In this paper we use an experimental approach to investigate how linguistic conventions can emerge in a society without explicit agreement. As a starting point we consider the signaling game introduced by Lewis. We find that in experimental settings, small groups can quickly develop conventions of signal meaning in these games. We also investigate versions of the game where the theoretical literature indicates that meaning will be less likely to arise—when there are more than two states for actors to (...) transfer meaning about and when some states are more likely than others. In these cases, we find that actors are less likely to arrive at strategies where signals have clear conventional meaning. We conclude with a proposal for extending the use of the methodology of experimental economics in experimental philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper we use an experimental approach to investigate how linguistic conventions can emerge in a society without explicit agreement. As a starting point we consider the signaling game introduced by Lewis. We find that in experimental settings, small groups can quickly develop conventions of signal meaning in these games. We also investigate versions of the game where the theoretical literature indicates that meaning will be less likely to arise---when there are more than two states for actors to (...) transfer meaning about and when some states are more likely than others. In these cases, we find that actors are less likely to arrive at strategies where signals have clear conventional meaning. We conclude with a proposal for extending the use of the methodology of experimental economics in experimental philosophy. (shrink)
The ethical principle of ‘respect for persons’ in clinical research has traditionally focused on protecting individuals’ autonomy rights, but respect for participants also includes broader, although less well understood, ethical obligations to regard individuals’ rights, needs, interests and feelings. However, there is little empirical evidence about how to effectively convey respect to potential and current participants. To fill this gap, we conducted exploratory, qualitative interviews with participants in a clinical genomics implementation study. We interviewed 40 participants in English or Spanish (...) about their experiences with respect in the study and perceptions of how researchers in a hypothetical observational study could convey respect or a lack thereof. Most interviewees were female, identified as Hispanic/Latino or non-Hispanic white, reported annual household income under US$60 000 and did not have a Bachelor’s degree ; 30% had limited health literacy. We identified four key domains for demonstrating respect: personal study team interactions, with an emphasis on empathy, appreciation and non-judgment; study communication processes, including following up and sharing results with participants; inclusion, particularly ensuring materials are understandable and procedures are accessible; and consent and authorisation, including providing a neutral informed consent and keeping promises regarding privacy protections. While the experience of respect is inherently subjective, these findings highlight four key domains that may meaningfully demonstrate respect to potential and current research participants. Further empirical and normative work is needed to substantiate these domains and evaluate how best to incorporate them into the practice of research. (shrink)
Hans Jonas (1903–1993) was one of the most important German-Jewish philosophers of the 20th century. A student of Martin Heidegger and close friend of Hannah Arendt, Jonas advanced the fields of phenomenology and practical ethics in ways that are just beginning to be appreciated in the English-speaking world. Drawing here on unpublished and newly translated material, Lewis Coyne brings together for the first time in English Jonas's philosophy of life, ethic of responsibility, political theory, philosophy of technology and (...) bioethics. -/- In Hans Jonas: Life, Technology and the Horizons of Responsibility, Coyne argues that the aim of Jonas's philosophy is to confront three critical issues inherent to modernity: nihilism, the ecological crisis and the transhumanist drive to biotechnologically enhance human beings. While these might at first appear disparate, for Jonas all follow from the materialist turn taken by Western thought from the 17th century onwards, and he therefore seeks to tackle all three issues at their collective point of origin. This book explores how Jonas develops a new categorical imperative of responsibility on the basis of an ontology that does justice to the purposefulness and dignity of life: to act in a way that does not compromise the future of humanity on earth. -/- Reflecting on this, as we face a potential future of ecological and societal collapse, Coyne forcefully demonstrates the urgency of Jonas's demand that humanity accept its newfound responsibility as the 'shepherd of beings'. (shrink)
