Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle is a collection of essays composed by students and friends of Thomas L. Pangle to honor his seminal work and outstanding guidance in the study of political philosophy. These essays examine both Socrates' and modern political philosophers' attempts to answer the question of the right life for human beings, as those attempts are introduced and elaborated in the work of thinkers from Homer and Thucydides to Nietzsche and Charles Taylor.
Kant's claim that modality is a 'category' provides an approach to modality to be contrasted with Lewis's reductive analysis. Lewis's position is unsatisfactory, since it depends on an inherently modal conception of a world. This suggests that modality is 'primitive'; and the Kantian position is a prima facie plausible position of this kind, which is filled out by considering the relationship between modality and inference. This provides a context for comparing the Kantian position with Wright's non-cognitivist 'conventionalism'. Wright's position is (...) vulnerable to the type of argument used against ethical non-cognitivism, and the Kantian position is further confirmed by Blackburn's acknowledgment that modality is 'antinaturalistic to its core'. The position is further elaborated to show that it can accommodate the famous Kripkean categories of the empirically necessary and the contingent a priori, and finally defended against the criticisms used by Quine against Carnap. (shrink)
Sartre presented ‘Existentialism and Humanism’ to a popular audience in Paris late in 1945. As he implies in the discussion which is appended to the text of the lecture, he was here simplifying his views so as to make them intelligible to a wide audience. In this he succeeded only too well; the lecture has become exceedingly well known and has been regarded as a definitive presentation not only of Sartre's philosophy at the time, but also of ‘existentialism’. One thing (...) I hope to show in this essay is that this is not a sensible view to take; Sartre's text requires a good deal of interpretation and qualification in the light of his other writings of the period, and what emerges is a position which is uniquely his own. One way in which this can be seen is by considering Heidegger's ‘Letter on Humanism’ of 1947 which is a response to Sartre's lecture and is, indeed, Heidegger's only direct response to Sartre's work. In the lecture Sartre had associated Heidegger with himself as an ‘existential atheist’, but in his letter Heidegger emphatically dissociates himself both from atheism and from existentialism as characterized by Sartre, and goes on to criticize the position advanced by Sartre in the lecture. Yet despite the popular exaggeration of the significance of Sartre's lecture, it is certainly worth studying; for not only is it short and accessible, though in some respects misleading, it is also one of Sartre's few indications of the positive ethical theory which so many of his writings require but do not supply. (shrink)
Moore much disliked the names ‘George Edward’ which his parents had bestowed upon him. Hence he was always known just as ‘Moore’ in his professional life, although at home there seems to have been a profusion of names—in his Commonplace Book he writes1: ‘I used to be called “Jumbo’, and used to be called “Tommy”; & also “Georgie”, & am still called by my brothers and sisters “George”; by Dorothy & others I am called “Bill”…‘.
Griffiths (2001) make a number of comments about James Mark Baldwin's motivations and character at the time that he was developing what later became known as the "Baldwin effect." Some of these comments I found to be misleading. I attempt to correct the historical record concerning the origins of the "Baldwin effect.".
