In this article the question is raised whether artificial intelligence has any psychological relevance, i.e. contributes to our knowledge of how the mind/brain works. It is argued that the psychological relevance of artificial intelligence of the symbolic kind is questionable as yet, since there is no indication that the brain structurally resembles or operates like a digital computer. However, artificial intelligence of the connectionist kind may have psychological relevance, not because the brain is a neural network, but because connectionist networks (...) exhibit operating characteristics which mimic operant behavior. Finally it is concluded that, since most of the work done so far in AI and Law is of the symbolic kind, it has as yet contributed little to our understanding of the legal mind. (shrink)
This paper gives an account of the debate between F.A. Hayek and J.M. Keynes in the 1930s written for the general public. The purpose of this is twofold. First, to provide the general reader with a narrative of what happened, … More ›.
I present here a modal extension of T called KTLM which is, by several measures, the simplest modal extension of T yet presented. Its axiom uses only one sentence letter and has a modal depth of 2. Furthermore, KTLM can be realized as the logical union of two logics KM and KTL which each have the finite model property (f.m.p.), and so themselves are complete. Each of these two component logics has independent interest as well.
Some of the commentators on Intricate Ethics complain of my method. One finds the main ideas ‘Kammouflaged’ because the relevant causal distinctions are so fine-grained and the cases that illustrate them so numerous. Some say that they do not have the intuitions about many cases that I have, that I concoct dubious and ad hoc distinctions and invest them with moral significance; I am Ptolemaic in that new crystalline spheres and epicycles are constantly being added in an attempt to fix (...) the appearances. (shrink)
In this article, I critically examine Peter Unger's arguments for the claim that there is a duty to cause physical harm to oneself and others in order to save lives. This includes discussion of his view that when the method of cases involves several rather than merely two options our intuitive judgements support his radical thesis. In conclusion, I consider his attempt to reconcile his claims with common sense moral judgements.
In reading Wittgenstein one can, and for the most part perhaps should, treat the expression ‘language-game’ as a term of art, a more or less arbitrarily chosen item of terminology meaning something like ‘an actual or possible way of using words’. It would then be a fairly routine task to work out answers to such questions as what features of the ways a word is used are emphasized by this term of art, what philosophical purposes are served by the description (...) of primitive language-games or of variations on actual language-games, or in exactly what way those purposes are supposed to be served. (shrink)
The discovery of F.M. Dostoyevsky by young E. M. Cioran marks a turning point for a better understanding of his first Romanian work and his later production in French. His first work, Pe culmile disperării [On the Heights of Despair] has a tragic breath, typically dostoyevskyan, which reminds us of the tragical and sick conscience of the hero of his Notes from the Underground.
Les textes de Platon ont fait l’objet d’innombrables interprétations et récupérations depuis l’Antiquité grecque. Dans le contexte de l’Allemagne prénazie, l’écrivain Hans F.K. Günther a écrit un ouvrage apologétique des théories eugéniques en s’appuyant sur l’oeuvre du philosophe athénien, Platon als Hüter des Lebens. Dans cet article, nous présenterons les enjeux de ce texte de propagande, son contexte historique, ainsi que les implications inquiétantes de cette «appropriation», de cet «arraisonnement» de la philosophie classique à des fins purement politiques.
This article compares two radically opposed views concerning “race” in the first half of the 20th century: the one of Franz Boas , the founder of American cultural anthropology, and the other of Hans F.K. Günther , the most widely read theoretician of race in Nazi Germany. Opposite as their views were, both derived from a similar non-evolutionist German anthropological matrix. The article reconstructs their definitions of racial objects and studies their analyses of racial intermixture. Although both believed that (...) contemporary peoples were racially deeply mixed, Boas moved towards an antiracist conception of race-as-population, whereas Günther moved towards a racist conception of homogenous races in mixed peoples. The comparison shows that the major difference between them concerns their ideals or guiding principles. Their respective ideals seeped into their versions of science and transformed the nature and the significance of their respective ideas. (shrink)
It is a curious thing about the philosophy of mind, that it includes surprisingly little about minds. In an average anthology on the subject, or a book like Ryle's, one finds discussions of thinking, imagining, believing, willing, remembering, and so on, but not of minds. It seems to be assumed that investigating these topics is investigating minds; but whether that is true is not itself made a topic for investigation.
