In this paper, I will discuss the relevance of epistemology of disagreement to political disagreement. The two major positions in the epistemology of disagreement literature are the steadfast and the conciliationist approaches: while the conciliationist says that disagreement with one’s epistemic equals should compel one to epistemically “split the difference” with those peers, the steadfast approach claims that one can maintain one’s antecedent position even in the face of such peer disagreement. Martin Ebeling applies a conciliationist approach to democratic deliberations, (...) arguing that deliberative participants ought to pursue full epistemic conciliation when disagreeing with their peers on political questions. I argue that this epistemic “splitting the difference” could make participants vulnerable to certain cognitive biases. We might avoid these biases by paying more attention to the deliberative environment in which disagreement takes place. (shrink)
This article is an attempt to critique some of the limitations of dominant school reform discourses in education, drawing upon the work of Michel Foucault, Michael Apple, Maxine Greene, and Dennis Carlson, in addition to writers in the emerging field of what might be called ?eco-progressivism.? The intersections between ecology and education can help construct a distinct counternarrative of progressive educational reform that is informed by ecological discourses, movements, and zeitgeists. Through the field of conservation biology, I hope to (...) connect both ecology and education as crisis disciplines and suggest that the reform discourse in the field of biology utilizes a much different framework than that of current school reform orthodoxy. These differences have powerful and real consequences for the ways in which children and teachers experience school. Utilizing the well documented case of the failure of the Biosphere 2 research project as a grounding metaphor and cautionary tale, I plan to show not only the severe limitations of the current school reform orthodoxy but the ways in which the normalization of what I call the ?biospheric number? functions as a technology of power. Finally, I hope to position the emerging worldview of eco-progressivism as a useful framework for reconsidering school reform specifically and the progressive education movement more broadly. (shrink)
What is the future of legal philosophy? No doubt it has many. But we are betting that jurisprudence will gravitate towards freedom. Freedom, the attribute of the human subject, has largely been absent from legal philosophy. This is a lack that psychoanalytic jurisprudence aims to correct. In this essay, drafted as chapter in "On Philosophy in American Law" (Francis Jay Mootz III, ed.) to be published by the Cambridge University Press, we set forth what we think are the primary differences (...) between a jurisprudence based in the Continental tradition of speculative philosophy, and the liberal jurisprudences that dominate in the American academy. Most importantly, all liberal theories start with some intuition of the free, autonomous individual. In contrast, psychoanalysis views the subject's definition as the problem of philosophy. For psychoanalysis, as reformulated by Jacques Lacan, personality and freedom cannot exist in any empirical or hypothetical state of nature because nature is unfree - bound by iron-clad laws of cause and effect. Personality and freedom are artificial creations - hard-won achievements. Subjectivity - the capacity to bear duties and rights - is a stage in this struggle. (shrink)
T. W. Adorno's and Max Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment is fifty years old. Its disconcerting darkness now seems so bound to the time of its writing, one may well wonder if we have anything to learn from it. Are its main lines of argument relevant to our social and philosophical world? Are the losses it records losses we can still recognise as our own?
