This article provides current Schwartz Values Survey (SVS) data from samples of business managers and professionals across 50 societies that are culturally and socioeconomically diverse. We report the society scores for SVS values dimensions for both individual- and societal-level analyses. At the individual-level, we report on the ten circumplex values sub-dimensions and two sets of values dimensions (collectivism and individualism; openness to change, conservation, self-enhancement, and self-transcendence). At the societal-level, we report on the values dimensions of embeddedness, hierarchy, mastery, affective (...) autonomy, intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism, and harmony. For each society, we report the Cronbach’s α statistics for each values dimension scale to assess their internal consistency (reliability) as well as report interrater agreement (IRA) analyses to assess the acceptability of using aggregated individual level values scores to represent country values. We also examined whether societal development level is related to systematic variation in the measurement and importance of values. Thus, the contributions of our evaluation of the SVS values dimensions are two-fold. First, we identify the SVS dimensions that have cross-culturally internally reliable structures and within-society agreement for business professionals. Second, we report the society cultural values scores developed from the twenty-first century data that can be used as macro-level predictors in multilevel and single-level international business research. (shrink)
This article provides current Schwartz Values Survey data from samples of business managers and professionals across 50 societies that are culturally and socioeconomically diverse. We report the society scores for SVS values dimensions for both individual- and societallevel analyses. At the individual- level, we report on the ten circumplex values sub- dimensions and two sets of values dimensions. At the societal- level, we report on the values dimensions of embeddedness, hierarchy, mastery, affective autonomy, intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism, and harmony. For each (...) society, we report the Cronbach' s? statistics for each values dimension scale to assess their internal consistency as well as report interrater agreement analyses to assess the acceptability of using aggregated individual level values scores to represent country span sp. (shrink)
This paper explores the philosophy of tertiary civic education in Hong Kong. It does not only investigate the role of tertiary education that can play in civic education, but also explores the way to achieve the aim of integrating liberal democratic citizenship and collective national identity in the context of persistent conflicts between two different identity politics in Hong Kong: politics of assimilation and politics of difference. As Hong Kong is part of China and is inevitably getting closer cooperation with (...) the mainland in the future, I argue that Hong Kong citizenship should affirm its own distinctiveness while also identifying with Chinese nationality. Thus, tertiary civic education should foster a trans-cultural political vision so that the two different horizons can be synthesized and the political framework and identity can be transformed in order to reduce conflicts between the two peoples. (shrink)
This paper compares the idea of embodied reasoning by Confucian Tu Wei-Ming and Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor. They have similar concerns about the problems of secular modernity, that is, the domination of instrumental reason and disembodied rationality. Both of them suggest that we have to explore a kind of embodied moral reasoning. I show that their theories of embodiment have many similarities: the body is an instrument for our moral knowledge and self-understanding; such knowledge is inevitably a kind of bodily (...) knowledge. I will also demonstrate how the differences between their theories can be mutually enriched. While Taylor has provided a philosophical account of the foundation of moral epistemology, Tu’s emphasis of ritual practice and the integration of knowing, doing and being seems to offer a more fully embodied understanding of the moral self. (shrink)
