Peirce maintains that facts and propositions are structurally isomorphic. When we understand how Peirce thinks they are isomorphic, we find that a common objection raised against epistemic conceptions of truth – that there are facts beyond the ken of discovery – holds no water against Peirce’s claim that truth is what would be believed after a sufficiently long and rigorous course of inquiry.
The distinction between essential versus accidental properties has been characterized in various ways, but it is currently most commonly understood in modal terms: an essential property of an object is a property that it must have, while an accidental property of an object is one that it happens to have but that it could lack. Let’s call this the basic modal characterization, where a modal characterization of a notion is one that explains the notion in terms of necessity/possibility. In the (...) characterization just given of the distinction between essential and accidental properties, the use of the word “must” reflects the fact that necessity is invoked, while the use of the word “could” reflects that possibility is invoked. The notions of necessity and possibility are interdefinable: to say that something is necessary is to say that its negation is not possible; to say that something is possible is to say that its negation is not necessary; to say that an object must have a certain property is to say that it could not lack it; and to say that an object could have a certain property is to say that it is not the case that it must lack it. (shrink)
Long awaited by the scholarly community, Wittgenstein's so-called Big Typescript (von Wright Catalog # TS 213) is presented here in an en face English–German scholar’s edition. Presents scholar’s edition of important material from 1933, Wittgenstein’s first efforts to set out his new thoughts after the publication of the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus. Includes indications to help the reader identify Wittgenstein’s numerous corrections, additions, deletions, alternative words and phrasings, suggestions for moves within the text, and marginal comments.
The founder of both American pragmatism and semiotics, Charles Sanders Peirce is widely regarded as an enormously important and pioneering theorist. In this book, scholars from around the world examine the nature and significance of Peirce’s work on perception, iconicity, and diagrammatic thinking. Abjuring any strict dichotomy between presentational and representational mental activity, Peirce’s theories transform the Aristotelian, Humean, and Kantian paradigms that continue to hold sway today and, in so doing, forge a new path for understanding the centrality of (...) visual thinking in science, education, art, and communication. The essays in this collection cover a wide range of issues related to Peirce’s theories, including the perception of generality; the legacy of ideas being copies of impressions; imagination and its contribution to knowledge; logical graphs, diagrams, and the question of whether their iconicity distinguishes them from other sorts of symbolic notation; how images and diagrams contribute to scientific discovery and make it possible to perceive formal relations; and the importance and danger of using diagrams to convey scientific ideas. This book is a key resource for scholars interested in Perice’s philosophy and its relation to contemporary issues in mathematics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of perception, semiotics, logic, visual thinking, and cognitive science. (shrink)
Nagel’s challenge is to devise an objective phenomenological vocabulary that can describe the objective structural similarities between aural and visual perception. My contention is that Charles Sanders Peirce’s little studied and less understood phenomenological vocabulary makes a significant contribution to meeting this challenge. I employ Peirce’s phenomenology to identify the structural isomorphism between seeing a scarlet red and hearing a trumpet’s blare. I begin by distinguishing between the vividness of an experience and the intensity of a quality. I proceed to (...) identify further points of structural isomorphism (a) between the experience of seeing a scarlet red and of hearing a trumpet blare and (b) between the qualities of those experiences. Lastly, I gesture towards how these distinctions can be an aid in describing what it is like to be a bat. (shrink)
Charles Sanders Peirce is generally regarded as the founder of pragmatism, and one of the greatest ever American philosophers. Peirce is also widely known for his work on truth, his foundational work in mathematical logic, and an influential theory of signs, or semiotics. Albert Atkin introduces the full spectrum of Peirce’s thought for those coming to his work for the first time. The book begins with an overview of Peirce’s life and work, considering his early and long-standing interest in logic (...) and science, and highlighting important views on the structure of philosophical thought. Atkin then explains Peirce’s accounts of pragmatism and truth examining important later developments to these theories. He then introduces Peirce’s full accounts of semiotics, examines his foundational work on formal and graphical logic, and introduces Peirce’s account of metaphysics, the least understood aspect of his philosophy. The final chapter considers Peirce’s legacy and influence on the thought of philosophers such as John Dewey and Richard Rorty, as well as highlighting areas where Peirce’s ideas could still provide important insights for contemporary philosophers. Including chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading and a glossary, this invaluable introduction and guide to Peirce’s philosophy is essential reading for those new to his work. (shrink)
This paper traces a lost genealogical connection between Charles S. Peirce’s later theory of signs and contemporary work in the philosophy of language by John Perry. As is shown, despite some differences, both accounts offer what might be termed a multi-level account of meaning. Moreover, it is claimed that by adopting a ‘Peircian turn’ in his theory, Perry might overcome alleged shortcomings in his account of cognitive significance.
