Advocates of the use of intuitions in philosophy argue that they are treated as evidence because they are evidential. Their opponents agree that they are treated as evidence, but argue that they should not be so used, since they are the wrong kinds of things. In contrast to both, we argue that, despite appearances, intuitions are not treated as evidence in philosophy whether or not they should be. Our positive account is that intuitions are a subclass of inclinations to believe. (...) Our thesis explains why intuitions play a role in persuasion and inquiry, without conceding that they are evidential. The account also makes predictions about the structure of intuitions that are confirmed by independent arguments. (shrink)
Many philosophers claim that intuitions are evidential. Yet it is hard to see how introspecting one's mental states could provide evidence for such synthetic truths as those concerning, for example, the abstract and the counterfactual. Such considerations have sometimes been taken to lead to mentalism---the view that philosophy must concern itself only with matters of concept application or other mind-dependent topics suited to a contemplative approach---but this provides us with a poor account of what it is that philosophers take themselves (...) to be doing, for many of them are concerned with the extra-mental facts about the universe. Evidentialism therefore gestates a disaster for philosophy, for it ultimately demands an epistemology for the investigation into such matter as the abstract and the modal that simply will not be forthcoming. We make a different suggestion: That intuitions are inclinations to believe. Hence, according to us, a philosophical argument does well, as a socio-rhetorical matter of fact, when it is founded on premises philosophers are generally inclined to believe, whether or not those inclinations to believe connect appropriately to the extra-mental facts. Accordingly, the role of intuitions (inclinations to believe) in philosophical methodology is non-evidential, and the question of how they could be used as evidence falls away. (shrink)
The transparency argument concludes that we're directly aware of external properties and not directly aware of the properties of experience. Focusing on the presentation used by Michael Tye (2002) I contend that the argument requires experience to have content that it cannot plausibly have. I attribute the failure to a faulty account of the transparency phenomenon and conclude by suggesting an alternative understanding that is independently plausible, is not an error-theory and yet renders the transparency of experience compatible with mental-paint (...) style views. (shrink)
According to orthodox views of philosophical methodology, when philosophers appeal to intuitions, they treat them as evidence for their contents. Call this “descriptive evidentialism.” Descriptive evidentialism is assumed both by those who defend the epistemic status of intuitions and by those, including many experimental philosophers, who criticize it. This article shows, however, that the idea that philosophers treat intuitions as evidence struggles to account for the way philosophers treat intuitions in a variety of philosophical contexts. In particular, it cannot account (...) for philosophers' treatment of a priori intuitions, for nonpropositional uses of intuition, and for philosophers' failure to use intuition to exclude the counterintuitive. The article concludes that alternatives to descriptive evidentialism (some of which are sketched) must be developed, and that much of the recent debate between traditionalists and skeptics from, for example, experimental philosophy is probably based on a false presupposition. (shrink)
From the assumption that the presence of consciousness is detectable, in the first instance, only from behavioral indicators, I offer a proof to the effect that, with respect to any theory T that states that some particular state or process is the neural correlate of consciousness, there are always rival neural correlates that, from T’s perspective, can never be empirically ruled out. That's because, with respect to these states, the means of detecting consciousness is disrupted along with the empirical test. (...) Possible responses are discussed. (shrink)
Williamson (2000) [Knowledge and its Limits, Oxford: Oxford University Press] argues that attempts to substitute narrow mental states or narrow/environmental composites for broad and factive mental states will result in poorer explanations of behavior. I resist Williamson.
