Kit Fine has proposed a new solution to what he calls ‘a familiar puzzle’ concerning modality and existence. The puzzle concerns the argument from the alleged truths ‘It is necessary that Socrates is a man’ and ‘It is possible that Socrates does not exist’ to the apparent falsehood ‘It is possible that Socrates is a man and does not exist’. We discuss in detail Fine’s setting up of the ‘puzzle’ and his rejection, with which we concur, of two mooted solutions (...) to it. (One of these uses standard, Kripkean, notions, and the other rests on work done by Arthur Prior.) We set out, and reject, the philosophy of modality underlying Fine’s new solution, and we defend an alternative response to the alleged puzzle. Our solution follows the work of David Wiggins in distinguishing between the sentential operator ‘It is necessary that’ and the predicate modifier ‘necessarily’. We briefly provide this distinction with a possible- world semantics on which it is neither a necessary truth, in some sense, that Socrates exists nor true, in some sense, that Socrates necessarily exists. (shrink)
Some legal theorists say that legal entrapment to commit a crime is incoherent. So far, there is no satisfactorily precise statement of this objection in the literature: it is obscure even as to the type of incoherence that is purportedly involved. (Perhaps consequently, substantial assessment of the objection is also absent.) We aim to provide a new statement of the objection that is more precise and more rigorous than its predecessors. We argue that the best form of the objection asserts (...) that, in attempting to entrap, law-enforcement agents lapse into a form of practical incoherence that involves the attempt simultaneously to pursue contrary ends. We then argue that the objection, in this form, encompasses all cases of legal entrapment only if it is supplemented by appeal to the premise that law-enforcement agents have an absolute duty never to create crimes. (shrink)
Is there an explanation of why the state of x's bearing the non-symmetric binary relation R to y is different from its differential opposite, the state of y's bearing R to x? One traditional view has it that the explanation is that non-symmetric relations hold of objects in an essentially directional way, ordering the relevant relata. We call this view ‘directionalism’. Kit Fine has suggested that this approach is subject to significant metaphysical difficulties, sufficient to motivate seeking an alternative analysis. (...) He considers two such alternative explanations, which he labels ‘positionalism’ and ‘anti-positionalism’. Of these he endorses the latter. We argue that anti-positionalism fails to provide a coherent explanation of the distinction between differential opposites, and that one should simply hold the minimalist position that there is no explanation for this metaphysical difference. (shrink)
In this paper, we critically interrogate the benefits of an interdisciplinary and theoretically diverse dialogue between ‘local food’ and ‘alternative food networks’ and outline how this dialogue might be enriched by a closer engagement with discourses of food sovereignty and the politics of scale. In arguing for a shift towards a greater emphasis on food sovereignty, we contend that contemporary discourses of food security are inadequate for the ongoing task of ensuring a just and sustainable economy of food. Further, rather (...) than treating the local and the global as ontologically given categories around which to contest the politics of food, it is our contention that recognising the socio-spatial aspects of the politics of scale has the potential to reinvigorate discourses of food security, food sovereignty and AFNs. Understanding scale as both fixed to a degree as well as contingent and dynamic has implications for an understanding of the role of food systems, for how the rescaled state privileges certain food systems and the possibilities for resistance through ‘jumping scale’ and food utopias. All of these aspects are significant if we are to fully comprehend and contest the challenges of envisioning and enacting real utopias of food sovereignty. (shrink)
This report is the product of the Arts-and-Humanities Research Council’s Connected Communities programme. The specific project being undertaken at the University of Liverpool is entitled Philosophy of Religion and Religious Communities: Defining Beliefs and Symbols. The aim of the Liverpool project as a whole is to consider the contribution philosophy of religion can make to recent debates surrounding legal cases alleging religious discrimination. Its orienting question runs, ‘when, if ever, is it acceptable to prohibit the use of religious symbols?’. The (...) present report scrutinises in detail the way in which Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights has been utilised in recent judgments concerning the uses of religious symbolism. It argues that since 1995, Strasbourg jurisprudence, followed, to some extent, by domestic jurisprudence, has displayed what we call ‘the practical turn’. This we analyse as the turn away from seeing actions solely in the light of the antecedent beliefs that they manifest to seeing actions and the practices that they compose in their own right alongside beliefs. The practical turn can, we consider, be given several slightly different detailed readings. One such is that it is the turn from consideration of high-level theoretical systems of belief (such as religions), to which actions and practices are considered subservient, to consideration of individual low-level practical beliefs on an equal footing with the actions that naturally flow from them. