While standard histories of Western political thought represent women’s rights as an offshoot of the earlier movement for the equal rights of men, this essay argues that the eighteenth-century push for democracy and equal rights was grounded in arguments first used to defend women’s right to moral and religious self-determination, based on their rational and spiritual equality with men. In tandem with the rise of critiques of absolute monarchy, ideal marriage, which had previously involved lordship and subjection, was transformed into (...) an equal companionate relationship based on inclination and affection. The essay argues that the transformation, by the time of the American and French revolutions, of neo-Roman republicanism—which had been aristocratic and oligarchic—into egalitarian, democratic republicanism had been mediated by the extension of arguments, widely distributed in the literature criticizing the slavery of marriage, into a general critique of slavery and support for the equal rights of men. (shrink)
This ground-breaking book surveys the history of women's political thought in Europe from the late medieval period to the early modern era. The authors examine women's ideas about topics such as the basis of political authority, the best form of political organisation, justifications of obedience and resistance, and concepts of liberty, toleration, sociability, equality, and self-preservation. Women's ideas concerning relations between the sexes are discussed in tandem with their broader political outlooks; and the authors demonstrate that the development of a (...) distinctively sexual politics is reflected in women's critiques of marriage, the double standard, and women's exclusion from government. Women writers are also shown to be indebted to the ancient idea of political virtue, and to be acutely aware of being part of a long tradition of female political commentary. This work will be of tremendous interest to political philosophers, historians of ideas, and feminist scholars alike. (shrink)
Despite the fact that the High-Church Tory, Mary Astell, held political views diametrically opposed to the Whiggish Catharine Trotter Cockburn and Catharine Macaulay, it is here argued that their metaethical views were surprisingly similar. All were influenced by a blend of Christian universalism and Aristotelian eudaimonism, which accepted the existence of a law of nature, that we strive for happiness, and that happiness results from living in accord with our God-given nature. They differed with regard to epistemological issues; the means (...) by which we can know the law of nature, and with regard to the characterization of that nature; our telos. Traces of the ethical theories developed by these women can also be seen in the works of the philosophically informed novelists, Sarah Fielding, Jane Collier, Sarah Scott, and Hannah More. (shrink)
This paper argues that modern virtue ethics provides a useful background against which to read the philosophical import of Christine de Pizan’s works. By recognizing the origins of much of her thought in the Medieval tradition of virtue ethics, the paper brings out the continuity between her writing and a rich stream of contemporary ethical debate. It shows how Christine’s strand of feminism was deeply indebted to Medieval virtue ethics; both as found in Boethius and in contemporary compilations on the (...) virtues, on which Christine drew. At the same time, this tradition was subtly transformed by Christine, in order to elevate the status of women, as well as the traditional practical and worldly activities of women. Indeed, Christine’s feminism can be read as a direct application of her meditation on virtue and the good life. The paper concludes with a brief sketch of the way in which, during the three centuries subsequent to Christine, the nature of virtue and the virtues continued to provide a central focus in women’s philosophical writings. (shrink)
The disappearance of Catharine Macaulay’s eighteenth-century defense of the doctrines that justified the seventeeth-century republican parliament, has served to obscure an important strand of enlightenment faith, that was active in the lead up to the American and French Revolutions, and that also played a significant role in the history of feminism. This faith was made up of two intertwined strands, ‘Christian eudaimonism’ and ‘rational altruism’. Dominant contemporary accounts of the origins of republicanism and democratic theory during the eighteenth-century have excluded (...) serious consideration of Macaulay’s writing. Bringing her works into the mix, both poses difficulties for certain genealogies of the political thought of the period, and tends to favour a once popular view, which emphasized the centrality of Locke. Nevertheless, the Locke whose influence is found in Macaulay’s writing is not the possessive individualist, or rational egoist, that he and other liberals have been represented as being, but rather a rational altruist, whose political philosophy is grounded in natural law and harks back to Milton. This same philosophy provides the philosophical foundations for Wollstonecraft’s two most significant political texts, the Vindication of the Rights of Men and Vindcation of the Rights of Woman. (shrink)
