ABSTRACTFor ten years, General Motors denied that an ignition switch that could easily be turned to ‘Off’ constituted a safety defect. Accidents, deaths and injuries resulted. Despite many, many suits against GM, the problem remained uncorrected. The explanations that have been proffered are interrogated in this article and others are suggested. It concludes that a bureaucratic legal department is partly to blame, and criticises how the legal department evaluated cases by their settlement value. It criticises GM’s culture of blaming drivers (...) for accidents. It concludes that the main problem at GM was not bureaucracy, but poor organisation of team management. GM was not organised for accountability without hierarchy. The article suggests that lawyers can play a key role in improving corporate decision making. (shrink)
Putnam and Searle famously argue against computational theories of mind on the skeptical ground that there is no fact of the matter as to what mathematical function a physical system is computing: both conclude that virtually any physical object computes every computable function, implements every program or automaton. There has been considerable discussion of Putnam's and Searle's arguments, though as yet there is little consensus as to what, if anything, is wrong with these arguments. In the present paper we show (...) that an analogous line of reasoning can be raised against the numerical measurement of physical magnitudes, and we argue that this result is a reductio ad absurdum of the challenge to computational skepticism. We then use this reductio to get clearer about both what's wrong with Putnam's and Searle's arguments against computationalism, and what can be learned about both computational implementation and numerical measurement from the shortcomings of both sorts of skeptical argument. (shrink)
We apply Benacerraf’s distinction between mathematical ontology and mathematical practice to examine contrasting interpretations of infinitesimal mathematics of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, in the work of Bos, Ferraro, Laugwitz, and others. We detect Weierstrass’s ghost behind some of the received historiography on Euler’s infinitesimal mathematics, as when Ferraro proposes to understand Euler in terms of a Weierstrassian notion of limit and Fraser declares classical analysis to be a “primary point of reference for understanding the eighteenth-century theories.” Meanwhile, scholars like (...) Bos and Laugwitz seek to explore Eulerian methodology, practice, and procedures in a way more faithful to Euler’s own. Euler’s use of infinite integers and the associated infinite products are analyzed in the context of his infinite product decomposition for the sine function. Euler’s principle of cancellation is compared to the Leibnizian transcendental law of homogeneity. The Leibnizian law of continuity similarly finds echoes in Euler. We argue that Ferraro’s assumption that Euler worked with a classical notion of quantity is symptomatic of a post-Weierstrassian placement of Euler in the Archimedean track for the development of analysis, as well as a blurring of the distinction between the dual tracks noted by Bos. Interpreting Euler in an Archimedean conceptual framework obscures important aspects of Euler’s work. Such a framework is profitably replaced by a syntactically more versatile modern infinitesimal framework that provides better proxies for his inferential moves. (shrink)
The problem of causal inference is to determine if a given probability distribution on observed variables is compatible with some causal structure. The difficult case is when the causal structure includes latent variables. We here introduce the inflation technique for tackling this problem. An inflation of a causal structure is a new causal structure that can contain multiple copies of each of the original variables, but where the ancestry of each copy mirrors that of the original. To every distribution of (...) the observed variables that is compatible with the original causal structure, we assign a family of marginal distributions on certain subsets of the copies that are compatible with the inflated causal structure. It follows that compatibility constraints for the inflation can be translated into compatibility constraints for the original causal structure. Even if the constraints at the level of inflation are weak, such as observable statistical independences implied by disjoint causal ancestry, the translated constraints can be strong. We apply this method to derive new inequalities whose violation by a distribution witnesses that distribution’s incompatibility with the causal structure. We describe an algorithm for deriving all such inequalities for the original causal structure that follow from ancestral independences in the inflation. For three observed binary variables with pairwise common causes, it yields inequalities that are stronger in at least some aspects than those obtainable by existing methods. We also describe an algorithm that derives a weaker set of inequalities but is more efficient. Finally, we discuss which inflations are such that the inequalities one obtains from them remain valid even for quantum generalizations of the notion of a causal model. (shrink)
