In his 1918 lectures, The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, Russell discusses the impossibility of drawing a diagram or "map-in-space" of the form of belief . In this paper, I argue that an examination of diagrams appended to Russell's Theory of Knowledge shows him already anticipating this symbolizing difficulty in 1913 and—in the midst of attempting to adopt Wittgenstein's doctrine of propositional bipolarity—jettisoning attempts to diagram the form of belief.
My thesis traces Russell's development of his theory of belief from 1913 to 1918 under the impact of his student, Ludwig Wittgenstein. ;In chapter one I focus on Russell's multiple relation theory of belief from 1910 to early 1913 and on Russell's view of perception as a relation between minds and objects. I show that, on Russell's theory, acts of believing or judging are intended to explain the different types of judgments and to account for how propositions acquire a complete (...) sense. I argue that Russell faces difficulties explaining the status of relations occurring in propositions which are believed, and that his account of how we perceive types of objects is in tension with his theory that beliefs are facts. ;In chapter two I examine Wittgenstein's influence on Russell's 1913 work, Theory of Knowledge. I argue that in Theory of Knowledge Russell responds to Wittgenstein's objections to his theory of judgment by proposing a theory of unnamable asymmetrical relations and unasserted mental relations. I further argue that Russell begins to see that, without postulating further judgments and thus entailing a vicious regress, his notion of perception cannot support an adequate account of distinctions between types of entities judged. I claim---with Sommerville and others---that Russell's "paralysis" in the face of Wittgenstein's criticisms in 1913 concerns his inability to explain judgment without explaining type distinctions and vice versa. ;In chapter three I examine the development of Russell's thought between 1914 and late 1918 in response to Wittgenstein. I suggest that in early 1918 Russell begins to accept Wittgenstein's claim that in belief-contexts, the proposition is a fact consisting of grammatical relations of words. I further claim that, unlike Wittgenstein, Russell explains all such relations by giving an account of our psychological needs and limitations. Finally I conjecture that Russell begins to be inclined to reject his relational conception of perception, and of belief as involving a subject, not only because he begins to take neutral monism more seriously, but also because of difficulties internal to his theory of perception, difficulties that Wittgenstein may have suggested to him. (shrink)
The Historical Dictionary of Bertrand Russell's Philosophy is the only dictionary to date of Bertrand Russell's ideas. It is a guide to the many elements of Russell's philosophy. A glimpse at Russell's work shows instantly why such a text is needed. Taking his books alone, Russell is author of almost 100. Many are classics, several require technical expertise, and together they address dozens of separate disciplines and domains.
The A to Z of Bertrand Russell's Philosophy offers a comprehensive, current guide to the many facets of Russell's work. Through its chronology, introductory essay, bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on concepts, people, works, and technical terms, Russell's impact on philosophy and related fields is made accessible to the reader in this must-have reference.
In ‘Parental Virtues: A New Way of Thinking about the Morality of Reproductive Actions’ Rosalind McDougall proposes a virtue-based framework to assess the morality of child selection. Applying the virtue-based account to the selection of children with impairments does not lead, according to McDougall, to an unequivocal answer to the morality of selecting impaired children. In ‘Impairment, Flourishing, and the Moral Nature of Parenthood,’ she also applies the virtue-based account to the discussion of child selection, and claims that couples (...) with an impairment are morally justified in selecting a child with the same impairment. This claim, she maintains, reveals that the flourishing of a child should be understood as requiring environment-specific characteristics. I argue that McDougall's argument begs the question. More importantly, it does not do justice to virtue ethics. I also question to what extent a virtue ethics framework can be successfully applied to discussions about the moral permissibility of reproductive actions. (shrink)
We present an annotated bibliography of peer reviewed scientific research highlighting the human health, animal welfare, and environmental risks associated with genetic modification. Risks associated with the expression of the transgenic material include concerns over resistance and non-target effects of crops expressing Bt toxins, consequences of herbicide use associated with genetically modified herbicide-tolerant plants, and transfer of gene expression from genetically modified crops through vertical and horizontal gene transfer. These risks are not connected to the technique of genetic modification (...) as such, but would be present for any conventionally produced crops with the same heritable traits. In contrast, other risks are a direct consequence of the method used in gene manipulation. These come about because of the unstable nature of the transgene and vectors used to insert it, and because of unpredictable interactions between the transgene and the host genome. The debate over the release of genetically modified organisms is not merely a scientific one; it encompasses economics, law, ethics, and policy. Any discussion on these levels does, however, need to be informed by sound science. We hope that the scientific references provided here will provide a useful starting point for further debate. (shrink)
Reid, Constance. Hilbert (a Biography). Reviewed by Corcoran in Philosophy of Science 39 (1972), 106–08. -/- Constance Reid was an insider of the Berkeley-Stanford logic circle. Her San Francisco home was in Ashbury Heights near the homes of logicians such as Dana Scott and John Corcoran. Her sister Julia Robinson was one of the top mathematical logicians of her generation, as was Julia’s husband Raphael Robinson for whom Robinson Arithmetic was named. Julia was a Tarski PhD and, in recognition (...) of a distinguished career, was elected President of the American Mathematics Society. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Robinson http://www.awm-math.org/noetherbrochure/Robinson82.html. (shrink)
