How does the study of society relate to the study of the people it comprises? This longstanding question is partly one of method, but mainly one of fact, of how independent the objects of these two studies, societies and people, are. It is commonly put as a question of reduction, and I shall tackle it in that form: does sociology reduce in principle to individual psychology? I follow custom in calling the claim that it does ‘individualism’ and its denial ‘holism’.
Entities of many kinds, not just material things, have been credited with parts. Armstrong, for example, has taken propositions and properties to be parts of their conjunctions, sets to be parts of sets that include them, and geographical regions and events to be parts of regions and events that contain them. The justification for bringing all these diverse relations under a single ‘part–whole’ concept is that they share all or most of the formal features articulated in mereology. But the concept (...) has also prompted an ontological thesis that has been expressed in various ways: that wholes are ‘no ontological addition’ to their parts ; that to list both a whole and its parts is ‘double counting’; and that there is ‘no more’ to a whole than its parts: for example, that there is no more to a conjunction than the conjuncts that are its parts, and whose truth or falsity determines whether it is true or false. For brevity, I shall express the thesis in the last of these ways, as the claim that entities with parts are ‘nothing but’ those parts. (shrink)
[D. H. Mellor] Kant's claim that our knowledge of time is transcendental in his sense, while false of time itself, is true of tenses, i.e. of the locations of events and other temporal entities in McTaggart's A series. This fact can easily, and I think only, be explained by taking time itself to be real but tenseless. /// [J. R. Lucas] Mellor's argument from Kant fails. The difficulties in his first Antinomy are due to topological confusions, not the tensed nature (...) of time. Nor are McTaggart' s difficulties due to the tensed nature of time. The ego-centricity of tensed discourse is an essential feature of communication between selves, each of whom refers himself as 'I', and is required for talking about time as well as experience and agency. Arguments based on the Special Theory are misconceived. Some rest on a confused notion of 'topological simultaneity'. In the General Theory a cosmic time is defined, as also in quantum mechanics, where a natural present is defined by a unique hyperplane of collapse into eigen-ness. (shrink)
My object in this paper is to consider what relevance, if any, current analyses of probability have to problems of religious belief. There is no doubt that words such as ‘probable’ are used in this context; what is doubtful is that this use can be analysed as other major uses of such words can. I shall conclude that this use cannot be so analysed and hence, given the preponderance of the other uses that can, that it is misleading.
_Real Time II_ extends and evolves DH Mellor's classic exploration of the philosophy of time,_Real Time._ This new book answers such basic metaphysical questions about time as: how do past, present and future differ, how are time and space related, what is change, is time travel possible? His _Real Time_ dominated the philosophy of time for fifteen years. _Real TIme II_ will do the same for the next twenty. GET /english/edu/Studying_at_SU/History_of_Literature.html HTTP/1.0.
Real Time II extends and evolves D.H. Mellor's classic exploration of the philosophy of time, Real Time . This wholly new book answers such basic metaphysical questions about time as: how do past, present and future differ, how are time and space related, what is change, is time travel possible? His Real Time dominated the philosophy of time for fifteen years. This book will do the same for the next twenty years.
