In their report for the Swiss government onthe notion of the dignity of creatures, PhilippBalzer, Klaus-Peter Rippe, and Peter Schaber analyzethe relationship between human dignity and the dignityof creatures, taking them as two categoricallydifferent concepts. Human dignity is defined as the``moral right not to be humiliated,'' whereas thedignity of creatures is taken to be ``the inherentvalue of nonhuman living beings.'' To my mind there isno need to draw a categorical distinction between thetwo concepts. Both notions could be brought togetherunder an (...) all-encompassing concept of the inherentvalue of living beings, humans and non-humans alike,a concept one could name ``the dignity of livingbeings.'' Indeed, this very notion underlies theposition taken in the report, although this is notmade explicit by the authors themselves.As the aim of the paper is only to clarify theconcepts used, I do not go beyond this ``internal''critique of their position, i.e., I don't assess howthe claims articulated via these concepts – theclaim that humans and/or creatures have an inherentvalue consisting in a supposed intrinsic good – areto be justified, although I myself would be ratherskeptical that this might be successfully done. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to look into a possible way in which cognitive pragmatics can help out variational studies in explaining the processes of language change. After broadly setting the scene this article proceeds by giving basic information about variational pragmatics. Then it concentrates on Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theory and its possible interaction with social sciences, namely its possible application in sociolinguistics. I next present my own research of Split dialect/vernacular change where I concentrate on explanatory side, asking (...) which explanation would be the best one for the changes of some variables in the dialect. The interpretation and discussion of the fi ndings preceed the discussion of salience as the explanatory tool for language change as seen from cognitivists and variationists with the hope that such discussions can bring closer cognitivists, i.e. relevantists, to sociolinguists, i.e. variationists. (shrink)
Discussion of epistemic responsibility typically focuses on belief formation and actions leading to it. Similarly, accounts of collective epistemic responsibility have addressed the issue of collective belief formation and associated actions. However, there has been little discussion of collective responsibility for preventing epistemic harms, particularly those preventable only by the collective action of an unorganized group. We propose an account of collective epistemic responsibility which fills this gap. Building on Hindriks' (2019) account of collective moral responsibility, we introduce the Epistemic (...) Duty to Join Forces. Our theory provides an account of the responsibilities of scientists to prevent epistemic harms during inquiry. (shrink)
The article presents an agent-based model of scientific interaction aimed at examining how different degrees of connectedness of scientists impact their efficiency in knowledge acquisition. The model is built on the basis of Zollman’s ABM by changing some of its idealizing assumptions that concern the representation of the central notions underlying the model: epistemic success of the rivalling scientific theories, scientific interaction and the assessment in view of which scientists choose theories to work on. Our results suggest that whether and (...) to what extent the degree of connectedness of a scientific community impacts its efficiency is a highly context-dependent matter since different conditions deem strikingly different results. More generally, we argue that simplicity of ABMs may come at a price: the requirement to run extensive robustness analysis before we can specify the adequate target phenomenon of the model.1 1Introduction2Zollman's 2010 Model3Static versus Dynamic Epistemic Success 3.1Introducing the notion of dynamic epistemic success3.2Implementation and results for the basic setup4Critical Interaction 4.1Introducing critique4.2Implementation and results5Inertia of Inquiry 5.1Introducing rational inertia5.2Implementation and results6Threshold Below Which Theories Are Equally Promising 6.1An inquiry that is even more difficult6.2Implementation and results7Discussion8Conclusion. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to offer an account of epistemic justification suitable for the context of theory pursuit, that is, for the context in which new scientific ideas, possibly incompatible with the already established theories, emerge and are pursued by scientists. We will frame our account paradigmatically on the basis of one of the influential systems of epistemic justification: Laurence Bonjour’s coherence theory of justification. The idea underlying our approach is to develop a set of criteria which indicate (...) that the pursued system is promising of contributing to the epistemic goal of robustness of scientific knowledge and of developing into a candidate for acceptance. In order to realize this we will (a) adjust the scope of Bonjour’s standards—consistency, inferential density, and explanatory power, and (b) complement them by the requirement of a programmatic character. In this way we allow for the evaluation of the “potential coherence” of the given epistemic system. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is, on the one hand, to critically investigate Kuhn’s stance on the assessment of the pursuit worthiness of scientific theories, and, on the other hand, to show the actuality of some of Kuhn’s points on this issue, in view of their critical analysis. To this end we show that Kuhn presents certain tools, which may help scientists to overcome communication breakdowns when engaging in the process of rational deliberation regarding the question whether a theory is (...) worthy of further pursuit. These tools are persuasion, translation and interpretation. However, we argue that the perspective of epistemic semantic monism present in Kuhn’s work obstructs the full applicability of these tools. We show that dropping this perspective makes the notions of persuasion and interpretation more fruitful, and moreover, allows for a pluralism of scientific theories and practices that complements the pluralism based on disagreement among scientists, emphasized by Kuhn. (shrink)
In this paper we examine the epistemic value of highly idealized agent-based models of social aspects of scientific inquiry. On the one hand, we argue that taking the results of such simulations as informative of actual scientific inquiry is unwarranted, at least for the class of models proposed in recent literature. Moreover, we argue that a weaker approach, which takes these models as providing only “how-possibly” explanations, does not help to improve their epistemic value. On the other hand, we suggest (...) that if ABMs of science underwent two types of robustness analysis, they could indeed have a clear epistemic function, namely by providing evidence for philosophical and historical hypotheses. In this sense, ABMs can obtain evidential and explanatory properties and thus be a useful tool for integrated history and philosophy of science. We illustrate our point with an example of a model—building on the work by Kevin Zollman—which we apply to a concrete historical case study. (shrink)
argumentation has been shown to be a powerful tool within many fields such as artificial intelligence, logic and legal reasoning. In this paper we enhance Dung’s well-known abstract argumentation framework with explanatory capabilities. We show that an explanatory argumentation framework (EAF) obtained in this way is a useful tool for the modeling of scientific debates. On the one hand, EAFs allow for the representation of explanatory and justificatory arguments constituting rivaling scientific views. On the other hand, different procedures for selecting (...) arguments, corresponding to different methodological and epistemic requirements of theory evaluation, can be formulated in view of our framework. (shrink)
This paper examines lessons obtained by means of simulations in the form of agent-based models about the norms that are to guide disagreeing scientists. I focus on two types of epistemic and methodological norms: norms that guide one’s attitude towards one’s own theory, and norms that guide one’s attitude towards the opponent’s theory. Concerning I look into ABMs that have been designed to examine the context of peer disagreement. Here I challenge the conclusion that the given ABMs provide a support (...) for the so-called Steadfast Norm, according to which one is epistemically justified in remaining steadfast in their beliefs in face of disagreeing peers. I argue that the proposed models at best provide evidence for a weaker norm, which concerns methodological steadfastness. Concerning I look into ABMs aimed at examining epistemic effects of scientific interaction. Here I argue that the models provide diverging suggestions and that the link between each ABM and the type of represented inquiry is still missing. Moreover, I examine alternative strategies of arguing in favor of the benefits of scientific interaction, relevant for contemporary discussions on scientific pluralism. (shrink)
Throughout most of human history women have been defined by their biological role in reproduction, seen first and foremost as gestators, which has led to the reproductive system being subjected to outside interference. The womb was perceived as dangerous and an object which husbands, doctors and the state had a legitimate interest in controlling. In this article, we consider how notions of conflict surrounding the womb have endured over time. We demonstrate how concerns seemingly generated by the invisibility of reproduction (...) and the inaccessibility of the womb have translated into similar arguments for controlling women, as technology increases the accessibility of the female body and the womb. Developments in reproductive medicine, from in vitro fertilisation to surrogacy, have enabled women and men who would otherwise have been childless to become parents. Uterus transplants and ‘artificial wombs’ could provide additional alternatives to natural gestation. An era of ‘womb technology’ dawns. Some argue that such technology providing an alternative to ‘natural’ gestation could be a source of liberation for female persons because reproduction will no longer be something necessarily confined to the female body. ‘Womb technology’, however, also has the potential to exacerbate the labelling of the female body as a source of danger and an ‘imperfect’ site of gestation, thus replaying rudimentary and regressive arguments about controlling female behaviour. We argue that pernicious narratives about control, conflict and the womb must be addressed in the face of these technological developments. (shrink)
