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)
Institutions generate cooperative benefits that explain why they exist and persist. Therefore, their etiological function is to promote cooperation. The function of a particular institution, such as money or traffic regulations, is to solve one or more cooperation problems. We go on to argue that the teleological function of institutions is to secure values by means of norms. Values can also be used to redesign an institution and to promote social change. We argue, however, that an adequate theory of institutions (...) should not be ‘moralized’ in that they should not be defined in terms of the values they are supposed to promote. (shrink)
Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the (...) philosophy of color. In this way the book not only offers a methodological program for philosophy, but also casts new light on some much-debated problems and their interrelations. (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)
It is a commonplace within philosophy that the ontology of institutions can be captured in terms of constitutive rules. What exactly such rules are, however, is not well understood. They are usually contrasted to regulative rules: constitutive rules (such as the rules of chess) make institutional actions possible, whereas regulative rules (such as the rules of etiquette) pertain to actions that can be performed independently of such rules. Some, however, maintain that the distinction between regulative and constitutive rules is merely (...) a linguistic one. In this paper I present the status account of constitutive rules in order to address this criticism. According to the status account constitutive rules pertain to institutional statuses and statuses are to be understood in terms of status rules. Status rules concern the enabling and constraining roles of institutions, and constitutive rules specify the preconditions that have to be met in order for them to play these roles. Even though I end up endorsing the claim that the distinction mentioned is a linguistic one, I go on to argue that there is an underlying reality that constitutive rules serve to make apparent. (shrink)
In what follows I argue for two interrelated theses: that early Buddhism is not a form of empiricism, and that consequently there is no basis for an early Buddhist apologetic which contrasts an empirical early Buddhism with either a metaphysical Hinduism on the one hand, or with a baseless Christianity on the other.
This paper argues that God may create and exist in any possible world, no matter how much suffering of any sort that world includes. It combines the traditional free will defence with the notion of an ‘occasion’ for good or evil action and limits God's responsibility to the creation of these occasions. Since no possible world contains occasions for more evil than good action, God is morally permitted to create any possible world. With regard to suffering that is not due (...) to free will, namely the suffering of beings who are not moral agents, the paper questions the idea that the relief of such suffering is a moral perfection. (shrink)
We develop a Bayesian framework for thinking about the way evidence about the here and now can bear on hypotheses about the qualitative character of the world as a whole, including hypotheses according to which the total population of the world is infinite. We show how this framework makes sense of the practice cosmologists have recently adopted in their reasoning about such hypotheses.
We make a huge variety of claims framed in vocabularies drawn from physics and chemistry, everyday talk, neuroscience, ethics, mathematics, semantics, folk and professional psychology, and so on and so forth. We say, for example, that Jones feels cold, that Carlton might win, that there are quarks, that murder is wrong, that there are four fundamental forces, and that a certain level of neurological activity is necessary for thought. If we follow Huw Price's Carnapian lead, we can put this by (...) saying that we make many claims in many different frameworks. (shrink)
Institutions are normative social structures that are collectively accepted. In his book Making the Social World, John R. Searle maintains that these social structures are created and maintained by Status Function Declarations. The article’s author criticizes this claim and argues, first, that Searle overestimates the role that language plays in relation to institutions and, second, that Searle’s notion of a Status Function Declaration confuses more than it enlightens. The distinction is exposed between regulative and constitutive rules as being primarily a (...) linguistic one: whereas deontic powers figure explicitly in regulative rules, they feature only implicitly in constitutive rules. Furthermore, he contends that Searle’s collective acceptance account of human rights cannot adequately account for the fact that people have these rights even when they are not recognized. Finally, It is argued that a conception of collective intentionality that involves collective commitment is needed in order to do justice to the normative dimension of institutions. (shrink)
