The paper offers a theoretical investigation into the sources of normativity in practical argumentation. The chief question is: Do we need objectively-minded, unbiased arguers or can we count on “good” argumentative processes in which individual biases cancel each other out? I address this question by analysing a detailed structure of practical argument and its varieties, and by discussing the tenets of a comparative approach to practical reason. I argue that given the comparative structure proposed, reasoned advocacy in argumentative activity upholds (...) reasonableness whenever that activity is adequately designed. I propose some basic rules for such a design of practical argumentation. (shrink)
ABSTRACTConventionalism once seemed an attractive way to justify the viability of the positivistic social thesis. Subsequent criticism, however, has significantly lessened its attractiveness. This paper attempts to revive jurisprudential interest in conventionalism by claiming that positivists would profit more from the conventionalism of Ruth G. Millikan than that of David Lewis.Three arguments are proffered to support this contention. First, Millikan's conventionalism is not vulnerable to the major criticism leveled at conventionalism, viz its compliance-dependence, as this is not its defining feature. (...) Second, Millikanian conventionalism retains conventionalism's ability to explain how law emerges from social practices while avoiding the main disadvantage of Lewisian conventionalism, viz its inability to explain the normativity and contestability of law. Third, Millikan's conventionalism can more effectively repel Dworkin's and Greenberg's assaults on legal positivism than its Lewisian counterpart.To the memory of Maurice O'Brien. (shrink)
Second part of the translation into Spanish of David Lewis' "New Work for a Theory of Universals", corresponding to the last sections of the original paper. || Segunda parte de la traducción al español del trabajo de David Lewis "New Work for a Theory of Universals", correspondiente a últimas secciones del artículo original. Artículo original publicado en: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 61, No. 4, Dec. 1983, pp. 343-377.
In an educational landscape dominated by discourses and practices of learning, standardized testing, and the pressure to succeed, what space and time remain for studying? In this book, Tyson E. Lewis argues that studying is a distinctive educational experience with its own temporal, spatial, methodological, aesthetic, and phenomenological dimensions. Unlike learning, which presents the actualization of a student’s "potential" in recognizable and measurable forms, study emphasizes the experience of potentiality, freed from predetermined outcomes. Studying suspends and interrupts the conventional logic (...) of learning, opening up a new space and time for educational freedom to emerge. Drawing upon the work of Italian philosopher and critical theorist Giorgio Agamben, Lewis provides a conceptually and poetically rich account of the interconnections between potentiality, freedom, and study. Through a mixture of educational critique, phenomenological description, and ontological analysis, Lewis redeems study as an invaluable and urgent educational experience that provides alternatives to the economization of education and the cooptation of potentiality in the name of efficiency. The resulting discussion uncovers multiple forms of study in a variety of unexpected places: from the political poetry of Adrienne Rich, to tinkering classrooms, to abandoned manifestos, and, finally, to Occupy Wall Street. By reconnecting education with potentiality this book provides an educational philosophy that undermines the logic of learning and assessment, and turns our attention to the interminable paradoxes of studying. The book will be key reading for scholars in the fields of educational philosophy, critical pedagogy, foundations of education, composition and rhetoric, and critical thinking and literacy studies. (shrink)
This paper argues that intuition plays a role in the diagnosis of schizophrenia and presents its phenomenological rationale. A discussion of self-assessment questionnaires and empirical studies in the clinical setting provides evidence that despite the prevalence of operational diagnosis, the intuitive judgment of schizophrenia continues to take place. Two related notions of intuitive diagnosis are presented: Minkowski’s diagnostic by penetration and Rümke’s praecox feeling. Further on, the paper explores and clarifies the phenomenology behind the praecox feeling. First, it is argued, (...) intuitive diagnosis is neither a feeling nor an experience, but a typification operating at an implicit level. Second, it is not simply subjective as spatially it takes place in the in-between of the clinical interaction. Finally, it is not just momentary, but temporally extended, and, hence, partly reflective. The paper suggests that intuitive diagnosis requires critical testing on the side of the psychiatrist to either confirm or falsify it through reflective operations. In conclusion, the merits and shortcomings of intuitive vs. operational diagnosis are presented. (shrink)
