State of nature or Eden? -- Hobbes' state of nature as an account of the fall? -- Hobbes' own belief or unbelief -- The contemporary reaction to Leviathan -- Hobbes and commentaries on Genesis -- A note on method and chapter order -- Good and evil -- Hobbes on good and evil -- The 'seditious doctrines' of the schoolmen -- The contemporary reaction -- The scriptural account -- The state of nature as an account of the fall? -- Equality and (...) unsociability -- Hobbes and natural equality -- The contemporary reaction -- The scriptural account -- Hobbes on natural unsociability -- The contemporary reaction -- The scriptural account -- State of nature as Eden? -- The war of all against all -- Hobbes' war of all against all -- The contemporary reaction -- The scriptural account -- State of nature as fallen condition? -- The right and law of nature -- Hobbes and natural right -- The contemporary reaction -- Hobbes and natural law -- The contemporary reaction -- The scriptural account -- Hobbes as reformed theologian? -- The creation of society -- Hobbes on the escape from the state of nature -- The contemporary reaction : Hobbes versus divine right -- The scriptural account of Cain building a city -- Hobbes on the creation of the commonwealth -- The contemporary reaction : Hobbes versus the patriarchalists -- The scriptural account of the relationship between Adam and Eve -- State of nature as Eden, the process of the fall, and the fallen condition? -- Reading Hobbes' state of nature -- Anti-aristotelianism -- Hobbes' Protestantism. (shrink)
Helen Steward argues that determinism is incompatible with agency itself--not only the special human variety of agency, but also powers which can be accorded to animal agents. She offers a distinctive, non-dualistic version of libertarianism, rooted in a conception of what biological forms of organisation might make possible in the way of freedom.
James Tabery Helen Longino’s Studying Human Behavior is an overdue effort at a nonpartisan evaluation of the many scientific disciplines that study the nature and nurture of human behavior, arguing for the acceptance of the strengths and weaknesses of all approaches. After years of conflict, Longino makes the pluralist case for peaceful coexistence. Her analysis of the approaches raises the following question: how are we to understand the pluralistic relationship among the peacefully coexisting approaches? Longino is ironically rather unpluralistic (...) about her pluralism, forcing a choice between integrative pluralism and her preferred ineliminative pluralism. I hope to show that the analysis of approaches she offers actually accommodates a pluralism that is both integrative and ineliminative.Approaches to studying human behaviorPhilosophy of biology took shape as a discipline in the 1970s. This disciplinary formation over. (shrink)
As the purpose of this book is to open dialogue, we draw no conclusions. Instead, reflecting on the theoretical and practical implications that arise from each chapter, we offer some reflection through an exploration of the ways in which Australia has broadened discussions on P4C. In addition, we situate our discussion in contemporary global issues relevant to education and schooling: gender stereotyping, bias and language; Aboriginal philosophy; environmental education; and sexuality, adolescence and discrimination. As a community of children, adolescents and (...) adults, philosophers and educators, as well as citizens, we have an opportunity to contribute educationally to an inquiring society. (shrink)
Helen Steward puts forward a radical critique of the foundations of contemporary philosophy of mind, arguing that it relies too heavily on insecure assumptions about the sorts of things there are in the mind--events, processes, and states. She offers a fresh investigation of these three categories, clarifying the distinctions between them, and argues that the category of state has been very widely and seriously misunderstood.
One of the tasks that recent philosophy of psychiatry has taken upon itself is to extend the range of understanding to some of those aspects of psychopathology that Jaspers deemed beyond its limits. Given the fundamental difficulties of offering a literal interpretation of the contents of primary delusions, a number of alternative strategies have been put forward including regarding them as abnormal versions of framework propositions described by Wittgenstein in On Certainty. But although framework propositions share some of the apparent (...) epistemic features of primary delusions, their role in partially constituting the sense of inquiry rules out their role in helping to understand delusions. (shrink)
In Studying Human Behavior, Helen E. Longino enters into the complexities of human behavioral research, a domain still dominated by the age-old debate of “nature versus nurture.” Rather than supporting one side or another or attempting..
