Quine (1960, Word and object. Cambridge, Mass.:MIT Press, ch. 2) claims that there are a variety of equally good schemes for translating or interpreting ordinary talk. ‘Rabbit’ might be taken to divide its reference over rabbits, over temporal slices of rabbits, or undetached parts of rabbits, without significantly affecting which sentences get classified as true and which as false. This is the basis of his famous ‘argument from below’ to the conclusion that there can be no fact of the matter (...) as to how reference is to be divided. Putative counterexamples to Quine’s claim have been put forward in the past (see especially Evans 1975; 1975, Journal of Philosophy, LXXII(13), 343–362. Reprinted in McDowell (Ed.), Gareth Evans: Collected papers. Oxford: Clarendon Press.), and various patches have been suggested (e.g. Wright (1997, The indeterminacy of translation. In C. Wright & B. Hale (Eds.), A companion to the philosophy of language (pp. 397–426). Oxford: Blackwell)). One lacuna in this literature is that one does not find any detailed presentation of what exactly these interpretations are supposed to be. Drawing on contemporary literature on persistence, the present paper sets out detailed semantic treatments for fragments of English, whereby predicates such as ‘rabbit’ divide their reference over four-dimensional continuants (Quine’s rabbits), instantaneous temporal slices of those continuants (Quine’s rabbit-slices) and the simple elements which compose those slices (undetached rabbit parts) respectively. Once we have the systematic interpretations on the table, we can get to work evaluating them. (shrink)
In the autumn of 1915 at Princeton, the graduate student, Charles Hendel, and the professor, Norman Kemp Smith, went for a walk. Hendel thought the time auspicious to announce his desire to write a dissertation on Rousseau. As happens not infrequently between an adviser and a student, Kemp Smith attempted to dissuade his student from his intention and advised him to look into David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, instead. The professor noted that a ‘deadlock’ had long existed between those (...) who thought the sceptic, Philo, spoke for Hume, and those who thought the theistic views of Cleanthes most nearly echoed Hume's true opinions on religion. Perhaps through researching the problem, Kemp Smith suggested, Hendel could ‘resolve that impasse and establish Hume's position on the religious question’. (shrink)
Neil Sinhababu and I presented Backward Clock, an original counterexample to Robert Nozick’s truth-tracking analysis of propositional knowledge. Fred Adams, John Barker and Murray Clarke argue that Backward Clock is no such counterexample. Their argument fails to nullify Backward Clock which also shows that other tracking analyses, such as Dretske’s and one that Adams et al. may well have in mind, are inadequate.
Abela and Murphy (J Acad Mark Sci 36(1):39–53, 2007 ) examined Service-Dominant (S-D) logic (Vargo and Lusch, J Mark 68(1):1–17, 2004 ) from the viewpoint of Marketing Ethics and concluded that whilst S-D logic does not have explicit ethical content, the Foundational Premises (FPs) of S-D logic do have implicit ethical content. They also conclude that what may be needed to make the implicit more explicit is the addition of another FP. The aim of this article is to explore whether (...) S-D logic needs to be modified, if one wishes to construct a theoretical framework for analysis of Marketing that has ethical considerations fully integrated. We critically evaluate the claim that the FPs are inherently ethical and conclude that S-D logic should be modified. We offer an additional FP for consideration that relates to the role of personal and societal values in the co-creation of value. This FP is necessary because of the role that the ethical positions of actors play in exchange behaviour. However, it should be pointed out that whilst the article explores the ethical potential of S-D logic it does not privilege any particular ethical position or code. These concerns will be addressed in subsequent articles: the aim here is to establish the underlying rationale for including an explicit commitment to ethics in S-D logic. (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better to be immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Since Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions first appeared, David Benatar's distinctive anthology designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy has won a devoted following among users in a variety of upper-level and even introductory courses.
