Reams of empirical studies and a century or two of social theory have noticed that modernity produces increasingly shallow and instrumental relationships. Where bonds of mutuality, based on face-to-face connection, once survived, we now tend to exist in a depthless, dematerialized technoculture. This is the trajectory of industrial mass society: not transcending itself through technology, but instead becoming ever more fully realized. In this context, it is striking to note that the original usage of “virtual” was as the adjectival form (...) of “virtue.” Virtual reality (VR) is not only the creation of a narcissistic subculture; it represents a much wider…. (shrink)
Controversies about optimality models and adaptationist methodologies have animated the discussions of evolutionary theory in recent years. The sociobiologists, following the lead of E. O. Wilson, have argued that if Darwinian natural selection can be reliably expected to produce the best possible type of organism - one that optimizes the value of its genetic contribution to future generations - then evolution becomes a powerfully predictive theory as well as an explanatory one. The enthusiastic claims of the sociobiologists for the (...) predictability and applicability that the optimalist approach engenders have been met with severe criticism by Richard C. Lewontin, Stephen Jay Gould, and other biologists and philosophers of biology. These original essays take up both sides of the controversy over the role of optimality models in evolutionary biology, providing a refreshingly insightful and balanced discussion of optimality issues by an interdisciplinary group of leading philosophers of biology, biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and an economist. They focus on the current state of adaptationist and optimalist methodology in evolutionary theory, and on the possibility of extending such methodology to the human sciences, especially those of psychology and anthropology. Introduction / John Dupre -- Part 1. Methodological questions. Simple models of complex phenomena: the case of cultural evolution / Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd -- Natural selection and the null hypothesis / John Beatty -- Why not the best? / Philip Kitcher -- Part 2. Evolution and optimality. What is adaptationism? / Elliot Sober -- How to model evolution / John Maynard Smith -- Comments on Maynard Smith’s "How to Model Evolution" / Elliot Sober -- Reply to Sober / John Maynard Smith -- The shape of optimality / Richard C. Lewontin -- Part 3. Applications. Evolutionary ecology and the optimality assumption / John M. Emlen -- Optimality theory and behavior / John E.R. Staddon -- Part 4. Applications to human behavior. Optimization theory in anthropology: applications and critiques / Eric Alden Smith -- Evolution of a mesh between principles of the mind and regularities of the world / Roger N. Shepard -- From evolution to behavior: evolutionary psychology as the missing link / Leda Cosmides and John Tooby -- On the emotions as guarantors of threats and promises / Jack Hirschleifer -- Human kinds / John Dupre. (shrink)
SummaryenThe main argument for scientific realism is that our present theories in science are so successful empirically that they can't have got that way by chance - instead they must somehow have latched onto the blueprint of the universe. The main argument against scientific realism is that there have been enormously successful theories which were once accepted but are now regarded as false. The central question addressed in this paper is whether there is some reasonable way to have the (...) class='Hi'>best of both worlds: to give the argument from scientific revolutions its full weight and yet still adopt some sort of realist attitude towards presently accepted theories in physics and elsewhere. I argue that there is such a way - through structural realism, a position adopted by Poincare, and here elaborated and defended. (shrink)
This article provides an understanding and defence of ‘best interests’. The analysis is performed in the context of, and is informed by, English law. The understanding that develops allows for differences in values, and is thus argued to be appropriate in a pluralist liberal system. When understood properly, it is argued, best interests provides the best means of decision-making for people deemed incompetent to decide for themselves. It is accepted that some commentators are cynical of best (...) interests in practice. Following an assessment of some of their principal concerns, it is suggested that best interests in fact provides a construct that is both defensible and desirable. (shrink)
The no-miracles argument for realism and the pessimistic meta-induction for anti-realism pull in opposite directions. Structural Realism---the position that the mathematical structure of mature science reflects reality---relieves this tension.
