3. From. evolutionary. psychology. to. evolutionary. economics. 3.1 Shaken foundations Marshall's move from psychology to economics can be described as a slow shift rather than a sudden switch: Psychology seemed to hold out good ...
Alfred Marshall's ethics, critically examined by Parsons in the 1930s and often the target of unfair remarks in the past, has become the object of more sympathetic and detailed studies in recent years. These studies have tried to redress the balance that had been upset by routine criticisms, and to prove that Marshall's interest in ethics was neither lip-service to conventional morality nor uncritical acceptance thereof. Moreover, they have vindicated Marshall's claim that his economics, though unconnected to any ethical philosophy, (...) was still one of the moral sciences, inseparable from ethical considerations. (shrink)
Quentin Meillassoux has been described as the most rapidly prominent French philosopher in the Anglophone world since Jacques Derrida in the 1960s. With the publication of After Finitude (2006), this daring protege of Alain Badiou became one of the world's most visible younger thinkers. In this book, his fellow Speculative Realist, Graham Harman, assesses Meillassoux's publications in English so far. Also included are an insightful interview with Meillassoux and first-time translations of excerpts from L'Inexistence divine (The Divine Inexistence), his (...) famous but still unpublished major book. (shrink)
The first of three volumes of essays by Quentin Skinner, one of the world's leading intellectual historians. This collection includes some of his most important philosophical and methodological statements written over the past four decades, each carefully revised for publication in this form. In a series of seminal essays Professor Skinner sets forth the intellectual principles that inform his work. Writing as a practising historian, he considers the theoretical difficulties inherent in the pursuit of knowledge and interpretation, and elucidates (...) the methodology which finds its expression in his two successive volumes. All of Professor Skinner's work is characterised by philosophical power, limpid clarity, and elegance of exposition; these essays, many of which are now recognised classics, provide a fascinating and convenient digest of the development of his thought. (shrink)
Emphasis on autonomy of texts presupposes that there are perennial concepts. But researchers' expectations may turn history into mythology of ideas; researchers forget that an agent cannot be described as doing something he could not understand as a description, and that thinking may be inconsistent. They will never uncover voluntary oblique strategies and by treating ideas as units will confuse sentences with statements. On the other hand, a contextual approach to the meaning of texts dismisses ideas as unimportant effects. Neither (...) method shows how what was said was meant is crucial for understanding. There are no perennial problems; philosophers of different times do not speak directly to us. But history of ideas helps us recognize the contingency of many of our beliefs. (shrink)
Quentin Smith offers powerful arguments against the New Theory of Reference propounded by leading thhinkers in the philosophy of language. Smith defends the tensed theory of time and argues that the simultaneity is absoltue, basing this position on the theory that all propositions exist in time. Using detailed propostitions and a theory of cognitive significance, he introduces an alternative interpretation of reference that will be relevant to metaphysicians, philosophers of science and philosophers of language and may come to be (...) recognised as the definitive statement on the tensed theory of time. (shrink)
This book offers a defense of the tensed theory of time, a critique of the New Theory of Reference, and an argument that simultaneity is absolute. Although Smith rejects ordinary language philosophy, he shows how it is possible to argue from the nature of language to the nature of reality. Specifically, he argues that semantic properties of tensed sentences are best explained by the hypothesis that they ascribe to events temporal properties of futurity, presentness, or pastness and do not merely (...) ascribe relations of earlier than or simultaneity. He criticizes the New Theory of Reference, which holds that "now" refers directly to a time and does not ascribe the property of presentness. Smith does not adopt the old or Fregean theory of reference but develops a third alternative, based on his detailed theory of de re and de dicto propositions and a theory of cognitive significance. He concludes the book with a lengthy critique of Einstein's theory of time. Smith offers a positive argument for absolute simultaneity based on his theory that all propositions exist in time. He shows how Einstein's relativist temporal concepts are reducible to a conjunction of absolutist temporal concepts and relativist nontemporal concepts of the observable behavior of light rays, rigid bodies, and the like. (shrink)
Cogent, engaged, accessible, and indeed exhilarating, this new book will appeal to readers of history, politics, and philosophy at all levels from upper-undergraduate upwards, and provides an excellent introduction to the work of one of the ...
you use it. These two assumptions, which I believe to be false, are based on a more fundamental assumption, that the rule governing the reference of an indexical remains constant from use to use. Contemporary theories hold that the reference of an indexical varies from use to (relevantly different) use, but that the reference-fixing rule of use is You can search..
