The article formulates a criticism of Wittgenstein's later philosophy which, in its substance, I would like to think, is fairly the same as the criticism issued by Apel and Habermas in the sixties. Contrary to these philosophers, however, I try to make the point by focusing on the distinction between language game and language, respectively between intralanguage relations of ‘family resemblance’ and interlanguage translation relations. The notion of a ‘complete language’ is introduced — ‘completeness’ of a language being, roughly, its (...) possibility in principle of being translated into any language — and the criticism of Wittgenstein is formulated as the allegation that he does not, or will not, acknowledge such a concept of completeness.So far the contents of the first part of the article. The rest of it assembles some hints, remarks and reminders which bear upon the question of the ‘completeness’ of a language. These considerations include comments on the conditions of translatability, on the performative knowledge or ‘intention-in-action’ of the acting person, on Habermas' concept of communicative competence and on the notion of a responsible subject of action. It is alleged that to speak of ‘translation’ and ‘reporting an event’ as language games is misleading. (shrink)
Anti-naturalistic critics of Unity of Science have often tried to establish a fundamental difference between social and physical science on the grounds that research in the social field (unlike physical research) seems to interfere with the original situations so as to make accurate predictions impossible. A 'social' prediction may, e.g., itself influence the course of events so that the prediction proves false. H. A. Simon has dealt with such effects of predictions in a well-known article. Drawing on a mathematical theorem, (...) Brouwer's so-called fixed-point theorem, he claims to prove that reactions to published predictions can be accounted for so that appropriately adjusted predictions can avoid being self-destructive. The present article is an attempt to show that Simon's use of the Brouwer theorem is misplaced, and that his proof does not parry the anti-naturalistic argument. Indeed, the burden of his proof is not really of a mathematical, but, it is argued, of a 'protosociological' kind. In conclusion, the article points to the fundamental inadequacy of a frame of reference which makes the 'interference' or 'reaction' effects due to people's having access to social knowledge appear strange or eccentric: as some kind of marginal irregularity causing trouble in the philosophy of (social) science. (shrink)
Language-Game vs. Complete Language. The article formulates a criticism of Wittgenstein's later philosophy which, in its substance, I would like to think, is fairly the same as the (hermeneutic) criticism issued by Apel and Habermas in the sixties. Contrary to these philosophers, however, I try to make the point by focusing on the distinction between language game and language, respectively between intralanguage relations of 'family resemblance' (between language games) and interlanguage translation relations. The notion of a 'complete language' is introduced (...) - 'completeness' of a language being, roughly, its possibility in principle of being translated into any (other) language - and the criticism of Wittgenstein is formulated as the allegation that he does not, or will not, acknowledge such a concept of completeness. So far the contents of the first part of the article. The rest of it assembles some hints, remarks and reminders which bear upon the question of the 'completeness' of a language. These considerations include comments on the conditions of translatability, on the performative (agent's) knowledge or 'intention-in-action' of the acting person, on Habermas' concept of communicative competence and on the notion of a responsible subject of action. It is alleged that to speak of 'translation' and 'reporting an event' as language games is misleading. (shrink)
In this article Føllesdal describes the development of philosophy at the University of Oslo, from a long period with only one professor in the subject and poor recruiting to the present situation with a strong and varied faculty educated at the best universities, which attracts young philosophers from many countries. The article devotes special attention to examen philosophicum, which is a compulsory exam for all university students in Norway, and to efforts to improve the quality of teaching at all levels, (...) from exphil to education of researchers, partly through collaboration between the Nordic countries. Finally, the article describes the efforts to build up strength in ethics and in ancient philosophy and pays tribute to the Center for the Study of Mind in Nature, the first center of excellence in the humanities at the University of Oslo. (shrink)
If rationalization were ubiquitous, it would undermine a fundamental premise of human discourse. A review of key evidence indicates that rationalization is rare and confined to choices among comparable options. In contrast, reasoning is pervasive in human decision making. Within the constraints of reasoning, rationalization may operate in ambiguous situations. Studying these processes requires careful definitions and operationalizations.