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the question whether God intends that sin occur. We clarify the question, consider some of the answers given in the Christian tradition, and give a careful commentary on a few especially telling passages from the Christian Scriptures. We consider two philosophically informed interpretative strategies, one derived from the work of Frances Kamm, the other from Reformed scholasticism, against our interpretation of these passages. While we concede that in other passages such interpretations may allow a way (...) of escaping our argument, we conclude that in the case of the telling passages we have selected there is simply no comparably plausible alternative interpretation. (shrink)
Our question is this: What makes an act one of entrapment? We make a standard distinction between legal entrapment, which is carried out by parties acting in their capacities as (or as deputies of) law- enforcement agents, and civil entrapment, which is not. We aim to provide a definition of entrapment that covers both and which, for reasons we explain, does not settle questions of permissibility and culpability. We explain, compare, and contrast two existing definitions of legal entrapment to commit (...) a crime that possess this neutrality. We point out some problems with the extensional correctness of these definitions and propose a new definition that resolves these problems. We then extend our definition to provide a more general definition of entrapment, encompassing both civil and legal cases. Our definition is, we believe, closer to being extensionally correct and will, we hope, provide a clearer basis for future discussions about the ethics of entrapment than do the definitions upon which it improves. (shrink)
This book examines the divine nature in terms of maximal greatness. It investigates each attribute associated with maximal greatness - omnipotence, omniscience, perfect goodness, eternity, and beauty, arguing that maximal greatness is necessary and sufficient for divinity.
In this article I defend a new definition of what it is to commit suicide:(D) A commits suicide by performing an act x if and only if A intends that he or she kill himself or herself by performing x (under the description ‘I kill myself’), and this intention is fully satisfied.The definition has some surprising implications: various real-life examples often referred to as ‘suicides’ (e.g. ‘suicide bombers’) may well turn out not to be suicides after all.1.
We analyse Reach's puzzle, according to which it is impossible to be told anyone's name, because the statement conveying it can be understood only by someone who already knows what it says. We argue that the puzzle can be solved by adverting to the systematic nature of mention when it involves the use of standard quotation marks or similar devices. We then discuss mention more generally and outline an account according to which any mentioning expressions that are competent to solve (...) Reach's puzzle – and in particular those consisting of standard quotation marks and their fillings – have a descriptive analysis: we rebut the usual objections to this account, and show how it is superior to some of the alternatives in the literature. We conclude by briefly connecting the foregoing discussions with semantic theory. (shrink)
Currently, the widely used notion of activity is increasingly present in computer science. However, because this notion is used in specific contexts, it becomes vague. Here, the notion of activity is scrutinized in various contexts and, accordingly, put in perspective. It is discussed through four scientific disciplines: computer science, biology, economics, and epistemology. The definition of activity usually used in simulation is extended to new qualitative and quantitative definitions. In computer science, biology and economics disciplines, the new simulation activity definition (...) is first applied critically. Then, activity is discussed generally. In epistemology, activity is discussed, in a prospective way, as a possible framework in models of human beliefs and knowledge. (shrink)
Benjamin Schnieder has argued that several traditional definitions of truth-functionality fail to capture a central intuition informal characterizations of the notion often capture. The intuition is that the truth-value of a sentence that employs a truth-functional operator depends upon the truth-values of the sentences upon which the operator operates. Schnieder proposes an alternative definition of truth-functionality that is designed to accommodate this intuition. We argue that one traditional definition of ‘truth-functionality’ is immune from the counterexamples that Schnieder proposes and is (...) preferable to Schnieder’s alternative. (shrink)
This paper counters Blake's (1996) claim that educational neo-Marxism 'died' in the 1970s through demonstrating that there has been a substantial output of neo-Marxist educational writings since 1980. Blake also promotes postmodernism as a resource for rejuvenating educational theory. The paper demonstrates that postmodernism is inadequate as a basis for rethinking educational theory and for forging a radical educational politics.
