This article describes a project which involved an attempt to integrate an expert system with a hypertext database of primary and secondary text materials. Our chosen legal domain was that of the Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (The Brussels Convention 1968). In this article, we address three dimensions of system design. With regard to the legal dimension, we consider the choice of domain and the representation of both knowledge and data in the (...) system. On the technological dimension, we discuss the selection of software development tools and problems associated with keeping knowledge bases and databases up-to-date. Finally, we pay particular attention to the Cinderella dimension of legal expert system development — the user interface. (shrink)
In the Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals' Kant is explicit, sometimes to the point of peevishness, in denying anthropology and psychology any part or place in his moral science. Recognizing that this will strike many as counterintuitive he is unrepentant: ‘We require no skill to make ourselves intelligible to the multitude once we renounce all profundity of thought’. That the doctrine to be defended is not exemplified in daily experience or even in imaginable encounters is necessitated by the very (...) nature of morality which cannot be served worse ‘… than by seeking to derive it from examples’. Thus, the project of the moral philosopher begins with the recognition that the moral realm is not mapped by anthropological data and does not get its content therefrom. Rather, moral philosophy must be ‘completely cleansed’ of everything that is appropriate to anthropology. (shrink)
It is sometimes suggested that the logic of religious language differs from other kinds of language. Or it is said that each ‘language-game’ has its own ‘logic’ and that, whatever usual language-games are played in the context of religion, there is something that could be called the ‘religious language-game’ which does not correspond to any other and, therefore, has its own peculiar logic. In either case, religious people are urged to make clear what this logic is, so that their utterances (...) may be understood and evaluated. (shrink)
It is a curious fact that the much maligned ontological argument to prove the existence of God has in recent times enjoyed a revival of interest to which even Karl Barth, the arch-enemy of natural theology has contributed; but since the revival of interest has appared in a wide diversity of intellectual contexts, both philosophical and theological, the revival is itself almost as problematic as the argument itself.
In his book on Karl Barth Professor T. F. Torrance spoke at one point of ‘the great watershed of modern theology’. ‘There are,’ he wrote, 1 ‘two basic issues here. On the one hand, it is the very substance of the Christian faith that is at stake, and on the other hand, it is the fundamental nature of scientific method, in its critical and methodological renunciation of prior understanding, that is at stake. This is the great watershed of modern theology: (...) either we take the one way or the other – there is no third alter native… one must go either in the direction taken by Barth or in the direction taken by Bultmann.’. (shrink)
In his article ‘Professor Bartley's Theory of Rationality and Religious Belief’ Mr W. D. Hudson has brought considerable clarification to the rather confused situation occasioned by Professor W. W. Bartley's book The Retreat to Commitment and its subsequent discussion; but the process can, I think, be carried still further.
In recent years the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein have received much attention from philosophers in general and especially from philosophers interested in religion; and there is no doubt that Wittgenstein's legacy of thought is both highly suggestive and highly problematical. It seems likely, however, that the vogue which Wittgenstein now enjoys owes not a little to his peculiar place in the development of modern philosophy and, in particular, of that empiricist tradition in philosophy which stems from what has been called (...) the revolution in philosophy in the early decades of the present century. (shrink)
Determinism is a spectre that has haunted our scientifically-oriented culture from the beginning. I happen to think that it is literally a ‘spectre’, a trick of the vision, an appearance with an internal cause only, and that it is no more than the ghost of our own conceptual determinations projected outward into a world in which it has no place and no proper being. From one point of view it is no more than an alienated fantasy involving a number of (...) incoherent assumptions. Of these, one of the most important, and one of the most deeply eroded by much contemporary work, is the assumption that science and scientific understanding is a potentially completable system. From another point of view, however, the deterministic picture seems an inevitable product of scientific activity. (shrink)
This chapter focuses on the appetite for self-preservation and its central role in Francis Bacon’s natural philosophy. In the first part, I introduce Bacon’s classification of universal appetites, showing the correspondences between natural and moral philosophy. I then examine the role that appetites play in his theory of motions and, additionally, the various meanings accorded to preservation in this context. I also discuss some of the sources underlying Bacon’s ideas, for his views about preservation reveal traces of Stoicism, Telesian (...) natural philosophy, the natural law tradition, as well as late-scholastic ideas. Bacon assumes the existence of two kinds of preservation: self-preservation and preservation of the whole. The appetite through which the whole preserves itself overpowers individual appetites for self-preservation. In Bacon’s theory of motions, the primacy of global preservation – that is, the preservation of the whole – is evidenced by the way matter resists being annihilated, while self-preservation at a local and particular level is revealed through other kinds of motion. Bacon’s notion of appetite reflects a specific metaphysics of matter and motion, in which the preservation of natural bodies follows teleological patterns shared by both nature and humanity: the preservation of the whole is the highest goal, both in moral and natural philosophy. In this chapter, I argue that in Bacon’s natural philosophy different kind of things, including nature and humans, are ruled by patterns that are constitutive of correlated orders, neither of which is reducible to the other: there is no priority of the natural order over the moral, or vice versa. Thus, at a more general level, both are expressions of the same type of divinely imposed, law-like behaviour. (shrink)
