Perhaps the most pressing issue concerning teacher education and training since the end of the Second World War has been that of the role of theory—or principled reflection—in professional expertise. Here, although the main post-war architects of a new educational professionalism clearly envisaged a key role for theory—considering such disciplines as psychology, sociology and philosophy as indispensable for reflective practice—there are nevertheless well-rehearsed difficulties about crediting such disciplines with quite the (applied) role in educational practice of (say) physiology or anatomy (...) in medical practice. This paper argues that while recent developments in professional teacher education and training may have moved on from erstwhile instrumentalist and/or applied science (competence and other) perspectives, there may yet be a case for further progress towards a rather more sophisticated philosophical psychology of teacher knowledge and expertise. (shrink)
B. F. Skinner and W. V. Quine, arguably the two most influential proponents of behaviorism in mid-twentieth century psychology and philosophy, are often considered to be brothers in arms. They were close friends, they had remarkably parallel careers, and they both identified as behaviorists. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the relation between the two. The question as to how the two influenced each other often comes up, but is standardly dealt with by rehearsing the few remarks on the (...) issue in Skinner’s and Quine’s autobiographies. How did Skinner and Quine develop their varieties of behaviorism? In what ways did they affect each other? And how similar are their behaviorisms to begin with? In this paper, I shed new light on the relation between Skinner and Quine by infusing the debate with a wide range of new and previously unexamined evidence. Examining a large set of documents—correspondence, notes, datebooks, drafts, lectures, and teaching material—from the personal and academic archives of Skinner and Quine, I reconstruct (1) how they acquired their ‘behaviorisms’ in their student years, (2) how they developed their views in the first three decades of their careers, and (3) the ways in which they were influenced by the psychologists and philosophers of their time. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophers often purport to ‘borrow’ or ‘refute’ claims made by past philosophers. In doing so they contravene a contextualist methodological prohibition once defended by Quentin Skinner in his seminal paper “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas”. Skinner's methodology has been much debated by theorists of textual meaning and interpretation, and yet the precise nature of the logical path from his premises to his prohibitory conclusion remains elusive. This paper seeks to refute two of the most (...) promising variants of an argument for his methodological prohibition on ‘refutation’, one of which draws on his appeal to Wittgenstein's conception of ‘meaning as use’, and the other of which draws on his appeal to speech act theory. (shrink)
Quentin Skinner’s dedication to investigating Hobbes’s concept of liberty in a number of essays and books has born some unusual fruit. Not only do we see the enormous problems that Hobbes set himself by proceeding as he did, but Skinner’s careful analysis allows us to chart Hobbes’ ingenuity as he tried to steer a path between the Charybdis of determinism and the Scylla of voluntarism – not very successfully, as we shall see. The upshot is a theory of (...) individual freedom and civil liberty to challenge the classical republican traditionThis Article does not have an abstract. (shrink)
The implementation of Responsible Research and Innovation is not without its challenges, and one of these is raised when societal desirability is included amongst the RRI principles. We will argue that societal desirability is problematic even though it appears to fit well with the overall ideal. This discord occurs partly because the idea of societal desirability is inherently ambiguous, but more importantly because its scope is unclear. This paper asks: is societal desirability in the spirit of RRI? On von Schomberg’s (...) account, it seems clear that it is, but societal desirability can easily clash with what is ethically permissible; for example, when what is desirable in a particular society is bad for the global community. If that society chose not to do what was desirable for it, the world would be better off than if they did it. Yet our concern here is with a more complex situation, where there is a clash with ethical acceptability, but where the world would not be better off if the society chose not do what was societally desirable for itself. This is the situation where it is argued that someone else will do it if we do not. The first section of the paper gives an outline of what we take technology to be, and the second is a discussion of which criteria should be the basis for choosing research and innovation projects. This will draw on the account of technology outlined in the first section. This will be followed by an examination of a common argument, “If we don’t do it, others will”. This argument is important because it appears to justify acting in morally dubious ways. Finally, it will be argued that societal desirability gives support to the “If we don’t…” argument and that this raises some difficulties for RRI. (shrink)
Abstract: Don Ross’ Economic Theory and Cognitive Science (2005) provides an elaborate philosophical defense of neoclassical economics. He argues that the central features of neoclassical theory are associated with what he calls the Robbins-Samuelson argument pattern and that it can be reconciled with recent developments in experimental and behavioral economics, as well as contemporary cognitive science. This paper argues that Ross’ Robbins-Samuelson argument pattern is not in the work of either Robbins or Samuelson and in many ways is in conflict (...) with their own versions, and defenses, of neoclassical theory. (shrink)
