A compilation of all previously published writings on philosophy and the foundations of mathematics from the greatest of the generation of Cambridge scholars that included G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Maynard Keynes.
Tyler Andrew Wunder, in his article, “Alvin Plantinga on Paul Draper’s evolutionary atheology: implications of theism’s non-contingency,” argues that Plantinga makes a serious error regarding probabilities in his critique of Draper. Properly modified, Wunder believes the argument “works,” but only in a trivial sense. This paper argues that Wunder’s objection, based on an assumed probability calculus, is merely asserted; whereas, there are other competing axiomatic systems consistent with Plantinga’s treatment of probability. As to the modified argument, it (...) is demonstrated that Wunder mistakenly concludes that two key propositions are contradictory. The consequence of this is not that Plantinga’s argument “works” in a trivial sense, but rather that the argument becomes incoherent. Lastly, this paper will explore the consequences of both Wunder’s and Plantinga’s assumptions concerning conditional probability for Draper’s evidentiary argument and Plantiga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism. (shrink)
This paper is a response to Tyler Wunder’s ‘The modality of theism and probabilistic natural theology: a tension in Alvin Plantinga's philosophy’ (this journal). In his article, Wunder argues that if the proponent of the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN) holds theism to be non-contingent and frames the argument in terms of objective probability, that the EAAN is either unsound or theism is necessarily false. I argue that a modest revision of the EAAN renders Wunder’s objection irrelevant, (...) and that this revision actually widens the scope of the argument. (shrink)
In Wunder (2013) I observed a probabilistic blunder in Plantinga (2011) and argued that correcting it, while noting Plantinga’s acceptance of logically non-contingent theism, had negative consequences for many other of his probabilistic claims. Professor Plantinga kindly replied to my correspondence, but the fruits of that conversation could not be incorporated into Wunder (2013). This article will explain the blunder and summarize my earlier arguments before addressing Plantinga’s main replies. I conclude that these replies fail to circumvent most (...) of the problems observed earlier: perhaps most significantly, the Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism and theism’s logical non-contingency still appear jointly to imply theism’s necessary falsehood. (shrink)
This is the twenty-sixth volume in the Library of Living Philosophers, a series founded by Paul A. Schilpp in 1939 and edited by him until 1981, when the editorship was taken over by Lewis E. Hahn. This volume follows the design of previous volumes. As Schilpp conceived this series, every volume would have the following elements: an intellectual autobiography of the philosopher, a series of expository and critical articles written by exponents and opponents of the philosopher's thought, replies to these (...) critics and commentators by the philosopher, and as nearly complete a bibliography of the published work of the philosopher as possible. (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
In his recently published Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, & Naturalism 2011 Alvin Plantinga criticises Paul Draper’s evolutionary argument against theism as part of a larger project to show that evolution poses no threat to Christian belief. Plantinga focuses upon Draper’s probabilistic claim that the facts of evolution are much more probable on naturalism than on theism, and with regard to that claim makes two specific points. First, Draper’s probabilistic claim contradicts theism’s necessary falsehood; unless Draper wishes to (...) acknowledge that theism is necessarily true, his claim commits him to theism’s contingency and so sets him at odds with a mainstream that sees God’s existence as decidedly noncontingent. Second, Plantinga argues that Draper’s probabilistic claim is, even if true, overwhelmed by counterclaims about facts that are more likely on theism than naturalism. I argue this critique of Draper depends upon a serious error, and that Plantinga overlooks the full implications of his own presuppositions. Correcting these shortcomings shows that Plantinga’s own probabilistic-apologetics (e.g., the ‘Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism’) requires theism’s contingency no less than does Draper’s atheology. (shrink)
We argue that neuroeconomics should be a mechanistic science. We defend this view as preferable both to a revolutionary perspective, according to which classical economics is eliminated in favour of neuroeconomics, and to a classical economic perspective, according to which economics is insulated from facts about psychology and neuroscience. We argue that, like other mechanistic sciences, neuroeconomics will earn its keep to the extent that it either reconfigures how economists think about decision-making or how neuroscientists think about brain mechanisms underlying (...) behaviour. We discuss some ways that the search for mechanisms can bring about such top-down and bottom-up revision, and we consider some examples from the recent neuroeconomics literature of how varieties of progress of this sort might be achieved. (shrink)
This paper examines the commonplace assertion that utilitarianism allows for and even, at times, requires the punishment of the innocent. It traces the origins of this doctrine to the writings of the British Idealists and the subsequent development of what is called the post-utilitarian paradigm which posits various justifications for punishment such as retribution, deterrence and reform, finds all of them inadequate, and then, with the addition of other ideas, reconciles them. The idea of deterrence is falsely depicted as the (...) utilitarian contribution to the theory of punishment, while deterrence in fact is one of several elements in the utilitarian theory. The mistake comes from ignoring the pain-pleasure dimension of Benthamite utilitarianism and from regarding the principle of utility itself as the sole criterion of action in a ‘top-down’ fashion. (shrink)
In this essay, Hegel attempted to show how Fichte’s Science of Knowledge was an advance from the position of Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason, and how Schelling (and incidentally Hegel himself) had made a further advance from the position of Fichte.