Scientific journals can promote ethical publication practices through policies on conflicts of interest. However, the prevalence of conflict of interest policies and the definition of conflict of interest appear to vary across scientific disciplines. This survey of high-impact, peer-reviewed journals in 12 different scientific disciplines was conducted to assess these variations. The survey identified published conflict of interest policies in 28 of 84 journals (33%). However, when representatives of 49 of the 84 journals (58%) completed a Web-based survey about (...) journal conflict of interest policies, 39 (80%) reported having such a policy. Frequency of policies (including those not published) varied by discipline, from 100% among general medical journals to none among physics journals. Financial interests were most frequently addressed with relation to authors; policies for reviewers most often addressed non-financial conflicts. Twenty-two of the 39 journals with policies (56%) had policies about editors’ conflicts. The highest impact journals in each category were most likely to have a published policy, and the frequency of policies fell linearly with rank; for example, policies were published by 58% of journals ranked 1 in their category, 42% of journals ranked third, and 8% of journals ranked seventh (test for trend, p = 0.003). Having a conflict of interest policy was also associated with a self-reported history of problems with conflict of interest. The prevalence of published conflict of interest policies was higher than that reported in a 1997 study, an increase that might be attributable to heightened awareness of conflict of interest issues. However, many of the journals with policies do not make them readily available and many of those policies that were available lacked clear definitions of conflict of interest or details about how disclosures would be managed during peer review and publication. (shrink)
Our understanding of the moral philosophy of Aristotle is hampered by a number of modern assumptions we make about the subject. For a start, we are accustomed to thinking about ethics or moral philosophy as being concerned with theoretical questions about actions—what makes an action right or wrong? Modern moral philosophy gives two different sorts of answers to this question. One is in terms of a substantial ethical theory—what makes an action right or wrong is whether it promotes the greatest (...) happiness, or whether it is in accordance with or violates a moral rule, or whether it promotes or violates a moral right. The other sort gives a meta-ethical answer—rightness and wrongness are not really properties of actions, but in describing actions as right or wrong we commend or object to them, express our approval or disapproval or our emotions concerning them. But the ancient Greeks start with a totally different question. Ethics is supposed to answer, for each one of us, the question ‘How am I to live well?’ What this question means calls for some discussion. (shrink)
In her recent (2009) book, The Origins of Concepts, Susan Carey argues that what she calls ‘Quinean Bootstrapping’ and processes of analogy in children show that the expressive power of a mind can be increased in ways that refute Jerry Fodor's (1975, 2008) ‘Mad Dog’ view that all concepts are innate. I argue that it is doubtful any evidence about the manifestation of concepts in children will bear upon the logico-semantic issues of expressive power. Analogy and bootstrapping may be (...) ways to bring about the former, but only by presupposing the very expressive powers Carey is claiming they explain. Analogies must be understood, and bootstrapping involves confirmation of hypotheses already expressible; otherwise they can't select among an infinitude of hypotheses compatible with the finite data the child has encountered, a fact rendered vivid by Goodman's ‘grue’ paradox and Chomsky's poverty of stimulus argument. The problems have special application to minds, since there is no reason to expect a child's concepts to be ‘projectible’ or to correspond to mind-independent natural kinds. I conclude with an ecumenical view that concepts are reasonably regarded as both innate and often learned, and that what is learned can in fact increase what really concerns Carey, the functioning psychological expressive power of the child, even if it leaves untouched what concerns Fodor, the semantic expressive power. Less ecumenically: maybe Fodor (2008) miscast the debate, and the real issue that bothers people concerns not nativism, but an issue on which Carey and Fodor surprisingly agree, his conceptual Atomism, or the view that all mono-morphemic concepts are primitive and unanalyzable. The issue deserves further discussion independently of Mad-doggery. (shrink)
In On Virtue Ethics I offered a criterion for a character trait's being a virtue according to which a virtuous character trait must conduce to, or at least not be inimical to, four ends, one of which is the continuance of the human species. I argue here that this does not commit me to homosexuality's being a vice, since homosexuality is not a character trait and hence not up for assessment as a virtue or a vice. Vegetarianism is not up (...) for such assessment either, for the same reason, but, as a practice, may well be required by the virtue of compassion, and sacrificing one's life for an animal or alien may be required by courage. The clause about the continuance of the human species in my criterion does not specify a foundational value, because, following McDowell, I reject foundationalism. (shrink)
In order to defend her claim that the concept object is biologically determined, Carey must answer Quine's gavagai argument, which purports to show that mastery of any concept with determinate reference presupposes a substantial repertoire of logical concepts. I maintain that the gavagai argument withstands the experimental data that Carey provides, but that it yields to an a priori argument.