This paper offers a new way to make sense of disagreement expansion from a polylogical perspective by incorporating various places in addition to players and positions into the analysis. The concepts build on prior implicit ideas about disagreement space by suggesting how to more fully account for argumentative context, and its construction, in large-scale complex controversies. As a basis for our polylogical analysis, we use a New York Times news story reporting on an oil train explosion—a significant point in the (...) broader controversy over producing oil and gas via hydraulic fracturing. (shrink)
This article addresses the question whether skiing as a nature sport enables practitioners to develop a rapport with nature, or rather estranges and insulates them from their mountainous ambiance. To address this question, I analyse a recent skiing movie from a psychoanalytical perspective and from a neuro-scientific perspective. I conclude that Jean-Paul Sartre’s classical but egocentric account of his skiing experiences disavows the technicity involved in contemporary skiing as a sportive practice for the affluent masses, which actually represents an urbanisation (...) of the sublime, symptomatic for the current era. (shrink)
Contemporary Natural Philosophy is understood here as a project of the pursuit of the integrated description of reality distinguished by the precisely formulated criteria of objectivity, and by the assumption that the statements of this description can be assessed only as true or false according to clearly specified verification procedures established with the exclusive goal of the discrimination between these two logical values, but not with respect to any other norms or values established by the preferences of human collectives or (...) by the individual choices. This distinction assumes only logical consistency, but not completeness. Completeness is desirable, but may be impossible. This paper is not intended as a comprehensive program for the development of the Contemporary Natural Philosophy but rather as a preparation for such program advocating some necessary revisions and extensions of the methodology currently considered as the scientific method. This is the actual focus of the paper and the reason for the reference to Baconian _idola mentis_. Francis Bacon wrote in _Novum Organum_ about the fallacies obstructing progress of science. The present paper is an attempt to remove obstacles for the Contemporary Natural Philosophy project to which we have assigned the names of the Idols of the Number, the Idols of the Common Sense, and the Idols of the Elephant. (shrink)
For many philosophical thinkers down through the centuries, the notion of a creation out of sheer nothing has been found to be quite unintelligible. Nevertheless the idea of creation preserves an important insight and needs to be freed from the difficulties of this traditional formulation. Alfred North Whitehead has offered an alternative theory of creation worth exploring: each individual actuality creates itself out of prior creative acts. God then serves to direct this creative process.
This selection of articles by Lewis E. Hahn addresses the philosophical school of contextualism and four contemporary American philosophers: John Dewey, Henry Nelson Wieman, Stephen C. Pepper, and Brand Blanshard. Stressing the relatively recent contextualistic worldview, which he considers one of the best world hypotheses, Hahn seeks to achieve a broad perspective within which all things may be given their due place. After providing a brief outline, Hahn explains contextualism in relation to other philosophies. In his opening chapter, as in (...) later chapters, he expresses contextualism as a form of pragmatic naturalism. In spite of Hahn’s high regard for contextualism, however, he does not think it would be good if we were limited to a single worldview. “The more different views we have and the more different sources of possible light we have, the better our chances that some of these cosmic maps will shed light on our world and our place in it.”. (shrink)
In the book, I argue that the mind can be explained computationally because it is itself computational—whether it engages in mental arithmetic, parses natural language, or processes the auditory signals that allow us to experience music. All these capacities arise from complex information-processing operations of the mind. By analyzing the state of the art in cognitive science, I develop an account of computational explanation used to explain the capacities in question.