The clash between these two dimensions of human condition – but also their complementary nature – make utopia and melancholy specially compelling as they address us today from Don Quixote’s text, providing an accurate standing from which both the author and his protagonist become our contemporaries. Taking an ethic point of departure, we shall consider the aim of the fantasies of Don Quixote is to modify the reality in a certain moral sense, despite of his ridiculously and impractical goals. At (...) the same time The Quixote’s utopia is interrelated with the melancholic Quixote’s character. The melancholy arises from the ethic conscience which is leaded by the moral duty of the justice. This article shows clearly the double melancholic and utopian nature of Don Quixote’s character, which is chaired by a modern ethic conscience. (shrink)
In this article, I chart some recent developments in the linguistic contextualist philosophy of history defended by Quentin Skinner. I attempt to identify several shifts in the way in which Skinner's position has been presented and justified, focusing particularly on his embrace of anti-foundationalism, his focus on rhetoric rather than speech-acts and his concern to recast contextualism as compatible with other interpretive approaches. In the final section, I reject the notion - suggested by Skinner and others - (...) that a contextualist philosophy of history might constitute a distinct form of political theorizing in itself. (shrink)
Foucault and Skinner have each offered influential accounts of the emergence of the state as a defining element of modern political thought. Yet the two accounts have never been brought into dialogue; this non-encounter is made more interesting by the fact that Foucault's and Skinner's accounts are at odds with one another. There is therefore much to be gained by examining this divergence. In this article I attempt this task by first setting out the two accounts of the (...) state, and then some of the methodological strictures each thinker has suggested. I argue that the divergence between Foucault's and Skinner's accounts of the state is indeed driven by differences in method, as we might expect; but I also argue that these differences in method can themselves be well explained by the differing political motivations each thinker has at times articulated. Thus it is possible to make politics, and not method, the privileged point of this reconciliation. (shrink)
En muchos lugares y ambientes asistimos a condiciones muy preocupantes para los seres humanos. Las relaciones que establecemos, en ocasiones, no humanizan. Urgen otras posibilidades y condiciones antropológicas para reorientar nuestras acciones y los vínculos con los otros. La antropología de la donación prescribe la gratuidad de la existencia y entiende al hombre como un don. Propone entonces una revisión de muchas categorías antropológicas para instaurar un orden de gratuidad y donación para la existencia.
No contemporary intellectual historian has produced more influential reflections on the historian’s craft than Hayden White and Quentin Skinner, yet their legacy has never been meaningfully compared. Doing so reveals a surprising complementarity in their approach, at least to the extent that Skinner’s stress on recovering the intentionality of authors fits well with White’s observation that irony is the dominant rhetorical mode of historical narrative in our day. Irony itself, to be sure, has to be divided broadly speaking (...) into its dramatic or Socratic variants and the unstable and paradoxical alternative defended by poststructuralist critics. The latter produced in White an anxiety about the anarchistic implications of an allegedly inherent undecidability in historical interpretation and narration, which threatened to conflate history entirely with fiction. By recovering the necessary role of intentionality as a prerequisite for a more moderate version of Socratic and dramatic irony—in which hindsight provides some purchase on a truth denied actors at the time history is made—it is possible to rescue an ironic attitude that can register the frequency of unintended consequences without surrendering to the conclusion that no explanation or interpretation is superior to another. Against yet a third alternative, which tries to reconstruct the past rationally as a prelude to the present, acknowledging the ironic undermining of intentions avoids giving all the power to the contemporary historian and restores a dialogic balance between actors in the past and their present-day interpreters. (shrink)
The paper presents a critical discussion of Pettit and Skinner's recent treatments of Hobbes on republican freedom, in particular situating Hobbes's attack on the republican politicians from The Elements of Law in the contexts, first, of other contemporary suspicion directed against those politicians who struck a distinctively “Roman” pose, and, second, of Hobbes's wider psychology of politics, before concluding with some reflections on the relationship between Hobbes's political theory and the project of egalitarian republicanism.
Book Symposium on Don Ihde’s Expanding Hermeneutics: Visualism in Science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-22 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0060-5 Authors Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, University of Copenhagen, Nørre Farimagsgade 5 A, Room 10.0.27, 1014 Copenhagen, Denmark Larry A. Hickman, The Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA Robert Rosenberger, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, DM Smith Building, 685 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0345, USA Robert C. Scharff, University of New (...) Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3574, USA Don Ihde, Stony Brook University, Harriman Hall 221, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750, USA Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
En este artículo se utiliza el mito y la figura de Anfitrión para analizar el juego situacional entre los roles antitéticos, pero también complementarios, del anfitrión y el invitado, así como la dialéctica entre lo privado y lo público. Por último, el mito da pie para analizar el complejo papel de la deuda moral en dicha interactuaciónDon, público, privado, deuda moral, anfitrión, invitado.
