Kant’s avowed commitment to the basic principles of Leibniz’s metaphysics is evident throughout the critical project and stated explicitly in the Prize Essay. However, it is not until the Critique of Judgment, wherein Kant recognizes that Judgment operating in its reflective mood can engender synthetic a priori claims, that Kant is fully capable of appropriating the basic tenets of Leibniz’s metaphysics. This paper examines Kant’s treatment of Leibniz from the perspective of the Critique of Judgment. It is argued that from (...) this vantage point the metaphysics of Leibniz is viewed as fundamental for Kant’s critical project. Moreover, it is argued that it is not until the retrieval of Leibniz’s metaphysics that Kant has a basis for seeking the unity of pure and practical reason. (shrink)
What is the self? And how does it relate to the body? In the second edition of Personal Identity, Harold Noonan presents the major historical theories of personal identity, particularly those of Locke, Leibniz, Butler, Reid and Hume. Noonan goes on to give a careful analysis of what the problem of personal identity is, and its place in the context of more general puzzles about identity. He then moves on to consider the main issues and arguments which are the (...) subject of current debate, including the work of Bernard Williams and Derek Parfit, and makes new and challenging interpretations of them. This new edition contains additional material assessing the biological approach which has become increasingly popular in recent years, and extends the treatment of indeterminate identity to take account of the epistemic view of vagueness. This book covers the problem of personal identity from its origin in Locke's work to the most recent debates in the philosophical literature, and will be invaluablereading for any student of the topic. (shrink)
In recent years largely due to the seminal work of Kit Fine and that of Jonathan Lowe there has been a resurgence of interest in the concept of essence and the project of explaining de re necessity in terms of it. Of course, Quine rejected what he called Aristotelian essentialism in his battle against quantified modal logic. But what he and Kripke debated was a notion of essence defined in terms of de re necessity. The new Aristotelian essentialists regard essence (...) as entailing but prior in the order of explanation to de re necessity. In what follows I argue that the concept of essence so understood has not been adequately explained and that any attempt to explain it, at least along the lines most familiar from the literature, must be flagrantly circular or make use of de re modal notions. (shrink)
Examples suggest that one and the same A may be different Bs, and hence that there is some sort of incompleteness in the unqualified statement that x and y are the same which needs to be eliminated by answering the question “the same what?” One way to make this more precise is by appeal to Geach's idea that identity is relative. In this paper I evaluate Geach's relative identity thesis.
Saul Kripke is one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. His most celebrated work, Naming and Necessity , makes arguably the most important contribution to the philosophy of language and metaphysics in recent years. Asking fundamental questions – how do names refer to things in the world? Do objects have essential properties? What are natural kind terms and to what do they refer? – he challenges prevailing theories of language and conceptions of metaphysics, especially the descriptivist account (...) of reference, which Kripke argues is found in Frege, Wittgenstein and Russell, and the anti-essentialist metaphysics of Quine. In this invaluable guidebook to Kripke's classic work, Harold Noonan introduces and assesses: Kripke's life and the background to his philosophy the ideas and text of Naming and Necessity the continuing importance of Kripke's work to the philosophy of language and metaphysics. The Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Kripke and Naming and Necessity is an ideal starting point for anyone coming Kripke's work for the first time. It is essential reading for philosophy students studying philosophy of language, metaphysics, logic, or the history of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
My purpose is to explore the possible lines of reply available to a defender of the neo‐Lockean position on personal identity in response to the recently popular ‘animalist’ objection. I compare the animalist objection with an objection made to Locke by Bishop Butler, Thomas Reid and, in our own day, Sydney Shoemaker. I argue that the only possible response available to a defender of Locke against the Butler–Reid–Shoemaker objection is to reject Locke's official definition of a person as a thinking, (...) intelligent thing and replace it with the concept of the self– the object of self‐reference – and that this response is equally obligatory for the neo‐Lockean in replying to the animalist. I explore other possibilities, including the position that there is no sense in talking about personal identity at all. (shrink)
How is the debate between presentism and eternalism to be characterized? It is usual to suggest that this debate about time is analogous to the debate between the actualist and the possibilist about modality. I think that this suggestion is right. In what follows I pursue the analogy more strictly than is usual and offer a characterization of what is at the core of the dispute between presentists and eternalists that may be immune to worries often raised about the substantiality (...) of the debate. I suggest that the debate be characterized in Lewisean terms and define positions I call *Lewisean* eternalism and anti-*Lewisean*' presentism (analogous to Lewisean possibilism and anti-Lewisean actualism). I explain some advantages of the proposal and discuss some objections. I conclude that pursuing the analogy strictly offers the prospect of giving clear sense to a controversy which otherwise seems to many deeply obscure. (shrink)
The essays in this volume apply philosophical analysis to address three kinds of questions: What are the implications of genetic science for our understanding of nature? What might it influence in our conception of human nature? What challenges does genetic science pose for specific issues of private conduct or public policy?