For good or for ill, we have animal bodies. Through them, we move around, eat and drink, and do many other things besides. We owe much – perhaps our very lives – to these ever-present animals. But how exactly do we relate to our animals? Are we parts of them, or they of us? Do we and these living animals co-inhere or constitute or coincide? Or what? Animalism answers that we are identical to them. There are many objections to animalism, (...) and a dizzying array of rival views. In this article, we do not propose to evaluate those objections and rivals. We will instead present a new argument for that view. The argument begins with the fact that we have emotions. (shrink)
Most people believe that it is sometimes morally permissible for a person to use force to defend herself or others against harm. In Defensive Killing, Helen Frowe offers a detailed exploration of when and why the use of such force is permissible. She begins by considering the use of force between individuals, investigating both the circumstances under which an attacker forfeits her right not to be harmed, and the distinct question of when it is all-things-considered permissible to use force (...) against an attacker. Frowe then extends this enquiry to war, defending the view that we should judge the ethics of killing in war by the moral rules that govern killing between individuals. She argues that this requires us to significantly revise our understanding of the moral status of non-combatants in war. Non-combatants who intentionally contribute to an unjust war forfeit their rights not to be harmed, such that they are morally liable to attack by combatants fighting a just war. (shrink)
This article examines the place of human and animal subjectivity in two autobiographically informed texts by Hélène Cixous. It takes her view on the word ‘human’ and the figure of Fips, the dog of the Cixous family, as a point of departure. By thinking through this figure, I argue, Cixous analyses the dehumanizing logic of colonialism and anti-Semitism in Algeria and develops her own response to such kinds of political evils, arguing for human relationality and animal corporeality. The article shows (...) that Cixous’ meeting with Fips creates a stigma that, belatedly, breaks through the barrier between herself and the dog; the reopening of the wound takes place in a poetical writing that reveals an intense ‘animal humanity’ formed by communal suffering, finiteness, and love. The lesson Cixous learns from the memory of Fips the dog is how to become ‘better human’. This becoming is also an assault on the false humanism of the colonial project and on racialized social exclusion. (shrink)
I have been asked to consider two questions: How Christian ‘oughts’ are related to Christian ‘is-es’, and, What does Christianity take flourishing to be? The background to these questions is that Christian ethics have traditionally been taken, both by supporters and opponents, as au ethic of creature-hood, sometimes quite crudely conceived. It is a sketch, but by no means a caricature, of a great deal of standard Christian thinking, to depict it as answering the two questions as follows: God is (...) your Creator: therefore you ought to obey him. The end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever. (shrink)
A computer can come to understand natural language the same way Helen Keller did: by using “syntactic semantics”—a theory of how syntax can suffice for semantics, i.e., how semantics for natural language can be provided by means of computational symbol manipulation. This essay considers real-life approximations of Chinese Rooms, focusing on Helen Keller’s experiences growing up deaf and blind, locked in a sort of Chinese Room yet learning how to communicate with the outside world. Using the SNePS computational (...) knowledge-representation system, the essay analyzes Keller’s belief that learning that “everything has a name” was the key to her success, enabling her to “partition” her mental concepts into mental representations of: words, objects, and the naming relations between them. It next looks at Herbert Terrace’s theory of naming, which is akin to Keller’s, and which only humans are supposed to be capable of. The essay suggests that computers at least, and perhaps non-human primates, are also capable of this kind of naming. (shrink)
In this article, we discuss Beauchamp and Childress’s treatment of the issue of moral status. In particular, we introduce the five different perspectives on moral status that Beauchamp and Childress consider in Principles of Biomedical Ethics and explain their alternative to those perspectives, raise some critical questions about their approach, and offer a different way to think about one of the five theories of moral status that is more in line with what we believe some of its leading advocates affirm.
