This article presents a critical analysis of two influential readings of Kant’s Second Analogy, namely, Gerd Buchdahl’s “modest reading” and Michael Friedman’s “strong reading.” After pointing out the textual and philosophical problems with each, I advance an alternative reading of the Second Analogy argument. On my reading, the Second Analogy argument proves the existence of necessary and strictly universal causal laws. This, however, does not guarantee that Kant has a solution for the problem of induction. After I explain why (...) the empirical lawfulness of nature does not guarantee the empirical uniformity of nature, I examine the modal status of empirical laws in Kant and argue contra Buchdahl and Friedman that empirical laws express two different kinds of necessity that are not reducible to each other. -/- . (shrink)
How could a state have the moral authority to promulgate and enforce laws that citizens are thereby obliged to obey? That is the problem of political authority. The Consequentialist Explanation of Political Authority contends that great social benefits depend upon there being a state with political authority. In his book, The Problem of Political Authority, Michael Huemer considers different types of explanation of political authority and he rejects them all. I show that the objections he raises to consequentialist accounts (...) are confused and that they fail to connect with the Consequentialist Explanation of Political Authority. Huemer argues that anarchy of a particular kind would be better than the states that exist in current Western societies. I explain why that argument, if it were successful, would be an effective objection to the Consequentialist Explanation of Political Authority. (shrink)
On the 27th of October, 1949, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Manchester organized a symposium "Mind and Machine", as Michael Polanyi noted in his Personal Knowledge (1974, p. 261). This event is known, especially among scholars of Alan Turing, but it is scarcely documented. Wolfe Mays (2000) reported about the debate, which he personally had attended, and paraphrased a mimeographed document that is preserved at the Manchester University archive. He forwarded a copy to Andrew Hodges and (...) B. Jack Copeland, who in then published it on their respective websites. The basis of this interpretation here is the copy preserved in the Regenstein Library of the University of Chicago, Special Collections, Polanyi Collection (abbreviated RPC, box 22, folder 19). The same collection holds the mimeographed statement that Polanyi prepared for this symposium: "Can the mind be represented by a machine?" This text has not been studied by Polanyi scholars. (shrink)
Neste artigo pretendo apresentar a crítica de Michael Sandel à concepção de pessoa na filosofia política de John Rawls. Para tanto, é preciso descrever, em linhas gerais, a descrição rawlsiana das partes na posição original. Esta descrição, segundo Sandel, pressupõe uma concepção metafísica de pessoa na medida em que apresenta o “eu anterior a seus fins”, ou seja, um “eu distinto dos fins que possui”, mas que detém a posse de tais fins. Sandel argumenta que o “eu”, pensado desta (...) forma, constitui-se como um “eu radicalmente desprovido de corpo”, pois não está inserido em sua situação. E, como solução, Sandel sugere que o eu seja um entendido enquanto “eu situado” nas práticas sociais existentes e, por isso, constituído de seus fins e não, simplesmente, distinto deles. Sandel argumenta a favor da noção de “autoconhecimento” como elemento de reconhecimento dos vínculos constitutivos do “eu” dentro da comunidade. Com base nestas criticas, Rawls responde que a sua abordagem está restrita á concepção política de pessoa e, não necessariamente, possui implicação metafísica. Ele sugere que a sua justificação para a concepção política de pessoa encontra-se fundamentada na cultura pública democrática que enfatiza o pluralismo razoável como um fato da vida moderna, mas, ainda assim, Rawls terá que responder aos questionamentos de Sandel quanto à explicação que ele dá como justificação pública para as instituições democráticas, dentro das quais, as concepções políticas de pessoa e de justiça se desenvolvem. Summary: This paper deals with Michael Sandel’s criticism to the conception of person in John Rawls’ political philosophy. I will make a presentation of Rawls’ position initial and then to analyse the reply of Sandel by focusing on the question concerning the metaphysical conception of person. Then I will present Rawls’ answer to the question as a political conception of person and the limits of such proposal concerning the public justification of democratic institutions. Keywords : Michael Sandel. John Rawls. Justiça. Person. Community. (shrink)
For more than 100 years, anthropologists have collected ethnographic research among communities who assert that the spirits, animal allies, and other entities of the unseen world are “really real,” yet we have historically contextualized this information under the umbrella of cultural relativism rather than taking the veracity of these claims seriously. In the last decade, some anthropologists claim that our discipline has finally undergone an ontological turn, which opens a door for anthropologists to finally take claims of nonhuman sentience seriously (...) under the umbrella of ontological, rather than cultural, relativism. This paper takes issue with ontological relativism as just one more frame for explaining away the stories of other-than-human consciousness that ethnographers report and suggests that there is an urgent need to consider the relevance, rather than the relativism, of other-than-human consciousness. It looks to Michael Harner's work as a welcome alternative to ontological relativism and encourages opening our minds to a reconsideration of what is “really real.”. (shrink)
This paper discusses how Wittgenstein’s thinking informs recent conversations about art and aesthetic practice by examining his influence on the work of the noted modernist art critic, Michael Fried. Fried considers an excerpt from Wittgenstein’s Culture and Value, with a puzzling thought experiment, to help us see more clearly the Canadian artist Jeff Wall’s photographic vision and aesthetic. I consider Fried’s account of the photographic practice of Jeff Wall, especially his photograph Morning Cleaning, Mies van der Rohe Foundation (1999).
