The authors report and comment on student reactions to a clinical example of moral choice in the microallocation of scarce resources. Four patients require dialysis simultaneously, but only one kidney machine is available. What moral, as opposed to clinical, criteria are available to determine who should have priority?
This is a confusing attempt to reconcile realist philosophy with an aesthetic stand. The book includes a discussion of the contributions of artists, philosophers, and critics to the formulation of an aesthetic viewpoint; a brief history of idealistic aesthetic theory embodied in the ideas of Kant, Hegel, Croce, and Tolstoy; a definition and defense of "excellence" as the criterion in the evaluation of art; and a justification for the continued inclusion of aesthetics as a philosophical endeavor. Realists, with their emphasis (...) on the scientific approach, verification, and measurement have always had a certain amount of understandable trouble with the arts, a field known for its fluidity and willful perversity regarding attempts to establish permanent, stable criteria of evaluation. Gibson draws heavily on Wittgenstein's idea of "family resemblances" and Weitz's application of that idea to art. In doing so, however, he ignores Weitz's warning that since art has no set of necessary properties and since, therefore, it is impossible to formulate theoretical definitions of it, aestheticians might better spend their time on other issues. Gibson builds his case around a family resemblance of various, so-called permanent excellences such as "significant form," "expressiveness," and "communicative efficacy" which, he insists, just happen to converge together in "great" works of art. With this statement, as well as others concerning the effect great art must produce in the beholder, Gibson has returned to the idea of an Absolute definition which, though pluralistic in scope, is still as rigid, exclusive, and closed a concept as the ones he denounces, despite his statements of "proof" to the contrary. Mention should also be made of the weakness of the overall structure of the book. Ideas and explanations become confusing when they are dropped in driblets throughout diverse chapters. This book adds nothing to the ideas of Wittgenstein or Weitz while, at the same time, detracting considerably from the clarity and logic of their concepts.--B. T. (shrink)
This book, an outgrowth of the Bannerstone Division of American Lectures in Philosophy, is an attempt to form the groundwork for an empirical aesthetic that will be flexible and all-inclusive. Berleant bases his ideas on the concept of an open-ended aesthetic field in which art objects are actively experienced. This field consists of the art object, the perceiver, the artist, and the performer. It also includes conditioning factors of a biological, psychological, technological, historical, social, and cultural nature. When the aesthetic (...) field is considered experientially the result is what Berleant terms an "aesthetic transaction." Aesthetics itself must be understood on a level that does not attempt to either translate the art into other terms or to exclude those works of art which do not happen to fit into the particular theory one is espousing. Theories must fit art not the other way around. The predominant characteristics of aesthetic experience are identified as active-receptive, qualitative, sensuous, immediate, intuitive, non-cognitive, unique, intrinsic and integral. One of Berleant's main concerns is to rescue the whole field of aesthetics from its present semantic morass. He does this by shifting the art object from the position of prime importance to just one component of a multifaceted field in which perceiving and experiencing is the main objective. A number of Berleant's statements are questionable: most artists are not as audience-oriented as his theory demands they be; art objects are imbued occasionally with life and abilities which inanimate objects do not have; there is no recognition of the common situation in which only the artist ever sees a particular work so that one person only is the creator, the audience and, the critic--a fact which weakens Berleant's reasons for placing the critic outside the aesthetic field; and finally, there is total avoidance of the psychology of artists. But intelligence and imagination are at work here and the result is a provocative book.--B. T. (shrink)
The stated intent of this book is to use the art of today as an introduction to philosophy and to describe the aesthetic experience. The author also says he wants to take a stand which he solidly does. The issues dealt with are the standard meat of aesthetic discussions and complexities: a comparison of ordinary and aesthetic vision, the art-object, qualities of the aesthetic experience, form, content, process, expression, tragedy, comedy, beauty, and the sublime. Anderson's arguments are based on three (...) main assumptions. Art is separate from life and, since it is external to man, he must struggle to cross into the realm of art, often wading through intentionally ambiguous elements to get to the content of the art-work. A successful art-object revives in the viewer the process of perception and articulation learned as a child. The crux of the aesthetic experience is the disclosure of content to the spectator. Based on this last assumption, the author's standard for judging artists is that some artists are more profound than others because their participation in this disclosure of content is deeper. Therefore, the better artist will try to relate both his activities and his nature to this all-important process. Positive aspects of this book are refreshingly unstereotyped views on the role of art critics and art history ; a recognition that aesthetic response is intuitive and the aesthetic experience is transient; and the raising of some provocative questions regarding the importance of the artist's judgment in determining the value of his own work. Unfortunately, this last point is not discussed after its initial mention. On the negative side, despite Anderson's stated intentions, all specific examples of art-works are drawn from non-contemporary sources. Also, idealism lends itself to a rigid aesthetic hermeneutics which is contrary to the majority of art movements in this century. Indeed, one of the outstanding characteristics of the contemporary arts has been the steady destruction of canons and boundaries. Anderson presents these same canons as relevant and absolute. His emphasis on the disclosure of content and content itself is particularly open to question in the light of conscious attempts by artists to eliminate content as a contentable element.. Some justification for endorsing interpretive aesthetics is needed and is not given. Anderson's greatest success is that he has, indeed, most clearly taken a stand.