To reduce the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Granich et al. 1 ( 2009 ) have proposed a new strategy for universal voluntary HIV testing immediately followed by antiretroviral therapy. Although this proposal is likely to benefit the partners of those affected and thus promote public health, it is by no means clear that it benefits the infected people themselves and indeed it may be harmful. Since the proposal involves an intervention that is not clinically indicated, it falls (...) foul of the normal ethical standards of clinical medicine, which is to act in the best interests of patients. Neither is it a measure that would be imposed under the protection of public health law on people who are seen as representing such danger to others that significant restrictions in liberty are appropriate. Thus, the proposal represents a third category of public health measure. We argue that a coherent ethical framework including a robust process is appropriate to proposals of this kind and that medical research offers a useful model since some research, like this proposal, is motivated not by the interests of the individual participants but by the common good. We outline some possible elements of such an ethical framework. (shrink)
In this book, Eli Hirsch focuses on identity through time, first with respect to ordinary bodies, then underlying matter, and eventually persons. These are linked at various points with other aspects of identity, such as the spatial unity of things, the unity of kinds, and the unity of groups. He investigates how our identity concept ordinarily operates in these respects. He also asks why this concept is so cental to our thinking and whether we can justify seeing the world in (...) terms of such a concept. This is the revised and updated edition of a hardback published in 1982. (shrink)
The paper defends Gareth Evan's argument against vague identity "de re" from a criticism that quantum mechanics provides actual counter-examples to its validity. A more general version of Evans's argument is stated in which identity involving properties are not essential and it is claimed that the scientific facts as so far known are consistent with the Evansian thesis that indeterminacy in truth-value must always be due to semantic indecision.
In the first twelve chapters of this book, I am concerned with the Fregean notion of an object (the reference of a proper name) and its connection with the notion of identity. The rest of the book is devoted to a discussion of the problem of personal identity.
As our scientific and technical abilities expand at breathtaking speeds, concern that modern genetics and bioengineering are leading us to a posthuman future is growing. Is Human Nature Obsolete? poses the overarching question of what it is to be human against the background of these current advances in biotechnology. Its perspective is philosophical and interdisciplinary rather than technical; the focus is on questions of fundamental ontological importance rather than the specifics of medical or scientific practice.The authors -- all distinguished scholars (...) in their fields -- take on questions about technology's goals and values that are often ignored or sidelined in the face of rapid scientific advances and the highly specialized nature of technical knowledge. The essays included represent a rich variety of thought, ranging from finely nuanced philosophical and theological arguments to historical studies and cultural commentaries. Several explore the historical background of today's biotechnology: Timothy Casey traces such developments as the emergence of cybernetic humanity from Cartesian dualism, and Diane Paul presents the history of "positive" versus coerced eugenics. Jean Bethke Elshtain discusses cloning as a "messianic project" to perfect the body and exclude natural diversity -- giving as an example the elimination of Down Syndrome as an acceptable human type -- while Harold Baillie calls for an examination of the metaphysical roots of personhood. Robert Proctor finds no evidence in paleontology for any "essence of humanity," and Tom Shannon argues against materialist reductionism. Addressing social concerns, Lisa Sowle Cahill finds the possibility of a political solution to the problems raised by genetic engineering in Catholic teachings on social justice, and Langdon Winner looks critically at the "scientific enthusiasts of a posthuman future." Taken as a whole, the book provides a humanistic overview of a subject too often considered only in its technological aspect. (shrink)
Personal Identity is a comprehensive introduction to the nature of the self and its relation to the body. Harold Noonan places the problem of personal identity in the context of more general puzzles about identity, discussing the major historical theories and more recent debates. The second edition of Personal Identity contains a new chapter on 'animalism' and a new section on vagueness.
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)
The paper defends Gareth Evans's argument against vague identity. It appeals to a principle I name the principle of the diversity of the definitely dissimilar to defend the thesis that vague identity statements owe their indeterminacy to vagueness in language.
