In Boghossian's 1997 paper, 'Analyticity' he presented an account of a prioriknowledge of basic logical principles as available by inference from knowledge of their role in determining the meaning of the logical constants by implicit definitiontogether with knowledge of the meanings so-determined that we possess through ourprivileged access to meaning. Some commentators (e.g. BonJour (1998), Glüer (2003),Jenkins (2008)) have objected that if the thesis of implicit definition on which he relieswere true, knowledge of the meaning of the constants would presuppose (...) knowledge of the very logical principles knowledge of which the account purports to explain. Aconsequence would seem to be that implicit definition is incompatible with privilegedaccess. I argue that whilst it is possible for Boghossian to defend against theseobjections the form of argument he proposes does exhibit a subtle form of questionbegging such that it exhibits a transmission of warrant-failure. (shrink)
In ‘Wittgenstein on Language and Rules’, Professor N. Malcolm took us to task for misinterpreting Wittgenstein's arguments on the relationship between the concept of following a rule and the concept of community agreement on what counts as following a given rule. Not that we denied that there are any grammatical connections between these concepts. On the contrary, we emphasized that a rule and an act in accord with it make contact in language. Moreover we argued that agreement in judgments and (...) in definitions is indeed necessary for a shared language. But we denied that the concept of a language is so tightly interwoven with the concept of a community of speakers as to preclude its applicabilty to someone whose use of signs is not shared by others. Malcolm holds that ‘This is an unwitting reduction of Wittgenstein's originality. That human agreement is necessary for “shared” language is not so striking a thought as that it is essential for language simpliciter.’ Though less striking, we believe that it has the merit of being a true thought. We shall once more try to show both that it is correct, and that it is a correct account of Wittgenstein's arguments. (shrink)
Restorative justice should have greater weight as a criterion in criminal justice sentencing practice. It permits a realistic recognition of the kinds of harm and damage caused by offences, and encourages individualized non-custodial sentencing options as ways of addressing these harms. Non-custodial sentences have proven more effective than incarceration in securing social reconciliation and preventing recidivism, and they avoid the serious social and personal costs of imprisonment. This paper argues in support of restorative justice as a guiding idea in sentencing. (...) As part of this defence, it considers whether the use of the idea of restorative justice will conflate criminal law with civil law or displace the authority of the criminal courts, and whether the sentences it recommends are best thought of as punishments or alternatives to punishment. (shrink)
The topics that I shall consider are these: (1) Causal Explanatoriness of the Attitudes (Dretske, Elugardo); (2) The “Brain-Explain” Thesis and Metaphysical Constraints on Explanation (Antony, Elugardo); (3) Causal Powers of Beliefs (Meyering); (4) Microreduction (Beckermann); (5) Non-Emergent, Non-Reductive Materialism (Antony); (6) The Master Argument Against the Standard View (Dretske, Antony, Elugardo); (7) Practical Realism Extended (Meijers); (8) Alternative to Both the Standard View and Practical Realism (Newen).
