Beyond their linguistic and rhetorical uses, the mental epistemic verbs to knowand to believe reveal a basic conceptual system for human intentionality and the theory of representational mind. Numerous studies, particularly in the field of child development, have been devoted to the conditions under which knowledge and belief are acquired. Upstream of this empirical approach, this paper proposes a topological model of the conceptual structure underlying the linguistic use of to know and to believe. A cusp model of catastrophe theory (...) is chosen to model the formation of epistemic states. Its main characteristic is considering to believe as an intermediate state which lacks stability and presents the delayed effect of hysteresis. The attribution of mental states to the other (viewpoint of the third person) is obtained by the crossing of first and third person knowledge and belief, which gives rise to new categories (to know if and to falsely believe) and closes the system. Another merging of the beliefs of persons A and B, using the butterfly catastrophe, provides a model of interpersonal belief appreciated by an independent observer along a potential evolving from agreement to disagreement. (shrink)
Depue & Collins's model of incentive-motivational modulation of goal-directed behavior subserved by a medial orbital prefrontal cortical (MOC) network is appealing, but it leaves several questions unanswered: How are the stimuli that elicit an incentive motivational state selected? How does the incentive motivational state created by the MOC network modulate behavior? What is the function of the dopaminergic input to the striatum? This commentary suggests possible answers, based on the open-interconnected model of basal-ganglia-thalamocortical circuits, in which the limbic circuit selects (...) goals and, via its connections with the motor and the associative circuits, directs behavior according to those goals, elaborating on the role of dopamine. (shrink)
This book gives a comprehensive overview of central themes of finite model theory â expressive power, descriptive complexity, and zero-one laws â together with selected applications relating to database theory and artificial intelligence, especially constraint databases and constraint satisfaction problems. The final chapter provides a concise modern introduction to modal logic, emphasizing the continuity in spirit and technique with finite model theory. This underlying spirit involves the use of various fragments of and hierarchies within first-order, second-order, fixed-point, and infinitary logics (...) to gain insight into phenomena in complexity theory and combinatorics. The book emphasizes the use of combinatorial games, such as extensions and refinements of the Ehrenfeucht-Fraissé pebble game, as a powerful way to analyze the expressive power of such logics, and illustrates how deep notions from model theory and combinatorics, such as o-minimality and treewidth, arise naturally in the application of finite model theory to database theory and AI. Students of logic and computer science will find here the tools necessary to embark on research into finite model theory, and all readers will experience the excitement of a vibrant area of the application of logic to computer science. (shrink)
For several decades the work of Joel Feinberg has been the most influential in legal, political and social philosophy in the English-speaking world. This 1994 volume honours that body of work by presenting fifteen essays, many of them by leading legal and political philosophers, that explore the problems that have engaged Feinberg over the years. Amongst the topics covered are issues of autonomy, responsibility and liability. It will be a collection of interest to anyone working in moral, legal or political (...) philosophy. (shrink)
The 14 essays assembled in this volume, along with their intensive scholarship, create somewhat the impression of a Who's Who of contemporary literary studies of Ralph Waldo Emerson and the American Transcendentalists. All has been brought together by Mott and Burkholder to honor Joel Myerson, with the words of Emerson's famous remark to Walt Whitman, "We greet You at the Mid-point of a Great Career" (p. xi). An authority on Transcendentalism, textual and bibliographical studies, Myerson has written, edited, or co-edited (...) nearly sixty books, including most recently, Emerson's Antislavery Writings (with Len Gougeon, 1995), The Selected Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1997), and the Later Lectures of Ralph Waldo Emerson (with Ronald A. Bosco). The career, like the present book, provides a marvelous contemporary focus on the 19th century American literary renaissance. Anyone writing on Emerson's thought will best view this volume as essential reading. (shrink)
In this volume, leading scholars in Asian and comparative philosophy take the work of Joel J. Kupperman as a point of departure to consider new perspectives on Confucian ethics. Kupperman is one of the few eminent Western philosophers to have integrated Asian philosophical traditions into his thought, developing a character-based ethics synthesizing Western, Chinese, and Indian philosophies. With their focus on Confucian ethics, contributors respond, expand, and engage in critical dialogue with Kupperman’s views. Kupperman joins the conversation with responses and (...) comments that conclude the volume. (shrink)
Joel Feinberg was a brilliant philosopher whose work in social and moral philosophy is a legacy of excellent, even stunning achievement. Perhaps his most memorable achievement is his four-volume treatise on The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law, and perhaps the most striking jewel in this crowning achievement is his passionate and deeply insightful treatment of paternalism.1 Feinberg opposes Legal Paternalism, the doctrine that “it is always a good reason in support of a [criminal law] prohibition that it is necessary (...) to prevent harm (physical, psychological, or economic) to the actor himself.” Against this doctrine Feinberg asserts that when an agent’s sufficiently voluntary choice causes harm to herself or risk of harm to herself, this category of harm-to-self is never a good reason in support of criminal law prohibition of that type of conduct. (shrink)
This paper is offered as a tribute to Joel Feinberg. The first section of the paper applies Feinberg's analysis of freedom of expression to a contemporary case of academic freedom. The second section engages Feinberg's work on rights and punishment. The paper ends with numerous quotations from Feinberg's vast array of writings, words that express his ideas on a number of important problems that occupied his mind throughout his fruitful and influential career.