In this paper we claim educational leadership as an autonomous discipline whose goals and strategies should not mirror those typical of business and political leadership. In order to define the aims proper to educational leadership we question three common assumptions of what it is supposed to carry out. First, we turn to Hannah Arendt and her contemporary critics to maintain that education aims at opening up exceptions within the normal course of events rather than simply preserving it. This way, (...) education is not reduced to an instrument at the service of the reinforcement of a given social and economic system. This leads us to ask what should exactly educational leadership oppose by means of these exceptions. According to Tyson E. Lewis’s wise application to education of Giorgio Agamben’s ontology of impotentiality, the apparently reasonable idea that education must help the subject to develop his potentials is precisely an instrumentalization of education which brings about a desubjectification of the learner. Education should actually make the pupil aware of his right not to carry his potentiality to its actualization and dwell instead in a state of impotentiality. Third and last, we complicate this picture by alluding to Zygmunt Bauman’s critique of the rejection of Western individuals to realize certain possibilities, which they deem too costly. By analysing in conjunction Agamben’s encouragement to suspend one’s potential and Bauman’s insistence on the need of not suspending it, we conclude by defining what, in our opinion, defines the raison d’être of educational leadership. (shrink)
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ETHICS. AFTER NIETZSCHE -/- Preface This book tells the story of twentieth-century ethics or, in more detail, it reconstructs the history of a discussion on the foundations of ethics which had a start with Nietzsche and Sidgwick, the leading proponents of late-nineteenth-century moral scepticism. During the first half of the century, the prevailing trends tended to exclude the possibility of normative ethics. On the Continent, the trend was to transform ethics into a philosophy of existence whose self-appointed task was (...) that of describing the human condition as consisting of choices, as unavoidable as arbitrary, without any attempt at providing criteria for making such choices. In the Anglo-Saxon countries, the heir of ethics was a philosophy of morality, that is, an analysis of the language of morality that intended to clarify valuations without trying to justify them. 1958 was the year of the normative turn that led to the Rehabilitation of practical philosophy, a turn followed by decades of controversies between distinct kinds of normative ethics: utilitarian, Kantian, virtue ethics. While the controversy was raging, a quiet revolution took place, that of applied ethics which surprisingly dissolved the controversy's very subject matter by providing methods for making convergence possible on intermediate principles even when no agreement was available about first principles. The normative turn and the revolution of applied ethics have led us, at the turn of the century, to a goal that was quite far from the starting point. Instead of scepticism and relativism that was the fashion at the beginning of the century, at the beginning of the third millennium impartial and universal moral arguments seem to hold the spot being supported, if not by a final rational foundation, at least by reasonableness, the most precious legacy of the Enlightenment. -/- ● TABLE OF CONTENTS -/- ● I Anglo-Saxon philosophy: naturalism 1. Dewey beyond evolutionism and utilitarianism 2. Dewey and anti-essentialist moral epistemology 3. Dewey and naturalist moral ontology 4. Dewey and normative ethics of conduct and function 5. Perry and semantic naturalism -/- ● II Anglo-Saxon philosophy: ideal utilitarianism and neo-intuitionism 1. Moore's critique of utilitarian empiricism 2. Moore on the naturalistic fallacy 3. Moore on the nature of intrinsic value 4. Moore on ideal utilitarianism 5. Prichard on the priority of the right over the good 6. Ross's coherentist moral epistemology 7. Ross's moral ontology: realism, pluralism, and non-naturalism 8. Ross's normative ethics of prima facie duties -/- The chapter reconstructs the background of ideas, concerns and intentions out of which Moore's early essays, the preliminary version, and then the final version of Principia Ethica originated. It stresses the role of religious concerns, as well as that of the Idealist legacy. It argues that PE is more a patchwork of somewhat diverging contributions than a unitary work, not to say the paradigm of a new school in Ethics. -/- ●III Anglo-Saxon philosophy: non-cognitivism 1. The Scandinavian School, the Vienna circle and proto-emotivism 2. Wittgenstein and the ineffability of ethics 3. Russell's and Ayer's radical emotivism 4. Stevenson and moderate emotivism 5. Stevenson and the pragmatics of moral language 6. Stevenson and the methods for solving ethical disagreement 7. Hare and prescriptivism The chapter reconstructs first the discussion after Moore. The naturalistic-fallacy argument was widely accepted but twisted to prove instead that the intuitive character of the definition of 'good', its non-cognitive meaning, in a first phase identified with 'emotive' meaning. Alfred Julius Ayer is indicated as a typical proponent of such non-cognitivist meta-ethics. More detailed discussion is dedicated to Bertrand Russell's ethics, a more nuanced and sophisticated doctrine, arguing that non-cognitivism does not condemn morality to arbitrariness and that the project of rational normative ethics is