This study provides a comprehensive reinterpretation of the meaning of Locke's political thought. John Dunn restores Locke's ideas to their exact context, and so stresses the historical question of what Locke in the Two Treatises of Government was intending to claim. By adopting this approach, he reveals the predominantly theological character of all Locke's thinking about politics and provides a convincing analysis of the development of Locke's thought. In a polemical concluding section, John Dunn argues that liberal and (...) Marxist interpretations of Locke's politics have failed to grasp his meaning. Locke emerges as not merely a contributor to the development of English constitutional thought, or as a reflector of socio-economic change in seventeenth-century England, but as essentially a Calvinist natural theologian. (shrink)
John Dewey’s pragmatism and naturalism are grounded on metaphysical tenets describing how mind’s intelligence is thoroughly natural in its activity and productivity. His worldview is best classified as Organic Realism, since it descended from the German organicism and Naturphilosophie of Herder, Schelling, and Hegel which shaped the major influences on his early thought. Never departing from its tenets, his later philosophy starting with Experience and Nature elaborated a philosophical organon about science, culture, and ethics to fulfill his particular version (...) of Organic Realism. (shrink)
This is a classic volume in the "library of Living Philosophers" and includes a collection of essays on Dewey's work by his contemporaries at the time of the volume's publication. It also includes a biographical essay on Dewey and his replies to the assembled essays.
Practical reasoning is a process of reasoning that concludes in an intention. One example is reasoning from intending an end to intending what you believe is a necessary means: 'I will leave the next buoy to port; in order to do that I must tack; so I'll tack', where the first and third sentences express intentions and the second sentence a belief. This sort of practical reasoning is supported by a valid logical derivation, and therefore seems uncontrovertible. A more contentious (...) example is normative practical reasoning of the form 'I ought to φ, so I'll φ', where 'I ought to φ' expresses a normative belief and 'I'll φ' an intention. This has at least some characteristics of reasoning, but there are also grounds for doubting that it is genuine reasoning. One objection is that it seems inappropriate to derive an intention to φ from a belief that you ought to φ, rather than a belief that you ought to intend to φ. Another is that you may not be able to go through this putative process of reasoning, and this inability might disqualify it from being reasoning. A third objection is that it violates the Humean doctrine that reason alone cannot motivate any action of the will. This paper investigates these objections. (shrink)
This paperback edition reproduces the complete text of the Essay as prepared by professor Nidditch for The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke. The Register of Formal Variants and the Glossary are omitted and Professor Nidditch has written a new foreword.
An infinite lottery machine is used as a foil for testing the reach of inductive inference, since inferences concerning it require novel extensions of probability. Its use is defensible if there is some sense in which the lottery is physically possible, even if exotic physics is needed. I argue that exotic physics is needed and describe several proposals that fail and at least one that succeeds well enough.
What is it reasonable to believe about our most successful scientific theories such as the general theory of relativity or quantum mechanics? That they are true, or at any rate approximately true? Or only that they successfully ‘save the phenomena’, by being ‘empirically adequate’? In earlier work I explored the attractions of a view called Structural Scientific Realism. This holds that it is reasonable to believe that our successful theories are structurally correct. In the first part of this paper I (...) shall explain in some detail what this thesis means and outline the reasons why it seems attractive. The second section outlines a number of criticisms that have none the less been brought against SSR in the recent literature; and the third and final section argues that, despite the fact that these criticisms might seem initially deeply troubling, the position remains viable. (shrink)
Though there are significant points of overlap between Michelle Kosch's reading of Fear and Trembling and my own, this paper focuses primarily on a significant difference: the legitimacy or otherwise of looking to paradigmatic exemplars of faith in order to understand faith. I argue that Kosch's reading threatens to underplay the importance of exemplarity in Kierkegaard's thought, and that there is good reason to resist her use of Philosophical Fragments as the key to interpreting the 'hidden message' of Fear and (...) Trembling. Key to both claims is the Concluding Unscientific Postscript. I also briefly sketch an alternative reading of the 'hidden message', one in which Kierkegaard's Christian commitments play a notably different role. (shrink)
While historians of scientific method have recently called attention to the views of many of John Stuart Mill's contemporaries on the relation between probability and inductive inference, little if any note has been taken of Mill's own vigorous attack on the received "Laplacean" interpretation of probability in the first edition of the System of Logic. This paper examines the place of Mill's critique, both in the overall framework of his philosophy, and in the tradition of assessing the so-called "probability (...) of causes". It also offers an account of why, in later editions of the work, Mill appears to adopt a much more sympathetic stance toward the received view. (shrink)
Alasdair MacIntyre asks, if all individuals are in fact potential authorities of natural law and agree on its fundamentals, how can we explain manifest moral disagreement? Contemporary Thomistic natural law theorists have not attempted to address this particular issue to a significant degree. MacIntyre, taking this large-scale rejection seriously, focuses on the communal factors that allow individuals to recognize their need for and commitment to Thomistic natural law. By doing so, he attempts to give reasons for why we should expect (...) natural law to be widely denied in contemporary society. In this paper, I argue that MacIntyre’s approach to natural law is capable of accounting for the seemingly paradoxical claim that these per se nota first principles of natural law might suffer apparent widespread rejection. Moreover, I will argue that MacIntyre’s account is also capable of explaining why we should actually expect such rejection to occur. (shrink)
John Pollock (1940?2009) was an influential American philosopher who made important contributions to various fields, including epistemology and cognitive science. In the last 25 years of his life, he also contributed to the computational study of defeasible reasoning and practical cognition in artificial intelligence. He developed one of the first formal systems for argumentation-based inference and he put many issues on the research agenda that are still relevant for the argumentation community today. This paper presents an appreciation of Pollock's (...) work on defeasible reasoning and its relevance for the computational study of argument. In our opinion, Pollock deserves to be remembered as one of the founding fathers of the field of computational argument, while, moreover, his work contains important lessons for current research in this field, reminding us of the richness of its object of study. (shrink)