This long-awaited book replaces Hughes and Cresswell's two classic studies of modal logic: _An Introduction to Modal Logic_ and _A Companion to Modal Logic_. _A New Introduction to Modal Logic_ is an entirely new work, completely re-written by the authors. They have incorporated all the new developments that have taken place since 1968 in both modal propositional logic and modal predicate logic, without sacrificing tha clarity of exposition and approachability that were essential features of their earlier works. The book takes (...) readers from the most basic systems of modal propositional logic right up to systems of modal predicate with identity. It covers both technical developments such as completeness and incompleteness, and finite and infinite models, and their philosophical applications, especially in the area of modal predicate logic. (shrink)
Using as a springboard a three-way debate between theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, philosopher of science Nancy Cartwright and myself, I address in layman’s terms the issues of why we need a unified theory of the fundamental interactions and why, in my opinion, string and M-theory currently offer the best hope. The focus will be on responding more generally to the various criticisms. I also describe the diverse application of string/M-theory techniques to other branches of physics and mathematics which render the (...) whole enterprise worthwhile whether or not “a theory of everything” is forthcoming. (shrink)
The principal question of this paper is: Why are religious values special in refusal of lifesaving medical treatment? This question is approached through a critical examination of a common kind of refusal of treatment case, one involving a rational adult. The central value cited in defence of honouring such a patient's refusal is autonomy. Once autonomy is isolated from other justificatory factors, however, possible cases can be imagined which cast doubt on the great valuational weight assigned it by strong anti-paternalists. (...) This weight is sufficient, in their estimation, to justify honouring the patient's refusal. There is thus a tension between the strong anti-paternalist's commitment to the sufficiency of autonomy and our intuitions respecting such cases. Attempts can be made to relieve this tension, such as arguing that patients aren't really rational in the circumstances envisaged, or that other values, such as privacy or bodily integrity, if added to autonomy, are sufficient to justify an anti-paternalistic stance. All such attempts fail, however. But what does not fail is the addition of religious freedom, freedom respecting a patient's religious beliefs and values. Why religious freedom reduces the tension is then explained, and the specialness of religious beliefs and values examined. (shrink)
The book offers a proposal on how to define truth in all its complexity, without reductionism, showing at the same time which questions a theory of truth has to answer and which questions, although related to truth, do not belong within the scope of such a theory. Just like any other theory, a theory of truth has its structure and limits. The semantic core of the position is that truth-ascriptions are pro-forms, i.e. natural language propositional variables. The book also offers (...) an explanation of the syntactic behaviour of truth-terms, and the pragmatic roles of truth-acts. The theory of truth we present is a technical proposal, relatively uncontaminated by radical philosophical discussion. It makes indeed philosophical points, but it is intended to be a conceptual analysis, as neutral as possible, of the aspects that may serve as a point of departure for more philosophically-laden destinations. Like the Fregean account of quantifiers, which is prior to and, to a large extent, independent of the metaphysical debate about existence and its forms, or the Kaplanian view on demonstratives, that is neutral regarding the debate about individuals and the possibilities we have to actually “reach” them in a referring act, we intend our proposal about truth to be a sophisticated and explicative setting that helps to situate other debates about truth accurately, far from the distorted and sometimes strongly ideological discussions that have turned the topic into a paradigm of philosophical impasse. (shrink)
This book provides a comprehensive survey of Hegel's philosophical thought via a systematic exploration of over 100 key terms, from `absolute' to `will'. By exploring both the etymological background of such terms and Hegel's particular use of them, Michael Inwood clarifies for the modern reader much that has been regarded as difficult and obscure in Hegel's work.
The Geological Society of London was the first learned society to be devoted solely to geology, and its members were responsible for much of the spectacular progress of the science in the nineteenth century. Its distinctive character as a centre of geological discussion and research was established within the first five years from its foundation in 1807. During this period its activities were directed, and its policies largely shaped, by its President, George Bellas Greenough, on whose unpublished papers this account (...) is chiefly based.The Society began as a small scientific dining club in London, but it developed rapidly into a learned society with a nation-wide membership. It became so independent in outlook and so active in research that it was felt to threaten the esteem of the Royal Society; and little more than a year after its foundation it clashed with the Royal Society so violently that its continued existence was for a time uncertain.Its development into a large independent society was the outcome of its ‘Baconian’ view of the importance of collecting geological facts as a surer basis for geological theories. For this purpose it initiated an ambitious scheme for co-operative research, which would unite the efforts of ‘philosophers’ with those of ‘practical men’. Only personal reasons seem to have kept the most prominent of the practical men—William Smith—from co-operating with the Society. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor is one of the most important philosophers of mind in recent decades. He has done much to set the agenda in this field and has had a significant influence on the development of cognitive science. Fodor's project is that of constructing a physicalist vindication of folk psychology and so paving the way for the development of a scientifically respectable intentional psychology. The centrepiece of his engagement in this project is a theory of the cognitive mind, namely, the computational (...) theory of mind, which postulates the existence of a language of thought. Fodor: Language, Mind and Philosophy is a comprehensive study of Fodor's writings. Individual chapters are devoted to each of the major issues raised by his work and contain extensive discussion of his relationships to key developments in cognitive science and to the views of such philosophical luminaries as Dennett, Davidson and Searle. (shrink)
