Some propositional attitude verbs require that the complement contain some “subjective predicate”. In terms of the theory proposed by Lasersohn, these verbs would seem to identify the “judge” of the embedded proposition with the matrix subject, and there have been suggestions in this direction. I show that it is possible to analyze these verbs as setting the judge and doing nothing more; then according to whether a judge index or a judge argument is assumed, unless the complement contains a subjective (...) predicate, the whole matrix is redundant or there is a type conflict. I further show that certain clear facts argue for assuming a judge argument which can be filled by a contextually salient entity–or by the subject of a subjective attitude verb. (shrink)
Two main methods for analysing de re readings of definite descriptions in intensional contexts coexist: that of evaluating the description in the actual world, whether by means of scope, actuality operators, or non-local world binding, and that of substituting another description, usually one expressing a salient or ‘vivid’ acquaintance relation to an attitude holder, prior to evaluation. Recent work on so-called descriptive indexicals suggests that contrary to common assumptions, both methods are needed, for different ends. This paper aims to show (...) that there is indeed a division of labour between the two methods of analysis and to identify criteria for choosing among alternative ways to model the second, substitutional method. (shrink)
How questions are understudied in philosophy and linguistics. They can be answered in very different ways, some of which are poorly understood. Jaworski identifies several types: ‘manner’, ‘method, means or mechanism’, ‘cognitive resolution’, and develops a logic designed to enable us to distinguish among them. Some key questions remain open, however, in particular, whether these distinctions derive from an ambiguity in how, from differences in the logical structure of the question or from contextual underspecification. Arguing from two classes of responses, (...) adverbs and by gerunds, I give the answer that the logical structure of the question is indeed relevant: loosely, manners are adjuncts but methods are arguments. (shrink)
The meaning of have is notoriously difficult to define; sometimes it seems to denote possession, but often, it seems to denote nothing, only to complicate composition. This paper focuses on the cases where have embeds a small clause, proposing that all it accomplishes is abstraction, turning the small clause into a predicate. This analysis is extended to the cases where have appears to embed DPs: These objects are interpreted as small clauses as well, with implicit predicates denoting possession or—with relational (...) nouns—nothing. (shrink)
Broad focus (or informational integration or nonautonomy) is lexically and contextually constrained, but these constraints are not well understood. On a standard theory of focus interpretation, the presupposition of a broad focus is verified whenever those of two narrow foci are. I argue that to account for cases where two narrow foci are preferred, it is necessary to assume that broad focus competes with two narrow foci and implicates the opposite of what they presuppose. Central constraints on thetic statements are (...) thus accounted for in an Optimality Theory (OT) enriched Alternative Semantics. (shrink)
This paper aims at an account of the German “reportive subjunctive”, where the mood signals that the proposition is the object of an utterance report. The report can be explicit in the sentence or in the context, or more or less implicit. We interpret these uses as a more or less local verification or accommodation of a presupposition introduced by the subjunctive, thus accounting for a range of facts and contributing to the theory of presuppositions.
