The question—what is a political constitution?—might seem, at first blush, fairly innocuous. At one level, the idea of a political constitution seems fairly well settled, at least insofar as most political constitutionalists subscribe to a similar set of commitments, arguments and assumptions. At a second, more reflective level, however, there remains some doubt whether a political constitution purports to be a descriptive or normative account of a real world constitution, such as Britain’s. By exploring the idea of a political constitution (...) as differently articulated by J.A.G. Griffith, Adam Tomkins and Richard Bellamy, this essay explores why the normativity of a political constitution may be indistinct and ill-defined, and how compelling reasons for this indistinctness and ill-definition are to be found in the very idea of a political constitution itself. A political constitution is here conceived as a ‘model’ which supplies an explanatory framework within which to make sense of our constitutional self-understandings. The discipline of thinking in terms of a model opens up a critical space wherein there need not be some stark, all-encompassing choice between constitutional models, which, in turn, allows for more subtle understandings of Britain’s constitution as neither exclusively ‘political’ nor ‘legal’. (shrink)
In matters of rights, constitutions tend to avoid settling controversies. With few exceptions, rights are formulated in open-ended language, seeking consensus on an abstraction without purporting to resolve the many moral-political questions implicated by rights. The resulting view has been that rights extend everywhere but are everywhere infringed by legislation seeking to resolve the very moral-political questions the constitution seeks to avoid. The Negotiable Constitution challenges this view. Arguing that underspecified rights call for greater specification, Grégoire C. N. Webber (...) draws on limitation clauses common to most bills of rights to develop a new understanding of the relationship between rights and legislation. The legislature is situated as a key constitutional actor tasked with completing the specification of constitutional rights. In turn, because the constitutional project is incomplete with regards to rights, it is open to being re-negotiated by legislation struggling with the very moral-political questions left underdetermined at the constitutional level. (shrink)
A rotating disk with angular acceleration is given a relativistic description as observed from the rotating rest frameR of the disk. It is shown how a non-Euclidean intrinsic spatial geometry develops inR, as the disk gets an angular velocity. The explanation of this as given by anR-observer is discussed. A recent description of the geometry inR presented by Grünbaum and Janis is criticized. The motion of light as described by use of coordinate clocks inR is discussed in connection with some (...) recent work by R. C. Jennison and coworkers. The significance of the difference between directed signals and circular waves when clocks inR are to be synchronized by means of light emitted from the axis inR is made clear. (shrink)
Einstein's second postulate (light-speed constancy) is modified in the following manner:(1) as to motion of light emitters, no modification is made;(2) as to motion of light absorbers, if the absorber moves with velocityv with respect to the observer, that observer will attribute to light the velocity (c+v). It is shown, with reference to the original Einstein train example, that such a modification of the second postulate restores to kinematics a concept of distant simultaneity. Thus is indicated the complicated (acausal) behavior (...) that must be attributed to light in order that the simple behavior earlier attributed (1) to matter (nonoccurrence of the Lorentz contraction) may be consistent with all known facts. A reply is made to Grøn's critique (2) of the earlier paper on metric standards. It is concluded that further experimental data are needed to decide the simple-light-complicated-matter versus complicated-light-simple-matter issue. (shrink)
For each natural number n, let C (n) be the closed and unbounded proper class of ordinals α such that V α is a Σ n elementary substructure of V. We say that κ is a C (n) -cardinal if it is the critical point of an elementary embedding j : V → M, M transitive, with j(κ) in C (n). By analyzing the notion of C (n)-cardinal at various levels of the usual hierarchy of large cardinal principles we show (...) that, starting at the level of superstrong cardinals and up to the level of rank-into-rank embeddings, C (n)-cardinals form a much finer hierarchy. The naturalness of the notion of C (n)-cardinal is exemplified by showing that the existence of C (n)-extendible cardinals is equivalent to simple reflection principles for classes of structures, which generalize the notions of supercompact and extendible cardinals. Moreover, building on results of Bagaria et al. (2010), we give new characterizations of Vopeňka’s Principle in terms of C (n)-extendible cardinals. (shrink)
