An able and clear defense of Bradley's principal theses and the underlying conception of metaphysical enterprise. "This is a book about a metaphysician, about metaphysics, and, most importantly, it attempts to develop elements of a metaphysical position long the lines of what is called Absolute Idealism." The Introduction takes up the Verificationists [[sic]] argument and two recent accounts of metaphysics. Part I devotes ten Chapters to the elucidation and defense of Bradley's conception of reality. It culminates in examining (...) three alternative accounts of "Real". Part II considers "the major philosophical theories of the self in order to defend Bradley's Theory of the self within his metaphysical scheme."--A. S. C. (shrink)
T. H. Green was a leading member of the British Idealist movement, which adopted the continental philosophy of Hegel and Kant while rejecting utilitarianism. As well as being a prominent philosopher, Green was an influential educational reformer and an active member of the Liberal party. Green's writings can be placed into three categories: religion, philosophy and politics. This work was the most complete statement of Green's philosophy, although it remained unfinished at his death. Edited by A. C. Bradley, a (...) former student and brother of Green's fellow Idealist F. H. Bradley, the book, which contains four parts, was published posthumously in 1883. Like other Idealists, Green criticised empiricism for creating an unnecessary dualism between thought and the real. (shrink)
Purports to be a "critical survey of the fundamental problems of logic and epistemology and their metaphysical implications," but is mainly an exposition. It is difficult to discover a unifying thesis explaining why the author chose to compare precisely these two philosophers.--C. M.
Do the rich descriptions and narrative shapings of literature provide a valuable resource for readers, writers, philosophers, and everyday people to imagine and confront the ultimate questions of life? Do the human activities of storytelling and complex moral decision-making have a deep connection? What are the moral responsibilities of the artist, critic, and reader? What can religious perspectives—from Catholic to Protestant to Mormon—contribute to literary criticism? Thirty well known contributors reflect on these questions, including iterary theorists Marshall Gregory, James (...) Phelan, and Wayne Booth; philosophers Martha Nussbaum, Richard Hart, and Nina Rosenstand; and authors John Updike, Charles Johnson, Flannery O'Connor, and Bernard Malamud. Divided into four sections, with introductory matter and questions for discussion, this accessible anthology represents the most crucial work today exploring the interdisciplinary connections between literature, religion and philosophy. (shrink)
Considerable variation exists not only in the kinds of transposable elements (TEs) occurring within the genomes of different species, but also in their abundance and distribution. Noting a similarity to the assortment of organisms among ecosystems, some researchers have called for an ecological approach to the study of transposon dynamics. However, there are several ways to adopt such an approach, and it is sometimes unclear what an ecological perspective will add to the existing co-evolutionary framework for explaining transposon-host interactions. This (...) review aims to clarify the conceptual foundations of transposon ecology in order to evaluate its explanatory prospects. We begin by identifying three unanswered questions regarding the abundance and distribution of TEs that potentially call for an ecological explanation. We then offer an operational distinction between evolutionary and ecological approaches to these questions. By determining the amount of variance in transposon abundance and distribution that is explained by ecological and evolutionary factors, respectively, it is possible empirically to assess the prospects for each of these explanatory frameworks. To illustrate how this methodology applies to a concrete example, we analyzed whole-genome data for one set of distantly related mammals and another more closely related group of arthropods. Our expectation was that ecological factors are most informative for explaining differences among individual TE lineages, rather than TE families, and for explaining their distribution among closely related as opposed to distantly related host genomes. We found that, in these data sets, ecological factors do in fact explain most of the variation in TE abundance and distribution among TE lineages across less distantly related host organisms. Evolutionary factors were not significant at these levels. However, the explanatory roles of evolution and ecology become inverted at the level of TE families or among more distantly related genomes. Not only does this example demonstrate the utility of our distinction between ecological and evolutionary perspectives, it further suggests an appropriate explanatory domain for the burgeoning discipline of transposon ecology. The fact that ecological processes appear to be impacting TE lineages over relatively short time scales further raises the possibility that transposons might serve as useful model systems for testing more general hypotheses in ecology. (shrink)
