Available for the first time in many years, Commonsense and Nuclear Warfare presents Russell's keen insights into the threat of nuclear conflict, and his argument that the only way to end this threat is to end war itself. Written at the height of the Cold War, this volume is crucial for understanding Russell's involvement in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and his passionate campaigning for peace. It remains an extremely important book in today's uncertain nuclear world, and is essential reading (...) for all those interested in Russell and postwar history. Includes a new introduction by Ken Coates, Chairman of The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation. (shrink)
Available for the first time in many years, _Commonsense and Nuclear Warfare_ presents Russell's keen insights into the threat of nuclear conflict, and his argument that the only way to end this threat is to end war itself. Written at the height of the Cold War, this volume is crucial for understanding Russell's involvement in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and his passionate campaigning for peace. It remains an extremely important book in today's uncertain nuclear world, and is essential reading (...) for all those interested in Russell and postwar history. Includes a new introduction by Ken Coates, Chairman of The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation. (shrink)
Game theory has proved a useful tool in the study of simple economic models. However, numerous foundational issues remain unresolved. The situation is particularly confusing in respect of the non-cooperative analysis of games with some dynamic structure in which the choice of one move or another during the play of the game may convey valuable information to the other players. Without pausing for breath, it is easy to name at least 10 rival equilibrium notions for which a serious case can (...) be made that here is the “right” solution concept for such games. (shrink)
Epistemic akrasia arises when one holds a belief even though one judges it to be irrational or unjustified. While there is some debate about whether epistemic akrasia is possible, this paper will assume for the sake of argument that it is in order to consider whether it can be rational. The paper will show that it can. More precisely, cases can arise in which both the belief one judges to be irrational and one’s judgment of it are epistemically rational in (...) the sense that both are supported by sufficient evidence. (shrink)
v. 1. The spectrum of consciousness ; No boundary ; Selected essays -- v. 2. The Atman Project ; Up from Eden -- v. 3. A sociable god ; Eye to eye -- v. 4. Integral psychology ; Transformations of consciousness ; Selected essays -- v. 5. Grace and grit : spirituality and healing in the life and death of Treya Killam Wilber. 2nd ed. -- v. 6. Sex, ecology, spirituality : the spirit of evolution. 2nd, rev. ed. -- v. (...) 7. A brief history of everything ; The eye of spirit -- v. 8. The marriage of sense and soul ; One taste. (shrink)
This is the second part of a two-part paper. It can be read independently of the first part provided that the reader is prepared to go along with the unorthodox views on game theory which were advanced in Part I and are summarized below. The body of the paper is an attempt to study some of the positive implications of such a viewpoint. This requires an exploration of what is involved in modeling “rational players” as computing machines.
Building on the success and importance of three previous volumes, _Relational Psychoanalysis_ continues to expand and develop the relational turn. Under the keen editorship of Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris, and comprised of the contributions of many of the leading voices in the relational world, _Volume 4_ carries on the legacy of this rich and diversified psychoanalytic approach by taking a fresh look at recent developments in relational theory. Included here are chapters on sexuality and gender, race and class, identity (...) and self, thirdness, the transitional subject, the body, and more. Thoughtful, capacious, and integrative, this new volume places the leading edge of relational thought close at hand, and pushes the boundaries of the relational turn that much closer to the horizon. Contributors: Neil Altman, Jessica Benjamin, Emanuel Berman, Jeanne Wolff Bernstein, Susan Coates, Ken Corbett, Muriel Dimen, Martin Stephen Frommer, Jill Gentile, Samuel Gerson, Virginia Goldner, Sue Grand, Hazel Ipp, Kimberlyn Leary, Jonathan Slavin, Malcolm Owen Slavin, Charles Spezzano, Ruth Stein, Melanie Suchet. (shrink)
Truth is a value in that sense that a belief is good (or successful, or correct) just in case it is true. But it does not follow that truth is a good-making property, nor does it follow that the nature of truth explains its value. Instead, this paper argues that the nature of belief explains its value.
