I distinguish two ways of explaining our capacity for ‘transparent’ knowledge of our own present beliefs, perceptions, and intentions: an inferential and a reflective approach. Alex Byrne (2011) has defended an inferential approach, but I argue that this approach faces a basic difficulty, and that a reflective approach avoids the difficulty. I conclude with a brief sketch and defence of a reflective approach to our transparent self-knowledge, and I show how this approach is connected with the thesis that we must (...) distinguish between a kind of self-knowledge that is of oneself as agent and another kind that is of oneself as patient. (shrink)
Matthew Arnold was born at Laleham-on-Thames on 24 December 1822 as the eldest son of Dr Thomas Arnold and his wife Mary. He was educated at Winchester College, his father's old school; Rugby, where his father was headmaster; and Oxford. In 1851 he was appointed Inspector of Schools, pursuing this taxing career to support his wife and family until his retirement in 1886. He published his first volume of verse, The Strayed Reveller, and other Poems, in 1849 followed by (...) Empedocles on Etna, and other Poems and five further collections which appeared, with a diminishing number of new poems in each, between 1853 and 1867, after which his creative gift appeared to dwindle still further and he published little poetry. His career as a writer of prose began to take over after his election to the Professorship of Poetry at Oxford in 1857. Stimulated by preparing his lectures, many of the earliest published in 1865 as Essays in Criticism, he turned increasingly to the vigorous and widely ranging polemical commentaries on culture, religion, and society which were to make him known at home and abroad as the foremost critic of his day. He died suddenly of heart failure on 15 April 1888 while awaiting at Liverpool the arrival of his married daughter from America. (shrink)
A selection from Arnold's writing on education, other than Culture and Anarchy. All the pieces stem from his work as Inspector of Schools: they illustrate his concern both with the principles that must be established as a basis for the education of an industrial democracy and his practical concern with the day-to-day running of schools. 'Democracy' was first published as the introduction to The Popular Education of France. It faces the fundamental political problems and outlines the general objectives of a (...) state educational system. 'A French Eton' was the result of the same examination of French education to see what the British could learn from it; here he considers private education for the middle-classes. 'The twice-revised code' criticises the national Revised Code of 1862: a system founded on gross utilitarianism. Extracts from Arnold's reports as an inspector show the man of principle at work in particular circumstances and relating what he sees to what he would wish to see. The speech on his retirement comments on his lifetime of active involvement in education. (shrink)
I argue that that an influential strategy for understanding conspiracy theories stands in need of radical revision. According to this approach, called ‘generalism’, conspiracy theories are epistemically defective by their very nature. Generalists are typically opposed by particularists, who argue that conspiracy theories should be judged case-by-case, rather than definitionally indicted. Here I take a novel approach to criticizing generalism. I introduce a distinction between ‘Dominant Institution Conspiracy Theories and Theorists’ and ‘Non-Dominant Institution Conspiracy Theories and Theorists’. Generalists uncritically center (...) the latter in their analysis, but I show why the former must be centered by generalists’ own lights: they are the clearest representatives of their views, and they are by far the most harmful. Once we make this change in paradigm cases, however, various typical generalist theses turn out to be false or in need of radical revision. Conspiracy theories are not primarily produced by extremist ideologies, as generalists typically claim, since mainstream, purportedly non-extremist political ideologies turn out to be just as, if not more responsible for such theories. Conspiracy theories are also, we find, not the province of amateurs: they are often created and pushed by individuals widely viewed as experts, who have the backing of our most prestigious intellectual institutions. While generalists may be able to take this novel distinction and shift in paradigm cases on board, this remains to be seen. Subsequent generalist accounts that do absorb this distinction and shift will look radically different from previous incarnations of the view. (shrink)
It is argued that instrumentalizing the value of art does an injustice to artistic appreciation and provides a hostage to fortune. Whilst aestheticism offers an intellectual bulwark against such an approach, it focuses on what is distinctive of art at the expense of broader artistic values. It is argued that artistic appreciation and creativity involve not just skills but excellences of character. The nature of particular artistic or appreciative virtues and vices are briefly explored, such as snobbery, aestheticism and creativity, (...) in order to motivate a virtue theoretic approach. Artistic virtues are intrinsically valuable excellences of character that enable us to create or appreciate all sorts of things from everyday recipes to the finest achievements of humankind. Such an approach offers a new way to resist the age old temptation to instrumentalize the values of art. (shrink)
