Anscombe claims that whenever a subject is doing something intentionally, this subject knows that they are doing it. This essay defends Anscombe's claim from an influential set of counterexamples, due to Davidson. It argues that Davidson's counterexamples are tacit appeals to an argument, on which knowledge can't be essential to doing something intentionally, because some things that can be done intentionally require knowledge of future successes, and because such knowledge can't ever be guaranteed when someone is doing something intentionally. The (...) essay argues that there are apparently sensible grounds for denying each of these two premises. (shrink)
This thesis concerns the question of what it is for a subject to act. It answers this question in three steps. The first step is taken by arguing that any satisfactory answer must build on the idea that an action is something predicable of the acting subject. The second step is taken by arguing in support of an answer which does build on this idea, and does so by introducing the idea that acting is doing something which is an exercise (...) of a particular kind of disposition on the part of the acting subject. The third step is taken by arguing that the disposition in question must be of a kind which is exercised in conditions in which the acting subject thinks they are acting. From this vantage point the thesis develops many further commitments: That action is constitutively subject to a mode of explanation that mentions the kind of disposition just mentioned; that any case of acting requires a veridical representation of a means by which the action is performed; and that a problem about the underspecified nature of desire ascriptions can be solved by appeal to the conceptual materials made available by these investigations. The thesis finally develops several objections to the account it gives, both substantive and methodological, and explains why these objections ought to be rejected. (shrink)
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)
???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)
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)
Mill predicted that “[t]he Liberty is likely to survive longer than anything else that I have written … because the conjunction of [Harriet Taylor’s] mind with mine has rendered it a kind of philosophic text-book of a single truth, which the changes progressively taking place in modern society tend to bring out in ever greater relief.” Indeed, _On Liberty_ is one of the most influential books ever written, and remains a foundational document for the understanding of vital political, philosophical and (...) social issues. In addition to its many useful appendices, this new edition includes a chronology, bibliography, and a substantial introduction which outlines Mill’s life and works, and sets this central work of 1859 in the context of both his own intellectual development and of the play of ideas and political forces in Victorian society. (shrink)
This paper argues that while Heidegger showed the importance of architecture in altering people's modes of being to avoid global ecological destruction, the work of Christopher Alexander offered a far more practical orientation to deal with this problem.
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: 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)
In this paper I argue that the concept of pilgrimage provides a unifying trope for the otherwise seemingly unfocused travel accounts of Bashō’s Narrow Road to the Interior and Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland’s Voyage aux régions equinoxiales du Nouveau Continent. I begin with a brief description of debates regarding the notion of pilgrimage. After that I show how pilgrimage as trope may be applied to the texts of these authors. This is followed by an application of the (...) classical stages of pilgrimage to particular phases of Bashō’s and Humboldt’s recounted experiences. I conclude that pilgrimage offers an illuminating new way to understand the travel accounts of these two writers. (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)
This article offers an analysis of the argumentative method of two treatises by Alexander of Aphrodisias, On Fate and On Providence, the latter of which is preserved only in Arabic translation. It is argued that both texts use techniques from Aristotelian dialectic, albeit in different ways, with On Fate adhering to methods outlined in Aristotle's Topics whereas On Providence uses the ‘aporetic’ method familiar from texts such as MetaphysicsΒ. This represents a revision of a previous study of Alexander's (...) method in On Fate by Jaap Mansfeld, which emphasized parallels between that method and the techniques of ancient scepticism. It is, however, suggested that Alexander does reflect developments in epistemology during the Hellenistic period, especially in so far as he ‘upgrades’ the status of endoxa to play something like the role of common conceptions in the dogmatic Hellenistic schools. (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)
Alexander’s conquest of Persia transformed the way he ruled, with aspects of Achaemenid monarchy becoming prominent. In general, historians have focused on instances of deliberate engagement with Achaemenid practices, leading to the impression that this change resulted from conscious imitation. Here, I nuance this view, arguing that the gradual adoption of aspects of Achaemenid royal space played a pivotal role in transforming Alexander’s monarchy. This approach shifts our focus away from Alexander himself, placing his reign in a (...) wider context, while also demonstrating how space can act as a conduit for cultural interchange. (shrink)
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)
This paper focuses on the figure of Alexander the Great in Augustine's City of God. It argues that Alexander is used to as a negative exemplar, showing the short coming of Roman virtue. It is easier for Augustine's interlocutors to recognize the flaws in Alexander (a non-Roman) than to recognize flaws in Roman heroes. However, once the flaws in Alexander are identified, the flaws in Rome are easier to discern.
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.
