When this work was first published in 1960, it immediately filled a void in Kantian scholarship. It was the first study entirely devoted to Kant's _Critique of Practical Reason_ and by far the most substantial commentary on it ever written. This landmark in Western philosophical literature remains an indispensable aid to a complete understanding of Kant's philosophy for students and scholars alike. This _Critique_ is the only writing in which Kant weaves his thoughts on practical reason into a unified argument. (...) Lewis White Beck offers a classic examination of this argument and expertly places it in the context of Kant's philosophy and of the moral philosophy of the eighteenth century. (shrink)
The concept of instantiation is realized differently across a variety of metaphysical theories. A certain realization of the concept in a given theory depends on what roles are specified and associated with the concept and its corresponding term as well as what entities are suited to fill those roles. In this paper, the classic realization of the concept of instantiation in a one-category ontology of abstract particulars or tropes is articulated in a novel way and defended against unaddressed objections.
Bradley is often described as an Anglo-Hegelian, and hence it is assumed that his doctrines derive from Hegel. It is true that his first two works ‘The Presuppositions of Critical History’ and Ethical Studies are heavily influenced by Hegel. The Principles of Logic is much less so: it certainly contains a number of both laudatory and critical references to Hegel, but the whole design of the book is completely unrelated to his treatment of logic. Appearance and Reality seems to me (...) not to be Hegelian at all. The interesting logical discussions occur in the Principles, and it is here that we can find points of comparison between Bradley and Frege and Russell. This is in part because all three were agreed that it was impossible to account for logic by reference to psychology. Bradley's doctrine of internal relations first emerges in this context, though it is given a more metaphysical interpretation in the subsequent Appearance and Reality. However, most who have talked of internal relations have taken their view from the latter work, and have found the doctrine either confused or silly. This quotation from Appearance and Reality seems to bring out all that is objectionable in the view: And if you could have a perfect relational knowledge of the world, you could go on from the nature of red-hairedness to these other characters which qualify it, and you could from the nature of red-hairedness reconstruct all the red-haired men. In such perfect knowledge you could start internally from any one character in the Universe, and you could from that pass to the rest…For example, a red-haired man who knew himself utterly would and must, starting from within, go on to know everyone else who had red hair, and he would not know himself until he knew them. But, as things are, he does not know how or why he himself has red hair, nor how and why a different man is also the same in that point, and therefore, because he does not know the ground, the how and why, of his relation to other men, it remains for him relatively external, contingent, and fortuitous. But there is really no mere externality except in his ignorance. (shrink)
David Lewis objected to theories that posit necessary connections between distinct entities and to theories that involve a magical grasping of their primitives. In On the Plurality of Worlds, Lewis objected to nondescript ersatzism on these grounds. The literature contains several reconstructions of Lewis’ critique of nondescript ersatzism but none of these interpretations adequately address his main argument because they fail to see that Lewis’ critique is based on broader methodological considerations. I argue that a closer look at his methodology (...) reveals the broader objection he presented against nondescript ersatzism. This objection, I further argue, remains a challenge for the ersatzer who posits structure-less entities as possible worlds. (shrink)
Truthmaker monism is the view that the one and only truthmaker is the world. Despite its unpopularity, this view has recently received an admirable defence by Schaffer :307–324, 2010b). Its main defect, I argue, is that it omits partial truthmakers. If we omit partial truthmakers, we lose the intimate connection between a truth and its truthmaker. I further argue that the notion of a minimal truthmaker should be the key notion that plays the role of constraining ontology and that truthmaker (...) monism is not necessary for an appropriate solution to the problem of finding truthmakers for negative truths. I conclude that we should reject truthmaker monism once and for all. (shrink)
Trope theory is a leading metaphysical theory in analytic ontology. One of its classic statements is found in the work of Donald C. Williams who argued that tropes qua abstract particulars are the very alphabet of being. The concept of an abstract particular has been repeatedly attacked in the literature. Opponents and proponents of trope theory alike have levelled their criticisms at the abstractness of tropes and the associated act of abstraction. In this paper I defend the concept of a (...) trope qua abstract particular by rejecting arguments that purport to show that tropes should not be understood as abstract and by arguing that the abstractness of tropes plays an indispensable role in one of our more promising trope-theoretic analyses of universals and of concrete objects. (shrink)
