This article investigates the relation between freedom, the public use of reason, and sensus communis, as discussed throughout Kant’s political writings and critical works. Kant’s discussion of the public use of reason, as put forth in "What Is Enlightenment?" is closely tied to his views on autonomy, most notably in the political sphere. However, Kant’s distinction between the public and private uses of reason relies upon sensus communis as discussed in the Critique of Judgment. The communicability achieved by sensus communis (...) has a relevance not restricted only to Kant’s explicitly political writings; sensus communis is also what we might call “transcendentally significant.” In this article, I argue that the public use of reason—a use of reason achieved by sensus communis—is vital for reason itself to follow its own normative demands. I conclude that sensus communis itself grounds reason’s use for its own critique. (shrink)
In the first part of chapter 2 of book II of the Physics Aristotle addresses the issue of the difference between mathematics and physics. In the course of his discussion he says some things about astronomy and the ‘ ‘ more physical branches of mathematics”. In this paper I discuss historical issues concerning the text, translation, and interpretation of the passage, focusing on two cruxes, the first reference to astronomy at 193b25–26 and the reference to the more physical branches at 194a7–8. In (...) section I, I criticize Ross’s interpretation of the passage and point out that his alteration of has no warrant in the Greek manuscripts. In the next three sections I treat three other interpretations, all of which depart from Ross's: in section II that of Simplicius, which I commend; in section III that of Thomas Aquinas, which is importantly influenced by a mistranslation of, and in section IV that of Ibn Rushd, which is based on an Arabic text corresponding to that printed by Ross. In the concluding section of the paper I describe the modern history of the Greek text of our passage and translations of it from the early twelfth century until the appearance of Ross's text in 1936. (shrink)
This introduction presents the articles contained in this special issue of Philosophy and Social Criticism on the topic of populism. It does so by placing them in the field of discussions that the standard conception of populism as ‘illliberal democracy’ has stimulated in many areas of the populism-research that was produced in response to the recent increase in populist governments in established constitutional democracies world-wide. Following the methodological canon of studies in the field, it presents the individual contributions roughly in (...) three segments according to leading questions they focus on. In each segment, the introduction attempts to indicate the degree to which the articles depart and provide reasons for departing from the initial standard conception and thereby point to new relevant directions for further work. The first segment consists of essays that take on the definitional and empirical question of what and where populism is, and which varieties of it there are. The second segment presents new work focusing on the diagnostic question of what conditions and institutional conditions enable contemporary populism in established liberal constitutional representative democracies. They thus also aim at explaining or at least providing insight into the structures on the supply side that make populism popular as an `outsider option'. The third and largest segment comprises essays that present various approaches to answering the therapeutic question what democratic political systems and societies can do to confront, absorb or internalize the lessons from populist challenges. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that the formalisms for decoherence originally devised to deal just with closed or open systems can be subsumed under a general conceptual framework, in such a way that they cooperate in the understanding of the same physical phenomenon. This new perspective dissolves certain conceptual difficulties of the einselection program but, at the same time, shows that the openness of the quantum system is not the essential ingredient for decoherence. †To contact the authors, please write to: (...) Mario Castagnino, CONICET-IAFE, Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, Casilla de Correos 67, Sucursal 28, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina; Roberto Laura, IFIR-Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Av. Pellegrini 250, 2000 Rosario, Argentina; Olimpia Lombardi, CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, C. Larralde 3440, 6°D, 1430, Buenos Aires; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
