What has not yet been imagined in thought is: how to remain together while still being two, how to be and become subjectively two, how to discover a way of coexisting as two beings … a way of living and thinking and loving as two beings without one being reduced to the other? … [t]hanks to the respect that I feel for the other as other, to articulate both attraction and restraint with respect to him. I go out from and (...) return to myself in order to respect his alterity, and this respect for the other becomes respect for myself, my life and my growth. So there is no longer fusion or submission, but the existence of a two which is irreducible to one or to the simple opposition between one (male) and the other (female), a reduction which makes them simply two poles of the one. Luce Irigaray , Democracy Begins Between Two 112-13. (shrink)
To claim that Hayden White has yet to be read seriously as a philosopher of history might seem false on the face of it. But do tropes and the rest provide any epistemic rationale for differing representations of historical events found in histories? As an explanation of White’s influence on philosophy of history, such a proffered emphasis only generates a puzzle with regard to taking White seriously, and not an answer to the question of why his efforts should be worthy (...) of any philosophical attention at all. For what makes his emphasis on narrative structure and its associated tropes of philosophical relevance? What, it may well be asked, did any theory that draws its categories from a stock provided by literary criticism contribute to explicating problems with regard to the warranting of claims about knowledge, explanation, or causation that represent those concerns that philosophy typically brings to this field? Robert Doran’s anthologizing of previously uncollected pieces, ranging as they do over a literal half-century of White’s published work, offers an opportunity to identify explicitly those philosophical themes and arguments that regularly and prominently feature there. Moreover, White’s essays in this volume demonstrate a credible knowledge of and interest in mainstream analytic philosophers of his era and also reveal White as deeply influenced by or well acquainted with other important philosophers of history. White thus invites a reading of his work as philosophy, and this volume presents the opportunity for accepting it as such. (shrink)
Should a principle of charity be applied to the interpretation of the colour concepts exercised in visual experience? We think not. We shall argue, for one thing, that the grounds for applying a principle of charity are lacking in the case of colour concepts. More importantly, we shall argue that attempts at giving the experience of colour a charitable interpretation either fail to respect obvious features of that experience or fail to interpret it charitably, after all. Charity to visual experience (...) is therefore no motive for resisting the natural, Galilean response to a scientific understanding of light and vision. The best interpretation of colour experience ends up convicting it of widespread and systematic error. (shrink)
The paper is a defense of the project of explaining the a priori via the notion of meaning or concept possession. It responds to certain objections that have been made to this project—in particular, that there can be no epistemically analytic sentences that are not also metaphysically analytic, and that the notion of implicit definition cannot explain a priori entitlement. The paper goes on to distinguish between two different ways in which facts about meaning might generate facts about entitlement—inferential and (...) constitutive. It concludes by outlining a theory of the latter. (shrink)
This paper argues that, given a certain apparently inevitable thesis about content, we could not know our own minds. The thesis is that the content of a thought is determined by its relational properties.
This volume presents a series of influential essays by Paul Boghossian on the theory of content and on its relation to the phenomenon of a priori knowledge. The essays are organized under four headings: the nature of content; content and self-knowledge; knowledge, content, and the a priori; and colour concepts.
An irrealist conception of a given region of discourse is the view that no real properties answer to the central predicates of the region in question. Any such conception emerges, invariably, as the result of the interaction of two forces. An account of the meaning of the central predicates, along with a conception of the sorts of property the world may contain, conspire to show that, if the predicates of the region are taken to express properties, their extensions would have (...) to be deemed uniformly empty. The question then becomes whether the predicates are best understood as expressing properties, and hence as founded on error, or whether they ought to be understood along non-factualist lines.z Historically, irrealist models were developed primarily in connection with evaluative discourse, although as physicalism has flourished and as reductionist programs have failed, their application has been extended to many other domains. Indeed, it is one of the more influential suggestions in contemporary philosophy of mind that they apply even to ordinary belief/desire psychology. A correct understanding of the semantics and metaphysics of content-based psychology leaves us, so the proponents of the in-. (shrink)
The paper asks under what conditions deductive reasoning transmits justiﬁcation from its premises to its conclusion. It argues that both standard externalist and standard internalist accounts of this phenomenon fail. The nature of this failure is taken to indicate the way forward: basic forms of deductive reasoning must justify by being instances of ‘blind but blameless’ reasoning. Finally, the paper explores the suggestion that an inferentialist account of the logical constants can help explain how such reasoning is possible.
