The 1964 Congress of the Australasian Association of Philosophy was the occasion for the delivery of the five major papers in this volume. Comments by J. J. C. Smart on four of the papers are included, since, not surprisingly, discussion of the identity theory was centered almost exclusively around Smart's formulation of it. Of the four papers upon which Smart commented, three are very critical of the identity theory while the fourth is sympathetic but uncommitted. The fifth paper, "Ryle and (...) the Mechanical Hypothesis," is a greatly expanded version of the paper Brian Medlin read to the Congress. Medlin's paper is largely an ad hoc defense of central state materialism against objections which might be raised by a Rylean. Rollins and Herbst have added replies to Medlin's paper; Herbst's comments are, in particular, quite acute in the way in which they bring out the ideological undersurface of the identity theory. In the critical papers, Gunner argues that Smart has not sufficiently clarified the notion of identity so as to make the thesis meaningful; Rollins argues that Smart has failed to notice the context-dependency of an explanation, i.e., an explanation is an explanation for some--but not necessarily all--purposes; Herbst suggests that Smart has given no intelligible account of how the identity theory could be verified without begging the question. In his "Comments" Smart reaffirms his faith in physicalism and announces his recent conversion to a Feyerabendian contextual account of a truth. This conversion solves all the difficulties of the theory. The effects are inconclusive, when not evasive.--E. A. R. (shrink)
The history of philosophy can be seen either as a contribution to history or a contribution to philosophy or perhaps as a bit of both. Hutchinson fail on both counts. The book is bad: bad in itself (since it quite definitely ought not to be) and bad as a companion to Principia (since it sets students a bad example of slapdash, lazy and pretentious philosophizing and would tend to put them off reading Moore). As a conscientious reviewer I ploughed through (...) every page and I have to say that I resented every minute of my life that I wasted on the book. Don’t waste any of yours. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson (2000) makes a strong prima facie case for the identification of a subject's total evidence with the subject's total knowledge (E = K). However, as Brian Weatherson (Ms) has observed, there are intuitively problematic consequences of E = K. In this article, I'll offer a contextualist implementation of E = K that provides the resources to respond to Weatherson's argument; the result will be a novel approach to knowledge and evidence that is suggestive of an unexplored contextualist (...) approach to basic knowledge. (shrink)
This 2001 book is a comprehensive study of the ethics of G. E. Moore, the most important English-speaking ethicist of the twentieth century. Moore's ethical project, set out in his seminal text Principia Ethica, is to preserve common moral insight from scepticism and, in effect, persuade his readers to accept the objective character of goodness. Brian Hutchinson explores Moore's arguments in detail and in the process relates the ethical thought to Moore's anti-sceptical epistemology. Moore was, without perhaps fully realizing (...) it, sceptical about the very enterprise of philosophy itself, and in this regard, as Brian Hutchinson reveals, was much closer in his thinking to Wittgenstein than has been previously realized. This book shows Moore's ethical work to be much richer and more sophisticated than his critics have acknowledged. (shrink)
This article discusses the 2005 OUP biography of Michael Polanyi by William T. Scott and Martin X. Moleski S.J., Michael Polanyi, Scientist and Philosopher . The discussants are N. E. Wetherick, Brian G Gowenlock, and John Puddefoot; Martin X. Moleski, S. J. briefly responds, providing a previously unpulished letter from Polanyi to Reverend Dr. Knox, a Presbyterian mininster.
I focus on the idea that if, as a result of lacking any conscious goal related to X-ing and any conscious anticipation or awareness of X-ing, one could sincerely reply to the question ‘Why are you X-ing?’ with ‘I didn't realize I was doing that,’ then one's X-ing is not intentional. My interest is in the idea interpreted as philosophically substantial (rather than merely stipulative) and as linked to the familiar view that there is a major difference, relative to the (...) exercise of agential control, between acting on a conscious goal (even one the agent is not actively thinking about) and acting on a non-conscious goal (about which the sincerely ‘clueless’ response ‘I didn't realize I was doing that’ could be provided). After raising some doubts about the target idea, I consider the two most promising lines of defence. I argue that neither is convincing, and that we should reject the suggestion that the idea is properly accepted as a matter of common sense. Even absent any conscious goal related to X-ing and any conscious anticipation or awareness of X-ing, there is room for counting X-ing as intentional if X-ing is, or is appropriately related to, a non-conscious goal. (shrink)
'Justice' and 'democracy' have alternated as dominant themes in political philosophy over the last fifty years. Since its revival in the middle of the twentieth century, political philosophy has focused on first one and then the other of these two themes. Rarely, however, has it succeeded in holding them in joint focus. This volume brings together leading authors who consider the relationship between democracy and justice in a set of specially written chapters. The intrinsic justness of democracy is challenged, the (...) relationship between justice, democracy and impartiality queried and the relationship between justice, democracy and the common good examined. Further chapters explore the problem of social exclusion and issues surrounding sub-national groups in the context of democracy and justice. Authors include Keith Dowding, Richard Arneson, Norman Schofield, Albert Weale, Robert E. Goodin, Jon Elster, David Miller, Phillip Pettit, Julian LeGrand and Russell Hardin. (shrink)