What is the nature of, and what is the relationship between, external objects and our visual perceptual experience of them? In this book, Frank Jackson defends the answers provided by the traditional Representative theory of perception. He argues, among other things that we are never immediately aware of external objects, that they are the causes of our perceptual experiences and that they have only the primary qualities. In the course of the argument, sense data and the distinction between mediate (...) and immediate perception receive detailed defences and the author criticises attempts to reduce perceiving the believing and to show that the Representative theory makes the external world unknowable. Jackson recognises that his views are unfashionable but argues in detail that they are to be preferred to their currently favoured competitors. It will become an obvious point of reference for all future work on the philosophy of perception. (shrink)
Recently Steven E. Boër gave another turn to the discussion of the free will defence by claiming that the free will defence is irrelevant to the justification of moral evil. Conceding that free will may be of real value, Boër claims that free will could have been allowed creatures without that leading to any moral evil at all. What I shall hereafter refer to as the ‘Boër reform’ is the suggestion that God could have allowed creatures to exercise free choices (...) but have intervened with ‘coincidence miracles’ to prevent all the intended evil from actually occurring. What is important to the free will defence, according to Boër, is the ability to choose freely and not the ability to succeed in effecting what we have intended to accomplish. It is no intrusion on the freedom of our wills for God to prevent us from accomplishing what we tried to do with our free wills as long as we were free to try. (shrink)
While most studies of low-carbon transitions focus on green niche-innovations, this paper shifts attention to the resistance by incumbent regime actors to fundamental change. Drawing on insights from political economy, the paper introduces politics and power into the multi-level perspective. Instrumental, discursive, material and institutional forms of power and resistance are distinguished and illustrated with examples from the UK electricity system. The paper concludes that the resistance and resilience of coal, gas and nuclear production regimes currently negates the benefits from (...) increasing renewables deployment. It further suggests that policymakers and many transition-scholars have too high hopes that ‘green’ innovation will be sufficient to bring about low-carbon transitions. Future agendas in research and policy should therefore pay much more attention to the destabilization and decline of existing fossil fuel regimes. (shrink)
Frank Ramsey was the greatest of the remarkable generation of Cambridge philosophers and logicians which included G. E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Maynard Keynes. Before his tragically early death in 1930 at the age of twenty-six, he had done seminal work in mathematics and economics as well as in logic and philosophy. This volume, with a new and extensive introduction by D. H. Mellor, contains all Ramsey's previously published writings on philosophy and the foundations of mathematics. The (...) latter gives the definitive form and defence of the reduction of mathematics to logic undertaken in Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica; the former includes the most profound and original studies of universals, truth, meaning, probability, knowledge, law and causation, all of which are still constantly referred to, and still essential reading for all serious students of these subjects. (shrink)
In At the Will of the Body , Arthur Frank told the story of his own illnesses, heart attack and cancer. That book ended by describing the existence of a "remission society," whose members all live with some form of illness or disability. The Wounded Storyteller is their collective portrait. Ill people are more than victims of disease or patients of medicine they are wounded storytellers. People tell stories to make sense of their suffering when they turn their diseases (...) into stories, they find healing. Drawing on the work of authors such as Oliver Sacks, Anatole Broyard, Norman Cousins, and Audre Lorde, as well as from people he met during the years he spent among different illness groups, Frank recounts a stirring collection of illness stories, ranging from the well-known--Gilda Radner's battle with ovarian cancer--to the private testimonials of people with cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and disabilties. Their stories are more than accounts of personal suffering: they abound with moral choices and point to a social ethic. Frank identifies three basic narratives of illness in restitution, chaos, and quest. Restitution narratives anticipate getting well again and give prominence to the technology of cure. In chaos narratives, illness seems to stretch on forever, with no respite or redeeming insights. Quest narratives are about finding that insight as illness is transformed into a means for the ill person to become someone new. (shrink)
Animal abuse has been an acknowledged problem for centuries, but only within the past few decades has scientific research provided evidence that the maltreatment of animals often overlaps with violence toward people. The perpetrators of such inhumane trea.
At the most general level I am interested in how we come to make sense of the world around us. Much of this research involves asking how intuitive explanations and understandings emerge in development and how they are related to notions of cause, mechanism and agency. These relations are linked to broader questions of what concepts are, how they change with development and increasing expertise and how they are structured in adults.