One mark of interpersonal relationships is a tendency to blame. But what precise evaluations and responses constitute blame? Is it most centrally a judgment, or is it an emotion, or something else? Does blame express a demand, or embody a protest, or does it simply mark an impaired relationship? What accounts for its force or sting, and how similar is it to punishment?The essays in this volume explore answers to these questions about the nature of blame, but they also explore (...) the various norms that govern the propriety of blame. The traditional question is whether anyone ever deserves to be blamed, but the essays here provide a fresh perspective by focusing on blame from the blamer's perspective instead. Is our tendency to blame a vice, something we should work to replace with more humane ways of relating, or does it rather lie at the very heart of a commitment to morality? What can we legitimately expect of each other, and in general, what sort of attitude do would-be blamers need to have in order to have the standing to blame? Hypocritical or self-righteous blame seems objectionable, but why?The contributions to this volume aim to give us a fuller picture of the nature and norms of blame, and more generally of the promises and perils of membership in the human moral community. (shrink)
What are phenomenal qualities, the qualities of conscious experiences? Are phenomenal qualities subjective, belonging to inner mental episodes of some kind, or should they be seen as objective, belonging in some way to the physical things in the world around us? Are they physical properties at all? And to what extent do experiences represent the things around us, or the states of our own bodies? Fourteen original papers, written by a team of distinguished philosophers and psychologists, explore the ways in (...) which phenomenal qualities fit in with our understanding of mind and reality. This volume offers an indispensable resource for anyone wishing to understand the nature of conscious experience. (shrink)
This is the first chapter to our edited collection of essays on the nature and ethics of blame. In this chapter we introduce the reader to contemporary discussions about blame and its relationship to other issues (e.g. free will and moral responsibility), and we situate the essays in this volume with respect to those discussions.
Ordinarily, we take moral responsibility to come in degrees. Despite this commonplace, theories of moral responsibility have focused on the minimum threshold conditions under which agents are morally responsible. But this cannot account for our practices of holding agents to be more or less responsible. In this paper we remedy this omission. More specifically, we extend an account of reasons-responsiveness due to John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza according to which an agent is morally responsible only if she is appropriately (...) receptive to and reactive to reasons for action. Building on this, we claim that the degree to which an agent is responsible will depend on the degree to which she is able to recognize and react to reasons. To analyze this, we appeal to relations of comparative similarity between possible worlds, arguing that the degree to which an agent is reasons-reactive depends on the nearest possible world in which given sufficient reason to do otherwise, she does so. Similarly, we argue that the degree to which an agent is reasons-receptive will depend on the intelligibility of her patterned recognition of reasons. By extending an account of reasons-responsiveness in these ways, we are able to rationalize our practice of judging people to be more or less responsible. (shrink)
Drawing on examples from the history of warfare from the crusades to the present day, "The ethics of war" explores the limits and possibilities of the moral regulation of war. While resisting the commonly held view that 'war is hell', A.J. Coates focuses on the tensions which exist between war and morality. The argument is conducted from a just war standpoint, though the moral ambiguity and mixed record of that tradition is acknowledge and the dangers which an exaggerated view (...) of the justice or moral worth of war poses are underlined. In the first part, the broad image of the just war is compared with the competing images of realism, militarism and pacifism. In the second part, the moral issues associated both with the decision to go to war and with the manner in which war is conducted are explored. Was the allied decision to go to war in the Gulf premature? were economic sanctions a more effective and morally preferable option? was Britain justified in going to war over the Falklands? did the allied bombing of Germany in the Second World War constitute a war crime? should the IRA's claim to belligerent status be recognised? these questions and more are raised in this important book. (shrink)
According to the powerful qualities view, properties are both powerful and qualitative. Indeed, on this view the powerfulness of a property is identical to its qualitativity. Proponents claim that this view provides an attractive alternative to both the view that properties are pure powers and the view that they are pure qualities. It remains unclear, however, whether the claimed identity between powerfulness and qualitativity can be made coherent in a way that allows the powerful qualities view to constitute this sort (...) of alternative. I argue here that this can be done, given a particular conception of both the qualitativity and powerfulness of properties. On this conception, a property is qualitative just in the sense that its essence is fixed independently of any distinct properties, and it is powerful just if its essence grounds its dispositional role. (shrink)
This book is an important study in the philosophy of the mind; drawing on the work of philosopher Wilfrid Sellars and the theory of critical realism to develop a novel argument for understanding perception and metaphysics.
