This thesis articulates a novel interpretation of Heidegger’s explication of the being (Seins) of gear (Zeugs) in §15 of his masterwork Being and Time (1927/2006) and develops and applies the position attributed to Heidegger to explain three phenomena of unreflective action discussed in recent literature and articulate a partial Heideggerian ecological metaphysics. Since §15 of BT explicates the being of gear, Part 1 expounds Heidegger’s concept of the ‘being’ (Seins) of beings (Seienden) and two issues raised in the ‘preliminary methodological (...) remark’ in §15 of BT regarding explicating being. §1.1 interprets the being (Sein) or synonymously constitution of being (Seinsverfassung) of a being (Seienden) as a regional essence: a property unifying a region (Region), district (Bezirk), or subject-area (Sachgebiet) – a highly general (‘regional’) class of entities. Although Heidegger posits two components of the being of a being, viz. material-content (Sachhaltigkeit, Sachgehalt) and mode-of-being (Seinsart) or way-of-being (Seinsweise, Weise des Seins, Weise zu sein) (1927/1975, 321), the unclarity of this distinction means that it does not figure prominently herein. §1.2 addresses Heidegger’s distinction between ontological and ontic investigations and his notion of ‘modes of access’ (Zugangsarten, Zugangsweisen). Part 2 expounds §15 of BT’s explication of the being of gear. §2.1 analyses Heidegger’s two necessary and sufficient conditions for being gear and three core basic concepts (Grundbegriffe) enabling comprehension of these conditions and therewith a foundational comprehension of gear. Heidegger explicates the being of gear through content of unreflectively purposeful, non-intersubjective intentional states. I term such states ‘mundane concern’, which is almost synonymous with Hubert Dreyfus’s term ‘absorbed coping’ (1991, 69). Heidegger’s explication highlights around-for references (Um-zu-Verweisungen) as the peculiar species of property figuring in mundanely concernful intentional content. §2.2 clarifies Heidegger’s position on the relationship between to-hand-ness (Zuhandenheit) and extantness (Vorhandenheit) in the narrow sense: two of Heidegger’s most widely discussed concepts. I reject Kris McDaniel’s recent reading of Heidegger as affirming that nothing could be both to-hand and extant simultaneously (McDaniel 2012). Part 3 develops and applies Heidegger’s phenomenology of mundane concern. §3.1 explains the phenomena of situational holism, situated normativity, and mundanely concernful prospective control. §3.2 undertakes the metaphysical accommodation of around-for references, which §3.1 posited as featuring prominently within mundanely concernful intentional content. This thesis thus contributes not only to Heidegger scholarship, but also to contemporary debates within the philosophy of action and cognitive science. (shrink)
Modes-of-being figure centrally in Heidegger's masterwork Being and Time. Testimony to this is Heidegger's characterisation of two of his most celebrated enquiries—the Existential analytic and the Zeug analysis—as investigations into the respective modes-of-being of the entities concerned. Yet despite the importance of this concept, commentators disagree widely about what a mode-of-being is. In this paper, I systematically outline and defend a novel and exegetically grounded interpretation of this concept. Strongly opposed to Kantian readings, such as those advocated by Taylor Carman (...) and Cristina Lafont, I interpret a mode-of-being as a universal that defines a district —that is, a natural class of entities that ought to be conceptualised in a special way. As such, every mode-of-being plays an important metaphysical and epistemic role: serving both to unify a natural class of a high degree of generality and as the interpretandum of an act yielding the basic-concepts pertaining to the entities therein. In explicating and arguing for this interpretation, I attribute a characteristically Aristotelian philosophical position to the early Heidegger, encompassing both metaphysical and epistemological realism and a conceptualist theory of universals. (shrink)
