In this paper we discuss three different kinds of disagreement that have been, or could reasonably be, characterized as deep disagreements. Principle level disagreements are disagreements over the truth of epistemic principles. Sub-principle level deep disagreements are disagreements over how to assign content to schematic norms. Finally, framework-level disagreements are holistic disagreements over meaning not truth, that is over how to understand networks of epistemic concepts and the beliefs those concepts compose. Within the context of each of these kinds of (...) disagreement it is not possible for the parties to the dispute to rationally persuade one another through only offering epistemic reasons for their conflicting points of view. However, in spite of the inability to rationally persuade, we explore how it may nevertheless be possible to rationally navigate each of these varieties of deep disagreement. (shrink)
In recent discussions concerning the definition of argument, it has been maintained that the word ‘argument’ exhibits the process-product ambiguity, or an act/object ambi-guity. Drawing on literature on lexical ambiguity we argue that ‘argument’ is not ambiguous. The term ‘argument’ refers to an object, not to a speech act. We also examine some of the important implications of our argument by considering the question: what sort of abstract objects are arguments?
The aim of this thesis is to understand and critically evaluate deductivism as a theory of inferential sufficiency in informal logic. I distinguish three different types of deductivism: strong normative deductivism, weak normative deductivism, and reconstructive deductivism. I also discuss some potential justificatory strategies that might be invoked in an attempt to justify strong normative deductivism and reconstructive deductivism. I apply this categorization scheme to develop an interpretation of Leo Groarke's version of reconstructive deductivism. I then evaluate some of the (...) criticisms of deductivism raised in the informal logic literature. I focus in particular on the criticisms of Ralph Johnson and Trudy Govier. I follow up this evaluation by raising some problems for the justificatory strategies used to support deductivism. I also show how these problems apply to Groarke's reconstructive deductivism. (shrink)
In the norms of assertion literature there has been continued focus on a wide range of odd-sounding assertions that have been collected under the umbrella of Moore’s Paradox. Our aim in these brief remarks is not to attempt to settle the question of what makes an utterance Moorean decisively, but rather to present some new data bearing on it, and to argue that this new data is best explained by a new account of Moorean absurdity.
Work on analogy has been done from a number of disciplinary perspectives throughout the history of Western thought. This work is a multidisciplinary guide to theorizing about analogy. It contains 1,406 references, primarily to journal articles and monographs, and primarily to English language material. classical through to contemporary sources are included. The work is classified into eight different sections (with a number of subsections). A brief introduction to each section is provided. Keywords and key expressions of importance to research on (...) analogy are discussed in the introductory material. Electronic resources for conducting research on analogy are listed as well. (shrink)
In recent discussions concerning the definition of argument, it has been maintained that the word ‘argument’ exhibits the process-product ambiguity, or an act/object ambigu-ity. Drawing on literature on lexical ambiguity we argue that ‘argument’ is not ambiguous. The term ‘argu-ment’ refers to an object, not to a speech act. We also examine some of the important implications of our argument by considering the question: what sort of abstract objects are arguments?
Several philosophers have recently developed accounts of relative truth. Given that logical consequence is often characterized in terms of truth preservation, notions of truth are often associated with corresponding notions of logical consequence. Accordingly, in his Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and Its Applications, John MacFarlane provides two different definitions of logical consequence that incorapte assessment context-sensitive truth. One motivation for adopting an assessment context-sensitive account of truth for judgements about taste is to explain how conflicting taste claims can be true (...) relative to different contexts of assessment. However, in the midst of dialogues in which conflicting taste claims are made, it is also possible for the participants in the dialogue to make conflicting claims about what inferences are and are not logically valid. This paper accomplishes two objectives. First, I argue that MacFarlane’s notions of logical consequence do not adequately account for important features of some dialogues in which conflicting logical claims are made. In particular, I argue that MacFarlane’s accounts of logical consequence do not explain how logical claims made about inferences in taste-discourse could be assessment context-sensitive. Second, I propose a consequence relation that can be incorporated into an assessment context-sensitive account of logical claims made about inferences in taste discourse. (shrink)
Geoff Goddu's 2010 paper "Is 'Argument' subject to the process/product ambiguity?" and PaulSimard-Smith and Andrei Moldovan's 2011 paper “Arguments as abstract objects” have revived the dialogue about what might be called the "metaphysics of argument". Both papers are important. Both also seem to me to be open to significant objections. In this paper I will lay out some of these objections and give, in rough outline, the kernel of an alternative approach.