still possible, heading finally to the justification of a kind of non-hedonist utilitarianism. Stevenson's theory, another moderate version of emotivism is discussed at some length, showing how the author comes close to the discovery of the role of a pragmatic dimension of language as a basis for ethical argument. A section reconstructs the discussion from the Forties about Hume's law, mentioning Karl Popper's argument and Richard Hare's early non-cognitivist but non-emotivist doctrine named prescriptivism. -/- ●IV Anglo-Saxon philosophy: critics of non-cognitivism 1. Neo-naturalism and its objections to the naturalistic fallacy argument 2. Objections to Hume's law 3. Clarence Lewis and the pragmatic contradiction 4. Toulmin and the good reasons approach 5. Baier and moral reasons 5. Baier, social moralities and the absolute morality 6. Baier and the moral point of view 7. Baier and the contents of absolute ethics -/- ● V Continental philosophy: the philosophy of values 1. Max Weber and the polytheism of values 2. Phenomenology against psychologism and rationalism 3. Reinach and the theory of social acts 4. Scheler and the material ethics of values 5. Hartmann and the ontology of values 6. Plessner, Gehlen and the Philosophische Anthropologie -/- The chapter illustrates first the idea of phenomenology and the Husserl's project of a phenomenological ethic as illustrated in his 1908-1914 lectures. The key idea is dismissing psychology and trying to ground a new science of the apriori of action, within which a more restricted field of inquiry will be the science of right actions. Then the chapter illustrates the criticism of modern moral philosophy conducted in the 1920 lectures, where the main target is naturalism, understood in the Kantian meaning of primacy of common sense. The third point illustrate is Adolph Reinach's theory of social acts as a key the grounding of norms, a view that sketches the ideas 'discovered' later by Clarence I. Lewis, John Searle, Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas. A final section discusses Nicolai Hartman, who always refused to define himself a phenomenologist and yet developed a more articulated and detailed theory of 'values' – with surprising affinities with George E. Moore - than philosophers such as Max Scheler, who claimed to be Husserl's legitimate heirs. -/- ● VI Continental philosophy: the critics of the philosophy of values 1. Freud, the Superego and Civilization 2. Heidegger on original ethos against ethics 3. Sartre and de Beauvoir on authenticity and ambiguity 4. Adorno and Horkheimer on emancipation and immoralism -/- ●VII Post-liberal theologians and religious thinkers 1. Barth on the autonomy of faith from ethics 2. Developments of Reformed moral theology after Barth 3. Bonhoeffer on the concrete divine command and ethics of penultimate realities 4. Developments of Reformed and Catholic moral theology after world war II 5. Baeck and the transformation of liberal Judaism 6. Rosenzweig against liberal Judaism 7. Buber and religion as the vital lymph of morality 8. Heschel and Judaism as a science of actions -/- The chapter examines the main protagonists of Christian theology and Jewish religious thinking in the twentieth century. It stresses how the main dilemmas of contemporary philosophical ethics lie at the root of the various path of inquiry taken by these thinkers. -/- ● VIII Normative ethics: neo-Utilitarianism 1. The discussion on act and rule utilitarianism 2. Hare on two-tiered preference utilitarianism 3. Harsanyi, Gauthier and rational choice ethics 4. Parfit, utilitarianism and the idea of a person 5. Brandt and indirect conscience utilitarianism -/- The chapter addresses the issue of the complex process of self-transformation Utilitarianism underwent after Sidgwick's and Moore's fatal criticism and the unexpected Phoenix-like process of rebirth of a doctrine refuted. Two examples give the reader a glimpse at this uproarious process. The first is Roy Harrod Wittgensteinian transformation of utilitarianism in pure normative ethics depurated from hedonism as well as from whatsoever theory of the good. This transformation results in preference utilitarianism combined with a 'Kantian' version of rule utilitarianism. The second is Richard Hare's two-level preference utilitarianism, where act utilitarianism plays the function of the eventual rational justification of moral judgments and rule-utilitarianism that of an action-guiding practical device. -/- ● IX Normative ethics: neo-Aristotelianism and virtue ethics 1. Hannah Arendt, action and judgement 2. Hans-Georg Gadamer and phronesis 3. Alasdair MacIntyre on practices, virtues, and traditions 5. Stuart Hampshire on deliberation 6. Bernard Williams and moral complexity 7. Feminist ethics -/- Sect 1 reconstructs the post-war rediscovery of ethics by many German thinkers and its culmination in the Sixties in the movement named 'Rehabilitation of practical philosophy' is described. Heidegger's most brilliant disciples were the promoters of this Rehabilitation. Hans-Georg Gadamer is a paradigmatic example. His reading of Aristotle's lesson I reconstructed, starting with Heidegger's lesson but then subtly subverting its outcome thanks to the recovery of the significant role of the notion of phronesis. Sect 3 discusses the three theses defended by Anscombe in 'Modern