Indefinites face competition at two levels: Presupposition and content. The antipresupposition hypothesis predicts that they signal the opposite of familiarity, or uniqueness, namely, novelty, or non-uniqueness. At the level of descriptive content, they are pressured from two sides: definites expressing identity and another phrases expressing difference, and Gricean reasoning predicts that indefinites signal both difference and identity and are infelicitous when definites and another phrases are felicitous. However, occasionally a space opens between the and another, for a to fill. This (...) is in part due to conditions handicapping the or another semantically, in part to another’s phonological handicap. The division of labor between determiners in the field of difference and sameness is thus the result of an intricate competition. We model this competition in a version of game-theoretic pragmatics. (shrink)
I present an analysis of Free Choice Items (FCIs), based on Scandinavian, where FCIs are complex and distinct from polarity sensitive items. Scandinavian FCIs are argued to have two components. One is a universal quantifying into modal contexts. The other is an operator mapping a type (s,t) expression onto itself, adjoining to the closest type t or (s,t) expression. Thus invoking Intensional Functional Application, this operator requires the presence of a modal in the scope of the universal quantifier. Facts concerning (...) ‘essential connections’ and ‘existential import’ are accounted for by assuming that the FC determiner has the option of acting like a quantifier. (shrink)
Johnson and Stricker published an opinion piece in the Journal of Medical Ethics presenting their perspective on the 2008 agreement between the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the Connecticut Attorney General with regard to the 2006 IDSA treatment guideline for Lyme disease. Their writings indicate that these authors hold unconventional views of a relatively common tick-transmitted bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that their opinions would clash with the IDSA's (...) evidence-based guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. Their allegations of conflict of interest against the IDSA resemble those made against the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2000, which were found to be baseless. It is the responsibility of all physicians and medical scientists to stand up to antiscientific, baseless and unethical attacks on those who support an evidence-based approach to caring for patients. (shrink)
In this article I attack the scandalous one-sidedness of traditional philosophical epistemology. I make clear its total dependence on one and only one paradigm of knowledge – propositional knowledge. Such knowledge presupposes that we are always capable of fully articulate our knowledge verbally or notationally and support it by empirical or formal reasons. On this basis it becomes quite impossible to say anything sensible about, for instance, professional knowledge, not to speak of aesthetical or moral knowledge. Some of us have (...) been aware of this for quite a while as Michael Polanyi already in 1958 pointed it out in his book Personal Knowledge. His most famous statement is: «We know more than we can tell». And he argues that we possess a great amount of tacit knowledge. Therefore we need appropriate categories for handling the various kinds of knowledge which cannot be articulated as propositional knowledge. And that is Polanyi’s weak spot. Inspired by Wittgenstein’s remark in Philosophical Investigations § 78 concerning knowing and saying how high Mont Blanc is, how the word «game» is used and how a clarinet sounds, I have developed an alternative approach where becomes propositional knowledge, becomes various forms of practical knowledge and becomes various kinds of knowledge by familiarity. is a sort of first person knowledge which we are quite unable to express verbally to someone who is unfamiliar with the instruments of the Western musical tradition. On this basis I sketchily analyse the paradigm of knowledge in traditional philosophical epistemology and point out a series of its shortcomings. In the second part of my article I take a close look at a rather new contribution to the discussion of tacit knowledge, written by one of the leading figures within the research field called «the sociology of scientific knowledge» – Harry Collins. His book is called Tacit and Explicit Knowledge and was published in 2010. And his primary aim of the book is to «reconstruct the idea of tacit knowledge from first principles so that the concept’s disparate domains have a common conceptual language». I perform a close reading of his development of the common conceptual language and conclude that he does not succeed. He creates a monstrous terminology which just alienates us from the subject instead of making us see the connections between the «disparate domains» of tacit knowledge. (shrink)
