If I say “we are now living in England” or “grass is green in summer’ or ‘the cat is on the mat’ what I say will normally be true or false—the statements are true if they correctly report how things are, or correspond to the facts; and if they do not do these things, they are false. Such a statement will only fail to have a truth-value if its referring expressions fail to refer ; or if the statement lies on (...) the border between truth and falsity so that it is as true to say that the statement is true as to say that it is false. Are moral judgments normally true or false in the way in which the above statements are true or false? I will term the view that they are objectivism and the view that they are not subjectivism. The objectivist maintains that it is as much a fact about an action that it is right or wrong as that it causes pain or takes a long time to perform. The subjectivist maintains that saying than an action is right or wrong is not stating a fact about it but merely expressing approval of it or commending it or doing some such similar thing. I wish in this paper, first, to show that all arguments for subjectivism manifestly fail, and secondly to produce a strong argument for objectivism. But, to start with, some preliminaries. (shrink)
On what grounds will the rational man become a Christian? It is often assumed by many, especially non-Christians, that he will become a Christian if and only if he judges that the evidence available to him shows that it is more likely than not that the Christian theological system is true, that, in mathematical terms, on the evidence available to him, the probability of its truth is greater than half. It is the purpose of this paper to investigate whether or (...) not this is a necessary and sufficient condition for the rational man to adopt Christianity. (shrink)
An alleged moral right to informational privacy assumes that we should have control over information about ourselves. What is the philosophical justification for this control? I think that one prevalent answer to this question—an answer that has to do with the justification of negative rights generally—will not do.
Mr Olding's recent attack on my exposition of the argument from design gives me an opportunity to defend the central theses of my original article. My article pointed out that there were arguments from design of two types—those which take as their premisses regularities of copresence and those which take as their premisses regularities of succession. I sought to defend an argument of the second type. One merit of such an argument is that there is no doubt about the truth (...) of its premisses. Almost all objects in the world behave in a highly regular way describable by scientific laws. Further, any scientific explanation of such a regularity must invoke some more general regularity. The most general regularities of all are, as such, scientifically inexplicable. The question arises whether there is a possible explanation of another kind which can be provided for them, and whether their occurrence gives any or much support to that explanation. I urged that we do explain some phenomena by explanation of an entirely different kind from the scientific. We explain states of affairs by the action of agents who bring them about intentionally of their own choice. Regularities of succession, as well as other phenomena may be explained in this way. Explanation of this kind I will term intentional explanation. Intentional explanation of some phenomenon E consists in adducing an agent A who brought E about of his own choice and a further end G which, he believed, would be forwarded by the production of E. (shrink)
The most common view of suicide today is that it is intentional self-killing. 1 Because of the self-killing component, suicide is often described as self-inflicted death or as dying by one's own hand, and the victim is in turn often described as having done himself to death or as having taken his own life. But must one's death be self-inflicted in order to be suicide? The answer, I want to suggest, is arguably no.
Arguments move from premises to conclusions. The premises state things taken temporally for granted; if the argument works, the premises provide grounds for affirming the conclusion. A valid deductive argument is one in which the premises necessitate, that is, entail, the conclusion. What I shall call a ‘correct’ inductive argument is one in which the premises in some degree probabilify the conclusion, but do not necessitate it. More precisely, in what I shall call a correct P -inductive argument the premises (...) make the conclusion probable ; in what I shall call a correct C -inductive argument, the premises add to the probability of the conclusion . Arguments only show their conclusions to be true if they start from true premises; arguments of the above types which work and do start from such premises I will call sound arguments. Arguments are only of use to show to an individual that the conclusion is true if he already knows the premises to be true. Most of what I shall have to say today concerns arguments with respect to which there is no doubt that the premises are true. (shrink)
This early work by Robin G. Collingwood was originally published in 1939 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introductory biography. 'An Autobiography' is the story of Collingwood's personal and academic life. Robin George Collingwood was born on 22nd February 1889, in Cartmel, England. He was the son of author, artist, and academic, W. G. Collingwood. He was greatly influenced by the Italian Idealists Croce, Gentile, and Guido de Ruggiero. Another important influence was his father, a professor (...) of fine art and a student of Ruskin. He published many works of philosophy, such as Speculum Mentis (1924), An Essay on Philosophic Method (1933), and An Essay on Metaphysics (1940). (shrink)
The object of this paper is to examine what evidence we can have for or against the truth of determinism, a doctrine often set forward by the proposition ‘every event has a cause’. I understand in this context by the cause of an event a set of prior conditions jointly sufficient for the occurrence of the event. Since the determinist is concerned with all physical states and not merely with changes of states, which are most naturally termed events, we may (...) phrase this claim more precisely as follows: There is for every physical state at some earlier instant a set of conditions jointly sufficient for its occurrence. (shrink)
One of the great Oxford philosopher's finest works, Essay on Metaphysics considers the nature of philosophy, and puts forward Collingwood's original and influential theories of causation, presuppositions, and the logic of question and answer. This new edition includes three fascinating unpublished pieces that illuminate and amplify the Essay.