Moral Philosophy'. It argues that: a) her answer to the question "why should I be moral?" requires a solution of the problem of theodicy, and ignores any attempts to save the moral point of view without recourse to divine retribution; b) her notion of divine law is an odd one more neo-Augustinian than Biblical or Scholastic; c) her image of Kantian ethics and intuitionism is the impoverished image manufactured by consequentialist opponents for polemical purposes and that she seems strangely accept it; d) the difficulty of identifying the "relevant descriptions" of acts is not an argument in favour of an ethics of virtue and against consequentialism or Kantian ethics, and indeed the role of judgment in the latter is a response to the difficulties raised by the case of judgment concerning future action. The chapter gives a short look at further developments in the neo-naturalist current trough a reconstruction of Philippa Foot's and Peter Geach's critiques to the naturalist-fallacy argument and Alasdair MacIntyre's grand reconstruction of the origins and allegedly inevitable failure of the Enlightenment project of an autonomous ethic. -/- ● X Normative ethics: Kantian and rights-based ethics 1. Dialogical constructivism 2. Apel, Habermas and discourse ethics 3. Gewirth and rights-based ethics 4. Nagel on agent-relative reasons 5. Donagan and persons as ends in themselves Parallel to the neo-Aristotelian trend, there was in the Rehabilitation of practical philosophy a Kantian current. This current started with the discovery of the pragmatic dimension of language carried out by Charles Peirce and the Oxford linguistic philosophy. On this basis, Karl-Otto Apel singled out as the decisive proponent of the linguistic and Kantian turn in German-speaking ethics, worked out the performative-contradiction argument while claiming that this was able to provide a new rational and universal basis for normative ethics. The chapter offers an examination of his argument in some detail, followed by a more cursory reconstruction of Jürgen Habermas's elaboration on Apel's theory. -/- ● XI The applied ethics renaissance 1. Elisabeth Anscombe on the atom bomb 2. From medical ethics to bioethics 3. Rawls and public ethics 3. Nozick, Dworkin and further developments of public ethics 5. Sen and the revival of economic ethics -/- The chapter presents the revolution of applied ethics while stressing its methodological novelty, exemplified primarily by Beauchamp and Childress principles approach and then by Jonsen and Toulmin's new casuistry. The chapter argues that Rawls's distinction between a "political" and a "metaphysical" approach to the theory of justice, one central part of ethical theory, is a formulation of the same basic idea at the root of both the principles approach and the new casuistry, both discussed in the following chapter. The idea is that it is possible to reach an agreement concerning positive moral judgments even though the discussion is still open – and in Rawls' view never will be close – on the essential criteria for judgment. -/- ● XII Fin-de-siècle metaethics 1. Deontic logics 2. Anti-realism 3. External realism 4. Internal realism 5. Kantian constructivism -/- The chapter illustrates the fresh start of meta-ethical discussion in the Eighties and Nineties and the resulting new alignments: metaphysical naturalism, internal realism, anti-realism, and constructivism. (shrink)
Each of the books that Hannah Arendt published in her lifetime was unique, and to this day each continues to provoke fresh thought and interpretations. This was never more true than for Eichmann in Jerusalem, her account of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, where she first used the phrase “the banality of evil.” Her consternation over how a man who was neither a monster nor a demon could nevertheless be an agent of the most extreme evil evoked derision, outrage, (...) and misunderstanding. The firestorm of controversy prompted Arendt to readdress fundamental questions and concerns about the nature of evil and the making of moral choices. Responsibility and Judgment gathers together unpublished writings from the last decade of Arendt’s life, as she struggled to explicate the meaning of Eichmann in Jerusalem. At the heart of this book is a profound ethical investigation, “Some Questions of Moral Philosophy”; in it Arendt confronts the inadequacy of traditional moral “truths” as standards to judge what we are capable of doing, and she examines anew our ability to distinguish good from evil and right from wrong. We see how Arendt comes to understand that alongside the radical evil she had addressed in earlier analyses of totalitarianism, there exists a more pernicious evil, independent of political ideology, whose execution is limitless when the perpetrator feels no remorse and can forget his acts as soon as they are committed. Responsibility and Judgment is an essential work for understanding Arendt’s conception of morality; it is also an indispensable investigation into some of the most troubling and important issues of our time. (shrink)
Counterfactuals is David Lewis' forceful presentation of and sustained argument for a particular view about propositions which express contrary to fact conditionals, including his famous defense of realism about possible worlds and his theory of laws of nature.