If we supply a missing connection in the master text of English Renaissance poetic theory, we can bring the dilemma posed by political poetry into sharp relief. Sidney’s Defence of Poesie seeks to confirm the supremacy of the poet’s power over human minds by invoking the celebrated three-way distinction between poetry, philosophy, and history in the Poetics. According to Sidney, the proper question to ask of poetry is not “whether it were better to have a particular act truly or falsely (...) set down” but “whether it be better to have it set down as it should be, … for your own use and learning.” On this criterion, the philosopher shows himself too devoted to “knowledge” that “standeth upon the abstract and general,” to the “precept,” to “what should be.” The historian attends too much to “the particular truth of things and not to the general reason of things,” to the “example,” to “what is.” Only the poet “coupleth the general notion with the particular example” in “the speaking picture of poesy,” thus synthesizing through his “imaginative and judging power” the best that the philosophical and historical domains can offer. “Aristotle himself,” concludes Sidney, “plainly determineth this question, saying that poetry … is more philosophical and more studiously serious than history … because poesy dealeth with … the universal consideration, and the history with … the particular.” Yet in mounting his Defence of Poesie, Sidney fails to give due force to a related and equally important distinction drawn from the Poetics. Aristotle ranks poetry below philosophy—and, by implication, history as well—at the crucial juncture where ontology and epistemology meet. He exclusively credits philosophical universals with rational “necessity.” Poetic universals are recognized as having imaginative “likelihood,” but no more than this.1 Under this second three-way distinction, the domain proper to poetry turns out to be neither the realm of historical fact nor that of philosophical truth but some half-region of the truthlike, the verisimilar, disjoint from the plane of knowledge.[…]Milton coped with the questions intrinsic to political poetry during the decade from 1642 to 1652 when he rose to prominence as a pamphleteer on public issued and concurrently pioneered the writing of political sonnets in English. This essay examines the responses he made, in part in his prose but mainly in the composition of seven sonnets. Political poems in a root sense, these sonnets concern themselves with human agency channeled into the functions of the state, with power manifested through governance. After exploratory and uneven beginnings, the group as a whole goes a fair way toward vindicating the enterprise of political poetry and offering one set of criteria for a good political poem. 1. The core distinctions are drawn by Aristotle in chap. 9, secs. 2-4, of the Poetics; also see chap. 1, sec. 1 of the Topics on the distinction between demonstration, based on reasoning from true knowledge, and dialectic, based on reasoning from what is generally accepted as probable. The quotations in this paragraph are from Sidney: A Defence of Poetry, ed. J. A. Van Dorsten , pp. 35, 32, 33, 35. Janel Mueller is professor of English and humanities at the University of Chicago. She has published mainly on poetry and prose of the earlier English Renaissance, culminating in her book The Native Tongue and the Word: Developments in English Prose Style, 1380-1580. An interest in Milton, however, has drawn her more recently to work in the later part of this period. She is writing a book on nature, culture, and gender in Milton’s major poems. (shrink)
Le canon 812 du Code de droit canon de 1983 exige que ceux qui enseignent une discipline théologique dans une université catholique aient un mandatum de la part de l’autorité ecclésiastique compétente. Entre insistances et rappels à l’ordre romains, s’en suivirent aux Etats-Unis neuf ans de consultations, discussions et conflits qui impliquèrent évêques, présidents d’universités et théologiens. Il y a là un fait théologique et ecclésial dont les Eglises d’autres pays n’ont pas fait la même expérience. L’examen des enjeux ecclésiologiques (...) de ces péripéties constitue l’objet de ces réflexions qui représentent ainsi une sorte de lettre théologique des Etats-Unis. Pourquoi l’acuité de la question dans ce pays ? Comment comprendre le mandatum avec l’emploi du concept de communion ? Qu’est-ce que ce mandatum comme fait historique et comme institution ecclésiale ? Telles sont les questions auxquelles tente de répondre J.G. Mueller dans cet article.Canon 812 of the Code of Canon Law of 1983 requires that those who teach a theological discipline in a Catholic university have a mandatum from the competent church authority. In between Rome’s insistence and calls to order, there followed nine years of consultations, discussions, and conflicts in the United States involving bishops, university presidents, and theologians. This is a theological and ecclesial fact of which Churches in other countries have not had the same experience. An examination of the ecclesiological stakes of these vicissitudes constitutes the subject of these reflections, which represents a sort of theological letter from the United States. Why the acuity of the question in this country? How can we understand the mandatum by using the concept of communion? What is this mandatum as a historical fact and as an ecclesiastical institution? Such are the questions that J.G. Mueller attempts to answer in this article. (shrink)
The Logical Foundations of Social Theory describes Gert Mueller’s argument that physical, biological, social, moral, and cultural reality form an asymmetrical hierarchy of founding and controlling relationships that condition social reality rather than mechanically determining it. This book analyzes social stratification, the moral order, and culture systems.