Back in the bad old days, it was easy enough to spot non-cognitivists. They pressed radical doctrines with considerable bravado. Intoxicated by the apparent implications of logical positivism, early noncognitivsts would say things like, "in saying that a certain type of action is right or wrong, I am not making any factual statement..." (Ayer 1936: 107) Like most rebellious youths, non-cognitivism eventually grew up. Later non-cognitivists developed the position into a more subtle doctrine, no longer committed to the revisionary doctrines (...) associated with its forefathers. For example, Simon Blackburn has undertaken the "quasi-realist" project of showing how a non-cognitivist can "earn" the right to the seemingly realist discourse on a less metaphysically controversial and semantically implausible basis by giving a non-cognitivist analysis of realist-sounding semantics and pragmatics (Blackburn 1993). (shrink)
This is a review of the biographic drama Love and Mercy. More than a story of the evolution of The Beach Boys, it is the story of the lead Beach Boy, Brian Wilson, and his struggle with substance abuse, mental illness, family stress, emerging love, and a controlling psychologist. Interwoven are many bioethics themes, including the doctor–patient relationship, conflict of interest, autonomy, and patient welfare. For those unaware of the sadness and torment running directly alongside the sunny, bubbly life of (...) The Beach Boys, this film is an eye-opener. It is also a great reminder of the importance of boundaries between clinicians and their patients. (shrink)
Are you familiar with Michael Sandel’s work?Yes I am. In the nineties I read several books on communitarianism, including Michael Sandel’s Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy.What do you think of communitarianism?I discussed communitarianism in my books Five Essays from 1999 and, especially, Historical Ontology more than ten years ago. My thoughts have not changed since then. Simply put, I think communitarianism is the product of developed countries with long traditions of liberalism. It has referential (...) value, but if directly or indiscriminately adopted in other societies it can be quite dangerous.In recent years Sandel has become very... (shrink)
The author attempts to apply semiotic analysis to a question of family law. By examining the language used by the Supreme Court in the title case, Michael H. v. Gerald D., along with the case briefs, lower court opinions, other Supreme Court cases and prior legal scholarship, the author attempts to determine the requisite relationships between father–child and father–mother in order for a legal tie to exist between a father and his biological child. The author tries to not only (...) determine the necessary circumstances but also the political ideology that distinguishes these familial ties. The author further attempts to analyze the goals of these underlying political ideologies. (shrink)
Inheriting the religious prejudices of the Enlightenment, many supporters of liberal democracy consider John Calvin's theology contrary to the norms and virtues necessary for productive public discourse in a religiously and culturally diverse society. In Revolution of the Saints: A Study in the Origins of Radical Politics , Michael Walzer makes a similar assumption, arguing that, despite its contribution to political modernization, the inherent fideism, absolutism, and intolerance of Calvinism constitutes a threat to public discourse in liberal society. In (...) this paper, I contend that the prevailing understanding of Calvin's theology is incorrect. In actuality he is a nuanced natural law thinker, whose complex understanding of human nature and the state encourages the subtle balance of virtues that contemporary political life requires. (shrink)
In my reply to michael devitt, It is argued, First, That quine fails to appreciate the force of plato's "one over many" argument for universals. It is argued, Second, That quine's failure springs in part at least from his doctrine of ontological commitment: from the view that predicates need not be treated with ontological seriousness. Finally, An attempt is made to blunt the force of devitt's contention that realists cannot give a coherent explanation of the way that universals stand (...) to particulars. (shrink)
Introduction: education, philosophy and politics -- Writing the self: Wittgenstein, confession and pedagogy -- Nietzsche, nihilism and the critique of modernity: post-Nietzschean philosophy of education -- Heidegger, education and modernity -- Truth-telling as an educational practice of the self: Foucault and the ethics of subjectivity -- Neoliberal governmentality: Foucault on the birth of biopolitics -- Lyotard, nihilism and education -- Gilles Deleuze's 'societies of control': from disciplinary pedagogy to perpetual training -- Geophilosophy, education and the pedagogy of the concept - (...) Humanism, Derrida and the new humanities -- Politics and deconstruction: Derrida, neoliberalism and democracy -- Neopragmatism, ethnocentrism and the politics of the ethnos: Rorty's 'postmodernist bourgeois liberalism' -- Achieving America: postmodernism and Rorty's critique of the cultural left -- Deranging the investigations: Cavell on the philosophy of the child -- White philosophy in/of America. (shrink)
