An important contribution to the foundations of probability theory, statistics and statistical physics has been made by E. T. Jaynes. The recent publication of his collected works provides an appropriate opportunity to attempt an assessment of this contribution. * Review of E. T. JAYNES (1983): Papers on Probability, Statistics and Statistical Physics. Edited by R. D. Rosenkrantz. D. Reidel Publishing Company. US $49.50. Pp. xxiv + 434. We are grateful to Harvey Brown, Kenneth Denbigh, Udi Makov and Oliver Penrose for (...) their valuable criticisms of this paper. (shrink)
An important contribution to the foundations of probability theory, statistics and statistical physics has been made by E. T. Jaynes. The recent publication of his collected works provides an appropriate opportunity to attempt an assessment of this contribution.
Religion and the external world -- Projection, religion, and the external world -- The senses, reason and the imagination -- Realism, meaning and justification : the external world and religious belief -- Modality, projection and realism -- 'Our profound ignorance' : causal realism, and the failure to detect necessity -- Spreading the mind : projection, necessity and realism -- Into the labyrinth : persons, modality, and Hume's undoing -- Value, projection, and realism -- Gilding : projection, value and secondary qualities (...) -- The gold : good, evil, belief and desire -- The golden : relational values, realism and a moral sense. (shrink)
With a book as wide ranging and insightful as Barry's Justice as Impartiality, it is perhaps a little churlish to criticize it for paying insufficient attention to one's own particular interests. That said, in what follows I am going to do just that and claim that in an important sense Barry does not take utilitarianism seriously. Utilitarianism does receive some discussion in Barry's book, and in an important section which I will discuss he even appears to concede that utilitarianism provides (...) a rival though ultimately inadequate theory of justice. Nevertheless, utilitarianism is not considered a rival to ‘justice as impartiality’ in the way that ‘justice as mutual advantage’ and ‘justice as reciprocity’ are. One response, and perhaps the only adequate response, would be to construct a rival utilitarian theory. I cannot provide such a theory in this paper, and I certainly would be very cautious about claiming that I could provide such a theory elsewhere. What I want to suggest is that utilitarianism is a genuine third theory to contrast with ‘justice as mutual advantage’ and ‘justice as impartiality’ – ‘justice as reciprocity’ being merely a hybrid of ‘justice as mutual advantage’, at least as Barry presents it. I also want to argue that it poses a more significant challenge to a contractualist theory such as Barry's than his discussion of utilitarianism reveals. (shrink)
This new edition offers expanded selections from the works of Kongzi, Mengzi, Zhuangzi, and Xunzi ; two new works, the dialogues _Robber Zhi_ and _White Horse_; a concise general introduction; brief introductions to, and selective bibliographies for, each work; and four appendices that shed light on important figures, periods, texts, and terms in Chinese thought.
