This essay deals with American fiction between the early 1850s, when Hawthorne and Melville produced their best work, and the first novels of Howells and James in the early 1870s. The familiar notion that this was the period of transition from pre-Civil War Romanticism to postwar Realism tells us nothing in particular about it. Yet we need some historical frame in which to place both of the later efforts of Hawthorne and Melville and the apprentice work of the next generation (...) of novelists. To this end, I propose to examine a few examples of the popular fiction that held at least quantitative dominance of the field. Hawthorne and Melville believed that the unprecedented sales of a new kind of stories by women writers contributed significantly to the loss of audience they both suffered in the early 1850s; and not only Howells and James but also Mark Twain showed in their early careers an unacknowledged attraction toward the procedures of the popular novelists along with a conscious effort to escape from them...the type of best-seller that appeared in the 1850s was an accidental creation rather than the result of conscious contrivance on the part of either authors or publishers. In fact, it caught the publishers by surprise. According to the author's sister , Susan Warner's The Wide, Wide World was rejected by "almost all the leading book firms in New York," and the manuscript was returned with the comment "Fudge!" written on it by a reader for Harper's. Miss Warner, a thirty-one-year-old spinster, was the daughter of a once prosperous New York lawyer who had fallen into financial difficulties. The story resembles Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre to the extent that its heroine is an orphan exposed to poverty and psychological hardships who finally attains economic security and high social status through marriage. But the American writer places much more emphasis on the heroine's piety, and the book sets an all-time record for frequency of references to tears and weeping.Henry Nash Smith, professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley, received the John H. Dunning prize and the Bancroft Award for hisVirgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth. He has also written Mark Twain: The Development of a Writer, and Popular Culture and Industrialism. (shrink)
We discuss recent progress in the development of cognitive ontologies and summarize three challenges in the coordinated development and application of these resources. Challenge 1 is to adopt a standardized definition for cognitive processes. We describe three possibilities and recommend one that is consistent with the standard view in cognitive and biomedical sciences. Challenge 2 is harmonization. Gaps and conflicts in representation must be resolved so that these resources can be combined for mark-up and interpretation of multi-modal data. Finally, Challenge (...) 3 is to test the utility of these resources for large-scale annotation of data, search and query, and knowledge discovery and integration. As term definitions are tested and revised, harmonization should enable coordinated updates across ontologies. However, the true test of these definitions will be in their community-wide adoption which will test whether they support valid inferences about psychological and neuroscientific data. (shrink)
Apologies can be profoundly meaningful, yet many gestures of contrition - especially those in legal contexts - appear hollow and even deceptive. Discussing numerous examples from ancient and recent history, I Was Wrong argues that we suffer from considerable confusion about the moral meanings and social functions of these complex interactions. Rather than asking whether a speech act 'is or is not' an apology, Smith offers a highly nuanced theory of apologetic meaning. Smith leads us though a series (...) of rich philosophical and interdisciplinary questions, explaining how apologies have evolved from a confluence of diverse cultural and religious practices that do not translate easily into secular discourse or gender stereotypes. After classifying several varieties of apologies between individuals, Smith turns to apologies from collectives. Although apologies from corporations, governments, and other groups can be quite meaningful in certain respects, we should be suspicious of those that supplant apologies from individual wrongdoers. (shrink)
Buber's assertions about the relation between the self (I) and God (the Eternal You) amount to an "argument" which means reasonably to bring its audience to awareness of God. This reasoning is better understood and evaluated if it is presented in a more conventionally argumentative form than Buber gave it. The key premises are: 1) Buber's account of I-You saying as a general theory of meaning and criterion of reality, and 2) Buber's claim that You-saying in encounters with finite beings (...) does not exhaust the I's capacity to say You. Thus 1) whenever I say You, I meet reality; and 2) I can say You infinitely. Both in its premises and in its non-coercive way of soliciting assent, this Buberian argument exhibits the actual valid appeal of all the best-known arguments to God. (shrink)
When Donna Rice, who was brought into the public limelight as a companion to ex-presidentiaI candidate Gary Hart, appeared at a university ethics seminar, her statement, and the subsequent coverage, raised three troubling questions for journalists: the nature of academic inquiry, journalistic practices, and the right of people to define themselves.
