What are physical quantities, and in particular, what makes them quantitative? This book presents an original answer to this question through the novel position of substantival structuralism, arguing that quantitativeness is an irreducible feature of attributes, and quantitative attributes are best understood as substantival structured spaces.
Recent literature on causation invokes a distinction between deviant and default behavior to account for token causation. Critical examination of two prominent attempts to employ a distinction between deviants and defaults reveals that the distinction is far from clear. I clarify and develop the distinction by appeal to the notion of a modally robust process, and show how the distinction can be employed by causal process theorists to respond to cases of causation by omission. This shows that the default/deviant distinction (...) is not so much a tool for counterfactual accounts of causation, but rather for causal process theory. (shrink)
In this article, we propose the Fair Priority Model for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and emphasize three fundamental values we believe should be considered when distributing a COVID-19 vaccine among countries: Benefiting people and limiting harm, prioritizing the disadvantaged, and equal moral concern for all individuals. The Priority Model addresses these values by focusing on mitigating three types of harms caused by COVID-19: death and permanent organ damage, indirect health consequences, such as health care system strain and stress, as well as (...) economic destruction. It proposes proceeding in three phases: the first addresses premature death, the second long-term health issues and economic harms, and the third aims to contain viral transmission fully and restore pre-pandemic activity. -/- To those who may deem an ethical framework irrelevant because of the belief that many countries will pursue "vaccine nationalism," we argue such a framework still has broad relevance. Reasonable national partiality would permit countries to focus on vaccine distribution within their borders up until the rate of transmission is below 1, at which point there would not be sufficient vaccine-preventable harm to justify retaining a vaccine. When a government reaches the limit of national partiality, it should release vaccines for other countries. -/- We also argue against two other recent proposals. Distributing a vaccine proportional to a country's population mistakenly assumes that equality requires treating differently situated countries identically. Prioritizing countries according to the number of front-line health care workers, the proportion of the population over 65, and the number of people with comorbidities within each country may exacerbate disadvantage and end up giving the vaccine in large part to wealthy nations. (shrink)
The question 'Why should I obey the law?' introduces a contemporary puzzle that is as old as philosophy itself. The puzzle is especially troublesome if we think of cases in which breaking the law is not otherwise wrongful, and in which the chances of getting caught are negligible. Philosophers from Socrates to H.L.A. Hart have struggled to give reasoned support to the idea that we do have a general moral duty to obey the law but, more recently, the greater number (...) of learned voices has expressed doubt that there is any such duty, at least as traditionally conceived. (shrink)
What is the proper relation between the scientific worldview and other parts or aspects of human knowledge and experience? Can any science aim at "complete coverage" of the world, and if it does, will it undermine--in principle or by tendency--other attempts to describe or understand the world? Should morality, theology and other areas resist or be protected from scientific treatment? Questions of this sort have been of pressing philosophical concern since antiquity. The Proper Ambition of Science presents ten particular case (...) studies written by prominent philosophers, looking at how this problem has been approached from the ancient world right up to the present day. Contributors: Bob Sharples, M.W.F. Stone, G.A.J. Rogers, J.R. Milton, Aaron Ridley, Christopher Hookway, Dermot Moran, Thomas E. Uebel, David Papineau, and Nancy Cartwright. (shrink)
