This paper aims to settle the question of what Ludwig Wittgenstein meant by "what solipsism means": This remark provides the key to the problem, how much truth there is in solipsism. For what solipsism means is quite correct; only it cannot be said, but makes itself manifest. The world is my world: this is manifest in the fact that the limits of language mean the limits of my world. 1 Throughout this paper, I will paraphrase "what solipsism means" simply as (...) 'solipsism.'2 The aim of the present paper can then be restated as an attempt to specify the conception of solipsism Wittgenstein was addressing in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. A secondary aim is to... (shrink)
“Resolute” readings of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus maintain that the book is divided into two parts: an intelligible “frame” and an unintelligible “body.” This article questions the validity of the “frame/body distinction” and, by extension, the resolute reading itself. It first establishes the tenability of the resolute programme as entirely dependent upon such a frame/body distinction. It then explores three possible ways the claim that the Tractatus contains such a distinction might be grounded, arguing in each case why it cannot do (...) so. It therefore concludes that the frame/body distinction is unjustified, and the resolute reading untenable. (shrink)
Paul Sheehy has argued that the modal realist cannot satisfactorily allow for the necessity of God's existence. In this short paper I show that she can, and that Sheehy only sees a problem because he has failed to appreciate all the resources available to the modal realist. God may be an abstract existent outside spacetime or He may not be: but either way, there is no problem for the modal realist to admit that He exists at every concrete possible world.
Ross P. Cameron argues that the flow of time is a genuine feature of reality. He suggests that the best version of the A-Theory is a version of the Moving Spotlight view, according to which past and future beings are real, but there is nonetheless an objectively privileged present. Cameron argues that the Moving Spotlight theory should be viewed as having more in common with Presentism than with the B-Theory. Furthermore, it provides the best account of truthmakers for (...) claims about what was or will be the case. Cameron goes on to defend an account of the open future, and argues that this is a better account than that available to the Growing Block theory. (shrink)
Freud may never have set foot in Cambridge - that hub for the twentieth century's most influential thinkers and scientists - but his intellectual impact there in the years between the two World Wars was immense. This is a story that has long languished untold, buried under different accounts of the dissemination of psychoanalysis. John Forrester and Laura Cameron present a fascinating and deeply textured history of the ways in which a set of Freudian ideas about the workings of (...) the human mind, sexuality and the unconscious affected Cambridge men and women - from A. G. Tansley and W. H. R. Rivers to Bertrand Russell, Bernal, Strachey and Wittgenstein - shaping their thinking across a range of disciplines, from biology to anthropology, and from philosophy to psychology, education and literature. Freud in Cambridge will be welcomed as a major intervention by literary scholars, historians and all readers interested in twentieth-century intellectual and scientific life. (shrink)
In Christ Meets Me Everywhere, Michael Cameron argues that Augustine wanted to train readers of Scripture to transpose themselves into the texts in the same way he did, by the same process of figuration that he found at its core. Tracking Augustine's developing practice of self-transposition into the figures of the biblical texts over the course of his entire career, Cameron shows that this practice is the key to Augustine's hermeneutics.
