One of the fundamental theses of this book is that logical consequence and logical truth are not simply given, but arise as conventions among the users of logic. Thus Syverson explains convention within a game-theoretic framework, as a kind of equilibrium between the strategies of players in a game where they share common knowledge of events—a revisiting of Lewis's Convention that argues that convention can be reasonably treated as coordination equilibria. Most strikingly, a realistic solution is provided for Gray's (...) classic coordination problem, wherein two generals can only communicate with each other through unreliable means. (shrink)
In the two-envelope problem, one is offered a choice between two envelopes, one containing twice as much money as the other. After seeing the contents of the chosen envelope, the chooser is offered the opportunity to make an exchange for the other envelope. However, it appears to be advantageous to switch, regardless of what is observed in the chosen envelope. This problem has an extensive literature with connections to probability and decision theory. The literature is roughly divided between those that (...) attempt to explain what is flawed in arguments for the advantage of switching and those that attempt to explain when such arguments can be correct if counterintuitive. We observe that arguments in the literature of the two-envelope problem that the problem is paradoxical are not supported by the probability distributions meant to illustrate the paradoxical nature. To correct this, we present a distribution that does support the usual arguments. Aside from questions about the interpretation of variables, algebraic ambiguity, modal confusions and the like, most of the interesting aspects of the two-envelope problem are assumed to require probability distributions on an infinite space. Our next main contribution is to show that the same counterintuitive arguments can be reflected in finite versions of the problem; thus they do not inherently require reasoning about infinite values. A topological representation of the problem is presented that captures both finite and infinite cases, explicating intuitions underlying the arguments both that there is an advantage to switching and that there is not. (shrink)
The paper discusses some aspects of the relationship between Feyerabend and Kuhn. First, some biographical remarks concerning their connections are made. Second, four characteristics of Feyerabend and Kuhn's concept of incommensurability are discussed. Third, Feyerabend's general criticism of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions is reconstructed. Forth and more specifically, Feyerabend's criticism of Kuhn's evaluation of normal science is critically investigated. Finally, Feyerabend's re-evaluation of Kuhn's philosophy towards the end of his life is presented.
In this volume Paul Formosa sets out a novel approach to Kantian ethics as an ethics of dignity by focusing on the Formula of Humanity as a normative principle distinct from the Formula of Universal Law. By situating the Kantian conception of dignity within the wider literature on dignity, he develops an important distinction between status dignity, which all rational agents have, and achievement dignity, which all rational agents should aspire to. He then explores constructivist and realist views on (...) the foundation of the dignity of rational agents, before developing a compelling account of who does and does not have status dignity and of what kind of achievement dignity or virtue we, as vulnerable rational agents, can and should strive for. His study will be highly valuable for those interested in Kant's ethical, moral and political philosophies. (shrink)
This major volume assembles leading scholars to address and explain the significance of Paul Ricoeur's extraordinary body of work. Ricoeur's work is of seminal importance to the development of hermeneutics, phenomenology, and ideology critique in the human sciences. Opening with three key essays from Ricoeur himself--on Europe, fragility and responsibility, and love and justice--this fascinating volume offers a tour of his work ranging across topics such as the hermeneutics of action, narrative force, and the other and deconstruction, while discussing (...) his work in the context of such contemporary thinkers as Heidegger, Levinas, Arendt, and Gadamer. Offering a very useful overview of Paul Ricoeur's enormous contribution to modern thought, Paul Ricoeur will be invaluable for students and academics across the social and human sciences and philosophy. (shrink)
This collection of essays by philosophers and educationalists of international reputation, all published here for the first time, celebrates Paul Hirst's professional career. The introductory essay by Robin Barrow and Patricia White outlines Paul Hirst's career and maps the shifts in his thought about education, showing how his views on teacher education, the curriculum and educational aims are interrelated. Contributions from leading names in British and American philosophy of education cover themes ranging from the nature of good teaching (...) to Wittgensteinian aesthetics. The collection concludes with a paper in which Paul Hirst sets out his latest views on the nature of education and its aims. The book also includes a complete bibliography of works by Hirst and a substantial set of references to his writing. (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)
I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most famous philosophers of the twentieth century. The principal founder of existentialism, a political thinker and famous novelist and dramatist, his work has exerted enormous influence in philosophy, literature, politics and cultural studies. Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings is the first collection of Sartre's key philosophical writings and provides an indispensable resource for readers of his work. Stephen Priest's clear and helpful introductions make the volume an ideal companion to those coming to Sartre's (...) writing for the first time. (shrink)
The self-portrait of an intellectual reveals his childhood in Vienna, wounds at the Russian front in the German army, encounters with the famous, innumerable love affairs, four marriages, and refusal to accept a "petrified and tyrannical ...