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)
We are currently witnessing a renewal of broad public interest in the life and career of Alexander Hamilton – justly famed as an American founder. This volume examines the possible present-day significance of the man, noting that this is not the first revival of interest in the statesman. Hamilton was a major background figure in the GOP politics of the Gilded Age, with the powerful US Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr. drawing on Hamilton to inspire a new, assertive American (...) role in the world. Hamilton was first prominent as a soldier and aide to General Washington, and believed in centralization of power in the federal government and an energetic presidency. He founded the American financial system as the first Secretary of the Treasury, and was a great moving force of America’s first nationalist-conservative party – the Federalists. As shown here, close scholarly attention to Lodge’s biography brings out the darker sides of the celebrated hero. Hamilton’s deeper conviction was the need of an elitist “aristocratic republic,” and he was an advocate of military-commercial empire. The Gilded Age Hamilton revival helped inspire the Spanish-American war of 1898 and an American overseas empire. This book will be of interest for students and professionals in political philosophy, political science, American history and American studies. (shrink)
Anselm’s Cur Deus homo [CDH hereafter] covers a number of topics related to the doctrine of redemption, but its main contribution to that doctrine is its account of how Christ’s death makes satisfaction for human sin. Anselm’s concept of satisfaction is correlated with his understanding of sin. According to Anselm, sin incurs a debt that one pays by making satisfaction. Anselm’s satisfaction theory of the Atonement came to dominate soteriology in the scholastic period. Despite numerous quotations from and references to (...) CDH among thirteenth- and fourteenth-century authors, we find that scholastics differ in how they interpret Anselm’s teaching on Christ’s satisfaction. This study will contribute to our .. (shrink)
Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten grenzt sich in seinem Ius Naturae, das einen knappen Kommentar zu den Exercitationes Iuris Naturalis Heinrich Köhlers darstellt, nach über zwanzigjähriger Auseinandersetzung mit dieser Vorlage entschieden von einer der zentralen Thesen Köhlers ab. Baumgarten löst nämlich dessen Identifikation der Stimmen der Vernunft, des Gewissens, der Natur und Gottes in der Moral auf und zeigt, daß im Gegenteil göttlicher und irdischer Bereich vollständig disjunkt sind.Dies folgt aus der Einsicht in die prinzipielle Ungewißheit eines jeden möglichen moralischen Urteils, (...) das von Menschen gefällt werden kann. Baumgarten begreift solche Urteile als Akte der Zurechnung, die wiederum syllogistische Schlüsse darstellen. Die Gewißheit eines moralischen Urteils hängt demnach von der Gewißheit der Prämissen ab, aus denen es gewonnen wurde. Nun entwickelt Baumgarten hinsichtlich der verschiedenen möglichen Typen moralisch relevanter Handlungen und jeweils in Anschlag zu bringender Gesetze eine differenzierte Theorie zurechnender Instanzen, die er „Foren“ nennt und nach dem Grad der Gewißheit der durch sie möglichen Schlüsse hierarchisiert sind. Dabei zeigt sich, daß keiner jener Zurechnungsschlüsse vollständige Gewißheit beanspruchen kann, auch nicht derjenige, bei der das eigene Gewissen eine eigene Vorstellung unter ein rein aus der Vernunft erkennbares Gesetz bringt. Moralische Urteile über einzelne Handlungen können demzufolge nach Baumgarten immer nur mehr oder weniger wahrscheinlich sein.In his Ius Naturae, which is a short commentary on Heinrich Köhler's Exercitationes Iuris Naturalis, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten departs significantly from one of Köhler's central theses after spending more than twenty years dealing with this work. Baumgarten dissolves Köhler's identification of the voices of reason, of conscience, of nature, and of God into morality and illustrates, contrary to Köhler's position, that the realms of God and of the earth are completely disjunctive.Baumgarten's position follows from his realization that any possible moral judgment human beings reach is in principle uncertain. Baumgarten characterizes such judgments as acts of imputation, which represent syllogistic conclusions. The certainty of a moral judgment depends, according to Baumgarten, on the certainty of the premises from which it is drawn. Baumgarten develops a differentiated theory of imputing instances, which he calls "fora," depending on the variety of possible types of morally relevant actions and applicable laws. Baumgarten then places these instances in a hierarchy according to the degree of certainty of the conclusions they might reach. He then shows that none of these conclusions on imputation can claim complete certainty, not even one for which one's own conscience subsumes one's own imagination under a law that can be recognized purely from reason. Moral judgments about individual actions can thus be only more or less probable according to Baumgarten. (shrink)
Der Jenenser Philosoph Heinrich Köhler versucht in seinen Exercitationes Juris Naturalis, eiusque cumprimis cogentis, methodo systematica propositi eine rationalistische Begründung des Naturrechts auf der Basis der Metaphysik von Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Die Rekonstruktion dieser metaphysischen Begründung, die mit dem Aufweiß der Erkennbarkeit des obersten Prinzips des Naturrechts rein aus der Vernunft zusammenfällt, ist Gegenstand der vorliegenden Studie. Ausgehend von der Identifikation jenes Erkenntnisgrundes mit der Natur des Menschen zeigt sich vermittels einer Analyse der von Köhler in Anschlag gebrachten Methode, daß (...) diese Begründung unter Ausschluß bloßer empirischer Erkenntnis auf einen metaphysisch fundierten teleologischen Begriff der menschlichen Natur führt. Der verpflichtende Charakter des Naturrechtsprinzips erwächst demnach daraus, daß seine Achtung dem Menschen eine artgemäße Existenz aller erst ermöglicht. Vor diesem Hintergrund erweist sich auch die Schwäche einer solchen Theorie bei der Beurteilung einzelner Handlungen als moralisch, auf die Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten in seinem Ius Naturae indirekt und kritisch aufmerksam macht. In his Exercitationes Juris Naturalis, eiusque cumprimis cogentis, methodo systematica propositi , the Jena philosopher Heinrich Köhler attempts to provide a rational foundation for natural law based on Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's metaphysics. This paper examines a reconstruction of this metaphysical foundation, which coincides with demonstrating that pure reason can recognize the supreme principle of natural law. Assuming that this recognition can be identified with human nature, an analysis of Köhler's methodology shows that if mere empirical recognition is excluded his foundation leads to a metaphysically based teleological concept of human nature. The principle of natural law imposes obligations because only through respecting it can a human being live in a manner adequate for his species. Against this background, the weakness of this type of theory for determining whether an act is moral becomes apparent, which Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten indirectly and critically notes in his Ius Naturae. (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)