In this essay, I defend theology against a recent argument made by Peter Byrne. According to Byrne, any discipline of thought that can be interpreted realistically shows the accumulation of reliable or widespread belief about the reality it investigates. I challenge this claim, first, by showing how theology, so construed as an exercise of ‘faith seeking understanding’, can and should be interpreted realistically, even if it does not show the accumulation of reliable or widespread belief about divine reality. Second, I (...) give a plausible account of why theology is beset by internal disagreement and division, even if the goal of theological enquiry is to overcome such disagreement and division. (shrink)
Epistemic relativism has the contemporary academy in its grip. Not merely in the United States, but seemingly everywhere, most scholars working in the humanities and the social sciences seem to subscribe to some form of it. Even where the label is repudiated, the view is embraced. Sometimes the relativism in question concerns truth, sometimes justification. The core impulse appears to be a relativism about knowledge. The suspicion is widespread that what counts as knowledge in one cultural, or broadly ideological, setting (...) need not count as knowledge in another. (shrink)
This paper argues that, given a certain apparently inevitable thesis about content, we could not know our own minds. The thesis is that the content of a thought is determined by its relational properties.
This article briefly review the fundamentals of structural equation modeling for readers unfamiliar with the technique then goes on to offer a review of the Martin and Cullen paper. In summary, a number of fit indices reported by the authors reveal that the data do not fit their theoretical model and thus the conclusion of the authors that the model was “promising” are unwarranted.
In the latest edition of their popular overview text, Erickson and Murphy continue to provide a comprehensive, affordable, and accessible introduction to anthropological theory from antiquity to the present.
I believe that the notion of epistemic transparency does play an important role in our ordinary conception of mental content and I want to say what that role is. Unfortunately, the task is a large one; here I am able only to begin on its outline. I shall proceed somewhat indirectly, beginning with a discussion of externalist conceptions of mental content. I shall show that such conceptions violate epistemic transparency to an extent that has not been fully appreciated. Subsequently, I (...) shall look at the implications of this violation and at the reconstructive project that a rejection of transparency entails. I am inclined to think it unlikely that we will get a conception of propositional content that underwrites epistemic transparency. But I am concerned that we have not fully appreciated the role that transparency currently plays and the work that would need to be done were we to discard it. (shrink)
Only in recent years have developmental psychologists begun advocating and exploring dual-process theories and their applicability to cognitive development. In this paper, a dual-process model of developments in two processing systems—an “analytic” and an “experiential” system—is discussed. We emphasise the importance of “metacognitive intercession” and developments in this ability to override experiential processing. In each of two studies of sunk cost decisions, age-related developments in normative decisions were observed, as were declines in the use of a “waste not” heuristic. In (...) the second study, children and adolescents were presented with arguments for normative and non-normative sunk cost decisions. Following argument evaluation, participants were re-presented the original problems and a set of novel, transfer problems. Results indicated that post-argument improvements were most apparent during adolescence. Age-related improvements were most noticeable on the transfer problems. In general, the findings suggest that the ability to metacognitively intercede (i.e., reflect on arguments; inhibit experientially produced responses) emerges towards middle adolescence. However, even by the end of adolescence, in the absence of significant contextual cues and motivation, this ability is infrequently utilised. (shrink)
The dispute between realists about color and anti-realists is actually a dispute about the nature of color properties. The disputants do not disagree over what material objects are like. Rather, they disagree over whether any of the uncontroversial facts about material objects--their powers to cause visual experiences, their dispositions to reflect incident light, their atomic makeup, and so on--amount to their having colors. The disagreement is thus about which properties colors are and, in particular, whether colors are any of the (...) properties in a particular set that is acknowledged on both sides to exhaust the properties of material objects. In a previous paper we discussed at length one attempt to identify colors with particular properties of material objects--namely, with their dispositions to cause visual experiences. Here we shall discuss a different and perhaps more influential version of realism, which says that the colors of material objects are microphysical properties of their surfaces. We shall call this theory physicalism about color (physicalism, for short). In order to evaluate this theory, however, we shall first have to clarify some methodological issues. Our hope is that we can bring some further clarity to the question of color realism, whether or not we succeed in our critique of the physicalists' answer. (shrink)