The revival of analytic metaphysics in the latter half of the twentieth century is typically understood as a consequence of the critiques of logical positivism, Quine’s naturalization of ontology, Kripke’s Naming and Necessity, clarifications of modal notions in logic, and the theoretical exploitation of possible worlds. However, this explanation overlooks the work of metaphysicians at the height of positivism and linguisticism that affected metaphysics of the late twentieth century. Donald C. Williams is one such philosopher. In this paper I explain (...) how Williams’s fundamental ontology and philosophy of time influenced in part the early formation of David Lewis’s metaphysics. Thus, Williams played an important role in the revival of analytic metaphysics. (shrink)
In The Idea of a Social Science Winch, argues that, sociology is more properly conceived as a branch of philosophy than of empirical science. Winch falls victim here to the Humean assimilation of the empirical to the generalizable. He notes that much of our talk about social practice is in terms of conventions, so that explanations of social action can be given without recourse to statistical or experimental findings. But such talk depends nonetheless on the accuracy and detail with which (...) the situations in which actions occur are? recorded, and this is surely an empirical enterprise. It is the misleading conception of sociology as a discipline, characterized by common procedures, that leads Winch to espouse the assimilation of sociology to conceptual inquiry. We need to see instead that sociology embraces a group of questions and subjects so loosely connected that it would be mistaken to speak of, and idle to project, a procedure common to all of them. (shrink)
_The first part called the Preamble tackles: (a) the issues of silence and speech, and life and disease; (b) whether we need to know some or all of the truth, and how are exact science and philosophical reason related; (c) the phenomenon of Why, How, and What; (d) how are mind and brain related; (e) what is robust eclecticism, empirical/scientific enquiry, replicability/refutability, and the role of diagnosis and medical model in psychiatry; (f) bioethics and the four principles of beneficence, non-malfeasance, (...) autonomy, and justice; (g) the four concepts of disease, illness, sickness, and disorder; how confusion is confounded by these concepts but clarity is imperative if we want to make sense out of them; and how psychiatry is an interim medical discipline. The second part called The Issues deals with: (a) the concepts of nature and nurture; the biological and the psychosocial; and psychiatric disease and brain pathophysiology; (b) biology, Freud and the reinvention of psychiatry; (c) critics of psychiatry, mind-body problem and paradigm shifts in psychiatry; (d) the biological, the psychoanalytic, the psychosocial and the cognitive; (e) the issues of clarity, reductionism, and integration; (f) what are the fool-proof criteria, which are false leads, and what is the need for questioning assumptions in psychiatry. The third part is called Psychiatric Disorder, Psychiatric Ethics, and Psychiatry Connected Disciplines. It includes topics like (a) psychiatric disorder, mental health, and mental phenomena; (b) issues in psychiatric ethics; (c) social psychiatry, liaison psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, forensic psychiatry, and neuropsychiatry. The fourth part is called Antipsychiatry, Blunting Creativity, etc. It includes topics like (a) antipsychiatry revisited; (b) basic arguments of antipsychiatry, Szasz, etc.; (c) psychiatric classification and value judgment; (d) conformity, labeling, and blunting creativity. The fifth part is called The Role of Philosophy, Religion, and Spirituality in Psychiatry. It includes topics like (a) relevance of philosophy to psychiatry; (b) psychiatry, religion, spirituality, and culture; (c) ancient Indian concepts and contemporary psychiatry; (d) Indian holism and Western reductionism; (e) science, humanism, and the nomothetic-idiographic orientation. The last part, called Final Goal, talks of the need for a grand unified theory. The whole discussion is put in the form of refutable points._. (shrink)
I apply the notion of truthmaking to the topic of fundamentality by articulating a truthmaker theory of fundamentality according to which some truths are truth-grounded in certain entities while the ones that don't stand in a metaphysical-semantic relation to the truths that do. I motivate this view by critically discussing two problems with Ross Cameron's truthmaker theory of fundamentality. I then defend this view against Theodore Sider's objection that the truthmaking approach to fundamentality violates the purity constraint. Truthmaker theorists can (...) have a trouble-free theory of fundamentality. (shrink)
Structural universals are a kind of complex universal. They have been put to work in a variety of philosophical theories but are plagued with problems concerning their compositional nature. In this article, we will discuss the following questions. What are structural universals? Why believe in them? Can we give a consistent account of their compositional nature? What are the costs of doing so?