The C (n)-cardinals were introduced recently by Bagaria and are strong forms of the usual large cardinals. For a wide range of large cardinal notions, Bagaria has shown that the consistency of the corresponding C (n)-versions follows from the existence of rank-into-rank elementary embeddings. In this article, we further study the C (n)-hierarchies of tall, strong, superstrong, supercompact, and extendible cardinals, giving some improved consistency bounds while, at the same time, addressing questions which had been left open. In addition, we (...) consider two cases which were not dealt with by Bagaria; namely, C (n)-Woodin and C (n)-strongly compact cardinals, for which we provide characterizations in terms of their ordinary counterparts. Finally, we give a brief account on the interaction of C (n)-cardinals with the forcing machinery. (shrink)
Heidegger's book is both Kant's good fortune and ours; as a philosopher, Heidegger's treatment is guided by the thesis that ontology is founded on transcendental philosophy, and that it is prior to metaphysica specialis, i.e., cosmology, psychology, and theology. As a scholar, Heidegger finely dissects the Transcendental Analytic, arguing that man's finitude consists in the required cooperation of sensibility and understanding, both of which stem, as Kant intimated, from imagination; and time is of the essence of imagination. Heidegger's vigorous defense (...) of the Schematism is a superb example of imaginative philosophy and careful scholarship well blended. The translator lacks confidence in the English language, and often uses English merely as a clue to Heidegger's German. --R. C. N. (shrink)
This paper uses the term “ surveillance ” in its widest sense to include data sharing and the revealing of identity information in the absence of consent of the individual concerned. It argues that the current debate about the nature of a “ surveillance society” needs a new structural framework that allows the benefits of surveillance and the risks to individual privacy to be properly balanced. To this end, the first part of this article sets out the reasons why reliance (...) on the current framework of data protection or human rights legislation, or on the current regulatory regime does not necessarily protect privacy. The second part sets out nine principles that can be used to assess whether individual privacy is comprehensively considered when surveillance policy is developed. These principles are applied to surveillance in the UK to identify the structural improvements that could create an effective balance. These principles are not legislative proposals but provide a means of exploring possible deficiencies in information law governance and, in particular, Parliament’s role in scrutinising the executive and the powers needed by a regulator when engaging with the Parliamentary process. As most European countries adopt a democratic, human rights framework, it is suggested that these principles are not limited in an application in the UK environment. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own. (shrink)
The principle of relativity, that there is no preferred state of uniform motion, has recently come into conflict with certain cosmological observations. In an attempt to overcome this difficulty, an alternative formulation is explored in which this principle is replaced by the principle of universal time, while retaining the invariance of the speed of light. These two postulates lead to a well-defined world model in which one inertial frame has a preferred status. But the invariance properties of the laws of (...) physics are unaffected, and the model may be regarded as a modified form of special relativity which is in accordance with the new cosmological evidence. (shrink)
We present a new method for characterizing the interpretive possibilities generated by elliptical constructions in natural language. Unlike previous analyses, which postulate ambiguity of interpretation or derivation in the full clause source of the ellipsis, our analysis requires no such hidden ambiguity. Further, the analysis follows relatively directly from an abstract statement of the ellipsis interpretation problem. It predicts correctly a wide range of interactions between ellipsis and other semantic phenomena such as quantifier scope and bound anaphora. Finally, although the (...) analysis itself is stated nonprocedurally, it admits of a direct computational method for generating interpretations. (shrink)
From sermons and polemical treatises, Newlin traces the intellectual climate that engendered the Great Awakening of the 1740's and the subsequent drawing of theological lines. Philosophical writings of Samuel Johnson, in the liberal line, and of Jonathan Edwards, in the Orthodox Calvinist line, are adroitly compared, the bulk of the treatment going to Edwards. Of special interest is the influence of Peter Ramus on the Puritan intellectual community. --R. C. N.
A biography made up chiefly of excerpts from correspondence of Paul E. More, literary critic, editor of The Nation and teacher of classical and early Christian philosophy at Princeton. The central theme is More's religious development from Calvinism through humanism to a final great sympathy with Anglicanism.--R. C. N.
It is usually believed that the spiritual and physical aspects of existence are tightly integrated in Judaism, but Adler claims that they are as widely separated as they are in Greek thought. Employing this dichotomy, Adler attempts to show how Judaism enables us to be spiritually creative in a physical world governed by law. His discussion is intelligent and acute, sustained by a religious reformer's zeal.--R. C. N.
