The present study explored several dispositional factors associated with individual differences in lay adult’s interpretation of when an arguer is, or is not, committed to a statement. College students were presented with several two-person arguments in which the proponent of a thesis conceded a key point in the last turn. Participants were then asked to indicate the extent to which that concession implied a change in the proponent’s attitude toward any of the previous statements in the argument. Participants designated as (...) ‘liberal’ used the concession to infer substantial change in commitment to earlier statements in the argument. A group designated as ‘conservative’ were reluctant to make any such inferences. A discriminant analysis indicated that variables assessing participants’ attitudes toward argument as well as their cognitive and communication styles jointly predicted their liberal or conservative status. The discriminant function and follow-up group comparisons indicated that liberals were more likely than conservatives to engage in argument. This included a greater tendency to use argument as a source of knowledge. Liberals also employed a more sophisticated message design logic than conservatives on a communication task. The groups did not clearly differ with respect to participants’ implicit theory of argument, though trends were present that merit attention in future research. Implications of these findings for future research on lay interpretations of commitment are discussed. (shrink)
Language and life history can be related functionally through the study of human ontogeny, thus usefully informing our understanding of several unique aspects of the evolution of species. The operational principles outlined by Locke & Bogin (L&B) demonstrate that the present can provide a useful framework for understanding the past.
This is an intelligently designed collection of essays dealing with a variety of key issues that are in the foreground of reflection on the social and behavioral sciences. The format followed is an ideal one: a key paper, a comment by a critic, and a reply. Thus, for example, Charles Taylor explains and defends teleological explanation of behavior and engages in an exchange with Robert Borger; and Noam Chomsky reviews the problems of explanation in linguistics and is challenged by (...) Max Black. The quality of this volume is quite high and the contributors are leaders in their fields of inquiry. Not only are there explorations by philosophers but also by practicing behavioral scientists. This is therefore an excellent way of gaining an overview of some of the key issues concerning explanation in the behavioral sciences. But the volume is disappointing in breaking new ground. Many of the points and counterpoints made here can be found in other places, and frequently they are explored in greater detail in other places. The collection also reflects an Anglo-Saxon bias for there is little attempt to include any confrontations with the continental concern with the nature of explanation in the social sciences. A detailed bibliography might have helped to direct the reader to further discussion of the issues involved. But despite these limitations, this is an impressive series of confrontations.--R. J. B. (shrink)
_The Decision Between Us _combines an inventive reading of Jean-Luc Nancy with queer theoretical concerns to argue that while scenes of intimacy are spaces of sharing, they are also spaces of separation. John Paul Ricco shows that this tension informs our efforts to coexist ethically and politically, an experience of sharing and separation that informs any decision. Using this incongruous relation of intimate separation, Ricco goes on to propose that “decision” is as much an aesthetic as it is (...) an ethical construct, and one that is always defined in terms of our relations to loss, absence, departure, and death. Laying out this theory of “unbecoming community” in modern and contemporary art, literature, and philosophy, and calling our attention to such things as blank sheets of paper, images of unmade beds, and the spaces around bodies, _The Decision Between Us _opens in 1953, when Robert Rauschenberg famously erased a drawing by Willem de Kooning, and Roland Barthes published _Writing Degree Zero_, then moves to 1980 and the “neutral mourning” of Barthes’ _Camera Lucida_, and ends in the early 1990s with installations by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Offering surprising new considerations of these and other seminal works of art and theory by Jean Genet, Marguerite Duras, and Catherine Breillat, _The Decision Between Us_ is a highly original and unusually imaginative exploration of the spaces between us, arousing and evoking an infinite and profound sense of sharing in scenes of passionate, erotic pleasure as well as deep loss and mourning. (shrink)
In this Interview, Professor Robert B. Brandom answered ten detailed questions about his philosophy of Rational Pragmatism and Semantic Expressivism, grouped into four topics. 1. Metaphysics and Anthropology, 2. Pragmatics and Semantics, 3. Epistemic Expressivism and 4. Philosophy of Logic. With his careful answers Professor Brandom offers many additional insights into his rigorously constructed account of the relationship “between what we say and think, and what we are saying and thinking about” around the human practice of asking for and (...) giving reasons. A final, additional question pointed at a principal motivation for putting together the present issue: how to reconcile Wittgenstein’s assertion that philosophy must not proffer any theories with the very explicit system of explanations Brandom has constructed. This same issue is addressed to some extent already in Professor Brandom’s new article contained in this issue, but his answer, asserting that he does not proffer a theory but only makes explicit what is already there, might be seen as an unambiguous statement of the continuous presence of a contested Wittgensteinian principle in Brandom’s work. (shrink)
Among moral attributes true virtue alone is sublime. … [I]t is only by means of this idea [of virtue] that any judgment as to moral worth or its opposite is possible. … Everything good that is not based on a morally good disposition … is nothing but pretence and glittering misery. 1.
