What rights govern heterosexual and homosexual behaviors? Two distinguished philosophers debate this important issue in Sexual Orientation and Human Rights. Laurence M. Thomas argues that a society which has the constitutional resources to protect hate groups can protect homosexuals without valorizing the homosexual life-style. He defends the view that the Bible cannot warrant the venom that, in the name of religion, is often expressed against homosexuals. Michael E. Levin defends the unorthodox view that the aversion some people experience toward (...) homosexuality deserves respect. He further argues that while homosexuals enjoy the same rights as others to be free of violence and discrimination, they do not have more extensive rights. (shrink)
I argue that 'c' occurs extensionally in 'c caused e' and 'D' occurs extensionally in 'c caused e because c is D'. I claim that this has been insufficiently appreciated because the two contexts are often run together and because it has not been clear that the description D of c is among the referents of an explanatory argument. I argue as well that Hume's analysis of causation is consistent with taking causation to be a relation between single events, and (...) that even if events are eliminated as virtual entities, extensionality holds for all terms in the resulting context. (shrink)
It is argued that the intuition driving Kripke’s famous version of Wittgenstein’s meaning skepticism is precisely the one that prompted Hume to despair of his bundle theory of the self: there are no necessary connections between distinct mental states. This interpretation is shown to throw light on Wittgenstein’s notorious idea that all proofs “create concepts.” Wittgenstein has invented a new form of skepticism. Personally I am inclined to regard it as the most radical and original skeptical problem that philosophy has (...) seen to date[.] – Saul Kripke. (shrink)
The question is not whether the word "ought" means what hare says; the question is whether the concept of objectivity can be applied to practical judgments. Universalizability is the key, According to the kantian, And that's why the universalizability of moral judgments is conceptually important. As a preliminary to arguing this, I show that some common counterexamples to hare's thesis misfire--And I end by suggesting that it is no a priori truth that every speaker and every culture have morality.
I argue against the currently popular view that a radical change in theory affects the meaning of theoretical terms, and hence render pre- and post-shift theories incomparable. I first show how to pose the meaning-change issue without appeal to meanings reified. I contend that arguments against theory-neutral observation languages are faulty, but that even if they were sound, there are semantic devices that allow a theory to refer to the factual basis of a competitor. This suggests a picture of science (...) as the accumulation of truths, with each successive stage being more stable. (shrink)
This essay introduces a Common Knowledge symposium on the relationship between texts (for instance, musical scores or dramatic scripts) and performance in the arts by drawing out its implications for the interpretation of publicly consequential texts (such as constitutions, legal statutes, and canon law). Arguing that judges and clerics could learn much from studying the work of Philip Gossett and other practitioners of textual criticism in the arts, the essay suggests that a wider array of choices exists for legal interpretation (...) than the usual alternative between originalism or literalism, on the one hand, and intuitionism, on the other hand. Contributions to the symposium (titled “Between Text and Performance”) emphasize what Roger Moseley calls “improvisatory fluency in historical idioms,” and this introduction recommends that jurists develop for the law the kind of “ear” that musicians must have when a score invites or demands improvisation. (shrink)
Many philosophers believe that the faculty of introspection, and the subjective states revealed in introspection, present difficulties to materialism. This paper argues that introspection can be construed physicalistically, and that the states introspected need not be imbued with phenomenally self-revealing qualities. The central argument is that introspected states are identified in terms of the external circumstances in which they occur. It is also argued that this broadly behaviorist perspective can be reconciled with the occurrence of ineffable experiences, and that it (...) presents difficulties for the construal of pleasure offered by classical utilitarianism. (shrink)