The paper considers and opposes the view that processes are best thought of as continuants, to be differentiated from events mainly by way of the fact that the latter, but not the former, are entities with temporal parts. The motivation for the investigation, though, is not so much the defeat of what is, in any case, a rather implausible claim, as the vindication of some of the ideas and intuitions that the claim is made in order to defend — and (...) the grounding of those ideas and intuitions in a more plausible metaphysics than is provided by the continuant view. It is argued that in addition to a distinction between events and processes there is room and need for a third category, that of the individual process, which can be illuminatingly compared with the idea of a substance. Individual processes indeed share important metaphysical features with substantial continuants, but they do not lack temporal parts. Instead, it is argued that individual processes share with substantial continuants an important property I call ‘modal robustness in virtue of form’. The paper explains what this property is, and further suggests that the category of individual process, thus understood, might be of considerable value to the philosophy of action. (shrink)
"Open Democracy envisions what true government by mass leadership could look like."—Nathan Heller, New Yorker How a new model of democracy that opens up power to ordinary citizens could strengthen inclusiveness, responsiveness, and accountability in modern societies To the ancient Greeks, democracy meant gathering in public and debating laws set by a randomly selected assembly of several hundred citizens. To the Icelandic Vikings, democracy meant meeting every summer in a field to discuss issues until consensus was reached. Our contemporary representative (...) democracies are very different. Modern parliaments are gated and guarded, and it seems as if only certain people—with the right suit, accent, wealth, and connections—are welcome. Diagnosing what is wrong with representative government and aiming to recover some of the lost openness of ancient democracies, Open Democracy presents a new paradigm of democracy in which power is genuinely accessible to ordinary citizens. Hélène Landemore favors the ideal of “representing and being represented in turn” over direct-democracy approaches. Supporting a fresh nonelectoral understanding of democratic representation, Landemore recommends centering political institutions around the “open mini-public”—a large, jury-like body of randomly selected citizens gathered to define laws and policies for the polity, in connection with the larger public. She also defends five institutional principles as the foundations of an open democracy: participatory rights, deliberation, the majoritarian principle, democratic representation, and transparency. Open Democracy demonstrates that placing ordinary citizens, rather than elites, at the heart of democratic power is not only the true meaning of a government of, by, and for the people, but also feasible and, today more than ever, urgently needed. (shrink)
In this paper, we will explore how Albert Camus has much to offer philosophers of education. Although a number of educationalists have attempted to explicate the educational implications of Camus’ literary works, these analyses have not attempted to extrapolate pedagogical guidelines towards developing an educational framework for children’s philosophical practice in the way Matthew Lipman did from John Dewey’s philosophy of education, which informed his philosophy for children curriculum and pedagogy. We focus on the phenomenology of inquiry; that is, inquiry (...) that begins with genuinely felt doubt, pointing to a problematic to which the inquirer seeks a solution or resolution. We argue that the central purpose of education is to develop lucid individuals. To this end, we concentrate on Dewey and the pragmatist tradition, starting from Peirce, leading to Lipman’s development of Dewey’s educational guidelines into classroom practice. We show where Camus and the pragmatists are congruent in their thinking, insofar as they can inform the educative process of the community of inquiry. What we conclude is that the role of the teacher is to develop lucid individuals facilitated in a classroom that is transformed into a community of inquiry embedded in contemporary historical moments. (shrink)
The World Psychiatric Association has emphasised the importance of idiographic understanding as a distinct component of comprehensive assessment but in introductions to the idea it is often assimilated to the notion of narrative judgement. This paper aims to distinguish between supposed idiographic and narrative judgement. Taking the former to mean a kind of individualised judgement, I argue that it has no place in psychiatry in part because it threatens psychiatric validity. Narrative judgement, by contrast, is a genuinely distinct complement to (...) criteriological diagnosis but it is, nevertheless, a special kind of general judgement and thus can possess validity. To argue this I first examine the origin of the distinction between idiographic and nomothetic in Windelband’s 1894 rectorial address. I argue that none of three ways of understanding that distinction is tenable. Windelband’s description of historical methods, as a practical example, does not articulate a genuine form of understanding. A metaphysical distinction between particulars and general kinds is guilty of subscribing to the Myth of the Given. A distinction based on an abstraction of essentially combined aspects of empirical judgement cannot underpin a distinct empirical method. Furthermore, idiographic elements understood as individualised judgements threaten the validity of psychiatric diagnosis. In the final part I briefly describe some aspects of the logic of narrative judgements and argue that in the call for comprehensive diagnosis, narrative rather than idiographic elements have an important role. Importantly, however, whilst directed towards individual subjects, narratives are framed in intrinsically general concepts and thus can aspire to validity. (shrink)
This paper argues in favor of the epistemic properties of inclusiveness in the context of democratic deliberative assemblies and derives the implications of this argument in terms of the epistemically superior mode of selection of representatives. The paper makes the general case that, all other things being equal and under some reasonable assumptions, more is smarter. When applied to deliberative assemblies of representatives, where there is an upper limit to the number of people that can be included in the group, (...) the argument translates into a defense of a specific selection mode of participants: random selection. (shrink)
The Habits of Racism examines some of the complex questions raised by the phenomenon and experience of racism. Helen Ngo argues that the conceptual reworking of habit as bodily orientation helps to identify the more subtle but fundamental workings of racism, exploring what the lived experience of racism and racialization teaches about the nature of the embodied and socially-situated being.
