Was Descartes a Cartesian Dualist? In this controversial study, Gordon Baker and Katherine J. Morris argue that, despite the general consensus within philosophy, Descartes was neither a proponent of dualism nor guilty of the many crimes of which he has been accused by twentieth century philosophers. In lively and engaging prose, Baker and Morris present a radical revision of the ways in which Descartes' work has been interpreted. Descartes emerges with both his historical importance assured and his philosophical importance (...) redeemed. (shrink)
As the first book to analyze the work of Fanon as an existential-phenomenological of human sciences and liberation philosopher, Gordon deploys Fanon's work to illuminate how the "bad faith" of European science and civilization have philosophically stymied the project of liberation. Fanon's body of work serves as a critique of European science and society, and shows the ways in which the project of "truth" is compromised by Eurocentric artificially narrowed scope of humanity--a circumstance to which he refers as the (...) crisis of European Man. In his examination of the roots of this crisis, Gordon explores the problems of historical salvation and the dynamics of oppression, the motivation behind contemporary European obstruction of the advancement of a racially just world, the forms of anonymity that pervade racist theorizing and contribute to "seen invisibility," and the reasons behind the impossibility of a nonviolent transition from colonialism and neocolonialism to post colonialism. (shrink)
Acknowledging the powerful impact that Plato's dialogues have had on readers, Jill Gordon shows how the literary techniques Plato used function philosophically to engage readers in doing philosophy and attracting them toward the philosophical life. The picture of philosophical activity emerging from the dialogues, as thus interpreted, is a complex process involving vision, insight, and emotion basic to the human condition rather than a resort to pure reason as an escape from it. Since the literary features of Plato's writing (...) are what draw the reader into philosophy, the book becomes an argument for the union of philosophy and literature—and against their disciplinary bifurcation—in the dialogues. Gordon construes the relationship of Plato's text to its audience as an analogue of Socrates' relationship with his interlocutors in the dialogues, seeing both as fundamentally dialectic. On this insight she builds her detailed analysis of specific literary devices in chapters on dramatic form, character development, irony, and image-making. In this way Gordon views Plato as not at all the enemy of the poets and image-makers that previous interpreters have depicted. Rather, Gordon concludes that Plato understands the power of words and images quite well. Since they, and not logico-deductive argumentation, are the appropriate means for engaging human beings, he uses them to great effect and with a sensitive understanding of human psychology, wary of their possible corrupting influences but ultimately willing to harness their power for philosophical ends. (shrink)
Higher-Order Logic (HOL) is a proof development system intended for applications to both hardware and software. It is principally used in two ways: for directly proving theorems, and as theorem-proving support for application-specific verification systems. HOL is currently being applied to a wide variety of problems, including the specification and verification of critical systems. Introduction to HOL provides a coherent and self-contained description of HOL containing both a tutorial introduction and most of the material that is needed for day-to-day work (...) with the system. After a quick overview that gives a "hands-on feel" for the way HOL is used, there follows a detailed description of the ML language. The logic that HOL supports and how this logic is embedded in ML, are then described in detail. This is followed by an explanation of the theorem-proving infrastructure provided by HOL. Finally two appendices contain a subset of the reference manual, and an overview of the HOL library, including an example of an actual library documentation. (shrink)
This paper discusses Gordon Baker’s interpretation of the later Wittgenstein, in particular his interpretation of the notion of Wittgensteinian philosophical conceptions and the notions of non-exclusivity, local incompatibility, non-additivity and global pluralism which Baker uses to characterize Wittgensteinian conceptions. On the basis of this discussion, and a critique of certain features of Baker’s interpretation of Wittgensteinian conceptions, I introduce the notion of a multidimensional logical description of language use, explaining how this notion, which Baker’s interpretation excludes, constitutes and important (...) element of the later Wittgenstein’s philosophical method of clarification and perspicuous representation. I conclude by explaining how Baker’s problematic notions of local incompatibility and non-additivity, if they are seen in the light of Wittgenstein’s criticisms of certain views of the completeness of philosophical or logical accounts, nevertheless point in the right direction. (shrink)
Vere Gordon Childe’s theory of craft specialisation was an important influence on Arnold Hauser’s book The Social History of Art, published in 1951. Childe’s Marxist interpretation of prehistory enabled Hauser to establish a material foundation for the occupation of the artist in Western art history. However, Hauser’s effort to construct a progressive basis for artistic labour was complicated by art’s ancient connections to religion and superstition. While the artist’s social position and class loyalties were ambiguous in Childe’s accounts of (...) early civilisations, Hauser consigned artists to the lower echelons of society. This relegation did not imply that Hauser had a low regard for artistic skills. Quite the opposite, the artist’s inferior social status enabled Hauser to distance artists from the ruling class, and consequently, to separate artistic handiwork from the dominant ideology that works of art manifested. (shrink)
