The aim of this paper will be to show that certain strongly realist forms of scientific realism are either misguided or misnamed. I will argue that, in the case of a range of robustly realist formulations of scientific realism, the ‘scientific’ and the ‘realism’ are in significant philosophical and methodological conflict with each other; in particular, that there is a tension between the actual subject matter and methods of science on the one hand, and the realists' metaphysical claims about which (...) categories of entities the world contains on the other. (shrink)
It is commonly believed that Quine's principal argument for the Indeterminacy of Translation requires an untenably strong account of the underdetermination of theories by evidence, namely that that two theories may be compatible with all possible evidence for them and yet incompatible with each other. In this article, I argue that Quine's conclusion that translation is indeterminate can be based upon the weaker, uncontroversial conception of theoretical underdetermination, in conjunction with a weak reading of the ‘Gavagai’ argument which establishes the (...) underdetermination of the sense and reference of subsentential terms. If underdetermination is considered to be a widespread phenomenon in science, or in inductive reasoning more generally, then the Indeterminacy of Translation will be widespread too. Finally, I briefly consider two issues concerning the scope of this conclusion about the Indeterminacy of Translation: first, whether the argument presupposes behaviourism; and second, whether indeterminacy is restricted to the case of radical translation. I argue that the answer to both these questions is negative, and thus that the thesis of semantic indeterminacy remains relevant to those who disagree with Quine about some issues concerning the nature of mind and language. (shrink)
Principled discussions of civil rights became inherently less likely as a direct result of the observation by Earl Warren, in Brown v. Board of Education, that, respecting freedmen, “Education of Negroes was almost non-existent, and practically all of the race were illiterate,” and in proportion as that observation increasingly became the foundation of common opinion on the subject. Warren's observation was not true in any meaningful or non-trivial sense. Nevertheless, it served to perpetuate the myth of a backward people needing (...) help to catch up instead of the truth of a people being held back. That is the perspective – the disadvantaged group perspective – that ultimately infected all discussion of civil rights, even after the designation of so-called “disadvantaged groups” had been extended beyond American blacks. To define civil rights, we may well begin with what all mankind would likely recognize. Thus the dictionary definition of “civil rights” stands: “the rights that belong to all individuals in a nation or community touching property, marriage, and the like.” In that definition the term “rights” may be further expanded to mean “legitimate claims,” following the definition of right as law – as “a claim or title or interest in anything whatever that is enforceable by law.” This definition applies with minimal distinction of regimes intruding and, therefore, without the host of recent complications in the United States that create the impression that civil rights have something to do with pluralism. Previously, the generic definition was thought to exhaust the meaning of the term in the United States. (shrink)
Reflection on the wrongs done by characters in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy “Manhattan” helps us get clear about the evidence required to judge them responsible and so liable to blame them for those wrongs. On the positive side, what is required is evidence that trust remains a possibility, despite the fact that they wrong, and this in turn requires evidence that the wrongdoer had, but failed to exercise, the capacity to do the right thing when they did that wrong. (...) On the negative side, what is not required is evidence of some explanation of that failure. This counts against a well-known suggestion of Gary Watson’s in “Skepticism about Weakness of Will.”. (shrink)
For many years now Allen Buchanan has been one of the most important theorists working on the philosophy of human rights, producing a large number of papers and two books significantly devoted to the topic. In the work under consideration in this symposium, Buchanan breaks new ground by examining what he claims to be the “heart” of international human rights practice – the international legal human rights (“ILHR”) system, subjecting it to moral and philosophical analysis and criticism. Buchanan's book (...) was the subject of an author meets critics session sponsored by the APA Committee on Law and Philosophy at the 2015 Pacific APA Meeting. The following paper introduces the resulting special issue of the journal, _Law and Philosophy_, summarizing Buchanan's important contribution and criticisms by William Talbot, Brooke Ackerley, Erin Kelly, and Mathias Risse, as well as Buchanan's replies. (shrink)