In _Consciousness and persons_, Michael Tye. Consciousness and persons. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.) develops and defends a novel approach to the unity of consciousness. Rather than thinking of the unity of consciousness as involving phenomenal relations between distinct experiences, as standard accounts do, Tye argues that we should regard the unity of consciousness as involving relations between the contents of consciousness. Having developed an account of what it is for consciousness to be unified, Tye goes on to apply his (...) account of the unity of consciousness to the split-brain syndrome. I provide a critical evaluation of Tye's account of the unity of consciousness and the split-brain syndrome. (shrink)
In her book Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing , Miranda Fricker introduces the helpful notion of “identity prejudice” as “a label for prejudices against people qua social type” . She focuses on race, class and gender, and Michael Hand in his article What Do Kids Know? A response to Karin Murris is indeed correct when he states that I have applied her arguments to age as a category of epistemic exclusion.I argue that among the usual contenders (...) of epistemic prejudices, we also need to be cognisant of adults’ implicit and explicit assumptions and prejudices about child and childhood. However, Hand incorrectly uses Fricker’s ideas to reject my proposal to include child as being on the receiving end of epistemic injustice. A close reading of some passages about stereotyping will show why this is the case and why his own claim that “children typically are immature, ill-informed and endearing” will turn out to .. (shrink)
The flight to reference is a widely-used strategy for resolving philosophical issues. The three steps in a flight to reference argument are: (1) offer a substantive account of the reference relation, (2) argue that a particular expression refers (or does not refer), and (3) draw a philosophical conclusion about something other than reference, like truth or ontology. It is our contention that whenever the flight to reference strategy is invoked, there is a crucial step that is left undefended, and that (...) without a defense of this step, the flight to reference is a fatally flawed strategy; it cannot succeed in resolving philosophical issues. In this paper we begin by setting out the flight to reference strategy and explaining what is wrong with arguments that invoke the strategy. We then illustrate the problem by considering arguments for and against eliminative materialism. In the final section we argue that much the same problem undermines Philip Kitcher's attempt to defend scientific realism. (shrink)
The strength of the motivation it is rational to have in the light of an evaluative judgement covaries independently with both certitude and importance in ways which, Smith argues, his own cognitivist theory of evaluative judgement is well placed to explain. Not so for noncognitivism which identifies evaluations with desires (very broadly construed). Desires can vary in strength both relative to each other and over time: this does not seem like enough structure to accommodate all three structural features that evaluative (...) judgements have. Suppose more structure is imported by saying that valuing something is a matter of desiring to desire it. We might then identify certitude with the strength of the second order desire and importance with the strength of the desired first-order desire. But this assignment seems arbitrary. Why is it superior to the converse assignment? There seems to be no reason. Moreover this picture contradicts commonsense. For strong second-order desires are apt always to defeat weak second-order desires whatever the relative strength of the desired desires (desired desires as such are just intentional objects and pull no motivational weight). Whereas commonsense informs us that, where our motivation is concerned, sometimes great confidence of minor importance trumps faint confidence of great importance and sometimes faint confidence of great importance trumps great confidence of minor importance. Noncognitivism is thus, Smith concludes, ill-suited to capture both the structure evaluative judgements enjoy and the motivational significance of this structure. (shrink)
In 1949, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Manchester organized a symposium “Mind and Machine” with Michael Polanyi, the mathematicians Alan Turing and Max Newman, the neurologists Geoff rey Jeff erson and J. Z. Young, and others as participants. Th is event is known among Turing scholars, because it laid the seed for Turing’s famous paper on “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, but it is scarcely documented. Here, the transcript of this event, together with Polanyi’s original statement and (...) his notes taken at a lecture by Jeff erson, are edited and commented for the fi rst time. Th e originals are in the Regenstein Library of the University of Chicago. Th e introduction highlights elements of the debate that included neurophysiology, mathematics, the mind-body-machine problem, and consciousness and shows that Turing’s approach, as documented here, does not lend itself to reductionism. (shrink)
