A review of A. Hisch and N. de Marchi's thorough historical study on Milton Friedman's life-long work as an economist (and more specifically as a monetary economist) and as an economic methodologist (in his famous essay "The Methodology of Positive Economics".
Milton Friedman's famous methodological essay contains, along with much else, some strands that look as though they were taken from the “empirical-scientific” fabric described by Karl Popper. Think, for example, of Friedman's conviction that the way to test a hypothesis is to compare its implications with experience. Or of his more or less explicit espousal of the view that while no amount of facts can ever prove a hypothesis true, a single “fact” may refute it. Or of his assertion that (...) hypotheses are to be accepted only as provisionally true, and then only after repeated efforts to refute them have failed. The appearance of these Popperian ideas is not surprising. (shrink)
Ancient Peripatetics and Neoplatonists had great difficulty coming up with a consistent, interpretatively reasonable, and empirically adequate Aristotelian theory of complete mixture or complexion. I explain some of the main problems, with special attention to authors with whom Avicenna was familiar. I then show how Avicenna used a new doctrine of the occultness of substantial form to address these problems. The result was in some respects an improvement, but it also gave rise to a new set of problems, which were (...) later to prove fateful in the history of early modern philosophy. (shrink)
Abraham Verghese proposes to renew medicine by training physicians to read the right texts—literary fiction and patients' bodies—with skilled attention. Analyzing Verghese's proposal with reference to Foucault's idea of the "clinical gaze," I find that Verghese conceives of patients as texts that only physicians can read, meaning that physicians become the storytellers of the bodies, lives, and deaths of the people they meet as patients. I conclude that Verghese's project is unsustainable and alternatively propose thinking analogically of physicians as (...) ship captains who maintain therapeutic distance to reopen interpretative spaces for communities outside of medicine. (shrink)
Eli Hirsch has argued in many places that non-commonsensical ontological claims just couldn't be true, since there is strong metasemantic pressure to charitably interpret natural language---correct interpretations must, unless all else is highly unequal, count a sentence (especially a perceptual sentence) as true if ordinary speakers regard it as being obviously true. In previous work I replied that ontologists can stipulatively introduce a new language, "Ontologese", that is exempt from this pressure toward charity. Hirsch has recently objected to (...) this proposal; this paper is my reply. (shrink)
Marianne Hirsch’s influential concept of postmemory articulates the ethical significance of representing trauma in art and literature. Postmemory, for Hirsch, “describes the relationship of children of survivors of cultural or collective trauma to the experiences of their parents, experiences that they ‘remember’ only as the narratives and images with which they grew up, but that are so powerful, so monumental, as to constitute memories in their own right”. Through appeal to recent philosophical work on memory, the ethics of (...) remembering, and Peter Goldie’s discussion of empathy, I explore the virtues and limitations of Hirsch’s concept of postmemory. I take particular issue with her recent attempt to place author W.G. Sebald in league with the postmemory generation. (shrink)
Abraham Pais's Subtle Is the Lord was a publishing phenomenon: a mathematically sophisticated exposition of the science and the life of Albert Einstein that reached a huge audience and won an American Book Award. Reviewers hailed the book as "a monument to sound scholarship and graceful style", "an extraordinary biography of an extraordinary man", and "a fine book". In this groundbreaking new volume, Pais undertakes a history of the physics of matter and of physical forces since the discovery of (...) x-rays. The book attempts to relate not only what has happened over the last hundred years but why it happened the way it did, what it was like for those scientists involved, and how what at the time may have seemed a series of bizarre or unrelated events, now with hindsight emerges as a logical sequence of events. Pais, a noted physicist, was personally involved in many of the developments he describes, and thus Inward Bound, like his earlier book, is filled with unique insights into the world of big and small physics. Between 1895 and 1983, the period he covers, the smallest distances explored have shrunk a hundred millionfold, Pais notes. Along this incompletely traveled "road inward," scientists have established markers that later generations will rank among the principal monuments of the twentieth century. In alternating technical and nontechnical sections, this magisterial survey richly conveys what has been discovered about the constituents of matter, the laws to which they are subject, and the forces that act on them. But the advances have certainly not come smoothly. The book shows that these have been times of progress and stagnation, of order and chaos, of clarity and confusion, of belief and incredulity, of the conventional and the bizarre; also of revolutionaries and conservatives, of science by individuals and by consortia, of little gadgets and big machines, and of modest funds and big money. About the Author: Abraham Pais is Detlev W. Bronk Professor of Physics at the Rockefeller University. The author of the prizewinning biography of Einstein now undertakes a history of modern physics. (shrink)
