The following questions are discussed here. Is induction a reasonable procedure in the context of a denial of physically necessary connections? What is physical necessity? If induction does presuppose physical necessity, what amount of it is presupposed? It is argued that with logic as the only restriction on what is to count as a possible world, it is unreasonable to claim that observed connections, whether universal or statistical, will continue to hold. The concept of physical necessity is no more problematic (...) than that of logical necessity, once it is recognized that the necessity of physical and logical necessity is the same. A variant of Keynes' principle of limited independent variety answers the question of the amount of physical necessity presupposed. (shrink)
Some see health care as primarily an individual responsibility. Others see it as a public responsibility. Behind these approaches are strong conflicting beliefs about ethical matters, specifically about the kind of good that health care is. On the one side the underlying belief is that health care is no more than an individual good and hence calls for a distributive policy based on the market. On the other side the underlying belief is that it is a public good and hence (...) calls for a distributive policy based on widespread agreement.' There will be intermediate approaches which try with varying success to justify themselves by piecing together beliefs from both sides. I shall explain what is involved in calling something a public good. Then I shall try to show that, if health care is to satisfy some rather plausible criteria, it must have the character of a public good. (shrink)
This book offers a political theory combining elements from the Marxist and liberal traditions. It presents the reader with a disturbing view of the contemporary state as at war with itself. This internal conflict is no accident but stems from the state's having the double task of spurring on the economy and protecting the welfare and rights of all its citizens. Such conflict does not end at national boundaries but extends through the system of any imperial state. This perspective illuminates (...) the fractures and instability within the imperial system. This book will be of particular interest to political scientists, political philosophers, and those engaged in policy studies. (shrink)
I. The Metaphysics Behind the New Idealism. My remarks in this paper focus on the question of the connection between thought and the world from the perspective of recent critical discussions of the correspondence theory of truth. In some of these discussions, the notion of the world has been branded a will o’ the wisp. The plain implication of these discussions is the reintroduction of something like “objective idealism” back into the philosophical arena. For, the world is countenanced only in (...) a sense that ties it closely to a common set of beliefs, while it is rejected in the sense that would make it other than thought. There is no attempt, within the new idealism, to eliminate familiar physical objects or to insist that the set of beliefs are those of the first person. And so neither of the important characteristics of “subjective idealism” are present. (shrink)
Toward a New Socialism offers a critical analysis of capitalism's failings and the imminent need for socialism as an alternative form of government. Dr. Richard Schmitt joins with Dr. Anatole Anton to compile a volume of essays exploring the benefits and consequences of a socialist system as an avenue of increased human solidarity and ethical principle.
The view that analytic propositions are those which are true in virtue of rules of use is basically correct. But there are many kinds of rules of use, and rules of some of these kinds do not generate truth. There is nothing like a grammatical analytic, though grammatical rules are rules of use. So, this rules-of-use view falls short of being an explanatory account. My problem is to find what it is that is special about those rules of use which (...) do generate truth. I shall argue that they are distinguished from others by their purpose rather than their content. Given their special purpose, one can explain how they generate truth. It will follow that linguistic regularities, considered apart from the purposes of those who use language, fail to provide a basis for understanding analyticity. On my account of it, analyticity turns out to be a less important characteristic of propositions than necessity. This is be- cause necessity, unlike analyticity, has its roots, not just in a contemporary system of usage, but in a wide family of systems of belief and usage. My efforts to deflate the philosophical value of the analytic will be summed up in the conclusion that analytic propositions can be contingent. I think this conclusion is behind the feeling that the propositions of logic and arithmetic are not merely analytic. For, if they were merely analytic, that is, true only in virtue of transitory conventions, then they would be contingent. Justice can be done to this feeling by the view that they are both analytic and necessary. (shrink)
I shall enumerate concepts which pick out the chief components of causation and describe the interrelations between them. There will be no full dress refutation of the necessary sequence view, my main concern here being to paint a detailed picture of the causal action view. Further, I shall not concern myself with how one knows in a given instance of causation that there is causal action and not just the sequence one observes. In fact, I shall assume from the start (...) that the relation of causation to action can be established prior to settling this epistemological issue. (shrink)
Specifically, the aim of a philosophical investigation of science which is cosmological in orientation would be formulated differently in the light of different views of the status of scientific theories. The realist, who treats theory as a literal description of the world, will, predictably, set his sights on, say, finding from theory the nature of time itself. The time of everyday experience is then explained as a by-product of interaction with the world. The positivist, who does not treat theory as (...) a literal description of the world, will instead set his sights on describing the concept of time in a certain theory or, if he shares the present historical mood, on describing the development of that concept through successive theories. His particular epistemological bias does not bar the way to an investigation of the time of everyday experience which would proceed independently of science. (shrink)
When speaking of society’s role in ethics, one tends to think of society as regimenting people through its customs. _Ethics and Social Survival_ rejects theories that treat ethics as having justification within itself and contends that ethics can have a grip on humans only if it serves their deep-seated need to live together. It takes a social-survival view of ethical life and its norms by arguing that ethics looks to society not for regimentation by customs, but rather for the viability (...) of society. Fisk traces this theme through the work of various philosophers and builds a consideration of social divisions to show how rationalists fail to realize their aim of justifying ethical norms across divisions. The book also explores the relation of power and authority to ethics—without simply dismissing them as impediments—and explains how personal values such as honesty, modesty, and self-esteem still retain ethical importance. Finally, it shows that basing ethics on avoiding social collapse helps support familiar norms of liberty, justice, and democracy, and strives to connect global and local ethics. (shrink)
The recent publication of The Logic of Scientific Discovery makes available for the first time an English translation of Popper’s Logik der Forschung. Numerous footnotes and 155 pages of new appendices have been added to the original text. However, the original text itself has been left unchanged. For an elaboration of many of the points sketched in the new material the author refers to a forthcoming sequel to this volume, Postscript: After Twenty Years.
