Philosophers are often thought to be in the business of analysing concepts, in particular, concepts taken to be fundamental in human thought and practice: truth, goodness, beauty, knowledge, meaning, rightness, causation, to name just a few. But what can we expect from such analyses? Can we expect a comprehensive account of one concept in terms of one or more others? Can we expect to reduce these kinds of concepts to concepts which are taken to be more fundamental? This study is (...) concerned with a particular approach to conceptual analysis, minimalism, which, in general, offers very modest answers to these questions. Minimalist theories, by and large, hold that the strategy for analysing concepts ought not to go much further than the collection of some rather ordinary, ‘platitudinous’ thoughts about those concepts. Accordingly, minimalist theories do not often encourage ambitious pro jects of giving a comprehensive analysis of one concept in terms of another, where this process encourages the construction of such biconditional claims as ‘X falls under concept F iff X falls under concept G’. Just how far we are to extend our analysis beyond the point of a collection of platitudinous principles is a point of contention between different types of minimalist theories. This study has three main aims. Firstly, it aims to give a taxonomy of minimalist theories. Secondly, it aims to examine in detail the types of minimalist theories pertinent to the study of truth, and propose the best view available. Thirdly, it aims to examine how the minimalist methodology may be extended to other normative concepts, taking the concept of goodness as a case study. (shrink)
The world is populated with many different objects, to which we often attribute properties: we say, for example, that grass is green, that the earth is spherical, that humans are animals, and that murder is wrong. We also take it that these properties are things in their own right: there is something in which being green, or spherical, or an animal, or wrong, consists, and that certain scientific or normative projects are engaged in uncovering the essences of such properties. In (...) light of this, an important question arises: what kind of things should we take properties themselves to be? -/- In Properties, DouglasEdwards gives an engaging, accessible, and up-to-date introduction to the many theories of properties available. Edwards charts the central positions in the debate over properties, including the views that properties are universals, that properties are constructed from tropes, and that properties are classes of objects, and assesses the benefits and disadvantages of each. Attempts to deny the existence of properties are also considered, along with ‘pluralist’ proposals, which aim to accommodate the different kinds of properties that are found in various philosophical debates. -/- Properties is the ideal introduction to this topic and will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students wishing to learn more about the important roles that properties have played, and continue to play, in contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
Alethic pluralism, on one version of the view , is the idea that truth is to be identified with different properties in different domains of discourse. 1 Whilst we operate with a univocal concept of truth, and a uniform truth predicate, the thought is that the truth property changes from one domain to the next. So the truth property for talk about the nature and state of the material world may be different from the truth property for moral discourse .Tappolet (...) challenged alethic pluralism by asking how it can account for the truth of mixed compounds, such as a mixed conjunction like ‘this cat is wet and funny’, where each of the conjuncts are from different domains of discourse, and thus assessable in terms of different truth properties. She argues that the alethic pluralist is left in a dilemma: either admit of a ‘generic’ truth property, which can be possessed by propositions from all domains, thus rendering the plural ways of being true obsolete, or deny the truth of mixed conjunctions.In Edwards 2008, I argued that there is route out of Tappolet's dilemma. Briefly, I suggested that we acknowledge that the truth of a mixed conjunction is dependent on the truth of its conjuncts, and we should explain the truth of the conjunction by saying that it is true just in case each of its conjuncts is true. This, I argued, gives us an account of the truth of the conjunction without needing to appeal to a troublesome ‘generic’ truth property.Aaron Cotnoir criticizes my solution to Tappolet's problem. Cotnoir argues that my solution to the problem admits of an unacceptable ‘proliferation’ of truth properties, and smuggles in a generic truth property. I …. (shrink)
Johnstone, H. W., Jr. Rhetoric and communication in philosophy.--Smith, C. R. and Douglas, D. G. Philosophical principles in the traditional and emerging views of rhetoric.--Wallace, K. R. Bacon's conception of rhetoric.--Thonssen, L. W. Thomas Hobbes's philosophy of speech.--Walter, O. M., Jr. Descartes on reasoning.--Douglas, D. G. Spinoza and the methodology of reflective knowledge in persuasion.--Howell, W. S. John Locke and the new rhetoric.--Doering, J. F. David Hume on oratory.--Douglas, D. G. A neo-Kantian approach to the epistomology of (...) judgment in criticism.--Bevilacqua, V. M. Lord Kames's theory of rhetoric.--Brockriede, W. E. Bentham's philosophy of rhetoric.--Anderson, R. E. Kierkegaard's theory of communication.--Macksoud, S. J. Ludwig Wittgenstein, radical operationism and rhetorical stance.--Stewart, J. J. L. Austin's speech act analysis.--Torrence, D. L. A philosophy of rhetoric from Bertrand Russell.--Clark, A. Martin Buber, dialogue, and the philosophy of rhetoric.--Bennett, W. Kenneth Burke--a philosophy in defense of un-reason.--Dearin, R. D. The philosophical basis of Chaim Perelman's theory of rhetoric. (shrink)
This book presents Robert S. Hartman’s formal theory of value and critically examines many other twentieth century value theorists in its light, including A.J. Ayer, Kurt Baier, Brand Blanshard, Paul Edwards, Albert Einstein, William K. Frankena, R.M. Hare, Nicolai Hartmann, Martin Heidegger, G.E. Moore, P.H. Nowell-Smith, Jose Ortega y Gasset, Charles Stevenson, Paul W. Taylor, Stephen E. Toulmin, and J.O. Urmson.
