The Stoic, David Hume’s “man of action and virtue,” is often considered the forerunner and foundation of Adam Smith’s market man of morals (Hume 1985, 146–54). Ian Simpson Ross notes Smith’s enthusiasm for Stoic philosophers such as Cicero and Marcus Aurelius and the way Stoic philosophy informs Smith’s arguments on various topics such as self-command, self-love, and suicide (Ross 1995, 172, 384). Pierre Force confirms the influence of Stoicism in tracing Smith’s moral system as a contrast with the Epicurean/Augustinian (...) tradition, showing that for Smith and Stoics self-love merely points the way for an agent to choose rationally a course of action (Force 2003, 103–5). However, Deirdre McCloskey and others .. (shrink)
Some earth scientists reckon our current geological epoch as the Holocene, a mild, perhaps interglacial period, in which fluctuations in the earth's temperatures have been hospitable to human beings. The Holocene witnessed advancements in agriculture, writing, technological and tool development, historical awareness, and civilizational and urban expansion. There is, however, an emerging recognition that Homo sapiens have become a planetary force in our own right through the technological, carbon-based economies that have flourished throughout the Holocene. This recognition has prompted the (...) invention of a new term, the "Anthropocene," literally the new age or time of the human (from the Greek anthropos, meaning... (shrink)
Stove argues that Popper and his successors in the philosophy of science, Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend, were irrationalists because they were deductivists. That is, they believed all logic is deductive, and thus denied that experimental evidence could make scientific theories logically more probable. The book was reprinted as Anything Goes (1998) and Scientific Irrationalism: Origins of a Postmodern Cult (1998).
Writing on the justification of certain inductive inferences, the author proposes that sometimes induction is justified and that arguments to prove otherwise are not cogent. In the first part he defends the argument of D.C. Williams' The Ground of Induction that induction is justified as a matter of logic by the proportional syllogism: "The vast majority of large samples match the population, therefore (probably) this sample matches the population"). In the second part he deals with such topics as deductive logic (...) (arguing that deductive logic is not formal), the theory of logical probability, and probability and truth. (shrink)
This book aims to discuss probability and David Hume's inductive scepticism. For the sceptical view which he took of inductive inference, Hume only ever gave one argument. That argument is the sole subject-matter of this book. The book is divided into three parts. Part one presents some remarks on probability. Part two identifies Hume's argument for inductive scepticism. Finally, the third part evaluates Hume's argument for inductive scepticism. Hume's argument that induction must be either deductively valid or circular because (...) based on experience neglects the possibility that it is an argument of non-deductive logic (logical probability, in the sense of Keynes). (shrink)
[DavidCharles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being with one activity, sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the best life (...) available for humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
The Great Financial Crisis that broke in 2008 and the Great Recession that followed has led many to question the very structure of contemporary economies. Some argue that the economic model of the past forty years is now broken. Criticism has also been directed at the orthodoxies of economics. For example, neoclassical equilibrium economics, the mainstream economics of the day, is accused of failing to understand some of the most basic aspects of the modern economy, of supporting policies that have (...) led to the economic breakdown, and of failing to see the crisis coming. Consequently, heterodox thinking in economics is getting a hearing as never before. Heterodox economics offers itself as the requisite radical reconstruction of the science of economics and also proposes policies for the radical reconstruction of the major economics.Yet to talk of the reconstruction of the modern market economy is at the same time to raise the ethical question: what shape ought the market economy to take? Heterodox economics may acutely analyse the inadequacies of real economies and propose plausible reforms, but as an essentially descriptive science there will be limits on its ability to state what ought to be. Rather, what is required seems to be a systematic prescriptive ethics. In other words, recent events in the world of economics have provided an opening for what ethical philosophy should be best at providing. Determining whether a specific ethical philosophy, to be identified shortly, has the capacity to address the questions raised by heterodox economics is the task of this paper. (shrink)
The present paper is one installment in a lengthy task, the replacement of atomistic interpretations of Wittgenstein's Tractatus by a wholistic interpretation on which the world-in-logical-space is not constructed out of objects but objects are abstracted from out of that space. Here, general arguments against atomism are directed toward a specific target, the four aspects of the atomistic reading of Tractatus given in the Hintikkas' Investigating Wittgenstein (Hintikka & Hintikka 1986). The aspects in question are called the semantical, metaphysical, epistemological (...) and formal.What follows a précis of the Hintikkas' rendering of Wittgenstein's perspective is a characterization of the wholistic interpretation, comparing Wittgenstein's world and the transcendental conditions it sets upon possible notation to a blank page and the conditions it sets upon what is about to be written there. There will not be occasion to bring arguments against each plank in the atomist's platform or in support of each facet of wholism. But there is an extended treatment of the first two aspects — the semantical and metaphysical — which takes off from Wittgenstein's determination that, in his hands, logic must take care of itself. (shrink)
A recognizable topological model construction shows that any consistent principles of classical set theory, including the validity of the law of the excluded third, together with a standard class theory, do not suffice to demonstrate the general validity of the law of the excluded third. This result calls into question the classical mathematician's ability to offer solid justifications for the logical principles he or she favors.
According to DavidCharles, in the Meno Socrates fleetingly distinguishes the signification from the essence question, but, in the end, he conflates them. Doing so, Charles thinks, both leads to Meno's paradox and prevents Socrates from answering it satisfactorily. I argue that Socrates doesn't conflate the two questions, and that his reply to Meno's paradox is more satisfactory than Charles allows.
DavidCharles presents a major new study of Aristotle's views on meaning, essence, necessity, and related topics. These interconnected views are central to Aristotle's metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science, and are also highly relevant to current philosophical debates. Charles aims to reach a clear understanding of Aristotle's claims and arguments, to assess their truth, and to evaluate their importance to ancient and modern philosophy.