[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)
In this paper I outline my conception of the epistemology of science, by reference to my published papers, showing how the ideas presented there fit together. In particular I discuss the aim of science, scientific progress, the nature of scientific evidence, the failings of empiricism, inference to the best (or only) explanation, and Kuhnian psychology of discovery. Throughout, I emphasize the significance of the concept of scientific knowledge.
This is a rewarding book. In terms of area, it has one foot firmly planted in metaphysics and the other just as firmly set in the philosophy of science. Nature's Metaphysics is distinctive for its thorough and detailed defense of fundamental, natural properties as essentially dispositional and for its description of how these dispositional properties are thus suited to sustain the laws of nature as (metaphysically) necessary truths.
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)
The present paper tries to trace the particular contours that the problem of theodicy assumes in the Chinese Buddhist text the Awakening of Faith in the Great Vehicle. It analyses the beginning section of the main body of text – the section, that is, that outlines the major theoretical structure of the work – in terms of a problem that has been of particular concern in western theology. I believe that taking such a tack is especially valuable for highlighting the (...) central Problematik around which the text is organized. The paper will thus use the problem of theodicy as a means of exploring some of the philosophical implications of the Awakening of Faith. (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’.
There is, I gloomily suspect, little which is significantly new that remain to be said about psycho-analysis by philosophers. The almost profligate theorising that goes on within the psycho-analytic journals will, no doubt, continue unabated. It simply strikes me as unlikely that such theorising will generate further issues of the kind that excite the philosophical mind. Though in making such an observation, I recognise that I lay claim upon the future in a manner that many might believe to be unwise. (...) The place of psycho-analysis upon the intellectual map, the implications that psycho-analytic theory and practice have for the various kinds of judgements that we make about human behaviour, have been exhaustively discussed in recent times. Rather more specifically, whether psycho-analysis should be accorded the dignity of being labelled a ‘science’, what the significance is of psycho-analysis for those complex problems bounded by the notions of Reason, Freedom, Motivation, have occasioned much fruitful philosophical debate. It is not any wish of mine to add to the literature on these problems in the forlorn hope that even slightly different answers might be forthcoming. (shrink)
This new and complete translation of Spinoza's famous 17th-century work fills an important gap, not only for all scholars of Spinoza, but also for everyone interested in the relationship between Western philosophy and religion, and the history of biblical exegesis.
Trendelenburg argued that Kant's arguments in support of transcendental idealism ignored the possibility that space and time are both ideal and real. Recently, Graham Bird has claimed that Trendelenburg (unlike his contemporary Kuno Fischer) misrepresented Kant, confusing two senses of . I defend Trendelenburg's : the ideas of space and time, as a priori and necessary, are ideal, but this does not exclude their validity in the noumenal realm. This undermines transcendental idealism. Bird's attempt to show that the (...) Analytic considers, but rejects, the alternative fails: an epistemological reading makes Kant accept the alternative, while an ontological reading makes him incoherent. As I demonstrate, Trendelenburg acknowledged the ambiguity of , focusing on the transcendental, not the empirical sense. Unlike Fischer, Bird denies Kant's commitment to things-in-themselves in favour of a descriptivist, non-ontological reading of transcendental idealism as an inventory of . But neither Bird's descriptivism, nor Fischer's commitment to things-in-themselves, answers Trendelenburg's sceptical worry about transcendental idealism. (shrink)
The basic principles of dispositional essentialism do not require that the fundamental spatiotemporal relations are dispositional in nature. Nevertheless, Bird (who defends dispositional monism) argues that they possess dispositional essences in virtue of the fact that the obtaining of these relations can be characterised by the satisfaction of a certain counterfactual. In this paper I argue that his suggestion fails, and so, despite his attempt, the case of the spatiotemporal relations remains the ‘big bad bug’ for the thesis of (...) dispositional monism. