Theories of truth and vagueness are closely connected; in this article, I draw another connection between these areas of research. Gupta and Belnap’s Revision Theory of Truth is converted into an approach to vagueness. I show how revision sequences from a general theory of definitions can be used to understand the nature of vague predicates. The revision sequences show how the meaning of vague predicates are interconnected with each other. The approach is contrasted with the similar supervaluationist approach.
In this paper I present a range of substructural logics for a conditional connective ↦. This connective was original introduced semantically via restriction on the ternary accessibility relation R for a relevant conditional. I give sound and complete proof systems for a number of variations of this semantic definition. The completeness result in this paper proceeds by step-by-step improvements of models, rather than by the one-step canonical model method. This gradual technique allows for the additional control, lacking in the canonical (...) model method, that is required. (shrink)
Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the greatest and most fascinating philosophers of all time. His Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, composed in a series of remarkable numbered propositions, was the only book he published in his lifetime. He tackles nothing less than the question of whether there is such a thing as a logically perfect language and, armed with it, what we can say about the nature of the world itself. Pushing the limits of language, logic and philosophy, the Tractatus is a brilliant, (...) cryptic and hypnotic tour de force, exerting a major impact on twentieth-century philosophy and stirring the imagination today. With a new foreword by Ray Monk. (shrink)
Features include a comprehensive review of existing material, combined with new perspectives to equip students for the challenges in the work environment; chapter overviews and student learning objectives offer a solid and useful framework in which to organise study; diagrams and charts present overviews and contexts for the subject to act as useful revision aids; effective pedagogy including a review of the arguments considered, a menu of seminar topics, and questions in every chapter, serving as an ideal basis for seminar (...) study; and additional open-ended simulations to allow students to work through unfolding scenarios. (shrink)
In E.N. I. c. 5 Aristotle is considering divers views as to what constitutes Eudaimonia. He told us in c. 4, 2–3 that there are many conflicting opinions on the subject. The Many identify Happiness with some palpable good, such as pleasure, wealth, honour, but the Wise identify it with something beyond the Many, while [Plato] denied it to be any specific good at all. Of all these views we should consider such as have many adherents or are considered to (...) be reasonable. Accordingly, the Universal Good is considered in c. 6 after consideration in c. 5 of five particular goods—pleasure in the form of bodily pleasure, honour, wealth, virtue [and, implied in the theoretic Life, wisdom]. These five goods are brought into relation with four Lives—viz. pleasure with the apolaustic; honour and virtue with the political; [wisdom] with the theoretic; wealth with the business or money-making Life; and the first three Lives are called προέχοντες. There is nothing in this introduction of the Lives to astonish us; for, as Aristotle himself tells us, τò ληθς ν τοȋς πρακτικοȋς κ τν ργων κα τοû βίου κρίνεται . But there is much difference of opinion as to the argument he draws from the Lives. According to the view now submitted for consideration, the argument is that when a specific good, which some suppose to be Eudaimonia, is also the end of a ‘pre-eminent’ Life, then there is some prima facie probability in the view that that specific good is Eudaimonia. (shrink)
Atheism Considered is a systematic presentation of challenges to the existence of a higher power. Rather than engage in polemic against a religious worldview, C.M. Lorkowski charitably refutes the classical arguments for the existence of god, pointing out flaws in their underlying reasoning and highlighting difficulties inherent to revealed sources. In place of a theistic worldview, he argues for adopting a naturalistic one, highlighting naturalism’s capacity to explain world phenomena and contribute to the sciences. Lorkowski demonstrates that replacing theism with (...) naturalism, contra popular assumptions, sacrifices nothing in terms of ethics or meaning. Instead, morality ultimately proves more important than religion and does not rely on it. Appropriate for classroom use, this book is meant to cultivate understanding, tolerance, and fruitful dialogue between believers and nonbelievers. (shrink)
