It is commonly supposed that the philosophy of education is not a reputable area of concern for a philosopher. I have never heard a coherent, sustained and successful case made for this view. Only vague remarks about ‘autonomy’ and narrowly protectionist views of philosophy are ventured. So I shall not discuss the matter further. I shall simply be content to side with Plato, Aristotle, Comenius, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill and Dewey, who thought that educational issues fell within the province of (...) philosophy. Kant was so concerned with education that he interrupted his work on the Critique of Pure Reason in order to support Basedow's experimental school, the Philanthropin, and the educational reforms which it intended to institute. Kant says ‘… the greatest and most difficult problem to which man can devote himself is the problem of education.’ But if those who hold that the philosophy of education is unimportant, or even disreputable, have come to that view after examining a good deal of what is currently being said in this field, then their adverse reaction is not hard to understand, because a good deal of contemporary work here is clearly inadequate. I hope to show that the contemporary perspective is too narrow, and to advocate a return to a more traditional view of the philosophy of education in the hope that the subject may once again be given the importance which was formerly attributed to it. (shrink)
R. J. Hankinson traces the history of ancient Greek thinking about causation and explanation, from its earliest beginnings through more than a thousand years to the middle of the first millennium of the Christian era. He examines ways in which the Ancient Greeks dealt with questions about how and why things happen as and when they do, about the basic constitution and structure of things, about function and purpose, laws of nature, chance, coincidence, and responsibility.
It is a pleasure to read Hume, and to watch him explore recalcitrant problems with agility of mind and grace of style. Ironically these twin abilities have worked against each other from the beginning, in the first place because in the matter of writing Hume was an innovator — nobody before him had so successfully albeit unwittingly adapted French syntax to the writing of English-and-Scottish - and in the second place because on the grace of his style subtleties of thought (...) flow past his readers, who then accuse him of obscurity. So abstruse were his writings to his contemporaries that he failed to achieve the literary recognition for which he craved; and even today, long after the elegance of his style has been received, it is said by Passmore that Hume in contrast to Berkeley ‘was a philosophical puppy-dog, picking up and worrying one problem after another, always leaving his teeth-marks in it, but casting it aside when it threatened to become wearisome.’ Similarly Selby-Bigge says in his introduction to the Enquiries : His pages, especially those of the Treatise, are so full of matter, he says so many things in so many different ways and different connexions, and with so much indifference to what he has said before, that it is very hard to say positively that he taught, or did not teach, this or that particular doctrine. He applies the same principles to such a great variety of subjects that it is not surprising that many verbal, and some real inconsistencies can be found in his statements. He is ambitious rather than shy of saying the same thing in different ways, and at the same time he is often slovenly and indifferent about his words and formulae. This makes it easy to find all philosophies in Hume, or, by setting up one statement against another, none at all. (shrink)
_The Sceptics_ is the first comprehensive, up-to-date treatment of Greek scepticism, from the beginnings of epistemology with Xenophanes, to the final full development of Pyrrhonism as presented in the work of Sextus Empiricus. Tracing the evolution of scepticism from 500 B.C to A.D 200, this clear and rigorous analysis presents the arguments of the Greek sceptics in their historical context and provides an in-depth study of the various strands of the sceptical tradition.
