This is my review of Howard B. Radest's book on Felix Adler and Ethical Culture. The book involves interesting comparisons of Adler to Emerson and to the pragmatists, and Radest is well qualified to tell the history of Adler's work and its influence.
This book provides a concise overview, with excellent historical and systematic coverage, of the problems of the philosophy of language in the analytic tradition. HowardCallaway explains and explores the relation of language to the philosophy of mind and culture, to the theory of knowledge, and to ontology. He places the question of linguistic meaning at the center of his investigations. The teachings of authors who have become classics in the field, including Frege, Russell, Carnap, Quine, Davidson, and (...) Putnam are critically analyzed. I share completely his conviction that contemporary Anglo-American philosophy follows the spirit of the enlightenment in insisting on intellectual sincerity, clarity, and the willingness to meet scientific doubts or objections openly. --Professor Henri Lauener, Editor of Dialectica. (shrink)
Achieving a good clinical trial design increases the likelihood that a trial will take place as planned, including that data will be obtained from a sufficient number of participants, and the total number of participants will be the minimal required to gain the knowledge sought. A good trial design also increases the likelihood that the knowledge sought by the experiment will be forthcoming. Achieving such a design is more than good sense—it is ethically required in experiments when participants are at (...) risk of harm. This paper argues that doing a power analysis effectively contributes to ensuring that a trial design is good. The ethical importance of good trial design has long been recognized for trials in which there is risk of serious harm to participants. However, whether the quality of a trial design, when the risk to participants is only minimal, is an ethical issue is rarely discussed. This paper argues that even in cases when the risk is minimal, the quality of the trial design is an ethical issue, and that this is reflected in the emphasis the Belmont Report places on the importance of the benefit of knowledge gained by society. The paper also argues that good trial design is required for true informed consent. (shrink)
Discusses the Whorf-Sapir hypothesis, which maintains that nature be dissected along the lines laid down by native language. One characteristic of most modern languages is that subject–verb relationships can be expressed only in active and passive voices . Modern languages might force people into dichotomous thinking patterns, since human action is couched primarily in one voice or the other. Throughout history, several languages have possessed middle voices which allow for a more complex relationship between a subject and verb than can (...) be expressed by either the AV or PV alone. English does not have a commonly used MV. This deficit might condition human thinking to possess bipolar characteristics. Modern psychological theories of human agency help scientists, legal scholars, and philosophers to adapt thinking to better reflect the continuous characteristics of the world of human action. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
William James’s pluralism, when combined with his pragmatism and radical empiricism, is a complete and coherent philosophy of life. James provides an antidote to the excesses of both the extreme realist/objectivist and the extreme constructivist/relativist camps. In this paper, we demonstrate how this is so in a discussion of epistemology and ontology including several extended examples. These examples demonstrate the inescapability of context and background assumptions and the advantages of a pluralist worldview.
After first discussing the symbiotic relationship between science and philosophy of science in mind, the author then presents a very selective glimpse of the path that science traversed from Aristotle and the ancients to the modern science of psychology. 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
The natural sciences are sometimes called "hard" sciences in contrast to the social sciences , which are thought to represent "soft" sciences. L. V. Hedges made an important effort to determine the empirical cumulativeness of various scientific research programs, with an eye toward assessing if this criterion is related to a discipline's "hardness" or "softness." This article discusses another criterion, a research program's predictive accuracy, that might also be considered along with a program's empirical cumulativeness. Finally, recent improvements in the (...) predictive accuracy of multifaceted psychological theories are discussed. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Discusses freedom of will as being agentically independent of nonagentic coercion in actions and as choosing how to become faithfully interdependent. Recent experimental developments that demonstrated the causal force of the will in human actions reveal a picture of human action as partially self-determined and partially caused by nonagentic causal influences acting upon these agents. A 2nd manner of influence is when humans choose to become faithfully interdependent by becoming a believer in any number of foundational stories that give meaning (...) to life and human actions. By joining into a set of story-perspectives, agents choose to limit their range of action in certain domains; they develop virtues and avoid vices deemed important by that community. It is suggested that agents choose to become a certain kind of person through the theological, political, or philosophical commitments that they make in life. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Suggests that the papers by B. D. Slife , M. Gergen , R. N. Williams , and M. S. Richardson demonstrated no simple solution to the free will problem. How humans achieve some limited exercise of FW in a world of nonagentic, coercive forces remains unclear, especially as human nature and lives represent complex phenomena in which the person who exercises FW is anything but omnipotent, ahistorical, self-contained, and acultural. 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Numerous writers have recently called for reform in psychological theorizing and research methodology designed to appreciate the teleological, active agent capacities of humans. This paper presents three studies that probe individual's abilities to volitionally control their eating behavior. These investigations suggest one way that researchers might consider the operation of telic powers in human action. Rather than seeing teleological explanations as rivals to the more traditional causal explanations favored in psychological research, this paper elaborates a position that sees human volition (...) as a causal force embedded in the traditional causal influences studied in psychological research. Finally, the theoretical and methodological refinements suggested here and elsewhere are seen against the backdrop of a philosophy of science that sees change as a more gradual, evolutionary process, rather than the Kuhnian, revolutionary process. (shrink)
This paper examines Santayana on imagination, and related themes, chiefly as these are expressed in his early work, Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900). My hypothesis is that Santayana under-estimates, in this book, the force and significance of the prevalent distinction between imagination and fancy, as this was originally put forward by Coleridge and later developed in Emerson’s late essays. I will focus on some of those aspects of Santayana’s book which appear to react to or to engage with Emerson’s (...) views and aim to bring Santayana’s treatment of the theme of imagination into relation with Emerson. Understanding the differences in greater detail we stand a better chance of reasoned evaluation of alternative conceptions of imagination. I will argue that the Coleridge-Emersonian conception of the distinction between imagination and fancy is a crucial element of the background of Peircean abduction, and in this fashion, contributes to the continuity of Emerson’s writings with the pragmatist tradition. (shrink)
Davidson approaches the notions of meaning and interpretation with the aim of characterizing semantic competence in the syntactically characterized natural language. The objective is to provide a truth-theory for a language, generating T-sentences expressed in the semantic metalanguage, so that each sentence of the object language receives an appropriate interpretation. Proceeding within the constraints of referential semantics, I will argue for the viability of reconstructing the notion of linguistic meaning within the Tarskian theory of reference. However, the view proposed here (...) involves a revision of Davidson’s con-ception of the object of semantic investigation. Taking (idealized) language-theories as the proper object of semantic characterization, provides solutions to outstanding problems in Davidson’s views, better approximates the practice in standard model-theoretic semantics, and incorporates the elements of semantic competence sought for in tradi¬tional theories of lexical analysis. Sources of evidence beyond those emphasized by Davidson will be invoked in order to allow for the selection of interpre¬tive T-sentences. In the final section, possible Quinean objections will be considered. (shrink)
This review illustrates the use The Southern Illinois edition of Dewey's writings, on CD ROM, which appeared in the Past Masters Series from IntelLex and edited by Larry Hickman. The exercise investigates the early relation and interactions of John Dewey and George Santayana.