The Modern Library, which used for its 1941 monolingual edition of the combined Pensées and Provincial Letters the Trotter translation of the former work, has chosen for this bilingual edition of the Pensées the artful translation of H. F. Stewart. The work is divided by Stewart into a major Apology and chronologically arranged Adversaria which he considers to lie outside the scope of the original work. Stewart's scholarly introduction surveys both the incredibly confused situation of existing manuscripts and the evolution (...) of Pascal's thought. Stewart has arranged the material in accordance with Pascal's own plan, which was reconstructed by Filleau de la Chaise and by Pascal's nephew the abbé Périer. One could argue, as does Brunschvicg, whose own arrangement reveals a prime consideration of accessibility to the modern reader rather than historical accuracy, that the authority of Filleau de la Chaise and the abbé Périer is indeed questionable. For their reconstruction of the plan was made some eight years after Pascal had announced it in a lecture at Port Royal in 1658. Moreover, this initial arrangement could not take into account modifications made while writing during the last four years of the author's life. Stewart has nevertheless relied on both the Brunschvicg facsimile of the autographed manuscript and the Tourneur reading of the First Copy, and has consulted several editions of the Pensées. The result is certainly the best edition in English of this momentous work. Stewart's translation is superb, reproducing eloquently Pascal's paradoxical, contrapuntal phrases without losing any of his delightfully subtle wit.—C. M. R. (shrink)
Since the BBS article in which Premack and Woodruff (1978) asked “Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?,” it has been repeatedly claimed that there is observational and experimental evidence that apes have mental state concepts, such as “want” and “know.” Unlike research on the development of theory of mind in childhood, however, no substantial progress has been made through this work with nonhuman primates. A survey of empirical studies of imitation, self-recognition, social relationships, deception, role-taking, and perspective-taking suggests (...) that in every case where nonhuman primate behavior has been interpreted as a sign of theory of mind, it could instead have occurred by chance or as a product of nonmentalistic processes such as associative learning or inferences based on nonmental categories. Arguments to the effect that, in spite of this, the theory of mind hypothesis should be accepted because it is more parsimonious than alternatives or because it is supported by convergent evidence are not compelling. Such arguments are based on unsupportable assumptions about the role of parsimony in science and either ignore the requirement that convergent evidence proceed from independent assumptions, or fail to show that it supports the theory of mind hypothesis over nonmentalist alternatives. Progress in research on theory of mind requires experimental procedures that can distinguish the theory of mind hypothesis from nonmentalist alternatives. A procedure that may have this potential is proposed. It uses conditional discrimination training and transfer tests to determine whether chimpanzees have the concept “see.” Commentators are invited to identify flaws in the procedure and to suggest alternatives. Key Words: apes; associative learning; concepts; convergence; deception; evolution of intelligence; folk psychology; imitation; mental state attribution; monkeys; parsimony; perspective-taking; primates; role-taking; self-recognition; social cognition; social intelligence; theory of mind. (shrink)
The author proposes to delineate the basic outlines of an entirely new religio-metaphysical foundation for the religious, moral, and social convictions of modern Western man—an admittedly ambitious undertaking. More specifically, he wishes to nail the lid on the coffin of "the so-called Aristotelian substantialism," by means of an "interpretational synthesis" of the thought of Whitehead and that of Heidegger. Accordingly, he argues for an organismic view of history, according to which the event of the life-death-resurrection of Christ reveals the structure (...) and hence the meaning of history and of being. Man's appropriation of this meaning is characterized in roughly Bultmannian terms, though with somewhat more stress on the role of the Church qua social institution and on the empirically factual character of the crucial events comprising the over-all Christ-event than Bultmann lays. This essay is best regarded as another instance of the current phenomenon most notably instanced by Bishop Robinson's Honest to God and the debate it has initiated.—P. C. M. (shrink)
Offers, in an informal and somewhat undisciplined and repetitive manner, suggestions for answering such questions as: What is form? What kind of atomism will future scientific endeavour emphasize? Are there further, as yet unexplored and unexploited possibilities of evolution? How should a biologist or physicist account for man's creative abilities? etc.--C. M.
