ONE OF THE MOST prominent theorists of anarcho-capitalism is Hans- Hermann Hoppe. In what is perhaps his most famous result, the argumentation ethic for libertarianism, he purports to establish an a priori defense of the justice of a social order based exclusively on pri- vate property. Hoppe claims that all participants in a debate must presuppose the libertarian principle that every person owns himself, since the principle underlies the very concept of argumentation. Some libertarians (e.g., Rothbard 1988) have celebrated Hoppe’s (...) argument as the final nail in the coffin for collectivism of any type; following Hoppe, they believe that to deny the libertarian ethic is not only wrong, but also internally contradictory. On the other hand, a number of other prominent libertarians characterized Hoppe’s initial statement of his case as “one muddle after another” (Steele 1988, p. 47) or “a tissue of bald assertions” (Yeager 1988, p. 45). (shrink)
The view defended in this paper - I call it the No-Assertion view - rejects the assumption that it is theoretically useful to single out a subset of sayings as assertions: (v) Sayings are governed by variable norms, come with variable commitments and have variable causes and effects. What philosophers have tried to capture by the term 'assertion' is largely a philosophers' invention. It fails to pick out an act-type that we engage in and it is not a category we (...) need in order to explain any significant component of our linguistic practice. Timothy Williamson (2000) defends a theory of type (i). He says that a theory of assertion has as its goal "[…] that of articulating for the first time the rules of a traditional game that we play" (p. 240). Among those who think we play the game of assertion, there's disagreement about what the rules are. Some think it's a single rule and disagree about what that rule is. Others think the rules change across contexts. According to the No-Assertion view we don’t play the assertion game. The game might exist as an abstract object, but it is not a game you need to learn and play to become a speaker of a natural language. (shrink)
A semantic theory T for a language L should assign content to utterances of sentences of L. One common assumption is that T will assign p to some S of L just in case in uttering S a speaker A says that p. We will argue that this assumption is mistaken.
Philosophers of language and linguists tend to think of the interpreter as an essentially non-creative participant in the communicative process. There’s no room, in traditional theories, for the view that correctness of interpretation depends in some essential way on the interpreter. As a result, there’s no room for the possibility that while P is the correct interpretation of an utterance, u, for one interpreter, P* is the correct interpretation of that utterance for another interpreter. Recently, a number of theorists have, (...) for separate reasons, argued in favour of a radically different view of communication – a view in which the interpreter and her context play what should be thought of as a content-creating role. According to such views, natural languages contain what I’ll call interpretation sensitive terms: terms the correct interpretation of which varies across interpreters (or, more generally, contexts of interpretation).3 An interpretation sensitive sentence can have one content relative to one interpreter and another content relative to another interpreter. This paper is a development and (partial) defence of the view that interpretation sensitivity is ubiquitous in natural language. I call the view that there are interpretation sensitive terms content relativism. Before starting the discussion of content relativism, it is worth pointing out that recent attempts to develop semantically motivated versions of truth relativism should be seen as part of this trend of giving the interpreter a more active role. (shrink)
Starting with Frege, the semantics (and pragmatics) of quotation has received a steady flow of attention over the last one hundred years. It has not, however, been subject to the same kind of intense debate and scrutiny as, for example, both the semantics of definite descriptions and propositional attitude verbs. Many philosophers probably share Davidson's experience: ‘When I was initiated into the mysteries of logic and semantics, quotation was usually introduced as a somewhat shady device, and the introduction was accompanied (...) by a stern sermon on the sin of confusing the use and mention of expressions’ (Davidson 1979, p. 79). Those who leave it at that, however, miss out on one of the most difficult and interesting topics in the philosophy of language. (shrink)
Preliminary summaries of a few empirio?semantical investigations1 concerning such sentences as: can we say x, should we ever (ordinarily) say x, x is self?evident (tautological, contradictory, nonsensical), P does not know what be is talking about, x is voluntary (involuntary) and: that is no excuse.
Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that overexpression of p25, an activator of cdk5, led to increased levels of BACE1 mRNA and protein in vitro and in vivo. A p25/cdk5 responsive region containing multiple sites for signal transducer and activator of transcription was identified in the BACE1 promoter. STAT3 interacts with the BACE1 promoter, and p25-overexpressing mice had elevated levels of pSTAT3 and BACE1, whereas cdk5-deficient mice had reduced levels. Furthermore, mice with a (...) targeted mutation in the STAT3 cdk5 responsive site had lower levels of BACE1. Increased BACE levels in p25 overexpressing mice correlated with enhanced amyloidogenic processing that could be reversed by a cdk5 inhibitor. These data demonstrate a pathway by which p25/cdk5 increases the amyloidogenic processing of APP through STAT3-mediated transcriptional control of BACE1 that could have implications for AD pathogenesis. (shrink)
Life as a complicated process is composed of causal phenomena. But even if we know the reasons of all that happens in a living organism, we do not know what life really is. The problem of intercausal relation, of “causal structure” remains. The reason why a process takes place, must be found by analysis, causal structures are found by synthesis of the results of this analysis. Causal structures are characterized by two kinds of equilibrium: energetic and specific equilibrium. A state (...) of physical equilibrium is characterized by a minimum of free energy; a biological energetic equilibrium is an organized one, where the vital factors activate the production of energy by each other and force each other to limit that production to the necessary measure. A specific equilibrium is characterized by the properties of its factors, properties by which those factors act as a cause after having received a specific stimulation. Every factor possesses two specific properties, in accordance with the properties of two neighbouring factors, as a link between two other links in a chain . Both forms of equilibrium authorise us to speak of living systems as a “whole”. In the second part of this paper we treat the dynamic aspect of the functions of living systems as a “whole”. This dynamic aspect manifests itself in growth and probably in cortical functions. Blastomeres represent, when isolated, the “whole” of growing potentialities of a germe. In normal contact with each other they restrict themselves to produce a part of that “whole”, in harmony with that which other blastomeres produce. This harmonious restriction can be explained by interaction between all the blastomeres by which every blastomere suppresses in other blastomeres all that it will produce itself. Blastomeres must therefore act on other blastomees not according to their isolate “being”, but according to the influences which they undergo by all other blastomeres, that means according to their “rôle”. There must be a causal net of interaction between all the blastomeres and that net “as a whole” determines every step of growth. Such a net of relation determines also human history and sociology. Materialism only took account of isolated causes, vitalism only of the effect of the net of causal relations without understanding that such a net might be analysed. In reality there is neither materialism nor vitalism.La vie est un phénomène complexe, se composant de différents phénomènes causals, qui un jour peut-être seront réduits à la causalité physique et chimique. Cependant connaitre toutes les causes des phénomènes vitaux ne signifie pas connaître la vie. Le problème de la vie ne se borne pas aux rapports causals, mais implique surtout les rapports intercausals, c'est à dire l'harmonie ou l'équilibre de ses parties constituantes. La vie comme phénomène est provoquée par une „structure causale”. Tandis que les causes sont trouvées par l'analyse, les rapports intercausals doivent être recherchés par la synthèse, c'est-à-dire par la réconstruction de la réalité de l'organisme vivant en se servant des données analytiques. Le système vivant est en équilibre énergétique et spécifique. Les facteurs énergétiques sont interlacés de telle façon, qu'ils s'activent entre eux et qu'ils se forcent entre eux à se resteindre au développement de l'énergie nécessaire. Un équilibre physique c'est l'état d'énergie libre minimum, tandis que l'équilibre biologique c'est un état d'énergie organisée. Dans un équilibre spécifique on ne peut se borner aux effects causals se manifestant par un phénomène. Il faut décrire les rapports des propriétés spécifiques de tous les facteurs; ce sont ces propriétés qui leur permettent d'agir comme cause, lorsqu'-ils sont atteint d'une excitation spécifique. Les facteurs possèdent au moins deux propriétés spécifiques, adaptées à deux facteurs voisins, comme chaque anneau d'une chaine s'adaptant à deux anneaux voisins . Le fait que l'on trouve dans chaque individu ces deux formes d'équilibre nous donne le droit de créer le concept du „tout” par rapport auquel on peut constater l'harmonie de tous les tacteurs.C'est là le „tout statique”, reste encore le „tout dynamique” qui se manifeste par la croissance et probablement par les phénomènes se produisant dans l'écorce cérébrale, base des actes psychiques. Les parties représentent beaucoup de possibilités qui ne se réalisent pas; p.e. les blastomères peuvent