This paper examines the long-term development of Orientalism as an intellectual field, with the European learning of China between ca.1600 and ca.1900 as an exemplary case. My analysis will be aided by a theoretical framework based on a synthesis of the world-system and network perspectives on long-run intellectual change. Analyzing recurrent debates on China within European intellectual circles, I demonstrate that the Western conception of the East has been oscillating between universalism and particularism, and between naive idealization and racist bias. (...) This oscillation is a function as much of the changing political economy of the capitalist world-system as of the endogenous politics of the intellectual field. Despite their contrasting views, both admirers and despisers of the East viewed non-Western civilizations as uniform wholes that had never changed. I argue that the fundamental fallacy of Orientalism lay, not in its presumptions about the ontological differences between East and West and the former's inferiority, as previous critics of Orientalism have supposed, but in its reductionism. Understanding non-Western civilizations in their full dynamism and heterogeneity is a critical step toward the renewal of the twentieth-century social theories that were built upon and impaired by the Orientalist knowledge accumulated in the previous centuries. (shrink)
Humanism and humanistic education have been recognised as an issue of the utmost importance, whether in the East or in the West. Underpinning the Eastern and Western humanism is a common belief that there is an essence or essences of humanness. In the Confucian tradition, the core of humanity lies in the idea of ‘ren’; in the Platonic tradition, ‘rationality’. For some critics, this belief may lead to violence as much as justice. One way to be aware of the danger (...) is not to follow the line of traditional humanism without question. The strategy that the early Daoists and the contemporary philosopher Derrida use is to challenge, question, rethink, re-examine, and reposition the meaning of self. In this article, I will first argue that the idea of non-I in early Daoism is indeed a ‘question of the self’ as well as a doubt cast upon the ‘junzi’ or sage in Confucian orthodoxy. Then, I explore the concept of human subject in Derrida. The consonance between the Daoist undoing of the self and Derrida's deconstructing subject sheds new light on our understanding of humanistic education. (shrink)
Learning about ‘nature’ has particular significance for education because the idea of nature is an important source of inspiring meaning‐rich experience and creation. In order to have meaningful experiences in learning and living, this paper argues for a personal subject‐related lifeworld approach to the learning of ‘nature’. Many authors claim that the lifeworld‐led learning approach helps to enrich educational experience. However, there can be various interpretations of the lifeworld approach, as the concept of lifeworld is diversely understood. This paper proposes (...) a personal, subject‐related lifeworld approach from a Husserlian‐Merleau‐Pontian perspective. I suggest that it holds great potential for improving our current curriculum which suffers from meaning‐impoverishment. This paper comprises the following parts: the elucidation of the lifeworld approach to learning, a demonstration of the flaws of current curricula by discussing and analysing the Taiwanese curriculum guidelines, and an exposition of... (shrink)
Synaesthesia is a neurological condition in which a sensory or cognitive stimulus consistently co-activates another sensory/cognitive quality in addition to its usual qualities. For example, synaesthetes might see colours when they read words. Coloured language is one of the most common and most studied types of synaesthesia. The processes that govern the associations of colours and language have been linked to the mechanisms underlying the processing of language more generally. This chapter reviews evidence from current psycholinguistic synaesthesia research in Chinese, (...) focusing in particular on how synaesthetic colouring works in Chinese characters, the basic writing units in Chinese. I consider this in relation to the psycholinguistic processes of character recognition. This chapter reviews evidence for the following facts: that synaesthetic colouring of Chinese characters is a genuine phenomenon in the Chinese population and may affect as many as 1 in 100 in the Chinese population, with a non-significant difference across the sexes that the colouring of characters is rule-based and influenced by a number of linguistic factors; and that synaesthetic colouring can transfer across Chinese and English in bilinguals. These findings are discussed in relation to native versus non-native Chinese synaesthetes, and to the Chinese versus English systems. (shrink)
