: For quite some time now there has been an ongoing debate whether authoritative self-knowledge is compatible with anti-individualism.1 One influential line of argument against compatibilism is due to Paul Boghossian (1998). I argue that Boghossian misconstrues what the anti-individualist really is committed to. This defence of compatibilism is elaborated by showing how the Twin Earth thought experiment is meant to speak in favour of anti-individualism. Partly this will show that Boghossian is wrong in his denial that empirical background knowledge (...) is imported into the Twin Earth experiment. The main points argued are that Boghossian fails to realize, both, (1) that anti-individualism does not involve concept-individuation in terms of reference, and (2) that anti-individualism assumes a core of representational success. In effect, these two points constitute an entirely new way to defend compatibilism, a way that seems to have gone unnoticed in the literature. (shrink)
This paper explores the bearing of Tyler Burge’s notion of perceptual entitlement on the problem of scepticism. Perceptual entitlement is an external form of warrant, connected with his perceptual anti-individualism. According to his view, an individual can be entitled to a perceptual belief without having reasons warranting the belief. On the face of it, this suggests that the view may have anti-sceptical resources. In short, the question is whether Burge’s notion of perceptual entitlement allows us to outright deny that we (...) in our philosophical theory need a reason to reject the sceptical scenario. The answer to this question is ‘no’. However, as I go on to show, Burge’s position includes further resources that allow for an anti-sceptical argument. (shrink)
Los teóricos de la democracia dejaron de lado la pregunta de quién legalmente forma parte del "pueblo" autorizado, pregunta que atraviesa a todas las teoría de la democracia y continuamente vivifica la práctica democrática. Determinar quién constituye el pueblo es un dilema inabordable e incluso imposible de responder democráticamente; no es una pregunta que el pueblo mismo pueda decidir procedimentalmente porque la propia premisa subvierte las premisas de su resolución. Esta paradoja del mandato popular revela que el pueblo para ser (...) mejor comprendido como una demanda política, como un proceso de subjetivación, surge y se desarrolla en distintos contextos democráticos. En Estados Unidos el disputado poder para hablar en beneficio del pueblo deriva de un excedente constitutivo heredado de la era revolucionaria, a partir del hecho de que desde la Revolución el pueblo ha sido por vez primera encarnado por la representación y como exceso de cualquier forma de representación. La autoridad posrevolucionaria del vox populi deriva de esa continuamente reiterada pero nunca realizada referencia a la soberanía del pueblo a partir de la representación, legitimidad a partir de la ley, espíritu a partir de la letra, la palabra a través de la palabra. Este ensayo examina la emergencia histórica de este exceso de democracia en el período revolucionario, y cómo este habilita a una subsecuente historia de "momentos constituyentes", momentos cuando subautorizados -radicales, entidades autocreadas-, se apoderan del manto de la autoridad, cambiando las reglas de la autoridad en ese proceso. Estos pequeños dramas de reclamos de autoridad política para hablar en nombre del pueblo son felices, aun cuando explícitamente rompan con los procedimientos o reglas estatuidas para representar la voz popular. -/- Momentos constituyentes: paradojas y poder popular en los Estados Unidos de América posrevolucionarios [traducción], Revista Argentina de Ciencia Política, N°15, EUDEBA, Buenos Aires, Octubre 2012, pp. 49-74. ISSN: 0329-3092. Introducción de “Constituent Moments: Enacting the People in Postrevolutionary America”, de Jason Frank [Ed.: Duke University Press Books, enero de 2010. ISBN-10: 0822346753; ISBN-13: 978-0822346753]. (shrink)
In this memorial essay on Sir Frank Kermode (1919–2010), the author focuses on his own exchange of views with Kermode during the 1970s. In Kermode's book The Sense of an Ending (1966), he had criticized Frank's essay “Spatial Form in Modern Literature” (1945) as part of a larger critique of what the Romantic-Symbolist tradition of English poetry had become in the twentieth century. Yeats, Pound, Eliot, and other late Symbolists had turned artists into advocates of an irrational wisdom (...) superior to reason and common sense, thus isolating—so Kermode argued—the world of art from that of ordinary human concerns. Rejecting their view of art, he turned instead to a pre-Romantic tradition (including Spenser and Milton) that the Symbolists had rejected. Among modern writers, Kermode turned to Wallace Stevens, who became his foil for Yeats, Eliot, and Pound, as well as the most important influence on his own later thinking. Joseph Frank, in this essay, recalls the combination of acerbic intelligence, social concern, gentility, and finally friendship that characterized his debate over these questions with Kermode. Frank recalls as an indication of his respect and admiration for Kermode that he wrote, in 1977, that, even if his own theory of spatial form were to be shown worthless, it would still have value in having provided some of the stimulus for Kermode to write The Sense of an Ending. (shrink)