This is a new edition of the first volume of G.P.Baker and P.M.S. Hacker’s definitive reference work on Wittgenstein’s _Philosophical Investigations_. New edition of the first volume of the monumental four-volume _Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations._ Takes into account much material that was unavailable when the first edition was written. Following Baker’s death in 2002, P.M.S. Hacker has thoroughly revised the first volume, rewriting many essays and sections of exegesis completely. Part One - the Essays - now includes two (...) completely new essays: 'Meaning and Use' and 'The Recantation of a Metaphysician'. Part Two - Exegesis §§1-184 - has been thoroughly revised in the light of the electronic publication of Wittgenstein’s _Nachlass_, and includes many new interpretations of the remarks, a history of the composition of the book, and an overview of its structure. The revisions will ensure that this remains the definitive reference work on Wittgenstein’s masterpiece for the foreseeable future. (shrink)
Her Majesty's Children reveals not only a deeply personal account of the experience of racism but is also a revolutionary work that asks us to reconsider our ordinary practices and lives to recognize and resist the traces of a colonial age of racism that so many claim is only part of our past.
Gordon Belot investigates the distinctive notion of geometric possibility that relationalists rely upon. He examines the prospects for adapting to the geometric case the standard philosophical accounts of the related notion of physical possibility, with particular emphasis on Humean, primitivist, and necessitarian accounts of physical and geometric possibility. This contribution to the debate concerning the nature of space will be of interest not only to philosophers and metaphysicians concerned with space and time, but also to those interested in laws (...) of nature, modal notions, or more general issues in ontology. (shrink)
Gordon Graham presents a bold new account of Wittgenstein's philosophy, which argues for its relevance to the study of religion and aims to revitalize the philosophy of 'true religion'. He uses Wittgenstein's conception of philosophy to argue in favour of the idea that 'true religion' is to be understood as human participation in divine life.
Although it is conceded that distinct knowledge domains do presentparticular problems of coming to know, in thispaper it is argued that it is possible to construct a domain independent modelof the processes of coming to know, one inwhich observers share understandings and do soin agreed ways. The model in question is partof the conversation theory of Gordon Pask. CT, as a theory of theory construction andcommunication, has particular relevance forfoundational issues in science and scienceeducation. CT explicitly propounds a ``radicalconstructivist'' (...) epistemology. A briefaccount is given of the main tenets of RC andCT's place in that tradition and the traditionsof cybernetics. The paper presents a briefnon-technical account of the main concepts ofCT including elaborations by Laurillard andHarri-Augstein and Thomas. As part of CT, Pask also elaborated a methodology – knowledgeand task analysis – for analysing the structureof different knowledge domains; thismethodology is sketched in outline. (shrink)
An analytic cognitive style denotes a propensity to set aside highly salient intuitions when engaging in problem solving. We assess the hypothesis that an analytic cognitive style is associated with a history of questioning, altering, and rejecting supernatural claims, both religious and paranormal. In two studies, we examined associations of God beliefs, religious engagement, conventional religious beliefs and paranormal beliefs with performance measures of cognitive ability and analytic cognitive style. An analytic cognitive style negatively predicted both religious and paranormal beliefs (...) when controlling for cognitive ability as well as religious engagement, sex, age, political ideology, and education. Participants more willing to engage in analytic reasoning were less likely to endorse supernatural beliefs. Further, an association between analytic cognitive style and religious engagement was mediated by religious beliefs, suggesting that an analytic cognitive style negatively affects religious engagement via lower acceptance of conventional religious beliefs. Results for types of God belief indicate that the association between an analytic cognitive style and God beliefs is more nuanced than mere acceptance and rejection, but also includes adopting less conventional God beliefs, such as Pantheism or Deism. Our data are consistent with the idea that two people who share the same cognitive ability, education, political ideology, sex, age and level of religious engagement can acquire very different sets of beliefs about the world if they differ in their propensity to think analytically. (shrink)
Gender patterns in speech styles provide us with models of both the dominant confrontational style (male) and the affiliative nurturant style (female). In this paper, I argue that dominant confrontational styles are seriously problematic, in speech as well as in behaviour generally, whereas affiliative nurturant styles offer us a model which can be generalized without contradiction. I distinguish confrontation from competition and address briefly how our classrooms might be used to teach affiliative nurturant styles of talking and living.