Judge Edwin Cameron (South African Supreme Court of Appeal) makes a plea for a radical change of approach and of formal health policy in relation to HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Cameron delivered this lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Forum on 4 May 2006 as part of the Ronald Louw Memorial Campaign, 'Get Tested, Get Treated'. Ronald Louw was a Professor of Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, an AIDS treatment activist and co-founder of the Durban Gay and (...) Lesbian Community Centre. He died of AIDS in 2005. Cameron, who was appointed by Nelson Mandela to the high court in 1994, is a high profile AIDS activist and gay rights advocate. He has written about the experience of his decision to make public his own HIV positive status in the book, Witness to AIDS (Tafelberg). (shrink)
For Emily Dickinson, perhaps no more so than for the rest of us, there was a powerful discrepancy between what was "inner than the Bone"1 and what could be acknowledged. To the extent that her poems are a response to that discrepancy—are, on one hand, a defiant attempt to deny that the discrepancy poses a problem and, on the other, an admission of defeat at the problem's enormity—they have much to teach us about the way in which language articulates our (...) life. There is indeed a sense in which these poems test the limits of what we might reveal if we tried and also of what, despite our exertions, will not give itself over to utterance. The question of the visibility of interior experience is one that will concern me in this essay, for it lies at the heart of what Dickinson makes present to us. In "The Dream of Communication," Geoffrey Hartman writes: "Art represents a self which is either insufficiently present or feels itself as not presentable."2 On both counts one thinks of Dickinson, for her poems disassemble the body in order to penetrate to the places where the feelings lie as if hidden, and they tell us that bodies are not barriers the way we sometimes think they are. Despite the staggering sophistication with which we discuss complex issues, like Dickinson we have few words, if any, for what happens inside us. Perhaps this is because we have been taught to conceive of ourselves as perfectly inexplicable or, if explicable, then requiring the aid of someone else to scrutinize what we are explicating to validate it. We have been taught that we cannot see for ourselves—this despite the current emphasis on our proprioceptive functions. But Dickinson tells us that we can see. More important, she tells us how to name what we see. · 1. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson , n. 321.· 2. Geoffrey Hartman, "The Dream of Communication," in I. A. Richards: Essays in His Honor, ed. Reuben Brower et al. , p. 173. Sharon Cameron, associate professor of English at Johns Hopkins University, is currently preparing a theoretical study of the lyric and is examining the relationship between obsession and lyrical structures. The present essay is part of her Lyric Time: Dickinson and the Limits of Genre. (shrink)
I address an intuition commonly endorsed by metaphysicians, that there must be a fundamental layer of reality, i.e., that chains of ontological dependence must terminate: there cannot be turtles all the way down. I discuss applications of this intuition with reference to Bradley’s regress, composition, realism about the mental and the cosmological argument. I discuss some arguments for the intui- tion, but argue that they are unconvincing. I conclude by making some suggestions for how the intuition should be argued for, (...) and discussing the ramiﬁcations of giving the justiﬁcation I think best. (shrink)
What are the ontological commitments of a sentence? In this paper I offer an answer from the perspective of the truthmaker theorist that contrasts with the familiar Quinean criterion. I detail some of the benefits of thinking of things this way: they include making the composition debate tractable without appealing to a neo-Carnapian metaontology, making sense of neo-Fregeanism, and dispensing with some otherwise recalcitrant necessary connections.
In this paper I further elucidate and defend a metaontological position that allows you to have a minimal ontology without embracing an error-theory of ordinary talk. On this view 'there are Fs' can be strictly and literally true without bringing an ontological commitment to Fs. Instead of a sentence S committing you to the things that must be amongst the values of the variables if it is true, I argue that S commits you to the things that must exist as (...) truthmakers for S if it is true. I rebut some recent objections that have been levelled against this metaontological view. (shrink)