Proponents of public reason views hold that the exercise of political power ought to be acceptable to all reasonable citizens. This article elucidates the common structure shared by all public reason views, first by identifying a set of questions that all such views must answer and, second, by showing that the answers to these questions stand in a particular relationship to each other. In particular, we show that what we call the ‘rationale question’ is fundamental. This fact, and the common (...) structure more generally, are often overlooked or distorted within the literature. As a result, we argue, several prominent argumentative moves made by both critics and defenders of public reason are unsuccessful. Our overall conclusion is that discussions of public reason views would be more fruitful if they made consistent use of the common structure we identify. (shrink)
The paper contains two yet unknown letters that Feyerabend wrote to Kuhn in 1960 or 1961 on a draft of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In these letters, Feyerabend criticises both details of Kuhn's book and its general direction. The letters anticipate many of the arguments that were put forward in the public controversy against Kuhn's position, including some of the (numerous) misunderstandings. Feyerabend's assertions and arguments are very characteristic of his position in the early sixties.
Paul Faulkner presents a new theory of testimony - the basis of much of what we know. He addresses the questions of what makes it reasonable to accept a piece of testimony, and what warrants belief formed on that basis. He rejects rival theories and argues that testimonial knowledge and testimonially warranted belief are based on trust.
Having acknowledged the recurrent theme of education in Stanley Cavell's work, the discussion addresses the topic of scepticism, especially as this emerges in the interpretation of Wittgenstein. Questions concerning rule‐following, language and society are then turned towards political philosophy, specifically with regard to John Rawls. The discussion examines the idea of the social contract, the nature of moral reasoning and the possibility of our lives' being above reproach, as well as Rawls's criticisms of Nietzschean perfectionism. This lays the way for (...) the broaching of questions of race and America. The theme of the ordinary, which emerges variously in Cavell's reflections on Emerson, Wittgenstein and Austin, is taken up and extended into a consideration of Thoreau's ‘experiment in living’. The conversation closes with brief remarks about happiness. (shrink)
Diotima at the Barricades argues that the debates that emerged from the burgeoning of feminist intellectual life in post-modern France involved complex, structured, and reciprocal exchanges on the interpretation and position of Plato and other ancient texts in the western philosophical and literary tradition. Paul Allen Miller shows how individual works of Anglo-American figures such as Toril Moi, Judith Butler, and Kaja Silverman, as well as movements such as queer theory, are rooted in feminist theoretical debates that began in (...) the sixties in France and have continued right up to the present day. (shrink)
In recent years the doctrine that God exists in a timeless eternity has achieved something of the status of philosophical heterodoxy, if not of downright heresy. The arguments against the idea of God's timeless eternity come from two sources. The first of these is Professor Kneale's paper ‘Time and Eternity in Theology’ in which, alluding to the famous definition of eternity by Boethius as ‘the complete possession of eternal life at once’ Professor Kneale confesses ‘I can attach no meaning to (...) the word “life” unless I am allowed to suppose that what has life acts… life must at least involve some incidents in time and if, like Boethius, we suppose the life in question to be intelligent, then it must involve also awareness of the passage of time’. (shrink)