_The Temporality of Political Obligation _offers a critique and reconceptualization of the ways in which our political obligations – what we owe to political authorities and communities, and the reasons why we ought to obey their rules – have been traditionally conceptualized, justified, and contested. Drawing from theories of time and temporality, Justin Mueller demonstrates some of the unacknowledged assumptions and theoretical blind spots shared among these ostensibly opposed positions, and the problems and contradictions that this neglect of time poses. (...) Enriching the literature on the philosophers Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze, Mueller demonstrates how their theoretical frameworks on time can be used to analyze a political problem that is usually confined to the concerns of normative liberal democratic theory. Politically, this book provides readers with the means to better identify and analyze the diverse temporalities they encounter in everyday life, and better understand their experiences of them. A welcomed and timely read which will be of interest to scholars involved in recent efforts to engage with the social and political dimensions and consequences of time and temporality. (shrink)
A survey of Euclid's Elements, this text provides an understanding of the classical Greek conception of mathematics and its similarities to modern views as well as its differences. It focuses on philosophical, foundational, and logical questions — rather than strictly historical and mathematical issues — and features several helpful appendixes.
Background Regarding controversial medical services, many have argued that if physicians cannot in good conscience provide a legal medical intervention for which a patient is a candidate, they should refer the requesting patient to an accommodating provider. This study examines what US physicians think a doctor is obligated to do when the doctor thinks it would be immoral to provide a referral. Method The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 2000 US physicians from all specialties. The (...) primary criterion variable was agreement that physicians have a professional obligation to refer patients for all legal medical services for which the patients are candidates, even if the physician believes that such a referral is immoral. Results Of 1895 eligible physicians, 1032 (55%) responded. 57% of physicians agreed that doctors must refer patients regardless of whether or not the doctor believes the referral itself is immoral. Holding this opinion was independently associated with being more theologically pluralistic, describing oneself as sociopolitically liberal, and indicating that respect for patient autonomy is the most important bioethical principle in one's practice (multivariable ORs, 1.6–2.4). Conclusions Physicians are divided about a professional obligation to refer when the physician believes that referral itself is immoral. These data suggest there is no uncontroversial way to resolve conflicts posed when patients request interventions that their physicians cannot in good conscience provide. (shrink)
For most observers of economics from both inside and outside the science, the term economics is synonymous with neoclassical economics. It is the methodology of neoclassical economics that defines the discipline of economics. Mainstream economics is neoclassical economics and anyone entering the discipline today who wishes to obtain an appointment at one of the leading universities of the world is well advised to master its techniques. The fact that virtually every winner of a Nobel prize from Paul Samuelson up to (...) his student Joseph Stiglitz has been a practitioner of neoclassical economics is ample proof of the methodologys triumph. Despite the dominance of this methodology, however, neoclassical economics has been subject to a steady stream of criticisms and proposals for alternative methodological approaches throughout its life. This article focuses on two relatively recent challenges to the neoclassical orthodoxy that seem to have taken hold of a non-negligible minority of the profession, some of whom can be found at leading universities. These two challenges come from behavioural economics and evolutionary economics. The article describes the strengths and weaknesses of both of these methodological approaches and contrasts them with that of neoclassical economics. It concludes that all three methodologies have something positive to contribute to the study of human behaviour. Key Words: neoclassical economics behavioural economics evolutionary economics. (shrink)
