In ‘Reincarnation and Relativized Identity’ 1 J. J. MacIntosh argues that reincarnation is impossible. I wish to make a slightly backhanded defence of reincarnation by showing that MacIntosh's argument does not succeed. I do not follow his recipe for defence of reincarnation exactly.
"The best book-length treatment of Heidegger with which I am familiar.... What Guignon does, very skillfully, is to use the problem of knowledge as a focus for organizing a discussion of Heidegger’s thought in its entirety.... Places him squarely within the philosophical tradition he struggled to overcome and provides an account of his development from Being and Time to the last writings, which make the changes in his thought continuous and intelligible." --Harrison Hall, _Inquiry_.
"To thine own self be true." From Polonius's words in Hamlet right up to Oprah, we are constantly urged to look within. Why is being authentic the ultimate aim in life for so many people, and why does it mean looking inside rather than out? Is it about finding the "real" me, or something greater than me, even God? Thought-provoking and with an astonishing range of references, On Being Authentic is a gripping journey into the self that begins with Socrates (...) and Augustine. Charles Guignon asks why being authentic ceased to mean being part of some bigger, cosmic picture and with Rousseau, Wordsworth and the Romantic movement, took the strong inward turn alive in today's self-help culture. He also plumbs the darker depths of authenticity, with the help of Freud, Carl Jung and Konrad Lorenz, and reflects on the future of being authentic in a postmodern, global age. He argues ultimately that being authentic is not about what is owed to me but how I depend on others. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger is now widely recognized as one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. He transformed mainstream philosophy by defining its central task as asking the 'question of being'. His thought has contributed to the turn to hermeneutics and to postmodernism and poststructuralism. Moreover, the disclosure of his deep involvement in Nazism has provoked much debate about the relation of philosophy to politics. This edition brings to the fore other works, as well as alternative approaches to scholarship. The (...) essays cover topics such as Heidegger's conception of phenomenology, his relation to Kant and Husserl, his account of truth, and his stand on the realism/anti-realism debate. This edition includes a new preface by the editor, revised versions of several essays from the first edition, and an exhaustive bibliography, providing guidance for both newcomers to Heidegger's work and established scholars. (shrink)
As originally planned this volume was meant to cover a somewhat wider scope than, in fact, it has turned out to do. When, in rg68, I initially conceived of preparing it, it was proposed to deal with several aspects of early modern scepticism, in addition to the fortuna of the Academica, and to publish various loosely related pieces under the title of 'Studies in the History of Early Modern Scepticism. ' Thereby, I foresaw that I would exhaust my knowledge of (...) the subject and would then be able to turn my attention to other matters. In initiating my research on this topic, however, I soon found that there remained a much greater bulk of material to study than could possibly be dealt with between the covers of the single modest volume which I envisioned. My proposed section on Cicero's Academica was to cover between 50 and 75 pages in the original plan. It soon became apparent, however, especially after Joannes Rosa's hitherto unstudied commentary on Cicero's work was uncovered, that this material would have to be treated at a much greater length than I had foreseen. The present volume is the result of this expanded investigation. The monograph which has come from this alteration in plans has, I think, the virtues of continuity and cohesive ness and one hopes that these advantages offset the benefits of a broader scope which were sacrificed. (shrink)
A selection function based semantics is offered for the 'can' of ability based on the idea that 'John can run a four minute mile' is true iff John would do so under the right conditions, meaning that he would do so under at least one appropriately chosen test condition. Completeness is proved for an axiom system and semantics based on this idea, and the logic turns out to be interestingly different from any standard system of modal logic.
In a 1994 ANALYSIS article Peter Klein and Ted Warfield show that an epistemically more coherent set of beliefs often has a smaller unconditional probability of joint truth than some of its less coherent subsets. They conclude that epistemic justification, as understood in one version of a coherence theory of justification, is not truth conducive. After getting clear about what truth conduciveness requires, I show that their argument does not tell against BonJour's coherence theory.
This volume brings together for the first time some of the most helpful and insightful essays on the four most influential and discussed philosophers in the history of existentialism: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre.