The present study seeks to lay out the most basic elements of the ontology of classical Aš‘arite theology. In several cases this requires a careful examination of the traditional and the formal lexicography of certain key expressions. The topics primarily treated are: how they understood “Being/ existence” and “being/existent” and essential natures; the systematic exploitation of the equivocities of certain expressions within a general context in which other than words there are no universals proves to be elegant as well as (...) insightful; the basic categories of primary entities: independant beings and nonindependant beings, created and uncreated, the equivocity of “being/existent” as predicated of contingent entities on the one hand and of God and His attributes on the other, and certain problems that arise because of the rigid application of the system's underlying analytic principles. Nous essayons ici de presenter les éléments fondamentaux de l'ontologie de l'aš‘arisme classique. Pour quelques expressions, il a fallu examiner la lexicographie et ordinaire et technique pour bien comprendre leur emploi et leur signification. Les sujets examinés sont: le sens de “Etre/existence” et de “être/existant” et le concept de réalité essentielle; l'emploi nuancé des équivocités de quelques expressions dans un contexte où les seuls universaux sont des mots, emploi qui se révèle philosophiquement élégant; les catégories fondamentales des êtres: êtres indépendants et êtres non-indépendants, soit créés soit incréés, l'équivocité de “être/existant” dit des êtres contingents d'une part, de Dieu et ses attributs d'autre part, et enfin quelques difficultiés qui résultent de l'application rigide des principes analytiques du système. (shrink)
Recent decades have seen a resurgence of contractarian thinking about the nature and origins of the state. Scholars in this tradition ask what constraints rational, self-interested actors might deliberately impose upon themselves. In response, Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, and other early contractarians answered that laws of property were an attractive alternative to “the war of all against all.” More recently, James Buchanan, Russell Hardin, Mancur Olson, Gordon Tullock, and others have used contractarian principles to justify laws that solve a variety of (...) Prisoner's Dilemmas and other collective-action problems. And in the distributional realm, John Rawls and others have applied contractarian analysis to investigate how material wealth ought to be allocated among people. (shrink)
Our intention here is to present the essential character of classical, sunnī kalām within a strictly formal perspective and to set out its basic aspects. It was conceived by the mutakallimīn as a rational, conceptual, and critical science and, although kalām differed in a number of basic concepts and constructs and in its analytic system, the topical organisation of the major compendia parallels that of metaphysics as understood in the contemporary Aristotelian tradition. The debates between kalām and falsafa need to (...) be examined within this context. Kalām, however, is theological in the strict sense of the term and it is as such that its problematic and its procedures are primarily to be understood. Thus seen, the object of kalām is to rationalise the cognitive content presented to Believers in the symbolic language of the koranic revelation. It has, then, four principal tasks, sc, to conceptualise, to order, to explain, and where possible to justify the primary doctrines of the community whose belief is held to be normative. Within this framework the differences that characterise the major schools as such and the various tendencies of individual masters within each school may readily be brought to light. On se propose ici de présenter, d'un point de vue strictement formel, la nature du kālam classique sunnite et d'identifier ses caractéristiques principales. II avait été conçu par les mutakallimin comme une science rationelle, conceptuelle et critique. L'organisation des matières dans ses traités reprend celle de la