Aristotle's Eudemian Ethics has been unjustly neglected in comparison with its more famous counterpart the Nicomachean Ethics. This is in large part due to the fact that until recently no complete translation of the work has been available. But the Eudemian Ethics is a masterpiece in its own right, offering valuable insights into Aristotle's ideas on virtue, happiness and the good life. This volume offers a translation by Brad Inwood and Raphael Woolf that is both fluent and exact, and an (...) introduction in which they help the reader to gain a deeper understanding both of the Eudemian Ethics and of its relation to the Nicomachean Ethics and to Aristotle's ethical thought as a whole. The explanatory notes address Aristotle's many references to other works, people and events. The volume will be of interest to students and scholars of the history of ethics, ancient and moral philosophy, and Aristotle studies. (shrink)
To what extent is possession of truth considered a good thing in the Republic? Certain passages of the dialogue appear to regard truth as a universal good, but others are more circumspect about its value, recommending that truth be withheld on occasion and falsehood disseminated. I seek to resolve this tension by distinguishing two kinds of truths, which I label 'philosophical' and 'non-philosophical'. Philosophical truths, I argue, are considered unqualifiedly good to possess, whereas non-philosophical truths are regarded as worth possessing (...) only to the extent that possession conduces to good behaviour in those who possess them. In the non-philosophical arena it is an open question, to be determined on a case-by-case basis, whether falsehood is more efficacious in furthering this practical aim than truth. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 413 - 432 This essay provides an extended commentary on Richard Evans’ book _Altered Pasts_ from the perspective of a historian of a much earlier period, the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The essay considers much of the literature discussed by Evans, explores the “scope” and “range” of counterfactual arguments, and offers suggestions as to how and when legitimate counterfactual historical thinking itself came into being. The essay also argues that the problems inherent in (...) counterfactual history lie less in the logic of their arguments than in the use that is made of them: specifically that a device useful, heuristically, in evaluating the impact of certain factors on events has been stretched by some historians beyond the weight it will bear. In the final section, the relation between fictional and nonfictional counterfactuals is explored. (shrink)
The main title of this work is a little misleading. Hobbs does not begin to consider in any detail Plato’s relation to traditional Greek models of the hero until chapter 6, nearly two-thirds of the way through the book. In fact, Hobbs’s treatment of Plato’s re-working of the hero-figure is embedded in a nexus of themes revolving round the Greek virtue of andreia and its psychological basis in that part of the soul that Plato in the Republic calls the thumos. (...) Commonly translated ‘spirit’, the term is notoriously hard to render by a single English equivalent. Plato’s conception of this human drive can be captured, according to Hobbs’s succinct phrase, as “the need to believe that one counts for something”. (shrink)
Excitation at widely dispersed loci in the cerebral cortex may represent a neural correlate of consciousness. Accordingly, each unique combination of excited neurons would determine the content of a conscious moment. This conceptualization would be strengthened if we could identify what orchestrates the various combinations of excited neurons. In the present paper, cholinergic afferents to the cerebral cortex are hypothesized to enhance activity at specific cortical circuits and determine the content of a conscious moment by activating certain combinations of postsynaptic (...) sites in select cortical modules. It is proposed that these selections are enabled by learning-related restructuring that simultaneously adjusts the cytoskeletal matrix at specific constellations of postsynaptic sites giving all a similar geometry. The underlying mechanism of conscious awareness hypothetically involves cholinergic mediation of linkages between microtubules and microtubule-associated protein-2 . The first reason for proposing this mechanism is that previous studies indicate cognitive-related changes in MAP-2 occur in cholinoceptive cells within discrete cortical modules. These cortical modules are found throughout the cerebral cortex, measure 1–2 mm2, and contain approximately 103–104cholinoceptive cells that are enriched with MAP-2. The subsectors of the hippocampus may function similarly to cortical modules. The second reason for proposing the current mechanism is that the MAP-2 rich cells throughout the cerebral cortex correspond almost exactly with the cortical cells containing muscarinic receptors. Many of these cholinoceptive, MAP-2 rich cells are large pyramidal cell types, but some are also small pyramidal cells and nonpyramidal types. The third reason for proposing the current mechanism is that cholinergic afferents are module-specific; cholinergic axons terminate wholly within individual cortical modules. The cholinergic afferents may be unique in this regard. Finally, the tapering apical dendrites of pyramidal cells are proposed as primary sites for cholinergic mediation of linkages between MAP-2 and microtubules because especially high amounts of MAP-2 are found here. Also, the possibility is raised that muscarinic actions on MAP-2 could modulate microtubular coherence and self-collapse, phenomena that have been suggested to underlie consciousness. (shrink)
Fraud and misconduct in scientific research appears to be increasing since 1980 when several cases were disclosed. Earlier instances were handled awkwardly, but the scientific community has since mobilized and issued guidelines about responding to allegations of misconduct and about the responsible conduct of research. Scientists, editors and the institutions of science are slowly learning how to cope with this problem.
A theoretical approach relying on quantum computation in microtubules within neurons can potentially resolve the enigmatic features of visual consciousness, but raises other questions. For example, how can delicate quantum states, which in the technological realm demand extreme cold and isolation to avoid environmental ‘decoherence’, manage to survive in the warm, wet brain? And if such states could survive within neuronal cell interiors, how could quantum states grow to encompass the whole brain? We present a physiological model for visual consciousness (...) that can accommodate brain-wide quantum computation according to the Penrose–Hameroff ‘Orch OR’ model. In this view, visual consciousness occurs as a series of several-hundred-millisecond epochs, each comprising ‘crescendo sequences’ of quantum computations occurring at ∼40 Hz. (shrink)
This paper argues for the presence in Plato’s work of a conception of thinking central to which is what I call the Transparency View. According to this view, in order for a subject to think of a given object, the subject must represent that object just as it is, without inaccuracy or distortion. I examine the ways in which this conception influences Plato’s epistemology and metaphysics and explore some ramifications for contemporary views about mental content.
