I At one point in Taking Rights Seriously, Ronald Dworkin sketches an argument which would today be widely acceptable. He writes: “The University of Washington might argue that, whatever effect minority preference will have on average welfare, it will make the community more equal, and therefore more just.” It is perhaps not certain that Dworkin himself accepts that immediate inference as sound. There can, however, be no doubt but that: first, many if not most people speaking or writing today in (...) this area do indeed take ‘equality’ to be as near as makes no matter synonymous with ‘equity’; and, second, they do indeed also identify doing justice with bringing about equality of condition. (shrink)
First published in 1961, this book considers Hume’s request to be judged solely by the acknowledged works of his maturity. It focuses on Hume’s first Inquiry in its own right as a separate book to the likes of his other works, such as the Treatise and the Dialogues, which are here only used as supplementary evidence when necessary. This approach brings out, as Hume himself quite explicitly wished to do, the important bearing of his more technical philosophy on matters of (...) religion and of world-outlook generally: "Be a philosopher; but amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.". (shrink)
In this long-awaited book, Antony Duff offers a new perspective on the structures of criminal law and criminal liability. His starting point is a distinction between responsibility (understood as answerability) and liability, and a conception of responsibility as relational and practice-based. This focus on responsibility, as a matter of being answerable to those who have the standing to call one to account, throws new light on a range of questions in criminal law theory: on the question of criminalisation, which (...) can now be cast as the question of what we should have to answer for, and to whom, under the threat of criminal conviction and punishment; on questions about the criminal trial, as a process through which defendants are called to answer, and about the conditions (bars to trial) given which a trial would be illegitimate; on questions about the structure of offences, the distinction between offences and defences, and the phenomena of strict liability and strict responsibility; and on questions about the structures of criminal defences. The net result is not a theory of criminal law; but it is an account of the structure of criminal law as an institution through which a liberal polity defines a realm of public wrongdoing, and calls those who perpetrate (or are accused of perpetrating) such wrongs to account. (shrink)
What is logic? What were the most significant contributions of Kant, Plato and Descartes? What is the concept of yin and yang? The personalities, terminology, and definitions of philosophers and philosophical schools of thought are presented clearly in this unique A-to-Z reference guide.
In this brief but powerful book, acclaimed political philosopher C.B. Macpherson sets out in bold relief the essence of liberal democracy, both as it is currently conceived and as it might be reimagined. The Wynford edition includes a new Introduction by Frank Cunningham.
Illusions are thought to make trouble for the intuition that perceptual experience is "open" to the world. Some have suggested, in response to the this trouble, that illusions differ from veridical experience in the degree to which their character is determined by their engagement with the world. An understanding of the psychology of perception reveals that this is not the case: veridical and falsidical perceptions engage the world in the same way and to the same extent. While some contemporary vision (...) scientists propose to draw the distinction between veridical experience and illusion in terms of the satisfaction or non-satisfaction of “hidden assumptions” deployed in the course of normal perceptual inference, I argue for a different approach. I contend that there are, in a sense, no illusions – illusions are as “open” as veridical experiences. Percepts lack the kinds of intentional content that would be needed for perceptual misrepresntation. My view gives a satisfying solution to a philosophical problem for disjunctivism about the good case/bad case distinction: with respect to illusions, every "bad case" of seeing an X can be equally well construed as a "good case" of seeing some Y (different from X). -/- . (shrink)
Atheists are frequently demonized as arrogant intellectuals, antagonistic to religion, devoid of moral sentiments, advocates of an "anything goes" lifestyle. Now, in this revealing volume, nineteen leading philosophers open a window on the inner life of atheism, shattering these common stereotypes as they reveal how they came to turn away from religious belief. These highly engaging personal essays capture the marvelous diversity to be found among atheists, providing a portrait that will surprise most readers. Many of the authors, for example, (...) express great affection for particular religious traditions, even as they explain why they cannot, in good conscience, embrace them. None of the contributors dismiss religious belief as stupid or primitive, and several even express regret that they cannot, or can no longer, believe. Perhaps more important, in these reflective pieces, they offer fresh insight into some of the oldest and most difficult problems facing the human mind and spirit. For instance, if God is dead, is everything permitted? Philosophers without Gods demonstrates convincingly, with arguments that date back to Plato, that morality is independent of the existence of God. Indeed, every writer in this volume adamantly affirms the objectivity of right and wrong. Moreover, they contend that secular life can provide rewards as great and as rich as religious life. A naturalistic understanding of the human condition presents a set of challenges--to pursue our goals without illusions, to act morally without hope of reward--challenges that can impart a lasting value to finite and fragile human lives. Collectively, these essays highlight the richness of atheistic belief--not only as a valid alternative to religion, but as a profoundly fulfilling and moral way of life. "This Atheists R Us compilation differs markedly in tone from Hitchens and Dawkins. Excellent fare for Christian small groups whose members are genuinely interested in the arguments raised by atheists." --Christianity Today "Readable, personal, and provocative.... Contrary to the popular image, atheism isn't all rebellious trumpets and defiant drums.... Here we have all the varieties of unreligious experience, a full symphony of unbelief." --Free Inquiry "Compelling and sophisticated arguments that religious people ought to confront." --Tikkun. (shrink)
