Does it follow from Wittgenstein's views about indeterminism that irregularities of nature could take place? Did he believe that chairs could simply disappear and reappear, that water could behave differently than it has, and that a man throwing a fair die might throw ones for a week? Or are these things only imaginable? Is his view simply that if we adopted an indeterministic point of view we would no longer look for causes, or would not always look for causes, because (...) we would no longer assume that there must be a cause of each event? (shrink)
If one thinks of intentions as entities of some sort, states or dispositions, for example, it should eventually strike him that there are peculiar difficulties with the idea. For example, he will have trouble counting his intentions. In a particular situation, we ask someone, ‘What are you going to do about that? And this?’ And his answer might be, ‘My intention is to pay that, and, as for this, my intention is to ignore it.’ But of course he may have (...) said, ‘My intention is to pay this and ignore that.’ For this reason and, as we will see, others, there is no such thing as a complete list of intentions that a person has. If someone told us, ‘I have just eight intentions at present’, we would think he was joking, even though he intends to do eight things—grade papers, meet a class at nine, and so on. And if we ask; ‘What are you going to do today?’, he may answer that he has a class at nine, office hours at two, and lunch already scheduled. But even though he has more to do today than yesterday, he would hardly tell us, ‘I am afraid I have more intentions today than I did yesterday.’. (shrink)
law's oscillation between power and meaning -- Law's screen life : visualizing law in practice -- Images run riot : law on the landscape of the neo-baroque -- Theorizing the visual sublime : law's legitimation reconsidered -- The digital challenge : command and control culture and the ethical sublime -- Conclusion : visualizing law as integral rhetoric : harmonizing the ethical and the aesthetic.
The way language as a human faculty has evolved is a question that preoccupies researchers from a wide spread of disciplines. In this book, a team of writers has been brought together to examine the evolution of language from a variety of such standpoints, including language's genetic basis, the anthropological context of its appearance, its formal structure, its relation to systems of cognition and thought, as well as its possible evolutionary antecedents. The book includes Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch's seminal and (...) provocative essay on the subject, 'The Faculty of Language,' and charts the progress of research in this active and highly controversial field since its publication in 2002. This timely volume will be welcomed by researchers and students in a number of disciplines, including linguistics, evolutionary biology, psychology, and cognitive science. (shrink)
By accepting the above proposals for translating tenses it appears possible to achieve a very general account of the interpretation of Warlpiri adjoined clauses. Moreover, if the analysis is correct it would provide an interesting example of natural language generalizing across tenses and NPs, since what we would have is a single syntactic construction whose interpretation varied according to whether an NP or a tense were translated with a distinguished variable. These results thus serve to pose once again the question (...) of where precisely the common features of tenses and NPs reside. Recent work applying model-theoretic techniques to natural language semantics may well provide an answer. Thus in Dowty (1979) and Larson and Cooper (1980) NPs and tenses both denote the same sort of set-theoretic object, viz., sets of sets. Within generalized quantification theory this is just to say that both NPs and tenses denote quantifiers (cf. Barwise and Cooper, 1981, for much illuminating information on quantifiers and natural language). It may thus be possible to view the interpretation of Warlpiri adjoined clauses as a case of natural language generalizing across the semantic type of quantifiers. (shrink)
I criticize the ‘Humean’ view of reasons for actions, the view that the reasons for an action can be stated in terms of desires and beliefs. I point out that this view must ignore concepts which are central to our understanding of human actions, namely, intention, motivation and associated concepts such as decision. One can then see just how inadequate the Humean view is.
