A study in philosophical logic of the meaning of 'true'. Dr Williams demonstrates the shortcomings of various analyses which interpret 'true' as a predicate or truth as a relational property, and clears up a number of important points about propositions, quantification, definite descriptions and correspondence. This 'deflationary metaphysics' is interwoven with a positive theory of his own, which seeks to develop ideas about the late Arthur Prior. The work is marked throughout by great clarity, precision and thoroughness.
The concept of identity has been seen to lead to paradox: we cannot truly and usefully say that a thing is the same either as itself or as something else. This book is a full examination of this paradox in philosophical logic, and of its implications for the philosophy of mathematics, the philosphy of mind, and relativism about identity. The author's account involves detailed discussion of the views of Wittgenstein, Russell, Frege, and Hintikka.
It is a curious thing about the philosophy of mind, that it includes surprisingly little about minds. In an average anthology on the subject, or a book like Ryle's, one finds discussions of thinking, imagining, believing, willing, remembering, and so on, but not of minds. It seems to be assumed that investigating these topics is investigating minds; but whether that is true is not itself made a topic for investigation.
The following are not among the least puzzling remarks in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations : 572. Expectation is, grammatically, a state; like: being of an opinion, hoping for something, knowing something, being able to do something. But in order to understand the grammar of these states it is necessary to ask: ‘What counts as a criterion for anyone's being in such a state?’ 573.… What, in particular cases, do we regard as criteria for someone's being of such and such an opinion? (...) When do we say: he reached this opinion at that time? When he has altered his opinion? And so on. The picture which the answers to these questions give us shews what gets treated grammatically as a state here. (shrink)
In a discussion-note in Mind, Father P. M. Farrell, O.P., gave an account, in what he admitted to be an embarrassingly brief compass, of the Thomist doctrine concerning evil. There is one sentence in this discussion which at first glance appears paradoxical. Father Farrell has been arguing that a universe containing ‘corruptible good’ as well as incorruptible is better than one containing ‘incorruptible good’ only. He continues: ‘If, however, they are to manifest this corruptible good, they must be corruptible and (...) they must sometimes corrupt.’ The final words, despite Father Farrell's italics, strike one as expressing, not a self-evident truth, but a non sequitur. The fact that I am capable of committing murder does not entail that I will at some time commit it. It is not immediately obvious that a similar entailment holds in the case of corruption and corruptibility. (shrink)
Christology seems to fall fairly clearly into two divisions. The first is concerned with the truth of the two propositions: ‘Christ is God’ and ‘Christ is a man’. The second is concerned with the mutual compatibility of these propositions. The first part of Christology tends to confine itself to what is sometimes called ‘positive theology’: that is to say, it is largely given over to examining the Jons revelationis —let us not prejudge currently burning issues by asking what this is—to (...) see what evidence can be found for the truth of these propositions. Clearly, the methods used will be above all those of New Testament exegesis. The second part of Christology will necessarily consist entirely of that speculative theology which is contrasted with positive theology. Even if the earliest speculation on this topic is to be found in the New Testament itself and thus becomes fair game for the exegetes, any attempt to relate the primary truths, ‘Christ is God’ and ‘Christ is a man’, to eachother is a work of reflection, and in the terminology I am using speculative. (shrink)
Is it possible to interfere with individual decision-making while preserving freedom of choice? The purpose of this article is to assess whether ‘libertarian paternalism’, a set of political and ethical principles derived from the observations of behavioural sciences, can form the basis of a viable framework for the ethical analysis of public health interventions. First, the article situates libertarian libertarianism within the broader context of the law and economics movement. The main tenets of the approach are then presented and particular (...) attention is given to its operationalization through the notion of a ‘nudge’. Essentially, a ‘nudge’ consists in an intervention, which aims to suggest one choice over another by gently steering individual choices in welfare-enhancing directions yet without imposing any significant limit on available choices. Finally, the article concludes that, while it fails as an overreaching framework of ethical analysis, libertarian paternalism nonetheless constitutes a valuable addition to the conceptual toolbox of public health ethics. (shrink)
_The Budapest School: Beyond Marxism_ develops a systematic reconstruction of the post-Marxist projects of the Budapest School. It charts the evolution of these thinkers from their beginnings in the ‘renaissance of Marxism’ through to their contemporary critical theories of modernity.