There is widespread disagreement as to what the facts are concerning just when a collection of objects composes some further object; but there is widespread agreement that, whatever those facts are, they are necessary. I am unhappy to simply assume this, and in this paper I ask whether there is reason to think that the facts concerning composition hold necessarily. I consider various reasons to think so, but find fault with each of them. I examine the theory of composition as (...) identity, but argue that the version of this doctrine that entails universalism is implausible. I consider the claim that the a priority of such facts leads to their necessity, but give a defence of substantial contingent a priori truths. I ask whether the contingency of such facts would lead to unwelcome possibilities, but argue that the worrying looking possibilities can be blocked if it is desired. Next, I argue against the thought that the Lewis-Sider argument against restricted composition might give us reason to accept the necessity of universalism. Lastly, I respond to two objections from the 2006 BSPC. I conclude in favour of the contingency of the facts concerning when some things compose some thing. (shrink)
Many have been tempted to invoke a primitive notion of grounding to describe the way in which some features of reality give rise to others. Jessica Wilson argues that such a notion is unnecessary to describe the structure of the world: that we can make do with specific dependence relations such as the part–whole relation or the determinate–determinable relation, together with a notion of absolute fundamentality. In this paper I argue that such resources are inadequate to describe the particular ways (...) in which some parts of reality give rise to others, and thus that we do in fact need grounding. (shrink)
When there is truth, there must be some thing (or things) to account for that truth: some thing(s) that couldn’t exist and the true proposition fail to be true. That is the truthmaker principle. True propositions are made true by entities in the mind-independently existing external world. The truthmaker principle seems attractive to many metaphysicians, but many have wanted to weaken it and accept not that every true proposition has a truthmaker but only that some important class of propositions require (...) truthmakers.1 Let us, following Armstrong, call the claim that all true propositions, without exception, have a truthmaker, Truthmaker Maximalism. Why might one be tempted to the spirit of truthmaker theory but reject Truthmaker Maximalism? Well, you might deny that necessary truths need truthmakers, for one, and insist that only contingent truths have truthmakers. But I think it’s fair to say that the most common motivation for rejecting maximalism concerns negative truths. The thought that negative truths are exempt from the demand for truthmakers could be justified in one of two ways: there is the claim that we don’t need truthmakers for negative truths, and there is the claim that we can’t have.. (shrink)
The connection between whole and part is intimate: not only can we share the same space, but I’m incapable of leaving my parts behind; settle the nonmereological facts and you thereby settle what is a part of what; wholes don’t seem to be an additional ontological commitment over their parts. Composition as identity promises to explain this intimacy. But it threatens to make the connection too intimate, for surely the parts could have made a different whole and the whole have (...) had different parts. In this paper I attempt to offer an account of parthood that is intimate enough but not too intimate: the parts generate the whole, but they are not themselves the whole. (shrink)
In this paper we aim to disentangle the thesis that the future is open from theses that often get associated or even conflated with it. In particular, we argue that the open future thesis is compatible with both the unrestricted principle of bivalence and determinism with respect to the laws of nature. We also argue that whether or not the future (and indeed the past) is open has no consequences as to the existence of (past and) future ontology.
Contemporary discussion of biological teleology has been dominated by a complacent orthodoxy. Responsibility for this shortcoming rests primarily, I think, with those who ought to have been challenging dogma but have remained silent, leaving the orthodox to grow soft, if happily. In this silence, champions of orthodoxy have declared a signal victory, proclaiming the dominance of their view as one of philosophy’s historic successes. But this declaration is premature at best—this would be neither the first nor probably the last time (...) that a narrow school of philosophy has declared the resolution of age-old problems only to have those problems rise from the ashes of their better selves when a broader view is articulated. I propose to challenge orthodoxy by undermining its fundamental assumption and to enlist the help of others in articulating a formidable heterodox alternative to contemporary dogma concerning biological teleology, perhaps on the model I sketch below. (shrink)
I argue that Agustín Rayo’s symmetric ‘just is’ statements cannot be defined in terms of notions like essence, grounding or metaphysical truth-conditions. I go on to argue that one of these latter notions, which allow us to express an asymmetric relationship between facts, is needed to do some of the work that Rayo intends ‘just is’ statements to do, such as stating reductionist claims.
