant's original defense of this ideal. Through a modified (...) Kantian approach to epistemology and philosophy of science, this book opposes both Quinean naturalistic holism and the post-Kuhnian conceptual relativism that has dominated recent literature in science studies. Focussing on the development of "scientific philosophy" from Kant to Rudolf Carnap, along with the parallel developments taking place in the sciences during the same period, the author articulates a new dynamical conception of relativized a priori principles. This idea applied within the physical sciences aims to show that rational intersubjective consensus is intricately preserved across radical scientific revolutions or "paradigm-shifts and how this is achieved. (shrink)
It has been accepted since the early part of the Century that there is no problem formalizing mathematics in standard formal systems of axiomatic set theory. Most people feel that they know as much as they ever want to know about how one can reduce natural numbers, integers, rationals, reals, and complex numbers to sets, and prove all of their basic properties. Furthermore, that this can continue through more and more complicated material, and that there is never a real problem.
Does a human right to healthcare imply individual obligations to healthy behavior? Or put another way: Is a self-induced condition a relevant criterion for some sort of restriction of this right—like withholding or modifying treatment in circumstances where choices have to be made? For instance, should a drunk driver bear the costs of medical care that he needs after a car accident he has caused? Should there be a difference in healthcare entitlements between the smoker with a heart attack who (...) is seriously overweight and the 60-year old man who has always taken excellent care of himself and is suddenly stricken by leukemia? And how should we think about the risk-taking behavior of all the persons going on a skiing holiday or an exotic hiking trip? a. (shrink)
After having received little attention over the past decades, one of the least known human rights—the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications—has had its dust blown off. Although included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)—be it at the very end of both instruments -this right hardly received any attention from States, UN bodies and programmes and academics. The role of science in (...) societies and its benefits and potential danger were discussed in various international fora, but hardly ever in a human rights context. Nowadays, within a world that is increasingly turning to science and technology for solutions to persistent socio-economic and development problems, the human dimension of science also receives increased attention, including the human right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications. This contribution analyses the possible legal obligations of States in relation to the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, in particular as regards health. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper I undertake an in-depth examination of an oft mentioned but rarely expounded upon state: suspended judgment. While traditional epistemology is sometimes characterized as presenting a “yes or no” picture of its central attitudes, in fact many of these epistemologists want to say that there is a third option: subjects can also suspend judgment. Discussions of suspension are mostly brief and have been less than clear on a number of issues, in particular whether this third option should (...) be thought of as an attitude or not. In this paper I argue that suspended judgment is (or at least involves) a genuine attitude. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9753-y Authors Jane Friedman, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3UJ UK Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116. (shrink)
There has been much discussion about whether traditional epistemology's doxastic attitudes are reducible to degrees of belief. In this paper I argue that what I call the Straightforward Reduction - the reduction of all three of believing p, disbelieving p, and suspending judgment about p, not-p to precise degrees of belief for p and not-p that ought to obey the standard axioms of the probability calculus - cannot succeed. By focusing on suspension of judgment (agnosticism) rather than belief, we can (...) see why the Straightforward Reduction is bound to fail. I argue that, in general, suspending about p is not just a matter of having some specified standard credence for p, and in the end I suggest some ways to extend the arguments that will put pressure on other credence-theoretic accounts of belief and suspension of judgment as well. (shrink)
This book offers an interpretation of the work of Theodor Adorno. In contrast to the conventional view that Adorno's is in essence a critical philosophy, Yvonne Sherratt traces systematically a utopian thesis that pervades all the major aspects of Adorno's thought. She places Adorno's work in the context of German Idealist and later Marxist and Freudian traditions, and then analyses his key works to show how the aesthetic, epistemological, psychological, historical and sociological thought interconnect to form a utopian image. (...) The book will be eagerly sought out by students and specialists in philosophy, social and political theory, intellectual history, literary theory and cultural studies. (shrink)
After a regime-changing war, a state often engages in lustration—condemnation and punishment of dangerous, corrupt, or culpable remnants of the previous system—e.g., de-Nazification or the more recent de-Ba’athification in Iraq. This common practice poses an important moral dilemma for liberals because even thoughtful and nuanced lustration involves condemning groups of people, instead of treating each case individually. It also raises important questions about collective agency, group treatment, and rectifying historical injustices. Liberals often oppose lustration because it denies moral individualism and (...) ignores rule of law, and their only justifications for lustration are consequentialist ones. This article suggests that lustration may not necessarily be a problem for liberals. While group treatment might be justified on grounds of convenience and pragmatism in times of transitional justice, there are also valid moral arguments consistent with moral individualism and due process for wholesale group punishment after a war. This article offers four overlapping moral justifications, in a robust defense of the core concept of lustration that is covered by each argument. (shrink)
Yet, he also says that it is philosophically indeterminate which criterion for what exists is correct. Nominalism is the view that certain objects ( i.e ., abstract objects) do not exist, and not the view that it is philosophically indeterminate whether or not they do. I resolve the dilemma that Azzouni's claims pose: Azzouni is a non-factualist about what exists, but he is a factualist about which criterion for what exists our community of speakers has adopted. It is in the (...) latter sense only that Azzouni can call himself a nominalist. My thanks to Jody Azzouni and to an anonymous referee for helpful suggestions. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This paper considers the evolution of the problem of scientific rationality from Kant through Carnap to Kuhn. I argue for a relativized and historicized version of the original Kantian conception of scientific a priori principles and examine the way in which these principles change and develop across revolutionary paradigm shifts. The distinctively philosophical enterprise of reflecting upon and contextualizing such principles is then seen to play a key role in making possible rational intersubjective communication between otherwise incommensurable paradigms.