The first and more important section of this article lists all the known treatises in Arabic on Fine Technology – water-clocks, automata, pumps, trick vessels, fountains, etc. The ideas, techniques and components in these treatises are of great importance in the history of machine technology. For each treatise information is given on the provenance of MSS, editions in Arabic and translations, paraphrases or commentaries in modern European languages. In addition to treatises by Arabic writers, similar information is also given on (...) Greek mechanical treatises if these have survived only in Arabic versions. The second section deals with utilitarian machines such as mills and water-raising machines. The various sources of information about these machines is discussed, including Arabic works on geography and travel, iconography and archaeology. La première section de cet article et la plus importante énumère tous les traités connus en arabe portant sur la technologie d'agrément – horloges à eau, automates, pompes, ‘vases merveilleux’, fontaines, etc. Les idées, les techniques et les mécanismes que l'on rencontre dans ces traités sont d'une grande importance pour l'histoire de la technologie. Pour chacun de ces traités, des renseignements sont donnés concernant la localisation des manuscrits, les éditions en arabe et les traductions, paraphrases et commentaires existant en langues européennes. On trouvera en outre des renseignements similaires sur les traités de mécanique grecs qui n'ont survécu que dans des versions arabes. La seconde section traite des machines utilitaires telles que les moulins et les machines à élever l'eau. Les diverses sources d'information concernant ce type de machines sont discutées, y compris les livres de géographie et de voyages, l'iconographie et l'archeologie. (shrink)
Hegemony and Education explores how the educational insights implicit in Antonio Gramsci's historical materialist outlook have been reconciled to the post-Marxist theory of 'radical democracy.' The author argues that there is an urgent need to redefine the dynamics of hegemony as a theory centering on the problem of cognitive and moral submissiveness; that is, a problem indicative of the pathologies of capitalism with respect to democratic theorizing.
Hegemony and Education explores how the educational insights implicit in Antonio Gramsci's historical materialist outlook have been reconciled to the post-Marxist theory of "radical democracy." The author argues that there is an urgent need to redefine the dynamics of hegemony as a theory centering on the problem of cognitive and moral submissiveness; that is, a problem indicative of the pathologies of capitalism with respect to democratic theorizing.
: Catholic teaching has no moral difficulties with research on stem cells derived from adult stem cells or fetal cord blood. The ethical problem comes with embryonic stem cells since their genesis involves the destruction of a human embryo. However, there seems to be significant promise of health benefits from such research. Although Catholic teaching does not permit any destruction of human embryos, the question remains whether researchers in a Catholic institution, or any researchers opposed to destruction of human embryos, (...) could participate in research on cultured embryonic stem cells, or whether a Catholic institution could use any therapy that ultimately results from such research. This position paper examines how such research could be conducted legitimately in a Catholic institution by using an ethical analysis involving a narrative context, the nature of the moral act, and the principle of material cooperation, along with references to significant ethical assessments. It also offers tentative guidelines that could be used by a Catholic institution in implementing such research. (shrink)
Many members of the public think of the General Medical Council (GMC) as the body which tries doctors: the doctors' law courts, as it were. And, except in the more sober of newspapers and news reports, the 'offences ' which receive the most publicity are those concerning alleged improper relations between doctors and patients. Professor Sir Denis Hill, in the following paper, which he read in the spring of this year to the annual conference of the London Medical Group devoted (...) to a discussion of human sexuality, chose to examine the whole function of the General Medical Council as a frame of moral reference for doctors. Judging allegations of professional misconduct by doctors is the function of the Council's Disciplinary Committee. Judging sexual misconduct forms only a small part of their work. The GMC's responsibility covers the whole notion of morals and morality as it concerns doctors in their professional work. Sir Denis Hill stresses the modern thinking that morality must be learned and that attitudes are always shifting as society alters its norms of what is moral conduct. That is not to say that all that was previously considered not to be moral has now become acceptable but rather that other concepts have entered the field of moral debate. Therefore the GMC must constantly review the frame of reference it offers to doctors and the public may be surprised to learn that that process is never static. Sir Denis Hill in this paper is speaking personally and not as a member of the General Medical Council or of any of that body's special committees. (shrink)
This paper examines the prevalent assumption that when people interact online via proxies—avatars—they encounter each other. Through an exploration of the ontology of users and their avatars we argue that, contrary to the trend within current discussions of interaction online, this cannot be unproblematically assumed. If users could be considered in some sense identical to their avatars, then it would be clear how an encounter with an avatar could ground an encounter with another user. We therefore engage in a systematic (...) investigation of several conceptions of identity, concluding that in none of these senses can users and avatars be identified. We go on to explore how current accounts of identity-as-selfhood online might resolve this problem by appealing to narrativity or authorship, ultimately concluding that as these accounts stand they are unable to provide grounds for the claim that users encounter each other online and so supplementary work is required. (shrink)