métaphysique dans la tradition aristotélicienne de l'époque, bien que le kalām s'en distingue par plusieurs de ses structures et concepts fondamentaux, ainsi que par son système analytique. C'est dans ce contexte qu'il faut considérer les debats qui s'instaurèrent entre kalām et falsafa. Le kalām, cependant, est d'ordre strictement théologique et c'est principalement dans ce cadre qu'il faut comprendre sa problématique et ses procédures. Le kalām a pour fonction de rationaliser le contenu cognitif offert aux croyants dans le langage symbolique de la révélation coranique. Il en résulte quatre tâches principales; il s'agit de conceptualiser, ordonner, expliquer et, dans le mesure du possible, justifier les doctrines principales reconnues par la communauté faisant référence en matière de croyance. Dans ce cadre, il sera possible de mettre en lumière les différences entre les principales écoles, ainsi que les tendances qui distinguent certains de leurs grands maîtres respectifs. (shrink)
This essay considers Benjamin Rush's concern with the political organization of sympathy in post-Revolutionary America and how this concern shaped his response to the threat of post-Revolutionary “mobocracy.” Like many of his contemporaries, Rush worried about the contagious volatility of large public assemblies engendered by the Revolution. For Rush, regular gatherings of the people out of doors threatened to corrupt visions both of an orderly and emancipatory public sphere and of the virtuous and independent citizens required by republican government. Rush (...) feared that the unregulated communication of passion between bodies gathered in public might unleash what Michael Meranze has called an “anarchy of reciprocal imitations.” It was in eighteenth-century theories of sympathy that this idea of contagious mimesis was most rigorously developed and most widely disseminated. Rush's medico-political understanding of sympathy, acquired during his years as a medical student in Edinburgh, provides an important framework for understanding his post-Revolutionary reform efforts, particularly those focused on the spatial choreography of the American citizenry. (shrink)
In “Perceptual Entitlement, Reliabilism, and Scepticism,“ FrankBarel explores some important and under-discussed questions regarding the relation between Tyler Burge's views on perceptual entitlement, on the one hand, and the problem of skepticism, on the other. In this note, I would like to comment on a couple of aspects of Barel's article. First, I have my own take, different from Barel's, on the question of whether we can sketch an a priori anti-skeptical argument proceeding from perceptual (...) anti-individualism. Second, I discuss the question whether Barel's “Rationalistic“ anti-skeptical argument is successful. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to discuss the “Austro-American” logical empiricism proposed by physicist and philosopher Philipp Frank, particularly his interpretation of Carnap’s Aufbau, which he considered the charter of logical empiricism as a scientific world conception. According to Frank, the Aufbau was to be read as an integration of the ideas of Mach and Poincaré, leading eventually to a pragmatism quite similar to that of the American pragmatist William James. Relying on this peculiar interpretation, Frank (...) intended to bring about a rapprochement between the logical empiricism of the Vienna Circle in exile and American pragmatism. In the course of this project, in the last years of his career, Frank outlined a comprehensive, socially engaged philosophy of science that could serve as a “link between science and philosophy”. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the availability of financial bounties and anonymous reporting channels impact individuals’ general reporting intentions of questionable acts and whether the availability of financial bounties will prompt people to reveal their identities. The recent passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 creates a financial bounty for whistle-blowers. In addition, SOX requires companies to provide employees with an anonymous reporting channel option. It is unclear of the (...) effect of these provisions as they relate to whistle-blowing. Our results indicate that a financial bounty has the potential to increase participants’ propensity to report questionable acts and their willingness to reveal their identities when reporting, but the availability of an anonymous reporting channel does not affect participants’ propensity to report questionable acts. These findings could potentially help corporate management, government policy makers and accounting researchers to assess the effectiveness of their internal compliance programs and help determine if financial bounties in the private sector could encourage whistle-blowing. (shrink)