I show how a robot with what looks like a hard problem of consciousness might emerge from the earnest attempt to make a robot that is smart and self-reflective. This problem arises independently of any assumption to the effect that the robot is conscious, but deserves to be thought of as related to the human problem in virtue of the fact that (1) the problem is one the robot encounters when it tries to naturalistically reduce its own subjective states (2) (...) it seems incredibly difficult from the robot’s own naturalist perspective and, most importantly, (3) it invites the robot to engage in the exact same metaphysical responses as humans offer to the problem of consciousness. Despite the fact that it invites the robot to consider extravagant metaphysical solutions, the problem I explore is purely algorithmic. The robot cannot complete its naturalist physicalist reduction as a matter of algorithmic fact, whether or not the naturalist physicalist reduction would be correct as a matter of metaphysical fact. It is hoped that by reproducing the familiar seeming problem in an artificial context, a greater understanding of the human problem of consciousness can be achieved. (shrink)
I show that the recursive structure of Leibniz's Law requires agents to perform infinitely many operations to psychologically identify the referents of phenomenal and physical concepts, even though the referents of ordinary concepts (e.g. Hesperus and Phosphorus) can be identified in a finite number of steps. The resulting problem resembles the hard problem of consciousness in the fact that it appears (and indeed is) unsolvable by anyone for whom it arises, and in the fact that it invites dualist and eliminativist (...) responses. Moreover, if this is the hard problem then we can predict that regardless of the strength of the argument for physicalism, and regardless of physicalism's truth, an ineliminable dissatisfaction is bound to accompany any physicalist theory of consciousness. Accordingly, I suggest that this is the hard problem of consciousness, and therefore that the hard problem arises from a recursively degenerate application of Leibniz's Law. (shrink)
BernardMolyneux presents some new arguments against descriptive evidentialism about intuitions. Descriptive evidentialism is the thesis that philosophers use intuitions as evidence. Molyneux's arguments are that: the propositions that intuition putatively supports are treated as having a degree and kind of certainty and justification that they could not have got from being intuited; intuitions influence us in ways we cannot explain by supposing we treat them as evidence; and certain strong intuitions that persuade us of their contents (...) are treated as inadmissible in the context of justification. This article presents a partial defence of descriptive evidentialism against these new arguments. (shrink)
According to Herman Cappelen and BernardMolyneux, it is widely assumed that intuitions are used as evidence for philosophical theories in all areas of philosophy. Philosophers’ self-image, however, is wrong. This wrong self-image, so they argue, has merely misled metaphilosophers, but has had no substantial implications for philosophical practices. This article examines the role of intuitions in the project of defining art. In accordance with Cappelen and Molyneux, I demonstrate that philosophers of art believe intuitions are used (...) as evidence for their definitions of art and that this belief is false. In contrast with Cappelen and Molyneux, I maintain that philosophers of art’s false self-image causes substantial damage to their philosophical practice. Firstly, intuitions often are used as persuaders, while, in fact, they do not add philosophical force to the defended position. Secondly, and more importantly, intuition-talk and philosophers’ wrong self-image are partly responsible for the confusi.. (shrink)
(This paper will appear in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. The Accepted Version will be posted when it is published.) -/- Molyneux's Question (MQ) concerns whether a newly sighted man would recognize/distinguish a sphere and a cube by vision, assuming he could previously do this by touch. We argue that (MQ) splits into questions about (a) shared representations of space in different perceptual systems, and about (b) shared ways of constructing higher dimensional spatiotemporal features from information about lower dimensional (...) ones, most of the technical difficulty centring on (b). So understood, MQ resists any monolithic answer: everything depends on the constraints faced by particular perceptual systems in extracting features of higher dimensionality from those of lower. Each individual question of this type is empirical and must be investigated separately. We present several variations on MQ based on different levels of dimensional integration—some of these are familiar, some novel adaptations of problems known elsewhere, and some completely novel. Organizing these cases in this way is useful because it unifies a set of disparate questions about intermodal transfer that have held philosophical and psychological interest, suggests a new range of questions of the same type, sheds light on similarities and differences between members of the family, and allows us to formulate a much-augmented set of principles and questions concerning the intermodal transfer of spatiotemporal organization. (shrink)
Schwenkler (2012) criticizes a 2011 experiment by R. Held and colleagues purporting to answer Molyneux’s question. Schwenkler proposes two ways to re-run the original experiment: either by allowing subjects to move around the stimuli, or by simplifying the stimuli to planar objects rather than three-dimensional ones. In Schwenkler (2013) he expands on and defends the former. I argue that this way of re-running the experiment is flawed, since it relies on a questionable assumption that newly sighted subjects will be (...) able to appreciate depth cues. I then argue that the second way of re-running the experiment is successful both in avoiding the flaw of original Held experiment, and in avoiding the problem with the first way of re-running the experiment. (shrink)