In The Scientific Image B. C. van Fraassen argues that a theory of explanation ought to take the form of a theory of why-questions, and a theory of this form is what he provides. Van Fraassen's account of explanation is good, as far as it goes. In particular, van Fraassen's theory of why-questions adds considerable illumination to the problem of alternative explanations in psychodynamics. But van Fraassen's theory is incomplete because it ignores those classes of explanations that are answers not (...) to why-questions but to how-questions. In this article I provide a unified theory of explanatory questions that comprehends both how-questions and why-questions, and I show that a question-theoretic approach to explanation can be defended independently of van Fraassen's programme of Constructive Empiricism. (shrink)
In this essay I present a new version of the Paradox of the Knower and show that this new paradox vitiates a certain argument against epistemic closure. I then prove a theorem that relates the new paradox to epistemological scepticism. I conclude by assessing the use of the Knower in arguments against syntactical treatments of knowledge.
In this essay I renew the case for Conditional Excluded Middle in light of recent developments in the semantics of the subjunctive conditional. I argue that Michael Tooley's recent backward causation counterexample to the Stalnaker-Lewis comparative world similarity semantics undermines the strongest argument against CXM, and I offer a new, principled argument for the validity of CXM that is in no way undermined by Tooley's counterexample. Finally, I formulate a simple semantics for the subjunctive conditional that is consistent with both (...) CXM and Tooley's counterexample. (shrink)
The origins of this book go back to I956 when it was suggested to me that a study on the philosophy of Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola would furnish an important addition to our knowledge of the philoso phy of the Italian Renaissance. It was not, however, until I960 that I could devote a significant portion of my time to a realization of this goal. My work was essentially completed in 1963, at which time it was presented in its original form (...) as a doctoral dissertation in the Phi losophy Department of Columbia University. Since then I have made many minor improvements and several chapters have been extensively reworked. This study represents the first attempt in fifty years to give a detailed account of even a portion of Gianfrancesco Pico's life and thought. The most comprehensive previous study, Gertrude Bramlette Richards, "Gianfrancesco Pico della lv1irandola" (Cornell University Dissertation, I 9 I 5), which I have found very useful in preparing my own book, is largely based on secondary literature and is mistaken in a number of details. Furthermore, Miss Richards' treatment of Gian francesco Pico as a thinker is very sketchy and is not an exhaustive study of his own writings. It is hoped that my present study, built in part on her extensive bibliographical indications, brings forth a certain amount of new information which will be of value for further research. (shrink)
This paper examines the characteristics of infectious diseases that raise special medical and social ethical issues, and explores ways of integrating both current bioethical and classical public health ethics concerns. Many of the ethical issues raised by infectious diseases are related to these diseases' powerful ability to engender fear in individuals and panic in populations. We address the association of some infectious diseases with high morbidity and mortality rates, the sense that infectious diseases are caused by invasion or attack on (...) humans by foreign micro-organisms, the acute onset and rapid course of many infectious diseases, and, in particular, the communicability of infectious diseases. The individual fear and community panic associated with infectious diseases often leads to rapid, emotionally driven decision making about public health policies needed to protect the community that may be in conflict with current bioethical principles regarding the care of individual patients. The discussion includes recent examples where dialogue between public health practitioners and medical-ethicists has helped resolve ethical issues that require us to consider the infected patient as both a victim with individual needs and rights and as a potential vector of disease that is of concern to the community. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger is now widely recognised alongside Wittgenstein as one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. He redefined the central task of philosophy as the investigation of the nature of being, and has exerted a profound impact on literary theory, theology, psychotherapy, political theory, aesthetics, environmental studies, as well as mainstream philosophy. His thought has contributed to the recent turn to hermeneutics in philosophy and the social sciences, and to current post-modern and post-structuralist developments. The disclosing of his (...) deep involvement in the ideology of Nazism has provoked much debate about the relation of philosophy to politics. This volume contains both overviews of Heidegger's life and works and analysis of his most important work, Being and Time. In addition there are discussions of Heidegger's thought in relation to mysticism, traditional theology, ecology, psychotherapy and the philosophy of language. The volume also contains the first in-depth study of what has been called Heidegger's second greatest work, the Beitrage zur Philosophie. (shrink)