Principles can seem as entrenched in moral experience as Kant thinks space, time, and the categories are in human experience of the world. However not all cultures have such a view. Classical Indian and Chinese philosophies treat modification of the self as central to ethics. Decisions in particular cases and underlying principles are much less discussed. Ethics needs comparative philosophy in order not to be narrow in its concerns. A broader view can give weight to how people sometimes can change (...) who they are, in order to lead better lives. (shrink)
In the Cairo Genizah were manuscripts with Gregorian notation and Hebrew script. They also appeared documents that point to author of the scores at Giovanni-Obadiah, a twelfth century Christian monk, born in southern Italy, who converted to Judaism. Until now, the study of this personage has been realized almost exclusively from the Jewish point of view. Nevertheless, like Obadiah synthesizes the traditions Christian and Jewish in its notation when copying Hebrew melodies with Christian notation, also it does in his texts. (...) Obadiah transcribed a Latin appointment of Joel to Hebrew characters. This article pretends to oppose his conversion to Judaism with his ordination as a Christian monk through the prophecy of Joel, which implies an intense dialogue between the two traditions. (shrink)
My review of Cornelius Castoriadis' book Crossroads in the Labyrinth ended with the apt reference, I now see, to the emperor being naked. In Joel Whitebook's second review, largely irrelevant to my criticisms of Castoriadis, he fears, though he doesn't know me personally, that only the lack of psychological counseling can explain my uncontrolled anger against Castoriadis. Let me dignify his long distance psychoanalysis by passing over it in silence. Silence is also the best remedy for Whitebook's transcendental deduction that (...) I have a “pluralistic, localistic, discontinuous ontology.” Even if I knew what that was I find it amazing that he located it in a 10 page review. Perhaps Whitebook just “feels” the presence of this ontology along with evidence of my mental problems. (shrink)
Resumo A cultura ocidental, erigida sob a égide da ontologia grega, historicamente relegou o outro em sua alteridade ao esquecimento, numa supremacia do ser que justificou as cruzadas, a colonização, a escravidão, os regimes totalitários como o fascismo e o nazismo, entre outros. Este artigo tem como objetivo apresentar as perspectivas do professor Joel Birman e do filósofo Emmanuel Lévinas sobre a importância da construção de um novo paradigma na cultura ocidental. Paradigma que reconheça a alteridade, numa abertura inédita do (...) eu , que supere a lógica egocêntrica do ser . A abordagem de Birman consiste na leitura feita, a partir da psicanálise, das causas e consequências da cultura do narcisismo, que norteia a sociedade do espetáculo na pós-modernidade. Essa cultura, ao centrar-se no eu , faz do outro objeto para suas satisfações egoístas. Já a abordagem de Lévinas é uma crítica filosófica ao primado da ontologia, que desde sua origem na Grécia antiga desconsiderou o outro, numa negação violenta da alteridade. A proposta levinasiana é a de que a ética precede a ontologia, ou seja, a ética como filosofia primeira deve nortear a relação entre os homens, num reconhecimento do outro em sua alteridade. Não se pretende neste breve trabalho analisar de forma minuciosa as concepções de Birman e de Lévinas, mas apontar que, apesar das diferenças de abordagem, ambos se aproximam no que tange à questão da alteridade na cultura ocidental. Palavras-chave: Alteridade; Paradigma; Eu; Narcisismo; Ontologia.The Western Culture based on the aegis of the Greek ontology, has historically relegated the other in his alterity to the forgetfulness, in supremacy of the Being who justified the crusades, the colonization, the slavery, the totalitarian regimes like the Fascism and the Nazism, among others. It is in this perspective that this article has as objective to present the perspectives of the teacher Joel Birman and of the philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas on the importance of constructing a new paradigm in the western culture that recognizes the alterity. This paradigm which recognizes the alterity of other is an unpublished opening of myself , who surpasses the egocentric logic of the Being. The approach of Birman consists of reading, from the psychoanalysis, of the causes and consequences of the narcissism culture, that leads society of spectacles in the post-modernity, which while be centering in myself, it does from another object for his selfish satisfactions. The approach of Lévinas is