Europe and England in the seventeenth century -- John Locke : his life -- Essay concerning human understanding and other works -- Influences on Locke -- The meaning of Locke's philosophy -- The influence and importance of Locke's work and ideas.
The whole of our human experience is determined by certain material conditions which cannot themselves be a part of that experience. In particular there exist objects, inaccessible to our senses, which nevertheless interact with ourselves to produce that experience. But the selves which are so affected by these objects outside our experience, and the internal mechanisms which somehow construct that experience, are also just such material conditions of, and not parts of, that experience. We might describe this appeal to material (...) conditions of experience in Kant's technical terms as the ‘intelligible’ or even ‘transcendental’ background to our empirical experience. In its attempt to provide some explanation, in terms of things in themselves, of empirical objects it forms a central part of what Adickes called Kant's ‘double affection’ theory. (shrink)
Most academic efforts to understand morality and ideology come from theorists who limit the domain of morality to issues related to harm and fairness. For such theorists, conservative beliefs are puzzles requiring non-moral explanations. In contrast, we present moral foundations theory, which broadens the moral domain to match the anthropological literature on morality. We extend the theory by integrating it with a review of the sociological constructs of community, authority, and sacredness, as formulated by Emile Durkheim and others. We present (...) data supporting the theory, which also shows that liberals misunderstand the explicit moral concerns of conservatives more than conservatives misunderstand liberals. We suggest that what liberals see as a non-moral motivation for system justification may be better described as a moral motivation to protect society, groups, and the structures and constraints that are often (though not always) beneficial for individuals. Finally, we outline the possible benefits of a moral foundations perspective for System Justification Theory, including better understandings of 1) why the system-justifying motive is palliative despite some harmful effects, 2) possible evolutionary origins of the motive, and 3) the values and worldviews of conservatives in general. (shrink)
[Michael Friedman] This paper considers the extent to which Kant's vision of a distinctively 'transcendental' task for philosophy is essentially tied to his views on the foundations of the mathematical and physical sciences. Contemporary philosophers with broadly Kantian sympathies have attempted to reinterpret his project so as to isolate a more general philosophical core not so closely tied to the details of now outmoded mathematical-physical theories (Euclidean geometry and Newtonian physics). I consider two such attempts, those of Strawson and McDowell, (...) and argue that they fundamentally distort the original Kantian impulse. I then consider Buchdahl's attempt to preserve the link between Kantian philosophy and the sciences while simultaneously generalizing Kant's doctrines in light of later scientific developments. I argue that Buchdahl's view, while not adequate as in interpretation of Kant in his own eighteenth century context, is nonetheless suggestive of an historicized and relativized revision of Kantianism that can do justice to both Kant's original philosophical impulse and the radical changes in the sciences that have occurred since Kant's day. /// [Graham Bird] Michael Friedman criticises some recent accounts of Kant which 'detach' his transcendental principles from the sciences, and do so in order to evade naturalism. I argue that Friedman's rejection of that 'detachment' is ambiguous. In its strong form, which I claim Kant rejects, the principles of Euclidean geometry and Newtonian physics are represented as transcendental principles. In its weak form, which I believe Kant accepts, it treats those latter principles as higher order conditions of the possibility of both science and ordinary experience. I argue also that the appeal to naturalism is unhelpful because that doctrine is seriously unclear, and because the accounts Friedman criticises are open to objections independent of any appeal to naturalism. (shrink)
McDowell's Mind and World is a commentary on a traditional, dualist, epistemology which puzzles over, and offers accounts of, a fundamental division between mental, subjective items, and nonmental, objective items in experience. The principal responses to that tradition which McDowell considers are those of Davidson's coherentism, Evans's form of realism, and Kant; but it is Kant's famous B75 text which occupies centre stage: ‘Gedanken ohne Inhalt sind leer; Anschauungen ohne Begriffe sind blind’.
Graham Priest presents a ground-breaking account of the semantics of intentional language--verbs such as "believes," "fears," "seeks," or "imagines." Towards Non-Being proceeds in terms of objects that may be either existent or non-existent, at worlds that may be either possible or impossible. The book will be of central interest to anyone who is concerned with intentionality in the philosophy of mind or philosophy of language, the metaphysics of existence and identity, the philosophy of fiction, the philosophy of mathematics, or (...) cognitive representation in AI. (shrink)
Graham Priest presents an original exploration of questions concerning the one and the many. He covers a wide range of issues in metaphysics--unity, identity, grounding, mereology, universals, being, intentionality and nothingness--and draws on Western and Asian philosophy as well as paraconsistent logic to offer a radically new treatment of unity.
This is a short introduction to ontological arguments. It begins with a brief characterization of ontological arguments that proceeds mainly by way of example. The rest of the discussion is given over to consideration of what looks like a very simple ontological argument. This consideration turns up many of the issues that arise when more complex ontological arguments are examined.
Based on Michel Foucault's 1978 and 1979 lectures at the Collège de France on governmental rationalities and his 1977 interview regarding his work on imprisonment, this volume is the long-awaited sequel to Power/Knowledge.
