Compassion is widely regarded as an important moral emotion – a fitting response to various cases of suffering and misfortune. Yet contemporary theorists have rarely given it sustained attention. This volume aims to fill this gap by offering answers to a number of questions surrounding this emotion.
The dissemination of models across disciplinary lines has become a phenomenon of interest to philosophers of science. To account for this phenomenon, philosophers have invented two units of analysis. The first identifies to the thing that transfers, model templates. The second identifies the thing to which transferable templates apply, landing zones. There exists a dynamic between the thing that is transferred and the thing to which transferrable templates apply. The use of a transferable template in a new domain requires reconception (...) of domain-specific phenomena. This paper examines two cases of model transfer, the use of the ideal gas law in biology by R.A. Fisher and the use of the virial theorem in chemistry by Richard Bader. These two stories of model transfer in biology and chemistry indicate a dimension to conceptual progress related to this dynamic. Using discourse on model transfer affords philosophers a novel approach for depicting the invention of, for instance, chemical concepts and resulting disputes. (shrink)
In his influential book 'Making Things Happen' and in other places, Jim Woodward has noted some affinities between his own account of causation and that of Menzies and Price, but argued that the latter view is implausibly ‘subjective’. In this piece I discuss Woodward’s criticisms. I argue that the Menzies and Price view is not as different from Woodward’s own account as he believes, and that in so far as it is different, it has some advantages whose importance (...) Woodward misses; but also that the Menzies and Price view lacks some elements whose importance Woodward rightly stresses. When properly characterized, however, the ‘subjectivity’ survives unscathed. (shrink)
This is a collection of the most important writings of Oxford philosopher H.H. Price on the topics of psychical research and survival of death, collected from a wide variety of sources unavailable to most interested readers. Included are discussions of telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, precognition, hauntings and apparitions, the impact of psychical research on western philosophy and science, and what afterlife is probably like. Few twentieth century English-speaking philosophers have written much on these topics. Of those who did so and (...) whose writings have not been collected and published in a single source, H.H. Price was the most important. (shrink)
May I first say, Mr Chairman, that I regard it as a great honour to have been invited to take part in this Conference? I speak to you as a philosopher who happens to be interested both in religion and in psychical research. But I am afraid I am going to discuss some questions which it is ‘not done’ to talk about.
Epistemologists have not usually had much to say about believing ‘in’, though ever since Plato's time they have been interested in believing ‘that’. Students of religion, on the other hand, have been greatly concerned with belief ‘in’, and many of them, I think, would maintain that it is something quite different from belief ‘that’. Surely belief ‘in’ is an attitude to a person, whether human or divine, while belief ‘that’ is just an attitude to a proposition? Could any difference be (...) more obvious than this? And if we over-look it, shall we not be led into a quite mistaken analysis of religious belief, at any rate if it is religious belief of the theistic sort? On this view belief ‘in’ is not a propositional attitude at all. (shrink)
Like coastal cities in the third millennium, important areas of human discourse seem threatened by the rise of modern science. The problem isn't new, of course, or wholly unwelcome. The tide of naturalism has been rising since the seventeenth century, and the rise owes more to clarity than to pollution in the intellectual atmosphere. All the same, the regions under threat are some of the most central in human life--the four Ms, for example: Morality, Modality, Meaning and the Mental. Some (...) of the key issues in contemporary metaphysics concern the place and fate of such concepts in a naturalistic world view. (shrink)
Different questions generate different forms of practical reasoning. A contextually unrestricted ‘What shall I do?’ is too open to focus reflection. More determinately, an agent may ask, ‘Shall I do X, or Y?’ To answer that, he may need to weigh things up—as fits the derivation of ‘deliberation’ from libra. Ubiquitous and indispensable though this is, I mention it only to salute it in passing. Or he may ask how to achieve a proposed end: if his end is to do (...) X, he may ask ‘How shall I do X?’ Or he may ask how to apply a universal rule or particular maxim. Aristotle supplies examples in De Motu Animalium, whose wording I freely adapt to my own purposes: A1 reasons to a necessary means to achieving an end: I will make a cloak. To make a cloak I must do A. So, I will do A. (shrink)