What does it mean to be an individual and how can an individual exist within society? Serious Leisure and Individuality examines the circumstances in the modern world that make for individual distinctiveness, and the role of these conditions in personal and social life. "The individual," said Friedrich Nietzsche, "has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay (...) for the privilege of owning yourself." Elie Cohen-Gewerc and Robert Stebbins explore the road to finding that privilege. They approach individuality by examining its relationship to freedom and being free, and by defining and elaborating on the concept of leisure space. They also look at individuality's place in community, citizenship, and globalization. The complex relationship between individuality and alienation is put under the microscope to highlight the negative side of being distinctive, which has adverse consequences for the individual and society. There are many studies on the modern individual that centre almost entirely on the person facing his local community and broader society. What is missing in the literature - and what Serious Leisure and Individuality provides - is a broad, comprehensive examination of individuality, particularly as it is rooted in leisure and the leisure-like areas of work. (shrink)
In his recent book The Measure of Mind Robert Matthews presents the most elaborate and convincing attempt to date to account for the propositional attitudes in measurement theoretic terms. In the first section of this paper I review earlier applications of measurement-theoretic conceptualization to the discussion of the mind, I outline Matthews' own account, and I raise two questions concerning it. Then, in the second section of the paper, I present a unified measurement-theoretic account of both linguistic meaning and (...) the propositional attitudes, in which a variant of Matthews' position is embedded. Such a unified account, I argue, yields satisfactory answers to the questions raised with respect to Matthews' original view, and demonstrates other advantages. (shrink)
This 1990 collection explores one recurrent theme connecting philosophy and politics: the relation between the nature of man and the structure of society. It does so by concentrating on the topical issue of the market economy as an attempt to resolve the clash between individual autonomy and collective action. Beginning with a historical and personal recollection by Enoch Powell and a response by Robert Skidelsky, the volume then provides a forum for political theorists and philosophers to take issue on (...) the fundamental topics of markets and morals; liberal man; and equality and libertarianism. It succeeds equally as a stimulating textbook and a book for the general reader who wishes to understand the philosophical issues arising in a market economy. (shrink)
No names are more closely associated with modern trade theory than Eli Heckscher and Bertil Ohlin. The basic Heckscher-Ohlin proposition, according to which a country exports factors in abundant supply and imports factors in scarce supply, is a key component of modern trade theory. In this book, Robert Baldwin traces the development of the HO model, describing the historical twists and turns that have led to the basic modern theoretical model in use today. Baldwin not only presents a clear (...) and cohesive view of the model's evolution but also reviews the results of empirical tests its various versions. Baldwin, who published his first theoretical article on the HO model in 1948, first surveys the development of the HO model and then assesses empirical tests of its predictions. Most discussions of empirical work on HO models confine themselves to the basic theorem, but Baldwin devotes a chapter to empirical tests of three related propositions: the Stolper-Samuelson theorem; the Rybczynski theorem; and the factor price equalization theorem. He concludes that the formulation and testing of these later models have improved economists' understanding of the forces shaping international trade, but that many empirical trade economists were so enamored of the elegant but highly unrealistic factor price equalization models developed from the insights of Heckscher and Ohlin that they have neglected investigation of other models without this relationship. (shrink)
