It is widely believed that the philosophical concept of 'tabula rasa' originates with Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding and refers to a state in which a child is as formless as a blank slate. Given that both these beliefs are entirely false, this article will examine why they have endured from the eighteenth century to the present. Attending to the history of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry and feminist scholarship it will be shown how the image of the tabula rasa has been (...) used to signify an originary state of formlessness, against which discourses on the true nature of the human being can differentiate their position. The tabula rasa has operated less as a substantive position than as a whipping post. However, it will be noted that innovations in psychological theory over the past decade have begun to undermine such narratives by rendering unintelligible the idea of an 'originary' state of human nature. (shrink)
[Robert Stalnaker] Saul Kripke made a convincing case that there are necessary truths that are knowable only a posteriori as well as contingent truths that are knowable a priori. A number of philosophers have used a two-dimensional model semantic apparatus to represent and clarify the phenomena that Kripke pointed to. According to this analysis, statements have truth-conditions in two different ways depending on whether one considers a possible world 'as actual' or 'as counterfactual' in determining the truth-value of the (...) statement relative to that possible world. There are no necessary a posteriori or contingent a priori propositions: rather, contingent a priori and necessary a posteriori statements are statements that are necessary when evaluated one way, and contingent when evaluated the other way. This paper distinguishes two ways that the two-dimensional framework can be interpreted, and argues that one of them gives the better account of what it means to 'consider a world as actual', but that it provides no support for any notion of purely conceptual a priori truth. /// [Thomas Baldwin] Two-dimensional possible world semantic theory suggests that Kripke's examples of the necessary a posteriori and contingent a priori should be handled by interpreting names as implicitly indexical. Like Stalnaker, I reject this account of names and accept that Kripke's examples have to be accommodated within a metasemantic theory. But whereas Stalnaker maintains that a metasemantic approach undermines the conception of a priori truth, I argue that it offers the opportunity to develop a conception of the a priori aspect of stipulations, conceived as linguistic performances. The resulting position accommodates Kripke's examples in a way which is both intrinsically plausible and fits with Kripke's actual discussion of them. (shrink)
What is human freedom? By addressing a number of theological 'limit situations', Robert Greystones, while at Oxford University in the 1320s, developed his own philosophical theory. This volume is the first Latin critical edition, with a clear English translation. There is an extensive introduction describing his life and teaching on human freedom.
Dr. Zaslavsky’s edition of the text of Tacitus’s Agricola has been prepared with an eye to its use as the first complete text with which to challenge learners who have completed a basic course of Latin such as his An Introductory Latin Course: A First Latin Grammar for Middle Schoolers, High Schoolers, College Students, Homeschoolers, and Self-Learners. It is accompanied by historical and grammatical notes, a glossary/concordance, and a translation.
Drawing on Aristotle’s notion of “ultimate responsibility,” Robert Kane argues that to be exercising a free will an agent must have taken some character forming decisions for which there were no sufficient conditions or decisive reasons.<sup>1</sup> That is, an agent whose will is free not only had the ability to develop other dispositions, but could have exercised that ability without being irrational. To say it again, a person has a free will just in case her character is the product (...) of decisions that she could have rationally avoided making. That one’s character is the product of such decisions entails ultimate responsibility for its manifestations, engendering a free will. (shrink)
The seventeen seminal essays by Robert J. Gordon collected here, including three previously unpublished works, offer sharply etched views on the principal topics of macroeconomics - growth, inflation, and unemployment. The author re-examines their salient points in a uniquely creative, accessible introduction that serves on its own as an introduction to modern macroeconomics. Each of the four parts into which the essays are grouped also offers a new introduction. The papers in Part I explore different key aspects of the (...) history, theory, and measurement of productivity growth. The essays in Part II investigate the sources of business cycles and productivity fluctuations. Those in Part III cover the effects of supply shocks in macroeconomics. The final group presents empirical studies of the dynamics of inflation in the United States. The foreword by Nobel Laureate Robert M. Solow comments on the abiding importance of these essays drawn from 1968 to the present. (shrink)
"The availability of a paperback version of Boyle's philosophical writings selected by M. A. Stewart will be a real service to teachers, students, and scholars with seventeenth-century interests. The editor has shown excellent judgment in bringing together many of the most important works and printing them, for the most part, in unabridged form. The texts have been edited responsibly with emphasis on readability.... Of special interest in connection with Locke and with the reception of Descarte's Corpuscularianism, to students of the (...) Scientific Revolution and of the history of mechanical philosophy, and to those interested in the relations among science, philosophy, and religion. In fact, given the imperfections in and unavailability of the eighteenth-century editions of Boyle’s works, this collection will benefit a wide variety of seventeenth-century scholars." --Gary Hatfield, University of Pennsylvania. (shrink)