With the goal of better understanding how science, religion, and poetic art came together in the work of Christopher Southgate, the authors first explore his spiritual poetry. They come away with a better understanding of the author’s commitment to a broad naturalism that contributes, along with his own faith experience, to his prose works in the emerging field of ecotheology. The authors conclude that Southgate’s work is part of the worldwide emergence of a theological rationale that supports environmentalism, the (...) protection of species, and the conservation of biodiversity. The authors find Southgate’s poetry warm, appealing, accessible, and re-readable to good effect, but with a thread of danger and warning throughout. Both features are quite appropriate for the environmental movement in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
The so-called “Baldwin Effect” has been studied for years in the fields of Artificial Life, Cognitive Science, and Evolutionary Theory across disciplines. This idea is often conflated with genetic assimilation, and has raised controversy in trans-disciplinary scientific discourse due to the many interpretations it has. This paper revisits the “Baldwin Effect” in Baldwin’s original spirit from a joint historical, theoretical and experimental approach. Social Heredity – the inheritance of cultural knowledge via non-genetic means in Baldwin’s term (...) – is also taken into consideration. I shall argue that the Baldwin Effect can occur via social heredity without necessity for genetic assimilation. Computational experiments are carried out to show that when social heredity is permitted with high fidelity, there is no need for the assimilation of acquired characteristics; instead the Baldwin Effect occurs as promoting more plasticity to facilitate future intelligence. The role of mind and intelligence in evolution and its implications in an extended synthesis of evolution are briefly discussed. (shrink)
The so-called Baldwin Effect generally says how learning, as a form of ontogenetic adaptation, can influence the process of phylogenetic adaptation, or evolution. This idea has also been taken into computation in which evolution and learning are used as computational metaphors, including evolving neural networks. This paper presents a technique called evolving self-taught neural networks – neural networks that can teach themselves without external supervision or reward. The self-taught neural network is intrinsically motivated. Moreover, the self-taught neural network is (...) the product of the interplay between evolution and learning. We simulate a multi-agent system in which neural networks are used to control autonomous agents. These agents have to forage for resources and compete for their own survival. Experimental results show that the interaction between evolution and the ability to teach oneself in self-taught neural networks outperform evolution and self-teaching alone. More specifically, the emergence of an intelligent foraging strategy is also demonstrated through that interaction. Indications for future work on evolving neural networks are also presented. (shrink)
This paper argues that while Heidegger showed the importance of architecture in altering people's modes of being to avoid global ecological destruction, the work of Christopher Alexander offered a far more practical orientation to deal with this problem.
In recent years, many scholars have suggested that the Baldwin effect may play an important role in the evolution of language. However, the Baldwin effect is a multifaceted and controversial process and the assessment of its connection with language is difficult without a formal model. This paper provides a first step in this direction. We examine a game-theoretic model of the interaction between plasticity and evolution in the context of a simple language game. Additionally, we describe three distinct (...) aspects of the Baldwin effect: the Simpson– Baldwin effect, the Baldwin expediting effect and the Baldwin optimizing effect. We find that a simple model of the evolution of language lends theoretical plausibility to the existence of the Simpson– Baldwin and the Baldwin optimizing effects in this arena, but not the Baldwin expediting effect. (shrink)
“Marlowe wrote Edward The Second in 1590. He found a suitable tragic theme in the Holinshed’s account of Edward II’s reign though it was not a promising dramatic material from the chronological point of view as the events were disjointed and uninspiring disastrous. Improper coordinates of the sources has left its mark on Marlowe’s play, nevertheless, this is his most finished and satisfactory of plays…Edward The Second can surely be regarded as Marlowe’s finest technical achievement.” (Edited, Dr. S. Sen…)[http://philpapers.org/profile/112741].
David Papineau (2003; 2005) has discussed the relationship between social learning and the family of postulated evolutionary processes that includes ‘organic selection’, ‘coincident selection’, ‘autonomisation’, ‘the Baldwin effect’ and ‘genetic assimilation’. In all these processes a trait which initially develops in the members of a population as a result of some interaction with the environment comes to develop without that interaction in their descendants. It is uncontroversial that the development of an identical phenotypic trait might depend on an interaction (...) with the environment in one population and not in another. For example, some species of passerine songbirds require exposure to species-typical songs in order to reproduce those songs whilst others do not. Hence we can envisage a species beginning with one type of developmental pathway and evolving the other type. If, however, the successive evolution of these two developmental pathways were a mere coincidence, selection first favoring the ability to acquire the trait and later, quite independently, favoring the ability to develop it autonomously, then this would not be a distinctive kind of evolutionary process, but merely two standard instances of natural selection. George Gaylord Simpson pointed this out in the paper that gave us the term ‘Baldwin effect’ (Simpson, 1953). The real interest of the Baldwin effect and its relatives lies in the mechanisms which might link the evolution of the two developmental pathways, so that acquiring the trait through interaction with the environment makes it more likely that later generations will evolve the ability to acquire the same trait without that interaction. (shrink)
This article examines the philosophical teaching of a colorful Oxford alumnus and Roman Catholic convert, Christopher Davenport, also known as Franciscus à Sancta Clara or Francis Coventry. At the peak of Puritan power during the English Interregnum and after five of his Franciscan confrères had perished for their missionary work, our author tried boldly to claim modern cosmology and atomism as the unrecognized fruits of medieval Scotism. His hope was to revive English pride in the golden age of medieval (...) Oxford and to defend English Franciscans as more legitimately patriotic and scientifically progressive than Puritan millenarians. (shrink)
In the current evolutionary debate, the «Baldwin Effect» is increasingly mentioned. The aim of this article is to teoretically analyze the original form of this concept, initially called “organic selection”, through the thought of one of its main advocates: James Mark Baldwin. His evolutionary observations, almost forgotten in Modern Synthesis’s refolmulations of «Baldwin Effect», appear widely original in view of contemporary attempt to «extend» the darwinian paradigm.
