We tested whether analogical training could help children learn a key principle of elementary engineering—namely, the use of a diagonal brace to stabilize a structure. The context for this learning was a construction activity at the Chicago Children's Museum, in which children and their families build a model skyscraper together. The results indicate that even a single brief analogical comparison can confer insight. The results also reveal conditions that support analogical learning.
[Garrett Cullity] Weak particularism about reasons is the view that the normative valency of some descriptive considerations varies, while others have an invariant normative valency. A defence of this view needs to respond to arguments that a consideration cannot count in favour of any action unless it counts in favour of every action. But it cannot resort to a global holism about reasons, if it claims that there are some examples of invariant valency. This paper argues for weak particularism, (...) and presents a framework for understanding the relationships between practical reasons. A central part of this framework is the idea that there is an important kind of reason-a 'presumptive reason'-which need not be conclusive, but which is neither pro tanto nor prima facie. /// [Richard Holton] Should particularists about ethics claim that moral principles are never true? Or should they rather claim that any finite set of principles will not be sufficient to capture ethics? This paper explores and defends the possibility of embracing the second of these claims whilst rejecting the first, a position termed 'principled particularism'. The main argument that particularists present for their position-the argument that holds that any moral conclusion can be superseded by further considerations-is quite compatible with principled particularism; indeed, it is compatible with the idea that every true moral conclusion can be shown to follow deductively from a finite set of premises. Whilst it is true that these premises must contain implicit ceteris paribus clauses, this does not render the arguments trivial. On the contrary, they can do important work in justifying moral conclusions. Finally the approach is briefly applied to the related field of jurisprudence. (shrink)
Weak particularism about reasons is the view that the normative valency of some descriptive considerations varies, while others have an invariant normative valency. A defence of this view needs to respond to arguments that a consideration cannot count in favour of any action unless it counts in favour of every action. But it cannot resort to a global holism about reasons, if it claims that there are some examples of invariant valency. This paper argues for weak particularism, and presents a (...) framework for understanding the relationships between practical reasons. A central part of this framework is the idea that there is an important kind of reason-a 'presumptive reason'-which need not be conclusive, but which is neither pro tanto nor prima facie. /// [Richard Holton] Should particularists about ethics claim that moral principles are never true? Or should they rather claim that any finite set of principles will not be sufficient to capture ethics? This paper explores and defends the possibility of embracing the second of these claims whilst rejecting the first, a position termed 'principled particularism'. The main argument that particularists present for their position-the argument that holds that any moral conclusion can be superseded by further considerations-is quite compatible with principled particularism; indeed, it is compatible with the idea that every true moral conclusion can be shown to follow deductively from a finite set of premises. Whilst it is true that these premises must contain implicit ceteris paribus clauses, this does not render the arguments trivial. On the contrary, they can do important work in justifying moral conclusions. Finally the approach is briefly applied to the related field of jurisprudence. (shrink)
Sainsbury and Tye (2011) propose that, in the case of names and other simple extensional terms, we should substitute for Frege's second level of content—for his senses—a second level of meaning vehicle—words in the language of thought. I agree. They also offer a theory of atomic concept reference—their ‘originalist’ theory—which implies that people knowing the same word have the ‘same concept’. This I reject, arguing for a symmetrical rather than an originalist theory of concept reference, claiming that individual concepts are (...) possessed only by individual people. Concepts are classified rather than identified across different people. (shrink)
Philosophy is thinking critically about questions that matter. But many people find philosophy intimidating, so they never discover how it can help them engage ideas, culture, and even their faith. In this second edition of a classic text, Garrett DeWeese and J. P. Moreland use straightforward language with plenty of everyday examples to help to make philosophy a little less difficult.
