The late 20th century saw great movement in the philosophy of language, often critical of the fathers of the subject-Gottlieb Frege and Bertrand Russell-but sometimes supportive of (or even defensive about) the work of the fathers. Howard Wettstein's sympathies lie with the critics. But he says that they have often misconceived their critical project, treating it in ways that are technically focused and that miss the deeper implications of their revolutionary challenge. Wettstein argues that Wittgenstein-a figure with whom the (...) critics of Frege and Russell are typically unsympathetic-laid the foundation for much of what is really revolutionary in this late 20th century movement. The subject itself should be of great interest, since philosophy of language has functioned as a kind of foundation for much of 20th century philosophy. But in fact it remains a subject for specialists, since the ideas are difficult and the mode of presentation is often fairly technical. In this book, Wettstein brings the non-specialist into the conversation (especially in early chapters); he also reconceives the debate in a way that avoids technical formulation. The Magic Prism is intended for professional philosophers, graduate students, and upper division undergraduates. (shrink)
A distinction is developed between two uses of definite descriptions, the "attributive" and the "referential." the distinction exists even in the same sentence. several criteria are given for making the distinction. it is suggested that both russell's and strawson's theories fail to deal with this distinction, although some of the things russell says about genuine proper names can be said about the referential use of definite descriptions. it is argued that the presupposition or implication that something fits the description, present (...) in both uses, has a different genesis depending upon whether the description is used referentially or attributively. this distinction in use seems not to depend upon any syntactic or semantic ambiguity. it is also suggested that there is a distinction between what is here called "referring" and what russell defines as denoting. definite descriptions may denote something, according to his definition, whether used attributively or referentially. (shrink)
In Philosophies of Space and Time, Howard Congdon presents a collection of readings from antiquity to the present, showing how philosophers have thought about and understood the concepts of space and time. This examination shows how human thinking has evolved in attempting to answer the questions embedded in the concepts of space and time.
For many people the existence of God is by no means a sufficiently clear feature of reality. This problem, the fact of divine hiddenness, has been a source of existential concern and has sometimes been taken as a rationale for support of atheism or agnosticism. In this collection of essays, a distinguished group of philosophers of religion explore the question of divine hiddenness in considerable detail. The issue is approached from several perspectives including Jewish, Christian, atheist and agnostic. There is (...) coverage of the historical treatment of divine hiddenness as found in the work of Maimonides, St. John of the Cross, Jonathan Edwards, Kierkegaard, and various Biblical writers. A substantial introduction clarifies the main problems of and leading solutions to divine hiddenness. Primarily directed at philosophers of religion, theologians, and scholars of religious studies, this collection could also serve as a textbook for upper-level courses in philosophy of religion. (shrink)
The nature of reference, or the relation of a word to the object to which it refers, has been perhaps the dominant concern of twentieth-century analytic philosophy. Extremely influential arguments by Gottlob Frege around the turn of the century convinced the large majority of philosophers that the meaning of a word must be distinguished from its referent, the former only providing some kind of direction for reaching the latter. In the last twenty years, this Fregean orthodoxy has been vigorously challenged (...) by those who argue that certain important kinds of words, at least, refer directly without need of an intermediate meaning or sense. The essays in this volume record how a long-term study of Frege has persuaded the author that Frege's pivotal distinction between sense and reference, and his attendant philosophical views about language and thought, are unsatisfactory. Frege's perspective, he argues, imposes a distinctive way of thinking about semantics, specifically about the centrality of cognitive significance puzzles for semantics. Freed from Frege's perspective, we will no longer find it natural to think about semantics in this way. (shrink)
This paper considers the relevance of the Duhem-Quine thesis in economics. In the introductory discussion which follows, the meaning of the thesis and a brief history of its development are detailed. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the effects of the thesis in four specific and diverse theories in economics, and to illustrate the dependence of testing the theories on a set of auxiliary hypotheses. A general taxonomy of auxiliary hypotheses is provided to demonstrate the confounding of auxiliary (...) hypotheses with the testing of economic theory. (shrink)
