We add to the constructivist approach of Quartz & Sejnowski (Q&S) by outlining a specific classification of sources of constraint on the emergence of representations from Elman et al. (1996). We suggest that it is important to consider behavioral constructivism in addition to neural constructivism.
In the present commentary, I argue that Foster has attacked an uncharitable reconstruction of Etchemendy's argument against Tarski's account of the logical properties. I provide an alternative, more charitable reconstruction of that argument that withstands Foster's objections.
Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development.
Frank Barlow was Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Exeter. His numerous publications include fifteen books and scholarly editions, of which many have turned out to be of quite exceptional long-term importance. Barlow was a Fellow of the British Academy. Obituary by David Bates.
Through photographs and translations of Friedrich Nietzsche's evocative writings on his work sites, David Farrell Krell and Donald L. Bates explore the cities and landscapes in which Nietzsche lived and worked.
Through photographs and translations of Friedrich Nietzsche's evocative writings on his work sites, David Farrell Krell and Donald L. Bates explore the cities and landscapes in which Nietzsche lived and worked. "A brilliant juxtaposition of life and thought.... The sympathy of this pictorial biography is rivaled by few books on Nietzsche."—Charles M. Stang, _Boston Book Review_ "[A] distinguished addition to the Nietzsche-friendly corpus."—Alain de Botton, _Los Angeles Times Book Review_ "An odd and oddly endearing record of Nietzsche's travels."—John Banville, (...) _New York Review of Books_. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that the so-called Knobe-Effect constitutes an error. There is now a wealth of data confirming that people are highly prone to what has also come to be known as the ‘side-effect effect’. That is, when attributing psychological states—such as intentionality, foreknowledge, and desiring—as well as other agential features—such as causal control—people typically do so to a greater extent when the action under consideration is evaluated negatively. There are a plethora of models attempting to account for (...) this effect. We hold that the central question of interest is whether the effect represents a competence or an error in judgment. We offer a systematic argument for the claim that the burden of proof regarding this question is on the competence theorist. We sketch an account, based on the notion of the reactive attitudes, that can accommodate both the idea that these sorts of judgments are fundamentally normative and that they often constitute errors. (shrink)
The main starting point of many of the contributions collected into the book is the kind of Twin Earth considerations, along with meaning individualism. Is Putnam's claim about water in this world and a stuff in an alternative world being different materials?. Is meaning in the head? One seems allowed to be skeptical about the starting point of the debate between such as emphasize broad content and those who think that the basic semantic entities are narrow contents, which would fail (...) to be world-dependent or world-oriented. The kind of motivations prompting the essays collected into the book are likely to be regarded as in need of a deeper elucidation by such as have been more or less influenced by Quine. Pettit & McDowell's collection of essays is one of the books most scholars interested in the confines of philosophy of language and philosophy of mind will find worth reading. (shrink)
One argument for reductive physicalism, the explanatory argument, rests on its ability to explain the vast and growing body of acknowledged psychophysical correlations. Jaegwon Kim has recently levelled four objections against the explanatory argument. I assess all of Kim's objections, showing that none is successful. The result is a defence of the explanatory argument for physicalism.