This dialogue between Paul Ricoeur and Sorin Antohi took place in Budapest on March 10, 2003 at Pasts, Inc., Center for Historical Studies, which is affiliated with Central European University . Ricoeur was the honorary president of Pasts, Inc., and its spiritus rector. On March 8, he had given a lecture on “History, Memory, and Forgetting” in the context of an international conference entitled “Haunting Memories? History in Europe after Authoritarianism,” and organized by Pasts Inc. and the Körber Foundation. (...) On March 9, Ricoeur had received the first Honoris Causa doctorate ever granted by CEU. Ricoeur had already visited Hungary in 1933. At the time, he was participating in a Boy Scouts European jamboree at Gödöllö . After WWII, he went back to Hungary to meet with Lukács. Mona Antohi has transcribed and edited the recording of the dialogue. The two interlocutors have then made some minor revisions. The original text, in French, is available on the website of Pasts, Inc. . This English version, translated and annotated by Gil Anidjar, will be included in Sorin Antohili’s book, Talking History. Making Sense of Pasts, forthcoming in 2006 from CEU Press. His own Romanian translation of the dialogue was published in the Iasi-based journal, Xenopoliana , as was the Hungarian translation by Réka Toth, which appeared in the Budapest-based journal, 2000. (shrink)
In the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant makes a distinction between duties of virtue and the obligation to be virtuous. For a number of reasons, it may seem as if the latter does not actually require any actions of us not already required by the former. This essay argues that Kant does succeed in describing obligations that we have to prepare for virtuous conduct that are different from simply fulfilling specific duties of virtue, and that in so doing he describes an (...) important element of the moral life. (shrink)
Paul Ricoeur has been hailed as one of the most important thinkers of the century. Oneself as Another, the clearest account of his "philosophical ethics," substantiates this position and lays the groundwork for a metaphysics of morals.
In this paper I introduce and critically examine a paradox about perceiving that is in some ways analogous to the paradox about meaning which Kripke puts forward in his exegesis of Wittgenstein's views on Rule-following. When applied to vision, the paradox of perceiving raises a metaphysical scepticism about which object a person is seeing if he looks, for example, at an apple on a tree directly in front of him. Physical objects can be seen when their appearance is distorted in (...) various ways by illusions. The question therefore arises as to how can we answer the sceptic who suggests the following: although the viewer appears to be seeing the green apple in front of him, he is actually suffering a bizarre illusion of a blue car situated somewhere behind him. The sceptic is not concerned with epistemic problems about how we know which object, if any, the subject is seeing; the sceptic is raising the more fundamental question: whatfact of the matter underlies a person's perceptual relation to the physical world, in virtue of which that person may be justified in arriving at a perceptual belief about the environment? Among the various different issues raised by the sceptic, I focus on the question: what determines the perceiving relation? I canvass a number of possible proposals in answer to it, concentrating mainly on two opposed accounts: the Disjunctive View and the Causal Theory of Perception. I argue in particular for the following two claims: that the paradox highlights the fact that the Disjunctive View fails to provide a coherent positive account of what perceiving is. that the problem of 'deviant causal chains', often thought to raise particular difficulties for the Causal theorist, can also be raised against other accounts of perception, including versions of the Disjunctive View. I conclude that unless the Causal Theory of Perception can be upheld, there will be no way of answering the sceptic. (shrink)
Collected and translated by John B. Thompson, this collection of essays by Paul Ricoeur includes many that had never appeared in English before the volume's publication in 1981. As comprehensive as it is illuminating, this lucid introduction to Ricoeur's prolific contributions to sociological theory features his more recent writings on the history of hermeneutics, its central themes and issues, his own constructive position and its implications for sociology, psychoanalysis and history. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including (...) a specially commissioned preface written by Charles Taylor, illuminating its enduring importance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, this classic work has been revived for a new generation of readers. (shrink)
How should we make choices when we know so little about our futures? L. A. Paul argues that we must view life decisions as choices to make discoveries about the nature of experience. Her account of transformative experience holds that part of the value of living authentically is to experience our lives and preferences in whatever ways they evolve.
