The tendency for consumers to over-indulge in purchase activities has been analyzed and discussed since the time of Plato, yet consumerism in today’s marketplace has become increasingly more prominent and pernicious. In this conceptual paper, we examine consumerism and discuss the four ways in which consumerism can undermine individuals and society. We then apply the four cardinal virtues - moderation, courage, justice and prudence - and describe how these virtues can be implemented by consumers and producers so as to result (...) in more effective achievement of the common good. As a result of this application, both consumer decision-making and producer marketing action should work to promote human flourishing. (shrink)
Espen Hammer’s exceptionally fine book explores modern temporality, its problems and prospects. Hammer claims that how people experience time is a cultural/historical phenomenon, and that there is a peculiarly modern way of experiencing time as a series of present moments each indefinitely leading to the next in an ordered way. Time as measured by the clock is the paradigmatic instance of this sense of time. In this perspective time is quantifiable and forward-looking, and the present is dominated by the future. (...) Hammer argues that this manner of experiencing time provides a way of living that brings with it not only the basis for great successes in technology, but also great costs—specifically, what he calls the problems of transience and of meaning. Hammer goes about his task by considering the ways some of the great modern philosophers have characterized present-day temporality and have responded to the problems he has identified. Specifically, he considers what Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Habermas, Bloch, and Adorno provide in response to our peculiarly modern predicaments. The book is remarkable for its clarity and perceptiveness, but in the process in crucial places it simplifies the matters at hand or fails to push its insights as far as it ought, and in the end promises more than it can deliver. In this it betrays a rationalist confidence in the power of reason that founders on what in many ways remains a mystery. (shrink)
Listen to the interview with Brian Kemple... and learn to appreciate the diachronic trajectory of semiotics. *** Live interview with Brian Kemple, Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute, to discuss the legacy and influence of John Deely, the thinker most responsible for developing semiotics into the 21st century. This interview, conducted by William Passarini and Tim Troutman, is part of the preliminary activities of the 2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics: a Tribute to John Deely on the Fifth (...) Anniversary of His Passing, cooperatively organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies, the International Center for Semiotics and Intercultural Dialogue, Moscow State Academic University for the Humanities and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project. Brian Kemple holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas, in Houston TX, where he wrote his dissertation under the inimitable John Deely. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute. Philosophical interests and areas of study include: Thomas Aquinas, John Poinsot, Charles Peirce, Martin Heidegger, the history and importance of semiotics, scholasticism, phenomenology; as well as ancillary interests in the liberal arts, technology, and education as a moral habit. He has published two scholarly books— 'Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition' and 'The Intersections of Semiotics and Phenomenology: Peirce and Heidegger in Dialogue', as well as a number of scholarly articles, popular articles, and his own 'Introduction to Philosophical Principles: Logic, Physics, and the Human Person' and the forthcoming 'Linguistic Signification: A Classical Course in Grammar and Composition'. In addition to being the Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute, he is the Executive Editor of 'Reality: a Journal for Philosophical Discourse'. *** Technical support was assured by Robert Junqueira and the cover image for the video was designed by Zahra Soltani. (shrink)
In this pithy and highly readable book, Brian Skyrms, a recognised authority on game and decision theory, investigates traditional problems of the social contract in terms of evolutionary dynamics. Game theory is skilfully employed to offer new interpretations of a wide variety of social phenomena, including justice, mutual aid, commitment, convention and meaning. The author eschews any grand, unified theory. Rather, he presents the reader with tools drawn from evolutionary game theory for the purpose of analysing and coming to (...) understand the social contract. The book is not technical and requires no special background knowledge. As such, it could be enjoyed by students and professionals in a wide range of disciplines: political science, philosophy, decision theory, economics and biology. (shrink)
Ostension is bodily movement that manifests our engagement with things, whether we wish it to or not. Gestures, glances, facial expressions: all betray our interest in something. Ostension enables our first word learning, providing infants with a prelinguistic way to grasp the meaning of words. Ostension is philosophically puzzling; it cuts across domains seemingly unbridgeable -- public--private, inner--outer, mind--body. In this book, Chad Engelland offers a philosophical investigation of ostension and its role in word learning by infants. Engelland (...) discusses ostension (distinguishing it from ostensive definition) in contemporary philosophy, examining accounts by Quine, Davidson, and Gadamer, and he explores relevant empirical findings in psychology, evolutionary anthropology, and neuroscience. He offers original studies of four representative historical thinkers whose work enriches the understanding of ostension: Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty, Augustine, and Aristotle. And, building on these philosophical and empirical foundations, Engelland offers a meticulous analysis of the philosophical issues raised by ostension. He examines the phenomenological problem of whether embodied intentions are manifest or inferred; the problem of what concept of mind allows ostensive cues to be intersubjectively available; the epistemological problem of how ostensive cues, notoriously ambiguous, can be correctly understood; and the metaphysical problem of the ultimate status of the key terms in his argument: animate movement, language, and mind. Finally, he argues for the centrality of manifestation in philosophy. Taking ostension seriously, he proposes, has far-reaching implications for thinking about language and the practice of philosophy. (shrink)
In the preface to his book God the Problem , Gordon Kaufman writes ‘Although the notion of God as agent seems presupposed by most contemporary theologians … Austin Farrer has been almost alone in trying to specify carefully and consistently just what this might be understood to mean.’.