Prepared by editors of the distinguished series The Works of Jonathan Edwards, this authoritative anthology includes selected treatises, sermons, and autobiographical material by early America’s greatest theologian and philosopher.
Presents an analysis of Jonathan Edwards' theological position. This book includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.
The problem of mixed conjunctions, due to Tappolet (2000), threatens to undermine alethic pluralism by showing that it cannot account for the truth of conjunctions in which the conjuncts spring from different domains of discourse. In this paper I argue, firstly, that the problem is not just a problem for alethic pluralism and, secondly, that the problem can be solved.
One of the many ways that ?deflationary? and ?inflationary? theories of truth are said to differ is in their attitude towards truth qua property. This difference used to be very easy to delineate, with deflationists denying, and inflationists asserting, that truth is a property, but more recently the debate has become a lot more complicated, owing primarily to the fact that many contemporary deflationists often do allow for truth to be considered a property. Anxious to avoid inflation, however, these deflationists (...) are at pains to point out that the truth property, on their view, is not a property of any significant interest. Correspondingly, inflationists have seen this as an opportunity to refine what kind of property they think truth is, which?according to them?moves their views beyond deflationism. The upshot of this is that there are number of different accounts in the literature of what distinguishes an inflationary truth property from a deflationary one, or?as it is sometimes put?what distinguishes a ?substantive? property from an ?insubstantive? one. This has made it hard to pin down exactly what is at issue at the metaphysical level between deflationists and inflationists, which makes it increasingly hard to see how debates between them are properly phrased. Given that these positions represent the two central attitudes towards truth in contemporary debates, this makes for a serious obstacle for the project of discerning the correct theory of truth. The aim of this paper is to discern the best way to distinguish between substantive and insubstantive properties, and thus to restore some focus to these debates. I argue that the three central distinctions in the literature fail, and offer what I take to be a more promising distinction in terms of a graded distinction between abundant and sparse properties. (shrink)
What is truth? What precisely is it that truths have that falsehoods lack? Pluralists about truth (or “alethic pluralists”) tend to answer these questions by saying that there is more than one way for a proposition, sentence, belief—or any chosen truth-bearer—to be true. In this paper, I argue that two of the most influential formations of alethic pluralism, those of Wright (1992, 2003a) and Lynch (2009), are subject to serious problems. I outline a new formulation, which I call “simple determination (...) pluralism,” that I claim offers better prospects for alethic pluralism, with the potential to have applications for pluralist theories beyond truth. (shrink)
This paper explores how consideration of the notions of naturalness and eligibility, which have played an increasingly significant role in contemporary metaphysics, might impact on the study of truth. In particular, it aims to demonstrate how taking such notions seriously may be of benefit to ‘representational’ theories of truth by showing how the naturalness of truth on a representational account provides a response to the ‘Scope Problem’ presented by Lynch.
In the TACITUS project for using commonsense knowledge in the understanding of texts about mechanical devices and their failures, we have been developing various commonsense theories that are needed to mediate between the way we talk about the behavior of such devices and causal models of their operation. Of central importance in this effort is the axiomatization of what might be called commonsense metaphysics. This includes a number of areas that figure in virtually every domain of discourse, such as granularity, (...) scales, time, space, material, physical objects, shape, causality, functionality, and force. Our effort has been to construct core theories of each of these areas, and then to define, or at least characterize, a large number of lexical items in terms provided by the core theories. In this paper we discuss our methodological principles and describe the key ideas in the various domains we are investigating. (shrink)
The book provides a practical guide to the application of Critical Realism (CR), an increasingly popular philosophy of social science, in empirical research projects. Each purpose-written chapter reviews major social science research methods and contains extended illustration of how to conduct inquiry using CR.
