The dominant argument for the introduction of propensities or chances as an interpretation of probability depends on the difficulty of accounting for single case probabilities. We argue that in almost all cases, the "single case" application of probability can be accounted for otherwise. "Propensities" are needed only in theoretical contexts, and even there applications of probability need only depend on propensities indirectly.
Toma-se como referências básicas algumas reflexões do filósofo Martin Heidegger sobre o domínio planetário da técnica para mostrar a penúria de uma época marcada pelo fim da filosofia mediante sua realização como metafísica nas ciências técnicas. Explicita-se ainda como esse fim da filosofia na era do domínio planetário da técnica pode se constituir o ponto de partida para um novo começo do pensar, que pensa para além dos limites impostos pelo pensamento calculador. Na parte conclusiva do artigo procura-se determinar o (...) caráter e a tarefa que caberia a essa nova forma de pensar e conhecer que nos aproxima das coisas tais como são. (shrink)
Este artigo procura desenvolver o âmbito da assim chamada ontopolítica como contribuição original do pensamento do G. Deleuze para a filosofia política contemporânea. Com este objetivo, veremos que Deleuze toma o conceito de poder em Foucault e lhe confere alçada ontológica. Este conceito de poder dá acesso a outro elemento importante da filosofia política deleuzeana, ou seja, o estudo dos diagramas históricos do poder nas denominadas sociedades disciplinar e de controle. Com o diagrama de funcionamento das mesmas podemos entender qual (...) o retrato deleuzeano para a democracia em sociedades contemporâneas. Adentrando a ontopolítica deleuzeana, nos dedicaremos aos conceitos de maioria, minoria e devir-minoritário. É neste ponto que se faz o encontro da ontopolítica de Deleuze com a ontologia matemática de Ch. Sanders Peirce. Acontece que os conceitos ontopolíticos de Deleuze, além de sua vinculação com uma ontologia do poder, recebem também um tratamento matemático, tendo em vista certas noções aritméticas (contável e não contável) e geométricas (linhas). As maiorias e minorias são conjuntos contáveis que são atravessados por devires não contáveis. Com isso, chegaremos ao ponto central do presente artigo, onde realizamos uma incursão inicial à imagem dos conceitos de maioria e minoria em Deleuze, com base na teoria das coleções e multidões de C. S. Peirce, principalmente com relação à ontologia matemática nela incluída. Quanto a isso, a principal operação será mostrar de que forma a distinção deleuzeana entre maiorias/minorias contáveis e devir-minoritário não contável pode ser escandida em termos de coleções discretas denominadas enumeráveis, denumeráveis e abnumeráveis ou pós-numeráveis, de acordo com a terminologia de Peirce. (shrink)
There are a number of reasons for being interested in uncertainty, and there are also a number of uncertainty formalisms. These formalisms are not unrelated. It is argued that they can all be reflected as special cases of the approach of taking probabilities to be determined by sets of probability functions defined on an algebra of statements. Thus, interval probabilities should be construed as maximum and minimum probabilities within a set of distributions, Glenn Shafer's belief functions should be construed as (...) lower probabilities, etc. Updating probabilities introduces new considerations, and it is shown that the representation of belief as a set of probabilities conflicts in this regard with the updating procedures advocated by Shafer. The attempt to make subjectivistic probability plausible as a doctrine of rational belief by making it more flowery -- i.e., by adding new dimensions -- does not succeed. But, if one is going to represent beliefs by sets of distributions, those sets of distributions might as well be based in statistical knowledge, as they are in epistemological or evidential probability. (shrink)
In thirteen specially written essays, leading philosophers explore Kantian themes in moral and political philosophy that are prominent in the work of Thomas E. Hill, Jr., such as respect and self-respect, practical reason, conscience, and duty. In conclusion Hill offers an overview of his work and responses to the preceding essays.
Arecent trend among environmentalists (e.g., Aldo Leopold) of basing ethical norms for land use, resource management, and conservation on ecological principies such as homeostasis is examined, and a way to justify such an ethical approach through analysis of moral judgment is explored. Issues such as the is/ought impasse, the connection between value judgments and reasons for acting, and the question of whether moral judgments are definitive and categorical are treated as they relate to an ecological ethic, i.e., an environmental ethic (...) grounded in ecological science. I argue that such an ethic is in such regards as sound as more traditional approaches. (shrink)
Ecological ethics, in which ecological science informs the basic principles of morality, requires a significant revision of traditional metaethics, especially regarding the views (1) that moral judgments are justified by deductive argument, and (2) that there is a dichotomy between fact and value. This interpretation of the relationship between knowledge and obligation is grounded in the phenomenology of perception with special attention to the role of a person’s world view in the perception of both facts and values and the fittingness (...) relation between perception, world view, and obligation. (shrink)
Environmental holism has been accused of being totalitarian because it subsumes the interests and rights of individuals under the good of the whole biosphere, thus rejecting humanistic ethics. Whether this is true depends on the type of holism in question. Only an extreme form of holism leads to this totalitarian approach, and that type of holism should be rejected, not alone because it leads to unacceptable practices, but because it is too abstract and reductionistic to be an adequate basis for (...) ethics. (shrink)
Tom Regan (this issue) criticizes my thesis that obligation toward the environment is grounded in a world view and thereby has a moral overridingness which mere interests and desires do not have. He holds that my approach is too subjectivistic. I counter, first, by explaining that phenomenology, which I use in my analysis of moral obligation, is not subjectivistic in the way emotivism or prescriptivism inethics is subjectivistic. Second, I argue that world views are products of learning and experience of (...) one shared world, that most world views share large areas of agreement, and that they can be argued for and criticized. (shrink)
This is a review of the book Cultivating Original Enlightenment: Wŏnhyo's Exposition of the Vajrasamādhi-Sūtra, by Robert E. Buswell, Jr., published by the Univeristy of Hawaii Press. This volume, the first to be published in the Collected Works of Wŏnhyo series, contains the translation of a single text by Wŏnhyo, the Kŭmgang Sammaegyŏng Non.