In an earlier article (s. J Gen Philos Sci 40:341-355, 2009), I have rejected an interpretation of Aristotle's syllogistic which (since Patzig) is predominant in the literature on Aristotle, but wrong in my view. According to this interpretation, the distinguishing feature of perfect syllogisms is their being evident. Theodor Ebert has attempted to defend this interpretation by means of objections (s. J Gen Philos Sci 40:357-365, 2009) which I will try to refute in part  of the following article. I (...) want to show that (1) according to Aristotle's Prior Analytics perfect and imperfect syllogisms do not differ by their being evident, but by the reason for their being evident, (2) Aristotle uses the same words to denote proofs of the validity of perfect and imperfect syllogisms („apodeixis”, "deiknusthai" etc.), (3) accordingly, Aristotle defines perfect syllogisms not as being evident, but as "requiring nothing beyond the things taken in order to make the necessity evident", i.e. as not "requiring one or more things that are necessary because of the terms assumed, but that have not been taken among the propositions" (APr. I. 1), (4) the proofs by which the validity of perfect assertoric syllogisms can be shown according to APr. I. 4 are based on the Dictum de omni et nullo, (5) the fact that Aristotle describes these proofs only in rough outlines corresponds to the fact that his proofs of the validity of other fundamental rules are likewise produced in rough outlines, e.g. his proof of the validity of conversio simplex in APr. I. 2, which usually has been misunderstood (also by Ebert): (6) Aristotle does not prove the convertibility of E-sentences by presupposing the convertibility of I-sentences; only the reverse is true. (shrink)
Introduction: What is the critical spirit?--Utopianism, ancient and modern, by M.I. Finley.--Primitive society in its many dimensions, by S. Diamond.--Manicheanism in the Enlightenment, by R.H. Popkin.--Schopenhauer today, by M. Horkheimer.--Beginning in Hegel and today, by K.H. Wolff.--The social history of ideas: Ernst Cassirer and after, by P. Gay.--Policies of violence, from Montesquieu to the Terrorist, by E.V. Walter.--Thirty-nine articles: toward a theory of social theory, by J.R. Seeley.--History as private enterprise, by H. Zinn.--From Socrates to Plato, by H. Meyerhoff.--Rational (...) society and irrational art, by H. Read.--The quest for the Grail; Wagner and Morris, by C.E. Schorske.--Valéry; Monsieur Teste, by L. Goldmann.--History and existentialism in Sartre, by L. Krieger.--German popular biographies; culture's bargain counter, by L. Lowenthal.--The Rechtsstaat as magic wall, by O. Kirchheimer. (shrink)
Unlocking the Second Antinomy: Kant and Wolff MICHAEL RADNER But how in this business can metaphysics be reconciled with geometry, when it seems easier to mate griffins with horses than to unite transcendental philosophy with geometry?' Kant, x756 THE SECOND ANTINOMY, treating the proof and refutation of bodies as composed of simple substances, is one of the more puzzling sections of the Critique of Pure Reason. The thesis argument especially baffles commentators. Edward Caird in t 889 said: "Kant's statement (...) of this argument is very obscure."Among commen- tators of our era, T. E. Wilkerson complains: "This argument is very muddy." Jonathan Bennett remarks: "The text, however, is not clear enough for us to be sure exactly what Kant is relying on in his argument for the Thesis. "~ Nor have commentators spared the antithesis argument. No one, to my knowledge, has interpreted the text so that the thesis and antithesis arguments come out valid and constitute a genuine antinomy. Yet Kant stated on more than one occasion that all the antinomy arguments are valid. The proofs "are not deceptions, but are well-founded, under the supposition that appearances or a sensible world which comprehends them all are things in themselves" .3 In the Prolego- "Physical Monadology," in Kant's Latin Writings: Translations, Commentaries, and Notes, trans. and ed. Lewis White Beck, Mary J. Gregor, Roll Meerbote and John A. Reuscher , ll6; Ak.. (shrink)
Written over the last 18 months of his life and inspired by his interest in G. E. Moore's defence of common sense, this much discussed volume collects Wittgenstein's reflections on knowledge and certainty, on what it is to know a proposition for sure.