This article explores a significant question, implicit in Kafka?s novel Metamorphosis, explicitly asked by Rorty: ?Can I care about a stranger?? Alphonso Lingis?s view is adopted to overcome a mainstream belief that there is a distinction between my community and the stranger?s community, or us community and the community of those who have nothing in common. His view is thus beneficial to reveal the in-depth paradoxical meaning in the relationship between the stranger and me: I am the stranger and the (...) stranger is me. Therefore, to care about the stranger is to care about myself. (shrink)
The essays on aesthetics in recent publications, beginning with the criticisms of Chu Kuang-ch'ien's point of view in aesthetics and continuing down to his article "How Can Aesthetics be Materialistic and Dialectic?" [Mei-hsüeh tsen-yang ts'ai neng shih wei-wu ti yu shih pien-cheng ti?"], have focused on the problem of the relationship between the subjective and the objective in beauty and in sense of beauty. This is a fundamental problem in aesthetics, and only when we have solved this problem can we (...) answer the questions of what beauty is and wherein beauty lies. Some people have presented their own tentative answers to these questions, and these have been discussed by our comrades. (shrink)
Kuan Feng and Lin Lü-shih's work on reinterpreting pre-Confucian thought in the Yin-Chou period in the light of social class interests and conflicts shows a highly sophisticated use of Marxist methodology. It also uncovers many interesting problems, such as the basic modes of thinking in the Chou-i, the "Hung-fan," Yin Chi-fu, and Shih Po. By presenting the ancient thought in a reasoned manner, the Marxist methodology loses its forbidding dogmatic aspect and assumes a reasoned appearance open to argumentation. Kuan (...) and Lin's work thus becomes a testing ground not only for an adequate understanding of ancient Chinese thought and its background, but for the adequacy of Marxism as a tool of understanding. (shrink)
In my (2004), I argued that it is possible to drink any finite amount of alcohol without ever suffering a hangover by completing a certain kind of supertask. Assume that a drink causes drunkenness to ensue immediately and to last for a period proportional to the quantity of alcohol consumed; that a hangover begins immediately at the time the drunkenness ends and lasts for the same length of time as the drunkenness; and that at any time during which you are (...) drunk you do not suffer any hangover you might have at that time. Starting at a time at which you are not drunk and not hung over, drink a half pint of beer. Wait until you are just about to get a hangover (30 minutes, say), and then drink a quarter pint. Wait until you are just about to get a hangover again, and then drink an eighth, and so on.... After an hour you have drunk a pint, and you do not have a hangover. Every hangover you incurred happened within the hour you spent drinking; but you were drunk that whole time, so you didn’t suffer the hangovers. It seems that the old drunkard’s method of a “hair of the dog” can be effective in completely avoiding a hangover. (shrink)
Early in my college career, I was perusing the science section of my favorite bookstore in Albuquerque —the Living Batch, where the really smart hippies hung out—when my eye was caught by the spine of a little paperback called The Universe and Dr. Einstein. Priced at ninetyfive cents, it promised to be “the clearest, most readable book on Einstein’s theories ever published.” On the cover was a tantalizing portrait of a well-tanned Einstein, his wild shock of hair blowing in (...) the cosmic wind. Behind him loomed the night sky, shining with constellations and mathematics. This was clearly the man who knew the answers and they would be imparted to me, a mere humanities major, in a book that was only 118 pages long. I bought it on the spot. (shrink)
Books reviewed in this essay:Fred d'Agostino, Naturalizing Epistemology: Thomas Kuhn and the Essential Tension (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)Edwin H.-C. Hung, Beyond Kuhn: Scientific Explanation, Theory Structure, Incommensurability and Physical Necessity (Hants: Ashgate, 2006)Hanne Andersen, Peter Barker, and Xiang Chen, The Cognitive Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)Forty-eight years after the publication of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, fourteen since the death of its author, Thomas S. Kuhn, and ten since the publication of the posthumous Road Since (...) Structure (2000), the Kuhn cottage industry continues to produce. In preparing this essay review I .. (shrink)
Saint Anselm’s proof for God’s existence in his Proslogion, as the label “ontological” retrospectively hung on it indicates, is usually treated as involving some sophisticated problem of, or a much less sophisticated tampering with, the concept of existence. In this paper I intend to approach Saint Anselm’s reasoning from a somewhat different angle.
