Ancient Peripatetics and Neoplatonists had great difficulty coming up with a consistent, interpretatively reasonable, and empirically adequate Aristotelian theory of complete mixture or complexion. I explain some of the main problems, with special attention to authors with whom Avicenna was familiar. I then show how Avicenna used a new doctrine of the occultness of substantial form to address these problems. The result was in some respects an improvement, but it also gave rise to a new set of problems, which were (...) later to prove fateful in the history of early modern philosophy. (shrink)
Originally published in 1972, Should Trees Have Standing? was a rallying point for the then burgeoning environmental movement, launching a worldwide debate on the basic nature of legal rights that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in the 35th anniversary edition of this remarkably influential book, Christopher D. Stone updates his original thesis and explores the impact his ideas have had on the courts, the academy, and society as a whole. At the heart of the book is an eminently (...) sensible, legally sound, and compelling argument that the environment should be granted legal rights. For the new edition, Stone explores a variety of recent cases and current events--and related topics such as climate change and protecting the oceans--providing a thoughtful survey of the past and an insightful glimpse at the future of the environmental movement. This enduring work continues to serve as the definitive statement as to why trees, oceans, animals, and the environment as a whole should be bestowed with legal rights, so that the voiceless elements in nature are protected for future generations. (shrink)
Mental illness is difficult to reconcile with the Darwinian theory of natural selection. Major psychiatric conditions, such as psychosis and suicidality, often occur in young adults and impair reproductive potential, yet they also appear to be genetically mediated.1 The challenge for evolutionary psychiatry has been to explain not only how such seemingly disadvantageous genes have evaded natural selection, but also how the widespread vulnerability to such conditions ever became established in the human genome in the first place.2In Things Hidden Since (...) the Foundation of the World,3 Girard, with psychiatrist coauthors Oughourlian and Lefort, advanced an account of human evolution in which the scapegoat mechanism... (shrink)
Published within weeks of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, Isabelle Duncan's Pre-Adamite Man (1860) is the first full-length treatment of preadamism by an evangelical. Intended as a reconciliation of Genesis and geology, Duncan's work gained immediacy when it was published shortly after the September 1859 revelations that men had walked among the mammoths. Written in the tradition of evangelical 'Christian philosophy', Pre-Adamite Man deploys innovative biblical hermeneutics and recent trends in geology to set out both a biblical preadamite theory, and (...) an unorthodox angelology. Duncan responded to contemporary secular interpretations of geology by pushing evangelical concordist strategies to new frontiers, filling out an acceptance of an ancient earth with new biblically informed catastrophist proposals and extensions of salvation history, while simultaneously retaining a firm commitment to plenary inspiration. The product is a highly readable book that operates both as an accessible treatment of geology and a theological discourse. Running through six printings between 1860 and 1866, the book was reviewed by many of the period's leading journals and created a minor controversy among evangelicals. This study both brings to life this previously neglected episode in scriptural geology, and adds to recent work on Victorian popular science writing. (shrink)
When classical mechanics is seen as the short-wavelength limit of quantum mechanics (i.e., as the limit of geometrical optics), it becomes clear just how serious and all-pervasive the measurement problem is. This formulation also leads us into the Bohm theory. But this theory has drawbacks: its nonuniqueness, in particular, and its nonlocality. I argue that these both reflect an underlying problem concerning information, which is actually a deeper version of the measurement problem itself.
The meanings of donkey sentences cannot be captured using a procedure which, like Montague’s, uses the existential quantiﬁers of classical logic to translate indeﬁnites and the variables to translate pronouns. The treatment of these examples requires meanings which depend on the context in which sentences appear, and thus necessitates a logic which models this context to some extent. If context is represented as the information conveyed in discourse, and the meanings of pronouns are enriched to depend on this information, the (...) result is the E-Type approach (ETA) adapted by Heim (1990) from proposals in Evans (1980) and Cooper (1979). If the context is represented as a list of potential referents, and the meanings of indeﬁnites are enriched to introduce new referents into this list, the result is a compositional formulation like Groenendijk and Stokhof’s (1990) of the discourse representation theory (DRT) of Kamp (1981) and Heim (1982). Either tack sufﬁces to capture the way in which the referents of he and it systematically correspond to the alternative possibilities described by the antecedent. Disjunction offers a parallel way of introducing alternatives in the antecedent of a conditional, as shown in (2). (shrink)
This is a collection of essays written by leading experts in honour of Christopher Rowe, and inspired by his groundbreaking work in the exegesis of Plato. The authors represent scholarly traditions which are sometimes very different in their approaches and interests, and so rarely brought into dialogue with each other. This volume, by contrast, aims to explore synergies between them. Key topics include: the literary unity of Plato's works; the presence and role of his contemporaries in his dialogues; the function (...) of myth ; Plato's Socratic heritage, especially as played out in his discussions of psychology; his views of truth and being. Prominent among the dialogues discussed are Euthydemus, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Republic, Theaetetus, Timaeus, Sophist and Laws. (shrink)
Environmental ethics has reached a certain level of maturity; further significant advances require reexamining its status within the larger realm of moral philosophy. It could aim to extend to nonhumans one of the familiar sets of principles subject to appropriate modifications; or it could seek to break away and put forward its own paradigm or paradigms. Selecting the proper course requires as the most immediate mission exploring the formal requirements of an ethical system. In general, are there constraints against bringing (...) our moral relations with different sorts of things under different mIes of govemance? In particular, how much independence can an environmental ethic (or ethics) aim to have? (shrink)