I argue that the truthmaker theorist should be a priority monist if she wants to avoid commitment to mysterious necessary connections. In section 1 I briefly discuss the ontological options available to the truthmaker theorist. In section 2 I develop the argument against truthmaker theory from the Humean denial of necessary connections. In section 3 I offer an account of when necessary connections are objectionable. In section 4 I use this criterion to narrow down the options from section 1. In (...) section 5 I argue that the account leads us to priority monism. (shrink)
Many of us are tempted by the thought that the future is open, whereas the past is not. The future might unfold one way, or it might unfold another; but the past, having occurred, is now settled. In previous work we presented an account of what openness consists in: roughly, that the openness of the future is a matter of it being metaphysically indeterminate how things will turn out to be. We were previously concerned merely with presenting the view and (...) exploring its consequences; we did not attempt to argue for it over rival accounts. That is what we will aim to do in this paper. (shrink)
This paper attempts to locate, within an actualist ontology, truthmakers for modal truths: truths of the form or . In Sect. 1 I motivate the demand for substantial truthmakers for modal truths. In Sect. 21 criticise Armstrong's account of truthmakers for modal truths. In Sect. 31 examine essentialism and defend an account of what makes essentialist attributions true, but I argue that this does not solve the problem of modal truth in general. In Sect. 41 discuss, and dismiss, a theistic (...) account of the source of modal truth proposed by Alexander Pruss. In Sect. 5 I offer a means of (dis)solving the problem. (shrink)
Logical and moral arguments have been made for the organizational importance of ethos or virtuousness, in addition to ethics and responsibility. Research evidence is beginning to provide, empirical support for such normative claims. This paper considers the relationship between ethics and ethos in contemporary organizations by summarizing emerging findings that link virtuousness and performance. The effect of virtue in organizations derives from its buffering and amplifying effects, both of which are described.
Responsible leadership is rare. It is not that most leaders are irresponsible, but responsibility in leadership is frequently defined so that an important connotation of responsible leadership is ignored. This article equates responsible leadership with virtuousness. Using this connotation implies that responsible leadership is based on three assumptions—eudaemonism, inherent value, and amplification. Secondarily, this connotation produces two important outcomes—a fixed point for coping with change, and benefits for constituencies who may never be affected otherwise. The meaning and advantages of responsible (...) leadership as virtuous leadership are discussed. (shrink)
Works of music do not appear to be concrete objects; but they do appear to be created by composers, and abstract objects do not seem to be the kind of things that can be created. In this paper I aim to develop an ontological position that lets us salvage the creativity intuition without either adopting an ontology of created abstracta or identifying musical works with concreta. I will argue that there are no musical works in our ontology, but nevertheless the (...) English sentences we want to hold true are literally true. I rely on a meta-ontological view whereby ‘a exists’ can be true without committing us to an entity that is a. This meta-ontological view is illustrated by its application to the familiar example of the statue and the clay. I argue that my account of musical ontology fares better on the balance of costs and benefits than its rivals. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the objection to truthmaker theory, forcibly made by David Lewis and endorsed by many, that it violates the Humean denial of necessary connections between distinct existences. In Sect. 1 I present the argument that acceptance of truthmakers commits us to necessary connections. In Sect. 2 I examine Lewis’ ‘Things-qua-truthmakers’ theory which attempts to give truthmakers without such a commitment, and find it wanting. In Sects. 3–5 I discuss various formulations of the denial of necessary connections (...) and argue that each of them is either false or compatible with truthmaker theory. In Sect. 6 I show how the truthmaker theorist can resist the charge that they are committed to necessary exclusions between possible existents. I conclude that there is no good objection to truthmaker theory on the grounds that it violates the Humean dictum. (shrink)