In “Backward Causation and the Stalnaker–Lewis Approach to Counterfactuals,” Analysis 62:191–7, (2002), Michael Tooley argues that if a certain kind of backward causation is possible, then a Stalnaker–Lewis comparative world similarity account of the truth conditions of counterfactuals cannot be sound. In “Tooley on Backward Causation,” Analysis 63:157–62, (2003), Paul Noordhof argues that Tooley’s example can be reconciled with a Stalnaker–Lewis account of counterfactuals if the comparative world similarity relation on which the Stalnaker–Lewis account relies is allowed to be antecedent-relative. (...) In this paper I show that taking comparative world similarity to be antecedent-relative results in a formal semantics which is a comparative world similarity semantics in name only. (shrink)
IN his recent book on Heidegger's concept of authenticity, Eclipse of the Self, Michael Zimmerman points out Heidegger's life-long attempt to link the theoretical-ontological questions of traditional philosophy with the personal-existential issues of everyday life. The aim of grounding the "question of Being" in a deeper, more authentic way of being human is most strikingly evident in Being and Time. There the seemingly most abstract of all metaphysical questions--What is the meaning of Being?--is posed in terms of the most intensely (...) personal question facing any individual--What is the meaning of human existence? To answer the former question appropriately, Heidegger claims, we must transform our approach to the latter. And this in turn requires a radical alteration in the quality of our lives. Despite Heidegger's insistence that his ontological findings have no evaluative import, the exhortative tone of the account of authenticity is unmistakable. He quotes with full approval Count Yorck's description of his own philosophy: "The practical aim of our standpoint is pedagogical in the broadest sense of the word". Its goal is "to make possible the cultivation of individuality". Emerging out of an age that perceived itself as a time of profound crisis, a period shaken by intellectual currents of relativism, scientific materialism, Darwinism, and the complete secularization of life, Being and Time attempts to combat the "groundlessness" of the contemporary world by uncovering enduring values and meanings within the framework of "worldliness" and human finitude. The "question of Being" is no exercise in arcane speculation; its aim is to restore a sense of the gravity and responsibility of existence by recovering a more profound grasp of what it is to be. (shrink)
In this essay I renew the case for Conditional Excluded Middle (CXM) in light of recent developments in the semantics of the subjunctive conditional. I argue that Michael Tooley’s recent backward causation counterexample to the Stalnaker-Lewis comparative world similarity semantics undermines the strongest argument against CXM, and I offer a new, principled argument for the validity of CXM that is in no way undermined by Tooley’s counterexample. Finally, I formulate a simple semantics for the subjunctive conditional that is consistent with (...) both CXM and Tooley’s counterexample. (shrink)
In “The Paradox of the Knower without Epistemic Closure”, MIND 110:319-33, 2001, I develop a version of the Knower Paradox which does not assume epistemic closure, and I use it to argue that the original Knower Paradox does not support an argument against epistemic closure. In “The Paradox of the Knower without Epistemic Closure?”, MIND 113:95-107, 2004, Gabriel Uzquiano, using his own result, argues that my rebuttal to the anti-closure argument is not successful. I respond here by arguing that in (...) order to use Uzquiano’s result in an argument against closure, one must assume an implausible skepticism about arithmetic. (shrink)
