Michael Tooley presents a major new philosophical theory of the nature of time, offering a powerful alternative to the traditional "tensed" and recent "tenseless" accounts of time. He argues for a dynamic conception of the universe, in which past, present, and future are not merely subjective features of experience. He claims that the past and the present are real, while the future is not. Tooley's approach accounts for time in terms of causation. He therefore claims that the key to understanding (...) the dynamic nature of the universe is to understand the nature of causation. Time, Tense, and Causation is a landmark treatment of one of the oldest and most perplexing intellectual problems, and will be fascinating reading for anyone interested in the character of time. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the question of the truth conditions of nomological statements. My fundamental thesis is that it is possible to set out an acceptable, noncircular account of the truth conditions of laws and nomological statements if and only if relations among universals - that is, among properties and relations, construed realistically - are taken as the truth-makers for such statements. My discussion will be restricted to strictly universal, nonstatistical laws. The reason for this limitation is not that (...) I feel there is anything dubious about the concept of a statistical law, nor that I feel that basic laws cannot be statistical. The reason is methodological. The case of strictly universal, nonstatistical laws would seem to be the simplest case. If the problem of the truth conditions of laws can be solved for this simple subcase, one can then investigate whether the solution can be extended to the more complex cases. I believe that the solution I propose here does have that property, though I shall not pursue that question here.1. (shrink)
Tooley here sets out and defends realist accounts of traditional empiricist explanations of causation and laws of nature, arguing that since reductionist accounts of causation are exposed to decisive objections, empiricists must break with that tradition.
This volume presents a selection of the most influential recent discussions of the crucial metaphysical questions: what is it for one event to cause another? The subject of causation bears on many topics, such as time, explanation, mental states, the laws of nature, and the philosphy of science.
The newest addition to the Point/Counterpoint Series, Abortion: Three Perspectives features a debate between four noted philosophers - Michael Tooley, Celia Wolf-Devine, Philip E. Devine, and Alison M. Jaggar - presenting different perspectives on one of the most socially and politically argued issues of the past 30 years. The three main arguments include the "liberal" pro-choice approach, the "communitarian" pro-life approach, and the "gender justice" approach. Divided into two parts, the text features the authors' ideas, developed in depth, and their (...) responses to one another within each framework. As philosophers, the authors have special skills in critical analysis and thinking systematically about values. The text is appropriate for advanced courses in ethics, bioethics, sex and gender issues, and contemporary moral issues. (shrink)
Philosophers have responded to McTaggart’s famous argument for the unreality of time in a variety of ways. Some of those responses are not easy to evaluate, since they involve, for example, sometimes murky questions concerning whether a certain infinite regress is or is not vicious. In this paper I set out a response that has not, I think, been advanced by any other author, and which, if successful, is absolutely clear-cut. The basic idea is simply that a tensed approach to (...) time can avoid McTaggart’s contradiction, and can also avoid any regress, vicious or otherwise, by specifying the times at which events have different tensed properties in a tenseless fashion — namely, by using dates. This answer to McTaggart’s argument is, however, open to four important objections. The first objection is that my answer to the second part of McTaggart’s argument is incompatible with something that McTaggart takes himself to have proved in the first part of his argument — the claim, namely, that “there can be no change unless some propositions are sometimes true and sometimes false.” The second objection is that the sentences that I claim can be used to specify when an event has a given tensed property do not in fact do so, since they turn out to be purely tenseless sentences. The third objection is that the sentences in question make use of tenseless verbs, and that it is not in fact possible to make sense of such verbs. The fourth and final objection is that it is not really possible to specify, in tenseless terms, when an event has a given tensed property, since dates have to be analyzed using the relation of temporal priority, and that relation, in turn, must be analyzed in terms of the tensed properties of pastness, presentness and futurity, so that the purportedly tenseless specification is implicitly tensed. I argue, however, that none of these four objections can be sustained. (shrink)
This volume presents a selection of the most influential recent discussions of the crucial metaphysical question: What is it for one event to cause another? The subject of causation bears on many topics, such as time, explanation, mental states, the laws of nature, and the philosophy of science. Contributors include J.L Mackie, Michael Scriven, Jaegwon Kim, G.E.M. Anscombe, G.H. von Wright, C.J. Ducasse, Wesley C. Salmon, David Lewis, Paul Horwich, Jonathan Bennett, Ernest Sosa, and Michael Tooley.