In a remarkable and utterly original work of philosophical history, Richard Allen revivifies David Hartley's Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations (1749). Though it includes a detailed and richly annotated chronology, this is not a straight intellectual biography, attentive as it might be to the intricacies of Hartley's Cambridge contacts, or the mundane rituals of his medical practice, or the internal development of the doctrine of association of ideas. Instead Allen brings Hartley's book, a (...) psychological epic with a mystical finale, sympathetically to life in a generous and ambitious historical gesture of mutual recognition. Late 20th-century readers "are in a better position to understand Hartley's work" than were earlier sympathizers like Joseph Priestley and John Stuart Mill; and in turn, Allen argues that "Hartley has something to say to us" about just how rich and strange a full mechanistic psychology might be. (shrink)
Two perennial doubts can linger in the minds of people working in the history of philosophy. Those who approach philosophical problems in a systematic, analytic spirit may come to think that work in the history of philosophy fails to amount to genuine philosophy; and those who are more historically-minded may come to think that the very same work fails to amount to genuine history. In this rich and rewarding new book, Allen Wood nevertheless succeeds in delivering a defense of (...) Kantian ethics that should satisfy, in terms of its philosophical credentials, any philosopher interested in ethics; and it should also satisfy, in terms of its historical credentials, anyone interested in the ethical thought of Immanuel Kant himself. (shrink)
Shriver and Allen (this volume, this journal; hereafter S&A) make three unconnected criticisms of my views concerning phenomenal consciousness and the question of animal consciousness. First, they claim that my dispositional higher-order thought theory of consciousness has much greater significance for ethics than I recognize. Second, they claim that, in the course of attempting to motivate that theory, I have presented inadequate criticisms of first-order theories (according to which phenomenal consciousness may well be rampant in the animal world). And (...) third, they claim that my argument that the question of animal consciousness might not matter a great deal for comparative psychology may prove too much, showing that such consciousness is genuinely epiphenomenal in ourselves, and undermining some of my own evolutionary arguments in support of higher-order theories. I shall focus mostly on the second and third criticisms. But I begin with a few remarks about the first. (shrink)
Woody Allen’s uneasy relationship with organized religions, as represented in his entire work, has often drawn accusations of atheism and ethnic self-hatred, just as his personal behavior, as represented in the media, has stirred a series of allegations of immorality. However, Woody Allen’s exploration of religion, faith, and morality is far more complex and epitomizes the experience of modern man, living in a disenchanted universe. While most scholars focused on discussing the provocative debates over faith and religion in (...) Woody Allen’s films, the main purpose of this paper is to investigate what underlies Woody Allen’s obsessive preoccupation with the existence of divinity, as expressed in that part of his work which received little critical attention, namely his short fiction. The purpose of such an analysis is not to clear Woody Allen’s vexed reputation, but to understand the relevance of his individual ideology for the religious and moral conundrums of modern man. The corpus selected for this analysis consists of a series of relevant short stories and essays published in the 1991 edition of The Complete Prose of Woody Allen , a volume which gathers the texts published in three other short story collections. (shrink)
This volume, honoring the renowned historian of science, Allen G Debus, explores ideas of science - `experiences of nature' - from within a historiographical tradition that Debus has done much to define. As his work shows, the sciences do not develop exclusively as a result of a progressive and inexorable logic of discovery. A wide variety of extra-scientific factors, deriving from changing intellectual contexts and differing social millieus, play crucial roles in the overall development of scientific thought. These essays (...) represent case studies in a broad range of scientific settings - from sixteenth-century astronomy and medicine, through nineteenth-century biology and mathematics, to the social sciences in the twentieth-century - that show the impact of both social settings and the cross-fertilization of ideas on the formation of science. Aimed at a general audience interested in the history of science, this book closes with Debus's personal perspective on the development of the field. Audience: This book will appeal especially to historians of science, of chemistry, and of medicine. (shrink)
This entirely new translation of Critique of Pure Reason by Paul Guyer and Allan Wood is the most accurate and informative English translation ever produced of this epochal philosophical text. Though its simple, direct style will make it suitable for all new readers of Kant, the translation displays a philosophical and textual sophistication that will enlighten Kant scholars as well. This translation recreates as far as possible a text with the same interpretative nuances and richness as the original.