Responding to Randall and Gibson''s (1990) call for more rigorous methodologies in empirically-based ethics research, this paper develops propositions — based on both previous ethics research as well as the larger organizational behavior literature — examining the impact of attitudes, leadership, presence/absence of ethical codes and organizational size on corporate ethical behavior. The results, which come from a mail survey of 149 companies in a major U.S. service industry, indicate that attitudes and organizational size are the best predictors of ethical (...) behavior. Leadership and ethical codes contribute little to predicting ethical behavior. The paper concludes with an assessment of the relevant propositions, as well as a delineation of future research needs. (shrink)
Physicist David Bohm and biochemist Ilya Prigogine began a dialogue that implied a deep, structuring, primordial harmony within life. In classical Chinese this harmony is referred to as Li, which also designates the elegant, natural pattern found in jade. This article emphasizes the ways that perception of primordial harmony gives way to a vision of possibility and to the creative intelligence and action necessary for meeting the challenges we face. Insights from Bohm, Prigogine, and others on releasing outmoded thinking and (...) actions are integrated with contemplative traditions, Eastern and Western philosophy, and pragmatic strategy making. (shrink)
When people encounter potential hazards, their expectations and behaviours can be shaped by a variety of factors including other people's expressions of verbal likelihood. What is the impact of such expressions when a person also has numeric likelihood estimates from the same source? Two studies used a new task involving an abstract virtual environment in which people learned about and reacted to novel hazards. Verbal expressions attributed to peers influenced participants’ behaviour toward hazards even when numeric estimates were also available. (...) Namely, verbal expressions suggesting that the likelihood of harm from a hazard is low yielded more risk taking with respect to said hazard. There were also inverse collateral effects, whereby participants’ behaviour and estimates regarding another hazard in the same context were affected in the opposite direction. These effects may be based on directionality and relativity cues inferred from verbal likelihood expressions. (shrink)
The following interview of Mark William Westmoreland with Anthony PaulSmith–well-known scholar and translator of François Laruelle –considers both implications and extensions of Laruelle's non-philosophy for contemporary thought. Smith has helped bring about a surge of interest in Laruelle due to his many translations of his texts as well as being the author or co-editor of several books on Laruelle. Discussed are in particular the difficulties and joys of translating and the usefulness of Laruelle's thought for (...) class='Hi'>Smith's own work, especially in environmental and animal studies. Also considered are some themes of non-philosophy, the adaptability of Laruelle's thought for various disciplines, as well as new paths for Laruelle studies –new, unforeseen landscapes and uses of non-philosophy –that explore social phenomena such as race, racism, sexism, victim a.o. (shrink)
The 2013 Rostock Symposium on Systems Biology and Bioinformatics in Aging Research was again dedicated to dissecting the aging process using in silico means. A particular focus was on ontologies, as these are a key technology to systematically integrate heterogeneous information about the aging process. Related topics were databases and data integration. Other talks tackled modeling issues and applications, the latter including talks focussed on marker development and cellular stress as well as on diseases, in particular on diseases of kidney (...) and skin. (shrink)
The report describes an application of ontologies to the analysis of wind turbine manufacturing data. We show how applying ontologies to composite materials data may facilitate the discovery of optimum composite material designs that will deliver maximum wind turbine blade performance within environmental constraints.
