In the first part of chapter 2 of book II of the Physics Aristotle addresses the issue of the difference between mathematics and physics. In the course of his discussion he says some things about astronomy and the ‘ ‘ more physical branches of mathematics”. In this paper I discuss historical issues concerning the text, translation, and interpretation of the passage, focusing on two cruxes, the first reference to astronomy at 193b25–26 and the reference to the more physical branches at 194a7–8. In (...) section I, I criticize Ross’s interpretation of the passage and point out that his alteration of has no warrant in the Greek manuscripts. In the next three sections I treat three other interpretations, all of which depart from Ross's: in section II that of Simplicius, which I commend; in section III that of Thomas Aquinas, which is importantly influenced by a mistranslation of, and in section IV that of Ibn Rushd, which is based on an Arabic text corresponding to that printed by Ross. In the concluding section of the paper I describe the modern history of the Greek text of our passage and translations of it from the early twelfth century until the appearance of Ross's text in 1936. (shrink)
In the first part of chapter 2 of book II of the Physics Aristotle addresses the issue of the difference between mathematics and physics. In the course of his discussion he says some things about astronomy and the ‘ ‘ more physical branches of mathematics”. In this paper I discuss historical issues concerning the text, translation, and interpretation of the passage, focusing on two cruxes, ( I ) the first reference to astronomy at 193b25–26 and ( II ) the reference (...) to the more physical branches at 194a7–8. In section I, I criticize Ross’s interpretation of the passage and point out that his alteration of ( I ) has no warrant in the Greek manuscripts. In the next three sections I treat three other interpretations, all of which depart from Ross's: in section II that of Simplicius, which I commend; in section III that of Thomas Aquinas, which is importantly influenced by a mistranslation of ( II ), and in section IV that of Ibn Rushd, which is based on an Arabic text corresponding to that printed by Ross. In the concluding section of the paper I describe the modern history of the Greek text of our passage and translations of it from the early twelfth century until the appearance of Ross's text in 1936. (Published Online August 10 2006) Footnotes1 This paper was prepared as the basis of a presentation at a conference entitled “Writing and rewriting the history of science, 1900–2000,” Les Treilles, France, September, 2003, organized by Karine Chemla and Roshdi Rashed. I have compared Aristotle's and Ptolemy's views of the relationship between astronomy and physics in a paper called “Astrologogeômetria and astrophysikê in Aristotle and Ptolemy,” presented at a conference entitled “Physics and mathematics in Antiquity,” Leiden, The Netherlands, June, 2004, organized by Keimpe Algra and Frans de Haas. For a discussion of Hellenistic views of this relationship see Ian Mueller, “Remarks on physics and mathematical astronomy and optics in Epicurus, Sextus Empiricus, and some Stoics,” in Philippa Lang (ed.), Re-inventions: Essays on Hellenistic and Early Roman Science, Apeiron 37, 4 (2004): 57–87. I would like to thank two anonymous readers of this essay for meticulous corrections and thoughtful suggestions, almost all of which I readily adopted. (shrink)
Le canon 812 du Code de droit canon de 1983 exige que ceux qui enseignent une discipline théologique dans une université catholique aient un mandatum de la part de l’autorité ecclésiastique compétente. Entre insistances et rappels à l’ordre romains, s’en suivirent aux Etats-Unis neuf ans de consultations, discussions et conflits qui impliquèrent évêques, présidents d’universités et théologiens. Il y a là un fait théologique et ecclésial dont les Eglises d’autres pays n’ont pas fait la même expérience. L’examen des enjeux ecclésiologiques (...) de ces péripéties constitue l’objet de ces réflexions qui représentent ainsi une sorte de lettre théologique des Etats-Unis. Pourquoi l’acuité de la question dans ce pays ? Comment comprendre le mandatum avec l’emploi du concept de communion ? Qu’est-ce que ce mandatum comme fait historique et comme institution ecclésiale ? Telles sont les questions auxquelles tente de répondre J.G. Mueller dans cet article.Canon 812 of the Code of Canon Law of 1983 requires that those who teach a theological discipline in a Catholic university have a mandatum from the competent church authority. In between Rome’s insistence and calls to order, there followed nine years of consultations, discussions, and conflicts in the United States involving bishops, university presidents, and theologians. This is a theological and ecclesial fact of which Churches in other countries have not had the same experience. An examination of the ecclesiological stakes of these vicissitudes constitutes the subject of these reflections, which represents a sort of theological letter from the United States. Why the acuity of the question in this country? How can we understand the mandatum by using the concept of communion? What is this mandatum as a historical fact and as an ecclesiastical institution? Such are the questions that J.G. Mueller attempts to answer in this article. (shrink)