If we cannot agree that evaluations are judgements that both describe things and express sentiments, we lack any shared understanding of a common topic. If we ever come to agree how the describing and expressing relate, we shall lose a debate. Suppose that evaluation is a mode of description essentially expressive of sentiment, and that some evaluations can be known to be true: then there must exist properties of such a kind that they can be apprehended only from appropriately affective (...) points of view. Alternatively, it may be that evaluation involves some element distinct from description, so that, in principle, one could always accept the descriptive core of an evaluation while distancing oneself from a non-descriptive element that makes it evaluative. We may distinguish the two kinds of view as lumping , or descriptivist- cum -expressivist, and splitting , or descriptivist- plus -expressivist. Both ascribe to evaluations an expressive aspect as well as a descriptive content; what is at issue is whether the former is integral to the latter, or detachable from it. (shrink)
I am very grateful to Professor R. W. Sleeper for his critical comments on my article, as also for the kind way in which he has expressed them. I should now like to make a few comments on his comments. May I first say that I have no objection to being metaphysical? I do not like the word ‘metaphysics’ very much, and wish that we could find a less provocative one. But still, I do think that the difference between the (...) reducible and the irreducible belief-in is a difference which there really is . Moreover, I fully admit that when we believe in God we are making a factual claim. It is, of course, a factual claim of rather a special kind. If it is a fact that there is a supreme Being, ‘The Lord of All’, this is not just one fact among others. It is not quite like the fact that there is a stormy north-westerly wind this morning. One could not just give a list of facts and add at the end, ‘There is also another fact which I had forgotten to mention: there is a God’. All the same, this factual claim, like others, does need to be justified; and how is it to be justified? I am afraid that the brief hint which I offered elsewhere on this subject is indeed ‘not good enough’ as it stands . To be even half good enough, it needs much more elaboration, and I agree that there is much force in Mr Gunderson's criticisms. (shrink)
Modern historical criticism of the gospels and Christian origins began in the seventeenth century largely as an attempt to debunk the Christian religion as a pious fraud. The gospels were seen as bits of priestcraft and humbug of a piece with the apocryphal Donation of Constantine. In the few centuries since Reimarus and his critical kin, historical criticism has been embraced and assimilated by many Christian scholars who have seen in it the logical extension of the grammatico-historical method of the (...) Reformers. The new views of New Testament exegesis and of early Christian history are important and well known. Many New Testament scholars would now hold with Schweitzer and Bultmann that Jesus was a preacher of the imminent end of the world. He may have secretly considered himself to be the Messiah, or he may have simply sought to pave the way for another, the apocalyptic Son of Man. After his execution, his disciples' experiences of his resurrection forced on them a conclusion already implicit in his teachings and personal piety: that Jesus was indeed, or had become, the Messiah, and was in fact God's Son. They expected he would soon return as the Son of Man he had predicted. (shrink)
How, in pursuit of ontological neutrality, should one talk about values? I propose to say: there are values . Those three words do nothing to define within what kind of conception of a world values are at home. 1 I take it that the ‘realist’ must have more to say about values and their world . I recognize that an ‘anti-realist’ may prefer to talk of value- terms ; I ask him to wait and see whether taking the linguistic turn (...) is the only way to put values in their place. (shrink)
The first half of Mr. Burgener's article is a very clear and very just exposition of my views. There is, however, one point which he may not have appreciated fully, and that is the "climate of opinion" in which I was writing, and against which I was reacting. One of my main aims was to protest against the transformation of the empiricist epistemology into a linguistic epistemology, a transformation initiated by the Logical Positivists of the 1930's, and completed by Wittgenstein (...) and his disciples. Hence the amount of space devoted to sign-cognition, to the intelligence of animals, and to image-thinking, all of which are non-verbal or pre-verbal. But, as he has surmised, I am really just an old-fashioned British empiricist. I am fighting on two fronts, as it were, throughout the book: against a purely linguistic conception of thinking on one side, and against the "classical" inspective conception of it on the other. And in this two-fold battle, I am taking just the line which Locke, Berkeley, and Hume would have taken if they had been alive today: one which they do in fact suggest in their writings, though of course they could not anticipate the lengths to which the purely linguistic or verbalistic conception of thinking would go, or how it would ally itself with a behavioristic conception of human personality. One of the things I most object to in current British philosophy is the attack which is made on all sides of the "inner life," the attempt to show that there is no such