An introduction to the March, 2005 symposium “The Political Theory of Organizations: A Retrospective Examination of Christopher McMahon’s Authority and Democracy” held in San Francisco as part of the Society for Business Ethics Group Meeting at the Pacific Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association.
The aim of this article is to establish—and explore—James Baldwin’s significance for educational theory. Through a close reading of ‘Everybody’s Protest Novel’, I show that Baldwin’s thinking is an important precursor to the work of Stanley Cavell and Cora Diamond, and is relevant to a number of problems that are educationally significant, in particular problems of race and racism.
This paper is about Christopher Wren’s engravings for Thomas Willis’ The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves of 1664. It is a study in the intersection of medicine and art in 17th century Britain. Willis, an eminent English physician and anatomist, was a major figure in the development of modern neurology, and The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves was his most famous and influential book. Wren was Willis’ assistant and medical artist. I discuss the visual strategies employed by (...) Wren to present their research and frame it as genuine knowledge. (shrink)
The untimely passing of Reverend Canon Dr Christopher Newell, AM, came as a shock to many in the bioethics world. As well as an obituary, this article notes a number of important themes in his work, and provides a select bibliography. Christopher's major contribution to this field is that he was one of a handful of scholars who made disability not only an acceptable area of bioethics—indeed a vital, central, fertile area of enquiry. Crucially Christopher emphasised that (...) where we do ethics is actually in everyday life—while we mourn his passing, his rich work and example will continue to inspire bioethical inquiry. (shrink)
Muchos autores consideran actualmente al efecto Baldwin (la idea de que comportamientos aprendidos pueden llegar a heredarse) como un potente mecanismo evolutivo. Sin embargo, su importancia deriva de la asunción neodarwinista de que la herencia es un mecanismo puramente genético. Desde una noción m..
This volume brings together some of the most well-known and highly respected commentators on the work of Jacques Derrida from Britain and America in a series of essays written to commemorate the life and come to terms with the death of one of the most important intellectual presences of our time. Derrida’s thought reached into nearly every corner of contemporary intellectual culture and the difference he has made is incalculable. He was indeed controversial but the astonishing originality of his work, (...) always marked by the care, precision and respect with which he read the work of others, leaves us with a philosophical, ethical and political legacy that will be both lasting and decisive. The sometimes personal, always insightful essays reflect on the multiple ways in which Derrida’s work has marked intellectual culture in general and the literary and philosophical culture of Britain and America in particular. The outstanding contributors offer an interdisciplinary view, investigating areas such as deconstruction, ethics, time, irony, technology, location and truth. This book provides a rich and faithful context for thinking about the significance of Derrida’s own work as an event that arrived and perhaps still remains to arrive in our time. Contributors: Derek Attridge, Thomas Baldwin, Geoffrey Bennington, Rachel Bowlby, Alex Callinicos, David E. Cooper, Simon Critchley, Robert Eaglestone, Simon Glendinning, Marian Hobson, Christopher Johnson, Peggy Kamuf, Michael Naas, Nicholas Royle. (shrink)
‘Greek Ethics’, an undergraduate class taught by the British moral philosopher N. J. H. Dent, introduced this reviewer to the ethical philosophy of ancient Greece. The class had a modest purview—a sequence of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle—but it proved no less effective, in retrospect, than more synoptic classes for having taken this apparently limited and (for its students and academic level) appropriate focus. This excellent Companion will now serve any such class extremely well, allowing students a broader exposure than that (...) traditional sequence, without sacrificing the class’s circumscribed focus. The eighteen chapters encompass some of what went before, and surprisingly much of what came after, those three central philosophers—including, for instance, a discussion of Plotinus and his successors, as well as a discussion of Horace. The book will therefore be useful in many different types of class on ethical philosophy in the ancient world. This Companion will be useful not only to students, but also to at least three further groups: specialists in ancient Greek philosophy (since some contributors advance significant new positions, e.g. R. Kamtekar on Plato’s ethical psychology and D. Charles on Aristotle’s ‘ergon argument’ as already implicitly invoking ‘to kalon’); scholars working in academic subjects adjacent to ancient Greek philosophy; and contemporary moral philosophers. (shrink)