Ontological pluralism holds that there are different ways of being. Truth pluralism holds that there are different ways of being true. Both views have received growing attention in recent literature, but so far there has been very little discussion of the connections between the views. The authors suggest that motivations typically given for truth pluralism have analogue motivations for ontological pluralism; they argue that while neither view entails the other, those who hold one view and wish to hold the other (...) will find natural routes by which to do so. The authors additionally identify some disanalogies between the views, by considering whether certain “mixed” problems commonly pressed against truth pluralism have analogues for ontological pluralism. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate the claim that truth is a relational property. What does this claim really mean? What is its import?—Is it a basic feature of the concept of truth; or a distinctive feature of the correspondence theory of truth; or even both? After introducing some general ideas about truth, I begin by highlighting an ambiguity in current uses of the term ‘relational property’ in the truth debate, and show that we need to distinguish two separate ideas: that (...) truth is a relational property, and that truth is an extrinsic property. I go on to examine what both of these ideas are in more detail, and consider what would need to hold for truth to be in either of these categories. I then discern where all the main competitors in the truth debate stand on these issues. In doing so we learn more about these views and what they entail, and build a general picture of what stances different theories of truth take on whether truth is extrinsic or relational. Moreover, in doing this we will be able to answer one of the questions with which we began: whether truth’s being extrinsic or relational is something that, if accepted, lends support to the correspondence theory of truth. We will see that this is not so, and discern some interesting variations between various theories of truth on the issues of whether truth is extrinsic or relational. Following this we will be in a better position to judge whether the notions of extrinsicality or relationality are basic features of the concept of truth. In the final part of the paper I argue that, even if we are not in a position to conclude that they are basic features, they are features that any prospective theory of truth needs to take seriously. (shrink)
Health-related Quality of Life measures have recently been attacked from two directions, both of which criticize the preference-based method of evaluating health states they typically incorporate. One attack, based on work by Daniel Kahneman and others, argues that ‘experience’ is a better basis for evaluation. The other, inspired by Amartya Sen, argues that ‘capability’ should be the guiding concept. In addition, opinion differs as to whether health evaluation measures are best derived from consultations with the general public, with patients, or (...) with health professionals. And there is disagreement about whether these opinions should be solicited individually and aggregated, or derived instead from a process of collective deliberation. These distinctions yield a wide variety of possible approaches, with potentially differing policy implications. We consider some areas of disagreement between some of these approaches. We show that many of the perspectives seem to capture something important, such that it may be a mistake to reject any of them. Instead we suggest that some of the existing ‘instruments’ designed to measure HR QoLs may in fact successfully already combine these attributes, and with further refinement such instruments may be able to provide a reasonable reconciliation between the perspectives. (shrink)
Is truth itself natural? This is an important question for both those working on truth and those working on naturalism. For theorists of truth, answering the question of whether truth is natural will tell us more about the nature of truth (or lack of it), and the relations between truth and other properties of interest. For those working on naturalism, answering this question is of paramount importance to those who wish to have truth as part of the natural order. In (...) this paper, we focus primarily on the kinds of theories of truth that occupy the central positions in current debates about truth, namely correspondence theories, deflationary theories, epistemic theories, and pluralist theories, and aim to discern the extent to which truth is a natural property on each view. (shrink)
Alethic pluralism is the view that truth requires different treatment in different domains of discourse. The basic idea is that different properties play important roles in the analysis of truth in different domains of discourse, such as discourse about the material world, moral discourse, and mathematical discourse, to take three examples. Alethic disjunctivism is a kind of alethic pluralism, and is the view that truth is to be identified with the disjunctive property that is formed using each of the domain-specific (...) properties as disjuncts (i.e., in the view's simplest form, truth is the property of either having domain-specific property 1, or domain-specific property 2, and so on). This paper evaluates the prospects for alethic disjunctivism. In particular, it outlines the proper formulation of the view, and assesses some concerns that the disjunctive property lacks the pedigree necessary to be considered a truth property. I begin by briefly outlining the motivations for alethic pluralism, before noting four general constraints on formulations of the view. I then consider a ‘simple’ formulation of alethic disjunctivism, and recommend an amendment. I then demonstrate that the candidate truth property specified by this new formulation is able to meet the central constraints required for it to be considered a viable formulation of alethic pluralism. The final part of this demonstration involves making some distinctions between different kinds of disjunctive properties, and arguing that disjunctive properties are not necessarily highly abundant properties: some are more sparse than others. (shrink)
Perhaps the two main contemporary formulations of ethical naturalism – Synthetic Ethical Naturalism (SEN) and Analytical Descriptivism – seem to conflict with plausible views about cases where moral debate and disagreement is possible. Both lack safeguards to avoid divergence of reference across different communities, which can scupper the prospects for genuine moral disagreement. I explore the prospects for supplementing both views with Lewis's notion of eligibility, arguing that this can solve the problem for a modified form of analytical descriptivism, and (...) for a modified form of SEN too (though perhaps more controversially). I close by considering the appropriateness of using the notions of eligibility and joint-carving in ethics. (shrink)
v. 1. Freedom of the will -- v. 2. Religious affections -- v. 3. Original sin -- v. 4. The Great Awakening -- v. 5. Apocalyptic writings -- v. 6. Scientific and philosophical writings -- v. 7. The life of David Brainerd -- v. 8. Ethical writings -- v. 9. A history of the work of redemption -- v. 10. Sermons and discourses, 1720-1723 -- v. 13. The "miscellanies" (entry nos. a-z, aa-zz, 1-500) -- v. 15. Notes on Scripture -- (...) v. 17. Sermons and discourses, 1730-1733 -- v. 18. The "miscellanies" (entry nos. 501-832) -- v. 19. Sermons and discourses, 1734-1738 -- v. 20. The miscellanies -- v. 22. Sermons and discourses, 1739-1742 -- v. 24. The "blank Bible" (2 v.). (shrink)