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.
In this article I describe the theoretical underpinnings of 20th-century British philosopher W. D. Ross's approach to linking deontological and teleological decision making. I attempt to fill in what Ross left on the whole unanswered, that is, how to use his duties to resolve dilemmas. A case study in journalism demonstrates how to apply the theory. I conclude with an analysis of what I take to be the strengths and weaknesses in Ross's theory.
The goal of this article is to try to resolve two key problems in the duty-based approach of W. D. Ross: the source of principles and a process for moving from prima facie to actual duty. I use a naturalistic explanation for the former and a nine-step method for making concrete ethical decisions as they could be applied to journalism. Consistent with Ross's position, the process is complicated, particularly in tougher problems, and it cannot guarantee correct choices. Again consistent with (...) Ross, such complexity and uncertainty speak in the method's favor, given the difficulty?factual, motivational, and organizational?of ethics problems and decision making. (shrink)
This seems destined, quite naturally and justly, to become a standard group of selections. Included are Chappell's meaty Introduction, My Own Life, Of the Standard of Taste, the Dialogues, and large portions of the Treatise and the two Inquiry's. Where Chappell feels that the Treatise and especially the first Inquiry overlap, he favors the passages from the Treatise. Among the notable exclusions from the latter are most of the discussion of space and time and the better part of Book II, (...) Part II. What is probably most controversial and unfortunate is the editor's omission of all but three sections in "Of Justice and Injustice".--W. L. M. (shrink)
This impressive volume presents the results of a symposium on the structure of scientific theories held at the University of Illinois, Urbana, on March 26-29, 1969; lest this create the wrong impression, let it be noted at the outset that the volume is much more than a collection of papers. Indeed, when one takes into account Frederick Suppe’s book-length introduction, the editing of the critical comments, the extensive bibliography, and the fine index, the work must be seen as the best (...) account of scientific theory now available, one that surely commends itself to every philosopher of science with the slightest interest in metaphysics. The thrust of the symposium was to examine the view of scientific theories that has enjoyed great vogue among logical positivists, who have seen such theories as "axiomatic calculi in which theoretical terms and statements are given a partial observational interpretation by means of correspondence rules." Suppe refers to this as the "Received View," although it has been increasingly questioned in recent years, particularly by philosophers who have some proficiency in the history of science and by scientists who question its fidelity to actual scientific practice. One of the major aims of the symposium was to subject the Received View to analysis and debate by its proponents and by its critics, to assess its present status, and to see if any consensus has begun to develop on this topic—which plays such a key role in the philosophy of science. Suppe performs the analytic function in his critical introduction, and Stephen Toulmin adds a postscript that attempts to chart a course for future research. The message seems to be that the Received View has run its course and has proved to be more a hindrance than a help to philosophizing about science; what will take its place, however, does not emerge with any clarity. Participants in the symposium include all the luminaries in the philosophy of science movement: Carl Hempel, Patrick Suppes, David Bohm, Hilary Putnam, Thomas Kuhn, and Dudley Shapere, among others. Especially noteworthy are Suppe’s account of the development of the Received View and the criticisms that have been lodged against it, viz., its reliance on the analytic-synthetic distinction; the tenability of the observational-theoretical distinction; the notion of partial interpretation; its failure to include models as integral components; its analysis of correspondence rules; and its reliance on axiomatization. Suppe also details some of the proposed alternatives to the Received View, giving in the process lucid expositions of the thought of Toulmin, Kuhn, Hanson, Popper, and Feyerabend—all of which he treats under the rubric of "Weltanshauungen [[sic]] Analyses." Those interested in the relationships between history of science and philosophy of science will find the interchange between I. Bernard Cohen and Peter Achinstein stimulating as well as illuminating. Kuhn takes this occasion to offer his "Second Thoughts on Paradigms," and Shapere continues his criticism of both Kuhn and logical positivism—now more constructively than heretofore—with a penetrating essay entitled "Scientific Theories and their Domains." About the only thing that is lacking is a treatment of recent developments in England, particularly the work of Rom Harré at Oxford and related thinkers, who likewise reject the Received View and offer interesting alternatives to it that have yet to be appreciated and critiqued in the U.S.—W.A.W. (shrink)