Perhaps the question “What is philosophy?” can only be posed late in life, when old age has come, and with it the time to speak in concrete terms. It is a question one poses when one no longer has anything to ask for, but its consequences can be considerable. One was asking the question before, one never ceased asking it, but it was too artificial, too abstract; one expounded and dominated the question, more than being grabbed by it. There are (...) cases in which old age bestows not an eternal youth, but on the contrary a sovereign freedom, a pure necessity where one enjoys a moment of grace between life and death, and where all the parts of the machine combine to dispatch into the future a trait that traverses the ages: Turner, Monet, Matisse. The elderly Turner acquired or conquered the right to lead painting down a deserted path from which there was no return, and that was no longer distinguishable from a final question. In the same way, in philosophy, Kant’s Critique of Judgment is a work of old age, a wild work from which descendants will never cease to flow.We cannot lay claim to such a status. The time has simply come for us to ask what philosophy is. And we have never ceased to do this in the past, and we already had the response, which has not varied: philosophy is the art of forming, inventing, and fabricating concepts. But it was not only necessary for the response to take note of the question; it also had to determine a time, an occasion, the circumstances, the landscapes and personae, the conditions and unknowns of the question. One had to be able to pose the question “between friends” as a confidence or a trust, or else, faced with an enemy, as a challenge, and at the same time one had to reach that moment, between dog and wolf, when one mistrusts even the friend. Gilles Deleuze was professor of philosophy at the University of Paris VIII, Vincennes-St.-Denis, until his retirement in 1987. Among his books translated into English are the two-volume Capitalism and Schizophrenia , the two-volume Cinema , The Logic of Sense , and Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza . Daniel W. Smith is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Chicago. He is at work on a study of the philosophy of Deleuze, and is translating Deleuze’s Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Arnold I. Davidson, executive editor of Critical Inquiry, teaches philosophy at the University of Chicago and is currently Marta Sutton Weeks Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. (shrink)
Introduction, W G Runciman Social Evolution in Primates: The Role of Ecological Factors and Male Behaviour, Carel P van Schaik Determinants of Group Size in Primates: A General Model, R I M Dunbar Function and Intention in the Calls of Non-Human Primates, Dorothy L Cheney & Robert M Seyfarth Why Culture is Common, but Cultural Evolution is Rare, Robert Boyd & Peter J Richerson An Evolutionary and Chronological Framework for Human Social Behaviour, Robert A Foley Friendship and the Banker?s Paradox: (...) Other Pathways to the Evolution of Adaptations for Altruism, John Tooby & Leda Cosmides The Early Prehistory of Human Social Behaviour: Issues of Archaeological Inference and Cognitive Evolution, Steven Mithen The Emergence of Biologically Modern Populations in Europe: A Social and Cognitive ?Revolution??, Paul Mellars Responses to Environmental Novelty: Changes in Men?s Marriage Strategies in a Rural Kenyan Community, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder Genetic Language Impairment: Unruly Grammars, M Gopnik, J Dalalakis, S E Fukuda, S Fukuda & E Kehayia The Emergence of Cultures among Wild Chimpanzees, Christophe Boesch Terrestriality, Bipedalism and the Origin of Language, Leslie C Aiello Conclusions, John Maynard Smith. (shrink)
In each of Parts 1A, IB and II of the Philosophy Tripos, there is an Essay paper in which you are asked to write for three hours on a single topic. In these notes I offer some suggestions about how to tackle this paper, and try to answer some Frequently Asked Questions. The notes are based (in the second half, very closely indeed) on notes written by Jane Heal -- I'm very grateful to her for allowing me to snaffle (...) some of her best suggestions, though she is not responsible for the final result. Do note, though, that the result is still just one view ... Consult other supervisors/directors of studies for additional advice. (shrink)
Recently two distinct forms of rule-utilitarianism have been introduced that differ on how to measure the consequences of rules. Brad Hooker advocates fixed-rate rule-utilitarianism, while Michael Ridge advocates variable-rate rule-utilitarianism. I argue that both of these are inferior to a new proposal, optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism. According to optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism, an ideal code is the code whose optimum acceptance level is no lower than that of any alternative code. I then argue that all three forms of rule-utilitarianism fall prey to two fatal (...) problems that leave us without any viable form of rule-utilitarianism. (shrink)
In manuscripts of 1930-1 Johannes Daubert, principal member of the Munich board of realist phenomenologists, put forward a series of detailed criticisms of the idealism of Husserl’s Ideas I. The paper provides a sketch of these criticisms and of Daubert’s own alternative conceptions of consciousness and reality, as also of Daubert’s views on perception, similar, in many respects, to those of J. J. Gibson.