already a philosophical criticism on the primacy of the ontology, which from his origin in ancient Greece, disregarded other in a negation of the alterity in a violent form. The proposal Levinasiana is the one that the ethics precedes the ontology, in other words, the ethics as first philosophy must lead the relation between the men, in recognition of other in his alterity. It is important to find out that it's not intention of this short work to analyze in details the conceptions of Birman neither of Lévinas, but to highlight the similarities between their thought in spite of the differences between their approaches regarding to the question of the alterity in the western culture. Key words: Alterity; Paradigm; Narcissism; Ontology. (shrink)
Many would consider the lengthening debate between moral realists and anti-realists to be draw-ish. Plainly new approaches are needed. Or might the issue, which most broadly concerns realism in relation to normative judgments, be broken down into parts or sectors? Physicists have been saying, in relation to a similarly longstanding debate, that light in some respects behaves like waves and in some respects like particles. Might realism be more plausible in relation to some kinds of normative judgments than others?
The business corporation is at the centre of the modern global economy but does it act in the general interest? This paper explores Joel Bakan's film and book critique of the corporation which suggests that it is characterised by a 'pathological pursuit of power and profit'. It seeks to extend Bakan's argument by reconsidering the ethical position of those who run corporations; the question of how far competition constrains their actions; and the extent to which the modern state can control (...) corporations or is itself subject to similar pressures. (shrink)
In a recent article, Joel Marks presents the amoralist argument against vivisection, or animal laboratory experimentation. He argues that ethical theories that seek to uncover some universal morality are in fact useless and unnecessary for ethical deliberations meant to determine what constitutes an appropriate action in a specific circumstance. I agree with Marks’ conclusion. I too believe that vivisection is indefensible, both from a scientific and philosophical perspective. I also believe that we should become vegan (unfortunately, like the two philosophers (...) mentioned by Marks, I too am still struggling to reduce my meat and dairy consumption). However, I am in the dark as to Marks’ vision of normative deliberations in the spirit of amoralism and desirism. (shrink)
Joel Kupperman's latest book is a wide ranging discussion of many of the leading issues in contemporary ethical theory. Its main aim is to advance a view which he calls "multi level indirect consequentialism" as a viable alternative to traditional act and rule consequentialist positions. Such a view purports to secure many of the agent centered constraints and options which are familiar from ordinary morality, as well as to take seriously considerations of fairness and respect for persons. Needless to say, (...) Kupperman's project is ambitious, and his book provides us with a preliminary sketch of the proposal. In what follows, I first summarize the two parts of Ethics and Qualities of Life and then offer some critical remarks. (shrink)
In a 2008 paper, Walmsley argued that the explanations employed in the dynamical approach to cognitive science, as exemplified by the Haken, Kelso and Bunz model of rhythmic finger movement, and the model of infant preservative reaching developed by Esther Thelen and her colleagues, conform to Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim’s deductive-nomological model of explanation (also known as the covering law model). Although we think Walmsley’s approach is methodologically sound in that it starts with an analysis of scientific practice rather (...) than a general philosophical framework, we nevertheless feel that there are two problems with his paper. First, he focuses only on the deductivenomological model and so neglects the important fact that explanations are causal. Second, the explanations offered by the dynamical approach do not take the deductive-nomological format, because they do not deduce the explananda from exceptionless laws. Because of these two points, Walmsley makes the dynamical explanations in cognitive science appear problematic, while in fact they are not. (shrink)
Book review. The author incisively defends moral anti-realism. He advises that one should act only on one's considered desires, not on moral absolutes. But he fails to give guidance about what is important or advisable to desire.