It is shown how a consistent kinematic resolution of Ehrenfest's paradox may be given in accordance with the special theory of relativity. Some statements by T. E. Phipps, Jr., connected with these matters, are commented upon. Problems connected with the relation between stress and strain are solved by a manifestly covariant formulation of Hooke's law.
What, if anything, are we morally required to do on behalf of others besides respecting their rights? And why is such regard for others a reasonable moral requirement? These two questions have long been major concerns of ethical theory, but the answers that philosophers give tend to vary with their beliefs about human nature. More specifically, their answers typically depend on the position they take on a third-question: To what extent, if any, is it possible for us to act altruistically?
Ancient moral philosophers, especially Aristotle and his followers, typically shared the assumption that ethics is primarily concerned with how to achieve the final end for human beings, a life of “happiness” or “human flourishing.” This final end was not a subjective condition, such as contentment or the satisfaction of our preferences, but a life that could be objectively determined to be appropriate to our nature as human beings. Character traits were treated as moral virtues because they contributed well toward this (...) ideal life, either as means to it or as constitutive aspects of it. Traits that tended to prevent a “happy” life were considered vices, even if they contributed to a life that was pleasant and what a person most wanted. The idea of “happiness” was central, then, in philosophical efforts to specify what we ought to do, what sort of persons we should try to become, and what sort of life a wise person would hope for. (shrink)
Epistemology, as I understand it, is a branch of philosophy especially concerned with general questions about how we can know various things or at least justify our beliefs about them. It questions what counts as evidence and what are reasonable sources of doubt. Traditionally, episte-mology focuses on pervasive and apparently basic assumptions covering a wide range of claims to knowledge or justified belief rather than very specific, practical puzzles. For example, traditional epistemologists ask “How do we know there are material (...) objects?” and not “How do you know which are the female beetles?” Similarly, moral epistemology, as I understand it, is concerned with general questions about how we can know or justify our beliefs about moral matters. Its focus, again, is on quite general, pervasive, and apparently basic assumptions about what counts as evidence, what are reasonable sources of doubt, and what are the appropriate procedures for justifying particular moral claims. (shrink)
This essay first distinguishes different questions regarding moral objectivity and relativism and then sketches a broadly Kantian position on two of these questions. First, how, if at all, can we derive, justify, or support specific moral principles and judgments from more basic moral standards and values? Second, how, if at all, can the basic standards such as my broadly Kantian perspective, be defended? Regarding the first question, the broadly Kantian position is that from ideas in Kant's later formulations of the (...) Categorical Imperative, especially human dignity and rational autonomous law-making, we can develop an appropriate moral perspective for identifying and supporting more specific principles. Both the deliberative perspective and the derivative principles can be viewed as “constructed,” but in different senses. In response to the second question, the essay examines two of Kant's strategies for defending his basic perspective and the important background of his arguments against previous moral theories. (shrink)
Philosophers have debated for millennia about whether moral requirements are always rational to follow. The background for these debates is often what I shall call “the self-interest model.” The guiding assumption here is that the basic demand of reason, to each person, is that one must, above all, advance one's self-interest. Alternatively, debate may be framed by a related, but significantly different, assumption: the idea that the basic rational requirement is to develop and pursue a set of personal ends in (...) an informed, efficient, and coherent way, whether one's choice of ends is based on self-interested desires or not. For brevity I refer to this as “the coherence-and-efficiency model.” Advocates of both models tend to think that, while it is sufficiently clear in principle what the rational thing to do is, what remains in doubt is whether it is always rational to be moral. They typically assume that morality is concerned, entirely or primarily, with our relations to others, especially with obligations that appear to require some sacrifice or compromise with the pursuit of self-interest. (shrink)
Affirmative action programs remain controversial, I suspect, partly because the familiar arguments for and against them start from significantly different moral perspectives. Thus I want to step back for a while from the details of debate about particular programs and give attention to the moral viewpoints presupposed in different types of argument. My aim, more specifically, is to compare the “messages” expressed when affirmative action is defended from different moral perspectives. Exclusively forward-looking arguments, I suggest, tend to express the wrong (...) message, but this is also true of exclusively backward-looking arguments. However, a moral outlook that focuses on cross-temporal narrative values suggests a more appropriate account of what affirmative action should try to express. Assessment of the message, admittedly, is only one aspect of a complex issue, but it is a relatively neglected one. My discussion takes for granted some common-sense ideas about the communicative function of action, and so I begin with these. Actions, as the saying goes, often speak louder than words. There are times, too, when only actions can effectively communicate the message we want to convey and times when giving a message is a central part of the purpose of action. What our actions say to others depends largely, though not entirely, upon our avowed reasons for acting; and this is a matter for reflective decision, not something we discover later by looking back at what we did and its effects. The decision is important because “the same act” can have very different consequences, depending upon how we choose to justify it. (shrink)