--B. T. (shrink)
In the early 1980s, a new category of crime appeared in the criminal law lexicon. In response to concerted advocacy-group lobbying, Congress and many state legislatures passed a wave of "hate crime" laws requiring the collection of statistics on, and enhancing the punishment for, crimes motivated by certain prejudices. This book places the evolution of the hate crime concept in socio-legal perspective. James B. Jacobs and Kimberly Potter adopt a skeptical if not critical stance, maintaining that legal definitions of (...) hate crime are riddled with ambiguity and subjectivity. No matter how hate crime is defined, and despite an apparent media consensus to the contrary, the authors find no evidence to support the claim that the United States is experiencing a hate crime epidemic--instead, they cast doubt on whether the number of hate crimes is even increasing. The authors further assert that, while the federal effort to establish a reliable hate crime accounting system has failed, data collected for this purpose have led to widespread misinterpretation of the state of intergroup relations in this country. The book contends that hate crime as a socio-legal category represents the elaboration of an identity politics now manifesting itself in many areas of the law. But the attempt to apply the anti-discrimination paradigm to criminal law generates problems and anomalies. For one thing, members of minority groups are frequently hate crime perpetrators. Moreover, the underlying conduct prohibited by hate crime law is already subject to criminal punishment. Jacobs and Potter question whether hate crimes are worse or more serious than similar crimes attributable to other anti-social motivations. They also argue that the effort to single out hate crime for greater punishment is, in effect, an effort to punish some offenders more seriously simply because of their beliefs, opinions, or values, thus implicating the First Amendment. Advancing a provocative argument in clear and persuasive terms, Jacobs and Potter show how the recriminalization of hate crime has little value with respect to law enforcement or criminal justice. Indeed, enforcement of such laws may exacerbate intergroup tensions rather than eradicate prejudice. (shrink)
This essay which was first published in 1793 and now appearing for the first time in English is, according to its editor, "one of the most neglected though most important documents of the Enlightenment". In an age when philosophy is still thought by many to be impractical, Kant’s essay attempts to show the relevance of his moral and political theory to some issues and problems that are in fact still alive today: the nature and extent of political authority, the limits (...) of political obedience and the right of revolution, international law and the preservation of peace. The work is divided into three sections dealing respectively with morality in general and considerations of welfare and utility; politics, the welfare of the state, and constitutional law; and international law and the possibilities for its institution and effectiveness. (shrink)
In his foreword, Brand Blanshard provides the suitable justification for publishing yet one more book on Berkeley: Berkeley is "curiously modern," and philosophically acute. Twelve competent essays, contributed by as many scholars, testify to the accuracy of Blanshard's judgment. These twelve scholars, all of whom rely on the Luce-Jessop definitive edition, touch upon the major issues of Berkeley's philosophy: perception, substance, spirit, and God. Differences in interpretation are everywhere evident, but Berkeley is nowhere given facile treatment or quick dismissal. Of (...) the many good essays, Ian T. Ramsey's on "Berkeley and the Possibility of an Empirical Metaphysics" deserves close attention. Ramsey argues that Berkeley's doctrine of will, soul, mind, etc., should be viewed as forms of personal activity and not on the analogy of Locke's ideas. T. E. Jessop contributes a useful bibliography as well as an essay on "Berkeley as Religious Apologist." The only, very minor, flaw in this distinguished volume is that the editor's own essay, the twelfth, "Berkeley and his Modern Critics" might have been better placed immediately following the foreward.--D. J. M. B. (shrink)
The author's thesis is that a formal system of plausible noncertain reasoning is possible. Its basic patterns of inference are: A implies B; B is true; therefore A is more credible, and non-A is more credible is equivalent to A is less credible. From these all other patterns of plausible reasoning are derivable. Such a calculus is to be employed within contexts of alternative hypotheses to pick out the strongest hypothesis. Unfortunately, no measure for credibility is provided. The author tries (...) to relate his system of plausible reasoning to a logic of discovery, but fails to make the relation clear. Sometimes he feels that the former implies the latter, and at other times that the former may be possible without the latter being possible. A "logic" of plausible reasoning, if it were possible, would go a long way in explaining why scientists consider seriously only very few of a great number of possible hypotheses.--T. D. Z. (shrink)
