The transitive closure of a binary relation R can be thought of as the best possible approximation of R "from above" by a transitive relation. We consider the question of approximating a relation from below by transitive relations. Our main result is that every thick relation (a relation whose complement contains no infinite chain) on a countable set has a transitive thick subrelation. This allows for a solution to a problem arising from previous work by the author and Alan Taylor. (...) We also exhibit a thick relation on an uncountable set with no transitive thick subrelation. (shrink)
Because our only access to color qualities is through their appearance, Byrne & Hilbert's insistence on a strict distinction between apparent colors and real colors leaves them without a principled way of determining when, if ever, we see colors as they really are.
Paul Churchland proposed a conceptual framework for translating reflectance profiles into a space he takes to be the color qualia space. It allows him to determine color metamers of spectral surface reflectances without reference to the characteristics of visual systems, claiming that the reflectance classes that it specifies correspond to visually determined metamers. We advance several objections to his method, show that a significant number of reflectance profiles are not placed into the space in agreement with the qualia solid, and (...) produce two sets of counterexamples to his claim for metamers. (shrink)
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.
I argue that Byrne and Hilbert have not answered Hardin’s objection to physicalism about color concerning the unitary-binary structure of the colors for two reasons. First, their account of unitary-binary structure seems unsatisfactory. Second, _pace_ Byrne and Hilbert, there are no physicalistically acceptable candidates to be the hue- magnitudes. I conclude with a question about the justification of physicalism about color.
In his recent book, Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus, Christopher Brown has argued that the metaphysics of St. Thomas is preferable to contemporary analyticviews because it can solve the “problem of material constitution” (PMC) without requiring us to relinquish any of the common-sense beliefs that generate that problem. In this critical study, I show that in the case of both substances and aggregates, Brown’s Aquinas endorses views that are extremely implausible. Consequently, even if it is granted that the (...) solutions to the PMC fall right out of his views, it is still not clear that this gives us reason to prefer his ontology to its competitors. I also consider Brown’s take on the status of the human being after death. (shrink)
Christopher Meckstroth’s book The Struggle for Democracy poses and attempts to solve a central problem of democratic theory: what he calls the ‘paradox of authorization’, whereby the very activity of spelling out the political content of democracy is said to potentially contradict its object, since the democratic theorist may end up substituting himself or herself for ‘the people’ in deciding what this form government amounts to in practice. In order to avoid this problem, Meckstroth suggests that the political content (...) of democracy ought to be extrapolated out of concrete political struggles, by submitting competing claims to represent the people’s will to a rational scrutiny that tests them for internal coherence. While pointing out the intrinsic interest and originality of this approach, the review also advances some reservations concerning the posited criterion’s capacity to perform all the work Meckstroth assigns it. In the end, the proposed solution to the ‘paradox of authorization’ may fall prey to it too, since on its own terms the criterion of internal coherence is insufficient to specify any determinate outcomes. This leaves it up to the theorist applying it to decide which concrete proposals best satisfy the test. (shrink)
This is an excerpt from the contentWhen Christopher Hitchens died in 2011 from cancer of the esophagus, he was arguably the best-known writer of non-fiction in the English language. His books include political journalism, history, and polemic in the most serious sense although those who value his politics regret that he may be most widely known for his militant atheism. His best-selling memoir, Hitch-22, had just been published when he was diagnosed in 2010. Mortality comprises seven articles that Hitchens (...) wrote for Vanity Fair in which he chronicles his experiences in “Tumortown,” plus a collection of fragmentary notes.Writers who have brought considerable insight to other topics are expected to rise to the occasion of their own critical illnesses and death’s imminence. Hitchens’s expected himself to remain witty, effortlessly well-informed, and perhaps most of all, conversational. “The most satisfying compliment a reader can pay is to tell me that he or she feels personally addressed,” Hitchens writes . He recalls. (shrink)
Intentionality is a curious notion and so is partial identity; the latter is employed by Christopher Tomaszewski (henceforth, CT) in his paper to afford solutions to a wide array of different philosophical problems. The author’s central thesis is that intentionality is a kind of partial identity; i.e. when the mind is intentionally directed towards an external object, it "takes in" a part of the object – its form, but not its matter. In my essay I first expound Franz Brentano's (...) views on intentionality - inspired by Aristotle's doctrine of hylomorphism. Contrary to what CT suggests, I conclude (in light of Brentano's later work) that intentionality should not be characterized as a genuine relation since one can be intentionally directed towards existing as well as non-existing objects and since, in the case of the latter, it remains unclear what it is that the mind “takes in”. Second, I clarify the notion of partial identity. In this context it is not obvious to me what exactly CT's appeal to partial identity contributes to the solution of the problem of material constitution. Third, I explicate CT's thesis that intentionality is partial identity (based on previously given definitions) and conclude that his argument in support of mind/body-dualism fails. Overall, skepticism remains as to whether partial identity adequately captures the tricky terrain of intentionality. (shrink)
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.
In his recent book, Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus, Christopher Brown has argued that the metaphysics of St. Thomas is preferable to contemporary analyticviews because it can solve the “problem of material constitution” without requiring us to relinquish any of the common-sense beliefs that generate that problem. In this critical study, I show that in the case of both substances and aggregates, Brown’s Aquinas endorses views that are extremely implausible. Consequently, even if it is granted that the solutions (...) to the PMC fall right out of his views, it is still not clear that this gives us reason to prefer his ontology to its competitors. I also consider Brown’s take on the status of the human being after death. (shrink)