When discussing governance in Africa, one must be circumspect when applying the term "democracy." One reason for doing so is because the term is imprecise. However, while differing in the attributes they posit and the qualifications they impose, those who write of democracy join in emphasizing its essential property: that it is a form of government in which political power is employed to serve the interests of the public rather than of those who govern. And it is this attribute that (...) I take as defining good governance. In this essay, I argue that democracy, in this sense, has been reborn in Africa. The evidence, I argue, strongly suggests that its renaissance has been accompanied by changes in public policies and political practices-ones that generate benefit for the people. But the evidence also suggests that political dangers remain: incumbent parties strive to suborn the electoral process and incumbent executives seek to prolong their terms in office. As elsewhere, to retain their political liberties, Africa's citizens must "remain vigilant."Paraphrasing John Adams at the Constitutional, Africa today may enjoy better governance, but "can [she] keep it.". (shrink)
Aremarkable revival of interest in Romanticism has taken place among some philosophers in recent years. Why should this be so? Romanticism has had a bad reputation among literary critics of a variety of persuasions throughout most of the twentieth century, when it was not even a topic for analytical philosophy in the English-speaking world. The philosophical movement most associated with Romanticism—German idealism—had been shunned by the curricula of a majority of the most prestigious British and American universities by the mid-twentieth (...) century. Literary modernism and then various strains of postmodernism had a self-image of having overcome Romantic illusions. (Of course, Romanticism and Romantic philosophy... (shrink)
This paper is about perception and its objects. My aim is to suggest a new way to articulate some of the central ideas of direct realism. Sections 1 and 2 offer from different perspectives a panoramic view of the main problems and options in the philosophy of perception. Section 3 introduces the notion of “camouflage” as an interesting and promising alternative in order to explain the nature of the intentional objects of perception. Finally, section 4 makes use of this new (...) notion in the analysis of the relationships between the intentionality of perception, the intentionality of thought, and the intentionality of language. (shrink)
In 1955, Goodman set out to 'dissolve' the problem of induction, that is, to argue that the old problem of induction is a mere pseudoproblem not worthy of serious philosophical attention. I will argue that, under naturalistic views of the reflective equilibrium method, it cannot provide a basis for a dissolution of the problem of induction. This is because naturalized reflective equilibrium is -- in a way to be explained -- itself an inductive method, and thus renders Goodman's dissolution viciously (...) circular. This paper, then, examines how the old problem of induction crept back in while nobody was looking. (shrink)
The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (TSE) has shaped African Americans’ views of the American health care system, contributing to a reluctance to participate in biomedical research and a suspicion of the medical system. This essay examines public discourses surrounding President Clinton’s attempt to restore African Americans’ trust by apologizing for the TSE. Through a narrative reading, we illustrate the failure of this text as an attempt to reconcile the United States Public Health Service and the African American public. We conclude by (...) noting the limitations of rhetoric when equal prominence is not given to policy proposals in national apologies. (shrink)
The basic aim of Alvin Goldman’s approach to epistemology, and the tradition it represents, is naturalistic; that is, epistemological theories in this tradition aim to identify the naturalistic, nonnormative criteria on which justified belief supervenes (Goldman, 1986; Markie, 1997). The basic method of Goldman’s epistemology, and the tradition it represents, is the reflective equilibrium test; that is, epistemological theories in this tradition are tested against our intuitions about cases of justified and unjustified belief (Goldman, 1986; Markie, 1997). I will argue (...) that the prospect of having to reject their standard methodology is one epistemologists have to take very seriously; and I will do this by arguing that some current rival theories of epistemic justification are in fact in reflective equilibrium with our intuitions about cases of justified and unjustified belief. That is, I will argue that intuition underdetermines theory choice in epistemology, in much the way that observation underdetermines theory choices in empirical sciences. If reflective equilibrium leads to the underdetermination problem I say it leads to, then it cannot satisfy the aims of contemporary epistemology, and so cannot serve as its standard methodology. (shrink)
Hegel’s “Absolute Knowing” and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida are tragi-comic consternations. They are theatres of ethical panentheism: they present dramatic “absolute” ethical interpretations and actions, each of which is at once ungrounded and completely seeded. I start with the etymology of “consternation.” Then I discuss the comic vs. tragic interpretations of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, arguing it is a consternating tragi-comedy. I analyze the predicate “absolute” in terms of consternations, in a few passages of the book. I elaborate especially upon (...) phenomenological reasoning’s Sache selbst. In the Phenomenology, reason develops by thinking the absolute thing through culture, politics, morality, and religion, reaching completion in “Absolute Knowing.” That absolute is reason’s comprehensive insight into its phenomenological absolutes, and its own absolute sublating. Northrop Frye’s cited claim about myth can be understood in this phenomenologica... (shrink)
Hannah Arendt's existential, republican concept of politics spurned Carl Schmitt's idea that enmity constituted the essence of the political. Famously, she isolated the political sphere from social conflict, sovereign regimes, and the realm of military violence. While some critics are now interested in applying Arendt's more abstract political ideas to international affairs, it has not been acknowledged that her original reconceptualization of politics was in fact driven by her analysis of global war, and in particular, the startling new challenges raised (...) by nuclear warfare. Arendt's early, unpublished manuscript on the nature of politics contains important reflections on the nature of war and empire. Surprisingly, these reflections tentatively explore the relationship between war and political freedom. A close reading of this work on war can help explain both her later, more radical non-violent concept of political action, and the difficulties she faced integrating her existential republicanism within the global context of conflict in the Cold War. (shrink)
John Etchemendy (1990) has argued that Tarski's definition of logical consequence fails as an adequate philosophical analysis. Since then, Greg Ray (1996) has defended Tarski's analysis against Etchemendy's criticisms. Here, I'll argue that--even given Ray's defense of Tarski's definition--we may nevertheless lay claim to the conditional conclusion that 'if' Tarski intended a conceptual analysis of logical consequence, 'then' it fails as such. Secondly, I'll give some reasons to think that Tarski 'did' intend a conceptual analysis of logical consequence.