A book of tremendous influence when it first appeared, A Mind of One's Own reminded readers that the tradition of Western philosophy-- in particular, the ideals of reason and objectivity-- has come down to us from white males, nearly all of whom are demonstrably sexist, even misogynist. In this second edition, the original authors continue to ask, What are the implications of this fact for contemporary feminists working within this tradition? The second edition pursues this question about the value of (...) reason and objectivity in new directions using the fresh perspectives and diverse viewpoints of the new generation of feminist philosophers. A Mind of One's Own is essential reading and an essential reference for philosophers and for all scholars and students concerned about the nature of knowledge and our pursuit of it. (shrink)
Early work on the frequency theory of probability made extensive use of the notion of randomness, conceived of as a property possessed by disorderly collections of outcomes. Growing out of this work, a rich mathematical literature on algorithmic randomness and Kolmogorov complexity developed through the twentieth century, but largely lost contact with the philosophical literature on physical probability. The present chapter begins with a clarification of the notions of randomness and probability, conceiving of the former as a property of a (...) sequence of outcomes, and the latter as a property of the process generating those outcomes. A discussion follows of the nature and limits of the relationship between the two notions, with largely negative verdicts on the prospects for any reduction of one to the other, although the existence of an apparently random sequence of outcomes is good evidence for the involvement of a genuinely chancy process. (shrink)
‘Karl Marx was a German philosopher.’ It is with this seminal sentence that Leszek Kolakowski begins his great work on The Main Currents of Marxism: its Rise, Growth and Dissolution . Both the two terms in the predicate expression are crucial. It is most illuminating to think of Marx as originally a philosopher, even though nothing in his vastly voluminous works makes any significant contribution to philosophy in any academic understanding of that term. It is also essential to recognize that (...) for both Marx and Engels philosophy was always primarily, indeed almost exclusively, what they and their successors called classical German philosophy. This was a tradition seen as achieving its climactic fulfilment in the work of Hegel, and one which they themselves identified as a main stimulus to their own thinking. Thus Engels, in Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy , claimed that ‘The German working-class movement is the inheritor of German classical philosophy’. (shrink)
I sketch a new constraint on chance, which connects chance ascriptions closely with ascriptions of ability, and more specifically with 'CAN'-claims. This connection between chance and ability has some claim to be a platitude; moreover, it exposes the debate over deterministic chance to the extensive literature on (in)compatibilism about free will. The upshot is that a prima facie case for the tenability of deterministic chance can be made. But the main thrust of the paper is to draw attention to the (...) connection between the truth conditions of sentences involving 'CAN' and 'CHANCE', and argue for the context sensitivity of each term. Awareness of this context sensitivity has consequences for the evaluation of particular philosophical arguments for (in) compatibilism when they are presented in particular contexts. (shrink)
Many researchers believe the tremendous industrial development over the past two centuries is unsustainable because it has led to unintended ecological deterioration. Despite the ever-growing attention sustainable supply-chain management has received, most SSCM research and models look at the consequences, rather than the antecedents or motives of such responsible practices. The few studies that explore corporate motives have remained largely qualitative, and large-scale empirical analyses are scarce. Drawing on multiple theories and combining supply-chain and business ethics literature, we purport that (...) instrumental, relational, and moral motives are behind a firm’s engagement in SSCM practices. Specifically, we examine the links between corporate motives, SSCM practices, and firm performance. Using a sample of 259 supply-chain firms in Germany, we empirically test five hypothesized relationships. Our results reveal that relational and moral motives are key drivers, and that firms exhibiting high levels of moral obligations tend to outperform those primarily driven by amoral considerations. Findings of this study contribute to multiple literatures espousing sustainability management and can help policy makers, stakeholder groups, and scholars develop more robust strategies for encouraging firms to practice SSCM. (shrink)
In this classic primer to the philosophy of religion, Antony Flew subjects a wide range of philosophical arguments for the existence of the Christian God to intense critical scrutiny. However, the rumour in some circles is that Flew - long-time advocate of atheistic humanism - has become a theist. Judge for yourself.