Ten years ago, I stopped work as a junior doctor at a provincial New Zealand hospital and enrolled in a creative writing degree. I finished on a night shift—quiet, but marred by a particularly upsetting case of domestic violence. I remember getting changed at the end of the night into my own clothes, stuffing the scrubs I’d been wearing into the laundry bag that hung outside the doctor’s lounge, and leaving the hospital to pack for the move to a (...) new city. It was a strange way to finish, on a Sunday morning, without the colleagues in the Woman, Child and Family service with whom I’d spent so much time.For the next year, instead of ward rounds, night shifts, and on-call, I read, wrote poetry, and trekked up the hill.. (shrink)
In the sixties I attempted to comprehend the Zen paradox: 1,400 years of handing down a tradition through absurd statements. I had to construct a theory of the absurd. It led me to the conclusion that not only connections among words could be absurd ; connections among objects themselves could also be absurd. God hung on the cross seemed an absurdity. The Apostle Paul acutely felt this absurdity, and later Tertullian felt it even more acutely. A thousand years later, (...) for Aquinas, the sense of absurdity had subsided, and the diminution of God to the "perspective of the slave" became a postulate of scholastic reason. In all transitional periods, when the "world is out of joint," a palpably absurd situation arises, and grotesque, absurd literature is created. François Villon became popular in Russia in the twentieth century, not very long before Kafka; the poem written for the contest in Blois engraved itself in my memory. The poem is rational in its own way, i.e., it describes well the realities of life itself. (shrink)
While every discipline in the humanities worries about its future, film studies is caught in the thrall of a particular anxiety, namely the possibility that it lacks a consistent object and a compelling reason. Behind the question of film studies looms the question of cinema itself, an aging techn? that seems to have hung around in the midst of new(er) media that lay claim to the image as their province. Why cinema? Against so many digital incursions, more traditionally minded (...) critics have defended film on the basis of its indexical powers, but this article envisions an entirely different reason to return to the cinema. Where both the return to the index and the recourse to the digital effect tend to regard the cinema as a matter of visibility, I suggest that we might reclaim our faith in the cinema by virtue of what remains unseen and off-screen. Hence, this essay undertakes a brief history of the out of frame in order to induce a conceptualization of the cinema (pace Deleuze) as the art of the ?Outside.? Turning to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, the essay concludes by analyzing how an ostensibly older sense of images nevertheless augurs the critical and philosophical developments with which we can learn to believe in the cinema once more. (shrink)
DI.1 On everything that lives, if one looks searchingly, is limned the shadow line of an idea – an idea, dead or living, sometimes stronger when dead, with rigid, unswerving lines that mark the living embodiment with the stern immobile cast of the non living. Daily we move among these unyielding shadows, less pierceable, more enduring than granite, with the blackness of ages in them, dominating living, changing bodies, with dead, unchanging souls. And we meet, also, living souls dominating dying (...) bodies – living ideas regnant over decay and death. Do not imagine that I speak of human life alone. The stamp of persistent or of shifting Will is visible in the grass blade rooted in its clod of earth, as in the gossamer web of being that floats and swims far over our heads in the free world of air. DI.2 Regnant ideas, everywhere! Did you ever see a dead vine bloom? I have seen it. Last summer I trained some morning glory vines up over a second story balcony; and every day they blew and curled in the wind, their white, purple dashed faces winking at the sun, radiant with climbing life. Higher every day the green heads crept, carrying their train of spreading fans waving before the sun seeking blossoms. Then all at once some mischance happened, some cutworm or some mischievous child tore one vine off below, the finest and most ambitious one, of course. In a few hours the leaves hung limp, the sappy stem wilted and began to wither; in a day it was dead, – all but the top which still clung longingly to its support, with bright head lifted. I mourned a little for the buds that could never open now, and tied that proud vine whose work in the world was lost. But the next night there was a storm, a heavy, driving storm, with beating rain and blinding lightning. I rose to watch the flashes, and lo! the wonder of the world! In the blackness of the mid NIGHT, in the fury of wind and rain, the dead vine had flowered. Five white, moon faced blossoms blew gaily round the skeleton vine, shining back triumphant at the red lightning. (shrink)
We see our fathers naked, we men.Among the more poignant moments of Stanley Cavell’s 2010 autobiography Little Did I Know are those in which young Cavell works to find words to break the silence that hung between himself and his father. In one exchange, seven-year-old Cavell’s aimless remark about speckled chocolate wafers was met with a savage retort and marked the moment when Cavell became certain his father wanted him dead—or rather, not to exist at all. Cavell was tormented (...) both by his father’s utterances and punishing silences, and it is little wonder Cavell developed a lifelong preoccupation with responsiveness and failures of responsiveness. Here, too, we see the roots of Cavell’s... (shrink)
