The expression "the marketplace of ideas" is often used in reference to Mill's views on freedom of thought and speech in On Liberty, but the metaphor does not come from Mill's work, nor is it consistent with his position. A real marketplace of ideas would create what Mill warns us against: the prevalence of the views of the most powerful and/or the most numerous. From a U.S. perspective, I explore Mill's suggestion to "countenance and encourage" minority (...) views, and I compare Mill's particular type of liberalism with contemporary U.S. advocacy of market models for our political lives. (shrink)
Abstract ?The marketplace of ideas? is a powerful legal and political metaphor?a bulwark of an open, liberal society?that suggests a positivistic debate utilizing reason and evidence. In reality, however, the marketplace of ideas often consists of illogic and bad evidence, producing clutter and confusion. The parallel with scientific research is misinformed. Evidence from collective decision?making and small group studies cast grave doubts on the ?marketplace's? ability to maximize truth.
The virtual community under consideration is called theNigerian Village Square, ‘…a marketplace of ideas’. As an online discussion forum, NVS combines the features of listservs and newsgroups with a more elegant and user-friendly interface. While computer-mediated communication technologies augment political discourse in established democracies, new media and mobile technologies create avenues for a virtual sphere among Nigerians. Therefore, the ideal virtual sphere guarantees equal access to all connected netizens, equal right for all languages in netizens’ linguistic repertoire, and (...) it fosters democratic deliberation through policy debates, public dialogues and ‘online polylogues’. By linguistic marketing is meant discourse as a vehicle for ‘promotional acts’ and for ‘selling’ particular cultures and ideologies to multicultural and multilingual readers/audiences. One interpretation of this is in terms of asserting language rights and linguistic equality. The use of Nigerian languages with Nigerian Pidgin online is promotional and forexistential negotiation. This results in language mixture which is an instantiation of freedom of speech, freedom of switch and freedom to switch. The underlying pragmatic motivation for top-down language mixture and alternation in Nigerian virtual discourse is attention-getting with the aim of inducing an interdiscursive writer-reader cognitive as well as communicative interaction. Other pragmatic functions of code switching discussed in the paper include allusive textuality, amusing phaticity, anticipated interactivity, affective expressivity and audience affiliation or alienation, among others. Thus, intertextuality is an explanatory technique for investigating previously unexplored phenomena in digital code switching. (shrink)
Argues that outdated institutional structures and higher educational philosophies are negatively contrasting with significant changes in today's faculties and student bodies with a result that higher education is more competitive and less ...
In Taking Christian Moral Thought Seriously--the first book in the Christian Ethics series--editor Jeremy A. Evans establishes that the separation of church and state is not a principle of the U.S. Constitution (or any other founding ...
The ‘marketplace of ideas’ is an influential metaphor with widespread currency in debates about freedom of speech. We explore a number of ways competition between ideas might be described as occurring in a marketplace and find that none support the use of the metaphor. We suggest that an alternative metaphor, that of the ‘garden of ideas’, may offer more productive insights into issues surrounding the regulation of speech.
The article distinguishes between the various arguments traditionally offered as justifications for the principle of academic freedom. Four main arguments are identified, three consequentialist in nature, and one nonconsequentialist. The article also concentrates on the specific form these arguments must take in order to establish academic freedom as a principle distinct from the more general principles of freedom of expression and intellectual freedom.
