This volume includes Whewell's seminal studies of the logic of induction (with his critique of Mill's theory), arguments for his realist view that science discovers necessary truths about nature, and exercises in the epistemology and ontology of science. The book sets forth a coherent statement of a historically important philosophy of science whose influence has never been greater: every one of Whewell's fundamental ideas about the philosophy of science is presented here. -/- .
Many in science are disposed not to take biosemiotics seriously, dismissing it as too anthropomorphic. Furthermore, biosemiotic apologetics are cast in top-down fashion, thereby adding to widespread skepticism. An effective response might be to approach biosemiotics from the bottom up, but the foundational assumptions that support Enlightenment science make that avenue impossible. Considerations from ecosystem studies reveal, however, that those conventional assumptions, although once possessing great utilitarian value, have come to impede deeper understanding of living systems because they implicitly depict (...) the evolution of the universe backward. Ecological dynamics suggests instead a smaller set of countervailing postulates that allows evolution to play forward and sets the stage for tripartite causalities, signs, and interpreters—the key elements of biosemiosis—to emerge naturally out of the interaction of chance with configurations of autocatalytic processes. Biosemiosis thereby appears as a fully legitimate outgrowth of the new metaphysic and shows promise for becoming the supervenient focus of a deeper perspective on the phenomenon of life. (shrink)
Utilitarianism, the great reforming philosophy of the nineteenth century, has today acquired the reputation for being a crassly calculating, impersonal philosophy unfit to serve as a guide to moral conduct. Yet what may disqualify utilitarianism as a personal philosophy makes it an eminently suitable guide for public officials in the pursuit of their professional responsibilities. Robert E. Goodin, a philosopher with many books on political theory, public policy and applied ethics to his credit, defends utilitarianism against its critics and (...) shows how it can be applied most effectively over a wide range of public policies. In discussions of such issues as paternalism, social welfare policy, international ethics, nuclear armaments, and international responses to the environment crisis, he demonstrates what a flexible tool his brand of utilitarianism can be in confronting the dilemmas of public policy in the real world. (shrink)
The VIA Classification of Strengths and Virtues attempts to provide a comprehensive model of character based on 24 character strengths. The present study is the largest study to date exploring the structure of the 24 strengths in youth. One sample completed the VIA-Youth, a teen measure of the VIA Classification. Based on a random subsample, it was determined the data were best modeled using four factors. The remainder of the sample was used to demonstrate measurement invariance for the four-factor model (...) across ages 10–17 and country. Comparison with 471 English academy school students who completed two alternate measures of the VIA Classification also demonstrated measurement invariance. The results suggest a four-factor model that includes two primarily interpersonal factors, one reflecting general engagement, the second other-directedness. Other factors involved intellectual and self-control strengths. Implications for the understanding of character strengths in youth versus adults are discussed. (shrink)
Maximizing want-satisfaction per se is a relatively unattractive aspiration, for it seems to assume that wants are somehow disembodied entities with independent moral claims all of their own. Actually, of course, they are possessed by particular people. What preference-utilitarians should be concerned with is how people's lives go—the fulfilment of their projects and the satisfaction of their desires. In an old-fashioned way of talking, it is happy people rather than happiness per se that utilitarians should be striving to produce.
Revisioning macro-democratic processes in light of the processes and promise of micro-deliberation, Innovating Democracy provides an integrated perspective on democratic theory and practice after the deliberative turn.
The common understanding of Chuang-Tzu as one of the earliest deconstructionists is only half true. This article sets out to challenge conventional characterizations of Chuang-Tzu by adding the important caveat that not only is he a philosophical deconstructionist but that his writings also reveal a non-relativistic, transcendental basis to understanding. The road to such understanding, as argued by this author, can be found in Chuang-Tzu’s emphasis on the illusory or dream-like nature of the self and, by extension, the subject-object dichotomy (...) inherent in all forms of conceptualization and descriptive language. These two obstacles to true understanding - the self and literal, linguistic expressions - are overcome in the Chuang-Tzu by implementing metaphorical and poetic language, such as the Kun-Peng myth, the swamp pheasant parable, the introduction of physically deformed interlocutors, various dream analogies, and so forth. By employing such literary devices in a comprehensible and non-mystical manner, this article concludes that Chuang-Tzu successfully communicates his essential wisdom by guiding the reader to a higher state of spiritual awareness, a state in which one transcends the self, language, conceptual paradoxes, and even the idea of transcendence itself. Consequently, through the following explication of Chuang-Tzu’s complementary emphasis on both preventing mental rigidity and promoting spiritual transcendence, this article seeks to earn Chuang-Tzu the reputation of a deconstructionist with a difference. (shrink)
Physicalism holds that the laws of physics are inviolable and ubiquitous and thereby account for all of reality. Laws leave no “wiggle room” or “gaps” for action by numinous agents. They cannot be invoked, however, without boundary stipulations that perforce are contingent and which “drive” the laws. Driving contingencies are not limited to instances of “blind chance,” but rather span a continuum of amalgamations with regularities, up to and including nearly determinate propensities. Most examples manifest directionality, and their very definition (...) encompasses intentionality. Contingencies, via their interactions with laws, can reinforce and maintain one another, thereby giving rise to enduring, ordered configurations of constraints. All of ordered nature thus results from ongoing transactions between mutualistic contingencies that constrain possibilities and entropic chance events that degrade order but diversify opportunities. Laws do not of themselves determine reality; interactions among contingencies do. For believers, the robust abundance of indeterminacies provides ample latitude for divine intervention, free will, and prayer. The priority of contingency also affords some insight into the meaning of suffering and evil. (shrink)
The precise application of the term ‘heroic measures’ in the discourse of medicine and medical ethics is somewhat uncertain. What counts and what does not is, at the margins, a perpetually contentious issue. Basically, though, we can say that the term refers to the deployment of unusual technologies or treatment regimes, or of ordinary technologies or treatment regimes beyond their usual limits.