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Introduction: 1. Personal epistemology in the classroom: a welcome and guide for the reader Florian C. Feucht and Lisa D. Bendixen; Part II. Frameworks and Conceptual Issues: 2. Manifestations of an epistemological belief system in pre-k to 12 classrooms Marlene Schommer-Aikins, Mary Bird, and Linda Bakken; 3. Epistemic climates in elementary classrooms Florian C. Feucht; 4. The integrative model of personal epistemology development: theoretical underpinnings and implications for education Deanna C. Rule and Lisa (...) D. Bendixen; 5. An epistemic framework for scientific reasoning in informal contexts Fang-Ying Yang and Chin-Chung Tsai; Appendices; 6. Who knows what and who can we believe? Epistemological beliefs are beliefs about knowledge (mostly) to be attained from others Rainer Bromme, Dorothe Kienhues, and Torsten Porsch; Part III. Students' Personal Epistemology, its Development, and Relation to Learning: 7. Stalking young persons' changing beliefs about belief Michael J. Chandler and Travis Proulx; 8. Epistemological development in very young knowers Leah K. Wildenger, Barbara K. Hofer, and Jean E. Burr; 9. Beliefs about knowledge and revision of knowledge: on the importance of epistemic beliefs for intentional conceptual change in elementary and middle school students Lucia Mason; 10. The reflexive relation between students' mathematics-related beliefs and the mathematics classroom culture Erik De Corte, Peter Op 't Eynde, Fien Depaepe, and Lieven Verschaffel; 11. Examining the influence of epistemic beliefs and goal orientations on the academic performance of adolescent students enrolled in high-poverty, high-minority schools P. Karen Murphy, Michelle M. Buehl, Jill A. Zeruth, Maeghan N. Edwards, Joyce F. Long, and Shinichi Monoi; 12. Using cognitive interviewing to explore elementary and secondary school students' epistemic and ontological cognition Jeffrey A. Greene, Judith Torney-Purta, Roger Azevedo, and Jane Robertson; Part IV. Teachers' Personal Epistemology and its Impact on Classroom Teaching: 13. Epistemological resources and framing: a cognitive framework for helping teachers interpret and respond to their students' epistemologies Andrew Elby and David Hammer; 14. The effects of teachers' beliefs on elementary students' beliefs, motivation, and achievement in mathematics Krista R. Muis and Michael J. Foy; Appendices; 15. Teachers' articulation of beliefs about teaching knowledge: conceptualizing a belief framework Helenrose Fives and Michelle M. Buehl; Appendices; 16. Beyond epistemology: assessing teachers' epistemological and ontological world views Lori Olafson and Gregory Schraw; Part V. Conclusion: 17. Personal epistemology in the classroom: what does research and theory tell us and where do we need to go next? Lisa D. Bendixen and Florian C. Feucht. (shrink)
Abstract: In response to Arroyo, I explain my position on the concept of “natural goodness” and how my use of that concept compares to that of Geach and Foot. An Aristotelian or functional notion of goodness provides the material for Kantian endorsement in a theory of value that avoids a metaphysical commitment to intrinsic values. In response to Cummiskey, I review reasons for thinking Kantianism and consequentialism incompatible, especially those objections to aggregation that arise from the notion of the natural (...) good previously described. In response to Moland, I explain why I think Hegelian worries about the supposed emptiness of the Kantian self do not apply to my account. And in response to both Moland and Bird-Pollan, I argue that, contrary to the view of some Hegelians, the intersubjective normativity of reason is not something developed through actual social relations; rather, it is something essential to an individual's relations with himself or herself. (shrink)
The writings of the Scottish physician and philosopher John Gregory play an important role in the modern codification of medical ethics. It is therefore appropriate to use his work as a historical example in approaching the question how elements of aesthetics were incorporated in 18th century medical ethics. The concept of a Gentleman is pivotal to the entire medical ethics of John Gregory as it provides him with the ethical source of the duty to patients. Gregory makes (...) the trustworthiness of the physician a central point of his medical ethics, and it is in this context that Gregory declares good manners as an essential moral quality of a physician. This paper delineates how good manners are ethically justified in Gregory's medical ethics and concludes with an exploration of the importance of Gregory's conception for present day reflection on the inherence of aesthetics in ethical determinations. (shrink)
The essay follows the fil rouge of ancient Greek thinking in the work of Gregory Bateson, an unusually multi-faceted and energetically nomadic intellect in the landscape of twentieth-century hyper-specialized disciplines, whose eclectic research focused on the question of life and of human participation in a living world. Through the reverberation of Neoplatonic motifs and echoing pre-Socratic intuitions, Bateson reflects on the “pattern which connects”—the λόγος that says one and all things, and the interpenetration of one and all things, thus (...) operating as the connective tissue of all that is, the communicational web of contacts, exchanges, and transmissions, perhaps the nervous system of life. (shrink)
In a world that is becoming more ‘networked’ than ever, especially on the personal-everyday level—with for example digital media pervading our lives and the Internet of Things now being on the rise—we need to increasingly account for ‘networked realities’. But are we as human beings actually well-equipped enough, epistemologically speaking, to do so? Multiple approaches within the philosophy of technology suggest our usage of technologies to be in the first instance oriented towards efficiency and the achievement of goals. We thereby (...) neglect the actual systemic, networked nature of technology, or its wider impacts. With regard to the pressing issue of how to cross the ‘gap’ between these two ‘modes,’ the paper at hand engages with the work of Gregory Bateson, reading him as a philosopher of technology. Bateson’s notions of “conscious purpose” and “learning” offer excellent tools to understand our predicament of living in a networked world but being partly unable to sufficiently grasp and come to terms with this situation. Moreover, as the article endeavors to demonstrate, Bateson’s thought is to be cast as a crucial addition to the body of theory being developed in the philosophy of technology. (shrink)