If there is room for a substantial conception of the will in contemporary theorizing about human agency, it is most likely to be found in the vicinity of the phenomenon of normativity. Rational agency is distinctively responsive to the agent's acknowledgment of reasons, in the basic sense of considerations that speak for and against the alternatives for action that are available. Furthermore, it is natural to suppose that this kind of responsiveness to reasons is possible only for creatures who possess (...) certain unusual volitional powers, beyond the bare susceptibility to beliefs and desires necessary for the kind of rudimentary agency of which the higher animals are arguably capable. (shrink)
This is a book for scholars of Western philosophy who wish to engage with Buddhist philosophy, or who simply want to extend their philosophical horizons. It is also a book for scholars of Buddhist studies who want to see how Buddhist theory articulates with contemporary philosophy. Engaging Buddhism: Why it Matters to Philosophy articulates the basic metaphysical framework common to Buddhist traditions. It then explores questions in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, phenomenology, epistemology, the philosophy of language and ethics as (...) they are raised and addressed in a variety of Asian Buddhist traditions. In each case the focus is on philosophical problems; in each case the connections between Buddhist and contemporary Western debates are addressed, as are the distinctive contributions that the Buddhist tradition can make to Western discussions. Engaging Buddhism is not an introduction to Buddhist philosophy, but an engagement with it, and an argument for the importance of that engagement. It does not pretend to comprehensiveness, but it does address a wide range of Buddhist traditions, emphasizing the heterogeneity and the richness of those traditions. The book concludes with methodological reflections on how to prosecute dialogue between Buddhist and Western traditions. (shrink)
We will study patterns which occur when considering how Σ 1 -elementary substructures arise within hierarchies of structures. The order in which such patterns evolve will be seen to be independent of the hierarchy of structures provided the hierarchy satisfies some mild conditions. These patterns form the lowest level of what we call patterns of resemblance . They were originally used by the author to verify a conjecture of W. Reinhardt concerning epistemic theories 449–460; Ann. Pure Appl. Logic, to appear), (...) but their relationship to axioms of infinity and usefulness for ordinal analysis were manifest from the beginning. This paper is the first part of a series which provides an introduction to an extensive program including the ordinal analysis of set theories. Future papers will conclude the introduction and establish, among other things, that notations we will derive from the patterns considered here represent the proof-theoretic ordinal of the theory KPℓ 0 or, equivalently, Π 1 1 −CA 0. (shrink)
Average‐NPs, such as the one in the title of this paper, have been claimed to be ‘linguistically identical’ to any other definite‐NPs but at the same time to be ‘semantically inconsistent’ with these other definite‐NPs. To some this is an ironclad proof of the irrelevance of semantics to linguistics. We argue that both of the initial claims are wrong: average‐NPs are not ‘linguistically identical’ to other definite‐NPs but instead show a number of interesting divergences, and we provide a plausible semantic (...) account for them that is not ‘semantically inconsistent’ with the account afforded other definite‐NPs but in fact blends quite nicely with one standard account of the semantics for NPs. (shrink)
Belief in Psychology tackles the knotty problem of how to treat the propositional attitudes states such as beliefs, desires, hopes and fears within cognitive science. Jay Garfield asserts that the propositional attitudes can and must play useful theoretical roles in the science of the mind and stresses the importance of their social context in this sophisticated and original argument.Garfield proposes his own alternative to the apparent dilemma of either scrapping the propositional attitudes or of making room for them within a (...) dimly foreseen, futuristic cognitive science. He provides a characterization of the nature of propositional attitudes conceived as psychological states, and of their role in cognitive science. They must, he argues, be understood as relations between their bearers and their environments, including, in the case of persons, their social and linguistic environments. Understanding them in this way is consonant with current practice in empirical cognitive science and provides a philosophically useful analysis of mental representation.Along the way, Garfield discusses the relationship between the enterprise of science and our commonsense conception of ourselves and the world, and the ways in which this relation constrains our understanding of the propositional attitudes, and illuminates a realistic interpretation of a psychology of representational states and processes. Belief in Psychology is the only book that adopts such a view, and it is unique in providing a sustained critique of eliminativism, instrumentalism, and computational individualism - the main competing proposals within philosophy of cognitive science for eliminating or reconciling propositional attitudes.Jay Garfield is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the School of Communications and Cognitive Science at Hampshire College and a co-director of the University of Massachusetts Cognitive Science Institute. He is a co-author of Cognitive Science: An Introduction and editor of Modularity in Knowledge Representation and Natural Language Understanding, both Bradford books. A Bradford Book. (shrink)
A principal aim of the branch of ethics called ‘population theory’ or ‘population ethics’ is to find a plausible welfarist axiology, capable of comparing total outcomes with respect to value. This has proved an exceedingly difficult task. In this paper I shall state and discuss two ‘trilemmas’, or choices between three unappealing alternatives, which the population ethicist must face. The first trilemma is not new. It originates with Derek Parfit's well-known ‘Mere Addition Paradox’, and was first explicitly stated by Yew-Kwang (...) Ng. I shall argue that one horn of this trilemma is less unattractive than Parfit and others have claimed. The second trilemma, which is a kind of mirror image of the first, appears hitherto to have gone unnoticed. Apart from attempting to resolve the two trilemmas, I shall suggest certain features which I believe a plausible welfarist axiology should possess. The details of this projected axiology will, however, be left open. (shrink)
This volume collects Jay Garfield 's essays on Madhyamaka, Yogacara, Buddhist ethics and cross-cultural hermeneutics. The first part addresses Madhyamaka, supplementing Garfield 's translation of Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way, a foundational philosophical text by the Buddhist saint Nagarjuna. Garfield then considers the work of philosophical rivals, and sheds important light on the relation of Nagarjuna's views to other Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophical positions.