Early in the 1980s, a new category of crime appeared in the criminal law lexicon. In response to what was said to be an epidemic of prejudice-motivated violence, Congress and many state legislatures passed a wave of 'hate crime' laws that required the collection of statistics and enhanced the punishment of crimes motivated by certain prejudices. This book places in socio-legal perspective both the hate crime problem and society's response to it. From the outset, Jacobs and Potter adopt a (...) skeptical if not critical stance. They argue that hate crime is a hopelessly muddled concept and that legal definitions of the term are riddled with ambiguity and subjectivity. Moreover, no matter how hate crime is defined, the authors find no evidence to support the claim that the US is experiencing a hate crime epidemic—nor that the number or rate of hate crimes is at an historic zenith. (shrink)
Jesus Christ may be regarded as the chief spirit of agitation and innovation. He himself declared, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” One cannot delve seriously into the centuries of activism and scholarship against racism, Jim Crowism, and the terrorism of lynching without encountering the legacies of Timothy Thomas Fortune and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Black scholars from the 19th century to the present have been inspired by the sociological and economic works of Fortune and Wells. Scholars of (...) American philosophy, however, continue to ignore their writings, their theoretical contributions and their ethical aspirations, preferring instead the insipid declarations of white turn of the century .. (shrink)
There are numerous studies on the esoteric sects in Islam. Though in these studies they have been discussed from different respects, none of them draws attention to the place and importance of the theory of shadows (aẓilla) in the esoteric sects. In this article, after the identification of the meaning of the theory of shadows, it has been argued that the concept of shadows has a central role in understanding the esoteric system of thought. In this context, it has been (...) tried to reveal the central effect of the theory of shadows on the basic ideas of esoteric sects. -/- SUMMARY There are numerous studies on the esoteric sects in Islam. Though in these studies they have been discussed from different respects, none of them draws attention to the place and importance of the theory of shadows (aẓilla) in the esoteric sects. In this article, after the identification of the meaning of the theory of shadows, it has been argued that the concept of shadows has a central role in understanding the esoteric system of thought. In this context, it has been tried to reveal the central effect of the theory of shadows on the basic ideas of esoteric sects. The theory of shadows can be defined as the reflection of the shadows or non-material beings, which appear in the divine world, in this world in a material form. The origins of this view go back to the Plato’s theory of ideas that he formulated as ideas and forms and to his allegory of cave that he used to explain this theory. This theory which was formulated and developed by the pre-Islamic various religious and philosophical traditions took an Islamic form through the bāṭinī/esoteric schools. The theory of shadows was first developed by the extremist groups of shiʿa. Though the early classical works referred the theory of shadow to the extremist shiʿas, they do not give any detail thereof. Nevertheless, it is possible to find in some views of theirs and in the esoteric sects such as Ismailites, Nusayrites, Druzes and Yazidites some clues about the character of this theory. In addition, the later works like Kitāb al-Haft wa al- ʾAẓilla directly articulating the theory of shadows were composed. Although the theory of shadows was not mentioned sufficiently in the works produced within the bāṭinī/esoteric circles, it is witnessed that their understandings of religion were based, to a large extent, upon the theory of shadows. The most basic feature of this unnamed understanding is the claim that every being in the divine world has been reflected in this world in a material form. Since the essence of God generally was kept out from the manifestation (tajallī), reflection was not started with his essence. However, the first beings emanating from Almighty Creator brought the divine world into being and that world was reflected to this world in a material form. With this perception, a Gnostic understanding was developed that the material has no reality and the ultimate reality should be sought in the non-material. According to this, the material beings consisting of only reflection of reality are not possible to have an ultimate reality. The only truth is the meaning, inner (bātin) or shadow which reflects to the world in a material form. Naturally what a bāṭinī should do is to seek the non-material ultimate truth hidden behind the material form. The theory of shadows in this point argued compulsorily the distinction of ẓāhir-bātin (outer-inner). Accordingly, ẓāhir consists of a shell or reflection in which hides the truth. The duty one should do is to go beyond the outer meaning of religious text and to get the inner truth hidden behind the outer meaning. The theory of shadows made a dualist view point obligatory, because every being has an inner aspect which includes the truth and an outer respect in which the ultimate truth is reflected in a material form. God has the inner attributes through which the truth appears spiritually and material attributes to which they are reflected. Universe has a dualist character, a spiritual universe consisting of non-material realities and material universe consisting of its reflections. Human beings have a dualist character, a soul belonging to the divine world and a