Green agrees with Kant on the abstract character of moral law as categorical imperatives and that intentional dispositions are central to a moral justification of punishment. The central problem with Kant's account is that we are unable to know these dispositions beyond a reasonable estimate. Green offers a practical alternative, positing moral law as an ideal to be achieved, but not immediately enforceable through positive law. Moral and positive law are bridged by Green's theory of the common good through the (...) dialectic of morality. Thus, Green appears to offer an alternative that remains committed to Kantian morality whilst taking proper stock of our cognitive limitations. Unfortunately, Green fails to unravel fully Kant's dichotomy of moral and positive law that mirrors Green's solution, although Green offers a number of improvements, such as the importance of the community in establishing rights and linking the severity of punishment to the extent that a criminal act threatens the continued maintenance of a system of rights. (shrink)
The present article aims to explain Kamala??la’s understanding of the nature of insight, specifically considering it as the ‘discernment of reality’ -- a technical term identified with insight in the author’s well known Bh?van?krama? texts. I approach my analysis of bh?ta-pratyavek?? from three different angles. I begin by providing a rationale for its translation. This is followed by an account of Kamala??la’s reading of key passages in the La?k?vat?ra S?tra describing the process to which the term refers. Here the aim (...) is to illustrate Kamala??la’s understanding of bh?ta-pratyavek?? as it is actually experienced in meditation. The final section examines bh?ta-pratyavek?? in relation to other important technical terminology employed in the course of making arguments against his historical rival in debate, the Ch’an monk Mo ho yen. By providing these three different perspectives on the same process it is my hope that both scholars and practitioners will be able to more fully comprehend and benefit from the instructions provided by the ancient master Kamala??la. (shrink)
Contemporary liberal democracy employs a conception of legitimacy according to which political decisions and institutions must be at least in principle justifiable to all citizens. This conception of legitimacy is difficult to satisfy when citizens are deeply divided at the level of fundamental moral, religious, and philosophical commitments. Many have followed the later Rawls in holding that where a reasonable pluralism of such commitments persists, political justification must eschew appeal to any controversial moral, religious, or philosophical premises. In this way, (...) the Rawlsian account of public political justification involves a politics of omission, where citizens are expected to bracket off their most fundamental commitments and seek justifications that draw only from uncontroversial premises. This politics of omission is necessary, Rawls argues, for political stability. But there is good social epistemic evidence for the view that the politics of omission encourages insularity among like-minded groups, and that this insularity in turn generates extremism. So omission is likely to lead to instability, not stability. (shrink)
Purpose. Without claiming to explain the meaning and purpose of the Cycladic figurines of the canonical type in the context of the culture that created them, the author attempts to investigate the phenomenon of these ancient images and their impact on contemporary humans through the lens of Carl Gustav Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious and the archetypes. Theoretical basis. The primary meanings and purposes of the Cycladic figurines are ambiguous and incomprehensible to us. We cannot understand them in the (...) context of their original culture. But we are able to create our own meanings: unfinished images generate an opportunity to bypass our conscious mind and to contact the unconscious. The Cycladic figurines may resonate with female archetypes in the male and female psyche, as well as symbolize the ontological primacy of creative unity of opposites, the integrity of consciousness and the unconscious. Originality. The author outlined the possible unconscious meanings generated by the Cycladic figurines for human psyche. The Cycladic figurines actualize the archetypes of the collective unconscious, such as the Great Mother, the Anima, and the Self. These ancient images can be used for introspection, art therapy, active imagination, meditation, mindfulness. Conclusions. The results show that the Cycladic figurines have had a huge impact on the artists of the 20 th century and continue to influence our contemporaries due to the emotional response they evoke in the unconscious, which conceals the primordial features of the ancient mind. Laconic ancient images provide a vast space of options for human imagination. In an attempt to interpret them, we are suddenly seized and carried away into unknown depths. Archetypal images are manifested in any form – from sublime and beautiful to terrible, but they create a single space full of numinous awe and beauty. Engaging with the archetypes and revealing their hidden messages, we establish a connection between consciousness and the unconscious, between the personal and collective unconscious to achieve a deep self-awareness and inner growth. (shrink)
A festschrift volume for Prof Kenneth MacCorquodale retired from th e University of Minnesota. MacCorquodale was one of the first graduate students to study with B.F. Skinner. Chapters are concerned with the basic units into which behavior is analyzed according to functional analysis principles. A second theme was how such units once demonstrated can be integrated to comprise more complex naturalistic behavior, animal and human. Contributors included many leaders in the experimental and applied analysis of operant behavior.