This book collects some 75 texts from the history of American thought, starting with the colonial religious background, and arranged into 6 historically oriented chapers. Each chapter has a general introduction and ends with suggestions for further readings; and each of the texts is prefaced by a short explanatory paragraph. Overall, the book provides an historical introduction to central ethical themes of American thought.
Chomsky’s conception of semantics must contend with both philosophical skepticism and contrary traditions in linguistics. In “Two Dogmas” Quine argued that “...it is non-sense, and the root of much non-sense, to speak of a linguistic component and a factual component in the truth of any individual statement.” If so, it follows that language as the object of semantic investigation cannot be separated from collateral information. F. R. Palmer pursues a similar contention in his recent survey of issues in semantic theory: (...) “...it is impossible even in theory to draw a clear line between the meaning of a word or sentence and all possible relevant information about it.” In spite of such skepticism, and through a variety of theories, devotion to lexical decomposition and truth dependent on language has not abated. The purpose of this paper is to focus related criticism and briefly put forward an alternative conception of empirical semantics. (shrink)
In a series of interesting and influential papers on semantics, Hilary Putnam has developed what he calls a “post-verificationist” theory of meaning. As part of this work, and not I think the most important part, Putnam defends a limited version of the analytic-synthetic distinction. In this paper I will survey and evaluate Putnam’s defense of analyticity and explore its relationship to broader concerns in semantics. Putnam’s defense of analyticity ultimately fails, and I want to show here exactly why it fails. (...) However, I will also argue that this very failure helps open the prospect of a new optimism concerning the theory of meaning, a theory of meaning finally liberated from the dead weight of the notions of analyticity and necessary truth. Putnam’s work, in fact, makes valuable contributions to such a theory. (shrink)
A chief aim of this paper is to provide common ground for discussion of outstanding issues between defenders of classical logic and contemporary advocates of intuitionistic logic. In this spirit, I draw upon (and reconstruct) here the relationship between dialogue and evidence as emphasized in German constructivist authors. My approach depends upon developments in the methodology of empirical linguistics. As a preliminary to saying how one might decide between these two versions of logic (this issue is most closely approached in (...) Section V. discussing the constructivist approach), it is well worth the effort to look closely at how logic is (or might be) learned and at questions concerning logic in translation, i.e., the question of how we might detect the variety of logic actually employed in a given speech community. (shrink)
Reconciliation of semantic holism with interpretation of individual expressions is advanced here by means of a relativization of sentence meaning to object language theories viewed as idealizations of belief-systems. Fodor's view of the autonomy of the special sciences is emphasized and this is combined with detailed replies to his recent criticisms of meaning holism. The argument is that the need for empirical evidence requires a holistic approach to meaning. Thus, semantic realism requires semantic holism. -/- .
Quine's aim in this slim book is to "update, sum up and clarify variously intersecting views on cognitive meaning, objective referencce, and the grounds of knowledge." Only nine pages had previously appeared as the book came to print. It is based largely on unpublished lectures and informal discussions of the past ten years back to the Immanuel Kant Lectures given at Stanford in 1980. It does not, then duplicate Leonelli's Italian translation of the Kant lectures, La Scienza E I Datti (...) di Senso, which appeared in 1987. (shrink)
This book is a translation of W.V. Quine's Kant Lectures, given as a series at Stanford University in 1980. It provide a short and useful summary of Quine's philosophy. There are four lectures altogether: I. Prolegomena: Mind and its Place in Nature; II. Endolegomena: From Ostension to Quantification; III. Endolegomena loipa: The forked animal; and IV. Epilegomena: What's It all About? The Kant Lectures have been published to date only in Italian and German translation. The present book is filled out (...) with the translator's critical Introduction, "The esoteric Quine?" a bibliography based on Quine's sources, and an Index for the volume. (shrink)
HowardCallaway's new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Society and Solitude is an invaluable contribution to both the primary and secondary literature on Emerson. Its contribution to the primary sources is its use of the original 1870 edition of Emerson's text, though with modernized spellings to facilitate the reader's understanding. Its contribution to the secondary literature consists in the scholarly apparatus of page-by-page annotations, an introduction, a chronology, a bibliography, and an index. Callaway's Society and Solitude is (...) a worthy companion to his earlier edition of Emerson's The Conduct of Life. (shrink)