This is a general account of the Cappadocian Christian Father Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 - c. 395 CE) as a philosopher. The article is divided into a discussion of his life and his views on God, the world, humanity, history, knowledge, and virtue. A common thread, which would later be systematized in the Palamite essence-energies distinction, is traced in all these topics. Of particular interest to philosophers are comparisons with John Locke and Immanuel Kant.
We continue the investigation of Gregory trees and the Cantor Tree Property carried out by Hart and Kunen. We produce models of MA with the Continuum arbitrarily large in which there are Gregory trees, and in which there are no Gregory trees.
In the early twentieth century, ornithology underwent significant changes. So far, these changes, basically, have been studied by focussing on the elite of professional biologists working at universities or state museums. However, important developments also occurred in what Lynn Nyhart has called “the civic realm” of science – the sphere given form by private naturalist associations, nature writers, taxidermists and school teachers. This article studies the changing dynamics of civic ornithology, by looking at one particular case: the influential orinthological observatory (...) in Rossitten, East-Prussia. This observatory, the first of its kind, was founded in 1901 and led, for the first three decades of its existence, by the minister Johannes Thienemann. This article analyses the ornithological practices Thienemann developed in Rossitten and the rhetoric he used to defend these practices. In both, so it is argued, one finds a mixture of the traditional, locally anchored naturalist approach with the new ideals of the “modern” and “experimental” university laboratories. The innovations which Thienemann introduced in this hybrid form of ornithology called for specific spatial strategies which made optimal use of the natural chatacteristics of his workplace and which mobilized a large civic network of geograhically scattered amateurs. At the same time, his work also altered the space he shared with the birds – materially, conceptually and culturally. Thus, this article maintains Thienemann's ornithology can only be understood by acknowledging its continuous interaction with the geographical and civic context in which it arose. (shrink)
This paper examines the case of a recent H5N1virus (avian influenza) outbreak in West Bengal, an eastern state of India, and argues that poorly executed pandemic management may be viewed as a moral lapse. It further argues that pandemic management initiatives are intimately related to the concept of health as a social 'good' and to the moral responsibility of protection from foreseeable social harm from an infectious disease. The initiatives, therefore, have to be guided by special moral obligations towards biorisk (...) reduction, obligations which remain unfulfilled when a public body entrusted with the responsibility fails to manage satisfactorily the prevention and control of the infection. The overall conclusion is that pandemic management has a moral dimension. The gravity of the threat that fatal infectious diseases pose for public health creates special moral obligations for public bodies in pandemic situations. However, the paper views the West Bengal case as a learning opportunity, and considers the lapses cited as challenges that better, more effectively conducted pandemic management can prepare for. It is hoped that this paper will provoke constructive bioethical deliberations, particularly pertinent to the developing world, on how to ensure that the obligations towards health are fulfilled ethically and more effectively. (shrink)
Gregory of Nyssa made important contributions to both theological thought and the understanding of the spiritual life. He was especially significant in adapting the thought of Origen to fourth century orthodoxy. The early treatise on the inscriptions of the Psalms shows the early stages of the development of Gregory's thought. This book presents the first translation of the treatise in a modern language. The annotations show Gregory's indebtedness to the thought of classical antiquity as well as to (...) the Bible. The Introduction sets forth the structure of Gregory's treatise, and places it in the context of earlier Christian commentaries on the Psalms. It shows how his hermeneutical approach was influenced by both Iamblichus the Neo-Platonist and Origen. Finally, Dr Heine compares Gregory's understanding of the stages of the spiritual life in the treatise with that in his later and more widely known writings on the life of Moses and the Song of Songs. (shrink)
I defend a solution to the puzzle of petitionary prayer based on some ideas of Aquinas, Gregory the Great, and contemporary desert theorists. I then address a series of objections. Along the way broader issues about the nature of desert, what is required for an action to have a point, and what is required for a puzzle to have a solution are discussed.