Some argue that Lewisian realism fails as a reduction of modality because in order to meet some criterion of success the account needs to invoke primitive modality. I defend Lewisian realism against this charge; in the process, I hope to shed some light on the conditions of success for a reduction. In §1 I detail the resources the Lewisian modal realist needs. In §2 I argue against Lycan and Shalkowski’s charge that Lewis needs a modal notion of ‘world’ to ensure (...) that worlds correspond to possibilities. In §3 I respond to Divers and Melia’s objection that Lewis needs to invoke primitive modality to give a complete account of what worlds there are. In §4 I ask what it is for a notion to ‘involve’ modality. I conclude that the question is either in bad standing or at best offers little traction on the debate, and propose a different way of assessing when materials are appropriately included in a reductive base. (shrink)
Virtuousness refers to the pursuit of the highest aspirations in the human condition. It is characterized by human impact, moral goodness, and unconditional societal betterment. Several writers have recently argued that corporations, in addition to being concerned with ethics, should also emphasize an ethos of virtuousness in corporate action. Virtuousness emphasizes actions that go beyond the “do no harm” assumption embedded in most ethical codes of conduct. Instead, it emphasizes the highest and best of the human condition. This research empirically (...) examines the buffering and amplifying effects of virtuousness in organizations. The study hypothesizes that virtuousness has a positive effect on organizations because amplifying dynamics make subsequent virtuous action more likely, and buffering dynamics reduce the harmful effects of downsizing. The study reveals that two types of virtuousness – tonic and phasic – are associated with these effects. (shrink)
Orthodoxy says that the thesis that composition is identity entails universalism: the claim that any collection of entities has a sum. If this is true it counts in favour of CAI, since a thesis about the nature of composition that settles the otherwise intractable special composition question is desirable. But I argue that it is false: CAI is compatible with the many forms of restricted composition, and SCQ is no easier to answer given CAI than otherwise. Furthermore, in seeing why (...) this is the case we reveal an objection to CAI: that it allows for the facts concerning what there is to be settled whilst leaving open the question about what is identical to what. (shrink)
Modern philosophy is, for what appear to be good reasons, uniformly hostile to sui generis final causes. And motivated to develop philosophically and scientifically plausible interpretations, scholars have increasingly offered reductivist and eliminitivist accounts of Aristotle's teleological commitment. This trend in contemporary scholarship is misguided. We have strong grounds to believe Aristotle accepted unreduced sui generis teleology, and reductivist and eliminitivist accounts face insurmountable textual and philosophical difficulties. We offer Aristotelians cold comfort by replacing his apparent view with failed accounts. (...) And so we ought to admit Aristotle’s prima facie commitments and deal with — if not accept — the consequences. (shrink)
In this paper I examine two principles of orthodox truthmaker theory: truthmaker maximalism - the doctrine that every (contingent) truth has a truthmaker, and truthmaker necessitarianism - the doctrine that the existence of a truthmaker necessitates the truth of any proposition which it in fact makes true. I argue that maximalism should be rejected and that once it is we only have reason to hold a restricted form of necessitarianism.
I begin by contrasting three approaches one can take to the distinction between the essential and accidental properties: an ontological, a deflationary, and a mind-dependent approach. I then go on to apply that distinction to the necessary a posteriori, and defend the deflationist view. Finally I apply the distinction to modal truth in general and argue that the deflationist position lets us avoid an otherwise pressing problem for the actualist: the problem of accounting for the source of modal truth.
This paper is an investigation of metaphysical nihilism: the view that there could have been no contingent or concrete objects. I begin by showing the connections of the nihilistic theses to other philosophical doctrines. I then go on to look at the arguments for and against metaphysical nihilism in the literature and find both to be flawed. In doing so I will look at the nature of abstract objects, the nature of spacetime and mereological simples, the existence of the empty (...) set, the dependence of universals on particulars, and other general questions of ontology. (shrink)
Quine said that the ontological question can be asked in three words, ‘What is there?’, and answered in one, ‘everything’. He was wrong. We need an extra word to ask the ontological question: it is ‘What is there, really?’; and it cannot be answered truthfully with ‘everything’ because there are some things that exist but which don’t really exist (and maybe even some things that really exist but which don’t exist).