In “The Backward Clock, Truth-Tracking, and Safety”, Neil Sinhababu and I gave Backward Clock, a counterexample to Robert Nozick’s truth-tracking analysis of knowledge. In “Knowledge as Fact-Tracking True Belief”, Fred Adams, John Barker and Murray Clarke propose that a true belief constitutes knowledge if and only if it is based on reasons that are sensitive to the fact that makes it true, that is, reasons that wouldn’t obtain if the belief weren’t true. They argue that their analysis evades (...) Backward Clock. Here I show that it doesn’t. Backward Clock likewise shows their analysis to be too weak. The broader lesson seems to be that Backward Clock tells us the time is up for purely modal analyses of knowledge. (shrink)
Neil Sinhababu and I presented Backward Clock, an original counterexample to Robert Nozick’s truth-tracking analysis of propositional knowledge. In their latest defence of the truth-tracking theories, “Methods Matter: Beating the Backward Clock,” Fred Adams, John A. Barker and Murray Clarke try again to defend Nozick’s and Fred Dretske’s early analysis of propositional knowledge against Backward Clock. They allege failure of truth-adherence, mistakes on my part about methods, and appeal to charity, ‘equivocation,’ reliable methods and unfair internalism. I argue (...) that these objections all fail. They are still stuck with the fact that the tracking theories fall to Backward Clock, an even more useful test case for other analyses of knowledge than might have first appeared. (shrink)
It is somewhat misleading to think of the Franciscans as forming a “school” in ethics, since there was a fair bit of diversity among Franciscans. Nonetheless, one can identify certain characteristic tendencies of Franciscan moral thought, and certain “celebrity” Franciscans whose views in ethics and moral psychology are particularly noteworthy. I shall first offer an overview of the general character of Franciscan moral thought in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries and then turn to a more detailed examination of (...) the thought of John Duns Scotus (1265/66-1308) and William Ockham (c. 1288-1347) on three central matters of debate: the nature of the virtues, the relationship between intellect and will, and the relationship between moral requirements and the divine will. (shrink)
Patricia Williams made a number of claims concerning the methods and practise of cladistic analysis and classification. Her argument rests upon the distinction of two kinds of hierarchy: a divisional hierarchy depicting evolutionary descent and the Linnean hierarchy describing taxonomic groups in a classification. Williams goes on to outline five problems with cladistics that lead her to the conclusion that systematists should eliminate cladism as a school of biological taxonomy and to replace it either with something that is (...) philosophically coherent or to replace it with pure methodology, untainted by theory (Williams 1992, 151). Williams makes a number of points which she feels collectively add up to insurmountable problems for cladistics. We examine Williams' views concerning the two hierarchies and consider what cladists currently understand about the status of ancestors. We will demonstrate that Williams has seriously misunderstood many modern commentators on this subject and all of her five persistent problems are derivable from this misunderstanding. Some persons believe and argue, on grounds approaching faith it seems to me, that phylogeny comes from our knowledge of evolution. Others have found to their surprise, and sometimes dismay, that phylogeny comes from our knowledge of systematics. Nelson (1989, 67). (shrink)
The essays are arranged in two sections of ethical topics and a section on philosophy, evolution, and the human sciences that includes the title essay, “Making Sense of Humanity.” In World, Mind and Ethics, excellent pieces by Elster, Sen, Jardine, Hookway, McDowell, Nussbaum, Charles Taylor, Altham, and Hollis range even more widely: over ethics, political philosophy, and epistemology, reflecting some of the breadth of Williams’s interests.
Thomas Williams presents the most extensive collection of John Duns Scotus's work on ethics and moral psychology available in English. This accessible and philosophically informed translation includes extended discussions on divine and human freedom, the moral attributes of God, and the relationship between will and intellect.