This paper challenges Bird’s view that scientific progress should be understood in terms of knowledge, by arguing that unjustified scientific beliefs (and/or changes in belief) may nevertheless be progressive. It also argues that false beliefs may promote progress.
So begins "For Anne Gregory," published by W. B. Yeats in 1933. It is surely one of his most charming poems.1 The poem's lilting rhythm and affectionate tone effectively soften—even disguise—what is arguably a dark and dismaying message. Anne is destined to be loved not for herself alone, but for an accidental physical attribute—her blond hair. Why do I claim that the poem's message is dark? Why should it dismay Anne if she is loved for the beauty of her (...) hair? Is that not better, after all, than not being loved in the first place? And what would it be to love Anne for herself "alone"? Love Anne for her sweet disposition; for her ability always to say the right thing; for her kindness; but for her yellow hair? .. (shrink)
Many psychological studies of categorization and reasoning use undergraduates to make claims about human conceptualization. Generalizability of findings to other populations is often assumed but rarely tested. Even when comparative studies are conducted, it may be challenging to interpret differences. As a partial remedy, in the present studies we adopt a 'triangulation strategy' to evaluate the ways expertise and culturally different belief systems can lead to different ways of conceptualizing the biological world. We use three groups (US bird experts, (...) US undergraduates, and ordinary Itza' Maya) and two sets of birds (North American and Central American). Categorization tasks show considerable similarity among the three groups' taxonomic sorts, but also systematic differences. Notably, US expert categorization is more similar to Itza' than to US novice categorization. The differences are magnified on inductive reasoning tasks where only undergraduates show patterns of judgment that are largely consistent with current models of category-based taxonomic inference. The Maya commonly employ causal and ecological reasoning rather than taxonomic reasoning. Experts use a mixture of strategies (including causal and ecological reasoning), only some of which current models explain. US and Itza' informants differed markedly when reasoning about passerines (songbirds), reflecting the somewhat different role that songbirds play in the two cultures. The results call into question the importance of similarity-based notions of typicality and central tendency in natural categorization and reasoning. These findings also show that relative expertise leads to a convergence of thought that transcends cultural boundaries and shared experiences. (shrink)
In this paper I will first consider Bird's cases against the conditional analysis of dispositions and defend them from Gundersen's objection. This does not mean that I believe that Bird's cases are successful. To the contrary, I take it that we can save the conditional analysis from Bird's cases by taking Lewis's two-step approach to dispositions. However, I will go on to argue that if Bird's cases are supplemented with the assumption that dispositions are intrinsic matter, (...) they are able to do what they are intended to do. (shrink)
In relation to a thesis put forward by Marx Wartofsky, we seek to show that a historiography of mathematics requires an analysis of the ontology of the part of mathematics under scrutiny. Following Ian Hacking, we point out that in the history of mathematics the amount of contingency is larger than is usually thought. As a case study, we analyze the historians’ approach to interpreting James Gregory’s expression ultimate terms in his paper attempting to prove the irrationality of \. (...) Here Gregory referred to the last or ultimate terms of a series. More broadly, we analyze the following questions: which modern framework is more appropriate for interpreting the procedures at work in texts from the early history of infinitesimal analysis? As well as the related question: what is a logical theory that is close to something early modern mathematicians could have used when studying infinite series and quadrature problems? We argue that what has been routinely viewed from the viewpoint of classical analysis as an example of an “unrigorous” practice, in fact finds close procedural proxies in modern infinitesimal theories. We analyze a mix of social and religious reasons that had led to the suppression of both the religious order of Gregory’s teacher degli Angeli, and Gregory’s books at Venice, in the late 1660s. (shrink)