Welch :263–279, 2017) has recently proposed two possible explanations for why the field of evolutionary biology is plagued by a steady stream of claims that it needs urgent reform. It is either seriously deficient and incapable of incorporating ideas that are new, relevant and plausible or it is not seriously deficient at all but is prone to attracting discontent and to the championing of ideas that are not very relevant, plausible and/or not really new. He argues for the second explanation. (...) This paper presents a twofold critique of his analysis: firstly, the main calls for reform do not concern the field of evolutionary biology in general but rather, or more specifically, the modern evolutionary synthesis. Secondly, and most importantly, these calls are not only inspired by the factors, enumerated by Welch, but are also, and even primarily, motivated by four problematic characteristics of the modern synthesis. This point is illustrated through a short analysis of the latest reform challenge to the modern synthesis, the so-called extended evolutionary synthesis. We conclude with the suggestion that the modern synthesis should be amended, rather than replaced. (shrink)
Proposal Information: In this paper it is argued that although Spinoza, unlike other great philosophers of the Enlightenment era, never actually wrote a philosophy of education as such, he did – in his Ethics – write a philosophy of self-improvement that is deeply educational at heart. When looked at against the background of his overall metaphysical system, the educational account that emerges is one that is highly curious and may even, to some extent at least, come across as counter-intuitive in (...) a contemporary setting. This is so because it grounds the greater social and political endeavors of humanity in the individual’s striving for an ever-increasing power of acting. Hence, education, for Spinoza, is a decidedly individualistic affair, but then again, so is the making of society. Since, for Spinoza, every instance of knowledge bears the unique mark of the individual body that expresses it, one might conclude that at the foundation of every social structure is an encounter between concrete bodies; each expressing a particular perspective from where to grasp the world. I would argue, based on this, that one of Spinoza’s main contributions to educational theory is his grounding of larger social endeavors in the striving of the individual. Hinged on the striving to be more rational, as dictated by the doctrine of the conatus, education appears to offer a way of grounding the structure of the human social world in the same principles as those guiding the individual. Spinoza’s doctrine of the imitation of affects thereby offers a way of linking the egoistic striving for power on behalf of the individual with the educational goal of building a sustainable society. It does so as it conditions self-improvement by the human characteristic to imitate what others desire. By being surrounded with people who desire to be more rational, one can utilize this desire for the good and become strengthened in one’s own striving for increasing one’s degree of existence. Consequently, the teaching situation is geared for guiding students towards a more rational life, at the same time as it is geared for the self-improvement of the teacher. This aspect of self-improvement is, ultimately, what will motivate the teacher in striving to enhance the lives of his or her students in the first place. Being unable to self-improve in isolation, the doctrine of the imitation of affects dictates that the rational person will be moved toward a life of generosity, not primarily for altruistic reasons, but out of a desire to become more rational and thus to gain in his or her own power of acting. The question that follows from this, of course, is how does one go about when inculcating a desire to be more rational in one’s students?Education, from a Spinozistic point of view, is ultimately about the cultivation of the potential that lies dormant in each individual, so that a person may live a happier life as a result of understanding, more adequately, their place in the natural world. The challenge, then, becomes one of overcoming the many obstacles that prevent a person from developing their potential. Pedagogy, from this point of view, may be understood in terms of the art of offering the right amount of resistance. This notion is based on the assumption that if a student encounters no resistance – or too much resistance – his or her potential remains just that – a potential. In order to develop this potential the student needs to overcome certain barriers. With regards to this, the role of the teacher may be conceived in terms of the one balancing the amount of resistance so that the student is properly challenged but at the same time not overwhelmed. Methodology or Methods/ Research Instruments or Sources Used: The paper makes for an attempt to outline a Spinozistic philosophy of education based on readings of Spinoza’s