Although trained in the Anglophone analytic tradition, the French education of his formative years seems to have left its mark on Ronnie de Sousa’s thinking and writing. He appeals to temperament as an explanation for fundamental attitudes to life: neither the quest for a source of meaning in God or nature, nor his own tendency to relish life’s meaninglessness can be grounded in reason. To show this, Ronnie has argued that there is no such thing as human nature, and that (...) appeals to evolution can neither guide us in choosing how to live, nor give us good reason to prefer the “normal” to the “deviant”. Instead, aesthetic reasons deserve to be given more weight than is granted by the alleged overriding character of morality. (shrink)
This accessible introduction to formal, and especially Montague, semantics within a linguistic framework, presupposes no previous background in logic, but takes students step-by-step from simple predicate/argument structures and their interpretation to Montague's intentional logic.
Bringing together scholars from a broad range of theoretical perspectives, The Language of Argumentation offers a unique overview of research at the crossroads of linguistics and theories of argumentation. In addition to theoretical and methodological reflections by leading scholars in their fields, the book contains studies of the relationship between language and argumentation from two different viewpoints. While some chapters take a specific argumentative move as their point of departure and investigate the ways in which it is linguistically manifested in (...) discourse, other chapters start off from a linguistic construction, trying to determine its argumentative function and rhetorical potential. The Language of Argumentation documents the currently prominent research on stylistic aspects of argumentation and illustrates how the study of argumentation benefits from insights from linguistic models, ranging from theoretical pragmatics, politeness theory and metaphor studies to models of discourse coherence and construction grammar. (shrink)
A well known logical loophole for Bell’s theorem is that it relies on setting independence: the assumption that the state of a system is independent of the settings of a measurement apparatus probing the system. In this paper the implications of rejecting this assumption are studied from an operationalist perspective. To this end a generalization of the ontic models framework is proposed that allows setting dependence. It is shown that within this framework Bell’s theorem reduces to the conclusion that no-signaling (...) requires randomness at the epistemic level even if the underlying ontology is taken to be deterministic. The ideas underlying the framework are further used to defend setting dependence against the charges of being incompatible with free will and scientific methodology. The paper ends however with the sketch of a new problem for setting dependence: a necessary gap between the ontic and the epistemic level that may prevent the formulation of a successful setting dependent theory. (shrink)
In response to an accusation of having said something inappropriate, the accused may exploit the difference between the explicit contents of their utterance and its implicatures. Widely discussed in the pragmatics literature are those cases in which arguers accept accountability only for the explicit contents of what they said while denying commitment to the implicature. In this paper, we sketch a fuller picture of commitment denial. We do so, first, by including in our discussion not just denial of implicatures, but (...) also the mirror strategy of denying commitment to literal meaning and, second, by classifying strategies for commitment denial in terms of classical rhetorical status theory. In addition to providing a systematic categorization of our data, this approach offers some clues to determine when such a defence strategy is a reasonable one and when it is not. (shrink)
The interpretation of quantum mechanics has been a problem since its founding days. A large contribution to the discussion of possible interpretations of quantum mechanics is given by the so-called impossibility proofs for hidden variable models; models that allow a realist interpretation. In this thesis some of these proofs are discussed, like von Neumann’s Theorem, the Kochen-Specker Theorem and the Bell-inequalities. Some more recent developments are also investigated, like Meyer’s nullification of the Kochen-Specker Theorem, the MKC-models and Conway and Kochen’s (...) Free Will Theorem. This last one is taken to suggest that the problems that arise for certain interpretations of quantum mechanics are not limited to realist interpretations only, but also affect certain instrumentalist interpretations. It is argued that one may arrive at a more satisfying interpretation of quantum mechanics if one adopts a logic that seems more compatible with the instrumentalist viewpoint namely, intuitionistic logic. The motivations for adopting this form of logic rather than classical logic or quantum logic are linked to some of the philosophical ideas of Bohr. In particular a new interpretation of Bohr’s notion of complementarity is proposed. Finally some possibilities are explored for linking the intuitionistic interpretation of quantum mechanics to the mathematical formalism of the theory. (shrink)