body belonging to this world. Religious texts which were sent for the salvation of mankind also have two aspects, the inner (bāṭin) belonging to the divine world and the outer (ẓāhir) belonging to this world. Since the Bāṭiniyya considered the divine world to be composed of sevenfold and each fold to be a divine being, they sought, as a result of the theory of shadow, to find in the material world the counterparts or reflections of these beings. Even if their names show differences, the bāṭinī/esoteric groups regarded in certain times some figures as the reflections of the divine world in the material world. Divine beings called al-ʿAql al-Kullī (the Universal Intellect), al-Nafs al-Kullī (the Universal Soul), al-Kalima, Sābiq and Tālī were reflected in the world as the material forms like the Prophet Muhammad, Ali, Salman al-Farisī, Miqdāt b. al-Aswad, Ammār b. Yāsir. This understanding resulted in the divinization of some figures in the world, because it was held that through the manifestation these figures differ from the ordinary people, thus having some divine features. These figures gaining a bipolar identity were outwardly human beings, while inwardly regarded as the forms of divine beings reflected in the world. In this point, what the other people should do is to comprehend, with reference to the figures and their forms, the divine truth reflecting them. This approach brought about a religious understanding in which an individual salvation was not possible and some figures were perceived as charismatic leaders. As a result, the religious understanding developed by the Bāṭiniyya schools is under the ultimate influence of the theory of shadows. With reference to this theory, they developed a new understanding of Islam called Esotericism. At the core of this perception lies the theory of shadows and dualism as its inseparable part. In this sense, Esotericism represents a religious understanding developed in this direction and having a wholeness and deepness. In order to understand this religious understanding correctly, the theory of shadows must be taken into consideration and the esoteric texts be read in this direction. This kind of way of reading, in which the outer is seen as the unique reality, fails to realize the duality behind it, will not enable us to comprehend the inner wholeness of Esotericism and cause to see it as a mass of contradictions. (shrink)
For cases in which to remember that p is to have (strict) nonbasic, unmixed memory knowledge that p; in which there is at most one prior time, t, from which one remembers; in which one knew at t that p; and in which there can arise a sensible question whether one remembers that p from t — a person, B, remembers that p from t if and only if: (1) There is a set of grounds a subset of which consists (...) of (i) only those grounds B has at both t and the present for B to be sure that p, and (ii) enough such grounds to make it reasonable at both t and the present for B to be sure that p (I call any such subset a set of “adequate original grounds dating from t”), and (2) there is no time prior to t such that B has a set of adequate original grounds dating from that time. The way in which the crucial terms in this explication are being used is explained. And the explication is defended by showing how it can deal with cases that are counterexamples to explications recently offered by Malcolm and by Munsat. (shrink)
We formulate schemes and of the “typical” ∀∑ 1 b -sentences that are provable in T 2 1, respectively T 2 2. As an application, we reprove a recent result of Buss and Krajíček which describes witnesses for the ∀∑ 1 b -sentences provable in T 2 1 in terms of solutions to PLS-problems.
We are grateful for Roy T. Cook's attention to our work in his recent review of our book If A, Then B: How the World Discovered Logic. But Professor Cook leaves two misimpressions that we should like to correct. First, we have never maintained (as he phrases it) that "one's premises must be more certain than the conclusions that follow from them, ignoring the obvious logical fact that, if B logically follows from A, then B is provably at least as (...) probable as A." Instead, we assert that one must be *initially* more certain of one's premises than the conclusions that follow from them; otherwise, we contend, no argument that relies on those premises to prove such a conclusion can be rationally persuasive. On this view, one might still be equally certain of both the premises and the conclusion after being persuaded by the argument, especially in cases where the premises entail the conclusion. By analogy, Aristotle asserts in the Posterior Analytics that the premises of demonstration must be "better known" than the conclusion—meaning, in part, that the premises must be initially more convincing. But this hardly shows that Aristotle thinks that, if A is invoked to demonstrate B, then A and B can never be regarded as equally probable…. (shrink)
This essay examines the intellectual origins of Tocqueville's thoughts on political economy. It argues that Tocqueville believed political economy was crucial to what he called the ‘new science of politics’, and it explores his first forays into the discipline by examining his studies of J.-B. Say and T.R. Malthus. The essay shows how Tocqueville was initially attracted to Say's approach as it provided him with a rigorous analytical framework with which to examine American democracy. Though he incorporated important aspects of (...) Say's work in Democracy in America , he was troubled by elements of it. He was unable to articulate clearly these doubts until he began studying Malthus. What he learned from Malthus caused him to move away from the more formalised approach to political economy advocated by Say and his disciples and move towards an approach advocated by Christian political economists, such as Alban Villeneuve-Bargemont. This shift would have important consequences for the composition of Democracy in America. (shrink)