This article considers the development of Philipp Frank’s opposition to metaphysics in the light of the contention that there also was a long-standing pragmatic strand to the theorizing about science in the Vienna Circle. It is argued that the later Frank did not only distinguish metaphysical statements from those deemed simply cognitively meaningless by a substantive criterion but that in order to identify the latter he also sought to employ a practical rather than a formal criterion with which (...) he and Neurath had long been acquainted. (shrink)
Semën Frank (1877–1950) considered the Universe as the “all-unity.” According to him, everything is a part of the all-unity, which has a divine character. God is present in the world, but his nature is incomprehensible. In this article I analyze two consequences of Frank’s panentheistic view of the relation between science and theology. Firstly, the limits of scientific knowledge allow recognition of the mystery of the world and the transcendence of God. Secondly, Frank claimed that nature is (...) a “trace” of God and the manifestation of the absolute reality, i.e. the all-unity. As a result, both science and theology lead to the knowledge of God, although we cannot understand His essence. (shrink)
This article strives to combine conceptions of the person by Semën Frank. From his early critical Marxist works to his metaphysical personalism and late Christian anthropology, he covered normative-ethical, transcendent-epistemological, and "total unity'—ontological questions in equal measure. This diversity will be synthesized in comparisons of his personalist and ontological thought. The text will highlight Frank's different schemes of personal modes of being, i.e. correlations between the 'I-thou' relationship and the absolute being, and move on to contrast his concepts (...) of ontological personality. /// Dieser Artikel untersucht Semën Franks Personalitätskonzeptionen, wie er sie von der Revolutionszeit um 1905 bis in die späte Emigrationszeit entwickelt hat. Von seinen frühen Artikeln - inspiriert durch den kritischen Marxismus -bis zum metaphysischen Personalismus und zur christlichen Anthropologie behandelt er gleichermaßen normativ-ethische, transzendental-epistemologische und identitätsgeleitete, ontologische Fragen. Diese Vielfalt wird nun produktiv zusammengeführt in Gegenüberstellungen seines personalen und ontologischen Denkens. Dazu erarbeitet dieser Text Franks verschiedene Entwürfe personalen Seins, genauer die Korrelationen zwischen der frankschen 'Ich-Du-Beziehung' und dem absoluten Sein um so seine Konzeptionen einer ontologischen Personalität zu kontrastieren. (shrink)
The life and career of the Soviet scholar of myth and religion Izrail' Grigor'evic Frank -Kamenetskij is discussed, tracing his development from a scholar working exclusively on semitology to a theorist of myth and literature. The scholar's relationship to German philosophy and Biblical scholarship is outlined, along with his relationship to Soviet scholarship of the 1920s and 1930s. The development of the scholar's work is related to his encounter with N. Ja. Marr in the early 1920s, and the way (...) in which Marr's doctrine underwent considerable revisions when subjected to German philosophy and applied to narrative material is detailed. Finally the way in which attention increasingly turned to the genesis of literary plots and poetic metaphor is discussed, along with both the influence such work exerted and the enduring value of such work today. (shrink)
I'm pleased to have been offered the chance of replying to Joseph Frank's criticisms . He is a courteous opponent, though capable of a certain asperity. . . . Frank complains that his critics appear incapable of attending to what he really said in his original essay. It is the blight critics are born for; and it is undoubtedly sometimes caused by the venal haste of reviewers, and sometimes by native dullness, and sometimes by malice. But there are (...) other reasons why an author may sometimes feel himself to be misrepresented. One is that a genuinely patient and intelligent reader may be more interested in what the piece under consideration does not quite say than in what is expressly stated. Another is the consequence of fame. Frank's original article is over thirty years old; it crystallised what had been for the most part vague notions, ideas that were in the air, and gave them a memorable name. "Spatial form" entered the jargon of the graduate school and began an almost independent existence. The term might well be used by people who had never read the essay at all; or they might casually attribute to him loose