This book is the first to provide a critical history of analytic philosophy from its inception in the late nineteenth century to the present day. Quentin Smith focuses on the connections between the four leading movements in analytic philosophy—logical realism, logical positivism, ordinary language analysis, and linguistic essentialism—and corresponding twentieth-century theories of ethics and of religion. Through a critical evaluation of each school’s theoretical positions, Smith counters the widespread view of analytic philosophy as indifferent to important questions about right (...) and wrong and human meaning. He argues that analytic philosophy throughout its history has revolved around the central issues of existence, and he offers a new ethics and philosophy of religion. The author develops a positive ethical theory based on a method of ethics first formulated by Robert Adams. Smith’s theory belongs to the tradition of perfectionism or self-realization ethics and builds on Thomas Hurka’s recent theory of perfectionism. In his consideration of philosophy of religion, Smith concludes that there is a sound "logical argument from evil" that takes into account Alvin Plantinga’s free-will defense and undermines monotheism, paving the way to a naturalistic pantheism. (shrink)
This major new work from Quentin Skinner presents a fundamental reappraisal of the political theory of Hobbes. Using, for the first time, the full range of manuscript as well as printed sources, it documents an entirely new view of Hobbes 's intellectual development, and re-examines the shift from a humanist to a scientific culture in European moral and political thought. By examining Hobbes 's philosophy against the background of his humanist education, Professor Skinner rescues this most difficult and challenging (...) of political philosophers from the intellectual isolation in which he is so often discussed. This book presents a splendid exemplification of the 'Cambridge' contextual approach to the study of intellectual history with which Professor Skinner himself is especially associated. It will be of interest and importance to a wide range of scholars in history, philosophy, politics, and literary theory. (shrink)
The primary goal of Peter Ludlow's Semantics, Tense, and Time is to illustrate how one can study metaphysical issues from a linguistic/semantic perspective by addressing the debate between tenseless theorists and tensed theorists. Ludlow's book is noteworthy in part because of the novelty of its approach to this debate and in part because it addresses and endeavors to solve the metaphysical problems of temporal solipsism that other temporal solipsists have not addressed.
This lecture presents the text of the speech about the genealogy of the modern state delivered by the author at the 2008 British Academy Lecture. It explains that to investigate the genealogy of the state is to discover that there has never been any agreed concept to which the word state has answered. The lecture suggests that any moral or political term that has become so deeply enmeshed in so many ideological disputes over such a long period of time is (...) bound to resist any efforts at definition. (shrink)
Niccolò Machiavelli taught that political leaders must be prepared to do evil deeds in order to ensure the general good of the state, and ever since his name has signified duplicity and immorality. But is his sinister reputation deserved? To answer this question, Quentin Skinner focuses on three of Machiavelli’s major works- The Prince , Discourses , and The History of Florence . His analyses and distillation of these texts provide an introduction of exemplary clarity to Machiavelli’s doctrines.
There is sufficient evidence at present to justify the belief that the universe began to exist without being caused to do so. This evidence includes the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems that are based on Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, and the recently introduced Quantum Cosmological Models of the early universe. The singularity theorems lead to an explication of the beginning of the universe that involves the notion of a Big Bang singularity, and the Quantum Cosmological Models represent the beginning largely in (...) terms of the notion of a vacuum fluctuation. Theories that represent the universe as infinitely old or as caused to begin are shown to be at odds with or at least unsupported by these and other current cosmological notions. (shrink)
This volume puts together twelve new essays by scholars who have done groundbreaking work in epistemology over the past four decades. Unfortunately, the editor’s brief introduction offers only a sketchy presentation of the papers and their background. Given the variety and complexity of the issues tackled, one would have expected a more detailed account of the nature and developments of the epistemological theories and arguments put forward and discussed by the contributors. The absence of such an account is all the (...) more surprising considering that the editor does not himself contribute a paper to the volume. (shrink)
Game theory has proved to be a powerful research tool both in the social and in the natural sciences. Originally confined to the strategy of pure conflict, in zero-sum games, its field of application has been extended to cooperation, coordination and the whole range of strategic interactions in which conflict and cooperation coexist. One of its main achievements is a better understanding of how these interactions evolve and tend to become stable. Since it deals with the anticipation of each other’s (...) behaviour, love seems to be a promising field of analysis. And indeed, interesting research has been done on gift giving, commitment, strategies for mate choice, and other issues. The aim of this paper is to call attention to some of these recent developments. (shrink)
In Big Gods, Norenzayan (2013) presents the most comprehensive treatment yet of the Big Gods question. The book is a commendable attempt to synthesize the rapidly growing body of survey and experimental research on prosocial effects of religious primes together with cross-cultural data on the distribution of Big Gods. There are, however, a number of problems with the current cross-cultural evidence that weaken support for a causal link between big societies and certain types of Big Gods. Here we attempt to (...) clarify these problems and, in so doing, correct any potential misinterpretation of the cross-cultural findings, provide new insight into the processes generating the patterns observed, and flag directions for future research. (shrink)