The author attempts a "correct analysis of what 'the moral point of view' is only in so far as it is necessary to do this in order to discuss the problem of its 'justification'." he discusses the views of kurt baier and philippa foot. He concludes that foot and baier have not been able to answer "the so-Called fundamental question of ethics" because it is a "pseudo-Question"; that the rationality of a decision between "moral duty and enlightened self-Interest" rests on (...) whether the "agent accepts or rejects the moral point of view"; and that it is "what a person most wants to do," not what is in his or her best interest, "that provides the ultimate basis for the rational justification of an action." (staff). (shrink)
The paper argues that actions should be thought of as processes and not events. A number of reasons are offered for thinking that the things that it is most plausible to suppose we are trying to cotton on to with the generic talk of ‘actions’ in which philosophy indulges cannot be events. A framework for thinking about the event-process distinction which can help us understand how we ought to think about the ontology of processes we need instead is then developed, (...) building on some excellent work already done by philosophers working at the intersection of philosophy and linguistics. (shrink)
I argue that any successful account of permissible self- defence must be action-guiding, or practical . It must be able to inform people’s deliberation about what they are permitted to do when faced with an apparent threat to their lives. I argue that this forces us to accept that a person can be permitted to use self-defence against Apparent Threats: characters whom a person reasonably, but mistakenly, believes threaten her life. I defend a hybrid account of self-defence that prioritises an (...) agent’s subjective perspective. I argue that it is sufficient to render the use of defence permissible if an agent reasonably believes that (a) she is morally innocent, and (b) if she does not kill this person, then they will kill her. I argue that the correct account of self-defence must distinguish between whether an agent is permitted to inflict harm, and whether the target is liable to bear that harm. (shrink)
The paper argues that it is possible for an incompatibilist to accept John Martin Fischer's plausible insistence that the question whether we are morally responsible agents ought not to depend on whether the laws of physics turn out to be deterministic or merely probabilistic. The incompatibilist should do so by rejecting the fundamentalism which entails that the question whether determinism is true is a question merely about the nature of the basic physical laws. It is argued that this is a (...) better option for ensuring the irrelevance of physics than the embrace of semi-compatibilism, since there are reasons for supposing that alternate possibilities are necessary for moral responsibility, despite Fischer's claims to the contrary. There are two distinct reasons for supposing that alternate possibilities might be necessary for moral responsibility—one of which is to do with fairness, the other to do with agency itself. It is suggested that if one focuses on the second of these reasons, Fischer's arguments for supposing that alternate possibilities are unnecessary for moral responsibility can be met by the incompatibilist. Some possible reasons for denying that alternate possibilities are necessary for the existence of agency are then raised and rejected. (shrink)
Helen Frowe has recently offered what she calls a “practical” account of self-defense. Her account is supposed to be practical by being subjectivist about permissibility and objectivist about liability. I shall argue here that Frowe first makes up a problem that does not exist and then fails to solve it. To wit, her claim that objectivist accounts of permissibility cannot be action-guiding is wrong; and her own account of permissibility actually retains an objectivist (in the relevant sense) element. In (...) addition, her attempt to restrict subjectivism primarily to “urgent” situations like self-defense contradicts her own point of departure and is either incoherent or futile. Finally, the only actual whole-heartedly objectivist account she criticizes is an easy target; while those objectivist accounts one finds in certain Western European jurisdictions are immune to her criticisms. Those accounts are also clearly superior to hers in terms of action-guidingness. (shrink)
The Ethics of War and Peace is a lively introduction to one of the oldest but still most relevant ethical debates. Focusing on the philosophical questions surrounding the ethics of modern war, Helen Frowe presents contemporary just war theory in a stimulating and accessible way. This 2nd edition includes new material on weapons and technology, and humanitarian intervention, in addition to: theories of self-defence and national defence jus ad bellum, jus in bello and jus post bellum the moral status (...) of combatants the principle of non-combatant immunity and the nature of terrorism and the moral status of terrorists. Each chapter uses examples and concludes with a summary, discussion questions and suggestions for further reading to aid student engagement, learning and revision. The glossary has been expanded to cover the full range of relevant terminology. This is the ideal textbook for students of philosophy and politics approaching this important area for the first time. (shrink)