By using certain basic tools of analysis of modern information theory, particularly the principle of feed-back, the author tries to develop what might be called a new Logic of Appearance--Eiconics. Eiconics is the science--not the philosophy--which is to study how individuals, cultures, and cultural sub-groups attain to their respective "images," i.e., to those belief-constellations which, functioning somewhat analogously to the control of--say--a thermostat, determine what messages are taken as significant; significance may consist in behavorial consequences, or "outgoing messages," or it (...) may consist in modification of the "control" mechanism, the image, itself. Having shown examples of the role of the "image" in economics, politics, history, and natural science, the author concludes by raising some questions concerning the epistemological implications of his new science.--C. M. (shrink)
Part of the Philosophes series, this very useful introduction to Locke opens with a little ceremony which really does seem necessary in order to assure French readers of the relevance of foreign thinkers. It takes the form here of Voltaire's praise of Locke in his thirteenth Lettre philosophique. Voltaire's consecration however does serve to cast some eighteenth century light on Locke, which is an excellent way to begin the subject. There follows an outline of Locke's life and philosophy, with brief (...) considerations of the Letter on Tolerance and Two Treatises on Government, and an extended treatment of the four books of the Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Leroy uses a method of paraphrase with very limited commentary, a good device for getting inside a subject but one which involves a sacrifice in perspective. Some sixty pages of excerpts from the Essay are well chosen, indexed, and provided with topic headings. A minimal bibliography follows.--C. M. R. (shrink)
Intended to give "a graphic picture of the development, relationship and relative importance of Chinese philosophical schools," this booklet contains 7 charts outlining the Ancient, the Middle, the Modern, the Sung, the Yuan and Ming, the Ch'ing, and the contemporary periods.--C. M.
This edition, providing the only available English language access to Collin de Plancy's long-forgotten Dictionnaire infernal, is directed to the reader who likes the reinforcement of being able to get through a whole book in an hour or so, whizzing through clean pages at incredible speeds. Perhaps the most misleading aspect of this flashy volume is the fact that the publishers never mention that it is abbreviated at all; it contains 177 truncated versions of Collin de Plancy's 2,400 plus entries, (...) which filled in the 1825-1826 edition of four volumes of text and one of plates. Wade Baskin, a master of condensation, does cover a lot of ground in his two and one-half page introduction. This, unfortunately, serves as little but a teaser to the reader interested in more than a mere mention of Collin de Plancy's colorful, success-oriented career, his filiations with spiritual brothers like Nodier, and his influence on other writers of the Romantic period. One can begrudge this sort of holding back with good reason, for Collin de Plancy is a name unfamiliar today even to French scholars. Baskin's translation is, as usual, excellent.—C. M. R. (shrink)
Pomeau has condensed a lot of material for this pocket-size introduction to the life and works of Diderot, which he has attempted to simplify by providing parallel classifications of the excerpts from Diderot's works with his own presentation of Diderot's philosophy. These divisions are entitled: the Adventure of Diderot's thought, On Nature, On Man, Morality, Aesthetics, Politics, and the Contemporary Import of Diderot's Philosophie. Pomeau, a Voltaire scholar, displays a knowledge of the intellectual history of the period and a wide (...) acquaintance with his immediate material. His selections are beautifully chosen, for they provide a generous survey of Diderot's work, including even a short passage from the most recently published marginalia of Hemsterhuis. This sort of presentation cannot but entice the beginner to further examination, for the passages range from the most poignant to the most witty Yet there is matter to frustrate the serious beginner; the passages are not dated, nor are they identified by work in the index. Pomeau engages in gratuitous psychologizing in his exposition of Diderot's life, and has made a blatant error in attributing to Diderot the authorship of the article "Encyclopédie." These shortcomings unfortunately mar a text which contains excellent analyses of the evolution of Diderot's religious and biological thought.—C. M. R. (shrink)