This essay explores various philosophical approaches to cognitive disability within feminist philosophy. In doing so, it addresses three broad questions: What positive contributions can feminist philosophy make to the philosophy of cognitive disability? How have feminist philosophers critiqued the presence and absence of cognitive disability in philosophy? And what challenges does cognitive disability pose to feminist philosophy itself? The essay begins with definitions and models of disability and then turns to feminist work on cognitive disability in moral and political philosophy, (...) bioethics, and epistemology. It concludes with some methodological considerations. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to work toward an explicit logic and semantics for a game theoretically inspired theory of action. The purpose of the logic is to explicate the conceptual machinery implicit in the dialogue-game model of rational discourse developed in Carlson (1983).A variety of ideas and techniques of modal and philosophical logic are used to define a model structure that generalizes the game theoretical notion of a game in extensive form (von Neumann and Morgenstern, 1944). Relative (...) to this model structure, semantic characterizations are given to the action-theoretic notions oftime, possibility, belief, preference, ability, intention, action, andrationality. The unification of these characterizations under the game-theoretical paradigm leads to insights about the logical interdependences between these concepts. (shrink)
For nearly two thousand years Buddhism has mystified and captivated both lay people and scholars alike. Seen alternately as a path to spiritual enlightenment, an system of ethical and moral rubrics, a cultural tradition, or simply a graceful philosophy of life, Buddhism has produced impassioned followers the world over. The Buddhist saint Nagarjuna, who lived in South India in approximately the first century CE, is undoubtedly the most important, influential, and widely studied Mahayana Buddhist philosopher. His many works include texts (...) addressed to lay audiences, letters of advice to kings, and a set of penetrating metaphysical and epistemological treatises. His greatest philosophical work, the Mulamadhyamikakarika--read and studied by philosophers in all major Buddhist schools of Tibet, China, Japan, and Korea--is one of the most influential works in the history of Indian philosophy. Now, in The Foundations of the Philosophy of the Middle Way, Jay L. Garfield provides a clear and and eminently readable translation of Nagarjuna's seminal work, offering those with little of no prior knowledge of Buddhist philosophy a view into the profound logic of the Mulamadhyamikakarika. Translated from the Tibetan, the tradition through which Nagarjuna's philosophical influence has largely been transmitted, Garfield presents a superb translation of Mulamadhyamikakarika in its entirety. Illuminating the systematic character of Nagarjuna's reasoning, as well as the works profundity, Garfield shows how Nagarjuna develops his doctrine that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence and essenceless. But, he argues, phenomena nonetheless exist conventionaly, and that indeed conventional existence and ultimate emptiness are in fact the same thing. This represents the radical understanding of the Buddhist doctrine of the two truths, or two levels of reality. Nagarjuna reinterprets all of Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology through this analytical framework--"a systematic and beautifully elegant philosophical dissection of reality." In turn, Garfield goes on to offer the only verse-by-verse commentary based upon the Indo-Tibetan Prasangika-Madhyamika reading of Nagarjuna, the school most influential in the development of Mahayana philosophy in Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan. Written specifically for the Western reader, the commentary explains Nagarjuna's positions and arguments in the language of Western metaphysics and epistemology, and connects Nagarjuna's concerns tho those of Western philosophers such as Sextus, Hume, and Wittgenstein. A fascinating and accessible translation of the foundational text for all Mahayana Buddhism text, The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way will enlighten all those in search of the essence of reality. (shrink)
Evaluation of the contribution that Allen Carlson’s environmental aesthetics can make to environmental protection shows that Carlson’s positive aesthetics, his focus on the functionality of human environments for their proper aesthetic appreciation, and his integration of ethical concern with aesthetic appreciation all provide fruitful, though not unproblematic, avenues for an aesthetic defense of theenvironment.
