A long time ago, I procured a little book edited by Soren Kierkegaard entitled The Sickness Unto Death (1849). What is more, I read it. (I must confess to having been first attracted to it solely by its title). For and as a tribute to Alastair Hannay I was inspired to set down in print this brief (altogether too brief, philosophically speaking) and unsystematic reflection. What struck me most palpably was the suggestion that, although our worldly endeavors and thus our (...) publications are, so to speak, temporally limited, our despair is not. I write on the obligations and privileges of that mood. (shrink)
We explore and critically reflect on the process of science and engineering research assistant skill development both within laboratory-based research teams and, when no team is present, within the faculty supervisor-research assistant interactions. Using a performance-based measure of research skill development, we identify research assistants who, over the course of an academic year of service as a researcher, markedly developed, modestly developed, or failed to develop their research skills. Interviews with these research assistants and their faculty supervisors, seen through the (...) lens of cognitive apprenticeship, provide insight into this variation. We found that within the contours of supervisory relationships and research teams, research skill development is indelibly shaped, for better or worse, by supervisor influence and abundant trial-and-error. (shrink)
This major study of Kant provides a detailed examination of the development and function of the doctrine of transcendental illusion in his theoretical philosophy. The author shows that a theory of 'illusion' plays a central role in Kant's arguments about metaphysical speculation and scientific theory. Indeed, she argues that we cannot understand Kant unless we take seriously his claim that the mind inevitably acts in accordance with ideas and principles that are 'illusory'. Taking this claim seriously, we can make much (...) better sense of Kant's arguments and reach a deeper understanding of the role he allots human reason in science. (shrink)
What can I Know? introduces and assesses what many consider to be the most important of all Kant’s great questions, set out in his Critique of Pure Reason , and one of the most important in philosophy itself: what are the bounds of knowledge? MichelleGrier begins with a helpful survey of the question prior to Kant, in particular the arguments of the rationalists Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz and the empiricists, above all Hume. She describes, in a clear (...) and engaging style, how Kant attempted to find a middle path between the two and what led to the famous "Copernican turn" in his philosophy. She explains the fundamental theories at the heart of Kant’s epistemology: the distinction between appearances and ‘things in themselves’; the transcendental unity of apperception; and Kant’s arguments concerning space and time. In the second part of the book, Grier introduces the main criticisms of Kant’s philosophy, including those of Hegel and Nietzsche. The final part situates Kant’s epistemology in the context of contemporary philosophical debates including those in cognitive science. These include a priori knowledge, correspondence versus coherentist theories of knowledge, ‘naturalized’ epistemology and perception. Including helpful chapter summaries and guides to further reading, What Can I Know? Is an outstanding introduction to Kant's epistemology and the legacy of Kant's question itself. (shrink)
In this acclaimed work, first published in 1986, world-renowned scholar Arthur C. Danto explored the inextricably linked but often misunderstood relationship between art and philosophy. In light of the book's impact -- especially the essay "The End of Art," which dramatically announced that art ended in the 1960s -- this enhanced edition includes a foreword by Jonathan Gilmore that discusses how scholarship has changed in response to it. Complete with a new bibliography of work on and influenced by Danto's (...) ideas, _The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art_ continues to be of interest to anyone who thinks seriously about art, as well as to philosophers, aestheticians, and art historians. (shrink)
This translation from Russian of The Philosophy of Hegel as a Doctrine of the Concreteness of God and Humanity marks the first appearance in English of any of the works of Russian philosopher Ivan Aleksandrovich Il’in. Originally published in 1918, on the eve of the Russian civil war, this two- volume commentary on Hegel marked both an apogee of Russian Silver Age philosophy and a significant manifestation of the resurgence of interest in Hegel that began in the early twentieth century. (...) Il’in’s colleague A. F. Losev accurately observed in the same year it appeared: “Neither the study of Hegel nor the study of contemporary Russian philosophical thought is any longer thinkable without this book of I. A. Il’in’s.” Some Hegel scholars may know this work through the abridged translation into German that Il’in produced himself in 1946. However, that edition omitted most of the original volume two. Noted Hegel scholar Philip T. Grier’s edition—with an introduction setting Il’in’s work in its proper historical, cultural, and philosophical contexts and annotation throughout—represents the first opportunity for non-Russian-speaking readers to acquaint themselves with the full scope of Il’in’s still provocative interpretation of Hegel. (shrink)
The publication of volume 2 of Philip T. Grier’s translation of _The Philosophy of Hegel as a Doctrine of the Concreteness of God and Humanity _completes the first appearance in English of any of the works of Russian philosopher I. A.Il’in. Most of the contents of volume 2 will be unknown even to those who have read the 1946 German version prepared by Il’in, because in that version he omitted eight of the original ten chapters. These omitted chapters provide (...) an extended reflection on the central categories of Hegel’s moral, legal, and political philosophies, as well as of the philosophy of history. The topics examined are, in order: freedom, humanity, will, right, morality, ethical life, personhood and its virtue, and the state. Contained within these chapters are some notably insightful expositions of core doctrines in Hegel’s philosophy. Il’in’s colleague A. F. Losev accurately observed in the same year the text first appeared: “Neither the study of Hegel nor the study of contemporary Russian philosophical thought is any longer thinkable without this book of I. A. Il’in’s.”. (shrink)