Creating education systems that promote democratic sustainability has been the concern of political thinkers as diverse as J. S. Mill, Dewey, Benjamin Barber and Derek Bok. The classic dichotomisation of democratic theory between deliberative democrats and Schumpeterian democrats suggests that education in the service of democracy can be constructive—that is, provide a student with the skills necessary to elect her leaders without changing her nature—or reconstructive—that is, fundamentally and radically reshape the student to produce a citizen whose goals are transformed (...) to be congruent with society. Michael Oakeshott, who has written extensively both on political regimes and on the purpose of liberal education, offers a third way to assess the connection between government and education. Despite his own dismissal of civic or political education as fundamentally vocational and thus beyond the boundaries of the liberal arts, this paper provides a potentially surprising Oakeshottian defence of political education within the liberal arts with reference to the importance he places on experience as a pedagogic tool. Thus, Oakeshott's educational philosophy has a certain resonance with the recent calls to locate the relevance of liberal arts within the burgeoning development of experiential civic engagement programmes in American universities. (shrink)
Timothy Michael Fowler has argued that, as a consequence of their commitment to neutrality in regard to comprehensive doctrines, political liberals face a dilemma. In essence, the dilemma for political liberals is that either they have to give up their commitment to neutrality (which is an indispensible part of their view), or they have to allow harm to children. Fowler’s case for this dilemma depends on ascribing to political liberals a view which grants parents a great degree of freedom (...) in deciding on the education of their children. I show that ascribing this view to political liberals rests upon a misinterpretation of political liberalism. Since political liberals have access to reasons based upon the interests of children, they need not yield to parent’s wishes about the education of their children. A correct understanding of political liberalism thus shows that political liberals do not face the dilemma envisaged by Fowler. (shrink)
Michael Strevens has produced an ambitious and comprehensive new account of scientific explanation. This review discusses its main themes, focusing on regularity explanation and a number of methodological concerns.
In Darwin’s Black Box, Michael J. Behe argues that, because certain biochemical systems are both irreducibly complex and very complex, it is extremely unlikely that they evolved gradually by Darwinian mechanisms, and so extremely likely that they were intelligently designed. I begin this paper by explaining Behe’s argument and defending it against the very common but clearly mistaken charge that it is just a rehash of William Paley’s design argument. Then I critically discuss a number of more serious objections (...) to the argument. I conclude that, while Behe successfully rules out some Darwinian paths to the biochemical systems he discusses, others remain open. Thus, his argument against Darwinian gradualism (and ipso facto his argument for intelligent design) is at best incomplete. (shrink)
Working together creates mutual obligations. For example, the members of a football team owe it to each other to work hard for the good of the team. A player who doesn’t try hard enough, or who makes a costly mistake, lets the side down. When the team loses, feelings of responsibility, guilt, and shame ensue. Players ought to feel committed to the team and responsible for its failures. If they don’t, they deserve to be dropped. The idea at the heart (...) of Michael Tomasello’s ‘natural history’ of human morality is that these oughts—the oughts of teamwork—were the first oughts. (shrink)
The films of Michael Haneke, so some critics argue, exploit the nihilism of a media-saturated culture, indulging in a dubious manipulation of audience expectations and our fascination with violence. Such criticisms, however, misunderstand or distort the complex moral, political, and aesthetic purpose of Haneke’s work. Indeed, his films are better understood as examining the socially disorienting and subjectively disintegrating effects of our post-humanist world of mass-mediatised experience. At the same time, they are highly reflexive cinematic works that force us (...) to reflect – both morally and aesthetically – upon our relationship with cinematic and media images. These two strands of Haneke’s work comprise a sustained meditation on what we might call the “post-humanist condition”: a cinematic critique of the disintegration and fragmentation of affect and subjectivity, a disintegration closely linked with contemporary forms of mediatised spectacle and the cynical consumption of images of violence. Given the mediatised nature of contemporary social experience, the only effective way to engage in cinematic critique is by means of the very images that capture and captivate us. (shrink)