The principle that a sentence should be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence remains at the centre of penal practice and scholarly debate. This volume explores highly topical aspects of proportionality theory that require examination and further analysis. von Hirsch and Ashworth explore the relevance of the principle of proportionality to the sentencing of young offenders, the possible reasons for departing from the principle when sentencing dangerous offenders, and the application of the principle to socially deprived offenders. They (...) examine the claim that the principle tends to be associated with greater severity in sentencing, and explore the relevance of penance and of restorative justice to proportionality theory. Their examination of arguments and counter-arguments culminates in a re-statement of the main criteria for proportionate sentencing.The authors are well known for their previous writings on proportionality theory, and this volume broadens the theory to deal with important contemporary issues in crime and punishment. (shrink)
Back cover: Dieses Buch enthält die wichtigstern religionsphilosophischen Einsichten des bedeutenden evangelischen Theologen Emanuel Hirsch. Mit ihrer Verbindung von tiefem religiösem Ernst und unbedingter intellektueller Redlichkeit können sie in der inzwischen stark veränderten religiösen Landschaft immer noch als wegweisend angesehen werden. Demgegenüber fordern ideologische Restbestände aus der Epoche des Dritten Reiches zur kritischen Auseinandersetzung heraus. Doch ist ihre Rolle für diese Religionsphilosophie nur von untergeordneter Bedeutung.
In "The pitfalls of heritability," a review of Edward O. Wilson’s Consilience Times Literary Supplement, Feb 12, 1999, p33], Jerry Hirsch claims to have convicted Wilson of a "confusion about genetic similarity and difference." In his book, Wilson claims that if we assume that "a mere one thousand genes out of the fifty to a hundred thousand genes in the human genome were to exist in two forms in the population," the probability of any two humans--excluding identical siblings--having the (...) same genotype is vanishingly small. Hirsch points out that a single genotype can be produced in more than one way, thus increasing the likelihood of a single genotype recurring in the human population. Hirsch’s point is fair enough as far it goes, but it does not go nearly far enough. Hirsch has failed to carry out all the relevant calculations needed to determine the probability of two humans having the same genotype. In the realm of Vast numbers ("Very much greater than ASTronomical"--Dennett, 1995, p109), increased likelihood in and of itself tells us nothing. Here, then, are some of the relevant calculations. (shrink)
This book reflects on the variety of ways in which mourning affects political and social life. Through the narrative of the contributors, the book demonstrates how mourning is intertwined with politics and how politics involves a struggle over which losses and whose lives can, or should, be mourned.
Contemporary theories of criminalisation address, with varying emphasis, themes concerning the harmfulness and the wrongfulness of the conduct. In his article for the present issue, Antony Duff relies chiefly on notions of wrongfulness as the basis for his proposed criminalisation doctrines; whereas in their 2011 volume on criminalisation, Andrew Simester and Andreas von Hirsch invoke both wrongfulness and harmfulness as prerequisites for prohibiting conduct. The present article assesses the comparative merits of these approaches, and argues in favour of the (...) latter, two-element perspective. In this article, the author puts forward a number of reasons suggesting why the two-element approach is preferable. These reasons include, firstly, an inductive argument—that the kinds of wrongful conduct for which criminalisation seems a plausible response are those that include an element of harm or risk of harm. Secondly, a defining role for the state is one of resource-protection: of safeguarding the means and resources through which citizens can live good lives. Thus the concept of citizens’ living resources—and the related conception of harm—should be made a constitutive and explicit element of criminalisation theory, rather than subsuming resource-protection under a general rubric of wrongfulness. Thirdly, a two-element approach provides reciprocal limiting principles concerning the scope of criminalisation. One can, for example, employ wrongfulness requirements to limit the criminalisation of conduct that has remote harmful consequences; and, conversely, use a harmfulness requirement as means for restricting the criminalisation of wrongful acts. (shrink)
Hirsch advocates a certain kind of metaontological deflationism. He believes that, sometimes, metaphysicians are talking past each other. In his opinion, the debate between compositional organicists and compositional universalists is a prototypical verbal dispute. I argue that his diagnosis is wrong especially with regard to this central case. My argument also weakens his deflationist position in general.