Davidson has argued that the phenomenon of malapropism shows that languages thought of as social entities cannot be prior in the account of communication. This may be taken to imply that Dummett's belief, that language is prior in the account of thought, cannot be retained. This paper criticises the argument that takes Davidson from malapropism to the denial of the priority of language in the account of communication. It argues, against Davidson, that the distinction between word meaning and what speakers (...) mean by words, used by Davidson to account for metaphor, suffices to account for malapropism. The reasons for the failure of Davidson's argument are used to throw light on what is meant by the priority of language over thought, and to argue that the priority thesis is ambiguous. (shrink)
During the eighteenth century, elite women participated in the philosophical, scientific, and political controversies that resulted in the overthrow of monarchy, the reconceptualisation of marriage, and the emergence of modern, democratic institutions. In this comprehensive study, Karen Green outlines and discusses the ideas and arguments of these women, exploring the development of their distinctive and contrasting political positions, and their engagement with the works of political thinkers such as Hobbes, Locke, Mandeville and Rousseau. Her exploration ranges across Europe from England (...) through France, Italy, Germany and Russia, and discusses thinkers including Mary Astell, Emilie Du Châtelet, Luise Kulmus-Gottsched and Elisabetta Caminer Turra. This study demonstrates the depth of women's contributions to eighteenth-century political debates, recovering their historical significance and deepening our understanding of this period in intellectual history. It will provide an essential resource for readers in political philosophy, political theory, intellectual history, and women's studies. (shrink)
Argues that like more conservative feminist writers, Gabrielle Suchon and Mary Astell, writing earlier in the Eighteenth Century, Macaulay's concept of liberty is closely tied to virtue and involves free self government according to reason. Unlike these earlier writers from this concept of liberty she deduces the rationality of democratic republican government. Thus the grounds on which she builds her republicanism involve a very different concept of rational self interest to that usually assumed to ground social contract theory. For virtue (...) and the genuine self interest of rational beings are taken to coincide. (shrink)
The translation of both ‘bedeuten’ and ‘Bedeutung’ in Frege's works remains sufficiently problematic that some contemporary authors prefer to leave these words untranslated. Here a case is made for returning to Russell's initial choice of ‘to indicate’ and ‘indication’ as better alternatives than the more usual ‘meaning’, ‘reference’, or ‘denotation’. It is argued that this choice has the philosophical payoff that Frege's controversial doctrines concerning the semantic values of sentences and predicative expressions are rendered far more comprehensible by it, and (...) that this translational strategy fulfills the desiderata of offering a translation which is acceptable both before and after Frege introduced the distinction between sense and reference or, as this paper would have it, between the sense of an expression and what it indicates. (shrink)
In her paper, 'Two distinctions in goodness', Korsgaard points out that while a contrast is often drawn between intrinsic and instrumental value there are really two distinctions to be drawn here. One is the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic value, the other is that between having value as an end and having value as a means. In this paper I apply this contrast to some issues in environmental philosophy. It has become a commonplace of environmentalism that there are intrinsic values (...) in nature. What is usually meant by this is that some values in nature are not merely instrumental to human ends. By using the notion of intrinsic value to express this philosophers have developed positions which are open to a number of meta-ethical and practical objections. The view that there are objective values in nature, which are independent of human interests, is better served by an environmental philosophy which sees most value in nature as objective, extrinsic value. The resulting environmental ethic is sketched and some apparent difficulties discussed. (shrink)
At first glance, Germaine de Staël and Immanuel Kant evince strikingly different attitudes to aesthetic judgment. Yet she promoted Kant's aesthetics and philosophy. This paper examines both Staël's early literary works and her later De l'Allemagne in order to tease out the relationship between their aesthetic theories.