My topic is personal identity, or rather, our identity. There is general, but not, of course, unanimous, agreement that it is wrong to give an account of what is involved in, and essential to, our persistence over time which requires the existence of immaterial entities, but, it seems to me, there is no consensus about how, within, what might be called this naturalistic framework, we should best procede. This lack of consensus, no doubt, reflects the difficulty, which must strike anyone (...) who has considered the issue, of achieving, just in one's own thinking, a reflective equilibrium. The theory of personal identity, I feel, provides a curious contrast. On the one side, it seems highly important to know what sort of thing we are, but, on the other, it is hard to find any answer which has a ‘solid’ feel. (shrink)
Every body cell of an animal or human being contains the same complete set of genes. In theory any of these cells can be used to start a new embryo. The technique has been employed in the case of frogs. The nucleus is taken out of a body cell of a frog and implanted in an enucleated frog's egg. The resulting egg cell is stimulated to develop into a normal frog, and will be an exact copy of that frog which (...) provided the nucleus with all the genetic information. In normal sexual reproduction, two parents each contribute half their genes, but in the case of cloning, one parent passes on all his or her genes. (shrink)
William Perm summarized the Magna Carta thus: “First, It asserts Englishmen to be free; that's Liberty. Secondly, they that have free-holds, that's Property.” Since at least the seventeenth century, liberals have not only understood liberty and property to be fundamental, but to be somehow intimately related or interwoven. Here, however, consensus ends; liberals present an array of competing accounts of the relation between liberty and property. Many, for instance, defend an essentially instrumental view, typically seeing private property as justified because (...) it is necessary to maintain or protect other, more basic, liberty rights. Important to our constitutional tradition has been the idea that “[t]he right to property is the guardian of every other right, and to deprive a people of this, is in fact to deprive them of their liberty.” Along similar lines, it has been argued that only an economic system based on private property disperses power and resources, ensuring that private people in civil society have the resources to oppose the state and give effect to basic liberties. Alternatively, it is sometimes claimed that only those with property develop the independent characters that are necessary to preserve a regime of liberty. But not only have liberals insisted that, property is a means of preserving liberty, they have often conceived of it as an embodiment of liberty, or as a type of liberty, or indeed as identical to liberty. This latter view is popular among contemporary libertarians or classical liberals. Jan Narveson, for instance, bluntly asserts that “Liberty is Property,” while John Gray insists that “[t]he connection between property and the basic liberties is constitutive and not just instrumental.”. (shrink)
In Morals By Agreement, David Gauthier concludes that under certain conditions it is rational for an agent to be disposed to choose in accordance with a fair cooperative scheme rather than to choose the course of action that maximizes his utility. This is only one of a number of important claims advanced in that book. In particular, he also propounds a distinctive view concerning what counts as a fair cooperative arrangement. The thesis concerning the rationality of adopting a cooperative disposition (...) is, however, logically independent of his substantive view of a fair cooperative scheme and is itself central to the project as a whole. Gauthier's concern is to establish that certain moral principles are those that fully rational, self-interested persons would agree to take as regulative of their dealings with one another – that a contractarian approach, in this sense, can provide an adequate basis for a theory of morality. (shrink)
This article considers Bentham's response to the criticism of utilitarianism that it allows for and may even require the sacrifice of some members of society in order to increase overall happiness. It begins with the contrast between the principle of utility and the contrasting principle of sympathy and antipathy to show that Bentham regarded the main achievement of his principle as overcoming the subjectivity he found in all other philosophical theories. This subjectivism, especially prevalent in theories of rights, might well (...) lead to the sacrifice of the individual. The principle of utility was presented as an ‘objective’ theory that avoided the difficulties of other moral and political theories. The article also considers the importance of universally applicable ends, such as security and equality, as part of the principle of utility, and especially Bentham's view of maximizing pleasure as being a distributive rather than an aggregative idea. The article concludes by criticizing H. L. A. Hart's interpretation of the role of equality and rights in Bentham and John Stuart Mill, and argues that Mill's doctrine of moral rights builds on foundations originally established by Bentham, foundations which would preclude the sacrifice of individuals. (shrink)