In this revised and expanded edition of his well-known study of Denis Diderot's life and works, Crocker combines solid scholarship with a vivid portrayal of his subjects. Leaving firm ground only occasionally, Crocker masterfully reconstructs Diderot's life by weaving into his narrative the testimony of Diderot's contemporaries and the philosopher's own anecdotes of the more picturesque episodes of his life. The author never departs from firm ground, however, in his presentation of Diderot's works. With a rare blend of erudition and (...) a lively critical sense, he sets them forth in the light of eighteenth-century currents of thought, highlighting Diderot's most significant contributions to materialism, sensualism, and experimentalism, while at the same time preserving, in quite readable summaries, the integrity of individual writings. His extensive consideration of the twenty years Diderot devoted to the Encyclopedia is particularly stimulating. By contrast, his summary presentation of Diderot's novels is somewhat disappointing, especially since he gives all too brief mention to Diderot's innovations in that genre. A needed index is lacking, but in spite of this and other minor shortcomings, Crocker's efforts have resulted in what is clearly the best complete English biography of one of the eighteenth century's most colorful geniuses.—C. M. M. (shrink)
Barfield considers the light the studies of history, language, and literature shed upon each other. He focuses his attention on the development of a theory of the emergence of individual consciousness. Barfield disputes some prevalent ramifications of evolutionist theories which hold that in language, literature, and history, a period of "active subjectivity" preceded one of "passive subjectivity." This would mean, according to Barfield, that in language, literal meaning preceded figurative meaning, just as imagination was prior to inspiration in the creation (...) of literature, and individual mental activity prior to a period of social consciousness. Barfield is convinced that the opposite is true. Using semantics as a springboard into the study of history and literature, he contends that the basic assumptions of any age are contained in the meaning of its most common words, and that ideas change because "human consciousness itself—the elementary human experience about which the ideas are being formed—the whole relation between man and nature or between conscious man and unconscious man—has been in the process of change." In this sketchy development of his theory of subjectivity as a form of consciousness that has "contracted from the periphery into individual centers," Barfield draws on a wide range of background material to come up with some genuinely fresh insights. But he carries his arguments only so far and leaves the reader with the memory of a few briefly illuminated new paths. In the final analysis, the topic seems just too vast to receive anything but a schematic treatment in even the most distinguished of essays.—C. M. R. (shrink)
In this source study of the hermetic and prophetic poetry of William Blake, Kathleen Raine adds strength to the theory that it takes a poet to explain one. The present volumes, expanded from the 1962 Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, are the result of twenty years' research; in scholarship and in style, they well might serve as a model for all source studies to come. Raine traces Blake's borrowings from Neoplatonism, from alchemy, from classical and hermetic sources, from gnosticism (...) and Christianity. Her development avoids the rigid chronological installment method so often used and moves along lyrically in chapter divisions sometimes source inspired, more often determined by particular characters created by Blake himself. Two very complete indexes, both of Blake's works and of general subjects, allow for immediate reference within the author's rather fluid organization. Mention must be made also of the beautiful plate reproductions which encourage a more integrated appreciation of Blake's two media of expression. Raine communicates the universal nature of visionary poetry, the basic sources of which have not changed significantly throughout the centuries. She thus opens up for the reader the possibility of understanding a whole tradition of the most awesome and most inaccessible literature.--C. M. R. (shrink)
A second, corrected edition of the 1948 original, plus preface and a third appendix on the import of Pascal for the present day. The work consists of a number of brief considerations centered around the theme of "common sense," essential to a study of history as sacred. Castelli writes in a climate interpreted as threatening to lead us to a state of "second innocence". Against this threat, Castelli lays the groundwork for a theological existentialism, based on a "sense of revelation," (...) a personal "common sense" commitment arising from the realization of one's own insufficiency. In an age where Catholic theologians are developing a political basis for their thought, Castelli's book appears perhaps even more apropos than in the late 1940's. It opposes modern solipsism resulting from subjectivist tendencies in philosophy since Descartes, as well as analogues in the political sphere--monologue and violence--and proposes as an alternative a theologically based human solidarity.--C. M. R. (shrink)
In this exposition of Boehme's key conceptions, the author tries to show that the seventeenth-century Silesian mystic's work can and should be viewed as an original, coherent philosophic system. Includes detailed biographical sketch, bibliography, indexes, illustrations and diagrams.--C. M.