The notion of multiple location plays an important role in the characterization of endurantism. Several authors have recently offered cases intended to demonstrate the incoherence of multiple location. I argue that these cases do not succeed in making multiple location problematic. Along the way, several crucial issues about multiple location and its use by endurantists are clarified.
I argue that any broadly dispositional analysis of probability will either fail to give an adequate explication of probability, or else will fail to provide an explication that can be gainfully employed elsewhere (for instance, in empirical science or in the regulation of credence). The diversity and number of arguments suggests that there is little prospect of any successful analysis along these lines.
_Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings_ is the first anthology to collect essential readings in this important area of philosophy. Featuring the work of leading philosophers in the field such as Carnap, Hájek, Jeffrey, Joyce, Lewis, Loewer, Popper, Ramsey, van Fraassen, von Mises, and many others, the book looks in depth at the following key topics: subjective probability and credence probability updating: conditionalization and reflection Bayesian confirmation theory classical, logical, and evidential probability frequentism physical probability: propensities and objective chances. The book (...) features a useful primer on the mathematics of probability, and each section includes an introduction by the editor, as well as a guide to further reading. A broad-ranging and highly accessible exploration of the subject, _Philosophy of Probability_ is ideal for any student of formal epistemology, philosophy of science, metaphysics, or philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
The question "What can justify criminal punishment ?" becomes especially insistent at times, like our own, of penal crisis, when serious doubts are raised not only about the justice or efficacy of particular modes of punishment, but about the very legitimacy of the whole penal system. Recent theorizing about punishment offers a variety of answers to that question-answers that try to make plausible sense of the idea that punishment is justified as being deserved for past crimes; answers that try to (...) identify some beneficial consequences in terms of which punishment might be justified; as well as abolitionist answers telling us that we should seek to abolish, rather than to justify, criminal punishment. This book begins with a critical survey of recent trends in penal theory, but goes on to develop an original account (based on Duff's earlier Trials and Punishments) of criminal punishment as a mode of moral communication, aimed at inducing repentance, reform, and reconciliation through reparation-an account that undercuts the traditional controversies between consequentialist and retributivist penal theories, and that shows how abolitionist concerns can properly be met by a system of communicative punishments. In developing this account, Duff articulates the "liberal communitarian" conception of political society (and of the role of the criminal law) on which it depends; he discusses the meaning and role of different modes of punishment, showing how they can constitute appropriate modes of moral communication between political community and its citizens; and he identifies the essential preconditions for the justice of punishment as thus conceived-preconditions whose non-satisfaction makes our own system of criminal punishment morally problematic. Punishment, Communication, and Community offers no easy answers, but provides a rich and ambitious ideal of what criminal punishment could be-an ideal of what criminal punishment cold be-and ideal that challenges existing penal theories as well as our existing penal theories as well as our existing penal practices. (shrink)
A previously unrecognised argument against deterministic chance is introduced. The argument rests on the twin ideas that determined outcomes are settled, while chancy outcomes are unsettled, thus making cases of determined but chancy outcomes impossible. Closer attention to tacit assumptions about settledness makes available some principled lines of resistance to the argument for compatibilists about chance and determinism. Yet the costs of maintaining compatibilism may be higher with respect to this argument than with respect to existing incompatibilist arguments.