In three volumes, a distinguished group of scholars from a variety of disciplines in the natural and social sciences, the humanities and the arts contribute essays in honor of Robert S. Cohen, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. The range of the essays, as well as their originality, and their critical and historical depth, pay tribute to the extraordinary scope of Professor Cohen's intellectual interests, as a scientist-philosopher and a humanist, and also to his engagement in the world (...) of social and political practice. In Science, Politics and Social Practice,, an international group of scholars -- philosophers, sociologists, historians, and political scientists -- discuss issues at the cutting edge of contemporary social and political thought, and its bearing on science. Several essays discuss the relations of Marxism to science, and specifically, to the philosophies of science of Carnap and Popper, as well as Soviet Marxism, and the effects of Stalinism on Soviet science. There are also essays on the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences, on questions of method and aim in historical narrative, on the issue of cultural relativism, and more. (shrink)
Drawing on Aristotle’s notion of “ultimate responsibility,” Robert Kane argues that to be exercising a free will an agent must have taken some character forming decisions for which there were no sufficient conditions or decisive reasons. That is, an agent whose will is free not only had the ability to develop values and beliefs besides those that presently make up her motives, but could have exercised that ability without being irrational. An agent wills freely, on this view, by beingultimately (...) responsible for how she is currently disposed to act. Kane needs, then, to show how an agent could be responsible for decisions that her deliberations did not guarantee. He must also explain how a decision for which there is no decisive reason could yet be rational, assuming that the responsibility engendering decisions forming the basis of a free will would be rational. I shall argue here that Kane has achieved neither of these goals. (shrink)
In Overdoing Democracy, Robert B. Talisse turns the popular adage "the cure for democracy's ills is more democracy" on its head. Indeed, he argues, the widely recognized, crisis-level polarization within contemporary democracy stems from the tendency among citizens to overdo democracy. When we make everything--even where we shop, the teams we cheer for, and the coffee we drink--about our politics, we weaken our bonds to one another, and work against the fundamental goals of democracy. Talisse advocates civic friendship built (...) around shared endeavors that we must undertake with fellow citizens who do not necessarily share our political affinities as the best way we can obtain a healthier, more sustainable democracy. (shrink)
This book is the first complete survey and critical appraisal of the large body of research that has appeared during approximately the last decade concerning the analysis of knowing. Robert K. Shope pays special attention to the social aspects of knowing and proposes a new formulation of the fundamental structure of the Gettier problem. Originally published in 1983. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton (...) University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905. (shrink)
Repeatedly and successfully, the celebrated Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick has reached out to a broad audience beyond the confines of his discipline, addressing ethical and social problems that matter to every thoughtful person. Here Nozick continues his search for the connections between philosophy and "ordinary" experience. In the lively and accessible style that his readers have come to expect, he offers a bold theory of rationality, the one characteristic deemed to fix humanity's "specialness." What are principles for? asks Nozick. (...) We could act simply on whim, or maximize our self-interest and recommend that others do the same. As Nozick explores rationality of decision and rationality of belief, he shows how principles actually function in our day-to-day thinking and in our efforts to live peacefully and productively with each other. Throughout, the book combines daring speculations with detailed investigations to portray the nature and status of rationality and the essential role that imagination plays in this singular human aptitude. (shrink)
What is right in the corporation is not what is right in a man's home or in his church," a former vice-president of a large firm observes. "What is right in the corporation is what the guy above you wants from you." Such sentiments pervade American society, from corporate boardrooms to the basement of the White House. In Moral Mazes, Robert Jackall offers an eye-opening account of how corporate managers think the world works, and of how big organizations shape (...) moral consciousnss. Based on extensive interviews with managers at every level of two industrial firms and of a large public relations agency, Moral Mazes takes the reader inside the intricate world of the corporation. It is a world where hard work does not necessarily lead to success, but where sharp talk, self-promotion, powerful patrons, and sheer luck might; where intense competition is masked by cheerfully bland public faces; where intentions are cloaked and frankness is simply one of many guises; and where words are always provisional and accountability often depends on the ability to outrun mistakes. In this topsy-turvy world, managers must bring often unforgiving technology and always difficult people together to make money, an uncompromising task demanding continual compromises with conventional verities. Moral issues are translated into practical concerns and into issues of public relations. Sooner or later, managrs ask themselves: How does one act in such a world and maintain a sense of personal integrity? Moral Mazes is a brilliant, sometimes disturbing, often wildly funny study of corporate thinking, decision-making, and morality. It is an analytical work of great importance, one filled with compelling real life stories of the men and women charged with running the business of America. It is a book for anyone interested in how big organizations actually function, or who is concerned with the current moral malaise in our public life. (shrink)
"The best book available for non-mathematicians." — Contemporary Psychology. Superb nontechnical introduction to game theory and related disciplines, primarily as applied to the social sciences. Clear, comprehensive coverage of utility theory, 2-person zero-sum games, 2-person non-zero-sum games, n-person games, individual and group decision-making, much more. Appendixes. Bibliography. Graphs and figures.