We provide a justification for political liberalism’s Reciprocity Principle, which states that political decisions must be justified exclusively on the basis of considerations that all reasonable citizens can reasonably be expected to accept. The standard argument for the Reciprocity Principle grounds it in a requirement of respect for persons. We argue for a different, but compatible, justification: the Reciprocity Principle is justified because it makes possible a desirable kind of political community. The general endorsement of the Reciprocity Principle, we will (...) argue, helps realize joint political rule and relationships of civic friendship. The main obstacle to the realization of these values is the presence of reasonable disagreement about religious, moral, and philosophical issues characteristic of liberal societies. We show the Reciprocity Principle helps to overcome this obstacle. (shrink)
Psychopaths continue to be demonised by the media and estimates suggest that a disturbing percentage of the population has psychopathic tendencies. This timely and controversial new book summarises what we already know about psychopathy and antisocial behavior and puts forward a new case for its cause - with far-reaching implications. Presents the scientific facts of psychopathy and antisocial behavior. Addresses key questions, such as: What is psychopathy? Are there psychopaths amongst us? What is wrong with psychopaths? Is psychopathy due to (...) nature or nurture? And can we treat psychopaths? Reveals the authors' ground-breaking research into whether an underlying abnormality in brain development leaves psychopaths with an inability to feel emotion or fear. The resulting theory could lead to early diagnosis and revolutionize the way society, the media and the state both views and contends with the psychopaths in our midst. (shrink)
Political liberals ask citizens not to appeal to certain considerations, including religious and philosophical convictions, in political deliberation. We argue that political liberals must include a demanding requirement of intellectual modesty in their ideal of citizenship in order to motivate this deliberative restraint. The requirement calls on each citizen to believe that the best reasoners disagree about the considerations that she is barred from appealing to. Along the way, we clarify how requirements of intellectual modesty relate to moral reasons for (...) deliberative restraint. And we argue against attempts to weaken our requirement of intellectual modesty by emphasizing those moral reasons. (shrink)
Empathy is a lay term that is becoming increasingly viewed as a unitary function within the field of cognitive neuroscience. In this paper, a selective review of the empathy literature is provided. It is argued from this literature that empathy is not a unitary system but rather a loose collection of partially dissociable neurocognitive systems. In particular, three main divisions can be made: cognitive empathy , motor empathy, and emotional empathy. The two main psychiatric disorders associated with empathic dysfunction are (...) considered: autism and psychopathy. It is argued that individuals with autism show difficulties with cognitive and motor empathy but less clear difficulties with respect to emotional empathy. In contrast, individuals with psychopathy show clear difficulties with a specific form of emotional empathy but no indications of impairment with cognitive and motor empathy. (shrink)
Abstract In this article, which is the first of two to examine the ideas of R. S. Peters on moral education, consideration is given to his justificatory arguments found in Ethics and Education. Here he employs presupposition arguments to show to what anyone engaging in moral discourse is committed. The result is a group of procedural principles which are recommended to be employed in moral education. This article is an attempt to examine the presupposition arguments Peters employs, to comment on (...) the procedural principles he believes are presupposed, and to consider the strength of the presupposition argument. My conclusion is that Peters's arguments fail to establish the conclusion he arrives at, and that any gains from the form of argument he uses are hollow. (shrink)
Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen’s interesting criticisms of the ideal of equality of opportunity for welfare provide a welcome occasion for rethinking the requirements of egalitarian distributive justice.1 In the essay he criticizes I had proposed that insofar as we think distributive justice requires equality of any sort, we should conceive of distributive equality as equal opportunity provision. Roughly put, my suggestion was that equality of opportunity for welfare obtains among a group of people when all would have the same expected welfare over (...) the course of their lives if each behaved as prudently as it would be reasonable to expect her to behave. My specific proposal was more demanding, holding that when an age cohort reaches the onset of responsible adulthood, they enjoy equal opportunity for welfare when for each of them, the best sequence of choices that it would be reasonable to expect the person to follow would yield the same expected welfare for all, the second-best sequence of choices would also yield the same expected welfare for all, and so on through the array of lifetime choice sequences each faces. (In the jargon of my 1989 essay, equal opportunity for welfare obtains when everyone faces effectively equivalent sets of life options.). (shrink)
Galen of Pergamum was the most influential doctor of later antiquity, whose work was to influence medical theory and practice for more than fifteen hundred years. He was a prolific writer on anatomy, physiology, diagnosis and prognosis, pulse-doctrine, pharmacology, therapeutics, and the theory of medicine; but he also wrote extensively on philosophical topics, making original contributions to logic and the philosophy of science, and outlining a scientific epistemology which married a deep respect for empirical adequacy with a commitment to rigorous (...) rational exposition and demonstration. He was also a vigorous polemicist, deeply involved in the doctrinal disputes among the medical schools of his day. This volume offers an introduction to and overview of Galen's achievement in all these fields, while seeking also to evaluate that achievement in the light of the advances made in Galen scholarship over the past thirty years. (shrink)
Conceptualizing cosmopolitanism : a reappraisal -- A historical sociology of cosmopolitanism -- Cosmopolitanism and social theory -- Cosmopolitanism : social and cultural research -- Cosmopolitanism : legal and political research -- Cosmopolitanism in Ireland.
In this paper I argue that human pattern recognition can be simulated by automata. In particular, I show that gestalt recognition and recognition of family resemblances are within the capabilities of sufficiently complex Turing machines. The argument rests on elementary facts of automata and computability theory which are used to explicate our preanalytic, informal concepts concerning gestalt patterns and recognition. The central idea is that of a machine which "knows" its own structure. Although the paper thus aims to support mechanism, (...) especially as a framework hypothesis for perception, it contains suggestions for philosophy of science and philosophy of language as well. Some of these suggestions are sketched in the final section. (shrink)
Kenny, A. Descartes on the will.--McRae, R. Innate ideas.--McRae, R. Descartes' definition of thought.--Gombay, A. Cogito ergo sum: inference or argument?--Ashworth, E. J. Descartes' theory of clear and distinct ideas.--Alexander, R. E. The problem of metaphysical doubt and its removal.--Tweyman, S. The reliability of reason.--Percival, W. K. On the non-existence of Cartesian linguistics.