Between 1787, and the end of his life in 1832, Bentham turned his attention to the development and application of economic ideas and principles within the general structure of his legislative project. For seventeen years this interest was manifested through a number of books and pamphlets, most of which remained in manuscript form, that develop a distinctive approach to economic questions. Although Bentham was influenced by Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, he (...) neither adopted a Smithian vocabulary for addressing questions of economic principle and policy, nor did he accept many of the distinctive features of Smith's economic theory. One consequence of this was that Bentham played almost no part in the development of the emerging science of political economy in the early nineteenth century. The standard histories of economics all emphasize how little he contributed to the mainstream of late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century debate by concentrating attention on his utilitarianism and the psychology of hedonism on which it is premised. Others have argued that the calculating nature of his theory of practical reason reduced the whole legislative project to a crude attempt to apply economics to all aspects of social and political life. Put at its simplest this argument amounts to the erroneous claim that Bentham's science of legislation is reducible to the science of political economy. A different but equally dangerous error would be to argue that because Bentham's conception of the science of legislation comprehends all the basic forms of social relationships, there can be no science of political economy as there is no autonomous sphere of activity governed by the principles of economics. This approach is no doubt attractive from an historical point of view given that the major premise of this argument is true, and that many of Bentham's ‘economic’ arguments are couched in terms of his theory of legislation. Yet it fails to account for the undoubted importance of political economy within Bentham's writings, not just on finance, economic policy, colonies and preventive police, but also in other aspects of his utilitarian public policy such as prison reform, pauper management, and even constitutional reform. All of these works reflect a conception of political economy in its broadest terms. However, this conception of political economy differs in many respects from that of Bentham's contemporaries, and for this reason Bentham's distinctive approach to problems of economics and political economy has largely been misunderstood. (shrink)
This book aims to contribute significantly to the understanding of issues of value which repeatedly emerge in interdisciplinary discussions on space and society. Although a recurring feature of discussions about space in the humanities, the treatment of value questions has tended to be patchy, of uneven quality and even, on occasion, idiosyncratic rather than drawing upon a close familiarity with state-of-the-art ethical theory. One of the volume's aims is to promote a more robust and theoretically informed approach to the ethical (...) dimension of discussions on space and society. While the contributions are written in a manner which is accessible across disciplines, the book still withstands scrutiny by those whose work is primarily on ethics. At the same time it allows academics across a range of disciplines an insight into current approaches toward how the work of ethics gets done. The issues of value raised could be used to inform debates about regulation, space law and protocols for microbial discovery as well as longer-range policy debates about funding. (shrink)
Traditionally Hume is seen as offering an ‘empiricist’ critique of ‘rationalism’. This view is often illustrated – or rejected – by comparing Hume's views with those of Descartes'. However the textual evidence shows that Hume's most sustained engagement with a canonical ‘rationalist’ is with Nicolas Malebranche. The author shows that the fundamental differences between the two on the self and causal power do indeed rest on a principled distinction between ‘rationalism’ and ‘empiricism’, and that there is some truth in the (...) traditional story. This, however, is very far from saying that Hume's general orientation is an attack on something called ‘rationalism’. (shrink)
In his paper ‘Has the Ontological Argument Been Refuted?’, 97–110) William F. Vallicella argues that my attempt to show that the Ontological Argument begs the question is unsuccessful. 1 I believe he is wrong about this, but before endeavouring to vindicate my position I must first make clear what precisely is the point at issue between us. The Ontological Argument is not a single argument, but a family of arguments. Newly devised formulations of the argument are frequently put forward by (...) philosophers in an effort to avoid difficulties that have been pointed out in previous versions. As a consequence there is no possibility of a conclusive proof that every form of the argument embodies the same fallacy. Nevertheless, one can, I believe, prove that all the standard versions of the argument embody a certain fallacy and that, given the nature of the argument, it is therefore unlikely that the argument can be formulated in such a way as to avoid this difficulty. What I tried to show in my paper is that the six best-known versions of the argument all beg the question and that they do so at the same point in the argument, namely when it is asserted that it is possible that an absolutely perfect being exists. It is difficult to see how an ontological argument could be formulated without including this claim as one of its premises, since the distinguishing badge of the argument is the inference from the possibility of an absolutely perfect being to its actuality. It must be unlikely then, if my criticism of these six versions is correct, that there is any way of formulating the argument that avoids this fallacy. (shrink)
Drawing extensively on Bentham's unpublished civil and distributive law writings, classical and recent Bentham scholarship, and contemporary work in moral and political philosophy, Kelly here presents the first full-length exposition and sympathetic defense of Bentham's unique utilitarian theory of justice. Kelly shows how Bentham developed a moderate welfare-state liberal theory of justice with egalitarian leanings, the aim of which was to secure the material and political conditions of each citizen's pursuit of the good life in cooperation with each other. A (...) striking and original addition to the growing literature on Bentham's legal and political thought, this incisive study also makes a valuable contribution to contemporary political philosophy. (shrink)
Theism, according to David O'Connor, has in recent centuries been on trial for its life, the charge being that the existence of so much evil in the world is incompatible with belief in a benevolent creator. But this trial, he claims is incapable of producing a reasoned verdict.
