Over a long career of teaching and writing in the area of moral theology Charles E. Curran has experienced large areas of agreement with John Paul II on issues of social justice even while in other areas of personal and sexual issues the two are in serious disagreement. This phenomenon of agreement/disagreement has suggested to Curran that the pope is guilty of using a double methodology in his moral theological writing. Curran's book, The Moral Theology of Pope John Paul II, (...) seeks to uncover and substantiate the root of their agreements and disagreements. This article seeks to evaluate Curran's theory. This analysis is done in two parts: first, an examination of the evidence that Curran presents to support his charge against the pope, and second, an examination of the alternative possibility that it is Curran who has the double methodology rather than the pope. (shrink)
In evolutionary biology changes in population structure are explained by citing trait fitness distribution. I distinguish three interpretations of fitness explanations—the Two‐Factor Model, the Single‐Factor Model, and the Statistical Interpretation—and argue for the last of these. These interpretations differ in their degrees of causal commitment. The first two hold that trait fitness distribution causes population change. Trait fitness explanations, according to these interpretations, are causal explanations. The last maintains that trait fitness distribution correlates with population change but does not cause (...) it. My defense of the Statistical Interpretation relies on a distinctive feature of causation. Causes conform to the Sure Thing Principle. Trait fitness distributions, I argue, do not. *Received July 2009; revised October 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy/Institute for the History, Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, Victoria College, 91 Charles Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1K7, Canada; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
We outline our central reasons for pursuing the project of equality studies and some of the thinking we have done within an equality studies framework. We try to show that a multi-dimensional conceptual framework, applied to a set of key social contexts and articulating the concerns of subordinate social groups, can be a fruitful way of putting the idea of equality into practice. Finally, we address some central questions about how to bring about egalitarian social change.
We reply to discussions of Equality: From Theory to Action by Harry Brighouse, Joanne Conaghan, Cillian McBride and Stuart White. We find many of their points helpful and treat them as a useful contribution to a continuing dialogue on egalitarianism.
The axiom of comparability has been a fundamental part of mathematical choice theory from its beginnings. This axiom was a natural first assumption for a theory of choice originally constructed to explain decision making where other assumptions such as continuous divisibility of choice spaces could legitimately also be made. Once the generality of application of formal choice theory becomes apparent, it also becomes apparent that both continuity assumptions and the axiom of comparability may be unduly restrictive and lead to the (...) neglect of decision situations which are important and which can be handled on a modified axiom set. These considerations bear on the philosophical analysis of the concept of rational decision. (shrink)
[David Charles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being (eudaimonia) with one activity (intellectual contemplation), sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the best (...) life available for humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
The papers collected in this volume are the proceedings of the 1999 Royal Institute of Philosophy conference: the theme of the conference, the same as the title of this collection, Naturalism, Evolution and Mind. The essays collected here cover a wide array of disparate themes in philosophy, psychology, evolutionary biology and the philosophy of science. They range in subject matter from the mind/body problem and the nature of philosophical naturalism, to the naturalization of psychological norms to the naturalization of phenomenal (...) and intentional content, from the methodology cognitive ethology to issues in evolutionary psychology. They are united by the simple thought that the great promise of current naturalism in philosophy of mind resides in its potential to reveal mental phenomena as continuous with other phenomena of the natural world, particularly with other biological phenomena. (shrink)
Few major philosophers show evidence of having studied the works of their predecessors with special care, even in cases where they were subject to particular influences which they were ready to acknowledge. Hume knew that he was working in the tradition of ‘some late philosophers in England, who have begun to put the science of man on a new footing’—‘Mr Locke, my Lord Shaftsbury, Dr Mandeville, Mr Hutchinson, Dr Butler, &c.’ But there is not much sign in the Treatise or (...) elsewhere in Hume's writings of any close acquaintance with the works of these authors; the presumption must be that he had read them at some time and extracted the main ideas, but was not in the habit of returning to their texts. He had something more important to do, namely to work at philosophical problems of his own. Similarly Kant, though he said that the Critique of Pure Reason was not meant to be ‘a critique of books and systems, but of the faculty of reason in general’, had clearly felt the impact of the thought of some important past philosophers, but equally had never spent much time in finding out just what these philosophers had to say. Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Leibniz and Hume all get fairly frequent mention in his pages. But Kant takes his knowledge of Plato and Aristotle from J. J. Brucker's Historia critica philosophiae , a six-volume compilation which first appeared in 1742, or from doubtful sources such as Mendelssohn's doctored translation of the Phaedo , and though he doubtless knew the more recent authors at first hand clearly felt no need to study them in any depth. This was true even of writers to whom he attributed a particular importance, such as Leibniz and Hume. The references to Hume in the Critique and Prolegomena are all disappointingly general, and though the summary of Leibniz's philosophy in the section called ‘The Amphiboly of Concepts of Reflection’ has a certain force, it is not documented with references to Leibnizian texts. Kant knows that there is a difference between the views of the historical Leibniz and those which constituted the ‘Leibnizian-Wolffian system’ of his successors. But he is not very curious about the difference, or inclined to explore it. (shrink)