Despite its importance for early analytic philosophy, Gottlob Frege's account of existence statements, according to which they classify concepts, has been thought to succumb to a number of well-worn criticisms. This article does two things. First, it argues that, by remaining faithful to the letter of Frege's claim that concepts are functions, the Fregean account can be saved from many of the standard criticisms. Second, it examines the problem that Frege's account fails to generalize to cases which involve definite descriptions (...) and proper names. To deal with this the proffered analysis deviates from the letter of Frege's views, while remaining within its spirit. It proposes, in opposition to Frege, that expressions which grammatically look like singular terms should not always be read as referring to objects, but are sometimes best analysed as indicating functions. (shrink)
Although Catharine Macaulay was a contract theorist and early feminist her philosophy is not based on a concept of liberty like that of Hobbes, but on a notion of individual liberty as self government close to that accepted by Mary Astell. This raises the question of whether criticisms of liberal feminism which assume that it is rooted in Hobbes's suspect notion of freedom and consent may miss there mark.
This paper argues that the widespread Hegelian legacy that feminism has inherited from Beauvoir is highly problematic and that feminists, in particular, should be suspicious of philosophies of history and histories of philosophy that take Hegel too seriously. Any such history or philosophy will fail to take into account the deep roots of women’s comparatively equal status in the West in the long history of women’s political, ethical, theological, and philosophical theorizing since the fifteenth century. Nevertheless, in a reformulation of (...) Beauvoir’s Hegelianism, this paper proposes a new historical dialectic understood as a conversation in which female and male voices are equally represented and the unfolding of spirit is transformed into a dialectic of sex. (shrink)
An approach to Derrida's différance from the perspective of analytic philosophy of language which attempts to show both how many of Derrida's insights are influenced by analytic philosophy of language and can be related to ideas found in Quine, Wittgenstein, and Dennett, but which ultimately concludes that the linguistic idealism that he promotes is incoherent.
It is argued that it is not enough for feminist standpoint theory to argue that a feminine standpoint is better than a masculine one because of its genesis in female psycho-sexuality, it needs to show that its content is actually objectively more accurate. It then argues that historical feminists, such as Mary Wollstonecraft, have in fact tended to adopt a justice perspective, grounded in reason, which is objectively of greater value than that developed by many male authors, because these historical (...) writers have failed to think that justice is incompatible with feeling and emotion and have attempted to combine the importance of sympathy, empathy, and feeling with the need for equality, liberty, and fairness. (shrink)
Traces women's defence of their moral and spiritual equality with men, from the works of Christine de Pizan, through Marguerite of Navarre, Madeleine de Scudéry, Arcangela Tarabotti, to Mary Astell and Mary Wollstonecraft, arguing that although she appears not to have been aware of these precursors, the arguments they developed paved the way for her feminism.