Locke's account of the idea of power is thought to be seriously problematic. Commentators allege that the idea of power causes problems for Locke's taxonomy of ideas, that it is defined circularly, and that, contrary to Locke's claims, it cannot be acquired in experience. This paper defends Locke's account. Previous commentators have assumed that there is only one idea of power. But close attention to Locke's text, combined with background features of his theory of ideas, supports the drawing (...) of a distinction between four different ideas of power. The paper describes each idea and its role in the Essay. It then argues that this distinction can help Locke to avoid the traditional criticisms. (shrink)
The history of ideas is most prominently understood as a highly specialized group of methods for the study of abstract ideas, with both diachronic and synchronic aspects. While theorizing the field has focused on the methods of study, defining the object of study – ideas – has been neglected. But the development of the theories behind material culture studies poses a sharp challenge to these narrow approaches. It both challenges the integrity of the notion of abstract (...) class='Hi'>ideas and also offers possibilities for enlarging the scope of the ways in which we can study ideas historically. It is proposed here to regard ideas as mental relations deeply connected to human communication by both thinking and doing. This connection of ideational thought to human production and behavior is a deep foundation for the history of ideas as an interdisciplinary historiographic means of understanding moral life. (shrink)
Abstract This essay takes up the fundamental question of the proper place of history in the study of political thought through critical engagement with Mark Bevir's seminal work, The Logic of the History of Ideas . While I accept the claim of Bevir, as well as of other exponents of the so-called “Cambridge School,“ that there is a conceptual difference between historical and non-historical modes of reading past works of political philosophy, I resist the suggestion that this conceptual differentiation (...) itself justifies the specialization, among practicing intellectuals, between historians of ideas and others who read political-philosophical texts non-historically. Over and against the figure of the historian of ideas, who interprets political thought only in the manner of a historian, I defend the ideal of the pupil, who in studying past traditions of political thought also seeks to extend and modify them in light of contemporary problems and concerns. Against Bevir, I argue that the mixture of historical and non-historical modes of learning, in the manner of the pupil, need not do damage to the historian of ideas' commitment to scholarship that is non-anachronistic, objective, and non-indeterminate. (shrink)
In the following article, I aim to elucidate the meaning and scope of Spinoza’s vocabulary related to ‘consciousness’. I argue that Spinoza, at least in his Ethics, uses this notion consistently, although rarely. He introduces it to account for the knowledge we may have of the mind considered alone, as conceptually distinct from the body. This serves two purposes in Spinoza’s Ethics: to explain our illusion of a free will, on the one hand, and to refer to the knowledge we (...) have of our mind as something eternal, on the other. I contend, therefore, that we should not confuse Spinoza’s technical use of the notion of ‘consciousness’ with the ‘degrees of animation’ that he also evokes in the Ethics. Consciousness, for Spinoza, is neither a faculty, nor a property specific to certain minds or ideas. Furthermore, consciousness does not come in degrees. Indeed, Spinoza’s account of consciousness is not intended to differentiate kinds of minds in terms of awareness of their respective ideas. (shrink)
Mark Bevir's The Logic of the History of Ideas has received considerable attention recently. This article highlights a new problem with his weak intentionalism. Bevir's weak intentionalism holds that on occasion the meanings readers ascribe to texts may trump the meanings the authors express in texts. The article uses the example of Hegel's theory of punishment. The received wisdom is that Hegel is a pure retributivist. Yet, this strays far from his text and stated views. We might think we (...) should keep to this text to uncover Hegel's views. However, Bevir's weak intentionalism has us side with how he has been read over what Hegel has said. This view is problematic as our meanings may well stray far from the texts, words or spirit. Thus, Bevir's weak intentionalism can fall victim to straying from the text when trying to interpret it. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the claim that Rawls’s overlapping consensus is too narrow to allow most mainstream religions’ participation in political discourse. I do so by asking whether religious exclusion is a consequence of belief or action, using conversion as a paradigm case. After concluding that this objection to Rawls is, in fact, defensible, and that the overlapping consensus excludes both religious belief and action, I examine an alternative approach to managing religious pluralism as presented by Adam Smith. I (...) show that Smith’s so-called “marketplace of religions” assumes and encourages religious conversion. I then offer objections to Smith’s approach from Rawls’s point of view, concluding that, while Rawls cannot adequately respond to the Smithian challenge, in the end the two positions are complimentary. (shrink)
Hume introduced important innovations concerning the theory of ideas. The two most important are the distinction between impressions and ideas, and the use he made of the principles of association in explaining mental phenomena. Hume divided the perceptions of the mind into two classes. The members of one class, impressions, he held to have a greater degree of force and vivacity than the members of the other class, ideas. He also supposed that ideas are causally dependent (...) copies of impressions. And, unlike Locke and others, Hume makes positive use of the principle of association, both of the association of ideas, and, in a more limited way, of the association of impressions. Such associations are central to his explanations of causal reasoning, belief, the indirect passions (pride and humility, love and hatred), and sympathy. These views about impressions and ideas and the principles of association form the core of Hume’s science of human nature. Relying on them, he attempts a rigorously empirical investigation of human nature. The resulting system is a remarkable but complex achievement. (shrink)