Traditionally, definitions of art have been concerned with the characteristics of the art object, the process of its creation or the reactions to it. in this paper i suggest to concentrate on the circumstances of the object's existence and the process by which it comes to exist. these circumstances, which differ in different periods and in different societies, are: (a) it's being declared, either by the artist, or by an exhibition catalogue, or by a collector, or by an art expert, (...) that x is art; (b) it's being understood that the said object in a museum, gallery, concert-hall, living room, is located or arranged or hung in such a way as to indicate that it is being exhibited as a work of art; (c) the said object's resembling objects previously recognized as being works of art; (d) the said declaration, referred to in (a), being made in the proper media--those recognized as having authority in the realm of art. (edited). (shrink)
This instalment of suggestions is put forward with all the diffidence one is bound to feel after an examination of the great body of the manuscripts. No great writer's text has hung upon a more slender thread of evidence. Larger matters than verbal emendation are touched upon in the discussion of poem LXVIII. My theory of how our texts became dislocated , and some new light I hope to throw upon the form and meaning of the Peleus and Thetis, (...) must be withheld until a later occasion. (shrink)
I approach the subject of artistic interpretation through art, letting philosophical questions arise from the complexities of the individual cases and thus allowing a thornier but more interesting picture of interpretation to emerge. This dissertation consists of three essays, each of which explores interpretation via a work in a different artistic medium, and an afterword which treats interpretation more directly. "Bodies: Self-Mutilation, Interpretation, and Controversial Art" deals with the performance artist, Stelarc, who hung himself over a New York intersection (...) by fish hooks piercing his skin. To understand the response that there is something offensive about such art, I consider the notions of humiliation and demeaning treatment, starting with the work of Gabriele Taylor. I offer an interpretation of Stelarc's performance to show that it is not necessarily demeaning, and that how we judge a work morally is inextricably related to how we interpret it. In "Souls: Theatricality in Bouts' Last Supper Painting" I consider the intense theatricality of Dirk Bouts' Last Supper altarpiece. Contrasting my view of theatricality with that of Michael Fried, I present a reading of the Bouts painting that shows how we can learn from ahistorical interpretations of works of art. "Ordinary People: Trio A and How Dances Signify" takes up the pedestrian dances of the 1960's in order to ask how dances achieve signification. Building on the groundwork of Nelson Goodman, I conclude that works like Yvonne Rainer's Trio A signify through representation, not by straightforward exemplification. In my Afterword, I consider the stance we should have as interpreters of works of art, and contrast it with the stances with which we approach propaganda and pornography. In interpreting art, we navigate between freedom and constraint. (shrink)
Although the composition of the board of directors has important implications for different aspects of firm performance, prior studies tend to focus on financial performance. The effects of board composition on corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance remain an under-researched area, particularly in the period following the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). This article specifically examines two important aspects of board composition (i.e., the presence of outside directors and the presence of women directors) and their relationship with CSR (...) performance in the Post-SOX era. With data covering over 500 of the largest companies listed on the U.S. stock exchanges and spanning 64 different industries, we find empirical evidence showing that greater presence of outside and women directors is linked to better CSR performance within a firm’s industry. Treating CSR performance as the reflection of a firm’s moral legitimacy, our study suggests that deliberate structuring of corporate boards may be an effective approach to enhance a firm’s moral legitimacy. (shrink)
One version of the argument for design relies on the assumption that the apparent fine-tuning of the universe for the existence of life requires an explanation. I argue that the assumption is false. Philosophers who argue for the assumption usually appeal to analogies, such as the one in which a person was to draw a particular straw among a very large number of straws in order not to be killed. Philosophers on the other side appeal to analogies like the case (...) of winning a lottery. I analyze the two analogies and explain why the lottery analogy is the right one to use. In the light of such an analysis, we can see that although the cosmic feature of being life-permitting is rare, it does not allow life-permitting possible universes to stand out because there are other rare cosmic features that other possible universes have. (shrink)
How can we acquire understanding? Linda Zagzebski has long claimed that understanding is acquired through, or arises from, mastering a particular practical technê. In this paper, I explicate Zagzebski’s claim and argue that the claim is problematic. Based on a critical examination of Zagzebski’s claim, I propose, in conclusion and in brief, a new claim regarding the acquisition of understanding.