Michael Dummett has argued that a formal semantics for our language is inadequate unless it can be shown to illuminate to our actual practice of speaking and understanding. This paper argues that Frege’s account of the semantics of predicate expressions according to which the reference of a predicate is a concept (a function from objects to truth values) has exactly the required characteristics. The first part of the paper develops a model for understanding the distinction between objects and concepts as (...) an ontological distinction. It argues that, ontologically, we can take a Fregean function to be generated by a property detection device that can register for any object the presence or absence of that property. This provides a direct connection between the semantics of sentences and the structure of perceptual judgment. The second part of the paper deals with arguments that have been mounted against the coherence of Frege’s semantics. It argues that some of these are question begging, while others are correct in so far as Frege’s claim is untenable if we assume that the syntactic categories singular term and predicate are primary, and the ontological categories are simply projections of these syntactic categories. However, the objections dissipate once we recognize that an independent ontological characterization of the distinction is available. (shrink)
Catharine Macaulay’s The History of England challenges Hume’s interpretation of the history of the Stuarts, as developed in his The History of Great Britain, and is grounded in meta-ethical, religious, and political principles that are also fundamentally opposed to those developed by Hume, as she makes clear in her Treatise on the Immutabilty of Moral Truth. Here it is argued that the contrast between them poses a problem for a number of recent accounts of the enlightenment period, and that Macaulay’s (...) work demonstrates that one path to radical politics went via an optimistic strand of intellectualist theism. Macaulay’s ‘republican’ history, which was read on both sides of the Atlantic as justifying the overthrow of arbitrary governments, was grounded in conceptions of liberty, virtue, and sincere theistic belief, similar to those of the Cambridge Platonists. By contrast, Hume’s moral and religious scepticism led naturally to the political conservatism evident in his history. This paper offers an outline of their alternative accounts of the significance of the two English revolutions, and the opposing metaphysical and meta-ethical positions that underpin those accounts. It concludes with a discussion of the contrast between their concepts of liberty and their consequent very different evaluations of the value of liberty. (shrink)
In this paper I briefly set out Susan Moller Okin’s liberal feminist position and then rehearse a number of criticisms of Okin which together suggest that dismantling the gender system and adopting the principle of androgyny would not be compatible with liberalism. This incompatibility appears to vindicate an extreme feminist critique of liberalism. I argue that nevertheless a liberal feminism is possible. The liberal feminist ought to adopt the principle of parity, that is, guaranteed equal representation of both sexes in (...) parliament, rather than the requirement of androgyny. Parity follows from a conception of procedural justice, for it provides a mechanism which guarantees that the interests of both sexes are fairly represented in the legislature. Parity may also go some way to alleviating the tensions which exist between feminism and multiculturalism. (shrink)
According to Wollstonecraft. This suggests that for her ethical judgement is based on reason, and so she is an ethical cognitivist. This impression is upheld by the fact that she clearly believes in the existence of ethical truth and has little sympathy with subjectivism. At the same time, she places a great deal of importance on the role of the emotions in ethical judgement. This raises the question how the emotions can be relevant if ethics consists in a realm of (...) truths, discoverable by reason. The paper answers this question and clarifies Wollstonecraft's model of the interaction of emotion and reason by comparing it with those of Rousseau, Godwin, Price and Adam Smith. It argues that the originality of Wollstonecraft's position resides in the way she understands the role of the imagination in ethical reasoning. (shrink)
Objections are raised to the demand that one be either exclusively for or against continental philosophy, and two arguments are developed; one in support of, and one against, positions developed within the continental tradition. The first is a quick argument against A.J. Ayer’s rejection, on the basis of Frege’s logical insights, of Heidegger and Sartre’s use of ‘nothing’. The second is a longer argument against Derrida’s claim, on the basis of his critique of Husserl’s phenomenology, that the difference between signifier (...) and signified is nothing. The second argument develops an exposition of Derrida’s critique of phenomenology, from the point of view of language, and argues, on the basis of that reading, that his claim is either banal or highly implausible. (shrink)
In this paper I distinguish normative and descriptive reasons for attempting to construct a logic for belief sentences, and argue that because the interpretation of the content of an attribution of belief is context sensitive and ambiguous, no simple logic is adequate.
While agreeing with Bergès on the importance for philosophy of reading the works of women such as Roland, Gouges, and Grouchy, her account of them as committed to the concept of liberty as non-domination, articulated by Philip Pettit, is questioned. It is argued that their views are more accurately described as involving a commitment to the tradition of positive liberty, that was criticised by Berlin in his famous essay ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’. The republican writings of Catharine Macaulay are shown (...) to be part of the context in which these women wrote, and similarities between her philosophical outlook, which involves a clear commitment to positive liberty, and the positions developed by the French authors are explored. It is argued that, in general, it is methodologically problematic to uncritically apply concepts that were developed by intellectual historians who failed to include works written by women in their histories, in order to understand the philosophical commitments of neglected works by such women. (shrink)
This paper explores two phases of the early modern genre wars. The first was fought by Marie de Gournay, in her “Preface” to Montaigne's Essays, on behalf of her adoptive father and in defense of his naked and masculine prose. The second was fought half a century later by Nicholas Boileau in opposition to Gournay's feminizing successor, Madeleine de Scudéry. In this debate Gournay's position is egalitarian, whereas Scudéry's approximates to a feminism of difference. It is claimed that both female (...) protagonists in this early debate occlude the female body. The far more sexually explicit prose of Mary Delarivier Manley is then used to raise the question: is it genre, or is it, rather, the very nature of erotic sexuality, that makes it so difficult for women to masterfully expose themselves as authoritative subjects? (shrink)
Argues that on an interpretation of the Enlightenment which emphasises its radical potential and importance for the development of democracy Catharine Macaulay should be recognised as a more centrally Enlightenment historian than David Hume.