At the end of Matters of Exchange, Harold Cook's major revisionist account of the early modern scientific revolution, he locates the political and economic writings of Bernard Mandeville within the practices and values of contemporaneous Dutch observational medicine. Like Mandeville, Cook describes the potency of early modern capitalism and its attendant value system in generating industry and knowledge; like Mandeville, Cook finds coercive systems of moral regulation to be mistaken in their estimation of human capacities; and like Mandeville, Cook does (...) not shy away from the violence that often made the worldwide commerce in matters of fact possible. “Every Part was full of Vice,” famously rhymed Mandeville, “Yet the whole Mass a Paradise.” The practices and values of science, this book suggests, stemmed from the vices of the merchant and the consumer, not the sprezzatura of the baroque courtier, the asceticism of the Christian gentleman, the speculation of the university philosopher, or the dour appraisal of the theologian. Interest, not claims to disinterest, made modern science and its attendant values possible. Scrupulous attention to goods from around the world and right at home created the conditions for natural knowledge. (shrink)
Recently Robert Forman has attempted to muster support for the largely abandoned position that mystical experiences cross-culturally include an unmediated, non-relative core. To reopen the debate he has solicited essays from likeminded scholars for his book, The Problem of Pure Consciousness. Predictably the focus of the volume rests on the refutation of the position most notably expounded by Steven Katz in his influential article of 1978, ‘Language, Epistemology and Mysticism’.
Once we accept anyone's postulates he becomes our professor and our god: for his foundations he will grab territory so ample and so easy that, if he so wishes, he will drag us up to the clouds. Montaigne During the last fifteen years, the community of philosophers interested in religion has evinced a waxing concern with the justificatory value of religious experiences for theism. Two parallel but largely discrete debates have appeared in the literature.
Burke suggests that we should view society as a partnership between the past, the present, and the future. I defend this idea by outlining how we can understand the interests of the past and future people and the obligations that they have towards each other. I argue that we have forward-looking obligations to leave the world a decent place, and backward-looking obligations to respect the legacy of the past. The latter obligation requires an understanding of the role that traditions and (...) meta-traditions should (and should not) play in tying together societies—especially national societies—over time. (shrink)
What does it take for a property to be a social property? This question is different from questions about what it takes for a property to be socially constructed. That is: it is one thing to be social, it is another to be socially constructed. Compared to questions about social construction, this question about sociality has received relatively little attention in social metaphysics. Here, I work from a very specific set of observations which arise from the social metaphysics literature to (...) uncover a sufficient condition on sociality for properties, a condition which I argue all non-social properties fail to satisfy. (shrink)
In recent years, many non-consequentialists such as Frances Kamm and Thomas Scanlon have been puzzling over what has come to be known as the Number Problem, which is how to show that the greater number in a rescue situation should be saved without aggregating the claims of the many, a typical kind of consequentialist move that seems to violate the separateness of persons. In this article, I argue that these non-consequentialists may be making the task more difficult than necessary, because (...) allowing aggregation does not prevent one from being a non-consequentialist. I shall explain how a non-consequentialist can still respect the separateness of persons while allowing for aggregation. (shrink)
Normative discourse includes statements which appear to be truth-apt expressions of normative beliefs. But normative oughts do not seem to fit cleanly amongst the natural facts. This makes many naturalistically inclined philosophers sympathetic to some form of expressivist view that normative statements get their meaning from how they express desire-like attitudes. However, there are a serious semantic challenges for expressivism, which lead others to accept the idea that normative statements are representational of reality after all. This paper presents another option (...) that derives from the general program in the theory of meaning to emphasize the commissive role of language over any descriptive or expressive roles. Here this emphasis is used to sketch a version of metaethical inferentialism and contrast it with expressivism. I conclude with some observations about new perspectives this view offers on three other issues in metaethics. (shrink)
From Plato through Aquinas to Kant and beyond beauty has traditionally been considered the paradigmatic aesthetic quality. Thus, quite naturally following Socrates' strategy in The Meno, we are tempted to generalize from our analysis of the nature and value of beauty, a particular aesthetic value, to an account of aesthetic value generally. When we look at that which is beautiful, the object gives rise to a certain kind of pleasure within us. Thus aesthetic value is characterized in terms of that (...) which affords us pleasure. Of course, the relation cannot be merely instrumental. Many activities may lead to consequent pleasures that we would not consider to be aesthetic in any way. For example, playing tennis, going swimming or finishing a book. (shrink)
Matthew Soteriou provides an original philosophical account of sensory and cognitive aspects of consciousness. He explores distinctions of temporal character in our mental lives--especially in relation to the exercise of agency--and illuminates the more general issue of the place and role of mental action in the metaphysics of mind.