This paper examines the Megg, Mogg and Owl stories of Simon Hanselmann, an Australian artist whose serialized comics both depict acts of contemporary roguery committed by a group of friends in an inner city sharehouse and test the generic limits of its own storytelling conventions, thereby becoming contemporary instances of “rogue texts.” The paper positions the adventures of Megg, a witch, Mogg, her familiar, Owl, their housemate, and associated characters including Booger and Werewolf Jones as contemporary variations of both the (...) Australian genre of grunge fiction and the broad international tradition of rogue literature. It shows how Megg, Mogg, Owl and their friends use the structure of the sharehouse to make their own rules, undertake illegal behaviour, and respond to the strictures of mainstream society, which alongside legal restrictions include normative restrictions on gender and behaviour. It shows the sharehouse as a response to their economic, as well as cultural and social conditions. The paper then shows how Megg and particularly Owl come up against the limitations of the permissiveness and apparent security of their “rogue” society, and respond by beginning to “go rogue” from the group. Meanwhile, the text itself, rather than advancing through time, goes over the same chronology and reinscribes it from new angles, becoming revisionist and re-creative, perhaps behaving roguishly against the affordances of episodic, vignette form. The paper argues that Simon Hanselmann’s Megg, Mogg and Owl comics can be understood as contemporary rogue texts, showing characters responding to social and generic limits and expressing them through a restless and innovative comics text. (shrink)
In this paper we adopt the hypothesis that languages are mechanisms for interaction, and that grammars encode the means by which such interaction may take place, by use of procedures that construct representations of meaning from strings of words uttered in context, and conversely strings of words are built up from representations of content in interaction with context. In a review of the systemic use of ellipsis in dialogue and associated split-utterance phenomena, we show how, in Dynamic Syntax, words give (...) rise to a range of procedures for the building of representations of the content of some utterance, which both speakers and hearers use. We then extend the discussion to take account of adjuncts, showing how they contribute to content construction both in single utterances and across speakers. The same mechanisms are then shown to underlie the building of inferential extensions of meaning in context, giving rise to the creation of the ad hoc concepts expressed by phrases or single words in relation to the utterance context and ultimately to the creation of metaphorical uses of language. (shrink)
In the face of ubiquitous information communication technology, the presence of blogs, personal websites, and public message boards give the illusion of uncensored criticism and discussion of the ethical implications of business activities. However, little attention has been paid to the limitations on free speech posed by the control of access to the Internet by private entities, enabling them to censor content that is deemed critical of corporate or public policy. The premise of this research is that transparency alone will (...) not achieve the desired results if ICT is used in a one way system, controlled by the provider of information. Stakeholders must have an avenue using the same technology to respond to and interact with the information. We propose a model that imposes on corporations a public trust, requiring these gatekeepers of communication technology to preserve individual rights to criticism and review. (shrink)
Recently Cator and Landsman made a comparison between Bell’s Theorem and Conway and Kochen’s Strong Free Will Theorem. Their overall conclusion was that the latter is stronger in that it uses fewer assumptions, but also that it has two shortcomings. Firstly, no experimental test of the Conway–Kochen Theorem has been performed thus far, and, secondly, because the Conway–Kochen Theorem is strongly connected to the Kochen–Specker Theorem it may be susceptible to the finite precision loophole of Meyer, Kent and Clifton. In (...) this paper I show that the finite precision loophole does not apply to the Conway–Kochen Theorem. (shrink)
Michael Oakeshott’s distinction between ‘civil association’ and ‘enterprise association’ has inspired international society theorists to conceive of international society as not just a ‘purposive association’ constructed by states to satisfy their interests but also as a ‘practical association’ providing formal and pragmatic rules that are not instrumental to particular goals of state policy. While this article is supportive of the Oakeshottian turn in international society theory, it suggests that somewhat different conclusions can be drawn from it. The article sketches out (...) an alternative conception of international ‘civil association’, one that transcends the boundaries of communities. It is argued that such a notion of civil association is both possible and at the same time anchored in the experiences of the modern state. It is suggested that this notion of international civil association, when sustained by an adequate legal conception, promotes the enforcement of moral and political responsibility acr... (shrink)