In “Imposing Risks,” Judith Thomson gives a case in which, by turning on her stove, she accidentally causes her neighbor’s death. She claims that both the following are true: (1) she ought not to have caused her neighbor’s death; (2) it was permissible for her to turn her stove on. In this paper it is argued that it cannot be that both (1) and (2) are true, that (2) is true, and that therefore (1) is false. How this is so (...) is explained, and the implications of this position regarding the relation between rights and duties is explored. (shrink)
It has become almost commonplace to recognise that teaching is an embodied practice. Most analyses of teaching as embodied practice focus on the embodied nature of the teacher as subject. Here, we use Butler's concept of performativity to analyse the reiterated acts that are intelligible as—performatively constitute—teaching, rather of the teacher as subject. We suggest that this simultaneously helps explain the persistence of teaching as a narrow repertoire of actions recognisable as ‘teaching’, and the policing of conformity to teaching thus (...) embodied. However, like performatively accomplished subjectivity, this repertoire is unstable and ambiguous, and thus open to change and disruption. Moreover, teacher subjectivities may lead them to mobilise these possibilities of disruption. (shrink)
Various claims have been made, recently, that Darwin's argumentation in the Origin instantiates and so supports some general philosophical proposal about scientific theorizing, for example, the "semantic view". But these claims are grounded in various incorrect analyses of that argumentation. A summary is given here of an analysis defended at greater length in several papers by the present author. The historical and philosophical advantages of this analysis are explained briefly. Darwin's argument comprises three distinct evidential cases on behalf of natural (...) selection, cases, that is, for its existence, its adequacy and its responsibility. Theorizing, today, about evolution by natural selection involves a similar structure of evidential and explanatory concerns. (shrink)
Neuroethics has developed rapidly, driven in large part by developments in neuroscience. This article reviews neuroethics from the standpoint of its growing real-world relevance. It opens up with an analysis of the history of neuroscience that suggests the reason for the emergence of neuroethics now, in the early twenty-first century. It proceeds to survey current applications of neuroscience to diverse real-world problems. Published research in the field of neuromarketing is more focused on academic issues, such as the nature of the (...) brain activity underlying consumer behavior and the accuracy of brain-behavior predictions, than it is on the real-world utility of neuromarketing for improving business. Finally, this article concludes with a discussion of the ethical issues raised by these developments, and outlines three general challenges for society in the age of neuroscience. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a view beyond that which would narrowly reduce the role of parents in medical decision making to acting as custodians of the best interests of children and toward an account of family authority and family autonomy. As a fundamental social unit, the good of the family is usually appreciated, at least in part, in terms of its ability successfully to instantiate its core moral and cultural understandings as well as to pass on such commitments to (...) future generations. The putative rights of children to expression, information, freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and to freedom of association with others are, in this essay, assessed from the perspective of those conditions necessary for the family to function as a moral community. In so doing, I respond to the move to liberate children from parental authority and to effect the transformation of the family as implied by the United Nations’ "Convention on the Rights of the Child" and the pediatric bioethics it supports. (shrink)
These two texts are fundamental for the understanding not only of Neoplatonism but also of the conventions of biography in late antiquity. Neither has received such extensive annotation before in English, and this new commentary makes full use of recent scholarship. The long introduction is intended both as a beginner’s guide to Neoplatonism and as a survey of ancient biographical writing.
We consider the desirability, or otherwise, of various forms of induction in the light of certain principles and inductive methods within predicate uncertain reasoning. Our general conclusion is that there remain conflicts within the area whose resolution will require a deeper understanding of the fundamental relationship between individuals and properties.
In this article, transhumanism is considered to be a quasi-medical ideology that seeks to promote a variety of therapeutic and human-enhancing aims. Moderate conceptions are distinguished from strong conceptions of transhumanism and the strong conceptions were found to be more problematic than the moderate ones. A particular critique of Boström’s defence of transhumanism is presented. Various forms of slippery slope arguments that may be used for and against transhumanism are discussed and one particular criticism, moral arbitrariness, that undermines both weak (...) and strong transhumanism is highlighted. (shrink)
The issues surrounding ethical controversies in sport have filled the media recently. This book of invited original essays by mainstream philosophers as well as philosophers of sport will provide the reader with a discussion in ethics and sport based on a sound philosophical footing. It will be accessible to a wide range of teachers and students in the field of sport and leisure studies. Contributions from international, highly regarded experts in the fIeld provide the reader with systematic treatment of the (...) ethics of sport from a diverse perspective. (shrink)
In Roper v. Simmons (2005) the United States Supreme Court announced a paradigm shift in jurisprudence. Drawing specifically on mounting scientific evidence that adolescents are qualitatively different from adults in their decision-making capacities, the Supreme Court recognized that adolescents are not adults in all but age. The Court concluded that the overwhelming weight of the psychological and neurophysiological data regarding brain maturation supports the conclusion that adolescents are qualitatively different types of agents than adult persons. The Supreme Court further solidified (...) its position regarding adolescents as less than fully mature and responsible decisionmakers in Graham v. Florida (2010) and Miller v. Alabama (2012). In each case, the Court concluded that the scientific evidence does not support the conclusion that children under 18 years of age possess adult capacities for personal agency, rationality, and mature choice. This study explores the implications of the Supreme Court decisions in Roper v. Simmons, Graham v. Florida, and Miller v. Alabama for the “mature minor” standard for medical decision making. It argues that the Supreme Court’s holdings in Roper, Graham, and Miller require no less than a radical reassessment of how healthcare institutions, courts of law, and public policy are obliged to regard minors as medical decisionmakers. The “mature minor” standard for medical decision making must be abandoned. (shrink)