Environmental aesthetics is a relatively new sub-field ofphilosophical aesthetics. It arose within analytic aesthetics in thelast third of the twentieth century. Prior to its emergence,aesthetics within the analytic tradition was largely concerned withphilosophy of art. Environmental aesthetics originated as a reactionto this emphasis, pursuing instead the investigation of the aestheticappreciation of natural environments. Since its early stages, thescope of environmental aesthetics has broadened to include not simplynatural environments but also human and human-influenced ones. At thesame time, the discipline has also (...) come to include the examination ofthat which falls within such environments, giving rise to what iscalled the aesthetics of everyday life. This area involves theaesthetics of not only more common objects and environments, but alsoa range of everyday activities. Thus, early in the twenty-firstcentury, environmental aesthetics embraced the study of the aestheticsignificance of almost everything other than art. Together with thisbroader scope of environmental aesthetics, the twenty-first centuryhas also given rise to renewed and more intense investigations of therelationship between environmental aesthetics and environmentalism aswell as to several new interests and directions. (shrink)
In Section 1, I rehearse some arguments for the claim that morality should be ``action-guiding'', and try to state the conditions under which a moral theory is in fact action-guiding. I conclude that only agents who are cognitively and conatively ``ideal'' are in general able to use a moral theory as a guide to action. In Sections 2 and 3, I discuss whether moral ``actualism'' implies that morality cannot be action-guiding even for ideal agents. If actualism is true, an ideal (...) agent will know about her own future actions. Since such foreknowledge is often thought to be incompatible with deliberation, and since action-guidance presupposes the possibility of deliberation, there is an apparent difficulty in combining actualism with the requirement of action-guidance. In opposition to an argument by Jan Österberg, I try to show that actualism and action-guidance are in fact compatible. (shrink)
The notion of modularity, introduced by Noam Chomsky and developed with special emphasis on perceptual and linguistic processes by Jerry Fodor in his important book The Modularity of Mind, has provided a significant stimulus to research in cognitive science. This book presents essays in which a diverse group of philosophers, linguists, psycholinguists, and neuroscientists - including both proponents and critics of the modularity hypothesis - address general questions and specific problems related to modularity. Jay L. Garfield is Associate Professor of (...) Philosophy in the School of Communications and Cognitive Science at Hampshire College. (shrink)
This paper examines five groups of women that were instrumental in the emergence of the category of “feeblemindedness” in the United States. It analyzes the dynamics of oppression and power relations in the following five groups of women: “feebleminded” women, institutional caregivers, mothers, researchers, and reformists. Ultimately, I argue that a feminist analysis of the history of mental retardation is necessary to serve as a guide for future feminist work on cognitive disability.
Several distinguished philosophers have argued that since the state of affairs where nothing exists is the simplest and least arbitrary of all cosmological possibilities, we have reason to be surprised that there is in fact a non-empty universe. We review this traditional argument, and defend it against two recent criticisms put forward by Peter van Inwagen and Derek Parfit. Finally, we argue that the traditional argument nevertheless needs reformulation, and that the cogency of the reformulated argument depends partly on whether (...) there are certain conceptual limitations to what a person can hypothetically doubt. (shrink)
This paper examines five groups of women that were instrumental in the emergence of the category of "feeblemindedness" in the United States. It analyzes the dynamics of oppression and power relations in the following five groups of women: "feeble-minded" women, institutional caregivers, mothers, researchers, and reformists. Ultimately, I argue that a feminist analysis of the history of mental retardation is necessary to serve as a guide for future feminist work on cognitive disability.
Gustafsson and Espinoza have recently argued that the ‘small-improvement argument’, against completeness as a rationality requirement for preference orderings, is defective. They claim that the two main premises of the argument conflict, and hence should not both be accepted. I show that this conflict can be avoided by modifying one of the premises.