Between 1787, and the end of his life in 1832, Bentham turned his attention to the development and application of economic ideas and principles within the general structure of his legislative project. For seventeen years this interest was manifested through a number of books and pamphlets, most of which remained in manuscript form, that develop a distinctive approach to economic questions. Although Bentham was influenced by Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, he (...) neither adopted a Smithian vocabulary for addressing questions of economic principle and policy, nor did he accept many of the distinctive features of Smith's economic theory. One consequence of this was that Bentham played almost no part in the development of the emerging science of political economy in the early nineteenth century. The standard histories of economics all emphasize how little he contributed to the mainstream of late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century debate by concentrating attention on his utilitarianism and the psychology of hedonism on which it is premised. Others have argued that the calculating nature of his theory of practical reason reduced the whole legislative project to a crude attempt to apply economics to all aspects of social and political life. Put at its simplest this argument amounts to the erroneous claim that Bentham's science of legislation is reducible to the science of political economy. A different but equally dangerous error would be to argue that because Bentham's conception of the science of legislation comprehends all the basic forms of social relationships, there can be no science of political economy as there is no autonomous sphere of activity governed by the principles of economics. This approach is no doubt attractive from an historical point of view given that the major premise of this argument is true, and that many of Bentham's ‘economic’ arguments are couched in terms of his theory of legislation. Yet it fails to account for the undoubted importance of political economy within Bentham's writings, not just on finance, economic policy, colonies and preventive police, but also in other aspects of his utilitarian public policy such as prison reform, pauper management, and even constitutional reform. All of these works reflect a conception of political economy in its broadest terms. However, this conception of political economy differs in many respects from that of Bentham's contemporaries, and for this reason Bentham's distinctive approach to problems of economics and political economy has largely been misunderstood. (shrink)
With a book as wide ranging and insightful as Barry's Justice as Impartiality, it is perhaps a little churlish to criticize it for paying insufficient attention to one's own particular interests. That said, in what follows I am going to do just that and claim that in an important sense Barry does not take utilitarianism seriously. Utilitarianism does receive some discussion in Barry's book, and in an important section which I will discuss he even appears to concede that utilitarianism provides (...) a rival though ultimately inadequate theory of justice. Nevertheless, utilitarianism is not considered a rival to ‘justice as impartiality’ in the way that ‘justice as mutual advantage’ and ‘justice as reciprocity’ are. One response, and perhaps the only adequate response, would be to construct a rival utilitarian theory. I cannot provide such a theory in this paper, and I certainly would be very cautious about claiming that I could provide such a theory elsewhere. What I want to suggest is that utilitarianism is a genuine third theory to contrast with ‘justice as mutual advantage’ and ‘justice as impartiality’ – ‘justice as reciprocity’ being merely a hybrid of ‘justice as mutual advantage’, at least as Barry presents it. I also want to argue that it poses a more significant challenge to a contractualist theory such as Barry's than his discussion of utilitarianism reveals. (shrink)
We argue that uncomputability and classical scepticism are both re ections of inductive underdetermination, so that Church's thesis and Hume's problem ought to receive equal emphasis in a balanced approach to the philosophy of induction. As an illustration of such an approach, we investigate how uncomputable the predictions of a hypothesis can be if the hypothesis is to be reliably investigated by a computable scienti c method.