Robert B. Pippin: Hegel on Self-Consciousness: Desire and Death in the Phenomenology of Spirit Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 481-487 DOI 10.1007/s10746-011-9199-4 Authors Trip Glazer, Department of Philosophy, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548 Journal Volume Volume 34 Journal Issue Volume 34, Number 4.
Each year, solutions to the problem "How can we all get along?" prove more vexing and remote. Are we stymied by cultural or economic differences? Is deliberation impoverished by the double-whammy of consumerism and its conduit, a 24/7, entertainment-oriented media system? In A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy (PPD) Robert B. Talisse rules out none of these factors while pushing a boldly original democratic theory appealing not only to pragmatists but to anyone who cares more about solving real problems than (...) protecting philosophical turf. With clarity and force, Talisse's immensely readable book briskly acquaints readers with the complex theories necessary to grappling with issues worth caring about. While meticulously attentive to pertinent scholarship, Talisse is never pedantic or jargonistic. He educates the reader by reiterating exactly the premises necessary to move his theses ahead. (shrink)
Robert Pippin's impressive new book examines Hegel's claim in his Science of Logic that "logic coincides with metaphysics". Part 1 contains chapters on logic and metaphysics, self-consciousness in the Logic, and negation, and part 2 then considers what Pippin takes to be the central topics of the three books of the Logic. Throughout, there are also important discussions of Aristotle, Kant, and Brandom. Pippin's book is well-written and immensely thought-provoking, and will be essential reading for anyone studying Hegel's Logic.In (...) Pippin's view, Hegel follows Kant in claiming that concepts determine what counts as an... (shrink)
Robert Brandom's latest book, the product of his John Locke lectures in Oxford in 2006, is a return to the philosophy of language and is easily read as a continuation and development of the views defended in Making it Explicit . The text of the lectures is presented much as they were delivered, but it contains an ‘Afterword’ of more than 30 pages which responds to questions raised when he gave the lectures, and also when they were subsequently delivered (...) in Prague the following year. The published text also contains relatively technical appendices to two of the lectures.The individual lectures engage with some important and difficult issues, often ones that were explored in detail in the earlier book. However, these discussions are located within a broader meta-philosophical context, and it says something about the abstract and difficult character of these views that they provide the main subject matter of the Afterword. This framework affects how we should understand the relations between this book and Making It Explicit too. Although most of the detailed discussions happily belong within the general project of the earlier book, they are offered as illustrations of a framework that is independent of this project. Indeed, Brandom suggests that defenders of the semantic views of David Lewis, for example, could embrace his main message as well as those who favour Brandom's own form of pragmatism.Neo-pragmatist philosophers such as Brandom's teacher, Richard Rorty, often present themselves as rejecting the analytic tradition in philosophy. When Brandom describes the ‘pragmatist challenge’ to the ‘classical project of analysis’, he appeals to the criticisms found in the work of Wittgenstein and Sellars that are often appealed to by the critics of the analytic tradition. The message of the new book is that the views he has built on this …. (shrink)
The review argues that Talisse's epistemic defense of democracy in his "Democracy and Moral Conflict," albeit novel and interesting, falls prey to an epistemic analogue of the problem of reasonable moral pluralism that Rawls famously posed for moral justifications of democracy.