This book is about self-deception and lack of self-control or wishful thinking and acting against one's own better judgement. Steering a course between the skepticism of philosophers, who find the conscious defiance of reason too paradoxical, and the tolerant empiricism of psychologists, it compares the two kinds of irrationality, and relates the conclusions drawn to the views of Freud, cognitive psychologists, and such philosophers as Aristotle, Anscombe, Hare and Davidson.
In this volume, Pears examines the internal organization of Wittgenstein's thought and the origins of his philosophy to provide unusually clear insight into the philosopher's ideas. Part I surveys the whole of Wittgenstein's work, while Part II details the central concepts of his early system; both reveal how the details of Wittgenstein's work fit into its general pattern.
A stellar group of philosophers offer new works on themes from the great philosophy of Wittgenstein, honoring one of his most eminent interpreters David Pears. This collection covers both the early and the later work of Wittgenstein, relating it to current debates in philosophy. Topics discussed include solipsism, ostension, rules, necessity, privacy, and consciousness.
Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in Vienna in 1889 and died in Cambridge in 1951. He studied engineering, first in Berlin and then in Manchester, and he soon began to ask himself philosophical questions about the foundations of mathematics. What are numbers? What sort of truth does a mathematical equation possess? What is the force of proof in pure mathematics? In order to find the answers to such questions, he went to Cambridge in 1911 to work with Russell, who had just (...) produced in collaboration with Whitehead (1861-1947) Principia Mathematica (1910-1913), a monumental treatise which bases mathematics on logic. But on what is logic based? Wittgenstein's attempt to answer this question convinced Russell that he was a genius. During the 1914-8 war he served in the Austrian army and in spare moments continued the work on the foundations of logic which he had begun in 1912. His war-time journal, Notebook s 1914-16 (1961), reveals the development of his ideas more clearly that the final version, Tractatus Logico- Philosophicus, which he published in the early 1920s. (shrink)
Language’s intentional nature has been highlighted as a crucial feature distinguishing it from other communication systems. Specifically, language is often thought to depend on highly structured intentional action and mutual mindreading by a communicator and recipient. Whilst similar abilities in animals can shed light on the evolution of intentionality, they remain challenging to detect unambiguously. We revisit animal intentional communication and suggest that progress in identifying analogous capacities has been complicated by (i) the assumption that intentional (that is, voluntary) production (...) of communicative acts requires mental-state attribution, and (ii) variation in approaches investigating communication across sensory modalities. To move forward, we argue that a framework fusing research across modalities and species is required. We structure intentional communication into a series of requirements, each of which can be operationalised, investigated empirically, and must be met for purposive, intentionally communicative acts to be demonstrated. Our unified approach helps elucidate the distribution of animal intentional communication and subsequently serves to clarify what is meant by attributions of intentional communication in animals and humans. (shrink)
This paper examines Johann Ulrich Bilguer’s 1761 dissertation on the inutility of amputation practices, examining reasons for its influence despite its nonconformance to genre expectations. I argue that Bilguer’s narratives of patient suffering, his rhetorical likening of surgeons to soldiers, and his attention to the horrific experiences of war surgeons all contribute to the dissertation’s wide impact. Ultimately, the dissertation offers an example of affective rhetorics employed during the Enlightenment, demonstrating how bodies and environments—those “ambient rhetorics” made visible in a (...) text—can contribute to an analysis of genre deviations and widen the scope of genre studies. (shrink)
The introduction of digital games and simulations into science museums has prompted excitement about a new "post-museum" pedagogy emphasizing egalitarianism, interactivity, and personalized approaches to learning. However, many post-museums of science, this article aims to show, enact rhetorical performances that lead visitors to narrowly targeted answers and hide the authority of the expert in a play of tactile and affective activities, thus operating in opposition to many of the basic ideals of the post-museum. The Brain and Cognition Exhibit at the (...) Hong Kong Science Museum serves as a case study for how a post-museum exhibit, through embracing interactivity and visitor-centered tasks, becomes a site where science is tested on and performed through visitors' bodies such that institutional prescriptions are applied. Visitors are not merely encouraged at this exhibit to learn about the brain through doing but are trained to see functional and dysfunctional brains and to then diagnose themselves and their children by playing games and taking brain-measurement tests. As a result, the interactive engagement of the exhibit creates a new space of public medicalization. Reflections and suggestions are offered at the end of the article. (shrink)
