A dual referent approach to colour theory maintains that colour names have two intended, equally legitimate referents. For example, one might argue that ‘red’ refers both to red appearances or qualia, and also to the way red objects reflect light, the spectral surface reflectance properties of red things. I argue that normal cases of perceptual relativity can be used to support a dual referent approach, yielding an understanding of colour whose natural extension includes abnormal cases of perceptual relativity. This contrasts (...) with Peacocke’s multi-referent view, according to which such abnormal cases force us to introduce a wholly distinct kind of colour experience. I also argue that the two uses of colour names, arising from their two referents, have different extensions, even in normal perceptual circumstances, a consequence which conflicts with the heart of Rosenthal’s dual referent view. (shrink)
One of the most noteworthy features of David Gauthier's rational choice, contractarian theory of morality is its appeal to self-interested rationality. This appeal, however, will undoubtedly be the source of much controversy and criticism. For while self-interestedness is characteristic of much human behavior, it is not characteristic of all such behavior, much less of that which is most admirable. Yet contractarian ethics appears to assume that humans are entirely self-interested. It is not usually thought a virtue of a theory (...) that its assumptions are literally false. What may be said on behalf of the contractarian? (shrink)
What are preferences and are they reasons for action? Is it rational to cooperate with others even if that entails acting against one's preferences? The dominant position in philosophy on the topic of practical rationality is that one acts so as to maximize the satisfaction of one's preferences. This view is most closely associated with the work of David Gauthier, and in this collection of essays some of the most innovative philosophers working in this field explore the controversies surrounding (...) Gauthier's position. Several essays argue against influential conceptions of preference, while others suggest that received conceptions of rational action misidentify the normative significance of rules and practices. This collection will be of particular interest to philosophers of social theory and to reflective social scientists in such fields as economics, political science and psychology. (shrink)
Peacocke argues that all epistemic entitlements depend at bottom on a priori entitlements, determined by "constitutive conditions" for the application of concepts. He does not address familiar doubts about the distinction between constitutive and nonconstitutive conditions of application. In addition, Peacocke conflates issues about inference with issues about implication and proof and seriously misrepresents David Lewis' view about the content of indicative conditionals.
In the opening chapter of this book, Timothy Costelloe develops an interpretation of Hume's doctrines in "Of the Standard of Taste" and then proceeds, in the second chapter, by extending that interpretation to Hume's moral philosophy. According to Costelloe, the "real value" of his attempt to clarify Hume's essay is to be found in the broader application. But since that value will not be real unless the interpretation of the essay has merit, the first chapter is clearly vital to the (...) enterprise, and so deserves particular attention.Costelloe sides with those who emphasize, on Hume's behalf, the rules of art rather than the joint verdict of true judges, and he wants to. (shrink)
Thinking about Consciousness is a wonderfully clear and vigorous commen- tary on the nature of consciousness and its relationship to brain processes. It advances the contemporary discussion of a number of important issues, but it also introduces several quite valuable ideas that are independent of the con- temporary literature. Papineau has performed an important service by writing it.