Everything we do relies on causation. We eat and drink because this causes us to stay alive. Courts tell us who causes crimes, criminology tell us what causes people to commit them. D.H. Mellor shows us that to understand the world and our lives we must understand causation. _The Facts of Causation_, now available in paperback, is essential reading for students and for anyone interested in reading one of the ground-breaking theories in metaphysics. We cannot understand the world and our (...) place in it without understanding causation. Yet a complete account of the nature and implications of causation does not exist. D.H Mellor's new book is that account. (shrink)
The Facts of Causation grapples with one of philosophy's most enduring issues. Causation is central to all of our lives. What we see and hear causes us to believe certain facts about the world. We need that information to know how to act and how to cause the effects we desire. D. H. Mellor, a leading scholar in the philosophy of science and metaphysics, offers a comprehensive theory of causation. Many questions about causation remain unsettled. In science, the indeterminism of (...) modern physics and genetics have made such questions considerably harder for philosophers to answer. While progress has been made, a complete account of the nature and cosequences of causation is long overdue. This major study provides that account. (shrink)
_Probability: A Philosophical Introduction_ introduces and explains the principal concepts and applications of probability. It is intended for philosophers and others who want to understand probability as we all apply it in our working and everyday lives. The book is not a course in mathematical probability, of which it uses only the simplest results, and avoids all needless technicality. The role of probability in modern theories of knowledge, inference, induction, causation, laws of nature, action and decision-making makes an understanding of (...) it especially important to philosophers and students of philosophy, to whom this book will be invaluable both as a textbook and a work of reference. In this book D. H. Mellor discusses the three basic kinds of probability – physical, epistemic, and subjective – and introduces and assesses the main theories and interpretations of them. The topics and concepts covered include: * chance * frequency * possibility * propensity * credence * confirmation * Bayesianism. _Probability: A Philosophical Introduction_ is essential reading for all philosophy students and others who encounter or need to apply ideas of probability. (shrink)
This is a study of the nature of time. In it, redeploying an argument first presented by McTaggart, the author argues that although time itself is real, tense is not. He accounts for the appearance of the reality of tense - our sense of the passage of time, and the fact that our experience occurs in the present - by showing how time is indispensable as a condition of action. Time itself is further analysed, and Dr Mellor gives answers to (...) most of the metaphysical questions it provokes, concerning the relation of time to space, the dissection of time, and its relation to change and causation. (shrink)
This is a field-based disguised case which describes a dilemma faced by the protagonists; do they continue to do business with a land developer who has assisted them in the past when now the developer chooses to, against their recommendations, also do business with their ex-business partner? The problem for the characters in question is whether or not to work on a project that will yield them a net profit of $4 million dollars given the fact it would require them (...) to work in the same development as their former business associate. The central characters are afraid that their ex-partner will be a destabilizing factor in the development of the project and that their work sites will be in jeopardy of being vandalized. Several factors complicate this situation including: the developer’s desire for a quick land purchase, the developer’s changing the discount rate from 20% to 10% perhaps based upon difficulties that surrounded the first land deal, the protagonists’ plans to build their own homes in this new development, and the negative relationship between the protagonists and the ex-business partner. The case has a difficulty level appropriate for a sophomore or junior level course. The case is designed to be taught in one class period and is expected to require between three to five hours of outside preparation by students. (shrink)
This selection of D. H. Mellor's work demonstrates the wide ranging originality of his work. It gathers together sixteen major papers on related topics. Together they form a complete modern metaphysics. The first five papers are on aspects of the mind: on our 'selves', their supposed subjectivity and how we refer to them, on the nature of conscious belief and on computational and physicalist theories of the mind. The next five papers deal with dispositions, natural kinds, laws of nature and (...) how they involve natural necessity, universals and objective chances, and the relation between properties and predicates. Then follow three papers about the relations between time, change and causation, the nature of individual causes and effects and of the causal relation between them, and how causation depends on chance. The last three papers discuss the relation between chance and degrees of belief, give a solution to the problem of induction, and argue for an objective interpretation of decision theory. (shrink)
Our knowledge of the world comes to us, one way or another, through our senses. I know there's a table here, because I see it, and that there's traffic outside, because I hear it. And similarly for our other senses. I know when it's cold, because I feel it; when there's sugar in my tea, because I taste it; smoke in the air, because I smell it; and so on.
Guanxi is perceived as a major determinant for successful business in China. This research paper investigates the importance of Guanxi from the Hong Kong Businessmen's viewpoint. It confirms previous findings in this area and adds on new dimensions. Therefore, practitioners and academics may further refine their knowledge in this subject.