The following are not among the least puzzling remarks in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations : 572. Expectation is, grammatically, a state; like: being of an opinion, hoping for something, knowing something, being able to do something. But in order to understand the grammar of these states it is necessary to ask: ‘What counts as a criterion for anyone's being in such a state?’ 573.… What, in particular cases, do we regard as criteria for someone's being of such and such an opinion? (...) When do we say: he reached this opinion at that time? When he has altered his opinion? And so on. The picture which the answers to these questions give us shews what gets treated grammatically as a state here. (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
A long-standing theme in discussion of perception and thought has been that our primary cognitive contact with individual objects and events in the world derives from our perceptual contact with them. When I look at a duck in front of me, I am not merely presented with the fact that there is at least one duck in the area, rather I seem to be presented with this thing in front of me, which looks to me to be a duck. Furthermore, (...) such a perception would seem to put me in a position not merely to make the existential judgment that there is some duck or other present, but rather to make a singular, demonstrative judgment, that that is a duck. My grounds for an existential judgment in this case derives from my apprehension of the demonstrative thought and not vice versa. (shrink)
It is a standing temptation for philosophers to find anticipations of their own views in the great thinkers of the past, but few have been so bold in the search for precursors, and so utterly mistaken, as Berkeley when he claimed Plato and Aristotle as allies to his immaterialist idealism. In Siris: A Chain of Philosophical Reflexions and Inquiries Concerning the Virtues of Tar-Water , which Berkeley published in his old age in 1744, he reviews the leading philosophies of antiquity (...) and finds them on the whole a good deal more sympathetic to his own ideas than the ‘modern atheism’, as he calls it, of Hobbes and Spinoza or the objectionable principles of ‘the mechanic and geometrical philosophers’ such as Newton . But his strongest and, I think, his most interesting claim is that neither Plato nor Aristotle admitted ‘an absolute actual existence of sensible or corporeal things’. (shrink)
This article is detective work, not philosophy. J. S. Mill's Autobiography records that at the age of seven he read, in Greek, ‘the first six dialogues of Plato, from the Euthyphron to the Theaetetus inclusive’. Which were the other dialogues? On the arrangement common today, it would be Crito, Apology, Phaedo, Cratylus. On the arrangement common then, Theages and Erastai replace Cratylus, which makes seven dialogues. I show that this must be the answer by the evidence of James Mill's commonplace (...) books and his writings on Plato. These reveal which collected edition of Plato he owned and which he would want to own. Conditions for studying Plato in the original were much harder than we are used to. The inquiry highlights both the ideological purity of the education James Mill designed for his son, and the difficulties he faced in realizing his plan. (shrink)
Theaetetus, asked what knowledge is, replies that geometry and the other mathematical disciplines are knowledge, and so are crafts like cobbling. Socrates points out that it does not help him to be told how many kinds of knowledge there are when his problem is to know what knowledge itself is, what it means to call geometry or a craft knowledge in the first place—he insists on the generality of his question in the way he often does when his interlocutor, asked (...) for a definition, cites instead cases of the concept to be defined. (shrink)
M. Merleau-Ponty and F. H. Jacobi’s Revelation against Kantian IntellectualismThe goal of this article is to shed light on the neglected connection between Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961). It will be shown through certain themes –I) being in the world, II) description, III) reflexion, IV) revelation and the V) primacy of perception – how Merleau-Ponty echoes Jacobi’s criticism of German Idealism during the Pantheist Quarrel, particularly towards Immanuel Kant’s intellectualist stance, two centuries prior to the Phénoménologie de (...) la perception. Through a historical and philological lens, this article aims to specifically demonstrate how Merleau-Ponty and Jacobi share a common ontology against Kantian intellectualism.La rivelazione di M. Merleau-Ponty e F. H. Jacobi contro l’intellettualismo kantianoL’obiettivo di questo articolo è chiarire la trascurata relazione tra Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819) e Maurice Merlau-Ponty (1908-1961). Attraverso l’analisi di alcune tematiche – l’essere nel mondo, la descrizione, la riflessione, la rivelazione –, mostreremo come nella filosofia di Merleau-Ponty riecheggi la critica all’idealismo tedesco formulata da Jacobi all’epoca della disputa sul panteismo e diretta, in particolar modo e con due secoli di anticipo rispetto alla Fenomenologia della Percezione, alle posizioni intellettualiste di Kant. Grazie ad una lettura storica e filologica, questo articolo tenta di dimostrare come Merleau-Ponty e Jacobi condividano un’ontologia comune in opposizione all’intellettualismo kantiano. (shrink)
Bringing together a group of outstanding new essays on Aristotle's De Anima, this book covers topics such as the relation between soul and body, sense-perception, imagination, memory, desire, and thought, which present the philosophical substance of Aristotle's views to the modern reader. The contributors write with philosophical subtlety and wide-ranging scholarship, locating their interpretations firmly within the context of Aristotle's thought as a whole. The paperback edition includes an additional essay by M. F. Burnyeat.