Current scholarship all but unanimously depicts Plutarch as a straightforward Platonist. The Lives of Lycurgus and Numa in particular are regularly cited as evidence of Plutarch's adherence to Platonic political doctrines, because in both Lives Plutarch makes explicit reference to the 'best regime' of Plato's Republic. In this article, I question the consensus opinion through an examination of Plutarch's Lycurgus and Numa. I argue that far from unreflectively applying a Platonic paradigm, Plutarch develops a subtle critique of Plato's best regime. (...) Plutarch shows himself to be more sensitive to the political utility of honour and more wary of the benefits of 'philosopher-kings' than the Socrates of the Republic. I conclude by suggesting how the recognition of Plutarch's departure from Plato might influence one's general approach to the Parallel Lives. (shrink)
Epistemologists often appeal to the idea that a normative theory must provide useful, usable, guidance to argue for one normative epistemology over another. I argue that this is a mistake. Guidance considerations have no role to play in theory choice in epistemology. I show how this has implications for debates about the possibility and scope of epistemic dilemmas, the legitimacy of idealisation in Bayesian Epistemology, Uniqueness vs. Permissivism, sharp vs. mushy credences, and internalism vs. externalism.
_Transcendence and History_ is an analysis of what philosopher Eric Voegelin described as “the decisive problem of philosophy”: the dilemma of the discovery of transcendent meaning and the impact of this discovery on human self-understanding. The explicit recognition and symbolization of transcendent meaning originally occurred in a few advanced civilizations worldwide during the first millennium?.?.e. The world’s major religious and wisdom traditions are built upon the recognition of transcendent meaning, and our own cultural and linguistic heritage has long since absorbed (...) the postcosmological division of reality into the two dimensions of “transcendence” and “immanence.” But the last three centuries in the West have seen a growing resistance to the idea of transcendent meaning; contemporary and “postmodern” interpretations of the human situation—both popular and intellectual—indicate a widespread eclipse of confidence in the truth of transcendence. In _Transcendence and History_, Glenn Hughes contributes to the understanding of transcendent meaning and the problems associated with it and assists in the philosophical recovery of the legitimacy of the notion of transcendence. Depending primarily on the treatments of transcendence found in the writings of twentieth-century philosophers Eric Voegelin and Bernard Lonergan, Hughes explores the historical discovery of transcendent meaning and then examines what it indicates about the structure of history. Hughes’s main focus, however, is on clarifying the problem of transcendence in relation to historical _existence_. Addressing both layreaders and scholars, Hughes applies the insights and analyses of Voegelin and Lonergan to considerable advantage. _Transcendence and History_ will be of particular value to those who have grappled with the notion of transcendence in the study of philosophy, comparative religion, political theory, history, philosophical anthropology, and art or poetry. By examining transcendent meaning as the key factor in the search for ultimate meaning from ancient societies to the present, the book demonstrates how “the decisive problem of philosophy” both illuminates and presents a vital challenge to contemporary intellectual discourse. (shrink)
In order to raise awareness of the ambiguous nature of scientific-technological progress, and of the challenging problems it raises, problems which are not easily addressed by courses in a single discipline and cannot be projected onto disciplinary curricula, Technical University of Darmstadt has established three interdisciplinary study concentrations: “Technology and International Development”, “Environmental Sciences”, and “Sustainable Shaping of Technology and Science”. These three programmes seek to overcome the limitations of strictly disciplinary research and teaching by developing an integrated, problem-oriented approach. (...) For example, one course considers fundamental nuclear dilemmas and uses role-playing techniques to address a controversy in the area of nuclear security. At the same time, incorporating interdisciplinary teaching into a university that is organized around mono- or multi-disciplinary faculties also poses a number of challenges. Recognition in disciplinary curricula, and appropriate organizational support and funding are examples of those challenges. It is expected that science and engineering students, empowered by such interdisciplinary study programmes, will be better prepared to act responsibly with regard to scientific and technological challenges. (shrink)