Consider a cat on a mat. On the one hand, there seems to be just one cat, but on the other there seem to be many things with as good a claim as anything in the vicinity to being a cat. Hence, the problem of the many. In his ‘Many, but Almost One,’ David Lewis offered two solutions. According to the first, only one of the many is indeed a cat, although it is indeterminate exactly which one. According to the (...) second, the many are all cats, but they are almost identical to each other, and hence they are almost one. For Lewis, the two solutions do not compete with each other but are mutually complementary, as each one can assist the other. This paper has two aims: to give some reasons against the first of these two solutions, but then to defend the second as a self-standing solution from Lewis’s considerations to the contrary. (shrink)
Alan Turing’s influence on subsequent research in artificial intelligence is undeniable. His proposed test for intelligence remains influential. In this paper, I propose to analyze his conception of intelligence by relying on traditional close reading and language technology. The Turing test is interpreted as an instance of conceptual engineering that rejects the role of the previous linguistic usage, but appeals to intuition pumps instead. Even though many conceive his proposal as a prime case of operationalism, it is more plausibly viewed (...) as a stepping stone toward a future theoretical construal of intelligence in mechanical terms. To complete this picture, his own conceptual network is analyzed through the lens of distributional semantics over the corpus of his written work. As it turns out, Turing’s conceptual engineering of the notion of intelligence is indeed quite similar to providing a precising definition with the aim of revising the usage of the concept. However, that is not its ultimate aim: Turing is after a rich theoretical understanding of thinking in mechanical, i.e., computational, terms. (shrink)
Since 1989, clinical ethics consultation in form of hospital ethics committees was established in most of the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Up to now, the similarities and differences between HECs in Central and Eastern Europe and their counterparts in the U.S. and Western Europe have not been determined. Through search in literature databases, we have identified studies that document the implementation of clinical ethics consultation in Central and Eastern Europe. These studies have been analyzed under the following (...) aspects: mode of establishment of HECs, character of consultation they provide, and their composition. The results show that HECs in the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe differ from their western-European or U.S. counterparts with regard to these three aspects. HECs were established because of centrally imposed legal regulations. Little initiatives in this area were taken by medical professionals interested in resolving emerging ethical issues. HECs in the transition countries concentrate mostly on review of research protocols or resolution of administrative conflicts in healthcare institutions. Moreover, integration of non-professional third parties in the workings of HECs is often neglected. We argue that these differences can be attributed to the historical background and the role of medicine in these countries under the communist regime. Political and organizational structures of healthcare as well as education of healthcare staff during this period influenced current functioning of clinical ethics consultation in the transition countries. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to propose foundations for a formal model of representation and numerical evaluation of a possibly broad class of arguments, including those that occur in natural discourse. Since one of the most characteristic features of everyday argumentation is the occurrence of convergent reasoning, special attention should be paid to the operation ⊕, which allows us to calculate the logical force of convergent arguments with an accuracy not offered by other approaches.
In this paper, the Author reviewed the typical objections against the claim that brains are computers, or, to be more precise, information-processing mechanisms. By showing that practically all the popular objections are based on uncharitable interpretations of the claim, he argues that the claim is likely to be true, relevant to contemporary cognitive science, and non-trivial.
This work argues for the need to close the gap between the fields of the philosophy of religion and religious studies. Thomas A. Lewis takes up what, in recent years, has often been seen as a fundamental reason for excluding religious ethics and philosophy of religion from religious studies: their explicit normativity. Against this presupposition, Lewis argues that normativity is pervasive--not unique to ethics and philosophy of religion--and therefore not a reason to exclude them from religious studies. He bridges more (...) philosophical and historical subfields by arguing for the importance of history to the philosophy of religion. He considers the future of religious ethics, explaining that the field as whole should learn from the methodological developments associated with recent work in comparative religious ethics and 'comparative religious ethics' should no longer be conceived as a distinct subfield. The concluding chapter engages broader, post-9/11 arguments about the importance of studying religion, arguing that prominent contemporary notions of 'religious literacy' actually hinder our ability to grasp the significance of religion and impact in the world today. (shrink)
First part of the translation into Spanish of David Lewis' "New Work for a Theory of Universals", corresponding to the introduction and the first two sections of the original paper. || Primera parte de la traducción al español del trabajo de David Lewis "New Work for a Theory of Universals", correspondiente a la introducción y las dos primeras secciones del artículo original. Artículo original publicado en: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 61, No. 4, Dec. 1983, pp. 343-377.
Our new journal Philosophies is devoted to the search for a synthesis of philosophical and scientific inquiry. It promotes philosophical work derived from the experience of diverse scientific disciplines. [...].