We seem to have strong intuitions that many visual representations -- such as descriptions, depictions and diagrams -- can be classified into different types. But how should we understand the differences between these representational types? On a standard view, the answer is assumed to lie in the presence or absence of a single property. I argue first that this assumption is undermotivated, and offer a particular two-property analysis, which can be used both to differentiate the various types and to understand (...) better what factors affect changes in classification. This in turn can also be used to capture a core idea of perspicuity, and to ground an argument for the general perspicuity of diagrams as a representational type. Finally, I suggest that two complementary and independently plausible theories bearing on the nature of diagrammatic representation can be located within the suggested two-property approach. (shrink)
In his book Attention, Professor Alan White says ‘When you see X, it follows that if X is Y, you see Y whether you realise it or not.’ If, in passing through Paris, I saw a tall complex iron structure and that structure is the Eiffel Tower, then I saw the Eiffel Tower whether I realised it or not. I accept this, but because recent philosophical writings and discussions have cast doubt on the validity of the inference-pattern I saw x (...) ; x is y ; so I saw y and certain related patterns, it is clear that we cannot be content with this unvarnished statement. Various entertaining examples are produced to show that some instances of this pattern are invalid and therefore that the pattern itself is invalid. If I saw Jones at noon and at noon Jones was bribing Smith then, it is alleged, I cannot conclude that I saw Jones bribing Smith. Similarly, it is said, from the facts that I saw a man in the far distance and that that man was my father, I cannot conclude that I saw my father in the far distance; from the facts that I saw a foot and that that foot was Lloyd George's I cannot conclude that I saw Lloyd George. (shrink)
This paper criticizes the conception of applied ethics as the top-down application of a theory to practical issues. It is argued that a theory such as utilitarianism cannot override our intuitive moral perceptions. We cannot be radically mistaken about the kinds of considerations which count as practical reasons, and it is the task of theoretical ethics to articulate the basic kinds of considerations which we appeal to in practical discussions. Dworkin's model of doing ethics ‘from the inside out’ is used (...) to illustrate the appropriate role for theory in a broader sense. In conclusion, some sceptical questions are raised about how far theoretical ethics can contribute to public policy, especially if this requires a consensus. (shrink)
???Everyone agrees that the moral features of things supervene on their natural features??? , 22). Everyone is wrong, or so I will argue. In the first section, I explain the version of moral supervenience that Smith and others argue everyone should accept. In the second section, I argue that the mere conceptual possibility of a divine command theory of morality is sufficient to refute the version of moral supervenience under consideration. Lastly, I consider and respond to two objections, showing, among (...) other things, that while DCT is sufficient to refute this version of moral supervenience it is not necessary. (shrink)
The chief defect of all previous materialism is that things, reality, the sensible world, are conceived only in the form of objects of observation , but not as human sense activity , not as practical activity , not subjectively. Hence, in opposition to materialism, the active side was developed abstractly by idealism, which of course does not know real sense activity as such.
Legal and social norms regarding gender relations have undergone dramatic changes in the past 25 years. The changes have come about largely because of the confluence of changing economic and technological realities, the unfolding of the norm dictating equal treatment of individuals, the sexual revolution and its corollaries of improved contraception and legal abortion, the rise of women as a self-conscious group and a presence in the academy, and the interrelations of all of these factors. As men and women have (...) come to share dormitories and workplaces, and as the old mores governing sex—and male-female relations in general—have broken down, there has been struggle and uncertainty over what norms should apply to sexual relations. (shrink)
This volume reflects the late Norman Calder's own interests and contributions. It includes articles by scholars who are similarly renowned for their sophisticated and challenging approaches to Arabic and Islamic texts. Also represented are his former students and colleagues working in the field of Rabbinic Studies, which informed his own work.
