This essay argues that deflationism is incompatible with the phenomenon of referential indeterminacy. This puts the deflationist in the difficult position of having to deny the possibility of what otherwise seems like a manifest and theoretically important phenomenon. Section 1 provides background on deflationism. Section 2 considers an intuitive argument by Stephen Leeds to the effect that deflationism precludes RI; the essay argues that this argument does not succeed. The rest of the essay presents its own, distinct argument for the (...) incompatibility of deflationism and RI. Section 3 argues that direct RI—RI that is not simply a derivative of some other, nonreferential instance of indeterminacy—is strictly incompatible with deflationism. Section 4 considers a couple of different ways the deflationist might try to achieve indirect RI—via indeterminate identity and indeterminate synonymy—and argues that each is unsatisfactory. (shrink)
Neo-Fregeanism is a family of positions in the philosophy of mathematics that combines a certain type of platonism about mathematical abstracta with a certain type of logicism about the foundations and epistemology of mathematics. This paper addresses the following question: what sort of theory of reference can/should NF be committed to? The theory of reference I propose for NF comes in two parts. First, an alethic account of referential success: the fact that a term ‘a’ succeeds in referring to something (...) depends on facts about truth. Second, a deflationary account of referential specification: given that ‘a’ refers to something, the fact that ‘a’ refers to b specifically follows from the disquotational schema for reference together with the fact that b = a. In the first section of the paper I argue that NF should be committed to the first part of this theory. This a point on which there is already agreement. The bulk of the paper is therefore devoted to arguing that NF should be committed to the second part, given that it is committed to the first part. I close the paper by indicating some significant implications and a possible problem for this theory of reference. (shrink)
Discussions of “indeterminacy” customarily distinguish two putative types: semantic indeterminacy (SI)—indeterminacy that’s somehow the product of the semantics of our words/concepts—and metaphysical indeterminacy (MI)—indeterminacy that exists as a mind/language-independent feature of reality itself. A popular and influential thought among philosophers is that all indeterminacy must be SI. In this paper we challenge this thought. Our challenge is guided by the question: What, exactly, does it take for a case of indeterminacy to count as SI? We argue that the only satisfactory (...) answer to this question must take SI to be grounded in a more basic type of MI. We conclude that SI cannot be made sense of without implicating MI. If there’s any indeterminacy, there must be indeterminacy in the world itself. (shrink)
The current literature on indeterminacy centers around two projects. One concerns the logic of indeterminacy; the other concerns its nature or source. The aim of this paper is to introduce, motivate and go some way toward addressing a new, third project: that of providing what I call a minimal characterization of indeterminacy. An MC, to a first approximation, is a relatively pre-theoretical characterization of indeterminacy that is neutral between the various substantive theories of the nature and logic of indeterminacy. An (...) MC thus captures a generic sense of indeterminacy that, at least in principle, is recognized by all parties to the debate over the phenomenon’s underlying nature and logic. I begin by introducing the concept of an MC and outlining some of the main theoretical virtues of providing an MC. I then establish some desiderata on a suitable MC, and use these desiderata to rule out various initially attractive proposals. In the final part of the paper I sketch the beginnings of my own MC and defend it against objections. (shrink)
Can quantum theory provide examples of metaphysical indeterminacy, indeterminacy that obtains in the world itself, independently of how one represents the world in language or thought? We provide a positive answer assuming just one constraint of orthodox quantum theory: the eigenstate-eigenvalue link. Our account adds a modal condition to preclude spurious indeterminacy in the presence of superselection sectors. No other extant account of metaphysical indeterminacy in quantum theory meets these demands.