The question I want to look at in this paper is this: To what extent does an externalist conception of mental content threaten our ability to know the contents of our thoughts? I shall argue that, in an important sense, externalism is inconsistent with the thesis that we have authoritative first-person knowledge of thought content: in particular, I shall argue, it is inconsistent with the thesis that our thought contents are epistemically transparent to us. I shall further argue that this (...) is true in a sense that falsifies another important and traditionally fundamental view —that we can detect a priori whether our inferences are logically valid or not. I shall leave for another occasion the question whether these results reflect badly on epistemic transparency or on externalism. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis essay offers a reconfiguration of the possibility‐space of positions regarding the metaphysics and epistemology associated with historical knowledge. A tradition within analytic philosophy from Danto to Dummett attempts to answer questions about the reality of the past on the basis of two shared assumptions. The first takes individual statements as the relevant unit of semantic and philosophical analysis. The second presumes that variants of realism and antirealism about the past exhaust the metaphysical options . This essay argues that both (...) of these assumptions should be rejected. It develops as an alternative an irrealist account of history, a view based in part on work by Leon Goldstein and Ian Hacking. On an irrealist view, historical claims ought to be treated as subject to the same conditions and caveats that apply to any theory of empirical or scientific knowledge. Irrealism argues for pasts as made and not found. The argument emphasizes the priority of classification over perception in the order of understanding and so verification. Because nothing a priori anchors practices of classification, no sense can be attached to claims that some single structure must or does determine what events take place in human history. Irrealism denies to realism the very intelligibility of any imagined view from nowhere, that is, a determinately configured past subsisting sub specie aeternitatis. A plurality of pasts exists because constituting a past always depends to some degree on socially mediated negotiations of a fit between descriptions and experience. (shrink)
In this paper, I analyse and interpret Thomas Aquinas's account of faith in order to show how Thomistic faith is a veridical cognitive state that directs the mind to God, and consequently constitutes a distinct form of knowledge of God. By assenting to the revealed propositions of faith, and thereby forming true beliefs about God under the authority and guidance of God's grace, the possessor of faith comes to know or apprehend truly something about God, even if she fails to (...) ‘see’ or know fully the truth that she believes. A further task of the paper is to show how Thomistic faith qualifies as knowledge from a contemporary epistemological standpoint, insofar as it consists of true belief that is appropriately justified and warranted, by virtue of being supernaturally informed and generated. By expositing and defending this central claim – focusing specifically on faith as a form of knowledge – I show how Aquinas offers an epistemologically realist account of faith. (shrink)
In this article I offer an extended, critical review of the analytic theology project. In the first part of the article, I investigate the origins and rise of analytic theology. I also offer some initial insights into the nature of analytic theology, based on some of what its chief proponents understand analytic theology to be. In the second part of the article, I summarize and evaluate some of the major contributions that already have been made within analytic theology. In the (...) third and final section of the article, I evaluate the analytic theology project as a whole, testing its compatibility with certain methods and movements within the Christian theological tradition. Based on this discussion, I then begin to narrate the advantages of construing analytic theology more narrowly, as a dogmatic project committed to articulating and defending Christian doctrine in rational pursuit of genuine theological knowledge and truth. My final claim is that analytic theologians should continue to engage in bold, speculative inquiry into the nature of the divine as well as related divine matters, and thus remain committed to developing and defending theology as a dogmatic and speculative enterprise. By doing so, analytic theologians will help fortify and elevate the contemporary theological enterprise as a whole. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between national culture and ethical decision making. Established theories of ethics and moral development are reviewed and a culture-based model of ethical decision making in organizations is derived. Although the body of knowledge in both cross-cultural management and ethics is well documented, researchers have failed to integrate the influence of cultural values into the ethical decision-making paradigm. A conceptual understanding of how managers from different nations make decisions about highly ethical (...) issues will provide business ethics researchers with a sound theoretical foundation upon which future empirical inquiry can be based. (shrink)