A principal challenge facing the progressive bioethics project is the crafting of a consistent message on biopolitical issues that divide progressives. -/- The regulation of enhancement technologies is one of the issues central to this emerging biopolitics, pitting progressive defenders of enhancement, “technoprogressives,” against progressive critics. This essay [PDF] will argue that technoprogressive biopolitics express the consistent application of the core progressive values of the Enlightenment: the right of individuals to control their own bodies, brains and reproduction according to their (...) own conscience, under democratic states that work for the public good. -/- Insofar as left bioconservatives want to ensure the safety of therapies and their equitable distribution, these concerns can be addressed by thorough and independent regulation and a universal health care system, and a progressive bioethics of enhancement can unite both enthusiasts and skeptics. Insofar as bioconservative concerns are motivated by deeper hostility to the Enlightenment project however, by assertion of pre-modern reverence for human uniqueness for instance, then a common program is unlikely. -/- imageAfter briefly reviewing the political history and contemporary landscape of biopolitical debates about enhancement, the essay outlines three meta-policy contexts that will impact future biopolicy: the pressure to establish a universal, cost-effective health insurance system, the aging of industrial societies, and globalization. Technoprogressive appeals are outlined that can appeal to key constituencies, and build a majority coalition in support of progressive change. Finally, some guiding principles for a technoprogressive approach to biopolicy are offered. (shrink)
This article argues that there can be epistemic dilemmas: situations in which one faces conflicting epistemic requirements with the result that whatever one does, one is doomed to do wrong from the epistemic point of view. Accepting this view, I argue, may enable us to solve several epistemological puzzles.
Williamson (2000) appeals to considerations about when it is natural to say that a hypothesis is consistent with one’s evidence in order to motivate the claim that all and only knowledge is evidence. It is argued here that the relevant considerations do not support this claim, and in fact conflict with it.
In these essays, Hugh J. McCann develops a unified perspective on human action. Written over a period of twenty-five years, the essays provide a comprehensive survey of the major topics in contemporary action theory. In four sections, the book addresses the ontology of action ; the foundations of action ; intention, will, and freedom; and practical rationality. McCann works out a compromise between competing perspectives on the individuation of action ; explores the foundations of action and defends a volitional (...) theory; argues for a libertarian view of both the formation and the execution of intention; and considers the question of consistency in rational intentions, as well as the relationship between practical and theoretical reasoning. -/- Among the original features of McCann's work are his defense of both fine- and coarse-grained actions and his arguments for a noncausal theory of the relation between intention and action. He also suggests that intentions need not be consistent, either with each other or with beliefs about success. And he contends that intention formation is an intrinsically ratiocinative procedure, distinct from reasoning about what action would be best. (shrink)
Hugh H. Benson explores Plato's answer to Clitophon's challenge, the question of how one can acquire the knowledge Socrates argues is essential to human flourishing-knowledge we all seem to lack. Plato suggests two methods by which this knowledge may be gained: the first is learning from those who already have the knowledge one seeks, and the second is discovering the knowledge one seeks on one's own. The book begins with a brief look at some of the Socratic dialogues where (...) Plato appears to recommend the former approach while simultaneously indicating various difficulties in pursuing it. The remainder of the book focuses on Plato's recommendation in some of his most important and central dialogues-the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic-for carrying out the second approach: de novo inquiry. The book turns first to the famous paradox concerning the possibility of such an inquiry and explores Plato's apparent solution. Having defended the possibility of de novo inquiry as a response to Clitophon's challenge, Plato explains the method or procedure by which such inquiry is to be carried out. The book defends the controversial thesis that the method of hypothesis, as described and practiced in the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic, is, when practiced correctly, Plato's recommended method of acquiring on one's own the essential knowledge we lack. The method of hypothesis when practiced correctly is, then, Platonic dialectic, and this is Plato's response to Clitophon's challenge. (shrink)
Exploring the role of values in scientific inquiry, Hugh Lacey examines the nature and meaning of values, and looks at challenges to the view, posed by postmodernists, feminists, radical ecologists, Third-World advocates and religious fundamentalists, that science is value free. He also focuses on discussions of 'development', especially in Third World countries. This paperback edition includes a new preface.
