This book provides an introduction to measurement theory for non-specialists and puts measurement in the social and behavioural sciences on a firm mathematical foundation. Results are applied to such topics as measurement of utility, psychophysical scaling and decision-making about pollution, energy, transportation and health. The results and questions presented should be of interest to both students and practising mathematicians since the author sets forth an area of mathematics unfamiliar to most mathematicians, but which has many potentially significant applications.
This paper studies the theory of uniqueness of scales of measurement, and in particular, the theory of meaningfulness of statements using scales. The paper comments on the general theory of meaningfulness adopted by Luce in connection with his work on dimensionally invariant numerical laws. It comments on Luce's generalization of the concept of meaningfulness of a statement involving scales to a concept of meaningfulness of an arbitrary relation relative to the defining relations in a relational structure. It is argued that (...) in studying the concept of meaningfulness, it is necessary to consider invariance under endomorphisms, not just automorphisms. The difference between the endomorphism and automorphism concepts of meaningfulness is studied. Luce's primary result, that automorphism meaningfulness is preserved under isomorphism, is extended to the result that endomorphism meaningfulness is preserved under homomorphism. (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)
We greatfully ackknowledge that research for this projrect was supported by N.E.H. fellowship and by grant from the American Philosophical Society. All Transletions are our own, unless otherwise noted.
A process model of concept development is proposed as a means of understanding the mind body problem. This paper reviews some definitions and views of mind, reiterates Karl Popper's description of the development of scientific as compared to essentialist methods of concept definition, compares the development of physical and psychological concepts, notes an apparent illogic of the mind and body issue, and discusses a range of psychological theories in relation to this process model, that is, Skinner's behavior view, to Pribram's (...) presentation of cognitive theory, to Epstein's theory of the self concept, and to existentialistic views. In terms of meaning and usefulness, mind and behavioral concepts appear to evolve in the same manner. (shrink)
In this book an eminent scholar presents a rich and penetrating analysis of the _Statesman_, perhaps Plato's most challenging work. Stanley Rosen contends that the main theme of this dialogue is a definition of the art of politics and the degree to which political experience is subject either to the rule of sound judgment or to technical construction. The _Statesman_, like Plato's earlier _Sophist_, features a Stranger who tries to refute Socrates. Much of his conversation is devoted to a (...) minute analysis of the art of weaving, selected by the Stranger as a paradigm of the royal art of politics, for he conceives of the city as an artifact. But the Stranger's successive efforts to find a method for defining the art of politics are failures, because there is no fitting model or technique of measurement by which to grasp politics that includes within its scope the totality of human existence—there is, suggests Plato, no technical construction of politics. Rosen reflects on the relevance of Plato to contemporary debates about political reconstruction on the one hand and about the deeper issue of the supposed end of modernity on the other. He argues that, far from being the father of essentialism and the reification of human nature, as others have suggested, Plato elaborates a rhetoric of politics as self-defense against nature. Just as weaving produces clothing to protect the body against the elements, so the statesman must produce myths or local models to protect the soul against the body. (shrink)
Fred Feldman is an important philosopher, who has made a substantial contribution to utilitarian moral philosophy. This collection of ten previously published essays plus a new introductory essay reveal the striking originality and unity of his views. Feldman's version of utilitarianism differs from traditional forms in that it evaluates behaviour by appeal to the values of accessible worlds. These worlds are in turn evaluated in terms of the amounts of pleasure they contain, but the conception of pleasure involved is (...) a novel one and the formulation of hedonism improved. In Feldman's view pleasure is not a feeling but a propositional attitude. He also deals with problems of justice that affect standard forms of utilitarianism. The collection is ideally suited for courses on contemporary utilitarian theory. (shrink)
Aristotle is said to have held that any kind of actual infinity is impossible. I argue that he was a finitist (or "potentialist") about _magnitude_, but not about _plurality_. He did not deny that there are, or can be, infinitely many things in actuality. If this is right, then it has implications for Aristotle's views about the metaphysics of parts and points.