G.E. Moore, more than either Bertrand Russell or Ludwig Wittgenstein, was chiefly responsible for the rise of the analytic method in twentieth-century philosophy. This selection of his writings shows Moore at his very best. The classic essays are crucial to major philosophical debates that still resonate today. Amongst those included are: * A Defense of Common Sense * Certainty * Sense-Data * External and Internal Relations * Hume's Theory Explained * Is Existence a Predicate? * Proof of an External World (...) In addition, this collection also contains the key early papers in which Moore signals his break with idealism, and three important previously unpublished papers from his later work which illustrate his relationship with Wittgenstein. (shrink)
Formal models of scientific inquiry, aimed at capturing socio-epistemic aspects underlying the process of scientific research, have become an important method in formal social epistemology and philosophy of science. In this introduction to the special issue we provide a historical overview of the development of formal models of this kind and analyze their methodological contributions to discussions in philosophy of science. In particular, we show that their significance consists in different forms of ‘methodological iteration’ whereby the models initiate new lines (...) of inquiry, isolate and clarify problems with existing knowledge claims, and stimulate further research. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the problem of inconsistency toleration in the context of scientific pluralism. I argue that, first of all, the notion of inconsistency toleration has to be qualified with respect to the evaluative attitude that one takes towards a given scientific theory or theories. Second, I show which types of inconsistency toleration are compatible with two major approaches to scientific pluralism, the so-called modest and the radical one. In view of this I suggest some points of demarcation (...) between these two approaches. (shrink)
The paper challenges a recent attempt by Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen to show that since Thomas Kuhn’s philosophical standpoint can be incorporated into coherentist epistemology, it does not necessarily lead to: an abandonment of rationality and rational interparadigm theory comparison, nor to an abandonment of convergent realism. Leaving aside the interpretation of Kuhn as a coherentist, we will show that Kuukkanen’s first thesis is not sufficiently explicated, while the second one entirely fails. With regard to Thesis 1, we argue that Kuhn’s view (...) on inter-paradigm theory comparison allows only for ‘the weak notion of rationality’, and that Kuukkanen’s argument is thus acceptable only in view of such a notion. With regard to Thesis 2, we show that even if we interpret Kuhn as a coherentist, his philosophical standpoint cannot be seen as compatible with convergent realism since Kuhn’s argument against it is not ‘ultimately empirical’, as Kuukkanen takes it to be.Keywords: Thomas S. Kuhn; Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen; Coherentist epistemology; Rationality; Theory choice; Convergent realism. (shrink)
Throughout the first half of the twentieth century the research on peptic ulcer disease focused on two rivaling hypothesis: the “acidity” and the “bacterial” one. According to the received view, the latter was dismissed during the 1950s only to be revived with Warren’s and Marshall’s discovery of Helicobacter pylori in the 1980s. In this paper we investigate why the bacterial hypothesis was largely abandoned in the 1950s, and whether there were good epistemic reasons for its dismissal. Of special interest for (...) our research question is Palmer’s 1954 large-scale study, which challenged the bacterial hypothesis with serious counter-evidence, and which by many scholars is considered as the shifting point in the research on PUD. However, we show that: The perceived refutatory impact of Palmer’s study was disproportionate to its methodological rigor. This undermines its perceived status as a crucial experiment against the bacterial hypothesis. In view of this and other considerations we argue that the bacterial hypothesis was worthy of pursuit in the 1950s. (shrink)
Is God's foreknowledge compatible with human freedom? One of the most attractive attempts to reconcile the two is the Ockhamistic view, which subscribes not only to human freedom and divine omniscience, but retains our most fundamental intuitions concerning God and time: that the past is immutable, that God exists and acts in time, and that there is no backward causation. In order to achieve all that, Ockhamists distinguish ‘hard facts’ about the past which cannot possibly be altered from ‘soft facts’ (...) about the past which are alterable, and argue that God's prior beliefs about human actions are soft facts about the past. (shrink)
An important contribution to the foundations of probability theory, statistics and statistical physics has been made by E. T. Jaynes. The recent publication of his collected works provides an appropriate opportunity to attempt an assessment of this contribution.