I. Logic, rationality and ideology Herbert Marcuse once claimed that the ‘“rational” is a mode of thought and action which is geared to reduce ignorance, destruction, brutality, and oppression.’ He echoed a widespread folk belief that a world in which people were rational would be a better world. This could be taken as an optimistic empirical conjecture: if people were more rational then probably the world would be a better place (a trust that ‘virtue will be rewarded’, so to speak). (...) However, it is also worth considering a stronger hypothesis: that if something did not reduce ignorance, destruction, brutality, and oppression then it would not constitute rationality. On this view there is no mere correlation between rationality and a propensity toward reduction in ignorance and the rest, it is the propensity to reduce ignorance, destruction, brutality and oppression which in part constitutes rationality. Call this a broad conception of rationality, because it expands beyond the epistemic goal of reducing ignorance, and reaches out to moral concerns like oppression. (shrink)
I examine recent arguments to the effect that there are significant logical, conceptual, historical, or psychosexual connections between the subordination of women and the subordination of nature and argue that they are all problematic. Although there are important connections between women’s emancipation and the achievement of important environmental goals, they are practical connections rather than conceptual ones.
In this paper I explore the connection between Catharine Macaulay’s views on freedom of the will and her promotion of the cause of political liberty and show that the position she develops has its origins in Locke’s philosophy. I argue for the existence of a distinctive ‘Lockean’ conception of political liberty, which is grounded in an account of moral agency, and which does not fit very well into contemporary characterizations of negative, republican, or positive liberty. I demonstrate that this concept (...) of political liberty was widely disseminated during the eighteenth century and can be found in the writing of many of Macaulay’s female contemporaries, both in Great Britain and on the Continent. Recognizing this ‘Lockean’ conception of political liberty is important for understanding the connection between the idea of enlightenment and radical movements promoting political reform. Furthermore, acknowledging its widespread influence throws doubt on Jonathan Israel’s recent attempt to overthrow standard histories—according to which Locke’s rational religion is foundational for radical politics during the period—as well as Israel’s attempt to replace such standard histories with an account that locates the impetus for political reform in metaphysical monism and religious skepticism. (shrink)
Catharine Macaulay's discussion of freedom of the will in her Treatise on the Immutability of Moral Truth has received little attention, and what discussion there is attributes a number of different, incompatible views to her. In this paper the account of the nature of freedom of the will that she develops is related to her political aspirations, and the metaphysical position that she adopts is compared to those of John Locke, Samuel Clarke, Joseph Priestley, William Godwin, and others. It is (...) argued that although Macaulay's position is ultimately ambiguous, she is most plausibly interpreted as following Locke's discussion of free will in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding and of inheriting, from him, the ambiguity that we find in her account. (shrink)
This paper develops a new account of Beauvoir's "Hegelianism" and argues that the strand of contemporary interpretation of Beauvoir that seeks to represent her thought in isolation from that of Jean-Paul Sartre constitutes a betrayal of the philosophy of recognition that she denves from Hegel. It underscores the extent to which Beauvoir influenced Sartre's Being and Nothingness and shows that Sartre and Beauvoir both adapted Hegel's ideas and agreed in rejecting his optimism.