Blame is usually discussed in the context of the free will problem, but recently moral philosophers have begun to examine it on its own terms. If, as many suppose, free will is to be understood as the control relevant to moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is to be understood in terms of whether blame is appropriate, then an independent inquiry into the nature and ethics of blame will be essential to solving (and, perhaps, even fully understanding) the free will problem. (...) In this article we first survey and categorize recent accounts of the nature of blame – is it action, belief, emotion, desire, or something else? – and then we look at several proposed requirements on appropriate blame that look beyond the transgressor himself, considerations that will form part of a full account of the ethics of blame. (shrink)
Ever since the publication of his first book, The Spectrum of Consciousness, written when he was twenty-three, Ken Wilber has been identified as the most comprehensive philosophical thinker of our times. This introductory sampler, designed to acquaint newcomers with his work, contains brief passages from his most popular books, ranging over a variety of topics, including levels of consciousness, mystical experience, meditation practice, death, the perennial philosophy, and Wilber's integral approach to reality, integrating matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit. Here (...) is Wilber's writing at its most reader-friendly, discussing essential ideas of the world's great psychological, philosophical, and spiritual traditions in language that is lucid, engaging, and inspirational. (shrink)
Although Peter Strawson’s ‘Freedom and Resentment’ was published over fifty years ago and has been widely discussed, its main argument is still notoriously difficult to pin down. The most common – but in my view, mistaken – interpretation of Strawson’s argument takes him to be providing a ‘relentlessly’ naturalistic framework for our responsibility practices. To rectify this mistake, I offer an alternative interpretation of Strawson’s argument. As I see it, rather than offering a relentlessly naturalistic framework for moral responsibility, Strawson (...) actually develops a transcendental argument, which grounds our moral responsibility practices in the practical perspective of social agents. However, the aims of this essay are not purely interpretative. Strawson’s essay continues to have important implications for a number of issues that arise in the contemporary debates that concern free will and moral responsibility. In particular, it puts significant pressure on moral responsibility sceptics like Derk Pereboom [Living Without Free Will. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001] who think that the truth of moral responsibility scepticism has no worrisome implications for our lives with others. (shrink)
: Agents are enkratic when they intend to do what they believe they should. That rationality requires you to be enkratic is uncontroversial, yet you may be enkratic in a way that does not exhibit any rationality on your part. Thus, what I call the enkratic requirement demands that you be enkratic in the right way. In particular, I will argue that it demands that you base your belief about what you should do and your intention to do it on (...) the same considerations. The idea is that, if you base your belief and your intention on different considerations, then you are inconsistent in your treatment of those considerations as reasons. The enkratic requirement demands that you be enkratic by treating considerations consistently as reasons. (shrink)
Moore, Wittgenstein, Keynes and the Social Sciences John Coates. Darwin's theory of natural selection offers a causal connection between subjective simplicity and objective truth in the following way. Innate subjective standards of simplicity ...
The Claims of Common Sense investigates the importance of ideas developed by Cambridge philosophers between the World Wars for the social sciences concerning common sense, vague concepts and ordinary language. John Coates examines the thought of Moore, Ramsey, Wittgenstein and Keynes, and traces their common drift away from early beliefs about the need for precise concepts and a canonical notation in analysis. He argues that Keynes borrowed from Wittgenstein and Ramsey their reappraisal of vague concepts, and developed the novel (...) argument that when analysing something as complex as social reality, theory might be simplified by using concepts which lack sharp boundaries. Coates then contrasts this conclusion with the view shared by two contemporary philosophical paradigms - formal semantics and Continental post-structuralism - that the vagueness of ordinary language inevitably leads to interpretive indeterminacy. Developing a link between Cambridge philosophy and work on complexity, vague predicates and fuzzy logic, he argues that Wittgenstein's and Keynes's ideas on the economy of ordinary language present a mediating route for the social sciences between these philosophical paradigms. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that it is inappropriate for us to blame others if it is not reasonable for us to believe that they are morally responsible for their actions. The argument for this claim relies on two controversial claims: first, that assertion is governed by the epistemic norm of reasonable belief, and second, that the epistemic norm of implicatures is relevantly similar to the norm of assertion. I defend these claims, and I conclude by briefly suggesting how this (...) putative norm of blame can serve as the basis for general norms of interpersonal generosity. (shrink)