In this article we explore a self-regulatory perspective on the self-evaluative moral emotions, shame and guilt. Broadly conceived, self-regulation distinguishes between two types of motivation: approach/activation and avoidance/inhibition. We use this distinction to conceptually understand the socialization dimensions (parental restrictiveness versus nurturance), associated emotions (anxiety versus empathy), and forms of morality (proscriptive versus prescriptive) that serve as precursors to each self-evaluative moral emotion. We then examine the components of shame and guilt experiences in greater detail and conclude with more general (...) implications of a self-regulatory perspective on moral emotions. (shrink)
The dualistic structures permeating western culture emphasize radical discontinuity between humans and nonhumans, but receptive attention to nonhuman others discloses both continuity and difference prevailing between other forms of life and our own. Recognizing that agency and subjectivity abound within nature alerts us to our potential for dominating and oppressing nonhuman others, as individuals and as groups. Reciprocally, seeing ourselves as biological beings may facilitate reconstructing our social reality to undo such destructive relationships.
Daoist Philosophy Along with Confucianism, “Daoism” is one of the two great indigenous philosophical traditions of China. As an English term, Daoism corresponds to both Daojia, an early Han dynasty term which describes so-called “philosophical” texts and thinkers such as Laozi and … Continue reading Daoist Philosophy →.
At the 1927 Como conference Bohr spoke the famous words “It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature.” However, if the Copenhagen interpretation really adheres to this motto, why then is there this nagging feeling of conflict when comparing it with realist interpretations? Surely what one can say about nature should in a certain sense be interpretation independent. In this paper I take Bohr’s (...) motto seriously and develop a quantum logic that avoids assuming any form of realism as much as possible. To illustrate the non-triviality of this motto, a similar result is first derived for classical mechanics. It turns out that the logic for classical mechanics is a special case of the quantum logic thus derived. Some hints are provided as to how these logics are to be used in practical situations and finally, I discuss how some realist interpretations relate to these logics. (shrink)
Edited by Marthe Chandler and Ronnie Littlejohn, this work is a collection of expository and critical essays on the work of Henry Rosemont, Jr., a prominent and influential contemporary philosopher, activist, translator, and educator in the field of Asian and Comparative Philosophy. The essays in this collection take up three major themes in Rosemont's work: his work in Chinese linguistics, his contribution to the theory of human rights, and his interest in East Asian religion. Contributions include works by the leading (...) scholars in Chinese philosophy in the Western world and Rosemont's close associates: Roger T. Ames, Bao Zhiming, Mary Bockover, Marthe Chandler, Ewing Y. Chinn, Erin M. Cline, Fred Dallmayr, Jeffrey Dippmann, Herbert Fingarette, Harrison Huang, Eric Hutton, Philip J. Ivanhoe, David Jones, William La Fleur, Ronnie Littlejohn, Ni Peimin, Michael Nylan, Harold Roth, Sumner Twiss, Tu Weiming, David Wong, with responses from Henry Rosemont, Jr. and a brief Reminiscence by Noam Chomsky. (shrink)
The key work of the early Johann Gottlieb Fichte is the Grundlage ser gesammten Wissenschaftslehre [Foundation of the Entire Doctrine of Science] of 1794-95. The very circumstances of its publication ensure that it is a rather terse and disjointed statement of Fichtean philosophy. It consists of a very short preface, a “famous” section devoted to first principles, the so-called “basic propositions of the entire doctrine of science,” and eight discourses of widely diverging length. The first discourse, devoted to the “theoretical” (...) Wissenschaftslehre is one and a half times the length of the other seven. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth are barely a few pages long. It is an extremely peculiar work and not merely due to the circumstances of its publication. Its very argumentative structure threatens to trap the reader in forming hasty and preliminary judgements on the exact nature of the philosophical claims being made, and, quite specifically, those philosophical claims which might be ascribed to the author himself. The following contends that lack of attention to the structure of a work that, admittedly, exhibits very little in an overt fashion has led to wholesale confusion about the early system and its philosophical intent. Specifically, that too much attention has been paid to the famous section on grounding principles, and, furthermore, that attention only to these sections will lead to fundamental confusion and misunderstanding. This paper will attempt to examine this peculiar Fichtean text via the readings made by Dieter Henrich and Frederick Neuhouser, respectively. (shrink)
Chinese Philosophy: Overview of Topics If Chinese philosophy may be said to have begun around 2000 B.C.E., then it represents the longest continuous heritage of philosophical reflection. Trying to mention each philosopher or every significant thinker is not possible. This article is highly selective by choosing philosophers according to two basic principles: Those who … Continue reading Chinese Philosophy: Overview of Topics →.
