This paper suggests, against a comparative horizon and in broadly philosophical context, a fresh approach to the study of Hinduism. After indicating how religion in general and ‘Hinduism’ in particular are plural phenomena both internally and externally, the paper goes on to define a distinguishing property of Hinduness in terms of an approach that is based on a re-centring system of equilibrating and interactive polarities called ‘polycentrism’. This is described further as a calculated paradoxicality, which is articulated in the light (...) of possible objections. (shrink)
In this book, Julius M. Moravcsik disputes that a natural language is not and should not be represented as a formal language. The book criticizes current philosophy of language as having an altered focus without adjusting the needed conceptual tools. It develops a new theory of lexical meaning, a new conception of cognition-humans not as information processing creatures but as primarily explanation and understanding seeking creatures-with information processing as a secondary, derivative activity. In conclusion, based on the theories of (...) lexical meaning and cognition, this work sketches an argument showing that the human understanding of human understanding must always remain just partial. (shrink)
In the diverse but related essays collected in Values and Evaluations, Julius Kovesi's central concerns are the nature of ideological thinking and the rational core of morality. «It is characteristic of ideological beliefs that their truth is upheld independent of the arguments for them,» he contends. He examines ideological tendencies in the Marxist tradition, in attempts to demythologize Christianity, and in modern British ethical theory. In ethics, he continues the attack on the fact/value dichotomy he began in Moral Notions, (...) a dichotomy he thinks has ideological sources. In theology, he argues that demythologizing is really a form of «remythologizing.» A long study of Moses Hess's essay On the Essence of Money is used to illuminate the early thought of Marx. (shrink)
This paper investigates the meta-ontological problem, what is the Julius Caesar objection? I distinguish epistemic, metaphysical and semantic versions. I argue that neo-Fregean and supervaluationist solutions to the Caesar objection fails because, amongst other flaws, they fail to determine which version of the problem is in play.
Morality is often thought of as non-rational or sub-rational. In Moral Notions, first published in 1967, Julius Kovesi argues that the rationality of morality is built into the way we construct moral concepts. In showing this he also resolves the old Humean conundrum of the relation between 'facts' and 'values'. And he puts forward a method of reasoning that might make 'applied ethics' (at present largely a hodge-podge of opinions) into a constructive discipline. Kovesi's general theory of concepts - (...) important in its own right - is indebted to his interpretation of Plato, and his three papers on Plato, first published here, explain this debt. This new edition of Moral Notions also includes a foreward by Philippa Foot, a biography of the author, and a substantial afterword in which the editors, Robert Ewin and Alan Tapper, explain the signficance of Kovesi's work. (shrink)
This paper dates from about 1994: I rediscovered it on my hard drive in the spring of 2002. It represents an early attempt to explore the connections between the Julius Caesar problem and Frege's attitude towards Basic Law V. Most of the issues discussed here are ones treated rather differently in my more recent papers "The Julius Caesar Objection" and "Grundgesetze der Arithmetik I 10". But the treatment here is more accessible, in many ways, providing more context and (...) a better sense of how this issue relates to broader issues in Frege's philosophy. (shrink)
This paper argues that that Caesar problem had a technical aspect, namely, that it threatened to make it impossible to prove, in the way Frege wanted, that there are infinitely many numbers. It then offers a solution to the problem, one that shows Frege did not really need the claim that "numbers are objects", not if that claim is intended in a form that forces the Caesar problem upon us.