inferences made by others from the general proposition—inferences he had already disallowed and now once more contests. It must be difficult, particularly for an exasperated author, to distinguish between these causes of apparent misrepresentation. But sometimes it can be done; and then it will appear that the effect of the first is far more interesting than that of the second cause. For the suggestion then must be that the author has repressed a desire to take a position which, in his manifest argument, he differentiates from his own. This, as it happens, is what he advances as an explanation of certain ambiguities in my Sense of an Ending; the least one can say is that it is perfectly possible. Frank Kermode is the author of The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction, Continuities, and Shakespeare, Spenser, Donne: Renaissance Essays; his works also include The Classic and The Genesis of Secrecy. His contributions to Critical Inquiry are "Novels: Recognition and Deception" , "A Reply to Denis Donoghue" , and "Secrets and Narrative Sequence". (shrink)
Wind, water, and molten rock constantly tear apart and resculpt the natural world we live in, and people have always struggled to create structures that will permanently establish their existence on the land. Frank Golhke has committed his camera lens to documenting that fraught relationship between people and place, and this retrospective collection of his work by John Rohrbach reveals how people carve out their living spaces in the face of constant natural disruption. An acclaimed master of landscape photography, (...) Golhke explores in _Accommodating Nature_ how people configure the places where they live, work, and commune, both on an everyday level and in the aftermath of catastrophic destruction. Whether a ranch house anchored fast on an endless Texas plain, the shattered buildings and whipped trees left by a category 5 tornado, or the jagged cliffs of ash and rock created by the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens, the photographs unearth the ways in which new homes and lives emerge from the fragments of the old. Thought-provoking essays by Rebecca Solnit, Frank Gohlke, and John Rohrbach expand upon the issues raised by the images, contemplating the complexities of human and cultural geography and the relationships we have with our respective place. An arresting and vibrant visual essay combining magnificent vistas with intimate emotional detail, _Accommodating Nature_ exposes the intricate threads that bind our lives to the land surrounding us. (shrink)
Frank Ramsey was a brilliant Cambridge philosopher, mathematician, and economist who died in 1930 at 26 having made landmark contributions to decision theory, game theory, mathematics, logic, semantics, philosophy of science, and the theory of truth. This rich biography tells the story of his extraordinary life and intellectual achievement.
Many of the things that we try to explain, in both our common sense and our scientific engagement with the world, are capable of being explained more or less finely: that is, with greater or lesser attention to the detail of the producing mechanism. A natural assumption, pervasive if not always explicit, is that other things being equal, the more finegrained an explanation, the better. Thus, Jon Elster, who also thinks there are instrumental reasons for wanting a more fine-grained explanation, (...) assumes that in any case the mere fact of getting nearer the detail of production makes such an explanation intrinsically superior: “a more detailed explanation is also an end in itself”. Michael Taylor agrees: “A good explanation should be, amongst other things, as fine-grained as possible.”. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that the French philosopher and historian of science Abel Rey played a more influential role in the formative phase of the Vienna Circle than hitherto supposed. On the whole, it will be argued that Rey's contribution had political impact. His interpretation of "modern physics" in 1907 in the face of the alleged "bankruptcy of science" should be appreciated as a masterpiece of applied enlightenment thought. As such, it was especially paradigmatic for Philipp (...)Frank's "positivist" defense of the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics against the irrationalist tendencies of the 1920s and 1930s. (shrink)
This book attempts to explicate and expand upon Frank Ramsey's notion of the realistic spirit. In so doing, it provides a systematic reading of his work, and demonstrates the extent of Ramsey's genius as evinced by both his responses to the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , and the impact he had on Wittgenstein's later philosophical insights.