Many philosophical accounts of the emotions conceive of them as susceptible to assessments of rationality, fittingness, or some other notion of aptness. Analogous assumptions apply in cases of emotions directed at what are taken to be only fictional or only imagined. My question is whether the criteria governing the aptness of emotions we have toward what we take to be real things apply invariantly to those emotions we have toward what we take to be only fictional or imagined. I argue (...) that what counts as a reason justifying an emotion can differ across real, fictional, and imagined domains. (shrink)
Since scholarly interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) has primarily focused on the synergies between social and economic performance, our understanding of how (and the conditions under which) companies use CSR to produce policy outcomes that work against public welfare has remained comparatively underdeveloped. In particular, little is known about how corporate decision-makers privately reconcile the conflicts between public and private interests, even though this is likely to be relevant to understanding the limitations of CSR as a means of aligning (...) business activity with the broader public interest . This study addresses this issue using internal tobacco industry documents to explore British-American Tobacco’s (BAT) thinking on CSR and its effects on the company’s CSR Programme. The article presents a three-stage model of CSR development, based on Sykes and Matza’s theory of techniques of neutralization, which links together: how BAT managers made sense of the company’s declining political authority in the mid-1990s; how they subsequently justified the use of CSR as a tool of stakeholder management aimed at diffusing the political impact of public health advocates by breaking up political constituencies working towards evidence-based tobacco regulation; and how CSR works ideologically to shape stakeholders’ perceptions of the relative merits of competing approaches to tobacco control. Our analysis has three implications for research and practice. First, it underlines the importance of approaching corporate managers’ public comments on CSR critically and situating them in their economic, political and historical contexts. Second, it illustrates the importance of focusing on the political aims and effects of CSR. Third, by showing how CSR practices are used to stymie evidence-based government regulation, the article underlines the importance of highlighting and developing matrices to assess the negative social impacts of CSR. (shrink)
I formulate a theory of persistence in the endurantist family and pose a problem for the conjunction of this theory with orthodox versions of special or general relativity. The problem centers around the question: Where are things?
Endurantism, the view that material objects are wholly present at each moment of their careers, is under threat from supersubstantivalism, the view that material objects are identical to spacetime regions. I discuss three compromise positions. They are alike in that they all take material objects to be composed of spacetime points or regions without being identical to any such point or region. They differ in whether they permit multilocation and in whether they generate cases of mereologically coincident entities.
How is the debate between endurantism and perdurantism affected by the transition from pre-relativistic spacetimes to relativistic ones? After suggesting that the endurance vs. perdurance distinction may run together a pair of cross-cutting distinctions, I discuss two recent attempts to show that the transition in question does serious damage to endurantism.
Do Russellian propositions have their constituents as parts? One reason for thinking not is that if they did, they would generate apparent counterexamples to plausible mereological principles. As Frege noted, they would be in tension with the transitivity of parthood. A certain small rock is a part of Etna but not of the proposition that Etna is higher than Vesuvius. So, if Etna were a part of the given proposition, parthood would fail to be transitive. As William Bynoe has noted (...) (speaking of facts rather than propositions), they would seem to violate certain supplementation principles. Consider the singular proposition, concerning identity, that it is identical with itself. Given the relevant form of Russellianism, this proposition would have identity as a proper part, but it would not have any parts disjoint from identity, and indeed it would not have even a single pair of disjoint parts, in violation of various supplementation principles. This chapter offers a unified solution to the problems about transitivity and supplementation. One key ingredient in the solution is the view that parthood is a four-place relation expressed by ‘x at y is a part of z at w’. Another key ingredient is the view that the semantic contents of predicates and sentential connectives have ‘slots’ or ‘argument positions’ in them. (Both ingredients are independently motivated elsewhere.) Four-place analogues of the transitivity and supplementation principles are set out, and it is argued that these are not threatened by the examples from Frege and Bynoe. (shrink)
Existing puzzles about coinciding objects can be divided into two types, corresponding to the manner in which they bear upon the endurantism v. perdurantism debate. Puzzles of the first type, which involve temporary spatial co-location, can be solved simply by abandoning endurantism in favor of perdurantism, whereas those of the second type, which involve career-long spatial co-location, remain equally puzzling on both views. I show that the possibility of backward time travel would give rise to a new type of puzzle. (...) The new puzzles confront perdurantists and can be solved just by shifting to endurantism. (shrink)