There are two general routes that Augustine suggests in De Trinitate, XV, 14-16, 23-25, for a psychological account of the Father's intellectual generation of the Word. Thomas Aquinas and Henry of Ghent, in their own ways, follow the first route; John Duns Scotus follows the second. Aquinas, Henry, and Scotus's psychological accounts entail different theological opinions. For example, Aquinas (but neither Henry nor Scotus) thinks that the Father needs the Word to know the divine essence. If we compare the (...) theological views entailed by their psychologies we find a trajectory from Aquinas, through Henry, and ending with Scotus. This theological trajectory falsifies a judgment that every Augustinian psychology of the divine persons amounts to a pre-Nicene functional Trinitarianism. This study makes clear how one's awareness of the theological views entailed by these psychologies enables one to assess more thoroughly psychological accounts of the identity and distinction of the divine persons. (shrink)
John Duns Scotus (1265/66-1308) was one of the most important and influential philosophertheologians of the High Middle Ages. His brilliantly complex and nuanced thought, which earned him the nickname "the Subtle Doctor," left a mark on discussions of such disparate topics as the semantics of religious language, the problem of universals, divine illumination, and the nature of human freedom. This essay first lays out what is known about Scotus's life and the dating of his works. It then offers an (...) overview of some of his key positions in four main areas of philosophy: natural theology, metaphysics, the theory of knowledge, and ethics and moral psychology. (shrink)
Hegel’s True Infinite is “well known” but there is little consensus concerning its meaning. The true infinite is introduced in Hegel’s deconstruction of traditional conceptions of quality, determinacy and reality as wholly positive and from which negation, limitation and determinacy are excluded. Everything is other than and unrelated to everything else. These assumptions yield the stubborn category of finitude as an absolute limit, and of God as abstract unknowable Beyond. But Hegel claims that every attempt to separate the infinite from (...) the finite makes the infinite itself finite—the spurious infinite, the “ought.” The true infinite is the negation/correction of the spurious infinite; it reinstates the relations suppressed by the understanding. The true infinite is an ontotheological conception of a social infinite: it is both absolute—in and for itself—and related—being for an other—to wit, an articulated, inclusive whole. It is not an acosmic pantheism like Spinoza’s that defrauds difference and finitude of their due. The true infinite presupposes as its corollary the idealit y of the finite. The latter articulates the ontological status of the finite as sublated in the true infinite, i.e. as a member both distinct from and related to the true infinite. The true infinite is the whole present in its members. The true infinite is neither traditional theism, nor atheism nor pantheism, nor a projection of finitude. It is best understood as panentheism. (shrink)
Pragmatists have traditionally been enemies of representationalism but friends of naturalism, when naturalism is understood to pertain to human subjects, in the sense of Hume and Nietzsche. In this volume Huw Price presents his distinctive version of this traditional combination, as delivered in his René Descartes Lectures at Tilburg University in 2008. Price contrasts his view with other contemporary forms of philosophical naturalism, comparing it with other pragmatist and neo-pragmatist views such as those of Robert Brandom and Simon Blackburn. (...) Linking their different 'expressivist' programmes, Price argues for a radical global expressivism that combines key elements from both. With Paul Horwich and Michael Williams, Brandom and Blackburn respond to Price in new essays. Price replies in the closing essay, emphasising links between his views and those of Wilfrid Sellars. The volume will be of great interest to advanced students of philosophy of language and metaphysics. (shrink)
Robert R. Williams offers a bold new account of divergences and convergences in the work of Hegel and Nietzsche. He explores four themes - the philosophy of tragedy; recognition and community; critique of Kant; and the death of God - and explicates both thinkers' critiques of traditional theology and metaphysics.