The present volume brings Arendt's notes for these lectures together with other of her texts on the topic of judging and provides important clues to the likely direction of Arendt's thinking in this area.
This book is a defense of modal realism; the thesis that our world is but one of a plurality of worlds, and that the individuals that inhabit our world are only a few out of all the inhabitants of all the worlds. Lewis argues that the philosophical utility of modal realism is a good reason for believing that it is true.
Pythagoras -- Confucius -- Heracleitus -- Parmenides -- Zeno of Elea -- Socrates -- Democritus -- Plato -- Aristotle -- Mencius -- Zhuangzi -- Pyrrhon of Elis -- Epicurus -- Zeno of Citium -- Philo Judaeus -- Marcus Aurelius -- Nagarjuna -- Plotinus -- Sextus Empiricus -- Saint Augustine -- Hypatia -- Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius -- Śaṅkara -- Yaqūb ibn Ishāq aṣ-Ṣabāḥ al-Kindī -- Al-Fārābī -- Avicenna -- Rāmānuja -- Ibn Gabirol -- Saint Anselm of Canterbury -- al-Ghazālī -- (...) Peter Abelard -- Averroës -- Zhu Xi -- Moses Maimonides -- Ibn al-'Arabī -- Shinran -- Saint Thomas Aquinas -- John Duns Scotus -- William of Ockham -- Niccolò Machiavelli -- Wang Yangming -- Francis Bacon, Viscount Saint Alban (or Albans), Baron of Verulam -- Thomas Hobbes -- René Descartes -- John Locke -- Benedict de Spinoza -- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz -- Giambattista Vico -- George Berkeley -- Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu -- David Hume -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau -- Immanuel Kant -- Moses Mendelssohn -- Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet -- Jeremy Bentham -- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel -- Arthur Schopenhauer -- Auguste Comte -- John Stuart Mill -- Søren Kierkegaard -- Karl Marx -- Herbert Spencer -- Wilhelm Dilthey -- William James -- Friedrich Nietzsche -- Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege -- Edmund Husserl -- Henri Bergson -- John Dewey -- Alfred North Whitehead -- Benedetto Croce -- Nishida Kitarō -- Bertrand Russell -- G.E. Moore -- Martin Buber -- Ludwig Wittgenstein -- Martin Heidegger -- Rudolf Carnap -- Sir Karl Popper -- Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno -- Jean-Paul Sartre -- Hannah Arendt -- Simone de Beauvoir -- Willard Van Orman Quine -- Sir A.J. Ayer -- Wilfrid Sellars -- John Rawls -- Thomas S. Kuhn -- Michel Foucault -- Noam Chomsky -- Jürgeb Gabernas -- Sir Bernard Williams -- Jacques Derrida -- Richard Rorty -- Robert Nozick -- Saul Kripke -- David Kellogg Lewis -- Peter (Albert David) Singer. (shrink)
Second part of the translation into Spanish of David Lewis' "New Work for a Theory of Universals", corresponding to the last sections of the original paper. || Segunda parte de la traducción al español del trabajo de David Lewis "New Work for a Theory of Universals", correspondiente a últimas secciones del artículo original. Artículo original publicado en: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 61, No. 4, Dec. 1983, pp. 343-377.
