Barry Maguire has recently argued that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes like fear and admiration differs fundamentally from that of reasons. These arguments appear to raise new and serious challenges for the popular ‘reasons-first’ view according to which normative support of any kind comes from reasons. In this paper, I show how proponents of the reasons-first view can meet these challenges. They can do so, I argue, if they can successfully meet some other well-known challenges to their (...) view: distinguishing between right and wrong kinds of reasons, distinguishing between reasons, enablers, and defeaters, and providing an account of the relation between reasons and rationality. Whether proponents of the reasons-first view can meet these other challenges remains controversial. I do not try to settle these questions here, but rather show that the debate about the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is not going to be settled in isolation from them. (shrink)
Summary Mining companies after the Gold Rush depended heavily on foreign expertise, and yet historians of mining have glorified ?German engineering? in America. The application of German technology in America was fraught with difficulties, and most advances were micro- rather than macro-innovations, such as Philip Deidesheimer's famous square-set timbering on the Comstock Lode. The problem began at German mining schools, such as the Freiberg Mining Academy, where Americans like Louis and Henry Janin, while they acquired advanced training and adopted an (...) engineering ethos, struggled to learn about Mexican and American mining. Having complemented their course of study to remedy this deficiency, the brothers returned to the US intending to modernize mining on the frontier. Louis attempted the ?Freiberg Process? of amalgamation on the Comstock Lode, but locally developed methods proved more feasible, and the experiment failed. He came to apply his training rather toward the micro-level problem of how to reprocess amalgamation waste heaps. (shrink)
Tall tales abound in Ctesias'Indica, as scholars have not hesitated to emphasize, heaping ridicule on the author's enthusiasm for the fantastic and on his apparent lack of regard for the truth. However, by no means everything in the work is absurd or wrong, and marvels too are no surprise. After all, as a resident of the Persian court for a number of years at the end of the fifth century B.C., Ctesias had seen items from India which would have been (...) truly remarkable to Greeks of his time. He had seen, for example, elephants, which few Greeks before Alexander's Asian campaigns had done, and, it should be added, much of what he says about these animals is quite correct. The following pages discuss what he relates of the bird which he calls the β⋯ττακκος, the parrot, or rather what Photius in a not entirely problem-free section of his summary of the work preserves of the original description. As with Ctesias' account of the elephant, this is the first Greek description, so far as we know. (shrink)
Tall tales abound in Ctesias' Indica, as scholars have not hesitated to emphasize, heaping ridicule on the author's enthusiasm for the fantastic and on his apparent lack of regard for the truth. However, by no means everything in the work is absurd or wrong, and marvels too are no surprise. After all, as a resident of the Persian court for a number of years at the end of the fifth century B.C., Ctesias had seen items from India which would have (...) been truly remarkable to Greeks of his time. He had seen, for example, elephants, which few Greeks before Alexander's Asian campaigns had done, and, it should be added, much of what he says about these animals is quite correct. The following pages discuss what he relates of the bird which he calls the βττακκος, the parrot, or rather what Photius in a not entirely problem-free section of his summary of the work preserves of the original description. As with Ctesias' account of the elephant, this is the first Greek description, so far as we know. (shrink)
One of the few points of agreement to be found in mainstream responses to the logical and semantic problems generated by vagueness is the view that if any modification of classical logic and semantics is required at all then it will only be such as to admit underdetermined reference and truth-value gaps. Logics of vagueness including many valued logics, fuzzy logics, and supervaluation logics all provide responses in accord with this view. The thought that an adequate response might require the (...) recognition of cases of overdetermination and truth value gluts has few supporters. This imbalance lacks justification. As it happens, Jaskowski's paraconsistent discussive logic-a logic which admits truth value gluts-can be defended by reflecting on similarities between it and the popular supervaluationist analysis of vagueness already in the philosophical literature. A simple dualisation of supervaluation semantics results in a paraconsistent logic of vagueness based on what has been termed subvaluational semantics. (shrink)
Assuming S5, the main controversial premise in modal ontological arguments is the possibility premise, such as that possibly a maximally great being exists. I shall offer a new way of arguing that the possibility premise is probably true.
