Our scientific concepts generally are in the melting-pot. They are all infected by relativity. This is as true in psychology and philosophy as in the physical sciences. In each case we must be willing to reconstruct our concepts on the basis of new evidence. Psychology has too long been hampered by a false tradition, and incidentally it has dragged philosophy with it into the slough of subjectivism. Brilliant discoveries in the realms of physiology and pathology throw new light on many (...) of the fundamental concepts of psychology, spite of the fact that the investigators themselves have sometimes been misled by the old tradition. We are here concerned with their data, not with their theories. The evidence, as I interpret it, gives the death-blow to the old subjectivistic psychology. As regards sensations, the evidence shows, on the one hand, that their character is independent of consciousness; but, on the other hand, it equally disproves the assumption that the sense-qualities exist in the physical world just as we know them and independently of the organism. The evidence further shows that the centers of the central nervous system constitute a hierarchy of energy patterns, not storehouses or factories of content, sensational or imaginal. The content is due to lines of motion, connecting those energy patterns with the sense-organs. The processes of selection. (shrink)
Este trabalho discute a formação da mentalidade individual, por meio de uma reflexão comparativa entre Democracia e educação, de John Dewey, e Admirável mundo novo, de Aldous Huxley. O texto literário permite um diálogo e uma leitura em face do texto filosófico, que o caracteriza como campo para a realização de um experimento de pensamento. Esse experimento é a discussão do valor atribuído por Dewey ao crescimento individual e ao social, em contraposição ao valor encontrado na narrativa de Huxley, (...) da estabilidade. Confrontando as leituras dessas duas obras, se pode compreender mais profundamente e, em uma perspectiva diferenciada, a relevância das condições do crescimento na formação plena da mentalidade individual. (shrink)
John E. Smith has contributed to contemporary philosophy in primarily four distinct capacities; first, as a philosopher of religion and God; second, as an indefatigable defender of philosophical reflection in its classical sense ( a sense inclusive of, but not limited to, metaphysics); third, as a participant in the reconstruction of experience and reason so boldly inaugurated by Hegel then redically transformed by the classical American pragmatists, and significantly augmented by such thinkers as Josiah Royce, william Earnest Hocking, and (...) Alfred North Whitehead; fourth, as an interpreter of philosophical texts and traditions (Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche no less than Charles Peirce, WIlliam James and John Dewey; German idealism as well as American; the Augustinian tradition no less than the pragmatic). Reason, Experience, and God provides an important and comprehensive look at the work of John E. Smith by collected essays which each address aspects of his life-long work. A response by John E. Smith himself draws a line of continuity between the pieces. (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.
Imagine a society of fisherfolk, who, in the state of nature, fish on a lake of finite size. Fishing on the lake is characterized by decreasing returns to scale in labor, because the lake's finite size imply that each successive hour of fishing labor is less effective than the previous one, as the remaining fish become less dense in the lake. In the state of nature, the lake is commonly owned: each fishes as much as he pleases, and, we might (...) suppose, calculates his fishing plan by taking the labor of the others as given, as he sees it. Each knows that the distribution of fish will be proportional to labor expended among the fisherfolk: if I fish twice as long as you, I will end up with twice as much fish as you. This is not due to some kind of concern with equity among the fisherfolk; it is a technological fact, implied by the assumption that fishing labor is homogeneous, and all are equally likely to catch a fish in a unit of time. An equilibrium under common ownership can be thought of as a Nash equilibrium of the game where each computes his optimal fishing plan, given the labor of the others and knowing what the consequent distribution of fish would be. (shrink)
Resenha do livro de Erickson, Glenn W.; e Fossa, John A.. A linha dividida : uma abordagem matemática à filosofia platônica . Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumará, 2006. 186 páginas. [Coleçáo Metafísica, n. 4].
Radical and liberal theories of egalitarianism are distinguished, in large part, by the differing degrees to which they hold people responsible for their own well-being. The most liberal or individualistic theory calls for equality of opportunity. Once such “starting gate equality,” as Dworkin calls it, is guaranteed, then any final outcome is justified, provided certain rules, such as voluntary trading, are observed. At the other pole, the most radical egalitarianism calls for equality of welfare. In between these two extremes are (...) egalitarian proposals that equalize more than conventional opportunities, yet less than full welfare. Sen speaks of equality of basic capabilities as a goal; implementing that requires more than starting gate equality, because some will require more resources than others to attain the same capabilities. Meeting basic needs is another objective. Equality of needs fulfillment is perhaps less radical than equality of basic capabilities and more radical than equality of opportunity. Rawls takes equality of primary goods as a benchmark; he distinguishes primary goods from welfare, but includes among them goods that are more complicated than conventional resources and opportunities, all of which are supposed inputs into any conception of welfare. One could imagine proposing an egalitarianism that equalized some quite measurable outcome across populations, such as infant mortality. That would be an outcome-equalizing theory where the rate of infant mortality is a proxy, presumably, for some more complicated maximand, such as the degree of wellbeing of a population. (shrink)
All advanced societies maintain a commitment to equal educational opportunity, which they claim to implement through a public school system that is charged toprovide all children with an education up to a state-enforced standard. Indeed, what public schools do, even in the best of circumstances, is to provide all children with a more or less equal exposure to educational inputs, rather than to guarantee them equal educational attainment. Children, as the schools receive them, differ markedly in their docility — due (...) in part to innate ability, but perhaps due more to the economic status and cultural practices of their families. Many, including myself, believe that the task of schools should be to provide some measure of equal educational attainment among students of heterogeneous talent and background. Schools should devote more educational resources to students who require them in order that they be educated to an acceptable standard. (shrink)