ABSTRACTWords form a fundamental basis for our understanding of linguistic practice. However, the precise ontology of words has eluded many philosophers and linguists. A persistent difficulty for most accounts of words is the type-token distinction [Bromberger, S. 1989. “Types and Tokens in Linguistics.” In Reflections on Chomsky, edited by A. George, 58–90. Basil Blackwell; Kaplan, D. 1990. “Words.” Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXIV: 93–119]. In this paper, I present a novel account of words which differs from the atomistic and (...) platonistic conceptions of previous accounts which I argue fall prey to this problem. Specifically, I proffer a structuralist account of linguistic items, along the lines of structuralism in the philosophy of mathematics [Shapiro, S. 1997. Philosophy of Mathematics: Structure and Ontology. Oxford University Press], in which words are defined in part as positions in larger linguistic structures. I then follow Szabò [1999. “Expressions and Their Representations.” The Philosophical Quarterly 49 : 145–163] and Parsons [1990. “The Structuralist View of Mathematical Objects.” Synthese 84: 303–346] in further defining words as quasi-concrete objects according to a representation relation. This view aims for general correspondence with contemporary generative linguistic approaches to the study of language. (shrink)
This is a collection of twenty-five papers and reviews by the leading analytic philosopher of our time. It adds to the papers on metaphysics and epistemology to be found in his previous two-volume collection published by Oxford University Press. One previously unpublished paper—“Why Conditionalize?”—is included. Australasian philosophers may note with some pride that eleven of the pieces were first published in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
Moral theories which, like those of Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas, give a central place to the virtues, tend to assume that as traits of character the virtues are mutually compatible so that it is possible for one and the same person to possess them all. This assumption—let us call it the compatibility thesis—does not deny the existence of painful moral dilemmas: it allows that the virtues may conflict in particular situations when considerations associated with different virtues favour incompatible courses of (...) action, but holds that these conflicts occur only at the level of individual actions. Thus while it may not always be possible to do both what would be just and what would be kind or to act both loyally and honestly, it is possible to be both a kind and a just person and to have both the virtue of loyalty and the virtue of honesty. (shrink)
Many philosophers have declared that everything which exists is a particular. There is a weak interpretation of this doctrine which I believe to be a true proposition, and a strong one which I believe to be false.
It was in 1792 that Kant published the first Book of his most important single work on the philosophy of religion— Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone. But it was his very interesting treatment of the biblical material in the second Book that involved the philosopher in his one serious conflict with official authority. Greene and Hudson give a good account of this conflict and its effect on the work as a whole in the introduction to their translation of (...) Religion in the Harper Torchbook Series. (shrink)
In this important study D. M. Armstrong offers a comprehensive system of analytical metaphysics that synthesises but also develops his thinking over the last twenty years. Armstrong's analysis, which acknowledges the 'logical atomism' of Russell and Wittgenstein, makes facts the fundamental constituents of the world, examining properties, relations, numbers, classes, possibility and necessity, dispositions, causes and laws. All these, it is argued, find their place and can be understood inside a scheme of states of affairs. This is a comprehensive and (...) rigorously this-worldly account of the most general features of reality, argued from a distinctive philosophical perspective, and it will appeal to a wide readership in analytical philosophy. (shrink)
This is a study of a crucial and controversial topic in metaphysics and the philosophy of science: the status of the laws of nature. D. M. Armstrong works out clearly and in comprehensive detail a largely original view that laws are relations between properties or universals. The theory is continuous with the views on universals and more generally with the scientific realism that Professor Armstrong has advanced in earlier publications. He begins here by mounting an attack on the orthodox and (...) sceptical view deriving from Hume that laws assert no more than a regularity of coincidence between instances of properties. In doing so he presents what may become the definitive statement of the case against this position. Professor Armstrong then goes on to establish his own theory in a systematic manner defending it against the most likely objections, and extending both it and the related theory of universals to cover functional and statistical laws. This treatment of the subject is refreshingly concise and vivid: it will both stimulate vigorous professional debate and make an excellent student text. (shrink)
Truths are determined not by what we believe, but by the way the world is. Or so realists about truth believe. Philosophers call such theories correspondence theories of truth. Truthmaking theory, which now has many adherents among contemporary philosophers, is the most recent development of a realist theory of truth, and in this book D. M. Armstrong offers the first full-length study of this theory. He examines its applications to different sorts of truth, including contingent truths, modal truths, truths about (...) the past and the future, and mathematical truths. In a clear, even-handed and non-technical discussion he makes a compelling case for truthmaking and its importance in philosophy. His book marks a significant contribution to the debate and will be of interest to a wide range of readers working in analytical philosophy. (shrink)
In an article contributed to Mind in 1934, the young A. J. Ayer declared war on metaphysics, claiming that his destruction of the metaphysicians' arguments rested on the establishment of the sheerly non-sensical character of their statements. Their errors were syntactical; the combination of symbols in the sentences with which they expressed their propositions violated fundamental principles of significance.
