The explanatory filter is a proposed method to detect design in nature with the aim of refuting Darwinian evolution. The explanatory filter borrows its logical structure from the theory of statistical hypothesis testing but we argue that, when viewed within this context, the filter runs into serious trouble in any interesting biological application. Although the explanatory filter has been extensively criticized from many angles, we present the first rigorous criticism based on the theory of mathematical statistics.
The important impact of the French Franciscan Peter Auriol (ca. 1280-1322) upon contemporary philosophical theology at Oxford is well known and has been well documented and analyzed, at least for a narrow range of issues, particularly in epistemology. This article attempts a more systematic treatment of his effects upon Oxford debates across a broader range of subjects and over a more expansive duration of time than has been done previously. Topics discussed include grace and merit, future contingents and divine (...) foreknowledge, and the logic of the Trinity. (shrink)
This article discusses the theories of perception of Robert Kilwardby and Peter of John Olivi. Our aim is to show how in challenging certain assumptions of medieval Aristotelian theories of perception they drew on Augustine and argued for the active nature of the soul in sense perception. For both Kilwardby and Olivi, the soul is not passive with respect to perceived objects; rather, it causes its own cognitive acts with respect to external objects and thus allows the subject to (...) perceive them. We also show that Kilwardby and Olivi differ substantially regarding where the activity of the soul is directed to and the role of the sensible species in the process, and we demonstrate that there are similarities between their ideas of intentionality and the attention of the soul towards the corporeal world. (shrink)
In his recent book on the problem of evil, Peter van Inwagen argues that both the global and local arguments from evil are failures. In this paper, we engagevan Inwagen’s book at two main points. First, we consider his understanding of what it takes for a philosophical argument to succeed. We argue that while his criterion for success is interesting and helpful, there is good reason to think it is too stringent. Second, we consider his responses to the global (...) and local arguments from evil. We argue that although van Inwagen may have adequately responded to each of these arguments, his discussion points us toa third argument from evil to which he has yet to provide a response. (shrink)
This paper offers an analysis of a hitherto neglected text on insoluble propositions dating from the late XiVth century and puts it into perspective within the context of the contemporary debate concerning semantic paradoxes. The author of the text is the italian logician Peter of Mantua (d. 1399/1400). The treatise is relevant both from a theoretical and from a historical standpoint. By appealing to a distinction between two senses in which propositions are said to be true, it offers an (...) unusual solution to the paradox, but in a traditional spirit that contrasts a number of trends prevailing in the XiVth century. It also counts as a remarkable piece of evidence for the reconstruction of the reception of English logic in italy, as it is inspired by the views of John Wyclif. Three approaches addressing the Liar paradox (Albert of Saxony, William Heytesbury and a version of strong restrictionism) are first criticised by Peter of Mantua, before he presents his own alternative solution. The latter seems to have a prima facie intuitive justification, but is in fact acceptable only on a very restricted understanding, since its generalisation is subject to the so-called revenge problem. (shrink)
According to Peter Klein, foundationalism fails because it allows a vicious form of arbitrariness. The present article critically discusses his concept of arbitrariness. It argues that the condition Klein takes to be necessary and sufficient for an epistemic item to be arbitrary is neither necessary nor sufficient. It also argues that Klein's concept of arbitrariness is not a concept of something that is obviously vicious. Even if Klein succeeds in establishing that foundationalism allows what he regards as arbitrariness, this (...) does not yet mean that he confronts it with a sound objection. (shrink)
This article discusses the theory of perception of Peter Auriol. Arguing for the active nature of the senses in perception, Auriol applies the Scotistic doctrine of objective being to the theory of perception. Nevertheless, he still accepts some parts of the theory of species. The paper introduces Auriol's view on the mechanism of perception and his account of illusions. I argue for a direct realist reading of Auriol's theory of perception and propose that his position becomes clearer if we (...) use the distinction between the first- and third-person perspectives which he seems to presuppose. (shrink)
Peter van Inwagen has long claimed that he doesn’t understand substitutional quantification and that the notion is, in fact, meaningless. Van Inwagen identifies the source of his bewilderment as an inability to understand the proposition expressed by a simple sentence like “,” where “$\Sigma$” is the existential quantifier understood substitutionally. I should think that the proposition expressed by this sentence is the same as that expressed by “.” So what’s the problem? The problem, I suggest, is that van Inwagen (...) takes traditional existential quantification to be ontologically committing and substitutional quantification to be ontologically noncommitting, which requires that the two quantifiers have different meanings—but no different meaning for the substitutional quantifier is forthcoming. What van Inwagen fails to appreciate is that substitutional quantification is directed at a criterion of ontological commitment, namely, W. V. O. Quine’s, which is quite different from van Inwagen’s criterion. Substitutional quantification successfully avoids the commitments Quine’s criterion would engender but has the same commitments as existential quantification given van Inwagen’s criterion. The question, then, is whether the existential quantifier is ontologically committing, as van Inwagen believes. The answer to that question will depend on whether the ordinary language “there is/are,” which is codified by the existential quantifier, is ontologically committing. There are good reasons to doubt that it is. (shrink)