texts – primarily the Ethics – and some of the relevant secondary literature such as Della Rocca’s influential reading of Spinoza. As such it is a philosophical inquiry seeking to interconnect some key aspects of Spinoza’s philosophy with some of the major issues of education. Methodologically, this paper argues, in line with Melamed, that rather than turning to the history of philosophy in order to identify ‘precursors to [our] own views’, so as to validate what we already believe we know, it is more fruitful to turn to past philosophers in order to ‘challenge our most basic beliefs and intuitions by studying texts that are both well-argued and strongly opposed to our commonsense’. Accordingly, turning to Spinoza marks an attempt to revisit and reconceptualize some key aspects of educational thought. Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings: A conclusion of this paper is that a Spinozistic philosophy of education would need to focus on resolving the tension between Spinoza’s egoism and education as a social project. To this end it identifies Spinoza’s doctrine of the imitation of affects as a possible link between the individual’s striving for power and the collective agenda of improving human well-being at large. It is also suggested that, in aspiring to inculcate a desire to be more rational in his or her students, the challenge for the Spinozistic teacher is to prompt the students to aspire to reach beyond the temporary satisfactions of the passions so as to acquire a more enduring sense of satisfaction and so that their well-being is more fully under their own command rather than under the command of various external influences. This, in turn, is connected with the notion of resistance in the sense that in experiencing the volatility of fortune – and thereby understanding the instability of relying on one’s passions – a person would appear to be more inclined to strive for a more enduring sense of happiness, even if this would mean giving up on some of the temporary pleasures that one has grown accustomed to. The resistance, then, may be conceived in terms of the overcoming of temporary pleasures that stand in the way of the developing of one’s potential. In this scenario the role of the teacher may be understood in terms of someone offering a well-balanced amount of resistance. This means that to accommodate one’s students – in the sense that one approaches them in terms of prospective customers, aspiring to satisfy their demands – is inimical to education insofar as the wants and desires of students are, generally speaking, caused by passive affects rather than their rational wills. References: Aloni, N.. Spinoza as Educator: From Eudaimonistic Ethics to an Empowering and Liberating Pedagogy. Educational Philosophy and Theory 40, pp. 531–544.Della Rocca, M.. Spinoza. New York: Routledge.Della Rocca, M.. Rationalism, Idealism, Monism, and Beyond. In: E. Förster & Y. Y. Melamed Spinoza and German Idealism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 7–26.Derry, J.. The Unity of Intellect and Will: Vygotsky and Spinoza. Educational Review, 56, pp. 113–120.Lloyd, G.. Spinoza and Educating the Imagination. In: A. O. Rorty Philosophers on Education: Historical Perspectives. London: Routledge, pp. 157–172.Melamed, Y. Y.. Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance and Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Nadler, S.. Eternity and Immortality in Spinoza’s Ethics. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 26, pp. 224–244.Poulimatka, T.. Spinoza’s Theory of Teaching and Indoctrination. Educational Philosophy and Theory 33, pp. 397–410.Spinoza, B.. The Ethics. In: E. Curley A Spinoza Reader: The Ethics and Other Works. Princeton: Princeton Unive. (shrink)
Although classical evolutionary theory, i.e., population genetics and the Modern Synthesis, was already implicitly ‘gene-centred’, the organism was, in practice, still generally regarded as the individual unit of which a population is composed. The gene-centred approach to evolution only reached a logical conclusion with the advent of the gene-selectionist or gene’s eye view in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas classical evolutionary theory can only work with (genotypically represented) fitness differences between individual organisms, gene-selectionism is capable of working with fitness differences (...) among genes within the same organism and genome. Here, we explore the explanatory potential of ‘intra-organismic’ and ‘intra-genomic’ gene-selectionism, i.e., of a behavioural-ecological ‘gene’s eye view’ on genetic, genomic and organismal evolution. First, we give a general outline of the framework and how it complements the—to some extent—still ‘organism-centred’ approach of classical evolutionary theory. Secondly, we give a more in-depth assessment of its explanatory potential for biological evolution, i.e., for Darwin’s ‘common descent with modification’ or, more specifically, for ‘historical continuity or homology with modular evolutionary change’ as it has been studied by evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) during the last few decades. In contrast with classical evolutionary theory, evo-devo focuses on ‘within-organism’ developmental processes. Given the capacity of gene-selectionism to adopt an intra-organismal gene’s eye view, we outline the relevance of the latter model for evo-devo. Overall, we aim for the conceptual integration between the gene’s eye view on the one hand, and more organism-centred evolutionary models (both classical evolutionary theory and evo-devo) on the other. (shrink)