Hume's explicit pronouncements about truth are few and unenlightening. In a well-known passage near the beginning of Book III of the Treatise he writes that ‘Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. Truth or falsehood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact.’ Hume's main concern in this passage, however, is not with the concept of truth, but with his thesis that moral distinctions are not derived (...) from reason: he introduces his reference to truth only with a view to showing that our ‘passions, volitions and actions … being original facts and realities, complete in themselves,’ are not susceptible of the agreement and disagreement spoken of, and therefore cannot be said to be true or false, in conformity with or contrary to reason. The account of truth given here is not elaborated, and perhaps not even thought to need elaboration. Similarly with another passage a few pages earlier in which Hume says that ‘Truth is of two kinds, consisting either in the discovery of the proportions of ideas, considered as such, or in the conformity of our ideas of objects to their real existence’ . Here again his interest is not in truth itself but in ‘curiosity, or the love of truth,’ the passion which, Hume says, ‘was the first source of all our inquiries’ . Hume seems to take it for granted that nothing more needs to be said about what it is to discover ‘the proportions of ideas, considered as such,’ or about the circumstances in which we can speak of there being ‘conformity’ or the lack of it between our ideas of objects and their real existence. So far as he is concerned the central point to grasp is the distinction between propositions which have to do with relations of ideas and those which express, or purport to express, matters of fact. Once this distinction is clear, the nature of truth is supposed to be plain. (shrink)
The apparently distinct aesthetic values of naturalism and neoclassicism came together in creative tension and fusion in much late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century sculptural theory and practice. The hybrid styles that resulted suited the requirements of the European sculpture-buying public. Both aesthetics, however, created difficulties for the German Idealists who represented a particularly uncompromising strain of Romantic theory. In their view, naturalism was too closely bound to the observable, familiar world, while neoclassicism was too wedded to notions of clearly defined (...) forms. This article explores sculptural practice and theory at this time as a site of complex debates around the medium's potential for specific concrete representation in a context of competing Romantic visions of modernity. (shrink)
0. Philippe Huneman and Charles T. Wolfe: Introduction 1. Tobias Cheung, “What is an ‘organism’? On the occurrence of a new term and its conceptual transformations 1680-1850” 2. Charles T. Wolfe, “Do organisms have an ontological status?” 3. John Symons, “The individuality of artifacts and organisms” 4. Thomas Pradeu, “What is an organism? An immunological answer” 5. Matteo Mossio & Alvaro Moreno, “Organisational closure in biological organisms” 6. Laura Nuño de la Rosa, “Becoming organisms. The organisation of development and the (...) development of organisation” 7. Denis Walsh, “Two Neo-Darwinisms” 8. Philippe Huneman, “Assessing the prospects for a return of organisms in evolutionary biology” 9. Johannes Martens, “Organisms in evolution” 10. Susan Oyama, “Biologists behaving badly: Vitalism and the language of language” . (shrink)
Charles Taylor’s idea of “deep diversity” has played a major role in the debates around multiculturalism in Canada and around the world. Originally, the idea was meant to account for how the different national communities within Canada – those of the English-speaking Canadians, the French-speaking Quebeckers, and the Aboriginals – conceive of their belonging to the country in different ways. But Taylor conceives of these differences strictly in terms of irreducibility; that is, he fails to see that they also exist (...) in such a way that the country cannot be said to form a unified whole. After giving an account of the philosophical as well as religious reasons behind his position, the chapter goes on to describe some of its political implications. (shrink)
Charles Sanders Peirce , the most important and influential of the classical American philosophers, is credited as the inventor of the philosophical school of pragmatism. The scope and significance of his work have had a lasting effect not only in several fields of philosophy but also in mathematics, the history and philosophy of science, and the theory of signs, as well as in literary and cultural studies. Largely obscure until after his death, Peirce's life has long been a subject of (...) interest and dispute. Unfortunately, previous biographies often confuse as much as they clarify crucial matters in Peirce's story. Ketner's new biographical project is remarkable not only for its entertaining aspects but also for its illuminating insights into Peirce's life, his thought, and the intellectual milieu in which he worked. (shrink)
The article focuses on the Philosophy of Freedom of the Swiss philosopher Charles Secrétan (1815-1895) and on the attempt to reconcile freedom as the fundamental experience for the human being with the alleged necessitarianism that would result from the positive sciences. The notion of “fall” as it is found in the Christian tradition allows Secrétan to rediscover an original dimension from which we can conceive the laws of nature as contingent. It is space and time that impose their constraints and (...) lead to the mismatch between the different faculties (sensitivity, imagination, intelligence, will) that is constitutive for the human experience and that prevents us from “being at any moment the whole of ourselves”. A peculiarity of Secrétan’s conception of space is that he does not see it as a condition for the numerical plurality of human beings. (shrink)