A critical review of gravitational wave theory is made. It is pointed out that the usual linear approach to the gravitational wave theory is neither conceptually consistent nor mathematically justified. Relying upon that analysis it is argued that—analogously to a Yang-Mills propagating field, which must be nonlinear to carry its gauge charge—a gravitational wave must necessarily be nonlinear to transport its own charge—that is, energy-momentum.
The Poincaré group generalizes the Galilei group for high-velocity kinematics. The de Sitter group is assumed to go one step further, generalizing Poincaré as the group governing high-energy kinematics. In other words, ordinary special relativity is here replaced by de Sitter relativity. In this theory, the cosmological constant Λ is no longer a free parameter, and can be determined in terms of other quantities. When applied to the whole universe, it is able to predict the value of Λ and to (...) explain the cosmic coincidence. When applied to the propagation of ultra-high energy photons, it gives a good estimate of the time delay observed in extragalactic gamma-ray flares. It can, for this reason, be considered a new paradigm to approach the quantum gravity problem. (shrink)
A solution of the sourceless Einstein's equation with an infinite value for the cosmological constant Λ is discussed by using Inönü–Wigner contractions of the de Sitter groups and spaces. When Λ→∞, spacetime becomes a four-dimensional cone, dual to Minkowski space by a spacetime inversion. This inversion relates the four-cone vertex to the infinity of Minkowski space, and the four-cone infinity to the Minkowski light-cone. The non-relativistic limit c→∞ is further considered, the kinematical group in this case being a modified Galilei (...) group in which the space and time translations are replaced by the non-relativistic limits of the corresponding proper conformal transformations. This group presents the same abstract Lie algebra as the Galilei group and can be named the conformal Galilei group. The results may be of interest to the early Universe Cosmology. (shrink)
A precise fomulation of the strong Equivalence Principle is essential to the understanding of the relationship between gravitation and quantum mechanics. The relevant aspects are reviewed in a context including General Relativity but allowing for the presence of torsion. For the sake of brevity, a concise statement is proposed for the Principle: An ideal observer immersed in a gravitational field can choose a reference frame in which gravitation goes unnoticed. This statement is given a clear mathematical meaning through an accurate (...) discussion of its terms. It holds for ideal observers (time-like smooth non-intersecting curves), but not for real, spatially extended observers. Analogous results hold for gauge fields. The difference between gravitation and the other fundamental interactions comes from their distinct roles in the equation of force. (shrink)
continent. 1.2 (2011): 141-144. This January, while preparing a new course, Robert Seydel was struck and killed by an unexpected heart attack. He was a critically under-appreciated artist and one of the most beloved and admired professors at Hampshire College. At the time of his passing, Seydel was on the brink of a major artistic and career milestone. His Book of Ruth was being prepared for publication by Siglio Press. His publisher describes the book as: “an alchemical assemblage that composes (...) the life of his alter ego, Ruth Greisman— spinster, Sunday painter, and friend to Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. Through collages, drawings, and journal entries from Ruth’s imagined life, Seydel invokes her interior world in novelistic rhythms.” This convergence of his professional triumph with the tragedy of his death makes now a particularly appropriate time to think about Robert Seydel and his work. This feature contains a selection of excerpts from Book of Ruth (courtesy of Siglio Press) alongside a pair of texts remembering him and giving critical and biographical insights into his art and his person. These texts, from a former student and a colleague respectively, were originally prepared for Seydel's memorial at Hampshire College and have since been revised for publication in continent. For more information on Book of Ruth, please visit the book's page at the Siglio Press website. —Ben Segal draughty R. * Lauren van Haaften-Schick 2011 “The most apt way to order Smithson's library is with the conjunction 'and'; science and religion; modernism and mass culture; what is present and what is missing.” —Alexander Alberro, 248 Robert Seydel's classes on collage and collecting immersed his students in a curious world of cabinets, oddities, exhaustive archives and obscure histories, explored always with critical rigor and a sincere eye