During the past couple of decades, philosophy of mind--with its siblings, philosophy of psychology and cognitive science--has been one of the most exciting areas of philosophy. Yet, in that time, I have come to think that there is a deep flaw in the basic conception of its object of study--a deep flaw in its conception of the so-called propositional attitudes, like belief, desire, and intention. Taking belief as the fundamental propositional attitude, scientifically-minded philosophers hold that beliefs, if there are any, (...) are brain states. I call this conception of belief. (shrink)
I don’t think Lynne Rudder Baker’s constitution view can account for personal identity problems of a synchronic or diachronic nature. As such, it cannot accommodate the Christian’s claim of eschatological bodily resurrection-a principle reason for which she gives this account. In light of this, I press objections against her constitution view in the following ways: First, I critique an analogy she draws between Aristotle’s “accidental sameness” and constitution. Second, I address three problems for Baker’s constitution view [‘Constitution Problems’ (...) ], each more problematic than the next: CP1: Her definition of constitution lacks explanatory power; CP2: If there is a plausible definition of constitution, constitution implies either too many persons or no human persons at all; CP3: Constitution yields no essential distinction between human and divine persons. If my argument go through, her constitution view has neither an explanation for diachronic personal identity nor personal identity through resurrection. (shrink)
In the literature on persons and their identity, it is customary to distinguish the issue of the nature of personhood—“What is a person?”—from the issue of per- sonal identity—“What are the persistence conditions of a person over time?” In recent years, Eric Olson and Lynne Rudder Baker have brought to the forefront of discussion the related, but often neglected, issue of our essence: “What are we, most fundamentally (essentially)—human animals, persons, or something else?” -/- Attacking what he calls the (...) Standard View of personal identity, according to which personal identity consists in some type of psychological continuity, Olson contends that this thesis has highly implausible implications. Attributing the claim that we are essentially persons to the Standard View, Olson defends the alterna- tive thesis that we are essentially (living) human animals, members of the species Homo sapiens, and that our persistence conditions are biological, having nothing to do with psychology. At the heart of his critique is the contention that the Standard View lacks a plausible account of the relationship between a person and the human animal associated with her. Defending “person essentialism” and defining persons as beings with first-person perspectives, Lynne Rudder Baker responds to Olson’s challenge with the Constitution View: We (human) persons are constituted by, but not identical to, human animals. -/- After reconstructing Olson’s critique of the Standard View, I argue that Baker goes a long way toward meeting his challenge to account plausibly for the relationship between persons and human animals. Then I contend that her person-based Constitution View nevertheless has major difficulties: a “newborn problem”; a dubious ontology; and a problematic account of personal identity. I conclude with general reflections about this dialectic. (shrink)
This paper discusses Gordon Baker’s interpretation of the later Wittgenstein, in particular his interpretation of the notion of Wittgensteinian philosophical conceptions and the notions of non-exclusivity, local incompatibility, non-additivity and global pluralism which Baker uses to characterize Wittgensteinian conceptions. On the basis of this discussion, and a critique of certain features of Baker’s interpretation of Wittgensteinian conceptions, I introduce the notion of a multidimensional logical description of language use, explaining how this notion, which Baker’s interpretation excludes, (...) constitutes and important element of the later Wittgenstein’s philosophical method of clarification and perspicuous representation. I conclude by explaining how Baker’s problematic notions of local incompatibility and non-additivity, if they are seen in the light of Wittgenstein’s criticisms of certain views of the completeness of philosophical or logical accounts, nevertheless point in the right direction. (shrink)
The concepts of time and identity seem at once unproblematic and frustratingly difficult. Time is an intricate part of our experience -- it would seem that the passage of time is a prerequisite for having any experience at all -- and yet recalcitrant questions about time remain. Is time real? Does time flow? Do past and future moments exist? Philosophers face similarly stubborn questions about identity, particularly about the persistence of identical entities through change. Indeed, questions about the metaphysics of (...) persistence take on many of the complexities inherent in philosophical considerations of time. This volume of original essays brings together these two essentially related concepts in a way not reflected in the available literature, making it required reading for philosophers working in metaphysics and students interested in these topics. The contributors, distinguished authors and rising scholars, first consider the nature of time and then turn to the relation of identity, focusing on the metaphysical connections between the two, with a special emphasis on personal identity. The volume concludes with essays on the metaphysics of death, issues in which time and identity play a significant role. This groundbreaking collection offers both cutting-edge epistemological analysis and historical perspectives on contemporary topics. Contributors:_ _Harriet Baber, Lynne Rudder Baker, Ben Bradley, John W. Carroll, Reinaldo Elugardo, Geoffrey Gorham, Mark Hinchliff, Jenann Ismael, Barbara Levenbook, Andrew Light, Lawrence B. Lombard, Ned Markosian, Harold Noonan, John Perry, Harry S. Silverstein, Matthew H. Slater, Robert J. Stainton, Neil A. Tognazzini The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket. (shrink)
The paper presents, motivates, critiques, and proposes revisions to Baker’s Constitution View, which includes her definitions of constitution, derivative features, and numerical sameness. The paper argues that Baker should add a mereological clause to her definition of constitution in order to avoid various counterexamples.