According to the presentist the present time is the only one that there is. Nevertheless, things persist. Most presentists think that things persist by enduring. Employing E. J. Lowe’s notion of identity-dependence, Jonathan Tallant argues that presentism is incompatible with any notion of persistence, even endurance. This consequence of Lowe’s ideas, if soundly drawn, is important. The presentist who chooses to deny persistence outright is a desperate figure. However, though Lowe’s notion is a legitimate and worthwhile one, this application is (...) faulty. The incompatibility of presentism and persistence is not part of Lowe’s heritage. A positive conclusion can be drawn. A form of persistence is compatible with presentism. It is one on which persistence is defined in tensed terms using an adverbial tense operator: x persists iff x exists and existed or will exist. Unsurprisingly, so understood persistence is endurance. The commonly held view is correct. (shrink)
A plausible principle governing identity is that whether a later individual is identical with an earlier individual cannot ever merely depend on whether there are, at the later time, any better candidates for identity with the earlier individual around. This principle has been a bone of contention amongst philosophers interested in identity for many years. In his latest book Philosophical Explanations Robert Nozick presents what I believe to be the strongest case yet made out for the rejection of this principle. (...) My aim in this paper is to argue, with reference in particular to personal and artefact identity, that Nozick's case can be met and that a theory of identity which entails the correctness of this principle is the equal, indeed the superior, in explanatory power of the theory Nozick develops on the basis of its rejection. (shrink)
Strong pluralists hold that not even permanent material coincidence is enough for identity. Strong pluralism entails the possibility of purely material objects -- even if not coincident -- alike in all general respects, categorial and dispositional, relational and non-relational, past, present and future, at the microphysical level, but differing in some general modal, counterfactual or dispositional repscts at the macrophysical level. It is objectionable because it thus deprives us of the explanatory resources to explain why evident absurdities are absurd. A (...) second objection is to the suggestion that cases involving artefacts can illustrate strong pluralism. This offends against the principle that gien a complex intrinsic microphysical property instantiated in some regiion, the number of material things possessing it in that region cannot depend on the existence and nature of intentional activity taking place outside it. (shrink)
Attridge, Harold W I am honoured to be with you this evening for this year's Knox lecture. When Master Shane McKinlay, and Associate Dean Rosemary Canavan invited me for tonight's lecture they indicated that during these fiftieth anniversary years of the Second Vatican Council the Knox lecturers are being asked to reflect on the significance of that watershed event in the life of the Church. I shall do so this evening from both scholarly and personal vantage points, since my (...) experience as a student of scripture was shaped in fundamental ways by the spirit of Vatican II. My study of Scripture has developed in a context and among a fellowship of scholars who have pursued the vision sketched by the Council's document on divine revelation, Dei Verbum. We have also worked very much in the spirit of a subsequent document, the Pontifical Biblical Commission's paper, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church presented in 1993. I shall come back to both of those texts. But first, remember where we were fifty years ago. (shrink)
Can the world itself be vague, so that rather than vagueness be a deficiency in our mode of describing the world, it is a necessary feature of any true description of it? Gareth Evans famously poses this question in his paper ‘Can There Be Vague Objects’ :208, 1978). In his recent paper ‘Indeterminacy and Vagueness: Logic and Metaphysics’, Peter van Inwagen elaborates the account of vagueness and, in particular, in the case of sentences, consequent indeterminacy in truth value, to which (...) this conception of ‘worldly’ vagueness is opposed, calling it the ‘sensible’ theory of indeterminacy and rejecting it. In what follows, I defend the sensible theory van Inwagen rejects. I first explain more fully what it involves and, as importantly, what it does not. (shrink)
This new book offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Frege's remarkable philosophical work, examining the main areas of his writings and demonstrating the connections between them. Frege's main contribution to philosophy spans philosophical logic, the theory of meaning, mathematical logic and the philosophy of mathematics. The book clearly explains and assesses Frege's work in these areas, systematically examining his major concepts, and revealing the links between them. The emphasis is on Frege's highly influential work in philosophical logic and the (...) theory of meaning, including the features of his logic, his conceptions of object, concept and function, and his seminal distinction between sense and reference. Frege will be invaluable for students of the philosophy of language, philosophical logic, and analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Van Inwagen has an ingenious argument for the non-existence of human artefacts . But the argument cannot be accepted, since human artefacts are everywhere. However, it cannot be ignored. The proper response to it is to treat it as a refutation of its least plausible premise, i.e., to ‘tollens’ it. I first set out van Inwagen’s argument. I then identify its least plausible premise and explain the consequence of denying it, that is, the acceptance of a plenitudinous, pluralist ontology. I (...) argue that denying it is not so difficult, since its denial is an easy consequence of ordinary beliefs. I finish by explaining why van Inwagen has not persuaded me that it may be that artefacts do not exist and conclude that nothing stands in the way of tollensing van Inwagen and accepting the consequence of doing so. (shrink)
I respond to criticisms by David Mackie of my previous paper on animalism and Lockeanism. I argue that the ‘transplant intuition’, that a person goes where his brain (or cerebrum) goes, is compatible both with animalism and Lockeanism. I give three arguments for this conclusion, two of them developing lines of thought in Parfit's work. However, I accept that animalism and Lockeanism are incompatible, and I go on to consider the difficulties for Lockeanism that this raises. The principal difficulty, concerning (...) the reference of ‘I’, can be met by distinguishing the thinker of an ‘I’‐thought from the reference of an ‘I’‐thought. The reference is always the person thinking the thought, but when the thought is simultaneously that of an animal coincident but non‐identical with that person, there is not a unique thinker. Mackie's criticisms of this view are ineffective. (shrink)
Two of the main contenders in the debate about personal persistence over time are the neo-Lockean psychological continuity view and animalism as defended by Olson and Snowdon. Both are wrong. The position I shall argue for, which I call, following Olson, the hybrid view, takes psychological continuity as a sufficient but, pace the neo-Lockeans, not necessary condition for personal persistence. It sides with the animalist in allowing that mere biological continuity is also sufficient. So I am, in a sense, a (...) psychological continuity theorist. But I am also in a sense, a biological theorist. (shrink)