for wonder. His office was a compendium of the ancient, mythic, potential and unworldy, where seemingly unrelated references were endlessly pulled, piled and fused in an ecstatic dance of hyper-annotation. The small room and all its contents overflowed with notes tucked in every margin and corner. Books coated the walls like a switchboard, anxious and humming, waiting for infinite links to be activated. William Blake's books of Job and Urizen summoned Greek mythology and the animal as metaphor, leading to 19th century cryptozoology and the cave paintings at Lascaux, Gaston Bachelard's description of the bird in his garden and Robert Rauschenberg's Canyon . Tracking archetypes and following tangential threads, new revelations and ancient narratives were compiled and ordered to form a new text, a bibliography as assemblage, portrait and poem. Robert's library—one of his many collections—is a portrait, an “artifact, collage of time, a token and remnant” (Seydel, 2007) He is humming with it still. The imagination of this room—of Robert—breathes through the pages of Book of Ruth, as every decision and detail unfolds to a cosmos. Allegory, invention, personal and art histories are entangled and leveled, rendering lived, perceived and absorbed experiences indistinguishable. Anonymous scraps discovered on the street or studio floor, careful clippings and drawn figures are chosen and animated through serendipitous destruction and whimsical, delicate positioning. A precise vocabulary of characters and terms erupts and collapses as personas and passers-by wave and whisper, “Every figure reveals aspects of the total form, which is open and green” (Seydel, 2007). The initials R.S. repeat, a nod to Robert's true family tree and further complicating identification. Robt, Robert's sometimes alter-ego, appears in myriad forms as a trickster “half-wit,” mercurial and skittish, or soft and worn thin. Saul is a solemn tinkerer, parsing the world and sometimes blind. Ruth, the speaker of the book, records and translates all, her voice wavering between poetic verse and a cryptic half-speech as complex as it is sparse. The rhythm of frayed edges sets time - the weight of the world and the lightness of paper. Robert wrote of his process, “Material is essential; scuffings carry history, which wanders throughout” (Seydel, 2007). Collectors, assemblers, sway between careful movements of selection and placement as they pull from the found world, mediating calculated and unconscious association to form a lexicon of gestures, symbols and allusion, the “artifacts of a life... the refuse and rejecta of days” (Seydel, 2007). These assembled fragments shift and chatter, at home in their homelessness, actors performing in their own lives, populating an invented world of similar orphans. Such accumulated, severed parts carry the injury of their cutting and retain the evidence of their source, binding loss to creation in a symbiosis of trauma and repair. Mourning and remembrance are deeply embedded in the histories and acts of such practices. Grievance, acceptance, and the fragility of life are conveyed in the 18th century allegorical arrangements of fetal specimens by Frederik Ruysch. A certain melancholy reverence colors Joseph Cornell's intimately tactile assemblages rendering the universe tangible in miniature, or made in devotion to unrequited loves. Preserved in stasis, these ghosts and idols are kept in a purgatory where fact and fiction, past and present are irrelevant distinctions. Catalogued and contained, the subject of loss is transferred to an artifact. Every thread, scrap and letter may be glued, gathered and placed in a museum, a tomb, a box, a page, ripe and open for possession. Holding on to grief and reveling in disrepair, we opt to be haunted. Forever unbalanced and in flux, the sublime of collage is its resolve to irresolution. For Robert, “Art, as creation and as sign of primary Imagination, is not objects but a state, a kind of fluid” (Seydel, 2007) Reflecting on his work, life, and death, I am drawn to my library and the myriad titles acquired through his inspiration. There is Daniel Spoerri's An Anecdoted Topography of Chance , Susan Stewart's On Longing , various Borges, Barthes, Perec, and especially Life: A User's Manual , which concludes that the perfect puzzle will have no solution. I think of the drawers of miscellaneous swallowed objects at the Mutter Museum, Ray Johnson coding the every day in riddles, Wallace Berman twisting tongues, and Susan Hiller laying every detail to bear. Collectors and makers working in endless cycles of observation, ingestion and display. Every gesture informs and is defined by others, every space is shaped by that which surrounds and fills it, the knot has an inner logic, the gigantic is not so different from the miniature, there is a world in every detail, and “All art