According to the Particularist Theory of Events, events are real things that have a spatiotemporal location. I argue that some events do not have a spatial location in the sense required by the theory. These events are ordinary, nonmental events like Smith’s investigating the murder and Carol’s putting her coat on the chair. I discuss the significance of these counterexamples for the theory.
Computer programs are used to obtain and store information about the online activities of users of the web. Many people are concerned about this practice because they believe that it can violate users' rights to privacy or result in violations of them. This belief is based on the assumption that the information obtained and stored with the use of the programs includes personal information. My main aim in this paper is to argue that this assumption is false. I discuss the (...) import of this result for computer ethics. If my thesis is correct, using the programs cannot violate a person's right to privacy and cannot result in violations of a right to privacy. Nevertheless it is prima facie morally wrong because, as I explain, it encourages people to perform actions that diminish the well-being of others. I discuss the implications of my thesis for the obligations of online businesses with regard to the relevant information. (shrink)
Each of the following sentences expresses a strong intuition about physical things: (a) a physical object is a three-dimensional spatial thing; (b) some physical things can, in the strict sense, remain the same thing through minor changes in their parts; (c) if x and y are physical things with the same spatiotemporal location, then x is strictly identical with y; (d) if x is a proper part of an existing physical thing and x occupies an occupiable region of space, then (...) x is itself an existing physical thing. There is a familiar argument that purports to prove that not all of (a)--(d) can be part of our ordinary concept of a physical thing. Its strategy for defending this claim is showing that at least one of (a)--(d) must-be false. The reason it gives for concluding that (a)--(d) are inconsistent is, appropriately, that they give rise to a paradox: according to the argument, (c) commits us to identifying products of a part-loss, yet (a), (b), and (d) yield the result that the products are different things. (shrink)
That no member of a natural kind can switch kinds is a consequence of David Wiggins’ view that the identity conditions for such things are given by the natural kind itself. If dog is a natural kind, then dogs must be dogs and one dog cannot ‘turn into’ something else, say, by gradually ‘becoming’ a mass of tissue (as MarjoriePrice had held). Were such a transition to involve the persistence of the same thing, then the thing in (...) question would comply with conditions of identity not restricted to dogs. To provide for such transitions James Baillie suggests alternative conditions of identity, based on Andrew Brennan’s notion of ‘survival’ (itself borrowed from Parfit). Survival requires that the earlier thing be ‘structurally similar to’, and ‘play a significant and direct role in the production of’ the later thing (sufficiency is gained if, in addition, they are composed of the same kind of matter). Unlike identity, however, survival is what Wiggins calls a ‘branching’ relation, capable of linking a single thing with two or more equal ‘competitors’ (as apparently happens in cases of brain fission). To provide conditions of identity per se, Baillie follows Parfit, who claimed that our identity is preserved by psychological continuity when there is no branching. Members of natural kinds, such as dogs, are now said to be reidentifiable over time by the relation of non-branching survival. I argue against this on the ground that we can know when this relation obtains only when we are already able to individuate things by a different sort of relation, such as those associated with natural kinds. (shrink)