Some of the greatest writers on moral philosophy have claimed that their theories about morality do not run counter to the moral views of ordinary men, but on the contrary are an elucidation of such views, or provide them with a sound philosophical underpinning. Aristotle, for example, made it quite clear that he could not take seriously a moral view that was at odds with the heritage of moral wisdom deeply imbedded in his society. His doctrine of the mean was (...) based on a philosophical consideration of such wisdom. And Immanuel Kant thought that his moral philosophy articulated the moral views of ordinary men. (shrink)
In this paper we develop an analysis of dispositions by means of causal Bayes nets. In particular, we analyze dispositions as cause-effect structures that increase the probability of the manifestation when the stimulus is brought about by intervention in certain circumstances. We then highlight several advantages of our analysis and how it can handle problems arising for classical analyses of dispositions such as masks, mimickers, and finks.
This paper discusses two passages from Alexander of Aphrodisias’s commentary on Aristotle’s Topics that are transmitted in Ps-Jābir’s Kitāb al-Nukhab. It argues that the Arabic translation of Alexander’s commentary may have been made from a fuller version than what came down to us in Greek. Especially since the author of the Jābir-corpus form a tradition different from the school of Ḥunayn b. Isḥāq and authors associated to the ‘Baghdad school’, whose earliest figure is Abū Bishr Mattā b. Yūnus, (...) the Arabic fragments of Alexander’s commentary preserved in the Kitāb al-Nukhab promise to shed more light on the early reception of the Topics and the different contexts in which Aristotelian dialectic was studied in the Islamic world. (shrink)
This is a rewarding book. In terms of area, it has one foot firmly planted in metaphysics and the other just as firmly set in the philosophy of science. Nature's Metaphysics is distinctive for its thorough and detailed defense of fundamental, natural properties as essentially dispositional and for its description of how these dispositional properties are thus suited to sustain the laws of nature as (metaphysically) necessary truths.
Some, notably Peter van Inwagen, in order to avoid problems with free will and omniscience, replace the condition that an omniscient being knows all true propositions with a version of the apparently weaker condition that an omniscient being knows all knowable true propositions. I shall show that the apparently weaker condition, when conjoined with uncontroversial claims and the logical closure of an omniscient being's knowledge, still yields the claim that an omniscient being knows all true propositions.
Social and behavioral scientists — that is, students of human nature — nowadays hardly ever use the term ‘human nature’. This reticence reflects both a becoming modesty about the aims of their disciplines and a healthy skepticism about whether there is any one thing really worthy of the label ‘human nature’. For some feature of humankind to be identified as accounting for our ‘nature’, it would have to reflect some property both distinctive of our species and systematically influential enough to (...) explain some very important aspect of our behavior. Compare: molecular structure gives the essence or the nature of water just because it explains most of its salient properties. Few students of the human sciences currently hold that there is just one or a small number of such features that can explain our actions and/or our institutions. And even among those who do, there is reluctance to label their theories as claims about ‘human nature’. Among anthropologists and sociologists, the label seems too universal and indiscriminant to be useful. The idea that there is a single underlying character that might explain similarities threatens the differences among people and cultures that these social scientists seek to uncover. Even economists, who have explicitly attempted to parlay rational choice theory into an account of all human behavior, do not claim that the maximization of transitive preferences is ‘human nature’. I think part of the reason that social scientists are reluctant to use ‘human nature’ is that the term has traditionally labeled a theory with normative implications as well as descriptive ones. (shrink)
I argue that the Ruth Chang’s Chaining Argument for her parity view of value incomparability trades illicitly on the vagueness of the predicate ‘is comparable with’. Chang is alert to this danger and argues that the predicate is not vague, but this defense does not succeed. The Chaining Argument also faces a dilemma. The predicate is either vague or precise. If it is vague, then the argument is most plausibly a sorites. If it is precise, then the argument is either (...) question begging or dialectically ineffective. I argue that no chaining-type argument can succeed. (shrink)