Building from recent attempts in the humanities and social sciences to conceive of creative, entangled ways of doing interdisciplinary work, I turn to Braidotti’s ‘nomadic ontology’ to vision the human body without a brain. Her exploration of the body as a ‘threshold of transformations’ is put into conversation with Deleuze’s comments on neurobiology to consider what a brainless body might do, or undo, in neuroscientific practice. I ground discussion in a case study, detailing the practices of brain decoding or ‘mind (...) reading,’ re-interpreting Rose’s account. Therein, I argue that the technical-social configurations of brain decoding are unlikely to usher in a radically new ontology, as Rose suggests. To better match Rose’s vision and align with new ontologies in cultural theory, I argue that neuroscience must become nomadic and embrace a body without a brain. I then conclude with six recommendations towards a nomadic neuroscience. (shrink)
Taking its orientation from Peter Winch, this article critiques from a Wittgensteinian point of view some “theoreticist” tendencies within constructivism. At the heart of constructivism is the deeply Wittgensteinian idea that the world as we know and understand it is the product of human intelligence and interests. The usefulness of this idea can be vitiated by a failure to distinguish conceptual from empirical questions. I argue that such a failure characterises two influential constructivist theories, those of Ernst von Glasersfeld and (...)David Bloor. These are considered in turn. Both theories seek to give a general, causal account of knowledge: von Glasersfeld's in term of cognitive subjectivity, Bloor's in terms of social agreement. Ironically, given that both writers cite Wittgenstein as a source of theoretical inspiration, assumptions of both theories run counter to key Wittgensteinian arguments. To show that Wittgenstein's views offer no solace to the realist, the article closes with a brief consideration of John Searle's theory of knowledge. (shrink)
Porosity and permeability are key variables that link the thermal-hydrologic, geomechanical, and geochemical behavior in rock systems and are thus important input parameters for transport models. Neutron scattering studies indicate that the scales of pore sizes in rocks extend over many orders of magnitude from nanometer-sized pores with huge amounts of total surface area to large open fracture systems. However, despite considerable efforts combining conventional petrophysics, neutron scattering, and electron microscopy, the quantitative nature of this porosity in tight gas shales, (...) especially at smaller scales and over larger rock volumes, remains largely unknown. Nor is it well understood how pore networks are affected by regional variation in rock composition and properties, thermal changes across the oil window, and, most critically, hydraulic fracturing. To improve this understanding, we have used a combination of small- and ultrasmall-angle neutron scattering SANS with scanning electron microscope /backscattered electron imaging to analyze the pore structure of clay- and carbonate-rich samples of the Eagle Ford Shale. This formation is hydrocarbon rich, straddles the oil window, and is one of the most actively drilled oil and gas targets in the United States. Several important trends in the Eagle Ford rock pore structure have been identified using our approach. The SANS results reflected the connected and unconnected porosity, as well as the volume occupied by organic material. The latter could be separated using total organic carbon data and, at all maturities, constituted a significant fraction of the apparent porosity. At lower maturities, the pore structure was strongly anisotropic. However, this decreased with increasing maturity, eventually disappearing entirely for carbonate-rich samples. In clay- and carbonate-rich samples, a significant reduction in total porosity occurred at SANS scales, much of it during initial increases in maturity. This apparently contradicted SEM observations that showed increases in intraorganic porosity with increasing maturity. Organic-rich shales are, however, a very complex material from the point of view of scattering studies, and a more detailed analysis is needed to better understand these observations. (shrink)
This book is a presentation and critical analysis of Hume’s argument against miracles. In addition, this work contains a critique of contemporary rehabilitations of Hume’s argument by Flew, Nowell-Smith, and McKinnon, and a defense of the kalam cosmological argument for God’s existence. The author concludes that the concept of miracle is perfectly coherent and that it is possible that one can enough evidence to be epistemically justified in believing that one has occurred. This book also includes a discussion on the (...) nature of evidential standards and how they are similar to scientific law in their grounding. (shrink)