Charles Sanders Peirce is regarded as the founding father of pragmatism and a key figure in the development of American philosophy, yet his practical philosophy remains under-acknowledged and misinterpreted. In this book, Richard Atkins argues that Peirce did in fact have developed and systematic views on ethics, on religion, and on how to live, and that these views are both plausible and relevant. Drawing on a controversial lecture that Peirce delivered in 1898 and related works, he examines Peirce's theories (...) of sentiment and instinct, his defence of the rational acceptability of religious belief, his analysis of self-controlled action, and his pragmatic account of practical ethics, showing how he developed his views and how they interact with those of his great contemporary William James. This study will be essential for scholars of Peirce and for those interested in American philosophy, pragmatism, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of action, and ethics. (shrink)
Within capitalist modernity, `children' and `culture' were ideologically positioned as `sacred' in opposition to the `profane' sphere of commerce and industry. In the last quarter of the 20th century, this romantic construction of childhood as a time of enchantment was appropriated by the `children's culture industry' and re-inscribed as a marketing strategy. Capitalist childhood was reconstituted as a time of consumption. In invoking the myth of the `sacred child', however, capital also elicits ambivalence about the `profanity' of commercial intrusion into (...) the domain of childhood. Similarly, the narratives of `good' versus `evil' through which children's culture is organized can be deployed in opposition to the conditions under which global capital produces children's consumer goods. While the cultural tension surrounding the commercialization of childhood has diminished as money itself takes on the aura of the `sacred', the residual power of romantic mythology creates potential for critical engagement on the terrain of capitalist childhood. (shrink)
This collection of seminal essays on Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics provides the student of philosophy with an invaluable overview of the issues and problems raised by Kant. Starting with the Carus translation of Kant's work, the edition offers a substantive introduction, six papers never before published together, and a comprehensive bibliography. Special attention is paid to the relationship between Kant and David Hume, whose philosophical investigations, according to Kant's famous quote, first interrupted Kant's "dogmatic slumber.".
This book is part of the growing field of practical approaches to philosophical questions relating to identity, agency and ethics, working across continental and analytical traditions. Kim Atkins explains and justifies the basis of the practical approach through an explication of the structures of human embodiment and an account of how those structures necessitate a narrative model of selfhood, understanding and ethics. She highlights how recent work on agency and autonomy implicitly draws upon conceptions of embodiment and intersubjectivity that (...) underpin the narrative view. (shrink)
This article consists of a critique of the writings of Peter Atkins. The topics discussed include the quantum mechanical explanation of the periodic system, the aufbau principle and the order of occupation of orbitals by electrons. It is also argued that Atkins fails to appreciate the philosophical significance of the more general version of the Pauli Exclusion Principle and that this omission has ramifications in the popular presentation of chemistry as well as chemical education and philosophy of chemistry (...) in general. (shrink)
This book is part of the growing field of practical approaches to philosophical questions relating to identity, agency and ethics--approaches which work across continental and analytical traditions and which Atkins justifies through an explication of how the structures of human embodiment necessitate a narrative model of selfhood, understanding, and ethics.