A number of jurisdictions, including England and Wales after their adoption of the 1991 Criminal Justice Act, require that sentences be `proportionate' to the severity of the crime. This book, written by the leading architect of `just deserts' sentencing theory, discusses how sentences may be scaled proportionately to the gravity of the crime. Topics dealt with include how the idea of a penal censure justifies proportionate sentences; how a penalty scale should be `anchored' to reduce overall punishment levels; how non-custodial (...) penalties should be graded and used; and how political pressures impinge on sentencing policies. (shrink)
Abraham has played a prominent role in recent developments in phenomenology and, in particular, continental philosophy of religion. This paper examines the importance that the scene of Genesis 22 plays in both Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion’s contributions to continental philosophy of religion. Specifically, I argue that Derrida and Marion turn to this scene of the binding of Isaac in order to describe the way in which our ethical life is structured religiously around the theme of sacrifice. In this, (...) sacrifice brings an impetus to ethical life that includes a comportment to the other but also extends beyond the other to include the givenness of phenomena themselves. (shrink)
What is the role of psychoanalysis in today's world? _Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow _presents a selection of papers written by Hanna Segal. The collection introduces the reader to a wide spectrum of insights into psychoanalysis, ranging from current thoughts on the nature of dreaming to new ideas about vision and disillusionment. Her long interest in factors affecting war is pursued in her examination of the psychotic factors, symbolic significance and psychological impact of the events of September the 11th, and the (...) ensuing war on Iraq. The second half of the book discusses Segal's presentations to conferences and symposia from 1969-2000, this material is split into six sections: Models of the mind and mental processes Psychoanalytic technique Segal on Klein Segal on Bion Envy and narcissism Interviews. _Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow_ is a masterly contribution to the field. Segal's clarity of thought and striking clinical illustrations make the book accessible to those new to the field as well as those acquainted with her seminal work. (shrink)
We prove that everyn-modal logic betweenKnandS5nis undecidable, whenever n ≥ 3. We also show that each of these logics is non-finitely axiomatizable, lacks the product finite model property, and there is no algorithm deciding whether a finite frame validates the logic. These results answer several questions of Gabbay and Shehtman. The proofs combine the modal logic technique of Yankov–Fine frame formulas with algebraic logic results of Halmos, Johnson and Monk, and give a reduction of the representation problem of finite relation (...) algebras. (shrink)
We show, for any ordinal γ ≥ 3, that the class RaCAγ is pseudo-elementary and has a recursively enumerable elementary theory. ScK denotes the class of strong subalgebras of members of the class K. We devise games, Fⁿ (3 ≤ n ≤ ω), G, H, and show, for an atomic relation algebra A with countably many atoms, that Ǝ has a winning strategy in Fω(At(A)) ⇔ A ∈ ScRaCAω, Ǝ has a winning strategy in Fⁿ(At(A)) ⇐ A ∈ ScRaCAn, Ǝ (...) has a winning strategy in G(At(A)) ⇐ A ∈ RaCAω, Ǝ has a winning strategy in H(At(A)) ⇒ A ∈ RaRCAω for 3 ≤ n < ω. We use these games to show, for γ ≥ 5 and any class K of relation algebras satisfying RaRCAγ ⊆ K ⊆ ScRaCA₅, that K is not closed under subalgebras and is not elementary. For infinite γ, the inclusion RaCAγ ⊂ ScRaCAγ is strict. For infinite γ and for a countable relation algebra A we show that A has a complete representation if and only if A is atomic and Ǝ has a winning strategy in F(At(A)) if and only if A is atomic and A ∈ ScRaCAγ. (shrink)
That a science of human conduct is possible, that what any man may do even in moments of the most sober and careful reflection can be understood and explained, has seemed to many a philosopher to cast doubt upon our common view that any human action can ever be said to be truly free. This book, first published in 1961, into crucially important issues that are often ignored in the familiar arguments for and against the possibility of free action. These (...) issues are brought to light and examined in some detail. (shrink)