Donald C. Williams was a key figure in the development of analytic philosophy. This book will be the definitive source for his highly original work, which did much to bring metaphysics back into fashion. It presents six classic papers and six previously unpublished, revealing his full philosophical vision for the first time.
In the climate of concern about high medical costs, the relationship between the trade and professional aspects of medical practice is receiving close scrutiny. In the United Kingdom there is talk of increasing privatisation of health services, and in the United States the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has attempted to define medicine as a trade for the purposes of commercial regulation. The Supreme Court recently upheld the FTC charge that the American Medical Association (AMA) has been in restraint of trade (...) because of ethical strictures against advertising. The concept of profession, as it has been analyzed in sociological, legal, philosophical, and historical perspectives, reveals the importance of an ethic of service as well as technical expertise as defining characteristics of professions. It is suggested that the medical profession should pay more attention to its service ideal at this time when doctors are widely perceived to be technically preoccupied. (shrink)
No recent scholar has ever seriously maintained the genuineness of [Andokides] Oration IV, Against Alkibiades. Against it, one need cite no more than Blass, Attische Beredsamkeit , pp. 325–31; Jebb, Attic Orators , vol. i, pp. 133–9; an, pp. 191–210. The speech is quite ‘out of character’ for Andokides, who was certainly far too young ever to have been in danger of ostrakism as an alternative victim to Nikias or Alkibiades; and there is no reasonable doubt that its ‘dramatic date’ (...) is early in 415, and its ostensible speaker Phaiax, the clever young orator of Aristophanes' Knights , ambassador to Sicily in 422 and butt of Eupolis on divers occasions . These conclusions, however, leave open certain other material questions, especially that of the real date of the composition, on which in turn depends the question how far it can be legitimately used as an historical or biographical source. (shrink)
One of the more obscure arguments for Rawls’ difference principle dubbed ‘the Pareto argument for inequality’ has been criticised by G. A. Cohen (1995, 2008) as being inconsistent. In this paper, we examine and clarify the Pareto argument in detail and argue (1) that justification for the Pareto principles derives from rational selfinterest and thus the Pareto principles ought to be understood as conditions of individual rationality, (2) that the Pareto argument is not inconsistent, contra Cohen, and (3) that the (...) kind of bargaining model required to arrive at the particular unequal distribution that the difference principle picks out is a model that is not based on bargaining according to one’s threat advantage. (shrink)
Bourbaki suggest that their definition of the number 1 runs to some tens of thousands of symbols. We show that that is a considerable under-estimate, the true number of symbols being that in the title, not counting 1 179 618 517 981 links between symbols that are needed to disambiguate the whole expression.