Preface. I. BASICS OF LOGIC. Introduction. The Structure of Simple Statements. The Structure of Complex Statements. Simple and Complex Properties. Validity. 2. PROBABILITY AND INDUCTIVE LOGIC. Introduction. Arguments. Logic. Inductive versus Deductive Logic. Epistemic Probability. Probability and the Problems of Inductive Logic. 3. THE TRADITIONAL PROBLEM OF INDUCTION. Introduction. Hume’s Argument. The Inductive Justification of Induction. The Pragmatic Justification of Induction. Summary. IV. THE GOODMAN PARADOX AND THE NEW RIDDLE OF INDUCTION. Introduction. Regularities and Projection. The Goodman Paradox. The Goodman (...) Paradox, Regularity, and the Principle of the Uniformity of Nature. Summary. 5. MILL’S METHODS OF EXPERIMENTAL INQUIRY AND THE NATURE OF CAUSALITY. Introduction. Causality and Necessary and Sufficient Conditions. Mill’s Methods. The Direct Method of Agreement. The Inverse Method of Agreement. The Method of Difference. The Combined Methods. The Application of Mill’s Methods. Sufficient Conditions and Functional Relationships. Lawlike and Accidental Conditions. 6. THE PROBABILITY CALCULUS. Introduction. Probability, Arguments, Statements, and Properties. Disjunction and Negation Rules. Conjunction Rules and Conditional Probability. Expected Value of a Gamble. Bayes’ Theorem. Probability and Causality. 7. KINDS OF PROBABILITY. Introduction. Rational Degree of Belief. Utility. Ramsey. Relative Frequency. Chance. 8. PROBABILITY AND SCIENTIFIC INDUCTIVE LOGIC. Introduction. Hypothesis and Deduction. Quantity and Variety of Evidence. Total Evidence. Convergence to the Truth. ANSWERS TO SELECTED EXERCISES. INDEX. (shrink)
Where does philosophy, the oldest academic subject, stand at the beginning of the new millennium? This remarkable volume brings together leading figures from most major branches of the discipline to offer answers. What remains of the "linguistic turn" in twentieth-century philosophy? How should moral philosophy respond to and incorporate developments in empirical psychology? Where might Continental and Anglophone feminist theory profitably interact? How has our understanding of ancient philosophy been affected by the emergence of analytic philosophy? Where does the mind-body (...) problem stand today? What role must value judgments play in science? Do Marx, Nietzsche, or Freud matter in the 21st century? These and many other questions at the cutting edge of the discipline are addressed by distinguished philosophers from Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States. They aim not only to stimulate philosophical debate, but to introduce those in cognate disciplines--biology, classics, economics, history, law, linguistics, literary studies, mathematics, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, among others--to what is happening in contemporary philosophy. In a substantial introduction, the editor gives an overview of the state of philosophy today and helps orient non-philosophers. List of Contributors Julia Annas: Ancient Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century Don Garrett: Philosophy and History in the History of Modern Philosophy Brian Leiter: The Hermeneutics of Suspicion: Recovering Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud Timothy Williamson: Past the Linguistic Turn? Jaegwon Kim: The Mind-Body Problem at Century's Turn David J. Chalmers: The Representational Character of Experience Alvin I. Goldman: The Need for Social Epistemology Philip Kitcher: The Ends of the Sciences Nancy Cartwright: From Causation to Explanation and Back Thomas Hurka: Normative Ethics: Back to the Future Peter Railton: Toward an Ethics that Inhabits the World Rae Langton: Projection and Objectification Philip Pettit: Existentialism, Quietism, and the Role of Philosophy. (shrink)
In ‘The ethics of belief and Christian faith as commitment to assumptions’, Rik Peels attacks the views that I advanced in ‘Christianity and the ethics of belief’. Here, I rebut his criticisms of the claim that it is wrong to believe without sufficient evidence, of the contention that Christians are committed to that claim, and of the notion of that faith is not belief but commitment to assumptions in the hope of salvation. My original conclusions still stand.