I argue that Berkeley's distinctive idealism/immaterialism can't support his view that objects of sense, immediately or mediately perceived, are causally inert. (The Passivity of Ideas thesis or PI) Neither appeal to ordinary perception, nor traditional arguments, for example, that causal connections are necessary, and we can't perceive such connections, are helpful. More likely it is theological concerns,e.g., how to have second causes if God upholds by continuously creating the world, that's in the background. This puts Berkeley closer to Malebranche (...) than to Hume. -/- As far the what I call the "first strategy;" defending the passivity of ideas by ordinary introspection, I refer to the work of the French psychologist Albert Michotte,(1940) and those now extending his experiments, to show that (1) there is an immediate and quite robust visual impression of causality, (admitted in fact by Berkeley, Malebranche and Hume) and (2) of more importance, the impression isn't due to projecting into nature expectations gained from experienced regularities. (shrink)
At least since Locke, philosophers and psychologists have usually held that concepts arise out of sensory perceptions, thoughts are built from concepts, and language enables speakers to convey their thoughts to hearers. Christopher Gauker holds that this tradition is mistaken about both concepts and language. The mind cannot abstract the building blocks of thoughts from perceptual representations. More generally, we have no account of the origin of concepts that grants them the requisite independence from language. Gauker's alternative is to show (...) that much of cognition consists in thinking by means of mental imagery, without the help of concepts, and that language is a tool by which interlocutors coordinate their actions in pursuit of shared goals. Imagistic cognition supports the acquisition and use of this tool, and when the use of this tool is internalized, it becomes the very medium of conceptual thought. (shrink)
Recently, the diffusion of the so-called “new intellectual history” led to the dismissal of the old school of the “history of ideas” on the basis of its ahistorical nature . This formulation is actually misleading, missing the core of the transformation produced in the field. It is not true that the history of ideas simply ignored the fact that the meaning of ideas changes over time. The issue at stake here is really not how ideas changed (...) , but rather why they do. The study of the German tradition of intellectual history serves in this essay as a basis to illustrate the meaning and significance of the recent turn from ideas as its object. In the process of trying to account for the source of contingency of conceptual formations, it will open our horizon to the complex nature of the ways by which we invest the world with meaning. That is, it will disclose the presence of different layers of symbolic reality lying beneath the surface level of “ideas,” and analyze their differential nature and functions. It will also show the reasons for the ultimate failure of the “history of ideas” approach, why discourses can never achieve their vocation to constitute themselves as self-enclosed, rationally integrated systems, thereby expelling contingency from their realm. In sum, it will show why historicity is not merely something that comes to intellectual history from without , as the history of ideas assumed, but is a constitutive dimension of it. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIntellectual historians often make empirical claims, but can never know for certain if these claims are right. Uncertainty is thus inevitable for intellectual historians. But accepting uncertainty is not enough: we should also act on it, by trying to reduce and report it. We can reduce uncertainty by amassing valid data from different sources to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of competing explanations, rather than trying to “prove” an empirical claim by looking for evidence that fits it. Then we should (...) report our degree of certainty in our claims. When we answer empirical questions in intellectual history, we are not telling our readers what happened: we are telling them how strong we think our evidence is—a crucial shift of emphasis. For intellectual historians, then, uncertainty is subjective, as discussed by Keynes and Collingwood; the paper thus explores three differences between subjective and objective uncertainty. Having outlined the theoretical basis of uncertainty, the paper then offers examples from actual research: Noel Malcolm's work shows how to reduce and report uncertainty about composition, and David Wootton's work shows how to reduce and report uncertainty about beliefs. (shrink)
This paper provides support for the unorthodox view that Hume’s simple ideas are most fruitfully understood as theoretical posits by showing that adopting this interpretation solves a lingering interpretive difficulty, the missing shade of blue. The missing shade of blue is thought to pose a serious challenge to the legitimacy of Hume’s copy principle. Thinking of Humean simple ideas as theoretical posits reveals a dialectical mismatch between Hume and his envisioned reader that, once understood, makes it clear that (...) the case holds little sway against the copy principle. The solution developed and defended has some significant advantages over extant solutions. (shrink)
The concept developed in relation to Atman as infrasonic bio-mechanical oscillatorwill be used to delineate the physicochemical nature of thoughts and ideas. The insight available in the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, the Vishnu Sahasranaama and LalitaSahasranaama will be used to further and advance the understanding of mechanical, biochemical and electro-chemical nature of human thoughts and ideas. The conceptual clarity about these mental processes will be presented. A pictorial diagram of nature and forms of energy transformations involved in thought (...) processes and idea generations will be given. Implications and application of this insight to the disciplines of physiological psychology and mind-machine modeling will be hinted. (shrink)
The paper reveals some mostly unnoticed and unexpected trends in reception of novel ideas in science. The author formulates certain principles of the reception of these ideas by scientific communities and justifies them by examples from modern mathematics and non-classical logic.
