Charles Sanders Peirce was born in September 1839 and died five months before the guns of August 1914. He is perhaps the most important mind the United States has ever produced. He made significant contributions throughout his life as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, geodesist, surveyor, cartographer, metrologist, engineer, and inventor. He was a psychologist, a philologist, a lexicographer, a historian of science, a lifelong student of medicine, and, above all, a philosopher, whose special fields were logic and semiotics. He (...) is widely credited with being the founder of pragmatism. In terms of his importance as a philosopher and a scientist, he has been compared to Plato and Aristotle. He himself intended "to make a philosophy like that of Aristotle." Peirce was also a tormented and in many ways tragic figure. He suffered throughout his life from various ailments, including a painful facial neuralgia, and had wide swings of mood which frequently left him depressed to the state of inertia, and other times found him explosively violent. Despite his consistent belief that ideas could find meaning only if they "worked" in the world, he himself found it almost impossible to make satisfactory economic and social arrangements for himself. This brilliant scientist, this great philosopher, this astounding polymath was never able, throughout his long life, to find an academic post that would allow him to pursue his major interest, the study of logic, and thus also fulfill his destiny as America's greatest philosopher. Much of his work remained unpublished in his own time, and is only now finding publication in a coherent, chronologically organized edition. Even more astounding is that,despite many monographic studies, there has been no biography until now, almost eighty years after his death. Brent has studied the Peirce papers in detail and enriches his account with numerous quotations from letters by Peirce and by his friends. This is a fascinating account of a p. (shrink)
I argue that the most promising approach to understanding J.J. Gibson's "affordances" takes affordances themselves as ontological primitives, instead of treating them as dispositional properties of more primitive things, events, surfaces, or substances. These latter are best treated as coalescences of affordances present in the environment (or "coalescences of use-potential," as in Sanders (1994) and Hilditch (1995)). On this view, even the ecological approach's stress on the complementary organism/environment pair is seen as expressing a particular affordance relation between the (...) world and the analyst. That the world is parsed in any way among events and objects, perceivers and worlds, etc., reflects equally features of certain real or possible perspectives on the world and features of the world itself. In section 1, I begin by contending that, contrary to the apparent expectations of some in the field, the bare existence of affordances is surely quite uncontroversial. In section 2, I argue that the most reasonable approach to foundational ontology is a relativistic one. In section 3, I address the claim that affordances must be ontologically complemented by effectivities for the sake of completeness, and I shall argue against that claim on grounds that I take to reflect some of Gibson's most important insights. This work will help to clarify the way affordances are to be used in the fourth and final section, where I argue that ontological work, even within special sciences, should not be merely "regional," and that the most attractive general approach to ontological questions is one that is based on affordances, rather than upon things, events, surfaces, and the like. (shrink)
Hans-Georg GADAMER, Hermeneutische Entwürfe. Vorträge und Aufsätze ; Pascal MICHON, Poétique d’une anti-anthropologie: l’herméneutique deGadamer ; Robert J. DOSTAL, The Cambridge Companion to Gadamer ; Denis SERON, Le problème de la métaphysique. Recherches sur l’interprétation heideggerienne de Platon et d’Aristote ; Henry MALDINEY, Ouvrir le rien. L’art nu ; Dominique JANICAUD, Heidegger en France, I. Récit; II. Entretiens ; Maurice MERLEAU-PONTY, Fenomenologia percepţiei ; Trish GLAZEBROOK, Heidegger’s Philosophy of Science ; Richard WOLIN, Heidegger’s Children. Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Hans Jonas (...) and Herbert Marcuse ; Ivo DEGENNARO, Logos – Heidegger liest Heraklit ; O. K. WIEGAND, R. J. DOSTAL, L. EMBREE, J. KOCKELMANS and J. N. MOHANTY, Phenomenology on Kant, German Idealism, Hermeneutics and Logic ; James FAULCONER and Mark WRATHALL, Appropriating Heidegger. (shrink)
The popular media has repeatedly pointed to pride as one of the key factors motivating leaders to behave unethically. However, given the devastating consequences that leader unethical behavior may have, a more scientific account of the role of pride is warranted. The present study differentiates between authentic and hubristic pride and assesses its impact on leader ethical behavior, while taking into consideration the extent to which leaders find it important to their self-concept to be a moral person. In two experiments (...) we found that with higher levels of moral identity, authentically proud leaders are more likely to engage in ethical behavior than hubristically proud leaders, and that this effect is mediated by leaders’ motivation to act selflessly. A field survey among organizational leaders corroborated that moral identity may bring the positive effect of authentic pride and the negative effect of hubristic pride on leader ethical behavior to the forefront. (shrink)
We look at recent accounts of the indefinite extensibility of the concept set and compare them with a certain linguistic model of indefinite extensibility. We suggest that the linguistic model has much to recommend over alternative accounts of indefinite extensibility, and we defend it against three prima facie objections.