Habitat fragmentation produces isolated patches characterized by increased edge effects from an originally continuous habitat. The shapes of these patches often show a high degree of irregularity: their shapes deviate significantly from regular geometrical shapes such as rectangular and elliptical ones. In fractal theory, the geometry of patches created by a common landscape transformation process should be statistically similar, i.e. their fractal dimensions and their form factors should be equal. In this paper, we analyze 49 woodlot fragments (Pinus sylvestris L.) (...) in the Belgian Kempen region to study the direct relationship between a transformation process and the concomitant patch geometry. Although the fractal dimension of the woodlots is scattered (i.e. they are not statistically similar), the perimeter-area relation of the fragments is characterized by a single, ‘dimension-like’ exponent. This exponent suggests a certain shape homogeneity among the patches, which is confirmed by the absence of hierarchical levels associated with sharp increases of the fractal dimension at scale transitions. The interaction of different natural (soil factor, vegetation type) and anthropogenic (afforestation, urbanization) processes during patch development is assumed to have generated this feature. Comparison of the area and perimeter fractal dimension with an ecological index for habitat quality, the interior-to-edge ratio, shows that the fractal dimension is suitable for predicting interior habitat presence, which is more likely for patches with smooth perimeters and compact areas. The ratio of the area to the perimeter fractal dimension confirms this observation, with high values for high interior-to-edge ratios, characteristic for regularly shaped patches. (shrink)
Eleven previously published essays presenting a moderately unified argument in favor of the general conception of what Jonas calls the "Philosophy of Life," as well as detailed arguments pointing in the direction of a non-dualistic, realistic, and non-naturalistic philosophy of mind. The "nons" are deliberately placed, as Jonas spends the better part of the book questioning the tenability of dualistic and, especially, materialistic and mechanistically oriented theories of mind. With extraordinary historical sensitivity—at times threatening to dissolve a problem by laying (...) bare the conceptual confusions which surrounded its origins—and with a better than working knowledge of biology and physiology, not to mention anthropology, Jonas argues, on the one hand, that the clues to the dynamism and structure of mind are to be found in such organic features as sentience, motility, and emotion: e.g., the conceptual strands that unite in the notions of causality and truth are rooted in the respective experiences of force and resistance, and vision. On the other hand, Jonas argues for the irreducibility of the subject-object structure of man's relation to nature on the grounds that this is the necessary burden of subjectivity. In all, the book is an impressive performance.—E. A. R. (shrink)
Suicide is amongst the top ten causes of death for all age groups in most countries of the world. It is the second most important cause of death in the younger age group (15-19 yrs.) , second only to vehicular accidents. Attempted suicides are ten times the successful suicide figures, and 1-2% attempted suicides become successful suicides every year. Male sex, widowhood, single or divorced marital status, addiction to alcohol ordrugs, concomitant chronic physical or mental illness, past suicidal attempt, adverse (...) life events, staying in lodging homes or staying alone, or in areas with a changing population, all these conditions predispose people to suicides. The key factor probably is social isolation. An important WHO Study established that out of a total of 6003 suicides, 98% had a psychiatric disorder. Hence mental health professionals have an important role to play in the prevention and management of suicide. Moreover, social disintegration also increases suicides, as was witnessed in the Baltic States following collapse of the Soviet Union. Hence, reducing social isolation, preventing social disintegration and treating mental disorders is the three pronged attack that must be the crux of any public health programme to reduce/prevent suicide. This requires an integrated effort on the part of mental health professionals (including crisis intervention and medication/psychotherapy), governmental measures to tackle poverty and unemployment, and social attempts to reorient value systems and prevent sudden disintegration of norms and mores. Suicide prevention and control is thus a movement which involves the state, professionals, NGOs, volunteers and an enlightened public. Further, the Global Burden of Diseases Study has projected a rise of more than 50% in mental disorders by the year 2020 (from 9.7% in 1990to 15% in 2020). And one third of this rise will be due to Major Depression. One of the prominent causes of preventable mortality is suicidal attempts made by patients of Major Depression. Therefore facilities to tackle this condition need to be set up globally on a warfooting by governments, NGOs and health care delivery systems, if morbidity and mortality of the world population has to be seriously controlled . The need, first of all, is to identify suicide prevention as public health policy, just as we think in terms of Malaria or Polio eradication, or have achieved smallpox eradication. (shrink)
In this paper I outline the main features of Karen Bennett’s (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1–21, 2011) non-classical mereology, and identify its methodological costs. I argue that Bennett’s mereology cannot account for the composition of structural universals because it cannot explain the mereological difference between isomeric universals, such as being butane and being isobutane. I consider responses, which come at costs to the view.