[IMPORTANT CORRECTION - See end of abstract.] In Syntactical Treatments of Modality, with Corollaries on Reflexion Principles and Finite Axiomatizability, Acta Philosophica Fennica 16 (1963), 153–167, Richard Montague shows that the use of a single syntactic predicate (with a context-independent semantic value) to represent modalities of alethic necessity and idealized knowledge leads to inconsistency. In A Note on Syntactical Treatments of Modality, Synthese 44 (1980), 391–395, Richmond Thomason obtains a similar impossibility result for idealized belief: under a syntactical treatment of (...) belief, the assumption that idealized belief is deductively closed, together with certain other plausible conditions on idealized belief, imply that an ideal believer with consistent beliefs cannot believe the truth of Robinson's Arithmetic. In this essay I assert an impossibility result similar to Thomason's but which does not assume that belief is deductively closed or ideal in any other way. There are technical mistakes in the formulations of Lemmas 1-4 and Theorem 2, however. Corrections can be found in the Erratum section of the author's website. (shrink)
This penetrating book sheds light on the psychology of fundamentalism, with a particular focus on those who become extremists and fanatics. What accounts for the violence that emerges among some fundamentalist groups? The contributors to this book identify several factors: a radical dualism, in which all aspects of life are bluntly categorized as either good or evil; a destructive inclination to interpret authoritative texts, laws, and teachings in the most literal of terms; an extreme and totalized conversion experience; paranoid thinking; (...) and an apocalyptic world view. After examining each of these concepts in detail, and showing the ways in which they lead to violence among widely disparate groups, these engrossing essays explore such areas as fundamentalism in the American experience and among jihadists, and they illuminate aspects of the same psychology that contributed to such historical crises as the French Revolution, the Nazi movement, and post-Partition Hindu religious practice. (shrink)
I give a critique of the argument against the Identity of Indiscernibles found in Max Black's dialogue "The Identity of Indiscernibles". I begin by postulating and giving existence and individuation conditions for actually existent thought experiment characters on analogy with fictional characters as postulated in Peter van Inwagen's "Creatures of Fiction". I then show that Black's two-spheres thought experiment raises not one but two discernibility questions: 1) Is it true in the two-spheres thought experiment that there exist two indiscernible spheres? (...) NO. 2) Is it true in the actual world that there are two indiscernible sphere-characters? YES. (shrink)
Using NORC annual survey data, the authors selected 21 questions describing respondent attitudes toward job, life in general, and financial status. Respondents were catigorized as management, white collar, blue collar, and those not affiliated with business organizations. Attitudes were compared across the four occupational groups. Little dissatisfaction was found in any but the blue collar group. Management as a group, and men as well as women managers showed high levels of satisfaction, with few significant differences found in responses by men (...) and women. This study does not support the earlier finding of widespread alienation in business firms. (shrink)
In  a semantics for implication is offered that makes use of stories — sets of sentences assembled under various constraints. Sentences are evaluated at an actual world and in each member of a set of stories. A sentence B is true in a story s just when B s. A implies B iff for all stories and the actual world, whenever A is true, B is true. In this article the first-order language of  is extended by the addition (...) of the operator the story... says that..., as in The story Flashman among the Redskins says that Flashman met Sitting Bull. The resulting language is shown to be sound and complete. (shrink)
In 'Syntactical Treatments of Modality, with Corollaries on Reflexion Principles and Finite Axiomatizability', "Acta Philosophica Fennica" 16, 153-167, Richard Montague shows that the use of a single syntactic predicate to represent modalities of alethic necessity and idealized knowledge leads to inconsistency. In 'A Note on Syntactical Treatments of Modality', "Synthese" 44, 391-395, Richmond Thomason obtains a similar impossibility result for idealized belief: under a syntactical treatment of belief, the assumption that idealized belief is deductively closed, together with certain other plausible (...) conditions on idealized belief, imply that an ideal believer with consistent beliefs cannot believe the truth of Robinson's Arithmetic. In this essay I show that an impossibility result similar to Thomason's can be obtained which does not assume that belief is deductively closed or ideal in any other way. (shrink)
Despite the results of David Lewis, Peter Gärdenfors, and others, showing that imaging and classical conditionalization coincide only in the most trivial probabilistic models of belief revision, it turns out that imaging on a proposition A can always be described via Popper function conditionalization on a proposition that entails A. This result generalizes to any method of belief revision meeting certain minimal requirements. The proof is illustrated by an application of imaging in the context of the Monty Hall Problem.