Antonio Caso, “La existencia como economía y como caridad” (1916). Translated with Jose G. Rodriguez Jr. as “Existence as Economy and as Charity,” in 20th Century Mexican Philosophy: Essential Readings, eds. Carlos Alberto Sánchez and Robert Eli Sanchez, Jr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Overview * Part I: Introduction * Philip Appleman, Darwin: On Changing the Mind * Part II: Darwin’s Life * Ernst Mayr, Who Is Darwin? * Part III: Scientific Thought: Just before Darwin * Sir Gavin de Beer, Biology before the Beagle * Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population * William Paley, Natural Theology * Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet Lamarck, Zoological Philisophy * Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology * John Herschell, The Study of Natural (...) Philosophy * William Whewell, Astronomy and General Physics Considered with Reference to Natural Theology * Alfred Russel Wallace, On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type * Part IV: Selections from Darwin’s Work * The Voyage of the Beagle * o Chapter I. St. Jago-Cape de Verd Island o Chapter XVII. Galapagos Archipelago * On the Tendency of Species to Form Varieties; and On the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection * o I. Extract from an unpublished Work on Species, by C. Darwin, Esq.... o II.of Letter from C. Darwin, Esq., to Prof. Asa Gray, Boston, U.S., dated Down, September 5th, 1857 * An Historical Sketch of the Progress of Opinion on the Origin of Species, previously to the : Publication of This Work The Origin of Species * o Introduction o Chapter I. Variation under Domestication o Chapter II. Variation under Nature o Chapter III. Struggle for Existence o Chapter IV. Natural Selection o Chapter VI. Difficulties on Theory o Chapter IX. On the Imperfections of the Geological Record o Chapter XIII. Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology: Embryology: Rudimentary Organs o Chapter XIV. Recapitulation and Conclusion * The Descent of Man * o Introduction o Chapter I. The Evidence of the Descent of Man from Some Lower Form o Chapter II. On the Manner of Development of Man from Some Lower Form o Chapter III. Comparison of the Mental Powers of Man and the Lower Animals o Chapter VI. On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man o Chapter VIII. Principles of Sexual Selection o Chapter XIX. Secondary Sexual Characters of Man o Chapter XX. Secondary Sexual Characters of Man-continued o Chapter XXI. General Summary and Conclusion * Part V: Darwin’s Influence on Science * THE VICTORIAN OPPOSITION TO DARWIN * o David L. Hull, Darwin and His Critics o Adam Sedgwick, Objections to Mr. Darwin’s Theory of the Origin of Species o Sir Richard Owen, Darwin on the Origin of Species o Fleeming Jenkin, Review of the Origin of Species * VICTORIAN SUPPORTERS OF DARWIN * o Joseph Dalton Hooker, Flora Tasmaniae o Thomas Henry Huxley, On the Relations of Man to the Lowe Animals o Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology o Alfred Russel Wallace, The Debt of Science to Darwin * DARWIN AND THE SHAPING OF MODERN SCIENCE * o Scientific Method in Evolution o National Academy of Sciences, Evolution and the Nature of Science o Richard Dawkins, Explaining the Very Improbable o Lewis Thomas, On the Uncertainty of Science o Noretta Koetge, Postmodernisms and the Problem of Scientific Literary o Richard Dawkins, Science and Sensibility o The Neo-Darwinian Synthesis o Peter Bowler, The Evolutionary Synthesis o The Human Genealogy o Adam Kuper, The Chosen Primate o Ian Tattersall, Out of Africa Again... and Again? o Stephen Jay Gould, The Human Difference o Punctuated Equilibrium o Stephen Jay Gould, [On Punctuated Equilibrium] o Niles Eldredge, The Great Stasis Debate o Rethinking Taxonomy o Kevin Padian, Darwin’s Views of Classification o David L. Hull, Cladistic Analysis o Kevin Padian and Luis M. Chiappe, Cladistics in Action: The Origin of Birds and Their Flight o Evolution as Observable Fact o James L. Gould and William T. Keeton with Carol Grant Gould, How Natural Selection Operates o Peter r. Grant, Natural Selection and Darwin’s Finches o John A. Endler, Natural Selection in the Wild * Part VI: Darwinian Patterns in Social Thought * COMPETITION AND COOPERATION * o Richard Hofstadter, The Vogue of Spencer o Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth o Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid o Martin A. Nowak, Robert M. May, and Karl Sigmund, The Arithmetics of Mutual Help * NATURE