The paper describes a new way of thinking about conditionals, in terms of information transfer between worlds. This way of looking at things provides an answer to some of the standard problems concerning conditionals, and undercuts the claim that indicative and subjunctive conditionals are distinct.
This is a revised and updated edition of Graham Nerlich's classic book The Shape of Space. It develops a metaphysical account of space which treats it as a real and concrete entity. In particular, it shows that the shape of space plays a key explanatory role in space and spacetime theories. Arguing that geometrical explanation is very like causal explanation, Professor Nerlich prepares the ground for philosophical argument, and, using a number of novel examples, investigates how different spaces would (...) affect perception differently. This leads naturally to conventionalism as a non-realist metaphysics of space, an account which Professor Nerlich criticises, rejecting its Kantian and positivistic roots along with Reichenbach's famous claim that even the topology of space is conventional. He concludes that there is, in fact, no problem of underdetermination for this aspect of spacetime theories, and offers an extensive discussion of the relativity of motion. (shrink)
This is a philosophical investigation of the nature of the limits of thought. Drawing on recent developments in the field of logic, Graham Priest shows that the description of such limits leads to contradiction, and argues that these contradictions are in fact veridical. Beginning with an analysis of the way in which these limits arise in pre-Kantian philosophy, Priest goes on to illustrate how the nature of these limits was theorised by Kant and Hegel. He offers new interpretations of (...) Berkeley's master argument for idealism and Kant on the antimonies. He explores the paradoxes of self reference, and provides a unified account of the structure of such paradoxes. The book concludes by tracing the theme of the limits of thought in modern philosophy of language, including discussions of the ideas of Wittgenstein and Derrida. (shrink)
This article contends that the central principle of modern philosophy is obscured by a side-debate between two opposed camps that are united in accepting a deeper flawed premise. Consider the powerful critiques of Kantian philosophy offered by Quentin Meillassoux and Bruno Latour, respectively. These two thinkers criticize Kant for opposite reasons: Meillassoux because Kant collapses thought and world into a permanent “correlate” without isolated terms, and Latour because Kant tries to purify thought and world from each other rather than realizing (...) that they are always combined in “hybrid” form. What both critiques tacitly accept is the notion that “thought” and “world” are the two major poles of the universe. I claim that this stems from the post-Cartesian assumption that thought and world are the two basic kinds of things that exist. The name “onto-taxonomy” is introduced for this view. (shrink)
IntroductionCurry’s paradox is well known.See, e.g., Priest , ch. 6. It comes in both set theoretic and semantic versions. Here we will concentrate on the semantic versions. Historically, these have deployed the notion of truth. Those who wish to endorse an unrestricted T-schema have mainly endorsed a logic which rejects the principle of Absorption, \\models A\rightarrow B\). High profile logics of this kind are certain relevant logics; these have semantics which show how and why this principle is not valid. Of (...) more recent times, paradoxes which are clearly in the same family have been appearing; but these concern the notion of validity itself. The standard semantics of relevant logics seem powerless to address these. But they can. This note shows how. The upshot can be seen as a return to the roots of relevant logic, in a sense to become clear.BackgroundThe Usual Curry ParadoxesLet us start with a couple of standard forms of the paradox. I .. (shrink)
Graham Priest presents an exploration of the development of Buddhist metaphysics, which is viewed through the lens of the catuskoti. In its earliest and simplest form this is a logical/metaphysical principle which says that every claim is true, false, both, or neither; but Priest shows how the principle itself evolves as the metaphysics develops.
Many people hold that there is a distinctive notion of metaphysical necessity. In this paper I explain why I am skeptical about the view. I examine the sorts of considerations that are adduced for it, and argue that they meet equal and opposite considerations.
Graham Wallas was an English socialist, social psychologist, educationalist, a leader of the Fabian Society and a co-founder of the London School of EconomicsWallas joined the Fabian Society in April 1886, following his acquaintances Sidney Webb and George Bernard Shaw. He was to resign in 1904 in protest at Fabian support for Joseph Chamberlain's tariff policy.Wallas argued in Great Society that a social-psychological analysis could explain the problems created by the impact of the industrial revolution on modern society. He (...) contrasts the role of nature and nurture in modern society, concluding that humanity must depend largely on the improvements in nurture, and put his faith in the development of stronger international operation.Here are a few excepts from Wallas's preface to this book:The Greek thinkers started modern civilization, because they insisted that the trading populations of their walled cities should force themselves to think out an answer to the question, what kind of life is good. 'The origin of the city-state,' says Aristotle, 'is that it enables us to live; its justification is that it enables us to live well.'Within each nation, industrial organization may cease to be a confused and wasteful struggle of interests, if it is consciously related to a chosen way of life for which it offers to every worker the material means. International relations may cease to consist of a constant plotting of evil by each nation for its neighbors, if ever the youth of all nations know that French, and British, and Germans, and Russians, and Chinese, and Americans, are taking a conscious part in the great adventure of discovering ways of living open to all, and which all can believe to be good. (shrink)
In Chapters 6 and 7 of Language, Truth and Poetry I attempted to solve the ancient problem of fictional reference by claiming that a fictional construct ‘points’ or refers to certain features of reality in rather the same way as an abstraction like ‘gravitation’ or ‘cruelty’ does. I now believe that this theory of mine is unsatisfactory; and I should like to propose a new solution to the problem.