Since the late 1960s Quentin Skinner has defended a highly influential form of linguistic contextualism for the history of ideas, originally devised in opposition to established methodological orthodoxies like the `great text' tradition and a mainly Marxist epiphenomenalism. In 2002, he published Regarding Method, a collection of his revised methodological essays that provides a uniquely systematic expression of his contextualist philosophy of history. Skinner's most arresting theoretical contention in that work remains his well-known claim that past works of political (...) theory cannot be read as contributions to `perennial' debates but must instead be understood as particularistic, ideological speech acts. In this article I argue that he fails to justify these claims and that there is actually nothing wrong at all with (where appropriate) treating past works of political theory as engaged in perennial philosophical debates. Not only do Skinner's arguments not support the form of contextualism he defends, their flaws are actually akin to those he identified in his critique of previous methodological orthodoxies. (shrink)
Reputation monitoring and the punishment of cheats are thought to be crucial to the viability and maintenance of human cooperation in large groups of non-kin. However, since the cost of policing moral norms must fall to those in the group, policing is itself a public good subject to exploitation by free riders. Recently, it has been suggested that belief in supernatural monitoring and punishment may discourage individuals from violating established moral norms and so facilitate human cooperation. Here we use cross-cultural (...) survey data from a global sample of 87 countries to show that beliefs about two related sources of supernatural monitoring and punishment — God and the afterlife —independently predict respondents' assessment of the justifiability of a range of moral transgressions. This relationship holds even after controlling for frequency of religious participation, country of origin, religious denomination and level of education. As well as corroborating experimental work, our findings suggest that, across cultural and religious backgrounds, beliefs about the permissibility of moral transgressions are tied to beliefs about supernatural monitoring and punishment, supporting arguments that these beliefs may be important promoters of cooperation in human groups. (shrink)
This paper concentrates on three connected features of Taylor's argument. I begin by considering his historical sections on the formation of the modern identity, raising some doubts about the focus of his discussion and offering some specific criticisms in the case of Locke and Rousseau. Next I examine Taylor's list of the moral imperatives allegedly felt with particular force in the contemporary world. I question the extent to which the values listed by Taylor are genuinely shared, and point to a (...) range of criticisms put forward by conservatives, Marxists, feminists, and other opponents of liberalism, all of whose doubts Taylor appears to underestimate. Finally, I address Taylor's underlying claim that a religious dimension is indispensable if our highest human potentialities are to be realized, and conclude with a critique of his theistic arguments. (shrink)
The new tenseless theory of time, Developed primarily by j j c smart and d h mellor, States that tensed sentence-Utterances cannot be translated by tenseless ones but nevertheless have tenseless truth conditions. Smart and mellor infer from this that the tenseless theory of time is true. The author argues, However, That the rules of use of tensed sentence-Utterances entail that these utterances also have tensed truth conditions. This implies that the tensed theory of time is true.
Time, Change and Freedom is the first introduction to metaphysics that uses the idea of time as a unifying principle. Time is used to relate the many issues involved in the complex study of metaphysics. Sections of the book are written in dialogue form which allows the reader to question the theories while they read and have those queries answered in the text. In addition, the authors provide glossaries of key terms as well as recommendations for further reading at the (...) conclusion of each chapter. Quentin Smith and L. Nathan Oaklander examine the tensions between determinism and freedom, temporality and historical change as well as an array of other issues fundamental to introductory metaphysics. (shrink)
Perspectival realism combines two apparently contradictory aspects: the epistemic relativity of perspectives and the mind-independence of realism. This paper examines the prospects for a coherent perspectival realism, taking the literature on scientific representation as a starting point. It is argued that representation involves two types of norms, referred to as norms of relevance and norms of accuracy. Norms of relevance fix the domain of application of a theory and the way it categorises the world, and norms of accuracy give the (...) conditions for the theory to be true. Perspectival realism could be made coherent by taking a realist stance towards one type of norm, and a perspectival stance towards the other, by assuming they are relative to a community. This provides two versions of perspectival realism, called relevance perspectivism and accuracy perspectivism. How each option fares with respect to the challenge of incompatible models is examined. Finally, the prospects of full perspectivism are evaluated. (shrink)
It seems intuitively obvious that what I am doing right now is more real than what I did just one second ago, and it seems intuitively obvious that what I did just one second ago is more real than what I did forty years ago. And yet, remarkably, every philosopher of time today, except for the author, denies this obvious fact about reality. What went wrong? How could philosophers get so far away from what is the most experientially evident fact (...) about reality? (shrink)
We propose a construct, the Trust Triangle, that highlights three primary mechanisms that provide ex post accountability for opportunistic behavior and motivate ex ante trust in economic relationships. The mechanisms are a society’s legal and regulatory framework, market-based discipline and reputational capital, and culture, including individual ethics and social norms. The Trust Triangle provides a framework to conceptualize the relationships between trust, corporate accountability, legal liability, reputation, and culture. We use the Trust Triangle to summarize recent developments in the empirical (...) finance literature that examine how trust is formed and how trust, or its absence, affects financial markets, firm performance, and the incidence of financial fraud. To date, most studies examine only one leg of the Trust Triangle in isolation. The evidence, however, indicates that all three legs of the Trust Triangle have first-order effects on a wide range of financial outcomes and that they are interrelated. Attempts to model trust and trustworthiness that do not incorporate all three aspects of the Trust Triangle will therefore miss essential aspects of the basic economic problem of how counterparties overcome the risks of moral hazard, asymmetric information, and opportunism to engage in mutually beneficial exchange and production activities. We focus especially on culture-related mechanisms, a recently developed area in empirical finance research that has potential to influence the more established research on laws and reputation. (shrink)