The influence of Kant's philosophy has been, and continues to be, so profound and so widespread as to have become imperceptible. Philosophical inquiry within both the ‘analytic’ and the ‘continental’ traditions is unthinkable without the lexical and conceptual resources bequeathed by Kant. Even outside philosophy, in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, Kantian concepts and structures of argument are ubiquitous. Anyone practicing literary or social criticism is contributing to the Kantian tradition; anyone reflecting on the epistemological implications of their (...) work will find themselves doing so within parameters established by Kant. Indeed, many contemporary debates, whether in aesthetics, literary or political theory, show a peculiar tendency to mutate into disputes in Kant exegesis. All in all, in the less than 200 years since the death of its author, Kantian philosophy has established itself as an indispensable point of intellectual orientation. (shrink)
Objective To ascertain and improve the understanding and use of chaperones among the patients of an English general practice (GP). Background Doctors have long been advised to have a third party present during intimate physical examinations. Little is known about the understanding of the term in the general population in England and the consequences of this for the promotion and use of chaperones in GP. We audited the understanding and use of chaperones in an English GP. The aim of the (...) study was to increase the awareness of the availability of chaperones in our population. Methods A questionnaire was given randomly to 100 patients attending the GP surgery. Participants were asked about their awareness of and frequency of requesting a chaperone while undergoing intimate examinations. Based on the initial results, a poster was designed for the waiting room to increase awareness. Data were collected with the same questionnaire to see if the new poster altered surgery attendees understanding and likely subsequent use of chaperones. Results In the initial audit, 29% of patients were unaware of the term chaperone, and only one person (1%) had ever requested a chaperone. After the introduction of a specially designed poster, the results showed an improvement in awareness from 71% to 89%, and the likely frequency of using a chaperone increased from 1% to 4%. Conclusion There is a need to improve the understanding of the general population about chaperones if we are to see greater use of chaperones in GP. (shrink)
Computational models of semantic memory exploit information about co-occurrences of words in naturally occurring text to extract information about the meaning of the words that are present in the language. Such models implicitly specify a representation of temporal context. Depending on the model, words are said to have occurred in the same context if they are presented within a moving window, within the same sentence, or within the same document. The temporal context model (TCM), which specifies a particular definition of (...) temporal context, has proved useful in the study of episodic memory. The predictive temporal context model (pTCM) uses the same definition of temporal context to generate semantic memory representations. Taken together pTCM and TCM may prove to be part of a general model of declarative memory. (shrink)
This volume of essays is an important introduction to the thought of one of the twentieth century's most significant yet underappreciated philosophers, Richard McKeon. The originator of philosophical pluralism, McKeon made extraordinary contributions to philosophy, to international relations, and to theory-formation in the communication arts, aesthetics, the organization of knowledge, and the practical sciences. This collection, which includes a philosophical autobiography as well as the out-of-print title essay "Freedom and History" and a previously unpublished essay on "Philosophic Semantics and Philosophic (...) Inquiry," is a testimony to the range and systematic power of McKeon's thinking for the social sciences and the humanities. (shrink)
This collection of essays focuses on a current issue of central important in contemporary philosophy, the relationship between philosophy and empirical studies. Explores in detail a range of examples which demonstrate how the older paradigm – philosophy as conceptual analysis – is giving way to a more varied set of models of philosophical work Each of the featured papers is a previously unpublished contribution by a major scholar.
(2010). Peter A. French and Howard K. Wettstein (eds): The American Philosophers (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, vol. XXVIII) British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 726-730.
A class of states obtained by extremizing the energy of a system under certain conditions is introduced and their properties are compared with those of the coherent states. Conditions under which these states move without change of shape and follow the classical path are investigated.
Truth and Its Deformities is the 32nd volume in the Midwest Studies in Philosophy series. It contains major new contributions on a range of topics related to the general theme of the volume by some of the most important philosophers writing on truth in recent years.