Robert Stalnaker opposes the traditional view that knowledge of one's own current thoughts and feelings is the unproblematic foundation for all knowledge. He argues that we can understand our knowledge of our thoughts and feelings only by viewing ourselves from the outside, by seeing our inner lives as features of the world as it is in itself.
This book articulates and defends Fregean realism, a theory of properties based on Frege's insight that properties are not objects, but rather the satisfaction conditions of predicates. Robert Trueman argues that this approach is the key not only to dissolving a host of longstanding metaphysical puzzles, such as Bradley's Regress and the Problem of Universals, but also to understanding the relationship between states of affairs, propositions, and the truth conditions of sentences. Fregean realism, Trueman suggests, ultimately leads to a (...) version of the identity theory of truth, the theory that true propositions are identical to obtaining states of affairs. In other words, the identity theory collapses the gap between mind and world. This book will be of interest to anyone working in logic, metaphysics, the philosophy of language or the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
This book examines the Condorcet Jury Theorem and how its assumptions can be applicable to the real world. It will use the theorem to assess various familiar political practices and alternative institutional arrangements, revealing how best to take advantage of the truth-tracking potential of majoritarian democracy.
This volume is a continuation of Robert Greystones on the Freedom of the Will: Selections from His Commentary on the Sentences. From this, five of the most relevant questions were selected for editing and translation in this timely volume. This edition should prompt not just a footnote to, but a re-writing of the history of philosophy.
Robert C. Roberts first presented his vivid account of emotions as 'concern-based construals' in his book Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology. In this new book he extends that account to the moral life. He explores the ways in which emotions can be a basis for moral judgments, how they account for the deeper moral identity of actions we perform, how they are constitutive of morally toned personal relationships like friendship, enmity, collegiality and parenthood, and how pleasant (...) and unpleasant emotions interact with our personal wellbeing. He then sketches how, by means of their moral dimensions, emotions participate in our virtues and vices, and for better or worse, express our moral character. His rich study will interest a wide range of readers working on virtue ethics, moral psychology and emotion theory. (shrink)
This volume spans the whole field of computational logic seen from the point of view of logic programming. The topics addressed range from issues concerning the development of programming languages in logic and the application of computational logic to real-life problems, to philosophical studies of the field at the other end of the spectrum. The articles presented cover the contributions of computational logic to databases and artificial intelligence with particular emphasis on automated reasoning, reasoning about actions and change, natural languages, (...) and learning. Together with its companion volume, LNAI 2407, this book commemorates the 60th birthday of Bob Kowalski as one of the founders of and contributors to computational logic. (shrink)
This book offers a new interpretation of the metaphysics of Charles Peirce, the founder of pragmatism and one of America's greatest philosophers. Robert Lane begins by examining Peirce's basic realism, his belief in a world that is independent of how anyone believes it to be. Lane argues that this realism is the basis for Peirce's account of truth, according to which a true belief is one that would be settled by investigation and that also represents the real world. He (...) then explores Peirce's application of his Pragmatic Maxim to clarify the idea of reality, his two forms of idealism, and his realism about generality and vagueness. This rich study will provide readers with a clear understanding of Peirce's thoughts on reality and truth and how they intersect, and of his views on the relation between the mind and the external world. (shrink)
After Certainty offers a reconstruction of the history of epistemology, understood as a series of changing expectations about the cognitive ideal that we might hope to achieve in this world. Pasnau ranges widely over philosophy from Aristotle to the 17th century, and examines in some detail the rise of science as an autonomous discipline.
_In Defense of Anarchism_ is a 1970 book by the philosopher Robert Paul Wolff, in which the author defends individualist anarchism. He argues that individual autonomy and state authority are mutually exclusive and that, as individual autonomy is inalienable, the moral legitimacy of the state collapses.
The Eugenic Mind Project is a wide-ranging, philosophical book that explores and critiques both past and present eugenic thinking, drawing on the author’s intimate knowledge of eugenics in North America and his previous work on the cognitive, biological, and social sciences, the fragile sciences. Informed by the perspectives of Canadian eugenics survivors in the province of Alberta, The Eugenic Mind Project recounts the history of eugenics and the thinking that drove it, and critically engages contemporary manifestations of eugenic thought, newgenics. (...) An accessible, original work of scholarship adopting what the author calls a standpoint eugenics, this book focuses on the roots of eugenic thinking past and present. It will provoke and enrich discussions about human nature and human diversity, the social uses of biotechnology, and social policy governing future generations. You can download the preface and acknowledgements here. (shrink)
Robert Stecker investigates the universal human need for aesthetic experience of the world around us. He examines three contexts where aesthetic value plays a central role: art, nature, and the everyday. He explores how the aesthetic interacts with moral, cognitive, and functional values, and considers the place of the aesthetic in a good life.