Lynne Rudder Baker’s Constitution View of human persons has come under much recent scrutiny. Baker argues that each human person is constituted by, but not identical to, a human animal. Much of the critical discussion of Baker’s Constitution View has focused upon this aspect of her account. Less has been said about the positive diachronic account of personal identity offered by Baker. Baker argues that it is sameness of what she labels ‘first-person perspective’ that is (...) essential to understanding personal identity over time . Baker claims that her account avoids the commitment to indeterminacy of personal identity entailed by the psychological account. Further, the psychological account, but not her account, is plagued by what Baker labels the ‘duplication problem’. In the end, I argue that neither of these considerations forces us to renounce the psychological account and adopt Baker’s favored account. (shrink)
The philosophy of mind has long been dominated by the view that mental states are identical with, constituted by, or grounded in brain states. Lynne Rudder Baker has been a persistent critic of this view, developing instead a theory grounded in a larger metaphysical outlook called Practical Realism. This volume is the first critical book-length evaluation of her views and criticism; leading philosophers answer her challenges and explore the consequences of Practical Realism, and Baker herself provides thoughtful replies (...) to elaborate her own position. (shrink)
One of the central problems of personal identity is to determine what we are essentially . In response to this problem, Lynne Rudder Baker espouses a psychological criterion, that is, she claims that persons are essentially psychological. Baker’s theory purports to bypass the problems of other psychological theories such as Dissociative Identity Disorder and the problem of individuating persons synchronically. I argue that the theory’s treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder leads to untenable results, is invalid, and consequently fails (...) to individuate persons. (shrink)
Gordon Baker and I had been colleagues at St John’s for almost ten years when we resolved, in 1976, to undertake the task of writing a commentary on Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations. We had been talking about Wittgenstein since 1969, and when we cooperated in writing a long critical notice on the Philosophical Grammar in 1975, we found that working together was mutually instructive, intellectually stimulating and great fun. We thought that we still had much to say about Wittgenstein’s philosophy, (...) and it seemed to us that misinterpretations of passages in the Investigations were so extensive that it would be worth trying to write a detailed analytical commentary. It is difficult to recapture the excitement of those early days in being among the first to work on the microfilms and, subsequently, on the photocopies of Wittgenstein’s Nachlass. We spent many hundreds of hours poring over the typescripts and the often only semi-legible manuscripts, fascinated and privileged to be able to try to follow the development of the thoughts of a great philosophical genius. We talked endlessly about what we had found in Wittgenstein’s manuscripts and typescripts, and debated how it should be understood. The first fruit of our labours was Wittgenstein – Understanding and Meaning. Its guiding idea was to draw attention to the manner in which Wittgenstein linked the concepts of meaning, understanding and explanation, and so to bypass the connections between meaning, truth and truth-conditions that so fascinated philosophers of the 1970s, and to abandon the red-herring of assertion-conditions and anti-realism. After a hiatus of four years, during which time we wrote a controversial book entitled Frege – Logical Excavations and a polemical book on contemporary philosophy of language – Language, Sense. (shrink)
Deciding what role perspicuous representations play in Wittgenstein’s philosophy matters, not only for determining what one thinks of the contributions of this great figure of twentieth century philosophy but also for recognising the ‘live options’ for conducting philosophical enquiries full stop. It is not surprising, given this importance, that perspicuous representations is the topic of the opening chapter of Gordon Baker’s posthumous collection of essays on philosophical method. In that contribution he offers grounds for thinking that the relevant passage (...) in which the notion is explicitly mentioned (cited above) should be read as promoting a strongly therapeutic approach to philosophy: he exposes ‘this possibility’ in the modest hope of persuading receptive readers to explore it further for themselves (see Baker 2004, 46). I endorse some of Baker’s central insights about understanding and use of perspicuous representations but I firmly reject his conclusions about the end of philosophy. Specifically, I agree with him that Wittgenstein set his face against the very idea of philosophical ‘theorising’, but I deny that this led him (or ought to lead anyone) to promote a purely therapeutic philosophy. In the first three sections, I supply reasons for preferring an account of Wittgenstein’s approach to philosophy that emphasises its clarificatory ambitions. In doing so, I say something about: (i) what I take perspicuous representations to be and how they function; (ii) what motivates Baker’s reading and its implications; and (iii) how perspicuous and other forms of representations have been misused in attempts at so-called philosophical theorising. I conclude by proposing that in steering clear of both theory and extreme therapy, it is possible to prosecute a positive philosophy – one that employs perspicuous representations to bring ‘relevant connections’ to light for the purposes of enabling us to understand and reflect on aspects of various domains of human being. (shrink)
In "Was I Ever a Fetus?" I argued that, since each of us was once an unthinking fetus, psychological continuity cannot be necessary for us to persist through time. Baker claims that the argument is invalid, and that both the premise and the conclusion are false. I attempt to defend argument, premise, and conclusion against her objections.