Joshua Knobe und andere haben empirische Belege für folgende rätsel- hafte Asymmetrie vorgelegt: Nebenfolgen, die lediglich in Kauf genommen werden, werden im Alltag als unabsichtlich bezeichnet, wenn sie positiv sind, jedoch als absichtlich, wenn sie negativ sind. Ich versuche zu zeigen, dass dieser Asymmetrie ein symmetrisches Prinzip zugrunde liegt, das auf die kausalen Rollen abhebt, die bestimmte Eigenschaften von Akteuren für das Auftreten von Ereignissen spielen. Relevant sind hierbei Kausalrelationen, mit denen gewisse „Spiegelverhältnisse“ einhergehen: im Ereignis „spiegelt“ sich die Akteurseigenschaft (...) evaluativ und propositional. (shrink)
I first characterize a moral mistake in coercion. The principle of independence with which I criticize coercion seems also to condemn exchange. I propose an account of exchange from which it follows that exchange upholds independence after all. In support of that account I argue that, of the accounts of exchange that occur to me, only this one has the consequence that, on general assumptions, a person can take part in exchange while acting, intending, and believing with sufficient reason. I (...) argue that the hiring of very poor people by very rich people for labor from which the rich draw a substantial surplus does not give rise to an exchange of this kind. These instances of the wage labor relation resemble coercion insofar as they violate independence. (shrink)
The increasing prevalence of ecologically sustainable products in consumer markets, such as organic produce, are generally assumed to curtail anthropogenic impacts on the environment. Here I intend to present an alternative perspective on sustainable production by interpreting the relationship between recent rises in organic agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production. I construct two time series fixed-effects panel regressions to estimate how increases in organic farmland impact greenhouse gas emissions derived from agricultural production. My analysis finds that the rise (...) of certified organic production in the United States is not correlated with declines in greenhouse gas emissions derived specifically from agricultural production, and on the contrary is associated positively overall agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. To make sense of this finding, I embed my research within the conventionalization thesis. As a result I argue that the recent USDA certification of organic farming has generated a bifurcated organic market, where one form of organic farming works as a sustainable counterforce to conventional agriculture and the other works to increase the economic accessibility of organic farming through weakening practice standards most conducive to reducing agricultural greenhouse gas output. Additionally, I construct my own theoretical framework known as the displacement paradox to further interpret my findings. (shrink)
Moral rights feature prominently and are relied on substantially in debates in bioethics. Conceptually, however, duties can perform the logical work of rights, but not vice versa, and reference to rights is therefore inessential. Normatively, rights, like duties, depend on more basic moral values or principles, and attempts to establish the logical priority of rights over duties or the reverse are misguided. In practical decision making, however, an analysis in terms of duties is more fruitful than one based on rights. (...) A right may function as a proxy term for a consequentialist rule, or for a deontological constraint, but does not thereby enrich these concepts. Rights may also help in a purely expressive sense and may assist an initial focusing on a moral conflict. However, their role in bioethics discourse is more one of convenience than of necessity. Moreover, unless rights are firmly founded on fundamental moral values, their use encourages rhetoric rather than argument. (shrink)
Julius Sachs, who has been quite rightly called “the father of plant physiology,” was a German physiologist of international standing, whose research interests contributed to virtually every branch of the plant sciences, and whose work presaged plant molecular biology and systems biology. Here, we focus on one of his last publications, from 1892, wherein he argued that the term “cell” is misleading and should be replaced by “energid”, which he defined as “a nucleus together with the corresponding protoplasm that (...) is governed by it,” based on his observations of coenocytic algae such as Caulerpa whose nuclei “can only control” so much cytoplasm. Although most of his colleagues did not accept this novel terminology for the description of the “basic, minimal living unit” of animals, plants, and microbes, we argue that the energid concept prefigured the subsequent discovery of mRNA. We also argue that the resistance to the energid concept revolved around a deep-seated philosophical debate between those adhering to cell theory versus organismal theory. The first English translation of the seminal work by Sachs, “Physiologische Notizen. II. Beiträge zur Zellentheorie. a) Energiden und Zellen,” originally published in Flora, is provided as a separate article in this volume as part of the journal’s “Classics in Biological Theory” collection ; the original German version is available here as supplementary material in the online version of this article. (shrink)
Classical thermochemistry is inextricably bound up with the problem of chemical affinity. In 1851, when Julius Thomsen began his career in thermochemistry, the concept of chemical affinity had been in the centre of chemical enquiry for more than a century. In spite of many suggestions, preferably to explain affinity in terms of electrical or gravitational forces, almost nothing was known about the cause and nature of affinity. In this state of puzzling uncertainty some chemists felt it more advantageous to (...) establish an adequate experimental measure of affinity, whatever its nature was. One way of providing affinity with a quantitative description was by means of the heats evolved in chemical processes. (shrink)
This paper investigates the relationship between some corpuscularian and Aristotelian strands that run through the thought of the sixteenth-century philosopher and physician Julius Caesar Scaliger. Scaliger often uses the concepts of corpuscles, pores, and vacuum. At the same time, he also describes mixture as involving the fusion of particles into a continuous body. The paper explores how Scaliger’s combination of corpuscularian and non-corpuscularian views is shaped, in substantial aspects, by his response to the views on corpuscles and the vacuum (...) in the work of his contemporary, Girolamo Fracastoro. Fracastoro frequently appears in Scaliger’s work as an opponent against whom numerous objections are directed. However, if one follows up Scaliger’s references, it soon becomes clear that Scaliger also shares some of Fracastoro’s views. Like Scaliger, Fracastoro suggests corpuscularian explanations of phenomena such as water rising in lime while at the same time ascribing some non-corpuscularian properties to his natural minima. Like Scaliger, Fracastoro maintains that there is no vacuum devoid of bodies since places cannot exist independently of bodies (although their opinions diverge regarding how exactly the relevant dependency relation might be explicated). Finally, like Scaliger, Fracastoro connects a continuum view of mixture with a theory of natural minima. (shrink)