Seemingly, every mental act has a content or subject-matter. When I think, imagine, or hear, there appears to be a content or subject-matter of my thinking, imagining, or hearing. Now, what the difference is between this kind of content and the content of nonmental containers or containings, is a question which has beguiled even those thinkers, such as Ryle in England and physicalists in America, who are disinclined to recognize the mental as a separate ontic domain. When the problem of (...) isolating the nature of mental content or subject-matter was revived in the 19th century, Franz Brentano followed the Scholastics in calling these contents "intentions." The editor of the present volume, while noting that the concept of "intentionality has played a very central role in such philosophical movements as phenomenology, existentialism, and neo-Scholasticism," brings out the fact that this concept also, in recent years, was taken up by "philosophers in the analytical tradition as a powerful conceptual tool...." Seminal writings on the nature of intentionality by Frege, Russell, Carnap, Hempel, Ryle, Quine, Chisholm, Wilfrid Sellars, Thomas Nagel, Aune, Linsky, Hintikka, and others are brought together in this well-organized anthology, along with an introduction, a supplement containing unpublished Sellars correspondence with David M. Rosenthal, a bibliographical essay, and an index.—W. G. (shrink)
Although the essays in this book vary a good deal in quality, they all distort the eighteenth century to some extent by concentrating on its "modernity," about the scope of which, to increase the confusion, none of the authors is very explicit. One essay treats the emergence of scientific thought quite superficially; another presents Jacobi as an anti-type of Goethe and a fore-runner of existentialism. Herbert Dieckmann argues against the common "from classic to romantic" view of eighteenth-century aesthetic history. Ernest (...) Mossner characterizes "the enlightenment of David Hume," seeing him as a liberator of the mind from its various idols and reiterating his view that Hume was only a "mitigated sceptic." Dietrich Ritschl emphasizes Semler's contribution to the historical study of the Bible; his essay also contains, but only implicitly, some warnings for today's aggiornamento theologians.—W. B. K. (shrink)
We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
In his paper “The Catholic Church, the American Military, and Homosexual Reorientation Therapy,” David W. Lutz ultimately concludes that it is “appropriate, and highly ethical” for the American military to offer reorientation therapy to help homosexuals overcome “the vice of sodomy.” The major thrust of his paper, however, is to call for abandonment of the “Don't Ask/Don't Tell” policy currently in place in the military. Lutz's paper covers much ground, and this review begins by examining whether such a wide (...) view is necessary for the ultimate conclusions. It goes on to ask whether Lutz has omitted to mention important considerations bearing on this issue, and whether Lutz's call for the introduction of reorientation therapy is a serious call or a symbolic response to homosexual activities. Lutz fails to address essential issues such as the actual experiences of other nations having homosexuals in the military, and issues regarding what constitutes “reorientation therapy,” the latter leading to questions about how such a therapy would actually be implemented. (shrink)
In Gabriel Marcel and American Philosophy, David W. Rodick investigates Gabriel Marcel's relationship to classical American philosophy—more specifically, to Josiah Royce's idealism, William James's radical empiricism, William Ernest Hocking's empiricism, and Henry G. Bugbee's experiential naturalism—to provide Marcel scholars and scholars of classical American philosophy with a fruitful perspective for understanding Marcel's thought. He also seeks to capture Marcel's dynamic and concrete approach to philosophizing along with examining its "relevance to the contemporary world—a world in which philosophy, confined to (...) the ivory tower, remains at risk of becoming somewhat of a caricature of itself". In... (shrink)
Remarks to the effect that a correct answer depends upon a correct question —that from a misleading question there can result only a misleading answer—are common today. In fact, one might suspect that such common concentration on finding the right questions has something to do with what seems to be an uncommon lack of answers. This concentration on the importance of asking the right questions can be applied to the interpretation of biblical literature. For here, certainly, the questions asked are (...) often decisive. They guide the inquiry by setting the terms of the search and, in this sense, they determine at least the kind of answers that will be given. Further, they often disclose the presuppositions with which one is working. (shrink)