Although classical evolutionary theory, i.e., population genetics and the Modern Synthesis, was already implicitly ‘gene-centred’, the organism was, in practice, still generally regarded as the individual unit of which a population is composed. The gene-centred approach to evolution only reached a logical conclusion with the advent of the gene-selectionist or gene’s eye view in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas classical evolutionary theory can only work with fitness differences between individual organisms, gene-selectionism is capable of working with fitness differences among genes (...) within the same organism and genome. Here, we explore the explanatory potential of ‘intra-organismic’ and ‘intra-genomic’ gene-selectionism, i.e., of a behavioural-ecological ‘gene’s eye view’ on genetic, genomic and organismal evolution. First, we give a general outline of the framework and how it complements the—to some extent—still ‘organism-centred’ approach of classical evolutionary theory. Secondly, we give a more in-depth assessment of its explanatory potential for biological evolution, i.e., for Darwin’s ‘common descent with modification’ or, more specifically, for ‘historical continuity or homology with modular evolutionary change’ as it has been studied by evolutionary developmental biology during the last few decades. In contrast with classical evolutionary theory, evo-devo focuses on ‘within-organism’ developmental processes. Given the capacity of gene-selectionism to adopt an intra-organismal gene’s eye view, we outline the relevance of the latter model for evo-devo. Overall, we aim for the conceptual integration between the gene’s eye view on the one hand, and more organism-centred evolutionary models on the other. (shrink)
Traditionally, Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) is largely identified with his analysis of the structure of scientific revolutions. Here, we contribute to a minority tradition in the Kuhn literature by interpreting the history of evolutionary biology through the prism of the entire historical developmental model of sciences that he elaborates in The Structure. This research not only reveals a certain match between this model and the history of evolutionary biology but, more importantly, also sheds new light (...) on several episodes in that history, and particularly on the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859), the construction of the modern evolutionary synthesis, the chronic discontent with it, and the latest expression of that discontent, called the extended evolutionary synthesis. Lastly, we also explain why this kind of analysis hasn’t been done before. (shrink)
Scholars have long been captivated by the parallels between birdsong and human speech and language. In this book, leading scholars draw on the latest research to explore what birdsong can tell us about the biology of human speech and language and the consequences for evolutionary biology. They examine the cognitive and neural similarities between birdsong learning and speech and language acquisition, considering vocal imitation, auditory learning, an early vocalization phase, the structural properties of birdsong and human language, and the striking (...) similarities between the neural organization of learning and vocal production in birdsong and human speech. After outlining the basic issues involved in the study of both language and evolution, the contributors compare birdsong and language in terms of acquisition, recursion, and core structural properties, and then examine the neurobiology of song and speech, genomic factors, and the emergence and evolution of language. Contributors: Hermann Ackermann, Gabriël J.L. Beckers, Robert C. Berwick, Johan J. Bolhuis, Noam Chomsky, Frank Eisner, Martin Everaert, Michale S. Fee, Olga Fehér, Simon E. Fisher, W. Tecumseh Fitch, Jonathan B. Fritz, Sharon M.H. Gobes, Riny Huijbregts, Eric Jarvis, Robert Lachlan, Ann Law, Michael A. Long, Gary F. Marcus, Carolyn McGettigan, Daniel Mietchen, Richard Mooney, Sanne Moorman, Kazuo Okanoya, Christophe Pallier, Irene M. Pepperberg, Jonathan F. Prather, Franck Ramus, Eric Reuland, Constance Scharff, Sophie K. Scott, Neil Smith, Ofer Tchernichovski, Carel ten Cate, Christopher K. Thompson, Frank Wijnen, Moira Yip, Wolfram Ziegler, Willem Zuidema. (shrink)