This paper takes on several distinct but related tasks. First, I present and discuss what I will call the "Ignorance Thesis," which states that whenever an agent acts from ignorance, whether factual or moral, she is culpable for the act only if she is culpable for the ignorance from which she acts. Second, I offer a counterexample to the Ignorance Thesis, an example that applies most directly to the part I call the "Moral Ignorance Thesis." Third, I argue for a (...) principle--Don't Know, Don't Kill--that supports the view that the purported counterexample actually is a counterexample. Finally, I suggest that my arguments in this direction can supply a novel sort of argument against many instances of killing and eating certain sorts of animals. (shrink)
You’re imagining, in the course of a different game of make-believe, that you’re a bank robber. You don’t believe that you’re a bank robber. You are moved to point your finger, gun-wise, at the person pretending to be the bank teller and say, “Stick ‘em up! This is a robbery!”.
I had intended this review not specifically as a criticism of Skinner's speculations regarding language, but rather as a more general critique of behaviorist (I would now prefer to say "empiricist") speculation as to the nature of higher mental processes. My reason for discussing Skinner's book in such detail was that it was the most careful and thoroughgoing presentation of such speculations, an evaluation that I feel is still accurate. Therefore, if the conclusions I attempted to substantiate in (...) the review are correct, as I believe they are, then Skinner's work can be regarded as, in effect, a reductio ad absurdum of behaviorist assumptions. My personal view is that it is a definite merit, not a defect, of Skinner's work that it can be used for this purpose, and it was for this reason that I tried to deal with it fairly exhaustively. I do not see how his proposals can be improved upon, aside from occasional details and oversights, within the framework of the general assumptions that he accepts. I do not, in other words, see any way in which his proposals can be substantially improved within the general framework of behaviorist or neobehaviorist, or, more generally, empiricist ideas that has dominated much of modern linguistics, psychology, and philosophy. The conclusion that I hoped to establish in the review, by discussing these speculations in their most explicit and detailed form, was that the general point of view was largely mythology, and that its widespread acceptance is not the result of empirical support, persuasive reasoning, or the absence of a plausible alternative. (shrink)
I bet you don’t practice your philosophical intuitions. What’s your excuse? If you think philosophical training improves the reliability of philosophical intuitions, then practicing intuitions should improve them even further. I argue that philosophers’ reluctance to practice their intuitions highlights a tension in the way that they think about the role of intuitions in philosophy.
Internalism about a person's good is roughly the view that in order for something to intrinsically enhance a person's well-being, that person must be capable of caring about that thing. I argue in this paper that internalism about a person's good should not be believed. Though many philosophers accept the view, Connie Rosati provides the most comprehensive case in favor of it. Her defense of the view consists mainly in offering five independent arguments to think that at least some form (...) of internalism about one's good is true. But I argue that, on closer inspection, not one of these arguments succeeds. The problems don't end there, however. While Rosati offers good reasons to think that what she calls 'two-tier internalism' would be the best way to formulate the intuition behind internalism about one's good, I argue that two-tier internalism is actually false. In particular, the problem is that no substantive theory of well-being is consistent with two-tier internalism. Accordingly, there is reason to think that even the best version of internalism about one's good is in fact false. Thus, I conclude, the prospects for internalism about a person's good do not look promising. (shrink)
Resistance to contextualism comes in the form of many very different types of objections. My topic here is a certain group or family of related objections to contextualism that I call “Now you know it, now you don’t” objections. I responded to some such objections in my “Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions” a few years back. In what follows here, I will expand on that earlier response in various ways, and, in doing so, I will discuss some aspects of David Lewis’s (...) recent paper, “Elusive Knowledge.”. (shrink)
Clayton Littlejohn claims that the permissibility solution to the lottery paradox requires an implausible principle in order to explain why epistemic permissions don't agglomerate. This paper argues that an uncontentious principle suffices to explain this. It also discusses another objection of Littlejohn's, according to which we’re not permitted to believe lottery propositions because we know that we’re not in a position to know them.