The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics is an outstanding, comprehensive and accessible guide to the major themes, thinkers, and issues in metaphysics. The Companion features over fifty specially commissioned chapters from international scholars which are organized into three clear parts: History of Metaphysics Ontology Metaphysics and Science. Each section features an introduction which places the range of essays in context, while an extensive glossary allows easy reference to key terms and definitions. The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics is essential reading for students (...) of philosophy and anyone interested in surveying the central topics and problems in metaphysics from causation to vagueness and from Plato and Aristotle to the present-day. (shrink)
Some truths are necessary, others could have been false. Why? What is the source of the distinction between the necessary and the contingent? What's so special about the necessary truths that account for their necessity? In this article, we look at some of the most promising accounts of the grounds of necessity: David Lewis' reduction of necessity to truth at all possible worlds; Kit Fine's reduction of necessity to essence; and accounts of necessity that take the distinction between the necessary (...) and the contingent to be a matter of convention. (shrink)
Using a conceptual framework and method combining ethical enquiry and phenomenology, we asked 73 senior baccalaureate nursing students to answer two questions: (1) What is nursing students’ experience of an ethical problem involving nursing practice? and (2) What is nursing students’ experience of using an ethical decision-making model? Each student described one ethical problem, from which emerged five content categories, the largest being that involving health professionals (44%). The basic nature of the ethical problems consisted of the nursing students’ experience (...) of conflict, resolution and rationale; 85% of the students stated that using an ethical decision-making model was helpful. Although additional research is needed, these findings have important implications for nursing ethics education and practice. (shrink)
Proponents of ground, which is used to indicate relations of ontological fundamentality, insist that ground is a unified phenomenon, but this thesis has recently been criticized. I will first review the proponents' claims for ground's unicity, as well as the criticisms that ground is too heterogeneous to do the philosophical work it is supposed to do. By drawing on Aristotle's notion of homonymy, I explore whether ground's metaphysical heterogeneity can be theoretically accommodated while at the same time preserving its proponents' (...) desideratum that it be a unified phenomenon. (shrink)
Teleology is the study of ends and goals, things whose existence or occurrence is purposive. Aristotle’s views on teleology are of seminal importance, particularly his views regarding biological functions or purposes. This article surveys core examples of Aristotle’s invocations of teleology; explores philosophically puzzling aspects of teleology ; articulates two of Aristotle’s arguments defending commitment to teleology against critics who attempt to explain nature solely through appeal to nonteleological efficient and material causes; and argues that Aristotle was an ontological realist (...) when it came to teleology: he conceived of ends as an irreducible and ineliminable aspect of the causal structure of reality. Other interpretive controversies are addressed more briefly. (shrink)
High temporal resolution event-related brain potential and electroencephalographic coherence studies of the neural substrate of short-term storage in working memory indicate that the sustained coactivation of both prefrontal cortex and the posterior cortical systems that participate in the initial perception and comprehension of the retained information are involved in its storage. These studies further show that short-term storage mechanisms involve an increase in neural synchrony between prefrontal cortex and posterior cortex and the enhanced activation of long-term memory representations of material (...) held in short-term memory. This activation begins during the encoding/comprehension phase and evidently is prolonged into the retention phase by attentional drive from prefrontal cortex control systems. A parsimonious interpretation of these findings is that the long-term memory systems associated with the posterior cortical processors provide the necessary representational basis for working memory, with the property of short-term memory decay being primarily due to the posterior system. In this view, there is no reason to posit specialized neural systems whose functions are limited to those of short-term storage buffers. Prefrontal cortex provides the attentional pointer system for maintaining activation in the appropriate posterior processing systems. Short-term memory capacity and phenomena such as displacement of information in short-term memory are determined by limitations on the number of pointers that can be sustained by the prefrontal control systems. Key Words: coherence; event-related potentials; imaging; long-term memory; memory; short-term memory; working memory. (shrink)
In footnote 56 of his Naming and Necessity, Kripke offers a ‘proof’ of the essentiality of origin. On its most literal reading the argument is clearly ﬂawed, as was made clear by Nathan Salmon. Salmon attempts to save the literal reading of the argument, but I argue that the new argument is ﬂawed as well, and that it can’t be what Kripke intended. I offer an alternative reconstruction of Kripke’s argument, but I show that this suffers from a more subtle (...) fault. (shrink)
I attempt to accommodate the phenomenon of vagueness with classical logic and bivalence. I hold that for any vague predicate there is a sharp cut-off between the things that satisfy it and the things that do not; I claim that this is due to the greater naturalness of one of the candidate meanings of that predicate. I extend the thought to the problem of the many and Benacerraf cases. I go on to explore the idea that it is ontically indeterminate (...) what the most natural meanings are, and hence ontically indeterminate where the sharp cut-off in a sorites series is. (shrink)