This essay is a response to Michael Martin’s “Why the Resurrection Is Initially Improbable,” Philo, Vol. 1, No.1. I argue that Martin has not succeeded in achieving his aim of showing that the Resurrection is initially improbable and thus, by Bayes’s Theorem, implausible. I respond to five of Martin’s arguments: the “particular time and place argument”; the claim that there is no plausible Christian theory of why Jesus should have been incarnated and resurrected; the claim that the Resurrection accounts (...) in the New Testament are unreliable; Martin’s assumptions about how one establishes the initial probability of Resurrection; and the use Martin makes of Bayes’s Theorem to discredit belief in the Resurrection. (shrink)
This paper examines Michael Young's 1958 dystopia, The Rise of the Meritocracy. In this book, the word 'meritocracy' was coined and used in a pejorative sense. Today, however, meritocracy represents a positive ideal against which we measure the justice of our institutions. This paper argues that, when read in the twenty-first century, Young's dystopia does little to dislodge the implicit appeal of a meritocratic society. It examines the principles of education and administrative justice upon which meritocracy is based, suggesting (...) that since 1958 those principles have changed. Young's warning no longer has any effect on us because the meritocratic system it warns us against has been transformed. (shrink)
Michael Rota has identified a problem in my argument for theological incompatibilism, and claims that it also undermines my argument against divinetimeless knowledge. I acknowledge the problem, but show that it is easily corrected and leaves my arguments unscathed.
In the United States, various forms of character education have become popular in both elementary and professional education. They are often criticised, however, for their reliance on Aristotle, who is said to be problematic at several points. In response to these criticisms, I argue that Aristotle?s ancient account of character and its formation remains viable in light of work over the last decade in psychology and the neurosciences. However, some lacunae remain that can at least be partially filled with insights (...) drawn from the work of Michael Polanyi, a scientist-turned-philosopher whose larger philosophical project was launched by a desire to see Western society flourish. Insights from these varied sources can provide the building blocks with which to construct an account of character and its development that preserves Aristotle?s best insights in ways that answer the concerns voiced by the critics. (shrink)
Michael WiIliams maintains that skepticism about the extemal worId is vitiated by a commitment to foundationalism and epistemological realism.. I argue that skepticism is not encumbered in the ways Williams supposes. What matters, first of all, is that we can’t perceive the difference between being in an ordinary environment and being in the sort of situation the skeptic describes. This point can be upheld without embracing any substantial foundationalist tenet, such as the existence of basic beliefs, the availabiIity of (...) something “given,” or the epistemic priority of experience. As to “epistemological realism,” I find that Williams has offered no principled way to distinguish between ordinary chaIIenges to knowledge and skeptical challenges which, supposedly, have no cIaim on our concem. (shrink)
Michael S. Gazzaniga, a pioneer and world leader in cognitive neuroscience, has made an initial attempt to develop neuroethics into a brain-based philosophy of life that he hopes will replace the irrational religious and political belief-systems that still partly govern modern societies. This article critically examines Gazzaniga’s proposal and shows that his actual moral arguments have little to do with neuroscience. Instead, they are based on unexamined political, cultural and moral conceptions, narratives and values. A more promising way of (...) interpreting the belief-forming system of the brain is to say that we cannot avoid thinking in terms of wider frameworks and narratives that are socially embedded and historically developed; consequently, any moral discussion has to be in terms of these frameworks and narratives. (shrink)
It has often been said it would be impossible to write the history of the empire of Trebizond without the terse and often frustratingly laconic chronicle of the Grand Komnenoi by the protonotarios of Alexios III, Michael Panaretos. While recent scholarship has infinitely enhanced our knowledge of the world in which Panaretos lived, it has been approximately seventy years since a scholar dedicated a historiographical study to the text. This study examines the world that Panaretos wanted posterity to see, (...) examining how his post as imperial secretary and his use of sources shaped his representation of reality, whether that reality was Trebizond’s experience of foreigners, the reign of Alexios III, or a narrative that showed the superiority of Trebizond on the international stage. Finally by scrutinizing Panaretos in this way, this paper also illuminates how modern historians of Trebizond have been led astray by the chronicler, unaware of how Panaretos selected material for inclusion for the narratives of his chronicle. (shrink)
One prominent contemporary retributivist theory is built on the notion that crime yields an “unfair advantage” over law-abiding citizens which punishment removes or nullifies. Michael Davis has defended this theory by constructing a market model of “unfair advantage” that he contends answers critics' objections to the retributivist enterprise. I seek to demonstrate the inadequacy of Davis's approach, arguing in particular that the market model rests on an incoherent notion of “demand” and would not, even if coherent, link “unfair advantage” (...) to the seriousness of crimes in any acceptable fashion. The salience of traditional objections to retributivism is thus unaffected by Davis's theory. (shrink)