Women have historically been prevented from living autonomously by systematic injustice, subordination, and oppression. The lingering effects of these practices have prompted many feminists to view autonomy with suspicion. Here, Marilyn Friedman defends the ideal of feminist autonomy. In her eyes, behavior is autonomous if it accords with the wants, cares, values, or commitments that the actor has reaffirmed and is able to sustain in the face of opposition. By her account, autonomy is socially grounded yet also individualizing and (...) sometimes socially disruptive, qualities that can be ultimately advantageous for women. Friedman applies the concept of autonomy to domains of special interest to women. She defends the importance of autonomy in romantic love, considers how social institutions should respond to women who choose to remain in abusive relationships, and argues that liberal societies should tolerate minority cultural practices that violate women's rights so long as the women in question have chosen autonomously to live according to those practices. (shrink)
This study focuses on the cultural context of ethical decision making by considering the relationship between power distance and ethical judgment. Specifically, we propose that this relationship exists because of the influence of peers on ethical judgment and perceptions of justice. Considering the importance of peers in stage three of Kohlberg's model of moral development, we argue that peers are the basis for social comparisons, social cues and social identification and, hence, are critical to an individual's beliefs about justice. Using (...) scenarios developed by Reidenbach and Robin, data were collected from German and Italian graduate business students. Germany and Italy differ substantially in power distance, but not in the three other cultural dimensions of Hofstede. Results show that the ethical assessment of the respondents from the two countries differs when justice criteria are used. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed. (shrink)
Non-uniformed combat morally infringes on civilians’ fundamental right to immunity and exacts an impermissible form of unofficial conscription that is morally prohibited even if the civilians knowingly consent to it. It is often argued that revolutionary groups burdened by resource disparities relative to the state or who claim alternative sources of political legitimacy (such as national self-determination or the constitution of a political collective) are justified in using unconventional tactics such as non-uniformed combat. Neither those reasons nor the provision of (...) public goods, however, are sufficient to justify such rights violations and this form of conscription, and it calls into question the suitability of current international legal protections for the non-uniformed. (shrink)
This book represents the most comprehensive attempt to date to explore and test Derrida's contribution and influence on the study of theology, biblical studies, and the philosophy of religion. Over the course of the last decade, the writings of Derrida and the key concepts that emerge from his work such as the gift, apocalypse, hospitality, and messianism have wrought far-reaching and irresistible changes in the way that scholars approach biblical texts, comparative religious studies, and religious violence, for instance, as well (...) as the way they understand basic religious themes as myth, creation, forgiveness, one-ness, and multiplicity. In addition to original contributions from over twenty highly-regarded scholars including John Caputo, Daniel Boyarin, Edith Wyschogrod, Tim Beal, and Gil Anidjar, the volume opens with a lengthy interview with Derrida. (shrink)
In this article I argue that Adorno makes an internal critique of instrumental reason. I depict Adorno's notion of instrumental reason by showing how he combines Freud's materialistic epistemology with his own German Idealist inheritance. I outline his argument for the decline of instrumental reason into mythic 'animism'. Key Words: Adorno animism enlightenment Freud instrumental reason myth.
One of the most interesting aspects of McDowell’s very interesting book is the way in which it locates the problems of late-twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy within the historical development of the Western philosophical tradition. Beginning with an opposition between Coherentism and the Myth of the Given exemplified in recent work of Donald Davidson’s, McDowell proceeds to frame his discussion in terms of the Kantian distinction between concepts and intuitions, understanding and sensibility, spontaneity and receptivity. McDowell’s basic idea is that we can (...) satisfactorily overcome the opposition between Coherentism and the Myth of the Given only by recognizing, with Kant, that concepts and intuitions, understanding and sensibility, must be integrated together in every cognitive act or process—even in the mere intake of experiential content characteristic of sense perception. There is thus no room, according to McDowell, for either unconceptualized sensory input standing in no rational relation to conceptual thought or purely intellectual thought operating independently of all rational constraint from sense experience. (shrink)
Kant's Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science is one of the most difficult but also most important of Kant's works. Published in 1786 between the first and second editions of the Critique of Pure Reason, the Metaphysical Foundations occupies a central place in the development of Kant's philosophy, but has so far attracted relatively little attention compared with other works of Kant's critical period. Michael Friedman's book develops a new and complete reading of this work and reconstructs Kant's main argument (...) clearly and in great detail, explaining its relationship to both Newton's Principia and eighteenth-century scientific thinkers such as Euler and Lambert. By situating Kant's text relative to his pre-critical writings on metaphysics and natural philosophy and, in particular, to the changes Kant made in the second edition of the Critique, Friedman articulates a radically new perspective on the meaning and development of the critical philosophy as a whole. (shrink)
The Belgian Act on Euthanasia came into force on 23 September 2002, making Belgium the second country—after the Netherlands—to decriminalize euthanasia under certain due-care conditions. Since then, Belgian nurses have been increasingly involved in euthanasia care. In this paper, we report a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with 18 nurses from Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) who have had experience in caring for patients requesting euthanasia since May 2002 (the approval of the Act). We found that the care (...) process for patients requesting euthanasia is a complex and dynamic process, consisting of several stages, starting from the period preceding the euthanasia request and ending with the aftercare stage. When asked after the way in which they experience their involvement in the euthanasia care process, all nurses described it as a grave and difficult process, not only on an organizational and practical level, but also on an emotional level. “Intense” is the dominant feeling experienced by nurses. This is compounded by the presence of other feelings such as great concern and responsibility on the one hand, being content in truly helping the patient to die serenely, and doing everything in one’s power to contribute to this; but also feeling unreal and ambivalent on the other hand, because death is arranged. Nurses feel a discrepancy, because although it is a nice death, which happens in dignity and with respect, it is also an unnatural death. The clinical ethical implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)