Introduction.--Illustrations of manuscripts and printed books.--Pettas, W. Notes on English translations of Phaedrus.--Lee, P. On the wings of Thymós.--Blaisdell, G. A nobler seduction.--Appendix: The Parmenides fragments.
Peer review is a widely accepted instrument for raising the quality of science. Peer review limits the enormous unstructured influx of information and the sheer amount of dubious data, which in its absence would plunge science into chaos. In particular, peer review offers the benefit of eliminating papers that suffer from poor craftsmanship or methodological shortcomings, especially in the experimental sciences. However, we believe that peer review is not always appropriate for the evaluation of controversial hypothetical science. We argue that (...) the process of peer review can be prone to bias towards ideas that affirm the prior convictions of reviewers and against innovation and radical new ideas. Innovative hypotheses are thus highly vulnerable to being “filtered out” or made to accord with conventional wisdom by the peer review process. Consequently, having introduced peer review, the Elsevier journal Medical Hypotheses may be unable to continue its tradition as a radical journal allowing discussion of improbable or unconventional ideas. Hence we conclude by asking the publisher to consider re-introducing the system of editorial review to Medical Hypotheses. (shrink)
Embraces the principle of homeostasis and the necessarily egocentric and essentially innate nature of the mechanisms for control of one's equilibrium. Employing H. Werner's concept of a unity that organisms create with their environments, interactive behaviors are described that demonstrate how all such behavior, even the interaction with oneself, is guided by that principle to create and preserve a unity. The interactive behaviors of humans that are described are seen to be animistic-like in that they appear to arbitrarily assign (...) motives to others who do not have those motives. The animistic behaviors are seen to be the means whereby humans become attached to others when they form relationships. These then develop in an individual into a complex fixed permanent unity. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Painters are the experts in colour phenomenology. Their business is to use colour to affect our feelings. Psychophysicists are expert in making experimental inferences from behavioural responses to the functional mechanisms of perception. The varying aims of these two groups of people mean that much that is of interest to the one is of little concern to the other. However, in recent times several prominent psychophysicists, such as Floyd Ratliff , JackWerner and Dorothea Jameson , have thrown (...) much light on painterly practice. Following their lead, I would like to sketch some of the mechanisms that are responsible for many of the features of colour appearance important to the work of visual artists. I will begin with some phenomena that can be accounted for by mechanisms that are reasonably well understood, and then move to phenomena whose underlying basis is less well established. I will conclude with a suggestive experiment and, true to my calling as a philosopher, a piece of downright speculation. (shrink)
In spite of many claims by people who have had the kind of mystical experiences that I want to discuss, such experiences do not reveal any reality beyond the experience itself; nor does the experience itself constitute a cosmic principle such as the Godhead, Absolute, One or Chaos. These experiences are in the last analysis merely subjective experiences. I say ‘merely’ here only to deny that the experiences have any significance for the cosmologists; not to deny that the experience has (...) significant value for the experiencer. It may be that the experiences are the ultimate goal attainable by human beings. Their value does not depend on their being the ultimate truth. (shrink)
Introduction. Bert HAMMINGA and Neil DE MARCHI: Préface. Bert HAMMINGA and Neil DE MARCHI: Idealization and the Defence of Economics: Notes Toward a History. Part I: General Observations on Idealization in Economics. Kevin D. HOOVER: Six Queries about Idealization in an Empirical Context. Bernard WALLISER: Three Generalization Processes for Economic Models. Steven COOK and David HENDRY: The Theory of Reduction in Econometrics. Maarten C.W. JANSSEN: Economic Models and Their Applications. Adolfo GARCÍA DE LA SIENRA: Idealization and Empirical Adequacy in Economic (...) Theory. Izabella NOWAKOWA and Leszek NOWAK: On Correspondence between Economic Theories. Uskali MÄKI: Isolation, Idealization and Truth in Economics. Part II: Case Studies of Idealization in Economics. Nancy CARTWRIGHT: Mill and Menger: Ideal Elements and Stable Tendencies. Wolfgang BALZER: Exchange Versus Influence: A Case of Idealization. Kees COOLS, Bert HAMMINGA, Theo A.F. KUIPERS: Truth Approximation by Concretization in Capital Structure Theory. Daniel M. HAUSMAN: Paul Samuelson as Dr. Frankenstein: When an Idealization Runs Amuck. Hugo A. KEUZENKAMP: What if an Idealization is Problematic? The Case of the Homogeneity Condition in Consumer Demand. Werner DIEDERICH: Nowak on Explanation and Idealization in Marx's 'Capital'. Gérard JORLAND: Idealization and Transformation. Jack BIRNER: Idealizations and Theory Development in Economics. Some History and Logic of the Logic Discovery. Discussions. Leszek NOWAK: The Idealizational Methodology and Economics. Replies to Diederich, Hoover, Janssen, Jorland and Mäki. (shrink)
What I wish to do in this paper is to look at a part of John Stuart Mill's ‘one very simple principle’ for determining the limits of state intervention. This principle is, you will remember, that ‘the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.’.