Quite rightly, philosophers of physics examine the theories of physics, theories like Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory, the Special and General Theories of Relativity, and Statistical Mechanics. Far fewer, however, examine how these theories are put to use; that is to say, little attention is paid to the practices of theoretical physicists. In the early 1950s David Bohm and David Pines published a sequence of four papers, collectively entitled, 'A Collective Description of Electron Interaction.' This essay uses that quartet as (...) a case study in theoretical practice. In Part One of the essay, each of the Bohm-Pines papers is summarized, and within each summary an overview is given, framing a more detailed account. In Part Two theoretical practice is broken into six elements: the use of models, the use of theory, modes of description and narrative, the use of approximations, experiment and theory, the varied steps employed in a deduction. The last element is the largest, drawing as it does from the earlier ones. Part Three enlarges on the concept of 'theoretical practice,' and briefly outlines the subsequent theoretical advances which rendered the practices of Bohm and Pines obsolete, if still respected. (shrink)
The theory of personal identity should illuminate and be illuminated by the theory of personality, of which it is a part. I believe that Locke's theory succeeds in this more than that of any other great philosopher, and the modifications which it may need are not fundamental ones. The problems raised by Butler and Flew can be made to disappear.
This paper takes up the question of the role of philosophical moral theory in our attempts to resolve the ethical problems that arise in health care, with particular reference to the contention that we need theory to be determinative of our choice of actions. Moral theorizing is distinguished from moral theories and the prospects for determinacy from the latter are examined through a consideration of the most promising candidates: utilitarianism, deontology and the procedures involved in reflective equilibrium. It is argued (...) that the current lack of any generally accepted method of solving moral problems, together with the extreme improbability of philosophy achieving a plausibly determinate theory, should encourage us to approach the problems in a spirit of agnosticism regarding the way in which theoretical material might be of relevance. The practical test for both moral theorizing and moral theories is thus not determinacy but the degree to which they increase our understanding of moral problems by serving, as they do in philosophy, as a means of inquiry into their nature. (shrink)
While the early Platonic dialogues have often been explored and appreciated for their ethical content, this is the first book devoted solely to the epistemology of Plato's early dialogues. Author Hugh H. Benson argues that the characteristic features of these dialogues- -Socrates' method of questions and answers, his fascination with definition, his professions of ignorance, and his thesis that virtue is knowledge- -are decidedly epistemological. In this thoughtful study, Benson uncovers the model of knowledge that underlies these distinctively Socratic (...) views. What emerges is unfamiliar, yet closer to a contemporary conception of scientific understanding than ordinary knowledge. (shrink)
One of the fundamental ethical ambiguities in giving over our information is that it allows the other party not just to help us better, but also to exploit us better. Today we are increasingly aware of this ambiguity wherever big data is used, and precision medicine is proving to be no exception. Here I sketch the role that status hierarchies play in the relation between researchers and research subjects.
Some of the most significant policy responses to cases of fraudulent and questionable conduct by scientists have been to strengthen professionalism among scientists, whether by codes of conduct, integrity boards, or mandatory research integrity training programs. Yet there has been little systematic discussion about what professionalism in scientific research should mean. In this paper I draw on the sociology of the professions and on data comparing codes of conduct in science to those in the professions, in order to examine what (...) precisely the model of professionalism implies for scientific research. I argue that professionalism, more than any other single organizational logic, is appropriate for scientific research, and that codes of conduct for scientists should strengthen statements concerning scientific autonomy and competence, as well as the scientific service ideal. (shrink)
_Brute Science_ investigates whether biomedical research using animals is, in fact, scientifically justified. Hugh LaFollette and Niall Shanks examine the issues in scientific terms using the models that scientists themselves use. They argue that we need to reassess our use of animals and, indeed, rethink the standard positions in the debate.