One of the most popular and enduring approaches to indeterminacy phenomena (e.g., vagueness) over the past several decades has been some form or another of supervaluationism. I argue that supervaluationism is inadequate as a model of indeterminacy: There is an entire class of examples of indeterminacy, characterized by a common “branching” structure, that cannot be modeled in the way supervaluationism proposes. I demonstrate my conclusion explicitly with respect to two specific examples—indeterminate personal identity and indeterminate reference—showing how supervaluationism can model (...) neither. Importantly, my arguments apply to both traditional “semantic” and more recent “metaphysical” versions of supervaluationism. (shrink)
The idea of there being “no fact of the matter” (NFM) features centrally in Quine’s indeterminacy theses. Yet there has been little discussion of how exactly Quine understands this idea. In this paper I identify, develop and then critically evaluate Quine’s conception of NFM. In Sects. 3–4 I consider a handful of intuitive semantic and ontological conceptions of NFM and argue that none is workable from within Quine’s philosophy. I conclude that the failure of each of these proposals is due (...) to the immanent status of truth and existence for Quine. In Sect. 5 I then present Quine’s official conception of NFM. Briefly, Quine’s idea is that there is NFM between two theories of translation iff those theories are physically equivalent. I develop this idea in detail. Finally, I raise two independent problems for this conception of NFM. In Sect. 6 I argue that Quine’s definition is too strong: given what he means by NFM, his arguments for indeterminacy—even granting all their premises and internal reasoning—simply cannot support his claim that there is NFM regarding translation; instead they establish a strictly weaker conclusion. In Sect. 7 I argue that Quine’s conception of NFM is in significant tension with his thesis of physicalism, and that he must give up one or the other. (shrink)
According to Sextus Empiricus, (i) the principal aim of Pyrrhonian skepticism is to achieve tranquility, and (ii) the skeptic is uniquely positioned to realize this aim. I challenge (ii) by arguing that the value nihilist—who believes that nothing is good or bad—can achieve the exact same tranquility as the skeptic. From this comparison I draw important conclusions about the relations among skepticism, tranquility and the value of knowledge.
We implement a recent characterization of metaphysical indeterminacy in the context of orthodox quantum theory, developing the syntax and semantics of two propositional logics equipped with determinacy and indeterminacy operators. These logics, which extend a novel semantics for standard quantum logic that accounts for Hilbert spaces with superselection sectors, preserve different desirable features of quantum logic and logics of indeterminacy. In addition to comparing the relative advantages of the two, we also explain how each logic answers Williamson’s challenge to any (...) substantive account of determinacy: For any proposition p, what could the difference between “p” and “it’s determinate that p” ever amount to? (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better to be immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Since Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions first appeared, David Benatar's distinctive anthology designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy has won a devoted following among users in a variety of upper-level and even introductory courses.
There has been relatively little debate about Nietzsche’s place in environmental ethics, but the lines of the debate are well marked. He has been viewed as an anthropocentrist by Michael E. Zimmerman, a humanist by Ralph Acampora, a biocentrist and deep ecologist by Max Hallman, a constructivist by Martin Drenthen, and an ecocentrist by Graham Parkes. Nietzsche does provide a theory of intrinsic value and his philosophy of nature is germane to an environmerntal ethic. His philosophical biology grounds his value (...) theory. The secondary literature contains three main claims plaguing the debate about his views. First, commentators tend to ignore or downplay Nietzsche’s biology. Second, his value theory is not adequatey addressed. Third, does Nietzsche’s emphasis on hierarchy enable him to maintain that human life is more valuable than that of other life forms, but that the lower life forms have a different kind of value insofar as they enable and support higher life forms? This view is roughly parallel in many respects to the views of Paul Taylor, David Ray Griffin, and Michael E. Zimmerman. (shrink)
Aeschines of Sphettus.--Parmenides, Zeno, and Socrates.--Forms and numbers: a study in Platonic metaphysics.--The philosophy of Proclus.--The analysis of [Epistémé] in Plato's seventh epistle.--St. Thomas Aquinas as a philosopher.--Francis Bacon.--Some features of Bulter's ethics.--David Hume and the miraculous.--Knowing and believing.--Is goodness a quality?