The fundamental importance of theology in the work of Carl Schmitt has been the subject of much recent literature on this controversial figure. However, there has been little consensus on the precise nature of Schmitt's own political theologydecisionisminstitutional thinking,” in order to reveal the theological basis for his understanding of the new regime. I will then argue that Schmitt's institutional approach had in fact always been central to his earlier, better-known writings on law and the state. Schmitt's concept of the (...) institution, which had roots in French legal theory, grounded a political theology that was in the end less a metaphysical approach to the state than one that drew on the concrete example of the legal institutional order of the Catholic Church. (shrink)
This article consists of two important parts. The first is a specific defense of some of the central claims made by stanley cavell in "must we mean what we say" against the criticisms of fodor and katz in "the availability of what we say." the major issue concerns the question of whether evidence of some sort is needed to support a claim by a native speaker about what we mean when we say something. Further speculations on this topic occupy the (...) other part of the paper. (shrink)
The swamping problem is the problem of explaining why reliabilist knowledge (reliable true belief) has greater value than mere true belief. Swamping problem advocates see the lack of a solution to the swamping problem (i.e., the lack of a value-difference between reliabilist knowledge and mere true belief) as grounds for rejecting reliabilism. My aims here are (i) to specify clear requirements for a solution to the swamping problem that are as congenial to reliabilism's critics as possible, (ii) to clear away (...) various existing reliabilist solutions on the basis of these requirements, and (iii) to present a reliabilist solution that succeeds in meeting all of them. To meet all the requirements, my solution develops a more nuanced understanding of the epistemic end than is currently discussed, and with it a novel way of individuating beliefs. I close with a brief discussion of the question whether reliabilism's critics might impose further demands which reliabilism cannot possibly meet. (shrink)
Background: There is little research into medical students’ or doctors’ attitudes to abortion, yet knowing this is important, as policy makers should be aware of the views held by professionals directly involved in abortion provision and changing views may have practical implications for the provision of abortion in the future. Methods: We surveyed 300 medical students about their views on abortion, their beliefs about the status of the fetus and the rights of the mother, their attitude towards UK law and (...) their willingness to be involved in abortion provision as qualified doctors. Results: 62% of medical students were pro-choice, 33% pro-life and 7% undecided. Students’ views correlated with gender, year of study and holding a religious belief. Their beliefs about abortion, the status of the fetus and the rights of women significantly correlated with their attitudes towards the UK law and their willingness to be involved in abortion provision. Students’ willingness to be involved in abortion provision was related to their views on abortion, the extent of participation required, the circumstances of the pregnancy and the stage of pregnancy. Conclusions: The percentage of pro-choice students was lower than that found in research on general practitioners’ attitudes to abortion. It is unclear whether this is because students become more pro-choice as they progress through their medical career or because there is genuinely a change in attitudes to abortion. (shrink)
“Moral Character: An Empirical Theory” and “Character and Moral Psychology” represent part of the research output of the Templeton-funded Character Project, which was headed by Christian Miller. In ‘Moral Character’, Miller develops his “mixed trait” account of character. The first two parts consist in conceptual background and the empirical grounding for his account . In part three Miller develops and describes his account, before showing the extent of its application in part four . In ‘Character and Moral Psychology”, he gives (...) the reader more details about the metaphysics of his view , places it in relation to other accounts of character and personality , shows the normative and meta-ethical implications of his account , and opens a discussion of what could follow from his account in terms of improving character .The first thing to note about these books is the impressive rang .. (shrink)