Despite his tragic death at the age of 26, Frank Ramsey remains one of the most intriguing minds of the twentieth century. His thought had a profound influence on both Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, and many strands of contemporary analytic philosophy find their origin in Ramsey's ideas. _ Frank Ramsey: Truth and Success_ provides a much-needed introduction to the work of this undervalued thinker, and makes an important and profound contribution to our understanding of Ramsey's work and (...) his place in twentieth century philosophy. It will be of interest to all students of logic, metaphysics and the history of philosophy. (shrink)
This paper consists of two parts. In the first part, I give an in-depth comparison and analysis of the theories of Frank Ankersmit and Eelco Runia, in which I highlight their most important resemblances and differences. What both have in common is their notion of the presence of the past as a ‘presence in absence’. They differ, however, with respect to the character of this past and the role representation plays in making it present. Second, I also argue that (...) for both Ankersmit and Runia, the presence of the past is always the present of our past, which excludes the experience of the otherness of the past, and which opens both theories to the criticisms of being self-centered and nationalistic. (shrink)
Logical Empiricism is commonly regarded as uninterested in, if not hostile to sociological investigations of science. This paper reconstructs the views of Otto Neurath and Philipp Frank on the legitimacy and relevance of sociological investigations of theory choice. It is argued that while there obtains a surprising degree of convergence between their programmatic pronouncements and the Strong Programme, the two types of project nevertheless remain distinct. The key to this differences lies in the different assessment of a supposed dilemma (...) facing post-Mertonian sociologists of science. (shrink)
Semen Frank was one of the first and most ardent advocates of the ontological argument in the twentieth century. He proposed an original interpretation of the ontological argument based on its analogy to Descartes’ Cogito. Frank believed that it is possible to develop Cogito ergo sum into Cogito ergo est ens absolutum. In this paper, I analyze his version of the ontological argument. First, I propose a simple reconstruction of his reasoning, paying attention to its hidden premise. Second, (...) departing from the classical logical interpretations of Descartes’ argument, I show that for Frank the claim that God exists had the same logical properties as Cogito. As a result, it seems that his argument was formally correct, though based on a premise which could hardly be convincing for a non-believer. This should not be surprising, however, since Frank, as most Russian religious philosophers, was not interested in the project of philosophical theology. His main concern was rather the development of philosophy based on religious premises, which might be called “theological philosophy”. (shrink)
Foucault makes clear in his later lectures that the notion of parrhesia has a long and varied history, which he merely sketches in his investigations of ancient politics and philosophy. Recent research extends and modifies Foucault’s genealogy of parrhesia as an aspect of the practice of the adviser or counsellor of a monarch or prince, showing how parrhesia informed notions of counsel at other times: in later antiquity, the middle ages as well as early modern Europe. Here we seek to (...) show that the ancient notion of parrhesia reappears as a graft in another domain of modern truth telling: that of bureaucracy in Britain, in the debates over the organisation of the offices of government, with the middle years of the nineteenth century a decisive moment of rupture. We consider the fate of bureaucratic frank counsel in our own era. Interpreters of Foucault’s later lectures on governmentality have analysed the consequences of neoliberal rule for the government of public servants during the era of Margaret Thatcher. Presenting a reappraisal of the era, we show how important counter-discourses also emerged in this era, bringing the ethics of office to the fore, as civil servants argued for the formal codification of bureaucratic ethics, including frank counsel, as they tried to defend their professional ethics. Our discussion therefore addresses a key, early moment in the emergence of the ideal of codifying frank counsel and bureaucratic ethics. We consider the consequences of codification, arguing that a deep ambivalence now characterises the way in which political authorities seek to govern this domain of ethical practice. (shrink)