The relationship of consciousness to brain, which Schopenhauer grandly referred to as the "world knot," remains an unsolved problem within both philosophy and science. The central focus in what follows is the relevance of science---from psychoanalysis to neurophysiology and quantum physics-to the mind-brain puzzle. Many would argue that we have advanced little since the age of the Greek philosophers, and that the extraordinary accumulation of neuroscientific knowledge in this century has helped not at all. Increas- ingly, philosophers and scientists have (...) tended to go their separate ways in considering the issues, since they tend to differ in the questions that they ask, the data and ideas which are provided for consideration, their methods for answering these questions, and criteria for judging the acceptability of an answer. But it is our conviction that philosophers and scientists can usefully interchange, at least to the extent that they provide co~straints upon each other’s preferred strategies, and it may prove possible for more substantive progress to be made. Philosophers have said some rather naive things by ignoring the extraordinary advances in the neurosciences in the twentieth century. The skull is not filled with green cheese! On the other hand, the arrogance of many scientists toward philosophy and their faith in the scientific method is equally naive. Scientists clearly have much to learn from philosophy as an intellectual discipline. Manifestations of Mind: Some Conceptual and Empirical Issues Walter B. Weimer Pages 5-31 The Mysterious “Split‘: A Clinical Inquiry into Problems of Consciousness and Brain Peter H. Knapp Pages 37-69 Mind, Brain, and the Symbolic Consciousness Irwin Savodnik Pages 73-98 Brain and Free Will John C. Eccles Pages 101-121 An Old Ghost in a New Body C. Wade Savage Pages 125-153 How Dogmatic Can Materialism Be? John C. Eccles Pages 155-160 Mental Phenomena as Causal Determinants in Brain Function R. W. Sperry Pages 163-177 Consciousness as an Emergent Causal Agent in the Context of Control System Theory E. M. Dewan Pages 181-198 Reductionism, Levels of Organization, and the Mind-Body Problem William C. Wimsatt Pages 205-267 Mind, Structure, and Contradiction Gordon G. Globus Pages 271-293 Problems Concerning the Structure of Consciousness Karl H. Pribram Pages 297-313 The Role of Scientific Results in Theories of Mind and Brain: A Conversation among Philosophers and Scientists E. M. Dewan, John C. Eccles, Gordon G. Globus, Keith Gunderson, Peter H. Knapp, Grover Maxwell et al. Pages 317-328 Scientific Results and the Mind-Brain Issue: Some Afterthoughts Grover Maxwell Pages 329-358. (shrink)
In work on the ethics of cognitive enhancement use, there is a pervasive concern that such enhancement will—in some way—make us less authentic. Attempts to clarify what this concern amounts to and how to respond to it often lead to debates on the nature of the “true self” and what constitutes “genuine human activity”. This paper shows that a new and effective way to make progress on whether certain cases of cognitive enhancement problematically undermine authenticity is to make use of (...) considerations from the separate debate on the nature of authentic emotion. Drawing in particular on Wasserman and Liao, the present paper offers new conditions that can help us assess the impact of cognitive enhancements on authenticity. (shrink)
In this paper we show how a realistic normative democratic theory can work within the constraints set by the most pessimistic empirical results about voting behaviour and elite capture of the policy process. After setting out the empirical evidence and discussing some extant responses by political theorists, we argue that the evidence produces a two-pronged challenge for democracy: an epistemic challenge concerning the quality and focus of decision-making and an oligarchic challenge concerning power concentration. To address the challenges we then (...) put forward three main normative claims, each of which is compatible with the evidence. We start with a critique of the epistocratic position commonly thought to be supported by the evidence. We then introduce a qualified critique of referenda and other forms of plebiscite, and an outline of a tribune-based system of popular control over oligarchic influence on the policy process. Our discussion points towards a renewal of democracy in a plebeian but not plebiscitarian direction: Attention to the relative power of social classes matters more than formal dispersal of power through voting. We close with some methodological reflections about the compatibility between our normative claims and the realist program in political philosophy. (shrink)