James Connelly and Giuseppina D'Oro present a revised edition of R. G. Collingwood's classic work of 1933, supplementing the original text with important related writings from Collingwood's manuscripts which appear here for the first time. The editors also contribute a substantial new introduction, and the volume will be welcomed by all historians of twentieth-century philosophy.
In Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, Bernard Williams is rather severe on what he thinks of as an ethics of obligation. He has in mind by this Kant and W. D. Ross. For many, obligation seems the very core of ethics and the moral realm, and lives more generally are seen through the prism of this notion. This, according to Williams, flattens out our lives and moral experience and fails to take into account things which are obviously important to (...) our lives. Once we take these things into account, what do we do if they come into conflict with some of our moral obligations, as Williams, in his earlier writings on moral luck, thought to be the case. I want here to explore some of these ideas, in a way that I think harmonious with Williams's general bent though not one that I intend as in any way detailed exegesis of Williams's work. (shrink)
2014 Reprint of 1945 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. The first part deals with Greek cosmology and is the longest, the most elaborate and, on the whole, the liveliest part of a book which never deviates into dullness. The dominant thought in Greek cosmology, Collingwood holds, was the microcosm-macrocosm analogy, nature being the substance of something ensouled where "soul" meant the self-moving. Part II is "The Renaissance View of Nature ." Collingwood describes (...) the rise and decline of the deists' view of Nature as a machine designed by the Great Contriver who, having turned it out, watches it go. Part III, "The Modern View of Nature," deals with very recent or contemporary philosophy and science, discerning in it a radical evolutionism first in biology and later in cosmology. Remains to this day a classic text in the history of ideas. (shrink)
In this article we show that it is possible to completely classify the degrees of r.e. bases of r.e. vector spaces in terms of weak truth table degrees. The ideas extend to classify the degrees of complements and splittings. Several ramifications of the classification are discussed, together with an analysis of the structure of the degrees of pairs of r.e. summands of r.e. spaces.
This book brings together for the first time the political and related writings of R.G. Collingwood (1889-1943), the great Oxford philosopher, historian, and archaeologist. Including a great deal of previously unpublished or inaccessible material, the writings place political action in the context of action as a whole and addresses substantive social and political issues, particularly Nazism and Fascism, which Collingwood recognized as a threat to European civilization.