William Hasker replies to my arguments against Social Trinitarianism, offers some criticism of my own view, and begins a sketch of another account of the Trinity. I reply with some defence of my own theory and some questions about his.
In teaching jurisprudence, I typically distinguish between two different families of theories of adjudication—theories of how judges do or should decide cases. “Formalist” theories claim that the law is “rationally” determinate, that is, the class of legitimate legal reasons available for a judge to offer in support of his or her decision justifies one and only one outcome either in all cases or in some significant and contested range of cases ; and adjudication is thus “autonomous” from other kinds of (...) reasoning, that is, the judge can reach the required decision without recourse to nonlegal normative considerations of morality or political philosophy. I also note that “formalism” is sometimes associated with the idea that judicial decision-making involves nothing more than mechanical deduction on the model of the syllogism—Beccaria, for example, expresses such a view. I call the latter “Vulgar Formalism” to emphasize that it is not a view to which anyone today cares to subscribe. (shrink)
We live in a world of crowds and corporations, artworks and artifacts, legislatures and languages, money and markets. These are all social objects — they are made, at least in part, by people and by communities. But what exactly are these things? How are they made, and what is the role of people in making them? In The Ant Trap, Brian Epstein rewrites our understanding of the nature of the social world and the foundations of the social sciences. Epstein (...) explains and challenges the three prevailing traditions about how the social world is made. One tradition takes the social world to be built out of people, much as traffic is built out of cars. A second tradition also takes people to be the building blocks of the social world, but focuses on thoughts and attitudes we have toward one another. And a third tradition takes the social world to be a collective projection onto the physical world. Epstein shows that these share critical flaws. Most fundamentally, all three traditions overestimate the role of people in building the social world: they are overly anthropocentric. Epstein starts from scratch, bringing the resources of contemporary metaphysics to bear. In the place of traditional theories, he introduces a model based on a new distinction between the grounds and the anchors of social facts. Epstein illustrates the model with a study of the nature of law, and shows how to interpret the prevailing traditions about the social world. Then he turns to social groups, and to what it means for a group to take an action or have an intention. Contrary to the overwhelming consensus, these often depend on more than the actions and intentions of group members. (shrink)
A textbook on modal logic, intended for readers already acquainted with the elements of formal logic, containing nearly 500 exercises. Brian F. Chellas provides a systematic introduction to the principal ideas and results in contemporary treatments of modality, including theorems on completeness and decidability. Illustrative chapters focus on deontic logic and conditionality. Modality is a rapidly expanding branch of logic, and familiarity with the subject is now regarded as a necessary part of every philosopher's technical equipment. Chellas here offers (...) an up-to-date and reliable guide essential for the student. (shrink)
Brian Skyrms offers a fascinating demonstration of how fundamental signals are to our world. He uses various scientific tools to investigate how meaning and communication develop. Signals operate in networks of senders and receivers at all levels of life, transmitting and processing information. That is how humans and animals think and interact.