Amongst those who answered Molyneux’s question in the negative or at least not in the positive, George Berkeley is of particular interest because he argued for a very radical position. Most of his contribution to the discussion can be found in his Essay towards a New Theory of Vision. I will give an exposition of his view (2) and then move on to a critical discussion of this kind of view, - what one could call the “Berkeleian view” (3). (...) I think that the problems of what has become a standard negative answer to the question (mainly brought forward by empiricists) become very clear in Berkeley’s case and one can also learn a lot from this. (shrink)
A common and enduring early modern intuition is that materialists reduce organisms in general and human beings in particular to automata. Wasn’t a famous book of the time entitled L’Homme-Machine? In fact, the machine is employed as an analogy, and there was a specifically materialist form of embodiment, in which the body is not reduced to an inanimate machine, but is conceived as an affective, flesh-and-blood entity. We discuss how mechanist and vitalist models of organism exist in a more complementary (...) relation than hitherto imagined, with conceptions of embodiment resulting from experimental physiology. From La Mettrie to Bernard, mechanism, body and embodiment are constantly overlapping, modifying and overdetermining one another; embodiment came to be scientifically addressed under the successive figures of vie organique and then milieu intérieur, thereby overcoming the often lamented divide between scientific image and living experience. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions of Molyneux's problem within contemporary philosophy of mind tend to characterize the problem as primarily concerned with the role innately known principles, amodal spatial concepts, and rational cognitive faculties play in our perceptual lives. Indeed, for broadly similar reasons, rationalists have generally advocated an affirmative answer, while empiricists have generally advocated a negative one, to the question Molyneux posed after presenting his famous thought experiment. This historical characterization of the dialectic, however, somewhat obscures the role (...) class='Hi'>Molyneux's problem has played in spawning debates within the empiricist tradition. Fortunately, the differences between various empiricist accounts have been widely recognized and discussed among historians of philosophy working on the topic. The focus of the present essay is to develop an interpretation of John Locke's views on Molyneux's problem that best coheres with his other views on human understanding as well as with the predominant scientific opinion about the nature of perception during the period in which he lived. (shrink)
This paper develops Bernard Williams’s suggestion that for philosophy to ignore its history is for it to assume that its history is vindicatory. The paper aims to offer a fruitful line of inquiry into the question whether philosophy has a vindicatory history by providing a map of possible answers to it. It first distinguishes three types of history: the history of discovery, the history of progress, and the history of change. It then suggests that much of philosophy lacks a (...) vindicatory history, for reasons that reflect philosophy’s character as a humanistic discipline. On this basis, the paper reconstructs Williams’s conception of what it means for philosophy to engage with its own history. The paper concludes that it is a mistake to think that a vindicatory history is what we would really like to have, and that in fact, the resulting picture gives philosophy several reasons to engage with its own history. (shrink)
There have recently been various empirical attempts to answer Molyneux’s question, for example, the experiments undertaken by the Held group. These studies, though intricate, have encountered some objections, for instance, from Schwenkler, who proposes two ways of improving the experiments. One is “to re-run [the] experiment with the stimulus objects made to move, and/or the subjects moved or permitted to move with respect to them” (p. 94), which would promote three dimensional or otherwise viewpoint-invariant representations. The other is “to (...) use geometrically simpler shapes, such as the cube and sphere in Molyneux’s original proposal, or planar figures instead of three-dimensional solids” (p. 188). Connolly argues against the first modification but agrees with the second. In this article, I argue that the second modification is also problematic (though still surmountable), and that both Schwenkler and Connolly are too optimistic about the prospect of addressing Molyneux’s question empirically. (shrink)
Molyneux’s question, whether the newly sighted might immediately recognize tactilely familiar shapes by sight alone, has produced an array of answers over three centuries of debate and discussion. I propose the first pluralist response: many different answers, both yes and no, are individually sufficient as an answer to the question as a whole. I argue that this is possible if we take the question to be cluster concept of sub-problems. This response opposes traditional answers that isolate specific perceptual features (...) as uniquely applicable to Molyneux’s question and grant viability to only one reply. Answering Molyneux’s question as a cluster concept may also serve as a methodology for resolving other philosophical problems. (shrink)
