Adaptive decision making and veridical decision making are based on different mechanisms. Veridical decision making is based on the identification of the correct response, which is intrinsic to the external situation and is actor-independent. Adaptive decision making is actor-centered and is guided by the actor's priorities. The prefrontal cortex is particularly critical for adaptive decision making and less so for veridical decision making. However, most experimental procedures used in cognitive psychology and neuropsychology focus on veridical decision making and ignore adaptive (...) decision making. Innovative experimental procedures are required to characterize the contribution of the prefrontal cortex to adaptive decision making. We have designed a prototype for such procedures, the Cognitive Bias Task, and present the novel findings generated by this task. (shrink)
Faced with the choice between creating a risk of harm and taking a precaution against that risk, should I take the precaution? Does the proper analysis of this trade-off require a maximizing, utilitarian approach? If not, how does one properly analyze the trade-off? These questions are important, for we often are uncertain about the effects of our actions. Accordingly, we often must consider whether our actions create an unreasonable risk of injury — that is, whether our actions are negligent.
Ever since the Proslogion was first circulated , critics have been bemused by St Anselm's brazen attempt to establish a matter of fact, namely, God's existence, from the simple analysis of a term or concept. Yet every critic who has proposed to ‘write the obituary’ of the Ontological Argument has found it to be remarkably resilient . At the risk of adding to a record of failures, I want to venture a new method for attacking this durable argument. Neither the (...) common version of Anselm's argument from Chapter II of the Proslogion nor the previously unrecognized modal version uncovered by Norman Malcolm from Pros , III can possibly get under way without Anselm's celebrated assertion that God is that than which no greater can be conceived. (shrink)
The Oxford English Dictionary says that a rite is ‘a formal procedure or act in a religious or other solemn observance’. The word comes into English through the French rite from the Latin ritus . Its original meaning escapes etymologists; and this is a mixed blessing, for we neither can nor must attempt a retrieval of its hidden roots. We are told by respectable etymologists that the word is associated from earliest times with Latin religious usage, but that even in (...) the early Latin it was already extended to ‘custom, usage, manner or way’ of a non-religious sort. [Lewis and Short, A Latin Dictionary .] So, too, in modern languages the terms ‘rite’ and ‘ritual’ have specifically religious meaning, but they are also used in social and cultural settings that we would not call religious. What first strikes us about the terms ’ and ‘ritual’ is an emphasis upon a certain formality, upon a regular and stable way in which an action or set of actions is to be performed. A ritual is more than a formalism, however, since there are formalisms that are not rites, such as the logical rules for making a valid argument. Moreover, the term is frequently associated with the terms ‘myth’, ‘symbol’ and ‘faith’. These, too, are primarily religious, but are also extended to non-religious contexts. Indeed, there seems to be a network of such terms whose usage touches upon some extraordinary quality in things. Like them, the term ‘ritual’ shares both a wide variety of meanings and a certain hint of impropriety. The variety of ritual forms is notorious, ranging from the most sacred religious liturgies to the absurdities of a fraternity initiation; and the impropriety of the term breaks out whenever we brand a certain action ‘ritualistic’, just as we sometimes refer slightingly to an assertion, saying it is ‘mythical’, ‘merely symbolic’ or ‘credulous’. (shrink)
Part intellectual autobiography and part exposition of complex yet contemporary economic ideas, this lively conversation with renowned scholar and public intellectual Kenneth J. Arrow focuses on economics and politics in light of history, current events, and philosophy as well. Reminding readers that economics is about redistribution and thus about how we treat each other, Arrow shows that the intersection of economics and ethics is of concern not just to economists but for the public more broadly. With a foreword by (...) Amartya Sen, this book highlights the belief that government can be a powerful force for good, and is particularly relevant in the current political climate and to the lay reader as well as the economist. (shrink)
Throughout his literary career Walker Percy read and studied the philosophical thought of Charles Sanders Peirce in an attempt to re-present in language the world as Percy knew it. Beginning in 1984 and ending in 1990, the year of his death, Percy corresponded with Kenneth Laine Ketner about the "semiotic" of Peirce. Their letters - honest, instructive, and often filled with down-home humor - record an epistolary friendship of two men both passionately interested in Peirce's theory of signs. This (...) volume of letters provides a rich philosophical perspective for better understanding the fiction and nonfiction of Walker Percy. (shrink)