Purpose. To study the phenomenon of a woman-author as a subject of culture and philosophy from a development of literary aspect in the works both Western and Ukrainian scientists. To define the significance of the philosophical representation of the gender stereotypes to reconsider their place and role in the socio cultural discourse. Theoretical basis. To investigate the theoretical framework in the postmodern philosophy the cross-disciplinary approach is used. The comparative approach is methodologically important to clarify the problems concerning a woman-author (...) as a subject of culture. It is underlined that the boundary line between literature and philosophy is movable, which coincides with the shapes of the human experience. Based on the conviction that gender has integrated into all social relations, that means it is a gender context of any social interaction, it is important to emphasize the productivity of a new scientific methodology of sociocultural constructing of gender. Originality. Is in systematic literary analysis of Ukrainian and Western women’s prose as specific philosophical phenomenon. It was proved that the investigation of women’s literature, its identity is an important focus of both philosophy and culture, which helps find philosophical problems in literary texts. Besides the analysis of gender implications in texts allows to start theoretical dialogue on gender problems, which means the participation in the discussion about the targets of our cultural life. Conclusions. It has been proved that literature of the ХХ th -XXI st centuries is characterized by strengthening interaction between philosophical systems and literary works that reflects mainstreaming of intellectual and thinking bases. It was revealed that women’s philosophical and literary conceptions have created a unique woman’s world of being and an image of "a new woman", thus leading the way towards the new stereotypes based on comprehension that sex differences should not be determining factors both in cultural and social coexistence. (shrink)
Niccolò Machiavelli’s _The Prince_ is one of the most influential works in the history of political thought and the adjective Machiavellian is well-known and perhaps even over-used. So why does the meaning of the text continue to be debated to the present day? And how does a contemporary reader get to grips with a book full of references to the politics of the early 16 th Century? The Routledge Guidebook to Machiavelli’s The Prince provides readers with the historical background, textual (...) analysis, and other relevant information needed for a greater understanding and appreciation of this classic text. This guidebook introduces: the historical, political and intellectual context in which Machiavelli was working the key ideas developed by Machiavelli throughout the text and the examples he uses to illustrate them the relationship of _The Prince _to _The Discourses _and Machiavelli’s other works Featuring a timeline, maps and suggestions for further reading throughout, this book is an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to be able to engage more fully with _The Prince_. (shrink)
Desde que Tarski publicó su estudio sobreel concepto de verdad en los años 30, hasido una práctica ortodoxa el considerarque t oda i nst anci a del esquema T esverdadera. Sin embargo, algunas instanciasdel esquema son falsas. Éstas incluyen lasi nst anci as paradój i cas ej empl i f i cadaspor la oración del mentiroso. Aquí sedemuestra que un esquema mejor permiteun tratamiento uniforme de la verdad enel que las paradojas semánticas resultanser simplemente falsas.Si nc e Ta r s (...) ki publ i s he d hi s s t udy ofthe concept of truth in the 1930s, it hasbeen orthodox practice to suppose thatevery instance of the T-schema is true.However, some instances of the schemaare false. These include the paradoxicalinstances exemplified by the Liar sentence.It is shown that a better schema allows auniform treatment of truth in which thesemantic paradoxes turn out to be simplyfalse. (shrink)
Bu çalışma, tıp-geometri ilişkisi bağlamında burhânın farklı disiplinler arasında taşınmasına ilişkin tartışmaları incelemeyi hedeflemektedir. Aristoteles’in metabasis-yasağına göre bu iki disiplin araştırdıkları konuların özelliklerinden ötürü ayrı ayrı kompartımanlarda bulunmaları gerekiyordu. Ancak İkinci Analitikler’deki dairesel yaralarla ilgili kritik metnin derinlemesine incelenmesi, bizi bilimler arası etkileşimlerin sınırlarını yeniden gözden geçirmeye zorlamaktadır. Zira daha sonra İbn Sînâ, yine bu metin temelinde burhânın taşınma alanını genişletecektir. Ayrıca İbn Sînâ ve İbnü’n-Nefîs’in anatomik araştırmalarda da geometrik burhânları kullanmaya devam etmeleri, kısıtlama kuralının ancak itibari olduğunu ileri süren (...) yaygın görüşün aksine onu bir araştırmacının herhangi bir bilimsel incelemeye giriştiğinde mevcut bilimsel alt yapıyı ve mantık kurallarını da dikkate alması gerektiğini hatırlatan bir uyarı olarak anlamamız gerektiğini göstermektedir. Dolayısıyla farklı cinsler arasındaki geçişlerin ne zaman mümkün olduğu, tüm bu uyarıları dikkate aldıktan sonra farklı bir yöntemin izlendiği araştırmanın sonunda elde edilen neticenin belirli bir meselenin çözümüne yahut tahminî gerçeğe ulaşılmasına ne ölçüde katkıda bulunup bulunmadığına bağlıydı. (shrink)