This paper investigates under what conditions a good corporate social responsibility (CSR) can compensate for a relatively poor corporate ability (CA) (quality), and vice versa. The authors conducted an experiment among business administration students, in which information about a financial services company's CA and CSR was provided. Participants indicated their preferences for the company's products, stocks, and jobs. The results show that for stock and job preferences, a poor CA can be compensated by a good CSR. For product preferences, a (...) poor CA could not be compensated by a good CSR, at least when people thought that CA is personally relevant to them. Furthermore, a poor CSR could be compensated by a good CA for product, stocks, and job preferences. (shrink)
This article explores the conceptual relations Hobbes perceived between justice, law, and property rights. I argue that Hobbes developed three distinct arguments for the State-dependency of property over time: the Security, Precision and Creation Argument. On the last and most radical argument, the sovereign creates all property rights ex nihilo through distributive civil laws. Hobbes did not achieve this radically conventionalist position easily: it was not defended consistently until the redefinition of distributive justice as a virtue of arbitrators in Leviathan. (...) The argument is partly advanced as a critique of C.B. Macpherson’s possessive individualist reading of Hobbes. (shrink)
A number of general points behind the story of this paper may be worth setting out separately, now that we have come to the end.There is perhaps one obvious omission to be addressed right away. Although the word “information” has occurred throughout this paper, it must have struck the reader that we have had nothing to say on what information is. In this respect, our theories may be like those in physics: which do not explain what “energy” is (a notion (...) which seems quite similar to “information” in several ways), but only give some basic laws about its behaviour and transmission.The eventual recommendation made here has been to use a broad type-theoretic framework for studying various more classical and more dynamic notions of proposition in their interaction. This is not quite the viewpoint advocated by many current authors in the area, who argue for a whole-sale switch from a ‘static’ to a ‘dynamic’ perspective on propositions. This is not the place, however, to survey the conceptual arguments for and against such a more radical move.This still leaves many questions about possible reductions from one perspective to another. For instance, it would seem that classical systems ought to serve as a ‘limiting case’, which should still be valid after procedural details of some cognitive process have been forgotten. There are various ways of implementing the desired correspondence: e.g. by considering extreme cases with ⫅ equal to identity, or, in the pure relational algebra framework by considering only pairs (x, x). What we shall want then are reductions of dynamic logics, in those special cases, to classical logic. But perhaps also, more sophisticated views are possible. How do we take a piece of ‘dynamic’ prose, remove control instructions and the like, and obtain a piece of ‘classical’ text, suitable for inference ‘in the light of eternity’?There is also a more technical side to the matter of ‘reduction’. By now, Logic has reached such a state of ‘inter-translatability’ that almost all known variant logics can be embedded into each other, via suitable translations. In particular, once an adequate semantic has been given for a new system, this usually induces an embedding into standard logic: as we know, e.g., for the case of Modal Logic. Like-wise, all systems of dynamic interpretation or inference proposed so far admit of direct embedding into an ordinary ‘static’ predicate logic having explicit transition predicates (cf. van Benthem 1988b). Thus, our moral is this. The issue is not whether the new systems of information structure or processing are essentially beyond the expressive resources of traditional logical systems: for, they are not. The issue is rather which interesting phenomena and questions will be put into the right focus by them.The next broad issue concerns the specific use of the perspective proposed here, vis-à-vis concrete proposals for information-oriented or dynamic semantics. The general strategy advocated here is to locate some suitable base calculus and then consider which ‘extras’ are peculiar to the proposal. For instance, this is the spirit in which modal S4 would be a base logic of information models, and intuitionistic logicthe special theory devoting itself to upward persistent propositions. Or, with the examples in Section 4.1, the underlying base logic is our relational algebra, whereas, say, ordinary updates then impose special properties, such as ‘idempotence’: $$xRy \Rightarrow yRy$$ Does this kind of application presuppose the existence of one distinguished base logic, of which all others are extensions? This