Since something cannot be conscious without being a conscious subject, a complete physicalist explanation of consciousness must resolve an issue first raised by Thomas Nagel, namely to explain why a particular mass of atoms that comprises my body gives rise to me as conscious subject, rather than someone else. In this essay, I describe a thought-experiment that suggests that physicalism lacks the resources to address Nagel's question and seems to pose a counter-example to any form of non-reductive physicalism relying on (...) the mind–body supervenience thesis, which would include William Hasker's emergent dualism. Since the particular thought-experiment does not pose any problems for classical substance dualism and since the problem, as I call it, of explaining subjectivity is the central problem of mind, I conclude that CSD is better supported than any form of non-reductive physicalism. (shrink)
One version of the free-will argument relies on the claim that, other things being equal, a world in which free beings exist is morally preferable to a world in which free beings do not exist . I argue that this version of the free-will argument cannot support a theodicy that should alleviate the doubts about God's existence to which the problems of evil give rise. In particular, I argue that the value thesis has no foundation in common intuitions about morality. (...) Without some sort of intuitive support, the value thesis lacks the resources to serve as the foundation for a theodicy that addresses the powerful intuition, which affects believers and non-believers alike, that a perfect God would not allow so much evil. (shrink)
In this chapter, we defend an explanationist version of proper functionalism. After explaining proper functionalism’s initial appeal, we note two major objections to proper functionalism: creatures with no design plan who appear to have knowledge (Swampman) and creatures with malfunctions that increase reliability. We then note how proper functionalism needs to be clarified because there are cases of what we call warrant-compatible malfunction. We then formulate our own view: explanationist proper functionalism, which explains the warrant-compatible malfunction cases and helps to (...) block the above objections. We also advance a positive argument for explanationist proper functionalism. (shrink)
Psychotherapy holds out the promise of help for people who are hurting and in need. It can save lives and change lives. In therapy, clients can find their strengths and sense of hope. They can change course toward a more meaningful and healthy life. They can confront loss, tragedy, hopelessness, and the end of life in ways that do not leave them numb or paralyzed. They can discover what brings them joy and what sustains them through hard times. They can (...) begin to trust, or to trust more wisely. They can learn new behaviors in therapy and how to teach themselves new behaviors after therapy ends. They can question what they always believed was a given. They can find out what matters most to them, and how to stop wasting time. They can become happier, or at least less miserable. They can become better able, as Freud noted, to love and to work. They can learn how to accept and love themselves just as they are and accept others who are different from them. Our ethics acknowledge and affirm our profession's responsibilities. This book was written to help strengthen, deepen, and inform ethical awareness and the sense of personal ethical responsibility. Its job is to help you hold onto the ideals-including ethical ideals-that called you into the profession to begin with, to help you develop and fulfill those ideals. There will be so much-trust us on this-that tends to dull ethical awareness, to make ethics drift out of focus, to create barriers between you and your ideals, to replace ethics with pseudo-ethics and ethics placebos. Fatigue, endless paperwork, unrealistic expectations, illness, family crises, not being able to make ends meet, burn out, threats of job loss, insurance coverage that doesn't come close to meeting the needs of our clients, biases that have not been addressed, and so many other forces can pressure us into cutting ethical corners. This book is intended to help you develop a strong and healthy resistance to such forces, to help you weather them without losing your ethical awareness and ideals. (shrink)
Kant says that there is a close affinity between the sublime and moral feelings of respect. This suggests a relatively unexplored way that aesthetic experience could be morally improving. We could come to respect persons by experiencing them as sublime. Unfortunately, this is not at all our ordinary experience of people, and it’s not clear how one would come to it. In this paper I argue that this possibility is realized in the portraits of Thomas Eakins. Through a handful of (...) specific techniques, Eakins suggests an incomparable psychological depth to the subjects of his portraits, a suggestion that causes the viewer to experience that subject as sublime in a way not unlike their experience of a vast ocean or endless abyss. -/- . (shrink)
00 In this innovative analysis, Plato's four eleatic dialogues are treated as a continuous argument. In Kenneth Dorter's view, Plato reconsiders the theory of forms propounded in his earlier dialogues and through an examination of the theory's limitations reaffirms and proves it essential. Contradicted are both those philosophers who argue that Plato espoused his theory of forms uncritically and those who argue that Plato in some sense rejected the theory and moved toward the categorical analysis developed byAristotle. Dorter's reexamination (...) of Plato's insights implies an important new direction for modern philosophical inquiry. In this innovative analysis, Plato's four eleatic dialogues are treated as a continuous argument. In Kenneth Dorter's view, Plato reconsiders the theory of forms propounded in his earlier dialogues and through an examination of the theory's limitations reaffirms and proves it essential. Contradicted are both those philosophers who argue that Plato espoused his theory of forms uncritically and those who argue that Plato in some sense rejected the theory and moved toward the categorical analysis developed byAristotle. Dorter's reexamination of Plato's insights implies an important new direction for modern philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