Theories of autonomy commonly make reference to some form of endorsement: an action is autonomous insofar as the agent has a second-order desire towards the motivating desire, or takes it to be a reason for action, or is not alienated from it. In this paper I argue that all such theories have difficulty accounting for certain kinds of agents, what I call ‘Woody Allen cases’. In order to make sense of such cases, I suggest, it is necessary to disambiguate (...) two distinct forms of endorsement, both of which contribute to autonomy. (shrink)
It is commonly thought that exploitation is unjust; some think it is part of the very meaning of the word ‘exploitation’ that it is unjust. Those who think this will suppose that the just society has to be one in which people do not exploit one another, at least on a large scale. I will argue that exploitation is not unjust by definition, and that a society might be fundamentally just while nevertheless being pervasively exploitative. I do think that exploitation (...) is nearly always a bad thing, and wul try to identify the moral belief which makes most of us think it is. But I will argue that its badness does not always consist in its being unjust. (shrink)
Evaluation of the contribution that Allen Carlson’s environmental aesthetics can make to environmental protection shows that Carlson’s positive aesthetics, his focus on the functionality of human environments for their proper aesthetic appreciation, and his integration of ethical concern with aesthetic appreciation all provide fruitful, though not unproblematic, avenues for an aesthetic defense of theenvironment.
Allen Buchanan’s ‘The Heart of Human Rights’ addresses the moral justification of the international legal human rights system. Buchanan identifies two functions of the ILHRS: a well-being function and a status egalitarian function. Because Buchanan assumes that the well-being function is sufficientarian, he augments it with a status egalitarian function. However, if the well-being function is utilitarian or prioritarian, there is no need for a separate status egalitarian function, because the status egalitarian function can be subsumed by the utilitarian (...) or prioritarian well-being function. (shrink)
Fichte’s Ethical Thought follows a format familiar to those who have read Allen Wood’s books on the ethical thought of Immanuel Kant and G. W. F. Hegel: Wood integrates Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s work into topical chapters, each discussing an important component of Fichte’s ethical system. The text he focuses on, of course, is Fichte’s 1798 System of Ethics, but Fichte scholars will likely be pleased to find that Wood discusses a wide range of Fichte’s Jena-era writings. Wood makes use (...) of Addresses to the German Nation, The Closed Commercial State, and earlier works such as Some Lectures Concerning the Scholar’s Vocation, especially in the final two chapters, which cover Fichte’s thought on public life, the... (shrink)
A appreciation and critical discussion of RE Allen's Plato's Parmenides. I argue that, contra Allen, the Parmenides is not an aporetic dialogue and that the eight hypotheses are not governed by the so-called "dilemma of participation." Rather, the apparent contradictions between and within the hypotheses function to elicit from the reader a distinction in kind between the sorts of one that forms, on the one hand, and their sensible participants, on the other, are and to illumine the 'relation' (...) of participation. (shrink)
The famous Allen's interval relations constraint propagation algorithm was intended for linear time. Its 13 primitive relations define all the possible mutual locations of two intervals on the time-axis. In this paper an application of the algorithm for non-linear time is suggested. First, a new primitive relation is added. It is called excludes since an occurrence of one event in a certain course of events excludes an occurrence of the other event in this course. Next, new composition rules for (...) relations between intervals are presented: some of the old rules are extended by the relation excludes, and entirely new ones are formulated for composing the relation excludes with the other relations. Four different composition tables are considered. The choice of a composition table depends on whether time is branching or not, and whether intervals can contain non-collinear subintervals or not. (shrink)
Over the past three decades, I have been developing a distinctive view of free will motivated by a desire to reconcile a non-determinist view of free will with modern science as well as with recent developments in philosophy. A view of free will of the kind I defend did not exist in a developed form before the 1980s, but is now discussed in the philosophical literature as one of three chief options an incompatibilist or libertarian view of free will might (...) take. As such, this view has been the subject of much recent discussion. In this paper, I explain and defend my view of free will, and answer recent criticisms of it. Some of these criticisms are made by Robert Allen in his paper “Self-forming Actions,” a contribution to the seminar of which the present paper is a part. I also respond to Katherin Rogers’ contribution to this seminar “Libertarianism in Kane and Anselm.” Her book, Anselm on Freedom , argues that Anselm defended a unique libertarian view of free will, avoiding both Pelagianism and Augustine’s later compatibilism, a view that she argues has affinities to my view of free will. I also discuss these affinities to Anselm in my paper and their theological and well as philosophical implications. (shrink)
In my Responses, I take up the various definitional and justificatory challenges that Anita Allen, Anthony Appiah and Bill Lawson raise to my defense of affirmative action and I try to build bridges and remove the apparent disagreements between our views. In the process, I have found a way to replace race-based affirmative action with a non-race-based program which retains all the benefits that a race-based program can provide and secures additional benefits as well.