It is often claimed that irreducibly normative truths would have unacceptable metaphysical implications, and are incompatible with a scientific view of the world. The book argues, on the basis of a general account of the relevance of ontological questions, that this claim is mistaken. It is also a mistake to think that interpreting normative judgments as beliefs would make it impossible to explain their connection with action. An agent’s acceptance of a normative judgment can explain that agent’s subsequent action because (...) it is part of being a rational agent that such an agent’s beliefs about reasons normally, but not invariably, make a difference to the agent’s subsequent behavior. Because facts about reasons are not entities existing apart from us, there is no epistemological problem of how we can “be in touch with” such facts. There are serious worries about normative knowledge, but the problems involved are internal to the normative domain itself. The best solution to these problems would be an overall account of the domain of reasons in normative terms, supported by an argument from reflective equilibrium. But no existing account, constructivist, or based on desires or on an idea of rationality, is plausible, and no alternative is likely to succeed. Conclusions about reasons for action must rest on more piecemeal applications of the method of reflective equilibrium. (shrink)
Agent-relative consequentialism is thought attractive because it can secure agent-centred constraints while retaining consequentialism's compelling idea—the idea that it is always permissible to bring about the best available outcome. We argue, however, that the commitments of agent-relative consequentialism lead it to run afoul of a plausibility requirement on moral theories. A moral theory must not be such that, in any possible circumstance, were every agent to act impermissibly, each would have more reason to prefer the world thereby actualized over the (...) world that would have been actualized if every agent had instead acted permissibly. (shrink)
Quentin Smith contends that modern science provides enough evidence ‘to justify the belief that the universe began to exist without being caused to do so.’ There was a time when such a claim would have been dismissed because it conflicts with a principle absolutely fundamental to all human thought, including science itself. As Thomas Reid expressed the matter: That neither existence, nor any mode of existence, can begin without an efficient cause is a principle that appears very early in the (...) mind of man; and it is so universal, and so firmly rooted in human nature, that the most determined scepticism cannot eradicate it. (shrink)
The world appears to conscious creatures in terms of experienced sensory qualities, but science doesn't find sensory experience in that world, only physical objects and properties. I argue that the failure to locate consciousness in the world is a function of our necessarily representational relation to reality as knowers: we won't discover the terms in which reality is represented by us in the world as it appears in those terms. Qualia -- arguably a type of representational content -- will therefore (...) not be found in the physical world as characterized in experience or science. Instead, consciousness constitutes a subjective, representational reality for cognitive systems such as ourselves, and the physical world is a represented objective reality. I suggest that naturalistic approaches to explaining consciousness should acknowledge the non-objectivity of experience, and be constrained by evidence that consciousness accompanies certain sorts of behaviour-controlling representational functions carried out by complex, physically instantiated mind-systems. I evaluate a variety of current hypotheses about consciousness, and suggest that a mature science of representation may help explain why, perhaps as matter of representational necessity, experience arises as a natural but not objectively discoverable phenomenon. (shrink)