This article discusses two arguments in favor of perdurance. The first is Sider’s argument from vagueness, “one of the most powerful” in favor of perdurantism. I make the observation that endurantists have principled grounds to claim that the argument is unsound, at least if endurance is formulated in locative rather than mereological terms. Having made this observation, I use it to emphasize a somewhat neglected difference between endurantists and perdurantists with respect to their views on material objects. These views, in (...) the case of endurantists, lead to a further, less than conclusive but nevertheless interesting argument against endurantism—the anti-fundamentality argument—which I discuss and tentatively endorse. That argument posits that endurantists must take location to be a fundamental relation, and that this has as a consequence the metaphysical possibility of some rather unwelcome scenarios. Perdurantists may avoid this consequence by denying that location is fundamental, perhaps by embracing supersubstantivalism. (shrink)
Recently, Cody Gilmore has deployed an ingenious case involving backwards time travel to highlight an apparent conflict between the theory that objects persist by perduring, and the thesis that wholly coincident objects are impossible. However, careful attention to the concepts of location and parthood that Gilmore’s cases involve shows that the perdurantist faces no genuine objection from these cases, and that the perdurantist has a number of plausible and dialectically appropriate ways to avoid the supposed conflict.
This paper studies the relationship between Argumentation Logic, a recently defined logic based on the study of argumentation in AI, and classical Propositional Logic. In particular, it shows that AL and PL are logically equivalent in that they have the same entailment relation from any given classically consistent theory. This equivalence follows from a correspondence between the non-acceptability of sentences in AL and Natural Deduction proofs of the complement of these sentences. The proof of this equivalence uses a restricted form (...) of ND proofs, where hypotheses in the application of the Reductio of Absurdum inference rule are required to be “relevant” to the absurdity derived in the rule. The paper also discusses how the argumentative re-interpretation of PL could help control the application of ex-falso quodlibet in the presence of inconsistencies. (shrink)
The concept of randomness has been unjustly neglected in recent philosophical literature, and when philosophers have thought about it, they have usually acquiesced in views about the concept that are fundamentally flawed. After indicating the ways in which these accounts are flawed, I propose that randomness is to be understood as a special case of the epistemic concept of the unpredictability of a process. This proposal arguably captures the intuitive desiderata for the concept of randomness; at least it should suggest (...) that the commonly accepted accounts cannot be the whole story and more philosophical attention needs to be paid. Randomness in science1.1 Random systems1.2 Random behaviour1.3 Random sampling1.4 Caprice, arbitrariness and noiseConcepts of randomness2.1 Von Mises/Church/Martin-Löf randomness2.2 KCS-randomnessRandomness is unpredictability: preliminaries3.1 Process and product randomness3.2 Randomness is indeterminism?Predictability4.1 Epistemic constraints on prediction4.2 Computational constraints on prediction4.3 Pragmatic constraints on prediction4.4 Prediction definedUnpredictabilityRandomness is unpredictability6.1 Clarification of the definition of randomness6.2 Randomness and probability6.3 Subjectivity and context sensitivity of randomnessEvaluating the analysis[R]andomness … is going to be a concept which is relative to our body of knowledge, which will somehow reflect what we know and what we don't know. Henry E. Kyburg, Jr (, p. 217)Phenomena that we cannot predict must be judged random. Patrick Suppes (, p. 32). (shrink)
SUMMARYThis paper discusses the scientific instruments made and used by the microscopist Antony van Leeuwenhoek. The immediate cause of our study was the discovery of an overlooked document from the Delft archive: an inventory of the possessions that were left in 1745 after the death of Leeuwenhoek's daughter Maria. This list sums up which tools and scientific instruments Leeuwenhoek possessed at the end of his life, including his famous microscopes. This information, combined with the results of earlier historical research, (...) gives us new insights about the way Leeuwenhoek began his lens grinding and how eventually he made his best lenses. It also teaches us more about Leeuwenhoek's work as a surveyor and a wine gauger.A further investigation of the 1747 sale of Leeuwenhoek's 531 single lens microscopes has not only led us to the identification of nearly all buyers, but also has provided us with some explanation about why only a dozen of this large number of microscopes has survived. (shrink)