Applied or practical ethics is perhaps the largest growth area in philosophy today, and many issues in moral, social, and political life have come under philosophical scrutiny in recent years. Taken together, the essays in this volume – including two overview essays on theories of ethics and the nature of applied ethics – provide a state-of-the-art account of the most pressing moral questions facing us today. Provides a comprehensive guide to many of the most significant problems of practical ethics Offers (...) state-of-the-art accounts of issues in medical, environmental, legal, social, and business ethics Written by major philosophers presently engaged with these complex and profound ethical issues. (shrink)
EMPIRICIST THEORIES OF PERSONAL IDENTITY STATE THAT THE IDENTITY OF A PERSON OVER TIME IS A MATTER OF BODILY CONTINUITY AND/OR SIMILARITY OF MEMORY AND CHARACTER. IN CONTRAST, THIS PAPER ARGUES THAT WHILE BODILY CONTINUITY AND SIMILARITY OF MEMORY AND CHARACTER ARE EVIDENCE OF PERSONAL IDENTITY, THEY DO NOT CONSTITUTE IT. IT IS SOMETHING UNDEFINABLE. THE DIFFICULTY OF KNOWING WHAT TO SAY IN PUZZLE CASES DOES NOT SHOW THAT PERSONAL IDENTITY EXISTS IN DIFFERENT DEGREES OR THAT WE HAVE TO MAKE (...) ARBITRARY JUDGMENTS ABOUT IT. IT SHOWS ONLY THAT SOMETIMES WE CANNOT KNOW WHO IS WHO. (shrink)
This book aims to provide an introduction to Aristotle's Politics, highlighting the major themes and arguments offered in the scholar's work. It begins with a discussion on what Aristotle perceives as human good, which he had described as the ethical purpose of political science, and how he views the political community, or the polis, as a community of persons formed with a view to some good purpose and a supreme entity in the sense that it is not just one aspect (...) of city-state society but is the whole of that society. The book also discusses Aristotle's arguments against the abolition of the household for the ruling class and the communism of families and property, which Plato advocates, and highlights certain inconsistencies and vulnerabilities in his arguments supporting natural slavery and on how the husband should rule over his wife and children. The book presents Aristotle's account of the relative merits of six different types of constitution and his views on the best possible constitution that will help in the realization of the polis' true purpose of achieving the good life. It ends with a discussion on Aristotle's view of political science in relation to the protection of particular constitutions against constitutional change and political disorder. (shrink)
R. G. Collingwood's re-enactment doctrine has been widely discussed in recent years by his commentators. However, most philosophers who discuss the re-enactment doctrine touch only briefly on his view of the identity of thoughts. This is surprising because Collingwood claims that the historian's successful re-enactment of the thought behind the historical agent's action involves re-thinking the same thought as the agent and not merely a copy of his thought.
The New Leviathan, originally published in 1942, a few months before the author's death, is the book which R. G. Collingwood chose to write in preference to completing his life's work on the philosophy of history. It was a reaction to the Second World War and the threat which Nazism and Fascism constituted to civilization. The book draws upon many years of work in moral and political philosophy and attempts to establish the multiple and complex connections between the levels of (...) consciousness, society, civilization, and barbarism. Collingwood argues that traditional social contract theory has failed to account for the continuing existence of the non-social community and its relation to the social community in the body politic. He is also critical of the tendency within ethics to confound right and duty. The publication of additional manuscript material in this revised edition demonstrates in more detail how Collingwood was determined to show that right and duty occupy different levels of rational practical consciousness. The additional material also contains Collingwood's unequivocal rejection of relativism. (shrink)
ARGUMENTS FROM DESIGN TO THE EXISTENCE OF GOD MAY TAKE AS THEIR PREMISS EITHER THE EXISTENCE OF REGULARITIES OF COPRESENCE OR THE EXISTENCE OF REGULARITIES OF SUCCESSION. THERE ARE NO VALID FORMAL OBJECTIONS TO A CAREFULLY ARTICULATED ARGUMENT OF THE LATTER TYPE. AGAINST SUCH AN ARGUMENT NONE OF THE OBJECTIONS IN HUME’S "DIALOGUES" HAVE ANY WORTH. THE ARGUMENT MAY HOWEVER GIVE ONLY A SMALL DEGREE OF SUPPORT TO ITS CONCLUSION.
(I UNDERSTAND BY A MIRACLE, A VIOLATION OF A LAW OF NATURE BY A GOD.) A VIOLATION OF A LAW OF NATURE IS THE OCCURRENCE OF A NON-REPEATABLE COUNTER-INSTANCE TO IT. CONTRARY TO HUME’S VIEW, THERE COULD BE GOOD HISTORICAL EVIDENCE BOTH THAT A VIOLATION HAD OCCURRED AND THAT IT WAS DUE TO THE ACT OF A GOD.