Among the most vexed moral issues in contemporary conflict is the matter of whether irregular forces waging wars of national liberation should be expected to abide by the same jus in bello rules as state actors, even though these rules may prejudice their cause. Is it, in other words, reasonable to demand that irregular forces, including guerrilla groups and national liberation movements, should comport themselves like state armies, even in cases where this would stymie their capacity to effectively pursue their (...) military goals? This article examines Michael Gross’s recent provocative response to this question. Taking Article 44 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions as his point of departure, Gross contends that the laws governing battlefield conduct should be revised to allow irregular forces waging an otherwise just war greater leeway to pursue their cause. Controversially, he extends this concession to the use of qualified terrorist tactics. Focusing on Gross’s use of the notion of a ‘right to a fighting chance’ as a normative grounding for this far-reaching proposition, this article draws on specific historical cases that arose in the context of Ancient Greek warfare to challenge Gross’s position. On a broader note, this article concludes with some remarks to the effect that this foray into the world of Ancient Greek warfare is demonstrative of the critical potential of a historical approach to the ethics of war. (shrink)
Michael Oakeshott as a Critic of Hobbes's Theory of the Will - ABSTRACT: Patrick Riley asks why the post-War Oakeshott stopped speaking of the incoherence of Hobbes’s philosophy of volition, as he had in his Hobbes studies before the War. One answer is that he became more and more sensitive to the necessity of counterbalancing the determinist reading of Hobbes, which tended to be dominant in the 1970s’ Hobbes studies. He cites the example of Thomas Spragens’s The Politics of (...) Motion , according to which the human will appears only as a natural movement in a material universe. Although Jürgen Overhoff’s Theory of the Will advances the view that there is complete coherence in Hobbes’s conception of volition, Riley finds his arguments unconvincing. In the end, Riley declares himself favorable to Oakeshott’s "less satisfactory" interpretation of Hobbes, given the incoherence between the Hobbesian critique of free will, fully developed in The Questions concerning Liberty, Necessity and Chance, and the requirements of a political theory of contract in terms of a theory of rational will. (shrink)
Hoppmann, Michael J.: Argumentative Verteidigung. Grundlegung zu einer modernen Statuslehre. [Argumentative Advocacy. Foundations of a Modern Stasis Theory.] Content Type Journal Article Pages 525-526 DOI 10.1007/s10503-010-9192-5 Authors Matthias Plötz, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 4.
The article examines the state of research on Michael of Ephesus as a probable author of the Commentaries on Metaphysics E–N, mainly the works of Leonardo Tarán and Concetta Luna. In spite of their opposed views, they both agree on the mediocrity of the Byzantine author. The article questions the criteria for this negative appraisal and offers some material for reconsidering Michael of Ephesus’ idea of philosophical culture.
Contrary to Michael Miller, I maintain that Descartes’s language test adequately distinguishes humans from non-human animals, and that the bonobosKanzi and Panbanisha have not passed it. Miller accepts Descartes’s language test as a good test for true language usage, but denies that it is an adequate test for the presence or absence of reason. I argue that it is a good test for reason, for normal rational beings eventually recognize the desirableness of knowledge of the world for its own (...) sake as well as the fact that such knowledge can be increased by conversing with others. I also argue that the tests administered to the bonobos in question are inadequate for determining true language usage, as they could be passed by animals merely capable of associative learning. (shrink)
Foundations of Relational Realism: A Topological Approach to Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Nature by Michael Epperson and Elias Zafiris sets out to achieve three goals: to develop a version of Whiteheadian metaphysics that the authors call “relational realism”; to formalize relational realism in terms of category theory, in particular sheaf theory; and to use relational realism to solve the interpretative problems of quantum mechanics. These goals are ambitious, to say the least, and all this is leaving aside (...) those sections of FRR which argue that relational realism yields the key to understanding quantum gravity!The text is 388 pages long and comprises two parts. Part I, by Epperson, introduces relational realism and its application to quantum mechanics. Part II, by Zafiris, develops the sheaf theory formalism for relational realism. As the authors say, their exposition is “nonlinear”, and this feature of FRR, alon .. (shrink)