Peter Harrison's The Territories of Science and Religion throws down a serious challenge to advocates of dialogue as the primary means of engagement between science and religion. This article accepts the validity of this challenge and looks at four possible responses to it. The first—a return to the past—is rejected. The remaining three—exploring new epistemic frameworks for the encounter of science and religion, broadening out the engagement beyond the context of the physical sciences and Western culture, and looking at (...) ways in which scientific and theological practitioners may collaborate on practical problems—are all offered as potential ways in which science and religion may engage with one another, in ways which move beyond Harrison's critique. (shrink)
Peter H. Hare (1935-2008) developed informed, original views about the proposition: some published (Hare 1969 and Hare-Madden 1975); some expressed in conversations at scores of meetings of the Buffalo Logic Colloquium and at dinners following. The published views were expository and critical responses to publications by Curt J. Ducasse (1881-1969), a well-known presence in American logic, a founder of the Association for Symbolic Logic and its President for one term.1Hare was already prominent in the University of Buffalo's Philosophy Department (...) in 1969 when I was appointed. Soon after, he became Chair. As his Associate Chair from 1971to 1975, I spent many hours with him in Buffalo and on professional trips .. (shrink)
Peter Hare and Edward Madden's collaborative book Evil and the Concept of God (968) has become a staple in literature about the problem of evil and remains frequently cited by supporters and critics alike. The major concepts of the work arose out of earlier papers in which they first began to formulate their arguments about the problem of evil. Their article "Evil and Unlimited Power" embodies many of their arguments against quasi-theist attempts to resolve the problem of evil.1 Assembled (...) from these and other papers, their compendium frames a thorough synthesis of the long history of debate regarding the problem of evil, and contributes their own exhaustive, point-by-point attack on modern defenders of three main .. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 22 - 45 This essay discusses the views of Peter Olivi on the foundations of political power and agency. The central argument is that there is a strong connection between Olivi’s voluntarist psychology and his views concerning political power. According to Olivi, political power is ultimately based on the will of God, but in such a way that both the rulers and their subjects have, through their individual freedom, the liberty to use (...) their share of power as they will. In fact, Olivi conceptualises political power as an extension of the dominion that human beings have over their wills, which is essential for being a political agent in the full sense. By providing a philosophical analysis of the role of the freedom of the will within Olivi’s political philosophy, this essay sheds light on his conception of the relation between the human and the divine will, as well as on his understanding of political power. (shrink)
Some medieval authors defend free choice by arguing that, even though human choices are indeed caused by the practical judgment about what is best to do here and now, one is nevertheless able to freely influence that practical judgment’s formation. This paper examines Peter Auriol’s account of free choice, which is a quite elaborate version of this approach and which brings its theoretical problems into focus. I will argue in favor of Auriol’s basic theory, but I will also propose (...) an emendation to his theory in order to respond to some problems he leaves unresolved. (shrink)
This article brings Xunzi's views on religious practice into conversation with Peter Berger's sociological understanding of religion in an effort both to deepen our understanding of their theories concerning the constructed nature of religious worldviews and to consider critically the plausibility of their arguments. The author suggests that comparison of Berger's theory in "The Sacred Canopy" with Xunzi's account of the "Dao" enables us to explain why certain weaknesses arise in Berger's theory--namely, the difficulty of imagining how the self (...) could ever escape the sacred canopy to achieve authenticity and the tension between his assertions about the precariousness of the social order and the apparent stability of the social order suggested by his descriptions. By uncovering Berger's hidden assumptions about the self, comparison with Xunzi's work also suggests a way the problems might be remedied. (shrink)
Many point to Peter Winch’s discussion of rationality, relativism, and religion as a paradigmatic example of cultural relativism. In this paper, I argue that Winch’s relationship to relativism is widely misinterpreted in that, despite his pluralistic understanding of rationality, Winch does allow for universal features of culture in virtue of which cross-cultural understanding and even critique is possible. Nevertheless, I also argue that given the kind of cultural universals that Winch produces, he fails to avoid relativism. This is because (...) in order to provide the standards without which relativism ensues, one requires a certain kind of criteria of rationality, namely, what I here call substantive universals, a kind of criteria which Winch rejects. (shrink)
In this paper I will examine the relation between the theory of obligations and its use in sophismatic contexts through the lens of certain pragmatic concerns. In order to do this, I will take a sophism discussed by Peter of Mantua in his treatise on obligations as a case-study. I will first provide a brief outline of the structure of the treatise and then examine a concrete case that shows how the relationship between background assumptions (casus and context of (...) utterance) and criteria of response seems to suggest a way to qualify the application of general rules (especially for irrelevant sentences) in certain limit-cases. By discussing Peter's presentation of the sophism, I will also argue for a connection between Peter of Mantua's text and Mesino de Codronchi's Questiones on the De Interpretatione. (shrink)
In responding to Peter Forrest’s defence of ‘tough-minded theodicy’, I point to some problematic features of theodicies of this sort, in particular their commitment to an anthropomorphic conception of God which tends to assimilate the Creator to the creaturely and so diminishes the otherness and mystery of God. This remains the case, I argue, even granted Forrest’s view that God may have a very different kind of morality from the one we mortals are subject to.