The free-will defence holds that the value of significant free will is so great that God is justified in creating significantly free creatures even if there is a risk or certainty that these creatures will sin. A difficulty for the FWD, developed carefully by Quentin Smith, is that God is unable to do evil, and yet surely lacks no genuinely valuable kind of freedom. Smith argues that the kind of freedom that God has can be had by creatures, without a (...) risk of creatures doing evil. I shall show that Smith's argument fails – the case of God is disanalogous to the case of creatures precisely because creatures are creatures. (shrink)
This volume contains the Arabic translations of a lost treatise by Alexander of Aphrodisias (c. AD 200) "On the Principles of the Universe" with English translation, introduction and commentary. It also includes an Arabic and Syriac glossary. The introduction and commentary deal in detail with the manuscripts, the translators and the exegetical tendencies of the text, as well as with its reception in Arabic philosophy. The main theme of the work is the motion of the heavenly bodies and their (...) influence on the physical world. (shrink)
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Age, as a variable, represents a critical basis for demographic classification; thus, its misrepresentations or misreporting alter the accuracy of demographic estimates. This paper examines the extent and pattern of age heaping in the age data for adults, collected in the Nigerian Demographic Health Survey. The study used the NDHS data for 2003, 2008, and 2013 to compute a Whipple’s and Meyers’ blended index for each survey year, by gender, geopolitical zones, states and place of residence. The analysis shows that (...) age heaping was higher than the acceptable levels in all three data sets. The Whipple’s index puts the rate of age heaping in the 2003 dataset at 271.3, whilst the rates declined slightly in the 2008 and 2013 datasets to reach 204.2 and 202.5 respectively. Similarly, the Myers’ blended index portrayed that age heaping in the 2003 data was highest at 47.0 while the subsequent years were lower at 38.60 and 38.66, respectively. Digits ending in 0 and 5 were mostly reported in all three surveys and higher rates of age heaping were observed among males, the uneducated and rural dwellers. Age heaping was prominent in all three surveys, thus affecting the data quality gathered at these surveys. Thus, future studies should assess the extent to which age misreporting could bias the estimate of fertility rate. (shrink)
Fragmentalism was originally introduced as a new A-theory of time. It was further refined and discussed, and different developments of the original insight have been proposed. In a celebrated paper, Jonathan Simon contends that fragmentalism delivers a new realist account of the quantum state—which he calls conservative realism—according to which: the quantum state is a complete description of a physical system, the quantum state is grounded in its terms, and the superposition terms are themselves grounded in local goings-on about the (...) system in question. We will argue that fragmentalism, at least along the lines proposed by Simon, does not offer a new, satisfactory realistic account of the quantum state. This raises the question about whether there are some other viable forms of quantum fragmentalism. (shrink)
Die Untersuchung analysiert deswegen nach einem einleitenden Vorschlag zur Bestimmung des Verhältnisses von Logik und Metaphysik im Anschluss an Leibniz Baumgartens Erkenntnistheorie in ihrer charakteristischen Komplementarität von Ästhetik und Logik, die das gesamte Feld aller möglichen Gewissheit, d. h. des Bewusstseins der Wahrheit der verschiedensten Erkenntnisse, abdecken. Darüber hinaus erörtert sie auch deren mögliche Gegenstände, nämlich die Beschaffenheit der Dinge, wie sie das Wissen Gottes als eine ideale Metaphysik enthielte. Auf der Grundlage einer Ontologie teilweise unbestimmer aktualer Existenz kommt Baumgarten (...) zu einer kosmologischen Theorie monadischer Bewegtheit aller körperlichen Dinge. Sie führt zu einer Psychologie des Erkennens und Handelns, aus der ein indeterministischer Begriff menschlicher Willensfreiheit folgt, die auch von Gottes Allwissen nicht beschränkt wird. (shrink)