This volume reflects the late Norman Calder's own interests and contributions. It includes articles by scholars who are already renowned, like Calder, for their sophisticated and challenging approaches to Arabic and Islamic texts. The papers are on a variety of topics of interest to people in the field of Middle Eastern cultures, and similar in nature to other collections, conference volumes and Festschriften. Also represented are his former students colleagues working in the field of Rabbinic Studies, which informed his (...) own work. Topics include: Transformations of Jewish Traditions in Early Islam: The case of Enoch/Idris, Narrative and Doctrine in the First Story of Rumi's Masnavi, Fiqh for beginners: an Anatolian text on jihad, Research Muslim Minorities: some reflections on fieldwork in Britain, Defective marriages in classical Hanafi law, and Can rights co-exist with religion? (shrink)
Throughout the biological and biomedical sciences there is a growing need for, prescriptive ‘minimum information’ (MI) checklists specifying the key information to include when reporting experimental results are beginning to find favor with experimentalists, analysts, publishers and funders alike. Such checklists aim to ensure that methods, data, analyses and results are described to a level sufficient to support the unambiguous interpretation, sophisticated search, reanalysis and experimental corroboration and reuse of data sets, facilitating the extraction of maximum value from data sets (...) them. However, such ‘minimum information’ MI checklists are usually developed independently by groups working within representatives of particular biologically- or technologically-delineated domains. Consequently, an overview of the full range of checklists can be difficult to establish without intensive searching, and even tracking thetheir individual evolution of single checklists may be a non-trivial exercise. Checklists are also inevitably partially redundant when measured one against another, and where they overlap is far from straightforward. Furthermore, conflicts in scope and arbitrary decisions on wording and sub-structuring make integration difficult. This presents inhibit their use in combination. Overall, these issues present significant difficulties for the users of checklists, especially those in areas such as systems biology, who routinely combine information from multiple biological domains and technology platforms. To address all of the above, we present MIBBI (Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations); a web-based communal resource for such checklists, designed to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for those exploring the range of extant checklist projects, and to foster collaborative, integrative development and ultimately promote gradual integration of checklists. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Alexander of Aphrodisias’ commentaries on Aristotle’s Organon are valuable sources for both Stoic and early Peripatetic logic, and have often been used as such – in particular for early Peripatetic hypothetical syllogistic and Stoic propositional logic. By contrast, this paper explores the role Alexander himself played in the development and transmission of those theories. There are three areas in particular where he seems to have made a difference: First, he drew a connection between certain passages from Aristotle’s (...) Topics and Prior Analytics and the Stoic indemonstrable arguments, and, based on this connection, appropriated at least four kinds of Stoic indemonstrables as Aristotelian. Second, he developed and made use of a specifically Peripatetic terminology in which to describe and discuss those arguments – which facilitated the integration of the indemonstrables into Peripatetic logic. Third, he made some progress towards a solution to the problem of what place and interpretation the Stoic third indemonstrables should be given in a Peripatetic and Platonist setting. Overall, the picture emerges that Alexander persistently (if not always consistently) presented passages from Aristotle’s logical œuvre in a light that makes it appear as if Aristotle was in the possession of a Peripatetic correlate to the Stoic theory of indemonstrables. (shrink)
The cognizability of the world according to Alexander von Humboldt: the experience of landscape. According to Alexander von Humboldt, geography ought to aim to go beyond the modern attitude of seeing knowledge as being the result of a spatial and temporal abstraction from the real world. Von Humboldt wishes to create a new theory of knowledge, one that instead of just simplifying, schematizing, and categorizing reality is able to highlight its multiple meanings, its diversity of perspectives, and its (...) hermeneutical keys. Von Humboldt’s project strives to achieve a universal cognition of the world (or a universal geography) by claiming the centrality of the experience of landscape. This is evidence for von Humboldt’s far-sightedness, since he anticipated the present day trend of considering landscape as a corner stone of interdisciplinary enquiries into the meaning of the world. (shrink)
Norman Daniels, in applying Rawls’ theory of justice to the issue of human health, ideally presupposes that society exists in a state of moderate scarcity. However, faced with problems like climate change, many societies find that their state of moderate scarcity is increasingly under threat. The first part of this essay aims to determine the consequences for Daniels’ theory of just health when we incorporate into Rawls’ understanding of justice the idea that the condition of moderate scarcity can fail. (...) Most significantly, I argue for a generation-neutral principle of basic needs that is lexically prior to Rawls’ familiar principles of justice. The second part of this paper aims to demonstrate how my reformulated version of Daniels’ conception of just health can help to justify action on climate change and guide climate policy within liberal-egalitarian societies. (shrink)