The author of the monograph is a Candidate of Culturology, Associate Professor of Tyumen State University. The monograph tests approaches to the understanding of the essence of Hobbes’s and Locke’s ideas about miracles that are more flexible than a formational-evolutionist approach. The monograph presents the main characteristics of these ideas as Christian philosophical ones, shows their general Christian direction and the historiographic perspective of studying these ideas primarily in line with Christian philosophy. The monograph is intended for (...) experts in the history of philosophy, the history of ideas, theology, religious studies, historical anthropology, as well as for those interested in the problems of historical-philosophical knowledge. Автор монографии – кандидат культурологии, доцент Тюменского государственного университета. В монографии апробируются более гибкие подходы к пониманию сущности идей Гоббса и Локка о чудесах по сравнению с формационно-эволюционистским подходом. Представлены основные характеристики идей Гоббса и Локка о чудесах как христианских философских идей. Показана общехристианская направленность идей Гоббса и Локка о чудесах и историографическая перспективность изучения этих идей в первую очередь как христианских философских идей. Монография рассчитана на специалистов в области истории философии, истории идей, теологии, религиоведения, исторической антропологии, а также на всех, кто интересуется проблемами историко-философского знания. (shrink)
Adults apply ownership not only to objects but also to ideas. But do people come to apply principles of ownership to ideas because of being taught about intellectual property and copyrights? Here, we investigate whether children apply rules from physical property ownership to ideas. Studies 1a and 1b show that children (6–8 years old) determine ownership of both objects and ideas based on who first establishes possession of the object or idea. Study 2 shows that children (...) use another principle of object ownership, control of permission—an ability to restrict others’ access to the entity in question—to determine idea ownership. In Study 3, we replicate these findings with different idea types. In Study 4, we determine that children will not apply ownership to every entity, demonstrating that they do not apply ownership to a common word. Taken together, these results suggest that, like adults, children as young as 6 years old apply rules from ownership not only to objects but to ideas as well. (shrink)
In his Critique of the Power of Judgement, Kant explicates the creation of works of fine art (schöne Kunst) in terms of aesthetic ideas. His analysis of aesthetic ideas claims that they are not concepts (Begriffe) and are therefore not definable or describable in determinate language. Nevertheless, Kant claims that aesthetic ideas are communicable via spirit (Geist), a special mental ability he associates with artistic genius. This paper argues that Kant's notion of Geist is central to his (...) analysis of fine art's expressive power. The notion of Geist constitutes a conceptual link between Kant's aesthetic theory and that of G. W. F. Hegel, for whose analysis Geist is the subject. (shrink)
The central theme of John Locke's Of the Conduct of the Understanding is human error. The Conduct was conceived as an additional chapter to An Essay concerning Understanding, but it was never finished and published posthumously in 1706 as a separate work. Modern authors have regarded the Conduct as an educational treatise. Indeed, the analysis in this work of the nature and causes of error and the ways to prevent and remedy error gives rise to numerous educational reflections. However, the (...) aim of the present article is to show that these views should be understood within the specific epistemological context of a two-stage analysis of ideas, the first stage consisting of individual ideas that should all be clear and distinct, and the second stage consisting of reasonings based on combinations of these ideas. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to shed light on the methodological relationship between the history of ideas and the history of emotions, starting from the conception of weeping in the eighteenth-century French reflection. This period was critical for the defining of the modern concept of emotion because it encompassed the development of a new aesthetic and moral code centred on the exasperation of sensitivity and an exaggerated use of tears. This study brings out, in terms of methodology, the (...) importance that the analysis of tears assumed from two points of view: on the one hand, it places the problem in a framework determined by history and culture ; on the other, it recognises the unavoidable axiological and moral element that characterised crying . After a brief reconstruction of the discussion of tears in the history of emotion—from the histoire des mentalités to the ‘emotional turn’—and in the history of ideas, respectively, the article outlines some potential areas for research in an interdisciplinary perspective. (shrink)