Knowledge of God takes the form of a debate between Alvin Plantinga and Michael Tooley. Plantinga opens the batting with a seventy-page laying out of his case ‘that theism has a significant epistemic virtue: if it is true, it is warranted; this is a virtue naturalism emphatically lacks’. Indeed, Plantinga argues that ‘if naturalism were true, there would be no such thing as knowledge’. It will be recalled [e.g. Plantinga and Plantinga ] that Plantinga's position is that warrant, understood as (...) whatever it is that needs to be added to true belief to …. (shrink)
Among the central theses defended in this paper are the following. First, the logical incompatibility version of the argument from evil is not one of the crucial versions, and Plantinga, in fostering the illusion that it is, seriously misrepresents claims advanced by other philosophers. Secondly, Plantinga’s arguments against the thesis that the existence of any evil at all is logically incompatible with God’s existence. Thirdly, Plantinga’s attempt to demonstrate that the existence of a certain amount of evil in the world (...) does not render improbable the existence of God involves both a false claim and a fallacious inference. (shrink)
In his recent article, ``Self-Consciousness', George Bealer has set outa novel and interesting argument against functionalism in the philosophyof mind. I shall attempt to show, however, that Bealer's argument cannotbe sustained.In arguing for this conclusion, I shall be defending three main theses.The first is connected with the problem of defining theoreticalpredicates that occur in theories where the following two features arepresent: first, the theoretical predicate in question occurswithin both extensional and non-extensional contexts; secondly, thetheory in question asserts that the relevant (...) theoretical states enterinto causal relations. What I shall argue is that a Ramsey-styleapproach to the definition of such theoretical terms requires twodistinct quantifiers: one which ranges over concepts, and theother which ranges over properties in the world. (shrink)
In this essay, my goal is, first, to describe the most important contemporary philosophical approaches to the nature of time, and then, secondly, to discuss the ways in which those different accounts bear upon the question of the possibility of divine foreknowledge. I shall argue that different accounts of the nature of time give rise to different objections to the idea of divine foreknowledge, but that, in addition, there is a general argument for the impossibility of divine foreknowledge that is (...) independent of one’s account of the nature of time. (shrink)
In her book, The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge, Linda Zagzebski suggests that among the strongest ways of supporting the thesis that libertarian free will is incompatible with divine foreknowledge is what she refers to as the Accidental Necessity argument. Zagzebski contends, however, that at least three satisfactory responses to that argument are available.I argue that two of the proposed solutions are open to strong objections, and that the third, although it may very well handle the specific versions of the (...) Accidental Necessity argument that Zagzebski considers, fails when confronted with a stronger version of the Accidental Necessity line of argument. (shrink)
How are causal relations between particular states of affairs related to causal laws? There appear to be three main answers to this question, and the choice among those three alternatives would seem to be crucial for any account of causation. In spite of this fact, the question of which view is correct has been all but totally neglected in present-day discussions. Indeed, since the time of Hume, one answer has more or less dominated philosophical thinking about causation. In this paper (...) I shall attempt to show that the view in question is exposed to decisive objections. (shrink)
In my commentary on Francesca Minerva's article ‘New Threats to Academic Freedom’, I agree with her contention that the existence of the Internet has given rise to new and very serious threats to academic freedom. I think that it is crucial that we confront those threats, and find ways to eliminate them, which I believe can be done. The threats in question involve both authors and editors. In the case of authors, I argue that the best solution is not anonymous (...) publication, but publication using pseudonyms, and I describe how that would work. In the case of editors, my proposal is a website that a number of journals would have access to, where papers that editors judge to be clearly worthy of publication, but whose publication seems likely to set off a firestorm of public and media protest, could be published without any indication of the journal that had accepted the paper for publication. (shrink)