A part of the scientific literature consists of intermediate results within a longer project. Scientists often publish a first result in the course of their work, while aware that they should soon achieve a more advanced result from this preliminary result. Should they follow the proverb “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”, and publish any intermediate result they get? This is the normative question addressed in this paper. My aim is to clarify, to refine, (...) and to assess informal arguments about the choice whether to publish intermediate results. To this end, I adopt a rational decision framework, supposing some utility or preferences, and I propose a formal model. The best publishing strategy turns out to depend on the research situation. In some simple circumstances, even selfish and short-minded scientists should publish their intermediate results, and should thus behave like their altruistic peers, i. e. like society would like them to behave. In other research situations, with inhomogeneous reward or difficulty profiles, the best strategy is opposite. These results suggest qualified philosophical morals. (shrink)
In this response to essays by Barbara J. King, Gregory R. Peterson, Wesley J. Wildman, and Nancy R. Howell, I present arguments to counter some of the exciting and challenging questions from my colleagues. I take the opportunity to restate my argument for an interdisciplinary public theology, and by further developing the notion of transversality I argue for the specificity of the emerging theological dialogue with paleoanthropology and primatology. By arguing for a hermeneutics of the body, I respond to (...) criticism of my notion of human uniqueness and argue for strong evolutionary continuities, as well as significant discontinuities, between primates, humans, and other hominids. In addition, I answer critical questions about theological methodology and argue how the notion of human uniqueness, theologically restated as the image of God, is enriched by transversally appropriating scientific notions of species specificity and embodied personhood. (shrink)
Gregory Kavka's 'Toxin Puzzle' suggests that I cannot intend to perform a counter-preferential action A even if I have a strong self-interested reason to form this intention. The 'Rationalist Solution,' however, suggests that I can form this intention. For even though it is counter-preferential, A-ing is actually rational given that the intention behind it is rational. Two arguments are offered for this proposition that the rationality of the intention to A transfers to A-ing itself: the 'Self-Promise Argument' and David (...) Gauthier's 'Rational Self-Interest Argument.' But both arguments – and therefore the Rationalist Solution – fail. The Self-Promise Argument fails because my intention to A does not constitute a promise to myself that I am obligated to honor. And Gauthier's Rational Self-Interest Argument fails to rule out the possibility of rational irrationality. (shrink)
In The Philosophical Quarterly, 48 , Alexander Bird raises an objection against the conditional analysis of dispositions: where an ‘antidote’ is present all the supposed conditions for manifestation of a disposition are fulfilled but the manifestation does not occur. But Bird’s argument suffers from equivocation. If we spell out properly whether the disposition's conditions are to include the presence of the antidote or not, the apparent counter‐examples disappear. So his examples do not undermine the conditional analysis of dispositions; (...) they show merely that we need to be careful about describing the examples consistently. (shrink)
In my book *Resemblance Nominalism* I argued that the truthmakers of ´a and b resemble each other´ are just a and b. In his "Resemblance Nominalism and counterparts" Alexander Bird objects to my claim that the truthmakers of ´a and b resemble each other´ are just a and b. In this paper I respond to Bird´s objections.