is collage” (Seydel, 2011) These thoughts have molded my life, my art, and all the minutia that keep the two so profoundly intertwined; There is no difference between life and what we do with our time. “I write my life. I make me up.” What a gift to share this secret way of knowing the world, and to leave this knowledge for us to do with what we please. “Art begins in admiration” (Seydel, 2011) Lauren van Haaften-Schick is a curator, writer and artist based in New York. Upcoming curatorial projects include "Cancelled" at the Center for Book Arts, and "The Spirit of the Signal" at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York. Recent activities include the workshops "Market, Alternative" and "Alternative Art Economies" at Trade School and Momenta Art, and the e-flux Time/Store, New York. She is the founding director of two arts spaces in Northampton, MA and Philadelphia, PA. She received a BA in Art History and Studio Art from Hampshire college in 2006. Sura Levine on Robert Seydel If early on in his time at Hampshire College I was officially his “mentor,” Robert Seydel quickly became one of my great teachers. Over the years we talked about everything, from art, music, collage, and poetry, to campus politics, this latter far too often. It was always a sublime pleasure, if all too rarely done, to enter his apartment to look at his work in progress, to peruse his bookshelves where, inevitably, there were always new treats to examine. And, while he was working on his Book of Ruth , I was given the opportunity over the course of many meals at the Korean and other restaurants, to talk with him about image and poem ordering. To see how he thought through each comma, each juxtaposition across the gutters of the Book, was to watch a brilliant curator at work. Each day, I walk past his wonderful collaged portrait of Ruth, purchased, after much haggling, as a birthday present, a couple of years ago. And each day, I think how lucky I am to have known Robert as he produced this magnum opus. One of my greatest pleasures in 24 years at the College was to teach “The Collector” with Robert. One of my greatest regrets is that the magic we created together in the classroom will not, and cannot, be duplicated. Its various incarnations, its utter intelligence and magic, were all so deeply Robert’s. His was a mind that put poetry, philosophy, history of science, and history together with art, and art together with music. His intellect and eye were unparalleled. He introduced us to so many artists. He shared his fascination with the cabinets of curiosity of Aldrovandi, of Seba, and Peter the Great’s collection of fetal anomalies, as well as the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles. Robert knew them all and so many more. He was a walking encyclopedia, his home a great archive. Arcane knowledge, perhaps, but oh so important for another of Robert’s heroes, the mid-20th century Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers, whose name he invariably mispronounced as “Broadthayers.” In speaking his name, Robert would always look in my direction in a panic, and then he go on and maul it. I absolutely loved his various mispronunciations of French names and terms! “The Collector” was always filled with talented young artists, art historians, philosophers and writers who all came to understand the wondrous obsessions of the figure of the collector. Students in this course created dazzling projects each term. He always moved while looking and speaking. He read deeply, and commented on everyone’s work with wonderful generosity. Robert always found something to praise even in the least developed of projects. Robert inspired and mentored all of his students into making work that far exceeded their expectations—and ours. For those of you who were lucky enough to have been touched by or to have had an evaluation written by Robert, savor it, keep it, reread it, and share it. He loved working with you all; it is somehow fitting that he died while prepping yet another new course. Robert, it’s almost impossible to speak of you in the past tense, even though you left us a month ago. No doubt, if you knew about our gatherings and celebrations of you, you would be embarrassed that we are making a fuss over you; you always placed the focus on others rather than on yourself. This trait is exactly why so many people miss you now. We’re here to love you publicly as we all did privately for the eleven years you were among us. Robert, my very dear friend, you were an extraordinary artist—you were my brother of choice. My heart broke when yours did. I miss you profoundly. —Sura Levine, February 26, 2011 Sura Levine is a professor of art history at Hampshire College. Her field of specialty is 19th century Belgian and French art, particularly realism and impressionism. Having worked in museums for a number of years both prior to coming to the College, and, as guest curator and co-author of exhibition catalogues, she became particularly interested in the history of museum and trends in collecting. It was because of their shared interests that she and Robert Seydel developed their course, The Collector, which they co-taught for many years. (shrink)