For long stretches of Greek history in the classical period, Diodorus Siculus provides the only surviving continuous narrative of events. For this narrative he summarized, however incompetently, the work of earlier and greater historians whose original texts are lost to us. This makes Diodorus an invaluable quarry of the historian and the historiographer alike, but one that can only be used with discretion. We need to get as clear an idea as we can of the way his mind worked, where (...) his account is most likely to be useful, and what sort of distortions to expect when he goes astray. Research into his methods and procedures is thus an urgent necessity. The present study, the fullest ever undertaken for any part of Diodorus, aims to meet the needs of both history and historiography. In the introduction, necessarily substantial, the aims, sources, and methods of Diodorus are examined in detail. The findings of this investigation are then applied in commenting on Book 15, a particularly important book which deals with the crucial years between the King's Peace, concluded in 387/6 BC, and the aftermath of the battle of Mantinea fought in 362 BC. (shrink)
George Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge is a crucial text in the history of empiricism and in the history of philosophy more generally. Its central and seemingly astonishing claim is that the physical world cannot exist independently of the perceiving mind. The meaning of this claim, the powerful arguments in its favour, and the system in which it is embedded, are explained in a highly lucid and readable fashion and placed in their historical context. Berkeley's philosophy is, in part, a (...) response to the deep tensions and problems in the new philosophy of the early modern period and the reader is offered an account of this intellectual milieu. The book then follows the order and substance of the Principles whilst drawing on materials from Berkeley's other writings. This volume is the ideal introduction to Berkeley's Principles and will be of great interest to historians of philosophy in general. (shrink)
This ambitious book explores the relationship between time and history and shows how an appreciation of long-term time helps to make sense of the past. The book is devoted to a wide-ranging analysis of the way different societies have conceived and interpreted time, and it develops a theory of the threefold roles of continuity, gradual change, and revolution which together form a "braided" history. Linking the interpretative chapters are intriguing brief expositions on time travel, time cycles, time lines, and time (...) pieces, showing the different ways in which human history has been located in time. In its global approach the book is part of the new shift toward “big history,” in which traditional period divisions are challenged in favor of looking at the entire past of the world from start to end. The approach is thematic. The result is a view of world history in which outcomes are shown to be explicable, once they happen, but not necessarily predictable before they do. This book will inform the work of historians of all periods and at all levels, and contributes to the current reconsideration of traditional period divisions (such as Modernity and Postmodernity), which the author finds outmoded. (shrink)
A concise and accessible introduction to the evolution of the concept of moral self-cultivation in the Chinese Confucian tradition, this volume begins with an explanation of the pre-philosophical development of ideas central to this concept, followed by an examination of the specific treatment of self cultivation in the philosophy of Kongzi, Mengzi, Xunzi, Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming, Yan Yuan and Dai Zhen. In addition to providing a survey of the views of some of the most influential Confucian thinkers on an (...) issue of fundamental importance to the tradition, Ivanhoe also relates their concern with moral self-cultivation to a number of topics in the Western ethical tradition. Bibliography and index are included. (shrink)
Political activity and political thinking began in the cities and other states of ancient Greece, and terms such as tyranny, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy and politics itself are Greek words for concepts first discussed in Greece. Rhodes presents in translation a selection of texts illustrating the formal mechanisms and informal workings of the Greek states in all their variety. From the states described by Homer out of which the classical Greeks believed their states had developed, through the archaic period which saw (...) the rise and fall of tyrants and the gradual broadening of citizen bodies, to the classical period of the fifth and fourth centuries, Rhodes also looks beyond that to the Hellenistic and Roman periods in which the Greeks tried to preserve their way of life in a world of great powers. For this second edition the book has been thoroughly revised and three new chapters added. (shrink)
Philip J. Ivanhoe's richly annotated translation of this classic work is accompanied by his engaging interpretation and commentary, a lucid introduction, and a Language Appendix that compares eight classic translations of the opening passage of the work and invites the reader to consider the principles upon which each was rendered.