Using 94 published empirical articles in academic journals as a data base, this paper provides a critical review of the methodology employed in the study of ethical beliefs and behavior of organizational members. The review revealed that full methodological detail was provided in less than one half of the articles. Further, the majority of empirical research articles expressed no concern for the reliability or validity of measures, were characterized by low response rates, used convenience samples, and did not offer a (...) theoretic framework, hypotheses, or a definition of ethics. Several recommendations, including a reviewer rating form addressing methodological decisions and inclusion of methodologists on the review panel, are offered to improve methodological rigor in published ethics research. (shrink)
In this short text, a distinguished philosopher turns his attention to one of the oldest and most fundamental philosophical problems of all: How it is that we are able to sort and classify different things as being of the same natural class? Professor Armstrong carefully sets out six major theories—ancient, modern, and contemporary—and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each. Recognizing that there are no final victories or defeats in metaphysics, Armstrong nonetheless defends a traditional account of universals as the (...) most satisfactory theory we have.This study is written for advanced students, but as Armstrong goes considerably beyond his earlier work on this topic, it will interest professional scholars as well. Carefully plotted and clearly written, Universals is both a paradigm of exposition and a case study on the value of careful analysis of fundamental issues in philosophy. (shrink)
Despite heroic efforts, philosophers have found it increasingly difficult to evade discussion of metaphysical topics. Take the philosophy of mind. Take, in particular, the mind-body problem in its latest guise: the problem of causal relevance. If mental properties are not reducible to physical properties, how can we reconcile the role such properties seem to have in producing bodily motions that constitute actions with the apparent fact that the very same motions are entirely explicable on the basis of purely physical properties (...) of purely physical events in the nervous system? Familiar approaches to the problem include appeals to “supervenient causation,” to “higher-level” laws governing putatively higher-level entities and events, and to “realizing” relations that make room in objects for overlapping properties. (shrink)
Aim: Patients with advanced cancer need information about end-of-life treatment options in order to make informed decisions. Clinicians vary in the frequency with which they initiate these discussions.Patients and methods: As part of a long-term longitudinal study, patients with an expected 2-year survival of less than 50% who had advanced gastrointestinal or lung cancer or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were interviewed. Each patient’s medical record was reviewed at enrollment and at 3 months for evidence of the discussion of patient wishes concerning (...) ventilator support, artificial nutrition and hydration , resuscitation and hospice care. A Kaplan–Meier analysis was also performed and 2-year survival calculated.Results: 60 cancer and 32 ALS patients were enrolled. ALS patients were more likely than cancer patients to have evidence of discussion about their wishes for ventilator support , ANH , DNR and hospice care . At 6 months, 91% of ALS patients were alive compared with 62% of cancer patients; at 2 years, 63% of ALS patients were alive compared with 23% of cancer patients .Conclusions: Cancer patients were less likely than ALS patients to have had documented advanced care planning discussions despite worse survival. This may reflect perceptions that ALS has a more predictable course, that advanced cancer has a greater number of treatment options, or differing views about hope. Nevertheless, cancer patients may be less adequately prepared for end-of-life decision-making. (shrink)