In the literature, the nature of the relationships between memory processes and summary evaluations is still a debate. According to some theoretical approaches (e.g., “two-memory hypothesis”; Anderson, 1989) retrospective evaluations are based on the impression formed while attending to the to-be-assessed stimuli(on-line judgment) – no functional dependence between information retrieval and judgment is implied. Conversely, several theories entail that judgment must depend, at least in part, on memory processes (e.g., Dougherty, Gettys, & Ogden, 1999; Schwarz, 1998; Tversky & Kahneman, 1973). (...) The present study contributes to this debate by addressing two important issues. First, it shows how more comprehensive memory measures than those used previously (e.g., Hastie & Park, 1986) are necessary in order to detect a relationship between memory and retrospective evaluations. Secondly, it demonstrates how memory strategies influence the relationship between memory and judgment. Participants recalled lists of words, after having assessed each of them for their pleasantness. Results showed a clear association between memory and judgment, which was mediated by the individual strategies participants used to recall the items. (shrink)
RESUMO Este artigo apresenta e discute alguns resultados de uma pesquisa sobre um manuscrito sânscrito budista contendo o Guṇakāraṇḍavyūhasūtra, que foi investigado por meio de uma abordagem interdisciplinar com vistas a compreender as estratégias sociorreligiosas que permearam sua gênese narrativa em um novo milieu. Os resultados apontam para uma monumentalização narrativa do texto Mahāyāna original indiano - o Kāraṇḍavyūhasūtra - durante sua transposição para o contexto do budismo esotérico no Nepal. Por meio de um número crescente de molduras concêntricas, a (...) retórica cronológica e soteriológica do sūtra adquiriu uma transcendência discursiva que o transformou num maṇḍala textual, i.e., ele possui uma dimensão estrutural diretamente associada aos cosmogramas sagrados que permeiam os diferentes contextos dessa região. ABSTRACT This paper presents and discusses some results from a research conducted on a Buddhist Sanskrit manuscript containing the Guṇakāraṇḍavyūhasūtra, which was investigated by means of an interdisciplinary approach to understand the social and religious strategies, which permeated its narrative genesis in the new milieu. Results point to a narrative monumentalization of the original Indian Mahāyāna text - the Kāraṇḍavyūhasūtra - while it's being transposed into the Buddhist esoteric context in Nepal. Through an increasing number of framing devices, the chronological and soteriological rhetoric of the sūtra has acquired a discursive transcendence which transformed it into a textual maṇḍala, i.e., it presents a structural dimension directly associated with the sacred cosmograms which pervade different contexts of this region. (shrink)
If I say “we are now living in England” or “grass is green in summer’ or ‘the cat is on the mat’ what I say will normally be true or false—the statements are true if they correctly report how things are, or correspond to the facts; and if they do not do these things, they are false. Such a statement will only fail to have a truth-value if its referring expressions fail to refer ; or if the statement lies on (...) the border between truth and falsity so that it is as true to say that the statement is true as to say that it is false. Are moral judgments normally true or false in the way in which the above statements are true or false? I will term the view that they are objectivism and the view that they are not subjectivism. The objectivist maintains that it is as much a fact about an action that it is right or wrong as that it causes pain or takes a long time to perform. The subjectivist maintains that saying than an action is right or wrong is not stating a fact about it but merely expressing approval of it or commending it or doing some such similar thing. I wish in this paper, first, to show that all arguments for subjectivism manifestly fail, and secondly to produce a strong argument for objectivism. But, to start with, some preliminaries. (shrink)