Jürgen Habermas has for decades been recognized as a leading European philosopher and public intellectual. But his global visibility has obscured his rootedness in German political culture and debate. The most successful historical accounts of the transformation of political culture in West Germany have turned on the concept of German statism and its decline. Viewing Habermas through this lens, I treat Habermas as a radical critic of German statism and an innovative theorist of democratic constitutionalism. Based on personal interviews with (...) Habermas and his German colleagues, and by setting the major work alongside his occasion-specific political writings from 1984 to 1996, I interpret Habermas's political thought as an evolving response to two distinct moments in German history: first, the mid-1980s, and second, the revolutions of 1989 and German reunification in 1990. This essay challenges the dominant interpretations of Habermas's mature statement of his political theory. Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Democracy, which have described it as marking a distinct break with, and reversal of, the commitments of his earlier work. By contrast, I describe the work as an intellectual summa, consistent with Habermas's previous thought and career, and containing remarkable historical interpretations of two intertwined phenomena: the intellectual and institutional dimensions of the Bonn Republic and Habermas's own biography. (shrink)
How to respond to unauthorized migration and migrants is one of the most difficult questions in relation to migration theory and policy. In this commentary on Gillian Brock’s discussion of “irregular” migration, I do not attempt to give a fully satisfactory account of how to respond to unauthorized migration, but rather, using Brock’s discussion, try to highlight what I see as the most important difficulties in crafting an acceptable account, and raise some problems with the approach that Brock takes. In (...) thinking about unauthorized migration, both while trying to craft positive policies and while critiquing existing practices, we need to ask if we are most interested in a general account of how to respond to unauthorized migration, one that would apply to the large majority of cases and provide us a default approach, or if we are better served by taking a piecemeal approach, looking at why certain people or certain groups should be exempt from removal, even if they would otherwise be liable to it. In this paper, I will focus primarily on this distinction, and argue that it is at least important to provide an account of the "generic unauthorized". (shrink)
Experiences of Depression is a philosophical exploration of what it is like to be depressed. In this important new book, Matthew Ratcliffe develops a detailed account of depression experiences by drawing on work in phenomenology, philosophy of mind and psychology, and several other disciplines.
From a traditional moral point of view, business practitioners often seem overly concerned about the behavior of their peers in deciding how they ought to act. We propose to account for this concern by introducing a mutual trust perspective, where moral obligations are grounded in a sense of trust that others will abide by the same rules. when grounds for trust are absent, the obligation is weakened. We illustrate this perspective by examining the widespread ambivalence with regard to deception about (...) one's settlement preferences in negotiation. On an abstract level, such deception generally seems undesirable, though in many individual cases it is condoned, even admired as shrewd bargaining. Because of the difficulty in verifying someone's settlement preferences, it is hard to establish a basis for trusting the revelations of the other party, especially in competitive negotiations with relative strangers. (shrink)
The present paper complements the publications of Gerard L'E. Turner on Mercator's astrolabes by presenting an account of an astrological disc which Mercator published at Louvain in May 1551. This instrument, of which only one copy is known, is described, and a transcription of its instruction sheet, with commentary and English translation, is provided. My preliminary study of the astrological content and context of the instrument indicates that it is connected with John Dee's astrological studies at Louvain from 1548 to (...) 1550. The didactic functions of the instrument are discussed, as well as the relationship between astrological theory and practice in Mercator's work. (shrink)
John N. Williams (1994) and Matthew Weiner (2005) invoke predictions in order to undermine the normative relevance of knowledge for assertions; in particular, Weiner argues, predictions are important counterexamples to the Knowledge Account of Assertion (KAA). I argue here that they are not true counterexamples at all, a point that can be agreed upon even by those who reject KAA.