While I deeply appreciate the painstaking and often generous remarks in R.N. Berki’s review of my book Hegel’s Retreat From Eleusis, [OWL, September 1978], I should like to correct two of his misapprehensions. First, the point is not that I try to “steer a middle course between ‘antiquaries’ who relegate Hegel to history books and ‘renovators’ who believe that Hegel is directly relevant,” but between the former and those who warp Hegel out of context in support of their preferred vision (...) of social and political action and/or explanation. Second, I do not conclude negatively about “the contemporary value of Hegel’s doctrine of the state;” If I had, the book would scarcely have been worth writing. It is simply that, in line with the first point, I counsel caution and salutary “archaeological” reflection. Current reality is messy: Hegel guides us and teaches us, but he furnishes no coup de foudre for solving our institutional problems. If this is irresolute, so be it. Does Mr. Berki propose bringing back monarchy, estates, and early 19th century municipal life? My own position is stated on pp. 109, 142–144, 183, 222–223. Although this may be, in Hayden White’s language, a Rankean trope, my option is surely not for “the historical dustbin.”. (shrink)
It is well known that Augustine, Boethius, Anselm and Aquinas participated in a tradition of philosophical theology which determined God to be simple, perfect, immutable and timelessly eternal. Within the parameters of such an Hellenic understanding of the divine nature, they sought a clarification of one of the fundamental teachings of their Christian faith, the doctrine of the Trinity. These classical theists were not dogmatists, naively unreflective about the very possibility of their project. Aquinas, for instance, explicitly worried about and (...) fought to dispel the seeming contradiction between the philosophical requirement of divine simplicity and the creedal insistence on a threefold personhood in God. 1 Nevertheless, doubts abound. Philosophers otherwise friendly to Classical Theism still remain unsure about the coherence of affirming a God that is at once absolutely simple and triune. 2 A less friendly critic has even suggested that the theory of divine simplicity pressured Augustine and his medieval followers away from recognizing that real complexity within the life of God which Trinitarianism expresses. 3. (shrink)
Man has the urge to thrust against the limits of language. Think for instance about one's astonishment that anything exists. This astonishment cannot be expressed in the form of a question and there is no answer to it. Anything we can say must, a priori, be nonsense.
Philosophical logicians proposing theories of rational belief revision have had little to say about whether their proposals assist or impede the agent's ability to reliably arrive at the truth as his beliefs change through time. On the other hand, reliability is the central concern of formal learning theory. In this paper we investigate the belief revision theory of Alchourron, Gardenfors and Makinson from a learning theoretic point of view.
The Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget contends that children below the age of 12 see no necessity for the logical law of non-contradiction. I argue this view is problematic. First of all, Piaget's dialogues with children which are considered supportive of this position are not clearly so. Secondly, Piaget underestimates the necessary nature of following the logical law of non-contradiction in everyday discourse. The mere possibility of saying something significant and informative at all presupposes that the law of non-contradiction is enforced.
This book offers the first sustained multi-disciplinary investigation of the question and status of ethics in light of the current "return to ethics" underway in a variety of critical fields. While the questions of ethics have become increasingly important in recent years for many fields within the humanities, there has been no single volume that seeks to address the emergence of this concern with ethics across the disciplinary spectrum. Given this lack in currently available critical and secondary texts, and also (...) the urgency of the issues addressed by the critics assembled here, the time is right for a collection of this nature. By assembling the work of nine critics from among these disciplines-including philosophy, women's studies, cultural studies, anthropology, literary studies, and history-this collection will help to frame the conversation on the status of ethics in the coming years. One of the great features of the book is the very high quality of work and the importance within the critical scene of many of its contributors. Contributors: Lowell Gallagher, Richard J. Golsan, David E. Johnson, Howard Marchitello, Kelly Oliver, Marshall Sahlins, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Tzvetan Todorov, Krzysztof Ziarek. (shrink)