If there is room for a substantial conception of the will in contemporary theorizing about human agency, it is most likely to be found in the vicinity of the phenomenon of normativity. Rational agency is distinctively responsive to the agent's acknowledgment of reasons, in the basic sense of considerations that speak for and against the alternatives for action that are available. Furthermore, it is natural to suppose that this kind of responsiveness to reasons is possible only for creatures who possess (...) certain unusual volitional powers, beyond the bare susceptibility to beliefs and desires necessary for the kind of rudimentary agency of which the higher animals are arguably capable. (shrink)
On what grounds will the rational man become a Christian? It is often assumed by many, especially non-Christians, that he will become a Christian if and only if he judges that the evidence available to him shows that it is more likely than not that the Christian theological system is true, that, in mathematical terms, on the evidence available to him, the probability of its truth is greater than half. It is the purpose of this paper to investigate whether or (...) not this is a necessary and sufficient condition for the rational man to adopt Christianity. (shrink)
We argue that thoughts are structures of concepts, and that concepts should be individuated by their origins, rather than in terms of their semantic or epistemic properties. Many features of cognition turn on the vehicles of content, thoughts, rather than on the nature of the contents they express. Originalism makes concepts available to explain, with no threat of circularity, puzzling cases concerning thought. In this paper, we mention Hesperus/Phosphorus puzzles, the Evans-Perry example of the ship seen through different windows, and (...) Mates cases, and we believe that there are many additional applications. (shrink)
This Companion provides a fresh and comprehensive account of this outstanding work, which remains among the most frequently read works of Greek philosophy, indeed of Classical antiquity in general. The sixteen essays, by authors who represent various academic disciplines, bring a spectrum of interpretive approaches to bear in order to aid the understanding of a wide-ranging audience, from first-time readers of the Republic who require guidance, to more experienced readers who wish to explore contemporary currents in the work’s interpretation. The (...) three initial chapters address aspects of the work as a whole. They are followed by essays that match closely the sequence in which topics are presented in the ten books of the Republic. Since the Republic returns frequently to the same topics by different routes, so do the authors of this volume, who provide the readers with divergent yet complementary perspectives by which to appreciate the Republic’s principal concerns. (shrink)
I propose to begin with some fairly unexciting and uncontroversial remarks about possibility-statements, and then in their light to examine two problems philosophers have raised about certain statements of this kind which might be made in Christian theology where it touches on the doctrine of the Incarnation.
Mr Olding's recent attack on my exposition of the argument from design gives me an opportunity to defend the central theses of my original article. My article pointed out that there were arguments from design of two types—those which take as their premisses regularities of copresence and those which take as their premisses regularities of succession. I sought to defend an argument of the second type. One merit of such an argument is that there is no doubt about the truth (...) of its premisses. Almost all objects in the world behave in a highly regular way describable by scientific laws. Further, any scientific explanation of such a regularity must invoke some more general regularity. The most general regularities of all are, as such, scientifically inexplicable. The question arises whether there is a possible explanation of another kind which can be provided for them, and whether their occurrence gives any or much support to that explanation. I urged that we do explain some phenomena by explanation of an entirely different kind from the scientific. We explain states of affairs by the action of agents who bring them about intentionally of their own choice. Regularities of succession, as well as other phenomena may be explained in this way. Explanation of this kind I will term intentional explanation. Intentional explanation of some phenomenon E consists in adducing an agent A who brought E about of his own choice and a further end G which, he believed, would be forwarded by the production of E. (shrink)
The ‘traditional’ view among philosophical theologians, that God is eternal not merely in the sense of being everlasting but in the sense of being outside time altogether, has come under sharp criticism in recent years, both from biblical theologians and from philosophers. It is against the latter form of attack, particularly as represented by the detailed criticisms of Professor Nelson Pike, that I wish to try and defend the notion of a divine timelessness.