In this paper I explore graded attributions of blameworthiness—that is, judgments of the general sort, "A is more blameworthy for x-ing than B is," or "A is less blameworthy for her character than B is." In so doing, I aim to provide a philosophical basis for the widespread, if not completely articulate, practice of altering the degree to which we hold others responsible on the basis of facts about them or facts about their environments. To vindicate this practice, I disambiguate (...) several related properties and identify the properties of being more blameworthy for an action with a complex set of relations between what an agent deserves for her action and how good it is from the point of view of desert that she receives that response. (shrink)
Following P. F. Strawson, a number of philosophers have argued that if hard incompatibilism is true, then its truth would undermine the justification or value of our relationships with other persons. In this paper, I offer a novel defense of this claim. In particular, I argue that if hard incompatibilism is true, we cannot make sense of: the possibility of promissory obligation, the significance of consent, or the pro tanto wrongness of paternalistic intervention. Because these practices and normative commitments are (...) central to our relationships as we currently conceive of them, it follows that hard incompatibilism has radically revisionary conclusions. (shrink)
Ken Binmore's previous game theory textbook, Fun and Games, carved out a significant niche in the advanced undergraduate market; it was intellectually serious and more up-to-date than its competitors, but also accessibly written. Its central thesis was that game theory allows us to understand many kinds of interactions between people, a point that Binmore amply demonstrated through a rich range of examples and applications. This replacement for the now out-of-date 1991 textbook retains the entertaining examples, but changes the organization to (...) match how game theory courses are actually taught, making Playing for Real a more versatile text that almost all possible course designs will find easier to use, with less jumping about than before. In addition, the problem sections, already used as a reference by many teachers, have become even more clever and varied, without becoming too technical. Playing for Real will sell into advanced undergraduate courses in game theory, primarily those in economics, but also courses in the social sciences, and serve as a reference for economists. (shrink)
Natural Justice is a bold attempt to lay the foundations for a genuine science of morals using the theory of games. Since human morality is no less a product of evolution than any other human characteristic, the book takes the view that we need to explore its origins in the food-sharing social contracts of our prehuman ancestors. It is argued that the deep structure of our current fairness norms continues to reflect the logic of these primeval social contracts, but the (...) particular fairness norm a society operates is largely a product of cultural evolution. In pursuing this point, the book proposes a naturalistic reinterpretation of John Rawls' original position that reconciles his egalitarian theory of justice with John Harsanyi's utilitarian theory by identifying the environment appropriate to each. (shrink)
Despite widespread agreement that ambivalence precludes agency “at its best,” in this paper I argue that ambivalence as such is no threat to one’s agency. In particular, against “unificationists” like Harry Frankfurt I argue that failing to be fully integrated as an agent, lacking purity of heart, or being less than wholehearted in one’s choices, tells us nothing about whether an agent’s will is properly functioning. Moreover, it will turn out that in many common circumstances, wholeheartedness with respect to some (...) motive or course of action is itself a defect in an agent’s will. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss studies that show that most people do not find determinism to be incompatible with free will and moral responsibility if determinism is described in a way that does not suggest mechanistic reductionism. However, if determinism is described in a way that suggests reductionism, that leads people to interpret it as threatening to free will and responsibility. We discuss the implications of these results for the philosophical debates about free will, moral responsibility, and determinism.
The subjective character of a given experience leaves open the question of its precise status. If it looks to a subject K as if there is an object of a kind F in front of him, the experience he is having could be veridical, or hallucinatory. Advocates of the Causal Theory of perception (whom I shall call.