Books Reviewed in this Article: Transforming Bible Study. By Walter Wink. Pp.175, London, SCM Press, 1981, £3.50. Isaiah 1–39. By R.E. Clements. Pp.xvi. 301, London, Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1980, £3.95. Isaiah 40–66. By R.N. Whybray. Pp.301, London, Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1975, Reprinted 1981, £3.95. Die Gestalt Jesu in den synoptischen Evangelien. By Heinrich Kahlefeld. Pp.264, Frankfurt, Verlag Josef Knecht, 1981, no price given. Following Jesus: Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark. By Ernest Best. Pp.283, Sheffield, JSOT Press, (...) 1981, £15.00, £5.95. The Origin of Paul's Gospel. By Seyoon Kim. Pp.xii, 391, Tübingen, J.C.B. Mohr, 1981, 78 DM. An die Römer. By Ernst Käsemann. Pp.xvi, 411, Tübingen, J.C.B. Mohr, 1980, 48 DM. Les Récits de Resurrection des Morts dans le Nouveau Testament. By Gerard Rochais. Pp.xv, 252, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981, £15.00. Prêtres Anciens, Prétre Nouveau selon le Nouveau Testament. By Albert Vanhoye. Pp.366, Paris Editions du Seuil, 1980, no price given. Woman in the World of Jesus. By Evelyn and Frank Stagg. Pp.292, Edinburgh, The St Andrew Press, 1981, no price given. Jesus, Man and the Church. By Karl Rahner. Pp.260, London, Darton Longman & Todd, 1981, £14.50. Jesus Lord and Savior: A Theopathic Christology and Soteriology. By William M. Thompson. Pp.ix, 287, Leominster, Fowler Wright, 1981, £7.45. God and World in Schleiermacher's ‘Dialektik’ and ‘Glaubenslehre’. Criticism and the Methodology of Dogmatics. By John E. Thiel. Pp.xiv, 239, Bern, Frankfurt and Las Vegas, Peter Lang, 1981, SF 49.50. Ministry: A Case for Change. By Edward Schillebeeckx. Pp.ix, 165, London, SCM Press, 1981, £4.95. The Sacraments: Readings in Contemporary Sacramental Theology. Edited by Michael J. Taylor. Pp.274, New York, Alba House, 1981, $7.95. Believing in the Church: The Corporate Nature of Faith. A Report by the Doctrine Commission of the Church of England. Pp.ix, 310, London, SPCK, 1981, £8.50. Confessing the Faith in the Church of England Today. By R.T. Beckwith. Pp.36, Oxford, La timer House, 1981, £1.00. A Kind of Noah's Ark? The Anglican Commitment to Comprehensiveness. By J.I. Packer. Pp.39, Oxford, Latimer House, 1981, £1.00. Reasonable Belief: A Survey of the Christian Faith. By Anthony Hanson and Richard Hanson. Pp.xii, 283, Oxford University Press, 1981, £8.50. Doctrine in the Church of England. The 1938 Report with a new introduction by G.W.H. Lampe. Pp.lx, 242, London, SPCK, 1982, £8.50. The Divine Right of the Papacy in Recent Ecumenical Theology. By J. Michael Miller. Pp.xvi, 322, Rome, Università Gregoriana Editrice, 1980, 18,000 Lire. Der heilige Geist in der Theologie von Heribert Mühlen: Versucheiner Darstellung und Würdigung. By John B. Banawiratma. Pp.ix, 310, Frankfurt and Bern: Peter D. Lang, 1981, SFr. 60.00. Standing Before God: Studies on Prayer in Scriptures and Tradition with Essays in Honor of John M. Oesterreicher. Edited by Asher Frinkel and Lawrence Frizzell. Pp.410, New York, Ktav Publishing House, 1981, $29.50. Judaism and Healing. By J. David Bleich. Pp.xiii, 199, New York, Ktav, 1981, $15.00. The Diversity of Moral Thinking. By Neil Cooper. Pp.x, 303, Oxford, Clarendon Press: Oxford University Press, 1981, £15.00. L'Homme: Sujet ou Objet? By Jacques Croteau. Pp.260, Montreal, Bellarmin: Tournai, Desclée et Cie, 1981, $15.00. The Texture of Knowledge: An Essay on Religion and Science. By James W. Jones. Pp.97, Washington, University Press of America, 1981, no price given. Cosmos and Creator. By Stanley L. Jaki. Pp.xii, 168, Edinburgh, Scottish Academic Press, 1980, £6.75. Dante, Philomythes and Philosopher: Man in the Cosmos. By Patrick Boyde. Pp.vii, 408, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981, £30.00. Dissidence et Philosophie au Mayen Âge. By E.L. Fortin. Pp.201, Montreal, Bellarmin, 1981, $12.00. The Philosophy of John Norris of Bemerton. By Richard Acworth. Pp.x, 388, Hildesheim, Georg Olms, 1979, 74 DM. Philosophy and Ideology in Hume's Political Thought. By David Miller. Pp.xii, 218, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1981, £15.00. Hegelianism. By John Edward Toews. Pp.x, 450, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1980, £25.00. One Hundred Years of Thomism. Edited by V.B. Brezik. Pp.210, Houston, Centre for Thomistic Studies, 1981, no price given. Gramsci's Political Thought: Hegemony, Consciousness and the Revolutionary Process. By J.V. Femia. Pp.xiii, 303, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1981, £17.50. Greek and Roman Slavery. By Thomas Wiedemann. Pp.xvi, 284, London, Croom Helm, 1981, £10.95, £5.95. Prophecy and Millenarianism. Essays in Honour of Marjorie Reeves. Edited by Ann Williams. Pp.x, 355, London, Longman, 1980, £25.00. Of Prelates and Princes: A Study of the Economic and Social Position of the Tudor Episcopate. By Felicity Heal. Pp.xv, 353, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1980, £17.50. Radical Religious Movements in Early Modern Europe. By Michael Mullett. Pp.xxiv, 193, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1980, £10.50. The Jesuits. By J.C.H. Aveling. Pp.390, London, Blond and Briggs, 1981, £16.95. The Beginnings of Ideology. By Donald R. Kelley. Pp.xv, 351, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981, £24.00. Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing 1516–1700. By J.C. Davis. Pp.x, 427, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981, £25.00. Eastern Politics of the Vatican 1917–1979. By Hansjakob Stehle. Pp.466, Athens, Ohio University Press, 1981, £16.20, £8.10. Structuralism or Criticism? By Geoffrey Strickland. Pp.viii, 209, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981, £17.50. The Call of God: The Theme of Vocation in the Poetry of Donne and Herbert. By Robert B. Shaw. Pp.xiii, 123, Cambridge, Mass., Cowley Publications, 1981, $5.00. John and Charles Wesley: Selected Prayers, Hymns, Journal Notes, Sermons, Letters and Treatises. Edited by Frank Whaling. Pp.xx, 412, London, SPCK, 1981, £8.95. The Trickster in West Africa: A Study of Mythic Irony and Sacred Delight. By Robert D. Pelton. Pp.312, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1980, £15.00. (shrink)
In his influential book 'Making Things Happen' and in other places, Jim Woodward has noted some affinities between his own account of causation and that of Menzies and Price, but argued that the latter view is implausibly ‘subjective’. In this piece I discuss Woodward’s criticisms. I argue that the Menzies and Price view is not as different from Woodward’s own account as he believes, and that in so far as it is different, it has some advantages whose importance (...) Woodward misses; but also that the Menzies and Price view lacks some elements whose importance Woodward rightly stresses. When properly characterized, however, the ‘subjectivity’ survives unscathed. (shrink)
The first half of Mr. Burgener's article is a very clear and very just exposition of my views. There is, however, one point which he may not have appreciated fully, and that is the "climate of opinion" in which I was writing, and against which I was reacting. One of my main aims was to protest against the transformation of the empiricist epistemology into a linguistic epistemology, a transformation initiated by the Logical Positivists of the 1930's, and completed by Wittgenstein (...) and his disciples. Hence the amount of space devoted to sign-cognition, to the intelligence of animals, and to image-thinking, all of which are non-verbal or pre-verbal. But, as he has surmised, I am really just an old-fashioned British empiricist. I am fighting on two fronts, as it were, throughout the book: against a purely linguistic conception of thinking on one side, and against the "classical" inspective conception of it on the other. And in this two-fold battle, I am taking just the line which Locke, Berkeley, and Hume would have taken if they had been alive today: one which they do in fact suggest in their writings, though of course they could not anticipate the lengths to which the purely linguistic or verbalistic conception of thinking would go, or how it would ally itself with a behavioristic conception of human personality. One of the things I most object to in current British philosophy is the attack which is made on all sides of the "inner life," the attempt to show that there is no such thing, or that it is a mere muddle to suppose there is, or that to the extent that it does exist it is of no importance. Perhaps there is some connection between this attack on the inner life and the attack on private life which is made by the politicians, social reformers, and economic planners. Perhaps they are only two aspects of the same thing. Anyway, between them they have gone a long way towards a kind of "dehumanisation" of man; and this seems to me one of the darkest features of the very dark age in which we live. I feel concerned about it not only as an epistemologist, but also as a religious person, or at least as a person who is interested in religion in a very undenominational way. Religion, as I view it, is very closely connected with the "inner life"; and if one is forbidden to take an interest in the "inner life," religion will wither away from sheer inanition. At any rate, the most mystical types of religion will, and these are the ones which seem to me the most important. (shrink)
This is a collection of the most important writings of Oxford philosopher H.H. Price on the topics of psychical research and survival of death, collected from a wide variety of sources unavailable to most interested readers. Included are discussions of telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, precognition, hauntings and apparitions, the impact of psychical research on western philosophy and science, and what afterlife is probably like. Few twentieth century English-speaking philosophers have written much on these topics. Of those who did so and (...) whose writings have not been collected and published in a single source, H.H. Price was the most important. (shrink)