Peter Hare took a belle-lettriste pleasure in hopping from one philosophical topic to another. Not carelessly but lightheartedly enough. I mean by that, not that there is no deeper interlocking linkage among his many papers—there is—but rather that the center of gravity of each piece rests with the special patience and affection Peter spends on the specific topic some chanced-upon author or authors bring into view. He pursues each such topic intensively in a deliberately narrow-gauged way, testing its (...) best possibilities in its own terms seconded by his own wider reading, as if he were loyal to opposed doctrines. He usually runs through a rather tight, well-informed set of occasional readings and reflections .. (shrink)
The relationship between libertarianism and state is a contested one. Despite pressing full and strict ownership of one’s person and any justly acquired goods, many libertarians have suggested ways in which a state, albeit limited, can be regarded as just. Peter Vallentyne has proposed that all plausible versions of libertarianism are compatible with what he calls ‘private-law states’. His proposal is underpinned by a particular conception of rights, which brings Interest Theory of rights and Will Theory of rights together. (...) If convincing, Vallentyne’s theory of rights enables libertarians to accommodate a limited but nevertheless coercive state that can act without the full consent of the affected citizen. In this paper, it is argued that Vallentyne’s hybrid theory of rights is implausible from a libertarian perspective as well as fails to align itself with common and deeply held moral intuitions. Hence the conflict between mainstream libertarianism and the state is not solved by Vallentyne’s proposal. (shrink)
There are good moral reasons to support euthanasia, and these reasons are fundamentally of a utilitarian root. There are few moral reasons to oppose euthanasia in its strict sense, and they are clearly outweighed by the reasons argumented from a utilitarian perspective. Such teleological and consequentialist good reasons were originally advanced by David Hume in his brief and brilliant essay "Of Suicide" (1757), the true source for current Bioethics. Hume's arguments have been expanded in scope by some contemporary utilitarians, especially (...) by Peter Singer. Both the classical arguments of Hume as the most current by Singer (and by some other utilitarian thinkers) are evaluated here, holding, in conclusion, that, regardless of specific criticisms, and of some important discrepancies between the different kinds of utilitarianists, however, the utilitarian ethical position is a strong and solid support for the defense of the "good voluntary death" as an individual right (in fact, a legitimate interest that demands legal protection) with a dominant force over other rights or interests, both individual or collective. (shrink)
This paper takes the passing of Peter McHugh as an occasion to examine the intellectual development of his work. The paper is mainly focused on the product of his collaboration with his colleague and friend, Alan Blum. As such, it addresses the tradition of social inquiry, Analysis, which they cofounded. It traces the influence of Harold Garfinkel’s Ethnomethodology on McHugh and on the beginning of Analysis. The collaboration with Blum is examined through a variety of coauthored works but most (...) especially in the two books On the Beginning of Social Inquiry (1974) and Self Reflection in the Arts and Sciences (1984). It also examines the relation of his independent writing before 1974, and since 1984 to the expression of the tradition of inquiry as exemplified in those two texts. The paper builds on some interview material with Peter McHugh and reflects on the influence of Peter the teacher as well as the theorist McHugh. Most especially, through its engagement with this material, it seeks to exemplify the dialectic and living nature of the program called Analysis. (shrink)