Many philosophers have been interested in aesthetics, but Collingwood was passionate about art. His theories were never merely theoretical: aesthetics for him was a vivid, vibrant thing, to be experienced immediately in worked paint and in sculptured stones, in poetry and music. Art and life were no dichotomy for Collingwood - for how could you have one without the other? Works of art were created in and for the real world, to be enjoyed by real people, to enchant to enhance. (...) Aaron Ridley's fascinating introduction opens up the work of this most rewarding of aesthetic thinkers, tracing his thought from its philosophic origins through to its practical consequence and ethical implications. The man who saw art as 'the community's medicine for the worst disease of mind' had a sense of its urgent importance which we ignore at our peril today. (shrink)
Background Clinical papers so flawed that they are eventually retracted may put patients at risk. Patient risk could arise in a retracted primary study or in any secondary study that draws ideas or inspiration from a primary study. Methods To determine how many patients were put at risk, we evaluated 788 retracted English-language papers published from 2000 to 2010, describing new research with humans or freshly derived human material. These primary papers—together with all secondary studies citing them—were evaluated using ISI (...) Web of Knowledge. Excluded from study were 468 basic science papers not studying fresh human material; 88 reviews presenting older data; 22 case reports; 7 papers retracted for journal error and 23 papers unavailable on Web of Knowledge. Overall, 180 retracted primary papers (22.8%) met the inclusion criteria. Subjects enrolled and patients treated in 180 primary studies and 851 secondary studies were combined. Results Retracted papers were cited over 5000 times, with 93% of citations being research related, suggesting that ideas promulgated in retracted papers can influence subsequent research. Over 28 000 subjects were enrolled—and 9189 patients were treated—in 180 retracted primary studies. Over 400 000 subjects were enrolled—and 70 501 patients were treated—in 851 secondary studies which cited a retracted paper. Papers retracted for fraud (n=70) treated more patients per study (p<0.01) than papers retracted for error (n=110). Conclusions Many patients are put at risk by retracted studies. These are conservative estimates, as only patients enrolled in published clinical studies were tallied. (shrink)
If one wishes to accept that some painful animal experimentation can be justified on grounds that benefit is conferred, one is faced with a difficult moral dilemma argues the first author, a philosopher. Either one needs to be able to say why human lives of any quality however low should be inviolable from painful experimentation when animal lives are not; or one should accept that sufficient benefit can justify certain painful experiments on human beings of sufficiently low quality of life. (...) Alternatively, one can reject the original premise and accept antivivisectionism. Replies to his paper follow from an antivivisectionist philosopher and an eminent pharmacologist long involved in animal experimentation. Dr Frey responds to both replies. (shrink)
THE PAPER BEGINS BY CONSIDERING THREE ALTERNATIVE DEFINITIONS OF "ANALYTIC," ONE IN TERMS OF LOGICAL TRUTH, ONE IN TERMS OF THE MEANINGS OF WORDS, AND ONE IN TERMS OF SELF-CONTRADICTION OR INCOHERENCE. NEXT, FIVE DEFINITIONS OF "NECESSARY" ARE CONSIDERED, ONE IN TERMS OF ANALYTICITY, AND ONE PICKING OUT THE BROADER KIND OF LOGICAL NECESSITY DISCUSSED BY KRIPKE AND PLANTINGA. FINALLY, THREE DEFINITIONS OF "A PRIORI" ARE CONSIDERED. ONLY ON A FEW OF THESE DEFINITIONS DO THE CATEGORIES OF ANALYTIC, NECESSARY, AND (...) A PRIORI COINCIDE. (shrink)
What is science? How is scientific knowledge affected by the society that produces it? Does scientific knowledge directly correspond to reality? Can we draw a line between science and pseudo-science? Will it ever be possible for computers to undertake scientific investigation independently? Is there such a thing as feminist science? In this book the author addresses questions such as these using a technique of 'cognitive play', which creates and explores new links between the ideas and results of contemporary history, philosophy, (...) and sociology of science. New ideas and approaches are applied to a wide range of case studies, many of them from controversial and contested science. This book will be of interest to historians and sociologists of science, to anyone interested in science studies, and to educated general readers with an interest in the history, philosophy, and social context of science. (shrink)