This article is a critical review of David Boonin's book, A Defense of Abortion (Cambridge University Press, 2002), a significant contribution to the literature on this subject and arguably the most important monograph on abortion published in the past twenty years. Boonin's defense of abortion consists almost exclusively of sophisticated critiques of a wide variety of pro-life arguments, including ones that are rarely defended by pro-life advocates. This article offers a brief presentation of the book's contents with extended assessments (...) of those arguments of Boonin's that are his unique contributions to the abortion debate and with which the author disagrees: (1) Boonin's critique of the conception criterion and his defense of organized cortical brain activity as the acquired property that imparts to the fetus a right to life: (2) Boonin's defense of J. J. Thomson's violinist argument and his distinction between responsibility for existence and responsibility for neediness and its application to pregnancy. (shrink)
This study examines the impact of church schools on a range of indices of village church life in a sample of 1637 communities ranging in size from 250 to 1250 inhabitants. After controlling for the influence of population, electoral roll, the amalgamation of churches within multi‐parish benefices, the age of the clergyman and whether or not there is an occupied vicarage within the area served by the church, the presence of a church school is shown to augment slightly the village (...) church's usual Sunday contact with 6‐9‐year‐olds and with adults. The presence of a church school is also shown to have a small positive influence on the number of infant baptisms, the number of 6‐13‐year‐olds in the village church choir and the number of young confirmands under the age of 14 years. All these findings emphasise the beneficial nature of the impact of Church of England voluntary schools on village church life. (shrink)
This study provides evidence regarding the level of ethical cognition of business students at the entry to college as compared to a national norm. It also provides comparative evidence on the effects of group versus individual ethical cognition upon completion of a business ethics course. The Principled Score (P-score) from the Defining Issues Test (DIT) was used to measure the ethical cognition of a total sample of 301 business students (273 entering students plus 28 students in a business ethics course). (...) The results indicate that (1) business students are not significantly different from the national norms at entry to college and (2) group reasoning helps male students improve their P-scores significantly in the business ethics course at a loss of P-score (albeit not statistically significant) for female students. (shrink)
Bacon?s Sylva Sylvarum and his New Atlantis both appeared soon after his death, edited by his chaplain, Rawley. The works are, on the face of it, dissimilar, and have been treated as unrelated, on the assumption that Rawley was merely attempting to rush out (in the wake of his employer?s death) two works that had occupied his last years. In order to establish just what their relation is, we need to establish, first, whether New Atlantis was simply a last?minute addition (...) to the Sylva volume; second, what Rawley says about their association and how he effects it; and third, whether the two works have other concerns in common that would have led Bacon himself to consider them as companion pieces. Such an examination shows that there were intrinsically connected pieces, and can be used to throw light on the aims of both works. (shrink)
Ethical issues related to comparative effectiveness research, or research that compares existing standards of care, have recently received considerable attention. In this paper we focus on how Ethics Review Committees should evaluate the risks of comparative effectiveness research. We discuss what has been a prominent focus in the debate about comparative effectiveness research, namely that it is justified when “nothing is known” about the comparative effectiveness of the available alternatives. We argue that this focus may be misleading. Rather, we should (...) focus on the fact that some experts believe that the evidence points in favor of one intervention, whereas other experts believe that the evidence favors the alternative. We will then introduce a case that illustrates this point, and based on that, discuss how ERCs should deal with such cases of expert disagreement. We argue that ERCs have a duty to assess the range of expert opinions and based on that assessment arrive at a risk judgment about the study under consideration. We also argue that assessment of expert disagreement is important for the assignment of risk level to a clinical trial: what is the basis for expert opinions, how strong is the evidence appealed to by various experts, and how can clinical trial monitoring affect the possible increased risk of clinical trial participation. (shrink)