Several contemporary Confucian philosophers have posited differing hybrid views fusing meritocracy to democracy. There is a good deal of interest in a meritocracy in contemporary Confucian thought, and such a view perhaps should receive more serious consideration in liberal democratic thought since it may make for a stronger form of government when appended to democracy. In this paper, four contemporary hybrid theorists who combine elements of a meritocracy with a democracy are critically analyzed concerning an ability for their views to (...) be instantiated in liberal democracies for the legislative branch only. Finally, I provide a modified hybrid view for the legislature that I believe is the best fit for current liberal democracies. (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)
Excerpt from John Dewey: His Thought and Influence Any valid appraisal and criticism Of a man's thought, however, must well up from intellectual charity (sympathy, if you will) and not from either resentment fed by hearsay, or at best, superficial study, nor from partisanship. NO true understanding of a man's thought can be had unless we learn by critical and historical study to see how he came to put his questions in the way he did and give the (...) answers he gave to them. You need to go on and see how far a man's theory will really take you, and how much truth can be got out Of it, and just where and Why it breaks down. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works. (shrink)
In "Amazing Grace," the best-loved of all hymns, John Newton's allusions to the drama of his life tell the story of a youth who was a virtual slave in Sierra Leone before ironically becoming a slave trader himself. Liverpool, his home port, was the center of the most colossal, lucrative, and inhumane slave trade the world has ever known. A gradual spiritual awakening transformed Newton into an ardent evangelist and anti-slavery activist. Influenced by Methodists George Whitefield and (...) class='Hi'>John Wesley, Newton became prominent among those favoring a Methodist-style revival in the Church of England. This movement stressed personal conversion, simple worship, emotional enthusiasm, and social justice. While pastoring a poor flock in Olney, he and poet William Cowper produced a hymnal containing such perennial favorites as "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken" and "God Moves in a Mysterious Way." Later, while serving a church in London, Newton raised British consciousness on the immorality of the slave trade. The account he gave to Parliament on the atrocities he had witnessed helped William Wilberforce obtain legislation to abolish the slave trade in England. Newton's life story convinced many who are "found" after being "lost" to sing Gospel hymns as they lobbied for civil rights legislation. His close involvement with both capitalism and evangelicalism, the main economic and religious forces of his era, provide a fascinating case study of the relationship of Christians to their social environment. In an afterword on Newtonian Christianity, Phipps explains Newton's critique of Karl Marx's thesis that religious ideals are always the effect of what produces the most profit. Phipps relies on accounts Newton gives in his ship journal, diary, letters, and sermons for this most readable scholarly narrative. (shrink)
John Evelyn (1620-1706) is best remembered for Sylva - his magnum opus - and his Diary . Alongside Pepys' diary, Evelyn's is as well known now as anything else written in their time. A connoisseur of architecture, painting, music, coins, and sermons, Evelyn was renowned for his practical knowledge on horticulture and arboriculture, and he was one of the original Fellows of the Royal Society. His Diary begins with an account of his early life and travels in Europe. (...) In addition to his own jottings of events, Evelyn drew on contemporary newspapers and pamphlets. (shrink)
In this paper, we propose a novel account of desire reports, i.e. sentences of the form 'S wants p'. Our theory is partly motivated by Phillips-Brown's (2021) observation that subjects can desire things even if those things aren't best by the subject's lights. That is, being best isn't necessary for being desired. We compare our proposal to existing theories, and show that it provides a neat account of the central phenomenon.
The book is a defence of scientific realism. Its primary aim is to argue that it is possible to establish scientific realism without Inference to the Best Explanation. The idea that plays the central role in the book is an "Eddington-inference". Arthur Eddington once considered a hypothetical ichthyologist who concluded from the fact that his net contained no fish smaller than the holes in his net that there were in the sea no fish smaller than the holes in his (...) net. Although Eddington himself defended the inference, the author of the present volume argues on probabilistic grounds that it is likely such an inference is flawed. He generalises the argument to develop a probabilistic justification for scientific realist claims about the existence of unobservable entities. (shrink)