The central claim of this book is that, early and late, Wittgenstein modelled his approach to existential meaning on his account of linguistic meaning. A reading of Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy sets up Bearn’s reading of the existential point of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. Bearn argues that both books try to resolve our anxiety about the meaning of life by appeal to the deep, unutterable essence of the world. Bearn argues that as Wittgenstein’s and Nietzsche’s thought matured, they both separately came (...) to believe that the answer to our existential anxiety does not lie beneath the surfaces of our lives, but in our acceptance—Nietzsche’s “Yes”—of the groundless details of those surfaces themselves: the wonder of the ordinary. (shrink)
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 reopened what many Americans had assumed was a settled ethical question: Is torture ever morally permissible? Rebecca Gordon argues that institutionalized state torture remains as wrong today as it was before those terrible attacks, and shows how U.S. practices during the ''war on terror'' are rooted in a history that includes support for torture regimes abroad and for the use of torture in the jails and prisons of this country.
This is the second volume of analytical commentary on Wittgenstein's masterpiece, the Philosophical Investigations. Like the first, it consists of philosophical essays and critical exegesis. The six essays deal comprehensively with various themes in Wittgenstein''s philosophy: the relationship between his mathematics and his philosophy of mind; his conception of grammar and rules of grammar; the relation between a rule and what accords with a rule; the characterization of rule-following as mastery of a technique manifest in practice; his notion of a (...) form of life, and of agreement in definitions and judgements; a comprehensive investigation into his account of logical and mathematical necessity and other topics. (shrink)
Translating current research into accessible terms, Taylor discusses the brain's electrical and chemical processes, amnesia, mystical states, and multiple personality and the nature of dreaming, memory, pain, and intelligence.
While individual differences in the willingness and ability to engage analytic processing have long informed research in reasoning and decision making, the implications of such differences have not yet had a strong influence in other domains of psychological research. We claim that analytic thinking is not limited to problems that have a normative basis and, as an extension of this, predict that individual differences in analytic thinking will be influential in determining beliefs and values. Along with assessments of cognitive ability (...) and style, religious beliefs, and moral values, participants judged the wrongness of acts considered disgusting and conventionally immoral, but that do not violate care- or fairness-based moral principles. Differences in willingness to engage analytic thinking predicted reduced judgements of wrongness, independent of demographics, political ideology, religiosity, and moral values. Further, we show that those who were higher in cognitive ability were less likely to indicate that purity, patriotism, and respect for traditions and authority are important to their moral thinking. These findings are consistent with a “Reflectionist” view that assumes a role for analytic thought in determining substantive, deeply-held human beliefs and values. (shrink)
Physicists who work on canonical quantum gravity will sometimes remark that the general covariance of general relativity is responsible for many of the thorniest technical and conceptual problems in their field.1 In particular, it is sometimes alleged that one can trace to this single source a variety of deep puzzles about the nature of time in quantum gravity, deep disagreements surrounding the notion of ‘observable’ in classical and quantum gravity, and deep questions about the nature of the existence of spacetime (...) in general relativity. Philosophers who think about these things are sometimes skeptical about such claims. We have all learned that Kretschmann was quite correct to urge against Einstein that the “General Theory of Relativity” was no such thing, since any theory could be cast in a generally covariant form, and hence the general covariance of general relativity could not have any physical content, let alone bear the kind of weight that Einstein expected it to.2 Friedman’s assessment is widely accepted: “As Kretschmann first pointed out in 1917, the principle of general covariance has no physical content whatever: it specifies no particular physical theory; rather, it merely expresses our commitment to a certain style of formulating physical theories” (1984, p. 44). Such considerations suggest that general covariance, as a technically crucial but physically contentless feature of general relativity, simply cannot be the source of any significant conceptual or physical problems.3 Physicists are, of course, conscious of the weight of Kretschmann’s points against Einstein. Yet they are considerably more ambivalent than their philosophical colleagues. Consider Kuchaˇr’s conclusion at the end of a discussion of this topic. (shrink)