In this paper I do three things. Firstly, I defend the view that in his most familiar arguments about morality and the theological postulates, the arguments which appeal to the epistemological doctrines of the first Critique, Kant is as much of a fictionalist as anybody not working explicitly with that conceptual apparatus could be: his notion of faith as subjectively and not objectively grounded is precisely what fictionalists are concerned with in their talk of nondoxastic attitudes. Secondly, I reconstruct a (...) logically distinct argument to a fictionalist conclusion which I argue Kant also gives us, this time an argument to the conclusion that it is a good thing if our commitment to the existence of God is nondoxastic. And finally, I argue that this argument is of continuing interest, to Kantians and non-Kantians alike, not only because it raises interesting questions about the relation of morality to belief in God (which go in the opposite direction to most discussions, which focus on whether and to what extent belief in God can be an aid to morality), but also because this ‘Moral Hazard Argument’ seems to be available to religious realists and non-realists alike, thus suggesting that religious fictionalism is not by any means just an interesting version of religious non-realism. (shrink)
During John Dewey's lifetime, one public opinion poll after another revealed that he was esteemed to be one of the ten most important thinkers in American history. His body of thought, conventionally identified by the shorthand word "Pragmatism," has been the distinctive American philosophy of the last fifty years. His work on education is famous worldwide and is still influential today, anticipating as it did the ascendance in contemporary American pedagogy of multiculturalism and independent thinking. His University of Chicago Laboratory (...) School thrives still and is a model for schools worldwide, especially in emerging democracies. But how was this lifetime of thought enmeshed in Dewey's emotional experience, in his joys and sorrows as son and brother, husband and father, and in his political activism and spirituality? Acclaimed biographer Jay Martin recaptures the unity of Dewey's life and work, tracing important themes through the philosopher's childhood years, family history, religious experience, and influential friendships. Based on original sources, notably the vast collection of unpublished papers in the Center for Dewey Studies, this book tells the full story, for the first time, of the life and times of the eminent American philosopher, pragmatist, education reformer, and man of letters. In particular, _The Education of John Dewey_ highlights the importance of the women in Dewey's life, especially his mother, wife, and daughters, but also others, including the reformer Jane Addams and the novelist Anzia Yezierska. A fitting tribute to a master thinker, Martin has rendered a tour de force portrait of a philosopher and social activist in full, seamlessly reintegrating Dewey's thought into both his personal life and the broader historical themes of his time. (shrink)
This paper criticizes the consequentialist theory recently put forward by Fred Feldman. I argue that this theory violates two crucial requirements. Another theory, proposed by Peter Vallentyne, is similarly flawed. Feldman's basic ideas could, however, be developed into a more plausible theory. I suggest one possible way of doing this.
This paper examines a type of discourse structure we here call ‘generic passages’. We argue that generic passages should be analyzed as sequences of generic sentences, each sentence containing its own GEN operator (Krifka et al. 1995). The GEN operators produce tripartite matrix/restrictor structures; the main discourse connection among the sentences is that the restrictor produced by each sentence in the sequence has as its contents the information in the matrix produced by the previous sentence in the discourse. We also (...) argue that an identity of reference times is required for this process to occur. In the end generic passages are a natural product of the interaction of generic operators in sentences with independently- established principles structuring ordinary extensional narrative. (shrink)
Jay Rosenberg offers a systematic philosophical theory of knowledge which is specifically responsive to the fact that we always engage the world from a particular perspective within it. It consequently calls into question in a fundamental way many received understandings regarding the relationships among the concepts of knowledge, belief, justification, and truth.
Theoretical biology and economics are remarkably similar in their reliance on mathematical models, which attempt to represent real world systems using many idealized assumptions. They are also similar in placing a great emphasis on derivational robustness of modeling results. Recently philosophers of biology and economics have argued that robustness analysis can be a method for confirmation of claims about causal mechanisms, despite the significant reliance of these models on patently false assumptions. We argue that the power of robustness analysis has (...) been greatly exaggerated. It is best regarded as a method of discovery rather than confirmation. (shrink)