Sir John Hicks is one of the most important and influential economists of the twentieth century. Awarded the Nobel Prize for economics in 1972, he has made contributions across a wide range of economic theory, writing some twenty books. Arguably the most important of these, _Value and Capital_, is seen as the roots of modern microeconomics and general equilibrium theory. Hicks possessed an unusual ability to synthesize the ideas of other economists – something that is evident in his invention (...) of the ‘IS-LM’ diagram to expound Keynes’ General Theory, and is perhaps what he is best known to present day economists for. This two volume set is the second collection on Hicks in this series and includes new assessments of his contributions, covering the last fifteen years. With a new introduction by the editor, this comprehensive and scholarly collection provides students and scholars immediate access to Sir John Hicks’ contributions. (shrink)
Sir John Hicks is one of the highest-regarded contemporary economists, and it is fitting that the new series of _Critical Assessments of Contemporary Economists_ should commence with his work. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1972, Sir John Hicks’ work is extremely wide-ranging, with the list of topics reading almost like an agenda for the whole of modern economics: general equilibrium theory, welfare economics, problems of index numbers, trade cycles, wages and many others. He may, however, be (...)best known to present day economists for having introduced IS-LM curves, now a standard means of Keynesian analysis. A comprehensive, scholarly work, this four-volume set gives students of economics and economic thought immediate access to Sir John Hicks' contributions and shows how his work has been received and modified by others. (shrink)
The best way to understand the Meditations is through the lens of Descartes's theistic metaphysics rather than via his programme for physical science. This applies to his use of the concept of ‘nature’ in the Sixth Meditation, which serves Descartes's goal of theodicy. In working this out, Descartes reaches a conclusion about the functional role of sensory perception that is, paradoxically, not far from that offered by Darwinian naturalism. So far from being inherently geared to tracking the truth, the (...) role of sensation is linked to its survival value for the organism. In virtue of his theistic metaphysics however, Descartes is able to set this conclusion against the background of other cognitive faculties that are in principle accurate detectors of the truth; the absence of such a resource for modern Darwinian naturalists creates difficulties for the presumption that humans are cognitively equipped to search for the truth. (shrink)
Two experiments examined the role of conditional reasoning in the logical deduction game, Mastermind . An analysis suggested that Modus Tollens (MT) reasoning could be used to determine the code structure, for example, in determining if any of the colours in the code are repeated. Consistent with this analysis, Experiment 1 showed that only MT errors are correlated with the number of hypotheses advanced in Mastermind . A subsequent analysis showed that conditional reasoning such as Affirming the Consequent (AC) and (...) Denying the Antecedent (DA) could lead to particularly damaging inferences only when the code was four different colours. When that was known before play, Experiment 2 showed that AC errors, but not MT errors, were significantly correlated with Mastermind hypotheses advanced. A stepwise multiple regression analysis supported these findings: When the solvers knew they were playing a four-colour code, there was a slight diminution in the variance explained by MT errors, and a significant increase in the variance explained by AC errors. An analysis of the number of different possible codes that could be consistent with hypotheses actually played showed that the number of such codes is far fewer when the code consists of four different colours than when its structure is not known. This analysis suggests that reasoners are therefore unlikely to discover many alternative causes for the feedback given when the code consists of four different colours, and it is under these conditions that humans are most likely to engage in AC reasoning. (shrink)
Relatively little is known about those who consistently produce the valid response to Modus Tollens (MT) problems. In two studies, people who responded correctly to MT problems indicated how “convinced” they were by proofs of conditional reasoning conclusions. The first experiment showed that MT competent reasoners found accurate proofs of MT reasoning more convincing than similar “proofs” of invalid reasoning. Similarly, there was a tendency for MT competent reasoners to find an initial counterfactual supposition more convincing than did people who (...) were less competent in MT. The second experiment showed that when individuals produced the correct MT response, and found correct MT proofs to be more convincing than “bogus” proofs, they were also less likely to find the conclusions to Denying the Antecedent, or Affirming the Consequent problems valid, compared to individuals who could not discriminate between valid and bogus MT proofs. These findings are discussed in terms of both their implications for the mental logic and mental models positions, and individual differences in System 1 and System 2 reasoning. (shrink)