Economic theory is built on assumptions about human behavior—assumptions embodied in rational-choice theory. Underlying these assumptions are implicit notions about how we think and learn. These implicit notions are fundamentally important to social explanation. The very plausibility of the explanations that we develop out of rational-choice theory rests crucially on the accuracy of these notions about cognition and rationality. But there is a basic problem: There is often very little relationship between the assumptions that rational-choice theorists make and the way (...) that humans actually act and learn in everyday life. This has significant implications for economic theory and practice. It leads to bad theories and inadequate explanations; it produces bad predictions and, thus, supports ineffective social policies. (shrink)
Is perception cognitively penetrable, and what are the epistemological consequences if it is? I address the latter of these two questions, partly by reference to recent work by Athanassios Raftopoulos and Susanna Seigel. Against the usual, circularity, readings of cognitive penetrability, I argue that cognitive penetration can be epistemically virtuous, when---and only when---it increases the reliability of perception.
The crucial premise of the standard argument for two-boxing in Newcomb's problem, a causal dominance principle, is false. We present some counterexamples. We then offer a metaethical explanation for why the counterexamples arise. Our explanation reveals a new and superior argument for two-boxing, one that eschews the causal dominance principle in favor of a principle linking rational choice to guidance and actual value maximization.
I formulate a principle of preference, which I call the Guaranteed Principle. I argue that the preferences of rational agents satisfy the Guaranteed Principle, that the preferences of agents who embody causal decision theory do not, and hence that causal decision theory is false.
What makes a biological entity an individual? Jack Wilson shows that past philosophers have failed to explicate the conditions an entity must satisfy to be a living individual. He explores the reason for this failure and explains why we should limit ourselves to examples involving real organisms rather than thought experiments. This book explores and resolves paradoxes that arise when one applies past notions of individuality to biological examples beyond the conventional range and presents an analysis of identity and (...) persistence. The book's main purpose is to bring together two lines of research, theoretical biology and metaphysics, which have dealt with the same subject in isolation from one another. Wilson explains an alternative theory about biological individuality which solves problems which cannot be addressed by either field alone. He presents a more fine-grained vocabulary of individuation based on diverse kinds of living things, allowing him to clarify previously muddled disputes about individuality in biology. (shrink)
Etiquette and other merely formal normative standards like legality, honor, and rules of games are taken less seriously than they should be. While these standards are not intrinsically reason-providing in the way morality is often taken to be, they also play an important role in our practical lives: we collectively treat them as important for assessing the behavior of ourselves and others and as licensing particular forms of sanction for violations. This chapter develops a novel account of the normativity of (...) formal standards where the role they play in our practical lives explains a distinctive kind of reason to obey them. We have this kind of reason to be polite because etiquette is important to us. We also have this kind of reason to be moral because morality is important to us. This parallel suggests that the importance we assign to morality is insufficient to justify it being substantive. (shrink)
A natural suggestion and increasingly popular account of how to revise our logical beliefs treats revision of logic analogously to the revision of scientific theories. I investigate this approach and argue that simple applications of abductive methodology to logic result in revision-cycles, developing a detailed case study of an actual dispute with this property. This is problematic if we take abductive methodology to provide justification for revising our logical framework. I then generalize the case study, pointing to similarities with more (...) recent and popular heterodox logics such as naïve logics of truth. I use this discussion to motivate a constraint—logical partisanhood—on the uses of such methodology: roughly: both the proposed alternative and our actual background logic must be able to agree that moving to the alternative logic is no worse than staying put. (shrink)