Locke’s view that continuants are numerically distinct from their constituting hunks of matter is popular enough to be called the “standard account”.1 It was given its definitive contemporary statement by David Wiggins in Sameness and Substance2, and has been defended by many since. Baker’s interesting book contributes new arguments for this view, a new definition of ‘constitution’, and a sustained application to persons and human animals. Much of what she says develops this view in new and important ways. But (...) in some cases she does not advance the position, and in others she takes steps backwards. According to Baker, a person is numerically distinct from her constituting animal. One of Baker’s leading arguments is surprisingly unconvincing. Persons differ in important ways from non-human animals. Only persons are moral agents, modify their goals, have wars, culture, etc. If persons were identical to animals—if we were “nothing but animals”, as she puts it—then the manifest discontinuity between humans and non-human animals would be located “within the domain of biology”. “But from a biological point of view, human animals…are biologically continuous with non-human animals.” (p. 17) The argument fails: why should identifying persons with animals preclude saying that these particular animals have radically distinctive features that are of little interest to biologists? The traditional case for non-identity (which Baker accepts) is more powerful: a person and her constituting animal differ by having different persistence conditions. If my memories were transferred to a new body and my old body destroyed, I the person might survive, but the human animal who constituted me would perish. Therefore, before the transfer, I and the animal that constituted me would be numerically distinct but extremely similar things located in exactly the same place. This consequence—the central thesis of the Wiggins view—is surprising: so surprising that some reject the Wiggins view on that basis.. (shrink)
In his recent article, Ben-Moshe offers an account of conscientious objection in terms of the truth of the underlying moral objections, as judged by the standards of an impartial spectator. He seems to advocate for the view that having a valid moral objection to X is the sole criteria for the instantiation of a right to conscientiously object to X, and seems indifferent to the moral status of the prevailing moral attitudes. I argue that the moral status of the prevailing (...) moral attitudes is relevant, and that a good faith disagreement between those who condone the relevant act and those who object to it is a criterion for CO. In this light, I suggest that CO is a sociopolitical device for managing differing ethical perspectives, particularly in the context of collective moral change. Thus, it is misguided to equate having a valid moral objection with the recognition of a CO. (shrink)
Baker’s critique of my view of the self as a fiction captures some of its points well but misses the possibility of a theorist’s fiction, like the Equator or a center of gravity, which is not an illusion, but rather an abstraction, like dollars, poems, and software—made of no material but dependent on material vehicles. It is an artifact of our everyday effort to make sense of our own complex activities by postulating a single central source of meaning, intention, (...) and understanding. This is revealed in an example of the heterophenomenological method in action. (shrink)
I begin with my account of Ben-Ze’ev’s notions of acute, extended, and enduring emotions, focusing on explicating their ontological structure and identifying their differentia. I then discuss the two models of romantic love that Ben-Ze’ev introduces—the care model and the dialogue model—highlighting his argument against the claim that “love is a property of, and in some formulations resides in, the connection between the two lovers” (Ben-Ze’ev 2019, 48). Although this claim can be understood in at least one of two ways—as (...) a claim about the essence of the genus romantic love or the essence of the overarching genus, love—I will concentrate on the implication of Ben-Ze’ev’s argument against this claim for his conception of the genus romantic love. I will argue that Ben-Ze’ev’s rejection of the claim that love can be a property of or reside in the connection between two lovers jeopardizes his book’s primary aim: to convince us of the possibility of enduring romantic love. Ben-Ze’ev should, therefore, reconsider his claim that romantic love is not a property of or resides in the connection between two lovers, and accept that it is at least possible. (shrink)
Mill's most famous departure from Bentham is his distinction between higher and lower pleasures. This article argues that quality and quantity are independent and irreducible properties of pleasures that may be traded off against each other – as in the case of quality and quantity of wine. I argue that Mill is not committed to thinking that there are two distinct kinds of pleasure, or that ‘higher pleasures’ lexically dominate lower ones, and that the distinction is compatible with hedonism. I (...) show how this interpretation not only makes sense of Mill but allows him to respond to famous problems, such as Crisp's Haydn and the oyster and Nozick's experience machine. (shrink)