The catch 22 situation in psychiatry is that for precise diagnostic categories/criteria, we need precise investigative tests, and for precise investigative tests, we need precise diagnostic criteria/categories; and precision in both diagnostics and investigative tests is nonexistent at present. The effort to establish clarity often results in a fresh maze of evidence. In finding the way forward, it is tempting to abandon the scientific method, but that is not possible, since we deal with real human psychopathology, not just concepts to (...) speculate over. Search for clear-cut definitions/diagnostic criteria in psychiatry must be relentless. There is a greater need to be ruthless and blunt in this, rather than being accommodative of diverse opinions. Investigative tests - psychological, serum, CSF, or neuroimaging - are only corroborative at present; they need to become definitive. Medicalisation appears most prominent in psychiatry; so, diagnostic proliferation and fuzziness appear inevitable. And yet, the established diagnostic entities need to forward greater and conclusive precision. Also, the need for clarity and precision must outweigh pandering to and mollifying diverse interests, moreso in the upcoming revision of diagnostic manuals. This is specially because the DSM-5, being an Association manual, may need to accommodate powerful member lobbies; and ICD-11 may similarly need to cater to diverse country lobbies. Finding precise biological correlates of psychiatric phenomena, whether through neuroimaging, molecular neurobiology and/or neurogenomics, is the right way forward. It is in the 1.5-kg structure in the cranium that all secrets of psychiatric conditions lie. Social forces, behavioural modification, psychosocial restructuring, study of intrapsychic processes, and philosophical insights are not to be discounted, but they are supplementary to the primary goal - studying and deciphering those brain processes that result in psychiatric malfunction. Experimental breakthroughs, both in psychiatric aetiology and therapeutics, will come mainly from biology and its adjunct, psychopharmacology; while supplementary and complementary breakthroughs will come from the psychosocial, cognitive and behavioural approaches; the support base will come from phenomenology, epidemiology, nosology and diagnostics; while insights and leads can hopefully come from many fields, especially the psychosocial, the behavioural, the cognitive and the philosophical. Major energies must now be marshalled towards finding biomarkers and deciphering the precise phenotype-genotype-endophenotype axis of psychiatric disorders. Energies also need to be focussed on unravelling those critical processes in the brain that tip the scale towards psychiatric disorders. At how those critical processes are set into motion by forces de novo, in utero, in the genes and their expression, by the environment's psychopathological social forces - stress, peer pressure, poverty, deprivation, alienation, malnutrition, discrimination of various types (caste, gender, race, etc.), mass conflicts (war, terror attacks, etc.), disasters (natural and man-made), religious/ideological fascism - or social institutions like marriage, family, work place, political governance, etc. Ultimately, we must decipher how the brain goes into malfunction when such varied forces impinge on it, which precise cortical areas and neuronal cellular and molecular processes are involved in such malfunction and its manifestation, as also which of these are involved when malfunction ceases and health is restored, and the psychosocial processes and institutions which aid such health restoration, as also those which promote well-being and help in primary prevention. Emphasis on the brain and its intimate neurological and molecular mechanisms will not impinge on, or nullify, importance of the 'mind,' wherein subtle and gross brain functions in the form of behaviour, thought and emotions in all their ramifications will continue to be the focus of psychological, cognitive, sociological, psychopharmacological, behavioural and philosophical research. Progress in brain research must move in tandem with progress in 'mind' research. (shrink)
The task of preparing a case is similar to writing a legal brief or an essay insofar as all three should contain a thesis or main point and argumentation or logically arranged facts and inferences. However, different from a brief or an essay, case studies should not contain a conclusion. A case should lead the reader through the facts, but it should not offer a firm or fixed resolution or moral judgment. Ideally it should leave the reader with the opportunity (...) to create and insert their own conclusion.A good case study should be amenable to the following kinds of questions or analysis procedures:A. What is the problem? or What is at stake? B. What are the non-normative or factual issues involved? C. What are the normative or ethical issues involved? D. What are the alternatives available? E. What decision would you make? (shrink)
As a patient approaches death, family members often are asked about their loved one’s preferences regarding treatment at the end of life. Advance care directives may provide information for families and surrogate decision makers; however, less than one-third of Americans have completed such documents. As the U.S. population continues to age, many surrogate decision makers likely will rely on other means to discern or interpret a loved one’s preferences. While many surrogates indicate that they have some knowledge of their loved (...) one’s preferences, how surrogates obtain such knowledge is not well understood. Additionally, although research indicates that the emotional burden of end-of-life decision making is diminished when surrogates have knowledge that a loved one’s preferences are honored, it remains unclear how surrogates come to know these preferences were carried out. The current study examined the ways that next of kin knew veterans’ end-of-life preferences, and their ways of knowing whether those preferences were honored in Veteran Affairs Medical Center inpatient settings. (shrink)