A wave of recent publication connected to Hugh Trevor-Roper offers cause to take stock of his life and legacy. He is an awkward subject because his output was so protean, but a compelling one because of his significance for the resurgence of the history of ideas in Britain after 1945. The article argues that the formative period in Trevor-Roper's life was 1945?57, a period curiously neglected hit her to. It was at this time that the pioneered a history of (...)ideas conceived above all as the study of European liberal and humanist tradition. Analysis of the relative importance of contemporary and early modern history in his oeuvre finds that, while the experience of Hitler and the Cold War was formative, it was not decisive. Trevor-Roper was at heart an early modernist who did not abjure specialization. However, he insisted that specialized study must be accompanied by ?philosophical? reflection on the working sofa constant human nature present throughout history, a type of reflection best pursued by reading classical historians such as Gibbon and Burckhardt. Yet this imperative in turn fostered purely historical research into the history of historical writing?another branch of the history of ideas. (shrink)
Summary New information technology can be an invaluable aid to research in the history of ideas provided it is built on scientific foundations. This article discusses the case of Diderot and D'Alembert's Encyclopédie and analyses its use of earlier dictionaries (the Dictionnaire de Trévoux, Chambers's Cyclopaedia and Moréri's dictionary). It also shows how neglect of existing research in the history of ideas and ignorance of how these eighteenth-century European publications were elaborated, combined with inappropriate use of software for (...) detecting plagiarism, have led to totally mistaken findings. These findings, widely publicised thanks to the Internet, constitute a real danger for future research. The article concludes that the intellectual community urgently needs to invest seriously in the digital humanities in order to safeguard future research. (shrink)
The paper challenges Bevir's failure to engage with issues of gender in his attempt to establish a logic of the history of ideas. It argues that this exclusion both compromises his claim to have articulated a comprehensive logic, and suggests the limitations of his model as a way in which we might bring greater subtlety and texture to the understanding of history.
This article suggests that the enterprise of Mark Bevir's book , is the reverse of what his title implies. Bevir seeks not to delineate the peculiar logic of a specialised subfield of history called the ‘history of ideas’, but rather the logic which underlies historical pursuit considered in general as the ‘explanation of belief’. If this is so, then the relationship between belief, meaning, and speech act in intellectual texts, and the task and method of the intellectual historian, must (...) be reinterpreted along lines closer to those of Quentin Skinner than Bevir would allow. Indeed, Bevir's criticism of Skinner, which hinges on his own account of malapropism, is shown here to fail. The article concludes with brief reflections on the purpose and nature of studying the ‘history of ideas’. (shrink)
In this paper, we investigate the problem of truth approximation via belief merging, i.e., we ask whether, and under what conditions, a group of inquirers merging together their beliefs makes progress toward the truth about the underlying domain. We answer this question by proving some formal results on how belief merging operators perform with respect to the task of truth approximation, construed as increasing verisimilitude or truthlikeness. Our results shed new light on the issue of how rational (dis)agreement affects the (...) inquirers’ quest for truth. In particular, they vindicate the intuition that scientific inquiry, and rational discussion in general, benefits from some heterogeneity in opinion and interaction among different viewpoints. The links between our approach and related analyses of truth tracking, judgment aggregation, and opinion dynamics, are also highlighted. (shrink)
At least four different senses of 'meaning' need to be kept separate when describing the proper way to do the history of ideas. The first sense, communicative meaning, relies on the communicative intentions of the author and is very close to H. P. Grice's 'nonnatural meaning'. The second sense, meaning as significance or importance, is close to Grice's "natural meaning," but I focus on a type that depends on human interests; in this sense, meaning as significance is always relative (...) to a person or group and changes as the events or the interests of the person or group change. I show that Quentin Skinner in his classic article, "Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas," confuses these senses. While historians of ideas often focus on identifying communicative meaning, what historians care most about is the significance or importance that something had for people in the past or in the present. (shrink)