It's not easy getting published, but everyone has to do it. Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals presents an insider's perspective on the secret business of academic publishing, making explicit many of the dilemmas and struggles faced by all writers, but rarely discussed. Its unique approach is theorised and practical. It offers a set of moves for writing a journal article that is structured and doable but also attends to the identity issues that manifest on the page and in the (...) politics of academic life.The book comprehensively assists anyone concerned about getting published; whether they are early in their career or moving from a practice base into higher education, or more experienced but still feeling in need of further information. Avoiding a 'tips and tricks' approach, which tends to oversimplify what is at stake in getting published, the authors emphasise the production, nurture and sustainability of scholarship through writing – a focus on both the scholar and the text or what they call text work/identity work. The chapters are ordered to develop a systematic approach to the process, including such topics as:The writer The reader What's the contribution? Beginning work Refining the argument Engaging with reviewers and editors Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals uses a wide range of multi-disciplinary examples from the writing workshops the authors have run in universities around the world: including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the United States. This international approach coupled with theoretically grounded strategies to guide the authoring process ensure that people at all stages of their career are addressed. This lively book uses a combination of personal stories, student texts, published journal abstracts and excerpts from interviews with journal editors and publishers. Written in an accessible style, one which does not use the patronising 'you' of advice books, it offers a collegial approach to a task which is difficult for most scholars, regardless of their years of experience. (shrink)
How might philosophers and art historians make the best use of one another's research? That, in nuce, is what this special issue considers with respect to questions concerning the nature of photography as an artistic medium; and that is what my essay addresses with respect to a specific case: the dialogue, or lack thereof, between the work of the philosopher Stanley Cavell and the art historian-critic Rosalind Krauss. It focuses on Krauss's late appeal to Cavell's notion of automatism to (...) argue that artists now have to invent their own medium, both to provide criteria against which to judge artistic success or failure and to insulate serious art from the vacuous generalization of the aesthetic in a media-saturated culture at large.1 Much in the spirit of ‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch’, paying attention to the medium is once again an artist's best line of defence against the encroachment of new media, the culture industry, and spectacle. That Krauss should appeal to Cavell at all, let alone in such a Greenbergian frame of mind, is surprising if one is familiar with the fraught history of debate about artistic media in art theory since Greenberg. Cavell's work in this domain has always been closely associated with that of Michael Fried, and the mutual estrangement of Fried and Krauss, who began their critical careers as two of Greenberg's leading followers, is legendary.2I have written about the close connection between Fried's and Cavell's conceptions of an artistic medium before.3 Whereas Fried's and Cavell's early conception of an artistic medium was in a sense collaborative, emerging from an ongoing exchange of ideas at Harvard in the latter half of the 1960s, Krauss's much later appeal to the ideas of automatism and the automatic underpinning Cavell's conception of the photographic substrate of film from the early 1970s is not. In what follows, I try to clarify both the grounds of this appeal and its upshot. Does Krauss's account shed new light on Cavell's, or is she trying to press his terms into service for which they are ill-served? Both could of course be true, the former as a consequence of the latter perhaps. Conversely, do the art historical and philosophical accounts pass one another by? Note that even if the latter were true, its explanation might still prove instructive in the context of an interdisciplinary volume seeking to bring art historians and philosophers into dialogue around the themes of agency and automatism, which is precisely what Krauss's appeal to Cavell turns on. (shrink)
Originally published in 1908, this book contains six essays on various aspects of the Platonic theory of knowledge as expounded in the later dialogues reviewed by Aristotle. The text was written during the author's period as Marion Kennedy Student at Newnham College, Cambridge. Textual notes are also included. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in Plato, Aristotle and classical philosophy.
The Cambridge Descartes’ Meditations—A Critical Guide, a recent addition to the numerous companion texts, guidebooks, introductions and commentaries already available, aims to provide novel approaches to important themes of Descartes’ Meditations by combining contextualism and analysis (of arguments). Organized in four parts (Skepticism, Substance and Cause, Sensations, and The Human Being), the volume contains contributions from (mainly) established scholars of Early Modern Philosophy.
This Oxford Handbook examines the radical transformation of worldview taking place in the period from the middle of the 16th century to the early 18th century. The intention of the volume is to cover both well-known and undeservedly less well-known philosophical texts by placing these works in their historical context which includes tight interconnections with other disciplines as well as historical and political events. By proceeding in this manner the editors hope to recover a meaning of “philosophy” that comes closer (...) to the way its early modern proponents would have understood and practiced it. The editors also point to the reader-friendly character of this Handbook: in addition to grouping chapters in five categories, cross-references to chapters or pages dealing with the same issues make it possible for readers to consult the book selectively. (shrink)