I argue that certain species of belief, such as mathematical, logical, and normative beliefs, are insulated from a form of Harman-style debunking argument whereas moral beliefs, the primary target of such arguments, are not. Harman-style arguments have been misunderstood as attempts to directly undermine our moral beliefs. They are rather best given as burden-shifting arguments, concluding that we need additional reasons to maintain our moral beliefs. If we understand them this way, then we can see why moral beliefs are vulnerable (...) to such arguments while mathematical, logical, and normative beliefs are not—the very construction of Harman-style skeptical arguments requires the truth of significant fragments of our mathematical, logical, and normative beliefs, but requires no such thing of our moral beliefs. Given this property, Harman-style skeptical arguments against logical, mathematical, and normative beliefs are self-effacing; doubting these beliefs on the basis of such arguments results in the loss of our reasons for doubt. But we can cleanly doubt the truth of morality. (shrink)
According to a widely held principle—the poss-ability principle—an agent, S, is able to only if it is metaphysically possible for S to. I argue against the poss-ability principle by developing a novel class of counterexamples. I then argue that the consequences of rejecting the poss-ability principle are interesting and far-reaching.
The New Evil Demon Problem is supposed to show that straightforward versions of reliabilism are false: reliability is not necessary for justification after all. I argue that it does no such thing. The reliabilist can count a number of beliefs as justified even in demon worlds, others as unjustified but having positive epistemic status nonetheless. The remaining beliefs---primarily perceptual beliefs---are not, on further reflection, intuitively justified after all. The reliabilist is right to count these beliefs as unjustified in demon worlds, (...) and it is a challenge for the internalist to be able to do so as well. (shrink)
Professor Jack Goody builds on his own previous work to extend further his highly influential critique of what he sees as the pervasive eurocentric or occidentalist biases of so much western historical writing. Goody also examines the consequent 'theft' by the West of the achievements of other cultures in the invention of (notably) democracy, capitalism, individualism, and love. The Theft of History discusses a number of theorists in detail, including Marx, Weber and Norbert Elias, and engages with critical admiration (...) western historians like Fernand Braudel, Moses Finlay and Perry Anderson. Major questions of method are raised, and Goody proposes a new comparative methodology for cross-cultural analysis, one that gives a much more sophisticated basis for assessing divergent historical outcomes, and replaces outmoded simple differences between East and West. The Theft of History will be read by an unusually wide audience of historians, anthropologists and social theorists. (shrink)
I distinguish two ways of developing anti-exceptionalist approaches to logical revision. The first emphasizes comparing the theoretical virtuousness of developed bodies of logical theories, such as classical and intuitionistic logic. I'll call this whole theory comparison. The second attempts local repairs to problematic bits of our logical theories, such as dropping excluded middle to deal with intuitions about vagueness. I'll call this the piecemeal approach. I then briefly discuss a problem I've developed elsewhere for comparisons of logical theories. Essentially, the (...) problem is that a pair of logics may each evaluate the alternative as superior to themselves, resulting in oscillation between logical options. The piecemeal approach offers a way out of this problem andthereby might seem a preferable to whole theory comparisons. I go on to show that reflective equilibrium, the best known piecemeal method, has deep problems of its own when applied to logic. (shrink)
Most ?theories of consciousness? are based on vague speculations about the properties of conscious experience. We aim to provide a more solid basis for a science of consciousness. We argue that a theory of consciousness should provide an account of the very processes that allow us to acquire and use information about our own mental states ? the processes underlying introspection. This can be achieved through the construction of information processing models that can account for ?Type-C? processes. Type-C processes can (...) be specified experimentally by identifying paradigms in which awareness of the stimulus is necessary for an intentional action. The Shallice (1988b) framework is put forward as providing an initial account of Type-C processes, which can relate perceptual consciousness to consciously performed actions. Further, we suggest that this framework may be refined through the investigation of the functions of prefrontal cortex. The formulation of our approach requires us to consider fundamental conceptual and methodological issues associated with consciousness. The most significant of these issues concerns the scientific use of introspective evidence. We outline and justify a conservative methodological approach to the use of introspective evidence, with attention to the difficulties historically associated with its use in psychology. (shrink)