According to Alexander of Aphrodisias, our potential intellect is a purely receptive capacity. Alexander also claims that, in order for us to actualise our intellectual potentiality, the intellect needs to abstract what is intelligible from enmattered perceptible objects. Now a problem emerges: How is it possible for a purely receptive capacity to perform such an abstraction? It will be argued that even though Alexander's reaction to this question causes some tension in his theory, the philosophical motivation for (...) it is a sound one. Rather than a calculation of actualities and potentialities, the doctrine of receptivity is supposed to explain how human beings come to grasp universal aspects of reality in an accurate manner. (shrink)
Experimental radiobiology represented a long-standing priority for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), but organizational issues initially impeded the laboratory progress of this government-funded work: who would direct such interdisciplinary investigations and how? And should the AEC support basic research or only mission-oriented projects? Alexander Hollaender's vision for biology in the post-war world guided AEC initiatives at Oak Ridge, where he created and presided over the Division of Biology for nearly two decades (1947-1966). Hollaender's scheme, at once entrepreneurial and (...) system-oriented, made good use of the unique resources provided by the AEC and by Oak Ridge's national laboratory setting, while at the same time it restructured wartime research practices to better reflect biologists' own priorities. Because Hollaender offered many academic experimental biologists a way of envisioning military-related patronage as integral - rather than antithetical - to their professional identities, his work provides an important lens through which to examine the early post-war intellectual and institutional development of radiobiology. (shrink)
The essays in this book, by a variety of leading Augustine scholars, examine not only Augustine's multifaceted philosophy and its relation to his epoch-making theology, but also his practice as a philosopher, as well as his relation to other philosophers both before and after him. Thus the collection shows that Augustine's philosophy remains an influence and a provocation in a wide variety of settings today.
Jesse Prinz develops a naturalistic metaethical theory with which he purports to sidestep ‘Hume's law’ by demonstrating how, on his theory, in describing what our moral beliefs commit us to we can determine what our moral obligations are. I aim to show that Prinz does not deliver on his prescriptive promise – he does not bridge the is–ought gap in any meaningful way. Given that Prinz goes on to argue that (1) his moral psychology highlights fundamental shortcomings in ‘traditional’ (...) normative ethical theories, (2) that moral progress is possible, despite the relativistic implications of his own position, and (3) that this undermining of the is–ought gap should hold true on any naturalistic metaethical theory, the extent to which his project succeeds becomes significant. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Hume's Skepticism about Inductive Inference N. SCOTT ARNOLD IT HAS BEEN A COMMONPLACE among commentators on Hume's philosophy that he was a radical skeptic about inductive inference. In addition, he is alleged to have been the first philosopher to pose the so-called problem of induction. Until recently, however, Hume's argument in this connection has not been subject to very close scrutiny. As attention has become focused on this (...) argument, a debate has been shaping up concerning just what Hume intended to establish here. The principal purpose of this article is to settle this interpretive issue as decisively as the texts permit. I should also like to locate Hume's main argument about induction in the larger context of his discussion of skepti- cism in book 1 of the Treatise. I shall suggest that arguments for the radical skepticism commonly attributed to Hume can be found only very late in book 1 of the Treatise and that the most famous argument about inductive inference establishes and is intended to establish only a relatively modest form of skepticism. The argument under consideration can found in book l, part 3, section 6 of the Treatise. It can also be found in essays 4 and 5 of the Enquiries and in the abstract of the Treatise published anonymously by Hume. I shall concen- trate on the Treatise version since it is the first and perhaps most explicit formulation of the argument and because part of my purpose is to place this argument in the larger context of book 1 of the Treatise. The received opinion concerning Hume's argument has it that Hume was highly skeptical about the mind's claims to knowledge about the future (or, more generally, about the unobserved). All beliefs arrived at via inductive I should like to thank M. G. Anderson, John Bahde, Jon Nordy, and Robert Paul Wolff, as well as David Fate Norton and a referee for the Journal of the History of Philosophy, for helpful comments on earlier drafts on this article. 