Symbolic arithmetic is fundamental to science, technology and economics, but its acquisition by children typically requires years of effort, instruction and drill1,2. When adults perform mental arithmetic, they activate nonsymbolic, approximate number representations3,4, and their performance suffers if this nonsymbolic system is impaired5. Nonsymbolic number representations also allow adults, children, and even infants to add or subtract pairs of dot arrays and to compare the resulting sum or difference to a third array, provided that only approximate accuracy is required6–10. Here (...) we report that young children, who have mastered verbal counting and are on the threshold of arithmetic instruction, can build on their nonsymbolic number system to perform symbolic addition and subtraction11–15. Children across a broad socio-economic spectrum solved symbolic problems involving approximate addition or subtraction of large numbers, both in a laboratory test and in a school setting. Aspects of symbolic arithmetic therefore lie within the reach of children who have learned no algorithms for manipulating numerical symbols. Our findings help to delimit the sources of children’s difficulties learning symbolic arithmetic, and they suggest ways to enhance children’s engagement with formal mathematics. We presented children with approximate symbolic arithmetic problems in a format that parallels previous tests of non-symbolic arithmetic in preschool children8,9. In the first experiment, five- to six-year-old children were given problems such as ‘‘If you had twenty-four stickers and I gave you twenty-seven more, would you have more or less than thirty-five stickers?’’. Children performed well above chance (65.0%, t1952.77, P 5 0.012) without resorting to guessing or comparison strategies that could serve as alternatives to arithmetic. Children who have been taught no symbolic arithmetic therefore have some ability to perform symbolic addition problems. The children’s performance nevertheless fell short of performance on non-symbolic arithmetic tasks using equivalent addition problems with numbers presented as arrays of dots and with the addition operation conveyed by successive motions of the dots into a box (71.3% correct, F1,345 4.26, P 5 0.047)8.. (shrink)
Slot theory is the view that (i) there exist such entities as argument places, or ‘slots’, in universals, and that (ii) a universal u is n-adic if and only if there are n slots in u. I argue that those who take properties and relations to be abundant, fine-grained, non-set-theoretical entities face pressure to be slot theorists. I note that slots permit a natural account of the notion of adicy. I then consider a series of ‘slot-free’ accounts of that notion (...) and argue that each of them has significant drawbacks. (shrink)
Nonsymbolic comparison tasks are commonly used to index the acuity of an individual's Approximate Number System (ANS), a cognitive mechanism believed to be involved in the development of number skills. Here we asked whether the time that an individual spends observing numerical stimuli influences the precision of the resultant ANS representations. Contrary to standard computational models of the ANS, we found that the longer the stimulus was displayed, the more precise was the resultant representation. We propose an adaptation of the (...) standard model, and suggest that this finding has significant methodological implications for numerical cognition research. (shrink)
Between 1820 and 1870, middle-class Americans became convinced of the role nonhuman animals could play in socializing children. Companion animals in and around the household were the medium for training children into self-consciousness about, and abhorrence of, causing pain to other creatures including, ultimately, other people. In an age where the formation of character was perceived as an act of conscious choice and self-control, middle-class Americans understood cruelty to animals as a problem both of individual or familial deficiency and of (...) good and evil. Training children to be self-conscious about kindness became an important task of parenting. Domestic advisors also argued that learning kindness was critical for boys who were developmentally prone to cruelty and whose youthful cruelty had implications both for the future of family life and for the body politic. The practice of pet keeping, where children became stewards of companion animals who were then able to teach young humans such virtues as gratitude and fidelity, became a socially meaningful act. (shrink)
Immanent universals, being wholly present wherever they are instantiated, are capable of both multi-location and co-location. As a result, they can become involved in some bizarre situations, situations whose contradictory appearance cannot be dispelled by any of the relativizing maneuvers familiar to metaphysicials as solutions to the problem of change. Douglas Ehring takes this to be a fatal problem for immanent universals, but I do not. Although the old relativizing maneuvers don't solve the problem, I propose a new one that (...) does. I spend half the paper defending the proposed solution against objections, and in the course of this task I touch upon such topics as backward time travel and the distinction between universals and particulars. I close by putting forward -- merely as an option -- a new way to draw the distinction in question. (shrink)
I introduce a puzzle about contact and de re temporal predication in relativistic spacetime. In particular, I describe an apparent counterexample to the following principle, roughly stated: if B is never in a position to say ‘I was touching A, I am touching A, and I will be touching A’, then (time travel aside) A is never in a position to say ‘I was touching B, I am touching B, and I will be touching B’. In the case I present, (...) the most that A is ever in a position to say is: ‘I am now touching B, but this is the only instant at which this will ever be so’. B, on the other hand, can say: ‘I was formerly touching A, I am currently touching A, and I will in the future be touching A’. (And neither object is a time traveler.). (shrink)