A question arising from the COVID-19 crisis is whether the merits of cases for climate policies have been affected. This article focuses on carbon pricing, in the form of either carbon taxes or emissions trading. It discusses the extent to which relative costs and benefits of introducing carbon pricing may have changed in the context of COVID-19, during both the crisis and the recovery period to follow. In several ways, the case for introducing a carbon price is stronger during (...) the COVID-19 crisis than under normal conditions. Oil costs are lower than normal, so we would expect less harm to consumers compared to normal conditions. Governments have immediate need for diversified new revenue streams in light of both decreased tax receipts and greater use of social safety nets. Finally, supply and demand shocks have led to already destabilized supply-side activities, and carbon pricing would allow this destabilization to equilibrate around greener production for the long-term. The strengthening of the case for introducing carbon pricing now is highly relevant to discussions about recovery measures, especially in the context of policy announcements from the European Union and United States House of Representatives. Key Policy Insights: • Persistently low oil prices mean that consumers will face lower pain from carbon pricing than under normal conditions. • Many consumers are more price-sensitive during the COVID-19 context, which suggests that a greater relative burden from carbon prices would fall upon producers as opposed to consumers than under normal conditions. • Carbon prices in the COVID-19 context can introduce new revenue streams, assisting with fiscal holes or with other green priorities. • Carbon pricing would contribute to a more sustainable COVID-19 recovery period, since many of the costs of revamping supply chains are already being felt while idled labor capacity can be incorporated into firms with lower carbon-intensity. (shrink)
Like coastal cities in the third millennium, important areas of human discourse seem threatened by the rise of modern science. The problem isn't new, of course, or wholly unwelcome. The tide of naturalism has been rising since the seventeenth century, and the rise owes more to clarity than to pollution in the intellectual atmosphere. All the same, the regions under threat are some of the most central in human life--the four Ms, for example: Morality, Modality, Meaning and the Mental. Some (...) of the key issues in contemporary metaphysics concern the place and fate of such concepts in a naturalistic world view. (shrink)
Epistemologists have not usually had much to say about believing ‘in’, though ever since Plato's time they have been interested in believing ‘that’. Students of religion, on the other hand, have been greatly concerned with belief ‘in’, and many of them, I think, would maintain that it is something quite different from belief ‘that’. Surely belief ‘in’ is an attitude to a person, whether human or divine, while belief ‘that’ is just an attitude to a proposition? Could any difference be (...) more obvious than this? And if we over-look it, shall we not be led into a quite mistaken analysis of religious belief, at any rate if it is religious belief of the theistic sort? On this view belief ‘in’ is not a propositional attitude at all. (shrink)
Price gouging occurs when, in the wake of an emergency, sellers of a certain necessary goods sharply raise their prices beyond the level needed to cover increased costs. Most people think that price gouging is immoral, and most states have laws rendering the practice a civil or criminal offense. But the alleged wrongness of price gouging has been seriously under-theorized. This paper examines the argument that price gouging is morally objectionable and/or the proper subject of legal (...) regulation because of the context of market failure in which it occurs. It argues that even if claims of market failure or true, they do not generate these normative conclusions. (shrink)
Marjorie Grene was a philosophical naturalist avant la lettre. This essay surveys some problems with contemporary (late 20th century) naturalism, argues that Grene’s criticisms of ancient epistemologies are applicable to their contemporary versions, and finds an alternative, philosophically richer, naturalism in Grene’s appropriation of J.J. Gibson’s ideas on perception and in her insistence on treating humans as no less a part of nature than plants and other animals.