ZusammenfassungDer Selbstbestimmungdes Patienten kommt in der modernen Debatte über das Gesundheitswesen eine zentrale Bedeutung zu. Selbstbestimmung ist aber ein voraussetzungsvoller Begriff, der für Patientengruppen wie Demenzbetroffene, deren Entscheidungs- und Einwilligungsfähigkeit nachlässt oder nicht mehr gegeben ist, eine Reihe von Fragen aufwirft. Auf der Grundlage der jeweiligen Symptomentwicklung der Demenzerkrankung und eigener Erfahrungen im Umgang mit Demenzbetroffenen wirdde rEntwicklungdes Willens in den verschiedenen Stadien der Demenz nachgegangen. Dabei wird den Dimensionen der Differenziertheit der Denkinhalte, der Beurteilungsbasis und der Entscheidungskonstanz eine besondere (...) Bedeutung zugemessen und für eine Graduierung der Selbstbestimmungsmöglichkeiten im Umgang mit Demenzbetroffenen plädiert. Wegen der Schwererkennbarkeit der oft verschlüsselten Willensbekundungen Demenzbetroffener wird der Willenswahrnehmung und dem Training der genauen Beobachtung, Einfühlung und Sensibilität im Umgang mit den Betroffenen großes Gewicht beigemessen. Als Ziel wird die jeweils weitestgehende Selbstbestimmung, im Verlaufe der Erkrankung auch Teilselbstbestimmung und schließlich Mitwirkung bei der individuellen Wohlbestimmung im Sinne eines Grundrechtsschutzes vertreten. (shrink)
Some of the commentators on Intricate Ethics complain of my method. One finds the main ideas ‘Kammouflaged’ because the relevant causal distinctions are so fine-grained and the cases that illustrate them so numerous. Some say that they do not have the intuitions about many cases that I have, that I concoct dubious and ad hoc distinctions and invest them with moral significance; I am Ptolemaic in that new crystalline spheres and epicycles are constantly being added in an attempt to fix (...) the appearances. (shrink)
Following the practice of human beings everywhere historians distinguish the real or most significant cause of an occurrence or state of affairs from ‘less important considerations’, ‘precipitating circumstances’, or ‘mere conditions’. I shall term claims that some phenomenon is most basically to be attributed to some one of the factors causally necessary for its occurrence attributive causal explanations or causal attributions and discuss here the extent to which moral convictions are constitutive of them.
Theaetetus, asked what knowledge is, replies that geometry and the other mathematical disciplines are knowledge, and so are crafts like cobbling. Socrates points out that it does not help him to be told how many kinds of knowledge there are when his problem is to know what knowledge itself is, what it means to call geometry or a craft knowledge in the first place—he insists on the generality of his question in the way he often does when his interlocutor, asked (...) for a definition, cites instead cases of the concept to be defined. (shrink)
Christology seems to fall fairly clearly into two divisions. The first is concerned with the truth of the two propositions: ‘Christ is God’ and ‘Christ is a man’. The second is concerned with the mutual compatibility of these propositions. The first part of Christology tends to confine itself to what is sometimes called ‘positive theology’: that is to say, it is largely given over to examining the Jons revelationis —let us not prejudge currently burning issues by asking what this is—to (...) see what evidence can be found for the truth of these propositions. Clearly, the methods used will be above all those of New Testament exegesis. The second part of Christology will necessarily consist entirely of that speculative theology which is contrasted with positive theology. Even if the earliest speculation on this topic is to be found in the New Testament itself and thus becomes fair game for the exegetes, any attempt to relate the primary truths, ‘Christ is God’ and ‘Christ is a man’, to eachother is a work of reflection, and in the terminology I am using speculative. (shrink)
Einige versuchen, Wunder mit den Naturgesetzen vereinbar zu machen, indem sie „Wunder“ als etwas anderes als göttliche Eingriffe definieren. Dieser Aufsatz behauptet hin- gegen, daß Wunder die Naturgesetze nicht verletzen, obwohl sie göttliche Eingriffe sind. Wunder sind auch keine „Ausnah- men“ der Naturgesetze, noch treffen die Naturgesetze nicht auf sie zu. Naturgesetze haben nie Ausnahmen, sie werden nie verletzt oder ausgesetzt, sie sind wahrscheinlich notwen- dig und unveränderlich, und sie treffen auch auf göttliche Ein- griffe zu. (...) Wir sollten nicht unsere Vorstellung von Wundern, sondern unsere Vorstellung der Naturgesetze in Frage stel- len. Die Hauptthese dieses Aufsatzes ist, daß Naturgesetze keine Abfolgeregelmäßigkeiten implizieren und daß deshalb Wunder die Naturgesetze nicht verletzen. Wir brauchen eine neue Theorie der Naturgesetze: die Tendenztheorie. (shrink)
We maximally extend the quantum‐mechanical results of Muller and Saunders ( 2008 ) establishing the ‘weak discernibility’ of an arbitrary number of similar fermions in finite‐dimensional Hilbert spaces. This confutes the currently dominant view that ( A ) the quantum‐mechanical description of similar particles conflicts with Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII); and that ( B ) the only way to save PII is by adopting some heavy metaphysical notion such as Scotusian haecceitas or Adamsian primitive thisness. We (...) take sides with Muller and Saunders ( 2008 ) against this currently dominant view, which has been expounded and defended by many. *Received July 2008; revised May 2009. †To contact the authors, please write to: F. A. Muller, Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burg. Oudlaan 50, H5–16, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; e‐mail: [email protected] , and Institute for the History and Foundations of Science, Utrecht University, Budapestlaan 6, IGG–3.08, 3584 CD Utrecht, The Netherlands; e‐mail: [email protected] . M. P. Seevinck, Institute for the History and Foundations of Science, Utrecht University, Budapestlaan 6, IGG–3.08, 3584 CD Utrecht, The Netherlands; e‐mail: [email protected] (shrink)