AND NURTURE * o Edward O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis o Stephen Jay Gould, Biological Potentiality vs. Biological Determination o Barbara Ehrenreich and Janet McIntosh, The New Creationism: Biology under Attack * EVOLUTION AND GENDER * o Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Woman’s Bible o Nancy Makepeace Tanner, On Becoming Human o Evelleen Richards, Darwin and the Descent of Woman o James Eli Adams, Woman Red in Tooth and Claw * EVOLUTION AND OTHER DISCIPLINES * o Edward O. Wilson, [On Consilience] o Randolph H. Nesse and George C. Williams, Evolution and the Origin of Disease o Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works o Steve Jones, The Set within the Skull * Part VII: Darwinian Influences in Philosophy and Ethics * John Dewey, The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy * Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Natural Selection as an Algorithmic Process * Michael Ruse Darwinian Epistemology * Thomas Henry Huxley, Evolution and Ethics * Julian Huxley, Evolutionary Ethics * Michael Ruse and Edward O. Wilson, The Evolution of Ethics * Frans de Waal, Good Natured: The Origin of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals * Matt Ridley, The Origins of Virtue * Part VIII: Evolutionary Theory and Religious Theory * MAINSTREAM RELIGIOUS SUPPORT FOR EVOLUTION * o Pope John Paul II, Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences o Central Conference of American Rabbis, On Creationism in School Textbooks o United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Evolution and Creationsim o The Lutheran World Federation, [Statement on Evolution] o The General Convention of the Episcopal Church, Resolution on Evolutionism and Creationism o Unitariuan Universalist Association, Resolution Opposing "Scientific Creationism" * FUNDAMENTALIST CREATIONISM * o Eugene C. Scott, Antievolution and Creationism in the United States o The Scopes Trial o Thomas McIver, Orthodox Jewish Creationists o Harun Yahya, [Islamic Creationism] o Seami Srila Prabhupada, [A Hare Krishna on Darwinian Evolution] o Institute for Creation Research, Tenets of Creationism o Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism o Thomas J. Wheeler, Review of Morris o Richard D. Sjolund and Betty McCollister, Evolution at the Grass Roots o Richard D. Sjolund, [Creationism versus Biotechnology] o Betty McCollister, [The Politics of Creationism] o Molleen Matsumara, What Do Christians Really Believe about Evolution? o National Center for Science Education, Seven Significant Court Decisions Regarding Evolution/Creation Issues * PERSONAL INCREDULITY AND ANTIEVOLUTIONISM * o Richard Dawkins, [The Argument from Personal Incredulity] o Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial o Eugenie C. Scott, Review of Johnson o Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box o Robert Dorit, Review of Behe o Michael Ruse, Darwin’s New Critics on Trial * SCIENTISTS’ OPPOSITION TO CREATIONISM * o American Association for the Advancement of Science, Forced Teaching of Creationist Beliefs in Public School Science Education o American Institute of Biological Sciences, Resolution Oposing Creationism in Science Courses o National Association of Biology Teachers, Statement on Teaching Evolution o National Academy of Sciences, Frequently Asked Questions about Evolution and the Nature of Science * FUNDAMENTALIST CREATIONISM AND THE VALUE OF SATIRE * o Michael Shermer, Genesis Revisted: A Scientific Creation Story o Philip Appleman, Darwin’s Ark * Part IX: Darwin and the Literary Mind * DARWIN’S LITERARY SENSIBILITY * o Charles Darwin, Autobiography o L. Robert Stevens, Darwin’s Humane Reading o George Levine, Darwin and Pain: Why Science Made Shakespeare Nauseating o Gillian Beer, Darwin’s Plots * DARWIN’S INFLUENCE ON LITERATURE * o Lionel Stevenson, Darwin among the Poets o George Levine, Darwin among the Novelists o Joseph Wood Krutch, The Tragic Fallacy o Herbert J. Muller, Modern Tragedy o Philip Appleman, Darwin-Sightings in Recent Literature. (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.<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)
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)