Split brains that result in two simultaneous streams of consciousness cut off from each other are wrongly held to be grounds for doubting the existence of the divinely created soul. The mistake is based on two related errors: first, a failure to appreciate the soul's dependence upon neurological functioning; second, a fallacious belief that if the soul is simple, i.e. without parts, then there must be a unity to its thought, all of its thoughts being potentially accessible to reflection or (...) even unreflective causal interactions. But a soul theorist can allow neurological events to keep some conscious thoughts unavailable to others. (shrink)
This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted on December 13, 2006, and entered into force on May 3, 2008, constitutes a key landmark in the emerging field of global health law and a critical milestone in the development of international law on the rights of persons with disabilities. At the time of its adoption, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights heralded the CRPD as a rejection of the understanding of persons with disabilities “as objects (...) of charity, medical treatment and social protection” and an embrace of disabled people as “subjects of rights.”The text of the Convention itself, and the highly participatory process by which it was negotiated, signal a definitive break from previous international approaches that focused on disability within a medical model framework. In contrast to traditional approaches, the CRPD embraces a social model of disability, concentrating the disability experience not in individual deficiency, but in the socially constructed environment and the barriers that impede the participation of persons with disabilities in society. (shrink)
This article reviews the contributions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the progressive development of both international human rights law and global health law and governance. It provides a summary of the global situation of persons with disabilities and outlines the progressive development of international disability standards, noting the salience of the shift from a medical model of disability to a rights-based social model reflected in the CRPD. Thereafter, the article considers the Convention's structure (...) and substantive content, and then analyzes in specific detail the particular contributions of the Convention to health and human rights law and global health governance. It concludes with an exploration of the potential implications of the CRPD's innovations for some of the most pressing issues in global health governance, including the Convention's contributions to the principle of participation in decision-making. (shrink)
Substantial research demonstrates that ethical leaders improve a broad range of outcomes for their employees, but considerably less attention has been devoted to the performance and success of the leaders themselves. The present study explores the extent to which being ethical relates to leaders’ performance and promotability. We address this question by examining ethical leadership from the two ethical perspectives most common in Western traditions—i.e., the “right” and the “good”—and whether one might be more closely associated than the other with (...) performance and promotability evaluations. Results from 117 employee-supervisor-manager triads show that supervisors with a deontological outlook are more likely to be seen as ethical leaders and that utilitarian leaders are more likely to earn higher performance evaluations. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on ethical leadership. (shrink)
Research has consistently shown ‘ability’ grouping (tracking) to be prey to poor practice, and to perpetuate inequity. A feature of these problems is inequitable and inaccurate practice in allocation to groups or ‘tracks’. Yet little research has examined whether such practices might be improved. Here, we examine survey and interview findings from a large-scale intervention study of grouping practices in 126 English secondary schools. We find that when schools are encouraged to allocate students and move them between groups according to (...) equitable principles by participation in a ‘best practice’ intervention, there is some increased equity of practice (i.e. a reduction in non-attainment factors used in allocation). However, the majority of schools continue to use subjective and potentially biased information to group students. Furthermore, some schools that claim to be using attainment setting appear to be using the inequitable practice of streaming. Our findings show that improvements in equity are constrained by operational and strategic factors, including timetabling, finance, and teachers’ values and beliefs relating to student ability and progression. We suggest strategies for encouraging schools to change their grouping practices, drawing on approaches for working with complex organisations. (shrink)