This article was first published as “Notation atomique et hypothèses atomistiques”, Revue des questions scientifiques, 31 (1892), 391– 457. It is the second of a series of articles Duhem was to publish in the Catholic journal Revue des questions scientifiques, in which he presents his understanding of what can justifiably be said about the structure of chemical substances as captured by chemical formulas. The argument unfolds following a broadly historical development of events throughout the course of the century which was (...) coming to a close as he wrote. He later reflected in his classic The Aim and Structure of Physical Theories – based in large part on articles which had appeared in the Revue – that “To give the history of a physical principle is at the same time to make a logical analysis of it” (p. 269). Logical analysis clearly dominates in the present article. The historical context was elaborated considerably in a later work, Le mixte et la combinaison chimique: Essai sur l’évolution d’une idée, which did not lead him to retract any aspect of his earlier position but provided a broader setting in which it could be elaborated. In particular, the Aristotelian influence, which is only hinted at here in some of the formulations (see especially the beginning of section VII) without mentioning Aristotle by name, is explicit in the later work, making Duhem’s own ontological conception a little clearer. A discussion of stereoisomerism, conspicuously absent in the present article, is also integrated into the later book. The same holds for Avogadro’s hypothesis. (shrink)
Paul Horwich gives the definitive exposition of a prominent philosophical theory about truth, `minimalism'. His theory has attracted much attention since the first edition of Truth in 1990; he has now developed, refined, and updated his treatment of the subject, while preserving the distinctive format of the book. This revised edition appears simultaneously with a new companion volume, Meaning; the two books demystify central philosophical issues, and will be essential reading for all who work on the philosophy of language.
The Dalai Lama is fond of quoting a statement in which the Buddha is said to have asserted that no one should accept his word out of respect for the Buddha himself, but only after testing it, analysing it ‘ as a goldsmith analyses gold, through cutting, melting, scraping and rubbing it’. The Dalai Lama is often referred to as the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet, but in truth as a spiritual figure His Holiness, while respected, indeed revered by (...) almost all Tibetans, usually speaks from within the perspective of one particular tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, that of the dGe lugs . Founded in the late fourteenth century by Tsong kha pa, the dGe lugs has always stressed the importance of reasoning, analytic rationality, on the spiritual path. This dGe lugs perspective is by no means shared by all Buddhists, at least not in the form it there takes. Nevertheless it does represent an important direction in Buddhist thinking on reasoning and the spiritual path which can be traced back in Indian Buddhism a very long way indeed, and it is in the light of dGe lugs thought that I want to contemplate two points which seem to be crucial in Raimundo Panikkar's approach to interreligious dialogue and understanding: first, that Reality, Being, transcends the intelligible, the range of consciousness, and second, that understanding this is the only basis for tolerance, not seeking in one way or another to overcome the other. (shrink)
Computational methods have become the dominant technique in many areas of science. This book contains the first systematic philosophical account of these new methods and their consequences for scientific method. This book will be of interest to philosophers of science and to anyone interested in the role played by computers in modern science.
Oberman, H. A. Quoscunque tulit foecunda vetustas.--Bouwsma, W. J. The two faces of humanism.--Gilmore, M. P. Italian reactions to Erasmian humanism.--Dresden, S. The profile of the reception of the Italian Renaissance in France.--IJsewijn, J. The coming of humanism to the Low Countries.--Hay, D. England and the humanities in the fifteenth century.--Spitz, L. W. The course of German humanism.
What kind of thing are we? Paul Snowdon's answer is that we are animals, of a sort. This view--'animalism'--may seem obvious but on the whole philosophers have rejected it. Snowdon argues that animalism is a defensible way of thinking about ourselves. Its rejection rests on the tendency when doing philosophy to mistake fantasy for reality.
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