would be attractive-and some form of relational algebra or linear logic might be a reasonable candidate. Nevertheless, the enterprise does not rest on this outcome. What matters is an increased sensitivity to the ‘landscape’ of dynamic logics, just as with the ‘Categorial Hierarchy’ in Categorial Grammar (cf. van Benthem 1989a, 1991) where the family of logics with their interconnections seems more important than any specific patriarch.Finally, perhaps the most important issue in the new framework is the possibility of new kinds of questions arising precisely because of its differences from standard logic. Notably, given the option of regarding propositions as programs, it will be of interest to consider systematically which major questions about programming languages now make sense inside logic too.EXAMPLE. Correctness. When do we have $$\left[\kern-0.15em\left[ \pi \right]\kern-0.15em\right](\left[\kern-0.15em\left[ A \right]\kern-0.15em\right]) \subseteq \left[\kern-0.15em\left[ B \right]\kern-0.15em\right]$$ for (s, t) propositions A, B and a dynamic (s, (s, t)) proposition π?Program Synthesis. Which dynamic proposition will take us from an information state satisfying A to one satisfying B? (This question needs refinement, lest there be trivial answers.)Determinism. Which propositions as programs are deterministic, in the sense of defining single-valued functions from states to states?Querying. What does it mean to ask for information in the present setting? (Again, individual types referring to e will be crucial here.)This is not merely an agenda for wishful thinking. Within Logic, there are various ways of introducing such concerns into semantics, especially, using tools from Automata Theory. (See van Benthem 1989c for further discussion of such computational perspectives in ‘cognitive programming’.)At least if one believes that ‘dynamics’ is of the essence in cognition (rather than a mere interfacing problem between the halls of eternal truth and the noisy streets of reality), the true test for the present enterprise is the development of a significant new research program not merely copying the questions of old. (shrink)
It is standardly assumed that a religious commitment needs to be based upon religious belief, if it is to be rationally acceptable. In this thesis, that assumption is rejected. I argue for the feasibility of belief-less religion, with a focus on the approach commonly known as “non-doxasticism”. According to non-doxasticism, a religious life might be properly based on some cognitive attitude weaker than belief, like hope, acceptance or belief-less assumption. It provides a way of being religious open exclusively to the (...) agnostic. This thesis consists of an introductory essay and five independent papers. The aim of the introductory essay is to provide a general background and set the stage for the discussion in the papers. Its first major part is about the rationality of religious belief. I assess three major ways of providing rational justification for religious belief: natural theology, the reformed epistemology of A. Plantinga and W. Alston, and voluntarism as advocated by B. Pascal and W. James. I highlight some of the most serious problems associated with these approaches, and argue that these problems are enough to warrant an exploration of belief-less alternatives. The second major part of the introductory essayintroduces belief-less religion and its two main forms: fictionalism and non-doxasticism. Both approaches are presented in some detail, including important accounts and current developments. While I would not deny thatboth approaches can be defended as intellectually feasible and rationally acceptable ways of being religious, I also explain why I think non-doxasticism is to be preferred over fictionalism. Paper I and II concerns the account of non-doxastic religion offered by J. L. Schellenberg. Paper I raises some problems for Schellenberg’s analysis of propositional faith, and presents a way of handling these problems by making faith occasional. Paper II argues that non-doxasticism should be focused on traditional religion rathar than Schellenberg’s simple ultimism. Paper III and IV concerns non-doxasticism on a more general level. Paper III argues for the superiority of non-doxasticism over fictionalism. It contains the argument for exclusive availability, according to which only non-doxasticism is rationally available to the pro-religious agnostic. Paper IV explores the notion of rational, non-doxastic faith, and argues for three desiderata any such faith must meet. Unlike the other papers, Paper V is primarily connected to the first part of the introductory essay, and it concerns the scope and limit of natural theology. It is tentatively argued that perfect being theism lies outside the scope of natural theology, and that its most prominent arguments at best support some kind of deism. (shrink)