représenter le „tout” de l'organisme, tandis qu'ils se borneront dans la croissance normale à la production d'une part de l'individu. Il y a une interaction entre tous les blastomères, de façon que, par la suppression ou par l'activation mutuelle, chaque partie réalise ce que lui laissent les autres et ce qui est en harmonie avec ce que produiront les autres. De cette façon il y aura de l'harmonie dans tout ce qui sera produit. Les parties agissent par cette interaction, non selon leur „être”, en tant que cellule isolée, mais selon leur „rôle” dans le „tout” du germe, rôle qui est déterminé par cette interaction mutuelle universelle. C'est cette interaction qui détermine le „patron causal”, responsable de chaque étappe de la coissance. Ainsi ce ne sont pas les facteus isolés, mais le réseau des rapports établis entre tous les facteurs, qui gouvernent les phénomènes de la croissance. Ce réseau, par activation ou par suppression, détermine à chaque instant les propriétés causales des parties, d'entre toutes les multiples possibilités. Les possibilités étant données dans les cellules, c'est le „tout” du réseau des rapports qui détermine la croissance. Le matérialisme n'a vu que les causes isolées, telles qu'ellés se manifestent dans les expériences des physiciens, grâce à la technique; le vitalisme n'a vu que le „tout”, sans tâcher de l'analyser afin de trouver à sa base le système causal compliqué, que nous avons tâché de décrire. Dans la réalité la théorie du causalisme ni celle du vitalisme le tiennent plus de bout. (shrink)
We argue that the notion of trust, as it figures in an ethical context, can be illuminated by examining research in artificial intelligence on multi-agent systems in which commitment and trust are modeled. We begin with an analysis of a philosophical model of trust based on Richard Holton’s interpretation of P. F. Strawson’s writings on freedom and resentment, and we show why this account of trust is difficult to extend to artificial agents (AAs) as well as to other non-human entities. (...) We then examine Margaret Urban Walker’s notions of “default trust” and “default, diffuse trust” to see how these concepts can inform our analysis of trust in the context of AAs. In the final section, we show how ethicists can improve their understanding of important features in the trust relationship by examining data resulting from a classic experiment involving AAs. (shrink)
One of the three central issues in Lloyd Humberstone's ‘Sufficiency and Excess’ is what he calls ‘the Complete Thought Issue’ (CTI, for short). This is the question of whether some declarative sentences have proposition radicals, rather than full-blown propositions, as their semantic values. My focus in this reply is exclusively on Humberstone's comments about CTI and on CTI more generally. The goal of Humberstone's discussion of CTI is to defend ‘[Kent] Bach's claim against Cappelen and Lepore's attacks’ (Humberstone, 2006, p. (...) 316). These ‘attacks’ on Bach are found in Cappelen and Lepore (2004). In section one I present CTI, in section two I evaluate Humberstone's defence of Bach, and in section three I discuss two solutions to CTI. (shrink)
Much work in the philosophy of language assumes that a semantic theory T, for a language L should assign p as the semantic content of an utterance u, by A, of a sentence S in L, if and only if “A said that p” is true. This assumption is mistaken. More generally, the aim of semantics cannot be to capture the extension of English expressions such as “meaning” or “what was said”. This provides support for Davidson’s paratactic theory of indirect (...) speech and for the view that a semantic theory should take the form of a truth-theory. (shrink)
Historical epistemology is a form of intellectual history focused on “the history of categories that structure our thought, pattern our arguments and proofs, and certify our standards for explanation”. Under this umbrella, historians have been studying the changing meanings of “objectivity,” “impartiality,” “curiosity,” and other virtues believed to be conducive to good scholarship. While endorsing this historicization of virtues and their corresponding vices, the present article argues that the meaning and relative importance of these virtues and vices can only be (...) determined if their mutual dependencies are taken into account. Drawing on a detailed case study—a controversy that erupted among nineteenth-century orientalists over the publication of R. P. A. Dozy'sDe Israëlieten te Mekka —the paper shows that nineteenth-century orientalists were careful to examine the degree to which Dozy practiced the virtues they considered most important, the extent to which these virtues were kept in balance by other ones, the extent to which these virtues were balanced by other scholars’ virtues, and the extent to which they were expected to be balanced by future scholars’ work. Consequently, this article argues that historical epistemology might want to abandon its single-virtue focus in order to allow balances, hierarchies, and other dependency relations between virtues and vices to move to the center of attention. (shrink)
" This volume has provided the rare opportunity to present related work of several eminent scholars in different fields. Most of the essays were written to honor Professor Randall on the occasion of his 65th birthday.