Peirce's Sign Theory, or Semiotic, is an account of signification, representation, reference and meaning. Although sign theories have a long history, Peirce's accounts are distinctive and innovative for their breadth and complexity, and for capturing the importance of interpretation to signification. For Peirce, developing a thoroughgoing theory of signs was a central philosophical and intellectual preoccupation. The importance of semiotic for Peirce is wide ranging. As he himself said, “[…] it has never been in my power to study anything,—mathematics, ethics, (...) metaphysics, gravitation, thermodynamics, optics, chemistry, comparative anatomy, astronomy, psychology, phonetics, economics, the history of science, whist, men and women, wine, metrology, except as a study of semiotic”. (SS 1977, 85–6). Peirce also treated sign theory as central to his work on logic, as the medium for inquiry and the process of scientific discovery, and even as one possible means for 'proving' his pragmatism. Its importance in Peirce's philosophy, then, cannot be underestimated. -/- Across the course of his intellectual life, Peirce continually returned to and developed his ideas about signs and semiotic and there are three broadly delineable accounts: a concise Early Account from the 1860s; a complete and relatively neat Interim Account developed through the 1880s and 1890s and presented in 1903; and his speculative, rambling, and incomplete Final Account developed between 1906 and 1910. The following entry examines these three accounts, and traces the changes that led Peirce to develop earlier accounts and generate new, more complex, sign theories. However, despite these changes, Peirce's ideas on the basic structure of signs and signification remain largely uniform throughout his developments. Consequently, it is useful to begin with an account of the basic structure of signs according to Peirce. (shrink)
Alexander’s call for a cultural sociology that goes beyond hermeneutic reading to an understanding of how cultural texts are instantiated in action is considered in relation to earlier attempts to establish a tradition of symbolic analysis in American sociology. The sociological provenance of the dramaturgical model that Alexander appropriates from performance studies serves to underline the precariousness of cultural sociology as a project within the American academy. Alexander’s thesis on the critical importance of ‘refusion’ to the life of societies is (...) endorsed, as is his argument that the specificity of ‘post-traditional’ societies cannot be elided by drawing directly on conceptual tools developed in analysis of ritual in ‘traditional’ societies. His argument for sociological agnosticism in relation to the moral qualities of symbolic action, on the other hand, is called into question. (shrink)
Although the index is one of the best known features of Peirce's theory of signs there is little appreciation of Peirce's theory of the index amongst contemporary philosophers of language. Amongst Peirce scholars, the value placed on Peirce's account is greater, but is largely based on Thomas Goudge's paper, "Peirce's Index" (Goudge, 1965). Despite marking a crucial milestone in our comprehension of Peirce's theory, our understanding of indices and indexical reference has grown markedly over the last forty years. Time has (...) now come, then, to develop the work that Goudge began and to provide a full analysis of Peirce's account that makes its value to the philosophy of language clear. I undertake this enterprise here. (shrink)
A prolific philosopher who also held Rome's highest political office, Cicero was uniquely qualified to write on political philosophy. In this book Professor Atkins provides a fresh interpretation of Cicero's central political dialogues - the Republic and Laws. Devoting careful attention to form as well as philosophy, Atkins argues that these dialogues together probe the limits of reason in political affairs and explore the resources available to the statesman given these limitations. He shows how Cicero appropriated and transformed (...) Plato's thought to forge original and important works of political philosophy. The book demonstrates that Cicero's Republic and Laws are critical for understanding the history of the concepts of rights, the mixed constitution and natural law. It concludes by comparing Cicero's thought to the modern conservative tradition and argues that Cicero provides a perspective on utopia frequently absent from current philosophical treatments. (shrink)
The essays collected in this volume address a range of issues that arise when the focus of philosophical reflection on identity is shifted from metaphysical to practical and evaluative concerns. They also explore the usefulness of the notion of narrative for articulating and responding to these issues. The chapters, written by an outstanding roster of international scholars, address a range of complex philosophical issues concerning the relationship between practical and metaphysical identity, the embodied dimensions of the first-personal perspective, the kind (...) of reflexive agency involved in the self-constitution of one’s practical identity, the relationship between practical identity and normativity, and the temporal dimensions of identity and selfhood. In addressing these issues, contributors engage with debates in the literatures on personal identity, phenomenology, moral psychology, action theory, normative ethical theory, and feminist philosophy. (shrink)
Many authors have argued that epistemic rationality sometimes comes into conflict with our relationships. Although Sarah Stroud and Simon Keller argue that friendships sometimes require bad epistemic agency, their proposals do not go far enough. I argue here for a more radical claim—romantic love sometimes requires we form beliefs that are false. Lovers stand in a special position with one another; they owe things to one another that they do not owe to others. Such demands hold for beliefs as well. (...) Two facets of love ground what I call the false belief requirement , or the demand to form false beliefs when it is for the good of the beloved: the demand to love for the right reasons and the demand to refrain from doxastic wronging. Since truth is indispensable to epistemic rationality, the requirement to believe falsely, consequently, undermines truth norms. I demonstrate that, when the false belief requirement obtains, there is an irreconcilable conflict between love and truth norms of epistemic rationality: we must forsake one, at least at the time, for the other. (shrink)
This collection of seminal essays on the _Prolegomena_ provides the student of philosophy with an invaluable overview of the issues and problems raised by Kant. Starting with the Carus translation of Kant's work, the edition offers a substantive new introduction, six papers never before published together and a comprehensive bibliography. Special attention is paid to the relationship between Kant and David Hume, whose philosophical investigations, according to Kant's famous quote, first interrupted Kant's 'dogmatic slumber'.
