Waxman has reversed the historical process and gone from Kant to Hume. In his previous book on Kant, Kant's Model of the Mind, it was pointed out that Hume's philosophy seemed to come to grief with the failure to account for the identity of the self, and this in turn was a consequence of Hume's inability to account for how the imagination is able to yield a consciousness of succession. There seemed no way to obtain either the unity, spatial and (...) temporal, in the objects perceived, or the unity of apperception in the perceiver. The problem of knowledge for Kant in many ways becomes simply the problem of how, from a manifold of entities spread out spatially and occurring in a temporally developing intuition, the mind is able to achieve the unity of apperception which, as Plotinus, Bayle, Leibniz, and perhaps even Hume when he recognized his failure to account for the unity of the self, all argued is essential to all thought. In trying to come to grips with this, Kant arrived at a transcendental idealism in which neither space nor time nor even sensations as ordinarily understood had any ground in the reality that transcends the only phenomenal empirical world. If Hume's failure led in Kant to a sort of empirical realism, it also led to the radical scepticism of the transcendental idealism. (shrink)
There are scientific theories that can be tested only through the use of instruments. Thus, we use, for example, instruments such as microscopes, telescopes, Wilson cloud chambers, and so on, to test theories. This use of instruments in science has been pointed out often by philosophers of science, who then correctly draw the conclusion that what is tested is not so much a single theory T but rather a conjunction.
This paper considers the converse of the principle that ought implies can, namely, the principle that must implies ought. It argues that this principle is the central premiss for Mill's argument that happiness is desirable (worthy of desire), and it examines the sense of must that is relevant and the implications it has for Mill's moral philosophy.
It has been argued that Hume's account of testimony is seriously inadequate: an autonomous knower of the sort Hume defends cannot, through simple inductive methods, justify accepting another's testimony as true. This conclusion is no doubt correct. But Hume does not defend the idea of an autonomous knower, nor does he defend relying upon simple inductive methods. An examination of Hume's critique of Descartes’ method of doubt shows him as a defender of what might be called the responsible knower, and (...) reveals the sophistication of the inductive methods he wishes to defend. It is shown that Hume can and does use these methods to justify accepting the testimony of others. (shrink)
F. H. Bradley, while not alone in securing idealism its standing in British thought for several generations of philosophers, was by far the ablest exponent of the position. He was by far the ablest critic, too, of the “school of experience,” the empiricist philosophers. In particular, he criticized the doctrines of the associationist psychology of Hume, Hartley, and the Mills. This criticism was metaphysically based, arguing that the psychology was inadequate because of its “atomism,” that is, because it presupposed an (...) inadequate account of relations. Bradley proposed an alternative account of relations that led to a very different view of such psychological phenomena as inference. Since there were many controversies internal to introspective psychology concerning the status of relations, Bradley’s views can be seen as part of a movement that eventually forced the science to deal more adequately with relational facts. Nonetheless, Bradley’s metaphysics was decidedly antiempiricist, and was in the end antagonistic to the idea that an empirical science could provide any ultimate sort of explanation of human being. In that respect, Bradley’s critique stood apart from those that were internal to the science. (shrink)
Ferreira outlines Bradley’s account of judgment and perception, and then, towards the end of his essay, indicates the sort of reason that Bradley takes to be an argument in favour of his views. I want to look at that argument, but will first summarize Ferreira’s account of Bradley’s views. This account seems to me to make a very important point about the role of feeling in Bradley’s philosophy, specifically that feeling in Bradley’s ontology/epistemology has a very different status and role (...) from that of the feeling=sensation of the empiricists. The latter is indeed “mere” feeling, from Bradley’s point of view, but that feeling which plays a central role in his own philosophy is anything but mere. (shrink)
James Mark Baldwin was one of the leaders in the new experimental psychology that developed at the end of the 19th century. In a discussion of F. H. Bradley’s view of the self, he makes an apparently odd remark. Baldwin describes Bradley’s account of the active self, the self of volition and desire. In particular, he refers to Bradley’s account of the feeling of self activity. On the latter, certain contents defining the ‘I’ remain constant, while there is change in (...) which certain other contents replace others; in acting on desire the self expands itself to include certain new contents within itself. Bradley puts it this way: ‘In desire and volition we have an idea held against the existing not-self, the idea being that of a change in that not-self. This idea … is felt to be a part of that self which is opposed to the not-self…’. We have ‘the expansion of the self so far as that is identified with the idea of the change’. Often the desire has consciously before itself the idea of those elements which it wishes to include within itself. But often, too, these elements are below the threshold of consciousness, implicity rather than explicit: ‘… in some cases where the self apprehends itself as active, there seems at first sight to be no idea. But the problem is solved by the distinction between an idea which is explicit and an idea not explicit’. Baldwin comments on this account, that. (shrink)
