D. M. Armstrong is an eminent Australian philosopher whose work over many years has dealt with such subjects as: the nature of possibility, concepts of the particular and the general, causes and laws of nature, and the nature of human consciousness. This collection of essays explores the many facets of Armstrong's work, concentrating on his more recent interests. There are four sections to the book: possibility and identity, universals, laws and causality, and philosophy of mind. The contributors comprise an international (...) group of philosophers from the United States, England and Australia. An interesting feature of the volume is that Armstrong himself has written responses to each of the essays. There is also a complete bibliography of Armstrong's writings. (shrink)
A brief, systematic exposition of the positions of seven classical thinkers on the subject of the logical and/or methodological unity of human knowledge. McRae writes methodically and accurately on a difficult subject.--R. G. M.
This is an ambitious venture into the thicket of medieval philosophy: what is the true object of metaphysics? The book begins with a number of texts, printed after various manuscripts through which the author hopes to illustrate the development of a certain chain of ideas. After a short introduction on the Aristotelian and Arabic sources of the whole problematics, there are three fundamental solutions of the question: God is one of the many subjects of metaphysics, God is the cause of (...) the subject of metaphysics, God is a part of the subject of metaphysics. These major alternatives are followed by their respective development in the works of later authors. Besides the more usual writers like St. Thomas, Scotus, R. Bacon, Siger of Brabant, Henry of Ghent, we are given interesting and penetrating accounts of the ideas of men like Augustinus Triumphus of Ancona, Petrus of Alvernia, John Quidort of Paris, etc. Despite the first impression provoked by the table of contents this book is not a herbarium of rarities or curiosities but a highly concentrated and often fascinating study of the real topics of all metaphysics and through this perhaps of the very possibility of metaphysics as such.--M. J. V. (shrink)
Salutary reading for all philosophers, and not only for inductive logicians, philosophers of science and law, this important book presents an elaborate theory of inductive reasoning whose substantive features are as strikingly original as the approach is rare. First, the theory is based on concrete, real, actual, and significant instances of inductive reasoning, e.g., Karl von Frisch’s work on bees; that is, though its aim is genuinely theoretical in the sense that it engages in the proper amounts of idealization, abstraction, (...) systematization, precision, and rigor, it never loses sight of the fact that "theories in the philosophy of science, like theories in science itself, have to face up to the challenge of appropriately accredited experience within their appointed domains". Second, a central subject matter being analyzed is legal reasoning, that is, the types of proofs and arguments used by juries, judges, and lawyers in the Anglo-American system of jurisprudence, where criminal charges have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt and civil cases have to be argued on the balance of probability. Thus, in effect, Cohen’s synthesis of juridical and of scientific reasoning is an admirable example of the bridging of two "cultures." Third, and most importantly, the concept of "inductive probability," in terms of which Cohen makes sense out of his subject matter, is incommensurable with that of "mathematical probability," namely the classical calculus of chance according to which probability is measurable, additive, transitive, and obeys a multiplicational principle for conjunction and a complementational one for negation. This is not to say that "inductive probability" is a hazy, mysterious, or unstructured concept, and Cohen goes to great lengths to show that it is ordinal, modal, and formally analyzable; what it does mean is that essential types of reasoning in science and in law involve probable inferences whose probabilities are nonquantitative. Hence, though Cohen does not stress the qualitative nature of inductive probability, his book will be welcome by those who conceive of philosophy as scientia qualitatum. Specific conclusions reached by Cohen are that, in general, probability may be conceived as degree of provability, that differences in proof-rules generate different special cases of probability, that inductive probability may be viewed as the special case where the proof-rules are incomplete, that inductive probability is to inductive support as deducibility is to logical truth, and that some recent epistemological scepticism may be refuted by Cohen’s inductive logic. Finally, he sees himself in the British inductivist tradition, interpreting his predecessors as groping toward a logic of inductive support and probability rather than a methodology of discovery: from Bacon he develops the notion of eliminative induction but rejects that of induction by enumeration; Mill’s canons are analyzed as special cases of Cohen’s own "method of relevant variables," except for the method of residues, which is rejected as invalid ; he takes his critique of mathematical probability as a vindication of Hume’s thesis that "probability or reasoning from conjecture may be divided into two kinds, viz., that which is founded on chance and that which arises from causes" ; Whewell’s consilience of induction is justified ; and from Keynes, he develops the notion of the "weight" of evidence but rejects his mathematicist approach.—M. A. F. (shrink)
Lorazepam has been repeatedly shown to induce memory impairments. The effects of this benzodiazepine on the processes involved in the strategic regulation of memory accuracy have not as yet been explored. An experimental procedure that delineates the role of monitoring and control processes was used. Fifteen lorazepam and 15 placebo subjects were examined using a semantic memory task that combined both a forced- and a free-report option and a no-incentive and an incentive condition. Memory accuracy was lower in the lorazepam (...) than in the placebo group. Lorazepam impaired control sensitivity (the extent to which volunteering of answers is affected by the confidence judgments). While the absolute aspect of monitoring was impaired (calibration scores), both the discriminative aspect (the ability to distinguish between correct and incorrect answers) and the response criterion setting (the confidence threshold set for volunteering a report) were spared. The pharmacological dissociation between monitoring effectiveness and control sensitivity indicates that these two components involve distinct processes. (shrink)