Abstract:This article contributes to the re-evaluation of narratives in the history of ideas that have failed to consider women's writings. The laudatory assessment of Kant as a philosophical innovator promoted by Germaine de Staël is questioned and his moral epistemology examined in relation to that of Elise Reimarus, Catharine Cockburn, Catharine Macaulay, and Isabelle de Charrière. The moral and political philosophies of the first three, grounded in natural law, are used to undermine Staël's claim that Kant's moral philosophy offers a (...) significant advance over Locke's, a conclusion reinforced through a reading Charrière's critique of Kant. (shrink)
In his late fragment, ‘Sources of Knowledge of Mathematics and Natural Sciences’ Frege laments the tendency to confuse functions with objects and says, ‘It is here that the tendency of language by its use of the definite article to stamp as an object what is a function and hence a non-object, proves itself to be the source of inaccurate and misleading expressions and also of errors of thought. Probably most of the impurities that contaminate the logical source of knowledge have (...) their origins in this.’ This paper applies Frege’s logical insights to a series of influential modal arguments for the existence of souls or minds, in order to demonstrate that they hinge on the error of treating functions as objects. Related arguments have also resulted in the claim that identity statements are necessary, and that apparent identities ‘really’ involve relations of constitution. Here it is argued that once we recognise that all these arguments involve the assimilation of objects and concepts (which Frege identifies with functions) they can be seen to be defective. (shrink)
Dummettian anti-realism–the refusal to endorse bivalence–is generally thought to be associated with idealism This paper argues that this is only true of the position developed by early Dummett. In a later manifestation Dummettian anti-realism is better thought of as providing the logic for anti-realisms of an error theoretic kind. Early on Dummett distinguished deep from shallow arguments for giving up bivalence: deep arguments followed a strong ‘sufficiency’ reading of Frege’s context principle, and made the sentence the primary vehicle of meaning. (...) Enriched by an account of truth in terms of verifiability, deep arguments implied a form of linguistic idealism. From within a perspective that had already made ontology relative to theory, it was natural for the difference between realism and idealism to hinge on the notion of truth for sentences. Having given up the distinction between deep and shallow arguments against bivalence, Dummett, post 1990, asserts that every rejection of bivalence leads to a form of anti-realism. In the intervening years, he has also come to cast doubt on the sufficiency reading of the context principle, particularly as developed by Crispin Wright. These doubts open the space for some more simple-minded criticisms of this strong version of the context principle, developed in the paper. Once the sufficiency reading of the context principle is given up, arguments for failing to assert bivalence come to hinge on beliefs about ‘genuine’ existence. These forms of anti-realism cannot be taken to imply idealism. Rather, in many cases they will be the expression of views of an error-theoretic kind, that are quite compatible with a thorough-going rejection of idealism. (shrink)
There is a disconnect between the central place that Hobbes now occupies in the presumed history of democratic republicanism, and the fortunes of his political philosophy during the period leading up to the American and French revolutions. Given the central place that Hobbes’s political ideas are now accorded in the history of liberal democracy, this is a surprising fact. One of the few eighteenth-century works to engage with Hobbes was Catharine Macaulay’s critical, Loose Remarks on certain positions to be found (...) in Mr Hobbes’s “Philosophical rudiments of government and society, first published in 1767. This chapter locates Macaulay’s polemic in the context of critiques and editions of Hobbes’s political philosophy, published earlier in the century, in particular the English edition of his works and the translation of Richard Cumberland’s De legibus naturae disquisition philosophica, which both appeared in 1750. It compares Macaulay’s critique with Cumberland’s and suggests that there are features of Macaulay’s treatment of Hobbes’s ideas which help explain how it has been possible for them to have come to occupy the central place they now enjoy in the history of democratic thought, as it is now taught, despite the fact that his philosophy was almost universally rejected by democratic republicans during the eighteenth century and thus had little to do with the actual genesis of Western democratic institutions. (shrink)
E.E.C. Jones’s early logical writings have recently been rescued from obscurity and it has been claimed that, in her works dating from the 1890s, she anticipated Frege’s distinction between sense and reference. This claim is challenged on the ground that it is based on a common but inadequate reading of Frege, which runs together his concept/object and sense/reference distinctions. It is admitted that a case can be made for Jones having anticipated something very like Frege’s analysis of categorical propositions, and (...) that she offered a sound rebuttal of Russell’s objection to Frege’s account of the informativeness of identity statements. However, these significant achievements should not be misrepresented as an anticipation of Frege on sense and reference, a claim that encourages a defective reading of both philosophers. (shrink)
It is generally thought that Searle 's cluster theory of the sense of a proper name was soundly refuted by Kripke in Naming and Necessity. This paper challenges this widespread belief and argues that the observations made by Kripke do not show that Searle 's version of descriptivism is false. Indeed, charitably interpreted, Searle 's theory retains considerable plausibility.