J. E. Malpas discusses and develops the ideas of Donald Davidson, influential in contemporary thinking on the nature of understanding and meaning, and of truth and knowledge. He provides an account of Davidson's holistic and hermeneutical conception of linguistic interpretation, and, more generally, of the mind. Outlining its Quinean origins and the elements basic to Davidson's Radical Interpretation, J. E. Malpas' book goes on to elaborate this holism and to examine the indeterminacy of interpretation and the principle of charity. The (...) metaphysical and epistemological consequences of Davidson's approach are considered, particularly in relation to scepticism and relativism, the realist/anti-realist debate, and the problem of truth. Parallels are drawn between the Davidsonian emphasis on the centrality of the notion of truth and Heidegger's notion of truth as aletheia, as the book looks to structuralist, hermeneutical and phenomenological sources to illuminate Davidson's position. (shrink)
Although Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, Alvin Plantinga has developed a theodicy that is fundamentally Arminian rather than Calvinistic. Anthony Flew, although the son of an Arminian Christian minister, regards the Arminian view of ‘free will’ to be both unacceptable on its own terms and incompatible with classical Christian theism. In this paper I hope to disentangle some of the involved controversy regarding theodicy which has developed between Plantinga and Flew, and between Flew and myself. The major portion of (...) this paper is devoted to showing that Plantinga's theodicy contains some serious flaws and undesirable implications. (shrink)
The Legacy of Emotivism.J. E. J. Altham - 1986 - In Graham Frank Macdonald & Crispin Wright (eds.), Fact, science and morality: essays on A.J. Ayer's Language, Truth and Logic. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pp. 275-288.details
While it is generally accepted that we need to use our intelligence in order to get what we want, it is thought to be a cardinal error to imagine that by reasoning we can discover what we ought to want. Reason can in no way constrain the choice of ends, it can only constrain the choice of means once an end has been adopted. In Plato's philosophy we find a view strongly opposed to this attitude towards reason. It is widely (...) held, however, that to arrive at a position which is plainly opposed to common sense, Plato must have grossly confused reasoning about means with reasoning about ends. Evidence of this confusion is found in Plato's use of analogies between statecraft and navigation, and between virtue and skill. But the diagnosis of confusion rests on a misunderstanding of how Plato wanted to use the word translated ‘skill’, i.e. ‘ technē ’, and this misunderstanding is shared even by those who see Plato as rejecting the virtue/skill analogy. (shrink)
Manuscript Add. 3965, section 13, folios 541r–542r and 545r–546r is in the Portsmouth Collection of manuscripts and housed in the University Library, Cambridge. These drafts contain a careful account, in Newton's hand, of his views on place, time, and God. They are part of a large number of drafts relating to the three official editions of the Principia published in Newton's lifetime.
This study considers Newton's views on space and time with respect to some important ontologies of substance in his period. Specifically, it deals in a philosophico-historical manner with his conception of substance, attribute, existence, to actuality and necessity. I show how Newton links these “features” of things to his conception of God's existence with respect of infinite space and time. Moreover, I argue that his ontology of space and time cannot be understood without fully appreciating how it relates to the (...) nature of Divine existence. In order to establish this, the ontology embodied in Newton's theory of predication is analysed, and shown to be different from the presuppositions of the ontological argument. From the historical point of view Gassendi's influence is stressed, via the mediation of Walter Charleton. Furthermore, Newton's thought on these matters is contrasted with Descartes's and Spinoza's. In point of fact, in his earliest notebook Newton recorded observations on Descartes's version of the ontological argument. Soon, however, he was to oppose the Cartesian conception of the actuality of Divine existence by means of arguments similar to those of Gassendi. Lastly, I suggest that the nature and extent of Henry More's influence on Newton's conception of how God relates to absolute space and time bears further examination. (shrink)
Isaac Newton wrote the manuscript Questiones quaedam philosophicae at the very beginning of his scientific career. This small notebook thus affords rare insight into the beginnings of Newton's thought and the foundations of his subsequent intellectual development. The Questiones contains a series of entries in Newton's hand that range over many topics in science, philosophy, psychology, theology, and the foundations of mathematics. These notes, written in English, provide a very detailed picture of Newton's early interests, and record his critical appraisal (...) of contemporary issues in natural philosophy. Written predominantly in 1664-5, they give a significant perspective on Newton's thought just prior to his annus mirabilis, 1666. This volume provides a complete transcription of the Questiones, together with an 'expansion' into modern English, and a full editorial commentary on the content and significance of the notebook in the development of Newton's thought. It will be essential reading for all those interested in Newton and the intellectual foundations of science. (shrink)