This paper praises and criticizes Peter-Paul Verbeek’s What Things Do ( 2006 ). The four things that Verbeek does well are: (1) remind us of the importance of technological things; (2) bring Karl Jaspers into the conversation on technology; (3) explain how technology “co-shapes” experience by reading Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory in light of Don Ihde’s post-phenomenology; (4) develop a material aesthetics of design. The three things that Verbeek does not do well are: (1) analyze the material conditions in which (...) things are produced; (2) criticize the social-political design and use context of things; and (3) appreciate how liberal moral-political theory contributes to our evaluation of technology. (shrink)
The paper considers our ordinary mentalistic discourse in relation to what we should expect from any genuine science of the mind. A meta-scientific eliminativism is commended and distinguished from the more familiar eliminativism of Skinner and the Churchlands. Meta-scientific eliminativism views folk psychology qua folksy as unsuited to offer insight into the structure of cognition, although it might otherwise be indispensable for our social commerce and self-understanding. This position flows from a general thesis that scientific advance is marked by (...) an eschewal of folk understanding. The latter half of the paper argues that, contrary to the received view, Chomsky's review of Skinner offers not just an argument against Skinner's eliminativism, but, more centrally, one in favour of the second eliminativism. (shrink)
Since the early 1970s, Marcel Mauss’s Essai sur le Don, translated into English as The Gift in 1954, has been a standard reference in the social science and bioethical literature on the use of human body parts and substances for medical and research purposes. At that time, three social scientists—political scientist Richard Titmuss in the United Kingdom and sociologist Renée C. Fox working with historian Judith Swazey in the United States—had the idea of using this concept to highlight the fundamental (...) structure of the biomedical practices they were studying, respectively, blood donation, and hemodialysis and organ transplantation. The fact that these first applications of Mauss’s essay should emerge in English- rather than in French-speaking countries raises the question of what the translation of the essay, and notably of the word don as gift, may have to do with this fact. Reading Mauss in translation undoubtedly inspired a seminal approach to interpreting medical and research practices based on bodily giving. This article posits that something may have also been lost: a much broader concept of giving with unquestionable links to the Durkheimian concept of solidarity, which Mauss conceptualizes not only as an obligation but also as a liberty to give. (shrink)
Examination is made of a range of cyborg solutions to bodily problems due to damage, but here with particular reference to aging. Both technological and animal implants, transplants and prosthetic devices are phenomenologically analyzed. The resultant trade-off phenomena are compared to popular culture technofantasies and desires and finally to human attitudes toward mortality and contingency. The parallelism of resistance to contingent existence and to becoming a cyborg is noted.
By way of an example, Lewis imagines your being invited to join Schrödinger’s cat in its box for an hour. This box will either fill up with deadly poison fumes or not, depending on whether or not some radioactive atom decays, the probability of decay within an hour being 50%. The invitation is accompanied with some further incentive to comply (Lewis sets it up so there is a significant chance of some pretty bad but not life-threatening punishment if you don’t (...) get in the box). Lewis argues that the many minds theory implies that you should get in the box with the cat, despite this making it 50% likely you will die. (shrink)
This note responds to criticism put forth by Don Fallis of an account of lying in terms of the Stalnakerian view of assertion. According to this account, to lie is to say something one believes to be false and thereby propose that it become common ground. Fallis objects by presenting an example to show that one can lie even though one does not propose to make what one says common ground. It is argued here that this objection does not present (...) a problem for the view of lying as Stalnakerian assertion. Responding to the objection brings out important features of this view of discourse and of assertion. (shrink)
We are rational creatures, in that we are beings on whom demands of rationality are appropriate. But by our rationality it doesn't follow that we always live up to those demands. In those cases, we fail to be rational , but it is in a way that is different from how rocks, tadpoles, and gum fail to be rational. For them, we use the term ‘arational.’ They don't have the demands, but we do. The demands of rationality bear on us (...) because we have minds that can move us to act, inspire us to create, and bring us to believe in ways that are responsible and directed. My interests here are the demands rationality places on our beliefs. Beliefs aim at the truth, and so one of the demands of being a rational creature with beliefs is that we manage them in a way that is pursuant of the truth. Reasons and reasoning play the primary role in that management – we ought to believe on the basis of good reasons. That is, if you believe something, you think that you're right about the world in some way or another. You believe because you think that something is true. Now, p's truth is different from all ways it could be false, and your being right about p isn't just some arbitrary commitment, one that could just as well have been its negation. This non-arbitrary specificity of beliefs is constituted by the fact that they are held on the basis of reasons. Arguments are our model for how these reasons go – we offer some premises and show how they support a conclusion. Of course, arbitrary premises won't do, so you've got to have some reason for holding them as opposed to some others. Every premise, then, is a conclusion in need of an argument, and for arguments to be acceptable, we've got to do due diligence on the premises. This, however, leads to a disturbing pattern – for every premise we turn into a conclusion, we've got at least one other premise in need of another argument. Pretty soon, even the simplest arguments are going to get very, very complicated. (shrink)