An increasing amount of twenty-first century metaphysics is couched in explicitly hyperintensional terms. A prerequisite of hyperintensional metaphysics is that reality itself be hyperintensional: at the metaphysical level, propositions, properties, operators, and other elements of the type hierarchy, must be more fine-grained than functions from possible worlds to extensions. In this paper I develop, in the setting of type theory, a general framework for reasoning about the granularity of propositions and properties. The theory takes as primitive the notion of a (...) substitution on a proposition (property, etc.) and, among other things, uses this idea to elucidate a number of theoretically important distinctions. A class of structures are identified which can be used to model a wide range of positions about the granularity of reality; certain of these structures are seen to receive a natural treatment in the category of M-sets. (shrink)
Recent discussion in democratic theory has seen a revival of interest in pragmatism. Drawing on the work of C. S. Peirce, Cheryl Misak and Robert Talisse have argued that a form of deliberative democracy is justified as the means for citizens to assure themselves of the truth of their beliefs. In this article, I suggest that the Peircean account of deliberative democracy is conceived too narrowly. It takes its force from seeing citizens as intellectual inquirers, something that I argue is (...) both problematic in itself and relies on a controversial understanding of truth and inquiry. The article goes on to propose reasons for favouring a Deweyan rather than a Peircean account of democracy, one in which deliberation is seen not simply as a matter of arriving at the truth, but as part of a broader view of human flourishing. (shrink)
In the United States, food banks served an estimated 46 million people in 2015. A combination of government policy reforms and political economic trends contributed to the rising numbers of individuals relying on private food assistance in the US, the United Kingdom and other high-income countries. Although researchers frequently map urban food environments, this project is one of the first to map private food assistance and potential need at the census-tract scale. We utilize Geographic Information Systems, demographic data, and food (...) assistance locations to develop a rapid assessment tool that could support food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, and government agencies that seek to answer the question of whether people with the greatest need have food distribution sites in close proximity. We define access based on distance and then calculate potential food insecurity using either poverty rates or a food insecurity index. We apply these methods in a case study analysis of Santa Clara County, California. Our findings suggest that food assistance distribution locations match the areas of potential need in more than 80% of urban census tracts. However, there are several potentially underserved locations and populations that could benefit from new food assistance operations. The poverty and index-based approaches show significant spatial overlap in mapped areas of high food insecurity and low access. The poverty only approach produces a higher estimate of food insecurity rates, is easier to calculate, and draws attention to the need to address poverty as a root cause of hunger. (shrink)
For pragmatists, the inability to stand outside of the contingencies of human practice does not impede social criticism. However, several pragmatists have argued that Richard Rorty’s position unnecessarily and undesirably circumscribes the scope of social criticism, allowing for nothing more than an appeal to current practices, with no way to challenge or revise them. This article argues against this understanding, showing that on Rorty’s account, social criticism is an interpretive activity in which critics draw on elements within current practices, focusing (...) attention on the ways in which a society’s practices fail to live up to its self-image. In so doing, Rorty’s position is shown to allow for everything that his fellow pragmatists think important, but take him to be denying. (shrink)
This authoritative edition was originally published in the acclaimed Oxford Authors series under the general editorship of Frank Kermode. It brings together an extensive collection of Bacon's writing - the major prose in full, together with sixteen other pieces not otherwise available - to give the essence of his work and thinking. Although he had a distinguished career as a lawyer and statesman, Francis Bacon's lifelong goal was to improve and extend human knowledge. In The Advancement of Learning (...) he made a brilliant critique of the deficiencies of previous systems of thought and proposed improvements to knowledge in every area of human life. He conceived the Essays as a study of the formative influences on human behaviour, psychological and social. In The New Atlantis he outlined his plan for a scientific research institute in the form of a Utopian fable. In addition to these major English works this edition includes 'Of Tribute', an important early work here printed complete for the first time, and a revealing selection of his legal and political writings, together with his poetry. A special feature of the edition is its extensive annotation which identifies Bacon's sources and allusions, and glosses his vocabulary. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. (shrink)
Volume XIII of the new edition of the works of Francis Bacon presents seven texts belonging to the last stages of Bacon's hugely influential philosophical reform programme. Three of the texts, sharing a bizarre history of literary theft and feuding, are here published for the first time. All seven are presented in their original Latin with brand new facing-page translations.
An authoritative critical edition, based on fresh collation of the seventeenth century texts and documented in an extensive textual apparatus, of Francis Bacon's The Advancement of Learning, the principal philosophical work in English announcing his comprehensive programme to restore and advance learning.
This volume inaugurates a new critical edition of the writings of the great English philosopher and sage Francis Bacon - the first such complete edition for more than a hundred years. It contains six of Bacon's Latin scientific works, each accompanied by entirely new facing-page translations which, together with the extensive introduction and commentaries, offer fresh insights into one of the great minds of the early seventeenth century.