A suggestion famously made by Peter Winch and carried through to present discussions holds that what constitutes the social as a kind consists of something shared – rules or practices commonly learned, internalized, or otherwise acquired by all members belonging to a society. This essays argues against the explanatory efficacy of appeals to this shared something as constitutive of a social kind by examining a violation of social norms or rules, viz., mistakes. I argue that an asymmetric relation exists between (...) the notion of mistakes and that of the social. In particular, mistakes do not presuppose a concept of the social, but the concept of the social requires prior specification of a category of mistakes. But no such prior specification proves possible. The very notion of a mistake is so inchoate that it makes it impossible to provide the kind of regimentation required for a rule-governed domain. Thus, there may be recognized mistakes even in the absence of a unified system or common knowledge of norms.Later writers attempt to avoid Winch's over-strong assumption that something shared and internal constitutes the social but cannot. Extending recent work by Stephen Turner, I argue that ``the social'' is not a domain that is susceptible to lawlike treatment, but rather a heterogeneous, motley collection. For absent the assumption of a shared something, no social object exists to be explained. So, I conclude, we have at present no clear way of marking out the social as a coherent or unified domain of inquiry. (shrink)
This is a critical discussion of Jerry Fodor and Ernie Lepore's "Holism". The paper questions the existence of a slippery slope from some inferential liaisons are constitutive of meaning' to all inferential liaisons are constitutive of meaning'. "Interalia", it defends the existence of an analytic/synthetic distinction.
The very idea of narrative explanation invites two objections: a methodological objection, stating that narrative structure is too far from the form of a scientific explanation to count as an explanation, and a metaphysical objection, stating that narrative structure situates historical practice too close to the writing of fiction. Both of these objections, however, are illfounded. The methodological objection and the dispute regarding the status of historical explanation can be disposed of by revealing their motivating presupposition: the plausibility of an (...) exclusivist explication of explanation which appeals either to the unity-of-method thesis or some implicit notion of analytic equivalence, both problematic philosophical doctrines. The metaphysical objection fails with the rejection of the idea, in Mink's phrase, of an "untold story." The argument against history as an "untold story" develops from Danto's image of an Ideal Chronicler recording ideal events. A consequence of rejecting this view is that it no longer makes sense to speak of historical narratives as true or false. However, this failure engenders no special problem for assessing the objectivity or explanatory utility of narratives qua explanations. (shrink)
The essay explores the meaning and implications of Alan Sokal’s hoax on the editors of Social Text. It examines the role that relativist/postmodernist views about knowledge may have played in that episode, and briefly explores the cogency of such conceptions.
Three theories contend as explanations of perpetrator behavior in the Holocaust as well as other cases of genocide: structural, intentional, and situational. Structural explanations emphasize the sense in which no single individual or choice accounts for the course of events. In opposition, intentional/cutltural accounts insist upon the genocides as intended outcomes, for how can one explain situations in which people ‘step up’ and repeatedly kill defenseless others in large numbers over sustained periods of time as anything other than a choice? (...) Situational explanations offer a type of behavioral account; this is how people act in certain environments. Critical to the situational account as I discuss it is the ‘Asch paradigm’, i.e. experimentally attested conditions for eliciting conformityof behavior regardlesss of available evidence of prior beliefs. In what follows, I defend what I term above a version of situational explanations of perpetrator behavior. Moreover, I maintain that the factors that explain provide an understanding as well. While not committed to the complete irrelevance or exclusion of cultural or structural factors, nonetheless situational analyses can account both for what happened and why. A cardinal virtue of this version of situational explanations consists in showing how shallow the problem of understanding turns out to be for such cases. (shrink)
This paper argues that Devitt’s arguments in "Transcendentalism About Content" don’t show how to answer the challenge I laid down in "Status Of Content". I proceed as follows. I begin by looking at why I didn’t formulate content eliminativism in the way that Devitt does, and why I did formulate it as the thesis of “content irrealism.” I then show in detail why his criticisms are off-target.