If we supply a missing connection in the master text of English Renaissance poetic theory, we can bring the dilemma posed by political poetry into sharp relief. Sidney’s Defence of Poesie seeks to confirm the supremacy of the poet’s power over human minds by invoking the celebrated three-way distinction between poetry, philosophy, and history in the Poetics. According to Sidney, the proper question to ask of poetry is not “whether it were better to have a particular act truly or falsely (...) set down” but “whether it be better to have it set down as it should be, … for your own use and learning.” On this criterion, the philosopher shows himself too devoted to “knowledge” that “standeth upon the abstract and general,” to the “precept,” to “what should be.” The historian attends too much to “the particular truth of things and not to the general reason of things,” to the “example,” to “what is.” Only the poet “coupleth the general notion with the particular example” in “the speaking picture of poesy,” thus synthesizing through his “imaginative and judging power” the best that the philosophical and historical domains can offer. “Aristotle himself,” concludes Sidney, “plainly determineth this question, saying that poetry … is more philosophical and more studiously serious than history … because poesy dealeth with … the universal consideration, and the history with … the particular.” Yet in mounting his Defence of Poesie, Sidney fails to give due force to a related and equally important distinction drawn from the Poetics. Aristotle ranks poetry below philosophy—and, by implication, history as well—at the crucial juncture where ontology and epistemology meet. He exclusively credits philosophical universals with rational “necessity.” Poetic universals are recognized as having imaginative “likelihood,” but no more than this.1 Under this second three-way distinction, the domain proper to poetry turns out to be neither the realm of historical fact nor that of philosophical truth but some half-region of the truthlike, the verisimilar, disjoint from the plane of knowledge.[…]Milton coped with the questions intrinsic to political poetry during the decade from 1642 to 1652 when he rose to prominence as a pamphleteer on public issued and concurrently pioneered the writing of political sonnets in English. This essay examines the responses he made, in part in his prose but mainly in the composition of seven sonnets. Political poems in a root sense, these sonnets concern themselves with human agency channeled into the functions of the state, with power manifested through governance. After exploratory and uneven beginnings, the group as a whole goes a fair way toward vindicating the enterprise of political poetry and offering one set of criteria for a good political poem. 1. The core distinctions are drawn by Aristotle in chap. 9, secs. 2-4, of the Poetics; also see chap. 1, sec. 1 of the Topics on the distinction between demonstration, based on reasoning from true knowledge, and dialectic, based on reasoning from what is generally accepted as probable. The quotations in this paragraph are from Sidney: A Defence of Poetry, ed. J. A. Van Dorsten , pp. 35, 32, 33, 35. Janel Mueller is professor of English and humanities at the University of Chicago. She has published mainly on poetry and prose of the earlier English Renaissance, culminating in her book The Native Tongue and the Word: Developments in English Prose Style, 1380-1580. An interest in Milton, however, has drawn her more recently to work in the later part of this period. She is writing a book on nature, culture, and gender in Milton’s major poems. (shrink)
The Logical Foundations of Social Theory describes Gert Mueller’s argument that physical, biological, social, moral, and cultural reality form an asymmetrical hierarchy of founding and controlling relationships that condition social reality rather than mechanically determining it. This book analyzes social stratification, the moral order, and culture systems.
_The Temporality of Political Obligation _offers a critique and reconceptualization of the ways in which our political obligations – what we owe to political authorities and communities, and the reasons why we ought to obey their rules – have been traditionally conceptualized, justified, and contested. Drawing from theories of time and temporality, Justin Mueller demonstrates some of the unacknowledged assumptions and theoretical blind spots shared among these ostensibly opposed positions, and the problems and contradictions that this neglect of time poses. (...) Enriching the literature on the philosophers Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze, Mueller demonstrates how their theoretical frameworks on time can be used to analyze a political problem that is usually confined to the concerns of normative liberal democratic theory. Politically, this book provides readers with the means to better identify and analyze the diverse temporalities they encounter in everyday life, and better understand their experiences of them. A welcomed and timely read which will be of interest to scholars involved in recent efforts to engage with the social and political dimensions and consequences of time and temporality. (shrink)
A survey of Euclid's Elements, this text provides an understanding of the classical Greek conception of mathematics and its similarities to modern views as well as its differences. It focuses on philosophical, foundational, and logical questions — rather than strictly historical and mathematical issues — and features several helpful appendixes.