R. Jay Wallace argues in this book that moral accountability hinges on questions of fairness: When is it fair to hold people morally responsible for what they do? Would it be fair to do so even in a deterministic world? To answer these questions, we need to understand what we are doing when we hold people morally responsible, a stance that Wallace connects with a central class of moral sentiments, those of resentment, indignation, and guilt. To hold someone responsible, he (...) argues, is to be subject to these reactive emotions in one's dealings with that person. Developing this theme with unusual sophistication, he offers a new interpretation of the reactive emotions and traces their role in our practices of blame and moral sanction. With this account in place, Wallace advances a powerful and sustained argument against the common view that accountability requires freedom of will. Instead, he maintains, the fairness of holding people responsible depends on their rational competence: the power to grasp moral reasons and to control their behavior accordingly. He shows how these forms of rational competence are compatible with determinism. At the same time, giving serious consideration to incompatibilist concerns, Wallace develops a compelling diagnosis of the common assumption that freedom is necessary for responsibility. Rigorously argued, eminently readable, this book touches on issues of broad concern to philosophers, legal theorists, political scientists, and anyone with an interest in the nature and limits of responsibility. (shrink)
Abstract In this article, which is the first of two to examine the ideas of R. S. Peters on moral education, consideration is given to his justificatory arguments found in Ethics and Education. Here he employs presupposition arguments to show to what anyone engaging in moral discourse is committed. The result is a group of procedural principles which are recommended to be employed in moral education. This article is an attempt to examine the presupposition arguments Peters employs, to comment on (...) the procedural principles he believes are presupposed, and to consider the strength of the presupposition argument. My conclusion is that Peters's arguments fail to establish the conclusion he arrives at, and that any gains from the form of argument he uses are hollow. (shrink)
This essay is a review of Ronald Dworkin's recent essay on equality of resources. Many of the ideas discussed by Dworkin have also been examined by economists with, I believe, considerable insight. Unfortunately, economists tend to write for economists, not for philosophers, and their insights are seldom communicated properly to noneconomists. Of course, the same criticism can be levied on philosophers! But perhaps legal theorists are less subject to this criticism. One of the great contributions of Dworkin is that he (...) is very readable; and the quality of his exposition makes these ideas accessible to a wide audience of philosophers, lawyers, and social scientists in general. (shrink)
Markets, it is sometimes said, are hard on discrimination. An employer who finds himself refusing to hire qualified blacks and women will, in the long run, lose out to those who are willing to draw from a broader labor pool. Employer discrimination amounts to a self-destructive “taste” – self-destructive because employers who indulge that taste add to the costs of doing business. Added costs can only hurt. To put it simply, bigots are weak competitors. The market will drive them out. (...) On this account, the persistence of employment discrimination on the basis of race and sex presents something of a puzzle. And if markets are an ally of equality and a foe of employment discrimination, perhaps discrimination persists because of something other than markets. Perhaps labor unions are to blame; perhaps the real culprit is the extensive federal regulation of the employment market, including minimum-wage and maximum-hour laws and unemployment compensation. If competitive markets drive out discrimination, the problem for current federal policy lies not in the absence of aggressive anti-discrimination law, but instead in the absence of truly competitive markets. If this account is correct, the prescription for the future of anti-discrimination law is to seek ways to free up employers from the wide range of governmental disabilities – including, in fact, anti-discrimination law itself. The argument seems to be bolstered by the fact that some groups subject to past and present prejudice – most notably, Jews and Asian-Americans – have made substantial progress in employment at least in part because of the operation of competitive markets. (shrink)
… the supreme end, the happiness of all mankind. The law concerning punishment is a Categorical Imperative; and woe to him who rummages around in the winding paths of a theory of happiness, looking for some advantage to be gained by releasing the criminal from punishment or by reducing the amount of it.
