Computability and Logic has become a classic because of its accessibility to students without a mathematical background and because it covers not simply the staple topics of an intermediate logic course, such as Godel’s incompleteness theorems, but also a large number of optional topics, from Turing’s theory of computability to Ramsey’s theorem. Including a selection of exercises, adjusted for this edition, at the end of each chapter, it offers a new and simpler treatment of the representability of recursive functions, a (...) traditional stumbling block for students on the way to the Godel incompleteness theorems. (shrink)
How should we react to philosophical skepticism? Whitman answers this question by examining analytic and post-analytic responses to the problem. He tests analytic theories of knowledge and the post-analytic responses of Donald Davidson and Richard Rorty against skeptical arguments. Whitman concludes that embracing a theoretical version of philosophical skepticism has advantages over post-analytic responses—both in the realm of philosophical inquiry and in everyday life.
Drawing upon almost twenty years of teaching philosophy as a physically disabled person in a wheelchair, I explore the “learning moments” afforded to me in the classroom as a disabled teacher. Focusing primarily on the teaching of ethics, and how my experience and the experiences of other disabled students in a class can enhance the education of everybody, I attempt to demonstrate to other philosophy teachers that disability in the classroom can and should be viewed not as a burden but (...) more as an opportunity for teaching enrichment. (shrink)
In order the combat the growing apathy, cynicism, and indifference observed among students, the author developed a course designed to make the study of philosophy relevant, applicable, and personal for students. This paper is a detailed exposition of the structure and content of this course. Build around the theme “Exploring Moral Character,” this course focuses on the role of moral character in ethical decision making and the nature of students’ own moral character. The course is divided into four units. Designed (...) as a voyage of personal discovery for students, each unit concludes with a non-traditional writing assignment . The author discusses why the course structure and paper assignments facilitate students’ ability to make explicit and to reflect on their own moral values. Appended to the article is a list of the course’s non-traditional paper assignments. (shrink)
This paper examines how slippery slope arguments are used, and misused, in many public policy debates -- especially in the area of bioethics. I divide the various kinds of slippery slope arguments into the following categories: 1) the logical form vs the conceptual form, and 2) the theoretical context vs the practical context. While all these various types of slippery slope arguments are found wanting, I nonetheless find a valuable role for slippery slope arguments in public debate. In that they (...) give expression to certain of our moral emotions, slippery slope arguments should not be dismissed out of hand by philosophers. (shrink)
For a long while Bayesian techniques in statistics in general, and decision theory in particular, were considered suspect at best, and to be avoided; but now along comes Jeffrey with a system of subjective probability and utility functions determined by the individual's preferences, and a strongly Bayesian approach to decision-making, and by so doing puts the whole matter in a new light and makes it quite important to reassess the prior rejection of Bayesian methods. There are twelve chapters, each (...) with exercises, which begin with the model of deliberation, progress though scaling and ranking desirability, preference and propositional attitudes, thence to probability and measurement of desirability, and finally to induction and confirmation. The author's theory bears some resemblances to that sketched by Ramsey, but it draws somewhat on the later work of Von Neumann and Morgenstern. The author examines probability as viewed both statically—when the agent's attitudes are constant—and dynamically-when desirability and, consequently, probability assignments change. This text is one of the small but growing library of works whose interest is induction and probability theory; in that library, it will occupy an important place.—P. J. M. (shrink)
The emphasis in this collection is clearly on logic, and this is one reason why it lacks the overall diversity and richness of the 1960 Stanford volume. However, the eight sections do contain much interesting material; in the mathematical logic section Kochen and Specker continue their study of logics appropriate for quantum theory, Vaught presents several new results about the Löwenheim-Skolem theorem, and Büchi studies second-order ordinal theory from the viewpoint of automata theory; the section on foundations of mathematical theories (...) contains papers on higher-order logic by Kaplan and Montague, model theory and ultra-products by Keisler, definability in set theory by Lévy. The topic of the justification of formal theories was the essential topic of the philosophy of logic section: an especially interesting paper is that of A. Robinson in which the present state of Hilbertean