How should we understand the emotional rationality? This first part will explore two models of cognition and analogy strategies, test their intuition about the emotional desire. I distinguish between subjective and objective desire, then presents with a feeling from the "paradigm of drama" export semantics, here our emotional repertoire is acquired all the learned, and our emotions in the form of an object is fixed. It is pretty well in line with the general principles of rationality, especially the lowest reasonable (...) principles. Turned to the second part of this side of reasonable. I will inquire how emotional beliefs, desires, and behaviors contribute to the rationality. I will present a very general biological hypothesis: emotions by controlling highlights the characteristics of perception and reasoning, so that we remove the difficulties due in particular to lead to paralysis; they are being simulated by a simplified perception of information, thus limiting our practice and cognitive choice. How are we to understand emotional or axiological rationality? I pursue analogies with both the cognitive and the strategic models, testing them against intuitions about emotional desires. We distinguish two different classes of desires, the subjective and the objective, and propose that emotions have a semantics that derives from "paradigmatic scenarios", in terms of which our emotional repertoire is learned and the formal objects of our emotions fixed. This fits in well with emerging facts about how our emotional capacities develop, and it can also be squared with the general principles of rationality, particularly minimal rationality. In the second part, I return to the perspective of rationality. I ask how emotions contribute to the rationality of beliefs, desires, and behavior. I proffer a very general biological hypothesis: Emotions spare us the paralysis potentially induced by a particular predicament by controlling the salience of features of perception and reasoning; they temporarily mimic the informational encapsulation of perception and so circumscribe our practical and cognitive options. (shrink)
This essay identifies ‘oligarchic harm’ as a dire threat confronting contemporary democracies. I provide a formal standard for classifying oligarchs: those who use personal access to concentrated wealth to pursue harmful forms of discretionary influence. I then use Aristotle to think through both the moral and the epistemic dilemmas of oligarchic harm, highlighting Aristotle’s concerns about the difficulties of using wealth as a ‘proxy’ for virtue. While Aristotle’s thought provides great resources for diagnosing oligarchic threats, it proves less useful as (...) a guide to democratic institutional design. Aristotle raises a deep-seated objection to democratic forms of ‘rule by the poor.’ A successful response to oligarchy must move beyond Aristotle’s objection and affirm the demos’ tripartite status as many, free, and poor. I briefly outline the terms of this ‘new’ mixed regime: one that seeks to tame oligarchy through a mixture of aggregative, deliberative, and plebeian institutions. (shrink)
Recent evidence suggests that people are highly efficient at detecting conflicting outputs produced by competing intuitive and analytic reasoning processes. Specifically, De Neys and Glumicic demonstrated that participants reason longer about problems that are characterized by conflict between stereotypical personality descriptions and base-rate probabilities of group membership. However, this finding comes from problems involving probabilities much more extreme than those used in traditional studies of base-rate neglect. To test the degree to which these findings depend on such extreme probabilities, we (...) varied base-rate probabilities over five experiments and compared participants’ response time for conflict problems with non-conflict problems. Longer response times for stereotypical responses to conflict versus non-conflict problems were found only in the presence of extreme probabilities. Our results suggest that humans may not be consistently efficient at detecting conflicts during reasoning. (shrink)