'A good essay must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in, not out.' According to Virginia Woolf, the goal of the essay 'is simply that it should give pleasure...It should lay us under a spell with its first word, and we should only wake, refreshed, with its last.' One of the best practitioners of the art she analysed so rewardingly, Woolf displayed her essay-writing skills across a wide range of subjects, with all (...) the craftsmanship, substance, and rich allure of her novels. This selection brings together thirty of her best essays, including the famous 'Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown', a clarion call for modern fiction. She discusses the arts of writing and of reading, and the particular role and reputation of women writers. She writes movingly about her father and the art of biography, and of the London scene in the early decades of the twentieth century. Overall, these pieces are as indispensable to an understanding of this great writer as they are enchanting in their own right. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. (shrink)
We propose a framework for analyzing the development, operation and failure to survive of all things, living, non-living or organized groupings. This framework is a sequence of developments that improve survival capability. Framework processes range from origination of any entity/system, to the development of increased survival capability and development of life-forms and organizations that use intelligence. This work deals with a series of developmental changes that arise from the uncovering of emergent properties. The framework is intended to be general, but (...) we see a potential to apply it to scientific topics such as the exploration of the origin of life or the search for life beyond Earth, and to understand some biological issues in evolution and symbiosis, and also to apply to social systems that do not seem to be operating well, to determine their problems and correct them. (shrink)
This 2001 translation makes one of the most important texts in ancient philosophy available to modern readers. Cicero is increasingly being appreciated as an intelligent and well-educated amateur philosopher, and in this work he presents the major ethical theories of his time in a way designed to get the reader philosophically engaged in the important debates. Raphael Woolf's translation does justice to Cicero's argumentative vigour as well as to the philosophical ideas involved, while Julia Annas's introduction and notes provide a (...) clear and accessible explanation of the philosophical context of the work. This edition will appeal to all readers interested in this central text in ancient philosophy and the history of ethics. (shrink)
In A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf considers with energy and wit the implications of the historical exclusion of women from education and from economic independence. In A Room of One's Own, she examines the work of past women writers, and looks ahead to a time when women's creativity will not be hampered by poverty, or by oppression. In Three Guineas, however, Woolf argues that women's historical exclusion offers them the chance to form a political and (...) cultural identity which could challenge the drive towards fascism and war. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. (shrink)
In this commentary, arguments are made for a dendritic code being preferable to a temporal synaptic code as a model of conscious experience. A temporal firing pattern is a product of an ongoing neural computation; hence, it is based on a neural algorithm and an algorithm may not provide the most suitable model for conscious experience. Reiteration of a temporal firing code as suggested in a preceding article (Helekar, 1999) does not necessarily improve the situation. The alternative model presented here (...) is that certain synaptic activity patterns, possibly those possessing universal features as suggested by Helekar, can become encoded in the dendritic structure. Following dendritic encoding, quantum phenomena in those specific dendrite sets could illuminate the static image of that encoded synaptic activity. It is the activation of the static image that would be equivalent to conscious experience; thus, conscious awareness would not be directly affiliated with synaptic activity. This dendrite encoding model may go farther than other models to explain the gestalt nature of consciousness, insofar as quantum entanglement could produce an interconnectedness between specific sets of dendrites-an interconnectedness that need not be based on neural computation or neural connections. (shrink)
This paper offers a critical examination of the notion of epistemic authority in Plato. In the Apology, Socrates claims a certain epistemic superiority over others, and it is easy to suppose that this might be explained in terms of third-person authority: Socrates knows the minds of others better than they know their own. Yet Socrates, as the text makes clear, is not the only one capable of getting the minds of others right. His epistemic edge is rather a matter of (...) first-person authority: while others falsely think they are wise, Socrates is in a position to realize he is ignorant. By contrast with, say, a Cartesian picture, for Plato third-person authority with regard to the mind is relatively commonplace, whereas first-person authority is as rare as Socrates. I discuss the basis for this view, and some of its implications for the notion of a distinctively first-person mode of access. (shrink)
This paper sets out to re-examine the famous Wax Tablet model in Plato's Theaetetus, in particular the section of it which appeals to the quality of individual souls' wax as an explanation of why some are more liable to make mistakes than others (194c-195a). This section has often been regarded as an ornamental flourish or a humorous appendage to the model's main explanatory business. Yet in their own appropriations both Aristotle and Locke treat the notion of variable wax quality as (...) an important part of the model's utility in dealing with mistake. What, then, is its status for Plato? I shall argue that the section on variable wax quality is there to suggest to the reader a tempting way of misinterpreting the model. This will highlight the distinctive character of the model in its original version, and provide an unusual example of a philosopher describing how not to read one of his own doctrines. (shrink)
This paper sets out to re-examine the famous Wax Tablet model in Plato’s Theaetetus, in particular the section of it which appeals to the quality of individual souls’ wax as an explanation of why some are more liable to make mistakes than others. This section has often been regarded as an ornamental flourish or a humorous appendage to the model’s main explanatory business. Yet in their own appropriations both Aristotle and Locke treat the notion of variable wax quality as an (...) important part of the model’s utility in dealing with mistake. What, then, is its status for Plato? I shall argue that the section on variable wax quality is there to suggest to the reader a tempting way of misinterpreting the model. This will highlight the distinctive character of the model in its original version, and provide an unusual example of a philosopher describing how not to read one of his own doctrines. (shrink)