Deliberation is often seen as the site of human freedom, but the binding power of rationality seems to imply that deliberation is, in its own way, a deterministic process. If one knows the starting preferences and circumstances of an agent, then, assuming that the agent is rational and that those preferences and circumstances don’t change, one should be in a position to predict what the agent will decide. However, given that an agent could conceivably confront equally attractive alternatives, it is (...) an open question whether rational choice theory can ever eliminate indeterminacy. The clearest support for such a limitation comes from the “Buridan’s ass” scenario, where an agent is confronted with two (or more) equally attractive/unattractive options. Does rationality by itself have the resources needed to prevent such paralysis of action? Those who cannot accept the idea of decisional impotence devise various ways to avoid it: postulating a neutral valence, tipping the utilities, positing sub-personal influences, and bunching the options. I argue that each of these responses is either unwarranted or flawed. All parties to the debate agree that, factually, paralysis of action is not a pervasive phenomenon. This is either because (i) the utilities one assigns to two or more options can never be balanced or because (ii) thanks to some non-rational faculty (say, the will), we would not be stuck even if those utilities were perfectly counterpoised. By looking critically at four untenable responses, I aim to show that (i) is often just a dogma and (ii) is by no means a silly position. (shrink)
The history of concepts has partly replaced the older style of the `history of ideas' and can be extended to a critique of normative political theory and, thereby, understood as an indirect style of political theorizing. A common feature in Quentin Skinner's and Reinhart Koselleck's writings lies in their critique of the unhistorical and depoliticizing use of concepts. This concerns especially the classical contractarian theories, and both authors remark that this still holds for work by their contemporary heirs, such (...) as Rawls, Habermas and other contemporary normative theorists. Conceptual history offers us a chance to turn the contestability, contingency and historicity of the use of concepts into instruments for conceptualizing politics. The alternative, indirect mode of political theorizing Skinner and Koselleck practise consists of a `Verfremdungseffekt', which helps us to distance ourselves from thinking in terms of contemporary paradigms, unquestioned conventions, given constellations of alternatives or implicit value judgements. In the Skinnerian variant the conceptual changes are made intelligible through analysis of the rhetorical redescriptions among the political agents, whereas Koselleck thematizes the differences in the temporal index of concepts. The subversive aspect in the history of concepts consists of the explication and historical variation of the tacit normative content in the use of concepts. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend brain death as a criterion for determining death against objections raised by Don Marquis, Michael Nair-Collins, Doyen Nguyen, and Laura Specker Sullivan. I argue that any definition of death for beings like us relies on some sortal concept by which we are individuated and identified and that the choice of that concept in a practical context is not determined by strictly biological considerations but involves metaphysical, moral, social, and cultural considerations. This view supports acceptance of (...) a more pluralistic legal definition of death as well as acceptance of brain death as death. (shrink)
I discuss the characters Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and their relationship in order to understand better the place of idealistictheory and realistic practice in business ethics. The realism of Sancho Panza is required to make the idealism of Don Quixote effective.Indeed, the interaction and development of these characters can serve as a model for both the effective communication between andblending of the idealistic moral theoretician and the practical businessperson. Specifically, I argue that a quixotified Sancho Panza,as a combination of (...) theoretical idealism and practical realism, is necessary for managerial statesmanship. I first consider the positionthat this concept is unrealistic. In the final section, however, I show that a number of leadership and business theorists believe thatmanagerial statesmanship requires a quixotified Sancho Panza. I also consider the question, what helps to make a quixotic vision forbusiness ethical, and what is its content? (shrink)
Quentin Skinner is one of the leading thinkers in the social sciences and humanities today. Since the publication of his first important articles some two decades ago, debate has continued to develop over his distinctive contributions to contemporary political philosophy, the history of political theory, the philosophy of social science, and the discussion of interpretation and hermeneutics across the humanities and social sciences. Nevertheless, his most valuable essays and the best critical articles concerning his work have been scattered in (...) various journals and difficult to obtain. Meaning and Context includes five of the most widely discussed articles by Skinner, which present his approach to the study of political thought and the interpretation of texts. Following these are seven articles by his critics, five of these drawn from earlier publications and two, by John Keane and Charles Taylor, written especially for this volume. Finally, there appears a fifty-seven page reply by Skinner--a major new statement in which he defends and reformulates his method and lays out new lines of research. The editorial introduction provides a systematic overview of the evolution of Skinner's work and of the main reactions to it.Besides James Tully, John Keane, and Charles Taylor, the contributors include Joseph V. Femia, Keith Graham, Martin Hollis, Kenneth Minogue, and Nathan Tarcov. (shrink)