_ Convention_ was immediately recognized as a major contribution to the subject and its significance has remained undiminished since its first publication in 1969. Lewis analyzes social conventions as regularities in the resolution of recurring coordination problems-situations characterized by interdependent decision processes in which common interests are at stake. Conventions are contrasted with other kinds of regularity, and conventions governing systems of communication are given special attention.
This highly acclaimed, prize-winning biography of one of the foremost political philosophers of the twentieth century is here reissued in a trade paperback edition for a new generation of readers. In a new preface the author offers an account of writings by and about Arendt that have appeared since the book's 1982 publication, providing a reassessment of her subject's life and achievement. Praise for the earlier edition: “Both a personal and an intellectual biography... It represents biography at its best.”—Peter Berger, (...) front page, The New York Times Book Review “A story of surprising drama.... At last, we can see Arendt whole.”—Jim Miller, Newsweek “Indispensable to anyone interested in the life, the thought, or... the example of Hannah Arendt.”—Mark Feeney, Boston Globe “An adventure story that moves from pre-Nazi Germany to fame in the United States, and... a study of the influences that shaped a sharp political awareness.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch Cover drawing by David Schorr. (shrink)
For many philosophical thinkers down through the centuries, the notion of a creation out of sheer nothing has been found to be quite unintelligible. Nevertheless the idea of creation preserves an important insight and needs to be freed from the difficulties of this traditional formulation. Alfred North Whitehead has offered an alternative theory of creation worth exploring: each individual actuality creates itself out of prior creative acts. God then serves to direct this creative process.
This volume is devoted to Lewis's work in metaphysics and epistemology. Topics covered include properties, ontology, possibility, truthmaking, probability, the mind-body problem, vision, belief, and knowledge. The purpose of this collection, and the volumes that precede and follow it, is to disseminate more widely the work of an eminent and influential contemporary philosopher. The volume will serve as a useful work of reference for teachers and students of philosophy.
t f I hear the patter of little feet around the house, I expect Bruce. What I expect is a cat, a particular cat. If I heard such a patter in another house, I might expect a cat but no particular cat. What I expect then seems to be a Meinongian incomplete cat. I expect winter, expect stormy weather, expect to shovel snow, expect fatigue Ã¢â¬â a season, a phenomenon, an activity, a state. I expect that someday mankind will inhabit (...) at least five planets. This time what I expect is a state of affairs. If we let surface grammar be our guide, the objects of expectation seem quite a miscellany. The same goes for belief, since expectation is one kind of belief. The same goes for desire: I could want Bruce, want a cat but no particular cat, want winter, want stormy weather, want to shovel snow, want fatigue, or want that someday mankind will inhabit at least five planets. The same goes for other attitudes to the extent that they consist partly of beliefs or desires or lacks thereof. But the seeming diversity of objects might be an illusion. Perhaps the objects of attitudes are uniform in category, and it is our ways of speaking elliptically about these uniform objects that are diverse. That indeed is our consensus. We mostly think that the attitudes uniformly have propositions as their objects. That is why we speak habitually of "propositional attitudes.". (shrink)
Margaret Canovan argues in this book that much of the published work on Arendt has been flawed by serious misunderstandings, arising from a failure to see her work in its proper context. The author shows how such misunderstanding was possible, and offers a fundamental reinterpretation, drawing on Arendt's unpublished as well as her published work, which sheds new light on most areas of her thought.