The topic of enhancement has become a booming sector in ethics in the last decade, and with this broad and detailed overview of arguments in favor and against biomedical enhancement, Allen Buchanan provides an authoritative and detailed insight into the central issues of this topic.As defined by Buchanan in the first chapter of this book, “a biomedical enhancement uses biotechnology to cause an improvement of an existing capacity by acting directly on the body (including the brain)” (p. 5). It (...) is an intensely discussed topic in bioethics. Issues at stake in the debate are the moral definition of what is part of human nature and what is not, the autonomy of potential users, equality in the distribution of resources, the safety of biomedical enhancement, and possible benefit for the whole society.In this small but effective volume the Author analyzes all these issues from a perspective of legitimacy, both as an individual and as a society. The book is aimed at a wide audience, beyond pro .. (shrink)
Allen Carlson and Sheila Lintott (eds): Nature, Aesthetics, and Environmentalism: From Beauty to Duty Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9258-2 Authors Nathaniel Barrett, Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion 1711 Massachusetts Ave NW #308 Washington DC 20036 USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
The Nobel prize-winning molecular biologist Walter Gilbert described the mapping and sequencing of the human genome as “the grail of molecular biology.” The implication, endorsed by enthusiasts for the new genetics, is that possessing a comprehensive knowledge of human genetics, like possessing the Holy Grail, will give us miraculous powers to heal the sick, and to reduce human suffering and disabilities. Indeed, the rhetoric invoked to garner public support for the Human Genome Project appears to appeal to the best of (...) the Western tradition's enthusiasm for progress: the idea of improving human lives through the practical application of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
Critics’ praise of Woody Allen as an artist is increasing. No other comedian includes within his humour so many references to God. Philosophers interested in contemporary culture should take Allen’s comedy seriously. Accepting Albert Camus’s vision of reality, Allen has been artistically handling the absurdity of reality by use of humour. Through comedies, Allen’s films deal with important questions. His finest film may contain an argument for God.
This commentary provides a critical examination of a recent article by Allen and Knight in which the authors claim to provide the long-sought explanation for the Madelung, or n + ℓ, n rule for the order of orbital filling in many-electron atoms. It is concluded that the explanation is inadequate for several reasons.
Francis Allen, The Borderland of Criminal Justice: Essays in Law and Criminology Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1964 Francis Allen, The Crimes of Politics: Political Dimensions of Criminal Justice Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974 Francis Allen, Law, Intellect, and Education Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1979 Francis Allen, The Decline of the Rehabilitative Ideal: Penal Policy and Social Purpose New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.
I reply to three criticisms of my "Propositional Relevance" offered by Derek Allen, First, Professor Allen points out an inconsistency between my theory of relevance and my reply to an objection, I admit the error but add that it is remediable. Second, he argues that my theory of relevance is counterintuitive. I argue that it is not. And finally, he says that where I use phrases like 'p makes q certain,' I should instead use phrases like 'p, if (...) true, makes q certain.' I argue against this. (shrink)