"A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes." -- Ludwig Wittgenstein The good news is that this book offers an entertaining but enlightening compilation of iekisms. Unlike any other book by Slavoj iek, this compact arrangement of jokes culled from his writings provides an index to certain philosophical, political, and sexual themes that preoccupy him. iek's Jokes contains the set-ups and punch lines -- as well as the offenses and insults -- that iek is famous (...) for, all in less than 200 pages. So what's the bad news? There is no bad news. There's just the inimitable Slavoj iek, disguised as an impossibly erudite, politically incorrect uncle, beginning a sentence, "There is an old Jewish joke, loved by Derrida..." For iek, jokes are amusing stories that offer a shortcut to philosophical insight. He illustrates the logic of the Hegelian triad, for example, with three variations of the "Not tonight, dear, I have a headache" classic: first the wife claims a migraine; then the husband does; then the wife exclaims, "Darling, I have a terrible migraine, so let's have some sex to refresh me!" A punch line about a beer bottle provides a Lacanian lesson about one signifier. And a "truly obscene" version of the famous "aristocrats" joke has the family offering a short course in Hegelian thought rather than a display of unspeakables. _iek's Jokes_ contains every joke cited, paraphrased, or narrated in iek's work in English, including different versions of the same joke that make different points in different contexts. The larger point being that comedy is central to iek's seriousness. (shrink)
Emotional action and communication are integral to the development of morality, here conceptualized as our concerns for the well-being of other people and the ability to act on those concerns. Focusing on the second year of life, this article suggests a number of ways in which young children’s emotions and caregivers’ emotional communication contribute to early forms of helping, empathy, and learning about prohibitions. We argue for distinguishing between moral issues and other normative issues also in the study of early (...) moral development, for considering a wider range of emotional phenomena than the “moral emotions” most commonly studied, and for paying more attention to how specific characteristics of early emotional interactions facilitate children’s development of a concern for others. (shrink)
This paper generalises classical revision theory of the AGM brand to sets of norms. This is achieved substituting input/output logic for classical logic and tracking the changes. Operations of derogation and amendment—analogues of contraction and revision—are defined and characterised, and the precise relationship between contraction and derogation, on the one hand, and derogation and amendment on the other, is established. It is argued that the notion of derogation, in particular, is a very important analytical tool, and that even core deontic (...) concepts such as that of permission resists a satisfactory analysis without it. By way of illustration the last section of the paper analyses the much debated concept of positive permission, of which there turns out to be more than one kind. (shrink)
Although first-order Kripke semantics has become a well established branch of modal logic, very little - almost nothing - is written about logics with a weaker modal fragment. We try to help the situation by isolating principles determining the interaction between quantifiers and modalities in minimal semantics. First, we let the standard-model properties of monotonic and anti-monotonic domains clue us in on how to do this – i. e. we try to articulate, in terms of the inclusiveness of the domains (...) of a certain set of worlds, a set of semantical restrictions that will validate the Barcan and converse Barcan formulae respectively. As it turns out, this can indeed by done, but only by adding assumptions strong enough to make the models virtually normal. Since the whole point of switching to a minimal framework would be to generalise the logic, we therefore abandon the worlds-objects thinking altogether, and switch to a much simpler and more direct validation strategy in which the propositions we are after are simply picked out as such. (shrink)
The article is concerned with the practicalist attempt to "solve" the problem of induction. The point of departure is the concept of counter-induction introduced by Max Black and his refutation of practicalism. If we are not to beg the question whether induction yields knowledge of the future, Max Black asserts, there is a symmetry between induction and counter-induction as methods. The main point of the article is to show that this assertion is false, at least when induction and counter-induction are (...) compared as regards their relations to hypothetico-deductive method. As regards these relations, there is a striking asymmetry. The author tries to establish the following conclusion: A theory can agree with all future data and yet be false because it does not agree with all past data. If we are not to be in a position where our theories are necessarily falsified either by past or future data, we must use induction rather than counter-induction. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with removing the identity schema from the axiomatic basis of deontic conditionals. This is in order to allow a stipulated ideal to be contrary or opposite in nature to the fact it is predicated upon. It is desirable, or so it is argued, to retain the order-theoretic orientation of preferential semantics towards the analysis of deontic conditionals, more specifically of maximality semantics in the tradition from Bengt Hansson. So understood, the problem involves abstracting away the settledness (...) assumption that is built in to maximality semantics. This is the assumption that what is optimal given ϕ is that which all the best ϕ-states have in common, notably ϕ itself. We propose a solution based on a strict and finite preference relation over which deontic conditionals are evaluated by letting ϕ-states evolve freely, as fate or fortune would have it, into different possibly ensuing optima that may but need not be ϕ-states themselves. The result is a deontic conditional that does not have identity. This new conditional is shown to be a proper generalization of the Hansson conditional. Hansson’s conditional can be recovered in the new idiom as a special case. Indeed, the new semantics is general enough to cover several apparently very different conceptions of deontic conditionality. For instance, the input/output logic known as basic output is a sublogic of the new system. This is somewhat surprising and suggests that there may yet be unity to be had in the field of deontic logic. (shrink)
Attempts to explain emotion typically emphasize the interaction of evolutionary and socialization processes. However, in describing this interplay the role of the person is typically underemphasized or unaccounted for. This paper lays out empirical and theoretical rationale for considering the person as a major contributor to emotion generation and development.