This article presents results from a multidisciplinary research project on the integration and transfer of language knowledge into robots as an empirical paradigm for the study of language development in both humans and humanoid robots. Within the framework of human linguistic and cognitive development, we focus on how three central types of learning interact and co-develop: individual learning about one's own embodiment and the environment, social learning (learning from others), and learning of linguistic capability. Our primary concern is how these (...) capabilities can scaffold each other's development in a continuous feedback cycle as their interactions yield increasingly sophisticated competencies in the agent's capacity to interact with others and manipulate its world. Experimental results are summarized in relation to milestones in human linguistic and cognitive development and show that the mutual scaffolding of social learning, individual learning, and linguistic capabilities creates the context, conditions, and requisites for learning in each domain. Challenges and insights identified as a result of this research program are discussed with regard to possible and actual contributions to cognitive science and language ontogeny. In conclusion, directions for future work are suggested that continue to develop this approach toward an integrated framework for understanding these mutually scaffolding processes as a basis for language development in humans and robots. (shrink)
Resurrection has been used as the conceptual basis for attempted solutions to two problems that occur in the context of western theism, the problem of cognitive meaning and the problem of theodicy. Because John Hick has proposed resurrection as a solution to both problems so extensively, and because Antony Flew and Terence Penelhum have examined those solutions so strenuously, I will use their writings to lay out the problem. My aim is to improve upon Hick by overcoming a weakness in (...) his defence of resurrection. My narrower focus will be on resurrection and the ‘replica objection’, rather than the wider use of resurrection to solve problems of evil or the meaningfulness of theistic discourse, but some brief remarks on the wider problems will be necessary to set the stage. (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)
Prescriptive political and moral theories contain ideas about what human beings are like and about what, correspondingly, is good for them. Conceptions of human “nature” and corresponding human good enter into normative argument by way of support and justification. Of course, it is logically open for the ratiocinative traffic to run the other way. Strongly held convictions about the rightness or wrongness, goodness or badness, of certain social institutions or practices may help condition and shape one's responses to one or (...) another set of propositions about what people are like and what, in consequence, they have reason to value. (shrink)
Contemporary liberalism and republicanism present clearly distinct programs for domestic politics, but the same cannot be said when it comes to global politics: the burgeoning literature on global republicanism has reproduced the divide between cosmopolitan and associational views familiar from long-standing debates among liberal egalitarians. Should republicans be cosmopolitans? Despite presence of a range of views in the literature, there is an emerging consensus that the best answer is no. This paper aims to resist the emerging consensus, arguing that republicans (...) should be cosmopolitans. The considerations offered against cosmopolitanism generally rest on an incomplete understanding of the relationship between economic inequality or poverty on the one hand, and domination on the other. Insofar as republicans agree that promoting freedom from domination should be our central political aim, they should regard the reduction of economic inequality and poverty at home and abroad as equally pressing. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is twofold: (i) to introduce the framework of update semantics and to explain what kind of semantic phenomena may successfully be analysed in it: (ii) to give a detailed analysis of one such phenomenon: default reasoning.
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.
Physicalists are committed to the determination without remainder of the psychological by the physical, but are they committed to this determination being a priori? This paper distinguishes this question understood de dicto from this question understood de re, argues that understood de re the answer is yes in a way that leaves open the answer to the question understood de dicto.
The idea of truthmakers is important for doing serious metaphysics, since a truthmaker principle can give us important guidance in finding out what we would like to include into our ontology. Recently, David Lewis has argued against Armstrong’s argument that a plausible truthmaker principle requires us to accept facts. I would like to take a close look at the argument. I will argue in detail that the Humean principle of recombination on which Lewis relies is not plausible (independently of the (...) issue of facts). Then I will show that the right truthmaker principle that vindicates facts is superior to the modified truthmaker principle that Lewis has proposed. This will lead into the topic of being and existence. It turns out that truthmaking and facts are plausible, well suited for one another, and very coherent with a plausible conception of being. (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)
Frank Arntzenius presents a series of radical new ideas about the structure of space and time. Space, Time, and Stuff is an attempt to show that physics is geometry: that the fundamental structure of the physical world is purely geometrical structure. Along the way, he examines some non-standard views about the structure of spacetime and its inhabitants, including the idea that space and time are pointless, the idea that quantum mechanics is a completely local theory, the idea that antiparticles (...) are just particles travelling back in time, and the idea that time has no structure whatsoever. The main thrust of the book, however, is that there are good reasons to believe that spaces other than spacetime exist, and that it is the existence of these additional spaces that allows one to reduce all of physics to geometry. Philosophy, and metaphysics in particular, plays an important role here: the assumption that the fundamental laws of physics are simple in terms of the fundamental physical properties and relations is pivotal. Without this assumption one gets nowhere. That is to say, when trying to extract the fundamental structure of the world from theories of physics one ignores philosophy at one's peril! (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)
Page generated Tue Jul 27 09:08:55 2021 on philpapers-web-84c8c567c7-kx665
cache stats: hit=20700, miss=15972, save= autohandler : 1171 ms called component : 1155 ms search.pl : 677 ms initIterator : 349 ms render loop : 325 ms addfields : 217 ms autosense : 175 ms match_other : 157 ms publicCats : 154 ms retrieve cache object : 149 ms next : 74 ms menu : 65 ms quotes : 53 ms search_quotes : 27 ms match_cats : 16 ms prepCit : 13 ms applytpl : 3 ms intermediate : 1 ms save cache object : 1 ms match_authors : 0 ms init renderer : 0 ms setup : 0 ms auth : 0 ms writelog : 0 ms