After an extended period in which Marxism received relatively little attention, many of its tenets are now playing a more important role within the left. This essay argues for the relevance today of a number of Marx’s major themes. The Marx I offer here is a conservative Marx. I base this view on his insistence that socialism is needed not to makes us perfect but to save society, in a general sense, from the threats of destruction that it encounters under (...) capitalism. His criticism of utopianism requires that change be anchored in steps humanity has prepared itself to take, rather than in steps that it has no reason to believe will be effective. The importance of class has survived attacks on it as a relic of industrialism and the dominance of the male proletariat. But the working class is more extensive than it ever was. It now encompasses diverse races, genders, and cultures in what can become a front against capitalism. Finally, Marx’s politics posits an inversion of the power relation in capitalist society with capitalism’s subordination of citizens to the state. The global ferment against the failures of capitalism opens new possibilities for the growth of anti-capitalist currents. (shrink)
This volume aims to capture the basic thrust of progressive views about justice in the recent period. Fisk's selections show that in the ground-breaking work now being done, there is a unity of ethical and political considerations. Theoretical concerns and studies of practical justice are also addressed. The editor incorporates high theory as expounded by figures like Rawls and Habermas, as well as applications to issues of race, gender, law, ecology and class. Since the 19th century intellectual background is important (...) for studying current developments in justice, J S Mill, Marx and T H Green are also included to represent the current of social change from that time. Finally, recent debates on whether justice can be colour- or gender-blind are represented in the writings of a number of known African-American and women writers. The anthology focuses on applied issues. It should be of interest to students taking courses in political philosophy, political theory, ethics, social theory and intellectual history. It should also be a useful guide for graduate students and instructors who wish to follow the current debate on justice. (shrink)
The focus here will be on democracy as a social good. Today people want to live in a democratic society. But why do they see this as a good? Exploring this question will lead us to a justification of democracy. I shall not be concerned primarily with justifying full or ideal democracy; for it is important to show the positive effects of even modest democratic gains. I do not think one can justify democracy in the more demanding sense of showing (...) it has consequences that any rational being would desire. So I shall be content to give what might seem merely a social, or group-based, rather than a purely rational justification of democracy. (shrink)
During the periods when logical positivism and ordinary language philosophy were ascendant, Brand Blanshard was defending necessity in his writing and in his teaching. The last five chapters of the second volume of The Nature of Thought, published in 1940, were devoted to necessity, and no less than four chapters of Reason and Analysis, appearing in 1962, were on the same subject. The new realism that has supplanted positivism and language philosophy on the American scene should, it would seem, be (...) sympathetic to Blanshard’s insistence that there are physical necessities. For, according to the new realism, the constituents of gross things are real entities that account for the behavior of these things. One would think that it would be recognized that this is possible only if that behavior were a necessary outcome of having those constituents. For, were it only contingent, the behavior could not genuinely be laid at the feet of those constituents. All expectations have been disappointed here, for the new realism remains uncompromisingly Humean when it comes to necessity. Necessity is still, as in the days of positivism and language philosophy, a matter of concepts or linguistic terms and not a matter of things. But if I am right that the new realism is thus far developed only in a one-sided way, then in the near future we shall see a more coherent realism that has embodied many of the features of the doctrine of necessity elaborated by Blanshard. (shrink)
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