The general verificationist thesis says that What is true can be known or formally: φ → ◊Kφ VT Fitch's argument trivializes this principle. It uses a weak modal epistemic logic to show that VT collapses truth and knowledge, by taking a clever substitution instance for φ: P ∧ ¬KP → ◊ K(P ∧ ¬KP) Then we have the following chain of three conditionals (a) ◊ K(P ∧ ¬KP) → ◊ (KP ∧ K¬KP) in the minimal modal logic for the knowledge (...) operator K, (b) ◊ (KP ∧ K¬KP) → ◊ (KP ∧¬KP) in the modal logic T, and finally (c) ◊ (KP ∧¬KP) → ⊥ in the minimal modal logic for. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to use an anaphoric notion of presupposition for solving the problem of zero argument anaphora. Since Shopen (1973) it has been known that many missing arguments have an anaphoric interpretation, but it has not been known how this interpretation arises. I argue that these arguments are involved in presuppositions. On an anaphoric account of presuppositions as in van der Sandt (1992) or Kamp and Roßdeutscher (1992), it can be shown that the zero arguments acquire (...) an anaphoric interpretation through the presuppositions. The analysis rests on the principle that the Discourse Representation Structure for the presupposition is proper, so that the discourse referents for the zero arguments are in its universe and must be anchored to discourse referents in the context. (shrink)
The distinguished Dutch cultural historian, Johan Huizinga, once observed that the 17th was the most complex and least understood of the modern European centuries. Professor Loemker, one of America’s foremost Leibniz scholars has written a learned and searching study in the intellectual history of the "baroque" century in an effort to illuminate the background of Leibniz’ synthesis of order of freedom, his system of universal harmony. The cacophonous period within which Leibniz philosophized presented an overriding geistige Aufgabe and the (...) very essence of his thought can be interpreted as a response to that task. The peculiar burden or problematic of his age required the defining of those ideals and conditions which could lead to the foundation of an adequate and more comprehensive form of order. It is the author’s conviction that the systematic thinkers of the time accomplished this "on the basis of an enlarged version of Neoplatonism, particularly the Christian Neoplatonism of St. Augustine, though they differed greatly on details.". (shrink)
A new translation of the Platonic Letters, with clear and judicious discussion of their importance and individual claims to authenticity. By comparing the ideas expressed in the epistles with those in the late dialogues, Morrow provides an excellent corrective to some earlier views that the doctrines are un-Platonic because they do not square with passages in the middle period dialogues. Letters VII and VIII, the longest and most important of the collection, are shown to have excellent claims to authenticity. An (...) important and welcome addition to our English translations and editions of Plato.--R. S. B. (shrink)
This is the first new edition of the Meno with English commentary and annotation since Thompson's in 1901. Dr. Bluck brings to bear more recent scholarship in his commentary and notes, which are judicious and thorough; and his new collations help to make the text the best available. Any account of the Meno's truth and meaning should begin with the careful textual, philological, logical, and historical considerations of the commentary and introduction of this new edition.--R. S. B.
An anthology, in German translation with brief historical and mathematical notes, of selected theorems and proofs which the author has chosen as perfect specimens of the mode of mathematical thinking reflected in the development of pure mathematics in Greece. Both the scholarship and the selection are excellent.--R. S. B.
A provocative and original interpretation of the Parmenides as constructive, positive metaphysics. By bringing together the speculative enthusiasm of the continental tradition with the more patient analysis of English scholarship Lynch has opened up a new line of inquiry and discussion.--R. S. B.
An elegant book, with careful scholarly annotation, by two scholars who believe that Plato has a contribution to offer to the thought of modern Japan. It will be interesting to see what scholars in the field say as to how far, if at all, Plato's thought must be deflected toward or from Zen Buddhism by the overtones of the language in any Japanese translation. But the choice of these three dialogues for translation evidently reflects a central interest in Plato's analyses (...) of love and desire as an attempt at building a coherent, if somewhat discursive, bridge in a Western style between finite beings in time and their background in eternity. And the Western Platonist should feel that there could perhaps be no more propitious prologue to the Symposium than the Japanese philosophic tradition expressed in Bashö's poems, such as "The Milky Way" : A stormy sea--To Sado Isle reaches The River of Heaven. --R. S. B. (shrink)