Theories of verisimilitude have routinely been classified into two rival camps—the content approach and the likeness approach—and these appear to be motivated by very different sets of data and principles. The question thus naturally arises as to whether these approaches can be fruitfully combined. Recently Zwart and Franssen (Synthese 158(1):75–92, 2007) have offered precise analyses of the content and likeness approaches, and shown that given these analyses any attempt to meld content and likeness orderings violates some basic desiderata. Unfortunately their (...) characterizations of the approaches do not embrace the paradigm examples of those approaches. I offer somewhat different characterizations of these two approaches, as well as of the consequence approach (Schurz and Weingartner (Synthese 172(3):415–436, 2010) which happily embrace their respective paradigms. Finally I prove that the three approaches are indeed compatible, but only just, and that the cost of combining them is too high. Any account which combines the strictures of what I call the strong likeness approach with the demands of either the content or the consequence approach suffers from precisely the same defect as Popper’s—namely, it entails the trivialization of truthlikeness. The downside of eschewing the strong likeness constraints and embracing the content constraints alone is the underdetermination of the concept of truthlikeness. (shrink)
My discussion in this paper is divided into three parts. In section I, I discuss some fairly familiar lines of approach to the question how moral considerations may be shown to have rational appeal. In section II, I suggest how our existence as constituents in collective entities might also influence our practical thinking. In section III, I entertain the idea that identification with collectives might displace moral thinking to some degree, and I offer Marx's class theory as a sample of (...) collective identification for the purposes of practical deliberation. (shrink)
In contrast to many aspects of the social responsibility of business, CSR scholarship has been largely silent on the issue of the payment of corporate tax. This is curious because such tax payments are often considered a fundamental and easily measured example of a company’s citizenship behavior. However, because the payment of corporate tax can often be legally avoided, this activity represents a boundary condition for CSR. If the law and CSR suggest that a company should pay its fair share (...) of tax, yet many successful companies actively avoid this social obligation, should they be considered socially irresponsible. This paper explores the issue of tax avoidance and the implications it has for any credible definition and measure of CSR. It also highlights an aspect of corporate practice that is deliberately hidden from public view. (shrink)
The case of very young children is a test case for the plausibility of reductionism about testimonial warrant. Reductionism requires reductive reasons, reductively justified and actively deployed for testimonial justification. Though nascent language-users enjoy warranted testimony based beliefs, they do not meet these three reductionist demands. This paper clearly formulates reductionism and the infant/child objection. Two rejoinders are discussed: an influential conceptual argument from Jennifer Lackey’s paper “Testimony and the Infant/Child Objection” and the growing empirical evidence from developmental psychology on (...) selective trust in children. Neither Lackey’s argument nor the empirical evidence vindicate reductionism. (shrink)
Recent studies of spider phobia have indicated thatfearof spiders is closely associated with the disease-avoidance response of disgust. It is argued that the disgust-relevant status of the spider resulted from its association with disease and illness in European cultures from the tenth century onward. The development of the association between spiders and illness appears to be linked to the many devastating and inexplicable epidemics that struck Europe from the Middle Ages onwards, when the spider was a suitable displaced target for (...) the anxieties caused by these epidemics. Such factors suggest that the pervasive fear of spiders that is commonly found in many Western societies may have cultural rather than biological origins, and may be restricted to Europeans and their descendants. (shrink)
This monograph reappraises the role of Bertrand Russell's philosophical works in establishing the analytical tradition in philosophy. It's main aims are to: * improve our understanding of the history of analytical philosophy * engage in the important disputes surrounding the interpretation of Russell's philosophy * make a contribution to central issues in current analytical philosophy. Drawing extensively from Russell's less well known and unpublished works, this book is a welcome addition to the literature and will undoubtedly find a place on (...) the bookshelves of philosophers around the world. (shrink)
This paper states three counterexamples to the claim that testimony cannot generate knowledge, that a hearer can only acquire testimonial knowledge from a speaker who knows: a twins case, the fossil case, and an inversion case. The paper provides an explanation for why testimony can generate knowledge. Testimonial knowledge involves the flow of information from a speaker to a hearer through the linguistic channel.
Of the various accounts of negation that have been offered by logicians in the history of Western logic, that of negation as cancellation is a very distinctive one, quite different from the explosive accounts of modern "classical" and intuitionist logics, and from the accounts offered in standard relevant and paraconsistent logics. Despite its ancient origin, however, a precise understanding of the notion is still wanting. The first half of this paper offers one. Both conceptually and historically, the account of negation (...) as cancellation is intimately connected with connexivist principles such as ¬( ¬). Despite this, standard connexivist logics incorporate quite different accounts of negation. The second half of the paper shows how the cancellation account of negation of the first part gives rise to a semantics for a simple connexivist logic. (shrink)