G. E. Moore's ‘A Defence of Common Sense’ has generated the kind of interest and contrariety which often accompany what is new, provocative, and even important in philosophy. Moore himself reportedly agreed with Wittgenstein's estimate that this was his best article, while C. D. Broad has lamented its very great but largely unfortunate influence. Although the essay inspired Wittgenstein to explore the basis of Moore's claim to know many propositions of common sense to be true, A. J. Ayer judges its (...) enduring value to lie in provoking a more sophisticated conception of the very type of metaphysics which disputes any such unqualified claim of certainty. (shrink)
In late January of 1987, the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, R. Budd Dwyer, shot himself to death in front of a dozen reporters and camera crews during a news conference in his office. Much was subsequently made in the popular press, and within the profession, about the difficult ethical decision television journalists were faced with in determining how much of the very graphic suicide tape to air. A review of the literature in this area suggests, however, that journalists have established (...) a set of relatively detailed conventions for dealing with events involving graphic depictions of death. Analysis of the Dwyer tape and interviews conducted with Pennsylvania television news directors show that eighteen of the twenty stations in the state that carry news used basically the same type and amount of footage in their evening newscasts. One decided to use no tape. One showed the moment of death. When the story broke around noon, two additional stations showed the moment of suicide, but they revised their story for the evening program. In addition, the wide majority of news directors interviewed said they had little difficulty in deciding how to edit the tape. The processing of the Dwyer story suggests that any ethical dilemmas faced by journalists during decision making were put aside for later consideration. The material was edited quickly and according to similar patterns, or conventions, around the state. The study suggests greater attention be given to the definition and interaction of personal professional values, in the ethical sense, and norms of news processing, in the sociological sense. (shrink)
I had a strange dream, or half-waking vision, not long ago. I found myself at the top of a mountain in the mist, feeling very pleased with myself, not just for having climbed the mountain, but for having achieved my life's ambition, to find a way of answering moral questions rationally. But as I was preening myself on this achievement, the mist began to clear, and I saw that I was surrounded on the mountain top by the graves of all (...) those other philosophers, great and small, who had had the same ambition, and thought they had achieved it. And I have come to see, reflecting on my dream, that, ever since, the hard-working philosophical worms have been nibbling away at their systems and showing that the achievement was an illusion. True, their skeletons, indigestible to worms, remained, and were surprisingly similar to one another. But I was led to think again about what one can, and what one cannot, achieve in this direction. (shrink)
In this paper I ask whether in Aristotle's metaphysical system the form of a non-living sensible substance, such as the form of this house, is or is not universal. I argue that his position as it stands is self-contradictory, and then try to give some account of the pressures that led to this central contradiction in Aristotle's metaphysical thought.
My argument will be that our understanding of human beings, which is what I take the Christian doctrine of man to be concerned with, will benefit considerably from an examination of two different but related clusters of human attitudes which can be found respectively under the headings ‘optimism’ and ‘pessimism’. There are many pitfalls in the way of such an enterprise, and occasionally some prejudices to be overcome. For example L. E. Loemker in the relevant articles in the Encyclopedia of (...) Philosophy concludes a fairly lengthy discussion with the rather terminal judgement. (shrink)
E.R. Dodds’ 1959 edition of Plato’s Gorgias is a conventional treatment of this dialogue, aimed at audiences interested in close study of the text. Dodds himself regretted this outcome. He felt he had lost sight of an earlier goal, formulated at a time of political turmoil on the eve of WorldWar II, of using the Gorgias to bring out ‘both the resemblance and the difference between Plato’s situation and that of the intellectual today’. The present paper attempts to reconstruct that (...) goal, as it survives residually in his edition, surfaces in his The Greeks and the Irrational, and appears in some writings from the 1930s, particularly in unpublished lectures. Dodds did frequently juxtapose ancient and modern conceptions of the intellectual, and in a way that cast Plato in a positive light, as someone politically engaged and self-critical, and acutely sensitive, as Dodds himself was, to the political implications of social psychology. (shrink)
Arguments move from premises to conclusions. The premises state things taken temporally for granted; if the argument works, the premises provide grounds for affirming the conclusion. A valid deductive argument is one in which the premises necessitate, that is, entail, the conclusion. What I shall call a ‘correct’ inductive argument is one in which the premises in some degree probabilify the conclusion, but do not necessitate it. More precisely, in what I shall call a correct P -inductive argument the premises (...) make the conclusion probable ; in what I shall call a correct C -inductive argument, the premises add to the probability of the conclusion . Arguments only show their conclusions to be true if they start from true premises; arguments of the above types which work and do start from such premises I will call sound arguments. Arguments are only of use to show to an individual that the conclusion is true if he already knows the premises to be true. Most of what I shall have to say today concerns arguments with respect to which there is no doubt that the premises are true. (shrink)