Impressions of Hume collects brand-new essays from leading scholars in different philosophical, historiographical, and literary traditions within which Hume is a canonical figure. To some his writings are vehicles for intuitions, problems, and arguments which are at the center of contemporary philosophical reflection; others locate Hume's views against the background of concerns and debates of his own time. Hume's texts may be read as highly sophisticated literary-cum-philosophical creations, or as moments in the construction of the ideology of modernity; these are (...) "open" texts which present their reader with a bounty of different materials and inspirations. (shrink)
Subtitled "Studies in Ethical Analysis," this collection of eleven essays, most of which have previously appeared in journals, deals with a number of problems central to modern ethical theory: the emotive interpretation of ethical language, persuasive definitions and their role in ethical reasoning, the cognitive versus emotive conceptions of ethics: many of these problems were first raised and examined by Stevenson in his earlier book Ethics and Language. Other essays are of a less retrospective nature: studies on Moore and Dewey, (...) naturalism and relativism in ethics, and a general discussion of the relations of linguistic analysis to philosophy as a whole. Stevenson is mainly concerned with analytical, as opposed to descriptive, ethics; and he completely avoids the topics of normative ethics except for a brief survey. The approach to ethics is therefore restricted, but there is enough here to interest the philosopher whose main area lies outside of ethics; although it presupposes no acquaintance with the author's previous work, some of the questions on emotivism and persuasive language are more motivated when seen in the context of that work.—P. J. M. (shrink)
The so-called epistemological turn of the Descartes-Locke-Kant tradition is a hallmark of modern philosophy. The broad family of normativism constitutes one major response to the Cartesian heritage building upon some version of the idea that human knowledge, action and sociality build fundamentally upon some form of social agreement and standards. Representationalism and the Cartesian picture more generally have been challenged by normativists but this paper argues that, even where these challenges by normativism have been taken to heart, our intellectual culture (...) remains fundamentally epistemic in certain problematic senses. Two problems are highlighted: first, normativism remains functionally Cartesian, for human action and sociality appear as processes driven by the shared understandings by competent contributors, and second, normativism is unable to account for forms of human action and sociality other than those occurring in the relatively small worlds of normatively regulated conceptual spaces of mutual access and listening. These points are illustrated by an applied discussion of the blind spots of normativist accounts of the emerging environmental and the on-going economic crises. (shrink)
This is the collection of essays presented to Bochenski on his 60th birthday, and it contains, as a mirror of Bochenski's own work, a broad spectrum of studies ranging from formal logic and history of logic, to the philosophy of logic and language, and to the methodology of explanation in Greek philosophy. Of the seventeen articles, these are some of the more important to the reviewer: "Betrachtungen zum Sequenzen Kalkül" by Paul Bernays, which is an extensive study of Gentzen-type formulations (...) of logic; "Remarks on Formal Deduction," H. B. Curry, a further discussion of sequenzen-logics; "Marginalia on Gentzen's Sequenzen Kalkül" by Hughes Leblanc; "Method and Logic in Presocratic Explanation," Jerry Stannard; "On the Logic of Preference and Choice," H. S. Houthakker, a suggestive presentation of decision and utility theory in logical form; "Leibniz's Law in Belief Contexts," Chisholm; "On Ontology and the Province of Logic," R. M. Martin; and "N. A. Vasilev and the Development of Many-valued Logics," G. L. Kline, an important addition to the history of logic. Other contributors are: Storrs McCall, Albert Menne, E. W. Beth, Benson Mates, Ivo Thomas, J. F. Staal, F. R. Barbò, A.-T. Tymieniecka, and N. M. Luyten. There is a bibliography of Bochenski's writings through 1962.—P. J. M. (shrink)