Consequentialists typically think that the moral quality of one's conduct depends on the difference one makes. But consequentialists may also think that even if one is not making a difference, the moral quality of one's conduct can still be affected by whether one is participating in an endeavour that does make a difference. Derek Parfit discusses this issue – the moral significance of what I call ‘participation’ – in the chapter of Reasons and Persons that he devotes to what he (...) calls ‘moral mathematics’. In my paper, I expose an inconsistency in Parfit's discussion of moral mathematics by showing how it gives conflicting answers to the question of whether participation matters. I conclude by showing how an appreciation of Parfit's error sheds some light on consequentialist thought generally, and on the debate between act- and rule-consequentialists specifically. (shrink)
This is a reply to H. Ben-Yami, 'Generalized quantifiers, and beyond' (this journal, 2009), where he argues that standard GQ theory does not explain why natural language quantifiers have a restricted domain of quantification. I argue, on the other hand, that although GQ theory gives no deep explanation of this fact, it does give a sort of explanation, whereas Ben-Yami's suggested alternative is no improvement.
1. Consider first Baker’s definition of constitution. In her view, constitution is a relation between concrete individuals. Each concrete individual is fundamentally a member of exactly one primary kind. By definition, any concrete individual has its primary kind membership essentially, so that a concrete individual x’s ceasing to be a member of this kind entails that x ceases to exist. For example, David’s primary kind is statue, Piece’s primary kind is piece of marble. Suppose that x and y are (...) concrete individuals; F* designates the property of having F as one’s primary-kind; F and G are not the same kind; individual x has F* and individual y has G*; and D designates G- favorable circumstances—“the milieu required for something to be a G”. Then. (shrink)
Each person is perceived by others and by herself as an individual in a very strong sense, namely as a unique individual. Moreover, this supposed uniqueness is commonly thought of as linked with another character that we tend to attribute to persons (as opposed to stones or chairs and even non-human animals): a kind of depth, hidden to sensory perception, yet in some measure accessible to other means of knowledge. I propose a theory of strong or essential individuality. This theory (...) is introduced by way of a critical discussion of Van Inwagen’s and Baker’s ontologies of persons. Composition Theory and Constitution Theory are shown to be complementary, in their opposite strong and weak points. I argue that both theories have unsatisfactory consequences concerning personal identity, a problem which the proposed theory seems to solve more faithfully both to folk intuitions and the phenomenology of personal life. (shrink)
Hanoch Ben-Yami has argued that the theory of the semantics of natural kind terms proposed by Kripke and Putnam is false and has proposed an allegedly novel account of the semantics of kind terms. In this article, I critically examine Ben-Yami’s arguments. I will argue that Ben-Yami’s objections do not show that Kripke and Putnam’s theory is false, but at most that the specific versions of it held by Kripke and Putnam have some weaknesses. Moreover, I will argue that Ben-Yami’s (...) account is not a novel account but it is only an unsatisfactory version of Kripke and Putnam’s theory. (shrink)
In this paper, we analyze the astronomical tables for 1340 by Immanuel ben Jacob Bonfils who flourished 1340–1365, based on four Hebrew manuscripts. We discuss the relation of these tables principally with those of al-Battānī, Abraham Bar Ḥiyya, and Levi ben Gerson, as well as with Bonfils’s better known tables, called Six Wings. An unusual feature of this set of tables is that there are two kinds of mean motion tables, one arranged for Julian years from 1340 to 1380, months, (...) days, hours, and minutes of an hour, and the other arranged in the Hebrew calendar for the times of conjunctions and oppositions of the Sun and the Moon only, with subtables for 19-year cycles, single years in a 19-year cycle, and months. The latter arrangement is found in Bonfils’s Six Wings for solar and lunar motions only, whereas in his Tables for 1340, this arrangement applies to all planets. Notably absent are tables for the trigonometric functions, etc., that are generally found in such sets of astronomical tables. (shrink)
The biblical Books of Proverbs and Ben Sira yield no narrative continuity or logical outline. They are simply collections. The best way to interpret these books is with the aid of a topical index. Most topical indexes are based on English translation. This article proposes a tentative topical index reflecting Middle East North African culture and its values. It will serve as the outline for a full length commentary already in process.