James Ladyman has argued that constructive empiricism entails modal realism, and that this renders constructive empiricism untenable. We maintain that constructive empiricism is compatible with modal nominalism. Although the central term 'observable' has been analyzed in terms of counterfactuals, and in general counterfactuals do not have objective truth conditions, the property of being observable is not a modal property, and hence there are objective, non-modal facts about what is observable. Both modal nominalism and constructive empiricism require clarification in the face (...) of Ladyman's argument. But we also argue that, even if Ladyman were right that constructive empiricism entails modal realism, this would not be a problem for constructive empiricism. (shrink)
This paper considers the Bayesian form of the fine-tuning argument as advanced by Richard Swinburne. An expository section aims to identify the precise character of the argument, and three lines of objection are then advanced. The first of these holds that there is an inconsistency in Swinburne's procedure, the second that his argument has an unacceptable dependence on an objectivist theory of value, the third that his method is powerless to single out traditional theism from a vast number of competitors. (...) In the final section of the paper the fine-tuning argument is considered, not now as self-standing, but as one of a number of theistic arguments taken together and applied in the manner of the final chapter of Swinburne's The Existence of God. It is argued that points already made also block the way for this line of thought. (shrink)
We tested whether analogical training could help children learn a key principle of elementary engineering—namely, the use of a diagonal brace to stabilize a structure. The context for this learning was a construction activity at the Chicago Children's Museum, in which children and their families build a model skyscraper together. The results indicate that even a single brief analogical comparison can confer insight. The results also reveal conditions that support analogical learning.
Ben Jonson, writing before 1641 in Discoveries, observed that nature intends us no courtesies. The rivers carry our boats, the winds favour our sails, and the sunlight warms our bodies, by necessary motions that contain no kindliness. This represented, or expressed, though perhaps unwittingly and certainly without scientific precision, the mechanical version of physical nature that steadily prevailed during the seventeenth century.
A frequent objection to the fine-tuning argument has been that although certain necessary conditions for life were admittedly exceedingly improbable, still, the many possible alternative sets of conditions were all equally improbable, so that no special significance is to be attached to the realization of the conditions of life. Some authors, however, have rejected this objection as fallacious. The object of this paper is to state the objection to the fine-tuning argument in a more telling form than has been done (...) hitherto, and to meet the charge of fallacy. (shrink)
An allocation problem is a type of aggregation problem in which the values of individuals' opinions on some set of variables sum to a constant. This paper shows that for realistic allocation problems, namely ones in which the set of possible opinion values is finite, the only universal aggregation methods that satisfy two commonly invoked conditions are the dictatorial ones. The two conditions are, first, that the aggregate opinion on any variable depends only on the individuals' opinions on that variable (...) and not on their opinions on any other variable and, secondly, that the aggregate opinion minimally preserves unanimous individual opinion. Connections between this result and similar ones in the literature on judgment aggregation are explored and their significance assessed.Export citation Request permission. (shrink)
This paper re-examines an argument of kirk's aimed at refuting quine's inference from the underdetermination of physical theory to the indeterminacy of translation. it is claimed that kirk's argument is unsuccessful; unsuccessful, at any rate, if we make what has seemed until recently the only possible assumption about quine's criterion for individuating theories. but in recent publications quine has proposed a rather different criterion, and in the light of this, it is conceded, kirk's argument may well take effect. it is (...) then argued that quine's new criterion has disastrous effects; it not merely opens a way for kirk's criticism of one of the props of the indeterminacy thesis, but puts that thesis itself at risk. (shrink)
In the Dialogues Hume attaches great importance to an objection to the design argument which states, negatively, that from phenomena which embody evil as well as good there can be no analogical inference to the morally perfect deity of traditional theism and, positively, that the proper conclusion as regards moral character is an indifferent designer. The first section of this paper sets out Hume's points, and the next three offer an updating of Hume's objection which will apply to Swinburne's Bayesian (...) form of the design argument. The final section concludes that Hume's objection, suitably developed, holds against most of the main theistic arguments, even in their Bayesian form. (shrink)
R kirk ("analysis", volume 33, 1973, pages 195-201) proposes an argument against quine's deduction of indeterminacy of translation from underdetermination of physical theory. the present paper is a reply to kirk, aimed primarily at showing that his argument is "ignoratio elenchi".