Recently, many philosophers have been interested in using locative relations to clarify and pursue debates in the metaphysics of material objects. Most begin with the relation of exact location. But what if we begin instead with the relation known as weak location – the relation an object x bears to any region not completely bereft of x? I explore some of the consequences of pursuing this route for issues including coincidence, extended simples, and endurance, with an eye to evaluating the (...) prospects for taking weak location as our fundamental locative relation. (shrink)
The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Greece and present the challenges that need to be met in order to further promote socially responsible business behaviour in the domestic economy. This is the first attempt to provide a systematic analysis of CSR in Greece and adds to the existing pool of knowledge of CSR embeddedness in countries where CSR awareness is still rather low, a literature field that is still quite limited. (...) Drawing from prior literature, the paper is built around three basic questions in relation to the Greek context: how is CSR perceived by Greek business professionals? How is CSR practised in Greece? And which issues evident in the modern domestic environment act as underlying barriers to the broader dissemination of CSR in Greece? The extant empirical work suggests that, while CSR in Greece appears to be developing, there is still scope for improvement and further diffusion of relevant practices. While some of the patterns shaping CSR in Greece have been analysed, much work still remains to be carried out in extending and deepening our knowledge in this part of Europe. (shrink)
Material Engagement Theory is currently driving a conceptual change in the archaeology of mind. Drawing upon the dictates of enactivism and active externalism, it specifically calls for a radical reconceptualization of mind and material culture. Unpersuaded by the common assumption that cognition is brain-bound, Malafouris argues in favour of a process ontology that situates thinking in action. In granting ontological primacy to material engagement, MET seeks to illuminate the emergence of human ways of thinking through the practical effects of the (...) material world. Considering that this is a characteristic example of a pragmatic take on cognition, this contemporary theoretical platform appears to share a lot with pragmatism. As of late, scholars working at the intersection of philosophy, semiotics, and cognitive science have made important steps towards the rapprochement between pragmatism and externalism. Looking to contribute to this growing corpus of work, the present paper focuses on MET’s relation to the pragmatism of Peirce, Dewey, and Mead. Having elsewhere recognized the overlap and complementarity between Malafouris’ and Peirce’s theories in particular, I developed a pragmatic and enactive theory of cognitive semiotics that is suitably geared to trace the nature, emergence, and evolution of material signs. Therefore, besides noting some obvious historical connections, I hereby aim to establish the theoretical backdrop upon which this composite theory is supposed to function, while also exploring new potential avenues. Given that this cognitive semiotic framework can be seen as a pragmatic extension of Malafouris’ enactivist approach to archaeology, the current paper delves into MET’s theoretical underpinnings, seeking to complement its working hypotheses and concepts with philosophical notions and ideas advanced long ago. This synthesis ultimately concludes with a call for the reconceptualization of ‘representation’ as a heuristic concept. (shrink)
Russell famously argued that causation should be dispensed with. He gave two explicit arguments for this conclusion, both of which can be defused if we loosen the ties between causation and determinism. I show that we can deﬁne a concept of causation which meets Russell’s conditions but does not reduce to triviality. Unfortunately, a further serious problem is implicit beneath the details of Russell’s arguments, which I call the causal exclusion problem. Meeting this problem involves deploying a minimalist pragmatic account (...) of the nature and function of modal language. Russell’s scruples about causation can be accommodated, even as we partially legitimise the pervasive causal explanations in folk and scientiﬁc practice. (shrink)
This article explores the connection between objective chance and the randomness of a sequence of outcomes. Discussion is focussed around the claim that something happens by chance iff it is random. This claim is subject to many objections. Attempts to save it by providing alternative theories of chance and randomness, involving indeterminism, unpredictability, and reductionism about chance, are canvassed. The article is largely expository, with particular attention being paid to the details of algorithmic randomness, a topic relatively unfamiliar to philosophers.