Judges and jurors must make decisions in an environment of ignoranceand uncertainty for example by hearing statements of possibly unreliable ordishonest witnesses, assessing possibly doubtful or irrelevantevidence, and enduring attempts by the opponents to manipulate thejudge''s and the jurors'' perceptions and feelings. Three importantaspects of decision making in this environment are the quantificationof sufficient proof, the weighing of pieces of evidence, and therelevancy of evidence. This paper proposes a mathematical frameworkfor dealing with the two first aspects, namely the quantification ofproof (...) and weighing of evidence. Our approach is based on subjectivelogic, which is an extension of standard logic and probability theory,in which the notion of probability is extended by including degrees ofuncertainty. Subjective Logic is a framework for modelling humanreasoning and we show how it can be applied to legalreasoning. (shrink)
Morality has two key features: moral judgments are not solely determined by what your group thinks, and moral judgments are often applied to members of other groups as well as your own group. Cooperative motives do not explain how young children reject unfairness, and assert moral obligations, both inside and outside their groups. Resistance and experience with conflicts, alongside cooperation, is key to the emergence and development of moral obligation.
While we share many of the views on emotion research put forth in Kagan’s article “Once More into the Breach,” our commentary focuses on two points of disagreement. First, we argue for the importance of a priori principles. In particular, emotions cannot be understood without reference to final and formal cause, and the related principles of equifinality and equipotentiality. Secondly, although we agree the term “basic emotions” is misleading, we maintain that the emotions traditionally called “basic” should still be seen (...) as a distinct set of emotions by virtue of their being constitutive for other, derived emotions. In conclusion we argue for moving beyond the strict empiricist approach proposed by Kagan and many thinkers before him. (shrink)
Emotion regulation is one of the major foci of study in the fields of emotion and emotional development. This article proposes that to properly study emotion regulation, one must consider not only an intrapersonal view of emotion, but a relational one as well. Defining properties of intrapersonal and relational approaches are spelled out, and implications drawn for how emotion regulation is conceptualized, how studies are designed, how findings are interpreted, and how generalizations are drawn. Most research to date has been (...) conducted from an intrapersonal perspective, and the shortcomings of this approach for understanding emotion regulation are highlighted. The article emphasizes major conceptual and methodological steps required for a fuller description of the process of emotion regulation. (shrink)
Nearly all students believe academic cheating is wrong, yet few students say they would report witnessed acts of cheating. To explain this apparent tension, the present research examined college students’ reasoning about whether to report plagiarism or other forms of cheating. Study 1 examined students’ conflicts when deciding whether to report cheating. Most students gave reasons against reporting a peer as well as reasons in favor of reporting. Study 2 provided experimental confirmation that the contextual factors referenced by Study 1 (...) participants in fact influenced decisions about whether to report cheating. Overall, the findings indicate that students often decide against reporting peers’ acts of cheating, though not due to a lack of concern about integrity. Rather, students may refrain from reporting because of conflicting concerns, lack of information about school policy, and perceived better alternatives to reporting. (shrink)