Hegel.Robert E. Wood - 2012 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (2):337-349.details
Misunderstandings of Hegel have several roots: one is the intrinsic difficulty of his highly technical and interrelated conceptual sets, another is ideological opponents who consequently take statements out of context, and a third is following those of high stature who pass on the misunderstandings. Typical misunderstandings concern freedom and necessity, slavery, that status of the individual, God and the State, facts measuring up to concepts, the relation of rationality and actuality, the status of passion, and, above all, the nature of (...) absolute knowing. Resituating these notions within the whole of the System shows the one-sidedness of typical misunderstandings and opens the way toward appropriation. (shrink)
Democracy used to be seen as a relatively mechanical matter of merely adding up everyone's votes in free and fair elections. That mechanistic model has many virtues, among them allowing democracy to 'track the truth', where purely factual issues are all that is at stake. Political disputes invariably mix facts with values, however, and then it is essential to listen to what people are saying rather than merely note how they are voting. The great challenge is how to implement that (...) deliberative ideal among millions of people at once. In this strikingly original book, Goodin offers a solution: 'democratic deliberation within'. Building on models of ordinary conversational dynamics, he suggests that people simply imagine themselves in the position of various other people they have heard or read about and ask, 'What would they say about this proposal?' Informing the democratic imaginary then becomes the key to making deliberations more reflective - more empathetic, more considered, more expansive across time and distance. (shrink)
Bracket out the wrong of committing a wrong, or conspiring or colluding or conniving with others in their committing one. Suppose you have done none of those things, and you find yourself merely benefiting from a wrong committed wholly by someone else. What, if anything, is wrong with that? What, if any, duties follow from it? If straightforward restitution were possible — if you could just ‘give back’ what you received as a result of the wrongdoing to its rightful owner (...) — then matters are morally more straightforward. But in real-world cases that is often impossible, and questions of ‘how much, from whom and to whom?’ become far more vexing. The beneficiary disgorging all benefits of the wrong is part of the story, but where that is not possible or will not suffice to compensate the victim of wrongdoing we discuss various ways of allocating the cost of making the victim whole, including supplementation from public coffers. (shrink)
The notion of the heart is one of the most basic notions in ordinary language. It is central to Heidegger’s notion of thought that he relates to the primordial word Gedanc as underlying attunement that issues forth in emotional phenomena. He plays with all the etymological cognates of that word to zero in on the phenomena involved. The key experience of Erstaunen that grounds the first beginning of philosophy is paralleled by Erschrecken that grounds Heidegger’s “second beginning” and plays counterpoint (...) with the first. Along with Befindlichkeit as one’s basic attunement, these are key phenomena that belong to the heart, not to ‘intellect’ or ‘will.’ Thinking in terms of the intellect is das rechnende Denken¸ thinking in terms of the heart, besinnliche Nachdenken. It is the latter that provides the “poetic-intellectual” experience for both the arts and philosophy in which such “world space” is created that even the ordinary appears extraordinary. (shrink)
In this strikingly original book, one of the leading scholars in the field focuses on the influential idea of deliberative democracy. Goodin examines the great challenge of how to implement the deliberative ideal among millions of people at once and comes up with a novel solution: 'democratic deliberation within'.
Philosophers who complain about the ‹demandingness’ of morality forget that a morality can make too few demands as well as too many. What we ought be seeking is an appropriately demanding morality. This article recommends a ‹moral satisficing’ approach to determining when a morality is ‹demanding enough’, and an institutionalized solution to keeping the demands within acceptable limits.
The discovery of a letter in the Niels Bohr archives written by Bohr to a Danish schoolteacher in which he reveals his early knowledge of the Daodejing led the present author on a search to unveil the influence of the philosophy of Yin-Yang on Bohr's famed complementarity principle in Western physics. This paper recounts interviews with his son, Hans, who recalls Bohr reading a translated copy of Laozi, as well as Hanna Rosental, close friend and associate who also confirms the (...) influence of ancient Chinese philosophy on this major figure in Western physics. As with Bohr’s dual perspective approach to the wave-particle, in which describing matter as either wave or particle is not considered inherently contradictory, this article likewise argues that Eastern and Western perspectives about philosophy, reality and life in general need not antagonize one another as is the case in Hegelian dialecticism. Through developing a globally accessible, harmonized system of Eastern and Western thought, this article suggests that individuals can more easily overcome limitations arising from cultural singularity in conventional philosophical approaches and, in turn, achieve a greater degree of social harmony and depth of philosophical understanding, all in the same stroke. (shrink)
Mutual critique by scientists and religious believers mostly entails the pruning of untenable religious beliefs by scientists and warnings against scientific minimalism on the part of believers. John F. Haught has been prominent in formulating religious apologetics in response to the challenges posed by evolutionary theory. Haught's work also resonates with a parallel criticism of the conventional scientific metaphysics undergirding neo-Darwinian theory. Contemporary systems ecology seems to indicate that nothing short of a complete reversal of the Enlightenment assumptions about nature (...) is capable of repositioning science to deal adequately with the origin and dynamics of living systems. A process-based alternative metaphysics substantially mitigates several ostensible conflicts between science and religion. (shrink)