For most observers of economics from both inside and outside the science, the term economics is synonymous with neoclassical economics. It is the methodology of neoclassical economics that defines the discipline of economics. Mainstream economics is neoclassical economics and anyone entering the discipline today who wishes to obtain an appointment at one of the leading universities of the world is well advised to master its techniques. The fact that virtually every winner of a Nobel prize from Paul Samuelson up to (...) his student Joseph Stiglitz has been a practitioner of neoclassical economics is ample proof of the methodologys triumph. Despite the dominance of this methodology, however, neoclassical economics has been subject to a steady stream of criticisms and proposals for alternative methodological approaches throughout its life. This article focuses on two relatively recent challenges to the neoclassical orthodoxy that seem to have taken hold of a non-negligible minority of the profession, some of whom can be found at leading universities. These two challenges come from behavioural economics and evolutionary economics. The article describes the strengths and weaknesses of both of these methodological approaches and contrasts them with that of neoclassical economics. It concludes that all three methodologies have something positive to contribute to the study of human behaviour. Key Words: neoclassical economics behavioural economics evolutionary economics. (shrink)
Background Regarding controversial medical services, many have argued that if physicians cannot in good conscience provide a legal medical intervention for which a patient is a candidate, they should refer the requesting patient to an accommodating provider. This study examines what US physicians think a doctor is obligated to do when the doctor thinks it would be immoral to provide a referral. Method The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 2000 US physicians from all specialties. The (...) primary criterion variable was agreement that physicians have a professional obligation to refer patients for all legal medical services for which the patients are candidates, even if the physician believes that such a referral is immoral. Results Of 1895 eligible physicians, 1032 (55%) responded. 57% of physicians agreed that doctors must refer patients regardless of whether or not the doctor believes the referral itself is immoral. Holding this opinion was independently associated with being more theologically pluralistic, describing oneself as sociopolitically liberal, and indicating that respect for patient autonomy is the most important bioethical principle in one's practice (multivariable ORs, 1.6–2.4). Conclusions Physicians are divided about a professional obligation to refer when the physician believes that referral itself is immoral. These data suggest there is no uncontroversial way to resolve conflicts posed when patients request interventions that their physicians cannot in good conscience provide. (shrink)
Quine claims that holism (i.e., the Quine-Duhem thesis) prevents us from defining synonymy and analyticity (section 2). In Word and Object, he dismisses a notion of synonymy which works well even if holism is true. The notion goes back to a proposal from Grice and Strawson and runs thus: R and S are synonymous iff for all sentences T we have that the logical conjunction of R and T is stimulus-synonymous to that of S and T. Whereas Grice and Strawson (...) did not attempt to defend this definition, I try to show that it indeed gives us a satisfactory account of synonymy. Contrary to Quine, the notion is tighter than stimulus-synonymy – particularly when applied to sentences with less than critical semantic mass (section 3). Now according to Quine, analyticity could be defined in terms of synonymy, if synonymy were to make sense: A sentence is analytic iff synonymous to self-conditionals. This leads us to the following notion of analyticity: S is analytic iff, for all sentences T, the logical conjunction of S and T is stimulus-synonymous to T; an analytic sentence does not change the semantic mass of any theory to which it may be conjoined (section 4). This notion is tighter than Quine's stimulus-analyticity; unlike stimulus-analyticity, it does not apply to those sentences from the very center of our theories which can be assented to come what may, even though they are not synthetic in the intuitive sense (section 5). Conclusion: We can have well-defined notions of synonymy and analyticity even if we embrace Quine's holism, naturalism, behaviorism, and radical translation. Quine's meaning skepticism is to be repudiated on Quinean grounds. (shrink)
Two things about Hilary Putnam have not changed throughout his career: some (including Putnam himself) have regarded him as a “realist” and some have seen him as a philosopherwho changed his positions (certainly with respect to realism) almost continually. Apparently, what realism meant to him in the 1960s, in the late seventies and eighties, and in the nineties, respectively, are quite different things. Putnam indicates this by changing preﬁxes: scientiﬁc, metaphysical, internal, pragmatic, commonsense, but always realism. Encouraged by Putnam’s own (...) attempts to distinguish his views from one time to another, his work is often regarded as split between an early period of “metaphysical realism” (his characterization) and a later and still continuing period of “internal realism”. Late Putnam is understood to be a view that insists on the primacy of our practices, while the early period is taken to be a view from outside these, a “God’s Eye view”. As Putnam himself stresses (1992b), this way of dividing his work obscures continuities, the most important of which is a continuing attempt to understand what is involved in judging practices of inquiry, like science, as being objectively correct. Thus Putnam’s early and his current work appear to have more in common than the division between “early” and “late” suggests. In fact, Putnam’s earlier writings owe much of their critical force to his adopting the pragmatic perspective of an open-minded participant in practices of empirical inquiry, a stance not explicitly articulated in these writings but rather taken simply as a matter of course.1 Thus insofaras Putnam’s early writings defend a form of representational realism, they can be regarded as attempts to articulate a realist position at work inside our ordinary practices of making empirical judgments. For this reason, we begin our review of Putnam’s realisms by extracting from the early writings a core of principles that carries over into his current work but underwent signiﬁcantly different interpretations over time.. (shrink)