Charles Sanders Peirce has authored an extraordinary ?Note on the Theory of the Economy of Research? (1879). The Note presents an economic model of research project selection in science. A case can be made that the Note was the first piece of modern scientific research in all of economics. This claim is based on the novelty of the method of argument, the graphical techniques, and the ratio of the marginal utilities found in the Note. The Note is also significant (...) for making economic factors a central part of a theory of scientific inference, something which contemporary economic methodologists and philosophers still have not done except for a few notable exceptions. And it has been used by philosopher Nicholas Rescher to interpret and criticize Karl Popper's notion of falsification. All of these contributions suggest that Peirce's Note may be of unusual interest to the economics profession. (shrink)
This study examines the linguistic construal and cognitive representation of time and viewpoint in the genre of news narratives. We present a model of mental spaces that involves a News Space in which the deictic center is construed of the news actors at the time the newsworthy events took place, and a Reality Space in which the deictic here-and-now center of journalist and reader is construed. This model explains how the dynamic representation of narrative news discourse, characterized by shifts in (...) time and viewpoint, is steered by linguistic devices. An analysis of Dutch news narratives shows that temporal adverbs such as yesterday and shifts from present tense to past tense may signal a move forward in narrative time, to a viewpoint in the future relative to the narrative now-point, rather than backward. These atypical time shifts can be accounted for by presupposing an Intermediate Space located at a point in time between the News Space and the Reality Space where the progression of narrative time comes to a halt and experiences are rather relived than reported. The salience of the Intermediate Space may be signaled by quotative conditionals reflecting the viewpoints of implicitly quoted sources. These results clarify how tense and temporal deixis steer the linguistic construal of time and viewpoint in news narratives, demonstrating that time and viewpoint are closely linked in the cognitive representation of these narratives. (shrink)
There is a great deal that might be said about justice in property claims. The strategy that I shall employ focuses attention upon the initial acquisition of property -- the most sensitive and most interesting area of property theory. Every theory that discusses property claims favorably assumes that there is some justification for transforming previously unowned resources into property. It is often this assumption which has seemed, to one extent or another, to be vulnerable to attack by critics of particular (...) justifications of property. Nevertheless, this assumption is frequently left undefended by property theorists, and where it is defended, the defense is often remarkably weak. That some initial claim to property be defensible is required by any theory which holds that certain present distributions may be justified, that certain transfers of property are justified, or that restitution ought to be made for previous injustice in transfer or acquisition. The initial acquisition of property, and its justification, is crucial to the remainder of property theory. (shrink)
John Taurek has argued that, where choices must be made between alternatives that affect different numbers of people, the numbers are not, by themselves, morally relevant. This is because we "must" take "losses-to" the persons into account (and these don't sum), but "must not" consider "losses-of" persons (because we must not treat persons like objects). I argue that the numbers are always ethically relevant, and that they may sometimes be the decisive consideration.
I would like to discuss the claim that the resources of plural reference and plural quantification are sufficient for the purpose of paraphrasing all ordinary statements apparently concerned with composite material objects into plural statements concerned exclusively with simples.
This paper takes a close look at the thought that mereological relations on material objects mirror, and are mirrored by, parallel mereological relations on their exact locations. This hypothesis is made more precise by means of a battery of principles from which more substantive consequences are derived. Mereological harmony turns out to entail, for example, that atomistic space is an inhospitable environment for material gunk or that Whiteheadian space is not a hospitable environment for unextended material atoms.
Philosophers often explain what could be the case in terms of what is, in fact, the case at one possible world or another. They may differ in what they take possible worlds to be or in their gloss of what is for something to be the case at a possible world. Still, they stand united by the threat of paradox. A family of paradoxes akin to the set-theoretic antinomies seem to allow one to derive a contradiction from apparently plausible principles. (...) Some of them concern the interaction between propositions and worlds, and they appear to afford the means to map classes of propositions into propositions – or, likewise, classes of worlds into worlds – in a one-to-one fashion that leads to contradiction. Yet another family of paradoxes threaten the view that whatever could exist does, in fact, exist, which is in line with modal realism, for example. This article aims to survey and identify the source of each family of paradoxes as well as to outline some responses to them. (shrink)
This paper looks at philosophical questions that arise in the context of AI alignment. It defends three propositions. First, normative and technical aspects of the AI alignment problem are interrelated, creating space for productive engagement between people working in both domains. Second, it is important to be clear about the goal of alignment. There are significant differences between AI that aligns with instructions, intentions, revealed preferences, ideal preferences, interests and values. A principle-based approach to AI alignment, which combines these elements (...) in a systematic way, has considerable advantages in this context. Third, the central challenge for theorists is not to identify ‘true’ moral principles for AI; rather, it is to identify fair principles for alignment that receive reflective endorsement despite widespread variation in people’s moral beliefs. The final part of the paper explores three ways in which fair principles for AI alignment could potentially be identified. (shrink)
While there are numerous differences between the approaches taken by Maurice Merleau-Ponty and James J. Gibson, the basic motivation of the two thinkers, as well as the internal logic of their respective views, is extraordinarily close. Both were guided throughout their lives by an attempt to overcome the dualism of subject and object, and both devoted considerable attention to their "Gestaltist" predecessors. There can be no doubt but that it is largely because of this common cause that the subsequent development (...) of their ideas is so similar. It is not my objective in what follows merely to demonstrate a similarity between two lines of thought. Instead, I will try to show that each approach gains considerably from attention to the other. There are numerous ways to begin such a project, each about as arbitrary as the next. For present purposes, I shall take as of central importance the question of the character of the perceived world, both in relation to the traditionally opposed mental and material "substances", and in relation to its identification and individuation of things vis a vis one another and vis a vis ourselves. This will implicate especially Gibson's "affordances" and Merleau-Ponty's thesis concerning the "materiality of meaning.". (shrink)
Groups are ubiquitous in our lives. But while some of them are highly structured and appear to support a shared intentionality and even a shared agency, others are much less cohesive and do not seem to demand much of their individual members. Queues, for example, seem to be, at a given time, nothing over and above some individuals as they exemplify a certain spatial arrangement. Indeed, the main aim of this paper is to develop the more general thought that at (...) a given time, a group is nothing over and above some individual members as they exemplify a certain complex condition. The general conception of groups that emerges is able to accommodate a variety of constraints on a reasonable answer to the question of what are groups. (shrink)