thing, or that it is a mere muddle to suppose there is, or that to the extent that it does exist it is of no importance. Perhaps there is some connection between this attack on the inner life and the attack on private life which is made by the politicians, social reformers, and economic planners. Perhaps they are only two aspects of the same thing. Anyway, between them they have gone a long way towards a kind of "dehumanisation" of man; and this seems to me one of the darkest features of the very dark age in which we live. I feel concerned about it not only as an epistemologist, but also as a religious person, or at least as a person who is interested in religion in a very undenominational way. Religion, as I view it, is very closely connected with the "inner life"; and if one is forbidden to take an interest in the "inner life," religion will wither away from sheer inanition. At any rate, the most mystical types of religion will, and these are the ones which seem to me the most important. (shrink)
Price gouging occurs when, in the wake of an emergency, sellers of a certain necessary goods sharply raise their prices beyond the level needed to cover increased costs. Most people think that price gouging is immoral, and most states have laws rendering the practice a civil or criminal offense. The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the philosophic issues surrounding price gouging, and to argue that the common moral condemnation of it is largely mistaken. (...) I make this argument in three steps, by rebutting three widely held beliefs about the ethics of price gouging: 1) that laws prohibiting price gouging are morally justified, 2) that price gouging is morally impermissible behavior, even if it ought not be illegal, and 3) that price gouging reflects poorly on the moral character of those who engage in it, even if the act itself is not morally impermissible. (shrink)
Hussain claims that ethical consumers are subject to democratic requirements of morality, whereas ordinary price/quality consumers are exempt from these requirements. In this paper, we demonstrate that Hussain’s position is incoherent, does not follow from the arguments he offers for it, and entails a number of counterintuitive consequences.
This paper provides a philosophical analysis of the Price equation and its role in evolutionary theory. Traditional models in population genetics postulate simplifying assumptions in order to make the models mathematically tractable. On the contrary, the Price equation implies a very specific way of theorizing, starting with assumptions that we think are true and then deriving from them the mathematical rules of the system. I argue that the Price equation is a generalization-sketch, whose main purpose is to (...) provide a unifying framework for researchers, helping them to develop specific models. The Price equation plays this role because, like other scientific principles, shows features as abstractness, unification and invariance. By underwriting this special role for the Price equation some recent disputes about it could be diverted. (shrink)
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, members of the Salamanca School engaged in a sustained and sophisticated discussion of the issue of just prices. This article uses their contribution as a point of departure for a consideration of justice in pricing which will be relevant to current-day circumstances. The key theses of members of this school were that fairness of exchanges should be assessed objectively, that the fair price of an article is one equal to its ‘value’, and that (...) the best indicator of that value is the price that article commonly fetches in an open market. This article tries to bring to light the attractiveness of those views in order to guide current practice by contrasting them with alternative views, showing their connection with intuitively attractive basic standards, and linking them to commonly shared intuitions. (shrink)
A number of recent discussions have argued that George Price's equationfor representing evolutionary change is a powerful and illuminatingtool, especially in the context of debates about multiple levels ofselection. Our paper dissects Price's equation in detail, and comparesit to another statistical tool: the calculation and comparison ofaverage fitnesses. The relations between Price's equation and equationsfor evolutionary change using average fitness are closer than issometimes supposed. The two approaches achieve a similar kind ofstatistical summary of one generation of (...) change, and they achieve thisvia a similar loss of information about the underlying fitnessstructure. (shrink)
The present research isolates the fairness assessment of the process used by the retailer to set a price, as well as the distributive fairness of the price compared to the price that others are offered, and examines the combined effect of procedural fairness and distributive fairness on overall price fairness. Two experimental studies examine procedural and distributive fairness effects on overall price fairness. In study 1, procedural fairness and distributive fairness are manipulated and found to (...) interact to bring about overall price fairness. In study 2, suspicion toward the seller is found to mediate the relationship between procedural fairness and overall price fairness when the price is disadvantageous. (shrink)