As the author of Justice as Impartiality, I am not ashamed to admit that I was delighted by the liveliness of the discussion generated by it at the meeting on which this symposium is based. I am likewise grateful to the six authors for finding the book worthy of the careful attention that they have bestowed on it. Between them, the symposiasts take up many more points than I can cover in this response. I shall therefore focus on some themes (...) that cluster round the contractual device that I associate with the notion of justice as impartiality. Is it necessary? If it is not necessary is it nevertheless useful? Within an overall contractual framework is the form of contract that I propose uniquely justifiable? And does the form of contract that I defend generate the implications that I claim for it? (shrink)
All major western countries today contain groups that differ in their religious beliefs, customary practices or ideas about the right way in which to live. How should public policy respond to this diversity? In this important new work, Brian Barry challenges the currently orthodox answer and develops a powerful restatement of an egalitarian liberalism for the twenty-first century. Until recently it was assumed without much question that cultural diversity could best be accommodated by leaving cultural minorities free to associate (...) in pursuit of their distinctive ends within the limits imposed by a common framework of laws. This solution is rejected by an influential school of political theorists, among whom some of the best known are William Galston, Will Kymlicka, Bhikhu Parekh, Charles Taylor and Iris Marion Young. According to them, this 'difference-blind' conception of liberal equality fails to deliver either liberty or equal treatment. In its place, they propose that the state should 'recognize' group identities, by granting groups exemptions from certain laws, publicly 'affirming' their value, and by providing them with special privileges or subsidies. In Culture and Equality, Barry offers an incisive critique of these arguments and suggests that theorists of multiculturism tend to misdiagnose the problems of minority groups. Often, these are not rooted in culture, and multiculturalist policies may actually stand in the way of universalistic measures that would be genuinely beneficial. (shrink)
_Heidegger’s Shadow_ is an important contribution to the understanding of Heidegger’s ambivalent relation to transcendental philosophy. Its contention is that Heidegger recognizes the importance of transcendental philosophy as the necessary point of entry to his thought, but he nonetheless comes to regard it as something that he must strive to overcome even though he knows such an attempt can never succeed. Engelland thoroughly engages with major texts such as _Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics_, _Being and Time_, and _Contributions (...) _and traces the progression of Heidegger’s readings of Kant and Husserl to show that Heidegger cannot abandon his own earlier breakthrough work in transcendental philosophy. This book will be of interest to those working on phenomenology, continental philosophy, and transcendental philosophy. (shrink)
Brian Skyrms, author of the successful Evolution of the Social Contract has written a sequel. The book is a study of ideas of cooperation and collective action. The point of departure is a prototypical story found in Rousseau's A Discourse on Inequality. Rousseau contrasts the pay-off of hunting hare where the risk of non-cooperation is small but the reward is equally small, against the pay-off of hunting the stag where maximum cooperation is required but where the reward is so (...) much greater. Thus, rational agents are pulled in one direction by considerations of risk and in another by considerations of mutual benefit. Written with Skyrms's characteristic clarity and verve, this intriguing book will be eagerly sought out by students and professionals in philosophy, political science, economics, sociology and evolutionary biology. (shrink)
"Brian Orend's The Morality of War promises to become the single most comprehensive and important book on just war for this generation. It moves far beyond the review of the standard just war categories to deal comprehensively with the new challenges of the conflict with terrorism. It thoughtfully reviews every major military conflict of the past few decades, mining them for implications of the evolving tradition of just war thinking. It concludes with a critical engagement with the major alternatives (...) to just war thinking: pacifism and 'realism.' It is, in short, the most comprehensive and thoughtful assessment of all aspects of just war since Michael Walzer's classic Just and Unjust Wars." - Martin L. Cook, United States Air Force Academy. (shrink)
I am grateful to Alan Madry and Joel Richeimer for their intelligent and stimulating critique of my article “Heidegger and the Theory of Adjudication.” It is the most interesting commentary I have seen on the paper, and I have learned much from it. It may facilitate discussion, and advance debate, to state with some clarity where exactly we agree and disagree. I leave to the footnotes discussion of certain minor points where Madry and Richeimer are guilty of some critical overreaching.