Philosophers often talk about and engage with ideas. Scientists, artists, and historians do, too. But what is an idea? In this paper, we first motivate the desire for an ontology of ideas before discussing what conditions a candidate ontology would have to satisfy to be minimally adequate. We then offer our own account of the ontology of ideas, and consider various strategies for specifying the underlying metaphysics of the account. We conclude with a discussion of potential future (...) work to be done on the ontology of ideas. (shrink)
In this paper, I suggest an outline of a new interpretation of core issues in Spinoza’s metaphysics and philosophy of mind. I argue for three major theses. (1) In the first part of the paper I show that the celebrated Spinozistic doctrine commonly termed “the doctrine of parallelism” is in fact a confusion of two separate and independent doctrines of parallelism. Hence, I argue that our current understanding of Spinoza’s metaphysics and philosophy of mind is fundamentally flawed. (2) The clarification (...) and setting apart of the two doctrines will also put us in a position to present my second major thesis and address one of the more interesting and enduring problems in Spinoza’s metaphysics: how can the attribute of thought be, on the one hand, isomorphic with any other attribute, and yet, on the other hand, be isomorphic with God himself, who has infinitely many attributes? In the second part of the paper, I present Spinoza’s solution to this problem. I argue that the number and order of modes is the same in all attributes. Yet, modes of Thought, unlike modes of any other attribute, have an infinitely-faceted internal structure so that one and the same idea represents infinitely many modes by having infinitely many facets (or aspects). (3) This new understanding of the inner structure of ideas in Spinoza will lead us to my third thesis in which I explain and solve another old riddle in Spinoza’s metaphysics: his insistence on the impossibility of the human mind knowing any of God’s infinite attributes other than Thought and Extension. In the third part, I show some of the major ramifications of my new interpretation and respond to some important objections. In my conclusion I discuss the philosophical importance of my interpretation. I explain why Spinoza could not embrace reductive idealism in spite of the preeminence he grants to the attribute of Thought. I argue that Spinoza is a dualist -- not a mind-body dualist, as he is commonly conceived to be, but rather a dualist of Thought and Being. Finally, I suggest that Spinoza’s position on the mind-body issue breaks with the traditional categories and ways of addressing the subject by suggesting a view which grants clear primacy to Thought without accepting any idealist reduction of bodies to thought. (shrink)
Descartes claims in the Third Meditation that ideas of sense might be materially false. While an accurate interpretation of this claim has the potential of providing some valuable insights into Descartes's theory of ideas in general and his understanding of the epistemic status of sensations in particular, the explanation Descartes provides of the material falsity of ideas is itself obscure and misleading, making accurate interpretation difficult. In this paper an interpretation of material falsity is offered which identifies (...) the fault of materially false ideas in the logical incoherence of their objective content. The implications of this interpretation are also discussed. (shrink)
It is unquestionably one of the last objections Descartes might have expected, that if ideas exist, external objects are unknowable. How indeed could he have foreseen such an objection? Did he not seek to establish through his metaphysics, in the Meditations, the certainty of the existence of bodies, as well as the reality of the scientific knowledge we claim to have of them? And this procedure had necessarily to presuppose the existence of ideas: first, in order to demonstrate (...) the existence of God, then, to demonstrate the existence of bodies and to establish the reality of our knowledge of those objects. Hence Descartes could not have imagined the above-mentioned objection. And to my knowledge he does not envisge it at any moment in his writings. In the general form in which I have stated it it would have astonished Spinoza, Arnauld, Malebranche and Leibniz as well. And it did not fail to surprise Locke. The objection was formulated in 1697 by John Sergeant in his work: Solid Philosophy Asserted. In this paper I wish to present that objection. (shrink)