This study investigates the ability of individuals with psychopathy to perform passive avoidance learning and whether this ability is modulated by level of reinforcement/punishment. Nineteen psychopathic and 21 comparison individuals, as defined by the Hare Psychopathy Checklist Revised (Hare, 1991), were given a passive avoidance task with a graded reinforcement schedule. Response to each rewarding number gained a point reward specific to that number (i.e., 1, 700, 1400 or 2000 points). Response to each punishing number lost a point punishment specific (...) to that number (i.e., the loss of 1, 700, 1400 or 2000 points). In line with predictions, individuals with psychopathy made more passive avoidance errors than the comparison individuals. In addition, while the performance of both groups was modulated by level of reward, only the performance of the comparison population was modulated by level of punishment. The results are interpreted with reference to a computational account of the emotional learning impairment in individuals with psychopathy. (shrink)
The problem of reference is central to the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, and epistemology yet it remains largely unresolved. Naming and Reference explains the reference of lexical terms, with particular emphasis placed on proper names, demonstrative pronouns and personal pronouns. It examines such specific issues as: how to account for the reference of names that are empty or speculative, which abound in science and philosophy, and how to account for intentional reference as in "he took Mary to be Jane." (...) Naming and Reference begins with a survey of the history of the subject within a philosophical and critical setting, from Locke, Brentano, Peirce, Frege, Russell, Strawson, Tarski, Carnap and Quine up to Kripke and Fodor. The rest of the book is devoted to an algorithmic theory of reference derived from Peirce's idea that signification is a three-way relationship involving a term, an object and an interpretant. The theory rounds out the causal notion of reference, while at the same time preserving Frege's distinction between sense and reference, and making a place for indexical terms. Through the use of various computer models, R. J. Nelson explores the meaning and reference of words to objects and the relationship of these phenomena to perception, belief and truth. The models used are parallel, connectionist computational models rather than the sequential models of mid-century artificial intelligence. The aim, in opposition to nativist and mental representation theories, is to account for the genesis of semantically interpretable symbols, not to assume them. (shrink)
This classic biography of Nietzsche, first published in the 1960s, was enthusiastically reviewed at the time. The biography is now reissued with its text updated in the light of recent research. Hollingdale's biography remains the single best account of the life and works for the student or non-specialist. The biography chronicles Nietzsche's intellectual evolution and discusses his friendship and breach with Wagner, his attitude towards Schopenhauer, and his indebtedness to Darwin and the Greeks. It follows the years of his maturity (...) and his mental collapse in 1889. The final part of the book considers the development of the Nietzsche legend during his years of madness. R. J. Hollingdale, one of the preeminent translators of Nietzsche, allows Nietzsche to speak for himself in a translation that transmits the vividness and virtuosity of Nietzsche's many styles. This is the ideal book for anyone interested in Nietzsche's life and work to learn why he is such a significant figure for the development of modern thought. (shrink)
Recent interest in emotion as the basis for moral development began with work involving individuals with psychopathic tendencies, and a recent paper with this population has allowed fresh insights (Glenn, Iyer, Graham, Koleva, & Haidt, 2009). Two main conclusions suggested by this paper are: (i) that systems involved in different forms of morality can be differentiated; and (ii) that systems involved in justice reasoning likely include amygdala and/or ventromedial prefrontal cortex, even if the specifics of their functional contribution to justice (...) development remain unidentified. (shrink)
This is the second of a series of essays on the development and reception of Wilhelm Ostwald’s energetics. The first essay described the chemical origins of Ostwald’s interest in the energy concept and his motivations for seeking a comprehensive science of energy. The present essay and the next discuss his various attempts, beginning in 1891 and extending over almost 3 years, to develop a consistent and coherent energetic theory. A final essay will consider reactions to this work and Ostwald’s replies, (...) and will also seek to evaluate his program of research. Ostwald’s project – to reconstruct physics and chemistry “as a pure energetics” – is worth attending to for several reasons: first, because Ostwald did ground-breaking work in chemistry (he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1909 for his studies in catalysis and rates of reaction); second, because an important school of physical chemistry formed around him at Leipzig, a school that promoted his ideas; and, finally, because he was a prominent and vigorous participant in debates at the end of the nineteenth century concerning the proper course of physical theory. (shrink)