This volume contains a clear and accurate translation of Books I and VIII of Aristotle's Topics, together with a philosophical commentary on these books and additional extracts from Books II and III, and from a related work by Aristotle. This selection gives a good general view of the main ideas of the Topics, a classic treatise on logic and argument. The volume is well suited to the requirements of students, including those who do not know Greek.
James Lenman is critical of my claim that moral requirements are requirements of reason. I argue that his criticisms miss their target. More importantly, I argue that the anti-rationalism that informs Lenman's criticisms is itself implausible.
Writing in the foreword to Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind and speaking of his upbringing in Chicago between the wars Saul Bellow attests that …as a Midwesterner, the son of immigrant parents, I recognized at an early stage that I was called upon to decide for myself to what extent my Jewish origins, my surroundings [‘the accidental circumstances of Chicago’], my schooling, were to be allowed to determine the course of my life. I did not intend to (...) be wholly dependent upon history and culture. Full dependency must mean that I was done for. The commonest teaching of the civilized world in our time can be stated simply: ‘Tell me where you come from and I'll tell you what you are’. (shrink)
Biochemists investigating the problem of the vitamins in the early years of the twentieth century were working without an object, as such. Although they had developed a fairly elaborate idea of the character of the ‘vitamine’ and its role in metabolism, vitamins were not yet biochemical objects, but rather ‘functional ascriptions’ and ‘explanatory devices’. I suggest that an early instance of the changing status of the object of the ‘vitamins’ can be found in their stabilization, through the course of World (...) War I, as bio-political objects for the British and Allied war effort. Vitamins emerged as players, active agents, in Britain’s wartime bio-political problems of food distribution and population health and because of this they became increasingly real as bio-political objects, even prior to their isolation as bio-chemical molecules. I suggest that the materiality of our biology has agency in the development of political regimes and schemes. (shrink)
A moral code consists of principles that assign moral status to individual actions – principles that evaluate acts as right or wrong, prohibited or obligatory, permissible or supererogatory. Many theorists have held that such principles must serve two distinct functions. On the one hand, they serve a theoretical function, insofar as they specify the characteristics in virtue of which acts possess their moral status. On the other hand, they serve a practical function, insofar as they provide an action-guide: a standard (...) by reference to which a person can choose which acts to perform and which not. Although the theoretical and practical functions of moral principles are closely linked, it is not at all obvious that what enables a principle to fill one of these roles automatically equips it to fill the other. In this paper I shall briefly examine some of the reasons why a moral principle might fail to fill its practical role, i.e., be incapable of guiding decisions. I shall then sketch three common responses to this kind of failure, and examine in some detail the adequacy of one of the most popular of these responses. (shrink)
During the war, I worked in aircraft design. About a year after D-day, an exhibition was arranged at Farnborough of the mass of German equipment that had been captured, including the doodlebug and the V2 rocket. I and a friend spent a fascinating two days wandering round the exhibits. The questions that kept arising were ‘Why did they make it like that?’, or, equivalently ‘I wonder what that is for?’ We were particularly puzzled by a gyroscope in the control system (...) of the V2. One's first assumption was that the gyroscope maintained the rocket on its course, but, instead of being connected to the steering vanes, it was connected to the fuel supply to the rocket. Ultimately my friend remembered that the rate of precession of a gyro depends on acceleration, and saw that the Germans had used this fact to design an ingenious device for switching off the engines when the required velocity had been reached. (shrink)
Russell's Principle states that in order to think about an object I must know which thing it is, in the sense of being able to distinguish it from all other things. I show that, contra Strawson, Evans and Cassam, Russell's Principle cannot be applied to first-person thought so as to yield necessary conditions of self-consciousness. Footnotes1 Thanks to Naomi Eilan, Keith Hossack, Lucy O'Brien and Ann Whittle for helpful comments.
