This book is an excellent collection of papers which partly spring from, and partly bear on the Study Group on the Unity of Knowledge held in various universities, October, 1967-March, 1970. The papers all bear on the problem of reduction. In "Unity of Physical Law and Levels of Description," Ilya Prigogine argues that organized structures need physical laws of organization, not of entropy only, to explain their genesis and operation." The editor’s paper, "Reducibility: Another Side Issue," argues, following Polanyi, that (...) living things as machines already transcend physics, since they demand both chemical and engineering principles for their explanation." "How is Mechanism Conceivable?" points out that ordinary ways of talking about and explaining behavior, i.e., as involving intention and purpose, differs in logic from mechanistic explanation. But this difference in logic of the two languages is "never an obstacle to the reduction of one theory to another, indeed, there is always such a noncongruence of the conceptual mesh." Anthony J. P. Kenny’s "The Homunculus Fallacy" argues against "the reckless application of human-being predicates to insufficiently human-like objects." In "Behavior, Belief, and Emotion," A. C. MacIntyre argues for the thesis that "there is no necessary connection between at least some emotions and particular forms of behavior." In "The Critique of Artificial Reason," H. Dreyfus criticizes both the empirical and a priori arguments for optimism underlying the work in artificial intelligence. It displays the underlying philosophical assumption inherent in Western philosophical tradition since Plato. The last two papers concern Polanyi’s theory of knowledge. In "Tacit Knowledge and the Concept of Mind," W. T. Scott shows how Ryle’s "Concept of Mind can be significantly extended by considering certain features of the philosophical position that Michael Polanyi has developed around the concept of tacit knowing." R. S. Cohen’s "Tacit, Social and Hopeful" discusses the difficulties in Polanyi’s epistemology and the merits of the logical reconstruction work in science. Only the papers by Dreyfus and Scott have been previously published. Throughout the collection, the editor has provided useful introductory remarks focusing upon the unifying themes in the collection.—A. S. C. (shrink)
Repression has remained controversial for nearly a century on account of the lack of well-controlled evidence validating it. Here we argue that the conceptual and methodological tools now exist for a rigorous scientific examination of repression, and that a nascent cognitive neuroscience of repression is emerging. We review progress in this area and highlight important questions for this field to address.
The arguments for redistribution of wealth, and for prohibiting certain transactions such as price-gouging, both are based in mistaken conceptions of exchange. This paper proposes a neologism, “euvoluntary” exchange, meaning both that the exchange is truly voluntary and that it benefits both parties to the transaction. The argument has two parts: First, all euvoluntary exchanges should be permitted, and there is no justification for redistribution of wealth if disparities result only from euvoluntary exchanges. Second, even exchanges that are not euvoluntary (...) should generally be permitted, because access to market exchange may be the only means by which people in desperate circumstances can improve their position. (shrink)
In this book, law professors Sherry F. Colb and Michael C. Dorf argue that: -/- many non-human animals, at least vertebrates, are morally considerable and prima facie wrong to harm because they are sentient, i.e., conscious and capable of experiencing pains and pleasures; most aborted human fetuses are not sentient -- their brains and nervous systems are not yet developed enough for sentience -- and so the motivating moral concern for animals doesn't apply to most abortions; later abortions affecting (...) sentient fetuses, while rare, raise serious moral concerns, but these abortions -- like all abortions -- invariably involve the interests and rights of the pregnant woman, which can make these abortions morally permissible. For a book claiming to explore the "connections" between debates about the two issues, just the summary from the book flap -- basically, what's above -- makes it appear that there really isn't much connection between the topics, at least at the core ethical level. Animals are sentient, early fetuses are not, and so the moral arguments about the two issues don't overlap or share premises. While the authors hope to use insights from one issue to shed light on the other, I find that differences in the issues limit these insights. (shrink)
Michael Dummett, Frege and other philosophers. Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1991. xii + 330pp. £35. ISBN W.Balzer and C.U.Moulines, Structuralist theory of science:focal issues, new results, Berlin; de Gruyter, 1996. xi + 295 pp.DM 210. ISBN 3-11-014075-6 Henry Prakken, Logical tools for modeling legal argument a study of defeasible reasoning in law.Dordrecht, The Netherlands:Kluwer Academic, 1997, xiii + 314pp.£75.00/$125.00 J.Srzednicki and Z.Stachniak Lesniewski’s Systems.Protothetic.Nijhoff International Philosophy Series, 54, Dordrecht, Boston and London:Kluwer, 1998. xiv + 310 pp, £99. ISBN 0-7923-4504-5.