There are various argumentative strategies for advancing the claim that God does not exist. One such strategy is this. First, one notes that God is meant to have a certain divine attribute (such as omniscience). One then argues that having the relevant attribute is impossible. One concludes that God doesn't exist. For instance, Dennis Whitcomb's recent paper, ‘Grounding and omniscience’, proceeds in exactly this way. As Whitcomb says, ‘I'm going to argue that omniscience is impossible and that therefore there is (...) no God.’ This is not, I hope to show, a very promising way to start a paper. If having a given property is impossible, the greatest possible being need not have that property. Accordingly, the argumentative strategy in question is doomed to failure. The upshot of this article is a quite general one concerning how arguments against the existence of God in fact must proceed. (shrink)
In the 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover Area School Board case, a federal district court ruled that Intelligent Design creationism was not science, but a disguised religious view and that teaching it in public schools is unconstitutional. But creationists contend that it is illegitimate to distinguish science and religion, citing philosophers Quinn and especially Laudan, who had criticized a similar ruling in the 1981 McLean v. Arkansas creation-science case on the grounds that no necessary and sufficient demarcation criterion was possible and (...) that demarcation was a dead pseudo-problem. This article discusses problems with those conclusions and their application to the quite different reasoning between these two cases. Laudan focused too narrowly on the problem of demarcation as Popper defined it. Distinguishing science from religion was and remains an important conceptual issue with significant practical import, and philosophers who say there is no difference have lost touch with reality in a profound and perverse way. The Kitzmiller case did not rely on a strict demarcation criterion, but appealed only to a “ballpark” demarcation that identifies methodological naturalism as a “ground rule” of science. MN is shown to be a distinguishing feature of science both in explicit statements from scientific organizations and in actual practice. There is good reason to think that MN is shared as a tacit assumption among philosophers who emphasize other demarcation criteria and even by Laudan himself. (shrink)
Recent and puzzling experimental results suggest that people’s judgments as to whether or not an action was performed intentionally are sensitive to moral considerations. In this paper, we outline these results and evaluate two accounts which purport to explain them. We then describe a recent experiment that allegedly vindicates one of these accounts and present our own findings to show that it fails to do so. Finally, we present additional data suggesting no such vindication could be in the offing and (...) that, in fact, both accounts fail to explain the initial, puzzling results they were purported to explain. (shrink)
My aim in this study is not to praise Fischer's fine theory of moral responsibility, but to bury the "semi" in "semicompatibilism". I think Fischer gives the Consequence Argument too much credit, and gives himself too little credit. In his book, The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer gave the CA as good a statement as it will ever get, and put his finger on what is wrong with it. Then he declared stalemate rather than victory. In my view, Fischer's view (...) amounts to sophisticated compatibilism. It would be nice to be able to call it by its right name. In The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer develops his own version of Consequence Argument, which turns on two principles, one of which is the fixity of the past. FP: For any action K, agent S and time i, if it is true that is S were to do Y at t, some fact about that past relative to t would not have been a fact, then S cannot at t do Fat 1. 1 argue that the equipment needed to reject FP is needed to deal with the problem of fatalism. In addition, I argue that the rejection of FP is compatible with Fischer's approach to Frankfurt cases and with his account of transfer principles. (shrink)
Suppose that a world in which we have an utterly non-consequentialist moral status is a better world than one in which we don’t have such a status. Does this give any reason to believe that we have such moral status? Suppose that a world without moral luck is worse than a world with moral luck. Does this give any reason to believe that there is moral luck? The problem is that positive answers to these questions1 seem to commit us to (...) instances of the inference ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if p, therefore, p’. Perhaps it would be nice if we had utterly nonconsequentialist dignity. How is this any reason to believe that we have such status? Perhaps it would be nice if there were moral luck. How is this any reason to believe that there is moral luck? Thus stated, such inferences look ridiculous, paradigmatic cases of wishful thinking.2 And yet they do not sound so obviously ridiculous, at least not as ridiculous as non-moral instances of the same argument schema3 (it would be nice if there were world peace, therefore, there is world peace). Can something be said in defence of such arguments, at least in morality? (shrink)