Professor Monro presents an original view of ethics based on empiricism, which leads him to a subjectivist position about moral values. He starts by examining the central problem in moral philosophy: are moral statements objectively true, or are they expressions of preference? The first view conflicts with the empiricist beliefs current in modern thought; the opposing naturalistic theory seems to lead to moral scepticism. After discussing both views, the author presents a detailed defence of the subjectivist position. In the course (...) of his argument he gives a detailed analysis and criticism of the 'universalisability thesis', the theory that moral aspirations differ from others in being applicable to all men, and that it is this that makes them moral. He then offers an alternative account of the nature of moral attitudes. The author illustrates his explanations with straightforward analogies and examples. His clear exposition of the fundamental concepts arising in his argument makes this a book for students as well as for professional moral philosophers. (shrink)
Entities of many kinds, not just material things, have been credited with parts. Armstrong , for example, has taken propositions and properties to be parts of their conjunctions, sets to be parts of sets that include them, and geographical regions and events to be parts of regions and events that contain them. The justification for bringing all these diverse relations under a single ‘part–whole’ concept is that they share all or most of the formal features articulated in mereology . But (...) the concept has also prompted an ontological thesis that has been expressed in various ways: that wholes are ‘no ontological addition’ to their parts ; that to list both a whole and its parts is ‘double counting’; and that there is ‘no more’ to a whole than its parts: for example, that there is no more to a conjunction than the conjuncts that are its parts, and whose truth or falsity determines whether it is true or false. For brevity, I shall express the thesis in the last of these ways, as the claim that entities with parts are ‘nothing but’ those parts. (shrink)
Objectives: To study the attitudes of both medical and non-medical students towards the do-not-resuscitate decision in a university in Hong Kong, and the factors affecting their attitudes.Methods: A questionnaire-based survey conducted in the campus of a university in Hong Kong. Preferences and priorities of participants on cardiopulmonary resuscitation in various situations and case scenarios, experience of death and dying, prior knowledge of DNR and basic demographic data were evaluated.Results: A total of 766 students participated in the study. There were statistically (...) significant differences in their DNR decisions in various situations between medical and non-medical students, clinical and preclinical students, and between students who had previously experienced death and dying and those who had not. A prior knowledge of DNR significantly affected DNR decision, although 66.4% of non-medical students and 18.7% of medical students had never heard of DNR. 74% of participants from both medical and non-medical fields considered the patient’s own wish as the most important factor that the healthcare team should consider when making DNR decisions. Family wishes might not be decisive on the choice of DNR.Conclusions: Students in medical and non-medical fields held different views on DNR. A majority of participants considered the patient’s own wish as most important in DNR decisions. Family wishes were considered less important than the patient’s own wishes. (shrink)
When we say a certain rose is red, we seem to be attributing a property, redness, to it. But are there really such properties? If so, what are they like, how do we know about them, and how are they related to the objects which have them and the linguistic devices which we use to talk about them? This collection presents these ancient problems in a modern light. In particular, it makes accessible for the first time the most important contributions (...) to the contemporary controversy about the nature of properties. Those new to the subject will find the clearly-written introduction, by two experts in the field, an invaluable guide to the intricacies of this debate. The volume illustrates very well the aims and methods of modern metaphysics and show how a thorough understanding of the metaphysics of properties is crucial to most of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Mind, Meaning, and Reality presents fifteen philosophical papers in which D. H. Mellor explores some of the most intriguing questions in philosophy. These include: what determines what we think, and what we use language to mean; how that depends on what there is in the world and why there is only one universe; and the nature of time.
The view is advocated that to preserve a deductivist account of science against recent criticism, it is necessary to incorporate experimental error, or imprecision, in the deductive structure. The sources of imprecision in empirical variables are analyzed, and the notion of conceptual imprecision introduced and illustrated. This is then used to clarify the notion of the acceptable range of a functional law. It is further shown that imprecision may be ascribed to parameters in laws and theories without rendering the deductive (...) structure untestable. It is claimed that this analysis explicates the relation between laws and theories in a way that invalidates certain arguments against its deductive nature. (shrink)
Many philosophers are impressed by the progress achieved by physical sciences. This has had an especially deep effect on their ontological views: it has made many of them physicalists. Physicalists believe that everything is physical: more precisely, that all entities, properties, relations, and facts are those which are studied by physics or other physical sciences. They may not all agree with the spirit of Rutherford's quoted remark that 'there is physics; and there is stamp-collecting',' but they all grant physical science (...) a unique ontological authority: the authority to tell us what there is. Physicalism is now almost orthodox in much philosophy, notably in much recent philosophy of mind. But although often invoked, it is rarely explicitly defined. It should be. The claim that everything is physical is not as clear as it seems. In this paper, we examine a number of proposed definitions of physicalism and reasons for being a physicalist. We will argue both that physicalism lacks a clear and credible definition, and that in no non-vacuous interpretation is it true. We are concerned here only with physicalism as a doctrine about the empirical world. In particular, it should not be confused with nominalism, the doctrine that there are no universals.2 Nominalism and physicalism are quite independent doctrines. Believers in universals may as consistently assert as deny that the only properties and relations are those studied by physical science. And nominalists may with equal consistency assert or deny that physical science could provide enough predicates to describe the world. That is the question which concerns physicalists, not whether physical predicates name real universals. (We will for brevity write as if they do, but we do not need that assumption.). (shrink)