Formalism is analyzed, and in which the notion of potential truth is formalized. The section on the philosophy of science contains a single paper, by Hesse, on metaphor and explanation; Braithwaite, Hintikka, Jeffrey, and Kyburg contribute to a lively section on probability and induction; the section on methodology in physical science takes as topics the theory of relativity, causality, and irreversibility. The last two sections, on the philosophy of the life sciences, and on history of logic and philosophy of science, contain, respectively, papers by Davidson and Suppes on meaning and concept formation, and essays by Church and Geach on existential import historically considered and intentionality among the medievals. The collection would have been better if more of the contributed papers had been included.—P. J. M. (shrink)
This paper examines the phenomenon of moral luck and how it can effect professional practice. Using both Thomas Nagel’s and Bernard William’s exposition on moral luck, this paper first demonstrates the close relationship between moral luck and epistemic luck. Then, drawing on some of the lessons one might learn from the epistemologist’s treatment of epistemic luck, particularly in the debate between internalists and externalists in epistemology, strategies are developed that professionals and professional organizations might use to avoid and/or mitigate the (...) problem moral luck presents to professional practice. Examples from various professions—the military, engineering, medicine, journalism, business—are use to illustrate both the problem of moral luck and the strategies useful in avoiding it. (shrink)
Preparing the Next Generation of Oral Historians is an invaluable resource to educators seeking to bring history alive for students at all levels. Filled with insightful reflections on teaching oral history, it offers practical suggestions for educators seeking to create curricula, engage students, gather community support, and meet educational standards. By the close of the book, readers will be able to successfully incorporate oral history projects in their own classrooms.
Computability and Logic has become a classic because of its accessibility to students without a mathematical background and because it covers not simply the staple topics of an intermediate logic course, such as Godel's incompleteness theorems, but also a large number of optional topics, from Turing's theory of computability to Ramsey's theorem. This 2007 fifth edition has been thoroughly revised by John Burgess. Including a selection of exercises, adjusted for this edition, at the end of each chapter, it offers a (...) simpler treatment of the representability of recursive functions, a traditional stumbling block for students on the way to the Godel incompleteness theorems. This updated edition is also accompanied by a website as well as an instructor's manual. (shrink)
“[T]here is something rotten at the heart of medicine” —this is one of the central statements of Jeffrey Paul Bishop in his book The Anticipatory Corpse. Medicine, Power and the Care of the Dying. The obvious, if somewhat morbid, thought that “rotten” would refer to the decaying body as the central subject of investigation is, however, misleading. Instead, Bishop aims to demonstrate that the modern trend of medicalizing dying and death is the wrong way.The book explores contemporary medicine’s practices, (...) their historical evolvement, and their underpinnings with regard to the care of the dying. Informed by Foucault’s genealogy of medicine, the book argues that the dead body has become the epistemologically normative body for medicine: medical knowledge of the living body is derived from investigating the dead body. With the help of autopsies, medicine has learned to view life as “matter in motion” and people as moving machines with interchangeable parts. Furthermore, medicine has .. (shrink)
A history of injustices to diverse groups of human subjects in medical research has resulted in concerted efforts by U.S. policymakers in the second half of the twentieth century to provide greater protection for future subjects. However, in the context of patient populations demanding better therapies, potential medical advances, and greater attention to issues of social justice, Kahn, Mastroianni, and Sugarman set out to reconceptualize the principle of justice in human subjects research to address these urgent concerns. In BeyondConsent, Kahn (...) and colleagues advance a framework of justice in terms of access to participation in research, instead of protection. Their worthy cause, developed out of collaboration on the White House Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, aims to demonstrate how previously unaddressed notions of justice now require greater consideration in research. Specifically, they emphasize how fairness requires a greater distribution of risks and benefits, and that The volume does not report new research findings but rather draws on multidisciplinary approaches, including law, medicine, philosophy, history, and health policy, to argue that justice must go beyond informed consent. The editors posit that this challenge to protectionism is necessary given the heightened urgency for patients to benefit from investigational therapies although they incur increased risks. (shrink)