Abstract I argue that the two primary motivations in the literature for positing seemings as sui generis mental states are insufficient to motivate this view. Because of this, epistemological views which attempt to put seemings to work don’t go far enough. It would be better to do the same work by appealing to what makes seeming talk true rather than simply appealing to seeming talk. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-12 DOI 10.1007/s11406-012-9363-8 Authors T. Ryan Byerly, Department of Philosophy, Baylor (...) University, Waco, TX, USA Journal Philosophia Online ISSN 1574-9274 Print ISSN 0048-3893. (shrink)
What is a natural kind ? As we shall see, the concept of a natural kind has a long history. Many of the interesting doctrines can be detected in Aristotle, were revived by Locke and Leibniz, and have again become fashionable in recent years. Equally there has been agreement about certain paradigm examples: the kinds oak, stickleback and gold are natural kinds, and the kinds table, nation and banknote are not. Sadly agreement does not extend much further. It is impossible (...) to discover a single consistent doctrine in the literature, and different discussions focus on different doctrines without writers or readers being aware of the fact. In this paper I shall attempt to find a defensible distinction between natural and non-natural kinds. (shrink)
Cosmological arguments for the existence of God face a gap problem. This is the problem of convincingly arguing that their intermediate conclusions that some first cause or necessary being exists provide evidence for their main conclusion that God exists. This paper develops a simple and innovative approach to solving this problem, applicable to many cosmological arguments. According to the proposal, the best explanation for why the necessary being is found to have necessary existence is that it is a perfect being. (...) Since a perfect being would be God, the intermediate conclusions of the relevant cosmological arguments provide abductive evidence for their main conclusions. (shrink)
Recently, many critics have argued that disgust is a morally harmful emotion, and that it should play no role in our moral and legal reasoning. Here we defend disgust as a morally beneficial moral capacity. We believe that a variety of liberal norms have been inappropriately imported into both moral psychology and ethical studies of disgust: disgust has been associated with conservative authors, values, value systems, and modes of moral reasoning that are seen as inferior to the values and moral (...) emotions that are endorsed by liberal critics. Here we argue that the meta-ethical assumptions employed by the critics of disgust are highly contentious and in some cases culture bound. Given this, we should avoid adopting simplified meta-ethical positions in experimental moral psychology, as these can skew the design and interpretation of experiments, and blind us to the potential value of moral disgust harnessed in the service of liberal ends. (shrink)
If philosophical moral reflection tends to promote moral behavior, one might think that professional ethicists would behave morally better than do socially comparable non-ethicists. We examined three types of courteous and discourteous behavior at American Philosophical Association conferences: talking audibly while the speaker is talking (versus remaining silent), allowing the door to slam shut while entering or exiting mid-session (versus attempting to close the door quietly), and leaving behind clutter at the end of a session (versus leaving one's seat tidy). (...) By these three measures, audiences in ethics sessions did not appear to behave any more courteously than did audiences in non-ethics sessions. However, audiences in environmental ethics sessions did appear to leave behind less trash. (shrink)