Anti-intellectualists in epistemology argue for the thesis that knowing-how is not a species of knowing-that, and most of them tend to avoid any use of the notion “knowing-that” in their explanation of intelligent action on pain of inconsistency. Intellectualists tend to disprove anti-intellectualism by showing that the residues of knowing-that remain in the anti-intellectualist explanation of intelligent action. Outside the field of epistemology, some philosophers who try to highlight the nature of their explanation of intelligent action in certain fields, such (...) as ethics, tend to classify themselves as intellectualist simply because they appeal to the notion of knowing-that in their explanation. In a word, the idea of knowing-that is harmful to the anti-intellectualist explanation of intelligent action, whether from an insider or outsider perspective. In this paper, I argue that these tendencies are unjustified because they are based on an unclear conception of anti-intellectualism. I shall use Gilbert Ryle’s anti-intellectualism as a paradigm with which to describe anti-intellectualism and to illustrate why the notion of knowing-that is not harmful to but is, on the contrary, beneficial to the anti-intellectualist explanation of intelligent action. If my explication of Ryle’s anti-intellectualism is correct, then most anti-intellectualists in the literature blindly worry about the notion of knowing-that, most intellectualists fire into the wrong flock, and some philosophers outside epistemology mischaracterize their own position. (shrink)
Knowing-how is currently a hot topic in epistemology. But what is the proper subject matter of a study of knowing-how and in what sense can such a study be regarded as epistemological? The aim of this paper is to answer such metaepistemological questions. This paper offers a metaepistemology of knowing-how, including considerations of the subject matter, task, and nature of the epistemology of knowing-how. I will achieve this aim, first, by distinguishing varieties of knowing-how and, second, by introducing and elaborating (...) the concept of hybrid knowing-how, which entails a combination of a ground-level ability and a meta-level perspective on that ability. The stance I wish to advocate is that the epistemology of knowing-how is a normative discipline whose main task is to study the nature and value of human practical intelligence required to do things in a particular manner. (shrink)
In “Knowing How”, Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson (2001) propose an intellectualist account of knowledge-how, according to which all knowledge-how is a type of propositional knowledge about ways to act. In this article, I examine this intellectualist account by applying it to the epistemology of language. I argue that (a) Stanley and Williamson mischaracterize the concept of knowledge-how in the epistemology of language, and (b) intellectualism about knowledge of language fails in its explanatory task. One lesson that can be drawn (...) from this case study is that Stanley and Williamson's intellectualism is limited in its explanatory scope and power insofar as it cannot explain the knowledge of language, which is usually conceived as knowledge-how and as non-propositional in character. Their intellectualist claim that all knowledge-how is knowledge-that should be withdrawn. (shrink)
Recently virtue ethicists, such as Julia Annas and Matt Stichter, in order to explain what a moral virtue is and how it is acquired, suggest modeling virtue on practical expertise. However, a challenging issue arises when considering the nature of practical expertise especially about whether expertise requires articulacy, that is, whether an expert in a skill is required to possess an ability to articulate the principles underlying the skill. With regard to this issue, Annas advocates the articulacy requirement, while Stichter (...) denies. Stichter raises two objections to Annas’s requirement: first, Annas provides no argument for the requirement; second, there exist counterexamples in which there are experts who cannot articulate what and why they did in skilled performance. In this paper I shall show that Annas did provide an argument and can respond to the counterexamples; however, her argument and response are not convincing. Instead, I construct a new argument for the articulacy requirement by which I call the argument from success-conduciveness. The main idea involved in this new argument, i.e., articulacy is success-conducive, supports further that ethical expertise requires articulacy due to the seriousness of morality. (shrink)
One of the main challenges in the philosophy of language is determining the form of knowledge of the rules of language. Michael Dummett has put forth the view that knowledge of the rules of language is a kind of implicit knowledge; some philosophers have mistakenly conceived of this type of knowledge as a kind of knowledge-that . In a recent paper in this journal, Patricia Hanna argues against Dummett’s knowledge-that view and proposes instead a knowledge-how view in which knowledge of (...) the rules of language is a kind of practical knowledge, like an agent’s non-propositional knowledge of counting. In this paper I argue, first, that Hanna misunderstands Dummett’s conception of knowledge of linguistic rules, and, second, that Dummett’s considerations of practical knowledge of language pose a problem for Hanna’s knowledge-how view. At the end of the paper, I briefly sketch an account of practical knowledge of language that meets the requirements set by Dummett. (shrink)