Peter Singer in his Practical Ethics and in other works as well gives importance to reason in making an ethical decision. Thinkers question Singer’s consistency and employment of reason in his ethical decisions. Jacqueline A Laing talks about Singer’s inconsistency in her article 'Inconsistency and Consequentialism'. With reference to animal rights and abortion, she claims that Singer uses different yardstick, thus Singer is inconsistent. She remarks that Singer uses the notion of ‘sentientism’ for the defense of animal rights, whereas (...) he comes up with ‘personism’ for human centered ethics. She claims that if Singer is consistent why can’t he use the same notion of ‘sentientism’ for animal rights as well as issues on humans like disabled human beings? According to her, this suggests there is an inconsistency in Singer’s work on ethical issues concerning animals and ethical issues concerning humans. As a corollary conclusion, she claims that Singer is biased towards animals. In this paper, the authors try to show that there is no such inconsistency. Contrary to her claims, the authors like to show that Singer uses personism in the discussions related to animals and similarly he uses sentientism in his discussion related to abortion and other human centered ethical issues. Therefore, Laing’s claims about Singer’s inconsistency and her following claim that Singer is biased towards animals need to be reconsidered. (shrink)
In discussing cruelty toward human beings, I argue that disregarding the singularity of any human being is necessary for treating her or him cruelly. The cruelty of Peter the Great, relying upon the intolerance of any human singular individuality, serves me as a paradigm-case to illustrate that. The cruelty of Procrustes and that of Stalin rely upon similar grounds. Relating to a person’s singularity is sufficient to prevent cruelty toward that person. In contrast, a liberal state of mind or (...) solidarity is insufficient to prevent cruelty and, under some circumstances, may even cause it. (shrink)
Peter Singer’s views on the status of nonhuman animals have attracted both attention and intense controversy in many Western countries, including the United States, Canada, and Germany. The reactions to his theories in France are less well known. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of critical responses to Singer by French academics and thinkers. How have they received Singer’s contention that we must bring nonhuman animals within the sphere of moral concern? Do French scholars agree (...) with his utilitarian argument on marginal cases, his definition of the term “person,” his defense of the Great Ape Project? Finally, is he considered in France a brilliant and groundbreaking ethicist, a dangerous extremist, or somewhere in between? (shrink)
This paper takes up Peter Sloterdijk’s proposition for a new thinking of the world as global foam. After quickly reminding the reader of the main characteristics of “bubbles” as “immune spheres of existence”, I retrace the three phases of the history globalization as they have been developed by Sloterdijk in the Spheres trilogy. I then focus on the third phase, also called Global Age, and try to bring together the two seemingly opposed concepts Sloterdijk has used to discuss the (...) age of globality: “worldly interior” and “foams” by arguing that the former represents our world in its globality while the latter represents it in its irreducible plurality. The result is a system of co-fragility and co-isolation: a compact proximity between fragile entities and the necessary closure of each cell unto itself. If this is the case, the question we need to ask concerns the space left opened in the worldly interior for a ‘world-forming’ praxis. In the end politics can only consist in “managing” the worldly interior, stabilizing it and regulating its exchange with an outside. Without overview, without initiative, it is not clear in what ways politics can still be a trans-forming praxis and is not a mere function of the system. (shrink)
Peter McHugh’s influence on those of us who studied and worked with him as part of York University’s graduate sociology programme in Toronto from the mid-1970s until the late 1980s, while lasting and undeniable, is not necessarily immediately apparent nor easily articulated. What follows is a brief reflection on how this difficulty can be understood as integral to Peter McHugh’s unique contribution both to those of us fortunate enough to have studied with him, and more broadly, to the (...) discipline of sociology itself. (shrink)
Keywords Harold Stewart - Peter Kelly - Traditionalist circle in Melbourne PETER KELLY, Buddha in a Bookshop. North Fitzroy, Vic, Australia: Ulysses Press, 2007, 176t viii pp., ISBN: 9780646469775, pb.