ABSTRACTRational agents have consistent beliefs. Bayesianism is a theory of consistency for partial belief states. Rational agents also respond appropriately to experience. Dogmatism is a theory of how to respond appropriately to experience. Hence, Dogmatism and Bayesianism are theories of two very different aspects of rationality. It's surprising, then, that in recent years it has become common to claim that Dogmatism and Bayesianism are jointly inconsistent: how can two independently consistent theories with distinct subject matter be jointly inconsistent? In this (...) essay I argue that Bayesianism and Dogmatism are inconsistent only with the addition of a specific hypothesis about how the appropriate responses to perceptual experience are to be incorporated into the formal models of the Bayesian. That hypothesis isn't essential either to Bayesianism or to Dogmatism, and so Bayesianism and Dogmatism are jointly consistent. That leaves the matter of how experiences and credences are related, a... (shrink)
The history of fallacy theory is long, distinguished and, admittedly, checkered. I offer a bird eye view on it, with the aim of contrasting the standard conception of fallacies as attractive and universal errors that are hard to eradicate with the contemporary preoccupation with “non-fallacious fallacies”, that is, arguments that fit the bill of one of the traditional fallacies but are actually respectable enough to be used in appropriate contexts. Godden and Zenker have recently argued that reinterpreting alleged fallacies as (...) non-fallacious arguments requires supplementing the textual material with something else, e.g. probability distributions, pragmatic considerations, dialogical context. Thus fallacies remain gappy on all accounts, and this is the hallmark of their failure. However, I argue that such gappiness is typically unproblematic, and thus no more flawed than enthymematic argumentation in general. This, in turn, calls into question the usefulness of the very notion of fallacy. (shrink)
It is fortunate for my purposes that English has the two words ‘almighty’ and ‘omnipotent’, and that apart from any stipulation by me the words have rather different associations and suggestions. ‘Almighty’ is the familiar word that comes in the creeds of the Church; ‘omnipotent’ is at home rather in formal theological discussions and controversies, e.g. about miracles and about the problem of evil. ‘Almighty’ derives by way of Latin ‘omnipotens’ from the Greek word ‘ pantokratōr ’; and both this (...) Greek word, like the more classical ‘ pankratēs ’, and ‘almighty’ itself suggest God's having power over all things. On the other hand the English word ‘omnipotent’ would ordinarily be taken to imply ability to do everything; the Latin word ‘omnipotens’ also predominantly has this meaning in Scholastic writers, even though in origin it is a Latinization of ‘ pantocratōr ’. So there already is a tendency to distinguish the two words; and in this paper I shall make the distinction a strict one. I shall use the word ‘almighty’ to express God's power over all things, and I shall take ‘omnipotence’ to mean ability to do everything. (shrink)
Here's an interesting question: what are we? David Barnett has claimed that reflection on consciousness suggests an answer: we are simple. Barnett argues that the mereological simplicity of conscious beings best explains the Datum: that no pair of persons can itself be conscious. In this paper, I offer two alternative explanations of the Datum. If either is correct, Barnett's argument fails. First, there aren't any such things as pairs of persons. Second, consciousness is maximal; no conscious thing is a proper (...) part of another conscious thing. I conclude by showing how both moves comport with materialist theories of what we are and then apply them to another anti-materialist argument. (shrink)
In 1968, the definition of death in the United States was expanded to include not just death by cardiopulmonary criteria, but also death by neurologic criteria. We explore the way the definition has been modified by the medical and legal communities over the past 50 years and address the medical, legal and ethical controversies associated with the definition at present, with a particular highlight on the Supreme Court of Nevada Case of Aden Hailu.
In “Why We Need Friendly AI”, Luke Muehlhauser and Nick Bostrom propose that for our species to survive the impending rise of superintelligent AIs, we need to ensure that they would be human-friendly. This discussion note offers a more natural but bleaker outlook: that in the end, if these AIs do arise, they won’t be that friendly.
Although the American Philosophical Association has more than 11,000 members, there are still fewer than 125 Black philosophers in the United States, including fewer than thirty Black women holding a PhD in philosophy and working in a philosophy department in the academy.1The following is a “musing” about how I became one of them and how I have sought to create a positive philosophical space for all of us.
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