The significance of Friedrich Nietzsche for twentieth century culture is now no longer a matter of dispute. He was quite simply one of the most influential of modern thinkers. The opening essay of this 1996 Companion provides a chronologically organised introduction to and summary of Nietzsche's published works, while also providing an overview of their basic themes and concerns. It is followed by three essays on the appropriation and misappropriation of his writings, and a group of essays exploring the nature (...) of Nietzsche's philosophy and its relation to the modern and post-modern world. The final contributions consider Nietzsche's influence on the twentieth century in Europe, the USA, and Asia. New readers and non-specialists will find this the most convenient, accessible guide to Nietzsche currently available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Nietzsche. (shrink)
This study investigates a conflict in Duns Scotus ’ doctrine of the origin of intelligible being or intelligibility found in his various treatments of the divine ideas. Scotus holds both that the divine intellect produces the essences of creatable things, and that the essences of creatable things are contained in the divine essence and represented by it to the divine intellect. Although this conflict has escaped the notice of most of Scotus ’ medieval and modern interpreters, two early followers of (...) Scotus, William of Alnwick and Petrus Thomae, recognized it in the course of their detailed examinations of the notion of intelligible being. William simply noted the contradiction and defended an elaborate version of. Peter also defended a complex version of, but additionally attempted to relieve the conflict between Scotus ’ views by arguing that Scotus had intended to be taken only metaphorically. (shrink)
This article examines Huston Smith's critique of and remedy for modernity from the perspective of a college professor who adopted “Why Religion Matters” as required reading for undergraduates. Smith's heartfelt plea to consider, if not embrace, the common wisdom of traditional religious worldviews deserves a hearing. But Smith's approach is also in need of qualification, supplementation, and critique. This article, ironically, finds the needed qualification, supplementation, and critique in Huston Smith's much earlier publication, The Purposes of Higher Education . This (...) article provides the dialogue. (shrink)
The hard problem of consciousness has been a perennially vexing issue for the study of consciousness, particularly in giving a scientific and naturalized account of phenomenal experience. At the heart of the hard problem is an often-overlooked argument, which is at the core of the hard problem, and that is the structure and dynamics (S&D) argument. In this essay, I will argue that we have good reason to suspect that the S&D argument given by David Chalmers rests on a limited (...) conception of S&D properties, what in this essay I’m calling extrinsic structure and dynamics. I argue that if we take recent insights from the complexity sciences and from recent developments in Integrated Information Theory (IIT) of Consciousness, that we get a more nuanced picture of S&D, specifically, a class of properties I’m calling intrinsic structure and dynamics. This I think opens the door to a broader class of properties with which we might naturally and scientifically explain phenomenal experience, as well as the relationship between syntactic, semantic, and intrinsic notions of information. I argue that Chalmers’ characterization of structure and dynamics in his S&D argument paints them with too broad a brush and fails to account for important nuances, especially when considering accounting for a system’s intrinsic properties. Ultimately, my hope is to vindicate a certain species of explanation from the S&D argument, and by extension dissolve the hard problem of consciousness at its core, by showing that not all structure and dynamics are equal. (shrink)
In many ways, Benedict (Baruch) de Spinoza appears to be a contradictory figure in the history of philosophy. From the beginning, he has been notorious as an "atheist" who seeks to substitute Nature for a personal deity; yet he was also, in Novalis's famous description, "the God-intoxicated man." He was an uncompromising necessitarian and causal determinist; yet his ethical ideal was to become a "free man." He maintained that the human mind and the human body are identical; yet he also (...) insisted that the human mind can achieve a kind of eternality that transcends the death of the body. He has been adopted by Marxists as a precursor of historical materialism, and by Hegelians as a precursor of absolute idealism. He was a psychological egoist, proclaiming that all individuals necessarily seek their own advantage and implying that other individuals were of value to him only insofar as they were useful to him; yet his writings aimed to promote human community based on love and friendship, he had many devoted friends, and even his critics were obliged to acknowledge that his personal conduct was above reproach. He held that the state has the right to do whatever it has the power to do, while at the same time he defended democracy and freedom of speech. He denied supernatural revelation and criticized popular religion as a grave danger to the peace and stability of the state; yet he devoted himself to the careful interpretation of scripture and argued for toleration and freedom of religion. Rarely employing figures of speech or rhetorical flourishes of any kind, his works are nevertheless among the most magisterial and uplifting of all philosophical writings, and they have inspired more poets and novelists than those of any other philosopher of the early modern period. (shrink)