Ordinary common sense suggests that we have just one set of shape concepts that we apply indifferently on the bases of sight and touch. Yet we understand the shape concepts, we know what shape properties are, only because we have experience of shapes. And phenomenal experience of shape in vision and phenomenal experience of shape in touch seem to be quite different. So how can the shape concepts we grasp and use on the basis of vision be the same as (...) the shape concepts we grasp and use on the basis of touch? I think this is the intuitive puzzle that underlies the question sent by the Dublin lawyer Molyneux to John Locke. This concerns a man born blind, who learns by the use of his touch to discriminate cubes from spheres. Suppose him now to gain the use of his sight. And suppose him to be presented with a cube and a sphere, of nighly the same bigness. Quaere, will he be able to tell, by the use of his vision alone, which is the sphere, and which the cube? (Locke 1975, II/ix/8.). (shrink)
What philosophical issue or issues does Molyneux’s question raise? I concentrate on two. First, are there any properties represented in both touch and vision? Second, for any such common perceptible, is it represented in the same way in each, so that the two senses support a single concept of that property? I show that there is space for a second issue here, describe its precise relations to Molyneux’s question, and argue for its philosophical significance. I close by arguing (...) that Gareth Evans conflated the two issues, and thereby provide further grounds for distinguishing them. (shrink)
After more than three centuries, Molyneux's question continues to challenge our understanding of cognition and perceptual systems. Locke, the original recipient of the question, approached it as a theoretical exercise relevant to long-standing philosophical issues, such as nativism, the possibility of common sensibles, and the empiricism-rationalism debate. However, philosophers were quick to adopt the experimentalist's stance as soon as they became aware of recoveries from congenital blindness through ophtalmic surgery. Such recoveries were widely reported to support empiricist positions, suggesting (...) that the question had found its empirical answer. Contrary to this common view, we argue that studies of patients recovering from early blindness through surgery cannot provide an answer. In fact, because of the very nature of such ophtalmological interventions it is impossible to test the question in the empirical conditions outlined by Molyneux. Thus we propose that Molyneux's question be treated as an early thought experiment of a specific kind. Although thought experiments of this kind cannot be turned into actual experimental conditions, they provide a conceptual restructuring of theories. Such restructuring in turn leads to new predictions that can then be tested by normal experiments. In accord with this interpretation, we show that Molyneux's question can be analyzed into a hierarchy of specific questions about vision in its phenomenal and sensory-motor components. Some of these questions do lead to actual experimental conditions that could be studied empirically. (shrink)
Laura Berchielli - Color, Space and Figure in Locke: An Interpretation of the Molyneux Problem - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40:1 Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.1 47-65 Color, Space, and Figure in Locke: An Interpretation of the Molyneux Problem Laura Berchielli THIS IS HOW LOCKE, in the second edition of his Essay Concerning Human Understanding , introduces a question that had been suggested to him in a letter from William Molyneux: . . . (...) I shall here insert a Problem of that very Ingenious and Studious promoter of Knowledge, the Learned and Worthy Mr. Molineux, which he was pleased to send me in a Letter some Months since; and it is this: Suppose a Man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a Cube, and a Sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and t'other, which is the Cube, which the Sphere. Suppose then the Cube and Sphere placed on a Table, and the Blind Man to be made to see. Quaere, Whether by his Sight, before he touch'd them, he could now distinguish, and tell, which is the Globe, which the Cube. In the standard interpretation of the Molyneux problem as presented in Locke, the question is always linked to the general issue of differences in the ideas of figure received by the various senses. This interpretation -- put forward by Berkeley --says that for Locke, the ideas of figure produced by sight are specifically different from.. (shrink)
Molyneux’s Question, also known as Molyneux’s Problem, soon became a fulcrum for early research in the epistemology of concepts, challenging common intuitions about how our concepts originate, whether sensory features differentiate concepts, and how concepts are utilized in novel contexts. It was reprinted and discussed by a wide range of early modern philosophers, including Gottfried Leibniz, George Berkeley, and Adam Smith, and was perhaps the most important problem in the burgeoning discipline of psychology of the 18th Century. The (...) question has since undergone various stages of development, both as a mental exercise and as an experimental paradigm, garnering a variety of both affirmative and negative replies in the next three centuries of debate and deliberation. (shrink)
Might the once-blind recognize shapes familiar to the touch by sight alone? “Not”, replied both Locke and the question’s designer, William Molyneux. Leibniz, by contrast, replied, “yes” to Molyneux’s Question. However, Leibniz’s reason for his affirmative answer has yet to be discussed directly with any depth, a lacuna this paper seeks to address. The main contention of this paper is that Leibniz cannot think that sensory representations based on the sight and touch of shape sufficient for this task, (...) as several commentators have suggested. Rather, I argue that Leibniz’s answer is based on the ability of the once-blind to unconsciously employ “common sensibles,” representations of shape that are independent of sight and touch. (shrink)