Robert R. Williams - Beyond Hegel and Nietzsche: Philosophy, Culture and Agency - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40:3 Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.3 408-409 Book Review Beyond Hegel and Nietzsche: Philosophy, Culture and Agency Elliot L. Jurist. Beyond Hegel and Nietzsche: Philosophy, Culture and Agency. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2000. Pp. xii + 355. Cloth, $37.95. Challenging the contemporary consensus that one must choose either Hegel or Nietzsche, Elliot Jurist joins the "rapprochement thesis" (...) originated by Walter Kaufmann. He explores Hegel and Nietzsche on the themes of agency, intersubjectivity, and society and culture. Jurist approaches these themes through the psychology of knowledge. Nietzsche's psychological method is well known; Jurist believes Hegel's contributions to psychology are no less significant: Hegel's "superb insight," found in his concept of recognition, is that others co-constitute self-identity . Jurist regards Hegel and Nietzsche as advancing important, somewhat divergent, but by.. (shrink)
In this significant contribution to Hegel scholarship, RobertWilliams develops the most comprehensive account to date of Hegel's concept of recognition. Fichte introduced the concept of recognition as a presupposition of both Rousseau's social contract and Kant's ethics. Williams shows that Hegel appropriated the concept of recognition as the general pattern of his concept of ethical life, breaking with natural law theory yet incorporating the Aristotelian view that rights and virtues are possible only within a certain kind (...) of community. He explores Hegel's intersubjective concept of spirit as the product of affirmative mutual recognition and his conception of recognition as the right to have rights. Examining Hegel's Jena manuscripts, his _Philosophy of Right_, the _Phenomenology of Spirit_, and other works, Williams shows how the concept of recognition shapes and illumines Hegel's understandings of crime and punishment, morality, the family, the state, sovereignty, international relations, and war. A concluding chapter on the reception and reworking of the concept of recognition by contemporary thinkers including Derrida, Levinas, and Deleuze demonstrates Hegel's continuing centrality to the philosophical concerns of our age. (shrink)
We present Backward Clock, an original counterexample to Robert Nozick’s truth-tracking analysis of propositional knowledge, which works differently from other putative counterexamples and avoids objections to which they are vulnerable. We then argue that four ways of analysing knowledge in terms of safety, including Duncan Pritchard’s, cannot withstand Backward Clock either.
Initiated by Robert Wesson, Evolution and Human Values is a collection of newly written essays designed to bring interdisciplinary insight to that area of thought where human evolution intersects with human values. The disciplines brought to bear on the subject are diverse - philosophy, psychiatry, behavioral science, biology, anthropology, psychology, biochemistry, and sociology. Yet, as organized by co-editor Patricia A. Williams, the volume falls coherently into three related sections. Entitled "Evolutionary Ethics," the first section brings contemporary research to (...) an area first explored by Herbert Spencer. Evolutionary ethics looks to the theory of evolution by natural selection to find values for human living. The second section, "Evolved Ethics," discusses the evolution of language and religion and their impact on moral thought and feeling. Evolved ethics was partly Charles Darwin's subject in The Descent of Man. The last section bears the title "Scientific Ethics." A nascent field, scientific ethics asks about the evolution of human nature and the implications of that nature for ethical theory and social policy. Together, the essays collected here provide important contemporary insights into what it is - and what it may be - to be human. (shrink)
This edition of a recently discovered manuscript provides the first full look at Hegel's Philosophy of Subjective Spirit. The lectures of 1827 go far beyond Hegel's previously published Encyclopedia outline, and provide a new introduction to the Philosophy of Spirit. RobertWilliams's translation will stimulate interest in a neglected area in Hegel scholarship, but one to which Hegel himself attached special importance and significance.
The famous 1893 Chicago World’s Fair celebrated the dawn of corporate capitalism and a new Machine Age with an exhibit of the world’s largest engine. Yet the noise was so great, visitors ran out of the Machinery Hall to retreat to the peace and quiet of the Japanese pavilion’s Buddhist temples and lotus ponds. Thus began over a century of the West’s turn toward an Asian aesthetic as an antidote to modern technology. From the turn-of-the-century Columbian Exhibition to the latest (...) Zen-inspired designs of Apple, Inc., R. JohnWilliams charts the history of our embrace of Eastern ideals of beauty to counter our fear of the rise of modern technological systems. In a dazzling work of synthesis, Williams examines Asian influences on book design and department store marketing, the commercial fiction of Jack London, the poetic technique of Ezra Pound, the popularity of Charlie Chan movies, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the design of the latest high-tech gadgets. Williams demonstrates how, rather than retreating from modernity, writers, artists, and inventors turned to traditional Eastern technê as a therapeutic means of living with—but never abandoning—Western technology. (shrink)
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