John Stuart Mill proposed that all policy precepts, be they in the areas of morality or prudence or aesthetics, are all subordinate to the precepts of the Art of Life. The value which he assumes in defining the Art of Life is the Principle of Utility. This principle, being normative rather than fact, can admit of no proof based solely on deductive inference. Yet Mill proposed considerations that he believed capable of rationally persuading one to accept his principle as the (...) basic principle for the Art of Life. This paper aims to evaluate this argument. In particular, it tries to show that a crucial step, often thought to be a logical howler, is not to be so simply dismissed. It is shown that if one accepts certain theses from Mill's philosophy of science and of social science, concerning the composition of causes, then the crucial step is fully justified. It is also suggested that these theses of Mill's philosophy of science are mistaken. So Mill's proof of utility is, after all, unsound, but the reconstruction proposed shows it to be much more plausible and much more philosophically interesting than is often thought. (shrink)
This paper argues that, contrary to most interpretations, e.g., those of Reid, Popkin and Passmore, Hume is not a sceptic with regard to reason. The argument of Treatise I, IV. i, of course, has a sceptical conclusion with regard to reason, and a somewhat similar point is made by Cleanthes in the Dialogues. This paper argues that the argument of Treatise I, IV. i is parallel to similar arguments in Bentham and Laplace. The latter are, as far as they go, (...) sound, and so is Hume’s. But the limitations of all mean that they cannot sustain a general argument against reason. Hume the historian is quite aware of these limitations. So is Hume the philosopher. A careful examination of the other references in the Treatise to the argument of I, IV. i reveals that Hume not only rejects but constructs a sound case against accepting the sceptical conclusion, arguing that reason can indeed show the sceptic’s argument to be unreasonable. A close reading of the Dialogues shows that Hume there also draws the same conclusion. The thrust of the paper is to go some way towards showing that it is a myth that Hume is a pyrrhonian sceptic. (shrink)
Bergmann has proposed an ontology that contains an entity many find strange: particularity. And in fact, Bergmann, too, seems to find it strange. He proposes a phenomenological method in ontology, and holds, as he therefore should, that particularity is presented. Nonetheless, he also holds that it is ineffable, that its presence in a particular is an unsayable state of affairs, and that it is something which is not a thing and yet is also not nothing. Bergmann’s position has been long (...) developing, but especially in three recent essays. The aim of the present essay is to explore these views. We shall examine Bergmann’s method, and some criticisms of it by Rosenberg, in order to see whether we cannot get a better grasp of particularity. Specifically, we shall try to see whether it is not, after all, effable. It will turn out that this disagreement on the effability of particularity is really three disagreements: one concerning whether a particular can be thought apart from particularity, a second concerning the analysis of intentionality, and a third concerning whether, in the ontologically important sense of ‘different’, entities that are different are separable. (shrink)
Exemplification can be found in ontologies from the ancient world, such as those of Plato and Aristotle, and more recent ontologies, in particular those that take what exists to be determined by the empiricist’s Principle of Acquaintance. This study examines some of the ways in which exemplification takes different forms in these different ontologies. Exemplification has also been criticized as an ontological category. This paper examines a number of these criticisms, to see the extent to which they are viable.
The claim that scientific explanation is deductive has been attacked on both systematic and historical grounds. This paper briefly defends the claim against the systematic attack. Essential to this defence is a distinction between perfect and imperfect explanation. This distinction is then used to illuminate the differences and similarities between Aristotelian (anthropomorphic) explanations of certain facts and those of classical mechanics. In particular, it is argued that when one attempts to fit classical mechanics into the Aristotelian framework the latter becomes (...) structurally incoherent. It is suggested that this, together with the fact that classical mechanics embodied the first piece of perfect knowledge, accounts, in part at least, for the historical fact of the rapid demise of the Aristotelian patterns as the new science developed. On the basis of this discussion, the inadequacies of the attack on the deductive model on historical grounds by Toulmin come to be seen. (shrink)
Addis (1981) has criticized a proposal of ours (Wilson [1969b]) for analysing disposition predications in terns of the horseshoe of material implication, and has proposed a related but significantly different analysis. This paper restates the original proposal, and defends it against Addis's criticisms. It is further argued that his proposal will not do as a general account of disposition predications; that, however, if it is suitably qualified, then it does account for certain special sorts of disposition predication; but that so (...) understood, it can be seen to be but a special case of ours. (shrink)