The history of the research on peptic ulcer disease is characterized by a premature abandonment of the bacterial hypothesis, which subsequently had its comeback, leading to the discovery of Helicobacter pylori -- the major cause of the disease. In this paper we examine the received view on this case, according to which the primary reason for the abandonment of the bacterial hypothesis of PUD in the mid-twentieth century was a large-scale study by a prominent gastroenterologist Palmer, which suggested no bacteria (...) could be found in the human stomach. To this end, we employ the method of digital textual analysis and study the literature on the etiology of PUD published in the decade prior to Palmer's article. Our findings suggest that the bacterial hypothesis of PUD had already been abandoned before the publication of Palmer's paper, which challenges the widely held view that his study played a crucial role in the development of this episode. The paper makes two main contributions to the literature in integrated history and philosophy of science. First, we suggest that the received narrative on this historical episode, commonly used by philosophers, needs to be revised. Second, we introduce the notion of a `declining research program' and argue for its importance as a unit of socio-epistemic analysis, especially in combination with normative assessments, such as pursuitworthiness of scientific theories. (shrink)
What is a natural kind ? As we shall see, the concept of a natural kind has a long history. Many of the interesting doctrines can be detected in Aristotle, were revived by Locke and Leibniz, and have again become fashionable in recent years. Equally there has been agreement about certain paradigm examples: the kinds oak, stickleback and gold are natural kinds, and the kinds table, nation and banknote are not. Sadly agreement does not extend much further. It is impossible (...) to discover a single consistent doctrine in the literature, and different discussions focus on different doctrines without writers or readers being aware of the fact. In this paper I shall attempt to find a defensible distinction between natural and non-natural kinds. (shrink)
How could the self be a substance? There are various ways in which it could be, some familiar from the history of philosophy. I shall be rejecting these more familiar substantivalist approaches, but also the non-substantival theories traditionally opposed to them. I believe that the self is indeed a substance—in fact, that it is a simple or noncomposite substance—and, perhaps more remarkably still, that selves are, in a sense, self-creating substances. Of course, if one thinks of the notion of substance (...) as an outmoded relic of prescientific metaphysics—as the notion of some kind of basic and perhaps ineffable stuff —then the suggestion that the self is a substance may appear derisory. Even what we ordinarily call ‘stuffs’—gold and water and butter and the like—are, it seems, more properly conceived of as aggregates of molecules or atoms, while the latter are not appropriately to be thought of as being ‘made’ of any kind of ‘stuff’ at all. But this only goes to show that we need to think in terms of a more sophisticated notion of substance—one which may ultimately be traced back to Aristotle's conception of a ‘primary substance’ in the Categories , and whose heir in modern times is W. E. Johnson's notion of the ‘continuant’. It is the notion, that is, of a concrete individual capable of persisting identically through qualitative change, a subject of alterable predicates that is not itself predicable of any further subject. (shrink)
The strong weak truth table (sw) reducibility was suggested by Downey, Hirschfeldt, and LaForte as a measure of relative randomness, alternative to the Solovay reducibility. It also occurs naturally in proofs in classical computability theory as well as in the recent work of Soare, Nabutovsky, and Weinberger on applications of computability to differential geometry. We study the sw-degrees of c.e. reals and construct a c.e. real which has no random c.e. real (i.e., Ω number) sw-above it.
O presente texto procura acompanhar alguns aspectos da reconstrução sartreana das relações entre indivíduo e história, tentando mostrar que a fenomenologia e o materialismo dialético comparecem nessa proposta de conhecimento e que é a convergência das duas perspectivas que permite, contemplando adequadamente a universalidade e a singularidade, descrever e compreender dialeticamente o modo histórico de produção da identidade individual.
In this paper I shall venture into an area with which I am not very familiar and in which I feel far from confident; namely into phenomenology. My main motive is not to get away from standard, boring, methodological questions like those of induction and demarcation; but the conviction that a phenomenological account of the empirical basis forms a necessary complement to Popper's falsificationism. According to the latter, a scientific theory is a synthetic and universal, hence unverifiable proposition. In fact, (...) in order to be technologically useful, a scientific hypothesis must refer to future states-of-affairs; it ought therefore to remain unverified. But in order to be empirical, a theory must bear some kind of relation to factual statements. According to Popper, such a relation can only be one of potential conflict. Thus a theory T will be termed scientific if and only if T is logically incompatible with a so-called basic statement b, where b is both empirically verifiable and empirically falsifiable. In other words: T is scientific if it entails ¬b; where b, hence also ¬b, is an empirically decidable proposition. (shrink)
