The debate between the theory-theory and simulation has largely ignored issues of cognitive architecture. In the philosophy of psychology, cognition as symbol manipulation is the orthodoxy. The challenge from connectionism, however, has attracted vigorous and renewed interest. In this paper I adopt connectionism as the antecedent of a conditional: If connectionism is the correct account of cognitive architecture, then the simulation theory should be preferred over the theory-theory. I use both developmental evidence and constraints on explanation in psychology to support (...) this claim. (shrink)
Hacker, P. M. S. Hart's philosophy of law.--Baker, G. P. Defeasibility and meaning.--Dworkin, R. M. No right answer?-Lucas, J. R. The phenomenon of law.--Honoré, A. M. Real laws.--Summers, R. S. Naïve instrumentalism and the law.--Marshall, G. Positivism, adjudication, and democracy.--Cross, R. The House of Lords and the rules of precedent.--Kenny, A. J. P. Intention and mens rea in murder.--Mackie, J. L. The grounds of responsibility.--MacCormick, D. N. Rights in legislation.--Raz, J. Promises and obligations.--Foot, P. R. Approval and disapproval.--Finnis, J. M. (...) Scepticism, self-refutation, and the good of truth.--Barry, B. M. Justice between generations.--Feinberg, J. Harm and self-interest. (shrink)
This is a collection of essays on themes of legal philosophy which have all been generated or affected by Hart's work. The topics covered include legal theory, responsibility, and enforcement of morals, with contributions from Ronald Dworkin, Rolf Sartorius, Neil MacCormach, David Lyons, Kent Greenawalt, Michael Moore, Joseph Raz, and C.L. Ten, among others.
I examine the impact of the presence of anarchists among key legal officials upon the legal positivist theories of H.L.A. Hart and Joseph Raz. For purposes of this paper, an anarchist is one who believes that the law cannot successfully obligate or create reasons for action beyond prudential reasons, such as avoiding sanction. I show that both versions of positivism require key legal officials to endorse the law in some way, and that if a legal system can continue to (...) exist and function when its key officials reject the reason-giving character of law, then we have a reason to re-examine and amend legal positivism. (shrink)
A number of years ago, James Rachels presented an argument for the necessary non–existence of God. It was based upon a supposed inconsistency between worship and what might be called ‘autonomous moral agency’. In Rachels' view, one person's being the worshipper of another is partially determined by the way in which it is appropriate for the first to respond to the commands of the second. In brief, a worshipper's obedience to commands should be ‘ unqualified ’. Rachels thought that there (...) was some kind of incoherence in the requirement that an autonomous moral agent respond to commands in this way. He concluded that there could be no being who, like God, was alleged necessarily to be a fitting object of worship. (shrink)
There are doubtless many with personal experience of suffering, or of comforting others in distress, who would agree with Milton thus far that philosophic argument is powerless to satisfy those who in their anguish ask the question ‘Why did it happen to me?’ Yet to think so is to underestimate both the necessity and the power of reason: clarity of mind and the disposition to argue are commonly enhanced rather than diminished by suffering; and if reason is an essential part (...) of man's nature, it should serve him, if anywhere, in the trials of life. We have every justification, therefore, despite common opinion, for seeking a rational answer to the question proposed. It must, however, be admitted at the outset that there is no direct answer to the question which can both withstand critical scrutiny and bring genuine comfort to the afflicted, an answer, that is, which accepts the question as it stands with its attendant presuppositions; but there is an indirect answer, which, precisely by rejecting one or more of these presuppositions and restating the question, can indeed satisfy these two requirements. Before such an answer can be outlined, however, the question in its traditional form must be examined and the traditional answers to it critically reviewed. (shrink)
This paper argues that intonation contributes to the humorous meaning of a certain class of jokes. Examples of both canned and spontaneous jokes show that two intonation patterns, the intonation of contrast, or “L+H* pitch accent“, and the intonation of given information, or “deaccent“, can contribute to a humorous effect. Both of these patterns act as cohesive devises in discourse: they trigger a mental search in the mind of a hearer for a cohesive tie that may not be obvious from (...) the lexicogrammatical structure alone. A punch line effect is created if this search yields an unexpected incongruity between the hearer's initial mental model of the joke discourse and a humorous alternative. The hearer must shift his “script“ of the discourse in an unexpected way. To the extent that intonation facilitates processing by directing attention to particular elements in the information structure of the discourse , the processing of jokes depends in part on their intonation. The implications of this premise for the processing of humorous texts will be discussed for the two intonation patterns in question. It is argued that intonation analysis can lead to a broader understanding of cognitive processes and structures. (shrink)
Amongst Kant's lesser known early writings is a short treatise with the curious title Dreams of a Spirit-Seer Explained by Dreams of Metaphysics , in which, with considerable acumen and brilliance, and not a little irony, Kant exposes the empty pretensions of his contemporary, the Swedish visionary and Biblical exegete, Emanuel Swedenborg, to have access to a spirit world, denied other mortals. Despite his efforts, it must be feared, however, that Kant did not, alas, succeed in laying the spirit of (...) Swedenborg himself to rest once and for all, for there has arisen in our own day, and within philosophy itself, a movement of thought, if such it can be called, which, like that of Swedenborg, is founded upon an unbridled and unhealthy exercise of the imagination, and apparently believes that philosophical problems can be discussed and resolved by the elaboration of fantastical, and at times repulsive, examples; if we require a name for this contemporary pretence at philosophy, we could take as our model the Italian word for science fiction, fantascienza , and call it ‘fantaphilosophy’: it is my aim to show that this fantaphilosophy is a phantom philosophy. (shrink)