An impressive display of various modes and levels of argumentation, defending the view that the hypotheses in the Parmenides form an integrated set of indirect proofs that show the necessary presupposition of a doctrine of forms and the inevitable failure of understanding to articulate such a doctrine. To support his interpretation, Brumbaugh appeals to the historical context of the Academy, the aesthetic form of the Parmenides, and the relation of this dialogue to the rest of Plato's thought. Brumbaugh offers his (...) own critical edition and translation of the dialogue. A volume of noteworthy scholarship, offering an incentive for creative thought.--R. C. N. (shrink)
An exposition and defense of the sociology of knowledge, i.e., "the ideational factors compelling men to act." Horowitz holds that the sociology of knowledge has now shed its metaphysical inheritance and assumed the status of a science.--R. C. N.
It is unfortunate in this time when so little Scotus is available in English that Wolter uses the dear space of this volume to produce material available elsewhere: his own translation of "Man's Natural Knowledge of God", and McKeon's translation of "Concerning Human Knowledge". He also includes a long section from the Oxford Commentary on the existence of God, much of which is paralleled in De Primo Principio, available in English. But the selection Wolter does make, including material on metaphysics, (...) the unicity of God, and the soul, is well balanced and makes an excellent introduction to Scotus' thought. The fine, imaginative translation faces the Latin text. It is to be hoped that this useful volume will stimulate interest in translating Balic's critical edition, now in the making.--R. C. N. (shrink)
In far and away the best critical review of analysis to date, Blanshard examines in great detail both positivism and linguistic analysis, giving an historical treatment where possible. Logical atomism, the twists and turns of the verifiability criterion of meaning, and the analytic theory of a priori knowledge are subjected to patient and exhausting criticism and found wanting in nearly every particular. He finds all the distinctive views of linguistic analysis to be in the wrong. The discussion of "clear thinkers" (...) is best, that of Wittgenstein less good. Finally, Blanshard gives the recurrent themes of universals and necessity a positive treatment, elaborating and defending the position of The Nature of Thought against recent criticisms.--R. C. N. (shrink)
Blanshard analyzes and criticizes contemporary ethical theories including those of Moore and Ross, Perry, Dewey, the emotivists, and recent linguistic philosophers. Goodness can be understood only against the background of human life, and has the dual character of satisfaction and fulfillment. There are many kinds of intrinsic goods, but Reason threads its way throughout, arbitrating claims upon our attention and seeking out the type of life which is most satisfying and fulfilling. Written in Blanshard's distinctively urbane style, this book balances (...) synoptic vision with systematic analysis.--R. C. N. (shrink)
A history of scepticism in religion as it has developed since the sixteenth century, treating specifically the anticlerical scepticism of Voltaire and the Philosophes, the background for this in the earlier celebrations of the advance of science and knowledge of non-European cultures, and the historicism and scientific relativism of the nineteenth century. The discussion is brought up to the present with the thesis that contemporary intellectuals are just as sceptical as their predecessors, but lack their positive faith in science and (...) progress. Unfortunately, Baumer neglects the story of religion's attempt to counter scepticism; his restrictive concept of religion also leads to a neglect of the "religious" character of scepticism.--R. C. N. (shrink)
An acute and well written defense of the thesis that most traditional and contemporary metaphysics errs in trying to rank categories in an order of being. An excellent discussion of the categoreal schemes of Spinoza and Hegel is included. Myers displays dialectical skill in his argument and is alert to enduring and timely issues of metaphysics.--R. C. N.
A memorial collection of essays with a bibliography of Pratt's works, a biography by the editor, and some personal notes by W. E. Hocking. Of special interest are Myers' paper on the self and introspection, Kaufmann's provocative, if heated, criticism of theologians for defending their traditions, and R. W. Sellars' commentary on the history of American Realism.--R. C. N.
The history of philosophy has been unkind to philosophers who lived after Ockham and before Descartes, and Randall's great work here does much to make amends. With rare scholarship, he traces the outworking of the Medieval themes of neo-Platonism, Aristotelianism, and Ockhamite nominalism through the later Scholastics and early Italian Renaissance thinkers to their issue in the fathers of modern science. Then he traces the assimilation of those themes into the 17th century systems which posed the problems still in the (...) center today. His discussion of the following periods takes into account ethics and psychology as well as the relation between reason and science which dominated his earlier discussion; Randall is at his best in his comparative development of themes rather than in simple exposition of those modern thinkers who have received more detailed and careful treatment in extensive commentaries.--R. C. N. (shrink)
The first book offers an interesting discussion of types of rhythmic patterns in real time and the relation of these to theatrical drama. The second book is a text on the timing of three play forms, drama, comedy, and tragedy, based on the theory expounded earlier. Though traditional problems concerning time are glossed over, the discussions contain many worthwhile insights.--R. C. N.
