In this paper, I examine an account of instrumental reasoning recently put forth by John Broome. His key suggestion is that anyone who engages in reasoning about his intentions also believes that he will do what he intends to do and that combined with a belief about necessary means this creates rational pressure towards believing that one will take the necessary means. I argue that Broomeâs model has three significant problems; his key premise is falseâthe sincere expression of an intention (...) does not entail the belief that one will successfully execute that intention; his account yields a model of instrumental reasoning that is uncomfortably reflective; he seems unable to explain the rational pressure towards taking necessary means that arises directly from having an end and an instrumental belief. All three problems, I argue, are a consequence of Broomeâs inadequate position on what it is to intend to do something. (shrink)
Liberalism is commonly believed, especially by its exponents, to be opposed to interference by way of enforcing value judgments or concerning itself with the individual's morality. My concern is to show that this is not so and that liberalism is all the better for this. Many elements have contributed to liberal thought as we know it today, the major elements being the liberalism of which Locke is the most celebrated exponent, which is based upon a belief in natural, human rights; (...) the liberalism of which Kant is the best known exponent, which is based on respect for persons as ends in themselves; and the liberalism of Bentham and the Mills, which is based upon utilitarian ethical theories and most especially with concern for pleasure and the reduction of pain. These different elements of liberalism have led to different emphases and different political and social arrangements, but all have involved a concern to safeguard values and to use force to that end. Today they constitute strands of thought which go to make up liberal thought as we now know it, hence it is not simply a historical fact about liberalism, but a fact about its philosophical basis, that liberalism is firmly involved in certain value and moral commitments. In the remainder of this paper I shall seek to bring this out. (shrink)
The long-term persistence of neurotic symptoms, such as anxiety, poses difficult problems for any psychological theory. An attempt is made to revive the Watson-Mowrer conditioning theory and to avoid the many criticisms directed against it in the past. It is suggested that recent research has produced changes in learning theory that can be used to render this possible. In the first place, the doctrine of equipotentiality has been shown to be wrong, and some such concept as Seligman's “preparedness” is required, (...) that is the notion that certain CS are biologically prepared to be more readily connected with anxiety responses than others. In the second place, the law of extinction has to be amended, and the law of incubation or enhancement added, according to which the exposure of the CS-only may, under certain specified conditions, have the effect of increasing the strength of the CR, rather than reducing it. The major conditions favouring incubation are Pavlovian B conditioning, that is a type of conditioning in which the CR is a drive; a strong UCS, and short exposure of the CS-only. (shrink)
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This paper is a critical examination of Vendler's well-known aspectual classes (states, activities, accomplishments, achievements). It is argued that it not classes that play a role in the explanation of aspectual phenomena but rather some specific semantic factors from which aspectual classes can be constructed, in particular factors inherent to the (lexical) verb and to the determiners of noun phrases.
summaryThis paper discusses objections against the idea that the meaning of a word is its use. Sct. 1 accepts Rundle's point that ‘meaning’ and ‘use’ are used differently, but insists that this is compatible with holding that use determines meaning, an therefore holds the key to conceptual analysis. Scts. 2–4 rebut three lines of argument which claim that linguistic philosophy goes astray by reading into the meaning of words non‐semantic features of its use: Searle's general speech act fallacy charge, Hacker's (...) use of the Frege‐point against Wittgenstein's account of avowals, and Grice's attack on Wittgenstein's discussion of ‘trying’. Sct. 5 argues that Grice's doctrine of conversational implicature fails to show that the features he disregards are pragmatic rather than semantic. Sct. 6 ends with some suggestions about how use can be related to meaning without being abused. (shrink)
This paper aims at showing that the generative-semantic framework is not essential to the proposal in H.J. Verkuyl On the Compositional Nature of the Aspects Reidel:Dordrecht 1972. Compositionality can be shown to be neutral as to the then-difference between generative-semantic and the interpretive-semantic branch of transformational grammar.