R.I.G. Hughes presents a series of eight philosophical essays on the theoretical practices of physics. The first two essays examine these practices as they appear in physicists' treatises (e.g. Newton's Principia and Opticks ) and journal articles (by Einstein, Bohm and Pines, Aharonov and Bohm). By treating these publications as texts, Hughes casts the philosopher of science in the role of critic. This premise guides the following 6 essays which deal with various concerns of philosophy of physics such as laws, (...) disunities, models and representation, computer simulation, explanation, and the discourse of physics. (shrink)
6 and 14 recently proposed taxonomies that distinguish between four processing states, based on bottom-up stimulus strength and top-down attentional amplification. The aim of the present study was to empirically test these processing states using the priming paradigm. Our results showed that attention and stimulus strength significantly modulated priming effects: either receiving top-down attention or possessing sufficient bottom-up strength was a prerequisite for a stimulus to elicit priming. When both top-down attention and sufficient bottom-up strength were present, the priming effect (...) was boosted. The origins of the observed priming effects also varied between different processing states. We can conclude that our empirical study using the priming paradigm confirmed the presence of four processing states, which displayed a differential pattern of response priming effects and differential origins of the response priming effects. (shrink)
Hugh Rice explains why belief in God need not be seen as a strange or irrational kind of belief, but can be a natural extension of our ordinary ways of thinking. He suggests that we should think of God in an abstract way, and he offers a satisfying account of the relationship between God and goodness. Anyone interested in the nature of God and the basis of religious belief will enjoy this book.
Environmental heterogeneity is invoked as a key explanatory factor in the adaptive evolution of a surprisingly wide range of phenomena. This article aims to analyze this explanatory scheme of categorizing traits or properties as adaptations to environmental heterogeneity. First it is suggested that this scheme can be understood as a reaction to how heterogeneity adaptations were discounted or ignored in the modern synthesis. Then a positive account is proposed, distinguishing between two broad categories of adaptation to environmental heterogeneity: properties selected (...) for by well-defined patterns of environmental heterogeneity, and properties that help organisms exploit novel patterns of environmental heterogeneity. (shrink)
This book offers a resolution of the paradox posed by the pleasure of tragedy by returning to its earliest articulations in archaic Greek poetry and its subsequent emergence as a philosophical problem in Plato's Republic. Socrates' claim that tragic poetry satisfies our 'hunger for tears' hearkens back to archaic conceptions of both poetry and mourning that suggest a common source of pleasure in the human appetite for heightened forms of emotional distress. By unearthing a psychosomatic model of aesthetic engagement implicit (...) in archaic poetry and philosophically elaborated by Plato, this volume not only sheds new light on the Republic's notorious indictment of poetry, but also identifies rationally and ethically disinterested sources of value in our pursuit of aesthetic states. In doing so the book resolves an intractable paradox in aesthetic theory and human psychology: the appeal of painful emotions. (shrink)
Page generated Fri Jul 23 16:24:51 2021 on philpapers-web-786f65f869-f4vwm
cache stats: hit=8772, miss=8661, save= autohandler : 1904 ms called component : 1876 ms search.pl : 1557 ms render loop : 1198 ms addfields : 739 ms publicCats : 577 ms next : 389 ms initIterator : 354 ms autosense : 179 ms match_other : 153 ms quotes : 142 ms retrieve cache object : 119 ms menu : 119 ms save cache object : 86 ms search_quotes : 67 ms prepCit : 28 ms match_cats : 23 ms applytpl : 8 ms intermediate : 2 ms match_authors : 1 ms init renderer : 0 ms setup : 0 ms auth : 0 ms writelog : 0 ms