Lynne Baker’s Constitution Theory seems to be the farthest-reaching and yet the most subtly elaborated antireductive metaphysics available today. Its original theoretical contribution is a nonmereological theory of material constitution, which yet has a place for classical and Lewisian mereology. Constitution Theory hence apparently complies with modern natural science, and yet rescues the concrete everyday world, and ourselvesin it, from ontological vanity or nothingness, and does it by avoiding dualism. Why, then, does it meet so many opponents—or rather, why (...) are its many opponents so stubbornly resisting the very idea of constitution, in Baker’s form? One of the most resisted claims is. Is unity without identity—the feature distinguishing the relation between constituting and constituted things—the only nondualist way to oppose reductionism? What would be the price to pay for unity with identity—without reduction? What I call the Unitarian Tradition, going back to Plato, keeps working out the original Platonic way of constructing acomplex object as a Unity comprising a Collection, as opposed to the Aristotelian suggestion of opposing Collections and Substances. For once you have split things apart ontologically, unifying them again may prove a very hard task. (shrink)
In "Persons and Bodies," Lynne Baker defends what she calls the "Constitution View" of human persons, according to which (a) human persons are constituted by their bodies, and (b) constitution is an asymmetric, nontransitive relation that is somehow "intermediate between identity and separate existence". (Baker 2000: 29) Thesis (a), or something like it, is precisely what we would expect from someone who believes that persons and bodies both are material objects. But thesis (b) is distinctive. Materialists who treat (...) constitution as identity arrive at the view that human persons are identical with their bodies, their brains, or some other material object in the vicinity of their heads. At the other extreme, materialists who treat constitution as nothing more than complete overlap without identity arrive at a simple coincidence theory of the relation between persons and bodies (or brains, or whatever). Baker's view is supposed to stake out a novel account of the nature of constitution. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's Method: Neglected Aspects By Gordon Baker. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004 pp. 328. £40.00 HB.. Wittgenstein's Copernican Revolution: The Question of Linguistic Idealism By Ilham Dilman. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002. pp. 240. £52.50 HB. Wittgenstein: Connections and Controversies By P. M. S. Hacker. Oxford: Oxford University Press,. pp. 400. £45.00 HB; £19.99 PB. Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: An Introduction By David G. Stern. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. pp. 224. £40.00 HB; £10.99 PB.
Each person is perceived by others and by herself as an individual in a very strong sense, namely as a unique individual. Moreover, this supposed uniqueness is commonly thought of as linked with another character that we tend to attribute\nto persons (as opposed to stones or chairs and even non-human animals): a kind of depth, hidden to sensory perception, yet in some measure accessible to other means of knowledge. I propose a theory of strong or essential individuality. This theory is (...) introduced by way of a critical discussion of Van Inwagen’s and Baker’s ontologies of persons. Composition\nTheory and Constitution Theory are shown to be complementary, in their opposite strong and weak points. I argue that both\ntheories have unsatisfactory consequences concerning personal identity, a problem which the proposed theory seems to solve\nmore faithfully both to folk intuitions and the phenomenology of personal life. (shrink)
According to the so-called "standard account" regarding the problem of material constitution, a statue and a lump of clay that makes it up are not identical. The usual objection is that this view yields many objects in the same place at the same time. Lynne Rudder Baker's theory of constitution is a recent and sophisticated version of the standard account. She argues that the aforementioned objection can be answered by defining a relation of being the same P as (sameP). (...) In this paper I shall examine consequences of her response and show that sameP has wrong formal properties, as a result of which this solution cannot be accepted. (shrink)