Comparable worth is a limited remedy for occupational segregation and the wage gap: It is compatible with meritocratic values, argued for in conventional labor market terms, and may increase tensions among men and women workers. But, while it relies on liberal political discourse, it has also improved the wages of women workers, broadened public thinking about discrimination, and stimulated cross gender wage comparisons unthinkable even a few years ago. This comment explains the limitations of comparable worth, not in terms of (...) the discourse proponents relied upon, but in relation to a specific political agenda and to a historical and political struggle over the control of the debate over comparable worth. As social science advocates for a more radical political agenda, it is our obligation to think more realistically about how we build a radical politics to accompany our discourse. (shrink)
The study of meaning in language has developed dramatically over the last fifty years. Semantics is distinctive as it not only presents a general introduction to the topic, including the most recent developments, but it also provides a unique perspective for addressing current issues. It opens by introducing readers to the study of logic as the background against which developments have taken place. This demonstrates the link between semantics and the study of reasoning and how this view can provide new (...) solutions to the puzzles that have plagued the approaches presented in other textbooks. The major subject areas of semantics are discussed, including quantification, anaphora and discourse, tense and aspect, ellipsis and context, and word meaning. The book also presents state-of-the-art research in topics at the forefront of semantics. (shrink)
In this article von Neumann’s proposal that in quantum mechanics projections can be seen as propositions is followed. However, the quantum logic derived by Birkhoff and von Neumann is rejected due to the failure of the law of distributivity. The options for constructing a distributive logic while adhering to von Neumann’s proposal are investigated. This is done by rejecting the converse of the proposal, namely, that propositions can always be seen as projections. The result is a weakly Heyting algebra for (...) describing the language of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
In this study, a 20-item questionnaire was used to elicit undergraduates’ (N = 93) ethical judgment and behavioral intention regarding a number of behaviors involving computers and internet usage. Machiavellianism was found to be uncorrelated with both ethical judgment and behavioral intention. Gender was found to be negatively correlated with both ethical judgment and behavioral intention, such that females judged the behaviors as being less ethical than males, and were less likely to engage in the behaviors than males. A disconnect (...) was found between ethical judgment and behavioral intention, for both males and females, such that the ethical judgment mean for a number of issues was significantly lower (towards the “unethical” end of the continuum) than the behavioral intention mean (towards the “more likely to engage in” end of the continuum). The study raises questions regarding ethical awareness of technology-related issues, and the authors make suggestions for future research. (shrink)
Laozi Laozi is the name of a legendary Daoist philosopher, the alternate title of the early Chinese text better known in the West as the Daodejing, and the moniker of a deity in the pantheon of organized “religious Daoism” that arose during the later Han dynasty. Laozi is … Continue reading Laozi →.