As a response to what I see as the challenge posed by constructivist and narrative pedagogies, this paper seeks to sympathetically reconstruct Bernard Williams’ Absolute Conception from the scattered texts in which he briefly sketched it While ultimately defending the Absolute Conception or something close enough to it, the paper criticizes and distances itself from some aspects of Williams’ version, notably his conception of philosophy as insurmountably perspectival. Williams’ understanding of perspectival knowledge as contrasted to absolute knowledge is illustrated (...) with the concrete, if fictional case of the Dr Manhattan character from Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (2009). Adrian Moore’s reading, and Hilary Putnam’s criticisms of Williams’ Absolute Conception are amongst the positions engaged with. (shrink)
Reid’s discussion of Molyneux’s question has been neglected. The Inquiry discusses the question twice, offering opposing answers. The first discussion treats the underlying issue as concerning common perceptibles of touch and vision, and in particular whether in vision we originally perceive depth. Although it is tempting to treat the second discussion as doing the same, this would render pointless various novel features Reid introduces in reformulating Molyneux’s question. Rather, the issue now is whether the blind can form a (...) reasonable conception of visual appearances, a conception that would allow them to perform Molyneux’s task. In explaining why Reid thought they can, I draw on his account of primary quality concepts as independent of sensation; of concept possession as ability, not acquaintance with sensation; and of visual appearance itself as in key part a matter of the perception of a primary quality, visible figure. Thus the issue does not concern cross-modality, what vision has in common with touch; but how even what is central in vision is amodal, able to be grasped independently of any sensory mode. Reid’s second Molyneux discussion thereby forms a focus for the Inquiry’s central claims, and the rejection of the Ideal Theory they entail. (shrink)
This article examines the sources from Ancient philosophy used by Bernard Manin in The principles of representative government, on which he based the main arguments of his political theory. Manin, almost in an unspoken way, will occasionally return – both in his own reflections and through engagement in dialogue with others – to diverse interpretations of Athenian democracy that arise controversy to the meaning of his work. This results in an endorsement of the validity of Athenian democracy as a (...) model case for the understanding of modern democracies. This article points out, firstly, that both the author and his work are criss-crossed by an intellectual tension of a marked philosophical and political character; secondly, that this tension, along with the discussions over a definition of what is a good democracy, opens a space for clarification of those controversies. The disputes, we will conclude, are not the result of misunderstandings; or if they are, they make sense in Bernard Manin’s own text. (shrink)
Research in modern biology has largely been developed according to two main ways of inquiry, as they were outlined by Charles Darwin and Claude Bernard. Each stands for a specific approach to the living corresponding to two different methodological rules: the principle of natural selection and the principle of causation.
In December 1924 when Simone de Beauvoir almost certainly wrote her essay analyzing Claude Bernard's "Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine," a classic text in the philosophy of science, she was a 16 yr old student in a senior-level philosophy class at a private Catholic girls' school. Given the popular conception of existentialism as anti science, Beauvoir's early interest in science, reflected in her baccalaureate successes as well as her paper on Bernard, may be surprising. But her (...) enthusiasm for Bernard is unmistakable. We have identified three themes in Beauvoir's essay that reappear in her later work, including the valuing of philosophical doubt. (shrink)
An important shift occurs in Martin Heidegger’s thinking one year after the publication of Being and Time , in the Appendix to the Metaphysical Foundations of Logic . The shift is from his project of fundamental ontology—which provides an existential analysis of human existence on an ontological level—to metontology . Metontology is a neologism that refers to the ontic sphere of human experience and to the regional ontologies that were excluded from Being and Time. It is within metontology, Heidegger states, (...) that “the question of ethics may be raised for the first time.” This paper makes explicit both Heidegger’s argument for metontology , and the relation between metontology and ethics. In examining what he means by “the art of existing,” the paper argues that there is an ethical dimension to Heidegger’s thinking that corresponds to a moderate form of moral particularism. In order to justify this position, a comparative analysis is made between Heidegger, Aristotle, and Bernard Williams. (shrink)
Este artigo busca expor as críticas de Bernardo de Claraval às superfluidades humanas no texto da Apologia, especialmente aquelas referentes à arte arquitetural. Em segundo lugar, procura analisar as implicações estéticas do ascetismo cisterciense e bernardiano. As críticas de Bernardo exercem uma influência decisiva na ornamentação e fazem nascer uma nova arquitetura. This paper is to expose the criticism of human superfluities at Bernard of Clairvaux in the text of the Apology, especially those related to architectural art. Secondly, analyzes (...) the aesthetic implications of cistercian and bernardian asceticism. Criticism of Bernard exercise a decisive influence on ornamentation and give birth to a new architecture. (shrink)
This work will examine the concept of soul developed in mysticism of abbot Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). For this, I will analyze extracts of five writings namely the Third Series of Sentences, three of his Liturgical Sermons, and the parabola The Three Children of the King.