This new translation is an extremely welcome addition to the continuing Cambridge Edition of Kant’s works. English-speaking readers of the third Critique have long been hampered by the lack of an adequate translation of this important and difficult work. James Creed Meredith’s much-reprinted translation has charm and elegance, but it is often too loose to be useful for scholarly purposes. Moreover it does not include the first version of Kant’s introduction, the so-called “First Introduction,” which is now recognized as indispensable (...) for an understanding of the work. Werner Pluhar’s more recent translation, which does include the First Introduction, is highly accurate when it confines itself to rendering Kant’s German. However, it is often more of a reconstruction than a translation, containing so many interpretative interpolations that it is often difficult to separate out Kant’s original text from the translator’s contributions. Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews have provided a translation that compares to or exceeds Pluhar’s in its literal approach to the German, but that confines all interpretative material to footnotes and endnotes, so that the text itself, with all its unclarities and ambiguities, lies open to view. In addition, Guyer, as editor of the volume, has provided a great deal of valuable supplementary material. This includes an introduction with an outline of the work and details of the history of its composition and publication, and a wealth of endnotes offering clarifications of the text, background information, and, most strikingly, many references to related passages in Kant’s voluminous writings, particularly in connection with Kant’s earlier writings related to aesthetics. The edition also records differences among the first three editions of the work, and—of particular interest—erasures from and additions to Kant’s manuscript of the First Introduction. Although the introduction and endnotes reflect interpretative views that are sometimes disputable, this supplementary material makes the present edition into a valuable resource even for those able to read the text in German. (shrink)
Many years ago, C.B. Martin drew our attention to the possibility of ‘finkish’ dispositions: dispositions which, if put to the test would not be manifested, but rather would disappear. Thus if x if finkishly disposed to give response r to stimulus s, it is not so that if x were subjected to stimulus r, x would give response z; so finkish dispositions afford a counter‐example to the simplest conditional analysis of dispositions. Martin went on to suggest that finkish dispositions required (...) a theory of primitive causal powers; there, I think, he was mistaken. All that they require is an improved conditional analysis, and this improved analysis can be built upon whatever treatments of properties and of laws we may favour on other grounds. (shrink)
The question of what constitutions should do is deeply connected to what constitutions are. In the American founding conception, a constitution was a fundamental law, hierarchically superior to the decisions of the legislature, and intended to act as a restraint on legislative action. Despite the massive gulf between the ancient Greeks and the Americans, classical Athens offers an important lesson about how the failure to recognize fundamental laws can lead to catastrophic consequences. The evidence suggests that the Athenians understood the (...) need for conceptual, procedural, and institutional distinctions between the fundamental laws and the more specific decrees of the governing institutions. The Athenian and American experiences also suggest that certain philosophical positions conditioned their understanding of their fundamental laws, and guided the practices that followed from that understanding. (shrink)
Hannah Ginsborg presents fourteen essays which establish Kant's Critique of Judgment as a central contribution to the understanding of human cognition. The papers bring out the significance of Kant's philosophical notion of judgment, and use it to address interpretive issues in Kant's aesthetics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of biology.
There is preliminary evidence, from case reports and investigational studies, to suggest that Deep Brain Stimulation could be used to treat some patients with Anorexia Nervosa. Although this research is at an early stage, the invasive nature of the intervention and the vulnerability of the potential patients are such that anticipatory ethical analysis is warranted. In this paper, we first show how different treatment mechanisms raise different philosophical and ethical questions. We distinguish three potential mechanisms alluded to in the neuroscientific (...) literature, relating to desire, control, and emotion, respectively. We explain why the precise nature of the mechanism has important implications for the patient’s autonomy and personal identity. In the second part of the paper, we consider practical dimensions of offering DBS to patients with AN in certain cases. We first discuss some limited circumstances where the mere offering of the intervention might be perceived as exerting a degree of coercive pressure that could serve to undermine the validity of the patient’s consent. Finally, we consider the implications of potential effects of DBS for the authenticity of the patient’s choice to continue using stimulation to ameliorate their condition. (shrink)
David Lewis's work is of fundamental importance in many areas of philosophical inquiry and there are few areas of Anglo-American philosophy where his impact has not been felt. Lewis's philosophy also has a rare unity: his views form a comprehensive philosophical system, answering a broad range of questions in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of action and many other areas. This breadth of Lewis's work, however, has meant that it is difficult to know where (...) to start in Lewis's work and a casual reader may often miss some of the illuminating connections between apparently quite disparate pieces of Lewis's work. This book aims to make this body of work more accessible to a general philosophical readership, while also providing a unified overview of the many contributions Lewis has made to contemporary Anglo-American philosophy. The book can be divided into four parts. The first part examines Lewis's metaphysical picture - one of the areas where he has had the greatest impact and also the framework for the rest of his theories. The second section discusses Lewis's important contributions in the philosophy of mind, language and meaning. The third part explores some of Lewis's work in decision theory, metaethics and applied ethics, areas where his work in not necessarily as widely appreciated, but in which he has done a range of work that is both accessible and important. The final section focuses on Lewis's distinctive philosophical method, perhaps one of his most significant legacies, which combines naturalism with "common-sense" theorizing. (shrink)
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