In 1936, Frank Macfarlane Burnet published a paper entitled "Induced lysogenicity and the mutation of bacteriophage within lysogenic bacteria," in which he demonstrated that the introduction of a specific bacteriophage into a bacterial strain consistently and repeatedly imparted a specific property – namely the resistance to a different phage – to the bacterial strain that was originally susceptible to lysis by that second phage. Burnet's explanation for this change was that the first phage was causing a mutation in the (...) bacterium which rendered it and its successive generations of offspring resistant to lysogenicity. At the time, this idea was a novel one that needed compelling evidence to be accepted. While it is difficult for us today to conceive of mutations and genes outside the context of DNA as the physico-chemical basis of genes, in the mid 1930s, when this paper was published, DNA's role as the carrier of hereditary information had not yet been discovered and genes and mutations were yet to acquire physical and chemical forms. Also, during that time genes were considered to exist only in organisms capable of sexual modes of replication and the status of bacteria and viruses as organisms capable of containing genes and manifesting mutations was still in question. Burnet's paper counts among those pieces of work that helped dispel the notion that genes, inheritance and mutations were tied to an organism's sexual status. In this paper, I analyze the implications of Burnet's paper for the understanding of various concepts – such as "mutation," and "gene," – at the time it was published, and how those understandings shaped the development of the meanings of these terms and our modern conceptions thereof. (shrink)
The language of self and nonself has had a prominent place inimmunology. This paper examines Frank Macfarlane Burnet's introductionof the language of selfhood into the science. The distinction betweenself and nonself was an integral part of Burnet's biological outlook– of his interest in the living organism in its totality, itsactivities, and interactions. We show the empirical and conceptualwork of the language of selfhood in the science. The relation betweenself and nonself tied into Burnet's ecological vision of host-parasiteinteraction. The idiom (...) of selfhood also enabled Burnet to organizeand unify a diversity of immune phenomena. Rather than approach thelanguage of self and nonself as a bluntly imposed metaphor, we focuson its endogenous origins and immanent uses in immunology. (shrink)
An illustrious international line-up of contributors present new essays on themes from the philosophy of Frank Jackson, discussing his groundbreaking work on supervenience and conceptual analysis; mind and colour; normative ethics and metaethics; and conditionals. Jackson offers a substantial and illuminating reply to his critics.
Frank Jackson uses the a priori entailment thesis to connect metaphysics and conceptual analysis. In the book he develops this thesis within the two-dimensional framework and also proposes a formal argument for it. I argue that the two-dimensional framework doesn’t provide independent support for the a priori entailment thesis since one has to build into the framework assumptions as strong as the thesis itself.
The physicist–philosopher Philipp Frank’s work and influence, especially during his last three decades, when he found a refuge and a position in America, deserve more discussion than has been the case so far. In what follows, I hope I may call him Philipp – having been first a graduate student in one of his courses at Harvard University, then his teaching assistant sharing his offices, then for many years his colleague and friend in the same Physics Department, and finally, (...) doing research on his archival holdings kept at Harvard. I also should not hide my large personal debt to him, for without his recommendation in the 1950s to the Albert Einstein Estate, I would not have received its warm welcome and its permission, as the first one to do historical research in the treasure trove of unpublished letters and manuscripts, thus starting me on a major part of my career in the history of science. (shrink)
David Chalmers and Frank Jackson have promoted a strong program of conceptual analysis, which accords a significant philosophical role to the a priori analysis of concepts. They found this methodological program on an account of concepts using two-dimensional semantics. This paper argues that Chalmers and Jackson’s account of concepts, and the related approach by David Braddon-Mitchell, is inadequate for natural kind concepts as found in biology. Two-dimensional semantics is metaphysically faulty as an account of the nature of concepts and (...) concept possession. It is also methodologically flawed as a guideline for how to study scientific concepts. Proponents of two-dimensional semantics are criticized for not taking seriously semantic variation between persons and for failing to adequately account for the rationality of semantic change. I suggest a more pragmatic approach to natural kind term meaning, arguing that the epistemic goal pursued by a term’s use is an additional semantic property. (shrink)