Capturing the lively modernist milieu of Kenneth Burke's early career in Greenwich Village, where Burke arrived in 1915 fresh from high school in Pittsburgh, this book discovers him as an intellectual apprentice conversing with "the moderns." Burke found himself in the midst of an avant-garde peopled by Malcolm Cowley, Marianne Moore, Jean Toomer, Katherine Anne Porter, William Carlos Williams, Allen Tate, Hart Crane, Alfred Stieglitz, and a host of other fascinating figures. Burke himself, who died in 1993 at the (...) age of 96, has been hailed as America's most brilliant and suggestive critic and the most significant theorist of rhetoric since Cicero. Many schools of thought have claimed him as their own, but Burke has defied classification and indeed has often been considered a solitary, eccentric genius immune to intellectual fashions. But Burke's formative work of the 1920s, when he first defined himself and his work in the context of the modernist conversation, has gone relatively unexamined. Here we see Burke living and working with the crowd of poets, painters, and dramatists affiliated with Others magazine, Stieglitz's "291" gallery, and Eugene O'Neill's Provincetown Players; the leftists associated with the magazines The Masses and Seven Arts; the Dadaists; and the modernist writers working on literary journals like The Dial, where Burke in his capacity as an associate editor saw T. S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" into print for the first time and provided other editorial services for Thomas Mann, e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, and many other writers of note. Burke also met the iconoclasts of the older generation represented by Theodore Dreiser and H. L. Mencken, the New Humanists, and the literary nationalists who founded Contact and The New Republic. Jack Selzer shows how Burke's own early poems, fiction, and essays emerged from and contributed to the modernist conversation in Greenwich Village. He draws on a wonderfully rich array of letters between Burke and his modernist friends and on the memoirs of his associates to create a vibrant portrait of the young Burke's transformation from aesthete to social critic. (shrink)
Kenneth F. Schaffner compares the practice of biological and medical research and shows how traditional topics in philosophy of science--such as the nature of theories and of explanation--can illuminate the life sciences. While Schaffner pays some attention to the conceptual questions of evolutionary biology, his chief focus is on the examples that immunology, human genetics, neuroscience, and internal medicine provide for examinations of the way scientists develop, examine, test, and apply theories. Although traditional philosophy of science has regarded scientific (...) discovery--the questions of creativity in science--as a subject for psychological rather than philosophical study, Schaffner argues that recent work in cognitive science and artificial intelligence enables researchers to rationally analyze the nature of discovery. As a philosopher of science who holds an M.D., he has examined biomedical work from the inside and uses detailed examples from the entire range of the life sciences to support the semantic approach to scientific theories, addressing whether there are "laws" in the life sciences as there are in the physical sciences. Schaffner's novel use of philosophical tools to deal with scientific research in all of its complexity provides a distinctive angle on basic questions of scientific evaluation and explanation. (shrink)
Jürgen Habermas is one of the most important German philosophers and social theorists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. His work has been compared in scope with Max Weber’s, and in philosophical breadth to that of Kant and Hegel. In this much-needed introduction Kenneth Baynes engages with the full range of Habermas’s philosophical work, addressing his early arguments concerning the emergence of the public sphere and his initial attempt to reconstruct a critical theory of society in _Knowledge (...) and Human Interests_. He then examines one of Habermas’s most influential works, _The Theory of Communicative Action, _including his controversial account of the rational interpretation of social action. Also covered is Habermas’s work on discourse ethics, political and legal theory, including his views on the relation between democracy and constitutionalism, and his arguments concerning human rights and cosmopolitanism. The final chapter assesses Habermas’s role as a polemical and prominent public intellectual and his criticism of postmodernism in _The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity_, in addition to his more recent writings on the relationship between religion and democracy. Habermas is an invaluable guide to this key figure in contemporary philosophy, and suitable for anyone coming to his work for the first time. (shrink)
This book marks Kenneth Burke's breakthrough in criticism from the literary and aesthetic into social theory and the philosophy of history. In this volume we find Burke's first entry into what he calls his theory of Dramatism and here also is an important section on the nature of ritual.
Kenneth A. Taylor examines the complex relationship between semantic analysis and metaphysical inquiry with the aim of bringing philosophical methodology into closer alignment with total science. He urges philosophers who seek metaphysical insight to interrogate reality itself rather than language and concepts.