In this note we show that the classical modal technology of Sahlqvist formulas gives quick proofs of the completeness theorems in  (D. Gregory, Completeness and decidability results for some propositional modal logics containing "actually" operators, Journal of Philosophical Logic 30(1): 57-78, 2001) and vastly generalizes them. Moreover, as a corollary, interpolation theorems for the logics considered in  are obtained. We then compare Gregory's modal language enriched with an "actually" operator with the work of Arthur Prior now (...) known under the name of hybrid logic. This analysis relates the "actually" axioms to standard hybrid axioms, yields the decidability results in , and provides a number of complexity results. Finally, we use a bisimulation argument to show that the hybrid language is strictly more expressive than Gregory's language. (shrink)
This book advocates dispositional essentialism, the view that natural properties have dispositional essences.1 So, for example, the essence of the property of being negatively charged is to be disposed to attract positively charged objects. From this fact it follows that it is a law that all negatively charged objects will attract positively 10 charged objects; and indeed that this law is metaphysically necessary. Since the identity of the property of being negatively charged is determined by its being related in a (...) certain way to the property of being positively charged, in any world in which these properties exist they must be related so that all negatively charged objects attract positively charged objects. 15 Bird opposes his dispositional essentialism to the view that properties are categorical in nature, with their identities grounded in quiddities that are not exhausted by their relations to other properties. The main exponents of this view are D.M. Armstrong and David Lewis. They take the laws of nature to be contingent though they entertain very different views about their nature: Armstrong is a necessitarian 20 about laws, taking them to be relations of nomic necessitation between universals, while Lewis is a Humean about laws who takes them to be a special kind of regularity. The book is a sustained defence of the dispositional essentialist conception of properties and laws against the competing conceptions espoused by Armstrong and Lewis. One rough way to characterize the difference between these conceptions is to say that 25 the categoricalist sees properties as passive and inert with the laws of nature being fixed independently of the nature of properties whereas, in contrast, the dispositional essentialist sees properties as active potencies from which the laws of nature automatically spring. A slightly more tendentious way to express the difference is to say, as Bird does, that the categoricalist views embrace the Humean doctrine that there are no 30 necessary connexions in nature, while the dispositional essentialist view, on the other hand, repudiates this doctrine.. (shrink)
Debate between Humean contingentists and anti-Humean necessitarians in the philosophy of science is ongoing. One of the most important contemporary anti-Humeans is Alexander Bird. Bird calls the particular version of Humeanism he is opposed to 'categoricalism'. In his paper (2005) and in Chapter 4 of his book (2007) Bird argues against categoricalism about properties and laws. His arguments against categoricalism about properties are intended to support the necessitarian position he calls dispositional monism. His arguments against categoricalism about (...) laws are intended to refute the contingent regularity view of laws (even in its sophisticated Lewisean version) and the nomic necessitation view of Armstrong (which involves a contingent necessitation relation). The general position Bird defends is that properties are necessarily related to the dispositions they bestow on their bearers and laws are necessary truths. I consider two of Bird's arguments against categoricalism about properties, and one of his arguments against the regularity view of laws. Maybe other arguments against categoricalism are persuasive. These, I submit, are not. (shrink)
In a recent paper (Bird 2001), Alexander Bird argues that the law that common salt dissolves in water is metaphysically necessary - and he does so without presupposing dispositionalism about properties. If his argument were sound, it would thus show that at least one law of nature is meta- physically necessary, and it would do so without illicitly presupposing a position (dispositionalism) that is already committed to a necessitarian view of laws. I shall argue that Bird's argument (...) is unsuccesful. (shrink)
Although Gregory Currie is often presented as a strong defender of empathic simulation as part of spectator engagement, this paper questions the importance of empathy in Currie's philosophy of film. Currie's account of the imagination is too propositional, and his account of a more sensuous and experiential kind of imagining is found wanting. While giving a convincing account of impersonal imagining in relation to fiction film, Currie does not sufficiently explain what empathy is, and what relation it has to (...) other forms of imagining. Simulation is primarily defined as impersonal, and perhaps more importantly, as conceptual and propositional in Currie's writings. This is perhaps most evident in his critique of personal imagining, where imagining seeing or imagining being becomes a self-reflexive form of imagining where the spectator also conceptualizes ‘I’ and ‘see’. This paper discusses the relation between personal imagining and empathy in Currie's account, and argues that he fails to show how empathy is of secondary importance for engagement in fiction film. (shrink)
This note responds to some criticisms of my recent book In Defence of Objective Bayesianism that were provided by Gregory Wheeler in his ‘Objective Bayesian Calibration and the Problem of Non-convex Evidence’.
Gregory S. Kavka was a prominent and influential figure in contemporary moral and political philosophy. The essays in this volume are concerned with fundamental issues of rational commitment and social justice to which Kavka devoted his work as a philosopher. The essays take Kavka's work as a point of departure and seek to advance the respective debates. The topics include: the relationship between intention and moral action as part of which Kavka's famous 'toxin puzzle' is a focus of discussion, (...) the nature of deterrence, the rationality of morals, contractarian ethics, and the contemporary relevance of Hobbes' political thought. Incorporating important philosophical statements of problems and fresh contributions to the ongoing debate about rational intention this volume will interest not just philosophers but also political scientists and economists. (shrink)