Some regularities enjoy only an attenuated existence in a body of training data. These are regularities whose statistical visibility depends on some systematic recoding of the data. The space of possible recodings is, however, infinitely large – it is the space of applicable Turing machines. As a result, mappings that pivot on such attenuated regularities cannot, in general, be found by brute-force search. The class of problems that present such mappings we call the class of “type-2 problems.” Type-1 problems, by (...) contrast, present tractable problems of search insofar as the relevant regularities can be found by sampling the input data as originally coded. Type-2 problems, we suggest, present neither rare nor pathological cases. They are rife in biologically realistic settings and in domains ranging from simple animat behaviors to language acquisition. Not only are such problems rife – they are standardly solved! This presents a puzzle. How, given the statistical intractability of these type-2 cases, does nature turn the trick? One answer, which we do not pursue, is to suppose that evolution gifts us with exactly the right set of recoding biases so as to reduce specific type-2 problems to type-1 mappings. Such a heavy-duty nativism is no doubt sometimes plausible. But we believe there are other, more general mechanisms also at work. Such mechanisms provide general strategies for managing problems of type-2 complexity. Several such mechanisms are investigated. At the heart of each is a fundamental ploy – namely, the maximal exploitation of states of representation already achieved by prior, simpler learning so as to reduce the amount of subsequent computational search. Such exploitation both characterizes and helps make unitary sense of a diverse range of mechanisms. These include simple incremental learning, modular connectionism, and the developmental hypothesis of “representational redescription”. In addition, the most distinctive features of human cognition – language and culture – may themselves be viewed as adaptations enabling this representation/computation trade-off to be pursued on an even grander scale. (shrink)
Some regularities enjoy only an attenuated existence in a body of training data. These are regularities whose statistical visibility depends on some systematic recoding of the data. The space of possible recodings is, however, infinitely large type-2 problems. they are standardly solved! This presents a puzzle. How, given the statistical intractability of these type-2 cases, does nature turn the trick? One answer, which we do not pursue, is to suppose that evolution gifts us with exactly the right set of recoding (...) biases so as to reduce specific type-2 problems to (tractable) type-1 mappings. Such a heavy-duty nativism is no doubt sometimes plausible. But we believe there are other, more general mechanisms also at work. Such mechanisms provide general (not task-specific) strategies for managing problems of type-2 complexity. Several such mechanisms are investigated. At the heart of each is a fundamental ploy representational redescription language and culture – may themselves be viewed as adaptations enabling this representation/computation trade-off to be pursued on an even grander scale. (shrink)
Within the community of inquiry literature, the absence of the notion of genuine doubt is notable in spite of its pragmatic roots in the philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, for whom the notion was pivotal. We argue for the need to correct this oversight due to the educational significance of genuine doubt—a theoretical and experiential understanding of which can offer insight into the interrelated concepts of wonder, fallibilism, inquiry and prejudice. In order to detail these connections, we reinvigorate the ideas (...) of Peirce by borrowing the language and concepts of Albert Camus, at the same time demonstrating their unlikely congruence. In particular, we argue for the necessity of genuine doubt along with the need for the presence of a diversity of prejudices as a starting point for genuine inquiry. (shrink)
Evidence from many different paradigms (e.g. change blindness, inattentional blindness, transsaccadic integration) indicate that observers are often very poor at reporting changes to their visual environment. Such evidence has been used to suggest that the spatio-temporal coherence needed to represent change can only occur in the presence of focused attention. In four experiments we use modified change blindness tasks to demonstrate (a) that sensitivity to change does occur in the absence of awareness, and (b) this sensitivity does not rely on (...) the redeploy- ment of attention. We discuss these results in relation to theories of scene percep- tion, and propose a reinterpretatio n of the role of attention in representing change. (shrink)
William Rapaport, in “How Helen Keller used syntactic semantics to escape from a Chinese Room,” (Rapaport 2006), argues that Helen Keller was in a sort of Chinese Room, and that her subsequent development of natural language fluency illustrates the flaws in Searle’s famous Chinese Room Argument and provides a method for developing computers that have genuine semantics (and intentionality). I contend that his argument fails. In setting the problem, Rapaport uses his own preferred definitions of semantics and syntax, (...) but he does not translate Searle’s Chinese Room argument into that idiom before attacking it. Once the Chinese Room is translated into Rapaport’s idiom (in a manner that preserves the distinction between meaningful representations and uninterpreted symbols), I demonstrate how Rapaport’s argument fails to defeat the CRA. This failure brings a crucial element of the Chinese Room Argument to the fore: the person in the Chinese Room is prevented from connecting the Chinese symbols to his/her own meaningful experiences and memories. This issue must be addressed before any victory over the CRA is announced. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the question what a continuant is, in the context of a very interesting suggestion recently made by Rowland Stout, as part of his attempt to develop a coherent ontology of processes. Stout claims that a continuant is best thought of as something that primarily has its properties at times, rather than atemporally—and that on this construal, processes should count as continuants. While accepting that Stout is onto something here, I reject his suggestion that we should (...) accept that processes are both occurrents and continuants; nothing, I argue, can truly occur or happen, which does not have temporal parts. I make an alternative suggestion as to how one might deal with the peculiar status of processes without jettisoning a very natural account of occurrence; and assess the consequences for the category of continuant. (shrink)