The orthodox view in contemporary epistemology is that Edmund Gettier refuted the JTB analysis of knowledge, according to which knowledge is justified true belief. In a recent paper Moti Mizrahi questions the orthodox view. According to Mizrahi, the cases that Gettier advanced against the JTB analysis are misleading. In this paper I defend the orthodox view.
The question 'Why should I obey the law?' introduces a contemporary puzzle that is as old as philosophy itself. The puzzle is especially troublesome if we think of cases in which breaking the law is not otherwise wrongful, and in which the chances of getting caught are negligible. Philosophers from Socrates to H.L.A. Hart have struggled to give reasoned support to the idea that we do have a general moral duty to obey the law but, more recently, the greater number (...) of learned voices has expressed doubt that there is any such duty, at least as traditionally conceived. (shrink)
In this paper, I will focus on two sections of otherwise extensively studied Humean texts that have received little or no attention in the scholarly literature. A substantial part of Part 12 of the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and Section XI of An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding—also written in dialogue form—are concerned with similar doctrines: that the prospect of a future state, or afterlife, acts as the motivating influence on our earthly moral behaviour.
"Race" is so highly charged and loaded a concept it often hampers critical thinking about racial practice and policy. A philosophical approach allows us to isolate and analyse the key questions: What is race? Can we do without race? What is racism and why is it wrong? What should our policies on race and racism be? The Philosophy of Race presents a concise and up-to-date overview of the central philosophical debates about race. It then builds on this philosophical foundation to (...) analyse the sociopolitical questions of racism and race-relevant policy. Throughout, the discussion is illustrated with a wide range of examples: Afro-American 'blackness'; British-Asian racial formation; Aboriginal identity in Australia; the racial grouping of Romany-Gypsies and Jews in Europe; categories of race in Brazil; and the concept of model minorities in the US and UK. (shrink)
Debates over the reality of race often rely on arguments about the connection between race and science—those who deny that race is real argue that there is no significant support from science for our ordinary race concepts; those who affirm that race is real argue that our ordinary race concepts are supported by scientific findings. However, there is arguably a more fundamental concern here: How should we define race concepts in the first place? The reason I claim that this definitional (...) question is more fundamental is that our handling of the underlying definitional problem often determines the scientific support our ordinary race concepts need, and importantly the likelihood of finding such support. In short, the defini- tional question, “How do we define race?” often undercuts the question of whether race is scientifically meaningful. (shrink)
Contemporary discussions of skepticism often frame the skeptic's argument around an instance of the closure principle. Roughly, the closure principle states that if a subject knows p, and knows that p entails q, then the subject knows q. The main contention of this paper is that the closure argument for skepticism is defective. We explore several possible classifications of the defect. The closure argument might plausibly be classified as begging the question, as exhibiting transmission failure, or as structurally inefficient. Interestingly, (...) perhaps, each of these has been proposed as the correct classification of Moore's proof of an external world. (shrink)