These two books are among the most recently published tomes of a projected twenty comprising the first French edition of the Complete Works of Kierkegaard. Such a work represents the life-long dedication of Paul Tisseau, Kierkegaard's principal French translator. Many of Tisseau's translations have already been published in various other places, and it is generally known that he undertook to publish on his own several of the less commercially appealing religious works. After his death in 1964, his daughter completed his (...) work by correcting published and unpublished manuscripts and by translating the few works her father had not been able to do. The present edition was indeed worth waiting for; it is at once an artful translation and an excellent scholarly tool, complete with marginal pagination of the definitive Danish edition, the Drachmann, Heiberg, Lange of 1920-1926, plus location of each separate work in the first and third Danish editions. Jean Brun provides to-the-point introductions containing a wealth of historical material and ample footnotes referring to significant textual variations, subtleties of translation, and related passages in other works. Volume thirteen contains the Edifying Discourses in Various Spirits, Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing, The Lilies and the Birds, and The Gospel of Sufferings; volume eighteen, Two Discourses at the Communion on Fridays, The Woman that Was a Sinner, The Unchangeableness of God, For Self-Examination, and Judge for Yourselves.--C. M. R. (shrink)
Though the philosopher will undoubtedly find this study too elementary for many of his purposes, the student of literature and the generally interested reader will be delighted by this rich source of reference material. Published under the general editorship of Mortimer J. Adler by the Institute for Philosophical Research, The Idea of Love has one of the most accessible formats of the Concepts in Western Thought Series. Preliminary chapters explain critical notions used in later schematizations of various figures, and relate (...) in neat topical divisions controversies about natural and supernatural human love. Next, illustrative chapters present different authors according to whether they hold that love can be either acquisitive or benevolent desire, is only acquisitive desire, must include benevolence, is wholly or primarily judgment. Two final divisions which overlap these give judgmental aspects of wholly and primarily tendential conceptions of love. Expositions within each of these divisions both justify the classification and adequately develop particular sub-themes. In toto, more than forty philosophers, writers, theologians, and psychologists receive a fairly extensive treatment, including generous citations, while brief references are also made to minor figures. Among those given major consideration are Plato, Augustine, Aristotle, Cicero, Aquinas, Dante, Kierkegaard, Kant, Freud, Jung, and William James ; Plotinus, Andreas Capellanus, Stendhal, Schopenhauer, Santayana, Darwin, Rousseau, Spinoza, Leibniz ; Adam Smith, Hegel, C. S. Lewis, Ortega Y Gasset, Erich Fromm ; Descartes, Hume, Locke, and Pascal. The work is indexed and supplemented by a seven-page bibliography.--C. M. R. (shrink)
An unusually effective introduction to metaphysics in the form of a brief account of the discovery of the two questions by which, according to the author, the domain of metaphysica generalis may be delimited: What is unity? What is being? A short essay, addressed primarily to a German student audience, the scope of its discussion is restricted, focussing on the progressive clarification of the notions of unity and universality in Greek philosophy. Platonists may disagree with the author's view of Aristotle (...) as developing, rather than suggesting an alternative to, the Platonic conception of unity, but this will not prevent them from admiring the clarity and sanity of the author's presentation of basic metaphysical issues. -- C. M. (shrink)