Translated and with an Introduction by Daniel W. Smith Afterword by Tom Conley Gilles Deleuze had several paintings by Francis Bacon hanging in his Paris apartment, and the painter’s method and style as well as his motifs of seriality, difference, and repetition influenced Deleuze’s work. This first English translation shows us one of the most original and important French philosophers of the twentieth century in intimate confrontation with one of that century’s most original and important painters. In considering Bacon, (...) Deleuze offers implicit and explicit insights into the origins and development of his own philosophical and aesthetic ideas, ideas that represent a turning point in his intellectual trajectory. First published in French in 1981, _Francis Bacon_ has come to be recognized as one of Deleuze’s most significant texts in aesthetics. Anticipating his work on cinema, the baroque, and literary criticism, the book can be read not only as a study of Bacon’s paintings but also as a crucial text within Deleuze’s broader philosophy of art. In it, Deleuze creates a series of philosophical concepts, each of which relates to a particular aspect of Bacon’s paintings but at the same time finds a place in the “general logic of sensation.” Illuminating Bacon’s paintings, the nonrational logic of sensation, and the act of painting itself, this work—presented in lucid and nuanced translation—also points beyond painting toward connections with other arts such as music, cinema, and literature. _Francis Bacon_ is an indispensable entry point into the conceptual proliferation of Deleuze’s philosophy as a whole. Gilles Deleuze was professor of philosophy at the University of Paris, Vincennes–St. Denis. He coauthored _Anti-Oedipus_ and _A Thousand Plateaus_ with Félix Guattari. These works, as well as _Cinema 1, Cinema 2, The Fold, Proust and Signs_, and others, are published in English by Minnesota. Daniel W. Smith teaches in the Department of Philosophy at Purdue University. (shrink)
Among the most animating debates in eighteenth-century British ethics was the debate over psychological egoism, the view that our most basic desires are self-interested. An important episode in that debate, less well known than it should be, was the exchange between Francis Hutcheson and John Clarke of Hull. In the early editions of his Inquiry into Virtue, Hutcheson argued ingeniously against psychological egoism; in his Foundation of Morality, Clarke argued ingeniously against Hutcheson’s arguments. Later, Hutcheson attempted new arguments against (...) psychological egoism, designed to overcome Clarke’s objections. This article examines the exchange between these philosophers. Its conclusion, influenced partly by Clarke, is that psychological egoism withstands Hutcheson’s arguments. This is not to belittle those arguments—indeed, they are among the most resourceful and plausible of their kind. The fact that egoism withstands them is thus not a mere negative result, but a stimulus to consider carefully the ways in which progress in this area may be possible. (shrink)
In this article I address a puzzle about one of Francis Hutcheson’s objections to psychological egoism. The puzzle concerns his premise that God receives no benefit from rewarding the virtuous. Why, in the early editions of his Inquiry Concerning Virtue, does Hutcheson leave this premise undefended? And why, in the later editions, does he continue to do so, knowing that in 1726 John Clarke of Hull had subjected the premise to plausible criticism, geared to the very audience for whom (...) Hutcheson’s objection to egoism was written? This puzzle is not negligible. Some might claim that Hutcheson ruins his objection by ignoring Clarke’s criticism. To answer the puzzle we must consider not only Hutcheson’s philosophy but also some theological assumptions of Hutcheson’s time. (shrink)
Because Francis Galton (1822-1911) was a well-connected gentleman scientist with substantial private means, the importance of the role he played in the professionalization of the Victorian life-sciences has been considered anomalous. In contrast to the X-clubbers, he did not seem to have any personal need for the reforms his Darwinist colleagues were advocating. Nor for making common cause with individuals haling from social strata clearly inferior to his own. However, in this paper I argue that Galton quite realistically discerned (...) in the reforming endeavors of the 1860s, and beyond, the potential for considerably enhancing his own reputation and standing within both the scientific community and the broader Victorian culture. In addition, his professionalizing aspirations, and those of his reformist allies, were fully concordant with the interests, ambitions and perceived opportunities of his elite social group during the Victorian period. Professionalization appealed to gentlemen of Galton's status and financial security as much as it did to the likes of Thomas Huxley and John Tyndall, primarily because it promised to confer on the whole scientific enterprise an unprecedented level of social prestige. (shrink)
Francis Bacon’s method of induction is often understood as a form of eliminative induction. The idea, on this interpretation, is to list the possible formal causes of a phenomenon and, by reference to a copious and reliable natural history, to falsify all of them but one. Whatever remains must be the formal cause. Bacon’s crucial instances are often seen as the crowning example of this method. In this article, I argue that this interpretation of crucial instances is mistaken, and (...) it has caused us to lose sight of why Bacon assigns crucial instances a special role in his quest for epistemic certainty about formal causes. If crucial instances are interpreted eliminatively, then they are subject to the two problems related to underdetermination raised by Duhem: (1) that it is impossible to be certain one has specified all of the possible alternatives and (2) that an experiment falsifies a whole theory, not just a single hypothesis in isolation. I show that Bacon anticipates and aims to dodge both of these problems by conceiving of crucial instances as working, in the ideal case, through direct affirmations that are supported by links to more foundational knowledge. (shrink)