Peter Singer is responsible for having developed a powerful argument that apparently shows that most of us are far more immoral than we take ourselves to be. Many people follow a minimalist morality. They avoid killing, stealing, lying and cruelty, but feel no obligation to devote themselves to the well-being of everybody else. If we are unstintingly generous, constantly kind or untiring advocates for the prevention of cruelty, we take it that we are doing more morally than is strictly required. (...) We commend those who give generously to foreign aid, but we do not look on those who fail to give us unthinking criminals or moral reprobates. Yet, if Singer's argument is cogent, our standard judgements are seriously askew. Those who fail to do what they can to alleviate the absolute poverty of the worst off in the world are not quite as bad as murders and thieves, for they do not intentionally act in such a way as to kill and deprive others of their rightful share. They are, however, about as bad as reckless drivers who act in a way which will cause death and destruction, without desiring that these predictable consequences of their actions should come about (Singer 1993, p. 228). (shrink)
Contributing to the debate between referentialist and predicativist accounts of the semantics of proper names, this paper partly endorses a recent trend to reject unitary accounts of their semantics. It does so by restoring a Fregean version of the variety of use account. It criticizes alternative variety of use accounts for not clearly distinguishing pragmatic, syntactic, and semantic issues and argues that, once these are distinguished, the necessity of accepting that names have a variety of uses, and are sometimes logical (...) singular terms and at others logical predicates shows that Frege’s claim, that we should recognize that names have both reference and sense, is vindicated. (shrink)
This paper argues that Dummett’s interpretation of the relationship between Frege’s anti-psychologism and Wittgenstein’s doctrine that meaning is use results in a misreading of Frege. It points out that anti-mentalism is a form of anti-psychologism, but that mentalism is not the only version of psycholgism. Thus, while Frege and Wittgenstein are united in their opposition to mentalism, they are not equally opposed to psychologism, and from Frege’s point of view, the doctrine that meaning is use could also imply a version (...) of psychologism. It then offers a realist and externalist reading of Frege’s understanding of concepts, which is more in line with what Frege intended by anti-psychologism. (shrink)
Can Catharine Macaulay’s enlightenment, democratic, republicanism be justified from the point of view of contemporary naturalism? Naturalist accounts of political authority tend to be realist and pessimistic, foreclosing the possibility of enlightenment. Macaulay’s utopian political philosophy relies on belief in a good God, whose existence underpins the possibility of moral and political progress. This paper attempts a restoration of her optimistic utopianism, in a reconciliation, grounded in a revision of natural law, of naturalist and utopian attitudes to political theory. It (...) is proposed that the co-evolution of language, moral law, and conscience (the disposition to judge one’s own actions in the light of moral principles) can be explained as solutions to the kinds of tragedy of the commons situations facing our ancestors. Moral dispositions evolved, but, in the light of its function, law is subject to rational critique. Liberal democracy plausibly offers the best prospect for developing rationally justifiable law. (shrink)