A readable and popular history of the Middle Ages from a Protestant perspective, approached primarily through studies of key personal figures. Although the history is detailed, the philosophical comments are not subtle; e.g., that Anselm's ontological argument "is obviously defective, for a definition of terms need not be a statement of fact".--R. C. N.
A fine collection of forty four essays and reviews, manifesting Cohen's thorough-going scholarship and vigorous approach to three areas: the philosophy of ethics and law, the social and legal status of the American Indian, and the philosophy of American Democracy. Cohen possessed the rare combination of abstract philosophical acumen and the ability to put his thought into practice. The major theme of the collection is at once an attack on "transcendental nonsense" and a defense of "the functional approach." A bibliography (...) of Cohen's work is included.--R. C. N. (shrink)
Brilliantly elaborating and defending his doctrine of "neoclassical metaphysics," for which reality is a process containing necessary, unchanging features as well as contingent particulars whose advent involves novelty, Hartshorne has contributed a work of permanent value to philosophical theology. The book contains a long defense of Anselm's ontological argument, interpreted in neoclassical terms. Hartshorne deals with some twenty standard objections, and argues that Anselm's proof is not that God must have the predicate "existence," but rather that perfection cannot be contingent. (...) The conclusion is that perfection is necessary, for otherwise it is meaningless. The other chapters are largely drawn from previously published papers, and lack unity, though they cast additional light on neoclassical metaphysics.--R. C. N. (shrink)
With vast erudition, especially in German and French scholarship of the last century, Cassirer applies his theory of symbolic forms to problems of methodology in "culture-philosophy," including the interpretation of "things" versus "expression," the difference between "nature-concepts" and "culture-concepts," and the various meanings of "form" and "causality." Concluding with a chapter on the "Tragedy of Culture," he maintains that the dialectical tension between completed form and free expression can never be overcome, but that culture's vitality rests in the continual coping (...) with that tension.--R. C. N. (shrink)
Harris traces Gentile's philosophy of "actual idealism" from its roots in Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and the Italian idealist Bertrando Spaventa to its outworking in Italian fascism. Gentile's theory of the individual and the state is presented by an extensive analysis of his educational theory and his attempts to implement it in fascist Italy. Gentile's thought is weighed, as it deserves to be, for its philosophic merit. An extensive bibliography is included. This is a fine study of Gentile's thought, carefully and (...) sympathetically presented and judiciously criticized.--R. C. N. (shrink)
In a boldfaced reversal of current British trends, Findlay argues cogently that ethics cannot be sharply distinguished from meta-ethics. Reviving Brentano's theory of intentionality, and elaborating a doctrine of belief and action that acknowledges much debt to Peirce, he attempts to show how valuation is implicit in personal thinking and action and yet strives for an ideal of impersonality. Findlay claims most of reasoning, including evaluation, proceeds by analogical extension of key concepts. The search for the ideal is traced through (...) values of welfare, justice, and duty. Most interesting is Findlay's development of Peirce's doctrine of synechism. The book closes with a discussion of God as the teleological ideal, and includes an appendix on "The Structure of the Kingdom of Ends."--R. C. N. (shrink)
A treatment of act and being illustrating the general claim that the problems of philosophy can be answered only by a revelational theology. Beginning with a slapdash treatment of transcendental philosophy and its idealistic outgrowths, as well as phenomenological and existential ontologies, supposedly showing the necessary impasses of philosophy when left to its own devices, Bonhoeffer moves to a treatment of the being and act both of God's revelation per se and of the men to whom God is revealed. Man (...) "in Adam" cannot resolve his act and being into unity; man "in Christ" can.--R. C. N. (shrink)
Prof. Das argues that Sri Ramakrishna was an incarnation of God. He pits the Hindu doctrine of plural incarnations against the Christian doctrine of unique incarnation, but his notion of incarnation is so alien to the Christian conception that there is hardly a meeting of issues. That Prof. Das easily accepts points we would deem in greatest need of justification, e.g., the psychic ability to make oneself invisible, and argues in great detail for what we would take as simple points, (...) indicates that we have yet far to go in creating a context for significant communication between East and West. The book contains some interesting chapters on the historical background and life of Ramakrishna, and an explication of several of his major theses.--R. C. N. (shrink)
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