The introduction of the ‘National Strategies’ for primary education in 1998, positioned ‘strategy’ as a powerful instrument for mobilising the school ‘workforce’ in England in the cause of continuous improvement. Government approaches to strategy formulation and enactment appear to reflect an instrumentalist orientation found in many mainstream strategic management publications. This paper reflects on how the strategic pursuit of quick, ‘spectacular’ gains may lead to the loss of ethics of care. Phenomenological insights into modes of being-in-the-world are drawn upon to (...) suggest that a preoccupation with strategy and its accompanying ‘toolkit’ of targets, standards and inspections diminishes a deeper engagement with the meaning and purpose of education. Based on Heidegger’s premise that understanding is at the core of being human, it is posited that the concern with ‘spectacular’ outputs is both superficial and potentially de-humanising. At the root of strategic thinking and the resulting forgetfulness of being is the Cartesian dogma and its dualistic (mis)understandings. (shrink)
Part I discusses what kind of ‘advances’ occur in Hegel's works, particularly his Philosophy of Nature. I then discuss evolution and extinction in relation to these advances. I summarize Errol Harris' view that Hegel's advances are consistent with current evolutionary theory and then critique this view using articles by Cinzia Ferinni and Alison Stone. I discuss an alternative, post-Kantian Hegelianism which dialectically unites the nature of our cognition with us as subjects that cognize (spirit). For that, I draw on Hegel's (...) claim that ‘The True is just as much Substance as Subject’, and I show how that claim is complicated in a helpful way when applied to the multiple kinds of ‘subjects’ in the Philosophy of Nature. Part II highlights the implications of biological mass extinction for these differing Hegelian theories. Part III brings the above post-Kantian dialectical Hegelianism together with the final chapter of the Phenomenology of Spirit in order to align Hegelian terminology with current solutions for mass extinction: ‘Absolute Knowing’ is a self-sacrificing and a recollecting that reinstates the subject in and through nature; such knowing generates dialectically holistic logics of survival. This recollection of life produces neither abstract spiritual self-consciousness nor a mere ‘gallery’ of extinct life forms. It is philosophical responsibility, identity through natural differences, Absolute Spirit ‘tarrying’ with its world. 21st century Hegelians should be environmentalists on Hegel's terms, a surprising conclusion given that Hegel did not anticipate environmental problems. Hegel's Philosophy of Nature may in turn help environmentalists argue against unacknowledged and badly conceived philosophies of nature. Hegel's work is not reducible to either naturalism or metaphysical idealism: reading Hegel's Philosophy of Nature in conjunction with his Phenomenology of Spirit reveals ways in which a subject, widely and complexly defined at different levels (including different species), is dialectically inseparable from substance, equally widely and complexly defined. This helps us to understand the natural depths of Spirit, which we are at risk of losing. (shrink)
Disjunctivism in philosophy of perception maintains that whereas veridical perceptions are relational states involving objects of the external world, illusions and hallucinations are non-relational states of the subjects. Veridical and non veridical perceptions could be subjectively indistinguishable, but this fact would not be able to support fundamental psychological explanations. Disjunctivism has to face some important problems. The aim of this paper is to explore a peculiar elaboration of disjunctivism able to face them. Our proposal intends to be substantive, offering a (...) counterfactual explanation of the differences between veridicaland non veridical perceptions. We will arrive to an a posteriori disjunctivism for some relevant types of perceptual experiences. The a posteriori character of our position will be consequent with the external nature of the intentional objects of veridical perceptions. But our disjunctivism will be concerned only with types of perceptual experiences. That way, it could make room for many sorts of internalist psychological explanations in the context of a general disjunctivist approach. (shrink)