Three distinct but related questions can be asked about the meaningfulness of one's life. The first is 'What is the meaning of life?', which can be called 'the cosmic question about meaningfulness'; the second is 'What is a meaningful life?', which can be called 'the general question about meaningfulness'; and the third is 'What is the meaning of my life?', which can be called 'the personal question about meaningfulness'. I argue that in order to deal with all three questions we (...) should start with the personal question. There is a way of understanding the personal question which allows us to answer it independently of any consideration of the cosmic question, but which nonetheless helps us see why the cosmic question should be dismissed as a bad question. Besides, a recommendable answer to the general question can be derived from my understanding of how the personal question should be answered. Two notions are essential to my account, namely, the notion of identities and the notion of a biographical life. And the account can be epitomized in this enticing way: a person's life is meaningful if it contains material for an autobiography that she thinks is worth writing and others think is worth reading. (shrink)
Abstract: Williamson argues that when one feels cold, one may not be in a position to know that one feels cold. He thinks this argument can be generalized to show that no mental states are such that when we are in them we are in a position to know that we are in them. I argue that his argument is a sorites argument in disguise because it relies on the implicit premise that warming up is gradual. Williamson claims that his (...) argument is not a sorites argument; I explain why he has not given us any reason to accept the claim. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose a virtue-theoretic approach to semantics, according to which the study of linguistic competence in particular, and the study of meaning and language in general, should focus on a speaker's interpretative virtues, such as charity and interpretability, rather than the speaker's knowledge of rules. The first part of the paper proffers an argument for shifting to virtue semantics, and the second part outlines the nature of such virtue semantics.
Epistemology of language, a branch of both epistemology and the philosophy of language, asks what knowledge of language consists in. In this paper, I argue that such an inquiry is a pointless enterprise due to its being based upon the incorrect assumption that linguistic competence requires knowledge of language. However, I do not think the phenomenon of knowledge of language is trivial. I propose a virtue-theoretic account of linguistic competence, and then explain the phenomenon from a virtue-semantic point of view.
The aim of this paper is twofold: First, to generalize Quine's epistemology, to show that what Quine refutes for traditional epistemology is not only Cartesian foundationalism and Carnapian reductionism, but also any epistemological program if it takes atomic verificationist semantics or supernaturalism, which are rooted in the linguistic/factual distinction of individual sentences, as its underlying system. Thus, we will see that the range of naturalization in the Quinean sense is not as narrow as his critics think. Second, to normalize Quine's (...) epistemology, to explain in what sense Quinean naturalized epistemology is normative. The reason I maintain that critics miss the point of Quinean naturalized epistemology is that they do not appreciate the close connection between Quine's naturalistic approach and his holistic approach to epistemology. To show this I shall reconstruct Quine's argument for naturalizing epistemology within his systematic philosophy, and focus specifically on his holism and its applications, on which Quine relies both in arguing against traditional epistemology, and in supporting his theses of underdetermination of physical theory and indeterminacy of translation. This is the key to understanding the scope and the normativity of Quine's epistemology. In the conclusion I will point out what the genuine problems are for Quinean naturalized epistemology. (shrink)
Knowledge of a language is a kind of knowledge, the possession of which enables a speaker to understand and perform a variety of linguistic actions in that language. In this paper, I pursue an agency-oriented approach to knowledge of language. I begin by examining two major agency-oriented models of knowledge of language: Michael Dummett's Implicit Knowledge Model and Jennifer Hornsby's Practical Knowledge Model. I argue that each of these models is inadequate for different reasons. I present an Acquaintance Knowledge Model, (...) in which a speaker's knowledge of a language is a combination of the speaker's first-order linguistic ability and second-order acquaintance with his ability and actions. (shrink)
Some philosophers understand epistemological skepticism as merely presenting a paradox to be solved, a paradox given rise to by some apparently forceful arguments. I argue that such a view needs to be justified, and that the best way to do so is to show that we cannot help seeing skepticism as obviously false. The obviousness (to us) of the falsity of skepticism is, I suggest, explained by the fact that we cannot live without knowledge-beliefs (a knowledge-belief about the world is (...) a belief that a person or a group of people know that p, where p is an empirical proposition about the world). I then go on to argue for the indispensability of knowledge-beliefs. The first line of argument appeals to the practical aspects of our employment of the concept of knowledge, and the second line of argument draws on some Davidsonian ideas concerning understanding and massive agreement. (shrink)
I argue that it is a main theme of Davidson's theory of interpretation that interpretive charity implies the impossibility of massive disagreement. There is clear textual support for that. I then argue that from the first-person point of view of a full-blooded interpreter, the theme must be accepted; and that is precisely why Davidson accepts it. If massive disagreement between speaker and interpreter seems to us easy to imagine, it is only because the imagination involved is third-personal and not full-blooded.