The recent death of Peter McHugh becomes an occasion for the remembrance and recollection of the distinctive form of reflexive or analytic social inquiry, which framed his work and that of his longtime friend and collaborator, Alan Blum. Following dual appointments at York University, Toronto, Canada in 1972, Blum and McHugh’s partnership formed the basis for a community of scholars and students throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. A brief review of McHugh and Blum’s works shows theoretical roots in (...) social constructivism and a deep appreciation of the linguistic turn, which in turn lead to the development of a form of social analysis that meets the stringent requirements of a reflexive sociology by repudiating any claim to a privileged exemption of theoretical speech (practice) from the hermeneutical circle of speech and language. Blum and McHugh are shown to embrace and not to evade the hermeneutical circle by a form of social inquiry that subverts the inherent possibilities available within speech and social convention to make available an encounter with the (moral) authority or form of life for that self-same speech. With each example of everyday life or conventional usage, McHugh (and Blum) move from theorizing which formulates the complexity of a particular instance of social interaction through its rules, to the question of the form of life that make that particular instance of the rules possible. It is the pursuit of transparency between speech and its roots in language that informed and continues to inform the distinctive style of social theory fostered at York-Toronto under the orchestration of McHugh and Blum. (shrink)
We present a new and constructive proof of the Peter-Weyl theorem on the representations of compact groups. We use the Gelfand representation theorem for commutative C*-algebras to give a proof which may be seen as a direct generalization of Burnside's algorithm . This algorithm computes the characters of a finite group. We use this proof as a basis for a constructive proof in the style of Bishop. In fact, the present theory of compact groups may be seen as a (...) natural continuation in the line of Bishop's work on locally compact, but Abelian, groups . (shrink)
A book symposium on Peter, Carruthers. Phenomenal Consciousness: A Naturalistic Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. -/- Contents: Author's précis Colin Allen, Evolving Phenomenal Consciousness - Carruthers's reply. José Luis Bermúdez, Commentary - Carruthers's reply - Reply to Carruthers: Properties, first-order representationalism and reinforcement. Joseph Levine, Commentary - Carruthers's reply. William Seager, Dispositions and Consciousness - Carruthers's reply.
Since the mid-90’s the figure of Peter Lombard and his Book of Sentences has regained the importance in scholarly world and been studied from both historical-theological and historical-philosophical perspectives. But some aspects of his thinking, encapsulated in the written form, which was to become the material basis for the thirteenth- through the fifteenth-century theological projects, remained somewhat insufficiently researched. Therefore this article analyzes the select parts of the Book of Sentences with the purpose of looking at how Peter (...) Lombard handled the issue of God’s knowledge. The article shows that for Peter Lombard God’s knowledge is God’s awareness of everything knowable. It has no causal power which belongs to the divine will. Nevertheless, this knowledge is able to function in two different modes: it can be either a purely cognitive act as awareness alone, or a double cognitive and voluntary act as awareness and simultaneous volition in the form of approbation. Hence, God’s knowledge in general is not causative, but God’s knowledge of the good must be causative because he simultaneously knows and wills what is good. The article reasonably suggests that Lombard’s logic implies the compatibility of God’s (fore)knowledge and voluntary activity, on the one hand, and the contingency of the created order and the rational creatures’ free will, on the other hand. But the details of this conception remain unrevealed as Lombard’s presentation of the problem is to be declared underdeveloped. (shrink)
Review: Max Koch, Roads to Post-Fordism: Labour Markets and Social Structures in Europe ; Christian Joerges, Bo Strath and Peter Wagner , The Economy as a Polity: The Political Constitution of Contemporary Capitalism.
Peter Singer is probably the best-known and most controversial ethicist in the world today. He rigorously applies utilitarian moral theory to issues such as world poverty, the environment, abortion, euthanasia and, most famously, animal welfare. He has also written a book about his grandfather, David Oppenheim, who died in Theresienstadt concentration camp. He is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University.
In this exchange, Peter Coghlan and Nick Trakakis discuss the problem of natural evil in the light of the recent Asian tsunami disaster. The exchange begins with an extract from a newspaper article written by Coghlan on the tsunami, followed by three rounds of replies and counter-replies, and ending with some final comments from Trakakis. While critical of any attempt to show that human life is good overall despite its natural evils, Coghlan argues that instances of natural evil, even (...) horrific ones, can be justified as the unavoidable by-product of a natural system on which human life and culture depends. Trakakis, however, rejects this view, counselling instead a degree of skepticism about our ability to construct a plausible theodicy for horrific evil. (shrink)
As parents of a young woman who very much resembles Ashley, we recognize the way her parents speak of their daughter’s preciousness, and of the love and joy she brings into their life. We know too well the hardships associated with rearing a child with severe physical and intellectual disabilities, especially in our own society, unyielding as it is to the medical needs even “normals” have. We would not have our daughter Sesha undergo similar interventions. We do not believe she (...) is a perpetual child, even if her intellectual capacities do not exceed those of a child, for she has lived for thirty-seven years in this world and with that has acquired knowledge, sensitivities, and sensibilities that no child of “comparable” capacities could have. (shrink)
Written by eminent philosophers from Britain, Europe, America, and Australia, the essays of this collection are a tribute to Peter Winch, whose work is marked by his deep appreciation of the most fundamental aspect of Wittgenstein's legacy: that we cannot detach our concepts from their roots in human life. The voices in this volume unite in different tones of sympathy and criticism by discussing the theme of human conditioning: the human conditioning of what we can find intelligible, possible and (...) impossible, and the suspicion of an illusory transcendence. (shrink)