Memory, mother of the Muses by Zeus, has nurtured culture for nearly three millennia while her nemesis, forgetfulness, has been demonized as an agent of destruction. In the modern age, however, memory has grown increasingly burdensome, opening the way for a more positive assessment of forgetfulness. Nietzsche praises animals for an inability to remember that preserves their innocence and happiness, and Freud documents the discontents of a civilization that cannot forget. ;In tracing the recent development of these issues, the dissertation (...) focuses primarily on Walter Benjamin, Hans Blumenberg, and Thomas Pynchon. Benjamin and his anguished "angel of history" show the destructive psychological effects of trying to use human memory as a secular form of redemption. Blumenberg's philosophy of history makes it possible to trace memory's responsibility for redemption to the modern age's inflated notion of the subject. Blumenberg's work also emphasizes the importance of metaphor and narrative in mediating and creating historical understanding, and this aesthetic distance weakens memory's redemptive relation to the past. Pynchon's protagonists, too, find that their desire to make historical meaning fully present is overshadowed by their fear of such presence. By reconciling themselves to a profane aesthetic distance from the past, Blumenberg and Pynchon redeem themselves from the melancholy engendered by an overly ambitious memory. ;Thus the dissertation attempts to recover a more modest and less oppressive memory by understanding it as a way to distance rather than redeem past injustices. This reconception of the function of memory helps establish an equilibrium between the pensive memory of Benjamin's "angel of history" and the innocent oblivion of Nietzsche's animals. ;In addition to the three major figures named in the title, the dissertation devotes sections and excursuses to Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Ernst Cassirer, Martin Heidegger, Virginia Woolf, Ernst Robert Curtius, Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi, Michel Foucault, and Thomas Kuhn. Translations of two essays by Blumenberg, "Pensiveness" and "Being--A MacGuffin," and a comprehensive Blumenberg bibliography are included as appendices. (shrink)
In 1986, Elie Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his victory over “the powers of death and degradation, and to support the struggle of good against evil in the world.” Soon after, he and his wife, Marion, created the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. A project at the heart of the Foundation’s mission is its Ethics Prize—a remarkable essay-writing contest through which thousands of students from colleges across the country are encouraged to confront ethical issues of personal (...) significance. The Ethics Prize has grown exponentially over the past twenty years. “Of all the projects our Foundation has been involved in, none has been more exciting than this opportunity to inspire young students to examine the ethical aspect of what they have learned in their personal lives and from their teachers in the classroom,” writes Elie Wiesel. Readers will find essays on Bosnia, the genocide in Rwanda, sweatshops and globalization, and the political obligations of the mothers of Argentina’s Disappeared. Other essays tell of a white student who joins a black gospel choir, a young woman who learns to share in Ladakh, and the outsize implications of reporting on something as small as a cracked windshield. Readers will be fascinated by the ways in which essays on conflict, conscience, memory, illness, and God overlap and resonate with one another. These essays reflect those who are “sensitive to the sufferings and defects that confront a society yearning for guidance and eager to hear ethical voices,” writes Elie Wiesel. “And they are a beacon for what our schools must realize as an essential component of a true education.”. (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)
For most of the problems that economists consider, the assumption that agents are self-interested works well enough, generating predictions that are broadly consistent with observation. In some significant cases, however, we find economic behavior that seems to be inconsistent with self-interest. In particular, we find that some public goods and some charitable ventures are financed by the independent voluntary contributions of many thousands of individuals. In Britain, for example, the lifeboat service is entirely financed by voluntary contributions. In all rich (...) countries, charitable appeals raise large amounts of money for famine relief in the Third World. The willingness of individuals to contribute to such projects is an economic fact that requires an explanation. (shrink)