Is a government required or permitted to redistribute the gains and losses that differences in biological endowments generate? In particular, does the fact that individuals possess different biological endowments lead to unfair advantages within a market economy? These are questions on which some people are apt to have strong intuitions and ready arguments. Egalitarians may say yes and argue that as unearned, undeserved advantages and disadvantages, biological endowments are never fair, and that the market simply exacerbates these inequities. Libertarians may (...) say no, holding that the possession of such endowments deprives no one of an entitlement and that any system but a market would deprive agents of the rights to their endowments. Biological endowments may well lead to advantages or disadvantages on their view, but not to unfair ones. I do not have strong intuitions about answers to these questions, in part because I believe that they are questions of great difficulty. To begin, alternative answers rest on substantial assumptions in moral philosophy that seem insufficiently grounded. Moreover, the questions involve several problematical assumptions about the nature of biological endowments. Finally, I find the questions to be academic, in the pejorative sense of this term. For aside from a number of highly debilitating endowments, the overall moral significance of differences between people seems so small, so I interdependent and so hard to measure, that these differences really will 1 not enter into practical redistributive calculations, even if it is theoretically i permissible that they do so. Before turning to a detailed discussion of biological endowments and their moral significance, I sketch my doubts about the fundamental moral theories that dictate either the impermissibility or the obligation to compensate for different biological endowments. (shrink)
In the Museum of Science and Technology in San Jose, California, there is a display dedicated to advances in biotechnology. Most prominent in the display is a double helix of telephone books stacked in two staggered spirals from the floor to the ceiling twenty-five feet above. The books are said to represent the current state of our knowledge of the eukaryotic genome: the primary sequences of DNA polynucleotides for the gene products which have been discovered so far in the twenty (...) years since cloning and sequencing the genome became possible. (shrink)
“Ex nihilo nihil fit,” goes the classic adage: nothing comes from nothing. Parmenides used the Principle of Sufficient Reason to argue that there was no such thing as change: If there was change, why did it happen when it happened rather than earlier or later? “Nothing happens in vain, but everything for a reason and under necessitation,” claimed Leucippus. Saint Thomas insisted in the.
A recombinationist like the earlier Armstrong (1989) claims that logically possible worlds are recombinations of items found in the actual world, with some items reduplicated if need be and others deleted. An immediate consequence of this is that if an..
This book presents some of the most recent trends and developments in Presocratic scholarship. A wide range of topics are covered - from the metaphysical to the moral to the methodological - as well as a broad a range of authors: from recognized figures such as Heraclitus and Parmenides to Sophistic thinkers whose place has traditionally been marginalized, such as Gorgias and the author of the Dissoi Logoi. Several of the pieces are concerned with the later reception and influence of (...) the Presocratics on ancient philosophy, an area of study important both for the light it sheds on our evidence for Presocratic thought and for understanding the philosophical power of their ideas. Drawing together contributions from distinguished authorities and internationally acclaimed scholars of ancient philosophy, this book offers new challenges to traditional interpretations in some areas of Presocratic philosophy and finds new support for traditional interpretations in other areas. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that divine creation of human beings is compatible with evolutionary theory, except perhaps in regard of the human soul, and that neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory provides an explanation of speciation and of complex features of organisms that undercuts Paley-style teleological arguments, whether or not the evolutionary mechanisms are truly random or deterministic. I will argue that a plausible understanding of the doctrine of creation of human beings is either logically or rationally incompatible with full evolutionary theory, even (...) if one does not take souls into account. Consequently, a theist needs to move to a weaker version either of the creation doctrine or of evolutionary theory, or both. (shrink)