Brian Hedden defends a radical view about the relationship between rationality, personal identity, and time. On the standard view, personal identity over time plays a central role in thinking about rationality, because there are rational norms for how a person's attitudes and actions at one time should fit with her attitudes and actions at other times. But these norms are problematic. They make what you rationally ought to believe or do depend on facts about your past that aren't part (...) of your current perspective on the world, and they make rationality depend on controversial, murky metaphysical facts about what binds different instantaneous snapshots into a single person extended in time. Hedden takes a different approach, treating the relationship between different time-slices of the same person as no different from the relationship between different people. On his account, the locus of rationality is the time-slice rather than the temporally extended agent. This impersonal, time-slice-centric approach to rationality yields a unified approach to the rationality of beliefs, preferences, and actions where what rationality demands of you is solely determined by your evidence, with no special weight given to your past beliefs or actions. (shrink)
This paper provides a qualified defense of Martin Heidegger’s controversial assertion that humans and animals differ in kind, not just degree. He has good reasons to defend the human difference, and his thesis is compatible with the evolution of humans from other animals. He argues that the human environment is the world of meaning and truth, an environment which peculiarly makes possible truthful activities such as biology. But the ability to be open to truth cannot be a feature of human (...) biology, without making such pursuits as biology, mathematics, and philosophy a biological function of a certain species, homo sapiens. To deny the human difference amounts to species relativism which leaves the normativity of truth unexplained. To reconcile the human evolutionary heritage and the uniquely human openness to meaning and truth, the paper amplifies a distinction occasionally made by Heidegger between condition and cause. (shrink)
Pt. I. Zeno and the metaphysics of quantity. Zeno's paradox of measure -- Tractarian nominalism -- Logical atoms and combinatorial possibility -- Strict coherence, sigma coherence, and the metaphysics of quantity -- pt. II. Coherent degrees of belief. Higher-order degrees of belief -- A mistake in dynamic coherence arguments? -- Dynamic coherence and probability kinematics -- Updating, supposing, and MAXENT -- The structure of radical probabilism -- Diachronic coherence and radical probabilism -- pt. III. Induction. Carnapian inductive logic for Markov (...) chains -- Carnapian inductive logic and Bayesian statistics -- Bayesian projectability. (shrink)
I take as my text propostion 4.0312 of the Tractatus : The possibility of propositions is based on the principle that objects have signs as their representatives. My fundamental idea is that the ‘logical constants’ are not representatives; that there can be no representatives of the logic of facts. Practically the same words occur in Wittgenstein's Notebook for 25 December 1914, where Miss Anscombe translates them: The possibility of the proposition is, of course, founded on the principle of signs as (...) going proxy for objects. Thus in the proposition something has something else as its proxy. But there is also the common cement. My fundamental thought is that the logical constants are not proxies. That the logic of the fact cannot have anything as its proxy. (shrink)
Brian Skyrms applies adaptive dynamics (of cultural evolution and individual learning) to social theory, investigating altruism, spite, fairness, trust, division of labor, and signaling. Correlation is seen to be fundamental. Spontaneous emergence of social structure and of signaling systems are examined in the context of learning dynamics.
Brian Skyrms constructs a theory of "dynamic deliberation" and uses it to investigate rational decision-making in cases of strategic interaction. This illuminating book will be of great interest to all those in many disciplines who use decision theory and game theory to study human behavior and thought. Skyrms begins by discussing the Bayesian theory of individual rational decision and the classical theory of games, which at first glance seem antithetical in the criteria used for determining action. In his effort (...) to show how methods for dealing with information feedback can be productively combined, the author skillfully leads us through the mazes of equilibrium selection, the Nash equilibria for normal and extensive forms, structural stability, causal decision theory, dynamic probability, the revision of beliefs, and, finally, good habits for decision. The author provides many clarifying illustrations and a handy appendix called "Deliberational Dynamics on Your Personal Computer." His powerful model has important implications for understanding the rational origins of convention and the social contract, the logic of nuclear deterrence, the theory of good habits, and the varied strategies of political and economic behavior. (shrink)
On the Origin of Objects is the culmination of Brian Cantwell Smith's decade-long investigation into the philosophical and metaphysical foundations of computation, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science. Based on a sustained critique of the formal tradition that underlies the reigning views, he presents an argument for an embedded, participatory, "irreductionist," metaphysical alternative. Smith seeks nothing less than to revise our understanding not only of the machines we build but also of the world with which they interact. Smith's ambitious project (...) begins as a search for a comprehensive theory of computation, able to do empirical justice to practice and conceptual justice to the computational theory of mind. A rigorous commitment to these two criteria ultimately leads him to recommend a radical overhaul of our traditional conception of metaphysics. Everything that exists -- objects, properties, life, practice -- lies Smith claims in the "middle distance," an intermediate realm of partial engagement with and partial separation from, the enveloping world. Patterns of separation and engagement are taken to underlie a single notion unifying representation and ontology: that of subjects' "registration" of the world around them. Along the way, Smith offers many fascinating ideas: the distinction between particularity and individuality, the methodological notion of an "inscription error," an argument that there are no individuals within physics, various deconstructions of the type-instance distinction, an analysis of formality as overly disconnected ("discreteness run amok"), a conception of the boundaries of objects as properties of unruly interactions between objects and subjects, an argument for the theoretical centrality of reference preservation, and a theatrical, acrobatic metaphor for the contortions involved in the preservation of reference and resultant stabilization of objects. Sidebars and diagrams throughout the book help clarify and guide Smith's highly original and compelling argument. A Bradford Book. (shrink)