1. In praise of Tocqueville. The young United States was lucky – and deserving of its luck – to find as profound an interpreter of its principles as Alexis de Tocqueville. So deeply, so philosophically, did he comprehend this country in Democracy in America 1 that today's reflections on liberty and equality in America either copy Tocqueville or fall short of understanding. The following reflections will be guilty of both plagiarism and superficiality but they do intend to capture something of (...) Tocqueville's spirit. He gave this nation its due. He brought to his endeavors some advantages we no longer enjoy. For example, he had first-hand experience of democracy's great alternative and predecessor, aristocracy; he knew both sides because he was both sides. Of course, some advantages accrue to those of us who have come after him, even apart from having Democracy in America to study. The United States may not be old but it is older now; we can take later developments into account. Thus, we no longer lack poets or poetry; we probably suffer as much from crime as from vice; and juries do not function all that well. But no dwarfish ability to climb the shoulders of a giant nor special dispensation from history can compensate us for the lack of Tocqueville's genius: the breadth of vision that recalls Montesquieu and even Aristotle, an intimacy, reminiscent of Rousseau, with modernity's demons, a sad coming to terms with human contingency that puts one in mind of Thucydides. All honor to Alexis de Tocqueville. (shrink)
The mystical experiences of the ṛṣis , the spiritual giants of the early Vedic times, led to the creation of the Vedic hymns and eventually to the formation of the whole elaborate structure of the Vedic religion, as upheld by the Indian priesthood. But there were obviously others who pursued mystical experiences without themselves engaging, like the ancient ṛṣis , in attempts to transmit their experiences through mythological poetry and religious leadership. They adopted mystical ecstasy as their way of life. (...) Mysticism as a conscious way of life is, in India, called Yoga. Being outside the trend of Vedic mythological creativity and the Brāhmanic religious orthodoxy, the Yogis of Vedic times left little evidence of their existence, practices and achievements. And such evidence as has survived in the Vedas is scanty and indirect. (shrink)
In _Phenomenology, Naturalism and Empirical Science_, Jack Reynolds takes the controversial position that phenomenology and naturalism are compatible, and develops a hybrid account of phenomenology and empirical science. Though phenomenology and naturalism are typically understood as philosophically opposed to one another, Reynolds argues that this resistance is based on an understanding of transcendental phenomenology that is ultimately untenable and in need of updating. Phenomenology, as Reynolds reorients it, is compatible with liberal naturalism, as well as with weak forms of (...) methodological naturalism. Chapters explore areas where scientific and phenomenological work overlap and sometimes conflict, contesting standard ways of understanding the relationship between phenomenological philosophy and empirical science. The book outlines the significance of the first-person perspective characteristic of phenomenology—both epistemically and ontologically—while according due respect to the relevant empirical sciences. This book makes a significant contribution to one of the central issues in phenomenology and argues for phenomenology’s ongoing importance for the future of philosophy. (shrink)
Expressivists explain the expression relation which obtains between sincere moral assertion and the conative or affective attitude thereby expressed by appeal to the relation which obtains between sincere assertion and belief. In fact, they often explicitly take the relation between moral assertion and their favored conative or affective attitude to be exactly the same as the relation between assertion and the belief thereby expressed. If this is correct, then we can use the identity of the expression relation in the two (...) cases to test the expressivist account as a descriptive or hermeneutic account of moral discourse. I formulate one such test, drawing on a standard explanation of Moore's paradox. I show that if expressivism is correct as a descriptive account of moral discourse, then we should expect versions of Moore's paradox where we explicitly deny that we possess certain affective or conative attitudes. I then argue that the constructions that mirror Moore's paradox are not incoherent. It follows that expressivism is either incorrect as a hermeneutic account of moral discourse or that the expression relation which holds between sincere moral assertion and affective or conative attitudes is not identical to the relation which holds between sincere non-moral assertion and belief. A number of objections are canvassed and rejected. (shrink)
