Liberalism is a wonderful theory, but its adherents have a difficult time explaining why. In his Tanner Lecture entitled Foundations of Liberal Equality, Ronald Dworkin proposes to defend liberalism in a new way. Dworkin is not content to view liberalism as a political compromise in which people set aside their personal convictions in the interest of social peace. Instead, he undertakes to make liberal political theory “continuous” with personal ethics, by describing an ethical position that endorses liberalism as a matter (...) of conviction. (shrink)
This article introduces the work of A.N. Whitehead and analyses his relevance to contemporary social theory. It demonstrates how a range of authors have recently utilized the work of Whitehead across a range of topics and holds that there is a need for a general introduction to his work that will open up his ideas and possible impact to a wider readership. White-head’s work is introduced through a discussion of his critique of the philosophical and scientific conceptions of substance and (...) materiality, which led to the establishment of nature as passive, external and distinct from the human or social realm. The article further analyses some of the consequences of this position, such as viewing all data or information about the world as inert. This leads to Whitehead’s argument that the retention of these ‘outdated’ conceptions has contributed to contemporary misconceptions of the status of objects within science, for example – genes. I suggest that Whitehead offers much to social theory especially in terms of re-thinking the natural/social distinction and moving beyond linguistic and discursive production to a theory of genuine construction that can incorporate both materiality and subjectivity. (shrink)
The widely accepted redating of the praetorship and propraetorship of Cornelius Sulla from the conventional years 93–92 to the years 97–96 B.C., proposed by E. Badian in an ingenious paper, involved the rearrangement of the story of the Cappadocian succession between c. 101 B.C. and 90 B.C. Badian proposed a much simpler reconstruction of the events recorded in the summary narratives of Justin, Appian, and Plutarch, than the version established by Th. Reinach which has hitherto held the field.
Andrew Dickson White played a pivotal role in constructing the image of a necessary, and even violent, confrontation between religion and science that persists to this day. Though scholars have long acknowledged that his position is more complex, given that White claimed to be saving religion from theology, there has been no attempt to explore what this means in light of his overwhelming attack on existing religions. This essay draws attention to how White's role as a historian was decisive in (...) allowing him to posit a future for religion purified of dogma by science. It argues, furthermore, that this effort is better understood as religious innovation, rather than a plea for strictly secular science. In so doing it hopes to lay the foundation for a more fruitful historical treatment of White, and a range of other figures whose devotion to science has otherwise been difficult to grasp. (shrink)
Arthur Norman Prior (1914-69) was a logician and philosopher from New Zealand who contributed crucially to the development of ‘non-standard’ logics, especially of the modal variety. His greatest achievement was the invention of modern temporal logic, worked out in close connection with modal logic. However, his work in logic had a much broader scope. He was also the founder of hybrid logic, and he made important contributions to deontic logic, modal logic, the theory of quantification, the nature of propositions and (...) the history of logic. In addition, he discussed questions of ethics, free will, and general theology. Prior’s philosophical works comprise about 200 titles. His earliest articles center on philosophical theology and historical studies of Scottish Reformed Theology. This led on to the publication of his first influential work on ethics: Logic and The Basis of Ethics (1949). With the invention of tense-logic in the early 1950s, his focus shifted to investigations into the syntax of tempo-modal logic leading to his seminal Time and Modality (1957), a volume derived from his John Locke Lectures in Oxford in 1956. Furthermore Prior, together with the Irish mathematician and logician C.A. Meredith (1904-76), made important early contributions to the semantics of possible worlds. Prior’s tense-logic provided a strong conceptual framework for problems pertaining to the philosophy of time. In Time and Modality, Prior discussed the philosophical implications of Ruth Barcan’s famous formulae for tense-logic, and in the 1960s he worked on the notion of the present. The most persistent problem running through Prior’s work is his study of the questions surrounding human freedom and divine foreknowledge, and more general philosophical problems emerging from this classical theological question. His thorough analysis of this problem, with the conceptual tools of tense-logic, received a crucial impetus from his correspondence with the young Saul Kripke, when the latter suggested the semantic tool of branching time to Prior. Prior’s development of two solutions based on branching time for the problem of future contingency, the Peircean and the Ockham solution, was most thoroughly developed in Past, Present and Future (1967), the most important work published by Prior. Characteristically for Prior’s methodological approach, the development of these two solutions were at the same time a development of two new systems of tense logic, and vice versa. One of Prior’s significant contributions to logic was his work on world propositions and instant propositions. In the course of developing these notions he also made one of the earliest formulations of hybrid logic. In Papers on Time and Tense (1968), he presented this idea in a more detailed manner in the context of his four grades of tense-logical involvement. (shrink)
The article deals with the structure and function of perceptual judgment in the perception theories of the Buddhist Diṅṅāga and the Vaiśeṣika Praśastapāda. I show their indebtedness to the Vyākaraṇa tradition and particularly to Patañjali. Following Shōryū Katsura’s idea that the status of perceptual judgment with regard to the Buddhist system of instruments of valid cognition was first established by Dharmakīrti, I argue that Diṅṅāga’s examples in his definition of perception in Pramāṇasamuccaya-vṛtti I,3d could be considered as perceptual judgments in (...) the sense of Charles Peirce. After the examination of Diṅṅāga’s and Praśastapāda’s examples of perceptual judgments, I come to the conclusion that Diṅṅāga, as a nominalist, sees in them an expression of ordinary linguistic behaviour shaped by convention and grammatical tradition, while Praśastapāda, as a realist, seeks to show that perceptual judgments follow the Vaiśeṣika ontological categories. If in Diṅṅāga’s epistemology perceptual judgement remains outside the pramāṇa system, in Praśastapāda’s Vaiśeṣika it pertains to the pramāṇa of perception. (shrink)