Why does the problem of free will seem so intractable? I surmise that in large measure it does so because the free will debate, at least in its modern form, is conducted in terms of a mistaken approach to causality in general. At the heart of this approach is the assumption that all causation is fundamentally event causation. Of course, it is well-known that some philosophers of action want to invoke in addition an irreducible notion of agent causation, applicable only (...) in the sphere of intelligent agency. But such a view is generally dismissed as incompatible with the naturalism that has now become orthodoxy amongst mainstream analytical philosophers of mind. What I want to argue is that substances, not events, are the primary relata of causal relations and that agent causation should properly be conceived of as a species of substance causation. I shall try to show that by thus reconceiving the nature of causation and of agency, the problem of free will can be made more tractable. I shall also argue for a contention that may seem even less plausible at first sight, namely, that such a view of agency is perfectly compatible with a volitionist theory of action. (shrink)
Za pretpostaviti je da identitet, čak ukoliko ga se i provizorno fiksira, biva promatran kao nestabilna, socijalno uvjetovana kategorija, označena i prepoznata ovisno o preraspodijeljenosti moći i trenutnim diskurzivnim relacijama. Pretpostavka teksta jest da se problematika identiteta promišlja kroz konfliktan suodnos dominantno i marginalno pozicioniranih društvenih aktera. Kontekstualizirano unutar ovakve dualne distribucije moći, aplikativni dio teksta tematizira temu proučavanja problematike identiteta u dva različita društvena diskursa . Pritom, film se promatra kao medij popularne kulture, dok bitan segment znanstveno-teorijskog pristupa temi (...) koji omogućuje raspravu pripada domeni kulturne kritike.Inicijalno zadirući u sferu estetskog, tekst započinje primjerima iz teorije prakse. Tiče se inkorporiranosti filmskih sadržaja u osobne identifikacijske procese svakodnevnog života. Praktična pretpostavka jest: budući da se relevantnost kinematografije u velikoj mjeri očituje u dostupnosti plasiranih sadržaja, sam film se tako predstavlja kao privatni i kolektivni itinerar kulturnih znanja i putokaz življenom iskustvu.Teorijski se pak dio priče odnosi na prenošenje znanja specijaliziranim kodovima koje potvrđuje činjenicu disciplinarnog zatvaranja kao identifikacijskog procesa. Ukoliko pretpostavimo da je inicijalna tendencija prepoznavanja, uspostave i upisivanja identiteta u matricu svakodnevice oblik kritičkog djelovanja, utoliko se s pravom možemo pitati postoji li nešto što možemo zvati paradoksom uspostavljanja identiteta? I ukoliko postoji, sabotira li zapravo taj paradoks vlastitu inicijalnu tendenciju, a ta je, ponovimo to – djelovanje? Zaključak sugerira dijalektički i interdisciplinarni pristup problematici čiji su cilj etički i politički korektnije politike predstavljanja. Preciznije, umjesto danas razvidnih i dominirajućih perpetuiranih reprezentiranja manipuliranog znanja, ovaj rad nastoji otvoriti mogućnosti za samoartikulacije i samoprezentiranja različitih identifikacijskih pozicija.It is procurable to postulate that identity as such, even if tentatively fixed, is being beheld as an unstable, socially conditioned category, marked and recognized depending on the distribution of power and current discourse relations. The assumption of this text is the politics and the problematic of identity viewed through the conflict nature of the dominantly and marginally positioned relation of social actors. Contextualized throughout this binary distribution of power, the applicable part of this text introduces the subject of identity studies and the problematic it beholds within identity itself in two different social discourses . In this perspective, the film is seen as the media of popular culture, while the important part of scientifically-theoretical access to the subject which allows debate, is in the domain of cultural critique.Interfering initially in the domain of esthetics, the text begins with examples in theory of practice. It concerns embeddedness of the film epitome into personal identification processes of everyday life. The practical assumption is: given the fact the relevancy of cinematography is broadly shown in the availability of the placed substance, the film itself is presented as a private and a collective itinerary of cultural knowledge and a signpost for lived experience.The theoretical part of the story relates to the transfer of knowledge using specialized codes while confirming the fact of disciplinal closure as well as the identification process. If we were to assume that the initial tendency of recognition, establishment and inscription of identity into the matrix of everyday life is indeed a form of critical action, than it is right to ask if there is a thing that could be called the paradox of establishing identity. And, if there is indeed such a thing, is this paradox actually sabotaging its own initial tendency – that being – acting? Conclusion suggests dialectical and interdisciplinary approach to the problematic which aims to the more correct politics of representation, both in ethical and political sense. More precisely, this text tries to open the possibilities of self-articulation and self-representation of different identification positions instead of nowadays apparent and dominate representations of manipulated knowledge. (shrink)
If one is an egalitarian, what should one want to equalize? Opportunities or outcomes? Resources or welfare? These positions are usually conceived to be very different. I argue in this paper that the distinction is misconceived: the only coherent conception of resource equality implies welfare equality, in an appropriately abstract description of the problem. In this section, I motivate the program which the rest of the paper carries out.