The world is becoming deeply interconnected, whereby actions in one part of the world can have profound repercussions elsewhere. In a world of overlapping communities of fate, there has been a renewed enthusiasm for thinking about what it is that human beings have in common, and to explore the ethical basis of this. This has led to a renewed interest in examining the normative principles that might underpin efforts to resolve global collective action problems and to ameliorate serious global risks. (...) This project can be referred to as the project of cosmopolitanism. In response to this renewed cosmopolitan enthusiasm, this volume has brought together 25 seminal essays in the development of cosmopolitan thought by some of the world's most distinguished cosmopolitan thinkers and critics. It is divided into six sections: classical cosmopolitanism, global justice, culture and cosmopolitanism, political cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitan global governance and critical examinations. This volume thus provides a thorough and extensive introduction to contemporary cosmopolitan thought and acts as a definitive source for those interested in cosmopolitan thinking and its critics. See also David Held's _Cosmopolitanism: Ideals and Realities_. (shrink)
The past six decades have seen rising interest in the philosophy of time, driven in large measure by the metaphysical implications of the physical theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. Philosophical theology has only recently begun serious interaction with contemporary metaphysics of time. In particular, the issue of God's temporal mode of being has come under investigation In Part 1, I begin with the metaphysics of time, explicating and defending a causal account of dynamic time. I then consider objections that (...) can be brought against this account from the standpoint of the Special and General Theories of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, and conclude that one of the objections are compelling. In Part II, I consider the evidence from Scripture relative to God's temporal mode of being, and find that it is neutral between a temporal and an atemporal conception. The arguments upholding the medieval consensus in philosophical theology of divine timelessness are evaluated, along with contemporary arguments for atemporality. Openness to divine temporality is discernible in some medieval philosophers; their arguments, along with contemporary arguments for temporality, are investigated. I then offer an analysis of the concept of omnitemporality which I take to be the form of temporality most appropriate to expressing God's temporal mode of being. Finally I argue that objections to omnitemporality are not forceful, and that the concept has in its favor greater explanatory power for a range of issues in philosophical theology. (shrink)
The Attempt at a Critique of All Revelation was the first published work of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, the founder of the German idealist movement in philosophy. It predated the system of philosophy which Fichte developed during his years in Jena, and for that reason - and possibly also because of its religious orientation - later commentators have tended to overlook the work in their treatments of Fichte's philosophy. It is, however, already representative of the most interesting aspects of Fichte's thought. (...) It displays an affinity with his later moral psychology, introduces Fichte's distinctively 'second-person' conception of moral requirements, and employs the 'synthetic method' which is crucial to the transcendental systems Fichte developed during his Jena period. This volume offers a clear and accessible translation of the work by Garrett Green, while an introduction by Allen Wood sets the work in its historical and philosophical contexts. (shrink)
In “Experience and Time,” Brian Garrett poses a challenge to friends of the rationality of pure time preferences. In this discussion note, we accept the challenge and provide two kinds of cases wherein some pure time preferences could be deemed rational.
This book explores the contemporary crisis of biblical interpretation by examining modern and postmodern forms of the 'hermeneutics of suspicion'. Garrett Green looks at several thinkers who played key roles in creating a radically suspicious reading of the Bible. After Kant, Hamann and Feuerbach comes Nietzsche, who marked the turn from modern to postmodern suspicion. Green argues that similarities between Derrida's deconstruction and Barth's theology of signs show that postmodern suspicion ought not to be viewed simply as a threat (...) to theology but as a secular counterpart to its own hermeneutical insights. When theology attends to its proper task of describing the grammar of scriptural imagination, it discovers a source of suspicion more radical than the secular, the hermeneutical expression of God's gracious judgement. Green concludes that Christians are committed to the hermeneutical imperative, the never-ending struggle for the meaning of scripture in the hopeful insecurity of the faithful imagination. (shrink)
Christopher Dawson identified with sociology, wrote extensively for the original Sociological Review, was a stalwart of the Sociological Society in the interwar years, achieved international recognition as a sociologist, engaged with Karl Mannheim and the Moot, and in the postwar period defended meta-history and the sociologically oriented historical work of people like Marc Bloch. He ultimately became regarded as the greatest Catholic historian of the twentieth century, and became a Harvard Professor and a cult figure for American and European Catholics. (...) This paper describes this remarkable trajectory, his absence from the later self-understanding of British sociology, and his key ideas, including his Bellah-like account of the axial age and his extensive response to Weber’s Protestant Ethic and to the extension of these ideas in Ernst Troetlsch. (shrink)
In a new interpretation, Garrett Wallace Brown considers Kant's cosmopolitan thought as a form of international constitutional jurisprudence that requires minimal legal demands. He explores and defends topics such as cosmopolitan law, cosmopolitan right, the laws of hospitality, a Kantian federation of states, a cosmopolitan epistemology of culture and a possible normative basis for a Kantian form of global distributive justice.
Lewis proposes a solution for bridging the gap between cognitive-psychological and neurobiological theories of emotion in terms of dynamic systems modeling. However, an important brain network is absent in his account: the neuroendocrine system. In this commentary, the dynamic features of the cross-talk between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and gonadal (HPG) axes are discussed within a triple-balance model of emotion.