32 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY inferences are unreasonable or unjustified. The alternative interpretation, to be defended below, is that Hume held that no such belief is or can be rendered certain relative to past experience and that such beliefs are not, upon that account, unreasonable or unjustified. Something like this inter- pretation has been defended by Tom L. Beauchamp, Thomas Mappes, and Alexander Rosenberg. ~ My view differs from theirs in that I shall argue that Hume did offer arguments for the more radical skepticism commonly attri- buted to him (though it is unclear whether he regarded them as decisive). These arguments, however, come at the end of book ~ of the Treatise and are independent of the more famous argument to be discussed below. Defenders of the received view are both numerous and distinguished. Versions of this interpretation of the main argument can be found in the writings of Karl Popper, Wesley Salmon, F. L. Will, and Norman Kemp Smith; most recently a variation on the standard interpretation has been defended by Barry Stroud. The fullest and most elaborate defense of the standard interpretation can be found in a monograph by D. C. Stove. '~ Stove's discussion is perhaps the most impressive because of his painstaking efforts to lay bare the structure of Hume's reasoning and to give a line-by- line analysis of the argument. This has the effect of bringing more clearly into focus the main grounds for the standard view. If this standard interpre- tation is correct, then Hume's position is that scientific method is epistemically no better than "superstition" and "enthusiasm." And, Hume would be among those for whom this claim, if true, would be very bad news, because one of his primary purposes in the Treatise is to construct a science of man. Thus, this argument is of considerable internal significance because, if my opponents are correct, Hume appears to have cut the ground out from under what he took to be one of his most important projects -- the construc- tion of a science of man. The other feature of this argument that makes it worthy of serious con- sideration is that it is philosophically... (shrink)
Aristotle sometimes claims that the perception of special perceptibles by their proper sense is unerring. This claim is striking, since it might seem that we quite often misperceive things like colours, sounds and smells. Aristotle also claims that the perception of common perceptibles is more prone to error than the perception of special perceptibles. This is puzzling in its own right, and also places constraints on the interpretation of. I argue that reading Alexander of Aphrodisias on perceptual error can (...) help to make good sense of both of Aristotle’s claims. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: English translation of the 2nd/3rd century Peripatetic Philosopher's Alexander of Aphrodisias commentary on Aristotle's non-modal syllogistic, i.e. on one of the most influential logical texts of all times. -/- Volume includes introduction on Alexander of Aphrodisias and the early commentators, translation with notes and comments, appendices with a new translation of Aristotle's text, a summary of Aristotle's non-modal syllogistic and textual notes.
Group selection is increasingly being viewed as an important force in human evolution. This paper examines the views of R.D. Alexander, one of the most influential thinkers about human behavior from an evolutionary perspective, on the subject of group selection. Alexander's general conception of evolution is based on the gene-centered approach of G.C. Williams, but he has also emphasized a potential role for group selection in the evolution of individual genomes and in human evolution. Alexander's views are (...) internally inconsistent and underestimate the importance of group selection. Specific themes that Alexander has developed in his account of human evolution are important but are best understood within the framework of multilevel selection theory. From this perspective, Alexander's views on moral systems are not the radical departure from conventional views that he claims, but remain radical in another way more compatible with conventional views. (shrink)
Why an emergentist account of subjectivity? On the one hand, emergentism provides a new paradigm to rethink subjectivity beyond any dualism. At the same time, the issue of subjectivity puts a strain on emergentism itself, and pushes it beyond its limits. To show it, in the present paper I address a fundamental question: How can we describe subjectivity from an emergentist perspective? To answer, I will tackle Samuel Alexander’s and Alfred North Whitehead’s emergentist accounts of subjectivity. Alexander locates (...) subjectivity into a consistent emergentist framework, but his model of subjectivity remains grounded in the classical interpretation of subjectivity as mind. Whitehead gives a more innovative model of subjectivity, which implies a radical revision of its temporality and connection to the world, but this leads him beyond emergentism as a whole. (shrink)
This paper discusses the various rhetorical and argumentative uses to which Augustine puts Alexander the Great in his City of God. I argue that Alexander is a particularly useful figure for Augustine insofar as he is both non-Roman and a figure greatly admired by the Romans. Because of this unique position, Augustine is able to use Alexander to examine and discredit certain ideals and character traits present to the Romans without alienating his audience. I examine, in detail, (...) four instances of Augustine’s use of Alexander: book IV chapter 4, Book VIII chapter 5, Book VIII chapter 27 and book XII chapter 11. Finally, I conclude with some general observations about the role of Alexander in the broader argument of The City of God. I claim that Augustine’s use of Alexander exhibits a double movement. First, he privileges Alexander as an authoritative personification of certain glamorized traits or beliefs; second, he discredits Alexander thereby discrediting those traits or beliefs. (shrink)