While there has been a resurgence in Malebranche scholarship in the anglophone world over the last twenty years, most of it has focused on Malebranche’s theory of ideas, and little attention has been paid to his philosophy of mind. Schmaltz’s book thus comes as a welcome addition to the Malebranche literature; that he has given us such a well-researched and carefully argued study is even more welcome. The focus of this work is Malebranche’s split with Descartes on the question of (...) our knowledge of the nature of the mind; the book concentrates specifically on Malebranche’s rejection of the claim that we know the nature of the mind better than we know the nature of body. Schmaltz maintains that Malebranche’s arguments for his position are, for the most part, successful against the Cartesians who opposed him, though he claims—and this is perhaps the central claim of the book—that “Malebranche took his negative thesis concerning our knowledge of the soul to involve not so much a rejection of Cartesianism as an internal correction of it”. While acknowledging that Augustine was “the primary inspiration for [Malebranche’s] view of the ideas that are the objects of perception”, Schmaltz’s interpretation of Malebranche’s theory of the soul “presents it as fundamentally Cartesian”. According to Schmaltz, not only is Malebranche closer to Descartes in this regard than is generally thought, he is closer to him than are many other Cartesians. Part 1 of the book examines Malebranche’s position that while we have certain knowledge of the soul’s existence, we have only confused knowledge of its nature. Part 2 focuses on Arnauld’s objection that if in fact we had no clear idea of the soul, we could not, despite Malebranche’s claims to the contrary, know anything of its immortality, spirituality, or freedom. (shrink)
Hegel's philosophy has often been compared to a circle of circles: an ascending spiral to its admirers, but a vortex to its critics. The metaphor reflects Hegel's claim to offer a conception of philosophical reason so comprehensive as to include all others as partial forms of itself. It is a claim which faces the writer on Hegel with peculiar difficulties. Criticism, it would appear, can always be outflanked; criticism of the system can be turned back into criticism within the system. (...) Michael Rosen discusses the philosophical issues involved in historical interpretation before presenting a novel and challenging solution to the problem of Hegel's openness to criticism. Contrary to received opinion, Hegel's philosophy does not, he argues, draw upon a universal and pre-suppositionless conception of rationality. Rather, Hegel's originality lies in founding his system upon a particular, avowedly mystical conception of philosophical experience. This experience - Hegel calls it 'pure Thought' - is fundamental. Pure Thought makes speculative reasoning intelligible and, hence, underpins the claim to rationality of the entire system. Dr Rosen's conclusion is that all attempts at rehabilitation of Hegel are based on misunderstanding. When restored to their speculative-mystical shell the irrational kernel of Hegel's concepts becomes apparent. (shrink)
Although Hegel considered _Science of Logic_ essential to his philosophy, it has received scant commentary compared with the other three books he published in his lifetime. Here philosopher Stanley Rosen rescues the _Science of Logic_ from obscurity, arguing that its neglect is responsible for contemporary philosophy’s fracture into many different and opposed schools of thought. Through deep and careful analysis, Rosen sheds new light on the precise problems that animate Hegel’s overlooked book and their tremendous significance to philosophical (...) conceptions of logic and reason. Rosen’s overarching question is how, if at all, rationalism can overcome the split between monism and dualism. Monism—which claims a singular essence for all things—ultimately leads to nihilism, while dualism, which claims multiple, irreducible essences, leads to what Rosen calls “the endless chatter of the history of philosophy.” The _Science of Logic_, he argues, is the fundamental text to offer a new conception of rationalism that might overcome this philosophical split. Leading readers through Hegel’s book from beginning to end, Rosen’s argument culminates in a masterful chapter on the Idea in Hegel. By fully appreciating the_Science of Logic_ and situating it properly within Hegel’s oeuvre, Rosen in turn provides new tools for wrangling with the conceptual puzzles that have brought so many other philosophers to disaster. (shrink)
Fred Feldman's fascinating new book sets out to defend hedonism as a theory about the Good Life. He tries to show that, when carefully and charitably interpreted, certain forms of hedonism yield plausible evaluations of human lives. Feldman begins by explaining the question about the Good Life. As he understands it, the question is not about the morally good life or about the beneficial life. Rather, the question concerns the general features of the life that is good in itself (...) for the one who lives it. Hedonism says (roughly) that the Good Life is the pleasant life. After showing that received formulations of hedonism are often confused or incoherent, Feldman presents a simple, clear, coherent form of sensory hedonism that provides a starting point for discussion. He then presents a catalogue of classic objections to hedonism, coming from sources as diverse as Plato, Aristotle, Brentano, Ross, Moore, Rawls, Kagan, Nozick, Brandt, and others. One of Feldman's central themes is that there is an important distinction between the forms of hedonism that emphasize sensory pleasure and those that emphasize attitudinal pleasure. Feldman formulates several kinds of hedonism based on the idea that attitudinal pleasure is the Good. He claims that attitudinal forms of hedonism - which have often been ignored in the literature -- are worthy of more careful attention. Another main theme of the book is the plasticity of hedonism. Hedonism comes in many forms. Attitudinal hedonism is especially receptive to variations and modifications. Feldman illustrates this plasticity by formulating several variants of attitudinal hedonism and showing how they evade some of the objections. He also shows how it is possible to develop forms of hedonism that are equivalent to the allegedly anti-hedonistic theory of G. E. Moore and the Aristotelian theory according to which the Good Life is the life of virtue, or flourishing. He also formulates hedonisms relevantly like the ones defended by Aristippus and Mill. Feldman argues that a carefully developed form of attitudinal hedonism is not refuted by objections concerning 'the shape of a life'. He also defends the claim that all of the alleged forms of hedonism discussed in the book genuinely deserve to be called 'hedonism'. Finally, after dealing with the last of the objections, he gives a sketch of his hedonistic vision of the Good Life. (shrink)
This chapter explores bridge-law non-naturalism: the view that when a particular thing possesses a moral property or stands in a moral relation, this fact is metaphysically grounded in non-normative features of the thing in question together with a general moral law. Any view of this sort faces two challenges, analogous to familiar challenges in the philosophy of science: to specify the form of the explanatory laws, and to say when a fact of that form qualifies as a law. The chapter (...) explores three strategies for answering these questions, all of which maintain that a moral law is a true generalization of the form [It is normatively necessary that whatever ϕs is F]. (shrink)
Region R Question: How many objects — entities, things — are contained in R? Ignore the empty space. Our question might better be put, 'How many material objects does R contain?' Let's stipulate that A, B and C are metaphysical atoms: absolutely simple entities with no parts whatsoever besides themselves. So you don't have to worry about counting a particle's top half and bottom half as different objects. Perhaps they are 'point-particles', with no length, width or breadth. Perhaps they are (...) extended in space without possessing spatial parts (if that is possible). Never mind. We stipulate that A, B and C are perfectly simple. We also stipulate that they are connected as follows. A and B are stuck together in such a way that when a force is applied to one of them, they move together 'as a unit'. Moreover, the two of them together exhibit behavior that neither would exhibit on its own — Perhaps they emit a certain sound, or glow in the dark — whereas C is.. (shrink)