Pythagoras -- Confucius -- Heracleitus -- Parmenides -- Zeno of Elea -- Socrates -- Democritus -- Plato -- Aristotle -- Mencius -- Zhuangzi -- Pyrrhon of Elis -- Epicurus -- Zeno of Citium -- Philo Judaeus -- Marcus Aurelius -- Nagarjuna -- Plotinus -- Sextus Empiricus -- Saint Augustine -- Hypatia -- Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius -- Śaṅkara -- Yaqūb ibn Ishāq aṣ-Ṣabāḥ al-Kindī -- Al-Fārābī -- Avicenna -- Rāmānuja -- Ibn Gabirol -- Saint Anselm of Canterbury -- al-Ghazālī -- (...) Peter Abelard -- Averroës -- Zhu Xi -- Moses Maimonides -- Ibn al-'Arabī -- Shinran -- Saint Thomas Aquinas -- John Duns Scotus -- William of Ockham -- Niccolò Machiavelli -- Wang Yangming -- Francis Bacon, Viscount Saint Alban (or Albans), Baron of Verulam -- Thomas Hobbes -- René Descartes -- John Locke -- Benedict de Spinoza -- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz -- Giambattista Vico -- George Berkeley -- Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu -- David Hume -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau -- Immanuel Kant -- Moses Mendelssohn -- Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet -- Jeremy Bentham -- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel -- Arthur Schopenhauer -- Auguste Comte -- John Stuart Mill -- Søren Kierkegaard -- Karl Marx -- Herbert Spencer -- Wilhelm Dilthey -- William James -- Friedrich Nietzsche -- Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege -- Edmund Husserl -- Henri Bergson -- John Dewey -- Alfred North Whitehead -- Benedetto Croce -- Nishida Kitarō -- Bertrand Russell -- G.E. Moore -- Martin Buber -- Ludwig Wittgenstein -- Martin Heidegger -- Rudolf Carnap -- Sir Karl Popper -- Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno -- Jean-Paul Sartre -- Hannah Arendt -- Simone de Beauvoir -- Willard Van Orman Quine -- Sir A.J. Ayer -- Wilfrid Sellars -- John Rawls -- Thomas S. Kuhn -- Michel Foucault -- Noam Chomsky -- Jürgeb Gabernas -- Sir Bernard Williams -- Jacques Derrida -- Richard Rorty -- Robert Nozick -- Saul Kripke -- David Kellogg Lewis -- Peter (Albert David) Singer. (shrink)
Neither the existence of God nor the nature of God is apparent or obvious. If God exists, why is it not entirely clear to everyone that this is so? How can theists explain God's hiddenness, and how plausible are their explanations? God, if God exists, is an omnipotent, morally good, omnipresent being, than whom none greater can be conceived. Surely it is well within the abilities of God to let God's existence and nature be known to us. Why isn't the (...) existence and nature of our Heavenly Father as apparent as, say, the existence of our various earthly fathers? (shrink)
Robert Owen was one of the most extraordinary Englishmen who ever lived and a great man. In a way his history is the history of the establishment of modern industrial Britain, reflected in the mind and activities of a very intelligent, capable and responsible industrialist, alive to the best social thought of his time. The organisation of industrial labour, factory legislation, education, trade unionism, co-operation, rationalism: he was passionately and ably engaged in all of them. His community at New (...) Lanark was the nearest thing to an industrial heaven in the Britain of dark satanic mills; he tried to found a rational co-operative community in the USA. In everything he contemplated, he saw education as a key. This selection of his writings on education illustrates his rationalist concept of the formation of character and its implications for education and society; also his growing utopian concern with social reorganisation; and third, his impact on social movements. Silver's introduction shows Owen's relationship to particular educational traditions and activities and his long-term influence on attitudes to education. (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.
A sense of unity -- Basic objects : a reply to Xu -- Objectivity without objects -- The vagueness of identity -- Quantifier variance and realism -- Against revisionary ontology -- Comments on Theodore Sider's four dimensionalism -- Sosa's existential relativism -- Physical-object ontology, verbal disputes, and common sense -- Ontological arguments : interpretive charity and quantifier variance -- Language, ontology, and structure -- Ontology and alternative languages.
Two main claims are defended in this paper: first, that typical disputes in the literature about the ontology of physical objects are merely verbal; second, that the proper way to resolve these disputes is by appealing to common sense or ordinary language. A verbal dispute is characterized not in terms of private idiolects, but in terms of different linguistic communities representing different positions. If we imagine a community that makes Chisholm's mereological essentialist assertions, and another community that makes Lewis's four-dimensionalist (...) assertions, the members of each community speak the truth in their respective languages. This follows from an application of the principle of interpretive charity to the two communities. (shrink)