Kenneth Arrow presents Rawls as making a controversial assumption, which he terms “asset egalitarianism”: that all the assets of society, including personal skills, are available for distribution. I distinguish two versions of the assumption and draw attention to difficulties in determining what Arrow’s concern over the assumption is.
This chapter gives a detailed study of diagram-based reasoning in Euclidean plane geometry (Books I, III), as well as an exploration how to characterise a geometric practice. First, an account is given of diagram attribution: basic geometrical claims are classified as exact (equalities, proportionalities) or co-exact (containments, contiguities); exact claims may only be inferred from prior entries in the demonstration text, but co-exact claims may be asserted based on what is seen in the diagram. Diagram control by constructions is necessary (...) for this to work. Case-branching occurs when a construction renders a diagram un-representative. The roles of diagrams in reductio arguments, and of objection in probing a demonstration, are discussed. (shrink)
Insights into the problem of our relation to language Kenneth Burke and Contemporary European Thought: A Rhetoric in Transition reflects the present transitional nature of rhetoric and society. Its purpose is to relate the rhetorical theory of Burke to the theories of four major European philosophers--Jürgen Habermas, Ernesto Grassi, Foucault, and Jacques Derrida--as they discuss the nature of language and its central role in society. This book describes a rhetorical world in transition but not a world in chaos. It (...) points to the centrality of symbolism in theories of language and rhetoric and illustrates Burke's influence as a pivotal things and theorist in the communication arts and sciences, suggesting that the observations regarding shifting paradigms and perspectives made by other scholars are indeed emergent in the realm of rhetoric. It also regards the powerful impact of language and symbolic action in both the critique and construction of human knowledge and augurs a central role for rhetoric in the intellectual and social transformations of this and the next century. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: -/-  JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 23:1 JANUARY 198 5 Book Reviews Kenneth Dorter. Plato's 'Phaedo': An Interpretation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982. Pp. xi + 233. $28.50. Kenneth Dorter of the University of Guelph has given us a useful and unusual study of the Phaedo, which will attract the interest of a variety of Plato's readers. He provides the careful studies of (...) the dialogue's arguments for immortality to be expected in a sound commentary, paying close attention to the text as well as to recent scholarship, and displaying a good sense of argument. What gives the book additional interest, however, are its features as an interpretation of the Phaedo. Two stand out. First, Dorter wishes to give full weight not only to the logic of the arguments but also to the dramatic details of Plato's writing, believing these to be important in disclosing Plato's intentions. Secondly, he reads the Phaedo in light of a more general understanding of Plato's philosophy, especially the nature of the soul in its cosmic as well as individual aspects. Much of this is set out in a final speculative chapter, where Dorter seeks to make intelligible Plato's developing conception of soul by means of such notions as energy and poles of consciousness. Not every reader will be persuaded; but Dorter is to be commended for an attempt to move the discussion beyond the Phaedo and Plato's own vocabulary. The study gains its coherence from Dorter's belief that Plato's view of soul cannot support the ostensible aim of the dialogue, to provide reassurance of personal immortality. Although he has no doubt that for the Platonic Socrates there is "a meaningful sense in which we may be called immortal" (94, cf. 159), Dorter's analysis must be stretched to provide that sense. In part this is a result of his assessment of the arguments. The first, from reciprocity in nature, can at most show that, given the eternal nature of the world, soul and corporeality in general must continue to exist. The argument from recollection can point only to a non-empirical element in our knowledge ; that from the soul's kinship with the divine is best seen as an analogy developed to awaken within us a sense of eternity. The final argument, though containing fallacies (157), will support the conclusion that immortal soul is imperishable as long as soul is regarded as motive force in the universe, in the first argument's sense. In none of these discussions, then, can Plato's reasoning yield up personal survival. But there is another part to Dorter's case, underlying this conclusion. For Plato the individual human being is a composite of soul and body; so even if Plato were to prove the immortality of the soul he could never establish personal survival (63-64). It is not surprising then that Dorter is left with a doctrine of immortality either reduced to a "discovery of eternity within ourselves" (77), or else dissolved into a principle of enduring cosmic energy. So in neither case does it seem meaningful for Plato to say that we are immortal: the eternal which we sense is no more us than it is anything else. Although it is of course possible that Plato did not intend this consequence of his arguments, Dorter thinks otherwise. In support he invokes literary features of the dialogue to argue that Plato operates on one level for the less sophisticated (who wish to be persuaded of personal survival) and on another for the philosophically reflective reader. Dorter treats the textual evidence for this claim with an appropriate modesty, and tries to justify Plato's apparent duplicity as an attempt to convince the weak by a 'noble lie' (95-97). Nevertheless this leads Dorter to mix together too quickly for this reader popular religion, myth, and metaphor. To the fact that Plato does not espouse the language of popular religion literally, Dorter adds his own view of myth as an imaginative appeal to emotion that can be translated without loss into rational discourse (7, 165, a95). So the accounts of the afterlife at 8oc-84 b... (shrink)