J. Baird Callicott is well known in environmental philosophy for his attack on Christopher D. Stone's moral pluralism. Although his attack has drawn attention from critics and has been labelled problematic for various reasons, I argue that it fails entirely. Each of Callicott's three distinct criticisms proves to be not only weak on its own terms, but, perhaps surprisingly, as effective against Callicott's own communitarian position as it is against Stone's pluralist one. I show that Callicott's attack is (...) not only wholly ineffective in targeting Stone, but that even if it were so effective it would on every count be just as effective in targeting its own originator. (shrink)
Here I establish a parallel between modem epistemology and traditional metaphysics: between the way we know an object, on the one hand, and the way an object’s causes cause it to exist, on the other. I show that different efficient causes in the Thomistic system correspond to different questions of knowledge, as analyzed by Stanley Cavell, and that in particular the question the Cavellian skeptic asks corresponds to God’s causation in creation. As I have explained in detail elsewhere, and discuss (...) briefly here, this parallel represents far more than a formal analogy between a series of issues in epistemology and a series of issues in metaphysics. It helps to explain, in fact, why modern philosophers were ultimately driven to put the human ego in the place of God, as creating the objects of its knowledge, thereby denying the very distinction between epistemology and ontology. (shrink)
Der Raum marks a transitional stage in Carnap’s thought, and therefore has both negative and positive implications for his further development. On the one hand, he is here largely a follower of Husserl, and a correct understanding of that background is important if one wants to understand what it is that he later rejects as “metaphysics.” On the other hand, he has already broken with Husserl in certain ways, in part following other authors. His use of Hans Driesch’s Ordnungslehre, in (...) particular, foreshadows the theme of so-called “voluntarism” which will characterize his later thought. (shrink)
The train of thought I will follow here begins with two facts about Husserl. First, the main and most intractable problems in interpreting him, and the major conflicts between his interpreters, arise from and are fed by the equivocality and unsteady meaning of his terminology. Second, Husserl has a highly developed theory of terminology, beginning with, but by no means limited to, the earliest periods of his thought. This theory of terminology, moreover, focuses on the causes of equivocality and unsteadiness (...) of meaning. These two facts, taken together, suggest why there is something philosophically deep, some deep aspect of the selfknowledge of knowledge, in Husserl’s work, and helps explains why figures of the stature of Heidegger and Carnap took so much interest in him. Nevertheless, I will suggest that Husserl’s theory of terminology is inadequate to his problems: that the self-knowledge of philosophy is here (as always) incomplete. This helps explain what both Heidegger and Carnap reject in Husserl, and therefore, in turn, why the question, how to give to or recover for terminology an unequivocal and fixed meaning, becomes crucial for both of them. Both of them, in fact, approach this question in a way which is essentially a modification—albeit a root and branch modification—of Husserl’s approach. This paper, despite it’s title, will be devoted mostly to setting up the problem in Husserl. At the end I will then briefly describe Heidegger’s and Carnap’s contrasting solutions. (shrink)
It should be said that the title is slightly misleading. Most of the chapters in fact focus on either mathematics, the mathematical foundations of physics, or epistemological issues about science in general. This focus is unsurprising, given Husserl’s well-known interest in both mathematics and such general epistemological issues. For the same reason, however, it makes the collection somewhat less exciting than the title might suggest.
Traditional attempts to delineate the distinctive rationality of modern science have taken it for granted that the purpose of empirical research is to test judgments. The choice of concepts to use in those judgments is therefore seen either a matter of indifference (Popper) or as important choice which must be made, so to speak, in advance of all empirical research (Carnap). I argue that scientific method aims precisely at empirical testing of concepts, and that even the simplest scientific ex- periment (...) or observation results in conceptual change. (shrink)
Three experiments examined contributions of study phase awareness of word identity to subsequent word-identification priming by manipulating visual attention to words at study. In Experiment 1, word-identification priming was reduced for ignored relative to attended words, even though ignored words were identified sufficiently to produce negative priming in the study phase. Word-identification priming was also reduced after color naming relative to emotional valence rating (Experiment 2) or word reading (Experiment 3), even though an effect of emotional valence upon color naming (...) (Experiment 2) indicated that words were identified at study. Thus, word-identification priming was reduced even when word identification occurred at study. Word-identification priming may depend on awareness of word identity at the time of study. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to explain how universal statements, as they occur in scientiﬁc theories, are actually tested by observational evidence, and to draw certain conclusions, on that basis, about the way in which scientiﬁc theories are tested in general. 1 But I am pursuing that aim, ambitious enough in and of itself, in the service of even more ambitious projects, and in the ﬁrst place: (a) to say what is distinctive about modern science, and especially modern physical (...) science, as a human intellectual activity; and (b) to show how this distinctiveness explains the unique status of modern science in human intellectual life. So I will begin by saying a few words about that larger project. One might doubt, ﬁrst, whether that project is legitimate. Although everything is different from everything else, the question “What is distinctive about X?” is not necessarily well put, because X may not be anything—that is, anything distinct. And there are indeed many philosophers, otherwise of the most diverse intellectual backgrounds and tendencies, who would deny, in various ways, that modern science is a distinct thing, or that its status is unique. It seems to me that they deny something terrifyingly obvious— a fact which confronts us far more urgently than the fact that, say, ravens are black. I will put off further remarks about this until the end of the paper, however, because the discussion of my more limited present aim will focus precisely on the ways to tell when a question is well put, and whether there is such a (distinct) thing as X. That one’s methodological problems are also the subject of one’s investigation is a sign that that investigation is philosophical, although (or because) also a threat to its coherence. Second, some points about methodology. I am not a sociologist, or even a historian, nor (unlike some recent philosophers of science) will I pretend to be.. (shrink)