With the goal of understanding how Christopher Southgate communicates his in-depth knowledge of both science and theology, we investigated the many roles he assumes as a teacher. We settled upon wide-ranging topics that all intertwine: (1) his roles as author and coordinating editor of a premier textbook on science and theology, now in its third edition; (2) his oral presentations worldwide, including plenaries, workshops, and short courses; and (3) the team teaching approach itself, which is often needed by others (...) because the knowledge of science and theology do not always reside in the same person. Southgate provides, whenever possible, teaching contexts that involve students in experiential learning, where they actively participate with other students.We conclude that Southgate’s ultimate goal is to teach students how to reconcile science and theology in their values and beliefs, so that they can take advantage of both forms of rational thinking in their own personal and professional lives. The co-authors consider several examples of models that have been successfully used by people in various fields to integrate science and religion. (shrink)
Christopher Peacocke’s A Study of Concepts is a dense and rewarding work. Each chapter raises many issues for discussion. I know three different people who are writing reviews of the volume. It testifies to the depth of Peacocke’s book that each reviewer is focusing on a quite different set of topics.
In 1991, I included a brief discussion of the Baldwin effect in my account of the evolution of human consciousness, thinking I was introducing to non-specialist readers a little-appreciated, but no longer controversial, wrinkle in orthodox neo-Darwinism. I had thought that Hinton and Nowlan (1987) and Maynard Smith (1987) had shown clearly and succinctly how and why it worked, and restored the neglected concept to grace. Here is how I put it then.
I argue that too much attention has been paid to the Baldwin effect. George Gaylord Simpson was probably right when he said that the effect is theoretically possible and may have actually occurred but that this has no major implications for evolutionary theory. The Baldwin effect is not even central to Baldwin's own account of social heredity and biology-culture co-evolution, an account that in important respects resembles the modern ideas of epigenetic inheritance and niche-construction.
In this interview, Christopher Norris discusses a wide range of issues having to do with postmodernism, deconstruction and other controversial topics of debate within present-day philosophy and critical theory. More specifically he challenges the view of deconstruction as just another offshoot of the broader postmodernist trend in cultural studies and the social sciences. Norris puts the case for deconstruction as continuing the 'unfinished project of modernity' and—in particular—for Derrida's work as sustaining the values of enlightened critical reason in various (...) spheres of thought from epistemology to ethics, sociology and politics. Along the way he addresses a number of questions that have lately been raised with particular urgency for teachers and educationalists, among them the revival of creationist doctrine and the idea of scientific knowledge as a social, cultural, or discursive construct. In this context he addresses the 'science wars' or the debate between those who uphold t. (shrink)
For intellectuals, and probably others, one form of escapism is a kind of constricted and shallow hyper-realism—the hyper-realism of having a dead-end job, even though one has a PhD or an IQ of 170. And that sort of hyper-realism is pseudo-realism, because realism is not about having a bad life; it is having the courage to have a good life, which the intellectual with the dead end job does not have.
Professor Christopher Stead was Ely Professor of Divinity from 1971 until his retirement in 1980 and one of the great contributors to the Oxford Patristic Conferences for many years. In this paper I reflect on his work in Patristics, and I attempt to understand how his interests diverged from the other major contributors in the same period, and how they were formed by his philosophical milieu and the spirit of the age. As a case study to illustrate and diagnose (...) his approach, I shall focus on a debate between Stead and Rowan Williams about the significance of the word idios in Arius's theology (in the course of which I also make some suggestions of my own about the issue). (shrink)
This has been an excellent opportunity for me to get a sense of what scholars in fields other than my own (viz., theological social ethics) think I am trying to do, and whether there might be some sense in it. But in all honesty, I must say that the experience of reading and pondering the articles by Lewis Baldwin and Dwayne Tunstall in this issue of The Pluralist has been both enlightening and a joy, inasmuch as it has been (...) an opportunity for me to find out what I have been doing in the academy for the last twenty-five years and where might be some of the limitations as well as promise in my work.When I read these articles, I recalled an experience that second-generation personalist Francis J. McConnell reported .. (shrink)