It is now some years since Professor D. Daiches Raphael published his interesting book, The Paradox of Tragedy , which represented one of the first serious attempts made by a British philosopher to assess the significance of tragic drama for ethical, and indeed metaphysical theory. Since then we have had a variety of books touching on related topics: for instance, Dr George Steiner's Death of Tragedy and Mr Raymond Williams’ most recent, elusive and interesting essay, Modern Tragedy. To entitle an (...) essay Theology and Tragedy might be thought to invite needless trouble for oneself; to indulge to a dangerous degree the human intellectual obsession of supposing that ‘the meaning of a word is an object’. After all, if one confines one's regard to the Greeks, one has to recognise that between the treatments of their common theme of Electra , Sophocles and Euripides are in fact doing very different things. There is no gainsaying the significance for Euripides of the postponement of the murder of Clytemnestra till after that of Aegisthus, still less of his introduction into the play of the morally upright peasant, who has had the banished Electra in his keeping, and whose simple integrity contrasts both with the corruption of the court and the obsessive preoccupation with a dreadful, supposed duty of brother and sister. The element of propaganda is unmistakable; while in Sophocles’ Electra it is altogether absent, although Dr Victor Ehrenberg in his very interesting monograph on Sophocles and Pericles has argued strongly for an element of subtle political commentary in the treatment of Oedipus in the Oedipus Tyrannus , and of Pocreon in the Antigone. These remarks may serve to show that the title does not express a blind indifference to the multiple complexity of those works which we class together as tragedies. They are inherently complex, and various in emphasis; at best we can discern a family resemblance between them, and, in an essay like this, the author runs the risk not only of selecting examples tailor-made to his thesis, but also of imposing an appearance of similarity of conception where it is at least equally important to stress differences. (shrink)
This is part of a three-volume collection of most of David Lewis' papers in philosophy, except for those that previously appeared in his Philosophical Papers (Oxford University Press, 1983 and 1986). They are now offered in a readily accessible form. This second volume is devoted to Lewis' work in metaphysics and epistemology. The purpose of this collection, and the volumes that precede and follow it, is to disseminate more widely the work of an eminent and influential contemporary philosopher. The volume (...) will serve as a useful work of reference for teachers and students of philosophy. (shrink)
The papers collected in this volume are the proceedings of the 1999 Royal Institute of Philosophy conference: the theme of the conference, the same as the title of this collection, Naturalism, Evolution and Mind. The essays collected here cover a wide array of disparate themes in philosophy, psychology, evolutionary biology and the philosophy of science. They range in subject matter from the mind/body problem and the nature of philosophical naturalism, to the naturalization of psychological norms to the naturalization of phenomenal (...) and intentional content, from the methodology cognitive ethology to issues in evolutionary psychology. They are united by the simple thought that the great promise of current naturalism in philosophy of mind resides in its potential to reveal mental phenomena as continuous with other phenomena of the natural world, particularly with other biological phenomena. (shrink)
The purpose of this research is to examine the effect of two organizational variables, budget goal difficulty and promotion availability, on employee fraud. Limited research shows that difficult, specific goals result in more unethical behavior than general goals :422–432, 2004). We predict that goal difficulty and promotion availability will interact to affect employee fraud. Specifically, we contend that the availability of promotions will have little, if any, effect on employee fraud under easy goals but have a substantial effect on fraud (...) under extremely difficult goals. To test this prediction, we use an experiment in which participants play the role of production employees. All participants are assigned cost goals and are responsible for reporting costs to the organization. Information asymmetry exists such that the organization is unable to assess whether costs have been reported accurately, and any overstatement of costs directly increases the employee’s compensation at the expense of the organization. The results of our experiment support the prediction, even though the cost goal is not tied to current period compensation. Our results have implications for academics and practitioners concerned with factors that affect fraud in organizations. (shrink)
Dispositions are essential to our understanding of the world. IDispositions: A Debate is an extended dialogue between three distinguished philosophers - D.M. Armstrong, C.B. Martin and U.T. Place - on the many problems associated with dispositions, which reveals their own distinctive accounts of the nature of dispositions. These are then linked to other issues such as the nature of mind, matter, universals, existence, laws of nature and causation.