Despite the title, I do not intend to launch another expedition into the domain of epistemology. I wish instead to call attention to some problems which have arisen for philosophical theologians and philosophers of religion, as a result of two facts about the development of modern philosophy and its bearing on the analysis and interpretation of religious insight. Following these considerations, I shall propose in brief compass a programme for the future which I believe will prove fruitful for the philosophical (...) treatment of religious concerns. (shrink)
The Platonic definition of courage as the ‘knowledge of the fearful and the hopeful’ is often eschewed by philosophers of sport. In fact, the passionate nature of sport itself seems to testify against such a definition. Hence, accounts of courage within sport tend to emphasize the affective dimension of courage at the expense of the cognitive dimension. This essay argues in defense of the Platonic vision of courage as a species of knowledge as opposed to contemporary attempts to recover the (...) affective dimension of courage, as exemplified by John Corlett. I shall argue that far from producing an overly intellectualized vision of courage, treating courage as a species of knowledge, even within sport, throws valuable light on the exercise of courage in sport and on the shape of sport itself with regards to the exercise of virtue. (shrink)
Debates concerning principles of justice need to be attentive to various types of social process. One concerns the distribution of resources between groups defined as talented and untalented. Another concerns the social mechanisms by which people come to be categorised as talented and untalented. Political philosophers have paid considerable attention to the former issues, much less to the latter. That, I shall argue, represents a significant oversight.
The author attempts to show how mereology, taken together with certain topological notions, can yield the foundations for future investigations in formal ontology. He also attempts to show how the mereological framework allows for the direct and natural formulation of a series of theses - for example pertaining to the concept of a boundary - which can be only indirectly formulated (if at all) in set-theoretic terms. The far-reaching ain of the present framework is to serve as a basis for (...) a formal ontology of the common-sense world. The author is interested in producing formally precise theories of structures of certain sorts in such a way that it is the structures themselves that intrest him and not formal machinery that has been set up to describe them. Hence the axioms are chosen primarily for the sake of the light they throw on the intended subject-matters (and not for their logical independence). The world itself - or its picture given in ordinary experience - is the only model the paper concentrates upon. Thus for example the presented system allows to prove that every boundary is the boundary of something, and that in particular no point exists in isolation from a large extended whole that is its boundary. (shrink)
This paper addresses a worry about backwards time travel. The worry is that there is something mysteriously inexplicable about the combination of commonplace events that will inevitably conspire to prevent the time traveler from doing something impossible such as killing her younger self. The worry is first distinguished from other problems for backwards time travel concerning its alleged impossibility or improbability. It is then shown that the worry is misplaced: there is in fact no real problem here. Yet the worry (...) has been widely expressed—so a suggestion is also made as to why it is so easy to get into the position of thinking that there is a genuine problem here, when in fact there is not. Finally, in light of the resolution of the inexplicability worry, a new way of dealing with the other two problems for backwards time travel—concerning its alleged impossibility and improbability—is proposed. (shrink)
A study of the contrasts between Austrian and German philosophy, with special reference to the role of logic and science, of the Brentano School and the Vienna Circle, and of the different ways in which Austrian and German ways of thinking have influenced contemporary analytical and Continental philosophy.