Barack Obama is often lauded as a 'pragmatist,' yet when most people employ the term, they mean it in the vaguest sense: that he's practical and willing to compromise to get things done. However, the public philosophy of pragmatism, which has been the subject of a rich revival in the past couple of decades, is far more than this. First developed in the late nineteenth century, pragmatism is primarily a way of thinking--an anti-dualist philosophy that attempts to overcome the dichotomies (...) between self and object, nature and culture, mind and body, theory and practice, and fact and value. When applied to governance, pragmatists advocate the use of tactics like third party mediation and problem-solving to achieve anti-dualist principles: cosmopolitan localism, analytical holism, progressive conservatism, and processual structuralism. In Pragmatist Governance, Chris Ansell begins with a theory of the concept and then explains why the approach is ideal for addressing today's governance problems. For instance, while many think that bureaucracy's unchecked growth is the fundamental problem facing democracy today, pragmatism suggests the opposite: that public agencies can effectively manage the relationship between governance and democracy if they focus on building consent for public problem-solving. Ansell argues that wishing away bureaucracy will not do given what we know about the indispensible role of institutions in contemporary governance. Utilizing pragmatist concepts, Ansell rethinks the design of institutions, arguing that they are neither the simple products of rational design that can be endlessly tinkered with nor 'congealed taste'--where institutions represent the timeless customs and values of a people. Along with overcoming this dualism, Ansell also challenges us to rethink our approach to governance. Instead of moving from one extreme to the other--from bureaucracy to 'post-bureaucracy' or 'public entrepreneurialism'--pragmatism would not merely seek to replace one with the other, but rather to hitch the two approaches together in an innovative amalgam where organizational leaders constantly interact with and learn from street-level bureaucrats. Pragmatist Governance concludes that if government is to regain public trust, the technical knowledge of experts must be brought together with sensitivity to local problems, situations, and knowledge. The answer lies not, however, in a diminished bureaucracy. That may only deepen distrust. Rather, the emphasis should be on taking the best of both sides to find innovative and effective ways to solve enduring public problems. (shrink)
This “open letter” to Christopher Boorse is a response to his influential naturalist analysis of disease from the perspective of linguistic-analytic value theory. The key linguistic-analytic point against Boorse is that, although defining disease value free, he continue to use the term with clear evaluative connotations. A descriptivist analysis of disease would allow value-free definition consistently with value-laden use: but descriptivism fails when applied to mental disorder because it depends on shared values whereas the values relevant to mental disorders (...) are highly diverse. A part-function analysis, similarly, although initially persuasive for physical disorders, fails with the psychotic mental disorders because these, characteristically, involve disturbances of the rationality of the person as a whole. The difficulties encountered in applying naturalism to mental disorders point, linguistic-analytically, to the possibility that there is, after all, an evaluative element of meaning, deeply hidden but still logically operative, in the concept of disease. (shrink)
In the Bhagavadgīt K a advises Arjuna to act without desire. He also describes the ni k makarmin as possessed of perfect equanimity. Some scholars have argued that K a's advice is a contradiction. Because action requires desire, desireless action is impossible. Others have claimed that this fact only suggests that K a's prohibition is against a subset of desires and not desire as a whole. These 'subset' positions, however, are not consistent with the equanimity requirement. The conclusion that K (...) a's advice is a contradiction can be avoided however. The word 'desire' in English is ambiguous. In one sense it means 'whatever motivated', and in another sense it means a 'desire proper' in contrast to beliefs and other mental states. If it is possible that not only desires proper motivate, then it is possible to act desirelessly in this sense. This distinction, I will argue, makes the best sense of K a's advice. (shrink)
Ideal families defined on a cardinalk often exhibit reflection properties. IfC ⫅k is a club, for example, thenC∩α is a club-in-α club-in-k often. In this paper we generalize this notion to ideal families defined on℘ kλ and exhibit some examples.
“For those who wish to solve problems,” suggests Aristotle, “it is helpful to state the problems well” ; and, evidently, he accepts his own recommendation as a fairly deep methodological precept. In addition to setting out the appearances and canvassing the credible opinions attending to any particular domain of inquiry, Aristotle regards as an indispensable precursor to philosophical progress careful attention to the proper formulation of any problems to be addressed. About this much he seems perfectly right. A philosopher concerned (...) with “the problem of consciousness” would do well to reflect at the beginning of the day on the problem to be tackled and the methods to be employed. Is it analysis? If so, is the analysis presumed to be intensional? Essence-specifying? Must the outcome respect naturalized constraints? And what, precisely, are those constraints? Without at least that much reflection at the beginning of an inquiry, success at the other end is likely to remain elusive at best. (shrink)
The Quaestiones super Physica Aristotelis traditionally attributed to Iohannes Canonicus survive in over 35 manuscripts and at least 8 printings from 1475 to 1520. Yet historians have disagreed about the century, the place of origin, the name and the institutional position of the author. This brief paper combines old and new evidence proving that the text was authored by an Augustinian Canon Regular of the Cathedral of Tortosa named Francesc Marbres, a Catalan from Barcelona, while he was Master of Arts (...) at the University of Toulouse around 1330. (shrink)
The editors of Nietzsche as a Scholar of Antiquity claim with some justification that few philosophers, and even fewer classicists, have "taken the time to understand [Nietzsche] on his own terms as a scholar of antiquity". "Our primary aim," Jensen and Heit say, "is to show not how Nietzsche's earlier works on antiquity help us to understand Nietzsche, but how they may improve our understanding of antiquity." I shall suggest that not every contribution to the collection succeeds in that primary (...) aim.Two chapters are reprints of older pieces: Jonathan Barnes's "Nietzsche and Diogenes Laertius" and Glenn W. Most and Thomas Fries's "Die Quellen von Nietzsches Rhetorik-Vorlesung", translated in... (shrink)
At any given time, an individual has certain beliefs and certain procedures or methods for modifying those beliefs. In The Realm of Reason, as in his previous book, Being Known (1999), Christopher Peacocke is concerned with the elusive question of what it is for someone to be “entitled” to a given belief or procedure.1..