The word 'ought' is one of the core normative terms, but it is also a modal word. In this book Matthew Chrisman develops a careful account of the semantics of 'ought' as a modal operator, and uses this to motivate a novel inferentialist account of why ought-sentences have the meaning that they have. This is a metanormative account that agrees with traditional descriptivist theories in metaethics that specifying the truth-conditions of normative sentences is a central part of the explanation (...) of their meaning. But Chrisman argues that this leaves important metasemantic questions about what it is in virtue of which ought-sentences have the meanings that they have unanswered. His appeal to inferentialism aims to provide a viable anti-descriptivist but also anti-expressivist answer to these questions. (shrink)
Sciabarra replies to the seven respondents to his Fall 2002 essay on Rand, Rush, and progressive rock music. He defends the view that Rand's dialectical orientation underlies a fundamentally radical perspective. Rand shared with the counterculture—especially its libertarian progressive rock representatives—a repudiation of authoritarianism, while embracing the "unknown ideal" of capitalism. Her ability to trace the interrelationships among personal, cultural, and structural factors in social analysis and her repudiation of false alternatives is at the heart of that ideal vision, which (...) transcends left and right. (shrink)
Surprisingly little has been written about hedged assertion. Linguists often focus on semantic or syntactic theorizing about, for example, grammatical evidentials or epistemic modals, but pay far less attention to what hedging does at the level of action. By contrast, philosophers have focused extensively on normative issues regarding what epistemic position is required for proper assertion, yet they have almost exclusively considered unqualified declaratives. This essay considers the linguistic and normative issues side-by-side. We aim to bring some order and clarity (...) to thinking about hedging, so as to illuminate aspects of interest to both linguists and philosophers. In particular, we consider three broad questions. 1) The structural question: when one hedges, what is the speaker’s commitment weakened from? 2) The functional question: what is the best way to understand how a hedge weakens? And 3) the taxonomic question: are hedged assertions genuine assertions, another speech act, or what? (shrink)
In this major new work, Matthew Kramer seeks to establish two main conclusions. On the one hand, moral requirements are strongly objective. On the other hand, the objectivity of ethics is itself an ethical matter that rests primarily on ethical considerations. Moral realism - the doctrine that morality is indeed objective - is a moral doctrine. Major new volume in our new series _New Directions in Ethics_ Takes on the big picture - defending the objectivity of ethics whilst rejecting (...) the grounds of much of the existing debate between realists and anti-realists Cuts across both ethical theory and metaethics Distinguished by the quality of the scholarship and its ambitious range. (shrink)
Why do we spend so much of our time passing on amusing anecdotes, making wisecracks,watching The Simpsons? In Inside Jokes, Matthew Hurley, DanielDennett, and Reginald Adams offer an evolutionary and cognitive perspective.
This book presents an innovative analysis of the role of imagination as a central concept in both literary and art criticism. Dee Reynolds brings this approach to bear on works by Rimbaud, Mallarme;, Kandinsky, and Mondrian. It allows her to redefine the relationship between Symbolism and abstract art, and to contribute new methodological perspectives to comparative studies of poetry and painting. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a crucial period in the emergence of new modes of representation, and (...) is currently at the forefront of critical enquiry. This is the first book to examine Symbolism and abstraction in this way, and the first to treat these poets and painters together. It is an original contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship in art history, literary history, and comparative aesthetics. (shrink)
In Real Hallucinations, Matthew Ratcliffe offers a philosophical examination of the structure of human experience, its vulnerability to disruption, and how it is shaped by relations with other people. He focuses on the seemingly simple question of how we manage to distinguish among our experiences of perceiving, remembering, imagining, and thinking. To answer this question, he first develops a detailed analysis of auditory verbal hallucinations (usually defined as hearing a voice in the absence of a speaker) and thought insertion (...) (somehow experiencing one's own thoughts as someone else's). He shows how thought insertion and many of those experiences labeled as "hallucinations" consist of disturbances in a person's senseof being in one type of intentional state rather than another. Ratcliffe goes on to argue that such experiences occur against a backdrop of less pronounced but wider-ranging alterations in the structure of intentionality. In so doing, he considers forms of experience associated with trauma, schizophrenia, and profound grief. The overall position arrived at is that experience has an essentially temporal structure, involving patterns of anticipation and fulfillment that are specific to types of intentional states and serve to distinguish them phenomenologically. Disturbances of this structure can lead to various kinds of anomalous experience. Importantly, anticipation-fulfillment patterns are sustained, regulated, and disrupted by interpersonal experience and interaction. It follows that the integrity of human experience, including the most basic sense of self, is inseparable from how we relate to other people and to the social world as a whole. (shrink)