This paper examines the role of management's earnings preannouncements on judgments about its trustworthiness by nonprofessional investors. We predict that management's preannouncement decision and the resulting direction of the earnings surprise influence investors' ethical judgments about management's trustworthiness; these judgments, in turn, are associated with investors' other investment related judgments. We test our predictions in an experiment in which MBA students make investment-related judgments under four different preannouncement strategies. Consistent with our predictions, the results of our study show that managers' (...) preannouncement decisions are significantly associated with investors' evaluations of management's trustworthiness. Specifically, holding the size of the earnings surprise constant, we find that judgments of management's trustworthiness are damaged more following a negative as opposed to a positive earnings surprise, and the release of a preannouncement compared to when management does not issue a preannouncement. Also consistent with our predictions, we find that evaluations of management's trustworthiness are significantly and positively associated with judgments of the attractiveness of the firm's equity as an investment. Based on our findings, we encourage further research to explore whether managers understand the trust implications associated with their preannouncement decisions and the extent to which this understanding influences their disclosure decisions. (shrink)
The purpose of this article should become plain during the reading of it, but perhaps some prior explanation is needed. Almost from the beginning of my study of the paṭiccasamuppāda I have had the notion that it could not have come into existence in the form the usual twelvefold formulation takes. For reasons which I try to make clear this twelvefold formulation is not a satisfactory statement of what it is supposed to explain, namely the reasons for each individual's continued (...) rebirths. I feel - and sadly I have to emphasize, before someone else does it for me, that in the final analysis I am relying more or less on intuition for my attitude towards the twelvefold formulation - that if one person alone had been responsible for the usually referred to formulation, and especially if that one person had been the Buddha, then those anomalies that now prevail would never have existed. (shrink)
Introduction: The language of power, by H. D. Lasswell. Style in the language of politics, by H. D. Lasswell. Why be quantitative? By H. D. Lasswell.--Technique: The problem of validating content analysis, by I. L. Janis. The reliability of content analysis categories, by Abraham Kaplan and J. M. Goldsen. Recording and context units, four ways of coding editorial content, by Alan Grey, David Kaplan and H. D. Lasswell. The feasibility of the use of samples in content analysis, by (...) Alexander Mintz. The coefficient of imbalance, by I. L. Janis and Raymond Fadner.--Applications: Detection; propaganda detection and the courts, by H. D. Lasswell. Trend; May Day slogans in Soviet Russia, 1918-1943, by Sergius Yakobson and H. D. Lasswell. Interaction; the Third International on its change of policy, by Nathan Leites. Interaction; the response of communist propaganda to frustration, by Nathan Leites and I. de Sola Pool. (shrink)
According to historical theories of biological function, a trait's function is determined by natural selection in the past. I argue that, in addition to historical functions, ahistorical functions ought to be recognized. I propose a theory of biological function which accommodates both. The function of a trait is the way it contributes to fitness and fitness can only be determined relative to a selective regime. Therefore, the function of a trait can only be specified relative to a selective regime. Apart (...) from its desirable pluralism, only this view of relational function can support the function/accident and function/malfunction distinctions commonly thought to be part of the concept of function. Furthermore, only relational function correctly characterizes the explanatory consequences of function attributions in evolutionary biology. (shrink)
The most compelling extant accounts of explanation casts all explanations as causal. Yet there are sciences, theoretical population biology in particular, that explain their phenomena by appeal to statistical, non-causal properties of ensembles. I develop a generalised account of explanation. An explanation serves two functions: metaphysical and cognitive. The metaphysical function is discharged by identifying a counterfactually robust invariance relation between explanans event and explanandum. The cognitive function is discharged by providing an appropriate description of this relation. I offer examples (...) of explanations from portfolio theory and population genetics that meet this characterisation. In each case the invariance relation holds between a statistical property of an ensemble and a change in structure of the ensemble. In neither case, however, does the statistical property cause the outcome it explains. There are genuine statistical, non-causal scientific explanations. (shrink)
I argue that recent advances in developmental biology demonstrate the inadequacy of suborganismal mechanism. The category of the organism, construed as a ’natural purpose’ should play an ineliminable role in explaining ontogenetic development and adaptive evolution. According to Kant the natural purposiveness of organisms cannot be demonstrated to be an objective principle in nature, nor can purposiveness figure in genuine explain. I attempt to argue, by appeal to recent work on self-organization, that the purposiveness of organisms is a natural phenomenon (...) and, by appeal to the apparatus of invariance explanation, that biological purposiveness provides genuine, ineliminable biological explanations. (edited). (shrink)