Proofs from assumptions are amongst the most fundamental reasoning techniques. Yet the precise nature of assumptions is still an open topic. One of the most prominent conceptions is the placeholder view of assumptions generally associated with natural deduction for intuitionistic propositional logic. It views assumptions essentially as holes in proofs, either to be filled with closed proofs of the corresponding propositions via substitution or withdrawn as a side effect of some rule, thus in effect making them an auxiliary notion subservient (...) to proper propositions. The Curry–Howard correspondence is typically viewed as a formal counterpart of this conception. I will argue against this position and show that even though the Curry–Howard correspondence typically accommodates the placeholder view of assumptions, it is rather a matter of choice, not a necessity, and that another more assumption-friendly view can be adopted. (shrink)
The Curry-Howard isomorphism states an amazing correspondence between systems of formal logic as encountered in proof theory and computational calculi as found in type theory. For instance, minimal propositional logic corresponds to simply typed lambda-calculus, first-order logic corresponds to dependent types, second-order logic corresponds to polymorphic types, sequent calculus is related to explicit substitution, etc. The isomorphism has many aspects, even at the syntactic level: formulas correspond to types, proofs correspond to terms, provability corresponds to inhabitation, proof normalization corresponds (...) to term reduction, etc. But there is more to the isomorphism than this. For instance, it is an old idea---due to Brouwer, Kolmogorov, and Heyting---that a constructive proof of an implication is a procedure that transforms proofs of the antecedent into proofs of the succedent; the Curry-Howard isomorphism gives syntactic representations of such procedures. The Curry-Howard isomorphism also provides theoretical foundations for many modern proof-assistant systems (e.g. Coq). This book give an introduction to parts of proof theory and related aspects of type theory relevant for the Curry-Howard isomorphism. It can serve as an introduction to any or both of typed lambda-calculus and intuitionistic logic. Key features - The Curry-Howard Isomorphism treated as common theme - Reader-friendly introduction to two complementary subjects: Lambda-calculus and constructive logics - Thorough study of the connection between calculi and logics - Elaborate study of classical logics and control operators - Account of dialogue games for classical and intuitionistic logic - Theoretical foundations of computer-assisted reasoning · The Curry-Howard Isomorphism treated as the common theme. · Reader-friendly introduction to two complementary subjects: lambda-calculus and constructive logics · Thorough study of the connection between calculi and logics. · Elaborate study of classical logics and control operators. · Account of dialogue games for classical and intuitionistic logic. · Theoretical foundations of computer-assisted reasoning. (shrink)
During the 1960s, Howard M. Temin (1934-1994), dared to advocate a "heretical" hypothesis that appeared to be at variance with the central dogma of molecular biology, understood by many to imply that information transfer in nature occurred only from DNA to RNA. Temin's provirus hypothesis offered a simple explanation of both virus replication and viral-induced cancer and stated that Rous sarcoma virus, an RNA virus, is replicated via a DNA intermediate. Popular accounts of this scientific episode, written after the (...) discovery of an RNA-directed DNA polymerase in 1970, tend to describe the reaction to his proposition as ardent opposition. Typically these accounts use a 'molecular biology' standpoint emphasizing the central dogma's part in its rejection. In this article, however, this episode will be examined from a joint perspective of virology and experimental cancer research. From this perspective it is clear that Temin's work was well within the epistemological and methodological boundaries of virology and cancer research. Still, scientists did have reasons to doubt the provirus hypothesis, but these do not seem to be good enough to either justify an account that portrays Temin as a renegade or his ideas as heretical. (shrink)
It's an obituary of Jordan Howard Sobel, a prominent American-Canadian moral philosopher and a decision theorist who died in 2010. The obituary focuses on Sobels' close contacts with the Swedish philosophical community and on his contributions to Theoria.
The apparent tension between the moral codes of the Old and New Testaments constitutes a perennial problem for Christian ethics. Scholars who have taken this problem seriously have often done so in ways that presume sharp discontinuity between the Testaments. They then proceed to devise a system for identifying what is or is not relevant today, or what pertains to this or that particular social sphere. John Howard Yoder brings fresh perspectives to this perennial problem by refuting the presumption (...) of intratestamental discontinuity. Throughout multiple scattered works on the Old Testament, Yoder offers a coherent and provocative narration that culminates in the way of Christ and establishes the ethical continuity of the entire biblical canon. This essay presents the basic parameters of Yoder's Old Testament narration, suggests points where revision is needed, and highlights several implications for social ethics. (shrink)
Keywords Harold Stewart - Peter Kelly - Traditionalist circle in Melbourne PETER KELLY, Buddha in a Bookshop. North Fitzroy, Vic, Australia: Ulysses Press, 2007, 176t viii pp., ISBN: 9780646469775, pb.