Two things about Hilary Putnam have not changed throughout his career: some (including Putnam himself) have regarded him as a “realist” and some have seen him as a philosopherwho changed his positions (certainly with respect to realism) almost continually. Apparently, what realism meant to him in the 1960s, in the late seventies and eighties, and in the nineties, respectively, are quite different things. Putnam indicates this by changing preﬁxes: scientiﬁc, metaphysical, internal, pragmatic, commonsense, but always realism. Encouraged by Putnam’s own (...) attempts to distinguish his views from one time to another, his work is often regarded as split between an early period of “metaphysical realism” (his characterization) and a later and still continuing period of “internal realism”. Late Putnam is understood to be a view that insists on the primacy of our practices, while the early period is taken to be a view from outside these, a “God’s Eye view”. As Putnam himself stresses (1992b), this way of dividing his work obscures continuities, the most important of which is a continuing attempt to understand what is involved in judging practices of inquiry, like science, as being objectively correct. Thus Putnam’s early and his current work appear to have more in common than the division between “early” and “late” suggests. In fact, Putnam’s earlier writings owe much of their critical force to his adopting the pragmatic perspective of an open-minded participant in practices of empirical inquiry, a stance not explicitly articulated in these writings but rather taken simply as a matter of course.1 Thus insofaras Putnam’s early writings defend a form of representational realism, they can be regarded as attempts to articulate a realist position at work inside our ordinary practices of making empirical judgments. For this reason, we begin our review of Putnam’s realisms by extracting from the early writings a core of principles that carries over into his current work but underwent signiﬁcantly different interpretations over time.. (shrink)
: Dr. Smith is an internist in private practice who works at an inner city clinic affiliated with a university hospital. He is also a member of the university faculty. Many of Dr. Smith’s patients have type 2 diabetes mellitus and struggle with health care and other costs. Thinking about opportunities to better serve his patients and advance his career, Dr. Smith considers conducting clinical research in his office. ACME is a respected pharmaceutical company that for decades has engaged in (...) research, development, and production of widely used drugs. Several of ACME’s oral agents for type 2 diabetes will soon go off patent. In an effort to retain its market share in this class of drugs, ACME wants to complete clinical trials expeditiously and obtain approval for its new oral hypoglycemic medicine. The company approaches Dr. Smith to be a coinvestigator in its multicenter clinical trial. (shrink)
Quine claims that holism (i.e., the Quine-Duhem thesis) prevents us from defining synonymy and analyticity (section 2). In Word and Object, he dismisses a notion of synonymy which works well even if holism is true. The notion goes back to a proposal from Grice and Strawson and runs thus: R and S are synonymous iff for all sentences T we have that the logical conjunction of R and T is stimulus-synonymous to that of S and T. Whereas Grice and Strawson (...) did not attempt to defend this definition, I try to show that it indeed gives us a satisfactory account of synonymy. Contrary to Quine, the notion is tighter than stimulus-synonymy – particularly when applied to sentences with less than critical semantic mass (section 3). Now according to Quine, analyticity could be defined in terms of synonymy, if synonymy were to make sense: A sentence is analytic iff synonymous to self-conditionals. This leads us to the following notion of analyticity: S is analytic iff, for all sentences T, the logical conjunction of S and T is stimulus-synonymous to T; an analytic sentence does not change the semantic mass of any theory to which it may be conjoined (section 4). This notion is tighter than Quine's stimulus-analyticity; unlike stimulus-analyticity, it does not apply to those sentences from the very center of our theories which can be assented to come what may, even though they are not synthetic in the intuitive sense (section 5). Conclusion: We can have well-defined notions of synonymy and analyticity even if we embrace Quine's holism, naturalism, behaviorism, and radical translation. Quine's meaning skepticism is to be repudiated on Quinean grounds. (shrink)
Standard interpretations of Kant’s transcendental idealism take it as a commitment to the view that the objects of cognition are structured or made by conditions imposed by the mind, and therefore to what Van Cleve calls “honest-to-God idealism”. Against this view, many more recent investigations of Kant’s theory of representation and cognitive significance have been able to show that Kant is committed to a certain form of Mental Content Externalism, and therefore to the realist view that the objects involved in (...) experience and empirical knowledge are mind-independent particulars. Some of these recent interpreters have taken this result to demonstrate an internal incompatibility between Kant‘s transcendental idealism and his own model of cognitive content and the environmental conditions of empirical knowledge. Against this suggestion, this article argues that, while Kant’s theory of content is indeed best construed as externalist, an adequately adjusted form of transcendental idealism is not only compatible with this externalism, but in fact supports it. More generally, the article develops the position that mental content externalism cannot force the adoption of metaphysical realism. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In its attempt to prove that voters, politicians, and bureaucrats are motivated by the public interest, Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics overlooks a great deal of public-choice research, to which much has been added during the two decades since it was published. The importance of self-interest at both the micro and macro levels of politics becomes clear once one looks not simply at the ?inputs? of a democracy but at its ?outputs? as well. The prevalence of interest (...) groups, the dysfunction of the United States tax code, the lobbying by unions for their members? self-interest, the earmarks in the Patriot Act, the numerous cases of corruption in Western democracies, and the dissatisfaction of citizens with their governments? failings all point to the importance of self-interest in politics. (shrink)