[Ken Gemes] In some texts Nietzsche vehemently denies the possibility of free will; in others he seems to positively countenance its existence. This paper distinguishes two different notions of free will. Agency free will is intrinsically tied to the question of agency, what constitutes an action as opposed to a mere doing. Deserts free will is intrinsically tied to the question of desert, of who does and does not merit punishment and reward. It is shown that we can render Nietzsche's (...) prima facie conflicting assertions regarding free will compatible by interpreting him as rejecting deserts free will while accepting the possibility of agency free will. It is argued that Nietzsche's advances an original form of compatibilism which takes agency free will to be a rare achievement rather than a natural endowment. /// [Christopher Janaway] This paper aims to distinguish a conception of 'free will' that Nietzsche opposes and one that he supports. In Human, All Too Human Nietzsche propounds the 'total unfreedom' of the will. But by the time of Beyond Good and Evil and the Genealogy he is more concerned to trace the affective psychological states underlying beliefs in both free will and 'unfree will', to suggest that the will might become free in certain individuals, a matter of having a consistent strong character, self-knowledge, and ability to create values. The paper explores the kind of autonomy required in agents who would 'revalue' existing values. (shrink)
In this paper I introduce and critically examine a paradox about perceiving that is in some ways analogous to the paradox about meaning which Kripke puts forward in his exegesis of Wittgenstein's views on Rule-following. When applied to vision, the paradox of perceiving raises a metaphysical scepticism about which object a person is seeing if he looks, for example, at an apple on a tree directly in front of him. Physical objects can be seen when their appearance is distorted in (...) various ways by illusions. The question therefore arises as to how can we answer the sceptic who suggests the following: although the viewer appears to be seeing the green apple in front of him, he is actually suffering a bizarre illusion of a blue car situated somewhere behind him. The sceptic is not concerned with epistemic problems about how we know which object, if any, the subject is seeing; the sceptic is raising the more fundamental question: whatfact of the matter underlies a person's perceptual relation to the physical world, in virtue of which that person may be justified in arriving at a perceptual belief about the environment? Among the various different issues raised by the sceptic, I focus on the question: what determines the perceiving relation? I canvass a number of possible proposals in answer to it, concentrating mainly on two opposed accounts: the Disjunctive View and the Causal Theory of Perception. I argue in particular for the following two claims: that the paradox highlights the fact that the Disjunctive View fails to provide a coherent positive account of what perceiving is. that the problem of 'deviant causal chains', often thought to raise particular difficulties for the Causal theorist, can also be raised against other accounts of perception, including versions of the Disjunctive View. I conclude that unless the Causal Theory of Perception can be upheld, there will be no way of answering the sceptic. (shrink)
In recent defenses of moral responsibility skepticism, which is the view that no human agents are morally responsible for their actions or character, a number of theorists have argued against Peter Strawson’s (and others’) claim that “the sort of love which two adults can sometimes be said to feel reciprocally, for each other” would be undermined if we were not morally responsible agents. Among them, Derk Pereboom (2001, 2009) and Tamler Sommers (2007, 2012) most forcefully argue against this conception of (...) love. However, in this paper, I plan to defend the claim that there is an essential connection between love and moral responsibility, a thesis I will call love internalism. To begin, I will specify the content and scope of love internalism, and consider ways in which other theorists have attempted to motivate it. I will then consider the various arguments that Pereboom and Sommers advance against love internalism. These arguments, it seems to me, offer us powerful reasons to reject several of the ways in which philosophers have tried to connect moral responsibility to love. Consequently, in light of these criticisms, I will further precisify the content of love internalism. And as we will see, love internalism (as I argue for it) is immune to Pereboom’s and Sommers’ criticisms. Moreover, when its content is sufficiently clarified, love internalism can serve as a plausible premise in an anti-skeptical argument. I thus conclude by arguing that this suitably reformulated statement of love internalism offers a significant challenge to moral responsibility skepticism of the sort Pereboom and Sommers endorse. (shrink)
The issue of what distinguishes systems which have original intentionalityfrom those which do not has been brought into sharp focus by Saul Kripke inhis discussion of the sceptical paradox he attributes to Wittgenstein.In this paper I defend a sophisticated version of the dispositionalistaccount of meaning against the principal objection raised by Kripke in hisattack on dispositional views. I argue that the objection put by the sceptic,to the effect that the dispositionalist cannot give a satisfactory account ofnormativity and mistake, in fact (...) comprises a number of distinct lines ofargument, all of which can be satisfactorily answered by the dispositionalist. (shrink)
The problem of the richness of visual experience is that of finding principled grounds for claims about how much of the world a person actually sees at any given moment. It is argued that there are suggestive parallels between the two-component analysis of experience defended by Wilfrid Sellars, and certain recently advanced information processing accounts of visual perception. Sellars' later account of experience is examined in detail, and it is argued that there are good reasons in support of the claim (...) that the sensory nonconceptual content of experience can vary independently of conceptual awareness. It is argued that the Sellarsian analysis is not undermined by recent work on change blindness and related phenomena; a model of visual experience developed by Ronald Rensink is shown to be in essential harmony with the framework provided by Sellars, and provides a satisfactory answer to the problem of the richness of visual experience. (shrink)
The goal of an "integral psychology" is to honor and embrace every legitimate aspect of human consciousness under one roof. This book presents one of the first truly integrative models of consciousness, psychology, and therapy.