I first argue that the skeptic needs an internalist conception of justification for her argument for skepticism. I then argue that the skeptic also needs to show that we do not have perceptual access to the world if her skepticism is to be a real threat to human knowledge of the world. This, I conclude, puts the skeptic in a dilemma, for internalist conceptions of justification presuppose that we have perceptual access to the world.
Insulation is a noticeable phenomenon in the case of most non-Pyrrhonian sceptics about human knowledge. A sceptic is experiencing insulation when his scepticism does not have any effect on his common sense beliefs, and his common sense beliefs do not have any effect on his scepticism. I try to show why this is a puzzling phenomenon, and how it can be explained. It is puzzling because insulation seems to require blindness to one's own epistemic irresponsibility and irrationality, while the sceptic (...) presumably cares a lot about being epistemically responsible and rational. Insulation can be explained by means of a notion of philosophical detachment: to be detached from one's own beliefs about the world is to take an other-personal position towards those beliefs, treating them as if they are another person's beliefs. It is because of this that the sceptic's scepticism is insulated from his scepticism because he cannot be detached from his beliefs about the world when he is engaging in everyday, practical activities. I conclude the paper with a brief discussion of the generality of the problem of insulation. (shrink)
Michael Dummett has long argued that we should ascribe implicit knowledge of a meaning-theory to speakers, and that the task of a theory of meaning is to tell us what such knowledge consists in. But he also sees it as a problem that how implicit knowledge is actually used, that is, how a speaker's metalinguistic knowledge of a meaning-theory issues or delivers the speaker's knowledge of meanings of utterances (the delivery problem). In this paper 1argue that Dummett's instrumental construal of (...) implicit knowledge does not and cannot solve the delivery problem. However, I do not suggest Dummett to modify or abandon his instrumental construal; rather, I think he can dissolve the delivery problem by recognizing that knowledge of semantics for a language is not a necessary condition for mastering a language. 1 shall argue this point through Davidson's attitude towards the role of linguistic knowledge and his thesis in his (in)famous paper "A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs.". (shrink)
I argue that Moore's arguments have anti-skeptical force even though they beg the question against skepticism because they target the skeptic rather than skepticism directly. Moore offers two arguments which are usually conflated by his interpreters, namely, his proof of an external world and a reductio argument. I explain why the anti-skeptical force of the latter has to be derived from that of the former. I consider an objection to Moore that is based on distinguishing between the everyday and the (...) philosophical contexts. I argue that the objection fails even on the most plausible understanding of the distinction. (shrink)
In this paper I evaluate Michael Dummett's notion of implicit knowledge by examining his answers to these two questions: (1) Why should we ascribe knowledge of a meaning-theory of a language to a language-user, and why the mode of this knowledge is implicit, but not pure theoretical, pure practical, or unconscious in a Chomskian sense? (2) How could a meaning-theory, which is known implicitly, function as a rule to be followed by the language-user? To answer (1) I shall construct Dummett's (...) argument for implicit knowledge, which includes three sub-arguments: the argument from rationality, the argument from dilemma, and the argument from communicability. As to (2), I argue that Dummett's answer confuses knowledge of a meaning-theory with knowledge of a set of grammars. (shrink)