The year 1666, on Newton’s own testimony, was the "wonderful year" wherein, at the tender age of 24, he developed the fundamental principles of the integral calculus, verified the composite nature of sunlight, and satisfied himself by calculation that the earth’s gravitation holds the moon in its orbit. Fittingly to commemorate the third centenary of that year, and at the same time to bring together the considerable results of recent Newtonian scholarship, Robert Palter organized a symposium at the University (...) of Texas in Austin on November 10-12, 1966. The proceedings of that symposium, including sixteen major papers by scholars of international reputation and the comments they elicited from learned colleagues, first appeared in The Texas Quarterly, Vol. 10, no. 3 ; they are now made available to a larger reading public in this book, many in revised and expanded form. Not all of the contributions will interest the philosopher, but the attention of those specializing in the philosophy of science is directed particularly to R. S. Westfall’s and I. B. Cohen’s scholarly articles on Newton’s optical theories and on his force concept respectively, both of which contain considerable material for philosophical analysis. Of more general significance are Palter’s own treatment of Newton’s inductive method, Howard Stein’s analysis of Newtonian space-time, and J. H. Randall’s reflection on the religious consequences of Newton’s thought. One of the most stimulating articles is Dudley Shapere’s evaluation of the philosophical significance of Newton’s science, made in the context of his on-going debate with T. S. Kuhn and P. K. Feyerabend, which sheds yet further light on the problems of meaning invariance and scientific change.—W. A. W. (shrink)
A significant feature of John Stuart Mill's moral theory is the introduction of qualitative differences as relevant to the comparative value of pleasures. Despite its significance, Mill presents his doctrine of qualities of pleasures in only a few paragraphs in the second chapter of Utilitarianism, where he begins the brief discussion by saying: utilitarian writers in general have placed the superiority of mental over bodily pleasures chiefly … in their circumstantial advantages rather than in their intrinsic nature.… [B]ut they might (...) have taken the … higher ground with entire consistency. It is quite compatible with the principle of utility to recognize the fact, that some kinds of pleasure are more desirable and more valuable than others. It would be absurd that while, in estimating all other things, quality is considered as well as quantity, the estimation of pleasures should be supposed to depend on quantity alone. (shrink)
A review of Personhood, Ethics, and Animal Cognition: Situating Animals in Hare’s Two-Level Utilitarianism, by Gary E. Varner. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. xv + 336. H/b £40.23. and The Philosophy of Animal Minds, edited by Robert W. Lurz. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pp. 320. P/b £20.21.
Here are ten essays written by a happily balanced mixture of younger and of more senior Quine scholars commenting on the philosophy of Willard Van Orman Quine, and collected in honor of his seventieth birthday, June 1978.
A translation based on the Latin text of the Leonine edition. The Quaestiones Disputatae de Veritate constitutes Aquinas's most extended treatment of any single topic. Volume I discusses the nature of truth and divine and angelic intellects. Volume II deals with truth and human intellect. Volume III investigates the operation of the will.
In this volume Donald Walker brings together Robert Clower's influential essays on monetary economics, grouping them so as to bring out clearly the development of Clower's thought. Among Clower's contributions are an important reinterpretation of Keynes' work, a fresh treatment of the nature of money, the formulation of a microeconomic approach to the understanding of monetary behaviour, and distinct insights on money supply-and-demand and inflation. The essays constitute a well-rounded treatment of the major problems in monetary economics, and the (...) volume as a whole demonstrates how the study of monetary economics may extend knowledge of short-run economic fluctuations and prove useful in developing policy options to ameliorate them. (shrink)
En este ambicioso libro, el biólogo Daniel W. McShea y el filósofo de la biología Robert N. Brandon desafían las explicaciones explícitas encontradas en la litera-tura acerca del origen de la diversidad y la complejidad en los seres vivos. Estas explicaciones recurren en su mayoría a la acción de la selección natural, como ser, a la selección diversificadora/disruptiva, a la selección de niveles superiores favoreciendo a especies/clados con mayor propensión a la especiación, o a las ventajas de una mayor (...) división del trabajo, entre otras alternativas (p. 1). Si bien estas explicaciones pueden ser correctas, no constituirían toda la historia, según los autores, pues habría una tendencia de fondo no reconocida en la literatura (pero invocada en las explicaciones de casos concretos) hacia un aumento de la diversidad y la complejidad. Esta tendencia surgiría simplemente de que las variaciones azarosas, cuando se heredan, se acumulan en diferentes direcciones en diferentes poblaciones, con el resultado de que la diversidad se incrementa. Para expresar esta tendencia, los autores proponen una ley, que denominan ZFEL (por zero-force evolutionary law) y que formulan de la siguiente manera: “En cualquier sistema evolutivo en el que hay variación azarosa y he-rencia, en ausencia de fuerzas y constricciones, la diversidad y la complejidad tenderán a aumentar” (p. 4). (shrink)