Law clings to rules to stabilize a preferred normative reality. But rules never suffice. Character is the dark matter of law. Ethos anthropos daimon. “Character is fate.” This paradoxically reversible saying by the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus asserts that we are defined by the daimon – the god or messenger angel – with which we identify most. As Plato queried in the Phaedrus: which god do you follow, whose love claims you? In contemporary terms we might say, what character type, (...) what emotional ideal, what deep story do you hold most sacred? Out of the maelstrom that is the state of exception, choices must be made. What emotional field shall we occupy when we do politics and law? Bound by what sovereign values or ideals, embodied within what sort of character, emplotted in what sort of political or legal narrative? In synergy with culture, character plays out the emotional conflicts and aspirations of the time. Whether we witness this in the mostly silent resistance of unassimilable characters like Barnardine in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure or in the silent prayer of nineteen-year-old Emma Gonzalez, in public protest against uncontrolled gun violence in American schools, we are all called upon, as citizens in public life, to occupy an emotional space that attains centrality within deep narratives that vie for political dominance. Reverse engineering liberal society, we might ask: what emotional and character ideals are optimal in order for a particular kind of political society to arise and be sustained? There is a reciprocal relationship between the sovereign authority of law and the character ideals that express a capacity and willingness to accept that authority. What will the configuration be? Addressing this question constitutes the ethical, esthetic, and epistemological calling of our time. (shrink)
In this book, Richard Fenn looks at the way in which we experience time in secular societies. In Fenn's view, secularization is virtually synonymous with individualism. Although it is often the Church that decries modern individualism, he says, it is in fact the Church that created it, by its demystification of the universe, its insistence on individual self-discipline, and its intensification of individual responsibility for the use of time. The result was a profound change in the way in which (...) time is experienced by the individual. Fenn offers a probing exploration of our modern experience of time, as expressed in such phrases as 'wasting time' and 'making up for lost time'. He is particularly interested in the idea and experience of waiting, which he believes to be a defining characteristic of modern life. (shrink)
In a clear and interesting style that presupposes no prior knowledge of philosophy, this book states the main features of the relativist-absolutist debate over the foundations of ethics. The dialogues explore the rational basis for moral judgement and examine the question from both the perspective of moral relativism and that of moral absolutism.
While discourse on the relation between Christianity and science has a long history, it has only been in the last century that Buddhists and Buddhist scholars have begun to consider the relation between their own religious tradition and the promises and challenges of modern science. This does not mean that there has not been a long history of a relation between Buddhism and the sciences. However, rarely has that relation been conceived of in terms of “discourse on religion and science” (...) as such. As a result, much of the recent work done in the area of science and religion, though significant in its own right, inadequately considers many core Buddhist concerns. Originally published in 1993, this version has been updated with a preface surveying developments over the last three decades. (shrink)
This essay provides a critical analysis of the concept “Japanese Buddhism.” “Japanese Buddhism” is an inherently ambiguous phrase, and this allows it to conceal a host of problematic theoretical commitments. On the one hand, the phrase is relatively bland—a mere locative identifying the various forms of Buddhism found in Japan. On the other, however, it can be used with a different kind of adjectival intent, identifying a unique kind of Buddhism, a Buddhism that is Japanese. In contrast, the expression “Buddhisms (...) of Japan” is explicitly employed as an alternative to “Japanese Buddhism.” These usages are intentional—not simply a matter of stylistics, but serving meta-theoretical ends. In fact, it is in this realm of meta-theory that the following critique of three prominent approaches to the study of the thought and practice of the Buddhisms of Japan—one theoretical and two disciplinary—is leveraged. The distinction between theoretical and disciplinary creates something of an unbalanced structure in the following, since the theoretical issue—the tendency to essentialize “Japanese Buddhism” in one way or another—is common to both of the disciplinary approaches examined here, that is, comparative philosophy and comparative religion. It is necessary to subvert the very idea that there is any one correct way to represent Japanese Buddhism against which other representations may be judged. Such a project is necessarily doomed to failure. This is clear once we shift our understanding of the referent of the phrase “Japanese Buddhism.” Rather than having any fixed referent, whether as a Platonic ideal form, a natural kind, or a class noun, it is a social construction, one that operates within a sociology or economy of knowledge. To presume that “Japanese Buddhism” has a fixed referent, an ahistorical essence or a transhistorical identity, that can be represented, conceals the role of selection underlying the referent. In other words, “Japanese Buddhism” is not something discovered but, rather, something made, an artifact of both popular and academic discourse. Such a claim, of course, does not imply that there are not indefinitely many things that can be pointed to stipulatively as instances of Japanese Buddhism. Indeed, the constructed nature of the concept is indicated by this overwhelming number of possible stipulative referents and the plurality of ways in which they can be grouped and categorized. (shrink)