A radical reinterpretation of Adam Smith that challenges economists, moral philosophers, political theorists, and intellectual historians to rethink him—and why he matters Adam Smith has long been recognized as the father of modern economics. More recently, scholars have emphasized his standing as a moral philosopher—one who was prepared to critique markets as well as to praise them. But Smith’s contributions to political theory are still underappreciated and relatively neglected. In this bold, revisionary book, Paul Sagar argues (...) that not only have the fundamentals of Smith’s political thought been widely misunderstood, but that once we understand them correctly, our estimations of Smith as economist and as moral philosopher must radically change. Rather than seeing Smith either as the prophet of the free market, or as a moralist who thought the dangers of commerce lay primarily in the corrupting effects of trade, Sagar shows why Smith is more thoroughly a political thinker who made major contributions to the history of political thought. Smith, Sagar argues, saw war, not commerce, as the engine of political change and he was centrally concerned with the political, not moral, dimensions of—and threats to—commercial societies. In this light, the true contours and power of Smith’s foundational contributions to western political thought emerge as never before. Offering major reinterpretations of Smith’s political, moral, and economic ideas, Adam Smith Reconsidered seeks to revolutionize how he is understood. In doing so, it recovers Smith’s original way of doing political theory, one rooted in the importance of history and the necessity of maintaining a realist sensibility, and from which we still have much to learn. (shrink)
Smith's views on moral luck have attracted little attention in the relevant contemporary literature on this subject.* More surprising, perhaps, the material in the secondary literature directly concerned with Smith's moral philosophy is rather thin on this aspect of his thought. In this paper my particular concern is to provide an interpretation and critical assessment of Smith on moral luck. I begin with a description of the basic features of Smith's position; then I criticize two particularly (...) important claims that are fundamental to his position; and I conclude with an examination of the significance of Smith's discussion in relation to the contemporary debate. * There is some change in this situation since this paper was originally published. (shrink)
In their highly topical paper, Grahamet alargued that Trusted Research Environments (TREs) are not actually about trust because they reduce or remove ‘…the need for trust in the use and sharing of patient health data’. We believe this is fundamentally mistaken. TREs mitigate or remove some risks, but they do not address all public concerns. In this regard, TREs provide evidence for people to decide whether the bodies holding and using their data can be trusted. TREs may make it easier (...) for people to trust but there is still a need for that trust. (shrink)
No one has ever seen a quark. Yet physicists seem to know quite a lot about the properties and behavior of these ubiquitous elementary particles. Here a top researcher introduces us to a fascinating but invisible realm that is part of our everyday life. Timothy Smith tells us what we know about quarks--and how we know it. Though the quarks that make science headlines are typically laboratory creations generated under extreme conditions, most quarks occur naturally. They reside in the (...) protons and neutrons that make up almost all of the universe's known matter, from human DNA to distant nebulae, from books and tables to neutron stars. Smith explains what these quarks are, how they act, and why physicists believe in them sight unseen. How do quarks arrange themselves? What other combinations can nature make? How do quarks hold nuclei together? What else is happening in their hidden worlds? It turns out that these questions can be answered using a few simple principles, such as the old standby: opposites attract. With these few principles, Smith shows how quarks dance around each other and explains what physicists mean when they refer to "up" and "down" quarks and talk about a quark's color, flavor, and spin. Smith also explains how we know what we know about these oddly aloof particles, which are eternally confined inside larger particles. He explains how quark experiments are mounted and how massive accelerators, targets, and detectors work together to collect the data that scientists use to infer what quarks are up to. A nonmathematical tour of the quark world, this book is written for students, educators, and all who enjoy scientific exploration--whether they seek a taste of subnuclear physics or just wonder about nature on the smallest of scales. (shrink)
This essay re-examines Adam Smith’s encounter with Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Against the grain of present scholarship it contends that when Smith read and reviewed Rousseau’s Second Discourse, he neither registered it as a particularly important challenge, nor was especially influenced by, or subsequently preoccupied with responding to, Rousseau. The case for this is made by examining the British context of Smith’s own intervention in his 1759 Theory of Moral Sentiments, where a proper appreciation of the roles of David (...) Hume and Bernard Mandeville in the formation of Smith’s thought pushes Rousseau firmly into the background. Realising this, however, forces us to re-consider our evaluations of Rousseau’s and Smith’s very different political visions. Given that questions of individual recognition, economic inequality, and political stability remain at the heart of today’s social challenges, the implications of this are not just historical but of direct contemporary import. (shrink)
Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments has long been recognized as importantly influenced by, and in part responding to, David Hume’s earlier ethical theory. With regard to Smith’s account of the foundations of morals in particular, recent scholarly attention has focused on Smith’s differences with Hume over the question of sympathy. Whilst this is certainly important, disagreement over sympathy in fact represents only the starting point of Smith’s engagement with – and eventual attempted rejection of – (...) Hume’s core moral theory. We can see this by recognizing the TMS’s account of moral foundations as predicated upon a rejection of Hume’s distinction between the natural and artificial virtues. Smith is in turn revealed as generating a major break with Hume – a break which, if based on a superior theory of moral foundations has important consequences for how we treat Smith and Hume in both the history of philosophy and contemporary moral theory. (shrink)
Adam Smith wrote in a Scotland where Calvinism, Continental natural law theory, Stoic philosophy, and the Newtonian tradition of scientific natural theology were key to the intellectual lives of his contemporaries. But what impact did these ideas have on Smith's system? What was Smith's understanding of nature, divine providence, and theodicy? How was the new discourse of political economy positioned in relation to moral philosophy and theology? In this volume a team of distinguished contributors consider Smith's (...) work in relation to its Scottish Enlightenment religious background, and offer stimulating theological interpretations of his account of fallible human nature, his providential account of markets, and his invisible hand metaphor. Adam Smith as Theologian it is a pioneering study which will alter our view of Smith and open up new lines of thinking about contemporary economics. (shrink)
In recent decades, Alasdair MacIntyre has developed a style of moral philosophy and an argument for Neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics that has deeply influenced business ethics. Most of the work inspired by MacIntyre has dealt with individual and organisational dimensions of business ethics rather than the market economic environment in which individuals and organisations operate. MacIntyre has been a fierce critic of capitalism and economics. He has read Adam Smith an advocate of selfish individualism, rule-based ethics and the banishment of (...) teleology. This reading is seriously defective, and Smith in fact offers much of what MacIntyre calls for in economics. MacIntyre's ethical framework can be made more powerful and useful to business ethicists by incorporating Smithian insights, especially Smith's account of market virtues and teleological account of markets as extended cooperation directed towards the common good of wealth creation. Aside from issues of the interpretation of MacIntyre and Smith, this analysis opens new pathways for dialogue between business ethicists and economists. (shrink)
Its critics to the contrary, the “gift of life” metaphor is not to be blamed for the indebtedness and guilt that organ recipients often experience. It is certainly misused, however, both by post‐transplant caregivers, who exploit it to manipulate recipients' behavior, and by the organ procurement system, which has failed to understand that the decision to give the gift of life must be approached communally.
ABSTRACT This paper has three main aims. First, to make good on recent suggestions that Adam Smith offers a genealogy of the origins of religious belief. This is done by offering a systematic reconstruction of his account of religion in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, demonstrating that Smith there offers a naturalised account of religious belief, whilst studiously avoiding committing himself to the truth of any such belief. Second, I seek to bring out that Smith was ultimately (...) less interested in the truth of religious beliefs than in evaluating and understanding the place of religion in healthy ethical living. Third, I put Smith’s account into contrast with the more famous treatment offered by Nietzsche (as well as Bernard Williams’s later, Nietzschean, reflections), and suggest that Smith offers us the more plausible picture of both religion and morality, a finding of both historical and contemporary philosophical import. (shrink)
In "A Cosmological Argument for a Self-Caused Universe ," one of us (Smith) argued that the universe explains its own existence because (i) its existence is entailed by (and so explained by) the existence of the infinitely many instantaneous universe states that compose it, and (ii) each of those states is caused by (and so explained by) infinitely many earlier universe states. Moreover, (ii) is true even if the universe is finitely old because, given standard Big Bang cosmology (Friedmann (...) cosmology), the universe does not exist at t0 (i.e., the Big Bang singularity is not real) and no matter how close some moment tn (at which the universe does exist) is to t0, there are infinitely many (indeed continuum-many) moments at which the universe exists that are even closer. Thus, even a finitely old universe has no beginning in the sense of a first moment, and hence its state at any moment is (sufficiently) caused by (all of) the universe states that precede it. Further, since this explanation of the existence of the universe is complete despite making no reference to God, and since God by definition is a part of any complete explanation of the universe, it follows that God does not exist. (shrink)