Poorly understood, linked in complex ways to ideas about race and European identity, and the focus today of an ethically vexed and rapidly expanding testing industry, cystic fibrosis is a relatively common life-threatening genetic disorder in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Many genetic diseases are invisible to the general public, but CF is a high-profile genetic disease, often characterized as a “white” disease though it occurs in many populations. Over the last five years it has (...) become the focus of genetic screening programs of many kinds, but especially for newborns, all over the world. CF is also a scientifically interesting genetic disease. By the simple if imperfect .. (shrink)
Standard interpretations of Kant’s transcendental idealism take it as a commitment to the view that the objects of cognition are structured or made by conditions imposed by the mind, and therefore to what Van Cleve calls “honest-to-God idealism”. Against this view, many more recent investigations of Kant’s theory of representation and cognitive significance have been able to show that Kant is committed to a certain form of Mental Content Externalism, and therefore to the realist view that the objects involved in (...) experience and empirical knowledge are mind-independent particulars. Some of these recent interpreters have taken this result to demonstrate an internal incompatibility between Kant‘s transcendental idealism and his own model of cognitive content and the environmental conditions of empirical knowledge. Against this suggestion, this article argues that, while Kant’s theory of content is indeed best construed as externalist, an adequately adjusted form of transcendental idealism is not only compatible with this externalism, but in fact supports it. More generally, the article develops the position that mental content externalism cannot force the adoption of metaphysical realism. (shrink)
: Dr. Smith is an internist in private practice who works at an inner city clinic affiliated with a university hospital. He is also a member of the university faculty. Many of Dr. Smith’s patients have type 2 diabetes mellitus and struggle with health care and other costs. Thinking about opportunities to better serve his patients and advance his career, Dr. Smith considers conducting clinical research in his office. ACME is a respected pharmaceutical company that for decades has engaged in (...) research, development, and production of widely used drugs. Several of ACME’s oral agents for type 2 diabetes will soon go off patent. In an effort to retain its market share in this class of drugs, ACME wants to complete clinical trials expeditiously and obtain approval for its new oral hypoglycemic medicine. The company approaches Dr. Smith to be a coinvestigator in its multicenter clinical trial. (shrink)
Let us imagine an ideal ethical agent, i.e., an agent who (i) holds a certain ethical theory, (ii) has all factual knowledge needed for determining which action among those open to her is right and which is wrong, according to her theory, and who (iii) is ideally motivated to really do whatever her ethical theory demands her to do. If we grant that the notions of omniscience and ideal motivation both make sense, we may ask: Could there possibly be an (...) ideal utilitarian, that is, an ideal ethical agent whose ethical theory says that our only moral obligation consists in maximizing utility? I claim that an ideal agent cannot be utilitarian. My reasoning against ideal utilitarianism will parallel Putnam's famous argument against the brains in a vat. Putnam argues that an envatted brain cannot describe its own situation because its words do not refer to brains and vats; I argue that an ideal utilitarian cannot entertain or communicate the beliefs necessary to being a utilitarian. (shrink)
Recently, Kenneth Westphal has presented a highly interesting and innovative reading of Kant's critical philosophy.2 This reading continues a tradition of Kantscholarship of which, e.g., Paul Guyer's work is representative, and in which the antiidealistic potential of Kant's critical philosophy is pitted against its idealistic selfunderstanding. Much of the work in this tradition leaves matters at observing the tensions this introduces in Kant's work. But Westphal's proposed interpretation goes farther. Its attractiveness derives for the most part from the promise that (...) it permits an internal critique of Kant's transcendental idealism (TI), that is, a critique that is based on the very resources of Kantian transcendental philosophy.3 In contrast to these resources, which currently seem to go through a sort of revival in an enormous array of fields, TI is notorious for dismaying even sympathetic interpreters. How attractive and needed such an internal critique of TI would be becomes all the more patent when we place such a promise in the context of some of the contemporary discussions about TI after Allison's famous defense of it. Before directly engaging with Westphal's interpretation, I would therefore like to quickly sketch on what background it acquires its force (I). After characterizing the main features of Westphal's view (II), and supporting it in more detail by an account of Kant's theory of cognitive significance (III), I then want to review the extent of its success to present Kant as issuing an anti-skeptical argument (IV.1), or semantic views that are incompatible with TI (IV.2), or a 'proof of not merely empirical realism' (IV.3). I agree that purely idealist readings of Kant are mistaken. Westphal's... (shrink)