Cognitive science has wholeheartedly embraced functional brain imaging, but introspective data are still eschewed to the extent that it runs against standard practice to engage in the systematic collection of introspective reports. However, in the case of executive processes associated with prefrontal cortex, imaging has made limited progress, whereas introspective methods have considerable unfulfilled potential. We argue for a re-evaluation of the standard ‘cognitive mapping’ paradigm, emphasizing the use of retrospective reports alongside behavioural and brain imaging techniques. Using all three (...) sources of evidence can compensate for their individual limitations, and so triangulate on higher cognitive processes. (shrink)
Sometimes a fact can play a role in a grounding explanation, but the particular content of that fact make no difference to the explanation—any fact would do in its place. I call these facts vacuous grounds. I show that applying the distinction between-vacuous grounds allows us to give a principled solution to Kit Fine and Stephen Kramer’s paradox of ground. This paradox shows that on minimal assumptions about grounding and minimal assumptions about logic, we can show that grounding is reflexive, (...) contra the intuitive character of grounds. I argue that we should never have accepted that grounding is irreflexive in the first place; the intuitions that support the irreflexive intuition plausibly only require that grounding be non-vacuously irreflexive. Fine and Kramer’s paradox relies, essentially, on a case of vacuous grounding and is thus no problem for this account. (shrink)
Why do promises give rise to reasons? I consider a quadruple of possibilities which I think will not work, then sketch the explanation of the normativity of promising I find more plausible—that it is constitutive of the practice of promising that promise-breaking implies liability for blame and that we take liability for blame to be a bad thing. This effects a reduction of the normativity of promising to conventionalism about liability together with instrumental normativity and desire-based reasons. This is important (...) for a number of reasons, but the most important reason is that this style of account can be extended to account for nearly all normativity—one notable exception being instrumental normativity itself. Success in the case of promises suggests a general reduction of normativity to conventions and instrumental normativity. But success in the cases of promises is already quite interesting and does not depend essentially the general claim about normativity. (shrink)
How things look (or sound, taste, smell, etc.) plays two important roles in the epistemology of perception.1 First, our perceptual beliefs are episte- mically justified, at least in part, in virtue of how things look. Second, whether a given belief is a perceptual belief, as opposed to, say, an infer- ential belief, is also at least partly a matter of how things look. Together, these yield an epistemically significant sense of looks. A standard view is that how things look, in (...) this epistemically significant sense, is a matter of ones present perceptual phenomenology, of what nondoxastic experiential state one is in. On this standard view, these experiential states (a) determine which of my beliefs are perceptual beliefs and (b) are centrally involved in justifying these beliefs. (shrink)
I defend normative subjectivism against the charge that believing in it undermines the functional role of normative judgment. In particular, I defend it against the claim that believing that our reasons change from context to context is problematic for our use of normative judgments. To do so, I distinguish two senses of normative universality and normative reasons---evaluative universality and reasons and ontic universality and reasons. The former captures how even subjectivists can evaluate the actions of those subscribing to other conventions; (...) the latter explicates how their reasons differ from ours. I then show that four aspects of the functional role of normativity---evaluation of our and others actions and reasons, normative communication, hypothetical planning, and evaluating counternromative conditionals---at most requires our normative systems being evaluatively universal. Yet reasonable subjectivist positions need not deny evaluative universality. (shrink)
I investigate syntactic notions of theoretical equivalence between logical theories and a recent objection thereto. I show that this recent criticism of syntactic accounts, as extensionally inadequate, is unwarranted by developing an account which is plausibly extensionally adequate and more philosophically motivated. This is important for recent anti-exceptionalist treatments of logic since syntactic accounts require less theoretical baggage than semantic accounts.