Recent studies of scientific interaction based on agent-based models suggest that a crucial factor conducive to efficient inquiry is what Zollman has dubbed ‘transient diversity’. It signifies a process in which a community engages in parallel exploration of rivaling theories lasting sufficiently long for the community to identify the best theory and to converge on it. But what exactly generates transient diversity? And is transient diversity a decisive factor when it comes to the efficiency of inquiry? In this paper we (...) examine the impact of different conditions on the efficiency of inquiry, as well as the relation between diversity and efficiency. This includes certain diversity-generating mechanisms previously proposed in the literature, as well as some factors that have so far been neglected. This study is obtained via an argumentation-based ABM. Our results suggest that cautious decision-making does not always have a significant impact on the efficiency of inquiry while different evaluations underlying theory-choice and different social networks do. Moreover, we find a correlation between diversity and a successful performance of agents only under specific conditions, which indicates that transient diversity is sometimes not the primary factor responsible for efficiency. Altogether, when comparing our results to those obtained by structurally different ABMs based on Zollman’s work, the impact of specific factors on efficiency of inquiry, as well as the role of transient diversity in achieving efficiency, appear to be highly dependent on the underlying model. (shrink)
E-Z Reader 7 is a processing model of eye-movement control. One constraint imposed on the model is that high-level cognitive processes do not influence eye movements unless normal reading processes are disturbed. I suggest that this constraint is unnecessary, and that the model provides a sensible architecture for explaining how both low- and high-level processes influence eye movements.
Hume's famous discussion of miracles in the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is curious both on account of the arguments he does deploy and on account of the arguments he does not deploy, but might have been expected to. The first and second parts of this paper will be devoted to examining, respectively, these two objects of curiosity. The second part I regard as the more important, because I shall there try to show that the fact that Hume does not deploy (...) an argument that he might have been expected to deploy in fact reflects a weakness in the view of natural laws that has come to be associated with Hume's name. I shall argue, in fact, that it is a symptom of the defectiveness of the ‘Humean’ view of natural laws that on that view it is only too easy to rule out the possibility of a miracle ever occurring. In the third part of the paper, I shall show how another view of laws can overcome this problem. (shrink)
Maternal–fetal surgery encompasses a range of innovative procedures aiming to treat fetal illnesses and anomalies during pregnancy. Their development and gradual introduction into healthcare raise important ethical issues concerning respect for pregnant women’s bodily integrity and autonomy. This paper asks what kind of ethical framework should be employed to best regulate the practice of MFS without eroding the hard-won rights of pregnant women. I examine some existing models conceptualising the relationship between a pregnant woman and the fetus to determine what (...) kind of framework is the most adequate for MFS, and conclude that an ecosystem or maternal–fetal dyad model is best suited for upholding women’s autonomy. However, I suggest that an appropriate framework needs to incorporate some notion of fetal patienthood, albeit a very limited one, in order to be consistent with the views of healthcare providers and their pregnant patients. I argue that such an ethical framework is both theoretically sound and fundamentally respectful of women’s autonomy, and is thus best suited to protect women from coercion or undue paternalism when deciding whether to undergo MFS. (shrink)
In The City of God , XI, 10, St Augustine claims that the divine nature is simple because ‘it is what it has’ . We may take this as a slogan for the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity , a doctrine which finds its way into orthodox medieval Christian theological speculation. Like the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the DDS has seemed obvious and pious to many, and incoherent, misguided, and repugnant to others. Unlike the doctrine of God's timeless eternality, the (...) DDS has received very little critical attention. The DDS did not originate with Augustine, but I am not primarily concerned with its pedigree. Nor am I concerned to ask how the doctrine interacts with trinitarian speculation. I will have my hands full as it is. In Section I of this paper I shall provide a rough characterization of the DDS, indicate its complexity, and focus on a particular aspect of the doctrine which will exercise us in the remainder of the paper, namely, the thesis that the divine attributes are all identical with each other and with God. In section n I shall discuss Alvin Plantinga's recent objections to Aquinas' version of the DDS. I shall then offer a more detailed presentation of what I take to be Aquinas' version , and recast it in terms of a theory of attributes which is significantly different from Plantinga's . Although the recasting of the doctrine will enable me to rebut Plantinga's objections , it by no means solves all the problems of the DDS. In section vi I shall discuss the chief lingering problem facing a defender of the DDS. (shrink)