he concept of the Formalesque preoccupied Bernard Smith during the last decades of his life. First propounded in Modernism's History (1998), the Formalesque is a proposed period style describing the art of the 20th century. Yet, despite his ambitions for the Formalesque as a new classification for modern art, the idea failed to appeal to academic art history. This paper does not attempt to salvage the Formalesque from art-historical obscurity. But it does argue Smith's work on this topic is (...) relevant by virtue of the contribution it makes to debates about modernism and art history. Although Smith's thesis emphasizes the necessity of period styles and the perennial development of art history, paradoxically, the Formalesque also highlights the limitations of art history. If the Formalesque has a place in art historiography, it belongs to a speculative discourse describing the end of the history of art. (shrink)
The reduplication argument advanced by Bernard Williams in 1956 has greatly stimulated the contemporary debate on personal identity. The argument relies on a famous thought experiment that, although not new in the history of philosophy, has engaged some of the most influential contemporary philosophers on the topic. I propose here an interpretation of the argument and a reconstruction of the early reception that Williams’ paper had in the 6 years immediately after its publication. The works discussed include papers by (...) C. B. Martin, G. C. Nerlich, R. Coburn, and J. M. Shorter. (shrink)
This article is a discussion of Bernard Bosanquet's paper 'The Reality of the General Will', in which its main arguments and motivations are explained. His position is compared to Rousseau's on the general will.
The paper reviews links between Bernard Lonergan's theory of innovative economic growth and cycles, and the ideas of Friedrich Hayek, John Maynard Keynes, and Joseph Schumpeter. They were contemporary economists, who remain influential today. For Lonergan, although markets define what is bought and sold in an exchange economy, production decisions are more fundamental. These decisions are choices about the direction of development, the standard of living, and variations in the distribution of wealth in a modern society. The paper shows (...) how Lonergan's pure cycle theory extends mainstream theory to include a broader view of human behaviour and choice. (shrink)
This essay deals with a set of distinctive themes in the thought of Bernard Williams, and focuses on two aspects they all have in common. These are, on the one hand, the idea that the philosophical enterprise is intrinsically reflective in nature, and, on the other, a preoccupation with human beings singly regarded as individuals. By bringing these two constants to the fore, individually and in their interrelations, the essay formulates the general lines of an alternative reading of Williams, (...) revealing a more unitary understanding of his philosophy than has hitherto been allowed. (shrink)
Pytanie Molyneux brzmi następująco: „Wystawmy sobie, iż niewidomy od urodzenia, obecnie człowiek dorosły, nauczył się odróżniać dotykiem sześcian od kuli i że stojący opodal ów niewidomy przejrzał; zapytuję, czy za pomocą odzyskanego wzroku, zanim dotknie tych przedmiotów, będzie mógł je rozpoznać i powiedzieć, który z nich jest kulą, a który sześcianem?” W niniejszym artykule wskazuję, że odpowiedź twierdząca, udzielona na to pytanie przez brytyjskiego filozofa Garetha Evansa jest nieprzekonująca, przede wszystkim dlatego, iż Evans nieświadomie pomija ilościowy czynnik dostępności informacji (...) zawartej w doświadczeniu zmysłowym. (shrink)
Like Bernard Mandeville, Archibald Campbell develops a profoundly egoistic conception of human psychology. However, Campbell attacks numerous points in Mandeville’s moral philosophy, in particular Mandeville’s treatment of self-love, the desire for esteem, and human nature in general as corrupt. He also criticises Mandeville’s corresponding insistence on self-denial and his rigorist conception of luxury. Campbell himself is subsequently attacked by Scottish orthodox Calvinists - not for his egoism, but for his optimism regarding postlapsarian human nature and self-love. This episode demonstrates (...) that the debates on egoism in Mandeville should be seen in the context of the debates on postlapsarian human nature. (shrink)
Following Mr. Bixby and some other 19th century scientist-philosophers such as Claude Bernard, relevant scientific actions should, as a matter of primary importance, be explained with reference to the competence and not to the intentions of those involved. The background is a reliabilist virtue approach - a widespread tendency in 19th century epistemology and philosophy of science. Bixby's approach includes a critique of some constructivist arguments and establishes a mutually supportive connection to conceptions of scientific progress.
Bernard Gert claims that the project of justifying morality is “the primary task” of his major work, Morality: Its Nature and Justification. However, the arguments for and the point of his justification are not entirely clear. Unfortunately, critical work on Gert’s theory of morality has not included detailed attention to his attempt to justify morality. Part I of this two-part essay offers a systematic examination and assessment of Gert’s justification. It is argued that Gert’s justification is successful, but limited (...) in its scope. (shrink)