Fackenheim was one of the most philosophically serious, knowledgeable, and provocative contemporary Jewish thinkers. His original focus as a philosophical theologian was mainly on revelation, but in his later work he concerned himself primarily with the wide-ranging implications of the Holocaust. In this book, Kenneth Hart Green examines Fackenheim's intellectual trajectory and traces how and why he focused so intently on the Holocaust. He explores the deeper thought that Fackenheim developed about the Holocaust, which he construed as a cataclysmic (...) event that ruptured history and one that also brought about a change in the very structure of being. As Green demonstrates, the Holocaust, according to Fackenheim's interpretation, changes how we view all things, from God to man to history. It also radically affects Judaism, Christianity, and philosophy, the major traditions that have shaped the Western world. (shrink)
Five Groundbreaking Moments in Heidegger's Thinking presents a fresh interpretation of some of Heidegger's most difficult but important works, including his early Beiträge (Contributions) and engages with his theoretical concept of "the reading in thinking." In new translations of central texts, Kenneth Maly invites the reader to think along the way by reading, contemplating, and translating Heidegger's ideas into context. An introduction to the field of philosophy and more specifically to Heidegger's thought, Five Groundbreaking Moments in Heidegger's Thinking asks (...) the reader, in some manner, to actively do the philosophizing. (shrink)
This pioneering translation of Plato's Phaedrus, with detailed summary and full philological and exegetical notes taking into consideration all commentaries since Hermias, followed by a painstaking dialogical analysis of the text that shows what we must think at every moment in order to understand the thinking that brings the Greek text to life. In Kenneth Quandt's treatment, Plato's seminal work is allowed to create its own horizon and a new and profoundly unified interpretation emerges: Socrates's conversation with Phaedrus reaches (...) a vision of eros that explains the paradoxes of human nature, explodes the zero-sum game of master and slave, exposes the crabbed fetishism of the written word, and releases the mind to a life of contemplation fixed in a cloudless noon. (shrink)
Definitions of health and disease are of more than theoretical interest. Understanding what it means to be healthy has implications for choices in medical treatment, for ethically sound informed consent, and for accurate assessment of policies or programs. This deeper understanding can help us create more effective public policy for health and medicine. It is notable that such contentious legal initiatives as the Americans with Disability Act and the Patients' Bill of Rights fail to define adequately the medical terms on (...) which their effectiveness depends. In Ethics and the Metaphysics of Medicine, Kenneth Richman develops an "embedded instrumentalist" theory of health and applies it to practical problems in health care and medicine, addressing topics that range from the philosophy of science to knee surgery."Embedded instrumentalist" theories hold that health is a match between one's goals and one's ability to reach those goals, and that the relevant goals may vary from individual to individual. This captures the normative implications of the term health while avoiding problematic relativism. Richman's embedded instrumentalism differs from other theories of health in drawing a distinction between the health of individuals as biological organisms and the health of individuals as moral agents. This distinction illuminates many difficulties in patient-provider communication and helps us understand conflicts between promoting health and promoting ethically permissible behavior. After exploring, expanding, and defending this theory in the first part of the book, Richman examines its ethical implications, discussing such concerns as the connection between medical beneficence and respect for autonomy, patient-provider communication, living wills, and clinical education. (shrink)
Modal logic, developed as an extension of classical propositional logic and first-order quantification theory, integrates the notions of possibility and necessity and necessary implication. Arguments whose understanding depends on some fundamental knowledge of modal logic have always been important in philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and epistemology. Moreover, modal logic has become increasingly important with the use of the concept of "possible worlds" in these areas. Introductory Modal Logic fills the need for a basic text on modal logic, accessible to students (...) of elementary symbolic logic. Kenneth Konyndyk presents a natural deduction treatment of propositional modal logic and quantified modal logic, historical information about its development, and discussions of the philosophical issues raised by modal logic. Characterized by clear and concrete explanations, appropriate examples, and varied and challenging exercises, Introductory Modal Logic makes both modal logic and the possible-worlds metaphysics readily available to the introductory level student. (shrink)