Poorly understood, linked in complex ways to ideas about race and European identity, and the focus today of an ethically vexed and rapidly expanding testing industry, cystic fibrosis is a relatively common life-threatening genetic disorder in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Many genetic diseases are invisible to the general public, but CF is a high-profile genetic disease, often characterized as a “white” disease though it occurs in many populations. Over the last five years it has (...) become the focus of genetic screening programs of many kinds, but especially for newborns, all over the world. CF is also a scientifically interesting genetic disease. By the simple if imperfect .. (shrink)
State governments provide preprinted advance directive forms to the general public. However, many adults in the United States (US) lack the skills necessary to read and comprehend health care-related materials. In this study, we sought to determine the readability of state government-sponsored advance directive forms.
The burden of this piece is to draw together into a coherent whole the somewhat diverse strands of Israel Scheffler's thought on the philosophy of religion. Extrapolating from personal discussions with Professor Scheffler, various of his books, articles, and other unpublished materials authored and kindly provided by him, I contend that he adumbrates a post-empiricist rendering of religious belief which masterfully avoids some philosophical problems, while unwittingly giving rise to others. Committed to the view that the methodology of science â (...) in one or other of its more acceptable guises â provides the most reliable measure of the content and structure of reality. Scheffler is bound conceptually to redefine Jewish belief in such a way that the traditional conflict between religion and science never emerges. Consistent with this end, he is concerned to divest traditional Judaism of its metaphysical garb, so that what remains are simply the matters of living to which religion ought properly on his view address itself. The Bible is thus reconceptualized as a piece of rich literature, of no real difference in logical kind to any other piece of rich literature, except that it defines uniquely, along with the Torah and other relevant Jewish literature, the history of the particular community whose perception of human values and meaningfulness forms the core of what it is to be Jewish. (shrink)
Recently, Kenneth Westphal has presented a highly interesting and innovative reading of Kant's critical philosophy.2 This reading continues a tradition of Kantscholarship of which, e.g., Paul Guyer's work is representative, and in which the antiidealistic potential of Kant's critical philosophy is pitted against its idealistic selfunderstanding. Much of the work in this tradition leaves matters at observing the tensions this introduces in Kant's work. But Westphal's proposed interpretation goes farther. Its attractiveness derives for the most part from the promise that (...) it permits an internal critique of Kant's transcendental idealism (TI), that is, a critique that is based on the very resources of Kantian transcendental philosophy.3 In contrast to these resources, which currently seem to go through a sort of revival in an enormous array of fields, TI is notorious for dismaying even sympathetic interpreters. How attractive and needed such an internal critique of TI would be becomes all the more patent when we place such a promise in the context of some of the contemporary discussions about TI after Allison's famous defense of it. Before directly engaging with Westphal's interpretation, I would therefore like to quickly sketch on what background it acquires its force (I). After characterizing the main features of Westphal's view (II), and supporting it in more detail by an account of Kant's theory of cognitive significance (III), I then want to review the extent of its success to present Kant as issuing an anti-skeptical argument (IV.1), or semantic views that are incompatible with TI (IV.2), or a 'proof of not merely empirical realism' (IV.3). I agree that purely idealist readings of Kant are mistaken. Westphal's... (shrink)
Formal axiology is based on the logical nature of meaning, namely intension, and on the structure of intension as a set of predicates. It applies set theory to this set of predicates. Set theory is a certain kind of mathematics that deals with subsets in general, and of finite and infinite sets in particular. Since mathematics is objective and a priori, formal axiology is an objective and a priori science; and a test based on it is an objective test based (...) on an objective standard.1. (shrink)