Abstract When families, schools, and communities are unable, through traditional means, to ?modify? habitual, intractible patterns of moral misbehaviour among children and adolescents, these children are often referred to residential treatment. At The Berkeley Academy we have developed principles, policies and practices of intervention which not only address effectively these patterns of moral misbehaviour, but also address the underlying moral disorder, thus helping the child to restructure the way she thinks, feels, and behaves in school, in families and in the (...) community. In this paper we briefly sketch the three most common patterns of moral misbehaviour which we have observed over the past ten years, discuss the underlying disorder, and describe an approach to education and treatment which has been successful with nearly 80 per cent of the girls in our programme, who are among the most seriously emotionally disturbed girls in Northern California. (shrink)
_Husserl and Other Phenomenologists_ addresses a fundamental question: what is it in the thinking of the founding father of phenomenology, Edmund Husserl, that on the one hand enables the huge variety in the phenomenological discourse and, at the same time, necessitates relying on his phenomenology as a point of departure and an object before which philosophizing is conducted. The contributors to this volume, each with his or her own focus on a specific figure in the phenomenological school vis-à-vis Husserl's thinking, (...) demonstrate that every reference to Husserl is necessarily bound up with modifying his ideas and crossing the boundaries of his phenomenology. In this sense, and given the insight that Husserlian phenomenology is already imbued with the potential modifications and revisions, the post-Husserlian phenomenologies may be included together with Husserl in one so-called ‘Phenomenological Movement’. The discussions in the book open for philosophers and intellectuals a window upon phenomenology, which has been one of the richest and most influential cultural phenomena since its very appearance at the beginning of the twentieth century. The book also conveys the complex interpretive dynamic within which a given framework of ideas becomes a sort of magnetic field, with attracting and repelling forces acting on its participants, and thanks to which the great ideas of modernity maintain their vitality and relevance a hundred years after their first appearance. This book was originally published as a special issue of _The European Legacy: Towards New Paradigms. _. (shrink)
"China has 'arrived,' and Ronnie Littlejohn helps us know this antique culture better. In his entirely accessible introduction, Littlejohn has done the academy the timely service of resourcing the best contemporary research in sinology to tell the compelling story of a living Confucianism as it has meandered through the dynasties to flow down to our present time." -- Roger T. Ames, Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawai’i "Although basically intended as an introductory text for undergraduates, this book is equally a (...) very useful one for everyone with a serious interest in things sinological to have on their bookshelves. Littlejohn has surveyed well the modern Western scholarship on the manifold dimensions of the Confucian persuasion from its earliest beginnings to the present, and proffers it to the reader in a clearly written and commendably balanced narrative, complete with notes, references, and a working bibliography for further studies of this ancient but still vibrant philosophical and religious tradition we know as 'Confucianism'." —Henry Rosemont, Jr, George B & Wilma Reeves Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts Emeritus, St Mary’s College of Maryland, and Visiting Professor of Religious Studies, Brown University . (shrink)
This article is about the politics of ‘the exception’ and the role of ‘exceptionalism’ in contemporary international theory. The concept of ‘the exception’ was coined by Carl Schmitt and has in recent years become an inspiration for international relations theorists and foreign policy analysts, especially when engaging with issues such as great power politics, humanitarian intervention and the war against terrorism. It is concluded that attempts to apply Schmitt’s concept of ‘the exception’ seldom are persuasive and sometimes even contradictory to (...) Schmitt’s theory. When dealt with out of context, ‘the exception’ becomes just an expression about something else. It is shown that there are other ways of handling the kind of political problem observed by Schmitt than what he and his followers are offering. (shrink)
Biological systems are highly complex, and for this reason there is a considerable degree of uncertainty as to the consequences of making significant interventions into their workings. Since a number of new technologies are already impinging on living systems, including our bodies, many of us have become participants in large-scale “social experiments”. I will discuss biological complexity and its relevance to the technologies that brought us BSE/vCJD and the controversy over GM foods. Then I will consider some of the complexities (...) of our social dynamics, and argue for making a shift from using the precautionary principle to employing the approach of evaluating the introduction of new technologies by conceiving of them as social experiments. (shrink)