My title is taken from the frontispiece to Ogilby's translation of Aesop ; since every Renaissance poet believed the statement to be true, let me start with my own example. John Denham's only play, The Sophy, published in August 1642, is a tale about the perils of jealousy. The good prince Mirza, after a miraculous victory over the Turks, returns in glory to his father's court, but leaves it shortly thereafter. In his absense, Haly, the evil courtier, follows a (...) friend's advice to " work on [the king's] fears, till fear hath made him cruel"1 and poisons the king's mind with jealousy against his son. Mirza returns only to be brutally blinded and killed, and the emperor soon dies stricken with remorse. Now it happens that Parliament justified all its actions in the months preceding the civil war on the grounds of the "fears and jealousies" that the king had inspired. Charles was incensed by the slogan and claimed angrily that he, if anyone, had the most cause for fears and jealousies.2 Denham obviously decided that here was the all-consuming topic around which a predominantly royalist drama could be written. He followed what I believe was the standard practice - the method that Fulke Greville said Sidney used and that Congreve repeated at the end of the century when he declared of The Double Dealer that "I design'd the Moral first, and to that Moral I invented the Fable."3 He found a plot in Thomas Herbert's Travels into Diverse Parts of Asia that recorded some terrible cruelties and catastrophes caused by jealousy, and he added the point that the emperor's mind had been wrought upon by his counselor. There is no evidence that the play was ever acted, but the most casual reader would have said to himself, "Yes, history reminds us that states destroy themselves through fears and jealousies, and we should abate our own before it is too late." · 1. Sir John Denham, The Poetical Works, ed. Theodore Howard Banks, 2d ed. , p.245. The references to fear and jealousy are so ubiquitous in the play that they need not be listed here.· 2. On March 1, 1642, in the angriest of his replies to Parliament so far, Charles exclaimed, "You speake of Jealousies and Feares: Lay your hands to your hearts, and aske your selves whether I may not likewise be disturbed with Feares and Jealousies: And if so, I assure you this Message hath nothing lessened them" . Although phrases like "distempers and jealousies" had been used earlier, Clarendon on two occasions is quite specific that "fears and jealousies" were "the new words which served to justify all indispositions and to excuse all disorders" in January 1642 . Taken with other evidence, Clarendon's remarks strongly suggest that The Sophy was written after Coopers Hill, and during seven months preceding its publication in August 1642.· 3. William Congreve, The Complete Plays, ed. Herbert Davis , p. 119. And compare John Donne in Sermons, ed. Evelyn M. Simpson are George R. Potter , 9:274: "All wayes of teaching are Rule and Example: and though ordinarily the Rule be first placed, yet the Rule it selfe is made of Examples...for, Example in matter of Doctrine, is as Assimiliation in matter of Nourishment; The Example makes that that is proposed for our learning and farther instruction, like something which we knew before, as Assimilation makes that meat, which we have received and digested, like those parts which are in our bodies before."John M. Wallace, author of Destiny His Choice: The Loyalism of Andrew Marvell and articles on Milton, Dryden Denham, Traherne, and Arnold, is professor of English at the University of Chicago. (shrink)
David Lewis's best-system analysis of laws of nature is perhaps the best known sophisticated regularity theory of laws. Its strengths are widely recognized, even by some of its ablest critics. Yet it suffers from what appears to be a glaring weakness: It seems to grant an arbitrary privilege to the standards of our own scientific culture. I argue that by reformulating, or reinterpreting, Lewis's exposition of the best-system analysis, we arrive at a view that is free of (...) this weakness. The resulting theory of laws has the surprising consequence that the term "law of nature" is indexical. (shrink)
In almost 40 per cent of households in North America, dogs are kept as companion animals. Dogs may be man's best friends, but what are humans to dogs? If these animals' loyalty and unconditional love have won our hearts, why do we so often view closely related wild canids, such as foxes, wolves, and coyotes, as pests, predatory killers, and demons? Re-examining the complexity and contradictions of human attitudes towards these animals, Dog's Best Friend? looks at how our (...) relationships with canids have shaped and also been transformed by different political and economic contexts. Journeying from ancient Greek and Roman societies to Japan's Edo period to eighteenth-century England, essays explore how dogs are welcomed as family, consumed in Asian food markets, and used in Western laboratories. Contributors provide glimpses of the lives of street dogs and humans in Bali, India, Taiwan, and Turkey and illuminate historical and current interactions in Western societies. The book delves into the fantasies and fears that play out in stereotypes of coyotes and wolves, while also acknowledging that events such as the Wolf Howl in Canada's Algonquin Park indicate the emergence of new popular perspectives on canids. Questioning where canids belong, how they should be treated, and what rights they should have, Dog's Best Friend? reconsiders the concept of justice and whether it can be extended beyond the limit of the human species. (shrink)
On page 157 of Bradley's Ethical Studies the following passage occurs: “There are few laws a breach of which morality does not allow, and I believe there is none which is not to be broken in conceivable circumstances, though the necessity of deciding the question does not practically occur.” And Bradley added the extremely significant footnote: “Except, of course, the universal law to do the best we can in the circumstances.”.