In this dissertation I examine the topics of ethics, religion, and their relationship in the work of Charles Taylor. I take Taylor's attempt to confront modern disenchantment by seeking a kind of re-enchantment as my guiding thread. Seeking re-enchantment means, first of all, defending an `engaged realist' account of strong evaluation, i.e., qualitative distinctions of value that are seen as normative for our desires. Secondly, it means overcoming self-enclosure and achieving self-transcendence, which I argue should be understood in (...) terms of transcending a `lower' mode of selfhood for a `higher' one in concern for `strong goods'. One of the main issues that Taylor raises is whether re-enchantment requires theism for its full adequacy. He advances - often as `hunches' - controversial claims regarding the significance of theism (1) for defending strong evaluative realism and (2) for motivating an ethic of universal human concern. I seek to fill out his hunches in terms of a theistic teleological perspective that is centered on the `telos of communion'. I argue that such a view is important for overcoming the problem of what Bernard Williams calls the `radical contingency' of ethical beliefs, which seems to undermine their normative authority. However, I argue that if a non-theistic view of cosmic purpose (e.g., Thomas Nagel's view) can be regarded as a viable option, then it could also help to address this problem and support a kind of re-enchantment. Taylor also advances the controversial view that (3) there is an ineradicable draw to `transcendence' in human life in connection to the quest for the meaning of life. Here he opposes certain mainstream theories of secularization that see it as a process involving the ineluctable fading away of the relevance of religion. I seek to fill out and defend Taylor's view in this matter. Besides providing a reading of Taylor's work as a whole and advancing further some of the issues he raises, I also examine his general evaluative framework based on his account of strong evaluation. In doing so I show how he provides a distinct and important perspective among contemporary moral philosophers. (shrink)
Extending ethical leadership theory and research beyond the walls of the organization, we propose a spillover model wherein ethical leaders impact customer loyalty (i.e., repeat purchase amount) by first establishing trusting relations with employees, who in turn emulate their leaders’ ethical behavior. In Study 1, we examined how this initial trust (i.e., trust primacy) facilitates new employees’ moral imprinting in a controlled experiment. In Study 2, with a field design, we tested our model among new employees and their respective customers (...) over a 6-month timespan. Results indicate that perceptions of ethical leadership operate through trust primacy to affect customer repeat purchase, with accelerated growth over time. We conclude by considering theoretical and practical implications as they relate to ethical leadership and trust primacy, as well as marketing and salesforce management. (shrink)
Philosophers continue to debate about David Hume’s case against the rationality of belief in miracles. This article clarifies semantic, epistemological, and metaphysical questions addressed in the controversy. It also explains the main premises of Hume’s argument and discusses criticisms of them. The article concludes that one’s evaluation of Hume’s argument will depend on one’s views about (a) the definitions of ’miracle’ and ’natural law’; (b) the type of reasoning one ought to employ to determine the probability that a particular (...) miracle claim is true; and (c) whether reasonable people proportion their beliefs about the occurrence of miracles to their evidence. (shrink)
Bioethics in a Liberal Societ By Max Charlesworth, Cambridge University Press, 1993. Pp. 172. ISBN 0?521?44952?9. £9.95 pbk. The Logical Universe: The Real Universe By Noel Curran Avebury, 1994. Pp. 158. ISBN 1?85628?863?3. £32.50. Beyond Postmodern Politics: Lyotard, Rorty, Foucault By Honi Fern Haber Routledge, 1994. Pp.viii + 160. ISBN 0?415?90823?X. $15.95. Baudrillard's Bestiary: Baudrillard and Culture By Mike Gane Routledge, 1991, Pp. 184. ISBN 0?415?06307?8. £10.99 pbk. Truth, Fiction and Literature: A Philosophical Perspective By Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom (...) Olsen Clarendon Press, 1994. Pp. 456. ISBN 0?19?824082?1. £45.00. Milton and the Drama of History: Historical Vision, Iconoclasm, and the Literary Imagination By David Loewenstein Cambridge University Press, 1990. Pp. x + 197. ISBN 0?521?37253?4. £25.00. Philosophy and Knowledge: A Commentary on Plato's Theaetetus Ronald M. Polansky Associated University Presses, 1992. Pp. 260. ISBN 0?8387?5215?2. £29.95. Heidegger and French Philosophy: Humanism, Antihumanism and Being By Tom Rockmore Routledge, 1995. Pp. xx + 250. ISBN 0?415?11181?1. £14.99 pbk. Living Poetically: Kierkegaard's Existential Aesthetics By Sylvia Walsh The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994. Pp. 294. ISBN 0?271?01328?1. (shrink)
How should pragmatists respond to and contribute to the resolution of one of America’s greatest and most enduring problems? Given that the most important thinkers of the pragmatist movement—Charles S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead—said little about the problem of race, how does their distinctly American way of thinking confront the hardship and brutality that characterizes the experience of many African Americans in this country? In 12 thoughtful and provocative essays, contemporary American pragmatists connect ideas with (...) action and theory with practice to come to terms with this seemingly intractable problem. Exploring themes such as racism and social change, the value of the concept of race, the role of education in ameliorating racism, and the place of democracy in dealing with the tragedy of race, the voices gathered in this volume consider how pragmatism can focus new attention on the problem of race. Contributors are Michael Eldridge, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Judith M. Green, D. Micah Hester, Donald F. Koch, Bill E. Lawson, David E. McClean, Gregory F. Pappas, Scott L. Pratt, Alfred E. Prettyman, John R. Shook, Paul C. Taylor, and Cornel West. (shrink)
Tradução para o português de "Uma espécie de história de minha vida" (A kind of history of my life), ou Carta a um médico (A Letter to a Physician), uma carta escrita por Hume (1711-1776), endereçada em março ou abril de 1734 a um médico não identificado (segundo Norton provavelmente John Arbuthnot ou George Cheyne), na qual Hume pede alguns conselhos para continuar com o seu trabalho filosófico. O título atual é extraído do primeiro parágrafo.A carta foi escrita em 1734, (...) um pouco antes de Hume viajar para Bristol, onde, “forçado a fazer uma rápida incursão em uma vida mais ativa”, conforme relata em sua autobiografia Minha vida, buscou empregar-se no comércio. A importância dessa carta reside no seu caráter autobiográfico e nos comentários que Hume faz sobre seu projeto filosófico. A carta foi publicada originalmente em Life and correspondence of David Hume, John Hill Burton(Ed.), Edinburgh 1846, v. 1, p. 30-39; ela foi reproduzida em The Letters of David Hume. Grey, J. Y. T. (ed.) Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1932, 2v; v.1, n.3, p. 12-18, e pode ser encontrada também em The Cambridge companion to Hume, David Fate Norton, Jacqueline Taylor (ed.) 2 ed. Cambridge University Press, 2009, p. 515-522. Para essa tradução consultamos o texto original conforme apresentado nas duas últimas edições aqui mencionadas. (shrink)
Introduction -- Part I: The meaning of life -- Richard Taylor, The meaning of life -- Thomas Nagel, The absurd -- Richard Hare, Nothing matters -- W.D. Joske, Philosophy and the meaning of life -- Robert Nozick, Philosophy and the meaning of life -- David Schmidtz, The meanings of life -- Part II: Creating people -- Derek Parfit, Whether causing someone to exist can benefit this person -- John Leslie, Why not let life ecome extinct? -- James Lenman, (...) On becoming extinct -- David Benatar, Why it is better never to come into existence -- Part III: Death -- Stephen E. Rosenbaum, How to be dead and not care : a defense of epicurus -- GeorgePpitcher, The misfortunes of the dead -- Steven Luper, Annihilation -- Fred Fldman, Some puzzles about the evil of death -- Frederick Kaufman, Pre-vital and post-mortem non-existence -- David B. Suits, Why death is not bad for the one who died -- Part IV: Suicide -- David Hume, Of suicide -- Immanuel Kant, Suicide and duty -- David Benatar, Suicide : a qualified defence -- Part V: Immortality -- James Lenman, Immortality : a letter -- Bernard Williams, The Makropulos case : reflections on the tedium of immortality -- John Martin Fischer, Why immortality is not so bad -- Christine Overall, from here to eternity : is it good to live forever? -- Part VI: Optimism and pessimism -- Margaret A. Boden, Optimism -- Michaelis Michael and Peter Caldwell, The consolations of optimism -- Bruce N. Waller, The sad truth : optimism, pessimism, and pragmatism -- Arthur Schopenhauer, On the suffering of the world. (shrink)
???Everyone agrees that the moral features of things supervene on their natural features??? , 22). Everyone is wrong, or so I will argue. In the first section, I explain the version of moral supervenience that Smith and others argue everyone should accept. In the second section, I argue that the mere conceptual possibility of a divine command theory of morality is sufficient to refute the version of moral supervenience under consideration. Lastly, I consider and respond to two objections, showing, among (...) other things, that while DCT is sufficient to refute this version of moral supervenience it is not necessary. (shrink)